PnF: Stuck Like Brothers
*Total Number of Chapters: 13*
*One Chapter Posted Per Day*
"Three more tightens!" Phineas called out as the teenager spun his wrench around a nut on the side of their newly-built machine. "Aaaaand... Done!"
He stood back beside his brother Ferb as they both looked over their handiwork. Two metal platforms sat raised on either side, joined by a bulky central shaft. Each platform was covered by its own shield; one was red and one was blue.
Phineas grabbed his basketball that was sitting at the corner of the lawn, and they were just about to start the test run when their sister, Candace, came bursting out from the house.
"Alright, what does this thing do?" she demanded.
"Glad you came out, Candace! You're just in time for us to show you!" Phineas congratulated, coming over to place the ball on the red platform.
"It's a remote-control maker," Phineas explained as he pointed over to Ferb, who was standing next to the blue platform. He held up the familiar-looking television remote.
"See, if Ferb puts the remote over there," Phineas explained as Ferb did so. "We can make it control anything!"
He and Ferb ran over to a big button that was lying in the grass, and he put his foot on it. "See! It makes a link between the two. Now we can make it fast forward, rewind, pause, record-"
"You're messing up the TV remote? Oohh, Mom's going to be so mad!" Candace cackled as she headed back towards the house. A loud barking erupted from behind the yard fence.
"Gah! Ever since the neighbors got that new puppy I can't even hear myself THINK around here!" Candace complained, reaching the sliding glass door.
"Aw," Phineas said, disappointed. "She's gonna miss all the fun."
By the time Candace got inside, the creation had stopped whirring. Ferb came over to the blue platform and took up the remote.
"Shall we test it, anyway?" he asked as Phineas grabbed the basketball. Phineas nodded ecstatically, then turned to the concrete driveway. He pulled the ball over his head and tossed it squarely on the surface, causing it to bounce back up with a firm curve.
Pointing the little black remote at the air, Ferb tried some of the buttons. At each press, the ball waved through the wind, first backwards, then quickly forwards, before finally stopping in mid-flight.
"Cool!" Phineas approved, walking under it to pull it out of the suspended nothingness. "Let's try other things!"
"Hold up," Ferb stopped him with a glance at the red platform. "Looks like the oil is leaking over here."
Phineas followed his interest, and saw that the valve was dripping so much that it was overflowing into the little cup that they were using as a catch.
Ferb got out a rag to reach over and start wiping the far side of the platform.
"Is the blue one okay?" Phineas asked with a sideways glance to the other end.
"I'm not sure, but go check it in case," Ferb replied, stretching further over the red base to swipe a particularly diligent stain.
"Nope, it's not leaking over here," Phineas called out. "But for some reason the valve is open."
Putting his hand on the blue base for support, Phineas moved his fingers to start to close the little metal wheel.
The incessant barking still continued from over the fence. It then grew slightly louder; Phineas looked over and saw that the little dog had peeked its head through a slit in the fence.
"Aww, look at the puppy, Ferb!" Phineas said, putting his elbow on the platform so that he could put his chin in his hand. Ferb also took a break in his cleaning to look over, but kept his oil-covered hands reached far over the metal base lest he get it wiped all over his shirt.
The puppy put its paws on the wood and squiggled through, clearly determined on something. Right ahead of its nose was a bright purple butterfly, fluttering carefree in zigzags.
Leaping back and forth without direction, the puppy never took his eyes off his prize. The butterfly rose and dove with no heed to its pursuer, before gracefully floating down to land lightly and gently on the large button in the middle of the lawn.
"Hey, wait..." Phineas started, straightening up a bit. "Puppy, don't-!"
But Phineas' words went unheard, as the little dog had already launched himself in a child-like attack. He caught the butterfly satisfactorily under both paws, growling in victory as his footing moved the button slowly downwards.
Phineas blinked as he pushed himself up from his spot lying in the grass. The machine was a good ten feet away, and Phineas realized that he had no idea what had happened.
He quickly looked around the yard, searching for Ferb. Phineas then found him lying silently in the grass beside him, his eyes closed and unresponsive.
It was then that Phineas noticed the sharp ache in his right arm. It was mostly coming from his elbow, and quickly he looked down to check for red spots.
What he saw made him sit up in surprise. In the spot on his arm where his elbow should have been, was instead the start of Ferb's upper arm. They were sharing a single forearm.
