Request: Hi honey ! <3 I love all your imagines, you are such a good writer ! I was wondering, if you could write Juggy imagine, something like Cinderella story, where the reader is shy and clumsy girl, who doesn’t go out much often because of her stepmother and her daughters, but one night, with Veronica and Betty help (two fairygodmathers haha) she go to a school party, where she met Jughead, but when she was leaving in hurry, she left something, and Juggy is determined to find her ?
This was like, the cutest prompt I’ve ever read and I just had to do it! Let me know if you want a part 2 :)
Jughead x Reader + Beronica because I’m trash
Warnings: - Swearing / abusive step-family :c - if you deal with these kind of issues, please tell someone. Anyone. You deserve so much more <3
Words: - 4,849
Cinderella, that was pretty much you in a nutshell.
You walked along the side of the hallway, lurking. You managed to pass through to the high school exit, unnoticed by anyone. Not that you were ever noticed. You could turn into a flying monkey and still no attention would be paid to you.
Not that you cared. You were a selfless girl, kind and virtuous. To everyone else you were the shy girl without friends, too perfect and studious to need anyone. Inside, you were longing for someone to talk too, because nothing and nobody in Riverdale is ever perfect. There’s always a layer of cracked stone hidden beneath the perfectly painted exterior.
The reason you didn’t have many friends was because you never really got out much, besides school. You weren’t used to much social interaction and all your spare time was spent in the library, doing your homework. You couldn’t do it at home, because you had to take care of your stepmother who would often come home high or drunk. Your stepsisters would blame you, and you would have to clean up all of the mess and damage that they left behind or your step-mother would beat you.
That was always another reason why you never let anyone know. You were too selfless and paranoid to make a fuss, you didn’t want people worrying over you or thinking that you were just seeking their attention. You had the bruises and the scars to prove your claims, but in your mind speaking out would just make everything worse.
Still, through all that you had bared, you wore a smile on your face and tried to stay positive. It was all for your Mother’s sake. She had died in a car accident when you were 9 and it had left you traumatised. Sadly you didn’t have much time to recover as your Father followed just 4 years later thanks to cancer. Your Mum always used to tell you to look on the bright side of life, to be kind and show love. All you wanted was to make her proud.
As you walked out into the parking lot to fetch your bike, you saw a group of people crowded around the racks engaged in conversation. You walked up to them gingerly, your body spiked with nerves. This was, as dubbed by Cheryl Blossom, the Sad Breakfast Club. You’d always admired them from afar.
Archie Andrews was talented, in both music and sports. Betty Cooper was the typical girl next door, good grades and a strong mind. Kevin Keller was too fabulous for words, and you adored his confidence. Veronica Lodge was a powerful feminist, who stood up for herself, as well as standing up for her friends and fellow females. Then, there was Jughead Jones. You’d partnered up with him once in English class. He had a way with words, and you couldn’t help but ask him about his novel. His eyes had lit up with passion, a passion that didn’t die for the whole time the two of you conversed. His friends had been surprised at how talkative he was to you, how excited he was that you seemed to understand and respect his novel.
It felt great to finally have someone to talk to, about normal things. However, after that encounter you hadn’t really spoken to him, although he would sometimes acknowledge you with a small smile and a nod when you passed him in the hallway. You didn’t have the courage to interact with him more than you already did. Besides, you saw the look in his eyes. It was indescribable. The same look that clouded over your eyes daily, a look that nobody except those who possessed it would be able to see. The look of helplessness, that behind whatever perfect or basic exterior you had built up, was layered with secrets and scandal. You didn’t want to present yourself as another burden in his life when, without even talking to him properly, you could just tell he wasn’t going through the best of times.
You could hear that they were talking about Cheryl Blossom’s upcoming party. The party of the century. A masked party. Considering your status, you hadn’t received an invite so you weren’t going. The idea of taking on a whole new identity, the ability to let yourself loose without having to worry about how people saw you. It was thrilling, and sent anticipation and excitement coursing through your veins. How you would love to confidently dance at a party, socialise, do things that (Y/N) (Y/L/N) just wouldn’t do… couldn’t do. For once, after all the things you gave to the world, maybe taking something in return and having your fifteen minutes of fame was all you needed.
