Hey all! I'm back for my third one-shot in this section!
Now, this story here is sort of the 'unofficial official' sequel to Dismissive. Meaning, this is kind of a sequel. I wrote it as a possible sequel (mainly because I myself wanted to know what happened next). I place emphasis on possible, because this is one of many different ways Tobey would use his newfound knowledge of WordGirl's identity.
So just think of this as one of many different sequels, one possible way everything might turn out.
Disclaimer: WordGirl is not mine.
Adj. 1. cognizant – having knowledge or being aware of; "not fully cognizant of the details"
Tobey had recently become cognizant of a few certain details regarding Becky Botsford and WordGirl.
Now, he decided, was the time to act.
He held the antenna of his robot's head tightly, hands clenched and sweating profusely with nervous tension.
Today was the day. The day he would confront WordGirl on her secret identity.
The day he would, once and for all, confirm that WordGirl was Becky Botsford.
And the day he would confront her on another, more important issue…if he could muster the courage.
Adjusting his stance slightly, Tobey fought valiantly to squelch his fear and apprehension at the inevitable meeting. Rather, he focused his energy on his robots, directing them with precise orders, the most prominent being care.
Unlike his younger self, fifteen year old Tobey was being extraordinarily cautious, simply walking his legion of robots through the streets to cause panic, but nothing more. His days of reckless destruction were (mostly) behind him.
Not to say it wasn't necessary every once in a while.
A streak of gold light shot through the sky, and Tobey lifted his head with a jerk.
She was here.
And just like that, WordGirl was hovering before him, Huggy in her…
"Where's the monkey?" he asked, a little startled
WordGirl, mouth open and likely about to demand some sort of explanation from Tobey, blinked her eyes and cocked her head, as startled as he. "…What?"
"The monkey," said Tobey, "your sidekick. He's not here."
"Uh, right," WordGirl muttered. "Huggy's, uh, busy, at a, uh, sidekick…thingie."
Tobey raised an eyebrow, presuming that the monkey must have some business as Bob and could not come. "…Right," Tobey agreed, his skepticism quite obvious.
Letting out a small to cough to clear her throat, WordGirl straightened herself and put on her superhero face. "Enough of that!" she exclaimed. "What do you think you're doing, Tobey? People are panicking!"
With a shrug, Tobey answered, "Well, WordGirl, I've lost my remote to these robots and-"
"It's in your back pocket," WordGirl pointed out dryly.
Chuckling, Tobey pulled it out. "So it is," he murmured. "So it is." He raised his head and flashed her a grin. "Brings back fond memories, doesn't it?"
A dreamy look settled over her face, and Tobey leaned forward, eager at her reaction. "Yeah, that was a fun day," WordGirl said softly. With a look at Tobey, her eyes widened and she grimaced. "I mean, it was okay! The ice cream was good, at least."
"Was that day so bad?" Tobey pressed gently.
A hesitant look flickered across WordGirl's face. As Tobey had become friends with Becky, WordGirl had begun to soften her attitude towards Tobey. As Tobey watched her, he began to hope that her attitude had softened enough.
Shaking her head quickly, WordGirl gave Tobey an apologetic gaze. "Sorry," she said, "but you kind of ruined it with your faking."
"I was afraid so," Tobey said under his breath, eyes downcast.
WordGirl pretended not to have heard. "Listen, Tobey, what's with the robots? I thought you'd quit destroying the city by now."
Tobey looked up and met her eyes with his, sweeping his arm outwards, and pointed out, "But my robots haven't destroyed anything."
WordGirl opened her mouth to make a snide retort, before doing a double take at the untouched city. "Huh." She glanced back at Tobey, not quite sure what to say next.
Taking the initiative, Tobey smirked. "Surely you can't arrest me for not doing harm, can you?"
Disgruntled, WordGirl hmphed. "Yeah, well, just quit it, okay? People are frightened. Knowing your track record, I can't blame them."
