I want so badly to stay clean.
Craving the taste, wanting the high, fiending for the lady.
Once you get addicted, you will always be a drug addict.
You can be a recovered addict, but the taste will always remain inside parts of your brain.
Rhodey had a future in the military, was the only place he really wanted to end up, and Tony had Obadiah breathing down his neck about shareholders, so they learned a lot of boundaries. Some things were okay in some spaces. Most spaces, they weren’t.
It was hard, when Rhodey would come home on leave and Tony wanted to kiss him silly, not having seen him in months. A part of him says he shouldn’t be doing that in front of Rhodey’s mom and sister anyways, but, hell, the straight military families are kissing up a storm, and he wants his turn.
It was hard, every time something went indisputably right and Tony just wanted to celebrate. The kind of kiss that leaves you breathless, knocks you off your feet. Shared, private smiles, filled with giddy glee. Instead, he gets private club rooms and strippers and champagne for days, drowning out the want.
It was undeniably hard that moment in the desert, when Tony wants to cry because he tried, he tried to keep hoping and moving, but some part of him worried he’d never see Rhodey again, and here he is, cracking broken jokes about the Fun-vee, and Tony just wants to collapse into him.
It’s hard when he’s dying. Not that Rhodey knows anyways, but Tony spends a lot of time, retooling his will and his legacy as a whole, and Rhodey’s getting stuff, he’s getting a lot, but it’ll be what a best friend gets. Tony will never get to tell the world how much he undeniably absolutely crazily loved James Rupert Rhodes.
February 2011 and Tony’s going to live and they’ve been testing the suits all day, high on adrenaline and giddy joy. Back down to street clothes, they might steal a kiss in plain view of the window. No one knows who started it. A picture gets taken. They can’t see Rhodey’s face, but Tony’s is obvious, and Tony practically ignores his own forcing out of the closet to throw money at lawyers to squash any rumors that the other party is Colonel James Rupert Rhodes.
September 2011, and suddenly the world tilts on its axis. Tony’s elbow-deep in the armor when Rhodey tells him the news. DADT, repealed, it’s official and it’s real and it’s not just talk anymore. And Rhodey gets this look in his eye, the stubborn look people like to pretend he doesn’t have–like Tony’s the only stubborn one–that Tony loves, and says he should set a good example now.
So they go on dates. They go to restaurants and hold hands across the table and Tony doesn’t even bother trying to get them a booth in the back. They go to the Italian bakery and Rhodey smooshes cannoli cream on Tony’s face. They kiss in Central Park and dance together at parties and, finally, next time Tony’s getting honored with an award, he shows up, sober and clean and ready, and reads his acceptance from carefully prepared cards. He’d like to thank his partner, the love of his life, Colonel James Rhodes.
Could you write something where F.P. is in Bughead's lives in the future? Like clean, sober, doting Dad helping plan the wedding or dancing with Betty at their reception or BABYSITTING their child or something? (:
Not gonna lie, I got ridiculously carried away with this, I literally just sat for ages and wrote it all in one go! I was gonna post this tomorrow but I’m too impatient so here you go :)
Thank you so much for the prompt, clearly I had some FP family feels I needed to get out <3
Jughead wasn’t sure why he’d come. Maybe it was because he knew that this time was different. His dad, though perpetually drunk, could usually take care of himself. It was a rare instance when he rang his son, babbling incoherently on the line about how he was sorry, that he couldn’t do this anymore. But that’s exactly what had happened tonight, which was why Jughead was currently making his way up the steps of FP’s trailer at 2AM on a Thursday.
“Dad?” he called out in trepidation, peering around the room at the mess of empty bottles and stale takeout cartons. A groan rang out from the kitchen to his left. Rounding the corner he found his dad, hunched against the cabinets on the floor, broken glass surrounding him, sticky amber liquid pouring out from what remained of the whiskey bottle, blood quickly soaking the fabric of his shirt from the gash in his hand. “Jesus, Dad.” Jughead crouched to get a closer look, tilting FP’s head to meet his foggy, unfocused eyes. He sighed, turning to his hand, picking up the heavy limb and examining the wound. “It’s not that deep, hold on.” He straightened up, searching the draws for a clean dishtowel to wrap around the wound while he cleaned up as best he could. He’d brushed up most of the glass when he realised it would be better to move his dad out of the way if he was going to get this done more efficiently. The smell of alcohol was starting to burn his nose. Jughead flung open a window before reaching down to pick up his dad, staggering against the dead weight that now bore across his shoulders. He dropped him into a nearby chair with a groan, placing a glass of water in front of him before turning back to the task at hand.
