Liam takes a drag from the cigarette, exhales, then leans forward and stubs it out on the top of the bin.
To the left of him, Zayn mirrors his actions and Liam watches as he does, memorises him as always. every curve in his skin and on his body, even though it’ll be only for a matter of days and he’s had weeks of just Zayn, except that can never be enough.
He’s restless is Liam. Restless with the adrenaline and the thought of what’s to come for him.
It makes it hard to sleep because there’s this thrill inside of him, this feeling that what felt out of reach for so long is there, right there, just beyond the tips of his fingers just now but almost ready for him to grab.
He’s excited as well as restless, ready to put what’s been behind him as best as he can, and focus on what’s in front. So much for both of them, just like always.
Liam just wishes it could be without this next part. The goodbye, or the “See you in a bit, babe.”
Liam wants the moon on a stick, he also wants Zayn right next to him always cos he calms Liam like no one else can and he doesn’t care if that’s selfish.
He vaguely hears the sound of a car door shut, and then there’s fingertips that find his wrist, and he glances down and finds a smile as Zayn curls his tongue out of his mouth in concentration as the bracelet clicks together then murmurs, “There.”
He smiles up at Liam then, doesn’t take his fingers away, instead he caresses at the skin just next to where the bracelet sits now.
“And you said the bracelet wouldn’t match the chain,” teases Liam. .
Zayn shakes his head, “Even Pat Butcher’s earrings don’t go with the fucking chain babe, but okay, you tell yourself that.”
Their feet scuff against each others and they share soft smiles, and small laughs like they’re back at Boot Camp, not twentysomethings.
A throat clears behind them, and Liam nods at Paddy and he looks beyond them to where the VIP entrance is, the one that they’ll walk through albeit separately, and go get on the planes. Separately.
Liam looks down at the bracelet, it’s been months since he wore it and his world’s changed, plans out the window for a bit, maybe, but never not in his horizons, but the reason for it, why he has it, why they have it in the first place hasn’t.
He reaches out his own fingertips, finds the ring on Zayn’s finger, smiles as he touches it, memories flooding back and slowly pulls it off, then he walks round to the back of Zayn, undoes the clasp of the chain that Zayn wears and quickly slips the ring onto it, secures the clasp once more, and murmurs “You’re good love.”
And Zayn turns round to face him, he’s moving the chain so it’s underneath the t-shirt he’s wearing and he’s smiling, though there’s this look on his face that’s always there when they do this.
“Nah, I’m not, but 36 hours, and one extra flight and I will be.”
Liam nods and mutters a quiet, “Same.”
There’s a hand on his shoulder then, that moves up and cups his cheek.
“Finally, your time babe.”
Liam lets out a breath he didn’t even know he was holding in, part one of his version of events, in his own way, in his own style and yes, he wants success, he’s missed stage so much it’s ridiculous, but for this to be in his name, his opportunity to say what he wants and for no one to take that from his this time.
He wants to skip everything till the good bit, he’s wanted that for years, but never more so in the last months, never more so since he wanted it for Zayn,always wants it for Zayn but he wouldn’t swap it, not these months because he’s never felt love and safety more than he has from Zayn, never wanted to tell the world quite as much as he does now.
And he gets to show that, finally, and so he leans his head forward, till it rests against Zayn’s, lets his lips lightly graze against Zayn’s, savours the way they feel against his before he slowly, reluctantly pulls his lips from Zayn’s and says.
“And you’ll be with me every step of the way.”
“You’re such a sap.”
Instead of a reply, Liam shrugs, nods cause he is, he absolutely is, and then he pulls away completely, takes in every part of Zayn as Zayn does the same with him, and then he turns, hears the inevitable “See you in a bit babe.”
And he drops his fingertips to the bracelet, nods and walks away speeding up as he nears the terminal because the sooner he does, the sooner he sees him again right?
The sooner its his time, their time. And he can’t wait.