Waaahhh! This is the last chapter! I know it took a while, but I was suddenly hit with inspiration yesterday and wrote this. It could easily be two chapters, but I felt bad for keeping you waiting and just couldn't stop writing! I'm going to miss this story very much. Enjoy! Wow I can't believe it's over...
For a second it looked like Phantom was going to win. The ghost struggled as it began to split apart. Then…
I watched in horror as Plasmius pulled Phantom back into himself. They had been so close to separating, and now Plasmius was winning again. I gritted my teeth against the intense pain and pulled myself up. It was clear that we couldn't beat him. Not yet, anyways.
Maddie was also transfixed by the struggle. I grabbed her wrist and pulled her to her feet. "We have to get out of here. If we stay long enough to let him absorb Danny's ghost half then we'll all die."
She stared seriously at me. "We can't let him get away with this. If we don't stop him then who will?"
"What about Daniel? He can't fight. He's still weak from having half of him pulled out." I took a deep breath. "And what about Jack? I know my ghost half, he'll go after Jack once he's done with us." I was talking as quickly and quietly as I could. Why couldn't she just agree with me for once? There wasn't any time. I yanked her after me over to Daniel.
He was still strapped to the table, and I yanked at the straps futilely. They were actually fused to the table and wouldn't open unless you had ghost powers. Or a pair of gloves with glowing blades stuck to the end…
I grabbed the gloves and put them on. Then I tossed a look over my shoulder quick, and froze. Plasmius was gone. I cursed under my breath and glanced at Maddie. She had also noticed. She looked alarmed. I turned my attention back to Daniel and cut the straps holding him to the table. He slid off and I quickly retracted the claws and picked him up.
"Come on. We've got to go back to Amity Park." Maddie must have realized that us arguing had led to my other half getting the upper hand, and followed silently. The Specter Speeder started, to my surprise, and we sped through the Ghost Zone. Daniel was still unconscious, and Maddie was standing next to him silently worrying.
"Vlad," she said, "Do you think Danny will be okay?"
I turned around in the front seat and looked at them, the two people who could have been my wife and son. Now we were running off to save the man who had taken them away from me. For some reason that didn't seem to matter at the moment. I couldn't let my ghost half win. "Don't worry Maddie. I'm not going to let Plasmius get away with stealing Daniel's ghost half. He'll be fine."
"Why do you call Danny 'Daniel'? I've noticed that you do the same thing with Jazz." She was trying to fill the silence with talk. I agreed that the quiet was unnerving, but I wasn't sure how to answer.
I shrugged. "It's more formal." A small grin came onto my face. "And it annoyed them." Maddie frowned, and my grin vanished.
"It's none of my business I guess." She said quietly. "But how come you were my son's enemy? Why did you hurt him if you loved me so much?" I looked down at Daniel's face.
"I could have done a lot more than I did, Maddie." I said, sounding dark for the first time since I split from my ghost half.
"Then why didn't you?" her question startled me and I focused back on her. "If you were so strong how come you let Danny defy you?" Probing questions meant to make me open up. I could see where Jazz got her psychologist skills. Why not go with the truth? Lies only got me in trouble anyway.
"He was the only one who I felt could understand what it was like to be living in two worlds at the same time. To have to deal with powers that you could barely control. And to be different from every single other person on this earth. But he didn't care that we were alike. He had friends who accepted him, and I had no one. I planned to do everything I could to bring him over to my side." Her eyes met mine and I finished, "Because I love you and knew that if Daniel- Danny, accepted me, then you would too."
The silence was deafening. I had poured everything out of me and she had nothing to say. That made sense, I guess. What was I expecting? We looked at each other for a second more, and then I turned back around and stared at the endless void. The silence pressed in on my ears until I thought I was going to never hear anything again. Then a computerized voice called out, "Now approaching the Fenton Portal." I jumped and grabbed the steering wheel, carefully guiding the speeder into the portal.
Something very large, and very orange almost ran into the Specter Speeder. Jack Fenton looked more confused than I had ever seen him, and I opened the side door to let Maddie and Daniel out. Daniel had woken up at some point during the silent ride, but he still was very pale and weak looking. Maddie and Jack helped him out, and I picked up the gloves that I had taken with me from my lab and followed them.
"What's the matter you three, you look like you've seen a ghost." More than anything I wanted to glance at Maddie to see how she reacted to that, but I stopped myself. I had already made things bad enough. "Speaking of ghosts there's one on a rampage through town. I just came down to grab some weapons, but I can't seem to find any!"
