Larry Stylinson Oneshot.
Word Count: 3,700
Harry Styles made Louis Tomlinson a promise.
My journey started with a great deal of light as my box got opened. A bright, happy and particularly young face was absolutely delighted to see me.
“It’s for you.” A slightly raspy voice echoed, moving my box toward the golden-skinned boy’s now outstretched hand. He was crying, and I think I heard the other boy crying too. When the obviously shocked and pleasantly delighted one took me out of the box and held me in his hand I felt so much love, like I was made for the very purpose to stay with this boy for as long as he needed me.
“Let me put it on you.” The raspy voice continued, picking me up and sliding me carefully over the boy’s slender ring finger on his right hand - a place I was expecting to go to save confusion as to what my purpose was.
“Thank you, Harry. Really, thank you so much. It’s beautiful.” The tan boy said.
“You’re welcome Louis. I love you.” Harry leaned over, still clutching Louis’ hand with me inside, encased in love and commitment and they shared a tender kiss.
“It’s so shiny. I’ll never take it off.” Louis exlaimed, bringing me close to his face to see the details of my pattern more closely. I was a silver band with an engraved pattern in the centre of my circumference that was reminiscent of ancient Scandinavian architecture. I was historical and from the heart.
“It’s a promise, Lou.” Harry spoke clear, determined, “That ring is my promise to you.” I was a promise.
I was there during the hardest years of their still young relationship - given to Louis at age twenty-one, two years after they first admitted they had feelings for each other. Their contracts had dictated they couldn’t be together openly, but that didn’t stop them from loving each other completely behind closed doors. I often heard conversations about the struggle, the difficulty and the heartache of not being able to be who they wanted to be.
I was ever present, Louis never removed me, except when he might have lost me - like when he went surfing on their visits back to Australia. Harry would have me in his hand while he sat on the beautiful beach, sun gleaming down on his skin and the sand all around us. A few times when a glint reflected from me and caught his eye, he would look down to me, smile and lovingly caress the pattern that decorated me. That day at the beach, a tear even dropped from his beautiful green eye and he mouthed ‘I really do love you,’ before closing his hand around me and pressing me to his chest as he continued to watch Louis stumbling and wobbling on his board out on the water, having the time of his life.
I was there during a meeting at the label in the UK that same year, still new, still shiny, still full of love, still a promise.
“You can’t be giving each other rings like that, boys. It’s a breach of contract.” An intimidating voice spoke over the desk. I couldn’t be sure who it was because I was in Louis’ lap, gripped tightly by his other hand and soon one of Harry’s found it’s way to holding me as well.
“It’s just a ring.” Harry lied. I was more than a ring. I was a promise.
“It’s too suspect.”
“We can say it was a present for Louis’ birthday, a christmas present, both.”
“I’m sorry Harry-” the voice tried to contain Harry’s growing frustration.
“I’ll get all the boys one, say it was a band-ring.” Tears spilled over in Harry’s eyes, he collapsed into sadness and the hand I was on rushed to his side. I tried to pour all the love and commitment Harry had once whispered into me before he gave me to Louis back in to him, to let him know that Louis loved him too.
“I’m sorry Harry.” the voice repeated again, final this time.
That night I was taken off and put on the table in between Harry and Louis, who were discussing what they can do.
“It was a promise Lou. I meant it, and I don’t want it off you.”
“I don’t want it off me either, Haz, but what can we do?”
A beautiful silver chain arrived for me the next day and I took my place around Louis’ neck, deep on his chest. Well away from the eyes of anyone, far down and away from his collar. I was secret, but I was still a promise.
I was there too during the golden age of One Direction. I was there for the second and third albums going platinum in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Australia, New Zealand and some surprising places like Indonesia and Brazil. I felt so much happiness and so much pride every night when I was taken off my chain and slipped back on Louis’ finger while the two sat together in their apartment or hotel room, or even tour bus. Where ever they were, they made sure to be together and for me to be on. I would be on during the nights they fought, during the nights they didn’t, I’d be there when they expressed their love in every way they knew how, and I was only taken off and slipped back over Louis’ neck in the morning. Every morning. I was always there and I was always a promise.
