[identity profile] finkpishnets.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] ivoryandgoldd
just want to stare into the light by [livejournal.com profile] finkpishnets
british gymnastics rps | sam/max, kristian/louis | pg-13 | ~5,587
boarding school au. in which louis and kristian co-host a radio show, everyone overuses twitter, and there’s far too much pining (mostly the oblivious sort).

a/n: for the [livejournal.com profile] olympicminibb. thanks to [livejournal.com profile] misprinting for looking this over for me and telling me i wasn’t completely crazy for scrapping all my original ideas in favour of something utterly dumb. i haven’t used any actual twitter usernames in this to make things less complicated (she says hopefully), and there is going to be at least one sequel. because i tangled myself up towards the end, and, uh, yeah. that’s for another time.




louissmith
everyone ready for the new term? we’ve got a wicked first show planned for you

kristianthomas
@louissmith Rihanna Day is not going to be a thing.

louissmith
@kristianthomas spoil sport

maxwhitlock
@louissmith @kristianthomas How about Britney Day? Old school, yes, but still awesome.

samoldham
@louissmith @kristianthomas i vote for jesse j day

danpurvis
@samoldham @maxwhitlock @louissmith I don’t know why I’m friends with any of you. @kristianthomas



Max is pretty sure he’s forgotten at least six essential things but his dad’s already pulling into the school and it’s not like he doesn’t manage to do this every year. His mum’s pretty friendly with the lady at the post office back home now, thanks to him, and until then he’ll just steal Sam’s things and call it roommate privileges.

“Do you promise to actually study this year?” his dad asks, and Max nods even as he tweets Sam a picture of his new shoes.

“I’m so glad we pay for this expensive education,” his mum says, “it’s clearly paying off. You can now use punctuation when you talk to your friends online.”

“Yeah,” Max says, grinning and kissing her cheek. “By the end of the year I might even know what a semi-colon is.”

“Oh jeez,” his Dad says, rolling his eyes. “Can we leave before I start remembering that you’re a sixteen year old boy? Please don’t set anything on fire or get anyone pregnant.”

“I go to an all boy’s school, even I know that last one’s really unlikely.”

“Right,” his mum says, “we’re off before you give your dad a hernia. Have a good term, we love you, and Megan’s lovely but I’d really rather not have to explain to people why I’m on a first name basis with your form tutor.”

Max lets his mum hug him a bit too tightly, pats his dad on the back, and doesn’t tear up even a little bit. He has allergies and they’re in the middle of the countryside. Still, he rubs the sleeve of his jumper across his eyes quickly before calling Sam to see if he’s already upstairs.



kristianthomas
@louissmith Why are all your things on my bed?

louissmith
@kristianthomas there’s too many new kids so they stuck philipp boy in with me and i walked in on him and nguyen earlier

kristianthomas
@louissmith Things I didn’t need to know. Okay but you’re not staying.



The biggest problem with boarding school was that there was absolutely no way of avoiding the best friend you were in love with.

“Please let me crash in here with you and Dan,” Louis says, “just for tonight. I’m not sure I can look Boy in the eye.”

Kristian ignores him and goes back to hanging his uniform up, kicking one of Louis’ duffel bags out the way. There’s still a crack in the plaster from last year that Kristian resolves to talk to the caretaker about, and Dan’s used pencil to mark out where he’s hanging his latest band posters. Kristian loves his family but being back feels like home, even if home comes with a whole boatload of unrequited feelings these days.

“I’m sorry the German students have more sex than you do,” he says, “but suck it up and go away. I’ve got a prefect meeting in half an hour.”

“It’s our last year,” Louis says, standing up and rolling his shoulders back. “You have way too much on your plate.”

Kristian shrugs. “I’m an overachiever.”

“Just don’t overdo it, yeah?” Louis says, putting a hand on Kristian’s back to emphasise his concern, and Kristian fails at looking him in the eye.

“I’ll be fine,” he says instead, and grabs his phone as it lights up, stepping away. “Dan needs help with the first years, I’ve got to go.”

“Okay, cool. I guess I better see if it’s safe to go unpack. I’ll see you tonight for the show.”

Kristian nods and doesn’t watch him leave.

It’s getting ridiculous, but short of something stupid, there’s nothing he can do about it.



samoldham
@kristianthomas @louissmith great show 2nite dudes, we were rocking the bed dancing

maxwhitlock
@samoldham @kristianthomas @louissmith The guys downstairs weren’t too happy.



