A masterpost of all the art I’ve been doing for aimmyarrowshigh’s FanFic May You Enjoy Your New Life
*May contain spoilers for those who aren’t up to date with the story posting*
It begins for them all at the bungalow – after Liam’s gone out to be a hero and run back inside scared again and they discover they’ve lost the key, so they pull all of the mattresses into a pile in the middle of the room. They’re sitting in a half-circle (so no one has to put his back to the door, just in case that cow really is a murderer) and Louis says,
“Alright, time to lay out the cards”
“And to you, Harry,” Niall adds, giving him a flushed, happy smile. “Go maire sibh bhur saol nua.”
Harry tilts his head, eyes smiling.
Niall ruffles his hair and nods to the photo of tiny baby Millie still glowing on Harry’s iPhone. “May you enjoy your new life.”
“Although you did call her a lizard.”
“That would’ve been a good costume for her,” Zayn says.
This time, it’s Harry who gives Zayn a noogie, and they both get yelled at by Adam and Christina for messing up Zayn’s hair and making his red eyeliner smudge all down his cheek right before showtime.
But she’s here. He’s holding her. She’s breathing hot into the dip of his shoulder and her little legs have strong muscles kicking up and down like she’s trying to run and her head smells like his shirts. His baby. His. His Millie.
He keeps a steady hand covering the back of her round, downy head as he scoots back onto his creaky childhood bed and lies back against the pillows so that Millie is rested over his heart. She fists her hands over his skin and Harry can feel her itty-bitty heart beating up against his and her itty-bitty lungs filling and emptying as she breathes; he swallows hard to stop from crying and wonders if she can hear it.
“I’m your dad,” Harry whispers, carrying on from moments ago as though nothing had changed – as though gravity were the same and everything in the world still laid out in the same order. “And I know I haven’t been here with you. And I’m leaving again in the morning. And I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, because that’s shit, but um… if this all works out, then I think I can give you a better life. And then I’m never going to leave you again.
Harry stops short and drops his keys into the bowl with a clatter. He cocks his head.
“Why is my baby in a roasting pan?”
Zayn and Liam exchange an exhausted look. Zayn is topless and there’s something unfortunate and pasty stuck in his hair, while Liam’s shirt is completely soaked to his front. They look like they’ve gone through the ringer, or an exceptionally undignified gay porno.
Harry lifts Millie to bring her upstairs and bathe her, change her into a fresh nappy, and put on a new Christmas dress and knit tights. Millie chirrups happily, singing, “Daddy! Bee! Muppie! Bee! Granannaannajay! Kissmiss! Daddy! Bee! Muppie!” and Harry kisses her face all over to make her giggle and shriek.
Harry gathers up his shoes and trudges out of Liam’s flat. Instead of the elevator, he chooses to walk the flights of stairs to their apartment just to give himself five more minutes to think, five more minutes to weigh pros and cons. He’s got another six days on his deadline, after all.
But Harry can hear Millie’s delighted, shrieking giggles before he even unlocks the door; when when he does and is greeted to the sight of Louis and Millie dancing wildly around the living room – to “Swagger Jagger” of all things – all stompy, shuffling feet and spins and pumping, flailing, silly arms… it hits Harry with a bright punch that makes him lose his breath, in love with his life and his family and so, so in love with Louis. There are no more cons to consider.
He crosses the room in three strides and kisses Louis right in the middle of his grin, half-landing on teeth and awkward, but his fingertips curl into the downy hair just beneath Louis’ ears and he can feel the soaring surge in the other man’s pulse all the same.
Harry looks down at Millie and reaches out to gently re-curl an errant lock of hair that had mussed during the doggy-slobber attack earlier. He smiles down at his daughter.
“Yeah, that’s okay,” he says. He pats his lap. “C’mon up, little bean.”
Millie clambers onto his lap and snuggles down close before daintily rearranging her skirt to cover her knees. The crowd unites in an awww! that makes Millie look up worriedly at Harry, but he just smiles.
“Do you want to say hello to everyone?” he asks gently, giving her a little squeeze.
Millie ponders this for a moment and nods. Harry adjusts the microphone to point down to her mouth.
“Hello, everyone,” Millie announces, and everyone awwws and applauds again. The attendant finally settles Bella back into Millie’s lap and Millie immerses herself in quietly petting the dog again.
The camera flashes are blinding. Harry kisses the side of Millie’s curly head and then gives Liam a smile.
“Good to go?” Liam asks. Harry curls one protective arm around Millie and the puppy and gives Liam a nod. “Then this is One Direction, singing ‘What Makes You Beautiful’!”
“Featuring puppies!” adds Niall.
“Featuring puppies,” amends Liam.
“And the irrepressible Millie Styles!” adds Louis, and the audience cheers. Millie, for once, for the first time in over a year when faced with an audience, looks up and beams.
Harry just lifts their clasped hands to his mouth and kisses Louis’ fingers gently. A thin, plain, black gold band rings the fourth finger of his left hand, and until Louis – until this place, this bungalow, five years before – Harry hadn’t realized how immense that was, the enormity of it. He never told anyone, but he had a cheap, tiny crackerjack wedding ring hidden in the sock drawer of his Holmes Chapel bedroom that he had once, a long time ago now, planned to give Clare when their baby was born. He had thought, back then, that it was just the right thing to do, because since they had made the baby, she belonged to them.
But he knows, now, watching Millie’s eyes light up as Jay serves her an enormous slice of key lime-coconut cake, and everyone applauds her for blowing out all of her candles on the first try, that he was wholly wrong.
Louis looks up at Harry beside him and smiles, his eyes crinkling at the corners. His hairline has receded since he was eighteen. He wears glasses more days than not. But his eyes are just the same, the laugh lines only deepened with time and joy that they’ve shared. And Harry has to kiss him, still clutching tightly to the hand bearing Harry’s ring.
Millie belongs to Louis because they have always wanted each other, and needed each other, and chosen each other – and Harry – over anyone else. Love is that simple sometimes.
Additional drawings/sketches that I didn’t finish:
(puffy cheeks aw)
Hmmmm please, if you’d like to say anything about my art I’d really appreciate if you did! I feel like I’ve been drawing for the past 5 months and no one paid attention to it. If you’ve scrolled all the way down this post, I bet you can say something, whether it’s bad or good, if you enjoyed it… criticism is always good and I need it :) THANK YOU.
PLEASE go leave love for Marta and her amazing art! I love, love, love, LOVE, love how the art for MYEYNL turned out, and she deserves 1,000 compliments!