Word count: 3,400
Summary: Zayn realises a little too late, he's fallen into the trap of having feelings for his best friend.
Warning: Mild swearing
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.
Cracking an eye open, as the tour bus shuddered to a stop, it felt as though rest of the tour was passing in the blink of an eye, it was nearing the end. Zayn had lost count of how many shows they'd played since that first night in Wolverhampton. There had been so many shows, Zayn hated the thought, but they really felt as though they were blurring into one, jumping from one city to the next, it all felt like a bit of a blur, at least to him.
They'd had one day off since Liverpool, and that really didn’t go the way Zayn had planned. The hermit in him wanted to stay in bed all day, run away from the feeling's he'd been having, no, that wasn’t enough for Louis. He had to be the centre of attention, all the time. Zayn wasn’t sure if he did it intentionally, or that’s just the way he was. In all honestly he was more than likely to go for the latter. That was just the way he was, Louis never changed himself for anyone, ever since boot camp he had been the same Louis; he never compromised. Zayn admired that about him. In fact he was jealous, he wished he could do that, he wished he still could have acted like the idiot Louis was whenever they were together, that it hadn't changed him when he realised...
Now he felt as though he had to wait for Louis to make the first move, to come to him first before they could mess about, what was that all about really? It was stupid and he knew that, but it still managed to way him down, make him feel like an idiot.
"You 'k Zaynie?" Louis appeared, drawing the curtain back, the light becoming too much for him, having to blink several times to get used to it.
"'mmk" Zayn muttered back sleepily, usually when he slept it took at least a good half hour to be able to get something out of him. He was the first to admit it, he was a grumpy git in the morning; he always had been. Especially when all he seemed to do was stay up all night, even when they didn’t go out, he was the last to bed, when he did give in and finally went to bed, Zayn found himself tossing and turning for at least an hour, trying to get his mind to switch off.
"You do know we're here now?" Louis questioned, throwing himself onto the bunk next to him, instead of what Zayn was sure, Louis had come to try and get him up, they had to go to the hotel, leave off their stuff before sound check, and then they had the afternoon off which Zayn couldn’t have been happier about. He wasn’t sure which was on the top list of his priorities, catch up on his sleep or take a trip to Topman; either or it would have made for an exceptional plan in Zayn's book. Maybe he could have dragged Niall along, taken a trip to Nando's, and they'd both be happy. And maybe, just maybe, it might have stopped him from thinking about Louis for once; that would just have been the icing on the cake.
"I know" Louis blinked sleepily, shifting around on the bunk trying to get himself comfortable, he just sunk into the bunk next to him with no apparent struggle. Louis didn’t make things half difficult for him. All Zayn really wanted to do was reach out, pull the oldest lad into him, and just lay there for a bit while they had the chance to be alone, he didn’t get it. But even the thought was enought to make something flutter low in the pit of his stomach, which he wanted nothing more than to stamp on, until it stopped.
The best about it was, as much as he loved Louis being himself; he had been getting on his nerves, ever since Glasgow. Except for now, he was getting better at hiding it than he was before, he could happily mess about with Louis on stage, on the tour bus without his reactions getting the better of him. It wasn’t easy, it was do-able. Liam seemed to have given up on his quest of getting the information out of him; it must have been a believable attempt. They were all happy, even Zayn was happy, with all things considering. Yes the unrequited love part sucked, having the best job in the world made up for that, he had the four best friends he could ever have asked for; he needed to start looking on the bright side and focus on that more.
Yes he might have been focusing most of his attention on Liam and Niall as of late, but he wouldn’t have gone as far as to ignore Louis whenever he asked a question, or started to mess around, he wasn’t rude. Their interaction might have been a little one sided, he couldn’t help that. It definitely wasn’t putting Louis off, he was still here, curled up next to him.
