Hey hey! Guess who's back with another chapter:o Oh em gee.
This little bit was written exclusively by me alone, so the structure may be a little bit different than the norm. But that's okay, right?
-Watches more anime about vampires- :D
"Mom, dad…" The red-headed girl gripped the sides of the couch, the fabric crumpling under her hands as she stiffened slightly in her seat. "You have to believe me. I've been Danny's confidant for over two years now!"
The Fenton household has been a nearly deafening silent for hours, though anxiety has been bubbling in everyone's minds, growing at an exponential rate. The longer Maddie and Jack Fenton refused to talk, the more Jazz grew restless – and despite her best attempts, she hasn't been able to get any sort of positive remark from either of her parents.
"I really hate to say it….but guys," She drew in a short breath, a thread of guilt pulling at her heart. "But I know more about Danny than anyone else. Sometimes he used to say I understand him better than he does himself…"
"Jazz," Maddie's voice cut her off in a delicately sharp tone, her back turned towards her daughter as she dusted the fireplace mantle for the sixth time that night. It seemed the only time she felt somewhat at ease, somewhat able to dull the pain, is when she kept herself busy… and she honestly felt nowhere near the mood for working on her ghost hunting inventions. So by now, the house was nearly spotless thanks to her. "We hear what you're saying, honey. It's just…." Her hand slowed to a stop, the feather duster laying atop the wooden surface. "I'm not sure what to believe, or what to hope for anymore. The fact that Danny's been keeping this a secret from us for so long…"
"Well of course he would!" Jazz defended swiftly, violet eyes fixated on her mother, though they had barely made eye contact at all that evening. "You and dad were constantly trying to catch ghosts, experiment on them, or dispose of them. Danny was terrified that because you hate ghosts so much, that you wouldn't accept him!"
"He's our son!" Maddie turned around, revealing her blood-shot eyes and tear-stained cheeks, her hand letting go of the feather duster as it fell uselessly to the ground at her feet. "Of course we would accept him! We love him!"
"Then why is this so hard for you?" Her daughter's voice replied quietly, meeting her eyes with a puzzled look. "Right now, he needs acceptance more than anything…."
Maddie fell silent, her gaze falling down towards the floor, looking at her feet in shame and guilt. Why was this so different? Before Danny succeeded Pariah Dark, it would have been so easy for her to accept her baby boy for whatever he may be. But now….it's almost painful it's so hard to feel acceptance for her only son. She still loves him, yes… but he's changed. So much.
"Jazz," Her father spoke quietly, his daughter lifting her head up with a hint of surprise. She had almost forgotten he was sitting at the other end of the coffee table, he had been so silent. Usually, one could never get him to shut up, but now he barely spoke a word. "I think this is so painful for us because we want to accept him."
"Then why don't you?" She shook her head negatively, almost glaring at her father with ice cold violet eyes. "This… this entire ordeal is happening simply because Danny's just a teenager. He had no idea how to handle these torrents of emotions he has to deal with every single day. And it's only worsened since he became the Ghost King…"
"Even if it is that simple, dear…" Maddie spoke up once more, bending down and picking up the feather duster, but didn't continue to use it – and instead held it uselessly at her side. "That still doesn't change the fact that Danny's actions today were…. Questionable. Your father and I always thought Phantom was a menace, just like every other ghost out there…. I mean, he constantly courted danger, and ended up costing the town thousands of dollars in property damage…"
"That's just because he was trying to protect us." Jazz stated firmly, now staring at the coffee table in front of her, as if refusing to make eye contact with her parents at this time. "That's all he was concerned with. He got bullied every day in school, his grades have been slipping drastically, he's been labeled and outcast – and still, the first thing that was on his mind was, how he could protect you. Protect us. Because he felt he was the only one who could."
"Danny knew well we can take care of ourselves." Her mother replied softly, her voice wavering from trying to convince her daughter, or trying to convince herself.
"Why are you speaking of him in past tense? Danny's still here!"
"No he's not, Jazz!" Maddie finally caved in, fresh tears trailing down her cheeks as her eyes squinted, a burning sensation returning once more. "Did you not see him today? He almost killed a classmate! Danny would never wish harm on others… that's not my son out there!"
Another deafening silence fell throughout the household, and even Jack felt the weight that hung in the air after his wife force-fed Jazz exactly what she was trying to say all this time. And in truth, he felt the same way… How could he believe that monster out there was truly his son? It was cruel, yes… but there was no doubt in anyone's mind that Danny has changed, and for the worse.
"I…" Jazz stuttered, staring at her mother with wide eyes in disbelief. "I can't believe you just said that…"
And instead of hearing the anticipated protest from the older woman, she was met with a guilty gaze that slowly reverted back to the floor.
"Y-You're kidding, right?" She whispered, voice so pathetically hopeful is was beginning to make her eyes water. "I mean… There's a reason Danny's doing this. He's just confused, he's scared, he's-"
"He's changed, sweetie." Jack replied solemnly. "Anyone can see that."
