“I miss him as a human being and I miss working with him. What an unfortunate thing it is that we won’t be able to see the beauty of his expression. He was incredibly special and that doesn’t even come close to encapsulating who he is, who he was” -
Sitting in Pops diner with my half empty glass of chocolate milkshake, it felt strange being here without everyone. Veronica, was busy arguing with her mom about what she had done with the contract for Andrews construction. Archie, was busy with Valerie or his music and Jughead and Betty were too busy with finding Jason’s killer along with clearing Polly’s name.
My parents had been arguing a lot more over the last couple of months and this morning my dad just packed up and left, no “goodbye” or “I’ll be in touch soon” he just left without even giving me a second thought. I wasn’t sure if my mom was happy with my dad just leaving us like that or if she was upset, heartbroken or anything she just carried on cleaning and doing laundry. It felt empty being in that house with all the memories I have of growing up with amazing parents, who love each other and now I’m almost 17 and they split up or separate whatever they want to call it, soon to be possibly divorced and neither of them even blink an eye at me.
Pops placing a basket of fries on my table snapped me out of my train of thought, giving him a smile for his kindness. It wasn’t unusual for Pops to give away fries or onion rings even the occasional burger but it was out of politeness to show some sort of thanks at his generosity. Turning my attention back to the empty seat across from me, I felt like I was cut off from everyone, maybe it was just paranoia or maybe my friends are just caught up in their own problems. Leaving Pops I aimlessly walked around town no specific destination in mind, just the thought of going home to silence doesn’t seem too appealing, I guess having them shouting at each other wasn’t as bad. Walking past Andrews construction all the lights were out making me wonder if Fred was having a boys night with Archie or taking Mrs Lodge out for dinner. It had began to rain at some point along my travels, starting off light and had gradually came pouring down. I was soaked but I felt to emotionally numb to care. The ding of my phone brought me back from my thoughts once again.
From: Archie Come to the station, its about Jughead
Making my way to the station not evening questioning Archie why Jughead was even there to begin with, all I knew is one of our friends was in possible trouble and I needed to be there. I didn’t realise how close I was until I had arrived not much longer than 10 minutes after Archies text. Walking in Archie was the first to see me, embracing me in a hug, holding on those few seconds longer. “You okay?” He whispered in my ear, obviously noticing my prolonged hug. “Later” I mumbled, pulling away to see Betty coming out of the interrogation room with Jughead. "Thanks for coming" Jughead mumbled slowly moving his way towards me, wrapping my arms tightly around his neck in a hug. “Anything for you” I whispered in his ear, his arms squeezing even more securely round my waist.
Leaving the station we were surprised with Jugheads dads appearance, Forsythe Pendleton Jones II . “Jughead" Mr Jones called. “Forgot to plug my phone in last night” He explained. “What the hell happened?” FP, spoke his body language still rigid. “Nothing. It’s fine now. Mr Andrews took care of it” Jughead told his dad, leaving myself very confused. Why would Fred need to fix this for Jug? “What jacked up crap did they accuse you of in there?” FP, asked. “Those bastards trying to throw you in jail like your old man? Well screw that, I’ll rip Keller, a new one!” He shouted, making his way towards the station. Jughead, grabbing his shirt to stop him. “Dad, don’t. Please?” He mumbled, pleading with his dad.
“Maybe you should go home?” Fred, spoke to FP, trying to help his long time friend. “He is my son” FP, called out, pushing at Freds chest. “MY son. You would do the same for your boy” Stepping back realising maybe being here wasn’t good for him. “You coming home with me?“ He turned to his son, seeing the hesitation on Jugheads face I knew he wanted to go with his dad but also wanted to stay with the Andrews. “Yeah dad” Jug muttered, quickly squeezing my hand as he walked away.
“We’ve told Jughead he can stay with us Mr Jones” Archie spoke up. “Is that what you want?” Mr Jones, asked Jughead, staring at his son, hands on his shoulders. “Maybe its for the best” We all heard him tell Jughead. “Son listen to me, I’m going to do what you want” He told Jug, looking him straight in the eye. “Get my act together, I’m going to get your mom and Jellybean home so we can all be under the same roof” He promised. “I just need a little time to do that, a month, two at the most and then we’ll get everything back on track” Why was he pushing Jughead into staying with Mr Andrews? Sharing a hug between the two of them, both parting ways, Jughead made his way home with Archie and his dad, Betty and I going with them.
“Can I have a word with Y/N?” Jughead, spoke to Archie, Betty and Mr Andrews as we stood outside the Andrews house no one knowing what to say. “Just come in whenever you’re ready, Jughead” Mr Andrews told him, lightly squeezing his shoulder before the three of them descended inside.
“What’s wrong Jug?” I asked, almost too scared to hear his answer. Taking my hand in his as he walked us around to the backyard.
“I feel like I owe you this explanation because you stick by me with everything and sharing a little bit of my life with you doesn’t sound so bad” He explained, squeezing my hand for security.
“My dad worked for Mr Andrews but he had to let him go and ever since then my dads life hasn’t been the same” I remember Jughead mentioning that once they planned to shut the drive-in down.
“He started drinking, a lot. I guess after all his drinking my mom had finally had enough and took my sister Jellybean to my grandparents. They’re both doing really well out there but after they left I couldn’t handle knowing my dad was either going to be drunk by the time I went home or was going to end up coming home drunk” My heart aching knowing that Jugheads kept this to himself for so long.
“So I started living at the drive-in until they shut it down and since they done that I’ve been living at the school which Archie found out about this morning and Freds offered to take me in” I could feel the tears at the back of my eyes but I knew if Jughead seen at least one tear he would regret opening up to me.
Stopping in my tracks, I pulled Jugheads arm to stop him from walking any further, making him turn towards me. “How can..” I was speechless. “How can you be there for others but let yourself suffer alone?” I asked, Jugheads always there listening to everyone else’s problems but never complains about his own.
“Complaining doesn’t do anything but I’m thankful that I have you and Archie who hasn’t judged me” A small trace of a smile gracing his plump lips. “I would never judge you” Pulling on his hand, bringing him closer towards me. “I care for you Jughead” I almost whispered, looking up at his beautiful face, his blue-green eyes having a slight sparkle in them.
“I care about you too” Mumbling, his eyes flickering between mine and my lips. Standing on my toes slightly, my free hand that wasn’t holding Jugheads, caressing his cheek, running the pad of my thumb across his top lip, his eyes closing ever so slightly at the contact. “There’s no going back after this” I breathed, our lips brushing against each others. “That’s not always a bad thing” The words almost catching in his throat, gently pressing our lips together, both his hands now on my face, one of mine still caressing his cheek, my other firmly grasping onto his famous light blue denim jacket.
“I could get use to this” Jughead grinned pulling apart, pressing his lips back on mine in a more passionate filled kiss.