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A Surprisingly Interesting Evening

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He was never letting Archie plan anything for him ever again. At 21, Jughead wasn’t in any hurry to date anyone, concentrating on his studies and his writing. His best friend, on the other hand, was determined to get him a girlfriend because he was “too lonely for his own good”. Archie had managed to drag him to a student speed dating event and while the redhead seemed to get along with almost every lady in attendance, Jughead couldn’t have been more underwhelmed by every woman he had sat with, not that he was making an effort anyway.

They had been there for an hour already and he was rapidly losing patience. Every woman he had sat with was either being too obviously forthcoming or not so secretly uninterested. The one sitting across from him, as lovely as she was, could not have been more irritating to him, with her grating voice and batting eyelashes. It was clear she was looking to seduce him but he was not interested. When their time was up, he threw her a polite smile and heaved a heavy sigh once he was turned away from her, heading to the next table.

Betty had had enough of Veronica’s schemes to get her a boyfriend. Her best friend had deemed that she needed someone in her life because she “couldn’t have a hermit for a best friend”. Now, here she was, sitting at a speed dating event she had not wanted to go to, listening to annoying douches spew nonsense at her, trying to get a real date out of her. Every man that had sat at her table had been either dude-bros looking for a night of fun, or boring rich boys talking about business and money to try to impress her.

An hour into the event, she was not even trying to seem remotely charming to the men passing in front of her anymore. After the arrogant rich boy she had had to talk to for five very painful minutes left, she sagged in her chair and breathed out harshly. She crossed her arms, deciding that she had had more than enough and would leave as soon as possible. The entire evening had disgusted her, making her wish that she wasn’t so easily swayed by her devious best friend.

As she was about to get up, her next date flopped down in front of her, seeming as bored with the event as she was. He looked so out of place between the frat boys and rich assholes, with his flannel and odd crown beanie. She could very imagine him: one of those lone students you’d see in a hidden nook in the library at all hours of the day, reading a book or working on their laptop. Granted, she wasn’t that much better herself, but she looked like the bubbly nice girl her mother had always insisted she pretend to be, and not like an actual loner. Yes, he would certainly be interesting to talk to at least. 

Jughead was struck when he sat down in front of his next date and lifted his eyes to her. She was stunning, her hair a bright golden halo, her eyes a brilliant forest green, her mouth… sporting a wry grin? The expression on her face surprised him, and he suddenly felt amused as he realized she was as bored as him with this event. Well, now he couldn’t wait to hear what she would say, feeling like the evening was finally going to get interesting.

“Hey” he breathed.

“Hi” she snorted. “You look about as bored with this thing as me.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, kinda got dragged here against my will by my man-whore of a best friend.”

She extended her hand, intrigued. “I’m Betty Cooper, nice to meet you.”

He shook it, his grin getting wider. “Jughead Jones.”

Well, that’s interesting , Betty thought.

“Jughead? Is that a nickname?”

“Yes,” he sighed, “That’s what I go by and no, I’m not telling you my real one.”

“Is it… bad? Worse than Jughead ?”

“Much worse.”

Jughead couldn't contain his grin as he talked with Betty. He found her incredibly intriguing and wanted to find out everything about her. They had been making small talk for about five minutes, complaining about their meddling best friends, when they heard the signal to change dates. Disappointed, Jughead looked to her to try to convince her to go someplace else to continue with their date, finding her looking at him with a smirk on her face and an eyebrow raised.

“I don’t really want to stay here and listen to more douches talk, so how about we blow this place and continue this lovely talk somewhere else?” she asked.

Jughead felt his lips rise in what was probably the dumbest grin ever, and couldn’t help but respond, “There’s nothing I’d like more.”

Scrambling to pick up their belonging, they ran out the door, completely bypassing their respective best friends who looked on, amused. Once outside the building, they looked at each other before bursting out laughing. Every time they would calm themselves down somewhat, they would only look at each other and fall victim to laughter once more. When they finally managed to calm themselves down for good, they started walking.

“So, where are we going?” Betty asked.

“Well, there’s this amazing diner about three blocks from here, if you want to grab a bite to eat.”

“That sounds nice, I haven’t had a milkshake in forever.”

“Well, then, to Pop’s we go!”

Betty giggled, amused by his theatrics. This evening was turning out better than she anticipated.