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: … this is not the last chapter
It’s early morning, and Louis is standing under the hot blast of water, eyes pinched shut with his face in the spray, when a cold blast of damp air wraps around him as the shower door is opened. He doesn’t turn to look, just smiles as he feels long arms wrap around him as the door clicks shut and the heat swallows them both now. His lips stretch up even more when he feels his boy’s mouth trailing along his shoulders from behind.
Louis leans back into his warmth, his body that engulfs him like a blanket as his large hands kneed into his body.
He loves him, he really does.
He feels those lips trace up his neck and behind his ear, whispering something he can’t quite understand— it’s drowned out by the blast of water.
He turns to press a kiss to his boy’s mouth, but as he opens his eyes, he’s greeted with a black tile wall with long streaks of condensation along it. His body shudders coldly as the jets of water become unbearably hot, beginning to sear at his skin as he lets out terrified screams of horror, ringing out into emptiness as steam begins to engulf him.
Louis jerks awake, sweating so profusely he finds he’s drenched the shirt he’d slept in. His heart is jumping in his throat, and he wants nothing more than to feel his boy wrapped around him again. So he buries his face into the pillow opposite and let’s out a wretched scream until it feels his soul has crawled out through his mouth.
Louis has become the epitome of nothing. He finds himself holed up in Zayn’s guest room for most hours of the day, staring out the window overlooking a river.
He thinks of how it would feel to throw himself into it’s depths, to never emerge again.
He even ponders on an hour to do so, but when he hears Zayn calling for him down the hall, he decides that it wouldn’t be the right way.
It is three days after his boy was lost, that Louis finds himself hunched over the kitchen table, tentatively sipping at tea with Zayn staring at him with a solemn expression across from him.
Louis looks up at him with heavy eyes as his friend strikes a match and lights a cigarette. And if Louis weren’t so deep into this hole, he would’ve chastised him for smoking inside.
Zayn is expectant, but not in the impatient way— he’s one of the few people who can sit for as long as you make him without pestering you about when he can stand.
So Louis revels in this silence among he and another, stares into the pit of his mug, at the dark liquid within.
"What happened, Louis…" he says quietly, not in the form of a question, more of a suggestion. He knows better than to push on a gaping wound.
The man glances up again from his mug, drumming his fingers on the rim of it before letting out a ragged sigh, not able to muster down the ever-present ache in his throat and the way his bottom lip quivers. He shakes his head and diverts his eyes quickly, “Oh..—”
He tells Zayn how Miranda and Harry’s father had done in slow, trembling words that threaten to spill out from his mouth in a slur of sobs. He composes himself long enough to finish with hearing the gun shot before he’s crippled by heart-wrenching sobs that emanate deep within him.
Zayn ashes his cigarette before rounding the table and wrapping the man in his arms and lifting him with surprising ease. Louis’ entirety was dwindling day by day, pounds being shed like water.
He carries him to the couch where he holds him for well over an hour as he sobs incoherent words into his chest, cringing and yelling. When his cries suddenly stutter out to empty heaves for breath, before quietly settling down to just the pain of tears in his throat, he glances up at Zayn.
"Don’t worry," Zayn whispers stiffly, his eyes trained on the wall, "they’ll go to prison, and they’ll never see the light of day ever again."
It feels wrong, Louis thinks, to be pulling on one of Zayn’s suits that is just slightly too big for him. He doesn’t want to be seen by anyone, and when he looks in the mirror, he regrets even being seen by himself.
His eyes are even emptier than he even imagined, sunken into his skull and heavy bags under his eyes. Everything about him looks sick, and that just makes him unable to cope.
He tries to ignore his face, and sends a long glance at the black attire hanging loosely on his thinning frame. The back of his neck aches, and he feels his eyes burn and throat ache again.
And then a loud, brute and cheerful laugh echoes around the room.
His body whips around so quickly he has to grip onto the bed frame to assure himself from not tipping over. But instead of a lanky boy stretched out naked in the bed with his head tipped back with a beautiful laugh and curls tossed, there only lays empty sheets.
