In honor of your graduation - you have to write a Bughead graduation fic!!! (xxx peacelovebughead)
Thank you, @peacelovebughead! I was actually in the process of finally filling this elopement prompt and setting it during graduation so this was perfect! I hope you enjoy!
“Ugh, it’s gonna rain I can feel it now. It’s gonna rain, and if these suede pumps get ruined I will sue,” Veronica ranted as she warily eyed the dark clouds rolling in over their heads. “What is the point of all this anyway?” she asked in exasperation, gaze turning to run over the throngs of students surrounded their little group.
“Organisation,” Betty replied, casting her eyes round in the same path as Veronica’s. “They need to make sure we all know where we’re going on the actual day,” she shrugged, one arm wrapped around Jughead’s, the other moving to lace her fingers with his.
“Herding us together like cattle one last time,” Jughead commented with his usual snark, rolling his eyes as a fellow student brushed past him, jostling his arm. Betty glanced up at him from underneath thick eyelashes, biting her lip against a grin at his usual surly mood. He flicked his gaze to hers out of the corner of his eye, looking away quickly as he pursed his lips against the smile that threatened to sneak onto his own lips from her look, corners twitching in betrayal. Betty giggled, nuzzling further into his side.
“Couldn’t they have done this closer to graduation? On a day when a downpour is not imminent?” Veronica continued on her tirade, shifting her weight from foot to foot as she grew impatient. They were standing a short distance away from the A’s, considering Archie had been snatched up right near the start. He gave her a cheeky grin.
“Kinda snappy today, Ronnie, what gives?” Archie asked, tilting his head to the side in question. Veronica sighed, cheeks heating gently as she avoided the eyes that turned to scrutinise her.
“I don’t know, I guess it’s just hit me. We’ve had our last spring break as high school kids and now we’re going to graduate and go our separate ways… I feel like it’s ending when it only just began,” she mumbled. Archie’s eyes softened, wrapping an arm around her waist and placing a reassuring kiss against the side of her head. She threw him a small smile.
“Hey, it’s not the end. Just the next chapter, right guys?” Archie turned to address the general group. There were a few comforting nods but Betty couldn’t focus. They were calling out the C’s now, her name should be up next. Her heart was hammering like a hummingbird’s in her chest, palms sweaty as they passed the place for Cooper without uttering the word. Jughead could feel her pulse against his arm, hand tightening around hers in reflex. No one seemed to notice the error.
“…Kevin Keller…” Mr Weatherbee called out over the mindless hum of chatter, Kevin’s ears perking up.
“That’s me,” he sighed with an eyebrow, moving to join the end of the line. The names continued to pour out.
“…Veronica Lodge…” Veronica raised her eyebrows briefly before walking to her place. More names.
“…Elizabeth Jones, Forsythe Jones…” It was as if the entire student body collectively inhaled. Archie did an almost comical double take, head turning between Weatherbee, Betty, and Jughead. Veronica’s mouth dropped open. Kevin’s hands went to his face, eyes glistening with glee. Betty felt her cheeks flaming scarlet as they both headed towards their spots, passing the line of staring, shocked faces. She tilted her chin up slightly, eyes firm as she focused on the warmth of Jughead’s hand in hers, grounding her as he always did. Sure, the attention embarrassed her, but marrying Jughead months before their high school graduation? She’d never been more proud of a decision.
She was, however, slightly thankful in that moment, after the unintentionally grand reveal, that her friends were stuck firmly in their places down the line, unable to accost them and bombard them with the questions clearly bursting to pour out of their mouths. Everyone was still staring as they waited for the list to finish, Weatherbee only on the M’s by now. Betty turned her back on the person in front of her, focusing only on the soothing, cool blue of Jughead’s eyes. He ducked his head to search her eyes, noticing the worry around the edges.
“You okay?” he murmured, hands caressing her arms comfortingly. She nodded, offering him a smile.
“There’s a lot of people looking,” she whispered back. He knew this was what was bothering her.
“Hey, I’m right here. Just you and me, alright?” he replied. She nodded again, shoulders losing some of their tension as she remembered.
