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I'm in the crossfire dodging bullets from your expectancies

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When Liam sees the tweet -- and gets over the intial shock that it's from Zayn, their Zayn -- the first thing he does is head for Louis' room.

He's grateful for the fact that he and Louis are staying in the same rented villa with a couple of friends during their time in LA because it would be horrible to know that he wasn't in seconds reach of Louis when Liam knew the boy would need somebody there. Liam knew Louis would be in his room, he was pretty hungover from his previous night out and his brown-eyed best friend was sure he wouldn't have left his room all day.

He hoped with everything that Louis hadn't seen Zayn's direct tweet, but when he walked into said boy's room and saw his forlorn face looking down at the inky-black screen of his iPhone, he knew he was too late.

"Shit...Oh Lou." he said, immediately walking to sit by Louis. He waited for the boy to react, hating when Louis finally looked up at him, his face contorted in an uncharacteristic blend of sadness and confusion.

"I was trying to defend you, you know." he started, quiet and disconsolate.

Liam's heart broke. "I know."

"He knows how I feel about my voice Liam."

The brunette sighed. "I know."

"He used to tell me I was the best, to fuck what other people said."

Liam rubbed a hand down Louis' back. "I know."

"H-he said we'd always be friends Li, Bros for life, no matter what. Fuck"

Liam pulled Louis to his chest. "I know Lou, I know."

 

But he didn't know. How his life had become a battle field and his best friends the soldiers on opposing teams. How exchanging words turned into ammo and the once calm scene, turning into a fully fledging war. He did know however, that he needed to be there for Louis because if there was only one victory to be won in this battle. It had to be the one for Louis' happiness. Liam couldn't care less about -- let alone try to understand -- what was going on with Zayn right now because simply put, he'd hurt Louis and that never went down well in Liam's book. He just wanted Louis to be okay.

"Can I get you some tea Lou?" he asked in an attempt to console Louis with the one thing he liked most.

Louis sighed, sitting up and away from Liam, twiddling his fingers in his lap. "Liam...we're in LA. It's a thousand fucking degrees, I don't want tea." Louis grumbled, trying to keep up a strong front that Liam could see straight through and fuck.

Louis was really down. He didn't even want tea. Since when did tea not fix things? "You don't want tea? You never not want tea? Tea always fixes things...I don't know what I can do past this point?" He babbled to Louis and the boy huffed, frowning deeply at his friend's display.

"Just hold me you idiot yeah? And promise...promise you'll never let me go. Please." Louis cuddled into Liam and Liam couldn't believe how vulnerable he sounded, how easily he let his guard down around Liam. Liam liked this Louis though, the one that opened up to him willingly and completely and never held back. If this Louis felt like crying rivers, Liam would happily supply a shoulder for him to cry on.

Liam bundled Louis tight in his arms and if for a moment he wondered how quickly he could get a flight back to England to beat the shit out of Zayn, well, he never mentioned it. He is just there for Louis because Louis needed him and even though he's not usually one for taking sides -- he's always on Louis'.

"I promise I won't leave you Lou. Ever. I'd never hurt you either, God help me if I ever did." he whispered, holding him close and they sat in a comfortable silence until Louis started to fidget about until he was looking up at Liam.

"I want to write." he stated and Liam just nodded because he understood. This was one of Louis' coping mechanisms. When they were younger and still figuring stuff out, Louis had resorted to being loud and rambunctious as a means of dealing with negativity. He'd needed attention to ward off his despondent thoughts. But now, he was older and wiser, his newfound love for writing providing a new outlet for pent-up emotions. Writing helped with hacking out feelings better than screaming and messing about, he'd come to realise. Liam knew he needed this now.

He let Louis wriggle out of his arms and slip out of the bed to grab their songwriting journal from his desk. They'd always insisted on sharing the journal because it meant all their ideas -- old and new -- were kept in one place.

Once he'd grabbed the journal, he returned to sit next to Liam on the bed. "So what are you thinking?"

"Well." Louis started, flipping the journal's aged pages; riddled with penis drawings and little messages until he came to a blank page. "Since I um...saw the tweet, i can't get these lines out of my head. Could be a potential song." He explained.

Liam smiled at him. "Okay, so tell me what you're thinking, how you're feeling, write it down." he said softly as he produced a pen from his pocket and handed it to Louis.

Louis smiled back him appreciatively and twirled the pen around in his hands. "It's kind of stupid and damn predictable. Like stuff like how the words you said were really lies and how we could have tried harder to be friends, how we could have avoided the mess, how I just feel fucking betrayed." He sighed. "I want it to be written like a love song, but it's more a song about love yeah, I don't even know if I'm making sense."

He was, Liam knew that but Liam couldn't help but wonder why Louis still never thought he was good at what he did. He'd said it himself, he had sold millions of records all around the world yet all of a sudden he was doubting himself again. Liam let himself bitterly think -- and inwardly know -- it was because of Zayn but he pushed the feeling away. "We can work with that, it's honestly great Lou, so how about:

'I'm glad I now know that when you talked, you lied,
We could have stayed friends, if only you'd tried,
But I still got hurt in the end, happy with the mess you made?
I'll sit here, getting stronger but I know I've been betrayed.'

He took the pen from Louis and scribbled down the potential lyrics as he said them aloud, trying to put into suitable words what he thought Louis was trying to convey in his head. Louis was silent at his side as he wrote and when he was done, let out a sort of broken laugh that made Liam's heart ache.

"I knew there was a reason I keep you around Payno." He smiled a little. "You know exactly what I want to say, whether I've said it or not and you always make it sound so pretty." He added and Liam found himself laughing a little but pulled Louis close once again.

"You come up with the great ideas though." He whispered to him. "You're brilliant and wonderful and everything else and the plot twist is that I am not just saying that." Liam smirked.

Louis smiled at him. "And you're better than tea, I guess. At fixing things at least. I'd take you over tea...anyday." Liam laughed at that, nudging the boy beside him softly, happy that they could still laugh like this even through this time. It gave him faith that they would be able to overcome this circumstance, make it out alive if they stuck together.

"Thank you. And have I fixed much? Are you okay?"

Louis shrugged and took the journal back in his lap, leaning his back against Liam's chest. "I will be eventually...but I just want to work on the song right now...I've already got a killer hook in mind." he said, already scrawling in his scratchy on the page.

Liam smiled at him, admiring how he immersed himself in his work and gnawed on the end of the pen a little (Liam didn't care much.), Liam was just happy that Louis would be okay. That's all he ever wanted. "Yeah, whatever you want Lou."