advice maya

Not-So-Friendly Advice

A Joshaya Fanfic

Story by: hoffkk

Summary: Maya and Lucas get voted best couple in the school yearbook, causing a rift between Maya and Riley.  While Riley refuses to talk to Maya, Maya decides to get some friendly advice from Josh, which ultimately turns not-so-friendly….in a good way ;)

Notes: Felt inspired when I heard about an upcoming episode where Maya and Lucas actually DO get voted best couple.  This is what happened.  Hope you like it.  I apologize for any errors.  I own nothing GMW related.  Enjoy!  Comments are welcome! :)

*******

“Come on, Riley! Talk to me!”  Maya urged as she followed Riley through the front door of her family’s apartment, repeating the same words she had said at school, on the subway, and outside Riley’s apartment building.  "Say something…anything.“

Yearbooks came out today, and the girls had been really excited about.  That is, until they caught a glimpse of the superlatives page. The eighth grade class had voted Maya and Lucas as "Best Couple” and neither one of them took it well.  Maya was surprised for half a second, then became livid, while Riley was shocked into silence.  She hadn’t said a word to Maya since, which is why they were having the current one-sided conversation.

“Riley, please!” Maya begged.

“I just… I need some time.”  Riley said finally, turning to face her friend before spinning on her heel and heading to her bedroom.

Maya ran a hand through her long hair in frustration, then froze as she noticed Josh and Auggie sitting on the couch, playing some kind of card game.

“Auggie,” Josh said after a quiet moment. “why don’t you go and see if your sister is all right?”

“Fine.” Auggie huffed, walking away.  "Women! So needy!“

Josh smirked and shook his head as he watched his five year old nephew leave the room.  Once Auggie was gone, he stood up from the couch and turned towards Maya who just stood there nervously.

"Wanna talk about it?”  He offered.

“Yes, with Riley…”  She let out a breath.  "but I suppose her Uncle Boing will have to do.“  Maya shrugged, before walking over and taking a seat on the couch next to Josh.

"So what happened?” Josh queried.

“Do you remember Lucas, our friend that came over for game night a few weeks ago?”

“You mean Mr. Howdy?”  Josh asked, recalling the night in question.

“That would be the one.”  Maya nodded before continuing.  "The thing is, Riley likes him a lot, but he and I kind of got voted “Best Couple” at school and now she won’t speak to me.“

"Wait, you two are a couple?”  Josh questioned, feeling a pang of jealousy.

“Me and howdy?” Hecks no!“  Maya assured.

"Well…do you like him?”  Josh probed further so he could give Maya proper advice, or at least that is what he told himself.

“Of course not,” Maya told him, allowing Josh to let out a breath he didn’t even realize he was holding.  "but even if I did, It wouldn’t matter because I could never act on it.  I could never do that to Riley.  She’s too important to me.“

” I know.“ Josh half-smiled at Maya’s words.  She really was a great friend.  That was just one of the many things he admired about her.  ”…and so does Riley.  She just needs some time to process everything, that’s all.“

"But there’s nothing to process!”  Maya said exasperatedly.  "Lucas and I are just friends.“

"Yes, but we can’t all be as bold and fearless as you.”  He commented, knocking his knee into hers.  Josh couldn’t tell, but the motion had sent the butterflies in Maya’s stomach into hyper-drive.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”  She quirked a brow.

“That, unlike you, some people get scared.”  Josh explained, and when Maya just looked even more confused, he went on.  "What I mean is, that for some people, like Riley, just the idea of something happening can be scary, especially when they have never considered the idea before.“ He finished, his blue eyes boring into hers.

"Okaaay…I can understand that.”  She nodded in confirmation, though she could sense something more in his words, a certain heaviness that implied he was talking about so much more than his niece. This heaviness made her heart race. “But… I think that some people only scare so easily because they think too much.  So, maybe some people need to just stop thinking and start doing…”  She trailed off.

Josh stared at Maya intently as he listened to her speak.  As the last few words left her mouth, Josh’s gaze flicked from her sapphire blue eyes to her soft pink lips.  He suddenly felt caught in a trance and began to lean forward, wanting nothing more than to know what she tasted like.

