Liam’s been coming into the coffee shop for at least two weeks and keeps seeing the same dark haired beauty with tattoos on his arms and a look of mystery in his eyes. He tries to talk to the other man, but can’t because his tongue seems to stop working when tries to say something other than his drink order.
“Hey Liam, the usual?” the barista asks.
Liam looks at him dumbstruck, “Uh, yeah...yeah the usual.”
The barista smiles and writes his order on a cup before handing it over to his co worker and rings up Liam’s order.
“That’s two pounds forty.”
Liam hands him three pounds. The barista gives him his change and Liam walks away without talking to him.
The coffee shop fills up quickly after Liam pays, so when his order is ready he grabs it to make a quick exit. He hears someone yells, “Zayn!” and he turns to see his crush turn to see who’s calling him. Liam smiles to himself. He now knows that Zayn is the name of the one he’s been crushing on for weeks.
The next day Liam uses Zayn’s name and Zayn smiles at him, blushing.
“The usual?” Zayn asks.
“Yeah, and a muffin. Didn’t have breakfast before I came,” Liam replies.
Zayn rings up his order before going over to get Liam a muffin. He puts the muffin in a bag and hands it to Liam.
“That’s four pounds sixty.”
Liam hands over five pounds and gets his change. He puts it into the tip jar, winking at Zayn as he walks away to wait for his coffee.
When Liam gets his coffee he notices there’s a little something extra. Zayn’s made Liam’s name into a design with the “i” dotted with a heart. Liam blushes at it and keeps his head down at he leaves.
The next day Zayn’s made a little drawing of Liam on Liam’s cup. It’s nothing special but again makes Liam blush and walk away without looking back.
On the third day Zayn’s made a design with numbers on it. Liam is confused so he walks back up to the counter to talk to him.
“Is everything alright, Liam?” Zayn asks.
“Uh...numbers? I mean what are they?”
Zayn chuckles, “My number, silly.”
“Oh,” Liam says and walks away without saying anything else.
He ends up texting Zayn that night telling that he loves the designs Zayn’s been putting on his cups. Zayn replies with a smiley face emoji.
The next day Liam makes a point of staying a little longer at the coffee shop so he can talk to Zayn.
Once his order is made he makes his way over to Zayn.
“Everything alright?” Zayn asks when he sees Liam standing there.
“Yeah, uh, just wanted to talk to you.”
“So...uh, I’m not really good at this, but, uh, how are you?” It’s a simple question, but Liam thinks it’s an easy way to start the conversation off.
“Good, you?” Zayn replies.
“Yeah, good...same as you.”
They’re quiet after that looking at each other than away. Liam sips his coffee while Zayn looks down at his hands.
“What do you do? I mean when you’re not at the coffee shop,” Liam asks.
Zayn looks up at him, “I, uh, I keep busy with a couple of online classes and drawing and stuff? You?”
“I’m a student too. Studying music engineering. I’m trying to get an internship with a record company so I can get in the studio and produce something.”
“You like music?”
“Who do you like?”
“Everyone. Chris Brown, Cheryl Cole, uh I mean Cheryl Fernandez-Versini now, Usher-”
“I love Usher!” Zayn cuts Liam off.
“Yeah he’s the man. I still can’t listen to Confessions without thinking sixth form. I mean it wasn’t that long ago I was there and it’s been out for awhile, but just something about it makes me go back, you know?”
Zayn gives a little half smile, “Yeah, course. I have a few songs that do the same for me.”
“Zayn,” comes a voice from behind the counter, “We need to get ready for the morning rush. Stop flirting.”
Zayn blushes, “Sorry...I should let you go. Probably have class or something.”
“Free morning, but yeah I should let you work. Don’t want you to get fired. We could, uh, I mean if you want. Get together...I mean outside of your work. Talk music.”
“I’m pretty busy, but thanks for the offer.”
“I’ll text you sometime then? If that’s okay?”
“More than. Wouldn’t have given you my number if it wasn’t.”
Liam gives Zayn his trademark smile with crinkly eyes, “I’ll talk to you later.”
“Later,” Zayn replies and watches as Liam leaves. Liam turns back and waves to him before he’s out the door.
Liam and Zayn flirt with each other in the mornings and at night Liam texts Zayn a song telling him he has to listen to it. Zayn will give his thoughts about it.
They learn they both love comics and argue over who’s the best. Liam claims Batman, while Zayn loves Iron Man. They argue over DC vs. Marvel and come to the agreement that Marvel is better, even though Liam still sticks to Batman being the best.
One day Liam walks into the coffee shop to see someone who isn’t Zayn standing behind the register.
“Good morning, what would you like?” the blond asks.
“Uh, my usual,” Liam replies.
The blond gives him a confused look, “And what’s that?”
“Oh, sorry, it’s uh the house blend with three sugars and cream.”
“Ugh, how do you even drink that?”
“Where’s Zayn?” Liam asks changing the subject.
“Out today...family thing. Should be back tomorrow.”
“Oh, is everything alright?”
“I don’t know. Just called me to cover for him. Didn’t give details. Why are you so interested in him?”
“No, uh, no reason. Just see him here all the time and it’s weird that he’s not here.”
“Well, I’ll tell you asked about him.”
“Thanks, what’s your name?”
“Niall, nice to meet you. I’m Liam.”
“Oh, Liam. Zayn talks about you all the time.”
“Yeah says you two talk about music and comics. Loves having someone to talk to about these things.”
Liam smiles, “Well I like talking to him too.”
“Good...just don’t go breaking his heart or I’ll be knocking on your door and it won’t be to ask you to dinner.”
“I’ll try not to.”
Zayn’s back the next day looking tired. When he sees Liam he gives him a smile, but it doesn’t reach his eyes.
“Long night?” Liam asks.
“Yeah, wish I could be sleeping right now.”
“I missed you yesterday,” Liam admits.
“Yeah, who else can I talk to about comics at eight in the morning?” Liam says covering up his slip.
“Huh, yeah. Family thing.”
“That’s what the blond, uh, Neil said.”
“Niall, he’s my best mate.”
“I figured. He kind of threatened me if I hurt you.”
Zayn rolls his eyes, “I’m sorry. He’s just protective after some stuff that’s happened. He doesn’t mean any harm. He’s a really nice guy.”
