Louis Tomlinson spent two long years recovering from the most traumatizing night of his life. But when he receives something from the person responsible for his terror, he’s afraid not only for his life- but for his heart.
WARNING includes smut, rape, murder, and other dark matters that may be disturbing
A/N: long chapter ahead
i feel sick
He rouses to the sound of birds chirping outside, and he wonders if that’s a good omen. He concludes that, yes, it should be, and so with that, he opens his eyes.
Like always, Harry is still asleep, his face pressed against the pillow to the point his cheek his scrunched up into his nose, his lips fallen open with little breaths, his eyes peacefully closed. Louis likes to think that he’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, with his eyelashes falling across his milky cheeks and pink lips and messy curls a shade of flaming gold in the light from the window.
A quiet sob gets stuck in Louis’ throat, because he so badly wants to stay here and study every beautiful ounce of the boy while he is so peaceful, yet he has to work.
But he stays a little longer anyways, and lifts a hand tentatively to caress the boy’s cheek, run his fingers gently through his tousled curls. Harry shifts in his sleep, only slightly, and with a sleepy groan.
Louis smiles through the silent tears rolling sideways across his cheeks and pooling on his nose. He doesn’t know why he’s crying, he just knows he should.
"I love you, Harry," he whispers so quietly, it’s almost as though he’s telling a secret.
But he realizes, it is, really. He wants to tell the world how much he loves this boy, but he can’t. He really really can’t.
Leaving the comfort of Harry’s body pressed against his and the silk sheets was even harder than Louis expected. When standing in the bathroom, the cold air comes and swims around his bare skin, raising chills and chattering teeth.
He takes a shower, one so hot it feels as though it could melt his skin off; and that’s what he wants. It feels as though the heat could remove any foul feeling he’s having.
It works for a while.
He makes breakfast, because Harry still hasn’t awoken, and he doesn’t have the heart to wake him from such peace.
As he spears the eggs he attempted, he can’t help but notice how they’re nothing in comparison to Harry’s cooking. He can’t even finish them, and finds himself with just a cup of tea.
It’s when Louis steps from his room, finishing the final button on his collar, that Harry has risen, and is glassily staring out the window next to the piano.
Louis goes to say good morning but is quietly interrupted by the boy, “Play for me.”
He doesn’t argue that he has 30 minutes until work, just pauses before sitting at the piano and placing his fingers on the keys.
He inhales deeply, trying to shake off the eerie feeling of how quiet Harry was, before pressing down on the keys in a mantra of songs.
When he feels a sense of ease slowly fall on the room, he removes his hands from the keys and glances up at the boy, still staring out the window.
"Harry," he says softly, reaching up to place a hand on his; in his, surprisingly, the boy holds onto it. He laces his fingers with his and squeezes, glancing down at him with a weak smile. His eyes are watering, and he leans down to press a kiss to Louis’ lips.
It’s so caring and slow, coming from him, that Louis can’t help but cry again. He pulls away, his heart swelling to something of the most loving size.
"I love you," he whispers against the boy’s mouth, and he can feel him smile.
"I love you too, Louis." Harry replies, fluid, and presses another kiss to the man’s nose, "I’m going to miss you."
Louis grins, reaching up to pinch Harry’s cheek, “I’ll miss you too, Haz.” He stands, hesitantly walking to the door, glancing back with his hand on the knob, “Stay out of trouble, curly.”
Harry meekly nods, a solemn smile on his lips, looking down.
Louis omits the thought of Harry killing, and turns to move out the door, pausing again, something drawing him back.
Surprisingly, when he glances over his shoulder again, Harry is staring at him with wide eyes, “Louis, I love you. I love you, forever, alright?” His voice wavers with emotion.
Louis can’t help but grin so big his cheeks ache, “I love you, forever too. I’ll see you tonight.”
And with that he’s out the door.
At Violet Quarters, Louis tries to stay focused with his first 2 patients that are both easy enough, on the road to recovery.
On his break, he reclines in his chair, pulling out his phone on an impulsive thought. His old friend, Zayn Malik had been a private investigator for 11 years; the only thing he had ever wanted to do with his life.
Louis typed him a text.
Hey mate, I need you to check someone out for me..
Louis excuses himself from work early, postponing his afternoon appointments. He’d been doing that a lot lately, but he has enough years and experience under his belt at Violet Quarters that they don’t bat an eye when he says he has a dentist’s appointment.
He meets Zayn at a small pub, one by Louis’ old university. He’s glad they met here, he needs a beer more than he realizes.
