Liam was off that plane in a matter of seconds, the second person out of the door, and began making a bee line for the exit. After aimlessly searching for it through the halls of London's Heathrow airport, he finally found it, and walked through the sliding doors. Pulling his hood over his hair, he rounded a corner, again left alone with his thoughts. He barely noticed the new aspects of his hometown, which he hadn't seen in person in years. His mind was annoyingly and undoubtedly on Zayn. Thanks to his nerves, he would have to scrap his former plan wish was to lay low, and protect him from the down low. Because this was about protecting him...even after all the things that had happened, and how much they'd changed, he would never let harm to come to his best friend - even if he had to put an EX in front of the title.
As he walked, a new idea formed in his mind. He lifted his hood, and put his hands in his pockets, continuing down the busy sidewalk. Sadly he knew he had to do something, because if Zayn had seen his face, and went about asking all the wrong questions...he could get himself killed before Liam even got to him. No it was better he found out this way, even if it led to loathing. Liam stopped in the center of the sidewalk, his face illuminated by the sun, as he gazed across the streets.
Someone crashed into him from behind, obviously not expecting him to stop so abruptly, and she cursed at him.
"Hey, watch out - " She started, then gaped when she saw his face. He smiled widely at her, and held out a hand to help her up.
"Sorry about that," He said as she gulped and looked at him with wide eyes.
"Aren't you in One Direction?" she asked him, still clutching his hand tightly in disbelief. Liam gazed blankly over her before his featured once again formed a wily grin.
"Yes. So you can run and tell the paparazzi that their fun is over. Liam Payne is back."
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Zayn sat silently in the cab on the way to Bradford with his head resting on the window. His band mates again noticed how sullen he looked, but thankfully hadn't mentioned it. He knew he should be excited to see his family, as he hadn't seen them for months, but what he had seen on the plane occupied all of his thoughts. if that was really who he thought it was...
"Sir, we've arrived," He cab driver informed him as they pulled up at his house. He nodded to him, paid, and stepped out of the car, lugging all his bags along with him.
Hugs, Kisses, and several firm pats on the backs later, Zayn sat on the living room couch, watching football. His mum looked over at him for the thousandth time that night ans smiled warmly. "Oh Zane, I'm so happy you're back, and that your band is doing well," She said to him, hugging him closer. Zayn chuckled. "Love you too mum," He said, as his eyes switched from the telly to her. She sat up, a new thought occurring to her. "Have you talked to Liam yet?" She inquired, and Zayn turned around so sharply he nearly got whiplash.
"What?!" he said, confused, and his mother gave him an odd look. "Didn't you know? He got back the same time you did," She said. Seeing his expression she added, "It was all over the news, you know." Zayn shook his head. "No. No, no, no, no, no." He jumped from the couch, and without another word, he stormed through the rooms and to his front door, going out forgetting a jacket, and slamming the door behind him.
He only made it a couple of blocks before he broke down, and the tears streamed down his face. He finally stumbled to his art studio, and pulled the keys out of his pocket to unlock the door when he released it was already open. Figuring Perrie had left it open by accident, he pushed it open and wandered through the dark looking for the light switch. He cursed, and tripped over a chair, disoriented and feeling along the wall. His fingers reached out and hit something hard - and soft at the same time. Just as he was about to pull away, the lights were flicked on.
There stood his former Best mate and Band mate, in the flesh, with his finger still suspended under the light switch. Zayn froze, his fingertips still brushing Liam's chest, and he blinked in terror as he heard the low velvety voice for the first time in years.