Title: Makes a Cathedral
Summary: Louis wants to leave something more permanent. (Tattoo!porn?)
Word Count: ~3,500
Warnings: unprotected sex, absolutely no proper knowledge of tattoos, unlicensed and unsafe tattooing, some pain!kink, a little D/s, a little blood?
A/N: Hahaha oh god. So I kind of wrote this last night in a delerium and I have no idea what it is? Or how to write porn? Or anything about tattoos? So suspension of disbelief is probably required, since this is really stupidly unsafe (don't try it at home!) and also unrealistic, because I'm sure in real life needles + permanent ink + sex = bad times. Also, in this world Zayn conveniently has All the Tattoo things?? Inspired by these photos (x, x, x) (this one added at a later date because. um.). Title is from Richard Siken's poem Saying Your Names, which I highly recommend for Harry/Louis reasons. Dedicated to the anon on tumblr who suggested that Louis might have done the "Hi" tattoo himself and likecharity, just because ♥
"You don't think it's weird? Or dangerous?"
Zayn shrugs, handing him the small bag of supplies: needle, ink, jelly, gauze, antiseptic. "Dunno. I mean, I'd be worried about not using a stencil, and if you fuck up, you really fuck up like, long term, but I'm not sure anything really qualifies as weird with you two. I can stand by and watch if you want, make sure you're doing it right..." He trails off.
"Where's the fun in that?" Louis' nervous, but—there's something about this that's weirdly intimate. He doesn't think he could do it with Zayn there.
"I thought so. Oh, and here." Zayn grabs a travel-sized bottle of vodka from his mini fridge and passes it to Louis.
"Uh, liquid courage?"
Zayn rolls his eyes. "No, you should wipe his skin down with that before you rub in the petroleum jelly. Being drunk isn't going to help your hand-eye coordination."
"Right. Well, I think I got it all then? Sterilize the needle, wipe his skin down with the vodka, petroleum jelly, tattoo, antiseptic, gauze."
Zayn nods, looking apprehensive. "That's the right order, yeah."
Louis grins, false-bright, feeling less than encouraged, but. He wants this. "Right then, see you on the other side? Thanks, mate. Really." He turns to let himself out of Zayn's hotel room, but the other boy's voice stops him before he can close the door.
"I get why you're doing this, Lou. It's gonna mean a lot to him."
Louis just swallows, nods.
"Don't fuck it up!" is the last thing he hears before the door shuts behind him.
He heads down the hallway, supplies in hand and instructions running through his head, until he stops in front of the room he shares with Harry, heart pounding. Don't fuck it up.
Half an hour later, Louis' got Harry on his back on their bed, stripped down to his pants, left arm stretched above his head and. Okay. It’s just—Louis' straddling him, right? Because he had to, because Harry kept twitching his arm or shifting, and Louis' less than a fucking novice, he's never even had a tattoo done on himself, he has no idea what he's doing and he really doesn't need Harry's help fucking this up. And he expected that he would have to hold his arm down, maybe sit on him a bit for leverage, but he didn't expect Harry to react, well. Like this.
The second Louis had touched the needle to his skin—before that, even—the second he mentioned the idea, Harry had flushed, eyes wide. He'd seemed eager, yeah, but...quiet, too. Docile. The way he gets sometimes when Louis tells him to do something stupid on stage or during a really rough fuck. And he knows it's probably just the pain more than anything that's making his eyes unfocus, his hips squirm, but—it's distracting.
Now Louis' got Harry’s arm pinned above his head and he hasn't even finished inking in the "H" yet, and Harry won't stop moving.
He lifts the needle from Harry's skin, reaches out to brush the fringe from the other boy's forehead with sweaty fingers. "Harry, babe, you have to stay still. You can do that for me, yeah?"
Harry cracks his eyes open. He looks dazed. "Yeah, sorry. It's just—" He swallows and closes his eyes again, head thudding back on the pillow. "Go ahead."
"You gonna be good?"
Harry moans. "Fuck, Louis. You planned this, didn't you."
"Well no, not really. Actually, I'm sorta hoping it won't to be as stupid as it's started to seem in my head? I should have let you decide." It's true. Harry had mentioned wanting to get a new tattoo, something for Louis, while they were sprawled across the bed that morning. Louis had just hugged him close, eyes drifting down to the small "A" that Zayn had traced into the crook of his elbow, and he had thought of actually tattooing Harry himself, claiming him with permanent ink and, well. He had really, really wanted it. That had only been a few hours ago now.
"That's not what I—I do want to know what it's going to be, but—God, Louis." Harry finishes the mumbled sentence with a roll of his hips and. Oh.
"You're getting off on this?" Intrigued, Louis shifts lower so that their hips line up and, yeah. Louis can feel the heavy length of him straining against his pants.
