Niall watches Zayn glide past on his skateboard, body perfectly poised, the wind ruffling his hair. He watches as Zayn twists, shifts his weight and jumps, flipping the board under his feet and landing effortlessly, turning a wide circle before coming to a stop in front of Niall. He’s grinning, and his hair flops across his forehead without the wind to keep it up and it hits Niall hard, out of nowhere, how much he wants to kiss him.
Before he can move Zayn ducks his head and steps on the end of his board, tipping it up into his hand and tucking it under his arm. He’s still breathing hard and the collar of his shirt is dark with sweat and Niall curls his hands into fists, tucks them into his pockets.
“Do you want to get something to eat?” Zayn asks, jerking his thumb over his shoulder. Niall nods and picks his own board up, pulling it close to his chest like a shield and following Zayn. He can’t concentrate on Zayn as they walk, letting his words become background noise as he tries to figure out what changed, when <i>he</i> changed.
He startles when Zayn’s hand waves in front of his face and he’s saying, “Niall? Earth to Niall.”
He laughs and shakes his head, makes his excuses, ignores the way Zayn looks at him curiously. He dredges up some enthusiasm, talks about food because he could do it in his sleep. He shifts his grip on his board, realises he’d been holding too tight, his fingers stiff and sore.
They’re near the main road now, and he can see people walking past the small quiet street they’re on, and he quickens his pace unconsciously, eager to find something to take his mind off Zayn and his realisation.
Zayn grabs his arm, just a little too hard and Niall swings in a tight circle, back hitting the wall of the building close by. His breath is knocked out of him painfully and he grunts, looks up at Zayn and he’s too close, Niall can’t get his breath back, can’t tear his gaze from Zayn’s mouth. Zayn tips his head, says something Niall can’t hear over the rush of blood in his ears and then Zayn’s mouth is on his.
Niall stiffens, blood still pounding in his ears, wonders if he dreamed this up, if he’s really even here. But then Zayn’s fingers are under his chin, tilting his head up and he’s trying to coax a response from Niall, lips soft and warm.
He clearly takes too long because suddenly Zayn’s teeth are digging into his lip making him flinch but then he’s finally reacting, opening his mouth and kissing Zayn back, letting Zayn’s tongue soothe his sore lip. He wraps his arm around Zayn’s shoulders, pulling him closer, stroking his fingers through the short hairs at his nape and Zayn shudders, grinds against him.
They pull apart after a moment, but Zayn stays close, pressing his forehead to Niall’s, fingers tight on his hip. Niall has no idea what to say, though he’d kind of like to know where that came from and why Zayn chose right then to do it.
“Couldn’t help myself,” Zayn murmurs. “You were staring.”
Niall feels himself flush and Zayn laughs quietly, kissing him again. “Come on, let’s get you that food.” He tugs on Niall’s hand, leading him away.