Just a Kiss Goodnight
So I had a lot of feelings last night about Bughead and then out popped this little thing. I don’t even know, but I know I adore our little Bughead fam
Just A Kiss Goodnight
Read in here on AO3
(MAJOR SPOILERS FOR 1.06! IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED IT FIRST OF ALL WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THE BUGHEAD TAG?! BUT SERIOUSLY GO WATCH THE EP.)
Between the rush of excitement and fear at finding the car with Jason’s jacket, the sinking feeling when they get back to the scene with Sheriff Keller only to see the car has gone up in a blaze of glory, and the absolute desperation at realizing Polly was gone…it is a whirlwind of an evening. When Betty finally walks back to her house, soaking wet, the air still heavy with mist and disappointment, the only thing keeping her steady and on the appropriate course is the unwavering presence of Jughead at her side.
It is only when they turn down the road onto her block that she realizes her
palms are itching. Not in the odd way that precedes one of her panic attacks,
when her fingers dig bloody crescents into the soft skin of her hands, no, this
time, she realizes, they are itching to reach out and grab Jughead’s hand, to
lace their fingers together until they are palm-to-palm.
Betty has never felt this lightly burning desire before. The want to feel somebody close and breathe in their presence. She thinks back to earlier, her room, that kiss, and it takes every ounce of strength to not let a whispy sigh slip out of her mouth.
They haven’t talked about it. Honestly they haven’t had the time in the midst of all this chaos, and the closer they get to her house, the more she wants to dig in her heels and draw up short, demand they talk and figure all of this (is there even a ‘this’ to talk about?) out. But there is also a weariness that has settled into her bones and chest and she’s aching for her bed.
Jughead is quiet beside her, but not uncomfortably so. And she can’t bring herself to end this innocent moment. The rain patters softly on the concrete pavement around them, streetlamps spilling puddles of light onto the rain slicked ground and everything is so peaceful. It strikes Betty as odd that the world continues to spin so smoothly and at ease when her internal world is slowly falling apart.
They sneak around the back of the house, the ladder that Jughead had used earlier to climb up to her (his quiet greeting of, “hey there Juliet” still lingers in her ear) is still propped against the window and later she’ll have the presence of mind to ask where the ladder came from, but right now all she can do is stare between her open window and Jughead.
A heavy sigh leaves her body, robbing her of the ability to stay upright. So she mutters something that might pass for a goodnight, though she couldn’t tell for certain, and turns to scale the ladder into the safety of her room.
Just as she turns, she feels a hand grabbing her own lightly, and she’s pulled around to face Jug. His eyes search her face for a long moment, and Betty flushes prettily under the heavy scrutiny. As her gaze hesitantly meets his own, she wonders briefly if this is what it’s like to be one of his stories, to be so intimately studied, to feel like someone is able to read every word that’s written across her soul and see the hidden meanings that are woven delicately between her ribs. Perhaps this is what it’s like to truly be a blank page: to put herself in the hands of an author, completely open and trusting him to find the perfect words to make her story a good one.
Whatever it may be, she feels hot and flushed under his calculating eye, and she wants to duck her head, but she is lost in him. Just as she opens her mouth to finally speak, his hand reaches out to cup her cheek, a slightly roughened thumb brushing gently along the rise of her cheekbone and she can’t prevent the soft gasp that slips from her mouth. That is most certainly not the sound she had intended to come out, but everything about this…feeling…she has with Jughead jumbles her brain.
And before she can blink again, he leans in. Presses his mouth to hers. It’s just like earlier, a soft, steadying pressure that gives way to this beautifully warm thrumming in her heart that tingles and dances along her skin. Jughead slants his mouth over hers, pressing more insistently and she flushes from head to toe as she sucks in a heavy breath through her nose. When she exhales, she melts. Positively melds into his arms that are taught around her waist as her own wind around his neck.
His hand flexes against her back before pulling her slightly closer, until there isn’t a bit of space between their bodies and despite the cool rain he is like the midday sun in July, warm and radiating heat and she is drawn into him like nothing she’s ever experienced.
Eventually, though, air becomes a necessity and Jughead forces his mouth from hers with a rough yank.
The look on his face matches her rolling emotions, the confusion and hesitancy are there, but so is the quiet whisper of ‘this feels so right…why does this feel so right?’
But that momentary burst of emotion slips away into a soft smile as his thumb brushes along her kiss swollen bottom lip and he whispers, “Night, Betts. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
It is a spur of the moment decision, but Betty is feeling bold and beautiful and maybe a bit reckless (he makes her feel like this; he makes her feel so much more) so she throws her arms around his neck, burying her nose into the warm skim there and hugging him tight. He doesn’t seem to know what to do with that, but after a few stiff moments he relaxes into her embrace and pulls her tight, his arms slipping around her waist once more.
“Night Juggy. Thank you. For everything,” She whispers the words into the crook of his neck and she can feel the smile he presses into her forehead.
“You know I’d do just about anything for you…you can always count on me.”
She’s heard those words before, from other people (a vision of ruffled red hair and shining eyes flashes in her mind) but for some reason, Betty believes Jughead entirely.
They say their goodnights and she climbs up to her room, throwing her wet clothes into a pile on the floor before pulling on a soft nightshirt and a pair of shorts and slipping into bed.
When her eyes close, her mind is filled with images. Flashes. Polly. Jason. She’s going to be an aunt. Archie’s voice floats momentarily through her ears but then all she can hear is Jughead’s ragged breathing as his mouth moves over hers and her stomach tingles and her toes curl.
Her fingers come up to her lips, and if she really focuses, she can feel and taste and smell him, surrounding her and wrapping her in warmth.
When she finally manages to give herself over to her dreams, it is the most soundly she has slept in months.