~He had a plan; don't stand out, don't talk back and he would make it though the year without any trouble. That's the trouble with high school though, nothingever goes the way you plan.
Walking into his new school, Zayn already new his plan wouldn't work out. It was small, and by small he meantsmall, it was at least half the size of his old school and it was in a small town. One of those towns where everyone knew everyone and everything that went on. Where you were friends with the same people from the time you're old enough to walk. So step one in his plan,don't stand out, was completely useless. All eyes were on him from the time he got out of his truck and they hadn't left him as he made his way to the front office to collect his schedule.
"You must be Zayn Malik, our newest addition to the Bobcat family!" Said the older woman, "My name's Mrs. Jarnigan, but you can call me Robin. I've got your welcome packet around here somewhere" she continued as she started going through piles of paperwork on her desk "Ah, here we go Zayn! This has your locker number, class schedule and handbook in it. Now you best hurry off before the bell rings; don't wanna be late on your first day!"
Zayn mumbled out a 'thanks' and went off in search of his locker.
317. 317. 317.Why is it so had to find a damn locker?! After another 10 minutes of searching he finally found it, quickly unlocked it with a code he'd have to memorise later and grabbed his schedule and placed his welcome pack in the empty space. Glancing at the schedule he saw he had English first block, thanking the heavens for starting his day with something he enjoyed he started off only to slam straight in to a body and landed flat on his ass.Great.
A hand appeared in front of his face along with rushed 'oh god's and 'are you okay?' 'Do you need the nurse?' And even more 'ImSorryImSorryImSorry's. usingthe hand as leverage he pulled himself up and was met with a mop of unruly curls and bright green eyes shinning with concern.
"I'm fine, don't worry about it."
"Sorry 'bout that. I'm Harry" the boy replied. "You must be the new kid! Where ya headed? Need some help? I'll-"
"HARRY! Calm down and give the poor guy a chance to breathe." Cut in a blonde boy.
Zayn just stuttered out a quick 'No, it's fine' and tried to go around the boys but was stopped by the curly headed boy, "Hey, wait, let us help you find your way. As an apology at least?" He said, small smile on his face.Zayn slowly handed over his schedule. "Awesome you've got first block with me and Niall! Lets go!" Zayn assumed 'Niall' was the blonde boy and slowly followed them.
/ / /
By the time lunch rolled around Zayn had been asked everything from where he was from to his favourite colour and he was beyond tired but the boys from this morning, Niall and Harry he kept reminding himself, wanted him to sit with them and meet their other friends and he just couldn't seem to tell the boys no. After getting his lunch which consisted of the flattest hamburger he's ever seen, french fries and an unknown type of fruit in a cup he followed Niall, who had an overflowing tray of food, to a table near the back of the cafeteria where Harry and two other boys were already seated.
"Zayn! Good you're here!" Harry exclaimed
"Oh hello Niall! How are you? Oh I'm fine, didn't miss my friends at all!" Niall quipped before digging into his lunch.
"Awe Niall, you know we love you!" Teased a feathery haired boy as he leaned over to pinch Niall cheek, then held his hand out to Zayn, "I'm Louis! Nice to meet ya!"
Zayn shook his hand with a small smile, "Zayn, nice to meet you too."
"This is Liam" Louis points to the boys next to him. Zayn is greeted with big brown eyes, a shy smile and a quiet "Hello Zayn."
"Well now that we all know each other, Zayn are ya gonna eat that burger?" Niall asked, already grabbing the burger off the plate.
/ / /
A week later Zayn realised that the group of boys were going to befriend him no matter how hard he tried to ignore them, and he had tried. They were an odd group but they fit together wonderfully each had a strength for another's weakness. Harry was outgoing but knew when to hold back, Niall was all loud laughs and happy-go-lucky attitude,Louis always had sassy, sarcastic remark ready for anything that was said and Liam was the soft voice of reason (with a little bit of sarcasm when he had been around Lou for too long). And Zayn, well Zayn's not sure where he fits or if there's really even room for him but the other boys seem to think he does and that's enough for now.
