Labels - Jeff Atkins
HAPPY FRIDAY SURPRISE! This is one of my original writings, unrequested, just me. You may also notice it’s a 13 Reasons Why character……That’s because, when I open my request box…
13 Reasons Why character requests will be taken!(once I open my requests again)
The reader is kind of an outcast so fair warning : much self-loathing and dramatic loneliness. Gender neutral reader as well.
The music seemed to echo through the crowded house as you pushed your way through the crowd. You decided, on a whim really, that you should at least attend one party during your High School career. It didn’t help that everyone of your friends was begging you to tag along. It was really just one friend, one of the few one you had made at Liberty High.
“L/N!” You turned your head and smiled at Jeff, who was walking into the kitchen when he saw you. His bright eyes were wide with excitement and the high of social interaction. His extroverted lifestyle made your friendship even more outlandish. You were awkward, shy, and above all else, totally unworthy of Jeff’s attention. Let alone his friendship. As pointed out by almost everyone at school, you were odd to say the least. When people saw you and Jeff exchange, they’d stare at you for minutes after; as if trying to reason through what they saw.
“Atkins,” you shouted back, trying to sound as enthused as he had. His blue-green eyes flickered from your eyes to your apparel, making you slightly self-conscious. As he walked closer to you, you felt your heartbeat start to increase.
“You look great, Y/N,” he whispered in your ear, “really good.” Your cheek enflamed at his words and you were left with no idea how to respond. The effect he had on you was overwhelming at times, but you down played it with joking in return. Though sometimes, like this moment for instance, it was hard to dish it out. He pulled away from you, just enough to met your gaze while still remaining close to you.
“T-Thanks, Jeff,” you stuttered out. He grinned at you brightly, his deep dimples showing on his slender cheeks. With his familiar smile, a sense of ease washed over you. You were no longer at a noisy party, you were just with Jeff in that moment.
“I’m glad I was able to convince you to come,” he said over the loud music. “I was worried you weren’t going to show.” Now it was your turn to grin.
“How could I say no to Jeff Atkins?” A light pink blush rose to his face, bringing out the color of his eyes even more. You were gaining your edge back. Your relationship with Jeff always consisted of teasing flirtations and jokes, and trying to help out Clay. The two boys became your closest friends at school, despite the shock of Jeff’s teammates. You often found yourself thinking about how strange it was to be, someone like you, but be so close to someone like Jeff.
You didn’t have a set label at school, despite the gossip you’d pick up on sometimes. People would try to figure you out; maybe you were gay and felt isolated? Perhaps they’re an outcast? Or the emo loner? These titles would loom over your head like rain clouds at school. It didn’t help that you hardly spoke up in class, or spoke to anyone at all. Hanging out in the library with Clay was your only social outlet. Later on, through Clay’s tutoring of him, you met Jeff. Jeff didn’t care about the things whispered by the others, he saw you as you; unique.
A warm hand on your fore arm shook you from your thoughts of darker days turned bright. You looked up at met Jeff’s eyes once more. His face was full of concern.
“You alright? You spaced out a little.” You nodded quickly, breaking the eye contact between the two of you.
“I’m fine,” you said trying to play it off. Jeff was having none of it, he knew you too well. He leaned closer to you, making you meet his eyes again.
“What’s wrong?” You placed a careful hand on his broad chest and pushed him away a little. He looked at your hand and back to you face, still waiting for a real answer.
“Really, I’m fine, Jeff. Go off with your friends and play beer pong or whatever cliche high school party game of choice.” A soft smile crept onto both of your faces at your sarcasm, but Jeff’s faded soon after it’s appearance.
“You’re my friend too,” he whispered. You just shook your head and gave him a shy smile.
“Go have fun,” you said brightly, “I’ll be fine.” Jeff gave you a hesitant look until your pushed a little ways away. You let out a small chuckle.
“Go,” you said once more. He smiled and let out a sigh.
“You leave me with no choice,” he said walking backwards towards the living room. “But I will come back for you!” With that, Jeff disappeared into the crowd behind him. You watched until you could no longer see his brown hair above the crowd. You turned back to the counter full of food before you. More people were starting to file into the kitchen so you quickly grabbed a cup of some drink and left. As you walked out, your ran into the one and only Bryce Walker.
“Y/N, who pegged you as a party person?” You swallowed hard as his question. You knew better than to become friendly with Bryce. Anyone who did tended to fall head-first into trouble.
“Yeah, Jeff wanted me to come,” you tried to push past him as you answered his question. He was quick as he blocked your way with one of his arms.
“How do you and Jeff know each other again? It just seems like an unlikely pairing, the two of you?” You raised your eyebrows at him and tried to escape him once more; to no avail.
