A/N: Two years. Yeah...it's been two years... Words cannot even describe how sorry I am for postponing this story for so long. I honestly don't know what happened. It hasn't seemed that long to me even though the dates tell me otherwise. Time seems to fly by me so much that half the time I don't even know where it's gone and free-time that I thought I had has since disappeared. I really misunderstood the kind of time restraints that my final years of college would take on me and I'm so sorry that those restraints had to make you all suffer too. I really hope you can find it in you to forgive a poor author who's bitten off far more than she has the time to chew. Hopefully I can use this chapter as a peace offering to regain some of your trust and fandom back. It is a rather long one, which may be why it took me so long to write...

Also, I just thought I'd let you all know that just in case this kind of lapse happens ever again, I will not just abandon this story and not let you know about it. If it ever happens - and I'm using this as a huge if - I will let you know. I will post a chapter with all my notes and plans for the progress of the story so you will know that it isn't going to be finished. Until you see that chapter come, if it ever does, then assume that it is still in the works and that an update will come sometime that decade XD Okay...maybe not decade, but you get my point ;)

And one more point before I let you get to the chapter you've been waiting two years for. If you're ever wondering about my status if I pull one of these absentee things again, I do update my profile occasionally with what's been going on (like my recent graduation :) ) and I also update my deviantArt account. I'm Darth-Frodo for anyone that's got a dA account and if you tell me you're from this site I'll even watch you too XD I tend to update those in regards to my status and the status of my fics, so if you're ever curious where I am or why I've been absent, those are generally good places to look :)

Alright, enough prattle. Onto the chapter! Enjoy!

Chapter Six
Red Herring

Danny was surprisingly silent as Jazz drove quickly back to the house. They all expected him to be complaining and moaning the entire ride about how suspicious it would look and how everyone had watched him leave with murmured whispers, but they heard nothing from the side passenger's seat. They assumed that he was okay now since he hadn't made any indication of pain or discomfort while in the car, but instead of relieving them like it should have, it made them even more worried. It meant that there was something at the school that was aggravating his condition and they knew that until they identified what it was, Danny couldn't return to the school.

"You're so lucky," Tucker griped. "You have a total 'get out of school free' card that your parents will actually believe!"

"I don't know if I'd necessarily use the word lucky…" Danny replied quietly.

"Why not? You don't have to do homework or listen to boring lectures—"

"Or take tests that I need to pass the class?" he interrupted sharply.

"…Or that…" he finished with a blush.

Jazz sighed. "Danny, it's not going to be that bad. You can make up for it later. It's not like when you're absent from a ghost attack or something like that. This is a medical reason so you should be able to make anything that you've missed up," she explained patiently.

"I'd rather just have a normal school experience and not have to worry about it at all," he griped.

"Well we all know that isn't going to happen so there's no point in wishing that it would now is there?"

"I know that," Danny retorted. "I'm just getting a little annoyed is all…"

"And we understand that Danny," Sam comforted. "That's why we're all here for you, one hundred percent."

"Yeah, I know."

"Don't worry, I'm sure Mom and Dad will be able to figure out what's going on. Who knows, maybe Dad tried out that new version of the Specter Deflector on you after all?" Jazz suggested. The rest of the car groaned.

"God, if he actually did that I'm going to murder him," Danny grumbled and Sam and Tucker couldn't help agree. If all this was for something as stupid as the new and improved Specter Deflector there was going to be some definite exploding towards the Fenton patriarch.

Jazz pulled up in the driveway and shut the car off. She offered to help Danny inside but he abruptly informed her that he wasn't an invalid and he could walk into the house just fine.

Unfortunately the sound of a car pulling up outside the house must have intrigued the elder female Fenton and she went outside to investigate, though her expression of curiosity turned to one of concern and irritation as she saw not only her children out of school, but Sam and Tucker as well.

"Daniel James and Jazmine Alice, what are the two of you doing out of school, and with the two of them too?!" she yelled, pointing to Sam and Tucker. "You had better not be ditching! You know you can't afford to do that!"

