Swallowing His Pride

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Finally scrolling to the last page, your eyes dart across the screen as you take in the words. Finishing the last few sentences, you raise your head so you can meet your friend's gaze.
"Jughead," you trail off. "It's incredible."
"It's just a rough draft," he shrugs, his hands falling to his lap. "It's obviously nowhere near done yet but-"
"Quit your rambling," you interrupt with a smile, "and just accept the compliment."
Chuckling, he nods-his arms darting out to take hold the his laptop as you carefully push it across the table for him. Jughead closes the lid and takes a deep breath, "Thank you." Tucking his laptop away, you use the chance to take a small sip from your drink.
When you look back up, you find Jughead staring at you expectantly, causing you raise an eyebrow, "What?"
"Do you finally want to talk about?" he questions, having realised over an hour ago that you'd been avoiding the topic he was referring to-despite being the one to call him to meet up earlier in the night.
Shaking your head, a frown made its way on your face, "Not really," you admit apologetically.
In complete understanding, he nods his head and starts to change the topic-happy to keep your mind off Reggie for the time being. "Did you want anything else to eat?" he asks, gesturing to your empty plate.
"No thanks," you smile, leaning back in your seat. "I think I've have more than enough tonight."
A comfortable silence fell over you both, not having to fill the air with mindless chatter.
Even with your eyes closed, you could feel his eyes on you-as if trying to find any sign of what you were thinking. "Go ahead," you sigh, your eyes still closed-knowing what was running through his mind.
"You said you didn't want to talk about it," Jughead reminds you, quick to understand what you meant.
"You're not going to be at ease until you know," you tell him. "I know what you're like."
Jughead leans forward over the table, "You don't have to tell me," he insists. "I just want to know if you're okay," he continues softly, hating the idea of his closest friend being hurt.
You shrug, opening your eyes before mimicking his position. "I will be," you say, more to yourself than him. "I just," trailed off, you found yourself shaking your head.
"I thought he was over it all," you answer, almost laughing at how you sound. "I figured by now he'd be able to see that he needs to think before he acts."
Jughead snorts, "Reggie? Think? Those two don't go together."
You reach an arm out to gently hit your friend, but can't help the smile that forms. "Don't be mean," you scold.
Your friend tries to hold back his laughter and fails, "Sorry, (Y/N)."
Jughead and Reggie have never gotten along-you understood that. You appreciate how they both tried to be civil, at least when you were around, but at times your boyfriend would push the limits.
Both boys meant the world to you, for very different reasons, and you didn't ever want to see either of them hurt.
"You should talk to him," Jughead suggests.
Quickly, you shook your head, "I don't think that's a good idea-I have a strong feeling I'd end up hitting him," you scowl, remembering the words that had left his mouth.
"I would pay to see that," Jughead mutters under his breath, causing you to roll your eyes. "I think you'd be doing yourself a favour though," he continues. "You two always get back on track once you've talked things over," he explains, referring to your previous disagreements.
"Maybe it's different this time," you whisper.
Jughead froze. Reggie may not be his favourite person, ever, but he knew how happy the boy made you. Never once in the past had you said such a thing-no matter the argument.
"I'm just so sick of sounding like a broken record," you sigh. "It's the same thing over and over and Reggie just doesn't understand how much he hurts-" cutting yourself off, you avoid Jughead's gaze. "I just wish he would think first," you say, repeating your words from earlier.
Your friend was stuck for words, unsure of how to help you. Understanding his predicament, you lightly tap his arm before pulling away-preparing to stand. "Where are you going?" he asks.
Smiling, you tug your bag over your shoulder, "I think I should be getting home. Thank you for tonight, Juggie. I really needed it."
"Any time," he replies slowly, watching as you slide out of the booth-unaware of the people who were almost beside your table.
Jughead curses quietly as you slam into a hard body, their arms quickly winding around you before you could fall.
Staring up at Reggie, you freeze in his arms.
Without a second glance, his friends continue walking towards a table at the end of the diner-leaving the boy clutching at your waist.
Clearing your throat, you step out of his arms-ignoring the pang in your chest as Reggie's face falls just as his arms do to his side.
"Sorry," you rush out, quickly stepping around him and making your way out of the building.
As Reggie watches you leave, Jughead notices the hurt that crosses his face.
Turning back around, Reggie catches the boys eyes, "What?" he practically snarls.
Rolling his eyes, Jughead shifts his attention to the empty seat in front of him, "Nothing," he sighs.
Jughead had expected Reggie to go and join his friends-the thought never once crossing his mind that he would push himself into the seat where you had just been.
Before Jughead could even question him, Reggie began, "How mad is she?" Shaking his head, he didn't give Jughead any time to answer. "Stupid question."
Sensing your boyfriends desperation, Jughead rubs at the back of his neck, "Look," he says, "like I told her-you need to talk to one another. It's the only way this will all be solved."
"You saw her," he snaps, "she could barely even look at me."
"She just needs a little time."
"I know I screwed up," he sighs, "I always screw up...but what if I've really messed it all up this time? What if I lose her? She hates me..."
"Did you cheat?" Jughead blurts.
Reggie's attention snaps to his face immediately.
If looks could kill, Jughead thought.
"You did not just ask me that," Reggie grit through his teeth, clenching his fists-ignoring how hypocritical he knew he was being.
Despite your words earlier, Jughead was certain about one thing-even without knowing what had gone on between you and Reggie. "Then there's nothing else I can think of that would cause her to hate you. (Y/N) is so in love with you it's sickening," Jughead comments. "Whatever you did-just go talk to her, apologise and make up."
"It's not that easy," your boyfriend denies.
Jughead nods, taking hold of his backpack, "Yeah it is...you just need to grow up and learn how to say your sorry."
Without another word, Jughead slides out of the booth and leaves Reggie sitting alone in the diner to think.

