The Flynn-Fletcher family was all lounging in the living room watching TV. It was about an hour after dinner and the show was almost over.
"You know, Sheldon isn't too bad of a guy. I don't see why everyone wants to avoid him," Phineas said.
"Would you want to live with someone like that?" Candace said.
Phineas thought about it. "Maybe for a night," he admitted.
"Are there any more episodes coming on?" Linda asked.
Lawrence took the remote and looked through the TV channels. "None until about a hour from now," he said.
"Well, what do you kids want to do until then?" Linda asked.
"Can we play hide-and-go-seek?" Phineas asked.
"Uh, Phineas, don't you think we're a little old to be playing hide-and-go-seek?" Candace asked.
"You're never to old for family time," Phineas responded.
"He's got a point there, Candace," Linda said.
"Okkay, let's do it in teams: kids against parents," Phineas said.
"Sounds like fun," Lawrence said "Do you guys want to hide first?"
"Sure! What's fair game?" Phineas asked.
"Everything except outside and the garage," Linda cautioned.
"Alright, are you three ready?" Lawrence asked as he and Linda covered their eyes.
The boys jumped up. "Yep!" Phineas said.
Candace sighed. "You have got to be kidding me," she said slowly standing up.
"Alright, one…two…three…" Lawrence counted. The boys ran up the stairs and Candace slowly followed them. Candace hid in the bathtub in the upstairs bathroom and closed the shower curtain. The last she saw the boys, they ran into Linda and Lawrence's room.
"Ready or not, here we come!" Lawrence yelled. Candace heard her parents coming up the stairs. They found her in about five minutes.
"Found you! Now, help us find the boys," Linda said as she helped Candace out of the bathtub.
"I saw them go into your room," Candace said. The three of them went into the room.
"Hm, where could those two boys be?" Lawrence wondered out loud. He tapped Linda on the shoulder and pointed to the two bumps in the blanket covered by throw pillows. Lawrence went on one side of the bed and Linda went to the other side.
"Do you see them?" Linda asked.
"Nope, they must not be in here," Lawrence said. They couldn't tell which bump was which, so both Linda and Lawrence hovered their hands above the lump closest to them.
"Honey, what are these lumps in the bed?" Lawrence asked.
"Hm, do you think they could be the boys?" Linda asked.
"Well, I guess there's only one way to find out," Lawrence said. His hands waited for a second, then swooped down and began to tickle the unsuspecting lump where the ribs would be. Linda did the same.
Phineas screamed in laughter, jumped, and quickly uncovered himself to see Lawrence as the one who unveiled his hiding spot. Ferb laughed out of surprise and pulled the covers off of him. He saw Linda hovering over him.
Lawrence moved his hands so the only thing between the boy and him was the orange striped shirt. Phineas squirmed and tried to pry Lawrence's hands away while laughing hysterically.
It doesn't surprise anyone that Phineas is the more vocal one, but despite that, Ferb was laughing as he tried to get Linda's hands away from his ribs after the blanket no longer separated them. Every time he was successful, Linda would go to his stomach or neck. Once he had that blocked, his ribs were open for her again. The pattern continued like this. It's a known fact that tickling turns a person, or at least Ferb, into a mindless robot.
Candace watched from the doorway. She remembered when they would do this to all three of the kids when they first got to know each other. They would do this almost every night as a bonding technique. Phineas had always loved Lawrence and Ferb had always loved Linda. It took a few weeks for Candace to warm up to Lawrence, though. With this going on almost every night, by the time Linda and Lawrence got married, they were Mom and Dad and the kids could act like themselves around them. Not any of that "best behavior" stuff. Let's face it, when you're tickled by the same person almost every night for a month, there is no "best behavior" while you're about to pee yourself from laughing so hard.
Lawrence pulled Phineas' shirt up and blew raspberries into his bare stomach as he tickled the boy anywhere he could find on his torso where bare skin was exposed. Phineas tried to get away as he alternated from screaming when Lawrence would blow raspberries to laughing as his father took in another breath.
Meanwhile, Ferb somehow thought of another technique of putting both of his hands up to catch Linda's hands before she could get to him. It was more effective for Ferb, that was until Linda took both of his hands in one of hers and tickled his underarms, making Ferb laugh even harder.
Candace noticed that neither of them told their parents to stop as they were doing this. Actually, she didn't recall ANY of them in all of their years of doing this ever telling whichever parent they fell victim to to stop. Whenever Candace did it to the boys, they would beg her to stop after a minute. She also noticed, though, that Linda and Lawrence weren't pinning them down like Candace did. It probably wouldn't be considered "torture" like she did to them. Maybe they knew that it was bonding. After all, they still had their innocence.
