Study Date

"Don't you dare laugh."

"I'm not going to, Vortex."

"Yes you are! And if you do, I swear, I will walk right out of this door, Neutron!"

Jimmy smirked. "You're loss, Vortex. I'm not the one who flunked the test, remember?"

Cindy glowered at him before pushing past him into the living room, taking care to make sure her backpack thwacked Jimmy (preferably in the chest, but hey, she'd take what she could get). She tossed her backpack onto the couch, unzipping it and pulling out the contents.

Stupid, stupid test! If I had never flunked it in the first place, I wouldn't be here! It was the teacher's idea for this stupid study date, not mine! Wait… did I say DATE!

Grinding her teeth, Cindy flipped open her notebook and grabbed a pencil as Jimmy walked into the room, tossing her a can of soda. She caught it in midair. "So, Neutron, remind me… why am I here, in my least favorite place?"

"Because, Vortex, you failed that big math test. So you're here." Jimmy grinned.

He's got a really nice smile… wait a minute… what am I THINKING!

Cindy scooted over so Jimmy could stretch out next to her; they were both on their bellies, math book and notebook open. Both had a pencil in hand. And both were ready to get this stupid thing over with.

"So… Jimmy," Cindy muttered, and Jimmy practically choked on his soda. Ignoring it, she tapped the open text book with her eraser. "Mind telling me where I went wrong here?"

"Well… no, you didn't get the math wrong…" Jimmy scooted closer, guiding her hand so that her pencil hovered over her notebook. "You just got the equations wrong."

"What?"

"You understood the math; I knew that by your tests, you just didn't know how to write them down. It's quite common, really…"

As Jimmy prattled on, Cindy expected to fall into a void of endless boredom. Instead she couldn't help noticing that Jimmy had failed to release her hand, and she was spending more time staring at his eyes then actually listening to what he was saying.

I never knew his eyes were so blue… WAIT! What is WRONG with me!

"Uh.. Jimmy?"

"Yes?"

"You… you can let go of my hand now."

"Oh!" He released it immediately. "Sorry, sorry!"

"No prob." Cindy waved her pencil dismissively, and for a moment Jimmy was entranced by her hair. Had it always been so gold? Had it ever bounced like that before?

Okay, this is getting scary.

Needless to say, both were quite eager to get this study date wrapped up. Things were getting uncomfortable.

"So… wait, how do I write the equations wrong?"

"Well… it's complicated…" Jimmy scooted a little closer; his breath practically mingled with Cindy's now, putting them both on edge. "You see, this is how it happened…"

Had Cindy been spending more time listening to Jimmy and less time staring at him, she might have had some idea of what she had done wrong. And if Jimmy had been spending more time listening to what he was actually saying and less time sneaking glances at Cindy, he would have known that what he was saying made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Of course, recent events had… changed their thoughts on each other. These events now floated in the back of their minds.

"So, you see, that's how you…. Uh…" Jimmy trailed off, suddenly realizing two things, one right after the other.

He had no idea what he had been talking about previously. He'd been to busy getting lost in the emerald sea that was Cindy's eyes.

His face was only inches from Cindy's.

Realization number 2 made him more then a little nervous. And when Cindy glanced away from the notebook that she had been (pretending) to study, she realized number 2 as well.

Gulp.

Back off, Cindy's mind ordered. Back off right now; get away from him as fast as you can. Slapping him would be preferable for even getting this close to you.

Cindy's heart was a different matter: Come on, come on! Lean in, close the distance! You know you want to!

Jimmy saw something flicker in Cindy's eyes, and he braced himself. Maybe she would yell at him for getting this close to her… maybe she would slap him. Both were perfectly likely Cindy Vortex reactions.

Then again, the girl was Cindy Vortex. Jimmy could never figure her out. Like how on earth did she make her eyes sparkle like that…

The next instant, Cindy took the biggest leap of faith in her short life, closing the distance between the two and pressing her lips to his. The fact that he didn't immediately push her away probably meant that she had either taken him by surprise, or he was actually enjoying this. She certainly was. Shivers ran up and down her spine, and she felt a great warmth spread from her chest throughout her body, unlike anything she had ever experienced before.

