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Cruel

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Riverdale, 1992.

 

---

 

FP Jones is an immature pain in the ass.

That's what Alice had been determinately telling herself for the past few years, every single time she saw him, talked to him, or even just heard about him.

FP Jones is an immature pain in the ass.

But more importantly, FP's games of playful teasing, enticing smirks and inappropriate over-confidence was never going to grow on her.

She was never going to fall for his flirtatious jokes or innuendos glances. No matter how bright his dark brown eyes would glow, or how weirdly enchanting his laugh would sound. Alice was not going to fall for the childish bets he very much enjoyed winning and the "look-at-me-I'm-a-bad-kid" attitude.

Well.
Little did she know that soon enough, she would almost see the enormous sign in her head, reading "You Failed" in glittery, bold letters. And she truly didn't know if she was mad at herself about it, or if the irony should make her laugh. All she knew is that what she felt right now was definitely not irritation, or even just disinterest.
It was fucking affection.

FP was sitting on the floor, both knees brought near his chest and his back leant against the cool wall of the trailer's bedroom, his broad shoulders slightly arched forward as he was nervously touching the tips of his sleeves with trembling fingers. His jet black hair were still covered with snowflakes from the ruthless winter outside, but those had begun to melt and thus he looked like he had just been running under the rain, water drops running along his nose line and watering his cheeks. Or maybe it was tears. Alice's heart violently squeezed at this thought.
FP Jones didn't cry. He laughed out loud, he yelled for nothing, he talked too much.
But he didn't cry. Did he?

Alice was motionless, standing a few inches away from the trailer's entrance door that was still wide open behind her back.

She was staring at him, and couldn't manage to do anything else than think;
"This is not good."

There was no hint of restless energy like naturally coming from him, no sparks in his eyes. No threat of a stupid pickup line or even just some angry insults coming out from his mouth.

His jaw was clenched like hell, and his gaze probably colder than the wind outside. He looked like there was a storm of dark thoughts howling in his brain again.
"This is not good."
This was gloomy, pissed, vulnerable FP.
The side of him he hadn't given up on suppressing yet.

Alice knew this, and she was almost losing her balance from all the overthinking. She wanted to help him, desperately, but it was as though as some shield was stopping her from thinking straight. The one she had used non-stop those past few years. Maybe even her whole life, for as long as she could remember.

Suddenly the door behind her slammed close, like pushed by some ghost, and FP looked up.
"Alice?"
She froze.

Suddenly she could swear that all the heaviness in his gaze seemed to fade away as his face lit up like it normally does. The corner of his mouth slightly moved up, a grin slowly appearing on his face. It was shy, but it was here.
Alice felt her entire body warm up. Now she felt confident enough to step closer and sit on the ground next to him.

She slid along the wall and curled up just like him, her shoulders touching his.
The kind of physical contact she usually cautiously avoided. But weirdly enough, with FP, it was fine.

"I fucked up." He dropped barely audibly, a little bit of nervous, fake amusement in his voice. "I fucked up real bad."

The blond didn't say anything. She just gazed at him and remained silent. She knew he was going to talk again anyway.
And he did.

"Did you come here to lecture me by the way? Cause if you did, I don't think it's gonna help. I know I did everything wrong. I don't need lecturing. God I think I need a hug. Or a place where I could hide for... well, given the circumstances, forever sounds good."

Then he stopped the monologue and looked down at the floor again.

"My old man's right. I'm just a messed-up imbecile."

"FP."

"Yeah, right, I know, self-deprecation-- weak-ass's choice." He turned his face and lied his eyes upon her. "You never do that, do you? Alice Smith. Invincible, flawless lady."

"I'm deeply flawed." She quietly cut him off, a smile even appearing on her face as she admitted to him what she'd never casually say to anyone else.
Not that she expected people to think she was perfect. But discussing that with them would literally blow her previously mentioned super-tough reputation.

"You are?"

"I am. But so what, Forsythe? Everybody is."

"Yeah, you right." He said, eyes focused in front of him again. "As long as you stop calling me that, I guess I'll be ok."

"It's just your name."

"It's my father's name. I want my own name." He muttered.

"Doesn't the F in FP stands for Forsythe, though?"

