You're Dating Her?, Part 3 (10.10.11)
Story Written by Freedom Fighter
Let's get to it! Here's the third and final part...
Disclaimer: The characters of 'Phineas and Ferb' belong to Disney.
The Dan Marsh Restaurant, approximately 7:45 pm...
Jeremy and Stacy were in the lobby of the restaurant, waiting to be seated along with several other would-be patrons.
"How'd you manage to score reservations?" Stacy asked Jeremy curiously. "I heard this place's booked for the next year!"
"I know a few people," Jeremy replied.
He then sighed sadly.
"Of course, ever since I made the reservations, I was hoping I'd be here with Candace."
Stacy put a comforting hand on Jeremy's shoulder.
Candace was biking her way to the restaurant, having gone back and retrieved her bicycle at some earlier point in time. Her brothers were following right behind her, as by luck their bikes happened to be in the back of the station wagon.
"Why are you following me?" she asked in annoyance as she glanced back. "The one time I DON'T want to bust you, you want to be around me?"
"We have to make it up to you for all of that waiting!" Phineas said in reply. "Besides, Ferb and I have always wanted to do a hands-on study of misconceptions and misunderstandings, and how they can render perfectly good teenage relationships and friendships battered, bruised, and sometimes damaged beyond repair!"
Candace hit the brakes, and her brothers did the same, as all three came to a stop.
"I already have enough to deal with! I don't feel like babysitting you twerps, either! Just... GO HOME!"
Candace started pedaling again, and the boys this time stood there, watching her continue down the street.
Despite being taken out to dinner at The Dan Marsh like she always wanted, Vanessa was still whining in dismay as her father turned off the engine and pulled the key out of the ignition.
"I thought we were going to have a normal, albeit expensive, dinner together!"
"We are, Vanessa!"
"Then explain THIS! And I don't mean Norm!"
It was revealed that they were sitting inside Norm's truck cabin.
"I can parallel park myself at a 10th-grade level!" Norm declared.
But Heinz knew his daughter was referring to the large, seven-sided mechanical monstrosity that sat in the truck's bed.
"Gimme a break! They wouldn't let me cancel my reservation earlier, so now they're forcing me to use it anyway! So if this dinner doesn't go just right... WHAM!"
He slammed his clenched right fist into his open left palm to emphasize the implied impact.
"I'll use the Level-inator to pancake the entire building into the ground! That'll teach them to force me to spend 250 dollars of money I could be spending on other fruitful endeavors!"
"You mean, like, trying to take over the Tri-State Area?"
"That, and paying your mother back for that loan I had to take out that one time. Sheesh! You know, she's worse than one of those money sharks when you're just one second late on a payment..."
"Alright, alright! This isn't about your mother. This is about you, and me, and GETTING MY REVENGE!"
"Dad. Will you PLEASE, for once, NOT embarrass me? As in NOT holding some stupid grudge over their policy?"
"Okay, okay! I'll give them three strikes. The 'not cancelling without a charge' is strike one!"
During the course of their back-and-forth, Heinz and Vanessa had made their way into the restaurant lobby. Heinz approached the hostess with a pleasant smile on his face. But that quickly faded when he saw her name tag. The woman before him was Stella, the same person he had argued with over the phone that morning.
"Oh," he grumbled. "It's you! Well, the last laugh is mine, because I, Doctor Heinz Doofenshmirtz, am here, HONORING MY RESERVATION!"
Stella rolled her eyes, then looked down at the guest list for that night. She ran her index finger down the page, finding Doofenshmirtz's reservation near the bottom.
"So... the reservation is for Heinz Doofenshmirtz plus date."
"Date?" Vanessa piped up. "DAD!"
"Dad?" Stella narrowed her eyes at Heinz. "You mean you're dating your own daughter? You disgust me!"
"What?" shouted Doofenshmirtz. "No! That's not it at all!"
"Whatever, you weirdo," Stella said as she stepped out and headed into the dining room. "Let's go!"
Vanessa glared at her father.
"Oh, come on, Vanessa! Just because I forgot to call and change the reservation..."
Vanessa then marched off after Stella. Doofenshmirtz mumbled something incoherent, then pulled a notepad out of his inner lab coat page, as well as a pen. It already had one 'X' on it, and he was adding a second.
"Strike two, Dan Marsh!"
He put the items away afterwards and followed Vanessa in. He got a dirty look from Stella as he passed by her as she headed back to her station. He then saw Vanessa chatting with the couple they were sharing a table with... one-half of which Doofenshmirtz thought looked familiar...
"Ohhhh," Vanessa greeted said familiar face with a sly grin on her face. "Never thought I'd see you again."
The person she was talking to... was Jeremy.
"Back at ya!" Jeremy replied, smiling as well. "Name's Jeremy, by the way."
"Jeremy, huh? I'm Vanessa."