“My mate, Louis, is the same.”
“Maybe we should get them together to plot ways to hurt us.”
Liam chuckles, “I’m scared if we do. Maybe we should keep them apart.”
“Probably for the best,” Zayn says with a tired smile, “Oh, shit, I didn’t put your order in.”
“It’s fine. I have a few minutes. Not like my order is that hard to make.”
Zayn quickly rings his order up and writes his name on the cup. He hands the cup over to his co worker who quickly makes Liam’s coffee and hands it to him.
“I have class, but I’ll text you tonight?” Liam says to Zayn as he gets ready to leave.
“Yeah, I’ll hopefully be up to reply.”
“Take it easy.”
That night Liam texts Zayn to see if he’s wake. He is, but sends Liam a sleepy emoji.
You should sleep. Liam replies.
Can’t...have stuff 2 do 1st
Is it important?
Same as yesterday?
Can’t it wait until later?
Can’t really put off a sick family member
OMG, I’m soooooo sorry. Is it serious?
NO NO...just a cold, but u no how a cold is.
Yeah, they’re horrid. Hope whoever it is feels better
I think he’ll pull through. Just needs some love and care
Liam sends him a few hearts and a smiling emoji with red cheeks, I’ll talk 2 u 2morrow. Get sleep.
thx I’ll try
Liam finally gets the courage to ask Zayn out a week later. They’ve been talking and flirting for a month and Liam really wants to take Zayn somewhere that isn’t the coffee shop.
“Hey, uh, I was wondering if, uh, you would like to, uh, go on a date.”
Zayn looks at him confused, “A date?”
“Yes, I mean, uh, if you want.”
“No, I mean, like, well yeah I mean no. Just it isn’t like a good time right now. I have a lot on my plate.”
“Liam, I didn’t mean it like that. I like you. I do, but I have a lot of personal stuff happening right now that needs attention.”
“No, I get it. This isn’t my first rejection.”
“It’s not a rejection...well not a full one anyway. It’s not the right time.”
“It’s okay. You don’t have to explain...I should go.”
Liam turns looking dejected.
“Liam, wait!” Zayn yells, but Liam doesn’t turn back around.
Liam doesn’t go to the coffee shop for three days. He’s too embarrassed to face Zayn. He doesn’t reply to any of Zayn’s messages that he sends him. The whole situation just makes him want to hide in a hole.
On the fourth day, Liam can’t fight not having a morning cup of coffee, so he gives in and goes to the shop. Zayn is of course in front of the register looking at his phone. He looks up when he hears footsteps and see Liam.
Zayn smiles at Liam, “Good morning, the usual?”
“Yeah and a blueberry muffin,” Liam quietly replies.
“You know I’ve missed you around here,” Zayn says, “That’s four pounds sixty.”
Liam hands the money and gets his change, “Yeah been busy and stuff. You know school.”
“You not coming in doesn’t have anything to do with the fact I turned you down does it?”
“Why would you think that?”
“Well like first thing is you looked really upset when I said no and the second thing is you haven’t returned any of my texts.”
“Okay, maybe that had something to do with it.”
“Liam, just because I turned you down the other day doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to go out with you. I do. I like you, a lot actually. But I have a lot going on right now and dating someone isn’t high on my list of things to do.”
“So...you would like to go out on the date?”
“Yes, just not right now.”
“When would be a good time?”
“I don’t know. You’ll just have to keep asking. Make it creative,” Zayn answers with a wink.
Liam gives him a smile.
“There’s that smile I’ve missed.”
Liam blushes, “I should, uh, I should go grab my coffee before it gets cold.”
“I’ll talk to you soon.”
Liam doesn’t try to ask Zayn out for a couple of weeks. He tries to come up a creative way to ask him out. He knew it had to be something good. He couldn’t come up with anything so he goes to Louis for help.
“You want me to help you ask out coffee boy?” Louis asks not paying attention to Liam, but his Facebook.
“His name is Zayn, and yes.”
“Well, my dear Liam boy, you’ll have to think of something he likes.”
“He likes to draw.”
“So draw him something.”
“I don’t draw every well. You should know that.”
“Well get someone to help you! If he really likes you then he’ll like what you do for him. If he doesn’t dump him. You don’t need him. You’ve got me.”
“I can’t give up after one try.”
“Then come up with more ideas. But don’t ask me again. I have my own things to worry about.”
“Oh what is that? Maybe a certain girl from school?” Liam asks looking over at Louis and seeing him on said girl’s Facebook profile.
“Yes, okay. And she’s perfect.”
“Do you even know her name?”
“Course I do. It’s Eleanor. Harry told me.”
“So you still haven’t talked to her? At least I talk to Zayn.”
“It’s a delicate process. You wouldn’t understand, Payno,” Louis replies. He clicks around on Eleanor’s profile, but nothing comes up.
Liam rolls his eyes and gets up from his seat, “I’ll talk to you soon.”
Liam doesn’t go with Louis’s idea. Drawing isn’t Liam’s strong suit and getting someone else to help draw something for him sounds so impersonal. He goes with music instead. They both love it and that’s how they first started talking, so he makes a mix CD for him. It’s old school, but it’s better than just a list of songs on a piece of paper.
He brings it to Zayn a couple of days later. It’s titled “Songs to Make You Say Yes.”
Zayn smiles, “So I listen to this and I’ll say yes to a date?”
“That’s the point of it yes.”
“Well we’ll see about that.”
“You’re going to love it.”
Zayn doesn’t say yes. He says he liked the mix CD and the songs were good, but he still wasn’t ready for a date.
Liam sighs and goes back to the drawing board. He does ask Harry this time what he should do since Louis was no help the last. Harry suggests a love note, like when you were in primary school. Liam rolls his eyes and tells him they aren’t seven. Harry argues that it’s the simple things that make someone happy.
With no other ideas Liam makes a cute little note that asks Zayn out. There’s a little box to check for yes and one for no.
Liam gives Zayn the note day after he made it.
“A note, eh? And what’s it say?”
“Read it and you’ll find out.”
Zayn opens the letter and reads it with a slight smile. He grabs a pen from the holder by the register and turns around so Liam can’t see which box he’s giving a check mark to.
When Zayn turns around Liam has hope in his eyes, but it quickly leaves when he sees Zayn checked the “no” box.
