Birtie was bothered. After years of the same town, the same people, the same jokes, the same feelings; everything was suddenly new. New personalities, new surroundings, new problems. With such change comes inevitable loneliness; loneliness that easily transforms into undeserving worthlessness. In a life full of disaffection, devastation and unprompted unease, Birtie wasn’t sure which option seemed worse: the commitment of a ceased existence or the condemnment of tragic life. The girl wasn’t quite sure when this dark pit had replaced her heart.
In fact, as she sat in the creaky old desk in the back of Ms. Smith’s AP English class, this unrelenting question sat in the back of her tormented mind. The brunette’s eyes seemed to glaze over as her thoughts were driven into the dark tunnel of ‘what if’s and ‘I wonder’s. Yet, even in these moments of absent conscious, Birtie could feel the presence of the boy beside her.
Jughead Jones wasn’t an overtly curious type, he prefered to leave that to the Betty Coopers of the world, but, for him, Birtie Hale was a point of fascination. In a few short months, he had observed exactly what this short brunette was capable of. He found out that she could write circles around him, and saw how she could outwit the sharpest of people, how she was ultra aware of her surroundings, and that she happened to be living in a world of her own. Actually, Jughead was sure that this girl spent more time staring out of windows than interacting with anyone at her new school. He often wondered if that was a preference based off of Riverdale’s social dynamics or a symptom of a darkened mind.
Within the first few weeks of Birtie’s appearance, Jughead had hoped to confront the girl. Yet, something seemed to hold him back. Maybe it was her far off looks, or her consistent self-imposed solitude. Most likely, though, it was due to his own unceasing nerves.
So, instead, he would find himself stuck in the same moment from a few months prior, during which Riverdale had been playing a lacrosse game against Beacon Hills. This game was the catalyst of Jughead’s obsession.
Now, their meeting wasn’t exactly one to go down in the books; in fact, it was a memory that most would simply forget. But Jughead wasn’t most. As his best friend tried (and failed) to play against some surprisingly vicious players, the writer was sat in disgustingly cramped bleachers, a worn notebook in his lap. Fred Andrews was stood to his right, cheering so loudly that Jughead was sure the man’s voice would be gone before the game ended. Adjusting his grey beanie, the raven haired boy glanced at the unforgiving scoreboard before reaching toward the pen he had placed beside him. The very same pen that would mark the beginning of the end.
Bertie Hale loved her friends, but, god, did she loathe lacrosse games. There were much more pressing issues in her life than the success of the Beacon Hill Cyclone’s. But here she was. Anxiously awaiting some kind of brutal attack and hating Scott McCall for deciding that this was a good idea. The only positive she could find in this situation was the devastatingly amusing remarks that she could overhear from the beanie clad boy beside her. In another life, Bertie imagined she would have found the courage to make some witty remark back. But that didn’t happen. Instead, a few moments into the second half of the pointless game, a pen landed at her feet.
Jughead had never been the type to get nervous, but after hitting this unsuspecting girl with his lost writing utensil, he wanted nothing more than to crawl into a ball and hide. As the pretty brunette turned to him, she let out a slight giggle.
“I think it’s trying to run away,” Her voice was softer than he’d imagined, but the smile on her face was just as bright. The boy let out a chuckle as she bent down to grab the fallen pen.
“What a shame. I don’t know if I could ever find another one like it,” her smile widened as she passed the dark, worn plastic back to him.
“Wow, it seems like I almost witnessed a great tragedy.”
“One that would go down in history, no doubt.”
The smile spread across the girl’s lips seemed to take away any doubt Jughead had felt in the moments prior. As she went to retort, she was cut short by a small hand on her shoulder, the manicured nails biting into her shoulder blade.
“B, you need to come with me. It’s Liam,” Birtie could see nothing but panic in Lydia’s eyes. Shooting up from the cold bench, she shot the unknown boy an apologetic glance followed by a quick goodbye and Jughead could just watch as Birtie followed after her friend into a night of unadulterated horrors.
Months later, Birtie’s adoptive father made a rather executive decision to send his only daughter off to his brother’s. A break from the horrors of Beacon Hills was much needed by everyone, and if Robert Blossom could provide that for his daughter, that’s exactly what he would do. What he did not account for was the unforeseen price: loneliness. Birtie had never been good at making friends, and she often found herself depending on the comfort of a mutual bond.
So, with this decision, her father had taken her home away in more ways than one.
The loud familiar pierce of the bell broke both damaged teens out of their thoughts. In an odd moment of simultaneous action, the two stood from their seats and gathered their belongings in silence. Suddenly a pen landed on Jughead’s now empty desk. His light eyes shot up to the smirking girl beside him.
Note: Hi, friends :) I just want to say that I’m so insanely happy that anyone is even reading these and thank you so much for the feedback. This started out with the intent to just write a series of one shits about the same character, but if you want something different, please let me know :)
Birtie never thought she would be here. She could never have imagined that there would be people who liked her without the pity that came with her family history. Yet, here she sat. In a luminescent, homey diner at two in the morning surrounded by friends she could actually call her own.
“I’m sorry, are you trying to tell me that Indiana Jones is more iconic than Star Wars?” The boy sat next to her rolled his eyes, and took a sip of the foamy vanilla milkshake in front of him. Small beads of condensation rolled down the clean glass and onto the glistening beige table top, spilling into the forming puddle between the two teens.
“Raider of the Lost Ark is a classic. Harrison Ford can do so much better than ‘arrogant Space Rogue’ any day.”
