Hey everyone, here is a quick little AU oneshot that I did for the Bughead AU project.
It is based on the following prompt:
person A who sits in the back of every staff meeting and makes snarky comments under their breath about everyone the whole time and person B who arrived late and sat next to them and can barely hold in their laughter.
Betty and Jughead are social workers who are stuck in the dreaded weekly team meeting, Jughead can’t help himself but snark and Betty tries to contain her laughter. Also a little flirting.
I will preface this one shot by saying that my day job is as a social worker and I have been in many a team meeting wish you just wish would end so you can get out there and work with your clients, so this fiction is based a little on this. I hope you enjoy.
Where was she. Here he was stuck in yet another snoozefest, about cases, and numbers, and assessments and she was out traipsing around the town, getting to do some actual work. He considered for a moment that maybe she had overslept or called in sick but that wasn’t the Betty Cooper he knew. She was so dedicated to the job it made him worry for her.
He looked at the sheet of paper in front of him, he took the same one to every meeting. It had two columns, ‘Archie Says Something Stupid’ was at the top of one of them and the other had ‘Departmental Bullshit’. Under the first column were 15 little marks. He had attended three team meetings so far this year. This year was turning out to be Archie’s best year yet, he was almost proud of him. Or he would be if it didn’t mean that every stupid question that came out of his mouth resulted in additional time being added to what was already an overlong, unnecessary waste of time in his mind.
“Forsythe.” He looked up immediately at the sound of his name, well not the name he preferred to be called, but he had given up trying to tell Weatherby this. He was pretty sure Weatherby was just using it now because he knew he hated it. “Where’s Cooper?”
“Do I look like her babysitter?” He snarked back.
“She sits next to you.” He had been a little hesitant at first having the new graduate sat next to his desk. A personal experience of the foster system and the constant disappointment of his career had made him somewhat cynical, okay a lot cynical. But that was how you survived in this job. The desk next to him had become almost a tunstile of rotating social workers. Burn out levels were high with the increased pressure to achieve results and if you didn’t learn to get a sense of humour quick you were done for. When she had bounced in all bright eyes and blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail that made her look younger than her years he had commented that she wouldn’t last the week. But she had, then she lasted the month and soon the year. Sure the job had taken its toll, it always did but she refused to let it drag her down. And she laughed at his jokes that always went a long way with him. She knew how to handle herself and the stress that came along inevitably with the job.
“Don’t remind me.” He said in mock frustration. He was sure that Weatherby had put the eager young graduate next to him on purpose, hoping that she would be the thing that finally drove him to the edge and handing in his resignation. Weatherby’s plan soon backfired as he liked to think that he had converted Betty to the dark side.
“This is the third time, tell her there will be consequences the next time I see her.”
“Will do boss.” Jughead gave a mock salute, before returning to his doodles in the corner of his piece of paper. He knew Weatherby was full of empty threats, Betty was too good at her job for him to fire. She would probably get another warning, or she would batt those pretty eyelashes at him and get a reprieve. Either way he wasn’t worried for her.
At that moment Betty entered the small meeting room, she tried to sneak past unnoticed before she knocked into one of the chairs, swearing under her breath on her way to the seat that was empty next to Jughead.
“Cooper, nice of you to join us.” Weatherby addressed her and she turned to face him while continuing to navigate the narrow space between the chairs and the wall.
“Sorry, I got caught up with the Smiths.” Boom, there was the eyelash batting, and he had to stifle a laugh at her predictability.
“I’ll see you after.” Weatherby gave a loud cough as she smiled that thousand watt smile at him and he looked like he was about to choke. He wished he could give a smile to get what he wanted from Weatherby. He was never going to be in his good books. “Right, well now that everyone is finally here. Let’s talk numbers.”
“Did I miss much?” She whispered to Jughead as Weatherby droned on in the background pointing to a series of numbers on the large presentation screen in front of them.
“Just the usual, behind on paperwork, spending too much time in the home, and numbers are down.” He replied quietly while maintaining his best impersonation of Weatherby, which Betty couldn’t help but giggle at.
“What numbers exactly?” She raised her eyebrow in question highly doubting that Jughead had actually taken on much of what had been discussed.
“All the numbers, Betts, every single one of them,” he said as he leaned in closer his face serious and without humour as he lowered his tone. She rolled her eyes at him as she got her notebook out of her bag, placing it open with her pen at the ready to take notes she knew she would never actually look at again.
