Warnings: D/s, rough sex, overstimulation, spanking, facials, facefucking, unprotected sex. Mentions of bondage, face-slapping, and humiliation. Under-negotiated BDSM which leads to the discovery of limits. (But everything is all right in the end!)
Summary: If Louis told him to do something that he really didn't want to do, it would be different, but Louis's never done that, never asked anything of Harry that he couldn't handle. Except—except maybe this; to obey him without praise, reward, approval, or even mere acknowledgement. (~16,500 words)
A/N: For elipie, inspired by this prompt. Many thanks to littlemousling! Title from 'Radioactive' by Marina & the Diamonds.
The thing is, it's just not as much fun as it used to be. At first it was exciting, because it was new, because every time Louis told Harry to do something there was a little bit of doubt in his mind about whether or not Harry would actually do it. It felt like he was pushing him, like Harry was dragging himself out of his comfort zone purely to please Louis. And now it's just not like that, anymore. Now he knows that Harry will do whatever he says, and it doesn't really feel like it's much of a challenge anymore. Harry feels secure in it, because as soon as he's obeyed Louis's command Louis will shower him with praise and that's unwavering, that's something Harry can count on. Something that makes him feel comfortable.
And it's not like Louis wants Harry to feel uncomfortable, but he kind of likes him a little bit on edge. He misses getting a rise out of him, seeing that slight flash of panic or uncertainty in his eyes and then seeing him go through with it anyway. But lately he just seems to embrace it, accept it, without hesitation or trouble. He'll grin at Louis onstage as he sings the changed lyrics, and Louis can't help but grin back because he looks so giddy but it's not—it's not quite what he wants. It feels wrong lately, like something is off, and he's not sure what it is but it's making him antsy and frustrated.
It's not something he's planned out, at all. He doesn't think it through. It just—happens. One night onstage, the two of them are sitting either side of Zayn on the couch and Harry is leaning forward and it's just so easy to tap him, motion for him to lean back, and then ignore him when he does. Louis figures Harry must think he wants him to lean back so they can talk, but Louis just starts fiddling with his sleeve instead, neatening it where it's rolled up, and then Niall gets his attention, distracting him. Louis grins, already feeling the blood thrumming a little quicker in his veins knowing Harry must be looking at him, confused, waiting for him to give some indication of why he wanted him to lean back, or even just to flash him a quick smile to show that he's pleased that Harry obeyed. But Louis does neither of those things, leaving him hanging until they have to stand up again because it's time for Harry to sing.
He leaves it for the rest of the concert, satisfied, but in the back of his mind he can't help wanting to repeat this. He caught a glimpse of Harry's puzzled expression before they got up and it just—it felt good to throw him off like that, he wants to do it again. Back at the hotel they shower and flop into bed and Harry doesn't ask him about it. Louis figures he probably thinks it was just a fluke, that there's no need to mention it, or maybe he liked it, liked being left floundering like that a little bit after a command.
So the next night, Louis does it again. And the next, and the next. It starts out slow, with the little things, silly stuff that he tells Harry to do just for the sake of it and Harry does just because Louis said so. And Louis looks away after, or even during, speaking to one of the others instead or taking a swig from his water bottle or grinning at someone in the crowd instead of at Harry, feeling that strange flutter in his chest when he catches sight of Harry's furrowed brow out of the corner of his eye. One night he even ignores the lyric change Harry carries out at his request, telling him what to sing and then acting like nothing is out of the ordinary, even as Harry is grinning in that goofy way he does when he knows he's breaking the rules and it's all for Louis. Louis sees his face fall, properly fall, and for a moment he feels guilty but then the chorus comes around again and Harry is belting out the wrong lyrics at the top of his voice, as clearly as he can, as though he thinks Louis didn't hear him or he didn't do it well enough the first time and that's—that's something. It makes Louis's heart hammer against his ribcage and arousal twist in the base of his spine, seeing Harry try harder to please him like that. It makes him want to kick it up a notch.
They've got a day off the next day, and Louis tells Harry what to wear in the morning like he sometimes does—it's something Harry particularly gets off on, Louis doesn't know why but it makes him do it less often so that it's special. Harry's pulling a t-shirt out of the wardrobe and Louis points at him and just says, "Uh-uh."
Harry takes a shaky breath, replacing the shirt back in the wardrobe. "Which one?" he asks, hesitantly like he's not sure if he's pushing it.
"Hmm. Blue one," says Louis, "with the black jeans."
He gets up from the bed, about to get dressed himself so he has an excuse to be distracted, when there's a knock at the door. He heads over to open it and Niall comes in, starting in on some story about what Liam put on his toast by mistake at breakfast or something—Louis's not really listening, hyper-aware of Harry changing beside him, slipping on the clothes Louis picked out for him.
