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104 Words for 104 Days

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Carl sprinted to Monogram’s office, a stack of flyers in hand. With so many agents preferring to beat up mad scientists for their pay, OWCA was running low on office workers. It had taken 72 hours of sweat, tears, coffee, and screaming at his editing software, but he’d finally managed to design a recruitment poster that would hopefully attract possible candidates.

And since he did a good job on it, that meant he was one step closer to promotion! And once he got promoted to paid intern, he could reform OWCA, move up on the corporate ladder, fill the top positions with squirrels, and get Monogram to adopt him and disown Monty as his son!

“Sir! I did it!” Carl screeched, throwing the door open to Monogram’s office. “Recruitment rates will go through the roof now!”

“IT WAS FREDDY GOLDBERG’S IDEA!” Monogram screamed, jerking awake and almost spilling his coffee in the process. His eyes flicked to Carl, and he heaved a sigh. “I, uh, I’m not myself this morning. Apparently we ran out of specialty coffee beans and they expect me to put up with decaf. They expect a man of my position to drink decaf? I didn’t go through years of…the Academy-“ he paused, allowing dramatic music of no discernible source to play, “-deal with several repressed daddy issues, and work my way to major just to be told I have to put up with decaf! Carl, didn’t you buy more coffee beans before this crisis started?”

“Nope!” Carl exclaimed, shoving the stack of flyers at his boss. “I was working on recruitment posters! I like to think they’re pretty good!”

Monogram gingerly lifted the top paper off the stack, then edged his chair away from Carl. “Have you slept at all?” he asked suspiciously. “You seem a little…cuckoo.”

Just outside his office, Agent Chloe the Cuckoo squawked indignantly.

“Only when I crashed, sir!” Carl grinned. Not even Monogram’s sharp tongue could faze him now! “But then I picked myself up and created these babies! No animal will be able to resist the subliminal messaging!”

“You know using propaganda is counterproductive to our status as good guys, right?” Monogram asked.

“Don’t care! I’m gonna make more! And then I’ll hang them up for all the city to see! And then you’ll adopt me as your son and I’ll have a bunch of trusted squirrel advisors! Who’ll be paid generously in nuts! Ahahahhahaha!” Carl giggled maniacally as he skipped away.

Slightly fearing for his life, Monogram activated the intercom. “Attention, agents. Unpaid intern has lost his marbles. Please use safety protocol 12 when handling him. I repeat, unpaid intern has lost his marbles. And on a more important note, the first agent to grab me a coffee that isn’t decaf gets two weeks of vacation.”

There was an instant stampede of fur, feathers, and scales.  

Monogram took a closer look at the recruitment flyer, then grimaced and dumped it in the shredding bin.

He wouldn’t have OK’d those flyers even if Carl hadn’t been suffering from lack of sleep. He didn’t know much about advertising, but he was pretty sure the acronym “TAXIDERMY” would drive anyone away.

Chapter Text

Since S’Fall and S’Winter were huge hits with their friends, Phineas and Ferb had created an enormous Easter egg filled with the joys of spring for the day’s project. It took a grueling thirty second montage, but soon they were ready to have fun.

“I think sprummer has a nice ring to it,” Phineas declared.  

Buford crossed his arms. “Nah, Suspring sounds way better. Sprummer sounds like you’re completely bummed out.”

“This is a tough one,” Baljeet admitted. “I would prefer following the naming patterns of S’Fall and S’Winter, but since spring and summer start with the same letter, S’Spring wouldn’t flow off the tongue too well.”

“What about Sumring?” Isabella suggested.

Baljeet snapped his fingers. “I’ve got it! S’Vernal! We’ll just name it the other word for spring!”

“Too nerdy,” Buford muttered.

“What do you think, Ferb?” Phineas asked, ignoring Baljeet’s passionate argument on the appropriate use of apostrophes in the name of the project.

Ferb blinked. “The cherry blossom room is nice.”

“You made a room full of cherry blossoms,” Isabella murmured dreamily, her eyes staring at something nobody else could see.

“And we lost her,” Buford sighed as he tucked Isabella under one arm and headed for the elevator that would take them to the top of the egg.

“Yeah, we can go to the festival together!” Isabella exclaimed.

“Time to eat our body weight in chocolate and marshmallows,” Phineas grinned, running after Buford and Isabella, leaving Ferb and Baljeet behind.

“You guys mind walking faster than a snail?” Buford shouted. “Isabella’s trying to run away on a centaur again!”  