Spring break had been perfect, as far as Jughead had been concerned. He and Betty had taken a road trip to Toledo, promising to look after Jellybean while their mom had to go out of town for a while, his grandparents away for the week.
The drive had been one of the best experiences of his life, windows of his dad’s borrowed truck rolled down, spring sunshine pouring in, casting all kinds of mesmerising patterns through Betty’s golden hair as it blew about her in the breeze. He’d created a playlist especially for the occasion, grinning with unrestrained bewilderment as she sang along to the tracks she knew in the most beautifully melodic voice he’d ever heard. The open road changed her, changed both of them. The world seemed to be at their fingertips, the possibilities stretching out endlessly before them, waiting to be grasped.
They decided to spend a night under the stars, camped out beneath an assembly of blankets in the bed of the truck. Betty had curled into his side, head resting over his heartbeat as she tangled her legs with hers. The sky above them was littered with bright dots uninterrupted by city lights, miles and miles away but feeling like they were close enough to touch, securing them under a dome that was all their own.
“What do you think is up there?” Betty had asked, high on the secluded night air, the feeling of his fingertips running along the exposed skin of her lower back, the drowsiness that threatened to engulf her for the night. Jughead smiled, just the barest movement in the corner of his lips as he took one last look at the constellations before tilting his head down to look into her upturned eyes. He saw constellations there too, in the flecks of gold and blue swimming in deep, endless green.
“Possibilities,” he murmured back, leaning down to capture her lips in a slow kiss before they burrowed back against each other for the night.
He was watching Betty now as she chased Jellybean through the field of flowers, the game of tag supposedly helping to get them out of their picnic induced coma. He looked down at the display of empty containers around him, conceding that they may have gone a little overboard on the amount of food they’d brought. He couldn’t help it, Betty made him go to every extreme.
The past few days had almost been like every white picket fence dream Jughead would never admit he’d had. He woke up, every morning, to her face inches away from his, her eyelashes still fluttering gently against her cheeks in slumber. He always woke up first - habit still due to having to be out of whatever corner he’d chosen as his bed before someone found him - and stole a few private moments to watch her features, completely relaxed and unguarded, not plagued by the troubles of the wakeful. She always stretched before even opening her eyes, uncurling her cramped limbs until she was completely invading his personal space. She’d smile, eyes drifting open, as he ran his hands over every inch of skin he could reach, peppering light kisses across her face until his lips finally meet hers.
They’d go downstairs and make breakfast together, him in charge of the coffee, Betty in charge of the pancakes, or whatever else she chose to cook that morning - his favourite would always be her pancakes though, jutting out his bottom lip as she’d chastise him with a “we can’t have pancakes every morning!” until she’d concede, telling him that surely his rugged good looks wouldn’t work on her forever, especially not if he ate as many pancakes as he did. Jellybean usually stumbled in some time later, rubbing the sleep from her eyes as the couple grinned at her, happy that they’d managed to coax her from her bed before noon with the smell of food; she was definitely Jughead’s sister.
They went to the movies, out for dinner. They’d taken Jellybean to the park, bought her ice cream from the truck. They’d dropped her off at a friends house, promising to come and pick her up again in the morning, telling her not to have too much fun as she rolled her eyes, grumbling to her older brother that he sounded more like her dad than her sibling.
Betty had been wearing her hair down all week, he noted as he ran his hand through the silken strands that evening, cuddled up against her on the couch. He liked it, and not just because he couldn’t keep his hands out of it. It meant she felt comfortable, at home with him and this little domestic show they were playing out, his mother’s house the stage, audience party of two. Betty was placing flowers in JB’s hair as he watched from his spot on his blanket, his sister smiling bashfully up at her in response. He couldn’t have been more thrilled at the response his girlfriend had elicited from his sister, almost as if it had slid the last piece into place. Betty wandered back over to him, cheeks flushed from the sun, as JB continued to pinch the stems of daisies between her fingers, lacing them into a chain.
“I’m so tired I could sleep for a week,” she sighed, sun-drowsy as she flopped down next to Jughead, head resting on his shoulder. Jughead’s arm came up to wrap around her waist automatically.
