He felt like shit, his head pounding and his mouth dry as sandpaper. Slamming his hand down on his phone trying to silence the blaring of his alarm.
He got drunk last night, full on cry yourself to sleep and sleep on the toilet drunk, Jughead had never touched a drink before in his life but last night? He needed it.
“Good morning sunshine.” The familiar voice of his father brought him back to reality and he opened his eyes to see the man leaning in the tiny doorway of the trailer a sad smile on his face.
“Dad.” Jughead grunted out.
F.P settled down beside his son on the couch, pushing his feet to the ground and handing him a water bottle. “Care to tell me why you went through my hidden stash last night and puked all over my floor?”
Jughead groaned putting his hands to his temples “I just needed it, I’ll pay you back and I’ll clean up the mess.”
F.P shook his head “that’s not what I’m worried about kid, I’m more concerned with how you’ve never even tasted beer before and last night you drank an entire bottle of vodka, is it school problems?… girl problems?” F.P noticed the way Jughead winced at the mention of girl problems and nodded knowingly “Betty? The sweet blonde you brought over her last month? Your girlfriend right?”
Jughead shook his head, the familiar ache in his chest throbbing “not anymore, not ever again probably.”
“What happened? You two broke up?”
Jughead looked away staring at a spot on the far right wall “no. I broke up with her, she wanted nothing to do with it but I obviously won that fight.” He laughed bitterly before continuing, it felt better to just spit it all out “I thought she had feelings for Trev Brown, I see the way he looks at her ya know? Like he just wants to take her away from me, I pretty much told her that Trev can have her. He can make her happy, make her family happy. They can be the perfect high school sweethearts she was destined to be. She screamed at me, called me an idiot and then she….” he took a shaky breathe and looked directly at his father
F.P raised his brow and dropped a hand to his knee, knowing exactly what his son was going to say
“She said she loved me dad. Me. Not Trev, not Archie. Me. You’ll never guess what I did. Well I mean I’m sure you can, it’s what I always do. I ran away.”
F.P nodded sympathetically, he knew the effect his wife leaving had on Jughead, he had turned into some kind of woman hater but Betty Cooper seemed to break through all that and he saw his son genuinely happy for the first time in ages, he wasn’t about to let his boy lose that. He had an idea.
“It’ll work out son. I promise you.”
Jughead just nodded ,heading into the only bedroom in the trailer “I’m gonna go back to bed, sleep this off. Thanks dad”
As soon as the door shut, F.P had the phone in his hand, dialing the familiar number of one of his childhood best friends.
“Alice Cooper speaking, how may I help you?”
The prim and proper voice came through the line. F.P snorted, if only the town knew what a wild child she was when she was a kid.
“I swear to god Ally, you have the personality of a wet board.”
He heard the exhale of relief and she answered much more relaxed this time
“Save it Forsythe, how’s Jughead holding up? You know i love that boy but the way Betty was crying in her room last night made me want to throttle him.”
F.P laughed “A boy of my own heart, remember when Danny Clayton broke up with you, and Hal and I almost drove to his house to beat him up, you wouldn’t stop crying.”
Alice laughed through the speaker
“It was hard being fifteen. So anyway what’s the plan?”
F.P smirked into the phone
“Well it just so happens that my bike isn’t running properly and I may have to call a mechanic, I heard that Betty sometimes works in Hal’s mechanic shop, he tells me he’s very proud of what a little grease monkey she is. Well I’d like to request her to come and fix old rusty, you can tell her her dad is overbooked and is sending her for a house call. I’ll get the kids in a room together and they can talk it out.”
The other end went silent for a while when finally Alice snorted into the phone, laughing out loud
“I’ve gotta say Forsythe, you have always been the master of plans. This is almost as good as when you had a crush on Hermione Lodge and made me lock the two of you in a janitors closet “by accident”“
F.P smiled proudly
"I’m an opportunist.”
“Okay, it sounds like a plan. Expect Betty within the next hour.”
“Okay, oh and Ally?”
She answered almost immediately
“They’re gonna make it through all of this, we did. Maybe my fairytale didn’t work out but I’m gonna fix that too.” He was more reassuring himself than anything and Alice seemed to know that as she answered
“I know that sythe, anything you need. At all, you just give me a call.” She promised, before they both hung up.
Thirty minutes later, he was sitting on his porch, his bike parked in front of him, when the gorgeous blonde haired beauty approached him, she really was just like her mother, wild blonde curls and big green eyes.
“Mr.jones?” She smiled sadly, “you’re the house call?” sticking her hand out again. There were bags under her eyes and he noticed her palms were a bloody mess. She must’ve noticed his staring at the indent marks on her palms because she tucked her hands into her pockets and nodded towards his bike.
“This is the bike that’s been giving you problems? Oh I just love the old fashioned Harley’s!” Her eyes lit up as she ran a hand over the shiny chrome, she looked up at him excited “ya know, the very first Bike I ever fixed up was an original. I love the make of these beautiful babies.”
F.P was right about everything, this girl was the definition of a keeper. He smiled back at her,
“Come on inside and grab a drink then we can get started. It’s too hot out here for you to be working without water.”
Betty looked nervously at the house, he knew she was scanning for his son. He gave her a reassuring nudge and she smiled gratefully, thanking him profusely, sweet as sugar but definitely hiding some spice he thought happily, just what his son needed
As soon as she stepped into the trailer, F.P slammed the door shut causing Betty to jump and whip around
“JUGHEAD!!” He called, almost in an instant the boy was standing in front of the pair, sleepy eyes and messy hair, still in his jeans and black tshirt, suspenders dangling down. When Jugheads eyes caught Betty he instantly softened, the fear leaving his mind, that’s what this beautiful young lady did for his son, she soothed his troubled mind with just a glance.
Walking backwards out the door, F.P nodded
“Talk it out.”
He barely had the door shut when he heard the high pitched voice shout “is that alcohol? I swear to god Jughead Jones, if you’ve been drinking…”
Forsythe must have been waiting outside the door for atleast thirty minutes, listening to faint cries and shuffling feet. Suddenly the door swung open and the teen couple was wrapped up in each other, both watery eyed and smiling goofily “hey dad.” Jughead smiled at his father “were gonna head over to poptates, I’m hungry.” Betty giggled from beside him “when are you not hungry?” she smiled sassily running her fingers up his arm.
Jughead dropped a kiss to her forehead, staring down at her in complete adoration “touché, hey bets, you go ahead, i have to talk to my dad real quick.” Betty nodded at him moving to walk away before he gently grabbed her wrist “hey.” She looked up at him confused “I love you.” He whispered with a smile. Instantly her eyes softened and she grinned back “I love you too.” As she moved to walk away she wrapped Jugheads dad up in a bear hug, his eyes instantly wide as he smiled and patted her back
“Thankyou Mr.Jones.” He laughed “anytime love”
She headed off to her car as Jughead hung behind, turning to his father
“Thanks dad, you didn’t have to do that.”
F.P shook his head, placing an hand on his sons arm. “Yes I did Jughead, you’re my son and I’m here for you.”
For the first time in Jugheads life he believed those words. Smiling back he nodded, making his way over to Betty “I won’t be home late. See you tonight!” With that he sprinted away catching Betty by the waist and swinging her around while she giggled.
F.P watched the pair and smiled pulling his phone out and sending a quick text
F.P: bughead is a go. Teamwork baby.
ALICE: bughead? Absolutely not. What about Jetty?
F.P: here we go.