“I’ve decided we’re Interrailing it up after we graduate,” Sam says, kicking Max’s legs aside so he can lie down next to him. “Start saving up.”

“Cool,” Max says, shuffling down on his pillow to get more comfortable. “But that’s still two years away.”

“Yeah, but I know what you’re like so I’m telling you now.”

Max’s mum’s already called him to tell him he forgot his toothbrush and hadn’t seemed too impressed when he said he’d just use his finger, so he told her he’d use Sam’s toothbrush and that had just descended into a wrestling match on the floor and his mum sighing down the line and begging them to at least break themselves and not anything she’d end up having to pay for.

All in all it feels like he’s back to being himself; summer at home is a bit like trying to make new friends all over again, even with the people he’s known for years, and there’s only so much they can listen to him talk about people they’ve never met before they zone out and start talking about which of their teachers is a wanker and who knocked up some Year Ten girl at Matt Brown’s mid-summer party.

“I’ll start saving,” Max says. “How was Italy?”

“Didn’t you read my blog? It was cool. The food’s great. Mum got really excited about all the architecture and dad got really excited about his new camera.”

“Of course I read your blog,” Max lies, “but I thought I’d give you the chance to gain some cool points and pretend it never happened. Did you see any gladiators?”

Sam kicks his shin. “Only the blokes that attract tourists outside the Coliseum. I got you a toy sword though.”

Max grins and nudges his arm in thanks.

“Did you do anything cool this summer?” Sam says, and Max is pretty sure he’s falling asleep, his head lolling slightly onto Max’s shoulder.

“Not unless you count snogging a girl who hit me over the head with a toy bus in nursery.”

“Definitely. Did she hit you again this time?”

“No,” Max says, “she tried to stick her hand down the front of my jeans and I fell over attempting to get away.”

Sam laughs against Max’s neck, his breath warm, and Max finds himself turning into it, suddenly unable to keep his eyes open.

“I’m sleeping here, k?” Sam says, and Max nods like this doesn’t end up happening all the time.

“Don’t hog the duvet,” he says instead, and takes Sam’s snore as an affirmative.



direct message from danpurvis
I heard about Louis and the American girl. You okay?

direct message from kristianthomas
Yeah I just wish he’d shut up about it.

direct message from danpurvis
Got some second years to “flood” the fourth floor bathroom. Escape.



Kristian’s not entirely sure what he did to deserve Dan sometimes. Louis is the sort of best mate who will always be ready to cheer you up or play sports in the pouring rain or co-host a ridiculous school radio show, but Dan’s the sort of best mate who knows when you’re miserable and lets you talk about it for as long as you need to, and Kristian's just really grateful that they’re friends.

“I need to get over it before Louis catches on and the whole thing gets awkward,” he says, and Dan nods though he doesn’t look convinced.

“I still think you should talk to him,” he says, “but it’s your life.”

“It’s not his problem though,” Kristian says, checking a row of classrooms for anyone out of bounds. “I don’t want to make things weird. That would be worse than any of this.”

He’s spent the first two weeks of term fervently trying to pretend that none of this exists. It had been okay last year; Kristian hadn’t put it all together until it was practically time to leave for the summer and back then he’d been happy to let Louis casually touch him all the damn time. He’s had two months to reflect on it all now though, and that’s been more than long enough to convince himself that it can all only end in disaster.

They catch a couple of boys sneaking back from the kitchen and give them detention, and Kristian waits until he’s sure they’re really alone before he says: “I think I’m just scared.”

Dan sighs and wraps an arm around his shoulders, and it must be a stretch but he doesn’t seem to mind. “Of course you are,” he says. “But everyone feels like that. Except maybe Sam and Max but I’m still trying to work out if they’re really good at hiding their stash or just weird.”

Kristian laughs. “They’re not subtle enough for the first so weird it is. The confidence of youth, as they say.”

“Well, cheers,” Dan says, gripping Kristian’s arm once before letting go, “we’re not exactly old.”

“No, but we’re also studying for our A-Levels, running a radio show, part of the student council, and prefects. There’s a good chance we’re going to die before we’re eighteen.”