"Jack," Maddie said, the urgency evident in her voice, "We need to get the ghost shield up now."
"We can't." Daniel's voice was hoarse and small. We all looked at him but he just shook his head and pointed at me. I suddenly remembered that the ghost shield was on the top of my mansion in Wisconsin.
"It's at my house."
Maddie sighed, like she expected something like this to happen. "What are we going to do then? Sit here and wait for the ghost to come here and destroy us?"
Finally I turned to face her, anger coursing through me. "No, we're going to split up and let him hunt us down one by one! Of course we're going to stay here! Don't you get it? He's after Jack and me. Jack because he hates him, and me because I'm the only thing standing between him and becoming a full ghost. He'll come here eventually, and I'll be ready for him. If he kills me, then fine, I have nothing left to live for anyway. If I destroy him, that's fine too. It means I can't go back to being the half breed freak I was!"
Dead silence yet again. I could see the pain in Maddie's eyes, but I didn't care anymore. "You and Jack can make weapons out of the junk. I'm going to go be the lookout." I walked away and up the stairs as fast as I could. Once up there I stood in the front doorway and watched for him. There was someone behind me, but I didn't turn around until they spoke
"You didn't give me a job." Daniel said.
"You're too weak from the split."
"I heard everything, you know. In the Speeder."
"It showed me how human you are now. You're better this way. I can actually stand you." He paused. "You can't destroy your ghost half though."
He was smart after all. "I know. That part was a bluff. If I kill my other half I'll probably die. It's such a huge part of me."
"I feel so weird without it. Empty almost."
"Don't worry, I'll make sure Danny Phantom lives to save another day." We both said nothing for a moment.
"Vlad, do you want to be half ghost again?" More quiet. I shifted to face him. "I know I do, even though I felt like I didn't earlier. But you… you called yourself a freak."
A few minutes passed as I thought about my answer. Finally I said, "No. After being human for the first time in twenty years I don't want to change back. Especially after all that my ghost half has done to your family. I don't have a choice though."
"Maybe you do though. Maybe we can put Plasmius in an unbreakable Fenton thermos or something. Your ghost half would still exist, it just wouldn't be out attacking the world."
"I think that's the first good idea you've had Danny. But if I'm not around to keep you in line then who will?"
"Now that my mom knows I probably won't be able to fight ghosts without her permission." Then he looked at me strangely. "You called me Danny."
"We're not really enemies anymore, so why should I call you Daniel?"
"Aww, how touching." A voice said. Daniel and I looked up to see the new Plasmius floating over our heads. He lit up an ectoblast, fired it at Daniel, and phased through the floor. I dove forward and shoved him out of the way, taking the blast in my back. Daniel helped me up and we ran down to the basement.
Jack and Maddie were both working as hard as they could to block and dodge the blasts and were still being hit. My hands wrapped around the cold metal of the gloves in my hands and I slid them on. He was not going to win.
I dived forward and was about to tear through him when he turned around and launched a blast at me. It caught on the blades of the gloves and I whipped it back at him. He wasn't expecting that. It hit him between the shoulder blades and basically just ticked him off. "I had been taking it easy on you humans. Now your friends will watch as you die by my hand." His joking attitude had been replaced with a deadly calm, and he waved his hand and instantly the three Fenton's were stuck inside pink bubbles.
"Now try and fight me without your backup team." His hands lit up with a lethal looking red light. I stepped forwards and he launched the blasts. With almost expert skill I caught and destroyed them all, sending a few back when I could. All of my time spent watching football had really paid off. Each time I would take a step forward, getting closer and closer to him. Finally I lashed out with my right hand and sliced him across the chest.
Something caught on the blades and I gasped in surprise as I saw a second body being pulled out from Plasmius. It was Phantom's. Unfortunately Plasmius used my moment of pause to send me flying across the room and into the wall. The claws withdrew into the gloves and I sank down onto the floor.
Plasmius laughed and floated over to me. He lifted me up by my neck and said, "Any last words?"
"Only two. Let go!" I brought my hands foreword and extended the blades into Plasmius' chest. He froze and dropped me. Using all of the strength I had I ripped Phantom from him and practically threw the other ghost across the room. Phantom looked as weak and dazed as Daniel did. Plasmius yelled angrily and changed back into my ghost half. He was glaring at me with such intensity that I knew he was going to kill me no matter what.
Maddie, Jack, and Daniel were free again. They were next to me now, glaring back at Plasmius. I watched as Daniel changed into his ghost form. They had fused back together successfully then. Together the four of us began attacking him, but I noticed something. He wasn't trying to stop any of the blows.
