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This Beautiful Thing Called Life

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Betty found herself in the school bathrooms during lunch holding a piece of plastic in her hand that would tell her the answer to one of the most important questions in her life. She found herself wondering if this is what her mother felt like all those years ago. She was sitting in the same high school, in the same bathroom with the same question running through her head. Waiting for the results was like agony,she wanted to know the answer but at the same time she wanted to throw the test away and never look at it. She knew that wasn't an option and she couldn't just ignore it so she waited. Finally the alarm she had set on her phone went off, it felt like she had been sitting there for hours but in reality it had only been a few minutes. She took a deep breath and looked down at the test in her hand. Two lines. She was staring at it in shock when she heard someone come in.

"B, are you in here?" Veronica's voice echoed in the room and Betty quickly shoved the test into the front of her backpack and opened the door to join Veronica. She noticed the girl looking at her as she washed her hands."You were late to lunch, I thought i'd make sure you hadn't buried yourself in studying and forgotten to eat again."

"I was coming to lunch V, just had to stop in here first." Betty smiled at her. Veronica slung an arm around her and pulled her into the hall and toward the cafeteria. When they sat at the table with Archie and Jughead, Betty did her best to seem casual and calm, as if her entire world hadn't just imploded. She was carrying around a secret that was so big she wasn't sure how to act, especially when the secret involved another person at the table quite intimately. Veronica and Archie didn't seem to notice her quite and reserved responses but Jughead glanced at her in concern. She gave him a smile smile to reassure him that she was okay but he kept an eye on her during the whole lunch period. She was almost glad she didn't share any afternoon classes with Jughead because he was one of the most observant people she knew and he also knew her almost to well. She wasn't ready to the words to anyone yet and she knew if he studied her for to long he'd be able to tell she was hiding something.

She went through the rest of her day in a haze and walked home alone. Jughead had gone to attend a Serpent meeting and Veronica and Archie had gone to do whatever they did when they were alone. She was kind of thankful for the reprieve to gather her thoughts before she had to tell Jughead about the situation. As she got home she breathed a sigh of relief and pushed the door open, her mom was sitting on the couch reading a book and the house smelled like cookies. Betty started up the stairs but was called back by her mother. She turned and moved to sit on the couch next to her. Alice Cooper had become strangely talkative ever since she kicked her husband out of the house and Betty found it very inconvenient at times but she wasn't going to just ignore her after they had made so much progress in their relationship.

"So how was school?" She asked and Betty had to force herself not to roll her eyes.

"It was fine mom." She said. "I actually have a lot of homework, so if you don't mind I'm just going to go to my room to work on it."

"That's fine sweetie, I just wanted to check in and make sure you were okay. We didn't check in with Polly that much and she got herself into a mess." She said. Betty refrained from pointing out that she was being a bit pf a hypocrite but she just wanted to keep the peace. She knew that her mother was trying to be better but any small thing was likely to set her off.

"I'm fine mom." Betty said. She got up from the couch and turned to walk away when her mother spoke again.

"Are you honestly not going to tell me Elizabeth?" She asked and Betty looked at her in confusion.

"Tell you what mom?" She asked.

"I was at the store earlier today and ran into Hermione Lodge. She informed me that she had seen you at the pharmacy last night right before closing and you seemed to be looking at pregnancy tests. She said she wouldn't say anything but I imagine by tomorrow it'll be all over town, so you want to tell me what's going on?" She asked. Betty stared at her speechless for a moment, she had gone to the store right before it closed so that no one she knew would see her buying the test. She hadn't even noticed anyone else in the store but apparently she wasn't observant enough.

"I...." She began the sentence but had no idea where she wanted to go with it, Part of her wanted to deny it but she knew her mother would never believe her.

"You know what we went through with Polly, how could you do this Elizabeth. The whole town is going to think we can't control our children, they'll be saying that teen pregnancy must be in the Cooper family genetics." She said and Betty rolled her eyes.

"Seriously, you're worried about what everyone's going to think? It's none of their business." Betty said. She hated the small town gossip that her mother seemed to feed on. "Are you afraid they're going to stop listening to all the crap you spew because they have something to use against you? This town is toxic, everyone is just waiting for something to latch onto that will help them put down one another. Well you know what I don't care what the have to say, let them gossip about it, let them say it must be genetic, I'm not going to let them shame me into silence."

"I thought you were smarter than this Betty." She said in exasperation.

"So are you saying that anyone who gets pregnant in high school is stupid, because you were one of them." Betty said.

"I made a mistake, this is different." She stated.

"Oh I know it's different, I'm in a relationship and you just got knocked up by someone you occasionally slept with. You don't have moral high ground here." She said. Her mother was standing with her hands on her waist and was glaring at Betty.

"I thought you and Jughead were at least using protection." She said. Betty rolled her eyes and scoffed.

"Of course we were using protection, we're not idiots. Sometimes accidents happen mom." Betty sighed. "What are you going to do? Are you going to send me away like you did Polly?"

"Why would you say that Elizabeth?" She asked.

"Because I know you mom, you sent Polly away because you didn't want to look at her 'mistake' because it reminded you of yourself. You like to control everything in your life and you couldn't control her anymore. It's why she left in the first place, she didn't want to raise her children around you and dad." Betty was aware that they were shouting at each other but couldn't bring herself to care that the neighbors were probably wondering what was happening.

