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fic: I Wish (Ziam)
Rating: R
Summary: The boys receive an interesting gift from a fan, and Liam gets more than a little jealous

The others disagree, but Liam is pretty sure that this is the creepiest gift they have ever received from a fan.

They're in Harry and Louis' room, because that's where the mischief always seems to happen, and Liam is about two seconds away from cleaning all their shit up just as a distraction from it.

“You just don’t like it because it’s you,” Harry says, as he curls his arm around the shoulders of a life-sized blow-up doll that is wearing Liam’s face. “I think it’s charming.”

“And quite happy too,” Louis says from the other side of the doll, his arm wrapped around its waist. “See how all it does is smile? You could learn a few things from it, Liam.”

“I smile all the time!” Liam protests with a scowl.

They laugh at him, and Liam turns on Zayn, who's standing by the door. His smile freezes on his face.

“Tell them it’s creepy,” Liam demands. The corners of Zayn’s mouth twitch.

“I think it’s cute,” he says instead.

Liam groans and decides that his best option right now is to just leave.

“It could be worse,” Niall says before Liam can exit the room. “It could be naked.”

Liam closes the door on their laughter. He’s pretty sure that somewhere in this hotel is something sharp enough to destroy the impostor.

He's standing in the hall, trying to remember if he has scissors packed away anywhere in his luggage when the door opens and shuts behind him.

"You're not actually mad, are you?" Zayn asks.

Liam turns to face him. "No, but I'm pretty creeped out. Like, how did she even make that?"

Zayn shrugs. "Who knows. I don't think she meant to creep you out."

"No, I know," Liam says. And he does. He knows their fans love them, but sometimes... Well, sometimes they do weird shit like create home-made, life-sized, screen-printed blow-up dolls of Liam, and then give them to him.

"If you don't want it, can I have it?" Zayn asks, and Liam laughs. He's pretty sure Zayn is just trying to make a joke, but when he looks over at him, his face is strangely serious.

"Sure?" Liam says, unsure if Zayn is kidding or not.

Zayn flashes a sudden grin at him before bounding back into the room shouting, "He said I could have it!" and tackling the Liam doll out of Harry's hands and onto one of the beds.

As the door swings shut again, Liam feels a sharp sense of worry over what he may have just condoned. Liam stares at the closed door for several seconds before turning and making his way down to the hotel gym.

- - -

Two hours later, Liam is freshly showered and about to enter Zayn and Niall's hotel room for a movie before bed. Louis had promised he could pick the movie this time, though Louis has promised that to Liam no less than seven times before, and he's actually gotten his turn only once.

When he walks in, he's prepared to see tonight's movie already playing on the screen. He's not prepared to see his usual spot next to Zayn on the bed is occupied. By the blow-up doll. Which Zayn appears to be using as a full-body pillow.

"Why are you molesting that doll?" he blurts out.

Harry shushes him, but he's got Louis and Niall's attention. And Zayn's, who lifts his head from where it was resting on the doll's chest.

"M'not molesting him. He likes it," Zayn says, smiling at Liam.

Liam knows he's being playful, but the way he's sort of wrapped around the doll in a somewhat explicit manner makes Liam feel... weird.

"Jealous, Payne?" Louis teases, and then receives an elbow to the ribs from Harry. "Jealous, Payne?" he stage whispers.

Liam figures there are a number of ways this conversation can go. He chooses the path of least resistance.

"Well, it is in my spot."

Zayn laughs and rolls his eyes. He sits up and lifts the doll to his other side. "There," he says, patting the bed next to him.

Liam climbs onto the bed and gets comfortable, knowing that the second Zayn leans against him he won't be able to move again until the end of the movie.

Except that Zayn doesn't lean over onto his shoulder.

In fact, he lays back down, turns his back to Liam and curls around the doll again.

Liam stares at Zayn's back before he hears snickering and looks over to see Louis and Niall giggling into each other's shoulders.

Liam glares at them, and tries to focus on the movie until he realizes that it's Inception, again.

"Lou," he starts to complain, but Harry holds up a hand for silence without even taking his eyes from the tv screen and Liam complies.

He gives Louis a very stern head-shaking instead. In return, Louis widens his grin and nods towards Zayn.

Liam glances down and he immediately wants to glance away, but for some reason he just... can't.

Because Zayn is tracing small patterns along the doll's side, head pillowed on its chest and he looks so comfortable, but cuddling a blow-up doll can't actually be better than cuddling the real thing, right?