He glanced at her, a smile he simply couldn't hold back appearing in the corner of his mouth. "Shut up." She giggled. "I'm going through something difficult here, let me have this."

"Ok, FP. But stop spiraling about what your father said. He's just an ass."

FP nodded slowly. "I know what he is. Which is the reason why I think I'm such an idiot for never giving up on trying to get his attention..."

"You're not the fucking idiot here, he is."

He heard the anger in her tone, he had to turn his head to face her and meet her familiar big blue eyes. They were glowing with irritation, and somehow, here, sat on the floor of his long-gone uncle’s freezing trailer with a slightly irritated Alice Smith, he felt a hundred times better than he did an hour ago.

Alice knew what was about to slip out of her mouth would count as proof of affection, and that didn't synch with "safe" in her brain. But screw that. She was pissed and she had to express it. No matter how surprisingly caring she'd turn out to sound. No matter how terrified that should've made her feel.

"He's the fucking idiot." She couldn't help but insist. "He's a fucking blind, self-absorbed jerk who isn't even willing to see that, despite the horrible parenting job he's always provided, his son turned out to be an amazing human being."

And she didn't even got the time to throw a sarcastic comment here or there to lower the passion in her open hearted speech cause before she even got the time to take her next breath, his mouth was on hers.

He had leant forward and cupped her cheek in his hand, fingers so hot against her cold skin it felt like fire melting her instantly, and just like that, with no warning whatsoever, pressed his lips on hers, shutting her up in the most unexpected way possible.

And soon enough his tongue was invading her mouth, and his teeth softly biting on her bottom lip, and damn it, it felt good.
She was trying to act up, put her shits together and eventually push him away but truth is-- she really didn't want to.
All she could think about was the heat of his palm on her leg and his lips ravaging hers, and bright bold letters in her head again, stating nothing but the obvious:

You're making out with FP fucking Jones.

It's when the letters became too big in her mind and her heartbeat too loud in her ears that she realized what was happening, and that one second of awareness and overthinking was enough to snap her out of the moment.
She almost brutally straightened and yanked his arms, pushing (if not punching) him away.

"Ouch!" He immediately complained, brows furrowed in confusion.

"What the hell, FP!?"

"I -- I don't -- YOU said I was amazing! and then I just--"

She rolled her eyes.
"Yeah I said you were amazing. so wh-"

And then he kissed her again, and she muffled some insult against his lips.

"I can't help it!" He explained as she pushed him away for the second time. "It's just too hot, I can't help it."

But truth being told, she wasn't really pushing him away. Well, she was, but only seconds after he made the move, because both times she didn't want to stop him at first and that scared her, so she broke apart from his embrace.

Cause she felt it.

It was the first time she ever felt it.

The first time a boy had made her hands sweat and her lips tremble and her thoughts confused.
She felt it, as stupid as it sounded, she felt like she never wanted to stop making out with him, and this feeling she couldn't control petrified her. And so she yanked his arm and closed her mouth while really all she wanted was him to take her, right here, right now.

"Back off, Forsythe!"

"Yeah, yeah, sorry."

"I mean it."

He nodded. "I know! I'll stop kissing you."

Her eyes were locked with his, both their lips slightly parted from the previous kiss. Neither of them moved for what felt like decades.

Until a barely audible "fuck it" slipped through Alice's mouth, and she closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around FP's neck, their lips meeting again, this time from her own initiative. He was surprised at first, but didn't wait very long to respond.

She dragged her knees closer to his body and climbed on his lap, as his hands slid down her back, grabbed her hips, caressed her thighs.

She lowered her head to kiss and bite the warm skin of his neck, and to simply breathe seemed to get more and more complicated for him, cause the blond on his lap was way too beautiful and hot and brilliant for him to handle.

She left a couple love bites on his neck, not-so-subtle memories of her he would never bother to cover up.
She faced him again, an uncertain look in her eyes, mixed with affection and desire. He had been wanting her for so long, and he couldn't believe she was here, undressing now, in front of him.

