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Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at http://archiveofourown.org/works/889967.

Rating: Archive Warning: Category: Fandom: Relationship: Character: Additional Tags: Stats: General Audiences Choose Not To Use Archive Warnings, No Archive Warnings Apply M/M One Direction (Band) marcel/louis tomlinson Marcel the Marketing Guy, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne prom au, marcel - Freeform Published: 2013-07-19 Words: 3829

Accidental Magic
by afailureofheart Summary

Marcel is really excited about prom, but he's more excited about the prospect of seeing Louis Tomlinson. Hair wax, pushy mums, and Liam Payne cause some bumps along the road.


So I wrote a Marcel prom au! It was based off a prompt I saw going around, courtesy of sleepycurls. Thank you so much to Shay, Roxy and Cassi for reading for me because I can't edit for my life. I really hope you like it and I guess I just want to say that Marcel isn't Harry so I didn't write him like Harry. Also there's a little unrequited love happening here that you may or may not catch onto ;) Enjoy! Disclaimer: All mistakes are my own and none of this is real, but god if it was. Also I'm american so this is an atrocious blend of generic british english and american terms.

Marcel had thought about not going to prom. It wasnt really his thing. His things usually included more robots and AP physics and less cute girls with updos. That being said, he still decided he should go. It was his senior year and it felt more symbolic in a way. Prom is just that iconic high school event, the one that so many movies are made about. Its supposed to be that magic moment when being a teenager doesnt suck so much and you get to play grownup, just without all the responsibility. Its supposed to be where all of your fairytale dreams come true, and if Marcels honest, hes got quite a few of them, and most of which revolve around Louis Tomlinson.

Louis Tomlinson has been the center of Marcels world for longer than hed like to admit. Hes the whole reason Marcel worked on stage crew during school plays for three years. As much as Marcel loves Eleanor Calder and her lovely singing voice, hed much rather spend his time in robotics club programming Nelson to learn how to fold laundry than listen to her busting her lungs like she thinks shes the next Idina Menzel. Not to mention she had that absolutely endearing quality of talking to Marcel like he was in first grade. Youd think being the biggest nerd in school meant that people thought you were smart, but these seem to be the kind of details Eleanor forgets when shes screaming about prop placement and blocking. You know who never screams at Marcel? You know who never even so much as looks at him? That would be Louis. Louis not one of those drama kids who thinks New York is calling their name and youre just muffling the sound, that would be Eleanor. No, Louis is big voiced and theatrical on stage but off stage he seems a little more like Marcel. It amazes him sometimes how he can see Louis hit the type of high note that Madonna would be proud of and then when hes done hell just quietly smile and wait for further instructions. Those blue eyes squinting just a touch with pride. You see thats the other thing. Besides being humble and talented beyond belief, Louis is also beautiful. Hes got these little teeth that poke out when he smiles, razor sharp like a little sprite. And his nose, oh god, his nose. Its like a little raindrop permanently perched in the middle of his face like its about to slide off. And his hair. Oh jesus, dont even try to get Marcel started on his hair. Its like a little bird decided to make a nest out of golden brown threads- all messy and soft looking. Marcel would give his regional spelling bee trophy just to be able to run his fingers through Louis hair once. Thats never going to happen though, and this is the last thing Marcel wants to think about while hes gets ready to go. This is the big night, his tux has been hanging in his closet for the past two weeks. Hed gotten a dark green pocket square because he thought it might make his eyes pop. Hed decided not to wear his glasses for one night; he was blind as a bat without them, but he figured it was only one night and he wanted to look really good. It definitely has nothing to do with hoping to see Louis there though, nope, absolutely not. Marcel pulled on his black slacks, trying his best not to wrinkle them. He was still only wearing a thin white t-shirt, waiting to put on his full tux right before he left so that it wouldnt get messed up. He walked into the bathroom, and stood on the edge of the tub to get a better look at himself in the raised mirror. He looked the same as he did yesterday. His hair was still wet from the shower dripping a little onto his t-shirt. It was longer than he normally wore it making it harder to style back every morning but he hasnt had time to cut it yet. He really did need to cut it. He still had the same lanky pale body, legs a good few inches longer than theyre supposed to be and arms hanging down awkwardly. This was one of those times he wished he spent more time in the gym and less in the computer lab, but Marcel was horrible at sports, who was he kidding? He had too much body and not enough control. His mom said hed be less clumsy after he finished his growth spurt, but that had been two years ago. He was starting to feel like he was stuck like this. Hopping off the ledge of the bathtub, he came up to the mirror to inspect his face. He was decent looking he supposed. Once you got past the massive glasses, with tape in the middle no less, its like he was trying to run for most stereotypical nerd of the year. He had a nice face- his nose was nice and straight, not too big. He had big eyes, even though with his glasses on he looked more bug eyed than anything. They were a good clear green too. Not many people have green eyes. He had nice eyelashes too, he wasnt sure if those mattered on boys but girls spend all day poking and prodding them with black goo and weird metal instruments (hed seen Gemma do her makeup before) so they must be important. He had a big smile. His teeth were nice and square and his lips a dark red color, even though a lot of the times he thought he looked like a kid who just found out they were getting ice cream on the way home when he smiled. All in all Marcel wasnt too bad looking. Flipping his hair away from his face, (he really should have gotten it cut last week), he opened the

