Step One: Be a Good Girl
Betty Cooper is, if anything, a good girl. At least, that’s what she tells herself every time she drools over someone she knows she should consider, at best, a casual acquaintance of her own and newest good friend of her best friend and roommate.
He is, unfortunately for her, dreamy in the worst sort of way.
Tall, dark, and objectively delicious? Check.
Pretentious (in a non-condescending way)? Check.
Ignoring why she’s attracted to that last one? Double Check.
Looks good in uniform? Check.
And as a good girl, she helps out her friends. She volunteers for worthy causes. She gives to charity and bakes for bake sales when asked. She got good grades in school and she gives her all at her job.
If she wants this one thing for herself, is that so bad?
She sighs a little each time she sees him, applauding her restraint when he comes to the gym with Archie, wandering off to do whatever it is he does while she trains Archie for his amateur boxing matches.
“You know,” she says, tightening her ponytail before stepping into the practice ring, “you could find a real trainer if you wanted.”
Archie gives her an affable smile, leaning back against the ropes. “I could, but then I might have to pay them.”
Her mouth falls open in indignation. “You’re terrible.”
“But you love me.”
“Barely,” Betty scoffs, gesturing for him to start working on his footwork. “I had to read books for this, you know. I watched YouTube videos for you and messed up my recommendation algorithm!”
“And I appreciate it,” Archie tells her, focusing on form as he almost dances around her. “I’d be lost without you.”
Betty can feel her annoyance melting away with those words. She’d never been able to leave Archie hanging before and them turning into adults and roommates after college hadn’t stopped that dynamic.
“Whatever, Footloose, just get busy,” she says, trying to sound like the stern boxing coach she pretended to be.
“Footloose?” Archie stops, tilting his head in confusion.
Betty bit back a laugh and gestured to his hair. “You’re looking pretty Kevin Bacon-y with that hair and dancing.”
“Boxing, Betty, not dancing,” Archie sighs out, looking defeated. “Ronnie swore the dance classes were for boxers.”
“She said,” Betty says patiently, “that dancing helps boxers with their footwork and she was right and it’s what you need to be doing instead of complaining.”
Archie rolls his eyes at her before resuming his stance, counting his punches like Betty had taught him.
“You know,” he huffs out, “my life was a lot easier when you didn’t become friends with my girlfriends.”
“Yeah, well, my life was easier before I lived with a dude who forgets to put the toilet seat down and I get stuck-”
“One time!” Archie interrupts, throwing his hands up. “And I helped get you out, didn’t I?”
“You saw my butt!”
“You saw mine that time I fell in poison ivy!”
Both of them lose their composure and start laughing, Betty trying to keep a mock serious face as Archie points at her with one of his gloves.
“Fine, whatever,” Betty says, rolling her shoulders and slipping on her punching mitts, getting her feet in the correct position to help him practice his jabs. “Come at me, bro.”
Archie cringes. “I wish you wouldn’t say that, it makes you sound like Reggie-”
“-and I’m sorry I ever set the two of you up-”
“Sure you are,” Betty cuts in, holding her hands up for him to start. “Especially since Josie dumped you both anyway.”
“Am I ever going to live that down?”
“Nope,” she says, shaking her head. “Not ever. Now come on, let’s get this done so we can go get burgers-”
“Burgers?” she hears from the outside of the ring and she looks down, startled.
She holds back a sigh.
How does someone with such a stupid name wear it so well?
“Hey, Jug!” Archie calls, waving with a smile. “You wanna come?”
I wanna come, Betty thinks wistfully, chewing on her lip and trying not to be obvious as she stares at him. All over your face.
“Hey, Betty,” Jughead says, leaning on his arms on the lowest rung of the boxing ring ropes, smiling up at her. “You don’t mind a third wheel?”
“Not at all, Archie’s great at being a third wheel,” Betty tells him, tugging off the boxing mitts and throwing them at Archie. Moving through the ropes, she jumps down to stand in front of Jughead. “Ready?”
“So, I take it we’re done?” Archie asks, confused and trying to keep hold of the boxing mitts between his gloves.
Stretching her arms out over her head, she leaned back until she heard a pop in her spine, fighting a flush when she catches Jughead’s eyes moving over her chest.
“Yup,” Betty says, pulling her hair out of her ponytail, shaking it out. “I’m going to shower. Meet you in twenty?”
“Sure,” Jughead agrees, his voice slightly lower than before.
Bolstered by his reaction, she sways her hips a little while she walks away, running her fingers through her hair as she heads off to the showers.
She might be a good girl but she still knows what she wants.
Fuck, she’s going to kill me, Jughead laments silently to himself, letting his forhead hit the mat of the boxing ring. “I am going to die.”
“Nothing,” Jughead mutters, wishing Archie wasn’t his friend so he could feel as pervy as he wanted to around someone he knows thinks of Betty like a little sister. He’d already seen Archie get in someone’s face for making a dirty comment about her, and he really didn’t want to piss off the guy who boxes as a hobby or cut off his own access to the pretty blonde.
Shrugging, Archie ignores him as he jumps out of the ring, gathering up all the practice equipment. “Burgers?”
“Yeah,” Jughead agrees with a sigh, remembering his face was touching the gross boxing ring before standing up and moving to help Archie put his stuff away. “Burgers sound awesome.”
Betty almost melts into her seat when Jughead moans after taking a bite of what she and Archie have deemed one of the best burgers in the city. Having spent the entirety of college looking for something that could even try to compete with the local diner they’d frequented growing up, they’d found this place their senior year. It wasn’t Pop’s but it was a definite close second.
She’s sitting next to Archie in the vinyl booth, staring at Jughead across from her, trying to pay attention to the conversation they’re having, but she’s spending more time telling herself to act like she has manners than actually listening.
“What was that, Arch?” Betty asks, turning her attention to Archie, fighting the flush trying to run down her cheeks.
“I said that you might be able to help Jughead with his problem,” Archie repeats, tossing an arm around her shoulder to mess with her hair.
Batting him away, annoyed, she picks up a fry and looks at Jughead and tries to keep in every dirty thing she wants to say about how he can help her with her problem. “What’s the issue?”
Clearing his throat, Jughead looks sheepish as he answers her. “The department is having a bake sale for charity and I might’ve volunteered without thinking-”
“Because you were distracted and just agreed?” Archie supplies unhelpfully, picking up an onion ring and munching on it while ignoring Jughead’s glare.
“Yes,” Jughead admits, defeated. “Anyway, apparently I’m on cupcake duty and I thought about just buying them from a bakery but that’s going to be insanely expensive but then Archie told me you might be willing to help-”
“Sure!” Betty interrupts too quickly, the pink heating her cheeks even further at her own eagerness. “I mean, I love to bake.”
Jughead looks relieved and Archie is pulling on the end of her ponytail, trying to get her attention.
“What, Arch?” she asks, irritated that she’s being distracted from continuing her conversation with Jughead.
“Can I have the leftovers for the guys?”
“Seriously?” Betty stares at him, stealing an onion ring from Archie’s plate.
“I didn’t get any last time when you made them for the guys at the firehouse.”
Betty’s eyes roll hard enough that she hears Jughead bite back a laugh from across the table. “Get Veronica to make you some.”
“She’ll just buy me some-”
“Oh no,” Betty cuts in, licking her fingers after finishing the onion ring and nudging Archie with her arm, “your beautiful girlfriend might buy you what you want, what a tragedy.”
“It’s not the same,” Archie whines, throwing a pickle onto her plate.
Betty ignores Archie in favor of looking over at Jughead. “When do you need them?”
Jughead winces. “Sunday?”
Her eyes widen and she sags back against the booth. “This Sunday?”
“Yeah, I know, if you don’t want to, I understand-”
The people pleasing part of her kicks in at the same time as the extremely attracted to Jughead part of her does, speaking for her before the rest of her brain catches up. “No, it’s no problem, can you come over tomorrow?”
“You’re a lifesaver, Betts,” he says with a smile, making her stomach flutter and knees slap together under the table.
Picking at the remains of her burger, she tries to think of something to say that’s not along the lines of, please date me, kiss me, fuck me, I don’t care which. “So how many do you need?”
“At least twelve dozen,” Jughead tells her, grimacing.
“You need twelve dozen cupcakes in less than forty-eight hours and you were going to buy them?” Betty asks, incredulous. “Are you serious?”
“I know, I can just buy them-”
“Do you know how much that would be? That’d be like-”
“About six hundred dollars with a wholesale discount, yeah,” Jughead finishes for her.
Archie whistles lowly before munching on another onion ring. “That’s crazy, Jug.”
“I should have planned ahead,” Jughead says, shaking his head.
Betty can’t stand to see him look so disheartened and gives him a bright smile. “It’s okay, we can get the stuff in the morning then, you know, bake until we both die.”
“I’m going to owe you big,” Jughead promises, sneaking a fry of her plate with a wink.
How big? Betty wonders, gazing at him through her lashes as she pretends to be interested in the rest of her food.
Watching Betty lick her fingers and not pulling them into his mouth to do it for her might be one of the hardest things he’s faced in the last year, he decides.
There’s a part of him that knows she and Archie are just friends but there’s another part of him that sees their easy interaction and how affectionate they are with each other and thinks maybe Betty is waiting for Archie to pull his head out of his ass to see what’s right in front of him.
Logically, he knows Archie has a girlfriend that Betty knows about and is friends with, even. That shared history, the overwhelming sense of knowing they’ve been best friends since kindergarten seems to always keep his mouth shut when he’s around her.
And now, he’s got to spend an entire day with her in which he will repeatedly tell himself it’s bad manners to bend her over the counter and fuck her senseless while she’s doing him such a huge favor.
Heaven help him.
Jughead’s waiting outside her door when she gets home Saturday morning, her stakeout gear in a bag hanging off her shoulder.
“Hey,” he says, climbing up off the floor where he’d been leaning against the wall. “Archie isn’t home and I realized I don’t have your phone number.”
She holds up her bag, digging her keys out of the side of it. “I was on a stakeout and Archie’s at the firehouse. Let me just drop this off and get changed and we’ll go.”
“Are you sure you’re not too tired?”
Betty shrugs. “I wasn’t out all night, I slept before I left which was about two or so. Either way, I’m still good to go if you are?”
Nodding, Jughead pushes open the door for her and she tries not to be the weirdo who smells her best friend’s friend whom she’s been almost desperate to get to know better. Giving him a quick smile, she points to the sofa, telling him to have a seat while she changes.
Hurrying to her bedroom, she tosses her bag on the bed, flinching when she remembers too late her camera is in it. Tugging off her pants and top after slipping off her shoes and socks, she kicks them to the hamper before opening her closet, mulling over her options.
The need to be comfortable was outweighing her desire to be cute, especially when she'd been sitting in her jeans for the last few hours, the button of them digging slightly into her stomach when she was crouched and trying to get the perfect shot of her latest mark kissing someone who was definitely not her husband.
All of her cheating spouse cases hadn’t done much to put her off the idea of finding love, surprisingly. She still wanted it. Still craved the idea of someone to hold her at night that wasn’t Archie when they passed out on the sofa after a shared night of Netflix bingeing. Or, oddly enough, Veronica, the one time when she’d said she couldn’t wake up Archie after they’d watched scary movies for most of the night.
She decides no on leggings. Comfortable, true, but she also doesn’t want to give the air that she’s not trying at all. Because she definitely is, even if she shouldn’t be.
Wishing she had time to shower, she sighs before giving up and pulling out her most comfortable sundress to put on. A light purple one with pink roses and spaghetti straps, she’s had it since college and still loves as much as the day she’d gotten it, especially how breathable it is in the muggy summer heat.
Taking a brief look into the mirror propped in the corner of her room, she tries to smooth her hair where it was trying to escape her ponytail before turning to the bed, taking her camera gear out of her bag, making sure she had her wallet, keys, and lip gloss.
She finds Jughead where she left him, sitting on the sofa and thumbing through one of her photography magazines.
“You ready?” she asks, keys in hand.
“Yeah,” he agrees, standing up, tossing the magazine back on the coffee table. “Uh, Betty?”
He’s staring at her legs and she’s suddenly self-conscious. Did she forget to shave her legs? Did she grow hairy hobbit feet overnight?
“Your shoes?” he asks, pointing to her bare feet.
“Oh,”she says, relieved and runs back into her room to grab a pair of flats for the walk to the market, reminding herself to make sure she actually shaved within the last twenty-four hours before they leave the apartment.
Jesus, he thinks, running a hand through his hair. How was he supposed to make it through the day with her in that little dress and those long legs teasing him?
If he’d been smarter, he would have planned better and tried to make these cupcakes himself. Or maybe not have signed up for the cupcakes because he remembered Archie saying that Betty had been the one to help him bake the ones he’d needed for the fire department bake sale. Planning to ask her for help in advance and actually doing it had proved difficult until he realized he’d run out of time and even then, Archie is the one who’d actually been the one to bring it up.
Now he had to help make one hundred and forty-four cupcakes and be tortured while doing it. It’s a situation of his own making so he figures it’s probably a fitting punishment.
“What are you doing?” she asks, seeing Jughead standing over an exceptionally large bag of flour, seemingly debating the cost per ounce.
“Looking at flour?”
“That’s how you bake, right?”
Betty laughs at his confused expression. “It is -for the people you love. For strangers who are going to buy a cupcake in the name of charity no matter what it tastes like? No.”
Jughead stands up and comes up next to her. “We’re not making, like, mudcakes are we?”
“No,” Betty says, pointing to the boxed cake mixes. “We’re cheating.”
“Ahh, I see,” he tells her, rocking back on his heels and leaning forward to look at the little tubs of icing . “Frosting too?”
Betty’s eyes widen, stepping back with her hand on her chest with mock offense. “Of course not! We’re not monsters.”
“Well that’s a relief.”
Betty grabs seven boxes of alternating mixes, before pulling him behind her to do the rest of their shopping.
Watching the total at the checkout, she sends him a bright smile even though she’s a bit overwhelmed by how many cupcakes they truly need to come up with by tomorrow.
“See?” Betty gestures to the total on the little screen. “So much cheaper than buying them from a bakery.”
“Unless we burn them all,” Jughead jokes, pulling out his wallet to pay.
Betty raises her eyebrows. “Are you saying you think I’m going to burn all of them?”
“What?” He looks at her, eyes wide. “Of course not.”
“Mmhmm,” Betty hums out. “Sure.”
The cashier is handing him his receipt and he grabs for the bags but she dances out of reach, taking the lightest one with a smile.
“I can carry them,” he tells her seriously, like she might get tired by the sheer weight of three dozen eggs.
She wants to laugh at his concern, as if her bag doesn’t weigh more than that on an everyday basis.
