A/N: Hey all! This is my first Danny Phantom fic, so please be kind and read and review!
One Sunday afternoon, fourteen-year-old Danny Fenton was sitting at his bedroom desk working on his homework when his dad Jack suddenly burst through the door.
"Danny! I just remembered!" Jack said forcefully, in a tone usually reserved for babbling about ghosts.
"Remembered what?" Danny asked in confusion. It was probably something about ghosts (it was his dad, after all), but it could be important for later reference. His dad did have a habit of mentioning important things at random.
But what Jack said next were the seven dreaded words that Danny had never wanted to hear in a sentence directed towards him. Words that still caused nightmares since their first utterance back at the beginning of junior high.
"Son," Jack said proudly, "It's time we had the Talk."
Danny's textbook hit the floor as he made an instinctual, desperate dash for his bedroom door, the only way out of his room without alerting his dad to his half-ghost status. Jack, however, had seemingly been counting on this, because he grabbed Danny's arm as he went by and whirled him back around so that Danny ended up sitting at the foot of his bed.
"Now, Danny, there's nothing to worry about. I know this is a little uncomfortable---"
"A little uncomfortable!" Danny yelped in panic. "Dad, we already had this talk three years ago! Why do you want to put me through it again!"
Jack chuckled and patted Danny's shoulder absently. "Aw, Danny, that was just the basic overview. The Talk---Part One. Now that you've entered high school, it's time for The Talk---Part Two."
"You never said anything about there being a 'Part Two'!"
Jack laughed. "Of course there's a Part Two! When you first heard this, you were too young to handle some of the concepts. But now, since you're older and more mature, I think you're ready for the full deal."
"The full deal! I'm not ready for the full deal!" From you, his mind cried. Unbidden, memories of his first experience with the Talk flashed through his mind, and as he remembered the Talk itself, he remembered the results of the Talk. He had avoided female contact whenever possible for a solid month afterwards---including his mom, Jazz, and Sam---because he was terrified that they would reveal their true forms of blood-sucking succuba and come after him if he got them angry.
Danny started shaking in terror. His dad, true to form, took the shaking the wrong way. "You're cold? Danny, is there a ghost in your room!" Jack began to look around determinedly. Danny shook his head, and Jack slumped his shoulders in disappointment. "Darn it. Anyways, getting back to the Talk. I think you're ready for the full deal, and I know you have questions that you wouldn't feel comfortable going to your mother or sister with."
"True," Danny conceded reluctantly, "But couldn't I just go to the Sex Education Counselor at school and ask any questions I have there?"
"Danny," Jack started, and Danny cringed. He recognized his dad's tone. It was the 'son-I'm-doing-this-for-your-own-good' tone. "I know there are some parents out there who are content to let television and other people raise their children because they want to be their child's friend rather than their parent. But Danny, I'm not your friend. I'm your father. And as such, it is my responsibility to guide you through the early stages of your young life, through the good and the bad, the easy and the difficult, the pleasant and the uncomfortable. It is my responsibility to overcome my own reservations, grit my teeth, and do the very best at raising you that I can, and hope that I can eventually send you out into the world as a productive, well-adjusted adult whom I can be friends with."
Danny sighed. He couldn't deny that his dad made sense, but it didn't make him any more willing to sit through a second Talk. But he couldn't seem to weasel his way out of it, either. He was trapped.
Jack sat down next to his son and began The Talk. "Now son, long ago, when the first living creatures were just crawling their way out of the primordial ooze---"
Danny sighed again and put his chin in his hands. It was going to be a long, extremely uncomfortable afternoon.
Danny was right. His dad had been talking for almost four hours straight, and he showed no signs of stopping. His afternoon already completely shot, Danny decided to try and settle in for a long, extremely uncomfortable evening.
He had no idea how uncomfortable until a few minutes later, when Jack started using himself and Danny's mom as examples in the lecture.
"And then, on our next date, we---"
"Dad, please! I don't want to hear about you and Mom!" Danny covered his ears with his hands, telling himself to mentally block out the words and concentrate on other, non-mortifying things, like baby ducks.
"Danny, it's important that you have reference points to go back to when you encounter these situations in real life. I don't want you to have to learn these things the hard way!"
"You don't call this the hard way!"
"No, son; the hard way is living it. Now, as I was saying, on our next date, we---"
Danny grabbed one of his pillows and tried to cover his ears. If his dad's hidden agenda was to make sure Danny would be the world's first astronaut priest, he was doing an extremely good job of it.
Danny had to hand it to his dad. Only Jack Fenton could come up with a Talk that combined human reproduction, wolf pack social structure, ice-cream making, and liberal amounts of ghost-related comments and come up with something that actually made sense.
"---and that's why, when you're out on your own, if you're making ice cream you want to have bought your ingredients that very day."
"So the sugar pixies won't have gotten to them and made them too sweet for safe human consumption?" Danny asked carefully, hoping that this meant Jack was winding up.
"Exactly!" Jack roared in triumph. "And that concludes the Talk. Now, do you have any questions?"
"Yeah," Danny sighed. "Did you have to go through the whole succuba thing again?"
"Of course I did!" Jack cried defensively. "What kind of father would I be if I knew about those evil ghosts and did nothing to protect you from their clutches?"
Danny was quick to try and keep his dad as calm as possible. "I appreciate what you're trying to do, Dad, but as one of the shortest kids in my class with no apparent physical attractiveness, I really don't think I'm much of a target for them."
