It's kind of fucked up, Sweet Pea thinks, that FP is asking his underage son to go undercover at a gay bar to help him catch some creep that's putting Jingle Jangle in people's drinks.
He is completely shameless about it too, leaning back in his chair with his hands behind his head, talking about how no one else at the precinct fits 'the type', and how Jughead's wanted to be more involved in his work anyway.
Jughead bites his lip and carefully doesn't ask what that type is, but they all know the answer to that. The pictures that FP has placed on his desk give it away.
Young guys, all slim and pretty. Twinks.
Jughead's face is flaming, but he keeps his head high as he asks FP about the particulars.
He isn't going to refuse, Sweet Pea knows. Jughead's got a real hard-on for justice, even when it's at the expense of his own safety, or in this case, pride.
“We can't tonight,” Sweet Pea reminds him. “You've got a history test first thing tomorrow.”
That, at least makes FP look vaguely shame-faced.
“Friday then,” he says. “Peter will help you get ready.”
Peter is the only openly gay guy in the sheriff office; nice guy, competent. Probably deserves a better boss than the one he's got.
“I'm going too,” Sweet Pea says, crossing his arms.
FP looks like he want to argue, but Sweet Pea stares him down. Jughead can't fight for shit, and Sweet Pea doesn't trust anyone but a Serpent to have his back.
“You don't have to go if you don't want to,” Jughead tells him later, when they're cuddled up together on Sweet Pea's bed. Sweet Pea appreciates that he knows better than undercutting him in front of their de-facto boss.
“Someone's gotta keep an eye on you,” Sweet Pea says, tugging lightly at his hair, and Jughead ducks his head, a pleased little smile on his lips.
Friday, and Jughead and Sweet Pea have been invited over to Peter's place to get ready.
“I guess you'll do,” Peter says, while giving Sweet Pea a critical once-over, taking in his worn jeans, his black tee, and open short-sleeved flannel.
“Just stay in the background and try not to glare too hard at anyone that comes near him, or we'll never catch our perp.”
It makes Sweet Pea frown.
“Yeah, don't do that,” Peter says, pointing at him.
He gives him a friendly clap on the back, and then he turns to Jughead, who's looking nervous in his usual outfit of flannel shirt, hoodie, and dark jeans.
“The hat's gotta go,” Peter says, “and your clothes are a little too baggy.”
“I don't have anything tighter,” Jughead complains.
“You're wearing a tank-top, aren't you?” Sweet Pea suggests.
“That might do,” Peter says. “Take off your shirt, and we'll see.”
It makes Jughead blush, eyes darting to the floor, but he does as he's told and removes his hoodie and flannel.
He's wearing a black tank-top that Sweet Pea's never seen on him before.
He raises a questioning eyebrow at him, and Jughead ducks his head.
“I kept getting blood stains on the white ones, and I figured black would be easier to keep clean.”
“Looks good on you,” Sweet Pea offers, and Jughead smiles gratefully at him.
Peter tilts his head, considering him.
“That might work,” he says, “but you'll need an overlay. I think I've got something you can use, actually.”
He walks off to his bedroom, and returns holding what looks like a short-sleeved lace blouse.
“I'm not wearing that,” Jughead says, and Sweet Pea can't help but ask, “that's yours?”
Peter wrinkles his nose. “God no,” he says. “An ex left it here. Pretty sure it's designer, actually.”
He holds out the garment to Jughead, who picks it up gingerly.
“Put it on,” Peter says, “we don't have all night.”
Jughead shrugs it on. It actually looks pretty good on him. You can still glimpse his tattoo through the lace, which adds a slightly harder edge to what's a pretty feminine outfit.
“Hat,” Sweet Pea reminds him, and, pouting a little, Jughead reaches up and pulls his beanie off his head.
His hair does that thing where it tumbles out in a messy wave, somehow looking flawlessly shiny and soft even though Sweet Pea knows for a fact that Jughead's been wearing his dumb hat all day.
“Oh, that's nice,” Peter exclaims, sounding pleasantly surprised. “I was beginning to think you were bald under that thing, but you've got really good hair.”
