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Delicate Flowers

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“In unity there is strength.” Ivy whispered back into the phone and hung up. She looked around her tiny room and began frantically packing. She always knew she would go back to Riverdale, her wounds just needed to heal, but she never though she would be called back before the year was over. She ran out of her tiny room and grabbed a pen and paper. Scribbling a note to her aunt, she wrote “thank you for everything” and left her key right next to it.The tattoo on the back of her neck started to burn as it was finally reunited with the leather collar of her southside serpents jacket and she stepped out into the cold Chicago night. She walked a couple of blocks, her dirty, bulky boots hitting the pavement with loud thuds until she reached her destination.

Her transit card had just enough money to let her through down to the train platform. Her panic began setting in the moment she sat down. “Doors closing. Harlem is next. Doors will be opening on the right at Harlem.” She was taking the blue line train to O’Hare airport, planning on flying 3/4s of the way and taking a greyhound bus the rest, just like she did 10 months ago. Her mind was racing because FP never breaks his promises. He told her 10 months ago he wouldn’t contact her for a full year, to let her process the loss of her parents as well as the catastrophic break up between her and Toni Topaz away from Riverdale. She had moved to Chicago to stay with her aunt Tara for her junior year of high school. Her foot began tapping against the cool metal of the trains floor as she thought of the worst case scenario.

Dead, someone's gotta be dead.

No, he would’ve told me that over the phone right?

Maybe he needs numbers?

Hopefully it's just Ghoulies, I can take those fuckers on anytime.

She wouldn’t admit it outloud, but she missed the fighting, the adrenaline, the dull ache her knuckles felt afterwards. The brass knuckles her best friend got her always protected her hands from getting too fucked up. Which reminded her of who was waiting for her back home.

What’s Toni gonna say?

Or Fangz?

Fuck Im probably going to cry when I see Sweet Pea. She thought to herself.

No I’ve got to be stronger, they chose Toni and there isn’t anything I can do about it now.

Ivy and Toni were each others first loves, experimenting together with their new found bisexualities and kicking ghoulie ass together as rookie serpents. Alongside Sweet Pea and Fangs, they ruled Southside High. Although they were a group, her best friend of all time was Sweet Pea. Maybe it was that their names were both flowers, or that they both enjoyed that feeling in the pit of their stomachs right before a good fight but they naturally gravitated towards each other from the second they met in the White Wyrm. She smiled down into her lap as she thought of the first time she met Sweet Pea.

“Don’t worry Ivy, they’ll love you!” Toni grabbed Ivy’s arm and pulled her into the White Wyrm. Neither of them were just serpents yet, but Toni’s besties already were. Walking in, an odd musty smell struck Ivy’s small nose and the sound of guttural laughter rang through her ears. Bypassing all the older men, Toni led Ivy to a pool table in the back of the bar with a taller boy with greased back black hair and a short muscular boy with gelled tips.

“Sweets! Fangs! Meet Ivy, my now girlfriend.” Toni spoke with a giant smile on her face. The short one, Fangs, was the first to speak.

“Girlfriend?” His eyebrows furrowed, not fulling understanding this was Toni’s way of coming out to her friends. The tall one, Sweet Pea, just stared intensely into Ivy’s eyes, as if he was trying to read her mind.

“Um yeah, I like boys and girls.” Toni responded. That's when Sweet Pea broke his stare and smiled down at his shorter female friend.

“That’s cool Toni.” His voice was rougher than what Ivy expected. He then turned to Ivy and said “You’re mom loves flowers too?”

“You guessed it” Ivy gave an awkward thumbs up. He gave a short nod to acknowledge her response and he went back to playing pool.

Fangs then grabbed Ivy and pulled her to the side. “Treat her right, and we’ll do the same to you. Anyway, wanna play?”

And ever since Ivy’s had 3 people always watching her back and vice versa. But then her parents passed away in a drunk driving incident, her father being the drunk driver, and she lashed out at her friends and mostly at her girlfriend.

“You don’t get it Toni! They killed themselves, they didn’t give a shit about me! He voluntarily got behind the driver's seat and my mother made a stupid choice that night too. They left me to fend for myself! Fucking alcoholics got what they deserved! But what about me now? Huh?”

“Ivy please they didn’t mean to leave you!”

