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But Some Kind Of Madness Is Swallowing Me Whole (Written by Alan)

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Zayn fished around for the familiar feel of the cardboard box in his pocket, slipping it out sensually, the lighter dragging not far behind. He placed the cylinder between thin lips, wincing slightly as the lighter pinched the pad of his thumb. The nearly-empty container sparked a few times before the dwindling fluid was enough to light a flame, but once the flicker lit the end of the stick, Zayn inhaled sharply, the comforting feeling of nicotine invading his chest cavity doing an adequate job of soothing his heart rate.

There was a brisk shove from a strong arm tossed around his neck, smoke curling from the cigarette held between the pale fingers of the attacker. Niall seemed generally a careless person-especially with where he threw his ciggys-not paying attention to much of anything unless it was a charming brunette with double d's. Zayn ducked away from the settling limb, rolling his eyes quickly at the blonde’s pout

“Stuff it Horan, one of these days you're going to accidentally burn me and I’ll have to tell everyone it’s bleach that keeps your ‘air looking like that," Zayn grumbled, gesturing to his friends fading nicotine stick as he took a drag from his own. He ignored the quiet scoff that fell from between his best friend’s teeth, letting his mouth hang open instead so that the smoke slowly curled out. He noticed Niall’s playful smirk out of the corner of his eye, swiftly offering the blonde boy a knock to the shoulder in hopes he'd tumble from the bar.

Not very friendly of him.

Whatever.

"Where's that little bird that's been attached to your hip?” Niall needled teasingly, "Perrie was it?"

Zayn mumbled something of a 'piss off' as he glared in the direction of the floor. Perrie had made it very clear last time they'd hung about that she was done with the likes of leather wearing grease monkeys for good. This group sadly included Zayn, and it’s not like he was overly attached to the cherry lipped damsel, but she’d been quite nice company on lonely evenings. She’d yelled all of this at him, claiming that he treated her worse than she'd ever been treated and that she couldn't deal with it any longer. She’d left, he’d settled into the welcoming idea of being without constant bickering for a while, that was a week ago.

Zayn took another drag from his cigarette.

It was afterwards that his amber gaze flickered to a commotion on the opposite side of the diner. Zayn allowed a quiet groan escape the captivity of his throat as he watched his least favorite group of people walk through the door, their lips tugged into arrogant smirks as they strode through the busy restaurant. Louis Tomlinson, white teeth flashing to anyone willing to notice his presence, an unlit cigarette hanging from his lips, led his pretentious pack of flying monkeys in Zayn's direction. The dark headed man felt his heart cling to the divots in his chest as it pounded wildly, the look Louis was casting towards him full of nothing but promise of mischief and something Niall leaned over to ask if it was desire for bloodshed. He swallowed the lump that settled in his esophagus, trying desperately to appear unfazed by the oncoming course of events. Normally, he had Luke and Calum at his side whenever Louis and his fellow hooligans came round to stir up dust, but the boys were off at the drive in with their newest girls, and Zayn was left with nothing but his timid blonde sidekick and the absence of his only other weapon, Danny, to help him out of this mess.

"Look what the cat dragged in," Niall spat, sounding much more confident than Zayn knew he really was. He scooted closer to the older man absentmindedly, leaving the other to smooth a smirk away into the palm of his hand. Louis gestured for his mindless followers to halt, cocking an eyebrow at the pair on the counter as the tension blossomed in the open air. Michael twiddled a lighter between his fingers, spinning it around his thumb as if some stupid trick was supposed to be threatening. Then there were Nick and Ashton, chins cocked to the side and eyes sweeping Niall’s frame as if they were waiting for permission to pounce. Harry was there too, stuck to Louis’s side of course. It seemed to be the only place anyone ever saw the curly headed boy, riding side bitch on whatever adventures the older man decided to drag him on. Then there was Liam-

Zayn had always tried to avoid acknowledging Liam, tried to avoid noticing how soft he was around the edges. The dark headed man swore that Liam didn’t belong anywhere near Louis’s gang of idiots, not with supple, brown eyes and cotton candy pink lips that shadowed his loud humor with a dollop of innocence. Zayn knew, well, he’d heard that the younger man was far from innocent. He got around enough for everyone to know about it, and seeing as how Zayn harbored something of a stupid crush on the brunette, he’d always sort of hoped he’d fit into a blank space when Liam had the time-

But Zayn hated Liam, he was friends with the devil.

