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i won't say (i'm in love)

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It’s a Friday night in Riverdale, at a party hosted by Cheryl Blossom in celebration of the Bulldogs’ latest win, when Betty Cooper’s life takes a turn that she never quite expected.

From the day Jason Blossom went missing, it was certain that the new school year was fated to mark a significant moment in time for Betty and her classmates. Paths would change course and nothing would ever be the same for many of Riverdale’s residents.

For Betty, her own path was rewritten the moment a black business car crossed the borders into Riverdale, carrying in it a girl who would change everything. She wouldn’t notice the change, not for a very long time. In her constant panic to stick to the path laid out for her, dear Betty had no idea of the love story sneaking up on her.

Not the tale of a ginger-haired boy, sweeping her off her feet towards a happily ever after.

But in fact of the girl next door, too caught up in the world around her, to notice the Raven-haired girl who would do anything for her.

This is the story of all the times Betty Cooper didn’t see what was right in front of her. And the one time she finally did.


Betty’s not even sure why she’s at Cheryl’s in the first place. Well she does know. It’s because Archie asked her to come, in some effort to mend the distance that’s grown between them lately. And Betty, it seems, has no sense of self-respect these days. All it takes is one puppy-like look from Archie and she’s agreeing to whatever he’s asking of her.

It’s been a few weeks since the prom incident, and Betty’s come to accept that the idea she dreamt up of her and Archie being together is unrealistic, and she’s even befriended Veronica despite what happened in the closet. She’s visited Pop’s and smiled and laughed when expected of her, and to everyone else, everything is just perfectly fine.

And boy does Betty want so badly for that to be accurate. But for some reason, it’s just… not.

And now even Pop’s feels like another place Betty’s stuck trying to please people despite how utterly lost she feels in the process.

She’s spent so much of her life modeling herself after the image of perfection that her mother’s ingrained into her, that Betty’s no longer sure where the act ends and the real ‘Betty’ begins; what is genuine or what is simply the product of her incessant need to meet everyone’s expectations.

It’s such a typical teenager cliché.

Hell, she doesn’t even know if the way she dresses is something she genuinely enjoys or just all that she knows. And then there’s Archie.

Betty’s spent so long in this bubble, looking at Archie as her shining knight, that at some point he stopped being Archie and was just a list of romanticized ideas that Betty had made herself see in him.

It’s what made the most sense. Falling for her childhood best friend and living happily ever after.

It seemed like the most natural progression.

But apparently even Archie is ten steps ahead of her in the realization that he doesn’t want to be another victim to suburban mediocrity.

“You are so perfect. I’ve never been good enough for you.”

She knows Archie meant it. That he believes exactly that.

It’s almost ironic that he did say it, seeing as Betty’s spent the majority of her life feeling like she’s never quite good enough for anyone. She’d laugh at that fact if it didn’t just make her want to scream.

Because even Archie, the boy who’s supposed to know her better than anyone, is completely and utterly fooled by the whole act. So completely unaware of just how close Betty is to crumbling any second.

“I’ve missed this.” Archie says, the pair sitting on the steps of Cheryl’s patio as the party continues on around them, “Us, just hanging out.”

Betty gives Archie her best attempt at a smile, hand gripping the cup of beer in her hand tight, “Me too.”

She’s not lying. Betty does miss hanging out with Archie. But tonight? This hasn’t been anything like ‘old times’.

Despite his promise for the night to be about them, Archie’s been preoccupied the whole night, checking his phone every other minute and making things more awkward than they need to be every time Veronica nears them.

“I really am sorry, Betty.” Archie says, “If I could change things -”

“Arch- please.” Betty sighs, offering him a half-hearted smile, “Can we stop talking about it?”

She still doesn’t know exactly what happened in the closet between Archie and Veronica, but the guilt that the pair have been carrying around since then tells Betty all she really needs to know.

Archie looks relieved at that, nodding, “Whatever you want, Betty.”

Silence falls over them, and Betty’s eyes follow the various figures wandering about the back lawn of Cheryl’s home, eventually finding Veronica surrounded by the usual group of admirers that seem to flock to her at these events. Boys and girls alike, it seems the charm of Veronica Lodge does not discriminate.

As usual, she’s wearing that confident smirk, no doubt loving the attention aimed her way. Betty wishes she could hate her. But for some reason, when she looks at Veronica, even basic dislike feels impossible.

“You and Veronica have gotten close.” Archie says, following Betty’s gaze.

“I guess.”

“She really cares about you.”

Betty sighs, tilting her head and continuing to watch Veronica.

He’s not wrong.

When Veronica had first shown interest in her, Betty had questioned just how sincere it was. But it’s become obvious lately that for some odd reason, Veronica does genuinely care about her. She’s not sure many other people would have stuck by her like Veronica has after witnessing her breakdown with Chuck the previous week.

Betty doesn’t really understand why Veronica continues to stick around, but she’s not about to question it. If she’s being honest, she’s just as thankful for their friendship as Veronica seems to be.

It’s nice knowing that even though things with Archie might be crumbling, her friendship with Veronica only seems to be growing stronger every day.

“So… are you still thinking of getting the school paper back up and running?”

Betty perks up at the question, nodding, “Yeah, I think so.” She says, “It’ll be another thing to add to my college applications. And I’ll get to write more without feeling like I’m putting off schoolwork.”

Archie nods, smiling kindly back at her, “That’s really great, Betty.” He says, “What’re you gonna write about?”

Betty shrugs, resting her chin in her hands, “I don’t know. I was thinking about looking more into the Jason situation, but I don’t know if Weatherbee would go for it. Might cause some…”

Betty trails off as she notices she’s lost Archie, the boy having retrieved his phone and looking at a new text.

“Arch?” Betty prods.

“Huh? Oh- sorry.” Archie looks up at her guiltily, “What were you saying?”

Archie pockets the phone, but not before Betty has already caught the flirty text on the screen from someone simply named ‘G’.

“… nothing.” Betty sighs, “Don’t worry.”

“Okay.” Archie accepts easily, “That- uh… that was actually my dad. He’s pissed that I’ve been out so much; wants me home now.” He looks to Betty apologetically, “Sorry, Betty. Do you want a lift home, though?”

Betty tries to hide her annoyance over how easily the lie just slipped off of Archie’s tongue, biting the inside of her cheek to hold back a snarky remark.

“No.” she settles on, offering Archie a stiff smile, “It’s okay. I’ll stay here.”

“Are you sure?”

Betty nods, and Archie lets out a sigh of relief, completely oblivious to the contradicting expression of disappointment written on Betty’s features.

“Thanks, Bets.” He grins, already getting up from the steps, “You’re the best.”

Betty just nods again, fighting back the urge to scream back at her best friend and let him know how not okay all of this actually is.

But she doesn’t; and instead she just sighs, hands balling into fists on her knees and nails digging into her palms, willing frustrated tears away.


Betty's not sure why she lingers at the party after Archie leaves. Maybe out of some need to just do what people don’t expect of her and actually let go for once.

It’s probably that same need that finds her sitting at a bench opposite Reggie Mantle.

She’s never had much contact with the boy, outside of his catcalls in the hallway every now and then.

But he’s nice enough.

A bit of a jerk, sure. But he doesn’t ask too many questions, and the mindless, if mildly flirtatious conversation is something Betty’s more than grateful for.

He’s smoking, and Betty’s spent the past few minutes just eyeing the cigarette between his fingers. It’s not even that she wants to smoke it. It’s just tempting, to shatter that picture perfect illusion of Betty Cooper for one moment and do something that no one would expect of her.

Reggie catches her stare, but reads it completely wrong, “Yeah, yeah, I know.” He drawls, “I’m gonna die before I’m thirty or some shit, yeah? Save me the speech.”

“What? No, I wasn’t…” Betty pauses, “Just… can I have one?”

Reggie’s eyes widen in surprise, looking down to his cigarette and then back to Betty, “You wanna smoke?”

Betty nods, and a wicked grin traces his lips.

“Well, that’s a surprise.” He laughs, “Okay, princess. If you’re sure.”

Reggie retrieves a cigarette, passing it over to Betty and lighting it for her as she takes a drag. Her throat immediately protests at the smoke filling her lungs, and her eyes water as coughs splutter out of her.

Reggie just laughs loudly, “Try again, Cooper.” He coaxes, “Take it a bit easier. You’ll get the hang of it.”

Betty waits for her coughs to subside before having another attempt, this time managing to fight off a cough and take the smoke in properly. It tastes just as gross as it smells, but it comes with a sense of relief. Like a little bit of the weight of the expectations surrounding her has been lifted. She watches the smoke drift into the night air as she exhales, the lingering soreness in her throat almost therapeutic.

“There you go.” Reggie grins, “Who would’ve thought? Saint Betty having a smoke. Archie’s gonna kill me when he finds out.”

“Shut up, Reggie.” Betty rolls her eyes.

“You know if you wanna try anything else new tonight…” Reggie winks playfully at her, “I’m your man.”

Betty stares at him, disgust painting her features, “You’re a pig.”

“Now that’s not-”

“And what do we have here?”

Betty’s eyes widen at Veronica’s voice, and she turns slightly to find the girl right behind her, looking anything but impressed as she glares at Reggie.

“Veronica! Was wonderin’ when you’d come retrieve your BFF.” Reggie taunts, grinning at her, “Wanna join us?”

Veronica eyes him, arms crossed and looking repulsed by the offer alone, “No, Reggie. I don’t.”

“Aw come on. I thought you and Betty did everything together these days. If she’s letting loose, you can too.”

Veronica glances to Betty for a moment, eyes narrowing and making Betty feel ten times smaller under her disapproving gaze. She looks back to Reggie, tilting her head, “Reggie, don’t you have a whole football team you can torture with your presence? Go bother them.”

Reggie scoffs, “Real nice.” He grumbles, rising from the bench and moving past Veronica, “I got better things to do, anyway.”

Betty almost calls after him and begs him to come back, frankly terrified at the look Veronica is sending her as she comes to sit on the other side of the bench. But alas, Reggie retreats back to the party like he’s a little scared of Veronica himself.

“Smoking, Betty?” Veronica starts, “I know teen rebellion is tempting and all, but you could at least choose a habit that won’t have you coughing up a lung before you even start graying.”

“It’s one cigarette, V. I’m not going to die.” Betty argues weakly, face burning with embarrassment, “Why do you care, anyway?”

“I care, because I’m your friend. And as your friend it’s my duty to tell you how horribly outdated it is to think you’ll find an answer to your issues in that dirty death stick between your fingers.” Veronica nods to the cigarette expectantly, “Put it out.” She demands.

Betty looks at Veronica disbelievingly, “You can’t just order me around like that.”

“Yes I can.” Veronica says, “Put it out.”

Betty glares at her friend, but squashes the butt of the cigarette against the bench anyway.

Veronica nods in satisfaction, “Where’s Archie, anyway? Shouldn’t he be with you?”

“He left. Some girl texted him.” Betty watches Veronica’s expression closely for any sign jealousy, but she comes up empty. Instead, the girl just looks even less impressed with her.

“So you’re sulking?”

“No.”

Veronica clearly doesn’t believe it, but Betty doesn’t back down under the girl’s probing stare, looking right back into those dark eyes and hoping she manages to look even half as uncompromising as Veronica does right now.

To her surprise, Veronica actually does give in this time, instead letting out a heavy sigh.

“Oh, Betty.” She says, “What are we going to do with you?”

Betty just shrugs, “I’m not your responsibility.”

“Well seeing as you’re clearly not looking out for yourself, someone has to do it.”

“You’re so dramatic. I’m fine.”

“Smoking and flirting with Reggie Mantle does not scream ‘fine’.”

Betty scoffs, “Are you sure you should be lecturing me about my behaviour at a party?” she says, glaring at Veronica, “Don’t you think that’s kinda hypocritical, considering prom?”

Veronica pauses, shifting in her seat, “Okay, touché.” She says stiffly, tucking her hair behind her ear and composing herself, “I guess I deserve that.”

Betty’s eyes narrow, and she lets out a laugh, shaking her head in disbelief.

“What?”

“Nothing.” Betty shrugs, “It’s just, aren’t you supposed to have a bit more bite? It’s hard to believe the girl sitting across from me is the same one who supposedly ran the New York social scene through fear.”

Veronica’s jaw tightens, “I can be that girl, if you want.” She says, “Be careful what you wish for, Betty.”

“Why hold back, though?” Betty pushes, “Why are you so nice to me all the time? Why do you care? We’ve barely been friends for over a month.”

Betty knows she’s being an ass, egging Veronica on for no reason. But she can’t seem to stop herself; needing to lash out at someone.

Figures, she’d pick the only person who actually seems to care about her lately.

“I know what you’re doing, Betty.” Veronica says, sounding bored, “I won’t be your punching bag.”

“Come on. I’m sure you’ve been holding back plenty of things to say to me.”

“Actually, no. Despite what you might think, B, I do actually care about you. That’s all it is.” Veronica quips, making Betty immediately feel guilty with one, pitiful stare, “No evil plan. I just like being around you. Although you’re making it quite difficult, right now.”

Betty groans, head falling into her hands, “I’m sorry. I’m being horrible.”

Veronica laughs, “Disagreeable? Yes. Horrible? Not quite.” She smiles softly when Betty looks back up at her, “The bitchy thing isn’t your style, honey. Stick to what you know.”

“I should probably go home.” Betty sighs, “Save myself from further embarrassment.”

“Well, this party has officially entered ‘bore’ territory.” Veronica reasons, “What’s say we get out of here together? Get some food from Pop’s and watch a dumb movie back at mine?”

“My mom’s expecting me home.”

“It’s a Friday night. Text her and tell her you’ll be staying at mine.”

“She’ll love that.” Betty laughs softly, “You know what she thinks of us being friends.”

“If you stuck to Mother Cooper’s rules all the time you would never even leave your bedroom.” Veronica drawls, “Now, are you going to fight me on everything, tonight? Or are you going to come home with me and stop feeling sorry for yourself?”

Betty smiles despite herself, “Okay, fine. We’ll go to yours.” She concedes, “But you’re buying my burger.”

The expression on Veronica’s face at her victory is one of almost childish glee, and she holds her hand out for Betty as she rises from the bench, “I’d be a terrible date if I didn’t.”


For a night that started fairly crumby, Betty’s surprised by how good of a time she’s ended up having.

It’s not that they’re even doing anything special. Just stuffing their faces with food and watching movies in Veronica’s bedroom. But Betty’s starting to discover that when Veronica’s involved, keeping up a foul mood is usually a difficult task.

They’re onto the second movie of the night, which is a horror, upon Betty’s request to not be reminded of how terrible the current state of her own love life is. Veronica’s less than enthused by the story playing out onscreen, complaining about how ridiculous the whole genre is in an attempt to mask the blatant fear on her features.

But it only manages to make the whole experience more amusing for Betty, never having picked Veronica as someone who can’t stand a simple horror flick.

“Honestly, Betty. What do you get out of watching these movies?” Veronica complains as the next teen of choice gets murdered onscreen, “It’s positively abhorrent.”

Betty snorts, “It’s called fun, Ronnie.”

“Well I’m glad you’re enjoying it.” Veronica grumbles, “It’s not even scary.”

“Tell that to the vice grip you have on my hand.”

Veronica glances down to where she is, in fact, close to breaking a few bones in Betty’s hand, and she loosens her grip.

“Sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Betty grins, “I get it. You’re scared.”

Veronica glares playfully back at her, “Scared that these actors actually get work, maybe.”

“Uh huh.” Betty giggles, “So I suppose you’d be fine if we watched the sequel next, then?”

