Do you wanna be a Serpent?
She was beautiful. The kind of beautiful you have to look twice at just to make sure it’s real, the kind of beautiful you see plastered in teen magazines. But she was also the kind of beautiful that was kept hidden away, locked up behind ponytails and pastels.
She had absolutely no idea how beautiful she was and it was clear in the way she looked down while she walked, the way her shoulders would slump every time she was around another girl, the way her nose would scrunch up when her raven haired best friend would tell her she looked pretty.
But she was beautiful, there was no denying it. Everyone could see it, especially heir to the Serpent throne, Jughead Jones.
It had been three weeks since Southside High had merged with Riverdale High and the divide was still as clear as ever, the scantily clad Southsiders had taken over half of the cafeteria while the townies kept ground outside by the picnic benches. Some NorthSiders however, chose to stay in the middle, constantly floating between acceptance and the uncomfortable twist of the unknown. Betty Cooper and her group of friends were definitely part of that floating section.
He had been taken with her right away, from her perfectly tightened ponytail to the sunshine yellow cardigan she had been wearing when she welcomed them to Riverdale High, a smile so big he was afraid her cheeks might split. Everything about her screamed fake, she was too put together, too perfect, but.. she wasn’t, she wasn’t fake at all, she genuinely accepted the Southside, she wanted to help, make it better. After only a few minutes he could tell that there was so much more to the cheerleader in front of him then Prom committee and ribbons in her hair.
He thought about her, her tiny shoulders wrapped in his leather jacket, her arms wrapped around his waist as she rode onthe back of his motorcycle. She could be the serpent queen, no one would disrespect her, not if they knew what was good for them. He had imagined it so clearly, it was in his head now, always there and burned into his thoughts.
He shared nearly every class with her and she was by far the brightest student he had ever seen, determined, ambitious, dedicated. And she was handy, he had seen the way she worked in shop class, hands buried deep in the engine of some beat up camaro as her partner Reggie handed her parts and peered over her shoulder. She was an anomaly, a challenge in the sense that he never knew what to expect, and he loved it, thrived on it. Maybe it was creepy, strange that he was constantly watching her, observing, but that wasn’t going to make him stop. He wasn’t bothering her, he never planned on saying a word to her, blissful ignorance, but that didn’t last very long at all.
He had been minding his own business, trying to figure out how to open the high tech locker that wasn’t busted and didn’t have a collection of safety pins as it’s lock when he saw it. Saw her… saw him.
Malachi, Leader of the ghoulies, leaning up against the locker next to none other than Betty Cooper, the longer haired boy leering at the beautiful blonde in her tiny cheerleading uniform. She was looking up at him under her eyelashes as the leopard wearing boy grinned. Jughead was there in seconds flat standing just a few lockers away.
“I figure you’d like a taste of the wild side, I could give you a ride. You like taking rides?” His eyes trailed up and down her body as she took a step back.
“No, no I don’t. Thank you for the offer though.” She went to walk away but was stopped by his hand on her arm, a collection of expensive rings digging into the soft skin of her forearm.
Jughead slammed his hand on the locker behind him causing both the students to snap their attention towards the beanie wearing boy making his way towards them.
“She said no.” He growled, gently pushing Betty behind him as he stood between the two, his eyes locked on his rivals, an intense stare down taking place.
“She ain’t your bitch to speak for.” Malachi smirked, his fists clenched.
Jughead opened his mouth to speak but was quickly cut off when the tiny blonde shoved him aside
“excuse me? Did you just call me a bitch? Have you lost your mind?! In what planet does that work? Have you ever gotten a respectable partner by calling them a bitch? You’re a disgrace, a disappointment to the entire male race. I don’t know what school you think you’re in but this is Riverdale High, this is my school and if you call me a bitch again I will send a swarm of angry football players and hormonal cheerleaders right in your direction. Learn how to speak to humans before trying to strike up a conversation.” Betty flipped her ponytail, grabbing a shocked and grinning Jughead by the hand and tugging him down the hallway, she turned around one final time “and by the way? I would much rather be a Serpents girl than a Ghoulies girl, what kind of a gang name is that?”
Jughead held it in as long as possible finally releasing the laugh he had been holding in when Betty locked the door to some small office with old computers and books strewn everywhere. He gripped the corner of a desk as tears gathered in the corner of his eyes
“A disgrace to the male population” he choked out over a laugh, his eyes finding Betty as she smiled proudly from her space perched against her work desk.
“Well it’s true! He’s a pompous ass and we already have enough of those in Riverdale.” She defended, waiting for his laughter to die down. After a few seconds Jughead straightened himself out, the smile still a ghost on his lips
“I’m Jughead Jones and that was impressive, I’ve never seen a girl talk to Malachi like that, I actually don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl turn down Malachi.” The leather clad teen stuck his hand out, jumping back a bit when her soft palm connecting with his rough calloused one sent jolts down his spine.
“I’m Betty Cooper and I’m not afraid of him. Besides he’s not quite my type.” By the way she was staring down at their joined Jughead could tell she must have felt the electricity too.
“Good. You don’t have to be.” He continued “I’m not letting him near you again, that guys a creep.”
“Is this some Serpent versus Ghoulie thing? Are you trying to see how many north side girls you can get on your side?” The cheerleader teased, a hint of sincerity in her tone.
It was quiet for a few seconds before Jughead spoke
“Nah, not Northside girls. Just one girl.” His eyes found hers and for a moment blue met green and the clash of colors seemed to blend so perfectly.
A knock on the door broke them out of their moment, it was a redheaded boy who was waving his hand at Betty.
“That’s Archie.” She giggled “I’m fixing his car for the third time this week and he has a hot date with Veronica tonight, I shouldn’t keep him waiting, he’s insufferable when he’s impatient.” She rolled her eyes playfully, her hand was on the door handle when Jughead spoke
“You meant what you said about rather being a Serpents girl?” He questioned boldly, his eyes locking on hers, it wasn’t a question it seemed to be a…….
Betty grinned, dimples poking through her cheeks