Because it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I wrote a thing.
Hanzo tilted his head, staring at the slim box McCree had
shoved into his hands before he could even say hello. He found himself confused
for a moment as he tried to think of a reason for the cowboy to be bringing him
a gift before recalling the date. He bit the inside of his lip before looking
up to meet McCree’s eyes. “I did not get you anything.”
You were never a very academic student. The only thing you liked about assignments was the fact that you could doodle on them to pass the time. One class that doodling was prohibited was Calculus. Mr. Kim never intimidated you, until now.
You doodled on the edge of your notebook, adding to the growing collage on the once blank paper. Calculus was your least favorite subject. Not to mention you pretty much hated school and all it stood for. The other students gawked at you from afar. How could you dare disobey the most strict teach in the school?! You were a rebel even if you hadn’t realized it yet.
Mr. Kim’s voice was pushed to the back of your mind. His boring tone and the sound of chalk scraping on the chalk board could lull you to sleep. At least you were awake. The bell rang and you thanked any God that would listen. You reached down to grab your bag but a wooden ruler clipped your knuckles.
“What the hell?!” You shouted. The man, the myth, the legend stood there towering over your desk. His eyebrows were drawn together under the thin frame of his glasses. His plump lips turned down into a scowl.
You had to admit, Mr. Kim had it going on.
Mr. Kim snatched your notebook out from under your hand and scanned the multiple drawings. You were a talented artist that was for sure. The look on your Teachers face said otherwise.
“These are not notes on Arithmetic, young lady.” The last student went scurrying out of the room with the slam of a door. Mr. Kim slammed down the notebook on your desk. You jumped slightly and felt fear rush through your veins. Mr. Kim pinched he bridge of his nose. “I’ve gave you countless tries to act on your own initiative Miss Y/n.”
Mr. Kim’s voice echoed throughout the room as he licked the door. Now why couldn’t he have this voice when teaching? The low, husky tone that made your thighs tighten. Mr. Kim circled your desk much like a vulture. His slick black shoes were nearly noiseless on the pristine white floor.
The crack of the ruler wrapped against your hand again. This time you yelped and hugged your wounded hand close. “What gives?” The older man said nothing. He went back to the tall, leather chair and leaned back. With a smooth smirk he rested his chin on his hand.
“Y/n, we need to discuss your punishment. Step forward.” Mr. Kim used his finger to beckon you forward. At first you were frozen solid until the man slapped his hand down on the desk. “My patience is wearing thin.” At that, you slowly stood and flattened down your skirt. The lump in your throat grew stiffer. His stiff and proper hair didn’t even move an inch when his head cocked.
“Yes sir.” Mr. Kim’s eyes darkened a single hue. He held out his long arm and started plucking at the buttons on the sleeve. Without removing his eyes from you, the teacher rolled down each sleeve and allowed his tongue to swipe over his lip.
This wasn’t happening. No, you were just daydreaming in Calculus again. But your feet were already moving. Before you realized it, you were standing between Mr. Kim’s feet. Chin to your chest, nothing could hide the deep blush on your cheeks. The wooden ruler was placed under your chin and pushed upward sharply.
“Eyes on me young lady.” There it was again. The gush between your thighs. You nodded once and Namjoon took away the ruler and sat it on the desk. “Good girl. Now pull down your skirt.” You were awestruck. There was no way this was happening.
“I don’t think-” Namjoon cleared his threat and your blood ran cold.
“What was that?” He teased. You licked your dry lips and reached for the zipper of your skirt. Slowly pulling the zipper down you eventually gained the nerve to remove it completely. You could tell Mr. Kim wasn’t amused. “Panties down too, little girl.”
“What! No!” You shook your head frantically. Mr. Kim shrugged and fixed the frame of his glasses.
“We can stay here all day.” It was weird. This feeling in your stomach. On one hand this was wrong, on the other, it was soooooo right. Who were you to not be a teachers pet? With a huff, you hooked your fingers in the lacy underwear and pulled them down to your knees. “So well behaved. Bend over the desk.”
Your cheeks sat ablaze. With a thick gulp you followed his instructions. Your nails dig into the thick wood and the sound of the chair rolling echoed in the empty room. “You have a Mr. Kim quietly hummed to himself until his large fingers grazed over your ass. A tiny gasp escaped you, but was quickly reprimanded by a slap on the butt. Your knees buckled. Namjoon bit the inside of his cheek to hold back the groan.
"No speaking.” That cold voice was back. Mr. Kim grabbed his ruler and trailed it over each ass cheek. You quietly peered over your shoulder to see your teacher lazily tracing the wood with interest. His eyes randomly shot up and saw you staring. That’s when the first hit came. Your mouth fell in a loud intake of breath. You bit your lip to stay quiet and pressed your forehead to the cold wood. What the hell were you doing? This was like some shitty porno that the boys in your class would watch.
Slutty school girl and hot teacher.
“Good girl. Four more.” The second hit was harder, striking across both ass cheeks. This time the gasp left without permission. Two more strikes followed the first. “Each time I hear a noise, you earn another strike. We don’t want that do we?” Mr. Kim’s hand cupped your inner thigh, pushing you further on the desk. His small chuckle vibrated your body.
“My, my! These pretty little thighs are already drenched.” Another hit. Mr. Kim soothed the skin with his plump lips, allowing you a second of relaxation. Then came the final hit. It was harder than the rest and you could tell that wasn’t even at it’s full capacity. But you could feel the skin rising in harsh welts. “Y/n, what do you say?”
Your mind went blank and another hit landed on your left ass cheek. “T-thank you sir!” Mr. Kim laughed and rummaged in his drawer. “This is hand lotion. Not exactly for this purpose but it’ll have to do.” The cold sensation on your burning cheeks caused you to squeal. Mr. Kim gently soothed you with a hush and a gentle touch. Who knew that the boring, fucking sexy, Calculus teacher had all of this underneath?
“That was good Ms. Y/n.” His strong hands grasped your waist and tugged you backwards into his lap. You helped in shock but his hand cupped your mouth. “How about we discuss extra credit?”
Summary: Derek is an ace guy working at a sex shop, and he
has a bit of a crush on one of the regulars (who he might have come out to,
Notes: Written for the Aro/Ace Wolves Mini Bang! (On AO3)
I forgot to add that this fic now has some lovely art! Check it out!
Derek looks up from his calculus textbook when he hears the
bell jingle, and he has to suppress a smile. This guy’s a regular. He usually
comes in every couple of weeks, awkward and overly-enthusiastic. He gets in to
animated conversations with other patrons, flails a lot, and almost always
manages to knock something off a shelf.
Requests are OPEN, PLEASE send me some imagines or preferences you’d like to see :)!!
Betty: How stubborn she is, you didn’t expect her wild stubborn streak but boy was it there. Although sometimes it drove you a little crazy it was quickly becoming one of your favourite things about her. Because to you, she was about as scary as a bunny rabbit it was more endearing than it was bothersome.
Veronica: How smart she is, you didn’t think she was dumb by any means, but you were blown away at how book-smart she was. You’d figured she maintained good grades but her impressive 4.0 and 98 in calculus was surprising. Now, you spent more hours than you cared to admit listening her try to explain math homework to you.
