A/N: If you only want to read this story for Jimmy/Cindy, I suggest you skip to Chapter 3. :)
His pencil scratched across the paper at a ridiculous pace. He could feel his knuckles cramping, but did not pause. He would not yield to such trivial things as physical pain when it came to a matter this serious. His vision blurred from staring at those parallel black lines that covered the pages he wrote upon. He hoped his handwriting would be legible, but that was only a distant worry in the back of his mind.
Hamlet's inability to take action in revenge only furthered his regress into madness –
Something moved to his right and he twitched his head up involuntarily. Thankfully, it was not as he feared. The demon still sat there, perched on the plastic seat with her legs crossed daintily as if to hide the true evil within. She too wrote furiously, and he was reminded of the task at hand.
Hamlet is foiled by Fortinbras in both the literal and figurative sense. Fortinbras eagerly charged into battle against Denmark despite his chances of victory –
He neared the concluding paragraph and his pulse quickened. A smug smile spread across his face as he surmised the failure that Hamlet had in taking his revenge. This time, he was turning in his essay before Vortex.
Hamlet ultimately failed in his petty goals –
A tingle glided up his neck as he heard the condemning sound of a chair being pushed back. He slowly looked up to his right.
Despite the energy she had taken to push back her chair and the obvious tension that she had while she was writing, Cindy walked forward calmly with a haughty smile. Jimmy felt heat rush to his face as she put her thick essay on Mrs. Hethern's desk. The elderly teacher didn't bother to look up from her computer, but Cindy waited there for a second or so.
"I'm finished, Mrs. Hethern." Cindy stated overly-loudly.
"That's very good, Cindy. Please take a seat." The teacher dismissed.
As Cindy turned around, she looked directly at Jimmy and gave him a triumphant smile.
Jimmy's narrowed eyes followed her as she walked back to her desk. She sat down and took out a book to read for the remaining thirty minutes of class. Jimmy exhaled and let his head drop down unto his desk.
He finally gained the strength to raise his head and finish his essay after what seemed like eons of humiliation. He haphazardly scribbled the last few words on the pages and turned his in at the front of the room with his head hung in shame.
And then he drew the plans for his latest invention on a piece of scratch paper for the remaining twenty-nine minutes of class.
As the bell rang, Jimmy attempted to gather his things quickly so he could leave the room before she got a chance to gloat. He was up, he was quickly walking out the door, he was in the hall –
"Foiled again, Nerdtron!"
He cringed at the voice coming directly behind him. He whipped around to glare at her.
"We'll see, Vortex. First doesn't mean best. I'm sure our grades will reveal the truth." He declared, even though being first had meant everything to him mere moments before.
"Yeah, yeah." She rolled her eyes and walked into step with him. "Did you see the new hydrocarbon molecule theory the NCRC released this morning? I think…"
He only half listened to her opinions on the matter. He had read the article last night on WikiLeaks and was firm on his stance concerning its mal-enviornmental effects. The whole 'friendship' thing was still weird anyway. Especially after she just had one of her VERY FEW victories against his intellect. It was a marvel that they could stand each other at all. But, Jimmy hypothesized, practice makes perfect. They have been trying to practice this friendship thing for the past seven years.
"…so I think it would be completely pointless to enact it at this particular juncture."
Jimmy snapped out of his musings.
"WHAT? Now is the PERFECT juncture! Any negative effects the gaseous byproducts could have would be negated over the long run and end in a better and less expensive way to operate pseudo-electrical powering."
They stopped in the middle of the hallway much to the chagrin of the passers-by. She turned to him and put her hands on her hips.
"Do you even REALIZE the IMPLICATIONS of a functioning hydrocarbon pseudo-electrical plant?"
"OF COURSE I DO! THAT'S HOW I KNOW IT'S THE WAY TO POWER THE FUTURE!"
"THERE WON'T BE A FUTURE – "
"OH YES THERE WILL, AND IT'LL BE BETTER!"
"C'mon, guys. We'll be late for lunch." Libby coolly commented as she walked by.
Jimmy and Cindy froze in mid-argument, both with fingers pointed and eyebrows furrowed. They slowly dropped out of their offensive stances and walked toward the cafeteria.
"Carl. SERIOUSLY, dude. There is NO WAY a stupid LLAMA would make it as Ultra Lord's side kick. Robofiend would like, eat him, dude." Sheen's eye twitched as he proclaimed what he believed was a hard a scientific fact as Jimmy had ever stated.
