Author: Trevor the Enchanter PM
While on a trip, Jack thinks about Danny and remembers things from the past.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Angst - Jack F. - Words: 2,556 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 5 - Published: 07-16-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6148345
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I got the idea for this story based on a review I received about "Broken". It gives another look into Jack and Maddie's relationship. There are a few references to "Broken" but you don't need to read it to understand this one-shot, though I would of course appreciate it if you do.
X X X X X X X X X X
Jack hauled the briefcases into the Fenton RV. He didn't exactly look forward to this trip, but Maddie insisted and there was no way he was going to be able to change her mind about this.
"Jack, try to get along with Alicia this time." Maddie lectured. "I know you don't like each other, but don't scream at her like you did before. She is my sister, remember?"
Although anyone who knew him would think it was out of character, Jack kept his mouth shut. There was a reason he hated Alicia, one that Maddie refused to see.
He looked at Jazz and Danny. Jazz looked bored with it; her life had been pretty much all-consumed by her schoolwork. Jack was immensely proud of her, managing to become a straight-A student. Even if she decided not to go into ghost hunting, he'd support her in anything she decided to do.
Lately, though, she and Danny had gotten closer. Until a few months ago, they frequently fought, but now they were nearly inseparable. Wherever he saw Jazz, he saw Danny. He knew something happened to change their relationship, but damned if he knew what.
Just wish they would tell us what was going on in their lives. Jack thought to himself, but he knew that at that age, kids frequently didn't. He didn't tell his own father very much, and getting angry when he asked him about it.
He sometimes felt guilty about appearing distant. Although they didn't realize it, he knew his children complained about him behind his back, and on some level, they had a reason to. Jack was always involved in building one invention or another, constantly talking about his various ideas, although he still couldn't figure out why all his ghost detectors pointed to Danny.
Still, whenever they asked him to help him, Jack was always willing to listen. True, he made mistakes in the past, but he looked out for his children as best he could. Whenever they needed someone to talk to, he was there if only they would reach out.
Lately, though, both of them had withdrawn from them. He looked at Danny and gave him a small smile. Danny smiled back, trying to act nonchalant, but Jack had been a father long enough to know when he was hiding something. Lately, he had been coming back with unexplained bruises and when he asked him about it, Danny dismissed him.
"Just some idiots as school." He was told. "Nothing I can't deal with." Jack was immediately ready to confront them, go to the principal and demand action be taken to stop it. Danny grinned nervously and shook his head, asking him not to. Jack was frustrated, wanting to help his son, but if he refused, what could he do?
"You drive, Maddie." Jack told his wife. "I have a lot of things on my mind. I need to figure out how to write some of these blueprints so we can catch that Danny Phantom that's terrorizing us. And yes, Jasmine, I know you think he's good, but he's still a ghost and you know what that means."
What he told Maddie was true, but only part of the truth. Lately, he hadn't been paying too much attention to ghosts, although he appeared that way to reassure his wife that nothing was wrong. She was obviously surprised at his asking, since he loved driving in the RV.
That reminds me; Danny's going to get his learner's permit in a few months. Jack thought. Good thing I had those extra airbags installed! True, could always use more weapons, but we need to protect ourselves from ghosts as well.
He gave Danny's shoulder a brief pat and then turned around, lost in old memories.
X X X X X X X X X X
"Still can't believe you listen to that fool!" He heard Alicia say in the background while he watched his kids swim. 12-year-old Jazz and 10-year-old Danny were playing in the creek, splashing each other, laughing.
"We're ghost researchers, Alicia." Maddie replied. "I believe in them too; we've had plenty of evidence for spectral encounters." Jack stopped paying attention and kept watching over his kids. True, they may have been old enough to look after themselves, but you could never be sure.
Danny had proven himself to be an excellent swimmer, despite poor performances in other sports. He laid down on his back and moved his arms, swimming around Jazz, who was standing chest-deep in the water, hesitating to move.