Jughead: How funny he is, you knew Jughead was comedic, but you just figured sarcasm was as far as it went. When you started spending more and more time together you were happily surprised by how goofy he truly was, constantly cracking jokes to make you laugh at inappropriate times and finding new ways to make you laugh.
Archie: How gentle he is, you didn’t expect the muscley football player/construction worker to be so gentle, yet every time he touched you even when it was a massive hug or steamy kiss, he was soft and cuddly as if he was scared he would break you. His touch was always there but always making sure you were comfortable and safe.
As a kid, I wanted to be one of two things: either a paleontologist or an astronaut. I dreamed of going to Space Camp. I loved dinosaurs and books about the La Brea Tar Pits. I was certifiably obsessed with both space and Earth’s history. As I went through school it was obvious that I was adept at both art and science.
I was encouraged to pursue the art end of things by my mom; my dad supported me no matter what I did. I struggled a little with math near my senior year, though I was hardly failing and got As and Bs in all my classes, including precalc and physics. Still, I decided to pursue art.
I went to college out of high school on a full scholarship and attended SUNY Oswego for graphic design. I still had to take out some loans but I got my BFA. I took one freelance job and realized: I hated it. Art was fun and I was good at it but… I hated freelance work.
My mom suggested I try becoming a teacher, so I did that. I got my teaching degree from Indian River Community College in Florida, which is a 7-week program because Florida is really desperate for teachers. I worked as a teaching assistant for a few years but… I was bored. Really bored.
I went to Florida State University for one semester (again using loans), deciding I was going to become an oceanographer. But I failed college algebra and decided I was too stupid for science.
Feeling like absolute shit about myself, I joined the Navy. I studied for the ASVAB and got a 97, almost the highest score possible even though that test has math on it. I ended up in a fairly technical job, repairing the electrical systems on F18s. I had to learn some math and some science for my job and noticed I was… actually pretty good at it.
I spent 4 years in the Navy and got out, deciding I’d go back to school to become a teacher (again) but only as a backup, and my goal would be getting a Master’s and Doctorate in planetary geology. I came to Central Michigan University. I had to take college algebra again… and I aced it. Nearly got a 100%. I was floored. I took algebra II and also aced it.
It was halfway through that second semester I decided to throw caution to the wind: fuck it all, I was going to become a scientist. So I dropped the teaching major and joined the Geology major. I proceeded to pass algebra II and trigonometry with As.
I’m now entering my fourth semester here at CMU.
I’m taking calculus 1 this semester, calc II in the spring. I’m going to be picking up math as a minor beneath my geology major. I’m looking at grad schools and already planning where I want to go (University of Washington, I’m looking at you!).
Life isn’t always linear. I’m 32 years old and halfway through a new bachelor’s degree, with at least 6 more years of school ahead of me before I’ll land my dream job of planetary geology, although I could still potentially switch to Earth-based geology (I do still love the ocean, don’t get me started on mid-ocean ridges). I’m keeping my options open at this point because I know that things may not turn out how I’ve planned them. Yes, I have some college debt but I’m ok with that. Yeah, I literally have -$300 in my bank account but I’m okay with that, this is my dream and it’s worth it.
Do not feel like a loser if you’re 24 and not in your dream job. Don’t lose hope if you’re struggling, if your situation seems boring and endless. Don’t be afraid of student loan debt; I know some people are terrified of it for some reason but you really don’t have to be. Go out there and DO IT, if you can. If you’re in a place where you have to wait, then knuckle down and bear it out. I had to wait out 4 years in the Navy to get where I am. I had to get an entire degree that’s basically worthless to get where I am. I’ve literally lived three different lifetimes to get where I am: artist, teacher, military.
Requested by anonymous: Hello! Can I request a peter parker x reader where the reader has invisibility and force field powers but is super shy at peter’s school and one day she gets bullied and Peter saves her and when he’s Spider-Man she saves him and he falls in love with her plz and thanks 😋
A/N: I really hope you guys like this one! Please let us know if you have any feedback, positive or negative. I had fun writing this one. :) I thought of Violet from “The Incredibles”, hence the title lol
You crouched down, hiding by the convenience store across the street from the bank that was in the middle of being robbed. Three men were inside, shoving cash into large black duffel bags. They all were clad in black, complete with stereotypical ski masks. You took a deep breath, slowing your thumping heart and felt a slight chill run from the tips of your toes all the way up to your scalp. You glanced down, unable to see your hands or legs. You smiled a little as your confidence surged, glad you were finally gaining more control of your powers. You had them your whole life, but the only control you had over them was to keep them a secret; never using them. But, ever since you saw Spider-Man online one night, when you were supposed to be studying for your calculus exam the next day, you knew you could use your obscuration ability to help him out, even if you were invisible to him.
You saw the robbers you were observing dash out of the bank, each of them carrying duffel bags full of cash. You felt your heart skip a beat, suddenly feeling anxious as your mind began to race through every single worse case scenario. Hey, you told yourself, it’ll be fine. Just don’t think about it. You imagined your mind as a whiteboard and yourself wiping all of your thoughts away, and with one more deep breath, and held your arm out, concentrating. Moving targets were always the hardest. You imagined a giant bubble enclosing the robbers, keeping them contained. Only, this bubble didn’t pop. You heard one of the guys yell, making the other three halt, spinning on their heels to see what was going on.
One of the men was in the middle of the sidewalk, pounding on an imaginary barrier like a mime. Except you knew he wasn’t miming. Your force field only caught one of the men. You winced at the pain the captured man was causing you; if anyone hit your shields, it was a like someone was slamming a hammer against your skull. You kept up the shield and raised your other hand, trapping the three other men in another bubble before they could run to assist their pal. All three of the men crashed into the wall of their bubble falling to the ground and the resulting pain causing you to yelp and drop your shields. You moaned as the pain subsided, rubbing your temple.
“What the heck was that?” One of the men yelled, turning this way and that to try to see a source of the mysterious boundaries. You felt your heartbeat and adrenaline pick up again, making your knees shake. You glanced down, you were still invisible. Well, partially; one arm was exposed. You were glad you decided to hide in the shadows, just in case this happened. You exhaled, a chill running down your arm as it turned invisible. As your arm disappeared, an odd swishing sound ripped through the air. You lifted your head up, toward the source.
The one and only Spider-Man was crouched on top of a street light, hands extended as he launched web after web at the bad guys, trapping them to the ground. You stared in awe, admiring how swift he was, the vivid color of his suit, the way his biceps bulged under the constraint of the near skin-tight uniform… You shook your head, stepping out of the shadows and dashing across the street to meet your idol, keeping your steps as light and silent as you could. Spider-Man froze, his head cocked to the side like he was listening. You had reached him when he stopped webbing up the bad guys, so you froze too, a few feet behind him. For some reason, you felt incredibly nervous all of the sudden, your heart pounding so hard it felt like it might break your ribs. Spider-Man turned around, facing you. You gasped a little and double-checked that your invisibility was still functional. Spider-Man stared in your direction. Did he see you?
“Hello?” Spider-Man called out, his voice cracking ever so slightly. Your vocal cords froze. You just stood there, three feet in front of Spider-Man, invisibility powers concealing you. After an eternity, Spider-Man called out again, but when he got no response, he sighed and turned, flinging a web toward the building in front of him.
