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Unexpected Friendship

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Betty remembers catching a glimpse of the name Hiram Lodge in her father's morning paper. But she never thought twice about it; all she wanted to know at the time was why Gen Xers are all still so in love with outdated printed news.

Better stares in disbelief as Archie's attention visibly flees her. So much for a best friend, she thinks as she follows his gaze, and her lips sink into an even deeper frown as her vision centers upon the raven-haired girl who has just walked into Pop Tate's for the first time.

She can see right away that the girl is new. If her clothes are any indication, she's definitely rich--and a rung or two above the Blossoms, at that. And her style is impeccable: makeup perfect, hair luscious, eyebrows on point. She oozes easy confidence, sauntering through the Chock'lit Shop like she thinks she's at the Plaza or the Ritz, and somehow Betty can't imagine this sophisticated stranger eating at a burger joint. And yet here she is anyway, stealing Archie's attention completely.

Great. Just great.

The tour goes... better than expected, actually. Veronica shows exactly the irreverence for the town that Betty expected to hear, but it doesn't go so far as the utter disdain that she had feared.

There might be more to this girl than meets the eye, Betty thinks. Maybe she's not just another Cheryl after all.

Of course she says Veronica can join them at the lunch table. Nobody wants to be the new kid, awkwardly trying to find a place before ultimately eating all alone.

(And so what if she scoots over for Cheryl just a few minutes later? She's just... polite, that's all.)

Veronica's lips are on hers, and Betty has no idea what's going on. If she had the wherewithal to think, she'd wonder just how this was supposed to get them on the squad. But she can't think with her mouth occupied the way it is, and the closest thing she's got to thoughts right now are kiss, new girl, wait, what?

And then it's over, and it didn't work, and through all the disappointment and confusion, Betty knows that this is just something she'll have to puzzle out later.

(Besides, it's not like she doesn't agree with Cheryl--though she'll never admit it. There wasn't much point to what Veronica tried. Tara and Willow, they certainly aren't.)

When Veronica's tirade is over, Betty's honestly slightly shaken. She can't believe her ears when Cheryl actually changes her mind, and any thought of dealing with what Veronica did a few minutes ago disappears beneath the swell of holy crap, I made the squad?

So, yeah, she'll just have to figure this whole Veronica thing out later. Right now, victory.

It's not a date, Betty tells herself as she looks in the mirror to quadruple-check her hair. That's not how it works. Dates are a two-person deal, so the three of them together means everything's okay. (Right?) No unexpected lesbian kisses, no telling Archie how she feels, no worrying that Veronica will steal him away before she has her chance.

They're just friends. Unexpected friends with actually very little in common and an apparent lack of established boundaries, but friends nevertheless.

And so what, Betty thinks to herself as she turns from the mirror for the last time, if there's a part of her that wishes maybe dates could be a three-person deal after all.