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A little bit of sunshine

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Season 6 Episode 1

Five month had passed after Polly’s funeral. Five hard month for every person in Riverdale.
It was a rainy evening, something like ten pm and Jughead Jones was standing in a phone cell. The rain was coating the windows. Tears were running down Jug’s cheeks. He was holding on to the phone like it was his life. There was a long list that had got him here, into this phone cell - a very long list and every bullet point was well discussed and thought through. In fact he had spent way to long to come to terms with the result of that list. He had wasted so much time, eventhough he was such a young person still.
He had walked along sweet water river, as he realized this is were it had truly began. Because of Jason’s Blossoms murder on July Fourth on this very place, Betty had asked him to write for the Blue und Gold. Such a huge terrible and sad event had turned strangers, coming from complete opposite life’s, to friends and then to lovers. And it was his fault, like he finally came to terms with that truth, that they yet again became strangers through the last eight years.
It had been three months after the Andrews house basically blew up, but thankfully without neither Betty nor Archie getting extremely hurt. He had visited both of them in the hospital. He had seen Betty right after the accident unsconscious hooked up to some
machines laying in a bed. She had been pale like a sheet of paper. Jug had never been so worried.
However now he was there in that phone cell making that phone call, he felt like he should have done months ago.
“Tabitha?”, Jughead asked, as soon as his girlfriend picked up. He rubbed his forehead with a thump, his breath picking up. A flash of when he had last kissed Betty Cooper crossed his mind.
“Jughead?”, came it from the other side of the line, “What‘s wrong?”
“I- I can’t do this anymore. We can’t move in together”, his voice was trembling, watching the rain drops chasing down the windows.
“Why?”, she asked after a moment of silence. He could hear she was still working at Pop’s. There were guests chatting in the background and plates chattering as they were filled with the delicious food, he enjoyed so much.
“Because”, Jug took a moment to gather himself, “I love her, Tabitha.”
Another silent heartbeat past: “Oh.”
“I think”, he rubbed his eyes tiredly and as a nervous overreaction, “I think I loved her the entire time and I just closed my eyes on the subject like I didn’t want it to be true or something. I don’t-“
“Jug, it’s okay”, Tabitha stated in a calm voice.
“You are not hurt?”, he asked after a moment.
“No I am, but it’s not like I didn’t see it coming, Jug. Everyone told me you and Betty were soulmates and somehow would get back together.”
Jughead brushed a tear from his cheek looking at the rain outside the phone cell. He bit his lip.
“But you need to talk to her”, she advised him.
“She is with Archie-“, he started, feeling a sting of pain in his heart. It would always be Archie, right? Archie had been the entire reason for them to break up all those years ago.
“Doesn’t matter, she deserves to know”, with that Tabitha hangs up excusing herself to work.
Jughead took a deep breath, swallowed hard and stepped out of the phone cell walking to his motorcycle. The rain was immediately coating his clothing making him wet to the bone within seconds. He starts the engine.
The drive to the Coopers house wasn’t long and Jughead had asked himself the entire time, if this was really the right thing. She would probably still never forgive him what he had done to her, not just the voice message but just the entire package. He had probably never ever messed up so bad in his entire life.
He parked, taking the keys and walking up to the red front door. He bit his lips, calculating the situation and future discussion he was about to have with his ex-girlfriend.
It was dark in the house. Alice was probably asleep, he thought, and the twins most likely as well. So he couldn’t ring the door bell. At least he didn’t want to wake anyone. Instead he turned to walk around to Betty’s bedroom window. It did absolutely surprise him that the Coopers still had the classic old ladder next to it.
“There we go, Juliet”, he mumbled to himself taking the first step on the creaking wooden ladder.

///

There was a knock on the glass, that made Betty look up worried and ready to grab a gun. She was therefor relieved when she saw it was ‘only’ Jughead.
“Jug!”, she gasped, jumping up from the bed to hurry opening the window.
“Hey there”, he stated, swinging himself through the tiny window then coming face to face with Betty.
“You are soaking wet”, she stated looking him up and down. She quickly headed to grab him some dry clothes before he could even say another single word.
“Here change into that”, she offered him
a pullover and a pair of jeans, probably either from Hal or Charlie. Both he did find very unsettling.
He excused himself to the bathroom to change, when he came back she was standing in the middle of her room already awaiting him. He placed his old clothes onto her chair to dry and went to shut the window.
“May I ask what brings you to my house at these times?”, she laughs.

Jug shakes his head, trying to collect himself and figuring out where to start the conversation: “I just broke up with Tabitha.”

She raises an eyebrow: “Oh. I am sorry?”

A moment of silent passed. He felt nervous like a seventeen year old.

