cecilia and her sister

Morning Rush

“Kids, I’m not gonna say it again, let’s go”, Shawn yells while zipping up each lunch pale. He looked down at his watch and sighed, they had fifteen minutes and they need fifteen hours!

“Daddy! Jax keeps hiding my stuff”, your youngest daughter, Summer, yelled down to her father.

Shawn, whom the stress was really piling on today, rolled his eyes and let out a sigh of frustration, “How does Y/N do this”, he whispered before pinching the bridge of his nose, “Jax! Give your sister her stuff! And where’s Cecilia? And Hunter”, he referred to your high schoolers.

“Right here”, Cecilia said while tapping away on her phone.

Shawn’s eyes went wide as he looked up at the sight of your daughter in a mini skirt and a crop top.

She saw his expression and spoke, “Mom lets me wear this”, she shrugged.

“The hell she does! Go change, now! And while you’re at it, grab your siblings”, he shook his head and she made her way upstairs.

“What Dad”, Cecilia’s twin brother, Hunter, sighed dramatically.

“We need to leave”, Shawn sighed again, “Your mom is gonna kill me.”

Hunter let out a laugh as Cecilia made her way downstairs with only Jax, “Got ‘em”, she said, still on her phone.

“Where’s Summer? Give this to me”, Shawn snatched her phone and put it on the counter, “Summer? Baby are you okay”, Shawn called to your youngest.

“No”, she cried.

Everyone’s eyes went wide as they looked up the stairs.

“What’s wrong”, he asked uneasily.

“Mr. Unicorn is in the toilet”, she sobbed as the other kids started laughing.

“Guys”, Shawn started while looking at his other three kids, “I’m coming! The rest of you, in the car now”, Shawn told them before running up the stairs.

“There we go baby, let’s just put it in the washing machine and dryer for a bit”, Shawn opened the washing machine, tossed it in, and got it started, “Now let’s go”, he washed his hands before grabbing his youngest daughter’s hand again and leading her down the stairs.

He opened the car door and buckled her in as Cecilia was face timing someone, “And her 'Mr. Unicorn’ got stuck in the toilet or something”, she rolled her eyes.

“Who are you on the phone with”, Shawn asked while sitting the driver’s seat, buckling up, and starting the car.

“Mo–”, she began.

“Shawn Peter Raul Mendes!” He winced as you yelled into the phone, “Put your Dad on, now!”

Cecilia passed the phone to Hunter, who passed it to Summer, who passed it Jax, who held it up for Shawn.

“Yes babe”, he asked while giving his attention to the road.

“If I get another call saying that the Mendes kids’ are late again, I will lose it”, you said while rubbing your temples.

“I think you already lost it”, Shawn mumbled as your kids busted into fits of laughter, a smile painted Shawn’s face at their reactions as he waited at a red light.

“Shawn”, you stated calmly into the phone, “I am coming back tonight. If I come home to messy rooms, kids, a dirty house, everyone, undid laundry”, you groaned at the thought, “Everyone is grounded! Including you Shawn!”

Shawn pinched the bridge of his nose as everyone soon followed, they got it from their dad.

“A-alright babe, love you”, he tried to keep a smile on his face as he hung up and the phone was handed back to Cecilia.

“Well”, Shawn pulled the car into a U-turn, “Looks like the Mendes kids aren’t going to be late again, they’re taking a 'sick day’”, he announced as fits of 'woo hoos’ and 'yays’ erupted through the car.

Broken Part Four

Broken Masterlist

word count: 1,908

“So Bucky came over, confessed that he wants you back and then bounced?” Your closest friend Wanda asked you as the two of you sat in the break-room of your job.

“Mhmm.” You answered before taking a sip of your coffee. It was Monday morning and you were in desperate need for your coffee fix. After the weekend you had, it was necessary.

“Wow.” Was all Wanda managed to say.

“My sentiments exactly.”

Wanda was one of the first people that you met at your job when you started working again. The two of you didn’t exactly hit it off at first. She hated you and you hated her. It was all very silly. Once the two of you noticed some similarities, you instantly became friends.

“What are you going to do?” Wanda questioned.

You sighed, “I honestly have no idea. I want to be with Steve. He’s a great guy. I enjoy being around him. But then..”

“You and Bucky have history. It’s hard to let all of that go.”

“I know it is. I just can’t believe he would do that while Steve was there. Bucky never gave an indication that he wanted to get back together until he found out about Steve.”

“He’s jealous, (Y/n). He doesn’t want another man filling his place at home.”

“Steve isn’t filling his place. He hasn’t even met the kids. It’s way too soon for anything like that.” You hadn’t even thought of introducing Steve to your children. Part of that worried you.

“Bucky probably doesn’t know how serious you and Steve are. He’s probably driving himself crazy thinking about it all.”

You sighed softly again. You were going to give yourself a headache from thinking too hard. It was all just too much. You didn’t think that your love life could be so complicated.

“I just don’t want to deal with any of this. I don’t need the stress.”

“Why don’t we go and get some drinks after work? It’ll help you get your mind off things.” Wanda suggested.

“I can’t. Spencer has a game.” Part of you really did want to go out for a drink, but Spencer was pitching and you couldn’t miss it.

It would be the first time that you and Bucky would be in the same place since he confessed that he wanted things to go back to normal. You hoped that everything would go smoothly for the sake of the kids.

When you were done with work for the day, you quickly changed in the nearest bathroom. Throwing on some jeans, a gray shirt and sneakers, you felt more comfortable and ready to cheer on your daughter.

On the way to the game, you tried thinking of anything else but the situation you were in. You really felt torn.

Seeing Bucky emotional the other night stirred something up inside of you. He was saying all of the things that you had been dying to hear. However, the timing was incredibly awful.

You saw Bucky’s car at the softball field when you arrived. He and Thomas and Cecilia were already seated in the stands. Bucky noticed you walking over to them and he smiled.

He pointed you out to Thomas and Cecilia who instantly made their way towards you. You hugged them both and kissed them before they lead you to Bucky.

“Hey.” He said once you sat on the empty seat besides him. It was clear that he was a little nervous since the last encounter wasn’t very good.

“Hey.” You responded.

It was extremely awkward for a few moments. Even Thomas and Cecilia noticed but didn’t say anything.

“So, how was work?” Bucky asked trying to brake the ice.

“It was fine. How was your day?”

“Fine.” Bucky simply said.

More awkward tension ensued.

“Mom? Can Thomas and I go get something from the concession stand?” Cecilia asked as the two teams started warming up on the field.

“Sure, sweetie.” You started to reach for your wallet in your purse but Bucky waved you off. He grabbed a twenty dollar bill from his own wallet and handed it to Cecilia.

The twins took off once they were given the money. The concession stand was right next to the bleachers that you and Bucky were sitting at. You could see them from your seat. You watched as Thomas and Cecilia got in line.

“You know they’re going to spend all of your money on junk, right?”

Bucky chuckled as he watched the twins as well, “I know.”

Your phone started ringing in your purse then. Reaching inside, you pulled it out and saw that Steve was calling you. It clearly wasn’t a good time to talk to him with Bucky being so close, so you silenced it.

Bucky cleared his throat, “Uh, while we are alone, I think we should talk about what happened the last time we saw each other.”

You knew the conversation was inevitable. “Yeah, I think we should too.”

“I’m really sorry for everything. It wasn’t the best time for me to tell you how I feel. I just…” Bucky sighed and looked right into your eyes. “I miss you, (Y/n). I really miss what we had before I screwed everything up. I know that it’s too late and that you’re happy with someone else now, but I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I didn’t say it.”

Once again, you were at a loss for words. If it had been months before, you were sure that you would’ve instantly forgiven Bucky. He was saying all of the words you had been dying to hear.

But he was right. You were seeing someone and you were happy.

……right?

You looked away from Bucky and back towards the twins. They were ordering at the counter and it looked like they were indeed buying all the junk they offered.

“(Y/n)?” Bucky drew your attention back to him. You could see that he meant the words that he said.

“I love you. I always have. I lost myself for a while and I thought I was doing the right thing before with those divorce papers. I know now that I was a complete idiot and a fool to think that I could ever live this life without you. It’s a crappy time for me to be saying this, but I just needed for you to know that I adore you. You’ve been an amazing mother to the kids. You’ve been civil with me despite me being a complete asshole before. I don’t know how you do it all.”

Before you could say anything to him, Thomas and Cecilia came back from the concessions stand. There arms were filled with snacks.

“We got enough for everyone.” Thomas giggled setting some stuff down on the empty seat beside him.

Cecilia handed you some chips and a drink and did the same for Bucky.

“Did you guys spend all of the money I gave you?” Bucky questioned.

The twins looked at each other before saying in unison, “You didn’t say you wanted change back.”

You couldn’t help but laugh along with Bucky at your sly children. They sat in their seats in front of you and Bucky. Spencer was getting ready to take the mound and you were excited for her. She was a natural born athlete who loved playing the game of softball.

As the game went on, you tried to give it all of your attention but Bucky’s words kept roaming around. You didn’t know what to say to him.

He still loved you.

You didn’t think that he still did after the way he treated you in the past.

You glanced over at Bucky and saw that he was snapping a photo of Spencer on the field. He looked like a proud dad with the huge smile on his face.

Your mind began to wonder again, but this time at how things could’ve been if it hadn’t been for the divorce. The five of you wouldn’t have to split your time together. The kids wouldn’t have to travel back and forth between your place and Bucky’s. Holidays could be spent together.

Despite how he treated you back then, you still loved him. Throughout the arguments and the silent treatments, Bucky still held onto you entirely.