Chapter Text

Candace Flynn dedicated her life to order and justice. She protected her brothers from the nefarious schemes of the Doofenshmirtz family. She led a group of rebels, knew seventy-five ways to disarm Normbots, and served as a beacon of hope in the chaos of dystopian Danville.

And now here she was, willingly breaking several laws of physics in order to satisfy her own selfish whims.

Since it took an enormous amount of power to travel counterclockwise between dimensions, Isabella and the Firestorm Girls could only perform three reconnaissance missions into the Prime Dimension, but the information they brought back was invaluable.

“We’ve scoped out prime counterpart Candace Gertrude Flynn. She’s in the sophomore class at Danville High School,” Isabella reported. “Associates include prime counterparts Stacy Hirano, Jenny Brown, and Jeremy Johnson.

“Don’t use my middle name under any capacity, Isabella,” Candace commanded as she tugged on a denim jacket.

It felt restricting, but it was necessary. Her normal outfit would be considered a violation of the dress code, and she needed to blend in while talking to the other Candace.

“Of course, Commander,” Isabella replied coolly. “Recon suggests catching Prime Candace between 1:30 and 2:00 pm. She typically excuses herself from class in Room 217 and goes to the large window at the end of the second floor corridor to watch the nearby elementary school for her brothers’ activity. Her associates don’t accompany her on these outings.”

“Good,” Candace said. She glanced in a nearby mirror, making sure the black dye completely covered any sign of her natural hair color. Dyeing hair was something she couldn’t do under Doofenshmirtz’s reign. She’d been meaning to experiment with different colors in her minimal spare time.

“Be careful,” Isabella cautioned.

“I won’t compromise anything except the power grid,” Candace replied.

Five minutes later, Baljeet finished the usual safety checks and opened the portal, which opened in the middle of an empty girl’s bathroom.

Buford and Baljeet let out high-pitched shrieks and dove under the desk.

Candace rolled her eyes. Those two were the perfect brains and brawn team, and Candace had witnessed them tear apart a Normbots factory with nothing but a paperclip and a yardstick, but they couldn’t handle the sight of a girl’s bathroom.

“Isabella and Gretchen. Since those two are…temporarily indisposed…can I trust you to man the controls in the meantime?” Candace asked as she stepped through the portal.

Isabella and Gretchen nodded, the portal fizzling out just as the door opened. Candace immediately dropped into a crouch, regretting that she’d left her bo staff behind.

The newcomer wore a bright blue blouse with a matching skirt, so unlike the dull gray and black outfits of Candace’s home dimension. Candace’s finely-tuned senses screamed at the unnaturalness of this world.

Thanks to the recon team, Candace already knew the girl was another version of Stacy Hirano. Horror slowly dawned Stacy’s face, and she let out a shriek. “Do you have any idea how dirty those floors are? Have you never been inside a high school restroom before?”

Candace never felt the need to step foot inside the rebuilt high school, but she didn’t entertain that with a reply. She stood up, quickly rinsing her hands in a nearby sink.

“Trust me, you don’t want germs all over your denim jacket. It’s cute in a 90s-early 2000s teen way,” Stacy explained as she stopped in front of a restroom stall. Instead of going in, she took out a sharpened pencil and examined the stall door. “Ugh, Mandy’s dating Carlos again. This is the third time they’ve gotten back together this month! When’s that girl gonna learn?”

She scrawled a message under a large pink heart with C + J in the middle of it.

Candace felt her cheeks heat up. Her counterpart had no subtlety whatsoever.

“You know, I don’t think I’ve seen you around before,” Stacy commented, finishing her message. “What’s your name?”

“Don’t you have class or somewhere to be?” Candace deflected.

Stacy shrugged. “Free period.”

“Fine. It’s…Gertrude,” Candace cursed inwardly, wondering why that was the first thing that popped in her head. A whole sea of false names she could’ve given, and it had to be her embarrassing middle name!

“Gertrude?” Stacy gave her an appraising look. “Funny. The only person I’ve known with that name is Candace.”

Candace grimaced when Stacy circled her, inspecting her disguise more closely. Maybe she’d banked on Stacy’s ditziness a little too much.

“Wait a sec, I know that neck!” Stacy gasped. “Candace, seriously! You really think I wouldn’t recognize my BFF? Though I don’t know if that hair dye is working out for you. I always thought you’d be better off with brown highlights.”