FP watched him with dazed eyes, head lolling slightly, blinking slowly as if he were insurmountably tired. Jughead tried not to feel the weight of his gaze burning into the back of his head as he swept, grabbing a mop to tackle the next mess. He was filling up the bucket with warm water when FP finally spoke.
“’m sorry, Jug.” The words were barely defined. Jughead scoffed, slamming the tap off and rested his hands against the edge of the counter, knuckles turning white with the strain.
“Why do you keep saying that?” he bit out. FP blanched at the venom in his son’s voice, one that he hadn’t heard before. Disappointment, sure. Weariness, definitely. But this? Never. “You don’t mean it, you never mean it. If you were sorry you wouldn’t keep doing it over and over.” FP hung his head in shame. “Did you even try? Did you even pretend, to yourself, that this time it could be different?” Jughead turned finally to look at his broken mess of a father. His eyes were hard, fed up of being forgiving. “I can’t believe another one of your empty promises.” He tried to keep the crack out of his voice.
“This time…” FP trailed off, voice drowsy. “You’re mom, Jellybean…” The sound of Jughead slamming a fist against the counter echoed throughout the trailer.
“Stop!” he shouted, tucking his quivering lower lip between his teeth, willing the tears away. He didn’t want to cry over this anymore. It was beyond repair, beyond redemption. “I can’t hold on to this hope, anymore. I’m sixteen, Dad. This isn’t… it shouldn’t be this way. I shouldn’t have to pick you up off the floor,” he let out a humourless laugh, “on a school night.” Jughead averted his eyes, knowing he wouldn’t be able to get this out if he didn’t look away. “I have to start looking for a home somewhere else. With Mr Andrews and Archie. With Betty.” He paused, the image he conjured up of the blonde girl with the soft green eyes and gentle touch calmed him. She felt like home. “I think… I’m gonna marry her someday,” his voice caught and he stopped to clear it, swallowing away every doubt he had about his future. “I want a life with her, a home. And it can’t involve this, I won’t let it. You-” he paused, steeling himself for his next words. “You shouldn’t call anymore. You shouldn’t try and reach me. I can’t be your fall guy anymore. I can’t be the collateral in your messed up life. I won’t do that, not to Betty. She deserves more so that’s what I have to try to be, starting with this.” He took a shaky step towards the door. He saw FP lift a hand towards him hesitantly before thinking better of himself, letting it drop against his thigh with a defeated thud. Jughead shook his head almost imperceptibly - that confirmed it, he didn’t want to try. “Goodbye, Dad.”
The door had swung shut before the first tear slid down FP’s cheek.
It was almost three weeks later when Jughead saw FP again. He shook his head in disbelief at the familiar figure of his father standing outside Pop’s. FP stood up straight on Jughead’s approach.
“Dad, I wasn’t kidding-” he began in a furious whisper, glancing round frantically for prying eyes. He was supposed to be meeting Betty and the rest of the gang here.
“I… I’m sober, Jughead.” The words hung between them as Jughead jolted back in disbelief. He took a moment, now, to really take in the man before him. His skin was pallid and sunken beneath the eyes, dark circles standing out in striking contrast. His hands, Jughead noticed, were shaking. “Almost a week now, for real this time,” FP announced. His tone wasn’t prideful, it was holding something else… hope? Hope that’d he done enough this time to reverse the irreversible. Jughead’s eyes narrowed.
“Really?” he asked sceptically, body stiff with uncertain tension. FP nodded vigorously.
“Yeah. Yes, I swear,” he pleaded. Jughead looked him directly in the eyes, an eerie replica of his own staring back at him, earnest and clear for the first time in years. Jughead felt himself begin to nod slowly.
“Ok. Ok, I believe you. I’ll… come round and see you tomorrow,” he promised, still not making a move to close the distance between them. FP visibly deflated in relief.
“Tomorrow, sure. I’ll see you tomorrow,” he smiled, still small and unsure, before turning to mount his bike, roaring out of the parking lot with renewed hope spreading throughout his chest.
“Here,” FP said, handing Jughead the box. Jughead looked up at him before opening the black velvet lid, smiling at the delicate ring nestled inside. “It was your grandmother’s, she’d want you to have it,” he finished, shrugging awkwardly at the offering.
“She’ll love it,” Jughead murmured, running a finger lightly over the blue sapphire surrounded by clusters of tiny diamonds, set in a gold band. He looked back up at FP with a genuine smile that reached his eyes, nervous excitement beginning to settle in his stomach. FP clapped a hand on his son’s shoulder, looking down at him with pride.