“I told you to do better.”
“I thought something simple would work.”
“I’m a simply man, but I do like a little show sometimes.”
“Right...just you wait. I think I have an idea.”
“I’ll be here, babe.”
Liam blushes at the pet name.
It takes Liam two weeks to learn the guitar and song he’s going to sing to Zayn. He’s going to serenade him at his work. He’s got it all worked out, but now all he needs is an audience to do it in front of. Liam calls in Louis and Harry to come with him and he pries Niall’s number out of one of the other workers. He thinks having their best friends there will help Zayn to say yes. You can’t turn someone down when your friends are there, right?
Liam makes sure it’s not rush hour when he arrives. He sees Harry and Louis at a table with Louis tapping away at his phone. He shakes his head at him. Ever since he got Eleanor’s number he can’t stop talking to her.
Thankfully behind the counter with Zayn is Niall. He’s talking away to him and when he sees Liam he smiles and points him out to Zayn. Zayn turns to see Liam standing there with a guitar around his shoulders. He lifts an eyebrow in question.
Liam smiles and takes a deep breath before starting to sing.
You made me love you
I didn't want to do it
I didn't want to do it
You made me want you
And all the time you knew it.
I guess you always knew it.
You made me happy sometimes
Sometimes you made me glad
But there were times, dear
You made me feel so bad.
Zayn smiles as he listens. Louis looks up from his phone and gives Liam a thumbs up. Harry is taking video.
You made me sigh for
I didn't wanna tell you
I didn't want to tell you
I want some lovin', that's true.
Yes I do, indeed I do, you know I do.
Give me, give me, give me what I cry for
You know ya got the brand o' kisses that I'd die for
You know you made me love you.
Zayn moves from behind the counter to move over to Liam. He stands in front of him as he finishes the song.
You made me sigh for
I didn't want to tell you
I didn't wanna tell you
I want some lovin', that's true.
Yes I do, indeed I do, you know I do.
Give me, give me, give me what I cry for
You know ya got the brand o' kisses that I'd die for
You know you made me love you...
Once the song is over Zayn is beaming. Liam goes in with the question, “Will you go on a date with me?”
That one word makes Liam’s heart swell and he can’t help it but hug Zayn to him. Unfortunately the guitar gets in the way and it’s awkward so they don’t really hug.
Harry comes over and claps Liam on the back, “I’m proud of you, Liam. And you, Zayn, be nice to my boy.”
“I promise I will.”
“Zayn should be nice to Liam, how about the other way around?” Niall asks.
“And who are you?” Harry asks him.
“Niall, Zayn’s best friend. And who are you?”
“Harry, Liam’s best friend.”
“Okay, no need to kill each other right now,” Liam says, “And yes, Niall, I promise again not to hurt Zayn.”
Niall nods, “Good lad.”
“So...out date?” Zayn asks changing the subject.
“What do you say to seeing a movie?”
“I like movies.”
“Good. We’ll get all the details settled later.”
“Talk to you soon.”
Liam moves the guitar and moves to hug Zayn again. Zayn holds him tight before letting him go.
“Later,” Zayn says and moves back to behind the counter.
Liam picks out the latest Marvel movie he knows Zayn is dying to see. It’s been out a couple of weeks, so they get tickets easily. Liam asks if Zayn wants a snack and Zayn asks for a pretzel and a coke. Liam waits in line while Zayn goes to the theatre to grab them seats.
Liam gets all their snacks to Zayn without dropping anything and Zayn thanks him. They talk before the movie starts and when the lights go down Liam takes Zayn’s hand in his. Zayn laces their fingers together and smiles over at Liam.
The movie is good and afterwards they talk about everything that happened. Zayn’s hands flail around and it’s the most animated he’s been talking to Liam about anything. Liam adds his comments here and there, but for the most part he lets Zayn talk.
“I can give you a ride home,” Liam comments when they get to his car.
“I can take the bus. It’s not problem.”
“No, let me take you home. I wouldn’t be a proper gentleman letting my date go home by himself.”
“Well, then Mr. Payne, why aren’t you opening my door?” Zayn replies with a smirk and a wink.
Liam unlocks the doors to the car and opens the passenger side for Zayn. Zayn gets in and Liam closes it. He moves around to the other side and gets in.
“Um, I’ll just show you how to get there. My place is a little out of the way.”
“The more time I get to spend with you the better.”
Zayn smiles and takes Liam’s hand, “Okay?”
Zayn gives directions to his home. When they pull up Liam cuts the engine to his car and quickly gets out to open the door for Zayn.
Zayn gets out of the car with a smile, “Full service?”
“I have to make sure you get inside okay.”
Zayn just rolls his eyes and lets Liam walk him to the door.
“I had fun tonight,” Liam says.
“I did too.”
“So...what do you say we go out again sometime?”
“I would love to.”
Liam smiles brightly and pulls Zayn into him, “I can’t wait.”
“I get to pick this time,” Zayn replies, “Only fair since you got to pick our first date.”
“Fine with me,” Liam says back and moves in to kiss Zayn, but Zayn turns away and Liam’s lips land on his cheek, “Did I do something wrong?”
“No, nothing. I just don’t kiss on the first date.”
“Nothing against you, I swear. Just something I do.”
“It’s fine, really.”
There’s a cry from inside Zayn’s house and he looks to the door, “I should go. My mum’s probably going crazy right now.”
“Is everything okay?”
“Fine, just the baby.”
Zayn opens the door and turns back to Liam, “I’ll explain later. I have to go.”
The door slams behind Zayn drowning out the sounds from inside. Liam turns back to his car puzzled.
Their next date isn’t for two weeks. Zayn says he’s busy and Liam understands so he doesn’t press it.
When Zayn finally says he’s got time for their second date, Liam is about ready to start revisions. He thinks a little time away will actually be good for him, so he agrees to dinner with Zayn.
They go to curry place that’s in the middle of their places since they don’t have a lot of money. Zayn gets the spiciest curry he can, while Liam goes for a normal medium hot curry.
“You never told me about the baby,” Liam comments as they eat.
Zayn eats the piece of naan he had dipped into his curry before he answers, “I, uh, I mean I understand if you don’t want to talk to me anymore after this.”
“Why wouldn’t I want to talk to you after this?”
“Because most people don’t want to date a single father.”
