Author's Foreword/Warning

The following story contains not only a non-standard romantic pairing, but also heavy negative content about a very popular character for this series. Readers are urged to check their fanboyism/fangirlism at the door before continuing. If you are incapable of that, please use your browser's "Back" button and find another story to read.

All Along

Bone-jarring cracks of thunder, flashes of lightning that lit the night sky up bright enough to seem like daytime, and torrential rain pounding her roof absolutely did not faze her. She merely stretched out on her couch and drowned out the noise with her iPod. She had the entire house to herself and had been enjoying yet another solitary evening right until she heard the doorbell ring as her player was between songs. She paused her music, removed her headphones, and opened the door. A soaking wet and despondent red-haired teenage boy stood on the other side.

"Phineas," she said, utterly shocked to see him. "What the hell are you doing out in this storm? Get in here, now."

"Sorry, Adyson," Phineas said, quickly shuffling past her. "I tried to call ahead, but my cell phone signal is shot with this storm."

Adyson quickly closed the door behind him. "Phin, you know my doors are always open to you. I'm more surprised you actually went out in this storm."

"Yeah, well…" Phineas' voice trailed off as his gaze trailed down to the floor. Adyson folded her arms and sighed. She knew exactly why he was there now.

"She let you have it again, didn't she? With both barrels I'm guessing."

Phineas nodded to her. "I was late for our date because Ferb needed my help fixing the car. He needed it so he could get going to go see Vanessa, and I couldn't just leave him like that. He dropped me off at the restaurant for my date before he hit the road. As soon as I got there, she laid into me. She accused me of ditching her to waste time inventing some 'useless crap' as she put it and went on berating me for a full ten minutes. When she finally stopped yelling at me I tried to explain myself and the next thing I know…"

Phineas pointed to the bright red mark on his left cheek, which caused Adyson's jaw to drop.

"Wait, she actually hit you this time," she asked in disbelief.

Phineas nodded. "At that point she just left the restaurant and drove herself home. I couldn't bring myself to call Ferb back to pick me up so I just started walking. I remembered you lived fairly close by and came over."

Adyson shook her head in disbelief at the full story. "Look, stay where you are. I'll get you some towels and dry clothes. You'll come down sick if you stay like that."

Phineas nodded wordlessly and stayed in the entryway of the home while Adyson went off into her house. A couple minutes later she returned with two large, white towels and some clothes she'd scrounged up from her father's closet. She kept her back turned while Phineas dried off and changed his clothes, leaving his rain-soaked ones in the entryway.

"I'm decent again, I guess," he told her once finished. Adyson turned and saw him dressed in her father's red flannel shirt and a pair of jeans. She nodded approvingly and moved to collect his wet clothes.

"I'll get these going in the dryer. You have a seat. You're not going anywhere for a while at least."

Again, without speaking, Phineas took a seat on the couch and waited for her to return, which she did moments after he heard the sound of the clothes dryer starting up.

"Thanks for all of this, Addie," Phineas told her as she returned and sat on the other end of the couch from him.

Adyson nodded to him. "You're welcome, but…honestly, Phineas, what's going on? You and Isabella have been dating since sophomore year, right?"

"The summer before that, yeah."

"Yeah, and ever since then her attitude has been out of control. So what the heck happened?"

"I suppose I can tell you at least, but please don't let this get around. Ferb's the only other one who really knows."

"My lips are sealed."

Phineas nodded to her and took a deep breath to summon up a little courage to tell the story.

"You, of course, are aware Isabella had been harboring a crush on me since we were kids, right?"

"No offense, Phin, but you're the only one who didn't know."

"Yeah, I got that. Well, two years ago at my birthday she took me aside and told me about it all. At the time I still only thought of her as a good friend, but she was pretty much beside herself about my obliviousness to her. She basically demanded that we start dating or I'd never see her again. I didn't want to lose her as a friend, so I agreed."

Adyson's eyes were almost as wide as they could get. She couldn't believe what she was being told. "So wait…she guilted you into becoming her boyfriend?"

Phineas shrugged. "If you wanna put it that way, I guess. When I think about it anymore, I do feel like I owe as much to her. I mean she spent all that time pining over me, so the least I can do is reciprocate, right?"

"Phin, this is wrong on so many levels I don't know where to begin."

"It hasn't all been bad. We have had a lot of fun together. It's just…over the past year she's become even more demanding. I'm spending less and less time with my family and other friends and inventing things and more time preparing for 'things that really matter' according to her, like college and a career and family life and…"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Family life? Phin, you're eighteen! Prepping for college and even a career I can understand, but family life? You're not engaged to her or anything, are you?"