Jimmy's brain was in a mad scramble to figure out what was going on. One instant he was being memorized by Cindy's sparkling eyes (Seriously, how did she do that?), the next instant the girl was kissing him. After a while, he decided not to figure out what had exactly happened and focused on returning Cindy's surprised but welcomed gesture. He had always tended to shy away from topics like this with his parents, mostly because the thought of kissing a girl just made him nervous. But kissing Cindy.. He didn't feel nervous. It felt right, as if the years of their love-hate relationship had been steadily pushing them to this moment.

Definitely pretending that their time together on the island hadn't happened… wasn't working.

After what felt like a lifetime but had only been a few minutes, Jimmy and Cindy pulled apart. Cindy collapsed to the ground, a silly little grin plastered on her face, and Jimmy just sat there, dazed. After a moment Cindy took control of herself and turned to Jimmy.

"What just happened, exactly?"

"Technically, we're experiencing puberty. At this stage your hormones start acting up and you start viewing the opposite sex as though they are not infected with cooties…"

"Jimmy."

"… and you even begin to find some of them attractive…"

"Jimmy."

"… usually this happens especially if you're close to someone, like a friend of the opposite sex or someone that you've been competing against for as long as you can remember…"

"Jimmy!"

Jimmy fell silent, and Cindy sighed quietly with relief.

"Jimmy, I don't want "Technically, this happened because of this, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda". I want to know what happened!"

"Well… that's actually pretty simple, to." Jimmy shrugged. After a moment, he frowned. "Okay, maybe it's not…"

"You've got to be kidding me. You don't know this?"

"… No…"

"… I don't, either."

After a tense moment of silence, they both returned to studying, but it was harder then ever to do. Neither of them could ignore what had happened. A wall had been torn down between them, and new tension accompanied their relationship. What had been so simple before was no longer so simple. Things were beginning to change between them, and neither of them knew what to do about it.

"Jimmy?"

"Yeah?"

"I… I can't focus."

"Why?"

"I… um…"

Jimmy looked up to see Cindy blushing faintly. He had never seen her flustered before. It was completely new to him, and blushing made her look totally cute.

Ah! Stop it!

Yeah, right… he might have been a boy genius, but as far as emotions went, he was just as clueless as other boys.

Dang it! Why has my heart betrayed me!

"Jimmy, can I ask you something? You know, as a friend?"

"Sure," Jimmy said, trying and failing miserably to keep his heart rate at a steady pace.

"I'm just asking you this as a friend."

"Right."

"This isn't going to bother you?"

"Nope."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah."

"You won't regret it?"

"Will you regret it?"

"No."

"Okay then. So ask away."

"Can I kiss you again?"

Okay, he hadn't been expecting that. But it sounded awfully tempting…

"Okay."

"You're okay with it?"

"If I wasn't, I would have said no, wouldn't I?"

"Funny, Neutron."

"Didn't mean to be, Vortex."

"I think it's time to shut you up."

Jimmy would have made a snappy retort, but his mouth was far to busy doing something else.

A wonderful something else…

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A couple hours later, Jimmy was saying good-bye to Cindy. They hadn't got much studying done, but they'd completed something.

"So… see you around?"

"You know it, Neutron."

Instead of sarcasm there was genuine warmth in Cindy's voice, and Jimmy smiled. She took his hand, giving it a quick squeeze, before bounding down the steps and starting down the sidewalk. Jimmy began to close the door.

"Hey, Neutron!"

Jimmy paused, opening the door so he could see her. "Yeah?"

"Maybe we should have study dates more often!" Cindy was blushing furiously now, but she couldn't stop grinning. "This was actually pretty cool." With that said, she headed for her house as fast as humanly possible. Jimmy smiled.

"Bring on the study dates."

The End

... Makes no sense, doesn't it? But I just had to write it. Please read and review! Cindy/Jimmy forever!