Niall keeps on talking and Louis decides he should probably get dressed too, and all the while Harry just stands there in the outfit Louis chose, at a loose end, silent and fidgety, waiting for Louis's approval. Niall's presence alone isn't really enough of a reason for Louis to hold out, he could easily just give Harry a quick wink and a "Lookin' good, babe," but instead he just pulls on his clothes, chatting to Niall and pretty much ignoring Harry completely. There's a part of him, again, that feels bad, as they make their moves towards the door and Harry is still hovering there looking so lost, but then—
"Lou," Harry mutters in a sort of urgent voice, "w-which shoes?"
And again he's trying harder, thinking Louis's not pleased and he needs to do more, and god, there's something about that that sends Louis dizzy. "I dunno," he says, shrugging, "your trainers? I don't care."
He and Niall head out of the room and then have to wait another minute because—as Louis well knows—Harry brought three pairs of trainers with him on the trip and is clearly desperately trying to figure out which ones Louis was referring to, knowing he can't go out and ask him without being too obvious in front of Niall. Finally he comes out in his black ones, and Louis barely spares him a glance, just says, "Took you long enough, come on," and sets off down the hallway.
He's always liked seeing Harry flustered, that's not new, and he certainly likes seeing Harry eager to please, so maybe this is just an extension of those two things combined. Whatever it is, it's really working for him, and he keeps it going, needing more. It's actually a challenge for him at the same time though, which, if he'd thought about it, he's not sure he would've expected. He supposes it has something to do with habit; he's so used to commending Harry whenever he does anything for him that sometimes the praise slips out before he can remember he's supposed to be refraining from it. Sometimes he can't help but grin at him when he does something stupid at Louis's request, partly because he looks so happy and partly because he'll never get completely tired of seeing Harry do or say something completely inane purely for Louis's sake.
The inconsistency helps, though, as it turns out. If Louis wasn't giving Harry anything at all, he might give up, not bother to try so hard anymore, but because he can't tell whether he's going to get a big grin and a well done or not, he keeps trying in the hopes that he will, and Louis loves that, loves the feeling of control it gives him, knowing Harry is falling over himself trying to do his very best.
Harry doesn't understand it, any of it, but he always tries to take what Louis gives him and this must be something Louis is doing for a reason, he must think Harry can handle it. Harry keeps telling himself that, but there's this anxiety nagging at him, this worry that maybe Louis's not praising him sometimes because he doesn't deserve praise. But logically, he knows he's not doing anything different, definitely not slacking, and if Louis were genuinely unhappy with him he's sure he'd say something, or show it in other ways. For the most part things are normal, just as they've always been. It's not like Louis is suddenly neglecting him at all; they're still cuddling all the time and making each other laugh and fooling around.
It's just that sometimes when Louis tells Harry to do something and Harry does it, Louis doesn't seem pleased with him. He doesn't seem disappointed, just indifferent, but—somehow that's worse, like Harry's not even doing enough to keep his attention, and he can't help but want to try harder. And even though he's confused, he doesn't mind having to make more of an effort, because if Louis thinks he's not doing well enough then Harry needs to do better.
Onstage, Louis continues to get him to change the lyrics, and Harry listens intently to the new words he has to sing, and bellows them out proudly no matter how silly they are, but most of the time Louis will barely look at him. He'll tell Harry which impression to do when the Twitter questions call for it, but where he used to praise Harry almost excessively for his usual Niall impersonation, all Harry gets now is a quick smile if anything. Sometimes Louis will be busy talking to one of the others, or speaking to the crowd, and Harry finds himself hamming it up more and more, desperate to get some kind of reaction out of him.
When Louis tells him to make him a cup of tea on the tour bus, run him a bath in their hotel room, fetch him things, Harry tries to be quick and perfect, but it seems like Louis is often distracted when Harry comes back. He'll be texting or resting with his headphones in or doing something online, and he'll just flash Harry a grin, mutter a quick "Thanks," instead of giving Harry that warm, proud smile, ruffling his hair, whispering good boy in his ear and saying how lucky he is to have him.
They've been so busy lately that they haven't had much time for sex; it's always late when they get in from the shows and they've got to get up early in the mornings for interviews and photoshoots and they're just tired, settling for quick handjobs most of the time because they need their sleep. Louis doesn't praise him after those, either, but that's not that unusual—it's only when things are more intense, usually, that he'll reassure Harry that he did a good job, tell him how amazing he was.
Today is one of the band's few days off and the two of them are making the most of it, staying shut in the hotel room, glad to be able to take their time with sex for once.
"Want you to ride me," Louis murmurs, nipping at Harry's ear as he maneuvers the two of them to the bed.
Harry nods, watching as Louis lies back and starts stroking himself slick. Louis doesn't let him do this very often, and Harry likes it, it puts him out of his comfort zone a little bit to be on top when he's so used to being beneath Louis, feeling the weight of him. Louis's still in control, of course, and he makes that very clear, but there's something about the position that makes Harry feel so exposed. He likes the way Louis will lie back and watch him, urge him to go faster or to turn so Louis can get a look at Harry's arse bouncing up and down on his cock.
