It was pouring rain as she slammed her closed fist against the door to the Jones trailer as she cradled a crying baby in her other arm against her. She could still hear Sweet Pea’s voice yelling at her from the other side of the trailer park. “Please,” she whimpered, slamming her fist against the door again. “Jughead... please...” Her body shivered as the lightening flashed overhead almost making it seem like the rain was beating down harder on her as she used her body to shield the baby in her arms.
The door swung open as Jughead stood in the door, rubbing the sleep from his eyes before fully registering what he was seeing in front of him. “Lily?” He asked, confused. “What-? Come in it’s pouring... what are you doing out in this?”
Her eyes fell as she breathed a sigh of relief, walking into the trailer. “I-I didn’t know where else to go,” she said, her voice trembling. “I didn’t know what to do-!”
Jughead gauged her state of well being as he found her soaked from the rain and now shuddering from the cold. “Hold on,” he whispered, walking out of the room and returning moments later with blankets and towels and even a change of clothes in his hands. “Before you say anything,” he murmured. “Let’s get you out of those clothes and dry. Especially Daisy there...”
Lily shuddered again as she looked down at Daisy who was still crying in her arms. Nodding, Lily laid Daisy back on the couch and changed her quickly and swaddled her in a fluffy blanket.
“Go shower... I’ll watch her.”
Nodding, Lily handed her daughter off to Jughead before grabbing the towels and clothes and going into the bathroom. She cut on the hot water before stripping off her soaked clothing, placing it in the sink to drain off a bit. She stepped into the shower, sighing with relief at the hot water against her skin.
Her thoughts began to wander as the water beat down over head. She closed her eyes, recalling the events from earlier today... Tears pried at her eyes for release as she let out another shaky breath. How could he possibly? Sweet Pea had chosen Josie... over her. His words haunting in her mind. Why had she even come back to this God forsaken town then? If not to make their family work? And Sweet Pea goes and does this?
Lily laid her head against the wall of the shower as tears fell down her face. Nausea began building in the pit of her stomach as his words replayed in her mind over and over again. She cut off the water and stepped out of the shower unable to take being alone anymore with her own thoughts. She towel dried her body before slipping on the shorts and sweatshirt Jughead had grabbed her, and towel dried her hair as she stepped out of the bathroom.
Upon returning back to the living room, she found Jughead bouncing Daisy in his arms before turning to look at her. “Feeling better?” He asked, trying to smile at her.
“Yes,” she whispered, putting the hood of the sweatshirt up over her head, trying to keep as much warmth in as possible. She moved to sit next to Jughead on the couch as Daisy reached out for her giggling. A smile curled over her lips as she took her daughter back, holding her close. “Daze...” she murmured.
Jughead grabbed another blanket from the back of the couch and draped it over Lily’s shoulders, noticing her still shuddering. “Do you want to tell me?” The Serpent King asked.
Her eyes averted his gaze. “...he chose Josie.”
“Sweet Pea,” Lily repeated, her voice cracking. “He chose Josie.”
Jughead remained silent as Lily squeezed her eyes shut, trying to will away the tears. He slowly reached up and tucked a piece of hair back behind her ear before putting an arm around her pulling her face into his shoulder where she began sobbing. He rested his chin on her head as his hand moved up and down her back trying to soothe her.
“Why... why would he-?”
Jughead shook his head. “He’s a fool, Lily...”
“Where am I supposed to go now?”
Jughead’s hand moved up and down along her spine. “You can stay here. You’re one of mine... and I have to take care of you,” He said, gently.
“I’ll take the cushions down and sleep on the floor and I’ll give you the pullout mattress,” He said. “So you and Daze have somewhere to rest for tonight. We can figure everything else out tomorrow.”
Lily gave him a nod. “Okay...”
Lily’s eyes fluttered open as the sun spilled into the trailer. She looked to the left of her on the pullout mattress to find Daisy was missing. Shooting up in bed, she looked around and found Jughead sitting in another chair in the living room, rocking Daisy in his arms. Her eyes softened at the sight.
“Jug?” She asked.
He glanced at her and smiled. “I hope you don’t mind. She started fussing and I didn’t want you to wake up... you needed the rest,” he explained.
