woodpanneling

Make it Alone part 4

She was humming something soft and sweet as her hands made quick work of the fruit in front her.

“I love fruit salad, don’t you?” She had asked earlier, as they settled in her spacious kitchen, woodpanneled walls lining the perimeter and the largest refrigerator he had ever seen displayed right in the center.

“Never had it.” Jughead admitted casually, turning quickly when he heard the bag of hot dog buns hit the floor with a subtle thud, Betty stood before him clearly shocked, her mouth was wide open and her eyes scanned his face for some kind of lie.

“Just wasn’t my kind of childhood I guess.” He spoke nonchalantly but the familiar ache of his past reared its head. How many nights had he stayed up starving and nearly begging for any kind of fresh food? He could remember vividly children’s lunch boxes packed to the brim with fresh fruit and homemade sandwhiches made with nonstale bread, he was always an envious child , perhaps it had something to do with his own lunch of saltine crackers and ketchup packets from any fast food place.

Betty had whipped around quickly and begun dropping bag after bag of fresh fruit on the table, the dark haired boys eyes widening at the selection.

“Well you may not have had a fruit salad past but you’re sure to have a fruit salad future.” She didn’t look up, simply began chopping and tossing fruits into a bowl. “With whatever’s left over we can make sangria.”

Jughead stared at the scene before him with a hesitant smile on his lips, this was… normal. It was all so comfortable and he wasn’t sure how to react to that.

Betty looked up at him now, her soft smile instantly putting his mind at ease. “I’m going to invite Kevin over I think, if that’s okay with you. He’s my best friend and he’s absolutely obsessed with barbecue, unfortunately neither of us can barbecue so you’re kind of a treat.”

Jughead scratched the back of his neck nervously, people hated him, scratch that, everyone hated him.

“He’s great and he knows all about you. He’s been judged far too harshly to ever place that kind of treatment on anyone.” She explained, reading his mind.

Jughead nodded, if Betty trusted him so could he. He was slicing tomatoes a few feet away from her when he felt her slide closer, bringing her fruit with her.

“Maybe you don’t want to talk about this, and thats okay but I was just wondering… was prison as awful as it looks.” Her eyes were searching his and he found he couldn’t lie to her even if he wanted too.

“Yeah. It was awful. It was scary and lonely but the worst part was….” he paused and took a shuddery breath Betty’s tiny warm hands pressed down on his shoulder as she rubbed soothing circles over his T shirt, he placed his hand over hers and continued “ the worst part was knowing that if or when I got out… my world was so much scarier on the outside.”

Betty nodded, her eyes held such understanding he was taken aback

“My fiancé cheated on me with my best friend for four years and when she got pregnant he left me for her, I wanted a baby so desperately. I tried everything and it just wasn’t working and then to see her sitting there on MY couch with MY fiancé and a baby in her belly that was supposed to be MINE? I know it’s not the same but… I get what it’s like to be living in a world that’s awful but staying there just because you know it could be worse.” With watery eyes Betty turned back to the cutting board and sawed at a watermelon.

Without a second thought Jughead was gripping her hand over the knife, gently prying it from her hands as he wrapped his arms around her from behind, completely enveloping her in his embrace. It felt good to carry some of her pain, he felt like he was worth more than his own baggage.

“I’m sorry” she whispered “you came here to have a good time and here I am unloading on you like some weepy gypsy.” Jughead shook his head turning her bidybsonit was pressed against his chest

“Anytime with you is a good time Betty Cooper.” He smiled into her hair, inhaling the peaches and cream of her shampoo.

She pulled away with a giggle
“Well it is your first time hanging out with me, who says you won’t get bored of me?” She raised a challenging brow and jughead flexed his hands on her hips, tightening his hold.

“Never.” He whispered, his lips a breath away from hers, Betty’s eyes closed slowly as she leaned forward, just as their lips were about to meet Betty’s front door swung open

“Parties here! And I brought pie sooooo essentially I’m the best guest you got.” Kevin walked into the kitchen, his boyfriend Joaquin trailing behind him , an adoring smile on his lips.

Jughead and Betty jumped apart, flinging themselves to seperate sides of the room.

Josie walked in next, her pussycats following
“I heard their was a block party and a welcome to the neighborhood party. You know I’ll be here.” She grinned at Betty, kissing her in the cheek and placing a bottle of wine beside her

“You must be Jughead Jones, welcome to riverdale!” She seemed genuine enough and Jughead nodded his thanks.

A bulky boy walked in next, he was fairly built and had two cases of beer under each arm

“I heard there would be meat so you know I’m here. What’s up man and welcome to the family, Reggie Mantle.”

Jughead was stunned silent at the hospitality

Kevin snorted
“I didn’t take you for a meat chaser Reg, but I guess there’s a lot you find out about a guy at a backyard barbecue.”

Reggie chased Kevin outside as Joaquin rolled his eyes and went to stand by the pussycats who were calling someone named Dilton?

Betty came to stand beside him

“I’m sorry, i should have known, Kevin is such a blabber mouth. I can send them all home.” Betty took a step forward but Jughead halted her movements

“No, I think… I think it could be good.” He cleared his throat

New beginnings, a fresh start, it was about time.