“Come on man ! Just do it. It’s easy money and there’s no judgement among men,” Sweet Pea teased following Jughead around the garage like an annoying little brother, “plus the work is prrrrr-etty satisfying.”
He grinned smugly making Jughead pause and look at him in utter disgust.
“No way,” Jughead frowned walking away from his best friend. He had work to do, cars to fix, instead of listening to his friends get rich quick schemes. They had worked together at Riverdale Motors for almost three years now after their best friend and owner Fangs Fogarty died. They both agreed to run the shop together in honour of their friend but Jughead found that that was easier said than done.
“There is no way I’m donating my sperm to some clinic just for money. I’d have to be living on the street before I did anything remotely like that.” Jughead turned the radio in the garage up louder trying to discourage their conversation.
“Well you probably will be if you can’t pay your rent for that shitty trailer by the end of the week. I’m just trying to help you out ! I mean we make peanuts at this place and I’ve already done it. Twice in fact and I have enough now to last me ages.” Sweet Pea finished leaning against the car that Jughead was about to start working on, not giving up.
“No,” Jughead replied flatly, rolling himself under under the rusty car trying to get away from him. He needed the money, boy did he need the money. Not just for food or rent or gas for his bike but for a reason that no one else knew about, and if he couldn’t come up with the money soon he would be in deep shit. But he would rather sell an organ than sell his sperm right now.
“Fine just take the flyer and look at your options,” Sweet Pea sighed handing Jughead a spanner and placing the flyer on the bench behind them.
“If I take it will you stop hassling me?” Jughead voice came muffled from under the car but Sweet Pea could still tell he was annoyed.
“All I’m saying is you need money and they need your sperm what’s the big deal ?”
“I can’t hear you! The music is to loud,” Jughead replied sarcastically, wishing that money really did grow on trees.
It was the first week in May and so far it was turning out to be the worst week in Betty Cooper’s life so far and it was only Wednesday. She was running late from a work meeting (that went less than successful)l to babysit for her sister, her mother was trying to set her up on a blind date with some wannabe rock star who was air to a large estate and tomorrow she had a doctors appointment she was really not looking forward to.
To top everything off, her light blue shiny hatchback car she had brought with her dad when she was sixteen was breaking down in front of her eyes. This car had so much sentimental value to her and she hated that it was slowly dying. After all it was 8 years old and already second hand when she got it.
It was a surprise birthday present from her dad that he hadn’t told her mother Alice about. Betty always thought that was the last straw for her mother and what caused their divorce but they always insisted it wasn’t.
Her check engine light had been on for over three months and each time she took it to her mechanic they looked over it and said there was nothing wrong but clearly there was and right now it was making the worst noise imaginable. Only going 40km an hour and having cars race past her in fury, beeping their horns and swearing Betty started to panic. She defiantly wasn’t going to make it to baby sitting today.
She wasn’t going to take it back to her usual mechanic because they never helped so Betty decided to take it to the only other one in town and lucky for her it wasn’t to far away.
She never believed in the Southside gossip and rumours her mother use to talk about. Every person had their own story and reasons for their lively choices and Betty always believed in not judging a book by its cover. So as she started to chug her old car through the Main Street of the South Side her positive thinking was boosting the confidence she needed.
Riverdale Motors was a small mechanic shop but from a quick google search she found that it had gotten many positive reviews. Parking her car just on the street out front Betty noticed only one other car inside the shop and hoped they’d have room for hers.
Betty had just come from her business meeting in Greendale and hoped her tight black pencil skirt, pink frilly blouse and high heels wouldn’t cause a fuss. One thing she did know was that the men on the South Side weren’t particularly polite when it came to women. Her job at the Riverdale Register was a great stepping stone for her onto bigger and better things and for the most part she enjoyed it but Betty had always wished for a different career.
Walking up to the front of the shed loud music blasted around in the air and she couldn’t see anyone around. A long bench stretched the back of the shop and all kind of tools and car parts were scattered everywhere. She could hear the clanking and turning of a spanner and ratchet and missed the good old days with her father.
