I don't own Jimmy Neutron. I do own the pleasure of saying, "Thank you so very, very much for reviewing!" Your thoughts are always appreciated.
Sheen and Libby exited the carnival to the parking lot, mixed in with the spread-out crowd.
"Yeah, BUT- if the Poofy Liberator 9000 DID work," Sheen shook the PE9000 in Libby's face and went on walking, "WOULD YOU come with me to UltraLord's universe?"
"No!" Libby gasped under her breath.
"No, Sheen, hush!" she whispered, putting her hand over his mouth and pulling him back into a dark corner. She looked up from their hiding spot to see Calamitous pulling off his employee disguise, with Delstohks following closely behind. Her eyes remained wide, "Calamitous."
They paused. Libby continued staring at Calamitous, and Sheen seemed to be contemplating in deep thought, mouthing numbers and folding his fingers.
"What's that?" Libby tapped Sheen. "What's he got in the bag?"
Delstohks followed Calamitous on through the parking lot with a sack heaved over his shoulder.
She squinted intently. Her eyes widened, "It's moving! Sheen we have to follow them! Come on!" Libby grabbed him by the arm and they ran off.
Present Jimmy and Cindy watched their past selves through the Chronarch...
Cindy hugged Jimmy with all her might, swinging him from side to side.
"Cindy," past Jimmy gasped, "you're choking me…"
Her eyes fluttered open as she dropped him to the floor, "Sorry."
The battered little boy lied in a heap on the floor, "It's okay. Wouldn't be the first time." He cracked his neck. She cringed. "Would you mind helping me up… again?" he laughed despite the pain.
"Eheh…" she lent him her hand and pulled him up. They stared at the ceiling and walls uncomfortably for a few seconds, and then she spoke again, "Sooo… Want to watch TV?"
Cindy and Jimmy sat on the edge her pink bed, eyes glued to the screen.
The television showed a little girl with brown pig tails and blue pajamas, edging towards the foot of her closet. Dramatic music played up the moment. A drop of water could be heard in the background. She called, "Hello?" Her quivering hand reached for the closet doorknob, "…Hello?" The music quickly morphed into needle-like screeching. Jimmy shut his eyes tight and buried his head in Cindy's shoulder. She continued to stare at the screen, mouth agate.
A HIGH PITCHED BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM!
Jimmy's claws dug into Cindy's sleeve as he yawped, "YAAAAAAAHHHH!"
Cindy chuckled, "Umm…When you're done with that, can you let go of my shirt? You're going to spoil it."
"I WASN'T SCARED!"
"I didn't say you were," she smirked and turned off the television.
Jimmy glared, but it couldn't hide the fear in his voice, "Yeah, well monsters aren't real. You can't fear what's not real." He smiled, proud with his comeback.
She couldn't resist torturing him. "Oh, but they're all too real," Cindy grabbed a Malibu Debbie flashlight and held it up to her chin. Dark shadows cast over her face, making her appear rather devilish. She took a step towards him, his eyes revealing anxiety. "You just don't see them… Because they only come out…" she took another step towards him, "IN THE DARK!"
Jimmy fell backwards, out of surprise. His imagination overpowered his better judgment… Then it hit him. Monsters AREN'T real. He began to take himself more seriously. But this was too fun. He decided to play along.
"You're right Cindy," he faked a wayward glance. "What can we do to keep from being eaten by the…." he paused for the drama of the moment, then whispered, "The Blood Boiler?"
She smiled her classic, evil grin. "Well, the best thing to do is split up…" she walked into her closet, flashlight still held to her face, "so that if the monster does find someone, he'll only eat one of us…"
Jimmy flashed a smile, "My stars, Cindy! There's a monster in the closet!"
She dropped the tough girl act along with the flashlight and rushed out of the closet, "WHERE!" She squealed and hid behind Jimmy.
"Oh, never mind, it's not in there anymore."
"Good, because I wasn't afraid you know. I was just testing your reflexes." She strolled back into the closet and reached for her flashlight, "You passed."
"CINDY! THE MONSTER'S IN THE CLOSET AGAIN!"
"EEP!" She ran out again.
The chuckles escaped him this time.
"Is this all some kind of joke?" Cindy snapped.
"No, there was a monster in the closet, but she screamed and ran out."
"Very funny," she respired and entered the closet one last time. "Boys," Cindy bent over to pick up the flashlight when a hand grabbed her leg.