The world was freezing as I got taken out of Harry’s pocket. We were somewhere absolutely abominably cold, but Harry seemed to be sweating anyway - nerves, most likely. I was brand new, shiny, white-gold. Harry had looked at me when he picked me up in London and called me ‘a step-up’, the biggest grin on his face. I’d hidden away in various places of Harry and Louis’ apartment, during Louis’ twenty-third birthday I was hiding in a little box - I think I was supposed to get given to him that day, but for some reason, I didn’t. I think it had something to do with the muffled yelling through the safe door I heard. Louis and Harry were trying to calm down a man they’d invited to celebrate Louis’ birthday with them. He wasn’t one of the three other boys that was always with them, no, he was someone older. I never caught his name, but he seemed important to Louis. He didn’t like them together and didn’t like ‘that thing on Louis’ finger’. I guess Louis had another ring before me - maybe that’s what he meant when he called me, the ‘step up’.
“Lou,” Harry spoke nervously, his voice quivering, but definitely not from the freezing wind blowing all around us,
“Yes, my love?” Louis answered him cheerfully, grabbing the hand I was in and almost grabbing me before Harry’s quick thinking made him close his hand into a fist and secure me away, still a secret for now.
“We’re in Sweden again, for our next album.”
“Yes, haz. I know where we are…” Louis was speaking with a bit of a questioning tone this time, he knew something was up.
“Well,” Harry removed the hand I was in from Louis’ warm grasp, cold overwhelming once again, “this place is important.”
“Well sure, this is where we make our albums. Well part of them at least. We’ve been coming here for years.” Louis answered, cheerful once more. His hand was on Harry’s cheek now, caressing it through a glove. They were standing on the balcony of their beautiful hotel, overlooking a deep blue mass of water and a city behind them, Stockholm, I think I’d heard. It was beautiful in a way, a rigid beauty that was appreciated only by those who lived there and those who loved the cold. Louis was one of them, Harry knew that.
“If this is our last album, I want this place to be remembered for good times forever, not past good times.”
“What are you talking about, Styles? I swear you come out with some cr-” Louis’ voice stopped short and quickly turned into a gasp as Harry dropped to one knee, opened his clenched fist and revealed me in all my glory. I could see my shine in Harry’s eyes as he stared down proudly before looking back up to Louis, holding me between two of his fingers and gripping Louis’ left hand,
“Louis Tomlinson - I made you a promise two years ago. All I said to you was that the ring I gave you,” Louis’ free hand immediately moved to clutch his chest, hand closing around something underneath his clothes, “was a promise.” Harry continued, even with Louis’ eyes watering and his mouth quivering, “But what I meant was… I love you, Louis Tomlinson. My promise was to keep loving you forever, no matter what contracts tell us to do, no matter what people say about us and no matter what happens between us - I promise to love you. Let me keep that promise - Marry me.” Harry stopped and took a quiet breath, hitching at the end of it as his eyes stayed locked on Louis’, who was darting his eyes between Harry’s and me sitting between his fingers.
“I love you too, Harry.” was the only answer Harry needed before he slipped Louis’ glove off and slid me over his left hand ring finger. They kissed and linked their fingers together, both of their love encapsulating me forever, sealing me into my duty. I was an engagement ring.
I was there during the tour for their third album. Originally, I was around Louis’ neck and joined another beautiful ring. Though that one was silver, I was white gold. It looked a little more worn than me, some small scratches and generally older. It exuded importance though, and was beautiful in that right alone.
“We’ve noticed the ring, Louis.” An intimidating voice blared through the phone angrily, “How many times are you two going to breach your contract and continually expect forgiveness?”
“Forgiveness?” Louis shouted back, “we don’t need to be forgiven, because we haven’t done anything wrong.”
“We’ll discuss the future of the contract on Monday, Mr. Tomlinson.” the voice suddenly turned cold and official, no longer referring to him by his first name before hanging up.
I was there during the end of One Direction. The label cancelled their contract and paid the whole band out. Harry and Louis had apparently told their best friends about them and about the situation well before, and a blonde man, still young, but rugged now, charming, spoke, “Harry, don’t be sorry.” the lad, called Niall, stepped forward and put both of his hands on Louis and Harry’s shoulders respectively, “We were there for you every step of the way. We don’t for one second blame you. If they couldn’t accept you, we don’t want their work anyway.” Louis and Harry looked at Niall, then each other and then to the other two boys, Zayn and Liam, standing slightly behind them, tears welling in both their eyes’. Niall, Zayn and Liam nodded and the five encircled me in a group hug.