Cheering from the crowd snapped you from your thoughts. One of Spencer’s teammates stole home plate ending the game and ensuring their win. You watched as Spencer and her friends celebrated.

You and the others got up from your seats and went towards the field were Spencer was waiting.

“You were amazing, sweetie!” Bucky said to Spencer as he pulled her into his arms and lifted her off the ground.

“Thanks dad.” She smiled. He let her down and she gave you a hug next. “What did you think of my pitching today?”

You gave her a squeeze, “It was incredible! Your fastball is really improving.”

“You did great today, Spence.” Cecilia said to her sister as she hugged them as well. She went to gather her bag leaving you all waiting nearby.

“Why don’t you two go help your sister with her things?” Bucky suggested to the twins. You knew that he wanted to have another minute alone with you. The twins were completely oblivious to it and left anyways.

“Are you okay? You seemed a little out of it after we spoke earlier.” Bucky asked.

“I’m fine. I just didn’t imagine ever hearing the things you said to me. It’s a lot to take in.”

“I know and I’m sorry for waiting for so long to say it.”

“What are you hoping to happen between us, Bucky? To go back to how things were?”

He nodded and took a step closer to you. “I would love to be a family again. I would love to wake up every morning right beside you and to have my kids be stable in a single household. I want you back in my life again.”

“I’m with Steve. I like Steve and..”

Bucky cut you off, “You’re right. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything.”

It was clear that his feelings were hurt. He wanted you to say that you loved him back and when you didn’t, it hurt him.

“Bucky..” you reached over to grab his hand but he took a step back.

“I have to leave. I’m going to tell the kids goodbye.” He walked away from you and towards the dugout where the kids were.

——-

That night, you couldn’t sleep.

You tossed and turned for hours getting more and more restless with each passing hour.

Steve and Bucky both consumed your thoughts.

You kept replaying everything that Bucky told you. You kept seeing the hurt look on his face at the end of the game just hours before. Bucky wanted his family back together but you didn’t know if that’s what you wanted as well.

Part of you was hesitant because you knew that your heart couldn’t stand being broken by him for the second time.

With Steve, things were simple. He was a genuine guy and you enjoyed being in his company. Steve made you laugh and you weren’t ever stressed around him.

You didn’t manage to get much sleep that night. When you finally rose out of bed, you knew what you had to do. You had to let one of them go for good for your sanity.

Who is it going to be???? Team Steve or Team Bucky??

@buckyywiththegoodhair @marvelingatthewonder @avengerofyourheart
@ispeakforthebooks @fuckmewintertucker @kurznachdrei @hikariilove @hintligirl @the13th-commander @kirakombat @katykyll @marshmelloyellow02 @barnes-heaven @teammustafi @justreadingfics @sebstanwassup @7minutes-tomidnight

How Wren is still Charles, why he’s A.D. Who ‘Charlotte’ really is and how almost every plothole is fixed:

Before I start this theory, please read my “Jason Killed Charlotte” theory and feel free to check out my other thoughts, theories and feelings I’ve had about Pretty Little Liars by clicking here

I also updated my icon and header (mobile) for the end of the show we all love/hate.

*Disclaimer, 99% of this is my own theory, with a couple small details thrown in from other peoples posts that make sense to me.

THEORY; STARTING FROM THE BEGINNING OF CHARLES’ DOWNFALL:

Charles Drake is sent to Radley for giving his cousin Alison a bath in too hot water, almost burning her and drowning her. This was an accident but Kenneth DiLaurentis did not want his mentally insane sister in-law’s child living with his wife, himself and his two children. Charles is sent to Radley Sanitarium, where his Mother resides, or used to. (I can’t remember.) He slowly begins to grow up, missing who he believed was his Mother, Father and two siblings, Alison and Jason. He makes friends with some of the other children in the children’s ward.

Here he meets a young girl named Cecilia who was in Radley for brutally attacking and killing her twin sister with a knife over stealing her doll.

Cecilia became infatuated with Charles and fell ‘in love’ with him very quickly. He would tell her stories about his baby sister and younger brother. She would let him play with her dolls, even calling one of the blonde ones “Alison.” 

  Their (twin’s) parents were very hurt by their situation, their mother, maiden name Young, committed suicide and their father, Scott Montgomery quickly became suicidal himself, and started to lose his sanity. 

There was Charles and Cecilia, and then Bethany showed up. Bethany and Charles became friends very quickly and Cecilia begins to get jealous. In the night, when it’s dark she grabs a knife, needle, scalple, something,  when the nurses and doctors aren’t looking and hides it under her mattress. Then, when Bethany is sleeping her ‘friend’ and roommate Cecilia goes over to her bed and begins to cut and slice her face. This way, Charles can’t find her pretty, right? She makes sure to not get any blood on herself, wipes her prints from the blade and places the  makeshift blade into Bethany’s hand as she is screaming and crying, Cecilia also begins to scream and cry, running back to her own bed. She tells the doctors she was sound asleep and she hears Bethany screaming and she rolls over to see Bethany harming herself. Nobody knows who to believe and Bethany and Cecilia have now switched rooms. (Bethany is now with Rhonda or Lelsi at this point.) Bethany is growing up and is traumatized with her face severely scarred. She has no idea what she is supposed to look like as a growing tween/teen. 

But Charles still thinks she is beautiful and begins to spend more time with Bethany while she recovers, not taking sides against his two best friends. He still spends time with Cecilia but never the two at the same time, as they hate each other. Bethany hating Cecilia for what she did to her face, and Cecilia hating Bethany for ‘lying about her accident’ (stealing Charles from her) Charles and Bethany are in love and Cecilia has no idea. Until… (Wait for it.)

At the age of 16, Jessica comes back for Charles and helps him fake a suicide so he can get out. He gets a fake I.D., travels and leaves the Country. Going to the U.K., where his favorite Doctor and Father-Figure with rapidly approaching dementia was from. 

Charles keeps in touch with Cecilia and Bethany in his journey across sea. He is unrecognizable to everyone except Cecilia, who gets out and goes to UPen under the name Cece Drake. Cece is a nickname from Cecilia and Drake is from Charles’ mother’s maiden name. She needed something to go by to try and live a new life.

Bethany on the other hand, is not doing too well. Her ex-boyfriend’s (ended on good terms, she knows he needed to get out) Mother is dating her Father and this upsets her. Cece had told Jessica that she was Charles’ girlfriend, and Bethany seemed crazy. Jessica liked Cece and wanted to protect her from her true identity getting out. Jessica believed that Cece’s mental illness had been ‘cured’ and she began taking care of her, even setting her up with her son.

Now, Charles had been coming around Rosewood for awhile watching his sister and her friends interact. He wasn’t sure how he would get back into their lives just yet, but he was having a good time observing.

(Wren, just to the left of Ali’s head. I took this screenshot from a youtube video, but someone had another picture where it’s clearly Wren.)

But before he can get his family back together, it’s Labor Day. Cece finds out that Charles has kept in touch with Bethany and is seeing her again. She lures Bethany out from Radley to meet her as “Alison.” Tells her she’s her boyfriends sister and she wants to meet her, that she will be wearing a yellow top (and a purple bracelet?) and she’s sending her one just like it. She talks to a college friend and is seen by Jason.

Bethany finds Cece in the top and excitedly tries to introduce herself as Charles’ girlfriend. But Cece turns around and reveals herself and Bethany screams (Spencer hears this) when she recognizes her former roommate and attacker. Cece hits Bethany and leaves her to suffer. This is when Melissa sees Bethany whose scarred face is covered by her blonde hair and she rolls her into an open makeshift grave from the construction of the Gazebo and fills it in. Cece confesses to Charles what she’s done and Charles is pissed. Cece runs off and as he finds ‘her’ again, he makes eye contact with his ‘Mother’, signalling for her to look away as he bashes the rock into ‘Cece’s’ skull. But when she falls, Charles sees this is his little sister Alison. He is distraught and leaves as Jessica buries Alison in another open plot due to construction. 

Within the next year, Charles forgives himself for ‘killing’ Ali and decides to get revenge on Cece. But he can’t find her. So he begins dating the last person he knew she was with. Melissa Hastings. Who even lives right next to his parents. Bethany’s body as Alison is found and Charles attends his ‘sister’s’ funeral.

He immediately cheats on Melissa with her sister, Alison’s friend Spencer. This is to get closer to having a brother sister relationship with his dead sister, since he never had the chance. In the UK he had weaseled his way into a Doctor’s degree for whatever he needed to become a Doctor, but cheated his way through college. 

Years go by and he begins to give up on finding Cece, almost settles down with Melissa again in the UK. But Cece turns up. He has forgiven her for killing Bethany and has been working on his mental health. She tells him she’d done the same. But she wants his help playing a game. He agrees, but she’s obviously not healthy yet. He still works with her for a bit to finish up what she had been working on, convincing him that his sister Alison was still alive and that coincidentally she had been her friend, without knowing that was his sister. 

They don’t find her right away, or at least this is what Charles/Wren thinks. (He just misses her as Cece pulls her away after her dance with Spencer) He moves on and decides to try and fix his familial problems in a healthy way, but it’s too late. Cece has become obsessed with him all over again. She builds a life-sized ‘dollhouse’ and kidnaps the girl who had been torturing his sister and her friends. (Mona sent Ali A messages before she went missing)

She gives him Mona and Alison’s friends as a bunch of dolls (entirely because of her obsession with dolls) and even set up a room dedicated to him as Charles and not Wren, so that he can tell his story and get his life back. He begins to play along, even going as far as to try and meet up with Jason. 

But to Charles’ knowledge, Jason ‘calls the cops’ on him at the arcade. Charles runs, and gives up once again on the family that “never wanted him”.