“Good job, Spidey,” You heard him say, “You’re just hearing things. Thanks, Spider-sense, for giving me a heart attack.” He swung away, leaving you in front of the bank, the four bad guys trying to fight their way out of their sticky situation. You sighed, feeling warmth seep into your skin as you switched your invisibility powers off. The sound of the four robbers screaming like little girls when they saw someone suddenly appear out of thin air made you jump and unconsciously switch you invisibility back on, making them scream even louder. You ran toward your place, done with fighting villainy for the night.
Request:Anonymous said:stiles x reader where she is stressed out and he helps her relax with some smut?
Word Count: 854
Word Density: “Stiles”.
Between dealing with the supernatural world and school, you never got a break. You thought after high school all of it would end, boy were you wrong. It seemed just as things were okay at school, some new werewolf demon decided to show up and completely throw you off. Now you were failing anatomy and calculus.
You sat in your room surrounded by textbooks and worksheets. Stiles watches as you huffed and puffed over homework. It was raining outside which meant he would end up staying the night. Not that he was complaining. He loved coming over while you were studying because you were never fully dressed, just a tank top an underwear.
“This is so stupid!” You pushed the small stack of papers away from you, causing them to scatter across the room. “Maybe I’m just stupid.”
Stiles hopped off your bed and quickly rushed over to you. You leaned back in his arms that were gently wrapped around you. His embrace made you feel like all your worries were going away. His arms tightened around you and he placed a kiss on your forehead.
“You’re not stupid. Talk to me, tell me what’s wrong.”
“I’m stressed and anxious. I don’t know what I’m doing at all. Everything is going wrong and I’m scared.” His thumb caught your tear before it could fully drop.
He adjusted you on his lap so that you were facing him. “Why are you scared baby?”
“Everything goes wrong, Stiles.” You sighed and covered your eyes. “We’re never going to get away from all this supernatural bullshit. I want to just be a normal girl, but I can’t.”
His eyes quickly softened and he lightly kissed your lips. “Then we can go. We can leave Beacon Hills and you can be whoever you want to be. I’ll be with you.” He one again placed his lips on yours with his hands behind your neck, pulling you in.
The kiss quickly turned from sweet to one that was feverish and heated. His hands that were up at your cheeks quickly made their way down to your hips and bottom. There were so many emotions flowing between the two of you. You pressed your body up against his even more. Small whimpers and moans left your lips as his hands gripped your bare thighs. You could slowly feel all the stress and anxiety leaving you. Now being replaced with lust and desire. Stiles gripped the end of the shirt that was really his but was adorning your body.
“Just wanna make you feel good.” He panted against your lips, throwing your shirt to the ground. “Can I do that?”
Instead of answering, you unbuckled his pants and helped him shimmy out of him. He started trailing his kisses down your stomach. Before you had time to process what was about to happen, his already had your underwear down and his tongue pressed against your core. You let out a loud gasp as his tongue roughly stroked your clit.
“Oh god, Stiles!” You grabbed his hair and arched your back off the bed. He held down your hips with his left hand and rubbed your breast with his right. Every little problem seemingly disappeared with every flick of him tongue. A small knot was slowly building up in the pit of your stomach. He was bringing you closer and closer to your high. “Stiles, I’m so close-Fuck!”
Him mouth quickly left your bottom half, pressing against your lips. The taste of yourself filled your mouth causing you to moan even more. You could feel his bulge warm and hard against your thigh. Without hesitation, you pulled down his briefs and he thrusted into you as hard as he could. The feeling of him filling you up was even better than you can imagine. Every inch of you felt filled to the brink with his amazing length. His face contorted in pleasure at the feeling of how tight you were.
“Fuck, you’re so wet.” He grunted and continued thrusting into you roughly. “And tight. ‘Gotta fuck you more, babe.”
Your moans quickly got louder and turned into screams of pleasure as Stiles went deeper and deeper. The heavy headboard slammed roughly against the wall. His face was buried into the crook of your neck as he left a trail of messy kisses along your jawline. Your walls tightened and you knew you were close. Stiles hissed at the feelings of you getting even tighter around his cock.
“S-Stiles, ‘m so close.” You cried and dug your nails into his back as he hit the right spot over and over again. “Stiles! Fuck!”
He reached in between you and started rubbing your clit as fast as he could. “Come on baby. Cum for me.”
You let out one final moan of his name and came undone. Every nerve in your body seemed to come alive, vision blurring slightly. Stiles let out a loud grunt and thrusted into you one last time before spilling inside you. He placed one last kiss on your lips and rolled off of you.
requested Lip Gallagher imagine (this is a short one)
HI! Could you write about a character named Dana, DJ for short, who has the Rachel and Ross first kiss moment with Lip?
*I’ve never watched friends before and it was a little hard to incorporate such a cute silly moment into a show like Shameless where I can imagine Lip’s south-side love interest fighting him to the floor before lightly jumping onto his back, but I did my best!*
in which Ian Gallagher’s best friend finds herself extremely drunk and confessing her feelings to Kev, who accidentally butt dials the focus of their conversation .
“I thought you were gonna tell him… honestly how long are
you gonna mope around this place. Stop being a pussy already,” Kev spoke
seriously, making Dana roll her eyes at him. He was getting tired of watching
her walk around the bar looking sad all the time. Dana flashed him a dirty look
as she sat down on a stool and gratefully took the drinks that he was passing to
her. “I’m sorry, I’m just tired,” she told him sadly. And it wasn’t a lie; Ian
had disappeared and Mandy had decided that sharing her same feelings for Ian’s
older brother meant that they couldn’t have a friendship, meaning she had absolutely
no life at the moment and all the work and school was making her exhausted. And
Mandy’s feelings were complete bullshit by the way. It had been no problem for her
to demand that Dana put aside her feelings for Lip when she saw that Mandy
liked him, but it was unfortunate that her friend couldn’t do the same for her
now that they had come to a mutual breakup. Dana now knew that this was because despite having broken up, Lip and Mandy still thought they’d try a long distance friends with benefits thing. “And, I said I ‘almost’ told him; I
didn’t really.” “Why not?” “Because I saw him plowing Mandy while I was walking
past her house, Kev. What was I supposed to do? Call him up like, ‘Hi Lip, it’s
me. Um, I just wanted to let you know that I know I told you that I was really
happy for you and Mandy, when you told me you guys were gonna attempt a
relationship, but … I’m out on the sidewalk staring up at her window watching
you fuck her and I’m like 125% sure that I lied to you.’” Dana pretended to
make the call, pressing her phone against her ear for added affect. Kev passed her a couple shots as she stared
at the counter top, annoyed with herself. “I mean, what’s the worse that could
happen right? I mean, even if he rejected you, at least you’d get over him.”
After knocking back the shots, Kev realized the mistake he
made as she stood up stumbling, forgetting that she had been drinking all night
with Vee at the club before coming into the bar to help out. “I am over him!
Fuck Lip Gallagher, Kev!” she yelled as she began ranting, letting Kev come
around the counter and help her sit down again before pulling out his cellphone
to call V to pick up the drunk teen, only to pause when he saw that he had
butt dialed Lip, hanging up quickly.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck,” Dana chanted as she
practically threw herself off of the train and damn near ran onto Lip’s campus.