Then suddenly it happened. I drove my knives into his stomach and then screamed and doubled over in pain. The other three stopped and Plasmius laughed. "You can't kill something that's a part of you. Or at least, humans who wish to live can't. I however, am already dead, and I can still exist without you. But you see you've ruined all my hard work, so I'm not going to let you die easily."
Before anyone could move he picked up Maddie. "Attack me Vladdie. Tear me open and tear yourself open at the same time. Rip us both to shreds before I get bored and start ripping Maddie apart instead."
"Vlad, don't listen to him!" Maddie said.
Plasmius laughed. "How cliché, the victim willing to give themselves up for the hero. Look at him. He can't bring himself to kill me. He'd rather see you die than himself. Isn't that right Vladinator?"
Daniel suddenly spoke. "You said so yourself that Vlad dying wouldn't get rid of you." Plasmius glared furiously at him.
In an unpleasant moment I realized that the only way to get rid of him was to fuse with him again. I glanced around, looking for a Fenton Thermos. Of course there were none. I would have to go back to being a freak, a mutt. I would have to be fused with something that wanted to destroy mankind and the woman I loved. Then again, if Daniel could do it, then I could too.
I sprang towards him and wrapped the bladed fingers around him, feeling as if the blades were digging into my skin. He dropped Maddie in surprise. "What are you doing, giving me a goodbye hug?"
"Something like that." I muttered. We were being dragged closer and closer together and I removed one hand from him and cut myself open. Our bloods mixed and suddenly I felt like I was being blown up. I didn't know whether it was him, or me, or both of us that screamed in pain.
Then I felt his thoughts invading my head. His memories, desires, intentions, hates, all of the things that he had taken from me during the first split were being forced back and mixed with what I had. Ghost powers flowed through me and I felt the ability to use them come back. Red flashes, green flashes, everything mixed together and I was becoming unable to tell my thoughts from his. Then I felt dark unconsciousness take over my mind as we became one person again.
When I regained awareness the first thing I did was try and sort out the jumbled mass of memories. It was impossible, I knew, to keep two running chains of thoughts in one head. I didn't want to get rid of either one. But I had to get rid of some. The dark twisted excitement I had felt when I captured Daniel and destroyed the lab of my worst enemy, or the time I had spent talking to Maddie in the Specter Speeder after she found out I was half ghost. Watching and smirking from above as my human half talked with Daniel, or actually being on the ground discussing what to do about my ghost half with Danny. It was almost like my own private battle of good and evil.
I opened my eyes suddenly as I heard someone move in the room, tearing myself away from the fight. I realized I was lying on a bed. Someone had lifted me up off of the floor and carried me here. I sat up and glared at Daniel, who was watching me. "What is it Daniel? I'm not in the mood to exchange threats with you."
He looked down at the floor. "I'm not sure what to think about you now. Part of you saved my family and me. The other part was trying to kill us. I would fight as long as I could against your evil ghost half, but I wouldn't be able to against your completely human side."
"Those two people are gone Daniel. It would be best if you acted like this whole thing never happened."
Daniel looked up at me. "When your ghost half captured me I didn't think that you would come and save me. I was resigned to whatever was going to happen. Then Plasmius brought my mom to the lab, and she told me that you were with her."
"I'm not sure I would do it again." I said. He sighed and left the room. I was hoping to finally get some peace, but Maddie walked in.
"Vlad, it's about what you said earlier." I stared at her blankly and then the memory of our second talk on the speeder fought its way to the top of my mind and I looked away.
"I wasn't myself Maddie. Just forget it." Now she wanted to talk? She wanted to talk to me even after I had hurt her son and tried to kill her? Wait… the other half of me had saved her. That was who she wanted to talk to.
"Well, now that I know that you're half ghost…" she trailed off, not sure what she wanted to say. "You said that no one understood how you felt, and that even though Danny had your powers he had friends that accepted him, so he was different." I looked at her again. "Vlad, your secret is mine too now. We were friends in college. Even though Jack and I are married now the three of us could still sort of go back to the way things were."
"No we can't Maddie. You know that. It's too late." Now she looked away.
"Alright Vlad. I'll be here for you if you need, though." Maddie smiled at me for a moment and left.
I sat back in the bed in my enemy's house and stared at the door. Then I went back to defining who I was. More and more of my memories as a human came forward and replaced the ghost ones. And why not? After all, I had always wanted Daniel and Maddie to like me. Maybe I just needed to see things through two sets of eyes to make the right decision.