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like 1, 2, 3. (i'll be there)

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And I know when I need it, 
I can count on you like 4, 3, 2, 
You'll be there, 
'Cause that's what friends are supposed to do.

 

-

It happens quickly and without warning. One day, Liam is happily typing ridiculously sappy messages into his phone, then the next he’s crying into Zayn’s shoulder because Danielle had broken up with him. Zayn can vaguely make out the words ‘long-distance’, ‘fans’, and ‘couldn’t do it anymore’. He just wraps his arms around Liam’s waist and lets him sob into his chest, shooting frantic looks over Liam’s shoulder to Louis, who is sitting beside them, rubbing comforting circles on Liam’s back.

Louis just shrugs helplessly and continues to rub Liam’s back.

-

A few days pass, and Liam begins to act more like his usual, upbeat self. Zayn and Louis thought everything was going to be okay, until one interviewer decided to question him about the break-up.

"So, Liam," the interviewer starts, leaning closer to Liam, making her breasts all but fall out of the tight dress she’s wearing. "What happened to your girlfriend?"

Zayn can feel Liam immediately tense, and out of the corner of his eye he can see Louis sit up straighter as well. 

"She’s not my girlfriend." Liam grits out. "We broke up."

The interviewer smiles; it’s slow and creepy and it reminds Zayn too much of the Grinch. “Ah, of course. What happened? Did it become too much for her?”

Zayn’s eyes widen at her tactlessness.

Niall, finally catching on, jumps in. “Actually, miss„ I think we’re out of time.” He shoots the camera-man a pleading look. The camera-man, bless him, immediately understands and shuts off his recording. The interviewer looks puzzled, but Zayn can’t be bothered because Liam has already sprung from his seat and is making his way to the dressing rooms. Zayn catches Louis’ eye and nods in Liam’s direction. 

Together, they inch away from Harry, Niall, and the confused interviewer towards the dressing rooms. When they get there, they see Liam packing up his bag hastily, throwing whatever into it. Louis notices him throw Niall’s headphone’s into his bag, but decides against pointing it out. 

Instead, he takes a couple cautious steps towards his band-mate. “Li? You okay?”

Liam doesn’t even turn around. ” ‘m fine.”

"Liam," Louis says, choosing his words carefully. "You-You don’t have to lie to us. We’re your friends, we’re here for you."

Louis watches as Liam’s hands clench tightly around his bag, wrinkling the fabric. He sees Liam’s back tense, and Louis’ afraid that Liam might very well explode. Suddenly, the bag drops out of Liam’s hands, and his head falls forward. His shoulders start shaking with what Louis can guess are silent sobs. He places a steady hand on Liam’s back, and Liam whimpers. Louis grabs Liam by the waist, spins him around, and pulls him into his arms. Liam buries his face into Louis’ neck and Louis can feels Liam’s tears on his skin.

Slowly, Louis walks them both over to the nearest couch, sits down and pulls the still crying Liam onto his lap. Zayn sits down next to them and rubs Liam’s back, whispering comforts into Liam’s ear. When Liam’s calmed down enough to where he’s just sniffling, Zayn wraps an arm around him and kisses him on his shoulder lovingly. He rests his chin on Liam’s shoulder, eyes connecting with Louis’. They both seemed to be on the same page. They knew they had to do something.

-

After the disastrous interview, Paul decides that the boys have had enough for the day and cancels their radio interview that was scheduled later in the day.

Now, Louis and Zayn are sitting in Zayn’s hotel room, contemplating ways to help Liam feel better.

"I hate seeing him like this," Louis sighs as he flops back onto Zayn’s bed. "It’s just not… Liam. He’s all emotional and tense and he never even smiles any more!”  

Zayn nods, agreeing. “I know, but there’s not much that we can do. You know how he is: He tries to make it seem like everything is okay when it really isn’t.” 

"I’m worried." Louis says. "I haven’t seen him eat a full meal in a while, and he almost never sleeps. He doesn’t think we can tell, but I can see the dark circles under his eyes in the mornings."

Zayn doesn’t respond; he just sighs heavily and throws himself down next to Louis.  Louis takes the silence as a time to think. Really, the first thing Liam needed to do was relax and have a good night’s sleep. But how would they be able to do that? They didn’t have sleeping pills on them; not even melatonin. He thinks harder as he tries to remember ways that helped people get to sleep. He once read somewhere that having sex could help relax you, especially after an orgasm. They wouldn’t be able to do that to Liam… would they? They’d have to get Liam pretty drunk first, but it was worth a shot, right?

Louis sat up suddenly. “Sex!”

