Disclaimer is in Chapter 1
A/N I would like to thank everyone who reviewed this story so far. I hope you like this chapter. As always, please read and review. Enjoy!
Chapter 3: The Yell Heard Around The Neighborhood
As the parents are leaving for Retroland with their kids and guest, Judy Neutron is having an animated talk with young Jimmy. First, as Judy enters the house, she looks around the kitchen and living area for Jimmy. Realizing that he isn't there, Judy quickly runs to the hall utility closet. After opening the door, she quickly types in a ten digit code into an almost inconspicuous keypad. This code prevents Jimmy from using his secret entrance to the lab.
If he thinks he's getting out of this that easily, then he can think again. I may not understand most of his inventions, but I do understand his basic lab security. He's not the only genius in the family.
With the code entered, Judy grabs her trusty broom, closes the closet door, marches up the stairs, and enters straight into Jimmy's room. To her surprise, Jimmy is sitting on his bed, glaring at the door. As he hears his mother enter his room, he turns his glare from the door to his mother. Judy returns the glare in kind.
Before Judy can say anything, Jimmy starts yelling.
"You know mom, you should have let me go and apologize. Now, Cindy is probably stewing. You know I didn't mean it like that, but before I could say anything to her YOU sent me into the house."
Judy softens her glance at her son, but still holds a strong look in her eyes.
"Jimmy, I know you are sorry. And I think Cindy knows it too. I am ashamed that you would say that in the first place though."
"What other choice did I have? She would have made a fool of me if I didn't."
"James Issac Neutron, I can't believe you would say that! Cindy both likes and respects you. She was just teasing you a little. What you did is inexcusable. Don't you know how much you hurt her by saying that?"
Jimmy suddenly stands up off his bed and screams at his mother.
"How would you know? You don't know how much hell she has put me though! She relishes every opportunity to hurt or humiliate me. And you're defending her! "
At this point, the normally patient Mrs. Neutron is livid. Taking a page out her son's book, she starts screaming back.
"James Issac Neutron, how dare you use that language with me? I'm you're mother; you don't speak to me to that! Now you hurt that girl and you will be punished for it. Except for fixing that machine, you will have no lab use. You will clean the whole house twice. And you will apologize to me and Cindy."
Before anything else can be said, Hugh Neutron enters the room. Sensing the tension in the room, and hearing the yelling from the hall, he get right to the point.
"Everyone's going to Retroland. I just wanted to let you know."
Judy nods her head in acknowledgment. Hugh Neutron leaves the room after seeing his wife nod. When he does the argument between Jimmy and his mother continues.
Jimmy narrows his eyes at his mother and says, "No".
When Jimmy says that, his mother let out an angry rebuttal that reverberates throughout the house and into the outside.
"I gave you an order, you will do it, or so help you god, you won't see your lab or do anything fun until you move out. Now march!"
Anybody else would have run to do as the angry woman says, but Jimmy doesn't even blink. Instead he retaliates with an angry rebuttal that puts his mother's scream to shame.
"I said no! Now get out of my room. You have no right to tell me what to do."
Judy is so angry that with one hand, she snaps her broom in half. Suddenly, her expression softens.
With a suddenly calm voice she asks, "Ok, you said that Cindy relishes the chance to embarrass you and hurt you. May I ask how she does that? I want to know why you're so angry with her."
Jimmy is slightly scared by his mother's sudden switch in attitude. However, as suspicious as he is, he still answers with much anger.
"Why do you care? I mean, it didn't seem like you cared before. Why do you care, now?"
Judy answers with, "Because you're my son and I care about and love you."
Jimmy notes his mother's sincerity and sighs. After a few moments, he does something that he's never done before: he admits.
