Everything But This
by Tavalya Ra
E-mail: clearbluedelphia at yahoo dot com
Rating: R (for non-graphic masturbation and sex)
Category: General and drama. Although this contains slash, I certainly wouldn't classify it as romantic.
Summary: In college, Vlad Masters and Jack Fenton shared everything- until there was Maddie. Slash. No spoilers unless you've just entered the fandom and know zilch about Vlad.
Disclaimer: Danny Phantom is owned by Butch Hartman. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Notes: Boldly taking Jack's "we shared everything" comment where Hartman never meant it to go, this is the launching of the Good Ship Pac Man. For those unfamilar with college lingo, DC dining commons.
Jack Fenton was loud, abrasive, and a party animal. Vlad cringed upon meeting his roommate, unable to imagine them anything but polar opposites. Yet one couldn't share a bedroom roughly the size of a closet with a guy without learning a thing or two about him. Jack was, like Vlad, completely obsessed with ghosts and both of them were physics majors that dabbled heavily in fields considered "pseudo-scientific." The first blue print for a ghost portal was produced two months after they met, during a long evening when they were hyped up from caffeine and serial Atari playing.
After that, they shared everything except clothes. Given their close quarters and closer companionship, the backwash incident was inevitable and- once Vlad had forgiven Jack- they vowed never to speak of it again.
There was another thing they didn't share, one which did not occur to Vlad until the next semester. He was a heavy sleeper and, no matter what ungodly hour the two staggered into their beds, he usually nodded off before Jack. This night, kept awake by the phantom of undercooked DC pizza haunting his digestive system, he heard faint moaning coming from Jack's half of the room. Vlad almost sprung from his bed declaring "ghost!" but quickly realized the noise wasn't a wail from the beyond. Barely six feet away from him, his best friend was masturbating.
The fact consumed his thoughts the next day. Vlad knew it was an incredibly stupid thing upon which to fixate, yet he wondered why Jack never talked about it. What was so embarrassing? Neither of them were getting any until the next Star Trek convention and they knew it. They were the school freaks.
Vlad realized he was being unfair. He masturbated, too, but he did it in the shower. Showers happened to be a third thing they didn't share.
That night- despite his evening pizza having been thoroughly cooked, as evidenced by its burnt cheese- Vlad again lay awake for much longer than usual. Again, he heard sounds from Jack's bed but kept his silence. Two nights of aural voyeurism stretched into a week, Jack not having a clue he whacked off to an audience. Vlad reassured himself he was just going through a wonky phase in his sleep cycle. Finally, he admitted that he was deliberately keeping himself up to hear Jack moan. Something had to be done; Vlad wasn't sure what, but he was going to do it tonight.
He lay in the dark, waiting for Jack to get comfy. When the first moans began, he slid out of bed and poked his roommate.
Vlad saw the other man's silhouette freeze.
At no point- during or after- would Vlad be able to articulate why shoving his hand down his friend's pajama bottoms seemed like a good idea. It just did.
Sometime later, what began as a hand job evolved into a production requiring a lot of Vaseline.
That they awoke in the same bed was the only thing unusual about the next morning. What followed was the typical rush to the bathroom to shower and shave in the company of the other fifty-odd students on their floor, the scramble to the dining commons before it ran out of chocolate chip pancakes, the dash to beat the professor to the classroom. Jack called him "V-man" and "Vladdy" with casual cheer, as if he hadn't bit his pillow to keep from screaming "Vlad" last night.
Vlad might have resumed his former sleeping pattern had Jack not crawled into his bed muttering something about returning the favor.
After that, it became routine. Following just a glance- no word of asking or offering- Vlad would find himself on top of Jack or with Jack's hands on him. They'd fall asleep in same sticky, sweaty tangle of sheets, then wake up the next morning and go about their business. No one else knew; like the backwash incident, they didn't talk about it. Vlad wasn't sure Jack really thought about it, which was fine by Vlad. It didn't mean anything. Like soda, Atari, and theories about a ghost zone, it was just something shared between friends, like they shared everything.
Madeline Hector transferred to the University of Wisconsin junior year. Like Vlad and Jack, she was obsessed with ghosts. When Vlad showed her their proto-portal blueprints, she squealed.
"You are going to build this, right?" she asked. Her violet eyes practically glowed with feverish excitement.
She was beautiful, intelligent, and didn't think that Vlad was a crackpot. In short, she was perfect.
That night, Vlad barely looked at Jack. He worried he would see the usual question in Jack's eyes and would, for the first time, have to refuse him. If Jack found his best friend's sudden timidity disappointing, he gave no indication, not even when he apologized for bending Vlad's knitting needles.
As quietly and suddenly as their coital relationship had begun, it ended. They still drank from the same can of cola and played Pac Man together until they felt like their eyes were going to bleed, but the bond between them had diminished. Now Vlad wanted something that had nothing to do with Jack and never could.
Vlad resumed masturbating in the shower. Before, he'd always pictured a vague, generically beautiful woman with exaggerated curves who told him that he made her think of Captain Kirk. Now, she had red hair and violet eyes and she didn't want William Shatner. She wanted Vlad Masters, wanted to know his brain as much as she wanted to feel him inside her. In his mind, Maddie was in the shower with him, doing this to him because he had just done this to her. Someday, he would do this to her and it wouldn't be like anything he'd done with Jack. He'd make her feel exquisite and loved- he'd make her feel like a goddess.
On the eve of their first proto-portal test, Vlad lay awake with anticipation. His silence evidently lulled Jack into thinking him asleep; from the other side of the room, he heard his best friend's telltale moans. For a moment, he felt lonely and wondered if Jack felt the same. Did Jack miss the way things had been last year? Who did Jack imagine now when he touched himself? Was it an idealized fantasy woman or was it now Vlad?
As if in answer, Jack moaned a name.
Internally, Vlad froze.
No. No, you won't have her.
Maddie would be his. And Vlad wasn't going to share.