A/N: Hey everybody! ::hugs all around:: Long time no see eh? I'm sorry I'm not seeing you again with another chapter update for one of my seriously neglected fics =( I promise that I am working on it, I swear! None of my stories are on hold nor are they being canceled! I'm still working on them, they're just slow in coming due to the stresses of college graduation and grad school applications and interviews. But I promise, they are still in works!

Anywho, in regards to this, it's a little oneshot I did for the DP-Angst contest on deviantArt. This is a reworking of something I'd previously written for the DP Remix project on the DPO website. Funny story actually since I wrote it all Vlad-introspective first and then, since it was supposed to be written like a script, I was asked to rewrite it with more dialogue and action and to make Vlad more of an unknown entity, which made sense given the aims of the project. However, for this I decided to mesh the two together and add a bit of my own angsty flair for the submission XD

Anywho, I hope you enjoy it! It's from a different perspective than I usually write so hopefully it worked out okay =D And hopefully I'll get you guys a chapter update soon! ::hugs::


How dare they?

That one thought seemed to permeate his thoughts, stoking the embers of what had once been a searing, flaming fire of hatred. Sure it had cooled over the years, becoming nothing more than the cheery flame of a fireplace, flaring up only when kindling such as a picture or an unbidden memory came his way, but this…this burned like gasoline, igniting the flame once more into the conflagration it had been twenty years ago.

How dare they?

Did his accident mean nothing to them? It was apparent that was surely the case. Not only had he heard nothing from them in the twenty years since the accident save for a marriage invitation, which he had promptly burned and cursed, but now he read in a scientific journal that they were beginning their research anew? They had actually rebuilt a portal without him even if he was on the original team and without any care for what the last one did to him? And not only that, but that they were actually turning it on the following day?

How dare they?

He wasn't going to stand for this, not at all. There was no way he was going to let them get the credit for this, not after all the sacrifices he had made for the initial research on the original proto-portal. He deserved this more than they did. Much more.

It didn't take long for the flames of vengeance to concoct a fiendish plan, one that would ensure revenge against the two that had wronged him. He couldn't help but grin at the simplicity of it. Just one simple move and he could crush their precious experiment and ruin their reputation before the hundreds of scientists eagerly awaiting to see whether their portal would bring about a new scientific marvel about the afterlife.

He set off at once, ironically using one of the many abilities granted to him by the accident to assist him. He couldn't help but cackle at the irony of the situation, using the very consequences of the accident they caused to bring about their undoing. It had a fitting, circular feel to it and it chimed with the sweet melody of karma, a melody he found quite amusing on his long flight to the small town of Amity.

He found the house easily, for they had transformed their house into a gaudy, fluorescent beacon to their business. Ignoring the dirt and walls like they were simply air he flew into the basement, correctly predicting the location for their new, full-size ghost portal. They always were predictable, and seeing them both in the basement, dressed in their typical jumpsuits as they double checked the wiring of the portal didn't surprise him in the slightest.

He knew he couldn't do anything at the moment, for any sabotage he attempted would just be noticed and fixed and that would defeat the purpose. But he was a patient man and he could wait for what he wanted. Even if it was the eve of their triumphant day they would have to sleep eventually, giving him the chance he needed to poke around, find what needed to be done to demolish them and, more importantly, to give him the chance to discover the plans for himself. Because what could possibly be better revenge on those that wronged him than by ripping their triumph from beneath them and then successfully creating one in a few month's time? Yes…it was surely the ultimate revenge.

And so he waited, floating invisibly in the lab before they finally went upstairs to bed. Then he struck, taking notes, drawing diagrams, figuring out the secret that made them so confident about this portal's functionality. And finally, as dawn approached, he had all the information he needed to not only construct his own but to find a way to sabotage the portal that neither of them would even think about for it was so simple.

He watched as important people flooded into the basement, ready for the portal to be turned on and for the scientific marvel to be born. And as the large oaf began his speech on the importance of this portal for ghost research, the very ghost they created all those years ago floated into their portal and turned off the switch. So simple, so asinine, and yet the two of them for all their genius would never expect something as simple as the switch within the portal being turned off.

He quickly exited the portal, watching with glee unrivaled as the excitement and suspense in the room built, waiting for the orange-clad scientist to plug the portal in and for it to hopefully spring to life.