“It’s a disguise,” Candace said, in the most no-nonsense tone she could muster. “I’m from a different dimension. I didn’t get to do whatever normal teenagers do because I was too busy with the Resistance.”

Stacy blinked. “Resistance? Like against a dictator?”

Candace kept her mouth shut, deciding she’d better not give more information that wasn’t pertinent to her mission.

“So you’re like the YA version of Candace?”

Candace gave her a blank look.

Stacy shrugged. “You know, YA? Young adult genre where a clumsy teenage girl leads a ragtag group of misfits against a dystopian government and angsts about a love triangle with her childhood bestie and a mysterious bad boy she doesn’t know very well?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Candace said. “All books except badly written autobiographies about the dictator were banned.”

Stacy grimaced. “Sheesh. That stinks. Not even a fashion magazine?”

Candace shrugged. “No, but that’s life. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go ask my counterpart about her Jeremy Johnson.”

“Probably not the best idea,” Stacy said. “If my Candace figured out you were another version of her, she’d blame her brothers and drag you off to her mom. Then you’ll disappear or get transported elsewhere. You don’t want that.”

“Her mom makes people disappear?” Candace asked, wondering how her recon team could’ve possibly missed that detail.

Stacy shrugged. “Not her mom, really. More like random green laser beams from the sky. They always happen when Candace tries to bust her brothers. But hey, I’d be more than happy to share what I know. Candace and I were best friends since elementary school. I promise I won’t tell her about you.”

The Stacy Hirano of Candace’s dimension usually coordinated supplies between Resistance bases. She didn’t lead from the front like Candace. They cooperated when necessary, but they weren’t nearly as close as these versions of Candace and Stacy.

“You will answer all questions to the best of your ability,” Candace said.

“You don’t need to treat this like an interrogation. Relax a little,” Stacy sighed. “Oh, who am I kidding? You wouldn’t be Candace Flynn if you were relaxed.”

“Alright, Hirano. First question. Why is your Jeremy attracted to Candace?”

Stacy scuffed the tile with her shoe, as if she hadn’t been expecting the question. Well, she should’ve known what she was getting into. “Starting with the loaded topic, huh? Sorry, I was expecting you to ask me about how they met or what they like or something simple like that.”

“I’m not moving to the next question until you answer.”

“Fine. I guess Jeremy likes her determination. Candace hasn’t succeeded in busting her brothers yet, but she’s always willing to try another method. She doesn’t let anything stop her either.”

Determination. Like how she’d been determined to overthrow Doofenshmirtz to create a world where her brothers could grow up peacefully and not have to give up their childhood whims.

“And he doesn’t mind her busting her brothers?”

The Doofenshmirtz family was still out there somewhere. What if they attacked while she was with Jeremy and neglecting her duties? Would Jeremy mind if she rushed off to thwart them?

“She’s always leaving in the middle of dates for busting purposes,” Stacy shrugged. “Jeremy’s pretty chill about it, as far as I know. He knows how much Phineas and Ferb mean to her. They even helped him cheat at a dance competition so he could impress her. Personally I found it a little freaky, but I guess love is a little blind to that sort of thing.”

Candace wasn’t sure about introducing Jeremy to Phineas and Ferb though. It was a big risk if Jeremy ever got captured. But at the same time, she could potentially entrust her brothers to someone else in an emergency. Isabella was a good lieutenant, but Jeremy had years of experience on her.

“Candace crushed on Jeremy since seventh grade. It took a lot of time and courage for her to take the next step,” Stacy said. “With a lot of pushing from me.”

“So you think I just need to have some courage and talk to him?” Candace asked. “Then what was the point of diverting the city’s power to open a portal and spy on you people to catch my counterpart at a good time?”

Suddenly her plan seemed ridiculous in hindsight. And she thought she was pretty good at planning missions.

To her credit, Stacy didn’t seem fazed about Candace spying on her. “I’ve read enough YA novels to know overthrowing dictators is easy for teenage girls. Boys are a different story. And it figures you wouldn’t do the simple thing and make a ridiculously complicated plan instead.”

“You got me there,” Candace admitted.

“So how’s the fashion in your dimension?” Stacy asked, switching topics so abruptly that Candace was caught off guard.

But only for a moment. It probably wouldn’t hurt to have a little fun. Candace began describing Dooferalls, much to Stacy’s growing horror.

