NOTES: I do not own Boy Meets World or any of its characters. I do love the show, yes, but sadly, that's it..
I hope it's starting to become pretty interesting for you guys. (: This chapter is fairly lengthy.
My pride still feels the sting, You were my everything. Some day I'll find a love like yours...
Shawn winced at Cory's name. He was here, too? Of course, idiot. He tried to feign a small smile as Cory walked over to Topanga, giving her a kiss on the cheek. The curly-haired guy looked over to Shawn, smiling. It was pretty obvious that he was confused.
"Is this Francesca's house?" His eyes searched Shawn and the room behind him. "Mr. Tony?"
Shawn honestly felt it was the perfect time to joke, like, "Hey, dude. Don't recognize your own best friend?" but, he decided against his instincts. They have a history of leading him to bad places. Simply, he shook his head. He was still quite stunned. Should I say anything?
Topanga did him the favor. "Cory... this is the wrong address. We didn't find Francesca's dad's address." What she said next was clearly a bit of a struggle for her. Shawn didn't seem to be the only one remembering his last encounter with a member of the Matthews family. "You remember... Shawn?"
Cory's mouth immediately dropped. "Hunter?" He searched Shawn's face. Unlike Cory, Shawn had changed quite a lot. His hair was darker- almost black- and he had a pretty nice beard, seeing he hadn't shaved in a few days.
He nodded to Cory. "In the flesh," he murmured. His smile had long-since faded, and he was almost trembling. Suddenly, his hand started hurting, as if it just freshly hit something. 'Something' as in Cory's face. Shawn tried not to wince as the memory of the night came rushing back.
Much to his luck, Cory still seemed to live by 'forgive and forget'. Instead of awkwardly walking away, he swerved past his daughter to hug Shawn. The man with black hair let out a small, surprised grunt. He looked to his old friend, unsure if they were still that: friends. From the looks- and feel- of it, they were.
"Who's Shawn?" Riley asks.
"How have you been? Oh, man, Shawn. We haven't seen you in, what, nine years?" Cory grinned ear-to-ear.
"Um..." Shawn studied the ground. "Ten, maybe?"
"Well, whatever it was, hey man!" He embraced Shawn again. "I can't help it, I'm a hugger!" he exclaimed in his Cory-way.
Shawn looked to Topanga to see her suppressing a smile and laugh. Honestly, even he couldn't help but to be amused with Cory's actions.
Once Cory gave Shawn his freedom again, both boys took a step away from each other. It was a bit awkward, but they were laughing through it, Cory more than Shawn.
There was silence before Shawn asked, "So... you guys wanna come in...?" He forced a bit of a friendly smile and stepped to the side.
Topanga nodded and cautiously walked past Shawn into his apartment. Riley stomped her foot angrily. "Who is Shawn?"
Cory looked down at his daughter. "Sorry, honey. Shawn was my best friend since we were young, probably about your age. We haven't seen him in ten years." Riley nods, and, pleased with the answer, follows her mother inside.
Cory sticks his hand in his pockets, smiling at Shawn. Shawn returns the gesture, although not feeling at ease. "You gonna come in?" He asks shyly.
The red-brown haired boy lets another laugh escape him. "Yeah," he says, teasingly punching his buddy in the stomach. "Once you put on a shirt." Shawn looks down to see himself bare from the waist up.
"Sorry man, just woke up," he chuckled. "Head on in and take a seat. I'll grab a shirt."
Cory is about to walk in, but Shawn sticks out his arm to stop him.
"What?" The burrow-head laughed quietly.
Shawn was serious again. "Why?" He knew Cory would understand what he meant. He knew Shawn always had trouble saying things frankly.
Cor shrugged. "Forgive and Forget. I know how hard that must've been for you. Our friendship lasted longer than the pain from the hit. Why should something so lengthy end by something so short?"
Shawn smiled slightly and went to hug Cory. He stopped him.
"Not yet, buddy. Put a shirt on first."
Shawn laughed and backed up. He tripped over the spilled coke can, causing him to stumble back some, causing more laughter, then ran off to his room to grab a shirt.
Quickly as he could, the guy hopped into new pants and slapped on a new shirt. He slid [wearing socks] into his bathroom to gel his hair and spray on some cologne. The boy slipped off his socks and darted back into the living room.
He hopped onto a recliner. As of the moment, Shawn was childlike. His friends were here, they still loved him, and they weren't too good for him. They weren't gone forever.
"So," he asked, "What brings you guys to LA?"
Topanga flattened out her skirt. She was sitting beside Cory on a love seat. "Well, we still live in New York City, just to say. Riley's friend Francesca went to live with her dad for a while. And, by some odds, he lived in California. So, she was missing her buddy so much that we had to come for a vacation." She glanced at her husband, who seemed happy as could be. "And, by some odds, two other best friends were reunited as well." She smiled.
Shawn leaned forward, resting his arms on his legs. "What have you guys been up to? Where do you work?"