Her sweater was thrown on the ground, quickly followed by his own shirt. His mouth was already missing hers so he kissed her again, while his hand slowly sneaked under her skirt, his thumb teasing her over the soft material of her panties. She moaned in a high-pitched sigh at his touch, which sounded like pure music to his ears. He grinned, rubbed a little bit harder. She closed her eyes and buried her nails in his shoulders, biting her lower lip, trying hard not to give him the satisfaction of her being completely under his control, or at least not yet.

He knew this, knew she was struggling to hold herself back. He wanted to toy with her even more, until she totally lost control. He wanted to break down her walls. Be that special person.

After all, if anyone were to break Alice Smith's walls, it had to be FP Jones.

Cause she was damn special to him, and right now, he might had an actual chance to become special to her as well.
Of course, little did he know he already was.

He slid one strap of her bra down her shoulder and kissed the crook of her neck.
"Don't fight it, love." He whispered in her ear as she was still focusing on not moaning to loud.

"Shut up, FP."

The boy almost giggled at her brutality. She hopelessly wanted to sound harsh but his fingers between her thighs were way too talented for her voice to give anything but desperate, sexual moans.

"Happy to oblige if you are." He said.

She ran a nervous hand in his hair, rested her forehead against his.
Finally, she let go.
Let go of the tension in her back and the fear of being weak and hurt. There was no reason for her to feel weak and hurt right now anyway; FP had always made her feel quite the opposite.

She let go cause her walls were down.
So she just kissed him again.

Chapter Text

Riverdale, 1992.

---

She was never the kind of girl who liked to cuddle in the bed once the morning came. She was the kind of girl whose both eyes opened wide and sudden, immediately sending the information to her still barely awaken brain to get out of the bed and rush out of the room in order to avoid the embarrassing pillow talks.

She was always the one who woke up first – fair to say that it was crucial in the whole plan – and so this very morning was no exception. She opened her eyes, spitting her own hair out of her mouth, wondering how they had landed in there in the first place.

The first thing she felt was a massive headache visibly threatening to kill her right here, right now.

The second thing she felt was a hand that wasn't hers gently gripping her thigh, its heat warming her skin and sending shivers down her spine. The kind of feeling she gets when something simultaneously good and petrifying overwhelms her.

Something simultaneously good and petrifying overwhelming her.

It's FP.

Right there, next to her on the mattress, snorting with the calm breath of a ten year-old. It's FP touching her inner thigh with zero holding-backs, like it's something he's already done a multiple amounts of times.

Cause, well, it's FP she had sex with last night.

And man was the sex good. Surprisingly good.

Granted, she never took him for particularly bad in bed. She had always assumed he was sort of good. Like, average good. That, maybe, he had one or two tricks up his sleeve he was proud of and those were the reasons why he had been voted 'most likely to be dope in the bedroom' by the cheerleaders squad of their school. If you asked Alice, it was just that FP was hot and could make people laugh and that cheerleaders were stupid virgins anyway.

Regardless, even in the worst of moods she could not deny the fact that those teenage girls predictions were right, cause FP didn't just have one or two tricks...; his entire way of getting her to break apart in his arms was one, obnoxiously talented trick.

She hated it, the way she didn't hate it. The way it was all too good and she was dying to make it happen again. The way last night literally fucked up her entire basis, emotional walls strategy. She couldn't be like that – dependent, rooting for something she couldn't get on her own.

The overthinking made her headache worse and thus she decided she had to get off this bed and simply leave before the boy next to her wakes up and somehow convinces her (yes, somebody convincing Alice Smith, wow) of just spending the all damn day in the bed with him. Cause she knew if he crawled onto her again, gave her that smile, and these lips on her neck, and that magic stuff he does between her thighs... she knew she wouldn't be able to stop him.
And then he'd be victorious. And then her pride would be insulted. And that was not good.

The wooden floor felt incredibly cold to her bare toes, compared to the warmth of the sheets. A complaining voice inside of her was yelling her to go back in bed and low-key hoped that FP's hand would take its intimate emplacement back, but Alice ignored it.
The very fact that she had to actually fight against the voice was a proof she had to go now.

Her feet brushed against what felt like tights and a shirt on the floor. Flashbacks invaded her mind, and that added to the tiredness and the hangover, she was starting to feel really dizzy.

