So I absolutely had to take a break from my other projects and write a fic for Across the Second Dimension. Seriously, I had to. The urge was impossible to ignore. So much so, that I found my fingers typing on my lap in church this morning. No lie. That's how sick in the head I am.
I don't know about you people, but I positively adored Parallel Phineas and Ferb, and I know the writers were on a time limit so couldn't include them as much as they probably wanted, but that's the one thing I wish I'd seen more of in this movie. This is a one-shot detailing exactly what I think could've happened after the First Phineas and Ferb and Candace were taken prisoners by the evil Doof and nearly fed to the giant monster in the cage, etc, and Parallel Candace wouldn't let her brothers help but took them back home where it was "safe." I kept thinking about what an impression the First Phineas must have made on the Parallel Phineas, and what must've been going through the Parallel boys' minds when they decided to break the rules and go after them, turning into those wicked-cool versions of P&F.
Title, in case you're not one of those cracked kids like me who remembers every detail of everything fictional, comes from the song that played while First Phineas, Ferb, Candace, Perry, and Doof were jumping through the clockwise dimensions, because this would've been about the same time this fic takes place. FYI.
Oh, and remember this is set in Parallel-dimension POV, so when it says "Other Phineas," or whatever, it means the real, original Phineas. Try to wrap your head around that so you don't get confused and stop reading. *hehe*
One more thing I ought to address: One of you smart reviewers, PimpedOutGreenEars, mentioned that according to the movie, Parallel Phineas should only have been two years old when Doofenshmirtz took over. The reason I made him older is because he told Phineas and Ferb that he really missed his Perry, and I thought it made a bit more sense for them to have picked their Perry out when they were toddlers, just like first-dimension Phineas and Ferb, and then later he went missing, once they were old enough to actually remember him. Thanks for pointing it out, though. I probably should've mentioned it before. *hehe*

A Brand New Reality

They were sitting…again.

It felt like they had been sitting for their entire lives. Ever since Doofenshmirtz had risen to power in Danville when they were seven years old, his radical laws—enforced by his terrifying and virtually indestructible Norm Bots—had prevented them from doing…well…anything.

Except sitting, that is.

Oh, they had tried resisting. They really had. He could even remember what he did the first moment after his mom and dad told them that they would now have to wear those uncomfortable, gray, totally boring Dooferals and never make noise unless it was Doofensday; being only seven, he had rushed to his room (dragging Ferb along behind him, of course), splattered paint all over their clothes (mixing ever color he could find together and using every painting tool they had taken from the garage), and the two of them had stood in the front yard, blowing trumpets and banging together pots and pans until the neighbors started yelling out the windows and throwing rotten fruit.

Then, the Norm Bots had taken them away and thrown them in a cell where half-starved pythons were shackled to the wall with chains just short enough to stop them from reaching the cowering boys. They were left in there all night, with Doofenshmirtz's menacing voice blaring much too loudly from speakers mounted on the walls.

"I am Doof, and you will conform and do only what I tell you! I am Doof, and you will conform and do only what I tell you!"

Et cetera.

For a whole ten months that went on, with their mom and dad continuously trying to convert them and Candace continuously begging for them to at least pretend it was working. They wouldn't back down, though; even as little boys, they knew what they were supposed to stand for, and what was right and wrong. They knew, and they wanted everyone else to know that they knew.

But eventually, they broke.

He could remember the last time they had been in that cell, with those spoilt lions roaring inches from their faces as they dangled much too close to a pot of boiling lava, while the headphones stuffed painfully into their ears blasted Doofenshmirtz's mantra and nearly destroyed their ear drums.

They had hung there for three days that time, and when they'd gotten out, it was a full twenty-four hours before either of them could hear or walk properly again.

He'd been eight then, and Ferb had been nine. They were tired, and scared, and when he'd woken screaming and sobbing that night, it was an unspoken understanding between them that they would not go back there again.