Although it was all guarded by an empty reception desk with a tips jar and a small bell sitting amongst mountains of oil stained scrap paper and parts. Hitting the bell twice Betty waited patiently for someone to come out and serve her. But feeling the beat of the music vibrate her own heart she new no one would have heard her.
“Hello !” She yelled tapping the bell a few more times. She felt rude and in a way desperate standing there trying to get someone's attention and thought she it was best to leave.
“Will you stop that dam ringing!” An extremely tall man appeared looking very angry and holding an odd looking car part in his hand. He wore a horribly ripped shirt which almost made him look like he had just been attacked by a bear and Betty noticed it had the name Sweet Pea embroidery just above the left pocket.
“We’re not deaf idiots like you Northsiders probably think,” He spat snatching the bell off the table and judging Betty the moment he saw her.
“Oh no sorry I didn't mean to … I wasn’t …” Betty tried to be polite as ever but could see that manners and apologies would get her no where on this side of town.
“Doesn’t matter.” He waved her off annoyed as hell. “Toilet’s round the back princess. Keys under the mat.” And with that, he turned stunning Betty with his terrible customer service. She was born and raised a polite and respectful young women but Betty wasn’t going to stand for this. She had a tough side and although she never showed it Betty always felt alive when she did.
“Um NO!” She said forcefully making him turn around surprised by her back talk.
“You are a mechanic business aren’t you? And you do want business right?” She asked condescendingly, “because I suggest you improve your people skills and help me with my car…. Sweet - Pea. ” She finished darkly using his name venomously and in a way any mother would when they were punishing their children.
Flabbergasted he looked at her surprised. “Just wait one moment then,” he said quietly leaving. Betty just hoped he was going to get his boss or maybe find some manners she thought.
The garage reminded her of her childhood. Specifically her father when she would fall asleep in the corner of their own garage while he would tinker away at their car. There was something about the smell and grease that was so soothing Betty couldn’t help but have a little look around while no one was watching.
Her heels clicked along the cement as she tried to be quiet but the music was sure to drown out any noise she made. There was just something about this place that made her feel happy, content even and she hadn’t felt like that in a long time.
The contrast of her pink shirt against the black greasy bench was one similar to the stars in the night sky. Beautiful and rare. Betty was so lost in her own world and remembering all her childhood memories she didn't notice two legs sticking out from under the lone car that was in the shop. She was to busy looking around to realise the clanging and tinkering of tools had stopped and two eyes were watching her. More her feet in their slick black high heel shoes wondering what on earth they were doing in his shop but that was about to change.
“Was he bothering you?” A husky voice came out of nowhere making Betty jumped out of her skin and gasped in fright. A man suddenly rolled out from under the car she was standing next to making her heart beat even faster.
“Oh my god.” She breathed clutching her chest. “I wasn’t snooping,” she said defensively “I was just …..”
“Snooping?” He asked cheekily knowing full well that’s exactly what she was doing.
“Sorry,” she said quietly feeling completely dazed and embarrassed.
Jughead smirked at her as he got up off the ground but when he stood his smirk faded. She was absolutely beautiful. The most gorgeous women he had ever seen in his life. Jughead had to blink twice to make sure she was really there. He always knew he had a thing for blondes but she was on a whole other level. Her outfit was one he never thought he’d see in his dirty garage but it definitely blonged on her. Her eyes sparkled bright blue and her blushed cheeks made her look even more heavenly if that was possible. Jughead was in complete awe, he could feel his hands getting sweaty and the temperature rising around them. Even when she started to babble an apology he couldn’t help but smile and listen as though he believed her.
“It’s just that very polite man,” Betty exaggerated spitefully, “went to get my paperwork or something and never came back.” She tried to cover herself but as she watched him turn the music down and come back over to her giving her his full attention she knew he didn’t care.
“So what can we do for you?” Jughead asked.
