amfiguree: (writing is painful)
[personal profile] amfiguree
[One Direction] [Louis/Liam] [G]

~700 words for [ profile] bloodbelieve, one of the most amazing, amazing amazing, big-hearted people in the world, who bid on me in my [ profile] help_japan thread here. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Taking a(nother) second to pimp myself out, guys, because it's a great cause, and if you can afford to chip in, please do! I still have 2 last ficlets waiting to be given away!

Floating in a Blue Lagoon

All Liam wants, as he stumbles into the bathroom and firmly shuts the door behind him, is a moment away from Harry's apparent inability to keep from stepping out every item of clothing he's wearing every time Ace comes by to tutor Zayn.

Somehow, impressively, Ace remains unaffected, which is driving Harry crazy, leading to an even hastier removal of clothing and that, Liam thinks, is quite possibly exactly what Ace set out to do.

Then Liam turns around, and he finds himself thinking that Harry's madness might be catching.

He's backed up against the wall before he even realizes he's moving, eyes wide, mouth working soundlessly as he stares and stares and stares.

It's a clear testament to how accustomed they've become to each other that, when Louis waggles his fingers from where he's lying in the tub and says, rather mournfully, "You're too late, Liam, I'm done for," Liam doesn't even react.

Well. Not anymore than he's already done.

Because it's - Louis -- he's sitting in the bath, water up to his hips, and he's a mermaid. ("Man," Louis corrects, later, but Liam doesn't have the capacity to be worrying about semantics at the moment.) He's a mermaid, with a tail and gills (they're blue and they sparkle and Louis has gills) and - and he doesn't have a shirt on, and--

"What the hell?" Liam manages to choke out, at last.

"You're too late, Liam," Louis repeats, obligingly, drumming his fingers against the side of the bath. "I'm done for."

"What--" Liam begins, but he shakes his head and takes a careful step forward. "How--"

"Now, now, Liam," Louis says, primly, and Liam tries not to watch the way his tail flicks in the water. "We've all heard the story. A merman has one too many sea cucumbers, and poof! Legs!"

"But you're not--" Liam says, a little helplessly, as he folds to his knees beside the tub.

"I ran out of sea cucumbers," Louis says loftily, and tilts his head. His mouth twists, but he isn't smiling at all. Liam feels his stomach clench.

"Louis," Liam says, quelling, and then stops as Louis' eyes drop to his mouth, like - like Louis can't help himself, and Liam recognizes that look, has seen it on Harry's face every time he looks at Ace. But it's completely different on Louis, too serious and uncertain and...

And suddenly everything starts to click into place: the mistletoe (in April), the visit to the aquarium, the candlelit dinner. The awkward hour they'd spent in the library, Louis hanging over him the entire time, chin hooked over his shoulder, head tipped hopefully upward. The alarmingly frequent tackles on the sofa whenever Liam had his nose buried in a book. That odd, almost faraway look Louis got when Liam just sighed and shoved him away, the one that Liam could never return, the one that made him feel--

"Oh," Liam says, at last, and his voice doesn't sound like it's his at all.

Louis must see that he understands, because he lets out a quiet little huff and shrugs. "Can't blame a merman for trying. But I've had my year to make you fall in love with me, and nothing happened, so it's over, time to ship home. I reckon you can put an ad in the paper for my replacement any day now, it shouldn't be too difficult, what with--mmmfgh."

Then they're kissing, just like that, Liam's fingers sliding into Louis' hair, over the curve of his shoulder, swallowing the rest of the startled noise Louis makes, and Liam's already breathless pulling away before they even really get started, shocked at himself. At how much he wants to do it again.

There's a long second of silence, then:

"Well," Louis says, shakily. "This isn't going to make my voice any better, you know. I didn't actually barter it for my legs, so if you were hoping to help album sales, I don't--"

"Shut up," Liam says, hoarsely, resting their foreheads together, because it's only just hitting him now that he could - he might lose this. And he's not - he can't. "Why didn't you just say -- you idiot."

"Been called that a few times," Louis says. He still sounds dazed, but there's no missing the pleased note creeping into his voice.

"Shut up," Liam says again, and draws a deep breath. "And start thinking. Because we're going to find a way to fix this."
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