July 4 2016

From Riley Adams Fights City Hall

 

Later that evening after Ritsuko kicked them out to start opening the bar and Artemis went off to do…well, Riley still wasn’t really sure what Artemis did in her free time when she wasn’t with AJ but whatever it was she’d gone off to do it, Riley and AJ walked back towards the civic center where their cars were still parked.

They walked in silence for a few minutes, Riley trying to act like everything was okay but AJ saw right through it. Of course she did, Riley thought. AJ knew her better than anyone and could always tell when something was off. 

“Alright,” AJ said finally, “What’s bothering you? You’ve been extra touchy all day about this city council thing.”

Riley knew better than to try to say everything was fine. She sighed. “I just…Everything I’ve ever done has been for the good of the city, right?”

“Far as I can tell,” AJ replied with a shrug.

“Yeah, and now the city council is trying to question all that and it kind of feels like I’m being put on trial here. They’re questioning my motives, my methods, and even my very character. You saw what happened in there. I’m not crazy, right?”

AJ shook her head. “No, you’re not. They were just a few steps away from a full fledged interregation. And it wasn’t fair to spring it on you out of nowhere like that but this isn’t the worst thing I’ve seen you face. I’ve seen you fight off the most powerful vampire in decades with your back literally agaisnt a wall, armed with nothing but a soup ladle. You’ve done great things, Riley, and I know you’ll keep doing great things once you get past this roadblock.”

“You always make me sound like so much more than I actaully am. I’m not a hero. I just want to do my job. And that’s all I’ve done for the last eight years but now the city council wants to put me on a leash and tell me I can’t do the one thing I’m good at.”

“The city council can suck it,” AJ said, which earned a smile from Riley. “And you are a hero, Riley, whether you think so or not.”

Riley shook her head. “I’m just doing my job. But what if I can’t do it anymore? I really…This is what I do. I’m not sure if I can do anything else. Keeping this city safe isn’t easy but I’m still doing it after all these years because it’s my job and despite any complaining to the contrary, I don’t want to be doing anything else.”

By this point they had reached the city hall parking lot. The only cars left were a couple of police cruisers, AJ’s green pickup and Riley’s 1969 Shelby Cobra.

“Then you fight,” AJ said. “You’ve been a fighter as long I’ve known you and now is not the time to stop. Remember when we fought Chaos and you stood your ground even though it looked like we might lose? And you looked him straight in his glowing red eyes and told him under no circumstances were you going to let him hurt your friends?” Riley nodded. Of course she remembered. That had been an insane adventure, even for her. “That’s exactly what you need to do now. You stand your ground, you don’t give up and you tell them you’re going to do your job. Basically, you be Riley Adams.”

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