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Sleep Without You

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Oh babe


Never thought I would be like this


Wide awake waitin' on a goodnight kiss


Sippin' ninety proof


Talkin' to the moon


Coutin' down the hours till its two AM


Never thought I would be like this


But as long as the night ends with you in a yellow cab shootin' me a text sayin’


Comin' home soon


Jughead Jones and Archie Andrews found themselves without their girlfriends for the first time since things finally calmed down in Riverdale. They had decided on a girls night; Cheryl, Toni, Josie and her cats,Veronica and Betty were going out to Veronica’s favorite nightspot leaving the boys behind.


They jokingly called for a similar guys night. But Kevin and Fangs quickly declined, citing a date night. Sweet Pea was also a no go, citing covering for Toni tending bar at the White Wyrm as his excuse. That left the two friends alone with each others company for the first time since Jughead had moved out of Archie’s house and the Southside trials had begun. They had been together in groups of course, but the two of them had very different schedules these days meaning less hang out time.


“So Jug, want to play the new Call of Duty? Dad’s out so we can call the living room and stretch out. Maybe do popcorn and junk to, since the girls are gone.”


The red headed boy looked earnestly at his friend across the booth from him in Pop’s, still finding himself doing double takes sometimes at the person looking back at him. Gone is the lanky teen who preferred solitary life and social pariah status that Archie felt the need to defend. In his place was a confident guy who knew what he wanted and how to get it. Not to mention that his new status as a gang member had given him not only a steady diet, but a noticeable muscle mass. The beanie was still present, but the other thing you never saw Jughead Jones without these days was his Serpent jacket.


The raven-haired boy allowed his usually snarky smirk to grace his face, finding himself enjoying time with his best friend. It harkened back to the days before hormones and girls got involved and they were just two guys connected at the hip- surrogate brothers. He knew things had changed drastically, himself included, but it was nice to still have that bond of brotherhood with Archie, no matter how strained things sometimes got.


“Sure Arch, but you got to promise to kill the enemy combatants and not me. And for the love of god, do not tell me war is Hell again when you do shoot me.” He watched the easy and affable Archie Andrew’s trademark grin stretch across his friends face as he chuckled, “deal!”


The two boys waved to FP behind the counter on their way out. Jughead straddled his motorcycle and told Archie he would meet up with him at his place, but he didn’t want to leave the bike here. The other teen slipped into his Truck and both made their way to the Andrews Residence.


Once inside the boys quickly gathered their supplies and then made frozen pizzas and popcorn before stretching out in the living room, preparing for a long night of waiting for their girlfriends and video games. Archie popped the disk in and tossed Jug a controller.


As they settled in. both boys’ phones buzzed, signaling a new message. Each opened their phone to discover a picture of their girlfriends posing and smiling for the camera, all decked out in their party attire. Veronica was decked out in her usual black. Betty had gone for a light blue instead of her patented pink, both looking happy as clams.


Archie’s message from Veronica read, “Have a good night with Jughead Archiekins. Betty and I will see you later tonight! Her warden is out of town so I think she is staying with Jughead as his father will also be absent tonight, which means I get to stay with you! XX”


The message brought a smile to his face, he loved sleeping next to Ronnie, her small frame bracketed by his big one, her peaceful breathing and easy smile easing any nightmares, should they appear. That was his side affect of the Riverdale dramas. Nightmares about Jason, his dad, the black hood- some nights he was fine, others he would wake shaking, but if Veronica was there with him it was easier to go back to sleep, and some nights she even seemed to keep away the dreams altogether. He looked up to see his friend giving his phone a similar grin, no doubt at what Betty had texted him.


Jughead’s message from Betty read, “Have fun with Archie Juggie! V is gonna bring me to Archie’s after tonight! I can’t wait to be with you tonight! XOXO”


The boy clad in all black couldn’t help the real smile that dawned on his face at the message from his girlfriend. He to was excited for tonight. He hadn’t gotten to stay with Betty in a while, with all the drama and their parents, but tonight they had a chance and he was excited for it. His dad was staying at the Wyrm tonight, leaving them the trailer, which they were much more comfortable with then the pastel perfectness of Betty’s room.


