Love Somebody

Zayn and Louis are the epitome of extreme opposites. One's a Lit major with too much heart and not enough people to share it with while the other just doesn't care enough to feel at all - or so he says.

Never in a million years would they have found their way towards each other. But when a class brings two of their friends together, they are ultimately forced into each other's lives. Something that neither boy knew would cause as much trouble as it is bound to.

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2. First Look

Zayn plopped himself down under his favorite tree in the university park, a notepad clutched in one hand and a pencil tucked behind one of his ears. He had been trying for days now to finish up that poem due for his Contemporary Poetry class next Monday but so far all he'd been able to come up with were a couple of clichéd lines about starry eyes and smiles that matched the rays of the sun and really, that shit's overused.
 
Taking the pencil from behind his ear, he fiddled with the long object for a bit, berating himself for having so much trouble with the assignment. He’s never had any problems with poetry – after all he’s been writing it since he was twelve – but for some reason he just wasn’t feeling it lately, and that bothered him. He thought about it long and hard, staring at the blank page in front of him, until he finally decided to just give up for the day.
 
Maybe I’ll do better tomorrow. He thought.
 
He was about to resort to sitting back to watch the other students in the lawn when he felt his phone vibrate near his left thigh. Adjusting his position a bit, he reached into the pocket of his tight jeans and retrieved his mobile, where his best friend’s name flashed on the screen.
 
Smirking to himself, he unlocked his phone to open the text.
 
From: Niall’s Sexy and I Know It
Broooo! Fucking starving, man! Where R U??????
 
From: Zayner Boy
Park. Thought U had work?
 
From: Niall’s Sexy and I Know It
I do. But my shift’s about 2 end. Buy me dinner?
 
From: Zayner Boy
Srsly, Y would I do that?
 
From: Niall’s Sexy and I Know It
Y the fuck not!? C’mon, Zaynerrrr! I’m hungryyyyy!
 
From: Zayner Boy
Call me Zayner one more time and I won’t even consider coming 2 C U.
 
From: Niall Sexy and I Know It
But.. Zaynie Boy! U can’t leave me here 2 die!!!!!!!
 
From: Zayner Boy
Oh, trust me. The thought sounds very appealing.
 
From: Niall’s Sexy and I Know It
HAH! Love ya too, Z! See you in a bit! Xx
 
Zayn shook his head as he fought the smile that was threatening to crawl itself across his lips. He just never had the will to turn down the small blond, and they’ve been best friends since he moved from Ireland during their senior year in high school. One would think he’d have developed some balls or shit by then, right?
 
After stuffing all his things inside the backpack he’d tossed aside earlier, he slung the strap over his shoulder and made his way across the grassy stretch of land to the small campus coffee shop where Niall worked, his stomach already grumbling as he realized how hungry he himself actually was.
 
 
 
 
 
The sound of chimes echoed off the walls of the busy café as Zayn pushed the door, holding it open for a couple of girls who gave him heart eyes on their way out. It was still quite a mystery to him how people seemed to stop and stare when he was around, but he was never the rude type so he always just smiled politely whenever these things happened. He never really questioned it out loud because it sounded too cocky.
 
He walked slowly around the modest-sized establishment in an effort to spot Niall. He was just about to head to the counter to ask the redheaded barista (Ed something-or-other, if he remembered correctly) where the little leprechaun was, when a blaring voice caught his attention. Turning his head towards the direction of the sound, he was met by the sight of his favorite Irishman sitting on one of the corner booths, chatting up a waitress Zayn didn’t recognize. With a smirk, Zayn adjusted his bag on his shoulder and walked over, clearing his throat to get his friend’s attention.
 
“Ma-liiik!” Niall exclaimed excitedly, already forgetting about the poor girl he was flirting with just seconds before. “Sit, sit! I was just about to order.”
 
“Seriously, Ni. Your shift just ended. Don’t you wanna eat somewhere else?” the black-haired boy asked as he squeezed himself into what little space was left on the small wooden bench the other was occupying.
 
