A/N: Sorry all for the very long period of my absence. Work has been a pain and I just started school again. Hopefully with a vacation just around the corner, I'll be able to do some quality typing on all of my stories. Sorry about this chapter, it's a bit on the short side, but I tried my best to get it out. I hope you all enjoy it anyway. And before I give you the next chapter, I just have to address one review, since they didn't sign in and I can't send them a note:
To Reader about Toys-R-Us: I'm sorry, but I just do happen to know what Toys-R-Us is like, because I have worked at one for over a year and a half now, in electronics- or as we call it, R-zone. I have now been through two holiday seasons in R-zone and have been through the living Hell on earth that is Toys-R-Us at Christmas. I put Sam in after the Christmas holiday and inventory when it has calmed down and there are not a lot of people or foot traffic. She didn't have to deal with that Hell... yet. Please check with an author before you assume anything.
And I might be taking this a little too personal, but being there for so long and being through that Hell twice... I'm a little tender about someone telling me that I have never been through it. Please, don't take this as a huge attack, I just don't like people thinking that I am not well reasearched in my fanfiction- or where I work for that matter. Please keep reviewing and reading, I am happy to hear that you like it so far and I hope you will continue to enjoy it.
Now that I got that off of my chest, here is the next chapter. Thanks for all the reviews, everyone!
Chapter Thirteen: Seeking Damage
"All right you two, I'm going to be going," Jazz set two of her suitcases by the front door while the cab driver waited out in the car with the rest of her luggage. She hugged Sam carefully, still unsure wither or not to treat her like porcelain and then gave Danny a vicious hug and ruffled his hair, "Take care of each other, huh?"
"Who else will take care of this lug head?" Sam joked and nudged Danny in the side.
"Hey!" Danny chuckled, bumped Sam back and then turned to his sister, "Just remember to come by and visit more often, Jazz. It's kind of empty here with out a nosey sister."
"No problem," she smiled and then glared over her shoulder as the cabby honked his horn and then tapped on his wrist as if he had a watch, "It looks like my ride is getting impatient. Be good, mom and dad should be getting home any day of this coming week. I hope you can keep the place spotless until then?"
"Okay, so that means no wild parties, right?" Danny joked and helped his sister down to the cab, "Careful on the way back. Desire's still out there some where and the last thing I need is a call from the police to inform me of another accident."
"I will be very careful," she sat down in the back seat after lugging her suitcase across her lap and to her side. She looked up at her now mature brother and the young woman behind him. She smiled wide and hugged him one last time around the neck and gently whispered into his ear, "Tell her soon. And good luck."
"All right, already. Get back to your job and annoy someone else for a change," he said slightly annoyed and shut the door for her. Sam came down the stairs of the front porch and waved with Danny as the cab drove away.
"So it's just you and me, ghost boy," Sam smiled and looked up at Danny.
"Just how I like it," he smiled back and walked with Sam back into the Fenton works, gently placing a hand on her lower back.
"So, what is the plan for this next week?" she locked the door behind them, still a bit paranoid about things being unlocked or being out in the open without something to defend herself.
"I was hoping to look at some of the new inventions that mom and dad were working on before they left for the ghost conference- or what ever they went to," he chuckled, "When Jazz was here she wouldn't let me near the lab, in fear that something would possibly cut my head off for being half ghost."
"And you're not?"
"Afraid something is going to cut your head off for being half ghost?" she playfully pushed him in the side.
"Sometimes," he pulled at his neckline on his shirt and swallowed hard at the thought, "But those same inventions have saved me from being captured or worse. Might as well take the chance in finding out what some of them do, right?"
"You got a point," she nodded and slowly followed him toward the basement stairs.
Danny and Sam took a few cautious steps down to his basement/ lab, careful not to push at any secret booby-traps or ghost traps in general. Knowing his paranoid parents, they could have a number of spectral traps that would trap, zap or otherwise hurt Danny. Or at least his phantom half.
"Danny, what weapon do you hope to find down here anyway?" she pushed at some of the spare equipment laying in her way on the stairwell, "Wouldn't your parents have taken all the weapons that were operational with them?"
"Not if my dad thought they had a few bugs in them," he reached the bottom of the stairs and held up the boomerang and waved it at her, "A.k.a. they were attacking me more than the other ghosts he thought were in the house."
"Oh," she took the boomerang from his hands as she saw it's lights turning red, which usually meant that it was going to explode or fly after him.