Veronica’s eyes narrow, an exasperated huff falling from her lips, “Well, I’m glad my suffering has brought you out of your teen angst for the night.” She pouts, “I suppose that was the goal.”

Betty’s heart warms at the admission, her laughter sobering. She’s still not certain if this friendship with Veronica is one set to last, or to crumble when the other girl finds someone more on her level to hang out with. But for now, it’s nice feeling cared for.

“Thanks, Ronnie.” She says then, sincerity lacing her tone, “I know I’ve been difficult tonight, but… I really do appreciate you doing this.”

“Betty Cooper? Difficult?” Veronica grins, “Never.”

They’re still holding hands, which Betty is sure would usually be weird. But it doesn’t feel anything but natural, and Veronica seems completely unfazed by the continued contact as well. So, Betty doesn’t pull back, instead squeezing Veronica’s hand softly.

Veronica looks down at their hands and Betty thinks she’s going to pull away, but instead she shifts her hold to link their fingers together, offering Betty a small smile.

“You know… you can talk to me, B.” she says, “I know what it’s like.”

Betty frowns, “What what’s like?”

“To feel as though people don’t quite see you.”

Betty’s almost bowled over by how easily Veronica’s hit the nail on the head, and she wonders for a second if the girl hasn’t somehow mastered the talent of telepathy or something.

“Who says that’s how I feel?”

“Betty, please.” Veronica smiles sadly, “I’ve spent the better part of my life feeling like I’m just playing a role.” She says, “You think I can’t recognize someone doing the same?”

Betty’s reflex is to deny everything and tell Veronica she’s just reading into things. But something in Betty makes her stop. Maybe it’s because she’s just tired of pretending, or maybe it’s because with Veronica, it’s so much easier to just let go.

She sighs, giving in, “It’s just…” Betty meets Veronica’s gaze, “I’ve always tried to do what’s expected of me. To be who my mom and dad want me to be. And I guess somewhere along the line maintaining this… this stupid image of perfection that people propped me up to be… it became so important. Even though I hated it, I had to keep it up. Because that’s who I’m supposed to be, you know? And after Polly… it just kept getting worse and I barely even know who I am anymore.”

Betty feels Veronica grip on her hand tighten slightly, the other girl remaining quiet as she waits for her to continue.

“Archie was always kind of a saving grace from all that. I didn’t have to try with him.” Betty says, “But lately, it’s like he barely knows anything about me. I’m just sweet and unassuming Betty Cooper. And that’s it.” She lets out a hollow laugh, “I mean- he said I’m perfect. That I’m ‘too good for him’.”

“You are too good for him, Betty.” Veronica says, so much conviction behind her tone that Betty almost actually believes her.

“I’m not perfect, Ronnie.” Betty murmurs out, sighing, “It just hurts.” She elaborates, “Feeling like even my best friend has no idea who I am.”

“Well screw Archie Andrews, then.” Veronica says, “You have me, and if we’re being honest, that’s better than his ginger ass any day of the week.” She grins at the laugh Betty lets out, “I know you can’t help how it hurts you. But you’re not on your own, B. You never have to be anyone else with me.”

Betty smiles, resting her other hand over their linked ones, “Thanks, Ronnie.”

There’s something in Veronica’s stare that makes Betty’s heart feel full, and pushes Archie completely to the back of her mind.

Maybe Veronica’s not so wrong about fate bringing them together, after all.

Because that might just explain how strangely easy and familiar everything is between them. Veronica’s barely been in Betty’s life for over a month, and already Betty struggles to remember what it was like before her.

A scream from the laptop breaks the quiet moment between them, Veronica jumping and letting out an annoyed groan as Betty laughs at her, “Mind if we switch that crap off and go to bed?”

Betty grins, nodding, “Fine by me.”

That’s all Veronica needs to immediately reach over and snap the laptop shut, proceeding to then find Betty a set of clothes to wear for bed. Betty goes to the bathroom to change, and when she returns Veronica has cleared the bed and is already under the covers waiting for her.

Veronica laughs at the sight of her shorts on Betty, which barely even cover her ass thanks to their size difference, “Looking smokin’, B.” she teases.

Betty groans, cheeks red, “Shut up.” She says, making quick work of sliding in next to Veronica to avoid further embarrassment, “You could have at least tried to give me bigger shorts.”

“Where would the fun be in that?”

Betty sends Veronica a stern look that only receives a playful grin from the girl, and they proceed to spend the majority of the night talking instead of sleeping, faces dimly lit by the lamppost outside as they divulge meaningless details to one another that neither yet knew.

Whispered confessions of their pasts and hopes for their futures eventually turn into constant yawns and both girl’s fighting to keep their eyes open. It’s the first time in a while that Betty can remember not wanting to fall asleep, but despite her wishes, the pair are eventually unable to fight it off.

“Betty?”

Betty’s eyes open at the sound of Veronica’s voice, having long thought the other girl had fallen asleep.

“Yeah?” she murmurs back.

Veronica rolls over to face Betty, the pair a breath’s distance from one another.

The light outside the window shimmers against her dark eyes as she watches Betty for a moment, searching for something Betty can’t quite define.

“You may not be your definition of perfect.” she says, reaching out to tuck a strand of Betty’s hair behind her ear, “But you’re definitely someone’s.”


After that night, Betty feels something between her and Veronica shift.

They’re closer than before, and when Veronica calls Betty her ‘best friend’, it no longer feels like an overstatement.

The truth is, there’s very little times where Betty doesn’t seek out Veronica’s company, or the other way around. Even with Kevin, it’s never been this easy to just be with someone.

With Veronica, Betty doesn’t feel the need to fake a smile or pretend to be someone she’s not. She can just be herself, and it’s enough.

It seems to be the same for Veronica, too, if the way she changes when it’s just the two of them is anything to go by.

It’s only since she’s started seeing another side to Veronica that Betty even realized just how guarded the girl is, almost like she’s always preparing for the next moment she has to defend herself or cut someone down before they do so to her. At school, Veronica’s all confidence and sharp-wit.

When it’s just the two of them, Betty is privy to a more relaxed version of her. It’s not a majorly noticeable change, just little tells that Betty’s picked up over time spent together. Like how her posture is less proper or how her words fall more candid, instead of sounding like they’ve jumped right out of a script. Even that smirk she wears so often becomes more playful than threatening.

Betty doesn’t point out any of the changes. Part of the relief of their time together is the fact that they don’t have to explain themselves to one another.

But it’s nice. Knowing that they’re sharing a part of themselves with one another that not many others get to see.

“Betty?” Veronica says one afternoon, sat on the floor of her bedroom while Betty lies on the girl’s bed, textbook in front of her and attempting to slug through her latest set of homework.

Most of their time together is spent here, in Veronica and her mom’s apartment. It’s the easier arrangement, seeing as Betty’s mom would probably have an aneurysm if she knew how much time Betty was spending with Hermione Lodge’s daughter in the first place.

“Hmm?” Betty responds, looking up from her textbook and over to Veronica, whose own gaze is fixed on the notepad in front of her as she writes something down.

“Do you remember MASH?” Veronica asks, a playful lilt to her voice as she continues to write on the pad.

“What?”

“MASH.” Veronica’s eyes move to Betty, “You know, that game everyone would play when we were little. To find out who you’d marry and all that.”

Betty rolls her eyes, smiling despite herself, “We’re supposed to be studying.”

“I got bored.” Veronica shrugs, “So, do you remember it?”

“I remember it. I never played, though.”

Seriously?”

Betty sighs, marking her place in her textbook and looking back to Veronica, “I grew up pretty much only hanging out with Archie, Ronnie.” She says, “And he’s not exactly the type to doodle about his crush.”

Veronica scoffs, “Well, I beg to differ on that, but anyway…” she gets up from the floor, bringing her notebook with her and grinning as she joins Betty on the bed, lying on her stomach and side pressing up against Betty’s.

She places the notebook in front of them on the bed, Betty looking down to find the word ‘MASH’ written at the top of the page, accompanied by various lists. While she never took part, Betty remembers seeing some of the girls like Cheryl playing the game when they were younger.

It’s a childish game; your friend draws a spiral until you tell them to stop, and then you use the number of curves in the spiral as a way to count between the lists and ‘predict’ your future. It doesn’t take much effort to imagine a young, bossy Veronica hosting the game with her friends in the schoolyard.

Betty laughs, “Have you even studied at all this afternoon?” she asks, reading through the lists Veronica’s apparently spent her time creating instead of doing her homework.

“I’m trying to determine my fate, Betty.” Veronica teases, “As my best friend, it’s your duty to help me.”

“Uh huh. Okay. So you’re fated to end up with either Archie, Reggie, Jughead or-” Betty pauses as she reads the list of names, “Why am I on here?”

Veronica grins, winking playfully at Betty, “Well I figured you deserve a shot at me, too.”

“You’re an idiot.” Betty mumbles out, cheeks reddening under Veronica’s amused gaze.

She swears, Veronica has made a habit of flirting with her just for the enjoyment of seeing Betty squirm.

“Shut up and entertain me.” Veronica demands, placing the tip of her pen against the paper, “Now, tell me when to stop drawing.”

Figuring there’s no use in fighting her further, Betty does as she’s told, watching as Veronica draws out a spiral on the paper, “… stop.” She says soon after.

Veronica counts out the number of lines in the spiral, using the number to then count across the lists on the sheet.

“This is so dumb.” Betty says under her breath, receiving a brief glare from Veronica in response before the girl returns to the game.

“So, Future Veronica will be living in an apartment.” Veronica says, circling the ‘A’ in MASH before continuing to count across the lists, “It better be a penthouse.” She adds, completely oblivious to Betty’s anxious state next to her.

Betty doesn’t even know why she’s feeling so uncomfortable; it’s just a stupid game. But despite that, her stomach flips every time Veronica’s pen hovers over her name.

“Three kids.” Veronica says, then scoffs, “I better be adopting them. No way am I giving up this bod’ for a bunch of brats.” She continues counting, “… and I’ll be driving a Mercedes. Acceptable, I suppose.”

Betty manages a weak laugh, eyes fixed on the pen as Veronica hovers it over the names as she counts between them.

And then, her pen lands on Betty’s name.

Betty’s breath catches in her throat, and she stares at the paper as Veronica circles her name and turns to her with a wide grin. Betty plays it off when she meets Veronica’s gaze, attempting her best eye-roll at Veronica’s antics.

“I guess you’re stuck with me, Betty Boo.” Veronica teases, and Betty lets out a breathy laugh.

“Lucky me.” She drawls, hoping Veronica doesn’t mention just how red her cheeks have gotten and focusing her eyes back on the sheet of paper.

“I’m pretty high maintenance.” Veronica says, “Be prepared to pamper me.”

Betty grins, shaking her head, “I think I can handle it.”

Veronica laughs, nudging Betty’s shoulder with her own.

Betty doesn’t notice Veronica leaning in to press a kiss to her cheek before she’s already turned her head to say something to the girl, being met with Veronica’s lips colliding with her own in a clumsy kiss.

It’s barely lasts a moment, both girls snapping away from each other with wide eyes.

(Betty doesn’t think she’s ever seen Veronica so alarmed.)

“Um- I’m sorry.” Veronica says, voice a slightly higher pitch than normal, “I- I was going to kiss you on the cheek but you-”

“It’s fine.” Betty squeaks, “No problem.”

“Right.” Veronica nods, getting up from the bed as though she couldn’t get away from Betty fast enough. She comes to stand at her vanity table, fixing her hair in the mirror while Betty sits cross-legged on the bed silently.

Once Veronica’s apparently gathered herself a bit, she turns back to Betty, “I mean- it’s not like we haven’t kissed before.” She laughs awkwardly, “No big deal.”

“Yeah, exactly.” Betty agrees firmly, “Seriously, it doesn’t matter.”

“Yeah.” Veronica lets out a heavy breath, silence filling the room as the pair look anywhere but at each other, “Anyway… I guess if we’re not studying we should call it a night.”

Betty frowns, almost letting out a surprised laugh.

Is Veronica really kicking her out over this?

“Um… I mean. Sure. I guess.” Betty says stiffly, “If that’s what you want.”

“Oh- no. I don’t mean…” Veronica’s stumbles over her words, looking completely helpless as she still refuses to completely meet Betty’s gaze, “Well, your mom is probably going to start calling you to go home soon, anyway.”

Betty would be insulted by how Veronica’s acting, if she weren’t so completely stumped by the nervous wreck she’s turned into.

She didn’t even think Veronica was capable of anything other than total confidence.

Betty decides not to push the situation any further and take the exit Veronica seems to be so desperate to offer her, “Yeah, you’re right.” She says weakly, “Call me later, though?”

“Of course.” Veronica says, unconvincing.

Betty keeps glancing to Veronica unsurely as she collects her things, the other girl remaining completely frozen by her desk, as though even being near Betty right now is unbearable.

Once her bag is packed, Betty makes her way for the door, feeling the awkwardness caving in on her, “I guess I’ll see you later, then.” She murmurs out weakly, sparing a final hesitant look back to Veronica.

Veronica just nods, and Betty’s frown deepens, the girl turning to leave.

“Wait- Betty?”

Betty turns around almost immediately, praying that Veronica’s just been teasing her by making this so awkward. But Veronica’s still wearing that same, owl-like expression of dread.

“Yeah?” Betty asks, offering Veronica a soft smile.

Veronica’s hands grip the table behind her, mouth opening and closing as she seems to deliberate over just what she planned to say, “… I just…”

Betty frowns, “Yes, Ronnie?”

“Don’t forget we have Vixens practice on Monday.”

Betty doesn’t even need to see the completely perplexed expression Veronica is wearing to know that it obviously wasn’t what Veronica had wanted to say at all. But Veronica maintains her ground, smiling falsely at Betty and waiting for her to leave. And Betty doesn’t even have the energy to push any further, grip tightening on her bag and turning away from Veronica to leave, ignoring the sense creeping up on her that for some reason, this matters so much more than it should.

Chapter Text

Betty doesn’t see Veronica again over the weekend, and she doesn’t respond to her calls or texts, leaving Betty to spend her waking moments in complete frustration over the idea that she’s just lost her best friend to some ridiculous accident.

She hangs out with Kevin, but even his company can’t stop Betty’s mind from constantly running over every moment of Friday in search of some sensible reason as to why Veronica’s giving her the cold shoulder. Because surely she can’t be acting like this over some stupid peck on the lips.

This is the same Veronica who kissed Betty for the sake of a cheerleading try out, after all.

But nothing else has happened between them to otherwise explain Veronica’s silence. And despite how much Betty wants it to not be the case, she can’t deny that Veronica’s shift in attitude occurred after the kiss.

Betty sighs, stuffing her things in her backpack and dreading the Monday ahead of her, wondering if Veronica will continue to ignore her once they’re forced to be in one another’s presence.

With a final check of her reflection, she makes her way out of her room and down the stairs. She’s in the middle of eating her breakfast when she sees a familiar raven-haired girl out the window, walking up the pathway to her house. Betty jumps up from her seat almost immediately to rush to the door, and when she throws it open Veronica is attempting to ring the bell while juggling two takeaway cups of coffee.

“Oh, great.” Veronica sighs in relief, stepping away from the bell, “That was not going to end well.”

Well, she mustn’t be planning to continue ignoring Betty, then.

“Veronica?” Betty asks, unable to hide her surprise, “What’re you doing here?”

Veronica is wearing an easy smile, filled with all the confidence she was lacking on Friday night, “I thought we could walk to school together.” She says, as though it’s obvious.

