The Pig and the Platypus
The silver moon hung high in the inky black sky. All in Gravity Falls, from the people to the supernatural inhabitants, slumbered peacefully.
Well, almost all.
The alarm Perry had set on his watch went off, the small beeps rousing the monotreme from his sleep. The platypus turned the alarm off and rose, hopping off of Candace's warm bed and to the cold wooden floor. Perry slipped his fedora on and cast a glance at Candace, knowing that the girl had had a rough time getting to sleep.
The teenager was trembling from chills, sweat dripping down her forehead and moaning softly from discomfort. Perry drew her covers back and carefully felt her forehead. As suspected, she had a fever, one that would hopefully break before morning came.
Perry left the cabin and entered the cool night. The forest looked especially menacing, with looming trees and shadows dancing amongst the thicket. Something isn't right about this place, Perry thought warily, keeping to the outskirts of the forest as he went.
He knew what he was planning probably wouldn't be greeted with great response by his superior. Major Monogram was strict and fair-especially when it came to rules and regulations. As an agent of the O.W.C.A you were expected to follow the rulebook religiously. It was something Perry had difficulty following, always did have difficulty following. It exasperated Monogram to no end.
But, at the same time, the man knew that it was Perry's ability to disregard rules when need be that caused the foiling of many of Doofenshmirtz's plots. Monogram was able to look past most of Perry's infractions but there were some times when he put his foot down.
This, if Monogram knew about what he was planning to do, would have been a no-exceptions moment.
Perry didn't want to have to steal a book from two preteens, especially two preteens who seemed to understand most of what was happening around them. Heck, they probably knew more than he did. But it was a responsibility that Perry didn't want to put on two kids. It was a responsibility that would fall on his shoulders alone. He would give their book back, once everything was solved and brushed under the rug.
And then he would answer to Monogram.
The rusted old structure of the Mystery Shack snapped Perry from his thoughts and he focussed his mind on the task at paw. Perry approached the front door and tried the handle. It came to be no surprise when he discovered it to be locked.
Perry took a few steps back and scanned the exterior of the house. A decorative window caught his attention and hurried over, grabbing onto the ledge and hoisting himself up. He gave the window and push and grinned triumphantly when it opened.
Thank goodness for small towns and their common habit of leaving almost everything unlocked.
The platypus slipped in and dropped to the hardwood floor. He glanced around at the various nick-knacks and souvenirs that were severely overpriced. Okay, so this is the main shop. All I need to do is find the kids' room.
Perry headed over to a door and tried it. Locked. Activating his laser, he aimed the small ray at the keyhole and melted the mechanisms, allowing him entrance to the house part of the building. I guess the money for a new lock is coming out of my paycheck.
The floorboards creaked with each step he took. He had just reached the stairs when light suddenly flooded the room across from him, the yellow beams spilling into the hallway. With nowhere to go Perry yanked off his fedora and dropped to all fours just as Stanford Pines stepped out of the kitchen, holding a glass of water.
Stan stumbled back, slamming into the doorframe. The glass fell from his hand and shattered, shards flying across the floor. The man stayed where he was, gaping at the teal-coloured duck thing that was sitting near his feet.
"What? What's the matter?" Mabel cried. The girl appeared at the top of the stairs, her long purple nightgown brushing her ankles. The second her eyes fell upon the creature her face broke into a huge smile. "Awwwww! He's so cute!"
Mabel tore down the steps. Pulling himself out of his shock, Stan reached out and snagged the child by the waist, hauling her into the air before she sliced her bare feet on the broken glass. Not deterred, Mabel reached out and pinched the platypus' cheeks affectionately. "Look at him! He's adorable!"
"What is that thing?" Stan demanded.
"He's a platypus, silly!" Mabel answered.
Of course she would know, Stan thought. Vaguely remembering something about platypuses and poisonous barbs Stan hoisted Mabel higher and out of reach of the platypus.
"Grunkle Stan!" Mabel whined. "I wanna pet him!"
"That thing can poison you in a second," Stan said flatly, frowning down at the semi-aquatic mammal. It hadn't moved an inch since he stumbled upon it. "We're going to call animal control or whatever and have them take it to a nice safe place."
For a brief moment, Stan was sure that the platypus lost a bit of its colour.
"You can't!" Mabel wailed. "I want to keep him!"
"I don't think so, missy." Stan sidestepped the platypus and started up the stairs, not tearing his eyes away from the semi-aquatic mammal. "You got a pig. That's enough of a pet for this family."
"But Waddles needs an animal friend. Someone to roll in the mud with him and eat bugs and have frolicking fun!"
"You do all of that with Waddles," Stan pointed out, knowing he would never forget the time he came across his insane niece playing in the mud with her beloved pig. "And I have a one pet limit. In fact, I'm pretty sure I told you kids no pets when you moved it."
"But you love me so much that you changed your mind." Mabel's eyes widened and her lips morphed into a pout.
The cuteness plucked at his heartstrings. Stan hesitated for only a moment before regaining his stern demeanor. "No means no, kid."
"What's going on?" Dipper yawned, appearing at the top of the stairs.
"Perfect timing, brosif!" Mabel twisted around and pointed down at the platypus, who was now waddling down the hallway. "Dipper! Grab that cutie before he goes outside!"
Dipper squinted down and was struck by the familiarity of the platypus. "Hey…" he muttered to himself and jogged down the steps, ducking past his great-uncle's arm.
