Zach x Reader: Before You Leave (One Shot)
(A//N: This is by far one of my least favorite work but I’ve gone so far already so I decided to post it anyway just to get it out of my drafts. SO I HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS TRASH I CAME UP WITH AND BETTER CONTENT WILL ARRIVE SOON)
Plot: The one where you learned love and grudge doesn’t mix well.
“You used me?”
Zach could’ve sworn his heart broke in half when he remembered the pain in your face and how you’re voice broke when you heard him bragging to his friends how he would soon drop you once Hannah decided to ‘wake up’ and get jealous and finally go out with him. How you were so replaceable, how you didn’t matter.
It was a party and he was a drunk and insecure little boy that wanted to fit in with the rest of his sex-crazed friends. He knew it was wrong, and his excuse are literally nothing. He wanted to punch himself the moment those words came out of his mouth but it was too late. You already heard it.
You heard all of it.
And Zach would’ve sold the whole world if it meant he could take back everything he said.
“Big Z!” He put up his facade and cheered with the rest of his friends, eyes discretely running around the cafeteria to check for you, out of instinct, but his heart give out when he found you sitting with Jessica on a table, not even sparing him a glance. He saw Jessica rub your arms up and down and whispering something in your ear.
“Hey Zach,” before he could prepare himself, too focused on what Jessica was saying, Therese (a cheerleader he once had a complicated thing with) already had her arms wrapped around his neck. Not wanting her to lose balance and fall he placed his right arm around his waist. “,you up for Bryce’s party this Friday?”
“I – I don’t – I’ll try to see if I can.”
He had enough of Bryce’s party. Nothing good ever came out of it.
Therese was obviously trying to convince him based on her high-pitched voice but Zach’s eyes were already back to your table which was surprisingly void of you and consist of only a glaring Jessica. Zach panicked, pushing the girl off of him unnecessarily hard before getting his bag and running out of the cafeteria.
He saw you walking towards the main building and Zach nearly broke his legs from trying to catch up to you.
“(Y/N)! WAIT UP!”
You flinched when you heard his booming voice through your headphones but stopped walking regardless. He just had that effect on you.
“I …” Zach noticed how the walls he had worked so hard to break down were now standing tall and proud in your dry and sunken eyes, mocking him. Reminding him how much he fucked up. “, I never apologized. What I said in that party was … not right. I was being an ass, I’m sorry.”
He kept staring at the top of your head since that was all he was blessed with considering you’re barely giving him a glance. Nothing made him hate himself more when you looked up and gave him the fakest smile you could muster.
“Okay.” You barely whispered.
Zach was flabbergasted by your reply. “Okay?”
You bit your lip and for a brief moment Zach could clearly see the damage he has done that was reflected in your eyes. “I don’t know what to say.” You looked down again and Zach felt his nerves shot up to the sky.
“Tell me I can fix this.” He tried moving closer but you just stepped back, not wanting him too close in your personal space.
“You want to fix it?” you said, almost angry, mostly confused. Zach was prepared to beg on his knees right there.
“I don’t … you hurt me, Zach.”
“Do you?” you looked up to him with watery eyes, lips trembling making Zach want to hug you back together. “, because let me tell you, Dempsey … you have no fucking idea.”
“(Y/N), plea –“
“It was so hard, Zach.” There it was again, your broken voice. The voice that you unconsciously used when you were trying hard not to cry. “It was so hard to be the one for you, to be enough for you. I learned to cook cause you said you hated cafeteria meals, I fixed my grades to appease your mom, I lied to my parents and sneaked out so I could spend more time with you and I ignored every single red flag that came because I …”
Zach held his breathe. If you would say what he thinks you’re about to say then Zach lost more than what he thought. He had lost so much already.
“I loved you, Zach.” You sniffed, smiling up at him sadly.
Zach has never wanted to beat his sorry ass so much before.