“I took a walk at sweet water river”, he continued, “And I kind of took a look at my life…. Do you remember the day when we went swimming before Archie got to prison? When we kissed in the water and later on we both were sitting next to the fire place…”

She nods. He noticed she had trouble following the line of the conversation.

“I- I remember how I looked at you”, he ran a hand through his hair nervously drying his hands on his pants right afterwards, “Like you were the entire world to me, which you were. I never loved someone so much like i loved you and still… kind of do.”

She looks worried trying to figure out what he wanted to say, her eyes had turned waterly. She had crossed her arms in front of her chest watching his expression carefully. She swallowed and looked up for a moment then returned to look at him.

“The dumbest mistake I have ever done was to not forgive you kissing Archie. You, Betty, forgave me every possible shit I have ever done while we were together and I couldn’t even forgive you this one singular thing, which happened while our life was totally messed up”

Betty looked away outside the window, trying to calm her nerves.

“I am sorry too”, she whispers, “For doing what I have done”, she locks her eyes to his, “Such a dumb thing.”

He shakes his head, bites his under lip. A moment of silent passes, while he tries to figure out what to say next: “I love you.”

You could have cut the silence with a knife at that point, when Betty looked back at Jughead making eye contact. She swallows heavily. He felt the lump in his throat as well.

“I am sorry, it was dumb-“, he finally said already turning to leave, thinking she didn’t feel the same.
Then Betty grabbed his arm with a soft and gentle hand, stopping him immediately.

He didn’t even know who kissed
who, but they ended up having ‘this moment’. When they parted, he ran his thump over her cheek looking in her teary eyes.

“I love you too, Jug”, she finally states, “I just thought you had never forgiven me.”

He shakes his head and kisses her forehead pulling her in for the most relieving and happy hug he had had in years.

“I forgave you a long time ago. I just thought I already had messed up to badly”, he explains.

She looks at him a small smile forming on her lips: “I missed you, Jughead Jones.”

/////

The next morning was a cold one and it was particularly freezing in Betty’s room.
They both were cuddled up
together, him spooning her. He had wrapped an arm around her, gently holding her close.
It’s been a long time since they used to sleep like that in her childhood room. Honestly he had thought maybe the room might have changed over the years, but it didn’t. There might be a couple of new photographies, but otherwise there was still the light pink wallpaper and the girly rest of the room.
He felt conscious about her being so close to him, gently running a hand over her shoulder.
“Morning”, he said kissing her on the ear.

“Morning Jug”, she mumbled, he could hear the smile on her voice.

She shifted slightly to face him. He leaned in and pressed a soft kiss on her lips: “You know what I just realized?”

Betty shook her head playing with the fingers of his right hand.

“How am I gonna leave without your Mom noticing?”

Betty laughed at that and kissed him again: “I think she will be happy to see you and will interrogate me later on.”

He laughed at that gently running a hand down her arms: “I can’t eat breakfast with you guys tho.”

“Of course you can”, she ran a hand through his black hair, “Trust me, we have enough food here and breakfast isn’t really a planned out meal.”
He raises an eyebrow: “Did you just say breakfast wasn’t a real meal.”
She raises her hands with a smirk: “Nope.”
“Betty!”, they heard Alice calling her from downstairs.
“Guess that’s our call”, Jug smirks getting out of bed and putting some real clothes on.
Alice was equally as surprised by Jughead coming down the stairs of her very own house as Betty had been the night before.
“Jughead??”, she asked a plate with pancakes resting in her hand, on the edge of falling out of it. Betty quickly took it from her placing it one the table and greeting the twins who were already seated.

“Uh yes”, Jughead smiled, “I-“, he didn’t know what to even say.

“Come sit down eat with us”, Alice offered shooting her daughter a look who just smiled it off. Jughead took a seat next to Betty and Juniper.

“So Jug how is work?”, she asked making a little bit of conversation, while Jug watched Betty whispering to Dagwood he should go back up stairs and bring his school stuff down. The young eight year old excused himself and ran up the stairs quickly.

“Pretty good actually”, he answered taking a bite of his pancake, “I am working on a new book currently.”

“Uh how exciting”, Alice offered a bright smile which told Jug she was really trying.
He smiled back, seems like at least something about Alice Cooper had changed over the years.

“He is also teaching a young boy from elementary in writing”, Betty states.

“Oh really?”, Alice asks.

“Yes. They called riverdale high if we had anyone to help him and them handle his talent so they asked me to teach him twice a week. He writes incredible stories for such a young age”, Jughead takes a sip of water. Alice seemed impressed.

“So Mom”, Betty interrupted, “Should I drop Juniper and Dagwood at school or will you?”

