My friend requested that I write this, and after incessant begging on her part, I finally wrote it. I hope she enjoys it, and I hope you enjoy it as well. Feel free to review and critique.

Be warned: This story contains a few incidents of a homosexual nature (and moments between two guys of completely different ages), so if that offends you, then don't read it.

Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom or any of its characters. It all belongs to Butch Hartman.

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Love and Power

Vlad Plasmius was currently annoyed, to say the least. As he blasted his archenemy into a brick wall, he could not help but feel slightly irritated. It was rather obvious that he had the upper edge in this battle, as he had nearly twenty years to perfect his ghost powers, while this mere half-ghost kid had only had his powers for a couple of months. Why, then, was this boy so persistent?

Picking himself up from where he painfully crashed into the wall, Danny Phantom floated up into the air and glared into the older half-ghost's piercing red eyes, ignoring his noticeable injuries, and prepared to fire an ecto-beam.

"Stay away from Amity Park, Plasmius," the boy growled, shooting the beam of energy toward the very man he spoke to.

Smirking, Vlad quickly put up a shield, making himself immune to Danny's feeble attempts at vanquishing him.

"You can't win, Daniel." Vlad had that sinister look on his face; his eyebrows were lowered, and he had an eerie grin that showed off his discernible fangs.

Danny knew that look, and frankly, it frightened him. However, he could not afford to reveal a moment of weakness to his current opponent, so he remained determined as he floated in the air, glaring across to his green-skinned nemesis.

Vlad was still annoyed, even though he knew that it was inevitable that he would soon triumph over this mêlée. In fact, that's exactly what annoyed him. He knew that Danny knew that he was indeed the stronger of the two, with all his years of experience, yet the pesky little halfa would never leave him alone.

Ever since he first met the only other known hybrid in the world, Vlad had a strong desire to make this boy his apprentice. Surely, the young halfa felt alone in the world, so having someone like Vlad mentor him would give him the acceptance he craved. Vlad would be able to train him and instruct him in the ways of ghost powers, yet he would also have someone to obey him and look up to him. Vlad would be able to do whatever he wanted with the ghost child…

If both Danny and Maddie could join the middle-aged halfa, then he would have succeeded; he would have won. His life would be perfect.

However, as it was unlikely that he would ever join Vlad, Danny always served as a temporary, yet time-consuming blockade in the man's path to whatever goal he would be trying to attain. Although, the younger ghost-hybrid often succeeded in preventing Vlad from completing whatever diabolical plan he had schemed up.

This time, Danny was trying to prevent the older man from yet another attempt at killing Jack Fenton and winning over Maddie. The ghost child, as usual, had that firm look about his face, expressing his desire to never let his arch nemesis succeed in going about with his nefarious deed.

Oh, how easy it would be for Vlad to end it all… It was useless to think that Danny would ever agree to become his protégé. It would be so much easier to just shove the young half-ghost out of the way and take the quick path to his ultimate goal: Maddie. If Vlad's irritation and impatience ever got the best of him, then he probably would end up taking out his enemy once and for all.

That sinister look formed on the older half-ghost's face once again, as he quickly flew over and pinned his opponent against the wall with his gloved hand firmly gripped around the boy's neck.

"You know, Daniel, I could kill you right now…" he hissed as he brought his face only a few inches away from Danny's, squeezing his neck increasingly tighter. That determined look on the young ghost's face immediately turned to one of fear. The boy's green eyes glowed ever brighter as they stared into Vlad's soul, pleading for mercy.

Gasping for air, Danny felt that he could do nothing to stop his impending demise. All he could do was wrap his small hands around his enemy's thick wrist and give fruitless attempts at unleashing his firm grasp around his tender neck. Danny was fairly injured from the battle, and his oxygen supply had dwindled, depriving him of even more strength. Vlad couldn't win this time… He just couldn't… How many other times had he had him in a chokehold? Danny had escaped all those times somehow, but now, all he could do is watch as the very man he loathed sucked his life away.

Fortunately for Vlad, his opponent could be read like a book. He knew that Danny had given in; he knew that within his very right hand, he held the boy's fate. He slowly chuckled balefully, taking solace in the fact that he had the very power to take away his archenemy's short, fourteen-year life.