"So now that he's changed, he's not your son anymore?!" Jazz stood to her feet, staring down at her father incredulously. "I can't believe you two! The moment things start looking grim, you… you back away from the problem you can so easily see through, and blame it on your son?!"
"Jazz, that's not the issue here!" Maddie replied harshly. "Whether or not we accept him now, it's not going to make a difference."
"And how do you know that?" Violet eyes clashed in a stare-down, each set ice cold. "You're beginning to confuse your preconceived assumption of Phantom's personality with Danny's! Mom, you're dividing what you want to believe, and what you should believe!"
"Then what should I believe?" Her mother asked with a shaking voice. "Tell me then."
Jazz blinked, taken aback by that comment. She never expected either of her parents to ask her that… not after what she's been telling them all along. "I know how Danny's mind works." She said simply, folding her hands idly in her lap, her gaze once again finding refuge at the coffee table. A pause of silence let her know she could continue. She was in her prime, at last… maybe she could convince them now. "His psyche is no different than a normal teenage boy's… except for the fact that he's been under an incomprehensible amount of stress these past two years, it's a wonder he's been able to stay in school."
"After everything that's happened, I've noticed Danny barely got any sleep at night... if anything at all. He's been constantly trying to keep waves of imperial ghosts that once served Pariah Dark in his kingdom from coming to earth, because he never wanted to rule the Ghost Zone… or earth. He's been wanting to protect it."
"If he wants to protect us so much, why is he doing this?" Her father asked quietly.
"Because his emotions are in such a tangle, he isn't sure how to handle them anymore. Look…" She sighed softly before continuing. "Any person you come across will have the same reaction to negative emotions like fear and anxiety. If someone like Danny, who's already slightly unstable from exhaustion, they unconsciously go through something call a 'replacement method'. If he was to be subject to an immense amount of near paralyzing dread, like he went through today at school, the first defensive act the mind does is to replace that fear with something more manageable. Even the sanest person will turn that negative emotion into anger, because it's one of the easiest for the mind to process… and it also allows that person to vent their frustration. It's simple, it's fast, and it's easy. But like you said, it's not always pretty."
"Especially for such a powerful ghost." Maddie added in an almost bitter tone, but Jazz could tell that she was beginning to show recognition – which was the first step she needed to gain from them.
"But it's a normal human function – and if you haven't forgotten, Danny's still half human." Her daughter insisted. "No matter what happens, that's still the route he's going to take. He's gained a few personality quirks along with being half ghost – like his slightly elevated obsession over certain things, and having a bit more of a temper. But he's still human. That's why I know we can still reach Danny, even if he's in such an emotional rage."
Both of her parents replied with silence for the first few moments, trying to process the information the young teenager was relaying to them. It couldn't possibly be that simple, could it? "Then what, Jazz?" Jack asked in a sincere tone.
"What Danny needs now more than anything is acceptance by the ones he loves. Because he feels so alone, it will only feed the problem he has right now. If his family and his friends come to accept him, that will allow him to take a step closer to humanity, because he'll know he's no longer in an impossible situation anymore."
"That's so easy to say, but…" Maddie bit her lip, trying her best to keep an open mind, but hesitation was still thickly lining her voice. "It's still so hard for me to associate my little boy with Phantom…."
"Then try harder." Her daughter's reply was met with silence. Slowly she felt her resolve thicken, and she clenched her fists, taking the first few steps to the front door. "If you aren't going to do anything, then I will."
"Jazz, wait!" Her mother stopped her before she reached the door, Jack immediately getting to his feet to do the same. "You can't go out there… what if you get hurt? Or killed?"
"Danny would never kill me!" Jazz yelled, wrenching out of her parent's hold. "If anything, he needs me! If you, Tucker and Sam won't do anything to help him, who will?"
With that she stepped forward and flung the door open, bolting out to the sidewalk at the front of their house – her parents close behind her in a flurry of confusion and worry.
And not seconds after Jazz felt she was free, the ground began to shake violently, knocking her roughly to her knees. Faint voices from farther in the city could be heard as the earthquake began to magnify, the entire brick building of Fentonworks creaking in protest.
Hestiantly, Jazz steadied herself back to her feet, red hair partially covering her eyes as she looked back at her parents. They had stopped dead in their tracks….. but why? Slowly the young teen looked up, following their gazes towards the sky – and immediately her face paled in horror.
Not far in the distance, a towering ghostly castle began to emerge from beyond the park, miasma and broken earth falling from the tallest spires.
"No…." Jazz whispered, voice shaking. "Danny…."
Yes, I know, it's a bit short. But don't worry, I'll have the next chapter up soon – a short bit written by DiscordianSamba focusing around a single supporting character, and his or her separate views with the current situation in the story. Who is it? Hmm… you'll just have to wait!
So until next time, y'all ;3