Title: Baby Daze
Synopsis: A quick one shot…a what if story…what if Vlad paid an unexpected and unwanted visit to a 3 month old Danny? Answer: He'll wish he hadn't!
Disclaimer: It's all about Butch, yeah Butch! He owns the characters, I'm just taking them out like a library book!
"Daniel, sit down this instant!" Vlad Plasmius roared his demand as he floated in the middle of the spacious living room of his Wisconsin estate.
Danny was in a state as he flew about, trying to blast the too quick Plasmius.
Danny may have been fast, but Vlad was a much better shot and managed to wing the boy with a red Ghost Ray.
Danny dropped like a stone to the floor. Vlad floated down to the floor and picked the dazed ghost boy up by the scruff of the neck and tossed him into a nearby easy chair. Danny shook off the effects of the blast as Plasmius changed back to his human self, Vlad Masters. He stood over Danny with his arms folded over his chest, looking very grim.
"Ok, you've got my attention." Danny sighed, rubbing his temples with his fingertips.
"I just wanted to have a conversation with you, my boy, not a battle royal." Vlad said in a glum tone as he took the chair immediately across from Danny.
Looking up, Danny noticed Vlad had changed. That was always a good sign, well maybe not good, but better than Plasmius, so in order to show his good intent, he too changed back to Danny Fenton. He sunk back into the deep plush velvet of the chair and drummed his fingers on the arm of the over stuffed chair.
"You didn't have to kidnap me, you know. A simple please would have been nice." Danny grumbled as an unknown ghost entered the room and put a silver tea service down on the mahogany table between the pair.
Vlad waved the ghost off and leaned forward and poured a steaming cup of tea and handed it to Danny who took it, but looked warily at it.
"There is nothing in the tea that shouldn't be there. Honestly, Daniel your distrust is alarming." Vlad smiled as he poured himself a cup then settled back into the chair.
"Ya think? What do you want now? My mom's e-mail address?" Danny grumbled, then took a sip of the tea.
Vlad smiled, raising his cup to his enemy.
"Already have it, my dear boy! There's something I've been wanting to tell you. A little story."
Danny groaned, rolling his eyes.
"You sneak into my parent's lab while they're not home and I'm doing my chores and you stuffed me into an Ecto Grab Bag and drag me kicking and screaming through the Ghost Zone so I can sit here and listen to your fairy tales?"
"What will you do? Tell your parents that I came through the portal and kidnapped you?" Vlad said with great pleasure in his voice. He grinned at the defeat on Danny's face. "Oh, come now Daniel! I'll have you back home in plenty of time to finish your mundane chores and homework! I wouldn't want your grades to slip on my account, that is if they can possibly go any lower."
Danny emitted a low growl which made Vlad chuckle.
"Such a charming little urchin!" Vlad finished his tea and carefully put down the fine bone china cup and saucer. "Really Daniel, I will have to beat some manners into you one of these days. Perhaps I'll ask your parents if you can come and spend a week with me this summer! Your father would jump at the chance to make his old friend happy. I'm so lonely here…"
Danny fished in his pants pocket and pulled out a coin. He tossed it to Vlad and said with a smile.
"Here's a quarter, call someone who cares."
Vlad effortlessly caught the coin with one hand.
"Touché, my boy, touché! You are picking up my wit at least. You are more like me than you ever wish to admit." Vlad said with great pleasure tossing the coin back to Danny, who caught it as effortlessly as Vlad had.
"I am nothing like you. I never met you until a few months ago."
"Really? I think you are mistaken."
Danny gazed at Vlad as if he were covered with polka dots.
"No way! You'd never even been to our house before the whole Pariah Dark thing!"
"That, my dear boy, is where you are wrong yet again! We met fourteen years ago, when you were just a tiny baby." Vlad said in a rather matter of fact tone.
"Wait a minute." Danny leaned forward in the chair, an intense look in his large blue eyes. "Mom and Dad never mentioned you coming to visit. The first time you saw them since your accident was at the reunion you had here. That's the first time I met you, not one of the happier days of my life."
