Full Summary: While all his friends and family are away, Danny gets a strange visit from Vlad. Soon, the ghost boy finds himself kidnapped by the man and flying across the world to Japan where Vlad is investigating a mysterious and dangerous trail of a monster of ancient proportions. Danny quickly finds out that having to pretend Vlad is his father is not as bad as the life threatening methods he must take to defeat this new evil.
A/N: Amazing what banging your head against the wall for a whole week of boredom can produce. No, really, I thought hard on this fic and it is gonna be fun. I'm excited to get this fic started! Those of you I know from my other fan fictions, I'm happy to have you guys aboard! You guys are awesome!
Getting serious, this fic is set right between the last season of the show and before Phantom Planet. It will have some Sam and Danny romance, but nothing serious. I'll keep it light for those of you who don't care for the ship. I'll be focusing too much on action and violence to get into the mushy stuff anyways. That said, enjoy the first chapter of Powerless!
Disclaimer: Here we go again. I don't own any Danny Phantom characters!
Chapter 1 Playing Games
"Who the heck still starts off their story with 'once upon a time' these days?"
That was Sam of course. Who else in my group of friends had an intense aversion to anything cliche and frilly like fairy tale openings? As I walked beside her down the sidewalk, I mentally prepared myself for the tangent ahead.
"I thought it sounded cool, 'cause it is placed in a modern time, you know," Tucker tried to defend himself. It was a nice try and all, but he was really digging himself deeper into his grave.
"What, you trying to sound like a cute Disney film?" Sam sneered. As if disgusted with the topic, she shoved Tucker's notebook into his chest and frowned when seeing him stumbled to try and catch it.
"Hey!" he protested. "I spent all night trying to come up with a good beginning to this stupid report. It's not my fault Lancer gave us homework over the summer."
What had made him so bold today, I had no clue. All I knew was that this was either going to get ugly or highly entertaining. We only had a few more blocks to go until we reached my house. I wondered if I should pick up the pace or slow it down to see Sam chew out Tucker on the dark oppression of modern media and how it dilutes the minds of the teenagers and kids of today.
"Come on, Tucker, your mind is creative enough to come up with something other than that crap," Sam started. Tucker shot me a pleading look to back him up. I just shrugged, preferring to stay silent for a good reason.
"What you are doing by writing that kind of beginning is being lazy and caving into the mindless junk TV and other media gives us, telling us that it is okay to use pathetic openings like that as long as it gives you a passing grade," Sam started to rant. I grinned at a defeated Tucker. He had it coming. Hadn't he seen it?
"Do you think the Grimm brothers really wanted us to transform their original dark and imaginative stories into cute, stupid fairy tales for little kids and vapid opening one liners of homework essays?" Sam asked him.
"Who are the Grimm brothers?" Tucker asked, suddenly confused by where this conversation had gone. One look of Sam's face told me he had said the wrong thing.
It was time to butt in.
"Okay!" I said loudly, raising my hands to look non-threatening. "Let's just pretend Tucker didn't say that and call it a day with your personal vendetta with Teen Magazine, Sam." I tried a cheesy smile. For some dumb reason I thought it would smooth the tension.
A puzzled Tucker and a furious Sam locked their gazes on me. They didn't say anything. I debated if that was a good or bad thing. I figured it was the first of the two because now they looked almost sad and forlorn at the sight of me.
"You sure you're going to survive these next few days, Danny?" Sam asked me. Purposefully, she slowed her pace which made us slow it down too.
"Yeah, man, you're going to be stuck here in Amity Park for ten whole days without either Sam and I," Tucker said. "Are you going to even ghost fight?"
I rolled my eyes and smiled lazily. "Guys," I told them, "I'll be fine. I'll miss you guys, but trust me, a week and a half without my parents or Jazz around will be put to very good use. And of course I'll ghost fight. I've done it by myself many of times."
"I can't believe your parents are letting you stay alone at your house for ten whole days," Tucker mused out loud. "You'd think they would make you come with them."
I sighed heavily before admitting, "My dad said he called someone to keep an eye on me while they are gone. The friend said he'd have no problem with popping in now and then to see if I'm okay."
Sam giggled but stopped when she noticed my glare. "Sorry," she said with a grin. "Just sounds like you have a babysitter. Aw, poor Danny needs adult supervision."
"At least they're letting me stay here instead of going on that stupid road trip to Connecticut to go check out a college Jazz wants to go to," I said. "I mean, what kid in their right mind wants to get dragged around in a supped-up ghost RV, getting lost every hour with my dad behind the wheel? It is going to take them at least three days to get there. I'd go insane! My family doesn't do road trips."
