DISCLAIMER: Danny Phantom and all related characters belong to Butch Hartman. This fanfic belongs to me.
It was late afternoon and dusk was fast approaching. THe sun was slowly beginning to set as it slowly descended beneath the hills. Various shops of all shapes and sizes were getting ready for their closing hour and people were rushing home from work.
A young boy, only about fourteen-years old walked down one of the now-lonely sidewalks as the streetlights began to flicker on. At first glance, the raven-haired and blue-eyed boy didn't seem all that impressive. He was scrawny, shy, rather clueless, and didn't like to fight.
Of course, the citizens of Amity Park knew better about Danny Fenton.
He was their hero. Their savior. If it wasn't for Danny and his ghostly alter-ego, Danny Phantom, the whole world would've been crushed by a giant asteroid. Sure, it wasn't easy getting used to the fact that a half-ghost was living among them. But, at least now Danny didn't have to worry about being hunted down like some sort of wild animal.
The half-ghost continued to walk, occasionally waving at a few people he passed by. He was glad that he was no longer being swarmed by thousands of strangers wanting his autograph or trying to steal a lock of his hair to sell on Ebay. It was a strange sensation...one that took several weeks to get used to.
Shrugging his shoulders at the very idea of it all, Danny continued heading towards home. On the way, he passed by a few older homes. Much older. It wasn't that nothing could live in those homes. But, needless to say, it was obvious to the rest of the people of Amity Park that those homes were in serious need of repair.
One house, in particular caught his eye. It wasn't the fact that said house was an ugly pea-soup green in color, nor was it the fact that the roof seemed to have more holes than Swiss cheese. No, what caused Danny's heart to sink was the very person who took residence inside the house.
Vlad Masters alias Vlad Plasmius.
At first, when he had saved the entire world from the meteor, Danny was overjoyed with the fact that he had defeated his most hated rival. However, his victorious feelings were short-lived after Danny realized the truth sinking into him. Sure, in the past, his winning battles against Vlad were worth gloating over. So, why did he feel such guilt over beating Vlad now?
Because he has nothing left... Danny thought to himself, That's why...
It was a harsh truth. Before, when Danny had defeated Vlad, all the older half-ghost lost was a bit of dignity and maybe some expensive equipment. But, now...Vlad had nothing left. NO friends, no family, no wealth to depend on or loyal employees to turn to. Vlad had merely become a mere shell of his former self.
His physical form didn't wear much better either. The same meteor that Danny had saved the world from had claimed Vlad as a victim. Sure, the older half-ghost had survived, but the damage he had received was just as horrifying. When he had come back to Earth, Vlad's right leg had been badly crushed. Sure, at least the broken limb wasn't damaged to the point of needing amputation, but it didn't change the fact that Vlad's walk would never be the same again.
Vlad was resting on a bench on the porch outside his new run-down home. His eyes seemed to be glazed-over as if reflecting the sense of sadness and guilt rushing inside his heart. He had been a fool, a greedy, selfish, jealous, arrogant, cocky monster.
"Hell must have a place waiting for me..." he sighed to no one in particular, "I deserve it. If I am to be sent to eternal torment, so be it."
Danny frowned and quickly hastened his trip home. THe sooner he got there, the better. As much as he hated Vlad, he could never bear to think of sending his enemies to eternal damnation.
"Leaving so soon, Daniel?" Vlad called out to the half-ghost hero, "I would've expected you to parading about in your usual way whenever you defeat me."
"I'm just not in the mood." Danny sighed as he left.
Vlad merely blinked in confusion. Danny, not in the mood to gloat? He then smiled weakly as Maddie, his pampered Persian cat, leapt onto the bench and sat next to Vlad. She then rested her head against his lap and began to purr loudly as if enjoying the older half-ghost's company.
"At least somebody still loves me..." Vlad smiled sadly as he began to gently stroke behind the cat's ears, "Even if it is just a fat old cat."
Danny continued on his way and smiled when he noticed two familiar faces. Sam and Tucker. Quickly rushing towards them, he nearly knocked over his best friends.
"Dude, where's the fire?" asked Tucker.
Sam just rolled her eyes and sighed, "So, how did your day with your parents go?"
Danny replied, "Could've been better. Dad kept trying to get me to wear the new jumpsuit he made for me, and Mom, well, let's just say she worries too much."
"They're just worried." Tucker pointed out, "Same thing with my folks. Seriously, my dad thinks that I'm going to pass a law about having pizza for supper every day or something, just because I happen to be the first fourteen-year old mayor in Amity Park."
"Tucker, you did try to pass a law like that." the goth girl pointed out much to the techno-geek's embarrassment before she turned to Danny, "So, um, we...we still going out Friday night."
Danny merely blushed and replied, "Wouldn't miss it for the world"
Author's Notes: The next chapter will be coming as soon as possible. I just need to figure out exactly what I want to happen next.