Carrying the Load
By: Hordak's Pupil
Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom (I wish I did you hear that Desiree), Edgar and Ellen, or Nash Bridges
Author's Notes: This is a sequel oneshot to Dark Alliance it's about Danni, hope you like it.
"Come on Danni it's time to wake up," I heard mom say as I opened my eyes as she turned on the lights in the living room where I sleep.
"What time is it," I ask her as she helps out of bed into my chair and I go into the kitchen where Danny, Miles, and Jazz are waiting for me.
"It's 6:00 you have a big day ahead of you," mom says as she gives me two pop tarts and eggs, my favorite. "You have therapy today, you need to build up your strength," she said as dad came up the stairs with another one of his inventions.
"Hey Dannies check this out," he said, "I call it the Ghost Toaster, it fries ghosts and can toast bagels," he said he put a piece of bread in it and smiled. A few seconds later the toast pops up glowing green and with fangs.
"Does this happen a lot here," Miles asked a little nervous as dad chased the toast with an ecto-blaster.
"This is normal for us," Jazz said as Danny laughed but soon stopped as it hurts, "You know it wasn't that funny," she said as she helped him slip on his oxygen mask.
"You get used to it," I tell him as I finish my breakfast and wheel into the hallway to the lab's emergency entrance. I have use to use the lab's safety shower since it's easier for me to get in an out.
"Hang on a second," Jazz said as he came in and went down with me to help me get ready. "Okay now nice and slow Danni," she tells me as she takes my hand and helps me get to the special chair dad installed for me to use.
My legs are shaky, I still have flashbacks of being trapped in that stone coffin Freakshow put me in. I would try in vain to free myself only to realize I was trapped. Sometimes I wake up in the night screaming for someone to help me.
Miles comes over to me and tells me, "It was just a dream Danielle," as he holds my hand smiles. He pulls the covers off and tells me, "see flesh and bones, not stone, Freakshow can't hurt you anymore," and strokes my hair and kisses me.
Suddenly, I am brought back to the present moment as my legs give way and I fall, "Darn it!" I curse as Jazz catches me.
"It's okay Danielle," she tells me as she helps me up, "You're recovering your muscles are shot, it's going to take awhile to get back to normal," she says as she helps me get in the chair and turns on the water. "What song you want to listen to?" she asks me putting on the waterproof CD player.
"Age of the Cathedrals," I tell her as she turns it and leaves the room while I shower. I love this song and I sing along with it, but for someone I can't enjoy it. One lone thought pops into my mind: What if I don't get better and I'm stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I would never be able to fight ghosts again or any of the other things I like doing. "Don't be ridiculous Danielle Alexis the doctors said you'd get better," I told myself as I rinsed the soap off and called Jazz to help me.
"You ready Danielle," She asks me as she turns off the water and helps me dry off and wrap the towel around me. "Okay, I laid out some clothes for you, I hope you don't minding wearing your Garou shirt," she said smiling as she wheeled me into a spare room where I got dressed and wheeled back up to the living room.
"You look lovely Danielle," Miles said as I came into the living room and turned on the TV.
"Miles Eusebius Knightly, I just came out of the shower, I haven't combed my hair yet," I scolded him and watched the news.
"In other news Danny Phantom fended off another ghost attack," the news anchor said as I sighed, that used to be me out there fighting ghosts and I miss it. I miss the freedom of flying, of feeling the wind in my hair, and the thrill of the chase. It's a lot better than being stuck in this stupid chair.
"You ready Danni," I hear mom say as I comb my hair and put my cap on.
"Okay," I tell her as she wheels me out the door and helps me into the car. "Thank you," I tell her as I buckle up and once everyone else is in we take off.
I put my earbuds in and listen to my music, I look out the window and look at the birds, I used to be one of them. I miss the freedom and the fun.
"Don't worry Danielle, you'll be back to normal in no time," Miles tells me as he hold me my hand and kisses me.
"Could you two not do that in here," Danny complains as I ecto-blast him.
"You're just jealous because you don't have the guts to tell Sam that you love her," I tell him in a sing song voice.
That shut him up and I went back to my music.
"Okay we're here," mom says she pulls up to the hospital. She gets out and she and Miles help me out. "Careful now, Miles," she tell she tells him as he helps me into the chair and wheeled me inside.
"Don't worry Danielle everything will be fine," Miles tells me as he sits down in front of me.
While I am waiting I notice a strange man dressed in a white robe with fake wings on the back sitting to Miles' right reading. He had white hair and had blue eyes, "Oh do you want to sit here," he asks smiling a putting his book down and standing up.
"No, that's okay," I tell him as he insists on moving. He picks up the chair he was sitting on and moves it so I can wheel beside Miles. "Thank you, uh," I tell unsure of what his name is.
"Angel," he says, "and you're Danielle right," he asks smiling.
"Yes," I tell him as I give a sigh.
"What's wrong dear," he asks me raising an eyebrow, "Nervous about going to therapy? Afraid of that you might not get better?" he asks seriously as I nod. "Well maybe some words of wisdom will help," he says opening his book, "Remember this: 'He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds'," he tells me as I smile.
"Thank you," I tell 'Angel' as the nurse calls him back and waves at me.
"You know Danielle he's right," Miles said placing a hand on my leg, "You're not alone and there is always someone watching out," he says smiling as I kiss him.
"I don't know what I do without you," I tell him as I see a nurse come out.
"Danielle Alexis," she says as mom, Danny, and Miles stand up and wheel to the door, "I'm Christie I'm your nurse is this your family?" she asks as I introduce to her to my mom, cousin, and boyfriend. "Follow me Danielle we're going to do some tests," she says as we head into room.