Reggie hasn't been able to sleep since your fight.
You haven't been face-to-face since your argument and didn't even noticed his exhaustion until last night when you ran into him.
Watching him from across the hallway, you realise just how obvious his current state was. He just didn't seem like himself and it took everything in you to turn in the other direction, walking away from him as you tried to put more distance between you.
Reggie's been thinking all morning of how to approach you...how to finally tell you what he knew you were waiting for.
When he saw you turn away from him and start to walk in the opposite direction, he decided he had wasted enough time since your fight and started to run after you.
"(Y/N), wait!" he calls, gently gripping your arm to bring you to a stop.
Pulling his hand away when you follow his request, he takes a deep breath, "We need to talk."
A frown slowly forms on your face and you are about to deny him until you see how pleading his expression is.
Slipping your hand in his, you guide him to an empty classroom nearby-releasing your hold on him before you close the door behind you.
Slowly shifting your body, you lean against the door and meet his eyes, "Go on," you urge quietly.
Reggie raises a hand to the back of his head and takes a deep breath, "I don't know where to begin or what to say," he says, his nose scrunching up a moment later. "I mean-I know what I have to say...I just don't know how."
You felt like laughing. Reggie had never been one for apologies-his pride always getting in the way.
"I-" groaning, he cut himself off. "I didn't mean any of it-you have to know that."
Lifting one shoulder, you avoid his gaze, "Do I?"
Taking a step forward, Reggie holds out an arm about to reach you when he clenches his fist and drops it to his side. "I trust you. And I love you so much...I know you would never-I didn't mean to accuse you," he finally says.
"But you did."
"I did," he agrees.
"And you really hurt (B/N)."
Reggie sighs, turning his back on you, "I let my temper cloud my judgement," he replies.
"Yeah you did-like you always do. You didn't even talk to me," you insist, crossing your arms over your chest.
"He was hitting on you right in front of me!" Reggie exclaims. "What did you expect me to do?"
"You should have let me handle it by myself, Reg," you answer. "I'm a big girl and I don't need you to jump in like that, ever. There's no way anything would have happened."
"I know," Reggie breaths, burying his hands in his hair. "I know."
"Why did you want to talk?" you ask him. "What do you want?" Your tone wasn't accusatory or cruel, more tired than anything.
"I have to make this right," he declares.
"Why?" you push.
"What do you mean why?"
"What's the point?"
Reggie walks towards you, cupping your face in his hands, "The point? (Y/N), I love you. I want to be with you, I want you to be happy-I want to make you happy."
Leaning into his touch, you lift your hands to grip his wrists-but you don't push him away.
"I'm sorry," he whispers-causing your eyes to meet his. "I'm so sorry. I hate that I upset you and that I hurt you-I never meant to accuse you of anything. I love you," he repeats.
You move your hands along his arms until they were resting on his shoulders before kissing the inside of his wrist, his body immediately relaxing as he takes another step forward-trapping you between himself and the door.
"Can you forgive me?" he questions, resting his forehead against yours.
"Can you promise me something? Can you swear that you will try to make sure this won't ever happen again?"
Reggie remains silent for a few agonising seconds, moving to gently kiss the top of your head before pulling away. "I promise that I'll try with everything I have, to never let this happen again-I never want to fight like this again and I never want to hurt you again."
Laughing, you wrap your arms around his neck and pull him closer to you, "I was actually referring to (B/N)."
Your boyfriend scowls and you gently tug on his hair. "Fine," he gives in. "I promise."
"Do you mean it?" you ask, tilting your head.
You watch as his face softens, a tingle making its way down your spine as his hands travel down to your waist, "I mean it," he whispers. "I promise."

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