Bughead fluff and angst! I have most of part two done but I’m not entirely happy with it yet, but hopefully should be ready soon.
The bass rang in Betty’s ears as she worked her way through the crowd. She couldn’t believe how many people showed up as the night went on. The party was originally her idea, however it didn’t turn out quite like she planned. She had organized the details, decorated the place, picked out Jughead’s favorite movies, and even baked a few batches of cookies and cupcakes for the occasion. She wanted her boyfriend’s birthday to be something special, something he would really enjoy. She also wanted to prove to him that people did care about him, so she left Archie in charge of inviting most the guests. That decision, however, proved to be a poor one.
In retrospect, Betty should have realized that Archie would spread word about Jughead’s birthday party in a much different way than she had in mind, especially since both their parents were going out of town that weekend. Instead of a simple get together with tasty treats and movie marathons, the night had quickly blossomed into a full force house party complete with dance music and plenty of alcohol. Despite the unexpected outcome, everyone seemed to be having a great time. People were dancing, laughing, and drinking away the stresses and drama that had become the norm in their little town. Luckily, the night was young and no one had taken it too far - not yet anyway.
Betty timidly made her way through the hordes of intoxicated teens, searching for her mysterious boyfriend. She knew this wasn’t exactly his idea of a great night. She desperately wanted to find him and ensure he was doing okay. It was supposed to be HIS night after all. Finally, through the front window she saw him standing outside on the deck, leaning up against a support beam. She headed for the door to join him, the music swelling and falling as she opened and closed the door behind her. The deck was a quieter sanctuary from the bustling party inside the Andrew’s home, and Jughead was taking in the serene night with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. He glanced back at Betty as she walked up beside him and leaned against the beam opposite to him.
“Really Juggie? Cigarettes? Since when?” she teased him. He threw her a side glance and a playful smirk.
“It’s my birthday,” he said with a shrug. Betty rolled her eyes, but her smile didn’t fade. A comfortable moment of silence passed between them, Betty watching him smoke and feeling slightly irritated that he could make something so cancerous and vile look hot as hell.
“I’m sorry your party turned out like this. It’s not what I had in mind,” she stated honestly. He quietly laughed, flicking a chunk of ash off the end of his smoke. She continued, “but you have to admit it’s pretty cool all these people showed up for you Jug. I told you people like you.” She smiled sweetly at him, hoping he would recognize that he didn’t have to be an outsider all the time. He turned his head towards her, his eyebrow raised and a look of laid-back skepticism across his angular face.
“People like getting drunk, Bets. That’s why they’re all here.” he stated dryly.
“Couldn’t it be both?” she retorted with grin. He smiled, finding no reason to argue with stunning girlfriend. He took her hand, and lightly caressed her fingers with his thumb.
“Whatever helps you sleep at night,” he took a quick drag. “Either way, I appreciate the effort. You didn’t have to do all this for me,” his tone softened, and Betty leaned into him, basking in the glow of his kind words.
“Well, there’s still a few more hours left of your birthday. Is there anything else you’d like to do? You know, since my brilliant idea panned out so well,” she said lightheartedly. This time his smirk broke into a toothy smile, a rare moment of excitement Betty was incredibly grateful to witness.
“I took Archie’s keys again, you know, since he’s clearly drank too much to be driving,”
“Jughead, we’re at Archie’s house. Where the heck would he even go?” Betty laughed.
“That’s exactly it, who knows? I’m doing everyone a favor really,” he continued swiftly, his sarcasm becoming more and more playful.
“You still haven’t told me what you want to do tonight,” she asked him again. Jughead snuffed out his cigarette, and gracefully pulled her close.
“Why don’t we go for a drive? Just you and me, a crappy old truck, clear night full of stars… “ his words trailed off, his attention lost to Betty’s tender gaze.
“I’d love that,” she quietly replied, leaning closer to Jughead and tilting her head for his gentle kiss. Suddenly, before their lips could meet, the front door swung open. The music escaped loudly through the open door, causing Betty and Jughead to jump back from one another.
There, wobbling before the couple, was Archie Andrews, drunk as a skunk and staring intently at Betty. He didn’t even seem to register that Jughead existed beside her. He slammed his hand over his heart, and slurred as he spoke.
“Betty. Betty I’ve been looking EVERYWHERE for you. I gotta talk to you. We, we gotta talk.” Betty stood still, her eyes wide with an emotion Jughead couldn’t quite identify. Pity? Anger? Disbelief? Archie continued his alcohol fueled speech.
“It was Grundy, Betty. That’s why I couldn’t be with you,” Jughead’s heart sank through his stomach. He felt his mouth suddenly become dry. Don’t do this to me Arch, he thought frantically.
“I was all mixed up with her, and I just… I wasn’t ready then to be your man but I am now, Betty. I’m here now. I’ve always loved you, I just didn’t know-” he paused, holding back a sudden bout of nausea. He leaned against the door behind him with a thud, steadying himself. “You- you’ve always been my best girl, Betty. Let’s just, be together! A power couple, just like- hiccup- just like you said, you know, when you said the stuff you said to me.” Betty stared at the boozed up redhead, trying to process the sudden flood of information. He spoke again before she could react.
“I love you, Betty Cooper,” he practically hollered, emphasizing each syllable of her name. Betty scowled, and shook her head as she replied.
“Archie, shut up. You’re drunk and acting like an idiot!”
“Here me, Riverdale!” he clumsily ran past the couple, jumping the deck railing and landing with a harsh tumble onto the front lawn. “Betty Cooper’s the best damn girl in town! No, no, in the whole country! The world!” he yelled, laying flat on his back in the dewy grass. “We’re gonna be together and, and get married! Kids, white picket-” he paused again, holding a fist to his mouth, his face turning pale as he holds back his gut. Jughead’s face was stiff, and his teeth began to ache from his clenched jaw. With heavy steps he approached the sloppy redhead, and pulled him to his feet by the collar of his shirt.
“Get up.” he growled. Archie complied, stumbling as Jughead practically dragged him to the house. “Getting shitfaced is one thing, pal” he bitterly hissed, “but talking to my girlfriend like that, right in front of me-”
“Girlfriend?” Archie interjected with a laugh. “Come on man, she’s just lonely. Betty!” He turned his head back to her as they reached the door. “You don’t have to be lonely anymore, I’m yours babe!”
“That’s not how this works!” she snapped. Her voice was angry, but tears were welling up in her crystal blue eyes. He quickly shoved Archie inside, and slammed the door back shut. Jughead’s heart was pounding in his chest. He knew Betty still carried some feelings for Archie, and it was a fact he tried his best to ignore. He had to believe that maybe Betty could move on from Archie’s rejection, that maybe she could learn to love him instead.
Yet the worst actually happened, right in front of his eyes. Archie was begging Betty to be his. She was clearly angry at his drunken declaration, but the thought buzzed in Jughead’s mind: Would she be reacting differently if Archie was sober? Gathering his strength, he turned around to face her, but instead saw her ponytail swinging wildly as she quickly walked towards the driveway. Jughead followed her as she approached Archie’s truck, and paused in front of the passenger door, her arms crossed tightly across her waist as she tried to contain her flooding emotions. She faced the dark haired boy, and wiped an escaped tear from her cheek. He stood motionless, unsure what he could possibly say to comfort her, or to even comfort himself.
“Can we still go for a drive Juggie? I really need to get out of here for while,” she asked him quietly, her voice trembling as she fought to keep her composure.