“Yes, you’re very big and manly but I think I can manage the eggs,” she responds flippantly before spinning around, “and you better not make an ovary joke or you’ll be making these all by yourself.”
He decides he hates that sundress as much as he loves it within the first five minutes of seeing her wearing it.
Loves it because he gets to see the delicate slope of her shoulder where it curves into the long line of her neck. Adores it because he gets to see the length of her legs as she walks, the hem hitting right above the backs of her knees, reminding how much he really wants to get her on her back and lick a line up her thigh, to see if she’s that golden all over.
And he hates it. Hates it for all the same reasons. He doesn’t want to be tempted by the sight of a neck he wants so badly to bite or the long lines of her legs that are begging him to crawl between them.
She’s doing him a favor, he really shouldn’t repay her by acting like he doesn’t know how to keep his dick in his pants.
Sighing, he tries once more to take the bag of eggs from her and she dances out of his reach, laughing.
“I don’t think so, Mr. Jones.”
Well, fuck, if hearing that didn’t trip his trigger, he didn’t know what else would.
“So, the good news is that I have a couple of huge cupcake pans but the bad news is it’s still going to take all day,” Betty informs him, setting her bag of eggs on the kitchen counter.
Jughead follows her lead, dropping his own bags down next to hers, sticking all the cake boxes in a row. “And we’re still cheating?”
“Of course,” Betty answers simply, pulling out a couple of her aprons and tossing one to him.
She can see Jughead eye the ruffles on the apron from the corner of her eye and she bites down on her lower lip to keep from laughing when he shrugs and ties it on without a word. She’d handed him the pinkest, frilliest of the bunch just to entertain herself and it seems he wasn’t going to disappoint. Tying on her own less girly apron she turns to him with a wide smile.
He eyes her and she can see he wants to make a remark but he holds back, matching her smile instead.
“Are you?” Betty asks, walking to the cabinet where she keeps the baking pans and handing them to him, one by one. Tossing the cupcake liners from another cabinet, his eyes get wider. “What?”
“There’s so much stuff to just make cupcakes,” he says, looking overwhelmed. “And we’re cheating!”
Betty nods. “Yeah, that’s sort of the drawback of saving about five hundred dollars, isn’t it?”
Jughead sighs, shoulders slumping and sounding defeated. “I’m sorry for roping you into this, Betty-”
“Roping me?” Betty gives him a stern look. “I don’t do anything I don’t want to do. Now, let’s get started.”
It takes two hours just to get the first three batches done but the apartment smells too good for Betty to care, even if she’d had to slap Jughead’s hands away from the freshly baked little cakes more than a few times. Somewhere between the fifth and final batch, they fall into the kitchen chairs at the little table tucked into the side of the room to take a water break, tired from the hours of standing.
“I just realized I have no idea how to get all of these there-”
Betty waves at him while drinking to stop him. “I have so many boxes leftover from Archie’s bake sale, it’s fine. We can borrow Veronica’s car.”
“You’re close to Veronica, then?”
“Sort of?” Betty slides her hands up and down her glass as she thinks about it. “Archie’s had a lot of girlfriends-”
“Oh yeah. But I think he really likes Veronica and she’s good for him, I think she feeds his ego in a way a lot of girls don’t have patience for.”
Jughead snorts into his water glass. “Veronica has the patience to feed his ego?”
“When he needs it,” Betty confirms, feeling wistful and tucking the sting of envy for something she wanted but didn’t have away. “They’re good together.”
Jughead sits back in the chair, taking her in. She’d sounded sad when she’d said that, like she was jealous but without crossing a line, he didn’t know how to figure out the context. Was she jealous of them being in a relationship or of Veronica in general?
If it was the former, he understands completely. Sometimes knowing there’s someone to come home to, that there’s someone on your side is a safety net that people can take for granted when it’s freely available to them.
He takes another quick glance at her, a streak of cake mix on her cheek and her lips stained a light blue from taste testing the frosting she’d made, and he couldn’t fight the small grin that crept up. Fuck, she was cute.
“What?” Betty asks, confused by the tone of her voice.
Jughead sits up straight and scrambles for an answer, eyes traveling to the wall and catching sight of the calendar hanging there. The image makes him want to laugh loudly -too loudly- so he holds it back and gestures to it with his chin.
“You do that to Archie?”
Betty blushes a pretty pink. “Yes, but ugh, he was so smug after that shoot!”
“So you gave him little horns and blacked out his teeth?”
She giggles, pulling her shoulders up and covering her face for a moment. “Don’t forget the mustache.”
“Can’t forget that,” Jughead says, smiling. “Wait, isn’t he the September picture?”
Betty nods. “Veronica decided he was the only one worth looking at -well, that’s what she told Archie. Personally, we both agree that March is an all year kind of guy too.”
Jughead bites back a remark that would definitely make him sound jealous and tries to give her what he hopes is a friendly smile.
Betty’s a little confused on why Jughead’s giving her a tight smile, like he’s annoyed but she mentally shrugs it off and looks at the calendar once more.
It was the first day she’d met Jughead and she’s been weak for him ever since.
Archie had put her in touch with the event planner the department had hired for the calendar shoot, Veronica Lodge, who’d insisted on meeting Betty an hour before the shoot to go over her expectations.
She was almost overwhelmed by her from the start, the swirl of pearls and laser focused intensity of everything going exactly as planned. Or else.
“You must be Betty,” Veronica told her, sticking her hand out to shake hers, confident in a way that let Betty immediately relax. “I’m Veronica Lodge.”
“Nice to meet you, Veronica,” Betty answered, smiling.
“Likewise,” Veronica said, looking over Betty’s shoulder. “Now where is your man?”
Betty laughed. “Is not my man.”
Veronica tilted her head. “He definitely talked about you like the sun shone right out of your butt-”
“He does that,” Betty said, trying to swallow her laughter. “He’s like a giant puppy mixed with a big brother. Totally platonic, promise.”
“You sure about that?”
Betty nodded. “Yup. Well, unless you count when we practiced kissing over video games when we were fourteen. Which was gross by the way, so I definitely don’t count it and hope he’s improved since for your sake if you’re interested.”
“Then you won’t mind if I ask him out?”
“Have at it,” Betty told her, fiddling with her camera settings. “I’m sure he’ll say yes.”
“Good to know,” Veronica said, looking at her phone. “I need to find my assistant, will you be here for a few minutes?”
Betty watched her walk off, barking orders into her phone. She felt eyes on her and spun around, seeing Archie staring at her from the corner. He gestured at her to come over to him and she sighed before making her way to where he was standing.
“What do you think?”
Betty’s eyes widened in understanding. “Archie, did you use me to feel her out?”
“I didn’t ask you to feel her up!”
“No,” she said, giving him the very serious mom look she learned from Mary Andrews, “not feel her up, feel her out. You left me all alone with her to see if she said anything about you, didn’t you?”
“Maybe.” Archie sounded slightly nervous. “Did she?”
Betty rolled her eyes, giving him a fond smile. “I’m betting you’ll have a date by the end of the day.”
“Definitely. Now, uh, go get all oiled up or whatever it is you guys do during these things.”
Archie blanched and recoiled slightly. “Please don’t ever say those words to me again.”
“Promise,” Betty said, wincing as she pictured it. “Yuck.”
“Who are they?” Archie asked, pointing to where Veronica had walked back in, two people following her.
Betty followed his stare and felt like the world tilted sideways before righting itself. She prided herself on not acting on her baser instincts for the most part. Hot guys? A dime a dozen. There were at least that many getting ready to be photographed for the annual calendar, many of who she’d already seen in various stages of undress and it’d never made her want to stop and stare before. The dark hair hanging over his forehead was something she was suddenly desperate to push back, showing her more of his pretty, pretty face. There was nothing about him that didn’t scream out to her, “Climb me like a tree, please.”
“I don’t know,” Betty whispered, watching Veronica give them both orders with the boxes they were carrying. “Her assistants, maybe?”
Veronica spun around, catching Betty’s eye and smiled, waving her over. Betty took a deep breath and told herself to act like a normal person and not offer to have babies with the pretty, pretty man before knowing his name and looked to Archie for support but he was already long gone.
“Coward,” Betty muttered before she walked back to Veronica, giving herself a mental pep talk the whole way.
“Betty!” Veronica exclaimed, grabbing her hand before dragging Betty behind her, “Come meet my assistant, JB Jones.”
“Hey,” JB said, giving her a nod before going back to digging through the box. “Veronica, I can’t find the backdrop you were asking for.”
“Check with your brother,” Veronica said with a raised eyebrow. “Sorry, Betty, she’s much more polite when she’s aware of her surroundings.”
JB finally looked up. “Oh, man, hi. I’m sorry, I was super focused. It’s nice to meet you.”
“You too,” Betty told her, smiling.
“JB?” Veronica asked. “The backdrop?”
Veronica watched JB run off, amused. “Don’t tell her how much I like her, it’s bad for the boss-employee relationship.”
Betty tried to pay attention but she couldn’t help her eyes from wandering off to the mystery guy who seemed to be JB’s brother if she went by Veronica’s description.
“So I was thinking,” Veronica started, “that we should start in front of the fire trucks. What do you think?”
“Huh?” Betty asked, pulling her eyes away from where she’d been staring.
“Betty, no. You can do so much better.”
“I know so many guys that don’t wear suspenders as a fashion statement, trust me, you can do better than Jughead Jones.”
“Jughead?” Betty’s knocked out of her thoughts by that. “Really?”
“It’s some weird nickname, but listen, Betty, trust me, he’s sort of annoying.”
“Yeah,” Veronica said, shrugging, “he’s a weird mix of being uptight while also judging you if he thinks you’re uptight.”
“But he’s so pretty-”
Veronica’s laughter cut her off. “He’s not terrible, but look at where you are! There are at least a dozen men full of muscles here, I bet any one of them would be thrilled to take you on a date.”
“But,” Betty almost whined, “he’s so pretty.”
“Wow,” Veronica said, eyes wide as she stared at her. “Okay then. Do you want an introduction?”
“Yes. No,” she answered, immediately thinking about the state of her hair. “Maybe?”
“Betty, you’re a ten interested in a hard seven on his best day, he’s the lucky one here, trust me.”
She took a deep breath and tried to smile convincingly at Veronica. “Okay. Introduce me.”
Betty pulls herself out of her thoughts, glancing up at Jughead once more. His eyes are still trained on her and she smiles brightly at him.
“You ready to frost the cupcakes?”
He groans. “I have no idea how I’m gonna pay you back for all this help.”
Standing up, Betty walks over to the counter where the unfrosted cupcakes are resting, ready to be frosted and go in their boxes, picking up a piping bag and handing it to him.
“Frost first, worry later.”
Taking the bag from her, he’s trying to recreate the pretty swirls she’d put on the earlier batches of cupcakes. She keeps wincing with each one he messes up and after the fourth one, he gives up, tossing the bag down on the counter.
“It doesn’t matter how they look, the inside is what’s important, right? ”
Betty puts the bag back in his hand and closes her fingers over his, helping him with his fifth cupcake. “That’s only what the pretty cupcakes tell their homely sisters.”
“Harsh,” Jughead says, pretending not to be thrown off by her proximity. He can smell her perfume and he fights leaning in closer to try and memorize it.
She laughs at him, a soft giggle that floats through the kitchen.
“It’s all in the marketing,” she says, hands tightening over his while she helps him do another swirl of frosting. “See? Just move your wrist like I am.”
“Is there where I make a masturbation joke?”
He swears he hears her breath catch right before she looks at him reproachfully.
“I sincerely hope you don’t masturbate like this,” she quips, making him flush.
“Maybe I was talking about you,” he murmurs, taking in her features.
Eyes wide and breathing shallow, Jughead thinks that this is the moment, this is where he asks her out and kisses her and maybe pushes her up against the counter to make a mess of the cupcakes they spent all day baking. He’ll gladly shell out the extra money for replacements if it means he gets to finally taste her lips.
Before he even has the chance to lean down and catch her lower lip between his like he’s been dreaming about for months, Archie’s boisterous voice interrupts them, making Betty jump back, almost taking his hand with her as she moves away.
“Hey, Jughead, are you still here?” Archie calls from the hallway and Betty vows to ruin his life right then and there.
She was certain Jughead was going to do...something. She would have taken anything. She’s so frustrated she feels like screaming and throwing whatever she can find at her best friend as he rounds the corner, coming into view.
Archie’s eyeing her suspiciously as she keeps tucking her hair behind her ears, trying to catch her breath. His eyes flicker to Jughead who is gripping the edge of the counter with his hands, knuckles white. He’s staring down at the bag of frosting she’d dropped and looked like he was reevaluating his life choices.
The sinking feeling that he might be feeling regretful about what almost happened or what might have almost happened hits her at the same time Archie keeps talking.
“What?” Betty asks, wiping her hands down the front of her apron for no reason. “I didn’t hear you.”
“I said,” Archie tells her, speaking slower for dramatic effect, “that I found a solution to Jughead’s problem.”
“Jughead has a problem?”
The man in question turned and leaned back against the counter, crossing his arms and stared at Archie. “I told you, Archie, it’s okay-”
“No, I know you didn’t want to sleep on the sofa but I was talking to Veronica and she said I can stay with her for the week so you can have my room.”
“What?” Betty asks again, looking back and forth between them.
Archie reaches behind her, trying to steal a cupcake and she slaps his hand in reflex. “Ouch.” Sighing he sets it back down and drops into the kitchen chair behind him. “Jughead’s apartment is being fumigated and he needs somewhere to stay for the week.”
“I told you, they’re paying for people’s hotel rooms-”
“Yeah, but those rooms don’t come with food, do they? Especially Betty’s food,” Archie says with a smile, like he’s already won the argument.
“I don’t want to put anyone out,” Jughead argues, running a hand through his hair before looking over at her.
“You’re not. I won’t even be here and Betty keeps hours as weird as yours.” He turns to Betty. “Don’t you have a thing this week anyway, you know, to do the honeybear thing?”
Betty stifles the laugh she thinks might come out slightly hysterical sounding by the last five minutes she’s endured. “Honeytrap, Arch, not honeybear.”
“You’re going to honeypot someone?” Jughead asks her, shocked. “Alone?”
Shrugging, Betty nods nonchalantly. “I do it often enough.”
He looks like he wants to argue with her but she raises an eyebrow at him and he deflates, his gaze moving back to Archie.
“So, what do you say, Jug?” Archie questions, digging into his pocket for his keys. “You wanna crash in my bed for the week?”
She hears Jughead sigh quietly, appearing to have some sort of internal argument with himself.
“Fine,” he concedes, his hand out for the key Archie had taken off his own key ring. “But you gotta let me pay you for the week.”
“Pay Betty, she’s the one you’re going to be living with-”
“Was anyone going to ask me if I was okay with this?” Betty interrupts, her hands on her hips as she stares the both of them down.
