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I Need Your Love To Light Up This House

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Exhausted from the day you've had you turn the keys to your flat. It’s been a long day for you. Work has been especially draining and on top of that you promised your girlfriend to do the grocery shopping for this week. The only thing that kept you going was the promise of a night in that Zendaya gave you when you left this morning.

You step inside and put the groceries on the kitchen counter. “Babe I’m home”, you call out as you start unpacking. You get no response. Instead, you hear muffled yelling coming from the living room. After you put a pack of popcorn into the microwave, you make your way to the back of the flat. Opening the door reveals three boys on your couch playing Mario Kart. Tom is the first one to notice you. “Hey, welcome home” he greets you, his eyes not leaving the screen. The other two glance at you and give you a quick smile. “Z let us in. Hope you don’t mind”, Jacob explains before jumping up and screaming in victory. “You owe me 10 dollars Holland!” Tom pouts. “That is so not fair. You and Haz teamed up against me!” “No one said we’re playing fair mate”, Harrison teases in and nudges him, which earns him a playful push. You watch them fondly. “Where is Z by the way?” you interrupt them. Before they can answer, two arms wrap around your middle and the scent of your Jasmine shampoo fills your nose. Your girlfriend clings to your back and leans her head on your shoulder. You turn around. “Hi there.” She smiles. Her wet hair falls in curls around her face and there is still a bit smudged mascara on her cheek. “Hi, how was work?” “Stressful, how was filming?” “This idiot over there”, she points at Tom, “insisted on doing a stunt by himself and almost broke his foot.” “That is a lie, the doctor said barely anything happened.” She snorts. “Yeah right.” She turns back to you and gives you The Look.

“I suppose the boys stay overnight?” you ask. A glimpse of concern flashes over her face, and she lowers her voice. “Is that alright? I mean I can always kick them out if you want that.” You give her a soft smile. “Don’t worry about it. As long as they don’t sleep in our bed again, I’m fine with it.” “We’re still sorry about that”, comes from Haz. “Won’t happen again.” She laughs. Seeing her eyes sparkle warms your heart. How could you ever say no to that face?

“Help me in the kitchen?”, you request. She nods and you two make your way back to the still unpacked bags and the long-forgotten popcorn. Zendaya sits on the counter and looks through the food you bought. Her face lights up when she gets hold of a packet of her favourite sweets. “I didn’t know they were back in stock?” “They’re not, had to blackmail my co-worker for them. Took me forever so you better appreciate me”, you say jokingly. She winks at you. “You know I do.”

You finish unpacking in content silence, just Z’s playlist playing quietly and the occasional screaming from the living room. After that, you send her back to get dinner suggestions from your guests. You insisted that you can cook, but she didn’t want to hear that. “I promised you a night in. That includes getting food delivered.” You couldn’t argue with that logic.

You collectively decide on Chinese and half an hour later all of you sit in your living room enjoying your take out.

“I’m so full”, Jacob groans and leans back. Harrison just lifts a thumb to show his agreement and spreads across the couch, putting his leg on Tom’s lab, who contemplates to protest, but he eventually lets it slide. Zendaya is snuggled up to your side. She puts her head on your chest and closes her eyes. Mindlessly you play with her hair and a cheeky hand wanders under your shirt. “Are you going to fall asleep on me?”, you ask. “Can’t help it, I have a comfy girlfriend.” You laugh, which in return makes her smile. “You two are disgusting”, Tom comments but you can tell from the tone in his voice that he doesn’t mean it. “Shut up, you were the one who introduced us in the first place.” “Fair enough.” Their bickering makes you crack a tired smile. “Not to get sappy, but I never really thanked you, so, thanks man.” For a moment he looks really proud of himself. “You’re welcome!”

Eventually, silence falls over the five of you. Haz and Tom fall asleep tangled on the couch while Jacob dozes off on the carpet tugged under a blanket. “We should go to bed”, you whisper into Z’s ear. She just sighs. “Carry me.” She sounds so sleepy that you don’t even try to argue with her. Carefully, you pick her up, and she wraps her legs around you like a koala. You manage to get her into bed without knocking something over. By the time you got into one of her shirts and under the blanket next to her she’s already half asleep. “Love you”, she murmurs. “Love you too.”