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comment_fic 1157: RPF

Title: Hearts with one purpose alone
Disclaimer: they’re real people who belong to themselves; title from W. B. Yeats
Warnings: canon compliant; possibly slightly AU, as I didn’t do exhaustive research
Pairings: Harry Styles/Louis Tomlinson, past-Stanley Lucas/Louis Tomlinson
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 3060
Point of view: third
Prompts: Any, Any(/Any), Although you will expect me to/I was wiser too than you had expected/For I knew all along you were mine (Dorothea Lasky); Author's choice (except Supernatural), any/any, HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,/Enwrought with golden and silver light,/The blue and the dim and the dark cloths/Of night and light and the half-light,/ I would spread the cloths under your feet: (He wishes for the cloths of heaven, W. B. Yeats); Author's choice, author's choice, Hearts with one purpose alone/Through summer and winter seem/Enchanted to a stone/To trouble the living stream. (Easter 1916, W. B. Yeats)


The thing of it is that Harry's been waiting for years by the time he trips into the toilet and sees the boy washing his hands.

Short flashes of dreams, at first, where he'd wake up and know it had happened, whatever it was. He'd bothered Gemma about the odd clothes people were wearing in his dreams and kept bothering her 'til she sat down with him at the computer he wasn't allowed to touch yet and she'd pulled up pictures of old clothes, drawings and black-and-white photos and fancy portraits. He had the same dream every night for three months, of being a woman in an elaborate gown crying as someone Harry never saw walked away.

The dreams changed, time and place, but always Harry as someone (male, female, unknown) was left crying and someone walked away.

When he was ten, he stopped telling people and started doing all the research himself.

.

Time, place, ethnicity, it all changed. But every time, he woke knowing that it was true. He scoured the internet and every library he could access on reincarnation, soulmates, studies on dream interpretation. He filled half a dozen notebooks with what he remembered, kept multiple dream journals in his bedside table, drew extensive charts with what varied and what didn’t.

Whatever happened in the dream, whether it was a normal day or a battlefield or a party, Harry (it was always his perspective, never watching from outside) would meet someone or have known that someone for a long time, and he would always wake up after being left behind.

He speculated endlessly on what it might mean, on what might have happened, and obsessively planned for the meeting that he knew must be coming.

All the while, of course, he maintained his schoolwork, visited with his friends, watched telly with Mum, made time for Dad and Robin and Gemma, and tried not to let on how much he thought about having once been someone else, multiple someones. He’d followed the thought once and it resulted in a panic attack he’d never completely explained to Mum. He didn’t want his research to become his whole life.

So when he was fourteen, he started a band with Will, his best friend. He liked to think he had a fairly nice voice, and Will knew a couple of boys who could play instruments, and White Eskimo would probably never make it past Cheshire but it was fun.

.

For a year, Harry couldn’t remember a single dream he had. He had three panic attacks about it. Mum dragged him to a few different doctors but there was no explanation, especially since he didn’t explain what triggered the attacks. His schoolwork suffered in the early months, until he decided he couldn’t allow this odd hobby to derail the rest of his life.

He buried his notebooks in a box under his bed, along with all but one dream journal.

He had a dream the night after Will talked the band into entering the Battle of the Bands contest: a battlefield full of dying men in armor, horses screaming, people shouting, and a body behind his, arms around his middle, and a pair of whispers barely heard over all the noise. He woke clinging to the one sentence, trying to drown out all the terribleness that surrounded it, and when he looked later, there were teardrops all over the page in his dream journal.

Please wait for me, someone had begged Harry, as they were both dying on blood-stained dirt.

I’ll find you, Harry had promised, and he woke reaching for whoever it was.

.

Will and the boys hadn’t wanted to try out for X-Factor, even though they were all old enough before Harry was.

White Eskimo had been a lark for them but Harry enjoyed it far more than he’d expected to. He absolutely loved being on stage, performing, giving his all to a crowd that gave back. And when they were cheering for songs he himself had written—he didn’t understand why the others didn’t feel the rush he did.

