Characters: Lucas, Mrs. Friar, Maya, Zay, Riley
Pairing(s): Lucaya, Rucas
Warning: Contains explicit language.
Summary: Lucas has been putting on fake smiles all his life. So it’s only fitting that he chooses to fake smile when he’s confessing his love (like?) to his girlfriend. (Right?)
a|n: This is what happens when I think of an explanation for Lucas’ personality and his actions in Girl Meets Ski Lodge. As always, bear with my grammatical and spelling issues and I hope you enjoy this one-shot. :)
P.S.- I don’t know if this is in an AU or not. I think it’s like the GMW verse but mainly takes place in High School with a very different Lucas. Like the regular show but the gang is all older.
P.P.S- I am trying my hand at Angst, tell me if it works.
Since he was little, Lucas knew how to put on a smile. (One that is never real.)
His father had always been an intimidating man, but he never was scary to Lucas until he started to be an alcoholic. The alcohol consumed his father and turned him into something Lucas does not recognize.
(Lucas remembered how his eight-year-old-self had run in front of him and begged for him to stop the first time he witnessed his father as a drunk. He remembered how his father didn’t listen.)
After a hard day of drinking, his father would yell words that were too loud and his momma would stand by stoically, with silent tears streaming down her face.
(He cried too, just a little.)
During social gatherings, they made excuses for his father about how he was sick, when, in reality, he was just nursing a hangover.
(They didn’t see how his momma’s smile was a little strained and how Lucas’ hands were shaking.)
He followed his mother’s lead and acted nothing ever happened. (And maybe if he pretended hard enough, it would be just a figment of his imagination.) He laughed and joked around with kids his own age and didn’t tell anyone about what happened, even his best friend Zay.
(He didn’t like the feeling of fake smiling- his cheeks felt like plastic and his lips hurt from stretching so wide.)
His momma later explained to him how his father was a war veteran. How he saw bad, bad things and how it affected him. She told him how he would use alcohol to make the bad things go away and he will get better one day.
In fact, it got worse. The house soon became a constant home for raised voices and his family survived on his mother’s checks because his father got fired for not showing up. His momma now has dark bags under her eyes and lives on caffeine because she’s been working triple shifts at the hospital every day.
Lucas’ earliest memories of his father were happy ones, lazy afternoons of playing games and eating ice cream on the porch and days of sunshine and laughter. In those memories, he called his father “daddy” because that was what he was, a dad. Secure and strong and safe.
The ones after that were the farthest things from happiness.
Lucas’ later memories of his father were ones of drunken shouts and incoherent yelling, ones of his momma crying and him closing his eyes and plugging his ears because he just wants it all to stop. In those memories, Lucas called his father “sir” because that was what he is, a stranger. Distant and scary and angry.
In the comics that Lucas loved, the hero always had to make a sacrifice in order to save the world. Sometimes, in the depths of his room, he would tell himself how his father gave up his heart in order to be a hero- to save lives and make the world a better place. But no matter how hard he tries to convince himself that his father is the next Superman, the power of his imagination cannot take away the truth of reality- that his father is no hero.
(Evey time when his father gets drunk, he’ll burrow under his blue bedsheets and tell himself that his father is a hero, a hero, a hero. And when he repeated it a dozen times over, it made the empty words a bit more convincing.)
The silly musings of his father being a hero soon became nonexistent when he wasn’t a kid anymore. As a teenager, he yelled right back when his father got drunk and coped with his life by communicating with his fists. At school, he was known for his explosive temper and dangerous smirks.
(They didn’t know that his trademark smile was bruised and battered under his mask.)
He loved the fights, the rush made him feel a much-needed liberation and the adrenaline made him feel invincible like nothing can tear him down.
(But after the fights, when the rush was over and the adrenaline was gone, he was a little boy again, hiding under the covers, waiting for the shouting to be over.)
Through it all, his momma bandaged his wounds and wiped his tears. And like always, she was silent the whole time- face expressionless with the incredible ability of hers to always be strong throughout everything life has thrown at her. And sometimes, despite him not telling Zay anything about his father’s drunken behavior, the younger boy would offer much-needed jokes to break him out of his temper fits and understanding glances that just seem to know.
(And it makes him feel a little better because they know and don’t just view him as some hothead ruining his life.)
But whatever the situation, he’ll offer them a fake smile that is just a little strained because dammit, he had perfected them since he was eight and he is not going to let his hard work go to waste.
(But he knows that his momma and best friend can always see through it.)
When his mother finally divorced his father and they moved to New York. Lucas’ fake smiles turned from the I’m-gonna-kick-your-ass variety to the hello-I’m-perfect category.
It wasn’t because of Riley- he already planned to change his image because he and his mother were here to get a new start, not rebuild their old lives. Riley perception of him just gave Lucas a little… hint on what image he should have.
