Summery: From cannon to speculation. From the things that make you go 'awe' to things that are just downright stupid. Sometimes love is all of that and more. In this weird one-shot, Danny learns a bit more than he ever wanted to know about ghosts and love.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or the lyrics in this piece of fiction.
book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we're all too young to know
Racing through the Fenton Portal, Danny shut it as fast as humanly possible. Once closed, he changed back into his human appearance and rested his back against it and tried to calm down.
Tucker, casually eating ice cream from just a few feet away, commented. "Let me guess, there's a ghost just on the other side trying to disintegrate you."
Danny shook his head 'no'.
"Box Ghost needs a babysitter?" Sam asked. She stood next to Tucker, leaning against one of the cabinets.
Danny shivered. "No." He gasped. "Much worse than I could have ever imagined."
"Pariah Dark escaped again?" Sam followed up.
"Your evil future self escaped the thermos?" Tucker asked nervously.
Danny gulped as he prepared to tell his friends the news. "You know just a few months ago I thought it was just going to be a one time thing, with the Box Ghost and Lunch Lady getting together. I knew that was coming…" He stopped for a moment to catch his breath. "But really, it's like the entire Ghost Zone is getting married or is in a relationship right now. But the worst part…is that they all want ME to be a part in it somehow. I'm sixteen! They can't expect me to be a part of everything they do!"
At this it was noticeable that Sam looked away quickly to hide her blushing face. Tucker's reaction was a bit delayed, but just as important. "Wait…WHAT?"
The Book of Love
One Week Earlier…
"Thank you Danny sweetheart, we do appreciate your help. Not many teenagers would be willing to look after our sweet little dumpling for a whole week. Would you like me to make you a batch of cookies for your services?" The Lunch Lady said as she handed a list of things to do.
"I'd love some. And it's no problem really. I'm on Spring Break and my parents are at a convention all week. Sam and Tucker will be coming by later, but in the mean time the two of us should get along just fine." Danny responded, taking the list. This wasn't the first time he'd done this, nor would it be the last. He had learned by this point to never turn down the Lunch Lady's offers of food. "Do you want me to feed her now or later on?"
"Oh, no, she just ate an hour ago. She shouldn't need to eat until breakfast. You just make sure she eats the whole jar okay? What she really needs now is a nap so you shouldn't have too hard a time with her this week."
"Okay, you two have a good time then." Danny waved. "And try to stay away from New York!"
The Lunch Lady waved back without another word. From out of the other room, the Box Ghost flew in and gave Danny a suspicious look. After yelling his obligatory 'Beware', the couple was off on their anniversary flight around the world.
Danny sighed and floated into a smaller room inside the lair. He smiled as he looked down into a crib at the sleeping bundle underneath the blankets. The baby Box Lunch hadn't woken up…yet.
Danny grinned. "Well, I guess it's time for homework then." He crossed his fingers. "Please, please stay asleep long enough for me to finish my World Lit reading…" The baby already seemed to have it out for the half ghost, in the past never staying asleep long enough for Danny to really get any homework done.
In the two and half years Danny had had his ghost powers, things had gone from incredibly complex and hard, to a whole lot easier. He was still fighting most of the ghosts from taking over the world, avoiding becoming wall art and dodging Vlad Plasmius's every move to obtain his goals. At the same time though, he was slowly coming to understandings with many of the ghosts, Box Ghost and Lunch Lady included. He respected them and they respected him. That was that.
He still wasn't sure how he came to babysitting Box Lunch, but the two parents were insistent that Danny be the child's godparent. While Danny had been utterly surprised and a bit exasperated, he had eventually caved in.
He settled down on the couch after dumping some boxes onto the floor. The Warehouse was full of them. Danny made himself comfortable and began to read into the wonderful world of Frankenstein, keeping a pen close. These days he was a lot more determined to be prepared for class. If he wanted to be an astronaut there were a lot of things he'd have to do. Danny figured he might as well start working hard now.
It was then the doorbell rang. Danny groaned and frustratingly put down the book on the couch. He grudgingly opened the door, pondering for just a moment who in the world would want to visit the Box Ghost for any reason.
He opened the door. "Look, I'm just lair-sitting okay; I don't live here…WHOA!" He exclaimed suddenly, shocked.
"Don't worry Ghost-child; I'm here for you anyway." Skulker said bluntly, pointing a gun of some sort into Danny's face.
Danny glared. "As much as I'd love to kick your butt right now, I've got to keep it down. Box Lunch is sleeping in the other room, if she wakes up the next five hours or so are going to be a living night---" He was cut off when Skulker grabbed him by the throat, dragging him back inside the lair. "Look, I can't leave Box Lunch alone. She's too young." At the same time this was getting rather frustrating.