Zayn looked at Louis like he’d grown another eye. “What in the hell are you on about?”

"Sex, Zayn! Sex!" Louis says excitedly, proud of himself for thinking of a solution; despite said solution being completely insane. 

Zayn shook his head, obviously confused. “I’m still not catching on.”

"Sex relaxes people, Zayn!" Louis informs him.

"Louis, I don’t see how—" Zayn’s eyes widen when he realizes what Louis’ suggesting at. "Oh no. Oh, no. Liam would never agree to that. You’ve officially lost your mind.”

Louis sighs, exasperated. “No, Zayn, listen! I know Liam wouldn’t agree to doing it sober, but what if we got a couple drinks in him, loosened him up a bit, yeah?” 

Zayn shakes his head once more. “Don’t you think Liam might be a little mad if he finds out his two best friends had sex with him when he was drunk?”

Louis rolls his eyes. Zayn was obviously just not getting it. “We’ll explain to him that we did it for his own good! To help him because we love and care about him.” 

Zayn just mutters, “You’re a fucking weirdo,” and Louis lights up because he knows this is Zayn’s way of agreeing with him. 

-

They wait to put their plan into action until later that day, after Niall and Harry had gallivanted off to some local night club. They’d asked the other boys if they had wanted to come, but Liam, naturally, denied, and Louis and Zayn turned down their offer, using some shit excuse along the lines of ‘we’re tired. we’re probably just gonna go play video games until we fall asleep’. 

After Niall and Harry had left, Louis runs to his suit case and pulls out a half drank bottle of vodka. Zayn wants to be surprised that Louis carries random bottles of alcohol around with him, but he just can’t. 

They sneak off to Liam’s room and bypass knocking, deciding to just use the key card they’d snatched out of Paul’s wallet when he wasn’t looking. They opened to door quietly and walked in, and they saw that the lights were out and that Liam was curled up in bed. Zayn and Louis shared a look, because obviously Liam was asleep, and they didn’t want to mess with him.

They were about to turn around when they heard Liam say, “You two aren’t as sneaky as you’d probably like to think.”

Zayn sighed. “Sorry mate. We just came to visit.”

"We brought alcohol!" Louis exclaims, turning on the light and blinding everyone. 

Liam sits up, squinting at the feathered haired boy. “Why?”

"Because my dear Liam," Louis skips over to Liam’s bed and ruffles the younger boys hair. "We’re gonna have a party."

Liam groans. “Louis, go have a party with Zayn. I’m tired.”

Zayn walks up to them and sits down next to Liam. “We know, we just figured that the alcohol might relax you a little bit.”

Liam eyes them wearily. “Alright, fine. But just one.”

-

As it turns out, Liam was a fuckin’ lightweight, and just one was enough to make him tipsy and slightly buzzed. The brown eyed boy was currently venting out his frustrations to his two bandmates, who were sitting there and listening intently.

"It’s my fucking fault." Liam slurs. Liam’s a very expressive drunk, and so he’s flinging his arms as he talks, sending his vodka over the edges of his cup and onto the bedspread, making Zayn wince as it does. "I didn’t spend enough time with her.  I didn’t get her enough nice things. Maybe if I changed, she’d still be here. Maybe—"

Louis can’t stand listening to his best friend say these things about himself, so he cuts Liam off. “Liam, it’s not your fault. It’s hers. You did everything you could, and you were a wonderful boyfriend. Things just obviously weren’t meant to work out.”

Liam’s lower lip juts out and his eyes start to turn pink, an indication that Liam is close to crying. “But- but now what? She was the only person who was willing to love me. Now who do I have?” 

Zayn jumps on Liam, wrapping his arms around the younger man’s body. Cautiously, Zayn moves his hands up to Liam’s cheeks, and stares into Liam’s eyes. “Liam, I don’t ever want to hear you saying anything like that again. You have plenty of people who will love you.” 

Before Liam can even question him, Zayn lunges forward and captures Liam’s mouth in a kiss. Liam makes a startled noise and moves away. 

He sounds a little bit more sober as he asks, “Zayn, what are you doing?”

Zayn just smiles at him, not off-putted by Liam’s reaction because honestly, this is exactly how Zayn expected this to happen. Louis comes up beside Liam and wraps his arms around the other boys waist, forcing him sideways so Liam is sitting in the middle of the bed with Louis next to him, and Zayn in front of them. 

Louis kisses the expanse of skin on Liam neck where his t-shirt has slipped. Liam shivers and makes a little pathetic whining sound. “We’re trying to relax and comfort you. So we figured this was the best way.” He continues to pepper Liam’s neck with kisses, and Zayn takes this opportunity to lean forward and kiss Liam again. He’s not met with much resistance, but Liam does immediately move his hands to Zayn’s chest, as if to push him away. He doesn’t though, he just continues to make whining noises in the back of his throat as he’s attacked with kisses. 

