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Title: Must Admit I've Been Holding Back
Pairing: Zayn/Niall
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Zayn doesn’t want him to back off, is the thing. He wants to find a corner and shove Niall into it, get him to do the opposite of backing off. Zayn knows it’s a terrible idea, but he can’t seem to get rid of it.
Author's Notes: Thanks to fiddleyoumust for the quick once over. Any mistakes are my own. As always, this is not real. Please do not read this if you are or know anyone mentioned within.



It’s nearly one in the morning and Zayn is drunk. He's not drunk to the point where he can't recognize a terrible idea for what it is, but he's definitely drunk enough that knowing an idea is terrible isn't helping to make it any less appealing.

He's just tried explaining this concept to Harry, but Harry is looking at him as if he's speaking another language. And maybe he is. Drunken conversations never hold the same meaning from one person to the next. It's like a bad game of telephone, only you don't need more than two people playing to get the message jumbled.

"Whatever. All I'm saying is, Niall makes everything so much harder when we're drunk."

Harry laughs obnoxiously at that. "Makes you harder, more like."

"That's pretty much what I meant by 'everything', yeah," Zayn says. And if he were sober he'd probably be embarrassed to admit that, but he's not sober and Harry has known about his thing for Niall for ages anyway.

"Wait, are you seriously hard right now?" Harry asks, groping up Zayn's thigh and cupping a hand over his dick.

Zayn is half-hard, actually, and Harry isn't helping.

He swats at Harry's hand and Harry backs off, says, "The next time he cuddles up on you, point that thing at him. Let the cat out of the bag. The snake out of the garden? I can't come up with a proper metaphor for your dick right now, mate, but what I mean is, let him know he's getting to you and maybe he'll back off."

Zayn doesn’t want him to back off, is the thing. He wants to find a corner and shove Niall into it, get him to do the opposite of backing off. Zayn knows it’s a terrible idea, but he can’t seem to get rid of it.

“I need another drink,” Zayn says. “Where the fuck is Louis?”

He stands up and scans the crowd for Louis who is supposed to be bringing them another round. Instead, his eyes catch on Niall. He’s in the middle of the dance floor pressed up against a redhead who is doing her level best to crawl up under his shirt. Zayn makes himself look away. He tries to ignore it, but by the time Louis gets back with their drinks, he’s had about enough.

“Right. I’m gonna go save Niall.”

“Pretty sure Niall doesn’t need saving,” Louis says, clinking his glass against Harry’s and chugging half of it down in one go. “Cheers, mate.”

Louis turns to tap his glass with Zayn’s, but Zayn is already several meters away, shoving through the crowd.

He downs his drink on the way and abandons the empty glass on a random table. By the time he reaches Niall his head is beginning to feel like someone has stuffed it full of cotton. It’s not an entirely unpleasant feeling.

He’s close enough now that he could reach out and grab Niall’s arm, but the girl is in the way, plastered to his front so entirely that Zayn is having a hard time telling where she ends and Niall begins. He resists the urge to shove in between them, moves until he’s behind Niall and wraps his arms around his waist.

Niall lets go of the girl and pretty much melts back against Zayn, and that’s not entirely unpleasant either, which is pretty much the problem.

He puts his lips to Niall’s ear and says, “Come on,” over the pounding bass. He’s more pleased than he should be when Niall lets Zayn drag him off without a second glance at the girl.

They make their way to the VIP area and Zayn bypasses the booth where Harry and Louis are sitting, pushes Niall into one farther back and squeezes in next to him. Niall is flushed from the alcohol and from dancing, and Zayn can’t help staring at the way the pink spreads down beneath the neck of his shirt.

He rests a hand on the side of Niall’s neck. His skin is warm and slick with sweat and Zayn wants to put his mouth there, wants to taste him, thinks he’d probably be salty. Zayn likes salty things.

He’s walking a line, slowly tripping over into the kind of drunk where nothing seems like a bad idea anymore, where there’s no disconnect between wanting to do something and actually doing it. Somehow he manages to keep his mouth to himself.

