Perry opened his eyes. For a moment, he thought he was home.
But the ceiling was white.
Perry sighed and rolled over. Dana was still asleep. It was pretty early in the morning.
Not doing so well." Monogram's voice was audible through the closed door. "They think that if he survives the surgery, he won't be able to recover."
"Maybe it's a mistake." That was Carl.
"No. The sore is very serious. But we still have to just
well, hope that it will work."
There was silence.
"I don't want him to go, Carl. He's so young still. The agency needs him."
"I don't either."
"I notified his host family that it may not end well." Monogram said.
Perry's heart sank. Poor Phineas and Ferb. He didn't want them to get scared.
"I guess it happens to all of them sooner or later." Monogram sounded upset. "I just really hope we can save him. Oh, good. Doctor Bigger. Would you mind
"Doctor Bigger." Perry repeated. "Excellent."
The door opened again. Monogram walked in, followed by a blonde woman.
"Hello." The woman said. "I'm Doctor Bigger. I'm going to give you a few pills, okay?"
"Not like I have a choice." Perry muttered.
"What did he say?" Doctor Bigger asked.
Monogram shrugged. "I don't understand animals. I only train them."
Perry was exhausted. All morning long, doctors had come in and left. He was sick of being poked at and fussed over. All he wanted to do was sleep.
He stared at the television. A movie was playing about some girl and some guy who fell in love. Perry hadn't actually been following it.
The door to his room opened again, and two twin platypuses bounded through, holding papers in their mouths. They were soon followed by two other platypuses.
"What are you four doing here?" Perry sat up.
"We came to tell you to get better." Palmer said. His son put his paws up on the bed and beamed at him. "We made you a book."
"About you at the hospital." Pamela added.
Palmer held up a piece of paper. "Paisley drew the first page. It looks like scribble-scrabble, but it's supposed to be you lying in the hospital bed. And Peppily drew this one. It's you with some doctors." Palmer held up the next page in the book. "And I drew this one. It's you getting operated on. See? I made a fountain of blood squirting out and splooshing all over the floor."
"He made the red crayon go not pointy anymore." Pamela said.
really lovely, Pal." Perry tried his best not to look disgusted.
"And this is the last page. Pamela drew it. It's you all better, and you came to visit us."
"Palmer drew the stitches on you." Pamela said.
"Yeah, I figured." Perry said.
"And mommy made these." Palmer put a basket of cookies next to the chocolates. "And she said to tell you that if you believe those are amazing cookies, she'll grow wings and fly to Africa. Whatever that means."
"I wish I had pups." Dana said fondly. "I almost had some. I had this boyfriend named Jack. And then he got into a tangle with a wild boar and died."
"Oh. I'm sorry." Perry said.
"That's okay. I have another boyfriend named Ken."
"How's he doing?" Perry asked.
"He's doing wonderfully. But he's physically unable to have puppies. However, he's really good at boxing. That's why I'm in this stupid place."
"He hit you?" Perry asked.
"No, he hit a wall and it crumbled. The wall fell on me."
"Gosh. That stinks."
"It wasn't so bad. It was the ceiling that hurt the most when it fell."
"That's exactly what I said."
One of the twins began chewing the sheets.
"Cut it out." Perry said.
The twin looked innocently up at him.
Perry sighed. "You're awfully cute."
"He looks a lot like you." Dana commented. "All of them do."
"And Paisley looks a lot like Peppily." Palmer said.
Perry was actually a little lonely after his platypups left. He sat and stared at the ceiling for a while.
When he got bored of that, he began counting the nonliving objects in the room.
"I'm Doctor Roscoe." A man said, stepping through the door. He was holding a clipboard. "Your surgery is tomorrow, and I'm here to answer any questions you may have. I have studied up on animal noises, so I am able to translate your speech. Do you have any questions?"
"Yeah." Perry said. "Where's Doctor Biggest?"
Doctor Roscoe gave him an odd look. "What?"
"Come on. You can't pretend you don't know what I mean. I've seen Doctor Big and Doctor Bigger. Where's Doctor Biggest?"
"There IS no Doctor Biggest."
"There has to be."
Doctor Roscoe stared at him.
"It's a joke." Perry finally said.
Doctor Roscoe didn't laugh. Instead he looked down at his clipboard. "Here's just a rundown of what will happen tomorrow. We'll bring you into the operating room, where we will then put you to sleep, remove the sore and clean out the area where it was, stitch you up, give you a couple of days for recovery and send you back home."
Perry nodded. "Mkay."
"You have no questions?"
"You don't have any concerns?"
"What does that mean?"
I'm pretty sure it's another way of saying 'Perhaps, no'."
"There's nothing wrong with being nervous." Doctor Roscoe said. "It's perfectly normal."
