One

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"So...I've got a job," Niall smiles into the phone. His best friend from childhood and roommate, Liam, is on the other end of the phone.

"You did!? Why didn't you tell me you were applying?" 

"I really didn't think I'd get it," Niall responds. He brushes some blond strands out of his face with a manicured hand. "Anyway, I was thinking, if you aren't busy, maybe we could celebrate?" He sounds hesitant, nervous, almost.

"Ni, of course we can celebrate. What do you want to do?"

Niall lets out a tiny, delighted giggle. "I don't know...I kinda wasn't expecting you to say yes, I guess."

"Idiot," Liam chuckles fondly. "Well, we can talk when you get home, yeah? I'm leaving work now, too."

"Sounds good!" Niall hangs up, smiling. He loves his best friend more than anything in the world. He's a soft, cuddly guy, who always wears chunky sweaters and warm-colored cardigans. Their house is scattered with his stray knit socks and Christmas-scented candles. One would think he was the kindest, softest thing, as long as they didn't hurt someone he loved. When angry or protective, Liam turned into a lion. Niall was very similar, though possibly even softer and cuddlier than Liam.

He and Liam get home at the same time, and Niall laughs when Liam immediately pulls him into a hug. Niall laughs and hugs him back.

"I can't believe you didn't tell me, you punk!" 

"I'm sorry," Niall laughs. His cheek is nestled against the front of Liam's cable knit sweater. 

"It's okay. How do you wanna celebrate?" Liam asks, unlocking their front door. They both dump their keys in the little bowl on the shelf by the door.

"I dunno. Maybe we can just watch a movie? It's my turn to make dinner," Niall answers. Liam nods; it's Niall's decision how he wants to celebrate, anyway. "Just let me change quick." He makes his way down the hall to his bedroom. His bed is kind of a mess, not having felt like making it this morning. He tugs the knit comforter up, and then sighs. He makes his way to his closet, half-smiles at his reflection in the mirror. He's wearing a black skirt, black tights underneath, and a soft, pink sweater. He pulls the tights and skirt off, trading them for a pair of flannel pajama pants, and leaves the sweater on. "What do you want to eat?" Niall asks Liam as he makes his way back out to the kitchen.

"Dunno. Spaghetti?"

Niall nods. Liam comes into the kitchen as Niall cooks, sitting on the counter beside him. "So tell me about this job," he says.

Niall shrugs. "It's, like, a secretary position, I guess, at Malik-Bieber Corporations. The lady who interviewed me was really nice, she said she liked my skirt. She hired me on the spot!"

Liam whistles. "Wow, kid. That's awesome."

Niall nods, beaming. "I start Monday. I'm kinda nervous! I didn't even get to meet my bosses."

"I'm sure you will. Don't worry so much," Liam chuckles, filling up two cups with Coca-Cola. 

"Yeah, you're right." Niall lets out a sigh and drains the pasta in the sink. "How was work?"

Liam is the art teacher at a high school, and surprising Niall, he loves his job. "It was good! We had a riveting argument over which is the perfect shade of blue."

Niall snorts. "Nerd."

Liam laughs. He settles onto the couch, plate in his lap, and Niall sits in the armchair, legs dangling over one arm. He turns the TV on, flipping aimlessly through the channels until he settles on the Food Network. Liam lets out an annoyed groan, but doesn't complain aloud.

- - -

Justin sits on Zayn's desk, stealing part of his sandwich even though he has the same one sitting on his own desk in his office.

Zayn smacks his arm. "Quit stealing my food, asshole."

Justin rolls his eyes. "I'll give you half of mine, then we're even."

"Idiot," Zayn replies, but he's smiling. He leans up to kiss his husband's cheek, and Justin hums at the affection. 

"You love me," Justin responds. Zayn purses his lips, pretending to consider it, and Justin throws a napkin at him.

"Zayn? Oh -- sorry, Justin, I didn't know you were in here, too," their assistant, Cassie, smiles as she enters the room. "I think I found my replacement."

"Really?" Zayn asks.

"I wish you wouldn't leave. Why'd you have to get pregnant?" Justin huffs, and Zayn and Cassie both laugh.

"His name's Niall Horan. He's a total sweetheart, the shyest thing, but very nice. His resume was super impressive, and he genuinely seems to want to work here." Cassie hands Niall's folder over to Zayn, who opens it and flips through it. "He also was wearing the cutest skirt I've ever seen in my life."

"Skirt?" Justin repeats, mouth suddenly dry.

"Yeah. It was black, mid-thigh. I should've asked him where he got it." She frowns, and Justin and Zayn exchange glances. "I don't know if that's weird for you guys, but --"

"Nope. Not weird," Justin interrupts. Zayn shrugs, too.

"Yeah, I don't really care what he wears as long as it's work appropriate," Zayn nods. "Did you hire him?"

"Well, unofficially. I wanted to talk to you guys about it first."

Zayn nods, offers the folder to Justin. He shrugs it off, trusting Zayn's judgment, and Zayn hands the folder back to Cassie. "He can start Monday."

Cassie nods, smiling. "I'll call him tomorrow and let him know it's official." She leaves the office, and Justin hums, running his fingers through Zayn's hair affectionately.

"He wears skirts," Justin mumbles.

"I know. That's gonna be fucking distracting," Zayn mumbles back, and Justin laughs.

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