"Mom, do you really think that I would come home if I were ditching?" Danny simply asked.

"Well, no…I suppose not…so then what are you doing here?"

"Inside Mom, please," Jazz asked quietly. She had already caused enough of a fuss with her yelling and she didn't want to attract any more attention than necessary.

She sighed. "Fine, fine," she acquiesced, walking into the house while the rest followed behind her. "So what is all this about?" she questioned, now in the safety of their home. "Is this some ghost related thing?"

"When isn't it a ghost related thing?" Sam groaned in response.

"So true," Maddie replied with a sigh. "But what happened? Why did you have to leave school?"

"We…we don't really know," Jazz answered lamely.

"We were kinda hoping you'd have an idea," Tucker replied.

"See Danny he—"

"I'm right here," he groaned. He may have been injured but he could speak for himself. Sam however, decided to keep right on going.

"—was all fine when he got to school and then he just started looking like he was in pain and trying hard not to scream so I rushed him to an unused classroom and then he started to feel better. So Danny decided that since he was feeling better he could go back to class but once he got back in he was in pain again. It happened like that all day. Sometimes he'd be in pain, sometimes he wouldn't be."

"It was annoying," Danny finished, feeling he needed to have some say in the story of his day.

"How bad was the pain Danny?" Maddie asked.

"What scale do you want? Numerical or exemplar?"


"On average, worse than an ecto-blast but less than a Specter Deflector."

"And at its peak?"

"Worse than a Specter Deflector."

"Hmm…" Maddie murmured, stroking her chin thoughtfully. "And this…it wasn't localized to any one spot around the school was it?"

"No, that's what we thought was so weird about it," Tucker answered.

"We were wondering if the school actually got around to installing those ghost shields like they've been talking about," Jazz offered.

"No…we were talking to Lancer about installing them, though of course we were going to install some that didn't work for your safety Danny, and it's not like there's another manufacturer we could go to… We could check it out though…your father and I…"

"Yeah and speaking of him, what does his new Specter Deflector look like?"

"His new and improved one?" He nodded in response. "It looks just like the old one except—do you honestly think this is your father's doing?"

"I don't know but it just felt like a much more intense one…"

"Danny, I know he may be a little…overbearing, but he'd never do something like this for a whole school day!" Maddie assured him.

"I know that. I'm just…putting it out there, because really, that's what it felt like."

"Well…I'll ask him but I think we're better off looking for a different explanation."

"In the mean time, I think Danny should go upstairs to bed," Jazz suggested.

"What? No!" Danny protested.

"I think that's a good idea," Maddie agreed.

"Oh come on Mom! I feel fine! I'm not anywhere near the school so I'm good now!"

"Well I don't really want to take any chances. We don't know what lingering effects this device has."


"Just go upstairs and get some rest," she ordered with motherly authority.

He groaned but went upstairs anyway, admittedly feeling a little tired after the day's events. Besides, after all the suffering Valerie had been putting his ghost half through lately, he wouldn't object to getting a few extra hours of sleep that he never seemed to get at night. His friends followed after him, always loyally following their friend through whatever he had to go through, even if it was just napping after a torturous day at school.

"You guys don't have to hang out here and watch me sleep," Danny told them as he climbed into his bed.

"Whoever said we were going to just watch you sleep?" Tucker asked as he hopped onto his friend's computer, password protection not stopping the techno-whiz.

"Nothing illegal," Danny groaned as he lay his head on his pillow gratefully.

"Illegal? Me?" Tucker asked innocently. "Do you honestly think I would do something illegal?"

"Last time you ended up hacking into the Pentagon, and from my computer."

"Well…yeah…but it was informative. We wouldn't have known about Technus' attack on the government information server otherwise."

"No hacking on my computer," he stated firmly. "You want to hack into the Pentagon, be my guest, but on your own PDA."

"Take all the fun out of it…" he grumbled.

