TWELVE

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"Jughead, calm down."

"CALM DOWN? Archie, Riverdale just became a police state!"

Jughead, Archie and Max gathered at Pop's, trying to figure out what to do next. While Jughead paced with boiling blood, Max and Archie sat in the booth. Archie was calm and collected, as any Northsider would be. The only people he cared about in that forsaken Southside High were the ones sitting perfectly unharmed in front of him. And Max, she was speechless. She had just witnessed her first raid, and her friends were the ones being thrown behind bars. Her heart pounded out of her chest as the anxiety in her head blew up.

"McCoy's convinced the Serpents are the ones dealing jingle jangle." Archie informed.

Her hands still folded over one another, Max whipped her head towards Archie. "What? No way! They wouldn't do that." She defended.

Jughead agreed with Max, "Serpents don't deal that stuff. The Ghoulies do."

Of course Archie's first solution was to tell the Mayor that. But anyone who knew McCoy, knew that she wasn't the easiest person to talk to. She was quick to jump to conclusions and do whatever it took to protect the north side of Riverdale. Jughead slipped into the booth beside Max and lowered his voice, proving to Archie why that was a bad idea.

"Why do you care, anyway man? I thought that you and Betty wanted nothing to do with me, right?"

Max dropped her jaw and turned to Jughead while Archie apologized. "You too? Wow, a girl must be going through it." She muttered, although neither of the boys paid any attention to her, typical.

Jughead's phone dinged, a text from Tall Boy. Even Max had a message on her phone, though it was from her dad. Just as Jug stood up to leave, Max followed. She figured it'd be better to head home and stay out of any means of trouble. And try to figure out what to say to her father when he asked a bunch of questions later. Before she left she ordered a burger and fries to go, then walked home.

~

"Hey, honey." Loraine greeted her granddaughter through a spoon that held Chicken Noodle soup.

"Gross, don't talk with your mouth full." Max smiled.

Her grandmother held up the middle finger, and dabbed her mouth with a napkin. Loraine was the polar opposite of Jackson, and Max bathed in it.

"So I guess you heard." The brunette took a seat next to her elder guardian and unraveled the white paper bag, the appetizing smell of her meal causing her to salivate.

After taking another slurp of her soup, Loraine nodded. "Oh yeah. Your father called to gloat. Stating that 'the Southside is falling one ladder at a time'. Whatever the hell that's supposed to mean."

Max giggled as she bit into her burger. "He's so crazy." She said after swallowing.

Loraine sat back in her seat and rubbed her eyes, "He used to not be."

"I remember. But once he divorced mom, the Southside became the root of all evil."

The kitchen clock ticked and a deep silence filled the room. Occasionally, it would be interrupted by the crunching of Max's crispy fries. But other than that, the two sat in content.

"So how do you feel about the raid?" Loraine asked, observing her granddaughter's persona.

Max took a deep breath and used her tongue to get food out of her teeth while her mind roamed. She knew how she felt, yet she wasn't exactly sure if she could express it to her Nana. But once the two locked eyes, the truth spilled.

"I think it sucks, Nana." She grinded her teeth together, "Those were my friends. And they aren't the ones dealing. I know that for a fact. They're good people with a screwed up past."

Loraine smirked, she was proud of her granddaughter. She wasn't one of these brainwashed Northsiders. She formed her own opinions and had a good head on her shoulders, and that's all Loraine could ask for.

"Your mom used to say the same thing."

Max gave her grandmother a look, folded up her trash and threw it back in the bag, then dumped it in the garbage.

"You should invite them over." Loraine smiled.

Astonished by her invitation, Max choked on her own spit. Serpents? In this house? Maybe the old age was finally getting to her Nana, because that was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard her say.

"You sure you feeling alright?" Max questioned as she returned to her seat.

Loraine let out a giggle, "I'm serious. If they're your friends then you shouldn't have to hide them."

"But dad-"

"But nothing." Max's grandmother was finally putting her foot down. "I own this house. Your father pays me rent and I do the rest. If I say they can come over, then they can."

Max threw her hands in the air in defense and rolled her lips in. She then looked at her grandmother and sighed, "You sure my dad is your son?"

The two laughed and carried on until Max's phone started buzzing. She knitted her brows and looked at the caller I.D. : Unknown. Her heartbeat increased and a sudden sweat covered her hands. The last time she heard of that popping up on someone's phone was when Betty called her one night, crying, explaining in detail about the Black Hood.

She tried not to show fear in front of her grandmother, worrying that it might trigger another conversation that she couldn't lie through. Sliding her thumb across the glass screen, Max pulled the device up to her ear.

"A caller is trying to reach you from Riverdale County Jail. Do you accept the charges?"
A monotone voice spoke from the other side of the speaker. Still not putting two and two together, Max hesitated.

"Y-Yes?" She looked over to her grandmother who had concern written all over her face.

There was a sudden click and a pause before a familiar voice shouted through the other line.

"Max? You there?"

"Toni!?" A large grin crept onto Max's face.

"Hey there Sunflower!" She giggled. "Miss me yet?"

The brunette chuckled, "Considering we're supposed to be finishing up lunch right now, yes."

"I know, I know. Listen -"

"Is that Max? Tell her we miss her. WE MISS YOU MAX!" She could hear Fangs in the background, followed by a loud banging sound.

"Anyways," Toni began, "Those that aren't getting charged, AKA me, Fangs, Sweets and a few others, are getting released at noon tomorrow. Be there to welcome us home?"

"Duh! I wouldn't miss it. I'll be there right at noon."

"Great. See you soon."

The line went dead and Max turned back to her grandmother.

"Who was that?" Loraine questioned, fiddling with her nails.

Max sighed a breath of relief. "My friends. They're getting released tomorrow." She beamed and traced invisible patterns on the dining table. They were going to be okay. Everything was going to be okay. For now.

a/n:
Hey. This chapter sucked but at this point, I think all my writing sucks. however, I notice there are still people voting from time to time so I'm going release a chapter or two tonight.

Love you all ❤️

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