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Stars & Stripes

It's not the worst thing someone's said to me.

Instead of Harry sitting up front with Olivia on the ride back, Louis took up his seat.

After defeating Niall and Zayn by what he called ‘the most historic landslide of all time’, he was in a good mood. The boys were messing around, having a good laugh outside the car, when their two comrades came out, clearly angry with one and other. Harry had that detached look upon his face he always had when he had been hurt. Olivia just looked pissed. Her angry brown eyes shot toward Louis, daring his to open his mouth and say something to make her attack him.

So, realizing something he and the rest of the boys had missed occurred between the two that was causing friction, Louis took Harry’s seat in the front. Zayn sat in the back seat, taking in a funny accent to make Niall laugh his ridiculous laugh. Liam watched on, smirking, doing his hair flip to the radio. Harry sulked by the window, ignoring everyone.

Quickly, Louis glanced over at Olivia. Before he could sneak his gaze away, the brunette glared over at him, catching him in the act. He sent her a quick awkward smile. She sighed deeply and turned back to the road. Louis was a curious guy but he wasn’t going to flat out ask Olivia what had happened with Harry in the car. Harry’s presence had a way of changing a story. If Louis wanted the truth, he had to go directly to the source: Olivia.

In Olivia’s fury, she had made great time back to the apartment. The boys piled out of the car. Harry shot out first and made his way to the building without so much as a backwards glance.

“What’s his problem, eh?” Niall furrowed his bleached brows. Zayn nodded to show that he noticed something was up. Liam didn’t have an answer.

Louis stayed put in the passenger seat, staring blankly at the driver. Olivia hadn’t unbuckled her seat belt, showing she had no intention of coming upstairs with them. That just wasn’t going to do in Louis’ opinion.

“What?” Olivia snapped at Louis’ irking stare.

He simply shrugged.

“Oi! You comin’?” Liam questioned. Zayn, Niall, and Liam were waiting for Louis by the door. Louis waved them off quickly and they disappeared behind the revolving door.

“So,” Louis’ face was suddenly serious, “What did he do?”

Olivia was taken aback by his sudden change in demeanor. There was no joking smile on his thin lips, no carefree sparkle in his blue eyes. For once, a twenty-year-old man was staring at Olivia with an exasperated, tired look on his face.

“Who?” Olivia played dumb.

“Niall,” Louis raised a brow, “Who do you think I’m talking about?”

“Nothing.” Olivia answered shortly.

“Oh, so you and Harry weren’t just ignoring each other and silently fuming and glaring at everything that moves?” Louis asked smartly.

“It’s nothing, Louis.” Olivia insisted.

He didn’t believe her. “Did he do something to make you uncomfortable? Did he make a move or an inappropriate sexual comment? Did he make you feel inferior? Did he—”

“Jesus Christ,” Olivia muttered, “Where is all this coming from?”

Louis pursed his lips, knowing exactly where all this was coming from. He had seen it too many times to count properly. “Did he?” He urged.

“No,” Olivia breathed, thinking it over quickly, “if anything, it’s my fault.”

“I doubt that.” Louis shook his head, snorting. Olivia was unsettled by this foreign Louis. Where had the playful boy who tore the apartment apart for a bird named Kevin gone?

“It was,” Olivia insisted, “He was trying to be nice and I said something I shouldn’t have.”

As she said the words, guilt started to nip at her. She stared over at the door that Harry had long since gone through.

Louis furrowed his brows in confusion. “So, this is your fault? Really?”

“Why is that so hard to believe?” Olivia questioned, unsure why Louis was so out to get the boy who was supposed to be his best friend.

“No reason.” Louis shrugged. “Let’s go.” He unbuckled his belt with a click and stared at his companion.

“I’m going home.” Olivia told him plainly.

“Then I’m not leaving.” Louis countered stubbornly.

“Well, I guess we have a problem.” Olivia pursed her lips, clearly not amused.

“I guess so,” He crossed his bare arms and leaned back against the leather seat.

“Louis, I’m not fucking around.” Olivia didn’t have any patience for this boy at the moment. “Get out.”

All Louis did was grin widely. “I think you really want to go upstairs and make nice with Harold.”

