Trope Bingo: Mistletoe kiss

The Fletcher-Flynn family Christmas party was in full swing. Friends and neighbors and even favorite customers from the antique shop were there, enjoying good food and good company.

Isabella had been trying to get Phineas under the mistletoe all night, but circumstances kept intervening - he got called away to help set up, he had to go answer the door, he had to deal with Perry getting caught underfoot...luck was not with her. Ferb shook his head at her attempts. Eventually he'll figure it out, Isabella, he thought. But I don't think tonight is your night.

A familiar voice came from the front door, and Ferb went to investigate. Is that Vanessa? Why would she be here?

Linda was, indeed, greeting Vanessa and her mother Charlene. They know each other? How...

"Vanessa apparently gave up on 'busting' her Dad," Charlene was saying. "And Candace?"

Linda laughed ruefully. "Still going at it. Vanessa's a bit older, though, so maybe it'll wear off soon."

Vanessa looked thoroughly bored, until she saw Ferb. She slid over next to him and asked, "Hey, Ferb. How's it going?"

He nodded appreciatively. Just got a lot better. "Apparently our mothers know each other?"

"Yeah, they took some cooking class together and bonded over their teenage daughters' needs to bust people. Even though I'm so over that now."

They wandered through the party, Ferb pointing out interesting people along the way, thrilled at getting to share this with the woman that made his heart flutter. She spotted the mistletoe and took a wide berth around it. "Has Isabella been trying to get Phineas under there?" she asked.

"All night long. No luck yet, but she keeps trying," Ferb answered.

Vanessa shook her head. "So what have you been up to? We haven't really had a chance to talk since Paris."

"We finished off the summer with some more interesting activities - raising cows on the moon, fighting aliens, things like that - and then started sixth grade in the fall. And you?"

"I saw you at the Doo Wop Hop, but didn't get a chance to talk to you. Started my junior year of high school, and now Mom and I are starting to talk colleges. Dad and I are getting along a lot better, and I need to thank you for that. Right after you suggested I meet Dad halfway, he showed up, so I decided to take your advice right then. Sorry to leave you behind like that, but...he's my Dad."

"I understand."

Vanessa seemed to spot something odd behind him, and her eyes got wide; concerned, Ferb looked around, but all he saw back there was Perry. He reached back and picked up the platypus, showing him to Vanessa.

"This is our pet platypus, Perry. He doesn't do much."

Vanessa got a sly smile on her face, and chuckled softly. "I'm sure he doesn't. Do you, Perry?" She rubbed his head softly, causing Perry to chatter.

Lawrence called for Ferb, so he put Perry on the floor and reluctantly excused himself. He helped his father set out another round of soda and mix up another batch of punch, then squeezed through the crowded kitchen back to the living room.

Vanessa sat off to one side, holding Perry and talking to him softly. As Ferb walked over toward her, Perry jumped off her lap; Vanessa followed, and met up with Ferb in the middle of the room. Perry looked up and chattered; following his gaze, Ferb realized that they were right under the mistletoe.

Vanessa laughed and gave Perry a mock glare. "Now that's not nice, Perry, leading us here like that." She smiled at Ferb. "I suppose that, under the circumstances, we must." She leaned down and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, which caused Perry to chatter like he was scolding her.

Ferb looked at Perry, then up at Vanessa, still leaning down. Carpe diem, he thought, and leaned up to give her a solid kiss on the lips. They were soft, and cool, and he could faintly taste the punch she'd been drinking. Her eyes sparkled at him.

And then it was over, and she smiled at him as she straightened up and stepped off to the side, away from the mistletoe. "Thanks, Ferb. That was very nice," she said. "Aren't you a little young to be giving kisses like that?"

Ferb sighed. "Yes. Yes, I am." But I won't be forever.

From behind him, Isabella whispered, "Do you think Perry would get Phineas over here for me?"