Crowns - Part 1
AU: Betty & Jughead as a royal princess and prince in rival kingdoms…. (prompt from @betty-and-jughead)
Part of this story was inspired by @bughead4days story of Princess Betty and Peasant Jug so check that out ;)
I edited it myself so there’s probably mistakes.
“Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.”
–Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet; Prologue)
She looked out of her balcony to admire the scenery. The trees parted perfectly in the centre, the flowers and hedges cut precisely to create topiaries. Her favourite was the one in the shape of a dragon, it gave her nostalgia whenever she gazed upon it. Running around with her sister, pretending to fight the leaves with a sword and shield made of nothing but her imagination. The tulips and white roses bordered the greenery, not one flower was out of place. She was sixteen now and every day she leaned on the white marble railing to watch the sun disappear over the garden. It was breathe-taking. How could something so beautiful belong to something so demonic.
Being royalty was as fun as a little girl could fantasize. The glitz and glamour was a major impact. The floor length gowns and the golden tiaras with diamonds, everything she could dream of at her fingertips.
She was nothing more than a puppet.
People seemed to pull her strings, making decisions for her, saying what she needed to say.
All her life, she always wanted a day where she could let go of everything. No lunches with dukes. No one telling her she needed to be skinnier or smarter. No more being perfect. The thought occurred on a regular basis. Maybe she could run away, make the kingdom forget she existed. Change her name and run off to a country where no one cared about her existence, where she’d be invisible. Run far, far away.
She just wanted to be free. She needed an escape.
A sigh escaped her lips, her back now leaning against the railing before sitting on the icy, tiled ground. She could only imagine escaping. She had a duty. Duty means doing the things your heart might regret.
Her eyes lingered to the castle over the hill. There, lived their rival. The Jones kingdom. Centuries passed and they couldn’t get over their ancestor’s vendetta. Great Charles Cooper had rumoured to have killed Sir Augustus Jones. No one dared to speak about it. Many wars were started because of the furious relatives.
She would keep her mouth shut when it came to this discussion. Because that’s who the princess was. A polite, pristine, perfect person. Instead she’d plaster on a fake smile, nod and sit still. She had her own opinions but she had to keep her mind set. She was her kingdom’s next heir. Their next hope.
The Jones heir. Forsythe Pendleton Jones the Third was set to rule the rival kingdom after his tragic mother’s death. He was the same age as Betty, slightly older by a few months but he acted like an ‘asshole.’ Betty regarded him as an egotistic, boastful know-it-all who waved his money in front of everyone’s faces. He was rich and no one could stop him. The citizens praised the land he stood on but she never got to meet him in person. The Coopers did whatever they could to separate themselves from the filthy Jones family.
But Betty couldn’t help her mind question if that was opinion or rumoured fact.
“Madam Elizabeth? Your carriage awaits,” a maid spoke from the outside the door to her room.
She fell out of her haze, she picked herself off the floor and back into her bedroom. She opened the door to her intricate interior, she stuck her head out. “I’ll be there in a second.”
Walked down the flights of stairs, she was greeted with her mother, Queen Alice Cooper. Dressed in a white formal gown, trailing metres behind her with elegance. Her husband, King Hal had their arms linked. They watched in awe as their daughter took a step on each red velvet step.
“You look beautiful Elizabeth,” Alice laid her hand on Betty’s shoulder. She was wearing a pink gown with lace covering her arms. Her hair was half up, half down and her make-up was simple. A small tiara was on her head. “But… stop slouching, princes don’t like it when you slouch.” There was always an imperfection.
It was clear to see who gave more attention and love to their daughter.
“Sorry Mother,” she whispered, giving her hand to her father.
His face gloomed with pride, “my two beautiful princesses.”
He walked them both into the Cinderella like carriage. Betty sitting beside her father with her mother at the front, waving to passing civilians.
“Father,” Betty almost whispered too quietly for Hal to hear.
“Would mom ever care as much as you do about me?” she blatantly said. There was no way of sugar coating the question.
He gave a sad smile, “she might not show it but she cares a lot about you Elizabeth. She just… has a hard way of showing it. Your mother has a lot going on at once and she can’t pay as much attention to how precious you are right now.”
She just slowly turned her head. Half of her thought he was telling the truth. That she did care for her and her actions. How one day she’d rule the kingdom. But the other half knew he was lying.
They finally approached the white bricked castle. The columns reflected the moon’s light which illuminated the front yard.
A small man approached them, holding the door open for them Queen Alice stepped out to the adoring crowd. Many citizens cheered, clapping their hands in appreciation but there were occasional boos which Alice didn’t seem to be affected by. Her mother’s words bounced within Betty’s head, “keep your head held high so people don’t see how weak you can be.”