"Well, my parents are letting me go alone to New York City on the train," Sam bragged. "It's just going to be me and my art portfolio. I can't wait!" She was really excited, I could tell. I had caught her numerous times this past week smiling at random. It was nice.
"Hey, good luck with that and your art show," I told her seriously.
"I can still get you a train ticket, babysit boy," Sam said hopefully.
"Sorry," I said honestly, "But my parents said if I asked them if I could go with you one more time they'd make me come with them. And no offense, Sam, but I'd rather hang out here alone than go on that dreaded road trip." Just thinking about it made me cranky.
"You could always go while their gone," Tucker pointed out. "They do realize that, right?" He wasn't suggesting it, just pointing out the obvious.
"And that is why the babysitter has to come around," Sam answered before I could open my mouth. She smiled slyly at me with this one. I tried not to let her teasing get to me. Besides, I liked her better this way than when she ranted. And that smile of hers whenever she stuck me with a good, witty one. Wow. It was hard not to get hypnotized by it. Good thing she didn't smile often, or I would be following her like a demented puppy dog all day.
Tucker chuckled at my look of exasperation with Sam's relentlessness. "Have fun while we're gone, dude," he said to me. "I'll send you a postcard from England. You want one of Big Ben?" I frowned at him. Grinning, he patted my shoulder in a mocking sort of way.
Tucker's dad had a last minute business meeting in London, England. The family hadn't gone on vacation this summer, so his dad decided to spend their extra cash on his wife and kid, bought two more plane tickets, and planned out a two week vacation in Europe. What can I say? I was a bit jealous.
"I hope it rains every day you're there," I muttered at him. Sam laughed at this.
Tucker didn't seem to be too put off by my spiteful comment. He flashed a goofy smile before saying, "I don't care if it rains. Paris is the city of love. They don't call it French kissing for nothing."
"Oh brother," Sam said, sticking her tongue out as in fake vomiting. Thankfully, she was smart enough not to go off into a rant. She had learned since the beginning that no amount of talking was going to coax Tucker out of his womanizing ways. That was what made Tucker, Tucker.
I grinned over at my buddy before saying, "Have a great time, man."
We had arrived at my house. The sun was beginning to set on the day we had spent together. The giant metal Op. Center that loomed above the brick building of my house cast a dark shadow on the cement sidewalk and pavement. It seemed to swallow us and our own shadows up as we walked to the door.
Sam and Tucker were always welcome to come inside, but today they had packing to do and couldn't stay. Tucker's plane took off at five in the morning. That sucked. Sam didn't have to be at the train station till nine the next day, but she wanted to work some more on one of her paintings that night. This was where we would have to say our goodbyes.
I had no clue that I'd miss them more than ever in the days ahead.
At 9:16 a loud, incessant ringing woke me out of a deep sleep. I moaned into the soft folds of my pillow. My bed felt so good. I didn't want to get out. It was my first day of vacation, I felt it my duty to sleep in till two in the afternoon.
My cell phone was relentless, though. I rang noisily a second time, demanding for me to open my eyes and move. I yawned while sitting up and stretching. I decided to make whoever was waking me up wait till I was good and ready. I regretted the thought when I glanced at my caller ID and saw it was Sam.
"Ah! Sorry!" I told Sam while flipping my cell phone open and shoving it close to my ear.
"Let me guess," Sam said from the other end, "You were going to sleep till five in the afternoon?"
I chuckled. "Close," I said. "I thought two was more realistic."
"Oh, big difference," Sam teased. We laughed a little. I imaged her smiling in a crowd of strangers. She had her big, black portfolio bag in one hand. I could see her confidently drifting through the people at the station, proud of her beautiful accomplishments in hand.
I was yanked out of my daydream of her when Sam said casually, "I just called to ruin your sleep."
"Mission accomplished," I said with a grin.
"No, really, I called to tell you the phone number of where I'll be staying," Sam said. "Some third uncle or whatever who works at Wall Street. I probably wont ever see him. Fine with me. I get to avoid all the awkwardness." She rapidly gave out the number for me, and I scribbled it down after asking her a few times to repeat it. For some reason I found it important to get it perfect.
"Thanks," I said after successfully writing down the number. "And thanks for the wake up call. I'm gonna go take a shower now."
"I have to board the train now anyways," Sam said. She sounded nervous but excited. "I get no reception in there, I'm sure." She paused before saying quietly, "I'll miss you."
I smiled when she said this and a weird, warm feeling came over me. She was going to miss me. Sam was going to miss me. It took me a moment or two to get over myself and muster out a pathetic, "I'll miss you too."