"Not yet…"

"She isn't pregnant, is she?"

"Good God, no! She barely lets me touch her as it is."

"So what family life is she talking about?"

"In her mind us getting married is a foregone conclusion, and for my part I keep feeling more and more like I don't have much of a choice."

"The hell you don't!" Adyson stood up with her pronouncement. "Phin, how can you justify the idea of marrying someone you're not even sure you love?"

"If I don't I'm gonna lose her as a friend, Addie. I know this for sure."

"I'm not even sure she's a friend worth keeping anymore if she's manipulating you like this."

Phineas got up and looked away from her. "She's not manipulating me."

"For God's sake, Phin, take the blinders off already! She forced you into a relationship knowing you were too soft-hearted to let her go, and now she's forcing you to give up the things and the people you do love just for her sake and for the sake of whatever vision of your future together she has. She doesn't love you, Phineas, she's using you."

Phineas shook his head, still struggling to accept what Adyson was telling him. "…why would she do something like that?"

"I have no idea how her mind works; but if you think you owe anything to her because of how much time she spent obsessing over you, then I wouldn't put it past her to think she's entitled to your undivided attention and devotion for the exact same reason."

Phineas laughed sardonically as he turned to look at her again. "You know, that makes a whole lot of sense. But what do I do about it?"

Adyson shook her head at him. "I can't tell you that. There's only one person who can decide what you should do about it."

Phineas thought for a moment and then looked her and said, "Ferb?"

Adyson looked at him in surprise. "What? No!"

"Candace, then?"

"Phineas…" Adyson looked at him derisively.

"Oh, right. Baljeet."

"Okay now I know you're just screwing with me."

Phineas laughed a little again, this time more from amusement. "Sorry. Thought I'd at least try to lighten the atmosphere a bit after all of that."

Adyson chuckled briefly as well. "In all seriousness, you know you're the only one who can decide that, right?"

"Yeah…I just have no idea what to decide."

A brief silence between the two was interrupted by Phineas' grumbling stomach.

"Well you're not gonna decide anything on an empty stomach," Adyson told him. "How's pizza sound? I've got a frozen one I can heat up for us."

"If that's cool with you. Aren't your parents around, though?"

"Nope," Adyson told him as she headed for the kitchen to get dinner going. "It's their twentieth anniversary. They just left yesterday for a Caribbean cruise. They won't be back until next week."

"Whoa, so you're here alone the whole time?"

"I'm not alone now, am I?"

"Addie, you know what I'm talking about."

"I know. It's cool, really. I don't have many friends I can talk to much these days anyway."

Phineas joined her in the kitchen just as she finished setting the timer for the pizza. "You know you're always welcome over at our place too, right? Well, at least whenever Isabella isn't around."

"Which is how often? Remember the last time I was hanging around when she walked in?"

"How could I forget? She showed up for our date in a low-cut blouse, mini skirt, high heels, all dolled up and you were on the couch with your iPod in sneakers, shorts, and a t-shirt. I think she spent three minutes talking down to you about your appearance before she realized you had your music up so loud you couldn't hear her."

Adyson laughed heartily at the memory. "The look on her face was freakin' priceless, lemme tell you."

"Yeah, but then I had to spend the next half-hour talking her out of beating the crap out of you for ignoring her like that."

"Oh she was welcome to try."

"All the same, I didn't want her to try. For both of your sakes."

Adyson leaned across the kitchen counter, smirking at him. "You always have been squeamish about violence. I remember you puking when you saw me skin my knee falling off of the swing set at preschool."

Phineas shrugged at her. "I can't help it. Blood freaks me out hardcore. You know that. Hell, you know a lot about me."

"I should given how long we've known each other, Phin. Remember when we first met?"

Phineas had to think for a moment, but he recalled it. "Day care, right?"

Adyson nodded to him. "Mom still goes on and on about how we used to share Cheerios all the time."

"Yeah, so does my mom. And then Ferb joined us a couple years later for preschool."

"Yup. I remember we both had to show him the ropes for the playground."

"Man did we have a lot of fun then. And then in first grade…"

Phineas' spirits, which had been rising, fell again as he recalled first grade.

"That's when she transferred in," Adyson said with a sigh. "Isabella."

"Yeah, but for a long time she was still cool. We did all those summer projects, and you guys became Fireside Girls and rocked that out."