“Bullshit Toni! They left me, everyone fucking leaves eventually!”

“I won’t” Toni stood her ground, which made Ivy more angry.

“No you will, you’ll find someone prettier, someone smarter, someone who only likes being the big spoon. You will because you don’t really love me.”

“What?”

“Come on, we’re teenagers, this shit isn’t going to last.” Tears formed in Toni’s eyes.

“You don’t even hope it will?” Toni asked softly.

“Why hope for anything anymore?” Toni began to cry and Ivy realized what she had to do to stop hurting her. “We should end this now, before you get anymore hope of us lasting.”

“Fuck you Ivy Leeds.” Were the last words Ivy heard before the thump of the front door of her trailer slamming shut.

Ivy wiped a tear from her cheek as she boarded the small plane that would take her most of the way back home. After her break up, neither Sweet Pea nor Fangz spoke a word to Ivy, counseling only Toni and exiling Ivy from their friend group. For the next week in school, Ivy watched her male friends physically shielding Toni from her. Sometimes Sweet Pea would stare at Ivy from across the halls with a mixed look. Ivy couldn’t decide if it meant “I want to kill you but, I can’t ” Or “I want to console you, but I can’t.” She decided it was the first one and asked FP if she could leave for a while. She needed to be away from the drama, from the place where she got abandoned by everybody. With some time away, she realized she pushed everyone away and, clutching her backpack sitting in a middle seat of a crappy airplane, she began to hope. Hope for forgiveness, for a new start, for the thriving of her serpent family. She whispered to herself right before taking off, “In unity, there is strength.”

Chapter Text

"Welcome to Riverdale.” The bus driver said as she opened up the door for Ivy. She took a deep breath in and out before stepping off the bus and walking towards the station. Her thick long raven hair was messily coming out of her bun as she tried to fish her phone out of her backpack.

“Need a ride?” a familiar voice said from far away, echoing in the distance. She looked up and met kind eyes.

“FP!” Ivy smiled big and ran towards FP to engulf him in a bear hug.

“Hey Poison, how’ve you been?” He said, his voice smooth and fatherly.

“I’ve been ok, but I'm guessing since you called me it hasn’t been good here.” FP sighed and nodded.

“Hop in kid, I’ll explain everything on the way.” Without inquiring where they were going, Ivy hopped into the passenger seat and began listening to all the crap that recently happened to the serpents. Everything from the school wide raid to the closing and now preparing to fight the Ghoulies while fighting against the Northside. The serpents were being pushed around all of Riverdale, losing control and members quickly.

“Well, I’m here to help in any way I can.” Ivy replied with a small smile. FP thanked her and stopped at a big house on the Northside.

“This is Fred Andrews home. Ever since the Whyte Wyrm got bought out, he opened his doors to us.”

“I can’t go back to the trailer?” Ivy asked saddened by the realization.

“Maybe, but not right now. It’s almost dark and I’m guessing your hungry.”

Ivy smiled at FP’s caring nature but she still couldn’t get out of the truck.

“They know.”

“Hmm?” Ivy turned at FP’s words.

“Toni, Fangs, Sweets. They know you’re coming back and are probably waiting for you.” Tears formed in Ivy’s eyes but she quickly blinked them away. WIth a short nod, she exited FP’s truck with her single backpack of stuff and walked up to the blue door.

Her knuckles hesitated, but she knocked on the door 3 times. She held her breath as someone opened the door.

“Hey girly, come on in!” Toni said, in a surprisingly happy tone. Her hair was now a cute pink, and her eyes lined with thick liner. Still as beautiful as ever Ivy thought.

“Thank you.” She said breathlessly. Behind her stood the other half of their old group. Fangs had gotten buffer, and his face was beautifully contorted into a smile.

“Damn Poison, what’s in the Chicago water?” He walked over and gave Ivy a big and unexpected hug. Speechless, she looked towards her ex best friend for an explanation, but his face did not match the rest.

He got even taller, and his shoulders wider. His face was hard and his eyebrows furrowed in thought. He crossed his arms and didn’t say a word.

“Come on Sweets!” Toni said. He rolled his eyes and turned around, walking out of view. Ivy’s heart sank and she turned to Toni for an explanation.

“What’s going on?”

“I moved on form us and I know you have too, and you were going through some stuff and I should have never left so easily.”

