#maddie my dear i love you so much
I know that you're gonna take really good care of her. And she's better off without me.
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okay i know you don't have the time to answer me and I get it, I'm tipsy (almost drunk tbh) and honestly fuck me, you don't have to answer at all, but I just wanted to say that I'm really really fucking sorry that that fucking cunt decided to send a dick pic and made you feel bad, you didn't deserve it. I wish you'll find a better person asap, someone who will love you as much as you deserve. I love you and I'm sending you another big fucking hug from Italy cuore mio, hope you are alright now
you deserve the world and I wish someone will give it to you, no more fuckboyd, just a person who will give you 100% of themselves and everything they have. you deserve it. anyway I'm drunk and I hope I didn't make a fooll of myself again, I love you and I understand you didn't answer me before, I'll love till the end of time ciao cuore mio, ti adoro e spero tu stia bene nonostante tutto.
sorry for everything, If u don't wanna answer I get it and I won't be offended, okay cuore? do what you feel it's better for yourself, love u
and oh my god i always come here when I'm drunk like wtf?? but anyway hi, I love you, you're the prettiest and you deserve the world. ciao tesoro, im going to sleep now, hope you're feeling well. ciao cuore mio, sei bellissima e ti voglio tanto bene.
my love! my dearest sweetheart! i’ve missed you so much, i’ve missed talking to you and reading your lovely sweet italian and i’ve missed getting to love on you. i’m really sorry i haven’t answered your other ask yet - i’ve been kind of all over the place lately, and i wanted to give you the answer you deserved with my full love and attention, but i realize that i’ve kept you waiting, and i’m sorry. my heart absolutely leapt in my chest when i saw your ask, because i’ve missed you and i love you so much! i hope you’re doing well! i know this year has been hard on all of us, but i hope the universe only has light and love and happiness in store for you for the rest of the year.
you could never make a fool of yourself! you’re too lovely and precious and dear for that. everything you say makes me love you more. i hope we can talk more soon, and i hope tomorrow is beautiful for you, because you deserve every good thing. i love you!!
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Dannymay Day One: Memories
It started small, practically unnoticeable.
“Where are my keys?” Maddie Fenton growled under her breath, searching the kitchen counter. Jack had misplaced them, again, and there was only an hour before the local hardware store closed.
“On the floor underneath the left side of the coffee table.” Danny’s response was instantaneous, he didn’t even look up from his homework.
She gave her son a questioning look when he looked up, eyes wide in surprise himself. There was silence between them, until she moved out of the kitchen.
Sure enough, they were right where Danny had said.
A week later, Danny was caught sleeping in class after a particularly busy week of ghost hunting. It didn’t help that finals were right around the corner.
“Mister Fenton!” Lancer yelled, slamming a book on the desk next to Danny startling him awake. “If you know so much about Emily Dickenson’s poetry that you feel the need to sleep through my class, you won’t mind telling the class the next line in the poem.”
The class around him snickered as Danny shrank in his seat. He looked at the lines already written on the board:
‘I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – Too?
Then there’s a pair of us?
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!'
His spine straightened and the words left his lips before he could register them. “How dreary to be somebody,” the laughing stopped, “How public like a frog, to tell one’s name, the livelong June,” Lancer’s mouth hung open, eyes wide in disbelief, “To an admiring bog.”
Danny finished his rendition of I’m Nobody! Who are you? and the class went silent. Danny slouched down into his seat, brought out of his own mind and well aware all attention was on him. There was another beat of silence before Lancer moved to the board, talking about the punctuation and capitalization that couldn’t be portrayed verbally.
Tucker caught Danny’s eye, Tucker’s confusion mirroring his own.
It wasn’t until he recited the periodic table almost verbatim during chemistry class, surprising himself and his friends, that they decided something weird was going on.
Tucker laid out a game of superhero themed memory on his bedroom floor, the cards face up. Danny studied the cards for a minute before Sam and Tucker flipped them over.
Danny got pair on the first try, with the exception of the Spiderman and Captain America cards.
“Fifty out of fifty-two.”
Before the—before Phantom, Danny had what his mom had called ‘the Fenton memory.’ He could barely remember what he had for breakfast by lunch most days, let alone the entire periodic table.
It was just another odd thing to mark down about being half-dead, he guessed.
He didn’t give much more thought to it. Sure, it was bizarre, but it was hardly the weirdest thing to happen to him. He filed it away and moved on, the discovery barely changing his everyday life.
Until he meet Danielle.
At first, the fact that Danielle seemed to know every fact about everything he liked was just weird. He chalked it up to Vlad being—well Vlad. It seemed right up his alley to brainwash his ‘creations’ with information he thought Danny had. How he got that information, Danny didn’t care to find out.
He didn’t realize how wrong he was until after he stabilized her.
This time Danny didn’t let Danielle run off, he knew better. It was clear that Vlad would be out for her blood and the only safe place for her was with Danny. How they went about explaining her sudden appearance was the tricky part.
They sat in silence, the only sound between them the quiet squeak of the old swing set they were on and the cicadas nighttime call. Here, just the two of them under the stars, it was easy to pretend that they were normal for a moment. Just two kids on a playground.
His life was rarely that easy.
“I know it might not be the best option,” Danny looked over to Danielle who looked like the weight of the world was on her shoulders, “but I’m willing to try if you are. You’re not alone anymore, Dani.”
She let out a sigh, much too big for her smaller body, her eyes somewhere distant. He stayed silent, letting her work out her thoughts.
“I—” There was a chock in her voice, like she was fighting off tears, “there are these things, that I remember.” Her face twisted into a sour frown, still a million miles away. “Sometimes just feelings—but most of the time, they’re so clear it’s like I’m watching a movie.”
Danny frowned and reached out to touch her arm. “I think it comes with being a ghost—”
“They’re not mine.” She cut him off, he noticed now that she was shaking. “They’re yours.”
The words felt heavy between them. Suddenly, some things started to make sense.
She loved NASA and Humpty Dumpty—a band that Vlad would never introduce her to—she hated Dash as soon as she saw him. She revealed her secret to protect Valerie—protecting was his thing. And when it came down to it, she had known that she couldn’t trust Vlad. She turned against him, the man she knew as her father, and sided with Danny who she had only just met.
“Wow.” Danny instantly regretted his lame excuse for a replay when Danielle tensed, and tears started running down her face. He panicked for a second before decided to get up and kneel in front of her on the gravel, forcing her to finally make eye contact with him.
“I mean, maybe not wow, I just—” He ran a hand through his hair, feeling lost as to how to help her, “I didn’t know that this memory thing was, I guess, genetic?”
He could tell he was not helping.
“Dear Ancients—I’m sorry Dani.”
It was the only thing he could say. He pulled her forward into a hug, rubbing circles on her back like Jazz always did to comfort him after a bad dream. The action just seemed to make her cry more, but her tight grip on his shirt kept him from letting go.
It took her more than a few minutes to calm down, all the while Danny held her and prayed to the ancients he wasn’t making things worst.
Eventually, her tears calmed and she went silent in his arms.
“I don’t know who I am.” She said quietly into his chest. He could feel something tight coil inside him, he held her tighter. “I have all these memories of home and friends and family, but none of them are mine. They don’t even know me, and I can’t be what Vlad wanted me to be. How can I be me when I don’t even exist?”
She started crying again, and Danny found himself at a loss. He was never very good at comforting people, but this was way out of his wheelhouse. Still, he tried to form some sort of coherent thought that maybe wouldn’t make her cry even more.
“I don’t really have an answer for that, but we can find it. Together.”
She finally looked up at him, her blue irises standing out against the red puffiness around her eyes.
“I meant it Dani, you’re not alone. I will always be your family and I’m not gonna let you do this by yourself. You may have some of my memories, and you may have been made by Vlad, but you don’t have to be either of us. We can find out who Dani Phantom—with an ‘i’—is together.”
She smiled up at him and hugged him again, muttering a small, “together” into his chest.
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because I could not stop for death
because I could not stop for death / he kindly stopped for me / the carriage held but just ourselves / and immortality ~ Emily Dickinson
Danny Fenton was dying, properly this time.
Somehow, in the back of his head and in his worst nightmares, he knew it would end this way: bleeding on the floor of his parents’ lab where it had all began. He was so hot he felt like his skin was on fire, blood and ectoplasm were dripping all over him and his lungs and heart were working overtime to try in vain to keep him alive a moment longer. He’d imagined at the time that there would be more screaming but death, in the end, was turning out to be a quiet little affair. A lonely table set for one.
“Danny, Danny come on, you-you gotta slow down your breathing, just relax, for me, please,” Sam moaned, more than making up for his lack of noise. She was shaking and touching him all over, his chest, his face, his hair. Normally she jumped right into action but she had to know, deep down, that there was nothing she could do. All that was left was to watch her panic and cry, it wasn’t his favorite image.
“Vlad!” He heard Tucker scream cry into the phone, “please it’s Tucker, Danny’s dying I think. The Fentons had some new invention, something about his core, please we don’t know what to do!”
Ugh Vlad, he was probably going to be so happy Danny was on his way out. He wasn’t looking much forward to his last images being his archenemy gloating. Tucker hung up and reached down to grasp Danny’s hand so hard it hurt. “Don’t worry dude, Vlad’s coming. He knows so much about you half ghosts that you’ll be fixed up on no time.” Right, Danny was already dead. If calling Vlad, feeling like he did something, helped Tucker move on then he’d deal with it.
Danny tilted his head to the side where Sam’s fingernails were carding through his hair. It was getting harder to see with the blood pouring out of his eyes but he looked at her, and tried to memorize her face. He’d never been able to tell her how much he loved her, that any day spent with her was a blessing. Tucker too, his best bro and a part of his soul. His best friends in the whole wide world, through thick and thin. God, he was going to miss them.
“Glurk,” he said, trying to convey those feeling but the fluids in his mouth and airway made it impossible. “Blerh.”
“Shh shh shh,” Sam soothed, “it’s okay, don’t try to talk.”
“Daniel!” He heard Vlad’s voice shriek as he materialized in front of the portal. Sam and Tucker were violently pushed out the way. Danny wanted to be angry at his loved ones being taken away in his final moments but anger was for the living, he barely had the energy to breathe. This death was too long and too short all at once. He made eye contact with Vlad who all at once lost the frantic edge to his tone and and instead knelt on the floor. “Oh my dear boy. What did they do to you?”
“What is going on?” Sam demanded, shoving her way back in. Danny was glad, he could see again like this. “Why aren’t you doing something!”
“There’s nothing to be done,” Vlad said in a flat, monotone, he picked up one of Danny’s hands and patted it gently. “His core is dying, it’s like a ghost’s heart. It contains their very essence, it is from which everything they are comes from. If Jack and Maddie somehow disrupted it then there’s nothing anyone can do to save him.”
“But he’s human too,” Tucker defended, grabbing Danny’s other hand. His human warm skin burned but the contact felt so good, he twitched his fingers closer to his friend’s. “He-he doesn’t need a core, he’s already got a heart. So, so he doesn’t have powers, we can do normal again.”
“You-” Vlad hissed before taking a calming breath. “The accident that made Daniel like this irreparably altered him. His core was as much a part of keeping him alive as his other organs, without it, his body is shutting down.” Vlad turned down to look Danny in the eye and saw true, genuine grief in those hateful red eyes.
“I cannot imagine the agony you are going through, I’m so sorry. I’d say it will be over soon but,” a hitch that sounded almost like a sob if it was coming from anyone other than Vlad. “But you’ve hovered on the edge of death for years, son, and you’ve always been such a fighter. You have minutes at most but those minutes are an eternity when you’re suffering.”
Sam and Tucker’s sobbing blended together in the background, Vlad was saying something with a miserable, stunned expression. The swirling of the portal in the background seemed louder than anything, louder than his heart beat pounding and pounding as it ran it’s last race.
“Daniel, Danny,” he focused his eyes back on Vlad who had a stubborn, unhappy set to his brow. “Do you want me to make the pain stop? An ectoblast to your chest will end your life instantly.”
“Don’t you dare touch him,” Sam shrieked, coming back into view and looking like she was trying to fight Vlad off. “You do anything to him and I’ll kill you!” Tucker just sat and stared at him, like he too was trying memorize Danny’s face.
“It’s a mercy, Samantha or do you want his last moments on earth to be drowning on the blood in his lungs.”
“Sam, he has a point. I don’t- I don’t think we can fix this.”
“No! No we always fix things, I’ll do it myself if I have to!”
Danny’s vision was starting to go, more black than anything else. He closed his eyes and readied himself for the inevitable.
“Time Out,” Danny opened his eyes and found he was no longer in pain. He was standing up and apart from where he’d previously been lying. Sam had her hands in Vlad’s face and the older hybrid was snarling something at her. Tucker was midmotion trying to stand up, presumably to get Sam but the three of them were frozen in the moment. Danny turned and found Clockwork floating, looking very out of place in his parents lab. “Good evening, Danny.”
“You that short on cash that you work part time as a grim reaper?” Danny quipped out of habit. He looked down at his body and grimaced a bit, that wasn’t a pretty sight. No doubt traumatizing for Tucker and Sam. God how were they going to explain this to his parents? “Gonna ferry me across the River Styx? I don’t have two pennies but I think I have a bloodied $10 on me.”
“You’re core is dying and you have 17 seconds left in this world before all your organs give out and finish the process you began when you turned on your parent’s ghost portal,” Clockwork explained as he changed into child form.
“O-okay,” Danny said shakily, trying to be brave even when he was so, so scared. He was going out whether he wanted it or not but he refused to leave crying. “Nice of you to come say goodbye then but, uh but unless you have something to say then you should let me go back. No one knows better than me that you can’t outrun death. Thanks but I’m uh I’m ready.”
Clockwork stared at him for a bit, not sure how long, time was weird like this but he changed forms a few times. “You’re quite the remarkable young man, Danny Fenton.”
“Uh thanks,” Danny added, once more looking at his body which had, according to Clockwork, a 17 second expiration date. “What’s going to happen? Am I going to become a ghost? Does heaven or hell exist for someone like me?”
“I don’t get to decide what happens, I merely see options,” Clockwork stated easily, taking his time. “If you die naturally you’ll become ghost, a mere shadow of who you are now and one who would fade fairly quickly. You don’t have strong enough anger or regrets to tie you in the real world for long.” Not great but okay he supposed, hell for his friends and family though. “You could let Plasmius deliver his mercy kill, destroying what’s left of your ghost core and ensuring you do not come back.” Better, probably won’t help the Fruitloop’s instability but he can’t save everyone.
“That one comes with it’s own caveat but I’ll get to that in a moment,” Clockwork explained. “There is a third option where you get up off the floor and walk away.” Danny blinked then looked back at his body which certainly wasn’t walking anywhere but into a plush casket. Clockwork opened his hands and the Ghost King’s Crown materialized in his hands. “If you accept your claim to the King’s Cown, it will revitalize your core and your life would be saved.”
“By sealing Pariah Dark, you won by proxy and established a legitimate claim to the throne. The Zone has been without a king for millennia, most have forgotten the old rules. Those who remembered were not too keen on a half-ghost child assuming leadership and kept you in the dark. If Plasmius ends your life then your claim transfers over to him, which he is aware of. It had been his plan all along to trick you into defeating Pariah so he could steal the Crown from you at a later date, a much easier opponent.”
Danny’s mind was overloaded with information, he didn’t know what to focus on first. He stared at his 17 seconds from death face and tried to process it all. Crown? Claim? Vlad?
“Of course,” Clockwork tutted, “he didn’t plan on your dying and in such a gruesome fashion. If he kills you and takes your claim, he would spend his remaining years ruling the Ghost Zone in a just, controlled fashion for your memory. He destroys all the stable portals and keeps the ghost and human worlds separate.” Clockwork became and old man and titled his head, “it’s not a bad timeline, all things considered.”
“And if I take it?” Danny asked quietly.
“You’re compassionate, brave and motivated, you have all the makings of a revolutionary king,” Clockwork smiled. “The Zone would experience and unprecedented era of peace, there would be positive interactions between human and ghosts for the first time since life and death split into two. Your name would spoken with reverence for the rest of time.”
“But I don’t want to be king,” Danny frowned.
“I know, I’m sorry,” Clockwork stated. “Which is why I am giving you the choice. If you pass peacefully there will be no one to claim the Crown and life will continue on, ghost attacks and all. If Plasmius kills you, he becomes an effective but unmemorable king. If you take the Crown, you can get the chance to tell Sam and Tucker how much you love them.”
Danny rubbed at his face, he didn’t want to die but he’d be sealing away his entire future with a move like this. He didn’t even know if the Crown would let him go with death, maybe he’d die and be stuck as the Ghost King until his core finally gave out lord in who knows how long. Eternity was an awful long time to carry such a responsibility. He couldn’t bring himself to ask, too afraid of the answer.
“Is there ever a timeline I became an astronaut?” He asked instead. Clockwork hummed, seemingly unsurprised by Danny’s non-sequitur.
“Yes, in one of the few universes where you never walked into the portal. You never go into space what with human politics putting a halt on the programs but you work for NASA. You leave Amity Park at 17 and don’t come back save for your parents’ dual funeral.” He paused and Danny felt read down to his very bones, “from the moment you became half ghost you were always heading for this moment. The circumstances varied but it always came down to you and the Crown. Time is straining to continue, to see how this drama plays out. Will you accept it and all the joy and grief that comes with it?”
Danny looked over at Vlad, still mid-sneer but there was a scared desperation in his face. He and Vlad sniped at each other all the time but Danny didn’t really hate him and he didn’t think Vlad did either. Leaving him alone, plus making him be king was a heavy burden to put on his enemy.
Sam and Tuck probably wouldn’t recover from this, he’d put them through so much already but he just knew that they’d never be the same. Could he do that to them? Take the easy way out and leave them to suffer? Mom and Dad didn’t deserve to come home to a dead son, the truth would come out and they’d never forgive themselves. Jazz certainly wouldn’t, she was 2 states over at University but he could already hear her angry, grief-stricken screams.
Death, death was quiet. It was quiet and merciful and sad, but it was also easy. And Danny Fenton had never once taken the easy route. He reached out and took and the crown before shakily placing it on his head. He gasped, throwing his head back as his core swelled, taking up residence once more right next to his heart. Clockwork smiled, looking like the cat who ate the canary.
