Louis gets sick, and Harry helps him see the beauty that he has, even though Louis refuses to.
The first time Louis went to see the doctor, he thought it was no big deal. Sure, he tripped down the stairs a few months back and the bruise was still there, but why Harry had insisted he go to the doctor to check it out was beyond him.
“It’s nothing.” Lou repeatedly said, much to the dismay of Harry, who just ran a hand through his thick shag of curls.
“I just want to make sure you’re okay, Lou.” Louis kissed his boyfriend then, because Harry was so cute when he was concerned.
The doctor walked in then, and Louis could feel the once light hearted atmosphere in the room change when he saw the doctor’s face.
He smiled sadly at them and shook his head, and Louis felt his once perfect world was now crashing down on him.
It was a few minutes later when everything was revealed, and Harry’s hand went and gripped Louis’ knee—if not to comfort him, then to hold himself up at the words the doctor said.
Cancer. And not the good kind.
It was silent for what seemed like hours, as the couple let the news sink in.
It would be hard. He could get treatment for it. There was always treatment out there. He could fight it. He could get better. He needed to get better.
If not for his own sake, then for Harry’s. He couldn’t die and leave Harry. He loved Harry, and Harry loved him. Louis couldn’t bear the thought of being without Harry, and he liked to think Harry felt the same about him. Everything for them was going so well, and now something was going to tear them apart.
No. Louis wouldn’t let that happen. He would make sure he would use everything in him to fight this off.
A killer. It could possibly kill him.
The look on the doctor’s face didn’t ease his mind off of that thought, either.
Louis heard Harry choke back a sob beside him, and he took the hand that was on his knee in his own hand and squeezed it, trying hard to fight back his own tears.
For the first time, Louis was scared.
The next doctor’s visit was a consultation, in which Louis insisted that Harry did not go with him.
The news, Louis concluded, was harder on the 18 year old than it was on himself. Louis saw the drastic change in his boyfriend’s behavior once they had gotten home from the doctor’s office that fateful afternoon.
He was suddenly so very careful with Louis—as if one hard touch would break him. It was unbearable to watch Harry suddenly be so cautious around him when they were before so carefree. Louis hated it—he just wanted everything to go back to normal, to the days where Harry would touch him without a care in the world. And without the look of sadness and sympathy.
God, he hated that the most.
So it was a major relief to Louis when the doctor came back from the lab with good news.
They caught the cancer in time.
With the therapy they were going to try, there was a good chance it wouldn’t come back again.
Chemotherapy, he had called it.
With Harry in mind, and his face when he told him the news, Louis signed anything and everything to ensure that he would get this treatment, at top priority.
He signed the papers as the doctor’s explained the symptoms and the risk, but Louis wasn’t listening. All he thought about were the good things that could come of this.
He could live.
He would be able to live his life with Harry, without any type of interruption. Or an illness that could potentially take his life.
He would live, he just knew it.
Louis was still scared, because he wasn’t stupid—not everything worked for the best.
But he had hope.
The couple was home now; a few weeks after Louis had began his chemotherapy. Louis now regretted not listening to the doctor when he had explained the symptoms, for he would have been prepared for the weakness, tiredness, and excessive puking.
“It’s okay, Louis.” Harry soothed as Louis threw up in the toilet for the third time that day. Harry rubbed small circles on his back, which eased Louis’ pain a little bit.
“It’s not okay. I hate this.”
“I know,” Harry cooed.
“I hate that I’m doing this to you.”
At this Harry stopped his motions and cradled the back of Louis’ head, letting his fingers play with his thinning hair,
“You’re not doing anything to me. This is life, and shit happens,” Harry began, “And I’m in this with you for life. Nothing you can do—no illness you contract—will change that fact for me.”
Louis sighed and shook his head, taking a moment to look up at his boyfriend lovingly, “When did you become so perfect?”
Harry laughed and kissed the top of his head, “You’re just realizing this now?”
Louis chuckled, enjoying the banter, “What have I been thinking all of this time?”
“You’re out of your mind.” Harry said with a smile and Louis laughed.
They were silent for a few moments, and Harry continued rubbing his back,
“I love you, you know.” Louis said softly.