“That’s true. Or we’re doing all this just to work even harder at Uni. That’s a bleak thought.” Dan shakes his head but he’s smiling, and Kristian returns it easily. Louis is always asking them why they don’t just relax a little, but Kristian and Dan are of the same mould; they wouldn’t be them if they weren’t pushing the limits of their workload and responsibility. The fact that it helps their Uni applications doesn’t hurt either.

“Come on,” Dan says after they’re finished checking the ground floor, “let’s get some sleep and tomorrow you can play as many Five for Fighting songs on the show as you want.”

“Louis will kill me,” Kristian says. “Scratch that, Max and Sam will kill me.”

“I’ll fend them off,” Dan says, and Kristian gets that grateful pang in his chest again.

He’s going to buy Dan the greatest birthday present ever this year. It’s the least he can do.



philippboy
@maxwhitlock Could you please come and take your boyfriend away. Danke.

maxwhitock
@philippboy Have to talk to Mr Trent. Be there in ten.

maxwhitlock
@philippboy He’s not my boyfriend.



There’s a cut on the side of Sam’s head where he fell off the gym apparatus, and Max spends five minutes laughing at him and ten checking he’s really, actually okay. Philipp Boy says something about not letting him sleep and Max nods but isn’t really paying attention even though Philipp Boy is awesome and normally he’d be asking him about German swearwords but right now Sam is blinking and looking a bit teary, and Max may have laughed at him (and will probably laugh at him again) but the last thing he wants is for anyone else to see his best friend cry.

When they’re back in their room, Max checks to see how bad it is and is a little disappointed to find it’s not bleeding anymore.

“You’re such a drama queen,” he says, scrutinising it. “You’re not even going to have a Harry Potter scar.”

“Shut up,” Sam says, “it hurts, you dick.”

Max pushes Sam down onto his bed then grabs his wallet. “Fine,” he says. “I’m going to tell the nurse you’re here and buy you some chocolate and then we’ll watch Revenge, okay? Don’t fall asleep while I’m gone.”

He walks as fast as he can to the nurses office, banging shoulders with a couple of firsties who don’t move out of the way quickly enough, and normally he’d feel guilty but right now he just wants to make sure he’s back before Sam can doze off and Philipp Boy’s possible words of doom come to pass. The nurse agrees to pop up immediately so Max takes a bit more time at the tuck shop and stocks up on enough junk to last a week before heading back.

The nurse is telling Sam to go see her is he starts to feel dizzy but she doesn’t look too concerned and doesn’t tell him that sleep’s off the table so Max lets himself relax a bit, crawling onto Sam’s bed and dumping the hoard in his lap.

“This is enough to put anyone into a sugar coma,” Sam says, rifling through for a KitKat. “Half an hour ago you were laughing at me and now you’re acting like I’m dying.”

“You’re injured,” Max says, grabbing a Galaxy Ripple before Sam can notice them and scoff the lot. “I’m allowed to be both overprotective and amused.”

“Okay,” Sam says. “Philipp Boy kept calling you my boyfriend.”

“Philipp Boy is shacking up with a guy who has the same hairstyle as him. Philipp Boy is crazy.”

Sam grins, only grimacing a little. “You love Philipp Boy,” he says. “Don’t lie.”

“Only because he’s German and awesome,” Max says and curls up a little so he’s on his side with Sam’s feet tangled between his own. Single beds really aren’t made for two people and he has no intention of moving right now.

Sam reaches for the remote then shuffles further down the bed so they’re tucked closer together before pressing play.

“Don’t let me forget the time and miss the radio show, okay?” he says, and Max nods.

“I’m pretty sure none of the other guys spend all their time curled up in their rooms, you know,” he says. “Are we odd?”

“Who cares?” Sam says. “Now shut up and pay attention to Emily’s life.”

Max does as he’s told.



louissmith
send in your requests folks

samoldham
@louissmith persuit of happiness – kid cudi

marcellnguyen
@louissmith Bob Seger

maxwhitlock
@louissmith WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL. 1DIRECTION.

louissmith
@maxwhitlock kris says no so going to play the whole album tomorrow k

maxwhitlock
@louissmith YEAH BOI



Louis corners Kristian between his third period Chemistry class and his fourth period tutor group when he knows it doesn’t matter if he’s late, and Kristian would be more annoyed if Louis hadn’t at least been thoughtful enough to make sure he doesn’t get in trouble.

“So what have I done?” Louis says, and Kristian feels like he’s been punched.

“Nothing,” he says, quickly. “Absolutely nothing.”