"Ferb!" Phineas exclaimed loudly as he reached over and shook Ferb's shoulder strongly. "Ferb Ferb Ferb! Wake up!"
With a moan, Ferb tried to blink his eyes as he began to sit up. Phineas then took two fingers and ran them all along the length of his own right arm. He kept his gaze on Ferb, who had still not fully awakened.
"Ferb…" Phineas said with his fingers on the arm. "…Can you feel that?"
"Of course…?" he replied with a confused tone, rubbing his head. "Why wouldn't I be able to feel my own-?"
He stopped when he had focused his gaze on the single arm to his left. Propping up a bit on his other elbow, Ferb just kept looking at his left arm with examination.
"Huh," he said after a while. "Well, that's not at ALL what it was supposed to do."
Both of them stayed lying in the grass for a few minutes, neither daring to make a move. They just kept their gazes fixed squarely on their arm. Phineas once poked it.
"Uhh… what do we do?" Phineas whispered lightly, turning over to look at Ferb.
Ferb pushed up a little more to a sitting position. "Well, let's start by standing up," he said, using both of his arms to press into the grass so that he could get on his feet.
"Yeah… good idea," Phineas agreed as he followed Ferb's lead upwards. He then returned to staring at their arm. "Ferb… whose is it?"
Ferb pulled it up to his eyes. He looked at it intricately as he moved each finger individually, and flexed them all into a fist. Then he returned it to his side, and turned to Phineas inquisitively.
Phineas stared back for a second, before also moving his right arm to eye level. He, too, wiggled the fingers and bowed them up and down.
"…It's both of ours," Ferb returned.
"Freaky…" was Phineas' simple observation.
Tipping up towards the sky, Ferb squinted at it. "It's getting dark out already, and I can't see anything out here. Let's go inside and get it under a light."
"I'm following you," Phineas prompted.
They cleared all the various papers, bolts, and screws off of the worktable in the garage. Soon they had set their arm lain out on the wooden surface, though neither of them knew who actually put it up there. Ferb pulled over the bright working lamp as he rolled up his long-sleeve shirt so that they both could get a better look at the spot where the two were joined.
"Ferb," Phineas pointed out. "We have two thumbs."
Sure enough, as Ferb ran his gaze along its length he saw that their palm had a clear six fingers: four in the center and a thumb on either side. He also noted that all four fingers looked roughly the same, and there was no distinguishable difference between a pinky and a pointer finger.
"One for each of us, I suppose…" he tried to explain. Returning to his examination, Ferb pressed a few fingers into the skin of the arm.
I wonder if there's two bones in there, fused together, he thought as he bent forward a bit to gain a better angle.
"No, then it would be thicker," Phineas replied. "I kinda seems like it's just one arm and both our elbows are on the same joint."
Ferb quickly sat back up into a regular sitting position and stared in disbelief at his brother. "Phineas… why did you just say that?"
"Well, you were wondering about if they were fused together or not," Phineas elaborated. "So I was just theorizing with you."
"Exactly, Phineas… I was wondering that," Ferb revealed to him slowly. "I never said it out loud."
"Really?" Phineas said, responding by closing his eyes lightly.
Does that mean we can read our minds? he thought deliberately.
A wide grin crossed over Ferb as he mirrored Phineas' action.
"Sweet!" Phineas exclaimed. "That's awesome!"
He settled down for a second, before reaching over again to feel their arm. "But, you know it wasn't really supposed to do this…."
"Yeah," Ferb agreed. "I have no idea why it did that."
They both continued their detailed examination, before Ferb finally suggested, "Do you think we should get an X-ray?"
Phineas took a moment to think through it. "…But we can't go to the hospital, Ferb. I've seen those documentaries, when things like this happen all they would want to think of is separating us. Even if we're not hurt! I mean, I don't see anything particularly wrong with being attached to each other."
Moving around and forward slightly, Phineas lifted Ferb's sleeve again. He looked closely at where their elbows met. "Besides… how WOULD they separate us?"
Ferb glanced down at it, and shuddered with the thought. "Right, I'll have to agree with you on that. No surgeries."
Rubbing the side of his own shoulder to gain some warmth, Phineas remarked, "It's getting kind of cold in here. Let's head inside."
Awkwardly hopping off of their stools, Phineas and Ferb both went together to sneak into the door leading to the house.