It was about the time that Zayn got his thoughts back into line that Louis’s lips curled up into something wicked, his cerulean blues fluttering as if he were deciding just how poisonous he wanted his first sentence towards Zayn to come off.

"So, Malik, heard you and Pez had a bit of a falling out?” he teased, settling his weight into his right hip as he lit the roll up between his lips. It was almost nonchalant, how Zayn grit his teeth together against the lewd curl of smoke from Louis’s mouth, wondering just how much the little rat really knew.

"Suck a dick Tomlinson," Niall hissed, eyes narrowing as the older man chuckled up at him. Zayn almost felt bad for the blonde.

"You'd like that wouldn't you? Careful Horan, your gay is showing," Louis chided, tongue flicking out against his lips as a challenge. Zayn felt Niall's body tense, and there was a promise that the younger would remain silent from that point forward. The amber eyed man rolled his eyes, snubbing the fade of his cigarette before pursing his lips.

"Jesus Tommo, I broke up with the girl, she was a bit too crazy for me to handle. Now are we done here? I was actually enjoying my evening until I was forced to look at you," Zayn groveled, jaw set harshly.

Louis chuckled, eyes sweeping Zayn's frame slowly in attempt to make the younger squirm. If he had to admit it, he felt threatened by Zayn. He was attractive, much darker than Louis in a harsh and brooding kind of way. Zayn was sharper around the edges, cut more smoothly and complimented by touches of fluffed hair and smooth eyelashes. He also had a certain assholesque charm that Louis couldn't quite seem to pull off. The brunette coasted by on his sarcastic edge, his looks paling in comparison to the darker man. He thrust his hands into his pockets, teeth gripping the cigarette lightly as he blew smoke at the pair in front of him.

"That's not what I heard from Liam, he says she dumped you because you're a heartless bastard. That sounds a bit more right doesn't it?"

Zayn felt the snarl curl the corner of his lips before it happened, a growl sounding low in his throat before he could control it. He cast a glance at Liam, the brunette’s gaze lingering towards the black and white tiled floor as he scuffed a boot across it. One part of Zayn hoped that the younger boy hadn't meant it, hadn’t even said it in the first place because he’s never been anything but nice to Liam-

The other part wanted to throttle him right then and there for acting so sticky sweet.

There was a grin splayed across Louis's features that made the dark headed man want to scream, made him want to argue that this wasn’t in fact the case but Louis had Zayn right where he wanted him: helpless, pinned to the counter with nothing but a stunned expression and clenched fists. Before he could do anything stupid, Zayn pressed a bit of cash in the cooks direction for the beer he’d had, slid from his seat with a pointed stare into the cobalt blues in front of him, and brushed past Louis and his henchmen. Niall didn't move from his spot, rooted by confusion, or shock at the lack of rebuttal, or whatever else the younger boy could possibly be feeling in the moment. Zayn bit back the sting in the corners of his eyes, the absolute disdain for Louis’s need to be in everyone’s business and act like he’s badder than the whole world, as he fought to get to the door. He ventured out into the balmy night, the air swirling as if it were buzzing around him. The acrid scent of a thunderstorm filled his nostrils, and Zayn cursed himself for letting the blonde man drive him over rather than bringing his motorcycle. He wasn't going back in there though, it was a matter of principal, so he sucked up the dread in the center of his chest and began trekking home. It seemed the only option, and when the first bolt of lightning flashed, Zayn dropped his head, popped his collar, and walked faster without another thought to the place-

Or Liam, damn him.

⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅

It wasn't much later when it began to sprinkle, the light rain sneaking occasional drops down the back of Zayn's neck. The drizzle was refreshing, a cool counteract to the sweat building along the curve of his spine from his rapid pace. Between the physical exertion and his refusal to pause on the obscenely long walk back to his place, it began to pour. Zayn was quickly soaked, and even though it was the middle of summer the brisk droplets caused his teeth to chatter painfully. He buried his hands into the pockets of his jeans, the harsh jut of his chin digging further into his chest to keep the water from his eyes. He tried not to look up, not to think about how far he had to walk-

Not to dwell on Louis’s harsh statement, Liam’s spiteful words.

Maybe Perrie had a point, maybe he was heartless. Maybe all of the butterflies and warmth he'd felt when she smiled at him was all in his head.

Or maybe Liam Payne was an asshole who was making up lies.