Looking at Zayn with a confused expression, Niall responded, “And miss out on a perfectly good brinner? Hell no, man!” And with that he started springing off their orders to the overwhelmed server – Emma, according to her nametag.
 
“So, still no progress on that poem, huh?” Niall directed his attention to his best friend after sending their waitress off with a wink. He ran a pale hand through his messy hair before putting his red snapback back on.
 
From a stranger’s point of view, it was quite amusing how the two really couldn’t be more different. While one was all dark and mysterious and ink-smudged fingers, the other was bright and shiny and wide-toothed grins. Nobody really understood their relationship, even those who witnessed its beginnings when they were still in high school. But it worked for them and it was really all that mattered in the end so they just stuck with it.
 
“Ugh,” Zayn groaned, remembering what little of the poem he’s managed to write, “Don’t remind me. Not all of us have people throwing themselves at our feet for inspiration, y’know.” He continued, making a joke out of Niall’s habit of flirting with anything in a skirt.
 
“Don’t hate the player, man,” Niall chuckled half-heartedly. “But seriously, though. Mate, if you just put yourself out there more you’d be set. I mean, you’ve seen yourself! I’d be all over you. Y’know, if I swung that way and all…”
 
“Shut up, man.” Zayn half-smiled, just as their food arrived. He quickly started digging into his chicken omelet before changing the subject. “So, how was your class today?”
 
This earned him a snort from the boy, who shrugged before stopping in the middle of stuffing his face with sausages so he could reply.
 
“S’alright. Psych class is a bit of a hassle, though.” The blond swallowed the food in his mouth before continuing, “I have to do this project with this kid named Styles but he’s hardly ever in so I don’t exactly know how that’s gonna work.”
 
“Can’t you ask to do the work on your own or something? Maybe get a different partner?” Zayn offered, knowing how Niall must be feeling as they usually only ever worked together.
 
“Everyone’s already paired off, mate. It’s an even-numbered class so no one’s allowed to work solo.” He rubbed his hand on the back of his neck before a smile brightened his face again, “Anyway, you gonna finish that bacon?”
 
Zayn chuckled fondly as he pushed his plate towards his friend, signaling that the younger one could help himself to whatever he’d left over. They spent the next few minutes in relative silence, Zayn watching as Niall devoured every last bit of food leftover on each of their plates before they decided to head back to the dorms and call it a night.
 
 
 
 
 
A few days later found Zayn cooped up in the dorms, quietly sitting by himself as Niall was finishing up his Friday classes. Being a student of the arts, the slightly older boy had more free time on his hands as the university’s program used a more “hands-on” approach for the curriculum. The same didn’t hold true for the sciences, much to the paler boy’s dismay.
 
“What’s happenin’, mofo!” Niall greeted enthusiastically as he threw the door open later in the day, leading himself inside the small dorm room the two friends shared. With his backpack slung over his left shoulder, he crossed the room in two long strides and threw himself on one of the two beds in the room, crossing his arms behind his head as he beamed at the other boy.
 
Zayn, who had been hunched over his desk – eyebrows furrowed and bottom lip worried – looked up, the frown on his face quickly lifting into a smile when he realized who his intruder was.
 
“Hey, Ni. You seem happy today.” He observed as he spun his chair to face the other, once again procrastinating on the one assignment he’s yet to complete.
 
"Met that Styles guy I was telling you about yesterday. Sick dude, man! He’s actually pretty smart if you’re patient enough to wait for him to end his sentences. He hooked me up to some tickets to his mate’s band’s gig tonight!"
 
Zayn gave a half-hearted smile as he took in everything Niall had said. It wasn’t that he was jealous that the boy had found a new friend. Their friendship was far too strong for anything like that to be an issue. He just never cared much for social outings so he couldn’t share Niall’s enthusiasm. He didn’t want to be rude, though, so he said, “That’s really cool, bro!”
 