"Shouldn't you be trying to get me out of bed instead of crawling in with me?" Zayn questioned, the question loaded with suggestion in his head, that was; he definitely wouldn't dare say anything out loud. God knows what Louis would have made of it, he didn’t even like the thought of thinking it to himself, let alone what Louis' reaction would have been if he had. The thought was unbearable, that was part of the reason he felt as though he had to distance himself from the older lad, to be able to control what was coming out of his mouth, it was difficult, that much was for sure. Even if he did say it as a joke, and Louis played along with him, that would have been much worse, his head would have got carried away; Zayn would have ended up fluttering the most embarrassing shade of pink, before the awkward silence fell between them.
"Probably" Louis yawned, his eyes flickering shut. Zayn watched him closely, as his arms raised above his head in a stretch, examining the way Louis' body rose off the bed. He had to stop!
Zayn couldn’t remember the last time they were this close, close enough he could probably have counted every single freckle against his cheek, content watching the way eyelashes flickered against his skin, and the rise and fall of his chest every time he breathed.
"Lou" Zayn attempted again, trying his best not to get sucked in, against everything he'd been trying so hard to resist the past couple of days, it didn’t seem to be working. Louis seemed intent in ruining that in five minutes flat.
"'M sleepy Zayn" Louis agreed, nodding his head. Not even bothering to open his eyes. Why should he, he probably just assumed that Zayn wouldn’t have argued over sleep, normally he wouldn't. But now, with Louis' lying so close to him, it was hard to think of anything else.
"Sleep in the hotel?" Zayn offered an attempt of getting him up. There'd be proper beds in the hotel, king-sized beds, fancy bedding and everything, why was Louis so intent on lying on the crappy bunk next to him on their tour bus.
"'M comfy" Louis explained as though that was reason enough.
"Five more minutes" Zayn agreed. At his words, what sounded like a purr of contentment actually left Louis' lips. Zayn couldn’t fucking believe it, the boy was adorable beyond belief. Laughing to himself, Louis shuffled closer, his head snuggling against his shoulder. This shouldn’t have been happening, maybe he should have freaked out about the contact, but he couldn't, all he could think was this didn’t feel weird, not even a little bit.
"Where the hell have the other two got to?" Liam asked, his eyes flickering frantically between Niall and Harry, the rest of their, entourage if you will, had checked in already. Paul was making sure of that. But where were Louis and Zayn? They should have been behind them, Harry messing about with Louis, screaming the place down as usual, with Zayn practically sleeping up against anything he could, a sofa, the wall, even Niall's shoulder had got it a couple of times.
"I dunno" Niall shrugged, turning his attention back to the packet of jelly babies in his hand. The blonde never paid any real attention to anything when there were sweets involved, they found his attention was better spent on that than anything the rest of them were doing. Sometimes, it was funny, but not now when Paul was probably going to go mad at being two members of the band down.
"I never saw them get off the bus" Harry answered honestly, after rolling his eyes at Niall; just about looking up from his phone to talk to them. "Wasn't Louis going to wake Zayn? Maybe he had a little trouble, you know what Zayn's like" Harry went on, reaching his hand to steal a sweet off Niall, his attention leaving Liam completely.
Rolling his eyes, his ears were met with the sharp cry of "Oi" from Niall; obviously Harry had succeeded in taking a sweet for himself. "I'll go find them then shall I?" Liam spoke, not really sure why he bothered, the other two weren't exactly listening to them.
"Guys?" Liam called, stepping onto the bus, as far as he could remember, he couldn't remember seeing them get off the bus, he was the first of followed by Niall and Harry, he didn't think it would have taken Louis long to wake Zayn. Rolling his eyes at the simple thought, he almost forgot it was Zayn they were talking about, that boy was the worst for sleeping, always the last one up, he did like his sleep. "You guys in here?" He called again, making his way down the back of the bus. It was only when his eyes fell on the pair; it seemed to shut him up. Both of them out cold, pretty much snuggled into one another, it really did seem a shame to wake them, they did look comfortable, cute almost. They didn’t have long before sound check, maybe the nap would have done them a world of good, they could always check in for them, get the others to check in after, he’d have to check with Paul.
