The reader has built up walls around her heart, but Jughead is determined to break them down. Based on the requested song: World Behind My Wall by Tokio Hotel
Warnings: Mentions of abusive parenting, homelessness
A/N: I’m a terrible person.
they’re telling me
i believe them
but will I ever know
Dreams are a funny thing. They either show you what you want to see, or something you never want to experience. You weren’t exactly sure where Jughead Jones fit into the equation, but he was there nonetheless.
You hadn’t known Jughead that long either, truth be told you’ve only had one, maybe two conversations with him about schoolwork, but your brain must have taken a liking to him because every night, there he was.
It was the same every night. You and him would be looking up at the stars, and he would lift his hand and point to the brightest one.
‘That one was made for you,’ he would say, ‘the light in the darkness.’
I couldn’t seem to keep ahold of anything else from the dream, except that moment.
You didn’t really mind being asleep all that much, it was better than being awake.
A part of you felt like it was fate, that maybe these dreams were because you were connected spiritually or maybe you were even soul mates.
Or then it also might just be because you’re sleeping where he was just a few weeks ago. That’s right, you were homeless. Well, you could probably go stay with your aunt and uncle, but they lived all the way across town, and you would have to go to a different high school and that was not an option. Rumour had it is that Jughead was staying under the stairs for a while after the drive-in closed, until he went to go live with his best friend Archie. It seemed too perfect that your parents had to be assholes at the exact same time an abandoned place opened up right in the middle of the school.
Not even a day after Jughead had gotten all of his stuff out, you moved in.
It had been a long time coming, though, even you had to admit. Your parents weren’t the best, always out late, always working, always drinking. They never seemed to be sober anymore, always ignoring their real problems. They had probably cheated on each other so many times they lost count. They were emotionally abusive, picking on you for every little thing you did wrong in their eyes. Only problem was, you never knew which version of a parent you were going to get, so it was impossible to please them all the time. You had started staying out later to avoid them, your grades dropped to B’s and C’s instead of A’s because of your busy schedule, and when you came home with a tattoo on your 18th birthday that you had been talking about for the past three years, they about lost their shit, and said that they didn’t know you anymore. They said if that’s the way you were going to repay them for everything they had done for you then you might as well leave, so you did.
You didn’t have very many friends, at least none that you were extremely close to that you could ask to stay with as you just genuinely tried to be nice to everyone, and you very well didn’t want to live on the streets, so the school closet it was. It was four walls, and that’s all you needed.
You woke up early, just like every day for the past two weeks, to shower and get dressed before the rest of the school arrived. You stop your alarm clock for the 5th time and drag yourself out of bed. You grab your shampoo and towel and open the door. You’re still rubbing your eyes, when you run face first into a wall.
You step back to orientate yourself, when you realize that there wasn’t a wall there, there never had been. You open your eyes all the way to see none other than Jughead Jones staring back at you.
“Uhm.. hi.” is all you manage to mutter out, not sure what to do. You’re basically a deer in the headlights.
“Who are you?” he asks, dumbfounded.
“I’m (Y/N), the new homeless person living under the stairs! Didn’t you hear? The front desk is renting it out, 10 bucks a night!” you exclaim, trying to make light of the situation. Making fun of yourself and laughing at things is how you’ve learned to deal with everything, because as long as people were laughing with you they wouldn’t be laughing at you. (Y/N) was your name and sarcastic humor was your game.
“What?” he asks, not really getting the joke.
“I’m Harry Potter, I’m living the dream, pretend you never saw me.” you tell him, turning towards the showers to try to make a speedy exit.
“Oh no you don’t.” Jug says, grabbing your arm before you make it too far, “I know this routine all too well.”
“What routine?” you play dumb. You were a very observant person, always listening to things happening around you. Archie and his gang were famous around here, or at least that’s what it seemed like. You couldn’t help it if you got to school early every day to avoid your parents and just so happened to overhear his conversation with Archie about his living situation. It was all timing and coincidences.
“Are you living here?” he asks, an odd look of concern in his eyes.
