Ultimate Wild card
You know my worst, see me hurt, but you don't judge
Her salvation came in the form of the simplest of words from him, his granting that things were okay when it felt like everything was anything but. Eyes widened in both surprise and disbelief, despite the forgiveness that followed and fell from his lips. She felt herself pulling back further, not entirely out of his reach just yet but enough to stare back at him wildly as if she couldn't comprehend what he'd said. Instantly, Betty began shaking her head, both hands letting go of him as she wiped at her own cheeks as she attempted to regain control over herself despite the futility of it. "I don't deserve your forgiveness... I hurt you, Jug." She met him with confusion, clouding her expression. He'd said it himself in this same garage only earlier that day when they'd been working on the car together. You did the one thing that could really hurt me. They were words that were likely to haunt her for some time, no matter how much they worked toward mending one another's respective wounds, and it stemmed mostly from her unwilling and unable to forgive herself just yet for her actions forced by the Black Hood.
It was her internal fight as much as he was waging war against his own; she wasn't so lost in her own horrors to know his conscience wasn't just as heavily weighted. With business between the Serpents and Ghoulies, especially after the botched race at Archie's hands. The anger she'd seen in him when they'd first arrived, that raging force she was so unfamiliar with, was a new creation of the divide between North and South that continued to be tearing him apart right through the middle. They were separately so broken, and yet maybe there was still some hope in the way he looked at her now, the way his arms fit so comfortably around her and without so much as a second of hesitation that meant their pieces could be put back together. The world around them seemed to have it out for them, but there existed a strength between them, for the sake of the other, that somehow they were going to fight back and that everything was going to be okay again.
Betty took a moment, mulling something over in her own head. She didn't feel the need to voice aloud. But perhaps she wasn't able to just yet, so much of her well past the point of exhaustion and the understanding he always seemed to have with her when her thoughts and feelings were beyond the expression of words. She simply began nodding her head, a slow acquiescence as she began accepting her forgiveness no matter how much she might want to continue to deny and punish herself for her sins.
Betty drifted forward again, this time with measured softness, and folded herself against his chest, her arms wrapping around his back to secure herself tightly against him as she tucked her head beneath his chin. "I just wish this whole nightmare was over." Her voice barely above a whisper; he might have missed her words if he hadn't been paying attention. Thoughts drifted to the day at Pop's when she'd been so close to confessing everything to him, the sad joke about both of them just skipping town to escape from all of their demons, and Betty found herself wishing it had been a plan enacted into reality instead of just an ill-timed attempt at comedic levity.
It was what she struggled with to explain to leather-clad boy standing merely feet from her now as he gravitated toward her. It was the sickness she felt in her stomach towards herself and no matter how he tried to rationalize that anyone would have done the same, it mattered most because she wasn’t everyone else. In that moment, the Black Hood had seen her true self, that darkness that permeated her very being no matter how much she fought to hide it away from the world that she would stop at nothing when it came to protecting those she loved. It was a bitter truth to swallow, one Betty had never really confronted or coped with in the past even when it surfaced with revenge for Polly on Chuck Clayton and now it has resurfaced with a vengeance ten times stronger.