Rain Station [Chapter 4]
Genre: AU, SingleFather!Harry, DayCare!Louis, slight angst, Romance
Summary: Harry Styles returns to Holmes Chapel. Nothing changed except that he left empty handed and returned with a little girl.
Louis cares for all of his students. Yes, Darcy has a little bit of a special place in his heart but it’s tiny and not worthy of speaking of. So when she goes missing, he denies that he runs just as fast as her father does to Anne’s.
He denies that he checks every room 3 times, searched further than the others, and calls everyone listed on his phone to keep alert.
After twenty minutes of running around, searching for Darcy in the house, neighbors’ yards and the park near by, everyone meets back at Anne’s kitchen. Jay is comforting Anne who sitting on a stool trying her hardest not to break down after her granddaughter is lost under her watch.
When Harry who has been pacing around in his own little world stops, Louis who has been pacing right behind him bumps into him and finds it difficult to find his balance again.
“I’m going to the police station again” Harry is as wreck as he was this morning if not more. Louis doesn’t know how he does it. Taking care of the kids in the daycare for a couple of hours is exhausting, but this is worse. This is mentally and emotionally exhausting. He can’t imagine how it would be if Darcy fell ill. Louis can’t have it in his heart to imagine the little angel hurt. How does Harry do it? How does Harry do it all by himself?
If everyone wasn’t here right now, Louis doesn’t think he’d still be sane. If he spares a minute to think of what might happen, he thinks that if he did, he doesn’t really know what he’d do.
“You just came back from there, Harry” Gemma tells him.
“She is a little girl.” Harry chocks out. “I can’t sit here. If I sit here I’ll just end up thinking about horrible things” He shakes his head Louis reckons he trying to stop the images running in his head “I can’t just not do anything”
Jay reasons with him “Harry, it’s Holmes Chapel. Everyone knows everyone. Nothing bad can happen to her.”
Harry argues that they should search the park another time and widen their search area in which Gemma, Jay and Anne join in to calm the wreck of a father in front of them.
“What got her upset?” Louis who has been standing in the same spot since he bumped into Harry, asks. The four ignore him and go back to bickering.
Where would you go? You are Harry’s girl. You are too smart for your age.
“Before she was gone” Louis raises his voices to get their attention “Did she say anything?”
“I don’t know Louis.” Gemma doesn’t meet Harry’s eyes “I knew my kids were teasing her about her mother yesterday but I thought I shouldn’t speak to her about it. I thought if I did I’ll make her feel worse” She flinches at the anger at her little brother’s eyes “I’m sorry Harry. I just thought that she is just a kid”
“God Gemma! What the hell were you thinking?” Harry yells at her. “ You know better than this Gemmy with dad and all. You know better” His yelling gets louder.
“Stop it” Louis stands between the two and thinks loudly to himself, “No if that’s why she run away, she would have done it yesterday.” He turns toward Gemma “Did anything upset her this morning”
Gemma rubs her palm together “No she was having breakfast with me and mum then she was gone”
Louis lays there in thoughts of whys and wheres when Jay asks, “what were you talking about?”
Gemma takes a seat next to her mother, “Nothing we were talking about dad not being here for the birth of Jade, typical” she rubs her belly “and then I was like how it worked well for Harry waiting for dad all these years. I surely knew better” and she continues ranting about her father when Louis suddenly yelps “I know where she is”
Louis rushes out of the kitchen, with Harry running after him. He whispers to himself Oh please be there. It only makes sense that she’d be there. He took her there both times he babysit her and he is positive her father did too. He just prays that she didn’t lose her way during.
When Louis stops, Harry finds them standing in front of the familiar station “Lou?”
Louis looks at him with a lot of hope resident in his eyes and says “ I think she is waiting for her mother, right where you waited for your dad”.
The two swallow, look at each other’s eyes for strength and they go inside. She needs to be here.