Maya realized what was happening, and her heartbeat doubled its already rapid pace, as she leaned to meet him halfway.  This was it. This was their moment.  She was finally going kiss Josh.

Their lips were only inches apart, when a boyish voice filled their ears.

“Maya!  Riley wants to see you now!”  Auggie called, running back into the living room.

Their heads snapped back, and they quickly pulled away from each other.  Feigning normalcy, Josh rubbed the back of his neck with a hand, and Maya push some of her blonde curls behind her ear.  To a five year old, everything seemed fine, but anyone else would see their movements for the nervous gestures that they were and know something was up.

“Okay.  I’m coming.”  Maya responded, then stood up from the couch and headed in the direction of Riley’s room. She was almost out of the room when she stopped and turned back to look at a blushing Josh and smiled.

“Josh?”  She called over her shoulder.

“Yeah?”  He queried, trying to calm his heartbeat down. Josh wasn’t sure what had come over him a few seconds ago, but he knew that he was feeling really annoyed right now. Whether his annoyance was because he almost let something happen between them or because Auggie interrupted that something, well, Josh wasn’t quite sure.

“Thanks.”  Maya replied with a single nod of her head, then left him staring after her.

*******

Maya entered Riley’s room and found her friend sitting in her usual spot in front of the bay window.

“Hey.”  Maya said softly.

“Hey.”  Riley repeated back.

After exchanging pleasantries, Maya took a seat next to Riley and let out a breath.

“So, you still mad at me?”  She asked, ready to put this fight behind them and get back to being best friends.

“I was never mad at you, Maya.”  Riley promised.  "I was just…surprised.“

"About what?” Maya wondered aloud.

“You know that I like Lucas a lot, like a lot a lot.”  Riley stated.

“Yeah…” Maya waited for her to continue.

“But I never once considered the possibility that you might like him too, not until today, not until I saw that picture in the yearbook.”  Riley explained, referring to the photo placed under the “Best Couple” title, the one of Maya and Lucas standing close and looking at each other all smiley.  They looked like they really liked each other, but what you couldn’t tell was that it was actually taken during one of the times Maya was making fun of Lucas. She had just called him one of his many nicknames and got all in his face to do the “HAR!” sound effect, causing them both to chuckle, which is when somebody had snapped the photo.

“But I don’t like him, Riley.  We’re just friends, and that’s mostly by association.”  Maya assured her, adding the last bit as a joke, well…mostly.

“But you could,” Riley stated matter-of-factly. “and he could like you too, and I… I just wasn’t sure how to handle that before.”

“And now?” Maya pressed, genuinely curious.

“And now I realize that you’re my best friend, and that at the end of the day, your happiness matters more to me than anything else.”

“Back-atcha, peaches.”  Maya smiled, putting a hand on Riley’s shoulder.

“So…” Riley continued.  "If you did like Lucas, and he liked you back, I want you to know that you would have my blessing.“

"Really?” Maya asked, a little astounded by her friend’s confession.

“Really.” Riley nodded.  "I would never want to stop you from finding your true love…whether it’s Lucas or not.“ She smiled, putting her arm through Maya’s.

At that moment, a light bulb went off in Maya’s head, and a cheeky smile spread across her face.

"So…” Maya started innocently. “what you are saying is that if I found someone that I really liked who liked me back then you would be happy for me?”

“Yep.” Riley nodded assuredly.

“And you wouldn’t stop me from being with him?”

“Nope.” Riley gave another peppy nod, not realizing where this conversation was headed.

“Good.” Maya stated.

“Good.” Riley repeated.

“Because I like Josh, and I’m pretty sure he likes me.”

“What?!” Riley gasped.

“And I want to be his girlfriend.”

“What?!” Riley said again, just as flabbergasted as the first time.

“Thanks for being okay with it!” She hugged her tightly.  "Hey!  I wonder if he is still here?“  Maya added before running towards the door.

"Maya!” Riley yelled, but she was already gone. “Maya?”

