Show Me Fifty Times And I'll Believe You
(The Illustrious Crackpot)
A/N: No, it's not a coincidence that this set of fifty-sentence (or, in my case, PARAGRAPH) theme challenges happens to be my fiftieth post on this website. ...Well, I guess it was TECHNICALLY a coincidence, since I started it a while ago to alleviate some nasty writer's block and only noticed then that I was coming up on fifty posts. Or whatever.
Every single one of these chapters is a different theme set involving the relationships—platonic, romantic, open to interpretation unless the canon specifically states that it's one way or another—between the members of the lovely cast of Phineas and Ferb. Each theme set was built by yours truly through pulling fifty random words/phrases out of my trusty The New Roget's Thesaurus In Dictionary Form, circa 1978; admittedly, I did cheat a little with some of the word choices, but when variations on the term "homosexual" come up three times and the subject matter is an all-ages show, I think I can be forgiven for that.
First on the list of pairings—again, platonic or romantic, it's up to the reader's interpretation—is the ever-lovable good guy Perry the Platypus and his hysterically eccentric nemesis Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Why them, and not Phineas and Ferb, the title characters of the show? Because, truth be told, as much as I love the boys, I love these guys more. And because the writer's block this was meant to cure had originally started because of a desperate desire to write for Perry and the Doof.
Enough of my ramblings. Enjoy!
Love To Hate—Perry the Platypus and Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz
1. Get Down
Perry arched an eyebrow, then glanced sharply around the room, searching for a hidden trap or, at the very least, some other "Perry the Platypus" that the question might have been directed at. Because there was absolutely no way that Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz had called him down to the dance floor without an ulterior motive—even if the band was playing the Hokey Pokey.
"(Cough cough) C-curse yoooooou, Perry the Platy(cough)pus!"
Late at night, when he'd run out of other things to think about, Phineas would sometimes wonder just what Perry would do when he went missing. Well, clearly it was something good—he always returned with a sort of satisfied glow about him.
Sometimes, during battle, one of them would hit the other just a little harder than necessary. They'd both done it many times, and in many different situations...but neither had ever really figured out why.
It was easy for Perry to switch from one persona to the other, transforming flawlessly from a mindless domestic animal into a sophisticated secret agent at the drop of a hat. But that just made it harder to figure out which was his true self and which was the façade.
By the time he realized his mistake, it was too late to call him back and make amends. Well, so he had kind of meant it when he'd said that crusaders for justice were smelly pig-footed doo doo-heads...but he hadn't meant that that applied to Perry.
They were always running in circles, trying to catch the other while at the same time trying to escape him.
"WHAT?!" Dr. Doofenshmirtz flailed his arms crazily at Vanessa, who merely smirked at the extreme reaction her idle comment had sparked. "ME...and PERRY THE PLATYPUS?? I mean, WHAT would the CHILDREN look like?!" ...A pause. "DON'T ANSWER THAT!"
No, he didn't run screaming from the room—he dove under the table and curled up into a fetal position. He should've seen it coming, actually; it was a villains' convention, after all, and he'd been expecting someone to rob him at some point that evening. But never in a million years had he expected his diary to fall into the hands of the MASTER OF CEREMONIES!
Neither wanted to be the first to acknowledge the help that the other had provided in the enterprise. So they both waited until the count of three to quickly reach out and shake the other's hand, making sure to keep the contact as stiff and brief as possible.
It wasn't exactly the best hiding place he'd ever thought of, Doofenshmirtz had to admit, but then again he also hadn't expected his ex-wife to show up while he was serving his enemy milk and cookies.
Suddenly, in the middle of laughing maniacally and dangling the helpless platypus over the open mouth of a Weedwhacker-inator, the mad scientist was struck by an overwhelming wave of guilt. It didn't matter what he called it—revenge, removing an obstacle, whatever; when he really came down to it, he was simply bullying a small animal.
Occasionally, when Ms. Flynn took Perry with her to the grocery store, they would pass Dr. Doofenshmirtz in one of the aisles. And, regardless of whether or not the villain was doing anything particularly evil, the platypus was always hard-pressed not to jump up and start fighting with him right then and there.
It didn't matter how long ago it had been, how brief it had lasted, or how seldom they came into contact through their work or otherwise—Perry still bristled every time he heard the name "Peter".