Jughead flinches with a guilty expression and Archie just stares back at her.
“Are you okay with this, Betty?” Archie asks sincerely, giving her the face that had gotten him out of plenty of arguments in their childhood.
“Don’t you give me the eyes, Archibald!” Betty exclaims, reaching for a cupcake and throwing it at him, almost growling when he deftly catches it and takes a bite.
“I knew that would work,” Archie says happily between bites.
“I can find somewhere else to stay,” Jughead quietly offers, meeting her eyes for the first time since Archie walked into the kitchen.
“No, it’s fine,” Betty tells him. “It’s no problem.”
“Are you sure?” he asks, almost whispering.
She can see Archie off in his own world, totally ignorant to the fact that he’d just set her up for what was either going to be the best or worst week of her life and she smiles brightly at Jughead.
“It’ll be great.”
And she thinks it might be great. Unless it kills her.
Welcome to chapter 2 of my absurdity, lovely to see you all.
I bought a hummingbird swing. I am That Bitch. You don't need to know that, I just wanted you to know that it's a thing that exists and honestly it makes the world a little better of a place each time I think about it.
Read on, gremlins!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Step Two: Make a Plan
“Okay, here’s what we do,” Veronica tells her, sitting Betty down on the overly plush sofa in her living room. “We make a plan.”
Veronica sits next to her, spine stiff with determination. “A plan.”
Betty lets out a breath. “Okay. A plan. I can make a plan. I make tons of plans. Plans and lists, that’s me-”
“Stop spiraling!” Veronica snaps out, slapping Betty’s knee to get her attention again. “This will work. Now listen, what’s the truest thing you know?”
“That the walls in my apartment are too thin and you and Archie need to spend more nights here,” Betty states calmly, looking over at Veronica.
Veronica cringes before patting Betty’s hand softly. “Noted. But that’s not what I mean.”
“What do you mean, then?”
“It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single girl, in possession of a single roommate, must want a good dicking down. And has at least a ninety percent chance of succeeding.”
“Did you just appropriate Austen for that?”
Veronica smiles widely. “Yes. It’s good, right?”
Betty can’t help but laugh, shaking her head at Veronica.
“If you’re going to be living the rom-com scenario, you need to make it the rom-com you want.”
“I’m listening. Apprehensively, but still, I’m listening.”
Veronica turns further into her, her knees hitting Betty’s as she lowers her voice like she’s sharing a secret. “What happens in every good roommate scenario?”
Betty scrunches her nose, thinking. “Lots of stuff that could have been avoided if they only remembered someone else lives with them?”
“Exactly!” Veronica looks victorious. “You need to drive Jughead crazy, the boy obviously needs to be pushed to snap and kiss you like the goddess you are.”
“If I were braver, I would just ask him out,” Betty mumbles, propping her elbow on her knee before settling her chin into her hand. “But, V, I don’t know if I can take him rejecting me-”
“You don’t know that-”
“I do. Besides, you can use this week to gauge his interest and if, perhaps, by the end of it, you get an assisted orgasm, that’s all the better, right?”
“I guess,” Betty says, sighing. “So what’s the plan?”
“The cliches, B. All of them!”
Veronica huffs. “Come on. Think about it. Yoga before he has his coffee in the morning where he can see all of your downward dog. And, oh no, you forgot your clothes in your bedroom after your shower-”
“I use a robe-”
“OH NO,” Veronica continues, glaring at Betty, “you forgot your robe too, how tragic, now you have to walk out with nothing but a towel on. A small one.”
Betty’s eyebrows shoot up at Veronica’s intensity. “Anything else?”
“Yes. You need to masturbate-”
“Already do,” Betty quips, earning another glare from her friend.
“Yes, but louder and for his benefit. Guys are strangely attracted to the idea of women masturbating.”
Nodding, Betty agrees silently. “I wonder why that is.”
“I think it’s because it’s one of those things they think of as exclusively theirs so it’s hot when a woman does it? It messes with their expectations, it’s as if they don’t realize women are already incredibly sexual creatures without their input.”
“What’s considered exclusively male? Like fixing cars? I did that growing up-”
“Tell him that!” Veronica exclaims excitedly. “But do it while you’re wearing a really short skirt or something. He’ll probably trip over his own feet.”
“How is this going to work with our weird work hours?”
“Betty Anne Cooper, do you want to get dicked by this guy?” Veronica asks, voice firm.
“How did you learn my middle name?”
“That’s not important. Now answer me. Do you?”
Betty leans back into the soft sofa cushions. “Yes.”
“Then you’ll make it work.” Veronica sits back, resting her head on Betty’s shoulder. “You’ve got a vibrator, right? We don’t need to plan a shopping trip or anything?”
Betty shakes her head. “I’m good.”
“No, it’s rechargeable.”
“Nice.” Veronica is silent for a moment. “Send me the link to that one, I hate replacing the batteries in mine all the time. It’s an environmental issue at this point.”
“This is such a bad idea, Jelly,” Jughead says, throwing another shirt into his duffle bag.
JB shrugs, checking her email for the fifth time in twenty minutes. “Sounds like a you problem.”
“Gee, thanks,” Jughead mutters. “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be helping me? That’s why you’re here, right?”
“Nope,” she answers, ignoring him further by propping his pillow under her head. “I’m here because you said something about pizza and I need to get away from my own roommates for a while.”
“Good to know you love me unconditionally.”
Jellybean gives him a sarcastic smile. “Extra cheese, please.”
Jughead furrows his brows, staring at his bag. “How many shirts do you think I need?”
“You’re the one who wants to fuck-”
“Don’t say fuck.”
“Okay, you’re the one who wants to make sweet, sweet love to the pretty girl you’re going to be living with for the week. So, no shirts. Tempt her with the,” JB pauses, gesturing to him while looking disgusted before continuing, “goods.”
“Don’t say make love either.”
“What can I say?”
Jughead thinks about it for a moment before meeting her eyes. “Nothing. And you’re still a virgin, right? Hasn’t changed since you were five and in pigtails? I have a gun, you know. I can arrest people.”
“You know I’m twenty-two, don’t you?”
“And therefore still my virgin baby sister? Good to know.”
JB rolls her eyes before kicking off her shoes, digging herself further into Jughead’s bed. “Tell Dad that, won’t you?”
Jughead looks over at his uniforms for the week. Pursing his lips, he squints at them like they’ll give him answers to all of his questions when he hears JB laugh at him.
She gives him a look like he’s stupid. “No, you cannot interrupt Betty’s case because you’re jealous she’s going to honeypot someone.”
“How did you know I was thinking that? And how did you even know about that?”
JB scoffs. “I heard Archie asking Veronica what the differences were between a honeybear, honeypot, and honeytrap. And you get the same look every time I introduce you to anyone I’m dating.”
Jughead walks back to his closet, looking over his already pretty sparse wardrobe before giving up.
“So, no shirts you say?”
“Mmhmm,” JB hums out while still looking through her phone. “Veronica says you’re a seven on a good day so, work with what you got.”
“A seven?” Jughead asks, offended. “Really?”
“I know, right? She must have been feeling generous.”
“Are you sure you’re ready to stay with Veronica for the week?” Betty asks Archie, helping him make his bed with clean sheets for Jughead.
Archie smiles goofily as he thinks about it. “Yeah.”
“Ew,” Betty whispers under her breath. “Do not tell me what you just thought about, okay?”
“Deal.” Archie throws her a pillow for her to put into a clean pillowcase. “Hey, you’re okay with this, aren’t you?”
Betty gives him a tight smile, nodding while concentrating on smoothing out the lines of the fabric over the pillow.
“Are you sure? I know you don’t know Jug all that well, but he’s a really nice guy.”
One I’d like to climb like a jungle gym, Betty thinks while listening to Archie tell her all about how nice Jughead’s always been to him.
“Besides,” Archie continues, somehow making his sheets look worse than before, “I don’t think he’ll try anything on you.”
Her heart sinks a bit at that. She knows he means well but he’s also taking the wind out of her sails. He’s her best friend but she really doesn’t want to talk about her shockingly intense desire to tie his other friend to her bed so he can’t escape before she’s had her fun with him.
And then maybe make him breakfast because that’s just good manners.
“It’s fine,” Betty says, pulling the blankets up so the bed looks like someone other than Archie made it, “I’m used to living with boys.”
Betty rolls her eyes. “Fine. Men. Manly men. The manliest of all men.”
“Have you packed?”
Archie goes silent.
“Ronnie said I didn’t need any clothes-”
“Remind me to show you the definition of facetious later, okay?” Betty starts leaving the room before spinning back around. “Or you know what? I bet she’s going to buy you the clothes she wants you to wear.”
Archie groans loudly before falling over the freshly made bed, his voice muffled by the covers. “Yeah, that sounds more like it.”
She ruffles his hair before moving to his closet to make sure there is room for Jughead to hang his uniforms for the week up.
Betty’s pretending not to be nervous while she’s waiting for Jughead to arrive for the week but she thinks she’s failing miserably. She’s already stressed baked, cleaned the bathroom twice, and washed her own sheets in what she assumes is some sort of wish fulfillment exercise.
Banging her head softly into the wall next to Archie’s closet, she’s torn between hyping herself up and deciding the Earth isn’t deep enough for the hole she wants to disappear into when she hears a knock on the door, Archie rolling off the bed to go answer it.
And so it starts, she thinks, exhaling loudly before pretending to be even busier in Archie’s closet.
Jughead takes a deep breath before knocking on the door. It’s taken him at least a minute of standing there with his bag before getting the courage to even attempt to knock, telling himself to turn around and go find a hotel before he can spend an entire week making a fool of himself in front of Betty.
He’s relieved when Archie answers the door with a loud, “Hey, Jug!”
“Hey,” Jughead answers, ducking around him when Archie gestures for him to enter. “I thought you’d be at Veronica’s by now.”
Archie shakes his head, closing the door behind himself. “I’m heading to my shift from here, then I’ll go to Ronnie’s after.”
Jughead nods at him and turns, taking in the living room he’s been in plenty of times but this time feels different. It’s extremely clean is the first thing he notices. In a way that makes him feel like he needs to shower before he thinks about touching anything. The pillows on the sofa are perfectly placed and the magazines on the table he’d flipped through the previous weekend are fanned out in a perfect half circle.
It smells like someone had spent the entirety of the previous day baking, and so he fights the urge to follow his nose to the kitchen.
“Was Betty baking?” he asks, hoping it comes out more casual than he feels.
“Yeah, all day. There’s cookies if you want some,” Archie says, heading towards the kitchen.
Jughead follows, dropping his bag by the door and trying not to think about cookies (and cookies with Betty) in a sexual context just in case Archie has magically learned to read minds.
“Here.” Archie tosses him one before grabbing one for himself. “Betty bakes when she’s nervous so there’s a lot.”
“I think she’s nervous about living with someone new for a bit.”
His stomach feels like it falls to his feet. He never would have accepted Archie’s offer if he knew Betty was going to be uncomfortable with him staying with her for the week.
“I can find a hotel-”
Archie waves his half eaten cookie at him to cut him off. “It’s cool, man. She’s always been a little high strung like this.”
He never thinks of Betty as anything but put together, if he’s being honest. “Are you sure?”
“Oh yeah, you should have seen her in high school, with Alice Cooper breathing down her neck? It’s a miracle she didn’t take off into the woods and live off the grid by senior year.”
“Her mom. I think even her sweater sets are waiting for her to relax.”
Wincing with that thought, Jughead takes a bite and almost moans out loud. The cupcakes the previous weekend had been a huge hit, even if they’d cheated. Betty had been right, it was all in the marketing, and her pretty frosting swirls with sprinkles on top of box mixed cupcakes had meant that they’d sold them out within the first couple of hours of the bake sale.
She’d even helped him set up and man the table with an irrepressible smile that had him fighting the urge to punch at least three of his co-workers when they’d stopped to flirt with her. He ended up catching hell from everyone over the last week for the way he’d followed her around that day like a puppy.
“Let me give you the tour-”
“I’ve been here before, Arch,” Jughead interrupts, waving him off.
“But you haven’t had the official tour, as Betty put it when she was giving me a list of things to tell you.”
Never one to contradict a woman who’s determined, he nods in acquiescence and follows Archie out of the kitchen.
“This is the living room, where we, you know, live grandly,” Archie starts, pointing towards the sofa he’s sat on plenty of times, “And that-” He gestures to the front door, “-is the magical portal of entrance and exit-”
“What are you doing?” Jughead asks, laughing.
“Betty said to be thorough, and since you haven’t crossed her yet, let me tell you -don’t,” Archie warns, walking to the hallway, picking up Jughead’s bag by the door on the way to their bathroom, and tossing it in the doorway of his room.
Flipping the bathroom light on, Archie stands in the middle of the small room, stretching his arms out to the sides. “This is the bathroom. Yes, Betty makes sure the towels are clean, no, that doesn’t mean you can leave them on the floor. Don’t use her expensive shampoo if you don’t want to be tackled, by the way.”
Do not test that, he tells himself. Do not try and get your friend’s best friend who is the walking embodiment of your dream girl to tackle you. Jughead exhales softly. Unless you think it will work.
“And this,” Archie says, walking past him back into his bedroom, “is where the magic happens, only don’t make magic on my bed or I’ll tackle you myself.”
“Noted.” Jughead looks around at the smallish room. The bed looks comfortable and there’s a wooden nightstand with boxing gloves piled next to it. The guitar in the corner isn’t something he’s ever heard Archie play. But it’s the pretty blonde next to closet who’s peeking at him from the corner of her eye that catches the rest of his attention. “Betty. Hi.”
“Hi. I promise not to kill you if you use my shampoo, no matter what Archie said,” she says, smiling softly, turning around to push hangers around in the closet.
“He said you’d tackle me.”
Betty blushes before taking a deep breath and spinning around to him face him. “Only if you ask for it.”
He thinks his mouth drops open and there’s a buzzing in his ears for a moment before he tries to pretend he’d been listening to Archie the whole time.
“Yeah, yeah, I know, no magic in your bed,” Jughead mutters, looking around for his bag, shocked when he sees Betty already hanging his shirts up, staring at her.
“I said, the walls are thin, so I’ve been told,” Archie informs him sheepishly, rubbing a hand on the back of his neck. Following Jughead’s stare, he shrugs at him. “She has a tendency to take charge.”
“I see that.”
“Jughead,” Betty says, spinning around with one of his shirts in her hands, “why did you bring so many shirts?”
Sitting on the couch that night, after Archie had left them alone and she’d made a fool of herself by going through his clothes without asking, she’s not even sure what they’re watching even though she’d been the one to choose it.
He hadn’t called her out for rifling through his bag like a weirdo but she’d made her escape to her own room to let him get settled in soon after that.