"Fine." Skulker glared. "Do you think you could take care of that Muffin-Cake?" He asked to someone other than Danny. Ember appeared from the doorway.
"Yeah, I'll go grab the baby." She then turned to address Danny's increasingly concerned look. "It'll take less than ten minutes Dipstick, settle down."
"What will take less than ten minutes, my untimely demise?" Danny let the rest of the conversation register in his head for a moment. "Wait …Muffin-Cake? Ember was the girlfriend you were talking about that one day?"
Skulker brought Danny up to his eye level menacingly. "Your lips are sealed lest you want to become a pelt on my wall today." Danny nodded in response. Ember had the still sleeping baby ghost in her arms and the last thing Danny wanted to do was wake her up with witty banter or fighting.
And so a short time later that's how Danny found himself in Skulker's workshop being dragged around to some specific location yet to be revealed to him.
"Are we there yet?" Danny asked in a whisper, double taking back to make sure Box Lunch was still asleep.
Skulker abruptly stopped. "That is why you are here." He said, pointing Danny in the direction of a tube. The tube had something inside of it.
It was a frog. It looked remarkably like any normal frog one might find on Earth. Its eyes were droopy and looked sad and depressed even. Danny had to raise an eyebrow at that conclusion. After the three stared at the frog behind the glass for a full minute, Danny had to ask the question. "Um…why are we looking at a frog?"
"Just watch. Turn invisible for a sec." Ember ordered, doing it herself. Danny didn't have to think about it since Skulker was still holding onto him as he did the same.
Almost immediately afterwards the frog perked up, grabbed a top hat and cane out of nowhere and started to sing in a voice that was nothing short of amazing; "Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaaal…"
Danny's jaw dropped as the group turned visible again and the frog stopped singing on a dime and went back to being its sad and depressed self. "What…was…?" He could hardly find the words to express his utter disbelief.
Box Lunch squirmed in Ember's arms, making Danny panic for just a second. Ember put the baby back into Danny's arms, who quickly rocked her back to sleep. "That's why I never wanted to have kids. Too much effort." She said simply.
"Wait, 'never wanted'? That's past tense…"
"That…thing…is the result of one night of several activities in which Ember and I both agree was a bad idea." Skulker said first.
"Oh come on Skulky…you know you enjoyed it…" Ember flirted. Danny gagged.
Skulker visibly blushed and flustered before becoming serious again. "Err, well, um, which is why we want you to take this singing frog back to your plane of existence. We don't want it here in the Ghost Zone lest the other ghosts find out what kind of creature we've created. Do it now."
Danny wasn't about to argue. He stuffed the frog in his spare thermos, not bothering to contemplate whether it was a ghost or not. He then flew back to the Box Ghost's lair and quietly put Box Lunch back in her crib and sighed deeply. He pulled a blanket over her tiny body and dropped the thermos on a table top, trying desperately to forget the events that had just transpired. He shivered. As if Ember and Skulker as a couple wasn't nauseating enough.
Danny resigned himself to sit back again on the couch, wrapping himself in a blanket and loosing himself in the book again. Thankfully he had all of break to read it and write up a short report on it and was glad it was his only assignment.
After only reading a few paragraphs, there was a knock at the door. Danny cringed and groaned in the same breath as he reluctantly got up to answer it again. He opened it to a much more pleasant sight of Johnny, Kitty and Shadow.
"Hey kid, you 'sitting again?" Johnny asked off the bat.
Danny nodded. "Yeah, one year anniversary for the happy couple. Figured I might as well help them out."
"That's really sweet of you Danny. We thought you might be around so as long as you're in the Ghost Zone you should think about coming to the dance tomorrow night." Kitty added.
"You guys have dances?" Danny questioned. No matter how much time he spent in this place, Danny had the feeling he would never understand everything about these ghosts and their traditions. "Thanks for the offer guys, but I've got to stay here and look after Box Lunch. I can't leave her alone and I can't look after her at a dance by myself. I promised I'd clean up the lair and I've got homework to do." Danny continued with a bit of disappointment in his voice.
"Why not? You can bring the scary chick to the dance and then everyone will have a dance partner." Johnny said casually.
"What? No, wait, Johnny you've got it all wrong. Sam and I…" Danny stuttered.
"Come on Danny! Everyone's going to be there!" Kitty pleaded.
Danny shook his head. "Really, thanks for the invite, but I can't." Kitty visibly pouted.
"Well, keep thinking about it. Seriously, you and Goth chick are the talk of the zone. Later kid." Johnny winked, and with that he and Kitty jumped onto the motorcycle and sped away.