"Well, call me later!" Sam said a little too quickly. "Bye!"
I sat there looking despondently at my cell phone before sighing and saying unenthusiastically, "See ya." She hung up. I pressed the END button. Why is that button always red? It makes it seem so final, so absolute. I didn't like it being that color.
"Why do I care if the button is red or not?" I grumbled to myself. I forced myself out of my warm, cozy bed and stumbled around my room grabbing clothes without bothering to sniff them. So what if they were a bit dirty? I wasn't going to see anyone today.
Besides, I had little to no idea how a washing machine worked and no desire to figure it out now. All my clothes were going to smell by the time my parents got back. I knew that before they had even left. And so did my mom, so she had washed practically everything before leaving the house. Mentally, I thanked her while rushing off to the bathroom.
My parents and Jazz had set out for Connecticut late last night. They wanted a head start was their excuse. Jazz just wanted to arrive at the college on time. That meant that morning I had the bathroom to myself. It was strange having the house so quiet. It was spooky yet nice, in a calming sort of way.
I took a quick, hot shower. I loved having the simple debate I had in my head over which cereal to eat for breakfast. When you spend so much time worrying about ghost attacks and stressing over homework for school and other complicated things it takes to survive being a teen ghost superhero, you never take the simple things in life for granted.
When done with the shower, I wanted to please the complaining in my stomach and rushed for the kitchen. I flew down the stairs and was half way across the living room when I finally noticed him and stopped dead in my tracks. A look of shock was stuck on my face.
Oh, this new twist did not bode well.
Vlad Masters sat nonchalantly on the couch in the living room. He looked comfortable, his arms resting on the back of the seat and his long legs propped up on the coffee table that had a chess board and steaming tea pot placed on it. The chess pieces were all set up ready for a game, as if this encounter with the man was symbolized in their placement. A pleased, amused smile crossed Vlad's features as he took in my reaction to his presence.
"What are you doing here?" I asked my smiling adversary. I tried to sound stern and in control, but it sounded weary in my ears. I was tired of trying to figure out all of Mayor Vlad's evil schemes. And I was sure there was something brewing in that head of his with him being here.
Can't a guy ask for just one day of relaxation? Apparently not.
"You were always one to cut to the chase," Vlad said. He grinned sardonically before saying, "I thought you liked surprises, Daniel."
"Never did," I said. The initial shock had worn off me now, and I was as tense as a zebra eating, knowing that lioness was out there watching you and waiting for the right time to strike. I kind of felt sorry for that zebra right about now. I knew exactly how he felt.
"Well, I've always enjoyed them," Vlad smoothly continued. His eyes never left my still form. Those calculating cold eyes viewed me as if I was a specimen meant to be examined. I shifted nervously under his gaze. Really, what did he want?
"You want to know why I'm here?" Vlad suddenly got to the point. He chuckled. I hated it when he did that. It usually meant he was going to say or do something evil at my expense. "I can't tell you that right now," Vlad explained to me. "It is all very complicated, I might add."
"I got all day," I grumbled back.
We stared and regarded each other for a half a minute. I locked my narrowed eyes on his and refused to let go. I wanted to tell him I meant business. He needed to get the point that he was no where near wanted in this house, especially while I was around.
"Tell you what," Vlad said with a sigh. "You beat me at a game of chess, and I'll actually leave this house right here and now." He waved a hand over the chess set laid out before him as if welcoming me into his world.
"You're joking, right?" I asked, skeptical. I ventured a little forward out of curiosity. It seemed too good to be true.
"This is no joking mater, boy," Vlad said seriously. "Will you play me or not?"
"You're on, V-man," I said, flashing him a cocky smile. He returned it with a raised eyebrow. While he stood up to sit down at one side of the the board, the black side, I walked over to sit across from him. Vlad didn't look nervous at all. More like smug.
My stomach churned at the thought of this all being way over my head. I looked back down to my pieces and pressed my lips together in thought. I had played the game plenty of times before to know it. It was only then that I realized I sucked at winning it. Oh jeez! I was in over my head!
"Your move, Daniel," Vlad told me from where he was leaning back against the couch across from me. He looked relaxed and a little amused. Great. Now I was his entertainment.
I picked up a pawn. Its glossy coating glimmered in the lighting of the living room. I placed it two blocks forward and waited for Vlad to move while taking my hand away. His move was quick and precise, as if he played this game millions of times before...which I had a sneaky feeling he did.
