Summary: Valerie wanted to know how Team Phantom got so good at ghost hunting, but this isn't what she was expecting at all.
(she's glad she saw it though; it really helped with her self esteem)
Inspired by @danny-phantom-slut's posts on this tumblr thread
Valerie hovered the mouse over the play button, turning to her friend. “You know, this isn’t what I had in mind when I said I wanted to see how you guys hunt ghosts.”
Sam smirked. “Just watch it; it’s definitely better than anything you were expecting.” Valerie furrowed her brows in worry, but she turned back to the computer.
She hit play.
“Okay Tuck, when you’re ready.” Tucker cleared his throat.
“Hello, lovely people of the internet. My name’s TooFineFoley and today I’ll be showing you how to properly take out a ghost!” he said, hefting a large bazooka with ‘TFF’ painted in big blue letters over the Fenton logo. Tucker made a show of looking around before motioning to come closer. The camera moved forward and he put a finger to his mouth. “Shh, there's one close by,” he whispered.
He pointed upwards and the camera swung up. Above them, Phantom was floating on his back as he admired the night sky with a calm smile on his face.
The camera came back down to focus on Tucker who was now on one knee and aiming directly for the ghost boy. He grinned wide before pulling the trigger.
“Phantom! We need your help; there’s-” A woman in a magician’s outfit appeared out of thin air, directly in the line of fire. Tucker’s face changed from giddy to horrified. Then the hit and his reaction were replayed again in slow motion.
The video cut to the camera being held facing the rooftop, aimed at a pair of black combat boots. In the background, the only sounds are Tucker apologizing profusely to someone about misfires and flower bouquets.
“It’s alright, really,” the woman’s voice said, her urgent tone still present. “But right now we’ve got bigger fish to fry. Or rather, bigger ghosts.”
“Ghosts?” Phantom’s echoing voice was filled with confusion. “But I’m right here?”
“Yeah, we would’ve heard if there was an attack going on.” Sam’s voice chimed in, louder than the others.
“It’s not in Amity Park. It’s up there.” The large bazooka fell to the rooftop, rolling slightly to rest against Sam’s boot in the frame.
“Please please please take us with you!” Tucker begged. “We can help Da-, uh, Phantom take down the ghost!” There was a brief moment of silence. Then the microphone picked up a muffled groan.
“Oh, uh, yeah. They should come.” The magician sighed and mumbled something about there being no time before a bright light engulfed the screen. The camera turned to static.
“You brought kids?!” A voice off screen yelled, followed by the sounds of dozens of heavy objects slamming into metal, something snapping, then a crash.
“She brought Team Phantom!” Sam yelled back. The camera readjusted so that it was now looking at the fight scene in front of them.
Hundreds of glowing boxes and cubed objects of various sizes flew at dangerously high speeds around the room while Green Arrow, Superman, and a few others were attempting to either dodge and weave through the projectiles or fly straight through the chaos to catch the ghost at the center of the tornado. The camera panned quickly to the left where John Constantine swore colorfully.
“Zee I told you to only bring Casper, not his sidekicks!” he yelled, putting up a large magic shield as one section of an air vent came flying at him.
The camera shook as a hand came into view, flipping him the bird.
“We’re not sidekicks!” Tucker said indignantly. Constantine ignored them and turned to Phantom.
“Listen, I don’t know what these chuckleheads did, but somehow a ghost managed to get up here and you’re the only one we know who can take care of it.”
“We’ve been trying to call you for hours!” Green Arrow shouted across the room as he dodged under a speaker blaring Britney Spears. “Where the hell were you?!”
Sam groaned and muttered a soft curse and Tucker chuckled nervously. Phantom yelled something inaudible back as he whirled through the air trying to shoot some of the boxes down. One of the larger boxes came shooting towards the camera and it was about to connect when it was suddenly yanked out of the way.
Something sparked wildly at the corner of the screen and a robotic voice announced the failure of the artificial gravity system. The camera started to float in the air for a few moments before a hand waved in front of the screen and grabbed it, covering most of the lens.
The sound of screeching, air blowing heavily on the mic, loud thumps, and, finally, an introduction.
“I am The Box Ghost!” the ghost yelled. “Master of all things Cardboard and Cubed!”
The fingers slid away from the lens revealing a glowing green bubble around the camera. The camera focused on the center of the room where a short blue ghost in purple overalls held up his arms and wiggled his fingers menacingly.
“Now tremble in fear as I turn the Watchtower into... THE BOX TOWER!” The sound of maniacal laughter filled the large room and many of the lights blew out, while the rest turned an extremely bright blue.
Phantom blew raspberries.
“You guys needed us for Boxy??” He clutched his stomach and laughed his head off. The camera moved from Phantom to some heroes still dodging or destroying boxes and back to Phantom. He continued laughing hysterically, Sam’s snorting and Tucker’s cackling joining in.
When Superman finally got to the ghost and punched through him, the three of them started howling and the camera was left floating freely in the air once more.
The video was sped up. High pitched laughter continued on for several minutes as various heroes passed by the screen, some turning to say something to Phantom who was still clutching his stomach, but now intangible so all the projectiles passed harmlessly through him. The bubble moved quickly a few times to dodge incoming boxes and then Phantom started to calm down. He flew intangibly through the swirling disaster of debris and boxes to float in front of the Box Ghost. The video resumed at normal speed.
“Alright enough games.” The ghost boy pointed to the ground. “Put ‘em down.”
“Foolish child, I-”
“I mean it Boxy,”—he crossed his arms—“or else you get a week of Soup Time.” The Box Ghost pouted, but obliged, slumping his shoulders and letting the boxes and cubed objects float on their own.
Phantom nodded. “Good, now hold on for a minute while I have a chat with the League.”
After several minutes, the camera dropped a few centimeters before fumbling in two pairs of hands. Muffled sounds and one “I got it!” and then it steadied, watching the glowing green bubble slowly recede and turn into a platform. Slowly, the combat boots and a pair of red runners were set down on the floor as the camera swiftly moved to focus on the ghost. He noticed and turned to it.
“I am the Box Ghost!” he shouted, floating over to the camera. “Fear me!”
“Shh,” an echoey voice said off screen. The camera turned to the huddled heroes. Phantom was facing the ghost and put a finger to his lips, pointing to a spot beside the Zeta tubes. “Boxy go play in the corner for a minute, okay? The superheroes are talking.” Grumbling, Box Ghost complied, all the boxes he was controlling moving to create a fort beside the box-stuffed Zeta tubes. A faraway “What the fuck?” could be heard from the group off screen.
