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Disclaimer: Phineas and Ferb and its characters do not belong
I'm just borrowing them for my and (I hope)
my readers' amusement only
have no intention of trying to make money off of them in any way, shape
Warnings: None to speak of.
Fandom: Phineas and Ferb
Author: The RCK
Last updated: 30 April 2012
Thanks to my husband for unfailing support and help with ideas. Thanks
to Hope of Dawn for hand holding at the end. Thanks to Olna Jenn,
thenewradical and Valerie for beta reading and other help.
Written for thepsychicclam for Yuletide
"What is it?" Isabella prodded the device that looked like a toy train
with the toe of her shoe.
"Don't do that!" Candace snapped. "Who knows what it does?" She studied
it with suspicion. With Doofenshmirtz, assuming the worst was the only
smart thing to do. Isabella knows
"Choo-choo!" Doofenshmirtz leaned as far toward the apparent toy as his
bonds would allow. "That's Choo-choo, my train!"
Candace ignored the defeated dictator. "We'll have Dr. Baljeet take a
look." She turned around, taking stock of the room. Isabella and her
team still surrounded Doofenshmirtz, watching for any escape attempt.
Johnson and Buford stood in the doorway, ready to warn her if an enemy
approached. Candace nodded her approval.
The white haired man was attempting to do something with a phone. "No,
I don't know the current codes. This is Francis Monogram. If you go
back four years-- Yes, I can hold."
Candace considered taking the phone away from him. All she knew about
him was that he'd worked for Doofenshmirtz and had eagerly admitted the
rebels to Doofenshmirtz's inner sanctum. She only hesitated because he
seemed to have some sort of plan while she wasn't sure what came next. I never thought past this point.
Everything's supposed to go back to the way it was, but years of
Doofenshmirtz can't be erased instantly. She frowned as her eyes
fell on Phineas, Ferb and Perry. "Just what do you think you're doing?"
Recognizing Candace's tone, both boys jumped and put their hands behind
their backs, trying to look like they hadn't even thought about
touching the control panel in front of them. Perry the platyborg
chittered but didn't move.
Phineas leaned down, attempted to pick up the platyborg but found him
too heavy to lift. After a second, he gave up. He looked up at Candace
with wide eyes. "But Candace-- We need to figure out what it does." He
tried a smile.
Candace stared at Phineas. Her every protective instinct screamed to
send the boys home. But if they were
anyone else, I'd be recruiting them. They're good, maybe even as good
as the them from the other universe. The Resistance consisted
primarily of children and teens, and she couldn't afford to be picky. Except we don't need new recruits, do we?
We have Doofenshmirtz. There's no more Resistance. It's done. Isn't it?
She felt herself relax a little. Then the enormity of change that lay
ahead started to seem like a chasm. On the other side was 'back to
normal,' and she had no idea how to get there.
"Choo-choo," Doofenshmirtz said softly. He was almost crooning.
"Choo-choo. When I was a boy, back in Gimmelshtump, I had a toy train.
Then I lost it. It's a sad, sad story."
"Are you trying to make me feel sorry for you?" Candace joined the
Firestorm girls in glaring at Doofenshmirtz.
"Is it working?" He looked hopeful.
"Not even a little bit," the white haired man said.
The Firestorm girls growled an agreement.
"If you let me keep Choo-choo, I'll cooperate." Candace couldn't
believe the deposed dictator was trying to bargain. "It's a train.
Really. It's just a train."
"What could you possibly have that we need?" Candace demanded.
The white haired man looked thoughtful. "You'll give the orders we
demand? Give us your passwords?"
Doofenshmirtz nodded emphatically. "Whatever you want."
Candace went stiff. "You can't imagine--"
"Young lady," the white haired man interrupted. "Everything's about to
change. People aren't ready for it. At the very least, he can order the
factories closed and send everybody home. People will be safer there."
"We don't know that it really is a train," Johnson put in from the
doorway, "and we don't know you. We follow Candace."
Even Buford muttered an agreement.
Before Candace could stop him, Phineas crossed over to the supposed toy
and picked it up. He held it in front of his eyes, turned it over, and
frowned. He poked it with one finger. "I think it really is a train,
Candace." He turned it again and used a finger to spin the wheels.
Candace gritted her teeth. Snapping at Phineas wouldn't do any good.
"You'll forgive me if I have someone else take a look at it, just to
confirm that." The thought of giving Doofenshmirtz anything that he
wanted rankled. She looked at the white haired man. "I don't know what
you're trying to do, but you need to run things by me before you go any
farther." Before you make anything
The white haired man cleared his throat and offered her his hand.
"Francis Monogram, formerly Major Francis Monogram."