mirror to find the hair wax. However, after scouring the shelves he came up empty handed. There was lots of hair remover and toothpaste, but no hair wax. Marcel stormed down the stairs into the kitchen. This could not be happening, no, not right now. It was prom night for christs sake! Mum, did you move my hair wax? Marcel barked out as he skidded into the kitchen, socks sliding on the white tiles. He was a little out of breath from running down the stairs, he should really exercise more. Sweetheart, I told you I was going to throw it out. It was mostly empty, his mom replies turning back to the stove. You did what!? I needed that! How else am I going to do my hair? Its prom night! Honestly honey, I dont know why you dont just wear it natural. Your curls are so sweet. Marcel should have seen this coming. His mother had been on a vendetta to get him off the wax since hed started using it. She didnt understand though. His curls might be sweet, but they werent manly. They werent the kind of thing that was going to get Louis attention. They werent the kind of thing people saw and thought, Wow look at that guy. Theyre the kind of thing people saw and thought, How cute! Marcel didnt want to be cute. He wanted to be sexy, hence the hair wax, but now what was he supposed to do!? He was an hour away from the biggest night of his life and he could already feel his hair curling up. He was doomed. Why dont you sit down and eat some dinner Marcel. Karen will be here any moment with Liam! Oh god, Marcel had nearly forgotten, the rain on his parade that was Liam Payne. (Maybe he had been spending too much time around the theatre kids.) Now Marcel may not be the most popular kid in school, thats probably pretty obvious by now, but he was no Liam Payne. Liams been the running joke since nursery school. He didnt cry like Marcel did when the kids picked on him. He did much worse. You see because crying gets old after a while. Kids get sick of watching your snot bubble up and the same old red faced routine. Anger on the other hand, well that comes with a whole new set of knobs and buttons. Liam used to get furious when the kids teased him. Hed ball up his fists and scrunch up his face and do this weird growling sound that kids just couldnt seem to get enough of. He doesnt do that anymore, obviously. He channels his anger issues through rugby now instead of into growling at Nick Grimshaw when he knocked down the blocks, but he never really lost his reputation for being weird. Now hes just more the big head phones, dont look at me kind of weird. Harry and Liam are friendly, in the kind of way that weird kids are always friendly with each other. That odd sort of camaraderie that comes from knowing you both dont fit, but it doesnt make them friends. Meaning if Harry had the choice he would not be spending the most important night of his life by Liam Paynes side, but his mother, like usual, was the cause for this atrocity. Much like with the hair wax, she meant well, but she had no idea what she was doing. Karen Payne and Anne were in the same book club- that was the issue. Apparently spending half an hour a week reading weird quasi memoirs about struggling paper boys in the slums of Mumbai makes you automatically best friends. Anne had been bugging him for months to hang out with Liam and hed always managed to avoid it somehow. He didnt even want to know how many times Advanced Physics had gotten him out of spending quality time with Liam. Not with prom though. Once his mom got wind of him going stag hed been paired up with Liam faster than you could say linear function.

