A/N – Well, here it is, my take on What Happened to the Father of Phineas and Candace. It took me a while to work out my ideas, and even longer to figure out how to present them. I finally just let Linda tell the story, herself.
I split this in two simply due to length. The Flynn-Fletcher Family belongs to Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh, as do Linda's parents. Anyone else here is mine. If any of the names belong to real bands or singers, it's completely coincidental.
His Name Was Matt – Part One
His name was Matt. Matthew James Flynn. We met on the first Lindana Come-Back Tour. He was a roadie – a sound technician. There wasn't an instrument on the bus he couldn't play, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, cowbell, tambourine… He wasn't good enough at any of them to make a career of it, but I didn't care, I thought he was a Rock Star. He had this gorgeous, feathered auburn hair down to his shoulders, and these blue eyes, and a smile that just lit up the whole room. I was crazy in love with him. Emphasis on the crazy.
He was twenty when we met. Yeah, he was – well, let's just say a few years younger than I was, but you wouldn't have guessed it if you'd known him. He'd been on the road with one tour or another since he was sixteen. His father was never in the picture – Matt didn't even know his name. His mother drank too much, and burned out their apartment with a lit cigarette when he was twelve. He always said rock and roll saved his life – he'd snuck out that night to some club to hear BachDraft play, or he would have died with her. From then on, it was state homes or foster care until the day he talked his way onto a tour bus and never looked back.
Matt and I paired up pretty quickly. For all he'd been through as a kid, he had this amazing optimism. The Lindana Come-Back Tour wasn't exactly packing them in, but he was always convinced that the next stop would be a sell-out. No matter what happened today, tomorrow was always going to be better. I can see that part of him in Phineas and, yes, I'm glad for that. We made it through nineteen cities before the promoters canned the tour. Our last show was in Albuquerque. We already knew this was the end, but Matt wasn't going down without a fight; he got everybody pumped up, and darned if we didn't put on the best show those two hundred and fifty-seven people had ever seen! The next morning, Matt said to me, "Come on, we're going to Vegas!" I honestly thought, He got us a booking in Vegas? But, no, he wasn't talking about the show, he was talking about us. The tour was over, the crew was breaking up, and he wanted us to get married before he 'lost' me. Well, he didn't need to worry about 'losing' me, but we went to Las Vegas, he bought a ring, I bought a dress, and one fake Elvis rendition of "Love Me Tender" and a couple of "I Do"s later, I was Mrs. Matthew Flynn.
We actually stayed in Las Vegas for a while, working with a British Invasion Tribute Show on the Strip. Matt was a stage hand, and I helped out with hair and makeup. The guys in the band really were British. They'd all come to the States with big dreams of being rock stars or movie idols or TV producers and had ended up wearing paisley and mop-tops, performing old '60s songs for tourists. And you know, they were the sweetest bunch of guys you could imagine. Matt and I had this dinky little apartment, and I started cooking, and these guys would come over for meat loaf and tuna casserole and chow mein. They were all older than I was, but I was the Mother Hen, and it really was a little like having a house full of kids. You know, it's sad; that show has been closed for years, and I have no idea where any of them are now.
After about a year in Vegas, Matt was getting bored. His old life-savers, BachDraft, were going out on tour, and he got us a gig with them, him as a sound tech, me working wardrobe. We were on the road with three different bands over two years and I have to admit, it was a lot of fun. Kind of an extended honeymoon, living out of buses and hotel rooms. But I missed having my own kitchen, and I'd always known I wanted kids. Matt was all on board for that; I think he wanted a chance to prove that he could be a good parent, even though he'd never had one of those, himself. When we finished the last tour, I brought him back to Danville. My parents still lived here, and it was nice to have them around, and to put down some roots. Matt never did anything halfway and, if we were going to settle down and raise a family, we were going to have a nice house in the suburbs with plenty of room and a big back yard. He worked as a tech at Danville Arena, and part time at a record store – yes, they still had record stores then – and we bought our dream house. Next thing you knew, we were expecting, and the following summer, Candace was born.
Matt called her Candy Cane. And he turned out to be a great Dad. I've always heard stories about how guys always palm off the messy jobs on their wives, but Matt never shied away from changing diapers and cleaning up accidents. He said he'd mopped up enough puke in his rock tour career, a little spit-up from his daughter was nothing. We were about as happy a little family as could be. But by the time Candace was two, Matt was bored with our static life. He missed the tour circuit.
He actually thought we could all pack up and hit the road; he even thought he could talk some promoter into putting together another attempt at a Lindana Come Back – he always did think Lindana was a bigger deal than she ever really was. But there was no way I was raising my kids out of a tour bus, and Candace was too young to be around that crazy rock concert lifestyle. In the end, we worked out a compromise, and Matt went out for four months on tour with Rex Roxburgh. "Sexy Rexy," they called him; the joke was that he had so much lingerie thrown at him on stage that he bought stock in Victoria's Secret to cash in on it. The party atmosphere around him was so over the top that Matt was actually relieved to be back in Danville when the tour was done. He told me I was right not to take Candace on the road, and if anyone like that ever came sniffing around his daughter, he would rip the guy in half with his bare hands. And this from a man who felt guilty about trapping a mouse.
Matt went back to work in Danville, and we settled in for the winter. But, as spring started warming up, he started getting bored again. My old manager from the Lindana days was promoting a new act, a teen-pop duo billed as Cam and Camille. They were kid-friendly, and the promoters kept a tight lid on them and the crew. Matt signed on for their summer tour, and ended up as one of their back-up guitarists. Best of all, he brought them to our house for Candace's third birthday, and they couldn't have been nicer. They put on a whole little concert in our back yard, and all the neighbors came. Camille did up Candace's hair with glitter and everything – oh, she was a mess! – and Cam taught her some of his dance moves, and they had her get up on stage with them. I don't think I've ever seen Candace happier than she was that day, and I'm pretty certain that's where she caught the pop star bug.
Candace missed her Dad when he was on the road, and so did I. But I think I knew by then that Matt was never going to be able to really put down roots. He came home in the fall, once Cam and Camille were done touring, and stayed with us through the holidays, but the snow wasn't even melted before he was talking about the next gig. This was the year of the Mega Rock Jamorama Tour, and there was no way he could resist that. I didn't even try to talk him out of it. He left at the end of February for a job that would run nearly all the way to Thanksgiving. He did make it back to Danville in July for Candace's fourth birthday, and in October for our wedding anniversary. Matt swore then that he was ready to give up the road for good; he said he hadn't been fair to me, and he was ready to make it all up to me now. I'm not sure I really believed him, but I was so glad to have him back for even just a few days, I didn't question it. He couldn't stop telling me how much he loved me, and it was the best time we'd had together since Vegas. When the tour ended in November, he came home, and I really thought our future looked solid. The holidays were perfect; Candace got her first little pink bicycle, training wheels and all, and the weather was mild enough that Matt spent hours helping her make ovals in the driveway. January came, and Matt had not said a word about leaving. Then, the Girl turned up.
Her name was Angi – and yes, that's how she spelled it. She was younger than I was, but she wasn't a kid; early twenties, probably, and old enough to know better. I got the feeling that I was more surprised to see her than she was to see me. Of course, she was looking for Matt.
To be continued…