aroceu: (haru)
black slacks with accentuating offwhite pinstripes ([personal profile] aroceu) wrote2017-07-26 11:53 am

hear you breathe

Char/Pair: Zayn/Niall

Genre: romance/slash

Rating: G

A/N: for coz for the advent calendar

It's Niall's show. Zayn watches from the side, having been invited backstage - he shouldn't have, but then Linda had seen him and greeted him brightly, probably assumed that Niall knew that he was coming. Zayn doesn't know if he wants it to be a surprise - it had been a last minute decision, because between their texts of I miss you once a week, sometimes Zayn can't put feelings into words and just needs to see him.

Niall's playing "This Town," and Zayn smiles. Niall had coughed rather pointedly on the phone when Zayn had told him he was going to be collaborating with Taylor Swift, had Gigi Hadid in his music video - Niall's not one to get jealous, but Zayn knows that by the lyrics in his own song that being so far away from each other is taking a toll on him as well. Zayn knows the song's not about him; Niall tends to mesh a lot of his experiences together, he'd told him once when they were talking about songwriting, into one song that's not about anyone else but about himself.

Zayn almost writes the same, except less in part with the experiences - he just knows, and sometimes it's just as easy as saying it. Though considering the nature of everything, Zayn does slip Niall into his songs, between spaces and till you come back home and I love to hold you close, tonight and always. Niall's there in his music, and as Zayn crosses his arms and watches Niall from the back, the way Niall strums his guitar and closes his eyes, he has a feeling that he's in the way that Niall's voice carries, too.

Niall moves onto "Slow Hands," which the club cheers at. He's performing at a sizable club in L.A. he had texted Zayn about, and Zayn had told him he was in town, too, but that was hours later when Niall's show had already started. Zayn hasn't seen him since Niall had released his singles in the first place, months ago because when Niall was in Europe, Zayn was in the U.S.; when Zayn was in the Europe, Niall was on tour with the other boys, which - Zayn doesn't want to think too much about them, though his stomach sinks a little that he's still with Niall after all this time, perfectly fine while everything else is rough with Louis. Zayn can't fault himself because Niall's the one he's been snogging for upwards of three years, and not anyone else, and Niall had been pretty despondent when Zayn had left. Well, he'd ignored Zayn for an entire week, didn't answer any of Zayn's apology texts until later.

It's always been me, not you when it comes to Niall. Zayn doesn't know if there's anything he could let himself fault Niall for - Niall, who's swimming in the blue club light, sweat beading on his forehead and grinning out at the audience. Wanna be with you all alone, take me home, take me home, Niall's singing, and Zayn's heart thumps loudly under his folded arms. He wishes he could get up on stage and kiss Niall then, but - no one knows, not even the boys, it's been their best kept secret for years and Zayn can barely think of the chaos it would cause if he did such a thing. He waits for Niall to stop performing, to step off the stage.

The crowd cheers again when Niall's done. Niall waves, wiping sweat from his head and his brown hair and going, "Thank you, I love you so much." Zayn smiles to himself as Niall walks away, comes over.

Niall stops in his tracks when he sees Zayn pulling himself away from the wall. Zayn uncrosses his arms and says, "Surprise?"

"Zayn!" Niall runs and throws his arms around him - there's a moment where they're blinking into each other's eyes, and Zayn knows what he's thinking, the amount of space that's between their lips. The moment disappears quickly when Niall retracts himself, because there are still people around backstage.

"What're you doing here?" Niall says, leading Zayn off-stage. "I didn't even notice you - "

"I've been in town, I texted you," Zayn says.

Niall pulls his phone out of his pocket and he says, "Oh, you did." He types something with his fingers. Zayn's phone buzzes in his pocket.

Zayn rolls his eyes and says, "Did you just text me when I'm standing right next to you?"

"Maybe," Niall says cheekily.

The months without Niall suddenly feels like no time at all, like they're back where they've always been, waking up tremendously early in one another's bunk, sneaking in and out of their hotel rooms, pressing their mouths together when the rest of the world is asleep. They're surrounded by swarms of eyes now, but when Zayn looks at Niall and his new brown hair and stubble and the years that they've grown together, his heart feels so full that he doesn't know what to do with himself.

"So," Niall says, as they make their way down to a table. It seems like a VIP section, by the way that it's closed off and the rest of the restaurant doesn't bother them. None of the club staff seem deterred at Zayn being there with Niall. "What's new with you! What're you doing in L.A.? Are we even allowed to be seen together?"

"Good question," Zayn says. "I think the press will have a fit if they see us, but it's pretty dark in here." He glances around. "And I'm doing some producing, you know."

Niall nods understandingly. "Yeah, I've done most of my recording here," he says. "What's - How long've you been in town, then? We could've seen each other earlier - "

"Yeah, we could've," Zayn says, regretting sending the text so late. In fairness, he'd been taking a nap at the time Niall had texted him, and had just woken up when he'd replied. But he's been here for a few weeks now already, and decides that he doesn't want to know how long Niall has been, so he doesn't think of all of the time they could've spend together.

"Oh, well," Niall says, and picks up the menu from the table. "Shit, I'm starved. Have you eaten yet?"

"No." Zayn shakes his head, and looks down at the menu.

"The shakes are good," Niall says. He peers over Zayn's shoulder.

Zayn meets his eyes for a moment, and Niall blinks back at him, eyes bluer in the dark. Zayn wants to kiss him terribly, despite where they are - and he sees Niall's gaze drop to his mouth for a moment, giving himself away as well.

Zayn raises the menu in his hands, blocking them from the world. Behind the plastic, there's a meeting of lips, that says, I miss you and you're home all at once, and Zayn doesn't think either of them can ever write a song about what it feels like to come back together.