She then looked over at Stacy, who was sitting next to Jeremy.
"And this girl is..."
"Oh, where are my manners? This is Stacy, and she's..."
Stacy jumped out of her seat quickly and reached across the table, getting in-between Jeremy and Vanessa.
"I'm his girlfriend! So back off, goth chick!"
"Whoa!" Vanessa took a step back. "Easy! He's not my type. I only know him because..."
"Mr. Doofenshmirtz!" Jeremy cut her off, as he got up and went over to shake the hand of Vanessa's approaching father. "Haven't heard from you in awhile. Given up on guitar lessons?"
"Again, it's Doctor Doofenshmirtz... but never mind! As for guitar lessons, well... I've kinda been busy."
"Well, you still have my number if you want me to drop by for another session!"
"Of course, of course!"
The four took a seat, with the Doofenshmirtzes sitting on the opposite side of the table facing Jeremy and Stacy.
"So," cooed Heinz, "who's this with you? Your date?"
"Dad," Vanessa grumbled.
"It's no big deal," Jeremy tried to keep them calm. "This is Stacy. Stacy, meet Vanessa's father, Mr. Doofenshmirtz!"
Stacy raised an eyebrow at suspicion as she looked at how Dr. D was dressed.
"So you're a pharmacist? You must know my mom!"
"Huh? Oh, no, I'm mistaken for that all the time because of my lab coat! Actually, I'm..."
"Dad!" Vanessa cut him off again. "Ix-nay on the il-evay ientist-scay!"
"What are you talking about? Does it LOOK like I speak Mandarin?"
As Vanessa tried to keep her dad from admitting his outrageous profession, Candace had arrived and was just entering the lobby.
"This is the place Jeremy said he wanted to take me to," Candace remembered. "And... he took Stacy instead? THE NERVE!"
She walked in the direction of the seating area, but at the podium, she was stopped by Stella.
"Do you have a reservation?"
"Yes! I mean, no! No, I mean... I did, but my boyfriend gave mine to another girl without me knowing..."
"Yeah, yeah..." Stella said as she turned Candace around and pushed her towards the front door. "Nice try, but you're the fourth girl to try that excuse tonight!"
"NO! I'm telling the truth!"
"Tell it to someone who cares!"
Stella removed her hands from Candace's back, then walked back in and closed the doors behind her.
"Now what?" Candace asked herself.
Suddenly, she heard some noise coming from around the corner, in the adjoining alley. She took a peek, and saw four people scrambling off the back of a delivery truck, each pushing a dolly with two or three boxes on it. Candace narrowed her eyes and smiled as she got an idea. She ran down the alley and spotted a fifth person, this one barking orders at the first four.
"Let's go, LET'S GO! We're in the midst of a dinner rush, and there's still plenty to cook!"
Candace started to open her mouth, but the man beat her to it.
Candace gulped. She was busted before she could even get her foot in the door.
"YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE HERE AN HOUR AGO!"
He pulled a name tag out of his pants pocket and threw it to Candace, who leaned forward and caught it.
"And you forgot your uniform, too? If you don't want this to be your ONLY night working here, I suggest you be flawless tonight! Now, GET TO WORK!"
"Yes, sir!" Candace exclaimed, saluting him.
She ran into the restaurant's back door, passing by the ever-growing stacks of boxes from the truck, now in the kitchen. Two seconds later, the flaps of a box of green peppers popped open. A few of the vegetables seemingly jumped out, followed by none other than...
...who landed on his hind feet on the ground. He then pulled out his fedora from the box, then ran off, to the opposite side of the kitchen that Candace had gone towards.
Back in the dining room...
"I'm spending a quarter grand on THIS?" questioned Doofenshmirtz.
On the table before Jeremy, Stacy, Vanessa, and Dr. D were an assortment of small dishes: a prawn cocktail with eight shrimp in it, four small saucers of clam chowder, four small saucers of tomato soup, and a dinner plate half-covered with antipasto.
"Strangely," Jeremy looked at the food before them apprehensively, "I agree with you."
"If I wanted to eat like a bird," Stacy commented, "I would've stayed at home."
But not everyone in the party seemed disappointed.
"It's this small on purpose," Vanessa explained. "This IS a 20-course meal, after all. Consider this as the second round of appetizers."
"Well," grumbled her father, "the main course better be next, because I starved myself all day for this!"
"Dad, this isn't an all-you-can-eat buffet! This dinner is more about exploring your palate, not filling your stomach!"
Vanessa then turned towards the cocktail glass, but to her surprise, all of the shrimps were gone! But she quickly found them, or at least what was left of them, on Stacy's plate and sticking out of her mouth. Seeing Vanessa glaring at her, Stacy used her tongue to shift the shrimp tails back and forth on either side of her closed mouth.
