Hi everyone! Author here to let you know that I don't own Jimmy Neutron; I'm just borrowing the characters without permission for some harmless fun. The show belongs to Nickelodeon and the guys who created it. I'm just a poor student, and if you try to sue me, I'll be in debt for the rest of my life.
Now that the disclaimer's over, on with the show!
To Cross the Rubicon
Chapter One: The Egypt Project and Foolhardy Bets
Cindy Vortex sat at her customary seat in Miss Fowl's classroom, her left heel tapping impatiently against the floor and a muscle in her cheek twitching absently. She stared straight ahead at the chalkboard before her, gripping her pencil more tightly than was probably necessary, and chewed at the bottom of her lip. All in all, she was trying her hardest to focus on the lesson at hand and ignore the big-headed, soft-serve-style haired boy who sat beside her.
And he just had to make it difficult, as it was his mission in life to correct each and every single mistake their poor teacher made in the information she presented.
"And so-o-o-o you see," Miss Fowl said as she turned away from the chalkboard, revealing the complicated set of elementary algebra, and naturally Jimmy's hand shot to the air. Cindy watched the teacher sigh.
"Ye-e-e-e-s, Jimmy?" she asked, her tone weary, and Cindy braced herself for the worst.
"Miss Fowl, might I suggest that you present another way to solve the problem on the board? There are many different formulas and methods to use when solving that sort of quadratic equation; the factoring method you presented is rather complicated. Shouldn't we have started with the actual formula designed for those types of problems?" he asked, his voice holding a mixture of honest confusion, innocence, and a tone Cindy particularly hated; that superior, know-it-all one he normally used.
Miss Fowl blinked at him for a moment, as if she was trying to digest his lengthy question. "This is what we're do-o-o-oing today, Jimmy," she said at last, shaking her head a little, and Cindy smirked inwardly at the frown that appeared on his face.
Now normally, at the end of his typical explanations and questions, Cindy would've interjected with one of her customary barbs, but at this point in time she was trying to stay in Miss Fowl's good graces.
And that meant not arguing with Jimmy.
Unfortunately, the morning's presentations of show and tell had resulted in Miss Fowl running for her life when Jimmy's Virtua Chef 9000 had gone hay-wire. As for how it had gone hay-wire… well… Cindy cringed at the memory. She, of course, had been arguing with Jimmy over how a holographic, computer programmed chef couldn't possibly compete with the dishes prepared by a human one. Naturally he'd disagreed with her, and had failed to notice Carl messing with the controls in his vain attempt to order the hologram to make him that disgusting pizza he liked so much. The holographic chef had been programmed with the acceptable toppings, so Carl had decided to add his favorite toppings to the list. And of course he'd messed things up.
"What?!" Jimmy had snapped in response, as he'd been interrupted mid-explanation. When he'd seen what the chef was doing, however, his jaw had dropped in horror. The hologram had somehow imprinted Miss Fowl as 'chicken', and was now trying its hardest to make a Chinese chicken salad, using her as the main ingredient. It had chased their teacher from the room as it brandished a rather large, and sharp, meat cleaver.
"Great going, Nerd-tron," Cindy had drawled. "Can't you ever make something that's idiot proof?" Her gaze had flicked to Carl as she spoke, and Jimmy glared at her. Her meaning had been lost on the llama loving boy, as he was dancing from foot to foot in worry for their teacher, but it hadn't been lost on Jimmy.
"I don't go insulting your friends, Vortex," he'd retorted angrily, his gaze narrowing as he spoke. "So leave mine out of it!"
"But you see, my friends aren't brain dead!"
"I beg to differ! And you must rub off on them, as you are the most insipid and ignorant one of them all!"
"What did you just call me?!"
"You heard me," Jimmy had said, enunciating each word carefully. "Or is your hearing failing along with your intellect?" Jimmy had smirked as he spoke, crossing his hands over his chest. "Shall I fetch you a dictionary so you can look it up?"
"I know what it means, you nauseating little worm! I'm not stupid!"
"Funny, you've given me no reason to believe otherwise," Jimmy had said coolly, and Cindy had bared her teeth in an angry growl. It had taken every shred of control not to slug him.