“That girl was hot,” he comments, sliding his fingers up into the hair at the nape of Niall’s neck.

Niall leans into the touch and his eyes slip closed. “What girl?”

Zayn laughs, tips forward, presses his forehead to Niall’s temple.

“The one you were dancing with.”

“Was she?” Niall asks.

“You know she was.” Zayn doesn’t have to move far to speak directly into Niall’s ear. “She probably would have gone down on you right there in the middle of the dance floor if you’d asked her.”

Niall’s cheeks go even pinker and he braces a hand on Zayn’s thigh, ducks his head and half-laughs with his bottom lip caught between his teeth. And it’s not fair, really, the way that makes heat pool in Zayn’s belly, makes him buzz with want.

He wishes he had another drink, something to keep his hands busy, something to keep what he says next from spilling out of his mouth.

“I wouldn’t have blamed her.”

Niall’s hand squeezes on Zayn’s thigh and he turns his head and then his mouth is right there, so close that Zayn can feel his breath on his chin. He can’t seem to make himself look anywhere else and he only registers that Niall is speaking when he sees his lips form Zayn’s name.

“Sorry, what?”

Niall grabs Zayn’s chin, forces his face up to meet his eyes. “I said, how drunk are you, mate?”

Zayn laughs, and if it’s a little hysterical, he doesn’t think Niall will notice over the noise of the club. “Not drunk enough, apparently.”

Niall’s eyebrows furrow and his mouth tips down into a little frown, but he’s still right there in Zayn’s space, is still digging his fingers into Zayn’s leg.

Zayn wants to cover that frown with his lips, change its shape with teeth and tongues. Before he can do or say anything too stupid, though, Louis shows up, leaning across the table to get their attention.

“Time to go, boys. Liam will be cross if we’re not all bright-eyed in the morning.”

Zayn startles, pulls away from Niall like he’s been shocked, stumbles out of the booth and into Harry who steadies him and then slings an arm over his shoulder.

“So, did you lay one on him?” Harry asks.

Zayn shoots a horrified look over his shoulder to see if Niall’s heard because Harry’s never subtle, and especially not when alcohol is involved, but Niall’s attention is otherwise occupied, still in the booth, laughing at something Louis has said.

“I’m going to take that as a no,” Harry says, smirking, and Zayn isn’t about to admit how close he’d actually come.

“You should just do it, mate. He might be into it.”

“Or he might clock me in the face,” Zayn says. They’re shoving through the middle of the club now, having to shout to be heard over the music, and Zayn keeps looking behind to make sure that Louis and Niall are a safe distance away.

Harry shakes his head. “It’s Niall. I’m not sure he even knows how to make a fist.”

“Fine, he’d run away then.” And Zayn thinks that might hurt worse than a black eye. It would certainly last longer.

“He might do,” Harry concedes, and when Zayn pulls a face, he laughs. “What? I’d run if you tried snogging me.”

Zayn ducks out from under Harry’s arm and gives him a shove. “Such a liar.”

Harry tugs him back in, nuzzles into his neck. “You’re right, I am.”

They make it outside where security is waiting to usher them into a car. Niall and Louis join them after a moment, and Harry earns an elbow to the stomach when he starts humming I Should’ve Kissed You under his breath.

---

On stage the next night, Zayn sings one of his solos straight to Liam, crowds up in his space and strokes a hand down his cheek. It’s just something they do, half because it makes the crowd go wild and half mocking them for it.

This time, though, Niall is watching them intently from across the stage, and that’s new. When Zayn catches him staring he doesn’t look away, doesn’t blink and It makes Zayn feel hot all over, a burn creeping in under the heat of the motion and the lights. Something about Niall’s expression has him stuck for a moment, his thoughts scrambling like an egg in a pan. Liam tugs on the tail of his shirt, and Zayn has to tear his eyes away, force himself back into motion.

