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Ziam Fic Recs

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Article by: C.C. Art by: fatimaliik

For the very special April edition of the No Stunts Magazine, I have rounded up some of the very best fanfiction about Zayn Malik and Liam Payne (aka Ziam).

This list will feature a wide variety of well loved Ziam fanfiction authors, of varying lengths and a wide variety of storylines. Many of these authors have other Ziam fics so please be sure to check out their other works.

Without further adieu, see below for a list of 10 must read Ziam fics. This list is not in any ranked order. I really hope you enjoy it

Summary: After rescuing Poppy, the boys settle into their new roles as best as they can with the threat of Simon looming over them. The security they feel is false, and it’s a race against the clock to see who can come out the winner. During this, Liam is offered a new job, meets new people, and has some disturbing news to overcome. Zayn is a mysterious stranger to Liam, and he has his fair share of secrets. Will Liam be enough to leave his real-life behind?

Why I Liked It: There are so many fics that I recommend when someone asks me for Ziam fics but this is right near the top of my list. It’s a mafia AU so it’s got mystery and action as an underlying storyline and Ziam’s connection is unmatched in this fic. There is hurt, pining, love, and a secret that will take you by surprise. 

Note, there are two parts to this story previous to this part which feature other main pairings that you can read if you’d like but are not necessary to read prior to reading the Ziam part. The first part features Larry (Louis Tomlinson/ Harry Styles) as the main pairing, and the second part features Lashton (Luke Hemmings/ Ashton Irwin) as the main pairing.

Content/ Trigger Warning: Violence, Minor Character Death, Sex Trafficking

Summary: “I’ll be really good to you,” Liam whispers, sliding an arm under Zayn’s shoulder like he is a pillow. Zayn closes his eyes, remembering when Liam had said those same words to him while laying on his chest before they started dating. The same feeling rattles in his chest, the same uncertainty, the same need for his words to remain true.

“I know,” Zayn whispers, massaging his fingers through Liam’s hair. “You always have.”

Liam pushes up, brows furrowing together as he stares down at him, the humor in his face turning far more serious. “And I always will, Zayn.”

Why I Liked It: This fic gives you all the domestic Ziam content you need. A Ziam story with an established relationship always has me hooked, there are so many emotions and feelings there. Worth the read, I promise. 

Content/ Trigger Warning: None

Summary: Liam retrieves an old copy of Hamlet from the bookshelf and grabs the plum-coloured blanket that Harry crocheted for their flat when they moved in a few years ago.

Zayn lays between Liam’s legs with his back on Liam’s chest, settling in to read along and pulling the blanket across their laps. Liam reaches his arms around Zayn, holding the book open so they can both read the verses. Zayn turns the pages as they go, brushing Liam’s hands each time he does, and they both feel a little tingle in their fingertips with each new page. The third time he brushes Liam’s hand, Zayn keeps his fingertips there, tracing Liam’s tattoos as if redrawing them, marking each petal in his memory. Liam feels like his hand is on fire, as if Zayn really is inking the roses into his hand again, hyper aware of how gentle Zayn’s touch is. It feels like a blessing.

It’s a measure of how exhausted they both are that they only make it through the end of Act 3 before Zayn is fully asleep and Liam is drifting off too. Liam wakes Zayn with a hand through his hair, brushing strands off his forehead where they’ve fallen to cover his eyes, those beautiful golden-brown eyes.

Why I Liked It: There is no Ziam fic recommendation list without a fic by unscattered_horizons. This fic is one of the first Ziam fics I ever read, and I remember being so moved by it after I finished I went to Twitter to post about it and ended up meeting the author there. This is a very good childhood friends to lovers’ story, and the love between Zayn and Liam is so intense but amazing. It will hit you hard, and in an emotional way. The story is just written so beautifully.

Content/ Trigger Warning: Childhood Trauma, Childhood Abuse, Panic Attacks.

Summary: For six years, international R&B star Liam Payne has topped the charts with his unique, upbeat songs. Even though he’s proud of where he’s gotten himself, he knows he can’t take all the credit; there’s one particular songwriter that goes by the name ‘Icarus Kalim’ that’s played a huge part in his success. Because of the writer’s ability to craft thought provoking tracks that touch Liam in a way he didn’t even know was possible from afar, the celebrity makes a musical exception for ‘Icarus’, buying the man’s songs for himself, even though he swore he would never put his name on something he had no help in creating. But what happens when Liam finally tricks the soulful poet into meeting him after years of not even knowing what the man looks like? Is ‘Icarus’ really all Liam’s made him out to be in his head or will he be unlike anything the singer could’ve ever dreamt up.

Why I Liked It: There are few fics like the fics that ziamhaze writes. I enjoyed this because it is different from a lot of fics you typically read. This fic focuses on slowly building the relationship and emotions between Zayn and Liam. It is definitely a slow burn and is not really a fic that includes smut, but it isn’t needed to make an incredible fic. You can really tell that the author puts their heart and soul into their fics and (I assume) does quite a lot of research for them. I highly recommend ziamhaze fics.

Content/ Trigger Warning: None.

Summary: Zayn has tormented Liam throughout all of high school. Liam is openly gay, which is what Zayn mainly touches on. His favorite way to tease and bully Liam is by calling him “Princess”, but when another bully dares to mess with Liam and Zayn begins to learn more about the boy he teases, the mocking word becomes a loving one.

“You’re my Princess, Liam.”

Why I Liked It: This fic is quite famous amongst Ziam fics. It covers quite difficult topics and a perspective that is uncommon with one half of the pairing bullying the other, but that hate slowly turns into love and they help each other in so many unexpected ways. Definitely an enemy’s to lover’s type story.

