Zach Dempsey (requested)
Anon asked if I could write an imagine where the reader was once close to Zach before high school but they drifted apart then reader stumbles upon that one scene where they are drinking near the liquor store and she knows it’s not like him and he says it is because he misses her
Okay so idk if this was supposed to be platonic or romantic, but i was thinking it sounded more platonic than anything so… yeah AND ALSO YAY FOR MY FIRST ZACH
At first you were okay with it, the drifting apart. You two had been fighting over petty things and losing interests in certain things you shared. You two were maturing, becoming adults. While he became a jock and went out to parties and games, you were going to college ready classes and going on blind dates your parents had set up. You got a new group of friends and so did he. It was simple. But then you started to miss him, a nostalgia that needed three years to grow it’s biggest and harshest, a need for Zach to be with you once more. Because once upon a time Zach Dempsey did not care what people thought, and once upon a time, you loved him and he loved you. You were like Ying and Yang, the symbol without a bit of each of the other’s color was Ying Yang. Not Ying and Yang. Now you were just Ying.
So High School was hard, it had always been that way. It became even harder when your newest friend Hannah took her own life. Even harder when Clay became distant because of it. Then you needed Zach more than ever; a simple hand holding yours in reassurance, a pat on the back… even a smile. Instead it was hushed whispers, ignorance, and condolences. They didn’t realize their somber looks helped nothing – they were nothing. The worst part was you or Hannah’s parents never got a note… or a goodbye. It was just done, like one day your relationship with Zach was. Now all that existed was memories and broken hearts. Just the two.
So you found yourself reliving both every single day. A trip to the local liquor store, a chocolate bar, and a bottle of stolen vodka–sample size of course. Every day that’s where the memories sprung that slowly led to a good day’s heartbreak. Maybe if you had still been friends with Zach things would have been different. Maybe you would not have met Hannah– maybe it wouldn’t hurt as much. But you couldn’t ever say that out loud, because Hannah was the best person you knew. So losing her in any parallel universe would have stung like a bitch.
it was an exercise in futility. You knew that the same clerk would be there, with the same expression on his face playing the same game. You knew he would charge you the same amount for the same candy bar and give you the same cheeky grin.
So maybe this time it was different. Maybe you just needed a little change. So instead of coming and going, you stood for a while, contemplating the decisions before you. There were so many candies, liquors, and cigarettes. So you grabbed one of each. When the bell above the door jangled you paid no mind, just grabbed your different candy bar before going to the liquor aisle.
“Well, well, well.” You heard a voice behind you.
You didn’t turn. You didn’t need to. That voice was the one that near everyone hated around school but would never say it. Bryce Walker, the high schooler who looked more like a soccer dad than any soccer dad ever. The forty looking one. It wasn’t the time and you weren’t in the mood, so you grabbed the handle of the fridge and yanked it open, going in to grab the bottle you wanted.
“Rum? Bad, L/N. Never thought you were one for drinking.” Bryce asked, suddenly behind you and very, very close. You shuddered and turned to glare at him, pushing his chest roughly.
“Fuck off, Walker. Fucking grandpa looking ass.” You stormed to the cash register before he could react, ordering the clerk to get a pack of cigarettes for you as well. “Here, I’m going to use the bathroom, hold my stuff for me.”
The clerk nodded with boredom before handing you the black key. You stormed passed Bryce once more and he just stared at you as you passed, winking before you were out of sight. You made a face of disgust.
As you looked in the mirror you stared at the blue rings under your eyes, the nights of countless sleep. The nights that you wished your best friend Zach was holding your hand while he slept on the floor, the nights that you texted Hannah ‘til four. And under those bags were something deeper, because yes, you missed Hannah but you had been wrecked before she had found you. Before her death you were the same. It seemed the people kept leaving you; there was something about that that was ironic to you. The day Hannah died you had gone to the movies without her, the day you lost Zach you had told him you did not care. It seemed that you were pushing people away.
When you were done in the bathroom Bryce was gone and you sighed with relief, going back to the clerk and handing him your money. As he counted your change you looked out the glass door to see Clay Jensen riding after Tony Padilla’s car on his bike. There was another friend who had distanced himself.