Danny rolled his eyes as he settled down into his bed, closing his eyes with a satisfied sigh. This wasn't actually too bad, and it was definitely a good idea to head home, though he would never tell anyone else that. Catching up on some much-needed sleep, resting his sore and aching muscles in a relatively pain-free zone with only the lingering aches to trouble him…oh yeah, much better than remaining at school.

But his relaxation didn't last for long as he was interrupted by a large jump-suited man barging into his room. "Danny! Danny my boy, I heard what happened from your mom and I know who did it!"

That certainly got his attention. He opened his eyes and sat up, eying up his proud father. "What are you talking about?"

"I know who did it!"

"…How?" he asked skeptically. Sure his dad was a genius in his own eccentric way, but he was never one for brilliant detective work and deductions.

"What do you mean how? I heard what your mom said and I figured it out! What, you don't think I did?"

"What? No I just…so you know who did it?"

"Of course I know who did it! There's only one devious enough to do something like this…"


"No no no. The Guys in White!"

"The GiW?" Danny asked in bewilderment as he cocked an eyebrow. "Dad, they're completely incompetent."

"And that's being generous," Sam piped up.

"Oh come on! It's gotta be them!"

"Your father has some good points," Maddie assured her disbelieving son. "Jack, tell them what you told me downstairs."

"Alright, so your mom said Jazz mentioned something about some school ghost equipment, which is silly because we never installed anything. They haven't even asked in awhile…" he pouted. "But then that got me thinking…we're not the only ones. I mean sure, FentonWorks is the best, but we're not the only ones. The school could have gone to someone else…and they're the only other ones that work on ghost weapons and equipment."

"And it would make sense to go to them," Maddie added. "Sadly they're a government run program and the school is a public school. Why would the school district contract out to a company when there's a government agency that will do it for them?"

"Because we're better…" Jack sulked.

"Don't mind your father; he's just bitter at not getting asked," Maddie smiled, earning a smile back from her son.

"I'm not bitter! This is what FentonWorks does! We make stuff to fight off ghosts! And we're the best! And we were here first! They should have come to us first!"

"Whatever dear. But regardless, your father and I are going to go check out the school when everyone leaves for the day and see if they actually put anything in place. We'll let you know what we find."

Danny nodded. "Thanks Mom, thanks Dad."

"No problem sweetheart," she smiled. "Now you get some rest."

"I will." That rest was starting to sound better and better…

They left Danny and his friends to rest, Jack still muttering about how the Guys in White had stolen their thunder and how it was their turf while Maddie interjected the necessary "Yes dear" when needed. Danny smiled, imagining the fit his father would throw if he did indeed find GiW equipment in the school. He let those thoughts guide him into an easy, and much-needed sleep.

It was with blurry eyes and a groggy mind that Danny awoke later that afternoon, waiting for his eyes to focus before reading the time on the clock. They finally worked through their haze and made out the red lines that spelled out 3:42. Three forty-two…really? He had slept that long?

"Wow, sleeping beauty's finally awake," Sam commented as she set some of her homework down.

"You mean sleeping ugly," Tucker chuckled, still at the computer.

"Very funny," Danny added as he rubbed sleep from his eyes.

"Yeah come on Tucker, be a little nice to him."

"That was a little nice," he mumbled.

Danny let out a yawn with a stretch before falling back onto his bed, still in the process of waking up from his extended nap. "Did I really sleep for three hours?"

"Yeah, and like a log too. You were totally out."

"Wow…I must have really needed that catch-up sleep."

"I told you you there was something wrong with you," Sam gloated. "Aren't you glad you called in sick now?"

"It's not because I was in pain," Danny protested. "It's all the sleep I haven't been getting because of Valerie. But speaking of pain, are there any leads?"

"No," Sam sighed. "Your parents are still at the school probably tearing it apart. It'll be a wonder if there's going to be a school to attend tomorrow at the way they're going at it."

"Wow. I don't know if that'll make me even more of a loser or actually raise my popularity a couple of points…" Danny deadpanned.