Louis and Zayn both pull away, and Liam sighs quietly. Zayn moves and now he’s sitting next to Liam with one hand on the boy’s trembling thigh. Louis takes Zayn’s spot, and he smiles at Liam before wordlessly grabbing Liam’s calves and pulling the other boy towards him, forcing Liam to lay on his back. Liam yelps at the unexpected movement.

Liam’s face flushes as he leans up on his elbows, making to get up. “Ha-ha. Very funny, Louis. This is enough, though—”

Louis cuts him off by grabbing Liam’s wrists and pinning them above his head. Startled, the darker haired boy stares up at Louis with questioning eyes. Louis smiles reassuringly, lovingly, and leans into and places his mouth softly on Liam’s. He pulls away after a second, panting slightly, “We’re gonna make you feel so good, baby.” He kisses him once more and nods to Zayn, who grabs Liam’s wrist as Louis pulls away and focuses his attention on Liam’s button up. 

Liam still looks slightly frightened, so Zayn leans forward and kisses Liam on the forehead, and whispers, “We aren’t going to hurt you Li. Promise. We just wanna make you feel good.”

Liam gasps suddenly, and Zayn turns to see Louis sucking and nibbling on one of Liam’s nipples while playing with the other one. Zayn turns back to the doe-eyed boy and smirks at him, then attacks Liam’s neck, sucking and biting, purposefully trying to leave marks. Liam’s already writhing slightly under them, and Zayn thinks that if Liam’s already going from this, then how is he going to be when they strip Liam down and fuck him? Zayn shivers slightly and he can feel his erection growing in his pants. 

Louis kisses a trail down Liam’s chest and stomach, to the hem of his jeans. He breathes heavily on it, purposefully teasing the younger boy, smirking when Liam’s hips jolt up involuntarily. Louis undoes Liam’s button and zipper, and slowly, tantalizingly, pulls them down, inch by inch. Liam whines because obviously Louis’ not doing it fast enough, and jerks his hips up. Louis and Zayn snort, and Louis just pulls the rest Liam’s jeans off in one tug. Louis can see Liam’s half-hard erection outlined in his underwear, and he runs his finger along the outside of it, reveling in the little noises that Liam makes. 

He hooks his fingers in the elastic of Liam’s underwear, and pulls them off swiftly, smirking as Liam gasps when the cold air hits his exposed cock. He grips the base of Liam’s erection, licking a long stripe up the underside of it, teasing him. He want’s to get Liam fully aroused before he even thinks about sucking Liam off. He hears a smothered whine, and he looks up to see Liam and Zayn in a heated make-out session, Zayn still holding Liam’s hands above his head. Louis feels himself hardening at the sight because fuck if they don’t look amazing together.

Re-focusing on the task at hand, he moves his hand up and down Liam’s shaft a couple of times, running his thumb over the slit. He twists his wrist a certain way and it has Liam pulling away from the kiss, gasping and bucking up into his touch. Louis stares at him the entire time he’s jerking him off, and all he can think about is how beautiful Liam looks with his cheeks flushed and his lips bruised and pouty from all the kissing. 

And he figures Zayn must be thinking the same exact thing, because Zayn says, “Fuck, Liam. You look beautiful.” Louis nods in agreement and he blushes hard under their stares. Now that Liam is distracted, he suddenly takes Liam’s erection in his mouth, immediately sucking on it and tonguing at the underside of the head. He hears Liam’s breath cut off, and he begins to whine again, and damnit if that didn’t sound sexy. He grazes his teeth along Liam’s dick lightly, just to purposefully be a tease. Liam growls and Louis can almost feel Zayn smirking. 

Liam’s breath begins to quicken, and Louis can tell he’s close. Zayn begins to say things to him. “You know what Liam? Louis and I, we’re both going to fuck you, would you like that?” 

Liam just grunts and bucks his hips into Louis’ mouth. Louis grips Liam’s hips and forces him to hold still. Louis can tell Liam’s enjoying what Zayn’s saying to him, though. 

"Yeah, we’re both gonna take you, one right after the other, and we’re gonna each fuck you until you come. Would you like that, baby?" And Louis feels himself tighten impossibly at Zayn’s words, and he can hear Liam’s whines, but they all sound involuntary and low. "Are you close? Come for me, Liam." 