As long as I can bet on ya crawlin' into bed after slippin' out ya high heel shoes


I ain't lyin' sayin' havin' a good time


Out with your girls


Girl do what you do


No matter how late


Baby I'll be stayin' up


I can't sleep without you


The boys had passed a few hours playing and eating, catching up on each others lives, but they were starting to get antsy, awaiting the arrival of their girlfriends. Even the ever cool, calm and collected Jughead was starting to fidget with his phone, waiting for Betty’s we are leaving text. He was ready to spend the rest of the weekend with her, just the two of them in their own bubble. Archie to kept checking his phone, and planning his weekend with Veronica after the departure of his two best friends.


Jughead was remembering the last two times he had stayed with Betty. The first was the night they had stayed at the trailer, falling asleep on the couch after trying to decode the message from the black hood. Despite the tension that had been building between them it was nice to sleep next to her.


His Hitchcock blonde never failing to bring him a peace unlike any he had felt the rest of his troubled life. Sleeping next to her had brought an unprecedented calm, one that couldn’t be shaken, even when she woke in a panic the next morning. The next time he got that same bliss was the night they reconciled from the first fight, the night she told him the truth about the Black Hood and what he had been doing to her. That news had made his new found darker side utterly pissed, but holding her that night, soothing her nightmares, it calmed him and he never forgot what it felt like to hold her, to sleep next to her.


He hadn’t felt that level of calm and peace in a long time, and he was eager to get back to it.


I'd be tossin' and turnin' all night babe


From the smell of your hair on the pillow case


Even if I tried without you by my side I'd be dreamin with my eyes open


I'd be tossin' and turnin' all night babe


But as long as the night ends with you in a yellow cab shootin' me a text sayin’


Comin' home soon


Both boys were glad that they had the other there to distract them, the waiting was unbelievably odd, but also built the eagerness both felt at the prospect of a night with their soulmate in their arms. They may all only be sixteen, but the things they felt made them seem much older, and lately, much bolder with those feelings.


They shared a look, one easily read on both ends, made all the easier by the childhood bonds they shared. “Do you ever think about what comes next Jug?” The beanie clad boy nodded at his friends question and remembering a conversation in a truck carrying a load of drugs. “Yeah, lately thats been all I can think about. You?” The read head nodded in a similar fashion. “All the time. And every time I see the four of us, together but far away from the crazy of Riverdale. I see you and Betty happy, me and Ronnie happy. No pain, no fear, just happiness.” It was an uncharacteristic openness and emotional revelation for them, but one they suddenly felt the need to have.


“Me to Arch. I don’t want this life forever. I still have plans. Plans that in no way involve the Serpents, but this?” He waved at the jacket he had shrugged off a while ago and was on the seat next to him. “This is my protection. Your protection. Their protection. I have power on that side of town now. I can control what happens, and I will not let something like that Civil War start again, so I keep it. But I’ve already promised my dad, and Betty, so I’ll tell you. I’m done. When I turn eighteen, I’m out. I’m going to college like I planned, publishing my book and getting out of Riverdale. I’m bringing my friends if they want it. They know I’m out when the time comes. I don’t know if they will come with me, but I hope they do. We are all to good to be stuck in the Riverdale life cycle forever.”


He blinked. “Your gonna leave the Serpents? Can you even do that?” He rolled his eyes, “Arch, its not like this is Sons of Anarchy. Besides, my dad is in charge, he can say we can leave and no one would blink. He’s keeping me and, at my asking, the younger crew out of the hard stuff so that when the time comes if they want out they can. I never, never wanted this life Archie. Yeah I got into it for awhile, but that is because I thought I was losing or going to lose everything that mattered. Now, now I know that isn’t true, and like I said, I only joined because I wanted to protect you. Protect Betty. You actually spurred the choice to go all in.”


Those brown eyes widened in shock. “Me? What the hell do you mean Jug?”


“The red circle versus serpents debacle. Did it not occur to you when you showed up to break up with me for her that it had only been a week? I ran the gauntlet to ensure that shit like what happened that night couldn’t happen again. Sweet Pea never challenged Chuck or Reggie to a showdown because he knew that I would veto it. I made them put up with that shit for months at school because I didn’t want you or anyone else to get hurt.”


Archie stared at his best friend, dumbstruck. It had never occurred to him that his best friends' dance with darkness was partly his doing. He suddenly saw his friend in a new light. He had known, in some vague ways, that he didn’t need him to fight his battles anymore but he never really stopped to think about when that changed or why. Now he did.