Louis already fingered him, backing Harry up against the wall and snaking his hand between his legs, plunging two fingers in and out, fast and deep until Harry was weak in the knees and clutching at Louis, pleading. So when Harry straddles Louis and starts to sink down on him, Louis's fingers still wrapped loose around the base of his cock to help guide it inside, Harry is ready. The stretch is like nothing else, though, and he groans, tipping his head back as he lowers himself, taking it deeper until he feels Louis's fingers. Louis retracts them, letting Harry sink down all the way.
Harry forces himself to lift his head back up because he knows Louis will want to see him, and Louis watches, eyes flicking from Harry's face to where their bodies meet, his lower lip caught between his teeth and his face and chest already covered in a thin sheen of sweat. Harry takes a moment, letting himself adjust, waiting for Louis to tell him he can move, and Louis makes him wait so long for it that he's soon desperate; the thick solid feel of Louis so still inside him is making him ache for friction. He's so hard from it, cock curving up against his own stomach.
"Lou," he says weakly. He needs to steady himself, and he places his hands on Louis's stomach, trying not to lean down too far and shift Louis's cock inside him. It's always—strange, like this, knowing that he's technically in a position of power with Louis beneath him, but not feeling any urge to actually take control. He looks down at his own hands on Louis's belly; sees how large they look, especially when he splays out his fingers. Louis's skin is hot and soft, and Harry presses pleadingly, almost kneading at him. "Lou, Lou, please can I—"
"Yeah, go on," Louis says, finally, and it comes out like a long exhale, like he'd been holding his breath.
Harry sighs out a "Thank you, thank you," and starts to move, and he's too eager, too quick, using his hands on Louis's belly to lift himself and up and slam back down, moaning loudly at the hot slide of Louis inside him.
"Hey," says Louis firmly, reaching out to take Harry by the hips and hold him still, "slow for now, yeah?"
Harry nods, trying to hold in a whine, and Louis guides him, fingers biting into his hips as he gets Harry to rock gently against him. Harry hisses out a breath and Louis brings his hands back, up behind him so he can rest his head on them. It's so trusting that Harry feels a little rush of pleasure, thanking him again and trying to keep at the pace Louis showed him, gradually letting himself speed up and keeping a close watch on Louis's face to try read his reactions, make sure he's doing it right. Louis doesn't protest, so he builds up quicker and he's just found a good rhythm when suddenly Louis's phone is ringing, his ridiculous dance remix ringtone blaring out suddenly.
Harry laughs, but to his surprise, Louis doesn't. Instead he just reaches out for it, and Harry goes stock still, puzzled.
"Did I tell you to stop?" Louis asks.
Harry shakes his head, biting his lip as he realises Louis is actually going to answer the call. This has happened before, actually—Louis was feeling particularly cheeky once when their house phone rang during sex, and he decided to pick up. It was nervewracking but kind of fun, an inside joke, knowing the person on the other end of the line had no idea what they were doing.
"Well hello yourself, Liam," says Louis into his phone, in a sort of booming voice that makes Harry giggle and try to catch his eye. Louis is just listening intently, though. "Yeah, I think that's it," he says and Harry wonders what they're talking about. Liam's gone out shopping today so it's probably this hair product Louis's been trying to hunt down—he can't get it back at home and it's hard to find even here; he's got everybody looking out for it. "No, it's like dark blue. The logo's white I think."
Harry is kind of impressed at how casual he sounds. It would probably take Liam a while to catch on to what's happening even if they were both moaning away, but like this, there's no way he's got any idea. Harry is grinning at the thought of it, rocking back and forth on Louis's cock, keeping him in deep and trying to catch Louis's eye again, but Louis's got his head turned to the side and he's gazing out of the window. Probably he thinks he'll lose it if he looks at Harry, but that didn't seem to be a problem when this happened before; part of the fun was that they were giggling breathily at each other and confusing the caller, Louis making all these sly little comments, and this seems—different.
"There's a difference between navy and black, Liam," Louis teases, and Harry goes a little tense then, at the way Louis seems so happy to be joking around with Liam even when he's got Harry right on top of him like this. Jealousy flares up in Harry and he grips at Louis's stomach a little tighter, heaving himself up and then back down, churning his hips in a tiny circle and watching closely to see if Louis's eyelids flutter.
Louis just says "Ah well, we'll find it somewhere," scratching idly at his chest, "how's the shopping going, anyway?"
Harry clenches his jaw, watching as Louis listens intently to whatever Liam's answer is. He wants Louis's attention back on him, needs it, and he starts riding him quicker, hitching his hips to lift off a little and then slamming back down, over and over. He sprawls his hands up over Louis's chest, stretching out further so he's working himself back on Louis's cock fervently. His own erection skims Louis's stomach like this, adding to the pleasure, but he tries to ignore it, tries to concentrate on Louis.
