“I am just a little lonely,” she whispered . “Come and hold me for a while.”
So they sat in silence as the moon opened its sleepy eyes and gazed down upon them. And sometime during the night his hand found the small of her back and two fingers lifted her chin until a ruler line could be drawn between their gazes.
And when the sun stretched its long rays and waved goodbye to the moon an eternity later, it could no longer distinguish, in the tangled haze, which limbs were his and which were hers.
S.Z. // Excerpt from a book I’ll never write #86
a/n: au where michael’s hair color changes based on his mood- based on this blurb that seemed to go viral- not even based on it, basically just writing it out into a oneshot. there are definitely some errors in this, I’m not entirely happy with the way it turned out, but, whatever. this is fluff, fluff, some angst, and then more fluff, so read with caution. feedback always appreciated!
Michael was always one to wear his heart on his sleeve. Regardless of his hair- his face betrayed all of his emotion. Even as a kid, he never hid when he was upset, or happy, or angry at the other school children on the playground. What made it more noticeable, though, was how his hair changed. It fascinated you as a child, sharing the same first year class with him and watching his hair throughout the day. It became your favorite activity- watching how his hair turned blue right after his mom dropped him off for the day, how it turned forest green during maths and pink during spelling. How, every Tuesday, his hair went golden yellow for a solid hour during music class.
In which Maya needs a date for her art gallery appearance. (juniors)
“Great!” The representative from the art gallery, Mrs. Williamson, beams at Maya, starting to collect her papers. “I’m glad you’ve agreed to show your paintings, Miss Hart. You have so much talent.”
“Thank you for the opportunity,” Maya smiles brightly at her. She still can’t believe her art is being displayed at Off Track, the biggest contemporary art gallery in Manhattan. It started out with the school gallery freshman year, then sophomore year the art teacher got her into the county gallery, and now this? Maya doesn’t know when she started believing in things, but she’s glad she did. Maybe something good will happen for her after all.
“Anytime! I can’t wait to see your display. Now remember, it’s formal. Oh, and you’ll need to bring a date, of course,” the old woman dismisses it like it’s not a big deal. “But such a pretty girl like you must have a boyfriend already, eh?” She winks at Maya.
“Um, what?” Maya pushes her hair back from her face, “I have to have a date?”
“Will that be a problem?”
Yes, Maya thinks. She says, “no, of course not,” with a hopefully not-uncomfortable smile. What kind of rule is that? She knows Farkle’s going to London that weekend for some sort of academic competition, which is why Riley promised she’d video chat him in, to which Maya replied ‘you don’t video chat during an art gallery!’ and Riley said ‘well I do!’ So Farkle’s out. This leaves her with two options.
“Good. Well, I’ll be off, then!” Mrs. Williamson gathers her things and leaves the Matthews’ apartment quickly.
Riley runs down the stairs immediately and bounces onto the couch beside Maya.
“Maya, congratulations!” Cory appears, with Topanga and Auggie in tow. They all hug Maya at once.
“Wait, we need to keep her alive until December 8th!” Riley exclaims, laughing.
“Thanks for letting me meet with her here,” Maya says gratefully. Cory and Topanga smile at her fondly.
“Anytime at all, Maya. We are very proud of you,” Topanga squeezes her shoulder, then the three of them disperse into the kitchen.
“Maya, what’s wrong?” Riley asks her best friend, noting Maya’s unfocused look. Maya frowns at her a little.
“I need a date.”
+ + +
“Hey, Ranger Rick,” Maya greets Lucas the same way she always does. He rolls his eyes.
“Hi, Pancake.” He replies. These days she’s unaffected by the nickname and wears heels regularly, although she’s still not nearly as tall as Lucas. “Hi, Riley.” Riley waves at him with a smile. Over the years, they’d “ended things” between them thousands of times (no, Maya’s not counting, and yes, she may have exaggerated a little), usually getting back together within days, sometimes hours. But this time it’s been seven months since they’ve agreed to just be friends, and at first Maya wasn’t sure she believed them, but Riley started dating Charlie three months ago and seems happy.
“Maya has something to ask you,” she announces. Maya glares at her halfheartedly through a smile.
“Wow, Riley, way to ease into it,” she says sarcastically, patting her arm. “And yes, I do have a favor to ask you.” She turns back to face Lucas. “Will you come to that art gallery as my date?” He freezes for a second.
“I have to bring a date, it’s mandatory,” Maya scowls. Lucas’ shoulders relax, but his heart doesn’t.
“I don’t know, what’s in it for me?” He pretends to be uninterested and not excited at the idea of being Maya’s (fake) date.
“Where’s Zay?” Maya asks as an answer, holding eye contact with Lucas daringly, “I have something to ask him.” She spins around. “Riley, will you help me find him?” Riley smirks at Lucas. He swears she can read his mind sometimes.