"And I also had to change the ecto-filter," he jogged over to the portal and changed out the filter, showing the older, 'dirty' one to Sam, "With Jazz not letting me down here, I was kind of getting worried about blowing up. Remember, I gotta change it or we do blow up. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather live through my last year of high school. I didn't fight my way through all of those classes just to go out in a bang now."
"Okay, okay… I get it. If you don't change it- we go boom. I get the concept," she rolled her eyes and decided to roam the room a little as Danny finished up with disposing of the old filter. She set the notorious boomerang that killed Danny's PS2 controller and smiled. After a few more days she was going back to work. She has missed being busy and was tired of being babied. Even by Danny. She was lucky they were offering her, her job back to her, but she did have some exceptions and situations she really couldn't help.
"Hey, look at this," Danny grabbed her back to reality and she turned to find him holding a huge ray gun on his right side, "Guess mom and dad forgot this one. It looks operational and I know dad hasn't pointed it at me… yet."
"I guess they were just packing quickly…" she walked to the table where Danny grabbed what she thought was a new ectoplasmic gun from. There were a few more of what looked like smaller containers for catching ghosts along with what looked like a crazy mouse trap, "What the heck is that?"
"Like a lot of things my parents do and create… I don't know," he looked fearful at the new invention, "Just don't touch it. I don't want to go around fighting ghosts as a mouse- or even worse, a bit hunk of cheese."
"I doubt that's what it's made to do, Danny," she chuckled.
"I like to keep all my options open," he looked back down at the gun and took a glance over all the button options, "I wonder what this gun does, exactly?"
"Maybe it turns you into a vegetable?" Sam joked while she took a closer look at the funky mousetrap.
"Funny," he stuck his tongue out at her.
"Mature," she countered and pressed a button on the side of the gun. Suddenly, the gun began to rumble and it expanded around Danny and enclosed him in a see through material, apparently designed to keep all ghosts inside. Sam stepped back at first alarmed, but started to snicker at Danny's predicament. He began to push at the sides of the container and couldn't get out as a human or as his phantom half. In a way, he kind of reminded her of a hamster in one of their plastic balls that they can roll around on the floor in.
"Right Sam… mature. And this was?" he stood in the middle with his arms crossed, knowing he couldn't get through the walls.
"It was the best thing I could think of at the moment," she shrugged and began to walk around the container, looking for a release button or something to get Danny out, "Just hold tight, and I'll think of something to get you out."
"Great… just sit tight," he looked at her as she stretched toward a button above her head. He walked up to the side she was stretching on and leaned on the wall, "You know it could have killed me."
"Your father… designs weapons… for ghosts," she stretched and finally pressed the button she could see clearly marked with 'release' on the top of it and watched the containment shrink back into the gun, with Danny falling on his face. Sam caught the gun before it fell and knelt down next to Danny, "Meaning that they are already dead. I think the worst it would have done was given you a few good shocks."
He lifted his head up and leaned on his elbows, "With my parents, you could never be too sure."
"Right," she held out a hand and tried to help him up. He took it and only managed to pull her down with him. She landed right on top of him, and he blushed and smiled at her sheepishly.
"Oops," he smiled and sat up, accidentally pushing Sam on his lap. She blushed a bright red and put the gun on the table behind her.
"I can get up by myself, Danny. Don't worry about it," she laughed at herself for slipping onto him, although it was him that pulled her down. As she got up she used the ledge of the table as a balance and looked into the faint, green glow of the ghost portal. Her eyes caught something just on the other side and her breath caught in her throat. Danny looked up at her, unsure of why she stopped in the middle of getting up.
"Tucker," she whispered and Danny whipped his head around to see a vague shape that took form of his best friend on the other side of the portal. It was as if he was asleep and just floating out of their reach.
"Tucker?" Danny called out to him and carefully slid out from beneath Sam, who was still clutching to the tabletop. He slowly stepped toward him and the ghost version of Tucker faded, "No! Tucker!"
He ran forward, trying to reach his friend before he disappeared once more. He hung his head in the realization that he was once again gone, and didn't hear him. Sam kept a close eye on the portal and began to talk as if she was reading something.
"I miss you guys, too…" she said behind Danny. He popped his head up to see the words fading in the ectoplasm on the other side of the portal.
"He heard us," he smiled and turned to Sam who had the shimmer of tears in her eyes, but smiled and nodded just the same. Danny walked over to her, grabbed her arm and began to help her up the stairs, "Come on. I know of some left over veggie pizza that has our name on it."
She smiled at his help and couldn't help but look back at the portal where the final swirl from the other side erased the last of the message from Tucker.