Candace emerged from the kitchen, dressed in a waiter's uniform that consisted of: a low-cut, black V-neck sweater vest on top of a short sleeve oxford shirt, navy blue slacks, and a pair of all-black shoes. Also, to help with her disguise, she rolled up the back of her hair - all the way up to her shoulders - and had attached a black, pencil-thin mustache to her face. Holding a glass pitcher three-fourths full of water, she scanned the dining area with her eyes as she made her way around.
"Alright," she told herself, "where are you?"
"Waiter!" a man shouted.
She stopped and saw an adult male waving at her with one hand and holding up his near-empty glass in his other. She walked over and began to pour water into his glass. She looked up from what she was doing, and her face froze.
That was because she had two familiar faces sitting a few tables away. Jeremy and Stacy!
But she noticed that the two were not talking to each other. Stacy, in fact, seemed to be having some sort of verbal disagreement with another person, apparently across from her at the table. Candace could not see whom the other party was. She sidestepped to her right once, than twice. She then saw the two people Jeremy and Stacy were sharing their table with. She did not know whom the adult male of the pair was, but she did recognize the younger brunette next to her - who was the person Stacy was having her spat with.
"Vanessa? What is SHE doing here?"
Candace did not hear the cry of the customer she was serving, as she had poured enough water into his glass that it was now overflowing, because she was trying to read lips. Stacy's and Vanessa's, that is. Candace's eyes darted back and forth between the two girls, in tune with each time one closed her mouth and the other opened hers.
"What are they saying?"
"Shhhh!" Candace waved her hand at the man next to her. "Trying to read lips here!"
Suddenly, Jeremy stood up, ending the debate between the two girls as he put a reassuring hand on each of their shoulders. Naturally, that was one signal Candace definitely could decipher.
"They're fighting over Jeremy! Which means... gasp... Jeremy's not only two-timing me, he's THREE-TIMING me!"
Candace stopped pouring and walked away from the table, without as so much as looking at what she had just done. Instead, she was focused on what she was going to do.
"There's gotta be some rational explanation," Candace told herself. "Just play it cool, Candace. Stay in character. Coax them into blabbing the truth."
But her inner Candace was yelling...
"KILL THEM ALL! AH HA HA, AH HA HA HA HA!"
Candace paused for a second, doing a double-take.
"Whoa! I really have to stop watching those villain romance movies."
She continued on towards the table, reaching the table just in time to hear Vanessa and Stacy come to a peaceful resolution...
"So we'll agree to disagree, then."
"Yeah. The debate over whether Kojo Sampson's hair is real or not will be settled some other day."
...or did she hear?
"Ladies, ladies," Candace said, in her manliest sounding voice, before pointing to Jeremy. "A fine establishment such as this is not the place to fight over such a handsome young gentleman."
"What?" deadpanned Vanessa, both confused and annoyed at the accusation.
"Or, even better... why fight over a guy who's clearly already taken?"
"What are you talking about?" queried Stacy. "And how do you know Jeremy's status... Adrian?"
Candace had a perplexed look, but then she remembered that Adrian was the name on the tag she was wearing on her vest.
"Have we met?" asked Jeremy, as he eyed 'Adrian' up and down.
Candace began to panic. Had he seen through her disguise? Or had she moved too fast and had blown her cover as a result? Regardless, she had to divert their attention before it was too late.
So she poured the last of the water in the pitcher she was holding into Vanessa's lap. Vanessa quickly stood up to get it off before it soaked through the napkin she had placed there beforehand and into her clothes.
"What the... what's wrong with you?"
Candace kept in character as she nervously responded, "First... day?"
Vanessa stomped off, heading for the restroom. Candace breathed a sigh of relief, thinking she had saved herself. But when she turned towards Jeremy, he was still looking suspiciously at her. As now was Stacy. Oddly enough, so was the fourth member of the dining party, Doctor Doofenshmirtz... but for an entirely different reason.
"Maybe it's just the sirloin talking," he said aloud as he put a piece of steak in his mouth, "but I'm loving this impromptu Dinner Theater!"
Unsure of what to do next, but uncomfortable with all of the people staring at her, Candace put the empty pitcher down on the table and then sprinted off.
Candace pushed the door into the women's restroom inwards. Once inside, she instantly spotted Vanessa off to her left, in the process of trying to wipe the water off of and dry off of her leather coat. Candace took her time walking over to Vanessa, afraid she would be upset over the whole incident. But Vanessa continued to work on her coat, even as Candace stopped an elbow's length away.
"I'm sorry," Candace apologized.
"Meh," Vanessa shrugged her shoulders without looking up. "It's just water, Candace."
"Yeah," Candace sheepishly laughed it off. "It's just wa- WHAT?"
Vanessa quickly ripped Candace's fake mustache off of her face, and the redhead yelped in pain.
Vanessa wrapped the item in one of her wet paper towels and placed it on the sink counter. Candace rubbed at the red mark left behind just under her nose.