“As adorkable as you two are, I don’t think any of us can handle another one of these nerd battles.” Veronica Lodge cut in from beside the youngest Argent. Within the few weeks that Birtie had been hanging around the four complicated teens, these arguments had become a common occurrence between the writer and the Hale. “ I’m sure most of us are much more interested in this whole Uma Thurman thing you have going on.”
Birtie knew what she was referring to and she hated herself for risking her cover like this. Dark hair fell in front of the rich girl’s face as she tilted her head in a motion of challenge, waiting impatiently for the Hale to fill her in on the details of her rendez-vous with a group of the Serpents.
Birtie felt her heart drop; it was only a matter of time before she had to do this. She knew she should never have went with Archie to that bar, and she certainly shouldn’t have thrown that first punch. The dread felt as if it would drown her.
“My dad made me take some self defense classes. It’s no big deal.” Each syllable sat sourly on her tongue. Girls like Betty Cooper never had to lie to their friends, and Birtie never got to tell the truth.
“You took on three grown men by yourself. I don’t think a few self defense classes warrants that kind of ability.”
“I’m jus-” The relief of the interrupting voice only covered Birtie for a few moments.
“ Birtie Hale!” Soon her sigh of relief was replaced by a gasp of realization, as the small brunette turned quickly toward the familiar, barking voice.
“ Derek?” She spoke quietly, but she knew he could hear her. Her brother always radiated intimidation and pain, and this night was no exception. With his back painfully straight and his arms crossed, Derek Hale stood in the doorway of Pop’s, the neon pink light illuminating his growing stubble and his sharp jaw.
“And who is that stunning James Dean wannabe ?” Veronica breathed out beside her shorter counterpart. Birtie promptly hit her friend in the arm, before grumbling a misused excuse and scrambling over the seat, into the one behind the group.
Jughead watched as the beautiful girl marched over to the older man visibly unsure of what was to come. Without a moment to breathe, the brunette girl raised her arm to her brother, allowing for the smack to resonate throughout the vacant Chock’Lit Shoppe.
With this, Jughead went to stand, his beanie falling from his head at the movement, his hands too clenched to grab it. It wasn’t until he felt the soft grasp of a silent Betty Cooper that he thought about his next action. Maybe he wasn’t exactly prepared to take on a man twice his size. Nor was he prepared to explain why he would even think of doing so. Slowly, with a deep breathe out, Jughead sat beside his friends, observing, as always, the enigma that was Birtie Hale.
“I thought you were dead,” the tears in the teenage girl’s eyes were threatening to escape.
“I thought I was too,” and with these words she fell. On the brink of stability, she tumbled off the cliff into emotional havoc and followed the current right into her brother’s arms.
As Derek’s arms wrapped around his younger sister, his character broke. His stern face fell into that of relief. Relief that his sister was safe, relief that she didn’t hate him. Relief that he wasn’t condemned to loneliness.
“Birtie,” At the sound of the gentle voice she pulled away from Derek, dried her wet cheeks, and turned toward her blonde friend. With a small smile, Betty apologized to Derek before bidding goodbye to her friend. With a gentle hug, and another glance toward a brooding Derek, Betty Cooper exited Pop’s, and with her, Veronica’s filter left too.
“I’m sorry, but who is this beautiful man and why haven’t I met him?” Veronica’s voice lifted across the restaurant, and Derek let out a deep chuckle at Birtie’s disgusted face.
“He’s my brother. My twenty four year old brother, so keep it in your pants please.”
“I mean, age is just a number,” Veronica winked toward Derek before continuing, “just ask Archie.”
Birtie let out a breathy laugh, before turning to Derek with a smile and gesturing toward the gorgeous girl in the booth,
“Derek, meet Veronica Lodge.” Veronica wiggles her fingers daintily, a contrasting smirk painted on her face.
“Hi, Derek.” Birtie tried to ignore the flirtatiousness behind the greeting, as her eyes fell onto her best friend, who had yet to place the beanie back on his head. His dark hair had fallen in front of his right eye as he focused his stare at the table.
With an adoring smile on her face, she gestured to the beautiful boy.
“And this is Jughead Jones.” At the sound of his name, the writer looked up into the brown eyes of the younger Hale, a matching smile on his face. His blue eyes moved to Birtie’s older brother, and with a nod, he began to stand holding out his hand to the approaching man. At the gesture Derek chuckled, an amused smile finally gracing his stern features. Jughead could have sworn he heard Veronica swoon.
With a shake of his head, Derek rejected Jughead’s handshake, opting for a light clap on the back instead.
“It’s nice to see Birtie actually making friends.” The girl rolled her eyes and shoved her brother’s chest.
“More than you’ve got.”
Veronica smiled adoringly at the pair of siblings, seeing a sort of comfort in Birtie that she didn’t often see. It was refreshing to see such a hard-shelled girl act as if the world hadn’t destroyed her.
“Well, as much as I would love to stay and chat, I must return to Lady Macbeth.” With an apathetic wave of her hand, Veronica slid out of the booth, brushing Birtie on the shoulder as she strutted away. As the door’s bell rang throughout the diner, Veronica glanced at the trio with a final smirk,watching as Derek and Birtie slid into the booth across from Jughead. Even from across the Shoppe, Ronnie could see the furrow of Derek’s thick eyebrows as Birtie stole a fry from an amused Jughead’s half empty plate. The only thought on her mind being the question of how Birtie’s intimidating brother would react to the budding relationship between the writer and the new girl.