"JIMMY!" she flew from the closet, gripped the back of his shirt collar, and took off out of the room.The hand's owner revealed to be Present Jimmy, who stepped through the portal, laughing his hardest. Present Cindy followed, and the portal created by the Chronoarch evaporated into thin air.
Cindy growled, "That wasn't funny!" He was still laughing. "Because of you, my mom had to pick out my clothes for six weeks!"
He stopped laughing abruptly, then picked up the flashlight. "You know what's really funny about this?" She didn't respond. "I don't remember ANY of it."
"Yeah… That is kind of weird…" She changed the subject, "How are we going to get back to the present in time without our parents thinking we disappeared for a week?"
"Wait, how much time DID WE spend together?"
"A week," she repeated.
"Well you remember everything, right?"
"Yeah, most of it."
"We can just skip around to whatever you think is really important. My watch has buttons that will allow me to access any period in time. You know, fast forward, rewind, pause?"
"Yeah, and how do we get back?"
"We just rewind to the point in time of our departure."
She nodded, but then something else hit her, "What if our past selves see us?"
"Not a problem. I have an inviso-shield that I will activate on us… Now." A purple-electric shield morphed around them, then quickly dissipated.
Jimmy looked up to her, "So, what day?"
"Fast forward to tomorrow, in the morning."
"I don't know, around ten?"
He held down the fast forward button on his watch, the lighting of the room changed, and people scurried back and forth. Past Cindy slept in the bed. The moon set. The sun rose. Past Cindy's mom entered the room and had a quick conversation with her. Past Mrs. Vortex reached for the closet and seemed to be picking out her daughter's clothes. Present Cindy noticed her past self getting ready to undress and screeched, "PAUSE IT!" She pressed the pause button on his watch and shielded his eyes.
"HEY! What? I wanna see!"
Cindy dragged him out of the room, and shut the door. She pressed fast forward and people began to rush around back and forth again. "Don't give me that look, you little weirdo," she folded her arms and glared back at him.
Past Cindy opened the bedroom door and rushed out.
"You're going somewhere! We have to follow!" Jimmy whispered. He pressed the play button, and time returned to normal speed. "Come on!" They ran off after her.
Libby and Sheen followed Calamitous and Delstohks down dark alleys, misty streets, dark shadows. Sheen went on walking, but Libby quickly grabbed him and pulled him behind a building corner down the road from the Candy Bar. Libby kept close watch, while Sheen noted the weather.
"Wow. Was Retroville always this eerie looking?" he shivered.
"Shh," Libby reminded. She focused in on the two men; Calamitous pulled out a remote like device. Where have I seen that before? He pressed a button, which opened a six foot in diameter portal to a world Libby had never seen before. "Oh my-"
"UltraLord! You look absolutely ravishing in this quiet mist and demon-like alley!"
"I got bored. Sorry."
"No, never mind that. Look!"
Delstohks reached through the portal and pulled out some equipment. Dusting off his hands, he pushed another button, and the portal vanished.
"Sheen! It looks just like your Poofy Thing!" she gasped.
"What? Well, as long as mine's still The Original, it doesn't diminish the collector's value," he held the PE9000 to his cheek, petting it with admiration.
"What does it do, Sheen?" she demanded flatly.
"Ah, I'm not good at this sciencey stuff. I was telling you about it earlier; didn't you listen? And Jimmy already explained it in first period…" he whined.
"I don't have your first period!" she hissed.
He rolled his eyes and got serious, "It makes fake stuff real."
"All known to be non-existent/created by human kind (e.g. books, television, stories) has a parallel universe of its own in which from their point of view, our universe as well is non-existent."
"Like books, TV, and stories!" he elaborated again.
"The sticker," he handed her the PE9000. She flipped it over and read the sticker placed on the backside.
"But it doesn't work…"
"Sheen, Calamitous and that other guy just opened up a portal with one of these things! If they have the power to cross over universes, they must have something really big up their sleeves!"
Sheen was quiet. Upon realization, he looked up to Libby, a hint of fear in his eyes, "Do you think this has to do with Jimmy?"
She bit her lip. "I-" a faint rustling interrupted her. "We forgot about the sack!"
Calamitous opened the bag and pulled up a boy by the hair.
Sheen ran out from hiding, "THEY GOT CARL!"
Jimmy and Cindy ran down the sidewalk, following Cindy's younger self. "Where are you off to in such a hurry?"
