It Ain't No Use In Turning On Your Light Zarry AU

Zayn has moved to a new town, wanting to escape. Finding four new friends wasn’t part of the plan. Zarry AU

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6. Chapter 6

The phone’s screeching ring echoed through the house, making Paul dash to the receiver in the kitchen, not wanting the next ring to be the one to wake Zayn up. The poor boy kept waking up throughout the night and so Paul would as well. In total, he think they got about two hours of sleep so it was a surprise to be woken up to find Zayn trying to get ready for school, not understanding it should really be a day off for the both of them. He had looked half dead and when he had almost tumbled down the stairs with Paul staring in disbelief, he had been sent back to bed.

Paul himself had also wanted to crawl under the covers but calling the school had to be first. He offered a brief explanation with the principal, who was now aware somewhat of Zayn’s situation and probably in an attempt to make up for earlier in the week, assured Paul that Zayn wouldn’t have to worry about homework as it would be easy to catch up the second week of school.

So with that out of the way, Paul was slowly making his way up the stairs when the phone called him right back to the living room.

“Hello?” he answered, inwardly sighing with relief, as he heard no sound from upstairs.

“Hi Paul it’s Mary, Zayn’s caseworker,” the voice said on the other end.

“O hi Mary, how are you?” Paul said. He had been wondering when he would hear from her as it had been a couple of weeks since she had helped arrange everything with Zayn. Paul liked her immensely. She revealed she wasn’t the first person to be assigned to Zayn’s case but Paul could tell she really cared about Zayn in the short time she had been working with him.

“I’m good. I’m just calling to remind you social services should be coming by in the next few weeks to do an inspection. I’ll make sure I’m there too but you should be fine. Zayn was so happy when you picked him. There won’t be a problem.”

Paul smiled despite his tiredness.

“Also,” Mary continued, “I sent Zayn’s file to you. It should be arriving sometime today.”

Coincidentally, the doorbell rang just then, making Paul cringe. If the phone hadn’t woken up Zayn, that definitely would.

“I think it just got here,” Paul said.

“Ok. If you have any questions, you have my number. I’ll call you when I know the exact date of the inspection,”

Paul thanked her and then went to the door. Unbelievably, there was still no sound from upstairs. Zayn must really be worn out from yesterday, Paul thought.

After signing for the surprisingly large package, Paul finally found himself in his room. But after only a couple of minutes of trying to doze off, he realized all sleep would be impossible until he at least skimmed the contents of Zayn’s folder. So he propped himself up and started to rifle through the papers, the tears coming steadily as he kept reading.

*******************

“Where’s Zayn?” Harry practically cried out as he and his three best friends sat down to lunch. “He wasn’t in History! I’m so worried.”

Niall rolled his eyes at his literal friend.

“Would you relax Harry?” he spit out through a mouthful of chicken. “I’m sure he just took the day off. I mean after yesterday who can blame him?”

Some of the tension left Harry’s shoulders as he agreed with Niall and he reached to grab a bit of Niall’s lunch, receiving a slap in return. Deciding he would just have to deal with his boring tuna sandwich, he dug his food out of his bag, coming up to find Louis staring at a despondent Liam, eyes reflecting the worry Harry and Niall were also feeling. Their friend was heartbroken and needed some serious “bro time” although Harry gave a small smile when he thought about Niall wanting more than that.

Liam noticed nothing, continuously playing with his phone. He had confessed to his friends that he still hadn’t heard from Danielle and he was worried she wanted more space than she had originally let on. She wanted to see how things went before she fully committed to the long distance thing but Harry had thought she would at least text Liam to let him know how she was doing.

Not one to just watch his friends in pain, Harry looked at Louis and Niall, all three having a silent conversation about what to do.

“Ok so we should go Manchester tomorrow for some shopping, y’know, celebrate our three day week,” Louis finally deciding to speak up. “Harry has the day off work and it would be cool to get out of town. I can drive!”

“I’ll drive,” Liam stated, his voice sounding a little hoarse but at least he seemed to perk up a bit. “You’ll probably get bored and distracted after being in the car for even half an hour.”

“Do you think Zayn would like to come?” Harry thought out loud, effectively breaking up any argument Liam and Louis were about to have.

“I dunno,” Niall said, already finished eating. “Maybe we should leave him alone. Let him come to us. I mean if it were me, I’d be pretty embarrassed.”

“Which is why he needs friends!” Harry’s voice rose up. “To let him know that we are there for him no matter what!”

“Ok Harry,” it was Liam this time. “You can ask him. It will be fun if he comes along.”

Raising a fist in silent victory, Harry proceeded to dial Zayn’s home number on his mobile (not that he found Paul in the phone book last night or anything) but unfortunately got no answer. He left a quick stuttering message while his friends rolled their eyes.

That didn’t stop Harry from trying the rest of the day and evening but with no luck. He was so close to going over but Niall’s words echoed in his head. Maybe his blond haired buddy was right. Maybe Zayn needed a bit of space and it would be unfair of Harry to push him. No after Manchester he would go over and maybe, just maybe Zayn would be open to a few hugs.

************************

Paul had pointedly put the phone on silent. This just wasn’t the time for any calls right now. Right now, Zayn needed his full attention.

The boy had finally roused himself, knocking hesitantly on Paul’s door, wanting to pass a note along asking if he could make lunch for the two of them. When he was met with his guardian crying, he had quickly scrawled a “what’s wrong” message on his notepad.

Paul had kept with his no secrets policy for his family and had shown Zayn the folder from Mary. To say Zayn had reacted badly was an understatement. He had quickly fled the room and actually curled up in his closet in the smallest ball imaginable, making Paul’s heart break even more. After squeezing himself in for a while, the two had cried themselves out, Zayn finally confessing on a tear stained paper that he was so afraid his past would make Paul not want him.

Paul repeated (and would continue to repeat until the day he died, honestly) that this changed nothing.

“I love you Zayn,” were the words that had spilled from his mouth, making Zayn’s eyes widen in surprise. But Paul knew although it seemed soon, he had no hesitations about saying it. His heart was set on adopting Zayn officially, had been from the moment he had seen him at the orphanage, just didn’t know when it would be right to express that in case things went wrong.

But since Zayn had written, “I love you Paul, thank you,” as a response, he knew it all was ok. He didn’t care how long it took, Zayn would be his son and nothing would tear them apart.

So now they were sipping tea and watching a few shows, finally allowing themselves to calm down. Zayn actually looked happy and Paul wanted to keep him in a good mood so he debated whether he should bring up something urgent he had found in the file.

“Zayn, I saw it was your birthday tomorrow,” Paul said. He had felt like a horrible parent for not asking before he had taken Zayn home and knew he needed to make it up to him. “Would you like to celebrate? We could go shopping in Manchester. Get your new phone, see the town, just have a nice trip.”

He expected a no, thinking it might be too overwhelming, but he swear he saw Zayn melt in happiness, making him wonder if anyone had celebrated his birthday before. The sad thought didn’t last long though as Zayn gave him a hug and Paul vowed that he would make this the most memorable birthday ever.

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