"V..lad… Pl..ease…" Danny barely managed to almost inaudibly gasp, attempting with every fiber of his being to plead for his life. He couldn't die now. Not like this; not while being choked with one hand by his arch nemesis. What a pathetic way to die. Yet, here he was, begging for mercy, when all this time, he had tried to be strong.

No… Vlad couldn't do it. He couldn't end his life; not yet, at least. He wanted to kill the boy so badly, but something stopped him. As he released his grip on the younger halfa, Vlad angrily pushed him down to the ground, watching him painfully collide with the hard pavement. Since the boy was now unconscious, he reverted back to his human form as blood began to gush vigorously from his wounds.

The older half-ghost became intangible and fled the scene, instantly regretting not taking away his opponent's life. However, at least he was out of the way for the time being. Vlad could use this opportunity to slip into the Fenton house, deliver that killing blow to Jack when he was least suspecting it, and find Maddie in a moment of weakness and comfort her, eventually bringing her over to his side.

Yes, since the young Daniel was out of commission for now, Vlad would have a much easier time carrying out such an ingenious plan. However, something kept telling him that it wouldn't work. What if Maddie wouldn't want to be with him, even after Jack was out of the picture? Ever since he informally proposed to her at his summer home, she had seemed to show some malice toward him, and he knew that it wasn't simply because she was tied down to a horrible marriage with that fool, Jack.

No, Vlad would still find a way to get Maddie after Jack left the picture. Maddie would join him, no matter how she initially felt. Why should he even doubt that? Vlad was always one to get his way, so if he wanted to kill Jack and steal his wife and kids, then there was nothing to stop him. At least, there was nothing until Danny would wake up and try to stop him. Danny would always try to stop him; that was essentially his role in Vlad's life.

As a matter of fact, Danny was really the only one who ever stood up to Vlad. Of course, there was that one time when his sister, Jazz, tricked him into believing that she wanted to live with him, when she just wanted to find out more about him. Although, that trickery was really only meant to help her foolish younger brother in future battles. Then there was that defective female clone who had too much of a personality for her own good. She eventually stood up to Vlad, but not without Danny's help.

It was rather annoying to have such a persistent foe such as the young Daniel. The ghost-boy knew that he was the weaker of the two, but he would always be there to provide somewhat of a challenge. Life would be so much easier if the boy would just give in, if he would just accept the fact that in the long run, he will never win. Danny could have a much better life living as a wealthy apprentice, but no, he just had to be stubborn.

Vlad had nothing blocking his path when he overshadowed billionaires and committed robbery. It was rather easy for him to gain such a fortune, and it should be easy for him to gain whatever else he desires, but ever since Danny had taken it upon himself to slow Vlad's progress at attaining his goals in life, nothing was simple anymore.

Surely some civilians had found the unconscious halfa by now, Vlad thought, turning tangible and setting his course for the Fenton household. It was unlikely that Danny would have awoken so soon after being shoved to the ground while already carrying so many injuries from their recent battle. His injuries probably were not anything that would send him to the hospital, but his unconsciousness would give Vlad a few minutes to carry out his plan.

As the middle-aged halfa arrived at the household that he loathed so very much, he became intangible and slowly snuck through each room, seeking out his target. He found Jazz pacing in the kitchen and Maddie innocently lying on the sofa of the den. Vlad lingered for a moment, watching the love of his life take a short nap. She looked so peaceful in that state, almost like the angel that he revered her as.

Vlad was instantly reminded, though, that after he carried out his plan to murder Jack, he would have all the time he wanted to gaze at the soon-to-be widow. The corners of the ghost's mouth formed into a grin as he imagined his perfect future, the future that now seemed so attainable.

Floating away from the den, Vlad made his way to the lab in which the Fentons conducted their ghost studies. Eyeing the rather messy surroundings of the laboratory, the hybrid set his eyes on that overweight, repulsive excuse for a man, tinkering with one of his latest inventions.

This was almost too good to be true: Jazz was too wrapped up in her own world to come to the lab, Maddie was asleep, and Danny was out of commission. Vlad would have no trouble obliterating the one who destroyed his life twenty years ago. Although, it would have been more amusing if the rest of the family was there to watch him take out the head of the Fenton household. However, the extra observers would have made this task more difficult, so it probably worked out better in the long run.

