“Agents… AGENTS!” Monogram shouted.
No one was listening. Herman the hedgehog was in a tussle with Pheobe the possum, and everyone was chanting their names.
Everyone save for Ned the baby narwhal, who was trying to get the attention of the new recruits by singing a song he made up about butts.
“I worry about Ned sometimes.” Perry told Pinky.
“He’ll grow up.”
“To be WHAT? That’s why I’m worried!”
“I don’t know. A butt-ologist?”
“AGENTS!” Monogram shouted. “SILENCE!”
All the agents turned to look at Monogram. Herman had Pheobe in a headlock.
“We have a situation.” Monogram said. “There has been a case of thievery at the dollar store in downtown Danville. A plastic bunny was stolen.”
“Only costs a dollar.” Perry muttered. “If this is our top priority…”
“This is no ordinary plastic bunny.” Monogram continued. “This bunny was made by an animal who led a very violent gang known as the Silencers. Whoever stole it may be trying to recreate the gang.”
Perry stopped listening.
Prince wasn’t at JD’s because she had stolen the stupid plastic bunny. Definitely not to recreate the Silencers, but… for some other reason he couldn’t figure out.
“Can’t she just sit still for once?” Perry grumbled.
Perry looked down at the address in his hand to make sure it matched the house number.
He knocked on the red door.
“Hold on.” JD said in the same deep voice Perry had heard on the phone.
The door opened to reveal a slim platypus with fluffy light brown fur. Judging by the faint white streaks, he was significantly older than Perry.
“Who are you?” JD asked warily.
“Perry. You called me a couple days ago?”
“Ah.” JD’s expression softened. “Forgive me. You can never be too careful, if you know what I mean. Come on in.”
Perry stepped into the house. The hallway was littered with old records and crumpled-up papers.
“Sorry about the mess.” JD said, stepping gingerly over a broken cassette player. “It’s better in the living room. I just don’t have enough space for things.”
Perry followed him into a cozy room with three couches. A Christmas tree sat in the center. Toys and stuffed animals were in a pile near one of the couches.
Sneakers was floating above a pillow on the floor, watching some children’s program about colors. She turned to look at Perry and blinked her huge eyes at him.
“Sneakers… is floating.” Perry said.
“Floating’s a common side effect of the cutonium.” JD said. “She does that every once in a while.”
Sneakers floated over to Perry and nuzzled his stomach. Perry picked her up. “Hey. How’re you doing?”
“She’s a real cool kid.” JD said. “Adorable.”
Sneakers looked into Perry’s eyes, causing him to feel a stab of guilt for not giving her every single thing on the planet.
Perry shook himself off. “I’m worried about Prince. There’s this bunny that every gang wants…”
“Plastic Jimmy?” JD asked. “Yeah, Prince had her eye on that for a while.”
“I think she might have stolen it. It’s gone now. But people are looking into it… she could get into trouble. I wish she’d talk to us.”
JD shook his head. “I hate that they’re goin’ after her.”
“Well… technically, stealing is right up her alley.”
“She didn’t do it. She wouldn’t have gone off like that to steal somethin’. She woulda told me, and THEN gone off and done it.” JD gave a smile, revealing crooked and broken teeth. “I know my girl.”
“You raised Prince, right?”
“Ah.” Perry adjusted Sneakers in his arms.
“I know what you’re thinkin’.” JD said, looking a little annoyed. “I tried to put her on the right path. But I knew if I pushed her, I’d lose her trust. I had to let her do her own thing. The most I could do was support her.”
Perry nodded. “I guess.”
“I’m makin’ sure she doesn’t go into that life, though.” JD said, gesturing towards Sneakers. “She’s been pretty happy here. Sucks that Prince left. I don’t think she should be without her mommy too long.”
Sneakers sneezed. Perry fought the desire to run to the store and buy the best box of tissues there.
“Fool.” JD muttered.
“No, not you. Prince. What’s up with her leavin’ like that?”
Perry shook his head. “I wish I knew. Is it all right if I leave Sneakers here for a couple of hours? I can’t take her until I get the house ready.”
“It’s all cool.” JD said.
Perry set Sneakers down on the floor. Sneakers began to float again. Perry turned to leave.
“One last thing.” JD said.
Perry turned. “What?”
“Nice to see she’s finally found herself a good guy.” JD said.
“Hi, Perry!” Phineas said when Perry returned home. “We’re playing another new game called DaYS.”
Perry looked at the screen. A pink clown was flying around.
“Huh. Cool. What’s it about?”
“Oh no!” Said the pink clown as babies with wings began to get sucked into a void. “The Daylandians are getting sucked into the endless void of darkness!”
“NOT AGAIN.” Phineas moaned. “Stupid Daylandians get into danger every five seconds! Now I’ve gotta save them!”