Danny sighed. "Sam will freak if she ever finds out about this…" Speaking of Sam, he needed to give her and Tucker a phone call the next day to give them the okay to come on over for a while. Danny yawned. He looked at the clock and decided that it was time for bed. With a baby in the lair he wanted to get as much sleep as possible.
Creeping silently into the room Danny made sure she was okay. "You're just too cute you know that? I have to apologize for calling you gross and all back when you came from the future. No hard feelings?" Danny partly joked as Box Lunch made a face as if reacting to a dream. He smiled before settling down in the guest bed on the other side of the room. That way if she woke up and started crying he'd be able to hear her.
As Danny's head hit the pillow a wave of relaxation washed over him. Sleep would be a very good thing. Thankfully, it came soon.
The night was rather uneventful. Danny figured his apology must have gone a long way since she didn't wake up until that morning. Right now Box Lunch was in her seat at the table while Danny tried to find her breakfast.
"Now, where did your mother put those jars…?" Danny pondered out loud. The tones of his voice seemed to amuse Box Lunch as she giggled with glee. The boy grinned as he found the jar of food he was looking for and floated over to begin to feed her, so then he could make breakfast for himself.
"Okay Box Lunch, 'Beware'!" Danny joked as he fed the food-filled spoon into her mouth. Being it was food and whose child she was; Danny never had any troubles feeding her. Almost as soon as she was full it seemed almost typical that Danny heard strange noises from outside the lair. Leaving the baby with some plastic play food, he went to investigate.
Peeking out the door he found the rather odd sight of Technus arguing with Walker over something. Desiree was there also, and seemed to be enjoying herself. Danny bit his lip. He knew he should just turn around and go back inside. He didn't need to know everything that happened in the Ghost Zone. He was about to close the door actually, when he was spotted by Walker.
"Get on over here Punk, we need to talk." Danny stopped in mid-step and turned around.
"I'm kind of busy here, what do you want?" Danny asked in an annoyed voice, flying up beside the three.
Walker looked over at Desiree. "You started this, you explain."
The dead harem girl sighed. "Alright, but you're taking equal responsibility for this." She said, glaring at both older ghosts.
"But I didn't do anything!" Technus complained childishly.
Desiree continued. "Hush up and let me tell the story. You were there Danny. You should know what I'm talking about."
"I was?" Danny was very confused.
"Yes, you and Skulker were fighting over something and Techy came out—"
"Don't use that name! I am Technus; master of all--"
"Shut up!" Desiree yelled back. "Anyway, Techy came out in a bath towel because Skulker had taken one of his inventions while he'd been in the shower." She continued pleasantly.
"It wasn't just another invention! That was my favorite weapon!"
"That isn't the point! The point is that I saw you, and we made love that night."
Danny's jaw dropped lower than he could have thought possible at the bluntness and of the very idea. Walker glared. "Careful with the imagery around the minor Desiree. That's corruption of the youth."
"Pft, that's funny, you never seemed to care about that before." Danny retorted.
Technus was still stupefied. "But just because of that one incident does not mean we're married!" He continued to complain. "I don't remember signing these papers! You did something! I know you did!"
Walker took out the said papers and let Danny look them over. "It looks legit to me." Danny offered. Desiree gleamed with happiness. Technus a look of dread.
"No! I don't want to be married. I'm the master of technology for a reason!" He continued even as Desiree grabbed his arm lovingly to lead him away.
"That's not what you said after your third bottle of whiskey…"
"I knew it! See Walker, it wasn't my fault! You've got to get rid of those papers!" He begged.
"It sounds like someone's just not ready for commitment." Walker said wryly. "Enjoy the rest of your day you two."
"No. No! NO!" Technus groaned as Desiree started to drag her prize away.
"Well, as fun as it's been, I think I've learned all I've ever wanted to know about ghost love lives. I've got to get back to check on Box Lunch."
"So I take it you're not going to the dance tomorrow night?"
"You too Walker? No offense but I really don't see you as the dancing type." Danny joked. Walker was one of the few ghosts who had stopped really bugging Danny altogether. Certainly something about having 'bigger fish to fry'.
Walker straightened his suit. "Not usually" He admitted. "But I have a date and I promised I'd take her to the dance. I thought for sure you'd bring that creepy human girl with you." He theorized. But as he looked down at his side, Danny was no longer there.
"Teenagers these days…I'm half tempted to lock them all up…no respect for authority…" He growled.
Meanwhile, Danny was closing the door shut in exasperation. "Definitely way more than I needed to know." He confirmed. In the kitchen he saw that Box Lunch was still preoccupied with the play food and he relaxed a bit.
Picking the happy little ghost out of her chair he brought her into the main living area. He set her down on a blanket he already had laid out and let her continue to play with the fake food while Danny settled once more back on the couch.