Zayn bit down on the inside of his cheek as he pushed off the familiar swim of angst through his chest, the undesirable wash of dismay overtaking his bones. He emitted a groan as he acknowledged the nearest street sign, realizing that he still had upwards of a mile left to hike. His hopes of Niall driving by and picking him up had vanished about a half a mile ago, right along with a soggy pack of cigarettes and a ruined lighter he was forced to toss. The desire for the comfort of smoke in his lungs made his body ache, and he tried to ignore the urge.

Zayn thought quietly about kicking the habit.

Just as he thought his toes were going to fall off from numbness, the sound of a motorcycle engine’s thrum pricked his ears. Curious, he stopped for a moment, glancing over his shoulder to acknowledge the approaching chopper. Through the wall of rain, Zayn could make out a familiar metal frame, the rims and the build the ones he'd envied ever since the man on the bike had gotten them.

Zayn turned on his heel and kept walking.

“Malik?" an inquisitive voice questioned. Zayn rolled his eyes, scuffing his heels against the wet pavement as he contemplated the idea of acknowledging the brunette. He sighed wetly, pivoting reluctantly to find Liam with his helmet removed. Zayn couldn't quite believe the audacity this man had, the pure boldness he possessed to even mutter a word in the older’s direction without the protection of his friends. Zayn waited patiently for the other to zoom away once he realized that it was in fact him soaked to the bone-

But he didn't.

"What in God's name are you still doing out here?” he asked, edging his bike closer to curb, closer to where Zayn was standing.

"Walking home, what the hell does it look like?” Zayn snapped, heart pounding as he felt the riveting juncture of his blood pressure spiking. The fact that the brunette had the nerve to act like he cared that Zayn was walking home in the torrential downpour made him positively fume.

"Christ, you must be freezing, how much further do you have to walk?"

Zayn grumbled something about how it really wasn't that far under his breath, scrubbing a hand through his flattened locks as he licked the rain from his lips. It wasn't, really, not when he'd already walked to this point. He was acutely aware of the frigid rain streaming past the collar of his jacket, the thin t-shirt he wore underneath completely drenched. His cheeks felt hot, and he tried to tell himself it was because he’d been walking for so long when really it was because Liam was staring at him. Zayn didn't like people gawking at him, it made him feel as if they were judging the way his clothes hung too loosely around his thin frame or the way his nose hung crooked at the tip. He didn’t like people looking because there was no reason to, and Liam was watching him as if he was a fragile piece of China. Granted, he was shaking like a leaf, but he didn't need Liam's pity.

"C'mon then, you can come back to mine until the rain stops," Liam offered, sounding more commanding than a suggestive. Zayn retracted, brows furrowed as he watched the younger man return his helmet to his head.

"What the hell Payne," he laughed, the noise coming out as a questioning bark as he realized he must be dreaming. There was no way Liam was actually being nice to him.

"Look, just because we don't like each other doesn't mean I don't have manners. Now get on the damn bike, unless you really want to walk another mile in the rain."

Zayn was positive Liam was smirking behind the visor of his helmet, and that pissed the older man off just enough to deter him from wanting to keep walking. Being stuck with someone you rather hate was better than walking for another twenty minutes in a hurricane he thinks, and so Zayn reluctantly approached the bike, swinging his leg over like he'd done a million times on his own. He cautiously wound his arms around Liam's waist, the over eager vulnerability of his position heating his skin and making him just the slightest bit nauseous. Liam wasted no time in speeding off, cutting corners and taking sharp turns in an attempt to get home quickly.

And no, Zayn was not swooning over the taut pull of Liam’s muscles as he drove.

They made it to the cozy looking house in record time, the pair dismounting the bike rapidly before jogging inside. A wave of heat rushed to meet them as Liam held the door open, and Zayn shuddered as he noticed the full extent of how cold he’d really become. Liam slipped out of wet boots and shoved them away from the entrance, weaving his way out of Zayn’s sight for what the older hoped was towels. Sure enough, Liam returned seconds later with two overly large, green towels in his hands.

"Here," he offered, tossing Zayn one of the fluffy cloths. Liam wasted no time in shimmying from his jacket and discarding the dripping leather across the back of a chair. Zayn toweled at his hair, reminding himself to avert his eyes as Liam peeled his wet shirt from his torso. His interest got the better of him far too quickly, and Zayn found himself mesmerized by a patchwork of muscles; dips and curves falling to meet hills and valleys that Liam seemed to be made out of. The brunette had fewer tattoos than he'd expected, only a few adorning his forearms as opposed to Zayn's covered torso. The dark headed man watched as the younger dried the rolling droplets of water from his shoulders and chest, suddenly self conscious of the body that lay beneath his own clothes. No way his scrawny limbs could compare in the slightest to the build Liam possessed, and no way Zayn would be giving the brunette another embarrassing tidbit to feed Louis later on.

