Story: Extraordinary Machine

Chapter: Predator

Genre(s): romance/drama/humor

Pairings: Jimmy/Cindy, Libby/Sheen, implied Nick/Cindy

Rating: T.

Summary: In order to get the girl, Jimmy concocts a plan. He needs to be extraordinary, so he enlists Marcus Nevins and his two best friends to help him. But along the way, he learns that there is more to it than that. "You did not fall in love with me; you fell in love with the person you thought was me."

Disclaimer: I don't own Jimmy Neutron or AstroTurf. But I sure as hell own Marcus Nevins.

Notes: this story is ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. Jimmy and Cindy are neighbors but they aren't enemies/friends/secret lovers. You'll see when you read.

Also, this will probably be short. I'm expecting like, five chapters? Hopefully, they'll be long. The longer the chapters, the shorter the story.

I don't know why, but I made the characters really OOC. I guess it's because it's an AU story? But Sheen is smarter, Carl is more sarcastic, Jimmy is more serious, Cindy is more mysterious, but Libby is mostly the same.

So…no reviews saying how weird my story is, got it? Please and thank you!


Cindy Vortex was only a little suspicious when there was a note in her locker, but only a little. But she was very suspicious whenever she opened the note and read its contents:

Cindy,

Will you meet me outside near the big oak tree during lunchtime? Please don't be suspicious; I just want to talk to you about something.

Jimmy Neutron, your neighbor.

Usually, when someone told you not to do something, you did it anyway. It was nature of humans, really. So when Jimmy told her not to be suspicious, she was anyways.

But she decided that she would talk to him anyways, because Cindy Vortex liked to think that she was a girl who lived life on the edge, or something like that.

--

Jimmy felt like he was a brave kind of guy, but he wanted Sheen and Carl to be there with him when he talked to Cindy. More than anything, he felt intimidated by her. He had never really talked to her.

He knew a few basic things about her: her taste in men (extraordinary), how smart she was (very), how pretty she was (beautiful, even) and that she lived across the road from him. And…that was about it. So what if she didn't want to travel to Dallas with three guys she hardly knew to meet Marcus Nevins at a ballpark?

He wouldn't blame her if she didn't.

He also asked Libby to be there, so she could convince Cindy if she felt doubtful about the road-trip. Libby, however, looked doubtful about the whole situation herself. Jimmy was surprised she even agreed to talk to Cindy in the first place, and he was even more surprised that she didn't go batshit insane on their asses when Sheen let it slip that they frequently spied on the girls in Cindy's room. Actually, it seemed like Libby was apathetic about the whole thing.

Girls were odd creatures.

Libby and Cindy were walking towards the three of them now, and Jimmy doesn't smoke but he wished he was now. Smoking was bad, but it would make him seem calm and cool at the moment when they talked up to him. Wait, what if Cindy didn't like smoking?

Or what if she did smoke?

Hm.

"Guys, do you have any cigarettes?" Jimmy whispered to Sheen and Carl urgently.

Carl looked alarmed and Sheen just laughed. "Dude, how would we get cigarettes? We're seventeen."

Carl frowned at his best friend, "You don't need to smoke. Just chill."

Jimmy just smiled. "I know. Just making sure you guys wouldn't let me smoke."

Sheen just laughed harder, while Carl rolled his eyes. Libby and Cindy stopped in front of them at this moment, while Sheen was in mid-laugh and Carl was mid-hitting-Sheen-over-the-head. What sight for them to see, Jimmy thought, and my friends are going to ruin this for me.

Libby cracked a smile, though, and Cindy looked at them with curiosity. "So you're the genius boy." She said blandly, looking him up and down.

Seriously? She was already discriminating him by his intelligence. This was NOT good.

He glared at Sheen and Carl, who both shrugged. Sheen decided to open his big fat mouth and put in his two cents; "Yeah, that's him alright! My best friend, the genius." He slapped him on the back with a huge grin, but retracted his hand as if stung when he caught Jimmy's expression. "Uh, or not."

Cindy looked confused and Libby sighed. "I told her you were a genius. Don't get your panties in a bundle."

Jimmy crossed his arms and tried to look like he still had some dignity left. "My panties are not in a bundle."

Libby giggled and so did Cindy, "You wear panties?" Cindy asked, and the two of them burst into laughter as if they were two little girls at a sleepover. Sheen eventually laughed, and even Carl chuckled a bit. Jimmy couldn't help but crack a smile, because Cindy had a nice laugh.

When they had all finally sobered up enough to speak coherently, Cindy asked, "So, what did you want to talk to me about?"

Jimmy found himself frozen, unable to talk or more. This was harder than he had thought it would be. He also found himself just staring at Cindy, her intense green eyes, blonde hair swept back in the ponytail she had worn during gym class, the way she was chewing on her necklace. It fascinated him.

"Um…well, here's the thing: Sheen, Carl, and I found an article about Marcus Nevins and we read that he was going to be in Dallas this weekend and we, well I, was wondering if you wanted to go." Jimmy surprised himself by not stuttering and actually sounding somewhat sure of himself.

