The Heart Never Forgets

What’s worse than watching the one you love die? For Liam, it’s having to stand by while they forget who you are. Zayn is dying, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and Liam goes from being his best friend to his caregiver. Somehow, their friendship becomes intimate, and while it should be good, it isn’t, because they know that Zayn will forget about them soon enough. While the mind may obliterate the memories of their love, Liam believes - hopes - that the heart never forgets.

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10. IX

 

Liam was a bundle of excited nerves and energy as they waited in Dr. Elisha’s office. He was thoroughly convinced that this was what he wanted to do, and was incredibly grateful that Zayn had agreed to it.

It was a lot simpler than it seemed, really. Zayn wanted kids, and Liam knew that he would want some, eventually, too. But Zayn’s time was running out, and Zayn wanted kids so why not now? And then once Zayn’s gone, Liam would mourn, but he’d still have Zayn’s child to look after, to take care of and love. It was weird, but it worked out.

He was, however, nervous as to if he’d be a good enough father to the child. he was no Zayn, not by a long shot, and he believed anything relating to Zayn deserved only the best of the best, and he couldn’t help but fear that he wouldn’t live up to such a reputation. But he didn’t have much time to ponder, as doctor Elisha made her way into the room.

“Hello, boys,” Elisha greeted with a polite smile, casting a rather curious glance at her two patient’s entwined hands. “Zayn’s checkup isn’t until next week, so to what may I owe this visit for?” she asked, as she seated herself at her desk, refreshing herself with a cup of tea.

The two boys looked at one another with an excited grin before Liam addressed the doctor.

“We want to have a baby,” he said simply, and cringed when the doctor choked on her tea. “Sorry,” he apologized weakly, ashamed for the reaction it caused.

“No no, don’t be,” she waved off, attempting to catch her breath. “A child?”

“Yes,” Liam confirmed, before nodding in Zayn’s direction. “Zayn’s child.”

“We were hoping you guys had a surrogacy program,” Zayn offered.

“Well, as your doctor,” she started, her face expressing sympathy, “I don’t think you are in any condition to father and raise a child, not with your progression of accelerated deterioration.”

“No,” Liam shook his head as he tried to explain. “Zayn will father the child but I will raise it.” he could hear his voice full of glee as the words fell from his mouth, almost on their own free will as if what they were planning was natural. Zayn’s face was an affectionate smile as he gazed intently at his friend, whereas Elisha’s was a mixture of confusion and realization.

“Oh,” she said, before a contemplative silence surrounded the office as the boys let her process the information. She took another sip of coffee before continuing.

“If I may,” she began slowly, “what brought you to this decision?”

“Well, it’s easy, really,” Liam answered. “Zayn has always wanted children and he’d be an excellent father anyways, and he really wants to leave something behind, something that wouldn’t be forgotten, and something to carry on his legacy, like a bloodline.”

“And Liam wants to raise them when I’m not able to,” Zayn commented. “Because it’s his nature to love and care for people, and it’d be his way of managing without me. It’d make me feel less guilty about leaving him alone, too.”

Elisha hadn’t said anything, instead exchanging glances between both of the boys in her office with looks of awe and admiration.

“Well, if you two are serious about -”

“We are,” they both interrupted simultaneously, before sparing quick grins at one another.

“Then I completely support you two’s decision and would be happy to provide you with more information on our surrogacy program.” she finished with a broad smile.

It was that simple, much easier than Liam had anticipated. Together with Dr. Elisha they had collectively gone over concerns, prompting questions back and forth, before Elisha gave them files of the available surrogate candidates to look over, even setting up interviews for the next day.

The interviews, however, did not go as well as either of them hoped for. None of the surrogates matched their idea of a perfect mother, not that they were being picky, but honestly, the candidates’ history spoke for itself. There were various dropouts, a few recovering drug addicts, one had multiple sexual partners, and others were just awestruck at the fact that superstar celebrity Zayn Malik was interested in surrogacy – not that they could take it to the press, due to the surrogacy program’s non-disclosure agreement.

By the end of the day, they exhausted the entire application list. None of the women were good enough or seemingly able to provide the best gestational experience for Zayn’s child, and Liam was determined to give that child only the best.

But he couldn’t do that if none of the women lived up to his expectations, none that had traits he would find ideal and admire in a mother. a person that had hopes and dreams, someone who would treat the child they carried as if it were their own, not simply something they were storing for a good nine months.

They were about to leave when Elisha stopped them, noticing their morbidly somber disappointment.

“I take it none of the interviews worked out?”

“Not even close,” Zayn huffed, looking downcast.

“Well,” Elisha continued, her voice a lot more chipper than it was a moment before. “I just received one more application, and I think she may prove quite promising.”

“Who is it?” Liam asked, not ready to get his hopes raised, only to be crushed once more.

