A/N: Disney owns the characters and the backdrop. I only own the angst. So there.

I'm a smart guy.

I mean really smart.

I'm not saying this out of ego or anything. I mean there are plenty of people who have a higher IQ or hit the books a lot harder. Then there are those people who are just incredibly good at that one thing, mostly because they spend any and every moment working on or studying that one little thing.

So if I spend every moment of my spare time dreaming about Lizzie McGuire, how come I can't figure out a way to get her out of my head?

My Dad says I have adaptive intelligence, the best kind according to him. It's the kind of smart that allows you to figure out that two plus two really does equal four about a couple of pages before you get to that part of the answer key.

The trade off of this wonderful blessing known as adaptive intelligence?

Guys like Ethan Craft, who can barely remember to breathe in any given moment, understand much more complex topics like girls. This point was pretty well made during the now infamous Sadie Hawkins dance debacle. Lizzie cornered me into acting like Ethan in order to go over how she would ask him to the stupid dance that I wouldn't go to in a million years.

Fine. I admit it. I went a little over the top with my impression of Ethan and how he would react. But the guy seriously has the attention span of a retarded moth.

And yes, fine. I'll admit that I also would go to the dance. If Lizzie asked me, that is.

Which she won't.

I didn't even think about it until now. But I could've been in for a very awkward situation in the remote possibility that some other girl asked me to go. But I guess I could've always borrowed a line from Ethan Craft's "How to Deal the Liz-adies" and give her the old "I don't like you like that" standby. Luckily for me, any time some girl might've had to summon some insanity and ask me to the dance would've been wasted, since I spent all that time helping Lizzie try to woo Ethan.

Still that's better than telling the truth.

"Thanks anyway, the night of the dance I plan to spend alone in my room, pining over my best friend. And maybe watch South Park". Somehow that makes me look worse than I already do.

I always knew this was going to happen between the three of us. As predictable as those teen movies Lizzie and Miranda insist on picking out for movie night every week (one sci-fi, is that so much to ask?), after about the 300th one I realized that one of us was going to make the fatal mistake.

But isn't the girl supposed to fall for the guy? And either way, isn't the other person eventually supposed to figure things out and fall madly in love with the person because they finally realize what they've had in front of them all this time?

Well, I guess it would, except that I think I've been really good about not being obvious about the whole thing. I have my slip-ups here and there. Sometimes I'll snap when there's a little too much girl talk. I think Miranda may be catching on that "girl talk" is actually code for "what Ethan is wearing today" or "how Ethan's hair looks". At least a couple of times she's caught me wince a little bit when he crosses paths with our group. Lizzie's attention will suddenly go 180 degrees the other way. That's normally the preview before the latest episode of "Angry Gordo" starts.

Later that day after school, Miranda called asking what got me so crazy about the latest Lizzie/Ethan encounter, clearly fishing for clues about my feelings for Lizzie. I think Miranda has probably figured it by now.

Mental note. Kidnap and brainwash Miranda.

Oh c'mon. I'm kidding. Besides that girl is a fighter. She'll kick my butt before I could even strap her into a chair.

I lamely chuckle quietly at the thought of Miranda beating me up. Of course I'm doing it in the middle of math. Lizzie gets distracted and shoots me a baffled glance. No Lizzie, I'm not crazy. The area of a circle is not that funny.

I shake my head and mouth the words "Its nothing" so she doesn't give it another thought. As soon as her eyes return to our teacher I'm already missing her face. So much to the point that the mere action of her turning in her desk has somehow gone slow motion. This happens more and more often as the days have gone by since I admitted to myself that I have a 'thing' for her. It goes super slow-mo when she's fixing her hair. I can never decide whether I like it more up or down, but time just seems to stop when the hair is in motion. When the golden strands finally land gently on her shoulders I swear I can count each one.

Man, I'm pathetic.

Any minute now I'll get back to math. Oh good, someone gets to do a problem on the board. Maybe this will distract me back into paying attention. Like that made any sense. Man, this poor guy has no idea how to do the problem. C'mon, the formula is right above your head.