“It would be good if you could do that”, Alice said. Betty smiled slightly. Jug knew that smile. It told him something had been off with Alice and Betty that he didn’t knew yet.

They finished eating and Jughead, Betty and the twins stepped out of the house.

“Hey guys, you can get in the car. Just a minute”, Betty told Polly’s children who quickly opened the doors of the blue van and jumped in.

Betty returned her attention to Jughead: “Look I have to talk to Archie today.”

He nodded totally understanding and gently lifted her chin up with a finger: “It’s okay.”

“Will I see you tonight?”, she asked with the smirk on her lips, he grew to love so much.

“If you want to”, he whispered gently kissing her goodbye with a short peck on the lips.

Betty smiled at him as they parted: “Good.”
He watched her get into the car and start the engine as he walked to where he had parked the motorcycle just the day before.

////

“You seem happy, Mister Jones”, little Tommy stated when Jughead walked into the classroom he was using to
help the young story teller with his work. He put his bag down, resting his arms on top of it looking at his student through his glasses: “That’s because I am.”

Tommy smiled happily playing with the pencil at hand.

“So…”, Jug crossed the arms in front of his chest, “What story would you like to tell today?”

“A story about a kangaroo”, he yelled excitedly.

“Okay, and what’s happening-“, Jughead was interrupted by the door opening. He took his glasses off, as the elderly receptionist walks in.

“Mister Jones?”, she asked smiling at Tommy genuinely.

“Yes?”

“A Betty Cooper wants to talk to you”, she informed him.
“I will be right back”, he told Tommy and left to the office.

////

„So it’s over?“, Archie asked, he was leaning against the kitchen counter watching Betty closely.

“Yes”, she whispered, “I am sorry, Arch. I-“

“It’s okay. I understand”, Archie interrupted her raising his hand to support that.

“Mhmm you need to take Ashley out, she has a crush on you”, she smirked.

Archie raised an eyebrow when she mentions his colleague.

“Come on, Archie”, she took a step closer still smiling caringly at him, “We just aren’t meant to be.”

“I know”, he knew she was right. She was always right.

They hug. When they part Betty’s smile actually reaches her eyes: “Guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Yes, see ya.”

And then Betty left Archie’s apartment which he owned since the Andrews house got a victim of a bomb.
Her feet took her directly back to her mothers house. Opening the door she already smelled the dinner being cooked in the kitchen.

“Hey Mom. I’m home”, she announced slipping out of her jacket.

“Hey, hunny”, came back.

Relieved she registered the twins were already home meaning they probably got driven home by one of the other parents.

„Jughead is coming over later“, she said walking into the kitchen.

“Okay”, Alice places the pan on the stove, “He has basically moved in, right?”

“Yeah Mom, I guess he has.”

“What does Archie say to that?”, Alice cleaned her hands on her apron.

Betty shrugged her shoulders: “He seemed okay. But it’s not like I am very good in reading him”, she let herself sit on one of the chairs.

“Oh honey a breakup is always hard. But I do think you did the right thing - after everything you and Jug have been through.”

Betty raised an eyebrow: “Wait. You approve?”

“Yes. You are at the end of your twenties and you and Jughead have something you
didn’t have with anyone else you have dated since.”

God she doesn’t even know who I dated in the past eight years, Betty thought to herself. Bless.

The door bell rings.

“That’s gotta be him”, she stood and walked over to open the door.

Jughead was wearing a black pullover, black trousers and a black jacket that went down to his knees. He looked awesome.

“Hey there, gentleman”, she smiled.

He laughed greeting her and then waving Alice.

“She approves”, Betty whispered in his ear when he hugged her causing him to smile and raise an eyebrow in shock in the same moment.

Later the evening Betty and Jug were laying on her bed hugging eachother. Betty had her head resting on his chest, while Jug ran a hand through her hair: “Hey, err, I noticed your look when you needed to drive Juniper and Dagwood to school. Is something up?”

Betty sighed: “It’s just that my mom does nothing for them but cook and clean their rooms. I get it, she is still grieving over Polly, but I am not a mother or anything and have a job and basically everything else to handle is way too much.”
Betty sighed heavily relieving the stress.
“Maybe they would be better off adopted”, he stated carefully, running a hand through her blonde curls.

“Maybe. But I don’t know anyone and wouldn’t dare to give them to anyone I didn’t know and trusted since a couple of years, you know?”

“Of course.”

She shifts slightly: “I am glad you are here, Jug.”

“Me too. I am glad I came here yesterday and told you I’d love you”, he smiled to himself pressing a kiss on her cheek, “Totally would do it again.”

She chuckles running a hand over his chin: “I am glad you did tho.”

“Of course you are. Everything other would be upsetting”, he chuckles and kissed her gently.

.c