Liam drops his fork in his curry at the reply. He clears his throat, “Oh, I uh, wow. I didn’t know you’d, uh-”
Zayn cuts him off, “You don’t have to say anything. I understand if you don’t want to date me or whatever.”
“What? No, Zayn, that’s not what I was going to say. It’s just a big thing to take on.”
“I’m not asking you to be his new daddy!”
“He? Your baby is a boy?”
Zayn’s anger dissipates, “Yay, yay. He’s a boy.”
“Do you have a picture?”
Zayn takes his phone out of his pocket and clicks to his photos, “I have a lot.”
Liam looks at a few before handing the phone back to Zayn, “He’s cute. Looks just like you.”
“My mum keeps getting photos of me when I was a baby out and putting them side by side and saying she can’t tell the difference.”
“What’s his name?”
“Is that Pakistani?”
“Arabic. The one thing my parents wanted him to have was an Arabic name. His mother didn’t argue.”
“Are you, uh, talking to her, his mother?”
“Yeah, kind of. I mean we’re civil enough to have a custody agreement made and we stick to it. I have him most of the time since she’s going to university. She gets him on the weekends and holidays...well Christian holidays. I have him for Muslim ones.”
“So you’re a full time parent?”
“And that’s why you wouldn’t go out with me?”
“Yes. It’s stupid, but it’s hard to date when you have a baby and stuff. I didn’t want to get hurt.”
Liam takes Zayn’s hand, “I promise not to hurt you.”
“Don’t make a promise you can’t keep.”
“I’m not. I promise I want to date you and be with you as long as you’ll have me.”
Zayn smiles at him, “Eat your food before it gets cold.”
Liam kisses Zayn’s hand and lets go of it before he moves back to finish his dinner.
Once Liam learns about Bassim he wants to meet him. Zayn tells him no many times. Sometimes it’s because he’s with his mother and other times it because he doesn’t think he’s ready to share his son with someone.
Liam doesn’t let it go. He tries to think of ways to get into Zayn’s house, but Zayn always cuts him off before he can step into the front hall.
“But please, babe, I want to see mini you,” Liam whines one night while they’re standing in front of Zayn’s door.
“I told you no. I don’t think you’re ready to meet him.”
“I’m not ready? I’ve been ready. It’s you who’s not ready.”
Zayn sighs, “I just don’t want to bring someone into his life that’s going to walk away when things get tough.”
“I’m not going to do that.”
“You say that now, but you don’t what could happen. You could get an internship somewhere far away and have to leave. Or uni gets to be too much, so you have to revise more often. What do I tell him?”
Liam takes Zayn’s hands in his, “Babe, he’s a still young. He won’t remember me if I leave. But you know I won’t. I like you too much to walk away.”
“I, just, I need time. Please? That’s all I ask.”
“You have all the time you need,” Liam replies and kisses Zayn’s forehead, “Just promise that you’ll give me a chance to show you that I’m not going to leave.”
Zayn’s reply is to kiss Liam fully on the lips. They press against one another trying to pour all their emotions into one kiss. Zayn’s hand comes up to hold onto the back of Liam’s head. His fingers touching the short hair at his neckline. Liam’s hand keep a hold on Zayn’s back. He presses Zayn close, not wanting to let him go.
They have to break apart or risk passing out from not breathing.
“We should, ah, we need to go somewhere private,” Liam says.
Zayn chuckles, “Yeah, we do. Just not my place. Too many people.”
Liam smirks, “And I have flatmates.”
“We’ll find a way. Promise.”
Liam kisses Zayn again, “I should go. You have a son who’ll want to see his daddy before he goes to bed.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“I’ll miss you til then.”
Zayn laughs, “No cheesy lines.”
Liam kisses him once more before he lets Zayn go and walks to car.
It takes Zayn two more weeks before he finally let’s Liam meet Bassim. He decides a a playdate at the park will be the perfect time to slowly introduce Liam to Bassim.
Liam meets them at the park with a basket full of food for lunch and a shovel and pail for the sand.
“You didn’t have to bring anything!” Zayn exclaims when he sees the set up.
“Yes I did. We had to have lunch at some point.”
“But a shovel and pail?”
“I thought Bassim would like it.”
“He’s eight months old. I think he’ll eat the sand before he plays with it.”
“Where is he?” Liam asks when he notices Zayn is definitely not holding his son in his arms.
“Here,” Zayn replies and turns to show off the little boy riding behind him in a baby carrier.
“You put him in a backpack?”
“No! It’s a baby carrier that can be used for front or back. Since he’s older I usually have him behind me so he doesn’t hit me in the face when he gets excited.”
“Can he sees anything like that?”
“Of course. He loves it.”
“Hello Bassim. I’m Liam,” Liam says to the little boy.
Bassim gurgles back at him and drool comes out his mouth.
“I think he likes me,” Liam says to Zayn.
“Yay?” Zayn replies looking back, “Help me get him out?”
“What do I do?”
“You have to hold him with your arm and unclip the one side,” Zayn explains, “You have him?”
“Yeah I think so. What do I do now?”
“Now take him out slowly. Make sure his leg doesn’t get caught. Got it?”
“Yep,” Liam replies, “Oh hello, Bassim. Look at you. So cute. Just like your dad.”
Zayn shakes off the carrier and folding it up and putting into the diaper bag, “Where should we put our stuff?”
Liam looks around. It’s a fairly quiet day at the park, so there’s a shady place open under a tree. Liam points at it, “There’s good. Nice and out of the sun.”
Zayn walks to the spot while Liam carries the picnic basket and Bassim with him. Zayn places the blanket Liam had brought down then takes Bassim from him.
“Come on, jaan, let’s go play on the swing,” Zayn says to his son.
Liam smiles as he watches the two. Zayn looks so cute playing with his son and Bassim is giggling while Zayn talks to him. He gets their stuff set out before he goes over to the two.
Liam takes his phone out and takes a couple of pictures of Zayn playing with Bassim. The pictures will be the start of many to come. He gets a video of Bassim laughing at whatever Zayn said to him.
“Stop creeping on us and come play,” Zayn yells to Liam.
Liam smiles and puts his phone away. He walks over and stands next to Zayn as he pushes his son.