Your daydreaming meant that you hadn’t been paying precise attention to where you were walking, and found yourself stumbling over a collection of bikes which had been carelessly placed in the middle of the pavement as there was no more space on the bike racks. Your felt your cheeks tint red with embarrassment as you collected the spilled contents of your bag, which you had forgotten to close. It was cliche and awkward, and what made it worse was that the SBC was right in front of you watching. They got down to help you pick stuff up and you muttered your thanks to each of them, keeping your head down. You felt someone touch your arm, and naturally you immediately leapt onto your feet away from the contact, jerking the touch away from you. Your eyes were wide and your heart was thumping. You were so skittish thanks to past trauma, and you felt your cheeks get redder as you realised it had only been a reassuring gesture from Jughead.
He was staring at you, bewildered, as he slowly walked closer and gave you your pencil case, one of the items that had fallen from your bag.
“Are you okay? -” He paused, as if trying to remember your name, not that you’d ever told him. He probably expected you to just give it to him there and then but you wanted to escape the awkward confrontation as quickly as possible. You weren’t sure why because to be honest, you would always prefer to be anywhere in the world that wasn’t home. However, if you got home late, you would just be making it worse for yourself.
“Yes, thank you. All of you,” You put on that charming smile of yours, before pulling out your vintage bike, which you had salvaged from a local junkyard. You’d manage to acquire mint green spray paint and the materials to make a small woven basket for the front, and the result wasn’t half bad. It wasn’t exactly the flashy modern bikes that lit up when they move, but you wouldn’t want it any other way. Finding the time to work for yourself was rewarding in its own sense.
You knew eyes were on you, something that you weren’t exactly used to, so you tried to get out of sight, as you rode down the street, as quickly as possible. You didn’t realise the curious spark mixed in with the helplessness in Jughead’s eyes, and you didn’t realise the suspicious glances that were exchanged between Betty and Veronica.
Home sweet home.
Home is where you feel safe, most wanted and most loved.
Your home was anything but sweet, and you felt like you were living in fear, that the hate your ‘family’ had for you was all you had going for your life.
You walked your bike up to the shed at the side of your house. It was infested with spiders and mice, and if your step-mother was in a particularly awful mood, the thickly coated, dusty floors would be your bed for the night. Lucifer, your step mother’s cat was perched on the door step. His name seemed appropriate considering his demonic demeanour and frequent attempts to claw your limbs out. His gaze followed you as you entered the house.
Empty or smashed beer bottles clogged up the hallway, and you practically went en pointe to try and avoid the thick shards of glass that coated your path. You couldn’t hear the blaring noise of the TV, or the throwing of items coming from upstairs. This meant, it was one of those days where your stepmom went out the night before, drove to the next town over, got drunk and high and then proceeded to have a one night stand with some poor man. She wouldn’t be home until very late the following evening, and you couldn’t help but breathe out a soft sight of relief.
You had just gotten out of the shower, preparing to start on clearing up the glass when you heard the front door slam, followed by two whingey voices. Your step-sisters, Drew and Anna. Whereas your stepmom had physical abuse covered, your step-sisters preferred to hurt you verbally, to mock you and tease you, belittle you and reduce you to nothing but their own personal slave.
“(Y/N)!” You heard a screech from below your feet and you cringed inwardly, as you pulled on your comfort clothes. You knew you should have cleaned up first, but you just felt so stressed and uncomfortable from your fall earlier. Not that your own concerns were the priority in this household.
“(Y/N)!” Two simultaneous yells this time, sounding frustrated. The longer it took, the worse it would get, the more material they had to hurt you with. You hurriedly raced downstairs to their aid.
“Drew, Anna, how was your day?” You put on the nicest smile and sweetest voice you could muster. Anyone else would have snapped back at these sisters by this point, but you were an empathetic person and knew that deep down, these girls were suffering from their broken family just as much as you were. They just coped with it differently.
“Took you long enough, anyways, Cheryl invited us to her party and we need you to do our makeup like the… good sister that you are,” Anna gave a sickly sweet smirk. Your stepsisters had been sucking up to Cheryl for weeks in order to be invited to this party, and knew that you wouldn’t be going.
“She’s picking us up in her limo in about 2 hours, so hurry up. And don’t make further plans, you’re going to have to clean everything up before Mum gets home afterwards or she’ll kill you,” Drew snickered and Anna scoffed.