Candace hesitated only a second. "Candace Flynn." She shook his hand
"I'm trying to reach some of my old associates." He looked a little
embarrassed, and she wondered why. "We need the National Guard or
something similar. Nobody knows what to do without Doofenshmirtz, and
we need to prevent riots and looting. Everything's going to be
disrupted, including food supplies, as people realize that they don't
have to do what he--" Monogram waved his hand at Doofenshmirtz.
"--ordered. Are you ready to give orders to all the people in the
Candace swallowed hard. "If I have to." Will they listen? Mom will kill me.
She raised her chin. "We've been working to stop Doofenshmirtz for
Monogram cleared his throat again. He looked around the room. "And
you've done an admirable job, an admirable job." He hesitated. "I
expected someone older." It sounded almost like a question.
Who is he-- a collaborator-- to
question us? But this National Guard sounds like a good idea. We need
something. Candace looked at Doofenshmirtz. "If-- if-- my
experts determine that this thing really is just a train, you can have
it, but the cooperation better start now. First, I want you to tell
everyone in the building to leave. I want nobody left but my people."
She looked at Isabella. "We'll prop him up in front of the screen so
that the ropes don't show."
Having Doofenshmirtz order everyone in the building to leave took no
more than a minute. The broadcast closing the factories and sending all
non-essential workers home took longer because they had to work out the
exact wording and figure out how to feed the words to Doofenshmirtz
while he was on the air.
"We don't want to close the hospitals or the fire department," Johnson
pointed out. "There are jobs that need to be done even now."
Nobody was entirely happy with the final wording, but it did more or
less what they wanted it to. A few minutes of broadcast time and the
entire Tri-State area started shutting down. Candace hated feeling so
After the broadcast, Candace delegated Isabella and Buford to stay with
Monogram and Doofenshmirtz while Monogram interrogated the deposed
dictator. She sent the other Firestorm girls out to alert the
Resistance and to bring back reinforcements. Phineas and Ferb
went into Doofenshmirtz's private lab. Candace thought about stopping
them, about sending them home, but she suspected that they were safer
here, at least for now.
Candace and Johnson went to Doofenshmirtz's surveillance center. He had
told them his passwords and explained that the controls might be a
little awkward as usually the place was staffed by Normbots. The room
itself was larger than Candace expected. It had two doors and a large
window. What's the point of a window
in a place like this? she wondered.
She and Johnson busied themselves figuring out how everything worked.
By the time the Firestorm girls started returning, Candace and Johnson
were able to steer them carefully around pockets of remaining employees
and into key areas for controlling the building. Isabella broke in
occasionally to provide passwords and other information.
Candace leaned forward and clicked on her headset. "Holly, they still
haven't cleared out of the room ahead of you. Hold back. We don't want
more prisoners." She could hear Johnson giving Adyson's group the go
ahead to move her group into the prison bloc.
"Find out who's in those cells," Johnson said. "Some of them might be
Candace itched to simply release all those prisoners, but she knew that
doing that would be as good as announcing that Doofenshmirtz had
fallen. Much as she wanted to make that announcement, she believed
Monogram when he predicted violence. We
didn't win this just to lose now. She hoped Monogram could make
good on his promises. We can only
sit on this for so long. Each person we bring in makes the news getting
out more likely. "Gretchen, you're clear to go ahead. Find out
if any Normbots are left. Doofenshmirtz says not, but--" I don't trust him. "See what else
you can control from there."
She leaned back and scrubbed her hands over her eyes. "We've almost got
control of the building," she told Johnson. "Most of the people left
aren't in critical areas. I think we give them ten more minutes to
clear out and then arrest whoever's left. We'll find room for them in
Candace couldn't see Johnson salute, but she heard it in his voice. How do I start a conversation? The other
Candace made it seem so easy. For the first time, Candace found
herself feeling awkward being alone with a boy. "We can't afford for
anything to go wrong." She turned to look at Johnson.
Johnson stiffened then relaxed. He smiled at her. "We've won. Nobody
knows it yet, but we've won."
"I'll relax when the National Guard arrives." Candace pulled out her
ball and squeezed it until her fingers hurt. "Monogram promised they
would, but we don't know him. He's not one of ours. And Doofenshmirtz
could still escape."
"And do what?" Johnson sounded calm, utterly reasonable. "Without the
Normbots, he's done. Nobody likes him, and none of the collaborators
have enough power now to take over."
"But who's in charge?" Candace knew she shouldn't be asking the
question, shouldn't let anyone see her uncertainties. I'm supposed to be the strong one.