"Gretchen and I rocked it out," Adyson said, correcting him. "Isabella spent so much time daydreaming about you that we basically ran the troop for her a lot of the time. She just ended up with most of the credit."

"Really? I never knew that."

"Not many people outside of our troop do. I miss talking to the girls, but we've all got our own lives now."

"It seems like Isabella's caused more problems than she's solved."

"You really don't know the half of it."

"Heh, I think I'll just stay blissfully ignorant if that's cool with you. Mind if I turn the TV on?"

"Make yourself at home. Pizza won't be up for another fifteen minutes."

Phineas went back to the living room and did just that, channel surfing for a while until Adyson came in with a plate with three slices of pepperoni pizza for him and a can of soda. She left and returned moments later with her own plate. Phineas turned the TV off once she sat down with her food.

"Thanks again for the food, Addie," Phineas told her. "You've always been there for me."

"You're welcome, Phin," she replied after swallowing a bite of pizza. "And you've always done the same for me ever since we were little."

Phineas nodded as he tried to finish chewing and swallowing a particularly large bite of pizza. "Well of course. I mean, you've always meant a lot to me. And for as much of the stuff we did that Isabella was a part of, you were there for a lot of it as well."

"To be honest, half the time I kept wondering when you guys would end up blowing yourselves up and wanted to be on hand for the event. But yeah, I also wanted to be there to help you out too. And I still want to help you out, Phin, however I can."

"Any chance you can help me decide what to do about Isabella, then?"

Adyson shook her head at him as she continued eating. "We've already been over that."

"Yeah, yeah. It'd be so much easier if…"

Phineas's voice trailed off, which caught Adyson's curiosity. "If what?"

"You're seriously going to think I'm stupid if I say what I was about to."

"No, I seriously already think you're stupid for not dumping Isabella a long time ago. Trust me, whatever you say isn't going to change that."

"Wow, thanks for that."

"Don't mention it. Now spill it."

Phineas sighed, finished his current slice of pizza, washed it down with soda, and then continued.

"Having a girlfriend has been really nice," he said. "As weird as it may be to say, I don't want to feel lonely. I just kinda wish I knew of anyone else who was interested in me like that. Romantically, that is. I've got a lot of friends, but not many people I really care about that aren't family."

Adyson felt her heart jump into her throat as she put her food down and sat up a bit more.

"Actually, I do know someone," she told him, looking down as she spoke. "Someone who's actually cared about you quite a lot…and for longer than Isabella."

"How's that possible? The only girl I've known longer than her is…"

Phineas stopped as the realization hit him. Adyson, however, continued.

"I never said anything because I was petrified, Phin," she said. "Just like how you didn't want to lose Isabella as a friend, I didn't want to lose you as a friend either. So I never told you how much I liked you. When Isabella showed up and started fawning over you I was instantly jealous of her. Especially when it looked like you two would be so perfect for each other. But I kept quiet. I accepted just being your friend and was pretty much okay with that. Even now, after everything we've talked about tonight, I'm still cool with that."

Phineas was looking at her in wonderment now. "Addie, are you really…"

Adyson looked straight at him now, tears streaming down from both her eyes. "In love with you? You're damn straight I am! That's why it absolutely killed me earlier to hear about what you've had to put up with from that little…! She doesn't deserve someone as handsome and brave and clever and smart and wonderful as you. She's just a conniving little bitch who wouldn't be anything if she didn't have you wrapped around her finger!"

"Adyson…I don't know what to say…I mean-"

"Please, Phineas…" Adyson said, standing up and looking out her front window at the continuing storm. "If you're about to say you think you owe me anything then just stop right there. You don't owe me a damn thing. My feelings for you have never had strings attached to them, and they never will. If we're never anything more than friends that'll be fine; but don't for a second think you're obligated for anything to me. That kind of thinking is what got you into the mess you're in now, and I won't let you do it again for my sake."

She turned to look back at him, forcing a smile onto her face for him. "But all the same…you asked if there was anyone else who was interested in you romantically, and I'm here telling you that I love you, Phineas Flynn. I have ever since we met, and I likely always will."

Phineas' mind raced to process everything that Adyson had just said. After a few moments of silence, he shook his head as if awakening from a long sleep. He stood up and walked over to Adyson, who turned to face him.

"I've decided what I'm going to do about Isabella." He told her resolutely.

Adyson nodded to him as she wiped the tears off of her face. "Good for you. Best of luck to you, then."

