Genius - Zach Herron AU
Description: You’re a close friend of Daniel’s, practically a sister to the boy. You’ve met the Why Don’t We boys a couple of times, though very briefly. When you decide to move to L.A. when you’re accepted into UCLA at age 16, they offer to let you stay with them. However, feelings surface - or maybe resurface - for you and a certain Gemini quickly.
You take a deep breath as you sit on the plane as everyone gets off. You’re young; your mom freaked. How were you supposed to say no? You couldn’t help it that you surpassed your peers by miles back in elementary and middle school when it came to academics. You stand up and grab the backpack at your feet, which contains a few notebooks, normal books, and lots and lots of pens. You have this odd fascination with pens. You step off the plane and into the terminal, soon out to the airport itself.
Once you enter the building through the big, automatic glass doors, you look around for the goofball you call a best friend - Daniel Seavey. You frown as you don’t see him and debate whether or not to call or just wait. You settle on just wait and head over to get your bags at the baggage claim. You find one of them, which contains all your undergarments, socks, shoes, and shorts/pants/skirts, but the other, which contains all your hoodies, sweaters, jackets, and shirts, is no where to be found.
You, being you, analyze the situation before letting the baggage claim go around once more. You sigh; no bag of yours in sight. You head over to the main office, where, luckily, no one is in line. You walk up to the front and take a quick breath. Talking to strangers has never been your forte; you’re quite awkward.
“Hello, how can I help you?” The man asks. Oh, great, just make the torture worse.
“I-I can’t find my other bag,” you tell him, cursing mentally. You sound like a complaining four-year-old. “I’ve found one of them, but the other wasn’t on the baggage claim.”
“Huh.” He turns to his computer and opens something up. He looks at you. “Name?”
“Y/N Y/L/N,” you reply, leaning over the desk a little bit to see what he finds.
He types in your name, and an odd sound comes out of the computer. You frown and stand up straight, causing you to stop leaning over.
“What’s wrong?” You ask worriedly.
He bites his lip. “I’m sorry, miss, but somehow your bag got onto a flight to London. It’ll be back here in about three weeks, and we’ll call you as soon as it comes.”
You bite your lip too. “Thanks, I guess.”
You leave the office, sulking. What are you going to do? You’re definitely not rich; no way. You can’t pay for another closet full of-
“Y/N!!!” You’re almost tackled to the ground by a gangly, brown-haired boy.
You smile instantly and pat his back. “Good to see you too, Danny.”
(Y/N/N = your nickname)
Daniel pulls away. “I missed you, Y/N/N!”
You pay his shoulder. “I missed you too, bud.”
He looks at you oddly. “That’s weird… you haven’t used any big words and I’m not lost yet. What’s wrong?”
You sigh as the other boys come up. “They lost one of my bags; the bag that has all of my shirts, jackets, hoodies, and makeup in it, to be exact.”
They all frown. You sigh and look down at your hands.
“And I have no money whatsoever for new clothes. I have enough for makeup, though, so could we stop by either a Sephora or Ulta on our way back to your house?” You ask Daniel, looking up at him after saying that mouthful.
“We’ll find a way around your clothes problem, but, yeah, we can stop.” He slings his arm around your shoulder. “How long until the bag gets here?”
You sigh again. “Well, it’s on a plane to London at the moment, so they said three weeks, minimum.”
He cringes. “That’s not good.” He takes your bag. “C'mon, lets go get you some paint for your face.”
You shake your head with a small smile and follow him, the other four in tow.
“Jesus, I now see why you could only afford the makeup,” Daniel says in exasperation. “It’s like twenty bucks for this teeny-tiny bottle of that tannish-stuff.”
“Foundation, I think,” Corbyn butts in.
“Yeah, not all of us have a makeup vlogger as a girlfriend, dude,” Jack tells him.
Corbyn rolls his eyes but smiles at the mention of Christina. You smile a bit at that.
“Finally, I get to give you a hug.” You chuckle as Jonah wraps his arms around you. He, in past visits, always made you feel at home and welcome. The others did too, of course.
