Everyone in Danville agreed that the fireworks display was the best they'd ever seen. The grand finale depicted the famous painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, lingering in the sky for a full eight seconds before fading to smoke. The citizens of Danville applauded and blinked away the afterimages. As they collected their folding chairs and blankets, they chattered amicably about going home to eat some watermelon.
Vanessa ran over what blankets were left, across the open field toward the pyrotechnicians.
"Hey Ferb…and…other kid," she said a little awkwardly, "I'm sorry my uncle stole the credit for your fireworks."
"Oh, that's okay." Phineas spoke for both of them, as usual. "We don't care if we get any credit. We do everything just for the fun of it."
Ferb nodded, his gaze fixed on Vanessa.
"You're good sports. Too good. You deserve some recognition."
"Recognition?" said Candace from the sidelines. "Hmm, I haven't tried that angle yet."
Everyone ignored her.
"Don't fret, Vanessa," said Ferb. "It's enough to know that you appreciated our fireworks."
Vanessa smiled. Ferb was so sweet, and he looked so adorable gazing seriously up at her. On impulse, she drew closer to him and kissed his cheek. It was too dark to see Ferb's blush.
"I did appreciate them. They were amazing!" Then, feeling a little awkward again, she said, "I better go now. Happy Fourth of July!"
"Did you have to kiss him?" asked Monty as she met him in the middle of the field.
"It was a sisterly kiss. What, are you threatened by a ten year-old?" answered Vanessa, torn between amusement and exasperation.
"No. But for the record, he's twelve."
She shot him a suspicious look. "How do you know?"
"He looks twelve. I'm good at judging people's ages," he lied smoothly.
"Way to go Ferb!" said Phineas, punching Ferb on the shoulder. "I always knew you'd be the first to get a girl to kiss you."
"Actually, this isn't even the first time."