"Nobody's mean enough to eat a llama, Sheen! They'd have to be reeeeealy evil." Carl shivered.
"ROBOFIEND IS EVIL. HE. IS. A. SUPER. VILLIAN." Sheen stood up with fury, leaning over the table and staring Carl down.
"Okay, okay, Sheen." Carl said defensively, his hands held out in front of him ready to half-heartedly block an attack should Sheen decide his rage wanted to reach physical levels.
Carl and Sheen continued their banter while Jimmy sat engrossed in drawing up his latest experiment. On the other side of the table, Cindy and Libby talked.
"How'd the AP Lit test go?" Libby asked casually.
"It went off without a hitch! My essay was turned in a full minute before Frankenhead's!" She nodded over to where Jimmy sat.
He looked up for a second, glared at her, and rolled her eyes in response to her comment. He quickly returned to his work, writing a little more violently than was necessary.
Libby rolled her eyes too.
"Cin," she said in a softer tone, "Aren't we a little old for this? I thought all the bickering was done way back in fifth grade. When you guys did that little dating thing, it was cute – "
"Dating thing?" Cindy said a bit too loudly, making her blush and then quickly lower her tone. "Like you said. We were in FIFTH GRADE. You can hardly call that dating. And it wasn't! It was just a little crush thing. Not even, really. It was just so strange for us to try and be friends back then. We didn't realize the feelings we had for each other were purely platonic. We mistook the whole thing for love, but WE WERE ELEVEN. So stop pestering me about it, Libbs. It's not like you and Sheen were in true love way back then. Look how that worked out."
Libby glanced over at Sheen who was currently making Robofiend noises from a specific episode of Ultra Lord.
"True." Libby sighed, "But I still think I might like him…"
"Seriously, Libby?" Cindy raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah. He's cute, and you know it."
Back in his lab, Jimmy worked furiously bringing his newly finished plans to life. After a few hours of tinkering, it was almost completely finished.
Mrs. Neutron's voice echoed through the lab and her face appeared on the screen in front of Jimmy.
"Time for dinner, honey. You can't create fantastic gadgets on an empty stomach, you know."
Jimmy groaned aloud and debated whether or not he should skip dinner to finish his work and face the wrath of his mother later or go up and eat dinner. In response, his stomach growled. He put down his wrench and headed to the newly fixed passageway that led from the lab to the fireplace.
With the push of a button, Jimmy was sucked up into a tube and spat out into his living room, completely covered in soot.
"Mental Note: Fireplace Passage NOT fixed yet." He said as he rubbed his back and brushed the soot off his shirt.
Sheen rapped feverishly on the door as Carl stood next to him and whistled.
"Oh, well…I guess he's not here, Sheen…We should just go –" Carl started to walk away, but Sheen quickly grabbed him by the arm. He pulled Carl in close to his face and opened his eyes as wide as he could.
"THIS IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH!" Sheen screeched, punctuating each word with a shake of Carl's arm. "Jimmy will PROVE to you that a llama could never survive travelling at the speed of light!"
"I still think that with a cute little protective suit on –"
"NO SIDEKICK OF ULTRA LORD WOULD WEAR A PROTECTIVE SUIT. ESPECIALLY NOT A CUTE ONE!"
Sheen banged his head against the door of Jimmy's lab in frustration. After a few hard hits, the 'Welcome' matt beneath them gave way.
They both landed hard on the concrete floors of Jimmy's lab. They groggily got up and looked around for any sign of Jimmy. An orange light was flashing in the corner where Jimmy had just been working on his latest invention. Carl approached it warily.
"What do you think it is, Sheen?" Carl poked it and backed away quickly. Sheen ran up chaotically and snatched the device up, handling it with little regard to its possibly dangerous properties. It was shaped like a gun of some sort, with a blue liquid pulsing inside of it.
"Sheen! DON'T TOUCH JIMMY'S STUFF!" Carl waved his hands in panic.
"Calm down, you little baby! This is why you can't comprehend the greatness that is Ultra Lord! Besides, we've been hanging out with Jimmy for years now. I think I can handle one of his little toys."
Sheen stroked the gadget and gave a wicked grin.
"Sheeeeeen! Stop it! You're being all creepy again!"
"LET'S TAKE THIS BABY OUT FOR A SPIN!" Sheen yelled as he ran out of the lab.
"And that is why old gym socks are not good for pie filling." Hugh Neutron finished as his wife and son looked at him with disgust and disbelief.