“Yeah?” Jughead says, sounding shyly pleased by the compliment. He reaches out and runs his hand through his hair, somehow making it look even more attractively mussed.
“Yeah,” Peter says. He looks mildly alarmed now.
Sweet Pea gets it. Jughead's hair game takes some getting used to. Shit's magical.
“I think we'll add a little make-up,” Peter says, “and then we're good to go.”
“Make-up?” Jughead asks, paling a little.
“Yeah,” Peter says. “You've got a pretty good look going, but a bit of a femme edge can't hurt.”
“It can definitely hurt,” Jughead mumbles, but Peter's already walking off to the bathroom, so he doesn't hear him.
Sweet Pea doesn't say anything. He's enjoying this too much.
“We're not doing drag, obviously,” Peter says when he returns, bearing a small make-up bag.
“Obviously,” Jughead mouths, a bit sullen now.
“Just a bit of mascara to make your eyes pop, and some lipstick to really bring out that-”
He seems to catch himself, and Sweet Pea stares him down. He knows exactly what Peter was gonna say about Jughead's mouth, and they both know it's not something you're supposed to say or even think about your boss' underage son.
“What?” Jughead asks, an adorably confused frown on his face.
“To bring out your smile,” Peter says, decisively.
Jughead just shrugs and obediently opens his mouth so Peter can paint his lips a deep and velvety pink.
His pronounced cupid's bow looks even nicer like this, Sweet Pea thinks, but doesn't say, because he doesn't particularly want to be punched in the face, even if it is by Jughead, who really – and it can't be said enough – can't fight for shit.
He submits to the mascara wand with good grace, and when he finally blinks his eyes open his lashes look sinfully dark and thick.
Peter adds some blush too, to bring definition to his cheekbones, he explains.
“Maybe some glitter,” Peter says, and before Jughead has a chance to complain he's brushing his cheekbones with glittery dust, making him sparkle subtly in the light.
“You look very pretty,” Sweet Pea can't help himself from saying, and Jughead scowls at him.
Peter gives him a grateful look for saving him from having to tell the boss' son that he looks suitably dolled up to pass as a twink on the prowl for cock.
Sweet Pea pulls Peter aside before they leave. There's something that's been nagging at him.
“I didn't realize you were into make-up,” he says, and Peter looks up at him, wide-eyed.
“I'm not,” he says, “but the sheriff thought I'd be the best man for the job.”
“Pretty fucked up,” Sweet Pea says.
“He was so excited,” Peter explains, wringing his hands a little nervously. “I didn't want to disappoint him, so I watched some youtube tutorials and picked up some stuff from Sephora on my way home from work.”
“It turned out pretty well, don't you think?” he asks, sounding hopeful.
“Yeah,” Sweet Pea agrees.
They meet up with FP behind the club. He's sitting in the back of a white van that just screams 'secret law enforcement vehicle.'
“You look really nice, son,” he tells Jughead. “The lipstick really brings out your-” He stops himself, eyes darting shiftily to the side.
“My what?” Jughead demands, exasperated now. “the lipstick really brings out my what?”
“Your complexion,” FP finally decides on, wilting a little under Sweet Pea's glare.
Peter equips both Jughead and Sweet Pea with wires and hidden cameras before they enter the club.
“Sweet Pea, your job is to watch Jughead's back,” Peter explains. “I'll be watching from the second floor, and FP is monitoring the camera feeds inside the van.”
He turns to Jughead. “Your job is to look accessible. Try to mingle.”
Jughead's eyebrows scrunches together in concern. “I don't know how to mingle,” he says.
FP claps him on the shoulder, giving him a friendly shake. “That's okay, boy,” he comforts him, “just buy yourself some frou-frou drink and sit down at a table and look helpless.”
Jughead stares up at him, made-up eyes wide.
“Yeah, like that,” FP says.
They don't have any trouble getting into the club. Riverdale teens rarely get carded, for some reason.
Jughead walks a slow circle around the room, probably trying to learn the layout of the place, but mostly succeeding in drawing every creep in the area's attention to himself.