“Toni it okay-”

“I know you’re sorry, and I’m sorry, so let's move past it because we need you here. We need you to kick some ass again.” Toni opened her arms up for hug, and Ivy gladly accepted. Although Ivy was only 2 inches taller, Toni still felt so tiny in her embrace.

“So you’re both forgiven me, but what about Sweet Pea?” Toni took a deep breath.

“How about we get some food in you then we talk?” Toni replied and Ivy happily obliged.

They sat down in a big dining room, something no serpent was used too and Ivy ate leftover pizza.

“Sweets, he um, I don’t know how to say it without hurting your feelings.” Fangs said and he turned to Toni for help.

“You left him without saying goodbye.”

“Aw Shit!” Ivy smacked her hand to her forehead. “But I only said bye to FP!”

Sweet Pea’s parents left one day without a word when he was 14. Ever since he made sure to say something, anything to let other people know when they were going to see him again and he expected the same from his friends. Especially his best friends.

“I told him it was stupid!” Fangs said “Of course you didn’t say anything, we stopped talking to you for like a week.”

“No, its ok. I get it.” Ivy said sadly. She hurt him by leaving without a word, without knowledge of if they will ever see each other again.

“You were his best friend Ivy.” Toni whispered.

“I need to talk to him.”

After she ate, Ivy went out into the backyard to get some fresh air. Sitting against the far side of the fence was Sweet Pea. His eyes were closed as his head leaned back and loud music blasted in his earphones. Ivy smiled at the image, remembering how they bonded over their music taste and planning concert road trips when either of the could finally drive.

 

They were sitting in the cafeteria, surrounded by obnoxious laughter and loud conversations. The four of them always sat at the same table, labeling it a serpent territory. Ivy’s serpent tattoo on the back of her neck was still fresh, and she winced everytime she moved her head too fast.

“Bold choice.” Sweet Pea said pointing at the spot of her tattoo.

“Could say the same for you.” as she pointed to his.

“Eh, mine’s cooler.” He said confidently as he took a bite out of his apple. Ivy rolled her eyes.

“It's literally the same tattoo?”

“How do you know? It's in a place you can't see.”

“You think they just tatted a green dick on me and called it a day?”

“We won’t know until you can take the bandage off.” Ivy smacked Sweet Pea’s shoulder playfully and pulled out her ipod.

“Hey Sweets, you listen to punk?”

“Yeah but like old school.”

“Well no shit. New school punk just isn’t punk.” Sweet Pea nodded in agreement. “My aunt lives in Chicago, so I went to Riot Fest last year for the first time and it was amazing.”

“Well let me know if your going next year. Maybe I can scrounge up some money and go with you.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Ivy sighed and began walking over to Sweet Pea. He didn’t notice her sit down next to him until she tapped his shoulder. His eyes flew open and his glare settled on Ivy.

“What?” He hissed.

“I didn’t go to Riot fest last month. I couldn’t go without you.” He rolled his eyes and tried to put one of his headphones back in. Ivy grabbed his arm from moving. “Hey asshole, I’m trying to apologize!”

“Shove it up your ass Poison, I don’t wanna hear it.” She smiled a little when he used the nickname he gave her.

“Sweets, I’m sorry I left and didn’t say anything. I was selfish and hurt and I should have realized getting away from my problems also meant leaving my best friend behind. I don’t regret leaving, but I do regret not telling you goodbye.”

“Were you going to come back?” He interrogated.

“In a year yes! FP promised me I could have a full year away, but then I’d come back to my family.”

“He never told me that.”

“I’m sorry.” They stared into each others eyes, trying to read the emotion behind their words. Sweet Pea spoke first.

“Yeah, no, it’s gonna take more than that.” He ripped his arm out of Ivy’s hold and got up, leaving Ivy behind to secretly wipe tears off of her cheeks.

Chapter Text

Sunlight seeped through the Andrews living room windows, waking Ivy up off the couch. Toni and Fangs slept underneath her on a blow up mattress that deflated overnight. Ivy smiled down at her friends, happy that they got to catch up last night.

