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Love Was Once A Crazy Dream

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"Behold!" Doctor Heinz Doofenshmirtz announced, gesturing at the large complicated device behind him. It beeped ominously. "The Kiss-inator! With this, I can finally steal a kiss from my one and only nemesis... you!"

The nemesis in question, one Agent P aka Perry the Platypus, struggled against the ropes he was bound in. It wasn't that he didn't want to kiss Heinz; rather, he knew it would only lead to Evil and as a firm Good Guy he couldn't let that happen. Even though he had in fact encouraged Evil out of his nemesis on at least three occasions prior. But, you know, those don't count or whatever.

But alas, the ropes held firm. Perry was stuck.

Well, he would be stuck if Heinz had bothered to tie the ropes properly. Which he hadn't. So, rather than actually being stuck, he was in fact pretending to be stuck, thus rendering his struggle entirely performative.

Heinz, despite his own predilection towards performance, was utterly convinced. And, as he started up the Kiss-inator, he couldn't help but giggle with glee, because that's totally a thing evil scientists do. No, really, it's in the official L.O.V.E.M.U.F.F.I.N. handbook, page 134.

The inator beeped again and Perry changed his mind about letting himself be inator'd, shucking off the ropes in one swift motion and delivering a flying kick to Heinz's gut. The man stumbled back, elbow hitting a lever on the inator, just as the beam hit Perry anyway. It was like Heinz had deliberately aimed it at himself in the knowledge that Perry would thwart him, which is to say that's exactly what happened.

Moments later, a freshly-inator'd Perry the Platypus tackled Heinz to the floor again, bill crashing against the man's mouth in what could barely be considered a kiss. (For one thing, only one of them had lips.)

The next attempt was far closer, of course, as they both adjusted to the reality of sloppy interspecies makeouts being above all awkward with the lack of compatible, er, parts. Not that they minded. After all, that was half the fun.

Heinz, eventually, was left breathless on the floor, clothes rumpled as if he'd been doing far more than just kissing. Which he may or may not have been. Meanwhile, Perry inspected the inator, looking just as put-together as he always did on the job despite his activities mere moments earlier.

The self-destruct button gleamed in the late morning light, red and shiny and residing at the perfect height for Perry to press. Perry traced a small teal finger around the edge of it, feeling how smooth and easily-pressed it was.

And yet the button remained unpressed.

Instead, Perry turned his gaze upward, at the controls. The inator had been built to perform a multitude of functions, although in true Heinz Doofenshmirtz style the only one intended for use was the one with the least possible consequences. And yet...

Perry spun on one webbed foot, marching back over to his dazed nemesis. This was a surprise to the both of them, as Perry had never refused the opportunity to destroy the inator and complete the thwarting before. For a certain definition of "never" that conveniently ignored the few exceptions in the past.

Pulling Heinz up into a seated position was the work of moments, for a platypus of Perry's strength. As he did, Heinz's mind came back online, albeit sluggishly.

"Perry the Platypus?" The man sounded groggy still, in a way that could almost be described as fuck-drunk. (Perry the Platypus, as it turned out, was very good at kissing.) "What are you doing? Why aren't you thwarting me?"

Perry's expression said it all.

Heinz's jaw dropped. "What- Evil? You? But... but you're a Good Guy!"

This was met with a shrug. What was Good or Evil anyway, but a way of trying to make sense of the world? Putting arbitrary labels on actions according to some meaningless standard. Humans (and anthropomorphic animals) were so much more than that, so much more nuanced and varied and impossible to fit into tiny little boxes.

Doing it anyway, well, that was selling people short. Heinz wasn't Evil, no matter how much he'd been told otherwise, no matter how much he tried to be, because no one was truly Evil. And Perry... the definition of "Good Guy" was so restrictive, and what was the harm in stepping out of it for once?

But for all intents and purposes, yes, Perry the Platypus was now Evil.

"This is so great, Perry the Platypus!" Heinz said, grinning broadly. "What do you want to do first? Get revenge on slow drivers? People who leave gum under the seat? Ooh, we could prank Roger! Did you know he hates mushrooms?"

Alas, none of these would satisfy Perry's new-found descent into Evil ways.

He pointed at the list of options on the side of the inator with a teal paw, where there were labels such as Bouncy Ball, Existentialism, and Palindrome.

The one Perry's small finger pointed to, which Heinz knows he's pointing to because he knows Perry, is carefully labelled Day Off.

They conquered the Tri-State Area by noon.

Not long later, they watched over their dominion from the balcony at Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated, holding hands- or rather, with Perry's paw wrapped around Heinz's finger. Close enough.

"You know, giving everyone a day off worked really well," Heinz said, sounding surprised. As a man who was basically self-employed, his schedule was flexible enough to allow time off whenever he wanted.

Perry nodded in response, not surprised at all. A job as an agent of the O.W.C.A. required long hours with no breaks and being on call even on days off. He would kill for a proper day off and that was only mostly hyperbole.

Or, apparently, turn to Evil. But what was Evil really, but valuing himself? Refusing to let anyone else rule his life, making decisions for his own benefit instead of some nebulous Greater Good... OWCA couldn't touch him, not here, not now. And yet, Perry's watch buzzed against his wrist-

And he woke up, on Phineas's bed, watch still buzzing. Looked like he wasn't getting a day off today.

A shame. He would have liked to see where that dream went.

But his job came first. He slipped out of the room, pressing his official O.W.C.A. fedora to his head as he went, and disappeared down into one of the many secret tunnels built into the walls. Come lunchtime he would be fighting his nemesis in the eternal battle of Good vs Evil, or maybe taking a break for tea again. He was looking forward to finding out which.

By the time he stepped into the trap (deliberately, of course, because where was the fun in avoiding it?), he'd completely forgotten his dream.

That is, until Heinz declared his scheme to be "a Kiss-inator!", bringing the whole thing flooding back.