Another highway passed beneath him and he could see the some dozen fields of corn and other agricultural marvels of Wisconsin. A few hundred cows were placed here and there and he was starting to get very weary of the dull scenery.
Desire sighed and threw a few dozen of his power blasts into the field, causing a few of the cows to stampede into a few of the agricultural fields. He laughed as the humans tried to catch the runaway bovines, only to run after them in a futile attempt to calm them. He turned to the left, following a few highway signs and roads until he finally saw it.
"Finally," he spun around in a tight circle, just to loosen himself up, "As if this mortal doesn't live far enough inside this droll country side. Now let me just see if my trip was well worth it."
Desire did a direct drop toward the estate and took a quick look around in an attempt to make a smooth entrance. He didn't want to scare the mortal before he got to ask about his plans of vengeance. Although, if this is a very well known opponent of the young Phantom back in Amity Park, than he shouldn't be scared so quickly, or easily for that matter. He just needed a good ally, and from the feel of the estate, he had found one.
"There is a strong anger and hatred aura from this dwelling," he paused to run his hand over a few of the statues sitting on the front lawn and on the front steps of the mansion, "The owner will do nicely in destroying that which stands in my way."
"Can I help you?" a man opened the door and fixed his tie that was slightly askew. His silver hair was brushed back into a low ponytail at the base of his skull and his eyes held dark circles from a possible loss of sleep. He brushed off a few pieces of dust that were just resting on the shoulder of his blazer and looked at the ghost in front of him.
"You do not fear me?" Desire looked at the man, intrigued that he had more interest in fixing his wardrobe than running from the ghost in front of him. A strong, brave man.
"I have fought my share of ghosts," he said in monotone, "I fear very little. So I ask you again: What do you want?"
"Vengeance," Desire said simply.
"Don't we all?" the man sighed and began to turn toward his polished home, "Do tell me when you get it. I'll be so overjoyed."
"I was hoping that you would help me achieve it," Desire now floated in front of him, quickly flying ahead to block his way to the door.
"I have my own plans to fulfill, thank you. I don't need to be pestered by the plans of another," he pushed passed the ghost using a bit of his own power and walked through the door and closed it in Desire's face.
"From what I hear, Vlad Masters…" Desire went intangible and floated through the front door, following the pompous man into his own home, "You and I have a common enemy."
"And who might that be, hm? The world?" he stopped on his way into one of his lavish sitting rooms, and then turned around to face the ghost with his eyes glowing with power, "Or maybe the ghost zone in which you reside?"
"No, I was thinking more along the lines of a boy with extraordinary powers… much like your own," he smirked.
"So, you have met young Daniel, have you?" Vlad smiled along with Desire and took a deep breath, "Now you have my attention."
"Follow me," Vlad led him into the parlor where he uncorked a bottle of his favorite wine, poured it into a very expensive looking glass, and took a few sips from it, "Now, what did you have in mind, my friend?"
"It's not so much what I have in mind, but more of what you desire," he took a few steps and looked at the plush interior of the home, "It looks as if you have riches and power all ready."
"But not the world."
"Is that what you desire?" he stopped and looked at him.
"Among other things," Vlad nodded and looked a little confused.
"I will gladly help you in your plot to take control of this living world, in exchange for your services. It will definitely include destruction and death, which is also a specialty of mine," he closed his hands and opened them again to show Vlad a vision of himself, king of the world, with many bowing at his feet, "And you would reign supreme if you are willing to help me in my own conquest."
"And what might that be?" Vlad asked, looking deeply into the smoky orb that Desire made with his ghost powers.
"To defeat the child so that none may stand in my way of having a little fun and running havoc on the mortal world," he slammed his hands together and smashed the orb into smoke, "Just to rid myself of a very annoying distraction. All of my previous plans have gone up in smoke and I tire of this game. I was hoping that you could help me with that."
Vlad seemed to ponder the option in his mind for a few moments, pacing the room a bit, every so often slowly taking a glance at the ghost.
"I don't have an eternity for you to think on it, mortal," Desire bellowed, all ready annoyed that his trip may have been done for nothing.
"I'll help you," Vald nodded in agreement.
"Wonderful," Desire grinned.
"But I want something else…" Vlad said quickly to cover all his bases.
"What would that be? A Queen to rule at your side? A palace more fair than this?" Desire gestured to the huge sitting room and the bottle of opened wine on the table top.
"No, nothing so empty as that," he looked into the glass of wine he was holding and drank the rest of it down, "I want Jack and Daniel Fenton totally… obliterated."
"Consider it done."