Seeing Zayn brings back a lot of memories that are pleasant, filled with teenage parties and figuring out his sexuality. Seeing Zayn is pleasant.
He waves meekly at the man who greets him with a bear hug, which he sinks into and is extremely grateful for. He hadn’t seen any of his friends since he took in Harry.
Zayn’s curiosity doesn’t get the best of him until halfway through their lunch together. He places his fist under his chin and raises his brows with a precarious look of utter confusion.
Louis looks at him as though he has no clue why he should be receiving such a look, and cocks his head. “Yes, Zayn?”
"You’re acting different," he sighs, "Why did you ask me to check up on this… Miranda girl?"
Louis lowers his eyes to the basket of crisps, and reaches forth to grab a few to lengthen the time he has to actually answer him.
"It’s a really long story, mate,” he pauses with a sigh.
"I’ve got time." Zayn counters fluidly, folding his hands neatly on top of the table.
Louis shifts uncomfortably, a pang of longing stretching in him as he thinks of Harry and his peaceful face as he sleeps, “I don’t— I just,” his voice breaks, nervously running a hand through his hair, “Do you remember Harry Styles? The teenager from a few years back that was accused of raping and murdering those seven people?” His voice is hushed as he warily glances around at the people at surrounding tables. No one seems to be listening.
A brow piques with interest, “Yeah, wasn’t he at Violet Quarters?” Zayn says between sips of his beer. If the man had any malice towards the boy, he was extremely good at hiding it.
Louis stiffens slightly, trying to figure out how to word such an incredibly long story into just a few sentences. With a deep breath, he nods.
"He was transferred to Kedron not.. long afterwards, though. He was released on medical probation… and uh— I took him in—" he stops himself because he feels like Zayn might explode, but the man holds his composure, just stops sipping his beer, so Louis continues in a slur of hushed words—" I know that sounds insane, but he’s really different, I don’t know how to describe it because out of all of my years of being a psychologist, he’s so far into his schizophrenia I can’t tell what is real—”
"—You’re in love with him aren’t you?" Zayn interrupts suddenly, and Louis feels the flush of heat burst into his cheeks.
"Yes— yes, but," he scrambles, "I don’t know how to explain it Zayn— he lead me to ten corpses saying he killed them but the more I think on it…" he shakes his head over and over, "I-I saw them with my own eyes, and one of those bodies could not have been dead longer than a year.. and Harry has been under heavy security for the past 2 years."
Zayn’s face contorts into several emotions before settling back on neutrality, “So you don’t think he actually killed those people? Who else could have, there was no other DNA found besides his.”
Louis stares out the window, watching a girl stare up at the sky as a low rumble of thunder echoes above. She frowns, and for some reason, Louis feels pity for her.
When coming to, Louis shakes his head, “That’s why I asked you to do some background check on Miranda- or Doctor Sutherland.”
Zayn nods, but still has a confused look on his face, “Why her?”
"In a memory session, Harry relayed her name and saying she basically abused him when he went to her for therapy but he couldn’t remember more than that."
And suddenly, he realizes something.
Something so huge his entire body tenses, and it takes all of him to not scream. He shrouds it, takes a deep breath.
Zayn pauses, but again nods, before turning to a messenger bag he had toted along, hauling it into his lap and pulling out a manila folder.
Louis wonders if they should really be doing this in public, but he’s too close to something huge to delay it any longer.
Zayn pauses, glancing at the man leaning over the table in anticipation, “What do you want to know?”
He thinks for a moment, his thoughts racing a mile a minute, “Actually,” he says on an impulse, “I just need her address.”
Zayn makes a face, before slowly nodding and pulling a piece of paper from the folder, handing it to the man, who stares at it for a second.
It lists not only her present residence, but all of her previous ones up to the year 1998. Louis looked up incredulously at the man, who just grinned subtly.
"Thank you, Zayn," he says, so genuinely it breaks with a desperate emotion of gratitude, "So much, I’ll make it up to you soon, alright? But I’ve got to go figure this all out before I lose it."
Zayn, being Zayn, doesn’t argue, just calmly nods. Louis spastically slaps two 20 pound notes on the table before leaping from his seat, pulling on his coat and checking his watch. 1:13 pm.
He quickly engulfs Zayn in a firm hug, again thanking him, before making his way to the door, where somewhere distantly he hears the man call after him.
It takes 30 minutes to drive to Miranda’s house, and when he arrives at the expensive home, the rain is pouring and the clouds have darkened to such a deep shade of grey that it appears almost like a misty night.