“Yeah, the last guy couldn’t keep up with rent, so I thought it was a steal.” you joke, cracking a small smile.
He doesn’t say anything, he just stares at you, no smile. It’s completely silent in the hall, and you swear that if a pin dropped, you would be able to hear it. Your smile disappears.
“All right, all right, I get it. ‘But (Y/N) can’t you go home? Don’t you have family? It would be so much better if you could just get along with your parents,’” you mimic, “I don’t have time for this. I have to shower before the sane people who get to wake up at normal times start arriving.” you tell him, finally taking your arm away from his grip.
You walk away from him, not turning around, because you know that if you did, you wouldn’t be able to stop yourself from telling him everything.
That night you lay down to sleep, hoping that he will be there to greet you.
one day i will be
ready to go
see the world behind my wall
Lunch time was the only time you could be alone. You enjoyed the time, being able to sit and observe others, make up stories about what’s going on in their minds. You always imagined that their lives were actually put together. You loved to daydream. Sometimes you would sit and observe and daydream about having a best friend, someone to rely on. Of course, you had a few friends, you were nice to everyone, but you were always someone’s second choice. All of your friends seemed to have better best friends. A best friend and a not shit family was the most prominent thought in your mind, and so that’s what your daydreams consisted of.
You pick at your food, unable to eat most of it from the cafeteria. You had been getting free meals since you can remember, your parents not bothering to fill out any paperwork. The school just assumed you were poor, but it was food, so you couldn’t complain.
You’re in the middle of making up a story for a couple sitting on a blanket under a tree when a figure appears in front of you, casting a shadow over your face and blocking the view.
“Hey, this is quality TV, what are you doing?” you tease, motioning for them to move. Only when your eyes move up to meet theres do you realize that it’s Jughead Jones.
You roll your eyes, managing to smile slightly at the look he’s giving you. It’s almost like he was a disappointed, concerned husband.
He didn’t say anything, only sat down and started to eat his lunch. Since he didn’t respond you just kind of stare at him, and then look around to see if any of his friends are in this lunch period, and sure enough: Betty and Ronnie, Archie, and Kevin are all there.
So why was Jughead sitting with you?
Maybe he just wanted to be nice, because after all, he did just discover you the other day living in a closet in the school. This was probably his way of trying to be nice to you or something, so you let it pass. It was probably nothing in his eyes anyway.
At least, that’s what it seemed like for the first day.
Every day for a month, Jughead would come and sit by you. He wouldn’t say a word, he would just sit at lunch to keep you company. He also didn’t tell anyone about your living situation. He didn’t report it to the school, and he certainly didn’t tell his friends. Every now and again they would look over at where you were sitting with Jug and you knew they were probably talking about you both, but oddly enough you didn’t care.
Every night for that same month, Jughead would appear in your sleep.
‘That one was made for you,’ he would say about the star, ‘the light in the darkness.’
It was getting cooler out, and on a nice autumn day you had decided to finally ask him why.
Why did he sit with you?
You got to the table a little early that day, the crummy food from the cafeteria getting cold on your tray already. You anxiously look around, pulling your sleeves down over your hands.
You watch the same couple from under the tree, making up a new story than the one from yesterday and the day before. A familiar figure soon blocked your view.
“Hey, this is quality TV.” you would always say, his cue to sit down across from you, which is exactly what he did.
You sit in silence for a few minutes, picking over your tray once more.
You finally glance up, only to see him looking back at you. Did he always do that?
“So.. uhm..” you start, unsure of what to say. You’d been daydreaming about telling him for so long now that it was the real deal you weren’t exactly sure how to say it.
He just looks at you with expectant eyes, his mouth pinned in the straight line it always was. His hair curled perfectly underneath his signature beanie.
“Why are you sitting with me?” you blurt out, flinching at your own words. Your voice didn’t sound like yours at this time of day, you rarely use it.
“Hm?” he questions, raising his eyebrows.
“Why have you been sitting with me all this time? For the past month you’ve come here every day and just sat with me, not saying anything, I might add, and for what? Your friends are right over there, why sit with me?” you ramble, trying to avoid eye contact. Despite sitting with him every day you really didn’t know anything about him.