“We met through a mutual friend,” you hissed, but Bryce didn’t take the hint.
“How does someone like you keep Jeff Atkins around?” He grew closer to you as he spoke. “You’re just…and he’s the star-member of the baseball team. You must do favors, right? Would you mind doing one for me?” You tensed as he grew closer, his almost predatory eyes watching you like a hawk. The couple that had been standing behind you moved, freeing up space so you could back away from Bryce. You turned away from him and darted out of the kitchen the other way. Tears were forming in your eyes as you rounded the corner into the living room. When you glanced up, your eyes met with Jeff’s. The smile on his face faded when he saw you and he walked away from his conversation with Sheri. He headed towards you, his eyebrows furrowed.
“Y/N, what happened?” His hands went to your upper arms, but you shook them free. Jeff watched worriedly as you struggled to find the right words.
“I’m leaving Jeff. I’ll see you around.” You pushed past him, despite his protests, and out of the door. The outside air was cold against your skin, but you needed to go home. Get away from everything; but Bryce’s words echoed in your skull like the music through the house. Why would Jeff want to hang out with you? The favors Bryce referenced never happened, but to be around someone like you without such ‘favors’ must be horrendous.
You shook your head at the thought, trying to focus on walking home. You watched as your shoes hit the sidewalk over and over again; not even hearing the car driving alongside the path. When you did hear it, you didn’t look up, just ignored it. Until the driver spoke up.
“Y/N! Please get in the car,” Jeff shouted, “it’s cold.” You looked over and met his eyes. His face was filled with concern and you wondered why he even looked at you at all. You looked back down at your feet and continued walking. The car stopped, causing you to look up as Jeff opened the door. He ran towards you, catching up to you in a matter of seconds. His hands grabbed your shoulders, stopping your walk. You turned to face him and his gaze softened when he noticed the tears.
“Y/N,” his voice was quiet when he addressed you now. Instead of waiting for an explanation, Jeff just pulled you to him and wrapped his arms over your shoulders. Your arms hung loosely at your sides, until you felt the need for affection. Your arms snaked around Jeff’s waist, trying to hold him as tightly as he was holding you.
“You’re too good for me,” you choked out through tears. Jeff remained quiet, waiting for you to tell him more.
“I’m so unlikeable, I’m not even close to how friendly you are. People stare at me, wondering how a loser like me can be friends with someone like you. They just stare, judging and it’s just…” You trailed off, burying your face into Jeff’s chest.
“Are you nuts? You’re too good for me,” he whispered and you pulled away from him. “You’re beyond any label anyone could put on you and that’s amazing. People see me, they think ‘jock’ but when they stare at you,” his hand traveled up to your cheek.
“They see someone so complex they don’t even know what to say. Now that’s amazing.” His thumb traced over your cheekbone as he stared into your eyes. “I love that about you.”
Jeff’s eyes glanced from your eyes to your lips, as if thinking about the impossible. Your feelings rushed towards the surface, feelings you didn’t even realized you had. You stepped closer to him, hands resting on his chest softly.
“You gonna push me away again?” His voice carried a soft, teasing tone to it when he spoke. You smiled up at him shyly, your whole body fluttering with anticipation.
“No,” you whispered as your heart sped up in your chest. His hand still caressed your cheek, while his other moved to your waist to pull you closer. It felt like it was all happening in slow motion. The noise of the party drowned out as you became immersed in the feeling of Jeff’s lips on yours. The loathing thoughts in your head melted away, leaving you with a warmth you felt only with him. His hands pulled you closer, closing any gap between the two of you. Your hands curled in the soft material of his shirt, causing a grin to spread on his pink lips.
“Ya know what the shirt is made of?” Jeff asked as he pulled his lips away from yours. You caught your breath and hummed when you felt his lips land on your cheek. He kissed his way all over your face until your finally replied.
“I don’t know, what is it made of?” Jeff pulled away, a smug grin on his lips.
“Boyfriend material.” You stared at him for a long moment until finally giving into the laughter. You slumped your head against his shoulder, trying to stop your fit of giggles. If anyone could turn a horrible night around, it had to be Jeff.
“That was a really dumb, well timed joke, Atkins.” You lifted your head and met his eyes, which held pure amusement within them.
“If it made you smile it was far from dumb.” You felt a blush rise to your cheeks and smiled at Jeff.
“Now what do you say we get out of the cold and away from the prying eyes of half the student body?” You nodded at his offer, causing yet another grin to spread across his lips. He let go of your briefly, only to wrap a strong arm over your shoulders to lead you to his car.
“So where to?” You smiled and shrugged; for it didn’t matter where you went. As long as your were with Jeff, nothing seemed to matter at all. Not even a label.