I have all of these outtakes from my stories and pieces of stories that I'm not sure will ever become full-blown stories, so I figured this was a good place to put them. It will not be updated regularly and I have no intention of making this a cohesive, full-size fic, so I promise it's not taking away from my other works.

Disclaimer: I obviously do not own any of these characters. I'm just giving them a place to stay, while we wait to see if they can find a permanent home.

The smell of greasy dough and artificial cheese drifted across the room, as Riley leaned back in the plastic chair. The sound of pins being knocked over and bowling balls hitting the hardwood, made any kind of conversation difficult, but Maya was trying, anyway.

"Remind me again, why we're doing this?" Maya complained, settling into the seat next to Riley and holding up a pair of rented shoes. Lucas and Zay were still talking with the guy at the counter, as they debated whether they wanted the bumper rails on or not.

"Because it was Zay's turn to pick our double date," Riley offered, already tying up the laces on her shoes.

"I don't know what I see in him," Maya complained, slipping off her boots and wiggling her toes in her socks, as she contemplated whether she was going to put the rented shoes on or not, "And I don't know how Farkle and Smackle managed to talk their way out of this."

"It was something to do with debate," Riley offered, though, truthfully, they'd thrown out so many four syllable words that Riley hadn't followed much of what they were saying.

"Ready?" Lucas asked, cheerfully, as he settled into the seat next to Riley.

Riley nodded enthusiastically, her ponytail brushing against the back of her neck from the movement, as Maya let out an unintelligible moan.

"It'll be fun," Riley assured her, watching as Zay crossed the room towards them.

"That was not fun," Maya informed Riley, as they made their way up the street.

"Come on, you're not even the one who fell down," Riley reminded her, resisting the urge to rub her backside at the memory and to test the level of bruising she could expect.

"You're just saying that because you lost," Zay offered, walking backwards, so that he could face them, "I told you, I was good at this game."

They'd played girls against boys and Maya and Riley had lost spectacularly. Riley had landed every ball in the gutter and Maya hadn't even been trying. It didn't take long before it was Lucas and Zay playing each other, while Riley and Maya watched from the sidelines. By the end, Riley had discovered why Zay had chosen this particular game for their date. It might be the one sport, in which, he's better than Lucas.

"I would have taken your word for it," Maya informed him and he laughed good naturedly before spinning around, so that he was walking beside the blonde.

"You want to go for ice cream?" Lucas suggested, swinging the hand that he had twined with Riley's.

"I'm beat," Zay replied, "But, if you guys want to go, by all means."

"I'm not third-wheeling it," Maya snorted.

"I guess that leave just us," Lucas turned to Riley.

"I never turn down ice cream," Riley replied, her lips pulling into a smile as their eyes met.

She'd heard that the feeling would go away. The butterflies in her stomach would stop flapping around and her heart would stop racing every time she looked at him. And, for the most part, it had. But, it was replaced by the feeling she got whenever his eyes met hers, that he was looking at her and really seeing her.

It wasn't the excitement of what could be, it was the excitement of what was.

"What are you thinking about?" Lucas asked, as they sat across from each other at Topanga's.

Technically, the store was closed, but Riley had used her own key to let them in. They still had an hour until curfew and Riley intended to spend every second of it with her boyfriend. They hadn't gotten to spend a lot of time together, lately, and she'd missed him.

"I think Maya and Zay are going to break up," Riley confessed, biting her lip, as she let her spoon drop into the bowl. It hadn't been exactly what she was thinking about, but it was a concern that had started weighing on her mind after seeing them together that night.

"They seemed fine to me," Lucas shrugged.

"You can't tell me you didn't notice the tension between them?" Riley asked, leaning back in her seat.

"I think it was in your head," Lucas informed her and Riley's eyes narrowed into a glare.

"They didn't seem happy," she offered, unable to explain the feeling that she'd been getting whenever she saw them together. Zay had seemed more sullen than usual and Maya seemed intent to ignore it, all of that had to add up something.

"Come on, Riles. Lots of couples have ups and downs," Lucas reminded her, his fingers tearing the corner of one of the napkins that Riley had piled in the middle of the table, "And isn't this a conversation you should be having with Maya, anyway?"

"Probably," Riley agreed, her eyes dropping to the table, as she stared at her melting mound of mint chocolate chip.

Awkward silences were a rare occurrence between the two of them, but Riley couldn't think of anything to say to pull them out of this one.

"You're not going to correct me for calling you, 'Riles?'" Lucas changed the subject and Riley's eyes snapped up in surprise.

