"I like girls."
Those words buzz and drone through Betty's skull, building a hive, nesting in the recesses of her mind.
Veronica looks so unlike herself, lacking her star-quality, effortless confidence. Her features tensing, colored blueberry-glo from the lighting. A charcoal, strapless dress hugs every inch of Veronica, from her knee to the tops of her modestly covered breasts. Veronica's nails clipped and worn down from a previous manicure.
Reggie's pool party roars faintly in the background — completely outside their own little world.
"Me too," hovers on Betty's little, pink lips, ready to tumble free.
A whole week passes.
Veronica never brings up the drunk, breathless confession again. She acts as enthusiastic and lively as ever, gravitating towards Betty for partnered school projects and walking to Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe hip-to-hip.
If she expects Betty to forget and move on, she can't.
Veronica trusted her with something so important and personal, and Betty feels like she dropped the ball by gawking at Veronica and stammering out any reply. Betty doesn't even remember what she told Veronica.
The hallway seems quiet, deserted. Veronica's cheerleading uniform standing out in brightness and freshly ironed. Betty glances over her own shoulder, shutting her locker noisily.
"Yes?" she asks.
"Um…" Veronica's dark, lovely eyes lower towards the ground, darting around. Betty's never seen her meek before. The exception being when she apologized for getting into Cheryl's gigantic closet with Archie. "I have a question to ask you, and… if it's something not worth trying, then I'll appreciate you being honest with me."
Betty nods, smiling cheerfully. "Of course."
"Right, okay…" Veronica says, now meeting the other girl's eyes. She stiffens her shoulders, inhaling deeply. "I've never… done this before? I'm used to other people asking me…"
"Done what? What's the question?"
Veronica's lipstick-gleaming mouth thins together.
"Do you wanna go out… somewhere this weekend?" At the slight pause, Veronica covers up her growing mortification and nervousness with a outward, pleasant grin and that enthusiasm. "The weather's supposed to be fantastic on Saturday. I was thinking a picnic and I'll bring some of the cupcakes from New York…?"
"Go out like…?"
At the undeniably confused look, Veronica stops grinning.
"Like… a date, Betty," she explains with a dullness in her voice. "I'm asking you out on a date."
Betty tries to make herself but all she can do is stare helplessly, those blue eyes lingering over Veronica's slim, tan fingers fiddling with her purse-strap.
"Yes?" The answer is impulsive and more like a squeak. Betty's heart races underneath her floral-print blouse when she tries again, calmly and nodding again, "Yes. Yeah. We can do that?"
"You're serious?" This time, Veronica appears confused, eyebrows raising. "Really serious?"
Betty doesn't know what else to do, or say. Veronica's face lights up, nearly matching the warmth traveling inside Betty's chest to a hundred birthday candles. "Great! That's great," Veronica tells her, her dimples peeking out. "We'll discuss time, but I'll have my chauffeur pick you up. See you practice right—?"
She seems so happy.
Betty gazes after her, eyes dreamy as Veronica practically bounces down the hallway, waving goodbye.
She's happy too.
And completely panicking!
The alert keeps flashing on her pastel pink mobile. Betty untangles her legs and sits up on her quilted blankets, staring down at the text with wide eyes, making a high-pitched noise.
2pm tomorrow so wear something cute for outdoor picnic xoxo
October 12 5:51 PM
What did she do?
Betty climbs onto her feet, heat rising and flushing to her temples.
"Okay, okay, okay," she repeats to herself, her hands going upright and flailing. Betty's cheeks puff up when air blows loudly between her pale pink lips. "Keep it together, Betty Cooper. You can do this. You've gone on a date before. It's just a date with Veronica, who is way too cool for me—oh my god, how did this happen?"
She slams her palms against her face, grinding down before hearing her mobile vibrate again. Betty grabs onto it on her bed, quickly sliding her bright yellow rose lock-screen away.
r u okay betty?