“Yeah, of course. I’m sure he’d be happy to go with you,” she says cheerfully. Lucas glares at the lockers.
“Maya, wait. I’ll go,” he blurts. Maya wrinkles her nose at him.
“Oh, are you sure?” She pretends to consider. “I mean, you don’t have to. Since there’s ‘nothing in it for you’, like you said.” Lucas narrows his eyes at her.
“I’m sure. I wanted to see your art anyway, I might as well be useful,” he says nonchalantly.
“Yeah, you might as well,” Maya agrees, raising her eyebrows. “I’ll see you, Huckleberry.”
+ + +
It’s December 8th at 6:45 pm, and Maya’s not sure if she’s more nervous about her art being displayed or about going on a (fake, she reminds herself, it’s fake) date with Lucas.
The doorbell rings. “They’re here,” Riley smiles at her best friend. Maya glances at herself in Riley’s mirror one more time.
They walk down the stairs together, reaching the bottom just in time to catch Cory opening the door.
“Oh, no,” he sighs. “Not this again. I thought you two were done,” Cory accuses Lucas. “I thought she’s with Charlie now.” Lucas and Charlie both laugh. Riley and Maya both roll their eyes at Cory’s suspicion, linking their arms and approaching the door.
“She is with Charlie, sir,” Lucas assures him. “I’m actually here to see…” He trails off. “Her.” Maya’s wearing a loose, floor-length dark blue dress and her hair is swept back and twisted up intricately, courtesy of Riley. The artist’s best friend wears a knee-length light pink dress and her usually curly hair falls straight and to her waist, courtesy of Maya.
“Quit looking at us, Huckleberry,” the blonde teases, quoting her eighth-grade self.
“I’m sorry, Maya. You look… good,” he plays along, breathless.
“Oh, thanks.” She waits for it, looking at the floor. The ‘you both do’ never comes, but a starstruck smile does. Riley smiles at them, taking Charlie’s hand.
“Aren’t they cute?” She asks Charlie. “Tell them they’re cute, because they are very cute. Don’t you think?” She looks up at Charlie, who’s looking down at her fondly.
“Yeah, cute.” It appears to physically pain him to say the words, but Charlie would do just about anything for the wide-eyed girl standing next to him and everyone knows it. “Zay’s waiting in the car, lovebirds.” Maya rolls her eyes at Charlie.
“C’mon Ranger, Rick, let’s go be cute at the art gallery,” she says excitedly, dragging Lucas out by the arm. Riley and Charlie follow them.
“Have fun, kids,” Cory calls after them. “We’ll be there at seven-thirty.”
+ + +
“I’m video chatting him!” Riley hisses. Maya tries to snatch the phone away from her.
“You don’t video chat during an art gallery!” Maya’s exasperated.
Lucas, Charlie, and Zay think it might be the hundredth time the girls have had this conversation, and, knowing it might go on for a while, Zay pulls out his own phone and video chats Farkle himself.
“Hiya, Farkle!” Zay greets. Maya whips around and glares at him.
“Whose side are you on?” She throws her hands up. Zay shrugs innocently, switching the camera onto Maya’s paintings.
“Hi Maya,” Farkle’s voice comes through the speaker. “Your art looks great!” Maya’s scowling face softens and she looks at the wall of her paintings proudly.
“Thanks, Farkle,” she laughs softly. “I’m really happy it’s here.”
Mrs. Williamson chooses that moment to see and walk toward the group, causing Zay to turn down his volume quickly and Maya to tug Lucas toward her by the hand. She pretends it doesn’t make her heart beat faster, and smiles tightly at the woman.
“Hi, Mrs. Williamson,” she greets, pulling Lucas’ arm around her shoulders and leaning toward him. He pretends he doesn’t love the way she fits there perfectly.
“Maya,” the grey-haired lady exclaims. “Your art looks amazing!”
“Thank you,” Maya blushes. “It’s so amazing to see it here.”
“You deserve it, dear. Oh, this must be your boyfriend!” Mrs. Williamson’s eyes crinkle at the corners when she smiles, and Maya stiffens. “Nice to meet you.”
“I’m Lucas,” he smiles at the already-charmed woman. “It’s a pleasure.”
“Quite a catch, this one,” Mrs. Williamson whispers to Maya, whose eyes widen.
“Um, yeah,” she coughs. “Thanks again, Mrs. Williamson.”
Once she leaves, Maya goes to take Lucas’ arm off her shoulders, but he wraps it tighter.
“I’m enjoying this,” he turns to whisper to her, lips brushing her ear. “Apparently I’m quite the catch, Miss Hart.”
“Don’t get too full of yourself now, Hop-Along,” Maya mutters, secretly enjoying the moment but not wanting to get her hopes up. “This is a favor, I owe you one.” Lucas spins her into him so they’re pressed together, the top of her head only barely reaching his chest, and he’s thinking how beautiful she is and she’s thinking height difference but neither of them is really thinking straight.
