Disclaimer: "Phineas and Ferb" and all related characters, songs, imagery, etc. are property of Disney.


"Best Backyard Ever!"

Chapter One: Broken Ground

Isabella Garcia-Shapiro smiled as she stretched out in front of her mirror. Today was going to be a great day – no commitments, no plans at all, just a full day to spend with her two best friends in the whole world: Ferb Fletcher, and especially Phineas Flynn.

She was in a good mood to start off this day, and nothing would change that.


It was another beautiful summer morning in the Tri-State Area. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and it was already north of 80 on the thermometer – and climbing. Phineas and Ferb took in the sights of this early morning as they enjoyed the shade of their backyard tree.

They were interrupted from their reverie as the screen door slid open, revealing their mom, Linda Flynn-Fletcher, who stepped outside into the warm air.

"Hi, Mom," said Phineas.

"Boys, we're headed off to the Quad-State Antique Convention today. We'll be back tonight. Got our cell phones both if you need to get a hold of us at all," she replied.

"So Candace is in charge then? I'm sure she'll want to know when she wakes up," asked Phineas.

"Well, sure, but I don't think anyone needs to be in charge today." Ferb gave her a thumbs-up in response as Phineas nodded his agreement.

"Love you guys lots! See you later," she continued, waving goodbye as she stepped back into the air-conditioned house. Phineas turned and looked at his brother.

"So, Ferb," asked Phineas, "what do you want to do today?" The green-haired Brit shrugged in response.

"What about you, Perry?" said the redhead as both brothers turned towards their pet platypus. The monotreme chattered, causing Phineas to smile.

"Well then, looks like it's all up to me," continued Phineas, furrowing his brow as he tried to piece together the perfect plan for this summer day. He didn't get very far with his thoughts before they were interrupted by a shrill cry in the vicinity.

"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Phineas took a couple seconds to process what he had just heard. "That sounded like Isabella. And it didn't sound good," he analyzed. "I'd better go check on her." Without waiting for a response, Phineas hopped to his feet and bolted towards his across-the-street neighbor's backyard.

He came to a stop as he rounded the corner, his jaw hitting the ground in complete disbelief at what he was seeing. The Garcia-Shapiro backyard was, for lack of a better term, totally ruined. Where the swimming pool had once stood, there was now a water-logged depression spanning most of the backyard, although it appeared to Phineas that the cobblestone patio had thankfully spared the house the worst of whatever happened.

"Hey, Isabella!"

"Hey, Phineas. Whatcha doin'?"

"Trying to figure out what happened back here," said Phineas, pointing at the mess.

"I...don't know," replied Isabella. "Everything was fine when I left yesterday to go to my Fireside Girls meeting, and then it was dark when we come back, and now I come out here this morning and it looks like this!"

"I see that. What I want to know," quipped Phineas, "is how is this even possible?" Perry the Platypus sidled up next to his owner, keeping a neutral expression on his face – after all, he is a platypus, and they don't do much (or so he's been told). On the inside, however, he had a real good idea how it happened, thinking back to his O.W.C.A. mission the previous day.

***
"So, Perry the Platypus, how you do like your trap?" inquired Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Truthfully, it was rather rudimentary – just a few cables holding Agent P's midsection and limbs against the wall – but it was still effective. "I'm not sure how long that one's gonna hold, so let's get right to the backstory."

"Earlier this morning, I was...making preparations for today's scheme, when I dropped my keys into a batch of quick-setting concrete. By the time I realized I had dropped my keys, the concrete had already set! Because, you know, quick-setting. And I kind of need those keys."

"Behold: the Concrete Melt-inator!" Doofenshmirtz continued, gesturing towards a ray gun with a (presumably empty) concrete tank on it for added effect. "With it, I will melt that concrete box over there-" – he pointed towards the box, sitting in the opposite corner of the room; Perry noted that it was perfectly sized to be a platypus trap – "-and then who knows after that? I'm thinking Roger's driveway would be a good place to start. What do you think, Per-OOF!"

While his nemesis ranted, Perry had sliced the cables open and delivered a right cross to the Doctor's jaw. Doofenshmirtz reeled in pain for a second as Agent P assumed a fighting stance. "Oh, it's on now!" declared Doofenshmirtz, beckoning his nemesis to come at him. Perry obliged, ducking underneath a punch and kicking Heinz in the chest.

Staggered from the blow, Doofenshmirtz stumbled into the Concrete Melt-inator, spinning it around as he inadvertently hit the self-destruct button. Agent P saw the device fire an orange ray into the distance, in the general direction of his host family's house (why did so many -inators end up doing that anyways?), before the machine blew up. Once the dust settled, Doofenshmirtz's lab was pitch-black as the power had gone out, and he still didn't have his keys.

"CURSE YOU, PERRY THE PLATYPUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!"
***

With his flashback having come to an end, Perry received a beeping signal on the watch hidden underneath his fur. With Phineas and Isabella distracted by the situation in the backyard, the platypus slipped out of the backyard, chattering at an oncoming Ferb as he passed. The Brit did a double-take upon seeing the extent of the damage for the first time.

"Maybe this is one of those 'only in Danville' things?" suggested Isabella. After all, their town did had a well-deserved reputation for some rather...strange...occurrences, like things spontaneously disappearing or changing shape, or falling out the sky as a few examples.

"It's weird," said Phineas. "It's like that mysterious force that makes our projects disappear thought your swimming pool was one of our projects..." Ferb turned towards his brother and saw a familiar glint in the redhead's eye. Isabella also glanced at Phineas, who was now tracing out a shape with his hands, as if he could see a finished design in his head. Both realizing what was about to happen, Ferb started to count down on his fingers as his friend spun towards the porch door.

"Hey, Phineas?" asked Isabella.

"Whuh?" Phineas shook his head to snap himself out of the trance-like state.

"Hold that thought," she replied, "I'll be right back."

Phineas shot the door a puzzled look for a second before a realization set in. "Oh. Yeah, we're not in our backyard right now. Should have thought of that first. In that case, we should go say good morning to Candace." Ferb tapped his finger on his left wrist; after all, their sister doesn't get up as early as they do. "Come on, no one could have slept through that scream earlier." With that, Phineas took off for his house.


Technically, Phineas was right; Candace had not slept through Isabella's scream. However, she also was not up at this point, having instead opted to roll over and go back to sleep.


With his entire family either away from the house or still sound asleep, Perry the Platypus donned his fedora and slid down the tube in the side of the house, landing right in his usual chair.

"Good morning, Agent P," began Major Monogram. "First things first: O.W.C.A. intelligence is sad to report that your battle with Dr. Doofenshmirtz yesterday led to property damage for one of your host family's neighbors."

Thought so, thought Perry. Carl walked onto the screen and began a sarcastic slow clap, stopping when he noticed the stern glare the platypus directed at him.

"Not helping, Carl," admonished Monogram.

"Sorry, sir."

"However, O.W.C.A. intelligence also reports that your owners may be planning to repair the damage. We'll keep you posted, Agent P." Perry breathed a sigh of relief.

"Since you foiled his scheme yesterday, Dr. Doofenshmirtz has not turned on a single light in his entire building," continued the Major. "This is clearly an attempt to disguise a plot far more sinister than normal. Agent P, we need you to get over there and put a stop to it." Perry saluted his boss and hopped out of his chair to go to work.

End of Chapter