“Please Drew, we’re not that lucky.” The two sisters pushed past you, before walking up the stairs to their room. You felt your sensitivity levels topple over slightly, that remark was just a bit too far.
Somehow, you managed to slightly bond with your sisters over the makeup process. You tried things out on Drew, Anna would occasionally compliment how nice she looked and ask if you could do the same thing when it came to her. You almost felt like normal sisters. Until you were done. It could never last long could it? You just weren’t good enough.
Drew and Anna were wearing flamboyant dresses, with masks to matched. Their heels were higher than you thought was actually possible. As the two made their own final preparations, you were busy doing your own makeup and had laid out a pastel pink dress to wear. The dress was your mother’s, and you had managed to find it at the back of your closet from when you used to try and dress up in her clothes when you were younger. You wanted to go to this party. Why not? After all, you did everything for everyone else. For the first time, you deserved a little something back. Besides, you were sure Anna and Drew wouldn’t care, after all you had gotten on so well when you were doing their makeup. Well, better than usual at least. That had to mean something.
Cheryl wanted the party to be huge, so you were sure she wouldn’t mind if you tagged along with your sisters. It wasn’t as if you actually had any issues or rivalry with Cheryl, you just didn’t talk to her. You wouldn’t be surprised if your sisters had actually told people that they didn’t have any more siblings, and that you were just a loner only child.
You grabbed your ragged clutch, and made your way downstairs, after changing into the dress. You looked okay, but your mind was on the mask. You decided you were going to pick one up at the local costume shop on the way there, as you would travel on your bike rather than opting for the awkward journey in Cheryl’s limousine.
You raced outside before Anna suddenly rushed up to you, shoving her iPhone into your hands.
“Ah! (Y/N) perfect, take a pic of me and Drew!” She exclaimed, before rushing back to Drew and posing, attempting to stick her chest out. You awkwardly tilted the camera to fit the both of them in it, before Anna raced back and snatched it off of you, flicking through the pictures you took. “Ugh this one’s blurry,” She muttered, as she paced back and forth.
“What are you wearing?” Drew bitterly scoffed as she circled you mockingly, like you were surrounded in shark infested waters. You suddenly felt intimidated as Anna’s attention snapped to you and she began to laugh and jeer at you.
“Goodness (Y/N), is that ugly piece of shit the best you could do?” She giggled uncontrollably and you felt tears crawl into your eyes.
“It was my mother’s” You whispered, not looking either of them in the eye.
“You keep dead people’s clothes? That’s weird, creepy, just like that Jughead kid,” Drew sighed, pulling on a loose lock of your hair. You jumped back from her and she rolled her eyes and scoffed at you.
“Wait… don’t tell me… that you thought you were coming to the party?” Anna stopped pacing, getting up close in your face and raising an eyebrow. You wanted the ground to swallow you whole right now.
“Well… I thought… m-maybe you would let me come with you? I just thought it was my turn to d-do something… for myself,” You stumbled clumsily, eyes trained to the ground. An awkward pause of silence skipped over you, before your stepsisters bursted into scathing hysterics. Pointing at you, taunting you. The tears freely flowed now. How could you be so stupid and naive to think somebody actually cared about you.
“You thought wrong you little bitch,” Anna’s voice sent chills down your spine as her tone turned menacing. She walked up to you, grabbed the frills of your dress and ripped them in two. You let out a strangled cry as Anna stepped back to admire her handy work. You fell to the ground, picking up the pieces that had come off of the dress and holding them close to your heart. You felt like Anna and Drew were destroying your whole world, taking it down brick by brick. When they learnt a weakness or a potential threat, they would eliminate it immediately.
You heard the clanging of metal, and turned your head to the left to see your bike which was being vandalised by Drew, who was madly hitting it with a large metal hammer. You crawled towards her, screaming at her to stop but Drew wouldn’t comply, not until the bike was damaged beyond repair.
One of the only things you’d ever been proud of, your spare time flushed down the drain in a matter of seconds. You stood up and bravely faced your two stepsisters in the eye, who were observing the surrounding chaos with satisfied looks on their faces. A black limo pulled up on your driveway, and the two walked off, only stopping when they heard you yell.
