A/N: What's this? An update? I know, I'm sorry. But here's the next chapter. Please enjoy.
Chapter 4: I Want What They Have
Cory stood in front of his bathroom mirror, ready to undergo the next step of his morning ritual. He grabbed the can of shaving cream and released the white foam into his hand. It was a good thing he had done this millions of times before or else, as the razor finally made contact with his face, he might have accidentally nicked himself, as he was actually deep in thought (not an easy pair to multitask, especially first thing in the morning). What he was thinking about, as he had thought about for a good chunk of his life thus far and would probably continue to do until his dying breath, was Shawn Hunter. Shawn, who only wished for good things and worked hard to accomplish them, was in such a state of melancholy that Cory wasn't sure if he'd actually ever completely recover. Sure, he and Angela had broken up a few times, and every time Shawn had eventually bounced back to his same-old happy-go-lucky self, but this felt different. It was as if Fate itself was mocking Shawn, tempting him with the idea of true love and destiny, only to stick a knife in his heart. His next thoughts shifted over to Topanga and Cory's own struggles to find his own happily ever after with her. When he had kissed that other girl- a stupid mistake that meant nothing- no one believed he and Topanga could ever be together again. Even Shawn, who had stood by him throughout all the pain and misery, eventually threw in the towel. But he defied them all. And perhaps Shawn could, too? Perhaps some more words of encouragement would boost his best friend's confidence? Perhaps he'd try it now?
"Shawny," said Cory, looking at the mirror's reflection of the bathtub behind him and the forlorn figure it contained. "Ya can't give up hope just yet!"
"Why not?" mumbled Shawn, who was lying in the porcelain casement, wearing a robe over his clothes, unwashed and unshaven, a half-eaten bag of potato chips resting on his chest.
"Because she's the Rachel to your Ross!" urged Cory. "The Joanie to your Chachi! The Lady to your Tramp!"
"But she doesn't want anything to do with me," Shawn countered. "I messed up big time. I don't even think she'd take me back as a friend now."
"Listen, Shawny," said Cory, swiping his razor one final time before taking a towel to wipe off any excess foam. "She's just scared. She's always been scared. You were too at first, remember? You have to show her how important all of this is, how happy both of you can be." He finally turned around and faced his friend. "But you can't do that lying in your bathrobe, feeling sorry for yourself."
"You're right!" announced Shawn, full of a new force of energy sweeping through his veins. He then stood up and took off his robe, potato chip crumbs falling to the floor.
"Now go get her, Shawny!" cried Cory.
"I'm going!" cried Shawn, who then marched out of the bathroom and then the apartment.
It was then that Topanga appeared at the doorway. "You got him to leave," she said endearingly. "Good for you."
"I just hope I haven't made things worse," Cory admitted.
"Shawn needs to learn to stand on his own two feet," said Topanga.
"Eventually," said Cory. "But right now he still needs our help in a major way."
"So what are you going to do?" asked Topanga.
"At this point," said Cory. "I think we might need to call in the big guns..."
"Hello?" said Mr. Feeny over the other end of the telephone.
"Hey there, Mr. Feeny," Cory said.
"Mr. Matthews," Mr. Feeny answered in a jovial voice. "How are you and Topanga doing?"
"Who cares about that?" he said. "Look, Mr. Feeny, we need your advice."
"So what else is new?" sighed his former teacher.
"Well let me tell you, sir," said Cory, pointing a finger for emphasis, though Feeny, of course, couldn't see it. "Guess who just showed up here in New York?"
"Angela," he said.
"Oh boy," replied Mr. Feeny. "How's Mr. Hunter handling it?"
"He's a wreck," Cory admitted. "I need you to tell me how to talk Angela into going back to him."
"Look, Mr. Matthews," said Mr. Feeny in his I'm-going-to-teach-you-something-valuable voice. "As much as I have truly rooted for both Mr. Hunter and Ms. Moore over the years, I am not going to play Cupid for them. If they want to be together, then they have to find their way back to each other in their own time and at their own pace. You can't force these things."
"Yeah," Cory replied a bit tersely. "Uh-huh. Bye." He then hung up. "Thanks for nothing," he declared unhappily toward the phone.
"What did Mr. Feeny have to say?" asked Topanga.
"That it's up to us to play Cupid," Cory told her.
"I don't know, Cory..." said Topanga. "Our meddling could just result in driving them further apart."
"Or it could be just the thing to bring them together," said Cory.
Angela sat at her desk, typing away at her computer as she tried to work on the article just assigned to her. The task proved difficult, however, not because she was unfamiliar with the topic or because she was recently thrust into a new environment; no, try as she might to force it toward a more productive path, her mind kept wandering back to one thought: Shawn Hunter.
Why did he have to be so infuriating? Why couldn't he let the past just be the past? Sure, she herself sometimes wondered 'What if...', but life isn't a fairytale and just because you want true love, doesn't mean you'll find it.
She was suddenly distracted from her distracting thoughts by a presence standing before her. The presence took the shape of a young, thin woman, possessing model-quality beauty, though the frown plastered on her face diminished some of her appeal. "Can I help you, Miss?" inquired Angela.
"Stay away from Shawn," the woman demanded.
"Excuse me?" asked Angela, taken aback.
"You heard me," she said, full of spite.
"I did," replied Angela, angered now by the stranger in ways that weren't even fully formed just yet. "But I was confused as to why I should be taking any advice from someone whom I don't know that just storming into my office?"
"My name's Krysti Hayworth," she finally revealed. "I'm Shawn's girlfriend," she said, putting emphasis on the last word.
"Girlfriend?" Angela repeated.
"Yeah," said Krysti, leaning in closer. "So you better back off."
"Look," said Angela, ready to burst with fury. "I don't know what you think is going on, but I'm not trying to steal Shawn from you. We have a long and complicated history, and I suggest," she said, rising from her chair, "that you back off and just go about your business as usual. Now get out of my sight."
Krysti answered with a only a short "hmmph!" and disappeared just as quickly as she came.
When she was finally gone, Angela sat back down and sighed. What had she gotten herself into? It was her own fault, she knew... Because she knew. She knew Shawn was in Manhattan, knew that he worked for Vision, knew that he wasn't married, knew that old feelings would be sure to resurface. So why would she walk straight into the lion's den? Because, deep down, despite all of her protests against it, she knew...
And now she finally realized.