October 12 6:12 PM
From her opened window, he peers out his bedroom, raising a hand in baffled acknowledgment.
Betty squeals, her panic heightening. She races over to her little, ivory-painted window and forgets to close the shutter, pulling the lace-embroidered curtains together without looking at her best friend.
Oh god no—what does she tell Archie?
Betty's teeth dig into her lower lip.
He's never been a homophobic person. Not ever. Archie was one of the first people in Riverdale High to advocate for a Gay/Straight Alliance, and has verbally stood up for Kevin more than once.
But would he be upset that Betty never told him about liking girls…? Or that she's liked boys and girls fairly equally since they were in middle school? It's a long-kept secret.
They tell each other… everything.
She crosses her arms, biting down harder, trembling.
Betty has closed her window on him before, but it's usually when she's mad. Archie glances down at his mobile opened to his text, and then he eyes Betty's little, paneled window, frowning.
So… what exactly did he say wrong?
Archie blinks, rereading his text and sighs, rubbing the back of his neck.
He's about to apologize for spying into her bedroom, when another text message pops up.
October 12 6:14 PM
Archie's mouth tilts up.
October 12 6:15 PM
He can already imagine Jughead rolling his eyes or grumbling over his cup of coffee at Pop's.
Another vibrating buzz.
October 12 6:15 PM
Archie bends forward to kickstart his laptop, thrusting one arm out of his v-neck and calling the other boy through the server. He half-expects Jughead to ignore him before his face appears on Archie's laptop.
"Don't be like that, Juggy," Archie tells him, smiling big.
Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe doesn't look as crowded and neon-lit as it would be on Friday, through their internet connection. Jughead's expression comes off as only slightly irritated. "Yeah, well, you—" Piercing blue eyes narrow. Jughead suddenly leans in, awed, "—got bit by a radioactive spider when?"
Archie hesitates from stripping off the navy fabric, both arms free of his v-neck shirt.
"Dude, the abs."
It takes another moment to process before Archie lets out an embarrassed grunt, smiling weaker.
"Uh… it kinda happens when you're doing manual labor for the summer?" He realizes Jughead's eyes are still roaming over him, as if uncertain of what he's seeing. A hot flush longs to burst over Archie's skin.
"It's muscles, not a second talking head—could you let up on the staring?"
That seems to do it, and Jughead backs up from the screen. "Don't flatter yourself. I'm not staring," he replies monotonously. Jughead's dark eyebrows furrow. "Your body's not that impressive."
Archie laughs. "Gee, thanks."
"Don't mention it."
"Is this about backhanded insults or did you actually need to tell me something?"
Jughead lowers his coffee cup from his lips, offering a shrug.
"Can't I do both at the same time?" he quips, and echoes Archie's warm laugh when the other boy sends him a 'will you knock it off' look. "Alright, alright. Listen, I got the drum-set off my cousin… we're golden, pal."
"Yes!" The thrill pulses inside Archie, achingly familiar. This is all he what he wants. His own band—and with Jughead agreeing to join him, he's this close now to succeeding. "This is perfect. I needed to the good news."
"Why? What's up?"
When Jughead asks this, barely masking his pointed interest, Archie cringes and threads his fingers into his hair. "Betty's… she's acting weird," he murmurs. "I'm not sure if it's something I did or not…"
"Probably not. You two are getting along better than ever." Jughead smiles, adding, "Ask her about it later?"
Archie sometimes hates Jughead's smile—when it's just them alone, and it's effortless, easy. There's no lines of curtness or doubt anywhere on his features. Jughead looks like he's having the time of his life, and Archie's body feels hot all-over and two sizes shrunken. Like the wrong mouthful of air could tear him open.
Riverdale isn't mine! YES I DECIDED TO POST THIS IN CHAPTERS INSTEAD because we seriously need some good stuff and I'm frustrated... there will be equal parts of Beronica and Jarchie in this with lots of focus on them! Please leave some thoughts and I'll see you at the next chapter!