Yes, you read that description right. This is a Stacy/Coltrane fic. There seems to be a certain lack of them on the site.
Now before you start running away screaming, I would certainly like for you to give it a chance. It's kind of long, so you have been warned.
DISCLAIMER: All characters of Phineas and Ferb are the property of Dan Povenmire, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, and Disney Channel.
Coltrane walked up to the Hirano household, glad that he was able to make it to Stacy's residence in such little time. It was late in the morning, but the sun was just peaking over the roof of the house, giving off the impression that it had a strange aura around it. Perhaps it was some sort of good sign, since he had not been over her house since they had gotten back together.
Or a bad sign of things to come. Either or.
Coltrane rang the doorbell, slightly nervous. Stacy had asked him to come over on a "re-date" (something that he was sure she made up on the spot). He was delighted to get a second chance; he just wasn't sure how the whole thing was going to go.
After seemingly no time at all, the door opened to reveal Dr. Hirano, dressed in her regular attire of brown jacket, black shirt, and white khaki pants.
"Hello, Coltrane," she smiled. "Stacy told me you would be coming over. How've things been?"
"Good, good. Can't complain," Coltrane replied. "Is Stacy ready yet?"
The doctor scoffed at the comment. "My daughter, on time? Surely you jest." She waved him in, closing the door behind him.
Coltrane slowly walked with her into the living room. They had met only a few times previously, back before he and Stacy broke up. He got along with her mom immediately, in part because of her carefree personality hidden behind the serious doctor façade. The other part was the fact that she could probably dissect him without leaving any evidence behind, so he made sure right away not to cross her.
"So," Dr. Hirano said, sitting down on the sofa, "I haven't seen you around in a while. Everything OK? How's your mom's leg?"
"Yup, everything's good. My mom's getting around fine. My dad is ticking her off to no end; she wants to get the cast off so that he can chase him around the house with a frying pan properly." He chuckled as the image came into his mind. "But it won't be for a few more weeks, right?"
"Yes, and that's what I told your mother too, lest she want to worsen her injury more."
They made small talk for a few more minutes, commenting on various people in the neighborhood (and whether Candace was freaking out over her brothers again) until Dr. Hirano looked at her watch.
"Good grief, my daughter is certainly taking her time. I should see what's-"
A younger child walked into the room, her black hair partially over her eyes and shoes in her hands. Her Fireside Girls uniform was impeccably worn, albeit with one small detail missing.
"Have you seen my sash? I can't find it anywhere."
Dr. Hirano sighed. "Did you look in the hamper?"
"Yes. I looked everywhere," the girl pleaded, waving her hat around.
"Ginger, if you looked everywhere, you would've found it by now." Her mother set her mug down onto the coffee table. "Have you asked your sister?"
Ginger rolled her eyes. "She hasn't even come out of her room yet."
"Really? I thought she took a shower this morning. Oh well, let me ask her." The woman took a deep breath and aimed her face at the ceiling.
"STACY? HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR SISTER'S SASH!"
Coltrane glanced between the two, not sure of what was going to happen next. In the meantime, no answer was made from upstairs, so it didn't sound like Stacy had heard her mother.
"I'm going to ask Stacy for you, sweetie," Dr. Hirano said, making her way toward the stairs. "And I'm also going to check your room. I swear that I saw it in there last night. Just wait right here."
As the doctor went out of sight, Ginger threw herself on the couch, fiddling with her shoes.
"Hey there, kiddo," he replied, arms up on the back of the couch. "How's the patchwork coming?"
"It's going. I just got two new patches yesterday. I may have to get another sash ready for more."
"That's good. I take it you're heading out with the troop now?" Coltrane questioned.
"Yup, we're going to Phineas and Ferb's house. Supposedly they need our help on a giant pinball machine. I've been waiting to get my 'Bumper to Bumper' patch for a while."
"Cool. Be sure to say hi to everyone there for me."
They sat in silence for a while, waiting for the other two Hiranos to come downstairs. Coltrane never had much alone time with Stacy's sister (mostly a "Hello" here and there), so he wasn't sure how to fill the void of time passing by.
Ginger turned her body, facing Coltrane. "Are you going out with my sister today?"
Coltrane looked at the girl, trying to keep the tone conversational. "Yes, I figured I would spend the day with her, since I haven't done that...in a while."
Ginger glanced down at the cushion, twiddling her thumbs. It seemed to him that she had another question to ask, but was very uncomfortable in actually asking it.
"Something the matter, kiddo?" he inquired.