Time seemed to have stopped in the train station. It’s more like time rewinded itself. There in the corner of the station doesn’t sit a little boy with a football on Harry’s seat. There sits a head full of curls that resembles him, staring at the arrival’s entrance.
It hits Louis how much he cares for Darcy, when he is standing there in a desperate need to hold her. Watching her father burst into tears holding his daughter that they found sitting in the corner of the station where the two once sat.
When Louis finally has his arms wrapped around her, he finds peace. He finds peace he lost 6 years ago. The night before and this morning were too exhausting, too long, but having this little girl in his arms makes it so worth it.
She smells of strawberry shampoo and the feel of her curls against his cheeks is just like her father’s. It just doesn’t sense to him that holding her in his arms, feels like he is desperately holding on to life.
When the three are calm enough, Harry suddenly yells “Darcy!!!”
“What did I say about going anywhere without telling daddy?” Louis can see he is struggling with his tone. He knows he doesn’t have it in him to be lecturing her but he does. He is a good father. Louis doesn’t think he has it in him to be like that. Harry grew up well in those past years.
His tone lost it by the end of the sentence “Daddy was so worried. What if daddy couldn’t find you huh? What if you never get to see daddy again?” and then Darcy bursts into tears.
“But aunt Gemma said” Darcy manages between the tears “she said it worked for daddy when he came here”
Louis’s heart breaks watching the exchange between the two.
Harry wipes the tears that are staining her cheeks “Aunt Gemma was being sarcastic baby”
“but she said it worked out for you” she argues louder.
“It did baby.” Louis is startled when Harry stares at him the same way he used to do, before mistakes and regrets. “Dad didn’t come for me. But someone else did”.
Louis stands up, giving the two his back. He really can’t be in this place with Harry. It’s just too much to handle. He can’t hear it either.
“So mommy is not coming for me?” Louis hears the little girl states rather and asks and then she goes quiet.
Harry is quiet and Louis knows that it’s not his place to do so, but Harry has been quiet so he knows he wont say anything. And she will always remember that and Louis can’t take it. If she was some other girl . .Someone’s other girl he wouldn’t, but it’s Darcy so he can’t help it.
He turns to kneel in front of her while his eyes are set on Harry “I came for you. Am I enough?” He looks for an answer in little Darcy’s eyes. He can’t make Harry a promise yet, but he makes Darcy one.
One that he is intending to keep, even if the chips don’t fall into place. Even if being near Harry wrecks him. This is a promise he’ll keep. He will always be here for her.
Darcy stares at him till the tears start building in her eyes again. She wraps her little arms around his neck and bursts into tears. Then Louis decides he has no regrets. He suddenly understands how Harry must have felt years ago in the very beginning. Louis wouldn’t have done it differently.
He picks her up in his arms and the three leaves the station. Some many tears were shed here. Louis just prays that the future ones are of joy.
Louis is the phone with his mother who is calling for the 4th time to make sure that Darcy is alright. He jumps a little when he notices Harry standing behind him, he can’t be blamed, it has been such a long day that kept them all on their nerves.
“Is she sleeping?” Louis asks while rolling his shoulders back for comfort. He sees Harry unconsciously extended his arms to message his shoulders out of habit then realizes it’s not the his place anymore, so he stops.
“She has no idea what she put us through today” Harry makes his way to the kitchen “You know I worry that I won’t be able to keep up when she is a teenager” He fills the pot with water. “I just can’t picture it”
When sees Harry washing two cups, he says “Don’t count me in, I should get going” He can’t be here any longer.
Harry stiffens in place, the conversation before Darcy’s incident replies in his mind. “I’m making you a cup of tea, I’m not asking you to move in” he blasters a silly smile “though it would be good for the rent”
Louis laughs, cheeky as ever, he thinks a little then says “I’d go with homeschooling”
Harry looks at him confused “huh?”