"I'm not angry with her mom. I'm just upset because it seems like she lives to humiliate me. I love her mom, but it doesn't even seem like she cares. I kissed her in the alleyway because I wanted to see if we could advance our growing relationship. I wanted to see if we could be a couple, but only a few hours after it happened, we went back to the way we were before. I felt angry, mom, real angry and since then, I carried that resentment, and it's resonated into something, more dangerous. I only said what I said because I felt the heartbreak of the moment all over again and I couldn't relive it, I just couldn't. Besides, she knows about it too, she was there. The only reason she would bring it up again is because she wanted to hurt me."
Judy notices unshed tears in her son's eyes, and walking over to Jimmy, wraps her arms around him. Jimmy cries into her shoulders and for a few minutes, the only sound coming from the Neutron household is the sound of Jimmy's crying. After about five minutes, Jimmy steps back and wipes the tears from his face.
He looks up at his mother and says, "Thank you, mom."
Judy nods her head and walks towards the door. Just as she is about to exit, she turns towards Jimmy once again.
"I'm glad I could help. By the way, you can use your lab and have fun, but you're still cleaning the house, twice."
Jimmy, who is finally calming down, recoils in shock and exclaims, "What! Why?"
Judy Neutron looks at her son with slightly narrow eyes, although she has a grin on her face.
"Jimmy, Cindy may have hurt you, but two wrongs don't make a right. You still need to be punished."
Jimmy just stands there with his jaw dropped and pure shock written on his face.
As Judy leaves her son's room, her words before she closes the door are, "You can start with your room. And for the last time, pick up your pants."
As Judy closes the door, Jimmy finally regains control over his facial features. As he does, he looks up to the heavens, and screams at the top of his lungs, letting out the last of his lingering frustrations.
Meanwhile, across the street, Mrs. Vortex is about to enter her house when she hears Judy's scream. Startled, Sasha drops her keys on the ground. Cursing, she picks up her keys. She places her house key in the door. Just before she opens it, she hears Jimmy's scream.
Man, I never thought I would hear people louder than Cynthia. I never want to make the Neutron's mad. I wonder what they are even yelling about. It couldn't be about my Cynthia, could it?
Sasha finally enters her house pondering that thought. Sasha doesn't look around her house; instead, she immediately goes up the stairs and knocks on her daughter's door.
"Whoever it is, go away!"
Sasha is not affected by this reply. She does, however, think for a moment.
Maybe I should wait until she calms down. If I want to have a civilized conversation with her, I can't have her being hysterical.
Sasha, after a moment of thinking, knocks on the door again and says, "Cynthia, I would like to talk to you, but I will wait until you calm down a little. I will be back up here soon. We will talk then, Ok."
Cindy, who has been crying up until this point, stops at this and says, "Fine! Just go away!"
After saying that, Cindy returns to her new favorite pastime: crying. Sasha, from the hallway, nods her head and walks away, leaving Cindy to compose herself.
In a much more fun place, the adults (minus Judy and Sasha), the teenagers (minus Jimmy and Cindy), and the kids are arriving at Retroland. The kids, nervous about assimilating into this new world, are silent for the duration of the car ride. The adults and teens have been silent to, thinking about how to get the kids enrolled in school and how to make the kids feel welcome, respectfully. As the groups leave their vehicles and reconvene, the kids are looking at Retroland with wonder and awe.
Mr. Estevez turns to the kids and says, "So, what do you think?"
Curly is the first to recover from his amazement, followed by Arnold. At the same time, they say, "This is so cool!"
"Ya, this is just like Dinoland back home, only 100 times cooler" says Gerald.
The rest of the kids echo Gerald's statement. As they do, Hugh is purchasing tickets for everyone, with the rest of the parents pitching in for the cost. Once the parents have finished, Hugh says, "Okay kids, let's go."
The kids and teens follow the adults. The parents stop and turn to the kids. Hugh hands Arnold a map of the theme park. When he does, he asks the kids, "So, what would you kids like to do first?"
The kids look at the map.
"Oh, I want to go on the Octopuke ride" says Gerald.