She gazed up at him, face full of worry.
"Why did you and my sister break up?"
Whatever question Coltrane had been expecting, it certainly wasn't that one.
"She came home crying that day," Ginger continued, looking down at the cushions. "She went straight up into her room and didn't come out for hours. I...kind of overheard her yelling to Candace on the phone about the whole thing." She slumped forward further, a growing frown upon her face.
Coltrane was feeling more uncomfortable by the second. This was a direction that he did not want to go, much less with the younger sister of his girlfriend.
"Did you not like her or something?" Ginger asked. "She's a little annoying to me sometimes, but she's really pretty. I wish I could be as pretty as her."
"I know she is, Ging."
"Then what happened?" Ginger turned from depression to aggression in an instant. "Was she not good enough for you?"
"No, it wasn't-"
"Did you stand her up on a date or something?"
"It's not anything like-"
"Then what was it!"
"She broke up with me!"
Ginger's face was crammed with bewilderment, mouth slightly open. "...What?"
Coltrane sighed, wishing that Stacy's mother was back in the living room. Seeing no sign of her or Stacy coming downstairs, he turned back toward the girl. "You wouldn't understand, Ginger. This is grown-up, complicated stuff."
Ginger, to the surprise of Coltrane, snickered loudly. "Please. I hang out with Phineas and Ferb. There's a lot of stuff that I shouldn't understand."
"Fair enough. But do you know anything about relationships?"
"No…but I do have a slight problem on the subject of that," Ginger sighed.
"I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours," Coltrane bartered, a slight smile breaking across his face.
"You go first."
"Fine." Coltrane checked the stairs for a final time (to no avail), then turned toward the younger Hirano.
"You know Candace, right?"
A silent nod from Ginger.
"You know how she's a little...eccentric?"
"Well...Stacy's her best friend, so she feels like she has to be there a lot of the time when she goes off on one of her 'busting' escapades. When Stacy and I started dating after the 'Summer Rocks' concert, she thought that she could juggle both Candace and me.
"But it got to the point where Candace would call about the boys to her and we would be in the middle of something. Stacy tried to split her time between her and me, but that started to unravel her."
Ginger slowly nodded a third time, trying hard to understand the entire situation.
"Well," Coltrane continued, "A few weeks ago, we were out in the park and Candace called her about ten times in a row. Stacy was trying so hard to not even answer her phone, but she...cracked. I don't even know what she thought her brothers were doing, because I didn't want to ask. Stacy broke down and said that she couldn't do it anymore. That it wouldn't be fair to me if she were running around all of the time helping out Candace and not giving me the time of day.
"So, she just...kind of left me there. Came straight home, and didn't even want to talk to me. I was devastated."
After taking all of this in, Ginger was confused about one thing. "You guys are back together though, right? So, what happened?"
Coltrane absentmindedly flipped his phone open and shut as he started again. "Last week, when you went with your troop to the park and your mom was at work, I came over to talk to her..."
The doorbell echoed throughout the house, jostling Stacy from her favorite TV show. "Coming!" she yelled, making haste toward the door.
She opened it up, not paying attention to the person on the other side. "This has better be good, Candace; I'm not in the-"
She looked up, saw Coltrane in the door frame, and promptly froze.
"Hey," Stacy replied awkwardly, one hand still on the door. "What are you doing here?"
"Stace, I just want to talk. That's all," Coltrane said.
"Well, I don't think that's a good idea," she retorted, starting to close the door.
"Stacy, wait!" Coltrane managed to push his arm into the space between the door and the frame...
Right as she slammed it on him.
"Oh my gosh, is that why I came home and there was blood on the door?"
"Ging, I'm trying to explain myself here."
"Sorry!" Stacy yelled, horrified. She quickly grabbed him by the arm. "Here, let me fix that up."
In no time at all, Coltrane found himself sitting on the couch, being minded by Stacy as she wrapped a cloth bandage around his forearm.
"Does it hurt at all?" she asked.
"Yep, a little bit," Coltrane said, smirking at her. "Arms weren't really meant to block doors, you know."
"Oh, shut up." She did one more wrap around the wound, and then taped it up tightly. "You'll want to keep that on for at least the day. Just...so that it'll heal properly."
"Man, look at you, Ms. Hirano. There's going to be another doctor in the family if you're not careful."
"Shut up," Stacy repeated, trying to hide her blush from him.
Coltrane flexed his arm, testing the strength of the bandage. "Good as new. Now can we get back to what I was going to say before I was de-armed?"