"Wrong you are, dear boy!" Vlad smiled with a serpent's smugness as he motioned for Danny to sit back. "Let me tell you a story, child. A story about a near miss you had at the tender age of three months…"
"Oh Jack, wasn't Danny just perfect today!" a younger Maddie Fenton beamed as she carried the bundle of white and blue carefully into the house.
"Yes, nothing says perfect son more than having him puke all over the minister at the christening!" Jack Fenton joked as he pulled at his school tie. It was a rare occasion that got him out of his orange hazmat suit and into a dark blue business suit. Maddie was wearing a lavender dress that matched her eyes.
Jack pulled back the layers of light weight blanket to see his tiny son wriggling and blowing bubbles from his lips. He carefully pushed back a long thick strand of black hair almost touching the baby's eyes.
A two year old Jazz came running in the house ahead of Jack's parents who came in for the event.
"Everyone will be coming soon. Jack, will you put Danny in the nursery and come help us get things set up?" Maddie asked. Jack swooped the baby in his arms and lumbered up the stairs as the adults and Jazz went into the kitchen.
Jack entered the nursery. It was a lovely room, all done in blue and white with stuffed animals and rocket ships and trucks.
"Your mom outdid herself when she did this room, Danny! It's fit for a prince and that's what you are to us." Jack said warmly as he laid the baby down in the crib and unwrapped him from his blankets, unaware of a ghostly figure just outside one of the tall windows across the room.
Danny squealed and kicked his legs about wildly, happy to be released from the confines of the blankets.
He was diminutive for a three month old boy. He had been born small, unlike his father and all the Fentons. His little legs kicked the thin white silk of the long elaborate christening gown with it's fine handmade lace and ribbons. It had been handed down from Jack's great grandmother through to Jazz and now Danny.
Jack beamed with such pride as he reached down and felt his son's tiny hand wrap around his pinky finger and then chomp on it.
"You can't be teething already! You sure did like that strawberry ripple ice cream for breakfast this morning! But that's our secret Danny, don't you dare tell your mother! I'll never hear the end of it, but if you don't tell her, I'll give you some more." Jack's eyes twinkled as the baby almost seemed to understand and kicked his little legs even more.
"I'll tell you a secret. I was so happy when we brought your sister Jazz home, but you're my son and a son is well, really special to a dad. Makes a man feel, well immortal for lack of a better word, cuz after I'm gone you'll still be here, but I sure hope you've grown out of this chewing finger thing by then, could be embarrassing." Jack looked about the crib and found a small cloth toy and swapped his finger for it.
"Now you be a good boy and we'll be back for you in a little bit. Remember the ice cream? Be good and I'll sneak you up some! I love you, son."
Jack quietly left the room and shut the door behind him. Danny seemed quite content with his little ball as the ghost phased through the wall and floated over to the crib.
"So, you're Jack Fenton's son? You're such a little runt I'd never have known." Vlad Plasmius scoffed as he looked down with malice at the baby. He had once been just Vlad Masters, Jack's best friend and room mate through college until an accident with Jack's Proto-Portal transformed Vlad into a half ghost hybrid. Over the last eight years, Vlad had developed his powers and hatred for Jack Fenton, who he solely blamed for what happened to him, accident or not. Now he was at Jack's for the ultimate revenge.
Danny looked up from his ball and squealed with baby delight at the new visitor. There was something contagious about the child's enthusiasm that Vlad swallowed and scoffed at the infant.
"Just like your father, easily entertained!"
Vlad's sinister voice and blue skin didn't frighten the boy at all. Danny wiggled and squeaked his excitement over the company.
Vlad bent over the crib and glared at the baby.
"Your father ruined my life and took the only woman I ever loved away from me! Does that scare you, my boy?"
Danny only seemed to get more excited by this and in his excitement he spit right in Plasmius' face!
"Arrrgghhh! You miserable little urchin!" Vlad cursed as he grabbed one of the receiving blankets Danny had been cocooned in and wiped his face with it.
