[a/n: none really happened in the show. Some familiarity -but not all. Enjoy.]
Riley and Maya were on the swings, giggling and whispering funny corny jokes to each other, the kind you'd hear the average five year olds talking about. Maya twirled her light baby blonde curls on her tiny fingers as Riley let out another little giggle. Their laughter was interrupted from the sounds of teeny footsteps entering the school playground; small shoes rubbing against the concrete ground. Riley turned and glanced over at the other 5 year old boy and a smile stretched from both of her ears. Maya, the curious little girl, looked at her friend quizzically before turning and seeing a little blonde haired boy, her eyes sparkling ever so slightly.
Riley lifted herself off the swings and clasped her hands together shyly as Maya stayed at her side. Another tiny giggle escaped the girl's lips as she let out the small, quiet words, "who's that?" The boy walked closer to the two girls standing by the swings and shyly held out his hand.
"Hello, my name is Lucas Friar." He greeted in a young Texan accent. "I came all the way here from Hu-Houston Texas. What is yours?" Riley shook his hand and her cheeks turned a bright pink.
"Hi, I'm Riley." she shook his hand. Maya toothy smiled at the two exchanging names. "I'm from," she waved her hands out around her. "Here!"
Lucas laughed at her as she twirled around in a circle. His eyes lingered from hers to Maya's. "What is your name?"
She twiddled with her hair. "I'm Maya. Maya Penelope Hart." Maya greeted shyly, her shoulders almost shrugged up to her cheeks. Lucas smiled as he waved at her in response. The blonde looked back at Riley, and even though she was only five years old and had so much more to learn about the world, she knew one thing.
That someday, her Riley and Lucas were going to be together one day.
And she stepped back.
Fast forward from tons of inside elementary jokes, parental bonding at the ice cream parlors and meeting a boy named Farkle, they were all finally thirteen years old. And Riley was the last to turn the wonderful number considering all her friends were a bit older whether it was in months or a year.
"Happy birthday to youu!" They all sang in finishing. They all clapped as Riley blushed with love of her family and friends. Cory and Topanga counted down to her number, and as the tradition continues, Riley responded, "Stop!"
"Blow out your candles!" Maya exclaimed as they all stopped singing. Riley paused and smiled at her best friends, examining their happy faces.
"I need to make a wish first, peaches!" She replied. Taking a breath, she decided to say it out loud. "I wish,-"
"Don't say it out loud!" Farkle interrupted. "It might not come true."
"I think I should. Because it's already coming true." Riley said with a small smile. "I wish that we all stay friends forever. And maybe see where life takes us?" She added in question, holding Maya's hand before biting her bottom lip, eyeing Lucas to let Maya in on the hint in her question. Once again, she smiled kindly to her best friend and nodded with approval.
Little growing Riley developed a crush on Lucas Friar.
Maya noticed this when they turned 11. It was no surprise there.
"Always." Maya nodded with empathy. "Happy birthday, Riles."
Riley flashed her dimples as she smiled again, blowing out her candles as Maya and Lucas's eyes met. She raised her brows up knowingly, smirking as the boy blushed, his eyes returning to Riley's attention.
And there was a chance he liked her back. Riley, she meant.
So she stepped back.
"I can't do it. I can't do it!" Riley cried as she shook her head furiously. "I take it back Maya. I don't want to do it." Maya rolled her eyes at her 15 year friend's denial to do the thing shes been meaning to for a long time now.
"Riley, quit it!" She yelled as she pushed the girl forward, Riley wincing at the reaction as she was finally closer to Lucas. He turned and smiled as he closed his locker.
"Hi Riley, Maya." He greeted. Maya smiled as Riley smiled wider like a love-struck puppy.
"Hi Lucas." They both said back.
"So Lucas." Maya coughed as Riley stood her ground, stiff as stone. "Riley wanted to ask you something." Lucas looked at the girl, awaiting the question.
"...I.." Riley stuttered, feeling her words break inside her throat. Maya rolled her eyes as she continued to speak.
"She would like to know if you'd both like to go out on Friday night. Alone." Maya voiced for Riley while her eyes widened with panic and distress. Lucas's smile lifted onto his face as he nodded.
"Like a date?"
Maya nudged Riley hard with her elbow as the girl inhaled a breath. "Yes." She breathed in as Maya let out a laugh. Her poor friend.
"Great!" He answered, taking a hold of Riley's hand in his own. "Walk with me to class?"
Instead of trying to utter another word, Riley just smiled and nodded her head as their hands entwined for the first time as something other than friends. The brunette waved the blonde goodbye as they headed off to class.
She gulped, feeling her heart sink as she smiled back at her friend, waving back in return. Riley wasn't the only girl staring into those blue, Texan eyes. While her best friend saw innocence, prince-charming and pureness, Maya saw past it. She saw intensity, courage, and the man he was growing to be. But she hated herself for feeling this way and viewing him differently. She vowed to never break her ten year promise. Maya couldn't hurt her under any circumstances.
