Disclaimer: All characters of Phineas and Ferb are the property of Dan, Jeff, and Disney.
Chapter 5 – The Rapport Report
The weekend came and went in a flash, and while Irving kept himself busy with his fansite and a couple of Phineas and Ferb's projects, he found his mind drifting back to one thing: Katie. She had certainly given him a lot to think about, and his activities on Saturday and Sunday did nothing to alleviate said brain.
She was not the only reason, however. Part of it was, ironically enough, the P&F fansite itself. Most of the student body knew that Irving ran the site, but understandably ignored it. Now, there was so much traffic wondering about what happened during that day that the forum server almost crashed. There were so many questions asked, from legitimate ones to whether he had really fallen unconscious to outrageous ones like what judo technique he had used on Dylan.
It was almost a relief to be back at school on Monday, away from his computer, but Irving was expecting for a throng of students to greet him at the front with more questions. He had always dreamed to be one of the popular kids. Just not necessarily like this...
He walked into the front doors of the school, a nervous knot in his stomach. There were only a few kinds hanging around in the foyer, none of which were beating down the door to ask him about the altercation. That was certainly a good sign...
Irving turned to see Buford and Baljeet walking toward him, the latter grimacing with every step.
"Hey, Buford." The bespectacled boy looked at his fellow nerd, an eyebrow raised. "Are...you OK, Baljeet?"
"I am fine," he replied. "My mother thought it would be a wonderful idea for me to learn how to ride a horse over the weekend. I do not think I will be able to walk straight for an entire week."
"Well, instead of voting 'yay' for that, you shoulda voted 'neigh'."
Baljeet stared at his bully and sighed. "Buford, what did I tell you about making puns this early in the week?"
"That they're not a good idea, neva' been a good idea, and neva' will be a good idea."
"And yet you did it anyway. So just for that..." Baljeet pulled a paper from his pocket and handed it to Buford, who immediately read the fine print.
"No wedgies for the week?" Buford exclaimed. "Aw man! How come ya ruining my fun?"
"I am not 'ruining' anyone's fun. I told you that you should have retained a lawyer if you were hesitant about anything," Baljeet explained. "In any case, were you not going to tell Irving something?"
"Oh yeah, right." The bully turned back to Irving, ending the brief argument against the Indian boy. "Mr. Humphries said he wants you in his office before class starts."
Irving nodded. "Yeah, he probably wants to talk to me about the fight. Do you think I have to talk to the police?"
"That may very well be likely, Irving. Incidents like these are not taken very lightly."
He nodded as he rustled his backpack. "I guess I should go there now." He turned to leave, but suddenly remembered something he had been meaning to tell the duo. "Listen, guys. I...never got to thank you two for last week. I really app-"
"Save it, Fanboy," Buford said, waving his hand. "Was nothing."
"I hardly count breaking up the fight and helping with Katie's leg nothing."
"You will have to thank Ginger for the latter part," Baljeet affirmed. "We had just finished our nursing training a week ago, and she was helping me in properly setting Katie's leg while taking care of you. Health care is regrettably not my strong suit, but Ginger was fortunately paying closer attention than I."
"Well, can you thank her when you see her today?"
"I think she already knows how much you appreciate her help, but I will pass it along all the same," Baljeet said with a nod of his head.
Irving looked at his watch. "I better get going to the principal's office and get this over with. I'll see you guys later." He quickly turned and headed off down the hallway, being waved off by Buford and Baljeet.
The Indian boy looked up at the bully, who appeared to be lost in thought about something. "Penny for your thoughts, Buford?"
"Something's up with Fanboy."
"He got knocked unconscious and saw Katie's leg get broken. You do not recall something else happening, right?"
"No, not that." Buford scratched the side of his head. "He seems a little...cheerful today. He was like that on Friday too. It's a little weird."
Baljeet sighed as he began to walk toward his first period class. "Something probably happened after the incident last week that he found particular enjoyment in, Buford. Vishnuforbid that he is actually allowed to be happy."
"Is that sarcasm I hear in ya voice?"
"Oh no, Buford," he replied, hobbling further down the hallway. "I would never dreamof being sarcastic to you."
"...OK, I'm pretty sure that was sarcasm."
Irving had never been to the principal's office before under any circumstance, so he was definitely nervous. All he could think about was not stumbling and accidentally saying something incriminating. Not that he had anything incriminating to say, but still.