"Ha! Just one more twist, and the Fenton Ghost Devourer will be complete!" Jack proudly exclaimed, continuing to work on his newly claimed invention.

"Too bad you won't ever use it, Jack…" Vlad muttered, causing the other man in the room to glance over his shoulder.

"Huh? Who said that?" Jack insisted, jumping around to face the direction in which that mysterious sound came from. Twisting his arms and legs into a defensive position, he quickly glanced around the room. "No one messes with Jack Fenton! Now show yourself!" he cried, grabbing an ecto-gun from the table behind him.

As Jack pointed the gun in various directions, he did not think to look squarely behind him, as that was where Vlad floated, becoming tangible once again while preparing to fire a fatal blast of energy to the ghost-hunter.

As the half-ghost let the lethal blast fly from his hands, he heard a cry of, "Dad—Jack! Look out!" and saw a glimmer of black zoom by at over 100 miles per hour, rushing Jack away from his imminent death.

"Daniel!" Vlad cried vituperatively as the young ghost-hybrid turned to face him, "You fool! You were supposed to be unconscious somewhere on the street!"

"Well, I guess you didn't hurt me as much as you thought you did, Plasmius!" Danny retorted, firing a blast of energy at his nemesis.

"The Wisconsin Ghost and the Ghost Boy! You dare to mess with Jack Fenton!" Jack rhetorically questioned, scrambling up from the ground to gather a supply of anti-ghost weapons as the two halfas commenced with yet another fight.

Yet again, Vlad was annoyed. No, he was not annoyed; he was infuriated. This boy had managed, once again, to somehow ruin his plans at achieving the perfect life. He was just a mere millimeter from slaughtering Jack, but the younger hybrid had somehow miraculously regained consciousness and pushed his oaf of a father out of the way. Danny was nothing more than a thorn in Vlad's side. He was not worthy of being a protégé. Vlad should have killed him when given the chance.

Why did he hold back? Of course, it was that hope of making the boy his apprentice that kept him from committing murder. Well, Vlad now had no desire to associate with such a cretin as that ghost boy, at least not after he had just ruined a perfectly good plan. He now had the urge to slaughter the entire Fenton family and run off with Maddie, living a quiet life with the woman he loved. He would have no need to put up with annoying teenagers, especially when one of them wanted to have nothing to do with him. Yet, that same teenage boy was so similar to Vlad, that he was bound to warm up to him and denounce his father…

Flying over to Danny, Vlad grabbed his neck and once again pinned him to the wall, but this time he phased them through the house so they could continue their brawl away from the spontaneous shootings of one of Jack's guns.

Arriving at a nearby complex of buildings, Danny released himself from Vlad's surprisingly light grip and prepared himself for another long and arduous fight.

"Don't you see, Daniel," Vlad began, launching a few blasts of energy toward his opponent in rage, "All I want is love! All I want is happiness! And all you do is ruin any chance I have of obtaining that!"

"Well, your definition of happiness happens to involve making me miserable!" Danny snapped, attempting to dodge the attacks of his archenemy.

"How so?" the older halfa replied, "You could have a wonderful life with me and Maddie, oh, and your sister as well, if you just cooperate!"

"Yeah, see, that's the problem: That so-called 'wonderful life' would involve having my father dead!"

"Well," Vlad said smugly, spreading his arms out to prepare a heavy energy blast, "Why don't I just murder your entire family and spare Maddie? That would be fine with me."

"You wouldn't dare," the ghost boy replied, almost forming a smirk on his face.

Of course he would. Vlad could certainly do with living just with Maddie by his side. It's what he had always wanted. Or was it? Well, obviously, that's all he wanted for the past twenty years and more, but recently he realized that the idea was slowly losing its appeal. Of course he would still jump at the chance to gain Maddie as his wife and lover, but that sort of life would seem so… empty.

Vlad lingered for a moment in the air, dropping his arms and canceling the energy blast that he was forming. Could he really murder the young Daniel just to live peacefully with Maddie?

That woman was clearly nothing less than perfect, but even having the perfect wife wouldn't seem like it could fill the gap that Vlad had in his life. He was indeed a lonely, bitter man, and he longed for love and companionship, but after so long, he wasn't even sure what love was anymore. He had always assumed that what he felt for Maddie was love, but now he didn't even know if that was true.