It doesn’t stop there. Later, Niall squeezes in between Zayn and Liam on the sofa and rests his chin on Zayn’s shoulder. He leaves it there for an entire song, doesn’t even move to lift his mic when it comes time for his solo. He wraps his fingers around Zayn’s wrist instead, tugs until he tilts his own mic over for Niall to sing into.

For the rest of the show, Niall’s attention is focused solely on Zayn. Zayn doesn’t know what to make of it, because Niall is usually all over the place, bouncing from one side of the sage to the other with a manic energy that even Harry and Louis can’t match. Tonight, though, he’s holding himself back, slowing himself down to match Zayn’s pace.

When he’s not crowding up into Zayn’s space, he’s watching him carefully, like there’s something there that needs puzzling out.

He wants to push back, wants to hold Niall’s gaze, step into his space and flirt the way he does with Liam, but he’s not sure what it means on Niall’s end, knows that it means entirely too much on his. So he keeps his hands to himself, doesn’t allow himself to look for too long.

He’s hyper aware of Niall’s eyes on him, though, of his position on the stage at all times. By the end of the show he’s wound so tight he feels like he might snap in half.



---

In the dressing room after, everything seems back to normal. Niall peels off his shirt and spins it like a towel, uses it to pop Louis on the bum. It turns into a wrestling match, Louis and Liam piled on top of Niall, Harry egging them on. It only ends when Paul reminds them it’s a bus night, and that they have to shower at the venue.

Harry makes quick work of calling first shower and the others follow suit. Zayn is so busy watching Niall disentangle himself from the mess of limbs, shirtless and flushed, that he doesn’t realize he should be chiming in until it’s too late and Louis says, “That makes you last, mate.”

---

Zayn comes out of the shower after he’s finally had his turn and the dressing room is empty of everyone but Niall. He tries not to notice the way Niall’s hair is still damp, the way it curls up a little at the nape of his neck.

“The rest of the lads at the bus already?” he asks, tugging sweats on over his pants, following with a t-shirt.

Niall nods and doesn’t say anything, just watches Zayn in that focused way he’s had all night. It makes Zayn’s stomach flip, makes his palms itch to touch. He’s exhausted, and it’s not exactly like being drunk, but it’s not so different either. His head feels fuzzy and his inhibitions don’t hold up as well.

That’s why he doesn’t think before he says, “You’ve been watching me.”

Niall shrugs and tugs his fingers through his hair. “You’re worth watching.”

Zayn doesn’t know what to say to that, still isn’t sure what game Niall’s playing. He bites his lip, huffs out a frustrated little laugh.

“Did Harry put you up to this?”

“What’s Harry got to do with anything?” Niall asks. He’s been sitting in a folding chair, but he stands up now, takes a couple of steps toward Zayn, his head tilted like he’s considering something.

Zayn shuffles half a step forward, reaches a hand out to stop Niall from coming any closer, or to tug him in, or just to hold on, he’s not really sure. Niall’s got him off balance.

“Last night, I thought maybe you wanted to kiss me,” he says. “But then you didn’t.

And oh, that’s what this is about. Zayn feels like maybe he should be panicking, but Niall looks more curious than anything. He takes another step forward and his brain is screaming bad idea, bad idea, but he’s not really listening.

Niall moves forward too, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth.

“Do you want to kiss me now?” he asks.

Zayn reaches a tentative hand out, curls it around Niall’s hip. “Will you run away if I say yes?”

Niall laughs and something in Zayn’s chest comes loose.

“You’re an idiot,” Niall says, and then he’s fisting his hands in Zayn’s shirt and pressing their lips together.

Zayn feels lightheaded, like he might float away, but Niall is pressing closer, anchoring him to the ground.

“Kiss me back already,” Niall complains, nipping at Zayn’s jaw, and right. Zayn’s been waiting for this, has been wanting to do it for ages, he isn’t going to let it happen without him.

He hooks an arm around Niall’s waist and drags their hips together, licks his way into Niall’s mouth and wishes they were standing against a wall so that he didn’t have to focus on keeping upright.