Louis hesitates instantly to exit his car, and again considers to just go home to Harry.
But with one long glance downward at the sheet of paper on his passenger seat confirming the address, he pushed out of his car into the pouring rain and ran up to the front porch. The rain cut straight through his clothes, chilling him to the bone and rattling his teeth.
He presses the doorbell before he can give it a second thought, and then stands and waits.
He waits longer than he had expected, and the front door is unbolted before swinging open to reveal Miranda in a stiff looking suit. Her pale face contorts from shock to smug.
Louis is at least pleased that she’s home.
"Doctor Tomlinson, what a… surprise." She says airily, a tight grin on her lips, "What brings you to my.. abode? News on my new spot at Violet Quarters?" She laughs, a high pitched shrill noise of arrogance.
Louis doesn’t feign being straight forward or cold, “More questions about Harry.”
Her brows knit together momentarily, “But I’ve already told you everything I can.”
Louis smiles tartly, an ironic gesture of pure distaste, “Well then tell me again, because there are parts I’ve forgotten.”
A muscle tenses in her jaw, and she raises a brow, stepping back from the door to make room for him to enter, “Well then please, enter.” She grins, an ironic blast of thunder rockets ahead and Louis flinches as he steps into the foyer.
It smells pungently of the overbearing peach-citrus perfume he remembers from weeks ago. He doesn’t feign from wrinkling his nose as he pauses before being led down the hall and into a massive living room with black out drapes and a couch to sit 12 people.
"Wine?" She inquires with a slick smile, making her way to a wine fridge at the corner of the room. Louis takes a seat at the end of the dark brown couch, sighing. He doesn’t know if he necessarily trusts this woman, but he idly nods anyway, and she proceeds to pour two plentiful glasses with a deep red wine.
She hands one gracefully to Louis before sitting opposite of him on the coffee table- a much more intimate position of seating than he wants. She sips at the pungent wine, wolfishly grinning.
"What would you like to know, Louis?" Her voice is low, on a seductive level that the man has obviously grown immune to.
Louis is silent for a few moments, glancing down at his glass, around the room, which is momentarily filled with light paired with a blast of thunder. So much for the fair weather.
"So you’ve never smoked? Ever?" Louis starts, his eyes trailing back to the woman, who’s expression is now one of confusion.
"I thought you were here about Harry," she laughs around her glass, sniffing, "But, yes, not a single drag."
Louis hums, tapping his fingers on his thigh and wrinkling his nose, “Because that’s not what Harry told me,” he pauses, taking a sip of his wine and studying Miranda’s expression, a tendon in her neck tensing, “He told me that you chained him up and smoked while you had your ‘therapy sessions' with him.” His voice, although even, has such a disgusted edge that it is almost frightening to himself.
Miranda averts her eyes with another smile, but it’s just something to cover up everything boiling beneath. She blows out a breath, shaking her head with a brute laugh, “And you believe him?” Her voice caws incredulously, as if that is the most unbelievable thing she’s ever heard.
Louis stares at her blankly, “Yes, I do actually.”
Her laughter sizzles out to an empty smile, her eyes glinting something far more dangerous than what would be presumed.
Louis tenses as he realizes he’s hit something big.
She looks completely different now, ghoulish shadows cast under her eyes, her teeth unnaturally white and her eyes like dark pits. Her hair is pale and Louis feels like he’s staring at a corpse.
But then she’s limber, shaking her shoulders with a tremulous laugh that pierces straight to his soul, raising chills. Her eyes crinkle up, and she continues to laugh until she has to set her drink down on the table. She sniffs with an ending sigh, as though a period after a long, humorous sentence.
She leans forward, so close to Louis’ face, her scent is over-whelming and it takes all of him to not lean away. He stares her squarely in the face.
"It’s not use hiding it now, I guess." Another peel of laughter and she leans back again. "They can’t repeal a sentence, not even if you have all the evidence in the world that Harry didn’t kill those people, they can’t roll back time and they can’t put me in prison.”
Louis holds his breath until he thinks his lungs are about to shrivel up in his chest. He says nothing.
She wrinkles her nose with another wry grin, as though this excites her, “In fact, I’ll tell you everything.”
Louis quietly gasps for breath, not able to keep his mouth shut any longer, “I know that when used on patients, Thiopental Sodium is extremely effective, and they are very highly susceptible to being manipulated- convinced to believe something that never truly happened.” His voice wavers, tears pressing hot behind his eyes, disgust threatening to empty his stomach, “You administered it to Harry, and filled his head with lies.” His voice comes out in a wet venom, eyes watering.