(Which, it would be. If Veronica hadn’t just spent the past two days pretending Betty didn’t exist.)

“Oh.” Betty frowns, “So… you’re okay?”

“Absolutely perfect, Betty.” Veronica says, “Why?”

“You haven’t answered my calls or texts all weekend.”

“Oh. Sorry.” Veronica laughs, not a bit fazed, “I decided to spend the weekend pampering myself. Catch up on some ‘me’ time.”

Betty’s eyes narrow, “… right.”

It’s weird, isn’t it?

Not even bothering to text your best friend a head’s up that you’ll be going M.I.A. for 48 hours? Especially after Friday.

Or maybe Veronica didn’t think it was awkward at all and Betty’s just made this whole problem up in her head. Because looking at Veronica right now, it doesn’t seem like she has a care in the world.

So has she seriously spent this whole weekend fretting over that kiss when it really was just as small a deal as it should have been?

“So- uh- we’re fine, then?” Betty pushes anyway, needing reassurance, “After… you know.”

“After what, Betty?”

Betty stares at Veronica, attempting to read any kind of falsity in the carefree expression on her face.

She comes up empty.

“I…” Betty sighs, shaking her head, “Don’t worry. I’m just tired.”

Veronica grins, and Betty swears she sees a small bit of relief wash over her features.

“Well, it’s a good thing I brought this then.” Veronica holds out one of the coffees, “Two sugars, right?”

“Betty? Who are you talking to- oh.”

Both girls’ eyes widen at Alice Cooper’s voice, Betty turning around to find her mother barely even trying to hold back the scowl on her face at the sight of Veronica on their doorstep.

“Hello, Veronica.” She greets, voice strained with annoyance, “I didn’t know you were coming over this morning.”

“Hey, Mrs. C.” Veronica sends her a sugary sweet smile, no doubt knowing just how much more it’ll likely annoy the woman, “How was your weekend?”

Alice’s eyes trace over Veronica disapprovingly before they meet the girl’s eyes again, narrowing, “Busy.”

Betty refrains from rolling her eyes, knowing if it were someone else, her mother would have already invited them into the house by now.

“Ronnie’s walking me to school, Mom.” Betty explains.

“Well, isn’t that… nice.”

Betty catches the amused quirk to Veronica’s lips, and decides to rush them along before Veronica decides to get snarky with her mom and make the situation more painful than it needs to be.

“Yeah. Nice.” Betty mumbles out, looking to Veronica, “I’ll just get my stuff.”

At Veronica’s nod Betty promptly steps back and shuts the door, receiving a glare from her mother as she passes her to rush back to the kitchen.

“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you that I don’t like that girl.” Alice says when Betty comes bounding past her again.

“She’s my friend, mom. Not yours.” Betty sighs, slinging her bag over her shoulder, “You don’t have to like her.”

“Well don’t expect my pity when she upsets you again.”

Betty rolls her eyes, opening the door and smiling at Veronica before turning back, “Love you too, Mom.” She coos, wasting no time in practically shoving Veronica down the steps and towards the street.

“Be home straight after cheer practice!” Alice barks behind them, Betty waving back and ushering Veronica further down the pathway until they’re far from earshot.

“You know, I think that might be the nicest your mother’s ever been to me.” Veronica teases, “I only saw a tiny slimmer of blood thirst this time.”

“She’s ridiculous.” Betty grumbles, “I swear she’d only be happy if I had no friends at all.”

“It’s kind of fun, though, isn’t it?”

“What?”

“The thrill of the forbidden.” Veronica grins, amusement swimming in her eyes, “We’re almost Romeo and Juliet.”

Betty laughs, “You’re an idiot.”

Veronica sighs wistfully, “I suppose someday soon I’ll have to scale the castle walls just to see you.”

Betty’s laughs carry down the street, and Veronica continues with her teasing until they reach school. And like that, they fall back into step with one another.

Betty’s not even sure why she was worried to begin with.


A few weeks after Jason Blossom’s funeral, Veronica receives yet another invitation to spend a night at Thorn Hill with Cheryl, this time in the form of a written invitation from the red-headed queen herself.

And Betty’s not jealous.

Not at all.

It’s just so like Cheryl, to set her sights on Veronica.

She’s perfect material for Cheryl’s clique. They could probably talk about money, and designer items and everything Betty can’t relate to for hours on end.

Really, she should have seen this friendship coming. It was only a matter of time before Veronica would move on from their friendship and start gravitating towards those people more like her.

Betty’s in Veronica’s room, lounging on her bed with her head resting back on Veronica’s legs, the other girl sat up against the headboard as she paints her nails. Betty’s spent the last couple of minutes scowling at the extravagant, hand-written invitation addressed to her best friend, irritation bubbling in her stomach at every stupid curve to Cheryl’s handwriting.

“I thought the sleepover before Jason’s funeral was a nightmare.” She mumbles unhappily, reading over the invitation again in hopes it might just cease to exist soon.

“It was a sleepover before a funeral, Betty.” Veronica’s laughter shakes Betty’s head slightly, “In what world was that ever going to be fun?”

“I know, I just mean… I didn’t think you two were actually close now.”

“I like her.” Veronica shrugs, “Hell, I was Cheryl once upon a time. It’s not that farfetched that we get along. Well, when we’re not warring over her need to be the queen bee.”

“I doubt you were anything like her.” Betty says, more out of her own need for it to be true.

Not because she doesn’t like picturing Veronica as the mean girl.

More because the idea of Veronica sharing more things in common with Cheryl makes Betty feel so pathetically jealous. Because it’s not like Betty can compete with that. She and Veronica are opposites in every possible way.

“You’d be surprised, dear Betty.” Veronica hums.

“So I guess I should say goodbye to you now, then?” Betty says, “Cheryl is probably planning your initiation into her inner circle as we speak.”

She means for it to be a joke, but Betty’s unable to keep the bitterness out of her tone.

“You’re not jealous, are you, B?” Veronica tilts her head, a wide grin tracing her lips.

Betty gets up from her position resting on Veronica then, moving to sit cross-legged on the bed, “Of course not.” she scoffs, “It’s just- it’s not like you, me and Cheryl are going to be hanging out together any time soon.”

“Why not?”

“You know why.” Betty rolls her eyes, “Even without the literal blood feud between our families, Cheryl and I just aren’t supposed to be friends.”

“Well, that will have to change. Starting with you attending this girl’s night with me.”

Betty laughs loudly at that, “Yeah, right.”

“I’ve already asked Cheryl and she said it was fine.” Veronica says, “We’re a package deal, Betty. She knows that.”

“I’m not going.”

“Yes you are.”

“No, Ronnie. I’m not.” Betty pushes, “Go without me.”

“Don’t be juvenile. Josie and the cats will be there, too. It’ll be fun. Do you really want to deal with rejecting Cheryl Blossom?”

“Actually, rejecting Cheryl sounds just about exactly like something I would want to do. Since when has she ever done anything nice for me?”

“Fine.” Veronica sighs, “I guess we’ll just spend another night holed up here, then.”

“What?”

“Well, I’m not going if you’re not going.” Veronica says, as though it’s obvious.

Betty rolls her eyes, “You can’t miss it just because I’m not going. I wasn’t even officially invited.”

“Well I’m not about to leave you alone on a Friday night. Reggie will probably catch your scent and come running with another packet of cigarettes. Or worse; you’ll end up playing detective with Jughead again.”

Betty gapes, Veronica looking over at her with a highly amused expression.

“Am I wrong?” she teases.

Betty laughs, shaking her head, “You’re something, alright.” She says, “And what’s so wrong with me hanging out with Juggy?”

Veronica scoffs, “Really? ‘Juggy’?” she drawls, “And here I thought his name couldn’t get any more ridiculous.”

“You’re mean.”

“I can be meaner.” Veronica quips, looking at Betty smugly, “Anyway, nothing’s wrong with you spending time with him. It’s just that you could be spending time with someone else instead. Someone better. Someone who looks like they bathe regularly.”

“Well I guess that rules you out, then.”

Veronica looks genuinely surprised by the quick response, and she places her nail polish on her bedside table, looking at Betty with an almost predatory expression.

She moves onto her knees, edging over to Betty, “Um, excuse me, Miss Mechanic.” She laughs, and Betty’s already moving away from her in partial fear as she approaches, “But are you really implying I don’t bathe when I can guarantee I’ll find car grease on you at literally any moment in time?”

Betty juts her chin up defiantly, despite currently moving into a position that will allow her a quicker escape from Veronica’s approaching wrath, “I said what I sai-”

Betty doesn’t get another word out as Veronica’s body collides with her own, and Betty scrambles to get away from the other girl.

“Hey!” she laughs, holding Veronica’s arms away from her as the girl attempts to pin her, “Get off me- ah!”

With a hard ‘thud’, Betty finds herself on the floor, Veronica looking down at her from the bed in alarm before she just continues her attack, moving to the floor to straddle Betty.

“Ronnie, really?!” Betty exclaims, glaring up at Veronica while the girl just laughs.

“Now let’s see.” Veronica hums, leaning in and pushing Betty’s head to the side, her finger tapping the skin beneath Betty’s ear soon after, “Oh, there it is. Car grease.” She catches Betty’s wrists with surprising speed when Betty attempts to fight her off, pinning them against the floor and looking down at her victoriously, “Maybe you and Jughead are a perfect match. You can bond over your mutual distaste for showers.”

“I shower.” Betty mumbles out childishly, “It’s not my fault grease is stubborn.”

Veronica looks down at her with a fond smile, chuckling, “I’m just kidding, Betty.” she says, “If I were serious, you wouldn’t be this close to me right now.”

“Hm.” Betty narrows her gaze at Veronica, no longer attempting to fight the hold the girl has on her, “So are you going to let me up, or…?”

“I don’t know. I still haven’t gotten what I wanted in the first place, have I?”

Betty frowns, honestly a bit distracted by how Veronica’s face still looks so flawless up close. Like, really, it’s not a surprise every guy in school seems to be falling over themselves for a date with the girl.

Veronica grins down at her, “Come on.” She says, grip loosening on Betty’s wrists, “Please go to Cheryl’s thing with me?”

That reminder snaps Betty out of her moment of awe, and she groans, “I hate you.”

“Is that a yes?” Veronica pushes, excitement written on her features.

Betty sighs in defeat, meeting her gaze, “Well I don't think I really have a choice, do I?”

Veronica laughs,  "No, Betty." she teases, "You don't."


If someone had told Betty Cooper a few months ago that she would soon be having a girl’s night with Cheryl Blossom, she would have laughed right in their face.

If someone had told Cheryl that, it would have probably ended in a bloody nose.

But despite both girls’ previous reservations, thanks to none other than Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper is indeed inside the Thorn Hill Mansion, drunk and giggling with Cheryl Blossom as though it’s the most normal thing ever.

What started as an organized night of pampering turned into Josie convincing Cheryl to break into the Blossom wine cellar and hours of drunken conversation and antics. And Betty is genuinely enjoying herself, despite what she previously claimed to Veronica would be impossible.

Josie, Valerie and Melody make conversation easy, and the wine manages to cushion the usual tense atmosphere between Betty and Cheryl. And it’s honestly one of the best nights Betty has had in a while.

The girls are sat in a circle, a coffee table in the middle of them with numerous bottles of wine and junk food sitting on top of it, the TV that had been playing now long forgotten in favor of discussion.

Veronica is lying down with her head in Betty’s lap, and Betty’s fingers run through her hair absentmindedly as she enjoys the buzz of the alcohol running through her system.

She’s drunk.

Like, very drunk.

And based on the flushed faces and mindless giggles of the rest of the girl’s in the room, they’re all in the same boat as her.

“So where are your parents?” Valerie asks in-between a mouthful of pizza, “They’re really cool with us doing this?”

“No. But they’ll never know.” Cheryl shrugs, “They’ve been out of town constantly since Jason passed.”

“Really?” Betty frowns, “So you’ve been living here by yourself?”

“The help come and go, too.” Cheryl says, and Betty can’t fathom how normal the girl makes it sound, “And my grandma is always here, even though she’s not much… ‘here’.”

“But doesn’t that get lonely?” Melody asks, “This place is kinda big to be stuck on your own in.”

“Honestly, I like it better when it’s just me. My parents…” Cheryl forces a smile, “Well, they haven’t been the same since Jason, obviously.”

Betty has never considered just how similar she and Cheryl’s lives are, but she completely understands the girl’s preference for being alone over having her parents here. She’s never known the complete dynamic between the Blossom’s, but from what little Betty does know, Cheryl’s relationship with her parents seems to mirror her own.

And like Cheryl, she’s lost the only ally she did have in her family. Without Polly, it feels more like a prison than an actual home. Betty can understand the girl for preferring the loneliness to the alternative.

“I don’t know how you do it.” Josie mumbles, resting her chin on her hand, eyes swimming with drunken curiosity, “I’d be going crazy in here. I mean, this place is amazing, Cheryl, but Thorn Hill is kinda Riverdale’s haunted house. You literally have a graveyard.”

“Speaking of, I need some fresh air or I’ll fall asleep.” Veronica declares suddenly, sitting up from Betty’s lap and looking to Cheryl, “Do you mind if I go exploring?”

Cheryl shrugs, “Go ahead. Just don’t step on any of the flowerbeds.”

“Girl, you must be deranged to want to go out there in the dark.” Josie laughs, “The ghosts of Blossom past will come after you.”

“The dead aren’t something to be afraid of, Josie. It’s the living we should fear.” Cheryl quips, smiling teasingly back at Josie and taking a sip from her glass of wine.

“Oh, god. Not again with the dramatics.” Josie groans, receiving a laugh from Cheryl, “If you come out with one more corny thing tonight I’m cutting you off.”

“With what authority? It’s my family’s wine cellar.”

Veronica ignores them, looking to Betty expectantly and holding out her hand, “Coming, B?”

Betty stares at her like she’s lost her mind, “Uh… no.” she responds bluntly.

“Don’t be scared, Betty. I’m sure Ronnie will keep you safe from the ghosts.” Cheryl says.

Betty looks to Cheryl, feeling like she’s taunting her somehow.

But it goes over the rest of the group’s heads, the girls all laughing and Veronica simply reaching down to grab Betty’s hand and yank her up from the floor.

“Exactly.” Veronica grins, “Besides, you’re not going to let me go out there on my own, are you?”

Betty rolls her eyes, “I really don’t have a choice, do I?”

Veronica lets out a laugh, reaching down to swipe up a half-full bottle of wine from the table before tugging Betty off towards the back door, “Come on, Nancy Drew.”


“Ronnieee,” Betty whines as she’s pulled through the gardens of Thorn Hill by an excited Veronica, “We shouldn’t be out here.”

“Cheryl said it was fine.” Veronica slurs

“Yeah, but it’s creepy.”

“It’s exciting.” Veronica laughs, turning around to hold out the bottle of wine to Betty, “Have some liquid courage.”

Betty glares at Veronica, but accepts the bottle anyway and takes a generous swig, allowing herself to continue to be tugged along by her best friend.

They come to a halt when they stumble upon the Blossom graveyard, both girls freezing at the entrance and staring in awe of the eerie sight.

“Wow.” Veronica murmurs, “Well this is… depressing.”

“Can you imagine having to bury your own child?” Betty says, spotting the newer headstone amongst the plots, “The Blossom’s might not be saints but… no one deserves that.”

The pair remain at the entrance of the graveyard for a little while longer, staring at it in silence, no doubt lost in their own drunken thoughts over the reality of the scene.

They eventually move along and continue their walk through the gardens. Betty only speaks once they’re far away enough from the graveyard that she feels like she can actually breathe again.