"Would you two shut up and do something?" Libby had screamed, effectively breaking up their argument. "Carl's going into hysterics and if you don't hurry, you're going to be held responsible when that crazy thing turns our teacher into lunch!" Cindy had paled at that, suddenly remembering Miss Fowl's current state of peril.
"Since this is all Jimmy's fault, I vote that we blame him," Sheen had said, holding up his hand, and Cindy had smirked at Jimmy's look of shock.
"And what was I saying about friends?"
"CINDY! FOCUS!" She'd winced at Libby's shout, and had grinned at her friend sheepishly.
"Sorry, couldn't resist…"
It hadn't been much long after that when Jimmy had figured out how to undo the damage that Carl had done, but Miss Fowl had been furious. In a rare move, she'd given both Jimmy and Cindy ten demerits and had threatened them with ten more each if they so much as uttered a peep to each other the rest of the class. When Cindy had tried to protest, as she hadn't done anything to Jimmy's invention, she'd earned herself a detention along with the explanation that she'd distracted him by arguing.
Talk about unfair... she thought with an internal sigh as she fought the urge to tell Neutron to shut up. He'd gone off on a rather complicated lecture about the proper functions of mathematical equations, and naturally Cindy was delighted when Miss Fowl had interrupted.
"That's i-i-i-it!" she shouted, silencing Jimmy instantly. "Detention, Mr. Neutron, for purposely di-i-i-srupting class!"
"But Miss Fowl-"
"Ke-e-e-p talking, Jimmy, and I'll ma-a-a-ke it for the who-o-o-le week, bra-a-wk!" she clucked angrily when he tried to argue, and after hearing her threat, Cindy watched him shut his mouth with a click.
Too bad he's smart enough to realize when he shouldn't press something... Cindy thought with another small sigh of regret. She would've liked to taunt him about being stuck in detention for the rest of the week, being that it was only Tuesday.
The rest of the class passed by smoothly, albeit much more silently than it otherwise would have, but soon there was only ten minutes to go. Miss Fowl sent Amber around to collect their class work, and then passed out a handout detailing their newest group project.
"Si-i-i-nce we're currently stu-u-u-dying the history and cu-u-ulture of Egypt, this is a project where three or fo-o-o-ur of you get together and present so-o-o-m-thing from the region. I have a sign up sheet on the board fo-o-or you to fill out, and I wa-a-ant this one month from to day!" Miss Fowl explained, and Cindy felt Libby poke her arm.
"Whadda ya say, girlfriend?" Libby asked with a wide grin. "We groupies?"
Cindy nodded before standing and taking her pencil, she wrote her name and Libby's on the first set of four lines. Once finished, she felt a tap on her shoulder, and blinked when she found Nissa standing behind her.
"I hate to be a bother, but could Natesa and I be in your group?" she asked shyly, and Cindy's gaze turned to the girl standing beside her. Natesa was a girl she'd never really noticed in class before, being that she was painfully quiet. Cindy assumed she was Middle Eastern, with creamy, bronze skin, exotic brown eyes, and long, thick, jet-black hair.
"Sure!" Cindy said brightly and turned back to the list. She was glad to have Nissa, and she knew Natesa was an extremely hard worker, as she'd been grouped with her during class before. "Give Libby your phone numbers and we'll call you to figure out when we should meet to work out what we're going to do. Oh, and Natesa? How do you spell your last name?"
"It's spelled O-j-u-f-e-m-i," she said softly, Cindy transcribing each letter carefully. "It's actually Egyptian in origin."
What luck! She must know a lot about Egypt! Cindy thought as she turned around and grinned at the girl.
"That's cool," she said and watched Natesa blush slightly as a small smile grew on her face. "Are you Egyptian?"
"My father is," she said, her voice gaining slowly more confidence, and the two of them walked back to Libby's desk, where Nissa was writing down her phone number for them. "We could actually meet at my house if you want to; I think I might have an idea for what we can do for the project. That is," she added hastily, looking around anxiously, "if no one has a better one."