Besides, it wasn’t hard. He got good looks inherited from his parents, he understood chivalry by the lessons in southern hospitality from his momma and he was getting a better hold on his temper now. His main source of anger- his father’s drunken ways and Zay’s ability to get himself in trouble was, thankfully, half a country away.
It was easy, slipping on masks and effortlessly weaving lies because, shit, he’s been doing it all his life. Soon, holding the door and carrying books became easier and almost natural. And maybe it wasn’t real because he had a facade on all day and his friends don’t even know his parents are divorced. But it’s better than the life he lived before, with drunken dads and bloody fists.
His fake smiles become real when his mother finally got a job, reliving them off his grandmother’s retirement fund and she took him out to eat in order to celebrate.
They got burgers and fries- something they rarely eat because of his mother’s hesitancy towards anything unhealthy and he didn’t hold open the door.
She didn’t mind. And his smile, real this time, turned into a real laugh because Lucas didn’t have to put on any fake smiles for his momma. Not anymore.
Lucas likes Riley. At least, he thinks he does.
The whole thing with him and Riley happened so fast that he has to process it. But no matter what people knew him at Texas say, he does have a heart, and when he finally wrapped his head around the fact that he and Riley have… something, he started to have feelings for Maya. Romantic feelings…
Which is really bad, because Lucas is now stuck in this weird limbo with the girl he thinks he likes and the girl he knows he likes. Instead of trying to untangle his messy feelings, he concentrated on holding on to his facade because it’s starting to crack around the edges. Besides, the last time he felt like this about someone, it didn’t end well- she was just another person that sees his fake smiles.
So, Lucas ignored how his eyes automatically drift to Maya whenever she’s in the room and how he knows every little detail about her. He pushed his feelings down and pushed down the urge to do something a little… drastic towards Maya’s teasing.
Instead, he flashes her a gentlemanly smile and tips an imaginary hat right back at her. Lucas’ laugh, a real one, slips out of his mouth when she fumed, hard, and he can practically see smoke coming out of her ears.
When Riley found out about his past, she acted just as Lucas expected.
Which was not good because Riley is currently exercising a talking boycott on him. But not exactly.
Like everything in his life that involves Riley, the boycott was confusing and makes his head hurt. She doesn’t talk him between classes, at lunch, or after school, but she does communicate with him in all the classes they have together (two in total) because she can’t compromise her valuable education.
Lucas seriously just want to have an easy friendship/ romance/ siblinghood/ whatever-they-are-this-time with Riley. And the boycott thing is seriously fucking with his brain.
In contrast, when Maya found out about his past, she did the thing that Lucas did not expect.
Well, to be honest, he didn’t expect anything in particular because Maya Hart is the definition of unpredictable to him.
And she proved her description in his personal dictionary when she started being nice to him.
It’s not like he hates it, no. Lucas is enjoying the post-reveal spell that seemed to rattle his friends’ worlds and make Maya nice to him. Granted, she still teased him and make fun of his Southern roots. But Maya treated him like nothing’s changed- like she just didn’t find out he got expelled from school and accidently put a kid in the hospital. It just feels strange when Farkle was shooting him weird looks every other second like he might combust and Smackle is constantly asking him questions about his mental health because of a study about violent tendencies and Riley is, as previously mentioned, kind of not talking to him.
Unlike her friends, Maya did not avoid Lucas and instead offer support. Even though Maya did not lay off the teasing, she did offer a person who would listen.
(He doesn’t know why he takes her up to it. His momma and Zay had tried to get him to open up for ages.)
After the reveal of his past, Maya started coming over to his house after school when she’s not at Riley’s. They’ll talk- about asshole fathers, too-strong mothers, and messed-up views of the world. He helped her understand that romantic love is real by telling her stories of people back in Texas who are on their fortieth anniversaries, and she helped him control his anger by buying a punching bag from her allowance from Shawn and commanded him to punch the item every day for at least an hour to relieve his anger. Maya soon became another person he does not have to put on a fake smile for.
Together, they somehow made each other better- he encouraged her to enter a painting contest (she did) and she helped him with the divorce of his parents, staying by his side through his anger fits. They both made each other see that they are better than their fathers. Their friendship, unlike his and Riley’s whatever, is easy and comfortable, and soon they come to each other’s house so often that his mother always baked extra chocolate chip cookies and Shawn always have a threatening object by his side while the Hart fridge is stocked with healthy snacks.
(Sometimes, when their hands accidently brushed each other, he’ll felt a jolt of electricity. And sometimes, when they’re in the middle of an all-out tickle war, he’ll pin her to the sofa and their eyes will meet and his body will feel on fire.)
But he should’ve known that kind of easy friendship won’t last long.
Lucas didn’t know which girl to pick.
Okay, first, he wanted to pick Maya, it was obvious- she made him better and made him stronger. But right when he was going to, a paint-splattered Maya grabbed his shirt collar and sucker-punched him in a gut because she doesn’t like him?
