The thing is, Niall is actually pretty good at pool. He knows how and when to put some backspin on the cue ball, how to put a little curve on it, how to angle a shot off the side of the table to avoid a foul.
But Zayn’s family owns the pool hall down the street from campus, and Zayn practically grew up with a pool cue in his hand. So if Niall is pretty good, then Zayn is in a whole other class.
That’s how they met. Niall was shooting a few sets by himself, just for practice, and found himself with what to his eyes looked like an impossible shot. Zayn had wandered over from where he was manning the bar with his sister and eyed up the table from the opposite side.
“Tough shot,” he’d said after a few seconds, “What’s your play?”
Niall had shrugged, not really wanting to embarrass himself by saying he didn’t know, because Zayn was all confident knowledge and lean grace and Niall knew he himself was neither.
Zayn hadn’t snorted at him or smirked or done anything like that which Niall was somehow expecting. Instead he’d just walked around the table and tapped at Niall’s hip like it was something he did all the time.
“Mind if I show you?” he’d asked, just inside Niall’s personal space. Next thing Niall had known, there were fingers curling lightly over his own on the pool cue, the close warmth of a body all along his back.
He doesn’t remember whether he made the shot or not.
But he does remember the careful way Zayn slotted their fingers together, the tentative “yeah?” Zayn had whispered in his ear, the shaky “yeah,” he’d offered in response.
He remembers the way Zayn had kissed him oh so gently later that night, not even touching him anywhere else except mouth to mouth, under the flickering fluorescent light over the back door to the hall.
He’s gotten better at pool since then, largely with Zayn’s help. He doesn’t need Zayn to come and show him much any more—most of his misses are due to his own misjudgment of angles or how much spin is needed, not because he doesn’t know what shot to take.
But sometimes, if he’s shooting some sets by himself and the hall isn’t too busy, he likes to call Zayn over, ask him what his best play is, likes to have Zayn sidle up behind him and slide their hands together, likes to lean his head against Zayn’s while Zayn tries to show him what to do. Sometimes, if it’s just some of the regulars in the hall, Niall gets a kiss nuzzled into the crook of his neck or an affectionate chuck under the chin.
It’s a Monday night, so the hall is almost entirely empty, just a couple groups of threes and fours shooting sets over by the window. Niall is eyeing up a difficult shot on the 7 ball at one of the tables near the bar, and when he senses a presence behind him, he smiles without straightening up or turning around.
“I don’t recall asking for help,” he says. Zayn chuckles a little, shuffles closer and juts out a hip to knock against Niall’s in greeting.
“You do this thing—“ he explains, gesturing towards his own face, “With your lips, when you’re fighting with a particularly difficult shot.”
“Mm, you spend a lot of time watching my lips then?” Niall teases, shifting left a few degrees and squinting down the pool cue. Still not quite it.
A hand sneaks up under the hem of his shirt, warm palm pressing momentarily against the bare skin of his lower back before slipping away. Niall straightens up a little, cast a glance sideways, and Zayn is watching him with a mixture of uncertainty and straight up, unadulterated want. Something contracts, heated and heavy, low in Niall’s stomach, and it’s not like they haven’t had sex before, but it’s always been in the privacy of his flat or Zayn’s bedroom. The pool hall has opaque windows, so it’s not…public, in the strictest sense. But it’s not exactly sequestered away either.
“Aren’t you working?” he asks quietly. Zayn smiles, a private curve of the lips meant just for Niall, and Niall watches him walk over to the other groups and apologetically tell them that they’re closing early tonight, that something’s come up. They don’t look overly disappointed as they leave, and the click of Zayn locking the door after them is loud in the resultant quiet.
Niall suddenly, inexplicably feels slightly awkward as Zayn walks back across the hall towards him.
“What about…what about your family?” he asks. Zayn comes to a halt a couple feet away, slides his hands into his pockets.
“Taking the night off,” he responds, “I told them I could handle it. They went out to a movie.” He shuffles a few steps closer, reaches out one arm and slides it around Niall’s waist.
“I don’t want to pressure you,” he says, and Niall appreciates that even after almost a year together, Zayn still makes sure Niall knows he won’t demand anything from him, won’t push him for anything.
“I know,” Niall answers, leaning back against the pool table, cue still in hand. Zayn closes the last few inches between them so they’re knee to knee, thigh to thigh, hip to hip.
“Yeah?” he asks, bringing one hand up to Niall’s neck and sliding his thumb along Niall’s jawline. Niall smiles a little.