Content/ Trigger Warning: Bullying, Referenced Self-Harm, Sexual Assault, Homophobia, Trauma

Summary: When Liam was younger he used to daydream about fame, but right now he wishes he was still fourteen and naive enough to think that the things that people would have to say about him were nice.

But he’s not fourteen. He’s twenty-eight and for the past decade he’s grown accustomed to being a commodity, being on display. He’s had more media training than he can remember, but no amount of training could have prepared him for what’s been coming at him in the past few hours, for the judgement, the memes and the laughter. For the way that he’s suddenly become theirs now in a way that he’s never been, not even at the height of fame.

When Liam gets outed via sex-tape, his whole world collapses around him. In the midst of all the chaos, an unexpected lifeline appears in the form of a DM from Zayn: If you find yourself needing to escape, go here. Even though they haven’t talked in years, Liam is just desperate enough to go. He doesn’t expect to find himself on a farm in the middle of nowhere, face to face with a man he hasn’t seen in years, but who somehow looks more familiar to him than the face he sees when he looks in the mirror.

Why I Liked It: I really enjoyed this fic as its canon divergence, and I am a sucker for any fics that are close to canon. It does deal with some harder issues Liam faces after he is outed and how he has to deal with the world learning that about him, and also seeing him at his most vulnerable. Then he finds himself an escape, a lifeline from Zayn out on his farm, his old bandmate. Plus, any fic featuring Zayn at his farm is a win in my books.

Content/ Trigger Warning: Alcohol Abuse, Leaked Sex-tape, Suicidal Thoughts, Depression, Mental Health Issues

Summary: Zayn wakes up in a hospital, eyes blurry and head pounding, only for a doctor to tell him he’s lost two years of his life. And if that’s not awful enough, something’s different with Liam, off like something has changed, and Zayn doesn’t understand.

Until he does.

And then it’s somehow worse.

Why I Liked It: This fic is easily one of the most painful fics I have ever read (I am sorry I am sensing a theme here). All I can say is read this with some tissues or perhaps an emotional support buddy to read with you. It is once again canon divergence, and there are two parts after this fic that are definitely worth the read as well.

Content/ Trigger Warning: None.

Summary: In which Zayn comes back to him slowly…

When Liam and Zayn were 12, Zayn suddenly went missing in the middle of the night. With no leads, no evidence of a break-in, and no requests for ransom the police eventually concluded that Zayn simply ran away, and they closed the case. His family never believed it and neither did Liam.

10 years later Liam gets held hostage during a bank heist only to find that one of the robbers is Zayn. But he doesn’t seem to recognize Liam or even his own name. Liam tries to track Zayn down on his own, hesitant to involve the police who in his experience have proved to be untrustworthy more often than not. But then Liam starts noticing strange things in his apartment. His bedroom door closed halfway when he’s sure he left it all the way open; the tv remote sitting slightly further to the left than where he usually leaves it; a stray hair on the floor, darker and shorter than his own. At first he assumes it’s just the other boys messing with him but the longer it goes on the more he starts to wonder if he might actually be going crazy.

He doesn’t realize until it’s too late that while he’s been busy searching for Zayn all this time, Zayn has already found him.

Why I Liked It: So, as you will see by the ‘Content Warning’ this fic is a more intense read. I really enjoyed the concept, as it’s loosely basing Zayn off of Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier from Marvel (knowledge of this character is not needed to read this fic). It definitely deals with a lot of difficult topics, but reading Ziam’s progression in this fic makes it all worth it. Also, the story has great OT5 vibes, and there are 3 other parts you can read to this story after this part.

Content/ Trigger Warning: PTS, Disordered Eating, Implied Rape, Past Rape, Implied Torture, Past Child Abuse, Implied Underage Prostitution, Homophobia, Violence, honestly read the tags.

  • The Killing Type by protagonist_m 

Summary: Liam breathes hotly through his nose, eyes twitching shut as he squeezes a bit more on Zayn’s neck. “Do you know how dangerous what you’re doing is?” Zayn draws in his own ragged breath. “Do you?” 

Zayn is a doctoral student who goes to great lengths to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Liam is heading the biggest serial murder investigation London has seen in half a century. And before this, he’d never been sent a love note via corpse.

Why I Liked It: This fic is honestly unlike every other Ziam fic I have read. It’s crime fiction, and a must read for any crime junkie. The story honestly keeps you guessing from beginning to end and has quite the twist ending.

NOTE: This fic became so popular it was actually turned into a book. Due to that it was removed from AO3, however you can contact @ZiamFicRecs on Twitter (X) to request an epub version of the fic.

Content/ Trigger Warning: Violence, Murder, Serial Killers, Mental Health.

 Summary: It’s 2025.

After secretly writing and producing their first album in ten years, One Direction is weeks away from releasing their first new single and announcing a world tour.

With the whirlwind about to begin again, Liam re-evaluates the last ten years – the fame, the money, the people who changed his life forever – and the person who walked away.

Why I Liked It: This fic has everything a reader could ask for, One Direction reuniting, producing a 5th album, and Liam tracking down the love of his life who walked away from him 10 years ago. If you are an OT5 this fic feeds your soul, as it gives the boys the happy ending we all hope they have. Once again, featuring Zayn’s farm.

Content/ Trigger Warning: References to substance abuse, References to alcohol abuse, References to panic attacks, References to depression, References to rehab

If you have questions or would like additional recommendations, you can reach me on Twitter (X) through @ZiamFicRecs. Happy Reading!

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