Ferb sat down next to Isabella as they watched the last summer sunset before they began high school. Isabella sighed.
"I thought this would be it, Ferb. I thought I had him this summer."
"I mean, he's just so oblivious! He just thinks of me as a friend."
Ferb sighed himself.
"What's eatin' you?"
The usually stoic engineer met Isabella's eyes. Her mouth rounded with realization.
"Oh. That older girl. What's her name…Vanessa?"
"Thinks of you as a little kid, huh?"
He nodded again.
"Don't worry, Ferb. In a few years, age won't mean anything. Then she'll realize how great you are and you'll live happily ever after."
Ferb, though less optimistic, smiled softly. After remaining silent for a moment, he commented thoughtfully.
"You know, he does like you."
"Yeah," Isabella groaned sadly. "I'm his best friend. Besides you."
Ferb shook his head.
"You mean like I like him?"
Isabella eyed her crush's brother warily. Usually she would protest, skeptical and despairing of her dream ever being realized. But Phineas' brother knew him better than anyone else.
"He does feel it, he just hasn't thought about it yet. It'll just take time."
Isabella nodded as she faced the horizon again. "Time, huh? I guess that's all we have, then," she said as the last ray of sunshine disappeared in the distance.
Ferb placed a hand on her shoulder.
"And each other," he added. "There is that."
A star glistened overhead, and the night suddenly didn't seem so dark.