A/n: So basically what I learned from writing this is that I’m super out of practice with fluff fics and I’m terrible at writing little kids. But here you go nonnie - I tried.
“Elizabeth, it’s time for school! Come downstairs!”
Betty looked in the mirror one last time, clumsy fingers trying and failing to tie the bow wrapped around her waist. It was the first day of elementary school, and she was wearing a brand new dress. Pink, her favorite color. She let out an frustrated sigh and scrunched up her nose, giving up and pulling the ribbon into a knot.
She bounded down the stairs, gold sequined flats squeaking against the hardwood.
“Ready mommy!” She yelled, entering the kitchen and presenting herself with a wide, toothy smile.
Her mother turned, her lips upturning in a small smile as she assessed her daughter. “Elizabeth dear, you haven’t tied your bow properly. Come here, let me help.”
Betty dutifully approached her mother, trying not to wince as she pulled the ribbon just a little too tight.
“Why your father let you buy this ridiculous dress is beyond me.” Alice mumbled under her breath as she pulled the bow together, “It cost an arm and a leg and it’s completely impractical.”
“I promise I’ll wear it all the time mommy!” Betty turned, trying her best to cheer up her scowling mother. She scowled a lot, usually at the things Betty liked. When Betty had asked her dad about it, her dad had told her that her mommy just couldn’t see the color in life. Betty wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but she figured a pretty pink dress was a nice place to start.
“Let’s hope so.” Alice gave Betty a soft smile, giving the bow one last tug and pushing a stray hair out of Betty’s face. “There, now you look perfect.”
Betty grinned, happy to have received such high praise. The pink dress is working already, she thought.
The school day flew by, and before Betty knew it recess had begun. Her teacher led the class out to the most magnificent playground she had ever seen. Bright red slides, shiny blue monkey bars, and gleaming green swings were sprawled out before her, and Betty was positively buzzing with excitement. Her mother never let her play in parks - too many germ-filled children, she’d say.
Betty spotted a couple girls playing jump rope and instantly sprinted forward, excited to join in on the fun. Her joy was short lived, however, when she suddenly found herself crashing head over heels into the mulch.
She landed on her bottom, sitting in stunned silence as her little mind registered the incident. She looked down at her palms, scraped and stinging, her small, round lips forming a perfect “o” as tears slowly began to form in her eyes.
“Are you okay?”
Betty looked up toward the voice with reddened eyes and wiped away a stray tear. “I’m okay, thank you.” She did her very best to be convincing, just the way her mother had taught. She smiled faintly at the boy in front of her, his bright blue eyes shining with concern.
“You don’t look okay.” He said, crossing his arms over his chest as he stared at her.
“Well I am.” Betty scrambled to her feet, uncomfortable with the strange boy’s attention. She was preparing to walk away when she glanced down at her dress, her bottom lip suddenly beginning to tremble. She definitely wasn’t going to be able to stay smiling now.
“My - my dress.” She sputtered, her bloody palms reaching down to grab the tear that had appeared in the skirt. “It was perfect and now -” Betty felt panic rise in her chest, “I ruined it.”
“That’s okay!” The boy quickly reacted, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a safety pin, “I can fix it. Here.”
He crouched down and grabbed the hem of Betty’s skirt, causing her to jump back in surprise.
“It’s okay! I fix broken clothes all the time. Almost all my clothes are broken!” He smiled up at her and she relaxed, letting him pull her skirt toward him. He clumsily fastened the pin to the dress, pulling the tear closed. “There! All fixed.”
Betty looked down at the skirt, the measly pin doing almost nothing to hide the obvious tear. She sniffled, teary eyes looking up at the boy in confusion. “But it’s still ripped. Now there’s just a pin in it.”
He scrunched his eyebrows and looked at the dress, placing his hands on his hips in determination. “It just has character.”
“What does ‘character’ mean?” Betty asked, the word unfamiliar as it crossed her lips.
“It means special. Unique. Or at least that’s what my mom says. My clothes are full of character.” He smiled at her proudly.
Betty wasn’t quite sure what “unique” meant, but she knew what special meant, and she knew it was a good thing. She looked down at the dress again, gently swaying from side to side. The pin glinted in the sunlight, and Betty couldn’t help but smile. Character. She liked the sound of that.
“Thank you.” She said, reaching forward and giving the boy a hug. He stiffened at her touch before slowly wrapping his arms around her. He was a good hugger, Betty decided.
“My name is Betty.”
The little boy grinned at her, “I’m Jughead.”
She giggled, sniffling as she reached up to wipe her nose. “You have a funny name, Jughead.”
He blushed, ducking his head for a moment and causing the over-sized beanie on his head to shift, “You have a pretty laugh.”
Betty was going to tell him that he had pretty eyes - he did, they reminded her of the sky - when the recess bell rang. She jumped, turning to watch as her classmates fell into line behind her teacher. She started to run away before remembering her new friend Jughead, but when she turned to say goodbye he was gone.
She frowned, glancing down at her skirt and rubbing the silver pin between her fingers. Her dress wasn’t perfect anymore, but for the first time Betty wasn’t so sure that was a bad thing. It may have been ripped and dirty but, thanks to a silver pin and a blue-eyed boy, her dress wasn’t ruined. It simply had character.
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Mira opened the apartment door and was met with music. Delicate piano runs wove in between warm, sleepy brass, a woman’s voice rising over the instruments and crackling with recorded static.
“…in all the old familiar places
that this heart of mine embraces…”
A smile spread across Mira’s face as she slung her purse over the hook in the closet. It had been a long day, made longer by the fact that she’d spent most of it turning her most recent argument with Alcor over and over in her head. Just stepping into the apartment was like a sigh of relief, and as the soothing, almost lullaby-like tones of the singer’s voice washed over her, Mira could almost feel her stress melting away.
“Honey, I’m home!” she called, jokingly, stepping out of her sequined flats as she walked out of the entryway.
So this one is kind of a lame update, but anyway… I’ve been hard at work trimming the ends of my sequins for the bodice so they have a better shape! They only had longer and thin rectangles in the colors i liked and i would have had really high minimums if i wanted them to punch the sequins special for me (they make sequins by punching a huge plastic sheet with a dye) so I’m making do!! I actually do like how, by hand cutting, all the sequins will look slightly different and hopefully more true to the actual costume!!! It’s annoying though because it takes a while to cut each sequin because it must be curved…
I’m going to use these kind of matte frosted shiny blue sequins for a majority of the bodice and scatter in some more shiny or darker etc. sequins to give it a little more texture. I’ve just been messing around with how I’m going to have them look on the bodice, but i don’t think ill do it like the photos here because it looks way too much like fish scales (but i want to cover up the holes where ill be sewing them to the dress as much as possible- unlike what they did for the parks dress!)
Anyway, i still need to try this, but i think ill first sew the sequins to the dress flat (no overlap) and all over. Then ill glue more sequins on top (but not quite all over) like how it looks in the movie and try to strategically place them to cover up the stitching holes!!! Also, for the top coating of sequins the trimming thing is helpful because then ill just cut down from the side with the hole and they will be hole-less!!!
Anyway- that is where things stand!!! I’m thinking ill start on the actual dress with my actual fabric (GASP) next week- ill try to finish making changes to the pattern and possibly dying the fabric in the meantime- scary stuff!! ALSO- that is a screenshot i took today of the weather here. It sucks and it’s fucking hot.