As Danny reached for his cell phone with the intention of called Sam and Tucker, Box Lunch decided that she was going to try to fly again. She could float just fine, since she was a ghost, but flying in a certain direction with speed took practice. As the phone dialed, Danny knelt down to help Box Lunch from not falling too hard in her attempts.
An answer. "Hey Danny, about time you called. You're not dead yet are you?" Sam joked.
Danny laughed, partly at the pun and partly at Box Lunch's continued failures. "Naw, I'm fine. Just learning a bit too much about the Ghost Zone, as always. I'm also bored, you and Tucker wanna drop by and play some video games, help me look after the baby and stuff?"
"Yeah, we'll be over as soon as we can. Tucker's out on the hopeless search for a Prom date again; I'll try to drag him away." Sam sighed through the phone.
"He hasn't asked you yet?" Danny asked a bit surprised, still handling the phone as Box Lunch floated a few inches off the floor. He kept one arm underneath her in case she lost control.
"No. You know how he is about that. He's still kind of put off by the last dance we went to freshman year."
"Right. Well tell him to get his mind off of it and come on over." Danny said. Box Lunch was done trying to fly for the day and she wanted up. Danny obliged. "I'll see you guys soon?"
"As soon as we can get there. Hang on tight. Later Danny."
"Bye Sam." He clicked off the phone and put it back in his backpack. "Okay Box Lunch, what are we going to do until the fresh victims get here?"
Box Lunch giggled baby speech in reply. "Glad we're on the same page then." Danny laughed.
Before they could do anything else, there was a knock at the door. Danny sighed and opened it with the small ghost still in his arms. "Man, this is a popular place lately…Hello?"
"Danny!" Came a girlish scream of delight. Before he knew it Danny was glomped by the younger female version of himself.
"Hey Phantom!" The second child's voice belonged to Youngblood. "We heard you were babysitting for the week. The Lunch Lady never lets us play with Box Lunch so we came over to see her!"
"Come on in guys." Danny laughed. Both kids ran inside with a smile on their faces.
Danielle was the first to sit on the couch. "Can I hold her? Please?" Danny sat down next to her and gently placed Box Lunch in her arms. Danni kept grinning.
"Careful, she's heavier than she looks." Danny warned.
"I am." Danni insisted. Box Lunch merely continued to stare at the new face in wonder.
"Hey, I remember having these toys when I was younger!" Youngblood exclaimed. "I love these things." He said picking up a large toy truck.
"So how did you two end up hanging around together?" Danny asked as his cousin handed the baby back.
"Well, I was in the human world for a while, but then Skulker ended up finding me." Danni explained. "He brought me into the Ghost Zone, but I ran out when he wasn't looking and met Youngblood! We've been hanging out ever since." She finished with a smile.
"She's been living with me and my parents. It's pretty sweet having another kid my age around here. It's been so much more fun!" Youngblood added. "You remember the time we replaced Technus's shampoo with hair dye?"
Danni giggled. "Yeah, he looks so funny with pink hair. Remember when we found all that wax in Walker's prison for cleaning? And we dumped it all in front of the doors?" She couldn't help breaking out into hysterics at that. And neither could Youngblood. Danny sighed and couldn't help but smile.
"The look on Skulker's face when he found out we had taken his TV remote was amazing too though! He didn't even know what hit him!" Youngblood cried in laughter.
"Or when we put Ember's guitar out of tune!"
"And having a staring contest with Clockwork! He gets so annoyed with that! When you poked him the look on his face was priceless!"
Youngblood stopped. "Hey, we haven't done that in a while. And he was the one who said we were too young to go to the dance tonight!" He complained.
Danni thought. "I think it's time we go pay him a visit." She said with a mischievous gleam in her eye. "See you later Danny, and thanks!" She yelled back as the two sped off to do what they could to annoy the master of time.
Danny and Box Lunch were left with confused faces. Danny looked down at his charge. "Well, sounds like tonight is going to be pretty quiet, huh?"
The intelligible giggle reminded Danny that he would probably rather be spending the night with just the two of them anyway.
Meanwhile, at a Paranormal Convention…
"Jack, will you let go of me already?!" Demanded a very angry and very annoyed Vlad Masters as he was strung along by Jack Fenton. Maddie followed the boys at a distance, casually looking at some of the other displays. Jack had it in his mind though, that he and Vlad were going to spend buddy-buddy time looking at basically anything and everything that Jack wanted to see.
"Come on V-man! The guys from New York have this huge ghost storage system! It's supposed to hold millions upon millions of ghosts!" Jack said gleefully.
Vlad gritted his teeth, and then thought about what Jack had just said; millions of ghosts… in one place. The wheels in Vlad's mind were turning and it wasn't long before he had a plan.
"Hey boys, look at who I found at the convention!" Maddie said happily as she brought the person up.