And Liam does. With a loud moan, he shoots his come down Louis’ throat, startling the older boy, but he swallows anyway and pulls away with a pop. He crawls up Liam’s torso and kisses the younger boy, allowing him to taste himself. He pinches Liam’s nipple, and he can feel the other boy moan into the kiss, vibrations going straight to his dick. 

Louis pulls away and smiles at Zayn when he see’s him holding out the lube. Zayn tugs Louis’ t-shirt off and kisses him lightly, then pushes him backwards, a sign to tell him to keep going. 

Louis settles between Liam’s legs and pulls him jeans and underwear off without a second thought. He forces Liam’s knees backwards to where they’re touching Liam’s chest, letting Zayn hold them in place. He squirts a generous amount of lube on his fingers, because the last thing he’d want to do is hurt Liam. He reaches out and traces his finger along the rim of Liam’s hole, and Liam shivers and clenches up, not used to having anyone down there. 

"C’mon, Li." Louis says soothingly. "Open up for me, yeah?" He kisses Liam’s ankle, as he pushes in slowly. He tries to hold back a gasp but holy fuck Liam is tight. He tries to not think about how this is going to feel around his dick, instead focusing on preparing Liam properly. 

Louis thrusts his finger in and out of Liam’s hole, then he adds a second finger, scissoring them and stretching him. He crooks his fingers and Liam makes a noise, almost scared. “Oh," and Louis smiles triumphantly, ah-ha, found it!

He adds a third finger for good measure, pushing his fingers in as far as they will go, then pulling them back out. “Ready Liam?” Louis says after he removes his fingers and slicks up his dick with plenty of lube, and lines himself up at Liam’s entrance. 

Liam looks scared, but he doesn’t say no. Taking the initiative, he thrusts forward, sliding into Liam to the hilt. Liam hisses in pain, and his face contorts, and Louis hates to put his beautiful best friend in this much pain, so he stops for a second to let him get accustomed to the feeling. 

It takes a lot for Louis to not just pound into him, though, because Liam is so fucking tight and his cock is throbbing and he just needs to move. Once he sees that Liam’s face isn’t scrunched up in pain anymore, he slowly pulls back out to the tip before snapping his hips forward. A moan leaves Liam’s mouth and it sounded involuntary. 

Louis smirks to himself as he picks up speed, thrusting into Liam with his hands on Liam’s hips, gripping hard enough to bruise. Tiny little "ah, ah" sounds leave Liam’s mouth, and Louis glances up and sees that Liam has his mouth open in a small ‘o’ and his eyes are shut, but he seems to thoroughly be enjoying this. His cock has filled up again and its laying against his stomach, red and begging to be touched. Louis doesn’t touch him though, he wants Liam to come from his cock alone.

Louis grabs Liam’s right leg and throws it over his shoulder for a different angle. After a particularly hard thrust, Liam’s eyes snap open and his back arches and he nearly all but screams. Louis knows he’s found that special bundle of nerves, so he continues to hit that spot dead on.

He can tell that Liam is close by the way his breath is speeding up and he reaches out to clench the bedspread, and Louis’ not far behind him. He tightens his grip on Liam’s hips, digging his fingers into the hollow below Liam’s hip bones and snapping his hips with vigor. 

When Liam comes, his back arches again and a long stream of profanities fall from his mouth. Louis feels Liam clench around him and the pressure sends him over the edge, and he spills into Liam. 

Before Louis can catch his breath, he feels Zayn’s hands on his hips, pulling him out of Liam. He notices that Zayn’s naked, and he certainly can’t remember when Zayn shed all of his clothes, but all thoughts leave his mind when Zayn grips Liam’s hips and thrusts into him, pulling back out and pushing back in, building up a rhythm before Liam can even register that someone else is already inside of him again. 

Louis looks up to see Liam’s reaction, and Louis can feel his erection filling up again because fuckLiam still looks beautiful. He’s gripping at the sheets as Zayn thrusts ruthlessly into him, and the moans that come out of Liam’s mouth are delicious.

Louis moves up to where he’s sitting right next to Liam’s face, and he can see the beads of sweat travelling down Liam’s forehead, neck and chest. Unable to resist himself, he begins to kiss Liam’s chest, sucking and biting and licking and Liam’s forcing his chest up to meet Louis’ mouth because it feels so fucking good.

Zayn looks up to see Louis attacking Liam’s chest, and he has to bite his lip to keep from moaning. Louis bites Liam’s nipple, and Liam clenches around Zayn and moans ridiculously loud, and Zayn can’t help the groan that leaves his mouth when Liam does so. 

