The twins knew the forest like the back of their hands, so navigating through it wasn't a problem. Finding a group of kids inside of it, however, was another matter. After ten minutes of walking Dipper realized that it would be very unlikely that they would find the tourists in such an expansive forest. "Maybe we should split up and search."
"Nah," Mabel dismissed. "We'll find them. We just gotta believe!"
Her optimistic nature never failed. Dipper shook his head and they continued walking. Soon enough, they could hear laughter coming from a few yards away. Mabel grinned. "Super Mabel to the rescue!" she cried and charged forward. Dipper hurried after her and they soon came across a group of kids that looked to be a few years younger than them.
Mabel's eyes zeroed in on the kid with a triangle-shaped head. "Wow! His head looks like a nacho!"
"Ssh!" Dipper hissed. Thankfully, the group did not seem to hear them. "Okay, yes, his head is a triangle, but we're going to be polite and not comment on it."
"It's so pointy!" Mabel marvelled. Dipper slammed his hand to his forehead.
It was then the kid with the nacho-like head and red hair noticed them. "Hi!" he called cheerfully. "Are you here vacationing too?"
"For the summer," Dipper answered. "We're staying with a relative."
"I like your head!" Mabel shouted, beaming at the redhead.
Phineas blinked. "Uh…thanks. I like your sweater."
"It's a Mabel Original," Mabel said and twirled around, showing off her grey kitty-cat knit sweater.
"You're original, all right," Dipper muttered under his breath. Louder, he said, "I'm Dipper Pines. And this is my twin sister Mabel."
"Nice to meet you." The redhead smiled. "I'm Phineas, and this is my brother Ferb."
The kid with green hair waved at them. Mabel gaped. "Your hair is the colour of lettuce," she whispered in awe. "Except it's brighter."
Ferb just blinked.
"He doesn't talk much," Phineas added. "He's more of a man of action. These are our best friends, Buford, Baljeet and Isabella."
"Hey," Isabella greeted.
"A pleasure to meet you." Baljeet nodded.
"What's up?" Buford mumbled, with a wary glance at Mabel.
A sudden rustling in the bushes caused Dipper to remember why he and his sister had ventured out into the forest in the first place. "Uh...do you guys want to walk back with us? We've been in here for a while and it's kind of creeping me out."
"Dipper, we've only been in here for a few-" Mabel started to say but Dipper spoke over her.
"HOURS. Yeah, we've been wandering for quite a while."
Phineas shrugged. "Sure. It's going to get dark soon anyway. All right gang, let's head back! We got a lot of work to do tomorrow."
Dipper fell into step beside the two brothers. "What kind of work?"
"Well, we've spent every day this summer doing something spectacular," Phineas explained. "We've come up with a plan for tomorrow's activity. Do you and your sister want to join us?"
Dipper was amazed at the invitation. "But you hardly know us."
"It's always nice to make new friends," Phineas said. Ferb nodded in agreement.
'I think I may have just met someone that's more optimistic than Mabel,' thought Dipper.
His twin was currently bouncing beside Isabella, talking a mile a minute. "I like your bow! Did you make it? I make all my sweaters. I'm the knitting queen! Hey, we should have a knitting party!"
Isabella listened with an amused expression. "That'd be cool...I think."
"And I thought Irving was weird," Buford whispered to Baljeet, who smiled slightly.
"If you had to be locked in a room for three hours, would you rather be stuck with Irving or Mabel?" the Indian child asked.
Buford thought hard. "...Mabel. She doesn't have a camera or an obsession with Phineas and Ferb."
Baljeet wiggled his eyebrows. "Yet."
The group made it back to the Mystery Shack (without incident, much to Dipper's relief) and the twins bid their new friends goodbye. "We'll be getting an early start tomorrow!" Phineas called as they headed for their cabin. "Meet us by the lake at six!"
"Will do!" Mabel waved and smiled.
Dipper eyed her nervously. "You have that look in your eye."
"You know how I've wanted to have an epic summer romance?"
"Oh please no," Dipper moaned.
Mabel ignored him. "There are four new candidates that just qualified for the position of Mabel's Boyfriend." She rubbed her hands together gleefully. "And none of them are gnomes in disguise, I'm sure of it. Now all I have to do is find out who the lucky guy is."
"They're ten!" Dipper protested in an attempt to save the poor boys from Mabel's affections.
Mabel put her hands on her hips. "And you're in love with a teenager! Who has a boyfriend!"
Dipper had to admit that Mabel had a point. "Try to go easy on them. Come on, let's go face Grunkle Stan's wrath and get it over with. You know, next time he'll probably handcuff us to the register to keep us from running off."
As the twins went to face their unhappy uncle Phineas, Ferb and the gang were settling in for the night.
"So, what do you guys think of the kids we met today?" Isabella asked as she snuggled under the covers.
"I think they're nice." Phineas smiled.
"That girl creeps me out," Buford said. "She has way too much energy, and that's coming from the guy who spends every day with Phineas Flynn."
"Very funny," Phineas said as the others laughed. "I think Mabel's unique."
"She's unique all right," Buford snorted. "Did you see that sweater she was wearing?"
"Considering she made it herself, it's pretty good," Isabella spoke up. "I think she'd make a decent Fireside Girl."
"I'd like to see her climb a mountain," Buford chuckled. He dropped his head and yelped when it cracked off the hardwood floor. "Okay, Baljeet, give me your pillow."
"No!" Baljeet cried. "It is not my fault you forgot to bring one with you!"
"Nerd, you got one more-"
"Relax," Isabella called and threw down an extra pillow. "A Fireside Girl is always prepared."
"Thank the girl, Baljeet. She saved your butt." Buford yawned and buried his head into his newly acquired pillow.
Baljeet rolled his eyes. "Thank you, my saviour."
Isabella giggled. "Anytime."
It was dark out when a rap sounded on Candace's cabin door. The redhead groaned and sat up tiredly. Perry sat on her stomach, alert. "Who is it?"
"It's me, sweetie."
Perry relaxed and Candace went to open the door. Linda peered inside and frowned. "Where's Isabella?"
"She's staying with the boys."
"I don't think that's a good idea."
Candace rolled her eyes. "Mom, we're talking about Phineas, Ferb and Baljeet. Heck, even Buford. They're complete gentlemen. Besides, Isabella has been on sleepovers with those guys. You know you can trust them. And I'd also like to point out that they're ten years old."
Linda chuckled. "Alright, alright. I suppose I'm being a bit old school. Goodnight, Candace. Are you sure you'll be okay here by yourself?"
"I got Perry. Intruders beware. Or else you'll incur the wrath of the platypus," Candace proclaimed.
Linda laughed and shut the door. Candace crawled back into bed and Perry rested beside her. "Tomorrow's a new day in a new place, Perry. Anything can happen."
'That's precisely what I'm worried about,' Perry thought sleepily before dozing off.