Hey everybody, Azu here. This is a re-vamping of my story "Just the Way You Are" that I started way back in 2004. I've decided to finally pick up where I left off and finish this thing once and for all…after giving it a little makeover, of course. So without further ado, here we go.
Disclaimer: Jimmy Neutron belongs to Nickelodeon, not me.
Just the Way You Are
The Great Wall of China. The pyramids of Giza. Libby Folfax. These things don't seem to have much in common, but according to Sheen Estevez, they are all breathtaking world wonders. He now sat with his two best friends, Jimmy Neutron and Carl Wheezer, in a booth at the Candy Bar, the local ice cream parlor. Glancing around the place for what seemed like the millionth time, Sheen exhaled softly and turned back to his friends.
"You okay, Sheen?" Jimmy asked, raising an eyebrow.
"What?" Sheen quickly snapped out of his reverie and pasted a fake smile on his face. "Oh yeah, I'm fine, just trying to pick a sundae. No problemo."
Anyone who knew Sheen well enough knew that he was a terrible liar. He never looked you straight in the eyes and had a habit of twisting his fingers while he talked. Jimmy sighed and patted Sheen's shoulder comfortingly.
"Don't worry, Sheen. I'm sure she'll be here soon. You know the girls always come to the Candy Bar on Saturday afternoons."
A light blush colored Sheen's cheeks as he opened his mouth to deny what he was thinking, but figured it was pointless when he saw his friends' knowing expressions. Man! How do they always know when I'm lying?! Sheen thought. Maybe Jimmy and Carl have mind-reading abilities like the villains in Ultralord Episode #896: "Attack of the Space Weasels from Drenthax 5"...
"Okay." Sheen shook his head and smiled a real smile this time. Forcing his attention back to the menu, he made himself forget about Jimmy and Carl's "mind-reading space powers"...for the moment.
"All right then. Now hurry up and decide what you want, so we can order!" said Jimmy playfully.
"Yeah, I'm hungry!" Carl exclaimed, his stomach growling to further prove his point.
Sheen chuckled softly without taking his eyes off the laminated paper, but doubt lingered in the back of his mind. Truth be told, his crush on Libby began the first day he met her, and one of the best days of his young life had happened back in February, when Jimmy was working on an experimental anti-girl serum. He planned to use it to prevent himself, Sheen, and Carl from ever having to deal with girls, fall in love, or any general "mushy stuff", as Carl had so eloquently put it.
As everyone now knew, the boys had been accidentally exposed to the serum, which was still in its pheromone state at the time, causing them to instantly fall in love with the first female they saw. Of course, the potion would only work if the contaminated subjects already had an initial attraction toward the females in question. Jimmy had conveniently left out this little detail, mostly because he was afraid to own up to his not-so-secret feelings for Cindy. Taking into consideration that life is never fair when one wants it to be, all three boys just happened to see and fall in love with the girls they each liked: Jimmy for Cindy, Sheen for Libby, and, disturbingly enough, Carl for Mrs. Neutron.
Honestly, Sheen didn't feel different after being contaminated. He just felt a stronger attraction to Libby than before and a boost of courage that he didn't know he possessed. What truly puzzled him, even now, was the fact that Libby actually agreed to go out with him on Valentine's Day. During the whole ordeal, Sheen kept wondering if she was doing it because she liked him the same way, or if it was all out of pity. The potion had been fogging his brain at the time, so he was just happy to be in Libby's company. He showed his affection by presenting her with a crown, a throne made of action figure boxes, and a handmade card questioning if she would be his Valentine. Naturally, Sheen was shocked speechless when she said yes.
The one thing that frustrated Sheen more than anything else was the only action that he couldn't explain or reason away. After their very short bo staff fight (and after he'd promised to calm down), Libby had thanked him for the card, placed her hand on the side of his face, and...kissed him. Granted, it was on the cheek, but still she had actually kissed him! Willingly! Sheen had been so ecstatic that he couldn't help but perform the absurd Dance of Wooing ritual he'd seen on Ultralord Episode #921.
Now that the incident was over and things had returned to normal, Libby seemed to be sending him mixed signals. One minute she was laughing at one of Cindy's usual insults, and the next minute she was gazing at him quietly and blushing if he happened to catch her. Needless to say, poor Sheen was thoroughly confused about the whole situation. He continued pondering the state of things in the back of his mind while deciding what sugar-laden Candy Bar treat he was going to stuff in his face.
Well, I can't be expected to debate over whether or not Libby likes me on an empty stomach, right? Sheen thought diplomatically, finally choosing a Fudge Ripple Gut Buster.
After scanning the place one last time when Jimmy and Carl were preoccupied, Sheen resolved to try to forget about his worries for a little while. He leaned his head back against the cushion of the booth and closed his eyes, allowing his mind to wander.
Sheen wasn't exactly sure how long he'd been in a semi-conscious state, but the next thing he knew, someone was nudging his shoulder in an effort to wake him up.
"Ugh...what happened?" he murmured before cracking one eye open to see who was interrupting his lovely daydream about Libby. He could just make out a pair of chocolate brown eyes gazing at him as a soft, feminine voice rang through his ears.
"Sheen? Hey, Sheen, wake up! Your ice cream is melting!" the voice said.
Sheen's brain finally kicked into gear and his eyes snapped open to come face-to-face with none other than Libby herself.
Much love to Tygrressatheart, my best buddy and beta reader. Reviews are always appreciated.