“You know, I was jealous of you and Cheryl.” She says softly, “But it’s really nice, how you’ve been there for her.”

They haven’t stopped holding hands since the graveyard, and Betty feels Veronica’s grip tighten slightly, the girl lifting up the bottle in her other hand to take a swig.

“You were jealous?”

“Yeah.” Betty mumbles, thankful that the soft lights in the gardens don’t draw attention to her red cheeks, “It’s just… you two actually have things in common, you know?”

Veronica laughs, “That’s so stupid, Betty.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes, it is.” Veronica shakes her head, “You don’t need to be jealous. I’m not going to forget about you just because I’ve made other friends.”

“I know. It’s just…” Betty sighs, swiping the bottle from Veronica and having a sip before continuing, “I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like we have an expiration date. We’re nothing alike. And then you and Cheryl… even you and Josie, you guys just make more sense, you know?”

Veronica rolls her eyes, “Have you ever considered that I like what we have so much because we aren’t the same?” she says, “I’ve hung out with people like Cheryl my whole life. And I’ve never felt half as connected to those girls as I do with you.”

Betty’s heart warms at that, smiling softly at her best friend, “I feel the same.” She sighs, “I guess that’s why I’m so scared of losing it.”

Veronica pulls them to a halt, a serious expression on her face despite the way she seems to sway on the spot thanks to the wine, “I’m not going anywhere, B.” she says firmly, “We’re Betty and Veronica. B & V. You’re my person and it doesn’t matter how many other ‘Cheryl’s’ come along, because that’s never changing.”

“Promise?”

Veronica squeezes her hand, “Promise.”

They’re unnecessarily close right now, their linked hands the only thing between them. But Betty doesn’t move to step back. Because like so many other cases with Veronica, it feels like the most natural thing in the world.

Veronica grins, holding up the bottle in her other hand, “To us,” she says, “May we continue to be the greatest package deal in Riverdale for many years to come.”

Betty laughs, watching as Veronica lifts the bottle to her lips and takes a generous sip.

When it’s Betty’s turn, she isn’t able to take her eyes off of Veronica, swigging back the wine and feeling some spill down her chin in the process. She’s left with the ultimatum of dropping either Veronica’s hand or the bottle to wipe away the mess she’s made, but thankfully Veronica saves her from either.

“Oh, B.” Veronica’s giggles are contagious, her hand cupping Betty’s face as she wipes away the wine from her face.

She keeps up the contact longer than necessary, both girls’ laughter trailing off as Veronica’s fingers trail along Betty’s jawline absently, no more wine to pay any mind to.

Betty doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t know if it’s the alcohol creating this tense atmosphere around them, but she does know that Veronica’s palm feels so nice against her cheek that she’s not about to question it, instead leaning into the contact.

Betty’s breath catches in her throat as Veronica’s thumb traces along her bottom lip. And when Veronica’s eyes move up to meet her gaze, she can practically hear her heart hammering in her chest.

“You remember when I kissed you by accident?” Veronica murmurs.

Betty laughs, “Yeah.” She says, “I thought you were ignoring me the whole weekend.”

“Oh, I was.” Veronica grins, “I freaked out. Which is so dumb, I mean- we made out my first week in this stupid town.”

“It really wasn’t a big deal. We barely even kissed.”

“I know, right?” Veronica snickers, “It didn’t mean anything.”

“Yeah.” Betty breathes in, skin tingling where she feels Veronica’s thumb brushing soft circles on the inside of her wrist, the other still cupping her face, “Just a kiss.”

Veronica’s eyes fall to Betty’s lips, “Yeah.”

The air between them feels thick, and Betty’s not sure if it’s the alcohol or Veronica’s proximity that is making her feel dizzier than before.

Betty’s not sure how long she stares at Veronica’s red lips before she tears her gaze away, finding Veronica looking up at her with a hesitant expression, searching for some form of permission.

Betty has no idea what’s happening. What it means.

All she knows is that she’s drunk in the garden of Thorn Hill and she’s never found anything as inviting as Veronica’s lips are right now.

And when Veronica’s other hand leaves hers to settle on the back of her neck, Betty’s doesn’t hesitate to lean in, allowing herself to satisfy the craving that has settled so firmly inside of her.

She swallows Veronica’s gasp as their lips finally meet, and Betty thinks the other girl is about to pull away, but then nails dig into the back of her neck and Veronica’s kissing her back eagerly.

Betty drops the bottle of wine in her hand in favor of slipping her arm around Veronica’s waist and pressing her closer.

Veronica’s lips are soft and taste of the expensive wine they’ve been drinking all night, her fingertips trailing up the nape of Betty’s neck before they bury into her hair and- Jesus- something must be in the Blossom’s wine for this to feel so intoxicatingly good.

She thinks it’s over when Veronica pulls back from her lips, their breaths mingling together in the night air as they look at each other.

That’s it. Betty thinks.

Time to stumble our way out of this mess, now.

But then Veronica is leaning in again, chasing Betty’s lips and there goes reality again, and Betty can’t think of anything other than Veronica and how good she feels against her and how right it all feels, even if it’s just for now.

And then Veronica’s tongue runs along her bottom lip and well- sober Betty will have to deal with the fall-out later.

Because like hell is she able to muster the sense to stop right now.


Somehow, Betty and Veronica manage to stumble their way back to the Blossom manor that night, after making out for what felt like hours on the garden ground. Thankfully, the other girls have all gone to bed by the time they get back inside, and the pair are saved from the questions as to why they look like they’ve been rolling around in the flower beds.

Betty and Veronica don’t mention what just occurred in the gardens again, drunkenly finding the bedroom appointed to them and falling asleep in one another’s arms almost immediately.

When Betty wakes the next morning, though, she’s immediately hit with the memory of what they did, and dread settles in her stomach over what the hell is going to happen now.

Surely, they can just move on without it being an issue.

They were drunk; sometimes things happen.

It doesn’t have to be a big deal.

“My head feels like it’s just been hit by a truck.” Veronica groans next to her, rolling over onto her back and staring at the ceiling, “How much did we drink last night?”

“Too much.” Betty murmurs.

Veronica huffs, an awkward silence settling over them as she rubs her temple in pain.

“Last night was… different.” Betty starts eventually, watching Veronica for any sign of recognition on the girl’s face.

Veronica swallows hard, brow furrowing, “Yeah.” She looks to Betty briefly, then sits up to retrieve her phone from the bedside table, “I can barely remember anything past singing some dumb song with Josie.”

Betty pauses, watching as Veronica stares fixedly on her phone screen, “Really?”

“Yeah.” Veronica mumbles, “Do you?”

Yes.

Betty’s not sure even a huge hit to the head would make her forget last night.

“… not really.” she lies weakly.

Because what else is she supposed to do?

Tell Veronica about their drunk make out session and make things awkward between them?

If Veronica freaked out about the accidental peck she gave Betty, who knows how she’ll react to what they did last night. And Betty’s not about to go and lose her best friend over something that both of them agreed didn’t mean anything, anyway.

Veronica looks at her, arching a brow, “You don’t sound certain.”

“Oh, no.” Betty says more firmly now, “The last thing I remember is Cheryl’s second trip to the cellar.”

Veronica chuckles, tossing her phone to her side and letting out a sigh, “Well, I doubt we could’ve done anything that crazy, then.”

Betty forces a half-hearted smile, laughing, “Yeah… I doubt it.”

Chapter Text

The kiss at Cheryl's is never mentioned by Betty or Veronica, and the pair settle back into their usual routine like nothing ever happened.

Betty spends more time investigating the Jason Blossom case with Jughead after it, needing something outside of Veronica to focus on. Because even though things feel normal between them, Betty can’t help but be hyperaware of Veronica every time the girl is so much as in the same room as her.

Everything just feels so much more intense, than before. Like there’s this giant elephant in the room and Betty’s struggling to keep from acknowledging it.

Veronica seems fine. She treats Betty the exact same, so maybe she doesn’t remember the night at all. Which is royally annoying, because why does Betty have to be stuck suffering with the memory replaying in her brain every time she watches Veronica apply a fresh layer of lipstick?

It’s not that it’s hard to be around Veronica now.

It’s that it’s too easy.

It’s that, if Veronica is there, she is all Betty is paying attention to. All that Betty cares to pay attention to.

So, she spends more time with Jughead. Because at least with him, her heart can have a rest from attempting to burst out of her chest every other minute.

And it’s great, and fun, and exciting, playing detective and getting her mind far away from the situation with Veronica.

But then Jughead kisses her and Betty can say goodbye to that brief getaway from reality.

It’s different, with Jughead. When he kisses her she feels nothing, and is honestly too preoccupied by the situation with her sister to even attempt to enjoy the moment.

It’s nothing like that night with Veronica. With Veronica, thinking of anything other than her had been impossible.

But can she really expect it to be the same? Betty was drunk and of course everything feels better when your senses are so manipulated.

She knows she’s not interested in Jughead, anyway. But the thing that stands out so blaringly is that while kissing Jughead felt so empty, it didn’t feel like that at all with Veronica. And shouldn’t it have felt like that with her?

Maybe it’s because of how close she and Veronica are. That exploring that connection physically, with the excuse of alcohol, was so intense. Because while Jughead and Veronica are both her friends, what Betty has with Jughead is nothing compared to her and Veronica.

Ronnie’s her best friend. Of course everything with her will mean more than moments with Jughead.

And with everything going on with Polly, she doesn’t have the energy to let herself get carried away with overthinking the state of her and Veronica’s friendship. She has a blood feud with the Blossom’s and a pregnant sister to worry about instead. Said pregnant sister has also just been brought home after escaping the facility their parents locked her up in, as well. So it’s safe to say Betty definitely has other things she should be worried about.

Oh, and apparently she’s forgotten about another thing to stress about, too, if Veronica storming across the park towards her right now is anything to go by.

Needing some space from the jail cell of her bedroom, Betty has spent the better part of the night in the park, enjoying the rare solace and attempting to quiet the hundreds of different thoughts running through her brain.

She watches as Veronica approaches, visibly angry about something, and smiles up at her friend when she comes to stand in front of her, arms crossed and looking moments away from a tantrum.

“Hey, Ron-”

“Where the hell were you?”

Betty frowns, “What?”

Veronica’s jaw tightens, “Last night.” She bites out impatiently, “The variety show?”

Realization dawns on her, and Betty deflates, “I’m sorry, Ronnie. I was planning on going but Jughead and I-”

“Jughead? Again?” Veronica rolls her eyes, “Look, I get that you’re all caught up in this Jason stuff and playing Nancy Drew with Jughead but this was important to me, Betty.” she huffs, “And Archie. Couldn’t you have just given us one night?”

“I know, and I’m sorry but we found out some serious things and it couldn’t wait.” Betty sits up on her knees, reaching for Veronica’s hand and squeezing it, “I’ll make it up to you, okay?”

Veronica stares at their hands, looking like she wants so badly to continue arguing, “And Archie.” She adds, as though it needs to be stressed, “You owe him an apology, too.”

“I know.”

“… so what did you find out?” Veronica asks then, refusing to sit down with Betty just yet.

“I don’t know if I can say, yet. We’ve told the Sherriff though.”

Veronica scoffs, attempting to pull her hand free from Betty’s then, but Betty just tightens her grip, “Oh, okay. So it’s just something between you and ‘Juggy’.” She drawls, “I get it. I guess I’ll just take my leave, then.”

“It’s not like that, Ronnie.” Betty rolls her eyes, sighing in defeat, “Fine. We found the car Jason and Polly were going to take out of town. It had drugs in it. I missed the show because we were taking the Sherriff to see it but when we got back, it was in flames.”

Veronica’s eyes widen, “Oh my god.”

“Yeah.” Betty nods, “So I wasn’t just ditching the show for fun.”

“God, I’m sorry.” Veronica groans, moving to sit down beside Betty now, “I’m an idiot.”

Betty laughs, “No you’re not.”

“I’ve just been stressed about all this stuff with my mom and having you go MIA so often lately I just… I’m so tired, Betty.”

Betty smiles sadly, feeling guilty for purposefully putting more distance between them than usual.

“I’m sorry, V. I didn’t know it was upsetting you.”

“No, it’s fine.” Veronica shakes her head, “You’re allowed to spend time with other people.”

“What’s wrong with your mom?”

Veronica runs her hands down her face, looking exhausted as she glances to Betty, deliberating over telling her.

“She’s having an affair with Archie’s dad.”

Betty’s mouth falls open, “… oh my god.”

Yeah.” Veronica lets out a hollow laugh, “Real classy, huh?”

“Does Archie know?”

“I told him.” Veronica nods, “But he doesn’t seem to get how it’s not okay. Just because my dad’s in prison- it doesn’t mean their marriage doesn’t exist.”

“I’m sorry, Ronnie. I should’ve been there.”

“You are now.” Veronica shrugs, resting her head in the palm of her hand as she watches her, “So what have I missed in the Cooper saga?”

“Polly’s back home. And pregnant with Jason’s child.”

Veronica stares at her, eyes wide in disbelief, and both girls let out tired laughs, “Well,” Veronica sighs, “At least there’s not a dull day in this town.”


The pair stay in the park talking with one another until late, lying back on the grass and watching the stars above them as they fill one another in on what they’ve missed in each other’s lives lately.

Betty didn’t realize just how much the space had affected Veronica, and guilt wracks her stomach over the idea that she’s left her best friend feeling so abandoned. But the heavy atmosphere between them even now is a reminder as to why she has been doing it.

“I’m really sorry I missed the show, Ronnie.” Betty says, “I’m going to make it up to you, I promise.”

“It’s okay. I think this is one of those cases where you’re allowed a ‘get out of jail free’ pass.”

Betty feels Veronica’s hand brush against the back of her own lightly, and she’s not even sure which one of them then moves to link their fingers together. It’s almost an instinctive move between them; Betty finds herself seeking contact with Veronica without even thinking about it.

“I’m sorry for being so dramatic, too.” Veronica says, “I mean, I wasn’t even singing lead.”

“It mattered to you, though.”

You matter to me.” Veronica corrects, turning her head to look at Betty, “I’ve never really had something like this with another person. So the idea that I could lose it… it freaks me out.”

“I get it.” Betty says quietly, squeezing Veronica’s hand, “I feel the same.”

“What about Archie?”

“I don’t know. This is different. It feels different when I’m with you.” Betty says, “Archie’s comfortable. But with you it feels more like…” she doesn’t trail off for lack of the word. Betty knows what Veronica is to her.

She’s known it for a while.

But voicing it aloud, it seems so much more significant.

“What?” Veronica coaxes.

“I don’t know.” Betty mumbles, cheeks reddening, “It’s stupid.”

“I doubt it.”

Betty bites down on her bottom lip, feeling Veronica’s eyes boring into her as she stares up at the sky, “It’s like-” she huffs, finally turning to look at Veronica, “You feel like home, Ronnie.”

Betty’s eyes trace over Veronica’s features, stomach somersaulting at the easy smile that traces her red lips.

Veronica licks her lips, and expels a soft sight, looking back up at the night sky, “I know you think it’s stupid.” She says, “But I really do think that somehow we were always supposed to end up in each other’s lives. I mean, of all the people for me to run into my first hour in town, it can’t be a coincidence that it was you.”

“And Archie.”

“Archie was just another hot guy.” Veronica shrugs, “But when I met you… I knew you were going to be something to me. You might think I’m dramatic calling it fate, but… I was always supposed to know you, Betty Cooper.”

“I don’t think it’s dramatic.” Betty admits.

Sure, she might have thought it was dumb, once upon a time.