"Hello Vlad…good to see you again…" Maddie's sister, Alicia grinned evilly. She then cracked her knuckles.
Vlad didn't have words to speak. He didn't even react negatively when Jack gave him a crushing hug to celebrate Alicia coming. This was beyond bad.
"I almost couldn't believe it when I saw you. What in the world are you doing here? You hate these kinds of things." Maddie asked with a smile.
"Oh, you know, you and Jack don't take yourselves and the kids down to see me enough, so I thought since the convention was in Little Rock I'd drive over and say hi. But I wasn't expecting to see him again." She glared. Vlad gulped. Suddenly, many bad college memories came crashing back to him.
"Err, yes. Good to see you again Alicia." He said nervously.
"Hey, why don't you two stay here and catch up a bit!" Jack suggested with a grin. "Maddie and I are going to look at some of the really neat inventions!" Before Vlad could protest, they were off.
"So Masters, we meet again. Tell me, did the bones in your hands ever heal?" She said, referring back to the days in college when Alicia would visit and beat the crap out of Vlad. Vlad could have sworn that she was the one person on the planet who was more evil than him. And he was the one with ghost powers.
"My hand is just fine." He said, putting both hands behind his back. Oh how he wanted to blast her right there and then. "I uh, heard you divorced your last husband."
"And I've never been better in my whole life. I heard you're mayor of Amity Park now. You do that to get closer to my baby sister?" She glared. Vlad gulped. Ever since college Alicia'd had it out for him. It was partially because of her meddling that Vlad had missed many opportunities to get closer to Maddie…and that had left the door open for Jack.
In his hatred for Jack he had almost forgotten how much he hated her guts. "I don't think that's any of your business Alicia."
"Good grief Vlad, she's married now! Can't you just get over it already? There's more than one person you can love you know." She said simply, still scowling.
Vlad raised an eyebrow at her; he didn't trust himself to comment for fear of lashing out and blowing what little cover he already had in his agenda.
"I've never understood why you are so dead-set against me Alicia. I've done nothing to you." Vlad argued.
Alicia glared. "You tried to court my sister, that's what you did. And you're still infatuated with her! It's sick." She growled. "Now you've become a lonely old man who probably has a cat, a rich snob, and someone who probably could have moved on and found someone else he might get along with. Who just might have loved him back?"
Vlad noticed the slightest crack in her voice. This wasn't quite the Alicia he remembered always threatening him to stay away from her sister. He was hit with a thought as the words she had just said went running through his head a second time. "Alicia…I…why?! You never said anything! You never gave any indication, ever!" Again he was speechless as the revelation came to him.
Alicia was not one to cry often. She honored that memory by smirking. "Now you get the picture Masters. I honestly hate the fact that I'm still not over this. You've changed, but you haven't changed enough. I guess we're both just stubborn old fools."
Vlad politely coughed to clear his throat. As shocked as he was by this turn of events the fact remained that they were standing there in the middle of a paranormal convention, both having feelings for another person that was wholly out of their reach, and they both knew it deep inside. Vlad would never be able to fully give up Maddie and Alicia couldn't get over her feelings for Vlad despite him representing everything that she hated.
Vlad coughed quickly again. "Well, since the happily" Twitch "married couple still isn't back yet, why don't I show you around a bit? I did go to the university to study this stuff. We'll both wallow in our misery together?" He suggested.
Alicia smiled. She wasn't expecting him to love her now or ever, but now they both were on equal ground. That was all that mattered at the moment. "I suppose. What could be more fun than learning about stuff that doesn't exist? Half of the things you three invent don't even have any common sense."
Vlad smirked. "Oh, I wouldn't say that. You'd be quite surprised at what is all out there." He said, giving off the slightest twinkle of red in his eye.
Later that Night…in the Ghost Zone
book of love has music in it
In fact that's where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb
Sam and Tucker were getting ready to go home. They'd spent the day playing video games, playing with the baby and anything else they could find to do. When not doing these things Danny spent most of the time cleaning up all the boxes that cluttered the lair.
As Sam was holding Box Lunch one last time before they went Tucker confronted Danny alone for a minute. "Hey, you know you and Sam can go to this dance if you want. I can baby-sit for a couple of hours." He offered.
"What? No, I can't ask you to do that Tucker. It's just a dance. Besides, I don't want to leave you out or anything."
The door slammed open and two familiar little figures came running and screaming in. "Danny, Danny! Clockwork said we can go to the dance if we stopped bugging him!" Danielle squealed.
"Of course, he never said anything about the other ghosts." Youngblood followed with a smirk. He was dressed in a smart tux, Danny assumed he was playing secret agent for the night.
Danny gave a look to Tucker. "We're going." He said simply.