“Hey, hey, hey, you’re not the only one.” Jack pushes him away and hugs you too, then Corbyn.
When Zach gives you a hug, you get that funny feeling in your stomach. Of course, you decide to ignore it and he lets go. Daniel comes back in with a box of animal crackers.
“And I thought we were expensive,” he scoffs, referring to boys in general.
You giggle. “What is it with you and animal crackers?”
“They’re good, okay?”
After the first week of wearing Daniel’s shirts to bed and buying a few Walmart t-shirts, you miss your own wardrobe. Especially that one cute sweater that you bought a couple weeks before coming. You really miss that.
“I can take you shopping, if you want,” Zach offers one day, making the funny feeling come back. “I mean, if you want. I have a license so…”
“I would love to, but I’m broke.” You sigh.
He shrugs. “So? I’ve got money.”
You look at him. “Oh, no, I couldn’t let you pay for me.”
He shrugs again. “It can’t be that bad. I mean, we’ve gone with Christina shopping once and that was fine.”
For a split second, you consider the offer. This feels like one of those things in that Episode app you used to have where you had to pay for a certain choice, only you had enough gems and you weren’t sure.
“Just go,” Daniel says from where he is playing FIFA. “Let someone treat you to something for once, Y/N.”
“But you’re already letting me stay here until I can-”
“Nope, c'mon.” Daniel grabs your hand and drags you off the couch, giving his remote to Corbyn. “You’re going with Zach. He’s being kind, since that’s all he knows how to do.”
You sigh and walk with Daniel to the door, him letting go of your hand. He looks at you. “Buy whatever you want and do not feel guilty. For sixteen, Zach has more money than he knows what to do with.”
“It’s true,” Zach says as he joins the two of you.
“Now go! I want you back home with mounds of clothes!” Daniel pushes the two of you out the door after subtly winking at Zach, which you don’t catch.
As yo two walk to Zach’s car, Daniel heads back to the living room with a sly smirk.
“I don’t like that look,” Jack says as they take a break from FIFA.
Daniel just smiles. “It’s going to work; I know it. Zach can finally get his mind off of that girl, whoever she was, and Y/N can take a risk once in a while.”
“You’re saying Zach’s a risk?” Jonah asks with a grin.
Daniels scoffs. “No way. That kid’s got chivalry and kindness down. To her, everything’s a risk because she’s underage and going to college.”
“I still don’t get that,” Corbyn says. “I mean, how can someone possibly be that smart?”
Daniel shrugs as he grabs a box of animal crackers.
“Probably because she never ate any animal crackers,” Jack comments.
As the boys talk about you two, the two of you are actually heading into Rue 21. You had told Zach just to go to Target or Walmart or somewhere cheap, but he refused. When you finally gave up and told him the stores you usually shopped at like he asked, he drove to the mall and now here you are.
“Get whatever you want,” he tells you with a small smile. “I don’t care.”
You sigh, having given up, and he follows you to the section of the store with the t-shirts and hoodies and such. You find a cute shirt with a finger gun on it going ‘pew-pew’, and soon you find an adorable pug sweater. As you try everything on and find more, Zach just sticks with you, telling you, honestly, what he thinks. Of course, it’s not blunt honesty but soft honesty, as you like to call it. For example, when you picked out a horrible-looking dress, he tells you that it doesn’t compliment your skin tone like 'x’ dress. You appreciate his input, and, eventually, after about six shops and too many bags, the two of you head to the food court.
“Thanks again, Zach,” you tell him as he also pays for your Panda Express, which you argued about for a small amount of time. You should really learn.
He smiles. “No problem. I even got this sweater, so it’s cool. It’ll help with the upcoming shoot we’re doing.”
You nod and go to grab your plate, but he has it already and heads to a table. You follow suit, thankful for him since your hands are practically full.
