It was a Friday night. You usually spent your Fridays at home curled up watching Netflix or in Pop’s getting a milkshake and some fries, but tonight you were at a house party, five strong drinks deep and ready to call it a night. You’d mingled and danced with your friends from both the North and South sides of Riverdale for what seemed like hours, even winning a round of beer pong with Archie Andrews against Reggie Mantle and Moose Mason. At this point the night was catching up with you and you were ready to go home. That was until you finally found the face you’d been looking for all night amongst the crowds of people and he convinced you to stay for a little while longer with him.
And so you found yourself on a sofa with Fangs Fogarty, his legs thrown over yours as he laid across the entire chair you were sharing, one hand behind his head and the other tapping his rings against the bottle of beer he had balanced between his legs. The party was at Cheryl Blossom’s house and it was a classic Riverdale bash. Northsiders and Southsiders alike put their remaining animosity aside for one night in the name of getting drunk, dancing and hooking up. The party was a celebration of sorts, Cheryl in particular rejoicing her emancipation from her Mother. Consequently, you found yourself here, trapped under Fangs’ legs nursing a beer as you observed the room. The hallways were crowded, cans, bottles and empty straws of jingle jangle acted as ornaments on any and every flat surface and there was a haze in the air from cigarette smoke. The bass of the music was heavy. If it was any louder you could have sworn that the floor would have shaken and the glass-panes in the windows would have been rattling. As the other party-goers danced wildly to the bass-heavy music, you had ended up playing a game with Fangs to pass the time.
“Yo, what about him?” He asked loudly, tapping your arm as he kept his eyes locked on the guy he’d seen across the room.
You turned your head lazily, finishing off the last of your beer and setting the bottle on the floor below you. You squinted, following Fangs’ gaze and trying to steady your focus slightly. “Him? In the blue shirt?” You asked quizzically, laughing gently afterwards as you adjusted in your seat, laying both of your arms over Fangs’ legs. He nodded with a grin on his face. “Nah, not him.”
“Really?” Fangs raised his eyebrows as he looked at you, his forehead crinkling slightly. He rolled his eyes playfully and bumped his knee into your arm, a grin taking over his face. “You’re picky, no wonder you’re so lonely.“
“I’m not picky Fangs,” You laughed loudly, slapping his left leg that laid over your lap. “You know who you just pointed out to me don’t you? That was Reggie Mantle.”
Fangs’ grin quickly dropped as he snapped his head around and craned his neck to get a better angle of the man across the room from the two of you. He peered through the dense throng of party-goers, his eyes widening as he realised that you were right and he had indeed picked Reggie Mantle out of the crowd. He bit his bottom lip to stifle his laughter as he turned back to face you. “Well, I retract my earlier statement. You have better taste than I thought.”
“To be honest I think we just need to finally admit it- we truly are shit at love,” You mused to yourself, fiddling with the hem of Fangs’ jeans absentmindedly and rolling it between the tips of your fingers. You’d been playing this game for half an hour now and neither one of you had approved of someone that the other had picked out. “In fact,” You started, turning your attention back to the boy whose legs were still draped over you. “We seem to be the only people at this party who are shit at love.“
“Uh, speak for yourself,” Fangs retorted with feigned hurt, furrowing his brows and placing a hand on his heart. His act only lasted a few seconds before he snorted with laughter and handed you his beer, noticing that you had finished yours. “I’ll have you know I am most certainly not shit at love. And besides, Sweet Pea is in here somewhere and he hasn’t had a girlfriend since he was 11. At least I’m not that bad.”
You took a swig and handed the bottle back to him after you were finished, giving him a smile as a way of a ‘thank you’. “Sweet Pea may not be down for getting a girlfriend but there’s no denying that he’s good at getting girls. I saw him leave with some blonde earlier.”
“You’ve got to be joking,” Fangs laughed, surprised that his best friend would leave the party so soon, but not surprised that he hadn’t left it alone.
“Would I lie to you Fogarty?” You asked rhetorically with a lopsided grin settling comfortably on your face. You both knew the answer to your question was no. Fangs wasn’t your closest friend and you weren’t his, however you did class him as a good friend and you almost always found yourself hanging out with him on nights like these. He was an easy character to get along with; sincere and funny and there was nothing that you didn’t like or trust about him. He was the real deal. If Fangs hadn’t come tonight, you knew you wouldn’t have come either. It was an unspoken rule between you.
“Okay,” Fangs started confidently, his eyes glued to someone standing behind you. “What about him? The blondie next to Andrews, in the black jumper.”
You tilted your head backwards and stretched to see, your eyes narrowing as you considered the blonde stranger Fangs had picked out this time. You turned your attention back to your friend, seeing him wiggling his eyebrows as he anticipated success. You scooted a little closer to him and blamed your buzz on the beers you’d consumed, not your closeness to Fangs and the heat he was radiating.
“He’s not really my type,” You confessed with a shrug of your shoulder as a breath of laughter rolling from your chest, causing Fangs’ grin dropped to a stony glare before his features softened again and he sat up.
“So what is it then?” He inquired, following on when you gave him a confused look. “What’s your type?”
“I dunno,” You started, your voice moving up an octave in embarrassment, feeling your cheeks heating up as you became a little flustered. “A little more rugged I guess.”
Fangs chuckled, a roll of laughter so low and full that it sent vibrations throughout your entire body.
