Runaway Snake Part 2
She wasn’t scared, not even a little. Betty Cooper had spent her entire life being terrified and she was damn tired of the constant tightness in her chest, a bar filled with rough looking men in leather jackets wasn’t going to send her cowering, not now and not ever. Plus, she had new clothes, clean hair and a stomach filled with fresh fruit someone had left for her while she was in the shower, It had been so long since shed eaten anything that wasn’t from a can or a paper bag the shiny green apple almost tasted bitter against her tongue, if she wasn’t ready for whatever came her way right now, well then she never would be.
She saw him first, something drawing her to the knitted grey beanie shaped like a crown, the glaring snake on his back and the tuft of jet black hair sticking out from underneath the high collar of his leather jacket. Bettys feet were carrying her towards the boy on their own accord, a determined swish in her hips as she stepped through groups of confused teenage girls and impressed older men.
He turned around so suddenly the intensity of the boys grey blue eyes had her stumbling slightly, he was handsome there was no denying that, from his wavy black hair to the spattering of birth marks dancing across his cheeks and chin. He looked dangerous, the kind of boy Betty had read about in the teen magazines they kept stocked in the bus station waiting area, he was nothing like the boys who wanted to take her out in Tallahassee, all dirty hands and leering eyes . Despite his positively James dean stature there was something else about him, so glaringly familiar.
She was in front of him now, her hands dipping into the pockets of her skirt, he was staring at her, eyes wide and alert and maybe.. did he almost look nervous? No, it was a stupid question, Betty Cooper was not the kind of girl boys get nervous over, that territory was reserved for the girl watching them in the corner with the purple hair and see through top.
“ Hi.” she smiled “ I’m looking for Fp Jones? he told me to meet him here?”
The boy in front of her seemed to be taken aback before his shoulders relaxed and the hint of a smile graced his features
“Join the club.” he mumbled.
“Excuse me?” Betty shouted over the rumble of the crowd, leaning in closer
he grinned “I said Join the club, I’m constantly looking for my dad. it doesn’t get any easier, I’m Jughead Jones. The Fp you’re looking for is my dad and unfortunately once he disappears behind the bar he’s gone for good.” Jughead shrugged apologetically, sticking his hand out for her to shake. Betty gripped it gratefully
“Its nice to meet you Jughead Jones, I’m Betty Cooper.”
A bottle smashed loudly to her right, she whipped around nearly falling over when she came face to face with a boy about her age, black hair similar to Jugheads, his eyes however didn’t hold the same warmth, his held something much darker.
“And who do we have here?” he grinned, a sickeningly sinister smile. “Names Sweetpea, you can call me yours for the night though”
Betty knew men like this boy, the ignorance dripped off of him in buckets and his cocky ego was easy to spot miles away. shed grown up around these type of men and she knew very well just what they were capable of.
“I’m Betty Cooper and I think..” Betty bent down, picking up the bottom of the shattered beer bottle and placing it back in his hand “ You dropped this, you might want to be careful, someone could get really hurt with all that glass. slip, fall ,get brain damage, surely you can be sympathetic to that right? being a victim of brain damage yourself.” her eyes were trained on his and she vaguely registered the deep chuckle coming from behind her, It seemed to take Sweetpea by surprise as well as the rest of the Serpents as they watched the boy behind her cross his arms, a satisfied smile on his face, they weren’t afraid of Sweetpea they were afraid of.. Jughead?
“You oughta watch your mouth Sweetheart, you’re new here and you don’t know who you’re talking to.” he bit out through gritted teeth.
Betty didn’t back down she only stepped closer
“ ah I see, short term memory, another symptom of the brain damage. I happen to know exactly who I’m talking to, I believe you said your name is Sweetpea?”
The angry Serpent growled taking a step towards her before a familiar Booming voice spoke from behind her “Take one more step, I dare you.”
The bar went silent , everyone shocked at their leaders outburst, Sweetpea stopped mid step, his eyebrows scrunching in confusion.
Jughead cut him off “you don’t touch her, clearly she can take care of herself but I have no problem making sure she doesn’t have to. you don’t come near her unless she wants you too and that’s an order.” there was no room for argument and Sweetpea didn’t have a chance to start one before he was being pulled outside by a senior Serpent, a leaders order is law it was the number one rule of the Serpents.
“Take a walk with me.” Jughead mumbled low in her ear as his hand found its space on the small of her back gently pushing her out the doors of the Smokey bar.
He really had no idea what had gotten into him , why he snapped like that, pulled rank, all he knew was that he didn’t regret it, he’d do it allover again if it meant getting Sweetpeas eyes off of her.
“I’m sorry about that ..in there.. I didn’t mean to.. get all caveman..”
The tiny blonde to his right giggled
“don’t apologize, no ones ever stood up for me before. Thank you for that. he’s just another jerk, nothing I cant handle.” she smiled up at him
“We’re not all like that Just so you know, the Southside has been fighting a battle we’re destined to lose for as long as I can remember , some people rise to the challenge and others.. well they turn into Sweetpea.” Jughead rolled his eyes, a tired smile on his lips.
Betty nodded, her eyes finding his, so full of understanding it made his heart stutter.
“I know a little about fighting the fight.” She whispered.
He didn’t know her, didn’t know her favorite color, her middle name, how she took her coffee, he didn’t know her but .. maybe he did. He didn’t know everything, or really anything but he did know that she smelt like vanilla and apples, he knew that she was strong and fiery and that her hair was almost gold under the broken street lights in his small part of town. Betty broke the silence
“your town has two sides? We’re on the south right? How is the North?” she questioned, her shoulders shivering slightly.
Jugheads jacket was off and around her shoulders in seconds flat, the heavy leather swallowing her tiny frame as she looked up with grateful deep green eyes.
“The north is…different, its quiet. My best friend and his girl live on the Northside, its not so bad. The Northside.. they don’t really except people like us, its been like that forever but they don’t bother us as long as we both stick to our sides.” He told stories of his childhood best friend Archie and his crazy rich girlfriend, by the time they arrived at Bettys trailer both of the teens cheeks were sore from smiling.
Betty giggled, resting her back against the trailer door, her hands moving to remove the jacket on her shoulders
“Keep it, I’ll get it tomorrow when I take you to breakfast” Jughead blushed “ if that’s okay with you.”
she smiled at him, stepping forward and pressing a kiss to his cheek
“Breakfast sounds great. I’ll see you tomorrow.” and then she was gone, disappearing through the trailer door.
He stood there for a few minutes staring at the door, a grin splitting his cheeks, he hadn’t smiled this much for as long as he could remember and damn it felt good.
“She’s something else isn’t she?”
Jughead turned around quickly, his eyes widening
Fp Jones stood before him, a smirk gracing his features and an expectant look in his eyes.