The muscle mass, the confidence in himself, the unmistakable differences between the Jughead at the start of the school year and now were so very noticeable. And knowing that his best friend ran a gauntlet, got the shit beat out of him for him- to protect him, it was a reverse of their roles in each others lives of epic proportions.


“Well fuck Jug. Why the hell did you not tell me that?” The blue eyes of his friend suddenly couldn’t meet his. “I was, going to tell you. After the race with Malachi. Then everything happened and it slipped my mind. Then whenever I considered it, I didn’t want to bring the Serpents into conversation. I know how I was, especially while Betts and I were on the outs. I wasn’t, …. I wasn’t myself and I didn’t want you to take that on as your own. not after what you went through with your dad, and Veronica, not to mention good old Hiram.”


Archie felt like things suddenly made so much sense. The gulf between him and Jughead, there for so many reasons, the biggest just revealed. “Jug. I… fuck. I cant believe you let Sweet Pea beat the shit out of you with his brass knuckles to try and stop me, protect me. I wasn’t exactly in the best place either. After my dad, the Red Circle. I went crazy. I was terrified that someone else I knew would get hurt.”


“I know Arch. That’s why I didn’t tell you.” The red head shook his head. “Jug, I should have been there for you! You, Betty, Ronnie. you all were there for me after my dad, and I was so stuck in my own issues that I let you get sucked into the Southside…” He was cut off by his friend.


“I had Betty. For awhile. It didn’t get bad until right before, and then after, I pushed her away. But that is why she sided with me against the whole Southside debacle with Veronica and her dad. I know that Veronica didn’t know everything, even if she wanted to believe that she did. Betty is my biggest supporter Arch. She came back, after the whole beheaded statue mayhem and just… righted me. So I made her, my dad, and now you, a promise I intend to keep. I’m a Serpent until I turn 18, until I have my out, and then I’m done.”

Archie nodded. He and Ronnie had made similar bonds during the brief animosity between the four of them. Promised the other that they would get out, that the craziness of their involvement with her parents would not keep them here, that they wouldn’t fall down that path again. He totally understood what Jug felt about Betty now.


“Ronnie and I, we have a similar promise. I told you about everything with that fake agent and her dad, well when shit was so close to hitting the fan, between you and her and your families, with the Coopers on one side and the Andrews on the other we promised each other that we would fix it. Fix us, hopefully fix our friendships and then get out.”


The dark-haired boy nodded. They both understood now, the impact their girls had on them. Suddenly, they both missed their girlfriends and desperately wanted them there to see this void finally about to be closed for good.

“I’m sorry Jug. For all the things I said, and did, trying to stay on Hiram Lodge’s good side. And for starting your whole Serpent debacle.” Jughead waved his hand. “I’m not innocent either Arch. I’m sorry for making you choose me or her. I was scared of losing my home, but that doesn’t excuse what I did to our friendship. Are we good now? No more weirdness?”


The red head nodded and the boys stood in unison, pulling the other into a manly yet emotionally charged hug, feeling the final pieces of their friendship righting themselves.


As long as I can bet on ya crawlin' into bed after slippin' out ya high heel shoes


I ain't lyin sayin havin a good time


Out with your girls, girl do what you do


No matter how late


Baby I'll be stayin' up


I can't sleep without you, no


I can't sleep without you, no, no


Both boys wondered if the small rifts in the girls friendship were being fixed tonight as theirs had been. They wondered what they were up to. They resumed their night, but switched from video games to movies, both content to sit in silence and await the message from their girls alerting them to the inevitable peace of nights (and then weekends) spent in their company.


I bet that DJ'S playin' your song


And your carryin' on


Baby I love the thought of that long as I know I'm the one you're comin home to


But as long as the night ends with you in a yellow cab shootin' me a text sayin’


Comin' home soon


Almost as if reading their minds both phones resting on armrests dinged. It wasn’t the girls however. It was a message from Cheryl Blossom or Toni Topaz depending on the boy. They had a video attached.


The message from Toni read,“this song came on, they both rushed out, and damn but I think your getting replaced Jones.” The message from Cheryl read, “Archiekins, your girl is being nabbed by baby Coop!”