“Dude, You got shot and no one told me?” Ivy exclaimed, gaining a chuckle from Toni.
Yeah but I’m alive and look at this sick scar.” Fangs pulled his shirt up to reveal a predominant scar on his abdomen.
And I’m dating Cheryl Blossom so there's that.” Toni added casually.
Whoa, I don't know if to be happy or scared for you.” Ivy joked.
“She’s got a big heart,” Toni replied not really entertaining Ivy’s question.
“Im happy you’re happy.” Ivy responded with a timid smile on her face. “And what about Sweet Pea? What’s he been up too?”
“The usual, punching first, asking for permission later.” Toni responded with a shrug and Fangs nodded in agreement.
“He hasn’t had his sidekick to do ultimate damage though.” Fangs added in quietly.
“He doesn’t want me anyways.”

Ivy sat up and stretched her limbs. She tiptoed around sleeping serpents and walked into the kitchen to find Jughead typing away on his laptop.
“Good morning.”
“Hey, we haven’t formally met and that’s my fault. I’m Jughead, FP’s my dad.”
“Oh yeah sorry, I know about you. I’m Ivy and don’t worry I trust that the serpents are good in your hands.”
“Thank you.”
“Have you seen Sweet Pea?”
“Nope,but he’ll be back soon.”
“Aren’t you worried?”
“He’s a big boy, he can handle it.” Jughead said, but Ivy wasn’t so sure about that.
“What is “it” exactly?” Ivy pulled out a seat to sit next to Jughead.
“‘It” is more of a she.” Ivy’s eyebrows furrowed.
“He’s like actually getting laid? I mean good for him but,” Jughead waited for Ivy to continue, but her frown deepened and fist twitched closed.
“But?” Jughead inquired on.
“But he isn’t the type to just sleep with someone.”
Jughead let out a genuine laugh at Ivy’s statement. “I’m not sure how long you were gone, but Sweet Pea is exactly the type to just sleep with someone.”
Ivy shook her head, she knew Sweet Pea, she knew his heart and how he protected it. Sweet Pea wouldn’t be that vulnerable with someone without caring about them. Then again, Jughead knew him more recently, that maybe he changed and fell in love with the act more than what the act could represent. Ivy’ heart clenched at the thought. The thought that Sweet Pea, the boy with the biggest heart, turned away from love. He had worked so hard to love again after his parents. He opened his heart up to Toni, Fangs, FP and eventually he opened up to Ivy as well.

“That was fucking awesome, but can you please tell me what’s going on?” Ivy asked as she tried to catch her breath. Sweet Pea leaned against the side of Pop’s diner trying to do the same with a grin on his face. They were running from the fight Sweet Pea started on unclaimed territory with a couple of Ghoulies. After the first couple of blows, both serpents heard sirens and ran in the opposite direction.
“I didn’t like how he looked at me.” Sweet Pea replied casually, wiping his bloody nose with his flannel sleeve in the process. “Thanks for having my back.” Ivy looked over his minor injuries before hesitantly replying.
“Always dude but,” Sweet Pea gave her a pointed frown. “You’ve got to talk to me too.”
Sweet Pea nodded in understanding. This was the third time that week he had planted his brass knuckles into another face. The first was a kid at school who asked Toni and Ivy if he could watch, the second was a guy that looked at him wrong outside of the bar, and now it was a ghoulie who yelled “Serpent trash” across a busy street. Ivy figured he was an angry teenager, but picking fights like this seemed irrational.
“I like to fight.” Sweet Pea tried to state simply, but his eyes gave him away.
“I know there’s more than that.” Ivy pressed.
Sweet Pea took a deep breath in and out through his nose. “A buyer came by.”
“A buyer?”
“For the trailer. Apparently there’s an ad online for it.”
“What the fuck?”
“I guess my parents thought I moved in with Fangs or something? I don’t know but I told the buyer to fuck off. Respectfully of course.”
“Yes, of course.” Ivy replied with a smile.
“Now, can we stop talking about sad shit and get some milkshakes?” Sweet Pea asked hopefully.

 

Ivy’s thoughts were interrupted by heavy footsteps entering the kitchen. She looked up at a tired Sweet Pea who was wearing the same clothes as the night before and messier than ever hair.
“You’re still here huh?” his eyes now filled with fire.
“I’m not going anywhere.” Ivy spit back, matching his intensity. She didn’t know exactly what was happening, but now she was pissed off at Sweet Pea too.
Pissed that he changed
Pissed that he wouldn’t forgive her
Pissed he didn’t love her anymore.