But the further she falls down this rabbit hole with Veronica, the more Betty feels like all of this has to be something more than just coincidence. Veronica walked into her life right when everything around Betty seemed to be crumbling.

And yeah, things are still falling apart all around her, but she no longer feels so ready to give up.

And it’s no coincidence that Betty found herself again at the same time that Veronica waltzed into her life.

“Do you ever wonder what it would’ve been like if we met sooner?”

Veronica laughs, and Betty’s surprised by how the simple sound makes her feel so light.

“Oh, I know what it would have been like. You would have hated me.”

“You think?”

Veronica’s smiling as she looks at her, “I think so.” She says, “Or I would have been this version of myself sooner. I mean, if I’d moved to Riverdale a year ago, you probably would have caught me bullying Jughead every day of the week for fun.”

At the mention of Jughead, Betty’s smile falls, reminded of what she still hasn’t told Veronica about this week’s incidents.

“What?” Veronica laughs awkwardly, “I’m just joking, B. Don’t fret.” She says, “I won’t hurt your boyfriend.”

She says it with so much bitterness that Betty’s not even sure she can tell Veronica about the kiss. She’s clearly already annoyed with how much time Betty’s spent with Jughead instead of her.

But they’re supposed to be best friends.

They’re supposed to tell each other these things. It’s not like Veronica actually dislikes Jughead, he’s just been the main person stuck in-between their friendship lately.

God, Betty doesn’t know why she feels so guilty about the kiss. It’s not like she even did anything wrong.

“It’s not that…” Betty starts hesitantly, “It’s just… I have something else to tell you.”

Veronica’s expression darkens, “What?”

Betty chews on her bottom lip, looking away from Veronica and back up at the sky now, “Jughead. He… he kind of…” she sighs, “Well, he kissed me.”

She only receives complete silence in response, and when it drags on a little too long, Betty turns her head to look back at Veronica.

She can see the way the girl’s jaw keeps clenching, and Veronica’s brow is furrowed.

“Ronnie?”

“Oh. Sorry.” Veronica lets out a soft laugh, “That’s… something.”

“… I guess.”

“Did you… did you like it?”

Betty sighs, “I don’t know. I’ve been so caught up in this Polly thing, I honestly had no idea he even liked me like that.”

“Well, he clearly does.” Veronica says, “So I guess you have some things to think about.”

Veronica’s lacking the usual enthusiasm she exudes when gossiping about these kinds of things, her voice instead completely cold, like she’d prefer to be having any conversation but this one right now.

The silence that hangs between them feels full with unspoken expectations. And Betty has no idea what she even wants out of this conversation, let alone what Veronica wants.

“Yeah.” Betty agrees weakly, “I guess so.”

And then Veronica pulls her hand from Betty’s, resting it on her stomach instead.

And the action shouldn’t even be significant, but Betty swears she feels her heart actually split in two.


As Betty could have predicted, the day after she told Veronica about Jughead starts with Veronica on her doorstep with a coffee in hand and acting like the awkwardness between them the previous night never even occurred.

Betty’s used to the routine all too well, now.

Give Veronica time to sleep on something, and she’ll find a way to work around it and force things back to the norm the next day with ease.

She gushes to Betty about Jughead, like a best friend should, and even pushes Betty to propose a date with the boy.

And while this is all well and good, Betty can’t help but notice how completely fake Veronica’s attitude seems.

Of course, she doesn’t bother bringing it up, and instead just takes Veronica’s advice and asks Jughead out. And it’s nice, for a moment.

Jughead is easy to be around and he treats her well. But that’s all there really is to it. With Jughead, there’s no yearning to be around him or missing him when he’s gone. Sure, Betty enjoys spending time with him, but all of the ‘butterflies-in-your-stomach’, ‘stars in your eyes’ things you’re supposedly meant to feel with someone are completely absent.

But Betty decides to give it time, hoping that maybe something will change.

It doesn’t, and Betty starts to find herself using other people as a scapegoat to avoid being alone with Jughead and having to deal with the fact that it just isn’t working between them. Mostly, their time is spent at Veronica’s apartment with Polly, who is now living with the Lodge’s. Which, often means Veronica is there, too.

Betty can feel how uncomfortable Jughead is every time Veronica joins them, and she can’t really blame him. She knows how much she and Veronica can alienate other people when they’re around each other, and as her boyfriend, it’s no surprise Jughead isn’t crazy about it.

It’s not like Betty does it intentionally, though. It’s just always so easy to get carried away with Veronica. And with Veronica’s existing dislike for the boy, she doesn’t exactly make it easy for him to participate in their conversations.

As expected, this causes friction. And Jughead puts up with it for as long as he can before he finally says something.

His mood is obvious the moment Betty walks into Pop’s and sits down opposite him at the booth, Jughead barely even mumbling out a ‘hi’ over his burger.

Betty knew this was coming after last night. They’d been hanging out with Polly at the Lodge’s yet again when it came time to go home. Jughead had offered to walk her, but when Betty decided to stay behind instead, and wait for Veronica to come home from a dinner with Josie, Jughead had barely even attempted to hide his scowl before making a quick exit.

Now, as he continues to munch on his burger and refuses to even make eye contact with Betty, it’s obvious Jughead’s irritation has lingered.

“So… are we going to talk about it?”

Jughead continues to eat, “About what?”

Betty sighs, waiting for the waitress to finish pouring her a coffee before continuing, “About why you’re so mad at me for staying at Ronnie’s last night.”

“It’s not about last night.” Jughead says, his tone that frustrating mixture between scorn and complete nonchalance.

“What’s it about, then?”

"Veronica.” Jughead finally stops eating then, turning his full attention to Betty, “She doesn’t like me, Betty. And you’re letting her get between us.”

“Don’t be like that.” Betty rolls her eyes, “It’s not Ronnie’s fault that this isn’t working.”

“You really can’t see how your friendship with her has effected our relationship?”

“I mean… yeah, I get that we can be a bit much sometimes-”

“A bit much?” Jughead scoffs, “Betty, I might as well not be there at all when you’re with Veronica.”

“She’s my best friend.”

“And I’m your boyfriend.”

Betty deflates falling back in the booth, “Well…” she starts, letting out a sigh, “Maybe you shouldn’t be.”

Jughead stares at her, clearly surprised by the response, “You want to break up?”

Betty stares at her coffee, finger circling the rim of the mug, “I mean… I love you, Juggy, I do- I just… I’m not sure we’re supposed to be more than friends.”

Jughead frowns, swiping up a fry from his plate and taking his time to eat it before regarding her with an inquisitive look, “You really feel that way?”

Betty sighs, looking to Jughead, “I can’t be the only one of us who has noticed how different things are now.” She says, “We had so much more fun together before we started dating. Now I just feel like you’re mad at me half the time.”

“Well, I think I just assumed that when I became your boyfriend I would stop taking a backseat to the Veronica Lodge show.” Jughead says, “But I guess I should have known Veronica would never let that happen.”

I wouldn’t let that happen, either.” Betty stresses, unable to hide her irritation over the boy’s dislike for her best friend, “I’m sorry but Ronnie is important to me. And if you can’t handle that, then we really shouldn’t be together.”

“Then, fine. I guess you’re right.” Jughead says, “We shouldn’t be.”

They stare at each other for a moment, neither having much else to say, and Betty eventually pushes her coffee away from her, getting up from the booth.

“I guess that’s that, then.” She says.

Jughead doesn’t look up at her, pulling his laptop to him and opening up the screen, hunched over and looking anything but happy with the result of the discussion, “I guess so.”

Betty takes her cue, and as she leaves Pop’s, the fact that she doesn’t feel upset by the outcome is telling enough that she did the right thing after all.


The next day at school, Betty is on her way to tell Veronica the news of her and Jughead’s breakup when she finds out that it’s now her turn to plaster on a fake smile for her best friend.

“I have a date.” Veronica states at her locker.

And it’s that exact sentence that promptly ruins Betty’s week. So when Veronica asks about Jughead, for some childish reason, Betty feigns a smitten expression and gushes about him like she didn’t just end things. And the scowl that Veronica barely hides makes her feel a little bit better.

But of course, Friday night comes around, and Betty now kinda understands why Veronica was so annoyed about the Jughead thing.

Because sitting in her bedroom, knowing Veronica is off with some stupid guy probably having an amazing time and holding his stupid hand and laughing at his stupid jokes, is absolute torture.

She’s sitting at her desk, with her textbooks open but ignored in favor of her laptop, on which Betty is scrolling through Veronica’s Facebook profile.

She knows she should have spent the night hanging out with Kevin, but despite that, Betty has taken to holing up in her bedroom and feeling downright miserable.

And surely this can’t be normal. Who the hell is this insecure about a friendship that the thought of Veronica going out with a guy has her thinking she’s going to completely lose her out of her life.

But still, she’s looking through Veronica’s Facebook like the girl has died or something, and snacking on comfort food like an absolute idiot.

She does get a small sense of satisfaction from the fact that she’s in almost all of Veronica’s recent pictures, though, so that’s something.

Betty glances to her phone, which holds numerous messages from Veronica tonight that Betty has not replied to, because apparently she’s just that pathetic. The fact that Veronica has finally stopped texting her tells Betty that the date must have gone well, and she’s probably busy with her tongue stuck down the guy’s throat right at this moment.

Betty actually lets out a disgusted sound at the thought, looking back to the Facebook profile with a glare.

A light tapping against her window is what eventually snaps Betty out of her obsessive assessment of Veronica’s profile, and she quickly closes her browser, feeling like she’s been caught out doing something she shouldn’t have.

(Which, is ridiculous. She’s allowed to look at her friend’s Facebook profile, right? Even if it is for a strangely long period of time)

Betty shuts her laptop as the tapping continues and she rises from her bed and walks over to the window, pushing back the curtain to discover Veronica down on her front lawn.

“What…” Betty huffs, opening up the window and leaning over the threshold, “Ronnie?” she hisses, attempting to keep her voice from travelling to her parent’s bedroom, “What are you doing here?”

“Let me in!” Veronica calls back, keeping her own voice just above a whisper and gesturing to the front door.

Betty rolls her eyes, shutting her window and doing as she’s told, dreading the thought of her mother investigating the sound and finding Veronica there before her.

Once she’s snuck down to the front door Veronica is waiting outside for her, and moves inside without invite, heading straight for Betty’s bedroom while Betty trails behind in confusion.

Once her door closes behind them, Betty turns to Veronica, “Is something wrong?”

“Hm? No, of course not.” Veronica hums, falling back onto Betty’s bed as though it’s not strange at all for her to be sneaking into the Cooper household in the middle of the night. “I just wanted to see you.”

“What’s with the stone throwing?”

“Well you haven’t answered any of my texts tonight, so I figured a more direct approach might work better.” Veronica quips, “Besides, I thought it’d be cute.”

“Right.” Betty mumbles, moving to sit at her desk instead of on the bed with Veronica.

She knows she has no real reason to be annoyed with Veronica, but all the same, she can’t quite deal with having the girl being her usual over-affectionate self.

Veronica’s frown tells her that she’s caught onto Betty’s mood, and she rests forward on her knees, watching her with that annoyingly inquisitive stare.

“So. Why have you been ignoring my texts?”

“I haven’t been ignoring them, I’ve just been busy.” Betty lies, “Homework.”

“Hm.”

Betty shifts awkwardly on her seat as a silence settles over them, Veronica continuing to stare at her like she can completely see through all of her bullshit.

“So… how was your date?” she asks begrudgingly, because it’s what she should do.

Because they’re best friends.

They’re supposed to talk about these things and Betty’s supposed to want to gush with Veronica over the latest boy she’s dated.

She cares about Veronica, so Betty really has no idea why the thought of talking about this stuff makes her want to stick a fork in her eye instead.

Maybe it’s because of the state of her own love life. Maybe she’s just jealous of Veronica for having the attention of every guy at school.

“It was horrible.” Veronica declares dramatically, and Betty immediately feels relief wash over her, straightening up in her chair.

“Oh? Why?”

“No real reason.” Veronica shrugs, “Just… not the person for me. I spent the whole time waiting for when it wouldn’t be rude for me to bail.”

Betty offers Veronica sympathetic smile, despite the selfish joy she’s currently feeling, “Sorry, V.”

“It’s fine. I knew it’d be a bust, anyway.” Veronica says, “I should’ve just done movie night with you, instead. Then again, I suppose you would’ve been off with ‘Juggy’.”

A smile tugs at Betty’s lips over the blatant disdain loaded behind the nickname for Jughead, “Why do you hate him so much?”

“I don’t hate him. I just don’t particularly understand what you see in him.”

“He’s nice.”

“So is my doorman.” Veronica drawls, “I’m not dating him.”

Betty bites down on her bottom lip, stifling a laugh, “You know, I don’t question your choice in guys.”

“Well, Betty, if you do have an issue with the people I choose to date, maybe you should say something and we can change that.” Veronica arches a brow, and Betty can’t help but feel like there’s a lot more to the response than the surface.

Betty doesn’t break Veronica’s stare, arms crossed in front of her stubbornly.

Of course, she’s the one to cave first under the silence, letting out a sigh, “Whatever. I ended things with Jughead, anyway.” She says, “So you don’t have to complain about him anymore.”

Veronica visibly freezes, “Oh.” She shifts on the bed, “Are you… okay?”

“I’m fine.” Betty shrugs, “It wasn’t going anywhere.”

“Why do you think that?”

“I don’t know. It just… didn’t feel right.”

Veronica nods, toying with the fabric of Betty’s bed sheets in a rare sign of timidity, “You don’t think… it could be because you have feelings for someone else?”

Betty frowns, and when Veronica does look up to meet her eyes, she’s wearing a nervous expression, “Like who?”

“Maybe,” Veronica shrugs, “… Archie?”

The name takes Betty by complete surprise, and she doesn’t know what she was really hoping for, but disappointment washes over her.

Archie?” she lets out a soft laugh, “Where did that come from?”

“Well- I mean, you were head over heels for him when I met you.”

“I was an idiot.” Betty rolls her eyes, “I love Archie, but the guy I wanted him to be and the guy he is are two completely different people. I know that now.”

“Right.” Veronica nods, “So there aren’t any lingering feelings there?”

Betty’s stomach twists in discomfort at the realization that hits her then.

Is Veronica asking for herself? Is that what this is? She has feelings for Archie?

“… no.” Betty murmurs, “I don’t have any feelings for Archie.”

She doesn’t know why the idea of Veronica and Archie annoys her so much. They’re both her friends. If she’s really over Archie, she should be fine with it. But the thought of being sidelined while the pair walk off into the sunset makes her stomach turn with jealousy.

“Okay.” Veronica smiles, oblivious to Betty’s rising panic, “Now stop being weird and come over here.” she says, patting the space next to her on the bed, “I need sleep and you’re the best cuddler I know.”

Chapter Text

A few weeks later, after a particularly bad fight with her parents over the exhausted topic of Polly’s pregnancy, Betty finds herself seeking solace at Veronica’s yet again.

She’s sure if Veronica hadn’t walked into her life, this year would have been a lot less bearable than it has been. The only real redeeming thing about the events of late is that she at least has Veronica waiting with open arms whenever Betty feels like she’s close to cracking.

This night is worse than most. After playing the role of the figurative punching bag for her Mom’s frustrations for weeks now, Betty’s been left feeling absolutely exhausted. And the fact that there’s no clear sight of a light at the end of the tunnel just makes everything that much more frustrating.

Betty’s spent the better part of the afternoon teary-eyed and babbling on about how worried she is over how things are going to end with the Polly situation, and Veronica’s patiently listened to every word.