Everything about last night had been a mess. -- FP's hair, FP's bed, FP's jokes. Her minds, her desires, her makeup. Their stupid, never stopping arguments and most of their moves and gestures and kisses.

Alice was a messy person, and she'd always taken that for one of her deepest flaw. FP? Even worse. But for the first time in her life, something this messy turned out to get her way more addicted that she had expected. Cause as unmade as FP's bed was, as cold as the trailer forever remained and as stupid and wasted as they both had got, his breath against her skin felt warm and her swearing against his ear felt right.

Damn it, it felt right.

And here she was, praising the all thing against her own will again.

She didn't need that right now. Right now, she was trying to get gone the most silently possible and thinking about how talented the already over-confident teenager behind her happened to be in bed was not in any way the solution.

Except her head really was dizzy. Truthfully she didn't know if she was going to be able to pick up all of her things and make her way out of the trailer properly in the darkness without going super loud and awkward and waking up the whole town.

She did find out, cause her foot hit a furniture, and the sound of it was quickly followed by the annoyed groan of somebody waking up.

Alice froze.
She literally froze, stopped breathing, hoping he would just turn around and go back to sleep without realizing what was going on.
Which was her sneaking out after their non-so-casual one night stand.

Except he didn't.
FP reached out an arm in order to find the girl's body on the mattress but his hand fell flat on the empty spot next to him.

Alice, hopeful and almost naive, resumed her slow walk toward the door. Her hand was about to enter in contact with the doorknob when two strong arms wrapped around her shoulders and a hot breath tickled the crook of her neck.

"Where d'you think you're going, Smith?"

Alice let her hand fall on her sides, forced to give up, and rolled her eyes.

"Smith, really? And here I thought you were gonna try and go with the stupid, romantic nicknames now."

She felt him grin against her skin. "Please," he said with a hoarse morning voice, "I know you wouldn't like that."

"Aw, you just know me so well, don't you, FP?" Alice instantly ironized, almost like a reflex she simply couldn't help. Guess this was her way to lighten the fact that, despite her best efforts at denying it, she, now sober, was still totally attracted to him.
And he damn well knew it.

"I know you even better now." He dared to whisper in her ear, a noticeable note of amusement in his tone that was quickly muffled by his lips crushing against her neck.

That's when she waltzed around, making him straighten up in surprise.

"No way." She affirmed. "That," she pointed at the bed, "was a one time thing."

"Oh yeah?" He arched an eyebrow, sliding his fingers down those blond curls of hers, tugging one behind her ear with the purest of innocence.

"Oh yeah."

The bastard didn't even think she was being serious.

"You don't believe me?"

"I don't believe you." He laughed.

She shrugged, faking casualness and gave him that "I know better than you anyway" look she systematically used when she was trying not to let somebody in.
And surprisingly enough, that somebody was always the same person.

"Doesn't matter what you believe, Forsythe."

"Sure." He smiled again.

"I'm going now."

"Right."

"I don't have the time for your immaturity."

"You did last night, though."

She would've rolled her eyes at that, but she was too busy saying something way more efficient instead.

"I'm meeting Hal at Pop's in twenty minutes."

There. FP was not laughing so much anymore. His jaw was clenched, slightly but enough for Alice to notice, and as much as it stung a little bit to see him upset because of her, she pretended not to care.
She always did.

"You should probably go then." He whispered, trying to sound bitter but the lack of honesty in his tone betrayed him. He sounded disappointed more than anything, the kind of disappointed that made you feel bad about, and Alice's heart squeezed at his puppy eyes longing on her face.

"Yeah, I really should."

She briefly gazed at his bare chest and his broad shoulders and his messy dark hair and the handsomeness of his face until she mentally slapped herself for considering kissing him again for a second.

She grabbed her last piece of clothes and put it on while one of the heaviest silence she had ever experienced invaded the room.

"I'll see you at school." She said as she kissed his cheek.

He simply nodded.

She readjusted her old Southside Serpents jacket on her shoulders and walked out the trailer's door.

