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10 June 2012 @ 01:10 pm
Might as well post this here, too.  
Title: Preludes & Chords
Fandom: One Direction
Pairing: Liam/Zayn
Rating: PG
Summary: AU in which Liam and Zayn go to the same school, Liam has a stutter and finds comfort in playing piano.
Note: This is my first One Direction related fic so it may be really awful? Sorry in advance.


For as long as he could remember, Liam has had difficulty expressing himself through simply talking. Most kids who stutter just learn to accept it and it becomes just another part of them, they talk freely and fearlessly even though it may not sound like they wish it could. But for Liam it was never just a matter of how he sounded, it was more than that. Most days it felt like a cage that he couldn't break free from, a limit to what he was able to express and how he went about expressing it. He felt as though his mind worked faster than the rest of him, and his lips just couldn't decode his thoughts fast enough, or efficiently. It frustrated him so much when he couldn't finish a sentence without stumbling over his words, even to the point where he would consider saying something but decide against it. It made expressing his feelings difficult, so he usually kept them to himself. It's not as if people really listened to him anyway. They may hear what he's trying to say, but they aren't listening. Not really.

The only part of him that seems to keep up with his mind most days are his hands. It seemed almost fitting, natural, even, that he would take up playing the piano. Music could say so much more than words could, and that's what he loved most about it. When he was playing he could escape entirely, forget all of his worries and issues against himself and just immerse himself into the notes and chords carefully strung together by respected men who lived in more romantic times. He liked that although those men passed hundreds of years ago, their music is still appreciated and understood. He yearned to leave a mark like that, to be heard even if he wasn't the one executing what he had to share.

The school's concert pianist gave him full permission to use the grand piano in the auditorium whenever he wanted in order to practice, or maybe just to escape for a little while. He spent a lot of his free time after school there, especially on the days when he found himself unable to deal with anything else.

On this particular day he chose one of his favorite pieces to play, Chopin's Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4. He took his time, carefully playing each note as if they were fragile, gradually letting himself go as the song progressed. He arched his body more, playing louder and with more frustration than before, until he began pounding the keys. He stopped himself before it went to far, closing the lid and resting his elbows on it, covering his face with his hands, exhaling slowly as he did.

The sudden sound of clapping echoing through the empty auditorium forced his eyes open, startling him. He looked around and saw a boy standing in the wings, a giant grin on his face.

"Brilliant! Or should I say brava, seeing as we're in a theater." He stepped towards the piano, his expensive looking sneakers squeaking against the floor of the stage.

"Did you... ha-have you b-been here the whole t-time?" Liam managed to ask, slowly leaning away from the lid of the piano and sitting up straight.

"Just for the last song, no worries." He leaned one arm against the piano and looked Liam directly in the eyes, which made him feel rather uncomfortable because he wasn't used to that. "Your name's Liam, isn't it?"

Liam tried to hide his look of surprise, wondering how a guy like that could know who he is.

"Yeah. How d-did you kn-know?"

"I'm in the honors chorus and our pianist raves about you all the time." Liam's cheeks began to feel flushed. Attention was also something he was definitely not used to. "I'm Zayn by the way. Zayn Malik." He didn't offer a hand for Liam to shake, so Liam felt obligated to do so to him. Zayn laughed at this, openly and loudly, happily shaking his hand.

"You're so proper, Liam. It's cute."

"Oh, well..." Liam was taken aback by his forwardness, but also found it oddly attractive.

"How did you learn to play like that anyway?" Zayn stepped closer to him, carefully opening the lid where the keys were. "May I?"

"Go ah-head. Well I-I um... I s-started learning from your p-pianist about a year a-ago." He watched Zayn, who was now standing beside Liam, playing random keys. "I f-found it to be easier th-than talking."

Zayn paused for a moment, turning his head to look at Liam, completely serious. "How so?"

Liam ignored his question, focusing on what Zayn was doing with his hands. "Here - d-do this." He gently placed his hands over Zayn's rather large ones, curling his fingers slightly around Zayn's as they were longer than his. He guided him to the right notes, helping him to play the beginning of the piece he was playing before. Zayn kept his gaze entirely on Liam, even more so after he put his hands on his.

"You didn't answer my question."

Liam swallowed nervously, inching his hands back so they were free of Zayn's. "It j-just comes n-naturally, I guess. I g-get frust-trated when I speak, b-but when I p-play...it's like I-I'm sp-peaking without w-words."

There was silence for a moment, until Zayn leaned in to where his lips were almost touching Liam's.

"Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are? Especially the way you play?"

"Not p-particularly.."

"They should." Before he could stop him, Zayn pressed his lips against Liam's. To his surprise, Liam allowed himself to relax, closing his eyes and enjoying the escape away from the escape. Zayn pulled away for a second, grinning wildly. "Hearing you play.. watching you, arched over like that, pouring your soul into that song.. it was possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. And I actually thought God, I'd like to kiss him."

Liam felt flushed again, completely overwhelmed but happy at the same time. Undoubtedly, properly happy. The only words on his mind at that moment were Zayn's, and those were all that mattered. If he could possibly feel as much passion with Zayn as he could with the keys of that piano, he would be okay.

Before Zayn started to speak once more, Liam gently pulled Zayn to him by the collar of his shirt, forcing their lips to meet again. It felt like the idea of one of the chords in that piece - two chords not seeming like they would go together at all, but when combined create something beautiful, something that matters. And when you put them all together.. it speaks.


 
 
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