"Danny, I'm getting out of the water." Jazz told him. "I'm getting uncomfortable. Wish my friends were here, or at least a book. There's nothing to do here."
"Come on, sis, just have fun!" Danny laughed, shoving her gently. "You're it, Jazz!"
"I don't want to play, ok?" She snapped. "I just want to get out!"
"Chicken!" Danny teased. They continued arguing until she stormed out.
"Daddy, why does Danny do that to me?" she asks. "I've been reading a psychology book, and it says that it could be because he isn't getting enough attention, or something like that."
"Princess, Danny's just trying to play with you." Jack explained to his daughter. "You enjoy being inside, while he loves to play outdoors. He likes you and wants to play with you."
Later, Danny decided to take one of her books and read it at the pier, his feet in the water. Predictably, Jazz started screaming at him to give it back, while he protested that he had a right to read it too.
"Jazz, let Danny read the book for a while." Jack tried to mediate. "He'll give it back to you, won't you?" He knew how possessive Jasmine was of her books, but he wasn't going to let her take it from Danny.
"Piss off, Jasmine!" Danny stated. Jack frowned at him, but knew he probably heard those words from him. These days, they could hardly even go to Kindergarten without hearing them.
Jazz started screaming at him again; Danny had enough and threw the book in the water. Before Jack could do anything, Jazz slapped him across the face; Danny responded by punching her in the stomach.
"Enough, both of you!" Jack shouted. He rarely lost his temper, bur enough was enough. "How many times do I have to tell you not to hit each other? Jasmine, apologize to Danny. Danny, apologize to Jasmine." After both of them giving the other insincere apologies, he took them back to the cabin. "Both of you, stay in there until I say you can come out." He walked inside himself and took Jasmine's books, wanting to punish her as well.
"What happened, Jack?" Maddie asked.
"Danny and Jasmine got into a fight." Jack explained. "Each of them hit the other, so I had a few words with them. I'll let them out in about an hour or so."
"You're not being firm enough with him, you moron." Alicia snarled. "You have to be tough with him; you know what he'll become if you don't!"
They had this argument before and he was not about to change his mind. Ignoring her, he turned to Maddie and explained everything that happened. She nodded and agreed with them, walking into the house to have a few words with them herself.
Later that day, Danny and Jasmine were doing their own thing, saying a few things to each other but otherwise keeping silent. Jack was keeping a quiet eye on them, making sure nothing started again. Thankfully, things stayed calm.
During the night, Jack was unable to get to sleep. This happened quite frequently, usually when he was thinking of ideas for ghost weapons. Unfortunately, he and Maddie were not able to get much funding, so most of them never managed to come to fruition. He heard a muffled sound around the house. Jack scratched his head, wondering if he was hearing things.
When he heard it a second time, he decided to find out where it was coming from. It became louder as he got closer to the basement. Jack still wasn't sure what it was, maybe a ghost, but he intended to find out. When he opened the door, his eyes widened in horror.
Danny was lying on the floor in a crying heap. His eyes were black, his body covered in bruises, and Jack saw lashes all over his back, many of them bleeding. However, what was even worse than what he just saw was the one who was standing over him. Alicia glared death at the boy, a belt in her eyes.
"You think you can treat woman that way, you worthless little shit!" Alicia screamed at him. "Not a chance, boy! You're going to learn a good lesson!"
"GET THE HELL AWAY FROM MY SON!" Jack screamed at her. He had never felt so angry in his life. "What possible right do you have to do this to him?"
"He hit his sister, and he's going to pay." Alicia growled. "All you men are alike, thinking you can do whatever you want to women without any consequences!"
"Aunt Alicia, I'm sorry!" Danny sobbed. "I didn't mean it!"
"Shut up!" She screamed in reply, smashing her foot into his stomach. "You think you're sorry now, boy? Just wait until I'm done with you! I'll be damned if I'm going to let you grow up into an abuser and rapist!"
