Copyright © 2014 Izzy Saphira
That night, while Harry took the couch, Zayn fell asleep outside of Elsah’s room, against the closed door. He moved his textbooks and laptop there, making sure it would be physically impossible for the sick man to sneak into Elsah’s room for any type of reason.
He fell asleep thinking of how selfless Elsah was, and how far she would go hurting herself to help out a person she barely knew.
In the morning, when Elsah awoke, Zayn was still fast asleep against her door. So when she opened the door to step outside to head to the bathroom, she was surprised to see him fall back.
Zayn let out a startled gasp, snapping awake as he jerked upwards to a seated position. “Ellie?”
“Zayn,” she frowned, shaking her head, crouching down next to him and setting a hand on his shoulder. “Are you okay? I’m so sorry!”
Zayn blinked momentarily, still half asleep. “Yeah, yeah, don’t worry, El, I’m okay.”
“I didn’t know you were sleeping out here? I’m sorry!”
“You don’t have to apologize,” Zayn spoke up, flashing her a smile as he adjusted his glasses. “Just help me up?”
She stood up, reaching her hand down to him to help him, and he quickly took it and stood up.
“You hungry?” Zayn asked her, leaning over and picking up his textbooks, shoving them into a black backpack. “We should make breakfast.”
“Sure.” She agreed immediately, smiling up at him. Even though she had just woken up, she felt tired, exhausted. Elsah refused to even consider that it might be due to the amount of blood she’d given Harry this past week, over and over and over again, without allowing herself time to heal.
I heal faster than humans, she would think to herself. Therefore, I’ll be okay. My body will make more blood to replace whatever was lost.
Besides, it’s not like Elsah was going to keep giving him blood. It was only for a little bit, until Harry got better. It shouldn’t last more than a week or so, and he’ll be better again and he won’t need anymore.
And because Elsah knew that it was just going to be a short while, she felt obligated to help him.
“What do you want to eat?” Zayn interrupted her thoughts, leading her to the kitchen. She followed after him quietly, before speaking up, “Whatever you want. I’m good with anything, really.”
“How are you feeling?” He asked her, stepping into the kitchen and bending down to open one of the cabinets. He reached out for a skillet, setting it on the stove top, before heading to the refrigerator.
Elsah bit down on her lip, looking awake and breaking eye contact with Zayn, hesitating to answer. She’d never really lied to Zayn, except back when she had first met him, and didn’t trust him. But that was years ago, and not once had she told him anything but the truth.
So she hesitated, because she didn’t want to tell him that she felt a bit under the weather, because then he’d blame Harry, even though it wasn’t his fault.
“I’m okay,” She spoke finally, opting not to lie, but not to tell the full truth, either.
When Zayn looked up at her from behind the fridge door, he raised an eyebrow skeptically, and shook his head.
“If you’re not feeling good, Ellie, just tell me. I’ll make you some orange juice and soup.”
She was touched by his kindness, the corners of her lips pulling up into a smile. “Orange juice would be nice.”
“I’ll need some fresh oranges, then…” he trailed off, setting down the container of eggs onto the counter and reaching down to the fridge again. He pulled out two oranges out of the drawer, the same ones that Harry and Elsah had bought the day before, and set them on the counter alongside the eggs, and then shut the refrigerator. He pulled out a manual juicer, quickly giving it a quick rinse in the sink before slicing open the oranges with a knife.
“I was going to make eggs for us first, I want to make sure you're all taken care of,” Zayn smiled at Elsah, shaking his head playfully, teasing her “the troubles I go through for you, El.”
Elsah frowned, feeling immediately guilty, “Zayn, you don’t have to-“
“Elle.” Zayn shook his head, laughing. “I’m just messing with you. I don’t mind, I want to take care of you.”
Elsah hesitated, biting down on her lip, “Are you sure?”
Zayn only rolled his eyes, laughing as he began to juice one half of the first orange he’d cut. “Definitely.”
Elsah let out a small giggle, shaking her head at herself. Regardless of the numerous times Zayn had teased and messed with her, she always ended up taking it seriously, worrying that she was annoying him or something, until Zayn cleared it up to her that he was only joking, and that he wasn’t actually serious.
The muscles in Zayn’s arms flexed under the skin as he continued to juice the orange, all of his attention on the orange and the movements of his hands as he juiced it. Like everything else he did, he did it with great care and attention. Zayn was the kind of person that liked everything to be done to his best ability - even the most trivial of things.
But Zayn wasn’t muscular, or well-built. He had an average build - in fact, he was almost lanky. And even though he was one of the most studious people Elsah had ever known, he still managed to get around - all because of his self-confidence.
And as Elsah was leaned up against the counter, she watched Zayn with adoration of her best friend - really, the best friend anyone could ever possibly have.
“I’ll help make the eggs,” Elsah offered, but did not give Zayn a chance to tell her no as she grabbed the carton of egg and turned on the stovetop under the skillet.
Zayn frowned, “El, don’t worry about it, I got it-”
“I want to,” Elsah assured him, holding her arm out to block him from stealing the carton of eggs from her. “Just worry about the orange juice.”
He looked as if he were going to argue back with Elsah, demanding that she leave everything to him, but decided against it, because even though for the most part she’d listen to what he asked, she was still stubborn when it came to small things like this.