Now, she’s lying down with her head in Veronica’s lap, dreading the thought of eventually having to leave the girl and drag herself back home.

(She’ll inevitably sneak out to return to Veronica’s anyway, but the thought of having to walk back into that house even for a few hours is horrible.)

Veronica’s fingers rake through Betty’s hair softly, and Betty’s already feeling calmer under the simple action.

“I’m just tired of it all.” Betty sighs, “The house literally feels like a prison.”

“You could always move in here.” Veronica offers, and Betty knows she’s completely serious, “We always have room for another Cooper.”

Betty actually considers taking her up on the offer. Lately it’s like she lives here, anyway. Even on nights she is forced spend at home, they usually end with either her or Veronica sneaking out to see the one another. It honestly feels weird to wake up without Veronica at her side these days.

“It would be nice to be able to actually sleep-in for once.” Veronica teases, “As thrilling as sneaking out of your room before your mom wakes up is, I wouldn’t be opposed to a more simple sleep schedule.”

Betty laughs softly, “You know me moving in here would only make things worse with my parents.” She says, “But thanks for the offer.”

Her eyes flutter closed as Veronica’s fingers stroke over her t-section, practically purring under the girl’s touch, “That feels good.” She mumbles, yawning, “Keep doing that.”

“You know what you need?” Veronica says, “A night out to just forget everything and have fun.”

Betty smiles, “Oh, you’re going to invite me to the club this time?” she teases.

Veronica taps Betty’s nose, grinning down at her, “What do you think?” she says, “Let some steam off for once. I’ll get a group together; it’ll be fun.”

Before she can respond, the pair are interrupted by Veronica’s door opening, and Betty cranes her neck to find Polly standing there.

Her sister’s wearing that same hesitant expression she always wears whenever she walks in on Betty and Veronica hanging out. Like she feels as though she’s intruding on something.

Betty figures it’s just because of how close they are. Before Veronica, Betty had never exactly been the type to be so affectionate with her friends. It’s no wonder Polly’s so unsure how to respond to it.

“Oh, sorry, guys.” Polly says, and Betty sits up from Veronica’s lap, smiling at her.

“It’s fine, Polly,” she laughs, putting her hair back up into a ponytail, “We’re just talking.”

(What else would they be doing?)

Veronica grins at Polly, “I’m trying to convince your sister to go clubbing with me.”

Polly relaxes at that, walking into the bedroom excitedly, “You should! It’ll be good for you, Betty.”

“Yeah, but Mom would probably put me under house arrest if she ever found out.” Betty drawls.

“Betty… I’m pregnant with a Blossom’s child.” Polly says, “You could commit a felon and Mom would still consider you the golden child.”

“That is true.” Veronica laughs, “What do you really have to lose? Besides, she won’t find out.”

Betty groans, “You can’t be sure of that. She’s literally a reporter. Digging up secrets is her job.”

“Well then, look at it this way. If she does find out and go crazy, you have even more of a reason to join Polly and move in here.” Veronica jokes, reaching out to squeeze Betty’s hand encouragingly, “Please, B?” she pouts, “It’ll be worth it. I promise.”

Betty rolls her eyes, because really, when has she ever been able to say no to Veronica, anyway?

“You’ll make me go even if I do say no, won’t you?”

Veronica grins, shrugging, “Well, as your best friend, it is my job to make sure you get out there and have fun every once in a while.”

Betty doesn’t notice the curious expression Polly is wearing, her sister’s eyes focused on where Veronica’s still holding Betty’s hand.

“In that case,” she sighs, a smile tugging at her lips, “I guess I have to go, don’t I?”


When Saturday arrives, Veronica arranges for everyone to meet at her apartment, with her mother being out for the night as well.

It’s apparent she’s invited everyone who could remotely be considered a friend, as even Cheryl shows up with Reggie, Josie and Melody. Kevin is there, too, but thankfully there’s no Jughead.

When Archie arrives alone, without Valerie at his side and looking particularly downtrodden, Betty immediately senses that the night is about to go downhill for her.

“No Val tonight?” Veronica asks.

Archie’s smile falters, “Oh… yeah, no.” he shakes his head, “We kinda broke up. She decided to stay behind tonight.”

Betty feels bad for her friend, but dread quickly sneaks up on her at the reminder that now that Archie is single, Veronica really has no reason not to act on her apparent feelings for him.

“Well, then.” Veronica smiles at the boy, reaching out to squeeze his arm gently, “I guess Betty’s not the only one who needs to let off some steam tonight.”

Betty watches the interaction with that familiar feeling of jealousy settling in her stomach, and thankfully neither Archie nor Veronica notice the frown on her face as she watches them.

And Betty’s not so sure this night is going to be too fun, after all.


To her credit, at the beginning of the night, Veronica is all about making sure Betty is having a fun time.

When they arrive at the club (which to the surprise of everyone but Kevin, is a gay club), Veronica takes Betty’s hand in her own and makes a beeline for the bar to buy their first drinks of the night.

After that, they dance for a while, and when they eventually find their way back to the bar. Betty’s giggling over something Veronica says when an intimidatingly tall woman interrupts them.

“Sorry for interrupting, but I couldn’t not say something.” The woman says, eyes fixed on Betty and wearing a warm smile, “You’re absolutely gorgeous.”

Betty feels Veronica stiffen next to her, and Betty’s mouth falls open, taken aback by the bold compliment.

“Um…” Betty laughs, looking to Veronica, who’s downright scowling at the woman right now, “Thanks, I guess?”

“No problem.” The woman says, still apparently oblivious to the deadly stare Veronica has trained on her, “I’d love to buy you a drink, if you’re not…” she finally looks to Veronica then, eyes glancing over her almost dismissively, “Already preoccupied.”

Betty’s eyes widen when she catches on to the insinuation, “Oh, we’re not...” she lets out a nervous laugh, unsure exactly how to step around the situation, “You know…”

She looks to Veronica for help, but Veronica just offers her a forced smile, casting her eyes down to her drink as she stirs her straw around the glass awkwardly.

“We’re friends.” Betty settles on, looking back to the woman.

“Well, in that case,” the woman smiles, “What are you drinking?”

Betty can actually hear the exasperated sigh Veronica lets out next to her, but the girl stays firmly at her side as the woman proceeds to buy Betty another drink.

Thankfully, Betty’s apparent suitor only sticks around for a brief conversation with Betty, telling her to come find her later in the night before then leaving her and Veronica alone again.

Once she’s left, Betty turns back to Veronica, completely stumped by the experience, “Well… she was nice.”

“Hm.” Veronica responds, scanning the club and notably lacking the enthusiasm that had been emanating off her before the woman’s interruption.

“Everything okay, V?” Betty asks unsurely, feeling like she’s done something wrong.

Veronica’s eyes move to Betty, and she nods, smile false as ever, “Why wouldn’t it be?” she looks away, and Betty follows her gaze to where Archie is sitting, “I’ll see you later, yeah?” she says then, and Betty’s smile falls.

Veronica doesn’t even wait for a response before leaving Betty at the bar and making her way to Archie.


Veronica’s spent what must be at least an hour now in one of the seating areas with Archie, the pair looking like they’re barely even aware of the activities surrounding them, leant into one another while they discuss whatever is so important that it has to be done in a fucking club.

And Betty’s fine with the idea of Veronica liking Archie. Sure.

But really, does she have to use a night out with their friends as an opportunity to get deep and meaningful with him?

In the time that they’ve been speaking, Betty’s drank a considerable amount more. Not because she’s sulking or anything, just because… well because she just has, okay?

When Veronica eventually does apparently remember that she came here with more people than just Archie, she finds Betty sitting at the bar.

She must catch onto Betty’s hostility, reaching up to squeeze Betty’s elbow for attention and smiling when she turns to her, “You okay, B?”

“I’m fine.”

Veronica laughs, “Try again.”

“You and Archie were talking for a while.” Betty says, attempting to sound nonchalant.

Veronica’s expression gives nothing away, and it almost looks like she’s trying to make sure Betty can’t read any emotions on her, “We were.” She says simply.

Betty eyes her for a moment, and scoffs, shaking her head in disbelief. Because apparently she missed the memo where they now don’t talk to each other about things.

Like, really. Does she really think Betty wouldn’t catch onto her feelings for Archie?

At Betty’s complete lack of an attempt to hide her displeasure with Veronica’s answer, Veronica arches a brow, “Is that a problem, Betty?”

“No.” Betty shrugs, “It’s just, tonight was supposed to be about fun…”

“We are having fun.”

“Ronnie, you’ve spent the whole night hiding out with Archie.” Betty realizes how bitter she sounds as she says it, “I mean- that’s fine- you’re allowed to talk to him. But we did come here as a group.”

“Well I would’ve thought you’d be preoccupied with that woman, anyway.” Veronica snipes, “I’m sure she’d be happy to give you the attention you want.”

Betty scoffs, “Do you see me with her, Ronnie?” she says, “No. Because I actually came here tonight thinking it was about having fun with my friends.”

“You know, Betty, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’re jealous.”

“What?” Betty laughs, shaking her head, “I already told you, I’m over Archie.”

Veronica stares at her, looking so utterly annoyed by the response that Betty’s sure she must have missed something. Because shouldn’t her not liking Archie be exactly what Veronica wants to hear?

“Okay… what have I done wrong now?” Betty says, wondering if in her drunken stupor she’s completely misread the situation.

Veronica sighs, turning back to the bar and signaling for the bartender’s attention, “Nothing. It’s nothing.”

“It doesn’t sound like-”

“Can I get four tequila shots, please?”

Betty’s eyes widen at the order, “I don’t think I can do more than one-”

“Good. Because the other three are for me.” Veronica sends her a tight smile, handing cash over to the bartender, before proceeding to throw back the first two shots.

When she picks up the final one, she waits for Betty to do the same, lifting it up in cheers, “You said you want to let loose, B.” she says, “Bottom’s up.”


Apparently, that final shot was all it took to completely send Betty over into the drunken abyss, and the stiff conversation with Veronica is far from her mind as she dances with her friends.

The music is so loud she can practically feel the bass in her bones, and the crowds of people pressed close together as they dance only helps her get further lost in the moment around her.

Veronica is in front of her, looking like she belongs on the dance floor, and Betty doesn’t fail to notice the amount of eyes that are on her as her hips move so seductively to the beat. And Betty doesn’t the make the conscious decision to do so, but she does edge closer to Veronica in response.

Veronica just smiles up at her, happy to accept the attention, and circles her arms around Betty’s neck, pulling her closer in.

They’re so close that Betty feels the need to speak or she won’t know what to do with herself, “I’m sorry for being stupid before.” She calls over the music.

Veronica pulls back, frowning, “What?”

Betty laughs, leaning in closer so her mouth is next to Veronica’s ear, “I said I’m sorry. For before. I was being stupid and it wasn’t fair to you.” She says, “Did you hear that?”

“Oh, I heard you the first time. And I suppose I can forgive you.” Veronica smirks, “And Betty?”

“Yeah?”

Veronica grins, rolling her eyes, “Put your hands on my hips.”

Betty only now realizes that her arms have been hanging dead at her sides, and her cheeks redden, “Oh.” She mumbles, placing her hands hesitantly on Veronica’s hips, “Sorry.”

Veronica looks amused as ever, tongue running over her bottom lip before she leans in to speak again, “Good.” She calls, “Now how about you actually dance, and have some fun. That’s what we’re here for, right?”

Betty glances around, but no one is paying attention. And she remembers it’s a gay club, so it’s unlikely this is in any way interesting to anyone in this place. Even though it feels like such a big deal to Betty.

It’s when she spots Archie moving towards the dance floor that Betty finally commits to the moment, because like hell is she going to wait to lose Veronica’s attention to Archie all over again.

As she begins to follow Veronica’s lead, the other girl looks up at her with a flirty smile, “That’s better.” Veronica commends, and then she’s turning around in Betty’s arms, leaving one arm hooked around her neck.

Betty swallows hard as Veronica leans back into her, and she feels a shiver run down her spine as Veronica’s fingers scratch at the back of her neck.

“Ronnie…” she murmurs next to Veronica’s ear, hands tightening at Veronica’s hips when the girl’s dancing against her gets particularly more sensual.

Veronica just tips her head back against Betty’s shoulder, and looks at Betty with a simple smile that has her forget why she even said anything at all.

She moves with Veronica now, her hands finding themselves splayed across Veronica’s stomach. Betty can smell the mixture of sweat and perfume on her neck. And really- is she that drunk that the sight of the light sheen of sweat on Veronica’s chest is almost enticing?

A part of Betty thinks she might have even drank so much tonight in hopes that something along these lines would happen.

She doesn’t even realize she’s leant in to brush her lips over Veronica’s neck until she feels fingers tug at her hair harder.

But Veronica isn’t pulling her away. In fact, Betty’s sure she’s encouraging her to continue, if the way Veronica tilts her head to expose more of her neck to her is anything to go by.

And Betty’s drunk, and for some reason, this just seems like the most natural thing to do. And if they’ve done it before, why not do it now, too?

Betty doesn’t even care that their friends are surrounding them; honestly Kevin could start making out with Josie right now and Betty wouldn’t even notice.

Veronica’s turning in her arms now, and Betty’s expecting her to be doing so in order to put this to an end before they get carried away. Because surely one of them should have their shit together right now.

But, of course, as usual they seem to both be stuck in the exact same haze. Veronica’s as close as possible, pressed up against her, and Betty’s breaths are heavy as their noses bump together, lips ghosting over one another’s in a painful game of cat and mouse.

Veronica has that look on her face again; the same one that she had that night at Cheryl’s. Like she wants so badly to close the distance between them, but she’s not yet decided if it’s worth what they risk by doing so.

Betty knows it isn’t worth it. No drunken kiss is worth possibly losing Veronica, no matter how much she wants it. But then the devil on her shoulder tells her that really, a drunken kiss shouldn’t even have the power to do so. If anyone has mastered moving on like normal, it’s her and Veronica.

And God, Betty wants it so bad that she’s happy to ignore common sense. And it seems like Veronica’s decided the exact same, because with one more unsure glance between Betty’s eyes and her lips, she finally closes the distance between them.

It’s slower than the kiss at Cheryl’s. Not as desperate, but no less consuming. This time, Betty is aware of every little thing about it. The way Veronica’s body is practically melting into her own, the softness of her lips and the fingers burying into her hair. Betty memorizes every second of it.

Veronica lets out a little sigh, sucking on Betty’s bottom lip as one of her hands cups Betty’s jaw tenderly. And when Betty feels teeth bite down on her bottom lip, her knees almost buckle right there on the dance floor.

Her mouth falls open with a soft gasp and then Veronica’s tongue is dipping in and- oh, Betty can’t believe she’s spent all these weeks kissing Jughead when she could have been making up reasons to do this instead.

As she pushes back eagerly, relishing the taste of the tequila on Veronica’s tongue and pulling her in closer, Betty wonders just how much longer they have before they reach the expiration date on this ‘drunk’ excuse. Because knowing how good this feels, Betty’s not sure she’ll be able to resist seeking this out the moment her inhibitions are lowered again.

She’s not sure how long they’re on the dance floor, attached to one another’s lips and completely oblivious to everyone else around them. But apparently, it’s a while, as when they’re finally forced away from each other, it’s Cheryl who has come to retrieve them.

She doesn’t seem fazed at all by them kissing, and honestly just looks bored, telling the pair it’s time to end their ‘cry for attention’ and meet the rest of their friends outside to go home.

Betty and Veronica are both relatively silent after they leave the dance floor and join their friends outside the club, waiting for the cab back home. But Veronica’s hand never leaves Betty’s, which is enough to stop her from a preemptive panic that this time, they have fucked everything up between them.