The dance floor was huge and despite Youngblood and Danni's intentions to cause chaos things went off without a hitch. Since coming, the three teens had learned a few things. Firstly that Walker had been wrong about everyone having a dance partner.
"I've never been so depressed in my entire afterlife." The Fright Knight groaned as he took another drink at the mini-bar.
"I hear you." Came the calm and collected voice of Clockwork. He looked over at the dance floor and saw several ghosts dancing; he twitched, and then downed another glass.
"I thought the Observants didn't like you coming to these sorts of things?" The Fright Knight asked.
"I had Danielle and Youngblood take care of it." He said simply.
"Shouldn't you be…I don't know, looking after time or something though?"
"Klemper is looking after the staff. I told him if anyone tries to take it, to be friend with them." Clockwork said in a deadpan tone. "You know…I had a girlfriend once…it was a complete and utter disaster of course."
Fright Knight did not ask any more questions.
In another corner of the building, two couples were experiencing technical difficulties in the manner that Technus refused to put down his technical manual to dance with Desiree and Skulker refused to dance period. Ember had long been giving the DJ dirty looks, but had restrained herself as much as ghostly possible.
"Come on Techy, puh-lease….?"
Technus turned away from her, his nose still stuck in the book. "No."
Desiree looked shocked. "Techy, that's the shortest thing I've ever heard you say! …we should dance to celebrate." She added quickly.
"I am not dancing. Especially not with you! You just come barging into my lair and mess up my whole afterlife! It's not like 'til death do us part' has any meaning here! This is forever we're talking about and let's face it, we do not get along." Technus vented.
Desiree looked sincerely hurt by this. "I know you're a decent ghost Technus…and cute too." She blushed. "Before coming to the Ghost Zone I've never known how nice a man could be. I know what I did to you was a mistake, but before then we got along as good friends. If we can go on like that, really this won't be so bad."
For the first time Technus took off his sunglasses willingly and the two made eye contact. "You really mean that don't you?"
"You're an easy ghost to love Technus, trust me. But sometimes you're just too clueless and stubborn to realize it." Desiree said, giving him a hug from behind. "So, will you give me the honor of having the first dance with you?"
Technus smiled kindly, and then realized what she had just said. "No! No dancing!" He clung as tight as he could to a pillar.
Nearby Skulker and Ember were having similar problems.
"So, we should probably dance or something." Ember said out of nowhere. "That is what we came here for."
"No, that's not what we came here to do and you know it. You're here to overthrow the DJ as always and I'm here to capture the clone again. She's not getting away this time…" Skulker said, scanning the crowd for his prey.
"We'd look more normal if we danced." Ember stressed with tried patience. Skulker was not getting the hint.
"Nothing is normal here."
Ember gritted her teeth. She was going to dance with her boyfriend if it was the last thing the hunter ever did. "Look, even Danny is dancing. You wouldn't want your prey to upstage you now would you?"
Skulker's attention was drawn to Danny dancing in a little circle with Sam and Tucker in a corner of the room furthest from the speakers. The trio still had Box Lunch with them and as long as the music wasn't too loud and they took her outside periodically, she was even enjoying herself as well.
Skulker growled. "Let's go woman." He said, grabbing Ember's wrist and dragging her out on the dance floor. Where typically Ember would have slapped him for calling her that and for dragging her, she merely smirked in triumph.
As the two made it onto the dance floor, Danni and Youngblood ran past them laughing hysterically for no apparent reason. Skulker almost went after them, but a good song suddenly started playing and Ember looked ready to smack him in the face anyway.
Johnny and Kitty were getting along really well for once. All quarrels seemed to be forgotten during the slow dances as they merely swayed back and forth in each other's arms.
"Have I told you lately that I love you Kitten?" Johnny asked sweetly.
Kitty giggled. "Not in the last thirty seconds."
Their lips touched for a moment and they continued to dance with the music.
Off to the side Youngblood gagged. "Ick, they're all kissing and stuff."
"When I was living with Vlad he always told me that stuff wasn't so bad. It can even be really nice when you share it with the right person." Danni said with a blush. She didn't often like to bring up her past, but for a while she did like to think of the good times she had.
"Maybe…" Youngblood consented. "It's a grownup thing though. I don't want to just start kissing girls I don't know."
"What…what about friends?" Danni dared to ask.
Youngblood was startled by the question, but it gave Danni all the time in the world to make her move. Very quickly she gave her friend a peck on the cheek, then turned away, blushing madly.
"That was weird." Youngblood said after a moment.
"Yeah." Danni agreed, slightly embarrassed and wondering why in the world she had just done that. "It kinda was."
"…You wanna go back to annoying the adults?"