“Really?” Louis says. “So why are you avoiding me like the plague? I had to promise Max a day of One Direction just to get you to glare at me.”

“You love One Direction,” Kristian says, even though that’s not the point. Louis doesn’t seem to be buying it either.

“Just tell me what it is so we can fix this,” Louis says, and Kristian’s heart twists painfully in his chest.

It’s just-- he’s crazy about him, really, and he’s been trying to get the feelings to go away, when, if he’s finally honest with himself, they’re not going to -- not for a really long time, if ever, and it’s totally unfair that he’s been taking it out on their friendship when Louis doesn’t even know that anything’s changed. Kristian feels so selfish for not just taking Dan’s advice and talking to him; even if it hadn’t been the whole truth, he could have at least said something that wouldn’t have ended with Louis standing in front of him looking like a kicked puppy and feeling guilty for something he has no control over.

“Sorry,” Kristian says, and it sounds so inadequate to his own ears. “I’m being an idiot. It’s nothing you’ve done, honestly, I’m just tired and stressed and taking it out on you. I’ll stop, I promise.”

Louis doesn’t look happy but something in his shoulders relaxes, and Kristian smiles to let him know that, if nothing else, he really does promise to stop avoiding him. It’s a dick move but he can’t tell Louis that all of this is because he’s in love with him and can’t deal with rejection and isn’t entirely sure how he’s supposed to act when those things combine. He knows Dan would tell him to just get it over with, but Louis is Louis and he’s just Kristian, and there’s no way he’s going to set himself up to be knocked down.

He likes being good at things. It’s how he lives his whole life, working towards the best marks and the best extracurriculars and even the best bloody guitar hero score, and he knows without a doubt that he could be the best at loving Louis too, but that’s not going to happen and he can’t put himself out there and not know in advance that he’ll succeed.

“I’m still playing One Direction,” Louis says, and it’s a challenge.

“Okay,” Kristian says. “I can cope with that.”

“You’d better,” Louis says, and it’s almost like they’re all right again.



samoldham
@maxwhitlock you left your phone here and your mum called, told her you were in class. she doesn’t have twitter to know that’s a lie right?

madeleinewhitlock
@samoldham @maxwhitlock Actually, Sam, I do. For goodness sake, boys, at least learn how to send direct messages so I can pretend I have a son who does as he’s told.

samoldham
@madeleinewhitlock @maxwhitlock sorry miss whitlock

maxwhitlock
@madeleinewhitlock @samoldham Damn. Sorry Mum.



He gets detention for skipping Maths but, to be fair, they had a substitute so it’s not like he would have been learning much anyway. Sam apologises for an hour until Max threatens to hide his Russell Howard DVDs, and then they head to the “radio shack” to pull faces as Kristian and Louis as they go live, and Max mentally plans to send his mum a copy of his latest English essay that even Mrs Mitchell had been pleasantly surprised by. He’s not above a little manipulation.

Dan grins at them from behind the sound desk as they find a counter to sit on, and doesn’t seem to care that they’ve brought bags of popcorn with them, which is a pretty good sign that everyone’s in a good mood. Max has no idea what’s been going on with the other two recently but there was about a fortnight of shows that were nothing except passive aggression, and both he and Sam were just really glad when Kristian and Louis settled back into their usual banter.

“Evening all, tonight we’re playing ‘songs that probably featured in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air one time’ so dig out the backwards baseball caps and neon and send us your thoughts on twitter,” Louis says, and smiles when Sam and Max cheer.

“Don’t forget that tickets for the Christmas Dance go on sale this week,” Kristian says, “and the girl’s school are holding a fete next month to raise money for decorations. Email Beth Tweddle for more information, unless, and I quote, ‘it’s about which girls are single, seriously, last year I felt like a dating agency.’”

“In other words, find your own dates you lazy bastards,” Louis says, and smirks at Dan when he looks put out. Max is pretty sure that none of the teachers actually care if they swear a bit, but Dan and Kristian have a certain image to maintain that Louis gets far too much enjoyment from cracking.

The show goes well, and Sam gets them to play some Rita Ora whilst they all dance around like crazy people, so by the time they get back to their room Max is sleepy and happy and draped over Sam’s back with very little intention of moving.

Which is probably why it doesn’t register that Sam’s kissing him until his hands are tangled in Max’s shirt and Max is kissing him back.

