Title: G is for Geek (response to the third
Synopsis: Phillip plots a way to improve the relationship between Jamie and Lee
Disclaimer: The characters
are owned by Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. I just play with
them, for entertainment rather than profit.
Timing: Filler for "One Flew East." The first scene of the story borrows dialogue from a scene from that episode.
Feedback: Please, on list or off! Constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement are even more welcome than praise. Like all my stories, this is a work in progress. Please consider yourself my beta on the fly and send it on!
Archive: smkfanfic, with Teddy Stetson's fictive aunts, and on Julie's SMK: Filling in the Blanks site. Others please ask.
Thanks: To Chris, Julie, Vikki, and Lindsey for fine beta work, to Maria, for making a teenage boy sound like a teenage boy, and to Kim for adding oomph.
"Hey, how about we invite Mr. Stetson to the skate competition Saturday?" Phillip King glanced up from lubing the wheels of his skateboard and looked directly at his younger brother, who stood at the other end of the backyard picnic table.
"He can have my ticket," Jamie retorted, throwing down his own greasy rag in disgust. He stuck out his lower lip and pushed his glasses higher up on his nose.
"He's an all right guy! Would you just loosen up?" Irritated, Phillip leaned forward in his seat at the picnic table. Actually, he thought Lee was a really nice guy, and a surprisingly cool person to be dating their mother. After all, Lee told interesting stories about places all over the world, and he played basketball pretty good for an old guy, and his car . . . Well, Phillip was looking forward to getting his license. If there ever was a chick magnet on wheels, it had to be that silver Corvette. If he played his cards right . . .
"Look, I just don't like the guy." Jamie glared at him. "I'm never going to like the guy, okay?"
Before Phillip could respond, the back door opened and their mother leaned out. "Hey, fellas. Ahh, your dinner's in the oven, and I'll probably be in the editing room all night." She looked from Phillip's angry face to Jamie's downcast one. "What's goin' on out here?"
"Nothin'," Jamie muttered, keeping his eyes focused on the picnic table.
Phillip shook his head in exasperation and gestured toward his brother. "Junior here's just jealous of Lee." He snatched up his skateboard and headed toward the street, calling out over his shoulder, "I'm goin' out front to practice."
Once he skated down the sidewalk a few blocks, the sudden powerful rumbling in his stomach made Phillip reconsider his plan of action. He glanced at his watch. It was a little too early to eat dinner. On the other hand, any time was the right time for a snack, in his opinion. He wouldn't spoil his appetite; that was impossible.
Phillip boarded back to the house, propping his skateboard against the wall when he reached the front door. Maybe a little food would help him figure out how to make Worm Brain act less like a whiny mama's boy.
As he opened the refrigerator door and peered hungrily inside, Phillip pondered the Jamie and Lee problem. Was Lee doing something wrong? Nah, the guy was obviously trying hard to get Jamie to like him, but Jamie just kept blowing him off. Frowning, Phillip poured a glass of soda and swallowed a large gulp of the fizzy liquid.
The strange thing was, Jamie never seemed to mind back when Mom was dating Dean. Dean was nice enough, in a nerdy sort of way. Phillip couldn't imagine Dean driving a racecar or ever going anyplace more exciting than a trout stream in Arkansas. The man even sucked at sports. When a ten-year-old could throw a football better than you could, you were definitely no Terry Bradshaw. Maybe, he thought in a flash of inspired insight, his geeky brother could only relate to equally geeky men!
If that was the case, though, it was hardly fair to expect Mom to date nerdy guys, just because Jamie liked them. Phillip gulped down the rest of his soda and gave a satisfied burp. Clearly Mom preferred cool guys to geeks. After all, Dad was pretty cool. Most lawyers lived someplace dull and did boring stuff so they could make lots of money; Dad worked in Africa so he could help poor people.
And Mom definitely preferred the totally cool Lee Stetson to the geeky Dean McGuire. 'Mom never used to seem very excited when Dean came over, the way she does when Lee comes by,' he thought. 'Dean didn't make Mom laugh, the way Lee does. And when Dean would call, Mom would sigh before coming to the phone. That doesn't happen when Lee calls.'
Opening up the cupboard, Phillip took down the jar of peanut butter and the ancient box of Oaties that no one ever ate. Reaching inside the cereal box, he pulled out his mother's 'secret' stash of marshmallows. Setting the plastic bag on the counter, he unscrewed the lid from the peanut butter jar and dipped a marshmallow. Why had nobody ever invented a candy bar like this? Maybe someday, he would! Phillip King, renowned inventor of 'Peanut Fluffies,' the famous peanut butter and marshmallow treat.
