One more, because, why not, really? You deserve it. Thank you for your reviews, suggestions, likes / dislikes, etc. I really appreciate it!
Disclaimer: Archie Comics does not belong to me
"Mrs. Jones?" Betty called, flinging the front door in towards the hallway. Jughead had been too frazzled to fit the key into the lock, and he hated himself for it. After two minutes of fumbling and mumbled apologies, Betty had simply nudged his hands away from the doorknob, inserted his key, and twisted it open easily.
"Mom?" Jughead echoed. His mother appeared from the direction of the living room, wiping her hands on a dishrag and adjusting the pink-trimmed apron tied around her waist.
"Hello, son!" she answered cheerily. "You're home awfully late." She turned to Betty, a matronly smile instantly spreading itself across her face. "Hello, Betty, dear, I'm afraid we've had dinner already, but the refrigerator is absolutely filled with leftovers. Do help yourself, won't you?" She whipped back around to face her son, brandishing her index finger in front of his nose. "And you, you big brute, don't you dare take even a bite until she's finished!" Jughead expelled an angry mouthful of air up towards his hairline, sending chunks of his wet hair flying away from his face. Betty laughed warmly, shuffling her feet on the entryway carpet.
"Thank you, Mrs. Jones!" she called from the foyer. Jughead's mother frowned.
"What are you doing over there, Betty? Come here!" she demanded, speeding towards the girl as Betty's expression changed to one of immediate concern.
"Mom, don't-" Jughead began.
"No, Mrs. Jones, I can't-"
She had enveloped Betty in a massive hug before either of them could stop her. She drew back almost instantly, her expression one of horror and revulsion as the splotchy wetness clung to her shirt. Betty grimaced sheepishly.
"Soaked!" Mrs. Jones cried out. "Upstairs, both of you!" Betty removed her muddy shoes and socks on the carpet and sped off up the stairs, Jughead immediately behind her. His mother stood at the base of the hallway, fists planted firmly on her hips. "Linen closet is at the end of the hall next to Jughead's room—son, you show her where it is—and Betty Cooper, you are absolutely not leaving this house until you are perfectly clean! Do you hear me?"
"Mom!" Jughead groaned angrily. Betty grinned.
"Yes, Mrs. Jones!" she called.
"But please do stay the night, dear, we love having you over. In the morning, I'll make your favorite?" she added, raising her arms toward her face to cup her mouth in a goading manner.
"Strawberry pancakes?" the teenagers called in unison.
"And everything else as well! I'll call your mother now, Betty, dear." Jughead sighed as his mother swept off into the kitchen. Betty beamed at him, running her hands over the fluffy, pastel-colored towels in the closet before them.
"So," she began. Jughead watched her from the corner of his eye. "Do you use these pink ones, or these lilac ones?" He whipped around to face her, his mouth open in indignation. Betty held a frilly towel in each hand, her shoulders moving steadily upwards as she giggled madly to herself.
"I'll have you know, Miss Betty Cooper," he retaliated, adopting a furious voice, "that I use only the manliest colored towels, and that I keep these towels in the top shelf of my own personal closet so as not to allow any prissy lady types—such as yourself—any opportunities to spoil them with their frilly girly ladiness." Betty frowned angrily.
"I am not a frilly girly lady."
"Yes you are," Jughead answered, pressing his tongue out between his lips. Betty wrinkled her face up at him and bared her teeth menacingly. "Oh I am so afraid of you," Jughead remarked in a monotone.
"You should be," Betty muttered, extracting a fluffy pink towel from the carefully folded stack in front of her. She closed the closet door and turned to face him, and Jughead fluttered his eyelashes at her. "I get the first shower," she stated simply.
Jughead pounded on the door, raising his voice to an unbelievable volume in an attempt to drown out the deliberately loud and tuneless "la la la" emanating from the bathroom. "That's not fair," he called. "You aren't even supposed to use my bathroom, it's full of manly stuff and you are going to come out smelling like a man and I'm going to be grossed out and so is everyone else in my house and all of your friends, forever." Betty's purposely defiant singing rose out above his protests, and he grinned as he leaned his forehead against the coolness of the bathroom door. He tried again, becoming even louder this time. "Betty Cooper, you get out of there before I nail this door shut and you have to eat all of the soap and toilet paper just so you don't starve."
"Your door opens from the inside," Betty called out. Jughead's smile widened. "I mean, la la la la!"