Tucker scooted over to the fort followed closely by the camera, he and Sam arguing about the ethics of forcing ‘Danny’ to have a day off. The camera was handed off to a pair of black hands and then the goth yanked the ghost out by his overalls, pinning him against the front wall of boxes.
“When we said ‘get lost where he couldn’t find you’ we didn’t mean space,” Sam hissed.
“Your exact words were, and I quote,”—he pitched his voice lower—“‘You could get lost in space for all I care, just don’t be around Amity today!’”
“Okay that one’s on you,” Tucker said. Sam glared at the camera. It shifted slightly and a hand waved around in front of the screen, unperturbed. “We meant, like, Chicago or something.”
“Or at least not the Watchtower.” She shook her head. “Seriously, were you listening at all when we told you why we wanted you gone today?”
“What does it matter now,” the ghost said, rolling his eyes, “this Justice League will likely attempt to interrogate me as to my goals here,”—he puffed out his chest—“but of course, I, The Box Ghost, could never-”
“You better not snitch,” she said in a low tone, narrowing her eyes. The Box Ghost shrunk back, nodding fervently. “Good.” The girl let him go and the camera was traded off once more.
The camera refocused on Tucker grinning widely. “Oops!” he said loudly, popping off the Thermos cap to ‘accidentally’ suck up the ghost.
(The Core Reason Of His Promise To Protect People)
"What makes you think you can change my past?"
"Because I promised my family!"
I apologize for late upload of Day 6, I had to do some real life stuff to attend to. But here it is, based on a quote in The Ultimate Enemy, where Danny had said that he promised his family to protect them at all cost, even from himself.
They are the reason why Danny was still using his powers for good, since we see how Danny acts and how the world ends after his entire family and friends died in that Nasty Burger explosion.
Star slung her backpack into the grass beside the picnic table and made herself comfortable. The spring sun was warm on her back, and weedy little wildflowers were dotting the school lawn yellow and violet. Paulina had convinced Dash to buy her a milkshake at the Nasty Burger after school, and therefore refused to leave school grounds until she had him in tow, which meant that Star wasn't going anywhere either. She sighed, one hand playing with the charm she'd tied to her backpack zipper. A couple of minutes ago, she'd thought to make the most of the time by knocking out some of her math homework, but now the day seemed too nice to focus on trig.
"So where's Dash?" she asked, looking towards the horizon and letting the intense blue of the sky soothe her eyes.
"Some football thing," Paulina said with a wave of her hand, not looking up from her phone. "It's nothing official. He said it shouldn't take too long."
Star rolled her eyes. They'd be here a while.
She turned sideways on the bench to people-watch the other students as they filed out of the school building. Mikey took his usual shortcut along the fence, hopping the lowest point into someone's yard to cut off a block from his commute. Dale was carrying a white filing box home with him; it probably was full of old AV equipment he was hoping to tune up. Sam, Danny, and Tucker were skulking by a tree, gossiping about something. But then someone moving against the outward trickle of traffic caught Star's eye— Kwan was coming up the sidewalk towards them leading his little sister. He must have picked her up from her elementary school down the street. When he saw Star watching, he waved and crossed the grass to them.
"Hey," Kwan said in his sweet, sheepish way. "Would you guys watch Min for me for a bit? We're going to go practice some plays." He gestured vaguely to the rest of the football team out on the field. Min had one hand around her brother's fingers and the other around the strap of her Sayonara Pussycat backpack.
Paulina looked up from her phone and beamed. "Por supuesto, mi princesa," she crooned to Min, motioning her over to the picnic table. "How was school today, chula?"
Min climbed onto the bench opposite them. "Okay."
"Did you get to do anything fun?"
"I had art today. We made collages with construction paper."
Star half-listened while Paulina made small talk, watching Kwan jog out to the field and join his friends, continuing to fiddle with the zipper on her bag. There was a deck of cards hidden in one of the pockets. Star had been learning a bit of slight-of-hand from one of her cousins. She didn't think Paulina or any of the other A-listers would be particularly appreciative, so she'd kept her budding talent to herself, but entertaining a kid would be a bulletproof defense against accusations of nerdiness. She weighed the pros and cons in her mind until she sensed the conversation starting to wind down.
"Hey Min," she said once there was a lull. "You want to see a magic trick?" She fished out the cards.
"You know magic?" Paulina asked. Star shrugged.
"I know, like, one trick. My cousin's big into it." She dumped out the box into her palm and gave it a shuffle, then fanned out the cards and extended them to Min. "You ready?" she asked. "Pick one!"
Min deliberated, touching several cards before finally taking one. Star straightened the deck while Min read her card.
"You got it memorized?" Star asked, taking the card back and placing it face down on the top of the deck. "Now I'm going to shuffle them all together." She split the deck in two, placing both halves on the picnic table between them. In her periphery she saw Paulina lose interest and take back out her phone— she had lasted longer than Star had expected her to, honestly. Star took the bottom half of the deck, split it in two again, and made a show of fumbling with them. "Hang on, I'm not very good at this…" One set of cards went between her pointer finger and the rest of her fingers— or it was supposed to, but her hands were a little too small for that, so she supported the cards with her ring and pinky. The other half she held between her thumb and pointer, so the two decks sat side by side. Then, she applied pressure to arch the cards and removed her pointer, letting the cards interlace in a smooth, one-handed shuffle. "There we go!" While Min watched Star's left hand, her right secreted the card off the top of the other deck and into her jacket sleeve. She smiled to herself. Halfway there.
She picked up the rest of the cards and did a few more types of shuffles to keep Min's attention. Paulina looked up from her phone and paused.
"Star," she said suddenly, with an edge to her voice.
"What?" Star finished her last shuffle before looking up.
"Oh sh—" Paulina lurched in her direction, pulling her own legs free from the table and grabbing Star by the arm. Kwan barreled in from the field, football forgotten, and hoisted Min to his chest in the next instant, running towards the gym behind them. Star looked up as Paulina dragged her from the table, cards slipping out of her hands, and saw a streak of neon green headed for them. Paulina steadied her as she stumbled backwards and got her feet under her before they turned and ran for cover together. Star's legs buckled slightly as she felt the impact behind her and heard the table they'd been sitting at crunch, but she didn't lose her footing again.
It took them three minutes to reach the gym. Kwan had already disappeared inside, set Min down, and came back to hold the door, ushering them and the handful of people behind them in.
"How do we turn this thing on?" Star heard Dash's strained voice carry across the room. The Fentons had installed two ghost shields on school grounds, one in the cafeteria, and one here. Their service was suspiciously spotty, however. "Where the hell is Fenturd when you need him?"
