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What a Man is a romance, family, and possibly action fanfic which centers around Phineas and Candace's mom and their biological dad. It is the first book of the "Stories of the Vanished Man" series.
Arc 1: Music is Life
Chapter 1: How It All Started
Linda Flynn is never happier than with her current husband Lawrence Fletcher. He would never betray her at any cause. Not only that, she also had another child for her to take care and love: Ferb. Then how about her first husband? Well, there's this man who is a big part of her life.
It all started when Linda was in elementary school. She was in the same class as a smart boy, a smart boy named Perseus Papadakis. At that time, all that she knows about that weird-named boy is that he's an A+ student, have won many science fairs, and have an obsession with spy fiction. The only problem about him is that he would usually talk about spy fiction, nothing else. It was very hard for Linda to approach him. They only started to become minor friends in middle school.
That's pretty much Perseus and Linda during their early years. They haven't have feelings for each other... until high school. The time Linda wanted to learn how to play the guitar after listening to many kinds of rock music. She can't afford money for guitar lessons, so seeked for Perseus.
"Hey, Perseus." Linda called. "I need you for a sec."
"What is it?" Perseus asked while holding a roll of paper assumed to be a blueprint.
"May I learn how to play a guitar from you? I see that you're very good at it." Linda said.
Perseus had his hand on his invisible chin and hummed. "I don't know. I'm very busy these days." He checked his mental memo while Linda was hoping so hard.
"Okay, I'll teach you." Perseus decided. "But only one hour each Saturday from 12 o'clock at my house. You know where my house is right?"
"It's only a few blocks away from my house." Linda stated.
"Great! Oh, don't forget to bring your own guitar too." Perseus added.
"OK." Linda understood. "Thanks, Perseus!"
Perseus smiled but didn't answer, neverthelss Linda was still happy that she'd got a chance to learn how to play with the guitar.
At Saturday, Linda arrived in front of Perseus's door with a guitar she bought for a cheap price. After she knocked it, she encountered a cheerful woman who looks like she's in her 60s. "Hello. Who are you?" she asked with a sweet smile.
"Hi, Mrs. Papadakis." Linda greeted. "May I see Perseus? I'm his friend Linda."
The woman went to Perseus's room and saw him at his desk, working on his gadget.
"Perseus, someone wants to meet you." his mom called.
"That must be Linda." He mumbled as the busy boy hid his unfinished gadget and went for the front door. When he opened the door, he greeted, "Hi, Linda. I see you've brought your guitar. Come in." He led Linda to the living room where the couch is comfy and had a nice frame of the Papadakis family.
"Now, where should we start with?" Perseus asked. "Hmm... How about holding the guitar correctly?"
And he started teaching Linda from that day on. They did so routinely for pretty much a long time. Playing the guitar was harder than what Linda thought, but then she got a hang of it. As they spend more time together, they started to become closer to each other and become more than just "friends". She even informs Perseus the day before she will meet him.
It was a normal Saturday again when Linda approached Perseus's house. She knocked the door. And this time, it wasn't his mother, his father, his sister Iris, or his twin brother Raph, but it's Perseus himself. His clothes are also neater than what he usually wears. "Oh, it's you." Linda said. "That's strange for you to open the door."
"That's because I was waiting for you." Perseus answered. Linda was confused. Perseus explained, "Because you are able to play with the guitar well, I'll ask you out to Mr. Slushy Burger as a reward."
"How about my guitar?" Linda asked. "You could put it in my house first." Perseus answered. "Come on, let's go."
"Are you sure about this?" Linda worried. Perseus tapped her shoulder. "Don't worry, it's only for a while."
Linda wondered what's with the sudden plans, but she followed him anyway. It's pretty much a celebration, after all. As they arrived, they begin to order some food. They enjoyed their food like most customers would, which is obvious because Mr. Slushy Burger is one of the most successful fast food restaurants in the Tri-State Area. Then suddenly...
"Linda." Perseus called.
"What?" Linda asked.
"I want to tell you that..." Perseus brought out a guitar, getting ready to play it. "Where did that came from?" the confused Linda asked. "I created a hyperspace that enables me to do this." he answered. "Anyway..."
And then he sang the song the author will probably not write. Everyone watched Perseus happily played his guitar. And when Perseus's solo was finished, everybody clapped and left the scene.
"So, what do you think?" Perseus asked.
Linda stood up, but was not delighted. "Perseus, I know I enjoy learning how to play the guitar with you, but I don't think I love you. I mean, I love your skills, but not love you... romantically. I'm sorry."
Linda left Mr. Slushy Burger, leaving Perseus all alone at the table.
"Aw... the girl didn't accept your love." The guy who works at Mr. Slushy Burger pitied. "Want to order anything else?"
Chapter 2: Will or Will Not?
Perseus walked to his house all by himself. He's confused why did Linda didn't accept his love. They did get together for a long time, after all. He later seek for help from his big sister, Iris.
"That's strange." Iris reacted. "You're usually ignorant of things other than inventions and James Bond."
"Well, I'm asking for a girl's taste." Perseus explained. "And since you're the closest girl I could get, you're a good target."
"Okay..." Iris filled the silence.
"So, I was with this girl." Perseus explained again. "You know Linda, right?"
"You mean the girl who you taught guitar to?" Iris asked.
"Yes." Perseus answered. "And I.. well... have a large amount of romantic affection to her."
"You mean 'love'?" Iris asked.
"Yeah..." Perseus answered while blushing. "I tried to impress her by playing my guitar but she doesn't like it. Do you know how to win her affection?"
Iris sighed. "Perseus, you shouldn't be so sudden when it comes to love." she said "Maybe she only treats you as a friend. Just be extra nice to her and she'll eventually fall for you."
