Anxiety - Archie Andrews x Reader
Part 2 in my Dialogue List challenge!
Word Count: 1048
- 96. “I’m sick of being USELESS.”
- 40. “Those things you said yesterday… Did you mean them?”
- 29. “Again?”
Sitting on Archie’s bed, the night sky black and a guitar on your lap, had become a common occurrence. Your anxiety had been working itself into a frenzy over the past month, with Jason’s murder and the Mrs. Grundy reveal and everything in between from Cheryl “Bombshell” Blossom to the Playbook.
Everything had started weighing on your shoulders to the point where even the ginger “puppy” had started to notice. As music was his coping mechanism, Archie offered to teach you how to play. You hadn’t been able to say no, the excitement in his face at the idea of spreading his passion too much for you to handle.
So that’s how you found yourself, cross-legged on his mattress, tuning his acoustic like he’d shown you a few nights prior. Archie was downstairs, talking with Fred and grabbing some snacks for the both of you to share. Your mind floated away from you for only a moment when suddenly, thwanggg, the A string you’d been tuning snapped, bringing you back to reality.
You looked down at the instrument in your hands and the empty space where the tightly held wire had once been. An uncomfortable, choking feeling clenched the back of your throat. It wouldn’t have been so bad if not for the fact -
Archie’s voice was soft from the doorway, not accusing but still holding a hint of frustration. It only made your throat feel tighter.
“I’m sorry,” the words were breathy as they skittered past your lips. You placed the guitar away from you, scared that you’d damage it further if your fingers were still wrapped around the neck. Instead, you held the end of your long shirt, clenching and unclenching your fists, trying to silently resolve the tension and panic that was starting to set it.
You couldn’t believe that you’d broken a string for the third time. The weight you’d been trying to fight off started to press down on your shoulders again and a feeling, like the air was being sucked from the room settled into your lungs.
God. You couldn’t do anything right.
You couldn’t help Jughead with Jason’s murder, you couldn’t help Veronica with the playbook, or Betty with handling Cheryl, and you couldn’t help Archie when he was still reeling with the whole Grundy situation.
You hadn’t realized that your shoulders had started to shake, or that Archie had moved the guitar and sat down next to you. You felt a large, warm hand on your lower back, grounding you past your thoughts and allowed for your suddenly shallow breath to even out.
“Talk to me, (Y/N), what’s wrong?” The tone of his voice was calming, as though you were some kind of wounded animal, it caused you to stand from the bed, your arms circling around your middle and your head down.
“I’m sick of being USELESS.”
The sound of the bed creaking almost drew your downturned gaze but you continued to stare at the ground.”
“(Y/N)…” he sounded hesitant as he approached, arms going to wrap around your own, pulling your body to his chest and enveloping you in his warmth. You swallowed, the clench in your throat lessening as Archie’s steady pulse thumped against your back and calmed you. “You’re not useless.”
He said it as though there was no room for argument. You opened your mouth regardless, a rebuttal on the tip of your tongue. Even before more self-deprecating words could spill over your lips you were silenced.
“You aren’t. Nothing you say or do could make me think that you are.” He sighed, you could feel the steep exhale against your lower back. “I know that I’m not the best at saying things most of the time, but you, being here, letting me show you how to play, distracting me from my problems, not pushing me away, you’re helping me, you’re not useless because I need you, (Y/N).” Archie’s voice tapered off towards the end as he buried his nose in your hair at the back of your neck and his fingers unconsciously squeezed your sides.
You felt the tension in your body slide away and you relaxed into Archie’s hold.
Archie led you to his bed, releasing you and allowing you to sit. Without words, he flipped his light switch off and shuffled through the darkness back to towards you. Still, cast in silence, Archie slipped in between where you sat and the wall, already in sweat pants since the moment that he’d gotten home.
Placing one of his hands on your forearm, you allowed him to pull you across the covers, your head landing across his chest. This was something that had only started to recently happen and for the most part only when you and him had spent hours pouring over bars and measures of new music.
A layer of drowsy energy swept over you, emotional exhaustion fueling the need for sleep and Archie’s warm torso only pulling your eyes closed further.
“Thank you,“ you whispered before sleep finally pulled you under.
Saturday morning sun poked in through half-drawn curtains and stirred you from your slumber. You felt warm, warmer than you had in a while, anchored by a comfortable and firm weight to a bed that you knew was not your own.
Peeping your eyes open they met honey brown ones. Archie was smiling softly, one of his hands brushing hair behind your ear, the other wrapped around your back, fingers tucked under your waist.
“Morning sunshine,” his tone was soft and his smile drowsy. You returned the little grin with one of your own and curled further into the heat of his torso. Your mind brought you back to the night before, the words that had been spoken and the way that Archie had held you.
You heaved a breath and tucked your chin into Archie’s chest.
“Those things you said yesterday… Did you mean them?” You murmured, the arm around your middle tightened and you felt the whisper of a kiss pressed to the top of your head.
“More than anything.”