"He went home with Jazz," Tucker said, sliding in the gym door. "You're lucky I'm still here."
Paulina and Star headed over to where Min was perched on the bleachers and sat on either side of her. She was hunched in on herself, hugging her backpack to her chest.
"It's ok, mi amor," Paulina whispered, petting Min's hair. "Phantom will take care of it." Min gave a little nod.
Star put an arm around the little girl. As she shifted, the card, forgotten in her sleeve, moved and pressed into her skin.
"Uh, hey, Min?" Min looked up at her. Star flicked the card out. "Is this your card?" Min's mouth dropped open. "I think the rest of the deck got incinerated. The magic protected this one. It's probably lucky now." Star smiled and handed it to her. "You should keep it." Min nodded and tucked the card behind the backpack, close to her chest. Paulina smiled at Star over Min's head and put a hand on Star's shoulder, letting it linger for a moment.
Kwan came and sat on the bleacher stair in front of them. "You ok?" he asked, looking up into his sister's face. She nodded again. Then the ghost shield finally sputtered and ground to life. Kwan visibly sighed.
"Looks like we'll be stuck here for a while," he said with a reassuring smile.
Party at the Earth’s Core! BYOH (bring your own humans)
DannyMay Day 6 - Core
Summary: Johnny and Kitty's invite was a little weird (and frankly concerning) so Danny and his friends decide to check it out.
“And we’re sure there’s a whole underground karaoke club down there? Not just some big empty cave filled with lava lamps, a dvd player, and a couple of plastic microphones?” Tucker asked, nervously checking the outdoor temperature sensors for the third time in as many minutes.
“That’s what Johnny and Kitty said,” Sam repeated, rolling her eyes. “And that only happened once.”
“What’s wrong?” Danny cut him off with a smug smirk. “A little hot under the collar?”
“Don’t test me; I WILL push you out the backdoor.” He wouldn’t, but he’s been having an anxiety attack for the last hour and Danny was not helping.
“Ah yes, because that plan is so rock solid.”
"Danny please, I know jokes are how you cope, but you need to pay attention," Sam said from the driver’s seat.
“Come on, Sam, you know it’s molten that.”
“Please stop with the bad puns and tell me you’re paying attention,” Tucker said, his grip on the front dash tightening more at the same rate as Danny’s increase in puns.
“Well yeah, duh, I’m phasing us through thousands of kilometers of solid rock. Of course I have to be paying attention,” he said, rolling his eyes from his spot kneeling in the center of the Speeder, hands pressed against the floor. “Though it is kinda hard not using my hands for so long; my nose has been itching for the past ten minutes and I’ve had to hold back so many sneezes, ugh.” A wide grin grew on his face.
“It’s such a pain with all this crust down here.” Tucker turned and threw his beret at him.
Sam continued. “Tuck, trust me; they wouldn’t lie to me a second time.” She tightened her grip on the steering wheel. “Not if they don’t want to catch these hands.”
"So we’re through, right?" Danny asked.
Tucker sighed, leaning back against his chair. “Yeah, yeah we are.”
A hand slammed on the panel, startling him. “Those sneaky little rats,” Sam said, grinding her teeth. “When I’m through, they’re gonna beg to have a Heavy Metal Only Karaoke party.”
“Because they’ll be screaming with laughter?” he asked, swiveling around in his chair. She elbowed him in the gut.
“Danny, get ready. We’re going back up.”
Sam eyed Tucker in the passenger seat. He shrugged. They turned around.
Danny was out cold on the floor.
“Well that’s…” Sam punched a hole in the dashboard. “I was gonna say ‘unfortunate’, but that works too.”
Fandom: Danny Phantom
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ember McLain & Danny Fenton, Danny Fenton/Ember McLain
Characters: Danny Fenton, Jazz Fenton, Ember McLain, Jack Fenton, Maddie Fenton, Sam Manson, Tucker Foley, Kitty (Danny Phantom), Johnny 13 (Danny Phantom), Vlad Masters, Skulker (Danny Phantom), Valerie Gray, Paulina Sanchez, Dash Baxter, Star (Danny Phantom), Kwan (Danny Phantom), Guys in White (Danny Phantom), Nicolai Technus, Penelope Spectra, Cujo (Danny Phantom), Danielle "Dani" Phantom
Additional Tags: Enemies to Friends to Lovers, Existential Crisis, Canon-Typical Violence, Post-Canon, Past Relationship(s), Other Additional Tags to Be Added, Minor Original Character(s), Cross-Posted on FanFiction.Net, Slow Burn, Banter, Slow Build, Attempt at Humor, Kitty Is A Romance Terminator
Series: Part 1 of Fire And Ice
After encountering a dispirited Ember during a routine patrol, Danny proposes a truce - he'll help with her problems if she'll help with his.
Quite how this leads to benevolent kidnapping, demolishing buildings and Ember waving an axe around, they couldn't tell you.
Now with a TVTropes page! Check it out and give it a fiddle!
Summary: Danny and Tucker get stuck working with someone that they really don't want to
My final contribution to Phic Phight during the time limit (and just barely at that)!
*throws confetti and then cries*
You can read the fic on AO3 or down below the cut as per usual!
“Alright class, I need you to break up into groups of three,” the teacher started and immediately the room broke into chaos as everyone started to gather up with their friends. Most could just share a look and nod or point to each other. Others decided they needed to push their desks together now. And a few had to cross the room because they had been separated for talking too much.
Danny and Tucker just reached out across the small aisle between them and held hands with each other without even needing to look. They would have reached for Sam too, but she didn’t have this class with them.
Once most of the class had reached their favorite people, and a couple of larger groups had finished debating over how they would break up, the teacher spoke up again.
“Is anyone not in a group?” the teacher asked as they looked around the room for any stragglers.
One lone hand made itself known.
“Ah, well let’s see,” the teacher pondered aloud as they scanned the room for the perfect place to put them.
It was then that Danny realized that his group was the only option. He slowly sunk into his seat and was torn between actually making himself and Tucker invisible or just letting this happen.
His only hope was that maybe the teacher would just not perceive them like usual.
He was not that lucky.
“Ah, perfect!” the teacher said with a single clap, “Why don’t you join Mr. Fenton and Mr. Foley.”
Knowing there was no way out of it, Danny just huffed and tried not to glare at the unwanted addition to his team.
The odd man out looked between the two with a wince and turned back towards the teacher, “Can’t I just work alone instead?”
The teacher rolled their eyes with a scoff, “The project is too large for one person. Unless of course there’s a problem?”
The way they asked sounded a lot more threatening than any of them liked, so they all just agreed to work together for fear of the consequences.