Marcel heaved a sigh and stomped out of the kitchen without replying. How could he eat at a time like this? He had been doomed to spend the single most important night of his life with curly hair and the resident school time bomb. He trudged back into the bathroom to inspect his hair situation. There wasnt much he could do about the hair wax. He only had about 45 minutes until the dance now and his hair was already curling out of control. Ringlets were sprouting up one by one out of the half dry mop. He took off his glasses and squinted hard at his reflection. At least he was still in control of that, he could always take off his glasses, even if everything else was quickly turning to shit. But he couldnt really see. He wasnt much more than a blurry blob in the mirror now, his hair just a brown mass on top of his indistinguishable face. Well at least now he didnt have too look at his stupid curls anymore, that was a plus. He leaned down against the edge of the counter letting the cold porcelain calm his shaking nerves. Everythings going to be alright, he told himself. Nothing can ruin this, not your mum, not your hair, not even Liam Payne. Tonights the night of your life and nothing can stop you. After putting his glasses back on so he could actually see and trying his best to tame the beast steadily growing on his head with only water, he donned his tux. Taking the care to smooth his pocket square into place. With tie his bow tie just right, Marcel finally felt like maybe things might just turn out okay. He heard the doorbell and the front door open sooner than he expects. His mom and Karen were chatting right away and Marcel knew it was only a matter of time before she called him downstairs. He jumped into the bathroom for one the last time to make sure everything was in order and to pat his hair in vain before he taking off his glasses, the whole world getting a little blurrier. He has a little bit of trouble getting down the stairs at first but he makes it into the living room with no bodily injuries so he considers it a success. Liam sees him first. Hi Marcel. He sounds a little bit surprised, and Marcels not really sure why. Because reading expressions isnt very easy when youre half blind, but hes just hoping his underwear isnt sticking out or something, not that he can really check. He sees his mom and Karen turn to look at him standing in the doorway. Oh my Marcel, you clean up quite nicely, Karen gasps. Marcel tugs at his collar- he feels like hes under a microscope. Honey where are your glasses? You must not be able to see anything, his mother chides. Im fine, he rushes out, not really wanting to broach that subject. We should probably get going though. The dance is going to start soon. Yeah hes right, Liam says standing up quickly. He seems a lot bigger than Marcel remembered. After a lot of bustling and cooing and a few awkward pictures they finally made it out. Granted they were going to be late but fashionably late is still a thing right? It was a little awkward in the car with just Liam and Marcel. Karen had been nice enough to let them take her car as long as they promised to bring it back in one piece.

They were silent for a good part of the drive until Liam said, You look really good Marcel. Marcel smiled. Maybe hed been too harsh on Liam. He was a really nice guy, just a little misunderstood, not that unlike himself. Thanks, you look great too. Or I at least assume you do. I really cant see much without my glasses. He chuckled. It was easy being honest with Liam. It didnt feel like he was judging Marcel. Yeah, why arent you wearing them anyway? I dont think Ive ever seen you without them, not even when they broke in half last year when you fell off the rope in gym. Marcel blushed, that hadnt been one of his finer moments, but he was surprised Liam knew about it. He wasnt exactly hot gossip at school and he and Liam didnt really run in the same circles, well Liam didnt really run in any circle truth be told. Had Liam Payne been keeping tabs on him? I just thought Id change it up. You know, try something different. Well I think youre great just the way you are. Liam replied, and there was something just a touch too honest in the way he said it. They were nearing the school now, just passing the house with the fake deer in front of it. It wouldnt be long now, but Marcel kind of wished they had more time in the car just the two of them. There was more to Liam Payne than met the eye, and Marcel found himself wondering how interested he was in finding out what it was, but before he had time to think it through, they were already parking in the school parking lot and Liam was there holding the door open for Marcel. He could feel the bass in the air the second he got out of the car. (For christs sake this was a high school prom not an Avicii concert. What was the world coming too.) As they got nearer though, Marcel could see the entrance to the gym had been transformed. He could make out vines crawling around the entrance and twinkling lights lining the walkway. There was a big banner hanging above the door. Your kingdom awaits, Liam read as they approached the two girls dressed as Belle and Cinderella who were collecting tickets at the door. A little clich dont you think? he scoffed. I think its perfect, Marcel breathed. Maybe its been done a million times before, and maybe over 300 kids were already packed into the gymnasium doing something that probably doesnt pass as dancing, already drunk on cheap liquor from pre parties, but right now, right here, this was his. This was his little piece of magic, and hed be damned if he let Liam Payne ruin it. Even if he was actually incredibly sweet and not what Marcel expected. They gave their tickets to the girls at the door and went inside. It was almost completely dark. Theyd accidentally walked into the middle of the dance floor. Why the entrance led into the dance floor was a mystery, but Marcel wasnt that surprised. He didnt put much faith into the girls volleyball team organizing a dance. There was some song blaring through the speakers, probably a remix of something Britney or Rihanna, the bass even heavier trapped in the echoing gymnasium. It was like each time you took a breath it reverberated in your chest. Marcel stood there for a second taking in everything around him. The dark blurry bodies rubbing against him, but more rubbing on each other. It was a few seconds before he realized he was alone, well not exactly alone because he was fairly certain the two people next to him were actually very together right now, but he didnt know where Liam went. After struggling his way off of the dance floor he felt made his way towards what he hoped were the food tables. He hadnt really thought through this whole glasses thing very well. He was having trouble