This-- isn’t something he saw coming, not even a little bit, which may have been stupid because Sam is kissing him, and it’s been going on for far too long for it to be a spur of the moment accident. Max doesn’t pull away though, and that’s something in itself, because this is his best friend and also really, really nice, and so he puts his hands around Sam’s waist and pulls him closer, parting his lips when Sam kisses him deeper still.

Sam steps back towards his bed and Max moves with him until they’re sprawled awkwardly across the sheets, legs tangled together in a way that’s achingly familiar and yet completely not.

“Okay,” Max says when they break away to breathe, and Sam smiles like this isn’t a big deal at all, like he’s been waiting for Max to catch on, and, oh. “You could have said something.”

“I know,” Sam says, but other than being a bit breathless he doesn’t look too fazed. “I wasn’t in a rush.”

“Idiot,” Max says, and doesn’t leave Sam time to debate, pressing their lips together firmly and pinning him to the mattress, shimmying a bit until he’s slotted into his usual spot against Sam’s side, and, yeah, okay, so he’s the real idiot but he’s not going to waste time worrying about it, not when Sam’s arching up into him and kissing him like it’s the easiest thing in the world.



philippboy
@maxwhitlock @samoldham ;)

maxwhitlock
@philippboy @samoldham HOW DID YOU KNOW???

philippboy
@maxwhitlock @samoldham The power of observation. You’re far from subtle.

louissmith
@philippboy @maxwhitlock @samoldham subtle at what?



Kristian takes comfort in the fact that Dan hadn’t seen this coming either.

“Uh,” Dan says, “you know we’re going to have to give you detention, right?”

Max sighs and reaches out to take the slip from him, apparently not at all worried about being caught kissing his roommate in the school hallways after hours. Which, yeah, that. Kristian knows he’s been tangled in his own world recently, using up a lot of energy avoiding Louis and then not avoiding Louis, but he’s sure he would have noticed something this momentous happening.

“When…?” he begins, and watches as Sam’s face turns red.

“A few weeks ago,” he says. “Or years ago. Depending on what you mean.”

Max grins and presses a kiss against his blushing cheek, tangling their fingers together and pulling Sam away from the wall. “Come on,” he says, and turns back to Kristian and Dan. “Later guys.”

Sam steps closer to Max as they wander off, still holding hands, and Kristian turns to see Dan watching them with equal parts shock and amusement.

“What do you know?” he says, catching Kristian’s eye, and there’s a moment of silence before they both start laughing, unable to contain themselves. “I feel like there’s a lesson here,” Dan says, eventually, and Kristian shakes his head.

“It’s not the same.”

“Best mates falling for each other,” Dan says. “Of course not.”

Kristian shakes his head and carries on walking, refusing to think about it. Max and Sam may have come out of nowhere, but they’ve always been ridiculously co-dependant and happy with it. Besides, they still have a full year of school left; next year he’ll be at Uni and Louis will be in an entirely different part of the country, and it’s going to be hard enough for them to keep up their friendship let alone anything else.

“You’re your own worst enemy,” Dan says, not for the first time, and Kristian nods.

“Yeah,” he says, “but it’s better to live in denial than face hypothetical rejection.”

Dan sighs. “You really don’t get enough credit for the sheer amount of insecurities you carry around, do you?”

Kristian’s pretty sure he has no idea just how right he is.



louissmith
@maxwhitlock @samoldham WHY AM I THE LAST TO ALWAYS FIND STUFF OUT???

samoldham
@louissmith @maxwhitlock mate we’ve not exactly been hiding it

maxwhitlock
@louissmith @samoldham We were making out in the radio room the other day, how did you not notice????

louissmith
@maxwhitlock @samoldham I THOUGHT YOU WERE FIGHTING OMG I HATE YOU ALL

danpurvis
@louissmith @maxwhitlock @samoldham Welcome to my life.



It’s funny how no one’s really surprised. Like, they’ll all blink a few times or double take in the halls, but then they shrug it off and keep going as if it’s already old news, which Max supposes it kind of is. Just because he’d been slow off the mark doesn’t mean everyone else had apparently.

“You need to get over it,” Sam says, throwing a marshmallow at his face. “No one cares.”

Max sighs, eating the marshmallow with a shrug. “I know, it just would have been cool to have everyone gossiping about us for a bit.”

