Word count: 3,700
Summary: Zayn realises a little too late, he's fallen into the trap of having feelings for his best friend.
Disclaimer: This isn't true. I don't own the boys. This is just for fun.
A/N: This is my first time posting a fic over on livejournal, please let me know what you think, feedback, or criticism, would be appreciated I hope you enjoy.
It was the day of his nineteenth Zayn finally let the realisation hit him. He didn’t just see Louis as his best friend any more. It was that phone call from Louis that sent his mind into over overdrive, he wished Louis could have been with him, as much as he wanted to spend his birthday with his family and old friends; it made his heart sink that Louis wasn’t there to join in with the celebrations. Zayn tried to convince himself, it was all the lads he wanted there with him, for them all to be together for the day. Yet when the rest of them called he didn’t have the same feeling of exciting pulsing through his veins he did when he was talking to Louis.
Zayn wouldn’t have said he was Louis’ best friend in the first place; everyone knew that was Harry’s role, the two of them were inseparable, they clearly gravitated towards each other. Zayn tried to deny it, a part of him always felt guilty that he wished the pair weren’t as close as they were. His jealously addled mind always hoped that the lingering gazes, the over friendly petting was just something they’d grow out of; or something they’d get sick of, sooner rather than later. A year and a half later, they were still at it, there were times he still found himself getting jealous, on the other hand he had the realisation that that was just Louis and Harry, they were best friends, they were naturally drawn to each other, on stage, in an interview, or even just in the car or the tour bus as they travelled around the country, they live together for fucks sake. Zayn hated that.
As much as he loved the rest of the guys, it just wasn’t the same. In interviews he was always honest when asked 'if he could choose one other band member, for whatever reason, which one would he pick' he would always choose Louis. And Louis would always choose Harry, although he did split his decision, once, just once. Zayn had started to overthink things, far too much, at the time Louis’ words just went over his head, it didn’t bother him. And as for his own, he hadn’t even realised he was doing it, not until recently.
Sitting in the back of the tour bus Zayn sat twirling his thumbs together, his eyes watching his hands as though they were the most fascinating things in the world, when clearly they weren't. He’d much rather be sitting up front with the boys, but he couldn’t bring himself to want to leave his own company, like he felt as though he couldn’t control himself anymore. He could hear the screams of Louis and Harry messing about, rolling around the place like the two idiots they fell into when they were around each other, he couldn’t sit there and watch that, did that make him pathetic?
Probably, Zayn didn’t get it, this wasn’t like him. Not even in the slightest, he didn’t get jealous; he didn’t go shy, quiet and reserved, whenever the person he liked flirted, or even messed about constantly with someone else. Apparently now he did, Louis had him hook line and sinker in love with him, and there was nothing he could do about it.
The truth was Zayn didn’t know what it was about Louis that made him feel like this, he'd always been straight, one hundred percent, until he got threw in this band with Mr Perfect himself. Zayn wouldn’t have been surprised if everyone who met Louis didn’t fall just a little bit in love with him, he had that sort of personality that drew everyone in, everyone wanted to be his friend, he had entire arena's hanging off his every word, no one ever had a bad word to say about him. That was just Louis though, and part of Zayn really hated that. He hated that everything came so easily to him, he hated that he loved Louis and he especially hated that Louis didn't see it.
"You alright mate?" Liam asked, slumping down on the bed across from Zayn. Zayn had been quiet and subdued for days, no one could quite seem to work out what was wrong with him, he'd put on a front for the Glasgow shows the first day they'd been back after his birthday, as the day lagged on the less of a fight he tried to put up. It was only when Niall asked if he was okay on the car ride back to the hotel, Zayn snapped, storming off letting everyone know he wasn’t ok.
Liam knew he couldn't fix him, that didn't mean he couldn’t try. He wanted to understand what was wrong, help him if he could. It made him sad to see his best friend closed off like this. This wasn’t the way Zayn was, he knew that. Yes, he did tend to be quiet in comparison to the rest of them at times, but this, this was just taking the piss a bit. It was like he had separated himself from the rest of the group for the past couple of days, they did miss him. It just wasn’t fair on any of them to have Zayn biting their head off every five minutes.