/ / /
They're all hanging out on the steps to school when the question Zayn's been hoping and praying and wishing would never come up is asked. It's been almost three months so people have finally stopped staring at Zayn and he's started opening up and being himself with the boys, but this is something he's not shared yet. He's afraid how they'll react, if they'll look at him different like his friends from his old school, treat him like he's changed when really he's still the exact same person as before the words slipped out. Louis' the one to bring it up because of course he his, the nosy little fucker he is,
"So, Zayn, got your eyes on anyone yet?"
And Zayn's sure he's turned a shade of red that no one can miss because yeah, there's this boy with puppy dog eyes, and a shy smile sitting just to his left who caught his eye and hasn't let it go since that day at the lunch table but he can very well say that and oh god he didn't want to go through this so soon.
"Yeah, any girl got your attention yet? God knows they're all trying." Niall added and Zayn blushed a little harder ducking his head and clearing his throat, "uh, no, no girls got my attention. I-uh. Well. Um. Shit" he stuttered.
Liam leaned over then, rubbing a comforting hand over his back, "You okay?" He whispers, like its just them, and wow that is so not helping.
"Yeah, um, I just don't want you guys to hate me" Zayn's voice getting smaller towards the end of his sentence. And there are shout from all four boys around him of 'we could never hate you' and 'don't be daft Zayn'. "It's just that last time I told someone they didn't handle bit well and I had to move schools." All the other boys were looking at him with confused looks except Harry who had a sort of knowing look on his face so Zayn just spit it out, "I don't like girls, that's why one hasn't 'caught my eye'." And suddenly he was surrounded and pulled into a group hug.
"Oh Zaynie," said a voice he knew to be Louis', "anyboyscaught you eve then?"
And then they were all laughing because he was turning a colour red that would have given the best tomato a run for its money and hiding his face in Niall's shoulder, refusing to answer.
/ / /
It wasn't that bad, he swears, only a few names he won't repeat.
Then it was just a few taps from shoulders or slight jabs from elbows added in. It was nothing to worry about. That's what he told the boys when they saw the light bruises scattered along his shoulder and abdomen while he was changing, a dumb mistake on his part. 'Some dumb jocks must've overheard our chat the other day and wanted to prove they were cool to their friends. It's fine. I'm okay' he tells them quickly. But when he's laying in bed at night he knows its not fine, he's not okay. He traces a finger over his thigh, feels the raised skin and the slight burn from irritating the fresh cuts. He knows he should have but he need to release it Allan's it had been months since the last time and he wascravingit. Cool razor against warm skin, how it took all the pain from his heart and made it real. It was only a couple cuts, nothing like before. He promised himself he wouldn't do it again.
Liam would ask him everyday how he was holding up, if people were still saying thing, doing thing and Zayn would always say the same thing, "it's fine, I'm okay." And every night Zayn would promise himself that this was the last time.
/ / /
Shoulder pushes soon turn to shoves and words get harsher and he's not sure what hurts more, being slammed into lockers or lying to Liam.
He doesn't make promises anymore.
/ / /
He thought if he just ignored them maybe the would stop and some had, most of them had actually, except for one footballer named Tom who seemed to really hate him.
He was on his way to meet the guys for lunch when he ran into Tom.
"Watch where you're going,fag."Tom spat out, holding him against the lockers, "No one wants you here so why don't you just do us all a favour and leave." And with the last of his sentence Tom punched him straight in the gut and was going for another when he heard a loud "HEY!" And all of a sudden he was off Zayn and being pushed away by a very pissed off looking Liam, "Who do you think you are telling him he's not wanted, when he's plenty wanted! What'd he do to you?!"
"He's gay! He doesn't belong here!"