After being led back by the secretary, he poked his head into the principal's office. There he was, sitting behind the desk, having a conversation with none other than-
"Ahh, Mr. Stommeling! You've arrived. Come in and take a seat." He motioned to the empty chair next to Katie. Irving sat down next to her, cautiously glancing at Katie. She appeared to be in good spirits, her cast somewhat matching her white shirt and blue shorts. She had a new flower in her hair, a bright yellow one this time. Her crutches were leaning against the principal's desk.
"Ms. Brooke had decided to grace us with her presence today, albeit a little bit earlier than I expected," the principal said, stealing a look in Katie's direction. "But no matter. It's your injury, Ms. Brooke, and if you feel up to the task of school, I won't stand in your way. No pun intended."
He picked up a pencil from the desk, tapping it absentmindedly. "In any case, I just finished having Ms. Brooke tell me her recollections of the event last week. I want you to do the same for me. I have to send an incident report to the police with all of the people that were involved. They need documentation because they had to get involved, and it can't be completed without all of the participant's accounts."
Irving nodded, not saying a word.
"Anytime you are ready, Mr. Stommeling," Mr. Humphries said.
And so Irving began, detailing the entire day's account, starting from Katie's chance meeting with him in the hallway, leading up to him being thrown into the lockers by Dylan. For ten minutes he did nothing but talk. It felt somewhat alleviating to get the incident off of his chest, even if it was also painful to relive it again.
"Thank you, Mr. Stommeling." Mr. Humphires flourished his pencil as Irving finished. "I know that was difficult, but I appreciate your courage to tell me the story. The same goes to you, Ms. Brooke."
He took the papers and placed them in a manila envelope, sealing it with the adhesive. "Now, I have to give this to the police, so that they can figure out whether or not Dylan is going to get charged-"
"Charged?" Irving interrupted. "With what?"
Mr. Humphries looked over his glasses at the boy. "For starters, assault and battery on school grounds, which I heard comes with a pretty hefty penalty. Not to mention that he's been taking some pretty valuable things out of some students' lockers, from what some of the other kids have been telling me. That will also be taken into account for when your parents make a decision on whether to bring charges against him."
"But sir," Katie said, "What about us? Don't we get a say?"
"Since you two are not of age, the final verdict is up to your parents, not to you."
She glanced down for a split second, and Irving could tell she was looking at her broken leg. Her brow was crinkled in thought, but not knowing what she was thinking about was beginning to-
"If it means anything, Sir, I don't want him to get charged."
Irving whirled his head toward her, shocked. Mr. Humphries's demeanor did not falter, although his eyes did widen slightly.
"And why is that, Ms. Brooke?"
"...I just don't think it's worth it, Sir. He's already not going to be here anymore. I think that's enough for him."
The principal turned to Irving. "And what do you think, Mr. Stommeling?"
He paused, thinking about everything that had happened in the past few days, as well as Katie's longing look that she was giving him. Even though he knew what answer he wanted to say, that answer wasn't going to come out. Not now.
"I don't think he should either, Sir. It's...not worth it. He's already not going to be back. I..." Irving glanced again at Katie, who gave him a slight smile. "I just want to move on."
Mr. Humphries looked at the two of them, his smile all the more evident. "Your parents have taught you very well in the art of humility. I'm sure they would be very proud of what you've told me."
He took the folder and set it aside on top of a pile of paperwork. "Very well. I will inform your parents of your opinion on the situation. Now, just keep in mind that again, the final decision will fall on them, but I'm sure they will undoubtedly take your thoughts into account."
"Now, there are two more things that I want to discuss with you, and then we can put this to an end. There is the whole matter of deciding what I need to do with you two."
"What do you mean, sir?" Irving asked.
"Well, you and Ms. Brooke were involved in an altercation on school grounds. I would not be doing my job if I did not see that punishment was doled out somehow."
Katie looked horrorstruck. "Sir, are you going to-"
"However," Mr. Humphries interrupted. "Based off of both of your accounts and the events that have transpired, I do not have plan to bring any disciplinary action against the two of you." Hearing the two loud sighs of relief the kids let out, he couldn't help but chuckle. "It is time that I display a little humility on my part. I think both of you have clearly been through enough, and there is no need to draw this out any further. Just...try not to take matters into your own hands, all right?"
Both Irving and Katie nodded.
"Good." The man pulled out his cell phone and speed-dialed a number, bringing it to his ear. "Pardon me for one second." He tapped his finger on the desk for a moment, and then Irving heard a clouded voice on the other end.
