Still Got Time
When Liam comes home one evening, his shirt sleeves are uncharacteristically rolled up.
Zayn notices immediately. Just as Liam had planned.
“Babe?” Zayn whines questioningly, his voice coming out high-pitched. Wondering if it is, could really be, what he thinks it is.
“Gears…” He gulps, grazing his fingers over the large, intricate machinery running up the underside of his boyfriend’s forearm. His eyebrows furrow, looking almost in pain as he continues ascending up his arm. “The… clock.”
He bites his lip so hard, he’s surprised he doesn’t taste blood as he swallows. Finally letting his glance slide up to meet Liam’s, he lets out a shaky breath.
He waits for Liam to respond, doesn’t want to spoil the moment in case he’s wrong, in case this is for something completely different, something completely unrelated to-
“We still got time,” Liam mumbles, eyes shining as he gives Zayn a watery smile.
“Liam, you didn’t,” Zayn says shyly, head ducking momentarily as he feels the blush creep up. “I mean,” he stutters on. “It’s just a really rough demo at this point. I don’t even know if it’ll ever become official or anything.”
He laughs almost maniacally, still in shock. He shakes his head in disbelief. “But you went and got it fucking tattooed on your arm.”
He allows his eyes to dart up to Liam’s. When he sees his worried look, his moment of hesitation, he gives a small smile in an attempt to calm his nerves. “I’m just surprised, babe, but I love it, okay?” He traces his fingers across the skin, exhaling as he feels goosebumps bubble up on Liam’s arm. “I love you,” he finishes, pulling him down for a kiss.
He keeps his hand carefully draped around the clock.
“You’re not the only one that gets surprise tattoos, you know,” Zayn says, quirking an eyebrow when he sees Liam’s expression. His eyes look like they’re about to burst out of his head, and Zayn chuckles lowly at the sight.
“We still got time,” he says shyly, as if this suddenly explains everything, repeating the words Liam had said to him oh so long ago. “More than a year later,” he gulps. “And I know it’s not a clock, per se, but…”
Liam’s hand moves to hover over the initials. He gently traces over the S, then the G. And then finally the T. His eyes catch on the date tattooed below. “Today, babe?” He asks quietly, looking up at Zayn a little hesitantly as if afraid of the answer.
“I don’t want to have time anymore, Liam,” Zayn says cryptically, and Liam’s heart pounds at this, his hands suddenly sweaty as he rubs them against his pant legs.
The words don’t add up with the new tattoo, with what Zayn’s just said.
Zayn doesn’t explain further, instead only bending down, one knee bent on the cold, hard, tiled kitchen floor and-
“Liam,” Zayn pleads quietly. “We’ve had time. We’ve had so, so much time. Going on seven years, in fact.” He offers a small smile. “And I’ve loved every single, goddamn minute of it. But-” His voice cracks, tears springing up behind his eyes.
“I don’t want just time anymore. I don’t want to stop looking for love, ‘cause I’ve found it in you.”
He gulps before continuing on quickly, words all blurring together. “And I want to keep finding it, each and every day, right next to you.”
He fumbles for the box in his pocket, huffing out a low breath. He feels suddenly lightheaded, practically ready to crash on the floor from the nerves pounding through him.
Liam’s shocked expression does nothing to help.
“I’m so…” Zayn gulps, can’t even remember his words. This had all been so planned out, and now he can barely even seem to remember his own name. “Nervous,” he gets out finally.
As he lifts up on the box, he squeezes his eyes shut, afraid to see Liam’s reaction. After a second, he forces himself to look up. He’s surprised when he sees that Liam is no longer standing above him, but rather squatted down to his level. He carefully lifts his hands to Zayn’s cheeks. “Worry about the ring later, then, Z,” he grins, gently bringing Zayn’s lips to his.
Liam pulls back just slightly, eyes darting up to the other boy’s. “You have a enthusiastic yes from me, by the way.” He gives him a soft look, a full grin filling his face when he sees Zayn light up. “And no ring is ever gonna change that.” He rubs his thumb along Zayn’s lower lip thoughtfully. “Besides, we have all the time in the world now, babe. There’s no rush.”