He tells Cece to let everything go, and set the girls free. He doesn’t want anyone to know that he is Charles DiLaurentis anymore. He goes back to the UK. Again. But Cece still loves him, and demands that his story is told. So, she takes on the identity as Charles and had already killed the only person that could 100% identify that she is not Charles. (Jessica.) She killed her because she found out that she wasn’t Charles’ biological Mother and that Mary was.

It is only AFTER Jason’s failed meeting with Charles that it is revealed that maybe A is a female? 

This is also even better for Cece, who wants to punish Jason for ‘not giving Charles a chance to explain himself’ and pretends that since she and Jason dated, he dated his transgender brother. This makes Jason sick- BUT (Insert the whole plot of my “Jason killed Charlotte” theory here)

So ‘Charlotte’ calls Charles from Welby, and promises him that this time, she is really getting better and she asks for his forgiveness. Even proving that she has a boyfriend (still british, but this time its Rollins) and won’t become obsessed with Charles again. And she mentions that, Oh, she only hit Bethany with the rock, but his girlfriend, Melissa buried her alive and she is the one who truly killed her. Charles breaks up with Melissa for good this time, but they remain roommates because he is now A.D. and is blackmailing Melissa. Then Charlotte ends up dead (Hi, Jason.) and Charles feels responsible, since she was probably killed for ‘being Charles’. He becomes to learn things as A.D. Awful things. He only wanted to find out who killed Charlotte, but he finds out that he isn’t Charles DiLaurentis, but Charles Drake (Father unknown to him at this point.) And to make things worse, he finds out that he has a sister that was adopted by the Hastings. It was Spencer, but that didn’t matter at first because he understands that no matter who it was, he had been in an incestual (is that a word?) relationship with his sister. He begins to take things easy on Spencer, only making her go visit Toby for the letter from their Mother, Mary. 

(Puzzle piece next to picture of Charles in the soul room)

And he’s still A.D. and hates Hanna for rejecting him that one time, invites his ex-girlfriend’s cousin Aria to join the A-team and is torturing his cousin Alison and Emily because Cece had told him that Alison had ‘known’ about Charles and didn’t give a shit about him, and that she only wanted to be close to Cece.

But wait! If Charles and Lucas so obviously came up with the A game….how did it get to Mona, who really started things?

Alison bullied both of them. Lucas showed it to Mona before she got popular and ditched him for Hanna. 

Charles is finishing the game and ending things once and for all. 

Melissa was Black Widow, Cece Redcoat, and Wren/Charles as the man in the black hoodie. 


PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.

I’LL CONTINUE TO UPDATE THIS WITH MORE ANSWERED PLOT HOLES AND STUFF IF YOU POINT THINGS OUT TO ME.


EDIT #1: 
prettylittlequeenie pointed out to me that Mona has already confessed to being the one who hit Bethany. I believe (Since my theory involves Red Coat being Cece;) Charlotte enjoyed Mona’s work and when she went to visit her in Radley, as red coat and not a patient, she either convinced Mona to work with her to continue to bring down the liars or blackmailed her into it. This is proved multiple times (and doesn’t contradict what I was saying earlier about why Cece kidnapped Mona. She was playing Mona and still took her (it was all staged) and gave her to Charles as a ‘peace offering’)

Mona knew it was Cece in the Red Coat and even though she says “I didn’t know it was Cece, I was so drugged up blah blah blah.” It only makes sense that she was still working with her when…

She was drawing and storing all of her blood to splash around the house when Cece “kidnapped her”. It also explains why Mona did not go with the liars to Radley when she wanted “To hear how the story ends.” The truth is is that she knew Sara and Cece were going to blow up the whole building or wing with themselves and the girls inside of it. Mona didn’t go to avoid her own death.

Mona said she hit Bethany to help Charlotte finish the game (Even the liars notice the shows plotholes, lol), and knew that the only ones able to confirm she said that would be dead.

I hope that’s cleared up now, and thanks for pointing that out. I was going to put that in there but I completely forgot.

(End of EDIT #1)

MY SISTER STORY

¼/2015

In 1 month you would be turning 17, and i wonder everyday what would that be like, if you would be borrowing my clothes and make up, or if you would still play with dolls as you did when you left me here.

Would you still be funny and sweet as you were?, Never calling me “fat” or things that you know would hurt me.

I miss you, so much its unbereable, like a hole in the middle of my chest. You were my sister, my only sister and I dont have you by my side anymore. And its really unfair. I would give up my life if that would bring you back.

I’m so afraid noone will remember you but me. Thats one of my greatest fears. If people forget how lovely you were and how strong and brave and how willing to go through hell just to live.

I want all people to know about you.

Lucy (Lucia Florencia), was born in February 4th in 1998, when i was six years old, and she was my best friend ever.

She was really funny and loved to play dress up. She usually used Sailor Moon’s suit and put make up on and it was just hillarious.

She really liked when i took pictures of her, she was like my model, i really liked taking pictures of her. She is the cutest thing the world has ever had.

Her hair was long and waivy and dark brown, and her eyes where so bright and charming and obscure at the same time, really misterious.

She played the piano, the violin and had a really good ear and could play lots of songs only by ear, without even know how to read partitures.

She was bright as hell, but really talkative, and sometimes naughty. Once she came back from school (9 years old), and told my dad, “I have one bad new and one good”, my dad said “Tell me the bad first”, “the teacher put me a bad face on my notebook because i punched Anna on the face, she was being really rude”, and my dad said, “and whats the good one” “That Anna is okey, that we are fine, and it was nothing at all, just that”. He could not stop laughing after that.

She was my rock, and I was hers. We loved each other even more other sibbligs do. She was the true face of love.

Her favourite stuffed animal was the racoon you can see in the bed besides her. She was burried with him, his name was “Mapachin”, and he was her fav since she was like 3 years old, when she cut really deep her finger and had to have stitches and mum bought that to her for being so brave.

She got sick in 2008, she was 10, her back started hurting really bad, and after xrays and exams, mum came back crying like I had never seen her, and my world felt appart.

I had to go and tell Lucy she had to go to another city to get her back cured. and she asked me if she would have to take some medicine, and it broke my heart.

She had cancer, a new kind of cancer, in one tumor it had different fenotipes and there was no treatment that cured the whole tumor, so they removed it. It didnt work.

She thought she was cured, my parents never could tell her the truth after that, we were all a reck, really messed up people, we still are. We will always be. Life really took love away from us in such a hurtfull and horrible way its almost impossible to describe.

Whatever doctors said that she might have or experience, happened. Every single bad thing. She had to lie on a bed for 4 months without moving, cause her brain tumor wouldnt let her. Her lungs tumors filled her lungs with water, so she couldnt breath anymore.

After some months of unbeareable sadness and hoping for miracles and praying to every god ever existed. Doctors had to put her in medical coma, because she wouldnt get better. Ever.

And that was it. on June 8th on 2010, my sister died of cancer, in a hospital bed. Her last thing she “said” (she couldnt talk anymore, so she said I LOVE U blinking her eyes really hard), was I love you, to my mum, dad and me.

And I lost everything.

The day after that, was when i saw death itself. My sister, insanely pale and blue-ish in a coffin, and i had months and months of nightmares.

I miss her smell, i miss her voice, and i miss not remembering everything that happened before the illness, because i wasnt really thinking something as destroying as that would happen.

Im just writing my heart here, you cant see my fingers trembling, or the tears running down my face, but i know you can feel them, because i need to tell you all this.

Please think of her, even though you didnt know her. She was my baby sister, and my mate, and my love. And i dont have her anymore and I dont want her to be lost in time and noone knowing who she is.

She couldve been a remarkable piano player, or an actress, or a veterinary,for her love towards animals. But she hadnt the chance to do that.

She didnt have her first kiss

or her first period

or travel to disney world

or be trully in love with someone

and most of the things we enjoy as teens and young adults. She couldnt have them, so please, think of her when u do. Say her name before going to sleep, tell your kids about this amazing girl who lived in Mar del Plata, Argentina and told the kindergarten teacher she wanted to be a Ship captain just like her dad. And how she was not ashamed at all when she asked santa for a HotWeels Car wash instead of a barbie.

I love you, and I hope you think of her.

Eugenia Cecilia Arroyo.

taylorswift

the first girl - a bughead fanfic

A/U obviously. 









When I say that she was the greatest,

I mean that she resembled a circus.

She was not brightly colored,

Nor was she composed

Of three rings, but

Under a tent in the middle of

A starlit field

On a summer night,

You could see her

In just a t-shirt

And forget how unhappy

The elephants were.

-Rob Macdonald

The windows are down in the car she has temporarily stolen from her mother and Betty is finally starting to feel good, at ease, for the first time in months. She has Polly at her side, who is staring dreamily out the window with a small smile on her face. Her hand resting protectively over her stomach. And there is Jughead, in the back seat, looking grimly out the window his face set in its usual solemn, serious manner.

As Betty cruises down I-5 heading south she marvels at the state of events that have unfolded that has led them all here. There is no doubt in her mind that everything could have fallen apart. Her mother could have found them out, Cheryl could have let something slip, even Sherriff Keller could have snooped and discovered their plot. But now there is nothing standing in their way to get Polly the freedom she so desperately deserves.

“Are you still sure about this Polly?” Betty asks, interrupting the tranquil peace that has taken over the car. The sounds of cars whizzing by on the highway is the only noise between them.

Polly grins widely before grasping onto Betty’s shoulder and giving it an affectionate squeeze.

“More than ever. I can’t thank you enough Betty for making this all happen. I’d be so lost without you.”