Zayn loses track of time, focuses on giving as good as he’s getting. He doesn’t know how long they’ve been at it, but it must have been a while, because when Harry comes in and lets out a whoop they pull apart and Zayn’s mouth feels raw where Niall is gasping for breath against it.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Harry says. He’s grinning and Zayn laughs, buries his face in the crook of Niall’s neck.

Niall tugs lightly on the ends of Zayn’s hair. “Time to relocate.”

They follow Harry out to the bus and Zayn smiles when Niall’s fingers slip through his.

---

The next night on stage is much the same, but this time Zayn knows what it means. He swoops in to smooth the collar of Niall’s shirt and gives him a wink.

Later, Niall leans in and says, “We’ve got a hotel tonight.”

It sounds like an offer, and it’s one Zayn can’t wait to take him up on.
Comments
urgencytobleed From: urgencytobleed Date: June 30th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
this was really sweet and just cute and enjoyable. great job.
oanja From: oanja Date: June 30th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, new fic! \0/

Pining fic is always good, especially with Zayn. Somehow he has that pining air about him, idk, don't ask, I'm not making any sense. But the point was supposed to be that this story was super cute and adorable, Niall was a smooth bastard and Zayn continues to be my favourite thing. =)
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
He's my favorite thing, too! Even if Niall is trying to take over my life.

Thanks, friend! ♥
estrella30 From: estrella30 Date: June 30th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh god, I LOVE THIS. I was never really into niall in fic but lately he's been growing on my and your zayn is ALWAYS so awesome and ugh. SO GOOD. love it. you are the best, lady!!
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! Niall wins everyone over eventually, I think. You've seen that graph, right? Of the progression of One Direction fandom? And it ends with, like, "NIALL?!?!?" or something? Accurate.
ingeneva From: ingeneva Date: June 30th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is wonderful. I love how you captured their comfortable lack of boundaries -- Harry grabbing his dick, Niall's hand on his thigh. It sets up a nice contrast to how aware Zayn is of where there is a line to cross and how he doesn't expect Niall to meet him (I esp. liked this: He bites his lip, huffs out a frustrated little laugh. / “Did Harry put you up to this?”). And I love how stupid it makes Zayn (“Kiss me back already,” Niall complains, nipping at Zayn’s jaw, and right. was my absolute favorite bit). Darling, this is.
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much. I'm so glad you liked it!
certainthings From: certainthings Date: June 30th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
So many warm fuzzy feelings.
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)
ILU!
estrella30 From: estrella30 Date: June 30th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
(when you get a chance also can you shoot me your email addy? or email me at tress30@gmail.com? I have to ask you something :D )
numara From: numara Date: June 30th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
ughgh this was so good and sweet and my feels really can't handle all of this right now. your voice for zayn is always perfect and honestly, i'm waiting patiently for the day you decide to write some zayn-centric ot5 fic. <3
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 04:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd write ot5 if I thought I could. It's just a lot of characterization to get right!

Thank you so much for your lovely comment! ♥
irishdf From: irishdf Date: July 1st, 2012 12:15 am (UTC) (Link)
This is simply gorgeous. It would be so difficult, to be head over heels over someone you're so very close to, constantly in each other's space, etc. And at the same time, it would have to be the best thing ever, because you could soak up every little detail about them, and forever keep them in your orbit.

I really felt for Zayn here, pretty much at the end of his tether, but not wanting to upset the delicate balance between Niall and himself. And it was especially heart-wrenching when Zayn was thinking that it would hurt far more, and last longer, if Niall ran away from his kiss, rather than simply clocking him one.

So it was a great relief to find that Niall had figured things out and was prepared to just put it out there, damn the torpedoes, as he is wont to do. *g*

It's very happy-making to think of them finally coming together. That was a gorgeous scene in the change-room, there at the end. It may have taken them a bit of a false start or two, but after that, Zayn went to town. Haha. Much to Harry's delight. *g*

I truly hope that you will continue to be inspired by Niall, Zayn, and the boys. Thanks so much for sharing. :)
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for reading and for leaving such a lovely comment!

damn the torpedoes, as he is wont to do.