She’s staring blankly at the screen, sort of chewing on the edge of her thumb while he looks completely calm stretched out next to her, and she sort of hates him for it. Sighing softly to herself, she grabs a pillow and tries to relax. Or, at least, look relaxed.
The question knocks her right out of her internal pity party and she almost jumps before looking over at him.
“You look like you’re thinking really hard.”
“Better than thinking soft,” she quips without thinking, used to Archie being her movie partner and there being no manners needed, and can feel herself flush like she used to whenever her crush of the moment would talk to her in school.
He makes a slight choking sound and Betty shrinks a little at the idea that she’s embarrassed herself, and him, again.
“So,” he says, glancing quickly at her before paying attention to the TV again, “when’s your honeytrap?”
She stares at him, eyes wide. Why does he even care? She hopes Archie didn’t tell him to try and interfere because he’s a police officer. That would be just like him, she thinks, annoyed.
“Why?” she asks, suspicious.
He shrugs casually. “No reason.” Clearing his throat, he sits up a little straighter. “Unless, you, uh, wanted some back up or something.”
Narrowing her eyes, she twists to sit while facing him. “Back up?”
“Yeah, I mean, I can help-”
“Help me? Catch a cheater? What are you going to do, sit in the background quietly while I try and seduce someone’s husband?”
Jughead looks decidedly uncomfortable. “I just mean, it can be dangerous and-”
“Do you not think I can handle myself?”
“Of course I do,” he protests with wide eyes. “But-”
“Did Archie put you up to this?” she interrupts, glaring at him.
“What? No,” Jughead says, sitting up straight. “Of course not.”
“But you just thought I would need help to do my job?”
He pales, realizing what he’s just implied. Turning to her, he reaches out, letting one of his hands fall on hers. “I know you can take care of yourself, I just-”
“You just what?”
“I don’t want you to get hurt. I didn’t want to get in the way but I can be, I don’t know, another layer of protection?”
Betty lets herself relax at his explanation. It’s a bad one, she knows, but she believes it’s coming from a sincere place. “Thank you, but I’ll be fine. I do this a lot more than you probably think I do.”
She can see him stiffen at that. Tilting her head to the side, she looks at him questioningly.
“You do?” He leans forward, his elbows on his knees. “Like, monthly?”
Lifting her chin defiantly, she answers him coolly. “As often as it’s needed.”
His eyes close and she can see the regret twisting on his face. “I’m sorry, Betty, I didn’t mean to imply you need help to do your job. I just see a lot, you know?”
Betty lets her annoyance drain out of her, sighing. “I do. But I’ll be okay, I promise. I always tell Archie when and where I’m going to be just in case, but since he’s gone, I can leave it with you if it would make you feel better.”
Jughead falls back into the cushions once more, relieved. “It would.”
He looks so relaxed and comfortable and she immediately decides she needs to go to bed before she crawls into his lap and her monkey brain takes completely over.
Standing up, she stretches her arms over her head, smiling at him. “I’m going to head to bed, do you need anything before I do?”
He hesitates but smiles back and shakes his head. “No, I should be good. Thank you, Betty, for everything.”
“No problem,” she says, turning to leave. “Goodnight, Jughead.”
“Night,” he murmurs to her retreating back, making sure she’s out of the room before he slaps his hands over his face, feeling like an idiot.
He’d gotten distracted by the sliver of skin he’d seen when she’d stretched, drooling like a moron over the girl he’d inadvertently insulted no less than a minute before, almost missing what she’d asked him.
“Idiot,” he mutters lowly to himself, propping his socked feet up on the coffee table, trying to watch the rest of the movie she’d picked. “Insult her then stare at her, what a good idea. Girls can’t resist that. ”
Throwing his head back, he settles in further into the sofa. It smells sort of like Betty, a sweet clean scent that he wants to bury his nose in, trying to fight the feeling that he’d just messed up with her before he could even try and start. Especially during the week where she’s being gracious enough to let him live with her.
He wants to push her up against a wall and kiss her. Wants to bury his hands in her hair and bite softly at her lips until they’re pinker than normal and swollen before moving down to let kisses linger along the lines of her neck.
But not this week, he knows.
Huffing, he keeps trying to pay attention to the movie until the credits roll, getting lost in his fantasies anyway.
Betty’s no stranger to waking up early, but waking up early to do yoga in the middle of her living room in order to get into the pants of her temporary roommate? That’s a first.
She’s trying desperately to keep the tight pants from riding up her ass when she hears Jughead moving around in the bathroom. Rolling out the mat, she’s getting right into her first stretch when she hears him walking down the hallway.
Okay, you can do this, she thinks, trying to give herself a pep-talk. You can totally do this.
Holding her breath, she’s convinced she’s about to fall on her face when she hears his footsteps move closer, coming into the living room.
The sound of a crash and a muffled curse startles her and she falls over to the side, landing hard on her hip.
“Oh my god, Betty, are you okay?” Jughead asks, running up behind her, grabbing her hips, startling her further.
Turning her head, she looks up at his concerned face and nods weakly at him. “I’m fine.”
“Here, let me help you,” he offers, pulling her up before she finds her footing, making her slip and land on the ground again.
Jughead’s holding onto her hips tightly as he tugs on her again, and her ass goes a lot further a lot faster than she intended, hitting him in the crotch before she can stand. He makes a choking noise as she scrambles to stand up, this time finding her balance. For a split second, she thinks his fingers flex into her sides harder before letting go as she spins around.
“I’m sorry!” they both exclaim simultaneously, flushing and avoiding eye contact.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” he says, his eyes landing somewhere over her shoulder.
“It’s fine,” she lies, her heart beating fast enough to make her nervous. “No one got hurt, right?”
He doesn’t look convinced that she’s okay as he finally lets his gaze trail over her, seemingly checking her for injuries.
“I’m okay,” she promises, putting her weight on one leg so she can dig her toes into the yoga mat beneath her feet. “Breakfast?”
“Sure,” he agrees somewhat warily, stepping aside for her to walk ahead of him into the kitchen.
If the plan was to embarrass herself, she’s already exceeding her own expectations.
He’s going to die and she’s going to be the cause of it, he decides over coffee and waffles.
Jughead hadn’t meant to trip the second he walked into the living room and seen Betty’s round ass wrapped in tight lycra up in the air, but he’d stumbled over his own feet, scaring her enough so that she fell over. She’d ended up hitting the hard floor with an audible thump that still makes him wince in sympathy.
He could have apologized and offered her a hand up.
He, without much forethought from the brain portion of his body, grabbed her hips and yanked on her, making the entire situation worse.
And, as he shovels another bite of waffles into his mouth, listening to Betty talk about her plans for the day, he thinks that the feeling of her ass against his dick is going to be what kills him by pure torture of memory alone.
It’s going to be a long week.
Poor Jug! Poor Betty! Man, Jug doesn't know what's coming, does he? BA-DUM-TISS! Thassa joke. A pun, if you will. A play on words.
Anyhoo, did you know that I have a big brother? And we have the same age gap as Jellybean and Jughead? And he was wildly overprotective? So I mean, I can't say for sure, but that seems legit how Jughead would be so I'm rolling with it.
Except that time he sent me down a hill in a wagon with a pillow and a helmet. Pretty sure that's how you get play-doh in your sheets, brother of mine.
But! This chapter is for Jandjsalmon! Because it's her birthday! And she's worth it for being such a fandom cheerleader. Happy birthday to her!
Anyways, your comments and kudos and love for this fic really means a lot to me, it makes me only half the cactus I truly am and seeing what you guys think each chapter is something I always look forward to so besos! Besos to all of you. Sloppy ones.
As always, you can tumble with me if you want.
Did you know that I have an inflatable unicorn bigger than my dogs named Fiona? No? Well now you do.
Which, you might think is useless information, but what if I become ruler of the universe? It might be a trivia question and then you'd be glad I prepared you in advance. Exactly.
Read on, my lovelies!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Step Three: Almost Succeed
“I fell over, Veronica!” Betty yells, throwing her hands up in the air and stopping in the middle of their jog. “I just fell. Like an idiot. And then, he had to help me up and I ended up looking like a baboon presenting their ass in some sort of mating ritual.”
Veronica, bent over with her hands on her knees, starts laughing while trying to keep her breathing even.
Betty throws her head back, inhaling deeply. “And, honestly? Pretty sure I felt his, you know-”
“I’m sorry,” Veronica squeaks out through her laughter, “you felt his junk and you still didn’t seal the deal?”
Betty groans pitifully. “No. And then I made him waffles.”
“Jesus, B, get yours before you do that again.”
“Right?” Betty stretches her arms above her head. “I want an orgasm if I’m making you breakfast, but I was so embarrassed after that I just wanted to distract him.”
“I bet you did,” Veronica says, smirking at her. “Distracted him right into wanking it after you left.”
“You think?” Betty asks, chewing on the edge of her thumb. “I just -I really want to ride him like I’m riding into battle, you know?”
“Honestly? I think you should just go sit on that face like it’s a saddle. He’ll probably thank you for it.”
“I wish. I did think about tying him to my bed, but-”
“Do it,” Veronica interrupts, bending over and throwing her arms back into a stretch. “Oh, wait, he’s a cop, use his handcuffs. I bet he likes that kind of thing.”
Betty purses her lips, thinking. “Or maybe those suspenders-”
Veronica groans, taking back off into a jog, Betty following her.
“Why must he wear those?”
“To torment me?”
“You grew up with my Archiekins, around all those deliciously buff jocks, and suspenders on Jughead Jones is what’s doing it for you?”
Betty lets her gaze flick to Veronica, trying to keep her pace. “Don’t forget the uniform.”
“Ahh,” Veronica breathes out, cocking her head to the side so they can take a turn on the path at the park they’re running in, “now that’s understandable.”
“Do you know he changes out of it right away when he gets back from work?” Betty scoffs, annoyed. “He really can’t sit around in it, letting me take it in for a while?”
“Come on,” Veronica says, picking up speed, “if we can talk, we’re not running hard enough. Let’s try to outrun some of that sexual frustration of yours.”
Betty runs after her, shaking her head. “I don’t think I can run that far.”
Jughead had been hoping to see Betty before he left for work and he was trying not to pout at the likelihood of that not happening while wandering into the kitchen to get himself a drink.
Deciding to go back to Archie’s bedroom, he hears the front door open and chooses to stay put to increase his chances of striking up a conversation, awkward or not. He doesn’t really care, he just wants to talk to her, especially after barely seeing her since what he’s now calling “The Yoga Incident.”
“Did you try the one I sent you the link for?” he hears Betty ask, confused on who she might be talking to, annoyed with himself for being worried it might be a guy.
“Oh yeah,” he hears Veronica answers and he can feel his shoulders relax.
“Did you like it? It’s intense right?”
“You should have warned me!”
Jughead’s frozen in place as their footsteps moved closer to where he’s standing in the kitchen, glass in hand. He’s debating whether or not he should say something to let them know he’s there when Veronica continues.
“It made a regular vibrator seem like a fumbling virgin and that thing was like that one guy you want to raw you in a club bathroom and even if you know it’s the worst idea you’ll ever have, you know it’d be totally worth it.”
Jughead can’t breathe.
Betty’s sweet voice makes him choke on his drink.
“Yes, exactly. The first time I used it, I just about fell out of bed.”
Veronica’s laughter tells him they’re a lot closer than he knows what to do with, making him spin around, reaching for the counter and leaning on it, trying to look relaxed and not at all like he’s fighting an impromptu erection at the thought of what he’s just heard.
“Jughead!” Veronica exclaims, stopping short. “You’re here.”
If he could answer, he would, but the smart comeback dies in his throat when he looks over and sees Betty walk in behind her, her shirt almost totally over her head, leaving her in tight running pants and a sports bra, her skin glowing from what, logically, he knows is sweat but it doesn’t make him want to put his mouth on her any less.
“What?!” Betty screeches, trying to tug her shirt down.
Veronica spins and tries to help her, pulling on Betty’s elbow to get the shirt back over her torso.
“Need some help?” he asks without thinking, watching Veronica’s eyes widen. Realizing what he’s said, he feels himself start to flush. “Uh-”
“No, it’s okay!” Betty interjects, pulling on the fabric that seems stuck over her face and shoulders.
Pretending he’s not trying to covertly stare at the bounce of her breasts as she struggles, he feels lost on what he should be doing when he hears Veronica whisper something to her and Betty’s body sags, in relief or surrender, he doesn’t know. The shirt looks like it’s nodding along with Betty’s head as they work to peel it off of her, the rolls of fabric that had bunched and stuck to her moving slowly up and over her head is definitely something he’s going to tuck away for later.
When Betty’s head is free, he can see she’s bright pink and trying to smooth her hair back, her shoulders back and chin out, like she’s denying that everything that had happened moments before wasn’t something she’d planned all along.
“Good morning,” she says, walking briskly to the cabinet to grab both Veronica and herself glasses. “Are you heading out?”
Deciding to let her ignore the situation, he ignores Veronica’s amused face and leans back on the counter, facing Betty. “Yeah, in a couple minutes.”
“Did you eat?” Betty asks, giving him a winning smile as Veronica groans behind her.
“I’m good to go,” he tells her, giving her a little salute before reaching for the keys he’d left on the counter.
Watching Jughead awkwardly leave the kitchen after Veronica’s outburst makes her want to dig a hole so she can bury herself in it. She waits until she hears the front door close before sliding down to the floor, covering her face with her hands.
“Okay, in my defense, I was trying to speed things along,” Veronica tells her, sitting down next to her.
“This week is already the longest and shortest of my life,” Betty says, laying her head on Veronica’s shoulder. “I just want to put my mouth on his mouth, is that too much to ask?”
Betty can feel Veronica sigh as she moves to wrap an arm around her.
“If it helps, I think he’s interested-”
“He ran off!”
“I didn’t say he was smart, I said he’s interested,” Veronica defends. “What do we know about boys?”
“They’re big and stupid and we don’t know why we love them?”
“Yes.” Veronica pauses. “But what else?”
“They can’t be trusted to dress themselves?”
“Okay, that’s true, but not what I mean. I meant,” Veronica says, stretching her legs out along the kitchen floor, “that sometimes when we play cat and mouse, we forget to be the cat.”
“Mmhmm,” she hums out. “People think we’re always the cat, always on the hunt but no. We’re the mice, and we allow ourselves to be hunted in the way we orchestrated to our specifications.”
“You know that makes us sound shady, right?” Betty asks, picking her head up off of Veronica’s shoulder and looking at her.
Veronica shrugs. “Eh, if we go after what we want, we’re aggressive. If we don’t, we’re meek. I say we go ahead and do what we want and work with what we’ve got because we’re damned either way.”
