Disclaimer: Ellen: I wish I owned Danny Phantom! Desiree: So you have wished it, so shall it be done! Poof. Ellen finds herself to be Butch Hartman. Ellen: This... is not good.
Author's Note: This is Cade. Cade waves at audience Cade is an OC, but please hold your tomatoes until the end. Cade is also a psychiatrist. ... Danny Phantom characters, also hold your tomatoes until the end! I'm a big fan of "outside looking in" stories, where a character who knows little to nothing about the secrets of the major characters gives his or her opinion. I'm also a big fan of psychoanalysis. And thirdly, after the mess Penelope Spectra made out of Casper High's freshman class, somebody needs to do some damage control on the behalf of the psychiatric profession! Oh... and just for fun, Cade's last name, Maboroshi? Means "Phantom" in Japanese. Heh heh heh.
Outside Looking In.
Session 1: Daniel Fenton
"Just so you know, Danny, you're not in any trouble. I'm meeting with everyone in the freshman class over the next few days, just to get a feel for the situation here. I realize you all had a very bad experience with Dr. Spectra recently, and I want to make it clear that I'm here to help you, not to play power games with your heads. So this meeting isn't to talk about anything in particular. It's just a chance to get us started on knowing each other."
No answer from the boy in the guest chair, simply a less-than-convinced blue stare. Cade Maboroshi stifled a sigh. This was about the response he'd gotten from almost every other student he'd met with so far, though none of them had locked down quite as quickly and professionally as Danny Fenton. It wasn't surprising, given the fact that the last school psychiatrist had been a catchphrase-spouting quack, more interested in manipulation and playing head games than in actually helping anyone deal with the trials of adolescence. Even so... it was a bit disheartening to be instantly distrusted by more than seven hundred people at once.
The short file he'd gotten on Danny Fenton had labeled him as withdrawn, distracted, and a habitual trouble-maker. More like habitual target, Cade snorted, taking in Danny's slim build and wary posture. The football team has probably introduced him to the inside of more than one locker. Of course, football brings in money, so the school's golden sociopaths can do no wrong. Which means kids like Danny get the blame.
Odd, though... Fenton's first response upon entering his office had been to check the position of the windows, doors, and --strangely enough-- the ventilation duct. The assessment had been quick and professional, the action of someone used to having to make a quick exit from a situation gone bad. He didn't think the level of bullying was up to threats of permanent injury here, and there were no indications of any type of trouble in the home. So why was a fourteen year old boy sizing up the room like a member of the SWAT team?
And then there was his silence. Teenagers, generally, HATED silence. Give them a quiet stretch, and they'd babble on about nothing to fill it. The silent treatment was the worst punishment a teenage clique could inflict. Danny, on the other hand, seemed perfectly content to spend the next fifteen minutes just exchanging stares. Okay... time to try a different angle.
"You know, the legal definition of assault in this state is any unwanted physical contact consistent with the attempt or desire to do physical harm."
THAT got a reaction. Blue eyes blinked, startled. "WHAT?"
"Just what I said. So, grabbing a kid and shoving him in a locker... or in a trash can, or just giving him a few pretty bruises after school... legally, that's assault, and the victim can press charges."
"You're kidding." A speculative gleam crept into Fenton's eyes, along with the beginning hint of a smile.
"Nope. Absolute truth. Of course, getting it to go to trial is a long and messy process, especially when everyone involved is underage, but it IS still criminal."
Danny seemed to file that away, expression returning to its original wary state. "So... what?"
"So, I'm not here to spy on you, or break down your self-esteem, or try and 'fix' you so that you behave like some cookie-cutter ideal of the perfect kid. I'm here to help you deal with things. I realize you don't have a lot of reason to trust psychiatrists after what happened with Dr. Spectra. I hope I can change that, but if I can't, I can't. You don't HAVE to talk to me. Whatever Mr. Lancer might tell you. If you want to walk out that door right now, you're more than welcome to. But... and this is the part where I'm gonna act like a grown-up-- let me give you a little unsolicited advice." Danny rolled his eyes, but was obviously still listening.
"Human beings are extremely social animals. Even loners don't do well completely cut off from human contact. We developed networking skills because we need them. Admittedly, high school is like a warped version of every human social instinct in existence, but... my point is that you don't have to talk to me, but you DO need to talk to someone. Someone you trust. Keeping all your problems to yourself is a quick recipe for burnout. Your friends may not have all the answers, but it DOES help just to have somebody else listen."
Danny rose to his feet, nodding thoughtfully. "That... actually does make sense. Are we done here?"
Cade looked at the clock. "Yeah, I think so. Hold on a sec, I'll write you out a hall pass so you can get back to your next class. Remember, if you ever need to talk, or even just get a question answered, my door is always open. "
"Yeah, I'll keep that in mind," the teen shrugged, noncommittal. Then, grabbing the pass, he was gone.
Okay... that was weird. Whatever Danny Fenton's problems were, he was willing to bet they were a lot bigger and more complicated than the general woes of a high school student. Cade suddenly had a feeling that his job was going to be a lot more interesting than he'd thought.