So they sat instead.

From six o'clock in the morning to noon, they sat in school, where they wore helmets which prevented them from seeing their classmates and where a computerized version of their dictator taught them all about the pros of conformity and nothing about the cons. From noon to three-thirty, they sat at home, in the living room, on the couch, and played Doofopoly—which was the closest they could get to fun, and really wasn't much fun at all. From three-thirty to six o'clock the next morning, they sat in their room with the lights out and pretended to sleep, not daring to speak for the Norm Bots patrolling outside their windows and wishing that Perry would come home and offer them some amount of comfort, until they actually fell asleep. Then, they did it all over again.

Somewhere along the way, they forgot who they were supposed to be.

Then, they met the Other Phineas and Ferb.

As if that hadn't been incredible enough, these two extraordinary boys had dragged them out of the house and into the (albeit dim) sunlight, which they hadn't actually seen for weeks thanks to the child-conforming helmets they were made to wear every time they stepped out of the house. They were nearly captured by a Norm Bot, rescued by a hungry bully with a mohawk, tied up by a pretty girl named Isabella and her team of tough Firestorm girls, lectured by the leader of the Resistance (who also happened to be their sister, which almost didn't surprise them, knowing how bossy she could be), taken to the underground entrance of Doofenshmirtz's headquarters by the mine cars they'd always wanted to ride as kids, almost slaughtered by a whole army of Norm Bots…and somehow, they had survived it all.

It had been the most riveting experience of their lives.

And now, here they were. Sitting. Again.

There were several moments of silence, broken only by the constant ticking of the clock on the mantle, and then Ferb moved and fetched something from the closet at the other end of the room.

Phineas pulled his eyes up just long enough to see the Doofopoly logo on the box, and then his gaze fell back to his lap, where his fingers were laced together tightly.

"No, thanks, Ferb. I don't feel like playing."

Ferb blinked and set the box on the coffee table, climbing onto the sofa beside him in his usual spot.

A few more ticks of the clock, and then,

"There was just something about him, Ferb. That Phineas was…different."

Ferb turned his head and looked at his brother to indicate he was listening.

"I don't know what it was," Phineas continued, never lifting his gaze, his voice saturated with a deep sadness and a strange longing. "I mean, I know he was me, but he…wasn't. He was bright, and fun, and happy."

He raised his eyes to meet Ferb's, which had softened into a warm honey at his red-haired brother's quiet words.

"I mean, he burst in here in those crazy clothes and sang a song about summer. Summer, Ferb! You can get thrown into a cell for just saying the word 'summer' around here, and he was blurting it out—repeatedly—with no fear at all, even knowing it's outlawed. He jumped on the couch, and ran around the room, and sang." He trailed off, and his tone had quieted with a childlike ache again when he spoke. "I'd forgotten what it feels like to sing, Ferb. It's like freedom."

He sat up suddenly at that, shoulders tensing with some realization.

"That's it, Ferb," he declared, and his sapphire eyes were filled with a deep sadness beyond what he should feel as an eleven-year-old boy. "Other Phineas was free."

Ferb patted his shoulder with a silent empathy when the smaller youth miserably bowed his head.

"Did you hear what he said?" Phineas went on, even softer. "He and his Ferb and their Perry got here by accident. That means they must have been doing something besides playing a stupid board game."

With that, he struck out and the ugly black box bearing Doofenshmirtz's smiling face crashed to the floor, its contents spilling out in a chaotic heap of zero-bearing spinners and single-syllable Doofopoly instruction cards.

"He said they built a roller-coaster," Phineas carried on, and there was something else in his voice now—something strong and vivid and much like the seven-year-old Phineas…the one who had gotten lost. "And he surfs tidal waves, and builds nanobots, and looks for Frankenstein's brain. What's a Frankenstein, anyway?"

Ferb shrugged.