"You bet! I'm not ready for this mushy stuff yet." And then they were both off laughing and giggling once more.
At a table Spectra and Bertrand were chatting away about afterlife in general, both seemed to be having a good time. The atmosphere of the dance floor was certainly influencing their behavior as soon each started flirting with each other like teenagers.
"No, no you can't make me. I won't go! You can't make me!" Technus's voice was traveling across the room. Desiree was slowly starting approach her patience limit.
It was then Walker entered the place. Many ghosts stopped what they were doing in fear he was going to arrest them. With the serious look on his face no one doubted it.
"Thank you so much for taking me to the Ball Walker! I really do appreciate it! I've wanted to go for so very long." Next to the warden appeared princess Dora, dressed up a bit more for the occasion.
"My pleasure my lady. Would you have this dance with me?" Walker's gentleman's side was really showing tonight as he extended his arm to hook with her own.
"Yes!" She exclaimed happily and the two walked out on the floor in a regal manner.
Technus and Desiree were watching the scene from nearby. "Why can't you be like that?" She demanded.
"I'm a geek, not a …a …whatever that was!" He defended. Desiree had had enough. She yanked her husband and dragged him kicking and screaming out onto the dance floor.
It was at that moment that the final song of the night came on. A slow dance, the couples dance. Whatever you wanted to call it that was what is was.
Tucker took Box Lunch out of Danny's arms. "You two go dance, it's my turn to look after her." The trio had been taking turns taking her outside for periods of time away from the business and loudness.
"No it's not." Sam protested. "It's my turn and…"
"Would you two just dance and start dating already?" Tucker interrupted in an annoyed tone. This caused both his friends' faces to turn bright red. "Yeah, that's what I thought." He said smugly. "Come on Box Lunch, you and I have a date with the other side of the room and the video camera…" He said walking over to the other side.
Sam turned to face her friend. "Well, I guess we don't have much of a choice. Wanna dance?"
Danny extended his hand. "I'd love to." And they walked back out onto the floor hand in hand.
To describe the feeling is difficult to do. Much of the dancing was awkward at first. Many of the ghosts there had never really danced before. The parties that normally accompanied the truces never included dancing.
Many eyes wandered to the two human teenagers to figure out what exactly they should be doing. Not that they would ever admit to such a thing of course. Of all the couples on the dance floor Danny and Sam seemed to be the most comfortable. Coming closely after was Johnny and Kitty and then Walker and Dora.
What Danny and Sam were doing was exactly what Johnny and Kitty had been doing all night, swaying to the music slowly. The exception was that Johnny had been in the habit of stealing kisses the whole time.
"Hey, you're not too bad a dancer. I think I know where Jr. got it from." Ember grinned. "Maybe you should give up hunting and give dancing lessons."
"If you ever say that again, I will take your guitar and smash it over your head." Skulker said evenly as he dipped her slowly.
"You're welcome. Now that I've been a bad girl do I have to make it up tonight?" She smirked.
Bringing her back up Skulker noticeably blushed. "As long as we don't create another one of those horrid creatures…"
Ember pulled him in close. "Excellent. But I'm warning you, one of these days I want kids, not frogs."
"Well excuse me for being biologically challenged!"
By the end of the dance many of the couples were tired. Desiree had her spectral tail around Technus's leg and they were holding on to each other like they didn't want to let go. Kitty had her head on Johnny's shoulder, both with their eyes closed.
"Make sure you get everybody Shadow, this is going on several different backup copies." Tucker explained carefully. Johnny's shadow was filming the entire thing under Tucker's orders, but he had a bias to film Johnny and Kitty. Box Lunch had fallen asleep long ago.
"You sure you have batteries in that Tucker?" Clockwork said coming out of nowhere. He looked positively smashed. "Because I once forgot to recharge the batteries in my staff once…and the bubonic plague got loose."
Tucker made a mental note to get Clockwork sticky notes for Christmas…or as soon as possible.
"You know, I had a girlfriend once…"
The dance was over. Relationships had been healed and some might even argue relationships had begun. Back at the Box Ghost's lair, Sam and Tucker were finally getting ready to go home. Danny had put Box Lunch to bed and all was good.
"Well, we'll see you at the end of the week then." Sam said as she and Tucker climbed into the Specter Speeder. "And thanks for the dance, it was really awesome."
"You guys are welcome to come by any time. It's not like I have anything else to do besides homework." This earned him a glare. Danny gulped. "Well, homework should take me a while…and no problem Sam. I really enjoyed it too."
"…Tucker…what are you doing?" Sam asked as the video camera was shoved in her face.
"Recording this moment for prosperity." He responded. Sam growled and without another word they were off.
Danny sighed. Four more days of baby-sitting and then he'd be back home. Thankfully Jazz had offered to watch the house.
