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I'll Change My Mind

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It was that time in his life again, when Zayn stares blankly at the computer screen on continuous, cold nights, with his long, spindly fingers poised above the black keyboard without any movement whatsoever, because he just can't write anything, anything at all. And when the thought enters his mind he'd feel stupid, because of course he can write something, just not enough to start a creative flow of meaningful words that make a wonderful image in the minds of his readers, and build up the chapters in his stories people actually like reading. Zayn loves his readers dearly, and reading their disappointed comments and seeing multiple unanswered e-mails makes his heart clench, and sometimes he just want to call it quits. But no, he just can't quit on the only people close to friends he has in his life, like what the people he loved did to him.

So he took his coat and embraced the chill of the cool night breeze, stepping out of his front door before he knew it. He needs to look for the one thing- the one person- he needs to get him out of this stupor. The one person that would finally give him inspiration.

His black trainers thudded against the concrete sidewalk as he went to the one place that never ceases to breathe life into him; to oil the stuck gears in his creative mind, and fill the holes in his fragile heart with something magnificent and plain beautiful, yet so undeniably dangerous that whenever he sees the face that is forever burned into his weak mind and fragile heart, his knees go weak, and it was like his breathing was cut off- with a splendid numbness in his head as he momentarily forgets how to breathe, before the blood comes rushing back to his brain again.

And now, he can't stop the increased rate of his heartbeat as he pushed open the door to the small café he always goes to whenever he's stumped like he is now. Then, as if on impulse, his eyes flew to the calendar hung near the counter, and he mentally slapped himself. He was half-expecting to see him there, behind the counter, serving drinks and pastries and greeting people with that contagious smile of his. But it was a Thursday, which Zayn oh-so-inconveniently forgot, and he never had a shift on a Thursday.

It was when he heard the bells tinkle, and a flare of hope bursted in his chest, only to be extinguished by his imminent reasoning as a man with blonde hair entered, and was replaced by a thick, suffocating feeling of complete and utter disappointment, that things started to take a turn for the worst. What surprise it was when, the moment he turned around, with the pretense of leaving the shop and going home to his warm, cozy bed for another short, sleepless night, he bumped into someone- someone with an ironically hard chest, warm chocolate-colored eyes, and short brown hair.

He stumbled back, and felt himself lose his once balanced footing, but then a warm hand gripped his arm, presumably keeping him from falling to his doom. He felt like a damsel in distress as his felt his eyes close, and his long lashes were flush against his cheeks as he blindly reached out for the person he bumped into- his knight in shining armor (who he fervently hoped was not him, because if it was he would think Zayn was so clumsy and awkward and ugly and ruin the chances of them having a decent conversation and no, Zayn can't have that... but he never did have what he wanted in the first place, so what difference does it make, really?).

He loosened his grip on his shirt, because Zayn knows. Zayn knows how he breathes, what he smells like, what kind of shirts he wore; he knows, and that's what got him in trouble. Because he knows, and doesn't want to stop knowing. More of this beautiful creature in front of him; with his pouty, pink lips, strong, perfectly chiseled jaw, and well-defined muscles. Because, damn it all, he was in lovesmitten, enamoured, charmed, entranced; the heck does it matter?-, like the characters he so dearly loved to write, and being in love meant he could love whoever he wanted, whenever he wanted, regardless of their age, looks, personality, or even their gender.

...Right?

He didn't notice that he was holding his breath until he opened his eyes, and he really wished he hadn't. He stood there, huge hand still on Zayn's arm (and the other one managing to land on his hip, for whichever reason. He felt his face heat up, but made no move whatsoever to dislodge it), with a look of complete and utter concern on his features, and Zayn knew- oh, he just knew- that the look on his face will be gone when he realizes that he just collided with that puny loser his friends liked to beat up for fun at school.

"I-I'm sorry! I swear I wasn't looking where I was g-going. I-I'll just go- I won't bother you ever again, just, please let me go." Zayn stammered as he plead, ducking his head as his cheeks reddened and his eyes shut at the anticipated pain. He waited for it- for the insults, a mocking laugh, or maybe even a snicker- because he was just a loser, nothing more. He was just a speck of dirt on the path everyone walks on- just a tarnish in the life of others. He never deserved anyone's time, so he stood there, waiting to be treated like he always was, waiting for him to take his hands off of Zayn and shove him, punch him, bruise him and scar him, and leave him there, black and blue, to heal his broken heart.

Yet, he was taken aback by the brunet's reaction, and it got him to think just how an angel managed to stay here on earth, and remain uncorrupted by the wickedness of society.

"Oh no, it was my fault, really- and I'm really, really sorry and- what? Oh! Sorry!" Then there was a shuffle, and Zayn felt his hands leave him. His eyes flew open, but he was terribly dismayed to see the exit blocked by the toned, muscular body belonging to the object of his affections. He eyed the back exit just near the bathroom, but he was looking at him pointedly. He felt his body go rigid, and he ducked his head once more, unable to meet the boy's eyes, the question Why? repeating over and over in his head.

Why didn't he get mad at Zayn? Why isn't he letting Zayn get away? Why is he looking at Zayn like that? And why is Zayn completely, madly, and deeply in love with him?