Jimmy coughed uncomfortably and gave a forced smile.
"Well, I'm off to the lab again. See you later!" he waved as he ran out of the kitchen.
When Jimmy opened the door, he was greeted with Sheen chasing Carl around the yard pointing Jimmy's newest creation at him.
"Sheen! NO! That's my –"
At that moment, Sheen accidentally fired the device at Carl. A blue streak of light shot out from the nozzle and missed Carl as he ducked. The light flew across the street and hit a blond figure as she walked out of her pink house.
"CINDY!" Jimmy yelled as he ran across the street. He was stopped halfway there when a giant ankle grew out in front of him.
"IT'S GODZILLA!" Sheen shouted, "I'LL CALL ULTRA LORD!"
"No, Sheen. It's Cindy. You hit her with my Deshrimpifyer!" Jimmy yelled angrily.
"Your what?" Carl asked, scratching his head.
"I was kind of… hoping… for an assisted growth spurt…BUT I DIDN'T FINISH THE ADJUSTMENTS YET! AND NOW CINDY'S A GIANT!"
"NEEUUUUUTROOOOOON!" Cindy's voice bellowed from her mouth twenty feet above them.
"Cindy! Be careful! You might not realize it, but your strength has increased along with your size!"
"Oh, please Neutron. Like I couldn't figure that –" As Cindy swung her hand out to cross her arms, her forearm collided with the chimney of Jimmy's house and knocked it down.
"There goes the chimney again!" Mr. Neutron's voice rang out from inside the house.
"Oops." Cindy smiled nervously with a mouth that spanned several feet.
"So how are you going to get me out of this one, King Cranium?" Cindy's irritated voice boomed as she sat in the open field of the Retroville Park. Dozens of people stood at the perimeter of the park watching the spectacle.
"Well, I'm not sure yet…maybe if you'd have been a bit kinder about the AP Lit test, I'd be able to think a bit faster…"
"NEUTRON! You're not even going to be able to beat me on the next test if I can't even pick up a pencil without breaking it!"
True, thought Jimmy. But, what was more satisfying to him? Beating her on a test or watching her fume over her enormous stature…
He removed a bottle of greenish liquid from his backpack and held it up so she could see it.
"Now, you can't take it yourself or you'll crush the bottle. You'll have to lift me up and allow me to administer it."
Cindy rolled her eyes and picked him up gingerly from the waist as to not crush him, however she might be tempted. She pulled him up to her face and opened her mouth, ready to receive the antidote.
"Wow. You really do have a BIG mouth, Vortex!" Jimmy remarked as he poured the solution into her open mouth. She grimaced, but more from Jimmy's comment than the taste of the serum. After she had swallowed the whole of it, she lowered Jimmy and then dropped him to the ground for the last few feet.
Cindy grinned smugly as she began to shrink down to normal size. Jimmy got up, rubbing the new bruises on his arm. However, as soon as Cindy was back to her old self, she walked over to him and pushed him back down. She leered over him with her hands on her hips.
"You will receive no mercy on the AP Bio Test tomorrow." She laughed.
"Challenge accepted." He couldn't help but smile back.
Jimmy and Cindy walked home together a couple of hours later after responding to the new crews that had gathered around the park to witness the giant girl.
"You know, Vortex? I actually kind of like having you as competition. It'd be pretty boring without you."
She smiled and the quaint Retroville houses behind her shimmered and disappeared, transforming into a country road backdrop that seemed familiar to Jimmy.
"Oh, James!" Cindy exhaled deeply as she flung herself at him, "You're just sooooo intelligent. It would take gigahertz of magnetic wave power to detract me from the gravitational pull of your intellect…and dashing good looks." She batted her eyelashes.
"I can't help it, Cynthia. I'm just so incredible…in every way…" He then swung her down into a dip and kissed her pink lips. It was light at first, but then it progressed and….
Jimmy awoke, startled by his alarm clock. He took a moment to catch his breath and then he remembered the dream he just had. With a groan, he slumped back down unto his bed.
"Ugh, Goddard. Hormones." He sighed exasperatedly.
Goddard barked in affirmative. Jimmy thought briefly about the AP Bio test he had that day and the girl, fueled by anger of her discomfort as a giant yesterday, that would try to outdo him. Whatever the hormones did to addle his brain, he would not ease up on the academic front. Not a chance.
And so began another day in the adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Teen Genius.