“And if something happens to me—“
Harry shook his head and pressed his lips to the back of Louis’ head again, his fingers still fiddling with his hair strands,
“Shh, Louis, please.”
“No, if something happens to me,” Louis began, his voice trembling, “Just know I’ll be waiting for you…up there…wherever I am.” He didn’t know why he suddenly felt the need to speak this declaration, but he guessed those sort of things happen when one was on the brink of death.
Harry was silent for a few minutes before he whispered, “I’ll make sure to find you, wherever you are.” He pressed a tender kiss to the back of his head again, and then proceeded to place butterfly kisses on Louis’ cheek, then down to his neck, and down his back.
Louis closed his eyes and sighed at the contact, and it was a few more minutes before Harry moved his chin and kissed him on the lips. When they broke apart, they smiled and giggled at each other before kissing again.
They were so caught up in each other—in their love for each other—that both failed to realize as Harry’s hand untangled itself in Louis’ hair and reached to cup his face, a few chunks of light brown hair pulled themselves from Louis’ scalp and fell onto the white porcelain floor.
It was a bright, early morning when Louis first noticed his hair was falling out.
He was glad Harry was still asleep beside him when he woke up, because he wasn’t sure if he wanted to see how Harry would handle his frantic state.
He sat up in their bed and looked at the pillow that was behind him, horrified at the sight of his hair sitting on it, almost staring at him—mocking him.
He quickly removed the sheets that were tangled around his body and made his way towards the bathroom, flicking on the light in one swift movement. He clutched the sides of the sink, looking up at the mirror and staring at his reflection.
When did I get so old looking?
Louis let his fingers trace the dark, deep crevices that hung under his eyes, over the slightly drooping skin that fell onto his now prominent cheekbones. He then, after moments of contemplation, he let his hands wander to his scalp.
He pressed his fingers into the skin. Well, it didn’t feel any different than it normally did. Maybe a bit more tender, but nothing completely different.
He smiled to himself a bit as he pulled his hands out, but frowned when he felt strands of hair tangle themselves with his fingers, and easily lift from his scalp.
He shuddered and shook his hands out into the sink, watching as the strands of hair fall into the porcelain basin.
He looked at himself in the mirror. He no longer saw the twenty year old man he once was—now all he saw was someone who was fragile and weak.
Someone who was losing his hair.
Who in their right mind would want someone who was balding?
It was a stupid thing to think about, Louis knew, but he couldn’t help it.
His mind drifted off to Harry, who was sleeping peacefully in their bed. What would he think of this? Would he still love him, even if he didn’t look like he once did?
Subconsciously, Louis knew that no matter what, Harry would always love him, no matter what he looked like.
But right now, in the moment, Louis couldn’t find any reason for Harry to stay with him. He was sick, he was dying, and he was too weak to do anything anymore.
And now his appearance was changing. He was going bald.
Louis felt tears well up in his eyes as he kept gripping at his hair, gasping every time he saw hair fall out of his scalp.
He did this for a while longer, until he could see patches of his scalp in the mirror.
It was also then that he saw Harry through the mirror standing at the doorway. The two just stared at each other for a few moments. Louis, his cheeks streaming with tears and his lip quivering, nodded at Harry.
Harry raised his hand in an attempt to wave, but kept a solemn look on his face. Louis caught his gaze and shook his head,
“Don’t look at me.” He whispered.
Harry frowned at his boyfriend, and made his way closer to him, eyeing him warily with every step he took.
“Please, Harry…” Louis pleaded, his voice full and tearful.
When Harry reached Louis, he stood behind him and inspected the back of his head. Louis closed his eyes as he felt Harry’s fingers play with his hair. When he felt them retreat, he looked into the mirror and saw Harry staring at him, holding the few strands of fallen hair in his hands.
Louis couldn’t meet Harry’s confused eyes, so instead fixed his orbs on the water faucet, not paying attention to the opening and closing of the sink drawer. He heard Harry plug something into a nearby outlet, and then a loud buzzing sound.
Louis’ head shot up at the sound and saw Harry through the mirror, holding up said clippers.
Louis followed Harry’s movements, “Where did you—?”
“The doctor knew this would happen. He suggested I get them.” Harry answered automatically.
“Are you okay?”