She was positive that she looked like a hot mess, still in her comfy clothes,
her hair thrown into a messy ponytail. She ran to the dorm building and grabbed
a guy her age by his backpack, pulling him to a stop. “Do you know Lip
Gallagher?” The boy’s eyebrows furrowed as he stared down at the pretty girl.
His roommate really wasn’t that cool so he was confused at how he got so many
gorgeous women, including his own girl. “Yeah he’s my roommate,” he answered,
making Dana relieved that she was in the right place. “What room?”
And that’s how Ron found himself hurriedly leading the girl
to his room, unlocking the door for her and watching her sprint inside, tearing
his roommate’s side apart. “Who the fuck is this?” Amanda asked from her seated
position on Ron’s bed. “Why are you touching Lip’s stuff, get out.” Dana rolled
her eyes as she pulled out Lip’s desk drawer searching for his cellphone. “Hey
could you tell your girlfriend to shut the fuck up? Thanks, I appreciate it.”
Dana asked Ron, pointing at Amanda who scoffed. “You must be one of Lip’s
friends from home,” Ron pieced together with a laugh, after seeing how she
spoke to his cheating girlfriend. “Yeah I’m DJ,” Dana introduced herself before
digging into Lip’s duffel bag. “You’re DJ?” Ron asked, in shock that Lip hadn’t
been exaggerating about the girl’s good looks but also not sure how to feel
knowing that he’d let the girl his friend would never shut up about, into their
room to search through his stuff. “What about DJ?” Lip asked with a laugh as he
entered his room, stopping when he saw his brother’s best friend crouched over
his stuff that she was steadily tossing onto the floor. “Dana?” he asked,
dropping his backpack onto his mess of a bed, and stepping toward the girl who
stopped and put her arms out to keep him away before she had an aneurysm. “Did
Kev call you last night?” she asked hurriedly, watching a confused expression
appear on his face as he pulled out his phone from his back pocket. Honestly if
Kev was telling the truth and had recorded her drunken confession, she was
going to murder him. “No I don’t think so,” he replied making her sigh in
relief, “Okay awesome, he probably called someone else, he butt dialed someone
while I was drunk off my ass and recorded our conversation.” Dana stood up
straight and watched as Lip looked through his phone before putting it to his
ear, “Actually he did, he left a message.” Amanda and Ron’s eyes widened as
they watch Dana panic. “No. No, Lip, hang up the phone!” “You sound wasted,”
Lip laughed before a serious expression took over and Dana stepped up onto
Lip’s desk chair, than stepped onto his bed where she kicked his bag onto the
floor as she launched herself onto his back in an attempt to snatch away the
phone, making him stumble forward. “Gimme the phone, gimme the phone, gimme the
phone!” She shouted as he grabbed her leg to keep her from falling off of him,
but kept the phone firmly to his ear until the message was over and she was
ripping the cell phone from his hand and throwing it across the room; neither
moving from their position.
“You’re over me?” Lip asked and Dana shut her eyes tight in
embarrassment, sliding off of his back and covering her face with her hands as
she paced around the small room, ignoring their audience. “You’re over me?” Lip
asked again, still in shock at her confession, “When were you … under me?” Dana
groaned as she climbed onto Lip’s bed and pulled his covers over her head,
wishing she could disappear inside of them and never be seen again. “Dana.
Dana, do you,” Lip paused as he tried to untangle her from his blankets, “I
mean did you… what, what’s happening.” He tugged away the blankets and forced
her to look up at him, minus her dramatics. “It’s just that, you now I may or
may not have been like completely in love with you and never told you because I
love Mandy and I love you and you know, admitting it was kind of a lose/lose
right..?” Dana admitted looking up at Lip’s distracted gaze. “You, love me?,”
he asked slowly making Dana hop on the defensive side. “Yeah, well, you loved
me first!” “Did Kev tell you that? I’m gonna fucking kill him. When did he tell
you that?” Dana ran her hand over her face and sat up against the wall of his
bed, staring straight ahead at Amanda who was sitting on Ron’s bed, “When you
told him you fucked your roommate’s girlfriend.” “Right, Amanda, fuck,” Lip
groaned as he realized that Amanda and Ron were still in the room, “I need to
sit down.” He then crawled onto his bed and sat next to Dana, both their backs
to the wall. “So….” He took a breath trying to find the right words, “So now
you’re over me?” Dana shrugged, not wanting to answer that question first and
have to face rejection. “Are you over me?” she asked, answering his question
with a question.
“Really Lip? Isn’t this your brother’s friend who stood back
a year? The one who has to call you and wake us all up at 3am because she can’t
even do a few simple calculus equations why herself? You’re in college now, this is where you stop chasing idiots and date girls that are intelligent and going somewhere” Amanda asked, breaking
the silence. Dana let out a fake laugh and quickly stood up, looking at her
best friend’s older brother. “I didn’t realize you said such nice things about
me to your friend’s Lip, I’ll just leave you to… continue fucking your
roommates girl” she mumbled before saving herself some embarrassment and walking
out of the room, leaving Lip stunned. “You’re a bitch Amanda,” Ron said flatly,
finally getting some confidence, “Can you get the fuck out?” He then escorted
the girl out of the room, leaving his roommate to think.
Lip entered his house and silently made his way upstairs,
pulling open Fiona’s door and sitting down on her bed next her. She looked over
at him in confusion, as he wasn’t supposed to be home for a while, “Hey what
are you doing here?” She smiled wide at him, but the expression slowly left her
face when she took in his distress. “Dana showed up at my school yesterday
morning to steal my phone before I could hear a voicemail Kev left me,” Lip
explained, further confusing Fiona who took the cellphone that he handed her
and played the voicemail on speaker. The beginning was a little hard to
understand as she was slurring so much, but the end was loud and clear. “Fuck
Lip Gallagher, Kev! Honestly I’m so happy for him, leaving home and going to
school and fucking girls who aren’t me. He can go have a great time having a
wonderful life while I sit at home failing out of school and being a slut. I’m
completely over him-” the message cut off and Fiona stared at her brother with
wide eyes. “She actually admitted it? What did you do? Are you here to see her?
Are you guys together?” She asked in excitement that quickly disappeared when
she heard her brother’s answer. “I didn’t do anything. I’ve been sleeping with
my roommate’s girlfriend and she basically called Dana an idiot for always
needing my help all the time and I didn’t defend her so she left.” Fiona
angrily looked at Lip for a minute before reaching out and landing a hard smack
to the side of his head. “Dana’s not stupid. Lip, Ian and Mandy were her best
friends and she lost both of them. We don’t know where Ian is, and Mandy won’t
talk to her because she knows that Dana likes you and it pisses her off. She
has no one at home and no one at school. When she doesn’t want to be alone, she
comes here and she stays up all night struggling to get her work done because
she’s trying to be better for herself. But you know all of this, and you still
let them shit on her. And that’s a dick move. So you better go and fix this,
because she’s a part of this family and that’s not about to change because
being at college made you think that even for a split second that you were
better than her.”
