I can't talk to him about this.

It seems so odd just to think that. If there's anyone I can always talk to about anything, it's him. He's my best friend, my brother. I talk to him more than I talk to anyone, but on this topic, I'm totally mute. More so than usual.

You may have noticed I don't talk much. I don't like talking; it's somehow rather awkward for me, I've never liked doing it, and anyway, it seems pointless. So much of what people talk about is useless; when I listen to Candance on the phone, she talks ceaselessly, yet all I hear is idle chatter, the same words endlessly repeated, with little or nothing of interest passing from her lips to Stacy's brain. And with Phineas around, I've found that it's almost possible to never speak myself; he does all the talking for me, and I don't mean that in a bad way. It's just that all the general information that one needs to talk about, but which is not terribly important---"what's for dinner," "where's the bathroom," that sort of thing---become pretty much unnecessary for me because he's usually around to say it.

But I do talk, when I feel I have something to contribute. An important point. An ironic statement. A piece of trivia that feels worth noting. And sometimes, I just talk with Phineas. Not much, but I do, about all the usual things friends or brothers talk about. To the extent that I ever feel comfortable talking, it's with him.

Yet I just can't seem to tell him about this.

Maybe it's for the simple reason that Phineas doesn't seem to be interested in girls yet. He's never mentioned there being any particular girl he liked, and he would certainly tell me if there was. (At least, I think he would; unlike me, he's not one to keep secrets.) And he certainly doesn't seem to notice the way Isabella swoons over him. He would sympathize, I'm sure, but I can't help but wonder if he could really understand my problem at all. So, there's one reason to keep quiet.

There's also just the fact that it's embarrassing. Really, I'm supposed to be the logical one, aren't I? I'm a bit proud of that, my reason and stoicism; I don't want to give that up by admitting such a ridiculously childish issue as a schoolboy crush. He's the one who comes up with insane schemes; I'm the one in charge of making sure they work without killing us. If anything, he should be the one to fall desperately in love with a girl nearly twice his age, while I should be the one having to worry about the practical implications of it. Not, of course, that Phineas would consider these issues if I brought the subject up. Were I to tell him about my problem, to take the place I feel like he should have, he wouldn't take up my place to compensate; he would keep being Phineas, without a Ferb there to balance him out.

Ah, there's the rub.

You see, if I were to tell Phineas about my crush on Vanessa, he wouldn't want to keep it a secret. No, he would want to do something about it. He calls me the "man of action," but that's really not true; I may be the one to design and built, but he's the one who decides and devises, and the one who, ultimately, puts all of these schemes into motion. If I told him about Vanessa, he would come up with some sort of plan. I can't tell you what---he's the one who would think of it, after all, and his mind is capable of creating things no other man's could---but there would be no way he would want to sit on his hands like I do. He would come up with some sort of scheme to get Vanessa to notice me, or get me to ask her out, or get her to kiss me, or something like that.

And I really, really don't want that.

Like I said, I'm the practical one in our relationship; and I know that there's no way that any plan Phineas devises could ever, ever work. Well, in the long term, anyway. Yes, together we might find some way to get Vanessa to notice me, or find some way that I could spit out enough words to ask her out, or get her to kiss me in some insane, roundabout way, but then that would be it. It would be over. And then Phineas would just start looking for something to do the next day.

But where would that leave me? I know enough to realize that whatever plan Phineas comes up with won't leave me and Vanessa in any sort of relationship; our escapades never have results lasting more than a couple of hours, and all the same practical impossibilities are still insurmountably there. So what happens to the crush after the plan has succeeded? Where will I be? Still pining over Vanessa, with Phineas unable to understand why I can't just move on like I do after any other adventure? Or would the infatuation simply vanish, as if this all were just some prologue for the script that we would act out? Somehow, that seems even worse. They're the same reasons, really, why I don't tell Phineas about Isabella---because even if I could get him to believe she liked him (which would be hard, I suspect), he would just want to do something and move on with his life. He would, I suspect, crush Isabella in some way without meaning to, the same way he would crush me if he knew about my crush on Vanessa. I would trust him with my life, of course, but not if it required him to hold his attention on anything for more than a day.

On the other hand, maybe I'm underestimating him. After all, he adjusted to me and my father's presence in his life; he didn't expect us to show up for a day and then get bored when we lasted for twenty-five hours. So, maybe I could tell him, and have him understand. Maybe...

"Hey, Ferb? Whatcha thinking about?" Phineas wondered, frowning at what was probably an unusually pensive look on my face.

"Oh, nothing," I said simply, closing my eyes and leaning back against the tree.

"Hmm." He turned around and went back to thinking about what we could do that day.

Maybe I'll tell Phineas one day. But for now, I'll just hold my tongue.

My first Phineas and Ferb story! I hope you enjoyed; I was a bit concerned about whether I got Ferb in-character. Please review and tell me what you think!