The video showed a grainy montage of Betty and Veronica dancing together, apparently very into the dance. They were dancing to Low by T-Pain, their hips swaying in time to the beat, laughing and clinging to one another as a song they had danced to a million times played through the dance club speakers.


Both boys eyes widened as they watched the video of their girlfriends grinding together, sinking the floor and rising back up. They suddenly very much wished that they were coming home.


“Well fuck.” They said it almost in unison, and at that the small bit of tension in the room broke, both boys barking out a laugh. “They look like they are having fun.” Archie spoke through the laugh, and Jughead could only nod until he caught his breath and added. “Its nice to see them both smile and laugh like that again. I guess their night was productive as well.” They grinned at one and other, happy that their girls were happy.


They resumed their upright positions on the couches in the Andrews living room, and un-paused the movie that they had paused when the texts came through. As they eased back into the cinematic world of Marvel’s Avengers both boys found that their peace was even stronger knowing that all was surely right in their little “core four” (as Kevin often joked they were) world.


As long as I can bet on ya crawlin' into bed after slippin' out ya high heel shoes


I ain't lyin sayin havin a good time


Out with your girls, girl do what you do


No matter how late


Baby I'll be stayin' up


I can't sleep without you


It was nearing one am when their phones once again chimed. Each was greeted, first, with a picture of their smiling girlfriend, and second the messages they had been waiting for all night.


“We are on our way! XX”


Over the course of the night both girls had subtle changes to their look that were evident in the pictures their boyfriends were grinning at. Veronica’s dark lipstick was slightly smudged from placing a kiss on her friends cheeks, hair mussed. Betty’s classic ponytail was no more, her hair falling in messy curls down he back, her cheeks flushed and a happy smile was gracing both girls faces. After so many days of seeing tension on and in them, they were glad for that the night spent dancing had returned their girls to their rightful, happy states.


Soon enough they heard and saw the telltale signs of their girlfriends arrival. Headlights flashed through the curtains of the living room, doors were slammed and giggling heard. Then the door was swinging open and heels were clicking along the Andrew’s hallway floor and there they were. Both girls grinning, eyes bright. Each girl split and perched next to or on their boyfriend, pecking their cheeks in greeting.


Betty had plopped down into Jughead’s lap and whispered a happy “Hi!” before plopping a kiss on his cheek. He guided her closer for a real kiss hello, grinning at the lightness once more gracing his beloveds body and actions. “Hey Betts.”


Veronica perched next to Archie, whispering the same greeting and was also pulled in for a real kiss by her boyfriend. “Hi Ronnie.” The raven-haired girl grinned at her boyfriend seeing the lightness in his own posture and deuced in her quick way, that things with the boys were patched up completely.


Soon both girls were regaling them with tales of their night, both laughing and speaking together. They were, as their boyfriends were, a picture of contrasts in light and dark. Blonde hair versus Raven, dark make-up versus light, dark dress versus light blue, but looking at them there was no question of any contrasts in their opinion of the night and the steps taken to fix their relationship.


Finally everyone present agreed it was time to go their own ways. The boys watched as the girls hugged and had a short, giggled conversation before Betty was once more putting on a coat, the pink leather looking perfect next to Jughead’s black leather, and then pecking Archie’s cheek in a kiss farewell.


As she followed Jughead out of the Andrew’s house, she spared no glances at her own house, instead choosing to surprise her boy and leaped onto his back, giggling. “Hey there Betts.” The boy chuckled but allowed her to be piggy backed to the bike before he set her down and she hopped off. She quickly moved to seat herself on his motorcycle, eager as he had been all night for the night ahead.


For a moment all Jughead Jones could do was stare. This beautiful, wonderful girl clad in light colors and perched on his motorcycle looking like something out of his recent dreams. “Juggie?” The boy was snapped out of it by her soft voice. She looked like a cute puppy with her head cocked to one side in question, but he just shook his head and swung onto the bike in front of her, eager to feel her arms around him as he drove them home.


“Ready Betts?”


“Take me home Juggie.” He couldn’t hide his grin at that. He gunned the bike and they shot of towards the trailer on the Southside of town.




Meanwhile inside Archie was quickly picking up the remnants of his night with Jughead while Veronica continued to fill him on the night. He was stopped on his second trip out of the kitchen, however, by her small arms slipping around his waist.