"He belongs here more than you do!" Liam yelled swinging out and hitting him square in the jaw, hissing out, "touch him again and see what happens." Before turning to Zayn, who looked like he was in a state of shock. "Hey" he said quieter, " you okay to walk?"
Zayn answered with a nod and Liam wrapped an arm around his back placing Zayn's over his shoulder saying "Okay let's get out of here before a teacher finds us" leading them to Zayn's truck. He put Zayn in the passenger seat and hopped in and drove them to Zayn's house.
"You go on up to your room and ill get ointment... Which is...?"
"Main bathroom, second drawer down" Zayn replied, hobbling up the stairs.
It took Liam a few minutes but he got everything he needed and when he got to Zayn's bedroom all the air was jerked from his body and he dropped everything in his hands. Slowly walking towards Zayn, who was clad in only tight boxers and a horrified look on his face and suddenly he realised what was happening, reaching to cover his thighs but only ended up wincing in pain. "Liam, please-" he choked out trying to hold back tears.
"Oh Zayn. What have they done to you love." Liam said, stopping right in front of Zayn, running his thumb over his cheek to dry his tears, "why Zayn? Don't you see how beautiful you are?"Dropping to his knees Liam placed soft kisses to every scar and around every cut on his thigh. Zayn's sure this should have seemed a little sexual but it really just made his tears thicker, more frequent. Liam stood up then, led them to sit on the bed and all Zayn could manage through the tears was "I'm sorry, so sorry" over and over again, burying his face in Liam's neck. Liam held him close, a soothing hand on his back and comforting whispers in his ear.
"Hey, come on, talk to me. Tell me what's happened." He whispered, placing a light kiss on Zayn's hair.
And that's all it took, like flood gates being opened, he spilled it all out. The pushes, the names, every unkept promise. Everything. "I wanted to stop, I swear I did, but it made me feel okay again. Made their words disappear. I could breathe again." Zayn finally looked up and saw the unreadable on Liam's face, "I'm not crazy Li. I'm not. I just. It helps me breathe."
"I know you're not, I know" Liam slowly pulled him close enough to press their foreheads together and he just stated there holding Zayn's face gently, "you're okay now. They won't hurt you anymore and then you won't need help breathing, and if you do I'm here. I'm always here."
Zayn closed his eye, breathing Liam in, "Why are you go amazing?" He closed the small gap between between the with a gentle peck to Liam's lips before his eyes shot open and he was off the bed, "Oh god! I'm so sorry! That was so dumb. I just-"suddenly cut off by a pair of lips covering his own, he realised Liam was kissing him.Liam was kissing him!Sliding his arms around Liam's neck he finally began kissing back only to have Liam pull away, bringing his hand up to hold Zayn's jaw. "I've wanted to do that for months" he breathed. "You're the amazing one. I swear your eyes can see straight into my soul and even your smallest smile can brighten my entire day. I've got this crazy, little school girl crush on you and I don't think it's gonna go away."
Zayn chuckled, "That's the cheesiest, yet sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me."Biting his lip as a blush covered his face he cleared his throat, "Um. I've, uh, had a crush on you since we met that day in the lunchroom."
"Yeah." Shy smiles covering both their faces as they leaned together for another kiss. And yeah, kissing Liam could be his new favourite hobby.
"Is it too soon to ask you to be my boyfriend?" Liam asked, only pulling back so their lips were just out of reach.
Zayn surged forward stealing a kiss, "No, not too soon, never too soon. I would love to be your boyfriend", with that he planted his lips back on Liam's.
/ / /
Walking into school the next day he wasn't sure what to feel. The other boys had been informed of what had happened and as soon as they saw Zayn they were crowding him into a tight group hug full of "don't worry" s and "we're so sorry" s and one "guys I can't breathe!" They all stepped away, except for Liam who slid his hand down and intertwined their fingers. They shared shy smiles as the other boys cooed at them. And even though he didn't follow his plan he thinks that maybe with Liam by his side he can make it through anything.