The baby went on cooing and giggling, kicking his legs and waving his arms about as Vlad reached over in the far corner of the crib and picked up a blue satin pillow.
"What would hurt Jack the most? Maybe coming back up here and finding you've suddenly died? Ah yes Daniel, my boy! Crib Death is quiet common and no medical explanation can be found. You simply stopped breathing and went to your reward, or the nearest Ecto Day Care Center. Yes, Jack will be paralyzed by this horrible twist of fate and with any luck he and Maddie will split up and then I will be there to pick up the pieces of her broken life."
The baby squealed with delight as if he were being told a wonderful story.
"After a time I even doubt anyone will miss you, let alone remember you existed, except for that buffoon Jack Fenton. Poor little Daniel Fenton will be a distant memory." Vlad grinned wickedly as he slowly lowered the pillow towards the baby.
But at that moment, Danny smiled.
Vlad stopped cold in his evil intent and dropped the pillow to the floor as he gazed at the baby's smile. It wasn't the fact that the baby smiled, but what the smile reminded him of.
Danny had Maddie's Summer Smile, as Vlad called it. A warmth that came from deep within and couldn't be faked. He suddenly remembered a picnic at the college campus one fine spring Saturday. The day he planned on telling her he loved her, but found out she loved Jack instead. Despite that crushing blow, he could never hate her, or her smile and now this baby carried that smile.
"Oh…Cheeze Whiz!" Vlad swore as he reached down and lifted the boy in his arms. "I can't hate someone with Maddie's Summer Smile, even if you are Jack's son, you're her son too." Vlad raised the child over his head and smiled at him as Danny let loose and puked all over him!
Vlad gingerly laid the baby back down in the crib and grabbed a nearby blanket and wiped as much of the strawberry ripple puke off him as he could.
"Oh great! That's probably gonna leave a stain on my costume!" Vlad growled looking at the spots of baby stain on his gray suit.
Danny giggled, flapping his arms about happily.
"Oh, you think that's funny, do you? So help me, Daniel you will pay for that!" Vlad grumbled only to hear the approaching footsteps and muted talking of Jack and Maddie. "Another time, my boy." Vlad grinned wickedly as he disappeared.
"See Maddie, he's fine!" Jack announced as he and Maddie entered the room. Jack noticed the soiled blanket and pillow on the floor and picked them up, tossing them into the hamper without much thought.
"Come on Danny, time for the big party! Yes it is!" Maddie cooed as she picked up her son.
From outside the window, Vlad hovered unseen by the happy couple.
He shook his head then flew off into the afternoon sky….
"….and I didn't see you again until the reunion." Vlad said in a matter of fact tone.
Danny just sat there, seemingly stunned by what he'd just heard until a smile broke out on his face.
"You mean I went through a puking stage? And I puked on you? That is so awesome!"
Vlad slapped a hand over his face.
"My dear boy, don't you understand the moral of this story?" he asked in a pained voice.
"Yeah, I now know why I don't like Strawberry Ripple ice cream!"
"No!" Vlad roared, jumping to his feet. "it is that I can take your life at any moment I wish! That alone should send a cold fear throughout your miserable being!"
Danny slowly got out of the chair and stood before his arch enemy.
"You will never kill me Vlad." he said simply.
"What makes you so sure? You're not a babbling baby anymore!"
"I still have my mom's smile, that Summer Smile." Danny smiled and his whole countenance seemed to radiate his mother's calming love. Danny turned to leave only to have Vlad reach out and touch his shoulder.
"Thank you, Daniel." he said in a whisper.
"For what?" Danny replied in equal silence.
"For letting me see your mother, as I remember her." Vlad's voice almost broke as he turned away from the boy.
"Now go before I throw you back in that Ecto Bag and toss you into the Ghost Zone like the Fenton trash you are!" Vlad said, turning his voice harsh again.
Danny shrugged as he slowly left the room, but stopped after only taking a few steps and turned back to ask Vlad,
"Ok, but are you sure you don't want me to eat some ice cream and puke on you again, for old times sake?"