Betty smiles in relief, her sister’s approval the only solace she needs to feel at peace with her decision to lie to everybody and sneak behind their backs. She has an unborn niece or nephew she has to look out for, it is not just her and her sister against the world anymore.

Betty turns her attention back to the road, they are somewhere in Oregon. More than halfway to their journey and the afternoon sun beats down on them.

“You know I’d do whatever it takes to make sure the both of you are okay. I can’t wait to meet my little nephew or niece.”

Polly laughs, the sound twinkles in the small space of the car, “I’ve told you time and time again. It’s going to be a boy, I can feel it. Mother’s intuition.”

In the rearview mirror Betty can see Jughead smirking to himself, wanting to say something snarky but holding back. Betty assumes he probably wants to bet on it, put her intuition to good use.

“Nothing’s set in stone, Pol. Could be a little red-haired girl. Or blonde girl.”

Polly sighs a little before she stares out the window again, “So long as the baby is healthy, I’ll be happy. I just wish Jason could have met his child,”

Betty smiles sadly before the clicking sound of the turn signal fills the car.

“I know, Polly.”


It’s been a long road for Betty, trying to figure out how to keep Polly and the baby safe. Her mother and father are of no use, and Polly had been dead set on having the support of the Blossom family behind her, until Cheryl had revealed they had their own nefarious intentions all along that didn’t have Polly in the picture at all. But at the very least there was money there, and that was where Cheryl came in.

Cheryl hadn’t been a fan of Polly or Betty, that wasn’t a secret, but she was her brother’s biggest champion, and knowing that Polly was pregnant with his child had put a white flag on any and all past issues. With only Polly, Cheryl, Betty and Jughead in on the secret they had put together a plan, however haphazard it might have been it was their only option with their respective parents proving to be more Manson family than Norman Rockwell.

With Polly’s advancing pregnancy the time was running out to secure Polly somewhere safe. But in the meantime they all had to play dumb, going along with both what the Blossom family wanted and the Cooper’s in order to save face and buy them all time without anyone sneaking looks over their shoulders.

It had been a long excommunicated member of the family that Jason had told her they could trust. Years ago she had been a cousin to Mrs. Blossom, but one way or another the two had lost contact, the former no longer fitting into the diamond’s and socialite lifestyle that had followed soon after her advantageous marriage to Clifford Blossom. They lived in California, near Yreka, and had a small farm. Jason had told her it was the only place they could go to start their new lives, where they could live for free and raise the baby while they tried to figure out the next step of their lives. But now Polly was one less person in the plan, and time was running out.

Cheryl had stowed money away, small amounts at a time, not enough to grab the attention of her parents. She knew where they kept stashes of money, and if she was lucky, they’d be drunk enough from a gala or charity function and she’d be able to grab more than the usual amount. Cheryl had bemoaned more than a few times that it wasn’t long after breakfast that her mother reached for the whiskey tumbler, and Betty found herself sympathizing for the girl who had put on such a hard front. She supposed that all of their lives were fractured in one way or another.

But Cheryl had proven her loyalty, and in the span of two months, just in time for Polly’s seventh month mark, Cheryl had managed to amass just over two thousand dollars. And by then they all knew there was no more waiting, it had to happen now.

And so on the quiet Saturday morning, long before her parents would ever wake up, Betty crept quietly down the stairs and stole the keys to her mother’s car, leaving a note behind that said she’d be back the following day and that she could call the cops if she wanted but it was sure to look bad on the Cooper family name, one daughter pregnant out of wedlock and the other resorting to theft and skipping town. It hadn’t been her smartest idea, to blackmail her mother, but it needed to be done for Polly. If her parents weren’t going to step up to the plate and save Polly, Betty would do it on her own.

But she didn’t need to do it on her own. Jughead had been there for her the whole time, stalwart and trusty he was as always her greatest ally and companion. There was no shortage of drama going on in his life, he still had FP to worry about, and was still crashing temporarily at the Archie’s. He’d moved out of Archie’s room and into the basement, it had been the first time in a long time that he had an entire room to call his own.

But in spite of everything being Betty’s neighbor also proved to be useful, on the nights when they both weren’t too tired and too stressed to play at being normal teenagers Jughead found himself scaling the ladder into Betty’s bedroom to keep her up for an entirely different reason. She loved hearing his muted laughs and whispers under the covers of her comforter, the two of them sneaking kisses and hiding groans into the heated skin of their necks. Hands that were usually stationary had become adventurous and roaming and Betty could never get over the feel of his hands on the bare skin of her back.

But time was never on their side, and more often than not before things could get too heated a door would open or she’d hear her mother shifting around downstairs and she’d send Jughead home before the fury of Alice Cooper could set upon them.


Finding Jughead’s eyes in the rearview mirror she sees him smile lightly at her. It is one of their private looks, one they can share when they know that no one is watching.

“We’re almost there.” Polly says, sitting up straighter in her seat.

It is nearing mid-afternoon, and Betty sees the mountains open up in front of her.

By the time Betty pulls into the long, winding driveway she begins to feel the dread pool in the pit of her stomach. She knows that this was the intent the entire time, to get Polly to safety, get Polly away from the cloying, baby-snatching hands of her parents and the Blossoms.

But now that the moment is finally here, Betty isn’t sure if she is able to let go of the sister she has fought so hard to protect.

The blue house sits perkily in the background and Betty puts the car in park. Polly slips out of the car, holding her large stomach protectively as Jughead moves to grab her suitcase from the trunk.

“Hi there!” A woman shouts, emerging from the house. Polly waves and moves towards her. She is a kind-looking woman, perhaps in her late forties, with streaks of white peppered gracefully in her red hair.

She looks eerily similar to Penelope Blossom, but without the evil step-mother vibe.

Staring up at the two women embracing Betty feels Jughead move beside her. His hand comes up and gently presses against her shoulder and she looks over at him.

He knows she is trying hard to be brave, but the fear is shining bright in her eyes and he wants to tell her it’s okay to feel scared and sad when saying goodbye to a person you love. God only knows he has done it before.

But all she does is lean against him briefly before trudging up to the house.

The woman, whose name Betty learns is Cecilia, gives them a tour of the house and shows them where Polly will stay. It’s a beautiful home, filled with natural light, and there is a garden in the backyard. Her room is large and there is already a crib and a layette all laid out.

“Isn’t it wonderful here Betty?” Polly asks, relief evident on her face and Betty smiles genuinely at her. Happy that her sister is happy.

“It is. Cecilia seems like a nice woman, I’m glad that she can help you. I wish I could do more.”

“Hey!” Polly interrupts, grabbing onto her hands tightly, “I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without you. I wouldn’t. You’ve saved our lives Betty Cooper. You’re the best sister a girl could have.”

A few tears slip from Betty’s eyes as she pulls Polly to her, hugging her close, careful of the bump in between them. She presses her face into Polly’s shoulder and dreads the inevitable goodbye she knows is coming.

Betty pulls back, “You’ll call if you need anything right?”

Polly nods, tears running freely down her face, “Of course. I’ll call you even if I don’t need anything. I can’t thank you enough Betty, what you did, what you’re doing for us.”

Shaking her head lightly, Betty blinks away the tears that threaten to fall, trying to put on a brave face for her sister, “I’d do it again in a heartbeat, Pol, whatever you guys need. Listen, though, if you’re gonna call, do it at Archie’s house, okay? I already asked him, he said it was fine. I just don’t know how safe it’s gonna be to call the house for the next little while.”

Nodding solemnly, Polly grabs Betty’s hands in between her own, “Are you gonna be okay? What about mom and dad-”

Betty cut her off, “Don’t worry about that, I’ll manage, I always do. There’s nothing they can do now to scare me. Though I’m sure they’ll try.”

The two girls manage a light-hearted laugh at that, both knowing their mother’s habits when it comes to trying to control the Cooper girls.

Inevitably, it is time to say goodbye and she and Jughead have a long drive back before they face the firing squad.

“I love you.” Polly said.

Smiling sadly Betty hugs her close one last time.

“I love you too. Always.”

She let go of her sister and watches Jughead step up next and hug her goodbye.

Polly whispers something into Jughead’s ear before he nods and lets her go, telling her to be well and call if she needs anything.

Grabbing her hand he pulls her away and Betty looks over her shoulder and waves goodbye one last time to Polly.

Standing near the car at the end of the driveway Betty tries not to feel sad as Jughead embraces her, his arms providing a solid comforting weight as he wraps them around her waist. Tucking her face in and breathing in the scent of his neck Betty lets loose a few tears.

Pressing his cheek to the top of her head Jughead runs his hands up and down her back in soothing strokes, letting her take a much needed break from keeping things together.

“Are you alright?” He asks tentatively.

Pulling back and drying her eyes Betty stared up into his eyes, smiling lightly at him.

“I’ll be fine. It’s just hard to say goodbye.”

Nodding solemnly Jughead cradles her head between his hands, “It’s not goodbye forever Betty. Just temporarily.”

His eyes shine with concern for her and once again Betty feels the wind knocked out of her at the man in front of her and his seemingly endless reserve of patience and kindness. She can think of no one else she would rather have at her side, and she knows that he would follow her to the end of the world and back again. The same as she would for him.

There is no denying she loves him. Will perhaps love him forever if he’ll let her.

Betty can only blink away the tears that pop up again for an altogether different reason and she leans up on her toes and presses her lips against his. They are soft and pliant against hers, content to let the kiss remain chaste as she grips his lean shoulders.

“Thank you, Jughead. For being here, with me. I don’t think I could have done this without you.”

His smile is soft as he pushes a lock of hair behind her ear.

“You could have, Betty. You’re so much stronger than you give yourself credit for.”