"Hey... uhh, I've... seen you here a couple of times. I don't think we've properly met before. I'm Liam, and you are?" Well, here's the moment of truth.

"Z-Zayn." Was his reply, biting his lip and pulling on the hem of his shirt. Liam didn't answer. Zayn could've said that Liam must've left if it weren't for the fact that he was still right in front of him, with heat radiating from his body in waves.

"Um, I'd like to talk more but you obviously don't want to talk to me, so..." Liam laughs nervously, lifting a hand to rub his neck. "I'll just- I'll just see you tomorrow, then? Here?" If Zayn had actually been looking at Liam, then he would've seen the hopeful look on his perfect face. And maybe if he had, Zayn won't be so set on disappearing for the rest of the week, because no, he doesn't want to see Liam after this, writer's block be damned, because he knew it's all just a façade, and Liam can have any person he likes, and he's just being nice to him- no, he's just pitying him- because Zayn only now realizes that Liam wasn't like everybody else. At least, he doesn't beat Zayn up like everybody else.

But Zayn also knows that Liam won't let him leave unless he agrees, so he nods his heads, and squeezes his thin body through the door after Liam shifted to let him through. He ran and ran and ran and ran, until his legs could take no more. He stopped in front of his flat, pulling on the doorknob hurriedly because he could feel his tears, hot and wet and annoying, spilling from his eyes and onto his cheeks, because life was so unfair, because he loves Liam and Liam shouldn't be nice to him and he shouldn't get his hopes up, because Liam would never like a freak of nature like him. He didn't deserve his attention, nor his affection, much less, because he was a mistake, nothing more.

///

Zayn was getting his books out of his locker. Nothing special, and certainly nothing out of the ordinary. It was Friday, and at least 1/6 of the student body were ditching class to hang out somewhere cool, so he needn't worry about overly packed hallways again (or accidentally being slammed into his locker door, for that matter). Yet he was afraid to look around, despite the 5/6 of the student body still lingering in the corridors, because Liam's locker was just a few doors from his, and there's a probable chance that he would show up- soon. But no, Zayn won't mind, he has no right to, because Liam doesn't actually care for him- it was all just a ploy, because Liam just pities him enough to act all caring like that, and hurting Zayn's feelings, just like what he wanted to do. Soon, he'll be gone- leave him in the dust, like the rest of the people he once called his friends did.

He didn't dare get his hopes up that Liam would acknowledge his existence... or maybe even talk to him, because that just can't happen. There was a law, he always told himself, as natural as the laws of nature- Never associate or make any sort of contact with the loser. And besides, Liam had much better things to do than to exchange a few words with someone he met at the café he works in, right?

So why was it when Zayn turned around, he was greeted by the sight of his love, obviously intending to surprise him, his hands in mid-air and eyes wide? Why was it when he saw Liam's face, the bustling world around them seemed to cease to a halt? Why was it, when honey-colored eyes met with brown, the smallest of smiles erupted on Liam's face? And why was it, when Liam greeted him with a simple Hello, did the smallest of smiles creep up on his face, too?

"Hi." Zayn answered shyly, adjusting the strap of his bag which was currently making a painful dent in the purple bruise on his shoulder. But why? Why was he talking to Zayn, of all the people, in their overly-populated school? Why?

Liam's eyes flickered to his bag. "Oh! That must be heavy. No offense but, you look like you only weigh half of your bag. Here, let me carry that for you." He chuckled softly, and Zayn blushed up to the tips of his ears. Liam's words were so sweet; so charming, so Liam. Oh, Zayn was a love-struck guy, alright.

Then one of Liam's big hands reached out to take the bag, and Zayn flinched away when he noticed what he was doing. Both him and Liam, I mean. Liam shouldn't be offering to carry is bag for him, and Zayn most certainly shouldn't be talking to the captain of his school's basketball team. It could get him in trouble, and Zayn was still in the process of healing from the huge bruises he got from Louis last week.

"I-I'm sorry. I should get going now. I'll just-" He clutched his books tightly to his chest, and set off to the general direction of his classroom. He wasn't surprised, however, when Liam's massive hand encircled on his arm, gently yanking him backwards.

"I know you have much better things to do than talk to me," Liam said softly, his eyes so earnest and beautiful and apologetic and Zayn's resolve crumbled yet again. No, this wasn't a façade anymore. Liam actually wants to talk to him, and the feeling of being wanted, of being sought out, overtook him. Yet he knew it was only a matter of time before... that happened again, so he really should start avoiding Liam as much as he can. "-and I know I'm being clingy but, I really want to talk to you. Here,- in the hallway, I mean- if... if that's fine with you. And, you know what? I'm sorry for yesterday because I really didn't look where I was going, and I figured you wouldn't come back later to the café because you think I'm some annoying jerk-"

"No." Said Zayn. And he surprised himself. Since when did he cut in when people talked? Then his face turned red. "I-I mean, you're not an annoying jerk. You aren't annoying, I just... I-" He let out a shaky breath. Then Liam smiled, and Zayn could really feel the happiness emanating from him in waves.

"You... you think so?" He asked shyly, a small smile on his lips. And Zayn nods, because how can anyone resist that angelic face?

"My offer still stands." He then said, grinning, and Zayn found himself giving his bag to Liam before he can even stop himself.