Monday, March 26, 2012

Yellow

Yellow

And he wants to tell him, I’m sorry, I had to find you, tell you I need you, but no words come out and everything fails him. Instead, he stares at him and wonders why the universe is able to still exist when this beautiful boy is here.

Fic is based on Coldplay’s Yellow.

There’s light chattering and laughter in the atmosphere accompanied by a slow, jazzy tune coming from a string quartet on the other side of the room. Everyone is dipped in a faint yellow glow from the dimmed lights hanging on the walls. Everyone is laughing and drinking and dancing and overall enjoying themselves because parties are supposed to be fun.

And then there’s Harry, who stands awkwardly to one side of the room, trying hard not to fidget with his tie. He shifts from foot to foot, trying to decide how to stand so he doesn’t look like he wants to just disintegrate and be anywhere but here. Act casual, Harry thinks to himself but that only makes him feel more out of place and more awkward, because oh right, he doesn’t know how to act casual. And god, he just doesn’t belong here and he wants to go home and read and watch Doctor Who.

“This party will be fun, mate! Don’t worry, I’ll be with you the entire night.” Even now, Harry can hear Zayn’s voice in his head from earlier that night. He looks around the room and the older boy is nowhere to be seen.

“Lying twat,” Harry mutters to himself as he sips his iced tea.

There’s nothing fun about this party at all, Harry thinks. He was never a party person and as he stands against the wall, looking more awkward as the time passes by his loathing for parties has increased tenfold.

“You need a little fun in your life, Harry,” Zayn’s voice keeps haunting him from out of nowhere and Harry tries hard not to scowl as he thinks back at the older boy’s words.

Fun. Harry has plenty of fun. Alright so life’s kind of dry at the moment but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any fun. He reads and takes walks and does puzzles which are just as equally exciting as this party. So it confuses him when Zayn starts talking about living a little and getting out once in a while.

Harry idly scans the room and wonders if he looks as out of place as he feels. He probably does and suddenly he’s feeling incredibly self conscious, like all the eyes in the room are looking at him. He fidgets some more and tries to pry off the tie that’s currently suffocating him.

“Harry!” This time, the real Zayn appears from out of the crowd and he’s pretty much fucking galloping towards him with a big smile on his face, “Enjoying the party?”

“You’re a fucking prick, you know that?” Harry pretty much spits out when Zayn’s close enough to hear, “Where the hell have you been?”

“Around,” Zayn says vaguely as he takes a sip from his glass, “You have no idea how many chicks are here, man.”

“You do realize you were supposed to stay with me, right?” Harry says and it makes him sound like a little toddler who needs to be accompanied by a parent.

“Did you really expect me to sit here and hold your hand?” Zayn says, rolling his eyes, “Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve allowed you to get out and explore.”

“I don’t want to explore. I never wanted to come to this party in the first place!” Harry says angrily, narrowing his eyes.

“Okay, relax. Scan the room. There are plenty of fish in the sea. This is your sea,” Zayn stretches his arms out in a wide circle at the crowd of people before them, talking and mingling.

“You’re drunk, aren’t you?” Harry says and Zayn frowns.

“Dude, trust me, scan the room and go find someone to talk to for god’s sake.”

Harry doesn’t want to listen to Zayn because that turned out so well the first time, but he does so anyways because Zayn is still talking and Harry kind of really wants him to shut up.

The light chattering has heightened to an annoying drone that’s giving Harry a headache. The room hasn’t changed much since Zayn arrived. There are girls in the room in small groups, dressed up in pretty dresses and jewelry. And Harry just skims over them because there’s nothing interesting about them.

“There isn—“Harry is saying but then he stops short because something, or rather someone has caught his eye and suddenly all of his surroundings melt away.

He walks into the room with a kind of nervousness as if he isn’t really sure he should be here, taking small, tentative steps. His bleached blonde hair is perfectly coiffed and he’s dressed in a formal light yellow sweater that fits nicely around his torso. He’s looking around now and for a fleeting moment, they lock eyes and it’s like all the oxygen has been sucked out of the room because Harry doesn’t know how breathe anymore. Even in the dim of the light, Harry can see his eyes, eyes that are startlingly blue and Harry can’t seem to look away. And the boy has probably realized this too, because he’s blushing now and rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly as he stands by the entrance.

