This was written after this post last week. And so here goes. It starts with Zayn POV, then Liam, then Zayn. (3.1k so yeah, sorry).
Obviously canon AU.
Saturday 11th January 2014.
Two things had struck Zayn as he’d walked in the door of his house an hour or two back, closely followed by Liam.
1. His family is bloody loud sometimes, also party poppers are too
2. Liam Payne is a sneaky so and so.
He’s sat on the settee now, watching as successive family members practically queue up to have their photos taken with Liam.
Liam who’s still not taken the black and white jacket off. Liam who every so often glances across at Zayn, shrugs apologetically before he looks back into the lens of each phone and smiles.
Apparently this party, the one that’s just Zayn, his family and Liam who, well, he’s his family too, had all been Liam’s idea.
Well he and Zayn’s mum actually. Concocted over drinks at Liam’s parents just after Christmas, and planned meticulously via email in the days since.
And Zayn didn’t have a clue. So yeah Liam’s sneaky as anything, but this kind of sneaky, well,it’s not all that bad.
He looks around the room. There’s about ten banners around the bit he can see which proclaim and remind him, in case he ever forgets, that he’s about to turn the grand old age of 21.
Over in the corner, there’s his mum and dad talking with Aunt Zileh and Aunt Sarwaat.
While on the floor just across from where Zayn’s sat and right next to where Liam’s crouching down now next to Safaa, are Jawaad and Waliyha.
Every so often Zayn watches Liam’s gaze drift to his mum and dad for a moment and he bites at his lower lip nervously, but then he catches Zayn’s gaze and offers a small smile.
Somewhere in this home, Doniya’ll be on the phone to her mates from home complaining bitterly about being dragged down to ‘Stupid London’.
It won’t stop her tears and her “You promise to keep in touch little bro, okay?” when they leave though.
He leans forward to take a sip of his drink, shutting his eyes as he does, basking in the sound of his family, the shrieks of laughter from his Aunties and the low hum of conversation with his Dad and his Uncles, when the settee sinks next to him and he feels a hand on his knee.
Liam’s smiling, and then with a squeeze of his knee, he says.
“Was it really a surprise then? You really didn’t have an inkling?”
Zayn shakes his head.
“No, you’re a sneaky sod, you and me family, thought you were stuck with Tom and them for the weekend, so I’d resigned myself to pretending I was alright on the phone to mum at 1am, and then waking up Preston at 3am and begging him to take me to yours.”
He reaches for Liam’s hand the that’s still resting on his knee, so happy he’s here and that he can do that, but then he frowns because Liam’s hand is clammy, and Liam rarely gets like that, rarely gets ill, and he’s just about to lift the back of his hand to Liam’s forehead when Liam smiles, but it falters a little as he rubs the back of his neck.
”Yeah, about that, there’s this whole story set up for later, tweets and that, and then I do have to be gone by half 10, make some ridiculously public tweet to you that’s already been planned and then go and sulk next to Sophia in Funky Buddha by midnight.”
Liam pouts a little as he stops speaking before he looks down at their hands, locks his fingers in between Zayn’s and as his expression brightens, Zayn almost forgets about the worry from a few moments ago.
“All the more reason to look forward to Peter Island.”
And well yeah, not that there’s any reason not to look forward to Peter Island in the first place.
After all, who can argue with the prospect of not only complete and utter privacy for a week or two but the prospect of being away from a cold January and early February in the UK and from Perrie and Sophia and all the bullshit that surrounds them?
So Zayn mutters a “Yeah,” and then leans into Liam, trying not to eye the clock on the wall and trying not to feel like the minute hand is suddenly faster.
“Ahem, why are you two looking so bloomin’ miserable?” Doniya’s emerged from wherever she was hiding apparently.
He and Liam exchange a glance and then he looks up and raises his eyebrows before his older sister continues.
“It’s nearly your birthday you miserable bugger, and not only is it almost your birthday but you get to spend it with your beautiful sisters, your beautiful cousins and all your beautiful family, and not to mention,” she leans forward then and apparently when she disappeared, it wasn’t without a drink or two and for a moment Zayn thinks he should move the glass coffee table out the way as she wobbles, before she rights herself and says.
“Your beautiful perfect boyfriend,” the wink she gives them both is so over exaggerated and the whisper could probably be heard in Timbuctoo but he laughs anyway.
He decides she’s right, it’ll do neither of them any good dwelling on Liam heading off in a couple of hours so he’s about to say that, cast the thought from his mind, get up to change the music on his stereo system to something less chilled out and more upbeat when he hears his mum shout.
“Doniya! What you doing?” from the direction of the kitchen.
As Trisha shouts, next to him, Liam shifts, sits up straighter and he wipes his hand on his jeans as though he’s nervous and Zayn’s just about to say something when he hears Doniya’s sigh and so he turns his attention away from Liam.
His older sister sometimes acts more like she’s the younger of them both as she rolls her eyes.
“That’s what I came over here, not just to berate you two for being mopey.” she focuses on Liam.
“Mum wants you in the kitchen Liam, and you, baby bro, you’re going to sit and tell me about all the things you’re going to bring back for me from your posh holiday.”
She walks round past the coffee table to where Liam’s still sat, eyebrows raised in amusement as she folds her arms and says “Do I really have to ask again?”
“It’s like Doniya took all your bossiness and claimed it for herself.”
Zayn thinks there’s something in the water as apparently Liam’s incapable of whispering now too, just like Doni and sure enough, there’s a small sound of a slap, a protest of indignation from his sister and a soft giggle from Liam before he unlocks his fingers from Zayn’s and Zayn pretends he doesn’t see the way Liam’s hand trembles, before he pats Zayn’s thigh and says.
“I’ll be back.”
And then he’s gone.