“Excellent! Now here is the rubric and let’s go over the project,” they said with a smile as if they hadn’t just vaguely threatened their students into forced cooperation.
“So,” Danny started crossing his arms with a frown as their third member slowly walked his desk over to join them, “who are we working with?”
He sighed, knowing full well what he was referring to, “Elliot.”
“You sure it isn’t, oh what was it?” Danny asked, pretending to remember the fake name the other boy had used.
“I believe it was Gregor,” Tucker supplied helpfully and with just as much annoyance in his voice that Danny felt. “From Hungry.”
Elliot threw his head back with a sigh, “I said I was sorry about that.”
“Yeah, whatever.” Danny spat and redirected his anger at the rubric instead.
The project was way too big for one person. It seemed a little daunting for three.
Tucker, the organized blessing that he was, already started to break down the project into much more manageable pieces. “Okay, I think if we can decide on a topic today, share contact info and after-school schedules, we can have an easier time lining up any group meetups and get this thing done in no time.”
Danny smiled and pulled out his notebook and flipped open to a blank page, “okay here’s my number and address and this is Tuck’s,” he finished and tore off the written section and handed it over and then slid his notebook over with his pencil, “you can just write your info there.”
Just because the guy irritated him, didn’t mean he couldn’t be civil. Besides he was willing to give him another chance, he just had to get his annoyance out of the way first.
“I don’t give my number out to just anyone,” Elliot said as he leaned back and refused to take the offering.
Danny just blinked.
Did he really just say that?
“Dude how are we going to contact you outside of class?” Tucker asked, shocked by the blatant disrespect.
Danny was doing his very best not to let the anger bleed into his eyes.
“I’ll text you if I need you,” he said as he snatched the note Danny wrote for him.
“Okay,” Danny said with as much restraint as possible as he slapped his hand on his notebook and slid it back onto his desk. “Fine.”
Tucker flipped the page of their packet and skimmed the page, “So, topics?” he said, clearly doing his best to just keep the ball rolling.
“I don’t care.” Elliot shrugged and pulled his phone out pointedly not participating.
Danny turned in his chair so he only looked at Tucker, “What are our options?”
“I’m glad you asked,” Tucker responded, also locking eyes with Danny and joining him in aggressively ignoring Elliot.
Tucker then read through the list as if it was just the two of them. He shared the page and pointed out the topics that he liked or that he thought Danny would like. Once they had marked the ones they liked the best they looked back to Elliot to see if he had any opinions at all.
“I don’t know if I really like any of those ones.”
“Which ones didn’t you like? The ones we pointed out or just the whole list?” Danny asked and if this guy said the whole list he was going to throw him out the window.
He shrugged, “I don’t know, all of them?”
This boy better get ready to be defenestrated.
Ha, see he could use that word in his everyday life! It wasn’t useless knowledge. Suck on that, Jazz!
Tucker had to forcibly push Danny back into his seat. “I know, buddy, I know.”
“We’re on the first floor. He’ll be fine.” Danny said through clenched teeth.
Tucker turned to just stare at him, stopping his calming shoulder pats due to his confusion. “I’m still not a telepath Danny.”
“Oh yeah.” sometimes he forgot that just because he was thinking it didn’t mean that anyone else was. But so often it seemed like everyone else knew what he was thinking before he even said anything.
Luckily his friends were always gentle with the reminder. They didn’t make him feel stupid or laugh at him when he did.
“I was just thinking how nice it would be to defenestrate him.”
Tucker snickered but shook his head all the same, “Dude, no. You haven’t gotten detention in like three weeks now, don’t ruin your streak.”
“No! You would just get expelled or whatever.” he said, still chuckling at the idea of Danny yeeting that jerk with no hesitation, “Totally not worth it,” he reassured.
Danny huffed but relented all the same, “Fine. I won’t.” he locked eyes with Elliot, “This time.”
“Are you threatening me?” the blonde asked, finally reacting properly to his current situation.
“I don’t know? Am I?” Danny retorted back sarcastically.
“God, what did I ever do to you?”
“You lied to my best friend.”
“I said sorry. Besides she’s the only one who should be mad, and she forgave me already.”
“I know,” Danny mumbled.
And it was true. Sam had forgiven him. She said that sometimes people do silly things when they think they’re in love. Or just in high school in general.
“And I was willing to give you a second chance but you rejected my peace offering, so screw you.”
“What peace offering? You glared daggers when the teacher forced us together.”
“And then I was trying to get past that, and then you were difficult and didn’t just give your info. It’s not like we’re ever going to contact you after this project is over? Heck, I’ll probably just delete your number the second we’re done!”
Elliot rolled his eyes, “Oh my god you are so dramatic.”
“Says the guy who took that ‘world’s a stage’ line a bit too literal.”
“Well I am a thespian,” he said with too much emphasis as he pressed a hand to his chest as he peacocked.
“TMI?” Danny had no idea what thespian meant and couldn’t help but notice how it rhymed with lesbian. He was pretty sure the two words had nothing to do with each other, and even if they did it really didn’t make any sense given what they had been talking about.
Elliot’s stupid vocabulary just made Danny annoyed all over again.
“It means I’m an actor.” Elliot deadpanned. “I mean honestly you throw around the word defenestrate like you know what it means.” he laughed to himself before giving Danny a condescending smirk, “Do you even know what it means?”
Danny felt his jaw tighten so much that his dentist was probably wincing, “Defenestrate. The act of throwing someone out a window.” He stood up to his full height and loomed over Elliot as best he could while the blonde was still sitting down, “Would you like me to use it in a sentence?”
“Code green!” Tucker shouted as he shot up out of his seat and pulled Danny down so they were both squatting behind their chairs, “You need a minute?”
“Yes,” Danny said resting his chin on his knees and doing his best to relax.
Despite that his parents seemed to think that all ghost’s emotions were fake, Danny had found that the more he had gotten used to his ghost side, the stronger he reacted to things. He never used to get so angry. Or to do so, so quickly.
Of course, his parents attributed his outbursts to teen hormones. He really wanted them to be right, but just knew that they weren’t. One look at the crazed-up fruit loop pretty much blew that theory out of the water.
His fingers threaded their way into his hair as he tried to block out the bad thoughts and focus on the mantra Jazz had taught him when he finally admitted to having emotional control issues.
“I control my emotions. They don’t control me. I control my emotions. They don’t control me. I control my emotions. They don’t control me. They don’t control me. They don’t control me.”
Danny took a breath and finally relaxed. This might not be ideal, but he was getting better at calming himself down again.
He stood up and took his seat. "Sorry about that."