Now was the time to stop the banter and foreplay and get to the real reason of the robots. "I refuse to call them off."
WordGirl gave him an irritated look. "Do you want me to destroy them, then?"
"I think you'll find that harder than previous times," Tobey said.
Cracking her knuckles, WordGirl muttered, "We'll see about that."
Before she could fly off, however, Tobey paled and stretched an arm outwards to her in a pleading gesture. "No, wait!" he called. She paused and stared at him, an eyebrow raised quizzically. Tobey cleared his throat nervously, then said, "Take my word for it, please."
WordGirl simply stared at him. "...Are you serious?"
"Just hear me out," Tobey pleaded.
WordGirl sighed in consent, crossing her arms across her chest. "This better be good."
Tobey smiled hesitantly, and ran a hand through his ruffled blonde hair. "Well, you see..." he began, but stopped, not quite sure how to phrase what he wanted. "I wish to go on a date."
Her jaw dropped. "Are you kidding me?" she exclaimed, raising one hand in a clenched fist. "Tobey..." she said threateningly.
"Wait, wait, let me finish!" Tobey pleaded.
Relenting (very reluctantly), WordGirl narrowed her eyes and said, "Then get on with it."
Tobey adjusted his glasses, straightened his bowtie, and said calmly, despite his racing heart, "I wish to go on a date...with Becky."
Immediately, Tobey regretted this whole decision.
WordGirl's eyes flashed with many emotions, but the most prominent among them, the one that sent an unexpected spike of pain through Tobey's heart, was fear.
She was scared of him?
Tobey hadn't expected that to happen. He had certainly never intended to make WordGirl fear him.
Perhaps he should never have said anything about her identity...
"Wh-what?" WordGirl gasped out, arms dropped to hang loosely by her side. "W-why would you think, that, that, I would kn-know a, uh, Becky? Th-that's a weird request! Sh-shouldn't you, uh, ask her yourself? Uh, not me? 'C-cause why would I know Becky? I mean, Becky who? What Becky?" She continued to ramble on incessantly, but her eyes remained completely focused on the robot-building villain before her.
He should stop this. He should stop this right now. He had to.
And yet...he couldn't just let this go. Not when he knew who WordGirl was. Not when he was so close to confirming the truth.
"I know," he said softly, and she stiffened almost instantly. "I know," he repeated, louder. "I know who you are."
Her eyes flickered across his face, searching for some sign of a bluff, but Tobey knew, as she surely knew as well, that there would be no sign.
There were no liar's ticks during the telling of the truth.
Continuing, he added, "And I know you like that reporter kid. But-" He froze as she stiffened even further, her jaw slack and her eyes...
Aghast. Anguished. Scared. Frightened. Fearful. Terrified.
"How?" she whispered, no longer looking at Tobey. Her eyes stared off into the distance, WordGirl still so stunned by this new turn of events.
Tobey answered, "Observation. It wasn't all that difficult." He winced as WordGirl flinched. Of course, he was an idiot! If she knew that one person could connect the dots easily enough, who was to say other people couldn't?
Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
This whole idea was stupid. Tobey should never have done this.
He should have simply wooed Becky. He might've risked their friendship, but it wouldn't have come between them too much.
But this...he'd smashed it. He'd smashed their friendship into tiny little bits and pieces. Just grabbed a giant hammer and let loose.
How? That was WordGirl's question, but it was Tobey's too.
How could he have done this? How could he have hurt WordGirl so much? How could he have betrayed their friendship?
How could he have imagined this would ever have worked?
Tobey stared at WordGirl, his face starting to become as stunned as hers. What had he done?
He was cognizant of the damage he'd done.
So maybe he could fix it. Just a little.
"I'm sorry." The words came out with ease, no force involved. WordGirl jerked, her eyes focusing away from some spot in the distance and back on Tobey. "I'm sorry," he repeated.
WordGirl just glared at him warily. He ducked his head, then gasped as her voice filled the air around him. "What do you want?"