"I don't mind it," Riley shrugged, wondering where he was going with this.

"But Maya does," he reminded her and Riley took a bite of her ice cream in an attempt to avoid answering.

Lucas waited patiently for her to swallow and she sighed, "Does that bother you?"

"You know that I don't want to get between you and Maya, but it's hard to find a part of you that doesn't already belong to her," Lucas confessed, "And, sometimes, it would be nice to have a piece of you that was just mine."

There was probably some kind of poetic justice in the situation that they had found themselves in. For such a long time, she'd had to share Lucas with Maya and now he was having to share her with Maya. Both situations were breeding grounds for resentment, although they had and continued to battle it.

She was, honestly, surprised that he had taken such a long time to broach the idea. She'd been sensing how much it bothered him for a while.

"I want to give you that," Riley admitted, "I'm just not sure how, yet."

He nodded, his eyes dropping to the table, as he contemplated her words.

"I can wait," he decided, his eyes flickering up to hers and back down the table. They looked like green sea glass in the faded light.

She nodded once, the taste of mint, suddenly becoming bitter in her mouth.

"Are you happy, being with me?" Riley's voice came out more vulnerable than she intended and she thought her heart might stop beating as she waited for his answer.

"Yes," Lucas responded, reaching across the table and grabbing her hand, "I'm more than happy with you. Are you happy with me?"

"More than happy," Riley echoed him, her thumb running across the top of his knuckles. There was a scar on one of them from one of the fights that he had gotten in and she hesitated a moment on it, as she traced the jagged edges.

"Whatever's going on with Zay and Maya, I'm not going anywhere," he promised her.

Riley's supposed to know something about love. She's Riley Mathews and there's never been a moment in her life where she's had to doubt that there's someone in the world who loves her. She grew up with the great Cory-And-Topanga love story, so she's never questioned that some people are meant to be together.

But, she's not sure if she's found it herself. She knows that she loves Lucas, but how does she know that it's the kind of love that could last a lifetime? How does she know that they'll still be happy together a year for now or even six months from now?

"I can hear you thinking from all the way over here," Zay informed her, from where he was sipping a smoothie and working on the homework that he had laid out before him.

She'd started working at Topanga's to earn some extra cash during the summer before her Sophomore year and, now, she worked a couple of afternoons a week.

Katy had rehearsals for an Off-Broadway production that she was working on and Topanga was in the process of trying to hold onto her job, after turning down a major promotion that would have caused the family to move to London. The firm was questioning her loyalty to her career path and Riley knew that her mother was trying to prove herself all over again.

She'd figured that it was a win-win situation, where she could still hang out with her friends after school and help out her family. However, Maya had started teaching after school art classes at the middle school, Farkle and Smackle had meetings with the Academic Decathlon and Debate teams, and Lucas had made it onto the Sophomore football team, after deciding that he didn't want his last experience with football to be him giving up in Freshman year.

She's not sure why Zay hadn't decided to do it with him, but for whatever reason, it was Zay, who still showed up at the bakery every day.

"Earth to Riley," Zay spoke again and Riley looked up from the same patch of counter that she'd been scrubbing for the last few minutes.

"Sorry, I'm a little out of it," Riley admitted, blowing at a strand of hair that had fallen from her ponytail and into her face.

"Anything you want to talk about?" he questioned.

Riley wasn't sure how to broach what Lucas and she had been talking about, but she figured that she could dance around the subject and hope that something came from it.

"You're dating Maya, right?" Riley asked, setting down the rag and crossing the room to talk to him.

"I think so. Sometimes, I think she forgets," he joked, leaning back in his seat.

Riley knew that Zay had genuine feelings for Maya, but no one would argue that the blonde was always hesitant when it came to reciprocating that affection. Riley knew that Maya cared for him, but she liked to keep one foot out the door. Whether that was because she had trust issues or because she was waiting for Josh, Riley had been too afraid to ask. Based on Zay's comment, she guessed she wasn't the only one.

"Do you love her?" Riley pressed, sinking into the chair opposite of him.

"I don't know," he shrugged, looking uncomfortable with the question, "I like her a lot and we have fun together, but I've always known that I'm a stand-in."

"You're not a stand-in," Riley protested, automatically.

"But I'm not her first choice, either," he argued, folding his arms across his chest, "So, what's this all about?"

"Lucas and I are going on a year of being together," Riley replied.

"I remember," Zay urged her on, when she didn't continue, "He's planning something nice."

