I Had Rather Hear My Dog Bark At A Crow

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Title: I Had Rather Hear My Dog Bark At A Crow
Author(s): sunsetmog
Date(s): 2014-01-04
Length: 122,594 words
Genre: slash
Fandom: One Direction/Radio 1 RPF
External Links: on AO3

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I Had Rather Hear My Dog Bark At A Crow is a popular Nick Grimshaw/Louis Tomlinson story by sunsetmog. The title is a quote from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and suggests comparisons between the Nick/Louis dynamic within the story and the antagonistic banter between Beatrice and Benedick in the play. There are no explicit references to Shakespeare beyond the title.

When the story begins, Nick and Louis do not get along, and all their interactions consist of exchanging insults. They start having hate-filled, somewhat kinky sex in secret. Watersports happen. Meanwhile, Louis is in the closet, and it becomes clear that he has some major issues, including but not limited to internalized homophobia; much angst and pining ensue before they finally figure out how to have a relationship.

The story is set in 2013 during the Take Me Home tour, but is from Nick's point of view, so is not tourfic. Supporting characters include Harry Styles as Nick's best friend, Nick's various RL friends, an OC boyfriend, and Nick's dog Puppy Power Forever.

On the Archive of Our Own, it is the most popular story by hit count for the Nick/Louis pairing and second most popular by kudos.[1]


Selected comments on the story on AO3:

IM DEVASTATED THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL I'VE BEEN SITTING HERE READING THIS FOR 3 HOURS IM SO UPSET LOUIS AND NICK NEED TO STOP HURTING EAHC OTHER???????? Honestly wow I want to give you flowers and also punch you in the face but only a little.[2]

THIS IS EVERYTHING. I just ached all over for Nick for most of this story. So hurt and confused and COULD NOT TALK TO ONE PERSON IN THE WORLD. ONLY PUPPY. OH GOD WHY. And at the same time I could tell how scared and confused Louis was. And just OH GOD ANGST FEST FEELINGS ALL OVER THE PLACE. HAHAHA YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS GOING TO BE COHERENT BUT NO. JUST FEELINGS.[3]

Fucked up desperate and needy!Louis is my absolute favorite Louis. <3<3<3 How he hated Nick for being the one person he couldn't stop thinking about was the most GLORIOUS thing. I loved how /he/ was the hardest person on himself and how much he struggled with what he wanted bc it was so beautifully hurty and ugh the best angst on the planet hands down. How much he deveolped over the span of the fic was just the most grogeous slow burn character deveolpment ever. How he went from the boy who ran away when Nick invited Harry over to the boy who sat in his lap at Sam and Lou's and kissed Nick ♥_____♥ I WAS SO PROUD UGH LOUIS BABY YOU DID IT.[4]

On Tumblr, a day after the story was posted:

Oh Christ on a bike!!! This is completely beautiful and reduced me to actual tears about 4 times!![5]

Sunsetmog always hits it out of the ballpark, but this one was truly exceptional. It’s Louis/Nick and includes WS as a major kink, and I’m reccing it anyway, so that should really be an indicator of how absolutely gorgeous this fic is.[6]

Later on Tumblr:

It’s 122K of angsty Tomlinshaw that is written so in character (or what I imagine is in-character for them!) that I can hear the words I’m reading in their own voice. Louis being awful, Nick liking him anyway, Louis being scared and nervous and bluffing it out, Nick seeing straight through him, Nick trying to make Louis see that they can and should be together while Louis’ pushing him away, kinks and secret relationships and feelings and more angst and just everything I could ever want from a fic. Yeah, this one has definitely stayed with me.[7]

On Dreamwidth:

This story is long and beautiful, featuring extraordinary characterizations, intricate kink negotiations (heed the warnings, btw), angst, fluff, boys being dumb about themselves and each other… seriously, I can’t rec it highly enough.[8]

See also the Tumblr tag for the fic.

The story was rated 4.5 out of 5 on Goodreads.[9]

Related Fanworks

The author posted various ficlets and snippets from a planned sequel to their tumblr. The sequel, Than A Man Swear He Loves Me, was posted as a WIP starting in March 2016. It is written from Louis's point of view and overlaps with the events of the first story.

I Had Rather was podficced by ofjustimagine in September 2015. It runs 13 hrs 22 mins.



  1. ^ 33988 hits, 954 kudos, 221 comments, and 411 bookmarks. Statistics taken from the Nick/Louis tag on AO3, September 8, 2014. Note that stories tagged with Harry/Louis were excluded from results.
  2. ^ comment by FeelsForBreakfast, 04 Jan 2014. (Accessed 13 September 2014.)
  3. ^ comment by sophie_448, 05 Jan 2014. (Accessed 13 September 2014.)
  4. ^ comment by humbug, 05 Jan 2014. (Accessed 13 September 2014.)
  5. ^ hisgirlfrommars. reblog of sunsetmog's fic announcement post, January 5, 2014. (Accessed 8 September 2014.)
  6. ^ actuallyredorchid. Tumblr post, January 5, 2014. (Accessed 13 September 2014.)
  7. ^ carissimali. 10 fanfics that have stayed with me. Posted to Tumblr September 5, 2014. (Accessed 13 September 2014.)
  8. ^ alasse, posting in bestthingever. Fic: One Direction: I Had Rather Hear My Dog Bark At A Crow. Posted to Dreamwidth January 5, 2014. (Accessed 13 September 2014.)
  9. ^ I Had Rather Hear My Dog Bark at a Crow page on Goodreads. (Accessed 8 September 2014.)