“The Crown of Fire, pardon me the Crown changes with each core, the Crown of Ice is now yours as is the Zone. Your reign begins now but so too does the rest of your life. People are waiting for you. Time in.” Danny slammed back into awareness on the floor of his parents’ lab, the floor he’d almost died on twice.
He sat up as cold radiated off his body, causing frost to crawl down his arms and along the floor. Sam, Tucker and Vlad, who’d been frozen up until now, jumped back to life. There was a new, familiar weight on his head that he didn’t dare acknowledge.
He squeezed his eyes shut and said a silent goodbye to a quiet, normal life. It wouldn’t be all bad, he could be happy like this but the Crown still felt like a iron manacle around his neck. But he got used to the ghost powers, he could get used to this too. Maybe one day he won’t look at the stars and say ‘what if?’
“Danny!” Sam shouted, throwing herself into his arms soon followed by Tucker. Their warm weight, their relieved sobs, their shaky breaths in his air, now this was something worth living for. He squeezed them tightly.
“But how dude, you were at death’s door!” Tucker asked, still not letting go.
“You accepted the Crown,” Vlad said evenly, “I wasn’t aware you even knew about your claim. Who told you?”
“You don’t know everything, Vlad,” Danny sighed, sitting himself upright. Ugh his shirt was covered in blood and ectoplasm. He needed to trash these clothes before his parents freaked. And find a way to hide the floating ice crown on his head.
“Even an old man can be surprised every now and again,” Vlad said wearily. He stood up to his full height before startling Danny by dipping down to one knee. “Then allow me to be the first to welcome my new king and wish him well.”
“I thought you wanted this,” Danny questioned.
“I do, I did,” Vlad said, unusually off balance. “To be quite honest, I’m not sure how to feel about it but, right now, I’m just immeasurably happy you’re alive, little badger. Now I best be off, enjoy your kingdom, my liege, I’ll be sure to come bother you some time soon.” Vlad disappeared in a swirl of pink leaving just him, Sam and Tucker still clinging to him.
Danny may have a kingdom, a job he didn’t want and his whole life decided in a spur of the moment choice, but he also had something very important. He squeezed his friends tightly.
“I love you guys, thank you for being my friends even though I have the worst ideas for activities. Dying? On a Sunday night? How lame is that?” Sam laughed, a bit hysterical but it was real and it made Danny feel weightless.
“Don’t do that again, buddy,” Tucker breathed into his shoulder. “So you gonna explain what just happened and why you’re apparently the Ghost King or something?”
“Yeah, yeah I will but let’s get changed first. Mom and Dad will be home soon and I think I’m going to need to have a conversation with them about my new job.”
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Below the Greenhouse
For Phic Phight 2021. Prompt by @ave-aria: Maddie discovers the depths of Vlad's obsessions when she stumbles upon his secret lab. Despite the shock, part of her almost isn't surprised by the stolen Fenton Tech, the ripoff ghost portal, or the eerie Holo-Maddie—but the clone she finds floating in the pod at the back of the room? That's another matter entirely.
Word Count: 7,951
Also on AO3 and Fanfiction.net
Me: *sees a prompt with the word clone*
Me: Oh no.
We all know why this happened.
Maddie knew Vlad Masters was a creep. She did. And she’d known this for a while, even when she, Jack, and Vlad were in college. Before his accident, she had known he'd been preparing to profess his “love” and ask her out, even though he’d known full-well she and Jack were dating. And while, that might have been forgivable back then, when all of them were young and naive and Vlad didn’t hold such bitterness towards her husband, it wasn't now.
Now, Maddie knew Vlad was hopelessly bitter. After his accident, he’d refused to talk to them. He’d shut them out of his room when they visited the hospital and after he’d been released, he’d refused their phone calls and ignored their letters. Eventually, she and Jack gave up and they moved on with their lives.
That was, until Vlad chose to reconnect. And unfortunately, Vlad was worse than ever. More smug. More arrogant. More creepy. He ignored the fact that Maddie was happily married with children and he still insisted that she should leave the love of her life for him.
Maddie really only tolerated him for Jack’s sake. Her husband still enthusiastically loved the man who’d been his best friend in college and she couldn’t bear to crush his spirit, though the woman was increasingly doubting her choice to stay silent now.
And now, Maddie realized that Vlad was much more despicable than she thought.
It started with a series of strange phone calls. The voice was robotic, yet strangely familiar sounding. It reminded her of her mother or maybe her sister? Either way, the sound somehow tugged at her heartstrings just as much as it made her shiver anxiously.
“Please save him.” The woman’s voice asked, an oddly flat plea.
“Tell me who you are.” Maddie demanded, not for the first time.
The speaker ignored the question, continuing. “I cannot get Number 6 out myself. Please save him.”
“You keep saying that, every time you call this number.” The woman sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. This was the fifth time she had gotten a call like this. All from an almost emotionless, staticky voice. All begging her to save someone or something called Number 6. Something she couldn’t seem to get anymore information about. “But who is number six?” Maddie asked, trying, probably futilely to learn more.
The answer surprised her. “Number 6 is just a boy. He should be free. He does not belong in a laboratory.”
Maddie frowned, brows furrowed in confusion “A laboratory?”
“That is correct.” The robotic voice answered.
“I’m sorry, are you talking about an actual child? What is a child doing in a laboratory?” The woman wrinkled her nose in disgust.
“Number 6 is physically younger than the age of majority and therefore meets the definition of a child.”
“Okay?” Maddie furrowed her brow and repeated herself more severely. “Why are you keeping a child in your laboratory?”
There was a pause. “I am not permitted to share that information.”
That made the woman’s stomach flop. “And why not?”
“My dearest has forbidden me from discussing the details of his experiments with outsiders.”
Maddie frowned again. “Then why are you talking to me?”
“You are a loophole.” The speaker said without hesitation.
That gave the ghost hunter pause. She opened her mouth to ask more when there was a mechanical whirl across the line.
The fast, choppy words cut through. “Dearest will be leaving on a trip tonight and be away for the next three days.”
“Wait, what are you-” Maddie started.
“The address is 600 North Maple Drive. Enter through the trapdoor in the greenhouse. I will be waiting.”
Across the line, a male voice called from far away. “Pull up the data from the last test, dear. And prepare the subject for sample collection.”
Maddie shivered; there was something familiar-
“Please hurry. Save him.” The robotic female voice whispered before the line cut off.
Maddie sighed, dropping the phone. She put her head in her hands. She didn’t know what to make of that. At first, she had thought these mysterious calls were pranks. Maybe even a ghost trying to trick her. Except…. That didn’t feel right. It had been a week and no ghost had acted against her or her family. No ghost would wait this long to act and no human prankster would continue this charade for this long either.
So who had been calling her and what do they really want? Could the speaker really be asking for her help? The idea made dread pool in her stomach, especially now. Now that she had more information. Now she had a location. And that was Vlad’s address. And that other voice...it had sounded like… Vlad, as if the speaker was in fact in Vlad’s mansion. Her stomach flopped. He’d been talking about data from a test and preparing a subject for sample collection. That in and of itself wasn’t necessarily that alarming. Vlad had a background in science. He could be conducting research, just like she and Jack did out of their own basement. Except…
Number 6 is just a boy. He should be free. He does not belong in a laboratory. The words rang in her head, making her feel sick.
Maddie sat for a long while, staring at the phone. So many questions clashed in her mind and she wanted answers. What was really happening here? And how would she learn the truth?
An idea started forming in her mind. A surely bad, horrible idea. She still had no idea who had been calling her. It probably was a trap. So why did she want to follow the instructions? And the prospect of sneaking onto Vlad Master’s property? She could get in serious trouble. And for what? Vlad would never do anything as immoral as what the speaker hinted at. Except...what if? Doubt grew in her mind. What if?
That was how Maddie found herself pulling up to Vlad’s mansion in Amity Park. The woman sighed, putting the car into park and taking the key out of the ignition. She was really doing this, wasn’t she? The scientist could hardly believe her own actions. But it was the middle of the night and she was alone, in the small forest behind the mansion.
Silently, Maddie got out of the car and started sneaking across the yard. She hadn’t told Jack where she was going. Maybe that was a mistake but the woman somehow knew he’d try to talk her out of this. And he would have a point. Yet the woman was still driven forward despite her better judgement.
Arriving in front of the greenhouse, the ghost hunter stopped. She looked side to side, checking to see if anyone was watching. The yard was quiet and bare, only the sound of night insects cutting through the air. Maddie looked back into the building. To the left of the door was a blinking red light but other than that, inside was dark. Tentatively, Maddie jiggled the greenhouse’s door handle. It didn’t budge at first but then there was a buzz and a click. The door unlocked and the woman frowned, watching the blinking light turn from red to white. Was that a security system? And...had the door just unlocked for her?
Maddie bit her lip. She considered turning back but...she wanted answers. Instead, she pulled her ectostaff out of her belt. A blow to the head from it would be just as effective on a human attacker as it would be on a ghost.
The woman opened the door, quickly stepping though. She closed it and cautiously crossed the room. From what she could tell in the dark, this was a normal greenhouse. She breathed deeply, taking in the wet earthy smell of dirt, the soft perfume of flowers, and… She sniffed. That scent, old batteries, ozone, and citrus. That was familiar. Was that ectoplasm?
Maddie turned, eyes searching for the tell-tell glow of a ghost. Her gaze fixed on something a few rows over. The huntress continued forward, brow wrinkling at the sight. Unsurprisingly, these were plants but….a faint glow enveloped the snow white leaves, the orange and black fruits. Tentatively, she reached forward and cupped one of the fruits. Even through her gloves, she could feel the ghostly chill.
Maddie’s frown deepened. She’d never seen anything like this before. Was this some kind of ghostly plant? And in Vlad’s greenhouse of all places? Where did it come from? How did the billionaire procure it? And why hadn’t he said anything to her and Jack?
With that thought, the ghost hunters’ stomach flopped with nerves. There was actually something here, something out of the ordinary. Her mind turned back to those phone calls, the reason she was here in the first place. The speaker had said something about a trapdoor.
With that, Maddie pulled a flashlight out of her belt and flicked it on. She looked down, searching, and her eyes widened. Oh….well then. There, not three feet in front of her, was the door. The woman approached. Crouching down, she put down her staff and grasped the flashlight between her teeth. With both hands, she pulled the door up, revealing a short ladder leading to a narrow passageway.
The ghost hunter furrowed her brow, hesitating for a moment. She braced herself, forcing her shoulders to relax to dislodge some of the anxiety. Maddie stood up straight. She grabbed her staff and started lowering herself down the ladder. Once she was at the bottom, the woman turned and pointed the flashlight down the passageway. There, maybe ten feet in front of her was a metal blast door.
Dread rose in Maddie at the sight but she tried to push it down. This was probably an old cellar, or maybe even a bomb shelter. Rich people tended to have those, didn’t they? It could be…..
The woman stepped forward. Tentatively, she placed a hand on the opening mechanism. It looked like a wheel that she’d need both hands to open. She moved to return her staff to her belt but before she could, a mechanical whirl sounded. The wheel started turning. Paling Maddie rapidly stepped back. Her heart pounded in fear of being caught.
Then the door swung open with a groan. The ghost hunter registered bright light pouring through the opening. She blinked for a moment, her eyes adjusting to the change. Then she registered the translucent figure floating across the doorway.
Maddie scowled, acting on instinct. “Take that ghost.” She swung her staff but the blow never connected, instead sailing through the blue clad figure without resistance.
“I am not a ghost.” A familiar, robotic voice responded.
It was then that Maddie finally registered what she was seeing. She gasped in shock. It was herself, except floating, translucent, and...glitching around the edges? “What are you?” She breathed.
“I am the MADDIE program, an artificial intelligence meant to emulate Dr. Madeline Fenton.”
The ghost hunter stared for a long moment in confusion. She hadn’t expected a response and now her mind couldn’t catch up, barely processing what she was seeing.
The hologram floated backward, motioning into the door. “Come inside.”
Maddie blinked, registering the words. Her eyes flitted from her strange double to the interior of the room. Concrete floor, metallic walls, sturdy work tables, and….a soft green light. It looked familiar, very much like the Fentonworks lab. The woman’s heart skipped a beat. She’d already come this far….
The huntress took a few steps forward and crossed the threshold, all the while keeping her eyes on the hologram. The other figure was unmoving and silent, not even blinking. After another long moment staring, Maddie warily looked around. As she’d glimpsed, there were shiny metal work tables and shelves. A station with a microscope, centrifuge, and table top incubator. She frowned, eyes falling on glowing vials of ectoplasm.
This was a lab, obviously. A ghost research lab, based on the ectoplasm. But below Vlad’s greenhouse? Her eyes flickered to another table, this one holding familiar looking devices. Ectoguns, slim and silvery with a design Maddie knew intimately, despite the unfamiliar logo and red accents.
The woman walked forward, tentatively hefting the gun. “This looks like our model 35.” She stated seriously.
Maddie then turned, facing the source of the soft green light. Her jaw dropped at the sight of the swirling green. “That’s a portal. A ghost portal.” She muttered.
The scientist took in the design of the frame, of the ecto-filtrater and the control panel. That was her and Jack’s design as well. Her mind swam, information bouncing around senselessly as she tried to make sense of all this. This was a lab. A ghost research lab. A hidden, secret research lab in Vlad Master’s backyard, below his greenhouse. Vlad’s secret lab. But...why?
She bit her lip, her eyes falling on the Fenton Works designed weapons and the portal. Their stolen designs. Maddie could barely believe it, yet she wasn’t as surprised as she should be. Vlad still having an interest in ghosts? The creepy billionaire stealing their blueprints? Why did that seem all too plausible?
“Dr. Fenton?” A staticy voice asked behind her.
Maddie turned, frown deepening as she took in the hologram again. Her mouth felt dry. “He….Vlad...made a hologram that looks and sounds like me.” She felt sickened at the thought, at the evidence in front of her.
“Yes. I was modeled after Dr. Madeline Fenton.” The hologram replied.
The ghost hunter put a hand on her head, feeling a headache grow. It made sense, in a sick kind of way. Vlad had a fascination with her. He was not exactly subtle in his ‘affections.’ Of course he would create this creepy copy. “Why?” She groaned, in rising anger.
“I was created to serve as a digital assistance and security system.”
Maddie looked up, blinking in confusion. She hadn’t been expecting an answer. The woman then frowned, realizing something. A security system? Did that mean… “You unlocked the greenhouse door for me...and turned off the security system.”
“That is correct.” The hologram replied.
The ghost hunter wrinkled her brow. “Why?”
Somehow, almost imperceptibly, the figure’s expression softened. “You came to take Number 6 away from here.”
That gave Maddie pause, her eyes widening slightly as she took in the AI with new eyes. “You were the one calling me.”
It finally hit her. The voice on the phone, the monotone one that reminded her of her mother and sister. It was this AI, this AI which sounded very much like Maddie herself. Of course she hadn’t recognized that. Most people don’t know what they really sound like outside of their own head and Maddie herself was no exception.
“Yes, I did.” The AI confirmed. “Please save him.”
“Him?” Maddie bit her lip, feeling that familiar dread again. “Number 6? Who is this person?”
The hologram floated toward the other side of the room, towards a tall cylindrical metal tube that Maddie hadn’t noticed yet. “Come.” She motioned the ghost hunter to approach.
The huntress did so, fixing a studious gaze on the tube.
“Viewing panel opening.” The AI announced as the whirl of gears sounded throughout the room.
In front of the cylinder, metal paneling slid apart. Slowly a gap opened, making the inside of the pod visible. Maddie first registered neon green ectoplasm swirling in some kind of solution. Then her jaw dropped. There, suspended in the chamber was a lithe figure. It looked male, the form of a young teenager. For a moment, the ghost hunter registered white hair and a black and white garment. Phantom? Had Vlad managed to capture Phantom? No...that….
Her brow furrowed, stepping closer. She examined the glowing body. The figure’s appearance was shifting. Its skin was a mosaic of ghostly blue and a pale, more human color in ever changing, shifting patches. The black and white garment also shifted, seeming to grow and spread over the body before retreating, leaving bare skin. On the head was a mop of black and white hair, the patches rapidly changing color and appearing to move across the skull.
Maddie frowned. There was a resemblance to Phantom. (How? How in the world?) But this wasn’t the same being. “This is a ghost.” Her brow wrinkled in confusion, despite her confidence of the fact.
“Yes.” The MADDIE program answered plainly.
The scientist turned. “I am not letting a ghost out of here.”
The hologram frowned. “Number Six is a boy. He deserves to be free.”
Maddie pointed. “But….that is a ghost.”
“Yes.” The AI confirmed again. “But he is also a boy. Observe.” The translucent figure waved a hand over one of the computers. “Display subject’s vials.”
Instantly, readings appeared on the screen, a rhythmic beeping commencing. The ghost hunter studied the words and numbers. “Oxygen saturation, Blood Glucose, Blood pressure, Heart Rate.” Her brow furrowed. “These are vials for a human.”
“Yes. These are Number six’s vials.”
Maddie scrunched her nose in disbelief. “But...this is a ghost.”
But the sound of the heart monitor pounded in her head. She turned, facing the figure in the tube again. The readings could be fake. But why? And why did Vlad have a ghost captured in his lab? And why did it resemble Phantom? Or at least, it seemed to. Not that she’d ever been this close to Phantom before but the white hair, suit, and lithe figure were the same. She took in the shifting appearance. And what was that? An attempt at shapeshifting?
Maddie turned back to the screen, reading again. At the top, it read Clone Six, 100% stability. “Clone?” The woman questioned. “Clone of who? Of Phantom?”
“Yes.” The AI answered. In response, the ghost hunter turned sharply. The hologram continued. “Subject Six has completed the gestation period and is now viable and capable of living outside the artificial womb.”
Maddie blinked rapidly. There was a lot of information there. “Clone? Vlad cloned Phantom and...it’s ready?”
“Yes. He is stable.” The hologram turned. “Please save him. Take him away from dearest.”
“Look.” The scientist pinched the bridge of her nose. “I am not letting this ghost go.”
“He is a boy.” The AI insisted.
“You say that but-”
“And a ghost.” The hologram continued. “He is a living boy and a ghost.”
Maddie’s heart skipped a beat. “Living?”
She turned back to the chamber, something in her resonating at the word. The strands of black hair, the human colored skin, the patches that did not glow. She looked up into the face and something itched in the back of her mind. It looked familiar, not just because the ghost looked like Phantom.
Maddie took another step. She reached forward until she was touching the glass. The heart monitor steadily beeped as the figure in the chamber twitched.