And Louis knows it's stupid, god it's stupid, and so reckless, but—he's still in control of this. He has a feeling his smile is wicked now, but he was never very good at controlling his face anyway, and what's the point with Harry, really. He grips Harry's arm tighter and brings the needle back to the skin there, lightly rocking his hips at the same time.
The sound Harry makes is desperate. Louis gets back to work.
Five minutes later, Louis' inking in the base of the "i" and Harry’s just writhing under him, his pupils blown and his breath ragged over the buzz of the needle, and Louis doesn’t know if he should be worried—he's full-on restraining the other boy now, pinning him down with his thighs, and the grip Louis has on his bicep has to be painful where he’s pressing it into the bed and really—it shouldn't be making Louis this hard.
He tries to swallow it down, tries to focus, because this is not something to fuck with and he's not a horny teenager anymore and he can control himself. But Harry’s bucking up into the air, searching for more friction, and this is ridiculous, it is, it’s dangerous—what Louis’ writing into his skin right now will be there forever and he could hurt him, he doesn’t have a tattooing license and this is so fucking stupid of them, but it’s—fuck, he’s marking Harry permanently, like he’s always wanted to, like he’s been trying to do every day since they’d met at bootcamp—before then, probably—at that goddam Script concert all those years ago, and earlier, earlier. He thinks there’s always been the shape of him, the press of him in Harry’s life, his skin, like they came into the world marked with the traces of each other.
And the thought is ridiculous and so soppy, but he lowers his hips to Harry’s anyway and grinds because yeah, the marks inside won’t fade, but the love bites and pen marks and bruises do. And it’s not that he needs the reassurance himself—Harry is his, always. He knows that. But no one else does. And this is going to be there forever, visible—their prep team won’t be able to dab over it like they do the bruises he sucks nightly into the soft skin between Harry’s collarbones or scrub it clean like the L’s he scribbles on the fine bones of Harry's hands. He thinks about Harry lifting his arm on stage and fans and their management and whoever the fuck else seeing it there, seeing something Louis had seared into Harry’s skin while Harry fell apart underneath him, and it’s too much—he can feel his thoughts scatter and his fingers start to shake, so he lifts his hand away from Harry's arm, closes his eyes for a second and just breathes, letting their hips connect and rock together.
Harry’s eyes open slowly, missing the burn of the needle, and they’re glassy and unfocused and fuck, he looks absolutely wrecked. His head lolls to the side and he sucks in a breath when he sees what Louis’ inked into his skin so far.
“Hi.” His voice is hoarse, but it’s not a question—he doesn’t look amused or upset or even confused, like it doesn’t even matter what it says, like Louis could tattoo the contents of a greeting card onto his arm and he wouldn’t give a shit because it’s Louis and he’d be happy with it no matter what and god, Louis' so in love with him.
He's starting to break out in a sweat, so he places the needle on the covers and lifts up to strip his shirt off in one fluid movement. Harry's half-lidded eyes trail over his torso, but he's only wearing the faintest glimmer of his usual smirk. It's like he's drugged.
Louis just has to finish the “i” and then he’ll be done, for now, so he breathes deep and steels himself, picking the needle up and dipping it back in the ink on the bedside table, hips still moving in a slow, dirty rhythm, and presses Harry's arm down more firmly against the bed—one of them has to remain in control. With the needle back on his skin, Harry’s eyes close again and he hisses, throwing his head back onto the pillow and exposing the pale line of his throat. Louis fights the instinct to lean down and pull the skin there between his teeth—he’s so close to being finished and this is so much more permanent, so much more important than the marks he usually leaves.
Harry’s making pathetic whining sounds now, grinding against Louis more frantically, and it’s like he’s actually getting off on the burn, the sting of it, and that thought makes something short-circuit in Louis’ brain. He tightens his grip on Harry’s arm and locks their hips together, pressing down to keep their pace slow and careful, controlled. Harry fluidly adjusts to his rhythm, like he always does, and lifts his head from the pillow again to fix his gaze on Louis, blinking the haze from his eyes.
“L—Lou. Louis. Hi?” He sounds disoriented, a little floaty, like he gets sometimes. And completely ruined. Louis doesn’t respond and just keeps at it, absorbing himself in the buzz of the needle, the thick black letter he’s inking into Harry's skin and not his desperate gasps, the hot length of him against Louis' cock.
With only the dot on the “i” left, he takes the needle away from Harry's skin again and leans down, pressing his lips to the other boy's ear. “It says 'hi' now, but it’s not done. When we’re—when we’re ready, when I’m ready, I’m gonna finish it, okay?”