“If you are worried you wont see enough of her I suggest home-schooling”
Harry laughs fullheartedly then shakes his head “Missing her is not the problem. Teenage boys are”
There is a moment of realization in Louis’s eyes and then horror painted all over it “ Oh god. You’ll have to chase boys off of her with a stick”
“Tell me about it. Is it bad that I wish she grows up to be average. She will always be the prettiest in my eyes. Isn’t that enough? If she is average maybe I wont have to worry as much” He hands Louis the tea and sits on the couch next to him.
“She is going to be gorgeous Harry” Louis smiles at the image in his head “She has your genes. She is going to be a heartbreaker”
“God Lou” Harry’s head sinks into his arms.
Louis replies the sentence is his head then regrets his choice of words, today has already been too much “I didn’t mean it that way. I mean that she will be the most popular girl in school, you were too”
“You had your share of fame” Harry argues.
Louis snickers “because of you”
Harry shrugs and says “if it’s any condolence the only one I went to school for is you” it’s not flirty, it’s just a matter of a fact statement.
Louis refuses to meet his eyes “It never made sense to me that you loved me back” Harry looks at him with disbelieve, “Don’t look at me like that. Everybody wanted you, you were gorgeous, friendly and witty.” Louis shakes his head at the memories “You got along with everyone. You could’ve had anyone you wanted”
“Did you ever think I’d be with someone who wanted me just for my curls?” God, why so cheeky.
Louis breathes, “I just thought you just fit better with some Russian model who you attend red carpet events with”
“Never wanted that Lou. All I wanted is to start a family in a small town” he can tell that it takes all Harry’s courage to say, “It’s not to late”
“Don’t Harry” Louis isn’t ready. “Today only proves that Darcy needs a mother”
Harry stands up and sits on the coffee table facing him “She only needs two parents who love each other Lou. Do you really want to put her through another couple of years with a woman I’ll never love? Even if we were able to raise her well, she will sense it.”
“Don’t put this one me” Louis shakes his head
“There is no one in the world that I love more than I love you Lou” Louis’s breath is caught in his throat, Harry’s sincere eyes, those words he longed for all of these nights. It took all his power not to burst into tears.
Louis sets his cup aside and stands up awkwardly “Can I see her before I go?” then he thinks of how odd it sounds “Forget about it. I don’t . .” he fiddles with his jacket buttons on his way out.
“Let’s go” Harry tells him “I understand. I too want to go and make sure she is up there safe in her bed”
Louis lets himself be dragged upstairs, because he really wants to see her. He wants to make sure she is up there safe or else he wont sleep the night.
She sleeps with all her limps pointed in different direction. Louis has to keep a chuckle in. He covers her up and kisses her forehead. When did he fall in love with this little girl? Apparently his heart reacts to the Styles genes.
He stops smoothing her curls when he hears “You can stay over? You know”
Louis looks at Harry questioningly “Did I give you a reason not to trust me last night?” He lowers his head He didn’t. If anything he give him reasons to trust him more then ever. Not taking advantage of him while he was a wreck.
“I need to shave” Louis feels his now very visible beard.
“I’ve got a new razor”, Harry offers.
“I need a shower” Louis tries to keep a straight face
“I’m quite positive we’ve got one of those” Harry looks at him with an eyebrow raised
“I need a clean set of clothes” At this point Louis is thinking how far he can push this. What if he asks for a trip to Paris or a night in Italy? For Harry to tattoo Louis’s name on his forehead. He giggles to himself
“I can lend you a shirt but I doubt I have any pants that will go up your thighs” How dare he! “Or your bum for that that matters” the matter of fact face harry is supporting makes it even worse
“Are you calling me fat?” Louis gapes at him
“My thoughts about both never changed” Harry smiles naughtily than laughs.
Louis shakes his heads and smiles “Can we sleep here?”
“That was the plan” Harry shrugs smiling
Louis looks down at Darcy one more time. “That’s a good plan”
When Louis wakes up in the morning, he is not in his flat. He is in a pink room sleeping on a mattress on the ground and is covered with an elephant patterned blanket. His back hurts and his feet are freezing but he doesn’t mind it. He gets up and finds his way to the bathroom. He thinks he looks younger than he has in the past couple of years. He feels all heavy and light in the same time.