The huntress shook her head, denying. “That’s just...not possible. Someone can’t be a ghost and a human.” What the AI was saying was nonsensical, completely impossible. So why did Maddie not feel certain?
“Initiate wake up sequence.” The AI declared.
Startled, Maddie’s head whipped to the side. “What are you-”
In the chamber, something thumped. The woman’s head turned to see flailing limbs. The figure’s eyes suddenly popped open, one blue and one green panickedly flickering around the room. The rate of the heart monitor increased. The being thrashed, chest spasming. A hand pounded against the glass.
“What did you do?” Maddie demanded of the AI.
There was no answer, just fearful flailing within the tube. The ghostly figure’s gaze shifted down and fell on Maddie. The eyes widened, silently begging. More pounding of hands on the inside of the glass. The beeping increased, pounding into the woman’s head. The ghost boy blinked and the eyes were blue, icy blue. The gaze, the familiar gaze stabbed Maddie in the heart.
The woman panicked, her own heart race. Her eyes ripped away from the boy. What do I do? What do I do? Her mind raced. Her gaze fell on a large button marked, Emergency release. She acted without thinking, slamming her hand down on the button.
There was hiss and a beep from the chamber. In the blink of an eye, the glass wall of the chamber parted. Maddie yelped, jumping back as water and ectoplasm poured out. The liquid soaked her anyway. Then, the boy inside the tub was falling. He tipped forward and the woman reached out to catch him on instinct.
A surprisingly heavy body fell onto the ghost hunter. Her knees threatened to buckle under the sudden impact. Instead she wobbled and wrapped one arm around the lithe body. Shakily, Maddie lowered herself to her knees, taking the ghostly figure with her.
Numbly, hardly believing what she’d just done, the woman huddled on the floor. She tensed at the being reached towards her. A part of her brain screamed that it was unsafe to be so near to a ghost, yet she didn’t move as ungloved hands weakly grabbed onto her jumpsuit and the ghost pressed into her chest, as if it was hugging her.
Maddie looked down at the being, marveling at the sight. Its appearance was still shifting. Black and white hair. Black jumpsuit and bare skin. Patches of ghostly blue and pale human skin. The woman could feel the ectoplasmic energy, the ghostly chill radiating off the being as well but..... Its glow...there was something off. The glow was dimming. It flickered like a light bulb before cutting off.
In front of her came a whine as the ghost buried its head into her shoulder. Soft cold breath caressed her check. Breathe? Maddie’s heart skipped a breath. She could feel the chest rising and falling with fast breaths, pressed against her as it was. And that beeping. Maddie glanced up at the display. The heart monitor was still keeping pace with a rapidly fluttering heart.
The scientists breath lodged in her throat. No this was...ghosts didn’t breath. They didn’t have heart beats. They didn’t…. She looked down at the shaking figure again and her world turned upside down. The black suit was receding, evaporating. It disappeared off the arms and chest, every part of the body she could see, leaving bare skin below. And that skin, it was changing. Pale peach-tinted skin was rapidly replacing the inhuman blue. A warm breath blew over her check, the ghostly chill quickly vanishing. The weight pressed into her increased, the fingers holding onto her becoming warm and solid. And on the head, black overtook white until she was staring down at the full black head of hair.
Maddie’s mind stopped unable to process. This was...she was...in front...of her...this was... She blinked rapidly, as if the sign would change but...the lack of glow, the human skin tone, the warmth, the breathing, the black hair. That..that damn heart monitor. This...this was...no...no way. The ghost hunter shakily, wrapped her arms around the now hyperventilating figure. She winced feeling the warm, solid skin under her gloves. This was impossible but….
This...this was a human. No ghost...no ghost could fake this. No shapeshifting would give a ghost human warmth and a heartbeat. And she could feel it, the rapidly fluttering heart pressed against her own.
The ghost whined again. No. no. The boy. The boy who had just been a ghost but had changed. The boy who’d just been inside that pod. Who was shaking and hyperventilating in front of her. Another whine. A tear fell onto her shoulder.
Maddie’s mind finally caught up. Her arms shifted into a more proper hug, hands reaching up to run through the black hair. “Shhh. Shh. It’s okay.” The woman whispered. “Breath with me. In.” She breathed in deliberately. “And out.” She pushed the air out of her lungs. “In and Out.”
The boy copied, his breaths following hers. In and out. In and out. His breathing slowed as did the beeping of the heart monitor. Slowly, so slowly, his shaking subsided but the boy didn’t let go of her suit.
Maddie stayed still, questions bombarding her now that the boy was calmed. This boy, who was he? Where had he come from? Why...why did Vlad have a teenager in his lab? And why did he have a ghost that could change into a human? Or was this a human who could turn into a ghost? Her mind raced, her own heart rate increasing with overwhelming confusion. How was this possible? What was this kid?
She looked down, an idea sparking. That ghost disease that all the teenagers supposedly got. The disease that gave them ghost powers. She and Jack had never seen any of the supposedly infected students. They’d dismissed the claims as absurd. Humans could not have ghost powers. Yet Jazz and Danny’s friend, Sam, had both insisted that they’d gotten sick and both had displayed a ghostly ability. And if...if that was true….. She paled, the overheard words from the last phone call hitting her. Tests, sample collection, subject, experiment. If Vlad was experimenting with that disease, experimenting with ectoplasm on...on….
“Where...where am I?” A quiet male voice asked, directly in front of her. Maddie stiffened at the words, roughly pulled out of her thoughts. “What’s happening?”
The woman’s heart stopped. That voice. That voice. Oh god. Suddenly shaking, she unwrapped her arms from the boy. Gently, so gently, she grabbed his wrists and pulled his hands off of her. The boy seemed to shrink in on himself at that, shoulders falling.
He sniffled but Maddie shushed it. “Look...look up at me.” She quietly asked. Slowly, the teenager obeyed and again, the mother felt like her world was turned on its head. Familiar, icy blue eyes met hers. The curve of that nose, the round chin, the slightly chubby cheeks. Oh god, she knew...she knew this face intimately. A trembling hand reached out to touch, cupping the boy’s cheek. “Danny?” Maddie asked, before she could really think.
The blue eyes widened, looking at her with the most pure and innocent hope she’d even seen. “Danny? Is that...is that my name?”
The woman’s expression fell, her mind catching up to the question, to what she was seeing. No, this couldn't be Danny. She had just seen him earlier that night. And on the face in front of her….The freckles….the freckles were wrong, laid out in a different pattern. And the scar above his lips, where was it? The mother glanced down, at his collar bone. The birthmark wasn’t there. And...her heart skipped a beat. No, he was too young, maybe two years younger than her son’s current age of 16.
The woman removed her hand. “No. I’m sorry. You’re not….you look like him, like Danny. So I thought….But you’re not...you’re not him.”
The boy’s shoulders fell and his eyes fixed down. The suddenly heartbroken, lonely look broke Maddie’s heart. “Oh. Then...who am I?”
The ghost hunter frowned at the question, her mind trying to form an answer. Who was this boy who looked like her Danny? Wait…. The words on his vitals display flashed in her mind. Clone number 6. Clone. “You’re a clone.” She blinked, mouth falling open. “You’re a clone of my son.”
The boy looked up, raising a brow. “What’s a clone?”
Maddie flushed at the question. It was so innocent. And his eyes, staring up at her like she had the answer to every question in the universe. “That’s...that’s complicated.” She glanced down, cheeks reddening in a sudden realization. “Let’s umm...let’s get you some clothes first.” The mother blushed for a moment. He’d been naked this whole time, while they’d been hugging and she had been comforting him.
“Clothes?” The boy tilted his head and the innocent confusion, the lack of embarrassment, just about killed Maddie. This looked like a teenager but obviously he wasn’t actually one.
The mother pushed the thought away, head surveying the room for something to cover the child with. She gaze fixed on something white hanging on one of the walls. Lab coats. Maddie started pushing herself to her feet.
The boy whimpered, grabbing her hand. “Don’t leave me.”
Maddie’s expression softened. “I’m not. I’m just going to get you something to wear.”
Shakily, she stood and walked across the lab. All the while, the woman could feel the eyes on the back of her head. But she ignored it, focusing on grabbing a coat. She pulled the white garment off the peg and quickly returned. Maddie then knelt down and held out the coat. The boy looked at it with no recognition as if he had no idea what to do with it. He probably didn’t.
“I can put it on you then. Hold out your arms.” Maddie instructed.
The boy, the clone, (this was a clone, a clone of her son. Her son. How? Why? What?). The clone did as she said and the woman dressed him as if he was a little child. (He probably was). The woman tried to smile comfortingly as she fastened the buttons. “There you go. All covered up.”
The boy looked at the sleeves curiously. They hung past his hands as the garment swallowed him. He waved his arms, watching the ends flap. The child laughed at the sight.
Maddie’s heart clenched at the child-like display. But then she turned her attention to the AI that had been silently watching the entire time. Standing, she scowled. “Is he a clone of my son?”
“Yes.” The MADDIE program replied. “Subject Number 6 is a clone of Daniel James Fenton.”
Maddie looked down again. Somehow, despite how impossible this was, that made perfect sense. The appearance was nearly identical, to perfect for strangers. And….she swallowed. Vlad had a sick fascination with her children, with Danny in particular. She knew the man fancied himself something of a godfather, with his pet names, presents, and advice. And Danny despised it, much more than any teenage boy should even if said godfather had a tendency to flirt with his mother.
The woman paled, all sorts of horrible idea coming into her head. What Vlad must want from Danny, what he must really want from her son. And to do the scientifically impossible? She shivered. Tests, experiments. She remembered the hybrid ghostly appearance, the ectoenergy flowing off of him. From some the ghostly disease? But… “Wait...you said that he was clone of Phantom earlier?”
The hologram’s response was cut off by a scream from the floor. Maddie’s eyes flicked down panickedly as the clone looked up at her. “My...my arm...it’s gone.”
The woman’s eyes just about popped out of her skull. His left sleeve with the hand and arm inside of it were gone. Maddie knelt down, reaching towards where the limb should be. Her hand hit something solid and chilly. She rapidly blinked. “It’s invisible. Your arm is invisible.” Panic rose in her. Ghostly abilities. There were ghostly abilities. He had ghost powers.
“Invisible?!” The boy shrieked.
Maddie’s heart clenched. That sounded just like Danny, her son when he was scared. The boy’s mouth was open with panic, his breath increasing. And all the woman could see was her son. Her son’s face, screwed up with panic and fear. It made her soul ache. She gently wrapped her hand around his invisible one. “It’s still there but you need to calm down. Breath with me. Like before. Okay. In and out.”
The boy copied her action once and his hand returned to visibility. He threw himself forward into her arms. Maddie returned the hug without hesitation. Then a breath later, cold swept over her. The body in her arms disappeared, turning into cold mist. Both the woman and the boy screamed as he turned intangible and fell through her.
Maddie rapidly stood, stepping back. What was happening?! On the floor, the boy returned to solidity, the slightly translucent appearance disappearing. He rolled onto his back, panting. The beeping of the monitor increased with his breathing as his face scrunched up fearfully.
Then a heartbeat later, just when Maddie thought she was done with surprises for tonight, something else stole the breath from her lungs. A white ring of light formed around the boy’s waist. It spread up and down his body and everything the light touched changed. The scientist blinked away the spots in her vision. And there, writhing on the floor with a panicked expression, was Phantom. Or...he looked like Phantom. White hair, black and white jumpsuit, panic filled green eyes.
It suddenly all hit Maddie like a tractor-trailer. He was a clone of Danny.. .and he was a clone of Phantom. Of Phantom. Danny...it clicked into place. Oh god, Danny’s accident with the portal. Him setting off all their equipment. His badly hidden injuries. Falling grades, skipping class, not sleeping. Oh god. Danny was Phantom. Danny Fenton was Danny Phantom. That...that was a pun, damnit. Of course her son would name himself after a pun. And… her eyes fixed on the boy on the floor. His face even stayed the same! No wonder Phantom avoided getting close to them!
In front of her, the clone was hyperventilating again. “What’s happening to me?!” He cried, tears welling in his eyes. His legs were fused into a ghostly tail which lashed in front of him.
The mother’s brain kicked into gear, her motherly instincts taking over again. She knelt down. “Sweetie. Sweetie. Calm down. I’m here.”
She grabbed his arm, intending to pull him into a sitting position but he was so light, as light as a balloon. With the slightest tug, he was pulled into the air, floated. Maddie pulled the ghost boy into her arms. She cupped the back of his head.
“What’s...what’s happening to me?” He cried again.
“I don’t know.” Maddie answered honestly. She had only the barest idea of what all was going on. But still... “I’ll figure it out. I’ll help you. You’re safe. I’m right here.”
The boy wiggled in her hold, crying into her shoulders. “I...I don’t understand. I don’t understand. Who...who am I? Who are you? Where are we?”
Maddie didn’t know. Or rather she didn't know how to answer those questions without making him more scared. She desperately wished she did know. She’d have to have a long conversation with Danny about him being Phantom and about what is actually going on between him and Vlad but for now...she hugged the boy tighter.
A long minute later, light passed over the clone again. He became heavy and warm in Maddie’s arms. His knees wobbled for a moment before steadying as Maddie held him up. “There, you’re doing it. You can stand.” His posture strengthened and the shaking stopped. Finally, the mother asked. “Do you think you can stand on your own?”
“I...I think so?” The boy said, uncertainly.
“Alright. I’m going to step away slowly. I’ll catch you if you start to fall.” Maddie reassured.
The child nodded as the woman backed away. He wobbled, tipping forward but the ghost hunter gently grabbed him. They stood, hands on each other's forearm for a long pause, until the boy steadied himself. He looked down at his feet, lifting one before putting it down and then doing the same with the opposite. Finally, he let go of Maddie’s arms. After hesitating, the mother did the same.
The boy studied her compassionate face, brow furrowed with deep thought. “Who are you...to me?”
Maddie considered, studying his face in kind. Her son’s face. A face so like her Danny’s. He was a clone, a clone of her son. Meaning...he was her own flesh and blood. Her lips pursed in thought. More importantly...he was a child. A confused, scared child who needed her help. And before she was a ghost hunter and scientist, Maddie was and would always be a mother.
“I’m your mother.” She said without hesitation, smiling. “Your mom.”
“Mom?” The boy asked, testing out the word.
Maddie nodded, reaching forward and gently whipping one of his tears away with her thumb. “I’m your mom.”
The child smiled, his eyes lighting up like that was the most wonderful thing he had ever heard. It very well could be. “Mom.” The word rang out with so many emotions, with some much love that Maddie’s heart swelled. The boy stepped forward hugging her again.
The mother ran her finger through his hair. “Yes baby. I’m here to take you home."
“You will take him away from here, then?” A staticy voice asked, beside the pair.
Maddie turned, pulling away to look at the AI. Beside her, the clone tilted his head as he looked between the two but didn’t ask.
The scientist nodded. “Yes. I think I understand why you called me now.” Of course she did. This was an AI made to copy her, something of a digital clone. If Maddie was in her place, she would not so easily agree to whatever Vlad had planned. She would not leave a child here to be experimented on. And as the MADDIE programs 'original’, for lack of a better word, she wasn’t exactly an outsider and therefore a loophole.
The hologram nodded. “I will disable the microchip then.” A light on the monitor blinked out and the beeping of the heart monitor stopped. The AI then turned to the computer. She pointed to a flash drive plugged into one of the ports. “That contains all research data. Take it with you.”
Maddie obeyed, taking the drive. The AI winked. “Excellent. Delete all research data. Command alpha-06-gamma-58-epsilon.”
There was a loud dial tone and the computer fritzed, the monitor wavering until a blue screen reading ‘System Deletion’ in large print was displayed.
Maddie raised a brow, impressed at the AI.
Then the clone asked. “What about you? Are you coming with us?”
The program shook her head. “No dear. I am not like you. My purpose is served.” The AI turned to deliberately look at Maddie. “Number 6 has been saved.”
The boy frowned at the statement as did the mother, considering the statement and the depth of it. She didn’t know what to make of it except...it almost felt like one mother was handing off her son to another.
“Go on.” The MADDIE program encouraged. "You may go out the way you came and I will lock the doors behind you." She frowned. "I will distract dearest for as long as I can."
Maddie wrinkled her nose in disgust. "I suppose you can't just call him Vlad?"
"No." The AI almost sounded annoyed. "My programming is most inconvenient."
The ghost hunter nodded in understanding. Then she turned to face the clone. "Come on then sweetie." She wrapped one arm around the boy and started leading him towards the door. Before passing through, the women turned back to face the hologram. "Thank you."
The corner of MADDIE program's lip turned up as she offered an accepting nod. The pair then turned back towards the still open door. The clone wobbled slightly, progressing slowly as he gained more confidence. Maddie carefully stepped across the threshold with the boy still at her side. Once they were in the tunnel, a gap sounded from beside her.
"What is it?" The mother glanced to the side, eyes wide with concern.
"The ground's cold." The boy muttered.
"Oh." Maddie looked down. "You're not wearing any shoes." She'd have to get him some once they got home and some proper clothes. "Just step carefully, okay? Actually…." With her free hand, she pulled out her flashlight and shone it on the bare ground in front of them. "There."
The pair advanced carefully, Maddie helping the boy to clumsily climb up the ladder. They crossed the greenhouse and the mother pulled the boy along as he eagerly studied their surroundings.
"It smells nice in here." The clone commented, sniffing the air.
"It does." Maddie agreed.
Arriving at the door, she finally opened it and the two found themselves in the open air. The boy suddenly stopped, looking down.
He hummed in the back of his throat, pleased. "I like the grass under my feet." Maddie looked down to find the kid wiggling his toes. Then there was an awed whisper. "Wow. Are those the stars?"
The mother looked up again to find him staring up at the sky in wonder. Maddie smiled. "Yes, they are. Aren't they beautiful?"
"Yeah." He breathed.
Maddie let him look up in awe, as she herself marveled. She couldn't help but be reminded of Danny's love of the stars. But even with the resemblance, he was a different person from her Danny, wasn't he? She could already see little difference. This child-like wonder was something she hadn’t seen in her son very often now. But still she wondered. This clone seemed to know the words for things. He could speak clearly and had good coordination all things considered. How was that even remotely possible? And yet he still had the air of someone who had never seen the world before, like every was new. Because it likely was.
With that, Maddie cut off her musing. "Come on sweetie. We need to keep going."