It is her solid belief that his unwavering faith in her is the real reason she is able to remain as strong as she is. She is unshakable and unstoppable so long as he is at her side.

“Come on.” He murmurs. “It’s getting late, we should hit the road. Want me to drive?”
Closing her eyes briefly, Betty nods and hands him the keys.


There is something primal and comforting about watching Jughead drive down the highway in the late afternoon sun. He has pushed up the sleeves of his sweater and drives confidently with one hand resting at the top of the wheel.

His forearms are tanned and strong and Betty finds herself casting quick glances at them from her position in the passenger seat.

The radio plays a tune she doesn’t recognize and his fingers tap out a rhythm against the steering wheel and Betty realizes she doesn’t want to go home. Not just yet.

They haven’t been on the road long, they still have a good seven hours to go before they reach Riverdale, and Betty wants to delay their homecoming for as long as she is able.

She told her mother she would return the car on Sunday, and it is only Saturday afternoon.

The buzzing of her phone startles Betty out of her reverie and she pulls out her phone only to see her mother’s name emblazoned on her phone once again.

She sees Jughead out of the corner of her eyes cast a dark glance in her direction.

“Is it the wraith?”

He asks, and Betty can’t help herself and lets loose an airy chuckle.

“Yeah.” She mutters, “I suppose I should submit to the inevitable.”

Letting loose a dark sigh she answers the phone.

“Hello Mother.”

“Elizabeth Cooper!” The voice screams on the other end and Betty grimaces and holds the phone away from her ear. She hears Jughead sigh beside her and reach for her hand, lacing their fingers together. The feel of his hand sure and firm in hers is all the courage that Betty needs.

“-Where do you think you get off, young lady! Stealing my car! Taking your sister! Where have you taken her Betty? Tell me! Where have you taken her?”

Betty looks out the window at the beautiful California landscape in front of her and watches the sky start to turn pink at the edges.

“I’m not going to tell you that Mom. You have to know I’m not going to tell you that. Not until you and everyone else can see that Polly and her baby are not pawns for you to use in whatever sick and twisted game you’re playing.”

Alice Cooper’s heavy breathing is all she knows for a beat until her mother’s voice is back on the line, malicious and cruel.

“You think you know what you are doing but you are a child, Betty. You have no idea what’s actually going on, you can’t play pretend in a game meant for adults! This isn’t some fucking fantasy!”

Her words are heavy and Betty knows they are meant to sting, but she knows in her heart of hearts that her mother is wrong. She is not a child, she grew up the second she found out her parent’s had kept her pregnant sister locked up in an institution and made her wear a coat of lies and pretend it was the truth.

But Betty doesn’t want to negotiate the truth anymore with Alice Cooper, she will take her punishment and weather the storm. Nothing else needs to be said.

“I’ll have the car back tomorrow Mom. We can talk then.”

And she hangs up the phone.

Jughead squeezes her hand and Betty looks over at him, his brow furrowed and face dark.

“Are you okay?” He asks.

“I’m okay.” Betty nods, “I wonder how long I’ll be grounded for. Although she might go full Rapunzel and lock me in a tower. It’s a good thing my hair is blonde.”

He smirks next to her and his face no longer looks troubled and grim. He wears that look too often these days, he has his own burdens to bear and Betty feels guilty for making him shoulder her own as well.

“Hair’s not long enough for me to climb up though.”

Shrugging lightly Betty laughs.

“Guess we’ll just have to keep using the ladder.”


They drive for a few more hours before their hunger compels them to pull off the highway and find the nearest diner and park the car. It doesn’t have the charm and nostalgia of Pop Tate’s but it’s open and contains a hot meal and they both decide it will have to suffice.

He sits next to her in the booth instead of across from her and Betty leans against his shoulder, feeling sluggish and sleepy, as though she were moving underwater.

Her mind has been consumed with thoughts for months of getting Polly to California, getting her and the baby to safety. There have been many nearly sleepless nights and days driven by coffee and granola bars and barely enough energy to function all to get where they are now.

Betty feels a special kind of weightless. She knows there will be endless fights waiting for her once she gets home but for now she is happy and tired and grateful all at once.

“What can I get you kids?”

Looking up from the menu she hasn’t really been studying Betty leans more of her weight on Jughead, prompting him to throw his arm behind her on top of the leather of the booth. It makes her feel safe and warm, the comforting smell of his soap and sheepskin coat enveloping her.

“I’ll have a burger and fries, and a coke. Betts?”

Betty shakes her head to clear her thoughts and stares up at the aging waitress with a kind smile.

“I’ll just have a BLT, thanks.”

The waitress writes down their orders and disappears with a scurry and Jughead turns his attention to Betty. His eyes rove over her face, as if checking for marks and Betty grabs onto the front of his coat and plays with the buttons there.

He doesn’t ask her anything, and she doesn’t feel the need to fill the silence. They are both content to let their eyes do the talking.

His hand comes up to cup her face and Betty leans in, feeling buoyed by his touch.

The light smile she gives him must tell him everything he needs to know as he smiles back at her and leans down to kiss her. It is just a press of his lips against hers, but it makes her heart race all the same. When she feels his tongue on her bottom lip she doesn’t hesitate to open up to him, slipping her hand up to the back of his neck and playing with the fine hairs she finds there.

It is only when they hear the sound of a throat clearing that they pull away and smile guiltily up at the waitress holding their food. She only smiles at them, mutters something about ‘young love’ before she leaves them in peace.

Betty glances at him slyly before they both tuck into their food, both of them ravenous after the stressful day’s events.

When they are both done eating he tosses his napkin on the plate and turns to her.

“We should get going, it’s still a long drive back.” He suggests and Betty reaches out and places her hand on his elbow to get him to look at her.

“It’s late, Juggie. We’re both tired. There’s a motel just up the road. Why don’t we just stay there for the night?”

She can see the shock and surprise on his face at her suggestion, it makes her cheeks flush.

“I mean -” He stutters and Betty finds herself grinning at him, Jughead, Riverdale’s resident writer, at a loss for words.

“-yeah, well, it’s just that I don’t think legally two sixteen year olds can just rent a room. We’re in California, not the backwoods of Arkansas.”

Betty lifts a shoulder and tilts her head in the way that he has come to associate with her having a few tricks up her sleeve.

Opening her purse she pulls out her wallet and hands him the license she has stowed inside.

“Polly gave it to me for safekeeping. Didn’t want anyone to stumble upon it, just in case. She’s eighteen.”

Eyebrows flashing upwards Jughead hands her back the license.

“Alright, then, let’s go.”


The parking lot of the motel they pull into looks as though it has been around since the invention of sliced bread and Betty wonders if the situation they’ve gotten themselves into is more Hitchcock or Kubrick but decides not to dwell on it. There is a ‘Vacancy’ sign lit up and that is all that matters to Betty.

She knows that Jughead is capable of driving back to Riverdale until the wee hours of the morning but her desires are selfish, and she wants to indulge in the fantasy that it is just the two of them for a bit while longer. While she can still ride her high of having Polly in the place she wanted to be.

Betty feels her heart race as they enter the lobby of the motel, the lights flickering above her revealing a bored looking man behind the wooden counter.

“Hi. We need a room for two, please. Just for the night.”

The middle-aged man barely blinks as he places a slip of paper in front of her and hands her a pen. Jughead is silent at her side but keeps his facial expression carefully concealed.

Quickly jotting down her information along with the license plate number Betty hands the sheet back and takes the keys from the man’s outstretched hand.

“It’s forty dollars for the night. Check-out is at eleven. You’re in room number eleven.”

Before she can make a move for her purse Jughead is placing the money on the counter and grabbing her hand and pulling her away.

“If we get murdered tonight, it’s all your fault Betty Cooper.”


The room is threadbare, but thankfully clean, Betty notes. A simple double bed is in the middle of the room and a drawer with a TV on top sits on the opposite side.

Placing her purse on the ground Betty watches Jughead awkwardly survey the room before turning around the face her and it hits her that this is the first time they’ve ever been truly alone together.

They’ve had moments with each other at school or in her room, while out for walks, or in Pop Tate’s but there’s always been the possibility of someone barging in or watching them.

But now they are truly in the middle of nowhere with no one around but them. They have, for the first time, the luxury of their own private space.

The thought sends both a thrill of excitement and fear through Betty, and she senses the same thing in Jughead.

Betty is the first to break the silence.

“I’m gonna take a shower, do you need the bathroom?”

He shakes his head before he sits down on the bed and kicks off his shoes.

“No, I’m good. It’s all yours.”


The hot water feels good on her tense muscles as Betty steps beneath the steady stream of the shower. The water pressure is surprisingly strong for a shady motel and she sighs in relief. She can hear the click of the TV turning on in the room beside her and she thinks about Jughead.

If someone had told her a year ago that she would leave her girlish fantasies of dating Archie Andrews behind in the dust in favor of his brooding best friend Jughead Jones she would have thought they were crazy. But he was here with her, and he had stood by her, sleuthing with her, acting in her defense while Archie Andrews worried about the high school talent show.

And things between them lately had been changing, even more than before. What had started off as an innocent romance had become filled with heady gazes and sexual tension. Rubbing the soap all over her body Betty feels her nerves spark at the simple touch before she turns off the shower and steps out.

She hasn’t brought pajamas with her, the intention had been to drop off Polly and drive straight back. She has no choice but to dry off and put her clothes from the day back on. But the shower has relaxed her, she feels more alert and refreshed.

Emerging from the bathroom and finger combing through the tangles in her hair she finds Jughead in a similar position from when she left him. Perched on the edge of the bed with his hands propped up behind him watching the TV his eyes quickly flash to hers.