"Ew, gross, no way! I want to go on the Bat Otta Heck ride" says Rhonda.
Helga rolls her eyes and asks, "What's the matter princess? Scared you might get puked on?"
Rhonda glares at Helga.
"I'm not scared! I just don't want to ruin this outfit is all."
"Right, but weren't you more than willing to get it dirty when we we're playing baseball? What's different now, princess?"
Rhonda is livid, but is slightly embarrassed as well.
"That's different. And you know it."
"Come on guys, can't we just have fun? Why do you need to argue?" asks Arnold.
"Ya, I want to have fun too" says Gerald.
"Me too!" says Harold.
Rhonda and Helga look at each other, then at the group and say, "Fine."
"Good, so the Octopuke it is" says Gerald.
Rhonda glares at Gerald, but says nothing. The kids, taking the silence as a go ahead, follows the adults and teens to the Octopuke ride.
As they are walking, Libby pulls Rhonda by her and asks, "So it seems like Helga doesn't like you too much. May I ask why?"
Rhonda thinks for a moment on how to answer.
I don't even really know why she's so angry. I know that her family is a little quirky, but is that the whole cause of it? Hum…
Rhonda looks at Libby and says, "To be honest, I really don't know. I don't think she really likes anybody, short of Phoebe. I don't know why."
Libby nods her head.
Maybe I'll keep an eye on Helga. After all, she will be rooming with Cindy, and lord only knows what'll happen between those two if they don't get along.
"So, what were you guys doing anyways before you were zapped here? Playing baseball?" asks Carl.
"Ya, Eugene was up to bat. We were actually practicing for a game against a mean bully and his friends" says Harold.
"Ya, and with the way we were playing, we would have been destroyed" says Sid.
"Ha, only because you don't know how to hit, frog boy" mocks Helga.
"Well, Helga, if you knew how to pitch better, maybe I could actually hit the ball!"
Helga's eyes narrow at the remark. Before she could rebuttal, she notices that they have arrived at the ride. Helga and the rest of the kids take a good look at the ride. They see that the ride is shaped like an octopus and that there is a cart attached to each of the octopus's arms. Each cart can hold up to four people. The adults wait on the side of the ride while the teens and kids enter the line.
"Man, this looks so cool!" says Gerald.
"Yes it does" says Arnold.
"Why can't we have anything like this back home?" asks Harold.
"I reckon we do, it's just always broken" says Stinky.
Harold thinks for a moment and then says, "Oh Ya, we do. Man that stinks."
Stinky nods his head as the kids and teens move up in the line.
"So, what's your hometown like?" asks Sheen.
"Well, we live in a town called Hillwood. Its kind of old fashioned. We have lots of stores on the street corners, like a flower shop and an ice cream parlor. We go to a school called PS 118 Middle School. There is also a boarding house that I live in. And finally, we have our own amusement park, Dinoland, which is kinda like this place only 100 times crapper. The roller coaster always breaks down. Once, Eugene and I got stuck up there for six hours. When we got rescued with a cherry picker, the cherry picker broke. We barely survived that" says Arnold.
"Oh Ya, I almost forgot about that" says Sid.
"Hey, didn't Helga earn a lifetime pass to Dinoland for being the It Girl?" asks Lila.
The kids turn to Lila as she asks that, jaws dropped.
"How, how did you know about that?" says Helga.
Lila faces Helga with a slightly annoyed look on her face.
"I tried out for the position, remember. Besides, it was all over the news. To be frank, it was quite annoying."
"You're telling me. Try actually being the It Girl. Besides Johnny Stitches was a jerk. He got what he deserved."
Lila narrows her eyes at Helga.
"Maybe so, but you didn't have to humiliate him on national television"
Helga glares back at Lila and asks, "Why do you care so much anyway?"
"Because, Helga, that jerk happens to be a good friend to my family."
The kids look at Lila with utter shock.