Riley just stared at the open door for a moment completely bewildered.  She did not see that one coming.  She mean what she said before about Maya’s happiness, but could Josh really be the one for her?  Riley didn’t know, but she had a feeling that Maya was going to do her best to find out.

“Oh, boy.” Riley said aloud to the empty room. “What did I just get myself into?”

20 Writers on Writer’s Block

Writing like any other true art form can only take place when one is inspired. Considered a challenging profession and unique talent, writer’s block occurs as much as inspiration, which is why we have compiled a list of advice from 20 authors on how to overcome writer’s block. Humorous an wise, read on to find out what Charles Bukowski, Stephen King and Ray Bradbury among many have said. 

“I have gravity boots [to overcome writer’s block]. I hang upside down everyday. I realise it sounds strange, but it’s not all that strange. It oxygenates your brain. It helps you see the world in a different perspective.” -- Dan Brown

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The importance of giving people what they need even if at first it may not seem what they want.

What I really liked Girl Meets A Christmas Maya is the importance of giving gifts that have meaning, and that these gifts are more special because they give us what we need even if they don’t seem especially cool at first on the surface.

It starts with telling us about what Katy gave to Maya long ago. Though Katy couldn’t afford to give Maya really cool toys, she managed to give Maya something even better. She made it so Maya could go to school with and strengthen her friendships with Riley & Farkle and where she would eventually meet Lucas, Zay, and Smackle. That gift allowed for Maya to have the friends she has today. Something far better than any toy she may have liked for a limited time in the past. And though Katy couldn’t have known it at the time – because all she wanted at the time was for Maya to be happy – it eventually led to Katy’s better friendship with the Matthews and meeting Shawn. Thereby making Katy, Maya, and Shawn’s lives better in the process. 

Smackle’s gift to Maya of a broken clock shows her that she doesn’t need to stay broken to have a life. She can improve herself like she has, and move on to other things. She can be a person who fixes things, and doesn’t break them. It really improves Maya’s confidence to say that she’s not the broken one anymore. She doesn’t have to be the bad influence to maintain her identity. Advice Maya could have really used back in the Triangle arc. Too bad Smackle wasn’t around for most of that before it became too late.

Zay’s gift of an etiquette book to Smackle saying that he likes who she is, and she doesn’t need to change things about herself to make others feel better. Be who you are and want to be. Not who others want you to be. Or what others thing you need to be because society dictates that. Since Smackle is often scolded for her frank behavior, it’s nice that Zay is telling her she doesn’t need to feel guilty about it. It is who she is, and if she likes it, then so be it. As she said earlier in the episode “This is who I am!” It reiterates similar things Riley has said to Farkle, Farkle has said to Riley, and what Lucas has said he liked about Maya that have to do with her personality. 

Farkle’s gift to Zay (with the help of Smackle) to let Zay know that he is a part of this group of friends without needing the Lucas to tie him to the group. Feeling like an outsider might have been the reason that Zay uses comedy to hide his inner turmoil that Riley spoke about in the beginning of the season. It’s great that Farkle & Smackle are using the best way they know how to let Zay know he is a valuable member of the group, and would remain friends with him even without Lucas.  

Riley’s gift of a menorah to Farkle lets him know that she will always love Farkle no matter who he is. She encourages him to learn more about himself and to grow. 

Finally, Riley & the Matthews gift to Maya (& Katy) is the play which lets her know how valuable spending Christmas with Shawn would be not just to Maya & Katy, but to Shawn as well. It’s not giving Maya what she wants which is to spend time with the Matthews & avoid the chance of ruining Christmas for Shawn & possibly their family; but it is giving Maya exactly what she needs: the reason to have Christmas with her own family so it can work and make them all happy.

In contrast, Farkle talks about what he would give Smackle as a gift. A theremin sounds really cool. To me anyway because I’m a movie/television buff who actually knew what it did before this episode. But the point is: it is cool to Smackle; she clearly wants one; and it shows that Farkle does know Smackle enough to know she wants one. But is it the kind of gift that would help Smackle? It would entertain her. It would make her happy to know Farkle is thoughtful enough to know what she likes. But does it give any real insight into giving someone what they need like each of the gifts mentioned above do? Nope. Not a bad gift by any means, just not a gift on the scale of what the writers are trying to showcase in this episode.