This must be what Louis wants, for him to make more of an effort—Harry must not be doing a good enough job if Louis can still carry on a conversation. They're talking now about the things Liam's bought and Harry doesn't listen to the words, trying instead to hear if Louis's voice wavers at all, and when it does—just a little—Harry is spurred on. He fucks himself fast on Louis's cock, starting to ache a little from doing all the work but not caring, and he's surprised to suddenly hear his own name.
"Haz?" Louis's saying, impassively. "No, I dunno. He went out or something. Think he's with Zayn."
Harry frowns, a strange mixture of anger and determination boiling in his blood, and he forces himself to straighten back up, remembering that Louis likes to see when they fuck like this. Maybe he's acting like Harry's not even there because he's not giving him what he wants. Harry stretches back, holding onto the balls of his own feet and then clutching behind him at Louis's thighs, hips still moving in desperate jerky movements, torso outstretched, cock slapping hard against his own taut stomach.
Louis still doesn't look at him, but the change of angle hits Harry deep and feels so good, he can't hold back a whimper. Louis's eyes flicker then, but he still doesn't look over, not even to give Harry a sharp glance of warning. Harry whimpers again, partly out of frustration now, but it—it feels so fucking good, there's something about having to try so hard that's making him hot, making something fizzle inside of him. He always has this urge to please Louis, and it's something he's always liked, but right now it's even stronger, it's a desperate need—he's not good enough but it's not making him feel hurt or defeated, it just makes him want to be better. But it's hard now, he's losing focus, every time he draws Louis's cock in he feels it brush that spot that sends him crazy and he's trembling, muscles aching, but it feels so good that he can't stop, he's so close.
He knows he should be concentrating on Louis, should be trying to get him off first—what if that's what he wants, what if he won't stop talking to Liam until Harry manages to make him come? But Harry's already teetering on the edge, working himself into a frenzy while Louis stays calm, still chatting. His breathing seems quicker and his voice has maybe gone a bit fainter but Harry doesn't know if he's just imagining it. Louis's free hand clutching the sheets tightly is the only real sign that he's feeling anything at all. Harry forces himself to stop, to pull forwards once again and steady his hands on Louis's chest—but it's the sudden shift that sends him over the edge, his cock rubbing sudden and rough against Louis's belly, and he splutters and gasps, whole body jerking forward as he comes, hard, all over himself and Louis, hot wet between their bodies.
Harry feels like he's spinning. Louis's cock is still inside him, and the stiff shape of it still stretching him wide is making him ache with oversensitivity. He's slumped over Louis now, clinging to him and panting hot into his shoulder. He's only vaguely aware of Louis saying "Yeah, all right, you get going," into the phone, and then suddenly he feels his body being heaved up. Louis's hands hold tightly onto his arse as he pulls out and then shoves back in so hard that Harry lets out a choked gasp, fingernails digging into Louis's shoulder. Louis pounds into him, hips hammering, and Harry feels dizzy—maybe this means he got Louis a lot more worked up than he thought, that Louis was just pretending for Liam's sake, and the thought makes Harry feel proud. Or maybe it's punishment, maybe Louis's being deliberately rough with him because he's angry that Harry was trying so hard to distract him. It's all so confusing and it hurts, but it feels good at the same time, and all he can do is cling on tight until Louis's coming, burying himself deep and moaning into Harry's hair, and Harry shudders right along with him, dazed and overwhelmed.
They go limp against each other, overheating and sticky, and then there's fingers combing through Harry's curls and a gentle voice murmuring, "You okay, babe?"
Harry makes a weak sound in his throat, nodding. "Mmm. Yeah, just." He wants to ask, wants to understand this better but something tells him he shouldn't, that Louis has a plan and Harry shouldn't question it. He can't really make sentences right now anyway.
"D'you wanna clean up or do you wanna have a nap?" Louis asks quietly, turning so he can speak right into Harry's ear, and his breath makes Harry shiver again with some kind of aftershock. Louis has slipped out of him now but it feels like he's still there.
"I don't—I don't know," Harry mumbles pathetically, still clinging on tight.
"Okay, babe, it's all right," Louis says, chuckling a little, rolling Harry off him and then pulling him in close again, and it's more comfortable like that. "You got yourself all wound up," Louis murmurs, voice tinged with amusement as he strokes at Harry's hair again, fingers gently rubbing into his scalp like Harry likes.
Harry wants to say so did you, but—he's not even sure if Louis did, not sure if he succeeded at all. Louis is being sweet now, but he's not telling Harry he did a good job, not reassuring him, and it's weird and Harry doesn't understand and he's exhausted and achey and he just keeps holding onto Louis tightly, unable to find words.