"So, if I'm not nervous, does that mean I'm abnormal?"
Doctor Roscoe sighed.
"Doctor Big would think that was funny." Perry said under his breath.
"Today you'll have some final examinations and
"Final? How can you say they're all final if there's more than one? And what will happen if I have the VERY final one? The last examination ever. Perhaps I will spontaneously combust. Or maybe I will grow wings. Or get a lollipop."
And tests. Once you're done with those, you'll need to rest for the remainder of the day."
"Dang, I was going to practice my river dance."
Doctor Roscoe stared at him again.
"You don't have much of a sense of humor, do you?" Perry asked.
"Oh well. I suppose making jokes is a sign of health." Doctor Roscoe stood up. "Doctor Gigantic will be in here momentarily to take you for your physical examinations."
"Gigantic. I should have known." Perry said. "Big, Bigger, and Gigantic."
Perry was half-asleep when the door creaked open. He didn't look to see who it was. It was probably just another doctor.
He honestly didn't care if he never saw another doctor in his life. He was sick of the whole lot of them. They kept reassuring him everything would be okay, and then they'd go back to forcing a bunch of stuff down his throat.
He couldn't wait for it all to be over. All he wanted to do was go home.
Perry opened one eye. Phineas stood next to his bed.
"What are you doing in here?" He demanded. "Monogram could walk in any second!"
"I needed to see you."
"You nearly gave me a heart attack! I'll see you in a few days. But you really, REALLY need to get out of here. If Monogram finds out, you'll never see me again."
Phineas looked like he was about ready to cry.
"Are you all right?" Perry asked.
"I'm fine." He said. "But
" He hesitated for a moment.
Perry sat up. "What's wrong with him? Is he sick? Hurt? What happened?"
"No. He's just worried. That's why I'm here. He wanted to make sure you were okay."
"I'm fine. I'm just a little sore. I got needled in my arm today, and it's still kind of numb."
"And your stomach?"
"Hurts so bad I hardly notice it anymore. I think it's gone numb as well."
Phineas patted him. "Ferb got really scared when he heard you
"Animals know when they're dying." Perry said. "And I'm pretty sure I'll be fine."
we figured." Phineas said. "But Ferb's also scared that
if the surgery messes up
or if something goes wrong
he's scared you'll
Perry shook his head. "No. I trust these doctors. Well, most of them. And I know they're well-trained to do the best they can. I promise you, Phineas, I'll come out of this alive and well-"
"Not me. Ferb. Ferb's the one who's worried."
"And he was afraid to ask me these things directly."
"Yeah." Phineas looked at the floor.
"Well, tell Ferb that there's nothing wrong with being scared. I'm a little scared myself. But he doesn't have to be ashamed of it or hide it. Sometimes it's good to let your feelings out. And if he ever needs me, I'll always be right here for him. For both of you."
Phineas nodded, but he didn't say anything.
Perry held his hand. "I promise you guys. I'll always be here for you. And I'll always watch out for you. That's one thing you don't have to worry about."
Phineas gave him a hug. "Ferb says thank you."
Perry smiled. "Tell him he's welcome, and that I love him."
"He loves you too."
Phineas let go and stood up.
"It will be fine." Perry said. "Call me if you need me. You know my number."
"And when you get home, why don't you do something fun? Watch a movie or something."
"I love you, pal."
"I love you too. I would never say this, but you really need to go."
Phineas smiled. "Okay. See you later." He waved and left.
Only one minute later, Monogram entered. "Hello, Agent P. Hello, Agent D. How are you two getting on?"
"Well, wonderful, if you don't count the fact that I'm injured, and that the TV still isn't working except for the one channel with the dog beauty pageant which is stupid, my tea got cold and my water got hot, I'm burning up under these blankets and I can't pull them down because my shoulder's broken, and I still never got that sesame-seed bagel with strawberry jam that I ordered from room service." Dana barked.
Monogram didn't quite understand. "I'm glad everything's going well. I'll check on you two again tomorrow." He left.
"There's room service?" Perry asked.
"Yeah. But the service part sucks. You can call them on a special button on your bedside phone."
Perry picked up the bedside phone and looked at it. It had a bunch of buttons on it. One had a picture of room service, one had a picture of a doctor, and another had a picture of a white cross in the middle of a red square.
"They have an emergency button on a hospital phone? Isn't that kind of redundant?"
"Not if the hospital accidentally burns down." Dana said.
"It doesn't look like a hospital sign, anyways. It looks like the flag of Switzerland. 'Room Service, Doctor Assistance, Switzerland
hey, guys, let's call Switzerland!'"
"You need to teach Doctor Big some humor pointers." Dana said.
"Big time." Perry agreed.
Dana raised an eyebrow.
"Sorry, bad pun." Perry put the phone back on the table.