The air between them is heavy and Betty feels it all at once. But she has nothing to hide from this man who has given her so many pieces of light in her highly fragmented life. It is not wrong to want him, to want to be with him.

They both have a chance at a sliver of happiness, of feeling complete. She has thought it many times before, that her desires are selfish. But not this, this she just wants.

She wants.

Pushing himself off the bed Jughead moves slowly to stand in front of her, his hand pushing through her damp hair and she sighs at the contact, closing her eyes briefly before opening them and staring up into his eyes.

He swallows thickly, “Betty.” He whispers, and it is so similar to the sound of his voice before their first kiss that she wonders briefly if she is stuck inside a memory.

He wants too. She can tell.

Closing the distance between them Betty places her hands on his chest and kisses him, the air vanishing from her lungs at the contact. Cupping her head and angling her against his mouth they both open to each other. She hears Jughead moan as their tongues tangle and the firm pressure of his full lips vibrate against hers and Betty swears she is in heaven at the taste of him.

They press tightly together until there is no space between them and Jughead drops his hands from her hair and runs them down the course of her back before coming to rest on her backside. Whining softly in the back of her throat Betty feels him dig his hands into the firm flesh he finds there.

It feels impossibly good and Betty wants more. He has miles and miles of skin that she has never touched or explored, the planes of his chest are firm under her hands and she wants to dig her nails in, try and get at his heart.

Gripping the flannel in front of her, Betty begins to slip the buttons through the holes before she is sliding her hands up to his shoulders and forcing the shirt off his shoulders. Breaking his grip on her he allows her to discard it on the ground. But it isn’t enough.

Breaking the kiss Betty looks up and grips the bottom of his t-shirt and looks up into his eyes for permission. Nodding slightly, Betty lifts the shirt and Jughead helps her remove it before tossing it across the room, his beanie falling off in the process.

She doesn’t think she has ever seen him like this before, looking so open and vulnerable with his hair tousled and head empty of his signature beanie. His chest is strong and broad. There is a dark trail of hair underneath his bellybutton and her fingers ache to follow it.

Placing her hands on his narrow waist Betty moves close and presses her lips against his chest, over his heart.

His hands come up from his sides and grips her neck. Trailing her lips up across his collarbones, up his neck, and under his chin she feels him breathing heavily against her.

Leaning down and pressing his forehead against hers Betty stops to breathe in the same air as him.

“I love you.”

The words tumble from his lips like a prayer, and when she pulls back, even though she can see the nervous vulnerability in his eyes she knows he means it.

“I love you, Jughead. So much.”

Betty sees his eyes flash with something dark before he is pulling into his arms and slanting his lips over hers in a desperate, passionate pursuit. He is stealing the breath away from her and she doesn’t ask for him to give it back.

Grabbing the hem of her shirt Jughead lifts it over her head. She has not put her bra back on after her shower and she stands before him completely bare from the waist up.

He lets loose a shaky sigh as he looks at her. With one hand on the back of her neck and the other on her stomach he brings their lips together again and Betty opens up her mouth to him again as he trails his hand up to her breast.

Her heart stutters in her chest and she feels a twinge in her groin when his hand fully envelops her breast. They both moan into each other’s mouth as he tests the weight of her in his palm. Her back arches against him and pushes herself more fully into his hand.

She can feel him, against her hip, and her heart races as she feels the moisture gather in between her legs.

It is all so new, she has no idea how to be touched or how to touch, all she knows is that she wants to touch him and be touched by him. So she lets herself be guided by intuition.

Her hands are roaming the broad length of his back while he places open-mouthed kisses on her neck, sucking marks onto the skin there when his hands move down to the button on her jeans.

Her hands pause on his back as he breathes into the heat of her neck and the question lingers between them.

He pulls away slowly and looks into her eyes before he lets out a sardonic chuckle. The heat between them dissipating for a moment.

“I have no idea what I’m doing.”

Sliding her hands into his hair she lets her nails scratch against his scalp in a soothing motion before she grins at him.

“Me neither. But I like it. I want you to keep going, if you do too. We can figure it out together.”

He nods once, his face serious, before he unbuttons her jeans and pulls down the zipper. The sound filling the space of the quiet room. Betty’s chest heaves as she helps him out of her jeans. He stares at the long length of her legs and the modest dark blue bikini cut of her underwear before he steps closer to her, placing his hands on her hips.

“You’re so beautiful.” He mutters, and Betty feels her heart race.

Betty gathers her courage and unbuttons his jeans, looking up at him as he swallows thickly, adam’s apple bobbing as she unzips his jeans. Her hands brush against his erection and he groans against her temple, hands grabbing onto her ass as he pulls the bottom half of their bodies together.

The fire that Betty feels spreading through her body intensifies as she pulls Jughead down to her and attaches her lips to his in a frenzied manner, unable to stop touching him, unable to get enough of his skin against her as their torsos meet for the first time.

They are both unable to prevent the downright sinister noises that escapes their lips at the feel of their bodies connecting. Betty can only wrap her arms around his muscular back and let him walk her back towards the bed.

When she feels the back of her knees hit the edge of the bed Betty disentangles herself from his loving grip and sits down on the bed and pushes herself back. She keeps her eyes on him the entire time, she enjoys watching the dark, lustful look in his eyes blossom and bloom.

She likes knowing that she is responsible for it.

Jughead’s knee comes up on the bed and he is chasing after her. She lies back against the bed and enjoys the feel of his long limbs tangling with hers. Somehow, in spite of the lack of physical activity, he is all sinew and strength.

Her legs instinctively fall open and he settles himself between them. Her legs tangle with his and she can feel his erection pressed against her. He has one forearm on the bed, propping himself up against her while the other comes up to cup her cheek.

His voice is deep and strained when he speaks.

“Are you sure Betty?”

She knows that they are both turned on right now, there is no getting around the desire she feels pooling in her lower stomach. But there is also fear too, she can’t deny that. But Betty knows that if she asked him, he would stop. He wouldn’t be mad, or bitter. They would put on their clothes and cuddle up and he would still love her and want whatever she wanted and vice versa.

She wants to take this step with him. After everything they’ve been through together. She wants him to be her first.

“I’m sure about you, Jughead.”

He releases a shaky breath, like it is everything he needs to hear before he leans down and presses them together. Betty lets out a groan at the feeling of his weight on top of her. Her mouth slants against his and their tongues duel and dance deliciously. He can’t help himself as he grinds them together, his hips moving against hers, his hand moving down against her backside, pressing her firmly against him.

It’s a move that has Betty seeing stars, as she pulls away from his lips and groans against the heat of his neck. Her hips move against him, pushing up as he angles himself down and he grunts against her collarbone where he is sucking marks onto her skin.

She’s never felt this with him before, the chaotic structure of their lives prevents them from it. Her parents, schoolwork, his living with Archie. They are all obstacles to their being together. But now that they are able, she finds she is wholly selfish, wanting to keep them like this forever.

His hand drifts from her backside to her hip and Betty leans into the touch. She combs her fingers through his hair as he lifts his head in question, asking for permission. Betty begins to pant as she closes her eyes and nods vigorously against him.

It is all the answer he needs as he slips his fingers underneath the elastic of her underwear. His fingers move past her curls until they stop at the wetness gathered between her thighs.

Letting out a throaty moan at the feeling of his fingers on her Betty’s fingers tighten in Jughead’s hair, tugging at the raven strands.

She hears him let out an uncharacteristic curse at the slick feeling of her, knowing he caused it, before he drags his fingers up and circle around her most sensitive spot.

Betty cannot help herself and lets out a strangled moan before her hips begin to move on their own.

“Juggie.” She murmurs, unable to believe the sensations running through her body. It is enough to make her nerves feel like they have been set on fire. Moving her hands from his hair to his back Betty grabs on for dear life as his fingers bring her closer and closer to a precipice she wants to jump off of.

Jughead cannot believe the image in front of him, chest heaving, eyes shut and head thrown back against the pillow Betty is an image of lust and passion and she is coming apart because of him. He cannot ignore her siren song and lowers his head against her chest, taking one dark pink nipple into his mouth and suckling.

He groans around her nipple when she sucks in a startled gasp at the sensation and digs her nails into the skin of his back. His fingers draw tighter and tighter circles against her until she is panting and whining and making desperate noises into his ear. It is nearly enough to drive him mad.

When he moves to pay attention to the other neglected nipple and sucks on the darkened areola he lets his teeth graze over it and it’s then that Betty makes a high keening noise in the back of her throat. Her thighs clench over his hand as she draws in a breath and her head falls back against the pillow.

Pulling his head back up he stares at her in amazement as she pants, her eyes half-open, looking at him, a sleepy smile playing around her lips.

He licks his dry lips and she pulls him into a soft kiss, sighing into his mouth.

He pulls back and stares down at her.

“Was it good?”

Letting out a breathy chuckle Betty pulls him down on top of her.

“Yeah. It was really good. You sure it’s your first time Forsythe?”

He furrows his brow at her use of his name before shaking his head.

“You know I’d tell you if it wasn’t.”

Betty’s eyes soften as she regards him.

“I know you would Jug. I know you.”

Jughead can feel his heart start beating faster as he looks down at her. The first girl he’s ever loved, the only girl he hopes to ever love.

The air shifts again from something lighter to one charged with sexual tension. Jughead begins to pant slightly as he stares down at her lips and brings them together once more. Moaning into his mouth Betty’s legs crawl up from beside him, feeling his erection pressed against her inner thigh. In a bold move she brings her hand down to his black briefs and passes her hand along the front of him, feeling him twitch and a moan get caught in the back of Jughead’s throat.

