[Yeah, yeah. Tanigawa and Disney shall never meet. So sue me.]
I was composing a new song in my room when the doorbell rang. I thought about it for a moment and concluded that nobody else was in the house. I put down my guitar, went down the stairs and opened the front door. "Phineas and Ferb? What are you doing here?"
Phineas, was as usual the member of the pair to speak. "Morning Jeremy, may we come in?"
"I guess. Is your sister with you?" I looked around and didn't see her.
"No, she's with Mom today, and if she doesn't spot us, she won't return home until around two p.m. today. Your sister is out shopping with your mother and they will return here at 11:38 a.m. with a standard error of five minutes. At which point you three will have lunch before you need to leave at 1:30 p.m. to go to work at Mr. Slushy Burger."
"Uh, wow. You've done your research, or something?"
"The times are not exact because time does not repeat itself exactly, but that does give us at least thirty minutes to chat. May we come in?"
"I guess so. Can I get you a snack?"
"There's no need for that and time is pressing."
The two boys walked into our living room. I followed and sat across from them. "So, what is this all about?"
"We have tried our best, over and over again. The problem is beyond our ability to solve, so we must ask for your help."
"My help? I'm just an ordinary teenager. But, the things you two do. It's like wow!"
"Impossible? Some sort of trick?"
"No, I've seen too much with my own eyes to dismiss it, but it all seems a bit much. It's like you're both ten times smarter than any person ever could be."
"And that is because Candace wished it." It was Ferb who made that odd comment.
"My brother is correct. Our abilities spring directly from her. When I was three she made a comment about what a bright little boy I was and so I was. And then she wished the same of Ferb, when he joined our household."
"Alright. Say I believe you, what good am I then?"
"We are stuck because she is stuck. Jeremy, what would you say Candace's greatest obsession is?"
"Well, to bust the two of you. She's always wandering off to do that."
"Would you say that Candace is an evil person?" Was that sadness in Ferb's eyes, or just exhaustion?
"No, no. She's got some weird ideas, but she wouldn't ever intentionally hurt anyone."
"She can't bust us, because she knows, deep inside, that she's responsible for the things we can do. She stops herself with her own powers, rather than pin the blame on her own victims." Phineas rested his long nose on his crossed hands.
"So you need me to bust you?"
"That wouldn't help either, for the same reason. She would stop you."
"So, what can I do for you two?"
"Doesn't this summer feel like it's been going on forever?"
"Yeah, kind of."
"What would you say, if I told you that this summer has lasted over five hundred years?"
"From anybody else I'd take that as a joke, but from you two? Okay, why don't I remember all that?"
"Because on the night before school, Candace rewinds time back two weeks. We have 13 days until it starts all over again. She won't let this summer end until she busts us, and she won't let us be busted. Candace has done what no villain has ever done. She has destroyed the world. There is no future and no past. All we have is this short span of time."
"That sounds really intense. But, how could I save the world?"
"You are the one she favors."
I turned towards Ferb. "That's an odd phrase."
"And an old one." Phineas nodded. "The problem isn't that Candace is too strong, it's that she's too weak. She's consumed by self doubt and that keeps her from moving on."
"This all sounds like Candace's problem. Why don't you tell her all this?"
"We have, dozens of times. Normally she just rejected it out of hand. Finally we did convince her. The world only just barely survived. She used all her remaining strength to toss time back. We've concluded that we can't risk that again."
"So if I can't even tell her what's she doing, then how can I help her?"
"We need you to build her up."
"Don't just flatter her." Ferb warned.
"Yes." Phineas thought for a moment then continued. "You can't tell her, but you can show her that she is worthy person. You need to be the wind beneath her wings. That's the only way she'll get over her hangup."
Phineas looked over at Ferb, then at his wristwatch. "Yeah, your family is about to return, and your sister must not see us at this time. Will you help us?"
"I'll think about it."
"You know where we live."