cooperative work

The After Party

Summary:
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.

Part One:

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.

  • Kevin Keller: Every time you kiss someone you're kissing every person that person has kissed!
  • Veronica Lodge: Jughead kissed Betty, and I kissed Betty. So in a way, Jughead and I have kissed.
  • Archie Andrews: Ronnie, I don't think that's how it works.
  • Betty Cooper: Hey guys!
  • Jughead Jones: What'd we miss?
  • Veronica Lodge: You have really soft lips for a boy.
  • Jughead Jones:
  • Betty Cooper: ....Kay, apparently we missed a lot.
4

*climbing through moffat’s kitchen window* i just find it funny, and by funny i mean unbearably annoying, how sherlock just completely ignored john’s vatican cameos *dusting myself off and going to the fridge* i mean, the entire point of this season and tbh the rest of the show was that john and sherlock need to cooperate to work efficiently *gets a carton of milk and chugs it* and sherlock just went against alla dat even though we know he’d learned from his mistakes after the reichenbach fall. also *pours all the remaining milk over my head* sherlock was gonna shoot himself and john just stood there like a fucken idiot???? whats up with that???

Ships Lost at Sea

A short little piece of fluff of a moment between Betty and Jughead shared on a couch. 

This ship inspires a need to write fluff like never before, it’s too cute and completely uncharted territory for me to be writing something so fluffy.


She wasn’t sure what they were. When Veronica had asked her why he had comforted her in such an intimate way she didn’t know what to say. She told her the truth he had been comforting her and she had found comfort in the most unlikely of places. That he was helping her through what had been one of the most difficult times of her life. She hadn’t even told her that they had kissed.

The pair  found themselves on the couch of the Blue and Gold offices well after school had finished and they had continued to work on the school paper, while the case of Jason Blossom had dried up for the time being. With his head resting on her lap Betty found herself reminiscing about the little touches they shared. The way he would reach for her hand as he walked her home and how in turn she would hold  on to his arm or placing her hand on his cheek. They were such simple gestures, on the surface so insignificant and inconsequential but to her they meant everything.

She absent mindedly moved her finger tips across his forehead, brushing away the hair that had settled there as he continued to read out his latest article to her as she listened attentively.

She didn’t want to put a label on it, what was occurring between them. She felt as though they were two ships lost at sea who had found each other. They both had their own problems, both trying to survive being a teenager with their own separate challenges. Her with a mum who was protective to the degree of being psychotic and him with a dad who just couldn’t get it right. It was this that brought them together in addition to their need to find Jason Blossom’s killer. Maybe that was why they both had latched onto this case as an interest, it was something else to focus on rather than the homes that they came from and the perceptions of who they should be that they were trying so desperately to distance themselves from.

The others didn’t get it, Archie’s dad was supportive and kind, Veronica’s mum cared for her daughter in a way that Betty envied, and Kevin had his dad supporting him through his coming out and the towns reaction, he would protect his son through it all. But her and Jughead they knew what it was like when your parents didn’t quite measure up the way you hoped they would, they understood what it felt like to be disappointed by your parents again and again and needing a soft place to land. Maybe that was what they were to each other a soft place to land.

“Betts, are you listening?” The change in his voice broke her away from her thoughts and she realised that he had now finished and was looking at her expectedly for her response.

“Sorry Juggie I just drifted off.” She explained. Turning her head away from him.

“Somewhere nice?” He asked intrigued as to where her thoughts had taken her.

“Not really. Just thinking.”

“I assume about my mind altering article on why our school mascot is a mongoose. Thanks again for the plum assignment.” He stated sarcasm tingeing his voice.

“It’s been a slow news week.” She explained. “But you have done wonders with it.”

“Good.” He smiled up at her, moving aside the printed article to rest on his chest and closed his eyes, as she continued to play with his hair.

He still couldn’t believe this was happening. Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones sharing an intimate moment. He had been afraid that once their friends had found about them that she would have distanced herself, that maybe this was a phase she was going through and while it was behind closed doors it was fine but outside in the real world where everyone could see that he wouldn’t be enough.

When he had been dragged away from school in the Sherrif Keller’s car he was sure that that would be the final nail in the coffin. The gorgeous golden girl Betty Cooper would not want to be associated with a suspected murderer. The boy from the wrong side of the tracks and a criminal record. But there she had been, holding his hands, reassuring him that she knew who he was she knew the real him and there was such trust in her eyes that he had felt safer just knowing that she was on his side. That if she was there he could make it through.

He found himself reaching for her constantly needing to feel her skin, her presence near him. It calmed him knowing that she was close.

They hadn’t talked about their relationship, he didn’t want to jinx it, he couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. He knew their friends were calling them ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ and they hadn’t corrected them.

“Can I?” Her voice broke into his thoughts and he noticed that she was motioning to his beanie. He nodded and she removed it, delicately placing it on the armrest of the couch. Her fingers returned to move through his hair, fingertips brushing against his scalp as he moaned his approval. She continued to massage his scalp delighting in the sounds he was making, knowing that she could bring him some peace. They stayed that way for a while her fingers moving across his scalp, directed at the areas that produced the greatest response. He felt like he was dreaming, completely at rest, safe in her arms.

“Betts,” He whispered to her even though they were the only two in the room.

“Yeah.” She whispered back

“We are going to stick together aren’t we? Through this even after we find out who killed Jason, if we do?” He kept his eyes closed not sure he could look straight into her eyes while he asked her. This was the most directly they had spoken about what was going on between them.

“I would like that Juggie.” He opened his eyes to find her smiling down at him, he could lose himself in those eyes. They felt like home. He shifted his body to move up and capture her lips with his. Before resting his head again in her lap, his arm moving to around her shoulders and closing his eyes. Safe and content he felt as though his ship had finally come into port.

