A/N: So chapter four is ready. Some events had to be moved to the next as the kid Riverdale gang had their own ideas. But that's not a bad thing right? As usual, I own nothing but my plot.
Chapter Four: Midsummer Daydream
Veronica Lodge was about to be in for a culture shock as we had agreed to invite her for our version of a day of no rules fun around Riverdale before she allowed us into her world for this big party. But while the girls seemingly had fun on their minds, Archie and I were discussing a mystery, a layover from a few days ago that seemingly hadn't let up since.
The meeting place was the place of the first meeting, the booth at Pop's Chocklit Shoppe. They had ordered a basket of fries and four shakes to fuel up.
"I'm so glad you guys are coming!" Ronnie smiled. "I thought for sure this wouldn't work out." It wavered slightly. "New girl, you know?"
"Of course it would," Archie replied.
"It's something different around here," Jughead added sipping his root beer float.
"You guys never get new kids?" Ronnie arched an eyebrow.
"Well, it's not that we never get new kids…." Betty began.
"They just don't stay interesting for long around here." Jughead pointed out.
"Jug!" Betty said.
"Should...I be... offended?" Ronnie stirred her straw around glancing down briefly then to the boys.
"No," Archie said. "That's actually a compliment coming from him." There were several reasons Jughead didn't hang out with the Blossom crowd even when Archie had some of which was assessments like that.
Jughead grabbed a handful of fries. "So what'd your folks say anyway Betty?" He asked.
"They said it was okay," Betty said. "Dad's going to drop me off and Mom's dropping Polly off at the Blossoms."
"They're not making Polly go with?" Archie found that odd considering how protective Betty's mom could be.
"Nope," Betty shook her head frowning slightly. Now that Archie brought it up, she realized how odd that was. But she shook it off. They probably just wanted to let her do stuff by herself since she was starting fifth grade and Polly was all the way in eighth.
"Who's Polly?" Ronnie asked.
"My older sister. She's in eighth grade." Betty said.
"Bet she knows a lot huh?" Ronnie asked.
"I guess." Betty wasn't nearly as impressed with her older sister as everyone else in town seemed to be. "So where'd you guys move from anyway?" Betty asked.
"New York," Ronnie replied. She snatched a fry at the same moment that Archie had reached for one.
"Oh...uh sorry," Archie pulled his hand back, face flushing red.
"Oh, it's okay!" Ronnie said. She took the fry swirling it in her vanilla ice cream, coating the tip in white and popped it into her mouth in a single bite.
Jughead assessed the situation with a quick glance, keeping quiet, but the smallest smirk was deftly hidden. This was a situation.
"So what's it like?" Betty asked breaking the strangeness very deliberately with a clearing of her throat.
"Bigger than this," Ronnie said. "Mom and I would go shopping in Herald Square. Macy's is amazing."
"You've actually been to Macy's and bought stuff?!"
"Wow, all we've got around here is maple syrup." Jughead deadpanned.
"It's not a big deal," Ronnie said suddenly self-conscious as she fiddled with her charm bracelet.
"What made you wanna come here?" Archie asked curious.
Veronica shrugged. "Dunno, I think Daddy has some work here or something, but Mom and Dad both lived here when they were kids."
"Our parents did too," Archie said. "Think they knew each other?" Archie wondered if that could explain his dad's weirdness lately.
Ronnie shrugged again. "Maybe."
The bell over the door to Pop's rang as some more kids came in, Josie McCoy, Valerie Brown, Melody Valentine and Kevin Keller.
Ronnie glanced around to the new arrivals.
"Come on!" Betty took Ronnie's hand and pulled her from the booth. "I'll introduce you." Betty turned to her other friends. "You guys coming?"
Jughead shook his head. "Archie and I gotta talk about something. We'll catch up."
Archie blinked looking to Jug in surprise, catching his drift despite not actually knowing the conversation topic. There was probably a good reason. "Uh.. yeah we will."
"Okay, don't take too long." Betty looked at them pointedly. "Come on V."
When the girls left, Archie looked to his best friend. "What's going on?"
"What's going on with you?" Jughead shot back. "You're off."
"You're off." Archie said. "Nothing's going on."
"Right…" Jug was doubtful as he took another fry from the basket and held it up in plain sight. "What was with this?"
Archie shook his head looking away. "It was an accident."
"Obviously," Jughead replied. "But your face was your hair for a second. You like Ronnie don't you?"
"Well, yeah she's cool like Betty." Archie replied casually.