Cindy was too busy admiring the memory to respond. It's like we're running through a picture book. The sun's warmth bathed the grass, the trees, the houses, them. Everything was just so beautiful. Cindy relived the innocence and wonder of it all, when everything was simply perfect. She turned her head, "Before Jimmy."
"Before I what?"
Ohp! Did I say that aloud? "Nothing, just thinking…" A thought occurred to her, "People can't see us, but can they hear us?"
"I'm not sure."
"You made the stupid thing, but you don't know what it can do?"
"Look, I said I wasn't sure! Don't get ahead of yourself."
"No, I mean, we have to catch up with you. You're getting too far ahead." He was right. Past Cindy was just a dot in the sunlight.
"Where are you going anyway?"
"Am I there too?"
Cindy withdrew ahead, Jimmy closely after her, stopping at The Estevez Residence.
"We're in the backyard." They darted.
They spotted themselves, and Cindy grabbed Jimmy's arm, seating him in a lawn chair. Cindy almost pulled her chair up, but Jimmy gave her a warning glare. He whispered, "Our past selves can't see us, so how do you think they'd react if they saw the chair moving forward on its own? …How would you react?"
Cindy agreed it best against it.
"So what are we doing?" he was confused at the scene unfolding before them.
Past Jimmy and Past Cindy faced each other, smiling. She held a bouquet of dandelions and weeds, and they both wore lollipop rings. Past Sheen faced them like a preacher, fully dressed in his UltraLord costume.
Sheen spoke, "Do you take this guy to be your awfully dreaded husband?"
Cindy giggled, "I do."
"For better or for worse?"
"For richer or for poor?"
Present Jimmy stared in shock. "We're getting married?"
Present Cindy rolled her eyes, dismissing his apparent traumatism, "It's just pretend." Her smile faded to a slight frown, It's always been pretend.
He broke off her thoughts, "But we're getting married?"
She smiled thoughtfully, "Well, you kept proposing, and it was just so cute…" Cindy noted his devilish smile forming, then hindered, "Yeah, but you're ugly now." She smiled. Jimmy wanted to crack up himself, but settled for a scowl.
He rested his elbow on the armrest, chin in his hand, "I still don't remember any of this."
Past Sheen proudly announced, "You may now kiss the bride."
Past Jimmy hollered, "WHAT?"
Past Sheen repeated like a recording, "You may now kiss the bride."
"Kiss her? But I- I can't kiss her—I… I-" he stumbled backwards to the ground, shielding himself with his hands.
Sheen gave him a look that read, It's your future.
Cindy giggled, "What's the matter, Jimmy? Don't you want to kiss me?"
"Cindy, I… I… Kissing, it's a powerful… I can't!"
Her expression fluctuated with his confusion.
"Look, you're nice, I like you. But…"
Sheen chuckled, "Haha, you said butt."
"But I can't kiss you… You have to be old to do that."
"But you have to be old to be married too…"
"Old people are gross."
"Can you… go?"
"Dude, you're in my yard."
Jimmy motioned for Sheen to come closer, then whispered something in his ear.
"BYE, CINDY AND THE NEW GUY!" he ran into the house, letting the door slam behind him.
"What did you tell him?" Cindy asked, confused.
"That by peeing in a jar and leaving it exposed for a week, the phosphorous in it would cause his urine to glow in the dark."
Cindy was silent.
"…So are you ready to spend the rest of our lives together?" he held out his hand.
She laughed, accepting his invitation, "Do I really have a choice?"
As they walked past Sheen's driveway, shouts could be heard from inside the house, "AH MAN! AM I MAD! THIS WAS MY FAVORITE ULTRALORD UNDERWEAR! I MEAN I AM MAD!"
Jimmy and Cindy followed their past selves to the Candy Bar.
Past Cindy smiled halfheartedly, spinning her spoon in her sundae.
Past Jimmy ate his cone contentedly.
"Do you think we'll be friends forever?"
"Well, isn't that what getting married is?" Jimmy took a bite of his ice cream.
"Yeah, I guess… Do you like piano?"
"Yes, it's a beautiful instrument."
"Well, I'm having a recital this Sunday, before school starts. Would you come?"
"Wouldn't miss it for the world," he assured her.
They finished their ice cream, walked home, and shared a goodbye hug.
"See you tomorrow?"
Present Jimmy stared, completely baffled. Present Cindy turned to him as their past selves strolled into their houses and shut the doors. "Well?"
"I don't believe it…"
"You don't remember?"