"Oh, don't worry," Libby said breezily, waving her hand a little in dismissal. "We like to hear all options before picking something."
Natesa smiled gently at that, and Nissa handed her the paper and pen.
"So what are the two of you doing tomorrow after school?" Cindy asked as Natesa wrote down her phone number. "I normally have tai chi lessons, but my instructor is sick this week, so I'm free."
"Works for me," Libby said, nodding, and Nissa nodded as well. "What about you, Natesa?"
"I'm not sure, but I'll ask my mom tonight about my idea as well as getting together tomorrow, and then I'll call everyone," she said as she handed the paper to Libby. "Could I have your number and Cindy's? I already have Nissa's."
"Sure," Libby said, and tore the paper in half before scribbling on it quickly. "What's this idea you're thinking of?"
"Well…" Natesa started, biting her lower lip a little. "I'm not sure if it'll work out yet, so I don't want to get your hopes up if you like it. Wait until tonight when I call."
"All right," Cindy said as the bell rang, and she sighed. "What time will you call, Natesa?"
"Maybe around eight?"
"That's fine, I'll talk to you then," Cindy called as people began trailing from the room. She watched them leave enviously but after a moment she drew herself up and took her seat. It was detention time…
Cindy watched sadly as Libby finally trailed from the classroom, gracing her with a small, sad wave before leaving, and soon the only people left in the room were herself, Miss Fowl, and God's greatest gift (and curse) to mankind, Jimmy Neutron.
"How long will we be staying, Miss Fowl? My mother expects me home by four-thirty at the latest," he said, his tone rather glum and cross. The teacher looked up at him for a moment before looking at the clock and sighing.
"I ha-a-a-ve a meeting in a few minutes, so-o-o-o I can't stay to wa-a-a-atch you," she said, clucking regretfully. "So I'm going to do-o-o-o something that's probably really stu-u-u-pid, and trust the two of you to stay until thre-e-e-e thirty."
"You can trust us, Miss Fowl," Cindy spoke up, painting a charming smile on her face. "We may fight constantly, but we are trustworthy. We swear we won't leave for the half-hour, unless it's to go to the bathroom."
Miss Fowl eyed the both of them, her beady gaze flicking from Cindy to Jimmy rapidly, but soon she sighed again and stood, plucking a small purse from the floor.
"All right, but if I he-e-e-ar that either of you has left before the set time, both of you will be serving de-e-e-etentions for the re-e-e-est of the month, bra-a-a-awk!" she said sternly, and Cindy glanced at Jimmy from the corner of her eye, daring him to even try and put her in detention for that long.
With that, Miss Fowl began to rummage around in her desk, selecting files and such that she needed for her meeting. Rather than sit idle, Cindy opened her math book to the page of the homework and began to work. She half-hoped that by engrossing herself enough in the boring problems, she'd avoid talking to Neutron.
Naturally Fate had other ideas.
It only took a few minutes after Miss Fowl left the classroom, locking the door as she went, for Jimmy to speak up. Cindy supposed he was waiting until he was certain that their teacher was out of earshot, as he didn't want to take any chances of her hearing their coming argument.
"I was surprised, Vortex. You can control your mouth if you really try," he said, purposely picking at her. She knew it was to work off some of the frustration he felt, as she'd done the same to him on occasion.
"Then you won't mind if I ask you to do the same," she shot back crossly, glaring up at him from her homework. "I'm trying to work here, in case you hadn't noticed. Unlike you, I'd rather not waste this precious half hour." She watched him frown a little when she refused to really rise to his bait, and she turned back to her algebra.
"It takes you that long to do math homework?" he jabbed, trying a different track, and Cindy bit the inside of her cheek to keep from responding. "Honestly, Vortex, I think you're slipping. It never has taken you that long to do anything school related."
"What do you care?" she snapped, finding it harder to ignore him, especially when he smirked, which was the one thing that really irked her beyond belief. She couldn't stand how smug he always looked. "Just what is your problem, anyway? I was just sitting here, minding my own business. And I'd appreciate it if things could go back to that."