Louis presses his palms to the sides of his head, pinching his eyes shut and letting out a broken sigh, “I miss you so much.” He whispers gingerly.
The distant noise of the door bell chiming is enough to rip Louis from his dazed guilt, and he saunters weakly to retrieve the door.
Gemma greets him with only a timid smile, and Louis hadn’t even thought about the resemblance of she and her brother until he was looking dead into those watery green eyes, and he has to cover his mouth and clutch onto the door knob to keep from really unnerving her.
"I’m—I’m sorry, you just—" his words are swallowed by the ache in his throat and he shakes his head, reaching out to embrace her. She leans into him just as much as he does, and for some reason, this puts him to ease.
He feels her tense in his arms as she tries to keep from crying, and she buries her nose into the crook of his neck. She says something he can’t quite understand due to her mouth being pressed into his shoulder.
But she says it again, “Thank you for taking care of him…” she whimpers out, and he can’t help but bite his tongue, because how could she say that? When he slipped like sand through his fingers and took his own life— it was all Louis’ fault.
But Gemma can sense these thoughts and she leans back and looks him dead in the eyes, and this time it’s really overwhelming how much she looks like him and Louis wishes he could convince her to stay so he could try and hold onto this subtle feeling like he’s there with him.
She smiles distantly, before reaching up to wipe away a stray tear on his cheek. “Come on, let’s set him free.”
Louis is, in a way, glad his boy was cremated. Placed in a ceramic pot with pretty carvings on it that’s resting in the crook of his arm as Gemma drives. He’s thankful because he knows that if he had even glanced once at his still face as a casket was closed down and he sank into the ground, he would find himself following.
The weather is rather fair, surprisingly enough, the sun is trying it’s best to peak out behind heavy clouds. Spring is crawling up through the frozen crags of soil, and things are turning Louis’ favorite shade of green.
They are silent on the drive to somewhere that he has never really heard of, but he finds himself absently tracing the lines on the pot, before he really realizes he’s holding the ashes of someone he gave his soul to.
He shudders, biting the inside of his cheek to keep from crying again.
"This was his favorite place," Gemma’s voice breaks the silence, and it’s welcome. Louis glances over at her, studying her profile affectionately as he doesn’t inquire exactly where it is or what that means, so he just looks out the window.
They’re two figures in a massive field, rolling hills of knee high grass which rolls lazily in the wind like a green sea. Some hundred yards away is a lush forest at the base of the slight slope they stand on. Louis likes to think Harry ran around here, young and spry with a happy grin on his face with curls an unkempt mess and cheeky flush. The thought makes his heart leap and throat to clench, but he smiles wetly.
"We’d come here, just me and Harry. It would take us hours to get here, and we’d just lay—" she looks down, her voice trembling, "— he was such a happy kid. I really loved him." Her voice trails off, but Louis can tell where it would go if it hadn’t, how she wonders what had happened to that.
He wants to tell her so badly, wants to let her know what a horrifying past that she was missing from her brother.
Not now, he thinks.
So instead, he reaches up to wrap and arm around her shoulders and let her lean into him. He grips onto the little pot, feeling it throb like a faint heartbeat in his palm— and he wonders if he’s being delusional again— but he really thinks he feels it.
In silence, they remove the lid, and as if on cue, the wind sweeps up behind them. Louis is hesitant, doesn’t know if he can handle dipping his hand into a powdery dust that used to be in the form of his boy. But he glances at Gemma; who’s hair is swept around her face and she reassures him with a wet smile. So he reaches into the small pot tentatively and scoops up a fistful of ash and lifts it above his head, opening his palm as the wind twists around them and sweeps his remains from him.
Gemma joins, and together they stand and cry silently as they watch him sail away and dance between the grasses. Louis clutches onto her tighter when the pot is emptied, and even though he valiantly wishes he could say he felt the dust of his own cremated heart be pieced together, and his soul come settle into his bones again, but he couldn’t. He still felt empty, but at ease.
So he held onto that ease as long as he could, watching as a loose stray of sunlight come slicing out between the clouds to leech away the shadows upon the field— and that was when Louis felt him. Somewhere distant, and not as much as he would wish— but he felt him.
not the end