"Stay away from that thing, kid!" Stan warned. "And watch the glass!"
"It's okay, Grunkle Stan. I think I know who this little guy belongs to." Dipper picked his way over the shards and squatted next to the platypus. He felt along his neck and found a locket with the name Perry engraved on the front. He popped it open and discovered pictures of a younger Phineas and Ferb in the small frames.
"He has an owner?" Mabel asked, a bit dismayed.
"Yeah. Phineas and Ferb."
Bafflement crossed Stan's face. "What kind of parent names their kids Phineas and Ferb?"
"I dunno. I guess the same type of parent who names their kids Mabel and Dipper." Dipper shrugged, very much aware of how odd their names were (although in a weird town like Gravity Falls there were an abundance of odd names and nicknames, so they fit in well).
"Can we keep him overnight?" Mabel asked. "Phineas and Ferb are probably sleeping right now."
Stan eyed the platypus Dipper held in his arms warily. "Fine," he finally agreed. "But first thing in the morning he's goes back to where he belongs. And he sleeps on the floor."
"Yay! Piggy and Platy sleepover!" Mabel cheered. She wiggled out of her uncle's grasp and pecked him on the cheek. "Thanks, Grunkle Stan! You're the best!"
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Just get to bed." Stan rolled his eyes, ruffled her brown hair and watched as the two kids sprinted back to their room. He then glanced down at the mess he had made, sighed and reluctantly went to clean it up.
"Look, Waddles!" Mabel cried, bursting into their attic abode. "You have a new friend! Waddles, meet Perry. Perry, meet Waddles!"
The pig glanced up from his resting place at the end of Mabel's bed. He stared at Perry, tilted his head in curiosity and oinked in greeting.
"They like each other already!" Mabel beamed. She took Perry from Dipper's arms and brought him over to her bed.
"Grunkle Stan said that Perry has to sleep on the floor," Dipper pointed out.
"The floor is cold," Mabel protested, tucking Perry against Waddles and covering them both with a blanket. She then cuddled against them, wrapping a thin cover around her small body. "Perry probably hates being cold. If he was a penguin, he'd love it. But he's not a penguin."
Dipper rolled his eyes and climbed into his own bed. "Whatever. Goodnight, Mabel."
"Nighty night, Dipper." Mabel yawned, flicked off her desk lamp and closed her eyes.
Perry only let his eyes become focussed once he was sure the girl had fallen asleep. He glanced at Waddles, who was staring at him. "You're not from around here, are you?"
Perry grinned sheepishly. "That obvious, huh?"
"A bit. But what interests me the most is how you got in here in the dead of the night."
The platypus knew he deserved the suspicion that was injected into the pig's tone. "It's a long story."
"We've got all night."
"I can't reveal too much," Perry said slowly. "All I can say is that someone unleashed something very bad into the world using a magical book. I happened to notice that the boy had another magical book just like it and I was hoping it would help me."
"You were going to steal their book?!" Waddles squealed, outraged.
"I was going to give it back," Perry said, knowing his defense was weak. "And you have no idea how dangerous the situation will get if I don't at least check the book out."
"I know how dangerous this place can be," Waddles said feelingly. "In fact, I don't think you know just how many secrets this place has."
"What do you mean?" Perry demanded.
"Gnomes, Manitaurs, demons, spirits-and that's not the half of it."
Disbelief and horror swelled within Perry. "You're kidding me!"
"The look on your face tells me that you know I'm not."
And it was true. Perry had sensed something since his arrival in Gravity Falls. He felt uneasy, cautious, and no matter where he went he always felt like someone was watching him. "And no one knows about this?!"
"Well, my family does for sure. Stan acts like he doesn't believe in the supernatural, but I think he's more connected to it then we all think."
"That's it? Just your family?"
"And this creepy kid called Lil' Gideon. He plays himself off as a psychic. Biggest fake I ever saw."
"How do you know all this?" Perry asked in awe.
"I'm a pig. I can go wherever I want, listen to whoever I want. No one feels the need to keep secrets from a pig. Conversations aren't halted when I waddle into a room. I know more than I probably should."
"Then why won't you let me take the book?" Perry chattered frustratingly. "I promise I'll bring it back."
"It's not yours to take," Waddles answered simply. "I don't doubt your word. There's something about you that I like. But if you try to take Dipper's book, we're going to have a problem."
Perry was silent for a moment. Finally, he asked, "Why let them keep the book if you know what it's capable of leading them into?"
"They're smart kids. They're resourceful kids. The book is with them for a reason. Whatever problem that will soon arise, they'll take care of it. I can promise you that."
Perry turned his head and glanced at the slumbering Mabel. Her peaceful face radiated innocence. She was so young, too young to know of the dangers of her town and actively involve herself in them. Her loving nature reminded him so much of his owners, kids who would jump the second someone needed help.
Children like that shouldn't have to worry about monsters or demons.
Perry knew in his heart he could defeat the pig in combat. But it would not feel right, not be right. Waddles was right-the book was not his to take. It was in the hands of people who knew how to use it best. It would stay with them.
A small smirk quirked at Perry's beak. Even without being there Monogram won the battle for rules and regulations. Nothing would be stolen that night.
"Alright, Waddles. Maybe you can tell me something. Do you know anything about a fire demon?"
A look of surprise flitted across Waddle's face.
"Perry, I've looked through Dipper's book multiple times when the kid's asleep. I've never seen anything about or relating to a fire demon. Ever."