He simultaneously grunted and sighed. His mid-calf trench coat rippled softly with the mechanical wind. He tipped his hat forward with his rose-colored pinky. He tried to blend into the palette of steels and blurs of grays while wearing his father's oversized clothes. The coat and matching hat weren't made to fit him, he was drowning in them.
There were people everywhere, pushing past him, through him. He drifted back farther, hoping to reach the wall before having to go through it. The subway stopped but he waited for the next one. One less crowded.
The lights flickered and he stared at them.
A new train, a later hour, less people. He didn't even bother with the clock, he went by instinct. His eyes were telling him that it was time to get on the train to freedom.
The doors slid shut swiftly. His eyes twitched around the confined metal box. He chose a corner seat, away from the two other passengers. He ignored them and hoped they don't notice his presence as he glided to his seat. The seat was old; warn in to fit larger bodies. He shifted, leaning forward slightly to pull his coat around his ribs. The car moved forward as another passenger stood up.
He saw half of the stranger under the rim of his hat. The stranger was tall and his ankles were dressed in polished black loafers and matching black trousers.
CLICK click CLICK click
The stranger sat down next to him and cleared his throat.
"Do you have the time?"
The stranger's voice was strong, deep and rich. It was Full of Money.
Danny spoke for the first time, almost sarcastically. His face remained shielded by his oversized hat.
The stranger sighed in disappointment, like he depended upon knowing the time to keep him going. Like he had to have everything his way in order to succeed. Danny ignored him and hoped he'd leave Danny's vicinity.
"That's too bad then. Here," he said, slipping his hand inside of his coat pocket.
Danny watched with fascination and paranoia. The stranger pulled out a silver pocket watch, polished to match his clean shoes.
"My, so that is the time," he shook his head and held the watch under Danny's hat.
The numbers were represented by golden Roman Numerals and the hands ticked very slowly. Danny leaned forward, charmed by the small mechanical device. His nose twitched at the peculiar smell. The stranger shut the watch and Danny leaned back in surprise, never actually noting the time.
The stranger returned the watch to its home and held a clean white hand under the hat.
Danny looked up, his interests sparked, pushing the hat back with his pinky. The stranger was older, in his forties. He had thick white hair and a matching beard to contrast his all black clothes. His chin and nose were sharp. His eyes were bright blue, the only aspects of the stranger that wasn't clear cut monotone. There was a faint smile on his face, making him appear friendlier than his voice did.
"Ohh. The millionaire?" Danny asked, seeming to recall the name. He stared out the window at the blur.
Vlad's smile grew, stretching his lips thinner and revealing his perfect teeth.
"Well, I'm not one to brag, but, yes... How did you know? Is it the clothes?" He examined himself, dusting off his thin knee gracefully.
"Uhr, my daaad," Danny whined, taking off his hat and staring into it. His hair was still a mess, despite being suffocated under a hat for several hours.
"I- I mean, my dad," he corrected himself, unemotionally.
"Your dad?" Vlad asked. "Is he a Packers fan?"
"A PACKERS fan?" Danny blurted out, laughing for the first time. His laugh was loud and joyful, unlike his emotionally dramatic speaking voice. He imagined his large father wearing a large cheese on his flat head.
"Don't tell me YOU are!" He looked up at the stranger's face, wondering what his reaction would be.
"Yes, I am." Vlad chuckled too, amused by the boy's thoughts and happiness. "Is that a bad thing?"
"No, it's just really lame," Danny snorted, humoring himself, and crossing his arms under the jacket.
"I suppose it is rather 'lame'," the older man continued to smile. "What is your father's name, if you don't mind?"
Danny scooted away from Vlad. He wasn't quite sure of the man's intentions. He'd already said too much. If he'd learned anything from his family, it was to Never. Trust. Strangers.
"Dad." He put his hat back on his head.
"Ahh, I see. Very clever, young man. Then answer me this; how does your father know me?"
The old man was treating him like a riddle. One which he had to solve. Danny played along, hoping to run him in circles, guessing, to pass the time. He didn't quite care to discuss his father, especially with this stranger.
"You're old friends. Very old."
Vlad Masters licked his teeth, which felt smooth and wet.
"I've known a lot of men in my day." He smirked at his double entendre, wondering if the young boy would understand his carefully chosen words.
"Ohh… kay…" Danny mouthed to himself, moving further away from the stranger.
He leaned his neck against the metal railing, watching and waiting. Vlad was silent, his hands folded together on his lap. His head was tilted up, as in prayer, and there was an eerie look on his face. The teenager shut one eye and then the other.
Haha, yesssss. Author's note is at the end now. So… I started this story a while ago, but I just now finished the first chapter. My style has changed between now and then... Yes, this is slash and AU. This pairing is love and thus needs more love in the Pit! I will try to update soon, but don't count on it. Anyway, thank you for reading! This chapter is not my best work; I hope it will get better and that they do not seem too OOC.
Danny Phantom and all characters there in belong to Butch Hartman.