Seven years sober. A little worse for wear but he’d made it because of this boy - this man - stood before him. It had been the furthest road from easy, but he’d endured every shaky step to get him here because he knew this was it, his only chance.
He’d got to be there, in the gym itself, as Jughead took his steps across the stage to collect his diploma, see him look out into the audience for him and not be disappointed to find nothing but an empty seat. He got to be there to help Jughead pack for college, loading his and Betty’s boxes into the beat up old car that he’d salvaged for them as a graduation present, working with Betty in secret to fix it up so it ran smoother than it probably did when it was new.
“He’s gonna love it, Mr Jones,” Betty had giggled excitedly when they got the engine purring just the way they wanted. He laughed at the way she clasped her hands in front of her gleefully as he closed the hood.
“You think?” he asked nervously, dusting dirt off the bumper that wasn’t there.
“Of course! It’s so thoughtful,” she smiled warmly, resting a light hand on FP’s arm. He couldn’t help but smile back at her. He knew why his son was drawn to her, felt so safe with her around. He couldn’t have asked for a better guardian angel for him.
“And you can call me FP, Betty,” he called casually as he moved to clean up their tools. He glanced back at her over his shoulder. “You’re family.”
He was there, once again, when they graduated from college, whooping loudly, much to Jughead’s chagrin, as his son’s name was called. He was there as Jughead announced at dinner that he was going to be a published author. He was there on the day of the launch, posing for photos and making jokes about how he was gonna get a couple of autographed copies because his son was a big shot famous author now, Jughead rolling his eyes while his cheeks flushed. He was there at Betty and Jughead’s housewarming. They’d moved back to Riverdale, Jughead being able to write from anywhere and Betty wanting to be near Polly, taking the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the family paper. FP said a silent prayer in thank you, as he looked around the room of guests, that his son had chosen to come back to him, even after all that had passed.
And he was there now, as Jughead’s voice shook, telling him that he was going to propose to Betty.
“Took you long enough,” he’d quipped, hand reaching out to ruffle the dark mop of hair as Jughead ducked, laughing shyly.
“Oh, this one’s beautiful, Juggie!” Betty had gushed as she poured over wedding magazines while the three of them sat in their living room over coffee - a weekly routine for them now. FP leaned over to catch a glimpse of the image she was pointing to. The wedding was outside, full of white fabric and furniture. Betty was pointing to the ornately carved archway, weaved with white roses, lilies, baby’s breath. Her eyes were shining.
“Well I could make you one of those, help with the cost,” FP said casually, taking a sip of his coffee. Betty turned her glowing green eyes on him immediately, gripping his forearm lightly.
“Really?” she was radiating hope. FP laughed at her enthusiasm.
“Yeah, sure. There’s a lumber yard not too far away, and I can borrow a couple of tools from the construction site. Easy,” he nodded in affirmation.
“Oh, thank you, FP!” she gasped, leaning over to kiss his cheek in gratitude. A shy laugh burst from his lips as he looked down, pink dusting the tops of his cheekbones. Betty flew out of the room to call Polly as FP looked up, catching Jughead’s mouth turned up in amusement. He smiled back contentedly.
“Need a partner?” FP asked, holding his hand out to the bride where she sat, chin resting in her hand as she watched her husband dance with his sister. She smiled gracefully, accepting his offer and floating out onto the dance floor, an ethereal wave of satin and lace.
“Thank you so much, FP,” she said earnestly as they began to sway, reaching up to adjust one of the flowers in her hair.
“Aw, it was nothing, Betty, really,” he replied, casting his eyes to the floor.
“No, it was! You did all this,” she insisted, gesturing to the space around them. He’d gone a little further than just building the archway he’d promised. He’d practically taken it upon himself to build the whole venue. Along with the arch he’d set up strips of white fabric, draped through the trees to create a canopy above their heads, illuminated by rows and rows of soft yellow string lights. Petals covered every inch of the floor, strewn delicately down the isle that was created by the rows of mismatched chairs FP had found in various scrap yards and secondhand stores, all cleaned up and painted white. “It was just how I imagined it, more even.” FP lifted a hand to rub at the back of his neck.