Once Bassim gets tired of the swings they go back to their blanket to have lunch. Liam’s made himself and Zayn sandwiches with carrots and hummus for a side. He brought water and soda to drink and fruit for dessert.
“You really went all out,” Zayn comments when he sees all the food. He’s getting Bassim ready for his lunch of mashed baby food and cheerios.
“I wanted to make sure I had enough food for us. Playing can make you hungry.”
Zayn smiles, “It’s perfect.” Zayn leans over and quickly kisses Liam. Liam smiles when they pull apart.
Bassim has fun getting dirty with his lunch. The turkey and gravy baby food gets all over his face. The banana that Zayn gives him after the baby food gets smashed in his hand rather than in his mouth and the cheerios go everywhere. There’s even one or two in the little boy’s hair.
“He, uh, he really loves his food?” Liam questions.
“He has fun. Well he thinks it’s fun, but when I have to clean him up it’s an all out battle.”
“Oh, you can’t be that bad,” Liam coos at Bassim. Bassim rubs his mashed banana on Liam’s face.
Liam laughs, while Zayn groans. Zayn gives Liam a baby wipe to clean his face.
After lunch Bassim crawls around on the grass while Liam and Zayn watch him. Well Liam watches him, while Zayn hovers around him making sure he doesn’t eat the grass or dirt.
“Bas, no! That’s gross!” Zayn says and takes the boy’s hand away from his mouth.
“Zayn, let him have fun. He’s only a baby.”
“He could get ill. You don’t have to deal with him if he gets ill.”
“It’s a little dirt and grass. You did the same thing when you were a baby and look how you turned out. You’re fine!”
Zayn sighs, “I just hate seeing him hurt.”
“He’s young. Babies and kids get hurt. They bounce back.”
“You don’t understand.”
“What don’t I understand?”
“Being a single father isn’t like being a single mother. You get judged way harsher than a single mum. Everyone looks at you and they want to tell you what to do. They ask where his mum is and why I should be looking for someone, a woman, to help raise him because he needs a mum and dad.”
Liam takes Zayn’s hand in his to comfort him, “Don’t let anyone tell you that. You are the best dad. You gave up going to uni full time to raise him. And yeah, he might have not a traditional family, but I know a long time from now you will look back at this and laugh and see how stupid it all is.”
“And how do you know?”
“Because I’ll be right by your side laughing along with you.”
“That’s what I wanted to see.”
Zayn kisses Liam, “Thank you. You really don’t know what that means to me.”
“I think you need to show me some more...just maybe change Bassim’s diaper first?”
Zayn looks over at his son, who’s happily playing with his toy. It takes him a minute, but he smells what Liam was talking about.
“Yeah...yeah I think I’ll do that first,” Zayn says. He quickly gives Liam a kiss before grabbing Bassim to change him.
It’s Zayn’s weekend free of Bassim, so he and Liam decide to make the most it. Zayn’s staying the weekend at Liam’s so they can have some privacy. Liam’s flatmates both were gone for the weekend, so he was relieved they wouldn’t have any awkward run ins with them.
Friday night is quiet, spent in Liam’s flat having takeaway Chinese and watching the latest Iron Man. When they go to bed that night and lazily make out before falling asleep cuddled up to one another.
Saturday is more romantic. Zayn was called into work because someone called in sick and they needed an extra person. Liam took the time to make dinner and prep for what he was hoping would be a long night of sex.
The dinner table was set up with a place settings and a candle. Liam was going to do rose petals, but thought it would be overkill, so he left them off.
When Zayn arrived home the lights in the flat where low and he was puzzled, “Babe? Are you here?”
“Kitchen!” Liam yells back.
Zayn walks in and sees Liam standing at the stove. He walks over and wraps Liam in his arms, “What’s this?”
“Dinner? Did you make it?”
“Yeah, wanted to do something nice for you,” Liam replies. He turns his head to give Zayn a kiss.
“It smells good. Can’t wait to eat. I’m starving.”
“Go wash up and sit at the table. I just need to drain the pasta.”
“Yes mother,” Zayn jokes and walks to the bathroom to wash his hands.
When Zayn returns Liam’s got a bottle of wine on the table, a salad, and he’s walking from the kitchen with a bowl of warm pasta.
“It’s chicken alfredo. Hope you like it,” Liam says as he places the bowl down, “It’s hot, so be careful.”
Zayn takes the tongs for the salad first. He puts some on his plate before going for the pasta. Liam pouts him a glass of wine before pouring himself one as well.
Zayn waits until Liam has food on his plate before taking a bite of his. The first taste of pasta makes him swoon, “It’s good, babe. Real good.”
“You like it?”
Liam smiles crinkling his eyes at the praise, “I’m glad. Took me awhile to get it right. The sauce was the hardest part.”
“You made the alfredo sauce?”
“Yeah, I found a recipe and it looked easy. But it really wasn’t. I may have had to restart it three times before I could get it right.”
“Well it’s delicious. You know if this whole music thing doesn’t work out, cooking might be the way to go.”
“Nah, I’d want to be a fireman.”
“I like the thought of saving people. Just something I want to do, you know?”
“I can see it. Big, old muscles bulging from your uniform. Sweat dripping down your face...I think I need a moment away from dinner if I keep thinking like that.”
“We’ll get to that later?”
Zayn’s lifts an eyebrow, “Are you trying to get into my pants, Mr. Payne.”
“Is it working?”
“I think it is.”
The talk throughout dinner and when they’re stuffed Liam takes the dirty dishes into the kitchen while Zayn puts the food into counters so they have it later. The wine bottle is still open, so they take it to the living room where they finish it off while they kiss and talk.
“I think we’d be more comfortable in my bed,” Liam comments.
“Oh do you?”
“I do. Come on up you go,” Liam replies. He pushes Zayn up so he’s standing. Liam gets up and his head spins the tiniest bit, “Oh...wine’s gone to my head.”
Zayn giggles, “You’re so cute.”
Liam leans and kisses him. They pull at each other trying to get closer, but fall onto the couch instead. They both laugh as they untangle themselves from each other and get up again.
Zayn holds onto Liam’s hand as they walk the short distance to Liam’s room. When they get into the room Liam pushes Zayn down onto his bed and crawls on top of him kissing at his lips and pushing at his shirt. Liam’s hand make contact with Zayn’s skin and he loves what he feels. It’s not the first time he’s touched Zayn, but this time it’s different.
