((Kudos to the prolific NattyMc, whose fic "Safer" reminded me to actually write this story instead of keeping it locked up inside my head.))

After swimming to shore, waiting for a plane, and enduring a grueling transatlantic flight in coach (or, as it was known back home, "goat-cart class"), the last thing Heinz Doofenshmirtz wanted to do was stop at the drycleaner's. Nevertheless, he had made a promise to his nemesis, and he intended to keep it.

"Never seen overalls like these before," commented the clerk. "You one o' them Embassy folk?"

"No, no, just an evil scientist. How much is this going to cost me?"

"Nonstandard garment means a custom job... Ten bucks. It'll be ready next Tuesday."

"Extortionist," Heinz muttered.

He was on his way out when the clerk called him back. "There's something in the pocket here. You wanna take it?"

"Fine." He absentmindedly pocketed the item. "At least it wasn't a pen in there this time. That's one load of lab coats I won't be getting back..."

As he emerged onto the sidewalk, he realized that he had not eaten anything for hours, save for a sad little handful of stale pretzels on the plane. It was time for a nice sit-down meal—with actual food—and then he would take the rest of the day off. Surely he deserved a break, after all he'd been through!

It was not until he had polished off a heaping plate of Chinese food that he recalled the item in his pocket. Since he was too full to want to leave the restaurant just yet, he leaned back indolently and fished out the object.

"What is this? –Wait, hey, I know!" He vaguely recalled that these thin capped tubes were for sending messages via carrier pigeon. Had he attempted any evil schemes involving carrier pigeons, specifically? He mentally added it to his 'to scheme' list.

The capsule opened with a neat screw top. When he took out and unfolded the document, it seemed much too large to have ever been in such a tiny space. The majority of it was a mix of typed text and neat handwriting; barely-legible additions had been made in a few places.

He read the words slowly. An expression of bemusement gradually gave way to one of mild angst.

"Oh... I... oh."

His gaze drifted away from the paper, out towards the street. His hands closed tightly over the corners of the page.

Like one waking from a nightmare, he sprang from his seat; a brief fumble around his pocket yielded a few bills, which he dropped on the table; then he flew out the door.

The apartment was unusually quiet. Perry the Platypus kept expecting a trap to spring. Every step added to his tension. Nothing? No traps? Surely now... No?

When he reached the couch, he found Dr. Doofenshmirtz there, sitting eerily still. A familiar object lay in the scientist's lap.

Perry stopped breathing.

Without looking at the platypus, Doofenshmirtz held out the message capsule. Perry looked at it, and him, warily; then he took the offering and stowed it in his hat.

"Nothing from me today, Perry the Platypus," said Doofenshmirtz softly. "I think I need a few days. Maybe next Tuesday?"

The agent chattered in agreement. He was tiptoeing out of the apartment when Heinz's voice made him stop in his tracks.

"I'm sorry," he was saying. "And... thank you."

Catching his breath, Perry hurried away.


I, Perry the Platypus, do leave my possessions to the care of the Organization Without a Cool Acronym (O.W.C.A.), to be dealt with at their discretion, save for the following instructions:

My collar and attached tags shall be returned to my 'owners' by O.W.C.A.; my owners are to be informed of my passing as sympathetically as possible, without revealing sensitive information about the agency. My body
[Added here in a shakier hand: (no matter how mangled)]
shall be entrusted to them for burial. If necessary, a suitable cover story may be presented to explain my death.

My hat, after removal of all contained gadgets and decommissioning of other atypical features, shall be given to Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, my dear nemesis,
[Added here in a shakier hand: (in the unlikely event that he survives this driving test)]
as well as the following message:

"If I could speak, I would have told you how sorry I was for all the horrible things that have happened to you throughout your life. I would have asked you to consider using your unique brand of inventiveness toward constructive goals, not merely to temporarily address the side effects of your mental and physical traumata. I would have told you that you're a better father than you think. I would have told you that I've never had a friend quite like you, and I couldn't wish for one better. I might have had some choice words to say about Peter the Panda, but if I'm gone then I wish you both happiness as nemeses.

"Thank you for the many exciting years we spent in opposition. Although foiling your schemes was sometimes difficult, dangerous, or even dull, I wouldn't have traded our time together for anything in the world."
[Added here in a much shakier hand: "If you accidentally killed me I want you to make a large donation to my host family. You're not allowed to know their names but OWCA will send them the money. Also swear off driving for the love of God."]

In the event that I require considerable medical intervention to remain alive, I consign medical power of attorney to Major Francis Monogram, with the sole stipulation that I shall not be turned into a cyborg.

I attest that I write this in my own hand, of my own free will, in sound mind.

Perry the Platypus
[Added: a nearly-unreadable second signature and date]