The mother hated cutting off his exploration, especially as his expression fell. But the boy nodded anyway, taking a step forward. The pair continued, cutting across the yard, into the trees, and to the car. Maddie clicked the fob to unlock the vehicle. She guided the boy to the car, opened the passenger's side door, and helped him sit. The mother then walked around and opened the driver's side door and sat down herself.
Maddie turned to find the clone looking at his seat belt curiously. She reached over. "Here let me help you." She buckled him in.
The boy hummed, fidgeting in his seat while Maddie buckled herself in. She put the key in the ignition and started the engine. Instantly, the radio started, a song from their local eighties station broadcasting through. The clone flinched at the sudden sound before relaxing.
He turned, looking at the woman with wide eyes. "What's that?"
Maddie smiled. "It's music."
"Right. Music." The boy nodded. He tilted his head, listening to the song. After a moment, his head bobbed in time. "I think I like music." He hummed along, wiggling in his seat.
It made Maddie want to laugh so she did. She chuckled as she put the car into drive and pulled away. She turned into the road and started driving back towards Fentonworks. The song ended just as they pulled up at a red light.
The clone turned to face her. "Where are we going?"
She looked at him out the corner of her eye. "We're going home, like I said earlier."
He nodded. "Right yeah. I remember that." He hummed. "What will we do when we get there?"
Maddie paused, considering the question. "Well...we’ll talk to your dad and your….Danny and Jazz….and we’ll figure all of this out.”
She’d hesitated for a moment, thinking to refer to Danny and Jazz as his brother and sister. But Maddie had no idea how they’d take this. Hopefully well. Those two were good kids but living with a clone of yourself….Maddie could hardly imagine. At least Jack would be eager and welcoming. She knew her husband well enough to be sure….Oh boy, she really should have told him something about all of this before she’d left.
"All of this….you mean the….clone thing and…" He bit his lip. "The flashing light and the floating and disappearing and falling through things?"
"Ghost powers." Maddie said, brow furrowing. "You have ghost powers. As far as I can tell, you're some kind of ghost human hybrid? Not that I knew that was possible until less than an hour ago…." She frowned. "Nor did I know you existed."
The boy frowned, looking worried. His lips pursed. "So...you don't know what my name is then, do you?”
Maddie's heart fell. In front of them, the light turned green. The woman turned back, removing her foot off the gas. The car pulled away before the mother pulled into a parking lot.
She took a deep breath, the impossibleness of the situation hitting her. She was sitting in her car with a clone of her son. A clone that she’d found in the secret laboratory below Vlad Master’s greenhouse. A human-ghost hybrid clone of her son who was also a hybrid. She had another son now. A son who she now had to tell that she didn't know his name, because he likely didn't have one yet.
Maddie put a comforting hand on his arm. “I’m sorry.” She gently apologized. “You’re right. I don’t know. And sadly….” She took a deep breath. “And I know this will be hard to hear but...all I know is that hologram called you Number 6 and...that’s not exactly a name, is it? ”
His lip quivered, eyes starting to water. “But….that’s….”
The mother took his hands and squeezed it. “That will change. Your father and I can pick out a name for you; that’s what parents normally do for their children. Or….if you have something in mind, we’ll happily call you that.”
The clone looked down, biting his lip in consideration. “I’ll...I’ll think about it.”
Maddie’s face softened. “Alright sweetie.”
He turned his head up, blinking at her. “Sweetie? Can that be my name?”
The question was asked so innocently that Maddie couldn’t help but laugh. “No. That’s a pet name. I call all my kids that.”
“Oh.” He blushed in embarrassment. “Well that’s...at least, that means I’m one of your kids.”
The mother nodded her head. “Yes, of course. You’re my son.” It should have been surprising how much her heart swelled with love at the statement but well….Maddie had made up her mind. This was her son. Not Vlad Masters’ experiment. Not just Danny’s clone. Her son and Vlad was not taking him away from her.
They would have a lot to figure out. A name for this boy. His complete origin as a clone. How to deal with having a third child, one who’d just appeared overnight. They’d have to deal with the implications of her revelation that Danny was Phantom. And Vlad...what he’d done was horrible. He’d stolen blueprints and her son’s DNA. He’d experimented on a human or...humans. She internally frowned; he was clone number 6. Did that mean that there had been five others?
Either way, Vlad was deplorable. There, in the depth of his lab, below something as innocuous and normal as his greenhouse, Maddie had discovered that and the true depth of his obsession with her and her family. And now she knew, Vlad needed to be stopped. He needed to be punished. But what exactly to do with him, considering how taking him down would likely expose Danny’s identity as Phantom? Yes, they had a lot to deal with but….
Maddie leaned forward to kiss her new son’s forehead. “You have a family now. And a home. And everything else we’ll figure out together.”
A soft smile crept across his face. “I like how that sounds.”
“Good.” Maddie smiled. “Now...are you ready to go meet the rest of your family?”
“Yeah.” He squeezed the hand still holding hers. “I’m ready Mom.”
393 notes · View notes
This drabble is dedicated to @the-only-wife who requested snippets of Fenton Family Fluff so here’s a bunch of moments of Jazz returning home from school for summer break in my College Shenanigans Series
"Danny," Maddie asks, coming out of the basement, "What time did you say you were picking up Jazz from the airport?"
"Uhhh..." Danny leans back in the kitchen chair to look at the clock. "Right now."
"Uh huh," Maddie cocks an eyebrow. "Be careful driving her car, you know how she is about it."
"Yeah, yeah," Danny waves it off, grabbing the keys and a coat before running out the door.
"And she bought that?" Jazz asks as they fly through the zone back towards Amity.
"I mean I did drive your car a block before hiding it," Danny shrugs.
"Where did you hide my car?"
"Uh...in a tree?"
Jazz smacks him upside the head.
"Jazzipants!" Jack exclaims as they walk in the door. "There's our graduate student!"
Jazz yelps as she's pulled into a crushing hug.
"I missed you too," Jazz says, returning the hug.
"Danny," Maddie chides, "Did you drive through a bush again?"
"No of course not," Danny denies immediately.
"Then why is there a branch sticking out of the grill of the car?"
"It was really windy by the airport!"
"Danno!" Jack calls from the backyard.
After a moment, Danny appears at the door, "What's up?"
"I need your hand here for a sec," Jack says, sliding out from underneath the GAV and waving him over.
Danny picks up another creeper seat to slide under with Jack.
"That's a hot mess," Danny says, looking at the explosion of wires hanging loose.
"I can't make heads or tails of this, the internal computer started malfunctioning and-"
"I can tell you that you cross wired wrong, again," Danny cuts in and starts unhooking things.
"Jazz dear," Maddie greets, as Jazz walks into the kitchen after unpacking her bags. "Help me with dinner?"
"Sure, what do you need me to do?"
"Can you cut up the veggies for the pasta salad?"
"You're making a pasta salad?" Jazz hesitates.
"Pam and Angela and a few other mothers have been getting together for potlucks since Danny’s class left for school," Maddie explains, pulling a normal looking pan of chicken out of the oven. "The other mothers started to rank best cooks, and you know that we Fentons do not fail."
"Right..." Jazz blinks at the information. "Does that mean I can introduce you to some international recipes now?"
"Absolutely," Maddie gives her a wicked grin.
"I think that's that," Maddie says, hands on her hips, looking pleased with the layout of food on the table.
"Impressive," Jazz admits.
"Call in the boy's won't you?"
Jazz pokes her head out the back door and winces at the state they’re in. "Dinner's ready."
"Great!" Jack exclaims, slapping Danny on the back who surprisingly doesn't stumble. "We're famished."
"May want to clean up first," Jazz advises before heading back inside.
Jack and Danny look each other over and see that they’re both covered head to toe in grease and grime.
"Probably a smart move."
Danny and Jack stand at the entrance of the kitchen overlooking the mountain of food on the table.
"You've outdone yourself Mads," Jack says.
"Well of course," Maddie says, "It's the first night that we can all eat together as a family in months."
"I think it's fantastic," Jazz gushes. "This is probably the best coming home gift I could ask for. No ghost talk, no new invention taking over the table, just quality bonding time and a proper family meal."
"Aww, Jazzerincess," Jack says, pulling her into his side in a one armed hug. "You know we love you two kids with all our hearts."
"And having both of you gone for so long," Maddie sighs, pulling Danny into her own side hug, "We realized how much we missed of you growing up."
"Heck, soon we're gonna be preparing for your weddings and-" Jack cuts off with a sniff. He wipes his eyes and cries out, "And grandkids!"
"Can't we at least find a significant other first?" Jazz jokes.
"Or are you planning on marrying us off the first chance you get?" Danny asks.
"Don't be ridiculous, Sweetheart," Maddie chides lightly, giving Danny a squeeze.
"You want ridiculous?" Danny pulls away to clear his throat and take on a very regal stance. "Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethah today."
Jazz barks a laugh at the first word and has devolved into wheezing giggles. Jack and Maddie are not immune to the laughter and soon the four are all leaning on each other laughing.
161 notes · View notes
Master's Degree (Part Two)
The RV speeds through the open gate, Jack leaning out of his seat to press on the gas as much as possible.
Danny looks out the window as the mansion- castle, really- comes closer and closer at frankly alarming speeds. He notices the front door open, and a shadowed figure waiting in the doorway.
Not surprising, given how loudly they're roaring into his driveway.
Jack screeches the RV to a halt, throws the door open, and runs up to the entrance! Vlad steps out, and Jack immediately crushes him in a bear hug! Vlad coughs, taken by surprise.
"Vladdie my man!"
Vlad coughs again, starting to turn blue from lack of oxygen.
Maddie clears her throat, tapping her husband's should. "Jack, sweetie?"
Jack opens his eyes, and laughs. "Oh, right." He lets Vlad go, leaving his old pal heaving for breath.
"Thank you, Maddie," Vlad says with a cough. "He still doesn't know how to draw the line between 'tight hug' and 'death hug', I see."
"Well, you know Jack," Maddie says, holding her husband's hand (both out of love, and to keep him from nearly suffocating their host again).
"Yes, I'm glad I still do after all these years. I was worried you'd both be so different now, after being married and having kids... speaking of, nice to meet you both."
He shakes Jazz's hand, and then Danny's. Danny's a bit surprised by how cold Vlad's hand is.
"Come inside, come inside!" Vlad steps out of the way and lets everyone in.
Jazz cringes when they get inside. "Oh wow, what's with the green and gold? You're a billionaire, sure you can afford an interior designer."
Danny looks at her like she's grown a second head. "Jazz, hello? Football helmets, jerseys, cheeseheads! He's a Packers fanatic!"
Vlad grins. "You know the Packers, dear boy?"
"Danny," he says. "And yeah. I mean, I don't watch sports super often, but Dad used to put the games on and cheer for them even though they weren't our team."
"Just wanted to support my old chum's favorite players!" Jack says, hand on his hips proudly.
"How sweet," Vlad says, his smile not quite reaching his eyes.
Jazz still looks confused. "I don't understand. You have billions of dollars! Instead of buying this stuff, why don't you just buy the team?"
"Because they're owned by the city of Green Bay, who refuse to sell," Vlad spits.
Everyone looks at him with slight shock.
Vlad laughs a bit sheepishly, straightening up. "But it's fine. Money can't buy everything one could want. Like more time with my old friends."
He puts his arms around Jack and Maddie, but his eyes focus on Maddie herself.
"Though I suppose now, it has." Vlad pats them both on the back. "And more!" He gestures at the kids. "So lovely to have you all in my home! Feel free to look around."
Jazz starts taking some notes on how she would improve the decorations, while Danny looks at all the memorabilia. He comes upon a signed football on a stand. "Whoa, cool!"
"Indeed!" Vlad picks up the ball. "This ball was signed by the legendary Ray Nitschke himself! It's my most prized possession. You have an eye for value, Daniel."
"Danny," he corrects again.
"Yes, right. I'm just so pleased to find that we have things in common." Vlad's smile is a bit... wide. Almost knowing. But before Danny can think further about it, Jack runs at Vlad.
"HEADS UP, V-MAN!"
He slams into Vlad, crushing him into the ground. Jack laughs. "I see you've still got the old moves!" He picks the ball up off the ground and stands.
Vlad stands as well and snatches the ball away. "Give me that!" he says, panicked. He checks it for damage. "I never had any old moves, all those years in the hospital robbed me of-!"
He looks up form the ball. Everyone is staring again.
He sighs, adjusting his bow tie. "Sorry, sorry. I'm just very protective of my memorabilia. I know you didn't mean anything by it, Jack, you just weren't thinking."
Jack rubs the back of his neck. "I wasn't, was I? Sorry, Vladdie."
"It's fine." Vlad carefully put the ball back on it's stand. "Like I said, it's good to know you're still the same you from college. Always so well-meaning, but not always thinking it through. Despite it all, though, things always turned out fine in the end."
Danny finds himself nodding. Yeah, that's... pretty accurate.
"And still, it gave me time to chart out a course for my life, didn't it all? Let me plan, make well-thought-put decisions that helped me become very wealthy astonishingly quickly." He smiles again. "All thanks to you, Jack. If it weren't for those calculations being wrong, my life would be completely different now."
"Thank goodness for mistakes," Jack says with a wink.
"Yes, yes. Thank goodness for them. And actually, that's why I'm throwing the reunion here. I wanted to show there were no hard feelings, and let you all stay here with me."
Maddie frowns. "Oh, I don't know. We brought the RV with us."
"But it's such a gorgeous estate, isn't it? It used to belong to the Wisconsin Dairy King, it's a very historical property. I had the guestrooms all touched up and remodels just so I could reconnect with you!"
"Aw, you missed us that much?" Jack gives Vlad a friendly noogie. Vlad pulls away, patting his hair back into place.
"Yes, I missed you both so painfully. And I thought I should get to know your children better, too. I missed out on so many years of being their honorary uncle, like we'd always talked about before The Accident."
"Honorary Uncle?" Jazz crosses her arms. "Let me get this straight, you guys were that close, but still had no contact for twenty years?"
"Well, my dear, sometimes friendships grow apart. Especially after such a horrible, guilt-inducing accident." Vlad looks at Jack, eyes searching.
"But it's all in the past now!" Jack declares happily.
Danny thinks he sees Vlad's smile drop a bit. Not that he blames him. His dad isn't the most... sensitive, sometimes. And Vlad was pretty clearly looking for an apology there.
... It makes Danny grateful for Sam and Tucker. His parents just... left Vlad on his own after the accident, and it only gave the man ecto-acne. Danny got ghost powers and his friends still stayed by his side. He doesn't always remember how big of a deal that is. How their support helps ease the isolation his powers can make him feel.
He looks at Vlad again when Vlad sighs. "All in the past," Vlad echoes from Jack. "... Anyways, I insist you all stay. We have a king-sized mattress in every bedroom, and personal space heaters and AC-"
"Let's stay here!" Jazz coughs.
Danny gives her an unimpressed look. "Smooth."
Vlad's eyes light up. "Not to mention, Jack, that the Dairy King's ghost could haunt these very halls." he nudges Jack's stomach with his elbow. "A chance to capture a royal ghost."
Jack is already to the door. "I'll get the bags!"
Maddie sighs, and then smiles at Vlad. "Well, I guess we'll be staying after all."
"I'm so glad." Vlad gives her a hug. "It's been far, far too long apart."
Maddie hugs back. "It really has."
Vlad pulls away, and looks at Danny. "And I especially look forward to getting to know you better, Daniel. It's not often I meet someone who I can relate to. I have a feeling we'll get along swimmingly."
Danny smiles a bit. "Yeah. Me too."
61 notes · View notes
(Evan Buckley x Reader)
I really hope you like this, @jessa-21 ! And I'm really sorry for being so late!!
Y/n was running around the apartment she share with her boyfriend and their daughter, making sure everything looked perfect. After all, Evan's parents were meeting them for the first time.
Buck was in the kitchen, making a nice dinner, one that his parents would (hopefully) enjoy.
Their 3 year old toddler, Olivia, was in her nursery, putting her toys in their respective places.
"Evan, which wine should we put out?" Y/n looked up at him. He thought for a bit. "Should I call Maddie?"
Y/n sighed. "I'm putting out the red. Is dinner ready?"
Buck nodded. "Is it just me, or are you more paranoid than usual?" He chuckled.
Y/n swatted his arm. "I'm meeting your parents for the first time, Buck. I wanna make a good impression!"
Buck chuckled, putting the Shepherd's pie in the oven as Olivia ran into the kitchen. "My room is clean!!" The three year old grinned from ear to ear. Olivia looked almost exactly like her mother, but she had her father's beautiful blue eyes.
Buck grinned as the doorbell rang. "Just in time."
Y/n ran to the door and nervously brushed herself off. Buck kissed her cheek. "They won't bite." He reassured her. "I hope." He added with a chuckle. Y/n rolled her eyes and opened the door to see Evan's parents, excited to meet their grandchild.
"Mom, dad." Buck smiled and briefly hugged them.
"And you must be Y/n, right?" His mother, Margaret, smiled and extended her hand. Y/n smiled nervously and shook it.
"It's very nice to meet you, Y/n." His father, Philip, nodded.
"It's nice to finally meet you too, Mr. Buckley." Y/n smiled. "Please! Come in, Olivia is waiting inside." Y/n led them inside.
Olivia was hiding behind Evan's leg. "Dad, who's that." She pointed to her grandparents. Evan chuckled and picked her up.
"They, are my mommy and daddy. Your grandparents." He smiled at her. Olivia's eyes lit up. "Really?? Hi!!!" She squealed and jumped out of her father's arms and into her grandfather's.
Philip chuckled nervously and held his granddaughter. They seemed to be getting along well enough but Margaret had a look of unease on her face.
"Mrs. Buckley, are you okay?" Y/n asked, worried. "Oh, no dear. I'm fine." Y/n nodded. "Come in, please." she smiled.
While Philip was gladly entertaining his granddaughter with Y/n, Margaret pulled Buck aside.
"Mom... what's wrong?" he questioned, his brows furrowed.
"Look, Evan...Buck, as lovely Y/n seems, I'm worried. The pair of you are so young, you have a three year old and you're not even married! I understand if you're only staying for Olivia's sake-"
"Is that what you think?" He asked softly.
"Well, of course. You're young. You have your entire life ahead. And you feel guilty for-"
"For what? Finding the one I love? Starting a family? Being a good parent unlike the pair of you?" He was getting visiblly irritated.