"But, I don't know if I love him," Riley admitted, looking up as she waited for Zay to tell her what a horrible person she was.

"Anyone who sees the two of you together, know that you love him," Zay snorted.

"I mean, the way that I'm supposed to. The romantic, all-consuming, Cory-and-Topanga kind of love."

"Well, then, how do you love him? Because we've already clarified that it's not as a brother and it would be a little weird if you kissed me and Farkle the way that you kiss Lucas," Zay informed her and she buried her head in her hands.

"I know that I have more-than-friendly feelings for him, but how am I supposed to know if it's the kind of love that's going to last a lifetime?" Riley dropped her head into her hands, letting her hair fall into her face.

"Does it have to last a lifetime?" Zay questioned and Riley's head bounced up, "I'm not going to pretend to know anything about the kind of love that you're talking about, but, the way I see it, you can't put that kind of pressure on your relationship or it's going to crumble. You have Lucas, all of him, and, right now, isn't that enough?"

"It hurts him that I know that Maya and I are forever, but I can't put that kind of faith in my relationship with him. And, I don't want to hurt him anymore, I want to know."

"Well, we don't get to know the ending in life, we just get right now and we get to hope," Zay shrugged and Riley bit her lip as she thought through his words, "And you're the best person at hoping that I know."

"Thanks," she smiled, standing up from her seat to go back to work.

"Anytime," Zay returned to his homework.

Riley returned to scrubbing the counters, while she attempted to push her concerns from her mind. It was easy for Zay to tell her to just hope for things to work out, but Riley wasn't sure that hope would be enough in this case.

"Hey," Maya greeted Riley as she made her way through The Bay Window.

Riley was seated on her bed, finishing up her homework. Katy was taking the last shift at Topanga's and Riley had been home for a little over an hour.

"Peaches," Riley greeted her, setting aside her notebook and pencil.

"You have that face you get when you want to talk about something serious," Maya informed her, sinking down on the edge of Riley's bed and kicking off her boots.

"What's going on with you and Zay?" Riley got straight to the point, watching as Maya's shoulders tensed at the question.

"What do you mean?"

"You know what I mean," Riley insisted, "The two of you have been together for just a little less time than Lucas and I, but the two of you don't seem to be going anywhere."

"We can't all be Lucas and you, Riles," Maya snorted, leaning back against the mount of Riley's pillows.

"You know that wasn't how I meant it," Riley sighed, leaning back next to her and spreading her feet out on top of her textbook.

"I know, it's just, why does our relationship have to go anywhere? He wanted to be the guy that went on dates with me and that's what he is. We go on dates and we hold hands and he puts up with my moods," Maya shrugged.

"But would you pick him over Josh?" Riley asked, thinking of the way Josh had taken to avoiding the apartment and how he, somehow, managed to only be there when he knew that Maya wouldn't be.

"We both know the answer to that, Honey," Maya pointed out, turning her head to stare at the ceiling.

"The problem is, Maya, that I think Zay knows that, too."

The first time that Riley experiences heartbreak, it's second hand. She's standing at her locker, watching Maya and Zay talk at the end of the hall and based on their body language, she knows exactly what's being said.

She's at just the right angle to see the expression on Zay's face and the only word that seems like it might be able to cover it is: devastation. Whatever he had told Riley, he had loved her and Maya couldn't give herself to him.

Maya's a lot of things, but cruel isn't one of them. She won't string along Zay, when she knows that he's developed genuine feelings for her and she can't commit to him. But, Riley has to wonder if Maya had ever really even tried.

"What's going on?" Lucas questioned, stepping in front of her and blocking her view.

"Today's your day off from football practice, isn't it?" Riley ignored his question, turning and stuffing a book she didn't need into her locker.

"Yeah, I'm supposed to be catching up on homework," Lucas replied, his eyes flickering to a picture of them that Riley had taped to the inside of her locker. They were at Topanga's and Lucas had his arm wrapped around Riley, as she laughed at something that he had said.

"Do you want to go somewhere with me?" Riley pressed, biting her lip, as she waited for his answer.

"Always," he replied, taking his bag from her with one hand and wrapping his free arm around her, as they walked in the opposite direction down the hall.

They made it down the school steps and Riley laced her fingers with his, as she pulled him down the street. There was a part of her heart that was breaking for what she knew that Zay was going through, but it made her appreciate what she had that much more.

She fell into step with him, as they made their way down the subway steps, content just to be in each other's company.

"Did you have somewhere in mind?" Lucas asked, as Riley guided him onto the subway and found a spot with two seats.

