19. The Only Place I Call Home

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A/N: I'm baaack, and definitely ready to get back into the swing of things. Thank you so much to everyone who reads this! It started as a writer's block fix, but I'm so happy to be ranked for three topics and improving in numbers. 

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          The following Monday at school, everyone quieted down when Sweet Pea and I walked in with Fangs. People were shooting death glares at him, saying quiet threats and accusations as he strode past, attempting to keep his head high. We were just trying to get to the meeting room for Swords and Serpents, as Jug had called an emergency meeting because the video footage of Fangs and Midge that he caught in Midge's dressing room got out and went viral. We had to plan protection for Fangs, and we had to do it soon.

Sweet Pea knew of a doctor on the Southside that would see me for no charge, and he somehow got me squeezed in on a Saturday. When I pressed, all he said was she owed him a favor, and he cashed it in. Either way, my pregnancy was officially confirmed, so Sweet Pea was being hyper protective of me. As soon as he got word of the video going around the school, he made me promise to steer clear of any confrontation and to stay behind him and out of swinging distance should a fight start.

We walked into the classroom and I slid carefully into the desk Sweets usually sat on just as Jug started talking. He began by warning that he heard word that the majority of the Ghoulies in jail for the drag race were out of jail and ready to go to war. Before he could mention that it had gotten out that Midge was sleeping with Fangs, Reggie came bursting in the classroom, with Archie close on his heels begging him to slow down. As soon as Sweet Pea saw him come in, he quickly stepped down in front of me and told me under his breath but over his shoulder, "Get back."

I heard Reggie accuse Sweet Pea, "I bet it was you, Sweet Pea. We all know your reputation around here. Your little girlfriend is just a booty call. Has to be."

Sweets stepped forward and scowled, "I didn't know Midge, you ass. And you'd do good to keep Ally's name out of your mouth from now on."

Reggie stepped forward, and the two mobs clashed briefly before Jughead and Archie intervened. Sweet Pea went to go after Reggie again until he saw me quietly but quickly sneak out of the classroom. I guess that's when he followed me out and into the bathroom, because as soon as the retching started, Sweet Pea had my hair back and was rubbing between my shoulders and quietly telling me it was going to be ok.

After about five minutes, I looked up sheepishly and mumbled something about my nerves being shot. Sweet Pea snorted and sighed, "Cat, you don't have to pretend with me. You heard Dr. Sanders say yesterday that sometimes it takes time for symptoms to show up, usually not 3 months- but stranger things have happened. We both know what this is and it's ok."

I only nodded quietly and accepted the water bottle Sweets pulled out and handed me. He sat beside me and took the bottle from me gently, opening it before he handed it back to me and sighed, "You need to drink water. It'll get that nasty flavor out of your mouth and replace the fluid you just deposited in Riverdale's sewer. We can't have you getting dehydrated, baby. It's bad for you even worse for Little Pea."

I leaned back and took a long swig of the water and sighed, "It hasn't sunk in yet. I mean I know; I saw the little baseball in there and heard its heartbeat, and Dr. Sanders was definitely right about noticing subtle changes, and just feeling...well... weird. Am I the only one adjusting to this?"

Sweet Pea sighed and let his eyes wander from mine and down to the barely noticeable bump forming under my shirt, "It's hard to wrap my head around, for sure. But this feels...well, it feels like what's supposed to happen. I'm sure once it's not a secret anymore-which let's face it is going to have to be soon...it'll be something we get used to, and once we know the gender..." Sweets trailed off as a small smile crossed his face and he pulled me closer to him.

The week went by, and even though Fangs was still getting nasty looks, we thought the worst was behind us. The tensions between North and South Riverdale flared back up as the Serpents once again became fodder for The Riverdale Register and more people called for justice for Midge by way of Fangs' arrest, even though there was literally no evidence aside from him being in the same dressing room as her an hour before the show started. Friday morning, we realized how wrong we were.

That morning was the same as any other morning. We all walked in together and split up to get to our lockers before first period. As Sweets loaded my books into my backpack for me and slung it over his shoulder (something he had been insisting on doing because he was taking every last order from the doctor to heart and was positive that my backpack was too heavy for me to carry), we heard people shouting. Sweet Pea stepped in front of me when he saw the new sheriff pass us with just about every cop on Riverdale's police force and frowned, "This can't be good. Stay here."

Sweets disappeared into the crowd, my backpack still on his left shoulder. I frowned and sat against the lockers to wait, knowing if I defied him it would just make things worse. He returned ten minutes later with no color in his face. All Sweet Pea did was sit beside me and mumble, "Fangs got arrested for Midge's murder. We're going home, Cat. This isn't a safe place for you today. Fangs knows to call us as soon as he knows something. We can't do anything for him here."

I opened my mouth to argue, but the broken look on his face told me that this was more for his sake than mine, so I simply reached over, squeezed his hand and nodded before pulling myself up. Little did we know that this would be the first domino to fall- and that the storm that had been brewing was finally upon us.

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