Disclaimer- Butch Hartman owns Danny Phantom, I don't. Yada yada. This short is rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America, and is set after "Kindred Spirits." For this reason, it is not in continuity with my other works, which take a left out of canon after "Reign Storm."
I'm sending you this letter because every time I try to get the words out in speech, I mess up. I know I've been sounding like a broken record, apologies and thank-yous coming out of my mouth every five minutes, but there's still something I haven't said. It's something that needs saying; so hopefully, I can get it down on paper without making as much of an idiot of myself as I have the last couple days.
We've been over the fact that you've saved my life more times than I can count. I've said thank you for that. I've apologized for the fact that half the time I forget you can't do what I do, and the other half I seem to wind up leaving you to take the blame. You've forgiven me, and we're good. But there's one other thing I never thanked you for, never even realized until today that I needed to.
Up at that cabin of Vlad's, I could probably have died. Or worse-- somehow, I have the feeling that what he wanted wouldn't kill me, and even making me "obsolete" wouldn't have been enough to have me disposed of. Not as long as he could find a use for me, to hurt my parents, maybe, or just for study... or maybe to have two sons instead of one, I don't know. But that isn't what terrified me. For the first time, I really saw what Vlad had turned into... what twenty years of anger and bitterness could become, given enough power. He's frightened me before... but this time, it was like coming face to face with a monster. Maybe he's still got a side that's alive... but I'm not sure there's anything left that's human.
Meeting my future self was scary. To see what type of a horror I could unleash... well, you know I still have nightmares about that. But he was a GHOST, or rather two half-ghosts in one. Ghosts becoming monsters isn't that rare, since a lot of them are made from hate and pain to begin with. And I knew as long as I kept my humanity, then I couldn't become the thing I'd fought against. Once I'd chosen my path... well, he wasn't really me. Not anymore.
But Vlad... he's a hybrid, same as me. Same powers, same physiology, and, though I hate to say it, a lot of the same feelings. Pain, anger, greed... I've fought with all of those, and so far, I've won. And I hope I'll keep winning. Vlad lost to them, and somewhere along the way, he just gave up fighting. Maybe because he didn't have anything to remind him what he was fighting for.
So thank you, you guys. Thank you for being my friends, before this whole mess started and after. Thank you for helping me remember not everyone in the world is like Dash and Lancer, and that there are people worth fighting for. Thank you for reminding me who I am and why I do what I do, no matter how tired and angry I get. There are a hundred things you do for me every day that keep me alive, but the most important one, the one that I tend to forget, is just being who you are.
Thank you for keeping me human.