twenty-two

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Stirring her hot chocolate with a metal spoon, Maya sat on a barstool at Topanga's.

"Mom, can you hand over the marshmallows?"

Katy was crouched beneath the counter, struggling with the cabinets. "Hold on, the door is jammed." With a loud bang, she exclaimed in triumph and popped back up with the bag of mini marshmallows.

"Thanks." Maya tipped the opening of the bag towards her mug, pouring out the contents until it was overflowing. She took a sip, feeling the warm beverage travel down her throat, and sighed contentedly.

The bell above the door jingled and she spun around to see who it was. Lucas' eyes caught hers immediately, the tip of his nose tinged red from the chilly December air.

"Hey, Ranger Rick." Maya beamed as he strolled towards her.

"Are you busy today?" Lucas asked, despite knowing the answer already. It was a Saturday and she definitely had nothing going on besides hanging out at Riley's.

Maya chewed on her bottom lip, waving a thumb at her mug. "Well I have a hot chocolate to finish. Other than that, no. Why?"

"I'm taking you out." He sat down across from her, a grin tugging at his lips. "On a date."

"But you're not my type," Maya remarked teasingly.

"So that's a no?" Lucas responded, playing into her game.

"W - Well," Maya stammered. "I - I..."

"Simple yes or no question, Shortstack."

With an eyeroll, Maya gave in. "Fine. What are we doing on this supposed date?"

"It's a little early, but later we could go see that new horror movie?" Lucas suggested. He tossed a few marshmallows into his mouth.

Maya sucked in a breath, pretending to contemplate her decision. She leisurely took a short sip of her hot chocolate, then another long one. Lucas chuckled at her.

"Okay." Maya smiled, then glimpsed at the clock. "It's only two o'clock though, what do you wanna do in the meantime?"

"Is there anything you have in mind?"

"Well I did want to work on this painting at home."

"We could just hang out at your place then."

"M'kay, let me finish this up first."

After downing the rest of her beverage, Maya hopped off of her seat and slipped on her coat. She tilted her head towards the door and Lucas followed her out of the café.

"So that was all you wanted to tell me? You wanting to go on date? You could have just told me last night after the party."

"Yeah, I guess I could have." Lucas nodded, tucking his hands into his coat pockets.

They walked in comfortable silence until Maya crouched to the ground, quickly gathering up some snow.

Furrowing his brows, Lucas stopped and looked down at her. "What are you - hey!" He flinched as a snowball exploded against his chest. Maya laughed, running ahead of him. He chased after her.

.

.

.

"Thanks, Huckleberry. Now I have water in my bra."

"You started it."

The two stood in her hallway, dusting themselves off. Maya fished for the keys in her pocket and opened the door to her apartment. They stomped on the door mat, took off their shoes and hung up their coats.

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