Phic Phight 2021: The Reluctant Apprentice and The Mentor Frenzy
Prompt: New ghosts often get under the wing of older ghosts. After the accident, Danny is approached by each trying to convince him join them as a very promising ghostly apprentice.
Note: I changed "After the accident" to "after Danny's first Death Day" and I hope that's alright!!
Team Ghost: 2,173 Words, Complete.
It started with the Box Ghost. It was always the damn Box Ghost.
Danny would agree that the fight between the two in the mall storage room was pretty standard. They fought, Danny obliterated him, the Box Ghost got sucked into the Fenton Thermos, and Danny would call it a day.
This time the Box Ghost shouted: "wait!!"
Foolishly, Danny complied.
"When is your death day?"
Danny furrowed his eyebrows.
"My what-y what now?"
The Box Ghost looked aghast.
"You've never celebrated a Death Day before?? YOU'RE A BABY," the Box Ghost wailed.
Danny could barely suppress covering his ears and quickly scooped him into the thermos.
"Jeez, what was that about," Danny said to himself and scratched his head.
Danny shrugged it off. It was just the Box Ghost after all. Nothing would really come of it.
Sidney Poindexter popped his head out of a locker in front of Danny suddenly, who was returning from the bathroom, and Danny yelped.
"Jesus Christ, why would you do that, Sidney?"
Sidney waved him off.
"Now the Box Ghost is not the most credible source but is it true you've never celebrated a Death Day?" Sidney used his thumb to push up his glasses.
"What is a Death Day?"
Sidney's eyes widened comically.
"I knew you were young but not this young. Umm, alright so a Death Day is a celebration on the anniversary of your death."
"Why would I want to celebrate my death," Danny asked incredulously.
"Why would you celebrate your birth," Sidney pointed out.
"Touché," Danny said with a nod. "What do you even do on your Death Day?"
Sidney tapped his finger against his chin as he recalled the information.
"Well, typically it's a day of truce and there's a party held in the Zone."
"Is that all?" Danny asked with interest. A day of no Ghost fighting sounded nice.
Sidney hesitated and chewed his lip before nodding quickly.
"Yep," he said, his voice cracking at the end.
Danny narrowed his eyes, it was obvious that he was lying.
"So, when is your Death Day?"
Danny hummed as he tried to remember.
"Like a few months from now."
"Well, I'd expect a visit from the others around then," Sidney said as he slipped back into the locker.
Danny was about to ask him what the hell he meant by that when the bell gave an aggressive ring. Lunch break was over and Danny was going to be late soon. He didn't even get to finish his food.
Sidney was right. The other ghosts did come for him on his Death Day. They tore him from his bed and dragged him to the Ghost Zone through a portal Wulf made. The celebration lasted all day and well into the night. Danny didn't know there was such a varying amount of ghost cuisine.
Danny hadn't realized how unknowledgeable he was in Ghost Culture. Apparently Ember, Johnny, and Kitty were doing "Ghost Nip." The Lunch Lady had told him he wasn't old enough to have any.
The only downside was everyone kept referring to him as an infant or baby. Especially Skulker, it was probably the highlight of his night.
Danny assumed that his first Death Day would get rid of any of the lingering weirdness the others had around him but he was wrong. So wrong. In fact it increased.
Unsurprisingly it started with the Box Ghost. Again.
"It is I, the mighty Box Ghost," he proclaimed as he appeared out of the floor of the cafeteria.
The students looked up from their trays with a sigh as the ghost alarm sounded off. Idly the students evacuated, only moving when the staff members ushered them out.
The Box Ghost waited impatiently. Slowly Danny came back this time as Phantom.
"It is I, the mighty Bo-," he began again before Danny cut him off.
"Yeah, yeah, I know. What ya want this time Boxy?"
"I come with a proposal for you, Phantom," the Box Ghost yelled with an exaggerated point of his finger.
"You didn't even buy me dinner, let alone finish my lunch," Danny joked with a tilt of his head.
The Box Ghost scoffed.
"Silly child–," Danny rolled his eyes, "my proposal is for you to become my apprentice!"
Danny slapped a hand over his mouth.
"I know it is a great honor that comes with great responsi-"
Danny couldn't take it anymore and let out a caterwaul of a laugh that had him doubling over.
"You laugh at the offer of apprenticeship of the strongest ghost–" he was caught off by the whirring of the Fenton Thermos.
Danny capped the lid, his shoulders still shaking from his giggles.
Man, he couldn't wait to tell Sam and Tuck.
The second time was less humorous than his first and happened during his nightly patrol.
Danny was lazily floating through the park when he felt the cold vapor flee from his lips and the air vibrate with the force of the oncoming ghost.
What weapon would he have this time?
Danny reluctantly turned around and went into a fighting stance. He faltered in surprise at the gun in Skulker's hands.
The gun shot off and Danny was easily caught in the net in his distraction.
It wasn't difficult to disentangle himself from the net but when he was done Skulker was standing over him with an oozing smirk.
"Wow, you're losing your touch. How are you going to skin my hide with this," Danny asked with a raised eyebrow and gesturing with the net in his hands.
"Your hide would be better and more valuable being my apprentice," Skulker said proudly.
Danny furrowed his brows and groaned. Not Skulker too.
The fight that ensued was an interesting one. It mostly consisted of Danny shooting ectoblasts and Skulker shooting nets while loudly stating why he would be Danny's best bet of survival if Skulker became his mentor.
The fight eventually ended much to Danny's relief.
He went to bed with questions on why ghosts wanted to be his mentor all of a sudden.
Danny was excited. He had woken up on time and the breakfast table conversation was barely about ghosts and ripping his alter ego "molecule by molecule" wasn't even mentioned. He ate his favorite chocolate chip waffles and a rich cup of coffee. Jazz must have noticed his good mood and offered to drive him to school.
