It's My World
"Ember! Ember! Ember!" they shouted.
"My subjects!" she responded.
All the peoples of the world cheered. She felt it, and it felt good. Effin' awesome. For this was the source of her power. Time to give them their medicine. She played, her sound encompassing the world, and all listened, all had their conditioning reinforced. All were hers. Then she flew back to her palace.
Everything she ever wanted. Yeah. Keep telling yourself that, Ember, and one day, you might actually believe that it's true. There were only two tragedies in life. One was not getting what you want. The other was getting it. She didn't know who said that, but whoever he was, he was wise beyond his years, however many years that might actually have been. She had quested for world domination all of her afterlife, and now that she had it, she found that it wasn't enough. If the world had been as small as the ancient Greeks thought, and Alexander had conquered it, would he have been content to return home and govern his empire, or would the old warrior have been disappointed, spending the rest of his days pining after the old glory days of battle? The latter, Ember believed. And so, here it was, the grand irony.
"Danny Phantom to see you, empress."
"Send him in."
Danny floated through the wall.
"You have news?"
Danny nodded. "We have succeeded in capturing Vlad Masters-alias-Plasmius. He is being brainwashed as we speak."
Ember frowned slightly. Danny was the only one who would dare to call it "brainwashing." Everyone else called it "reconditioning," or "reeducation," because their own brainwashing prevented them from confronting what was done to them, as it might cause thoughts of insurrection. His use of the word only served to remind her that she wasn't completely in control of him. So why didn't she do something about it?
Ember sighed. "That is good news."
"You don't look like it is good news," Danny said.
"I was kind of hoping that he would put up more of a fight, if you can believe it. I wanted to do battle with a foe again, to…to…"
Ember nodded. "You make it clear every time we speak that I don't completely own you, so how is it that you still do my bidding?"
"Ever since you took over, there has been no war, no murder, no violent crime, no crime of any kind, as a matter of fact. Part of me, the non-brainwashed part, screams at me that this is only because everyone is under control, but I fail to see the significance of this fact. I serve you because things are better now than they were."
"I see." Ember said. She looked at Danny for a moment, admiring his features, and realized that she hadn't ever had him. She also realized, that in a world where she could have anything she wanted—anyone she wanted—he was the closest thing to his own person that there was. It wasn't that she had never thought about it, it was just that she never actually did anything about it. Suddenly, the concept of romancing someone, of having some goal to work at instead of just using her powers to make him do whatever she wanted, seemed too much to resist. "You know, the view of the Earth from the Moon is really spectacular. You should join me. Or perhaps we can find something enjoyable to do closer to home."
"Are you talking about a date?"
"Yes. That is exactly what I am talking about."
"Is that an order?"
"No. An unofficial request."
"Then, with all due respect, I refuse."
That took her by surprise. "You refuse?"
"Unless you want to make it an order."
"I could force you with my music. I am capable of it, you know."
"I find it doubtful that there is much that you aren't capable of, but then, that could be the brainwashing talking. But if you're going to go to those lengths, you might as well just make it an order."
Something occurred to her. "How is it that you can shake my control, even partially?"
"It's because I hate you," Danny said flatly.
"How's that, now?"
"You remember Sam, right?"
"Goth girl, yes. How is she?"
Danny shrugged. "Fine, last time I checked. We don't talk much anymore."
"I thought you had a thing."
"We did. Or rather, we might have. Whatever we had, though, you ruined it. When you forced me to fall in love with her, it tainted it. From then on afterwards, I could not be sure of what I felt for her, or if it wasn't somehow caused by you redecorating the inside of my head. It didn't just ruin a hypothetical relationship, it ruined a friendship."
"And that's why I can't control you."
"And why you won't willingly let me have you."
"If you want me to have sex with you, order me to, and I'll have sex with you, but don't expect me to like you in any way. I hate you."
There was silence for a moment.
"No, you can go. For now."
Danny bowed. "Empress." And left.
Ember sat back on her throne, and thought. The reason she didn't control him was because he hated her. If he didn't hate her, then he'd just be another drone…and then the whole novelty of having him would mean nothing. Sure, he'd be a cute guy, and knowing that the boys were completely under control had never stopped her from enjoying them before, but the novelty of having someone who was himself, who wasn't under her control…in the world as it was, that was something that was truly exotic. Therein lied the conundrum, for the very act of seducing him would then destroy the point of the seduction…
Ember rested the back of her head on her palms, leaned back, and smiled. She loved a challenge.
Author's Commentary (As If You Care)
Yeah, like this story even deserves one. Let's see: I wrote it between 8:00 PM and 8:30 PM on Sunday, April 15, 2007 (that may be an exaggeration of the shortness). (However much later than this date that it actually gets posted is the fault of my computer/account not letting me post new stuff.) The idea came much earlier, of course, but I don't know exactly when or how. It is the shortest story I've written since the beginning of my fanfiction "career," and by far the shortest story I've written for the Danny Phantom fandom, being only 1000 words, but I've been away for a while, and hey, baby steps, am I right?
It was originally going to be angst, but angst stories don't generally have endings so fluffy as that, so I figured, screw it, it was going to be a romance. The rating is T, but I could probably have rolled dice for it and gotten a more accurate rating.