Stacy was so revolted she ducked into a bathroom stall and begged Candace not to say anymore. Candace couldn’t help but laugh, even as the portal to her dimension reopened.

Realizing Isabella and the Firestorm Girls were staring, Candace quickly schooled her expression into her usual look of indifference. “Thank you for your help,” Candace said over her shoulder. “I have to go now. Remember to keep this a secret.”

“YOU BURDENED ME WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF DOOFERALLS!” Stacy screeched back.

The portal closed.

“Baljeet, dismantle the portal tech,” Candace ordered. “Our recon missions into that dimension are finished.”

“Did you find the other Candace?” Isabella asked.

“Not exactly. I talked to Stacy Hirano though. She gave some good advice,” Candace admitted. “Isabella, can I leave you to run a patrol around downtown tomorrow? I want to meet with Jeremy at the park.”

“You can count on me!” Isabella exclaimed.

“Excellent,” Candace said. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a phone call to make.”

She dialed Jeremy’s number, feeling more confidence in leading a normal life than ever before.

Chapter Text

Lacey’s mom crocheted birds and sold them on the Internet. Nate’s dad collected foreign and rare coins. Paula’s aunt was a triviamaster in romance literature.

Those were all normal hobbies. Ones that didn’t end in setting things on fire, going to prison, and stealing random things around the city because they were attached to a bad memory.

But Vanessa’s dad was the only one who embraced evil as a hobby.

In her childhood, he blew things up in the basement and tried to improve household appliances to varying results. That could be considered a hobby.

After he divorced and moved to the penthouse, it soon grew into a lifestyle. On alternating weekends, Vanessa often found herself next to a giant machine he called an “inator” and encouraged to inconvenience the lives of unsuspecting civilians.

When she wasn’t visiting her dad, she focused on her social life. She took to punk culture like a fish to water, dressing in black, listening to heavy metal, decorating her bedrooms in elegant blacks and purples.

Since everyone else had complaints about their own parents, tales of her dad not understanding social norms and accidentally publicly humiliating her in a poorly thought-out attempt to show his love barely fazed them. She wanted to maintain her new reputation, and thankfully she didn’t have to deal with pitiful looks within the group.

“Wait? That’s her father? Pretty girl like her should be Roger’s.”

“Wow. I would be mortified if he were my dad.”  

But family reunions on her dad’s side were the worst. Though most people were pleasant enough to her, they ignored and belittled her dad to the point that it was just a game to them.

Her dad stared down at the paper plate he held, his slouch much worse than normal.

They knew he could hear them, but they didn’t care.

Deciding she’d had enough, Vanessa wrinkled her nose at the display of Drusselsteinian cuisine. Luckily for them, the spread was already disgusting and nobody would blame her for leaving the reunion in favor of finding something more appetizing.

“Dad, I want some real food,” Vanessa said. “Let’s just go to a café.”

Her dad may be denser than a brick, but even he recognized an opportunity to get away. For the first time today, his smile was genuine and not strained. He chatted her ear off as they left everyone in the dust, thinking up future inators or improving on old ones.

Heinz Doofenshmirtz was still her dad, unconventional hobbies and all.

Chapter Text

Though Buford could appreciate the organized chaos of an adolescent mind, Baljeet’s subconscious was a little too…overlord-y for his liking. Compared to the giant robotic Baljeet looming above them on an enormous control panel, Candace’s Id seemed like a friendly neighbor you started chatting with while grabbing the mail.

A projectile fired, barely missing Buford and slicing a giant eight in half.

Of course Baljeet’s subconscious was one giant calculator. Buford’s street cred would dwindle away to nothing if word got out. He wondered how he could go about creating an official non-disclosure agreement to get the others to keep their mouths shut.

And it couldn’t be a simple calculator either. There just had to be graphs.

Buford missed the varied landscapes of Candace’s subconscious. Here, everything was just gray and mechanical and boring. How was he supposed to lead a guided tour through this place if there was nothing interesting to talk about?

“And to your left, you’ll see gray. Fun fact: the mind of a nerd is boring and watching paint dry is more entertaining than this. Please buy Lord Baljeet’s latest book, How to Remove Earth’s Atmosphere and Other Fun Science Projects for the Intellectual Mind, in the gift shop at the end of this tour. Make sure to take recyclable paper bags unless you want Lord Baljeet to set you one hundred unsolvable quadratic equations as punishment!”

A nearby calculator key slid open, revealing a small hollow in the mechanical ground. Phineas’ head poked out of the hole, and he waved Buford over.

