Word Count: 1,131
Warnings: Tiny bit of language and a fuck load of heartbreak.
Disclaimer: Not mine. And if they were, I wouldn't put them through this.
Summary: "In life we always fall for the person that will never fall for us, always want something that we can't, and always say things we shouldn't." - Zayn Malik
And In One Little Moment
He screws his eyes shut tighter and ignores the furious knocking on the bathroom door.
He’s an idiot, a complete and total fucking idiot. It was going so well, almost two years and he was doing fine. So why, why, now?
He’d take it back if he could, rewind time and sew his lips shut so the words have no choice but to stay inside his head. Except he can’t, so he won’t and they’ve been said. Five little words stopping a whole room full of laughter and conversation dead in its tracks.
Five fucking words and he’s probably ruined the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
He balls his hands into fists and bites his lip to stop from crying but the pain is making his eyes water and his own stupidity is bouncing around inside his head making him want to stay curled up in Liam’s bathtub for the rest of his life.
The knocking slows and he can hear voices, it sounds like Harry but he’s not entirely sure, too quite before disappearing altogether.
It comes flashing back and he chokes back a sob, tries to remind himself that to exhale you have to inhale first. But right now the world seems like it might be better if he just stopped breathing. Soon it all becomes too much and his lungs burn and he sucks in a breath until his chest feels like it’s going to burst.
He draws his knees in tighter to his chest and grits his teeth against tears he can feel welling up. His nails are biting into his palms and it stings but it still hurts less than his heart does.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid. Fuck. Stupid fucking fuck.” Why didn’t he just leave? Why did he have to lock himself in the bathroom? Why did he do anything at all tonight?
It wasn’t meant to happen, it was never meant to happen. It was just something he kept locked away in a tiny box marked ‘Liam’ in his chest, tucked in behind his heart so you could only see it if the light was just right.
But then Liam laughed at his terrible joke a little too hard and buried his face in his neck, one arm going around his shoulder and the other clutching at his shirt-front. And it was overwhelming and it just came tumbling out, even though they weren’t alone, even though it was only meant to be said inside his head, inside his heart.
“I'm in love with you.”
The whole room froze, so silent he thought he could hear his blood rushing through his veins. Then Liam was pulling away, blinking up at him and his lips were parting like he wanted to say something but he never did, that was Danielle.
“You’re what?” It was angry and confused and she was glaring at him, so intently that if he could feel it, it would burn.
And all he can do is push up from the sofa, walk from the room with everyone’s eyes following him, and lock himself in the bathroom.
Liam’s still outside, and he thinks his hand must be sore from all the banging because Liam’s just resorted to calling his name through the wood.
“Zayn, please.” And Liam sounds broken, but not as broken as he is. Then there’s a muffled thump and the sound of Liam’s body sliding down the door.
He can see his fingers peek out from the gap between the carpet and the bottom of the door, just Liam’s fingertips, and “you need to come out, we need to talk about this”.
But he would rather stay folded up in the bathtub forever, or fill it with water and swirl down the plughole when he empties it. But neither of those are good plans, or feasible plans. So he pulls himself up, hands shaky and curling over the edge to help him balance, and goes to the door.
He swears he can hear Liam draw in a breath when he touches the handle. He lets go and sinks to the floor instead and he hears Liam shuffle around.
“Why did you say that?” and Liam’s lips must be pressed against the door because he can feel the words buzzing through him.
He doesn’t say anything, just sits there trying to breathe normally with his head tipped back and his hands fisted in his jeans. Liam asks again, and maybe this time he should say something.
He wants to say that it’s not true or he didn’t mean it like that, but Liam would know he’s lying, so he settles for the truth. “It just came out, I didn’t mean for it to. I didn’t mean for it to, Liam.” And Liam’s name gets stuck in his throat, caught up in a sob he can’t shove down so he bites on his knuckles to try and stop it from happening again.
“Oh, Zayn,” and Liam’s sounds like he might be crying, he always cared a bit too much. “I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry. But I can’t…I can’t love you like that.”
He knew it was coming, but it still punches the breath out of him, winds him ‘til he feels like he’s suffocating and tears sting at his eyes. All he wants to do is crawl under Liam’s bathroom tile and disappear forever, but instead, he’s stuck here listening to Liam tell him he can’t love him.
And it hurts. It hurts so horribly that he thinks he won’t ever be happy again.
“I know.” He has to whisper it because he knows his voice will break otherwise and the tears are rolling down his cheeks now, down his neck and tickling, irritating at his collar. He brushes them away with a shaking hand.
There’s a thump like it might be Liam’s hand on the door, the scratch of fingernails as his hand closes and slides away. He can hear Liam clear his throat and he think how sore his own throat is, tight and strained from holding back sobs, burning when he takes a deep, chest shuddering breath.
“Are we going to be okay? Can we get past this? Please, can we?” The uncertainty in Liam’s voice is painful, but the small amount of hope is so much worse.
He tears his fingers though his hair. Rests his elbows on his knees and hangs his head, letting his tears drip on his shirt and staining the fabric darker. He wants to say yes. He wants to lie to Liam. Tell him everything will be fine, eventually. But he can’t make himself say it. He feels sick. He feels like he’s dying.
“I don’t know.”
The little box behind his heart is broken, splintered and cracked beyond repair.
A/N: Oh god, I'm sorry. I don't write angsty things, I can't deal with heartbreak but this was mostly inspired by the jealous!Zayn gifset going around tumblr, and and just as I was about to post this he tweets that and it was too perfect and horrible all at the same time. This is un-beta'd so give me a yell if anything is wrong. You know the deal with comments, leave them and I will love you forever.
(The title is taken from This Isn't Everything You Are by Snow Patrol)