Doofenshmirtz crossed his arms huffily, rolling his eyes. "Okay, okay, Perry the Platypus—jeez, you're so annoying, just shut up already! When I take over the Tri-State Area, I'll make you...um...almighty overlord of the corner of Third Street and Main. Happy?"
"Good work, Agent P," Major Monogram had commended over the video-link after the platypus's first successful rookie mission. Then he had lapsed into silence, mulling over some private matter while Perry waited patiently for a continuation—and when next the Major had spoken, he'd unknowingly changed his subordinate's life forever. "From now on, you're assigned to ALL cases involving Doofenshmirtz."
Odd as it was, Perry had never turned Dr. Doofenshmirtz over to any authorities, be they ordinary policemen or his own superiors, or tried to send him to any kind of jail. He just seemed content to deal with his enemy and leave it at that.
Well, the platypus was reflecting internally, cradling his punctured hat under his arm as he dodged more laser shots, even if done in the vaguest pantomime, it was never a good idea to taunt Doofenshmirtz about his marksmanship.
To everyone else, it wouldn't really matter if either disappeared. Charlene would forget, Vanessa would ignore, the Flynn-Fletchers would find themselves a new housepet, Major Monogram would recruit a new agent. Even if it was as nemeses, each was the only one in the world who truly needed the other.
"He's a platypus," Phineas remarked offhandedly. "They don't do much."
Ferb shrugged in slight disagreement, tilting his head to the side. "They're one of the only mammals who lay eggs."
There was a small moment of silence, and then suddenly Phineas gasped. "Maybe that's what he's been doing all this time..."
For a long while Candace just sat there, staring blankly at the gently-snoring platypus curled up on the couch. She didn't know where he'd gotten it or what it meant, but he definitely had a baseball cap perched on top of his head, and its logo definitely read "Doofenshmirtz Evil, Inc.".
Heinz Doofenshmirtz was almost incapable of doing anything outright. He always had to take the long way around to something, use the harder route, scoff at those who were clear-thinking—ahem, "UNCREATIVE"—enough to do the obvious. So it always infuriated him that his defeat was so often caused by Perry simply pressing something's "off" button.
They were total opposites, not in the same class and nowhere near the same spectrum—good and evil, reserved and emotional, loved and ostracized. That was why they were drawn together so strongly, like the north and south poles of two magnets.
"DON'T JUDGE ME!" the villain had once burst out in the middle of a lengthy rant, and though he'd said it in a rather silly context, the comment had taken Perry rather aback. That idea had simply never occurred to him.
It took some effort, but Doofenshmirtz managed to muffle his giggles long enough to spoon some melon chunks onto his plate. That uncivilized Perry the Platypus—he was eating his dessert with his SALAD fork!
The building was heaving violently with the impending explosion, and the rough motions of the floor knocked them into each other more than once. It wasn't so much the idea of being supported by his greatest enemy that caused each to recoil quite so sharply, but rather the strange uncomfortableness of the touch when they had never before been in contact except to exchange blows.
Perry struggled fiercely to break free of the carrier crate, but Dr. Doofenshmirtz just kept his hand clamped over the door and continued grinning pleasantly at the receptionist. "Yes, I have Foo-Foo here for HER five-o'clock appointment. SHE'S here to get a COMPLETE POODLE CUT—and make sure that the barber uses the sharpest razor he can find!"
28. Look For
There were only so many locations in the room where the platypus could have been hiding, but he found a secret pleasure in the fact that the first place Doofenshmirtz looked was underneath a coffee mug.
Doofenshmirtz started out nervous, then scared, then finally all-out paranoid when suddenly Perry the Platypus started thwarting every one of his evil plans before they'd even entered their initial stages. He never even stopped to consider that his nemesis might have discovered the "Schemes To Come" section of his VillainSpot blog.
"Well, of course you have to sign it!" the mad scientist insisted in a half-whine, chucking a permanent marker at Perry and forcefully propping his leg up on a nearby chair. "It's your fault I've got it anyway!"
Oh, there was definitely some hatred involved—there were only so many times an evil scientist could stand getting defeated by a champion of justice, and there were only so many times a champion of justice could stand being held prisoner by an evil scientist. Still, there were moments when none of that seemed to matter, and both could treat each other civilly without it being awkward.