"We can rest for a bit, okay?" Louis says. "The others won't be back for a while. Sleep, Haz."
It's like the last two words press some kind of button in Harry's brain, because when he wakes up later that's the last thing he remembers hearing. He must have dozed off right away. He rolls over, heart jumping in his chest when he realises he's alone, but then he hears the sound of water running in the bathroom and when he sits up, bleary, he sees Louis poking his head round the door.
"I'm running a bath," he says with a grin. "Come join?"
Harry stands up, peeling the sheets off his body, feeling sticky, and sore like all his muscles are strained. He's quiet in the bath with Louis, lost in his own thoughts, but Louis doesn't seem to mind, humming to himself as he washes himself off. Harry can't tell if Louis understands and is just letting him think, or if he's oblivious, if he hasn't even noticed that Harry is still in a bit of a daze, and there's something about that that gnaws at him. Again, he wants to ask, but he's starting to think this must be some kind of game Louis's playing, and—that thought is frustrating now, making him feel angry and bitter and he doesn't want to play along, not if Louis's not even going to explain.
Louis is still sweet with him, offering to wash his hair for him like he sometimes does, but there's something about the way he's acting like nothing is out of the ordinary that just makes Harry more cross. He's lost in his own head for the rest of the day, trying to work out what Louis is doing and how he's supposed to be respond to it, and whether or not that matches up to how he is responding.
The only thing Harry can come up with is that Louis's trying to—to train him or something. He thinks of how people train dogs, starting out by giving them treats when they obey commands and then making it less consistent, with the aim of getting the dog to respond even when the positive reinforcement isn't there. And if that's what Louis wants from Harry, Harry really wants to be able to give it to him, but he's just not sure he can. He needs some kind of response and he can't see why Louis doesn't understand that. It makes him feel sort of resentful, thinking that Louis might not get it, or that he does and he's doing this anyway.
He still stays by Louis's side all day, curls in close to him when they watch a movie with Zayn in the evening. It's not that he resents him, just—when Louis tells him to go make them some microwave popcorn, for the first time there's a part of Harry that wants to say no.
That feeling only increases, and he realises he wants to fight back against whatever it is Louis's doing, hurt and irritated by the way Louis isn't giving him what he needs. It's childish, maybe, to react this way instead of trying to talk to him about it, but there's a part of him that feels like Louis deserves it. Why should he do what Louis says if he's not getting anything out of it?
It's harder than he anticipates. It's like it goes against some fundamental part of him, and he never really thought of it that way. He knew it was important to him, obeying Louis, but he didn't realise how important, never thought that he might not be able to stop even if he wanted to. If Louis told him to do something that he really didn't want to do, it would be different, but Louis's never done that, never asked anything of Harry that he couldn't handle. Except—except maybe this; to obey him without praise, reward, approval, or even mere acknowledgement. Sometimes it doesn't matter if Louis is really impressed with him, as long as he's giving Harry attention of some kind that's what matters. That's the most important part to Harry, it always has been, and if he isn't getting a reaction out of Louis anymore, then this isn't—this isn't fun anymore.
But it's hard to go against his instinct like this, to force himself to disobey Louis when it's habit, when it's everything his heart wants. Louis will tell him to do something and he'll start to comply before he's even aware he's doing it. Twice, he tries not to go along with Louis's lyric changes but he can't help it in the end, it feels wrong not to. The second time, he manages to sing a whole chorus exactly as it should be even after Louis's told him to switch it for something else, but after, Louis is displeased and Harry pretends he just didn't hear him properly, promises to do it for the next chorus because he can sense Louis's disappointment. It's a relief to do what Louis wants, then, and he can't help beaming, and it's only later that he realises that Louis wasn't quite smiling back.
Tonight onstage, Harry directly disobeys an order. It's another lyric change and it's not even a particularly embarrassing one but for some reason Harry takes a stand, listens to Louis's instructions all calm and focused and then just flat-out ignores them. And Louis didn't think it would make him as angry as it does, but there's something about it that really gets to him. Maybe it's because it's never happened like this, never so obvious and intentional, and a part of him wants to try play it off and not show that it's getting to him but he can't, sullen for the rest of the show. He knows he really pushed things the other day, ignoring Harry even while they were fucking, but—it's like he can't help it. Now that he's started, he doesn't know how to stop.
As soon as they get back to their room, Louis's shoving Harry up against the door, hitching up on his toes to get right up close to Harry's ear as he hisses, "What're you playing at, hmm?"
Harry goes lax against him, letting out a long breath like maybe was holding it in anticipation, and he wraps his arms around Louis's waist, tangling his fingers loosely at the small of Louis's back like he's trying to pull him in even closer. Louis almost off-balances, holding tight onto Harry's hips to keep himself steady.
"When I tell you to do something, you do it, Harry," he says, words taunting, and he shakes Harry's arms off him so he can reach down to undo his fly. "Did you forget that?" Harry sort of whimpers, not giving him a real answer. "You gonna make it up to me? Show me you're sorry?"