Lip took a drag of his cigarette and nodded at her words. “You
really think she’s over me?” “I’m sure that if you keep sitting here instead of
chasing after her, she will be.” And with that Fiona was shoving him off of her
bed and he found himself heading over to the Alibi where she was cleaning
tables to prepare to open while Kev was getting the bar ready. When Lip
entered, he glanced over at Kev who did his best to look as though he wasn’t
there, but obviously was still listening in.
“I didn’t fuck Amanda after you left.” Lip blurted out,
making Kev’s eyes widen at the confession, while Dana furiously scrubbed at a
table top, ignoring him. “Wow that’s interesting,” Dana replied mockingly
before Lip stepped in front of her. “No. No it’s not interesting, actually. It’s
the complete fucking opposite of the word ‘interesting’…. You had NO right to
tell me or anyone that you had feelings for me.” “Oh fuck, you’re right. Fuck
me for having emotions,” Dana answered as she grabbed her rag and walked away
from him, slamming it down onto the counter, Lip following. “Yeah that’s right,
Dana, fuck you and your emotions. I finally had a good thing going. I’m at
school and I’m fucking girls who aren’t always trying to push their feelings on
me like Karen and Mandy and you. And now you’re ruining it!” “Fuck you Lip! I was
doing great before I found out that you liked me!” “You think a waitressing job
and flunking out of high school is a great job?” Dana pulled her hand back and
slapped Lip hard across the face, making Kev’s jaw drop as he tried to stay
quiet and not draw attention to himself. “Do you think that this is easy for
me? Going to school and then coming home and working all night and then
struggling over my homework? Do you think it’s easy for me to come home to an
empty house that I’m paying for all by myself, because I don’t know where my
mom is again? Do you think it’s easy knowing that the only person who had to do
nothing but smile at me to brighten up my day, got that same feeling from 2
other girls who aren’t me?” “Well then you should have said something before I
hooked up with them!” “I could say the same for you, Gallagher. Ian hinted all
this to me a long time ago and I didn’t see you asking me out.”
“There was never a good time to tell you.” “Right because it’s
only been years and I only stayed at your house almost every night,” Dana
laughed angrily, backing away when he stepped closer. “It’s not like I didn’t
try DJ. Things always got in the way. Like big ass football players that wanted
to throw me out of windows or pregnancy scares,” Lip listed off, knowing she’d
be pissed but not caring. “What’s your fucking point.” “My point, is that I don’t
need this right now. Okay? It’s too late. I’m away at school with non-committal
relationships and I’m happy.” “So you have no problem just putting away your feelings
or whatever the fuck you felt for me?” “I’ve been doing it for years, I’ve
gotten pretty damn good at it.” “Get the fuck out Lip.” Dana ordered and Lip
licked his lips and nodded before stubbornly exiting the bar, slamming the door
so hard behind him that it swung right back open. Dana walked to the door and
slammed it shut herself. “Wow, that was intense,” Kev announced making her roll
her eyes at him. She dusted herself off and made her way to the bar and sat
down on a stool as Kev stood in front of her, sliding a shot into her hand,
which made her laugh a bit as a few tears slipped out. “Don’t be upset, this is
Lip. You know how he gets. He’ll apologize after he’s cooled off,” Kev told her
as he returned to cleaning glasses, freezing again when he saw the front door
open and Lip strut back in.
Dana rolled her eyes and stood up to walk to the back but
Lip quickly approached her and pinned her up against the bar, holding her face
in his hands as he pulled her into a kiss. “Oh my god it’s happening,” Kev
yelled, ruining the moment as Lip and Dana turned to see his shit eating grin. “Now
when people ask about your origin story you can let them know that the Alibi
Room is the place where dreams come true,” he told them and they rolled their
eyes at him.
“Okay, let’s hear about the kiss. Was it like, a soft brush
against your lips.. or was it like, uh, you know, ‘I gotta have you now’ kinda
thing?” V asked from her seat next to Fiona on the couch as Dana sat on the
coffee table facing them. “Well, it started off real intense, you know, and
then just as we were like, sinking into it, Kev starting talking and completely
fucked it up.” V groaned and shook her head in annoyance. “Okay well how was
he holding you? Were his hands on your back?” she continued. “Well he started
off with his hands cupping my face, and then one slid into my hair and the
other onto my waist so he could push me against the bar.” “Oh my god!” Fiona
swooned at how romantic the situation was, as she and V fell back against the
“So like when you kissed her, was their tongue?” Carl asked
as he sat in Kev’s house with him and Lip, eating pizza. “Yeah.” Lip answered
casually. “Cool,” his younger brother replied as the three of them continued to
Hey!! I just failed my math test and i'm feeling a little depressed Can i have some angsty-but-fluffy head cannons please??
I am so sorry that I didn’t get to this sooner. If you need to chat, hit me up. And don’t worry, I once got a 15% on a math test and now I’m taking pre-calculus, so you’ll be perfectly fine 😊
-Everyone in the family has nightmares a lot. Like every night almost. For some of them (like Jason and Bruce), the dreams are worse, but everyone is pained when they have them. So there’s this unspoken rule that it’s okay to join one of the other family members if you’d had a bad nightmare. Jason and Dick are the most popular among the family since they’re actually both really cuddly (Jason will never admit to it) but all of the kids have gone to Bruce, who is arguably the most comforting
-Whenever any of the kids get hurt, Bruce gets very vengeful and worried about whether or not his kid is going to be okay. It could be a minor scratch or literally an inch away from death, but when he knows they’ll be okay he is so overjoyed and relieved, and it’s always a little shocking for the kid to wake up with Bruce right there with a smile on his face because he doesn’t smile all that much (once Jason got hurt and when he found Bruce sitting on the bed smiling, he decked him because he assumed it wasn’t actually Bruce)
-on the anniversary of their parents’ death, each kid gets to decide what the want to spend the day doing and the rest of the family has to oblige, whether they like it or not. One of the most popular things to do is watch movies or read stories that they remember watching/reading with their parents. It’s always bittersweet and inevitably some tears, but it’s helped a lot in moving on and coping
hey, i just noticed: is the knife Ananke used to cut Lucifer’s body the same one she has in 1831 while killing Hades and in 2015 while sacrificing Minerva? Could it come from the age of Great Darkness or sth similar?
Three popular and gorgeous females construct a fail proof plan to transform Bay Valley High’s social loner into playboy Grayson Dolan’s demise.
^creds to thedolangifs
Chapter 2 | step 1: attain attention
Catie thrusts the short skirt into my hands, and I wonder if my butt will even fit into it. I am not cheerleader material, I’m more on the clumsy side and far too quiet to yell cheers and perform in front of a crowd. I didn’t really think through that I’ll be expected to do these things on top of winning over Grayson’s attention. I’d much rather do calculations than this. “Hurry up and put it on! It’s 8:35 and Grayson is always out in the hall skipping first period. We have to catch him before he leaves.”
I turn from her to undress as I’m not very comfortable with a girl I hardly know seeing my body. I look to the cream tile of the locker room to keep my mind off of the nerves that are twisting my stomach into knots. “What do I even say to him?”
I hear her shuffling to grab my discarded clothes from the floor, my bag rustling as she thrusts them inside. “Flirt with him, but be very uninterested about it.”