"YOU KNOW JOHNNY?" asks Helga and Rhonda.
Lila closes her eyes and looks at the ground as she says, "Yes, I do."
"But how?" asks Helga.
Before Lila can explain, Sheen exclaims, "Alright, it's our turn!"
As expected, the kids go with the teens they would be staying with. Helga, Phoebe, and Patty are put into a cart with another kid, while Arnold and Gerald are put into a cart with two teenagers. The ride starts once the carts are filled and safety precautions are followed. As the carts start spinning, the two teens in the cart with Arnold and Gerald look at the kids with a questioning stare. Arnold and Gerald look at each other and decide to introduce themselves to the two teens. Before they can, however, one of the teens speaks.
"Wow, what a weird shaped head you have."
Arnold, slightly embarrassed, says, "Um, thank you?"
The other teenager laughs slightly, before turning to the teenager who talked.
"Come on Nick, leave him alone."
Nick turns to his friend and says, "Oh come on Betty, it's not like you weren't thinking the same thing. Besides, I was just making an observation."
"Still, maybe you should apologize."
Nick sighs and looks towards Arnold.
"Sorry about that. I wasn't trying to insult you. My name is Nick, and this is my girlfriend Betty."
Betty turns towards the boys and says, "Hello. I haven't seen you around before. You recently move here?"
Arnold shakes his head.
"No, were just from out of town. My name is Arnold, and this is Gerald."
"Out of town huh? Then who are you visiting? Anyone we might know?" asks Nick.
Arnold and Gerald look at each other. After a few seconds, Arnold shrugs his shoulders, and turns to look at Nick.
"Maybe. Do you know anyone by the name of Jimmy Neutron?"
Nick and Betty look at each other, and then back at Arnold. Suddenly, Nick and Betty let out a gut busting laugh. Arnold and Gerald look at each other with looks of "what just happened?" Betty, noticing the looks on Arnold and Gerald's faces, calms down and explains.
"Ya, pretty much everyone in this town knows Jimmy. He's a genius who causes destruction to the town on a daily basis. He's in our class."
Arnold and Gerald let out an "Oh" just as the ride ends. Nick and Betty get out first.
Before they leave, Betty says to Arnold, "Maybe if we see you around again, we could do something."
"Ya that could be fun" says Nick.
Arnold and Gerald nod their heads and Nick and Betty leave. Arnold and Gerald then rejoin their group.
"That was sweet!" says Sheen.
"Oh Ya that was" says Carl.
Carl and Sheen exchange high fives as Harold runs to the nearest garbage can. As he does, Rhonda looks at Helga, a triumphant look on her face.
"See, I told Ya it wasn't a good idea to go on this ride."
Helga rolls her eyes and says, "Whatever".
"And yet", begins Nadine, "I'm strangely hungry."
Harold, who has finished emptying his stomach, says, "I second that!"
Rhonda looks at Harold with disgust as she asks, "How can you eat after you just puked?"
Harold, who has cleaned his face with a napkin, looks at Rhonda with a confused look.
"Well, since I just puked, I now have more room for food."
Rhonda shivers at the thought. The parents rejoin the group and together with the teens and kids, head for the food court. Meanwhile, back in the suburban area, Cindy has finally calmed down enough to have a civil conversation. Cindy walks out of her room and into the bathroom. She looks into the mirror.
Man, I look like crap. How am I going to be able to talk about what happened without breaking down again? My mother isn't exactly the easiest person to talk to.
Still, it might be better talking to her than to bare this alone. Besides, some advice might be useful right now.
Cindy answers Mother Nature's call and freshens up a little, trying to make herself presentable. After 15 minutes, Cindy looks better, but her eyes betray her otherwise normal appearance. She slowly walks out of the bathroom and down the stairs, looking for her mother. She finds her mother in the kitchen, making some grilled cheese sandwiches and some coffee.
Weird, mom doesn't like grilled cheese sandwiches or coffee.
