There are a million ways to say “I love you”. Before the infamous scene where Jughead opened up to Betty of how much he loved her, he already confessed here that he cared a lot about her in any way possible. He didn’t want Betty to be upset, so he confronted her when he was worried about what Kevin had told him beforehand–even tried to get to know the detail too. Because he’s such a smol bean, he then told Betty his honest intention (that he just didn’t want her upset, period). I think this was adorable. Every bughead scenes are equally enticing, but the small scenes like this also worths a lot, so I’d like to appreciate this. Hehehehe
It began with gold lined chandeliers and red stained lips, the cacophony of heels crashing down on pristine, smooth marble as the tendrils of a piano inflection rose in the distance.
Her fingers were digging into his waist as he spun her around and around and around, cinched around the fabric of his robes as her vision blurred, turned into a haze of silver and steel while they rotated the room.
She felt something gather underneath her skin, unrelenting, ruthless, vicious––unadulterated power pooling like toxic through her bloodstream.
The chandelier trembled.
“Let us rise together,” he whispered in her ear.
Immortality dripped from him fingertips, dark and as thick as blood and she watched as it trickled down the underside of his wrist, stark against his skin as he skated his teeth across his thumb, mouth stained a bright, tainted red.
There once was a girl who would have run at the sight–the doe eyed girl with chrysalis like naivety with gold lined dreams, who stood still as the world fell around her, throat locked in a silent scream as it crumbled in an onslaught of spilled blood and rust stained coronets, monarchies colliding as the dust sprinkled, caked it in dirt and dried salt, until it all was nothing.
That girl was dead.
She set her teeth to glass and watched immortality drench her lips in a gleam of ichor and salt, watched it seep through her veins like sin.
Her lips were painted a crystalline, shimmering pink that gleamed underneath the sunlight in streaks of glitter and gold, eyeliner smeared in a precise curve and she sighed against his shoulder blades, hummed across the third button of his shirt, carefully unbuttoned so the sharp of his collarbones glinted.
“What do you want?” he whispered, threaded his hand in hers as they passed shops, bakeries, felt the world surge in a blur of movement and violet tinted skies untethered chaos and a unified beat that pushed onward, onward still that was on the verge of stilling.
He could sense it, the fear, stark in the air like oxygen harshening just before the pour.
“Everything,” she said, and there was a moment, a split second where she held his gaze, relentless, vicious, and a thought grazed his mind, i did this, i did this, i did––
He could see demons coiling dark underneath the lining of sunlight bleeding through atmosphere in a burst of incandescence like a falling crown, of angels spiraling in a vicious haze of glory, halos tilted towards the ground before the fallout, a immaculate, glittering prism shattering at the velocity; chaos lingering in the air like the the click of a bullet pushed in place, the split second before annihilation tears through the barricade, constellations obliterating, rattling, as she unleashes it all.
Her lips were chapped.
She licked them and tasted the familiar acridness of steel slicing through mouth as she swallowed, blood dripping down in a straight trickle of scorched salt across her skin as she stood in the midst of ash and fire and smoke.
“Darling,” Tom said, the pristine sweep of his robes swiping against disintegrating marble, heel crushing down–harder, harder until it shattered.
“I need–” Hermione swallowed emptiness, cold, harsh oxygen, let it cut through her throat. “I need to breathe.”
He shifted closer, threaded his fingers through the waves of her hair and she inhaled the thick, heady scent of blood seeping through veins through his skin and the sharp, sharp hint of spearmint embedded in the slope of his throat tilted upward, and she could see his pulse pounding across his skin, stretched taut against skin, like an ancient, ancient drumbeat that signified the end–sky collapsing in a vigorous, amplifying cry as the sea falls along with it, drowns the world in salt and ash and that of obliterating comets, incinerating stars spiraling in an endless, bottomless downfall.
I could kill you, she thought, imagining slashing his throat open, watching his eyes still wide, wandering as blood ran down his skin, coated the battlefield in fresh, smearing remains. I could kill you.
“Yes,” he whispered against her throat. “You don’t think I don’t know what game you’re playing, darling?”
“The end,” she said. “The end must come.”
“No,” he said, twisting her wand until it pressed against the flesh of his throat, a pale strip of smooth, smooth skin that she wanted, god, wanted to run her teeth over until it bruised, wanted– “First, retribution.”
“Do you love me, Hermione?” he hissed, pressed it deeper, deeper still.
“Tom,” she began.
“I would burn the world for you,” he said. “I would turn it all into ashes if it meant you were mine.”
“No,” she hissed, low and vicious. “You would burn the world all on your own.”
“And you would love me anyway,” he said, a ghost of a smile gracing his lips, and she wanted to tear him apart, watch his throat open and nothing but blood and beautiful, glorious lies spill out until there was nothing but emptiness, wanted him to press her against plaster, wall cutting into her shoulder blades, mouth lining mine mine mine.