"Thanks," Phineas said with a nod. He reached up slowly and cupped her left cheek with his right hand gently. "But I don't need luck. I know a sure thing when I see it."

The ensuing kiss between the two of them was as fierce as the storm that raged on just outside. Adyson grabbed him by the front of his shirt and pulled him along with her, kissing him repeatedly as they worked their way upstairs to her room. Once there, and with the door closed, any remaining inhibitions between the two were shed along with their clothes. Their lovemaking was clumsy and frantic, but fulfilling on an emotional level neither had ever contemplated. A half-hour later they lay together under the covers of her bed, Adyson's head resting on his shoulder as they still cooled down in her darkened room.

"I guess I'll have some responsibility to take," Phineas said as he stared at her ceiling. "I mean, I didn't exactly come here intending for this to happen and, well…"

"Oh, don't sweat it," Adyson told him. "I've been on the pill for a few years now."

Phineas laughed out loud at her admission. "That's not entirely what I meant, but that is a relief to hear. I more meant the fact that I hadn't intended to cheat on Isabella when I came over here."

"I'm sure Isabella didn't originally intend for your relationship to ever be like how it turned out, but it did. Life has a funny way of not working out how you want it to."

"True, and yet it also has a funny way of still working out anyway, just in a way you never saw coming."

Adyson smiled and hugged him tightly again before propping herself up on her elbows to look him in the eye. "So how're you going to explain this to her?"

"Honesty has always been the best policy. I expect there to be a lot, and I mean a lot, of screaming involved. But I don't think that's a bad thing necessarily."

"I think that's the best way to go. And I'll be there with you. I've got a thing or three to say to her as well."

"I wouldn't even think of telling you not to. Who knows? Maybe eventually she'll come around and be willing to try just being friends again. But I can't continue in a relationship where it's not clear if either of us actually loves the other."

Adyson smiled and traced a circle on his chest with her finger. "Well I sure hope I made it obvious to you that I love you, Phin. I mean, I certainly don't want there to be any ambiguity on my feelings here, after all."

Phineas had to laugh again. "Oh trust me; you've proven how you feel. And I love you too, Addie."

Adyson leaned in closer to him, smiling devilishly. "Still, I'm not sure. Maybe you need some more proof of my love."

Phineas raised an eyebrow at her and smiled right back at her in the same manner. "Is that so? Are you trying to decide my life for me too, now? Because if so that would make you no better than-"



"Shut up and kiss me again."

Phineas smiled and complied, kissing her as she slid over on top of him again. Whatever tomorrow brought when they confronted Isabella would be dealt with when it came. That night was about reclaiming his life and finding a real love: one that, surprisingly enough, had been right with him all along.

Author's Afterword

This is a story idea that has been stuck in my head for weeks. Please understand, I really do love the character of Isabella and fully support Phineas/Isabella as a pairing. It's all but official canon, for crying out loud. But sometimes you have to challenge yourself to look at things differently. What if Isabella's love for Phineas turned into something a little less than pure if he didn't reciprocate, or even acknowledge her feelings at all, for a really long time? Moreover, what if Isabella wasn't the only girl in town harboring feelings for him? These things, plus some select songs (yes, "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift played a huge role in this story's inspiration) caused this idea to form in my head and it simply would not leave me alone until I wrote it and posted it for the enjoyment (or loathing) of others.

To be perfectly clear, this story falls outside of the continuity of all of my other Phineas & Ferb stories. That should be obvious given that I have put Ferb with Vanessa here, but I wanted to spell it out all the same.

Is this story horribly OOC and totally derivative from anything that could be construed as canon? Oh hell yes it is. But I still like it nonetheless. Life happens, period. Things don't always go "according to plan", but at the same time things also have a way of working out anyway. Just differently.

It would be nice if someone out there ends up enjoying this story regardless of it being Phineas/Adyson with anti-Isabella, but I won't be surprised if I don't get even one positive review for it. I also won't be shocked if I get horribly flamed by rabid Phinabella fans who can't do as I asked at the beginning and check their fandom at the door. To be perfectly honest, I have said time and again that I write the stories I want to write. If I wanted nothing but positive reviews I could just churn out Phinabella story after Phinabella story and bask in the unending flow of praise. That is not why I write. I write because it's fun for me and no amount of flames or disdain will change that.

Hell, if I get enough flames maybe I'll consider continuing this story anyway. Just to irk the haters. But it's a one-shot for now. Anyway, thanks for reading this far if you indeed have, and if you did enjoy the story please do let me know in some way.