Not Northside Material - Part 1
A/N: It’s me, back from the dead and this time… sweeter. Anyway, here have this. The next few parts are already written, I just have to edit them and I’ll post them depending on the reaction to this one because its been a while and I’m rusty, ya kno? so pls let me know what you think.
Summary: There’s a new girl at Southside High and that means new entertainment for the Serpents.
Word Count: 2,625
Warnings: Swear words, Serpents, and that’s all so far
Southside High was much like any other high school in the respect that its attendees were all separated into their own little groups; cliques of people huddled together in hallways. If you’d been there long enough you could walk into a classroom and draw lines around the groups like warring sides of a battle crammed into a confined space and forced to sit amicably. Though, that was, for the most part, exactly the case.
No one stayed a loner for long. It’s not that every new kid didn’t try to avoid these ‘friendly’ factions like the plague, some lasted a week, some a day, some even less. Eventually, the temptation of not having your skull stomped into shards by an angry gang member with nothing better to do overcomes, and the appeal of group protection becomes necessity rather than a social nicety.
Of course there were the big groups, the gangs that pushed too many tables together so they could crowd around in intimidating solidarity over the rest of the students. The Serpents and the Ghoulies were the worst, and it was fair to say, neither were big on recruitment. It wasn’t as though sign-up sheets decorated the halls with cartoon snakes and emoji ghosts, they were tight- knit gangs of violence and drugs and an over abundant supply of leather jackets to go around.
If you somehow managed to catch the attention of a Ghoulie and had a penchant for drug pushing, old cars, outdated gothic design and possibly cannibalism, and you weren’t petrified to approach the group. Then maybe, just maybe, they might consider offering you the option of proving yourself. Even once you’d proved yourself, you’d have to survive initiation.
The Ghoulies were the easier group to infiltrate of the two. The Serpents ranks were nearly impenetrable without blood ties, you could attempt to prove your loyalty from the outside but it was a dangerous manoeuvre to be seen as desperate; kissing up to get into the inner circle. The fact of the matter was, in order to enter the pit of snakes, you had to be someone related or someone undoubtedly special, or else you weren’t a Serpent.
This system, however terrifying, did mean that every new kid who walked through the doors of Southside High, immediately become the week’s entertainment. So when she arrived, the school stopped immediately, all eyes diverting to the fresh meat getting caught in the metal detector and she wasn’t hard to spot.
“Are all of the Northsider’s defecting now?” Fangs snarled under his breath, his gaze cast over his shoulder to watch the new girl try to find her locker in a hallway of leering eye all trained on her.
“It’s an infection or something,” Toni laughed bitterly, pulling her jacket from her otherwise nearly barren locker. “Like herpes.”
Fangs snorted a laugh in response, Sweet Pea only sneered in agreement as he turned, leaning against his locker to watch the new attraction. “Finally found her locker,” he paused as a smirk came over his features, his friends following suit, “right in between two Ghoulies as well.”
“Tough draw.” Jughead only murmured quietly, his excited vigour absent among his friends. He recognised her distantly, he’d spoken to her for the ‘Blue and Gold’, he shared a class or two with her, and now she was here.
“Another prep of yours, Jug?” Sweet Pea chuckles, his insults had taken on a less hostile tone now, but they still came none the less in that signature mocking smirk.
“Not exclusively,” he shrugged, eyes lingering on the familiar girl in the blue jeans and grey sweater, simple and yet wildly out of place in a sea of black and leather, “she did go to Riverdale though… I wonder what happened.”
“She’s cute,” Sweet Pea scoffed, an offhand compliment that no one expected to stand alone, “I give her a day and a half before she’s hanging with the heads.” He chuckled, finally diverting his attention to a group gathered at the end of the hall, each clutching their striped straws of illicit activity. It was all they did.
“Who cares?” Fangs hollered, “Fresh meat!” His voice rang out through a hall filled otherwise with mutters, what followed was definitely unexpected.
A loud slam rang out almost immediately after the words left his lips, and all eyes that had managed to divert, clicked back to her instantly. Her fist was balled against the slammed locker, her eyes smouldering in Fangs’ direction, no hint of fear or embarrassment, just anger that was barely leashed. Everyone stared on in a shocked disbelief at the Northsider with the fire in her eyes, waiting for words to come. None did. After a long moment, she closed her eyes, took a long breath, and turned her back, walking away in what she assumed was the direction of her first class.
“What the fuck!?” Fangs hissed, directly at Jughead who stood in tight lipped silence, trying not to laugh or say something he shouldn’t.