“How about you owe me another date?” He requests. “A real one, this time.” Maya tilts her head.
“What’s in it for me?” She smiles slightly, not letting him answer before reaching up and pressing her lips to his.
“Happy New Year, everybody!” Cory proposes a toast (with ginger ale, of course; there are children around). “To another year even better than the last one!” Everybody cheers.
“Not bad, Matthews,” Maya raises her eyebrows at him. “Definitely an improvement from last year.” Cory visibly cringes. Last year was bad. Last year is the reason he’s drinking ginger ale.
The five best friends and Uncle Josh sit in a row by the windows. Maya has one arm is hooked through Riley’s and the other around Farkle’s shoulders. Lucas and Zay sit next to him, and Josh sits next to Riley.
Farkle wonders what Riley’s thinking. She said she loves him. But how?
Zay’s wondering if Lucas is going to grow up and kiss Maya. If he’s had any experience observing Lucas’s love life, he’s going to guess no.
Lucas has no idea what’s going on. When does he ever?
But Riley wonders what Lucas is thinking anyway. She stopped trying to convince herself she loves him like a brother a long time ago… But she has no proof it isn’t true.
Next to her, Maya’s oblivious to what Josh is thinking, and if she knew she wouldn’t be as calm as she is. The brown eyed boy is wondering if he’ll even get up the courage to kiss her at midnight. If I were there, I’d tell him to hurry up because he has three minutes and sixteen seconds.
What a mess they are, this group.
Josh sees Cory and Topanga standing next to each other; Shawn pulls Katy closer by the waist; even his parents are looking at each other lovingly and that’s the moment he decides that yes, he’s gonna do it.
Everyone stands up as the clock turns 11:59. Josh turns toward Maya slowly, people count down from 10, and his lips are on hers.
Maya’s in shock at first, but quickly realizes what’s happening. They pull away at the same time. It might have been twenty seconds long, and she’s staring at him.
“That was…” Josh starts.
“Weird,” Maya finishes for him. “Like kissing my uncle,” she says at the same time Josh frowns, “like kissing my niece.” They both laugh.
“Oh gosh, I’m so sorry,” Maya groans. “I never even thought it could be like that.”
“Me either,” Josh admits. But he smiles at her and she’s smiling back, then he hugs her and says “Lucas went upstairs” and then he’s gone. She wonders briefly why he thought she should know that before ignoring it completely and spinning around to face her friends. She maybe doesn’t need that right now.
“Happy New Year, honey,” she smiles happily at Riley, squeezing her tightly. Riley smiles back.
“Lucas and I kissed,” she blurts. Maya’s smile fades. “It was, like, three seconds long. And… It was just like kissing Auggie,” she cringes. Maya almost laughs. “And then we saw you! What was that?” Riley questions excitedly. “He kissed you!”
“He’s like my uncle, Riles,” Maya’s laughing and shaking her head and Riley’s eyes widen.
“What is it with us, peaches?” She sighs and lays her head on Maya’s shoulder.
“Happy New Year, baby girl.” Katy’s smiling and Maya thinks this is the happiest she’s ever seen her and she doesn’t want it to stop. She stands up to hug her mother.
“Happy New Year, mom,” she whispers. She’s always thought the phrase was dull, but now it fills her with hope.
“Happy New Year, Farkle,” Riley and Maya say in unison, and Maya senses there’s something more behind Riley’s smile.
“Lucas went upstairs,” Farkle informs Maya, and for the second time in five minutes Maya’s wondering why they think she needs this right now.
“Okay?” Maya says. “Why are you telling me this? Sundance probably just got homesick for Texas or something.”
“Well, he left right after you and Beanie… You know,” Zay chimes in, rather unhelpfully. Maya glares at him.
“Bay window,” Riley suggests to Maya, pushing her lightly toward the stairs. “Work it out, peaches.”
“But do I have to work it out now?” Maya’s reluctant, but Riley points and Farkle nods and Zay just gives her a look and then she’s traveling up the stairs.
“Lucas? Where’d you go?” She pokes her head into Riley’s room and Ranger Rick himself sits at the bay window. “Oh, there you are.” She sits next to him. “What’s up?”
He doesn’t answer right away. He doesn’t say anything at all. But when he does speak, it’s “so, you and Josh, then” and it’s so bitter and so unlike Lucas that Maya bursts out laughing and shakes her head at him. “But you kissed,” he noted casually.
“He’s like my uncle,” she smiles contentedly. “I guess I’m even more a part of the family than I thought.”
“Oh. So, not you and Josh, then?” He tries (and fails) to hide his smile. If I were there, I would tell him to stop looking so hopeful.
“No,” she says carefully. “Why?” She’s curious as to where he’s going with this and hates that she hopes she knows. He glances at her from the corner of his eye.