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easy, easy and a 1, 2, 3

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louis loves liam more than anyone, like, ever. it's a fact. he just chooses to show it in... unconventional ways. like that time he put salt in liam's tea instead of sugar, and liam (being liam) was too nice to say anything about it, so he just sat there and drank it as if it was all fine. (it really wasn't.) or that time louis loosened the screws on his skateboard wheels and then gave it to liam to have a go... only to watch him fail even more miserably than he would have without the aid of a wrecked skateboard. (to this day, liam still thinks he broke it. he's never stopped apologising, and louis just can't seem to find it in himself to fix his skateboard and show that it isn't really broken. what can he say, he likes the attention.)

and that's kind of it, really. louis runs his mouth about the annoying kids in school – he just doesn't shut up about how fucking ridiculous they are – but he's never once talked shit about liam. as much as he likes to prank and piss off and distract liam, he loves him (truly), and louis tomlinson would not be the louis tomlinson without liam payne by his side. (even if they are less partners-in-crime, more father-and-rowdy-child-on-a-day-out. liam being the father and louis the rowdy child, of course.)

so, the summer term is in full swing, and their exams are less than three weeks away. liam, as per, is strung about as tight as louis' nan's washing line when she's just hung out a load of jeans, and louis, as per, is about as laid back as a reclining leather armchair. maybe even one of those ones with the back massage feature. louis wouldn't mind one of those.

liam, being as tightly wound and stressed as he is, hasn't spoken to louis outside of school in four days, and even then it's only been clipped, hurried conversations, unaided by liam's apparent lack of a vocabulary beyond “yeah”, “no” and “i don't know”. so, basically, it's a bit of a travesty. louis is thinking of writing a play about his experiences and calling it: life with(out) liam. it could be a bestseller, and he could wax poetic about the tempestuous friendship of tommo and payno.

(although, on second thoughts, last time he attempted a piece of creative writing it ended with several hundred crumpled balls of paper, an almost liam-esque level of stress and an almighty headache. yeah, probably a bad idea.)

currently, (play ideas aside) louis is working on ways of unwinding the tightly coiled spring that is his best friend. he reckons it'll take just one small push to have him spring back into action; but louis needs to figure out a plan of action first. shouldn't be too difficult, right?

 

* * *

 

wrong. louis was so, so wrong. getting liam over the edge and back into louis' reality is the hardest fucking thing he has ever set his mind to. especially when liam won't even give him the time of day.

(literally. louis asked for the time yesterday, whilst pointedly staring at liam's watch, only to be dismissed with a grunt and an “ask someone else”. what an asshole.)

in conclusion, louis is stumped. and really, now, it's getting to the point where louis actually just misses liam, and the fact that he's willing to admit it kind of suggests how long it's been. so, action must be taken. desperate times call for desperate measures, and all that.

that's how louis ends up standing at the end of liam's drive, contemplating his plan of action, on a particularly ordinary tuesday evening. the sun has yet to set, and the breeze is ruffling louis' hair around the crown of his head, so much so that the elastic headband tangled between the headphones in his pocket seems like a good idea. presentability aside; louis steels himself, vows to sort liam out and steps up to the front door, knocking thrice in quick succession.

karen, liam's wonderful mother, answers the door and waves him upstairs without question, heading back into the living room where louis catches a glimpse of pointless on the tv and seriously considers abandoning the plan to join karen on the sofa. everyone loves a bit of pointless.

no, louis repeats to himself, sort liam out.

then pointless.

liam's bedroom door is slightly ajar in a way that would annoy louis had it been his room. through the gap between door and frame, louis can just make out liam arranged neatly on his bed, lying atop the duvet, face to the ceiling, seemingly doing... nothing. hm. so, not revising. louis pushes the door open softly and steps inside, treading carefully in his bare feet (the chequered vans he toed off not minutes before sitting at the bottom of the stairs) so as to give him the advantage of surprise. he watches liam's still form for a moment before it occurs to him that liam is revising, by repeating things to himself under his breath. unbelievable.

it's at this realisation that louis rolls his eyes (fondly) and makes up his mind to attack. he strides across the room and jumps up onto the bed, startling liam's eyes open and pushing a surprised sound from his lips. before he can register the events properly, though, louis' hands get to work at liam's sides, tickling vigorously. immediately, liam is gone, surrendered in giggles and absolutely done for.

“lou- louis! p- pl- please, lou!” liam's words are stuttered out between bursts of laughter as he wriggles under the continuous pressure of louis' fingers to his sides and the weight of louis' body atop his thighs.

“you asshole--” louis begins, eyes set with determination and concentration. “i can't believe you've spent the last six days ignoring me in favour of revising--” laughter. “--what happened to social life, payno?”

“get-- off-” liam pants, breathless, legs kicking to dislodge louis and send him flailing off the side of the single bed with a strangled shout and a thump.

louis waits

1, 2, 3

seconds for liam's giggles to subside and

4, 5, 6

for the guilt to set in.

7, 8, 9

for thinking time and--

“tommo? you okay?”

10, 11, 12.

liam's head pops over the edge of the bed, concern etched in the shape of his eyebrows. louis extends his right hand towards liam, indicating he help him up. liam (being liam) eagerly agrees. always looking to redeem himself. his own mistake.

as soon as their hands are clasped together, louis yanks, hard, bringing liam crashing down on top of him. the triumphant grin on louis' face is enough to suggest the pride he feels in his deception.

“well, hello, payno. fancy seeing you here.” their faces are close enough that liam's eyes are hard to focus on, so he settles for staring at his eyebrows.

“louis,” liam sighs. “why?”

louis bats his eyelashes at liam's eyebrows.

“why what?”

“you know why what.”

“i do?”

liam sighs again. “yes, you do.”

louis grins, waggling his eyebrows as liam pushes himself to sitting up on louis' thighs; a reversal of their original position. unfortunately, louis realises this a moment too late, and is bombarded with tickles that seem to tear giggles from his chest one by one, leaving him gasping for air. he weakly attempts several grabs for liam's hands, succeeding in a total of... well, none.

(nobody knows how, but) somehow, louis manages to roll them over so that he's on top once again, but it's short lived because his momentum takes them full circle and leaves liam on top once more. the power struggle continues as giggles and shouts fill the room. both boys end up breathless and giggly, high on friendship and laughter endorphins. good hormones, those.

it's all a bit slow motion, suddenly, and louis really isn't sure how they got here, lying side by side facing each other, until the laughter lines in liam's forehead fall away to be replaced by anger lines. (are they a thing?) (well, they are now.)

“aw, come on, payno, you know you enjoyed that. you missed good ol' tommo's antics.”

“no, i really didn't.” liam looks like a bit of a kicked puppy when attempting to be angry. it's just not a good look on him.

“don't lie to me now, li, you know--” louis is abruptly and rudely cut off, but is in fact too surprised to register the turn of events for the first few seconds.

“oh, shut up,” liam had spoken over louis' frankly inspiring speech before fisting his hand into louis' tank top and dragging their faces closer.

now, their lips are pressed together and

1, 2, 3

seconds leave louis gasping for more and kissing back with all his might;

4, 5, 6

to bring his hands up to rest on liam's chest, and

7, 8, 9

sends a splurge of butterflies erupting in his tummy as liam's hand moves to louis' waist, fingers pressing softly.

louis doesn't know what to think; so he doesn't.

maybe he can watch pointless on catch up.

10, 11, 12.

louis loves liam more than anyone, like, ever.

(and you can't blame him, really.)