“I loved you, Zach … so much. I thought …” you laughed, covering your face with your hands but Zach couldn’t do anything. He was a statue stuck staring, just now noticing, the little gashes and red marks and band aids in your dainty fingers. “You win, Zach. I loved you. Go ask your friends if you get a bonus $50 for that. Or am I just worth a 25?”
“What – no! (Y/N), listen –“
“I’m sorry I wasn’t good enough. I’m sorry I wasn’t Hannah.”
“YO, Z!” you flinched again when you heard Justin from the hallway, looking confused seeing his best friend with one of his hook-ups.
“You should go.” You pushed Zach away, catching him off guard and making him stumble. Before he could protest you were already disappearing off a curve and wiping off the tears that slipped. Zach couldn’t help but punch the wall nearest to him which resulted to a broken wall and a bloody hand.
You loved him, and he was a fucking idiot.
He wanted to tell you he loved you too and that he didn’t mean shit that he said. He wanted to beg for you to come back until his knees broke. He wanted to tell you that you were one of the only people that mattered to him in this God-forsaken world. He wanted to beg for you to love him again, just one more time because he can promise you he will give you the world on a silver platter.
“Man, are you okay?” Justin eyed the right hand that was just dripping with blood warily as Zach neared him.
“Fuck off, Justin.” He nearly plastered Justin on the wall when he barged past him, not wanting his best friend to receive all of his pent up anger right now but he was making it so hard with Justin following him.
“Whoa, calm down! I’m only trying to—“
“WHAT, JUSTIN?!” Zach lost it. He can actually hear himself snap, can feel his blood boiling. “HELP?! You’re trying to help!?“ It took everything in Zach not to punch Justin and break his jaw just to have anything to release the stress inside him. “I wouldn’t accept help from any of you even if it can cost me my life.”
“Look if this is about that chick then you knew what you put yourself into, man. It was just a joke and she took it too seriously. ”
Zach was aware the whole cafeteria could hear him and he couldn’t give a flying fuck right now. He’s lost enough trying to impress everybody and he was sick of it.
He just lost the girl who loved him for who he is in exchange for the world who barely bats an eye on him unless he was shooting three points on the court. He literally traded a diamond for mud.
He saw the rest of his team watching from the cafeteria door.“You know what, if you wanted to help so much,” he took off his wallet from his back pocket, cleared it with all of his money and threw it to the general direction of his team. “, you can have your money back with interest. Maybe we can all use that to stop being assholes that uses people for fun, yeah?!”
“I’m done with all of you.” He shook his head, tightening his hold on his backpack in anger. If only he did this sooner, if he just loved you better sooner then he wouldn’t have to lose you.
But he did and he is gonna curse the whole world for it and nobody is gonna fucking stop him. Because he was done being a pushover, he is done begging for their approval, and he is done being who he is not for the world to love him.
He just wanted your love back.
He just wanted you back.
Zach immediately got out of his car when he saw you exit the school gates. He had the whole afternoon to think through on how he would get you back and he decided to do what he does best: be annoyingly persistent.
“(Y/N)!” your head nearly snapped when you heard that familiar voice. You heard what Zach did, everybody was talking about it for the rest of the day. It’s not every day their resident friendly giant snaps.
“Hey, Zach …” you swallowed. You always hated confrontations.
“Can we talk? Please?” he looked behind you and on cue you became aware of the whispers and eyes surrounding you. You nodded, also wanting privacy.
He took your bag, on instinct, and went out to take your hand but you flinched so he stepped back. He opened the door for you and you gave him a small thanks. He drove and drove and even if he took an unfamiliar road, the long way, you knew where you were going. To their family’s lake house.
The whole car ride was filled with tense silence that when you arrived, you didn’t even wait for Zach to open the door for you and just went barging out and heading straight to the dead wood that laid flat on the ground, just in front of the lake.
Sunsets always made the lake so pretty.
“(Y/N).” You looked at your side and saw that Zach was already sitting beside you, although he preferred to sit on the ground, only leaning on the wood to support his back.