Louis looks up to see what Zayn’s doing, and he motions for Louis to move out of the way. After Louis’ moved, Zayn grabs Liam’s legs and forces both of them over his shoulder, before leaning forward and using Liam’s thighs to rest on. He’s now hovering over Liam’s face, and Liam’s eyes are opened wide and Zayn can see how they’ve darkened tremendously. 

He thrusts as fast as he’s capable of, and leans down to kiss Liam softly. The contrast between sexy and fast to sweet and soft sends Liam over the edge, crying out weakly as he spills whatever come is left inside of his body. Zayn follows not long after, filling Liam up before pulling out and laying down next to Liam. 

He looks Liam over, and the younger boy looks thoroughly debauched. His pupils are still blown wide, his lips are bruised, he’s sweating, and he has come drying on his stomach and in between his thighs. 

"Louis’," Zayn whispers when he sees Liam’s eyelids flutter shut. "Go get a warm rag please." Louis nods and leaves to the bathroom, then comes back five minutes later with a warm rag in hand. He runs the rag over Liam’s forehead, then he moves to Liam’s stomach and thighs, wiping off the dried come. Liam whimpers slightly and Louis just kisses his forehead before scampering off to put the dirty rag in the laundry chute. 

Zayn removes the come covered bed spread and throws it onto the floor before pulling the sheets up over Liam and himself. He turns onto his side and throws an arm over Liam’s waist and closes his eyes. The lights turn off and the bed shakes slightly before Zayn feels a slightly smaller hand grip his. 

"Love you, Zayn," Louis whispers to him in the dark. 

Zayn smiles, “Love you too, Lou.”

Louis waits a couple moments before whispering, “G’night Li. Love you.” but the Wolverhampton boy is already fast asleep. Zayn just tightens his grip on Louis’ hand before succumbing to sleep. 

-

The next morning, Louis is woken up by a loud argument. Dazed, he throws his arm out and notices the lack of body heat next to him. He squints one eye open and sees that he’s alone in the bed. He listens to the shouting, and realizes that it’s Liam and Zayn.

"Why are you so pissed, Li?" Zayn yells.

"Maybe because you took advantage of me while I was drunk,” Liam shouts back.

Louis winces because right, they did kind of do that. They didn’t do it to hurt Liam, though. Quite the opposite. 

Fed up with the yelling, he walks into the adjoining ‘living room’ in Liam’s hotel room where he knows the two boys are fighting, and he sees that Liam’s back is to him. He walks right up to Liam without a second thought and wraps his arms around Liam’s waist. All yelling ceases and he feels Liam tense slightly.

Louis just sighs loudly and rests his forehead against Liam’s shoulder before saying, “You know us, Liam. We didn’t do it to spite you, or to hurt you. We did it because we love you and we were sick of seeing you upset.”

Liam doesn’t reply and he doesn’t un-tense his shoulders either. 

"And you were saying some pretty stupid shit about no one loving you last night," Zayn adds, and his heart bursts when he sees Liam squeeze his eyes shut and clench his fists, which Zayn knows he does when he’s trying not to cry. "We wanted to prove you wrong." 

"We do love you, you know," Louis mutters into Liam’s shoulder, and that’s his breaking point.

Zayn sees a tear slip out from under Liam’s eyelid and he rushes forward and wraps his arms around Liam and Louis, sandwiching Liam in the middle. He kisses Liam’s eyelids, then his nose, then his mouth. Liam shivers slightly, but instead of pulling away, he returns the pressure and Zayn can’t but help smile into the kiss.

"Oi!" Louis cries indignantly. "Where are my kisses? This whole thing was my bloody idea."

Liam pulls away and his cheeks are tinted pink. He laughs breathily and turns around in their embrace before kissing Louis, and its soft and sweet. Liam pulls away and Louis smiles at him, and Liam smiles back shyly.

"Well, now that thats fixed," Louis announces after a few moments of silence. "I have a proposition."

Liam raises an eyebrow at Louis, and Zayn just smiles and tightens his grip on Liam’s waist. 

"Liam James Payne," Louis says dramatically, pulling out of their embrace and dropping to one knee. "Will you do the honor of being in a relationship with Zayn and I?" 

Liam hesitates, looking at Louis, then at Zayn, who smiles encouragingly at him, then back at Louis. After a couple seconds of deliberation, Liam smiles widely and nods yes.

Louis whoops and brings his boyfriend into a kiss, then pulling away and kissing Zayn too. 

Eventually, they end up having to pull away because they do actually have things to do today. They all end up getting dressed and riding the elevator down together. Liam stands in between them, and grabs Zayn’s hand in his left and Louis’ in his right, and mutters a “thank you” earning him a kiss from each boy.