There are other things I should be working on, but this was calling me... in Dr. Doofenshmirtz's voice. Honestly. I'm not sure where exactly I want this to go, yet (or even if I should continue it... now that I'm looking at it, it wouldn't be too bad off as a oneshot, but still...) Originally, it started at "It just figured", but that seemed too abrupt; so I'm sorry if the transition doesn't work quite well... But, I must admit, writing Perry's sequence was really fun.
Aaaaand I really need to stop naming stories after rhymes and poems... The title will make sense, later on, though.
One last note: this is my first try in this fandom, so if I screw up too badly, please tell me.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
-For Want of a Nail
Time hadn't progressed as one might have expected, with any knowledge of what was supposed to be the future. Most prominently, a great portion of the world had been taken over by- as one Major Monogram would have phrased it- the forces of evil. To be honest, nobody really knew how it happened; one day they were rolling along with the same old government, and the next, poof! Hello, Senator Aloyse Everheart Elizabeth Otto Wolfgang Hypatia Gunther Galen Gary Cooper von Roddenstein of California, Senator Diminutive of Arizona, Bloodpudding of Minnesota, and so on and so forth. That wasn't to say that the world had taken a turn toward the "bad" future—to be quite honest, life went pretty much the same as normal… with a few malicious twists here and there. Of course, the 'political party' (L.O.V.E. M.U.F.F.I.N, anticlimactically enough) was very secretive, and nobody knew what they would decide to do next, but it had been theorized that they were working their way up to something big, this summer.
On a much smaller scale, the Danville had lost one Doofenshmirtz as its leader and gained another. That had no impact on the chaos that routinely plagued the city, though, courtesy of two separate parties. The lesser-known faction (though only on a global scale, Danville definitely knew the culprits) had seen some changes from the other future, too—though they certainly weren't aware of that, after the incident was, more or less, erased from history.
While, in one timeline, Phineas and Ferb hadn't been 'busted' until twenty years down the road, in the one they lived in, that revelation had come just two and a half years later. The Flynn-Fletcher family had had time to adjust, though; it had been another year and a half since then.
It just figured that, when Linda finally had finally seen the mayhem that was the back yard, Candace had been away. Oh, she'd been upset with the boys, alright, but eventually her anger had calmed, and she'd been able to think rationally. She'd seen the project book- the one chronicling former activities- and, yeah, the machines weren't always safe… but, leafing through the pages, she'd come to the realization that, on average, the "Big Ideas" were less dangerous than a Fireside Girl's daily routine.
Portal to Mars or alligator wrestling? It was an easy choice.
So, in the end, she had given the boys permission to go ahead with their summer (actually, year round, as it turned out) activities; the only condition was that either she or Lawrence had to know the plan ahead of time… and even that rule faded with time.
If nothing else, it had been amusing to hear Candace's call, the following day.
"Mom! Phineas and Ferb are building a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa… out of pizza!"
"Tell them not to spoil their appetites, then."
"I know it sounds—wait… what? But…but… Are you making fun of me?"
Unfortunately, the semblance of peace hadn't lasted long; it was the next year that leadership had been usurped and the Tri-state area had been entrusted to an "evil" dictator. To be honest, not too much had changed under the 'rule' of Heinz Doofenshmitrz- yes, that Heinz (apparently, he'd taken Linda's advice on that ill-fated date to heart)- but there were several distressing altercations.
The worst, by far, was that people simply went missing from time to time, and rarely made reappearances. Granted, the man in charge of all of this was Doofenshmirtz, so some of them seemed awfully petty- his brother, Roger, for instance, or the waitress from a diner near his headquarters- but, without a doubt, there was a commonality between the rest: mechanics, inventors, technical support workers… to put it simply, all different types of people who worked with machines…
…which led straight back to the backyard. It was ironic, really, how things seemed to work out. At first, both Linda and Lawrence had restricted the boys' projects—no robots, no automatic shoe-tying machines, nothing that required a charge, solar powered or otherwise. But, again, as time went on, the once firm rule started to lose its meaning: Okay, maybe it was alright to build something to help Baljeet archive his thousands of notes; alright, a giant oven for the Fireside Girls' cupcake sales wasn't that bad; oh, go ahead and build the robot. Just make sure the end result is smaller than the house. And, funnily enough- despite the fact that most everyone in the Tri-state area knew exactly who was behind these constructs- Doofenshmirtz never seemed to notice. Maybe it was the same thing that had prevented Linda from seeing the projects, maybe not, it was impossible to tell, but fortunate nonetheless.