Slipping her hand beneath the elastic band she grips him in her hand and starts a tentative movement up and down. Panting heavily against her lips Jughead is unable to kiss her as she makes his eyes blur.

She can feel him, thick and long, and licks her lips at the thought of him hard and moaning because of her.

But she suddenly feels him pull back and sit back up on his haunches.

“-Is something wrong?” She asks, worried she has pushed him too much. But he only shakes his head and leans down to grip her underwear in his hands.

“Can I take this off?” His eyes are wild with lust and Betty leans back and lifts her hips in response, helping him remove the offending garment.

Naked and completely exposed Jughead stares at her as if she is something precious, something rare. He removes his own briefs and Betty stares at him for the first time, starting at the dark happy trail and moving down to the perfect pink length of him.

“Come ‘ere.” She murmurs and Jughead is happy to comply, fitting himself in between her legs for the first time without clothing. The pair groan at the contact and Betty wraps her arms around him tighter. Legs spreading wider to accommodate him Betty cannot believe the heavenly feel of him pressed against her slickness.

“Shit.” She hears Jughead say, “I don’t have anything.”

“It’s okay.” Betty is quick to reassure him, “I’m on the pill.”

He nods and lines himself up against her, staring into her eyes he looks for signs of hesitation but only sees her love and lust fuelled eyes staring back at him.

With a groan Jughead pushes into her heavenly heat, her tight walls gripping him and he drops his head to her chest as she inhales heavily. He stills for a moment, allowing her to adjust to him before he picks up his head.

“Are you okay?”

She nods her head before biting her lip and looking up at him. It isn’t particularly painful, just uncomfortable as she adjusts to his size.

She pulls him down into a heated kiss as he groans and pulls out before pushing back in, starting a gentle rhythm. Betty feels him steal her breath away again as the gentle rocking motion fills her with a fire she’s never felt before.

It is just the two of them in that small motel room, and Betty throws her head back against the pillow as Jughead’s motions become more confident. His lips assault her neck with kisses and bites and she knows tomorrow she will be covered in marks from his passionate assault.

His thrusts begin to pick up in tempo and Betty can feel the moans pouring from her, he is strong and sure inside of her and Betty is certain that she can never be without him. Not ever. Not with the way he looks at her as his hips angle and thrust particularly deep. Not when he whispers his affection and devotion into her ear as she grips his shoulders and trembles.

“Oh God, Jughead. Please.” She is desperate now, so close to the edge of something terrifying and profound and it is just out of her reach. It should be wrong to feel this good with the man she loves.

“I-I love you. So much.” He grits out in response, his hips stuttering and losing their rhythm. They are both close to the edge.

“What do you need?” He asks, his lips barely touching hers.

“I don’t know.” Betty mumbles, her head shaking back and forth as her chests brushes against his and she sighs, throwing her head back against the pillow at the onslaught of pleasure it brings her.

“Touch me, please. Please.” She begs.

Jughead can’t take his eyes off of her as she shakes and moans beneath him. She is a goddess in her own right. He grips the back of her neck with one hand while the other snakes between them. Touching her breasts he squeezes and fondles them before dropping his lips and sucking the tender flesh into his mouth, his hips continue to piston into her wet heat and the sounds she makes are so mouth-wateringly sinful he groans around the areola in between his lips.

But he needs to look at her, he picks up his head as his hand seeks out the bundle of nerves above where they are connected and draws tight circles around them like before and he can sense the change in her.

“Look at me.” He demands, anxious to see her eyes, to know that she is there with him.

Her face looks as though she is in pain even though he knows she is far from it. Her brow furrowed and her mouth open she is wanton. Her cries gaining in volume.

With one last deep thrust she is falling apart around him, he feels her clench around him and he cries out her name as their orgasm pushes them both over the edge of oblivion.

Dropping onto her chest he hears her shaky breath and lingering moans as she comes down from her high. Her hands sneak into his hair and she pushes back the sweaty locks from his forehead before kissing it.

Eyes closed tight he tries to catch his breath, still feeling as though he is floating.

It would be very easy for him to fall asleep like this but he worries that he is crushing her, and so he pulls out of her and collapses on the bed next to her.

She is quick to pull herself into his arms and he wraps them around her as she sprawls out against his chest.

“That was…” Betty starts, still out of breath.

“Amazing. Incredible. Mind-blowing. Sublime.” He supplies with a lazy grin on his face.

Pressing her face into his chest he feels the vibrations of her giggles and turns to kiss her forehead.

Lifting her head he stares down at her. He is not sure what she sees in him, he is a bit of a disaster if he’s honest with himself. But she helps him remember who he is, and who he wants to be. And he does the same for her. Or at the very least he tries to.

His face is serious and Betty lifts a hand to smoothe out the furrow in between his brows.

“What’s going on in that brain of yours?”

He shakes his head, the same way she had done to him outside of his father’s trailer when they went to confront FP about Jason’s involvement in the Serpent’s drug ring.

“I love you, Betty Cooper. I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving you.”

Her eyes mist over as she leans up and presses her lips against his, taking his bottom lip in between hers gently.

“I love you too. Please, don’t ever let me go, okay?”

He nods and gathers her closer in his arms. He knows he never will. If someone has to go, he knows it will have to be her. He is incapable of making that decision. She will always be the light to his darkness, even when she can’t be the light.

Betty pulls him impossibly closer as she begins to drift off to sleep. Tomorrow they will wake up and begin the long drive back to Riverdale. Back to the judgment of their parents, and the Sheriff. Back to the town filled with dilemma and drama and endless accusations. It is almost an insufferable place to be, and she knows it won’t be easy.

But so long as she has him by her side, she knows they are capable of overcoming anything.

anonymous asked:

Swift reminds me of Briony Tallis from the novel Atonement. A 13 year old girl with a talent for writing, bc in writing she can control everything, thinks that the world revolves around her. When Robbie does not return her affection she tells a conscious lie(as I interrupt it) because she felt betrayed & bitter towards the affection Robbie had for Cecilia and sends an innocent man to prison, to war, breaking her sisters heart.

Sounds like something she would do.

the lilies, the aloe

for Cecilia Castañeda and her sister, my mother 
-

mother, your grief is not in this language

you find it in the way the black bird
takes to the grey sky, over the crust of the mesa

you see it in the dribble of the soy candle,
the limp silver of her head, the purple mouth
crumpled open
the lilies you brought her left on the nightstand
her quiet fingers when they washed her hair in the basin

you find it in the first nests of winter branches
(inside, the sweet voice of a blonde woman
sitting pinkly across the parlour table
says a word and it is not it)

a word that tastes like thick water in your throat,
leaking sometimes on your palms, your eyelids
when you become a flower
on the shower floor


your husband, your daughter cannot hear-
when you mouth it, they become vessels of char
you scrape it into everything your hands touch
the flesh, the lily water, the photographs
waiting for someone to rub silence as aloe and jasmine
into the wound of her name.

Some Millennials Are Seeking a Nun’s Life

By Penelope Green, NY Times, Sept. 5, 2015

SUMMIT, N.J.–It’s been a rough year for the mechanicals at the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary. The lawn mower died, along with the chaplain’s car, the compressor for the kitchen refrigerator and one of the “new” washers (that is, a machine bought sometime in the mid ‘80s).

But the 19 sisters who live here are sanguine about these and other expenses, which include more than $94,000 a year for health insurance. “Oy,” is how Sister Mary Catharine, the gregarious 46-year-old novice mistress, shrugged off the recent breakdowns.

On a recent summer morning, the sisters stood in their chapel and sang the daytime prayer in high, clear voices. Dominican monasteries are essentially engines of prayer; singing, which the nuns do seven times a day, is a deeper, fuller way of praying, Sister Mary Catharine said, “because we are using our whole person.”

Outside the choir door, a bulletin board was layered with a collage of cards, printed emails and letters, flags of hope and despair, asking the sisters for an intercession.

“We get them from all over the world every week,” said Sister Mary Catharine. “We have regulars. If you don’t hear from someone, you notice and worry.”

A woman fighting depression phoned most mornings and evenings. “We tell her, ‘It’s O.K. We’re praying for you,’” Sister Mary Catharine said (now she calls less often). “Sometimes I don’t know what to say. Some sisters are better at this than others.”

On a table, a handful of LG Tracfones were charging, as backup in case a sister on an errand has a breakdown (the monastery owns two 10-year-old Subaru Foresters) or an item needs to be added to her shopping list. Of course, said Sister Mary Catharine, nuns are notorious for not turning the ringer on.

While the number of women entering religious life has been in a steep decline since the mid-1960s, it is notable and even startling that a contemplative order like the Dominican Nuns of Summit–where the sisters live in cloister and practice a life of prayer–would be able to attract young, college-educated millennials.

In the last decade, 15 aspirants have entered this tiny order, nine of whom stayed and are on track to take their final vows or have already done so. Two more will join the community before the end of the year.

Built in the 1920s and ‘30s on a busy street in this bedroom community of Manhattan, the monastery was imagined as four-winged cloister until the Depression curtailed its scope.

What surrounds the brick and stone chapel is a kind of architectural afterthought, a ring of rooms housing the sisters’ bright, spare cells and their kitchen, dining room, offices and choir.

Underneath, a warren of spaces includes the woodworking and soap making shops–sales of their products help defray the sisters’ growing expenses. In a windowless storeroom, a few donated exercise machines huddle together (one sister’s mother works at a Y.M.C.A).

The Dominican sisters of Summit have finally outgrown their home.

Some context comes from a study published last fall by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (or CARA), charting the decrease in the population of women’s religious orders, to less than 50,000 today, from their peak of 181,421 sisters in 1966.