Harry just pants and exposes his neck again, so past the point of caring. Louis groans and lets his lips close over the skin there, biting the line of his jaw. Harry whines, hips surging against Louis'.
“I know things have been shit recently, but it's like, I know you’re mine, yeah? I know it, and that’s nice, god that’s amazing, but one day everyone’s going to know it, I promise, and I just—I want to leave this here now. I need something. Something permanent. Like, as permanent as I feel about this, I mean. As permanent as us.”
Louis pulls his mouth away, circling his hips. As he returns the needle to Harry’s skin, Harry looks up at him with wide, blown eyes, still confused. “I don’t—”
“I’m gonna put an 's' right here, Haz.” Louis puts his finger to the right of the “i”. “It’ll say 'his'.”
Harry doesn’t say anything, but his eyes cloud over and his mouth falls open, obscene and pink, and with one more slow drag of their cocks, he starts to shudder.
“Are you gonna—fuck, Harry. Come on, yeah.” Louis drags the needle against Harry’s skin, hard, bringing little droplets of blood to the surface, and circles his hips deep, trapping Harry’s convulsing body to the bed, and then Harry’s coming, body jerking under Louis’, mouth slack, eyes glazed and locked on Louis’ face.
“Fuck.” Louis digs his teeth into his lip and squeezes his eyes shut, fighting to keep his hand steady. Harry's still trembling beneath him when Louis lifts the needle from his skin and sets it on the nightstand. He wants to just pull down his zipper, yank Harry's pants to the side and fuck into him while he's relaxed and pliant, body still rolling with aftershocks, but there's a Zayn-voiced litany of infection, infection, infection running through his head, so he leans over to blow softly on the fresh tattoo, drying the skin there and making Harry shiver. Then he picks up the antibacterial ointment on the nightstand, uncaps it, and with shaky fingers, carefully dabs the goo into the messy, bleeding letters on Harry’s arm. Harry’s eyes haven’t left his face, and when Louis glances over, he’s stunned by the peace there—his gaze is hazy, pupils blown, and he looks totally blissed out, barely even present, but his hips continue to move lightly with Louis’, like a reflex. When Louis' covered the tattoo, he sets the ointment to the side, picks up the gauze and carefully winds it around Harry’s arm like Zayn taught him, breathing deep and licking at his split lip. Harry’s eyes follow the movement of his tongue and he lets out a shaky whine, but otherwise remains quiet under Louis, complacent.
As soon as he’s taped off the bandage and set the rest of the roll on the dresser, he lets go of Harry’s arm and lifts up, quickly shucking his jeans and turning back to where Harry's sprawled on the pillows.
“God, Harry. Take your pants off, okay? M’gonna fuck you now.”
Harry still has that blissful expression on his face as he fumbles with his underwear, so relaxed that he’s uncoordinated, sloppy. Louis crawls over and helps slide the article of clothing over Harry's ankles before tipping him onto the comforter, lowering his head gently so that his curls form a messy halo on the pillow. Harry gazes up at Louis and reaches out to pet briefly at his cheekbone, just to touch, before shifting as if to roll over onto his stomach.
“No, no. I want to see you. Wanna see this.” Louis lifts Harry’s arm up and over his head again and strokes lightly over the fresh bandage—Harry cries out and rocks his hips and god, he's already getting hard again. So Louis does it a second time, harder, digging his nails in a bit, and this time Harry shudders, the sound he makes going straight to Louis' cock.
Louis groans and grabs the lube from the bedside table, slicking his fingers. Harry’s already relaxed enough that it doesn’t take much; he’s thrusting back on Louis’ fingers before he’s got two inside. Louis keeps working them in, slowly, but Harry doesn’t beg, just rolls his hips and locks eyes with Louis, gaze burning, and it’s too intense—Harry has a sincerity about him, a directness that's overwhelming, and Louis feels exposed, raw, but it's—it's empowering, so he fights the desire to turn away and keeps his eyes on Harry's as he scissors his fingers. When Harry’s cries get painful again, desperate, Louis sits up, strokes over his cock once, twice with lube-covered fingers and then—using one hand to strech Harry's arms above his head and leaning down so that he covers the other boy's long torso entirely, chest to chest and mouth to neck—guides himself to Harry's entrance and thrusts in.
Harry's body is pliant and welcoming, legs instinctively curling around Louis' waist, and Louis' struck by the grace lurking beneath the surface there—something subtle and honest, more a responsive fluidity to the people around him, to Louis, than any actual physical coordination. Louis rests his full weight on the other boy, hitching Harry's waist up and rocking only their hips together so that they're touching everywhere. His body is screaming at him to sit up, to grab the bed or Harry's hips and just pound into him, but he keeps working himself in and out in deep, rolling movements, unwilling to lift any part of his skin from Harry's. They're both sweating, the slide of their bodies fluid and slick, when Louis releases Harry's arms to tangle his hands in the other boys' hair. He yanks, hard, so that Harry throws his head back, hissing through his teeth as Louis kisses the sweat glistening between his collarbones, keeping his grip tight in Harry's curls.