Currently, blueprints were covering the backyard… quite literally. There were, maybe, two feet of grass to be seen, but the majority of the property in back was hidden by the myriad of plans; and, of course, Phineas and Ferb were right in the middle of it, comparing various schematics and carrying out a seemingly-one-sided conversation.
"-still, a giant mechanical Bolivian folk dancing platypus? I think we could pull that off!"
There was a short silence.
"Okay, you win."
From her spot, watching in the kitchen, Linda smiled. Even before she'd decided that these zany schemes weren't so bad, she'd been strangely proud of her boys. It wasn't just because of the things they could do, but also how well they worked together; they dreamed something up, and then made it a reality without even having to discuss how they might go about doing so. With the exception of anything including Bolivian folk dancing (and it was anyone's guess how that worked out) it seemed like they were always on the same page.
Dropping her gaze from the window, down to the sink, Linda sighed. At the end of summer, they would be going to high school. It had seemed to go by so fast when Candace had started ninth grade, and now she was a college student. True, she still came by all of the time, but it wasn't the same without her at home. The idea that, in four short years, the boys would be gone, too, was heart wrenching for the Flynn matriarch. She couldn't help but wonder if she was the only one dwelling on this, but…well, there was an easy way to find out.
Before she'd consciously made the decision, Linda found herself stepping carefully around the various blueprints, toward the beloved tree in the backyard, only to find that the conversation had taken a surreal turn.
"But what if we run into a giant echidna robot? We'll have to prepare for that, too… they're insectivores, right?"
"I see you boys have plans for today." Linda chimed in, glancing around at all of the schematics surrounding the tree. It… was impressive, to say the least.
"Hi mom!" Phineas greeted enthusiastically. Looking up from whichever draft he'd been scrutinizing, Ferb also raised a hand in salutation, as the older of the pair continued. "We're redesigning the platydroid! We designed it a couple of summers ago, but only built the platy-posterior. Since then we, uh, kinda forgot about it."
"The…platydroid." The elder redhead echoed blankly, "…What does it do?"
"It's based on Perry." Ferb said quietly, not glancing away from whatever he was jotting down, "So not much."
"Well it could folk dance, you know." The look Phineas received in response to this quite plainly said 'no'.
Ignoring this, the redheaded brother turned back to their mom. "Did you need us to do something?"
"Oh, it's nothing major." Linda said dismissively, "I was just wondering if you two are excited for your first year of high school."
"Mooooom, it's summer! There's so much to do, why would anyone be thinking about school?"
"Just checking." She replied, trying not to smile at the exasperation in his voice, "I was curious whether you thought about what electives could be fun to take."
"Okay, mom. We'll think about it. " Phineas sighed, obviously trying to humor her, "After we've got the platydroid up and running."
Chuckling to herself, Linda found a narrow path back to the house, but as soon as she entered, something occurred to her.
"I have got to keep them out of any shop classes…"
"Hey, where's this hat from?"
Grimacing, Perry looked down from the tree's branches, where his hat rested on top of one of the many blueprints laid out over the yard. He knew better than to stick around, though, and dove down to the ground, behind the tree just before two pairs of eyes were drawn to the branch he'd previously occupied.
"Huh. Well that's weird."
Well…it was just his hat. He was pretty sure that he had a spare in his lair, so it was no big deal, right? For that matter, he could probably go stop Doofenshmirtz without it, though the doctor would have no idea what was going on. It was weird; even though he had technically taken over the Tri-state area (though with no small amount of help) he was still concocting frivolous schemes to act out. Shaking his head, the platypus walked- on all fours- over the layers of schematics and through the side yard to use a different entrance since, obviously, the tree was out.
"Oh, there's Perry. Isn't he supposed to be gone by now? Ah well, it looks like he's working on it."
The agent shook his head as he climbed into the rightmost trashcan; he loved his family, yes, but it was absolutely bizarre how they took his frequent absences in stride. Then again, if Linda could manage to miss several years' worth of inventions, it shouldn't have been that surprising. Whatever the case it was, to use one of Phineas's favorite words, quite serendipitous.
Completely forgetting that he didn't have his hat on, Perry fell into the routine and made his way over to the communications unit, only to be met with Major Monogram's blank stare.