Liam wasn't the oldest, he managed to take over the role as the sensible one; he didn’t mind it, not even in the slightest. He might initially have worried about it a little, having the responsibility fall upon his shoulders of all of them, most of the time. He could deal with it; he'd grown to deal with it, it wasn’t as bad as he had imagined.
"Liam I'm fine!" Zayn lied. Liam could tell a year and a half did that to people, constantly living out of everyone’s pockets it was useful to be able to read the others like a book, to know what they needed without them actually having to say anything about it. This was definitely one of those times, Zayn might have lied, and yes Zayn's tone did tell him that he didn’t want to talk about it, there was no point in pressuring him for it; that would have caused a bigger rift between them; that would have been the worst possible outcome. Zayn would come around whenever he was ready.
"Okay, but if you want to talk about it...” Liam began again, but Zayn cut him off before he could finish.
"I know where you are" Zayn replied bluntly, he knew Liam was only trying to help, this was something daddy direction really couldn’t help with, how was he supposed to tell anyone what was going on inside his own head when he really couldn’t understand himself. Fuck Louis and his fucking perfect existence.
Liam was already on his feet, Zayn felt guilty, it wasn’t Liam's fault, none of this was anyone’s fault, he was inclined to blame Louis, but it wasn’t his fault either. It was his, his own head had a way of messing things up, why couldn’t they have stayed the way they were, uncomplicated. Life had a funny way of screwing with him sometimes, it just wasn’t fair. "Thank you Li" Zayn spoke, his tone softer, back to his usual tone; it wasn’t fair to take his anger out on anyone, not even Louis.
A nod of the head from Liam was all Zayn needed to know he was forgiven; he didn’t like the boys to stay mad at him, or for him to be mad at the boys, not for any real length of time anyway. Five minutes here and there was about any real length of time they could manage, except for that time Harry ate Niall's last packet of sweets, they didn’t stop hearing about that for the best part of a week, almost two, if Zayn could remember correctly.
Pushing his body off the bunk, Zayn really did need to stop feeling sorry for himself. It was only Louis, he was used to him being over the top, completely ridiculous all of the time, this didn’t make that any different, Louis was still the same Louis and he was still the same Zayn, except now he had to think for himself a little better, he couldn’t afford any slip ups when it came to Louis, he couldn’t say the wrong thing, or even think the wrong thing, he'd feel utterly guilty the next time Louis caught his eye, and found the oldest boy smirking at him; as if he knew. He really didn’t know, no one knew. That had been happening a lot too, maybe it happened all the time before, he just hadn’t picked up on it until now.
"Alright boys what’s the plans for tonight?" Zayn asked, sinking down on the sofa next to Niall, throwing his arm around the Irishman’s shoulders, all three of them seemed taken back a little by his actions, except for Liam he didn’t look fazed by it at all, Liam was better at keeping his face straighter than the others. Sure he had been a little off; he hadn’t even hid it as well as he hoped he had. He was terrible for that, he knew that. Just as long as they didn’t know the truth about it then everything would be okay.
"Me and Li Li are up for going out after the show, you up for it Zayn?" It was Louis that spoke up first; Zayn's head snapped round at the sound of the voice, he couldn't not look at Louis, even though every time he did, it felt as though his heart was going to jump out of his throat.
"Surely Rebecca must have told you about some good spots" Louis added before Zayn could possibly have said another word. Louis would have to bring up his ex-girlfriend, it only seemed to be at that moment in time he realised that Louis had a girlfriend, and he liked Eleanor. That’s what made this harder. Maybe he should go out tonight, back in Liverpool, he'd been out there once with Rebecca before, he could do it again, meet some girl in a bar...
Zayn was already internally cursing himself for that thought, doing that really wouldn’t have made this situation any better, it would have made it ten times worse, at least to him anyway.
"Count me in, you know I can’t resist a good booze up" Zayn answered simply, he didn’t know where they should go exactly, it wasn’t as though he'd been out there much before, once in fact and that was last year, during the tour. Unless they sent Aiden a text, he had friends that lived in Liverpool, as far as he could remember anyway, maybe he’d have been able to recommend somewhere.
"And that's why we love you so much Zayny" Louis screeched, throwing himself off the sofa from his position where he'd been sitting next to Harry, and on to Zayn's lap instead.
