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Five by Five

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Isabella walked into the coffee shop, nervously glancing around. Suddenly, across the way, she spotted Phineas. He was sitting by a sunny window, sipping from a coffee cup he held with both hands. The sunshine from outside fell across his face, turning his hair an even brighter shade of red than usual. He wore an orange buttoned up collared t-shirt, a pair of blue jeans and the usual sneakers.

Her breath caught in her throat as he turned, his eyes locking on hers. He stood up and waved, wearing his usual easy going smile. For the first time in a long time, she felt the familiar butterflies in her stomach as she slowly walked towards him.

"Hi." The words were almost a whisper as he stepped around the table to the opposite chair, pulling it out. "Can I help you in?"

"Sure can." Why was she so nervous? This was Phineas; she'd known him her whole life. She sat down in the offered chair, stifling a gasp as his hand accidentally brushed her shoulder while pushing the chair in.

"I already got a coffee for myself." He looked embarrased. "I...would have gotten one for you, but...I couldn't remember what kind you liked." He dipped his head, a light blush on his cheeks.

"It's okay. I can order one." She went to stand up, only for Phineas head to snap up. He motioned her to sit back down.

"If you wanna tell me what you want, I can order it for you. My treat." The smile returned. "I did ask you out after all."

She felt her face heat up. "Sure. That'd be great."


 

"You kept all of our Summer Still Rocks CDs?" Phineas leaned back in his chair, draping an arm over the back. He laughed. "Are any of those still in production?"

Isabella took a sip of her coffee, smiling at him over the rim before responding. "Well, in this day and age, you can pretty much find anything online."

He laughed. "Do you remember the night we first got together?"

"Of course!" The smile momentarily widened, only to be replaced by a frown. "You were really drunk that night..."

"But I meant every word." Phineas frowned at the lack of response. "Did you ever tell Abigail about us?"

"No. I only told her that one night because I had to..." she trailed off, breaking eye contact with him, looking out the window. How long had she been here? The sun seemed lower than even a few minutes ago. One hour? Two hours?

"Isabella, what's wrong?" He leaned forward, setting his coffee cup on the table before tentatively breaching the distance between them, taking her hand in his. She started at the touch, but took his hand, turning back toward him. "Isabella, it's me. I know it's been fifteen years since we've last seen each other, but...you can talk to me. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere."

"I know." She squeezed his hand. "At Danville Stadium, you asked me why I never told you you had a daughter." She took a deep breath. "It's time you knew why."


 

Abigail wandered around the house, restlessly going from window to window. Five pm. Her Mom had been gone five hours. A small knot of worry was starting to grow in her stomach. What if Mom had been kidnapped again?

No no. She pushed the thought away, walking over to the kitchen window, peering into the side yard. "They probably got caught up talking. Besides, she's with Dad."

She left the kitchen window and wandered upstairs to her bedroom. She sat down on the bed and grabbed her phone, restlessly scrolling through a social media feed. She looked up...and across the way, saw the guitar Phineas had given her. She set the phone on the night table and got up, grabbing the instrument before sitting back down on the bed.

She made an attempt at tuning it, cringing at the harsh sound. She tried again and strummed, smiling. She flicked through her phone for a chord website and started playing. "And we walked down the block, to my car and I almost brought him up. But you stop to talk about the movies that your family watches every single Christmas and I would talk about that and for the first time--"

The fifteen year old started at the sound of a car door opening. She cautiously got off the bed, looking out the window. Standing in the driveway below were her parents. She quickly reached into the night table beside her bed, grabbing a device from it. She flicked a switch on the device and held it against the window, listening to the conversation below.

"Thank you for coffee Phineas. It was great seeing you."

"You too."

Her Mom stood there, looking awkward. "I'm sorry. For everything."

"It's okay." Phineas reached out, pulling her into a hug. "You thought you were doing the right thing. We all make mistakes. You were just trying to protect me." He pulled back, brushing a strand of hair from her face. "Just like I always try to protect you."

Isabella laughed. "I guess we've always been there for each other."

"Yes. Yes we have."

She laughed harder. "I can't believe you still say that."

"I can't believe you still say 'whatcha dooin.'"

"Well, it is my trademark." He threw his head back and laughed. "So, same time next week?" she teased.

"I don't know where I'll be next week-I have to check the tour schedule with Stacy-but I will definitely be here. Even if I have to build a jet engine and fly myself here."

"Which I know you're definitely capable of doing." Isabella gave him a warm smile, leaning forward and kissing him. She went to pull away, only for the red head to gently draw her back in, the two kissing in the middle of the driveway.

Abigail stifled an excited squeal, watching as her parents eventually pulled away, leaning their foreheads against each other.

"Do you really have to go?" Isabella whispered.

"Would you like me to stay a little longer?"

"Yes."

Abigail hastily turned the device off, throwing it into the drawer before jumping on her bed and grabbing the guitar. She beamed as she sung the last line. "...for the first time, what's past--"

"Abigail! We're home!"

"...is past." She grinned, placing the guitar on the floor before jumping off the bed, running downstairs. Her eyes lit up when she saw the red head. "Dad!"

"Hey Abby." Phineas grunted as Abigail flew down the stairs, enveloping him in a tight hug.

"It's so good to see you!"

"You too." He returned the hug, smiling.

"So, are you two back together now?"

Phineas and Isabella exchanged looks.

"Sort of," Isabella answered. "It's been awhile, so we're taking things slow. We need to get reaquainted." She smiled shyly, taking the red head's hand in hers. "But it's a start."

"You know, it could be more of a start." Isabella raised a brow at the lead vocalist's statement, gasping as he got down on one knee.

"Ph-Phineas? Wha-what are you doing?"

"Proposing."

"OH MY GOSH!" Abigail squealed. "Mom! Say yes!"

"No."

Phineas frowned. "But, Isabella, I love you and you love me. What more do you need?"

"Phineas." She got down on her knees in front of him, grasping both his hands. "I love you. So. Much. But it's to soon. It's only been eight months since I was kidnapped and fifteen years on top of that. And when I first saw you, we had to disable the Space Laser Inator. Not much of a way to get reaquainted."

"But you were there with me! You fought alongside me! We're meant to be Isabella! We always have been!"

"I know we are. I feel the same way. But I need time. If you really love me, you'll wait. Please Phineas. Go on dates with me. Let's rediscover each other. Just the two of us. No drinks, no stage lights. Just. Us. Like when we were kids."

He stared at her, brushing a strand of hair from her face. "Okay. If it means that much to you, I'll wait."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome." The two rose to their feet together and he smirked. "But you know I'm going to keep proposing until you say yes."

"I wouldn't expect anything less." The two shared a kiss, pulling away still holding hands, before reluctantly letting go. "Good-bye Isabella. I'll check the tour schedule with Stacy and let you know when I'll be back next month."

"Good-bye Phineas."

The lead vocalist leaned down, whispering to Abigail. "You're gonna help me win your Mom over, right?" He winked at her.

She grinned, returning the wink. "Oh, I can come up with some ideas."

"Good. I'm counting on it." He gave her a final hug before straightening up and turning to Isabella. "See you next month."

Isabella smirked. "Eh. I've waited this long." He laughed out loud, waving as he walked out the door. Isabella turned to her daughter, shooting her a pointed look. "What are you two planning?"

"Nothing."