Sasha notices her daughter's presence and without looking up from her cooking, says, "Cynthia, please sit down. I would like to talk."
Cindy slowly takes a seat at one of the kitchen chairs and waits for her mother to finish. Five minutes later, Sasha sits down at the table across from Cindy, setting down a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee in front of Cindy.
"Please eat. We'll talk when you're done."
Cindy isn't particularly hungry, but does as her mother commands. Once she takes a bite of her grilled cheese, she realized how hungry she really is and practically devourers the rest of the sandwich. Sasha watches her daughter with interest and chuckles slightly.
"I figured you would be hungry. That is why I made it. I know grilled cheese is your favorite. I made another one if you want it."
Cindy eagerly nods and Sasha, still chuckling, slides another grilled cheese in front of Cindy which is devoured in seconds. Cindy then takes a sip of her coffee. The look on Cindy's face causes a smile to spread on Sasha's face.
"Three teaspoons of sugar and a quarter cup of cream, correct?"
Cindy looks at her mother, stunned.
"How did you know that?"
Sasha chuckles for a moment, and then says, "Cindy, you're my daughter, I know you. I may not show it often, but I care about you, and part of caring is knowing the person you care for inside and out. Which is why it is so shocking that I didn't know that you and Jimmy kissed. Why would you try to hide that from me?"
Cindy looks down at the table, unable to look her mother in the eyes.
Sasha, sensing that Cindy may not be ready to answer that yet, asks, "Ok, we'll come back to that. May I ask why you got so upset? I mean, it not the first time Jimmy Neutron has done something stupid, and it probably won't be the last. So why now?"
Cindy builds up her courage, looks her mother in the eyes, and says, "I got upset because I thought that kiss meant something to the both of us. So when he denied that it ever happened, it upset me."
"Ok, so it was important to you, and he upset you when he said that. So, how did the kiss happen in the first place? Why was it so important to you?"
Cindy takes a moment to collect herself, then says, "The kiss happened after the news incident. We were walking home when he just grabbed me and kissed me. We held hands on the way home; that is until we ran into some of our classmates on the way home. He wanted to tell them that we were together and hold my hand, but I refused. We went into another alley and got into an argument over it. Once the argument was over, both of us stormed off. I went home, while he headed to the park, I think. Anyways, since then we have been in countless arguments. I brought up the kiss because I finally wanted to stop the arguments and maybe give us a try, but when he said the kiss didn't happen, it upset me. It broke my heart, and I just had to get out of there."
Sasha nods her head, and notices tears running down Cindy's face. Like Judy did with Jimmy, Sasha pulls Cindy into a hug and lets her cry out her tears. After a few minutes, Cindy calms down.
Sasha lets go of the hug and asks the inevitable question, "Do you love him?"
Cindy looks at her mother with a blank look on her face. After a full minute, which makes Sasha concerned, Cindy finally answers.
"I think so, but I can't be sure."
Sasha looks at Cindy and blinks.
She might love him? Hum, she's confused about her feeling for him. Now what do I tell her?
"Cindy, I think you probably do love him, but maybe you should give yourself some space from him for a while. That should help you sort out your feelings for him. You can hang out with him, if you wish, but try to detach yourself from him for awhile. It will help."
Cindy considers her mother words for a moment, and then says, "I'll try to. It might be hard though. After all, we're going to have guests, and they're going to want to hang with the guests at Neutron's house."
"I understand, just try to distance yourself, meaning no spying at him through your window with Liberty."
Cindy's cheeks blush crimson red as she exclaims, "Mom!"
Sasha smiles and laughs.
"I told you I know you inside and out. Now come on, let's go."
Cindy looks at her mom confused.
Sasha's smile grows as she says, "It's a surprise. Now let's go."
Cindy, already dressed, follows her mom to her car, and once the two of them enter into the vehicle and buckle up, Sasha drives off to the "surprise".