“I love you boys,” Zayn’s thick accent uttered.
“I love you.” all four of the others repeated, sniffling quietly as they mourned the end of a golden era.
I was there at a joint-family dinner for Harry’s twenty-second birthday in his childhood home. His mother adored me and swooned over my beauty all afternoon while it was just Harry, Louis and her. She blessed their union and demanded to be involved in every aspect of planning the wedding, which was going to take place straight after the new laws came in to effect in the United Kingdom. There was tense conversation about whether or not someone was going to turn up to the dinner, who it was I didn’t catch, but I was sure they were referring to the same man that ruined the first time I was going to be given to Louis. Whoever showed up, I sat proudly on Louis’ left ring finger, recently cleaned, beautifully shiny and gleaming with love. I was a commitment - I was an engagement.
Everybody that was expected showed up, even the man I now identified as Harry’s step father, who sat with Anne across the table from Harry and Louis. Their hands were linked under the table for most of the conversation and meal, desperate for support. I tried to exude as much love as I could, God knows there was a lot in me. Niall, Zayn and Liam joined Harry and Louis’ families as they all discussed the wedding, future prospects, adoption, which was quickly thrown out by Harry and Louis, who insisted they wouldn’t be good with kids, even though Harry demanded Louis could have done it alone; that it would be him to ruin it. Louis eventually lifted his hands on the table, after the meal, exposing me to the whole party, nobody took much notice of my gleaming white, starkly contrasting presence on the black table cloth; nobody except Harry’s step father of course. He stared a burning hole through the protective bubble of love and adoration I usually enjoyed - his displeasure and disapproval making me feel hot and uncomfortable on Louis’ hand - a feeling empathized within Louis himself who noticed the stare and covered me with his other hand subtly, continuing with whatever conversation was happening further down the table. Wine and beer flowed, probably a little too freely for one person in particular and, by ten o’clock, Niall, Zayn and Liam were the only physical barriers between Harry’s step father and Harry, who was standing protectively in front of Louis in the kitchen. Everyone else had gone home, but the boys knew something was going to happen, they could all sense it, so they stayed and now stood, united against the hate.
“I don’t want you at the wedding.” Harry spoke, heartbroken by the vicious, hateful words that flowed from the man before him, struggling to overpower the three boys who blocked his path into the kitchen.
“And I don’t want you in this house anymore.” Anne spoke too from her safe position further in the kitchen.
Louis hand moved to hold Harry’s, getting a tentative squeeze in response.
“I’m sorry, Harry.” Louis whispered, feeling defeated.
“I love you. You, Louis.” Harry turned, ignoring everyone now, “don’t ever be sorry.”
My journey begins with those ever famous, yet slightly different words for Louis and Harry. After being lovingly slipped over Louis’ left ring finger which was now bare, but held the tan-line of a predecessor. A ring who’s presence I could still feel. I felt like I was now taking the place of a commitment now years old - I was the embodiment of that commitment - I was the next step in a very long road to the fulfillment of a promise.
“I now pronounce you married. You may kiss.” A voice proudly proclaimed to a full, beautifully decorated hall. Red and black was the obvious colour theme - it meant something to Harry, what I could not be sure, but Louis was forever reminding him and saying encouraging things, whispering sweet nothings,
“Red and black Harry.”
“You shouldn’t have planned the wedding around my weakest moment.”
“That wasn’t your weakest moment, Harry.”
“It showed I wasn’t good eno-”
“It showed you were human, you were unique, and now, it shows you’re mine forever.” Louis’ hand clasped around Harry’s, my counterpart on Harry’s hand pressing against me. Our perfect platinum surfaces, untouched by engravings on the outside, glimmered, even in the darkness between their hands. The two hands and the two rings shared love, commitment and adoration - so much in that single moment that I lasted on it forever. I’ve never needed more, never needed reinforcement or encouragement. That moment fuels me. That moment was everything.
I was there on their honeymoon to France. I was there when they signed autographs in Paris, the fans were all slightly older now, but still rabid and amazing - all of them screamed support, albeit in French. It reinforced my inscription on the inside which read ‘a ma vie de coeur entier’, My whole heart for my whole life.