Sweet Pea chuckled under his breath and shook his head before strolling out of the kitchen and up to the bathroom. Ivy’s shoulders tensed as she remembered that Jughead was still sitting adjacent to her, staring.
“What?” she barked.
“Save that venom for the Ghoulies.” He replied sternly suddenly resembling his father. Ivy’s shoulders dropped and she nodded apologetically. “Go get your jacket and meet me outside, I want to show you something.” Ivy cocked her head to the side like a curious puppy, but ultimately obliged.

Chapter Text

Sunnyside Trailer Park had seen better days. Trash was thrown everywhere and trailers tagged with awful calligraphy that Ivy could barely decipher. The most unnerving part was the silence, how Jughead’s footsteps echoed in the emptiness as they approached Sweet Pea’s old trailer. Ivy followed suit quickly, worried someone would see them there. She noticed the door was open, and Jughead casually strolled in. He used his bulky boots to move all the broken glass and litter that had been spewed by the Ghoulies to the side, and created a safe path for Ivy to follow.

“They tried to destroy us by destroying our home, by letting us take the fall for all the drugs on the Northside.” Jughead solemnly observed as Ivy’s face contorted into a frown. She knew things had gotten bad, but seeing the aftermath made her angry.

“I should have never left.” She whispered aloud to herself.

“This isn’t your fault. I know Sweet Pea can be an ass but he doesn’t blame you for this.”

“But I should have been here to help! I lost one family and then abandoned the other, but no more. I’m here to stay.” Jughead curved his lips into a smug smile before nodding.
Ivy knew the second she said the words out loud she would hold herself to the commitment. She was here to stay. No more running away from her problems. She began looking around the old trailer and tried to remember what it looked like before the mess. Where there used to be TV was now the broken remains and the coffee table was cracked down the middle as if someone body slammed into it. On the floor next to the ripped up loveseat was a broken picture frame. Ivy bent down to pick it up and she cut her finger on the glass making her wince. She quickly put her finger into her mouth and proceeded more carefully.

She flipped over the picture frame to see it was of Sweet Peas family. Not the parents that didn’t give a shit about him, but him and his best friends that once included Ivy herself. She stared at the photo remembering the day it was taken.

 

Her tattoo had finally healed up, and now she had more of an excuse to wear her thick black hair up in a bun. Ivy’s mom used to complain about pointless stuff like that. “Sweetie, why don’t you wear your hair down? Boys like girls who care about their appearance.” Ivy would argue with her mom about how forcing heteronormative ideals wasn’t ok seeing as her daughter was openly bisexual. Ivy’s hair that day was smack dab on the top of her head, held there by a thick black scrunchie and her baby hairs held down by a red bandana. The sun was setting, but Toni had just gotten a new camera and wanted to show the boys.

They walked hand in hand over to Sweet Pea’s trailer where he and Fangs had been drawing out a concept to paint on the side of the trailer. Sweet Pea had always been an artist, but Ivy didn’t learn that until that night.

She remembers walking up to Sweet Pea’s trailer and knocking forcefully.

“Open up Sweets!” Toni yelled causing a rumble in the trailer and then a smirking Sweet Pea to appear before them. After some quick fidgeting with the camera, Toni figured how to set a timer and commanded everybody to get outside before it turned dark. She had expertly set up the camera 10 feet away on top of a garbage can.

“5 bucks says your head’s going to be chopped off in the photo,” Ivy teased Sweet Pea seeing as he towered over everybody else in the group.

“Screw you Poison, you’re on!” and they shook on it.

“Guys! You ready?” Toni yelled and each serpent adjusted their jackets to look a little more tough.

“Always ready babe!” Ivy replied and Toni pressed the button. She quickly ran back and leaned up against the trailer between Ivy and Fangs. They heard the camera shutter and relaxed while Toni ran back to check how the photo came out.

The picture came out perfect, showing off exactly the people they wanted the world to see. 4 tough teens, leaning on each other for support. Sweet Pea stood tall, shoulders back, arms cross and chin up. He had widened his stance as well to look even more intimidating. Next to him was Ivy who had put her hands in her leather jacket and puffed out her chest. Toni settled for a more natural pose, almost looking caught off guard but flawless. Fangs had crossed his arms and leaned back on the trailer, making him looked the most relaxed out of the 4.