"I sent Polly away because I didn't want her around Jason Blossom, not because of the babies." She said.

"Right and you were just going to force her to give her babies away even though that wasn't what she wanted. You gave your baby away even though you didn't want to and it still hurts you but you were going to force Polly to do the same just because you didn't like her choice of partner." Betty threw her hands up in frustration. "It's not a big leap to think you would do the same to me. I know you don't like Jughead."

"You're being stupid Elizabeth. I'm not going to send you away, but we do need to work on damage control. I don't want everyone to think that my children are slutty." She said calmly.

Betty balled her fist up and could feel her skin break under her nails. "So now you're calling me a slut, when I've only slept with one person ever?"

Betty grabbed her backpack off the floor and spun toward the stairs. "I'm not staying in this house while you insult me. I'm going to stay with Jug for a while."

"You can't just leave Elizabeth, you are not eighteen you can't just decide to move in with your boyfriend." She stated following behind Betty as she made her way to her room to throw some things into a bag to take with her.

"What are you going to do, call the sheriff? Do you really want to make that big of a scene mom? I know how much you value others opinions of our family." Betty said snarkily.

Her mother stood in her doorway watching as she threw clothes in the dufflebag and crossed her arms. "You're being a little dramatic."

Betty ignored her as she slung the hag over her shoulder and walked back down the stairs and to the front door she had entered not to long ago. She grabbed the spare keys from the table and opened the door before her mother grabbed her arm and Betty swung around to face her.

"You're not honestly going to leave are you?" She said studying her face. Betty pulled her arm away. and adjusted the bag before speaking.

"Yeah mom, I am." She turned to walk away before she stopped and glanced back. "You know this obsession you have with other people's opinions is going to ruin your life, it already pushed Polly and dad away, and now me. You're going to end up alone if you don't get some help, because honestly I think you need to figure out why it matters to you. What went so wrong in your life that you are so focused on being perfect? It's okay to have flaws mom."

With that Betty walked away from her mother and the house on elm street. She made her way to Jughead's trailer quickly, she knew he was probably still at the meeting with the serpents but she went in anyway and was surprised to see FP sitting at the table. He looked over and noticed the bag she was carrying but didn't comment on it. He motioned for her to sit next to him and she came over. He silently handed her a grilled cheese sandwich from the plate in front of him and she gave him a small smile as she took it. They ate in silence for a minute before he shifted to look at her.

"Jug won't be back for a while." He said and glanced at the bag she had sat on the floor. "You're always welcome here Betty, but you want to tell me what's going on?"

"I just need a place to stay for a while. My mom's being crazy and I can't just stay in that house and pretend like everything's okay, when it's not." She sucked in a breath and FP put a hand on her shoulder.

"Are you okay?" He asked gently. She felt the tears building behind her eyes as she looked at him.

"I feel like my entire life is imploding, and I can't stop it. I never meant fro this to happen." She said as the tears started flowing she felt FP move next to her before his arms wrapped around her. She was sobbing into his shirt and he just rubbed her back until she was able to calm down. He moved away from her and looked in to her eyes.

"Whatever is going on Betty, I know you can handle it. You can stay here for as long as you need." He said and Betty nodded. He smiled at her. "Besides you're practically family."

They we sat in front of the TV when Jughead came home. He looked confused to see them there together but he didn't comment on it. Betty looked over at him and smiled.

"Hey Betts, what are you doing here?" He asked glancing between the two of them. 

"She's going to be staying her for a while." FP said casually. Jughead looked confused for a moment before he looked at her with concern.

"Are you okay? Did something happen?" He asked. Betty got up and came over to him.

"I'll explain everything." She said and took his hand to lead him back outside. "We need to talk."

He followed behind her until she was satisfied they were far enough away that they wouldn't be overheard. She turned to him and she could see he was trying to figure out what was going o and she put her hand on his face.

"I need you to hear me out, and not interrupt." She said and he nodded. She took a deep breath and started. "Okay my mom and I got into a big fight when I got home today so I packed a bag and came here. The reason we got into a fight is because Hermione Lodge saw me at the pharmacy last night." She saw that he wanted to interrupt and ask questions but she shook her head and he closed his mouth without saying anything. "The reason I was at the pharmacy is because you and I are in a little bit of trouble."

"What are you talking about Betty?" He asked. She shushed him.

"I said no interruptions." She looked up at him. "I was late and I went to the pharmacy to get a pregnancy test."

She saw his eyes go wide and he stepped away from her. He looked her up and down as if looking for any change and she waited for him to speak. He seemed to be trying to formulate a response before he moved closer again and put his hand on her stomach. He looked up and met her eyes.

"You're pregnant?" He asked in a serious voice. She nodded and looked down at his hand resting right over the life growing inside her.

"I didn't mean for this to happen Jug. What are we going to do?" She said in a small voice. His hands came up to cradle her face.

"This isn't your fault Betty. We'll figure it out together." He looked into her eyes. "Whatever you decide, I'm with you one hundred percent."

They stood in that position for a long time just supporting each other and processing the monumental change in their lives. It was amazing that something so small could change so many things in such a short amount of time. Betty knew the fact that she was pregnant would get around very quickly and when they went back to school she expected everyone to be looking but she knew that if she had him by her side that they could deal with whatever crap people decided to throw around.