His heart rate accelerated as she opened the door of his car, sliding in and shutting it in one smooth motion. His breath caught in his throat when she looked at him and gripped the steering wheel, giving him a look that made her look like she was up to something. His mouth went dry when she leaned across the gear column, one hand turning the key in the ignition and starting the car, and asked, "So, Neutron, ready for my driving lesson?"
She grinned maliciously as he took a deep breath, trying to prepare for what he was sure would be the longest ride of his life.
Cindy's in the driver's seat of a moving vehicle, but that's okay, because she's smart and capable of making completely rational, safe- "Car!" Jimmy screamed, pointing ahead of him.
Yes, it was going to be a long, long ride.
Why on Earth he'd ever agreed to help her learn to drive was beyond him. He concluded after two minutes of riding with her that the moment he'd told her yes, he must have had a lapse of all reason and sanity.
"Okay, you're coming up on your first stop light. It's turning red," Jimmy instructed, sounding much calmer than he actually felt.
Cindy kept her eyes on the road and replied, "I know."
"It's turning red," Jimmy repeated.
"I can see that."
As they sped toward the intersection, Jimmy tried once again, a bit more frantically. "You know what you're supposed to do at a red light, right? Right?" He glanced at the speedometer, and then back to the fast approaching intersection.
Cindy grinned, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye. "I think I can make it," she said, speeding up a bit for emphasis.
Shocked at what she was suggesting, Jimmy gaped at her. "You're supposed to slow down at yellow, not speed up! Please, slow down. Please?! Cindy, for the love of Goddard, slow down! "Jimmy stomped the floor on his side of the car, pantomiming pushing the brakes in an attempt to get the point across to Cindy.
Cindy stepped lightly on the brakes, bringing the car to halt. Waiting for the light to turn green, she turned her head slightly toward Jimmy and raised an eyebrow. "Are you nervous?"
"No! What would give you that idea?"
Cindy rolled her eyes. "Gee, I don't know. The stomping on invisible breaks? The yelling? The overreaction, maybe? You know, you could have a little more faith in me. I've driven your rocket plenty of times and nothing's ever happened, yet you don't trust me in a car."
Jimmy did his own eye roll. "Of course I tru-wait, what do you mean 'plenty of times'? The only time I authorized you to use my rocket was on a trip to the moon." He tried to put his hands on his hips, but had trouble doing so because of his seat belt, and settled on turning to face her, glaring. "How many times have you taken my rocket for joy rides without my permission?"
Glaring herself, Cindy took one hand off the wheel to gesture with. "First of all, I didn't take your rocket for 'joy rides'. They were matters of high importance and I didn't have an alternate means of transportation. Second, I don't need your permission to do something, and third, the dent is hardly noticeable."
Spreading his hands out in front of him to help convey his feelings, he shrieked, "What?! You put a dent in my rocket?! Just how irresponsible are you, anyway? First you steal my rocket and then you try to hide the damage!"
Cindy was about to respond when a loud blaring caused them both to jump and look behind them, where the driver of the car was insistently beating his horn. They both quickly turned around to look at the stoplight, which had apparently, due to the honking, turned green quite some time ago.
Blushing, Cindy slowly eased out of the intersection and turned left. Neither teen spoke as she drove along the road toward their destination: Retroville Mall.
Finally Jimmy broke the silence. "You're doing good."
"Thanks." She flicked her eyes quickly from the middle of the road to his face and back again.
A few seconds went by, and then…
They blushed and smiled. "Sorry about that. I shouldn't have argued with you. It's not that I don't trust you, it's just…well, you've driven less than me. It's a bit…unsettling." Jimmy looked at her and laughed before continuing. "Now I guess I know how my parents felt."
Cindy giggled, too. "Yeah, I guess you must be pretty nervous. I mean, I'm not exactly calm and serene right now. It's nothing I can't handle, of course-"
"-but it's a bit unsettling for me, as well. And anyway, you shouldn't be sorry. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have taken my eyes off the road. How could I forget the most important rule in driving?"
"It's understandable, considering how little you've driven. That, and having a genius in the passenger seat distract you with his cuteness." He laughed at her face, which was a mixture of amusement and annoyance.
"Yes, because your cuteness is sooo distracting." She rolled her eyes.
"I'm glad you finally admitted it. Otherwise, how could I ever sit with you at the movies? I can't date a girl who doesn't think I'm cute." He batted his eyelashes at her before laughing.
If she hadn't had to use both her hands to guide the car to a smooth stop in a parking place, she would've smacked him. She turned the car off, untangled herself from her seat belt, and got out of the car where she waited on Jimmy to do the same. When he got to where she was, he grabbed both her hands and gave her a quick peck on the lips.
Smiling, Cindy asked, "What was that for?"
Jimmy dropped one hand as they started walking towards the entrance, where they could see Carl, Sheen, and Libby waiting. "For getting us here in one piece."
This time she did smack him, and they were both laughing when they reached their friends. Libby gave Cindy a thumbs up sign. "He let you drive his car? Nice."
"Yeah, and she didn't run off the road once." Cindy gave him a look, and he amended, "She did a good job."
Libby laughed as the group walked into the mall's entrance. "So, who's driving back?"
"I am," they said simultaneously, then laughed.
"No, seriously, I am."
"Oh come on, Neutron, I need the practice!"
"No, I'm driving."
"Well we'll just see when we leave, won't we?"
"I'm driving home, Cindy!"
"Who has the keys, huh?"
"It's my car!"
Rolling their eyes, Libby and Sheen went inside to get tickets for everyone while Carl headed for refreshments, and all of them ignored the bickering couple, who were still holding hands.
So, what does everyone think about this? I didn't have anyone read it before posting it, so it's liable to have a few grammatical errors/missing words/etc.
I'm leaving Sunday for a five-week college program, and I wanted to post something before I left, so…here it is. I hope it's good. I'm a little iffy on the ending, but endings and beginnings are always my biggest challenges. I also hope Jimmy and Cindy were in character, as it's been a little while since I've written anything Jimmy Neutron related and even longer since I've watched the show.
Oh, and a cool tie-in I found today while reading Twisted, by Laurie Halse Anderson. (It's an awesome book and I recommend it to everyone!) Anyway, one of the characters in the book, the main character's best friend Yoda, has a pillow with a Jimmy Neutron pillowcase. I read that and squealed like the school-girl I am.
I'm such a dork. :D lol