Sweet Pea keeps his distance; close enough to keep an eye on him, but far enough that he doesn't scare away any potential perps.
He's getting a fair amount of attention too, lots of willowy young men giving him once-overs and sucking suggestively at their beers, but his glare seems to be enough to keep them at bay for now.
Jughead finally makes it to the bar, leaning over the the counter and trying to catch the bartender's attention. It makes his ass stick out, a tempting strip of skin showing between his skinny jeans and his tank-top, and Sweet Pea isn't surprised when a built dude in his 30s immediately slithers over to him.
Jughead looks wide-eyed and innocent, mouth falling open in a 'o' of surprise when the wanna-be suitor leans down and whispers something to him.
Sweet Pea can see his hand tightening into a fist, but then he seems to remember that he's supposed to be approachable, so he smiles instead, coyly looking up at him from under long lashes.
It nets him a free drink and what looks like a note with a phone-number scribbled on it, and Sweet Pea's actually impressed. Who knew that Jughead had game?
The man is lured away to the dance floor by some friends, but Jughead stays at the bar, contentedly sipping at his drink and watching the crowd.
It doesn't take long for the next guy to make his way over to him. A bit of a gym rat, this one, with tribal tattoos and spiked up hair.
He ends up buying some shots for himself and Jughead, and as Sweet Pea watches Jughead gamely attempt to down his neon-green drink in one go, he realizes the flaw in this plan.
Namely, that Jughead is a fucking light-weight.
He's already smiling widely, open-mouthed and a little goofy, and if their guy doesn't make his move soon, Jughead will be wasted even without the Jingle Jangle.
Sweet Pea considers calling off the whole thing, make FP find someone else to play bait, but then he notices a guy lurking in the background. He's watching Jughead pretty intently, fiddling with something in his pocket.
“Keep an eye on the guy in the blue shirt at the end of the bar,” he mumbles, hoping that his mic will pick it up.
Jughead gets approached two more times before Mr. Blue makes a move.
Each guy buys him a drink, and Jughead happily sucks them down, licking his lip and smiling at the sweet taste.
The alcohol seems to mellow him, making him loose-limbed and sultry. Approachable, and Sweet Pea hopes the end result will be worth it.
When Mr. Blue taps his shoulder, Jughead gives him a coquettish smile, leaning into his touch and nodding encouragingly at whatever he has to say.
Sweet Pea moves closer, pretending to be really interested in the list of artisan drinks on offer tonight. To his relief, he can see Peter approaching them from the right.
“Can I get you anything?” he hears the guy ask.
Jughead blinks at him, giving every impression of being dumb as a rock, which is impressive, considering that he's one of the smartest people Sweet Pea knows.
“Oh!” Jughead says, “maybe one of those blue ones? With the berry in it? It's really good.”
Mr. Blue looks like the cat who just got the cream as he waves the bartender over.
He accepts a beer for himself and a noxious-looking blue concoction for Jughead, and, when the bartender turns away from him, he quickly empties something into Jughead's drink.
Sweet Pea straightens up from his slouch against the bar, but Peter is quicker, placing a heavy hand on Mr. Blue's shoulder. Probably for the best this way, Sweet Pea thinks, because technically neither he nor Jughead have the jurisdiction to arrest people.
Sweet Pea decides to focus on Jughead instead, grabbing his arm and escorting him away from the bar and the angry crowd that's starting to gather around Peter and their perp.
“We got him,” Jughead says, eyes shining. He leans up and presses a brief kiss on Sweet Pea's cheek, and Sweet Pea can practically hear the disappointed sigh from the group of young guys that's been watching him all night.
“We did,” Sweet Pea agrees, “and now you're wasted.”
“Am not,” Jughead says, sulky and cute in his lace blouse and make-up.
Sweet Pea bites back a smile and drapes his arm over Jughead's shoulder.
“Do you want to dance?” he asks.
“Yes!” Jughead exclaims, almost vibrating with excitement.
“Yeah,” Sweet Pea says, steering him towards the exist. “You're definitely wasted.”