I wrestle to pull the skirt lower but it won’t budge, Catie shooing my hands away to hike it up more. “So do I just walk up to him and say hello? Compliment his shirt, his shoes? Does that sound good?”
Moments pass as she stares at me with wide eyes and raised eyebrows. “Oh shit, you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. Oh my god, okay. Sit down.”
She pushes my shoulder roughly down as my nearly bare butt hits the cold metal bench. She crouches before me, blowing out a huff of air into my face before her demeanor completely changes and she becomes some unexpected seductress. “Bump into him on purpose, but of course make it look like an accident.” Her soft hand reaches up to grasp my nonexistent bicep. “Grasp onto him, but just for a second. Look up at him through your eyelashes and give him some sweet apology. Any girl in a cheer uniform he’ll flirt with, and just when he begins to try and strike conversation, walk away. He’ll follow you, but only give him a few hums and short responses. I’ll wait for you at the end of the hall, as soon as he sees me he’ll back off.”
Before I have time to let the plan sink into my rattled brain, she pushes me out of the locker room and right down hallway C. It’s the main hallway for seniors, and it isn’t an odd occurrence to see many of them scattered around ditching class for a few minutes. He’s standing at the end of the hallway, leaning against a locker that isn’t his and speaking with Brooks McMahon. Catie gives me a gentle pat on the back, thrusting one of my books from my bag into my hands and turns the other way. I’m doomed, stranded in this hallway with no where to go but passed him. I try and emulate the walk Catie has, confident and unbothered, but I probably look like I’m ready to faint.
He’s only a few paces away, not even concerned with looking at me, and I think for a moment I’ll just keep walking. But before I can decide, he steps forward to give Brooks a handshake, I ram right into the side of his head with my own. “Ah, shit.” I’m flat on my butt on the cold tile floor, my homework for Economics littered all over the floor. I reach over to start grasping the paper as quick as I can before a rough hand extends in front of my face. “I’m sorry beautiful, let me help you up.”
I think quick and take what little advice from Catie that I can to revive this horribly failed plan, I grasp his bicep through his cotton tshirt instead and raise myself up. No matter that she told me to be a priss and bat my eyelashes, I reach down to gather the papers instead. No way am I looking him in the eye after that. “I’m sorry for running into you, guess I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
He bends down in my view to help pick up the papers, his eyes skimming over the heavy coursework before raising an eyebrow. He hands them to me, my eyes finally raising without my consent to look him as close as I ever have. He’s a God, there’s no doubt about that. I’ve always known the reason why girls chased after him, but I wasn’t attracted to cocky jerks. “Not an issue.” He flashes me a perfectly bright white smile before I thrust the pages back into my book and continue to find Catie. I’m not even concerned with her instructions, I just really want to get away from him. “Hey, wait up!”
I keep walking, not even looking back as I respond, “yes?”
He jogs up to reach my side, I can see Catie standing at the very corner of the hallway. If I can make it to her, I’m safe. “Are you new here? I would’ve definitely noticed a gorgeous girl like you before if you aren’t.”
Just four more steps and I have Catie in my hands, just keep it cool and collected. Keep it short. “No, I’ve attended school with you since kindergarten actually.”
He stops with furrowed eyebrows and pure confusion, Catie gives me a knowing smile as her arms extend to wrap me in a very staged hug. “Y/N! We’ve got to get going, coach wants to see us before next period.”
Catie chances a glance back at Grayson, leaning in to whisper in my ear, “yeah, we’ve got him. He’s totally checking out your ass right now.”
“What do you mean go to Davies? I have ten pages of Calculus homework and I have a huge test in Physics tomorrow.” Star is leaned against her white Mercedes, blowing a bubble from her hot pink gum as she rolls her eyes at me, her signature trademark.
Misty scoffs, checking the parking lot to be sure no one sees us grouped together near the exit. “You have to come! Grayson always goes to Davies after school every Thursday. The whole team eats and then goes to late practice.”
Catie nods her head in agreement, grabbing my arm as she pulls me to her car. “After this morning he’ll be dying to find you again, this is the perfect chance.”
I don’t know why I agree, I guess mostly for the fact that I know I can’t get out of it. Catie blares mainstream pop all the way to the diner just a couple of miles down the road, I can see the whole team crowding the booths from the window. “What am I supposed to do?”
Catie is already getting out of the car before she pops her head back in and gives me a reassuring smile. “We go in, take a seat with the cheer team and wait. He will come to you, just remember what I told you earlier; act uninterested and keep him guessing.”
I sigh out, pushing the door open before contemplating standing in the middle of traffic. Had I not just kept my mouth shut in the library the other day, I wouldn’t be here, I’d be at home studying quantum physics. The door bell rings as we enter the loud and rowdy diner, boys shooting straw papers at each other and flirting with the cheerleaders a few rows over. Catie grasps my hand and weaves us right in the middle of their booths, winking to Walker Vick as his buddy gives him a knowing nudge to the shoulder. I shutter just to think what they’ve done together, Walker far exceeds Grayson in the cocky department.
The girls make room for us, automatically accepting me as one of their own from the way Catie is grasping to me like we’re life long friends. A waitress sends me a glass of water, and one for Catie, and we wait. I can feel his burning stare before he comes to me, the stares of Misty and Star also sending flames on my back. I’m seated at the very end of the booth, right where Catie wanted me, the chair across from us screeching against the floor as it pulls up beside me and he sits. “So Y/N, why is it that I’ve never seen you around before?”
I feel Catie watching me out of the corner of her eye as she reaches under the table to squeeze my kneecap as a reminder. “I guess you weren’t really looking.”
All of the girls giggle over each other, chins on their palms as they stare at him shamelessly, but I’ll die before I give him the same courtesy. “I guess I should’ve been. I’m assuming you’ll be wearing my number tomorrow for the game?”
Anyone in Bay Valley knows that the cheerleaders wear their favorite players number on the cheeks for good luck on game day. I remember sophomore year when Chrissy Marcos wore Grayson’s number while she was dating Andrew Holyfield, that hadn’t gone over well. “And why would I?”
Apparently my response was a good one, Catie slapping my knee lightly as I noticed her grin. I was only being honest. I looked over to him with a raised eyebrow, beginning to understand that there wasn’t much about him that was intimidating. He only was if you wanted to ride his face, which I sure as hell didn’t. He looks almost angry before he laughs out cockily and winks at me, my face never faltering. “Very cute. You’ll be at the bonfire on Saturday, right?”
Catie stomps down on my foot as I bite my tongue to keep from cussing out. I breathe in harshly to rid the pain before shrugging my shoulders, I hadn’t even known there was a bonfire on Saturday. “I might be.”
Catie’s hand is still closed around my kneecap as one of his hands reaches underneath the table to grasp my naked thigh roughly. “Good, you can come with me.”
talk to upperclassmen to find out the reputations certain classes or certain teachers have. that’ll help you figure out what classes you might want to avoid in the future. for example, if i had talked to someone about my school’s creative writing class, i would have avoided that disaster.
2. involve yourself in clubs
colleges really like to see dedication to clubs from the start of high school to the end.
also, it’s easier to get leadership roles when you’ve been in the club for a long time.
sign up for as many clubs as you find interesting (five, ten, twenty?); you can always drop most of them after a week to keep the ones you actually like.
