Author's Note: This is a sad story. It is what I think would realistically happen to a relationship like Libby and Sheen's. Please note that if you do not like it, it is not canon. If you do not like sad things, I recommend skipping this one shot. I didn't want to write it, but my other stories refused to come until this one was finished.
Future fic. Senior year.
"It's different this time," Libby hugged herself for comfort. She and Sheen were sitting together on the usual bench they met one another at in the morning.
"So you said last time," Sheen insisted. "I can't really believe it's true this time. C'mon, Libs," he attempted to put his arm around her. She gently lifted it off and shook her head. "What's so different? I'm still me."
"Yes. You are. And you're sweet, Sheen. You really are. You're one of the nicest guys I know. But..."
"Uh-oh," Sheen frowned. "Conjunctions are always trouble. I've thought so ever since I first heard that song about 'em. Why else would someone bother to spray paint those words on boxcars? I mean, think about it, most-"
"Not right now, Sheen."
"I'm not going to be able to talk you out of it this time, am I?"
Libby seemed to ignore the question. "I got into that music school I wanted."
"That's great! I could follow you. I know it's half way across the country, but I don't mind. ...if that's all this about, it's not a problem. I'm not even going to college."
"You're smart enough that you could," she tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "Sheen, don't get me wrong. I love you. I do. But I don't want you following me. We're eighteen now. Doesn't that mean anything to you?"
"Yeah, I don't have to get someone else to buy ultra violent video games for me and I can buy lottery tickets." He thought for a moment. "I guess I can legally vote now, too."
"It's not just that the school is in New York. It's that we're both growing up. I'm changing."
"But I'm not?" Sheen asked carefully. Libby finally made eye contact with him.
"You've grown up, Sheen, but you still spend your Saturdays watching cartoons. It'd be fine if that wasn't the only thing you were doing. You're sweet, and you're funny, and you're smarter than you give yourself credit for. But it's time to grow up."
"And what, give up UltraLord?"
"If that's what growing up means to you. But I think it's taking charge of your life. Making your own decisions and doing what you want to do. What you need to do. Not going with what's easy. Sometimes you do have to let things from your childhood go. Not everything. Just-"
"Just the ones that get in the way?"
Libby turned away again. She couldn't face Sheen when he looked this miserable. If she looked into those sad brown eyes, she'd lose all resolve.
And that was the problem. She could tell what would happen. If she looked back, she'd stay in Retroville with Sheen. It wouldn't be all bad. It might even be a happy life, but she'd have given up on her dreams to do so. One day she would wake up and start to despise Sheen for it. No matter what, she was determined to only think of him fondly.
Even if that fondness was only felt when viewing a memory.
Those were the last words she said to him that day. She refused to see him until he came by her house to say goodbye a few weeks after graduation. Still, she avoided looking him in the eye. Her official going away party had been yesterday, and Sheen hadn't attended. Cindy had just left after saying her own goodbyes. She'd thought when the doorbell rang that Cindy had just decided to say another farewell. Instead, Sheen was standing there, with an offer to help her load her bags into the car.
"You'll do great out there, Libby," Sheen said, grabbing her and pulling her into a hug. "Knock 'em dead. Just you know...not literally. But if you do, Jimmy has some great lawyers for when his experiments go too far."
Libby chuckled. "I'll keep that in mind, Sheen."
"Any hope of a goodbye kiss?" He studied her face for a moment. "Nope. Didn't think so, but it was worth a shot. Have fun out there. Don't work yourself to death."
He watched as she got into the passenger's seat of the car. She and her dad seemed to take an eternity just to back out of the driveway. And then they were off to the airport. Now time was going too fast, and the car was moving out of his line of vision, becoming a faint dot on the horizon. Sheen stood frozen in the Folfaxes' yard. There went the girl he'd loved for years now. His first love. He'd wanted to throw himself at her and beg her to stay. He'd wanted to run after the car. He'd thought about ignoring her wishes and showing up in New York next week.
But Libby was wrong.
Sheen had changed.
Maybe he hadn't grown up to the extent one would expect of a twenty year old man. Maybe (probably, he conceded to himself), he never would.
But he was knowledgeable enough to know that sometimes you have to let the one you love go. Sometimes they came back to you. Sometimes they didn't. Sheen had a feeling at that moment that Libby was gone to him forever, but he found that this didn't bother him as much as he'd expected.
They'd always be friends. He'd be there for her the second she got off the plane for winter vacation. But whether they'd fall back in love, he couldn't say. All he knew at that moment was that Libby was going to do great things, and that he was proud of her for it.
"Well," he said, sighing, "Guess we'll always have Retroville."