This time Harry's response is an emphatic "Yes," and he's sinking to the floor immediately in response to what he thinks Louis wants from him.
"Hey," Louis snaps, hands sliding into Harry's underarms to drag him back up to his feet. "Did I tell you to do that?"
Harry shakes his head, keeping his gaze fixed on Louis's face, and his eyes are wide and dark and he's biting his lip and—Louis knows, then, knows that Harry probably did this on purpose, to get a reaction out of him, and he's aware of the power imbalance there and the fact that he doesn't like it but god, he doesn't have the willpower to refuse this right now. Not when Harry's practically gagging for it, cheeks flushed, expression hopeful and apologetic and so, so willing. Louis thinks about how it hasn't exactly been easy holding back all this time—the effort it takes to look away when Harry's trying so hard to please him, to act like it's not affecting him.
"You're gonna do what I say, yeah?" Louis murmurs, shoving his trousers and boxers down in one swift move and getting his dick in his palm, feeling the hard pulse of it.
Harry nods eagerly. "Yeah, yeah," he says, swallowing like his mouth is already watering at the thought of sucking Louis's cock, and Louis has to squeeze himself at the base. "Yeah, just—tell me, Lou, I'm sorry, I'll do whatever, I—"
Louis reaches up with the same hand that was on his erection and slaps it over Harry's mouth to quieten him for a moment, and Harry inhales sharply and his pupils seem to dilate even more. Louis reaches back down to stroke himself, skimming his thumb over the tip of his cock to gather the precome there before bringing it back up to Harry's face, smearing the slickness over Harry's reddened lips. Harry breathes in sharply, going tense with the effort not to lick out.
"Go on," Louis says, dipping his thumb gently into Harry's mouth, and Harry closes his lips around it instantly, licking and sucking at it messily. "You gonna do that to my cock, yeah?" Louis breathes, eyes fixed on the soft plush of Harry's lips. Harry whimpers, the noise muffled around Louis's thumb in his mouth, and Louis tugs it out, says, "You can get on your knees now," and watches as Harry drops instantly.
He pushes into Harry's mouth without really giving him a chance to adjust, shoving in deep right away so that Harry's head knocks back against the door as Louis slides into his throat. He takes it, though, breath wheezing through his nose and throat clenching as he tries to keep calm and not gag. Louis wants to praise him but there's a bitter part of him that deliberately holds back, telling himself Harry hasn't earned it yet. But when he draws back, easing out, and Harry immediately dives forward and sucks Louis's cock right back down, Louis can't help gasping out a, "Oh, fuck—good boy—
Harry seems to explode with some kind of sudden energy then, taking Louis in deep with every motion, and Louis's never seen him work that hard for it before. He's fucked his mouth, but that's different, that's him making Harry take it and this is Harry doing it all on his own even when he's clearly struggling, forcing Louis's cock into his own throat and making sure his nose touches Louis's belly each time he goes down. He's making weak little choked sounds each time he comes off—only for a split second before he's sinking right back down again—and he's staring up at Louis with watery, red-rimmed eyes, desperate. Louis stares right back at him, slack-jawed, unable to even protest at the way Harry's basically taken control of this when Louis intended to knee him up against the door and hold him there, keeping him still and thrusting into his mouth. It's just so fucking good, seeing him trying this hard, watching him do this to himself because thinks Louis is disappointed in him.
Louis can't enjoy it for that long before he's coming, though—can't even try to hold off with the almost-constant tight heat around him, the suction and the pressure—he grips at Harry's hair to keep him from pulling off and spills right down Harry's throat, listening dazedly as Harry struggles to swallow with his mouth still stuffed full.
Louis sinks onto the floor with him after, practically tearing Harry's trousers open to get his hand inside, finding Harry painfully hard as he knew he would. He strokes Harry roughly, just once over, and then brings his hand up to Harry's mouth and says, "Spit," and Harry does, and it's a mixture of saliva and Louis's own come that slicks his palm as he takes Harry's cock back in hand and starts to stroke him off with quick jolts of his wrist. Harry whines, bucking his hips, still breathless and panting as he slumps back against the door, legs tangled. Louis holds him down, a firm hand on his hip, and jerks him over and over, grip tight until Harry is babbling and coming hard, soaking Louis's fist.
There's a surge of something in Louis when he sees it, and he can't stop, keeping up the movement of his hand even as his muscles ache, and Harry cries out, squirming against him, thighs trembling when Louis keeps at it, the constant stimulation not letting his cock go soft.
"You want me to stop? Or do you think you deserve this?" Louis asks, voice steady, and Harry cries out again, writhing.
"Want—oh, fuck—no, Lou, I deserve it," Harry gasps out, grabbing a hold of Louis wherever he can get a good grasp on him, digging his fingernails in to stop himself instinctively shoving Louis's hand away.