"Tea?" Vlad asked me once he had moved. He picked up one of mom's ceramic tea pots that had been there and poured the warm liquid into two cups. He had set this whole thing up for me. Wait. How long had he been in my house without me knowing? The thought creeped me out to no end.
"Do I look like a fruit loop?" I asked him after making another move.
Vlad had been in mid sip when I said this. I smiled slightly when he choked a little and narrowed his eyes at me. But he quickly composed himself and lightly placed his cup back in its place beside the chess board.
"Can't I show an act of kindness without you getting all up tight?" he asked me with a pretend coy grin. "I thought you might be thirsty. Your move."
Confused, I looked down at the board. He had moved so quickly, I barely had seen it. But it was true. His knight was now in a good spot to take out my queen. Without hesitation, I moved my queen to safety.
"You do know someone is supposed to come over soon to check up on me," I said. "Meaning you can't stay long."
Vlad sneered, "Child, I'm the one your idiot father asked to babysit you. Check."
My emotions were torn between outrage and frustration. I ignored his first sentence and scanned the board. We had barely started the game. How had he checked me so quickly? I just needed to be more careful, that's all.
Stalling for time, I grabbed the cup of tea and shoved its hot contents down my throat while keeping my eyes on the board. Finally, after much thought, I made my next move.
"I told him not to tell you, so I understand your surprise," Vlad was saying. "But it looks like we're stuck with each other for these next few days. Ironic, isn't it?"
"I'm not sticking around if you're here," I spat back. This time I actually saw him move his piece. He was very swift and exact, no hesitation. I made my next move after a careful scan of the board. "I'm not about to let you turn my vacation into one from hell."
A chilling, sinister smile broke out across Vlad's lips as he leaned forward so our heads were close. A shiver rushed down my spine. "Well, Daniel," he said with pleasure, "I guess we're gonna have to get out of Amity Park to fulfill your wish for a pleasant vacation, won't we? Checkmate."
"W-what?" I croaked.
"I win, in other words," Vlad answered apathetically, leaning back against the couch. His eyes were pinned on me this whole time. They were intense as they bore into my perplexed, scared eyes.
I glanced down at the board with uncertainty. And there it was, my king thoroughly blocked from rescue and in the line of attack. He had beat me. But I didn't care about that. It had been what he had said before the words of victory.
"No, not that," I said with a shake of my head that was filled with jumbled up thoughts. "What do you mean by leaving Amity Park? Why exactly are you here, Vlad?"
"Danny, you lost the game. You don't get to ask the questions," Vlad said. He was enjoying my heated emotions, I could tell from that little smirk in the corner of his mouth. "Why don't you sit down and let the narcotic take effect?"
"Narcotic?" I screamed, jumping to my feet in anger. I was almost in a panic as I leaned across the chess board and shouted into Vlad's face, "What the hell did you do to me?"
"Oh, did I say narcotic?" Vlad said with pretend innocence, "I meant sedative, really. It is only meant to knock you for an hour or two. It should kick in any second now. You might want to be sitting down when that happens. I put quite a lot on the rim of your cup because us half ghosts have a higher resistance to its chemical properties."
"Oh jeez! Oh jeez!" I whispered in a total state of hysteria. I put my hands on either side of my head while my heart rate sky rocketed and my breathing became shallow. Vlad had just drugged me! Was I going to die? Oh this couldn't be happening!
"Calm down, Daniel," Vlad said sternly. He got to his feet and started to round the coffee table to get to me. I backed away to keep a safe gap between us. Unfortunately, whatever drug the man had given me decided right then to take effect. A wave of dizziness engulfed me suddenly. I reeled backwards before falling straight to butt with a defining thud.
I sucked in deep gulps of air while sitting there on the carpeted floor. I knew I should have been freaking out, but my body was rejecting all my instincts as the chemical took over at a rapid, relentless pace. I felt my body letting go and getting thrown into oblivion.
My last thought before passing out was that even if I had won the chess game, Vlad originally had no intention of leaving me alone. That sucked. It meant he had big evil plans for my near future. Big evil plans I knew I wasn't going to like.
"Crap," I managed to mutter in my stupor.
Then the darkness overwhelmed me and I was out cold.
A/N: And the torturing of poor old Danny begins with him being drugged. Hah. I think I'd totally freak out too if my arch enemy decided to drug me. Entertaining chapter, though. Vlad is so much fun to write about. And writing in Danny's POV is always a blast. Enough of my ranting! I'll be updating next weekend. Thanks for reading and please review! See you guys next weekend!
UPDATE: To new and old readers, there's a big, exciting update from me to you guys! I published a book! For more info, check out my profile page where there are links to buy the books and to get more info on it! Thanks!