"Not really," Riley admitted, her head sinking onto his shoulder.

"You're acting weird," Lucas informed her, looking at her in concern, "Did someone say something to you about us, again?"

Riley smiled at the protective edge to his voice. They were never going to be one of those couples that made-out against the lockers or said long goodbyes in the hallways outside of their classroom, but Riley had a tendency to stay close to him when something happened. It hadn't taken Lucas long to connect the dots in her behaviors and what she was feelings. How well he knew her was one of the things that she loved about him.

"No, I just realized how lucky we are," Riley confessed, her head popping up so that she could meet his gaze, "I told Maya, once, that if we're lucky in this life we get an extraordinary relationship and I thought that expecting anything other than my friendship with her would be like asking lightning to strike in the same place, twice. But, now, I realize that I was just scared. I don't know if we're going to last forever, but when I think about our relationship, I don't think I could ever find anything better than this. This relationship is everything that I could ever want."

"I love you, Riley," Lucas informed her, his eyes burning with his feelings.

"I love you, Lucas," Riley smiled, blinking back the tears that had suddenly gathered in her eyes.

His hand reached up and brushed a strand of hair behind her hear, before he cupped her face. Though, it was her that closed the distance and pressed her lips to his, when she decided that he was taking too long.

If their first kiss was summer rain, this one was the moment where the sun broke out from behind the dark, gray clouds and made the raindrops sparkle like crystals across the grass.

They broke apart and Lucas rested his forehead against Riley's.

"You're the first boy that I ever liked, my first date, my first kiss, and the first boy that I ever loved. And those are pieces of me that will only ever be yours," Riley managed to get out, before he'd pressed his lips to hers, again.

"Hey, Peaches," Riley found Maya seated in The Bay Window, her expression blank.

Lucas had gotten a text from Zay and gone to see his best friend, though both of them could have rode that subway car forever. Riley set her things at the foot of her bed, before crossing the room and sinking down next to the blonde.

"Am I bad person?" Maya asked, playing with a hole in the knee of her jeans.

"Of course, not," Riley was quick to assure her.

"I thought I would be relieved to end things with Zay because I knew that we were never going, anywhere. I'd even been thinking about doing it for, awhile, but I didn't want to throw our group into any more drama," Maya admitted, her hair blocking Riley from being able to see her face, "But, I don't feel relieved. I feel like I just hurt a great guy, who cares a lot about me, for a relationship that may or may not work, and what kind of person does that?"

"You didn't love him, Maya," Riley reminded her, reaching out and wrapping her arm around the blonde.

"How do you know that, Riles? I don't even know what love is," Maya's voice broke, as she lost the battle to hold back her tears.

"Because love is being able to give all of yourself to someone; it's the long talks about nothing, and the long talks about everything, it's seeing someone at their best and at their worst and still wanting to spend every second at their side. And, one day, you'll stumble into it and you'll realize that you never want to get out."

"You finally realized that you're in love with him?" Maya's head snapped up.

"I thought we were talking about you?" Riley reminded her, a blush starting to form on her cheeks.

"My problems will still be there in the morning."

"I love him," Riley offered, surprised by how easily the words were to say, once she'd admitted it to herself and to him, "I think, maybe, I've loved him all along. But the feeling grew, until I couldn't ignore it, anymore."

"I'm happy for you, Honey," Maya groaned, leaning her head against Riley's shoulders.

"No, you're not," Riley laughed, rubbing Maya's shoulder with her thumb.

"I'm just thinking about how much more time I'm going to have to share you with him, now," Maya admitted.

"I'll always make time for you," Riley promised.

"I'll always make time for you, too," Maya agreed, her head lifting up.

Riley watches Maya descend the fire escape through the window. She's not sure if Maya did the right thing in letting go of her relationship with Zay for a potential relationship that she might have in the future, but she can't ignore the way Maya moves as though a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

Maya makes it off the last rung and starts down the street, becoming engrossed in her cell phone and suddenly colliding with a boy in the street. It takes Riley only a second to deduce that it's Josh that she's run into, who was supposed to be coming to the house for dinner.

"What are you doing?" Auggie asked, pausing in her doorway.

"Accepting that maybe fate knows more than I do," Riley admitted, turning her attention away from the window, "Let's go see if Mom needs any help setting the table."

6 Months Later

Riley set Zay's smoothie onto the table next to him, as he finished off an essay that was due the next day.

"Thanks," he glanced up at her, before returning to his smoothie.