“Hell yeah, it is!” Niall’s smile couldn’t be wider if he tried. “Be ready by 7!”
 
“I’m sorry, what?” Zayn raised an eyebrow, looking at Niall as if he suddenly grew three extra heads. “Man, no. You know that’s not my ty-“
 
“Don’t give a flying fuck, you’re still coming mate!” the blond interrupted, not leaving any more room for excuses and arguments. Pulling out his iPod, he stuffed his earplugs in his ears and closed his eyes, almost immediately snoring after.
 
With an incredulous look plastered on his face, Zayn shook his head and resigned to his fate, knowing better than to try to get himself out of a plan Niall’s already dead set on.
 
“There goes my quiet Friday, then.” He grumbled to himself.
 
 
 
 
 
The walk to the open field was mostly spent in silence, with Niall tapping away at his phone every now and again as he busied himself with making arrangements with This Styles Fellow, as Zayn had taken to calling Niall’s new friend. By the time they reached their destination a little past 7:20 PM, the place was packed with college-age kids loitering about.
 
It felt almost like a scene straight out of those cliché college films where frat parties were the norm and everyone was either a douche bag jock or a misunderstood hipster. Except, okay, Zayn had to admit that there were a bunch of people he recognized from some of his classes and they were alright so this must not be as bad as he had originally perceived.
 
It didn’t make the whole experience any more comfortable, though.
 
He was just about to tell Niall that he was feeling a little ill (he wasn’t really, but what’s a little white lie between friends?), when he felt him pulling at his sleeve and tugging him towards some random direction. Deciding that he really didn’t have a say in the matter, Zayn allowed himself to be dragged to an area closer to the stage where small groups of people were huddled.
 
“It’s my favorite leprechaun!” Zayn heard someone drawl slowly from his left, making him turn his head to see who the voice belonged to. All he got, though, was a view of messy curls running past him as a tall guy suddenly engulfed Niall in a bear hug. Which came across as weird to Zayn because, well, who the hell is this guy and why is he all up in his best friend’s space?
 
“You’re scaring the other dude, Haz.” Another voice said as the guy, who Zayn now presumed to be Harry, released Niall from his death grip to reveal a bright, dimpled smile that could actually rival Mr. Sunshine’s. Hmm.
 
“Oh, shoot. Sorry.” Harry lifted his hand for Zayn to take. “I’m Harry. You’re Zayn, I guess?”
 
“Uh, y-yeah.” Zayn stammered as he awkwardly accepted the handshake, letting go immediately as if he was burned by the other’s touch. “Nice to meet you.”
 
“Likewise, dude!” Harry kept smiling, lifting his other hand to drink from the plastic cup Zayn hadn’t noticed he’d been carrying earlier.
 
“That cookie over there to your right is my friend Liam. Don’t let the buzz cut fool you. He’s about as intimidating as a toy poodle.” Harry winked at his friend as he said this, obviously pleased at himself. “And Louis is on his way. Got caught up in lecture but he’ll be here.”
 
Zayn was amazed at how charming and confident Harry was, and he could see how Niall immediately took a liking to the boy. He was so relaxed and comfortable (almost as if everyone was his best friend, really) that anyone would be drawn to him. And Liam wasn’t so bad either.
 
Yeah, Zayn could maybe get used to them.
 
They’d spent a good few minutes just standing around listening to Harry and Niall go on about stuff as if they were childhood friends who’d just gotten reunited when the lights dimmed and a loud guitar riff started floating through the speakers, effectively drawing everyone’s attention. And just as the lights on the stage were turned back on to reveal the first band for the night, someone bumped into Zayn from behind, sending his lanky frame a few steps forward.
 
He wanted to tell the person off. Really he did. He was just about to, in fact. But when he turned around to give the clumsy oaf a piece of his mind, he was met by the brightest pair of blue eyes he’d ever seen on anyone. And really, no one could have blamed him when the only thing he managed was a breathy, “Oh.”

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