One of my new years resolutions should be to keep up with this. *sigh* Well, I set myself a goal to get this chapter up by the first of 2012. One day off. Not bad. Better news, I've already got half of the next chapter done, too! I don't write a story from start to finish. I write random scenes as they come to me and make them fit together. Because of this, I ended up writing… I don't even know how many scenes that go later in the story while trying to get this chapter finished. So, yay for that.
Chapter 5- Aren't You a Little Young…?
"Oooo… Say, Perry, do you like pancakes?" Doofenshmirtz hefted a sack of pancake mix in both hands. He studied the packaging a bit and frowned. "Ten pounds? Who needs ten pounds of pancake mix? I mean, yeah, it's a great price, and it's the 'just add water' kind, which is great 'cause when I want pancakes I don't want to go through the trouble of mixing in eggs and… and… whatever else goes into pancakes. I just want pancakes, ya know?" He looked down at Perry. She just looked up at him with a skeptical expression. "You… you've never made pancakes before, have you?"
Perry shook her head. She liked pancakes, but she'd never had that much of a desire to make them herself. Not to mention it would have blown her cover had anyone come into the kitchen and found their platypus cooking. Pancakes weren't worth a reassigning.
Doofenshmirtz looked back at the bag of mix.
"Well, that settles it then. We're getting the pancake mix. And… that's probably all we really need, if you think about it. That's gonna be a lotta pancakes. Oh! We'll need maple syrup. So… keep your eyes open for a ten pound bottle of maple syrup. …Maybe some sausages or something."
He dropped the large bag into the cart and began pushing it down the aisle.
Perry paused, feeling eyes on her, and glanced over her shoulder as she began following a couple steps behind him. She scowled suspiciously at what looked like a mouse's tail disappearing into a display of over-sized cereal boxes. Before she had time to really consider the possible implications of this, she felt the same sensation again and flicked her eyes further down the aisle quickly.
This time, however, there was no brief glimpse of a possible agent's hind-end. Instead, she found a tall, blonde man giving her a look from the other end of the aisle. This person was making no attempt to hide the fact that he was watching her. In fact, he seemed to want her to notice him. Perry raised her eyebrow at the guy in a very what-the-heck-are-you-looking-at sort of way before turning to face forward again.
-And ran face-first into Doofenshmirtz's back. She stumbled backward but just couldn't get her feet to stay under her. She gave a slight "Oof!" as she hit the floor.
"What the-?" Doofenshmirtz turned around to see what had hit him and found Perry on the ground. He frowned down at her. "Did you run into me? You know, you're not two-feet-tall anymore. You've gotta pay attention. You can't just walk right under things and you've got a lot further to fall."
Perry ignored him and glanced over her shoulder again. The blonde guy was still watching her, grinning to himself. She looked away quickly, feeling her face heat up and getting angry. Was she really so uncoordinated in this body that strangers found it amusing?
Doofenshmirtz watched her a moment.
"Are you even listening to me?" He complained. "No. Of course you're not." He gave a short sigh. "You have horrible listening skills, Perry-Who-Is-No-Longer-the-Platypus. Have I ever told you that? Geesh. I can change your gender and species with a zap, but apparently I can't do a thing about your manners. Aw, well. Here, let me help you up." He held his hand down to her.
Some part of that broke through Perry's thoughts and she looked up to find Doofenshmirtz offering her a hand. She thought about ignoring it then sighed and let him pull her back up to her feet.
"See?" He went on once she was standing. "Now, that's manners. If I – evil Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz – can manage to be a gentleman I would think that it would be second nature to someone who spends their time— and you're not listening to me again." He had just noticed that Perry had gone back to looking over her shoulder.
The man was gone now, but she kept glaring down the aisle in case he came back. When he didn't, she turned forward again and began walking again, letting Doofenshmirtz follow her this time.
If she was going to be spending a week like this, she needed to figure out how to handle herself in this body. Not being able to walk was nothing compared to not being able to fight if needed. None of the women on soaps ever bothered to learn to fight and they always ended up bound, gagged, and hidden underground somewhere.
Not the way she wanted this week to end.
"Okay, so we just got a bad hair," Isabella decided optimistically as the group walked back toward the neighborhood. "There's gotta be tons of fur lying around your house." She shrugged. "Some of it has gotta actually be his."
Phineas nodded. "You're right. That woman was in our house for, what, maybe a couple hours? Perry's been living in there for years. The statistics are on our side."