He’s beginning to lose his coordination, thrusting raggedly, dragging his stomach against Harry's cock. Harry hasn't moved his arms from where Louis had them pinned above his head—it's like he's waiting for direction, or hoping Louis will hold them down again, and that thought has Louis gritting his teeth and fucking into him harder, less controlled. He gasps open-mouthed kisses into Harry's neck and trails his hand up from Harry's bicep, the other boy crying out hoarsely as Louis scratches over the Temper Trap lyric, the star, finally dragging his nails over the bandage covering the fresh tattoo, making Harry's body jolt beneath his. Louis just grinds down and in harder, rolling his stomach against the head of Harry's cock, his hands finally meeting Harry's. Tangling their fingers together, he lifts his lips from Harry's neck and twists to the side, mouthing over the bandage covering Harry’s new tattoo, thrusting in deep and biting down hard and then Harry's coming, body locked and jerking under Louis'.
"Fuck, Harry. Sweetheart." Dropping his head to Harry's shoulder, Louis digs his toes into the bed and, pinning their hands down for leverage, fucks into Harry's still trembling body, not letting him shudder away from the constant stimulation on his cock, until Harry's gasping "Yours, yeah?" into Louis' hair and Louis' nails are breaking the skin on Harry's knuckles and he's following him over the edge.
When he can form a coherent thought, he unlocks their hands and tries to slide off of Harry onto his back, but the other boy simply rolls with him, throwing his leg over Louis' and tucking his nose into his neck. They're sticky, bodies slick with sweat, Harry's come streaked across both of their stomachs, but. It's not so bad.
Louis still plays the part. "You're gross," He whines, pushing half-heartedly at Harry's good shoulder.
Harry just beams and licks a long stripe up Louis' neck, over his chin. "You love me."
"I do, yeah. But that doesn't mean you're not sweaty. Shower? We should probably redo your bandage, too." He surveys the damage on Harry's arm; the gauze is wrecked, loosening from Harry's bicep and starting to spot with blood. The top of the tattoo is peeking out, and it's sloppy, like it was scrawled by an over-caffeinated primary school student attempting to write with their left hand. Louis loves it.
Harry gets quiet and looks down, stroking lightly at the fresh tattoo, only shivering a little. He seems...awed. Louis knows it takes a little while for him to find his words sometimes. He waits.
"Louis, I don't—I know you know what this means. To me. But I don't want you to think I'm like, unhappy? I mean, things seem a little messed up right now—"
"Cause they are, Haz."
"I know, yeah. It could be better. I wish I could kiss you in public. Or I don't know, that we could go to a restaurant sometime—without sneaking in through the back door like it's something we should be ashamed of. And I want people to know that I like, belong to you. God, I want that so much. But I don't—I don't need this or anything. You've already marked me, permanently. I don't need the physical reminder."
Louis feels his heart plummet. Was it too much? Of course it was, what the fuck was he thinking, tattooing "his" onto Harry's arm like some kind of caveman—not even "his", not yet, just "hi", like a four year old. He can't even write legibly with paper and pencil, much less skin and permanent fucking ink.
Harry feels him tense. "No no no, don't get me wrong—I love it. Really. You don't even know what this is going to do to me, on stage, in front of so many people. God, Louis." He ducks his head against Louis' shoulder.
"I mean—" He breaks off and looks up again, grinning and trailing his fingers through the streak of come on Louis' stomach. "Clearly, I'm a fan." His eyes light up at Louis' laugh before sobering again. "Really though. I don't want you to think that I'm not like, confident or sure about this. That I need some kind of reminder that we'll last. Because I know we will. It's like the only thing I really am sure of right now, with how mental our lives are. Just—" He sighs, voice rough. "I am, yeah? Yours."
He breaks off and nuzzles into Louis' sternum, content, and Louis smiles. He gets it. He thinks of Harry in cities all over the world, fucked ragged on too many mattresses to count. Drooling on Louis' shoulder in airplanes over the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean. Throwing heated glances his way while an interviewer asks who the "ladies' man" of the band is, love bite peeking out of his collar and thumbprint bruise yellowing on his arm. With a full-wattage grin dimpling his cheeks as Louis presses a thumbs-up sign to his face in front of thousands of people and all those lights. And here, in a hotel Louis can't even remember the name of, clinging to Louis' side, arm covered in messy ink.
I am, yeah? Yours. Louis doesn't know if Harry meant it as a question, but. "Yeah."
Louis means it as a promise.