And let’s think about Riley’s gift to Farkle. She talks about wanting him to understand all parts of himself. To know who he is and who he will be, and that she loves all of that. That is how you truly care about someone. And it definitely calls into question of whether she has liked the parts of Lucas & Maya that are different than what she wants them to be. She doesn’t like that overly protective side of Lucas. Of course, Lucas does need to balance himself out without going too far, but Riley seems to prefer he would ignore that side all together. She can’t consider that he had any bad side to him which is just not possible for any person to be. In Maya’s case, Riley needed to bring Maya back to where she was because a Maya who didn’t act out and cause trouble wasn’t who Maya should be. In both cases, Riley isn’t encouraging enough of Lucas & Maya’s need to grow and be different from who they were in seventh grade. Entirely different from her behavior with Farkle, and as ACM clearly shows the way Riley treats Farkle is the best way to behave with people you love and care about. 

What I believe the show is saying overall is that giving people what they want –cool as it may be and as happy as it may make them for a while – is not as good as giving people what they need. I think the choices the writers made via Ski Lodge was in a way giving people what they thought they wanted though not what they needed, and giving people what they need by at first depriving them of what they should want. To explain: Fans of Riley & Lucas think they are getting what they want because Riley & Lucas are together. Riley & Lucas are getting what they think they want by being a relationship. What we’ve been shown, however, is that it is basically a relationship in name only. Nothing has been shown to really improve or showcase the quality of the relationship. Thus Riley & Lucas (and the audience) are being shown that just because they are getting what they want in theory; they are not necessarily getting what they need in execution. Thus the writers are showing us relationships that in all likelihood might not work out, but will be a stepping stone to get them to the relationships that will be better for them in the long run: Riarkle, Lucaya & Zayadora. That might be what it comes down to n the tweet about the writers having these characters not making the right decisions because they love them. The characters have to learn through experience what they need in the long run is better than what they think they might want at the time. And the only way to do that is by trying the other relationships first. Basically, if you are a Riley & Lucas, Josh & Maya, or Farkle & Smackle fan: you’re are going to get what you want more or less, but you’re going to see how you need something different. If you’re a Riarkle, Lucaya, and Zayadora fan, you’re going to get what you want eventually but you have to get through what you need first. The gift that doesn’t seem cool on the surface but is exactly what the audience needs: the lessons of why some relationships don’t work just because you might want them to; why some relationships do work even though you might not have considered it before; and why every relationship is important for learning & growing even if it doesn’t work out. 

Left of Center

Rating: T (a lil bit of mature themes going on in the sense that they’re aged up)

Pairing: Riley Matthews/Farkle Minkus (some Lucas/Maya)

Summary: In which Riley spends a majority of her time waking up with an empty feeling in her stomach, contemplating cold coffee on the counter, and wondering where in the world has Farkle Minkus gone.

A/N: I listened to the entire Pretty in Pink soundtrack and got incredibly angsty and here’s a whole fic I wrote based off of it. It’s 4.4K worth of a lil bit of angst.

***

Mornings usually swept before Riley’s eyes in a minimalistic daze. Her eyes would flutter open to the sight of her bedroom’s ceiling and she’d take a minute to study all the ridges, avoiding glancing at the empty space next to her. Eventually, one of her hands would stretch out too far across the bed and she’d recall her current state.

Then, she would simply roll out of her bed and quickly glance at her reflection in the mirror. Her hair was typically mussed, her lips chapped, and her dark circles prominent. She’d pee, take a quick shower, and pull a brush through her hair. She’d toss on somewhat of a nice shirt and jeans; sometimes, it made her feel more productive. Despite whatever statement her clothes had, she’d always end up going into the kitchen, noticing the cold pot of coffee on the counter and estimating how long ago he left that morning. 

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