“Harold?” Olivia questioned.

“Harry,” Louis said like it was the most obvious thing in the world. “What else did you think Harry was short for?”

“Nothing,” Olivia said honestly, “I thought it was just Harry.” Olivia shook her head, knowing Louis was trying to get them off topic to distract her, “Get out of the car, Louis. You need to rest before your first show tomorrow.”

“I would rest a whole lot better if you came upstairs with me,” Louis batted his lashes, “and talked to Harry so he could rest better. You know he can’t perform when he’s upset or has an unresolved problem.”

“How?” Olivia grumbled, unclipping herself and jumping out of the car, “How would I know that, Louis? I’ve known you all for a day.”

The Brit didn’t answer. He only smiled triumphantly as Olivia dealt with the valet and followed him inside.

Louis’ maddening grin did not fade as they rose in the elevator. Olivia tried not to be so sour. It was proving to be not as hard a feat as it used to be with people like Louis around. His easygoing attitude was infectious.

The doors sprung open and uproarious laughter surrounded the pair. On the floor sat Niall, slumped over, face beat red from cackling. Zayn had his head tossed back against the couch, holding his stomach, vibrating with silent laughter. Liam had a bright smile on his face, holding a pillow to his chest, shaking his head knowingly. A camera was set up in front of the trio.

“Lou and Olivia!” Liam announced their presence. Niall looked up at them with tears in his eyes, unable to string words together through his fit.

Vas happening!” Zayn shouted, falling back against the couch in another round of giggles.

“You know the way to his room.” Louis told Olivia before running towards his mates. “What just happened and why wasn’t I invited?” He demanded rambunctiously, jumping on top of Liam.

Olivia slipped down the hall unnoticed, feeling a heavy weight in her chest at the site of Harry’s closed door. She had had time to digest the things she said with Louis in the car and she didn’t like the way it made her feel. Or the way it made Harry feel.

Her footsteps creaked lightly on the wooden floor as she neared her destination. With a deep breath, Olivia reached the curly-haired boy’s door. She was hit with how much she didn’t want to be there at that moment but she had to deal with what she had said and done. Olivia swallowed regretfully, knocking twice on the white door.

“I already told you, Niall,” Harry’s annoyed voice sounded muffled, “I’m not hungry and I don’t want to make a video dairy!”

For a few seconds, Olivia’s voice felt paralyzed. If he didn’t want to see Niall, Harry sure as hell didn’t want to see her. She thought about turning and running back out there but Louis would stop her and surely make this all somehow worse. Besides, Olivia wasn’t the type of girl who ran when the going got tough. She owned up to her mistakes and never backed down.

Reminding herself of that, Olivia spoke up, “Harry, it’s me, Olivia. Can I come in?”

There was a prolonged silence before a fair amount of shuffling and the door swung open. Harry’s hair was a disheveled mess and he had changed into sweats. The look on his face seemed so casually surprised to see Olivia at his door that she could tell it was a lie.

“Hi,” Olivia muttered.

“What can I do for you?” Harry shrugged, leaning against his door.

“Can we talk?” Olivia pursed her lips, looking into his room.

“I guess,” He answered nonchalantly, opening the door wider for her to walk in.

He shut the door as soon as Olivia stepped past him. The clothes Harry had worn during the day were stuffed unceremoniously back in his suitcase. Apparently he hadn’t bothered to unpack and was living out of it.

“You going to unpack?” Olivia commented casually.

“Is that what you wanted to talk about?” His tone ireful, his green eyes narrowed. “We’re leaving in four days, what’s the point?”

Olivia shrugged, not having an answer for that. She had lived in New York her entire life. She didn’t know what it was like to be shipped around so much that your suitcase was the only constant variable you had in life.

There was a clock on the wall above Harry’s bed that ticked rhythmically in their tension filled silence. Harry waited for Olivia to speak and she tried to think of how to word things correctly.

“I didn’t mean what I said.” Was the genius sentence she came up with, “I have a temper. Sometimes awful things come out of my mouth and people get caught in the crossfire. I shouldn’t have taken it out on you. My dad was just being…”

“Louis shouldn’t have interrupted you.” Harry said in a low voice, “It looked like an important conversation. You seemed upset and Lou can’t stand when people are unhappy. Sometimes he doesn’t know when enough is enough or when to bloody shut up.”