Harry's cock is so hot in his curled fingers and Louis can feel the sensitivity of the skin, the raw heat, and he's ruthless, just starting to wonder if he can actually make Harry come a second time when suddenly he feels a weak spurt over his fingers and Harry is properly shaking against him, almost sobbing. Louis lets go right away, drawing Harry's limp body into his arms and holding him close, kissing his neck.
Harry's voice is shot when he asks, "Was I good, Lou?" and Louis murmurs, "Yeah, babe, yeah," into his ear, "let's get you into the shower and then bed, okay?"
Harry sleeps more soundly that night than he has in a while, not even snoring, dead to the world. But Louis is kept up by thoughts that keep nagging at him, the idea that Harry might have engineered this—he doesn't mind this being a game, but he doesn't want Harry winning, manipulating Louis into giving him the attention he craves when Louis's been trying to withhold it. He decides he won't give in again, even if Harry ignores another order, he'll just—he'll grit his teeth and leave it, he won't let Harry end up the one in control of this.
Over the next week Harry is unpredictable; sometimes he'll do what Louis says and sometimes he won't, and Louis tries to react with indifference regardless but it's hard. When Harry obeys him he has this hopeful look in his eyes and Louis remembers how good he was the other night, how hard he tried, and he longs to reward him. He manages to hold back, but it's different when Harry's defiant, his willpower is weaker then and he needs to keep his grip on it, not let Harry take over.
Harry acts out more, once he learns the pattern. Louis is much more likely to respond to that, he realises. When he obeys, he gets nothing, but when he ignores him Louis gets so pissed off and Harry can tell and there's a strange satisfaction there even though the reaction isn't positive. When Louis punished him it felt so good, just because he was finally getting something out of him, and Louis told him he did good like he couldn't help letting it slip out, and Harry desperately needs it to happen again. There's masochism in it as well, of course—he still feels so guilty about defying Louis, especially when he sees how much it stresses him out, so the punishment is cathartic; it feels good trying to make it up to him.
He manages to get a reaction out of him twice more after that first punishment. The second time, Louis's trying to get him to do some kind of stupid dance during the Twitter questions segment of one of the shows, and Harry flat-out refuses, even managing to make Louis needle him, try to persuade him to do it. That alone feels good, because it shows that Louis wants this, that Harry's refusal is getting to him. Harry knows Louis wanted to show him off to the crowd and he must be embarrassed by the fact that he can't get Harry to do what he wants. After the show Louis is all sulky and quiet and when they get back to the room Harry is wired for it, impatiently waiting for Louis to snap.
"Go put the shower on for me," is all Louis says, though, shrugging out of his jacket and looking at Harry with a weird sort of half-expectance, like there's a part of him already thinking Harry might not.
And Harry wants to push him over that edge, really make him lose it, so he just shakes his head.
"Right," says Louis, tapping his foot, all twitchy and agitated, and then suddenly he's dragging Harry to the bed, pulling him over his lap and yanking Harry's trousers down.
Harry can't help but hiss out, "Yesss," knowing what Louis's about to do, and Louis smacks him hard, losing his temper, his hand connecting with the tender skin of Harry's arse and stinging like hell. Harry just squirms, bucking up for more, and Louis's fingers are in his hair, pulling sharply as he spanks him roughly with his other hand, palm slapping the skin over and over 'til it's red and sore and burning hot.
Harry ruts against Louis's leg, thrilled to have Louis's attention on him again, to be reassured that Louis is actually affected by his lack of response. Louis still hasn't changed out of his stage trousers and Harry comes all over them, gets Louis's cock shoved down his throat as punishment, sitting back on his aching arse as Louis thrusts roughly in and out of his mouth 'til Harry feels totally bruised and sore and most of all satisfied.
Louis doesn't say he was good, this time, but Harry tells himself it doesn't even matter. He still misses the proud smiles and streams of praise, the reassurance that Louis is pleased with him that makes him feel like he's glowing inside, because lately it doesn't feel like Louis is pleased with him at all. But this is still something, and it's good—when Louis is holding him still and making it hurt Harry floats off to somewhere blissful.
The third punishment doesn't go how he expects, however.
He's been anticipating it all day, ever since Louis told Harry what to wear in the morning and Harry specifically went against his orders and chose a t-shirt he knows Louis hates. Louis is practically seething all day, and Harry can tell he's just waiting 'til they're alone so he can tell Harry off. Harry's eager for it too, starving for the attention, for Louis hissing in his ear about how bad he's been, maybe folding him over and fucking him into the carpet with a hand around his neck.
When they get back to the hotel Harry is docile and expectant for it, standing in the middle of the room and waiting for instruction. He knows he's been really bad this time, knows he doesn't need to push it any further. Louis takes off his jacket and shoes and then just folds his arms and looks at him, and Harry's heart is in his throat with the anticipation, flooding with something happy just from the way Louis's eyes are fixed on him like that.