Smiling, Lily shook her head. “No no. It’s okay. Thank you. I just got scared when I didn’t see her next to me...”
Jughead stood up with Daisy in his arms and handed her back to Lily. “She’s really good with people,” he commented, giving her a lopsided grin. “Most babies freak out.”
“Staying with a lot of different people made Daze comfortable with people... not just me or Sweet Pea,” Lily replied, bouncing the baby in her arms earning a giggle from her. Lily’s eyes saddened after the realization she had mentioned Sweet Pea’s name... Her eyes flickered up at Jughead before falling to the floor.
Sitting down next to her, Jughead gave her a gentle smile. “Want to tell me what happened now?” He asked.
She swallowed hard as she looked down at Daisy, who giggled in her arms. “What’s there to say?” she whispered. “He picked Josie... he doesn’t want me.”
“And you know that for sure?”
“I came back to the camper to drop Daisy off for him... and he was well... pretty busy with her,” Lily murmured. “I’m pretty sure. It’s over.”
Frowning, Jughead moved to brush a strand of her hair behind her hair. “Lily, I-“
Lily forced a smile as she shook her head. “I shouldn’t be upset. We weren’t together,” she said, quickly. “And he’s allowed to move on-“
“...but did you?”
“Jug...” Lily said, standing up from the pullout mattress and moving away from him.
Jughead ran his fingers through his hair as he looked up at her. “I’m just saying,” he murmured. “You’re allowed to feel upset.”
“...where am I going to go now?” She whispered. “I was crashing at his place.”
“You can always stay here.”
Lily scoffed. “Don’t be ridiculous...”
“My dad can watch Daisy,” Jughead said. “Let me get dressed and we’ll go get the rest of your things.”
“This isn’t up for debate,” he said, sharply. “You’re a serpent Lily. And I’m going to make sure you have a roof over your head. You and Daisy.”
Lily couldn’t believe what he was saying as she watched Jughead stand up and disappear into another room. Lily set Daisy down on the mattress as she changed back into her jeans and removed the sweatshirt she had borrowed from him the previous night. She slipped the tank top back on before putting her Serpent jacket back on.
Jughead returned with his father in tow as FP took Daisy from Lily, grinning at the small baby. “It’s been a long time since I got to hold a baby,” he commented.
Daisy giggled again.
“She looks a lot like you did when you were a baby, Lils,” FP commented. “Minus the dark hair. But her eyes. Just like yours.”
Smiling at FP, Lily couldn’t help but laugh. “She has her dad’s hair.”
“Lily,” Jughead said, grabbing her attention. “Let’s go.”
Lily nodded as she followed him out the door.
Toward Sweet Pea’s trailer.
He glanced over his shoulder at her before smiling again. “Lily,” He said. “I’ll do all the talking okay.” He turned back to the door on Sweet Pea’s trailer before knocking. “Sweet Pea!” He yelled. “Sweet Pea open up!”
The door swung open as Sweet Pea takes his fingers through his hair with a tired expression on his face. He squinted at Jughead before his attention was drawn to Lily standing behind the serpent king.
“Lily-“ Sweet Pea took a step forward, but was stopped by Jughead.
Lily hugged her arms around herself as she looked away from him as her dry eyes felt tears burning for release again. She made sure to stare intently at the ground as Jughead made his way into the trailer to speak with her now ex boyfriend.
Chewing nervously on her lower lip, Lily began kicking around gravel on the ground looking around the trailer park. What could they be talking about in there? And how was Sweet Pea not going off into the deep end? Her mind began to wonder... questioning what she did wrong? What did she do?
Her eyes shot up to find Jughead in front of her with a bag of clothes and Sweet Pea holding the pack-n-play for Daisy. She silently grabbed the bag, impressed that Jughead was able to get the items without incident. He turned around and grabbed the pack-n-play and another bag that Lily recognized as Daisy’s diaper bag.
“Let’s go,” Jughead said.
Nodding, Lily turned to follow him back to his trailer.
She stopped mid step, hearing Sweet Pea’s voice.
Lily swallowed hard. “I’m sorry too...” she managed out before walking back to the Jones trailer.