Lawrence hovered his hands above Phineas, who was on his back with his hands up trying to protect himself. Lawrence was wiggling his fingers and Phineas was still giggling. Every time Lawrence would drop his hands closer to the boy, Phineas would tense and start laughing.
"How do you do that, Dad?" Candace asked. He wasn't even touching Phineas and he had the redhead in uncontrollable laughter.
"I've known him since he was less than a year old, Candace. I know where all of his ticklish spots are and he knows I do," Lawrence answered as his hands dove partway to Phineas' ribs and the boy curled up partway and giggled.
"Watch, honey, Ferb does it, too," Linda said as she hovered her hands above the boy and wiggled her fingers. Sure enough, Ferb would have the same reaction as Phineas whenever Linda's hands would get close to his body.
Phineas tried to grab one of the pillows to help him shield himself. He broke eye contact with Lawrence and looked at the pillow above his head. He slowly lifted up his arms to grab it, but Lawrence took it as and opportunity to tickle his underarms. Phineas immediately gave up on the pillow. He screamed in laughter and quickly brought his arms down to his side.
Linda kissed Ferb repeatedly on the neck, which sent him into fits of giggles. Candace smiled. A part of her wanted to jump in and join the tickle fight, but a part of her stopped her. She was sixteen; she was way too old for that kind of stuff. You're never too old for family time.
Phineas finally grabbed that pillow and wouldn't let go for the life of him. "Honey, I could use some help over here," Lawrence said as a giggling Phineas blocked him with the pillow.
Linda looked over and smiled. "Sure," Linda said as she made her way over to Lawrence and Phineas. She held the pillow up as Phineas struggled to pull it back down with Lawrence tickling his ribs.
Ferb sat up to catch his breath. He sat on his feet and looked over at Phineas struggling under both parents and laughing uncontrollably. "What's wrong, Phineas, can't handle two?" he asked.
"Candace, could you please get Ferb for me," Linda asked.
"What?" Ferb responded looking horror-filled at Candace.
Candace walked over to the bed and sat on it facing the others. "I am WAY too old to be doing this," she complained.
Ferb grabbed the pillow from behind him and hit Candace in the back of the head with it. Candace whirled around to see Ferb a little shocked at first. Then, he started laughing loudly and abruptly. "Alright, you asked for it you little psycho," Candace said, pouncing at Ferb. Ferb got out of the way fast enough to avoid getting tackled, but not fast enough to avoid Candace grabbing his foot and starting to pull him back. Ferb rolled over on his back and repeatedly hit Candace with the pillow trying to make her let go.
Candace grabbed the pillow with her free hand and tried to take it from the boy. Ferb put all of his body weight against Candace. Candace was forced to let go of Ferb and use both of her hands on the pillow. Ferb started giggling in amusement, which made Candace do the same as they played tug-of-war with the pillow.
"Honey, are you telling me you can't get a pillow from Ferb? Honestly, he's six years younger than you," Linda said when she saw the commotion.
"It's not that easy, Mom," Candace said. She tickled Ferb's ribs with one hand. Ferb laughed and loosened his grip on the pillow enough for Candace to take it from him.
"Ha!" Candace said triumphantly holding the pillow. Ferb grabbed another pillow and tried to hit Candace with it. Candace blocked it with her pillow and pushed Ferb onto his back.
"Candace, noticed how we are keeping Phineas in one spot, but you and Ferb are all over the bed," Lawrence said. It looked like they were finally giving the boy a break. Phineas was sitting up watching the scene, but he was hugging the pillow on guard for a possible attack.
"I'd like to see you guys come over here and do this," Candace said as she tried to take Ferb's pillow away from him.
"We already have, Candace, and we kept him in one spot," Linda pointed out.
"I'll do it!" Phineas said, jumping up and leaving his pillow behind. He pounced on his brother and Ferb automatically shifted his attention to Phineas. Candace fell back with both pillows as Ferb suddenly let go to get Phineas off of him.
Ferb found the strength to flip Phineas over and get on top of him. Phineas realized what Ferb did and did the same thing to him. Ferb did it again to Phineas. Phineas tried to do it again to Ferb, but neither of them realized how close they were to the edge of the bed. Phineas flipped Ferb over the edge. Phineas tried to hang on, but Ferb grabbed his feet at the last minute and Phineas somersaulted over the edge.
Everyone crawled to the edge of the bed. Neither of the boys were making any noise, which wasn't a good thing if Phineas was in the mix. Both boys stood up, clutching to bed for support. They were laughing so hard they weren't making a sound. Phineas crossed his legs doubling over in laughter. Both boys finally took a breath and kept laughing.
"They're fine," Linda said.
Lawrence smiled and looked at his watch. "Hey, the show's coming back on."
They all walked into the living room and sat down where they were before. They watched as the episode started up.
"Wait a second," Candace said "you're telling me that all of that took an hour?"