“Yeah,” he responds. Zayn smiles back, leans in until his lips are ghosting over Niall’s. Niall parts his lips readily, and Zayn seals the kiss, and Niall’s never really been able to explain why the feeling of Zayn’s tongue sliding against his own is so good, but it is, and he drinks it in, doesn’t try to question it.
He jolts a little when Zayn’s hand presses between his legs, mostly out of surprise, and the cue slips out of his hand, clatters to the floor. Zayn pets his hip apologetically. He slides his hand down again, more slowly this time, and Niall shifts against the table, trying to spread his legs a little, give Zayn more room to work.
“Mm, eager beaver, aren’t you?” Zayn teases, trailing his open mouth along Niall’s cheek to the hollow of his jaw. Niall closes his eyes for a second as Zayn grips him lightly through the cloth of his jeans.
“Who closed down his family’s pool hall an hour early just to get in my pants?” Niall responds, sliding one hand up under Zayn’s shirt. A low chuckle in his ear, and he feels Zayn’s hands working at his jeans. He just about manages to not cant his hips up in anticipation, but then Zayn is leaning back and licking his hand, deliberately sloppy, and fuck. Niall doesn’t know if he makes a sound or not, but the quirk at the edge of Zayn’s lips as he slides his hand inside Niall’s boxers makes him think he did.
He definitely makes a sound when Zayn starts working him, slow and steady, and he curls forward, trying to silence himself and ease the rising crests of pleasure and sensation by mouthing at the side of Zayn’s neck. It’s not nearly enough to get him off, but it’s more than enough to get him taut and heated and breathless.
When Zayn pulls back again, Niall simultaneously tries to push his trousers and boxers down and reach to return the favor at the same time. He almost topples over with one leg halfway out of his jeans and one hand gripping at the edge of Zayn’s jeans, and only Zayn’s timely intervention keeps him from ending up in an inglorious, half naked heap on the less than clean floor of the pool hall.
“Graceful,” Zayn comments, clearly holding back a laugh.
“Shut up,” Niall mutters, kicking off his jeans and boxers. Zayn slides a placating hand around the back of his neck, thumb stroking at his hairline. As he presses against Niall again, Niall can feel him, hard against his thigh through his jeans, and it still sends a shock of adrenaline through him, that he can do that to Zayn, that Zayn wants him like that.
For a few seconds, Zayn just stands there and looks at him, breathing heavy and a thin sheen of sweat starting to glisten on his skin, and Niall feels naked in a way that has nothing to do with the fact that his pants are lying a few feet away on the floor.
“Turn around,” Zayn says eventually, and it’s more like a question than an order, but Niall obliges. He watches over his shoulder as Zayn digs around under one of the other pool tables and retrieves a plain, un-labeled tube from where the rack is stored.
“Ooh, someone was prepared,” Niall snipes. Zayn pinches his ass in retaliation, and Niall reminds him to be careful with the goods.
A few moments pass, and then there are lube-slicked fingers at Niall’s entrance, gently prodding. Niall leans forward a little, reminding himself to relax, and then Zayn is pushing one finger inside him and the breath that Niall exhales has a shade of a moan to it.
“Alright?” Zayn murmurs after a few seconds, more than enough time to let Niall adjust. Niall hums out an acknowledgment, and then it’s sliding into a groan because Zayn has crooked his finger inside him and found that sweet spot that Niall hadn’t even known existed before Zayn. He can’t quite form the words to ask for more, but he doesn’t have to, because Zayn keeps rubbing his finger over that spot, again and again and again, and Niall is curling over the edge of the pool table, muscles pulling tighter, heat coiling deeper in his gut, and he’d be ashamed of the sounds he’s making if the word “shame” was still in his vocabulary, but it’s not, and he’s not.
The second finger burns a little, the third a little more, but Zayn is careful, always careful. He rucks Niall’s shirt up, mouths at the curve of his spine and the dip of his lower back, all gentle patience and tender reassurance, and yet he still manages to work Niall to the very edge, gets him stuttering and gasping and all but writhing against the edge of the table.
And then Zayn slips his fingers free, and the sudden emptiness inside Niall yawns and aches.
For a second or two, there’s no touches or words forthcoming, just a rustle of clothing, the distinct sound of a zipper being undone. Then the cue that Niall dropped is being pushed into his hand, and Zayn is pressing up against his back, sliding himself against Niall’s entrance without actually pushing inside.
“Think you can take that shot now?” Zayn asks, mouthing at Niall’s shoulder.