“CALCULATING OPTIMAL VELOCITY AND SPEED OF PARABOLARANGS.”

Buford had no idea what a parabolarang was, but he knew Phineas and Ferb could come up with a working plan to deal with the robotic Baljeet. He slid into the hollow just as the sound of something charging up grew louder.

“Now, Isabella!” Phineas shouted.

Isabella pulled on her Fireside Girl sash, releasing a lever on a wall and plunging them into a slight darkness as the calculator key closed above them. The only light came from tiny bulbs in the wall, casting the hollow in an eerie green glow.

“So does anyone know what we’re dealing with?” Buford demanded.

Isabella shrugged. “He’s acting like he’s got that brain stimulator on his head.”

“I don’t think we can approach this like Candace’s Id,” Phineas admitted. “The robotic Baljeet is too calculated. He’s using logic to determine his best way of attack.”

Buford scowled. “Hasn’t Baljeet’s nerdy Space Adventure films taught him anything? Robots with too much intelligence tend to develop huge egos and claim they’re better than us just because they’re not made out of carbon. The fifth movie is a prime example of that!”

He was pretty sure a cricket chirped somewhere, even though there were no crickets in the room.

“Not that I would know anything about it. It’s not like I’ve been having movie marathons with Baljeet or anything,” Buford coughed.

“Actually, I think you might be onto something,” Phineas said. “If the Id can have a physical form inside the subconscious, then the other parts of the Freudian mind might have one too.”

“It’s likely we’re dealing with Baljeet’s Ego, the polar opposite of the Id,” Ferb added. “Bruising it might be our best option.”

“Good thing we’ve got our friendly neighborhood bruiser right here!” Phineas grinned at Buford.

“Unless you want broken knuckles, you might wanna stick to talking,” Isabella suggested.

“Talk? Come on guys, you know I ain’t good at talking!” Buford protested.

An alarm blared, cutting off whatever inspiring words Phineas was going to say. The bulbs flashed red repeatedly. Everyone covered their ears.

“Is something out there?” Isabella shouted.

“Not sure!” Phineas yelled back. “Anyway, Buford, just use the normal bully language! And don’t worry, everyone knows an A.I’s greatest weakness is talking!”

“Sure you can’t just rig up some motorcycles that leave cool neon trails behind?” Buford asked. “Cause I ain’t sure your plan’s gonna work!”

The alarm blared louder.

“GRAMMAR POLICE! OPEN UP! BUFORD VAN STOMM, YOU ARE BEING CHARGED FOR USING A GRAMMATICALLY INCORRECT CONTRACTION AND ACKNOWLEDGING THE FIFTH SPACE ADVENTURE MOVIE AS CANON!”

“It had a good musical number though,” Phineas said.

“YOU WILL ALL BE CHARGED FOR ACKNOWLEDGING THE FIFTH SPACE ADVENTURE MOVIE IN GENERAL. WE WILL HAND YOU OFF TO THE OVERLORD FOR PUNISHMENT. COME OUT AND DON’T TRY ANYTHING FUNNY.”

The calculator key was hauled up by a green beam of energy, revealing a large ship controlling a tractor beam. Several robots in blue uniforms flooded in.

“WE HAVE THE CRIMINALS,” a robot said into a communication device as it grabbed hold of Buford’s arms. “BEAM US UP, LOTTIE. YES, I’M ALLOWED TO SAY IT. WE ARE PRODUCTS OF A SUBCONSCIOUS AND THEREFORE AREN’T SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT LAWS.”

“I think I liked being attacked by the Ducky Momo club better,” Buford muttered as their surroundings disappeared and were replaced by a jail cell with electrified bars.

Since the guards weren’t leaving, they couldn’t come up with a plan, so the entire ten minute ride was spent in silence. Well, mostly silence. Phineas kept up a steady flow of chatter with the guards, unaware that they were probably ignoring him.

Since Buford had accumulated the most severe yet stupid charges, he walked in front of his friends. Buford felt a bead of sweat trickle down his neck. He hoped the quadratic equation thing was an exaggeration.

“I SENTENCE YOU TO ONE MILLION MULTIPLICATION PROBLEMS,” the Ego declared to a bucktoothed and glasses-wearing robot as they were led into the control room.

The robot nodded.

“TO BE DONE WITHOUT YOUR INTERNAL CALCULATOR.”

