A/N: My first multi-parter, and my first attempt at a lot of familiar characters. It started out as an excuse for some Ferb/Vanessa Fluff, and just snowballed from there. All the characters belong to Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh.
If you don't know what a steeplechase ride is, do a search for Blackpool Steeplechase and you'll see. I've never seen or been on one, but I thought it looked neat.
Good Old Fashioned Fun
The summer day promised to be a splendid one, all blue skies and puffy white clouds, surprisingly not too hot for so late in the season. It was a day made to be seized. Ferb sat in the shade of the big tree in the back yard, a large scrapbook open in his lap. He was alone, and happy to find himself so. Beating his brother to the tree in the morning only ever meant one thing: Phineas had not yet decided what they were going to do today. Ferb turned another page of his scrapbook and thought: This could possibly be the best day ever.
Phineas walked out of the house, crossed the yard, and plopped down in the grass beside him. Ferb could tell by the pensive, slightly frustrated look on his face that he was open to suggestions.
"Hey, Ferb. What-cha doin'?"
Ferb held back a dry smile. It always amused him when Phineas mimicked Isabella's favorite phrase, especially since he was fairly certain Phineas was doing it subconsciously. He slid the scrapbook toward his brother, so it was balanced, half-and-half, on their neighboring knees, and showed him what he had been looking at. The pages were covered with old, black and white photographs of a couple of teenagers: a small, charmingly rounded girl, and a slim, square-nosed young chap.
"Is that Grandma and Grandpa Fletcher?" Phineas marveled. "Wow, they were so young! They sure look like they're having fun." The snapshots showed the couple riding a carousel, posing for pictures behind amusing wooden cutouts, holding hands in front of a lighted sign. "Sniffleton Pleasure Gardens," Phineas read aloud the gleaming words above them. "Well, it certainly looks pleasant."
"It was quite the spot in its day," Ferb spoke. "They took me once, when I was three, but by then it was a mere shadow of its former glory." He turned the page to reveal a photo of his tiny self, all big eyes and big smile, perched on a scarred and faded carousel horse. "What I wouldn't give to have seen it in its heyday." He gave Phineas a moment for the wave of inspiration to catch him up, but it was obvious that Ferb was going to have to take care of this one himself. "Phineas – I know what we're going to do today."
"Uh, Ferb, I thought we decided, no more time travel," Phineas reminded him. "Going back in history could have consequences."
"We're not going back in history," Ferb corrected him. "We're bringing history to us."
Phineas was even more surprised by this idea. "You mean, build an amusement park? Haven't we kinda 'been there, done that'? I mean, we've already built the Coolest Coaster Ever, twice, not to mention the giant Ferris Wheel, and the Mix 'n' Mingler, and that thing Candace made us build so we could sit there and watch it. The springy suction-cup probably counts, too. It just seems to me that we've already covered the whole amusement park thing this summer."
Ferb was sketching away furiously on his drawing pad. "It's not an amusement park, it's a Pleasure Garden."
Phineas looked over his brother's shoulder. "Carousel? Spinning Cups? Airplane Ride?" He couldn't quite wrap his mind around what he was seeing. "Isn't this kind of – tame for us?"
"Yes. Yes, it is," said Ferb, brain working faster than he could move the pencil.
"Oh, I get it!" Phineas exclaimed, finally making sense of the idea. "We start with the basics, then trick it out! Spinning cups that move in three dimensions. Jet propelled airplane ride with laser target-shooting. Cool idea, Ferb!"
"Hey," Phineas's eyes lit up, "maybe we could combine the carousel with a roller coaster!"
In answer to this, Ferb pointed out a photo in the scrapbook, of his grandparents riding a painted pony along a curving rail, with two other ponies on parallel rails in hot pursuit.
"Steeplechase Ride," Phineas read the caption. "Well, that has potential."
Ferb looked at him. "All summer, we've challenged the laws of physics. We've conquered gravity, time, and space. And it's been magnificent. But, I'm ready to try some good, old-fashioned fun. May I count you in?"
Phineas grinned. "Ferb, I know what we're – oh, wait, you already said that. Hey," he glanced around. "Where's Pe— "
"KrKrKrKrKr," Perry's familiar chatter came from behind the tree, and Phineas looked back and spotted him.
"Oh. Never mind. Well, Ferb, it looks like this is a good day to change things up. All right, then, let's go Old School!"
They were already making a fair amount of progress when a familiar pink figure came through the gate. "Hi, Phineas. What-cha doin'?"
"We're building a Pleasure Garden," he informed her happily, fastening a propeller onto the nose of a small, blue airplane for the ride he was constructing.
"Oooh, that sounds romantic," Isabella clasped her hands in front of her.
"No, it's just an old-fashioned way of saying Amusement Park. Hey, Ferb, toss me that blow torch, will you?"
"Amusement Park?" Isabella looked surprised, and a bit disappointed. "Haven't you kinda 'been there, done that'?"
"Not like this," Phineas assured her. "We're going Old School. Check it out!"
Ferb was working on the platform for the Spinning Cups, and pointed his wrench at his sketchbook of plans lying nearby on the ground. Isabella picked it up and, sitting on the edge of the platform, thumbed through the drawings. "Neat! Oh, there you are, Perry," she said, as the platypus appeared at her feet. "Wow, it's kind of early in the day for Perry to come home, isn't it?"
"He never left," Phineas noted. "I guess he's decided to change things up today, too."
"Do you need any help from the Fireside Girls?" Isabella asked. "I'm sure there are some Ride Operating patches we could earn."
"Thanks, Isabella, but we don't need staff. The whole park is automated, rides, concessions, everything; it all runs off a computer. Yeah, I know, that part's not Old School, but Ferb and I want to have fun, too. Well, there's one plane down – or should I say, up?" he beamed, wiping his hands. "Five more to go. Hey, Ferb," Phineas paused to consider the work he had just completed, "what if we tricked out the airplanes, just a little bit? Do the target-shooting thing, just not with lasers. Maybe air guns, and a mechanical scorekeeping system in each plane." Once Phineas started brainstorming, there was no stopping him. "We'd need a projectile that wouldn't hurt anyone. I could see Buford being more interested in shooting at the rest of us than at the targets," he chuckled and winced simultaneously. "Maybe some kind of air-bullet in a bubble, or something. We could still be kind of Old School, but more fun than just flying in a circle. What do you say?"
Ferb gave his brother an approving thumbs up, and Phineas eagerly went to work on his new project.
Once Phineas was out of earshot, Isabella said, "Um, Ferb?" When he looked at her, she smiled at him. "These plans look great. But I think you're missing one thing. Pencil, please?" she requested, and he handed her the one behind his ear. Isabella had flipped to a blank page, and now quickly sketched out her vision for another ride. When she glanced up at Ferb, who was leaning over her shoulder, she found him studying her drawings with a wryly twisted mouth, and one raised eyebrow.
Isabella giggled. "Well, you can't blame a girl for trying. Come on," she begged, in a near-whisper. "It would be a great addition. Please?" Perry chattered, as if casting his vote with her. "See, Perry likes the idea. You can put a flume drop at the end, if that helps," she offered.
"It doesn't need a flume drop," said Ferb, taking the sketchbook from her. Although it could stand a lot less pink, he thought. Isabella was practically batting her eyes at him, and he had to admit, they ought to have some sort of boat ride. Giving in, he gave her a nod.
"Thanks, Ferb," she beamed. "Oh, and don't tell Phineas it was my idea, okay?" With that, Isabella skipped off to see how the Airplane Ride was coming along.
And at this point, at last, it fell to Ferb to ponder in silence, Hm. Where's Perry?
To Be Continued…