"It'll raise it for the couple days it'll take to get the school fixed but then after that you're going to be more unpopular than before," Tucker chuckled, but his grinning expression turned to alarm as he heard a short cry of pain from the bed as his friend curled up in the fetal position, body tense face contorted in anguish.

"Danny!" they both cried as they rushed over to him.

"What's going on?"

"Is it a ghost?"

"Is it the same thing as before?"

"Same…as b-before," he grunted, his face screwed up as he tried to contain any further vocalizations of pain. Now free from the social pressures of school Sam and Tucker could really see how much this periodic pain was hurting him. It reminded them of watching him after the torture only months ago and here they were again, powerless to stop his pain.

"Do you want me to go get Jazz?" Sam asked.

"What good would she do?" Tucker asked. "She'd just probably annoy him."

"Because she's smarter than the three of us combined and thinks medical stuff is fun. She might know something to do about this!"

"Go…go get h-her," Danny requested, his arms now curling around his abs as the muscles clenched painfully. His body was on fire. His skin burned and his blood boiled. Heat lingered in his bones and seared his muscles. And yet for all the burning he was shivering like he was cold. God, what was happening to him?

It only took a few moments for Jazz to join them in the room. Hearing that her brother was once again in pain from an unknown source made a girl rush to his side. She was immediately beside him, her hand on his shoulder in worry. This scene looked so familiar to her, as it was only a few months earlier that she was comforting her brother from intense pain in this very room, only last time they had known what the problem was whereas this time they were lost.

"Danny? Danny you have to tell me what it feels like. Is it in the stomach? In the chest? Where is it?"

"All over," he gasped, eyes squeezed tight against the pain. He was panting hard to keep his cries of pain under wraps.

She sighed. "That's what everyone says but it's not going to help. You need to tell me exactly where or else I can't help you!"

"N-no it…it is everywhere. I'm…I'm on fire! I'm b-burning and…and c-cramping and it…it hurts!"

"So it's like a Charlie Horse all over your body?" Tucker asked. "Ha! See, it was a good excuse!"

Jazz just rolled her eyes and moved her hands onto Danny's shoulders, starting to massage them gently. "Does this help at all?" she asked. But apparently it didn't as Danny let out a yelp at the contact and quickly jerked out of her hands. "What did I do? You have to talk to me!" Jazz pleaded in almost a panic.

"M-my skin it…it burns! It burns! Don't t-touch me!" he cried out as he thrashed in bed, his breathing quickening with fresh pain.

"Alright…I guess not. It's obviously not just his muscles…" She sat for some time in thought before finally seeming to come to a decision on what to do about her suffering brother. "Sam, Tucker, one of you go get some warm cloths and heating pads. We're going to try and soften his muscles and get them to relax."

"N-no!" Danny protested. "No…touching!"

"I'm sorry Danny, but it'll help, I promise! You're frigid and your muscles are cramping. The warm water and heating pads will help with that; you're just going to have to deal with the rest."

He bit his lip against the prospect of more pain, tears blossoming in her eyes, but he nodded in resolute acceptance. Jazz sighed, feeling bad causing her brother more pain, but it had to be done and they both knew it. "The other one—" But she was interrupted by a doorbell ringing downstairs and she groaned. What horrible timing… "Alright, the other one stay up here. I'm going to get the door and make whoever it is go away."

Sam elected to go find the heating pads and she and Jazz both headed downstairs, leaving Tucker to try and comfort the tormented Danny the best he could. "Well…I guess your parents can stop tearing the school apart, since whatever's causing this isn't there. Guess you won't get your two days of popularity after all," he joked weakly, though he was happy to see Danny's lips twitch in a slight smile before settling back into their pained expression. "Don't worry, we'll figure out what's going on. You've got a lot of smart people trying to figure out what's going on, and that's not even including me." Again, another fraction of a smile.

Tucker had another hopefully cheering statement ready when he heard Jazz clear her throat from the doorway behind him. "Danny, you have a visitor," she told him, trying to sound polite but it was clear that she didn't approve of any visitors being present at the moment.