3. get to know yourself
someday you will need to figure out what you like to do and what you want to do. if you start thinking about your interests now, it’ll be much easier to make that decision when that time comes.
also, having practice with introspection definitely helps when it comes to writing that common app essay.
perhaps you could write a response to a journal prompt every day and spend a little time each day doing some mindful awareness.
4. learn how to study
freshman year might be easy for you, but that is no excuse not to study! at some point, things will get hard, and you will have no idea how to study, and you will be barely treading water. that sounds very ominous. but, seriously, freshman year is a great year to experiment with learning how to learn.
5. try new habits/find a routine
this sort of goes along with getting to know yourself. experiment with finding a routine that works for you and your schedule, because it’s easier to experiment now than in your hectic junior year.
do you like having a break day on friday or saturday? does a movie or a bath relax you more? is reading before you go to bed a good habit for you? what motivates you to do homework? what works and what doesn’t?
6. do not be afraid to challenge yourself
i know you’ve already signed up for your classes, but do not be afraid to take on challenges. do not let fear turn you away from something that could be really good for you! sign up for that debate club where you’re afraid you might get crushed by upperclassmen. sign up for that honors course! go out for that team.
pretty much nobody will remember your failure if you fail, and pretty much everybody who does will be lenient with you because you’re a freshie.
7. befriend upperclassmen
these guys can help you with homework, tell you about the school, introduce you to new people, and maybe even drive you to school.
you can find us in clubs and sometimes your classes. maybe this is just me, but if a freshman came up to me asking for advice i would be flattered to death.
8. don’t take yourself too seriously
this is a general life tip, but it seems to be particularly relevant to freshmen for some reason.
9. don’t slack in your classes
your freshman year grades matter as much as your junior year ones, because that gpa follows you throughout all of high school.
also, particularly in math, what you learn now will lay the foundation for later classes (algebra is very important in calculus!).
10. that being said, relax
many say that freshman year and sophomore year are the two best years to enjoy high school. try not to freak out so much that you forget that we’re all still kids. and if it doesn’t go well this year (if you don’t have any friends, for example), just know that it’ll get better (you will find friends eventually, even if it takes a year or two. trust me.). and if your english teacher doesn’t like you, no biggie; you won’t need anything from them after this year anyway. nothing that bad can happen because of being a freshman.
It takes a week before he’s comfortable enough in the Cooper house to wander around without Betty, which makes it awkward in the moments he’s home and she isn’t. He winds up penned in whatever room he’s in when someone comes in. Sometimes, it’s his room which is nice because he basically has the run of the basement and there’s a TV down there, but which also makes him feel guilty, like he should be trying harder to assimilate with the Coopers as a unit. But if Jughead’s in the kitchen or the living room, he winds up stuck in that room, trying his hardest to make small talk and seem normal. Once, he spent forty-five minutes talking to Hal about car engines. He knows nothing about car engines. He had to check with Betty later to make sure he hadn’t said anything stupid.
He’s getting over that though, slowly but surely, his curiosity overtaking his social awkwardness. Because he’s discovered that he’s the only one ever awake at 2 am, and so it’s prime snooping time. He discovered it by accident, one night coming out of his writing trance dying of thirst. He filled a glass from the chute in the refrigerator door and wandered the ground floor in the dark, peering into picture frames. The wall below the stairs is a visual timeline of Polly and Betty, from photos of them in their hospital blankets right down to a photo of Polly at prom last year and one of Betty with Toni Morrison’s arm around her.
Now it’s become a bit of a nightly ritual. He’s moved on from picture frames to picture albums. Mundane residua that exist as testament to the Coopers’ deep love for one other. He knows his father loves him. But their life has never encompassed either the leisure time or the inclination for an activity such as scrapbooking.
Tonight he eases his way up the stairs, avoiding the creak he’s discovered in the second step from the top. He’s had a breakthrough on how to wrap up a dangling plot thread, and is ready to sleep knowing he’s earned the night’s rest. But not before he makes it through “Polly and Betty 2011-2012.”
At first, he doesn’t notice the under cabinet lights are on in the kitchen, because at least one usually is. A courtesy night light for any late night prowlers, ie, him. But tonight they’re all on, and Alice is sitting at the table, wrapped up in an oversized sweater, both hands around a steaming mug of tea. He stops in the doorway.
“Jughead, what are you doing up? Couldn’t sleep?”
“I’m always up now, Mrs. C.” He cups the back of his neck with his hand and ruffles his hair. “I actually haven’t been to bed yet.”
“You’re a night owl. And you’ve been up night after night alone?”
“I don’t mind. Betty’s tried to stay up with me a few times, but she always falls asleep.”
Alice’s face moves as ifshe’s smiling, her eyes crinkle warmly, though her lips stay motionless. “I suppose we’ll all have to make some adjustments. That will be good for us.”
He gets his water and takes a seat across from her at the table. “Listen, Mrs. Cooper. I just want to thank you again. I don’t know how to tell you how much I appreciate your and Mr. Cooper’s letting me stay with you.”
“Jughead, I’ve told you, if you’re going to be living here, I want you to call me Alice.” She pauses to take a sip of her tea. “Are you settling in alright?”
“Yeah, it’s nice.” It is, but he can’t quite articulate to Alice what he means by that. He’s still adjusting to things in the Cooper household. They’re quieter than he’s used to. People move more softly. They say please and thank you and they offer to refill each others’ drinks when they go into the kitchen. He’s not suffering from any delusions, he knows they’re all crazy, even him, but still it’s nice.
There’s a soothing regularity to being warm when he falls asleep and when he wakes up, to knowing where his next meal is coming from and that all the USDA-mandated food groups will be covered. He loves Archie and Fred, they’re his family, but he doesn’t think it ever occurred to either of them that an air mattress on a cold wooden floor doesn’t the warmest of beds make. Especially in November in an old house. Plus, with a few more consecutive meals of frozen pizza, he’s pretty sure he’d have gotten scurvy. Especially because the Andrews men always opt for ‘Meatzza.’ And it’s been a long time since FP was capable of getting a family dinner on the table.
He feels guilty even having these thoughts. But Betty’s stopped brushing his under eye bags with her fingers the way she’d taken to in the last few weeks when she got so preoccupied worrying about him she stopped being self conscious. So yeah, it’s nice.
“What are you drinking? It smells good.”
Alice’s fingers tighten on the mug. “Oh, an herbal tea blend I use sometimes when I’m having trouble sleeping. Mostly chamomile, but it’s got some other herbs in it. Lemon balm, valerian root, catnip. I can make you a cup.” It’s a sentence but her intonation tells him she means it as a question.
He doesn’t know how to say no, he doesn’t drink tea, especially not tea with catnip in it, so he says, “Sure.” Apparently he doesn’t know how to talk to Alice Cooper at all. The Coopers are middle class in a way even the Andrews aren’t, in a way that goes beyond their gross yearly income. He’s known Betty since they were four and yet he hadn’t expected catnip tea and kale salads and the whole set of all-natural shower and shave products that had been waiting for him in the bathroom on the day he moved in. He’s been dying for days to make a joke about how bougie they all are. But of Archie and Betty, only Betty would get it, and he doesn’t want to give her another thing to feel self-conscious about. He knows she already worries about the class differential between them, that she still feels guilty about not knowing he was homeless.