Elliot scoffed as he scrolled on his phone.
"I'm sorry about earlier. You're right," he sighed, "I was being dramatic. I shouldn't have taken my anger out on you."
Elliot just stared at him for a bit. Blinked. Then shrugged and looked back at his phone, "Yeah, whatever freak. Let's just get this project over with."
Danny stopped listening. He was honestly surprised he got past the word. The word. Why did he have to call him the one thing that hurt the most?
Stupid heightened ghost emotions and stupid Elliot for poking at his insecurities. He took a breath and tried to focus on the conversation.
He pointed lazily at the packet on Tucker's desk, "We picked a topic already. Let's just divide up the-”
Before Elliot could finish his sentence Tucker interrupted, “Stop.” he said in such a serious tone that both boys looked over at him.
“I’m going to need you to apologize to Danny, right now.”
Elliot scoffed and opened his mouth to say something, probably rude based on his expression, but Tucker just held up his finger.
“I wasn’t done yet,” he said and Danny could almost taste the simmering anger that radiated off of Tucker like the heat waves that made mirages in the desert.
But why was he mad? Why? Did Danny do something wrong? Why did he always ruin everything he touched?
“Hey, I’m not mad at you,” Tucker reassured softly before returning his ire back on Elliot. “Now I know you don’t know us very well, so I’m willing to give you a warning. Danny is like a post-credits grinch. There are just certain things we don’t do. Now, if you would kindly apologize for your rude remark we can get back to work.”
“What are you even talking about?”
“Tucker, it’s fine,” Danny muttered because he really just wanted this whole day to be over already.
Tucker sighed before turning to look at Danny directly, “Is it?”
Danny couldn’t meet his eye. Of course, it wasn’t actually fine. He just didn’t want to make it a big deal. Elliot clearly didn’t do it on purpose so it was fine. He was fine.
If he told himself he was fine enough times maybe it would be true.
It was quiet for a few seconds before Tucker refocused on their project.
Danny did his best to contribute even though he was still feeling a little down. Elliot kept being the worst and only actively worked on anything when the teacher was looking.
Tucker wrote down a few things for them all to work on for the week and suggested they meet up in the library on Wednesday after school to go over what they had done up to that point.
Elliot gave a very lazy and barely committal agreement to be there before the bell rang and they were finally able to leave.
It wasn’t until they were at Danny’s locker, did it feel like he could breathe properly.
“You sure you’re okay?” Tucker asked as he leaned against the locker next to Danny’s so when he opened the door, he’d still be in view.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
Tucker was quiet and Danny didn’t need to see it to know he was making that face. The one where he knows Danny is lying and he should just come clean already.
“Why’d you have to call me a Post-Credits Grinch?!” he whined and hated every second of it. “You know I hate that movie!”
Tucker bit his lip as he tried not to laugh at Danny’s reaction, “It’s just because you’ve got a big heart? And it’s kind of like it grew three sizes recently, right?” he shrugged and added, “It was either that or reference that one vine and say you’re sensitive. But I knew you wouldn’t like that.”
“Oh well, thanks for the save, Aubrey.”
Tucker snapped into double finger guns, “Anytime, D-man!”
Danny snorted and shoved his textbook into his locker a little harder than he meant to, “Don’t,” he shook his head and couldn’t hold back his laugh, “Don’t ever do that again.”
“Not gonna happen.” Tucker playfully punched his shoulder, “Besides, it got you to laugh, didn’t it?”
Danny rolled his eyes, but he did have a point. Tucker always knew how to make him feel better. More like himself.
Less like a freak.
It was Wednesday. School had ended about ten minutes ago.
Tucker and Danny had come in about two to three minutes later than they had intended, thanks to the Box Ghost and the unfortunate delivery man that had crossed his path.
Tucker sent Elliot a text once they got there apologizing for being a few minutes late and asking where he had set up.
There was a slight delay before Elliot texted back. First to ask how Tucker had gotten his number, to which Tucker simply said “A magician never reveals his secrets.”
Then Elliot finally admitted that he wasn’t at the library. He said he had something he needed to do first but he would be there soon.
Then it was radio silence.
Danny found a nice table in the back corner that was partially hidden behind the old reference textbooks. He liked it because it was secluded and quiet.
Tucker teased him and said he actually liked it because it was the darkest and spookiest corner.
Danny just blew a raspberry at him.
The pair got out everything they needed and took over the large wooden table. Each of them taking turns to go over their respective progress and discussing what they still needed to do.
It wasn’t until the librarian came around told them that she needed to close up for the night, did they realize that Elliot never came.
“What are the odds he hasn’t done anything yet?” Danny asked as he packed his things back into his backpack.
“Happy thoughts, Danny. Let’s just focus on our own work.”
Danny just nodded and made sure to securely zip his bag shut while also maintaining the structural integrity of it. It wouldn’t do him any good if he broke the zipper.
Sure he’d still be able to get in if he needed to, thanks to his ghost powers, but it would have been because of his ghost powers that the bag was broken. Also, it would be hard to explain why, or how, he was still using a broken bag to those who didn’t know his secret.
Which would be pretty much everyone.
“So you wanna go to my place and continue? Mom’s making lasagna tonight and it’ll probably be ready by the time we get there!” he said as he fidgeted with excitement.
He did love Mrs. Foley’s double meat lasagna. “Yeah alright, I just gotta call home first.”
“Yes!” Tucker fist pumped and sent a quick text to his mom.
Danny didn’t mean to fall asleep at Tucker’s on a school night, he really didn’t.
On one hand, they ended up getting a lot done on their project. He got to eat so much yummy food that never once had a chance at coming back to life and trying to eat him, which is his favorite quality in food. His second favorite quality is, being not poison.
Also, Tucker’s house was always way warmer than his house ever was, and it was nice to just curl up in a pile of pillows and relax, because nothing in that house was designed specifically to kill him. It was a lovely little vacation.
The only downside was he hadn’t packed any clothes so all he had to wear was what he had come in. And wearing the same outfit two days in a row in the middle of the week, wasn’t exactly a good look.
Tucker was nice enough to offer his closet, which Danny happily accepted. Only Tucker had grown a few inches in the last year or so and was now taller than Danny. Also a little wider in the shoulders.
Good thing Danny liked to wear baggy clothes!
Of course, Dash made fun of him for his ill-fitting outfit almost immediately. It was like the guy had some sort of sixth sense that always picked up Danny no matter where he was.
When they got to their group project class, Tucker mentioned that they had gotten a lot done and if Elliot could type up what he had and send it to Tucker he could add it to the slide show they had started.