“Why me? Please! What did I ever do to you? All I’ve ever done is be nice to you, why do you hate me?!” Your voice was raw from the crying. The stepsisters looked back at each other, trying to come up with a response.
“Because you ruined our lives,” Anna spat at you, before grabbing Drew’s hand and pulling her away, leaving you to stand there and sob. Your knees collapsed beneath you with grief.
You sat in your bedroom, trying to collect yourself. Your mothers dress was placed under your sewing machine which you would have to fix later. You had managed to clean up the rest of the house which had helped in taking your mind off of the party momentarily. However, you now sat on the edge of your bed, reflecting on what could have been.
Maybe you should have reached out to someone, anyone who would listen. Like Jughead…
You just wished you had your own fairy godmother right now.
Suddenly, you heard a knock at your front door. This was strange, as nobody ever came to this house except the milkman and the postman. Your sisters were too embarrassed to share their address or invite anyone round, as you would likely be there. If it was your stepmom, she wouldn’t knock. She would barge in the door, yelling and shouting.
Cautiously, you opened the front door, peeking out into the night. You were surprised to see two girls, two girls you recognised. Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper, who were both wearing matching black and white dresses, with perfect makeup and sympathetic smiles on their gorgeous faces.
“We saw the bike, saw your sisters and put two and two together,” Veronica sighed. You bit your lip, not sure what to say, but Veronica had practically invited herself in and enveloped you in a hug, followed by Betty.
“You don’t have to tell us anything, but we won’t sit here and let them get away with ruining your night,” Betty smiled, brandishing a box. Inside the box was a makeup bag, a pair of white embellished platform shoes, a black and white halter neck dress with black lace on the top, and the best parts, the accessories. A split down the middle, black and white mask. The white side was embezzled in sequins and feathers, whereas the black side was decorated with white swirls and fake flowers. Intricate floral patterns danced around the edges of both sides of the mask. On top of this all was the most beautiful necklace you had ever seen. A silver chain attached to what looked like a jewel encrusted ring, lined with a gold rim. More tears appeared in your eyes.
“Sorry if none of it’s really you, it’s all we had,” Veronica laughed nervously but you jumped on the two girls with another hug, except tighter.
“You didn’t have to do this, it’s all so beautiful….” You felt yourself choke on your words.
“Honestly it’s-” Veronica began,
“Nothing” Betty finished, linking her arm with Veronica affectionately as they giggled at one another.
“Don’t let these people ruin your fun, you gotta go out there and get your man!” Veronica beamed, resting her head on Betty’s shoulder as Betty nodded encouragingly.
Your eyebrows furrowed in confusion and Betty and Veronica simultaneously rolled their eyes with a ‘tut tut’, exchanging glances.
“Jughead silly!” Betty spelt it out for you and you felt your face turn red all over again. “Yes! I knew it!” Betty exclaimed excitedly.
“I ship it!” Veronica and Betty squealed in a sing-song voice. You buried your face in your hands, but tried to laugh it off.
“I don’t even know if I can pull this stuff off guys. Honestly, it’s all so beautiful but it would probably look nicer on yo-” You began but the girls help up a finger in unison.
“Don’t even start with that crap. You are such a pretty, strong woman! You’ve been through all of this by yourself and you never even had to! You are going to own this party whether Cheryl Blossom gives a fuck or not,” Veronica retorted, and you grinned excitedly.
The girls helped you redo your makeup, as you confided with them about your situation. It felt so good to get everything off your chest. They were so much more relatable than you expected and you honestly hoped that this wouldn’t be a one-off friendship.
You were ready and dressed, hair done in a lace braid, necklace secured, feet comfy. All you needed now was to put your mask on. As you slipped it over your head, you felt a surge of confidence and power. This was finally your night, and you were going to earn it.
“Look at what we’ve created Ronnie,” Betty danced around your room with Veronica excitedly. Your sisters had left to help set up the party earlier, so it’s not like you guys were even late yet, and the others were very excited. Suddenly, you felt the nerves rush back. What if they couldn’t get you in? If Anna and Drew knew you were there they would personally skin you alive. Veronica noticed you tense and she crouched beside you, resting her chin on your shoulder and sighing.
