Pairing: Zayn Malik/Liam Payne
Word Count: 1,032
Summary: Maybe Zayn’s setting himself up for heartbreak or maybe fate did that for him when it put them together. Who knows, but either way he’s fine with killing whatever’s left inside of him each and every day.
Warnings: Zayn angst, more Zayn angst
Dedication: I'm going to dedicate this to Cat and to Sarah because they deserve dedications okay. Oh and Mary too (:
Disclaimer: I assure you if One Direction belonged to me I'd be far too busy hanging with them to write fic.
Author Notes: This was completely inspired by this picture of Zayn staring at Liam and then all of a sudden it exploded out of my head and onto a word document. Don't hate please. Cut lyrics to Shelter by Birdy
It’s the way that he stares sometimes…all the time.
The way that his eyes just sort of light up when he manages to catch these moments that no one else seems to and that smile just appears just at the edges where his lips meet, that hidden smile that he saves only for Liam.
Sometimes Zayn expects Liam to look up and actually catch him staring and call him out on it, but he never does. It’s actually rather rare that Liam catches Zayn staring even though all of the other boys do (and of course they call him out on it all the time), but when he does there’s just this sort of smile on his face that makes Zayn want to stare at Liam forever. It’s like Liam likes the way Zayn stares, but Zayn knows better. He knows that Liam belongs to Danielle and he always will. They’re in love and Liam wants to live with her for the rest of his life, to be with her forever.
And yet it doesn’t stop him from staring.
There will be those days that Zayn’s feeling particularly bold. Those days he’ll latch onto Liam in one way or another, be it through an arm slung around his shoulders or a constant conversation with him that lasts through the interviews and through the shows. Those are the days where he knows that his mask is cracking and he’s giving Liam a chance to see everything. To see the way that Zayn loves him and the way that they could be if Liam would just give him a chance.
But he never asks it of Liam. He’d never, ever try and put Liam in that position where he’d have to choose between his best friend and the person that he actually loves.
Maybe Zayn’s setting himself up for heartbreak or maybe fate did that for him when it put them together. Who knows, but either way he’s fine with killing whatever’s left inside of him each and every day.
Zayn starts to fall apart. At first it happens little by little, almost in a way where no one notices that he’s actually breaking at the seams. He’ll take their days off spend it buried in his favourite books, digging out quotes that he’s long forgotten while listening to whatever playlist he ends up putting together the second he wakes up. He’ll sometimes go through an entire pack of cigarettes those days, smoking them one after another in order to get his hands to stop shaking so that he can find some control in his life again.
And yet even when he buries himself in all of these distractions the only thought that comes to mind is Liam. It’s always Liam. He usually dreams about him after days like these; dreams about ghost touches of Liam’s lips pressed against his and fingers sliding down his side, holding him and loving him the way that Zayn has always wanted.
He wakes in a cold sweat after these dreams, his body shaking with the desire for more and the knowledge that he’ll never even have what he dreams of.
When Louis catches on, and he’s pretty quick to catch on, Zayn dissolves into him and tells him everything; about how he’s loved Liam since the very start and about how he’s never known how to love anyone the way that he loves Liam and how it’s fucking killing him to see Liam every day with that adorable smile on his face and those kind words coming out of his mouth without telling him.
All he wants to do is tell him and it takes everything that’s left of him to not tell Liam because he won’t do that. He can’t do that. Louis, Zayn finds out, is the best to talk to about all of this because he knows to some extent what Zayn’s going through. It took him a lot longer to find just how deep his love for Harry ran but when he did he couldn’t even tell him because of how management spotted it first and coerced him into his relationship with Eleanor.
Zayn knows that Louis does the exact same thing that he does with Liam; he stares at Harry and he waits for Harry to realise that all of the staring isn’t just to reciprocate Harry’s feelings without destroying him. It’s because he loves him too. In some ways it’s even harder for Louis because the feeling’s mutual and yet they can’t do anything about it because of this ploy of management’s that Louis’s required to make look real. So real that Harry doesn’t even know if it’s fake or not.
It’s getting to the point that Zayn’s actually starting to lose himself. He’s not Zayn anymore without Liam and Liam’s so painfully oblivious to this that it makes Zayn absolutely lose it. He’s not acting like himself anymore; the months upon months of internalizing everything actually taking its toll on him that he’s really nothing more than a shell of the person that Zayn Malik used to be. They’ve all caught on at this point and they’ve all seen just how self-destructive Zayn’s become just by being Zayn. By just being in love with Liam.
Liam finally catches on at the point where Zayn doesn’t even care if he does anymore. He’s fallen into this pit where he can’t even find it in himself to climb out of. It’s terrible, really. The fact that he can’t even care anymore about the fact that Liam is finally noticing him because it’s in his head, on repeat, that Liam will never love him back.
Liam’s trying so hard but Zayn’s lost to him now. He’s begging, pleading. He’ll do anything to get Zayn back but there’s no cure to a broken heart. Especially not if the one who’s broken it, even unwittingly, is trying to heal it.
No, Zayn’s lost, and even though there’s possibly a chance that they can fix him, no one wants to anymore. They’re all too afraid they’ll break him further, but no one really realises that there’s nothing worse that they can do to him. Zayn’s gone.