“Honestly, girls.” Cheryl drawls, “I know it’s a gay club and all but do you look for any reason to shove your tongues down each others’ throats?”

Betty is about to make a snarky remark of her own, but Veronica takes the lead, no doubt in an effort to stop Betty and Cheryl from ending the night with a fight.

“Give it a rest, Cheryl.” she says, “You could do with letting loose yourself.”

Veronica blows a teasing kiss to Cheryl, and the other girl just rolls her eyes in return and drops it.

Betty’s amused smile falls when Veronica’s hand leaves her own then, though, and she is forced to pretend to be interested in whatever Kevin and Reggie are speaking about as Veronica leaves her to speak with Archie again instead.

And it shouldn’t sting at all.

But it does.


Betty still ends up back at Veronica’s apartment that night, and the pair drunkenly manage to get their way into bed with very little spoken between them. Betty’s unsure what the cause of Veronica’s silence is, but her own is the result of the bitterness that still lingers over seeing her with Archie.

They’re lying awake in the dark, the light outside the window softly illuminating their faces as Betty and Veronica watch each other silently. Something between them feels so unsettled, but Betty doesn’t have it in her to bring it up, in fear that it will break the state of normalcy that they’ve been holding onto so tight.

It feels like they’re standing on the edge of something, and once they fall, nothing is going to be the same again.

And Betty has no idea just what it is that’s waiting for them yet, but it terrifies her.

“Betty?” Veronica asks, her voice barely above a whisper.

“Yeah?”

“We’re okay, right?”

Betty frowns, “Of course.” She says, “Why wouldn’t we be?”

“I don’t know.” Veronica murmurs, letting out a sigh, “I just… I don’t want to lose you, B.”

Betty’s heart aches at the admission, but a small part of her is relieved to know that at least Veronica’s experiencing similar fears to her own.

She smiles softly, reaching out to grasp Veronica’s hand between them on the mattress, “I’m not going anywhere, Ronnie.”


The next morning, Betty wakes in Veronica’s bedroom to a face full of raven hair. Her arms are wrapped around Veronica’s middle and chin tucked into the crook of her neck, and Veronica’s hands hold Betty’s arms in place around her. When Betty does attempt to edge away, Veronica just mumbles out something unintelligible and grips Betty’s arms tighter, closing the distance between them again.

And it’s lying there, with Veronica in her arms, that Betty realizes that there’s not much she wouldn’t do to keep the girl in her life. And if that means stomaching the idea of her and Archie becoming an item, she’ll deal with it.

Because she’s Betty Cooper. And she’s not sure she can go back to a life without Veronica Lodge.

Chapter Text

“It’s a bright, sunny Saturday. There’s no cheer practice and we’re both up to date on our homework.” Veronica starts, sat on one of the workbenches in the Cooper garage and letting out a sigh, “So riddle me this, Betty, why are we wasting it on fixing up some old car?”

Betty laughs from where she’s lying beneath the latest project car her dad has brought home, “Who is ‘we’?” she says, pushing her legs out to propel the wheel board beneath her out from under the car, sending Veronica a pointed look, “You don’t have to hang out with me, you know.”

“I’m here for peer support.” Veronica shrugs, “Besides, who else would I spend the day with?”

Betty grins, getting up from the floor and walking over to the hood of the car, “I’m sure there are plenty of people that would kill to spend the day with ‘Veronica Lodge’.” she teases.

“Hmm, no one beats Betty Cooper though.”

“Then suck it up, V. I’m spending the day on the car.”

Why, though? You can’t even drive yet.”

“Technically, I can. It’s just not quite legal.” When Betty looks over to Veronica, her best friend is wearing a mischievous smile. She immediately catches onto what’s going through her head, “No joy rides.”

“Ugh, you’re boring.” Veronica grumbles, head falling back into her hands, “What’s the point in having the Sherriff’s son for a friend if we can’t even get away with a little unlicensed driving?”

Betty rolls her eyes, “I don’t know, Ronnie.” She says, tapping her chin with her finger with a faux expression of thought on her face, “Maybe… friendship?”

Veronica’s unimpressed with the teasing, arching a brow, “You just smeared grease over your face.”

Betty frowns, wiping at her chin with the back of her hand and then looking to Veronica in question.

“Now it’s worse.” Veronica smiles smugly, “You know, you actually look kinda cute with the whole dirty mechanic, overalls look.”

“Don’t be annoying.”

“I’m serious!” Veronica laughs, “Not everyone can rock the grease monkey thing.”

“You know, if you’re bored, you should go see if Archie’s home.” Betty says, choosing to ignore Veronica’s teasing, “He’ll probably be in his studio.”

“I’m fine.” Veronica sighs, “I’ll just wait until you pay me the attention I deserve.”

Betty frowns, pulling back from the car and wiping her hands with the rag from her pocket, “Ronnie…” she starts hesitantly, “You know you can spend time with Archie without me? I won’t have a problem with it.”

That’s a complete lie, but Betty’s hoping that if she says it enough, one day it’ll actually be true. If she’s going to go down the whole ‘support Veronica’s love life’ route, she might as well start trying to stomach the idea of her and Archie sooner rather than later.

Veronica scoffs, “I know that. I’d just prefer to be with you.”

“I just…” Betty grips her hands in front of her anxiously, “I mean… we never really talked about it. You and Archie.”

“There’s nothing to talk about. We’re friends.”

“Yeah, I know.” Betty rolls her eyes, “What I mean is, if you guys like each other… you should go for it.”

Betty’s stomach twists unpleasantly even as the words leave her mouth.

Veronica laughs, “Wait- are you serious?” she balks, “Are you seriously suggesting that I have feelings for Archie?”

There’s a shift in Veronica’s expression now. She almost looks… angry.

Which, is ridiculous. Because it was only just a few weeks ago when Veronica was grilling Betty about Archie. Does she really think Betty’s so stupid that she wouldn’t catch on to what Veronica was doing that for? Especially after she spent so much of their night clubbing focusing her energy on Archie instead.

“I’m just saying it would be fine if you do-”

“Oh my god.” Veronica groans, “Betty. It’s a Saturday and I’m here spending it watching you build a fucking car.”

Betty pauses, “… yeah, and I’m saying that if you’d prefer to spend time with Archie, it’s okay-”

“But that’s not what I’m saying!” Veronica exclaims, Betty’s mouth dropping dumbly at the outburst, “Betty, I don’t want to spend time with Archie. I want to be here with you.”

“Okay, fine. I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“You seriously have no idea what’s going on, do you?” Veronica continues.

“Apparently not.” Betty sighs, “I just don’t want to be in the way of anything that could happen with you guys.”

“You’re not in the way.” Veronica huffs, “Well, you are, but not in the way you think.”

Betty frowns, “What’s that supposed mean?”

“I don’t like Archie, Betty.”

“Then how am I in the way?”

“Are you seriously going to make me spell it out for you?”

Betty huffs, “Spell what out?”

“Betty, I spend every second with you. Every time you want to do some dumb thing, I’m right there, by your side. Even if I don’t want to be there. What do you think that means?”

“You’re my best friend-”

“Your best friend.” Veronica repeats, letting out a bitter laugh, “Right. Sure.”

“Ronnie, I don’t get what you’re trying to say.”

Veronica sighs, shaking her head, “No, you’re right. I’m your best friend. That’s it.” She says, jumping down from the workbench, “Let’s just… forget I said anything and I’ll go to Archie’s like you so desperately want me to.”

Betty gapes as Veronica walks past her, following the girl out onto the driveway, “Are you serious right now?” she says in disbelief, reaching out for Veronica’s hand to bring her to a stop, “You just went off on me for no reason and I’m supposed to ‘forget it’? I’m not doing that.”

“Why not?” Veronica says bitterly, “I’d say ignoring things is one of your greatest talents.”

That annoys Betty, and she lets out a loud laugh, “Really?” she says, “Veronica I could burn my house down right now and you’d still wake up tomorrow pretending it’s just another normal day.”

Veronica glares at her stubbornly, “Just forget it.”

She pulls against Betty’s hold, but Betty doesn’t let go of her wrist, “No. I’m not going to do that.”

Veronica looks like she might just slap Betty soon, but Betty holds her ground, waiting for some form of response.

Veronica looks down the street, and Betty sees how her jaw tightens in annoyance as she thinks over her next move.

“Okay, fine.” She bites out eventually, looking back to Betty, “Then I guess I’ll spell it out for you.”

She tugs Betty forward with surprising strength, and then her lips are on hers in a hard kiss.

Betty barely even gets a chance to register to warmth of Veronica’s lips or how much she’s missed this feeling before Veronica is pulling away and stepping back again, wearing such a broken expression that she barely even looks like herself.

Betty licks her lips, swallowing hard, “… oh.”

Veronica’s breaths are heavy, and she composes herself, “So.” She huffs, “Now, I guess you know.”


Betty isn’t even given an opportunity to wrap her around the kiss and respond appropriately before Veronica is already walking down the driveway, leaving her standing stunned in her spot.

And the next day, Veronica doesn’t show up on Betty’s doorstep with coffee in hand and ready to start from scratch all over again.

Betty’s not even sure if that’s what she would want to happen, anyway.

Does she want to just go back to normal?

Isn’t that exactly the issue with their friendship? Constantly ignoring things in favor of not risking losing one another?

Even if they wanted to, Betty knows there’s no real going back from that kiss. There’s no alcohol to blame it on or Vixen’s tryout to excuse it.

It doesn’t really matter much, anyway, because Betty was dumb enough to stand there, glued to her spot, and watch Veronica walk away from her. And now she’s found herself in even more of a mess.

Betty arrives at school on Monday and while Veronica greets her along with the rest of their friends, everything about her is cold and closed off, and Betty’s not sure she’s ever felt this hollow before.

She’d almost prefer if Veronica were completely ignoring her, as opposed to treating her like a mere acquaintance. She has no idea where they’re supposed to go after this, or what it really means for them. But it’d be a lot easier if Veronica would just allow her a second to talk about things instead of running away at every possible turn.

Because really, who kisses someone and then just leaves before they even get a chance to process it?

Well, Veronica does, apparently.

And now that she’s even attached herself to Cheryl, Betty has no hope of getting the girl alone.

Betty would be lying if she said that when she goes to visit Polly one night, she isn’t holding out for a chance to see Veronica.

When her sister lets her into the apartment, Betty’s heart sinks at the complete absence of her best friend. She should have expected it, really, but Betty keeps gripping to that little sliver of hope that this is all just a missed connection, and Veronica will show up to spend time together any day now.

Polly is cooking dinner for the two of them, and while her sister busies herself in the kitchen, Betty can’t help but give into the magnetic pull towards Veronica’s bedroom.

It’s strange, walking into the room now.

For so long, this space has been the only real place Betty’s felt at home. But now she feels like an intruder.

All Betty wants to do is curl up under those familiar covers and wait for Veronica to come home. For everything to rewind to just under a week ago when the pair of them were in this same room watching a horror film while Veronica clutched to Betty like her life depended on it.

Betty pauses in front of Veronica’s vanity table, where pictures of them and their friends are stuck to the mirror. There’s one framed picture on the table, of just Betty and Veronica. It’s a picture they took the morning after Betty had first stayed over at Veronica’s, smiles reaching their eyes as they’re cuddled under the sheets and looking up at the camera.

A sad smile tugs at Betty’s lips as she picks it up.

Veronica had hated the picture at first, claiming she looked ‘barely alive’ without any makeup on. But for Betty it had meant something else. It had been the first time Betty had felt completely at ease in months. The first time in so long that her smile had felt completely real. In that image was proof that the comfort and familiarity she’d lost in Archie could be found in someone else. And it could be even better.

Something must have changed Veronica’s opinion of the picture at some point for it to end up framed on her vanity table. And knowing what Betty knows now, she wonders if it means as much to Veronica as it does to her.

“Betty?”

Betty’s hand snaps away from the photo, and she looks over to where Polly’s standing in the door, “Um- sorry.” She mumbles, “I was just…” she looks to the picture in her hand, placing it back down on the table, and Betty forces a smile, turning back to her sister, “Is dinner ready?”

Polly is looking at Betty like she can see right through her, and it makes Betty want to run out of the apartment immediately.

“Polly-”

“You know, Veronica’s been acting really weird this week.” Polly cuts her off, “Did something happen between you two?”

“Why would you think that?” Betty says, feigning indifference.

Polly clearly doesn’t buy it, “Well, firstly, Veronica’s not here with you right now. And for as long as I’ve been here, you two have been practically inseparable.” She says, “And secondly… I’m your sister, Betty. I can tell when something’s wrong.”

“It’s nothing.”

“Betty.” Polly sighs, stepping into the room and approaching her sister. She grasps Betty’s hand tugging her over to sit on the edge of Veronica’s bed, “Just talk to me. What happened?”

Betty shrugs, “We just had a fight.” She says weakly, “It’s nothing.”

“It seems like a bit more than nothing.” Polly says, “What were you fighting about?”

“We just… I don’t know. I messed up, I guess.” Betty says, “Apparently I’m the world’s biggest idiot.”

Betty still can’t wrap her head around how much she’s buried at the back of her mind to avoid the reality of Veronica’s feelings for her. Because when she looks back at it now, it’s been staring at her in the face for months. She thought they were so in-tune with one another, but if that were the case, and she knew Veronica as well as she thought she knew her, wouldn’t Betty have figured it out without it having to reach this point? Has she really been so caught up in her need for this friendship to stay the same, that she’s let Veronica’s feelings go completely ignored?

“Betty…” Polly starts, “Can I ask you something?”

Betty frowns, but nods, waiting for her sister to continue.

“It’s just… you and Veronica.” Polly looks anxious, glancing down to where she still holds Betty’s hand for a moment, “You can tell me if I’m crossing a line here, okay? But just- I’ve been around you two, Betty. I’ve noticed things.”

Betty’s frozen, staring at her sister, “… like what?”

“Like…” Polly meets her eyes then, looking at Betty as though she expected her sister to finish off the sentence for her, and sighing, “Well… this isn’t just a friendship, we’re talking about. Is it?”

Betty’s mouth falls open slightly, her hand leaving Polly’s and returning to her lap, “Um…”

She can feel her cheeks burning red, and Betty’s not entirely sure how to respond. Polly seems so completely sure in her assumption; like she’s certain Betty will confirm her belief and declare she and Veronica have been dating any second now.

“Betty.” Polly coaxes lightly, looking at Betty with a soft smile, “It’s okay. You can talk to me.”

“I don’t…” Betty pauses, jaw tightening as tears sting her eyes, “I don’t know how to.”

Her chest feels tight, breaths harder to take, and Betty doesn’t even know what to say.

There’s so much, but nothing wants to spill from her lips. She’s spent so long protecting what she and Veronica have, locking up any thoughts that could endanger their friendship and risk losing her, that it’s become impossible for Betty to even start thinking about all of this, let alone speak her thoughts out loud.

“It’s not like that.” She says, “I mean… I guess, it is. But we haven’t been… we’re not together.”

“Really?” Polly doesn’t look like she quite believes it, “Betty, I won’t judge-”

“No, really. We’re not.” Betty pushes.

She’s not sure why it frustrates her so much. Maybe because even Polly has apparently seen things that Betty has been completely blind to for months on end. The one thing she’s been sure of for so long has been her and Veronica; and now she’s stuck feeling like she never even understood that, either.

“Why would you think we are?” she asks then.

Polly shrugs, “I don’t know.”

“Yes you do.”