Louis really wasn’t sure what possessed him to do it in the first place; it had been annoying to see Zayn down the past couple of days. Zayn meant a lot to him and Louis really couldn’t seem to work out what was wrong with him, and neither could the rest of the boys for that matter. They'd simply ended with the assumption it was because he'd had to leave his family after spending his birthday with them. Louis understood of course he did, at least the thing with him was when it was his birthday, Christmas followed so he always got that extra little break with his family.
As for Zayn, Louis had called him in the morning, and he sounded perfectly fine to Louis, it wasn’t until after the second Glasgow show he really started acting differently.
Nevertheless it seemed as though Zayn had come round now, or at least this was his attempt to make it up to them for being grumpy the past couple of days. Throwing his arms around Zayn, his head snuggling closely into the crook of Zayn's neck, everything would go back to normal now right? It had too. There was something odd about this, the way they were sitting, Zayn's body felt rigid underneath him; they messed about like this all the time, had something changed? Zayn would usually just mess right back, or was this just Louis thinking too much into it?
Louis had been getting closer to Zayn lately, the two of them hitting the town after a long day, sometimes they'd take Stan along, and now Liam was starting to come out with them a bit more than he used too; but it was nice, just hanging out the two of them. He kind of wished the two of them did it more of it though, just the two of them. It did appear that the group was split though, usually Harry with Louis, and Niall, Zayn and Liam; but that wasn’t the way it was. It might have been a little bit, sure he and Harry lived together, it was only natural that they saw each other the most, but that didn’t mean he didn’t want to spend time with the other boys. In Louis' head, he lost track of time when he was with Harry, they messed about like two overgrown five year olds. They had fun; that was the only way Louis could describe it. Sometimes that wasn't enough.
"Louis" Zayn's voice shook him out of his thoughts. Louis' grip loosened on his best friend, pulling back to look at him. The grin spread across Louis' face, wasn't disheartened by the look of confusion across Zayn's face. He didn't give up until the look across Zayn's features mirrored his, the grin spread delicately across his features too.
"You can get off me now" Zayn added, Louis really wasn’t making things easy for him. Louis was just himself, acting the goof, saying the first thing that came into his head, not thinking before he spoke. Zayn supposed that’s what got him into this mess in the first place Louis fucking Tomlinson.
"You loved it" Louis teased, pressing a sloppy kiss to his cheek. That was the problem, he loved it a little too much.. Instead, his reply was simply to press his hands against Louis' chest shoving Louis as hard as he could possibly manage, not quite knocking him to the floor, knocking off his knee at least.
The night had just been as difficult as Zayn imagined. Louis was drunk, and particularly handsy with just about anyone. He always had been, although now it seemed to have calmed down a little. Now, it wasn’t so much with absolutely anyone, now Louis would have had to have known someone, the boy's, (much to his displeasure) Eleanor, (much to both his and Liam's displeasure) even Danielle got the blunt of it once. They couldn’t blame him though, no one could ever stay mad at Louis, he had that goofy grin which seemed simply irresistible to pretty much everyone who met the boy.
During their night, Louis seemed intent to manhandling both Liam and Zayn to the max; neither of them really showed much of a fuss, they just rolled their eyes claiming 'that was just Louis'. It was much harder for Zayn just to roll his eyes and get along with it, a downing the current drink he had in his hands only seemed to be the answer, the burning feeling of the spirit down his throat provided for a distraction.
It was when they stumbled back into their hotel, was the real test for Zayn. Louis was the most drunk, his arm clutching round Zayn's shoulder. Liam might have been the soberest out of the three of them; he didn’t really drink that much, he couldn’t after all. Louis just drank, like he was going through some mini midlife crisis, he'd panicked because he'd turned twenty, that he wasn’t a teenager anymore. He wouldn’t listen to anyone when they told him it didn’t matter, someone had to be the oldest, and it just so happened, that it was Louis. It was like he was trying to prove something, like he needed to prove he wasn’t boring or something. As for Zayn, he drank like a fish, his hand always occupied a J.D and coke; his reasons were different, he drank to forget, mainly his own name, and the fact that he had fallen into the trap of liking his best friend.