Elliot just shrugged and said he’d send it.
Tucker cleared his throat and added, “Please do so before midnight on Friday.” then he texted him his email address so he had no excuse not to.
“Yeah okay, whatever.”
It was Saturday night. Danny was lounging on Tucker’s bed while he waited for Tucker to come back from the bathroom.
The notification ding went off on Tucker’s phone but Danny knew better than to touch the phone without Tucker’s permission. That didn’t stop him from floating over the phone a few inches and just looking at the screen while it was still lit.
Elliot had finally emailed his portion of the project.
Well wasn’t that nice of him to do so at, Danny looked at the time and saw it was past ten.
It was even better when Tucker got to open the email and the file he sent was just a text file.
“Why would you do that?” Tucker asked as he just stared at the icon, “In what world is that necessary?”
They were both glued to the screen and held their breath as Tucker clicked download and opened the file.
It was the most barebones weak excuse of his share that he could have possibly given.
“We aren’t sleeping this weekend, are we?” Danny asked knowing full well what the answer was.
“I should have let you throw him out of the window when I had the chance.”
Prompt: Vlad decides he'd rather adopt Danny than marry Maddie... and he decides to get Danny on-board through packed lunches? Operation "Vlad tries to be a better be a better dad than Jack." Danny doesn't get the memo and thinks Vlad is plotting something.
Summary:Vlad decides to do the stereotypical father thing and pack Danny lunch, note and all!
Team Ghost: 1,629 Words, Complete.
Vlad knew that marrying Madeline was a lost cause and he was, surprisingly, not that torn up about it. Maybe it was getting a cat and being forced to take care of someone else's needs for once. It was definitely the cat.
Yes, Madeline would never be his and that would be alright. Daniel on the other hand was a different, more complicated story.
Daniel was something that Vlad found was difficult to let go of. He was the only one like Vlad, a ghost-human hybrid.
Vlad could deal with any loneliness that came with being single but not with the loneliness that came with severing the thread to the only being like him, that could understand him.
Vlad couldn't get Daniel to denounce his father outright (which in hindsight wasn't the best suggestion) and no longer felt quite that way anymore. Vlad could compromise with Jack existing because he was important to Daniel but he had to be slightly more important than Jack. He had to be better.
Vlad spent many agonizing weeks trying to think what fathers did for their sons before it hit him: packed lunches!
He knew that Jack couldn't be trusted to make one for Daniel so he could. Yes, it was all coming together…
Danny knew something was weird. He had been called to the office right before lunch but had only been tardy once today and had felt pretty good about it. So this was definitely weird.
Danny entered and the assistant at the desk smiled at him.
"Hello, Danny," Mrs. Billington said.
Danny smiled and waved.
"I was, huh, called, yeah?"
Mrs. Billington nodded and pointed at the counter next to her. "Your lunch is over there."
"My lunch," Danny repeated dumbly.
She hummed in affirmation and Danny turned his head to see the fanciest paper bag he had ever laid eyes on.
It was a pristine ivory color with an intricate, black floral border. The bag looked terribly out of place in a high school office.
The whole thing reeked of Vlad.
Danny gingerly grabbed the bag and brought it to the cafeteria for group inspection.
As soon as Danny plopped the bag on the table Sam and Tucker asked in unison: "Vlad?"
"Yeah," Danny said, sitting down and pulling the contents of the bag out.
There was an apple juice box, a bag of potato chips, a plastic bag of home-made chocolate chips cookies, and a sandwich in plastic wrap with a bright pink sticky note on top.
"Damn, Vlad really went all out, huh," Tucker said, eyeing his food in awe.
"What do you think he's planning," Sam asked as she furrowed her eyebrows in thought.
"I don't know but I don't think he'd poison me. That'd be a bit of a low blow even for Fruitloop," Danny said, picking up the note.
After reading it, Danny gave a startled snort.
"What?" Tucker stood trying to read the note.
"Listen, listen," Danny said, gesturing for Tucker to sit down. "Dear Daniel, I hope your day is going well and that the other ghosts aren't being too much of a nuisance. I packed what your mother said you would enjoy. The cookies were made by my secretary, Claire. I hope you like them. Maddie-Cat says 'hi'. Love, Vlad."
"What the fuck," Sam said with a shocked expression.
"Yeah, tell me about it. Look! Even included a smiley face at the end!!" Danny passed the note across the table and pointed at the end of the note.
"Yeah, but planning what?" Danny took a bite of sandwich and hummed in apperaction.
The sandwich may be delicious but Danny would get to the bottom of Vlad's nefarious scheme.
A week had passed since Vlad had started packing lunches for Danny. He thought that was going well.
Though he began to question himself after a lunch break with Claire.
"It's ridiculous how much Jamie shares her food with her friends. I might just have to start packing food for them as well," Claire said with a giggle over her greek yogurt.
Vlad couldn't think of a time he had shared food with Jack and Madeline in college. Perhaps it was just 'in' with the kids these days. He wondered if Daniel shared his lunches with his friends.
This brought along a new worry. If Daniel was sharing his lunches then he might not be eating enough to sustain his core! This simply wouldn't do.
It's not like Jack would know that Daniel needed as much food as him to sustain himself because he knew nothing about ghost cores but Vlad did. Honestly, Vlad would quickly be Daniel's favorite in no time.
First, he needed to know what Daniel's companions preferred.
"Umm, guys," Danny said with confusion lacing his voice.
The pair looked up from their trays nonchalantly. It was the same lunch bag Danny had recently been bringing because of Vlad and once it was ensured nothing was wrong with the food itself it had quickly lost its novelty.
"Yeah, Danny," Sam asked.
"I think... these are for you..." Danny said, sounding more lost than ever as he handed Sam an expensive salad and Tucker an equally expensive loaded burger.
"Oh wow," Tucker said joyously as he unwrapped the burger. "Did we get juice too?"
Danny sifted through the bag before spotting three juice boxes. He handed both of them a box.
"What is Vlad doing all this for?" Sam stabbed at her salad with a fork.
"Your guess is as good as mine. Actually, the more that I think about it, I haven't seen him in a while." Danny eyed his sandwich and gave a tentative bite. Normal as always.
Maybe he could wait it out a bit more.
Vlad watched the dad in the ziploc bag commercial cut the crust off his son's sandwich. Granted the son was seven or eight years old and Daniel was very much past that age but it wasn't like Jack had done it for him at that age. He couldn't be trusted in the kitchen let alone with a knife.
Vlad on the other hand was well adept in the kitchen if he said so himself and felt confident in providing this slice of childhood to Daniel.