“She’s, uh… just maybe leave her to the Ghoulies.” He said, hoping that would tempt them away from confrontation with her, he knew enough about her life to assume she was more than she looked. Even so, he was well aware that when it came down to it, he wouldn’t let the Ghoulies get to her either.
“Yeah sure, Jones.” Fangs scoffed angrily, clearly prepared to disobey him, “I’ll just let the Northside bitch humiliate me.” And with that he stormed off, followed by Toni who was barely containing a laugh at her friend’s expense.
“What’s her name?” Sweet Pea asked, nothing casual in his voice, something underlying that Jughead could barely place as curiosity.
“It’s Y/N, to be honest, if anyone else was going to end up here it was going to be her.” Jughead admitted, no sarcasm or derision in his voice, just honesty. Sweet Pea raised an eyebrow to the new Serpent.
“Oh yeah, why’s that?” There was a dangerous edge to the question that dared Jughead to say something negative, to put down the Southside somehow.
“I mean this in the best way possible, but she’s not exactly Northside material.” He shut his locker with a soft laugh, remembering all of the few memories he had of her.
“In what way?” Sweet Pea presses on, his interest only increasing as he followed Jughead to class, a class they didn’t share.
“Why do you care?” Jughead did nothing suppress the frown that was fighting its way onto his face.
“She’s new, I wanna know if the next weeks going to be interesting or if I should go to my own classes?” He shrugged nonchalantly but his eyes flicked rapidly around the hall gave him away. He was seeking her out, and that put Jughead on edge, Sweet Pea noticed, he only smirked.
“I’m sure there’ll be plenty of entertainment.” He said in an almost begrudging manner, patting Sweet Pea‘s shoulder and watching the taller boy refocus.
“Anything I should know? Warning for what I’m up against?” The teasing tone was back, but Jughead’s eyes darkened immediately, seriousness seeping further into his expression.
“Sweet Pea, I know you and I know what you’re capable of,” he paused, “but I’m telling you to leave this one alone.”
“Or what?” He said mockingly, shoving past Jughead to peer into the classroom Jug was headed towards, that damned smirk never leaving Sweet Pea’s face, as he gestured into the classroom, towards the unfamiliar girl, sitting in the back row, head down as the students around her didn’t even try to hide their staring. “She’ll hurt me?” He scoffed softly, not waiting for an answer, wandering through the door and joining Toni on the far side. She wasn’t fazed that he had wandered into a class he didn’t take, not with the new girl there.
Jughead lingered a moment outside the door, Y/N raised her head slightly and immediately caught Jughead’s eyes, a soft smile came into her face, Jughead only smiled back, giving a half-hearted wave as Sweet Pea’s question played back in his mind.
‘She’ll hurt me?’ It was an innocent enough question, after all, Y/N wasn’t very intimidating to look at, but it meant nothing. The question was innocent, it was the answer that made Jughead’s heart heavy with a certain kind of worry.
“She could.” He muttered, entirely to himself, “She might.”
“She’s already lasted longer than I thought.” Toni smiled, her friends all gathered around their table as they watched on.
“Well I’d say her times almost up,” Fangs scoffed quietly, Y/N had managed to keep to herself for three days now, which was admittedly longer than most, “the Ghoulies have been eyeing her since her little locker performance.”
“You think they’ll try to get to her?” Toni asked, her eyes flicking back to the group of Ghoulies and their predatory stares all directed towards Y/N. “What do you think, Jug?”
“Maybe.” He bit his lip, concern etched in his face.
“Don’t you have a girlfriend, Jones?” Sweet Pea grunted, successfully drawing Jughead’s attention.
“Yeah, Why?” He mumbled.
“You’re staring at the new chick a lot for a dude with a girlfriend.” Sweet Pea shrugged, his own gaze drifting back to the aforementioned ‘new chick’, she didn’t look like anything special to him. She was quiet, plain, she looked too soft; she was a Northsider, even if she did jump ship to his school.
“She’s just…” he trailed off then, sudden movement right on the corner of his vision drew him back, it was a Ghoulie. Jughead watched them head towards her and reacted without thinking, “just a friend.” He muttered as he stood and stride quickly away from his table.
Y/N only looked up when a boy she didn’t recognise slammed his fist down on the opposite side of her table. She jumped slightly, locking eyes with someone unfamiliar, her stomach turning. It wasn’t unexpected, she’d figured that eventually someone would challenge her, because she was alone, unprotected, and mostly because she came from the Northside.