'Let them sleep', Liam agreed to himself, backing out of the tour bus.
Louis wasn’t sure if he was imagining it or not, but Zayn was definitely off with him. He'd noticed it the past couple of days, two weeks almost. He had thought that maybe the couple of days off before the Ireland shows might have changed things, allowed Zayn to put into perspective whatever it was that was niggling away at him. It wasn’t as though he was off with him completely, yes he'd still mess around when Louis started something, and yes he'd always speak whenever Louis addressed him. That was it, that was the thing with him lately, it was as though he was trying to distance himself from Louis, Louis was the one making all the first moves, their conversations, their stupidly childishly, yet highly entertaining moments. It wasn't always as one sided as this, had he done something to annoy or upset Zayn? Louis wouldn’t have liked to think so, even if he had how come Zayn hadn't just come to him so they could sort it out. That always something they were good at, they knew they couldn't stand to have any tension, it was always better to get problems sorted out in the open.
It wasn't really until now when Louis stood in the middle of the Odyssey arena, in Zayn's varsity jacket did he feel as though he was about to blow. It was supposed to be a laugh, wearing each other’s clothes, for some reason, all Louis could make out was the look of disgust coming from Zayn's direction. Really what was his problem? He was going to find out, not right now, they couldn’t have tension on their last night. It was the final night of their first tour, for fucks sake, why did Zayn have to go and try to ruin that?
What was his problem anyway? Louis didn't get it; he couldn’t think of anything, he might have done to annoy him, something he might have said. He'd been raking his mind ever since they got back after their few days break; the flight to Dublin had almost been unbearable. As far as Louis could tell Zayn had no right to be mad at him, in fact thinking about it was making him mad at Zayn. What was he so bothered about it for anyway? They were bound to have fallings out every now and again, that was natural for a group of lads who spent so much time together, right?
"Coming Boo bear?" Harry asked, breaking him out of his thoughts. Not being able to stop himself from laughing as soon as he clocked Harry in Liam's shirt. The shirt was definitely more suited for Liam that much was for sure, then again he couldnt have looked as ridiculous as Liam did in his outfit, that was actually hilarious, even if Louis did think so himself.
"Yep coming now Li" Louis teased, slinging an arm around his best friends neck, he could focus on Harry, that was definitely the best option for him anyway. Harry wasn’t the one giving him the cold shoulder, let Zayn be that way if he wanted too. Forcing himself not to give Zayn another look back. Whatever it was that was shoved up his arse he hoped it'd be gone by the time the show was over.
"What is your problem?" Louis demanded as soon as their dressing room door shut behind Harry. Zayn had been expecting this; there was no point in him lying to himself trying to say that he wasn't. Zayn was trying; he didn’t want things to be weird between them. Louis was one of his best friends; he wouldn't have been able to handle it if they weren’t speaking.
Zayn didn’t want to fight, it would only have made him have to sit up and realise what his feelings were. He could admit that to Louis, yes if he wanted the other lad to beat the crap out of him and never want to speak to him again. That was highly unlikely, even Zayn knew that. But any words of consolation that even remotely sounded like 'It's okay that you like me, I'm sorry I don't like you back', would have been a kick in the balls.
This couldn't be happening, not now, not ever!
"Louis what are you talking about?" Zayn attempted, he didn’t want to lie to Louis. But he couldn’t tell him the truth either. How could he possibly tell Louis he thought he might have been having feelings for him? That would have ended in disaster, he knew that. He wasn’t stupid enough to convince himself there might have been a possibility it wouldn’t have. Only in a perfect world would Louis have turned around and simply said 'I like you too Zayn', or a movie, where naturally it would have ended in a kiss, and them living happily ever after. This wasn't some stupid cheesy movie, this was reality, people didn't get their happily ever afters in reality, they got shitty awkward lives which got more daunting as time went on.
