The After Party
An alternate take on Cheryl’s after party in Episode One “The River’s Edge”. Betty sticks around after Veronica and Archie enter the closet. Jughead makes an appearance and Cheryl decides to have some fun.
Hey guys, this is going to be a three to four part fic, which will be a little different to my other fics so far. More angst-y then fluffy. I hope you enjoy so far.
Betty did her best to try and make sure the hurt was not showing on her face. Cheryl had made the decision that the bottle was not pointing at her. She was trying to get a rise out of her and Betty was determined to not let her win this one. She continued to smile sweetly, listening to the conversation around her.
“Reggie.” She piped up. “Could you get me one of those shots.” She motioned to the drinks up at the bar.
“Sure Betty.” Reggie nearly fell over himself in his haste to get to the bar. He knew that her drinking at one of these parties was a no-no. Getting Betty Cooper to let her hair down for once would be an interesting little experiment and while spoilsport Archie was otherwise engaged. He returned to the group with a plate of the shots offering to Betty first. She took it from the plate and downed it quickly. A part of her hoped that it would help her forget what may be going on in the broom closet a few steps away from where she was. “Whoo way to go Cooper.” Reggie shouted in congratulations before taking one himself. She could still feel the alcohol burning her throat as she gave him a nervous smile.
It was at this moment that the perpetually moody Jughead Jones came through the front door, skulking as he made his way around the periphery of the group. Betty was surprised to see him, he never came to these things. Archie and herself had begged him on numerous occasions to come with them, back before Summer break. Something had changed between them since then, she had noticed it when she returned home from her internship. Jughead had distanced himself, no longer part of the group. They hadn’t spoken since before summer when he had hugged her and wished her well. Before pulling back, rubbing his neck as he stood there awkwardly embarrassed by his own actions.
“What are you doing here Donnie Darko?” Reggie called out to him. He must have thought Christmas had come early his favourite victim in his domain. Jughead continued to move around the group ignoring Reggie before taking a seat next to Ginger Lopez. “Yo, Wednesday Adams.” Reggie persisted. “No one is going to want to spend 5 seconds in a closet alone with you.” Betty was about to tell Reggie to shut up when Cheryl spoke.
“Reggie don’t be such a spoil sport. If Jughead wants to play, let him play.” She said as she eyed him with curiosity, then something else flashed across her face. Betty knew that look, it was the same look she had given when she suggested the game in the first place and then suggested Archie go first. She was up to something.
“Oh times up.” Cheryl announced. “Oh would you look at that, guess we ran over time. Doesn’t look like they minded.” She smiled sweetly at Betty, goading her for a reaction. Betty subconsciously dug her nails deep into the bed of her palm. Cheryl bounced happily over to the closet, opening the door to find Veronica and Archie in deep embrace. “Would you look at that.” She spoke triumphantly as the couple broke apart at the harsh light entering the small space. Betty knew what they had been doing she had known it before the door had even opened. Of course it was Veronica. She was everything she wasn’t confident in herself, unique and passionate.
Betty took a deep breath to try and quell the emotions surging up, threatening to break to the surface. She could feel her eyes well up, and cursed her inability to be able to hide her feelings at times. Jughead caught her eyes from across the room. She turned away quickly as she grabbed another shot from the coffee table in front of her and downed it. The physical pain burning in her throat took away the pain in her heart if only for a moment.
“Now who should go next.” Cheryl mused, looking at the others sitting around the table. “Betty.”
“Cheryl.” Veronica had an edge of warning in her voice.
“What new girl?” Cheryl snapped back. “Now Betty you want to play don’t you?” Betty nodded barely looking up to acknowledge her going over in her head what had just happened.
“Good. Now Betty give that bottle a spin.” Betty reached over and spun the bottle, leaning back, passive as she watched it. She didn’t notice Cheryl moving behind Reggie and whispering in his ear. He looked confused until she whispered again, running a finger delicately across his cheek and he got up and left the room. Betty watched the bottle as it stopped at Valerie. Well it could have been worse she though as she looked over to where Reggie Mantle was no longer sitting. Confused she got up to move to the closet, at least they could talk she guessed.
“Well we can’t have that can we?” Cheryl advised, Betty stopped her movement.
“But it landed on.” She started to explain her voice meek.
“Well I think in the true spirit of fun it should really be a boy and girl.” Cheryl’s saccharine smile never faltering.
“I don’t think that’s fair.” Betty started to argue.
“Well I am the hostess and I make the rules.” Cheryl stated simply signalling that the argument was over.
“Fine. I’ll just.” She huffed as she reached for the bottle.
“No need.” Cheryl grabbed the bottle from the table. “There is only one boy left.” She moved the bottle to point at Jughead. He felt everyone’s eyes on him and shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Betty took a deep breath, knowing now why Reggie was no longer in the room. Apparently Cheryl wasn’t finished playing her games yet.