“Pay up short stack.” Sweet Pea held his hand out to Ivy as she rolled her eyes and grabbed a 5 from her back pocket.

“You got lucky this time, Mt Everest.”

 

Ivy blinked her tears away as she folded the photo into 4 and slipped it into the back pocket of her jeans.

“We gotta get going,” Jughead said and they drove back to the Andrews house in peace.

Chapter Text

It was a new era for the Southside Serpents. Many fled, leaving Riverdale altogether to survive the brutality of the ghoulies who aligned themselves with Peabody and the Lodges. Ivy was finally back to see that new era, to help it grow. Their knew king, Jughead, had them reclaim Sunnyside trailer park, even if it was just tents for a couple of months. Using their free resources, many had repurposed old broke down trailers and vans into homes. With the help of FP’s pick up truck, the teens serpents new homes were expertly positioned and each had their own little properties. Ivy found great fun in redecorating the inside of an old van. It had the front two wheels missing, but cinder blocks held the front up evenly. The inside was decorated with her favorite band shirts being taped up like posters. Closet and decor in one. Colorful mismatched throw pillows lay scattered inside with a tiny wooden coffee table being the only real furniture inside.

“Home sweet home,” Ivy spoke to herself on the first real night of being alone again. At the Andrews house, everyone was piled on top of eachother. Then everyone shared a tent. Unfortunately for Ivy, she had to share with both Sweet Pea and Fangs, meaning everynight consisted of unresolved tension that Fangs would try to dismantle. Sweet Pea eventually got to speaking terms with Ivy, but it had to be strictly serpent business.
Sweet Pea had found himself in a short term fling that had eventually broken his heart. He had plopped his tiny pop out trailer on the farther corner of the trailer park, a couple minutes walk from anybody else's housing. He felt himself slowly distancing himself from the serpents as they accepted Ivy back with open arms and then kept her there. She had won back the hearts of both Toni and Fangs, then proceeded to become a pain in the ass for Sweet Pea. Suddenly, he couldn’t hang out with his friends anymore because the poison was always around.
Poison.
That's all she was to him now.
Poison Ivy.
Ivy had noticed Sweet Pea stopped using the nickname lovingly and would spit it out of his mouth with forceful bitterness. She knew Sweet Pea was loyal to a fault, and her leaving was one of the biggest betrayals. Some nights she would still toss and turn, thinking of ways to prove her worth again to Sweet Pea.
“Give him some time.” Toni comforted Ivy with those words often.
“Just let him know you will always have his back, like the old days.” Fangs would encourage, and Ivy appreciated the vote of confidence.
Nethertheless, Sweet Pea wasn’t budging, or well, he didn’t want to. He had become so accustomed to dropping people who hurt him, who used him, who played with his emotions, that letting Ivy back in was 1. A risk and 2. Hard to do.
He laid in his new home, a whole 4 minute walk from Ivy’s tricked out van, thinking about the dull ache that used to run through his veins when she left. But that was another problem Sweet Pea had to face. The dull ache had stopped, and the previous warm glow had returned. That's what he hated the most. It was how easy she could just show back up and he could forgive her. He really could. He could let her back into his life, laugh with her about something stupid Fangs would say, or tease Toni and Cheryl when they showed too much PDA. Shit, sometimes he even considered dropping the bitter act and just going back to the way things were.
But he couldn’t. No rather, he shouldn’t. Because Ivy had hurt him. Bad. And she needed to understand that she could never do it again.
Rain pitter pattered against the top of Sweet Peas new trailer making him check his watch. It was well into the middle of the night, and Sweet Pea couldn't fall asleep. He rolled to his side, fluffed his pillow, and kicked his blanket off himself. He let out a huff of air in aggravation. He sat up and stretched, making his thin t shirt rise to show his stomach. Grabbing a hoodie, Sweet Pea exited his trailer to see if maybe a walk will ease his racing mind.
Unfortunately, the walk led him to pass Ivy’s trailer. Inside, Ivy was laid out against all of her colorful throw pillows in her comfiest sweats, grasping a book with one hand and the other roaming around for her gummy bears. She was so close to finding out who committed the murder that she jumped when a soft knock was made against her sliding door.
“Who is it?” She folded the page she was reading into a triangle. She heard a scoff from outside.
“Just open the door Poison. I've got something to say

Chapter Text

Ivy scrambled to the large sliding door, opening it with a loud rumble. He didn't look at her, he didn't think he really could right then, but Ivy smiled, her top teeth holding her bottom lip to prevent a full out grin. He was wearing his pjs as well, his hair ruffled by sleep and the night breeze.