So he auditioned for the X-Factor, hoping to make it but expecting that he wouldn’t. The producers put him through, so then all he’d have to do was convince the judges to give him a chance.

His dreams were back, too, and he filled three dream journals with what seemed to be the entire life story of a baker’s apprentice who fell in love with an earl’s daughter. The baker’s apprentice became a proper baker and married a seamstress, and the earl’s daughter wed the son of a duke, and nothing at all special seemed to happen but Harry dutifully recorded everything he remembered.

He was able to impress Barbara at the bakery with a few tricks and she laughed, “You been studyin’ up, Harry?”

He’d shrugged with his most charming grin.

.

Mum, Robin, and Will went with him to Manchester for the judge’s audition. Dermot approached him for a little interview in line and Harry rambled on for a minute, not even sure what he was saying. Then he was on stage, chatting with Simon Cowell, and the nerves just went away. He knew his song and he sang it better than he ever had before, and while he didn’t get unanimous yeses, he was put through to bootcamp.

That night, he dreamed about being a servant in a rich man’s house, and he was pulled into the dining room while everyone was out, and a soft voice asked (he couldn’t see the face), Have you decided, love? but he woke before he answered.

.

Bootcamp was grueling. He never actually met his roommate, and was somewhere between bemused and relieved about it. He spoke with practically everyone he saw, though his favorite was the loud, blond, Irish lad with the guitar, who was always excited and up for a laugh.

The first night, he dreamt of a field of sunflowers and knew that he had to get to the other side. He was frantic with it, racing through the field, stumbling over himself, shouting, Wait, I’m coming, please! but he wasn’t in time and no one was there when he finally made it.

The second night, he dreamt of crossing an ocean in a fancy boat. He was stood on deck, looking out over the water, heartsick for a reason he didn’t know.

On the third day, he trips into the toilet and he sees a boy washing his hands and he thinks, Oh.

.

“I heard your audition,” the boy says, turning as he dries his hands. “They’d be stupid to not put you through.”

“I,” Harry says, unable to look away from the boy’s face. He’s seen it before, surely he has, but he also knows he hasn’t. “I’m not that good.”

The boy smiles, bright as sunshine. “You’re gonna win, I’m sure of it.”

Harry’s never counted how many lives he’s dreamed. The boy holds out his hand, saying, “’m’Louis,” and then uses the handshake to pull Harry in for a quick hug. “You’re gonna be famous one day, Harold, I know it,” he murmurs before pulling back. “Let’s get a picture, too, yeah?” he suggests with another sunshine-bright smile, and then he asks for an autograph, and then he’s gone down a hall, losing himself in the crowd.

Harry’s hand is still warm hours later, and his shoulder where Louis’ arm had rested.

He dreams that night of the two dying soldiers, and he wakes knowing that had been the first life.

Please wait for me someone had begged Harry with his last breath, and Harry had used his own to promise I’ll find you.

He sees Louis in the crowd, bouncing in place, and he knows, I’ve found you.



It feels like he’s known Harry forever. Niall and Zayn are easy to get along with, and Liam’s fun to poke at, but Harry is so familiar—like they just fit together, like they snap into place. Harry surprises him in every conversation, and nothing feels as good as getting a laugh out of him, but even when he’s surprised, he’s not. Like he’s known but forgotten.

They work together brilliantly, rarely having to even talk to get their ideas across. “’s’spooky, innit?” Niall asks Zayn once, after Harry and Louis have had an entire conversation without a single word spoken. That’s when Louis realizes how odd it is, this connection they have.

He felt it the first time he saw Harry in line, chubby cheeks and curls and charm. On stage for the judges, he oozed charisma. Louis had wanted to speak to him but he’d promised his sisters to do his best, so he couldn’t let himself be distracted by Harry Styles (of all the ridiculous names) with the curls. And then Harry practically fell through the door and stared at Louis like—

It was weird, the way Harry stared at him. Louis watched him in the mirror for a moment before turning, and Harry was still gazing at him the way Lottie had the first time she saw a horse in real life.