It was definitely one of the strangest plots Doofenshmirtz had ever come up with, regardless of what traumas had befallen him in his flashback to grammar school. But still Perry managed to stop his nemesis before the adverb was permanently removed from the English language.
Platypus fur wasn't glossy and smooth, like a beaver's; the hairs were shorter, and the coat coarser. Even though it took a lot of begging and bribing on Doofenshmirtz's part before he was finally able to find that out firsthand, he'd had to do it before the curiosity killed him.
It took all afternoon to extricate themselves from the gargantuan spool of knotted twine, and the entire time Heinz was viciously berating Perry for getting them into that mess...even though he had been the one to set up his ambush in the Doofenshmirtz Abandoned Yarn Factory.
As painful as it all was, Dr. Doofenshmirtz was used to being crushed beneath falling buildings, getting himself blown up, and otherwise suffering severe injuries at the hands of his oh-so-crafty nemesis. Instead, what never failed to surprise him was that, when he managed to drag himself back home to the medicine cabinet, it seemed that he always found at least one more bottle of rubbing alcohol than he himself had put in there.
"...Forgive me for saying this, Perry the Platypus," Doofenshmirtz began at length, turning to his companion at the bottom of the world-renowned Danville Manure Pit, "but how long has it been since you last bathed?"
No one had ever expected him to be fully selfless, protecting the world (or at least just the Tri-State Area) simply for the sake of "doing good". Still, he couldn't help but think that, if he had never had this particular nemesis, he might have had a more noble reason for doing the work he did.
Nearly an hour later, Perry finally gave in and rolled his eyes, wondering if Doofenshmirtz would ever get to the point of his story.
39. The Best
It didn't matter if Perry was the best secret agent, or if Doofenshmirtz was the best villain. It just mattered that each thought the other was the best, since they would only allow themselves to be nemesis to the greatest foe there was.
Candace often used him as a sort of "study buddy", reciting her school lessons to him so she could better familiarize herself with their content. Perry had never really minded—until tonight, when she sighed, stared at her textbook and asked tiredly, "Perry, what would you do if you got Stockholm Syndrome?"
The very idea made him balk, shudder, and want to hold his head down under a running sink and wash his ears out with soap. But even so, Doofenshmirtz was forced to admit that his constant battles with Perry the Platypus made up some of the most enjoyable parts of his entire life.
Only once in his childhood had Heinz ever had a real, meaningful, heart-to-heart conversation with his mother, and that had been when she'd set him down on her lap to tell him about the dangers of the outside world. Even all these years later, he could still remember the entire lecture word-for-word—and had since realized that, strangely enough, she had never mentioned the menace of platypi.
They were far above the "common people". Not just because each had much loftier goals, or because their troubles were so much more momentous than those of the masses; mostly because they were currently on top of a blimp.
"...You know, Perry the Platypus, you don't talk much."
Until they suddenly showed up in the middle of a battle, neither Perry nor Doofenshmirtz had ever heard of any organization called "Parents Against Fedora-Wearing Platypeople". Though their existence was surprising in itself, what surprised Perry more was how readily his enemy forsook that advantageous situation in order to defend the platypus's honor against the crowd.
46. Put Back
When he had first removed his hat and placed it in its case, he'd thought that he would never be able to put it on again. But when his nemesis had lowered himself to his knees and delivered that speech...it didn't matter that the entire situation had ended up being a trap. That hat, and that persona, had never felt more at home on him than they had at that moment.
"Seriously, Dad," Vanessa drawled, continuing to dangle the platypus-shaped "voodoo doll" out of her panicky father's reach, "just because you're an evil 'supergenius' doesn't mean you're any good at lying."
Anyone who watched them fight would see only the animosity, the struggle between justice and the forces of evil. And they would never realize that that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Sometimes, when life was getting rougher than usual, Dr. Doofenshmirtz would begin to seriously contemplate moving out of Danville and setting up a new evil headquarters somewhere far away. But he knew that, no matter where he might choose to go, Perry the Platypus would find a way to follow—and vice-versa.
"Agent P, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES are you to go anywhere NEAR Doofenshmirtz's office building today," the Major ordered one morning, just to see what the platypus would do. He was not disappointed—and he even won his bet with Karl.