“I don’t remember feeling like this, ever,” he mumbled some time later. She lifted her head to stare at him, brows pinched slightly. “As if I could keep living like this for the rest of my life and always be happy,” he clarified, watching her features soften.
“It will be like this,” she promised, eyes earnest. He took one of her hands into his lap, playing with her fingers idly.
“We’ll make it, right? Through college?” he asked, voicing the concerns that had been nagging at his brain for the past few months, graduation growing ever closer.
“Juggie, we’re going to New York together. We’ll be living in the same apartment!” Betty laughed, eyes lighting up at her own words, excitement constantly bubbling in the pit of her stomach every time she thought about their future. He smiled briefly at her response, shrugging nonetheless.
“I know, I just… it’s a whole different world out there, Betts. So much bigger and brighter than Riverdale. You’re gonna flourish and grow and I just…” he trailed off, pain in his chest growing as he thought out the possibilities in his mind.
“And you’ll just be by my side, flourishing and growing along with me,” she cut in, tone firm, leaving no room for argument. He met her eyes, their deep green almost glowing with ferocity. “I love you, Jughead. And I know you don’t always believe me but I need you as much as you say you need me. We’re a pair and that’s the way it’s going to stay for the rest of our lives. You fill the parts of me that were empty for so long in my life. You ease the dull ache in my chest that I didn’t ever think was capable of going away. Every time I see you, or hear your voice, or feel your touch, I know inexplicably, without a doubt in my mind, that I am home,” she rushed out, pouring every ounce of emotion into her words she was capable of. “I’ll want you forever,” she whispered, hand fisting in the material of his shirt. His eyes searched hers for a moment, seeing nothing but the truth.
“Marry me.” The words came out before he’d even had time to process the thought. Once they hung between them in the air, though, he knew he meant it.
“What?” she stammered, slightly taken aback at the abrupt turn in their conversation. His gaze remained unwavering.
“Marry me. I mean it, Betty. I already feel it too, this is forever. I want to make you mine forever. Will you? Marry me, I mean?” he asked again, heart hammering beneath his rib cage. The silence that followed seemed to stretch out for an eternity, blush creeping up his neck and onto his chest. He almost thought he was dreaming when she began to nod, tears gathering along her waterline and quickly spilling over onto her cheeks.
“Yes,” she breathed, barely able to find her voice to answer him. Jughead let out a breath he didn’t realise he’d been holding, relieved laugh getting lost in the exhale as she pulled him towards her. Her mouth covered his, dancing against his lips as her hands moved to his hair, tugging at the roots until she elicited a deep groan.
“Get a room!” Jellybean yelled at them from a few feet away, scrunching her nose up at the public display. Jughead laughed, pulling back to rest his forehead against Betty’s. The future suddenly seemed a whole lot brighter.
“I can’t wait to be Betty Jones,” she whispered against the skin of his chest later that night as they lay wrapped around each other. Jughead stilled, looking down at her with wide eyes.
“Y-you want to take my last name?” he asked in surprise. He’d spent a lifetime being ashamed of the name Jones that the thought of bestowing such a burden on the love of his life hadn’t even occurred to him. She moved to rest her chin on his chest, eyes meeting his steadily.
“Of course I do. You’re one of the smartest, kindest, bravest men I’ve ever met. I want to start a new family with you. It would be my honour.” Jughead swallowed around the thickness in his throat, simply nodding, blinking rapidly against the moisture in his eyes as she settled back against his side.
They’d taken off towards the Blue and Gold office as soon as they were able, narrowly dodging their friends as they attempted to fight their way through the crowds towards them. Jughead pulled Betty towards him for a swift, searing kiss, his lips releasing hers with a pop.
“It won’t take long for them to find us. You ready?” he asked, eyes glinting with mischief. She nodded, biting her lower lip. She was relieved that they finally all knew, a part of her loving the secrecy of their elopement, another part dying to tell the whole world that Jughead Jones was her husband.
“Yeah, let’s do this,” she said, barely getting the words out before the door flew open, Veronica, Archie, and Kevin all standing in the doorway with similar expressions.
“Okay, Betty Jones,” Veronica began, eyes narrowing but telltale smile planted on her lips. “First of all, why the hell wasn’t I invited to your wedding?!”