Zayn’s shirt comes off once they break for air. Liam kisses and bites at his newly exposed skin leaving a mark on his shoulder.
“Don’t do that.”
“Do what?” Liam teases.
“Leave marks. Can’t, uh, have my mum asking questions.”
“Babe, you’re way past your mum knowing you’re having sex.”
Zayn pushes at Liam and gets him to roll over, so now Zayn’s on top, “I don’t want to think about my mum right now.”
“Neither do I,” Liam says and lifts up to take Zayn’s lips again.
Their clothes come off while they make out. Liam surprises Zayn when his jeans come off to reveal he wasn’t wearing any pants. Zayn looks at a fully naked Liam in all his glory and groans. He gets to have this man all to himself.
“Look so good,” Zayn whispers into his ear.
“Want you,” Liam whines.
Zayn’s hand moves to Liam’s hard cock and he slowly teases him. Liam’s foreskin slides along the head making his precum move down his cock and making it easier for Zayn to stroke him.
“Stop being a tease and open me up,” Liam whines.
“Patience, dear Liam.”
Liam groans. He pushes Zayn off of him and goes to the drawer where he keeps his supplies. He grabs a couple of condoms without looking and searches for a bottle of lube, but can’t find any.
“Fuck...no, no, no...”
“What is it?”
“I don’t have lube.”
“Oh...can we use something else?”
“I don’t know,” Liam whines.
Zayn moves around to grab his phone and looks up what to use. He sees olive oil and goes to the kitchen to see if Liam has any.
When he turns he smiles at Liam, “Thank God you made Italian food.”
“Won’t that be messy? Can you go see if one of my flatmates has any.”
“Do you really want to go into your flatmate’s room naked with a hard on looking for lube?”
Liam sighs, “No...just can we get a towel or something so the sheets don’t get messed up?”
Zayn groans, but moves to the bathroom to grab a towel. He throws it at Liam when he returns, “Can we get on with it now?”
Liam nods, “Please...my cock hurts.”
Zayn laughs and pushes back onto Liam. He grabs the bottle of olive oil and carefully pours it onto his fingers. It’s very oily, of course, but he doesn’t mind. He rubs his fingers down Liam’s crack getting it wet. His finger catches at Liam’s rim and Liam twitches.
“Please, I’m so turned on.”
Zayn teases him again, but slowly pushes one finger into Liam. Liam pushes down to take it all in. Zayn has to push him down so he doesn’t hurt himself. Liam rides it out and when Zayn pulls his finger out he tries to pull it back in.
“Calm down, babe, we have all the time in the world,” Zayn coos at him.
“I need you, so bad. Been waiting so long,” Liam admits.
“I have to stretch you open first, yeah? Don’t want to hurt you.”
“Never could,” Liam replies.
Zayn bends over him and kisses him. Liam responds by pulling Zayn into him. Zayn’s finger works it way into Liam as they make out. Liam doesn’t notice that Zayn has added a second.
When Zayn pulls away his lips are red and wet making Liam hotter.
“Touch me please? I’m so hard,” Liam whines.
“I am touching you,” Zayn teases.
Liam grumbles and moves his hand to his own cock. He sighs with relief with the touch. His cock leaks out precum making his hand slide easier.
“Don’t touch yourself too much. Want to be inside you.”
“I told you to hurry up. I don’t think, uh, I’ll last.”
Zayn adds a third finger making Liam jump, “You want me to hurry? Fine.”
Zayn teases Liam and when his fingers move up and hit his prostate Liam lets out a loud moan, “Like that?”
“Again, please...feels, uh, feels good.”
Zayn presses at the spot again making Liam’s cock jump in his hand.
Zayn pulls his fingers out of Liam and wipes them on the towel. He grabs a condom, but can’t get the wrapper open since his fingers are still too slippery.
Liam takes the condom from Zayn’s hand and rips it open for him. Zayn grabs the condom and gets onto himself. He dribbles olive oil down his covered cock to give himself extra lubrication.
Before Zayn can line up with Liam’s hole, Liam pushes him down onto his back and climbs on top of him, “Like this view better,” Liam says.
Zayn smiles, “Oh yeah?”
Liam’s reply is to grab Zayn’s cock and line it up with his hole. He pushes himself down onto Zayn as slow as he can manage, but the full feeling makes him want to go faster.
Once seated on Zayn, Liam looks down at him and smiles. He leans over to kiss him. Zayn takes his lips willingly. Zayn pushes his hips up as they kiss to make Liam moan into his mouth.
Liam pulls away and braces his hands on Zayn’s chest. He pulls off of him before slamming down onto him again. Zayn’s hands go on his thighs to have some leverage so he can push up while Liam moves down making their connection more pleasurable for Liam.
“I’m close,” Liam says.
Zayn takes Liam’s cock in hand and pulls him to completion. Liam’s come gets on Zayn’s hand and his chest. Zayn milks his cock to get all the come out. Liam pushes his hand away, “Sensitive,” Liam says.
Zayn pulls out of Liam and takes the condom off before he uses Liam’s come to help him glide his hand over his own cock. He finishes quickly coming over his chest.
Liam’s lying next to Zayn with a blissed out smile.
“What?” Zayn says.
“Nothing...just really happy.”
Zayn leans over to kiss Liam. Liam smiles into the kiss.
“I’m sleepy,” Zayn says when they pull apart.
“I need to get cleaned up.”
“Later,” Liam says and yawns.
Zayn uses the towel he brought from the bathroom to wipe himself off the best he can before moving under the covers to cuddle up with him. Liam wraps his arms around him and sniffles into his neck as he gets comfortable.
“Love you,” Liam slurs before he snores and falls asleep.
Zayn mumbles back, “Love you too.”
Liam wakes the next morning aching in a good way. He’s still wrapped around Zayn who’s snoring into his pillow. Liam slowly moves his arms from around Zayn and stretches. His back pops and he lets out a sigh.
He lays on his back watching Zayn sleep. He thinks about last night and how nice it was. He remembers sleepily telling Zayn he loves and starts to freak out. He doesn’t remember if Zayn said it back.
