shit, so i’ve been in love with thirteen reasons why recently. it’s got me hooked. zach dempsey has been one of my crushes on the show, so here’s one based on this prompt. i’d love taking suggestions! ring me up if you have any ideas- or, better yet, drop by my ask if you want me to make any more for you.
prompt: “i like you a lot, so i tried getting you jealous,” ft. zachary dempsey
“Ah shit, Y/N,” Jess Davis groans as she wiggles into the tight row of cushioned chairs, trying to make her way to the middle of the line next to you. You giggle as the popcorn spills all around her clenched hand and into the laps of everyone nearby. There are whimpers of “Sorry, sorry!” and grunts before she finally lands into the cushioned chair next to you and sighs. “Ah Jesus, I didn’t know that would be so hard.”
"Maybe you should lay off the gummy worms,” You put in, and laugh as she glares at you and hits your arm. Your hand digs in the popcorn and you stuff a handful into your mouth, the satisfying crunch as you chew making you moan. Ah, popcorn. Jess rips open a pack of the gummies and snorts at you. “Maybe save those noises for Dempsey, hon.”
You choke on a kernel as she purses her lips trying not to laugh, her eyes steadying on the previews onscreen. A few snickers make it out either way, and you scowl at her and stuff more handfuls in your mouth.
Zach Dempsey and you, to put it lightly, were not friends. It was difficult to push you into a room together and not expect a night of sour jabs and endless bickering. Everyone at school knew it, and it was something that happened way before you were even freshmen. There was never a time you weren’t at each other’s throats. One time, he’d spilled liquor down the front of your dress at some party and you’d hidden his pants in a bush while he was in the hot tub later that night. Lately it’d been more of a joke between your friends, with Jessica mockingly swooning how romantic you two would be.
The lights start to dim and you wiggle back into your seat, ready for some good old romcom- and then the Paramount clip cuts into black for a moment, making you groan and try to dodge whoever was blocking your view. You crane your entire body and glare daggers at the idiot who interrupted your film before it even started. You loved your movies, and you were pretty serious about getting the “full movie theatre experience” (which Jess liked to mock). Please, you were paying a good four dollars for a movie you could watch for free online. Your eyes rise up to the back of his head, taking in a mess of straight black hair, broad shoulders and the school’s infamous Letterman jacket hanging on them. You memorized the back of that head. You knew those shoulders.
It was Zach Dempsey. With him were Jason Friar and Justin Foley, all wearing their Lettermans. You felt Jess shift in her seat at the sight of them. Wrapped in Zach’s arm was a smaller girl, snuggled into his shirt and playing with his fingers around her neck. They scooched into the seats almost directly in front of you, with the girl turning her head suddenly and getting the tips of her ponytail in Zach’s mouth. He swats it away, annoyed, but smiles instantly when she turns her head to look at him.
“Oh no,” You moan, making Jess snicker at you. You don’t miss the way her eyes flicker to Foley and turn away. “Just what I needed.”
"Who’s the girl?” Jess wonders, squinting. “Not a cheerleader. That’s Jenny, I think. Or her friend Bryana. I can’t be sure. We have Com with them.”
"Ugh, who cares,” You roll your eyes and try to turn to the movie. As long as they don’t ruin your film. This was some good stuff showing- if you focused enough, maybe you could ignore them. Jess shrugs and follows suit. You take a sip of your cherry cola as Martin Freeman jogs up into the scene.
The movie drifts by, but you find that you don’t enjoy it as much as you would have. Your eyes keep landing on the back of Dempsey’s head- and as much as you hated it, his arm around the girl’s. Your popcorn started tasting sour. You focus on some surfer guy’s abs an hour in but your mind keeps drifting somewhere else. Suddenly, before you can even blink, Zach cranes his neck slowly and looks directly at you, as if he knew you were there the entire time. He catches you looking and his cheeks tinge pink as he whips back around. Jess snickers. “That’s like, the fourth time he’s done that.”
"What?” You blink. Wouldn’t you have noticed? Jess takes a slurp of her drink. “Yeah, didn’t you notice? I mean, he’s had like two bathroom breaks. Both times he’d looked right at you before he took his seat.”
You decide not to say anything and reach out for a gummy worm. You keep watch, but Zach never craned his head again.
The movie ends before you know it, and Jess is a mess. You can’t stop laughing at her state, and after a while she laughs with you and dabs at her tears with paper napkins, but her mascara’s everywhere. “Shit, Y/N, why aren’t you crying with me?” She scowls, and starts hicupping. You try to hide your smile. You find it best not to tell her that you were staring at other things than the movie.
The lights flick back on and the people file out. You grab your empty popcorn buckets and leave, but not before Jess excuses herself to the comfort room to freshen up. You drop the buckets in the trash can near the snacks counter in the lobby and wait for her, waving a hand at Hannah Baker, who was filling up drinks at the soda fountain. Your hand travels to your back pocket and realize your phone is missing, so you run back into the cinema’s swinging doors hoping not to find it lodged in between seats with a wad of chewed up gum.
You find something even more tramautizing. Sitting on Zach Dempsey’s lap was his date, clutching his face with her pale hands and making out with him. He’s fidgeting in his seat, but trying to keep still. You note that his hands are on the cup holders and not on her waist. Your face screws up and you groan in disgust, picking your phone up from floor. “Christ, Dempsey, get a room.”