I know you, he thought, the same time he said, “I heard your audition. They’d be stupid to not put you through.”

And it was easy, so frighteningly easy, to pull Harry against him, to comfort him with what Louis was sure would happen anyway. None of the other boys were nearly as good as Harry Styles, so obviously he’d make it to the live shows. And he’d charm the world, wouldn’t he, so clearly he’d one day be the biggest star of all. It was all so obvious, surely everyone saw it.

He wanted to spend every last second at bootcamp with Harry, after that, but he’d promised the girls to do his best, and he never broke a promise to them.

But now here they are at Harry’s step-dad’s bungalow, and he still wants to spend every last moment of his life with Harry. It feels like he’s known Harry forever and he never gets tired of him. But it’s not until he realizes how odd it is that he steals away to call Stan. He wants to ask Mum, but she’s got enough to deal with, considering Dad and the girls.

“What’s the problem, then?” Stan asks once he’s finally fallen silent. “You didn’t shut up about the boy after bootcamp; here’s your chance, innit?”

“It isn’t normal, is it?” he asks. “Like, even me and you, Stanley, it’s never been like this.” Three months, he’d spent crushing on Stan when they were fifteen, until Stan finally shoved him against the bedroom door and kissed him. It was fun, and probably the best first boyfriend he could’ve asked for, though they quickly realized they were better as best friends.

“Lewis, you know that godawful book my mum likes, with that rot about soulmates?” Stan says. “Sounds like you and this Harry kid, don’t it?”

“But soulmates,” Louis says, “and true love… it doesn’t exist.” It can’t be real, not with the way Mum keeps getting her heart broken.

“So you’re crushin’ on him,” Stan says. “And he’s crushin’ back so hard, I can see it from here.” Louis laughs softly. “Kiss him,” Stan orders. “Kiss him ‘til your lips fall off and quit whinin’ at me.”

“Louis!” Harry calls, so Louis turns back towards the bungalow. “What d’ya want for lunch?”

“Gotta go,” Louis says. “I’ll let you know what happens.”

Stan sighs so loudly Louis knows it’s fake but doesn’t say anything else. “What d’ya wanna make?” he asks, slipping his mobile into his pocket and walking back up the path.

Liam, Niall, and Zayn are all good lads, talented and bright. But Louis knows it’s Harry who’s something special, who deserves to have the world love him and see him.

It’s frighteningly easy, everything with Harry. Louis doesn’t want to look away.

He dreams, sometimes, of a longing so deep and vast he could drown in it. Of reaching for someone who isn’t there to reach back. Of dying with someone’s name caught in his throat, choking on things he never said. And he wakes curled around Harry, when he fell asleep alone.

You deserve the world, he thinks as Harry pores over their assigned music, and I’m going to give it to you.



Judge’s Houses, the Live Shows, the X-Factor touring, moving in with Louis, their first album, the world going utterly mad around them—through it all, Harry’s dreams changed, again. He no longer dreamed of the past, of lives he’d once lived. His last true dream, he only realized as he reread his journal, had been in Marbella, the night before Louis kissed him for the first time.

His dreams after that were all… normal, he supposes, taking a morning to revisit all of the research he’d recorded over the years, all of his speculations, all of his frantic ramblings on why he kept dreaming heartbroken people. But now he dreamt of forgetting lyrics, of plane crashes and not having any milk for breakfast, of the boys getting lost on the way to performances, of Gemma marrying a talking lion. Ridiculous, illogical things sometimes and other times, everyday fears given life. Utterly normal.

“What’s this?” Louis asked, the first time he found the dream journal in Harry’s nightstand. He still recorded every dream he remembered, just in case.

Harry shrugged. “Just my dream journal,” he said. Louis set it back in the drawer.

.

They argue, of course, about silly things. But during performances, during conversations with the producers, the writers, their management team, the musicians, the boys—they’re perfectly in tune with each other and don’t even need to discuss things. Harry knows what Louis will say before he says it, and he’s already replied before anyone else realizes Louis hasn’t actually said his piece, or the opposite, and Harry knows it’s not quite normal.