She tuned away from him, arms crossed. "I already told you my answer."
"Yeah? I don't buy it."
She didn't respond, still staring into empty space.
"Listen, I know you're trying to save me from trouble, but I don't think you should beat yourself up over this. I have no problem standing aside when you have to be with Candace."
"But it's not fair to you, Coltrane," Stacy said, uttering his name for the first time. "You deserve someone who will actually be there and not go parading around the city with her crazy friend."
"I don't care, Stacy."
She twisted her head back in his direction. "What?"
"You heard me. I. Don't. Care. So what if we don't spend a whole lot of time together? You have a life. I have a life. Heck, Jeremy and Candace aren't even together all of the time."
"So you really don't mind all of it?"
"No. No, I don't," Coltrane declared, sliding over and wrapping his injured arm around her shoulder. "As long as we get some time, I'll be happy."
Stacy laid her head on his shoulder. "Man, I feel stupid about this."
He laughed, flicking her bow with his finger. "Oh, don't worry your pretty little bow about it. I'm sure I'll do something dumb in the near future. You can yell at me then."
They both chuckled, no longer hung on the argument, content in each other's company.
"...And then we totally kissed each other."
"Ewwww! Gross! I didn't need to hear that!" Ginger shouted, making a loud gagging noise.
Coltrane laughed as he saw her protest. "Well, Stacy and I are cool now. She understands my view on the whole thing. We know it's going to be a give and take thing. And speaking of 'give'…" He flipped his phone closed as he changed the conversation. "You mentioned something before about your predicament. Spit it out."
"Yeah, it's this boy that I like. He's smart and funny and cute. Everyone gives me a hard time about liking him, though."
"He's not exactly…a popular kid."
"So?" Coltrane countered. "That shouldn't mean you should stop liking him. Does he know you like him?"
"No," Ginger answered sadly. "I don't know how to tell him. I mean, whenever I see him, my mind just wanders off. It doesn't matter whether he's in the park, at Phineas and Ferb's house, playing his guitar in those pleather pants-"
"Wait a minute," Coltrane cut her off. "Are you talking about who I think you're talking about?"
"Yeah, I think."
It took all of his willpower to stop the huge grin from spreading across his face. "I didn't even see you at the concert. Did Stacy bring you?"
"She brought me, but I didn't stay with her. I went to hang out with Milly pretty much as soon as I got there."
"Ahhh, OK," Coltrane said. "Why was Milly there?"
"Oh. Gotcha." He had to think about his next words carefully; he certainly didn't want to make fun at Ginger, seeing as how it seemed she had been made fun for this already. Then again, this was Baljeet they were talking about. The math-loving, guitar-playing Indian kid wasn't the first choice of who he had thought Ginger liked.
Come to think of it, it wasn't any of his choices.
Ginger spied Coltrane thinking hard and assumed the worst. "Oh my gosh, you think it's weird too!"
"No no no no! I don't think it's weird...per se. It's just...I haven't seen him since the concert. You've seen him a lot more than me, so you would know him better that I would."
She raised a curious eyebrow at him. "So...what should I do?"
"Just take it slow. Get to know him a little bit better. Don't put your eggs in one basket if you don't even have the henhouse made yet."
"Sorry, that's something my dad says all the time. All I'm saying is that you shouldn't jump into it too fast. You got your whole life ahead of you. Relax and enjoy it.
"Just...try being his friend first. I mean, if we want to get technical, you two already are friends. You've hung out together with the entire gang before. Try doing something with just the two of you and see how that goes," Coltrane proposed.
"I don't know if I could even attempt that. He's so busy with summer work and stuff; I don't think he breaks from that schedule of his."
"Well, if things pick up like you hope, I'm sure he'll make the time for it."
The little girl tapped her fingers on the sofa, lost in thought.
"Look," Coltrane said, leaning forward. "You're a Fireside Girl. You're capable of doing anything. I'm sure you can figure out a way for him to notice your feelings. Just don't go overboard, OK? I know how you girls roll sometimes."
"Yeah, you'd think a bunch of twerps would know their limits, but apparently not."
"Stacy, that's not nice."
"What? It's true."
Coltrane and Ginger both wheeled around to see Stacy and the doctor parading through the doorway. The older Hirano had the patch-filled band in her hands, to the delight of her younger daughter.
"You found it, Mom!"
"Actually, you can thank your sister; she was the one who found it. Apparently it was in her room the entire time. I must've accidentally put it in with her laundry." Dr. Hirano settled the sash around her younger daughter's neck. "There, good as new. You better hurry off if you want to make it to your troop on time."