“—kind of scaring me, you know, why—“Harry can’t even hear half the words Zayn is saying because he’s too busy staring at this boy and his beautiful eyes.

“Excuse me,” Harry says as he takes another sip from his drink and hands it to Zayn.

“Hey, where are you going?” Harry can hear Zayn saying but he doesn’t really care at this moment.

There’s something compelling about the boy that makes Harry walk over to him. Normally, Harry would stand against the wall, stealing glimpses of this boy because he’s too pathetically awkward to do anything else. But something has taken over him and he feels the need to talk to this boy no matter what it takes. And it’s so uncharacteristically like him to do so but for some reason, he just can’t seem to tell himself to stop.

The boy is looking at his fingernails as Harry pushes past the crowd of people, muttering quick excuse me’s and sorry’s. Harry’s heart is beating faster than usual in his rib cage and all of the signs in his head are flashing telling him to stop, stop, what the hell are you doing? But again, there doesn’t seem to be any control anymore and he keeps going because his feet can’t help it. 

Harry’s standing in front of the boy now and the boy looks up at him, a small and awkward smile on his lips. And Harry wants to tell him, I’m sorry, I had to find you, tell you I need you, but no words come out and everything fails him. Instead, he stares at him and wonders why the universe is able to still exist when this beautiful boy is here.

“Yellow,” is the first thing that comes rushing out from his lips and then he chokes on the next couple of words, because oh my god, yellow? Did you just say that, Harry?

The boy standing in front of him looks confused, but there’s a smile threatening to break on the boy’s face and it gives Harry some hope that he hasn’t entirely scared away him yet.

“I mean,” Harry stammers and again, his brain failing to come up with anything coherent because the boy’s eyes are beautiful and clear and so serene that Harry can practically fall into them, “I—“

“Niall,” the boy says and sticks out his hand, “I’m Niall.”

Harry can hardly breathe now because the boy’s name is Niall, perhaps the prettiest name he’s ever heard ever, a pretty name to match pretty eyes.

Harry can practically feel the big grin breaking onto his face as he takes Niall’s small hand into his own and he probably looks like the biggest idiot ever, but Niall is smiling back at him too.

“Harry,” Harry replies back, “I’m Harry.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Harry,” Niall says.

The way he says  his name makes Harry want to melt into a pile of goo on the floor and he’s sure he’s acting like a 14-year-old girl, but Niall is bright and dazzling and it’s hard not to.

And then there’s an awkward silence between them as a soft melody plays in the background from the band on the other side of the room.

“Uhm, what I meant to say earlier is I like your sweater,” Harry says, awkwardly, “I like the colour. It’s yellow.”

It’s yellow. Harry can hear himself and the little voices in his head are laughing at him at this point.

Niall just laughs at this though, his eyes crinkling in the corners, “Thanks.”

“Hey, do you want to get out of here?” Harry can’t control his words anymore and he knows for sure that this is all moving too fast, but he can’t help it, can’t help anything when it comes to Niall.

He prepares himself for a no, go away you creep but Niall grins again and he says, “Sure. I would love to.”

-

They’re outside on the balcony overlooking the city with the cars as small as ants flying by, the streetlamps illuminating the sidewalks.

And Harry can’t believe that this is all happening. It happened so fast that he can’t seem to register that this beautiful boy is talking to him, actually talking to him about everything and nothing.

The stars are shining tonight, brighter than Harry’s ever seen them. And everything is kind of perfect.

Look at the stars. Look how they shine for you. And everything you do.

So far, Harry has learned much about Niall. Everything from his love for playing the guitar to how much Niall dislikes tight spaces (he’s claustrophobic). From things like how he’s not naturally blonde (he’s brunette) and how much he loves food and soccer and the colour yellow.

Yeah, they were all yellow.

They’re both laughing at this point at something Harry doesn’t even remember because he’s so mesmerized by the younger boy’s laugh until Niall speaks again.

"I’ve been talking about myself too much,” Niall says, “What about you, Harry?”

I came along. I wrote a song for you. And all the things you do.

“Uhm,” Harry says, because he’s taken aback by the question. He tries to think of things that actually sound interesting, but words are failing him like they always do, “Nothing, really. I’m just… Harry.”