“So we need to start looking at ways we can maximise efficiencies.” Weatherby continued, with most of the team, beginning to scan the room for anything else of interest.
“We could just stop seeing people all together, you know that would make my job way more efficient.” Jughead chimed in, an eager smile on his face his hands clasped in front of him like an attentive student.
Weatherby gave a loud sigh that echoed through the small room.
“I’m looking for serious suggestions Mr Jones.”
“I am serious. Betty, does this face look serious to you.” He turned to Betty and narrowed his eyes slightly and pursed his lips in his attempt to look serious. Betty tried to hide her smile but could feel it breaking through when he gave a waggle of his eyebrows. For all his joking around Jughead Jones was good at his job. Betty knew that he cared for each one of the families that he was looking after, not that he would ever admit it. Although he would hide it with a joke or sarcastic comment Betty knew it hurt him just as much as any of his colleagues when things didn’t quite work out.
The first time she had put her hand on his shoulder when he slammed his phone down on the receiver after a call, he had looked at her stunned for a moment, before he relented and allowed her to rub shoulder gently through his jacket, sympathy written all over her face. Just as much as he was helping her survive in this job with his humour, she helped him survive with her kindness.
“Anyone else?” Jughead noticed Archie raise his hand, instead of just speaking like they were still at elementary school or something battling each other for approval from the teacher.
Betty turned to Jughead again who already had his pen poised in the Archie column ready to make another mark.
“He’s not doing too bad this year,” she whispered to him as she counted up the marks within the column. It had been Jughead’s way of coping with these meetings, instead of letting out the loud obnoxious groan whenever the redhead raised his arm above his head.
Jughead was half paying attention to her but also to Archie as he made another mark in the column as Archie finished his long winded but unhelpful suggestion. “Well he wasn’t doing too bad.” Betty corrected herself.
The meeting continued in much the same way for the next 20 minutes, Weatherby droning, Jughead making a snarky comment, Betty trying not to snort as she listened and Archie looking over at them confused while mouthing ‘What?’ as he seemed to be missing out on their little private moment within the crowded space.
“Right, that’s all for this week.” Weatherby finished as a collective sigh filled the room and he seemed a little put out at the team’s reaction. Jughead neatly folded his piece of paper and placed it in his jacket pocket ready for when it would be needed next meeting. He got up and waited for Betty to pack up her notebook, with it’s neatly written prose, before giving her space to move past him towards the exit.
“Ladies first,” he said with a flourish of his arm and Betty shook her head as she passed him.
“Betty we need to have a chat.” Betty gave a heavy sigh, closing her eyes, before straightening her posture and moving back towards the centre of the room as Jughead made his way to the exit. He gave a wave as Weatherby closed the door behind him.
“So Ms Cooper, will I be seeing you in the storage cupboard in say 10 mins.” He finished with a slow wink, which Betty responded to by biting her bottom lip as if she was tempted before she gave him a playful slap on the arm. They had fallen into this pattern of flirtation, she played it off as light fun. It was a way to sometimes distract from the work, to earn a little reprieve.
“I told you already Jughead I don’t date co-workers.” He had begging her for a coffee for a months now. When their playful flirting had developed into something more for him and he wanted desperately for her to feel the same way.
“I’m not talking about dating. I’m talking maybe about reliving a certain moment that we had at our staff Christmas party.” Hooking up with Jughead Jones at her first work Christmas party had not been a proud moment for Betty, but she had had maybe a little bit too much to drink and he was there with his dress shirt, the top buttons undone and his ties loose around his neck. She had been wondering what it would feel like to run her hands through his hair, and as he sauntered up to her it had been waving back and forth in front of his eyes. He said something to her in that low tone of his, before roughly pushing his hair back from his face and she was grabbing a hold of his tie and practically dragging him to the first cupboard away from prying eyes that she could find. He had given her a knowing smile the next Monday at work and she had blushed furiously.
“Sorry Juggie,” She had sworn that it was going to be strictly professional from that moment and she had told him so. But soon enough she found herself falling back into old patterns and throwing coy looks his way in response to his gentle flirting. “I have a client visit, guess you are going to have to relive that moment all on your own.” She said before turning on her heel and heading towards the lift.
“A raincheck then?” he shouted across the room as she continued towards the exit. She threw up her hand waving to him, as he made his way back to his desk. Yes, he was definitely falling for one Betty Cooper.