The grin on his face was big and easy. He walked out the door with a bounce in his step, so much so he had to concentrate on not floating. Jazz giggled at this as she trailed behind him.
Though as soon as Danny caught sight of what was across the street he deflated.
Johnny and Kitty were leaning against Johnny's motorcycle and were wearing matching black, square sunglasses. They smiled widely at him and Danny knew exactly where this conversation was going.
Danny quickly crossed the street looking both ways before tackling the pair into the bushes.
"What do you think you're doing just hanging out in front of Fenton Works?? Are you asking to get caught?"
"Nah, little dude. We wanna mentor you," Johnny replied.
Kitty nodded eagerly.
"Yeah, the both of us as we are a package deal." Kitty pulled herself up into a sitting position and crossed her legs. "We could be like your cool Aunt and Uncle!"
"No," Danny said vehemently, horrified at the thought.
Kitty pouted and Johnny threw up his hands pleadingly.
"Please, dude. We'd do a good job, promise."
Danny rubbed his eyes and he felt Jazz put a soothing hand on his shoulder.
"I can't deal with this right now. I have to go to school."
The siblings left despite the ghosts' protests.
The rest of the day carried out similarly.
During fourth period science Ember showed up.
Danny flew out to the parking lot and eyed Ember warily.
"Let me guess. You want to offer me an apprenticeship?"
"Spot on," Ember said with a smirk. Now I love, Skulker, I truly do." Her voice filled with fondness at the mention of her boyfriend. "But there's no way in hell am I letting him have you for an apprentice."
"Why is this so important to you people!?" Danny charged his hand with an ectoblast.
"So, that's a no then?" Ember punctuated this with a scowl.
"Yes, that's a no," Danny shouted in exasperation.
"Oh, come on!! Your Ghostly Wail would go so well with my guitar," She whined as energy gathered at the head of her guitar, pink and angry.
He was so interrogating Sidney later.
Danny unfortunately had to wait until after school before hobbling over to Sidney's locker.
He knocked on the locker door and rubbed at his sore thigh.
Shyly, Sidney poked his head out with an abashed expression.
Danny glared at him with impatience.
"Something to tell me, Sidney?"
"Okay, okay!" Sidney put up his hands defensively in front of him.
"So after a ghosts 'survival' to their first Death Day they are considered safe enough for another ghost to take care of them, so to speak. It's regarded as an apprenticeship as the mentor ghost teaches the younger ghost how to fight and fend for themselves and of course Ghost Culture as a whole.
"This is a very important occurrence for ghosts. They're asking not only for an alliance after your maturity but also a familial relationship with you. Think of it like adoption." Sidney fiddled his thumbs.
"Huh," Danny replied as he absorbed the information. "That's why everybody is hounding me for? An alliance?"
"Everybody assumed you were older because of how tough you are in battle so we were very surprised that you weren't even a year old yet. Very much a thing of personal gain." Sidney cleaned his glasses nervously and put them back on his face.
"Makes sense, unfortunately," Danny said with a sigh. "Thanks for telling me Sidney."
"No sweat," he said as he watched Danny turn away.
Danny turned back around and looked at Sidney curiously.
Sidney cleared his throat and slightly averted his eyes before continuing.
"I know I said most ghosts are offering you apprenticeship for an alliance but… not all of them are like that.
"Basically I'm offering you an apprenticeship. I know that we might not be that close and well, we died at the same age so that might be strange but I've been around longer and… I guess I could sortamaybementoryou?? Just putting it out there. You don't have to accept it of course!!" Sidney waved his hands in a panic flurry as if he was trying to dispel the words he just said from the air.
Danny chuckled at Sidney's reaction.
"Thank you, I appreciate it. I'll think about it."
"Sure why not," Danny said with a shrug.
Sidney nodded to himself a little dazed.
Eventually he came back to properly say goodbye to Danny before he left.
Danny thought he could just tough it out and that the other ghosts would soon lose interest. They didn't. They also had infinitely more patience than he did.
After a few weeks and a few too many times being caught in Skulker's net and half-dragged to his lair, Danny had finally had enough.
Danny decided that he could find reprieve in Clockwork's tower.
The tower was the same as always: a black and green looming mass that emanated power (and a strong, constant ticking noise). Modeled like a Grandfather Clock surrounded by gears most ghosts didn't think of just appearing on the Master of Time's doorstep. Most ghosts that weren't Danny that is.
Danny knocked three times on the double doors before letting himself in.
Clockwork hovered over a chair that was placed near a table with a teapot and cookies on it.
Danny zoomed over to the empty chair across from Clockwork and tucked into the cookies with an enthusiastic "Thanks!"
"I see that the others are giving you trouble about your apprenticeship," Clockwork asked as his form shifted into an old man.
Danny nodded, not speaking because of his full mouth.
Danny downed his swallow with tea and licked his lips.
"Yeah, I just need a minute or I'll tear my hair out." Danny ran a hand through his messy hair as if to demonstrate.
"Hmm. Apprenticeships are very important, so, it is highly advised that you choose wisely."
Danny groaned and hid his face behind his arms on the table.
"Do I have too?"
"It is customary to do so, yes," Clockwork said as he took a savoring sip of his tea.
"Aww, man," Danny whined, lifting up his head.
The conversation soon lapsed into silence as Danny finished off the cookies and tea.
"You know," Clockwork eventually said, "it would be beneficial to possess an apprenticeship with me."
Danny slammed his head onto the table again and was almost on the verge of screaming.
Maybe Danny should just give in and take Sidney up on his offer.
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Phic Phight 2021: Love, Vlad. :)
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.
"Oh, he's definitely planning something," Tucker said.
"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!
Love, Vlad. :)
Danny wanted to scream.
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