"Thanks, Iris." Perseus asked.
"No problem. That what my boyfriend did to me." Iris replied. "Anyway I'm going to have a date with him." Iris went back inside her room to dress up.
By Monday, Perseus met Linda. He was slightly worried that Linda won't like him anymore, especially the fact that the big song he tried to sing didn't seem to impress that happy-go-lucky girl. He walked with confidence. Despite that spies are usually concealed, they still have to gain trust from other people so their mission is complete, just like Perseus's mission to get Linda's heart. After a few more steps, until he was about 9 inches apart from her, he later uttered his words. "I'm sorry Linda." Perseus said. "I shouldn't have done my performance out of the blue."
"It's OK." Linda answered.
"But we still could be 'friends', right?" Perseus asked.
"Sure." Linda smiled. "You're still a nice geek, after all."
And since that day, Perseus began to be really nice to her. He opened the door for her each time she wants to go through it, he helped her with her homework, he even brought her some lunch in the cafeteria. He was really helpful. Or maybe too helpful...
"Gee, thanks a lot," Linda praised. "but you don't have to treat me like a princess."
"No, it's OK." Perseus said. "You deserve this."
Linda had no choice but to let it be. Besides, he was just trying to be nice, after all. She still wondered why Perseus seemed so devoted to her. "Is it because he loves me?" Linda thought.
The rang bell, it was time for Perseus and Linda to separate from each other and go back to their respected classes. "Oh, I guess I got to go." Perseus said. "See you after school." Linda waved her hand without saying anything. She's quite relieved that Perseus isn't following her around anymore... for now. After the departure she went to the chemistry lab.
In the lab complete with almost every chemical you could find from the periodic table, she sits next to her lab partner, Lyla. She's not the highly intelligent Perseus, but hey, she's not as obsessive as him.
Lyla examined the chemicals and tried to follow the instructions. After the examination, Lyla tried to put one of the fluid into the other. "I hope it works." she said.
As soon as she was about to pour it, Linda quickly stopped her. "Lyla, that's the wrong mixture!" Linda said. "If you do that it'll blow up and cause the school to be on fire. You should use this one." Linda pointed the tube next to the one Lyla was using. "I'm not sure if you're right." Lyla reacted. "But I this better be right." She poured the fluid contained in tube into the vial... and it really turned into what the chemistry teacher had wanted, some yellow colored liquid with foam.
"Wow, it really worked!" Lyla was amazed. "How did you know?"
"Well, one of my friends helped." Linda answered.
Then the lights dimmed, and then went off. Everyone was talking about what happened. "Everybody, calm down!" The teacher shouted. "It'll be alright. The light will probably go back on in a few minutes."
Then a voice shouted, "Fire! Fire!" From that voice they all know that there was indeed fire.
"Everyone try to get through the emergency stairs." the teacher said. "Whatever you do, don't be in a rush. Now everybody line up."
Everyone in the class did what the teacher said, they lined up properly and went out of the lab. As they went out of the lab, they see smoke that the fire was producing. "Now crawl down to the stairs!" the teacher conducted. "Don't forget to be very careful!"
And so they did. But before they were about to reach the other floor, they have already encountered fire. The fire was so big that they couldn't get past through it. "Okay then..." the teacher reacted. "Let's reach to the window and wait for the firefighters to rescue us." They went back up and go to the nearest window while the fire was raising up to the higher floor.
Linda was catching them up in the back of the line, but right in front of her was small fire blocking her way. She panicked. "Linda!" the teacher called. "It's only a small fire. You could pass through it."
"I'm not sure if I could go through it!" Linda responded. "It looks pretty big!" Linda stood then until it was actually too late to pass through it without getting burnt.
"Oh no." the teacher said while the firefighters were there to rescue them. He faced the firefighters and asked, "Could you rescue someone there? There's a big fire in front of her!"
"Alright, but you should come down first," one firefighter said. "another firefighter will be in charge of rescuing the woman stuck in the fire barrier."
While the rest of the class were being rescued, the other firefighter was dealing with the big fire blocking Linda. The fire caused many materials falling from their places making the problem more difficult.
"I need some help." The firefighter said. The other firefighter was still too busy rescuing Linda's classmates.
The firefighter looked back and saw a man who is not a firefighter. It's Perseus.
"Hey, kid!" The firefighter shouted. "You shouldn't be here. You have no equipment on."
"Who said I don't?" Perseus reacted. He showed that that he wore a pair of goggles with a tube he had in his mouth and a belt with some non-realistic guns.
"I don't believe you." the firefighter said.
"You will." Perseus told back. He took one of his guns and pointed it at the materials. When he shot it towards the materials, it caused an explosion.
"What!?" the firefighter exclaimed. "You'll just make it worse!" Perseus was surprised that his gadget he created might have failed.
But their expectations were both wrong, the fire and the materials disappeared. Knowing this, both Perseus and the firefighter's faces had grins on them. They both hugged each other while cheering in joy. "It worked! It worked!" They shouted.
Then they realized that there was still Linda. "Oh yeah." Perseus stopped. "Linda!"
They both ran in hopes for finding Linda. They they found the unconscious girl lying. "Linda..." Perseus said. He carried her with his semi-muscular arms, hoping that she will be alright. Along with the firefighter, he hurried up to the window, where afterwards they went through the ladder which was recently used to rescue the rest of the class earlier to get down. After that Linda was brought to an ambulance.
Being worried, Perseus requested towards one of the paramedics, "Can I accompany her to the hospital?" The paramedic refused, "The teachers will accompany her, so go home, young man."
What Perseus could only do was to watch Linda with her teachers in the ambulance, leaving the school, towards the hospital. Then he continued to go home early because the fire has disturbed the school's activity.