Sometimes, Mum and Robin can have entire conversations without speaking, like Harry can with Gemma, like Louis and his own mum, like Louis’ twin sisters. But those are people who have known each other for years, or who grew up together. Harry and Louis began doing it after a few days.

He should tell Louis, of course. Sit him down with his notebooks, with the files on his computer, with the charts. It’s entirely possible Louis has had the dreams, too, or feels the same thing Harry does. It seems he does, with how quickly he took to Harry.

But he doesn’t sit Louis down for that conversation. Not during the first year, or the second, or when things start going wrong. Not when management fusses at them for how often they touch, for how they look at each other, for how they steal away whenever they can just to trade lingering kisses.

It had been frantic, in the early days during the Live Shows, when they couldn’t get enough, when they made plans to stay together after no matter what, when they annoyed everyone with how they couldn’t stand to be apart. They’d been fussed at then, too, but it wasn’t like this. Wasn’t being told that they couldn’t interact on camera at all, not if they wanted to succeed.

But Harry remembers hundreds of lives where it was worse. Where they couldn’t see each other at all, couldn’t touch, couldn’t talk. Where one of them left, or died, or had never been there to start with. But in this life, in this actual life he’s living, he paints Louis’ love on his skin, as Louis writes his on his own, and they don’t need to talk to communicate, and they sleep in the same bed, and he writes song after song after song for Louis alone, of what they’ve survived before and will endure now, and two years becomes three becomes four becomes five, and Harry dreams of their future instead of their past.

When Zayn leaves, when the end of their closet is in sight, when Harry is going to be away from Louis for the longest time since he tripped into that toilet, he slips his first dream journal and first notebook into Louis’ bag.

“What’s this?” Louis asks over Skype the second night, when he must’ve gone digging for Harry’s jumper and found it wrapped around the notebooks.

“You remember how it was when we met?” Harry asks. “Like we just fit together. Like we belonged together. Soulmates.”

“Yeah,” Louis murmurs, smiling.

“I’ve been meanin’ to tell you forever,” Harry says, wrapped in Louis’ favorite blanket.

Louis looks at him from an ocean and a continent away and says quietly, “I’ll read these, shall I?”

Harry nods. He’s sure Louis won’t think he’s mad, won’t be angry, but he’s nervous for the next few days, and Louis doesn’t mention it. They talk for hours about other things, or just sit with the camera on, going about their usual routine, and Harry writes for the album, catches up with friends in London, arranges for the sale and purchase of property he either won’t need or will, once the contract ends.

Days become weeks, and it’s only when Louis is back that he sits Harry down on their bed and says, “I think I may have dreamed the other side of the story.”

.

Whenever they have a moment (usually on planes or buses, or backstage before a show), Harry will sit with Louis while Louis reads his way through dozens of notebooks, through years of Harry’s life.

“They never got a happy ending,” Louis says once, halfway through the baker’s story, the most detailed one.

“We will,” Harry promises.

.

The night after their last show, with Louis tucked behind him, Harry dreams of the battlefield again, the very first life. He doesn’t know when or where or which war it was (if it even was a real war), or why those two souls have been reborn again and again. But he wakes with his hand wrapped around Louis’ wrist, his fingers pressed against Louis’ pulse, and another kind of battle waiting for them.

He turns over and Louis is already awake, watching him. “You waited for me,” Louis says.

“Of course,” Harry says. He slides his fingers along Louis’ arm to the compass. “I just needed you to guide me.”

Louis grins and mutters fondly, “You utter sap.”

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
Jun. 16th, 2016 12:40 pm (UTC)
I do feel good that this turned out well. What a long wait! But so worth it... I imagine a thousand pictures with these two, of the past lives as well as this current. I wish I could draw well enough but at least I can imagine. So great, this story :)
tigriswolf
Jun. 17th, 2016 02:47 am (UTC)

Thank you so very much! I want to turn this one into a longer piece but I'm not sure what it would be.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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king of the jungle
tigriswolf
questioning in order to create

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