“In this mirror, I see a beautiful, young, independent woman who is currently discovering herself. You deserve this night (Y/N), it’s not enough just to dream these kind of things, you gotta finally step out of your comfort zone and live it up!” She shook you playfully and you laughed. This was your chance.
The ride had been fun, Ronnie had her own limo which she had managed to secure for the evening and you had picked up Kevin Keller on the way there, who played a huge part in settling your nerves with his gay humour.
Veronica, being an influential person had also managed to get you into the party and you hadn’t even seen Anna and Drew so far.
Turns out that being anti-social for so long wasn’t a good trait to have in massive social events like parties where everyone knew each other and had plans for the evening. You felt out of place, and everything you dreamt of had faded. It was intimidating, all these masks practically trying to outshine each other. You lost your new friends in the sea of people and hadn’t found them since. You had managed to gain a lot of attention during the night though, which you were not used to.
You currently stood pressed against the wall, drinking the non-spiked punch and avoiding the dance floor. Suddenly, you made eye contact with someone else pressed agains the wall. Probably someone that you would recognise in a festival crowd. No matter where you were you could pick him out. His crystal blue eyes and distinctive grey beanie which would not go off for any event. His raven haired curly locks which stood up at the back of his neck.
Your night (Y/N)
Feeling a surge of confidence, you kicked off of the wall and stood by him instead.
“Do I know you?” He asked almost instantly. Obviously everyone knew it was him from the beanie, and nobody would voluntarily come stand by him, it just wasn’t a thing people did.
“Not yet,” You let out a small chuckle, surprised at yourself. Your voice was deeper, perhaps even seductive. You sounded powerful but your stomach was whirling with butterflies as the boy gave a moment of silence to take you in.
“How mysterious,” He smirked back. Jughead’s mask covered a very thin surface area around his eyes, and was simply pitch black and made out of card. He clearly tried very hard. “Student at Riverdale?”
“Are we playing a guessing game now?”
“I guess,” You couldn’t really tell from the flashing strobe lights and intense atmosphere but you swore you could have saw him blushing.
“Yes, I am a student at Riverdale,” your heart thumped. There were obviously tons of students at Riverdale but you couldn’t help but get this overwhelming feeling that he knew it was you. Maybe Jughead felt the same way? You bit your lip, thinking about how you just wanted to be at a comfortable home with this boy right now. Like his house, because your house was simply hell.
This boy practically was your home, he made you feel safe and wanted. Although he didn’t even know this was you right now, you were just there for entertainment as he had nobody to speak to. If he knew who you really were, he would have left a long time ago.
No (Y/N), your night! Have some faith in yourself!
“Have we talked before?” Jughead asked again, you paused deciding how you wanted to word this so that it was truthful but not too obvious.
“I expect so,” You played it off and you heard him grunt, causing you to let out another hearty chuckle.
God he loved that chuckle. It reminded him of (Y/N)
Jughead looked up at the mysterious, elegant beauty behind the mask. He thought of (Y/N) and how suddenly an idea popped into his head. But she was so shy… it was just his biased mind because he had a cr- no, it was worth the ask.
Suddenly a slow song played over the speaker, and people paired off onto the dance floor. The two of you stayed against the wall until you were the only two left. You’d love to dance, but there wasn’t much space left and you wanted to dance freely with flowing motions. Jughead practically read your mind, as he bravely took your hand and lead you out onto a balcony, before placing his hands on your waist as you wrapped yours around the back of his neck, leaning into him and taking in his gentle scent.
You slowly moved side to side, resting against him, only properly moving when he would twirl you around gracefully.
“Do we have classes together?” Jughead murmured. You nodded your head dazily and he chuckled at your sudden tired mood, spinning you again. He let out a hmm in mock thought, causing you to weakly giggle. “Have we been project partners before?” His voice got quieter and more gentle. You paused, the swaying slowing. “Yes” you whispered against his jacket, clutching it tightly in your hands.
From inside, you could hear the song coming to an end but undisturbed, the two of you continued to dance. A comfortable silence swept over you as he twirled you one last time before stopping, his mouth coming closer to your ear and you felt Jughead’s hot breath on your neck.
“Do you like English class?” He whispered gently into your ear and you felt yourself tense. Suddenly the loud chiming of a clock from above you caused you to break apart with a jump. He didn’t make it obvious that he knew, but it was the skittishness that made it clear who his mystery girl was. Your heavy breathing, turned into breathy laughing with Jughead before suddenly your whole body went rigid and your face paled.