"Take off your boots would you please," Liam ordered, the sound muffled by the mound of clothes piled onto his couch he was digging though. He resurfaced out with a fresh pair of pants and a clean shirt. Without another word, or so much as a glance to acknowledge that the older had done as asked, Liam headed in the direction of his small bathroom to change. Zayn breathed then, releasing the air he'd been holding captive in his lungs as soon as the other man was out of sight. On a quick decision, he removed his jacket, hanging the leather off of the front door handle gingerly as he contemplated any further removal of clothes. He padded decidedly across the room and into the kitchen, ridding himself of the freezing t-shirt before ringing the water into the sink. The towel hung loosely across his shoulders as he worked the wetness from the fabric, the longer bits of his hair allowing water to race down his forehead. The droplets clung to his eyelashes in clumps, and he blinked them repeatedly away as he hung the no longer dripping shirt over the counter to dry. Zayn sighed into the open air, eyes closing against the booming crash of thunder that shuddered his bones, fingers clinging to the edge of the towel in a decision to continue drying his torso.

He jumped as the sound of the door down the hall unlocking rang through the air, muscles going rigid as Liam reappeared. Zayn didn't look up from the sink, dragging the towel across his neck and pretending not to notice the younger boys presence.

Or the fact that he wasn't wearing the gray t-shirt he'd taken with him.

Zayn felt the blush creep up his neck.

The raven haired man reached for his wet shirt swiftly, intending to reapply it and be on his way. He rung out the material as much as he could, hoping that Liam wasn't staring at the ink splayed across his skin. The sound of the wood floor creaking beneath heavy feet neared closer to him, but Zayn kept his eyes glued to the damp fabric in his hands. His fingers shook nervously as he prepared to slip I over his head, but much to his dismay the younger caught his wrist, stopping him from any such notion.

"Please tell me you did not just dry yourself off with intent of putting your wet clothes back on," Liam scoffed, soft eyes fluttering over Zayn's frame on the most condescending way. Liam was taller than him, more broad, it made Zayn feel small and helpless as the brunette cooked a grin down towards him.

Not that Zayn was looking closely enough to notice.

Liam rolled his eyes, sighing at the older man's unwavering scowl as he released his grip, leaving Zayn to finger the lost pressure on his arm as he traipsed in the direction of clean clothes for the older. It took mere seconds to locate his goal, and he thrust them against Zayn's chest moments later, nodding in the direction of the bathroom with a no nonsense kind of attitude radiating from his stature.

"I've still yet to wrap my head around why exactly I'm inside your home and about to change into your clothes, considering you live to make my life miserable," Zayn spat, running jittery hands over the soft fabric of the dark pants Liam had given him.

"Do you want the damn clothes or not?"

Zayn grumbled something not so friendly under his breath, brushing past Liam quickly to avoid any further confrontation. He ventured down the dimly lit hallways and into the bathroom, flipping the light on and inhaling sharply as a smell that was distinctly Liam attacked his nostrils. He probably would've enjoyed the scent, mulled it over with eyelashes fluttering against his cheeks if it weren't for the horrendous sight of his hair reflecting back at him in the mirror. The normally styled up do was laying flay against his head, and he groaned internally at the mop remaining limp against his scalp with no intention of cooperation. He dried it to the best of his ability, fixing it to an acceptable standard before slipping out of his wet clothes. He ogled the garments Liam had given him, sliding into them reluctantly only to follow with a blush at how much to big the pants laid against his thighs, and the tshirt that clung tightly to Liam's muscled build hung baggy against his willowy frame. He sighed into his reflection, running one last desperate hand against his scalp before fumbling towards the door.

He prepared himself for any and all types of teasing, wandering out into the living area with dripping pants and towel in hand. Without even batting an eye, Liam removed the wet garment from Zayn, padding towards his dryer and tossing them inside. The quiet hum of the machine filled the silence, the putter patter of the showering droplets echoing against the roof as well. The older man gazed out the window, tightening his fists as he watched the rain continue to pour.