Raising a brow, she dropped her necklace out of her mouth and it landed perfectly on her collarbone, the shiny silver cross gleaming in the sun. "What gave you the idea that I'd like to see him?" She sounded suspicious, which was bad. Very, very bad.

Libby smiled at her friend and said almost sheepishly, "That was my doing. I heard Sheen talking about it during class one day and I said that you just loved Marcus Nevins and he said we could come along, but Jimmy wanted to invite you formally, or whatever." She shrugged, still smiling.

She was the perfect liar.

Sheen was smitten, Carl was impressed, and Jimmy was very grateful.

Cindy bought it completely. "Oh, well she was right. This weekend, you say?" She picked up her necklace and put it in her mouth, looking off into the distance as if trying to see something invisible.

"Yeah. I told my parents that it was for a school thing, and they agreed. I know – lying is not an ideal thing but it would be best we all used the same story."

Cindy grinned, the thin cross in between her teeth. She reminded him of a predator, almost, the way she smiled like that, but he secretly liked it too. It made him shiver a little.

"I'm up for it."

Libby snorted. "You better let someone else talk to your parents, though. You're terrible at lying."

Cindy looked offended. "I am just fine, thank you." She glared at her, then turned back to Jimmy. "It sounds fun. But right now I have to go to a yearbook staff meeting. I'm already late. I'll talk to you soon."

She grinned again, her teeth white and brilliant in the afternoon sun, and she ran off.

Libby stayed behind, glancing at all three of them. "Well, it worked," she said grudgingly.

Jimmy couldn't wipe the smile off his face for the rest of the day.


"Today was very successful," Jimmy said enthusiastically while sitting in the lab with Sheen and Carl, that stupid silly grin still plastered on his face.

Sheen nodded, his expression grave and wise. "It was, it was. You learned quite a few things about Cindy today, did you not?"

Jimmy shrugged. "Uh, she wears a cross necklace."

Carl buried his head in his hands. "Nice observation, genius."

Even Sheen looked incredulous. "No shit, Sherlock. But I mean, about her personality. What did you learn?"

But Jimmy was still confused. "She has a nice laugh…and a nice smile…" The smile was back, and his eyes unfocused.

Sheen groaned. "I'm losing him, Carl. I need help."

Carl stood up and smacked Jimmy in the face, who instinctively hit him back, and Sheen yelled, "WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT CINDY TODAY, JIMMY?"

Glaring at him, Jimmy retorted, "I DON'T KNOW. She's on the yearbook staff."

Carl, satisfied with this work, sat back down. "Very good, Jimmy. Very good."

Sheen nodded in agreement. "Yes, but what else? Something that Libby said about her, right?"

Jimmy shrugged again, rubbing his slightly red cheek.

Sheen tugged at his hair in an exasperated motion. "Libby said that Cindy is a terrible liar."

"Yes, she did say that," Jimmy's eyes lit up a little bit, and his smile returned. "But that's okay. Libby has enough lying ability for the both of them, doesn't she?" He laughed lightly.

This time, it was Sheen's eyes to glaze over and his smile to turn dreamy. "Oh yeah, she's great."

Carl groaned.

--

"Wasn't that crazy today? Being asked to go to Dallas, I mean. It sure doesn't happen every day," Cindy was smiling, flipping through the same magazine that had Marcus Nevins on the front cover.

Libby shrugged lightly, but she hid her mischievous expression. "It sure doesn't. You really want to go?"

Looking thoughtful, she replied, "Yes, I do. I mean, I don't know any of those guys very well…they seem okay…I guess. It was nice of Jimmy to invite me."

"Us, Cindy. They invited both of us." Libby said, looking irritated. "And what is it with saying 'they' and 'those guys?' Their names are Sheen and Carl."

Cindy finally looked at her best friend, looking slightly confused and innocent, like she had no idea why Libby would be irritated with her. "I knew that. It's just easier to shorten it a little. What's your deal tonight?"

"Do you know what I did two nights ago?"

"Um, no. What did you do?" Cindy sat up, magazine still open. She sat cross legged, smiling and eyes bright with anticipation.

Libby was not easily charmed. "I went out on a date," she deadpanned, and Cindy grinned despite Libby's enthusiastic tone. "With Sheen."

Grin disappearing, Cindy chuckled a little, with a malicious tone. "Oh, that sounds…nice. Did you have fun?"

Standing Libby, glared at her. "I had a great time, actually. Sheen is really nice. I mean…he's kind of air-headed, but I like him. I actually like him. I even kissed him at the end of the night, that's how much I like him. But the only reason I even got that date was because –"

Libby knew that you always had choices to make in life, and this was definitely one of them. She was outraged, mostly because Libby simply could not take Cindy's dismissive, self-centered behavior anymore: every day, they talked about her. She had gotten that date with Sheen, because of Cindy. (Which was sort of a good thing, but she digresses.) She was getting a chance to go to Dallas, because of Cindy. Libby just felt like all her life – but especially this week – she had been riding on Cindy's coattails. It was not enjoyable, not anymore.