Louis shook his head and Harry kissed the side of his neck, mumbling against the skin, “It will be.”
He pulled back and put the clippers in his other hand. He lifted the clippers up to Louis’ head when Louis spoke,
“I’m scared, Harry.”
Harry swallowed thickly and turned off the clippers, trying to control his own voice from not breaking—for the sight of Louis so distraught was certainly tearing his part into two, “Just think of it as a haircut, love. A very drastic haircut. A new start, huh?” Harry tried to smile for his boyfriend and continued, “You won’t have to use that shitty crème for your hair anymore. Think of the benefits, babe.”
Louis stared at Harry’s hopeful face through the mirror, his own eyes beginning to well up at the sight of him.
He took a deep breath and nodded, and Harry took that as a sign to turn on the clippers again.
So he did.
He lifted the clippers up to Louis’ head and looked at him through the mirror, “Are you ready?”
Louis nodded, and Harry began to cut his hair.
It only took a few minutes for all of it to be gone, but with every strand of hair that fell onto the floor, Louis’ eyes widened in self pain. He stared at himself through the mirror the entire time, watching as he went through this transformation.
When it was all said and done, Louis couldn’t help but stare at himself in the mirror—he didn’t even recognize the person he was looking at.
He was looking at a bald version of himself, when push came to shove, but the new look he had was something he wasn’t sure he would ever get used to.
His face looked bigger, almost. Every feature about him was now more prominent. His ears could be seen, and they looked like weirdly shaped…things on the side of his face.
It was all very weird and surreal to Louis. But he couldn’t stop staring at himself.
He felt Harry’s lips press firmly into the side of his now bald head and he wrapped his arm around Louis’ shoulders,
“Wow.” He breathed, a small smile growing on his lips.
Louis frowned, “Why are you smiling? I look sickly.”
“You are sick, Louis,” Harry pointed out, “But that doesn’t mean you still aren’t beautiful.”
“I don’t have any hair, Harry.” Louis said distraughtly.
“Don’t let it define you.”
“Well, what would you do, if you were me?”
Harry shrugged, “I’d be more of a mess than you are. But I like to think I would be okay with it.”
“You have the type of hair people drool over, Harry.” Louis said, reaching out to let his fingers play lazily with his luscious curls, “How would you be okay with it?”
“I know.” Harry leaned into his touch, “But hair is hair. It grows back.”
Louis nodded and Harry stood behind him to wrap his arms around his torso, letting his head rest on Louis’ shoulder.
“If it makes you feel any better, I now have the sudden urge to rip your clothes off and do unholy things to you in our bed.” He whispered seductively.
Louis smirked for the first time that morning and raised an eyebrow, “Oh, really?”
Harry laughed, “Yes, really. Your beauty never ceases to amaze me.” He looked to the floor and let his hands rest on Louis’ sides, “Go back to bed, I’ll clean up the floor. I’ll meet you there.”
Louis did as he was told, and smartly avoided looking at the floor. He jumped into bed again and waited for Harry to come back.
And it was that morning, in which Harry and he passionately made love, and Louis had to admit, during this time, he didn’t think twice about not having any hair on his head.
It was months later that the good news finally came—Louis’ cancer was out of his system, for good.
The word relapse was one that Harry and Louis worried about—but they both mentally agreed that they would cross that bridge when they would get to it.
Liam suggested they all go out for a boy’s night out in celebration of Louis’ recovery. They had all agreed, especially Louis, who was glad he didn’t feel tired and weak anymore.
Once he was home, however, and the news and the prospect of going out into the public eye again settled in, a flash of fear struck through him.
He pulled down the beanie he had begun to wear when he had to leave the house over his ears self consciously, and he crossed his arms.
“What’s the matter?” Harry asked in a concerned voice, looking up from his book he was reading on the couch.
Louis frowned, “I can’t go out with…with this!” He said, pointing to the beanie, “It’s so stupid looking.”
Harry shrugged, “So take it off when we go out tonight.” He suggested simply.
Louis scoffed and rolled his eyes, “Yeah, no thanks.”
Harry stood up from the couch and made his way over to him, “Lou…” He began, but Louis moved away from him, making his way up the stairs towards their bedroom,
“No, Harry. I’ll…I’ll just borrow one of Zayn’s caps, or something. I need to figure out something to wear…”
“Louis!” Harry called from the bottom of the staircase.