"Take your clothes off," says Louis, his voice rough and heated, "all of them. That ugly fucking top first."
"Okay," Harry says, immediately undressing as quickly as he can and tossing the clothes over a chair so they won't get in the way before turning back to Louis, fully exposed, arms hanging by his sides.
They've done this before, and Harry is naked so often in front of people that it really shouldn't send shivers down his spine but it always does; something about the way Louis's eyes rake over him. It doesn't make him feel nervous or insecure; quite the opposite. Louis knows every inch of Harry's body so well and yet he still can't get enough of looking at it, and Harry could stand here in front of him for ages just being watched. They've done that, too—Louis has made him wait a long time before, just sat on the bed or in a chair, drinking in the sight of Harry and deliberating over what he wants to do with him. Harry loves it so much it makes his head swim; he could stand there for hours as long as Louis's eyes are on him.
But Louis has a different plan tonight, it seems. "On the bed," he says after a further moment's consideration, and his face is hard, jaw set. "Hands and knees, arse up, yeah?"
Harry nods, scrambling to get on the bed and into position. He's not facing Louis now, and he doesn't think he should turn around, but he hopes that Louis is looking at him approvingly.
"Are you gonna stay still for me?" Louis asks.
"Yeah, Lou," Harry says clearly, trying not to move anything but his mouth as he speaks, to prove it.
"All right," says Louis, "I'll be back in a bit then."
"What?" Harry blurts, caught off-guard.
"You're gonna wait for me, yeah? Show me how bad you want it, 'cause you obviously do, pissing me off on purpose like that," Louis says, his voice tight.
Harry swallows. This is different, but—maybe it's not that different to how it's been before, it's just that Louis won't be in the room, won't be watching him. It's a test of his loyalty, he supposes; Louis trusts him enough to stay still even without his supervision, and Harry wants to prove to him that he can, that he will.
"Yeah," he agrees. "Yeah, I can—I can wait." He doesn't know how long Louis is planning to be, but it won't be that long—he's been able to tell, all day, that Louis is desperate for this too.
Louis hesitates, but only for a few seconds, and then Harry can hear the soft tread of his shoes against the carpet, and then a click and the lights go out suddenly. The door creaks open, and then snicks shut. Harry stays as still as he possibly can, trying to keep his breathing steady—the sound of the door shutting behind Louis sent a strange shock of panic through him and he tries to stay calm, telling himself he can do this, Louis will be back before he knows it.
But—he can't be sure of that. He's really made him angry this time and so far their punishments have always been things Harry enjoys but this—this isn't just a challenge, he actually doesn't like it, doesn't want to be left alone like this while Louis goes off to do god knows what. He doesn't even know if Louis's doing it on purpose, really trying to hurt him, and the thought sends anxiety suddenly swirling through his brain. He tries to tell himself Louis just doesn't know, didn't realise this wouldn't be okay—Harry thought he could handle it too, after all—but immediately he feels a stab of anger in his gut, because how could Louis not know? How could he not realise? How could he think Harry would be okay with being abandoned like this?
The muscles in his thighs and arms are starting to ache from keeping himself up, even though it can't have been that long. The only time he's had to remain in this position before has been during sex, and then there's so many things to distract him from any sort of discomfort, but staying like this and doing literally nothing else is much more difficult than he thought it would be. He wants to slip down onto his forearms, rest his head on the mattress, but he can't bring himself to. Louis might be able to tell, when he gets back, and even if he couldn't Harry would still feel like he'd betrayed him and he's so frustrated at the realisation that he's still worrying about that, still wanting to make Louis happy even though Louis doesn't seem to care anymore about doing the same for Harry.
Harry feels a hot sting in his sinuses, and tries to hold it back, telling himself over and over that Louis is going to come back in just a few seconds and it's going to be okay, but then he realises that when Louis does come back he's probably still going to punish him and Harry doesn't want punishment anymore, this is already more than he can take. He realises suddenly that he's done now, he's sick of this game, he wants things to go back to the way they used to be, he wants Louis to press him softly into the sheets and tell him how amazing he is and how he's such a good boy. With that thought the tears start to spill over and he collapses into the bed, slumped there and sobbing, frustrated and annoyed and confused and just—distraught.
Even under all the hurt and anger he still feels guilty for letting Louis down. There's an ache in his chest at the idea of disappointing him, as well as just pure, raw panic from the abandonment. He knows how much Louis matters to him, but for some reason it's hitting him like a sledgehammer now; he never realised that being without him could make him feel so terrifyingly vulnerable. It's all too much, too painful; he straightens back up just to pull back the sheets and then crawls under them, crying in a sort of choked-off way that he can't help, his brain asking over and over what if he doesn't come back what if he doesn't come back what if he doesn't come back—?