Jack gave a howl of rage and threw Alicia into the wall, glaring at her with pure hate. "NOTHING gives you the right to hit my son!" Jack screamed. "He doesn't deserve any of this!"
"Bullshit; he deserves everything and more! Why am I not surprised? You bastards always protect each other; no one cared when I was going through hell! He is not going to do that to my niece!"
"And have you forgotten that he is your nephew, your family? He loved you! You disgust me, Alicia! You claim all of us are horrible, but look at what you're doing to a boy!"
"He deserves it! You do not mistreat a woman, no matter what!"
"And you do not beat a child! You're going to regret this!"
"Now you're going to go after me? I always told Maddie you were worthless, and you've just proved it to me!"
"The only one here who is worthless is you!" Their shouting had gotten their attention. Jasmine and Maddie entered the room, both of them kneeling next to Danny. He whimpered, curling into a ball.
"Don't hurt me, please; I promise I'll be good!" he cried.
"What happened to you, sweetie?" Maddie asked. "Jasmine, go to the living room; we need to help him." Jazz thought about protesting, but reluctantly nodded, tears filling her eyes.
"You aren't firm enough with your son; he should know better than to mistreat a woman." Alicia explained, now perfectly calm. Jack was resisting the urge to strangle his sister in law.
They left the next day. Jack protested to Maddie, telling her that they should tell the police and have her locked away. She refused, not wanting to have her sister locked up. "You need to understand, Jack." She told her husband. "She's had a lot to deal with in her life. You remember what our childhoods were alike."
"I know, Maddie, but it doesn't excuse what she did to Danny!" Jack screamed at her. He couldn't believe Maddie was saying this. He was used to her being calm and logical; trying to overlook her sister's actions was something he never expected from her.
"I know, Jack, and I'm not condoning it, but she's still my sister. It's not easy for her to see a man, especially when Jazz and Danny got into a fight. I know he didn't deserve that, but don't dismiss her as a horrible person. She bears a lot of scars and unlike me, she didn't find a decent man who could make her feel loved."
They continued arguing, until Jack realized that he wasn't going to get anywhere. Deep down, Maddie had to know she was wrong, but why would she excuse her sister? True, neither of their pasts were pleasant, but it did not justify beating a 10-year-old child half to death!
They ultimately had to send him to the hospital, which was another unpleasant experience. The police were called and Jack was the immediate suspect. He told them that Alicia was the one who had done this. However, when Danny refused to say anything and Maddie couldn't bring herself to throw her sister behind bars, their attention was once again drawn back to him.
X X X X X X X X X X
Even after 5 years, Jack shuddered at the memory. He nearly lost custody of his children because of that. Maddie told them he didn't do anything, but since she didn't say who did, he stayed a suspect. Eventually, they had to let him go, but he still spent over a year having a case worker visit the home.
It was a difficult time on Danny as well. Every time he and Jasmine got into a fight for the last month, he trembled, expecting to be hit and punished. Jack had a heart-to-heart with her, which reduced the amount of fighting, but didn't stop it. Jazz told him Alicia should be punished, even if Danny did hit her.
Jack had to admit, he did have some sympathy for Alicia. She was abused, just as Maddie was, and ended up in one bad relationship after another.
He looked back at Danny again. He was trying to act calm, but Jack saw fear in his eyes. It broke his heart, and now they were going back to the very person who did that to him?
I won't let her hurt you again, son. Jack promised himself. If she does anything, she will regret it, the consequences be damned.
X X X X X X X X X X
Well, I hope you enjoyed the story. You might wonder why Maddie was being foolish. Well, I've seen and done it before; people can be pretty foolish when it comes to their loved ones. They'll excuse their actions, try to understand them.
Have some experience with that. I was never beaten half to death the way Danny was in my story, but I've had people say to me pretty much what Maddie told Jack.