"Well I don't see any trash bags" Josh noted as he walked through the door to his apartment and saw Maya sitting on the couch, carefully applying a coat of liquid lipstick in the front facing camera on her phone.
"So I take it things went well?" He asked, shrugging off his coat and moving into the room.
"I personally think I handled things very well. I was calm, I was cool, I listened to what she had to say and I responded maturely. It was like I was a grown up or something" Maya proclaimed,screwing the wand back on lipstick and using the tip of her finger to define her cupid's bow.
"We're moving forward and I'm open to being her friend again but i'm keeping my wall up" Maya said decidedly. She got up and crossed the room to Josh. He raised his hand and she slapped it in return in a satisfying high five.
" Nicely done" Josh complimented, leaned his head down to kiss her lips. Maya ducked her head away.
"Dude! I just spent like 15 minutes trying to get this on right!" Maya exclaimed, gesturing to her freshly applied lipstick.
Josh rolled his eyes and kissed her forehead in a compromise.
"Put your coat back on. We gotta go" Maya stated, squeezing Josh's arms and then moving past him and grabbing both of their coats off the hooks by the door.
" You're kidding. I just got through the door" Josh complained, taking the coat that Maya passed to him.
" Riley planned this dinner and you know she likes to eat early" Maya reminded him, putting her arms through the sleeves of her jacket.
" I don't really know why I'm coming to this thing. I wasn't friends with any of you in high school" Josh commented passingly.
Maya rolled her eyes.
" Because Riley and Lucas are going to be there and Farkle and Smackle are going to be there. Zay is in Texas and he was my single buddy buffer. I can't go to dinner with two ex couples by myself. I need a buddy. You are my buddy"
" and you don't think it's still going to be weird?"
" No because now everyone at the table will have had sex with one other person there so it all balances out" Maya explained as if it was obvious. Josh looked dubious.
"Look no matter how this goes we are still going to end the night getting ice cream from soft swerve"
Josh perked up at that. " You promise?"
" I promise," Maya replied. Taking Josh's hand and tugging him forward out of the apartment.
The beginning of dinner was awkward.
Farkle, who had been emailing back and forth with Riley for the past few months, was cold towards Lucus. Smarkle, who had no idea that anything had happened, was cold to Farkle for behaving so strangely.
Riley, who was afraid of silence, had been chattering incessantly from the moment they sat down.
Maya gave Josh an apologetic look when Farkle began throwing poorly disguised insults at Lucas in the form of a fabricated story about a boy from Alabama who lived on his floor at his dorm in princeton.
Smackle had a confused look on her face as she tried to follow the train of the story and Lucuas ears were growing more and more red as he stared down at his dinner roll.
"Smackle, how is MIT?" Josh asked, cutting off Farkle before he could break into another 'story'. Smarkles face lit up, rushing to describe the campus and her favourite classes. Maya gave his hand a grateful squeeze under the table.
Things slowly de escalated from there, and by the time that their entrees arrived easy laughter was flowing between them all. It wasn't until the waiter dropped off the check that things once again became tense.
Both Lucas, Farkle and Josh reached for the cheque at the same time, and while Riley usually would have made a comment about the sexist implication of the scenario but both Farkle and Lucuas had tried to yank the cheque towards themselves, which caused the table shift slightly and Riley's full glass of water to tip over and spill it's contents all over the table.
Josh quickly jumped up and tried to control the spill while Maya righted the glass.
Farkle and Lucas didn't seem to have noticed, they were standing now both with one hand on the cheque book.
"Dudes can you chill out?" Maya hissed. " We're all going to venmo whoever pays. Enough with the death stares!"
Neither Farkle or Lucuas seemed to notice that Maya had even spoken.
"Have you got a problem with me rich boy?" Lucas snarled.
"Because you've been acting like a real dick all night"
"Yeah I do have a problem with you actually. I got a problem with the way you've been messing with Riley all year" Lucus let go of the cheque and walked around the table so that he and Farkle were standing chest to chest.
" You want to say that again?" Lucus was a full head taller than Farkle and a fair bit wider but Farkle didn't seem to be backing down.
"You're making a scene!" hissed RIley who was as white as a sheet.
" We are not doing this," Maya snapped, getting to her feet.
"Smack, get the big one" Maya instructed Smackle who quickly got to her feet and reached her tiny arm up to grab onto Lucas by crook of his arm, pinching in just the right spot to get the large boy to crumple slightly.
Maya went for the more direct route and grabbed onto Farkle by the ear and began to march him out of the restaurant and out onto the sidewalk. As soon as they hit the pavement Maya let go of his ear and used both her hands to shove hard against Farkle.
"What the fuck was that?" Maya demanded as Farkle staggered away from her. Farkle straightened up and began shaking out his hands as if he was getting ready for a fight.
"I am sick of that asshole and the way that he treats her. How are you not furious at him after everything that happened?"
" It's not all black and white!" Maya exclaimed " and has this whole thing frankly scared the shit out of me? Yeah. And would it be easier to challenge all that fear into hating Lucas? Yeah. But that's not what Riley wants. How do you think this whole dinner blow up made her feel? We're supposed to be making things easier for her, not harder"
Farkle was looking down at the pavement.
"Just go walk it off or something" Maya suggested. " Call Riley tomorrow and apologize. Give her the night to cool down"
"When did you become the reasonable one?" Farkle asked, only half joking. Maya tossed her hair over her shoulder jokingly before she took a step closer to Farkle and squeezed her hand.
" I know you're just doing this because you care about her. So do I." Farkle gave her a sad smile and turned to go.
"After all that I still paid the bill"
Maya turned to see Josh standing there, his hands in his pocket, watching Farkle hurrying down the street.
"Where are the others?" Maya asked.
"Riley left through the hotel exit and Smackle is still giving Lucas hell"
"I should call her" Maya began but Josh caught her hand.
" She's told me to tell you not to worry. She's walking home to clear her head"
Maya deflated slightly and felt her shoulders fall.
"Ice cream?" Josh asked hopefully. Maya smiled.
The line at swerve was long but once they got their monstrous cones they began the walk back to Maya's dorm.
Josh had been disappointed when she told him she wasn't spending the night at his place.
"I've got a date in the morning" she explained when she told him she was going back to her place to sleep that night.
Josh had wrinkled his nose
"You have a bumble account I don't know about?" he teased. Maya bumped his hip with hers.
"No. I'm having breakfast with the girls from the suite down the hall"
"Branching out. I like it" Josh complimented.
"I am so well rounded that it's amazing that I'm not rolling down the street" she joked.
They walked the streets uptown, eating the mammoth ice cream cones they had purchased, although the weather was still much too cold for them.
The shock of dinner had finally worn off by the time they finished their desserts and made it up to Maya's building.
"Goodnight" Maya said wistfully wrapping her arms around Josh and extending her face up towards his.
"Oh i'm allowed to kiss you now? You're not worried about your makeup?" He teased wrapping his arm around her in return.
"Shut up" She scoffed as he leaned to kiss her.
"GET A ROOM!" someone shouted from an open window above them. Maya didn't break the kiss, instead she smiled into Josh's lips and lifted one hand in the air to flip the person off.