Zayn wasn’t sure what good he thought holding Louis up was going to do. He probably was in a worse state that the older boy was, they were swaying side to side, Louis had bounced forwards pressing a kiss to the side of Liam's cheek before he stepped out of the lift, he was staying a couple of floors below them. Louis and Zayn just happened to be stuck on the same floor, fucking typical.
"Get to bed Lou" Liam teased, pushing the older boy back into the lift, causing him to tumble backwards into Zayn's arms.
"Don't you want to come with me?" Louis winked, through the closing doors; Liam was just about able to flip him off in retaliation, before the doors closed.
What Zayn didn't get, why Louis hadn’t chose to go to visit Eleanor for their day off instead of being stuck with them. Not that he minded, it meant a lot to him the time he did spend with Louis, no matter how much he tried to deny it.
The door opened, Louis slung his arm around his shoulders again "c'mon babycakes" Louis sniggered, his voice low in Zayn's ear, the breath warm against the back of his neck. The strange giddiness sparked up low in his stomach, they were alone, Zayn honestly couldn't remember the last time they were alone together, before Christmas if he thought about it. It was easier then, he hadn't had the realisation smacking him across the face. Zayn could hear the sound of his heart beating against his chest, the rush of blood in his ears. He would have been completely surprised if Louis hadn't heard it, there wasn't a sound, it seemed to drown everything else out, even the sound of Louis' breathing. It was all too unsettling, all he wanted to do was crawl into bed and sleep right through.
"C'mon you" Zayn settled for simply attempting to make his way out of the lift, supporting Louis' weight as they wondered down the hall. He wasn't sure why it was a good idea for him to be supporting Louis', Zayn was in the same state as the older lad, he was pretty sure about that.
By the time he'd got to the door of Louis' room, surprising himself that they managed to make the short walk still on their feet, thankful that they hadn't landed in a heaped pile on the middle of the floor.
"Aw babe, you're such a good escort" Louis screeched, shoving his hand into his pocket to find his key; his words were loud enough to wake the entire floor, Zayn was sure of it. At Louis' words, Zayn flushed pink, suddenly thankful of the dim lights there was no way Louis would have noticed.
Zayn couldn’t get his head around it, he wasn’t this person. If he liked someone he would have gone for it, made a move, at least flirted. Not let it get as far as to this, and act awkward completely around him. Flushing at every little comment that made his heart thump that little bit harder. He needed to get back in control; no he needed to get over it. Louis had a girlfriend, he was straight!
Fuck that, Zayn was straight. Except for Louis, he was the only niggle at the back of his mind where he could even consider finding another lad attractive. His soft skin, tanned, with beautiful brown eyes, the way his fringe feathered across his forehead, his features bordering on feminine. That didn’t make it acceptable, he couldn’t be gay, he liked girls, he liked boobs, everything else about girls. Louis clearly didn’t have that going on about him; he couldn’t understand it. There were definitely some things that were unexplainable, and this was one of them.
"Night night Zaynykins" Louis screeched as he finally managed to get the key card out of his pocket, if Liam were here he definitely would have told Louis off for the decibel level he was reaching, because it was Zayn, he found it downright adorable, it was true he was an idiot. Even before, this time last year he still loved Louis, although then he saw the Doncaster lad as more of a brother, it should have stayed that way, he knew that.
"Night night Boo Bear" Zayn teased in retaliation, his voice a hell of a lot quieter than Louis'.
"I had fun tonight" Louis told him back to his normal tone of voice; that thought was slightly unsettling, especially coming from a drunken Louis. "You're a hoot" he added, a slight squeak to his words, Louis was back in that micro second.
Zayn wasn’t sure if he’d been imagining it, Louis was drifting closer, it had to be one of those drunken shifts there could be no way it was anything else, that wasn’t possible. Zayn's mind had already sped into overdrive, questions zooming around inside his head, the sort he didn’t want to ask himself let alone to try and find the answer too. He couldn’t, he didn’t want too. He wanted the ground to open up and swallow him whole, to stop his mind playing tricks on him. Louis lips were dangerously close, and for a split second he actually thought Louis might have kissed him.
The soft lips pressed sloppily against the side of his cheek, with a giggle and a ruffle thought his dark locks, before Louis pulled away. "Night" He grinned, skipping through the open hotel room door, before it slammed shut behind him.
Zayn was well and truly screwed.