“Yeah, well. I just wanted to make it everything you wanted… that you deserved.” He paused, looking down at her warm smile for a moment before taking a breath to continue. “Betty, I want you to know that, without you, I probably wouldn’t be here right now.” She furrowed her brow, waiting for him to continue. “I’d gotten to a place where Jughead wasn’t willing to help me anymore, where I’d done too much to ever redeem myself. Being with you helped him see that he deserved more than I could give him at that time, that he could be more than just my safety net. When he told me that… I saw everything I was going to miss out on, and that never would have happened if he hadn’t found you. So, I’m gonna spend the rest of my life thanking you, the both of you, in any way I can for what you did for me.” Betty blinked away the tears in her eyes, not bothering to wipe away the stray few that still managed to fall.
“You’re welcome,” she whispered.
He’d been speechless when they told him, knowing there was something different in the air as they sipped their usual morning coffee together.
“A baby?” he’s asked incredulously, hoping beyond hope that he’d heard them right.
“Yeah, Dad. You’re gonna be a grandpa,” Jughead had laughed, his face glowing at he gazed down at his beautiful wife, tucked under his arm with an equally bright expression gracing her face.
Grandpa. Him, a grandpa. That was going to be his new title now. He couldn’t believe it - he’d made it.
“Ugh, thank you so much, FP,” Betty had greeted him with a relieved expression as he bumbled through the door, a paper grocery bag under each arm. “I would have asked Jughead but he’s out all day in the city at this press thing for the new book and I just…” she broke off, gesturing flippantly at her huge swollen belly stretching out before her. He laughed as he set the bags down on the counter, turning to watch her waddle in behind him.
“No problem, Betty. Anything I can do, remember?” he said, eyes taking on a hint of seriousness round the edges. She nodded in understanding, smiling gently. She placed a hand on her back, groaning as she brushed a few stray hairs back from her sweaty forehead.
“Whoever thought being pregnant in the summer was a good idea was seriously- oh!” She flinched, hand flying to her stomach. FP was at her side immediately.
“Betty? Everything alright?” he asked, hovering by her. She nodded slowly, eyes staring at nothing in particular as she focused on the sensations happening inside her body .
“Yeah, I just… FP, would you be able to take me to the hospital, I think I’m about to have this baby,” she said casually, straightening up and placing her hands on her hips. FP’s eye bugged as he took in what she said.
“Now?! How-” he broke off in question.
“Well, I’ve been having contractions all morning but I thought they were just Braxton Hicks or something, and I didn’t want to stop Jug going to this event…” she trailed off sheepishly glancing up at her father-in-law from under her eyelashes. He blew out a chuckle in disbelief, shaking his head slightly.
“You really are something else, Betty Jones.” She just shrugged, blowing out a slow breath as another contraction took over. “Ah, ok, where’s your bag? Ring Jughead, I’ll meet you by the car.” He rushed towards the bedroom, swinging back round the corner to raise an eyebrow at her. “He’s going to kill you for not saying anything, you know.” She waved a hand dismissively, already making her way outside.
“I’m about to push out his child, he doesn’t have the right.”
“Are you sure?” Jughead asked nervously, hands hovering over Juliet where she lay, cradled in her grandpa’s arms. “Maybe it’s too soon, Betts…” he trailed off, turning to look at his wife with anxious eyes. Betty sighed, coming over to place a reassuring hand on his arm, smoothing out the crease between his eyebrows with a cool finger.
“It’ll be fine, Juggie. You’ve got everything covered, right FP?” she asked, turning to face him with a confident smile. FP nodded, never taking his eyes off his granddaughter’s face as he bounced her gently.
“Both your cell numbers are in my phone, bottles in the fridge, spare milk in the freezer, extra diapers in the cupboard under the stairs. We’ll be fine, won’t we, lovebug?” he cooed at the soft bundle in his arms as she snuffled slightly before settling down again. “See?” FP looked up at Jughead with calm eyes. Jughead stared down at him for a beat, battling with his instincts internally before letting out a sigh, nodding his head.
“Ok, yeah. But if you need anything…” he repeated, fixing his dad with a look.
“Just go, already!” FP laughed gently, trying not to disturb the baby. Betty giggled, pulling on Jughead’s arm slightly to get him towards the door. “Have fun!”
FP stared down at Juliet, allowing her tiny hand to wrap round his finger as he spoke softly to her.
“You have the best parents, I hope you know that. They’ve saved me more times than I can count and I’ll never be able to repay them for that. I made some bad decisions, worse than most, but here I am. I get to hold you in my arms because your mom and your dad didn’t give up on me. They were there when I needed it the most.” He sniffed, blinking rapidly. “I got to see it all because of them, and I can’t wait to see it all again with you.”