“What’s the time?” You whispered, your face struck with horror.
“Midnight, that’s what the chimes are for,” Jughead moved closer, his hand reached up to cup your cheek but you stumbled back, your hand flying to clasp over your mouth. You were trying to hold back sobs of fright.
Your stepmom would be home. She would kill you if you weren’t there and you didn’t exactly mean figuratively. She would beat you until you’re bloody, skin you alive and then eat your flesh in front of your own rotting carcass.
You muttered hurried apologies before racing towards the balcony door. You had to sneak back home somehow, you had to get away. This should have never have happened. People like you don’t deserve these special nights, these special people. Your heart was thumping out of your chest as the adrenalin pumped through your veins
You let out a yelp of pain as you realised your necklace was stuck in your hair. You ripped it out, not caring that it fell to the floor. You didn’t even bother to pick it up, kicking off you heels and chucking them at Veronica as you ran away from the dance floor, from the party, from the mansion… from Jughead.
“Got it,” Drew smirked nastily, as she hit the stop button on the recording of you. She’d filmed the last minute or so of your dance with Jughead and your sudden departure.
“Mom would totally believe she stole all of that crap, including the necklace. I mean she must have. There’s no way that street urchin can afford that shit,” Anna sighed, “Did she honestly think that someone like her would fit in here? We’ll show her,” She clicked her tongue in satisfaction, before dragging her sister with her out the door.
Little did they know that they weren’t the only ones snooping on conversations.
“Not if I have anything to say about it,” Jughead clasped the necklace in his right hand, Veronica and Betty standing angrily behind him.
It’s 2am I’m so dead. This was kind of rushed, I’m so sorry <3
Let me know if you want part 2! ALSSSOOO: thank you to @mrs-jughead-jones for being there whilst I wrote this and getting annoyed at Apple autocorrect with me.
so i haven't seen anyone write about this, and who else shall i turn to than you - what would happen if the twins' father suddenly showed up?
They’re at the Columbia house late in the afternoon when there’s a knock at the door. It barely cuts through the riot of noise from the television where Aaron and Nicky are playing some kind of video game - it’s white noise to Neil, who is trying to finish an assignment due on Monday.
Andrew stalks past from the kitchen, throwing them all a quick glance as though assuring himself that they’re all in their appropriate places, and then disappears down the hall.
There’s the sound of the front door opening, and then muffled voices. Neil can’t recall ever having someone come to the front door while they’ve been here - if it’s a salesperson of a Mormon, they’re probably already sorry to have made that mistake. Especially when the conversion goes on longer than Andrew’s customary five seconds.
Nicky reaches for the remote with a frown on his face, clearly intending to drop the volume so he can listen in. It goes flying instead when he jerks, startled, at the crash of the door slamming closed.
A moment later, Andrew appears briefly in the doorway on his way back to the kitchen. He looks unfazed, but that isn’t exactly unusual. Nicky, who is clutching his chest in typical dramatic fashion, flicks Neil a wild glance.
“Who was that?” Neil calls, as Aaron pauses the game and plunges them into quiet.
It means Andrew’s voice is perfectly clear when he replies at normal volume, “Our father, apparently.”
It’s such a disconnected concept that, for a moment, they stare at each other. Then, Neil goes for Andrew - Aaron, pushing Nicky back down onto the couch with a fierce stay that definitely won’t stick, goes for the door.
Neil pauses in the doorway of the kitchen, where he has a clear view down the hall to the front door past Aaron’s body and Nicky in the living room doorway. He can barely see the man on the front stoop - thanks to press photos, Neil knows the twins favour Tilda. There’s nothing of this man in them from what he can make out, but he knows that doesn’t mean much. Neil, after all, looks not a thing like his mother.
“Who the fuck are you?” Aaron demands, twice as abrasive as his brother. He has an arm slung across the door frame, protective like he thinks the man outside might try to get in if he doesn’t.
Neil casts Andrew a glance, finds him slicing vegetables for their dinner as though nothing is happening. There’s no tension in his shoulders, no indication that he’s thrown by this development. It doesn’t surprise Neil particularly.
