Title: Accidents Happen

Summary: An accident implies that there is no one at fault. But someone must pay the price.

AN: Because this fandom is in obvious need of more Ferb-whump.

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Ferb wakes up to an unfamiliar celling and a soft beeping noise. It's dim, which is odd, because Ferb usually can't sleep in a room unless it's dead quiet and pitch black, or at least darker than dim. He's surprised to see Father sleeping on a cot next to his bed. The blankets are unfamiliar and Father's jacket bunched up as a pillow. It's only when Ferb sees the IV pole that he realizes that he's in the hospital.

There is no clock in the room and he can't see Father's watch. The best that Ferb can do is guess that it was either really late or really early. For a moment, he considers waking Father up to ask him why he was there and where Phineas was. Then Ferb feels sleepy again and he would much rather deal with all this in the morning.

The next time Ferb wakes up, he's groggy and he doesn't want to open his eyes. There's a hint of coffee in the air which means that father has been awake for at least an hour. The sun is shining over the left side of his body and Ferb wants to move out of the heat, but he's far too tired to move right now. When the door opens, Ferb twitches his eyes, but they stay firmly shut. He hears the tale-tell footsteps of Phineas and Mom.

"Hey honey." Mom whispers, and Ferb hears a light kiss his parents share. "How's Ferb?"

Then Ferb feels Mom's hand on his forehead. She moves his hair back and rubs lightly at his scalp.

"No change." Father says. "The doctors said he should wake up soon."

"He'll be all right." Mom says.

Ferb feels a slight pressure on his wrist. The bed shifts to the right and he can't help it when he slides against Phineas's side.

"Did Candace say what happened?" Father asks.

"She still won't talk." Mom says.

"Whatever it is, it's fine. It doesn't matter. I just need to know."

"Me too."

Phineas hasn't let go of Ferb's wrist. Ferb desperately wants to return the pressure, to open his eyes, to make his throat work, but nothing is responding to him, and he's starting to get worried.

"Did you eat yet?" Mom asks.

"Just coffee the nurse brought in." Father says.

"You're going to have to eat more than that. Come on."

A chair scrapes against linoleum floor and his father shuffles around.

"Phineas, stay with your brother." Mom says, "You have your phone right? Call if anything happens."

The bed shakes as Phineas nods his head in agreement. When the door closes, Phineas lays down next to Ferb, one arm thrown lightly across Ferb's chest.

"I'm sorry." Phineas whispers, "Please wake up."

And Ferb badly wants to. Instead, his breathing was a constant and measured inhale and exhale. His heart rate remained steady and slow. But his mind whirred trying to get something in his body to listen.

"Please, please wake up."

When their parents get back, Ferb still can't move and Phineas hasn't moved. He hears them settle down into seats as they speak softly. Phineas sits up. The pressure across Ferb's chest disappears. But Phineas doesn't leave and once again takes hold of Ferb's wrist. After a while a TV hums to life, but the sound is there just to ward off the silence.

What happened? Ferb searches through his memory, but he's missing pieces. He and Phineas had been building a – something.

Phineas entered the last command and Ferb closed up the panel.

"There," Phineas smiled, "The Anti-Gravity 5000 is all done." He turned around and faced their friends, "Who wants to go first?"

Baljeet, Buford, Isabella, and the Fireside Girls looked up at the machine and back down to the both of them. They all shook their heads.

"All right," Phineas said, "Ferb and I will go."

The two of them climbed up to the platform and Ferb switched on the machine. They jumped off the platform and the machine worked perfectly.

Then Ferb can't dredge up any more images. He's not sure what to do. The TV drones on, but just listening to the characters seemed a little strange without seeing the images. He tried to sleep, but he couldn't help but think that if he fell asleep, he wouldn't wake up. The day passes and maybe Ferb does fall asleep, he isn't sure. Time seems to flow past him. All Ferb knows is that he still has no control.

"Lawrence," Mom says, "you and Phineas should go home. Get some rest."

"All right, dear." The car keys jingle as Father puts the keys into his pocket, "Please call - "

"- if anything happens. I know, don't worry. I will."

"Come on, Phin." Father says, "I'll try to get Candace to talk."

"Don't push too hard, she hasn't been taking this very well."

Phineas hugs Ferb and whispers. "I'll be back tomorrow."

/-/-/-/-/

Phineas and dad walk in to find Candace waiting at the bottom of the stairs. Her arms are crossed over chest and her red eyes swollen. Phineas can't help the burning apathy he has for his sister. He wants to sit with her and hug her and tell her that everything is going to be all right. He wants to tell her that he doesn't blame her for what happened. That he understands, even though he's disappointed. But he just can't get over the fact that she's not visiting Ferb, and that above all else keeps him from saying anything as he brushes past her.

"Is he okay?" Candace asks Dad.

Phineas closes the door before he can hear everything all over again. He's spent the day at the hospital. He didn't have to hear things second hand. And neither would Candace if she would just come with them.

He sits on the S.S. Phineas until Dad calls him down for a late dinner. He spends most of the time pushing his spaghetti around. Dad says he doesn't have to eat if he doesn't feel hungry. Phineas thanks him and heads upstairs to get ready for bed. For the first few days, Phineas had scoured the internet looking for some idea that he could use to help Ferb. Then Phineas realized that Ferb would need to wake up on his own, because that was how head trama worked. The patient wakes up when the body thinks it's ready.

Phineas lies down and stares at Ferb's bed. He wishes that he could have stayed at the hospital. But they only allow one parent to stay overnight per child. Maybe he could make something that would send unconscious messages.