Red - 53

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It was later that day, and Alice was walking with Kevin, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. They were walking on the bleachers, lunches in hand, as the warm autumn breeze blew around them.

"Betty, you're positively radiating Nicholas Sparks," Veronica said, smiling, "Tell me everything about this Trev."

"Oh, there's nothing to tell!" Kevin said sarcastically, "Just one of Betty's sources, there's nothing romantic in the offing."

Alice grinned at Kevin's sarcasm as the group sat down next to Archie, who happened to be there as well. Her smile faded as she recalled the previous day's events, remembering how Archie had almost kissed her...

"Why is everything weird here?" Veronica asked, "Why can't a date just be a date?"

No one seemed to want to interject, so she continued, "What about you, Archie? How's life in a PG world?" 

Looks of confusion were soon present, so Veronica clarified, "PG. Post-Grundy... what, too soon?"

Alice bit her lip lightly as she watched the conversation unfold. As she watched Archie begin to speak, she didn't even notice a certain raven-haired boy's gaze linger on her.

"Coach Clayton says I have a shot at being varsity captain," Archie told them, "So I'm not really thinking about much else right now. Although a few other things have been on my mind as well..."

His voice trailed off at the end, his eyes looking at Alice briefly as the sentence died out.

"And you're back to being boring," Veronica said, chewing on her fries. Alice sighed quietly, running her hands through her wavy hair.

"Are you, maybe," Betty suggested meekly, "throwing yourself into football as a way to avoid your feelings?"

"I'm not avoiding anything, Betty," Archie asserted, "I'm trying to get my life back on track."

Then, almost as if she appeared out of thin air, Valerie plopped down next to Archie, surprising the group, while saying, "I can help with that."

Was Valerie eavesdropping on Archie and Betty's conversation...? Alice wondered to herself.

"I know Miss Grundy was tutoring you," she started, before Veronica cut her off.

 "Understatement of the year."

"But there's this amazing songwriter from New York," Valerie continued, "who's an adjunct at Carson College... Incredible mentor. He does some coaching on the side and I told him about you. You wanna meet him?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'd love to but... football-"

"No, Archie can, and he will," Betty cut in.

"Or, Archie can, and he will, make decisions for himself?" Alice suggested, making Betty turn red.

"I... I don't know," Archie said, perplexed.

"Look, if you wanna do it, then do it," Alice told him, "And if you don't, then don't."

Valerie reached into her pocket and revealed a small paper with the songwriter's number, and then said, "Call him if you want, but do it soon. His spots fill up fast."

"Thank you, Val," Archie said gratefully, and the blonde girl beside him felt a slight burning in her chest as the nickname rolled off his tongue easily. Valerie smiled, and then left.

"Hey, now you have zero excuse for avoiding music," Betty said, forcing a smile.

"Sorry to interrupt Sad Breakfast Club," Cheryl said as she seemed to appear in front of them, "but I'm here to formally invite you to Jason's memorial at Thornhill this weekend."

Cheryl began handing the group elegant black and red invitations as she continued, "To my surprise and chagrin, mother added you to the guest list. In case you're tempted to steal our silver candlesticks, don't. We'll be searching bags."

And with that, the redheaded queen bee walked away.

"Alice, I will never understand how someone as sweet as you is friends with someone as sour as her," Kevin said, watching the Blossom walk away.

"Hey, try to remember, she is burying her brother," Betty said sympathetically.

A somber tone fell over the group, and for a few seconds, they were hit with the realization that Cheryl Blossom had lost her brother, and he was never coming back.

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-hiya guys! i hope you liked this chapter!-

-ahhh i'm so excited for some of the chapters i have planned! you guys are gonna love some of the upcoming ones :)-

-qotd: how are you?-

-aotd: not so good, i got a little hurt yesterday, and i've been sick for the past week, so yeah, but i'm happy to be writing again!-

-alright guys ily and i'll see ya soon!

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