Liam decides to get up from bed and freak out on his own in the living room. He grabs joggers from the floor and puts them on before moving into the bathroom and relieving himself. He moves into the living room and sits on the couch. He wishes he had brought his phone with him so he can text Louis and freak out to him, but he doesn’t dare go in his room because he want to wake Zayn.
Liam can’t sit still so he goes into the kitchen and starts making breakfast. He thinks the least he can do is make him breakfast before Zayn tells him that he doesn’t love Liam.
The eggs come out runny, but still edible, the toast is slightly burnt and the coffee isn’t like Zayn makes at the shop, but it’ll do. Liam also gets some fruit cut up and into bowl before he hears Zayn stumble into the kitchen.
“What are you doing?” Zayn sleep heavy voice asks.
“Breakfast. Sit at the table. It’s ready.”
Zayn walks over to a seat and sits in without much thought. He yawns and rubs at his eye. Liam brings the food over and places it down in front of him.
“Looks good, babe,” Zayn says.
“Thanks,” Liam replies.
They eat in silence. The coffee works through their systems and once breakfast is over Zayn more awake and flirty.
“Last night was good, yeah?” Zayn asks.
“Yeah it was nice,” Liam’s short reply comes. He picks up their dirty dishes and places them in the sink so he can wash them.
“I enjoyed it. Might want to try again before I go.”
“Why are you being so distant, babe?” Zayn asks and moves over to wrap his arms around Liam. He nips at his ear but Liam moves his head away, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, just want to get these dishes done.”
Zayn pulls his arms away, “I’m going to take a shower.”
“Okay, don’t use all the hot water.”
“I was hoping maybe you’d join me.”
“I don’t think that’d be wise.”
Liam shrugs, “Just stuff.”
“Babe, did I do something wrong? Did I hurt you last night? I’m sorry if I did.”
Liam turns the water off and finally turns around, “I, uh, I just, um, do you remember what I said last night before we went to sleep?”
“That wouldn’t let me clean up?”
“No, not that...the other thing.”
Zayn looks at him for a minute before he remembers, “Oh, yes that you love me.”
“And I said it back.”
“I did and I mean it.”
“But...I didn’t hear you say it. I thought-”
“You thought I didn’t say it back? Is that why you’re being so distant this morning?” Zayn asks. He moves over to Liam and pulls him close.
“Maybe,” Liam says turning red.
“I love you,” Zayn says and kisses Liam.
Liam breaks the kiss and beams at Zayn, “I love you too.”
“So...that shower? You want in?”
“I so want in,” Liam replies and pulls Zayn with him.
The couple of days later, Liam gets a call from Zayn, “Hey babe,” Liam gets.
“Can you come over?” Zayn asks. Liam can hear crying in the background.
“Is something wrong?”
“Bassim won’t stop crying and I’m going crazy.”
“Oh, the poor dear. I’ll be there in ten.”
“Thank you...seriously, thank you.”
“I’ll be there soon. Don’t go crazy.”
Liam arrives and before he can give knock Zayn’s at the door looking panicked.
“What’s going on?”
“I don’t know. Bas woke from his nap and hasn’t stopped crying. He’ll stop for a moment, but then goes right back into a fit.”
“Is he teething? Needs to eat? Nappy change?”
“Yes, no, and no.”
“Okay, I need you to take a deep breath for me, love. If you’re not calm, he won’t be calm.”
“I need a cigarette,” Zayn says and walks out of his house without saying anything else.
Liam sighs. He should go make sure Zayn is okay, but he can’t leave Bassim crying by himself. He decides to see if he can calm the baby down before he goes to check on Zayn.
He finds Bassim in his playpen, face red, and tears falling down his face.
“Hey Bas,” Liam greets the baby.
Bassim looks up at him and holds his arms up so he can be taken out of the playpen.
Liam picks him up and Bassim cuddles into his shoulder. He’s still crying but Liam rubs his back and coos to him. Bassim settles down and only sniffles here and there.
“You’re alright. You’re fine. I know teeth hurt, but you have to get them so can eat, yeah?” Liam says to the little boy.
Zayn comes back in and looks at Liam with Bassim in his arms, “He’s stopped. How’d you do it?”
“Just talked to him and rubbed his back a little.”
“You got him to stop,” Zayn says again still in disbelief.
Liam shrugs the best he can with Bassim resting on his shoulder, “I was calm. I think he just wanted a cuddle.”
“Thank you. I was going to rip my hair out because I couldn’t get him to calm down,” Zayn says and walks over to kiss Liam.
“I just didn’t like seeing him so upset.”
“I think you passed the Bassim test. He seems to have fallen back asleep on you.”
“Yeah, I’ll take him back to his room. Let him sleep in his crib,” Zayn tells Liam. He goes to grab Bassim, but he whines and grabs with his little hand onto Liam’s shirt.
“I’ll hold him. We can watch a movie or something.”
Zayn smiles at him before he turns around and goes to find a movie to watch.
They end up cuddled up on the couch watching some comedy Zayn picked. Liam falls asleep halfway through with Bassim still sleeping on his chest. Zayn moves as carefully as he can and gets a photo of his two boys together.
As the months went by and the summer comes to an end it’s Bassim’s birthday. Zayn planned a family birthday and included Liam in it. Liam can’t stop smiling that Zayn thinks of him as family.
The party isn’t anything too over the top. One because Zayn doesn’t have the money and two he says Bassim won’t remember it anyway. The party is at his house in the back garden with streamers and balloons set up. There’s a little cake just for Bassim and one for everyone else. The present table is piled high with presents from everyone and Zayn comments about having to open them all.
Liam provides the music with a playlist of songs that remind him of Zayn and Bassim. Some are the latest top forty while others are children songs. He gets praise from Zayn’s family which makes him smile even more.
“Cake time!” Zayn yells.
Everyone moves over to where Zayn is standing. Bassim is in his high chair, sans clothes, gurgling to himself.
“Before we have sing let’s get a photo of Bassim with his parents,” Zayn’s mum, Trisha, says.
Zayn bends over so his face is next to Bassim's. Liam steps out of the picture.
“Liam get in,” Trisha says holding the camera up.
Liam looks at her confused, “Me?”
“Yes, hurry up we want cake.”
LIam still confused moves over and smiles for the photo. Once the photo is taken he doesn’t have a chance to talk to Trisha about it because Zayn’s lighting the candle on the small cake and starting everyone singing.