Miranda tutts as though she’s proud, “Very good, Louis. Right you are.” She recrosses her legs.
Louis’ mouth flounders open as tears begin to roll down his cheeks, a rage is quelling deep within him and it takes all of him to not lunge at the woman and steal her life just as she stole Harry’s. “Why?” His voice trembles.
"Oh I didn’t work alone, sweetheart. I’ll tell you exactly why," she leaned forward again and Louis bit the inside of his cheek until the iron taste of blood flooded in to keep himself back, "his father.”
She grins, “Joe Milward and I had been in an affair for 3 months when he decided that he no longer wanted to be with Anne,” she sighs, “Harry was 10 when his father murdered his mom. He witnessed it all, unbeknownst to Joe, of course. The boy had watched him through a crack in the door as he… did his finishing of the woman. Joe came out to the boy and realized he had seen everything,” she laughs dryly, and Louis can’t help the horrified sob catching in his throat, “And you see, we couldn’t have that. We couldn’t have Harry telling on us.”
She stands from the table, emptying her glass with one gulp, before returning to the wine fridge and pouring herself more. Louis is frozen to the seat, every muscle is tensed and locked and he feels sick, so sick.
"So Joe brought the boy to me, begging me to help him, to somehow convince him he hadn’t seen anything, and of course I complied." She rolls her eyes as she slowly saunters her way to the window, peering outside at the rain and wind blown trees. "I administered the drug and began to convince him his father had left, and that his sister never existed. It took several trials, and I often had to restrain him down in the basement because he got to be such a tyrant.
"So, a few months passed, and Harry became extremely distant; as expected. He was hard to even talk to when he was under the effects of the drug, so we stopped for a while, until Gemma moved out.
"Then Joe went on a bit of a," she suppressed a giggle, looking over her shoulder as though it would amuse Louis as well, "…rampage a few years later. He was killing and raping all of these people. And then we realized, realized how we could really rid ourselves of the burden of Harry… Send him to prison.
"By now, he had developed severe clinical depression, bipolar disorder, and the starts of schizophrenia- a real mess to deal with. Anyways, Joe took him to all seven of the corpses and made him take off his shirt- for evidence. Then to me, I shot him up with the Thiopental and then convinced him he killed and raped all of those people. I bore it into his fucked up little brain until there was no way he could think otherwise. Then, when the bodies started to be found, I anonymously tipped the police that Harry was their man. DNA on the shirt came in, and Harry was shipped off." She smiles when she finishes, turning to face Louis and raising her brows as if to say 'How about that?'
Louis’ breath is short, his head light, eyes burning with an endless amount of tears. He’s trembling all over, from a full body rage. It all makes sense now, why Harry was so confused, so… broken.
And then he realizes something.
The tears instantly stop, and he inhales sharply, his back straightening. He clenches his teeth.
"Miranda, I hate to inform you, but Harry remembered something else," the words are lingering on his tongue, begging to be said, "You see, he recollected not only your name, but where you and his father made him drag your ten other victims to."
Her smile vanishes instantly.
"And the police have collected them, they’re all sitting in a morgue, and soon they’ll figure out that Harry didn’t kill them, because your last victim was only last year- when Harry was in a locked down Mental Rehab."
He inhales deeply, a smile on his lips, one knowing and mocking, “And then everything you just told me will be recited at the trial, the proof then will be so undeniable; you’ll be in prison for aiding and abetting in not one, not two, but ten counts of homicide and molestation, and Joe will be in prison for ten counts of homicide and molestation.”
He’s standing before he realizes it, and even across the room he can see her trembling with rage, “And then Harry, well he’ll need years upon years of therapy as he tries to recover from the trauma, but he’ll be with me. He won’t be locked up in a cell for the rest of his life.”
And with that, he’s making for the door, so quickly he can barely feel his legs.
"Louis," she shrieks, sounding possessed, "Louis come back here, I’ll— I’ll kill you." He can hear her heels pounding against the wood floor behind him, but he’s already out the door and in the rain which soaks him to the very bone again.
He’s in his car as she emerges from her house, shoulders bent, skin almost translucent in the lightning flashes. As he peels out of her driveway, he can hear her enraged scream before it’s drowned out by a massive blast of thunder.
He’s trembling so hard, teeth chattering, but he’s filled with adrenaline. He’s not crying, and he’s not screaming with joy for being right. He is at an impasse of emotions, so instead, he fumbles for his mobile.