She pressed the wand deeper into his skin until it scorched at his skin, but he didn’t flinch at the sparks flying into his artery, at her wand dangerously cutting off his air supply.
“Kill me,” he said, and in one swift, fluid motion, snatched the time tuner caught in the folding of her robes and snapped it in half, twisted the wand until the force hit her like a sucker punch her ribs––watched as time shifted into place, air trembling until it held her down, locked her throat like steel anchoring her ribcage towards the ground, gravity tethering her in place as if her blood had shifted to mercury––poison sharp through her veins.
The sound echoed stark through the air, across silence, until all she could feel was static against her throat in electric, crackling waves as panic set in because she could never, ever get back.
“Was that not your purpose, girl from the future?” he said, calm, so eerily calm. “Kill me, Hermione Granger.”
Her fingers closed around his throat, watched veins close and sputter and blood rush underneath her nails in an onslaught of forming bruises, lavender black under her touch.
The agony began to set in now, it was like four thousand shreds of shrapnel slicing into her chest at exhale, running against her ribs, across her spine, splits against her lungs until her breath comes in harsh, faltering bursts, because she remembered–of a boy with glittering emerald eyes that glinted underneath the luminescence of his Expelliarmus, scorching red sparks landing against his skin as the tendons of his jaw snapped, the end, the end, the end she felt the ground shift beneath her feet, salt staining her cheeks, coating her hair in a pattern of drenched, dripping anticipation––her throat locking up as she tilted her head up, the end, the end, the end––
“What do you want?” she said.
“All of you,” he said, dragging long fingers down the side of her face. “Always, always you.”
She pressed a hand to his chest, felt it glow red hot against the fabric of his robes, singe off the seal until it was falling, spiraling ash.
Hermione felt something deep in her twist, incinerate with the unraveling of her veins, of a hollowness buried beneath her ribcage stir and shift with every hiss of oxygen from beneath teeth. Control, control it murmured, vicious, venomous.
The world she once knew had vanished, all that was left was the scent of smoke and the memory that once, once she had stood still as it all fell, silence eroding across atmosphere like a sharp, sharp afterthought.
Hermione raised her hand, sent raw, crackling power from her arteries towards the ground; rage glistening in the intensity of four thousand seething suns, her blood boiling and bursting as fire bloomed from around them like blossoms from cracked pavement, flames blazing brighter, brighter still as she clenched her teeth and extended her fingers until the scent of burning corpses filled the air, splitting down on her lip as she ignited the ruins around them and watched them evaporate to nothing but salt and glitter and dust.
“There,” she said. “There.”
The wand pressed against his throat dropped, and a smile graced Tom’s mouth.
And it all happened a split second, with Dumbledore’s wand angled at Tom so bright, bright green shot out of his wand like the crackle of gunfire and surged towards his chest, buttons open to reveal inches of pale, milky white skin along the slope of his neck, and she was rushing forward before logic could anchor her to the ground, muscles snapping, splintering as she shifted, faster, faster––
“No!” she screamed, extended her hand out and watched Dumbledore’s body enveloped in flames, flickering underneath the fading gleam of dusk approaching, splitting through the universe in a blur of amber and rose tinted gold, setting the horizon in a sea of shadows.
Save the world, she remembered, memory cutting through her mind like a dull, rusting butter knife through skin, and it bruises, slices at her ribcage; of time and the spaces between seconds, save the world, Dumbledore had said, save yourself.
She let it play in the background in a never ending mantra, save the world, save yourself, save the world, save yourself, save–––
And then her fingers were digging into his hair, inhaling salt and steel and blood as her thumb grazed the bruises left on his throat, battered and the violet-blue of split open veins, of nails pressed against arteries until blood runs to the surface, pools against the expansion of throat, her name etched on the surface, mine mine mine.
His lips collided onto hers, teeth on the edge of her mouth and there’s something tearing at the edge of her chest, glass splintering across the expansion of her ribcage, cut me open, it murmured, cut me open and set me ablaze. And her waist were closing onto his, hip bones sharp, stark as she pinned them down, red crescent marks lingering across bruised veins and his mouth is trailing a tantalizing path down the slope of her throat tilted upwards, skin gleaming underneath the fading of light streaming through bodies and snapped, splintered wands, through burst open insides, torn, unraveled hearts in a straight, immaculate line, drenched in gasoline smearing against dust.
The pillar of smoke grew higher, burned at her throat, scorched at her lungs.
Save the world, save yourself.
“Don’t,” she said. “Don’t fucking touch me.”
Her throat was raw and bloody as she screams, lungs clenching as she tilts her head to stare up at him, retinas bloodshot, veins apparent––violet and purple and ink black underneath the translucent skin stretched taut beneath her eyes, and there’s the chaotic ascend of thick, thick hair just above her shoulder blades, fingernails drawn tight against the fabric of her skirt, and god, he thought, god––
“You thought,” he said, edge of his mouth curling up. “You thought you could save me.”
