pairing: liam/louis, harry/eleanor, niall/zayn.
rating/warnings: pg-13; crack, fluff, etc.
summary: The boys and Eleanor rent a ski lodge to get away from the craziness of the fans. Shenanigans ensue.
disclaimer: title from holly jolly christmas, by various artists. one direction does not belong to me, and none of this is real.
notes: um. this was written forever and a day ago and i never posted it. i'm aware it's mid-july, but it's so hot here i thought, we need some christmas fic! (that's a lie. i just really wanted to post this.) so! have a li/lou... thing. i'm so sorry. *hits head against wall*
also available at ao3!
“Liam!” comes the shout.
Liam whips his head around, and he’s tackled backwards into the snow. “What - Louis, I swear to god -” he gets out, shaking his head, but he can’t keep the laugh out of his voice, can’t help the warm feeling he gets inside from seeing the grin on Lou’s face.
“I just wanted to say hello to my very best friend,” Louis says, and he’s grinning, shaking snow out of his hair.
“Hey!” comes Harry’s shout, from the car they’re trying to pack all of Liam’s things into.
“Oh, sod off, you’re still my favorite, Hazza,” Louis shouts back, and then leans in close to Liam, whispers no, he’s not, you’re my favorite favorite.
Liam tries to get the smile off of his face, but he doesn’t quite succeed.
“Niall, if you don’t shut your mouth, I am going to smack you,” Zayn tells him, three hours into the trip.
Liam groans. “Zayn, please -”
“You can shut it, too, Mr. Bossypants.”
“Did you just call me -”
“Shut up,” and Zayn turns around, stares out the window.
(Zayn’s never been good in long car rides. He gets antsy, on edge, and tells everyone off at least once because he can't smoke his fucking cigarettes.
“Louis, you’re obnoxious and disliked. Please refrain from speaking,” he says, and they’re not entirely sure he’s kidding.)
They finally arrive, though, and Louis is the first to get out of the car, dragging Liam after him by the hand. (Their fingers are laced together. Liam tries not to let it tear him up inside. He fails a bit, but he’s always been a decent actor.
Or, at least, he thought he was. The way Harry’s looking at him, though, slow and calculating, suggests that actor was never really one of Liam’s career paths.)
“Come on, then, Liam my boy,” Louis says, all smiles. It’s Harry to get out next, dragging Eleanor with him (she’s giggling and Liam wonders what happened while he was having a fit over the way Louis smells). Zayn and Niall are last, sharing a long look, and then Niall shakes his head, kisses Zayn on the forehead, and all seems to be forgiven.
That’s how they are, these boys. Liam grins, and follows Louis inside.
They have a peculiar set-up at the lodge; three rooms, all adjacent, but all clearly separate. Louis and Liam are in one together (and Liam’s surprised at that; he’d half-expected Louis to want to bunk with Eleanor. They may have broken up, but they’re still close and - well, they’re used to sharing a bed), Harry and Eleanor, and Zayn and Niall.
“It wasn’t planned that way,” Louis says, and shrugs when Harry asks him - in a tone that suggests he might want more, that he might want something with Eleanor.
Later, though -
“I planned it, yes,” Louis says, sitting down on his bed. He stretches out his neck, groaning. “Li, would you be a dear?”
“Are you asking me for a neck rub?”
Louis gives him the puppy-dog eyes, and Liam is helpless to resist. He kneads the muscles in Louis’ neck, digging his thumbs in; if he’s going to do this, he’s going to do it right. “So what d’you mean, you planned it?”
“Oh, El’s fancied Harry for ages. While we were dating, even, maybe - I’ve never asked. Never really wanted to know. And Haz - well, you saw the way he looks at her.”
“So you’re just going to throw them together, and hope they make it out?”
Louis shrugs, and gives a soft moan when Liam does something with his hands. “Well, isn’t that a good way to get people together? Especially when they’re being idiots, I mean - and El and Haz are certainly being that.”
“They refuse to accept that either fancies them. And this is weird - Haz never gets nervous, but when he’s around El he just - falls apart, you know?”
Liam nods, even though he really doesn’t. And what about us? he wants to ask, why are we together? but he’s afraid of either answer.
It’s strange, falling asleep with Louis.
He’s done it before, of course; he’s fallen asleep with all of the boys at some point, but this feels different, planned - this is Louis climbing into the only bed in the room, wide-eyed, and this is the whispered good night and a kiss on the forehead.
It’s Louis’ soft breathing next to Liam’s neck, and it’s - well, it’s wonderful.
Fuck, he thinks.
They go skiing, the next day.
Zayn and Niall are relatively quiet, and share smiles when they think no one’s looking. Liam walks in on them kissing behind a tree, and he about pisses himself with excitement.
“You’re - that’s fantastic!” he says, because if Louis’ crazy plan worked for them who’s to say it won’t get Louis to fall in love with Liam? (He ignores the more rational part of his mind, whispering because Lou doesn't fancy you, idiot.)
Niall laughs, a bright, clear sound, and wraps his arms around Zayn. “It is, isn’t it?” he asks, and he’s quite literally all smiles.
Liam gives them both a hug and nods, turning his head to look at Louis. “Yeah.”
Harry and Eleanor are next.
Louis is the one to notice it - Liam’s focusing too much on not being too touchy with him, because he feels like he’s been way too obvious lately. (It’s not his fault, though; it’s entirely Lou’s, with his eyes and his hands and the way he smiles at Liam like he’s the only one in the world. It’s Lou, because Liam’s head over heels and Louis just doesn’t see it.)
Louis nudges him, and Liam’s breath catches in his throat because Lou is lovely, all eyelashes and soft hair - but he’s not saying anything, he’s nodding toward the hand Harry has on Eleanor’s knee, the soft smile he’s giving her.
“‘Tis the season, isn’t it?” Louis asks, and laughs a bit. “Looks like my plan’s worked.”
Liam holds his breath. “Every one of them?”
Louis bites his lip. “I suppose not. Not yet, at least.”
Liam swallows, and he’s about to lean in for the kiss, rest of the boys be damned, but Louis grabs his hand, pulling him outside.
“What -” Liam starts, but then he’s being kissed, and there’s really nothing else that can be said to that, is there?
“Now, you fancy me, yes?”
Liam rolls his eyes. “Of course I do.”
“Then Merry Christmas, Mr. Payne,” and he leans in for another kiss.
There are things Liam would like to say - several things, really - but instead he lets himself sink into the kiss, smile against Lou’s lips, and feel the magic of the Christmas season.