@aliceinwhateverland: I was thinking that a good plot for Bughead would be the prom night, where maybe as they don’t seem to be in a formal relationship they aren’t really sure if they have to ask eachother.
Such a cute prompt, I love tongue-tied Jughead!
”B, you have to come and look at this dress it would be totally perfect for you,” Veronica gushed from where she lounged on Betty’s flowery bedspread, resting on one elbow while her other hand scrolled through pages on Betty’s laptop. Betty twisted round from where she sat at her dressing table, peering over her shoulder to glance at the screen. The satin dress was beautiful, pale lavender with a full skirt and sweetheart neckline that sat slightly off the shoulder. She sighed, shaking her head to clear the image of her in that dress from her mind.
“I don’t know why you’re looking, V, I’m not even sure I’m going to the dance,” she mumbled, looking down at where her fingers were twisting nervously. Veronica’s head snapped up.
“What do you mean not going? Why the hell wouldn’t you go?” she said incredulously, eyes comically wide. Why anyone would miss the chance to get a new outfit and dress up for the night was completely beyond her. Betty didn’t meet her gaze.
“Well… Jughead and I… I don’t even know if there is… we’ve not really…” Realisation dawned for Veronica.
“He hasn’t asked you yet,” she stated, her voice unquestioning. Betty shook her head dejectedly. Veronica’s expression softened as she took in her best friend’s slumped shoulders and downturn expression. “He is Jughead. Going to dances, let alone asking someone to one, isn’t really his scene,” she said gently, wincing slightly.
“Yeah, I know. I just thought that maybe, after we… It doesn’t matter anyway. It’s just a dance,” Betty rallied, straightening up and sending a smile Veronica’s way. It didn’t quite reach her eyes.
“Don’t worry, B, there’s still time,” she replied, trying to life the spirits from where they’d taken a drastic nosedive. “I’ll save the dress for you anyway.”
“Hey, guys,” Archie called out as he placed his lunch tray on the tabletop. “What’re we talking about?”
“The delightful wonders that come out of the Riverdale High cafeteria. Mystery Meat - why is it so mysterious?” Jughead deadpanned, mouth twisting in disgust as he reached for his fries instead. Betty cast a shy glance at him, smiling in amusement. He caught her glance and raised his eyebrows teasingly, pulling a silent laugh from her as she looked back at her tray with flushed cheeks. Jughead flung his free arm around her shoulders in a move that was still strange but becoming familiar. Betty’s body relaxed slightly, leaning into his side in comfort. Archie eyed the arm with wary eyes while Veronica looked on with a pleased smile.
“Err, hey, Ronnie. I wanted to know if wanted to go to the dance next week. With me?” Archie blurted suddenly. Veronica startled.
“Really?” she asked in surprise, eyebrows shooting up at the question.
“Yeah. Well Val is gonna be on stage with the Pussycats all night so I thought it would be nice if the two of us went together,” he replied with a grin. From across the table Betty and Jughead wore matching expressions of disbelief as they took in what Archie had just said. ‘Second choice’ hung, unsaid, in the air. The corner of Veronica’s eyes prickled as Archie stared on oblivious, taking a breath and puffing her chest out to hide her obvious hurt.
“Sure, Archiekins, I’ll go with you,” she answered, plastering on a smile. Betty shot her a sympathetic look across the table that she returned with a slight shake of the head. The blonde’s sad eyes while she still sat beneath Jughead’s arm gave Veronica an idea. “In fact, the four of us could go together… like a double date,” she finished, staring pointedly at the couple across the table, sending a coy look Jughead’s way.
Jughead’s arm flew from Betty’s shoulder as he choked on the bite he’d just taken, fist pounding his chest a couple of times. “D-date?” he spluttered at the same time as Archie who looked sharply between the pair, Jughead’s eyes panicked as he chanced a glance over to Betty before narrowing in on Veronica.
“Yes, Jughead, a date,” Veronica replied, refusing to back down. If she wasn’t going to get her man then she sure as hell would make sure her best friend got hers.