Phineas leapt onto the table in front of his brother, his blue eyes so set aflame that one would not have noticed the blandness of his outfit in that moment.

"All I can think about is how smart and courageous they were," he said, almost like an exclamation, "and how I'd give anything to be like them. But we are them, Ferb!"

He leapt across and dropped to his knees so that he was facing the green-haired boy, clutching his thin arm in his agitation.

"Why aren't we?" he questioned, desperately.

Ferb reached out with his left hand and turned his brother's wrist over so that the glow of the lamp gleamed off the white scar left behind by a hot iron stamp, the ridges of the significant "D" encased in the small square box sharpening with a meaningful clarity in the light.

Phineas sighed as he remembered getting that burn, as everyone in Danville had on that dark day.

"Yeah, I know," he murmured. "But I'm tired of that excuse, Ferb. I'm tired of being a coward. I'm tired of rules and restrictions. But more than anything else, I'm tired of obeying what everyone else tells me to do."

Ferb blinked curiously.

"Didn't you look at them, Ferb?" the blue-eyed boy asked, nearly in a whisper. "Their hair was long; their eyes were sparkly—they were alive. And tan. Dude, look at us. We're pasty!"

Ferb looked at his white arms with vague alarm, as though the thought was suddenly striking him for the first time.

"I want to be like that Phineas," the boy said, squeezing Ferb's arm firmly in his conviction. "I want to be unique and creative, not ordinary and dull. I want to build enormous androids and find things that don't exist. I mean," (He jumped up again and resumed his place on the coffee table, shifting his weight from foot to foot in his too-long-contained energy.) "do you have any clue how many huge ideas I have? They've been stored up here, in my head, for months—years, even!—and I've never touched any of them because I was afraid to be a rebel against the commonplace."

He grabbed a piece of paper with the enormous D covering the page and a Doof-ink pen from their father's desk and began scribbling frenziedly.

"I've been dying to construct an airplane bigger than our house made entirely out of papier-mâché,"—He held up a remarkably detailed sketch of a craft called the Paper Pelican.—"and a whole yard-full of brobots that look just like you and me and will dance on command." He ripped another page several times so that it was in the shape of a stiff and familiar-looking form with the word Ferbot scrawled across the top. "I've wanted forever to know if all the instruments of a thirty-piece orchestra will start playing from no apparent source if we start singing randomly about ridiculous things, like mummies, and ice cream in space."

With that, he tossed all the bits of paper into the air and leapt down so that he stood in front of Ferb on the hard, worn floor.

"There's so much I want to do," he said, intensely, as the last of the pages flitted to the floor behind him, "so many ways I want to let my imagination fly and take us—me, you, Candace, and those kids, Isabella, Buford, and Dr. Baljeet—to so many fantastic places. We could do it, Ferb—you and I, together. I know we could; we're brothers, and we'd make an amazing team, just like we always have. We could do everything Other Phineas and Ferb do, and we could rock at it. We just need the chance to prove it to ourselves, and to Candace, and everyone else."

He straightened, crossing his slim arms over his chest and standing tall in a way Ferb hadn't seen for years.

"We'll never get that chance sitting here," the red-headed boy declared. "And besides all of that, Doofenshmirtz has the Other Phineas and Ferb now, not to mention their Perry. We can't let him hurt them the same way he did us, or worse, even. They deserve better than that."

"So…what do you propose we do?" queried Ferb, unable to keep silent any longer, having found himself suddenly so enthralled with this new—well, revived, would be more the word, he supposed—brother of his.

"I propose," said Phineas without hesitation or contemplation, "that we do exactly what everyone says we shouldn't do."

"And what's that?" urged Ferb.

Phineas' face fell a bit, and he moved to settle down so that he was crouching side-ways on the sofa, again facing his brother.

"Before I tell you," he said, his tone solemn and young face grim now, "there's one thing I need to know."

Ferb sat up to assure him that he was paying close attention.