"Hey everyone!" Jack's voice boomed throughout the metallic room, ending the polite chatter as he caught the attention of the dozen people clustered in the basement lab. Eyes turned towards him in interest and media cameras turned on to record the speech preceding this scientific event. "We're going to turn it on now but first, there are some things I want to say and others that I've been forced to say."

He cleared his throat loudly as if trying to sound important. "First, it's great to see you all here! This is a much bigger turnout than the last time we tried to present the portal twenty years ago because hey, even the dozen or so of you is better than zero we had last time! Granted that one didn't work…which is why it's great you're all here for this one instead! But you are all here to see the advent of a new scientific age: the age of ghost research. Yes siree, this is the time when ghost research finally takes its first step into becoming an official science, because after this portal fires up there'll be no doubt about whether ghosts exist or not. The entire world will finally see that ghost research and hunting are no longer useless, crackpot professions but actual science and necessity! As soon as we get a ghost out of there and find an alternative fuel source or the cure to cancer oh that'll show 'em! That'll show anyone who ever doubted me!"

Maddie coughed lightly beside him, shaking him out of his defensive preaching while Vlad tried hard not to laugh and give his position away. That oaf, he was the same as always… Jack looked over at his wife, smiling embarrassedly before continuing. "Anyways, this is a project long in the making, starting when Maddie and I were both in college." Vlad growled at the failure to mention his name, blood and ectoplasm boiling. There was the proof he needed that they had totally forgotten about him. Any guilt he felt about causing Maddie such humiliation was completely abolished at that.

A black-haired teen turned his head, hearing a growl from the corner behind him, but seeing no one there.

"Danny?" his sister asked in a whisper.

"Didn't you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

"A growl. I heard a growl."

"I didn't hear anything Danny, now pay attention; this is important to Mom and Dad."

He turned back to face his parents who had once again started speaking, also clueless to the sound that he had been sure he'd heard.

"…but this one will! It has to work…it's bigger! And um, better constructed…much better constructed."

"So, enough talk let's—" Another cough interrupted him and he held up a finger, remembering the last bit of his speech. "Oh yes, and we'd like to thank the financial backers from the university and the government for their financial grants and contributions," he deadpanned. "Is that all?" he eagerly asked his redheaded wife.

"Well I just wanted to take one last second to thank Vl—"

"The same people I thanked," Jack interrupted impatiently. "Now enough talk, let's turn this baby on!"

She sighed, knowing it was foolish to argue with her husband now, not when the realization of his dream of over twenty years was lying in wait. She pulled the hood of her jumpsuit over her head and snapped her goggles on before walking over to one end of the unplugged extension cord while Jack excitedly took the other. "Ladies and gentlemen" Maddie began "let me remind you that while the portal will need to generate massive amounts of electricity to create the window into what we've preemptively named the Ghost Zone, as long as you stay behind the yellow line indicated on the floor, there should be no real danger to any of you." With that being said she gave a nod to her husband who nodded to her in return. As one they both joined their ends of the cords, completing the electrical circuit.

Massive volts of electricity flew through the thick cord snaking up to the portal as rushes of adrenaline flowed through the onlookers. Even Vlad got caught up in the moment, knowing what the glorious end would be. Electricity flowed into the portal, sending current splitting off at every junction until the entire portal was thrumming with electricity. A shot of electric charge crackled across the portal, causing the audience in the room to gasp in anticipation. Another spark shot across it, smaller in intensity this time and then…nothing.

Jack looked down at the cord, ramming the two ends together harder before looking expectantly at the portal, just waiting for it to glow or even just spark again, but it remained dead. Maddie ran along the cord, shoving it into the wall harder but again, nothing happened. They tried and tried, looking over everything, double checking all the connections, but everything seemed right and they were running out of options.