"Mom, I don't regret any of this. I only regret inviting you." He gritted his teeth and walked off. Margaret was annoyed. This wasn't what she wanted for her son.
But she didn't have the right to decide for him. Not anymore.
Somehow, they went through dinner without a fight breaking out, even though the atmosphere was quite uneasy. Despite this, Olivia had managed to keep their spirits up.
Philip and Margaret Buckley finally left right after dessert. Buck faceplanted on the couch the second they left.
Y/n had just put Olivia to bed. She sat down beside her boyfriend. "What did she say?" She asked, stroking Buck's soft curls.
He rested his head in her lap. "She said I was only sticking around for Olivia because I felt guilty." He explained, glum.
"Well, are you?" Y/n asked softly.
Buck shook his head.
"Then I don't see the issue. Look, from what I can tell, Philip is quite okay with us, and he adores Olivia. If your mother has issues with this, she can keep them to herself and out of your head." She kissed his forehead.
"I love you so much, you know that?" He grinned goofily.
Y/n chuckled, "I love you too."
The night, Buck fell asleep next to the love of his life, and finally decided he would ask her to take the next step with him.
She would say yes....right?
180 notes · View notes
EVAN BUCKLEY WEEK DAY THREE - “I NEED YOU TO TRUST ME” + HURT
He had posted the pictures on Facebook. He had been expecting the phone call. He just hadn’t thought it would come in the middle of dinner with Bobby and Athena while Eddie and Christopher are there with him.
Buck excuses himself from the table and walks out into the backyard, sliding the door shut behind him. He holds his phone up to his ear. “Hi, mom.”
“Evan, what is this?”
Buck sighs. Proposing to Eddie had been the easiest decision he’s ever made, even though he had been terrified to actually do it. He had known the shit storm from his parents was going to come as soon as he put the pictures up online, but he’s decided that he’s done living his life in fear of what other people might think. It just hurts a little more when the judgement is coming from the people who raised him.
Well, that might be an overstatement. They were at least in the same house.
“I thought the pictures made it pretty clear,” Buck replies, faintly hearing the door slide open and shut behind him and feeling a hand on the small of his back soon after. Eddie. “I’m engaged.”
“To a man, Evan. I mean, is this some kind of cruel joke?”
Eddie inhales sharp and angry next to him, no doubt able to hear his mother through the phone. They share a look before Buck answers. “No, mom. Why would I post something like that as a joke?”
“Why would you post it at all? You don’t need that kind of attention, all those people looking into our lives—”
“I’m pretty sure it’s my life, not yours.” And just like he had in Maddie and Chim’s kitchen, Buck feels like a twelve-year-old again, fighting to deserve a place in the family. A place that had existed once, but not for him. He feels a little braver this time though. He attributes it to the gentle way that Eddie’s hand is keeping him steady. “I’m thirty-one. I’m more than capable of making my own decisions.”
“That’s clearly not true if these are the ones you’re making. Evan, we didn’t even know you were seeing anyone, and now you’re deciding to get married out of nowhere? You have no idea how big of a commitment—”
“I’ve been in love with him for almost five years, mom,” Buck retaliates, and he can’t help the soft way that he says it. He looks over at Eddie and he’s looking at Buck in slight disbelief. Buck assumes that Eddie had guessed that, but Buck has never confirmed it out loud. “It’s not out of nowhere.”
There’s silence on the line for a moment. “We didn’t know.”
The lights click off in the dining room as he shuffles from foot to foot. “That was on purpose. Because I knew you would react exactly like this.”
“And what’s wrong with that?” His mom sounds like she always does, like she can’t believe she could ever be in the wrong about anything. It makes Buck want to crawl into himself and hide as much as it did when he was a kid. “We’re worried about you. You don’t call, you don’t text, and you don’t ever come home for the holidays. What kind of parents do you think that makes us look like?”
Buck holds himself back from being brutally honest in his answer, instead reaching out and holding onto Eddie’s bicep for dear life. “You’re not worried about me. If you were, you would have come to the hospital when I almost died. Twice.”
Eddie whispers next to him. “Buck, you don’t have to have this conversation if you don’t want to. You can hang up.”
Buck shakes his head. He’s not going to win this conversation, but he’s at least going to say his piece. “Listen, mom. I forgave you and dad for the way you treated me growing up. I’m trying to move past the way you hurt me and do better, and it’s working. And sure, part of it is therapy, but another big part of it is Eddie. I need you to trust me and my ability to make decisions for myself, so if you want a place in my life, then you have to be okay with Eddie having a place in it too.”
His mother sighs through the phone. “Buck. This… this man, you’re sure you’re ready to commit the rest of your life to him?”
“His name is Eddie,” Buck seethes, gripping Eddie’s arm harder. “And yes, I know, and I’m sure. I’ve never been surer about anything.”
“A marriage takes work, you know.”
“It’s not work to me. Not if it’s him.” His mother doesn’t respond to that, but he hears Eddie’s breath stutter. Buck slides his hand down and Eddie moves his off Buck’s back so they can push their fingers together. “I gotta go. I’m in the middle of dinner with Bobby and Athena, and I’d like to get back to it if you don’t mind.”
A beat of silence. “I just hope you aren’t making a mistake.”
Buck hangs up.
He stares down at his phone in his hand, the screen dark. “Love you too,” he mutters sarcastically.
Eddie turns to him and places his palm on Buck’s cheek, rubbing his thumb soothingly against his cheekbone. “Well, it could have been worse. You spoke very highly though, which I appreciate.”
Buck huffs a breath out. “Well you won’t do it yourself, so I have to do it for you.”
Buck isn’t really expecting it when Eddie leans in and kisses him softly, lingering until Buck feels the itch under his skin he didn’t even realize was there dissipating. When Eddie pulls back, his eyes are shining. “Kinda wish you would have mentioned my stellar ass, though.”
“You’re right, maybe that would have changed her mind.”
The sliding glass door opens and Athena calls out to them. “You boys still hungry? Dinner is cold now, but dessert just finished up if you want to come inside.”
Eddie laughs as Buck tugs him back into the house for dessert, and yeah, Buck never doubted for a second that this man is it for him. Bobby calls Eddie and Christopher into the kitchen to help serve dessert and Athena pulls him aside. “You okay, Buckaroo? I know your family can be frustrating.”
He looks at Athena with her casual concern, at Bobby who is staring at the both of them from over the kitchen island with worry and love on his face, at Eddie who somehow got chocolate frosting on his nose and is making goofy faces at his son. At their son, soon.
“Yeah, I’m okay,” he says, and for once he means it. “I’ve got my real family right here.”
126 notes · View notes
cherry explosion | b.w.
Pairing: Bill Weasley x female reader.
Summary: unexpectedly, Bill finds a way to give you the best New Year’s Eve you have ever had.
Word Count: 1,7k.
Warnings: smut! Oral sex (female receiving). Mentions of alcohol, drinking, and one-night stands ending badly.
Disclaimer: none of the pictures used in the edit below belong to me; I simply put them together.
A/N: sending all of my love to those who are spending their New Year’s Eve by themselves! Dear @maddi-sun18, thank you so much for the request, and I hope this can bring you some comfort. Please, leave me some feedback if you feel like it! My askbox is open for your opinions, thoughts and requests. Thank you so much for your time and attention ❤
Sometimes, it was so easy to read men. Their actions were so predictable, and they never failed to act exactly the same as the ones who had been there previously.
You wondered if there was some sort of training for young gentlemen on how to pick up girls at hotel bars. There seemed to be four steps for a man to follow in order to get lucky: one – exchange looks with the chosen pretty girl; two – lure the prey by offering her a fizzy and fruity drink; three – make small conversation, and say she is different from any other girl in the room; and, finally, four – get into her panties.
All of that was bullshit, and you would never fall for it.
And, perhaps, that was why you panicked a bit when a painfully attractive man approached you in a different way.
“Hey.” He shot you a small, yet, charming smile. “Do you mind if I sit here? If I listen to Patricia Rakepick talking about her adventures in Japan for one more bit, I might die.”
Both of you were taking part in an international conference on Curse-Breaking. The event had gathered wizards and witches from all around the globe, which caused Gringotts to rent a few areas on a muggle hotel in London for it. Although it was a knotty task for so many people to act as if they had no magical powers rushing through their veins, every participant seemed to be doing well on their own.
His presence there was perfectly reasonable, once he was a Curse-Breaker himself. Yours, however, was a bit questionable. You, as a columnist for the Daily Prophet, had been asked to cover the event, and could not be any less excited about it.
It was New Year’s Eve. All you wanted to do was go home to your family and friends.
While many people were not shy on showing their personal preference for Christmas, you were crazy about New Year’s Eve. The upcoming novel 365 days for you to live as if they were your last, the fancy dresses you always insisted on wearing, the taste of fizzy and fruity drinks lingering in your mouth until January 1st – all of that meant something to you, as brainless as it sounded.
Your peevish ways were soon destroyed by his sudden presence and polite attitudes. After you agreed with his company, it did not take long until you were laughing about the event and the people attending it.
As a matter of fact, Curse-Breakers were rather odd and monotonous people. The man with fiery, long hair seemed to be a clear exception to them, with his exotic fang earring, and his dragonhide boots. He also was to be the only good-looking one in that crowded bar, in that stupidly sophisticated hotel.
He was surprising you second by second. Breaking every single trait of loathing you had piled up for men, due to failed relationships and other women’s reports, he was showing himself as a funny and respectful man.
Between a few drinks, you had talked about his insanely big family, your repetitive daily life, his experiences in Egypt, and how you accidently had Apparated in Colombia once, being left without any knowledge of Spanish.
There was something sweet and intoxicating about him; about the way he asked to hold your hand while you were talking, and about the way he confessed and apologized for being unable to stop staring at your lips and wondering what they felt like.
“They probably taste like cherries now.” You leaned in and whispered, the dizzy sensation caused by your Cherry Bomb drink starting to tingle your insides. In a bold movement, you took your cocktail glass towards him. With your other hand, you touched his chin, and pushed it down a bit, forcing his mouth to part open. Your gaze transformed itself into a flirty one, and you told him to sip your drink so he could get a better grasp on what you tasted like.
It did not take long for you to crash your lips against his after that. You felt comfortable doing exactly what you were doing. You felt like you were in command of your own feelings. There was no stupid game of prey and hunter. There was no lie being told so one would get lucky.
At that moment, there were only two adults, being nice to each other and understanding their desires fully.
Unlike so many other men, he had respected you and, in the midst of slightly drunken kisses and touches, he kept on trying to be certain you were okay and you really wanted that.
Bill was briefly tipsy as well, his tongue tasting like the scotch he had earlier. The mixture between your cherry-like taste and his own made you feel like you were in heaven, although his kisses were growing to be hungry and more desperate.
Half an hour later, your hair spread across the pillow he was temporarily using for sleeping purposes. Your dress had been lifted up until your stomach, and your underwear was now nowhere to be found.
His soft hands roamed around your inner thighs as his tongue lapped your juices. Surprisingly, he was terrific at that, and you suspected you would crave more once he was done.
As he gave short licks to your clit and his tongue ran around your folds, two of his fingers were inserted in you. You arched your back, and reached out for his hair. You allowed your own fingers to tug delicately on his locks, his name leaving your lips religiously. He kept on pumping in and out of you, the pressure on your soft spot increasing each time.
The burning knot in your loins became tighter, and he adored how you clenched your walls around him so strongly. You were a mumbling, breathy mess, but he was entirely mesmerized by the sight, and the intimacy you were sharing.
Almost as if destiny was playing a prank on you, when you hit your first orgasm, fireworks started exploding outside the window of his hotel room. You squeezed your eyes shut, and cried out in the greatest pleasure you had ever felt in your entire life.
Slurping and sinful noises were produced as you came back from your high, still moaning. Your entire body trembled violently, but his big hands soothed your delicious torture.
He looked at you and chuckled quietly, your fluids still hanging on his lips, making them even more kissable than before. You were stunning in his eyes, and he feared not being able to let you go after the morning would come.
“Happy New Year, darling.”
January 1st came as softly and quietly as it possibly could. You dozed off in his arms after you spent a bit watching the fireworks show, and talking as well. The fact he was a grown man, but still could hold a decent conversation for so long, without any visible struggles was amusing.
You woke up to the next morning weak daylight peeking through the curtains and tickling your cheeks. Something inside your chest felt amazing. Flashes of the previous night appeared in your mind, and you could not hold a smile back. Funny enough, the taste of your Cherry Bomb drink still lingered faintly on your tongue.
However, all of your peace of mind vanished in the very instant you realized you had woken up by yourself. Waves of embarrassment and regret crashed in your heart, and you felt ridiculous for falling for all of the sweet nothings that had escaped his lips.
“Yes, that would be all. Yes. Room 716. Thank you very much.”
His enchanting voice shattered your own trance into a million pieces, and his bare footsteps announced he was returning to the same spot where you were at. You pulled the white sheets up and covered your naked torso, still unsure of how you would have to deal with the rising tension of the situation.
He soon captured the image of you being up and a glorious grin painted his lips. “Good morning.” His lower body was covered by a pair of dark jeans, which seemed to embrace his existence perfectly well, despite being different from the visual image he displayed last night. How was it possible for someone to look that good early in the morning? Or was it really early? What time was it? What did happen after the fireworks? With a timid voice, you wished him a good morning, too, but remained silent afterwards. It was difficult for you to ponder your next actions.
“So, the room service guys will be here shortly. I took the freedom to order us some breakfast.” His eyes gleamed with a pure kindness as the words slipped out of his lips. “I hope you fancy some orange juice in the morning.” He was offering you nothing but soft spoken words, and thoughtful actions
What was that?!
“B-Breakfast?” You repeated the key word of the whole conversation in surprise. No one had ever prepared, or even ordered, you breakfast after a night of sex and lust.
“Yeah.” Bill was quick to notice your tone of surprise and, somehow, it was funny to him. A girl like you, whom had shown him nothing but a great personality so far, should be used to being pampered like that. “Did you think for one second that I’d just eat you out like that, and leave you hanging the next morning?”
Honestly? Yes. You did think of that. You feared you would be tricked once more. One more disappointment to be added to your personal archive. One more reason to continue living your life despising men.
His arms were crossed against his chest and he shook his head, a dismissive, short laugh echoing through the room. “I would be mental if I ever did that. In a few hours, you managed to wow me.”
He made his way to the bed, and his body sank down on the mattress, being placed right next to yours. Truth being told, without the alcohol, you felt quite shy being that close to such a handsome man. “And, if you allow me to, I want to continue seeing you. I want to get to know more of you.”
A snuggly heat erupted in you, and it was a novel sensation for you. Perhaps, not all men had those devilish ways in them.
“I’m terribly sorry, but I really feel like kissing you right now. But, given your astonished behaviors, I’m not sure if you’d enjoy that. What do you tell me?”
Perhaps, this new year would not be so terrible.
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Flash in the Eyes Part 2
More fixed!Flynn lore? More fixed!Flynn lore
Danny lay awake. He kept his eyes glued to the bedroom ceiling, studded with glow-in-the-dark stars from corner to corner. They doused him in the tiniest shimmer of ethereal light – the second source of light in the room – after his phone, which he gripped loosely in the hand dangling off the bed. The phone cast its own faint shimmer outward, a ray into the bleak night.
And he himself made for the third source of light, he supposed. That pulse of iridescent green from his eyes, which he felt like the beginnings of a headache building inside his head, had been spurred to the front by the trickle of anxiety that kept his nerves alight now at 3:30 am.
The plastic stars above. His phone glowing outward. (His radioactive eyes, pinned to Aunt Alicia.)
Danny was not allowed to forget the incident. He was not allowed to move on. Even home, it followed him.
His phone, with that dim light, was open to a single message that had been plaguing him all day. A single Facebook message, from a profile wishing to connect, with no profile picture, no history, no other friends, made day-of. “danny. this is your aunt alicia. never would of thought id be using of one these computers. wierd things. any way. wanted to apoligize about scarring you. I have a mean face maddie knows. i dont have a computer. this is in the libary in town. but hoping you culd call me on the phone. wanted to ask you somthing more. thanks. xxx-xxx-xxxx…”
Danny left the message on read. He figured it didn’t much matter that his read-receipts were on. Alicia made it clear she had no access to a computer, or likely internet for that matter. This was a message cast into the void, framed as an apology, but fishing for information that made Danny’s skin crawl to think about. Alicia could talk to his mom any time. But she had chosen not to. She’d chosen to contact Danny directly, through a means of great hassle for a woman so sworn-off technology, living so far away from proper civilization. And she’d chosen to do so after seeing that flash in his eyes.
This wasn’t like fighting ghosts. Those were pure physical scuffles which ended in him casting the creature off into the portal to (hopefully) never be heard from again. This instead was an anxiety pricking along every nerve of his skin, deep-seeded and deep-sewn from the woman who terrified him all these many years, whose connection to his ghost-hunting parents sent his brain into spirals of dread for all the what-ifs he conjured.
“You seem deep in contemplation. Perhaps I should come back later?”
Danny sat bolt-upright, spinning fast enough to see new stars spawning in his vision. He blinked them away, and sucked in a sharp inhale of breath as he snapped his head to the side.
Half-translucent, idly floating, Vlad Plasmius appraised him from the other side of he bedroom, studying Danny the way a teacher might study a struggling student.
Danny’s transformation and leap from bed came as one. His covers blew back, phone clattering to the floor forgotten.
“Yes yes, ‘it is I, Plasmius’. I believe we’ve done our battle cry introductions enough times for the audience to get the point.”
“What are you doing here?!”
“Just dropping in on old friends.” Plasmius, still floating, performed a motion as if to sit. He swung one leg over the other, and reduced the miasma of pressure that his aura sent off. He was relaxed, and conversational, and this made Danny’s neck hair prickle all the more.
“All the way from Wisconsin! Yeah just, dropping in at 3 in the morning! Yeah, well, sorry but I don’t buy it, Plasmius. And I’m sending you back to Wisconsin now that you—”
“Seems we’ve both been traveling quite a bit out of state. Tell me was it a fun little vacation? A ghost hunting trip?”
“It—” Danny’s eyes narrowed. “How do you know we were gone?”
“Oh easy, I have ghost sentinels pinned on your house at all hours. They feed me this information.”
“Noted. Thanks for the tip. I’ll be sure to blast them out of existence next time I’m out.”
“I’d love to see you try. They’re masters of stealth.” Vlad flashed a grin. “I have to say I am quite disappointed to see you all back so soon – must have been a short trip. Where did you go?”