"I need to know, Ferb," he gripped his brother's hand with both of his in his excitement, "are you with me?"

Ferb looked deep into the eyes of this lively, clever, crazy boy who so closely resembled the Phineas they had left on the other side of that wall of fire only an hour before. This was the real Phineas, he realized. This was the true spirit of both boys, the single soul full of love and life that had been marvelously let loose in one and cruelly confined in the other, but was now shining, bright and dynamic, in both of them.

And it was then that Ferb knew the entirely implausible meeting of the four of them had been nothing short of destiny. Doofenshmirtz didn't stand a chance with two Phineas Flynns at their best against him.

Ferb laid his hand on top of both of Phineas', never pulling his light brown eyes from his brother's electric blue ones.

Make that two Phineas Flynns and two Ferb Fletchers.

"Always," he vowed.

Phineas grinned so broadly he was almost afraid his face would break after so long and, unable to stop himself, flung his arms around his taller brother's neck, digging his small face into the narrow shoulder.

"I knew I could count on you, bro!"

Ferb was startled for a moment, but recovered quickly enough to wrap both arms securely around his slightly younger brother.

"I'll get the gear," Phineas volunteered perkily, pulling away from his brother's warm embrace in a burst of energy.

Ferb raised a green eyebrow at him as he scampered beneath the couch, returning with a duffel bag, which he dropped heavily onto the cushion. Dark clothes and shiny technology were temptingly visible through its unzipped top. A gleaming wrench seemed to call to Ferb like nothing he'd ever felt before.

"I grabbed it from the Resistance Headquarters coming back through," Phineas explained innocently. "It'll help us sneak past Candace, too…if she hasn't been arrested already."

Ferb considered something for a moment.

"What was that name Other Candace mentioned to our Candace?"

"Jeremy Johnson?" Phineas paused from where he was pulling out a black T-shirt from the bag and holding it to his torso for size. "Hm. I think we could probably get Isabella to help us find him. Good idea, Ferb. See? I knew we'd be naturals at this."

That last was strained as he was yanking some advanced-looking tool from a side pouch of the bag, and then he lost patience with the waiting and simply turned the duffel upside-down so that all the objects came tumbling out before them. Bits and pieces of various equipment fell and sat still in front of their eyes, waiting for their dexterous hands to do their work.

Phineas' eyes shone, a million ideas flashing before his mind's eye as he gazed down at what others might consider junk, but what he saw as treasure. He lifted the inoperative end of an old blow-torch from the pile in his left hand and the bulky handle of an old, metal door in his right.

"Ferb," he said, his voice full of wonder as he held the two objects up to see how they would fit together, "I know what we're going to do today."

Ferb's heart skipped a beat at how inexplicably right that had sounded.

So it was that the Phineas and Ferb of the Second Dimension entered their own Brand New Reality. It was less than ten minutes before they found themselves surrounded by wild gadgets and high-tech equipment, realizing for the first time in their lives how well they worked together. It was less time that than that before they had planned their rescue and called the Johnson agent, and when they used a modified boomerang to take down the first Norm Bot who stood at the entrance of Doofenshmirtz's cells, they knew they had finally found themselves again.

They never looked back—only moved forward into summer days full of fun and imagination and music…and Ferb's new tools, of course. At least, that was what they did in between fighting an escaped Doofenshmirtz's Norm Bots alongside their beloved (and totally cool!) platyborg, with the loyal members of the Resistance utilizing their fantastic inventions behind them and loving every moment of it.

From then on, Phineas Flynn's laughter rang out in two dimensions, and the echoes of their combined voices conspiring with their Ferbs and requesting help from their Isabellas and calling out for their Perrys and giving orders to their gangs set in motion adventures more imaginative and thrilling than the most eventful round of Doofopoly.

Needless to say, they didn't do much sitting after that.

The End

Well? Success or ultimate fail?
Wait. Don't answer that.
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