Cory responded, "I'm actually a sixth-grade history teacher. Who knows, I might even pull a Feeny and follow one class up until college." He chuckled.
Topanga, always having a lot more to say, added more, "And I went to Brown's and became a part of their law firm. In other words, I'm a lawyer. Other than jobs, Cory and I enrolled Riley in some acting classes. She's always such a drama queen around the home, we had to put her somewhere to release all of her energy. Over Christmas we went back to the Matthew's house and had a great stay there. And... what else? Ha, there's so much to tell, and I'm only trying to pick the big things."
"Oh! Eric has a fiancé!" Cor piped.
If Shawn had been drinking any soda, he would've had a spit-take on the spot. "What? Seriously? You're kidding!"
"No! Her name is Beth, and she's a rancher."
"Narly," Shawn chuckled.
Topanga clapped her hands together and looked over to the black-haired man. "Any special girl we should know about right now?" She smiled kindly.
He pondered the thought for a moment before shaking his head. "Nope. Just me, myself, and I."
The woman nodded in an understanding manner. "Oh, okay. I thought you might have found your new woman, or got back with Ange-" She stopped in her tracks as Shawn turned his head to the side and swallowed hard, trying not to express his emotional pain. "Oh, sorry..." she whispered. Topanga and her husband exchanged a worried glance. 'Still that bad?" Topanga mouthed to Cory. He nodded.
A clatter from the kitchen drew the attention away from Shawn. "What was that?" The apartment attendee questioned.
Topanga noticed that her daughter wasn't in the living room. "Oh, God! Riley..." The blonde hurried into the kitchen. Cory groaned and rose from his seat.
"I apologize in advance for the mess she's caused," he joked. His friend, still strained from Topanga's Angela comment, offered a weak smile and shuffled into the kitchen.
"Let's go see what you're little monster did," he forced the funny quip. Cory could tell he was still upset, but he laughed.
"Agh, Cory!" Topanga screamed. "Look what she did!" Cor and his friend skidded into the kitchen to see Cory and Topanga's daughter sitting on the floor, centered by spilled milk, broken eggs, fallen chairs, and crumbled paper, eating a chocolate bar.
Despite his funk, Shawn literally cracked up. Topanga alternated from telling Cory and Riley to clean up the mess to groveling and apologizing to Shawn.
"I am so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so sorry. I should've been watching her- Ugh, this is a disaster!" The man watched her, eyes sparkling with amusement. He let her finish before uttering a word.
Although he wasn't a parent, he did realize that Topanga was a distressed mother. He smiled, saying, "Chill, Topanga. Looks better than it normally does, anyway. Plus, I needed to lay off the chocolate." He patted his stomach. Really, Shawn never honestly ate too much junk food, so it was about time the chocolate was put to good use.
The mother's eyelids fluttered down as she focused on the floor, giggling in the breathy way girls do.
Shawn walked over to his best friend and his daughter. "Cor, you don't have to clean it up. You're a guest, remember? Take Riley into the other room if you want, so she can finish her chocolate. I think I have some more stashed away if you want any."
Cory shrugged at first, but then leaned in and whispered to Shawn, "You have more Chocolate?"
"Uh-Huh," Shawn whispered back. "What kind do you want?"
"Twix? Please?" His friend sounded almost like a puppy dog.
"You got it. Take the little food monster and your wife into the other room and I'll give you some."
Cory did as he was told, and when he returned to the room, Shawn had climbed up on his cabinet and was sorting through a storage of sweets at the top of his fridge. The burrowhead couldn't help but stare at his friend's bare feet on the nice wooden counters.
"Um... you wash the counter before you cook, right?"
Shawn rolled his eyes. "Such a housewife, Cor. Do you want your chocolate or not?"
"Sorry." Shawn threw him a Twix bar with the behind-the-back trick. Cory whistled. "So, what's up in Los Angeles?"
The man jumped down from the counter. "Eh, not too much. A little dating here and there... partying... Oh, and I work as a freelance journalist and photographer for the Los Angeles Transcriber, a literary magazine."
"Really? So, you're a published writer? That explains the nice apartment."
"Knew it all along, didn't you, Cor?"
"What can I say, I'm a physic?"
"More like psycho."
The two boys laughed for a minute before Shawn herded his best friend out of the room so he could clean up. Once it was only him in the room, Shawn grabbed some paper towel, hosed it down, and got to work with the milk and sticky eggs.
The TV was blaring from the other room, so Shawn assumed the happy family was being, well... happy. However, within the next few minutes, someone strolled into the kitchen.
"Hi Mr. Shawn," said Riley. He looked up to the little girl and smiled.
"Hey, Riley. You don't have to call me Shawn, by the way. Makes me sound like I'm old. Just Shawn is fine."
"Okay, Shawn. Watcha doing...?" She skipped over to him, studying his hand scrub the floor.
"Cleaning the kitchen. What about you?"
"Nothing. No offense, but I'm bored."
Shawn looked over to the young girl. "Bored? Well, I know something you can do..."
