Alike

Summary: Acknowledging Vlad's evil schemes, Danny consistently insists that he is nothing like Plasmius. Vlad's reflection may show that they have more in common than Danny would care to admit. This reflection is before "Phantom Planet."

Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom.

Daniel keeps saying that he and I are nothing alike. He has no idea how wrong he is.

On the first day we met, we drew to a stalemate after he stole my ploy. I overshadowed Jack to destroy his reputation at our 20th year college reunion. I might have succeeded, but Daniel hit me with ectoplasmic goo and then overshadowed his father. In a move that would have made me proud if he didn't use it against me, he used my one weakness against me - Maddie. He threatened to expose both of us as half-ghosts. His parents would accept him, of course. But me... I couldn't risk the last chance I had at winning Maddie's affection. And the brat knew that. But honestly... it was a move worthy of me.

Releasing the Ghost King was my fault. I'll admit that, if only to myself. Still, I required Daniel's assistance. When I showed up at his school to get it, there he was, using his powers against helpless humans. Knowing Daniel's hero complex, I could probably safely assume that they deserved it, but still, overpowering one's human enemies while using ghost powers... And the piecé de resistance of the moment - striking the first blow against me! He would never admit it, but he's becoming more like me than he knows.

True, he still uses his powers for the good of the people and not his own benefit. (I'll have to work to cure him of this.) But nonetheless, he really could pass as my son. It's a pity he'd never consent to it...

The next time he showed his similarity to me, the situation was my fault, again. I released Vortex from imprisonment. I thought I could keep him enslaved, but he proved to be too powerful for me to keep under my control. I demeaned myself to get Daniel to help me. Well... being honest, at least with myself, I enlisted Daniel's help to fight Vortex for me.

After facing off with this ghost, Daniel was plagued with power over weather that was triggered by his emotions. Since he was not clever enough to work out the possibilities on his own, his friends convinced him of the boon he faced by being forced into my care.

Daniel. He could have been his sweet, unambitious self, but there is something about my proximity that draws me out of him. A relentless slavedriver, the boy kept me hopping to fulfill his every whim. While it was annoying, exhausting, and expensive at the time, part of me cheered. He used his new powers for his own gain. In retrospect, I'm actually proud of how far he came.

The best example of Daniel's development in becoming similar to me has absolutely nothing to do with me, ironically. I was merely a witness, and a temporary next door neighbor.

Apparently, the Guys in White thought buying Fenton Works was a worthwhile enterprise. If their numbskull idea of obliterating the Ghost Zone actually succeeded, I shudder to think what could have been. But Daniel and his friends played the heroes once more, putting a stop to this dangerous nonsense.

For the short while it lasted, the Fentons came into some federally sponsored billions, or some such. That Jack would become a wastrel was almost a given. His ludicrous exuberance and stupidity is ripe for all manners of insanity. But Daniel is the interesting one in all of this.

The instant wealth went to the young boy's head. He shirked all manners of responsibility. I believe he dismissed school for a while, failing a test from his absence. The details are largely unimportant, but he used his newfound wealth to remake his world in his own image.

That image was merely an infantile version of my own world, filled with my passions, desires, and possessions which reflect them. And when his peers rejected his ideas, he "made" some new friends. In what way is Daniel's Tuckbot 2000 different than my Maddie hologram program? The physical details are different, but the principle is exactly the same.

That boy is more like me that he would ever admit. But whether he thinks it or not, Daniel and I are amazingly alike.