Prompt: Please do a Zianourry Niall centric, where Niall has been in the army and he’s got trauma when he gets back to his loving boyfriends, one of them is a psykopist and he talks to Niall about it all and how they can make him feel safe…
Niall walked through the airport terminal, his incredibly full suitcase in one hand and his army jacket in the other. He’d just returned from six months in Afghanistan. It had been an experience of a life time. He’d met amazing people he’d know for the rest of his life and he’d lost a few of those amazing people as well. But now he was returning to his boyfriends and he was in a good mood.
“NIALL!” A voice yelled, and Niall whipped his head around. He saw his four boyfriends waving at him franticly and he started running towards them. The first one he reached was Liam. He wrapped his arms tightly around the older man’s torso and soon felt Liam’s arm wrap around his waist. Three more pairs of arms wrapped around him.
Niall breathed in deeply, inhaling all of their scents, savouring this moment. Involuntary tears started streaming down his cheeks. All the tension of the past six months came rushing out. He felt someone wiping his tears away and opened his eyes. Harry was smiling softly at him, giving him a long lasting kiss on the forehead.
“Let’s go home.” He said, before scooping Niall up. Niall squealed as he was picked up in bridal style. Zayn carried his suitcase for him and the five boys went to their car to go home and have some quality time together.
While in the army, Niall hadn’t thought about the possibility of getting post traumatic stress disorder. He thought he would just go on with his life and forget or repress the horrible things he’d witnessed. One of his boyfriends, Louis, was a psychologist and quick to point out Niall’s disorder.
It all started with the nightmares. He had the first one a few weeks after arriving back home, after everything had calmed down and he’d gotten time to think.
Niall shot up from his nightmare, panting heavily. Apparently he hadn’t been quiet, because four pairs of worried eyes were staring at him. Niall started shaking softly as the images of his nightmare flashed before his eyes and he let out a soft sob. He was immediately smothered with hugs and kisses and sweet whispers.
Some time later, the boys were watching a movie, cuddled up on the couch. Suddenly, Niall’s mind went back to one of the worst days in the army. The day he lost one of his best friends there. It was like it happened all over again, the screams and cries of terror, but when he opened his eyes again he was looking into his boyfriends’ worried ones.
Movie night turned into comfort Niall night. Niall was carried into bed and Harry spoon fed him ice cream while the others sang him slow songs until he fell asleep. Louis started to suspect something was up when, after weeks of flashbacks and nightmares, Niall got a panic attack.
It happened when Niall was sitting in the kitchen. Harry was cooking dinner, as usual, Louis and Zayn were messing around and Liam was talking to Niall. Niall didn’t hear a word Liam said, he was scrolling through his twitter, but let Liam talk and nodded every once in a while.
He yawned. He hadn’t gotten much sleep last night. He hadn’t gotten much sleep for the last two weeks, to be honest. Nightmares had constantly woken him up, and if he didn’t have a nightmare, he’d just wake up randomly in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep.
Harry was laughing at Louis and Zayn, who were in some childish discussion about a comic book. He wasn’t really concentrating on what he was doing and thought he had a tight grip on the glass bowl he was holding. Apparently, he was wrong. The bowl slipped out of his hands and shattered on the floor with a loud crash. He let out surprised yell as a shard of glass came flying towards his face, grazing his cheek.
He groaned in pain and pressed his hand against the cut, pulling it back only to find blood on it. It wasn’t a huge amount, but enough to scare him. Liam now came rushing forward to get a wet cloth to put to the wound. Zayn guided a still slightly shaken up Harry to a chair and examined the injury. Louis, when he realised Harry’s cut wasn’t life threatening, went to pick up the pieces of glass.
Niall froze when he heard the crash. His mind went back to the war, there were so many crashes there. Suddenly he heard Harry scream and his world collapsed. He couldn’t bear the thought of losing one of his lovers to something as stupid as a war. He couldn’t breathe as images of his boyfriends dying flashed before his eyes.
Louis dropped the pieces of glass he’d been holding, making his boyfriends look over to him. “Niall? Niall!” Louis said, as he cupped one of Niall’s cheeks. Niall’s eyes were darting around and he was as pale as a ghost, thin layer of sweat covering his skin.
“W-what’s wrong with him, Lou?” Liam said, crouching down next to Louis. “He’s having a panic attack. Shit, breathe, Nialler.” Louis said, trying to stay calm as he attempted to get Niall to focus.
Liam, Harry and Zayn made the wise decision of staying back as Louis tried to calm down their snowflake. Louis, of course, knew how to handle this. “Niall, focus on me, Niall. Good boy.” Louis said calmly as Niall’s eyes stopped darting around and focused on Louis’. “Now take a deep breath, you’ll feel better. Good. It’s okay, Niall, it’s okay.” He smiled softly as Niall’s breathing slowed down.
Once Niall’s breathing had calmed down, the blond let out a soft sob. Followed by another one. And one more. Louis wrapped his arms around the now softly shaking boy and held him close while muttering comforting things in the younger boy’s ear.
The next day Niall talked to Louis about his experiences and how he still felt unsafe. Together they wrote down a list of things that would calm Niall down and Louis instructed the other boys on what to do when Niall got a panic attack, and he wasn’t there.
It took time to learn how to cope with the horrible memories, but with the help of four lovely boyfriends Niall managed it. The nightmares became less and less frequent and the flashbacks completely stopped. And he’d only had one other panic attack after three months.
“I love you guys. So so much.” Niall said sleepily one night. They were cuddled up in bed, Niall in the middle as usual. “We love you too, snowflake. So so so much.” Zayn said softly, pulling Niall to his chest and pressing a kiss to his temple. The three others made noises of agreement and Niall dozed off with a content smile on his face. That night he had his first nice dream since returning home.