When he is out of bathroom, he finds his clothes folded up on Darcy’s bed. He puts them on and finds his way to the kitchen.
There is the smell of pancakes and the sound of cartoons coming out of it. He coughs to announce his presence when he sees Harry’s back failing to catching flying pancakes and Darcy sitting on the dinner table watching cartoons on her yellow DVD player.
Darcy jumps off of her chair first and flanges herself in his arms “We are having pancakes. Daddy never made pancakes before” he sees her father’s cheeky smile in her “he is bad. Couldn’t catch even one”
“Well, you weren’t doing a good job cheering daddy were you?” Harry point the wooden spoon at his daughter. “Good morning” he smiles warmly at Louis. Louis doesn’t know if he can make it though the pancakes and the giggles.
Once Darcy is put down she pulls the chair next to hers for Louis to sit and Louis has to remind himself to stop falling.
“Thank you for washing my clothes” Louis says in the middle of the meal, savoring the taste of the familiar cinnamon flavored pancakes
“Least I can do” harry nods and helps Darcy cut her pancakes to smaller pieces.
“I should get going” Louis puts his dish in the sink.
“But It’s a Saturday today” Darcy argues
“I should get going love” He comes back to the table to ruffle her hair
“Are you coming for a sleepover again? We can watch Peter Pan. It was fair I wasn’t up for this one. I never had a sleep over before” Louis decides that showering with her kisses might not be his place so settles for kissing her forehead “another day baby”
“But” She tries again
“Darcy enough. When Mr.Tommo is ready he will come” There is a knowing gaze in Harry’s eyes that Louis really hates.
When the two walk him to the door, Harry speaks.
“Listen the two of us are going to the festival next week. So if you are going, come and say hello?”
Louis shrugs and reminds himself of all the emotions he should be sorting out.
Louis stands still when he finds Stan who seems to have been waiting for long sitting with his back leaning on Louis’s door.
“Hey” Louis breathes out.
“Hey” Stan stands and straightens himself up “I heard about the girl. Glad you found her”
“Yeah. She didn’t go far, but still gave me a bit of a fright” Louis tries to sound like the past two days weren’t life-changing for him.
“a bit?” Stan smiles bitterly. Apparently he doesn’t sound so convincing.
When Louis passes by him and tries to open the door for the two, Stan stops him.
“I need you to say it” Stan seems as much of wreck as he was the day before.
“What?” Louis sort of knows but still asks.
“I need you to tell me you don’t love me Louis. If you don’t, I’ll keep trying. I won’t be able to move on” Stan says desperately.
“But I do” because he does just not
“Please Louis” he begs him
“I do love you” Louis yells. It’s not this simple
“Just not the way you love him” Stand states meeting Louis’s eyes. Not angry, he did sign up for it afterall.
“Stan” he shouts
“I knew. I knew you went to your father’s grave every year alone and lied about it. But I tried anyways because I hoped that you would want to take me there one year” Stan says no bitterness detected “The day before yesterday. You went with him”
“I didn’t. He followed” Louis argues.
“See? All you heard is the part regarding him. You didn’t hear the part regading me” Stan smiles bitterly at him.
“Stan” Louis can’t meet his eyes.
“Please say it.” He begs
“I’m not good for you” Louis tries, because he knows that he’ll never be completely Stan’s
“I don’t love you” Stan pushes
“Stan” Louis looks up to meet his eyes
“Say I don’t love you like I love Harry Styles”
“I don’t love you like I love Harry Styles” It comes louder than he ever intended. Maybe it is that simple after all.
[A/N] I’m so sorry that yes this isn’t the last chapter, but trust me it’s for the best. I did finish it up but wasn’t happy with the end so I’m rewriting and ending it at chapter 5 possibly in two days. Comments are Lovely