Danny looked up and froze as he saw a dark, wavy-haired girl walk into the room with a bowl of soup, a folder, and a comforting smile.


Oh no. Oh no oh no. Danny felt his heart clench in fear as he started to panic, which wasn't helping his agony at all which seemed to, if possible, have gotten worse. Why did she have to be here now of all times? She never visited his house, and yet now, when this weird ghostly problem was going on, she decided to show up. Great. As if things weren't already excruciating and stressful enough, now he had to add Valerie and her suspicions to the mix. Just great…

"Um…h-hey Danny," she greeted with a weak smile as she moved closer to the bed, obviously not expecting him to be in this much pain when she decided to visit. "I um…I did the really lame thing and brought you some soup. I don't really know if soup's good for a…Charlie horse" she stated, clearly not believing that to be the excuse seeing him curled up and whimpering in his bed "but my mom would always make it for me and I figured I might as well."

"Thank…thank you," he thanked weakly. He forced himself into a sitting position, but Valerie stopped him after hearing his sharp gasp.

"You don't have to eat it now Danny," she told him, and he looked relieved to hear it. He lay back down and closed his eyes, his breaths shallow and forced. "God Danny, you look terrible. You weren't this bad at school."

"It's…worse…" he labored, each word sounding like a struggle.

"Yeah…I yeah I kinda noticed. Well I uh, I brought your homework for you. I know it's probably the last thing you want to think about being sick and all, but I figured I'd might as well…"

"Th-thanks," he managed, though it honestly was the last thing he was thinking about. He never really thought about his homework, and now was certainly no exception. "That's…really—"

"—Really unnecessary," Sam interrupted as she returned to the room, ice packs and wet cloths in her arms. "Tucker and I could have gotten them for him too," she snapped, not even bothering to hide her disdain.

"And how would you have gotten the homework you all missed today?" Valerie asked, now mirroring Sam's rude tone.

"The easy way; by asking a friend."

"So what, I'm not a friend anymore?"

"Anymore? What do you mean anymore? You were never a friend."

"Girls…please," Danny pleaded with a grimace. The last thing he wanted was to make both halves of Valerie mad at him. He knew Sam was just protecting him and trying to get her to leave, but this was hardly the way to go about it. He preferred a method that didn't end in him losing his friend.

Sam and Valerie exchanged an evil glance, one that clearly demonstrated that the only reason they were stopping was because Danny asked. Sam brushed past her roughly and went over to Danny's side where she started plugging heating pads into an outlet strip. "Where do you want these Danny?"

"I d-don't."

"Heat pads go on the abdomen and upper legs and cloths on his arms and forehead," Jazz instructed with a sigh.

"N-no…p-please…" he pleaded, his voice filled with fear at the anguish that would come.

"Danny, you know you have to do this," Jazz sighed sympathetically. She gestured for Sam to hand her the heating pads and cloths. Sam gave them over gladly, relieved to be free from the responsibility of causing her friend more pain. She plugged in the heating pads goaded her little brother to uncurl. She helped him slowly, her heart clenching at every gasp or groan of pain he made from the movement. Finally he was lying flat and she was able to place the pads gently on the covers over his body. He hissed sharply at the added pressure on his sore body but it looked to be bearable.

"Alright, now for the cloths," she stated and from Danny's wince she could tell that these were going to hurt more. "I'm sorry Danny," she apologized before setting the cloths as gently as possible on his arm.

Despite present company Danny howled in pain as the hot fabric connected with his skin. He thrashed in the bed in pain as Jazz struggled to keep the heating pads on him. "Danny! Danny stop! They have to stay on!" she pleaded, and it seemed to stop his thrashing for the most part. She applied another to his other arm and forehead, which earned further cries as tears streamed down his face.

Jazz bit her lip and placed a very light kiss on her brother's cheek, her heart aching to see him in such pain. "I'm so proud of you," she whispered into his ear. "We'll find out what's going on soon enough."