The nerdbot had to be dragged out of the room, kicking and screaming all the way.

“OVERLORD, WE HAVE BROUGHT BUFORD VAN STOMM AND HIS PARTNERS IN CRIME. THEY HAVE DARED TO USE INCORRECT GRAMMAR IN YOUR MIND AND MENTIONED THE FORBIDDEN FILM,” the lead guard said.

“This is dumb!” Buford shouted at the guard. “I want a lawyer! A jury of my peers! Someone with an actual degree in law!”

“You’re a triviamaster in Space Adventure, Baljeet,” Phineas added. “You have to know what happens in the fifth Space Adventure movie during the trial scene.” 

Isabella made a show of rolling her eyes. “I don’t know what happens in the fifth movie. I’ve only seen the first two. For all I know, it could’ve gone exactly like this and we’ll all be doomed to one million multiplication problems ‘til our hundredth birthdays.”

“THAT IS NOT TRUE. THEY CLEARED THE LIEUTENANT OF ALL CHARGES AFTER THE CAPTAIN DISCOVERED THE FAKED EVIDENCE,” the Ego intoned.

“You’ve acknowledged the Forbidden Film,” Ferb said. “And broke your own law.”

“WHAT? NO! I HAVE INTELLIGENCE FAR BEYOND YOUR COMPREHENSION! I HAVE THE LARGEST BRAIN IN THE WORLD! MY PROCESSORS HAVE ADVANCED FARTHER THAN ANY COMPUTER MANKIND HAS EVER MADE!”

Sparks flew from between his joints and raced over his bolts. Without orders from their overlord, the Grammar Police were powerless.  

“Buford, go for the brain while he’s having an existential crisis!” Phineas shouted.

“On it!” Buford exclaimed, crackling his knuckles as he charged toward the Ego’s head. He shimmied up the robot’s arm, feeling electricity course through the metal. Not wanting to get caught in the blast if the Ego blew up, Buford quickened his pace, reaching the head after one brief misstep caused him to almost slip off entirely.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a way inside from the top of the head. Everything was covered in reinforced metal. Even Buford couldn’t punch his way through. Then he looked down, realizing the eyes were made of more breakable material than the rest of the body. Hoping he wouldn’t be nursing bloody fists later, Buford punched the eye, and the material tore like paper.

Apparently the Ego hadn’t spent a lot of time reinforcing his eyes.

“Oh, come on!” Buford shouted in frustration. He could only fit one arm through the hollow opening. He felt around the area, hoping to tear out a few wires. Instead, his hand landed on something that felt like cloth.

The metal was growing hotter, and Buford knew he didn’t have much time. So he yanked on the cloth.

And a familiar scream sounded from inside the Ego.

Buford yanked one more time, and the real Baljeet tumbled out. He looked no worse for wear, other than being dazed from Buford pulling on his overalls strap.

“He’s got Baljeet!” Isabella exclaimed. “Let’s get out of here!”

Buford tucked Baljeet under his arm, catching up with everyone else as they sprinted out of the room. The Grammar Police didn’t pursue them, still shocked by their overlord malfunctioning.  

“Irving! Get us out of Baljeet’s subconscious!” Phineas shouted into his phone.

“Roger that, Phineas!” Irving exclaimed. “In ten, nine, eight-“

“SKIP THE COUNTDOWN!” Buford roared into the receiver.

Irving huffed. “Fine. I guess some people have no appreciation for a good countdown.”

A few moments later, Buford’s vision was flooded by blue and green. He ripped off the electrodes attached to his face, throwing them to the ground and stomping them into the dirt for good measure. Phineas, Ferb, Isabella, and Baljeet were already awake, though only Phineas was standing and moving around.

“Learned my lesson,” Baljeet groaned. “I will never spend another all-nighter arguing on Space Adventure forums.”  

Chapter Text

Heinz stomped back and forth across the balcony as he impatiently waited for the right moment to activate the Pimple-inator. Since Heinz had chosen a giant birdcage with a perch for a trap, Perry had the perfect vantage point to keep an eye on the giant tarp being wheeled across the steps of City Hall.

“As if Roger’s ego needed more inflating!” Heinz griped. “Ice sculptures are the most annoying way to show off how important and great and popular certain people are! And it’s not even permanent either! You put in all that effort to carve something and it’ll just melt in a few hours!”