Baljeet gave a slight "Hm" before wondering aloud, "Does anyone else find it odd that that woman's hair was the same texture as a platypus's?"
"Nope," Buford dismissed the question.
Before anyone else could consider this, they were stopped short when Candace stepped around the corner, blocking their path.
"Alright, what are you up to this time?" She demanded suspiciously.
"Hey, Candace. We're looking for Perry," Phineas replied. His sister scoffed.
"Why? It's not even noon yet. He never shows up until after your crazy invention disappears. He's still got a good four hours to do whatever it is he does."
"But that's just it!" Phineas told her. "Our crazy invention disappeared last night, but he didn't show up."
"Yeah," Buford spoke up. "Really threw everything outta wack. The whole day going smoothly then no, 'oh, there you are Perry.' It's just wrong, I tell ya. I tossed and turned all night."
"Alright." Candace wasn't fazed. "So, what? Did you forget the song?"
Phineas and Ferb both shook their heads.
"Ferb and I tried it earlier this morning. It didn't work."
"Huh," Candace thought a moment. "Are you sure you had enough—"
"Bass was perfect," Isabella cut her off.
"Okay… So then where's today's new contraption?" She glanced around.
"Right here," Phineas held up the hand-held device. "It's a DNA tracker. You feed a sample of someone's DNA in here," he pointed to the intake. "And then it brings up a map that shows you where the person is on the display."
"Alright," Candace moved to look at the screen. "So, where is he?"
"Well…" Phineas hesitated, looking at the still visible green dot on the very edge of the monitor. "We don't know. The hair we took from his brush turned out not to be his, so we have to find a new, non-polluted source of DNA."
She frowned suspiciously at her younger brother. "Which would be…?"
"Dropped hair, skin flakes, broken claws, teeth fragments… pretty much anything he might've shed could contain enough of his genetic code for this thing to pick him up," he answered.
"Don't forget about blood!" Buford added.
"Saliva could also be a good source," Baljeet suggested.
Candace gave them a frown of disgust.
"Okay. Ew," she told them then turned back to Phineas. "So… you're going back to the house? With that thing." She gestured toward the tracker.
"Yep," Phineas nodded.
"Perfect!" She grinned and began back the way she'd come from. "Go find your platypus saliva or whatever," she called over her shoulder. "And take your time! I gotta go find Mom." She then broke into a run as she turned the corner and they just heard her call out, "Mom! Mom!"
Isabella frowned as they listened to her voice fade away.
"Isn't your mom over at that estate sale today?"
"Yep," Phineas replied.
"The one way over on the other side of town?" Isabella wondered. "The one approximately five miles away from where we are now?"
Phineas nodded once. "That's the one."
She paused then nodded in the direction Candace had run. "Does she know that?"
Phineas shrugged. "She should." He grinned then. "You've really gotta admire her dedication and stamina."
Perry sat back in the black wire patio chair as she finished her pie. They had followed Doofenshmirtz' original plan and gotten lunch at the little outdoor cafe beside the grocery store. It had been a very good plan. It was hard to eat pie and be unhappy with anything at the same time.
A second later Doofenshmirtz copied her motion and added a sigh to it.
"See? I was right about this place, wasn't I?"
Perry nodded. Yep. He had been right. Something she hadn't been sure he was capable of.
"We need to come here more often," he decided. "At least a couple more times while you're still human. And, ya know, even when you do go back to being a platypus we can still take a break from all the evil schemes and fighting sometimes." He shrugged. "Hey, there's nothing in the Agency's rules that says you can't have pie with your nemesis every once in a while, is there?"
Perry thought a moment then shook her head. Dessert with your nemesis was not one of the things listed under the "do not do" category. …Oddly enough neither was "date your nemesis." Though she doubted it had ever come up before.
"Hey there." They both looked up at the greeting and Perry instantly felt a scowl come to her face. The man who had been entertained by her lack of coordination an hour ago was now standing by their table. He was giving her a slight grin.
"Enjoying the sunshine?" The man asked smoothly. He managed to make the question seem to be directed at both of them while keeping his attention on Perry.
"We are," Doofenshmirtz answer good-naturedly, oblivious to the man's one-sided attention and assuming he was a waiter. "And the pie, too. Great stuff you've got here. We were just finishing up, so—"
The younger man cut him off quickly, "In that case you won't mind if I maybe steal your daughter from you for a couple hours?"
"Daughter?" Doofenshmirtz asked. "Wait. What? You think Perry's my daughter?"
The man frowned a bit, finally looking away from Perry.