“Not telling you. Now why are you here?”
“I’ll tell you if you tell me.”
Danny bit down the urge to sucker-punch Vlad on spot. “We were visiting our aunt. Nothing special. Not everything is some big…I dunno… ghost conspiracy, Vlad. Now why are you here?”
“I was simply hoping to catch the house unguarded. You know, explore the lab, see the new contraptions that Maddie designed and Jack botched, perhaps sprinkle some cyanide in the oaf’s cornflakes box.”
“Like I’d let you--!”
“Aunt, did you say, Daniel? Alicia, perchance?”
Danny gave no response. He felt only the twist in his gut, which wrought a smile to Vlad’s face.
Vlad clapped his hands together and continued. “That is a name that brings back memories! She and Maddie were remarkably close. I heard about her constantly – given of course that I am a fantastic listener who never forgets a name or a face, unlike some fools who can’t even remember birthdays – but yes as Maddie’s best listener and best supporter, I feel like I know Alicia personally. Tell me, how is her husband Dale doing? How’s little Flynn? Not so little anymore, I imagine.”
“Don’t… talk about my aunt. That’s weird.” Danny floated backwards, coalescing a lick of flame in his palm. “Also, goes to show how much you know these days. Alicia and Dale have been divorced for like ten years now. And there’s no Flynn. You sure you’re that great a listener?”
Vlad quirked an eyebrow. “Ah, shame how divorce never seems to happen to the right people. Has Alicia tried telling Maddie it’s not too late to follow suit?” Danny unleashed his pulse of energy. Vlad blocked it with a single dismissive wave of his gloved hand. “And Daniel I am referring to your cousin Flynn, about whom I am absolutely not mistaken. Maddie and I were sophomores in college when he was born. Maddie flooded me with pictures of the boy, chubby little thing with red hair like Maddie’s. They moved her to tears, some of them. It was formative for me. The moment I realized that was the future I wished for myself, that I could bring Maddie that same joy with a family of our own. Shame how children don’t seem to happen to the right people either.”
Danny gave no response. He only lingered in the air, drifting slightly, the wafting residue of his attack trailing along his palm.
“You don’t seem so convinced,” Vlad commented.
“I’m not. Aunt Alicia doesn’t have kids. I don’t have any cousins. Unless you count whatever Danielle is.”
“A clone. You have to know the cousin thing was made up.”
“Alicia doesn’t have kids. Bottom line.”
“Did she sign him away in the divorce? That’s cold. I wonder if I could convince Jack to do the same with you.”
“Aunt Alicia divorced without kids, dumbass!” Danny swept a hand out. “She talks about her divorce all the time like it’s the best thing that happened to her, and she’s said how easy it was with just her and Dale and no one else. I don’t know how many other ways I can tell you I don’t have cousins, and I definitely don’t have a cousin named Flynn. You’re making yourself look like an idiot.”
“The opinion of a 14-year-old means very little to me.” Vlad dipped forward, closing the gap between him and Danny by a few feet. The air howled cold behind him. “However I am utterly intrigued to know what became of Flynn then. Clearly something worth keeping from you. Drowned in a pool? Carried off by a bear? Perhaps his parents made a ghost portal a decade prior to yours and he zapped it on from the inside.”
“You’re not funny.”
“I am hilarious, young man.” Vlad uncrossed his legs, still floating, but as though standing once more. “You should respond to your aunt’s message.” Vlad nodded his head to the phone on the floor. “She seems eager to speak to you. Maybe she can tell you what happened to dear little Flynn. And if you don’t, well perhaps I will stop by tomorrow morning for some tea, and ask Maddie myself what became of him. You’re welcome to be in the room when I do.”
A flash of light momentarily blinded Danny, followed by a pulse of energy, and when Danny opened his eyes again he had to blink through stars.
Nothing remained in the night.
Only the ceiling studded stars above, and the glow of the phone below, and the consumptive chilling green flashing from his own eyes.
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What Happened to Maddie’s Sister in TUE?
New headcanon, sort of? I haven’t thought about it too much because one of the characters involved barely had a presence in the show. She only showed up once in the episode “Prisoners of Love”, introduced as Maddie’s sister, Alicia.
I remember finding this post a while back, wherein a different ending occurs for the Ultimate Enemy - Danny refuses to go live with Vlad and moves in with his Aunt Alicia.
So I was thinking...what if Alicia couldn’t take care of Danny for some reason? Or perhaps, something very unfortunate happened to her and Vlad was able to easily swoop in and snag custody of Danny.
Alright, so we all know how the Ultimate Enemy goes. Danny finds test answers -> cheats -> Mr Lancer calls meeting with his parents at Nasty Burger -> restaurant explodes taking all of them including his friends -> goes live with Vlad.
Except there’s no explanation to what happened with Alicia.
By all means, she is Maddie’s sister and is Danny’s next of kin, so reasonably she should’ve gotten custody of him.
The thing is, Vlad is such a fucking bastard, he wouldn’t have let go of Danny that easily, not while the kid is in an emotionally vulnerable state for him to manipulate.
So, maybe for a time, Alicia does have Danny with her. It’s pretty awkward though, they don’t know each other well, and at most only saw each other once a year.
Alicia’s short-temperedness and constant shouting isn’t something Danny’s used to, and more than often flinches when she does. He doesn’t blame his aunt though, she just lost her only sister. But at times...It does feel like she’s taking it out on him.
Unfortunately, Alicia is aware that she’s probably scaring and hurting Danny. She feels so ashamed of herself, she should be helping her nephew, not hurt him more than he already is. Instead, she withdraws from him as to not hurt him anymore.
Meanwhile, Vlad being the little bastard he’s known to be, is poking around.
Alicia hates the fact that her late brother-in-law’s rich, creepy friend was coming around a bit too much for her liking. Vlad Masters showed up at her cabin every couple of weeks, claiming to just be “checking in” on Danny’s welfare, while acting very suspicious.
Bullshit. She knows something’s up, but she just can’t quite pinpoint what.
The man aggravates her more by making subtle and snide remarks at her and her life.
How she treated her nephew at times, “My dear, the boy just lost his parents and sister.”
The ramshackle state of her cabin. Too small. Not fit for a teenager to live. Needs repairs. This and that.
Her income, “It isn’t enough, you barely have enough for the most basic of things.”
This goes on for a few months, with Vlad becoming more and more critical. Then the social services show up, citing a report from a “concerned party”, they were to do a welfare check, a background check, everything. Alicia can easily guess who the “concerned party” was.
Danny is told pack up all of his things, he’s going to be temporarily transferred to Vlad’s care until the social services were done checking in with Alicia. Danny’s upset but he couldn’t really fight it, being underage, and quite sullenly goes.
Just a few days after arriving at Vlad’s castle home in Wisconsin, Vlad returns with a very (fake) solemn expression. He takes Danny aside and delivers the news that his Aunt Alicia had passed away.
It was terrible, with the grief and stress of losing her only sister a few months ago, struggling with her income, having a teenager suddenly thrust into her care, she wasn’t doing well. The final straw was probably being put under investigation by the social services.
Just very early this morning, her cabin caught on fire. They couldn’t get to her on time. The only way Alicia could be identified was by her teeth.
It still wasn’t clear what caused the fire, but the best guess was that a wire was exposed to the elements. Alicia had been neglecting the repairs her cabin needed.
Although Vlad seemed calm if not “solemn” during all of this, he was very giddy underneath. His plan he had been working at for months had finally come to fruition, now there was no obstacles barring him from gaining control over Danny.
All he had to do was wear away at Alicia’s psyche, make it so that she found it hard to do basic things because she wasn’t feeling well. Make a duplicate and spy on her, compile a report, be a “concerned party” and deliver this report to the social services.
And once everyone was asleep, and it was dark, as Plasmius, he snuck into her cabin invisible, and used his ecto-fire to set an exposed wire on fire. It looked like a genuine accident.
Lo and behold, Danny had fallen right into his hands.
That was pretty depressing for a headcanon, but we absolutely do not have any canon explanation whatsoever as to what happened to Alicia. I do like to imagine that Vlad had something to do with it.
Being the rich bastard he is, I imagine Vlad was able to get the best lawyers to argue his case as to why Danny should be in his care: Vlad was a billionaire and was set for life, he was a family friend of the Fentons and his old college friend Jack actually wanted Vlad to look after his children should something happen to him and Maddie, Vlad was backing up some of the largest corporations in the world that dealt with healthcare/humanitarian efforts/education/etc.
He won that case pretty easily.
Now, before you all start throwing tantrums. I do not like Vlad, he was a creepy, melodramatic bitch in the show. Some of the things he did were kind of disturbing.
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like it’s a little secret, like it’s all he has to give
for @letmetellyouaboutmyfeels <3
read on ao3
He didn’t mean for this to happen.
Well, no. He wanted it to happen, had been planning to make it happen with a lot more wooing and sweeping off of feet to get them to a perfect moment where he could tell Buck exactly how much he loves him and needs him in his life.
So he did want it to happen, of course. He just didn’t expect it to happen like it did — after a night out with the team, in the dim light of his living room, during a tipsy game of Truth or Dare like they were in high school again. Buck had said, “Dare”, and the three beers and two shots swimming in Eddie’s brain said, “I dare you to kiss me.”
And he did.
And one kiss turned into two, turned into making out on Eddie’s couch, turned into stumbling blindly toward the bedroom, turned into fingertips burning trails up backs, whispered confessions into necks, and muffled moans of yes and more and please and Eddie.
So it happened. It’s still happening.
That isn’t the problem.
The problem is that it happened six months ago and they still haven’t told anyone.
It’s not that they don’t trust their friends or that they aren’t serious about each other. In fact, they’re probably too serious about each other, about making this the thing that sticks. The morning after their first night together, they talked for hours about their past failed relationships and insecurities, laying every, ugly part out for each other to see.
“I just want to be enough,” Eddie said, throat as raw as his insides felt.
Buck’s hand slid up his back to scratch through his hair. “You’re more than enough for me. And I’d like to stick around and prove that to you, as long as you’ll let me.”
“Forever it is.”
“I’m gonna fuck this up.”
Buck shrugged. “So will I. Maybe we give ourselves some time — fuck things up quietly before we let other people know?”
Eddie kissed Buck again, softly, soundly, relief surging through him because Buck gets it and wants to make this work and, this way, he feels like they may actually have a chance.
So that was that. Nothing really changed — Buck was still at the Diaz house more often than not, but now sleepovers meant Buck was in bed with Eddie instead of on the couch (except for the half hour before Chris woke up when Buck snuck out to the living room). They were still a dynamic duo on calls, they just also had each other after calls now too, especially bad ones. They were able to get to know each other as boyfriends instead of just best friends, figure out what they wanted and needed from a relationship, and smooth out the bumps they hit on their own, without any outside influence.
Now, they’re in a good spot. The best spot. And six months is a long time to keep quiet about something that makes Eddie so happy he could explode. But—
“They’re gonna be mad,” he says, head pillowed in Buck’s lap, absently picking at the label of his empty beer bottle. Buck hums, fingers combing through Eddie’s hair, the TV softly playing some reality show about a yacht crew.
“You don’t think they’ll be happy for us too?”
“They probably have a betting pool going on us. Then they’ll be mad and gloating.”
Buck’s hand stills on his head. “Eddie, if you don’t want to—”
Eddie scrambles up to sitting, taking both of Buck’s hands in his because he’s stopping that train of thought right now. “I do want to. I really do. I’m just—”
Eddie nods, absently placing a kiss inside Buck’s wrist as he gathers his thoughts. “I trust you. More than anything. And I trust us. I just don’t trust anything else, not yet. We’ve been in our own little world for a while, I just need to get used to that not being the case anymore.”
Buck’s quiet for a minute before he leans forward, kissing Eddie’s forehead. “I don’t really trust anything else either. I’m happy to wait and follow your lead. As long as you know you’re stuck with me.”
Eddie kisses him quickly before laying back down, Buck’s hand automatically threading into his hair again. “You’re stuck with me, too. Even when cute, injured bikers try to steal me away—”
He feels a sharp tug on his hair. “I knew you did that on purpose!”
Buck’s jealous streak is a mile wide, Eddie’s known that since the day they met. So what if he’s exploited it a little while they’ve been sneaking around? How could he have known for sure that a little extra flirting on a call would get him blown within an inch of his life in a storage closet as soon as they got back to the station? He’d surely expected it, but…
Whatever. Sue him. His boyfriend’s hot when he’s territorial, and he’s only a man.
Eddie should have known the universe would start fucking with them almost immediately.
The team has never been shy about trying to set both of them up — there’s always a friend of a friend or a second cousin or a neighbor that would be perfect for, as Hen so lovingly puts it, “our hot and lonely coworkers”. It’s only gotten worse in the past month or so, when a team trivia night turned into a team-and-significant-others trivia night, “forcing” Buck and Eddie to pair up to even things out. Ever since, he’s been cornered almost every day by Hen and/or Chim, each with a handful of people that would love to take Eddie out to dinner, and he knows they do the same to Buck. He’s pretty sure they have a shared spreadsheet about it.
“Come on Eddie, Nick is great! He’s tall, he owns a gym, his dog is cute—”
“Chim,” Eddie cuts him off, pulling his head out of the fridge to face Chimney and Hen seated at the island. He could end it now, just tell them I don’t want to go out with your new personal trainer because I already have a boyfriend, but it’s the middle of shift and everyone is still lingering from lunch and...it’s too much right now. Over Chim’s shoulder, he can see Buck looking at him from the couch, probably thinking the same thing (because they do that a little too often). Buck just raises his eyebrows and shrugs, saying I’m following your lead. Eddie falls a little bit more in love with him.
He focuses back on Hen and Chim. “I appreciate you guys worrying about me in your own weird way, but I’m fine. Plus, I have a thing and Chris’ school Thursday night anyway.”
He does not have a thing at Chris’ school, and he feels bad using his kid like this, but drastic times call for drastic measures.
Hen holds up her hands as Chim deflates just a little. “Fine fine,” she says. “We know you’re busy.” She looks at Chim, and they have a quick conversation with their eyebrows before he gets up and slowly walks toward Buck.
“So, Buck, my dear pseudo brother-in-law. How’s your Thursday—”
Buck doesn’t even look up from his book. “No. Maddie and I are having a wine night, and we’re gonna talk shit about you the entire time.”
Chim squawks at that, and Eddie does a bad job of turning his laugh into a cough. It does get them to back off for the rest of the week, though Eddie resigns himself to this vicious cycle of theirs until he can finally shake the feeling that everything he and Buck have been building will dissolve through his fingertips as soon as they let anyone else in.
It’s vicious but predictable. Easy to follow, easy to get ahead of. It gives Eddie a little room to breathe while he sorts his head out.
Naturally, that’s when Abuela decides to get involved.
Eddie’s never been able to refuse her anything — that’s how he ended up at her house on his day off in the first place, fixing a broken dryer and tightening cabinets and anything else she happens to remember she needs while he’s here. He really doesn’t mind, and he’s happy to spend any time with her that he can, but she’s been...prying. All day. As casually as she can, but he can tell she’s fishing for something.
“Edmundo,” she says as they sit down for lunch. “You’re telling me you can’t even remember the last time you went on a date?”
Of course he can — he and Buck haven’t been able to go on many “normal” dates since they got together, but they did manage to coordinate a weekend in Ojai a few weeks back where all they did was eat, lounge by the pool, and have sex in their much-too-fancy-for-them hotel room.
That counts as a couple of dates, right?
He shrugs instead. “I’ve been busy. Between work and Chris, I’ve just got a lot on my plate. I don’t really have time for dating.” And I don’t think my boyfriend would be too happy about it, he thinks.
“Of course,” she says. She keeps eating like that’s the end of that, but he knows there’s something else. When she finishes, she pushes her plate aside and looks at him dead on, with that There’s no way you’re getting out of this look in her eyes. “You know, if you did want to get out there again, my friend Diana has a granddaughter around your age that just moved to LA and wants to meet some people.”
There it is.
“Abuela, I really don’t think—”
“It doesn’t have to be a date, it can just be dinner! The two of you getting to know each other. She’s sweet, she’s beautiful, and she’s a teacher, so she’s great with kids. At the very least, she could be a good friend.” She reaches across the table and grabs his hand in both of hers. “You work too hard, Edmundo. You deserve to do something nice for yourself, and that can be as easy as going out to a nice restaurant with a pretty girl for one night.”
He should tell her. He should tell her everything, even though Buck’s not here, even though he still has a stupid voice in his head telling him that as soon as their bubble pops, the likelihood of everything going belly up will skyrocket. He doesn’t want to lead this poor girl on, but Abuela is also looking at him all sad and hopeful, because she does want him to be happy, and—
“Fine. One dinner.”
Abuela cheers, actually cheers, and hugs him tightly before getting her phone. She calls Diana to set everything up themselves, rather than giving Eddie the girl’s — Chelsea’s — number. By the time he leaves, they’re set for 8pm next Friday at an Italian place downtown, and they each have a description of what the other will be wearing. “Like a real blind date,” Abuela says, and Eddie tries not to actually kick himself for falling into this trap.
He needs to get out of this. Abuela wouldn’t give him her number (“so your first meeting will be as magical as possible”), so he’ll just have to tell her right from the start on Friday. He feels bad, but hopefully she’s as nice as he’s been told and she takes it okay. And should he tell Buck? Probably, but is it even an issue if he’s not actually going through with the date? Buck’s working an overnight on Friday, so he won’t even be around when he’s supposed to be out. He could smooth it all over himself and then really sit down and get his shit together to figure out how they’re going to tell everyone, so no more fake dates happen ever again.
He’s got this. It’s not his best idea ever, but it’ll have to do. Everything will be totally fine.
“Eds? You home?”
Eddie scrambles to shut his bedroom door, tripping over himself in the process and landing flat on his back. That’s how Buck finds him, and his stomach drops as he watches Buck’s face switch between worry and confusion as he takes in Eddie’s button down and slacks.
“Uh, hey,” he says. Buck offers a hand to help him up. “Shouldn’t you be at work?”
“I’m on my way, just needed to grab my phone charger,” Buck says as he pulls Eddie up, checking him out again like he’s confirming that his brain isn’t playing tricks on him. “You’re awfully dressed up for your night off.”
Eddie sighs heavily through his nose. This is exactly what he was trying to avoid, and if he had left 10 minutes earlier like he meant to it would have been fine. But now Buck’s here, and he refuses to lie to him. He’s already been lying by omission enough this week.
