So, I probably shouldn't be starting another story, but it was calling to me ;D Anyways, I'm so excited to put this up! This should be a fun story to write- and hopefully fun for you guys to read! I was planning on not posting this until the fic was completed, but I was just so excited that I couldn't wait. I really hope you guys like it!

Hopefully I'll be updating weekly. Enjoy!

Summary

An injured Danny is forced to stay with Vlad while his parents are away at a convention. While he's there, he finds out about the Jade Stone- a magical gem that can control the Ghost Zone. Soon, he's tangled up in Vlad's plans to retrieve the stone. Is it more than he can handle- and is there more to Vlad's plans than meets the eye? No slash.


Chapter 1: The Hospital

"Would Dr. Sanchez please report to room 703, immediately? Dr. Sanchez to room 703, please."

I stirred at the loud, echoing voice. Pulling the sheets over my chest, I tried to get comfortable in my strangely hard bed. A strange smell drifted into my room, reaching my face and crawling up my nose. I wrinkled my eyebrows in disgust at what smelled like frozen cough syrup.

My head started pounding lightly as another message was yelled over an intercom somewhere. I wanted desperately to go back to sleep, but I was a light sleeper and I knew I wouldn't be able to doze off again with all this noise. Instead, I let my eyes flicker open.

I was met with a blindingly white room. White walls, white flooring, white door and even white bed sheets. I groaned, realizing I was in a hospital. Before I even had the chance to wonder what I was doing here, I felt a hand gently rest upon my forearm. My vision still blurry, I blinked a few times. I looked over to my bedside, puzzled to see my arch-nemesis seated next to me with an unreadable expression on his face, though I thought it might be something along the lines of worry.

"Mmmm…" I mumbled something incomprehensible. What was Vlad doing here? Heck, what was I doing here? The last thing I remembered was being punched in the stomach by Skulker…

"Daniel?" I heard the multi-billionaire at my side ask me, his voice lined with concern. "Daniel, are you alright?"

Realizing it was Vlad's hand that was sitting on my arm, I quickly tried to pull away, but a sudden, sharp pain in my right side caused my arm to fall back to its original position. I moaned.

Fully awake, I was now more aware of the colossal pain I was in. My muscles ached and my left wrist was wrapped in a bandage. I was unable to move my left foot and my side felt like it was about to explode.

"Do you need the doctor?" Vlad asked hastily.

"No…" I muttered, trying to sit up without hurting my side too much. I had to put all my weight on my hands to be able to position myself against the small, wooden headboard.

After a few moments of silence, which were used to recover from my difficult task of sitting up, I looked towards Vlad, my eyes narrowing in suspicion. "What are you doing here?" I demanded of my enemy, trying not to sound as weak as I felt. Even in my immense pain, I still felt resentment towards the man sitting next to me. For all I knew, it was his fault I was laying here.

"Daniel, there's no need to be angry-," Vlad responded, raising an eyebrow, "I'm merely here to make sure you receive the medical care you need."

I was about say something when a doctor walked through the door.

"Ah, Daniel!" the doctor said cheerfully. "Glad to see you're finally up. How are you feeling, kiddo?"

"Lousy," I grunted in response.

He smiled sympathetically. "Well, that's to be expected. You took a pretty hard fall from what Mr. Masters tells me. I shot Vlad a glance. "It's a good thing he was around at the time so he could bring you in."

Not quite in the mood to hear someone praising my enemy, I asked, "Why exactly am I in here?"

"Well, you did have some serious wounds when you came in yesterday. You've sprained you're ankle and you had a mild concussion, as well as some cuts that we've cleaned up for you. You've got a big bruise on your side too, but it should clear up within a few days. I'll be sending in nurse Blonda to check up on you in a bit- we need to re-wrap your wounds every few hours."

I nodded to show my understanding. Before leaving the room, he added, "And don't look so down, kid. You'll be as good as new and out of this place in no time!"

As soon as he was gone, I looked at Vlad, my eyes narrowing. "I fell?" I asked incredulously. "That's the best you could come up with? What really happened?"

"You know," he countered my question, "I was hoping you would be able to tell me. I found you sprawled on the ground of your parents lab, bleeding."

Honestly, I couldn't for the life of me remember what had happened. The last thing I recalled was fighting with Skulker in the Ghost Zone. That ghost was a lot stronger than I gave him credit for. While I was rummaging through the pool of my recent memories, trying to find an answer to the question, something in my mind clicked.