But Jimmy was her friend, too, maybe not a close one or an old one, but a friend nonetheless. And she just knew that if she told Cindy that the whole reason Jimmy asked them to go was so Jimmy could make a move on her (or whatever he was planning), Cindy would probably refuse, or go on a rampage. In the end, Jimmy's chances would most likely be ruined.

And she didn't want to do that to him.

Sitting down and shutting up, Libby made a choice to pretend like she hadn't said anything in the first place.

Cindy stared at her, more confused than ever, before staring blankly at her magazine. The days were just getting stranger and stranger as they went by.


"I talked with my mom last night," Cindy was standing at the head of Jimmy's lunch table, the one in the far corner. She sat way on the other side. She had a bottle of water and an apple in hand, the cross necklace looking dull in the fluorescent light of the cafeteria. Her face was calm, blank. "I told her that we need to interview Marcus Nevins because of a project for school and she said no."

At the lunch table that Jimmy, Sheen, and Carl sat at, there were others that sat there, too. There were just so many people that went to Retroville High that it was simply impossible for all the cliques and groups to get their own table; so incidentally, the three guys sat with the foreign exchange students and a few freshman and sophomore boys.

They, meaning all the boys sitting at the table, were staring wide-eyed at Cindy as if she were an alien from another planet, the planet where Hot Girls Wearing Pretty Dresses come from. Cindy wasn't the ruler of said planet, but she was probably high up in the hierarchy there.

Cindy did not take not of any of this, however, and just stared at Jimmy while waiting for some sort of answer.

"Um, well…I can talk to her for you, if you want. Or…I can make up a fake letter from the school."

She tossed her apple up and down in her hand, and then she smiled. "The letter is a great idea, when can you have it done?"

"If you want to bring it home with you from school, I can get it done during seventh period. It would seem more realistic that way." Jimmy shrugged. A simple solution to a not-very-complicated problem; child's play, for him.

Her smile grew wider into that dangerous, predator-like grin again, and Jimmy sat up straighter, feeling more alert. "Well, Jimmy Neutron…I don't know about you being a genius, but you sure are one devious person." She took a huge bite out of her apple and walked away. Jimmy watched her, mesmerized, as she sat down at her table and animatedly talked to Libby. When Cindy turned away from her, Libby cast a look behind her shoulder, one was pleased and unpleased at the same time. Jimmy thought this was strange, but he did not think much about it now.

"God, she scares me," Sheen muttered, glancing down at the still silent tablemates at the other end. "And those guys are probably thinking how great you must be, to get such a hottie to talk to you like that. Just wait, one of these days Libby will walk up here and just like, start feeling me up or whatever and they will make me King. One of these days…"

Carl looked at Jimmy. "That was a pretty good idea," he said mildly. "I guess Libby was right when she called Cindy a terrible liar."

Jimmy just shrugged, finally looking at his two best friends. "I guess so. But who cares about that? I'm going to get Cindy to come along with us if it takes me an arm and a leg!" He stabbed his (undercooked, disgusting) lasagna with his fork.

"Well, Libby is definitely going along. Her parents okay'd it already and everything."

Carl nodded. "That's good."

Sheen cast him a bewildered look. "You are being so nice to me today. What is your deal?"

Sighing, Carl said, "My parents won't let me go either."

Jimmy waved his hand dismissively. "I'll write you a permission letter, too. No big deal. And I kind of figured Libby would come, but if Cindy doesn't go I'm calling the whole thing off."

Sheen looked up at him sharply. "What? No. No, that's not cool." Carl also looked unhappy with this, but decided to stay silent. Sheen would say enough for the both of them, he knew. "You cannot just call it off because her parents won't let her roadtrip with us. There will be other chances; we can't just call this off! I promised Libby we'd hang out this weekend, and our parents already think we're going. You are NOT calling this off for one stupid girl."

Jimmy just stared at him, his eyes cold but blank. He didn't say anything, just shoved back his chair and stood up, grabbing his tray of uneaten food and stalked off.

--

Libby watched the three boys talk, or maybe argue, for a few minutes before she witnessed Jimmy practically running away from his table, seething in anger. She shook her head slightly. Cindy, who was sitting across from her, was oblivious to all of this, like always. She munched on her apple contently, turning a page of her book, Pride and Prejudice.

She simply could not fathom how one person – one girl – could tear apart so many friendships.


I am sorry this is not very long! But I thought this was a good stopping point.

The next chapter shall be up sooner, I should hope.

Anyway, I don't have much to say except this: Libby does not give Cindy much credit, as you can see! They are best friends, but it isn't the fluffiest, happiest friendship. And Cindy is not a vapid, shallow person. This story is STILL in development, plot-wise. Keep that in mind.

Also, review! (:

P.S. I am taking fanfiction requests; go to my profile for details.