"Yes, can I speak with Officer Garcia, please? Thank you."
He set the phone on his desk. "Officer Garcia is the person who's in charge of this case. I have to hand the report to him at some point today. In any case...we just have one final matter that needs to be settled."
Mr. Humphries turned his attention to Katie. "As you still need time for your leg to heal, I fear that getting around is not going to be easy. Therefore, you'll need a fellow student to help you along. Now, normally Ms. Garcia-Shapiro would want to do that job, but as she is currently on vacation right now and won't be returning for a couple of days, that designation would fall to me. And I believe I know just the person for that."
He turned his head toward Irving, who had a funny feeling he was going to suggest that. "Of course, Mr. Stommeling would have to agree to do so. I don't want to force the job onto him."
"N-no," Irving said, trying not to look directly at Katie. "I wouldn't mind that at all."
"Very well." The principal opened his drawer and pulled out a white and gold badge. "This is the Helper Badge; these are for the people who do these kinds of jobs for the other students. Helping them get around, carrying books for them and whatnot. Have this with you so that you don't get in trouble for being late to your classes." He handed it to Irving. "There are not a lot of people who get to use this, Mr. Stommeling; I suggest you put it to good use."
"Of course, sir," he replied, pinning it to his shirt.
"Now it would be best for you to get going to your classes. You will want to go to Ms. Brooke's locker first to get her things, Mr. Stommeling, and then be on your way."
Irving jumped down from his chair to help Katie off of hers. She grabbed her crutches, and together, they made their way out of the office.
"Oh, and one more thing."
They turned to their principal, who had his pencil in his hands again.
"If either of you two need anything, do not hesitate to let me know. When I said to you, Mr. Stommeling, that I don't want this to happen again, I meant it. If you get any grief or trouble, let a teacher know, and they will come to me."
Irving smiled at him. "Thank you, sir."
"Not a problem at all. Now if you excuse me, I have the report to finalize. I shall see the both of you around, I imagine."
Katie and Irving left the office, leaving Mr. Humphries lost in his thoughts. He sat silent for a moment, then his hand traveled over to his phone, pressing a button to take it off of the screensaver.
"Did you listen to all of that, Ms. Garcia-Shapiro?"
"Loud and clear, sir," the girl on the other line replied.
"I'm curious as to why you exactly wanted Mr. Stommeling to be Ms. Brooke's partner and not someone from your troop. Surely they would be more knowledgeable and qualified for that task."
"They would be, yes," she agreed. "But...I don't know, sir. I just have a hunch about Irving. I think he's going to do just fine."
The principal laughed softly. "Ms. Garcia-Shapiro, do you know something that I don't?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about, sir."
He shook his head, somewhat glad that the girl wasn't able to see him. "I defer to your judgment, Ms. Garcia-Shapiro. If you trust Mr. Stommeling, I will as well. How is your vacation coming along?"
"Very well, sir. I haven't been in Florida for a while, and I have a lot of family that I haven't seen in years. It's been a great time."
"Well, we all miss you here. I have some things to take care of today, so I'm going to let you go. Have a good rest of your trip, and I will see you back here in a few days time."
"Have a good day, sir!"
"You as well, Ms. Garcia-Shapiro."
He hung up the phone. Smiling to himself, he grabbed the pile of papers on his desk, getting ready to hand them off to his secretary. It was never a dull moment being the principal of this school, especially when he had such extraordinary students.
"Do you need your history book?"
"Yeah, grab that one too, please."
Irving reached inside again, grabbing the large history text. They were at Katie's locker now, Irving gathering the stuff for Katie.
"Do you think it's weird that he wants you to help me?" Katie asked. "Not that I mind at all, but I thought he would want Milly to help, since she has almost the same schedule as I do."
"Yeah, it's a little curious," Irving replied. "We probably shouldn't worry about it. At least you have someone, right?"
"True, true." Katie plucked the text from his hands, setting it in her pack. "That's everything. Let's go."
Irving shut the locker, and they set off toward Katie's first class.
"So, I haven't seen you since a few days ago," he started, "Can I talk to you about your cast?"
"Sure, what about it?" Katie glanced aside at him. "You regret writing it?"
"No, it's not that," Irving stopped, shuffling his backpack. "It's just...well..."
Katie glanced down at the cast, and right above her ankle were the words he had put down:
Thanks for everything. Go break a leg.