The game didn’t let up and you didn’t mind. Your conversations with Fangs didn’t seem to get boring or old. They, like him, seemed to be eternally youthful, interesting and unique. Fangs was a refreshing change from the other characters in Riverdale who you had encountered during your time as an adult. With him, there wasn’t some hidden agenda to pry information out of you or to use what you told him as leverage- his intentions were innocent and kind. He was an anomaly for Riverdale standards.
“What about the guy dancing by the piano? That’s Slash. You said you wanted rugged- he’s probably the most rugged guy in here.”
You directed your attention to Slash, studying him carefully as he danced around Cheryl’s grand piano with a few other Serpents. Your attention was drawn to a large fresh scar he had on his upper arm, which you guessed was what characterised his nickname. You’d heard through Chinese whispers a few weeks ago that one of the Serpents in juvie, who was due for release, had gotten jumped by the Ghoulies that were locked up with him and he had come out of it worse for wear. By the looks of the slash mark on his arm, that Serpent was him.
Your attention was drawn back to Fangs as he pinched your leg. “Stop staring. You like what you see? I can put in a good word for you.”
You shook your head with a grin and grabbed Fangs’ beer from between his legs, taking another long swig. By now, the drinks you had consumed upon arrival were kicking in, in full force. “I’m not sold on him; his dancing is making me cringe.”
Fangs faltered at this, his mouth dropping open slightly as he shook his head. “Right, well you’ve got absolutely no right to talk shit about anyone’s dancing.”
Your actions mimicked those of Fangs’ as your mouth dropped open, an offended expression spreading its way over your face. “I’ll have you know I’m a great dancer.”
A broad smile enveloped Fangs’ face in response, his lopsided smile settling crookedly on his face as a result of the drinks he’d already had. His lips were a blushing red and his eyes were beginning to become bloodshot from the alcohol. He finished what was left in the bottle of beer that you’d been sharing and set it next to yours on the floor, quickly standing and smoothing out his flannel. “Prove it. Come on, let’s dance.”
You blinked dazedly back at him, momentarily not comprehending what was going on. You deliberated his proposition for a few moments before setting your hand in his and standing up too quickly, losing your balance slightly before catching yourself and regaining your composure. Fangs began leading you into the crowd. The room seemed so much darker and more intense amongst the partygoers. “Get ready to eat your words.”
“Less of that,” Fangs called back to you as he manoeuvred the two of you between the crowd before settling in a spot in the middle of the throngs of people, some of whom you recognised and some you didn’t. He pulled you closer, hands dropping to your waist as his head dipped to your ear. “And more of this.”
From that point on, everything became a sensory blur. The party seemed livelier, music louder, bass heavier, crowd rowdier, body hotter. Although you’d started by dancing apart from each other, the music only brought you closer until you were flush against one another. You didn’t know the song that was playing, but the beat was exciting you and you moved more wildly, making Fangs’ whistle in appreciation. Maybe you’d both drank too much and maybe there was a reason you never danced when you’d had a drink, especially with someone else, but whatever was happening in that moment was something you wished would have happened sooner. The lights Cheryl had set up flashed across Fangs’ face and illuminated his skin in all sorts of ways, leaving some parts to bask in red and blue hues and others shadowy and dark. Whilst the lights illuminated his face, his hands illuminated your skin as they ghosted over you and pulled you closer, leaving goose bumps in their wake.
And then at once you weren’t dancing with him anymore. You were still. Sweaty, drunk bodies moved around you, bumping you gently as they danced to whatever the new song that was playing was. Your whole world was spinning, but you were still. Fangs’ hands had settled, one on your hip and one on your cheek, holding your gaze into his eyes. He was close, so close that you could feel his faltering breaths on your face and smell the tequila and beer he had consumed tonight. His eyes scanned your face, settling on your lips for a moment before returning to your eyes, the pad of his thumb brushing against your cheekbone a few times before halting as he clutched you a little tighter.
Fangs’ dipped his head as close to you as he could, leaving a minuscule distance between your lips. His blushing lips were now a shade of deep crimson, and as he spoke quietly they just brushed against yours with a feather light pressure. “Me?”
You blinked back at him, your hands tightening around his back as you shifted underneath his gaze. “You?” You asked obliviously, your voice shaky. You felt him tense and his lips grazed against yours again, barely, as he spoke again.
“What about me?” His hands moved slightly as he kept himself from you. Your toes curled in your shoes as your eyes shut instinctively for a brief moment before reopening and seeing Fangs’ glassy hickory brown eyes looking back at you. He wanted to ask you flat out but he didn’t want his actions to be in vain. “Would you?”
You knew what Fangs was asking. His words felt like sandpaper against your chest and your throat went dry. Your entire body felt on fire at those two words. Your hand climbed from his back into his hair and settled amongst the strands comfortably. “I thought you’d never ask.”
Without delay Fangs had tilted your head back and dipped his lips straight towards you, kissing you with fervency. You kissed him like he was the only thing keeping you up straight in the dizziness of your world, like he was the only one keeping you conscious after all of your drinks that evening. Wild tremors made their way along every single nerve in your body electrifying the tips of your fingers and toes. Fangs’ fingers dug into your waist as he pulled you as close to him as he could, moving his hand to wrap behind the small of your back.
You weren’t sure whether you would have kissed if you were both sober, but you knew that you’d been waiting for this all night at least, maybe longer. And as much as you two joked about being alone, you knew you could rely on each other and that was enough to keep you both content.