Betty nods, stretching her legs out next to Veronica’s. “I can’t believe I got my shirt stuck halfway off in front of him.”
“He was not unappreciative of the view, trust me.”
“I think he was about to combust.”
Laughing lightly, Betty stands up, grabbing the glass she’d set on the counter. “Water?”
“Yes, please,” Veronica answers as she stands, reaching for the second glass. “You know what this means, right?”
“What’s that?” Betty asks, distracted by filling their cups.
“You need to let him catch you-”
“I would throw myself on him if I thought he was going to catch me, Veronica.”
“I believe you, though I still don’t know why,” Veronica muses, sitting in the kitchen chair and meeting Betty’s eyes when she sits down across from her. “He’s pretty cringey sometimes.”
“I know,” Betty sighs out, running her finger along the tabletop. “He’ll say something ridiculous and pretentious and my brain is screaming that he can’t possibly be saying that unironically but he is. And then when he’s saying it, he’s so -what’s the word?”
“Yes! He’s so earnest about whatever stupid thing he’s just said.” Betty twists her lips in an amused smile. “Really makes me want to climb him like a tree.”
Veronica coughs, patting her chest to get her water to go down right. “Honestly, you’re the best he’s going to get so here’s what I think you need to do-”
“Am I going to embarrass myself again?”
“No.” Veronica raises an eyebrow. “Well, with your track record so far, maybe? It’ll be worth it in the end, I promise.”
Betty exhales loudly, shoulders slumping as she gives in. “Lay it on me.”
“Your thing is tonight, right?”
Veronica gives Betty a wicked smile. “Great. First, you do the shower thing but then you come out dressed in your best little black dress-”
“It’s work, V-”
“I know that and you know that but his male hindbrain doesn’t know that, it’s going to be working overtime with you looking like a wet dream as you wander off to tempt some scumbag into proving that he’s a total tool.”
“And get paid for doing it,” Betty retorts. “Because it’s a job.”
Shrugging, Veronica leans back into her chair. “Your job starts when you leave the house, not when you’re strutting your stuff around here beforehand.”
Betty bites her lip. “You better be right because I’m not sure I can survive another failure where I end up looking like an idiot in front of him.”
“You’re talking about a guy who once brought a book to the basketball game Archie took him to, I think you’ll be fine.”
“It’s good that he reads!” Betty says, feeling defensive on Jughead’s behalf.
“Betty.” Veronica crosses her arms and stares over at her. “It was a hardback.”
Betty sighs, laying her head down on the table. “But he’s so pretty.”
“Are you here to pump me for information about Betty?”
Jughead scoffs, throwing a ketchup packet at his little sister. “No, of course not. Unless you know something-”
“Nope,” JB shakes her head. “You assume I listen to Veronica’s gossip and phone calls-”
“I know you do-”
“True, but this time it’s more fun for me if I don’t-”
“Ugh, you’re so dumb, just kiss her.”
“If I thought I could do that, I wouldn’t be shaking my baby sister down over a lunch bribe,” he says, pointing at her across the table with a fry.
“Jug, listen.” JB slides his milkshake in front of herself, ignoring his look of betrayal. “Honestly, I know you hate to admit it but I am, in fact, a girl. And as a girl, I’m telling you, just kiss her.”
“Just like that?”
“Just like that,” JB confirms, snapping her fingers. “I know you’ve kissed girls before, what’s so different about this one?”
Jughead slumps in the booth, looking contemplative. “Some girls are born to ruin you. And yeah, other girls I’ve dated have been great. Fun and pretty, you know, everything you think you want in a girlfriend, but I look at Betty and I know, I just know, she’s going to be the one who ruins me and I’m going to thank her for it every step of the way.”
“Morbid,” JB muses, taking a bite of her burger. “You know, stuff like that is why people make fun of you when you’re not around.”
“I was being sincere!”
“I know, that’s what’s so funny about it.” JB shrugs at him, ignoring him for more of her food. “If it helps, I know for a fact Betty is talking to Veronica about you.”
“What’s she saying?”
“Don’t know, it was a phone call.”
“What did Veronica say?”
Jughead groans. “Jellybean, I swear to god-”
“Hey! If you wanted a spy you should have told me, I barely heard anything because I was actually doing my job, something you apparently instilled in me along the way-”
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry, just tell me what you heard.”
“Veronica offered to let Betty borrow a dress for tonight if she needed one and then she said that you can’t be as dumb as she thinks you are. Pretty high praise, if you ask me.”
Furrowing his brows, Jughead drums his fingers on the table. He wants to know what they were talking about but knowing Veronica, it could be any number of things. Maybe Betty told her about him offering to help with her case that night. She probably did, he decides, deflating.
It definitely wasn’t his brightest moment and he’d be a liar if he didn’t think about following her that night anyway. Stealing his milkshake back from Jellybean, he tries to come up with a plan, any plan, to kiss Betty before he leaves at the end of the week.
“Veronica, he’s not here!” Betty grumbles to Veronica on FaceTime, laying back on her bed, trying not to despair.
“Betty, he’ll show up,” Veronica soothes. “What else does he have to do?”
“Really? You know he’s a cop, right? They don’t actually just get to stop working when they want to-”
“Okay, listen. Even if he’s not there, it’s not a big deal, you can just do it when he is there-”
“I had to psych myself up for this all day!” Betty cuts in, sitting up and scooting against her headboard.
She can see the patient look on Veronica’s face and feels like a moron.
“I’m overthinking this, aren’t I?”
Veronica’s head tilts to the side and she gives Betty a small smile. “A bit, yeah.”
“Okay, I’m getting a grip-”
“I bet you’d like to-”
“You really are a teenage boy under all those designer clothes, aren’t you?” Betty laughs, her nose scrunching when she thinks about it. “That’s why you and Archie are so perfect for each other, isn’t it?”
“I like to think I have very discerning taste, Bettykins,” Veronica shoots back, her own smile betraying her offense. “And Archie is a fine specimen of that.”
“I’ll take your word for it, but to me, he’s still the guy who put his jock strap on upside down for at least three football games sophomore year.”
“At least he has condoms figured out, right?”
“Ugh, don’t tell me that!” Betty recoils back into her headboard as far as she can. “How is living with him, by the way?”
Veronica’s face lights up. “It’s been great. He keeps bringing me coffee in bed and then waiting for me to tell him if I like it or not.”
Betty’s smile stretches across her face, happy for her friends. “Aw, look at how cute you two are-”
“Yeah, yeah, we’re adorable, now, go take your shower and maybe he’ll be back before you get out.”
“Fingers crossed,” Betty says and laughs when Veronica holds up her own fingers crossed then crosses her eyes. “Like that, yeah.”
“Good luck! And be safe tonight.”
“Always am,” Betty replies, ending the call with a smile and tossing her phone on the bed.
The ping of a text grabs her attention and, trying not to hope it’s Jughead, she laughs when she reads the message from Veronica.
If he uses more than one five syllable word in a sentence, show him your tits to save time
Sighing as she gets up, she glares at her robe hanging on the back of her door with narrowed eyes. Torn between taking it or not, she decides not to, arguing with herself that if Jughead does get home it’ll work out for her and if not, no one is around to see her fail.
Making her way to the bathroom, she tries to distract herself with the details of her case -your average guy possibly masquerading his mid-life crisis as an opportunity to sow any oats he still thinks he has. Unfortunately for him, if he takes the bait, his wife is the one with the money and prenup.
Some men never learn, she thinks, turning on the water, double checking to make sure there’s a towel, at a minimum, for her to use. She wants Jughead to notice her and maybe push her up against a wall, sure, but not naked. Not at first, anyway.
She peeks out into the hallway to see if she can hear if anyone’s come home in the last thirty seconds and sighs when she’s met with silence. Pushing down her disappointment, she tells herself she’s still got a few days to accidentally on purpose get almost naked in front of the guy she’s got an incurable crush on.
Wrapping the almost too short towel around her, she steps out into the hallway quietly, straining to hear if Jughead’s home yet.
Sighing with disappointment when it’s as quiet as it was before, she tosses the door open and strides to her bedroom, reminding herself again, she’s still got time before the week is up.
Her phone lights up with a notification from where she left it on the bed and she picks it up, disregarding the emails and focusing on the text from Veronica.
JB says Jughead is stuck at work, so you can just do you without worrying about tripping and falling on his dick in those heels you showed me 😘
Huffing out a breathy laugh, Betty relaxes. She can get ready for her job in peace and review her case notes without worrying about Jughead being aware of anything but her good angles right after getting out of the shower. Not that that morning with her shirt stuck halfway up her face or falling over while trying to do yoga showcased her in the best light either.
Texting back a quick thanks, Betty pulls off the towels she’d wrapped around her hair before starting her playlist for some background noise while getting ready.
Jughead walks into the apartment, annoyed. He’d wanted to be back before Betty left, hoping to convince her to let him tag along just in case.
If he could manage to convey his worry about her safety without her actually ripping his head off, that is. Which, he knows, is unlikely, since he knows it’s coming from a possessive place and not that she’s actually incapable of taking care of herself. She’s definitely got more stamina than he does.
He’s only lived with her for a few days but he’s already seen her do yoga (which had turned out to go directly into the spank bank), help Archie with his boxing, and go for a run with Veronica (that morning was definitely going to be his shower material for the foreseeable future). Her energy put his own to shame, something he’d lie about if asked if he considered what that meant in the bedroom.
Flipping the lock on the door and tossing his keys on the small table in the entryway, he can’t wait to get into the shower to wash the day off of him. He tells himself he’s not going to wait for Betty, but he knows he’s lying even as he thinks it.
Mostly because he wants to make sure she gets back safe and sound and only partly because he wants to see what she’s wearing.
The first thing Betty does when she gets home is kick off the heels she’d been wearing for far too many hours.
Picking the shoes up, she rubs the arch of her foot for a moment before going to toss her bag on her bed, hoping to catch a third shower of the day, especially after having her mark get a little handsy with her.
Rolling her eyes as she remembers his come ons and bad pick up lines, she makes sure the recording is still on her phone, sending it to her work email to put on a usb drive to close out the case later. Grabbing her robe, she takes two steps out into the hallway before colliding with a very wet, very half naked Jughead Jones.
“Sorry!” he exclaims, grabbing her by the shoulders when she stumbles back. “I didn’t know you were home.”
Betty swallows, trying not to stare at the dim light of the hallway reflecting off of the water drops that are clinging to his shoulders. “It’s fine. I just got home.”
Jughead nods, letting his hands trail down her arms before he lets go of her, sending a shiver through her.
“Did your case go alright? No problems?” he asks, sounding concerned.
Still flustered, she gives him a small smile. “Yeah, it was fine. Your usual mid-life crisis looking for a twenty-something woman to feed the ego he never should have had in the first place because good looks and privilege got him everything his mommy told him he deserved early in life.”
He raises his eyebrows in shock at the venom in her words. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
Betty waves him off with one hand, the other still gripping her robe tight. “I’m fine. Just the same old, same old. A little handsy, but a stiletto to the toes usually works wonders-”
“He touched you?”
“Jughead,” she starts, exasperated at his tone, “that’s the job. I need them to hit on me, I need them to prove beyond a doubt that they’re willing to cheat on their significant others to bring closure to the person who hired me.”
He huffs, tightening the towel around his waist, making her breath hitch at the idea that with one quick flick, that stupid towel could be on the ground. Praying he didn’t hear her, she keeps talking.
“We’re not going to have a repeat of the other night, are we?”
“No, of course not,” he says, looking contrite. “I know you can handle yourself, but-”
“But you’re a cop, and you see all kinds of horrible things and you worry and I’m guessing your little sister has about a hundred different stories on how overprotective you are?”
Twisting his lips in a wry smile, Jughead cocks his head in agreement. “Pretty much, yeah.”
“You’re sweet to care, but I can take care of myself. I survived long before you even knew I existed, didn’t I?”
“True,” he acquiesces. “Probably took care of Archie, am I right?”
Rolling her eyes, Betty shakes her head at him. “He doesn’t get enough credit, you know-”
“He’s a good guy, that’s for sure, a proverbial labrador in a human body,” Jughead cuts in, relaxing his weight onto one leg.
“A four syllable adjective? And here Veronica told me to watch out for five syllable words with you, not-”
“How about some pontification on the idea that Veronica Lodge keeps count of my syllable usage?”
Fighting a smile, Betty relaxes back against the wall of the hallway to look up at him. “Are you saying that the condescending nature of Veronica’s exasperation of your embellished and amplified vocabulary and your ability to use ten words instead of five is unjust?”
He moves closer towards her. “Infuriating.”
“Is that right?”
Dropping her robe, she crosses her arms, smirking at him. “That was only three syllables.”
Leaning towards her, holding himself on one arm resting next to her head with his other hand holding his towel closed, he whispers into her ear. “The disinclination with which I care about what the disagreeable Veronica Lodge thinks of my vocabulary might be a disillusionment to her, so let’s keep it to ourselves, shall we?”
“Do you have a thing for words that start with the letter D?” Betty asks, meeting his eyes, trying not to let her gaze drop to his mouth.
“I might. Do you?”
“Any other letters I should know about?”
He moves in a little closer than before, eyes darker. “I’m partial to the letter B.”
“Is that so?”
Betty’s hands start fidgeting with the hem of her dress, wanting to grab hold of his shoulders and bring him in for a kiss she’s sure would knock her on her ass, her breathing picks up when she sees his eyes are on her lips, the smell of him and the warmth of his skin surrounding her.
The loud sound of one of their phones ringing brings her back to earth and Jughead steps back, knocked back into reality.
“I think it’s yours,” Betty whispers, staring up at him from under her lashes.
“Yeah,” he agrees, visibly swallowing. “Uh, if it’s this late, it’s probably important-”
“Sure, sure,” she says, smiling weakly at him. “I was just going to shower anyway.”
He nods at her before heading back to Archie’s bedroom to answer his phone and she melts further into the wall, cursing technology and her own inhibition. Grabbing her robe with a sigh, she realizes that she’s definitely going to be thinking about him in about six different inappropriate scenarios in the shower.
I should have showed him my tits, Betty thinks mournfully, making her way to the bathroom.
Man, Betty. You really probably should have. I bet it would have worked. Jughead seems like he's into tits, tbh. Like, I don't blame him, women are pretty to look at so I feel him.
Anyways, I want to thank you all for being so patient while I was sick and catching up on this fic! Mucho appreciated <3. Hopefully I am back on track now. And thank you so much for the comments and messages and stuff on tumblr and love for this fic! You guys are the best. I mean, I'd make out with you. You know, if you wanted. If not, it's cool, I can just be awkward over here and pretend I never said that.
But! Besos to you and yours! Your comments and thoughts and general awesomeness is always motivating and enchanting to see.