"You, you've been avoiding me? What is it? Tell me!" Louis demanded, his tone was harsher than Zayn had ever heard it before, this wasn’t like Louis, so he'd noticed that Zayn was acting differently, at least he didn’t know why.
"I haven't" Zayn lied. He didn't know why he bothered, Louis had noticed, that's why he was here.
"Cut the bullshit Zayn!" Louis cursed, obviously getting angrier by the minute
"Louis there’s noth..."
"Is this because of last week? When we woke up in the tour bus?" Louis asked him, concerned. The glint of fear in his eyes, to Zayn it looked as though he was expecting the worst, for Zayn to tell him yes that had freaked him out. It did, he couldn't tell Louis that, he didn't want to ruin their friendship for good.
Yes that might have been an awkward moment; Niall had shaken them awake complaining they needed to 'get their arses up and out of bed to go to sound check'. It had taken him a minute to get used to the light when he'd woken, he had completely forgotten he'd drifted off to sleep with Louis cramped in that crappy tour bunk with him. He'd never know how it had taken him so long to realise it, it wasn’t as though they'd just stayed side by side, Louis had shuffled right into him, his arm around him, not only that but his leg too. At least he hadn't got hard, that was the only part of that situation Zayn had to be thankful for; he didn’t think he'd have been able to look Louis in the eye properly after that.
"No, god Louis no" Zayn stressed, he didn’t want to get into this conversation now. Hell he didn’t want to get into it at all. Part of him wished he could have just taken Liam up on his offer of going to say hello to Danielle while he had the chance, little did he know Louis would have cornered him in the dressing room when they were left alone together.
"Then what is it Zayn? Have I done something?" Louis asked him, he was obviously upset about it, the thought made something drop low in Zayn's stomach. He hadn't done anything, that was the thing, it was Zayn. He was the reason he was distancing himself, he couldn’t take it.
"No, I'm just upset about the tour being over. Its flown so quickly" Zayn invented off the top of his head, the last thing he wanted was for Louis to hate him. That’s not what he was trying to do at all. "And so have Liam, and especially Niall with it ending in Ireland" He added, in an attempt to reason his decision to spending his time with the other two, instead of Louis and Harry.
"Really?" Louis asked, sounding relieved. Thats how Zayn heard it anyway.
"Yeah, I'm sorry if I was being a dick. Forgive me?" He pleaded, things couldn't go on the way they'd been going. Even he knew that, he'd been telling himself the same thing for the past week and a half. Now was the time to shut up and listen.
"Just promise me one thing?" Louis asked, with a smile that made him want to melt.
"Anything" Zayn promised
"Stop avoiding me?"
Louis laughed softly, bouncing forwards wrapping his arms tightly around Zayn's neck. The only thing left for it was for Zayn to wrap his arms around Louis in return. Zayn knew he didn’t make it difficult for him on purpose, that’s just the way Louis was, he was like that with everyone, Zayn couldn't ask him to stop; the main reason being; he really didn’t want him too.
"Well I've gotta go meet El" Louis announced as he pulled back. Zayn shouldn’t have been as disappointed as he was, he'd completely forgotten Louis' girlfriend was there. Even if they had been all out together last night, leaving Harry and Niall in the hotel. That’s what made this so ridiculous, Louis had a girlfriend and Zayn knew that. But he still couldn’t get over himself. He really was a dick.
The tour was over, he'd spent too long being ridiculous over Louis, as soon as they got on that plane to LA, things were going to change big time. He was going to be back to normal. He wasn’t going to have a stupidly annoying crush on his best friend. Well, he was going to work on that, he wasn't going to let it get the better of him any longer.
"Have fun" Zayn replied with a smile, perhaps leaving the silence a bit longer than he expected too. Crossing the room he dived for his phone, if he hadn't of turned his back on Louis he would have noticed the confused, hurt face that tainted his features.
They were both in deeper than even they realised.