Chapter 14:

The Hero And The Chief

My Cute Kohai is Actually My Archnemesis?!

The moment Samson appeared, Reyna had hid behind Hoshi as if in quiet terror. “You okay, Hikaru?” asked Hoshi worriedly. From the day and a half he’d gotten to know her, he knew Reyna wasn’t someone who was easily scared. Sure, she had her quirks as does everyone, but to see her seem actually afraid was a little worrying.Bookmark here

Reyna, to her credit, quickly stepped away from him“Yeah! Yeah, I’m fine. I was just startled is all.” She stepped out of his shadow, but he noticed that she didn’t move forward any further. “Nice to meet you, Chief.” Reyna stiffly extended a hand and Hoshi frowned as she flinched at the contact. Bookmark here

“The pleasure is all mine, Ms. Hikaru. And please, call me Samson. Chief makes me sound so scary.”Bookmark here

“Well…” Reyna’s face turned red and she nodded awkwardly. “Okay. Nice to meet you, Samson.”Bookmark here

Hoshi sighed. At least her stubbornness didn’t change. Samson smiled warmly, but the moment their greetings ended, Reyna practically teleported into Hoshi’s shadow. “She’s scared of me, Michiaki,” Samson chuckled lightly. “Am I really that terrifying?”Bookmark here

Hoshi thought about it for a moment. “You never would have made it to being Chief if you didn’t have some backbone, Samson,” he finally said. “I mean, you practically run the whole show here. To me, you’re as scary as a teddy bear, but to others…”Bookmark here

Samson laughed. “You’re not wrong, Hoshi, you’re not wrong. I guess I do have a menacing aura to people who don’t know me, huh?”Bookmark here

They both glanced at Reyna’s timid and averting gaze. “She’ll come around, I’m sure. It’s her first real day,” Hoshi said. Bookmark here

At the same time, Samson started walking them through the halls towards the interrogation rooms and blinked at Hoshi. “Her first real day, huh? And you picked something like this for her first job?”Bookmark here

“What can I say?” asked Hoshi. “Sometimes, you have to run before you walk.”Bookmark here

Reyna, following close behind, coughed lightly. “Can we please not talk like I’m not here?”Bookmark here

Hoshi thought of a few different quips he could spit out but decided against it after noticing her wringing her hands. He then nodded and said, “Sorry, Hikaru. We weren’t very considerate, there.”Bookmark here

“It’s not that,” Reyna said. “I just don’t want you thinking that I can’t handle this. Because I can.”Bookmark here

“That’s the spirit,” Samson said. He then tried smiling at her again, even more warmly than before. “You’ve sure got some spunk. You’ll do great. Just follow Michiaki’s lead.”Bookmark here

Reyna scoffed at that. “Follow Michiaki’s lead? The only thing I’ve been following is how he’s not a very good teacher.”Bookmark here

“Oh ho ho,” Samson chuckled, “She’s got you there, eh, Michiaki?”Bookmark here

Hoshi’s face warmed and he huffed. “Yeah, fine. I’m a bad teacher. Anything else?”Bookmark here

“You know how to treat a girl out,” Reyna said.Bookmark here

A bark of loud laughter rang from Samson as he clapped Hoshi on the back. “HA! You’re already hitting on your junior, Michiaki? Well, I can’t fault you for trying!” Samson then turned to Reyna with a wide grin. “Make sure he treats you right, eh?”Bookmark here

Hoshi’s warm face went to full blazing. “It’s not like that!” Hoshi argued. “Yesterday, we were both hungry and she hadn’t had lunch yet. That was it!”Bookmark here

“Sure, sure! And I’ve seen pigs fly!…On second thought, in today’s age, that isn’t all that crazy…”Bookmark here

As Samson began muttering, Hoshi looked behind himself. Hoshi saw Reyna smiling slightly. It looked like she had finally started relaxing a little, but she still seemed to be in a state of shock. Like a splash of cold water, the sight left Hoshi feeling more relieved than embarrassed. “Okay, yeah, it looks like that, but I’m serious. In fact, all Hikaru and I have done is argue since we met. Isn’t that right, Hikaru?”Bookmark here

Reyna’s eyes met his and she narrowed them before jerking her head away. “Only because you suck at being a teacher. Honestly.”Bookmark here

Hoshi laughed. “Okay, fine. And it’s not because you’re stubborn, right?”Bookmark here

“Of course not!” was Reyna’s immediate answer…which was very fitting, Hoshi thought. “I’m just the new hire. That doesn’t mean I can’t learn if I have a good teacher!” Bookmark here

It was then that Samson came to a stop, leading Hoshi and Reyna to stop beside him. As if a switch had been flipped, Samson’s face grew more serious, and Reyna’s previous timidity returned. “Well, here we are,” said Samson as he pointed to the left of two doors. “The only one who isn’t injured in any meaningful way is in there. The other perpetrators are still being treated at the hospital.”Bookmark here

Hoshi raised his eyebrows at that. “Wow. That bad, huh?”Bookmark here

“Flare did a number on them, for sure,” Samson remarked. “I’m still wondering what her role is in all this, but she did a good deed yesterday.” He then scowled. “I still want to get her though. Just to ask a few questions, of course. And maybe put her in prison. For a while.Bookmark here

Hoshi eyed him warily and noticed Reyna tense up behind him, though he wasn’t sure why. “You’re still on about that?” Hoshi asked him. “That was a year ago, wasn’t it?”Bookmark here

After a moment, Samson said, “I don’t appreciate all these vigilantes and Powered criminals running around. It makes for a bad time…Especially for all my officers in the line of duty. If I had my way, every single costumed person out there would be brought in and tried to the full extent of the law.” Samson rubbed the bridge of his nose at that. “But I guess the only way to fight fire is with fire, huh? How fitting.”Bookmark here

Hoshi began to sweat as Samson continued to rant for a bit. Growing self-conscious about his own secret identity, Hoshi quickly got back to the topic on hand. “Sorry about bringing that up, Samson. We should get on with our jobs now, don’t you think?”Bookmark here

Samson perked up a bit at that. “Oh, yeah. We’re all busy people, aren’t we? Well, I’ve blocked off the next ten minutes so you can do your thing. I’ll stand from behind the glass with a few of my guys to watch you.” He then nodded. “Good luck in there. We got a little bit out of her, but she still seems to be in shock.”Bookmark here

“Got it. Thanks,” Hoshi said. Turning around, he saw Reyna fidgeting and breathing in deeply. Wow, Hoshi thought, she seems worse than she did before. “Hikaru?”Bookmark here

That seemed to snap Reyna out of whatever funk she appeared to be in, and her gaze grew sharp. “Y-yeah?”Bookmark here

“Ready?”Bookmark here

“…Yes.”Bookmark here

“Got your questions?”Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

“Okay…” Hoshi nodded. “Let’s do this thing.”Bookmark here

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