It was almost serene when you exited the store, your expression placid and your bag full of shit you were going to do the first time alone and your wallet lighter. Almost. In this part of town it was quiet or way too fucking loud, and this time it was quiet… but then it wasn’t quite. There was yelling, whooping, and booing. The three things teenage boys did on a daily for every single reason they could conjure up. This teenage yelling though – it was familiar. It was the yelling you heard at any of Liberty High’s sports games, the yelling heard in the halls, the yelling that made you so angry you could cry. The yelling of the people who had torn you apart from the thing you needed the most.
“Standall, I cant believe it! Jensen demolished you! What the fuck!” That was Justin Foley.
“Fuck you, Justin. I’m not in the mood.” Alex Standall, someone who had broken Hannah’s heart.
“Give me the bottle, Alex. I’ll finish it for you.” That was the voice. The voice of a person who once loved you and you still loved. The person who was the missing piece of your life as of late. Zach Dempsey.
During your freshman year when the blow of the separation was still a raw, open wound you had cornered Zach why he was acting the way he had been – ignoring you, playing mean games with other people. He had just rolled his eyes, “People change, Y/N. Maybe you should too.”. Maybe that blow had hurt worse than the time that he had stolen your smelly markers in the sixth grade and then denied the whole thing. Maybe that’s what made you a mess.
But he could have told you that a million times on repeat, and you still would not believe him. People can change, but they could also just simply hide who they are. Underneath that cracked asphalt of a facade is the truth bleeding out like a nice, golden sunlight. This was not the Zach Dempsey that glowed like a rich, gold coin. This was the Zach that did what his friends did because he was scared that if he did anything else something would happen. His would be replaced, he would be made fun of, or his worst fear: he would lose all of his friends and just be ignored. Old Zach would never drink in broad daylight where any cop could catch him – underage and intoxicated.
So you rounded the corner with you plastic bag swinging and faced the group you knew was there. They were all leaning against someone’s car coolly drinking from two bottles and laughing their woes away. Zach was sitting on the hood, his black hair sticking in all directions and his eyes squinted as he chugged the rest of the malt liquor.
“Zach.” You said loudly, standing in the middle of the alley opening. All eyes turned to you as Zach nearly choked on the liquid, his eyes going wide as he swallowed the drink carefully before looking at you. He winced before throwing the bottle to Justin. He caught it and downed the rest.
“Oh, uh, Y/N…hi.”
“Get in my car, Dempsey.” You sighed, pointing to your car across the street.
The other guys whooped and hollered, yelling out things you ignored as you stood there, swinging your bag around.
“Y/N, I don’t think-” Zach started, taking a step forward, before Bryce stopped him.
“Go, Zach. We’ll meet you at my house.” Bryce stared you down as your eyes flickered towards him – a dark, unreadable expression on his face.
You turned without another word and walked to your car, knowing that Zach was following obediently. You threw your things in the back seat before sitting in the drivers side, waiting patiently while Zach took his time.
It had been so long since you had spoken to Zach, so many years, but you knew what was right to say. When he was buckled up you stuck the keys in and turned the car on. “Alright listen, Zach. I know you. Say what you want, deny it, but I know you and your family. I know that the Zach that I used to hang out with – the Zach I still see in the hallways sometimes would never do something like this. How would your sister react if you all got caught? Your mother? It’s still light out, Zach. You’re not like this… and I care about you too much to see you do this. Especially with people like Bryce.”
You sighed after your mini rant and started to drive, not giving him much of a choice in the matter. You weren’t driving to your house or to his – you were driving to Monet’s to get his system clean. He was sitting in silence, thinking your words over.
“Y/N…” He said, unsure of what to say.
“And I know we drifted apart, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss or care about you, Zach. The loss of Hannah just made it even harder to cope without you by my side. Clay Jensen has been too out of it lately. I just need someone, and if you need someone I’ll put you before me. Because I care about you more than I care about myself.”
You stopped at a stop light and looked to see that Zach was wiping at his eyes, before sniffling strongly and shaking his head. “Y/N, there is a reason that I was doing what I was doing. I miss you too. I only do these things to fill the hole in my heart that you vacated quite a while ago. I miss you so much, you were my best friend.”
You turned to Zach and placed your hand over his on his thigh before squeezing it reassuringly. He gave you a teary smile as you pulled into Monet’s.
“Can we go back to where we were? I just really need someone. Preferably you.” You asked him softly, looking away slightly.
There was rustling before he put his arms around you. “I was really hoping you would suggest it.”
this made me emotional
pls gimme the thing called love