“Harry, I can’t be seen with a beanie, or being bald, when my appearance matters so much to everyone—even myself. The rest of you lads of great hair, and I don’t have any—“
“It will grow back, Louis.”
“But when, Harry? It’s been months, and I’ve hardly seen anything!”
“It takes longer for some than for others—“
“Your hair takes two days to grow!” Louis exclaimed, sighing sadly however as he glanced at Harry, “Geez, why can’t I have your hair?”
A pang of hurt swept through Harry, but he just rolled his eyes, “Now you just sound ridiculous.”
“I’m being serious.” Louis said.
“So am I.”
Louis frowned at his boyfriend and crossed his arms, “Okay…then what do you suggest I do?”
Harry’s eyes lit up and he grinned as he reached for his pocket, to make sure his car keys were still in there,
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing,” He said with a small grin, “You just pick out what you’re going to wear, I’ll be back in a little while—“
“Where are you going?” Louis asked.
“You’ll see. I’ll be back!”
Louis sighed when he heard the front door close, and he retreated back to his bedroom and began to rummage through his closet, in hopes of finding something to wear.
Two hours later found Louis sitting on his couch, wringing his hands and pulling the beanie he had been wearing over his ears in an attempt to hide his baldness.
By now, Liam, Zayn and Niall had all arrived, looking as dashing as ever. Zayn sat next to Louis and he patted him on the shoulder,
“Yeah.” He muttered, pulling down his beanie even more.
“Are your ears cold?” Niall asked, pointing to the beanie that he kept tugging at.
Louis shrugged and nodded, and another awkward silence fell between the boys, but thankfully, the door opened which caused all of the boys to jump, and Harry walked in, holding a bag behind his back.
The other three boys said their greetings and Harry grinned at Louis, and it was then that Louis noticed Harry was wearing a beanie identical to Louis’.
“Haz…” He began, standing up and making his way over to his boyfriend.
“Yes?” Harry returned, his smile now wider than ever.
Niall, Zayn and Liam, all knowingly smiled at each other behind Louis’ back and stood up from their seats, watching the exchange between the couple.
Louis looked at Harry…yes, something was different about him. But what?
Louis cocked his head to the side and he pointed to Harry’s beanie, “Nice beanie.” He commented.
Harry nodded, “Thank you.”
“Take it off.” Louis said, giving him a look.
“Not unless you take yours off.” Harry retorted, teasingly.
Louis was taken aback by his comment and gave him a confused look, but Harry held up his hand,
“How about…we both take it off at the same time, yeah?”
Louis smiled and nodded, and Harry counted off,
“…three.” Louis finished, and true to his word, he took off his beanie, and Harry did the same.
Louis eyes began to water as he looked at the sight before him.
He was staring at Harry Styles…with a shaved head.
And he had never looked more beautiful.
Louis continued to stare at his boyfriend as he wiped a tear away from his eye. He let his hand trace the smooth skin that once had a full set of hair and smiled at Harry,
“Harry…you…you didn’t have to—“
“I know.” Harry said, “But I wanted to. Now you…now you don’t have to go through it alone. You don’t have to be afraid.”
Louis shook his head and wiped his nose, sniffling a bit, “I’m not anymore. Not when I’m with you.”
He leaned forward and grabbed the back of Harry’s bald head, feeling the skin against his finger tips as he kissed Harry full on the mouth.
“I love you,” He muttered against his lips.
“And I love you. You’re beautiful.” Harry returned.
And now, Louis absolutely believed him.
Louis leaned around Harry and pointed to the bag, “What’s in the bag?” He asked.
Harry grinned and held the bag out to him, “It’s my hair. I sort of thought maybe you’d want to throw it out with me.”
Louis laughed and grabbed the bag and the two beanies, and walked over to the trash bin. He and the rest of the boys watched as he dumped all of the contents in his hands into the trash.
The boys whooped, cheered, and hugged each other—just because they were all so happy and pleased that everyone was alive and well.
It would be many more months before Louis’ hair grew back to its normal length, and he knew that, but for now, with Harry by his side, he had every reason to believe he was going to be alright.