But in that moment his attention and help was the last thing on her mind. She had finally refocused from her shock and embarrassment to see who was really standing in front of her. He was covered in grease and his hair was an absolute mess but Betty couldn’t help turning to mush. She could feel her legs buckle as a shaky breath escaped her lips. He combed his hands through his jet black curls as he waited for her to answer his question his rugged sexy looks made Betty completely lose her train of thought.
She noticed his long overalls covering his skin and wondered if he had any tattoos. He looked like the type of guy who would. She had always been fascinated by them and wanted one herself. The top two buttons had been ripped off giving Betty a scandalous glimpse of his skin that she definitely shouldn’t be seeing after only one meeting. Biting down on her lip unaware she was reacting this way (as Betty had never done so before and so instantly) her moist lip gloss covered lips rubbed together only fuelling her distraction even more.
“Ahhh sorry, yes,” Betty shook her head flustered trying to focus again, tearing her eyes away from him. “My car it’s having engine troubles and every time I take it to my regular mechanic they never find anything wrong so I thought maybe you guys could help?”
“Well bring it in and I’ll take a look now.” Jughead smirked amused by her absolute lack of subtlety in checking him out.
“Great thank you.” Betty sneakily looked him over one last time noticing his embroidered name on his dirty overalls. “Jughead,” she said backing away
“No problem.” He looked at her in return silently asking for her name.
“Betty.” She smiled at him, blushing for the second time.
Jughead watched as she walked back out and get in her car still amazed by her beauty.
“So are you going to do her ?” Sweet Peas voice came from beside him.
“WHAT !?” Jughead snapped his head around to look at his friend completely shocked by what he thought he had just heard.
“Are you going to do it ? You know flick the bean, pull the plunger.”
“God will you just shut up.” Sweet Peas vulgarity getting on his nerves as Jughead scratched his ear, swearing he heard something different.
“All I’m saying is for the one hundredth time that it’s easy money.”
“Well we have a new customer now so maybe I don’t need your help.”
“Whatever I mean, maybe you could marry her and then you wouldn’t have any money problems. Why are North Side chicks so hot and feisty?” Sweet Pea shook his head walking away, leaving Jughead to take the lead on this one.
“Sorry about Sweet Pea,” he said coming over to Betty, “he’s a bit of a ass.”
“A bit ?” She laughed raising her eyebrows getting out of her car.
“Yeah, normally I handle the customers and he handles the cars.” Jughead chuckled.
“Well if you don’t mind I’d like you to handle mine?” she asked quietly, only realising after she said it that it sounded more forward than she intended.
“Consider it done.” He smiled shyly at her.
Betty rounded the care coming to stand face to face with Jughead. They were supposed to be focusing on her car but they couldn’t help but focus on each other instead. Their soft gazes locking together making Betty smile shyly with him. She could see he was a troubled soul but an ache in her chest told her it was only one thing that she liked about him.
“I guess you should take a look?” Betty asked curiously as to why he hadn’t started already.
“Yes, yep, sorry,” Jughead laughed nervously opening up the hood.
He reached for a rag and started doing a few tests, some tightening of screws and and a few other things but the whole time Betty couldn’t take her eyes off him. This would have been the time when any normal person would have left or asked to fill in the paperwork but not Betty.
She was to busy staring she hadn’t even noticed herself leaning forward to watch him. His hands were so big and rough as they curled around the radiator trying to open it. Betty could see his arm muscles tighten under his long overalls as a cloud of steam pooled out of the open radiator valve. Making her feel even hotter than she already was. But as one of his dark curls fell onto his face and Jughead moved back to grab another tool Betty knew she needed to get out of there. She was falling literally and metaphorically way to fast for this guy. Quickly moving away and straightening up Betty hit her head on the roof of the car.
“Owww,” she laughed rubbing her head.
“Are you ok?” He laughed with her dropping everything he was doing and placing his hand on top of hers instinctively.
“Yeah I’m fine it’s just been a long day.” She looked at him softly, flattered that he was so caring.