He'd been different since Maya had broken up with him and Lucas insisted that it was worse because he'd been the one who'd been dumped. He put on a good face whenever the group was hanging out with each other, though.

Riley sighed and returned to the back of the counter, where she was in the process of training someone else to run the shop. Katy's off-Broadway show had received rave reviews and it had helped her get cast in another show. She was slowly making a name for herself, which meant that she had cut back to two days a week at the bakery.

"Who is that?" their new hire, Olivia, questioned, her eyes fixed on Zay across the room.

"My friend Zay," Riley replied, ducking under the counter to grab a new bag of napkins. She'd noticed that the ones on Zay's table were almost out, which meant that it was probably time to check all of them.

"Lucas's friend from Texas?" Olivia clarified and Riley was surprised to discover that she had been listening.

Riley had a thing against awkward silences and had tried to fill any silence that had fallen between the two of them as they cleaned the bakery before closing. From the blank expression on the Eighth graders face, she had assumed that the fourteen-year-old was zoning out.

"Right," Riley offered, setting the bag on the counter, as she went looking for the scissors.

"You said that he just had a bad breakup, didn't you?" Olivia questioned, her eyes looking anywhere other than at Riley.

"A while ago," Riley replied, wondering where this conversation was going.

"Oh," Olivia replied, as Riley found the scissors and returned to her task of restocking the napkin containers.

Before she could press Olivia, the door opened and Riley looked up to find her boyfriend filling it.

"Hey," she greeted him, task forgotten.

"Hey," he replied, crossing the room and leaning over the counter to press a kiss onto Riley's lips.

"Ignore them, when they get stars in their eyes like that, they're in an entirely different world from the rest of us," Zay informed Olivia, leaning against the counter.

"Right," Olivia grabbed a stack of napkins.

"You're the new waitress, aren't you?" Zay asked.

"That's what they told me when they gave me this fancy apron," Olivia joked, gesturing to the apparel.

"You want to some help with that," Zay questioned, gesturing to the napkins.

"I make it a point to never turn down free manual labor," Olivia informed him, handing him the bag of napkins and rounding the counter. She led him in the direction of the table that he had been sitting at and Riley managed to drag her attention away from Lucas long enough to watch them.

"Is that a good idea?" Lucas asked, his eyes following Riley's across the room.

"Zay and Olivia?" Riley clarified.

"She's kind of young for him, isn't she?"

"She'll be a freshman when school starts up again," Riley shrugged, "And it might not be anything."

"I guess," Lucas shrugged, as Riley grabbed Lucas's usual order from under the counter and laid it out in front of him, "She kind of looks like Maya, doesn't she?"

Riley glanced over, taking in the blonde hair and the petite form of the new waitress.

"I don't see it," Riley shrugged.

Lucas shook his head and turned his attention to the food in front of him. Business was slow that afternoon, so Riley sank down next to him and burrowed into his shoulder.

"Sorry, I'm late, it started raining," Topanga announced, squeezing the water from her hair, as she entered through the front door. Topanga had quit her job a month ago, and decided to start her own firm. Splitting her time between the bakery and her new business had left her stretched pretty thin, but she seemed happier, so Riley was willing to pick up the slack.

"Come on," Lucas grabbed Riley's hand, leading her passed Topanga and out the door.

"What are we doing?" Riley asked, as he pulled her up the steps and onto the street.

"It's a summer rainstorm," Lucas informed her and Riley laughed as he pulled her into his arms and led her through an exaggerated waltz.

"I love you," she informed him, her head settling into the space between his neck and his shoulder, as the water saturated her hair and shirt.

"We're going to make it, Riles," he breathed into her hair and Riley knew exactly what he meant. She could see the future, too, in moments like this. The tiny heads of brown hair and green eyes and the house with the white-picket fence.

Riley pulled away from him, just enough to push up onto the tips of her toes and wrap both arms around his neck. His head move down to meet hers and she smiled as their lips met.

She didn't need hope, anymore, she had faith.

This was my attempt at something fluffy for Valentine's day. I know that I should be working on Heat Stroke or LOT, but I was down all of last week, sick, so this week I'm trying to catch up with my classes. Know that chapters for both of them are in progress and I'm going to get them up as soon as I can.

This does not take place in any of my other stories universes, but is kind of a snippet of some of the things that I would have liked to see in a season four. (I know we're still hoping that another network picks them up, but I feel like things are looking pretty grim at the moment.) Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it. The title comes from the song by Lifehouse, which you should go check out. I would love it if you would leave me a review! Thanks!