“Meet Perrie,” Elisha said, turning around to introduce the girl standing behind her. Both Liam and Zayn gave her a quick once-over.

Perrie was a petite young lady, blonde hair that likely wasn’t natural with fair skin and an attractive blush graced her high cheekbones. Her jaw was chiseled in a way that Liam thought could almost rival Zayn’s own – almost. It was her eyes, though, that drew their attention. Two orbs of a brilliant icy blue, in stark contrast with the rest of her beautifully pale face.

All in all, Liam was impressed; she already stood out more than all of the other applicants. However, neither Liam nor Zayn were shallow enough to judge their applicant based on physical beauty – though it would be bonus points if the child’s good looks were ensured – and so they’d need to interview her like all the others before they made their final choice.


“Hello,” she said confidently, extending her hand to greet them. “I’m Perrie.”

“Right, and I assume you already know who these two lads are,” Elisha said with a chuckle because, uh, who didn’t?

Apparently Perrie.

“Should I?” she asked, giving a questioning glance towards Elisha, who stared back at her in shock.

“No,” Zayn intervened with a smile. “Of course not. I’m Zayn, and this here is Liam.” he finished, taking Perrie’s hand within his own.

“Pleasure to meet you, Perrie,” Liam said, shaking her hand. “Care for an interview, then?”

With her nod of response, they returned to the privacy of the small conference room, sans Elisha.

“So, Perrie,” Liam began, “tell us a bit about yourself, will you?”

“My name is Perrie Louise Edwards, I’m from South Shields and I think I’m going to get some Chinese takeout after this,” she said matter-of-factly, making Zayn chortle. Liam, however, was stunned at the casual bluntness she offered.

“You seem to have your priorities in order,” Zayn teased lightly, the smile on his face showing he meant no offense.

“A girl’s gotta eat, right?” Perrie shot back, returning a grin. “That may be a bad habit, I enjoy eating a lot, especially fatty foods and oh my god cupcakes. I really love cupcakes.”

“If you do carry the baby, would you cut back on that?” Liam asked, turning serious.

“I could try,” she admitted truthfully. “I always work out, though, and I have a really fast metabolism system, if it helps.”

“So, aside from eating,” Zayn stepped in, “what else do you enjoy?”

“Singing,” Perrie answered simply, prompting Liam and Zayn to exchange impressed glances.

“Singing?” Liam repeated.

“Singing,” she confirmed. “It’s also sort of why I’m willing to do this. With the money it offers, it can help kick start my career, help me find a label and all that.”

“That’s a nice plan,” Zayn commented.

“And naturally,” she continued, afraid that she had sounded selfish, “I’d be helping you two have the child you want. I have nothing against gay couples.”

Liam could feel his face flush, and was considerably jealous of Zayn’s darker complexion’s ability to hide blushes more adequately.

“We’re not boyfriends,” Zayn said slowly, as if he regretted the words he was saying, but surely Liam was just imagining that.

“Oh,” Perrie said, bringing a hand to her face in an attempt to hide her embarrassment. “I’m so sorry, I just figured that since you two wanted to have a kid together…”

“Don’t be,” Liam said. “The plan is for Zayn to father and me to raise.”

“I’m not sure I follow,” Perrie admitted.

“If we are comfortable with you being the surrogate, it’ll be explained in full,” Zayn assured her.

“I understand,” she said politely.

“Well, then,” Zayn continued, raising from his seat. “If you’ll excuse Liam and myself for a moment…” he pointed to the door leading to an adjacent office where he and Liam could deliberate in private.

“So?” Zayn asked once Liam shut the door behind him. “What do you think?”

“She seems nice,” he admitted, and Zayn nodded in agreement. “I liked her well enough, nice attitude, friendly nature, and her file is impressive, too, rather smart young lady.”

“And you’d be okay for her to mother our kid?” ours. It stuck out, tugged at Liam’s heart as he felt the warmth of Zayn’s love wash over him.

“Well, what do you think?” Liam questioned back, but Zayn just shook his head.

“Nope, my opinion doesn’t matter as much as yours.”

“Why?” Liam asked, clearly confused.

“Because, you’ll be the one raising our kid, much longer than I’ll be around, and I’d like to think that she’d still be a part of their life in some way while growing up, I mean, we can’t just deny our kid their own mother, can we? Just, do you think a friendship with her would work? Are you okay with her one hundred and thirty-seven perfect?”

Liam was silent for a moment. The answer to Zayn’s question was an obvious yes, of course, but Liam was awestruck and humbled by the fact that Zayn valued his opinion so highly on the matter.

“Yes,” he said at last. “She’s perfect.”

“Then let’s go start a family, yeah?” Zayn asked.

And had Liam not been so excited at the notion, he would have argued the point, stating that a family had already been made between the two of them, because Zayn was all the family Liam felt he ever wanted or truly needed. But he was excited and willing to make that family bigger, with Zayn by his side.

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