A/N: Love the second movie but I was definitely disappointed with the unresolved plot-point between Ben and Riley. I really liked how they expanded Riley's character, but hated how he was so overlooked by everyone. I was seriously thinking that since they put him through so much trouble something should have happened with him, but nope. Here's a "deleted scene" that I really wished would have happened.
Riley reached down to grab his friend as Ben hung precariously onto the rickety ladder.
"Come on Ben! Take my hand!" he shouted. Ben reached up and clasped his hand. Riley gritted his teeth and exerted all his strength to pull Ben out of harms way. Ben hauled himself up, sweat pouring from his brow.
Riley," he gasped.
"Now why can't a girl see me do that?" Riley muttered to himself.
Ben stumbled upright just as the gigantic gold tablet thundered and crashed into the ground. He swayed, feeling unsteady, and attempted to catch his breath. Abigail put her arms around him.
"You're okay, you're okay," she murmured to him.
Riley turned in unadulterated anger at Wilkinson. That man had nearly screwed them all over by leaving them to die on that deadly seesaw.
"What is your problem?!" Riley suddenly shouted. Ben and Abigail
looked up at him in surprise, still recovering from their near bout
Wilkinson narrowed his eyes at him. "Best watch your mouth, boy."
Riley let out a sort of laugh. "You even have the audacity to tell me that? The City Of Gold, right? You're willing to kill us for it, and honestly I am not in the least bit surprised."
"You shouldn't talk about things you don't understand," he said in a dangerous voice that put Ben and Abigail on edge, but Riley barreled on.
"Oh, I understand," Riley hissed. "I understand that you're willing to hurt my friends and a lot of other people to get what you want! You almost killed Ben!"
Wilkinson tilted his head and then addressed Riley almost as if he was talking to a child.
"I don't see why you would care so much. He uses you."
Ben was trying to get Riley to shut up (and was being stubbornly ignored), stopped short. He couldn't have been using his friend…could he? No, that wasn't true.
Riley always had been there, instantly helping Ben no matter how insane the problem was. With a sudden sickening pang of guilt, he realized that even though he had never used Riley, he had done something that felt just as bad. He hadn't acknowledged, never took the time to thank his best friend.
Riley meanwhile was getting increasingly infuriated.
I don't need to listen to this!" Riley yelled taking a step
forward. "I did what I did because I trust him!"
"And look where you are now," Wilkinson smirked. Two pairs of blue eyes met each other, one cold and the other fiery. Riley now spoke through gritted teeth.
"Ben always finds a way. Always."
Ben was now staring at Riley in amazement. He had always known Riley trusted him, but he never realized the extent of his fierce loyalty until now. It was this blind faith that Ben truly didn't understand and he expected he never would.
Wilkinson," Riley continued, "He's worth ten times what you
Riley was cut off as Wilkinson slammed his fist into the side of his face. Abigail screamed as Riley's head snapped back and he fell onto the stone ground.
"You're the one who got us trapped down here in the first place," Wilkinson snarled, "So if I were you I would watch myself, otherwise you'll get what you really deserve."
Ben felt a surge of rage boil to the surface. No one did that to his best friend and got away with it. Riley looked dazed and Abigail rushed to his side to see if he was all right.
Wilkinson raised his eyebrows and looked at Ben.
told you I didn't need the guns."
"Yeah, I guess you did," Ben said taking three strides forward, and before Wilkinson could react Ben delivered an explosive punch to his face. Wilkinson took a few stumbling steps backward but stayed on his feet. Riley and Abigail were staring at Ben with open mouths.
Both treasure hunters glared at each other with detestation. Ben had never disliked that man more then he did at the current moment. Wilkinson slowly moved his hand to his lip and wiped away blood. Then he spat something out in his hand. A tooth.
"Nice hit, Gates," he said.
"Don't touch Riley ever again. In fact, don't touch any of my family. Understand?" Ben growled.
"You'd like to think you're calling the shots here, wouldn't you?" Wilkinson said in an almost jeering tone.
"When it comes to them, yeah I am."
looked at Ben icily and started to move past him to continue down the
tunnel. Then he stopped next to him and hissed in his ear, "I
picked a little souvenir off those human remains over there."
Ben felt his insides churn when he saw Wilkinson holding a knife in the inside of his coat. By the markings Ben could tell it was a knife used for human sacrifices.
the occasion nicely, doesn't it?" Ben raised his eyes from the
knife to Wilkinson's face, keeping his expression carefully
"Leave them out of it. It's between you and me," he said in a quiet voice so neither Riley or Abigail could hear.
"Fine. But remember who's calling the shots"
Then he shouldered past Ben without another word.
Abigail was trying to help Riley sit up and Ben hurried over to them.
you okay?" he asked in a tight voice. Riley winced and tried to
shake his head clear of the dizziness.
"Yeah, it's not bad. I'm fine." Ben sighed and helped Abigail haul Riley to his feet. He examined his friend's face and saw an angry bruise forming on his cheek.
"It looks like you got a pretty bad bruise." Ben commented with a grimace. Riley shrugged.
"It was worth it."
Ben and Abigail went to either side of Riley to support him as they continued down the tunnel after Wilkinson.
Ben seemed to be thinking really hard, a troubled look on his face. Riley didn't even need to be in this hellhole with him. Yet here he was, repeatedly offering to put himself on the line. The kid had never backed down from any challenge Ben had asked for help with. He was with him since the very beginning. With a sickening realization, Ben couldn't remember the last time he had acknowledged his constant devotion. That steadfast loyalty was something Ben felt he didn't deserve in the slightest, especially after the way he had treated his friend.
"I'm sorry Riley" Ben said breaking the silence.
your fault Ben. You didn't know he was going to punch me. And I was
kind of asking for it."
"No, I mean, yes, I'm sorry about that, but…" he paused and stopped short, sadness written on his features.
Abigail watched silently as Ben turned to Riley. This was something between the two of them and she didn't want to interfere.
what he said…what he said about me using you…"
"Ben, that's ridiculous. You can't think-"
"I know. I would never use you. You're my best friend. But I…" He bit his lip and ran a hand through his now dirt covered hair.
take you for granted," he said, finally finding the words he was
looking for. "You're there for me all the time, you…." He
looked into Riley's wide blue eyes and smiled fondly. "You're
the bravest person I know and I couldn't ask for a better friend. I
don't think I ever really told you that, and I never really thanked
you for everything you've done. So thank you."
Riley looked startled, then a slow smiled spread across his face.
wow. I'm…" he began sounding deeply touched.
Abigail snickered. "Speechless for once."
rolled his eyes. "Har har."
They continued down the dark tunnel and Riley was still beaming from Ben's praise, his eyes aglow. Ben couldn't help but smile as well.
"I think there's something up ahead," Abigail said suddenly. Ben nodded and seemed to be straining to hear something.
hear that? It sounds like water."
Ben looked between the both of them.
ready for this?"
Riley raised his eyebrows. "After that seesaw of doom, I think I can handle some waterworks."
Abigail nodded in agreement. "We've gotten this far, didn't we?"
Ben let out a breath and looked down the tunnel with a resolute expression.
get out of here," he said to encourage them, but also to partly
"Well Ben," Riley said with a smirk, "If you say it then it will come to pass. It's like magic or something."
Ben looked at Riley and saw the trust in his light blue eyes. Ben suddenly felt, as he often felt in the past, that even if he couldn't pull through for himself he had to do it for the simple conviction on his friend's face.