“Wh-what?” Niall can barely hold onto the cue; his hands feel weak.
“That shot,” Zayn repeats, “That one you didn’t need help with?”
Niall tries to take in a breath. He can feel the head of Zayn’s cock at his entrance now, just resting there at the rim of him and he just wants inside already, but he’s pinned there between Zayn and the pool table, and there’s no way for him to get anything that Zayn’s not going to give him by his own volition.
“How?” he asks.
Zayn’s hands close over Niall’s at the same time that he pushes inside him, and Niall clutches hard at the cue, chokes out a groan at the sudden fullness, the burn of being stretched. The pool table is hard against his hips, unrelenting, and Zayn holds him there, not moving.
“Relax,” he murmurs, hooking his chin over Niall’s shoulder and mouthing lightly at his jawline. Niall realizes he’s holding his breath, forces himself to expel it, and as the air rushes out of his lungs, his muscles relax of their own accord.
“There you go,” Zayn whispers, pressing an open-mouthed kiss against the back of Niall’s neck, “Just relax.”
He slides the cue in their joined hands, a smooth, unhindered movement, and the cue ball spins, curves around the 8 ball and hits the 7 that Niall had been aiming for, knocks it cleanly into the opposite pocket.
“Just like that,” Zayn murmurs, stroking a thumb over the back of Niall’s hand before drawing away. Niall whimpers a little before he can stop himself and Zayn rubs his stomach comfortingly in response.
“Think you can sink the 6 in the corner pocket?” Zayn asks, tracing his fingers teasingly low, but not low enough. Niall shivers a little, looks down at the table, barely able to focus enough to figure out which ball is the 6.
“Come on,” Zayn urges gently, “Bet you can do it.”
Niall makes a small noise at the back of his throat, but adjusts his grip on the cue, leans over the table. The movement makes him exceptionally aware of Zayn inside him, and he makes another noise, involuntary, stomach curling with long, slow ripples of pleasure. Zayn strokes a reassuring thumb over one of his shoulder blades, and Niall tries to focus his attention on the cue ball, and the 6 he’s trying to hit. His fingers are sweaty, uncoordinated, but he gets a straight shot off, striking the 6 squarely on the diagonal and sending it on its way with a satisfying clack. The ball sinks into the corner pocket a few moments later.
Zayn rewards him with a gentle roll of his hips, and Niall drops his head at the sensation, muffles a whimper against his own forearm.
“Hey.” Zayn is leaning over him, pressing his chest against Niall’s back and wrapping one arm around his torso to bring him carefully back up.
“Alright?” he asks, lips against the shell of Niall’s ear. Niall nods, jaw slack.
“4 ball, center right pocket.”
Niall makes a sound that could generously be classified as a moan, but is really more of a whine. Zayn slips a sneaky hand down between his legs, palms briefly at his neglected erection, then slithers away when Niall tries to buck up into his grip.
“4 ball, center right pocket,” Zayn repeats.
Niall bites hard at his lower lip, tries to use to the burst of pain to focus. He sinks the 4 ball with trembling hands, and Zayn rewards him with another roll of his hips, a little more deliberate this time, a little more like a thrust.
“More,” Niall gasps out, almost dropping the cue. Zayn laves a comforting kiss to the side of his neck, but eases away when Niall turns his head and seeks out another with his lips.
“2 ball, corner pocket,” Zayn whispers instead.
Screwing up what little concentration he has left, Niall sinks the shot, gets a little luck when the ball bounces first off one side, then the other, before dropping into the pocket, and Zayn pulls almost all the way out of him, sinks back in agonizingly slowly.
“One more,” Zayn observes, running his hands up and down Niall’s sides like he’s tracing the juddering, ragged breaths in and out of his lungs, “8 ball, corner pocket.”
Niall chokes down a whine and lines up the shot, thanking whatever powers that be that it’s a relatively easy one. His shot is anything but smooth, and the cue slips badly just as he follows through, but it isn’t enough to screw the shot up. The 8 ball thuds safely into the corner pocket, and Niall drops the cue onto the table. He expects Zayn to finally, finally stop teasing him and just fuck the living daylights out of him. Instead though, Zayn pulls out of him, and for a split second, Niall wonders if he’s done something wrong.
And then he’s being turned around and Zayn’s got an arm around his waist and he’s being lifted up and pushed back onto the table. Zayn slots in between his thighs and leans over, braces himself with one hand by Niall’s head, slips the other hand down between their bodies. Niall is expecting slow and steady, the way the rest of the evening has been.