As always, you can tumble with me if you want.
Welcome to chapter four!
If you could look past my most obvious boo-boos that would be great, I’m currently posting unsupervised and will get it all fixed up when it’s been properly edited.
Read on, friends!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Step Four: Whoops
“I don’t think I can do this!”
“Of course you can. Just groan and moan and flop around on your bed or something-”
“Flop? What the hell kind of sex are you having?”
“Hey, at least I’m having sex, Cooper.”
Betty blows out the breath she’d been holding in anxiety. “So, what kind of noises again?”
“The sexy kind, you know, heavy breathing and happy little moans-”
“Fake a lot of orgasms?” Betty asks, chewing on her thumbnail out of her nervousness, her phone pressed tightly against her ear.
“Of course not,” Veronica scoffs. “I don’t feed the ego of men who think a flick and lick is going to get me off.”
“I can do this, I can do this,” Betty repeats, kneeling on her bed, trying to listen for any noise to tell her that Jughead is awake and can hear her. “I cannot do this, Veronica.”
“Do you want me to talk dirty to you?” Veronica asks.
“No!” Betty pauses, considering. “Maybe. No, wait. No, I’m fine.”
“You sure? I can wax poetic about your ass if you want, give it a nickname, offer to spank it real good-”
“You could do it for real-”
“I can’t, I need to meet Archie in less than an hour at the gym, I’d need time I don’t have to talk myself into really doing it.”
“You got this. Just imagine suspenders and, I don’t know, that nasally voice telling you all about his library card and how he doesn’t own an e-reader because he likes the feel of actual books.”
“I do like how books feel and smell,” she says, wistfully. “I bet he’s gentle with them.”
“We don’t have time to unpack any of that, Betty, but seriously, think of it like a case, just put on your game face and-”
“Wait!” Betty cuts in, whispering, putting her other ear up against the wall. “I think I can hear him moving around in Archie’s room.”
“Get going then,” Veronica commands. “Do you want me to stay on the phone with you?”
Betty taps a finger on her chin, thinking. “Maybe? Is that weird?”
“There are men, right now, who would pay six dollars a minute to listen to this, trust me, we’re not doing anything other people wouldn’t do.”
“Okay.” Betty takes a deep breath, trying to center and relax herself. “I can do this. I got this. I can fake an orgasm for the guy living in my house.”
“Yes you can. Tempt your man,” Veronica tells her encouragingly.
“I think I need you to talk dirty to me.”
“You got it.”
She’s only five minutes late meeting Archie, shocking even herself after how long she had taken to get started and the cheerleading from Veronica. He’s standing by the boxing ring, leaning on it and looking through his phone when she walks up to him.
“Hey,” she says, getting his attention.
Snapping to attention, he slips his phone in the gym bag by his feet, grabbing the practice mitts and handing them to her while he slides on the training gloves.
“Hey,” he answers. “You ready?”
“Sure, just let me get these on.”
He climbs into the ring, fidgeting with his gloves, not meeting her eyes.
“Archie.” Betty steps right in front of him, waving her hand in his face. “Hello?”
“Let’s get started-”
“No, not until you tell me what’s wrong with you,” Betty interrupts, crossing her arms with a raised eyebrow.
Archie sighs, letting his head fall back. “I don’t want to do this here.”
“Here’s as good a place as any.”
Furrowing his brow at her, he closes his eyes for a moment. “Are you in love with Veronica?”
“What?” Betty exclaims, laughing.
He flushes, and if it’s in anger or not, she can’t tell. “I heard you.”
“You heard me what?”
“Like an hour ago! I went to get my guitar because Ronnie told me she wanted me to play for her this weekend and I heard you, you know-” he says, letting his words trail off, waving his hand in front of himself.
Betty wants to die. This is so much worse than if Jughead had actually heard her, now her best friend thinks she’s spending her alone time masturbating to the thought of his girlfriend. Shoot her off into space, she’s done.
“I heard Ronnie’s name, Betty-”
“Did you stay until the end?”
Archie steps back, his face horrified. “Why would I do that!?”
“Okay, yes, that sounded bad but if you had stayed you would have realized that I was on the phone with Veronica-”
“You’re having phone sex with my girlfriend?” Archie asks, almost yelling.
They both cringe when that gets the attention of a few fellow gym goers. Betty stares hard at them until they go back to their business.
“No,” she says, dropping the practice mitts so she can wring her hands properly. “She was helping me.”
“That sounds like phone sex, Betty.”
“It’s not! I mean, yes, she was talking dirty to me-”
“Oh my god, my girlfriend and best friend are doing it behind my back-”
Archie’s interrupted by a wolf whistle from somewhere to the left of them and he turns his head to glare at whoever did it but Betty keeps her focus somewhere to the right of his shoulders before looking back to him.
“Listen, Archie, it wasn’t sexual-”
He stops her with a hard stare.
“Okay, it sort of was but not in the way that you’re thinking, I swear.”
“What could you possibly be doing on the phone with my girlfriend while doing-” he asks, waving in the general area of her hips and below, “-pants stuff to yourself?”
“It was for Jughead!” she blurts out, throwing her hands out to the side in exasperation.
“Jughead was with you?!”
“No!” Betty tightens her ponytail. “It was for him, I, uh, have-”
Betty points at him, half wincing, half smiling. “Yes. I have pants feelings for Jughead.”
“And that means you have to get my girlfriend to talk dirty to you on the phone?”
“I was faking it, Veronica made a list for me so I can get his attention and that was part of it.”
Archie squints at her in confusion. “Why don’t you just tell him?”
Betty groans. “It’s not that easy!”
“Gotta be easier than what you’re doing.”
Pursing her lips, Betty glares at him, hating that he’s making sense. “What if he doesn’t like me, Archie?”
“Why wouldn’t he like you?”
Shrugging, she looks down at the mat below her feet.
Archie’s voice gets soft and she can feel him lifting her chin up so she’ll look him in the eye. “Come on, what’s not to like?”
“I don’t know, I did fake an orgasm to get his attention, that’s probably pretty weird, right?”
“If that sentence didn’t gross me out, I’d tell you he’d most likely be into it.”
Betty’s eyes go wide with hope. “You think?”
“Sure, he’s a guy, isn’t he?”
“I’m sorry I made your girlfriend talk dirty to me, but to be fair, she did offer so-”
“Betty,” Archie interjects, running his hand over his face before pinching the bridge of his nose, “do not finish that thought.”
“Okay,” Betty agrees easily, picking up her practice mitts from the mat. “Just one question, though.”
“Did it sound realistic?”
Archie’s head falls towards his chest and he huffs loudly. “Never ask me that again.”
“Why am I helping you on my day off again?” Jughead asks JB, trying not to drop the overly heavy box he’s hefting in his arms. “How does this keep happening anyway?”
“I manipulated you,” JB replies, throwing fabric over her shoulder. “Remember?”
“Oh yeah.” He stops and looks around. “Where is Veronica, anyway?”
“In her office.” JB looks at him over her shoulder. “I think she’s with Betty, actually.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that first?”
“Hey, I still need help here-”
“No one is paying me-”
“But I’m your precious baby sister-”
“Who is half demon. And I should know, you were born with little horns but Dad made the doctors-”
“I stopped believing that at six, you know-”
“And yet the fact that Santa was fake eluded you until the ripe age of eight-”
“Fuck off, Jug-”
“Don’t say fuck,” they say simultaneously, with JB laughing and shoving him with her shoulder.
“Just help me with this and then you can go eavesdrop on Betty and Veronica, okay?” she asks, looking for a compromise.
Sighing dramatically, he shrugs as best as he can with the box in his arms. “I guess. But you owe me the pizza next time.”
“Are you accusing Veronica of not paying you a living wage?”
JB’s eyes widen and she spins around, making sure no one overheard her. “No! Okay fine, I’ll buy the pizza but no extras.”
“How’d you get so cheap, anyway?”
“Jug.” She stops to stare at him. “Student loans. They’re the only thing more permanent than death or taxes in my life right now.”
“Bean,” he says, smiling at her look of disgust at the nickname, “as your brother, who will never get out from under his own student loans, let me give you some advice: life is too short to be too cheap for extra cheese.”
“But it’s like a dollar-fifty!”
“Highway robbery, I know.”
Grumbling, she follows him to the storage room to drop off the boxes and what he assumes are tablecloths before he slips off to go loiter outside of Veronica’s office for a few minutes.
He can hear the murmur of voices through the door, but only one of them is feminine.
“Ronnie-” Archie, Jughead decides by the moniker. “-I know you love Betty but next time you want to, you know-”
“Talk dirty to your best friend,” Veronica interrupts, sounding amused.
Jughead pulls back, shocked.
Talk dirty? To Betty? What?
“Yeah, that. Can you, I don’t know, tell me first?”
“It’s not like we were actually doing anything-”
“I know but, okay, look. Betty is like my sister and the idea that she was, ugh, I can’t even say it,” Archie mutters just loud enough for Jughead to catch.
Stepping back, he stands up straight, not expecting to hear that. She was what?
“Don’t say that, Betty is my one of my favorite people, but in a from the neck up sort of way.”
Jughead can hear Veronica scoff as he rests his ear back against the door.
“She’s a woman, Archibald. A sexual one at that and I thought Betty gave a rousing performance.”
“Don’t say arousing and Betty in the same sentence, Ronnie-”
“Archie, those aren’t the same thing. She told you why, didn’t she? When you decided to accuse her of being in love with me in the middle of a very public gym?”
He can almost see Archie’s wince at the tone of Veronica’s voice.
“I...didn’t handle it well, I know,” Archie says, the guilt lacing through his words. “She could have just told me, I would have helped her too.”
“By what? Threatening the guy she has a big fat crush on if he ever so much as hurt her?”
Falling against the wall, Jughead feels like the breath is knocked out of him. Betty has a crush on some guy? He knows he’s not dating her or even close to it but he’d honestly thought he they were developing some sort of rapport.
“I wouldn’t have threatened him!”
“Oh please, I’ve seen you! With whatshisname at your station, you pushed that poor guy right up against a wall and told him to forget her name-”
“Well, yeah, that guy is not good enough for Betty, but I like Jughead!”
Jughead, he thinks. Jughead. That’s him. Quickly calculating all of the other possible Jugheads he knows, he comes up with exactly one. Himself. Betty likes him of all people?
No, no, don’t look too closely at this, just accept what you’re hearing. The very hot woman you’d like to see naked might possibly also want to see you naked. This is a win, don’t examine it.
“Good, great. Now accept that your best friend wants to have-”
“You’re going to have to stop calling it that. But yes. Betty would like to have one on one pants time with Jughead Pretentious Middle Name Jones.”
“You know his real name is, like, super snobby sounding, right?”
Eyes widening, Jughead thinks of at least three terrible things to do to Archie if he actually tells Veronica Lodge his given name.
“More than yours, even? Interesting. What is it?”
Don’t do it, Archie. For once in your life, have a spine where women are concerned.
“Forsythe Pendleton Jones-”
Veronica’s laughing cuts him off and he’s going to kill Archie for this.
“That is -simply fantastic,” Veronica says, stifling her low laughter. “And it explains JB’s name now.”
Jellybean is going to make a voodoo doll of Veronica out of pizza for this, he can feel it.
“Wow.” Archie sounds a little in awe of the absolute absurdity of Jughead’s parents. “How many people do you think are named versions of that in his family?”
“Unknown. Also, I don’t care. I care about Betty-”
“So do I,” Archie says, possibly sighing. Jughead isn’t sure with the wall muffling their voices.
Veronica clears her throat. “So you’ll leave him alone about this?”
“He doesn’t even know, Ronnie, she told me all about the list you gave her-”
“It’s not my fault it keeps backfiring!”
“She pretended to-”
“While you were on the phone talking dirty to her because you told her to! That’s weird, Ronnie.”
“Okay, yes, in hindsight I can see how it’s a little weird to you, but Archiekins, she likes him so much, I’m just trying to help.”
“She could just tell him. Or I can. Or you, you say whatever’s on your mind, why don’t you tell him?”
Veronica sounds exasperated in her response. “It’s not our place.”
“But making her lists of ways to get his attention is?”
Jughead leans against the door, almost out of breath. He can’t believe it. He’d spent most of the week in a constant state of tension trying not to scare her off and she’d spent it trying to get his attention. He thinks about it, biting back a smile. All the effort she’d put in and even though it had kept going sideways she kept trying.
“If she insists on wanting him of all people-”
Of all people? Rude.
“-then the least I can do is help her. And I don’t think she’s even mentioned her summers as a mechanic yet-”
The image of Betty in little denim shorts with a grease smudge on her cheek pops into his head and he groans, letting his head fall with a thump onto the door.
“What was that?” Archie asks, and Jughead can hear feet moving towards the door.
He takes off around the corner, leaving the building at a quick clip, thinking about what he’s going to do now.
When Betty walks into her apartment, she’s dreading coming across Jughead. After that morning while moaning and groaning while Veronica was on the phone encouraging her, she’s still embarrassed that she went that far just to get a guy’s attention.
Even if he didn’t know what she’s been doing, she was still feeling guilty for not just coming out and telling him that she’d really enjoy it if he would be so kind as to let her attack his person with her very ready and willing body.
The noise level after she shuts the door behind her tells her she’s not going to be left blissfully alone with her own stupidity and she almost stomps her feet in petulance before breathing in deep and shaking her hands out to let go of some of the stress.
Tossing her keys onto the little table, she lets her bag fall to the floor near the hallway, walking around the corner to see Jughead setting the kitchen table that had been moved into a corner of the living room.
“What’s this?” she asks, taking it all in. The placemats her mom had sent her the first year after she had graduated college and the plates Mary Andrews had gifted her and Archie as an apartment warming gift are on the table and she feels like she’s missing a major piece of information.
“I see that,” she says, catching the smells of food coming from the kitchen. “Did you cook?”
Shaking his head, he smiles up at her and she can feel herself melt a little, almost wishing he’d been there to hear her that morning if it’d make ripping the bandaid off a tiny bit easier.
“No,” he tells her, putting his hands flat on the table, leaning forward. “I ordered take-out but the table setting is all me.”
Walking up to the table, she puts her hand out to grab the silverware but he catches her wrist, running his thumb along the underside of it.
“This is a thank you from me-”
“For letting me stay here.”
“I think that was Archie’s idea, actually-”
“But you let me, so go away until I tell you it’s ready.”
“Go away? Weird way of thanking me,” she jokes, her nerves starting to get the best of her. Swallowing the questions she’s dying to ask, like, why and how, she nods at him with a barely there smile. “I’m just going to go freshen up then.”
“You do that,” he says, releasing her wrist, going back to setting the table.