Neil turns back to the other twin, the one with the stiff spine and the voice halfway to a snarl.
“I’m Peter,” the man says. He’s trying for a smile, but it looks like it’s falling off. That’s a mistake, anyway - there’s nothing Andrew likes better than removing someone’s smile, and Aaron’s equally good at doing so even without the same intent.
“You think you’re our father,” Aaron asserts. The our sounds strange from him, probably because he only ever uses it in moments where it’s monsters-versus-everyone else. That said, this situation probably counts.
“I saw you on the television,” Peter says. He presumably means Andrew, because he’s the more news-worthy twin, and never in a good way. Aaron seems to grasp that - the tension in his braced arm winds tighter.
“Your mom and I were, um, together. Around the same time,” Peter rushes on, like he senses his time is running out, and then, “The timeframe works out, let’s put it that way.”
“A lot of people fucked my mother,” Aaron drawls. “Were you wanting a prize for that?”
Behind Neil, the sound of chopping ceases.
“Let me guess,” Aaron goes on, before the stranger can. “You want something, right?”
Peter opens his mouth. Aaron cuts him off. “You’ve come to the wrong place.”
Then, for the second time, the door is slammed closed. The wood groans a complaint, and for a moment Neil fears for the hinges. It’s one thing to send the man packing, but it’s another entirely to crush him.
Aaron spins back, stomping down to the living room door and only avoiding barging into Nicky because Nicky moves first. Nicky throws Neil another please-do-crowd-control glance before he follows Aaron back inside. After a second, the television comes back to life with a blare.
Neil throws Andrew another glance. He’s still unbothered, returned now to his task. Neil wonders how long that peace would last if Peter were to come back. If he were to knock at the door again now. Wonders if Aaron, whose face was barely-contained fury just now, would be the one to break it.
The twins need to stay away from legal trouble. So does Neil, of course, but that’s different. Neil Josten has a clean slate, technically.
It might come in handy if someone ends up calling the cops.
Peter’s halfway into his car when the door of the house opens for the third time. Someone slips out, closing the door gently behind them before trotting down the front steps.
The kid is slight, messy hair held back from his face with a bright orange bandana that clashes terribly with his complexion. His face is horrifically scarred across one cheek, warped like melted plastic under his eye.
“Hey,” he says, the most friendly-sounding thing Peter has heard all afternoon. He swears he should recognise him - he’s done plenty of research on the Minyard twins lately. He just knows that this isn’t the cousin: that one is supposedly taller.
“Hi,” he replies, trying to remember how to look friendly again himself. He thinks that expression fell off sometime through his conversation with the second twin, whichever one that was. He pastes on a decent approximation as the kid gets closer.
Neither of the twins got anywhere near within reach, so it’s a surprise when this one gets closer than that. And then closer, so fast that Peter merely flinches before he’s sent crashing back into his own car.
“Shit!” he yelps, and then a hand grasps his throat and stops him from going on with a firm and threatening grip.
“Shh,” the kid warns, which is when Peter finally recognises him. This kid, too, has been in the news. “Don’t disturb the neighbours.”
A squeak crawls out of his throat unbidden. The fingers press down harder for a moment, a reprimand. Someone this short shouldn’t be so strong, never mind so threatening.
The kid’s eyes are an unusual colour - icy, just about. That’s an apt comparison from Peter’s stunned brain as he looks right into them. His name escapes Peter, but he looks just how he would imagine a mobster’s son.
“You’re going to get in your car now. And you’re not going to come back, or come near either of them either again,” he says, almost gently. “Because you won’t like it if you do.”
The threat is implicit, but so real Peter can almost taste the blood in his throat. His heart is pounding in his ears, echoing against the kid’s palm. He can’t feel a heartbeat in the hand in turn, but he suspects it would be as steady as a sleeping man’s if he could. There’s no trace of anxiety in his scarred face - just brutal honesty, and a dash of humour.
He drops his hand and steps back. Peter’s knees nearly go out from under him, forcing him to catch himself against the car. He scrabbles for the door handle, unable to comprehend just what it is that has him panicking, and crashes into the driver’s seat with his legs still shaking.
His tires screech as he peels out. He doesn’t even look at the house in the rearview mirror as he speeds off - he thinks those eyes might be following him.