"Well, that too but…" He stared at a chalk mark in the cement, "We…. What we had… It was…"
She grabbed his hand and squeezed it. He looked up. "Sometimes the people closest to you, are the people you think are furthest away."
"What ever happened… to us?"
Cindy's smile quickly faded, "Well, Sunday came, we had the piano recital. I felt so stupid dedicating a song to you; you weren't there. And the next day school started. Your back to school speech, ah, I remember it crystal clear: 'I moved to Retroville and met the most horrible girl imaginable. The only good part was I built a laboratory.'"
"I said that? No, Cindy."
"Yes, you did. And you acted like you didn't even know me. Now that we were in school, I felt like you wanted nothing to do with me. You partnered up with UltraDork and Llama Boy, and showed me up. I wasn't the smartest kid in school anymore."
Jimmy stood, speechless.
"… But I was no quitter. I took on your challenge. Our first day of third grade, first lunch break, I smashed your head down into your lunch. I made it known that you were going down."
Jimmy furrowed his brow, "… That's the first memory I have of you. My first instinctual feeling towards you… Hate."
How did this happen? Where did I go wrong? Why don't I remember any of this? Then he hatched an idea. "Cindy, when was the last time you saw me before the piano recital?"
"Saturday, in the late afternoon. You wanted to leave early to work on a new invention."
"Then let's go to Saturday," Jimmy fiddled with the fast forward button on his watch. The days flashed before their eyes; Past Jimmy and Cindy were obviously becoming greater and greater friends. The watch stopped at Saturday, six pm. Past Cindy waved goodbye and walked into her house. Past Jimmy headed to his lab, which was still partially under construction.
Present Jimmy led Present Cindy to the lab, "Come on!" Jimmy pulled out a piece of his hair, and held it up to where the DNA scanner should have been. "I must not have built it yet."
"Ummm, Jimmy?" Cindy pointed to a trap door, partially hidden by a welcome mat. They both jumped in through the hole in the ground, Cindy calling, "There better be a mattress at the end of this thing!"
There wasn't. "OOF!"
They spotted Past Jimmy working on an invention. "Shh, come on," Present Jimmy motioned. Cindy followed.
Jimmy gasped, "The Forgetto-Blaster."
Past Jimmy passed out of sheer tiredness on the job, his head falling upon the Forgetto-Blaster. It made a spark, and Present Jimmy shouted, "DUCK!" He pounced on Cindy, them both falling to the floor. The Forgetto-Blaster's ray just barely missed their heads. But it didn't miss Past Jimmy's head.
Cindy jumped up quickly, "Oh my gosh! What'd it do to you?" She ran over to Past Jimmy, who was still sleeping. She rushed around him, panicking.
"Cindy, it's done. What's been done cannot be undone."
"WHAT'D IT DO?" her voice was shaky and disturbed.
"It…" he walked up to the blaster and read the settings. "It erased my memory of all familiar persons as of the past six days."
"That's why I didn't know you…"
"But then who was the mean girl you were talking about when we were at school?"
His eyes widened, hitting him instantaneously, "Kodi."
"Well why didn't you say so before! I thought you hated me!"
"I just thought of it now… And I did hate you. I'm sorry."
"OH I DON'T CARE ANYMORE! Just… AH!" she ran up and hugged him.
"Cindy," Jimmy gasped, "you're choking me…"
She let him go, "Déjà vu."
Jimmy's watched beeped, "Great."
"You must've pressed the auto-forward, random setting," he sighed.
"What does that mean?"
A huge, blue flash erupted around them.
"Where are we…?" Cindy shivered. "It's cold."
"That button you pressed, it sent us forward in time to a couple weeks before school started. We're in Professor Calamitous's laboratory."
"Shh, stay calm."
She hissed, "Why do you even have that button?"
Professor Calamitous entered the lab, and put up Delstohks on screen speaker phone.
Jimmy and Cindy stared up at the screen. That man, his room, everything about him, it was other-worldly, like he was in another universe.
But then when they caught a good focus of the background of his room, they gasped.
"Is that… Is that me?"
"That's me!" Cindy gasped.
Delstohks's was entirely covered in Jimmy/Cindy pictures and paraphernalia. They caught sight of every picture and instance. It was pinned on bulletin boards, walls; their faces were on every wall, curtain, bed pillow, EVERYTHING.
"From the island?"
"And the roller coaster…"
"In the dungeon?"
"The Candy Bar…"
Jimmy turned to Cindy, point blank, "And you called me a little weirdo."