"So school is getting harder for you." The cool, even tone of his voice was almost enough to make her snap her pencil in two, and she couldn't restrain the glare that zeroed in on him. "Hm, seems I've hit a nerve. Otherwise I don't think I would've gotten such a strong reaction from you."
"The only reason you're getting a reaction, dipstick brain, is because you're preventing me from focusing on my homework!"
"Shouldn't you be able to ignore me by now?" His grin was maddening, making her blood boil in anger, and Cindy felt her fists clench, her nails digging into her palms.
"Maybe if I filled my ears with wax and then blasted some of Libby's music! Only a deaf person would be able to ignore you, Mr. I-Can't-Shut-Up, Even-If-It-Means-I-Get-Detention-Because-I-Have-To-Show-Off!" She managed to wipe the grin from his face with that one, a ripple of satisfaction running through her. "I bet that's why you always group with Llama Lord and Ultra-dork; compared with them you have absolutely no competition! Heaven forbid that one of your friends should be smarter than you!"
"Now that was uncalled for!"
"You're the one who started it! Or are you only talk, Nerd-tron? Can't take the heat?" She watched as his gaze narrowed angrily as she spoke, her satisfaction growing.
"Quit bringing my friends into it!"
"The only reason you're so upset is because you know it's true," she said smugly and watched his glare darken. "Admit it, you're just a selfish, shallow, attention addict! It would probably kill you to do anything below exemplary, so you choose friends you know wouldn't dare interfere with your brilliance!"
"At least my projects don't suffer from mediocrity! And I bet that the project that Sheen, Carl, and I whip together will be a hundred times better than anything you could hope to dream up!" he yelled, and Cindy realized that the two of them had gotten to their feet. When they'd done so, she couldn't remember, but she supposed it wasn't that important.
"You think so, Neutron?" she said, crossing her arms over her chest and narrowing her gaze speculatively. "Well, think again, because nothing you could possibly come up with in that ridiculously oversized head of yours can compare with the project my group has planned!"
"Is that a bet?" Jimmy growled and Cindy smirked down at him.
"If you wanna make it one," she shot back.
"Fine! And when I win, you have to be my personal servant for a month!" His grin was back, promising her that he'd make it the worst month of her life.
"Well too bad, because it isn't going to happen," she said and pushed a finger against his chest harshly, making him step back a little. "When I win, you're going to be wearing a dress of my choosing every day for a month, AND you have to shave your head!"
"Bring it on, Vortex!"
"Oh I will, Neutron! And may the best GIRL win!"
Okay, so here's my rant, and I promise that this'll be the only long one. I would've put it at the beginning, but I know how people tend to skip the stuff at the beginning so they can get on with the story. I've found that they tend to read stuff at the end because they're looking for more, or something. Anyway, here's the first chapter, and here's my logic behind this story. After watching many episodes of Jimmy Neutron, but not all :(, and WL&K, a thought struck me. The viewer knows that Cindy likes Jimmy a heck of a lot, but you're never really shown anything to say that he likes her at the same level that she likes him. Sure, they almost kiss a couple of times, but isn't one of those times when he's under that love pheromone? And as for the second time… well, let's just say I'm not convinced and I want some serious closure. I want to see them get together at least to a point when they're not going back to how things were, like at the end of WL I'm taking her crumpling up the contract and tossing it at him as such. Jimmy probably has some inkling of what Cindy feels, and maybe on a subconscious level he realizes that she does like him, but I don't think he's taken the time to really address his feelings about her. Guys are deceptively simple, or so my older brother says; they don't take the time to really soul search themselves unless forced into a situation where they have to. So enter my little story, woo hoo.
If you're still reading this after that big long paragraph above, I'd like to know what you guys think about the chapter. I know it's kind of slow, but I'm setting the stage (that's my excuse anyway ;). Hopefully Jimmy isn't too out of character… since this is told from Cindy's perspective for now, I'm assuming that she'd find Jimmy as cheeky and mean as he appears here. So who do you think is going to win? Will Jimmy have to shave his head and endure the torment of his classmates for an entire month? Or will Cindy be forced into a month of embarrassing servitude? Stay tuned!