"Which way did he go, Carl?"
"He's under the desk, sir."
Traitor. Perry thought. He tried to make himself smaller under Monogram's desk.
"Who grows thorns in their gardens?" Monogram asked Carl.
"I don't know, sir."
Monogram's face suddenly appeared. Perry backed up and hissed.
"Come on, Agent P. Come on out."
Perry gave a low growl.
"I don't know why he's so uncooperative today." Monogram said, dragging Perry out from under the desk. "He never used to hide when he had a thorn stuck in his foot. He knows I won't hurt him when I pull it out."
"It's not that he's worried about, sir. He's developed a fear of tweezers."
Perry tried to pull his foot away from Monogram.
"That's ridiculous." Monogram said. "Why would he be afraid of tweezers?"
"Sam Sideblow told me Perry's never been the same around them since Gustav accidentally poked him in the eye-"
"Poked him in the eye? Agent P, this isn't going anywhere NEAR your eye… worst that would happen is I'd poke your foot- WILL YOU HOLD STILL?"
Perry started pulling on his leg with both hands, but Monogram had an iron grip. He quickly pulled out the thorn. "There. Didn't hurt a bit, did it?"
He suddenly released Perry's foot. Perry flew back and hit Monogram's bookshelf, which nearly toppled completely over. Books poured over the floor.
Monogram sighed. "Agent P…"
Perry started licking his foot to soothe it, glaring at Monogram. Carl picked up some books from the floor.
Thaddeus Badley, Monogram's best friend since childhood, came into the room at that moment. He looked around and the rubble, then at Monogram.
"Agent P had a thorn stuck in his foot." Monogram said, gesturing toward Perry. "He didn't really want me to pull it out."
"Might have hurt him a little." Thad said.
"Not the way I do it." Monogram said.
Thad bent down next to Perry and examined his foot. "The thorn was a little deep. Do you have any adhesive bandages?"
"Carl!" Monogram barked.
"I'll go get some." Carl said, putting down the book he was reading and running from the room.
"Was it anything I did?" Monogram said quietly once Carl had gone.
Perry nearly choked. Monogram never admitted that he had done anything wrong. He had an ego the size of seven elephants standing on a mountain.
"Not at all." Thad said. "Like I said, the thorn just went in too deep. That's why he's bleeding. I think I have some bandages in here somewhere…"
He dug around in his back pocket, opened up a bandage with a picture of Ducky Momo in it, and applied it to Perry's foot.
"There. He's all good now." Thad patted Perry gently on the head and stood up. "This is the agent assigned to the Doofenshmirtz case, right?"
"Formerly." Monogram said. "During his absence we had to appoint Agent P to it."
Thad looked confused. "But isn't this…"
"Peter the panda." Monogram said. "Not Perry."
Perry slammed his tail against the ground.
"He's not very happy about it." Monogram said. "I'm still trying to work it out."
Perry stood up and limped toward the door.
"Make it purple!"
Perry peeked around Phineas's shoulder. The boys were playing some hairstyling online game.
The girl on the screen had uneven bangs and only a little bit of hair on the left side of her head. Ferb was dying it purple.
"Um… what's this?" Perry asked.
"Some hair game Candace used to play." Phineas said. "We thought we'd check it out."
Ferb cut off all the hair on the left side, save for a couple of chunks. He clicked on the curling iron and curled them.
"Do the world a favor and never become hairdressers." Perry said.
Ferb cut the hair into the shape of a heart.
"How was your day, Perry?" Phineas asked.
"Stressful." Perry admitted. "Monogram chased me around trying to get a thorn out of my foot."
"Ooh, related games." Ferb said. He clicked on one entitled 'Virtual Gallbladder Surgery'.
"Oh, Ferb, not that one!" Phineas said, though he was laughing.
Ferb's animated knife moved around the screen.
"I think I'll leave before things get exciting." Perry said. He went into the kitchen.
He could still hear the computer. "Be careful not to put too much pressure when you cut or Jimmy will- oh dear, would you like to try again?"
Perry poured himself some juice.
"Oops." He heard Ferb say. Ominous music came from the computer.
"FERB! YOU KILLED JIMMY!"
Perry shook his head. "And don't become doctors either, you two."
Phineas came into the kitchen. "What are you doing, Perry?"
"Waiting for my dinner. I'm starving."
"You can get your own dinner."
"I like being fed." Perry grumbled.
"Okay." Phineas said cheerfully. He got out Perry's bowl and spooned some platypus food into it. He set it down, and Perry started eating.
Candace came running into the room. She was completely covered in art feathers and paste.
"Candace!" Phineas's eyes widened. "What happened?"
"I was trying to put on my Flawless Girl lipstick." Candace said dejectedly. "But I think something went wrong."
"Ya think?" Perry asked, spitting out bits of mashed larva as he chattered.
Perry found six fruit baskets in his lair that afternoon.
All of them had the same thing printed on the card: "To Perry the Platypus: I hate both you and Peter equally. And I hate you for not thwarting me! Come over and thwart me sometime. Really. Or at least send me a note or something. Your worst nemesis, Heinz Doofenshmirtz."
Perry sighed. If Doofenshmirtz was trying to make up with him, he wasn't going about it the right way.
He stepped over the fruit baskets, trying to get to his chair.
Monogram and Thad were both on the screen today, laughing at something.
"Oh! Oh! And remember when Gretchen tripped over the lamp and it fell on Jordan's head?"
"I completely forgot!" Thad said between his laughter. "We had some good times, didn't we, Francis?"
Perry let out a loud breath.
"Oh, Agent P." Monogram said, wiping his eyes and turning to face him. "Yes… yes… your mission… where did you get all those fruit baskets?"
Perry didn't respond.
Perry left his lair, chewing on one of the apples Doofenshmirtz had given him. He started down the hall.
Noticing Alan the alligator's door was slightly open, Perry moved to close it.
Then he heard Alan growling from inside.
"I didn't find anything funny about it when I went in."
"Why did you go in?"
Perry recognized that voice, too. It was the voice of Manfred Freeny, a mink he didn't know very well.
"Well… Monogram asked me to. He was getting some strange signals from the device he put in the cave when he first appeared."
"And nothing was in there?"
"I don't know… it was just strange. There were tons of rocks, and these howling noises. Then I heard a bang and a roar, so I high-tailed away from there."
"Maybe Monogram was pranking you."
"Monogram doesn't play tricks on me."
Lucky you, Perry thought.
"Did you tell him about it?" Manfred asked.
"Yes. He didn't seem concerned and thanked me for the report."
"I wonder if he'll let anyone else check it out." Manfred said. Perry could tell that he was up to the challenge from the tone of his voice.
"I don't think so. It wouldn't be safe…" Alan's voice drifted off.
Perry knew what that meant.
"Who is it?" Alan asked.
"Me." Perry said.
"I thought I smelled someone behind the door. Do you need something?"
Perry thought quickly. "I have too much fruit. Doofenshmirtz went on a fruit frenzy or something. Do you want some?"
"Sure." Alan said. He came out of his lair, Manfred close at his heels.
"Do I really smell that strong?" Perry asked.
"Sometimes, yes." Alan said. "No offense."
"None taken. Phineas was supposed to give me a bath last week."
"I hope you have oranges." Manfred said. "That's the only fruit I'll eat."