"Carl! Did the slide guy leave the entrance open? There's a platypus in Agent P's lair!"
"Sir, Agent P is a platypus."
Rolling his eyes, Perry got back up and went to rifle through a box of gear. Just as he'd predicted, there was a spare hat waiting for him; but instead of simply plunking it on his head right then and there, he walked back over to the unit, sat down, and then donned the headgear.
"Great googly moogly! Agent P, you never cease to amaze me!" The major exclaimed, bordering on shouting. "Well, now that you've demonstrated your mastery of disguise yet again, it's time to get down to business. We have reason to believe that Dr. Doofenshmirtz is using his gigantinator ray again. Show him, Carl."
The familiar voice off-camera sighed, "Yes sir."
Right on cue, the screen filled up with photographs of random, disproportionately large items in what could loosely be called their 'natural environment'. Perry nodded to himself, already knowing how he'd take care of this problem. If he knew Heinz Doofenshmirtz- and he thought he did- the scientist wouldn't have unplugged his shrinkinator, yet. The agent was actually morbidly curious as to how many sticky-notes he'd find covering it, this time.
"-so get over there and put a stop to it!" Monogram concluded, as Perry belatedly realized that he'd zoned out.
Despite this, he saluted back to his boss, and went to fetch his jetpack. After more than a few years of employment, he knew the drill. As he was fastening the pack, a sudden noise from the security footage that was now playing over the main screen caught his attention. It was followed shortly by…
"Huh… that was weird. I know we didn't spill growth elixir on that hat… Hey Ferb, did we ever build something to make stuff grow?"
There was a brief pause.
"Yeah, I thought so. It disappeared, right? Man, we've got to find out where those things go."
Perry shook his head at the boys' antics, as he finished buckling up, but he was smiling. He'd always been terrified of what would happen, should Linda find out about their daily activities, but it really hadn't been as bad as he'd always feared. It was probably that stupid nightmare he'd had several years ago. If he hadn't been rocketing toward Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated, he would have shuddered; years and it still bothered him.
This time, he shook his head to clear his thoughts; he was on a mission. After the transfer of power, Doofenshmirtz had gotten his hands on many new resources, but the agency was suffering from a lack of such assets. They'd had to reassign agents left and right to get them closer to their villains, and quite a few had been laid off altogether. Needless to say, the low priority villains that had found themselves without a nemesis quickly banded together to make matters even worse. Perry almost literally had to fight to keep his assignment in Danville—being the O.W.C.A's top agent did have its drawbacks, after all—and he'd almost been fired for it, but Major Monogram has acquiesced, realizing that they couldn't afford to lose "Agent P" too.
So, knowing that the scientist wasn't lacking in funds at all, Perry crashed through his wall without any guilt whatsoever. In fact, his entrance was accompanied by a rather enthusiastic "Chhhhhhhhrl"
"Perry the Platypus." The doctor acknowledged him, sounding rather frantic, "I know you're right on time, but I'm running a little bit late today. I keep mistaking my gigantinator ray for the light switch, and I removed the 'reverse' feature after your last visit. I want to do evil today, Perry the Platypus, I really do, but not on accident! I mean, I've got a brand new inator and everything!"
Perry rolled his eyes, and walked in the opposite direction of Doofenshmirtz, toward the 'planter'. There weren't any plants in it, anymore, so now it was just a giant shrink-ray shaped mass of post-it notes. Sure enough, it was still plugged in… though the cord itself was covered in reminders, too. This wouldn't take long.
The monkey bars in the playground of Marsh Elementary, produce at the outdoor market, and several other targets. Perry was just glad that he'd taken the time to study the photos before tuning Monogram out. But… he couldn't find his other fedora. Oh well, it could wait. What would Phineas and Ferb do with a giant hat?
Seriously. What would they do with it? It was a simultaneously amusing and frightening thought.
"Thank you, Perry the Platypus! Now we can proceed with our regularly scheduled trap!"
Right on cue, something wrapped around his torso. It…looked like the eponymous toy from a "can of worms" trick, to be honest.
"You may recall all of those years ago when I wanted to destroy the adult diaper factory with my Eulg. I'm sure you remember that backstory—oh, wait a second, you left me there, didn't you, Perry the Platypus? Major Monobrow called and 'whoosh', you were gone! I told you that that would be a backstory, too!"
Barely refraining from rolling his eyes, Perry sighed. Just another day at work…