But then Liam is thinking about Zayn curled up to him like that, leg thrown over his side, fingers dancing along his hip...

Liam's eyes shoot back to the tv. A moment later he pulls off his sweatshirt because, well, suddenly the room is a bit warm.

With much effort Liam concentrates on the movie for a good twenty minutes before he's saved by his phone buzzing in his pocket.

Before Harry can shush him again, Liam leaps up from the bed and hurries out into the hallway.

"Hey," Liam says into the phone as soon as the door clicks shut.

"Hi," Danielle says back.

"How are you?"

"I'm good," she answers. "You?"

"Fine. Weird. I dunno."

She laughs a little before asking, "What happened?"

"A fan gave me a doll. Of myself. Like, a life-sized blow-up doll."

Liam can't help but smiling along as Danielle bursts into laughter.

"Oh my god, that's brilliant! Send me a picture! Actually, just send me the doll!"

"I can send you a picture, but..."

"You didn't pop it, did you?"

"No, but I already said someone else could have it."

"Someone else? Who would-"

As soon as she cuts herself off, Liam's face falls.

"Zayn wanted it, didn't he?" She doesn't sound mad, but Liam is still nervous to continue the conversation.

"Just as a joke," he says, and tries not to think about Zayn's arm and leg thrown over the doll on the bed.

"Liam-" she says, like he's being an idiot, so he cuts her off.

"No, come on, can we not do this?"

"Do what? You always refuse to address this."

"Because it's crazy. You're being paranoid."

"And you're being blind. You think it's a joke, but it's not. There's a reason he hates me."

"He doesn't hate you!" Liam says, hating that every time he says that to Danielle, he believes it a little less. "And there's nothing going on. There's no reason to be jealous."

There's a pause over the line, and then Danielle says, "I'm not jealous. I'm mad. I'm mad that you let him touch you and sit on you and kiss you and never tell him to stop."

"He's my friend. I don't get why you're trying to make it into something more."

Danielle laughs humorlessly. "I'm not the one trying to make it into something more."

"He doesn't feel that way. He's just fooling around," Liam says, like he does every time, and he hates that every time he says it, he believes it a little more.

"But what if-" She stops, takes a deep breath. "What if he wasn't?"

The stupid rush of nerves and hope that comes is quickly followed by a wave of guilt.

"Please don't worry," is all he says, almost a whisper.

She lets out a huff of air that might have been a laugh. "I try."

There's a pause and then she says, "I'll call back tomorrow."

"Okay," Liam says, taking the out that she's offering him. She won't mention it again tomorrow, so they can have a happier conversation to make up for this one. And as long as they maintain that balance, where the good conversations slightly out-number the bad ones, then they can keep doing this.

"Good night," she says. Not 'I love you,' not 'I miss you,' just 'good night'.

"Good night," Liam says. He stands out in the hall for a while, just leaning against the wall and not thinking about anything.

Some time later, the door opens and Harry and Louis sneak out of the Zayn and Niall's room.

"Is it over already?" Liam asks.

"No," is all Louis says, but his grin speaks volumes. Liam just rolls his eyes.

"Zayn and Niall are asleep, though, so we turned it off," Harry says when Liam goes to move towards the door.

"Oh," Liam says, "Well I'll just grab my sweatshirt."

"Um," Louis says, "It may be in use right now."

When he doesn't continue, Liam raises his eyebrows at them.

"It may be on Zayn's doll," Harry says, looking like he's trying not to laugh.

And there are a lot of things Liam could say in response to that, but what comes out is, "Zayn's doll?"

"You said he coud have it," Louis says.

"Yeah, but, why not 'the Liam doll'?"

Harry shrugs, but Louis says, "Because there are lots of Liam dolls out there, but there's only one that belongs to Zayn: Zayn's doll."

Liam doesn't know what to say, or think, or how to feel about any this, so he turns and walks back into Zayn and Niall's room. Sure enough, Zayn is still curled up around the Liam doll, which is now wearing his sweatshirt. It doesn't fit the doll very well, and Zayn's such a deep sleeper that Liam could probably roll him over and slip the sweatshirt off pretty easily.

Instead, Liam turns and walks out of the room.

Harry and Louis are gone from the hall when he exits, so Liam just walks to his room and gets ready to sleep.

And if he falls asleep thinking about the way Zayn's hair looked against his sweatshirt with his head resting on the doll's chest, well... given the way Liam's felt about Zayn for as long as he has, it's understandable.


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