Valerie stood transfixed, feeling quite awkward being in the room while Danny was in such agony. Something was obviously going on here, and while part of her thought she was being kept in the dark, the rest of her thought that the others were just as clueless as she was. "I really don't think it's a Charlie Horse," she finally remarked and Danny's three caretakers looked at her with varying degrees of guilt.

"We really don't know what it is," Jazz finally announced, her voice ringing with authority. "And I think it might be best if you head out now. I don't think Danny's really in the mood for visitors at the moment." Danny may not be bold enough to tell Valerie that he didn't want to see anyone right now, but she had no problems.

Valerie wanted to point out that Tucker and Sam were still staying, but she knew there always was and was always going to be a double standard when it came to Danny's two best friends. "Yeah, I can tell," she conceded, knowing it was best just not to argue. "Feel better soon Danny," she smiled before heading outside courtesy of Jazz.

As soon as Valerie was out of earshot Sam let out a sigh of relief. "Well thank God she's finally gone. It's bad enough trying to figure out what's going on without her getting in the way. And who does she think she is anyway? Getting Danny's homework like that," she scoffed. "Like we aren't capable enough to get it for him ourselves."

"Maybe she's just concerned?" Tucker suggested with a shrug.

"She's not concerned. She just wants to worm her way into our little group because her life's falling to pieces and we're unfortunately the only pieces she managed to hold onto."

"Well…that's a really good metaphor…"

"Oh shut up Tucker."

"Alright, the damage looks minimal," Jazz announced as she returned. "She didn't seem suspicious after I told her we have no idea what's going on – because that's the truth – but I promised to let her know as soon as we know, which means we need to think of a cover story."

"You mean you need to think of a cover story," Tucker clarified. "I tried making up a medical cover story and I've gotten nothing besides becoming the center of ridicule.."

"You said it was a Charlie Horse Tucker," Sam stated matter of factly. "Of course we're going to ridicule you for that."

"It was a pretty bad cover," Jazz admitted.

Tucker groaned. "And see, this is why I'm not coming up with the next one!"

"Guys…can you please stop…arguing?" Danny requested from the bed. "It's making my head hurt."

They all apologized quietly while Jazz sat beside her brother. "Hey, how are you feeling?"

"A…a little better. It's not as…not as painful."

"I told you the heat would work," his sister smiled knowingly.

"It's not…it's not that," he argued, his voice sounding stronger. "It's…it's hard to-to explain, but it doesn't h-hurt as much. And not just the muscles but…everything."

Jazz sighed. "Well the periodic pain strikes again. And now it's not even at the school, which means Mom and Dad being there is pointless. I'll go call them and tell them to come home."

Jack and Maddie were relieved to hear that whatever was hurting their son wasn't at the school, though for different reasons. Maddie was happy because that meant that one possibility of many was at least marked off, meaning they were getting closer, but Jack was happy because the occurrence of pain outside the school meant that the school hadn't contracted out to another ghost hunter and the Fentons were still the main ghost hunters in Amity. As soon as they received the information they turned around to head home, back to the son that needed them, and they brainstormed the whole way back.

"Well, now we're one theory short," Maddie announced as she walked into her son's room. "The school seemed like such a plausible one too…"

"Yeah, I know," Jazz sighed.

"How are you doing sweetheart?" Maddie asked as she hovered over her son, checking temperatures and fixing covers.

"Better actually." He was sitting up now, no longer huddled and curled up in pain, and his skin felt closer to his usual temperature. "It's the whole 'come and go' thing. Right now we're on 'go'."

"Well that's good to hear," Maddie smiled. "Though I will say that makes it more interesting. It's not like there should be anything here that would set him off. It's not a ghost because then Danny's ghost sense would go off, and it's not a weapon because we don't have any in the house that do something like this, and it's not something already in his body because then it would either be constant or he would get these episodes on a steady basis. So what is it?"

"If only we knew," Jazz sighed.

"Maybe there's something in his backpack? That's the only thing that's been with him both at school and here," Sam suggested.