"All right. I'll be back before dinner, Mom," Ginger responded, throwing her shoes on. She slid off the couch and headed toward the door. However, she stopped just as she went to turn the doorknob.
"Forget something, short stuff?" Stacy inquired.
"Yes. Yes, I did." Ginger walked back over to Coltrane and, to the bewilderment of her mother and sister, gave him a hug.
He smiled slightly as he ruffled the kid's hair. "Anytime, kiddo."
With that, Ginger headed out the door with a new spring in her step. Coltrane watched her leave, then noticed the other two Hiranos' confused looks. "What?"
"What was that all about?" Ms. Hirano asked.
"Oh, she just needed some advice about...something." Coltrane turned to Stacy. "Ready to go?"
Stacy nodded, her mind still clearly on her little sister.
"I'm making nikujaga tonight, sweetie, so don't be late," Dr. Hirano warned as they all made it to the front door. "I don't want to have to ration anything away from your sister again."
"Ginger's a big eater?" Coltrane questioned.
Stacy rolled her eyes. "Yeah, she is; I don't know where she puts all of it. Mom had to save food sometimes if she thinks Ginger's gonna eat it all."
"She's a growing girl, Stacy. She's going to need all of that nutrition."
"Pfft. Yeah, she's gonna grow the wrong way if she's not careful."
Her mother laughed as she leaned in the doorway. "Just be back before dinner, okay?"
"Alright, Mom, I will."
The woman waved goodbye to the couple, who was headed off down the street. "It was nice seeing you again, Coltrane."
"Nice seeing you too, Dr. Hirano," he said, waving back at her.
After a bit of a walk, they rounded the corner, setting off toward the park. Stacy saw the blur of her younger sister heading past the far house. Thinking back to the conversation at the house, she turned toward her present company. "What did you talk to her about?"
"She needed boy advice, that's all," he shrugged.
"Oh, that. My sister liking Baljeet? That's totally weird, right?"
"It's not weird," Coltrane countered. Seeing the disbelieving look on her face, he quickly added, "OK, it's a little weird. I'm not going to tell her that, though. She genuinely likes him. Who am I to tamper with that?"
"Yeah, I guess you're right," Stacy relented.
"And if she ends up marrying him, he'll be your brother-in-law."
"Oh, don't even joke-"
"PHINEAS AND FERB!"
The yell resounded throughout the entire neighborhood, startling Coltrane and Stacy out of their conversation.
Coltrane checked his watch and chuckled. "Exactly on schedule." He glanced over at Stacy, who was rubbing the bridge of her nose in frustration. "Something the matter?"
"No. I am not doing this again," Stacy stated. "Whatever sort of…thing…that her brothers are doing, I am not going to be dragged into it."
"Well, do you just wanna check up on her? We don't have to stay for long."
Stacy looked in the direction of the yell, then back to Coltrane. "You…wouldn't mind?" she said quietly.
"I think you know my answer already," he replied, sliding his hand into hers.
She blushed fiercely, squeezing his hand. "All right, let's go see what she's up to."
With that, they set off toward a brand new day, a brand new start, and, Coltrane thought, a brand new life.
...Right after they checked up on Candace.
"Although if I end up getting talked into wearing a two-person horse costume again, I'm blaming you."
"...Oh, I totally want to see that."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This…was an interesting piece to write. I know that Coltrane is not a really well liked character in the show, partly due to the fact that he doesn't show up that often, and partly because he was sort of shoehorned into a Corbin Bleu-copy paste. I have a journal entry at DeviantArt that focuses on him and my opinion on him. I do think that he could be a good romantic foil for Stacy if the creators ever decide to go in that direction (which I'm pretty sure they won't, hence the need for this story).
My personality choice for Coltrane was pretty simple: something similar to Jeremy. Understanding, kind, somewhat Relationship Sue-ish. You know, the same stuff that piss off fans about Jeremy. They are friends, after all.
As for my interpretation of Candace, some people might not like it. That's fine. You don't have to. But think for a second. She tries to bust her brothers all the time. She gets a little crazy about it. What we don't see (besides in "The Lemonade Stand") is how Stacy would theoretically be affected by it. And if her relationship with Coltrane was existent during all this time…
Gotta throw a little one-sided Baljeet/Ginger in there too, just for kicks. *wink*
Oh, and in case you were wondering, nikujaga is like a Japanese beef and potato stew. I've had it before; it's very good.
Please read and review, if you like.