He was stuck here.

Liam reappeared empty handed, a lit cigarette dangling from his lips before eager fingers were pulling it away from between bright teeth. Zayn inhaled the second hand smoke hungrily, his head suddenly aching from lack of the substance. Liam chuckled, certainly catching on to Zayn's desperate stance, decidedly continuing his nice streak by tossing the older man the pack and the lighter which he grappled out from his pocket. Zayn, acting quickly, was inhaling smoke within seconds. He allowed the vapor to curl deep into his lungs, tipping his head back and allowing his eyes fall shut as the warm burn peeled through his veins. He hummed in something of relief before pressing the smog out from pursed lips and hollowed cheeks.

Liam had to clear his throat.

"When did you start smoking?” Liam asked, holding the nicotine filled mist in his throat as long as it would allow before blowing it away from the pair of them. He leant up against the edge of the counter, waiting for Zayn's answer. The dark headed boy folded his hands against the countertop as well, feet crossed at the ankles before taking another drag from the butt.

"That," Zayn began, "is a fascinating question, and yet, you never seemed to answer mine. What the hell made you decide to help me?"

"Another excellent question," Liam chuckled, caramel eyes flickering to Zayn’s for but a moment, ”both of which wish to remain unanswered, I’m sure of it.”

Zayn looked towards his feet to hide the curl of a confident smirk unfolding from his lips, holding the burning stick between his fingers as he thought. Smoke curled from the end to shroud his vision from the younger, and it was then that he decided he was more than a little curious as to Liam’s motives. Zayn wrapped his lips around the cigarette once again, hollowing his cheeks haphazardly and narrowing his eyes at Liam smugly.

He pretended not to notice the way the brunette’s adam’s apple bobbed with a gulp.

"I started smoking when I was thirteen, seemed the appropriate age," Zayn said, shrugging along to his words at the casual mention of the habit he was sure was slowly killing him.

"Why?"

Zayn tried not to roll his eyes too harshly.

"Now now Payno, that's two questions and you haven't even answered my first one. No getting ahead of yourself now” Zayn teased. Liam cocked a brow at him, pressed his lips into a tight line because, well, there was no way he was going to allow Zayn’s looks and overbearing attitude take over this conversation. The older man nodded in something of appreciation for Liam’s silence, maintaining eye contact with the brunette as he exhaled sickening fog from his nostrils.

"I started smoking because I thought maybe I'd get lucky. Maybe God would bless me with lung cancer and take me away from this horrible place," Zayn offered, flicking ash into the sink, "now I can't live without it, and maybe I'm still hoping for that morning when I wake up with an aching pain in my chest."

Liam huffed lightly, Zayn's nonchalance on the topic unnerving him. He'd never heard anyone talk about death like it was no big deal; like it was something he was running towards instead of away from.

“Sounds a bit pretentious,” he hums.

He'd never seen anyone with cheekbones like Zayn's, or lips that curled so effortlessly into a smile.

Christ.

"Are you going to answer my question or keep staring at me Lee," Zayn preened, tantalizing a long drag from his ciggy. Liam blushed, he god damn blushed because he felt as if he was being interrogated for the crime of being too infatuated with someone incredibly hazardous, and he found himself laughing lightly as he dropped his gaze.

"Just because Louis doesn't like you doesn't mean I don't like you," Liam mumbled, almost inaudible to the older man. Zayn, positive that he'd heard incorrectly drew nearer, leaning across the counter and waiting for further elaboration-

Or the punch line to a bad joke.

"I didn't say any of those things about you and Perrie. Well, no, I guess I did, but I didn't mean any of it. I feel awful," he pleaded, and Zayn was taken aback by the urgency in Liam's voice. He took the moment to scan the younger man’s scrunched eyebrows and twisting lips, allowed himself a strangled inhale and an unsure flutter of lashes because Liam cared.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?” he laughed, huffing smoke nervously in the others direction. He found himself getting more and more confused as Liam's cheeks flushed, or maybe he was just too good at shoving down the hope bubbling in his stomach. “Why would you say such rude things if you didn’t mean them?”

"I guess you could call it jealousy,” Liam murmured, gaze hidden behind a wall of smog and the hand scrubbing his hairline. It was inherently obvious, though, that the younger man was blushing.