I was there years later when Louis sister suddenly fell ill and passed away without warning. I trembled violently on Louis’ hand as the shock consumed him, the devastation. He felt like he’d failed her - his promises to protect his family against everything having failed. I was held tight in his hand, the only source of constant, secure love he had in that moment. Hours later when Harry arrived from his work in London, he was there to comfort Louis. I pushed out as much love as I could, we could get through it - because there was another promise at work, within me - a promise that overpowered all others Louis and Harry had previously made - that promised encompassed them all. As long as they were together, they’d get through anything. Together, they got through.
The funeral was just as hard. I shone brightly, exuding hope in a time of mourning, a time of devastation. Louis and Harry’s hands interlocked when the ceremony was over - both me and my counterpart on Harry’s hand glimmered, quiet now as our two bearers shared a hug, a kiss and Harry’s words,
“What can I do, Lou?”
“I don’t know. How did I help you in hard times past?” the sobbing man responded weakly.
“You were. That’s all I needed. You existed. All I need you to do… is…”
“Exactly. Be Louis.”
“Be Harry.” Louis confirmed in his request,
“Your Harry.” Harry corrected supportively, his finger caressing my surface, reminding Louis of my presence.
I was there through it all and spent decades perched on Louis ever-aging finger, albeit slowly. I was there on the thirtieth anniversary, the two now well past their youth. Niall, Liam and Zayn, well past their hay days as well all joined Harry and Louis for a quiet evening at a soccer game in London - one of their favourite past times when they were One Direction.
“You two still look exactly the same in essence, you know?” Liam admitted.
“What do you mean? We look awfully old.” Harry confessed, smiling to Louis, who nodded confidently.
“No, I mean… you don’t look like you’re any less smitten with each other than you did when you were twenty.”
“Well, I have a promise to keep.” Harry spoke proudly, his hand reaching out to hold Louis’ lovingly. Louis accepted and both of their eyes came to me, much less shiny now, but still ever-present, ever powerful and ever full of love. I was a strong as ever, and so were they.
I was there in the loungeroom where Louis was fixing up to prepare for the arrival of his twin-sisters and their husbands and children after Harry came home from work, one of his last days before retiring from their now very successful independent record label, Red and Black Records. I was there when Louis dropped the glass in shock by the words coming through the phone.
“… W-what hospital?” I heard him choke out, “I’ll be right there.” He dropped the phone, forgetting to hang up, moving immediately to his keys on the table by the door and slamming it shut behind him.
I was there in the waiting room, a violent trembling I remembered from only once before shaking my every memory - the love I’d had stored up my entire existence based on that one moment decades before was needed now. I needed to fulfill a promise.
I was there when Louis was lead, knees weak, tears rolling down his cheeks - into the room Harry was being kept. Machines, cords and doctors all around him. I was one of the first things to hit the ground when Louis’ arms moved to catch himself as he fainted.
I was the only thing Louis looked at besides Harry himself as days passed. I never left Harry’s side, because he didn’t. I used up all my reserves, all my love, my all. I couldn’t make Harry wake up - even though I knew I wasn’t the only ring working to open his eyes. He never did.
I was there when Harry flatlined.
I was there while Louis cried.
“Harry, please. I can’t do this without you.”
I was there.
My journey began at a funeral, for who, I wasn’t sure. All I knew was, I was full of saddness. I was forged with the intent to last an eternity. The sadness was coupled with love and commitment. My whole heart for my whole life was enscribed on my box, on my outer platinum surface and was whispered from Louis’ lips as he stared down at a pale face, tears welling in his eyes desperately.
“My whole heart for my whole life, Harry.” he repeated, taking another platinum ring, obviously decades old, off the hand of the pale man before him, joining another one exactly like it on the now heart-breaking, trembling hands of Louis, my bearer. He took Harry’s wedding ring.
He took me from my box and slipped me on Harry’s ring finger, covering the tan line from my predecessor. I immediately understood my purpose. I was here for an eternity. It was my job to make sure they weren’t forgotten as a union.
“You gave me my promise ring,” Louis spoke through a shaking voice, tears dropping to the coffin before him, “you asked me to marry you,” he held the hand I occupied now, trembling, “you married me. You fulfilled your promise.” He leant down and kissed my surface. In that moment I felt all the love I would ever need to stay at my post and continue my duty for all of eternity. I was an eternity ring. Louis continued, “You’ve done it all for me, Harry. Now it’s my turn. I love you, Harry.”
I was the fulfillment of a promise.