“We go to an all boy’s school,” Sam says, rolling his eyes. “Unless it’s about football or someone’s fake ID, nobody’s going to talk about it. Sorry.”

“At least we know we’re awesome,” Max says, moving to sprawl on Sam’s bed instead of his own and stealing half his pillow.

“Sure,” Sam says. “The most awesome. Now are you done whining? I need to write my English paper.”

“By ‘English paper’ do you mean make out in front of the TV for the next hour?” Max asks hopefully.

Sam laughs. “Not even a little.”



bethtweddle
@kristianthomas Hey Kris, fancy meeting up for lunch this weekend to talk about dance plans?

louissmith
@bethtweddle @kristianthomas you 2 going to the dance together?????

bethtweddle
@louissmith @kristianthomas Actually, I meant plans as in the dance committee sort. Anything else is none of your business.

louissmith
@bethtweddle @kristianthomas so you DO want to go to the dance with kris then?

kristianthomas
@louissmith @bethtweddle OMG LOUIS SHUT UP. Beth I’ll text you about this w/e.



“No, but mate, Beth is perfect for you. You guys are both overachieving prefects and I’m pretty sure she watches Downton Abbey too, I’m just saying.”

Kristian buries his head in his hands. “I could kill you and they’d never find the body, I’m just saying.”

Louis laughs, tilting his seat back precariously and chewing on the end of his pen. “Fine, it’s none of my business.”

“What’s none of your business?” Dan asks, not looking up from his chemistry textbook.

“Kristian’s love life.”

Dan catches Kristian’s eye but doesn’t say anything because he’s the best person Kristian knows and the only one keeping him sane right now.

Louis on the other hand—

“Beth wants to go to the dance with him,” Louis tells Dan, and Dan laughs.

“That’s weird,” he says, “since she’s already going with me.”

The legs of Louis’ chair hit the floor with a thud, and even Kristian sits up straighter. “What?”

Dan shrugs. “Sure,” he says. “I asked her last week and she said yes. I like her, she likes me; it’s no big deal.”

The no big deal sticks in Kristian’s head, playing on loop, even as Louis says “good for you, mate” and Dan changes the subject to the radio show. No big deal. First Max and Sam casually falling into a relationship like it was inevitable, and now Dan and Beth nonchalantly deciding to give one a go, all whilst he’s panicking about everything that could go wrong if he were to put himself out there to Louis. He doesn’t get it, doesn’t understand how they can all be so complacent about making themselves vulnerable to another person, even if that person is their friend.

“You okay?” Louis asks, leaning forwards slightly to catch his attention, and Kristian nods.

“Yeah,” he says. “Just thinking.”

Louis smiles. “You do too much of that, you know.”

“I know,” Kristian say, the reality of it hitting him hard. “I know.”



maxwhitlock
Is there a dating protocol thing on here like on fb or do I just tweet “Max Whitlock is in a relationship with @samoldham”?

philippboy
@maxwhitlock This is old news. Nobody will care until you release a sex tape.

samoldham
@philippboy @maxwhitlock please don’t give him ideas philipp boy

bethtweddle
@maxwhitlock @samoldham Congrats, guys! Happy for you.

maxwhitlock
@bethtweddle @samoldham THANKS BETH

madeleinewhitlock
@maxwhitlock @samoldham I think you forgot to mention something the last time you called, Max…

maxwhitlock
@madeleinewhitlock @samoldham Oh shit yeah, uh, Mum, I’m gay. Surprise!

madeleinewhitlock
@maxwhitlock @samoldham It’s not really, no. Your father’s too busy laughing right now but call us later.

louissmith
@maxwhitlock dude way to come out to your parents over public media



Kristian’s not sure what makes him do it. He wants to be able to put it down to something – alcohol, exhaustion, temporary insanity – but he can’t, not when he’s seeing things with perfect clarity regardless of shaking hands and dry lips and the part of his brain that houses his insecurities shouting no, stop it, what are you doing?!

Louis pulls back after a second, and Kristian keeps his eyes tightly shut, not wanting to face reality. He hadn’t intended for this to happen, hadn’t come over to Louis’ room with the purpose of kissing him, but Dan’s not a big deal had still been playing in his head and his twitter feed had been full of Sam and Max’s flirtation, and he’d just—

He’d just wanted to not be scared for once.

He can hear Louis breathing and then the sound of him walking to the door and shutting it behind him, and fuck, Kristian’s been right all along. He’s ruined everything.