“I figured you might need some company. Someone to talk to, when you were ready. I figured, why keep thinking about it, when I could just do it? So I did.” he states plainly.
You’re speechless for a minute, not sure of how to respond. Your normal humor wouldn’t work, that seemed like such a genuine response.
“Well, I think I’m ready.” you say, finally looking in his eyes. You weren’t sure, but you were almost positive that you could see a hint of a smile playing on his lips as you both took a sigh of relief.
i’m ready to heal
i’m ready to feel
You tell Jughead everything. You tell him about your parents, your non-existent friends. Hell, you even tell him about the struggles of living in a cabinet under the school.
He just nods, listening to everything. He doesn’t judge, and seems to show interest in every detail of your woes.
When you are finally finished, he just looks at you for a minute, blinks a few times, and says, “Let me take you to Pop’s after school.”
You couldn’t say no, it’s not like you had any real obligations to attend to after school.
You smiled, excited at the possibility of an actual dinner.
The bell rings before you can respond.
He meets you out front right at the end of school, a smile on his lips as you walk down the steps.
“For a minute I thought you wouldn’t come.” he says as you begin the trail to Pop’s.
“And miss food? Are you insane?” you say with a chuckle. Your arms are swinging lightly in the wind, feeling free as you’re not confined to the small four walls you were used to.
He just smiles, shoving his hands in his pockets, his shoulder bag behind his back. He starts kicking rocks along the road, trading off and even letting you kick some.
This continues the entire way there, giggling and laughing like you haven’t done in years.
In no time your at Pop’s, ordering burgers and milkshakes.
“I have a question.” you say, getting his attention. He has his laptop out, typing away.
“Hm?” he raises his eyebrow, the cue to continue talking.
“How did you know?” you look him dead in the eyes, the question burning in the air.
“I had a dream about it. About someone under the stairs. A girl. You.” he states, glancing up for only a moment, “I had to at least go check.” he admits.
“Why though? Why not just push the dream aside?” you wonder, seeing if you can get him to admit anything else.
“It would nag at me if I didn’t. And if I was wrong, I could move on. If I was right, which I was, I might add, then I knew that the universe was probably trying to tell me something.” he breathes out, the last part of the sentence so soft and airy you can barely make out the words.
Suddenly you get an idea. It’s crazy, and probably a little insane, but you have to try.
“Come with me.” you say, sliding out of the booth and grabbing his arm, just like he did to you the first time you had an encounter.
You lead him outside, back down the path and onto the football field, racing him. He is surprisingly fast, able to keep up with you. When you reach the field you turn to face him.
“What are you doing?” he asks, breathless. You were honestly surprised he keeps putting up with your antics.
“Just wait.” you say, releasing his arm and going over to the light box. You flip the switch, turning all the jumbo lights off, revealing the starry night above you.
“I’ve always wanted to see what this looked like for real.” you say as you walk back over to him.
He looks up at the sky, then back at you, and in this moment you know that you are going to tell this boy everything. You’re going to feel and you’re going to heal again because of Jug. You admit to yourself that you like him, but if you were being honest with yourself you knew you always had. You couldn’t deny it any longer.
“You see that?” he asks, pointing to the brightest star in the sky.
You nod as he takes your hands, making your heart skip a beat.
“That one was made for you,” he says, “the light in the darkness.”
You nearly have a heart attack at the words, speechless to say or do anything.
“What?” is all you can manage.
“(Y/N), you’ve been the highlight of my day for the past month, just sitting there and looking at you looking at everyone else. You were a mystery, and you still are, but somehow I feel like I’ve known you for a lifetime. I can’t believe I didn’t see it sooner, that I didn’t see you sooner.” he says, one hand going to cup your cheek, “Please, come stay with me.”
You lean into him, a huge smile on his face.
“Jug, I-” you begin, but he stops you by placing a kiss on your lips, bringing you close to his body. You feel safe, you feel loved, and you know that no matter what anyone says, the universe is somehow trying to tell you something.
You just hope you can remember that when you wake up.
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