Alice bustles around the darkened kitchen, switching on the electric kettle, scooping what to Jughead look like dried spices into a little metal ball she sets in a mug and then in front of him. Are tea bags not good enough for these people?
When she pours the water in, the smell, now much closer to his face, is overwhelmingly floral. Almost like perfume. But he lifts the mug and inhales deeply anyway, thankful that for the moment it’s still too hot to drink.
“Betty said you used to work at the Twilight.”
“Yeah, til it closed.”
She nods, as if Jughead, who had been the only one in the sophomore class with a paying job, is normal. “I want you to focus on school. And on being a teenager. But I’m sure it must be hard to lose that extra bit of autonomy that money can give. So if you wanted to find another job, for after school a couple nights a week, Hal and I could help.”
He doesn’t want to seem to eager, so he stares at the snow falling in the window behind her before answering, “That’d be great.”
“Not at the Register, though. You and Betty need at least one place you’re not together. Everyone needs somewhere to escape to. That took me five years of marriage to learn and I’m offering it to you for free.” Alice emphasizes her words of wisdom by pointing at him. “And no garages either.” Then she looks at him like he’s supposed to know what that means. Surely she knows Betty’s the one who belongs in a garage.
Then, horror of horrors, his stomach rumbles. Loudly. Alice smirks.
“How about some lasagna to go with that tea?”
“I never turn down food.”
“No, I don’t suppose you do.” Jughead’s coasted on his reputation as a human garbage disposal for many years. It’s assumed that he’ll want seconds, that he’ll finish other people’s leftovers. Betty has made more than one comment about his unfair-teenage-boy metabolism. But a prickle on the back of Jughead’s neck tells him that’s not what Alice means. She pops a large square of lasagna in the microwave then comes back to face him, a new glint in her eyes.
“I remember what it feels like to go to bed hungry.” She doesn’t direct it to him necessarily, it’s not accusatory. But almost, conspiratorial? As if she’s charting out neutral waters where they can meet.
“I grew up in Sunnyside, you know.”
“No, I didn’t know that, Mrs. C—” She raises an eyebrow at him. “Alice. I didn’t know that, Alice.”
Her smile is warm. “I did. Until I was 17 and moved in with an aunt who’d gotten out and had an apartment over the hair salon on Fifth. It was almost too late though. They didn’t let girls in the gang officially then, but I was around enough to get into some stuff I had no business being a part of.”
Jughead chokes on his catnip tea. “You were a Southside Serpent?”
“Mhm. I’m surprised your dad didn’t mention it when you and Betty started dating. Every day I expected her to come home and throw it in my face.”
He’s not sure how to respond to that so he waits while she retrieves his plate from the microwave, setting it in front of him with a fork and a folded napkin.
“But you’re not a Serpent now?”
“Of course not. I put enough distance between us and I didn’t know anything really dangerous so eventually they let me go. Plus I started dating Hal that summer and things got serious between us pretty fast. And his dad was the mayor, so they couldn’t get too close to me anyway.”
To say Jughead is stunned would be an understatement. Alice Cooper, pastel spokeswoman for suburban perfection, grew up in a trailer park and ran with a gang as a teenager — ran with his father’s gang. It’s almost like she’s trying to tell him they’re the same. He wonders, uncomfortably, if they are. And it gives a new shade of meaning to the dream he’d had once of Betty in a poodle skirt and Archie with a knife in his back. He’ll have to untangle the resonance of that one later.
But now she’s revealed something of herself and, in the calculus of interpersonal relationships, Jughead knows it’s his turn. “I was surprised when you guys offered to let me live here. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m really grateful. But, to be honest with you, I didn’t think Mr. Cooper liked me all that much.”
Alice sighs. “Hal is a good man. He’s a good father. But he has the privilege of seeing the world as black and white in a way that you and I can’t.” She looks up from her mug of tea and meets Jughead’s eyes. “He’s always been that way. So clear about right and wrong. I’ve tried for most of our lives to mimic that. I was so sure he was right.” She trails off for a moment and the silence settles like a blanket of snow. “All I’ve ever wanted was to do what’s best for my children, all my children. And I’ve made a lot of mistakes in pursuit of that. Some of them irreparable. But some…I have a lot to atone for.”
Jughead swallows. She seems to need to speak, and he wants to hold that door open for her. “I don’t know about Polly, but Betty does knows that. She knows how much you love her. You’re a good person too.”
She nods, but looks as if she’s not really paying attention.
“Good people in bad circumstances still do bad things.” It’s a truth Jughead is intimately acquainted with, and, yet, in Alice’s mouth the words seem heavier, more personal even. Maybe because he knows about her son. Maybe because he knows that, like the hand of God, she’s plucked him off his father’s path and deposited him on her own.
“You’re here because Betty loves you and because you’re a good kid. You deserve better than what you’ve been given. It’s hard, almost impossible to climb out of that hole. Someone gave me a hand once. Now I’m passing on the favor.” She twists her empty mug from hand to hand. “Your dad’s always meant well, always done his best in his own way. He doesn’t deserve what’s happening to him. If the situation was reversed, I like to think he’d do the same for my daughters.”
“You talk like you know him.”
“We were close, once. People don’t change that much.”
Jughead thinks about the baby Serpents he’d met at Southside High. “Can I ask—Betty never mentions any family—do you still know anyone, have anyone left on the South Side?”
“No, they’re all gone now.”
He reaches an arm halfway across the table then lets it fall. “I’m sorry,” then, catching himself in time, “Alice. I know this is lame, but if there’s anything I can do.”
She smiles at him as she pushes back her chair and stands up. “You know what you can do? You can make good. And rinse that plate before you put it in the dishwasher.” She takes both their mugs to the sink. His is still three quarters full. Jughead’s ears feel hot. She shakes the contents of the little metal ball into the compost bucket beneath the sink, then loads everything into the dishwasher. When she turns back she says, “Liking tea isn’t a pre-requisite for being a Cooper.”
“Sweet dreams, Jughead.”
“G‘night, Alice.” This time he doesn’t trip over her name.
A few minutes later, Betty appears in the doorway Alice has just vacated, her face a mask of sleep and concern. “Juggie? What’s going on? I got up to go to the bathroom and I heard my parents’ door close.”
“Me and your mom were just talking. She fed me lasagna.”
Betty stumbles over and curls up on the chair next to him, her head on his shoulder.
“Here, baby.” He holds a forkful of food up to her mouth. Once she takes it, she sighs and snuggles deeper into him.
“What’d you guys talk about? Was she nice?”
“Just stuff. I’ll tell you in the morning when you’re not asleep. And yeah, she was.”
He sees her frown in his peripheral vision. “I’m not asleep. I’m just not a night owl like you.”
“Okay, Betts.” But by the time he’s finished eating, she’s fully asleep, making quiet snuffling noises. He lifts her head off his shoulder and guides her as she melts onto the table. He turns and rinses his plate and fork before placing them in the dishwasher.
Then he lifts her back up and slings one of her arms across his shoulders. “Come on, early bird. Time for bed.” He presses a kiss against her hair, and together they stumble back toward the stairs.