“Abuela kinda set me up for dinner with her friend’s granddaughter,” he says quickly, panicking when Buck’s eyes go wide and his cheeks go pale. “But,” he moves closer, placing both hands firmly on Buck’s shoulders, taking it as a good sign that he doesn’t pull away, “I’m just going long enough to tell her that I’m very taken and this whole thing was a mistake. I promise, nothing was ever going to happen.” Buck does pull away then, and Eddie’s hands fall heavily back to his sides. “Buck, please—”
“I know,” he says quietly. “I know you wouldn’t do that to me. But Eds, I told you I’d follow your lead when it came to telling people about us, and if that meant fake dating other people that’s cool, I just wish you talked to me about it first. We’ve got to communicate and stuff, we’re on the same team here.”
“You’re right,” Eddie says. He slowly reaches for Buck’s hands, relieved again when he lets him. “I should have told you. It wasn’t supposed to be a big deal, and I didn’t want you to worry or think things were bad with us, because they’re not. But still. I’m sorry.” Buck doesn’t move, just stares at the floor. Eddie squeezes his hands. “Are we good?”
Buck finally looks up, and Eddie can’t get a read on his emotions like he usually can. But he squeezes his hands back and gives him a small smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes. “We’re good. But I should get going.” He slips out of Eddie’s hands and out the front door without another word.
There was no yelling or accusations or anything bad, really, but Eddie still feels gutted, like every fear he had about messing up is starting to manifest like he knew they would. He should go after Buck, tell him how much he loves him, how much he trusts him, but he’s 20 minutes late now, and when he pictures Chelsea standing all by herself in a crowded restaurant looking for him, he feels a whole different wave of guilt crash inside him.
He’s going to fix this, all of this. He has to. And he’s got a 30 minute drive to think of a new plan.
The drive ends up being closer to an hour, and all Eddie does is convince himself that the next time Buck sees him, he’s going to realize that Eddie’s not good enough for him and break up with him on the spot.
The restaurant is loud and crowded, lit mainly by the low candles placed on each table. Eddie’s eyes scan the room until he spots her at the bar — emerald dress and gold heels, just like Diana had told him. He slides into the empty seat next to her, awkwardly waving to get her attention. “Chelsea?”
She looks at him with a warm smile. “Edmundo, right?”
“Eddie’s fine.” He steals himself, figures ripping the band-aid right off is probably the best thing to do. “Look, I’m really sorry—”
“That’s not a great way to start a date.”
Guilt curls tighter in his stomach and up his arms. “This has been a huge misunderstanding. I’m kind of— I’m already in a relationship, and we haven’t told anyone, and my abuela was just trying to help, and she knows I can’t say no to her, and now everything is falling apart.” He feels even worse dumping all this on a woman he’s known for three minutes, but his brain seems to be doing its own thing at the moment, he’s just along for the ride.
She looks at him for a minute, before waving the bartender over. “Well, you’re here, and you sound like you’re about to lose your mind. Have one drink with me, and tell me everything.”
So he orders a Jack on the rocks and spills his guts — tells her about Buck, about why they kept everything under wraps, his plans to fix everything, how he’s so fucking scared that once everyone knows and their little fantasy world is gone, Buck will realize that he can do better, that he deserves better, and Eddie will have to put himself back together somehow. He’s not sure exactly how long he talks, but Chelsea listens intently to every word, and Eddie actually feels better when he’s done.
She finishes the last of her gin and tonic and looks him right in the eye. “I know we just met, but can I be real with you?”
Eddie nods as he knocks back his own drink.
“Your plans suck.”
He laughs and almost shoots whiskey out of his nose. “Yeah, I think I’m starting to figure that out too.”
“Look — you love your boyfriend, right?” she asks as she hands him a napkin.
“Of course. More than anything.”
“And he loves you.”
He thinks about the way Buck looks at him, no matter where they are, like he's the only person worth looking at. How it took a little while, but now he actually feels worthy of a gaze like that. “Yeah, he does.”
She shrugs. “Then it sounds like you have nothing to worry about. You have each other — everything and everyone else is just background noise.”
It’s such a simple thing, something Eddie’s known for months now, but hearing it come from someone else gives his mind that final shove that makes everything click into place and finally stick. They do have each other, he and Buck are a team, on and off the clock. That’s not going to change, if anything because they’re both too stubborn and in too deep to let it change.
“I know you’re already a teacher, but you should seriously consider becoming a therapist if you ever switch careers.”
“Believe me, this is nothing compared to the middle school problems I deal with on a daily basis.”
He shudders at the very idea of dealing with that many 13 year olds. “I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but thanks.” Slumping back in his chair, he scrubs a hand over his face. “I don’t even know how to start fixing this.”
Chelsea hums, face scrunched as she thinks. “You said he’s at work right? With all your friends too?” Eddie nods. “Sounds like as good a time as any to tell them. And remind Buck that you're with him one hundred percent.”
Eddie’s never been one for big, romantic gestures, but she’s right, and this is for Buck. He’ll do pretty much anything for Buck.
He stands, takes some cash out of his wallet for their drinks and places it on the bar. “Thank you Chelsea, seriously. This was...weird, and not a good first impression of me, but you’re a lifesaver.”
She smiles that warm smile again, and it feels real, no trace of pity or awkwardness. “No problem, I’m happy to help. Maybe we can get coffee sometime, as friends? I didn’t get a chance to dive into my own relationship woes.”
“Deal,” he says, laughing as he hands her his phone to actually get her number. They hug goodbye, and he all but sprints out the door and back to his truck, mind already racing trying to figure out what the hell he’s going to do once he gets to the firehouse.
If he’s honest, this “date” really couldn’t have gone any better. He hopes the rest of his night turns out just as positive, too.
The team’s in between calls when Eddie finally arrives, which is great but also does not give him a lot of time to prepare himself for whatever comes next. Rationally, he knows everything will be fine — the team will be thrilled for them, Buck will be thrilled — but there’s still that nagging voice telling him that Chelsea was wrong and that everything’s going to blow up in his face.
He shoves that voice as far away as he can and walks into the station.
There’s no plan this time beyond “find Buck”, which he does pretty quickly once he gets up to the loft. Everyone else is up here too, it seems, but he sees Buck first, curled up on the couch and watching Hen and Chim play Super Smash Bros. He has that same blank look he had on his face when he left Eddie’s earlier, and Eddie hates it. But that’s exactly what he came here to fix.
Buck double takes when he notices him at the top of the stairs, slowly unfurling himself to stand. “What are you doing here?”
A thousand thoughts fly through his head, trying to coalesce into some sweeping romantic speech that would reassure Buck of all the things Eddie’s sure he’s doubting right now. But nothing feels right, nothing even begins to scratch the surface of what Eddie’s feeling, has been feeling for the past months. Everything is fleeting and empty, pale in comparison to the technicolor love he feels every time Buck so much as looks in his direction.
Words aren’t working, but Eddie really isn’t a man of words anyway — he is, however, and man of action.
“I’m communicating,” he says, taking three long strides across the loft to Buck, grabbing his face in both of his hands, and kissing him hard. He tastes like smoke and peppermint and something fundamentally Buck that Eddie’s addicted to, and he feels a smile against his lips as Buck kisses him back in earnest. He’s not sure if it’s been seconds or years when they finally pull away from each other, but they’re both breathless and Buck is glowing and Eddie doesn’t care about anything else.
“I love you,” he says, hands still on Buck’s cheeks. “And I’m sorry. I’m always on your team, as long as you’ll let me be there.”
Buck’s smile somehow gets even bigger. “Forever, ideally.”
Eddie’s laugh bubbles out of him as he leans back in, but stops when he hears a throat clearing somewhere to his right. He looks, and everyone — everyone, including people who were definitely downstairs when he got here — is staring at them with varying degrees of shock and excitement on their faces. Ripping the band-aid off works in his favor again.
“So,” Hen says slowly from the couch. “This is new.”
Eddie shrugs as he grabs Buck’s hand. “Not really. Unless six months old is new, I guess.”
“Six months old?”
“Closer to seven, actually,” Buck says.
There’s a clatter as Chim drops his controller and stands, arms up over his head. “That means I win!”
“Whoa, hold on, you do not—”
The loft erupts as everyone swarms Hen, talking technicalities and logistics of what was apparently a very elaborate betting pool. Buck hides his face in Eddie’s shoulder as he laughs.
“Do you think they’re actually happy for us?” Eddie asks. “Or mad that we screwed up their winnings?”
Buck looks up, resting his chin on Eddie’s shoulder. “Probably both. But I’m the real winner here.”
“And a huge cheeseball,” Eddie says.
“Better get used to it, because you’re not getting rid of me,” Buck says, winding his arms around Eddie’s waist and kissing him again.
“Forever, right?” Eddie asks as they break apart, foreheads resting together. All he sees are Buck’s eyes, sparkling blue in the light of the loft and so full of happiness — happiness because of Eddie — that he wants to drown in them.
“Yeah. Forever. No turning back now.”
Eddie likes the sound of that.
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ok pia, for sleepover weekend: if in s5 buddie were to go canon, how would you like to see it happen??
so my big problem here is the time jump in between seasons (and in the middle of the season too) because i would say i want it to happen the way i wrote it, but since we’re most likely gonna jump past eddie’s recovery, this is what i want:
we start season 5 with eddie having broken up with ana but we’re not told why except for how he wasn’t following his own heart as much as christopher’s. but he keeps acting jealous around taylor and the soft looks at buck have increased rather than decreased, so of course we all know anyway :) and then during the mid season finale, buck finally breaks up with taylor (notedly not mentioning eddie in his reasons why), and eddie confesses to carla (or hen, or bobby, or abuela, i’m really not picky) that he’s in love with buck. he also says that despite both of them being single now, he’s not gonna do anything because buck just got out of a relationship and also, what if he ruins their friendship?? so we head into the mid season hiatus with a confirmation of eddie’s feelings but nothing from buck yet, which gives us another half season of pining eddie, and i want A LOT of it, longing looks, lingering touches, whining to whoever is his confidante, the whole shebang. and then!!! in the season finale, buck confesses his feelings for eddie, confirming that he was indeed also looking at eddie longingly like we all of course noticed, but also to someone else (maddie probably). this is both for dramatic effect and because i don’t want them to get together at the end of the season right before another time jump that’ll keep us from seeing the early stages of their relationship. so: season 6 opens with another natural disaster - what haven’t we had? does the wildfire from the crossover count? no, let’s go with wildfire. anyway, it’s a big dramatic two-parter of course, and buck and eddie are still where we left them - mutual pining! but then they get separated and everything is chaos, there’s so much smoke and fire that it’s hard to keep track of everything, one company gets surrounded by fire and barely makes it out, and when they finally reunite, sooty and exhausted and still kind of terrified for each other, they crash into each other in a desperate hug, faces buried into the other’s neck and just holding on for dear life. and eddie says, “i can’t lose you” and buck looks at him for a long time and says, “eddie…”, like he’s about to remind him how dangerous their jobs are, and eddie grabs his face and says “i don’t wanna do any of this without you, buck. i love you” and buck says “thank god, me too. i mean, i love you too” and then they kiss :) and we get to watch a whole season of them figuring out how to navigate this change in their relationship :)
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If You Go Down In the Woods Today
Flynn has survived in the Ghost Zone for years, and as far as he knows, he’s the only human here. How does he react when some ghost kid turns human before his eyes? Prompt by @bibliophilea
word count: 1793
yo another one lets gooooo
Flynn was tending to his garden of blood blossoms surrounding his home on a floating island in the ghost zone when he saw a ghost floating towards him.
He didn’t recognize this one but the ghost didn’t seem to be doing too good. It looked as if exhaustion pulled on every fiber of his being as he got closer and closer to him. Once the ghost floated close enough, Flynn picked up his staff and approached.
“You’re not welcome here, ghost.”
The ghost blinked his eyes slowly, and out of synch, before they opened up wide. He stared at Flynn unmoving for an uncomfortable amount of time, and Flynn was about to try to dismiss the ghost again when he spoke up.
“What’s a human doing in the ghost zone?”
His speech was slurred, his arms hanging lazily by his sides and then suddenly, he was falling face first into the ground below him. Flynn stared at the ghost, stunned, and jumped when a bright flash of white appeared around his waist.
Rings traveled up and around his body, and in the place of the ghost was a clearly exhausted teenage boy. Flynn just stared at him, a panic of sorts filling him up.
“What the fuck?” He whispered. This ghost was also human? How was that even possible? Ectoplasm was far too toxic for it to coexist in a human. The only reason Flynn had lasted this long was because his garden fended off some of the ambient ectoplasm.
Flynn was about to pick the boy up and take him inside when he paused. Would the boy be okay inside his hut? It was surrounded by blood blossoms and if the human boy was a ghost, he could only imagine how painful that’d be.
After taking a few moments to think on it, Flynn ran inside and grabbed a blanket, a chair, and his ukulele. He headed back outside and laid the blanket over the sleeping boy and sat down in his chair, strumming his ukulele and humming a song.
If you go down in the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise
If you go down in the woods today, you'd better go in disguise
For every bear that ever there was will gather there for certain
Because today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.
Flynn spent about half an hour playing and humming along to songs he remembered from his childhood before the boy began to stir. The boy groaned and sat up, holding his head before his back went straight and looked around hurriedly.
He could see the boy look at him from the corner of his eye and was jumping up and turning to face him before halting as he stared at Flynn.
“You’re human.” He said, lowering his fists that he had raised.
“Yep.” Flynn said. “And so are you apparently.”
The boy’s brows furrowed. “You don’t know who I am?”
“No. Am I supposed to?” Flynn lived in the middle of the ghost zone, why would he know who this random kid is?
“I guess not. It’s just that all the ghosts knew who I was. I thought maybe someone would’ve mentioned me to you.”
Flynn hooked a thumb back to point at his house. “I don’t really want much to do with all the ghosts that live here. Most of them leave me alone but there are some I befriended as a kid. They bring me seeds and stuff so I have food to grow. But I hate most of the ghosts here.”
Suddenly, the boy's face brightened and he was hurriedly standing up, throwing the blanket aside.
“I can take you back to the human world! I can help you find your family. There’s a family of ghost hunters that live on the other side of a man made portal, the Fenton’s, my-”
The boy stopped. “Yeah. Jack and Maddie Fenton. They’re self proclaimed ghost experts.”
“This Jack Fenton. Is he a big guy with an orange suit?”
Giving Flynn a look, the boy continued slowly. “Yeah. Do you know him?”
“Maybe. My mom used to rib on my aunt’s boyfriend when they visited us at home.”
The boy’s eyes widened. “What was your mom’s name?”
Flynn watched as the boy’s eyes widened and he stared into the ground. His hands came up to cover his mouth.
“I always wondered why there were pictures of some random kid at aunt Alicia’s house that I’d never met before. I always asked but no one wanted to tell me.”
Flynn’s brows furrowed. “Who are you?”
The kid looked back up and met his eyes. “Danny Fenton. Your cousin.”
Flynn’s jaw dropped and he stared at Danny. A moment later another thought struck him.
“Wait, your parents are ghost hunters? And you’re some sort of ghost hybrid?”
Danny started waving his hands back and forth in front of him. “They don’t know I’m Phantom! So when I bring you home you can’t tell them! They can’t know.”
Flynn nodded. “Okay. You’re going to unpack that for me later. But you’re going to take me home just like that? You don’t even know me.”
Danny shrugged. “It’s just what I do, I’ve got a hero complex. Besides, you’re family apparently which makes this even more important.” He stood up and stretched, transforming back into his ghost form as those white rings appeared once again.
“Are you ready?”
Flynn looked at the staff next to him and the ukulele in his hands.
“Will I ever be able to come back? If I want to?” He asked.
Danny nodded. “I can bring you back any time.”
“Okay.” Flynn said, grabbing his staff and standing up.
Maddie walked into the kitchen when she heard it. A humming coming from downstairs. It didn’t sound like Jack, but it didn’t echo like it was a ghost. It must be Danny.
She walked down the stairs and the further down she got the more she realized it didn’t sound like Danny. But she did recognize the song. It was the one her mother sang to her and Alicia when they were little, the one she changed the lyrics to and sang to Danny when he was little.
She reached the bottom of the steps, hoping that it would somehow be Jack or Danny, but she was instead met with a young man with red hair and Phantom.
“Spook!” Maddie shouted and she started racing for her gun before she was interrupted by frantic waving coming from Phantom.
“No! You have to call your sister!”
She stared at him confused. “My sister?”
Phantom gestured at the young man beside him who looked at Maddie nervously.
“My name is Flynn. I think you’re my aunt.”
Maddie stared at him with wide eyes, her gun clattering to the floor. That should be impossible. He shouldn’t have been able to survive that long in the ghost zone, especially when he was a child but…
That song. He had Alicia’s eyes.
Maddie’s eyes filled up with tears as she took him in. “Oh my god.” She whispered, covering her mouth.
She walked over, looking up at him. “May I?” She asked.
She threw her arms around her nephew’s shoulders and pulled him close to her. Her tears turned into sobs.
“We thought we had lost you. Your mother looked for you for so long.”
Maddie pulled away and took a deep breath. “Come on, let’s go upstairs and call her. We’ll have to fly her out here immediately.”
She started walking back up the stairs but turned around before she reached them, meeting Phantom’s eyes.
“Thank you, Phantom.”
She started heading back up the stairs. Once she reached the kitchen, she picked up the phone on the counter and dialed her sister’s number. As it rang, she heard a door open upstairs and Danny’s soft mumbling.
“Danny! Come downstairs! I have someone you need to meet.”
His footsteps padded into the kitchen behind her and she turned around. He was looking at Flynn with a puzzled expression on his face.
“Hi mom, uh, who’s this?”
“Hello, Alicia speaking.”
Maddie took a deep breath. “Hi Alicia. I have some very important news for you. We found your son, Flynn.”
There was a big pause over the line and Maddie looked up to see Danny’s eyes were almost comically wide. She heard Alicia take a deep breath over the line.
“You better not be pulling my leg, Maddie.”
Maddie gasped. “Alicia! I would never! Here, Flynn, come say hi to your mother.”
She beckoned Flynn over to her and handed him the phone.
He grabbed the phone from her hand and looked at it before slowly bringing it up to his ear.
Maddie could hear Alicia’s muffled voice from where she stood. “Is that really you, Flynn?”
