“Nothing?” She said skeptically.
He shot her a wary look, aware of the sudden wheels turning behind those guileless blue eyes, but nodded. “Less than nothing.” Blowing out a breath, braced himself. “What’s really going on, Maya?”
“I don’t know whether or not I like Lucas, and Riley lied because she thinks that I do like Lucas, so she stepped aside,, except now the truth is out and I’m all confused because they’re Riley and Lucas and I’m Maya, but it’s supposed to be Riley and Maya.” She blurted out.
Shawn blinked as he tried to sort through her jumbled, frenzied explanation and put it together with previous conversations that he and Topanga had had.
“So…you believed that because there wasn’t any obvious spark that Riley and Lucas didn’t have romantic feelings for each other anymore.” He said slowly. “And then Riley compounded on that by lying and agreeing that she loves him platonically, and pushed you and him together instead. Except that she lied about her feelings, and Mini Minkus outed her on New Year’s, and now everyone’s avoiding the whole situation.”
She nodded miserably.
Shawn closed his eyes and blew out a breath, running a hand through his hair. “Oh boy.” He opened his eyes to the miserable teen girl across from him. “Why did you think their feelings had turned platonic?”
“They went on two dates, then broke up – or became unofficial. But they never got all couple-y; holding hands, looking all lovey dovey or whatever. Nothing changed before or after.”
“That you could see.” He pointed out. “What you did see was two people getting to know each other’s minds–”
She slumped, finishing his sentence before he could. “–before they got to know each other’s bodies.”
“And leaving out the whole lecture and fact that no one better be getting to know Riley’s or your bodies until you’re at least 45—” Shawn grumbled, making her snort. “Kiddo, did it ever occur to you that maybe you don’t actually like Lucas – that you like the idea of him? And the reason you teased him so much is because you knew that things were eventually going to change, starting with your friendship with Riley?”
Her jaw dropped.
“You said it yourself.” he said softly. “They’re Riley and Lucas, and I’m Maya, and it’s supposed to be Riley and Maya — and Lucas.” He smiled wanly, his eyes dark with understanding and empathy. “It’s understandable, because you and Riley have been best friends since you were seven. “ He sat back, gathering his thoughts. “I went through the same love hate relationship with Topanga. I was the best friend, but she was my best friend’s girl. And as we grew up, and feelings changed and expanded, she began to take precedence over me. Which is how it should be between a couple, though I didn’t see it that way for a long time – right up until their wedding, actually.”
Maya looked away, playing with the straw of her drink.
“Maya, Topanga is my best friend, as is Cory. I love them both. But I’m not, nor have I ever been, in love with her – and more importantly, she was never in love with me.” He finished pointedly. “Let me ask you this: given the parallels here and how intimately I know the legendary stubbornness and idealistic nature of the Matthews family, have either of you actually asked Lucas how he feels?”