Once again he wandered into the bedroom. Box Lunch was awake for some reason, so Danny took the chance to talk to her. "Yeah, you have it easy kiddo. Just wait until you get old enough to fall in love."
Box Lunch laughed at his plight. "Thanks a lot. Just be thankful you don't have to watch your enemies get all mushy on each other. If Sam and Tucker hadn't been there, you can bet we would have stayed here. I don't think I'll ever loose the image of Spectra and Bertrand eating each others faces.
"Well, good night Box Lunch." He said finally, pulling a blanket over her. She obliged and closed her eyes. Danny plopped down on the bed. "Sam was a lot nicer to look at than the ghosts. That's for sure." He grinned devilishly before falling to sleep himself.
"…Ember thinks she's expecting, I can hear Technus's screams a mile away and Walker wants me be the legal witness for almost every single wedding taking place this week…including his! I thought it was going to stop with the Box Ghost and Lunch Lady, but this has gotten way too out of hand! I can fight ghosts; I can't help them with their love lives!" Danny vented.
"Are you kidding Danny? This is a good thing!" Tucker said. "They'll be so preoccupied with each other to stop trying to take over the world or kill you all the time!"
"It's worth a shot Danny. Besides, you've helped them out in the past. The ghosts deserve to be happy too you know." Sam added.
Danny sighed. "I supposed you guys are right. But the second Danni comes running to me for dating advice I'm sending her to you or Jazz." He threatened. "And that might be coming sooner than you think Sam." He pointed out.
"So…how was baby-sitting then? Same as always?" Tucker said changing the subject.
Danny smiled. "Oh yeah, Box Lunch was good kid for the rest of the week. We had fun making faces at each other and watching TV." He said almost sarcastically. "And she slept enough for me to get my book read and the report done! The Lunch Lady said she's going to bring those cookies by tomorrow and man am I hungry."
"Then here, have some ice cream. Jazz got a bunch of new flavors while you were gone." Sam said. "It's in the freezer."
"Jazz got lots of ice cream?" Danny questioned. "I know she likes the stuff, but she's never gone all out when Mom and Dad are gone."
Sam shrugged. "I dunno, ask her. I'm going back home to type up my book report. So, I'll see you guys later."
"Yeah, I still have ten more electronic pages to read. Downloading the book onto my PDA was the best reading incentive ever!" Tucker proclaimed. Danny walked upstairs with them and waved good-bye as they went out the door.
After getting some ice cream, he wandered upstairs to his own room to chill for a while before Walker showed up requesting his presence for the first of many weddings he'd have to attend for the week.
Walking up the stairs, Danny heard Jazz's voice coming from her room. It wasn't that odd, since Jazz normally talked to herself anyway due to habit. What was odd about it was the distinctly male voice coming from the room as well.
Protective little brother instincts went into gear as he stormed the room. "Jazz what's going—" He almost wished he hadn't.
"Hey Danny! Meet the Ghostwriter! He's helping me study for my Literature test when I get back to school after break!" Jazz said cheerfully. The same ghost from freshman year Christmas was floating next to her. Judging from the smeared lipstick on both of them, Danny knew that they weren't just studying.
"Hello Danny, nice to see you again." He greeted. "Jazz and I were just discussing Wuthering Heights. Care to join us? We were just getting to subject of romance and its relationship to passion and other such words. It's very scintillating."
All the two saw of Danny was a chocked breath and a twitch with horrified eyes. He closed the door with the calm of the superhuman.
"Wow, I thought for sure Danny would be freaking out. I was wrong?! This is the second time in my life!" Jazz panicked.
Suddenly the two heard an anguished scream from downstairs. The Ghostwriter smiled. "Perhaps not Jazz, care to continue where we left off?"
Feeling a whole lot better knowing she had been right, Jazz grinned. "Sure! We just need to smear the lipstick over the paper a little more then the poster board will be perfect! It's just more realistic with two different sets of lips on it."
book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It's full of charts and facts and figures and instructions for dancing
But I…I love it when you read to me
And you …you can read me anything
A/N: (braces self) I don't even know what this fic is. It's like…funny, yet serious at the same time. The whole thing started out with the realization that Michigan J. Frog (yes that's his name apparently) could be the unholy combination of Ember and Skulker. But then I went to this dance ensemble during the weekend and they danced to the song 'The Book of Love' by Peter Gabriel. I fell in love with the song and it gave me inspiration for everything remotely sentimental in this fic.
Several people helped me out with this during the brainstorming and reading process. The gang on the Phanatics forum helped me out with brainstorming a LOT. Thanks guys, you know who you are. And then my friend at school, even though he's sick, read it for me. Thanks man!
So, yeah, there you go. Hope you liked it.