“You’re a monster,” she hissed, shifting so a distance was placed between them, and he could almost feel magic running, dark, raw, vigorous, through her bloodstream–––like the crackle of electricity coursing through a circuit, of spilled blood gleaming underneath streetlights, a line of bodies across pavement.
“Aren’t we all?” he said.
She remembered, it comes back in dreams and pieces like shattered glass––of a boy with coke bottle glasses and green eyes, how he fell. It plays in slow motion, almost, the end, of magic slamming into his chest like a sucker punch, wand tumbling from between his fingertips as he descended, how grief had cut into her chest like the edge of rusting, dull knife, sawing against the outline of her ribcage until she screamed.
Even heroes fall, the silhouettes whisper, in vivid, sharp visions that linger like an salt dripping wound––skin sliced open, blood pooling at her surface, ten million lacerations.
The end, the end, the end, she remembered.
“Mudblood,” Abraxas hissed between clenched teeth, inched closer so she could almost taste the acrid of his breath.
“Don’t,” she said, tugging on the cuff of Tom’s pristine, buttoned suit jacket until her mouth brushed the outline of his ear. “You’re better than that.”
“Did you hear me, mudblood?” Abraxas continued. “I wasn’t aware spreading your legs had a correlation with your hearing.”
Her head tilted up, muscles and sinew snapping, splitting until her teeth are running across her bottom lip until her canines cut against flesh and there was the taste of blood and steel and rust eroded her mouth, salt scraping against canines.
She extended her hand and pressed it across the slope of his throat and sent magic through her veins, watched his skin split as she drew her fingers back, arteries splintering underneath her touch as blood spilled, sloshed over the velvet carpet, seeped through the floorboards, like lies from a red stained mouth, connotations, denotations spiraling from between sharp, sharp teeth.
“Don’t,” she whispered, “ever say that word again.”
Abraxas drew back, breathless, a trail of blood smearing the edge of his chin.
“Say it,” Tom said, pinning, magic slammed across the inside of the Abraxas’ chest, insides writhing, trembling as she ran her fingertips across the slope of his collarbone, the expansion of gleaming skin until his veins stuttered and groaned against the downward tilt of his spine snapping towards the fixation of chandelier incandescent and silver tinted glitter before she bent down and whispered softly, “Don’t.”
There was a sliver of crimson near the edge of his jaw, he couldn’t tell if it was lipstick or just blood.
“Mine,” he said, fingers digging into her hipbones, hard enough to brand her with purple and violet blue marks that lingered in her skin for the days in the aftermath.
It was always before and after, before, of when she first saw his face under the gleam of sunlight beaming across the glass of the time turner–––eyes dark, ruthless–––the kind of boy who would tear your heart out of your chest with sharp, brilliant teeth, mouth brushing over your chest in a fleeting millisecond of sin and glory and watch your insides spill onto pavement, the kind of boy that comes with warning signs, neon embedded underneath skin, danger danger danger, tires screeching against asphalt like the beginning of a car crash.
And after, when it felt almost like familiarity––of holding a knife to her throat until all she could feel was steel splitting skin, of relief.
“You,” he said the first time he saw her, as if he knew her. “It’s you.”
“Save the world,” the portrait said, voice soft, eyes bright, bright blue––so bright that it obliterated at her retinas when she raised her chin, salt trickling down skin and seeping into her mouth until all she could taste was grief. She could feel the time turner cutting into her palm, leaving red, red marks along her bones, felt it tick, tick, time blurring away until it was nothing, it is nothing, she thought, teeth digging into her bottom lip with such fervor that blood burst across her mouth, time is nothing, when you are the only one left.
It ended with green eyed boys with hair whipping in every direction as the wind serrated into her lungs, with wand held tight in their fist in a last fit of foolish, foolish hope, knuckles stark white against the backdrop of blood and gore and death––settling over them like a sea of silhouettes.
Of red haired boys with their fingers carded in her hair, whispering, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry as if it meant anything but I’m sorry it had to end like this, I’m sorry this is the end., like a confession.
She exhaled, feeling something stutter and still at the sounds, of screaming, of crying, of the silence that followed––a sharp, vicious burst of forced calm, it dripped and drenched her surroundings in venom, set her heart into overdrive.
There was nothing more terrifying than silence.
And she watched him, his back as he walked, shoulder blades tilted back, head held high towards the end, and it would haunt her dreams, linger in her vision in a barrage of incandescent, scorching color, playback in slow motion like a broken tape, nebulous, blurred until the end, of blood smeared across the expanse of his cheek, droplets sharp, stark, clarity tearing at the edge of her chest like a surge of raw, raw electricity,, of the scent of salt thick across her lungs when oxygen escaped from between her teeth –––of when he looked back.
sasha: wtf u’re skin is like perfect rowen: wait really?? sasha: umm yeah?! my skin sucks it’s so fucking gross ew sasha: what do u do 2 it????? rowen: nothing really?? i just- sasha: omg stop moving! u’re messing me up!!!!