In postwar America, “a vocation to a religious life was one of the few ways for Catholics without resources to get an education and to exercise leadership,” said Mary Gautier, a senior research associate at CARA.

Yet even at the peak, a vocation to a contemplative order was pretty rare. (Active or apostolic nuns, by contrast, follow a service ministry out in the world, in teaching or health care, for example.) “Their purpose is very special,” Dr. Gautier said.

Paradoxically, it’s the Internet and, increasingly, social media that have helped replenish the Summit sisters and other orders, with blogs like A Nun’s Life and elegant websites like the one Sister Mary Catharine built for her order using Squarespace.

You can search the phrase, “How to be a nun” and find substantive answers. An Ohio order invites you to text your queries.

One sister looked at the Summit blog for two years before she got in touch. (Sister Mary Catharine put the blog up in 2004 without permission from the prioress. “I knew I couldn’t explain what a blog was without actually making a blog,” she said. Permission was quickly granted, she added.) Communities have Twitter feeds that you can follow, and Facebook pages.

In 1991, when Sister Mary Catharine entered the Summit monastery, she was 22 and the next youngest sister was 39. Back home in Massachusetts, where she was still known as Sharon Perry and working as a pharmacy technician, there was no one she knew who was even contemplating a contemplative life.

Raised Catholic, Sister Mary Catharine had spent two years as a teacher in an active order in her home state; she was stunned to be called to a cloistered community in Summit, N.J. “Of all places,” she said. “It was the ‘80s, this non-time. Lots of big sleeves and hair.” But after a visit to the Summit monastery, Sister Mary Catharine couldn’t shake the pull of the place.

Now, she is mentoring six women under the age of 30; this summer, she welcomed four aspirants, three of them in their 20s. “You now have a whole generation that’s been given so much,” Sister Mary Catharine said, pondering the recent flurry of inquiries to the monastery.

“With all the technology, I think they’re just saturated,” she said of the curious. “And they see this life as really radical and they have a desire for it. Maybe their families are fractured and they see our life as really stable. Of course, people come to it from all different places. One of the friars told me his novice master decided to become a friar because friars had their own bedrooms and he hated sharing a room with his brothers at home. That is why he came, but it’s not why he stayed. If God is calling, you can’t be happy doing anything else.”

It was YouTube that figured into the discernment process of another novice.

Sister Maria Teresa, who took her final vows here last year, was a junior at Drew University majoring in religious studies and biology when she felt the call to some sort of service. Cloistered life was not on her list of life choices, though she was considering a religious vocation in an active order.

After praying for guidance one day in her dorm room, she put on her head phones to listen her favorite song, “Only Hope,” by Mandy Moore on YouTube (the theme to the Nicholas Sparks romantic comedy, “A Walk to Remember”). Instead of the familiar lyrics, she heard the phrase, “Will you marry me?” and understood, she said, that she had to give herself more radically to God.

She had been at the Summit monastery for just three weeks when the photographer Toni Greaves visited in the winter of 2008, joining a writer who was working on a story about how nuns were using the Internet to market their communities.

Ms. Greaves was so moved by what she saw there that she asked the sisters if she could stay and document their daily life. “There was an exuberance and vibrancy to all the young women,” Ms. Greaves said. “It’s the energy that we embody when we’re in love, and it was amazing to me.”

She spent the next seven years visiting the monastery, sleeping in the tiny guest quarters in the basement. Her luminous images marry the quotidian with the divine in all sorts of ways: a young novice dribbles a basketball in full habit; a jar of Vick’s VapoRub nestles a bottle of holy water; a group portrait of all 19 sisters, whose ages range from 25 to 90, includes Sabina, the golden retriever, splayed flat on the floor (Sabina had trained to be a guide dog, said Sister Mary Catharine, but she was perhaps too friendly for that work).

“We got used to stepping over Toni on the floor as we left chapel,” said Sister Mary Catharine, who now calls Ms. Greaves a close friend.

Her book, “Radical Love,” out this month from Chronicle Books, is a collection of images that document Sister Maria Teresa’s journey from her first weeks in the monastery to her solemn profession seven years later. “To focus life on the thing you care about the most,” Ms. Greaves said, “I equate their happiness, in part, to that.”

In the skinny passage that serves as the monastery’s front hall, Sister Mary Cecilia stopped to share her vocation story. She is an extern sister, which means she works outside the monastery and is the face of the community to the outside world.

Sister Mary Cecilia drives sisters to the doctor, and picks visitors up from the airport and grocery shops, among other things. (For a long time, Sister Mary Catharine was the only sister here with a driver’s license. “I thought I’d write a book,” she said. “‘I Go to the Airport: My Life as a Cloistered Nun.’ “)

In 2007, Sister Mary Cecilia had graduated from business school, taken her securities exam and begun a plum job. “A religious life was not on my radar, but I was completely miserable,” she said. “I remember asking God what to do.”

She was touring active orders when a scheduling mishap brought her for a night to Summit. Meeting with Sister Mary Catharine in the small parlor that is the public room here, she said, “I think I have a contemplative vocation,” and burst into tears.

Cloistered life requires stamina. Sisters are up at 5:20, and work hard during the day: studying, praying and performing all manner of jobs according to temperament and talent. There are printers, publication directors, database managers and cooks; there are four organists, a liturgy directress, a bursar and more than a few seamstresses.

Laundry must be done, and many sisters have a garden. Mending (and making) the habits is a constant challenge, said Sister Mary Catharine, because their fabric sources keep drying up, and “we demand a lot from our clothes.” (The holy grail of fabric is a poly/wool blend that doesn’t pill, wears well and breathes.)

The sisters used to make their own shoes, too, but these days they buy them at Zappos. “Free shipping,” said Sister Mary Catharine.

Novices go through physical changes, she said, as their internal clocks adjust to the routine: “They are used to being up late at night. There’s no, ‘I’m going to sleep in this weekend.’ When I entered, I thought I would never get over the exhaustion.”

The first six weeks are pivotal, Sister Mary Catharine said: “It’s when they get over the romance of it all. If they make it six weeks, they’ll usually make it a year. And if they make it through a year, they’re probably going to make solemn profession.”

The soap, candles, room sprays and cosmetics they make by hand are part of a serious operation, though its retail presence is just a small closet inside the front door of the church.

There are hits and misses. Chocolate soap was not a best seller. “None of us have any professional experience in marketing so we just go for it,” Sister Mary Catharine said. In a recent meeting to plan next spring’s scents, the sisters nixed a patchouli flavor because it reminded them of an old couch.

A capital campaign is underway to build the sisters a 5,500-square-foot addition with handicapped access, something the church is sorely lacking.

Stretching off to one side of the church, the space will more than ease their growing pains, and will finish, in effect, the job that was started here back in the 1920s. Inside, there will be larger guest quarters, a proper gift shop and more workrooms for the handmade products, which in turn will free up more space in the original structure for the new sisters.

Sister Mary Cecilia, the extern, is now 31 and still in her first vows, the formative period that follows the two-year novitiate program.

After six years here, Sister Mary Cecilia, a native of Canada, remains mystified by certain United State rituals.

“I still don’t get the Electoral College,” she said.

“Nobody does,” said Sister Mary Catharine. (Cloistered nuns do vote, by mail-in ballot.)

The contemplative life, Sister Mary Cecilia said, “has been more than I could ever have imagined. God surprises you.”

vimeo

I love everything about this so much
Villagers | Cecilia and Her Sister 

Of Sucker Punches, Tooth Fairies, and Fuzzy Caterpillar Feelings, or, Roland Visits the Principal’s Office

Prompt from @regal-believerxrizzlexaddict from (almost) a year ago: Hood-Mills Family. Roland is being bullied and Henry protects him. 

Long post is long. Read on ffnet if you’d rather.

Takes place after Roland Registers for Kindergarten but before Roland has the Flu.


Roland hasn’t been going to school for long, but he’s pretty sure it’s a bad thing to sit in the principal’s office with a bag of ice pressed to his mouth. Of course, the jeering oohs from his classmates clued him in, too, as his teacher hauled him, Henry, Charlie, and Charlie’s big brother off the playground. Roland shifts his grip on the soggy paper towel wrapped around his bag of ice and pulls it away, frowning at the red specks of blood smeared like watercolor paints over the pink flowery pattern.

“Hey,” Henry says, nudging him with his elbow. “Keep that pressed on your gums. You’re still bleeding a little.”

“So are you,” Roland lisps, tongue probing the gap where his two front teeth should be, but he raises the ice back to his mouth.

The older boy shrugs and readjusts the mass of bloody tissues he’s holding to his nose. “It’ll stop soon.”

“We’re in trouble, aren’t we?” Roland whispers, swinging his legs, the toes of his sneakered feet skipping across the linoleum.

“You’re not, but I am. Mom’s gonna kick my butt.”

“Which one?”

“Both, probably.”

“Is Regina gonna kick my butt?”

“You didn’t do anything wrong,” Henry says, his voice sharp like the tip of a pencil as he crumples his bloody tissues and slings them into the metal trash can by the door. He presses his fingers to his nose a few times, pulling them away to check for blood, and sniffs. “It’s my fault you’re here in the first place anyway.”

“You were protecting me,” Roland insists, switching his hands on the ice pack.

Henry shakes his head. “I should have been more careful. Still got your teeth?”

Yes, he does. Roland grabs the other plastic baggie from the empty chair next to him and dangles it proudly, his two front teeth clicking together inside the bag as he shakes the container. “Does the tooth fairy still come if your teeth get knocked out in a fight instead of falling out by themselves?”

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