"I didn't even think about it until today, but I think people might be a little...curious about it. Not to mention they might think I'm being mean."
Katie shrugged. "So? People have written weirder things. I already have a lot of people with things on my cast." She motioned to all of the other names on it, including Phineas and Ferb, as well as the rest of her troop. "They're probably going to notice Milly's 'speech' that practically running all the way down my leg before yours," she added, pointing to her best friend's lengthy addition.
"I guess you're right." Irving looked down at the curly-haired girl's words. "Good grief, I didn't realize how much she wrote until now. It's like she's not going to see you ever again."
"And besides, I like what you wrote, and I know what you meant. That's all that matters," Katie affirmed, putting her foot back underneath her. "Don't worry about everyone else, either. I have the troop on it. People won't be bothering you."
"And how are they going to do that?"
"Have you ever tried to get between Adyson and something she knows she's going to get a patch for?"
They continued on for a bit, Irving cursing how time could move so slowly sometimes. He hastily changed the subject.
"I see that you have a new flower."
"Yup." Katie absentmindedly touched it, sliding it deeper into her hair. "Mom just got this kind in yesterday. I figured it would be a nice thing to have for my first day back."
"I noticed something weird, though."
"I was curious about the flower, so I went online and saw a bunch of pictures of it on all of these Hawaiian culture pages. A lot of people seem to wear some sort of flower in their hair."
"Yeah, me as well. That's not weird."
"True, but they all have them in their right ear. You have yours on your left."
Katie stopped mid-stride, her cheeks going slightly pink. "You didn't actually read those pages, I take it?"
"No..." Irving said slowly. "I was just looking at the pictures. Why, does it matter?"
"Well, yes. Having a flower in your right ear means that you're..."
The blonde girl paused. Irving saw that her neck was getting more dark by the second.
"...It's suppose to signify that you're single and available."
Irving slapped his hand on his face. "Oh, OK. So if it's in your left ear, that means that-Oh."
Great. Now he got it.
Katie saw Irving's surprised look grow on his face and immediately began to stammer off an explanation." Listen, I-I don't mean that way. At least...not yet. We're way too young to even start moving in that direction yet. But...you know...why go around looking for someone who can be great for me for years and years when I...have someone right now who I know is that?"
"Katie...I don't know what to say."
"Irving, you don't have to say anything. It's just...after everything that's happened in such a short amount of time, I may have gotten caught up in the moment. But I don't take back what I said. I do like you, and I don't care what anyone else is going to think about it."
He looked away, his blush creeping up again.
"We don't need anything figured out right now. The only thing we need to do is to get to class. I'm sure you don't want everyone wondering about what you're doing out here with me, right? Let's get through this together, just like last week. And then we'll go from there."
"No problem." She repositioned her crutches. "C'mon. We should get going."
Irving nodded. "Right. Let's go."
They resumed their walk down the hallway, Irving lost in his thoughts while Katie was trying to calm her blush.
It was an eerily similar situation to a few days ago, but the circumstances were worlds apart.
Irving peeked at his companion. It was indeed a wonder just how far he had come in such a short time, and for the slightest second, he felt something more than just a friendship with Katie. He couldn't quite place it, although it wasn't really hard to guess what it could be.
Had that feeling always been there, even when the path was never leading down that way?
Maybe he had it all along.
Maybe he had no idea it was there from the start.
Perhaps it was just sitting in his mind, waiting for the notion to be fully realized.
Then again, maybe all he had needed was a little push.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Finally done. Thank God for that.
I probably need to start planning these stories out a little bit better so that they don't take three months plus to complete. Either that, or hire a writer to do it for me. But what fun would that be?
Writing this story was very difficult, if only for the sense of what people's perception was on the whole Katie/Irving dynamic. Yes, some people don't like it. Yes, a lot of people don't like Irving in general, for a myriad amount of reasons. To answer someone's question from a while ago...yes, I was (and am) aware that this story was not going to get a lot of outstanding reviews. The fact that I even got this amount is a surprise to me.
I hope that regardless of what your opinion is on the pairing or Irving or otherwise you enjoyed the story. I aim to please. If something seems off to you, feel free to say so in the comments. I shall try to explain myself/fix anything if need be as best I can.
I do have another Katie/Irving one-shot in the works, but that will come at another time. I have a good idea of what story I'm going to do next, so stay tuned for that.
Read and review, if you like. Until next time.