"Of me? You have every right to be, Perrie was a doll," Zayn offered, trying not to think too hard about her cream colored skin or her smooth blonde hair, so lost in his own world he didn't quite notice Liam staring at him. He flicked away the last of his tobacco roll up, glaring at the nearest wall with harsh intent because of course Liam was jealous of him, who wouldn’t be? It made enough sense for the brunette to say such crude things about him if he was convinced Zayn had broken the girls heart. The older man had done the same his fair share of times, but God the notion stung like an open wound-

"Of Perrie," Liam grumbled, clearing his throat and interrupting Zayn's thoughts.

And then there was silence.

"What," Zayn laughed, eyebrows scrunched in a question, ”you've got to be joking?”

Liam looked the opposite of kidding.

“Liam I-"

"No forget it, forget I said anything," he grumbled, his forgotten cigarette hanging from his lips as he looked to the floor. Zayn's heart danced in his chest, and he wasn’t sure where he built up the nerve, but he took a careful step towards Liam. He could feel the blood pulsing in his finger tips as he reached for the younger man’s half finished fag, the smoke curling away from it and into the open air before nimble fingers hooked around it. Liam glanced up, and a rush of something unfamiliar flooded Zayn's senses at the innocent gesture of simple eye contact. He could smell Liam, the heavy scent of nicotine and musky cologne spiraling into his nostrils and twisting into his brain, messing with his better judgement. He blinked a couple of times, trying to rid himself of the buzz in the back of his skull, but he managed to open his mouth instead.

"Why are you jealous of her?" he heard himself ask, nearly afraid of the answer and a bit embarrassed that he’d mustered the inquiry in the first place. He knew what Liam was going to say, what he wasn’t clear on was how the thundering his chest had taken too was going to react-

Or why his stomach was tangled into a beautiful mess of knots and his head wouldn't stop spinning. He realized how close they they'd gotten-

Zayn could feel Liam's breath on his face, he wasn't quite sure when that happened either.

"Because she's lucky," Liam answered simply, somehow managing to keep his eyes from glancing anywhere but Zayn’s features ” she's lucky because you're beautiful."

That was all it took.

Without another moments thought Zayn swiftly wrapped his arms around Liam's neck, his right hand tangled in the younger man’s mop of hair while his left still held the fading cigarette. He pressed their lips together carelessly, eyes fluttering closed to the sound of Liam's surprised breath. The shocked gasp quickly turned into a content sigh, and Liam pulled Zayn flush against him as the raven haired man's tongue danced across his lower lip. He felt like stuttering, or tripping, or fumbling in some way, because Zayn tasted somehow of a rough sweetness and enough wasn't even close to enough. He had to try to refrain from whimpering as Zayn's teeth pulled at his bottom lip, instead reacting with a bruising kiss back to the older man. Liam's fingers brushed across a bare piece of Zayn's lower back, an elongated moan escaping from Zayn's mouth as the brunette fluttered his fingers up the older man's spine.

Liam felt like collapsing.

Zayn felt incredibly alive for the first time in months.

"It stopped raining," Zayn breathed, lips only far enough away from those incredibly pink one’s belonging to Liam that he could speak. Their panting breaths mingled, and Liam couldn't find it in himself to even check and see if Zayn was right. He shook his head.

"I don't care," he mumbled, smothering the smirk off of Zayn's lips hotly, hands gravitating towards the older man's upper thighs and hoisting him onto the counter top. Zayn bit the inside of his lip as Liam brushed kisses all the way to the spot where his jawline curved into his neck, sucking harshly on the tender flesh.

“You’re going to leave a mark there," Zayn breathed, clutching to the back of the younger mans shirt as Liam’s tongue licked across his collar bone. Liam hummed in acknowledgment, lightly biting down on the protruding bump, causing Zayn's toes to curl and his heart to thunder much louder than it had been against his ribs.

"What if this is just some stupid rebound thing," Zayn needled, whimpering quietly as Liam’s hands eased their way up the inside of his thigh, ”what if I regret all of this tomorrow and feel like shit for using you?”

"You won’t," Liam chuckled, palms spread flush against Zayn’s hips, "I'll make sure of it.”

And so Zayn nodded, tilting his head downwards and reconnecting their lips without a second thought. There was a distant question as to how they’d gotten here so quickly, another lurking not too far behind about how Zayn was going to explain this to his mates later on. It didn’t quite matter due to the incessant pull of Liam’s fingers against his skin and the easy drawl of the younger’s tongue against his, and so he let it die-

Right along with the cigarette he’d accidentally dropped into the sink.