Polly pauses, letting out a sigh, “Okay. Honestly?”

Betty nods, desperate for someone to voice it for her. She feels her sister take her hand again, squeezing it lightly.

“Because I’d like to think I know you better than anyone. And I’ve never seen you act the way you do with Veronica.” Polly says, “You’re different with her, Betty.”

How?”

“I don’t know. It’s just… something there. You’re settled, in a way. Calm. I mean, our whole childhood I’ve watched you get stressed and worried over the smallest things. Like if you don’t fix them, the world will come crumbling down around us.” Polly lets out a soft laugh, “But when I see you with Veronica, you’re so completely content. And happy to just… be yourself.” She shrugs, “And from what little I do know about Veronica… it seems like you do something similar for her.”

Betty swallows hard, taking a deep breath.

She knows Polly’s not wrong. Really, she’s stating something that Betty’s been aware of for a long time. Hell, Betty and Veronica have even spoken about this.

But she’s never thought about what it might mean. About the possibility that the reason Veronica has had such an affect on her isn’t so surface level after all.

“She has feelings for me.” Betty murmurs out quietly.

“She told you that?”

“She implied it, I guess.” Betty says, wiping at a stray tear and staring down at her lap, unable to meet her sister’s bright blue eyes, “She was angry because I thought she was interested in Archie. And she… she kissed me.”

Polly nods, “And then?”

“She ran away.” Betty huffs, “And now she won’t speak to me.”

“Oh.” Polly nods again, “So… do you have feelings for her, too?”

Betty’s face scrunches up as she fights off more tears, and she swallows the lump in her throat, pulling her sleeves over her shaking hands anxiously, “I- I don’t know?” her voice wavers, “I just- I haven’t even thought about it, Polly. I don’t know what I’m thinking I just know that I miss her and this is killing me and I-” Betty pauses, unable to stop her tears now, “I care about her so much, Polly. More than anything but I- I can’t lose that-”

“Hey, it’s okay. It’ll be okay.” Polly hushes as Betty gets carried away, wrapping her arms around her sister and bringing her closer into her, “We’ll figure it out; I promise.”

Betty sniffs, hiding her head in her sister’s neck, “But how?”

Polly’s hands stroke her back calmingly, and she feels her press a kiss to the top of her head, “Honestly, Betty?” she says, “I think the answers are already there. You just need to decide if you’re ready to face them.”


Betty spends that night in Polly’s room, and later in the night she hears Veronica return home, her familiar footsteps walking down the hallway before they stop at Polly’s door.

Betty’s coat and shoes still sit at the entrance of the apartment, and Veronica no doubt knows she’s still here. And for those ten seconds that she watches Veronica’s shadow hover on the other side of the door, Betty hopes with everything in her that the girl will make the first step and come inside.

But then the shadow is gone, and Betty hears the footsteps continue down to Veronica’s bedroom.

Veronica is gone before she wakes in the morning, and Betty thinks she might just know what heartbreak feels like.


After Vixens practice that Friday, Betty tries one more time to get Veronica to speak to her.

Cheryl calls the end of practice, and Betty is on her feet and making a beeline for Veronica immediately, “Hey, can we talk?”

Veronica looks like a deer caught in headlights when she stands up, eyes immediately scanning the Vixens in search of Cheryl, “I can’t, sorry.” She says, feigning indifference, “I’m helping Cheryl prepare for the party tonight.”

Betty’s hopeful smile falls as Cheryl comes to stand by Veronica, looking between them with a curious expression, “Sorry to interrupt the moment, ladies.” She says, turning to Veronica, “But are you ready to go?”

Veronica at least looks guilty when she turns back to Betty, offering her a weak smile, “You’re coming to the party, right?”

“Um, yeah.” Betty nods, “I’ll see you there, I guess.”

Veronica nods, and for a moment Betty can see her own hurt and longing mirrored in Veronica’s eyes. But then she leaves hand-in-hand with Cheryl, and Betty’s left fighting off frustrated tears.

She murmurs out goodbyes to the other Vixens, keeping her head down and collecting her bag to make her way to the football fields where she’s supposed to meet Archie to walk home.

Betty settles on the bleachers once she reaches the fields, pulling out her textbook to look like she’s doing something other than crying while she waits for Archie’s practice to end.

She has no idea how much time passes before she hears someone approaching her, looking up to find Archie climbing the bleachers.

“Betty?” he says as he gets closer, concern written on his features, “Are you okay?”

“Hey, Arch.” Betty murmurs out, wiping her eyes in embarrassment.

Archie sits down next to her, an arm immediately wrapping around Betty’s shoulders and bringing her into his side, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

“You’re crying, Bets.”

Betty laughs hollowly, “No, it’s fine. It’s just… been a weird week.” She lets out a heavy breath, forcing a weak smile for her friend.

“Is it about Veronica?”

Betty pulls back to look at Archie in surprise, frowning, “What?”

Archie just looks at her with a knowing expression, “I know, Betty.” He says, “That night at the club? Ronnie told me.”

Betty’s eyes widen at the realization of just what had been happening under her nose that night. While she’d been panicking over the prospect of Archie and Veronica getting together, Veronica had been telling Archie about her. She’s spent so long worrying about Veronica having feelings for Archie, and the whole time Veronica has been sitting at the sidelines, waiting for Betty to catch up to her.

And like that, Betty feels the floodgates open. And it’s sitting on the bleachers, crying in Archie’s arms, that reality finally comes to slap Betty in the face. And she realizes that she doesn’t want things to go back to normal with Veronica. She doesn’t want to go back to fighting for their friendship, and ignoring everything about Veronica that makes it all so different between them. That makes it so much more. She doesn’t want to pretend anymore.

Because for months, every moment that she has been wracked with nerves, or felt her heart hammering in her chest or stomach filled with butterflies, or had her hands shake with jealousy… the one person that has always been the cause has been Veronica. Not Archie, or Jughead, or anyone else.

Veronica Lodge.

And it’s not because Betty’s some possessive best friend that she’s felt these things.

It’s because she’s completely and utterly in love with her.

And there’s no more pretending otherwise.


That night, with the help of an excited Polly and a supportive Archie, Betty prepares for Cheryl’s party with one mission on mind to finally get Veronica on her own.

Her stomach is unsettled the whole time she prepares for the night, and when she arrives at the party with Archie, she almost turns and runs in sheer fear. But thankfully, Archie just rests his hand on the small of her back and coaxes her inside.

It’s ironic, really, having Archie at her side right now. The person who she once thought was the guy of her dreams is now helping her chase the happily ever after in the same raven-haired girl he kissed in that closet at the beginning of the year. But it feels like it’s come full-circle, and in finding herself, and finding Veronica, Betty’s somehow found Archie all over again.

It’s like the pieces of the puzzle are finally fitting into place.

Well, almost, except for that one final piece.

Betty still has to get the girl.

“You ready?” Archie asks, offering Betty an encouraging smile.

Betty smiles, nerves running through every part of her body, “Not at all.”

Archie just laughs softly, nudging Betty, “Yes you are.”

Archie doesn’t leave her side throughout the night, and whenever Betty catches a glimpse of raven hair and her heart jumps to her throat, he is right there helping her along.

Although, when Betty does finally run into Veronica, she’s quick to discover Archie’s escort might not have been such a great idea after all.

They’re turning the corner into the kitchen at the same time that Veronica is leaving, and Veronica freezes the moment she sees them.

“Oh.” Veronica’s eyes flit between Archie and Betty, her smile completely falling, “Archie, Betty.” she greets stiffly, “I didn’t know you guys were coming together.”

Betty immediately registers the complete misunderstanding on Veronica’s face, “We’re not-”

“It’s fine.” Veronica cuts her off, smiling falsely at the pair, “Um- I was actually going to go help Cheryl start some games though, so…”

Veronica pushes past them, and upon a pointed look from Archie, Betty quickly rushes after her, grasping Veronica’s hand to bring her to a halt in the hallway.

“It’s not like that, Ronnie-”

“It doesn’t matter.” Veronica says, pulling her hand out of Betty’s hold, “It’s none of my business.”

“We’re not here on a date.” Betty says anyway.

“Good for you. Now if you don’t mind-”

“Can we just go somewhere and talk? Please?”

Veronica sighs, shaking her head, “It’s a party, Betty. Just go have fun with Archie.”

“But-”

“No, don’t.” Veronica pushes, “Look, I get I’ve made things weird between us, okay? I get that and I understand that you don’t…” she glances around, voice lowering, “Feel that way.” She says, composing herself again, “But I’m not taking it back, and I don’t want to talk about it. So can we please just ignore it and move on with our lives?”

“Veronica!”

Veronica looks visibly relieved at Cheryl’s voice, turning to her as she moves into the hallway, “Hey, sorry-”

“Well if it isn’t Riverdale’s dream team.” Cheryl drawls when she sees Betty next to Veronica, ignoring Veronica’s desperate expression in favor of whatever amusement she’s apparently getting out of this situation, “We’re playing Seven Minutes In Heaven, so save the sweet nothings for later and get into the living room.”

Veronica glances to Betty, jaw tightening in irritation, but she doesn’t say anything, instead obeying Cheryl’s demand and following the girl to the living room.

When Betty’s collected herself and Archie finds her in the hallway, they both go to join Cheryl’s game, too, Betty figuring the least she can do is hope for 7 minutes where Veronica won’t be able to run away from her.

They’re playing for a while, and after watching Veronica go into the closet with numerous other people, and having to endure an awkward seven minutes with one of the football players herself, Betty is beginning to lose hope.

And then, as fate would have it, Veronica spins the bottle Veronica looks like she’s about to take the bottle and hurl it out of the window in response once she sees it’s pointing to Betty, and the silence in the room tells her that it might not just be Archie and Polly who have noticed the sudden change in their friendship over the past week.

“Come on, girls. Get moving.” Cheryl says when neither of them budges, “What’s the problem? You’re B and V.” she taunts, “Or is making out for attention just not your thing anymore?”

Something about the way Cheryl looks at them makes Betty’s stomach turn. If she weren’t certain Veronica would have everything to herself, Betty would think she knows.

Or was it that obvious to everyone but Betty that something else has been brewing within their friendship for months?

“Cheryl, shut it.” Veronica bites out, purposefully keeping her eyes from straying to Betty, “You can find someone else to play with.”

“No.” Betty speaks up, receiving surprised expressions from both Cheryl and Veronica, “It’s fine. It’s just a game, right?”

Veronica looks positively pissed off, but Betty doesn’t have the energy to be worried about it. Because hey, she’s tried to get Veronica alone all week and the girl has avoided her every single time. If she has to resort to seven minutes stuck in a closet, she will.

(The irony of that setting is not lost on Betty)

“Great.” Cheryl wears a smug smile, nodding to the hallway, “Move along, then, ladies. Don’t want to waste any time.”

Betty sends an annoyed look Cheryl’s way as she gets up, looking to make sure Veronica is doing the same before making her way to the closet. Veronica is silent as she follows, walking in first and standing with her back to her as Betty closes the door behind them.

Her arms are crossed in front of her, and she’s looking at the board games on the shelves as though they’re the most interesting things she’s ever seen.

“You shouldn’t have let Cheryl bully you into this.” Veronica throws over her shoulder eventually, voice stiff.

Betty shrugs, “Path of least resistance.”

“Right.”

Veronica almost sounds angry, and she barely spares Betty a glance as she dawdles around the closet with a frown.

Betty wrings her hands together nervously; unsure what to actually say now that she has Veronica alone.

“I guess the last time you were here it was with Archie.”

She cringes as the words come out of her mouth, and she considers just slamming her head against the closet door to end her misery. Fucking nerves.

Veronica looks equally as unimpressed by the conversation starter, finally turning to look at her, “You’re really bringing that up?”

Betty freezes, fumbling over her words, “Wait- no- I was just making conversation-”

“You know, Betty. You can’t just do this.” Veronica says, finally turning to look at her, “I get that you want us to be picture perfect best friends or whatever but you can’t just expect me to be fine. You can’t just force me to be around you.”

“Ronnie, you didn’t even give me a chance to react last week. You literally yelled at me, kissed me and ran away.”

“So, what? I was supposed to hang around and listen to you reject me?” Veronica snaps back, “Sorry for not wanting to feel more humiliated than I already do-”

“Oh my god shut up, Veronica.” Betty groans.

Veronica looks taken aback by the order, eyes narrowing, “Excuse me?”

“I had no idea you had feelings for me! It was going to take more than a few seconds for me to wrap my head around that. You were literally on a date with some guy a few weeks ago-”

“Because you were off playing happy families with Jughead! And I was tired of waiting around like some lapdog.” Veronica says, “So forgive me for seeing if I could work things out with someone else.”

“So I’m the bad guy because I believed that you were actually my friend?”

“What? No. I am your friend, Betty, I’m just tired of pretending that that is all this is for me. And maybe it was brash for me to just kiss you like that but I couldn’t deal with you not getting it anymore.”

Betty’s jaw tightens, and she crosses her arms in front of her, temper rising.

Figures, their conversation would go this way. After months of both of them clearly not saying what they wanted, it would be too much to ask for this to just be easy.

“Okay, let’s talk about ‘pretending’, then.” Betty starts, “You remember that night at Cheryl’s.”

Veronica’s eyes widen, “… well… yes. Okay, maybe.”

Betty sighs, “Every time something happens with us you wake up the next day and insist on forgetting all about it and acting like everything is normal. We’ve been in this stupid cycle because you put us through it.”

“Because I didn’t want to make things weird with us.” Veronica says, as though it’s obvious, “I didn’t want to lose you, Betty.”

“What makes you so sure you would’ve lost me?”

Veronica laughs, “Really? In what world would me falling in love with you not ruin everything between us?”

“Oh, I don’t know, Ronnie,” Betty mocks, “Maybe in a world where I was feeling the exact same way as you.”

Finally, Betty finds something that does shut Veronica up.

Veronica looks like she must have misheard Betty, mouth hanging open slightly as she hesitates over what to say next.

Betty steps forward, meeting dark eyes, “Maybe in a world where, instead of leaving me after that kiss, you actually stayed with me and we worked through it together.” She says, “Maybe if you just gave me a chance to tell you that you’re not the only one who has felt like that.”

Veronica hesitates under Betty’s gaze, maintaining her ground as Betty steps closer again, “So you’re saying-”

“I feel the same way, Ronnie.” Betty confirms, “And I’m sorry that I made you feel like I didn’t. I’m sorry it took me so much longer to figure it out but- I’m here now.” she lets out a soft laugh, “In the closet of Cheryl Blossom’s house, of all places. To tell you that… even though it absolutely terrifies me. And the idea of risking losing what we already have scares me” She says, “I can’t pretend anymore. I don’t want to pretend, anymore.”

Veronica’s looks completely lost as she stands there, seeming so much smaller in front of Betty right now, “So…” she murmurs, voice barely audible, “So you and Archie-”

“Oh, Jesus, Veronica.” Betty doesn’t have any patience left, and she’s stepping forward without a second thought. Because she’s so done with holding back and wasting time when they’ve been standing in front of one another, with all the answers for so long.

Veronica lets out a quiet gasp at the sudden movement, but Betty doesn’t give her an opportunity to say anything else. And cradling Veronica’s face in her hands, she leans in and kisses her.

And finally, all the pieces of the puzzle fit.

And as Veronica kisses her back, handing gripping Betty’s shirt and pulling her in closer, the tension that’s lived in Betty’s chest for so long is released, and she’s reeling, and it’s just her and Veronica again.

Betty and Veronica.

B & V.

Only this time, a little different.

And Betty wouldn’t change it for the world.