How was this even real? She laid on the pull out mattress that Jughead has insisted she take and he would continue to sleep on the floor. She had her small sketchbook out, doodling small objects around the blank page hoping that some distraction would easy her building anxiety about what had happened. It was dark... and all she could hear was Jughead snoring from the floor across the room.
“...How is he so calm about this?” She whispered to herself as she traced over the existing lines of eyes she had sketched out. “Won’t Betty freak out? Why am I freaking out?” She let out a loud huff and pulled the blankets over her head to hide herself from everything.
Betty had seemed so nice from the few interactions they had before Lily had run away... even the brief exchange she had with her when she helped break Archie Andrews out of Juvie. Lily dreaded the idea of stepping on anyone’s toes - especially intruding on someone else’s relationship.
But maybe Jughead had already told Betty?
“Why am I stressing?”
She froze hearing Jughead’s voice from across the room. Slowly, she pulled the blanket down before her eyes moved toward the direction he was in. “Did I wake you up?” She asked.
He sat up, rubbing his eyes before running his fingers through his tangled mop of bedhead. “No.” he lied.
“...I’m sorry,” she said, quickly, sewing through his lie. “I’ll stop talking.”
“Lily,” Jughead said. “It’s fine. I wasn’t sleeping that good yet. Are you okay?”
“...a lot on my mind. Trust me, you don’t want to listen to all this...”
Lily furrowed her brow as she pulled the blanket around her tightly almost as if she were making it into armor for herself. “Betty’s okay with this right?” Her voice was timid. “I don’t want to-“
“I’ve already talked to Betty and she’s more than okay with this. Why are you worried about that?” Jughead was almost laughing now.
Frowning, Lily’s face heated up. “Well. I just-“ Lily paused, looking away from him. “I know how some girls get with their boyfriends... and I don’t want her to think I’m like that. That I would-“
Jughead raised his head, almost scoffing at her. “Trust me. She doesn’t think you would ever do anything like that. She likes you. Besides, I told her what happened and she was going to even offer you Polly’s old room... I just figured you’d feel more comfortable here at Sunnyside.”
Her green eyes softened as she clutched the blanket that she had around her. “Jug,” she whispered. “...what did I do wrong?”
His brow furrowed at her words. “What?”
“What did I do wrong?” Her voice barely above a whisper now. “Why doesn’t he-?”
Before she knew it, Jughead had moved next to her on the mattress, pulling her into another hug. Lily swallowed hard as she tried to force back tears burning at her dry eyes... her body exhausted from crying so much the past twenty-four hours. She didn’t think she had any tears left at this point but...
“You did nothing wrong,” Jughead whispered. “Sometimes shit happens Lily... and people are shit.” He pulled away from her. “And nothing justifies what they do to other people...”
“You have a kid with him,” Jughead continued. “So it’s natural you wanted to keep the family together. But sometimes... that doesn’t always happen. Look at my family.”
Lily was silent for a moment as she took in Jughead’s words to heart. She couldn’t understand why he was being so kind to her... but she had to admit, just like his dad, he was there for her in her time of need. She recalled when FP managed to get money collected for her when she found out she was pregnant with Daisy... and here was Jughead giving her a roof over her head in her time of need.
“...thank you,” she whispered.
He flashed her a smirk. “No problem. Now get some sleep. You have to be exhausted.”
Nodding, Lily laid back on the mattress, pulling the blankets over her head. She felt Jughead’s weight disappear as return to his bed on the floor. A small sigh escaped from her lips as she grabbed her phone and checked for any messages one last time that night... Lily frowned, seeing a message from Sweet Pea asking if they could “talk”.
“He honestly-” she murmured to herself as she typed a no back to him and explained there was nothing else to discuss besides visitation with Daisy. She rubbed her eyes in frustration before tossing her phone off to the side. “I need to go to sleep.” She pulled the blanket around her tightly before letting out another sigh.
She glanced at Daisy’s little pack-n-play, where she remained sleeping peacefully, making Lily smile. “At least you’ll get a good night’s sleep Daze,” she whispered.
“Lily... go to sleep.”
Lily nearly jumped from Jughead’s voice across the room. “...sorry.”