I feel like this is Niall in a nutshell. Perfect.

badjujuboo From: badjujuboo Date: July 1st, 2012 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
LET ME PASS OUT NOW! oh wow, the UST in this was perfect and drunk!zayn and teasing!harry are absolutely win! Love Niall figuring it out virtually on stage and being the adorable boy that he is! love love love!
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!!! So glad you liked it!
darelose From: darelose Date: July 1st, 2012 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, this is really sweet. Pining! And kissing! And Niall being the initiator of said kissing which is something I really, really love. I like the bit about Zayn flirting with Liam because it felt safe and comfortable, and how he's not sure how Niall would react if Zayn did the same with him.
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I want so much more fic where Niall initiates the kissing or what have you. Because I feel like so much of the Niall fic out there is ot5 gangbangs where Niall just lies back and takes it, which I'm not a fan of, tbh. /o\

I'm glad you liked this! Thanks for reading!
sburet84 From: sburet84 Date: July 1st, 2012 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I just love how you write Zayn in this, and I really like this pairing :)

*samantha*
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, love!
glitter_hippie From: glitter_hippie Date: July 1st, 2012 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
ugh, okay, i really really enjoyed this. ziall is a thing that. yes. it is a good thing. and wow. yes.

i just loved all of the things about this. zayn's pining, and niall's staring. and the relationship between harry and zayn made my life smile.
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
There needs to be so much more of it, in my opinion! I want more Niall fic in general.

Thanks so much! So glad you liked it!
redscarfe From: redscarfe Date: July 1st, 2012 11:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Aw, this is super cute! This isn't a pairing I've ever thought of reading before but I like the way you wrote it. Pining Zayn always helps, I'd say. :D
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pining Zayn is one of my favorite things, yes. Thanks so much for reading!
mauralee88 From: mauralee88 Date: July 1st, 2012 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very sweet. Well done!
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
prettykitty_aya From: prettykitty_aya Date: July 1st, 2012 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
loved how you finished it, bb!! Feel free to write morrrrrrrrrrre. :D :D
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, friend! ♥

I just can't make myself write the porn for this one. I'm gonna need more time before I'm there.
tracedust From: tracedust Date: July 1st, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not used to reading Zayn/Niall, but I really, really loved this. The characterizations were great, and Niall's especially was just spot on. I really love the bromance Zarry had going on, too. Great job :)
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 1st, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much. I'm glad the characterizations worked for you!
flimsy From: flimsy Date: July 2nd, 2012 10:31 am (UTC) (Link)
This was lovely! I enjoyed their dynamics and the fact that Niall wasn't as oblivious as Zayn thought he'd be!
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 3rd, 2012 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much!
tmomsen8 From: tmomsen8 Date: July 2nd, 2012 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
OH YAY. ME LIKEY.

ziall is one of my favorites, so happy to read something new for them.

super cute!
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 3rd, 2012 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Glad you liked it!
canadiankracka From: canadiankracka Date: July 3rd, 2012 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
ugh, I am the worst at feedback but jkdsjkdfjkjkffd
lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 3rd, 2012 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll take it! ♥
loupooh From: loupooh Date: July 3rd, 2012 02:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Have I ever mentioned that I love you? Like a lot?

This is gold. You are just fueling all my recently acquired Niall feels, and I love it.

lissa_bear From: lissa_bear Date: July 3rd, 2012 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Mutual, bb. Thank you!
keikeiaznqueen From: keikeiaznqueen Date: July 3rd, 2012 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
ahhh sobbing i had to take a break in the middle cos it was too much and niall was so smooth and sensual i was like choking on air sigh. ofc zayn is perfect in this too - just the right amount of pining and the right amount of action too. but NIALL OH MY GOD
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