The way Zayn hitches one of his knees up and thrusts into him is anything but. Niall grabs for him instinctively, needing something to hold on to in order to ground him against the sudden, overwhelming feeling of being filled up and stretched open and laid bare. Zayn obliges, knots their fingers together and presses them down against the pool table by Niall’s head. He finds Niall’s lips with his own, licks into his mouth, kisses him through it, and when Niall finally comes up for air, it’s only for as long as it takes to tell Zayn to “bloody move already.”
And Zayn moves. Niall almost sobs into his mouth with the first thrust because fuck if the angle isn’t perfect and it’s like every muscle in his body, every fiber is being twisted and wrung in the most delicious way possible. He loses himself in the rhythm, in the heat and the fuckyesmore that he can’t even put into actual words because it’s all he can do to remember how to breathe, never mind speak.
He’s careening towards the edge, arched off the table, moaning open-mouthed against Zayn’s shoulder, when Zayn buries himself to the hilt inside him and just stops, and if Niall wasn’t this close to coming, he’d scream. He tries to buck his hips up, get some sort of friction because really, that’s all he needs, but he has absolutely no leverage at this angle, and any strength he might have had before is sapped, fucked out of him. He makes a frustrated noise against Zayn’s shirt, doesn’t give a fuck how desperate or needy it sounds because Zayn can’t do this to him, he can’t.
Zayn tangles a hand in his hair, tugs lightly so Niall has to pull back and they’re face to face. Niall wants to call him a bastard, a bastard of the highest order, but then Zayn rolls his hips, not a thrust, just a movement inside him, and the words die in Niall’s throat. Zayn repeats the motion, a little more forcefully, and Niall shudders, opens his mouth even though he’s beyond speaking.
“Fuck,” Zayn breathes, and it’s ragged and reverent at the same time. His eyes are dark, but not in a way that makes Niall uncomfortable, the way it did with other guys, before. There’s a warmth there that Niall’s never seen from anyone else.
Zayn shoves a hand down between them, gets his fingers around Niall, rolls his hips again, and Niall’s lost, coming apart at the seams, blessed release. Zayn keeps moving into him while he comes, keeps stroking him even as he starts to come down, and Niall flushes at the mewling noise that trickles out of him as the arousal fades, and oversensitivity starts to set in. He grabs weakly for Zayn’s wrist, tries to push him away, but he’s wrung out, totally spent, and there’s nothing behind the attempt. He makes another embarrassing bleating sound, hips jerking a little with a spike of sensation, and then Zayn is curling over him, burying his face into Niall’s neck and groaning deep in his throat as he comes.
For a few moments, they just lay there, slumped together, trying to catch their breath. Niall turns his face into Zayn’s hair, breathes in the hints of sweat and cologne and conditioner and thinks he could happily fall asleep right here, despite the fact that his legs are hanging over the edge of the pool table and the cushions are digging into his lower back.
Eventually, though, Zayn pushes up and off him, carefully eases out of him, kisses his mouth when he hisses a little at the loss. They fumble around picking up clothing and re-dressing themselves. Niall is pulling his pants back on when he feels Zayn press a hand against his lower back. It’s already a little sore there, and he doesn’t doubt that he’s going to have a nice reminder of this encounter there in a day or so.
“You should maybe put some ice on that,” Zayn notes, rubbing along the sore spot with his thumb, “Looks like it’s going to be a proper bruise, that.”
“Mm, and whose fault will that be?” Niall responds, zipping up his jeans and buttoning them. Zayn tugs on one of the belt loops, and Niall turns around to face him. There’s a softness to Zayn’s expression as he tugs Niall in until they’re standing hip to hip.
“Round two already?” Niall teases, looping his arms around Zayn’s neck. Zayn grins.
“Think I ought to give you a bit of a break after that one,” he responds.
“Right, because I’m such a delicate little flower,” Niall retorts, rolling his eyes. Zayn laughs, a relaxed, delightedly content sound.
“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.” He leans in for a quick peck at the corner of Niall’s mouth, but Niall turns his head before he can pull back, catches Zayn’s lips more fully. It’s light, almost chaste, and yet there’s a promise there.
“Mmm,” Zayn hums thoughtfully, pressing their foreheads together, “If we go back to mine will you let me fuck you in the bathroom? In front of the mirror?”
Niall huffs out a laugh.
Zayn smiles, but it’s a little too soft to be a smirk.
“I just want you to see what I see,” he responds, “I want you to see how amazing you look.”