Chapter Text

Three Months Ago

---

Forsythe Jones the First was already asleep on the couch when his son walked down the stairs of their crumbling house. The noise of the steps cracking under his feet was covered by the eternal sound of the television. It was 9 PM on a Friday night, which meant it was time for FP to get out of this house and meet Fred Andrews in his garage. It had always been the tradition, and he was glad; anything that could get him away from the depressing place he was supposed to call home was more than welcome.

Usually it was just the two of them on Andrews' couch, smoking, joking and criticizing everything they could find on TV. Sometimes Alice tagged along, sometimes she was too busy with the River Vixens. A new obsession of hers by the way. It took a lot of her time. FP kinda hoped it wouldn't last.

Fred wasn't alone in his garage tonight though, cause a blond boy with a letterman jacket was already here, occupying FP's usual place on the old sofa.

"Freddie... Who's your new girlfriend?" Jones smirked, pointing at the confused newbie with his chin.

"Shut up." Fred laughed. "This is Hal Cooper. He's the newest addition to the football team." FP nodded. "Which you would already know if you hadn't skipped training this morning."

"Hey. FP, right?"

"Yep." Jones said, flopping on the couch like it was his own freaking bed.

"He's good," Fred added, "You should probably start showing up more often cause otherwise Coach Walter might give him your place."

"Right, like Walter's ever gonna get rid of the most talented quarterback he has."

"I see modesty really is your thing." Hal chuckled quietly.

FP glanced at him, then shrugged and smiled. "Just the truth, Cooper. Just the truth."

"Sure."

An awkward silence invaded the room for a couple minutes, the three of them just wondering what the hell they could start a conversation with. FP discreetly scanned Hal's neat outfit, thinking that the bright blue of his jacket and the perfect brushing of his hair felt like a wrong match in the dusty garage of his friend. It was weird, having someone new here.

"Hey, so - there's that girl I'm taking out tomorrow for lunch," Hal broke the silence.

FP grabbed the remote and started the usual channel surf. He didn't seem to care. Soon enough, he would.

"Yeah?" Fred said.

"Yeah, a cheerleader. She works at Pop's, met her there. Well, she goes at our school so I already knew who she was... I think you guys know her. Alice Smith."

"Aw shit-" Fred fake coughed when he heard Alice's name.

That was also when FP's attention immediately went from the TV set to Hal, like the guy had just dropped some outrageous insult at him. Which, really, would've been a lot less of a problem than that.

"What?" Hal slightly panicked based on the staring he was getting from FP. "Is there something I should know? She said yes, so I assumed she was single, but-"

"No, it's fine." FP cut him off, trying hard to relax his shoulders. "She's like my sister." He lied.

He almost cringed at the idea. Alice was definitely not like his sister.

You don't want to throw your sister on the first table you see and -respectfully- fuck her there every time you see her.

Well, at least not in most families.

His point was, Alice was not like his sister. But unlike what the all school (but Hal, apparently) seemed to think, she was not his girlfriend either and thus she was free to date anyone she wanted. He couldn't go and try to crush her plans behind her back just cause jealousy felt really bitter in the back of his mouth.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the fridge's door being slammed shut by Fred, who handed two cold bottles in Hal's and his direction.

"Beers?"

---

He had thought a lot about it then.
A lot.
Like, 'way too much' a lot.

Three months had passed since Hal and Alice first went out. FP had been trying to come up with ways to talk about it, smoothly slide on the topic. Throw a "how's it going with Hal?" here or there but he was just too afraid he'd sound cynical and he didn't want that. He was happy for her, really. For him, not so much.

"FP. FP," Alice sighed. He was gazing at the wall, unresponsive. "Hey, Junior!"

"What?" the boy snapped, his dark eyes finally on her. "Don't call me that. I hate it."

"I know, I was trying to get your attention. This assignment is due today and we're not even half-way through it. Please fantasize about god-knows-who later."

"If I didn't know you any better I'd say you're jealous." FP whispered, his lips slowly forming his infamous playful smirk.

"As if!" The school librarian glared at Alice. She rolled her eyes at her and spoke again with a lower voice. "We both know I'm not the jealous one here."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

Alice sat back in her chair and crossed her arms over her chest. FP couldn't help but notice the way her cheerleader skirt was slightly pulled up her thigh, like innocently exposing her skin. Expect nothing was innocent about Alice Smith.
The big blue eyes, the angelic smile and the River Vixen outfit could almost make her look like the perfect girl next door, if it wasn't for her usual dark lipstick and at least a dozen of old silvered rings at her fingers, and while all of the cheerleaders were very cautious about their high, spotless ponytail, Alice's blond waves were always wildly running down her shoulders.