Riley and Lucas belong together. Riley and Lucas belong together, Maya. Stop being an idiot.
As always, she took a step back. In her head and in the hallway she stood in.
Suddenly they were dating and Riley couldn't stop talking about her new official boyfriend. Maya listened to every word and smiled the best she could. Her best friend had a boyfriend! She called it! For 10 years she called this moment. Whether it was small hand holds in the hallway or stolen kisses on dates, Maya listened to every detail closely, because it was her job to be a best friend and to be happy for her no matter what. Her happiness was always first.
Maya had tried holding a relationship at her age of sixteen with a certain Josh Matthews. It wasn't successful due to the long-distance in college and the lack of messages she began to not receive anymore. It hadn't worked out for her, but she was okay and strong. No matter what, Maya was okay.
"And today, he kissed me underneath my favorite tree in Central Park." She would giggle. They used to giggle about things that they were both enjoying. This time it was one-sided.
Other times (most times) were bad for Riley and Lucas. She'd come to Maya crying, and Maya was always her shoulder no matter what. Days grew darker and feelings grew weaker.
"And he told me that I was too much for him sometimes." She would say, wiping her tears from her eyes as Maya held her best friend close to her. "I don't like hurting him-but he can be so doubtful of us sometimes."
"I understand." She didn't. She didn't know why Lucas thought that way. Weren't they supposed to be forever? Maya would caress her friends hair to calm her down until they both fell asleep eventually, waking up in better moods the next morning.
And then one night in October of 2018, they broke up. They were broken, ripped, torn apart from no one else but each other. Riley's hope grew weak as Maya's heart began to callous from each Lucas conversation they'd have. It was a stormy night, 8pm approximately when Riley came in through Maya's windows with red, puffy crying eyes, her explanation bursting out of her as Maya immediately ran over to her, rubbing her shoulder as she cried through her words.
After the explanation, Maya grew angry and fed up. She didn't know what she was going to do but she was going to do it and she was going to do it right now.
Riley went home, and Maya went out.
She climbed through Lucas's window, yelling the words, "Why wasn't she enough for you?"
Lucas jumped up in surprise, his eyes meeting 16 year old Maya Penelope Hart, enraged. Her eyes wore such a glare and she looked like she was biting the inside of her bottom lip. "You hurt her. You told her that you couldn't do this anymore. Why can't you handle her? Why can't you be satisfied?"
"She and I stopped clicking. Riley has known this for weeks, Maya. She couldn't say it out loud."
Her voice grew lower. "You're lying." Maya shook her head in obvious denial. "Riley would've told me."
"Riley couldn't tell you why. She could not say the words out loud."
"Are you kidding me? Riley tells me everything."
Lucas stepped closer to her. Maya stepped back. "Really? She does?" Maya stayed silent.
"Did Riley tell you that you're the reason we're done? Did she tell you that she was upset because she wasn't you?"
Maya furrowed her brows. "What?"
"Did she mention that she comes to you because she's sure you feel nothing for me?"
"Lucas, shut up."
Every step Lucas took closer, Maya would take back. "Did she tell you that I fell in love with you? That each time you were her voice, every time you pushed her to me, I wanted you and your initiatives?"
"Stop talking." Maya's voice grew higher and more strained as she took two steps back. "STOP."
"YOU stop." He replied. Maya questionably stared at him. "Stop stepping back."
"You're trying to corner me." Maya hit the wall, huffing out through her nose. Lucas stepped closer. "Stop cornering me."
"They say when you corner someone from doing something, it only makes them want to do it more." He spoke quietly. "Do it."
And without warning, Maya leaned in and pressed her lips to his, the kiss immediately igniting a fire in their hearts as he grabbed the back of her thighs, wrapping her legs around his waist as he held her closer. They weren't supposed to be doing this; Maya wasn't supposed to break the eleven year promise. She broke it, tore it, burned it. But she couldn't stop herself when they kissed, when he rested her down on his bed, and when they made love that night.
And in that stormy, dark night,
She didn't step back.
She stepped forward.
Maya couldn't believe what she had stepped into. One night filled with passion and escaped tension turned into several nights of the same feelings and rushes.
It was a secret.
Maya felt numb. Her heart was flooded so much of Lucas and her love for him, that the guilty conscience which lived inside of her was pushed so far away. In those nights, all that mattered were them, the sheets and the heat.
All four greeted each other in the hallway-Farkle would give them strange looks, and Maya would hope he hadn't caught on with his magical gift of insight-, and all of their friendships went back to normal.
Except for Maya and Lucas's.. which transformed into something so much more which hadn't been given a name yet. Was it ever?
Riley would talk to her about some boys at school,-and Lucas-, and this new guy Charlie Gardener, who was really cute,-and Lucas-, and the homework they had for her father's class.
Oh, and Lucas.
The more she mentioned his name, the more the guilt grew into Maya's mind. She tried picturing how she was gonna explain it, how she was even going to tell the girl she had known her whole life that she had been having sex with her boyfriend of one unsuccessful year for just a span of days-scratch that, weeks.