Trying not to run directly into the bathroom, she hopes she’s kept a reasonable pace when she almost slides into the small room, flipping on the light to take in her appearance. Almost groaning, she sees the flyaway hair and the mid-summer sweat gathering along her hairline, suddenly wishing she had time to shower. Sighing, she wets her hands, trying to smooth her hair down.
When that fails, she checks her teeth for anything unwelcome while debating the addition of lip gloss. Glaring at the extra tube of it she keeps in the bathroom she debates it with herself, deciding that would be trying too hard and ignores its presence.
Then again, you did try and get him to believe you were having a one person orgy, invoking his name as your personal god this morning so a little lip gloss isn’t really pushing anything over the edge, is it?
Reaching for it, her hand stops right before she touches it, thinking it wouldn’t matter if they were going to be eating.
You don’t need it.
Pulling her hand back, she looks at her reflection pleased with her decision. She almost jumps when she hears Jughead calling her name. Looking once more at the little lip gloss taunting her, she narrows her eyes at it, irritated.
To hell with it, she thinks and grabs the gloss, applying it before throwing it on the counter and walking back to the newly moved kitchen table.
She’s nervous. It’s the first thing he notices and he wonders why he’s never seen it so clearly before.
Probably because he’d been so nervous around her himself.
Pulling out a chair for her, he can see the small smile that crosses her face as she sits down, looking over her shoulder at him, waiting for him to take the chair next to her.
“So,” she says as he sits down, “this is some thank you.”
“You think so?”
Jughead laughs softly before handing her a take-out container. “Not really, it’s just food.”
“But you moved the table and found placemats I’m pretty sure no one has seen since my mother gave them to me, that seems like more than food,” she tells him earnestly, her elbows on the table and her chin resting on her hand. “And it’s my favorite noodle place, too.”
“You told me, weeks ago, when we went out after one of Archie’s boxing matches,” he answers her, twisting in his chair to face her fully.
“You remember that?”
“Why wouldn’t I?”
Betty gingerly takes the container he’s trying to hand her. “I don’t know, seems like something insignificant.”
“You don’t give yourself enough credit, Betty.”
She smiles at him but doesn’t say anything as she starts to eat. He wants to start a dozen different conversations with her, about what he’d heard, about what they should do about it, how she’d feel if he pushed all the food and plates onto the floor and pushed her onto the table, showing her a much better time than the noodles she’s eating ever could.
But he doesn’t.
He asks her about her day, about her training with Archie. She doesn’t bring up her morning but her cheeks go pink more than once during their conversation. He hopes she’s remembering it, remembering why she was doing it in the first place.
He wonders if he should be mad that she’d made a list of things to do to get his attention instead of just telling him what she was feeling, but in the end, he can’t. Flattered more than anything that a woman of her caliber was even vaguely interested in being more than his friend gave her slightly underhanded actions a hazy quality that mostly makes him annoyed that none of them seemed to work out.
Especially when he could have also opened his mouth at any time. If anything, she’s the one who went after what she wanted, albeit in a roundabout way, but it’s still more than he did while pining and mooning over her pathetically for the last few months.
By the time they finish dinner, she’s thanked him, insisted on helping him clear the table, and offered to let him pick the Netflix show for the night. Taking her up on that offer, he sits closer to her than he had previously in the week, her knees turned to him, grazing his thighs. She's holding a pillow while she watches and he still says nothing as one episode passes.
On the third, she’s visibly sleepy, her head drifting to his shoulder and he stretches his arm behind her on the sofa, letting her curl into his side. He doesn’t have the heart to wake her up, to tell her she makes the cutest little sounds in her sleep and he’d really like to hear them all if she’s willing so he settles in, the warmth of her body against his making him drowsy as the fourth episode starts.
Betty wakes up slowly, then all at once when she realizes she’s been drooling on Jughead’s shoulder for god knows how long. Wincing when she tries to slowly stretch her legs, she starts to stand so she can go to bed, he’s blinking sleepily at her, looking adorably confused.
“I think we both fell asleep,” she says quietly.
Stretching both of his arms out to the side, he rolls his neck, the crack of it sounding painful to her ears.
“Yeah.” Standing, he turns off the TV. “Lost track of time.”
Nodding, she gives him a tired smile. “Goodnight Jughead.”
He looks like he might say something but stops himself, a low huff escaping instead. “‘Night, Betty.”
Back in her bedroom after brushing her teeth and hair, she’s changed into her pajamas and fallen into bed when she thinks about the very inappropriate dream she’d had of Jughead while passed out on his shoulder.
She really hopes she doesn’t talk in her sleep.
Oh well, she thinks, reaching for her lamp to turn it off when she glances at her nightstand drawer.
Didn’t you learn anything from earlier?
Apparently not since she listens for any noise to indicate that he might still be awake before reaching into the drawer, pulling out her quietest vibrator. She can keep quiet, she convinces herself, slipping her hand under her blankets and past the elastic of her shorts.
Is that? Jughead’s entire brain wakes up and calls itself to attention. She’s not?
She really is.
Running his hands through his hair, he assumes this is his karma for not opening his mouth and telling her how much he likes her and is willing to help her out in the exact scenario he’s listening to.
The soft sounds of her barely there moans is like lightning through him. He’s trying to keep his breathing even while pretending he’s not straining to hear every sound she’s making. Laying back down, he counts to ten, telling himself to stay still. A particularly lovely gasp floating through the wall has him rolling over, almost biting the pillow in his effort to keep his own hands above the waist.
She’s so close, her knees are shaking and she’s biting on the palm of her free hand to muffle her moans when the loud knocking on her door shocks her right out of the moment.
“Just a minute!” she calls weakly, pulling her hand of her pants and tossing the toy in her drawer before pushing it closed. “I’m coming, hang on.”
The damn apartment better be on fire, she thinks, trying to untangle her legs from her sheets.
Stumbling to the door, she feels like a livewire, all of her nerves are on blast from her aborted mission. Getting ready to swing the door open, the knocking happens again, louder this time.
She's beyond frustrated when she swings the door open. “I said I was coming!”
“Yeah, I heard.” Jughead is leaning on her door frame, wearing nothing but his boxer briefs, eyes wild in the dim light of the hallway. “Want some help with that?”
Oh my, oh my. It’s almost as if...something is about to happen.
Yes, I know. I’m only funny to myself. I accept this.
We all know where this is going so no one yell at me. Unless you feel like it. I will accept it only on those terms. And even though my headphones won’t connect to my laptop and even though I forgot to eat lunch and even though I can’t find my favorite Tieks, today is a good day.
Because today is the day I found out my little doggo does NOT have the pancreatic tumor they thought he had and the stress of the last few weeks is where? I don’t know where. I don’t know her. Pfft, stress who? Not today, Satan. And a bunch of sexist men are gonna die mad about Lili’s movie? Oh no, so tragic. Honestly we’re winning this week is what I’m saying.
Oh, and you guys. Because you rock. Like, my whole socks. All of them. And you get the besos and you get the besos and you get the besos, you all get the besos!
As always, you can tumble with me if you want.
Welcome to the last chapter!
Again, please excuse my mistakes, I’m still posting rogue and I promise to fix it once it’s been edited but it’s either post now or wait and the state of my tumblr inbox convinced me that’s a bad idea.
Read on, lovelies!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Step Five: Happily Ever After
Leaning on the door frame, Jughead waits for Betty to open her door, trying to even out his breathing and thinking about the first time he ever laid eyes on her.
“Hey! Jones!” he heard Veronica yell and he rolled his eyes at JB, ready to be yelled at for something ridiculous as though she was paying him and he wasn’t volunteering to help.
“What now, Lodge?” he asked wearily, turning around and coming up short as he laid his eyes on the blonde next to her.
She was fidgeting, running her hands over her hair, giving him a shy smile when Veronica snapped her fingers in front of his face to get his attention.
“Jughead Jones, this is Betty Cooper. She’ll be taking the pictures today.” Veronica looked at him pointedly, her “don’t you dare say something rude face” loud and clear.
He felt like the breath had been knocked out of him when he met Betty’s eyes. When he had taken too long to respond politely, Betty’s eyebrows shot up and she glanced at Veronica, biting her lip before looking back at him.
“Hi,” she said softly, holding her hand out to him. “It’s nice to meet you, Jughead.”
Still staring dumbly at her pretty face, his eyes moving between her outstretched hand and face, he felt Jellybean kick the back of his foot, pushing him out of his stupidity.
“Hey,” he replied, taking her hand in his, immediately praying to gods he doesn’t believe in that he doesn’t blurt out how soft her skin is. That’s something only said by lovers and serial killers. “Nice to meet you, too.”
“Good!” Veronica exclaimed, clapping her hands once, smiling brightly. “Now that we all know each other, Jughead, would you be a doll and help my new friend Betty with the backdrops?”
He swallowed and nodded. “Sure.”
Veronica pointed to a box, the corner of her mouth twisting up. “You might want to, oh I don’t know, actually help her then.”
Giving her a tight smile, he cracked his neck before he spun around to grab the backdrops, ready to follow Betty wherever she needed to go.
“You ready?” Betty asked.
“Yeah. I’ll follow you.”
Betty started walking, turning her head to him every few seconds. “So, do you work for Veronica?”
“God, no. My little sister does and I get roped into helping on my days off.”
Her wide smile caught him off guard and made him almost stumble over his own feet.
“So what do you do, Jughead?”
“I’m a police officer. You’re a photographer, Veronica said?”
With a gesture to a corner of the firestation, Betty shook her head. “Only on the side. I’m a private investigator for my day job.”
Dropping the box, he turned to her, leaning against the wall. “That’s quite a day job.”
“I could say the same to you,” she quipped back, bending over the box to dig through the bundles of fabric. “Shoot, do you know if Veronica brought a steamer to get the wrinkles out of these?”
“I’m sure she did, let me go ask Jellybean.”
“My little sister. I think our family's legacy hinges on ridiculous nicknames,” he answered with a shrug, giving her a quick smile before he headed back to where JB was still digging through the prop boxes.
“Don’t call me that,” JB snapped, settling on her knees to lean over the pile she’d made. “Also, you’re good at telling Veronica when she’s being ridiculous, can you please tell her that finding a dalmatian is just not going to happen on the day of this absurd display of oiled up testosterone?”
Rolling back on his heels, he laughed at her irritation. “Gladly. But isn’t this for a fundraiser? You know, money for a good cause? Seems like a worthy endeavor.”
JB sat cross legged, folding her hands in her lap before taking a deep breath and stared up at him. “Did you not, an hour ago, tell me that there’s nothing worse than the smell of fragile masculinity in the morning?”
Jughead snapped his mouth shut.
JB smirked at him. “Or is it the best day ever because of the girl you met less than five minutes ago?”
“What? Of course not-”
“Sure, Jug. Pretend you aren’t tripping over yourself to spend time with the pretty blonde who, by the way, keeps looking over here, possibly staring at your ass, making me nauseous-”
“Jelly!” he cut in, twisting around to look over at Betty, who seemed like she was in the middle of a conversation with a tall redhead. “Wait, who’s that?”
“Uh-oh, looks like someone has some competition.”
“Shut up.” Jughead sighed, running a hand through his hair. “Do you have the steam thing for the fabric?”
JB laughed as she handed it to him. “Go get your girl, Jug.”
He glared at her before he walked back over to Betty, straining to listen in on their conversation.
“Betty, it feels like that summer when I thought I could get a tan by putting all that oil on me,” the redhead said to her, her laughter clearly hitting his ears.
“Archie,” she said through her laughter, “at least you’re not going to get as burned as you were that year.”
The guy, Archie, nodded. “That sucked so bad.”
Catching Archie’s eye, Jughead kept what he hoped was a neutral face. “Here you go, Betty.”
Betty spun around, eyes wide. “Oh, Jughead. You scared me.”
“No, it’s fine. Have you met Archie yet?”
Shaking his head, he reached out to shake hands with Archie. “Nice to meet you, man.”
“You too,” Archie said with an affable smile. “You helping Betty out?”
Jughead gave him a curt nod. “Yeah. You one of the firefighters?”
“I hope so. Otherwise I got oiled up for nothing.”
Betty laughed, pushing on Archie’s shoulder, then wincing when she pulled her hand away. “Gross.”
“Ugh, it really is,” Archie whined, sighing. “How am I supposed to get a date looking like this?”
“A date?” Jughead asked, looking between Archie and Betty.
“With Veronica,” Betty clarified, smiling at him.
“And you’re sure she said she was interested?” Archie questioned.
Betty huffed. “Of course I am. She told me herself.” Scrunching her nose, she pointed at Archie. “No overnights for at least a week, I would like to get to know her better before I know what she sounds like while getting the “Andrews Special.”
“Don’t call it that!”
Jughead laughed despite himself.
“Sorry,” Betty said sheepishly to him, reaching out for the steamer he still had in his hand. “I’m going to get some water for this, okay?”
“Sure thing.” He turned to Archie. “So, Veronica?”
“Yeah, man, she’s great.”
“If you say so,” Jughead muttered, shrugging.
Archie gave him a quizzical look but let it go. “Can you tell Betty I’ll see her later?”
“Thanks,” Archie said, giving him a friendly clap on the shoulder as he walked past him, off to do whatever it was that oiled up firemen do while waiting for their calendar shoot. “We should hang out sometime. I’ll get your number from Veronica.”
Jughead looked at his back in shock, mumbling something that sounded like agreement, thrown off by the easy offer of friendship.
Leaning up against the wall, waiting for Betty to come back and watching the curve of her hips from behind he knew, he just knew, that without a doubt, he was fucked.
And he was. He was absolutely fucked and gone for this girl from the moment he laid eyes on her. Waiting for her to answer her door was going to be the death of him so he knocked again.
The door swings open and he can see the frustration on her face.
Me too, Betty. Me too.
“I said I was coming!” she almost yells at him.
Realizing he’s in nothing but his underwear, he almost apologizes but immediately scraps that idea when he catches sight of her long legs in nothing but tiny cotton shorts.
“Yeah, I heard.” Inhaling deeply to center himself, he leans forward just a little bit closer. “Want some help with that?”
“What?” she asks, almost choking on her words. “Did you-”
“Yeah, I did.” He runs a hand through his hair, sounding frustrated. “You’re driving me crazy, you know that, right?”
“I -uh,” Betty stammers. “No?”
“No?” He sounds incredulous. “No? Really? This whole week -no wait. I am going to say from the moment I met you and up until this very moment you have been a walking vexation-”
“Still only three syllables,” Betty interrupts in a quiet voice, internally cringing at herself.
God, you’re an idiot. Really? He’s almost naked in front of you and you’re bringing up syllables?
“-who seems to not have the slightest idea about the effect you have on me-”
“Yes,” he says, exasperated. “Effect. The change which is a result or consequence of another action or other cause.”