Returning his attention to the more pressing problem of his mother's love life, Phillip wondered if Jamie was upset partly because Mom was away at work a lot. When their mother had been seeing Dean, she was looking for a job, and then she did that plant and pet-sitting thing for a while. Sure, occasionally she'd rush off to take care of somebody's sick python or Venus flytrap, but she was home most of the time, until the film company hired her. Maybe Jamie blamed Lee for Mom having to work evenings and weekends, because Lee was her boss. But she'd still be working a lot if she weren't dating Lee.
Phillip popped another peanut butter and marshmallow delight into his mouth and washed it down with a swig of soda directly from the two liter bottle. His snack was helping him think clearly; maybe 'Peanut Fluffies' were a special kind of brain food, like fish. With striking clarity Phillip realized that Jamie wasn't simply bothered by Lee's lack of geekiness. Now that Mom was working full-time, Jamie would probably resent anybody who monopolized her time on dates. His brother was just plain jealous! The little dweeb seemed to expect his mother and grandmother to hang around the house and ask him his spelling words for the rest of their lives. Jeez, get a life!
Jamie just didn't understand that couples need time to themselves. After all, Phillip sometimes asked Linda Gregerson over for a 'study date,' but he also invited her to the movies, away from the prying eyes of his family. No, Jamie just didn't understand about girlfriends . . .
"That's it!" Phillip triumphantly snapped his fingers. 'If Jamie had his own girlfriend, maybe he'd understand, and be less jealous of Lee.' At the sound of his grandmother's footsteps coming down the stairs, Phillip hastily stuffed the marshmallows into the cereal box, slipped the Oaties container back into the cupboard, spun around, and plastered an innocent look on his face.
Dotty stopped abruptly and looked at him suspiciously. "We have milk, Phillip," she said. "Why don't you put that peanut butter on a slice of bread? In fact," she reached into the refrigerator and pulled out an apple, "if you're hungry, why don't you have a nice piece of fruit?" Tossing him the apple, she continued to mutter, as she headed toward the back door. "I'm going to work on that flowerbed under the window. I might even have some tulip blooms this year. It looks like the Fergusons are finally getting their rascal of a dog trained. I wonder if they sent it to obedience school?"
Sighing, Phillip gazed at the apple and seated himself on a kitchen stool. Now, he had a new problem to work out. What girl would be even remotely interested in Zorba the Geek? Only a fellow geek could love his four-eyed, metal-mouthed baby brother. But where was he gonna find somebody who marveled at electricity and found science fairs exciting? He needed someone like . . . "Amy Truesdale!" he exclaimed. She'd won some prize in the science fair last year, and she was on the middle school's Math Olympiad team. Phillip shuddered at the thought of doing math problems for fun. That's just the kind
of dumb thing that Jamie would find attractive in a girl.
Biting thoughtfully into his apple, Phillip recalled shy glances he'd seen Jamie and Amy exchange on the school bus. Like Jamie, Amy was a complete geek, but Scotty Truesdale's little sister was actually kind of cute, if you looked past those goofy glasses she wore. Jamie never mentioned Amy, but you couldn't get much past Phillip King. He'd never really thought about the possibility of his brother liking a girl, but now he realized that Jamie probably had a crush on Amy. 'I should become a spy, the way I pick up on things.' "That's King. Phillip King," he intoned in a fake British accent, wincing
when his voice cracked.
Unfortunately, Amy matched Jamie in shyness as well as geekiness. They'd never get together unless somebody forced one of them to make a move. "I'm just the man for the job," Phillip crowed. "Scotty's a good friend, and he'll help. If I tell Jamie that Amy likes him, and Scotty tells Amy that Jamie likes her, maybe one of the two geeks will find the nerve to make a move." Amy might invite Jamie over for a study date. If they chose to waste that time together actually studying, well, at least Jamie would be thinking about something other than Mom and Lee. They could even sign up to do a joint project for this year's science fair – nerd heaven! Phillip snorted. Sometimes he cracked himself up.
And, he reasoned with growing self-satisfaction, if reinforcements were needed, Grandma was part of the same bridge club as Scotty and Amy's grandmother. If Dotty West could pick up a man at the grocery store, then surely she could play matchmaker to her own grandson. With Grandma on the job with him, this was going to be a breeze. "I love it when a plan comes together," Phillip said gruffly, in a near-perfect imitation of Hannibal from the A-Team.
Whistling, Phillip hopped down from the kitchen stool and tossed his apple core in the direction of the kitchen garbage can. When it bounced off the wall and entered the trash bag with a resounding thud, he victoriously pumped his fist. "Two points!" He nodded in smug satisfaction. Yes, with agents Phillip King and Dotty West on the case, Jamie was going to have his own love life and lighten up on Lee. Thank goodness some members of this family had logical minds and good spy skills. Otherwise, Lee could eventually end up out in the cold.