The reader is a part of the south side serpents, recruited by none other than your boyfriend’s dad. You did it to pay off your parents debts, but pretty soon you realize it’s not what you thought, so with the help of Jughead, you try to escape. Based on the requested song The Love Club by Lorde
Warnings: Mentions of gangs
Word count: 2,187
A/N: I feel like this started out strong and I’m not sure if I finished it really well, but I hope you enjoy!
I’m in a clique but I want out
It’s not the same as when I was punched
Your parents weren’t very smart people. They had crossed the Southside Serpent gang more than you could keep track of, and asked for more favors than anyone in town. Their debt ran deeper and longer than the Mississippi River, but they would never admit that to you.
You got your information from overheard late night conversations between your parents, whispered arguments and silent crying coming from their bedroom.
You wanted to talk with them about it first, but you knew that they would say no. They didn’t want to drag you into the mess that they made, but you had made up your mind. You didn’t care about what happened to you, you just wanted your parents to move on without a gang trailing close behind them wherever they go.
You made a deal. You would work for the Southside Serpents, doing their dirty work, as long as they felt necessary to pay off your parents debt. They agreed, said that it seemed like a fair deal. In hindsight, you probably should’ve found out exactly what your parents did so you could determine when enough was enough, but you were in too deep now.
You should’ve told someone about what you were doing, but you couldn’t tell Jug. His dad was the one you first went to with the idea of the deal, and one of the stipulations was that Jug couldn’t know his dad was a part of the gang. You sure as hell couldn’t tell your parents what you did either, because they would try to do something stupid to get you out.. This was just something you had to do on your own.
Month One: hanging out at the Drive-In to run it out of business, not so bad. The only hard part was making sure your boyfriend and his friends didn’t see you when you were there. You knew Jug was living there, so half the time you just pretended to visit him. You were killing two birds with one stone.
Month Two: More of the same. The Drive-In successfully gets sold, job done.
Approaching Month Three: Unknown. You were terrified.
Jughead’s dad called you over to the trailer, which was common now that you were in the gang. He told you that he needed a snake. He didn’t tell you what it was for, only told you a place on the other side of town to get it.
All you did was nod and walk out the door. You didn’t bother to tell anyone where you were going, you just got in your car and left.
That’s how you ended up here, driving up a long winding road into the middle of nowhere. Your leg was shaking as you pushed the break, an old wooden house appearing in front of you. You turn around so that your car is facing the drive for a fast getaway if need be. You take a deep breath. You put your keys between your fingers, kind of like bronze knuckles. It wouldn’t do much, you know that, but it’s the principle of feeling safe. You walk up the old wooden steps and knock three times.
You knock three more times.
The door creaks open.
You walk inside, and what you see makes you want to turn in the other direction and run.
There’s no furniture, no stairs, just a room filled with snakes of every size in every nook and cranny. You cover your mouth, trying not to scream. There wasn’t a guy with a snake, like you thought. This was a literal snake nest, a breeding ground for any kind of reptile the Serpents might need.
You turn around and close the door, only then letting out a squeal as you run back to your car. You reach for your phone. You had one bar, so you call the only person you can think of.
“Jug, I need your help.” your voice shakes, “I’ll send you the address, please get here, I-I need you, Jug.” You hang up, only hoping he’ll get it in time.
You send him a text with the address. You see it be ‘delivered’ and wait for a few minutes. Soon ‘delivered’ changes to ‘read’ and you know that he’s on his way.
Not even fifteen minutes later he comes racing up the drive in his dad’s truck. He gets out before the car even comes to a stop.
“(Y/N), what’s wrong? Are you okay? What’s happening?” He takes you in his arms, your face resting against his chest. You listen for his heartbeat for a moment, letting the steady rhythm calm you before you answer. You know that what you’re about to tell him will turn your whole world upside down.
“The Serpents, and the serpents, and the drive in, and-” you begin, trying to catch your breath. It was like you had been crying, but no tears were coming out.
“Whoa whoa whoa, calm down.” he says, releasing you from his grip and putting his hands on your shoulders, holding you steady, “what about the Serpents?”
You break away from his grip, wrapping your arms around yourself and taking a few steps back. You break eye contact, afraid of his reaction, “I’m-I’m in the Southside Serpents.” you say.
“What?” he asks, taking a few steps towards you. There’s venom in his voice.
“My parents, they had debt. I had to do it, Jug, I had to.” you plead. You take a few steps back towards him, gripping his arms in desperation.
His eyes were shooting daggers, but he didn’t say anything. He doesn’t move, doesn’t even blink. You could tell that he wasn’t happy with you.
“How long?” he asked, barely able to maintain eye contact. He isn’t returning your touch.
“I’m in my third month.” you say, your hands still on his arms.
“God, (Y/N), three months? Why didn’t you tell me?” he asks, starting to soften up to you again.
“I didn’t want you to worry, Jug. You have enough on your plate with the drive-in closing and your novel, and the murder, and you moving in with Archie.” you say as he sighs and looks away from you, “but I want out now. I want out so bad.”
