It was around noon when Maya woke from her fitful sleep. She still felt exhausted, but her body, who was used to being up by this time, was rejecting the idea of any more rest. Sunlight was streaming through the window of Josh's room but despite the bright light, Josh seemed to still be asleep. Maya was still for a few moments, breathing in time with the rise and fall of Josh's chest under her cheek. She was so grateful that Josh was there with her. It was comforting to have his arms around her and his heart beating in time with her own. She wasn't stupid, she knew that Josh wasn't there just for her, that Riley was his niece and he would have come anyway, but still. It felt nice to have someone's arms to fall into when she felt at a loss. She hated herself a little bit for thinking it. She didn't want to feel like a damsel in distress, she'd played that part a few too many times in the last few years. She wished she was a better shoulder for Josh to lean on too. Still, as she looked up at Josh's sleeping face, her heart swelled with love. How was it possible that he was hers? That when she called, he turned up.
Her thoughts went to Riley, would she be awake yet? Was anyone else up and ready to go to the hospital? Or had they already left? What if they'd all gone when she was sleeping? Maya slipped out from under Josh's arm and tiptoed over to the window. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that the Matthews's car was still parked in the driveway.
Now that she was out of bed she needed coffee. She needed coffee and she needed to know what was going on with Riley. She also needed a sweater because it was fucking freezing. She went over to the dresser and pulled out a pair of thick socks and an ancient old sweater of Joshs from high school. She slipped out of the room and padded down the hall and down the stairs, the living room was empty and it seemed like the kitchen was too. Maya hurried over to the coffee pot, hoping against hope that there was still a bit of cold coffee left in the bottom from the day before that she could zap in the microwave to hold her over while the new pot was brewing. When she lifted the pot she was surprised by how heavy it felt, like there was at least half a pot inside the metal cravat.
"I'd take a refill while you're up."
The voice made the Maya jump. She'd really thought she'd been alone in the kitchen, but as she whipped around she saw a blurry-eyed Topanaga seated at the kitchen table. It was a testament to how tired she was that Maya hadn't noticed her there in the first place. Topanga gave her a tired smile.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to spook you but I am desperate for another cup"
Maya wasn't sure what to say so she lifted the pot and went over to refill Topangas mostly empty cup. Maya's hands shook as she poured. How furious must Topanaga be with her, to keep such a secret, to put Riley in that kind of danger? Maya knew that Topanga had thought Maya was a little reckless growing up, and Maya had certainly proved her right on more than one occasion, but this was different. Maya had never done anything to put Riley in danger before.
Topanga, noticing the shake in Maya's grip placed a hand gently on Maya's forearm.
"Why don't you grab a cup and come sit with me for a while"
Maya tried and failed to swallow the lump in her throat, turning to get a mug and grab herself a cup of coffee. Was this going to be it? Was Topanga going to ream her out right there in the quiet little kitchen? Would she even let her come to the hospital to see Riley with them? She couldn't stand the idea that she'd disappointed her.
Maya couldn't meet Topanga's eye when she sat down. She looked down into the dark abyss of her coffee, hoping it would lend her some comfort.
Topanga rested her hand on Maya's arm again, prompting Maya to look up at her unwillingly.
To her surprise, Topanagas face wasn't full of disappointment, but rather with sympathy.
"Are you ok?" she asked watching Maya carefully. Maya's mouth went a little lack, she could hardly believe it.
" I should be the one asking you that. I can't tell you how awful I feel about this" Maya rushed to say but Topanga swatted that notion away, squeezing Maya's arm lovingly.
" Maya, you don't have anything to be sorry about"
"But I-" Maya tried but Topanga cut her off.
" Do I wish that Riley had come to me? Yes, of course, I do. Everyone wants to think they'd be the kind of parent that their child would feel comfortable coming to no matter what. But there are plenty of things that I told my best friend that I didn't tell my mother."
" But maybe if I had come to you before-" she was cut off again
" You came to me when you needed to. You did the right thing baby. I promise no one is mad at you"
Maya felt a tear roll down her face once again.
"But if Riley had-"
"But she didn't. I've been on the phone with a nurse on and off all morning. She's going to be completely fine."
Maya wiped a rouge tear off her cheek.
"She's ok," Topanga promised.
