Author's Note
Another Christmas gift-fic! Merry Christmas Hordak, I do hope you enjoy it. ^^ There just aren't enough Clockwork fics, you know? This may also serve as a prologue to a fic that came up in a conversation with Invader Johnny.

Don't own Danny Phantom. Never have, never will. Use your heads, people.

A Christmas Gift for Hordak's Pupil


There they are again. Watching me like a hawk, as usual. Or, as a pair of eyeballs in cloaks, which might be a more accurate description.

All they do is stand there and give orders – and I have to follow them whether I like it or not. How ironic that the Ghost of Time should have to be pushed around by a couple of observing Observants. I'm their mercenary – their hit man. They get me to do all the jobs that they would prefer not to dirty their hands with.

I've been ordered to kill to keep the time stream in order – even when there are other ways. I have tried many times to convince them otherwise, but they're one-tracked minds never change. It's the way they are.

However, there was one day where I was ordered to kill a boy – one who appeared to be trapped in a state of life and death at the same time. When they first ordered me to kill him, I didn't like it. I only came to dislike it further as time went on. I tried and failed to stop the boy in his tracks. And as he escaped into a future that was to be avoided, I decided that I would ignore the Observants, seeing if the boy could prevail against the worst enemy anyone could imagine; himself, evil, and with ten years more experience.

When he rose against Dan Phantom, fought him, and then trapped him in a device known as a Fenton Thermos, I thought we'd won. The Observants were rather angry, but we had nonetheless, in my mind, won.

Now I am not quite as sure. It's not because of the Observants constantly bugging me about my decision to take the hard route, rather than just cutting the boy's life short with a large scythe and being done with it. These days, Danny Phantom and Vlad Plasmius's future self has been becoming restless. It's not the usual restless, either; the usual restless is constant banging against the thermos walls and begging to be let out.

However, now and then, I've caught the thermos smoking. If I had have been any lower being and my destruction would not inflict serious repercussions on the time stream, I would have been punished most severely by now. So severely that I might not have even been around to tell you this.

I'm no longer entirely sure that the thermos that holds the fate of a planet and an entire dimension within its walls can continue to do so. Such a simple, yet effective ghost trapping device, made by mere humans, simply cannot hold a ghost of this magnitude for an extended period of time. Sometimes I even wonder how long the Sarcophagus of Forever Sleep could...

One thing's for sure – that boy's future will not stay put forever. Just a few minutes ago, my mirror showed a different future. The boy does not know of this.

It will be all of four minutes until he does.

Author's Note
It's short, and you can tell what's going to happen, but trust me, the resulting fic from this bunny (which I hope to write) should be very, very different from what you expect. Hope you enjoyed, Hordak. There will be a fair bit of Clockwork in the actual fic itself to make up for the shortness here. Oh, and thanks a lot for the idea Johnny! :D