"What?" Tobey asked, lifting his head to stare at her.
She closed her eyes and repeated in a resigned voice, "What do you want?"
What did he...want?
Tobey felt as if she'd punched him in the stomach.
She thought he would betray her. Would blackmail her. Would hold this secret over her forever and ever, and make her life a misery for his own benefit. Would expose her identity to the world at his slightest whim.
She thought him a monster.
So Tobey did as she asked. He told her exactly what he wanted.
WordGirl blinked. And blinked again. Her face scrunched up in confusion, and then understanding. She opened her mouth to respond, but Tobey quickly cut in.
"I'm sorry. WordGirl, Becky, I'm terribly sorry! I wanted to know. I just...I wanted to know. Once I'd figured out who you were, I just had to confirm it. And so I devised this plan. But it was stupid. This whole thing was stupid. Idiotic. Imbecilic. I was a fool, and the date thing was even worse! I mean, what was I thinking?"
"After all, you like that reporter guy, and you always have. This whole plan has just been a complete and utter disaster. I've ruined our friendship, Becky, and you were the only friend I really had!"
"Although I suppose Violet might have counted, but that's really only because she's so absurdly kind to absolutely everyone. Quite strange, but pleasant. But really, you're the only one who's ever been able to tolerate me."
"Plus, you're the only one to ever match me academically, and, dare I say it, surpass me! Of course, you have superpowers for that, so that's likely the real reason. But I digress. I-"
He jolted, his rambling coming to a screeching halt, and found WordGirl less than a foot from his face. "Yes?" he squeaked out, suddenly very frightened.
"Tobey," she said again. "Shut up."
His jaw seemed glued shut.
"You think I still like Scoops?" she asked him, baffled.
He nodded, too afraid to speak.
She tilted her head, then burst out laughing. Tobey watched her, puzzled. "I stopped liking Scoops after he and Violet started dating over a year ago! Honestly!"
Tobey gaped. "Really?" he asked, then immediately clapped both hands over his mouth.
She ignored it. "Really," she said. When he didn't respond, she added, "You can talk now."
"Do you like anyone else?" Tobey asked hesitantly, his heart fluttering in anticipation.
"No," she replied bluntly. His face immediately fell. "However," she continued, "that doesn't mean I can't learn to."
As Tobey's face lit up once more, WordGirl quickly cut in, "Just listen to me first, okay?" He nodded obediently. "This whole robot thing has got to stop. I thought you'd finally quit, but if you brought them out for something like this, how am I supposed to trust you not to do it in the future?"
Tobey crossed his finger over his heart. "Cross my heart."
WordGirl raised an eyebrow at the childish way of promising, but couldn't resist a slight smile as well. "Good, then. Now that that's settled, Tobey, I, to reiterate, do not like you the way you do me." Tobey nodded, grimacing. He really had to stop getting his hopes up. "But that doesn't mean I can't continue to like you as a friend, the way I used to as Becky, before you figured everything out."
Staring, Tobey crossed his fingers surreptitiously at his sides, hoping with all his might for a somewhat positive answer.
"How about that ice cream?" WordGirl gave him a smirk as he blushed red from head to toe.
"Ah, yes, ice cream. Right, that, I was offering that earlier, wasn't I?"
WordGirl's eyebrow shot up even further as she nodded her head slowly. "Yep."
"Very well, then, ice cream sounds, it sounds quite good right now, actually, that it does."
"Then call off your robots and let's go," WordGirl said, fighting to keep from laughing at the way Tobey was falling over himself.
Or, well, that's why Tobey assumed she was suppressing obvious mirth. No matter.
Tobey had recently become cognizant of a few certain details regarding Becky Botsford and WordGirl. And in confronting her, and realizing his mistakes, he became cognizant of a few certain details about himself, too. Details he'd never thought would be applicable to him.
And maybe, someday, WordGirl would be cognizant of them as well.
I hope you enjoyed!
Reviews and constructive criticism are always welcome, and thanks for reading! ;)