That fact was clarified when she stopped coming over in order to “find herself”. Her pretty clothes and good grades are suddenly gone and Lucas is confused because she was making progress but she’s undoing it all. Suddenly, Maya became the girl she was back when he first met her- jaded, cynical, and devoid of hope.
(Without Maya to calm him down, he had broken the punching bad in his room in anger because Maya’s hope is disappearing and he doesn’t know why.)
After a brief close call with the law, Maya was, quote, “Maya again” and he had to remind himself to keep his fake smile and easy demeanor because she’s always been Maya and why can’t they fucking see that.
So apparently, his feeling are unrequited- all the talks they had and things they did for each other was because she was Riley and he is so confused because if she was Riley why didn’t Riley do the things Maya has done for him?
Suddenly, he felt angry at life because he really liked Maya (love? he doesn’t know, but it’s something serious) but she just ended up like the last girl.
(He thinks back to his ex-girlfriend back in Texas and how she couldn’t see through his fake smiles and how Maya never buys his bullshit.)
Being at the ski lodge is stressful because, since Maya is “herself again” he couldn’t be himself around everyone except Zay and keeping his fake smile on twenty-four-seven is taking it’s toll on him- he had irrationally barked at Riley for talking to some random guy and accidently said that he doesn’t like to tangle with Maya (to be honest, he doesn’t like it because he prefers it when Maya is not throwing herself towards death).
And maybe the recent events are going to his head but he’s going to pick Riley- because life had already taught him a lesson in romance with all the girls he used to/currently have feelings for.
The relationship he has with Riley is easy- easy because she can’t call him on his bullshit, easy because he can pretend he’s someone he’s not and she wouldn’t notice.
(And yes, his relationship with Riley is easy for all the wrong reasons.)
Besides, Maya barely talks to him anymore. And he doesn’t want to be right about this but he is. Everyone, including Maya, was pointing towards Riley’s direction and throwing hints to pick Riley and he really wants his punching bag.
(When he hugged Maya, it kind of seems like goodbye because they both know they won’t be coming to each other’s apartments anymore.)
Later, he got a purple jellybean and put on his fake smile, went to Riley with his cheeks feeling like plastic.
It’s the right thing to do. He told himself. Everyone would be happy.
(But you won’t. A voice in the back of his head whispers. He told it to fuck off.)
“My favorite thing is in the world is when you talk to me.”
(Maya had always given him good advice and surprising views through the talks they had in their bedrooms.)
Her face was shining with hope, and her sparkling eyes should have captivated him but all he could think about was how her hair was brown, not blonde.
(For a second, he imagined that Riley was Maya and his smile turned real because he is lying because he and Riley had never confided their problems in each other, talking or otherwise.)
“It’s okay for you to talk to whoever you want, Riley- you know why? Because I am a secure western hero.”
(He thinks that his momma is going to slap him for the first few words he said because women do not need a man’s permission to talk to other people- in his defense, he is running out of material. His and Riley’s romantic relationship didn’t really contain anything good for him.)
“Yes, yes you are.”
(She is so damn happy right now that he wants to scream. He had never been a “secure western hero” until he met Riley and his lie is so obvious the bullshit alarm is ringing in his head.)
“But… the important talks, the ones that we’re gonna think about and always remember, can those be just between you and me?”
(He felt bad, he really does. But Riley is easy and comfortable and the only thing he is sure of right now. The brunette’s eyes are shining like diamonds in the sky but all he could think about was Maya, Maya, Maya. The words he said didn’t make sense but it takes all his energy to put on a smile so it’s the best he can do.)
“Well, I don’t know Lucas. How could that happen?”
“Well, I was thinking that if we were… together a little more, that you would only talk to other people a little bit and you would talk to me a lot.”
(He doesn’t understand the nonsense he is spouting but it works. And he reminded himself that picking Riley is the right thing to do.)
“That’s what you were thinking?”
He holds her hand, but there are no sparks, no fire, nothing.
“I think about it all the time.”
(There, he’s done it, he confessed. But it doesn’t make him happy and it doesn’t make him smile, not really.)
When Riley (it’s Riley, Riley, Riley) says “I do” to being his girlfriend, he’s very happy. But his throat felt dry from laughing and his cheeks hurt from smiling.
(He remembers when Maya once told him how romantic love doesn’t mean anything. Back then, he had convinced her so see romantic love as a miracle, a wonderful thing. But now, when he looked at Riley and felt nothing, he thinks Maya is right.)
His fake smile was permanently in place until he got home. And when his momma came home from her shift at the hospital, she saw his face and was immediately concerned.
“What’s wrong?” his momma asked, worry etched into her tired face.
For the first time in a long time, he gave his momma a fake smile. “Nothing, just tired.”
Since he was little, Lucas knew how to put on a smile. (One that is never real.)
a|n: So? How did you like my take on Lucas? Constructive criticism is welcome and feedback is much appreciated. And does his choice of picking Riley make sense?