Lucas tried to stick to the plan. He really did. But then Sunday came, and all of a sudden everything was ass backwards because he heard from Farkle that Riley had accepted a date with Charlie Gardner, which meant that all plans were off.
Both girls avoided his texts, and the bay window was firmly shut and curtains drawn when he stopped by. Seeing his dark mood, Zay grabbed Farkle and skedaddled as well, leaving Lucas to go sulk at Topanga’s by himself. And that was where Topanga herself found him, glaring into a cup so hard that if the liquid wasn’t black before, it certainly could have been from the force alone.
Riley Matthews was exactly like her father in too many ways to count. It was also only fitting that her best friend Maya was a carbon copy of Shawn Hunter, also Cory’s best friend. And while Stuart Minkus hadn’t remained in Cory and Shawn’s lives for very long, his son Farkle was determined to be much more than a supporting role in the girls’ lives. That meant that there was only one more role to fill in this little deja vu game they called life. Luckily for him though, Topanga had recognized a kindred spirit in Lucas Friar from the first moment she saw how he looked at her daughter. Like called to like.
“What? Maya— “he sputtered, jumping up to face her.
“Hear me out first!” She implored, holding up her hands. “Riley and I talked last night. All she sees is what everyone else did – us bickering and flirting and whatever. I couldn’t convince her that you were interested in her from that first day on the subway, not me.”
“You pushed her.”
She nodded. “I did. Twice. It was an experiment. The first time, she babbled something about me, right? Since I had literally gone over to talk to you— “
“At me, actually,” he muttered.
“—not even a minute before. Think about it, Lucas. What else do you remember about that day?”
She was absolutely adorable.
Thirteen-year-old Lucas Friar usually scoffed at the thought of describing a girl over the age of eight as “cute”, but the wide-eyed, blushing little brunette who had just tumbled into his lap was exactly that. He had noticed her almost immediately, initially catching the mischievous and shrewd gaze of her friend first. She had smirked and returned the look fearlessly, which both intrigued him and made him a bit wary. She reminded him a bit too much of the girls at his old school in Austin, Texas–well on her way to understanding and utilizing the allure and attraction she held over the opposite sex. The blonde was pretty, in a flashy, wanna be rebel type of way.
This was quite possibly the worst idea she had had ever had –or the best. Maya stood, shivering, in front of entrance to the Museum of Modern Art, wishing she had thought to grab her change purse off of her dresser. Her favorite coffee stand was only a block away, but she had been so intent on going to the meeting spot before she chickened out that she had blown right past it.
Her heart jumped at the quiet, uncertain baritone. She slowly turned to face Josh, her face lighting up with surprise and pleasure. He had actually shown up. She took a moment to drink him in; tall, lanky without quite the broadness of shoulders and definition of muscles that Lucas had, but still with a wiry inherent strength. Lucas could sometimes be a bit physically overwhelming and intimidating, even when he wasn’t trying. Maya rebelled against that by physically getting into his face every chance she got. Better to go too far and know where the line was drawn than live in fear and doubt of the unknown. Josh, by contrast, didn’t rile that defensive instinct up in her. She liked that she could almost look him in the eye when she was wearing her heels, yet she still felt feminine and protected.
He shifted uncomfortably when she didn’t respond to his greeting, but merely stared at him with those slightly exotic, fascinatingly blue eyes.
The girls silently returned to Riley’s bedroom after Lucas’ impassioned lecture and instructions. The rest of the apartment was dark, indicating that the rest of the Matthews’ family had retired to their beds. The silence continued as they moved around each other in the moonlight, finding their pajamas and taking care of other personal needs before pulling the blankets off of the bed to sit facing each other in the window seat. Lucas was right – this conversation was too important to have anywhere else.
Riley looked at her best friend, her expression woebegone and guilty. Maya returned the look stoically for a moment, before huffing exasperatedly as the words came tumbling out.
“Riles, why? Why would you lie to me like that?”
“Because you’re the best person I know, and so is he, and I want the best for you–and him.”
Maya lost her breath at the calm and final note in Riley’s voice and her unhesitating answer.
“There are so many things that I want to address with that answer, but we’re going to have to come back to that.” She finally said tightly. “If you have anything else to say to elaborate on that particular train of reasoning before I completely derail it, now would be a good time to speak or forever hold your peace.”
Riley’s eyes widened at the underlying anger in the blonde’s voice, and she shook her head frantically.