“I never hated you.” Sweet Pea said, still staring at the ground.

“Good.. good.” Ivy said, a little stunned. His eyes drifted up, looking at Ivy’s hand on the door handle.

“Can I-” but before he could finish Ivy had moved back to a corner in her van and motioned for Sweet Pea to come in. He sat down first on the edge and untied his boots. He slid them off and positioned them next to Ivy’s outside. He awkwardly scooted backwards until his back hit the other side of the van and Ivy closed the door once more to keep the cool night air out . She sat down in front of Sweet Peas towering frame criss cross applesauce with her hands anxiously twitching, waiting for him to start talking.

“Running away was a pussy move Ivy.” Sweet Pea finally looked her in the eyes. Ivy bowed her head as if she was being reprimanded. “But you came back, and we can’t change the past.” Ivy picked her head back up at that.

“But can we move forward?” she wondered out loud. Sweet Pea’s eyebrows scrunched together in thought.

“Look Ivy-” but he was cut off.

“I know I messed up but-”

“Hey! I’m gonna talk and you're going to listen because it took me a fucking long time to figure out what to say to you.” Ivy’s eyes widened but she nodded and let Sweet Pea continue. “Maybe I put too much trust in you, but back then, you were my go to for everything. Any problem, any shitty feeling, any bullshit you stuck through with me. Shit Ivy, you always had my back. But when it was time for you to put your trust in me to help you get through something, you ran off without a word!” Ivy grimaced and looked back down at her hands.

“It sucks when your best friend doesn’t see you as their best friend.” Sweet Pea finished looking over to Ivy’s sunken frame. After a prolonged silence, Ivy looked up to meet Sweet Pea’s eyes.

“I didn’t want to burden you.” her voice cracked.

“You could never burden me dumbass! Thats what best friends are for!”

“Present tense?”

“Huh?”

“You just said I could never burden you, as if that was still a thing I could do.” A small smile appeared on Ivy’s face. Sweet Pea looked away with a small blush on his cheeks as he realized what he said. After a moment of contemplation, Sweet Pea turned back to Ivy and opened his arms, inviting her into a hug. Ivy, with a new found enthusiasm, jumped into his chest and hugged him tight. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and gently rocked her side to side. It was a silent gesture that got all of their feelings across.

“Promise to always talk to me, no matter what.” Sweet Pea whispered into Ivy’s hair.

“Pinky promise.” She pulled away from the hug and stuck her right pinky out. Sweet Pea’s long slender pinky casually wrapped itself around hers and she squeezed tight. “Best buds?” Sweet Pea rolled his eyes at the shitty flower pun.

“Yes, best buds.” And Ivy couldn't help but wrap her arms around him again.

Sweet Pea patted her head. “Ok poison, my legs are begging for me to move.”

Reluctantly, Ivy obliged. “So are you free tomorrow? Maybe we could hang just the two of us?”

“Id have to check my single unemployed schedule, but I think I can make time.” Sweet Pea.

“Yeah yeah asshole. Now get out so I can sleep!”

They said their goodnights and Sweet Pea was left to walk back to his trailer alone, picking up the pace as the night only got colder. By the time he got back go his trailer, goosebumps covered his exposed arms and it took all of his strength to not shiver. He wrapped himself under his comforter and stared at his ceiling until the sun peaked out from the horizon.

When Sweet Pea got to school that morning, he was greeted by a raccoon eyed Ivy juggling a hot coffee on top of her science binder.
“You look like shit.”

Ivy replied with a tiny glare but quickly recovered with a grin. “We’re still on for later right?”

Sweet Pea reached for Ivys coffee and took a quick much needed sip. “Ill have to move some things around, but for you Poison? Ive always got time.”

“Cute,” Ivy ripped the coffee out of Sweet Peas hand, “ I’ll pick you up around 6.”

“Sounds like a plan.”