"Easy does it sweetie," mom says as she helps on the cot and strokes my hair, "you're going to be okay," she tells me lovingly.
"Okay sweetie we're going to do a nerve conduction study on your legs to see if there is any nerve damage," Christie says as everyone leaves so I can take my jeans off and put a hospital gown on.
I watch as Christie turns on a device, my heart stops as she adjusts the dials on the console. There's something about it that reminds me of the Plasmius Maximus. I can see Vlad torture me with that device. He would strap me on a table: I would plead with him not to shock me and that I would be good, but that would make him angrier and only prolong the torture saying, 'you're lying Danielle, your words are worthless, you need to learn.'
"NO! PLEASE I'LL BE GOOD THIS TIME I PROMISE!" I scream out as Danny races into the room "Danni, are you're okay?" he asks as I return to the present.
"Oh Danny," I cry as I hold on to my cousin and he comforts me and strokes my hair, "Don't let Vlad torture me," I whisper to him as I notice Christie looking at me.
"She's having a flashback," he explains to her, "I'll be right here Danielle, take my hand," Danny says as I take his hand and I close my eyes.
"There might be some discomfort but it won't last long," the nurse says as she puts some kind of gel on my legs and sends and electric current through them.
I hold Danny's hand tight as she performs the tests until I heard Christie say, "All done," and I open my eyes.
"You did very well," my cousin tells me lovingly, "I'm proud of you," he tells me as I smile. No one has ever told me that they were proud of me. It was always, 'you're a disappointment Danielle' or 'you were a mistake Danielle' but never 'I'm proud of you Danielle,' it felt good to be praised.
Soon mom and Miles come in as well, "What did the test say," mom asks Christie curiously.
"The good news is that there is no nerve damage, but we'll need to do an EMG to determine the damage to the muscles," she says as I wipe the gel off my legs and she takes out another device with a needle.
I shake my head in fear, remembering all the tests Vlad would run on me, injecting me with chemicals to 'enhance' my powers or something like that. If the pain from the needle wasn't bad enough, the chemicals would make me sick; I was not going to let that happen again.
Miles can see the fear in my eyes and walks up to me, "Danni, whatever happened to you in the past is past. I won't let anyone hurt you," he tells me lovingly as he takes my hand and kisses my forehead.
I smile at him, "Thank you," I say as he strokes my hair and gives me courage to face the procedure. I wince as Christie inserts the needle in my leg and tells me to move it. I try my best to move but I can't move it much.
This continues for awhile, I try to move my legs but with little success. The horrors of being strapped to that unicycle and forced to pedal linger in my head; my legs would tremble with exhaustion falling face first into that cornmeal and instead of loving hand to help me. I would be laughed at.
"Look at her, " Reptillia would say as she would coil herself around me my legs still pedaling causing her to tighten her grip on me until Freakshow would come in and order her to release me causing me to fall in my food again.
However, Miles is here now and he tells me, "It's okay Danni, no one will hurt you, I love you," he tells me as I am told it's over. "You did wonderful Danielle," he tells me as he leaves so I can get my pants back on. He loves me, someone actually loves me.
Once I am changed, Christie takes me back into what looks like a gym. There are all sorts of exercise equipment. "Okay we're going to do some warm ups," she tells me as she takes my leg and starts moving and stretching it. It's hurts a bit, but I have Danny with me and he cheers me on.
"Way to go, Danielle," He tells me giving me a thumbs up, "You're doing excellent," he tells me as I relax for a bit.
Other exercises follow, they are hard for my wobbly legs but Miles and Danny give me support cheering me when I do good and encourage me when I falter. It feels good to be praised and loved.
"Okay, last exercise for Danielle, parallel bars," she says as I wheel over to a pair of bars. She helps me get out and place my hands on the bars, "Okay Danielle, nice and slowly one foot then the other," she says as slowly move my legs.
I start out okay but soon my legs give way and I fall, "Darn it, I'll never get this," I curse as Miles helps me up.
"Don't say that Danielle," he tells me as Christie places me back on the bars and tells me to start again. I try a second time, I get a little further but still my legs refuse to work and I fall.
I remember when Freakshow sealed my legs in stone, I desperately tried to move them, but they refused to budge. My mind would tell me to run and my legs would refuse.
I look down at my legs on the floor, I see the stone creep up my ankles and till half m y body is stone, my heart races again as my nightmare comes back, "Please let me go, please get me out of here!" I scream as I lose my balance and fall on the mat. Soon tears trickle down my face thinking I am back in that cage desperately until I look up and see that Angel guy nearby. He smiles at me and something about that comforts me as Miles picks me up and sets me on my chair.
"You're all right Danielle," he tells me, "You did fine and you'll get better, I promise," he tells me kissing me and smiling.
"Thank you," I tell him as Christie comes up to me.
"You did very good Danielle," she says putting a sticker on my shirt that was 'world's greatest patient.' I am a bit embarrassed as I am thirteen but still it makes me feel good, "I'll see you tomorrow," she tells me as mom schedules my appointment and wheels me back to the car.
"I have a surprise for you and Miles," she tells me as she helps get in again and buckle up. "I bought you two tickets to see Notre Dame de Paris when it comes to town next week. I thought it would be a nice treat for you two," she tells me as I smile at the thought of seeing my favorite musical again. I love Notre Dame de Paris and can't wait to see it live. "I also called an old friend who works on the show and arranged for you to go backstage to meet Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Bruno Pelletier, and Steve Balsamo after the show," she tells me as I go speechless.
"You know I've never seen Danni speechless before," Danny as says chuckling as I glare at him, but realize he is only teasing me.
I have a heavy load to carry but I am not alone I know my family and friends to help carry it when it is too much and to help me along my road.