Perry watched the proceeds through his binoculars, occasionally checking on Heinz to make sure he was still distracted by his monologue. Roger was taking his sweet time with his endless trail of voters and admirers, flashing a prize-winning smile at the cameras.

His secretary didn’t seem too impressed though. She seemed to be the only one besides Heinz who found fault with Roger Doofenshmirtz.

“Any moment now, Perry the Platypus!” Heinz crowed as he aimed the Pimple-inator at the giant tarp. “Soon they’ll unveil Roger’s ice sculpture, and once they do, ugly red pimples will tarnish those features everyone finds so perfect! And then I’ll be made ruler of the ENTIRE! TRI! STATE! AREA!”

He cackled evilly, in the loosest interpretation of the word anyway.

Heinz frowned. “Y’know, it never sounds right to say that phrase normally. And then I’ll be made ruler of the entire Tri-State Area. See what I mean? No pizzazz, no evil triumph, it’s just flat. Flatter than…something that’s flat, I guess. I don’t know. I’m too busy seething to come up with a good metaphor right now.”

Roger finally stepped up to the podium, greeting his audience as he launched into yet another campaign speech.

Heinz squinted into the focusing lens, lining up his shot roughly where the head of the ice sculpture was supposed to be. “He’s gonna be disgraced and it’s gonna be glorious!” he exclaimed.

Roger grabbed the tarp and pulled it down, which seemed like a boring way to reveal something by Perry’s standards. At least Heinz knew how to pull off a dramatic flourish!

The ice sculpture was detailed down to the last button on Roger’s suit, but years of living with Phineas and Ferb taught Perry to expect lasers or a Canadian hockey team equipped with special gravity-defying skates at least. He was slightly disappointed to find neither of those things on the ice sculpture.

But hey, he was a secret agent, not an art critic. Perry easily slipped through the bars of the birdcage since it was designed for avians much larger than him, throwing his fedora at Heinz’s hand, which was poised over the fire button.

Heinz recoiled in surprise, and Perry put his fedora on again. He ran his hand along the brim, narrowing his eyes in challenge.

Heinz charged at Perry. But Perry easily sidestepped, sticking his foot out to trip Heinz, who fell flat on his face. “That’s just dirty!” Heinz spat a hair out of his mouth. “When was the last time this balcony was cleaned? I’m getting dirt smudges on my eighth favorite lab coat here!”

While he was distracted, Perry hit the self-destruct button on the Pimple-inator and activated his jet pack, flying safely out of the way while the Pimple-inator exploded, scattering charred metal all over the balcony.

Heinz sighed in resignation, accepting his fate even as pimples popped up on his face. “It’s like being a teenager all over again! And that’s not a good thing!” Heinz complained as he picked at a pimple on his cheek.

Perry dropped a small bottle of ointment at Heinz’s feet before taking off.

“Thanks for the bottle!” Heinz called. “But you know I still have to curse you, right?”

Perry smirked as the familiar “Curse you, Perry the Platypus!” sounded in the distance.

And if his jetpack’s flames were a tad too close to Roger’s ice sculpture, he could always blame it on a malfunction later.

Chapter Text

Lawrence had cameras for just about everything. Whether phone, digital, or film, there were countless moments worth preserving in pictures.

He captured Linda singing Love Handel songs while she cooked, giggling when Lawrence hid around the corner and filled in the background chorus for her. Her entire body moved when she sang, commanding the attention of an invisible audience.

He saw photos of Candace and Phineas when they were born, happily adding them to his album of their accomplishments and daily lives. Candace was self-conscious about pictures involving her, so he took a whole bunch of photos and allowed her critical eye to separate the good from the bad.

It was rare to find a photo of Phineas without Ferb. And even then, Ferb would be close at hand. Lawrence sometimes had to remind himself that the boys weren’t literally attached at the hip since they did everything together. Phineas’ smile and laughter were contagious, and Lawrence found that he had trouble holding the camera steady when Phineas suggested sillier things to say besides the bog-standard ‘cheese’.

Ferb knew his way around a toolbox blindfolded and he often had photos taken with a screwdriver in hand. That was how Ferb showed his personality, and Lawrence loved showing other people those photos. They always ‘awwed’ and called Ferb a little construction worker in the making.

And no family photo was complete without Perry, who seemed to enjoy being sandwiched between Phineas and Ferb. Sometimes Lawrence would wake up and find a photo of the children he couldn’t remember taking. But even photos he couldn’t remember were still photos worth cherishing, and he gladly added them to his collection.