fandom: one direction
summary: the world may as well be coming down around them but nothing can possibly take liam away from zayn. written for this prompt on the kinkmeme.
a/n: thank you to ruby_crowned for beta-ing this!
to put it simply, zayn has a bad feeling about today.
he can’t shake the shivers that overcome him every so often, the feeling that someone’s watching him.
it’s not like they have anything out of the ordinary on their schedule - it’s just a signing, and although he loves making the fans happy, he does get tired of the constant screaming.
(sometimes he feels like there’s a violent undercurrent to the cheers from the crowd, like it could turn horrifying in a split second.)
he knows he’s probably being superstitious and ridiculous, but he can’t help it.
when he voices his suspicions to liam, he just tells him, “you’re being an idiot, mate,” and shuts him up with a quick kiss, although it fast turns into more when zayn growls, turning them and trapping him against the wall of their hotel room, moving his lips down his jaw, his neck, his collarbone, his --
“right, sorry to interrupt what looks like a fabulous snog there, you two, but we’ve got shit to do, fans to see, all that,” louis practically screeches, looking far too amused for zayn’s liking.
liam rolls his eyes, adjusting his shirt and uttering a whispered promise to zayn; later.
zayn can’t resist grabbing louis in a headlock and ruffling his hair until all of their stylist’s hard work had been undone. he figures it’s less than louis deserves, really.
the feeling of unease only intensifies as they drive to the mall where they’re doing the signing, and as they pull up, zayn’s practically bouncing in his seat, filled with an uncomfortable kind of tension.
louis takes it the wrong way, saying, “liam got you all wound up, eh zayn?”
he’s met with an outburst of laughter from harry, because harry will do anything to please louis, and after all, zayn supposes that if he was looking at this from a different perspective, it would be quite funny. even liam cracks a grin, while niall just looks confused.
(harry doesn’t know that it’s not amusing in the slightest. he doesn’t know why zayn’s wound up. none of them do. not yet.)
they walk out onto the podium to the usual deafening noise from the crowd, the screams blending into a mess of white noise that’s usually bearable, but today grates against zayn’s nerves.
liam takes one look at him and slings a casual arm around his shoulder, pulling him in to whisper, “it’s okay, zayn, everything’s alright, i’m not going to let anything happen to you.”
(liam doesn’t know that it’s not zayn he should be protecting.)
and even though they’ve placed him at the opposite end of the table to liam, zayn relaxes a bit once they get into the easy rhythm of signing, the hey babe’s and the i love you too’s falling out of his mouth with a gentle grin, and he really does adore his fans, appreciates everything they’ve done. that’s how he’s living the dream, with his four boys. it’s all because of these girls, really.
but there’s one in particular -- nothing special to look at, mousy brown hair, brown eyes, a little plump -- that seems a little rude, a little hurried, and she keeps looking at liam, in a slightly predatory way. it’s not like zayn hasn’t seen anything similar to this, though, because the fans all have their favourite and she probably just wants to get to liam.
something about her, though, makes zayn keep watching, even as he’s meant to be paying attention to other fans. he knows he’ll get shit for this, but it’s liam and he has to.
he sees the girl relax as she gets to the far end of the table, a smile lighting up her features as she leans forward and over the table to give liam a hug. zayn can’t help himself from smiling a bit, and his eyes flicker towards the fan standing in front of him for a split second.
(fatal mistake, zayn. you should know better.)
his eyes turn back to liam of their own accord -- he’s always gravitating towards li, isn’t he? -- and he sees it happen, almost in slow motion.
a knife, shiny and gleaming and full of the promise of destruction.
zayn’s the first one out of his seat, reacting before anybody else notices that something has gone amiss. security is next, restraining the girl, and zayn thinks it’s just as well because he’s fighting the urge to attack her himself.
but there’s liam and he’s fallen and there’s blood and he’s gasping for air and he’s trying to talk, no, liam, stop it.
liam can’t die, not like this, not at the hands of somebody that’s meant to love him. liam can’t leave them all. liam can’t leave zayn.
zayn’s holding liam, cradling his head in his lap, whispering to him, “you’ll be fine you’re fine li i promise everything’s okay i love you liam come on babe,” and harry louis and niall have formed a protective circle around them and zayn doesn’t think he’s ever appreciated his friends, brothers more.
there’s screaming and shouting and the world may as well be coming down around them but nothing can possibly take liam away from zayn.
so that’s why, when the ambulance comes, zayn insists on being in the ambulance and holding liam’s hand and all of that, because he can’t bear the thought of liam being away from him, not with the blood pooling far too quickly from his back, not with the threat that he might be taken from him forever.
they say they’re going to try to stabilise liam and patch him up, but in order to do that, zayn has to let him go for a while, because according to the doctors, there’s some medical shit that he can’t see, and he waits silently, ignoring the others when they speak. because nothing matters, other than liam.
he’s pacing the waiting room, wondering why the fucking doctors are taking so goddamn fucking long, because come on, isn’t there some faster way to do this? to fix liam?
and the thought runs through him, what if they can’t --
zayn can’t think that way.
liam’s the only thing that exists in this world and zayn can’t stand to lose him, can’t stand to lose the sun which he orbits around.
zayn tries to imagine a world without liam and he can’t. all he sees is black.
it feels like hours before someone comes out to talk to them, although in reality it’s probably only been about half an hour.
the nurse looks serious and zayn’s heart jolts and he’s thinking liam liam please please please liam no no.
and then she speaks.