David and Phineas had been sitting together on the couch as they waited for Martha to return. David had been very interested by the story Phineas had to tell him, as Phineas talked the minutes away.
Then the sounds of heavy footsteps met their ears, and Phineas quickly turned around to spot the figure of Ferb—human and all—leaning on the railing as he came walking down the steps, with Martha following.
"Ferb!" Phineas exclaimed, leaping up off the couch as Ferb reached the bottom. He grabbed onto Ferb by the wrist and pulled out his arm above his head. "My, what long arms you have!"
"All the better to hug you with," Ferb replied, as he wrapped his arms around his brother.
"Ah! You're squishing me!" Phineas giggled from under him. "Did they get longer since the last time I saw you?"
"Na," Ferb replied as he released him. "You just haven't seen me in six days."
Martha could not help herself from clutching onto David as she watched this, and grew tears of joy. "Aww, David! They're brothers!"
Through an almost bewildered smile, David nodded, "No doubt about that."
Now Phineas was continuing to poke Ferb in the side. He laughed, "Haha, Ferb. You're not fluffy anymore."
"Why?" Ferb asked with a sinister smile. "Did you like is when I was fluffy?"
"Maaaybe a little," Phineas said softly, before looking up at him. "But I would much rather have you as you."
He pulled out a hand and held it flat in the air, up at where Ferb's scruffy and uncombed hair met his forehead. Then Phineas drew it down to his own head and satisfactorily agreed, "Yep. Still eight inches."
Ferb smiled at him, before the silent room was broken by a loud and low grumbling sound. Ferb looked down for a second, before bending over and clutching both arms around his stomach. "…I'm hungry."
From his place bent over, Ferb looked up at Phineas with an almost shameful expression. He winced and revealed to him guiltily, "…I haven't eaten anything since that slice of pizza you gave me at the park."
"What!" Phineas leapt backwards. "That was four days ago! You're going to die!"
"Relax, Phin, I'm not going to die," Ferb returned, amused. "People can go for weeks without eating, and I've been drinking plenty of water."
But Phineas had grabbed onto his shoulders and turned him. "No. You. Food. Now."
Ferb reached up and scratched the back of his head. He looked awkwardly over to Martha and David. "Well… from my place on the living room carpet, that casserole did look pretty delicious…"
"Yes!" Martha exclaimed in realization. "Come into the kitchen and we'll get you fed, you poor thing."
As Ferb had predicted, the homemade dinner tasted as good as it smelled. Though he was the only one eating—Martha and David had already had dinner, and Phineas refused to intrude—Ferb still appreciated each forkful of it.
"I still can't believe…" Martha spoke as she watched Ferb eat. "That we were trying to feed you dog food. I'm so sorry, Ferb…"
"It's not a problem," Ferb responded with food in his mouth. "I mean, I was a dog. I don't blame you. What else were you going to feed me?"
Ferb slid his plate over to Phineas, who just looked at it in confusion. Ferb gestured with his eyes towards it.
"Oh, no, Ferb, I don't want any. You eat it, bro. You eat it all."
But Ferb slid the plate back and looked at it. He slumped his shoulders and stared upwards to Martha and David across from him. "I'm sorry…"
"For what?" both of them asked in turn.
"Well, you just went to the shelter and got a new dog," Ferb elaborated. "Then he goes and turns into a human. And… it's not that I don't like you guys, but I already have a family and I want to go back to my own home. Do you want me to get you a new dog?"
"Oh…" David responded, as he and Martha exchanged a surprised and unsure glance. "No, that's okay. We never actually paid the shelter, we were going to do that on Wednesday…"
Though Martha, sitting beside David, couldn't help but keep her eyes on Ferb as she softly laughed. "You were my buddy."
Ferb smiled saying, "You can still give me a hug, it doesn't matter to me. Though it's up to you."
He grinned over his shoulder at his brother, and pointed with his thumb at him. "Because, in Phineas' words, I'm not fluffy anymore."
Martha repositioned herself in her chair as she shared in Phineas' giggling. "You did make a good dog."
"Oh, I don't know about THAT," Ferb responded awkwardly as he stared at the edge of the ceiling and scratched behind his ears. "I didn't even know how to pant the right way."
David tossed a finger in thought, pointing out, "I did actually notice that. I was wondering why you were doing it wrong."
"You… noticed that?" Ferb gasped. He slid his chair backwards and shuffled his feet beneath him. He had grown red in the face. "My, that's rather embarrassing…"
Ferb felt a poke on his shoulder and turned to see that Phineas had his tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth. He poked him again saying, "Ith thith whath ooo were thooing?"
Placing his elbows on the table and his palms on his forehead, Ferb smiled and closed his eyes to hide his amusement. "That is… actually a quite accurate depiction of what I was doing."
Phineas pulled his tongue back in and grinned. Then he grabbed Ferb by the hand and held his palm up to the light. He reminded everybody, "But these aren't paws anymore. So Ferb doesn't have to be bothered by all those dog-things."
"Right," Ferb agreed. "Now all I have to be bothered by are teenager things."
Passing a glance over Martha and David, Ferb's eyes got wide in realization. "Like where Mom thinks I am right now..."
"Ooohhhh yeah!" Phineas exclaimed. "Mom thinks you're just out doing stuff... And Candace!"
Standing up out of his chair, Phineas yanked Ferb by the elbow to follow him. "Candace has been pulling her hair out about you!"
Ferb stood up, and nodded towards the two on the other side of the table. "Thank you for your hospitality. I'd best be getting home."
"Yes," Phineas agreed, once more giving Ferb a huge hug around his waist. "Thanks for keeping him safe for me! When he disappeared in the park I thought he'd fallen off a cliff or fell in a hole or who knows what else...!"
Phineas let go of Ferb, who just grinned and rolled his eyes at him. Phineas turned back and resumed, "But he was here all along with nice people!"
"Well," Ferb began, lifting up the front of his shirt with two fingers. "I'll be sure to drop by tomorrow to return the clothes you've been so kind to inadvertently lend me."
He and Phineas turned to head towards the front door, but Ferb stopped before reaching it and looked back again. "Who knows... maybe I'll get to meet your new dog, and whatever you decide to call him."
"I was never good with names," David admitted. "I mean, we never even named you."
"I dunno," Martha poked in. "I like the name Ferb. If we got a new dog, it would be nice to have another Ferb in the house. It's so unique."
"Haha," Ferb chuckled through his nose. "In that case, I might stop by and give this 'Ferb' a few pointers."
Then he reached down to start turning the knob, however stopped himself and felt compelled to add, "Though, if I might request. Next time I come back here I'd like to do it as a person, please."
Phineas, David, and Martha all just smiled at him. After a second, the door had already been pushed open and Phineas started his way out. Ferb began to follow, before turning around and walking backwards down the hall beside his brother.
He waved his arm brightly. "Bye Martha and David!"
David put his arm around Martha's shoulders, as they both waved back. "Bye Phineas and Ferb!"
Martha smiled a warm smile as she watched the two of them giddily dance down the steps. "Sweet boys."
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All My PnF Fanfics:
PnF: Stolen Identity
PnF: Stuck Like Brothers
PnF: Mind Trapped
PnF: Species is a Constant (Viewing)
PnF: Lifeleap (Currently Posting)