He has to call Harry.
As he recklessly veers out onto a busy street, earning him several enraged honks, which he ignores, he tries the power button, but no avail. He curses himself a thousand times over for not charging it the night before.
He’s driving so quickly, as though getting to Harry faster will make sure that this is all real. He glances at the time, 4:35.
Louis nearly hydroplanes countless times in the onslaught of rain, and he can barely feel his toes anymore.
He makes it home at 5:00 on the dot, his heart in his throat as he pulls the keys from the ignition, cutting the engine to silence, the sound of rain drumming on the roof of the car now filling the quiet.
He then inhales deeply, and shoves open the door, hopping out into a puddle. He is making his way down the walk by his flat for the front door when a noise stops him dead in his tracks.
He doesn’t know what it is at first, but all he knows it’s loud and abrupt, and the silence to follow leaves his ears ringing.
And then it hits him.
And he’s running, screaming in horror, nearly breaking down the door. “HARRY!” He screams, his voice ringing out through the flat. His soaking shoes slapping wetly on the floor as he barrels through the living room to the hall.
Harry’s door is closed.
"HARRY!" He wails, the tears instant. He doesn’t notice the note on the door until he tries the knob- it’s locked.
I can’t live with myself anymore
"HARRY, PLEASE!" He’s bleating out horrified sobs and he slams his shoulder into the door, one, two, three times before it swings open with a crack.
He stumbles in.
And then he’s on his knees, covering his mouth as endless screams and sobs break his lips. He can barely see, his vision is tunneling with the tears.
The smell of gun smoke stings his nostrils.
And Harry, oh Harry.
Louis just sees blood, splattered up the back wall and on the ceiling. The boy, his boy, is leaned up against the headboard limply, his head lolled forth, eyes peacefully closed. Louis’ small pistol in his hand.
"H-Harry, no.. no baby.. My baby," he sobs, crawling his way to the edge of the bed, his whole body trembling.
If only you were a minute earlier, this wouldn’t have happened.
Louis screams, a gut wrenching sob that echoes about the room as he covers his mouth again. He feels as though a gaping hole has opened wide in his chest and has swallowed not only his heart, but his soul.
He crawls onto the bed, and he’s holding the limp boy in his arms, instantly covered in his blood. “Baby, oh.. Harry.. Harry why? Why Harry why?” He chants messily into his curls, which are matted down with blood.
He rocks back and forth with him in his arms, retching sobs that are so heart-brokenly painful. He grips onto the boy’s chilling skin, pressing wet kisses onto his forehead.
"Please, please.. no, this can’t be happening," he wails, his head falling back with a God-Damning wail, he continues to rock back and forth, leaning his head on the boy’s shoulder, "W-What am I going to do without you, you left me— you l-left me, come back to me.." his voice is hoarse and a slur of words, of disbelief, from a man no longer with the will to live.
His whole body is shaking, wrapped in a cape of a bone deep depression. His nose is running and lips are swollen red, eyes clenched shut with tears.
He subconsciously thinks of just last night, of all the love he poured out to him, that Harry gave right back.
It was his way of saying goodbye, a final parting.
Louis is sobbing so hard, the pressure behind his eyes becomes unbearable. He pulls his head up to look at the boy’s forever peaceful expression.
The way his eyelashes fall across his cheeks, his pink lips now turning blue, his tousled curls matted down with blood from the back of his skull.
He wants so badly to go back to this morning, with the boy’s sweet, breathy sighs as he slept.
"I could have sa-saved you.. oh honey.. no no no, Harry you were framed. Come back, oh god why.”
Louis, without thinking grabs the gun from his limp hand, his own gun, that he had never used and had totally forgotten about. He doesn’t even think twice, before resting the barrel in his mouth.
He lets out a terrified wail, squeezing his eyes shut. “You can’t leave me like this.”
He pulls the trigger, and it sputters uselessly.
No bullets left.
He pulls it over and over, it clicks uselessly every time. He sobs harder and harder, throwing the gun across the room and clutching onto Harry’s husk of a body.
Then the rage sets in, the absolute full blown loathing that makes his trembling even worse, and his sobs even more painful.
His own father did this to him.
"I’m going to make them pay, Harry, I’m going to make sure they pay for what they did to you and what they’ve done to y-you."
His sobs are simmering out to just painful wheezing and rocking back and forth. He litters the boy’s now cold face with kisses, but this time, they aren’t returned.