"Us? We may have been the Resistance, but adults aren't going to listen
to us." And what do we-- I-- do? The
past four years have been all about Doofenshmirtz. I don't have
anything else. "Mom is going to kill me when she finds out." She
hurled the ball at the floor so hard that she missed the return bounce.
"My mom's going to be pretty mad, too." Johnson stood up and went after
the ball. "She might not let me out of the house again."
"Maybe we could just not tell them." The idea appealed to Candace. But the longer I spend here, the more
likely she is to notice, especially with the boys gone, too. She might
come out of the basement any time. "Assuming something happens
Johnson smiled and tossed her the ball. He returned to his chair and
gave his monitors a once over. "Nothing new here, sir."
That seemed to end the conversation. Realizing too late that she could
have smiled back, Candace turned back to her monitors. She kept her
ball in one hand. I'd like to see
him smile again. She busied herself cycling through the cameras
in the building, checking rooms she'd previously marked as clear. Nothing unexpected on the monitors. What
are the boys doing? On the screen, she saw Phineas up to his
elbows in the guts of some machine while Ferb lifted, inspected and
rejected a series of tools. They
seem to be all right.
She let the silence stretch for a minute then she cleared her throat.
"So what do you think you'll do now that we don't have to worry about
Doofenshmirtz?" That should be safe
enough. She glanced over at Johnson.
He looked thoughtful. "I hadn't really thought about it. I mean, I
never really thought we'd win. There were too many Normbots." He rubbed
the back of his head. "I suppose... I'd like to take my little sister
to a park. There's got to be one left somewhere."
"Parks are good places to put statues, and Doofenshmirtz loved
statues." Candace scanned the monitors. The last few employees were
packing up to go. "It seems wrong to just send them home. Some of them
are as guilty as Doofenshmirtz."
"People know who the collaborators were. Once everyone realizes the
Normbots are gone, really gone, it's going to get ugly." Johnson stood
and started a circuit of the room. He paused at each doorway, looking
out. "I think I'd like to learn to play the guitar. I started, before,
but my teacher disappeared."
They were both silent for a moment, thinking about the disappeared.
Some had been disintegrated by the Normbots, not even leaving a body to
show what had happened.
Seeing that the room Holly's group was heading for was finally clear,
Candace gave Holly the go ahead. That's
the last group. The building is really ours. Somehow, the
thought didn't spark triumph.
After a long pause, Johnson said, "What do you want to do now that
Doofenshmirtz has been defeated?"
Candace turned to face him. She bounced her ball once off the floor.
She caught it and threw it again. "I want to go to the beach," she
said. She remembered one perfect afternoon, not long after her
mom and dad married. Phineas and Ferb had split their time between
running in and out of the water and building sand castles. Candace had
brought her friend, Stacy, and they'd romped through the waves
together. "I don't think the boys can even swim." She bounced the ball
once more then tossed it at Johnson.
He caught it and threw it back in a single, easy motion. "I know Suzy
Candace caught the ball. She prepared to throw again then stopped. "We
shouldn't be playing. We're in the heart of enemy territory."
"It's not really enemy territory any more, sir." In spite of his words,
Johnson turned his attention back to the monitors.
"Call me Candace. We're working together."
"I'm Jeremy, then."
"Jeremy." Candace tried out the shape of the name. "Maybe we could all
go to the beach." She let herself dream a little. "I bet your sister
would like that."
"We could have a fire and toast marshmallows." Jeremy sounded like he
could almost taste the marshmallows.
Jeremy laughed a little. "Hotdogs, too. Think we can do it this summer?"
I definitely like that laugh.
Candace considered Jeremy's question. "Maybe. It's the beginning of
August." How long will it take to
get back to normal? And what's 'normal?' Can Mom and Dad get their
antique store back? "The changes came in fast. Maybe they'll go
away just as fast." She watched as images of her people taking over
operation of Doofenshmirtz Tower paraded past. "My brothers look so
happy, taking those machines apart." They
weren't happy before. Safe but not happy.
"They're really good at what they do, just like you."
Candace felt a little glow of pride at the compliment. She knew she was
competent. But having Johnson--
Jeremy-- say it! "I never knew they were good at anything. I was
too busy protecting them." Even knowing that Jeremy couldn't see her,
she waved a hand at the monitors. "All of this, all these years, it's
been about them, about protecting them from the world." Was I right? Say I was right.
"And you did it." Candace could hear the smile in Jeremy's voice.
"Doofenshmirtz is gone, and your brothers are safe. We're going to take
our families to the beach."
I did. They are. We will.
Candace found herself smiling. "Yeah. I guess so." Maybe all of this will work out. Maybe the
other Candace is right. Jeremy is cute, and I like him. He seems to
like me. I suppose we'll see.
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