There’s a knot in his chest that begins to ease but it feels more like despair than relief.

He’s been so focused on not wanting to be rejected that he hasn’t stopped to think about what it would actually feel like if (when) he was.



danpurvis
@kristianthomas @louissmith We’re on air in fifteen guys, where are you?

danpurvis
@kristianthomas @louissmith Guys??????????????

direct message from danpurvis
Kris, what happened?



Kristian doesn’t know how long he’s been sitting on Louis’ floor for, but he’s grateful that Philipp Boy hasn’t come back. His phone keeps buzzing in his pocket and he knows he should answer, tell Dan he’s okay and sorry for missing the show, but neither of those things are true and he’s not in the practice of lying to anyone except himself.

He’s rubbing at his eyes when the door opens, light from the hall pouring in, and Louis comes and sits on his bed, facing Kristian.

“Hi,” he says.

“Hi,” Kristian echoes, feeling tired.

“I shouldn’t have just walked out,” Louis says, and he’s serious in a way Kristian rarely sees him. “That was a dick move and I’m sorry.”

“I shouldn’t have kissed you, so I guess we’re even,” Kristian says, leaning his head back against the wall.

Louis is staring intently at the carpet, and Kristian wonders if this is it, if this is the moment when seven years of friendship go tumbling down the drain.

“I don’t care that you kissed me,” Louis says, shaking his head, and then seems to rethink. “No, I do care, but the kiss itself isn’t why I walked out. I just-- why didn’t you tell me?”

“I’m sorry,” Kristian says when he can’t find the words for anything else, and Louis sighs.

“Didn’t you trust me?” Louis asks after a while, and Kristian can hear the hurt in his tone.

“What?” he says. “Of course I trust you.”

Louis sighs, running his fingers through his hair. “I’ve just spent the last hour walking around campus thinking. I needed some time to process.”

“Right,” Kristian says. “Of course.”

“The thing is, all I kept thinking was that you’re my best mate and yet you didn’t trust me with your feelings. We’re not Max and Sam, we didn’t come installed with co-dependant telepathy, and I can honestly say I had no idea you liked me that way. You’re my favourite person in the world, Kris. You have to know that.”

“But you don’t feel that way…” Kristian finishes for him and Louis shakes his head.

“You never gave me a chance to see,” he says, waving his hands around a little in frustration. “Of course I’ve thought about it, the same way I’ve thought about pretty much everyone. The detached consideration, you know? I’m eighteen, I don’t know what’s hormones and what’s a genuine connection. That takes time, at least for me.”

“Oh,” Kristian says, and he doesn’t understand what Louis is saying, not really, but it’s not anger and it’s not pity and both of those things send relief flooding through him.

“So, give me some time, okay? To see? The only thing I can promise is to be your friend.”

“Yeah?” Kristian says, all his complicated emotions slowly beginning to untangle themselves inside his head.

“Yeah,” Louis says, and it’s the best thing Kristian’s heard in a long time.



bethtweddle
Great dance last night! Hope everyone had a fab time and didn’t get caught drunk by any teachers (you know who you are).

maxwhitlock
@bethtweddle Don’t know about drunk but @samoldham and I caught you and @danpurvis under the mistletoe!!!

samoldham
@bethtweddle @maxwhitlock we have pictures :D

danpurvis
@maxwhitlock @samoldham Once again, no one cares.

bethtweddle
@samoldham @maxwhitlock I see your pictures and raise you video footage of @kristianthomas and @louissmith smooching in the courtyard.

maxwhitlock
@bethtweddle @samoldham @kristianthomas @louissmith YOU DO NOT

bethtweddle
@maxwhitlock @samoldham @kristianthomas @louissmith Oh, I do. The girls are passing it around. Sorry boys, you’ve been outdone as Cutest Couple.

kristianthomas
@bethtweddle @maxwhitlock @samoldham @louissmith Seriously guys? Is this really a conversation for twitter?

louissmith
@maxwhitlock @samoldham HA WE ARE TOTALLY A HOTTER COMMODITY THAN YOU LOSERS

kristianthomas
@louissmith @maxwhitlock @samoldham Oh jeez.



direct message from louissmith
wanna go christmas shopping this afternoon? with bonus hot chocolate (the kind with baileys in obvs)?

direct message from kristianthomas
It’s a date :)


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