Disclaimer: I do not own Codename Kids Next Door
Fanny hated boys.
It was a subject so common, it was unofficial cadet study. A G.U.M.Z.O.O.K.A had a firing rate of three gumballs per second, and Numbuh Eighty-Six loathed the opposite sex. Everyone knew that. The real question no one could answer, the question that drove top Kids Next Door scientists up the wall, was why.
Truth be told, Fanny didn't really know why herself. She had some ideas, but she wasn't sure how she should feel about them.
Her mother used to soothe her into sleep with fairytales, tales of how the princess would await for her one true love, her knight in shining armor, to whisk her away to a happily ever after. It was every little girl's dream, according to her mother. Fanny was a normal little girl, so she decided to wait. There was no need to train how to use a weapon, or defend herself with anything besides basics. She would train her hands to heal, make them tender so that when her 'prince' rolled into the medical station, she would be prepared.
Then she met Rachel. Fanny met Numbuh Three-Sixty-Two. Numbuh Three-Sixty-Two was so cool. Numbuh Three-Sixty-Two didn't want to sign up for advanced boo-boo training. Numbuh Three-Sixty-Two didn't want to wear a silly hat, and pass out band-aids and apple juice. Numbuh Three-Sixty-Two wanted to be out on the front lines. Numbuh Three-Sixty-Two wanted to more like a sneaky ninja then a frilly princess. Numbuh Three-Sixty-Two didn't want to wait.
After meeting Rachel, Fanny decided she didn't want to wait either. When Numbuh Six-Eighty-Six started requesting recruits to fill the blank spots on the Decommissioning Squad, Fanny took her chance. That would impress Rachel.
If she really thought about it, it was then and there her distaste for boys started to bloom. At first, she thought it was the age-old excuse: boys believed they were better than girls. Boy operatives had mocked her when she joined the Decommissioning Squad, had told her of how she wouldn't last a second and that the teenagers would send her crying to her daddy. They had said she was better off playing with her dolls and let the real kids handle the work so she wouldn't break any nails.
Well, she sure showed those idiots. The 'sissy girly pants' racked up more captures in her first week than half of the force put together. Still, even that wouldn't change some minds, but that didn't mean she was just going to give up on proving just how wrong they were.
But the more she thought about it, the argument of boys versus girls didn't seem to carry much weight anymore. Using it as justification now just seemed like using it as a flimsy excuse. She felt it went far deeper then that. It was so…confusing. But that was okay, confusion made her angry. When she was angry, nobody dared questioned her.
So she hated boys, but she tried to get over it. She honestly did. She tried so hard to like them, find some redeeming qualities under all the arrogance, jerky attitudes, and fart jokes. She thought that if she found a boy she could relate to, then maybe her fondness would grow.
Numbuh Four seemed like the obvious start. He was the living embodiment of what was wrong with boys; the gruff demeanor, pigheadedness, wanted to settle everything with violence, smelled bad, and a whole heap of other things she didn't feel like ranting about. Oh yeah, he was stupid, just like all boys. How could she forget that? So if she could learn to like him, get past all his flaws, then all her hatred towards boys would be gone.
But she really just couldn't. It had nothing to do with the fact he was jerk, she knew that going in. She really did find him cute, and a bit brave in his brashness. She could even relate to him on a base level, he was almost her gender-opposite. He wanted to prove himself and barely let his guard down for anybody. But with all the things she did find appealing about Wally, she just couldn't like him the way she wanted to. After a while, she stopped forcing herself to.
Fanny then thought she had gotten over her habits when she met Numbuh Nineteenth Century. On first sight of him she felt the tiniest of sparks. That was a golden sign if she ever did see one. Ironically, she found herself liking him when she honestly did want to hate him, the sexist idiot.
But he kept himself so clean, well groomed, took his dress code seriously. His male superiority complex aside, he was so good mannered and treated her with respect (As a lady, not a fellow operative). When she kissed him, she felt butterflies. His skin was smooth and delicate, his blond hair so soft to the touch. She lost herself in his gentle lips, and felt so flustered when Sector V caught them. But it was a wonderful experience for her. She had finally kissed her first boy, and she enjoyed it. Why for a moment, she didn't even feel like she was kissing a boy.
That, right there, was her undoing. When she locked eyes with him one last time, she didn't see the face of Nineteenth Century. She didn't see the boy. She saw something else, something she wasn't trying to find in the first place. It was the real reason she decommissioned him, because she liked what she felt when kissing Nineteenth Century, not the boy himself. She felt that keeping him around, letting him become her other half, would be like lying to herself.
But why? What made him different from all the other boys? What did he have that she was attracted to? Fanny then thought back on how different he really was. He was from another time, didn't carry himself like the boys of today. While boys like Wally loved gross things like bugs and getting dirty, Nineteenth Century flinched away from that sort of uncouth behavior. Come to think of it, he didn't act that much like a boy at all. What was that word her aunt used that one time? Effeminate.
Compared to every other boy she knew, he was effeminate.
For some reason, Fanny wasn't entirely comfortable with where she was going with that line of thinking. So she decided to do what everyone else did, and forgot about Nineteenth Century. They dumped him off with some large family who wouldn't notice another kid, and moved on.