distinguishing who people were and where he was walking, it was a lot darker than he anticipated. He had just walked into what he thought was a chair when he felt a hand reach out to steady his waist. Woah there friend. Oh god no. Marcel knew that voice. That was the voice that yelled out lines on stage and haunted his dreams. That was the voice that belted out duets with the dreaded Eleanor and told silly jokes at cast parties. That was the voice that belonged to Louis Tomlinson. Marcel cursed himself for being so clumsy and blind, fumbling for a response. Oh sorr-rry Louis. I didnt mean to bump into you. I didnt see you sitting there. No worries. Why dont you sit down? I havent seen you around since Wicked wrapped. Oh you know, Ive been around. No one mourns the stage crew anyway, Marcel chuckled nervously. Oh no. He did not just make a musical joke. Just strike him dead now and spare him the embarrassment. I didnt know you were such a Wicked buff, Louis giggled back. Well you know when you hear Eleanor sing it for the five millionth time its a little hard to forget. Louis giggled again. Marcel thinks hed eat his own eyeballs to make Louis giggle again. If only he could actually see him properly. He thinks itd be worth wearing his dorky glasses if it meant being able to see those blue eyes smiling at him. Why arent you wearing these? I bet you cant see a thing. You always wear your glasses. Louis says, as Marcel feels a hand digging into the front pocket of his tux. Hes not sure what registers first, Louis hand brushing against his face or Louis face finally coming into to focus as a pair of heavy, damaged but horribly familiar frames come to rest on the bridge of Marcels nose. Hes not sure if he should send his mother a thank you note or a restraining order. He knows she must have slipped them into his pocket amidst the hustle and bustle of pre prom activities. Always looking out for him, that one. Well for better or for worse here he was staring into the deep blue eyes of Louis Tomlinson. Hair a curly mess and four eyes still going strong. He felt like he was back at square one, but somehow magically Louis was smiling at him. One of those amazing grins that showed off his little razor teeth and crinkled by his eyes like tissue paper. Marcel smiled back, not sure of what else to do. Louis leaned back in his folding chair, arm thrown across the table and legs splayed like he should be watching tv not attending his high school prom. He was smirking at Marcel. You know everyones looking at your right? Marcel panics a little bit and looks around. Louis right, they are. Theres quite a few pairs of eyes trained on him that he knows but didnt know knew him. He hadnt noticed before in his half blind state, but now it seemed pretty obvious. He quickly looked down at himself, bracing himself for whatever embarrassing thing hed overlooked, but he couldnt seem to find one. Quickly looking up at Louis he whispered, Its the curls isnt it? They must be all huge and bushy by now. Louis burst out laughing. The curls might be part of it, but I dont think Id describe them as bushy. Marcel groaned, This is so embarrassing. I look like Im five. I ran out of hair wax. I cant believe this is happening to me, and now Im making a fool out of myself in front of the single cutest boy in the

whole school. Just take me now lord. Louis laughed again, throwing his head back. Leave it to Louis to laugh at the most humiliating moment of his life, when Marcel had just bared his soul to him, and he still looked like an angel doing it. His life was over. Louis leaned in to Marcel, so close he could see the sparse hairs above his lip that hed forgotten to shave, and the lighter flecks in the bottom of his eyes. You really dont know do you? Louis breathed, face lighting up with amused astonishment. Marcel shook his head, capable of little else this close to the boy of his dreams and every fantasy for the last who knows how long. Theyre looking at you because youre beautiful. Louis grabs Marcel by the shoulders and turns him towards the punch bowl where Liam is standing. Marcel and him lock eyes for a moment before Liam turns away, cheeks reddening, and Marcel knows Louis right. Theyre looking at him for a reason, and its a good one. He turns back to look into Louis smiling eyes, and he knows Louis is also looking at him like that too. He grins back. Maybe fairy tales arent for just princesses. Maybe all you need is a missing bottle of hair wax and a boy with golden hair to make your own magic.

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