"Wait a minute- what were you doing in my parents' lab?" I demanded suddenly.

Vlad rolled his eyes. "Do you want to get into semantics or do you want to be grateful that I was there to help you? Besides," he pointed out, "You didn't tell me what happened yet."

"That's because it's none of your business," I said curtly. I would have crossed my arms to emphasize my response if I'd had the energy.

"Oh honestly," Vlad sighed in exasperation, "You are so stubborn sometimes, Daniel."

I was about to scoff at him in response, when another shot of pain traveled up my side. Quickly Vlad's hand reached for my side, and I winced. "Is everything alright?" he asked; his tone softened as concern was now apparent in his voice.

I cringed at his touch. This wasn't right. I shouldn't have been laying here desperate and helpless when my arch-nemesis was sitting right next to me! I hated that I was unable to so much as move a muscle around him. How are you supposed to be on your guard when every time you move you experience insufferable pain? I already hated the idea of being vulnerable around my friends and family- being vulnerable around my enemies wasn't really my idea of fun.

"Why are you still here, anyways?" I snapped. "You dropped me off, so why don't you just leave?" I realize I was being harsh to someone who had possibly just saved my life, but there was no way I was letting Vlad get under my skin. That's how Vlad works, after all. He plays games with your mind, and as soon as he's gotten close to you, he topples you off the board like some worthless pawn. Valerie learned that the hard way, and I wasn't about to follow in her footsteps.

Rolling his eyes, Vlad responded impatiently, "Do you really think I'd just leave you here at the hospital when all your family and friends are away on vacation? I'm not heartless, you know, Daniel."

Could've fooled me," I muttered under my breath, but he didn't seem to hear me.

Something about his last remark bothered me though. How did he know my family and friends were away? My parents left for a two-week ghost seminar-convention in the North and Jazz was doing some summer courses at the university, four hours away from Amity. Even Tuck and Sam had gone on vacation with their families- and they weren't expected to return for at least a month. Was he spying on me or something?

I closed my eyes and shook the thought out of my head. Honestly, I didn't want to worry about this right now. My head hurt and I felt like if I moved again, all my limbs would fall off; I just wanted to relax and let my wounds heal. Closing my eyes, I let myself drift back into dreamland, oblivious to the fruitloop next to me.


A few hours later, after a plump, cheery lady had come and changed my bandages, Dr. Marcher walked back in, a clipboard in his hands.

"Good news, kiddo," the doctor said, shooting a glance at me before returning to his clipboard. "You'll be outta here in no time. We just need a guardian to sign these papers and you can get out tomorrow morning." He automatically passed some documents that were in his hand to Vlad, who took a pen out of his pocket to sign them.

I opened my mouth to protest, but Vlad silenced me. I glared at the multi-billionaire, clenching my teeth. Great. Now I'm stuck with Toucan Sam for the next two weeks...I thought bitterly.

As Dr. Marcher was about to take the signed documents from Vlad's hands, I sputtered, unable to wait for him to leave the room so I could grill Vlad on whatever the heck was going on, "Doctor, he's not really my guardian- my paren-,"

"Whoa there, kid," Dr. Marcher put up his hand to slow me down. "It's okay if he's not your legal guardian. We just need someone to sign that they'll be taking care of you for the next few days…unless you wanted to stay in the hospital instead?" he questioned.

"No," I mumbled quietly, looking down at the covers.

"Perfect! I'll come check on you in a little while then," Dr Marcher informed me, returning to his previous jovial manner as he took the papers and left the room.

"Vlad, I hope you know I'm not going to be stayin-," I started determinedly, but he interrupted me.

"Daniel, I'm not going to drop you off at home and leave you to fend for yourself like nothing happened. How are you going to provide for yourself when you can barely stand up?" he said sternly. "Now stop acting like a stubborn child and get some rest."

His firm response to my remark left me quiet for a few moments. When I finally opened my mouth to retort, I quickly shut it again, realizing that he was right. True, I'd rather stick a fork in my side than stay with Vlad, even if only for a while, but I realized that he had a good point. There was no way I could stay home alone like this. Recognizing I had been defeated, I took his advice and pulled the covers over my chest, trying to get some sleep.


So it's pretty tame for a first chapter, aside from the fact that Danny's in the hospital...Ah, I just love torturing that boy. Then again, who doesn't? Especially if you get to torture him with Vlad *evil grin* I just love writing Vlad- he's so frootloopishly evil and fun :D

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed. I'll be updating in a week, hopefully! Thanks for reading and please leave a review :D