But Fanny still wasn't satisfied, though. She gave up on trying to force herself to like-like boys, it got her nowhere. All the time trying to woo herself with some random idiot was time she could be spending on getting to the root of her problem. Rachel was always scolding her on not being able to get along with the male operatives, and she would never want to disappoint Rachel. No, not ever.
Numbuh Eighty-Six then approached it all from a different angle. To get over her hate, she would need to find out what she hated. So she would analyze all this from the boy she hated the most.
Oh, she could go on and on and on about that attention grabbing jerk. The thought of the bald sector leader made her want to punch something. Every time she saw a pair of sunglasses, she wanted to smash them into itty-bitty little specs of dust.
Everything about Nigel Uno made her skin crawl. His smug confidence, his cocky attitude, how he believed he was the center of the cruddy universe. The size of his inflated ego could match that of a hot air balloon. She would pay her entire allowance and risk going into debt just to see someone correct him and watch his flabbergasted expression. Because he was Numbuh One, and he was never wrong about ANYTHING.
There were no words to describe the pure elation she felt when Rachel chose her as Global Tactical Officer. She chose her, Fanny Fulbright aka Numbuh Eighty-Six, over that smug know-it-all. She knew it was wrong to showboat, knew that she shouldn't have done it and it was frowned upon. But screw protocol, Rachel chose her over Nigel! It was the undisputed best day of her life.
And also the worst one, and not because of the Second Coming of Grandfather, she didn't give a flying freak about that old geezer. The aftermath was what sucked.
She was among the wreckage of the old moonbase, preparing to rip into Nigel. She didn't care if he and his dad just saved the world, he just totally thrashed her decommissioning station! But she fell silent when Rachel beat her to him. She then decided to watch it play out, watch the Supreme Leader tear into him for his reckless action.
But that never happened. Instead, she praises the idiot. Admitting she was wrong. How could she say that? Rachel wasn't wrong about anything! But she just stood there, dumbfounded as the blonde treated the British boy like some hero. She even offered him her position. Her title as Global Tactical Officer. Fanny would then have to live with the fact Rachel was all to ready to go back on her decision, and even worse, know the reason she even still had her job was because Nigel turned it down.
Just how could Rachel think that boy would make a better second-in-command than her? In fact, how could she want anything to do with him anyway? It made no sense at all.
Whatever Nigel did right was golden to Rachel. Whatever Nigel did wrong was treated with a slap on the wrist from Rachel. What Fanny had to bend over backwards to get to, Nigel only had to walk to. Rachel was too busy to take a break with Fanny in the lounge, but would drop everything when Nigel suggested a cookie break.
That just wasn't fair!
Why did she have to yell to get Rachel's attention while all Nigel had to do was appear?
Why did she have to capture a small shadow cell of teen traitors to get the same praise as Nigel when all he did was find a girl's missing kitten?
Why was Rachel so comfortable around him?
Why did Rachel like Nigel instead of…
"…so just fill out the proper requisition forms to order a replacement, Numbuh 42," Rachel droned in front of a blinking screen. "It's not like it's sixth grade science."
Fanny stood silently behind Rachel, watching as the Sector X operative gave a lazy salute before the transmission ended. Finally over, the redhead scoffed. "Idiot."
"Sometimes I wonder…" Rachel sighed as she stepped off her pedestal. "It's like I'm a well of common sense and everyone and their dog wants a sip today."
Fanny chuckled at the blonde's attempt at a joke. "Why don't we get a soda ourselves, ma'am? Ya look like ye can use a break from all this stupidity."
Rachel appeared as if she was thinking it over, then shrugged with a calm smile. "Why not? Numbuh 65.3 can handle the next operative who locked themselves out of their treehouse," she laughed. Fanny grinned, and started to dig around her pockets for correct change as they took off. But the moment Rachel removed her colander, the terminal went off.
"Numbuh 362, incoming transmission from Numbuh 1 on line six. Are you available?"
"Of course I am, Numbuh 9-2-5," Rachel replied. She turned to Fanny with a somewhat apologetic gesture. "I'll have to take a rain-check on that soda, Numbuh 86."
Fanny felt her nails digging into her palms when she noticed how Rachel's eyes seem to light up when that boy was mentioned, but managed to compose herself before she went off.
"Aye, ma'am. I understand." Rachel only nodded, and returned to one of many screens before her. Fanny briskly left down the stairs before she could even hear that accented voice that made her sick. Not that Rachel would notice anyway.
After much inner searching, she had found that answer she has been looking for. Only now, part of her wished she hadn't been so curious.
Hate is such a strong word, but its strength is so often misused. People hated it when their alarm went off, when they missed their favorite cartoon, when they woke up on the wrong side of the bed; people wasted hate on the pettiest of things. She should know, she used to. Now, she only swings through the motions to keep up appearances. While everyone else may have been in the dark, she knew the answer. That was good enough for her.
She didn't hate boys, she was only jealous of them. Because boys had the ability to have something she never could. She did hate Nigel, but not because of the person he was. No, she only hated him because he had what she wanted.
Stupid, lucky boy better make sure he didn't screw up. Because if he hurt Rachel, then she would be free to throw him out the airlock the next time he came by.
This is apparently the end result for when I get really bored and start thinking. Yay.
Chow~ THIS FIC IS NOW TERRA'S VERY LATE B-DAY FIC. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!