“You’re very brave.” You cut him off. “I’m proud of you.”
He scoffed. “Yeah, you shoudn’t be. I’m still an ass.”
You genuinely laughed but looked up at him anyway but he was just looking straight ahead. “We were never compatible anyway.” you mumbled.
“That’s bullshit and you know it.”
“I know.” You nodded, shaking your head to prevent yourself from crying. “But it hurts less if I tell myself that.”
Silence, once again, became the third wheel. Nobody knew what was the right thing to say because the two of you were not just walking on eggshells – no you were way past that, you were walking on knives and every step only made everything hurt more and more.
“Can you love me again?” he whispered, this time looking straight at you.
“I don’t think I can un-love you, Zach.” You breathed deep and hard. “But that’s not enough.”
“We can make it enough.” He kneeled in front of you, feeling a small relief when you let him take both of your hands in his. You could almost cry at how perfect it fits. “I’ll change.”
“I’ll quit basketball.” Your eyes widen with his sudden announcement. “I’ll never talk to any of them ever again and I will be the best boyfriend you will ever have. I’ll even walk you every day to every single one of your class and just spend the weekend with you just … one more chance, (Y/N).” This time he was hiding his face by seemingly studying your fingers but the sniffles he tried to hide were clear as day.
“Just one more because … I can’t lose you – not like this. I promise I’ll do better this time. I’ll be better.”
You shook your head, still being stubborn, afraid of opening up from the regret you felt when you got hurt. “Hannah –“
“I don’t give a shit about Hannah, okay?!” He screamed, reaching his breaking point. He grabbed you, desperate for contact – desperate for anything. He is desperate for you to understand that it was a mistake, that everything in his life has been a mistake except you. He had shitty friends, a shitty family, and have been a shitty person for the majority of his life but it didn’t matter then because he had you.
And he can’t lose that – lose you.
He won’t allow it.
“I love you.”
The hitch in your throat did not go unnoticed but it was still too early to celebrate, you were still not looking Zach in the eye – still not believing him.
“I know,” Zach sighed, hands gently taking yours. “It’s kinda hard to believe, especially after all of the shit you just heard me say but I swear to you if you … if you just give me a chance, I promise … I promise you won’t regret it.”
You really wanted to believe him, wanted nothing more than to forgive and forget about everything that just happened but you simply can’t. You could barely trust him before how much more now when he already shattered your illusion of love into a million pieces.
“You don’t have to forgive me –“
“I forgive you,” you cut him off and you can feel his grip in your hand starting to tighten. “That’s actually … that’s actually the easiest part, Zach.” You chuckled humorlessly. “You could’ve murdered me and … and I would still forgive you but I …”
The sobbed escape before you could finish your sentence but you braved through it, not wanting to show any more of your broken state to Zach.
“Tell me, Zach,” you gripped the front of his shirt and buried your face in it in hopes of drowning your sobs. “How can I forget?! How can I forget what you did?! I can’t – I don’t know how and I – I –“
“Shhh,” Zach nearly carried you from how tight he held on to you but it was just what you needed: just what you needed to stop from falling apart. “I … I can’t answer that, baby. I’m sorry.”
You sobbed even harder, holding on more tighter. You were desperate, desperate to forget but you were only human. A human who can get hurt and can hold grudges.
“Don’t worry baby I’ll still be here.” He tried to calm you down and you were so surprised by his statement you actually shot up and looked at him. “It’ll take a long time and I don’t care. I’m … We’re in this together, okay? I’m not leaving. I’m winning you back.”
“Zach,” you sniffed, shaking your head. “I’m not sure I’m worth all that effort.”
This time it was Zach’s time to laugh, disbelief written all over his face as it got closer that you were pretty sure the breaths between you was one.
“You’re the only one who’s worth anything to me now, baby.” He whispered like a secret that the thought made you release a watery giggle causing him to smile. “I’m not letting you go.”