Clearing his throat Jughead removed his hand. Now it was his turn to feel embarrassed with his inappropriate gesture. “There might be something wrong with the radiator and the oil filter and that can lead to a deeper problem I’ll probably need to keep the car for a few days depending,” He said looking away from her nervously.
“Oh yeah, that’s fine no worries.”
“Here,” He said reaching for the paperwork and handing it to her, “if you can just fill this out and I’ll call and let you know what I find.”
“Sounds good, I’ll just leave my mobile.” She blushed realising that’s probably too forward. “Actually you know what I’ll leave my work as well. I’m there a lot.”
Or was leaving two number worse ? Betty kicked herself. Why couldn’t she act normal around this guy?
“Sorry we don’t have a spare car for you to take. We aren’t ….”
“Oh no, it’s fine! I might be from the Northside but I’m not afraid of the bus.” She smiled.
He nodded, taking back the paperwork.
“Well thanks for all your help.” Betty nodded getting her handbag out of the car.
“I’ll be in touch,” Jughead said awkwardly not knowing what more to say. Maybe he wanted to call her about something other than her car but who was he to think about her like that. She probably had a boyfriend he figured noticing she didn’t have a wedding ring on.
“Well, bye.” She waved chuckling at his crooked grin and nervous stance.
“Bye,” he whispered, hoping that her car had major issues and she’d have to keep coming back to see him. But he knew that a girl like her would never go for a guy like him. Especially a broke ex-gang member who was going nowhere in life. Jughead Jones was a very different man three years ago. A recovering alcoholic just like his dad, a ladies man and a criminal record longer than any young mothers shopping list. But that was all in the past and Jughead hated to think about it.
“Jughead!” Sweet Pea yelled sounding annoyed.
“The computer shit itself !”
God Jughead thought, how was he going to afford to replace that. Maybe he did need to make that donation after all no matter how much he didn’t like the idea.
It took the computer to catch a virus and the air conditioner to break down for Jughead to bite the bullet. It would just be once and after doing some research he found a separate sperm dona program that was for science purposes only. Less money but still worth it.
So that’s how Jughead found himself in the clinics reception.
“Excuse me ?” He asked the old women that was sitting at the desk more interested in her Novel than him.
“Wait,” She said rudely not looking up at him.
Feeling incredibly impatient and nervous Jughead wasn’t going to put up with this. He wanted to be there for as little time as possible.
“That’s a really good read you have there. I’d say you're almost at the part where Cotton Malone dies,” he finished smugly knowing he’d just spoiled the whole ending for her.
Her gaze lifted slowly from the page and Jughead swore if other people weren’t around she would have killed him.
“How can I help you?” She asked in a sickly sweet voice.
“I saw an advertisement about a research project requiring adult sperm?” He said quietly hating the words he was saying, hating what he was about to do.
“Fill this out, have a seat. When your name gets called take a magazine and a cup and it’s the door on the left.” The women said like a robot.
Gladly taking the paperwork Jughead sat down and started to fill it out.
Name : Forsythe Pendleton Jones the Third
Address: Lot 7 Sunnyside trailer park, Riverdale
Recent sexual activity: 3 years ago
Any trouble with sexual intercourse please specify: None
Donation: fertility or scientific study (please circle)
Previous health conditions: None
Family history of illness: None
After that unpleasant encounter with the receptionist and this horrid paperwork that felt like it went on forever Jughead was even more not in the mood then when he first arrived. All the magazines he saw around were filthy and something even his old self would detest. He just couldn’t stop thinking about how many other men including Sweet Pea had jerked off to those shameless pictures. Jughead was always reserved about his sexuality. He wasn't a virgin that ship had sailed a long time ago but openly doing something like this was definitely not his thing. But he needed the money and since it was for science it was better than going to a fertility clinic.
There was one women though who wasn’t in any of the magazines who Jughead hadn’t been able to get out of his head and in this particular situation his mental image of her would be perfect to help him out.