She was from the Southside after all. A haze of golden girls' perfume wouldn't change that. Snakes don't shed their skin so easily.

"I know what you're doing, you know. Every Monday's and Wednesday's night, making sure you get there, at Pop's, before Hal does." She muttered with a miss-know-it-all grin.

"I don't--"

She leant forward on the table and her sudden closeness shut him up.

"You're afraid we have sex on the counter if you're not there to chaperone?"

FP almost choked on air the second Alice's dark red lips curled to pronounce the word "sex" at literally a few inches from his face. But then he heard the rest of the sentence and winced. The idea of anyone but him touching her simply felt like the most unbearable thing ever in his mind.

"Have sex with Cooper as much as you want, Alice, I don't give a crap."

"Of course."

He waits before adding, "You really shouldn't do it on the counter, though. That's where you serve people food."

She giggled.

"Alright, dad."

---

Hal Cooper's life was exactly the one Alice had always dreamt of having. He lived in a nice white picket fence house, the kind that smelt like sweet vanilla laundry detergent when you walked in. The Coopers were nice, so nice that it almost made Alice feel uncomfortable. She was not used to be talked to that politely by an adult, and so the fear of saying something inappropriate forced her to rethink at least a dozen times everything she wanted to say before doing so.
Also, Alice had totally underestimated the amount of effort she had to make to simply look sweet and easy-going for a couple hours. No heavy sighs, no eye rolls, no dirty words. When the Southside had always been the one in charge of her education, this was quite the challenge to achieve.

But it was worth it.
Alice knew it was worth it.

First of all, because she actually liked Hal. Because he was everything she'd always wanted to be, had everything she'd always wanted to have, could give her the future she'd always aspired of having. Because he was not an ass like most of the guys she usually had to deal with. Because he was nice, and cute, and chill, and didn't constantly remind her of where she was from.

And that might be because he had no idea.

Well, sure he knew she was from the Southside. Everybody did. He may have also heard that she was familiar with the Southside Serpents, in a "Serpents adjacent position" kind of way.

But never was he ever supposed to find out she was the actual gang's leader's daughter.
Or that her involvement with the town's infamous snakes was very much due to DNA.

That, and the fact that the boy she grew up with, who also happened to be a new 'friend' of his, flirted with her from time to time, were the things Hal was not supposed to know about. Luckily enough, he really liked her back, and even if all of those things were utterly exposed in front of him, there were pretty good chances he wouldn't want to see them anyway.

The all damn school was talking about a love triangle after all, and he was the only one who didn't believe in it. Didn't want to.

"I mean, it's totally crazy. You and Alice are like brothers and sisters, right?" He had asked FP with a nervous chuckle the first time the white noise had fallen into his ears. "Right?"

"Right." FP had simply answered, way too busy looking at the pretty blond in the cheerleader outfit and the oversized -his, borrowed- leather jacket at the other side of the school football field to even lie properly.

But Hal had bought it, hadn't even flinched. Had never doubted anything. Then again, didn't want to.

He was right, back then. FP's games of teasing and innocent flirting with Alice weren't leading to anything. Cause that was all they were. Games.
Until the bitter taste of jealousy in his mouth had become unbearable. Until Alice started to spend less and less time with Fred and him cause she always had plans with Hal or the River Vixens. Until he began to seriously miss her, even though she was right there, under his gaze the all fucking time, but simultaneously felt so out of reach.

Until his father had kicked him out, then yelled at him in the Whyte Wyrm in front of everybody. Until he had got horribly mad about it and had hidden in his old uncle's trailer and Alice had followed him all the way over there.
Until she'd insulted his father to make him feel better and she'd looked so furiously pretty when she'd whispered he was fucking amazing and...

And now he was here, getting drunk in the same trailer on a school tonight, thinking about it again.

He was almost asleep when he heard somebody pound angrily at the door.

---