hold back the river
ot5 magical realism verse in which niall floats and only zayn’s touch can bring him back down. the thing is, zayn leaves.
title from james bay’s hold back the river | tried to keep you close to me / but life got in between
When Zayn leaves, no one can stop Niall’s floating.
“Niall,” Liam says. He’s trying to be gentle, Niall can tell, but his voice sounds tight, upset. It makes Niall feel worse. “Niall, we’ve got an interview.”
Niall is several feet above the boys now, higher than he usually gets. He wants to cry, but sometimes his crying makes Louis soft and kind and sometimes it makes Louis sharp and mean, and Niall doesn’t want to know which it will be this time. Doesn’t want to risk it.
“I’m trying,” Niall says, a bit desperate. “I’m trying, I just–can’t get down.”
Harry purses his lips. He and Liam have already tried to get Niall down, but neither had quite managed, although Niall did, at least, sink a few inches with each touch.
Louis hasn’t touched him. Louis never does, when Niall is like this. Not after the first time, when Louis’ touch hadn’t worked the way Zayn’s did. Liam and Harry didn’t take it personally, knew that all of them had their own place. But for Louis, it was entirely personal. Especially now.
“I can't—I need—” Niall tries desperately, but before he can utter the words, I need Zayn, Louis interrupts sharply, “Just concentrate, Niall.”