People started to murmur, whispering to each other about the portal's lack of functionality, but they all stopped when Jack just dropped the cord dejectedly. His massive shoulders hunched in defeat before he trudged towards the stairs, his wife following behind him. The crowd parted for them like the red sea, letting the despondent couple amble past them. Despair creased their faces and desolation shined from their eyes as they kept them looking down in shame, not able to meet the eyes of the audience in their failure. They moped slowly up the stairs, awash with disappointment so thick it threatened to choke all that came near them. They had been so sure about this one, so confident that they had done it right this time. It had been their dream to fix that original prototype into a working portal, one they had worked towards for so long. But once again it seemed like Fate refused to make it so and all their hard work had been rendered completely useless as their success was snatched away from them yet again, just as it had been twenty years ago…

Once they were clear of the lab the murmuring started again, now more urgent and shocked as they all came to the conclusion that the portal indeed was not going to be working. Financial backers were concerned about the waste of the grant money given to this project, others were worried about what the lack of a working portal would do to the plans they had concocted. They followed the Fentons up the stairs as they chattered, needing to discuss their short-comings immediately, leaving only the two teenagers in the corner staring blankly at the portal in shock.

Behind them Vlad floated, at war with himself and his emotions. He felt absolutely delighted about what he had done, and yet horribly guilty at the same time. Watching Jack slump away in defeat was the most glorious thing he had ever seen and some deep part inside him seemed to heal at the brilliantly concocted revenge. And yet his joy wasn't complete, for seeing Maddie's desolate face and teary eyes broke his heart. He didn't think about how much his act would hurt the woman he loved, the woman he cared for more than life itself. This guilt hampered the sadistic elation he knew he should be feeling and it was like he almost felt regret at what he'd done. Almost.

He comforted himself with the knowledge that Maddie's pain was only a passing thing. After all, she was the one that had decided to align herself with Jack and now she was paying for it. But she would be healed in time. Once he made a fully functioning portal based off their schematics there was no way she would be able to deny him. And he would certainly credit her with the design, passing over Jack's meager contribution as he himself had just been passed over. And then, then she would finally receive the honor and recognition she deserved and she would be at his side, where she deserved to be.

He let out a delighted cackle from his corner as he rubbed his hands together in satisfaction at a job well done. He had planned this perfectly, and there was no one that could stop him now.

"Ah, sweet sweet revenge," the ghost quipped quietly, grinning maliciously as he swirled his cape and flew invisibly from the basement. His job had been done.

The youngest of the Fenton family turned around, swearing that he had heard someone speak and a breath of wind on his neck, but again there was nothing there. Curious. His blue eyes surveyed the corner with utmost scrutiny, but there wasn't a trace of anything there. What was going on?

"It's a shame that it didn't work," his sister sighed beside him.

"What?" he asked, jerked out of his thoughts. "Oh, yeah." His attention was now focused on the portal, the catalyst in all this. His parents weren't idiots; they knew what they were doing. What happened to screw this all up so much?

"We should go upstairs and comfort them," Jazz suggested as she started heading towards the stairs, stopping as she noticed that her brother wasn't following her. "Danny, did you hear me?"


"We should go upstairs to comfort Mom and Dad."

"Oh, yeah, be right there," he told her without drawing his gaze from the portal, lost in thought about what could have gone wrong.

Jazz shook her head before heading upstairs to join the rest of the family, leaving her brother staring into the portal with a questioning, though curious look.

I wonder…

A/N: So for those of you that didn't catch it, the basic premise is that the portal didn't work because Vlad actually sabotaged it (not because the Fentons are idiots and forgot to press the "on" switch). But the beauty is that Vlad, in essence, created Danny, which brings about the delicious angst that Vlad, in a sense, brought about his own end through his need for revenge. C'mon...that's angsty...right? And doesn't that just add a whole other dimension to the Danny and Vlad dynamics? C'mon...you know it...XD

And I know there weren't really any reporters or anything in the credits but...it makes sense. I mean, they'd be getting grant money from somewhere and those people would want to make sure that their investments were valid. So really, I can't see why there wouldn't be a small group gathered to see the portal turn on.

Although funny enough I realized the other day when I was trying to find an old oneshot that could be used for the contest that I really don't write "canon" all that often; I usually end up tweaking some event to make it more interesting or to add a different dimension and that minor tweak apparently makes it an AU. Now, this is technically considered a minor tweak, but I'm hoping it's still "in canon" because it's technically not changing any of the canon details...right? Because they never went into any details about the creation of the portal...

Oh, and disclaimers:
I do not own Danny Phantom or any associated characters, items, themes, etc. Those belong to Butch Hartman and, sadly, Nickelodeon.
Some of the ideas for this were developed by the participants of the DPO DP-Remix project and if any of you desire credit please alert me and I will of course credit you with it. The writing, however, is my own.