He looks back at you, the venom gone, and now it was filled with concern once again. He takes your hands in his, and you know Jughead isn’t mad anymore.
“What do you have to do?” he asks.
“Get one of those snakes in there.” you motion towards the cabin.
“Why?” he questions, turning to find a canvas bag in the back of his truck to catch one of them in, already walking towards the house steps.
“They wouldn’t tell me.”
Be a part of the love club
Everything will glow for you
You’ll get punched for the love club
A few days later you overheard that the snake operation was successful. You didn’t know what that meant, and you didn’t ask. Then, they called you and gave you another location. They had another assignment for you.
You had to go alone, that was their request.
You told Jug about the assignment and the meeting place. He was not happy you were still doing their bidding after the whole snake business. You argued about it for a few hours, before he finally let in. He wanted to come with you to keep a look out, but you couldn’t put him in danger. You had to convince him to stay home, and you made sure he didn’t follow you. He agreed only because you said that were going to try and find a way out. That night. No matter what.
You are waiting outside, leaning against a fence. There’s a street lamp across the way, casting a small glow over the street. There are a few cars lining the blocks, one of them being yours. All of the buildings are rundown, boards over the window.
A man comes out around the corner, dressed in all black.
“(Y/N)?” they ask, their voice deep.
“Yeah.” is all you say.
He leans in close, lips to your ears.
He whispers, almost too silent for you to hear, but you can make out enough to know that what he’s asking is too much.
You can tell he had been drinking also, the scent of alcohol on his breath and a slur to his words. Almost immediately you begin to shake your head, backing away silently. You know who you’re talking to now.
“No, no I won’t do that.” you say, your voice cracking. You know you have to find your voice, and fast.
“Really? Need I remind you who you work for?” He asks, getting aggresive. You now see the reflection of the bottle, almost empty. He takes a few steps towards you, awaiting the submission from the new recruit.
“I want out,” you say, trying as hard as you can for your voice to remain steady and firm. , “I won’t do that, I won’t hurt anybody. I want out. My parents can have debt, I just want out.”
“Say that one more. fucking. time.” he takes one more step, now towering over you. You can just barely make out his features, the dark hair, the stubble that goes all the way across his lower face. The shadow from the street lamp casts a shadow in a way that makes his eyes look red. Somewhere you hear a car door open and close.
You hesitate, for only a moment. You know what this guy is capable of, he was all bark and no bite. He wouldn’t hurt you, you were dating his son.
“I want. fucking. out.” you say, trying to stand up for yourself for once.
I’m sitting pretty on the throne
There’s nothing more I want
Except to be alone
You jolt awake, eyes flying open to unfamiliar surroundings. Your head starts to spin and you realize you’re in Jughead’s room, in Archie’s house.
You yank the covers off of you and try to stand up, but end up having to sit on the edge of the bed. There’s a throbbing pain in the right side of your skull, and you look to see bruises all along your arm and some on your torso.
You can’t remember much, but there was definitely a car door slam and yelling. There was so much yelling.
You try to stand up again, but to no avail.
There’s a knock at the door.
“Hello?” you ask, unsure of who it is.
The door opens without an answer, Jughead standing in the doorway.
“You’re okay.” he says, relief flooding his facial features.
He immediately comes to your side, sitting next to you and stretching an arm around your waist. You rest your head on his shoulder, glad to be back in his arms.
“Yes, I’m okay. What happened?” you ask, slightly afraid of the answer.
“I followed you.” he says. You lift your head to try and give him a glaring look, but you’re pretty sure it comes of as more confused than anything, “I know you said not to, but I couldn’t help it.”
You sit up all the way now, taking his hands in yours. You look at him, your eyes softening, urging him to continue.
“I saw that guy, he was towering over you.” he says, as if he’s reliving it, “that’s when I got out of the car… that’s when I saw him.”
“Who?” you wonder, but you already know the answer.
“My dad.” he says, his voice cracking, “He-he hit you, (Y/N). Punched you right in the face.” he had tears welling up in his eyes. You have never seen him get this emotional before about anything.
You gently reach over to him, wrapping him in a hug. You sit with your head on his chest and his hands wrap around you. You stroke your hands up and down his back, you need him to know that it’s okay.
“So I punched him back. Told him you were out, and if he ever laid a hand on you that he would have me to deal with. I also said he wasn’t my dad, not anymore.” he states, as if it was said and done. There is no going back to the way things were before.
You release him from the hug only to look at his face. Only then do you notice the black eye.
“Jug- what happened?” you ask, lightly touching the purple area.
“He might have been wildly swinging his arms back at me.” he cracks a smile, looking back down at you.
“I’m glad you’re okay.” you finally say, cupping his cheek and placing a kiss on his lips.
“I love you.” he says back, his hands going to your waist and bringing you closer to him, laying back on the bed. You situate yourself so that you’re both side by side, cuddling close.
He holds you tight, and you both silently vow to never let each other go through something alone again.