"Yeah. Clean the floors?" He winked. Riley rolled her eyes, waving the idea away. "Do you like singing?" The girl nodded eagerly. "Do you know the song Drops of Jupiter?" The girl shook her head. Shawn bit his lip. "Hm... I guess I have some lyrics that you can make a song with."
Riley clapped. "Really? So cool!" Shawn reached for the tan book that had somehow transported from his room to the middle of the kitchen floor in Riley's wave of messiness. He flipped it open to a page. It was a pretty basic poem, one of his first ones in the book. Personally, he wasn't too big a fan of it. The poem was standard-issue, but would make decent lyrics.
In the morning, the sun is gold.
All that is good comes out
And basks away from the cold.
But in the night,
The moon is silver
The moon swoops around.
It encases in a cloud of darkness,
And returns the snow.
Then the sun comes,
And then the moon.
It's a battle of the
Never to start,
Never to end.
Why did Shawn think of this? Multiple times, he tried to turn his poems to songs, but never succeeded. Might as well give Riley a try, right? He handed her the book. "Just work on those words for now."
The girl began to dance around the room repeating lines to make them sound good in a song. "In the morning, the sun is gold... In the morninngg, the sun is goldddd, IN THE MORNING, THE SUN IS GOLD! ... All that is good comes outttttt..."
Shawn eventually got lucky enough to tune out her screeching. He started humming a song he didn't recognize, scrubbing the floor and picking up trash.
It was hard work, cleaning up Riley's aftershock. He had no clue that one girl could cause so much destruction so quickly. One of those moments I'm thankful I don't have kids, Shawn thought to himself. His apartment was large enough to support a family, and he didn't keep it ship-shape, but Shawn couldn't imagine having to clean these types of messes up every day. He probably wouldn't be able to keep up, anyway, with all of his writing jobs and photo shoots he had to do.
"An eyeful of the lost Atlantis in the human soul, And a breath that fills my lungs with the air between two stars..." Shawn's head snapped forward at the sound of Riley's new song. He scrambled around, accidentally setting his hand in a milky paper towel. Not that he noticed.
Riley still had the poetry book in hand, and was swaying side to side. "If right now, you Were to capture this elation In the framework of your mind, Or find tran... trans... transcen... trans-cen-dance... through these words..." Shawn quickly got to his feet and scooped her up. Riley let out a squeal of laughter.
As alarmed and off-set as he was, the man tried to keep a manner of playfulness with the young girl. "I thought I told you to stay on the one page, Riley!"
She giggled, flailing the book around in the air. "I wanted a different song! This one sounds pretty. Listen: You don't know it, but
Sometimes, I go to a hill that overlooks
the landscape's mask of city lights
For a sip of momentary grace-"
On this brink of everything I know, I can gain
An eyeful of the lost Atlantis in the human soul,
And a breath that fills my lungs with the air between two stars. The poem began to continue in Shawn's memory as he cupped a hand around Riley's mouth to shut her up. That poem, of course, was one connected with memories. The night he fumbled in front of everybody, when Cory made him read it aloud. But, those were distant memories. Angie. He bit his lip.
"How about you go back to your mom and dad now, girly?" He removed his hand and snatched the book. Only as he went to set Riley down did he notice the girl's mother standing in the doorway.
Topanga offered a feeble smile. Shawnie clenched his teeth, looking over to her. Did she hear the poem? Topanga, seeming to read his thoughts, gave a small nod. He winced.
"Riley, c'mon back to the living room," the blonde urged. Her daughter scuttled out, and her mother went to opposite way, towards Shawn. "You still have that book? I gave that to you for your birthday, a long time ago..."
"'Long time ago?'" He rolled his eyes, again masking his feelings with teasing. "So you're calling me old?"
"You know that's not what I meant!" she screeched, giving him a joking slap across the shoulder. The two grinned at each other, but the smiles soon faded. Instead of saying 'let's cut to the chase', Topanga just... cut to the chase. "Shawnie..." she whispered.
Shawnie turned away and pursed his lips. Here it comes.
"You still love her."
He shook his head and folded his arms. "I've moved on, Topanga. Probably had at least... fourteen? girlfriends this year."
"Two week policy again?"
"No," his voice quieted for the next part, "One day."
He turned back to the lady, eyes wide with hurt and pride. "I'm a writer and photographer. I move around a lot, no time for serious relationships. I get paid well, why waste it on someone else?" While saying these words, Shawn felt hallow. He honestly didn't need relationships, or someone else. What he needed was Angela.
Topanga stayed quiet as she went in to give Shawn a hug. He didn't hug her back. Instead, Shawn just hung his head.
Topanga released after a little bit. She leaned towards his ear and whispered, "You should call her, Shawnie." And she walked back into the living room.
Shawn stared after her. Eventually, he regained enough strength to move again. He went over to the fridge and took out a soda. He chugged down about half of it, and poured the rest in the sink. Then, he crushed the can and leaned against his counter.