“Just because I was upset with my father doesn’t mean I had the right to say what I did, Harry.” Olivia shook her head, not trying to wiggle her way out of this. “You were honestly trying to help and that’s something I’m good at taking.”

“I’ll remember that next time.” Harry said.

“I’m really sorry, Harry.” Olivia stared up at the teen seriously.

“I’m fine,” He countered. “It’s not the worst thing someone’s said to me. You don’t take help well; I don’t take criticism about myself well. We’re only human.”

He didn’t look fine to Olivia. He still looked pretty devastated. “You want to…talk about whatever’s really bothering you?” She asked awkwardly.

Harry shrugged, taking a seat on his unmade bed. Olivia wrapped one arm around her body, gripping the other tightly, still standing by the door.

“It’s nothing.” Harry put on a faux-smile. “It’s just Lou’s been saying things like that to me a lot lately.”

“He’s been blindly accusing you of trying to get into his pants?” Olivia questioned slowly, finding that a bit odd.

Harry breathed a small laugh, “No, just things about me and how I am with women. He acts like all I do is mess with them and sleep with them. And I don’t.” He said pointedly.

“You’re not going to get an argument out of me.” Olivia promised.

“It started with Caroline.” Harry sighed, rubbing the back of his neck.

“An ex-girlfriend?”

Harry made a face, “It’s complicated.”

“Which part?” Olivia asked, finally deciding it would be safe to sit a foot away from Harry on the bed.

“The ex-part.” He confessed.

“Gotcha.” Olivia really didn’t. She was not an expert on dating, especially with complicated relationships. “And Louis doesn’t like her?”

“Not just Lou,” Harry told her, “All the lads have made it clear that they would rather I date Lou than her.”

“Why?” Olivia questioned, “It’s your love life. What does it matter who you date?”

Harry laughed coolly. “Maybe when I was a sixteen-year-old lad working at a bakery in Holmes Chapel it didn’t matter, but when my entire life is all over the internet and magazine covers it’s all that matters.”

“Oh,” Olivia nodded. “Why don’t they like her?”

“For starters,” Harry sighed, “she’s older.”

“Okay,” Olivia said slowly.

“Fifteen years older.” He finished.

“Oh,” Olivia understood. “That’s a little…” She didn’t know how to finish that sentence without upsetting Harry again.

“I know.” Harry groaned, “But she’s just different than anyone I’ve ever met. She makes me feel…different.”

Olivia bit her lip from snorting. “Why else don’t they like her?”

“Lou mostly hates her because he thinks she’s a right bitch trying to destroy my image and the band.” Harry said coolly. “The rest of my mates agree with him. So, does management and my mum. I’m not supposed to see her anymore since our relationship was mostly physical, anyway.”

“Oh,” Olivia said again, wishing she hadn’t started this conversation. She had no interest in hearing Harry Styles’ sex life.

“They just don’t see what I see.” Harry said. “We don’t want to end it. And Lou makes all these comments about me and woman when—to be honest—I haven’t been with many. And I always end up back with Caroline and that’s what he hates the most.”

“You’re in quite the predicament.” Olivia said uncomfortably. “Maybe you should listen to your friends and mom. Sometimes they can see what lust makes you too blind to.”

Harry seemed a bit disappointed, like he had hoped Olivia would side with him on this. Maybe everyone was seeing something Harry wasn’t. If an outsider like Olivia saw nothing but bad in his relationship with Caroline, maybe it was better to end things indefinitely.

But, Harry was young and hormonal and Caroline was a good shag and nice to look at. Harry stared at Olivia for a few moments, unsure that this conversation had changed anything for him. Then again, he wasn’t sure he wanted it to, anyway.

“Thanks, Olive,” Harry smirked lightly, a look a disdain back on the American’s face.


Thank you so much for the lovely feedback. Keep it up (:



I can't find it on mibba did you change the name?

Could you post it on here?
I apologize! I thought I had put up the first chapter! RuthlessAdandon is correct. It is up on my Mibba page.
oh ok thanks :)

It's on her Mibba page under the same username.