Bassim, like a true one year old, hates it and starts to cry. Everyone finishes singing and is cooing at him that it’s okay, but he’s not having it. He raises his arms to be held and Liam swoops in to pick him up.
Bassim quiets down almost instantly as Liam rocks him and talks to him.
Trisha comes up to him, “That’s why you’re in the photo with Zayn. You’re as much of a father to him as Zayn is.”
Liam looks at her with a smile, “Thank you. Seriously, I love him. I do.”
Zayn comes over to the little group, “Is he alright?”
“Fine, just a little scared. Weren’t you Bas?” Liam replies.
Bassim makes some noises that sound like he’s answering and Liam answers him back, “Right. Now that you’re calmed how about some cake? I know your daddy worked hard at making it, so you better enjoy it.”
Once Bassim’s back in his chair Zayn brings over the cake and puts it in front of his son. Bassim looks at it for a moment before placing a hand right into the frosting and bringing it to his mouth. He tastes it and once he finds it tastes good he uses both hands to grab more.
Zayn and Liam take photos of him and get him to smile with cake all over his face.
The other cake is cut and passed out to the guests while Zayn takes a very dirty Bassim into the house to get cleaned up.
“You’re really good with him,” Zayn’s father, Yaser, says to Liam.
“Yes, but also with Zayn. Watching you with Bassim makes me know that you’re not messing around with my son. He was so closed off and protective of Bassim that when he started dating you I wasn’t sure he would ever tell you about him. But here we are and Bassim loves you as much as he love his father.”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“You know how hard it is to get Bassim to warm up to someone? When he was born he wouldn’t go to anyone, but Zayn. He still doesn’t like a lot of people. Just like his father, really.”
“I love him, both of them. I would do anything for them.”
“I can see it. You’re a good one. I was so scared Zayn wouldn’t open himself back up to love once Bassim was born, but you didn’t take no for answer. That means you’re a fighter. I like that.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Thank you for making my son happy,” Yaser says and walks away.
“What was that?” Zayn asks coming up to Liam.
“Just your father wanting to talk.”
“I hope he didn’t scare you.”
“No, no it wasn’t that kind of talk. He was very nice.”
“Zayn look!” one of Zayn’s sisters yells and Zayn turns around to see Bassim walking to him.
He bends over and opens his arms to him, “Come on Bassim, come to daddy!”
Bassim’s uneasy steps take him to Zayn and Zayn scoops him up, “Good boy, such a good boy.”
Zayn and Liam praise him and kiss him on his cheeks.
“Family photo! Everyone get in!” Trisha cries.
All of Zayn’s aunts, uncles, cousins, and sisters crowd around Zayn and Liam. Trisha sets the camera and runs over to an open spot and the photo is taken.
Right at the flash goes off Liam turns to Zayn and says, “Move in with me.”
“I said move in with me.”
“My flatmates want to move out and I’ve got enough money to get a new place, but not enough to live by myself. And Louis and Harry both don’t want to live with me because they’re lame, so...”
“I just...I have a lot to think about.”
“Do you really want to live with your parents for the rest of your life?”
“I have Bassim to think about.”
Liam sighs, “I know, but don’t let him hold you back. You know I love him and you and I just...I just really want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“I know. I want the same thing. Just let me think about it.”
“One week. One week then you have to tell me. I can’t wait much longer just cause of uni and stuff.”
“I know. I get it. One week.”
The week goes by quicker than Zayn and Liam can think. Liam frets the whole week thinking about what he’s going to do with Zayn says no.
They sit down at the table in Liam’s flat. There’s boxes everywhere from his flatmates who are moving out.
“Should we just get on with it?” Liam asks.
“No reason not to,” Zayn replies.
“Before you tell me your answer I just want to say that I love you, and I love Bassim. And whatever you choose I won’t be upset. Well I will be, but I won’t like break up with you or anything. And I just-”
Zayn cuts him off, “I do. I do want to move in with you. Living with my parents was suppose to be until I got my feet under me and had Bassim sorted. It’s been a year and I think it’s time.”
Liam moves out of his chair and kisses Zayn. He pulls him up and out of seat as they kiss.
Pulling back from one another Liam is all smiles, “I, I can’t believe it. I thought you were going to turn me down.”
“Nah, babe, why would I do that?”
“You remember how hard you made me work to get you on one date?”
Zayn rolls his eyes and huffs a laugh, “Well that was then, this is now. I’m ready to move forward.”
It takes them a month to find the right flat that will fit the three of them. Zayn wants something close to his family, while Liam wants something close to uni. Zayn doesn’t like that there’s no park close to a flat they looked at, while Liam says he doesn’t mind if they have to drive to one. Zayn says Bassim needs space to play that isn’t just the living room of the flat, so the park is a must. They both agree they want to get a dog, so finding a flat that allows them is another challenge.
They finally find a two bedroom that’s ten minutes from Zayn’s parents and twenty from Liam’s university. There’s a little community garden in the back of the building the residents can use that Zayn thinks will be fine for when they can’t get to the park. The building even allows pets, which both of them are excited about because they want a dog.
The day they move in, Zayn paints the walls of Bassim’s room while Liam helps get furniture set up.
Once everyone leaves they order takeaway Chinese and get Bassim ready for bed. It’s Bassim’s first night in his own room since he and Zayn had been sharing at Zayn’s parent’s house.
“Do you think he’ll be okay by myself?”
“He’ll be fine. We didn’t share a room with our parents and looked how we turned out.”
“I’m just so use to having him near.”
“It’s an adjustment, but we’ll get use to it.”
After dinner Zayn and Liam get ready for bed. Liam brushes his teeth while Zayn goes to check in on Bassim. Liam finishes so Zayn goes to use the bathroom.
When Zayn’s done he walks into his and Liam’s room and sees Liam sitting up in bed with Bassim in his arms.
“Did he wake up?”
“No, no he’s fine. I was just thinking about what you were saying earlier. About not sleeping with him in the same room and I thought maybe just for tonight he could sleep in our room.”
“Just one night?”
“Maybe a couple just to you know, get comfortable in the new flat.”
“Yeah...yeah that would be nice.”
Zayn gets into their bed and Liam lays Bassim in the middle of them. He doesn’t stir.
Zayn leans across the bed and kisses Liam, “I love you.”
“I love you too.”