Betty narrows her eyes. “Did you just tell me the definition of effect?”
Jughead winces at the realization. “Yes. Sorry. That came out wrong.” His knuckles turn white as he grips the doorway. “I am an absolute idiot around you, I know.”
“I don’t think you’re an idiot-”
“Really?” Jughead asks, amused. “Then why the elaborate plan?”
Her eyes go wide and her flight or fight response kicks in and if he hadn’t seen her face change and put his hand on the door to keep it open, she’d shut it in his face and then make plans to go live anywhere else but where she was.
Stepping closer to her, he gives her a half smile. “I overheard the strangest conversation today-”
“Okay but I already apologized to Archie and Veronica offered, so really-”
“I don’t mean just that. And we should definitely revisit that part later, but Veronica giving you a list of stuff to do? To get my attention? That plan.”
“Oh,” Betty mutters weakly. “That plan.”
“Yeah, that plan,” he says lowly, moving even further into her personal space. “Don’t you realize, Betty, that you’ve had my attention from the start?”
Inhaling sharply, Betty takes a step back, almost tripping over her own feet. Jughead reaches for her, grabbing her hips to keep her steady.
“I think you heard me,” he whispers, pulling her closer and maneuvering her backwards. “In fact, I’m almost certain you did.”
“Okay,” she mumbles, her hands going up to grip his shoulders as her back came up against a wall. “But if I had your attention you could have said something-”
“True, but you could have too-”
“You say that like it’s easy!”
“I say that,” he murmurs softly into her ear, nipping the lobe gently, “because it is. All you had to do was say the word and I’d gladly get on my knees for you.”
“Sounds like my line-”
He groans into her neck, pushing his hips into hers. “Don’t say that to me.”
“You could have said something too, you know,” she says, curling her toes into the soft rug on her floor. “I don’t see why I have to be the one to-”
“My stupidity is limitless.”
“Are you saying you have a certain amount of imbecility?”
“Unabashedly, my ridiculousness will be forever one of my defining traits.”
“I don’t know, I think you might be pretty good with your mouth, I’m sure you could have thought of the words.”
He presses a kiss against her jaw and she can feel him smile into her skin when she shivers at the sensation.
“Such faith in the abilities of my mouth,” he says, nipping at her collarbone.
The little moan that falls out of her mouth stops his movements for a fraction of a second before he does it again, biting her just a touch harder.
“Is it misplaced?” she asks breathlessly, digging her fingers into his back.
“I don’t know, you tell me.”
Betty starts giggling, her shoulders shaking even as she slaps a hand across her mouth, trying to keep quiet and not ruin the moment.
Pulling back and looking at her, he raises an eyebrow in question.
“I’m sorry,” she gasps out, waving her hand at him in apology. “I thought of the word linguist and then I thought about Veronica-”
“No, listen, I thought about Veronica because she once said that the only way your pretentiousness would be worth listening to is if you were also good at cunnilinguistics and I am desperately trying not to ask you if you are or not,” Betty rushes out in one breath between the laughter that she can’t control.
“Pretentiousness?” Jughead asks, pursing his lips at her. “Really?”
“That’s what you got out of that?” Still giggling, she bites her lip before continuing. “I find it endearing.”
Looking at her skeptically, he leans back, staring at her. “I can see that.”
He looks so put out, so pouty, she can’t help herself as she rolls up on her toes, cupping his cheeks with her hands and kissing him, smiling when she hears his breath catch. Her own breath is almost knocked out of her when he pushes her back into the wall, one of his hands going behind her head to cushion it as the other winds around her waist.
Jughead groans into her mouth when she slides her tongue against his, her arms go around his neck, wrapping tightly until she’s almost pulling him down. Gasping when he breaks the kiss to pick her up, her legs going around his hips, she starts laughing again, smiling widely at him.
“Bed?” he asks before moving in any direction.
“Yeah,” she says, not looking away from his face while he tries to get them to the bed in one piece in the dark of her room.
He lifts a knee up to crawl onto her bed as he steadies himself with one hand, laying her down and settling between her legs, kissing her again before moving to her neck, to place soft sucking kisses there. Pulling his head back, he’s staring at her and she can see the amusement written all over his face.
Burying his head into her neck, he starts laughing, running a hand over her hair while he tries to compose himself.
“Betty,” he says, trying to sound serious, “I think your drawer is vibrating.”
Going silent, Betty can hear it. The low buzz of the toy she thought she turned off but definitely did not apparently. Her face flushes, she knows, because she can feel it as it moves across her cheeks and she’s looking up at her ceiling, wondering what else can possibly embarrass her before the twenty-fours since the previous morning are up.
“Uhm.” Closing her eyes tightly, she lays an arm across her face in her humiliation. “That’s uh, I was-”
“What were you thinking about?” he asks, pushing her arm off of her face.
“Nothing,” she replies, ignoring his smug smile.
Resting on his elbows, he’s looking down at her and she almost wants to push him to the floor for his assumptions, even if they were true.
“Mmhmm,” she hums out, blindly reaching for the knob on her drawer to pull it open, stretching to find the power button on her vibrator. Almost sighing in relief when finally turns it off she stares up at him. “Not a thing.”
“I think,” he murmurs, moving down to kiss her again, “that you’re a liar.”
“A liar? That’s pretty presumptive, don’t you think?”
“Not after what I heard about you doing earlier, no, I don’t think so.”
She turns her head when he moves in to kiss her once more and he starts laughing softly against the skin of her cheek.
“Would it help if I told you how often I thought of you in the shower?”
Turning her head to peek up at him, she bites back a smile. “Possibly.”
“It was ridiculous, you know. Sharing your space with your stuff, everything smelling like you as I had to lean against the wall just to stay upright sometimes.”
“Is that right?”
“Would I lie to you?” he asks, moving to press his lips against hers before she can move her face away and pushing his hips against her. “Does this feel like I’m lying?”
“No,” she says, wrapping her legs around his waist, locking him in place. “Not at all.”
Jughead reaches for the hem of her shirt, yanking on it gently while meeting Betty’s eyes, the glow from the hallway lighting up her face
When she nods at him, he moves to sit back on his knees, pushing it up under her back until he can pull it over her head, throwing it behind himself. Taking her hands in his, he intertwines their fingers as he looks down at her.
“You too,” she says with a smile, squeezing his hands with her fingers when he rolls his eyes at her.
“I’ve heard I’m a seven on my best day-”
“A nine on your worst,” Betty interrupts,
Contemplating it, Jughead shrugs. “I’ll take it.”
She pulls him then, making him lose his balance and almost fall directly onto her. Letting go of his hands, she pushes them into his hair, gripping it tightly while she kisses him, deepening it before he’s caught his breath. He can feel her breasts against his chest and he lets his weight fall more onto her, resting on his forearms so he can move down to her neck, the soft skin tempting him as he flicks his tongue along it, enjoying the shivers and moans he’s coaxing from her.
Kissing along her chest, he moves down across her breasts, sucking a nipple into his mouth, her nails almost digging into his scalp, when he lets go to move to the other one, her whimpers spurring him on. Trailing the tip of his tongue down the center of her stomach, he caresses her sides with his fingers, enjoying the feel of her squirming below him.
Taking the elastic of her little shorts between his teeth and letting it snap softly back against her skin, he rests his forehead on her hip, smiling at her reaction.
“Just take them off already,” she’s begging, heels digging into his thighs.
“What?” He plucks the fabric with his fingers. “These? Are you sure?”
“Don’t make me downgrade you to an eight,” she threatens.
“Well we can’t have that, can we?”
“No,” she says petulantly, wiggling her hips as he moves back, slipping his hands under the edge of the waistband, pulling the shorts down slowly, holding in a groan when he realizes she's not wearing anything else under them.
She’s kicking them off so aggressively once they’re past her knees he almost takes a foot to the face and he catches her legs once they’re safely on the floor next to her shirt, gripping her thighs in his hands, staring down at her.
“Look at you-” he starts, but she quickly cuts him off.
“Do more than look, Jug, or I swear I’m going to burst.”
“We can’t have that,” he tells her, moving down until he can put her thighs over his shoulders. “Not yet, anyway.”
Betty groans. “That was such a bad line-”
He stifles a laugh against her leg but doesn’t answer her.
That’s as far as she gets before the first pass of his tongue on her clit sends her head to the side, back arched. Reaching blindly for him, she tangles her fingers into his hair holding on while trying not to clamp her legs across his ears, knocking him out before they can even get to the main event.
She’s rubbing her feet up and down his back, not sure how to keep from fidgeting when he slips a finger into her, making her moan loudly and wrap her left leg over his shoulders, her right leg going straight so she can dig her toes into the sheets to keep centered. She thinks she’s mumbling words, his name, praises to God, telling him more, more, more, and right there, and how good it is, how good he is to her, but she loses track when he slides a second finger into her the moment he sucks on her clit, making her reach behind her to hold onto the headboard as the light bursts behind her eyes.
The heat that feels like it exploded in her abdomen and shot up her spine has her closing her legs around his head, twisting to the side, even when he’s not letting her go, an arm heavy across her hips to hold her down while he works her through her orgasm.
“World’s best cunnilinguist,” she moans out breathlessly, trying to move him up her body with her legs, ready for him to fuck her into the mattress.
Jughead laughs, crawling up and over her, kissing her. “I want that on a mug.”
She’s pushing his boxers down with her toes, almost roughly, to get them off as fast as possible when he sits up and grabs her ankles.
“In a hurry?”
“Yes,” she answers, reaching back into the top drawer of her nightstand, ignoring the smirk he’s sending her. Finding a condom, she shows it to him triumphantly. “I assume you know how these work.”
He lifts up her leg, kissing the instep of her foot before running his hands up her legs, reaching to take the little packet from her. “I think we all got the show and tell at some point, right?”
“I hope so.”
Moving to push his boxers off the rest of the way, he keeps his eyes on her while he rips the foil with his teeth, never losing eye contact as he rolls it down over himself before reaching his hand out to her.
“Come here,” he says, helping her off the bed to stand in front of him.
He kisses her chest, her stomach, holding her still between his legs while he explores more of her skin. When he scoots back to sit against her headboard, he helps her keep her balance as she settles onto his lap, the feel of him hot and hard between her legs making her hips unconsciously shift back and forth. With her arms wrapped around his neck he reaches between them so she can slide down easily, the feel of him stretching her making her whimper into his neck.
Pressing kisses below his jaw, she starts moving, his hands flat on her back, holding her tightly to him, only the sounds of their heavy breathing interrupting the quiet of the night. He’s thrusting up to meet her halfway on each down stroke and each pass is hitting her perfectly, making her moan into his skin.
She sits back when she’s close, holding onto his shoulders to keep her steady while she speeds up, the sweat of their skin mixing between them each time he pulls her against him to kiss her. Hands on her back, her hips, moving up to her hair to hold her face still so he can suck on her lower lip to muffle his own groans keep her focused on making sure he’s enjoying it as much as she is.
His whispered fuck against her mouth makes her smile and she moves just a little bit faster, sliding her hand down between them, wrapping around his cock and moving up and down with her body. He jerks and moans loudly, staring at her with wide eyes, his fingers flexing so hard she’s not convinced she won’t have ten little bruises to show for her efforts.
“You like that?” she asks in a low tone and he doesn’t answer beyond leaning forward and burying his face into the crook of her shoulder, not biting her so much as just holding on with his teeth, keeping himself centered.
When she comes again, it’s with a whimper against his temple, breathing in the scent of his hair and whispering his name, pace faltering for a second before picking back up, holding onto him through his own release, smiling at his murmured words of affection against her shoulder.
Panting, she leans back to watch his face focus on hers, watching him try to catch his own breath.
“You’re the one who definitely deserves a mug.”
It’s such a ridiculous thing to say, she bursts out laughing before putting her hand over his eyes pushing him back further into the headboard. He brings her with him, laying her against his chest, stroking her hair while she listens to his heart beating, her eyes closed and finally truly happy for the first time in a long time.
Six Months Later
“Veronica!” Betty hisses, throwing the wrapping paper at her. “That was a secret!”
“It’s a housewarming gift!” Veronica defends, sitting back into her chair and crossing her legs. “For you both.”
Betty’s horrified as she looks over at Jughead, who’s already opened his own gift, holding it out to Betty for an explanation.
“I-” she starts but trails off, letting her head fall into her hands for a moment before looking up and mouthing I'm so sorry, I love you at Jughead.
Archie comes back into the living room from moving the final boxes of Betty’s stuff into Jughead’s apartment, giving them a confused look, taking in what Jughead is holding.
“What’s a cunnilinguist and why is Jughead the world’s best at it?”
“It’s a joke, Archiekins,” Veronica explains, holding out Betty’s gift for him to read. “See?”
Betty snatched it back before Archie could read it, giving it to Jughead to hide. His eyes widen when he sees it, choking on a laugh before setting them both on the floor under the coffee table. Looking down at it, she can still the writing across the ceramic mug Veronica had given her.
I got dicked by my roommate and all I got was this lousy mug was staring back at her and she sighs, toeing it further away from her before giving Archie a bright smile.
“Need anymore help?” she asks, standing up and brushing imaginary dust off her lap.
“There’s just a couple more boxes but Jug and I can get them no problem.”
Jughead stands, giving her a kiss on the cheek and whispering a quick I love you before glaring at Veronica and following Archie out of the room. About to offer Veronica something to drink that doesn’t require a mug, she’s cut off by the sound of Archie’s voice.
“You should really let Betty organize your closet, man, now that she’s gonna be living here.”
“Oh yeah?” she hears Jughead say, sounding a bit confused.
“Yeah, then you won’t need to keep your suspenders tied to your bed.”
Betty closes her eyes and falls back onto the couch, the buzzing in her ears drowned out by the sound of Veronica’s laughter and when she hears Jughead laughing, she loses it, giggling along with Veronica until her stomach hurts and she knows, she just knows, she’s going to live happily ever after.
Can you believe we’re done!? Me either. But here we are. And I like to think Jughead and Betty are going to end up married and living their happily ever after, making us all proud of them.
Betty survived her embarrassing moments and still got the guy so you know what the lesson here is, friends? Never give up! Or something else inspiring. I don’t know, I’m not a motivational speaker. I would be terrible at that, tbh. It would be a lot of me side eyeing people’s bullshit excuses while also tuning out because I was hungry and got distracted by the idea of those sour patch watermelon things.
Man, now I want those. Damn.
But, you guys, we did it! It’s finished. I don’t know what’s next in my bughead fic brain but I’m sure it’ll be something. I definitely owe finishing this fic to all of you who commented and went on the ride along with me. I think it’s been fun, personally. And besos! Besos to you guys. I know I always say it but I always mean it, so you know, jot that down.
You guys rock is what I’m saying.
As always, you can tumble with me if you want.