Feeling triumphant, a small smirk made its way onto Elsah’s lips, a sight uncommon to Zayn’s eyes, but it made him happy.
Once she’d cracked the eggs onto the non-stick pan and pulled out a a wooden spoon to mix the eggs to scramble them, she carefully fried enough eggs for her, Zayn, and Harry.
Zayn tossed the orange peels into the trash can, disposing of them when he finished juicing the fruit.
He reached up to grab a glass for the Elsah, setting it down on the counter. He poured the juice into the glass carefully, and then set the juicer and the knife in the sink, cleaning up the mess behind him.
“The eggs are almost ready, can you get the English muffins and bread from the pantry?” Elsah asked him, realizing that he was finished making her juice.
“How about you go get them, and I’ll take care of the eggs?” Zayn offered, taking Elsah’s spot in front of the stove.
Elsah rolled her eyes playfully at him, acting as if she were annoyed. “You act as if I can’t handle myself in front of an oven.” She stepped over to the pantry, pulling out the few breakfast items and heading to the small table to set them there.
“I do not.” He denied, laughing.
“Yes you do.” She countered, smiling at him. “You always make up every excuse for me not to use the oven - or you’ll do it yourself and not let me.”
Zayn bit down on his lip. fighting off a smile, because he knew she was right, and she knew that Zayn knew that as well. “No.”
She raised an eyebrow, carefully placing the items onto the table, “You do know that I have to cook while you’re not here, and off at college? I do use the stove; I’m not a child.”
“I know you’re not a child,” Zayn frowned, lowering the heat on the eggs as they were almost fully cooked now. “I just worry that you’ll hurt yourself. You know. You’re special and all, and..” he caught himself before he said too much.
“And what?” Elsah tilted her head, drawing her eyebrows together. She stepped behind Zayn, his back to her, while he still faced the stovetop. Zayn had stopped in the middle of his sentence, something he rarely ever did.
“Nothing.” He shook his head, whipping around to hand Elsah the glass of orange juice he’d prepared for her, not knowing that she was directly behind him.
The glass bumped into her chest, spilling up her neck and then down her shirt, half of the glass emptied.
“Shit!” Zayn’s eyes widened as he realized what he’d just done, and then said, so he clamped a hand over his mouth in surprise, apologizing immediately. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to-”
The cold liquid that he’d accidentally spilled on her was now seeping down her shirt, in between the valley of her breasts, making her shiver in surprise and disgust.
“Ahh, it’s okay,” she assured him, frowning. “It’s just all over my shirt -”
“Don’t worry, I’ll clean it-” His eyes were still widened in worry, and he felt terribly guilty about it. He quickly shut off the stove so that the eggs wouldn’t burn, and grabbed paper towels from the counter.
He ripped off a sheet of paper towel, and lightly started dabbing at Elsah’s shirt, his motions panicked.
“Zayn,” Elsah let out a light laugh, “it’s not that big of a deal-”
“I ruined your shirt-” he continued to dab the cloth softly, until Elsah reached out to hold his wrist, stopping his movements.
“Don’t worry,” she laughed. “It’s all down underneath the cloth, too, dabbing it won’t clean it.”
“Take it off, then, and let me help you clean it.” Zayn blurted before he realized what he was saying, and then suddenly, he felt very, very awkward.
But Elsah didn’t think anything of it - he was her best friend after all, so she hopped onto one of the counters, making sure her back was to the counters so that he wouldn’t see anything, and then pulled up the hem of her shirt, up and over her head.
Zayn kept his eyes flitted downward, too embarrassed to look up into Elsah’s eyes momentarily.
“Hold up, one second,” He said slowly, stepping to the sink and wetting the paper towel with it, and then he stepped back to Elsah.
He couldn’t help but let his eyes trail up the snowy skin of her exposed torso, skin so smooth and fresh, perfect because of the genes that made her who she was.
Slowly, he put the damp paper towel to her collar bone, wiping off the sticky juice.
“What?” Elsah breathed, laughing, “why are you so tense?”
Shit, she’s noticed, Zayn thought to himself. He looked up into the her eyes, flashing her a grin, “just being careful,” he lied to her.
She didn’t think anything of it, though, and immediately took his words as truth.
That’s one of the alarming things about the way that the world worked; liars always assumed others were lying to them, and people who constantly told nothing but the truth assumed that everyone was the same, and that they would always tell the truth.
Of course, there are always a few exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, that’s how it was.
His hand moved downward near her chest, and he took a slow breath, reminding himself that she thought nothing of it, that he was just helping her.
“Is this okay?” Zayn asked her softly as his hand paused before moving lower, wanting to make sure that she was one hundred percent sure she was okay with his hands on her body.
Well, they weren’t directly on her body, but still.
“Yeah, of course,” She nodded, completely oblivious to the fact that Zayn was very much affected by this small, but intimate action.
To distract himself, he thought of how he’d probably be able to see her scars now that she’d taken off her shirt. He thought of maybe sneaking a look, since she was so adamant about not letting him see them, and that was also probably why she was perched up onto the counter with her back to the cabinets - so that he wouldn’t see them.
As he moved his hand down, he steered clear of the black bra she sported, when suddenly, Harry stumbled into the kitchen.