"Betty, you're using up all the hot water!" Jughead attempted. "You've been in that shower for almost three minutes now, and pretty soon the entire neighborhood is going to be calling and telling me that I've- -"
Jughead was cut off by his entire body's propulsion face first into a cloud of steam as his bathroom door arced forcefully inward. "Finished!" Betty said brightly. He blinked the steam out of his eyes and sucked in a massive amount of hot air as she elbowed past him and into the main area of his bedroom. She tutted. "It really is a mess in here, Forsythe." After she was satisfied with her survey of the tsunami aftermath of Jughead's room, she turned back towards him and smiled, holding her frilly pink towel closed at the front of her chest. It reached just past her mid thigh, and the wave of her soft, wet blonde hair ended just where her towel began.
Now, Jughead had seen Betty in a lot less, and he knew that. Jughead had spent summers at Veronica Lodge's pool and in the Riverdale lake facing a Betty clad in nothing but two tiny strips of fabric, and Jughead had even rubbed sunscreen on his friend's deliciously smooth and naked back every single weekend for many of those summers. But a towel was something different. A towel was something fundamentally different, and he couldn't explain it. He watched as she stepped in bare feet to his closet, and he watched the delicate ripple of the just visible muscles of her legs and torso as she reached up to the topmost shelf. He stood transfixed until he felt the roughness of hard fabric slap against his face.
"Your turn," she instructed. Jughead realized that he was still standing with his knees bent to ninety degrees, hunched over with arms spread from where he had caught himself upon falling into the bathroom. He stood up in record speed in an attempt to compensate, covering his actions with a little cough and the horrible telltale burning of his face.
"Right, yeah, well—" he sputtered, coughing repeatedly as he attempted to control the words spitting themselves out of his mouth. He couldn't stop. He resolved to have himself committed to an asylum first thing in the morning. "Yes, okay, so—t-shirts. You know—"
"I got it," Betty answered, her hand catching the groove of his topmost dresser drawer.
He retrieved the electric blue towel from where it had fallen at his feet and twisted it in his hands. "Okay, and there's some shorts and things—"
"Juggie, I know your room like I know the back of my hand," Betty interrupted, grinning as she turned to face him, her arms crossing themselves in front of her chest. He found himself wide-eyed, willing her towel to fall, and then he caught himself and scurried into the bathroom like the scared cockroach he was.
Jughead slammed the bathroom door and exhaled shakily, resting his forehead against the coolness of the tile. Steam still hung in the air around his head. He breathed it in deeply and flipped the shower on. Cold. He was going to need all the help he could get.
"That took forever," Betty teased, scrunching her nose at him as soon as he opened the door.
"Will you hand me some clothes, please, Betty?" Jughead pleaded, sticking his outstretched arm from the gap between the wood of the door and the jamb.
"Well, come out and spin for me first!" she commanded. Jughead winced as blood rushed to his face. He had to stop blushing. This was very quickly becoming ridiculous.
"Come out and spin or you get nothing."
"What kind of girl do you think I am?" he called back, pressing his face out to glare at her. She shrugged. Betty sat in the center of his king-sized four canopy bed, a much too large red-rimmed white t-shirt covering her from her shoulders to the middle of her upper thighs. A red, block lettered "J" presented itself proudly across her chest. He blinked rapidly as she slid herself off the mattress and towards his dresser, opening drawers and extracting items of clothing as she saw fit. She held out a pink v-neck shirt and Jughead shouted, "That was an accident from the wash! It was white, I swear!" She grinned and tossed it to him, causing him to sigh in dissent. He pulled it over his head and stuck his head back out from the gap in the door. With a nervous jolt he realized she was rifling through his underwear drawer. He grit his teeth.
"How do you feel about these?" Betty giggled, holding up a pair of purple boxer briefs with her two thumbs hooked into the waistband.
"They're too tight!" he protested desperately. "Come on, Bets, something else? Please?"
"Well, we do want to give your butt some breathing room," she murmured thoughtfully, scratching her chin with one hand and searching through the drawer with the other. Jughead laughed in spite of himself. Betty was rummaging through his underwear. "Stop laughing, Forsythe," she bit. "Aha!" Jughead gasped in horror as Betty pulled out a pair of red and white striped french fry carton boxers. He whirled around and stared at the pile of muddy clothes on the floor behind him, the dirty french fry underwear staring back at him from underneath his black skinny jeans. He nervously kicked the boxers underneath the sink. So he had bought two pairs of the same horribly embarrassing underwear. He hadn't known that he could be such an idiot. "These are just beautiful," Betty giggled, tossing the underwear at his face. Jughead whined and stamped his feet on the tile, but she shut his drawers and climbed back onto his bed, grinning at him the entire time. He conceded, sighing as he eased the door shut and slipped the identical pair of boxers up to his hips. He laughed again. He couldn't help it. It was all too ridiculous.