Just as a sentence appeared in her head, she was cut off, Jughead pushed on the Ghoulies shoulder, watching him stumble for half a second before turning to the other boy with a growl that bordered on inhuman. “What’s your problem Serpent?” He spat, baring his teeth to Jughead in a half snarl, half sneer.
“She’s spoken for.” There was a moment of tension then that made her want to get up and run, or maybe get up and start throwing punches, for the moment at least, she chose neither.
“You sure?” The Ghoulie asked, puffing out his chest and getting so close to Jughead that they were chest to chest. Neither seemed ready to back down. “Cause it’s been three days and none of your Serpent scum have come to collect her.”
“What do you think I’m doing over here now?” Jughead growled back, shoving the other boy’s chest and forcing him backwards. The look in their eyes was enough to tell that a fight was about three seconds from breaking out, and she wasn’t exactly keen on jumping into the firing line where she could avoid it. It wasn’t just them either, the moment Jughead made contact the Ghoulies arched up, the Serpent’s a second behind them as they prepared to run into a fight if one started.
“Alright boys, calm down.” Y/N voice was calm and measured, loud enough that the whole cafeteria could hear, “If I’m not mistaken, it’s entirely my decision who speaks for me.”
They looked at her then, and here ‘they’ means everyone in the immediate vicinity, though most intensely it was Jughead and the Ghoul who had either intended to harass or recruit her. They were waiting; waiting for her to pick an alliance that would define her loyalty from now on. Her eyes flicked to those of a boy she’d know vaguely since she was five years old, and then to the seat across from her, beckoning him to sit down with her. Jughead smirked, ramming his shoulder into the other boys unnecessarily as he sat down, the Ghoul only snarled at them, retreating back to his friends.
“Wow, Jughead, you’ve really acclimatised to life on the Southside, haven’t you?” She laughed softly, watching the severe look on Jughead’s face fade into a smile.
“Desperate times, I guess.” He sighed, his whole body relaxing as he spoke to her, she was maybe the only person he’d spoken to lately who wasn’t involved in any of the drama that had plagued his life recently.
“Well, maybe it’s not responsible to say so but I think snake skin suits you, you look like a badass, Jones.” She chuckled, even though her voice was slightly teasing and he couldn’t keep the smile from his face; that was the single best reaction he’d gotten so far to being a Serpent. There was a comfortable pause between them in which they both just smiled dumbly at each other, until he sighed.
“You know I have to ask…” he trailed off and her expression faltered, recovering just as fast as it had gone, she shrugged, knowing exactly what it was that he wanted to ask about.
“My parents kicked me out, and everyone was always saying I belong on the Southside anyway so here I am.” It was something she talked about so casually that Jughead might have miss d how serious it was if he wasn’t paying close attention.
“They kicked you out? Shit, Y/N, why? And where the hell are you staying?” Jughead leaned further across the table towards her and she rolled her eyes at his concern.
“I got in another fight with Chuck and they found out about the tattoos, and because that didn’t fit with their cute little family image they kicked me out and told everyone I ran away.” She mumbled bitterly, pushing her food around her plate.
Meanwhile, across the lunch room, the Serpents were watching on with rapt interest. No one had expected Jughead to step in and to sit down across from her, to be talking to her the way he was, it automatically meant that anyone watching on expected her to be under Serpent protection. “What the fuck is he doing?” Fangs hissed to his friends, Toni only shrugged.
“I don’t know but she doesn’t seems as bad as the other Northsiders he’s friends with.” Toni tried to defend, tilting her head towards the conversation.
“You think he likes her?” Sweet Pea interjected randomly, his voice rising above and silencing his friends.
“No way, he’s with Betty.” Toni raised an eyebrow at her friend, she could see it in Sweet Pea’s eyes, he was planning something, and something he probably shouldn’t be.
“So? They seem pretty…. friendly for someone he claims he didn’t know that well.” The taller boy shrugged, a small smirk on his lips as he didn’t even try to tear his eyes away. He didn’t like Jughead, it wasn’t a secret, they were Serpents and so he had stopped tormenting him, but that didn’t mean he liked him. He was just contractually obligated to cope with him. What that did mean, was Sweet Pea was always out for an opportunity to fuck with him in the subtlest way possible whenever there was an opportunity and this was an opportunity for the ages.
“What are you thinking, Sweets?” Fangs questioned, a devilish grin on his lips as he watched the gears turn in his best friend’s mind, eyes fixed on Jughead and the new girl.
“I’m thinking we go and meet and our new friend.” He drew out the last word slowly as he stood, closely followed by Toni, Fangs, and a few other interest Serpents.
tagging @southsidepea bc i promised i would