"Cory is in the shower now, and then we're going to drive over there in about 20 minutes if you want to come"
"Are you sure you don't want to see her by yourselves first? I don't want to intrude"
"That's sweet, but there will be plenty of time for us to talk to Riley alone later. It's not about that right now, and I know she wants to see you."
The nurse on Rileys floor said that she'd only been awake for about twenty minutes. The nurse, Amber, warned them that Riley might be a little groggy and she would definitely be sore.
When they came into the room, Maya was struck by how small Riley looked in the big hospital bed. She almost looked like a child tucked under the covers.
Riley's eyes filled with tears when she looked up and saw them in the doorway.
Topanga rushed forward towards her daughter.
" Oh baby" She carefully took Riley in her arms, minding her daughter's incision. Riley started to cry in earnest.
"I'm sorry" she sobbed into her mother's shoulders, unable to pull herself together. Cory placed his arm around his daughter and his wife.
"Shh. You don't need to say anything" Cory promised. Maya lingered by the door, still feeling that she was intruding on this family moment. It wasn't until Riley lifted her head off her mother's shoulder, saw Maya standing there that she reached out her hand to her best friend. Cory looked up at her too, jerking his head to the side, beckoning Maya into their little huddle.
"We've got you" Topanga promised, as Riley sobbed in their arms.
Riley hadn't been up feeling up to many more visitors that day. The three of them had all wanted to spend the night, but the nurse on duty had informed them that only one guest was allowed per room overnight, per the hospital's policy.
Maya had seen the fire in Topangas eyes and known that she had been about to go for blood when Cory put his hand on her shoulder and suggested that Riley and Maya might like to have some time alone.
They hadn't said much to each other at first. Just laid together on the uncomfortable hospital bed.
"You really scared me" Maya started
" I know I did. I'm sorry-"
" I wasn't finished. You really scared me, but I'm so glad you called me"
"I'll always call you"
"Good. I'll always answer."
"Now let's stop with this mushy stuff. It's gross." Maya teased.
Maya heard Riley's phone buzz on the mattress between them. Out of instinct she glanced down and saw that Riley had an incoming message from Lucus. Riley clicked the screen off. Not checking to see what Lucus had said.
" Did you tell him?" Maya asked, figuring there was no point in pretending she hadn't seen. They did need to talk about this.
"There's no point" Riley muttered, tucking her phone under the pillow.
"Don't. It's true, there's no point. He didn't know. I didn't tell him. So why should I tell him now? So he can feel sorry for me? Or be pissed that I didn't tell him in the first place? What am I supposed to do? Call him up and say 'hey so I was pregnant and you were the father but you have nothing to worry about because the baby-" Riley stopped mid-sentence unable to go on for a second.
" If I had told him...If I had told him, I know exactly what he would have said. He'd have told me that he loves me and that we could do whatever I wanted but that if I wanted him, he would be here and we could be a family."
Silent tears were falling down Riley's face.
" and I think I might have wanted that" Riley admitted, her voice small and almost shameful.
" I can't tell him now. He's better not knowing." Maya felt as if she had been punched in the stomach.
"Riles, I have something to tell you." Riley looked up at her, unsure what Maya could mean.
" He called me" Maya admitted. A spark of furry flared in Riley's eyes.
"You didn't " she spit, immediately thinking the worst.
"I didn't. I swear to God I didn't tell him anything" Maya quickly defended before hurrying on.
"But he already knew something was up with you. He's going out of his mind and if you don't talk to him soon I wouldn't put it past him to take a greyhound up here and knock down your door"
" He's better off not knowing"
" I don't know if that's true, and I don't think that you're better off with him not knowing."
Maya couldn't even comprehend how complicated this all was for Riley, especially if Riley had been even thinking of keeping the baby.
"I am here for you, no matter what, but you should let him be there for you too".
Riley was quiet, considering what Maya had said.
"I'm sorry if I'm pushing too hard."
"You're not," Riley said quietly.
Maya her pinky up between their two faces, Riley brought her own pinky up to intertwine with Maya's.
"I don't know if I can do it"
"Let's not talk about it anymore tonight. Maybe things will be easier tomorrow" Maya offered. Riley gave her a sad smile, before closing her eyes and drifting off to sleep.