Vlad always had the notion in the mind that was madly in love with Maddie, but how could he even say that when he barely knew what the feeling was? He was always attracted to her beauty, intelligence, wit, and charms, but he had barely spoken to her ever since that fateful accident twenty years ago. From what he heard, attraction was not even close to being the same as love. Perhaps Vlad didn't love Maddie then.

The more he thought about it, he realized that it wasn't just Maddie that he was after. Vlad was after the idea of revenge and power. Jack Fenton's clumsiness had robbed Vlad of a life he could have had: a normal human life without a trace of ecto-acne. He could have spent his youthful years dating and finding a steady job. He could have even won Maddie over from Jack.

Back in college, it was evident that Vlad had his eye on Maddie, and that attraction he felt was the one thing that kept him fighting for his recovery while hospitalized for all that time. For all those years, that woman had been his target, his object of lust. Sure, he had a few fleeting affairs here and there once he recovered from his ecto-acne, but the thought of revenge and taking back what was his had always remained in his mind.

If Vlad really wanted to live with Maddie more than anything, he would probably have created a clone of her, rather than just a computer program. No, the clone he slaved over was one of her son, the boy that he was currently debating over whether or not to kill.

At that time, the only thing that seemed appealing to Vlad was the prospect of having the young Daniel live with him as an apprentice and son. A son? No, the more he thought about it, Vlad realized that he had never viewed the young hybrid as a son. When he saw the boy, he saw someone who was sharing his struggles with being a halfa, someone bold enough to challenge him, someone that Vlad simply desired for some reason or another.

Along with love, Vlad also craved power. He was driven to pilfer money and make his social status rise, causing him to gain immense publicity. In today's society, money was power, and he indeed had a lot of it. It was never enough, though. Living alone, he had no one to prove to that he was a powerful man. He never felt powerful enough. Loneliness seemed to overpower him, and he had always desired to change that. Companionship with the right person could potentially fill those gaps in his life: love and power.

Was Danny the candidate to fill that position? Whatever Vlad saw in the boy was very different from what he felt for Maddie. It was stronger and more prominent. It was something that had occupied his mind ever since he discovered that the boy was the only other known half-ghost in the world. Ever since then, Vlad suddenly realized, gaining Danny seemed more appealing than gaining Maddie. Those clones, that million-dollar-bounty, those traps… Those were all ways for Vlad to finally attain what he had sought after all those years…

"So, I guess you wouldn't dare to murder my family, then!" The ghost boy's shrill voice broke Vlad's train of thought, causing the older man to smirk.

"Of course I wouldn't, Daniel," he replied softly, "That would just be cruel. Besides, you never did anything to ruin my life like your father did…"

"What my dad did does not give you the right to kill him!" Danny cried, not noticing that the older halfa was slowly floating towards him.

Yet again, Vlad pressed his opponent to the wall of the building behind him, but instead of attempting to choke him, he harshly pressed his lips up against those of the boy's, forcing his teeth open with his sharp tongue.

Danny was bewildered. What on earth was Vlad up to this time? Was this another scheme to weaken him and attempt to kill his father yet again? Whatever it was, it wasn't pleasant. From what he could tell, Vlad was kissing him, and it was awful. Those couple times that he had a "fake-out make-out" with Sam were much more enjoyable. Those kisses were sweet and mutual. But with Vlad… it wasn't sweet. This kiss was essentially an act of lust and dominance.

Once he recovered from the initial few seconds of being paralyzed with shock, Danny struggled to get away. Once again, though, Vlad's grip was just too strong, as his large hands had pinned Danny's limp wrists to the wall.

The young halfa finally felt the sweet relief of having his mouth free again, yet this exuberance was quickly ended when he felt sharp fangs sink into his neck. With this, he gasped in pain and struggled even more.

As Vlad trailed his bites down the tender skin of Danny's neck, the young ghost boy finally managed to choke, "Vlad… Whatever part of your diabolical scheme this is… STOP!"

With that, the older man released his grip on his opponent and grinned, revealing a tiny bit of blood dripping from his fangs. "Oh, but Daniel, the scheme has just begun…"

And with that, Vlad Plasmius flew off into the air, leaving Danny Phantom floating by that building with a look of bafflement dominating his face.