“Just Harry?” Niall says and chuckles, “There must be something.”

Harry racks his brain for something, anything and says the first thing that comes to mind, “I … sing.”

“Really?”

“I’m not good,” Harry says quickly and he blushes when Niall raises an eyebrow at him in disbelief.

“If you weren’t good, you wouldn’t have brought it up,” Niall says, nudging him with his elbow, “Sing me something.”

And it was called “Yellow”.

If anyone ever told him to sing, he’d never do it in a million years. But Harry listens to Niall because he can’t seem to say no, he doesn’t want to say no. And so he sings the first song that comes to mind and it’s strangely appropriate for the moment.

Your skin, oh yeah your skin and bones turn into something beautiful. You know, you know I love you so, you know, I love you so.

Harry has never felt so nervous in his entire life. He remembers feeling almost as nervous when he sang in front of his high school, but it’s nothing, nothing compared to what he feels now as Niall watches him intently through long lashes and clear blue eyes. By the end of it, Harry feels his hands shaking and he stuffs them in his pockets so the younger boy doesn’t notice.

There’s a brief pause where Niall just stares at Harry and Harry thinks oh god, I messed up but Niall breaks out into a grin and starts applauding.

“You’re really good, you know,” Niall says and Harry’s blushing really hard right now and hopes to god that it’s dark and Niall can’t see.

“Thanks,” Harry says quietly and Niall laughs at how embarrassed he is.

“Appropriate song choice for tonight,” Niall says after a moment and he’s looking up at the sky now, at the millions of stars that paint the sky, “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you.

Harry’s face breaks out into a grin when he hears Niall sing, because there’s something in his voice that hits Harry right at home.

And Niall just smiles at him again as he sings the rest of the song

Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine.

Harry is joining in at this point and they’re laughing and singing up at the dazzling stars above them, not a care in the world.

And during all of this, Harry doesn’t look at the stars, doesn’t look anywhere else but at Niall, Niall in his bright yellow sweater and the warm smile on his face. And he thinks:

Look at the stars. Look how they shine for you. And everything you do.

-

It’s late and most of the party dwellers have left the building, saying their goodbyes and hugging each other as they leave in their cars. It’s been a long night but Harry doesn’t feel tired. The cool breeze in the air wakes him up and the city lights dance in front of his eyes.

The night is coming to a close and he doesn’t ever want it to, but there he is, standing awkwardly on the sidewalk as Niall calls for a cab.

Niall opens the back door and stands in front of Harry, just as awkward, just as nervous with the way he’s wringing his hands and biting his lip.

"This was fun,” Niall says, hand resting against the door.

Harry has an urge to say don’t leave, stay because you have no idea how lovely you are and all the nice things in the world, but he doesn’t, because he can’t bring himself to.

Instead he says, “It was,” and continues to stare down at his shoes.

“I didn’t plan on coming to this party, you know,” Niall is saying and Harry looks up at him and meets lovely pale blue eyes glistening in the city lights, “I’m glad I did though.”

“I’m glad I did too,” Harry is pretty much repeating everything Niall is saying and he feels utterly boring, because this is the moment where everything matters, where everything said now is the most important.

“When will I see you again?” Harry blurts out and flushes. Smooth, Harry, he thinks, you don’t sound desperate at all.

And Niall just surprises him again when he smiles up at him and nods, “Soon.” And here, Niall leans forward to press a quick kiss on Harry’s cheek and Harry feels like he’s on cloud nine.

Niall steps into the cab and the cab revs to life. He rolls down the window and waves at Harry as he watches the boy in the bright yellow sweater fade farther and farther away from him.

The night is quiet except for the occasional honking of the street cars. The lights above him illuminate his surroundings, throwing shadows across the sidewalk. A gust of cold air dances by him and he stuffs his hands into his pockets.

His hand wraps around something in his pocket and he pulls it out. It’s a small piece of paper, folded in two and crinkled around the edges. Harry opens it up and a big smile breaks onto his face.

In small, cursive writing, there’s a phone number and Niall’s name at the top. And at the bottom it reads:

Oh yeah your skin and bones turn into something beautiful. You know, you know I love you so. You know I love you so.

by nightmate.