“Good luck. They’re everywhere and they’re tiny. And you have to save all of them. And there’s a time limit.” Ferb said.
“I KNOW.” Phineas said.
Perry’s phone started to ring.
“Ack. I’d love to watch you begin the impossible task of saving winged babies, Phinny, but I should probably take this. Does Candace still have that old doll bed upstairs? Sneakers is going to stay here a while.”
“Yes, yes.” Phineas waved Perry away.
Perry left the room and answered the phone. “Who is this?”
“Hey. Would you mind doing me a favor?” Prince asked.
“PRINCE! Where ARE you? You left Sneakers at your uncle’s-”
“I need you to give Malice a shopping list. You remember him?”
“Prince, quit talking about shopping lists! WHERE ARE YOU?”
“We were supposed to hold a party and we don’t have half the food we need for everyone. Do you have a pen and paper handy?”
“You get no answers unless you write down the stupid shopping list!” Prince snapped.
“Fine!” Perry took a pad and pencil out from his fur pocket. “All right, go.”
“Hummus, eggs, lemons, pears, tangerines, raisins, onions… what was next… what was next…”
“Hang on, I’m thinking. Okay, keep writing. Bananas, apples, doughnuts, oranges, rice. You got all that?”
“…Oranges… Rice… yes.”
“Thanks sweetie. Make sure he gets that list immediately. He’ll need to get that stuff soon.”
He heard a click on the other end and tried to redial the number.
“Weird. Not Prince’s number. What is she doing…”
He went upstairs to get Candace’s old doll bed. It had Ducky Momo on it. He also grabbed a tiny doll pillow and a couple of blankets. He dragged his finds up to Phineas and Ferb’s room and fashioned a small bed.
He went back downstairs into the living room.
“YES!” Phineas threw his controller in the air. “I BEAT THE LEVEL!”
“Oh dear!” Cried DaYS the pink clown. “The Daylandians are going into the cheese grater! We have to save them!”
“NOOOOOOOOO!” Phineas yelled, throwing himself to the ground.
“Maybe you should take a break.” Perry said.
Sneakers fell asleep in Perry’s arms on the way home. He tried extremely hard to stay quiet as he entered his house.
“MOOOOOOMMMM!” Candace was shouting.
“NOOOO! STUPID DAYLANDIANS!” Phineas yelled.
“WE MUST SAVE THEM!” DaYS cried.
Ferb’s silence was almost deafening.
Sneakers opened her eyes and looked up at Perry, confused.
“Welcome to the house of loudness.” Perry told her.
Phineas and Ferb came into the hallway.
“Awwww! Sneakers is here!” Phineas said happily. He patted her on the head. “She’s SO cute, Perry!”
“She just woke up, so she’s a little confused. But I’m sure she remembers you.” Perry said.
Sneakers tried to suckle on Perry’s fingers.
“Aww!” Phineas said. “I want to give her everything in the whole world.”
“I’ll put her to bed so we can do some more stuff together. Sneakers, don’t nibble on my finger.”
“Maybe she’s hungry.” Phineas said.
“I’m sure she is. She hasn’t had mother’s milk for a few days, and I don’t know if JD’s been feeding her replacement milk or what… can you get the platypus milk out of the cupboard and meet me upstairs?”
Sneakers finally fell asleep in Perry’s arms.
He was exhausted. He lay back on the couch and tried to get in a comfortable position without waking the baby platypus.
He heard a noise and sat up. Phineas was coming downstairs.
“What are you doing up?” Perry whispered.
“I needed water. What are you doing down here?”
“Go back to bed. You stayed up late.”
“I need water. Why are you down here?”
“Sneakers woke up hungry so I came downstairs to get her a bottle, but she kept trying to nurse instead. It took forever to get her back to sleep.”
“Are baby platypuses always hungry?”
“Pretty much.” Perry yawned.
“Do you want me to carry her back upstairs?”
“Sure. Get your water first.”
JD was seated on one of his couches, listening to a record from the sixties while he was watching the news.
“Thank you for talking to us about your water company, Tricia Waters! The newest brand of Watery Water will come out next December! Next on the news, Danville Park grows a new blade of grass!”
JD narrowed his eyes and turned down the volume on the television. The record began to drown out the sound.
“BREAKING NEWS BULLETIN!” The TV said.
JD turned the volume back up.
A reporter stood on the screen in front of a beat-up old van. “A van was found today in the most dangerous center of Danville. There were obviously some shootings here. There are bullet markings in the side of the van. No one was found inside, but the trunk appears to have been wrenched open… by… paws? Claws! Perhaps a bear got in…”
JD frowned. The news never knew anything.
Only the people who truly investigated the scenes did.
JD reached into the cushions of the couch, bringing out a single earphone with the cord disconnected. He plugged it in to a small, pin-sized recording device.
And he listened.