It's been a rough year for One Direction fans everywhere, but perhaps a recent Twitter exchange between Zayn Malik and Liam Payne will alleviate a small portion of that sadness.

Five years ago this week, One Direction was formed and subsequently released unto the world as a unit. And while countless commemorative tweets from the members themselves were all very nice and appreciative (Harry even thanked their crew), all it did was remind us: There'd be no "thank you" tweet from Zayn this year. Because he quit the band in the middle of a world tour, remember?

But we did get something from the former fifth member of the most popular band on the planet. First, One Direction's metaphorical father figure, Liam, tweeted your standard, "Thks fr th Mmrs" type tweet. Super sweet, if not also super expected.

But then Zayn stepped in, noticing Liam singled all the boys out by name, and acknowledged the fact that he, too, was once a part of One Direction and frequently shared airspace with Liam & Co. for five years.

Stop the presses, shut down Twitter and stop breathing -- Zayn thanked Liam for his tweet and he did so lovingly and publicly. This means Zayn is rejoining One Direction they probably don't hate each other, which was a real fear for fans back when Zayn called impending father Louis Tomlinson out on his "bitchy comments" about Zayn's life choices. Everything was in a bit of disarray for a while, as 1D fans rocked themselves to sleep, chanting "publicity stunt" under their breaths all the while watching this YouTube video on repeat. And while things will truly never be the same in the One Direction universe, at least Liam and Zayn are still solid bros.

It's hard to believe it's been five full years since One Direction's inception, isn't it? Five boys -- all of whom possess, onstage, the gracelessness of a newborn elk navigating a giant ball pit -- were randomly thrust together, and somehow climbed to the heights of fame, based solely on the hope that they'd escape the pangs of puberty looking better than when they entered it. Because let's face it: They weren't very good on X Factor. It's a miracle they scored third place, with their tragic song choices and incessant cowl neck sweaters.

But whatever formula Simon Cowell used to put them together was a winning one, because they defeated those dismal talent-show-competition odds and blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, releasing some truly solid pop music all the while, scandals be damned. Whether the group -- as it stands in its current Zayn-less incarnation -- will be able (or if they even want) to maintain its level of popularity for much longer remains to be seen, but hey, they made it this far.

See Photos of One Direction Through the Years