As you eat, you can’t help but get that funny feeling in your stomach. Nobody at your school had ever been this nice to you; you were always viewed as the crazy nerd that wanted to graduate early. They treated you as if they’d catch a virus from you. It was awful.
“Something wrong?” Zach asks, and you look up from your plate, surprised.
“No,” you lie. “Why-Why do you ask?”
He shrugs. “You just looked really sad for a second.”
The same thing came up as before where you felt like you were in that stupid Episode game. You debate whether or not to tell Zach. You mean, it seems like you can trust him. He’s sweet, he’s nice, he’s nice looking-
'Woah, Y/N,’ you tell yourself. 'Hold your horses. He doesn’t see you like that.’
“I just…no one’s ever been this nice to me, other than Daniel,” you tell him shyly. “All the kids at my school thought I was a freak.”
He frowns. “Why? Just because you’re smarter than them?”
He scoffs. “Kids do a lot of rude stuff, especially when it comes down to someone being better at something than them. Just because you are smarter than them - which I know because you’re wayyy smarter than me - they wouldn’t accept you. That’s just stupid. Don’t dwell on that, Y/N, they’re not good enough for you.”
You look up. “You really mean that?”
He twirls chow mien around his chopsticks. “I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it.”
That day, the funny feeling grows.
Over the next week or so, you and Zach hang around each other more. Daniel gives you odd looks when Zach sits next to you willingly or offers to get you something when he goes somewhere. As you sit on the edge of the pool one day while Zach’s in it playing around with Jonah and Corbyn, Daniel comes and sits next to you, swinging his legs in the water like you are.
“So…” Daniel says. “How do you like L.A.?”
You shrug. “I like it. A lot. You guys are most of that, though.”
Daniel laughs. “Yeah, we are pretty awesome.”
You roll your eyes and wave back to Zach, who waved at you a few minutes before.
“What’s going on with you and Zach?” Daniel asks.
You blush a little, though you try to hide it. “I don’t really know…we’re just friends, I guess.”
Daniel looks at you. “Do you like him?” He wiggles his eyebrows.
You laugh and push him, but he catches himself. “I don’t know, actually.”
Daniel’s whole face lights up. “I think he likes you, Y/N. You should make a move.”
You look at him like he’s crazy. “No! I can barely hear his name and not blush!”
Of course, you two are whispering. As you continue your short conversation, Jonah and Corbyn get out of the pool while Jack gets up from the chair he was drying off in. You push Daniel in after he wiggles his eyebrows again, laughing as you do so.
“Hey!” He resurfaces. “What’s up with that??”
You giggle. “Stop being an idiot and I would’ve have pushed you in, ya dork.”
You continue laughing, though you don’t notice Zach come up behind you, dripping wet. He counts to three silently and Daniel winks on three.
“What was the wink fo-” you scream as you fall into the water, and Zach plummets next to you.
You push yourself up and gasp for air, brushing your hair off of your face. “What was that for?”
Everyone else has left, leaving the two of you alone as Zach smiles.
“You were so boring, just sitting there,” he says. “So I decided to have some fun and make you un-boring.”
You roll your eyes. “Gee, thanks, Zach. Good to know how boring I am.”
He laughs. “You’re welcome, Y/N.”
The both of you are silent for a moment, and Zach rubs his neck as you two float there.
“Hey, uh, Y/N?” Zach asks.
You look at him. “Yeah?”
“I, uh, can I say something?” He asks.
“Unless you’ve suddenly turned mute, which, according to the laws of science and the human body and brain, is very unlikely, then I would say yes, yes you can,” you ramble, which he just laughs at.
You blush as Zach just calms down before sighing.
“Look, I’ve really enjoyed spending the past week or two with you, and I just…I was wondering, you see-”
“Yes.” You cover your mouth as Zach just bursts into laughter again, causing you to blush crimson.
“Okay, how about at seven tonight?” He asks you.
You just nod, your hands still covering your mouth as he ducks his head under the water and disappears.
The end!! Hope you enjoyed! trying to get my writer’s block gone so I can work on a request for @ashleyswriting!