Oh god, they've been at this for weeks. Maya felt sick.
One night, Lucas was kissing down Maya's neck and she was staring up at the ceiling with curiosity. Before her thoughts could register, she let out a small, "Lucas?"
He stopped kissing the skin and their eyes met. "Yeah?"
"We've been doing this for two weeks. What is this?"
"Maya, I'm in love with you." He informed her, making her heart leap like it always had. She stared at him back, and took a breath.
"I love you too."
He leaned down again.
"Are we going to tell her?" She said as he was inches away from her lips again.
"How long have you been thinking about telling her?"
"She talks about you a lot." Maya lowered her eyes sadly. Lucas gently got off of her, sitting next to her on his now sacred-ground bed. "What are we going to do?"
Lucas eyed her with apprehension, unknowing as he ran his hand over his bed-head.
They stood in front of the brunette, and Maya could feel herself shaking with dread. She questionably stared up at them as Lucas waited for her to speak. Maya let out a shaky breath, before uttering the tiny words, "I'm in love with him." Riley began gaping as she went on. "I had a crush on him at thirteen, and I didn't tell you. And then it didn't go away." She gulped nervously, hesitantly. "And then you guys broke up. And that night... I went to his house."
Riley blinked once, twice, several times. Tears welled up in them. "Riley, you never told me why you broke up with him. You didn't tell me the truth-you-you lied to me!" Maya was incredulous.
"What happened that night." She avoided her gaze.
"He told me he loved me." She revealed. "And yesterday, I told him I loved him too."
Riley sucked in air through her nose as she eyed Maya with angry eyes. "And you're mad that I lied to you?" She stood up, feeling dizzy from all the revelations. "You've been lying to me since we were THIRTEEN YEARS OLD, MAYA. Did you just hear yourself?"
"I was stepping back." Maya defended, not mentioning her eleven year promise.
"Well congratulations. You stepped forward for a straight two weeks." Riley shook her head in disbelief as she walked out of Maya's bedroom.
They didn't talk for weeks. It made Riley cry,
And Maya cry harder.
Lucas held her each time she thought of her-which was pretty often, but it didn't help or change the fight. Or the silence.
They avoided each other's eyes in the hallway, and the giggling and whispering stopped. Farkle comforted Riley constantly, received thank you kisses from it, but he knew that she was still broken. Days, weeks and months went by, but no words were exchanged. Lucas and Maya held hands in public now, but it was a very slow start. Each time Lucas would try to kiss her, she turned her head. Maya did this often now.
Soon enough, it was class of 2019 caps and gowns season, and the four were still pretty miserable. They built up this perfect friendship, to now crumble to the ground. And now they were graduating.
Well. This wasn't happening. Not on Farkle's watch.
He watched as people walked through the hallway, and immediately noticed Riley walking on one side as Maya walked the other. In just a matter of seconds, he grabbed both of their hands, opened the janitor's closet with founded luck and closed the door, locking them in.
Maya and Riley sat down and rolled their eyes, fixing their caps.
It was silent for a few minutes.
And then a small, "hey." escaped Riley's mouth.
"It's been a while."
Riley looked down as she spoke. "How are you?"
"I'm okay. And you?"
Mere seconds later, tears well up in both girl's eyes. Maya could hear sniffling on her end, and shot her head up. "Are you crying?"
"Do you even care?" Riley looked up again, a broken expression covering her face. Maya furrowed her brows and nodded.
"How could I not? I haven't even freaking spoken to my best friend in a span of several months and you expect me to not care about your ass? You're insane." She snapped back, covering her face after.
Riley wiped a tear away and sighed as she looked up at the ceiling.
"But you're right." Maya continued as she stared at her hands. "Stepping back for three years was probably not the best idea. I didn't want you to hurt. I wanted your happiness before mine."
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you Lucas was in love with you. I wasn't ready to lose him at the time." Riley replied. "I was wrong to keep that from you too."
The two girls stayed quiet for a whole minute before lunging suddenly into a bone crushing hug, letting their tears escape. Pulling away a moment later, Riley smiled as she wiped away her fallen tears.
"I missed you, Peaches. our friendship is more powerful than any boy who happens to enter our life at five years old." She finally spoke, her crying smile still remaining on her face.
"What are the odds. Right?" Maya said as they both laughed. It was music to their ears.
Farkle eventually unlocked the door, earning a kick in the shin from Maya and a slap from Riley-but then a kiss after to make it up.
Lucas found Maya after and she smiled widely as she threw her arms around in his neck, capturing his lips with hers. He smiled against her lips as he responded, before they pulled leaned apart. "Still love me?" Maya breathed out against his lips.
"I'll always love you."
The brunette looked back at Maya, and even though she was only seventeen years old and had so much more to learn about the world, she knew one thing.
That Maya and Lucas were going to be together forever.
After tossing their caps in the air, Maya stepped forward, wrapping her arms around Lucas again. "No more stepping back?" He asked.
Maya smiled. "No more. We're going forward. Together."