With her father in hand, Betty walked down the flat gravel. Her heels dug into the ground almost causing her to fall over. The people stared in astonishment. She could whispers coming from the crowd.
“The princess looks beautiful…”
“The princess is perfect.”
“Elizabeth Cooper is so graceful.”
And all she could think was, “they’re all wrong.”
A toddler, the height of most people’s knees stood in shock, his hands reaching out for her skirt and grabbing it, causing the princess to fall on her side, landing straight on her arm.
Everyone gasped, the shouts emerged and Betty got herself up. The guards stood in front of the poor kid, hitting the child with intimidating stares before the mother hugged her child crying.
“Please, don’t hurt him.”
Betty groaned from the pain, a purple bruise on the tops of her arm. The mother’s cries got louder, the guards almost beating her senseless. “STOP,” Betty mustered her loudest voice before the crowd turned silent.
All eyes were on her. “Stop, he’s only a kid. He didn’t mean to harm me.”
“But your highness,” the guard interrupted.
“You follow the orders of the king,” Hal forced his presence on them. He grabbed Betty by the shoulder and gave a reassuring squeeze. “Stop hurting the poor woman and child.”
The guards stepped away, leaving a shaken woman and her toddler, shivering in silence. The little boy burst into tears, his tears streaming down his face. The woman got back on her feet, “thank you,” she curtsied, keeping her head down.
Hal kept walking behind Alice who acted like it never happened. But Betty wasn’t down.
She crouched down in front of the boy and gave him a warm hug, planting a kiss on his small cheek. “You have such a precious child. I’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Betty lifted her head up the crying woman. She couldn’t muster a response and just smiled happily, wiping her ugly sobs away.
Betty ran after her parents, finally walking through the marble doors and into the oversized ballroom. It was filled with royals. Some Betty knew, there was Archibald of the Shermer kingdom with his rumoured future bride-to-be and Betty’s best friend Veronica, princess of Lexon and of course, Kevin of Moreilli and the one hosting the party, Cheryl, duchess of DeCarlo.
“Betty! Oh, how wonderful it is to see you again,” Cheryl hugged her, kissing both cheeks before releasing.
“The pleasure is mine,” Betty replied before a squealing Veronica was in her direction.
“Elizabeth Cooper, we finally meet again,” Veronica swayed in an over dramatic posh accent. All three of them laughed, sitting down at the nearby table.
“I adore what you’ve done to the room Cheryl. It makes the room come alive in a scene,” Betty complimented.
“That was the plan. We must welcome royalty with the very best,” Cheryl grabbed her hand and wrapped it in hers, “Betty go tell us everything that’s happened so far. We haven’t seen each other since the last party.”
“I shall… after I get some food. I’m honestly starving,” Betty teased getting out of her chair to go to the buffet table.
There was a variety of food choices. From cracker platters to cakes, they had it all. She couldn’t simply choose just one.
She might act royal in front of a crowd but when it came to food, her façade disappeared. Grabbing a plate, she cut one slice of cake and stacked it onto her plate.
“You know you can have more than one slice of cake,” she heard a gentle voice coming from next to her.
She looked up to see a pair of crystal blue eyes. Amazing. His shaggy brown hair was styled accordingly, his beauty marks seemed to align on his cheek. It was almost like constellations. His unforgettable smile was permanently burnt into her brain. He was beautiful and he gazed lingered on for a bit too long. His voice was soothing, his electric pull was irresistible and his entire structure was, dare she say, perfect.
“I’m,” she muttered out before feeling her cheeks turn red.
“I saw you outside with that poor boy. Some guards are so cautious,” he tried making her laugh but she only grew more red. “I believe we’ve never met,” he stuck his hand out. “Forsythe Jones,” he lightly kissed her hand. An electric shock went down her spine and he seemed to notice it too.
She finally woke up from her daydream. Forsythe Jones, her soul enemy. Her stomach was doing flips; her head was spinning endlessly. “I… I need to go.”
“Wait,” he gripped her the hand before she got any further, “who are you?”
“I’m trouble, especially for you,” she tried revealing as little information as possible.
He shook his head before smiling that damn smile again. “I don’t believe that’s so.”
She could’ve fallen into his arms right then and there. She had never experience a feeling like this towards anyone. Everything around her was blurry expect him. But it couldn’t be. They were born into this position. Their fate was sealed. Their fate was to be sworn rivals. So why was her stomach still filled with butterflies?
“Elizabeth!” Cheryl and Veronica’s voice was louder than her racing heartbeat. She spun around to see the two staring at her, with confusing on their face.
He looked at her with uncertainty. He mouthed the words, “Elizabeth Cooper,” before Betty broke their connection. Her hand moving further and further away from his.
“Why did it have to be Elizabeth. God. Damn. Cooper?” Jughead muttered.