Tucker buried his face into his arms on the table and laughed like an asthmatic hyena. Sam was covering her mouth with one hand while the other slapped against the lunch table obnoxiously as her body shuddered with barely suppressed giggles. Danny glared at both of them in betrayal.
"It's. Not. Funny," Danny gritted out, his eyes narrowing even more.
"He… he cut the freaking crust on your sandwich, oh my God I think I'm dying," Tucker wheezed.
Tears welled and slipped from Sam's eyes.
"Stop, please, I'm crying," Sam said as she gingerly dabbed at her eyes, being mindful of her eyeliner.
"That's it! I'm taking your guys' food," Danny said, pulling their portions away from them.
"No," Tucker shouted as he lunged forward to get the burger Vlad made him. Sam was too busy laughing to care.
"I've put it off for long enough. I have to find out what the hell is Vlad's deal." Danny firmly crossed his arms.
Tucker looked mournfully at the burger he stole back.
"I'm gonna miss these things," he said.
Sam hummed in agreement as she took a bite of her salad.
Vlad found that packing lunches were very soothing with its repetitive motions and cooking wasn't something he found himself doing much before this and it was great.
The peaceful moment was shattered when Daniel appeared in his kitchen with a scowl.
"What are you playing at, Fruitloop?"
"Don't be silly, Daniel. I'm not playing at anything."
Daniel's eyes narrowed with mistrust.
"Then what's with the lunches?"
Vlad washed and dried his hands.
"I simply wanted to start branching out to you. An olive branch if you will."
"You're not trying to kill my dad or seduce my mom?" Daniel let his feet touch the ground cautiously.
"I've decided to stop pursuing, Madeline and as for your father… as tempting as it is I have also quit making attempts on his life. I simply want to bond with you," Vlad said, putting things away.
Daniel nodded slowly.
"Fine, whatever, I'll hold you to it. But can you stop with the lunch thing? Not only is it weird as hell but it's embarrassing." Daniel started floating again, ready to leave when Vlad agreed.
Vlad felt a little miffed that his impeccable plan had backfired. Oh, well, he'd figure something else fathers did for their sons.
"If you want," Vlad remarked.
Daniel's faced soften a little with relieved triumph.
"Alright, see you around, Fruitloop." With that Daniel was gone.
Vlad stood were he was for a moment before partly finished lunch into the fridge and walking to his drawing room to pace. What would he do know…
Danny grinned at his friend's disappointment at his first home-lunch-free day in awhile.
No more weird lunch notes from Vlad with their ridiculous smiley faces at the end.
The rest of the day finished as better-than-normal.
Danny walked home, humming cheerfully.
Danny jogged up to the Fenton's Work porch before coming to a dead stop. On the floor near the door was two baseball mitts, a baseball, and a pink sticky note.
Danny picked up the note with trepidation.
I hope you had a wonderful day at school and did well in your classes. I'm inside catching up with your parents. When you can come in we can play a game of catch since the lunches didn't work out. I hope this works better instead. Maddie-Cat says hi!
tw: negative self talk, implied death, brief mentions of blood, injury, and body horror
Summary: Danny returns to Fenton Works, doorways are stupid, and good parents are hard to come by.
(sequel to What Could Have Been & 2nd part of the Not Your Son series)
Just walk in, he thought as anxiety swam in his gut, it’s just a doorway.
Nearly three hours ago, he probably could’ve walked through no problem. An easy action when all it meant was coming over to study with Jazz or leaving to go home to Vlad’s mansion. The small uncomfortable nudge from his core was not helping the matter.
“C’mon Danno, let’s head in;” his dad said as he locked the car. “The others should be coming around in a few minutes and I’m sure you want to get changed before they get here.” Danny’s eyes trailed down to the blood smudged on the cuff of his sleeve, lingering for a few moments before moving back up to stare at the open door.
It had been fifteen minutes since the ring’s control had been broken, since he gave the ultimatum, since he was Vlad’s son.
So why couldn’t he enter the building? It was his house. He was on the last step. All he had to do was put one foot forward. One foot and he could crash on the couch, put the day behind him.
(He could deny all of what’s happened, could think it was all some elaborate scheme by Nocturn or maybe that someone else had gotten that ring, forcing him to experience a weird dream (nightmare, nightmare, it was a nightmare) so he’d be too caught up in figuring it out to be able to break free. If he walked through the shielded building filled with anti-ghost weaponry in the walls though, his fragile excuses would crumble to dust.
He wasn’t ready for that.
All he wanted to do was turn around and hop right back in the RV, ignore the world for a little while longer and wait until the real Vlad showed up. The vicious, lying, and manipulative one that constantly mocked his intelligence and hated his jokes. The one that had no problem beating teenage half-ghosts into a pulp. The one he hated so much he got the government’s incompetent ghost hunting division to blow up his stupid cheese castle in Wisconsin.
It was just a short hop, jump, skip to the car; he could put the doorway behind him and indulge in this one harmless little temptation, couldn’t he? Let himself live in denial until the crazed up Fruitloop appeared with his latest murder plot?)
His dad put his hands on his shoulders, shoving him through the daunting doorway and making the decision for him.
The couch held him close as he was bombarded by worried family and friends and ...Valerie?
(“You’re out of your mind if you think only Jazz and your friends noticed your new chummy-chummy attitude with Vlad, moron,” she said, punching his arm lightly, a smile on her face.)
Even Elle was around, crushing him in a hug and refusing to let go the entire time they all talked.
He learned Sam and Tucker confronted Vlad on a Monday, three days after the dance and the day before a big science project was due. The three had walked to Vlad’s mansion to work on it, Sam and Tucker joking and asking what Danny managed to do to blackmail the guy this time.
“What? Why would I blackmail my dad?” Danny asked, confused as he reached through the door to turn the lock. He groaned in annoyance. “Did he try to sell you stock in his company or something? Because if he did, I’m gonna set up buckets of gravy and feathers in his room and you guys are welcome to join.”
They turned down the offer, worried, and made up some excuse to wander the large mahogany wood halls alone. Tucker needing to rub prescription cream on a ‘super embarrassing back rash’ that he can’t reach and only Sam’s seen before garnered sympathy and a grimace from Danny and he left them to it. (He remembered how indignant Tucker looked while Sam said that. He remembered wondering why his friend looked so badly like he wanted to deny it. It made sense now.)
Vlad was listening in just around the corner.
Apparently his friends tried threatening, cursing, and actually fighting him at some point, all without the younger halfa hearing a damn thing. Sam was particularly miffed recounting the event.