Jack laughed heartily. "Oh, Danny. I remember when I was your age. I thought no one would ever like me because I was short and stocky and the slowest kid in PE, but from the time I started high school to the time I finished it, I grew almost two feet, built up my muscles so my stockiness could be attributed to something other than genetics, got my best mile run at thirteen minutes fifty seconds, and most importantly learned how being myself would find some of the truest friends I ever had, so that when I went to college and met your mother, I knew that if she liked the real me, then that was all that really mattered. And you're already well on your way, son. You've got two great friends that are sticking by you through all your awkward and embarrassing stages, and I'm sure they feel the same way about you."
"And that's all well and good, but that still doesn't make me much of a target for succuba," Danny replied sullenly.
Jack patted Danny's back. "Aw, Danny, you're worrying over nothing. You've got good genes on both sides. Fenton men are always tall, and the men on your mom's side have a tendency to go through 'ugly duckling' stages before being some of the most strikingly attractive men in the known universe. Now, somehow I doubt anyone could ever classify you as an ugly duckling, but I'm confident you'll get more satisfied with your looks as you get older."
Danny gave him a small smile. "Yeah, you're probably right."
"Which is why you have to know how to deal with succuba. Now, any other questions?"
Danny looked at his dad. "What prompted you to come up here and give me this Talk?"
Jack looked uncomfortable. "Well, I was watching the Mythological Channel because they were having a special on the Riley-Bijou Grand Hotel---which is the most haunted hotel in the world, by the way---when that accursed Doctor Caresalot commercial came on."
"Doctor Caresalot?" Danny repeated. "Dad, Doctor Caresalot is a daycare mogul who's made it his life's mission to tell good parents that they can't give them the attention their child needs so they send them to his child care centers."
"I know! Which is why I got up to get a drink. But while I was at the refrigerator, I could still hear the commercial, and he was talking about how neglected some children are because their parents never take the time to do stuff with them---"
"You do know his speeches are designed to trigger feelings of guilt over minor actions, right? Jazz did that whole thesis on it."
"Yes---but in my excited state over the Riley-Bijou special, my defenses were weakened. I started to think about you, all alone up here, doing your homework without any help at all---"
"It's nothing I really need any help over."
"---and then I remembered I had intended to give you the Talk before you started school, but then you were involved in that accident in our lab and my worry over that made me forget all about it, so I marched right up here to give it to you before I could be distracted again by my own selfish interests."
Danny blinked in surprise. "You did? But what about the Riley-Bijou special?"
"Oh, don't worry about that, Danny," Jack said, but Danny could tell by his tone that he didn't really mean it. "I'm sure it'll be on again. I just hope I can catch it. Maybe you can watch it with me, and then we can talk about the ghosts afterwards."
Touched that his dad would give up an in-depth special on something that interested him so deeply, Danny leaned over and hugged him.
Jack returned with a bear hug. "You're a good kid, Danny. I know you'll be the best at whatever you set out to be."
Jack pet his son's head affectionately. "Now, I should probably let you try and finish your homework." With a final farewell, Jack left Danny's room. Free to work on his homework once more, Danny found that he couldn't concentrate. True, he hadn't wanted to sit through the Talk at all, but it hadn't been as bad as he remembered. He didn't feel particularly traumatized, though he still strongly doubted he would ever be a likely target for a succubus, and the fact that his dad had given up the Riley-Bijou special to come give the Talk to him was very touching. It was times like this that he felt confident that when he would eventually tell his parents about his ghost powers, he knew that it wouldn't affect the fact that he was their son and they loved him unconditionally.
He abruptly closed his textbook and picked up his phone. He hit the speed dial and waited for the phone to ring.
"Hello, Sam? I need a favor…"
Down in the living room, Jack Fenton flipped dejectedly through the television channels. Over five hundred channels, and nothing was on.
"Honey, dinner's almost ready," Maddie called from the kitchen.
Jack sighed. Stupid Doctor Caresalot. He was glad that he finally remembered to give Danny the Talk, but he hated that he had missed the Riley-Bijou special. The most haunted hotel in the world, and Doctor Caresalot had to go and brainwash him into thinking he was a bad parent.
The doorbell rang. Danny came dashing down the stairs to answer it. "I got it!"
Jack sighed again as he started flipping through the channels again, hoping he might stumble across something that had something to do with ghosts.
"Hey, Dad?" he heard Danny ask. "I just got this new DVD. You want to watch it after dinner?"
Jack looked up to see the title of the DVD, and tears formed in his eyes as a wide smile broke across his face. "Ghostly Tales from the Riley-Bijou?"
Danny nodded. "Sam got me a copy in exchange for a favor."
"A favor?" Jack looked at Danny suspiciously. "What kind of favor?"
"Not a succubus kind. She just wants me to keep her company at that big benefit her parents are attending next month."
"Do you have to buy her anything?"
"Well, I was probably going to get her a corsage or something---"
"Did she tell you to get a corsage or something?"
Jack breathed a sigh of relief. "Whew! Not a succubus. That's a relief. Let's watch that DVD!"
Danny shook his head. "Let's wait until after dinner---that way, Mom can watch it, too."
"Great idea!" Jack jumped to his feet. "Come on, Danny! Let's go help your mother with dinner. The sooner dinner's done, the sooner we get to that DVD!"
Danny watched as his dad trotted happily into the kitchen. It was the appropriate ending to a somewhat strange Sunday. It had started out with homework; it had ended with a new appreciation for his dad, a new DVD, and an evening next month with Sam. Over all, it hadn't been a bad day.
"Danny!' Maddie called. "Dinner!"
"Coming!" he called back. He put the DVD on the coffee table, and left the room for dinner.
A/N: Thanks for reading! I hope you liked it. Please read and review!