Louis swallowed nervously. That’s what it felt like? No wonder the other boys didn’t like it. “I am?” Harry, seated next to him, reached over and scratched at his tummy. Louis jumped back, giggling slightly, and covered his stomach.
“Yeah, definitely,” Harry concluded, poking at his now exposed side. Louis jumped back, and covered his sides. Zayn grinned and began copying Harry’s actions, making Louis giggle uncontrollably.
“S-stahahap! Nahahat f-fahahair!”
“How is this ‘not fair’,” Liam asked, squeezing the pressure point above Louis’ knee. “We’re not holding you down, we’re not stopping you from leaving; all we’re going is tickling you. You could escape pretty easily, but you’re too curious to leave.” Louis squirmed under the touches, giggling uncontrollably. “Plus, if you’ve never been tickled before, we don’t know your weak spot, so this is perfectly fair.”
“And you haven’t learned to fear it yet,” Niall added, grabbing Louis’ foot, “so you’d end up asking us to keep going if we stopped.” Not knowing how ticklish Louis was there, he unleashed a full-fledged attack on the lad’s poor left sole. Louis’ eyes widened as he felt the touches on his feet, overpowering every other feeling in his body. He felt like he had been struck by lightning.
“NIAHAHAHAHAHAHAHALL NOHOHOHHOAHAHAHAHAHA PLEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEASE STAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAP!” His leg was jerking wildly as he tried to free his foot. Niall smirked and wormed underneath his tightly clenched toes. Louis shrieked and wrenched free of Niall’s grip, tucking his feet underneath of him. He was almost happy that the other three were tickling him, as long as they steered clear of his feet.
“Keep tickling him there.” Panic welled up inside of Louis. “He’s definitely the worst there.” Why was Harry turning on him?
“N-nahahaha plehehehehease nohoho!” Zayn’s hand made it to his underarm, and Louis jerked away. “Stahahahahahahahap ihihihihihihihihit! Plehehehehehehehehehease!”
“Yeah, he’s pretty bad there too,” Liam said, fingers dancing over Louis’ inner thighs, coaxing high-pitched laughter out of the boy. “Hell, he’s bad everywhere.”
“Shahahahahaht ahahahahahahahap!” The boys grinned.
“Oh, you don’t like taunting, do you?” Louis shook his head; he didn’t know to lie. “You don’t like being ticklish either, do you? Having a weakness that we can use against you all the time, giving in just from a simple touch.” Harry spoke up after Zayn.
“Being so vulnerable and sensitive has it’s downfalls, doesn’t it? Just one touch could send you into a giggling mess, couldn’t it?” Louis jolted back when Harry’s hand snuck under his shirt and into his bellybutton, scratching at it wildly. “Tickle tickle Lou, I know you’ll be ticklish here.” Why did he have to be right?! Louis felt himself getting lightheaded, the tickling overpowering his body. He felt Niall begin scratching at his heels, and, much to his dismay, he could still feel Harry tickling his bellybutton, despite the feeling on his feet.
“STAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAP AHAHAAHAHAHA PLEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEASE!! IHIHIHIH CAHAHAHAHAHAHAHN’T TAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAKE IHIHIHIHIT AHAHAHANIHIHIHIHIHMAHAHAHAHAHAHAHARE!!”
“What’s the matter Lou,” Liam taunted him. “To ticklish?”
“YEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHES!” Tears brimmed his eyes and slid down his unnaturally red cheeks. His stomach hurt from laughing, and it even hurt to breathe. “IHIHIHIHIHIHIT HUHUHUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHARTS!! STAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAP!” Something shifted inside of him, fear taking over his mind. “PLEASE! I’LL DO A-AHAHANYTHING! STAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAP!” Laughter mixed with crying so fluently, the boys couldn’t tell which was which. They slowed to a stop, and Louis curled up into a ball, rocking slowly as the last of his laughter drained from his lips.
“Are you okay?”
“I don’t l-like it,” he murmured, the last of his tears trickling away. “I d-don’t l-like it a-at all.” His shoulders shook with a stifled sob. The boys exchanged nervous looks; having a fear of tickling was normal, but this was more extreme than they had thought was possible. Harry threw an arm around his shoulders, and Louis shrank away from the touch.
“Babe, it’s okay, I promise. We’re not going to tickle you anymore, okay?” Louis nodded, and tentatively leaned against him. Harry wrapped his arms around Louis’ waist and locked them together. “It’s okay.”
“’Sides, now we just have to figure out if Zayn is.” Zayn paled, and Niall and Liam were about to pounce on him when Louis said:
“Leave him alone. At least for tonight. Please.” They were about to protest, but realized it was the only way to make Louis trust them again.
“Okay. Not tonight.” Zayn sighed with relief, and the boys turned to him, devilish grins on their lips. “Looks like you are ticklish,” Niall said. Zayn bit his lip.
“I might be.”