“No matter what you say or do, Daniel’s secret will still be at risk should you expose me and- Charcoal biscuits! Did you just try to bite me?!” He turned to Tucker with a fearful look. “Is this one feral?!”
In the end, nothing changed. Danny still went to school, still went out on patrols, still hung out with his friends, and still acted, overall, normal.
Then he learned that when Jazz got back from her weekend getaway she nearly stormed the place, armed with the Fenton Peeler and only stopped by his friends physically holding her back. The image brought a smile to his weary face.
Next, his parents were going to explain why they didn’t look for him, but he shook his head; even with different parents, he still thought of Jazz as sister to him since the ring only tweaked his memories a bit. He still spent a lot of time in Fenton Works, studying with her a few days a week after school and staying late at night for other things, so it made sense they didn’t notice. And in those three weeks, his sister was always inviting him to hang out or sleepover, Sam and Tuck too, but the constantly unlocked Fenton Portal was what really kept him coming back almost everyday.
(“What kind of idiots don’t lock their own Zone portal?!” he complained, pacing the air in the center of the library. “I mean, what, did they think the ghosts would knock? Float into their lab with a smile and a fucking plate of cookies?” Vlad resisted the urge to snort.
All that time spent in Fenton Works, his parents’ usual lack of perception, and the mysterious destruction of their more dangerous weaponry every weekend completely explained why they didn’t notice their only son not living with them for almost a month.
Yup, everything checks out.
Over time, Danny learned to readjust to his new normal. He held off on casually using his powers for a while and just focused on helping his parents understand him better and how he became the way he is.
A hero. A half-ghost. A boy with more intimate knowledge about ghosts than either of them combined. He even told them about the importance of his name, Phantom, and what it meant to him.
His parents listened intently and were eager to look over their old research papers with him, but, at Jazz’s insistence, they decided to hold off for a while until Danny felt back to normal. As the boy tried adjusting to living with his family again, however, time started to become more and more of a blur as the days passed.
He thinks at some point, his friends apologized to him. Said they wouldn't have outed him and continued looking for a solution on their own if he hadn’t gone radio silent one weekend. He sheepishly admitted he broke his phone in his Vlad’s training room while testing the durability of his new handmade Phantom sweater; a gift from Vlad made of a thick black fabric with white and green detailing and able withstand ghost rays, electric shocks, and extremely cold temperatures no problem.
(it’s the best piece of clothing he’s ever had)
(he shoved it in the trash the first chance he got)
He wished they ignored it was thankful he was so forgetful, otherwise he might’ve been stuck being all gross and friendly with Vlad for who knows how long.
(they would’ve left well enough alone if you weren’t so stupid, a voice hissed, you could’ve avoided this; could’ve stayed blissfully ignorant in your own little world while everyone else moved on with their lives, as they should, but no, of course you had to ruin it with your stupid little damsel-in-distress routine. Some ‘hero’ you are.)
He stared blankly into his bedroom.
It’s just a doorway, he thought again, just a stupid fucking doorway.
There was a non-existent film in the space between the hall and his room. A thin, staticky little thing that prickled Danny’s skin when he got too close. It leered at him, poking at him and saying to leave, to fly away and never come back.
No one wants you here, it sneered, your parents didn’t even notice you were gone, didn’t even care until the famous ghost menace was involved. Why would now be any different?
He stayed silent, keeping his unblinking eyes trained on the perfectly made up bed sheets.
“Whoops! Sorry there, Danno, forgot to turn off the Mini-Fenton Ghost Shields around your room,” his dad said, popping out of nowhere and making the boy jump. He knocked against the wall in a specific pattern and Danny could hear the sounds of humming machinery powering down. “There we go. Have a goodnight, son!” his dad said, waving as he returned to his own room.
The film was still there, mocking him.
Danny tore his eyes away and leaned against the railing. Maybe he could try again tomorrow night. Yeah, it’s not a big deal—he’ll just stay up to get ahead on homework. It’s not like anyone actually died from a lack of sleep.
He eyed the couch.
Fire. Lots of fire. An explosion, one big enough to send him flying through the air, nearly knocking him out as he landed on asphalt. There was a small group of people nearby, phones out and recording. One was smart enough to call the fire department. Good.
Surveying the area, it seemed no one was too badly burned. None of the larger debris seemed to go past the empty parking lot and despite the tipped over oil tanker, no one looked physically hurt either. Relieved, he set his head down on the pavement and breathed deeply. Even though he was exhausted and in a lot of pain, at least no one got hurt.
The sound of something small falling to the scorched pavement caught his attention.
A watch. Dad’s watch, he thought to himself numbly. The sky was clear of ghosts and his ghost sense wasn’t going off so-
Slowly, Danny lifted his head to look directly into the flames.
Vlad’s burning body was laying atop a large piece of debris, metal rods and shards of glass littering his bloody back. His melting face stared at the boy and despite the smoke partially blocking his vision, the halfa could make out an apologetic look forever etched into it.
Danny woke up screaming.
“Danny?! Danny, what’s wrong?!” Vlad burst into the room partway through a transformation. Locking eyes with the crying child he let his rings revert him back to human. The boy furiously wiped at his eyes and turned around, pulling the blanket over his head and sniffling quietly.
“Nothing,” he said, voice muffled. “You don’t have to strap me to some crazy machine or anything.” Silence answered him, but there were no sounds of retreating footsteps, to Danny’s dismay. He ventured a glance over his shoulder.
Vlad had a myriad of expressions cross his face before he took a deep breath and moved to sit on the floor beside the bed. He spoke in an even tone.
“Strapping a child to a dangerous machine is not something I make a habit of doing.” Danny scoffed, resting his head back on the pillow and missing the man’s stiffening posture.
“I know that, but...”—he frowned—“I dunno, ‘seems like something parents would do.”
“I assure you, little badger, that is not something parents do.”
Again silence answered him, but it was more comfortable this time, the empty void filling with an understanding that it was late and nothing more needed to be said. And while the boy didn’t turn back, he knew the older halfa stayed by his side, long after he fell asleep.
(Which, duh, of course he knew. How could he miss the huge puddle of drool on the edge of his sheets? Danny griped at him for it the next morning; it was his turn to do laundry and the load was gonna be light and easy before this. Vlad offered to do it for him, but Danny denied it with a dramatic sigh, citing that he didn’t want his sheets to catch fire.
Vlad sputtered excuses and denials and an “It was only one time!”, missing the teasing smile Danny was sporting. Honestly, 42 years and the man still had no clue how to work the dryer, he chuckled to himself.)
There’s one thing Danny couldn’t deny as he clung to the memory, drenched in sweat and digging the balls of his hands into his eyes.