"That was the first thing we checked," Maddie explained. "There's nothing ghostly about it, though I suppose we could check it again just to make sure. I'm really running out of options here…"

"Well at least that'll be easier to do without Valerie here," Tucker added.

Sam groaned. "Don't even mention her."

"What do you mean?" Maddie asked.

"Valerie stopped by," Danny explained, and his friends looked much more relieved to notice that his voice didn't sound as pained as before. "She wanted to give me some soup and my homework," he chuckled weakly. "What a great combination."

"So she…she was here?" Maddie could feel it, that rising anticipation as she was on the cusp of an answer. It was partly why she became a scientist because she lived for the thrill of just making a new discovery or piecing something together like no one had before, and now was no different.

"Yeah, she left a couple minutes before we called you. I don't think she's suspicious at all though. I think we managed to keep her suspicions at bay for the time being."

"That's my boy!" Jack congratulated. "Always thinking smart."

"Well…I actually didn't really do anything… It was everyone else that really answered her questions. If anything I made her more suspicious, screaming and thrashing around like I was."

"Oh…well then good job for finding such good friends to think smart for you! That's my boy!"

"Was it really that bad sweetie?" Maddie asked in concern.

"Yeah…almost worse than it had been at school, though I really don't know why. But it really hurt."

There it was, that final confirmation. That last piece of information to confirm her ideas. It all made sense now and she couldn't believe that she hadn't seen it before. "I…I think I got it…" she blurted out. Everyone's eyes immediately turned to her with varying shades of hope and confusion.

"What do you mean Mom?" Jazz questioned.

"It's…it's Valerie."

"What are you talking about?" Danny asked in confusion.

"Valerie's the one causing the pain."

The room was silent for a moment before Danny spoke again. "Come on Mom, it can't be Valerie. Why would she want to hurt me?"

"She doesn't want to hurt you, but she does want to hurt Phantom."

"Of course!" Jazz cried, realization coming to her as well. "Oh I should have seen it sooner!"

"I think we all should have."

"Wait wait, I'm still confused," Danny stated. "How can she be hurting me? She doesn't have the ability to do something like this! I mean, it takes hi-tech ghost technology to be able to do this! How would she get something like this?"

"I don't know Danny, but it has to be her. You hurt at school because she was there, and it changed in intensity based on her proximity to you. And just now you started to hurt again because she came over. The facts are all there Danny," Maddie emphasized. "She's got something on her person that's doing this to you."

Danny had to admit that it did make sense, and his mom did know this stuff. But it still bothered him where she could have gotten the device that made him hurt so badly. Sure his parents had the Specter Deflectors that hurt pretty bad upon touch, but something that could hurt this bad based on distance alone? That had to take some skill in ghost weapon manufacturing, skill that Valerie didn't have. So where did she get it?

There was an odd silence amongst the manor house. It wasn't unpleasant or awkward, but filled with apprehension, excitement, and satisfied vindication. It mirrored perfectly the feelings of its master who was currently in his study, watching the progress of his plan unfold on his laptop.

"Ah Daniel, if only you knew what was in store for you," Vlad chuckled deviously. "You think it hurts now but just wait. Pain is not the only thing you will have to worry about, oh no."

He stood from his chair and hovered near a fire in his fireplace, a glass of brandy in his hand. "You think I would let the events of our last meeting go without revenge?" he asked aloud in increasing frustration. "You think I would not seek some sort of vengeance for ruining my chances for your mother? You think I would just sit idly by whilst your mother's contempt for me breeds further, and by your careful pruning?!" he yelled as he threw his glass into the fire.

"Well, my revenge has come," he growled, the firelight reflecting off his face and his eyes blazing a frightening uniform red. "Now you too will know how I feel. You too shall feel the pain of a huntress scorned. An eye for an eye, as I like to say. An eye for an eye…"

A/N: I know, I know, this chapter didn't really reveal anything that you probably hadn't already figured out, but it was never my intent to really try and keep it a mystery so this was more for plot advancement and character knowledge. Hopefully it was worth the wait! ::fingerscrossed::