Flynn’s eyes widened and filled with tears as he choked up at hearing his mother’s voice. “Yeah, mom, it’s really me.”
A loud sniffle made it’s way over the phone. “Dear lord. I thought we’d never find you. I lost all hope. You can bet your butt I’m booking the first flight out of town. I need to see my baby boy.”
Flynn chuckled. “Not much of a baby anymore.”
“Hush, you’ll always be my baby. We’ve got years to make up for anyways.” Alicia said. “Anyways, as much as I’d love to chat I am going to stay by my word and start packing to catch a flight out there. I can’t wait a moment longer. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
When the dial tone sounded through the phone, Flynn handed it back to Maddie. She took it and placed it back on the receiver.
“Danny, why don’t you help Flynn find a change of clothes so he can take a shower. I’ll work on calling Jazz and your father and letting them know they need to come home.”
“Mom do we even have anything that’ll fit him? Dad is a brick house and I’m way too short.”
Maddie nodded, picking up the phone and punching in the number for Jack’s cellphone. “If you rummage around your father’s closet there should be a box full of Vlad’s clothes from college.”
Danny wrinkled his nose at that. “I don’t even want to know.” He waved a hand at Flynn. “Come on, let’s go see what dad stole from the fruitloop.”
As the phone rang and the boys headed upstairs, Maddie missed the whispered thank that Flynn gave to Danny and the smile he got back in return. The ringing stopped and she heard Jack’s voice on the other end of the line.
“Jack, honey. I have some wonderful news.”
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A prompt, submitted for the amazing writer's approval, connecting my last one and the planned AU. Maddie, now an old woman who looks more like Danny's grandmother than his mom, contemplates if she had made the right choice- he would be young for a long time yet, but at what cost?
Referring to this fic where a slow-aging Danny attends Sam’s funeral and my Planned ficlet series.
“Wait a second, sweetie.” Maddie held on to one of the grocery store shelves and bent over slightly to catch her breath.
“You okay?” Danny wheeled the cart back to her side.
“Yes, I’m fine.” She let go of the shelf. “Just very old.”
Danny held her arm. “I told you I could just get everything on my own.”
“I like the exercise. Walking around the store is pretty much how I stay in shape now.”
“But would you rather just wait for me at the front? Or maybe in the car? I could walk you back there.” Danny paused. “Or fly you back. If you needed me to.”
Maddie laughed and patted his shoulder. “You’re too good to me, dear. But I’ll be fine.”
She prodded him to move forward, and he obeyed. Like he always did even after all these decades.
After they finished finding what they needed, Danny pushed the full cart toward an open cashier and began loading everything on the conveyor belt. Maddie waited near the credit card reader and simply watched him, smiling at the strength and vitality he still possessed.
She had promised him long ago that she would not conduct any experiments on him after he revealed his ghostly secret to her. But he still had no idea she was the one who rigged the portal to shock him in the first place.
She couldn’t experiment on him, but he couldn’t stop her from marveling at what she had created. He was her finest work even if she could never tell him.
“Hi, Maddie!” greeted the cashier as she ran produce and meat along the scanner. “Good to see you, as always.”
“Hello, dear,” said Maddie. “Another week’s worth of groceries.”
The cashier smiled at Danny. “Is this your grandson?”
“Yes, this is my grandson,” said Maddie. “He’s visiting for the week. That’s why we’re stocking up on all this junk food.”
“Oh, I see.” The cashier scanned a pack of snack cupcakes. “What grade are you in?”
Danny blinked, his eyes darting before he looked at the cashier again. “Oh, me? What… What grade am I in?”
“Yes.” The cashier studied him with pinched eyebrows. “Oh, are you not in high school anymore? Sorry, you just look so young. But I understand. My daughter is in her third year of university and people still think she’s a teenager.”
Danny nodded and mumbled some reply as he continued to place items on the conveyor belt.
“So are you going to school?” asked the cashier. “Or is it online? Are you just taking a week off to be with your mom?”
“His school’s spring break is early,” said Maddie, seeing the sweat dewing on the back of Danny’s neck. “He just wanted to spend it with his parents.”
“Aw, that’s so sweet.” The cashier scanned the last of the items. “Well, I bet my daughter would love you if you ever want to meet her! Sometimes she stops by here.”
“I’m married,” muttered Danny.
“What was that? I didn’t catch it.”
“What’s the total, dear?” asked Maddie. She watched Danny out of the corner of her eye as he moved to place the bagged items into their cart. He kept his face down.
“Have a wonderful week, you two!” the cashier called after them as they left. Danny continued to look down as he wheeled the cart outside into the parking lot.
“Sorry,” mumbled Danny.
Maddie held his shoulder to balance herself as she walked. “Sorry for what, sweetie?”
“She thought you were my grandmother.”
“Danny, that wasn’t your fault. Why are you apologizing?”
“I don’t know.” Danny exhaled shakily. “I just didn’t realize it would be like...like this.”
“Didn’t realize what would be like this?”
“My ghost side slowing my aging so much. It sounded nice at first, but now my own kids look older than me and people think my mom is my grandma and how long until my kids look like my parents or even grandparents?”
They reached the car, but Danny did not pull out the keys to unlock it. His hands gripped the cart tighter.
Maddie rubbed his back. “I know it’s been tough. We’ve already had to create a couple new identities for you.”
“Yeah. Easy for a ghost to disappear. Especially when you have Vlad to help.”
“Vlad’s aging is not as slow as yours, but I think he will still be around a long time to continue to help you.”
“You mean after you and Dad are gone?”
Maddie smiled wistfully.
“And after everyone else is gone,” whispered Danny.
A cool breeze whistled past, causing Maddie to shiver and tighten her coat against her.
“I’m just sorry.” Danny unlocked the car and opened the passenger door for Maddie. “Sorry for being like this.”
Danny helped Maddie get into the car before loading the trunk with their groceries. Maddie watched him in the rearview mirror.
She didn’t want him to apologize. She had created him, both as a human and a ghost. And he was exactly what she wanted.
But what did Danny want?
What did he want to be?
Danny climbed into the driver’s seat and buckled his seat belt. Maddie’s veiny hand reached for his face. He allowed her to stroke his cheek but did not respond to it.
“You will be okay, Danny,” she said softly. “I made sure of that.”
Danny turned to her, looking confused. Maddie gave him her most reassuring smile.
Then he turned away and started the car. Maddie faced forward, still smiling.
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mutuals appreciation post!
i seriously CANNOT at all process this
literally i do not know how this even happened but i am so inexplicably grateful for every single one of you! i love all of you so so much!
i was maybe thinking about making a sleepover but school has been kicking my ass lately so i just decided on making a little mutuals appreciation post! to all my other mutuals, i love all of you so much and i literally want to smother all of you with hugs and kisses. i am so grateful for all of you. thank you.
this might be a little long so it’s under the cut! there might be a lot of mistakes snsjd
@lunaleonorah leo!!! you are an absolute blessing. i love your kindness and the amount of affection you give me literally makes me wanna break down and scream. in a good way of course sjjs. i love our conversations where we just talk about our days and all that. i wish we could always be friends and you can tell me anything you’d like. i love our friendship because we can talk to each other whenever we’d like and will always bring comfort to each other. i always look forward to having conversations with you everyday. ilysm and you deserve the world <3 all the love, pluto.
@gredmforge rory, my wife! i love talking to you about nonsense, it always makes my day and your fun and carefree personality always makes me smile. no doubt that we will be great friends in real life. the little asks you send in my inbox always make me laugh and i’m very excited for whatever future works you have. you always seemed so nice and sweet ever since i first interacted with you and i am so happy that i asked you where you got your memes because look what that got us to! shsjdjd. no but seriously, i love talking to you about our obsessions and just saying hello to each other. ilysm and i hope you always remember that! :) <3
@crookedhag my lovely eliz, i’m too lazy to make another one of those fancy scrolls that i did earlier but that doesn’t stop me from showin gmy appreciation for you. you are such a sweet and amazing person. you are also so talented and i am always so happy to see your name pop up on my notifications. you were always the first one to send me an ask for ask games and you always check in on me and i love you for that. i wish the very best in everything you do. you have great taste in music and i’m starting to think that you’re in every single fandom i don’t know jsjsj. but i love talking to you and ily! mwah! ◡̈
@oldschoolkiddo hero! the first time you ever interacted with me, i already knew that i would love having you around. you are such a fun person and all the tag games that you make and tag me in are always so fun! you are an independent person and i love that so much. you speak your mind and that is so powerful. you are so very sweet and your personality is so fun. i hope that you have many great days in the future and you can always talk to me whenever you need to. let me know if you want a distraction from anything or if you just want to rant, i will be here. ily!
@krasivayadarling my lovely ant! i am so very glad that i built up the courage to say hi to you when you made that post saying you wanted to be friends with new people. you are one of the best people i’ve ever met and you are so sweet, kind, talented, funny, and supportive. i am also so grateful for your support in my fics. you were my first ever supporter and i was really nervous for someone to read my works but you were so nice about it and i love that. i wish you all the best. ily, ant! sincerely, soap.
@whatthefuckimbisexual the loveliest persephone, you are such a bad bitch. JSJS NO BUT SRSLY ILYSM. you are such a fun person and i love how we can relate to each other a lot. i mean, staying up til 3 am and fuck aral pan yk? ejekdj. i really wish you the best in everything and i hope that we can interact more! you are truly one of the most fun and energetic people i’ve ever met and you are so very sweet and funny. thank you for being a great person! all the love <3
@falconxbarnes maddie! you add such a sweet and great person and when you reblog and like my posts, my heart fills with joy! your blog brings me so much comfort and i love our short little conversations. you remind me of going out at 5 am when the sun is almost out. the joy is always evident when that happens just like how i feel when i talk to you! i wish to eat pancit canton with you one day! i really wish you the best in everything and you deserve so many good things. mwah!
@amourtentiaa liane! you are literally so talented and it amazes me every time i read your works. you are so fun and chill and seeing your name always makes me happy! your blog page is filled with so much comfort in my opinion and our first conversation ever was so fun and you are so polite. you also really remind me of the night. i can’t explain why but like i said, you are chill and brings me a lot of comfort! i really love the way you interact with others as you are so kind. i hope you are doing well and always will feel well. ily, yannie!
@puntuations oh my gosh, ysa! you followed me first and i didn’t exactly understand why because you seemed too cool and mature for me djdj. but i am so glad you did and i am so grateful that you’re my friend. thank you for tagging me in dps related things! i really love that and it brings me so much joy. you were always so kind to me no matter what and you are so respectful. i appreciate you and your blog always makes me smile. thank you for being an amazing friend. ilysm, ysa. mwah!
@tofeeltaller joy! you bring me so much joy! sjdndjdn sorry, i had to. you are so so sweet and kind. i was always so scared to interact with dps blogs because they seemed intimidating but so nice at the same time (idk why i’m sorrydhjd), i thought y’all were too cool for me and i didn’t know how to approach you guys but after i got the courage to talk to you, i felt a lot more comfortable. you are so sweet and kind and you deserve so much more blessings. you truly are an amazing person and i hope that your days will get better and better. giving you so many warm hugs and kisses, mwah!
@lolremuslupin dkndkx omg you are so sweet! i don’t interact with you much but we do talk sometimes. i am also very glad that i decided to pm you to try and make new friends and you were so kind about it. you are such an amazing person and i love staying up at 3 am talking to you about random crap. i wish that your life will go well and that you are always safe! warm hugs!
@punkrific soaf, my twin! i really love talking to you and your energy is always so great. you are an amazing and fun person and having a twin like you always makes me feel like the luckiest ever. i am so so grateful to have you as a friend and your dashing personality always gets me. ilysm and i wish you the best! love, the ugly sofia <3
@freddieweasleyswife sweets! i’ve never met someone as sweet and kind as you are. you’re an amazing person and you deserve so much and you are so talented. i wish to write like you one day. my day is always better when I see your name in my notifications being friends with someone as amazing as you are is so great and i wosh to interact with you more. i miss talking to you and you’re always so kind and ready to comfort anyone. ilysm and you deserve the world. sincerely, sweetpea. <3
@sam-winchester-is-my-bitch rae! i love talking to you and seeing your pets! you are so kind, sweet and understanding and you really know how to make me smile. whenever i talk to you, it’s always so wholesome and nice and you give off so much good vibes. you really are like the color yellow to me, sunny, nice, but can be serious at times. but is always ready to cheer someone up. i wish you the best in everything and i hope that we can talk more! all the love <3
@daltonacademia kendi! i know you’re on a short hiatus at the moment but i just had to add you in here. i really hope that you are doing well and i hope you know that your writing is literally one of the best that i’ve ever read. you are so sweet and kind and you always have that little fun and sunny personality and i love talking to you so much. you are so respectful and you deserve so much. i’m sending you all the love and comfort. you are amazing and i hope you know that. stay safe, kendi! i really love that nicknamejsjs
@thatswhywilliamagedlikesourmilk dear! i am so glad that you followed my page and i am so so grateful that i’m friends with you. you are one of the best people ever and you are so so sweet. the most adorable person ever! talking to you feels like hugging a teddy bear and i am aware that that doesn’t make much sense but it just feels so comfy and brings me joy. i really hope that you’re doing well because you also deserve everything! sending you so many hugs <3 mwah!
@fredweasleyismyloverman alex, my dear! you are so kind and nice! i’m really glad i followed you. just a little fun fact, i actually found you through ant or @krasivayadarling . i was reading through some people who she gave ships to and i saw yours and i was like “oh my gosh, this person and i are literally the same.” and i went crazy because it looked almost exactly the same as my description hdjdjd. i’m actually not that sure if it went like that but that’s how i recalled it so i just always remember thatsbns. i literally relate to you so much and your shitposts give me life. you are so wise and amazing and i would love to talk to you more! ily, dear! mwah <3
@daisyyy2516 daze, dear! i am so happy that sab led ke to your page! literally, you are so damn talented and i just cannot i am always so amazed every time you show your works. you are so kind and sweet and such an icon. you bring me so much joy and everything you’ve ever said to me has always been something sweet and funny. ilysm and you deserve the world. i’d like if you dm’ed me once you’ve gotten your work displayed at some huge art exhibition. you are so amazing and i want you to know that. everything will be better. i appreciate you and i am so glad that you are in this world. i love you sm, daze. frd weasley loves you too. all the love and joy, soaf.
@sirlorelai lorie!! you are so nice and kind and sweet. i’m very glad that you weren’t angry at me spam reblogging your postsjsjd. i love our conversations and i wish we could talk more! you are such a kind and funny person and everything you’ve ever done has put a smile to my face. you are so fun and energetic and i love that. i hope that life is going well over there and that everything will be better if it isn’t at the moment. you deserve so much and ilysm, mwah!
@quadrupledeckertaco lorelei, dear! i miss talking to you! i really love our conversations and your soft but fierce personality is so great and it brings me so much joy. your writing is literally so amazing and like i said, i aspire to write like you one day. i miss you so much and i really hope that everything’s well. i wish you the best and sending you so much love, sofia. <3
and to all my other mutuals! thank you! i love all of you so much and interacting with all of you brings me so much joy. thank you for everything. have a great day everyone!
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AJ, my dear! Hello! Buddie + 21. Person A taking an interest in Person B’s niche interest? <3
“You know your favorite sweater of mine?”
“Buck! You told me you got that at a limited pop-up store! Wait, does that mean you can make me -”
“No!” Buck rushed, “Absolutely not.”
[607 words | fluff]
Eddie walked into Buck’s loft one evening when Christopher had a spontaneous sleepover with Denny. He wanted to surprise his boyfriend, sue him.
He finds said boyfriend asleep on the couch. Parks and rec playing softly on the tv. There is some rumpled paper on the coffee table. And he is wrapped in a blanket Eddie has never seen before, and in his hands, delicately wrapped in his fingers is...yarn? And needles?
Sensing Eddie’s presence Buck’s eyes flutter open, and when he goes to stretch, a bright red flush burns his face. It passes but his blue eyes are still wide.
“You know how to knit?” Eddie asks softly with a look of pure adoration on his face,
“Uh, yeah.” Buck gulps,
“Why is it such a big secret?”
“It’s just nice to have something that is all mine.”
“I’m really sorry, I should have called, I-”
“Eds, it’s fine. You knowing is different. Like how I am your “not people” person. Now come here and sit.”
Eddie smiles, “Oh. Okay. What are you making?”
“I am making Maddie a sweater for her birthday,” Buck says, taking the paper from the coffee table to show Eddie the pattern.
“Can I see what you have made so far?”
Buck spreads out what appears to be the mostly finished back panel of the sweater, it is covered with intricate and delicate intertwining stitches that appear to be going over and under each other.
“Buck...This is beautiful.” Eddie says, tracing the lines with his fingers gently, as if it would all unravel if he touched too much.
“Thank you.” Buck replied, the blush returning to his cheeks.
“Is there anything that I have seen before that you have made?”
“You know your favorite sweater of mine?”
“Buck! You told me you got that at a limited pop-up store! Wait, does that mean you can make me -”
“No!” Buck rushed, “Absolutely not.”
Eddie’s face falls immediately,
“It’s not that I wouldn’t love to! There’s this, umm, thing, it’s called the Sweater Curse.”
Confusion contorts Eddie’s face,
“If I make you a sweater, we’ll break up.”
The creases in Eddie’s furrowed brow deepen,
“It’s this thing with knitters, and I have first hand experience with it. So I am not taking any chances with you.”
“So no sweater…”
“Until we’re married.” And for the second time Buck’s eyes grow wide, and he gulps.
“Okay, until then, tell me more about this sweater here. Like is there a special name for this?” Eddie asks tracing the lines again,
Buck takes a moment so he can breathe again,
“Yeah, this is a technique called cabling. It originated in Ireland, well specifically the Aran Islands. It creates a thicker fabric making the sweater warmer. That and with the waterproof properties of untreated wool make a really great sweater for fishermen. There are a couple theories on the patterns. One is that they are a family tradition, and can be used to identify a specific clan if a fisherman drowns. The other is that they are symbolic of the ropes that are a part of the job, represent hope and will bring good luck.”
“Can we just watch tv now?”
Buck just turns the volume up a few notches and settles back into knitting, glancing up at the show every once and awhile.
Eddie barely knows what is happening on the tv because he is just watching his boyfriends fingers expertly weave together a masterpiece.
And a few years later, on their one year wedding anniversary, Eddie opens a box to a beautiful deep maroon cardigan that he will cherish forever.
The Sweater Curse
History of Cables
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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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