“Come on Archiekins. You can leave the rest for the morning.” She began tugging him to the stairs, and he willingly complied. “I missed you Ronnie.” The raven haired girl couldn’t stop her soft smile at his admission. “I missed you to Archiekins, but tonight was much needed. I have B back and it looks like you and Jughead repaired your own damages.” He nodded, guiding her into his room and shutting the door.


On reflex his eyes shot to his window, but as he had known it would be, her curtains were closed and the lights off. It didn’t bother him as it once would have. His eyes were brought back down by his girlfriend suddenly losing some of her height.


She had kicked off her heels, bringing her back to her adorably small stature and he grinned down at her, earning a light slap to his stomach. She quickly remedied the situation by smiling up at him and pulling him down for a soft kiss. He reciprocated, kicking off his own shoes and guiding her to the side of his bed.


When they broke apart both were grinning happily. Veronica broke the easy silence first. “Can I borrow some clothes and the shower?” He nodded, she happily picked up one of his white tees and slipped out with a quick, “I’ll be back.” While she was gone he shucked his shirt off and into the laundry basket in the corner, his jeans quickly following. He pulled on a pair of loose sleep shorts and then perched on his bed. His phone dinged with a text.


It was Jughead. “Thanx for the talk tonight. We made it back to the trailer. Thank V for making Betts so happy. Its nice to see her smile. Have a good night man.” He smiled. He was glad that his friends were finally better. He was okay with admitting that now despite how different they seemed on paper, they made each other better, happier. He quickly replied. “The talk was needed so your welcome and thanx for talking yourself. Ill pass the message to Ronnie. Night bud.”


He plugged his phone in and placed it on the nightstand and then he heard his door clicking shut once more and smiled. Once more small arms circled him from behind, and he felt the brush of her wet hair against his back. They stood in silence for a moment, enjoying the quite night, and the joy both felt at having their best friend back. “Come to bed Archiekins.” He smiled, and nodded. Her arms let him go and he crawled in first, leaning slightly against the wall and she flicked his light off and then crawled in after him.


When she quickly curled herself into his side, his t-shirt riding up around her thighs slightly, he felt comfort and peace sweep over him. She smelled like a mix of lingering perfume and his body wash, but she smelled like home more than anything. “This is my favorite way to end a day.”


Dark, almond shaped eyes tipped up to meet his at his statement and she couldn’t help but smile. It was his favorite Ronnie smile; not the socialite smile but the genuine one, one he got much more frequently than a lot of the residents of Riverdale. “I agree Archiekins.” She leaned up and placed a light kiss on his lips before curling farther into him and shutting her eyes, a quite, content sigh slipping through her lips. He smiled at her, pulling her closer and kissing her forehead before closing his own eyes.




On the Southside Betty and Jughead were going through a similar routine.


As soon as the bike had pulled up she had taken her helmet off, and swung off the bike, a slight shiver running through her. He quickly followed, noting the shiver and wanting to get her into the warmer trailer. He led her up the wooden steps, unlocked the door and held it open for her. She stepped through and moved aside so he could follow and both smiled when the door clicked close and Jughead flipped the lock into place.


He watched her peel the pink leather off of her shoulders with a small smile. He loved that jacket, her own small way of complimenting him and his own leather. He to shrugged out of the biker cut and tossed it onto the couch. He then reached out and brought her into a hug, his arms pulling her into his chest. She came willingly and as she tucked herself under his chin he let out a small sigh of contentment.


After a few quite moments she pulled back slightly to meet his bright blue eyes. “Things seemed better between you and Archie.” He nodded, “We talked. I told him what I promised you, promised him the same. I’m done at 18.” Her bright smile never wavered, a hand leaving his waist to cup his cheek. “I bet he was glad.” He nodded, “You and Veronica looked happy to.”


“We talked, she apologized for some of the things she did, or inadvertently did, and I did the same. We’re okay.” He smiled, leaning into her hand, showing her the softest parts of himself as he always did. Her answering smile was his favorite; soft and bright as the sun.


She stepped back after a moment, bracing a hand on the wall to bring her heeled clad feet up and undo the clasp, kicking it off and then repeating the process. He followed her silent lead, unlacing his combat boots and they landed next to her shoes, and both smiled at the visual. He then stretched out a hand to her, which she took; her small hand fitting into his much larger one perfectly. He led them towards his bedroom, ready to curl up with her.