"What? No! She's my girlfriend!"
The man stared at him a moment, glanced at Perry then grinned at the older man.
"You're kidding." When Doofenshmirtz continued to glare at him he laughed. "You're actually serious. Oh, come on. Aren't you a little old to be dating… well… anyone? You don't exactly have looks goin' for you either."
"What?" Doofenshmirtz bristled at that. "I'll have you know that…" he deflated a bit then shrugged. "I really have no comeback to that."
The newcomer laughed at that then turned back to Perry with a grin.
"Do you really wanna hang out with this guy?" He asked her incredulously. "'Cause if his idea of showing you a good time is grocery shopping and pie… Well…" He shrugged and smiled humorously, "I'm pretty sure I can do better."
Perry studied him a few moments. He looked like he could be the leading-man in one of those romantic comedies Candace and Stacy were always watching. She would never admit that she had always liked those movies. They were like the soap operas she watched. Only funnier.
If a guy like that was interested in her, did that mean she looked like one of the girls in those movies who always got the guy?
She looked away from him to look across the table at Doofenshmirtz. He looked like the weird, creepy neighbor who was always making complaints and whose only purpose in the movie was to provide comedic relief.
She looked back up at the younger man. He was grinning at her with all the self confidence of a man who knew just how good he looked and that any girl he wanted would come to him willingly. He probably didn't know the word "rejection" existed.
She looked across the table again. Doofenshmirtz was glaring at the man with the annoyed anger that a chess club would use to look at jocks who were about to steal the one girl who had ever dared talk to them.
She looked up at the dreamy guy again.
She had to stop at the fact that she had just thought of him as 'dreamy'. But she had.
Finally, she returned the smile and stood up.
"Perry!" Doofenshmirtz exclaimed. She glanced down at him then looked away. The surprise in his voice was heartbreaking. But it made the younger man's grin widen.
"Perry?" He grinned. "It's a little boyish, but cute. Just about as cute as you."
Perry's smile turned a bit embarrassed and she turned her eyes down to watch her brown boots.
The man looked down at Doofenshmirtz with an almost sympathetic hint in his grin.
"Sorry, man. But, really," he chuckled. "You should've seen this comin'."
Doofenshmirtz glowered. The younger man just shook his head and turned back to Perry.
"Come on, Babe—"
There was a brown boot waiting for his chin. But that was just because she couldn't reach his nose.
The one kick alone would've knocked him down, but Perry gave him one more solid kick to the stomach just to make sure he stayed there.
The man went down, groaning on the sidewalk, and Perry grinned.
Sleazy always canceled out dreamy.
"Ahhow! What the heck was that for?" The man exclaimed, trying to hold his chin and stomach at the same time. Perry crossed her arms under her chest and glared down at him. She made sure he got a good look at her face before stepping over him and striding away.
Doofenshmirtz stood up and grinned down at the fallen man.
"Ha! Maybe YOU should have seen THAT coming! Heh." He put his hands on his hips and smirked. "Yeah. That's right. I went there." He heard someone clearing their throat and looked over to see Perry a few yards away watching him with a raised eyebrow. Doofenshmirtz nodded. "Oh, okay, we're walking away now." He looked down at the man and gave one more "Ha!" in what he felt was a very in-your-face-loser sort of jab before grabbing their groceries and hurrying to catch up to his pseudo-girlfriend.
Perry waited then fell into step beside him, feeling good. Kicking the daylights out of someone was exactly what she had needed. She had been assuming it would end up being Doofenshmirtz, but this worked, too. Yeah.
She glanced down at her feet. Maybe she would look into getting a pair of these boots made for herself when she was back to normal. They had added a satisfying weight to her kick. Gave it more substance than just a webbed foot could.
"Did you see the look on that guy's face?" Doofenshmirtz pulled her out of her thoughts and she looked up at him. He was still looking pretty upbeat. "Ha! He chose the wrong people to mess with! Not gonna bother us again!"
Perry grinned a little as well.
I just realized I've been picturing the guy who hits on Perry as Ryan Gosling.
Also, I've often wondered how long Candace can run and yell before she gets tired. I hope for her school's sake that she's on the track team.
Lastly, I'm looking for suggestions. At some point, they will go on a real date. But I can't decide where, so I thought I'd ask everyone who reads this where they'd like to see them go or what they'd like to see them do. If I use someone's idea, I'll give them credit at the beginning of that chapter. Keep in mind it would be something Doof would come up with and something he would think could win over Perry. *shrugs*
Thanks for reading!