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Five Tragedies (And One Thankful Aversion)

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Fred glances at his son as they drive back to their house in silence. The illusion they've been living in for the past few months has just shattered all around them, and he doesn't know what to do what about it.

How is a man supposed to convince his fifteen-year-old son that his "girlfriend"--the teacher he's been sleeping with--is a sex offender? How does one convince him that it's not okay just because he supposedly pursued her?

How does someone teach a young man that he's been a victim, when he doesn't understand that there was a crime?


It's actually closing.

They're seriously tearing down the Twilight Drive-In, and with it, Jughead's world is falling apart. Not that "falling apart" is a new experience for him; Jughead's world has been falling apart for a while now. His parents, Jelly Bean, Hot Dog, his home... He doesn't have any of it left at this point, and the only thing he's even starting to regain is his friendship with Archie and Betty.

He doesn't know what he's going to do now that he's a roof short of shelter once again. But he's sure he'll figure it out.

He always does.


Cheryl's stomach does a somersault when she hears that Jason's body has been found. It's not possible; Jason isn't dead. He can't be.

But they did find his corpse, and her brother is dead, and Cheryl doesn't know how she's going to survive.

If only she'd refused to go along with Jason's stupid scheme, if only she'd stood her ground and told him that she wouldn't let him leave her behind... maybe he'd still be alive if she had. Or maybe they'd both be dead.

At this point, Cheryl's starting to think that either option would be better than this.


Betty has known that something was wrong in her family for a while now, but she's still surprised when her mom comes into her room with that look on her face.

"We need to talk," Alice Cooper says, and her voice is as tense as her posture when she sits down beside Betty on the bed.

"Uh, okay. What's wrong, Mom?"

Her mother is silent for a long moment, pretending to struggle for words while she milks her moment of superiority. "It's your sister."

Oh, God. "Is she alright?"

"No. She's not."

Betty wishes her mother didn't look so smug.


Veronica's blood turns to ice in her veins. "Jail?" she repeats. "Daddy's in jail?"

Her mother nods, her eyes watering. She's clearly been crying already. "I'm afraid so, baby. He was arrested a few hours ago, while you were in school. I'm so sorry."

"But why?" she demands. "What did he do?"

Her mom hesitates, searching for polite words. "He's accused of... financial crimes."

"Financial crimes," Veronica repeats. A moment of disbelief passes, followed by practicality. "Is it true? Is he guilty?"

Her mom just shakes her head. "I don't know."

For the very first time, Veronica doesn't believe her.


It's all out in the open now, and Kevin waits with baited breath for his dad to respond.

A genial smile spreads across his father's face. "Well, it's about time."

Kevin blinks, baffled. "Wait, what?"

"It's about time you told me. I was starting to wonder if I'd done something to make you think you couldn't trust me."

"So... you're okay with it?"

His father laughs. "Of course. I don't care if you're gay."

Kevin doesn't know what to say. This is, honestly, the most anticlimactic outcome possible... but it's such a weight off his shoulders.

Kevin smiles back, relieved.