Zach’s eyes widen and he scrambles up, pushing the girl out of his lap. “Yeah? Well, this was an empty room ‘til you showed up, Y/N.”
You snort, tucking your phone into your back pocket. “You’re a pig, Dempsey.” There are mumbles of "Ooh”’s from Foley as you stalk back to the entrance, where Jess was waiting for you, ready for some milkshakes at Rosie’s. You loop your arm in hers, failing to hear the “Shit, man,” and swears from inside the theatre.
You head into school next Monday with a great start, munching on your bagel as you make it to your locker. You’re wearing an oversized hoodie and high waisted jeans, but it doesn’t stop the jocks from whistling when you pass by. You roll your eyes at them and chew on your bagel as you turn the corner. High school boys were too immature. No wonder you never found the want to date one.
Passing by you in the hallway was Zach Dempsey, crowded with his band of loud friends who are laughing and pushing each other. You meet his eye and he stops, slinging his backpack over his shoulder. You roll your eyes and look away, and you can almost hear him sigh in defeat. Someone slaps him on the shoulder and whistles as you walk by. “Daaamn, Dempsey, you gotta let us share.” You don’t see him shove the guy and stalk off.
The first half of the day passes by like a breeze. By the time fourth period ends, you barely feel like the day has started. You head out for the cafeteria, stacking all your books in your arms and making it through the door, but it wasn’t long before you could hear footsteps running after you. “Hey, wait up, Y/N!”
You turn around and groan, continuing to walk. “Dempsey.” You try not to glance as he jogs up next to you and ruffles his hair, staring at you with this half grin of his you didn’t want to admit you liked.
“Uh, hey.” “Something you need?”
“No, uh, actually, I wanted to talk to you.” He looks at you sheepishly.
“Um, you look nice today,” He offers, biting his cheek. You stop, staring at him in disgust. “What?” He trails. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding with me.” You shake your head in disbelief and keep walking.
“What’s wrong?” He keeps up. “Seriously, Dempsey, are you hitting on me now?” “And why would that be so terrible?”
“Geez, Dempsey, what is wrong with you?” You deadpan. “You are such an ass, you know that? Do you always treat girls like shit?” You gape at his blank face. “Jenny. From last Saturday. You think it’s OK to throw girls around like that?”
“What? No! I- uh, Jenny and I aren’t serious, if that’s what you’re thinking.” He winces, scratching his neck.
“Yeah, right. Of course not.”
“Look, can I take you out this weekend? To Rosie’s maybe? I’ve wanted to maybe get to be with you out of school. We could go to the movies?” You’re at the cafeteria doors now, but Zach shuts them with his left arm, blocking the way in front of you. You snort. “You can’t be serious.” You watch as his face falls and his mouth twitches.
“What’s so bad about going out with me?”
“God, you are such a jerk, Zach!” You groan, throwing your free hand in exasperation. He winces at the sound of his name being used so hatefully- he’s only ever heard you say Dempsey. He tries to forget about all the times he’s dreamed of his name coming out of your mouth, but decides he hates it when you yell it at him. “You think it’s fun, don’t you? Having no respect for girls whatsoever. You get off buttering them up with kisses and flowers and take them to the movies only to ignore them completely a day or two later. Who, in their right mind, would ever want to go out with someone like you?”
“I only ever wanted to go to that fucking movie theatre because I heard you were going to be there!” His voice rises to a shout. It echoed through the halls, and you wince knowing someone would hear. “You think I wanted to watch that stupid chick flick, with all that shit about high heels and prom? Fuck, I never even liked Jen! Why would I when I’ve always wanted someone else?”
His breath was heavy. Suddenly it was hard to swallow. You try to stand your ground, staring at him. “Nice one. You think it’d be easy for me to believe that, what with your list of conquests and a new girl making out on your desk each week? You must be daft, Zach Dempsey.”
He scowls. “I never wanted them. Never. I just- I just thought that maybe if you saw that everyone wanted me, just maybe you would have wanted me too.” His face softens, and he starts fiddling with his fingers. “Okay, I get it. You could never want me. I know, I just thought I could change that somehow. I’m used to getting my way, you know. Girls flock me, throw themselves at me. I’m used to getting everything I want, but then you’re here, in front of me, and fuck, I’ve never wanted to kiss anything more in my life.”
“Okay,” You say softly, before you can stop yourself. He barely hears it, but his ears perk up. “What’d you say?”
“I said okay,” You clear your throat, and bite your lip to keep yourself from smiling as his lips form into a helpless grin. “Saturday night, Rosie’s?” “Fuck yes!” He fistbumps the air, then stops as soon as he realises you’re still in front of him. You giggle and hide your face in your hands as he leans forward without thinking, grabbing you by the waist and lifting you in the air. You couldn’t help your cheeks from turning red. Zach Dempsey was adorable. He really was.
“Okay, I’ll see you in Trig?” He asks, palming his phone in his front pocket. He’d have to tell Foley, he was thinking. Man, his best friend would be so proud. His head was rushing when he swooped in and pressed his lips to your flushed cheek. “I can’t wait.”
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