“Can I shower the hairspray out of my hair real quick juggie?” He smiled at her and nodded as he pushed open the door to his room. She grinned back, and then her eyes fell on his grey S t-shirt draped over his desk chair, and the vintage typewriter positioned on the desk in front of her. Her smile widened and she quickly picked up the shirt, deciding it would be perfect to sleep in. She turned back to her boyfriend and his adoring stare, “unzip me?” Once again he nodded, smile quirked at the edges of his lips. He motioned for her to turn, and then he slid the zipper down and placed a chaste kiss to the back of her head, breathing her in.


She left with a promise to not take to long, and after she left he took off his beanie, both his safety mechanisms now gone, but no anxiety flared within him because it was her that he would be bared to and he trusted her completely. He tossed his wallet and keys onto the desk next to his typewriter, running a finger over the edge of it; the machine bringing a smile to his face as it did every time he saw it. His phone was plugged in after he texted Archie, and between texts he readied himself for bed.


He untied the flannel at his waist, pulled his t-shirt over his head and chucked them both into the open closet. He left the ribbed tank top, but kicked out of his pants after undoing the clasp of his belt and removing the suspenders. He left it at that, wanting to be comfortable to sleep. He then pulled out the laptop that went everywhere with him and plugged it in. As he did he heard the shower click off and few moments later there was a creak in the floorboards of the old trailer as his favorite blonde once again appeared in his doorway.


His breath caught. She was a vision he knew he wouldn’t forget anytime soon. His t-shirt falling to her thighs, hair curling around her shoulders in wet strands, bright, meadow green eyes sparkling as she took in his own appearance. She took a step towards him the  same time that he moved to meet her. “God Betts, I love it when you wear my shirts.” She giggled quietly, her hands sliding up his arms to circle his neck. “I love wearing them.” The comment, said in a soft, quiet voice, made his smile widen before he leaned into the kiss she was searching for.


He pulled back a moment later to peck her forehead and move them to the bed. He hoisted her up, grinning at the quiet squeal, and took the three steps across the small room to his bed, and then placed her down on it. She smiled up at him but stopped him from crawling in next to her asking for her phone. He retrieved it from the purse she had dropped when they made it to his room, grabbing the cord as well, passing both to her and watching her plug them in before going for the light. He flipped it off and then made his way back to the bed, eyes taking in the sight of her snuggling under his sheets, blonde hair a halo in the soft light streetlight leaking through his blinds. She was so beautiful his Hitchcock blonde.


He slipped in next to her, automatically lifting his arm and just as quickly she was snuggling herself into his side. Her head laid on his chest, hand resting over his heart, and one leg tossed over one of his. His arm wound around her shoulder, and he took a deep breath in, inhaling the familiar vanilla smell and placing a small kiss on the top of her head before whispering, “I missed you tonight Juliet.”


Those wide meadow green eyes met his and his soft smile was mirrored on her face as she whispered back, “I missed you to Romeo,” before leaning up to kiss him. He grinned as she tucked herself back into the previous position and closed her eyes with a quiet and content sigh, along with a muttered, “night Juggie.”


She fell asleep quickly, but he laid there for a few moments recalling the night with his best friend while he waited for this exact moment, smiling at the fact that his life seemed to be on track for once in his life. With happy thoughts floating through his mind, he to closed his eyes and fell asleep, holding his beloved blonde close.


Ya no matter how late I'll be stayin up I can't sleep without you no


Can't sleep without you


I can't sleep without you


Never thought I would be like this


Just wide awake waitin' on a goodnight kiss


Both couples slept well that night, holding each other close. They knew that together they could get through whatever the next few years in that crazy town would throw at them before they all left it behind to pursue better things together.


Both Archie Andrews and Jughead Jones went to sleep that night at peace because they were finally getting to sleep beside the person that made sleep the easiest. Both got the best sleep they had had in ages thanks to the girls that clung to them the whole night through. When each woke the next morning to realize that the day and night before hadn’t been a dream, both smiled and held their girlfriend closer, placing kisses on their foreheads and whispering, “I don’t think I ever want to sleep without you.”