"How did you know it was me?"
"It doesn't take a genius to see through that."
Candace gasped. "I can't believe it! That's incredible! You must be, like, a spy!"
Vanessa froze at hearing the word 'spy.' Candace continued.
"Oh, who am I kidding? You? A teenage girl like me, a spy? That sounds just like something right out of a TV show!"
"Yeah," Vanessa laughed nervously, "out of a TV show..."
Candace sighed as she moved over to Vanessa's right to stare into the mirror.
"So... you gonna tell me what's going on, or are you gonna make me figure it out?"
The redhead took a deep breath to calm her nerves, then explained everything that had happened in the past 12 hours.
"That's it?" questioned Vanessa once Candace had finished.
"'That's it?' What do you mean, 'That's it?'"
"Well... Jeremy and Stacy, from what I've learned the past half hour, seem nice enough. People like that don't start dating right out of the blue! If you ask me, they weren't even acting like they were into each other! There has to be something else, some other reason that they're hanging with one another, without you! Perhaps it's because of you? Maybe you should, y'know, ask them what's up? Instead of acting like the world will blow up because they're together?"
Candace thought about it for a minute, then marched out of the restroom. She started heading back to the table, but then, out of the corner of her eye, she spotted Jeremy and Stacy near the front door, obviously having ended their dinner early. Candace raced after them. On the sidewalk, she shouted after the pair.
Upon hearing their names, they stopped, then turned around to face Candace. The redhead began begging for them to break up.
"Please! This isn't right! Stacy, you're my best friend! Why would you do this behind my back? And Jeremy, my Jeremy... why didn't you have the decency to tell me you wanted to break up?"
"Um..." they both hesitated to agree.
"Stacy! I promised I'd spend more time with you, and I intend to keep my end of the deal, no matter what! And Jeremy, I promise... I promise... actually, I don't know why you're mad at me."
"How could you not know?" Stacy questioned. "The last few days you've tried to scare off any girl that's even thought of looking at Jeremy."
"It's getting kind of creepy," uncomfortably admitted Jeremy. "Are you really that paranoid that I'll dump you the second I'll find someone prettier than you?"
"It didn't stop you from going out with Stacy!" Candace pointed out.
"We were only pretend dating," replied Stacy. "We wanted to see how you'd react, as well as see you react to how we'd react. I... think?"
"What Stacy's trying to say," Jeremy cut in as he stepped forward, "is that we want you to stop worrying about what might happen and just focus on what's going on."
"Yeah! We want things to go back to the way they were! You and me! You and Jeremy! And you, me, and Jeremy, once in awhile!"
"And I swear I'll never leave you for a prettier girl, Candace... because there's no one in the world more beautiful than you."
Candace was moved by their words, and she was finally coming to the realization of how wrong she had been acting the past few days. She motioned both of them to come forward so she could hug them.
"I'm sorry! I... I realize now that that I was wrong! Can you guys ever forgive me?"
"Of course!" Jeremy told her.
"That's what best buds do!" Stacy exclaimed.
The three continued to hug for several minutes. While still in the hug, they did not see or hear Doctor Doofenshmirtz march out of the front door of the restaurant in anger, heading for the parking deck.
"Serving me vanilla ice cream WITHOUT sprinkles?" he grumbled. "THAT'S STRIKE THREE!"
He pulled out his remote control for the Level-inator and pressed the activation button on it. Less than a second later, he heard... an explosion?
"What? That's not supposed to happen!"
He ran to the deck, and gasped when he saw the remains of the Level-inator scattered around Norm - what was left of him after the explosion, that was.
"That's gonna leave a mark!" noted Norm.
"What happened?" Doofenshmirtz asked as he saw an orange liquid mixed in with the gasoline and motor oil coming out of the wreckage.
He squatted down and dipped his finger into the orange part of the mixture, then placed it into his mouth.
"Whoa," he said as he fanned his mouth. "Is... is that buffalo sauce? You mean he went to Buffalo and back in half a day? How can that be the farthest place in the U.S. from here?"
Perry then appeared out of nowhere, jumping up and slapping an oval-shaped bumper decal on his stomach. Perry then ran off without saying a word.
He looked down and tried to read it.
"'Buffalo Rocks!' What? You don't know that for sure! There was no way you could've been there long enough to prove it, and you're making me flaunt it on my shirt, like I mean it! You're not allowed to control my thoughts! CURSE YOU, PERRY THE PLATYPUS!"
Back with the trio...
Candace sniffled with glee. "I... I love you guys!"
"And we love you," Jeremy and Stacy said in unison.
And that ends another P&F mini-series! I think it wasn't bad for a first attempt at a Candace-centric story. I might do another one soon, if I can think of a good idea to use.
If you liked the story, a review would be much appreciated! Thanks!