I catch Lizzie reaching for her handbag out of the corner of my eye and my interest immediately shifts back to her. She must be looking for another pencil or something. I can't see what exactly she's grabbing for just yet.

Oh no.

Not the lip gloss.

I just got back to paying attention to math and now this? Now she decides to reapply?

She effortlessly glides the stick over her lips and brings them together to even the coat out, and as usual, even though I'm wide awake I'm having the same lip gloss induced fantasy.

We're standing close. I mean really close. No words are being exchanged. The expressions in our eyes are saying everything. I close the distance between us slightly and stop just as suddenly, not wanting to make what I'm sure is a defining mistake in my young life.

Lizzie sees the hesitation and looks down for a second to reach for my hand. The sensation of her fingers lacing in between my own are raising the tension between us, but her smile letting me know to not be afraid. She wants this just as much as I do, maybe more.

Our eyes meet again, and the distance begins to close once more. My chest is beginning to hurt as the intensity of each heartbeat is slamming against the inside of my skin. Lizzie places her other hand on my chest and begins to forcefully pull me closer. It doesn't help that my breathing is getting faster, but the closer I get the stronger her scent becomes and the hotter I get because of the radiant warmth she's projecting.

Our eyes close at the same time.

The moment is here.

Snap!!!!

My heartbeat has suddenly gone from blissfully painful to completely stopped. My mind is racing as I realize that during my fantasy I was holding my pencil so firmly against the paper on my desk that the lead has broken quite loudly. To make matters worse, the broken piece hit Miranda (conveniently sitting directly in front of me) in the back of the neck, causing her to yelp.

Now the whole class, teacher included, is looking at me. Miranda has turned around completely and is just glaring daggers at me right now.

I hold up the broken pencil and meekly say, "You get what you don't pay for". I hear some muffled laughs from different areas of the classroom. Hopefully nobody, least of all Lizzie, is noticing that I'm sweating buckets right now and that my hands are still shaking uncontrollably.

Miranda is not giving me the look of death anymore. She has replaced that with a very devilish smile. She knows exactly what just happened. Her smile grows just a bit wider when she looks over at Lizzie, who is still totally oblivious.

"Would anyone care to lend Mr. Gordon a pencil so that we can continue?" the teacher asks.

Lizzie is already rummaging through the same handbag that was keeping that troublesome lip gloss. She really did have a pencil in there? That is the suckiest kind of irony. Upon finding one she silently offers it to me with an amazing smile as most of the other kids in class have turned their attention back to the teacher. Miranda is still keeping a watchful eye though.

It takes every bit of concentration I have ever had to muster to keep my hand steady as I extend it across the aisle to accept the pencil. Lizzie got impatient, and moved her hand closer. The shock of the skin on skin contact caused me to drop the pencil, and Miranda is having such a hard time not laughing out loud that I think she's going to start crying. There's also some scattered chuckling in the back as I quickly grab the pencil off the floor.

Lizzie is staring at me now with some real concern now. I have to fight the urge to look back but am having serious trouble. I've even resorted to holding down my writing hand with my non-writing hand in order to take down the notes on the board.

At this point, I'm giving serious thought to just writing her a stupid letter telling her how I feel. She reads it, she appreciates the sentiment, she shoots me down. A couple months of uncomfortable awkwardness before we start putting it behind us. We stay friends and move on. She stars in her own sitcom and becomes a big star. I go dateless for my whole life because every girl I ever meet doesn't come close to what Lizzie is. I eventually move into a shack high in the mountains and develop and pain-free hair- removal gel.

On second thought, I think I'll keep this to myself. I would rather let this tear me up inside then guilt Lizzie into letting me down easy.

Its not her fault I feel this way about her. Its also not her fault she doesn't get the same lightheaded and flushed feeling around me.

Someday I'll look back on days like this and laugh, I'll even tell Lizzie about it probably. I just hope someday this will stop being so painful and start getting funny.