Jughead tossed the fry at Archie's head. "Dude, 'uh...uh...uh sorry…'" He mocked. "That was not a Betty Cooper apology."
Archie took the fry from his lap and tossed it back. "Shut up."
"Well, it wasn't." Jug said. "So what are you going to do about it?"
"Nothing," Archie said. As far as he was concerned there was nothing to do, not yet. He barely knew her.
"Good luck with that," Jughead took the fry and put it in his mouth. "The girls are probably plotting something right now. And it's not gonna be pretty. When you get like two or more of them, it's dangerous."
Archie highly doubted that.
"So what's the story?" Veronica looked at Betty.
Kevin had decided to join them but had gone to the counter to order since Josie and her pussycats had only ordered to go because of their rehearsal schedule.
"You Archie and Jughead. It ever go anywhere with either of them?"
"What are you saying?" Betty frowned as she began playing with the end of her ponytail. "Like dating?" Betty's voice went up an octave. "No! Archie's my neighbor. He lives across the street, and Jug's well..."
"Exactly," Veronica gave a small smile. "You just got so awkward right now. So spill. You like like one of them don't you?" Betty's little interruption hadn't gone unnoticed. She just had to see if she could get Betty to admit who it was even if she had a hunch.
Betty ducked her head avoiding eye contact.
"Oh my god!" Veronica grinned. "You do?" The wheels in Veronica's head were turning. She knew just what to do for this. "Well, you're in luck." Ronnie linked arms with Betty. "I'll help you out."
"Wait, what?" Betty blinked.
Kevin came back with his shake. "What'd I miss?" He studied Betty noticing she was pink. "What's up?"
"Betty has a crush!" Veronica said.
Kevin smirked. "Oh really?" He knew a bit about this. He'd stayed over at Betty's to sleep over over the summer a few times, and they both had done light recon. He glanced over to the table where Archie and Jughead were in conversation. "Please tell me you're going to go for it."
"No." Betty said. At her friend's glances, she groaned. "No!" She wasn't going to ruin her friendships, because both would be ruined if this went wrong.
""Oh sweet B," Veronica said leaning close pulling her in a one armed hug. "You're going for it." She felt like she should give her a push. Because she could feel the awkward vibes and it was messing with them. This is how school years died. Unresolved Summer drama.
When the feast of fries and dairy at Pop's was complete, Archie, Betty, Jughead and Veronica left along with Kevin.
"Hey Kev, how was your summer?" Archie asked.
"Good," Kevin replied. "Yours?"
"Same." Archie looked between Veronica and Kevin. "You going to the party Saturday?"
"I'll be there," Kevin said. He hadn't been sure, but after talking to Veronica and Betty, he thought it could be fun. Especially with this new angle.
"Cool," Betty smiled.
"So what's the next stop around here?" Veronica wondered.
"Swimming at Sweetwater River," Archie said. "We'll go get our stuff then meet back up."
"I'll see you guys there," Kevin said. His stuff was at his place.
Veronica nodded. "Okay,"
"Come on, I have an extra suit at my house you can borrow." Betty took Veronica's hand as Archie and Jughead went to the Andrews' house.
Archie and Jughead ran into his house.
"Hey boys," Fred greeted turning his head quickly as they rushed past. "Whoa what's the rush?"
"Hi Mr. Andrews," Jughead said.
"Hey Dad," Archie stopped. "Sorry, but we're going swimming at Sweetwater River with Betty and Ronnie and Kevin."
Fred nodded. "Ah, okay." He said chuckling slightly. "Have a good time.
"We will," Archie pulled Jughead upstairs quickly.
When the bedroom door closed behind them, Jughead turned to Archie. "He doesn't seem so weird."
"Well he has been." Archie replied. He went to get his trunks. "It's like he's scared or something."
"When you asked about the party right?" Jug confirmed.
"Yeah,"Archie frowned. "When I mentioned it was Ronnie's party."
Jughead frowned as well. "Dunno, maybe ask him."
Once the boys were changed, they left.
Those conversations at Pop's had changed things for us. We just didn't realize how much. As Archie's concern about his father's mood grew, Veronica Lodge's plans to help her new bff did as well and would pretty much solidify a midsummer nightmare that was preparing for its debut.
A/N: Okay, so lots of interesting conversations happened here. And some feelings are out in the open. So the next chapter will have the swimming at Sweetwater and what happens there as Fred has a conversation with Alice after the girls leave that alerts him to something he didn't know before. And Archie has a further conversation with his dad at the end of the day. And then, party time should be in the next chapter or two.