“I-I’m not really sure… I don’t think we…” The hopeful look Betty tried to hide was fading fast at his hesitation.
“I think I’m gonna go get another water,” Betty hurried out, standing swiftly and walking towards the school without a backwards glance. Jughead’s worried eyes followed her, looking torn between staying and following the girl he clearly loved as she moved away from him.
“Alright, clueless wonder, what was that about?” Veronica turned on Jughead as soon as Betty was out of earshot, raising a single brow in accusation.
“Huh?” Jughead replied, ever the wordsmith.
“Betty! That girl has been looking at you like you hung the stars for months and yet you can’t repay her by asking her to one stupid dance?” Jughead was stunned into silence at the unexpected onslaught.
“We just… haven’t really talked about it. Us, I mean. Y’know, as a couple,” he mumbled lamely. If there was one person that had the quality to render him moronic, he thought as he listened to himself trip over simple words, it was Betty Cooper.
“It’s so completely obvious that you’re in love with each other I don’t see the issue here.” Even the tips of Jughead’s ears covered by his beanie turned red at Veronica’s use of the word love. Archie stiffened, waiting for his reply. There was a beat of dead air before Jughead looked up with renewed hope.
“Well, I mean, I’m not so sure now. You kinda blew it, Heathcliff.” Jughead scoffed at her comparison, making to stand.
“I’ll go and ask her…” Veronica reached out to stop him.
“Whoa, slow your roll, silver-tongued devil, it’s going to take something more than just asking her to make up for this blunderbuss.”
“Like what?” Jughead asked apprehensively sitting back down.
“We’re gonna go full on Say Anything on this bitch.”
Betty tried not to watch the clock ticking faster and faster towards six o’clock. She sat, her biology textbook long forgotten in front of her, staring at the hands as they taunted her.
Jughead hadn’t asked her in the end but she didn’t care, she told herself. She knew he wasn’t the kind of person who went to dances and she was just going to have to be ok with that. The image of him standing before her in a suit, bringing back memories of the one he wore to Jason’s funeral, holding her close as they swayed to some song she didn’t even hear invaded her mind. Standing there, unquestionably together, in front of everyone. She sighed. Not today.
The sound of something hitting the glass pane of her window shook her out of her revere. Brows furrowed she listened, until suddenly the sound repeated itself, catching a glimpse of the pebble that flew towards her room. She stood, tiptoeing over and looked down onto the lawn.
Her mouth dropped as she took in the sight before her. There, in a suit just like she’d imagined him, was Jughead Jones, standing below her window holding a box above his head. She lifted the window, laughing in disbelief.
“Juggie, what are you doing here?” she shouted down to him, trying to make herself heard without alerting her mother.
“Hey, Juliet. Just thought I’d come and tell you how much of an idiot I’d been,” he shrugged looking up at her, eyes glinting with mischief. “And to ask you if you’d forgive my blind stupidity by accompanying me to this dance?” Betty’s eyes shone with tears.
“But you hate dances. You don’t have to do this for me,” she replied, trying to contain her pounding heart. He huffed out a laugh.
“My love for you is far stronger than my dislike for school functions, Betts,” he tried to quip casually, his heart leaping into his throat. Betty’s breath left her in a gasp.
“I… I don’t even have a dress,” she got out, mind still spinning from his confession. His eyes flicked to the box in his hands. “Jug, what’s in the box?” she asked suspiciously.
“Come and see.” She was downstairs in seconds, creeping across the dew damp grass to get to him. He looked even better up close, suit fitting him a little better this time, blue eyes glistening in the fading dusk light. She smiled at him from under her lashes as her shaking hands gently lifted the lid. The lavender dress stared back at her.
“Juggie! How…?” she gasped, caressing the fabric in awe.
“Veronica,” he mumbled, with a tone of resentful gratitude. Betty laughed, staring up at the wonderful boy in front of her. Her free hand came up to grip the back of his neck, pulling him down to her lips in a sweet, slow kiss, pouring all of her gratitude into him. They pulled back, both breathing shakily. Betty didn’t remove her hand or let him get further than an inch from her lips.
“I love you, too.”