4
Handle With Care

What happens when you’re getting frustrated over your Byron and Shelley essay - *Cole Sprouse voice* angsty Bughead


They’d been careful about everything. 

He’d been careful about the way he cupped her face when he first kissed her, brushing his thumbs over her petal-soft cheeks, contrasting deliciously with the way he poured all the longing, all his time spent dreaming, for this moment against her lips. 

He’d been careful about the way he reached for her hand when he walked her home, that rainy night after looking for Polly in the woods. He’d jerked his hand back twice before leaving his hanging between them, heart rising into his throat when it was Betty that laced her fingers through his without a word, not even interrupting their conversation like it was the most natural thing in the world. And then she’d kissed him and he swore he could have died happy, right then. The warmth of her hands on his face made him feel safer than he’d felt in a long time now, like he was being protected rather than left to endure the cold world all by himself. His heart was glass, cracked and fragile, and he felt as if he’d thrown it at her, sure that she’d catch it, cradle it. 

He’d been careful when Veronica called him Betty’s boyfriend for the first time. His heart stopped and then resumed in double time as the words hung there in the air - Betty’s boyfriend. They hadn’t defined what they were yet and as much as Jughead was ok with that, ok to wait for as long as they both needed, he couldn’t help but love the tingling that spread into the tips of his fingers at the title. He turned to her with a carefully blank face, blinded by the smile she’d offered him in return. This was it for him.

He’d been careful when he paced up and down in front of her, standing at the end of her bed while she sat on the duvet, chest heaving, shirt askew and hair a mess. He couldn’t get enough of her. Every kiss, every touch, was something new that he didn’t know he’d been missing until now. But now he had it he couldn’t imagine a life without it. But here he was, a knot tight in his stomach and appearance as equally dishevelled as he tried to find the words to talk about how he felt. He tried to explain his feelings in a way that didn’t make it seem like it was anything to do with Betty - it wasn’t her, he desired her more than he knew what to do with. That was kind of the problem, because he’d never had that before. He told her about his lack of interest in any other girl before her, how she’d knocked the air right out of him and now everything he thought he knew about himself was being called into question. He knew, though, that he wanted her. He just wasn’t sure in what way, how much. He wasn’t sure he was ready to do that just yet. He couldn’t meet her eyes as he babbled, scared to see any pain in them that he might have put there. He stumbled when she was suddenly in front of him, stopping him in his tracks and resting her hands on his where they were held in front of his body as he played nervously with his fingers. 

“It’s ok, Jughead. We’ll take it slow. I… I love you,” she’d whispered, so quietly he wasn’t sure he’d really heard the words. 

“Say it again,” he choked out, tears welling in the corners of his eyes. 

“I love you, Jughead,” she’d said more forcefully. 

“I love you, Betty,” he’d replied without hesitation. 

He wasn’t careful when he told her they shouldn’t be together anymore. 

He’d seen her, laughing and joking with Archie at lunch, throwing her head back in carefree abandon at something his redheaded best friend had said. She looked radiant, weightless. Was she like that with him? He didn’t know. It was possible he was weighing her down, and he didn’t need another guilt on his conscience. She was holding his heart still and if she realised, if she dropped it, he didn’t think he’d come back from that. But he couldn’t give her what she needed, he was broken.

“Why are you doing this, Juggie?” she’d pleaded, a river flowing down her cheeks. He couldn’t breathe, everything he’d feared doing was coming true as he watched her wrap her arms around herself and shrink before him. 

“It’s just for the best,” he’d replied, turning away and not looking back, even when her echoing sobs reached his ears. 

It took him a while to realise. She hadn’t dropped his heart. He’d ripped it from her grasp and thrown it, shattering it into a million shards - and he’d taken hers with it. He saw in the way her skin was drained of the usual rosy glow. How she had dark circles under her eyes, stray hair flying out of her ponytail. In trying to save them both he’d done the unthinkable. 

“Please, Betty, please I’m so sorry.” He was on his knees on her bedroom floor, hands grasping at her thighs where she sat in front of him on the bed, trying not to meet the storm in his blue eyes. “I-I didn’t want to ruin you, like I ruin everything else. I thought I could save you, that you could get more from being with someone like Archie, I-”

“And who gave you the right to decide what I should have, Jughead? What I want. That’s something that’s all for me, that no one else can ever do.” She was fire in that moment, her eyes blazing behind unshed tears. 

“I’ll do anything - anything - Betts. To show you how much I need you, how much you mean to me. If it takes forever, I’ll do it. Please, please, please…” He couldn’t stop the hope from bubbling up at the feeling of her fingers underneath his chin, bringing up his crestfallen face. 

“Shh, Jug, shh,” she cooed, stroking a hand through his hair to try and calm him. He hadn’t even realised until that moment that he’d been hyperventilating. “I’ve got you, Jug, it’s ok. I’m here,” she soothed, rocking him gently backwards and forwards. 

It was her turn to be careful as she lifted him gently from the floor, lifting the covers and tucking him in beside her, pulling him to her chest and whispering comforting nothings to him until his breathing evened out and she was sure he was asleep. She’d make him see that she needed him as much as he needed her, he could count on it. 

They were careful their first time. The bridge had been mended between them long ago but the walls had come crumbling down. He memorised every inch of her body beneath his, the way she moved under his touch, the way her lips dropped open in pleasure - because of him. She held him in return, reassuring and steady the whole time. He didn’t know love felt like this.

She didn’t say anything as she wiped away the stray tears from his cheeks afterwards, where he couldn’t contain the exploding emotions inside any longer. She kissed each closed eyelid as their breathing slowed, settling into a unique harmony that could never be replicated. 

Yes, he was broken and so was she. But together they made a whole.