Danny stared at the mahogany door towering before him, little wafts of warm breath visible in the moon's cold light. He raised a hand to knock, but just as suddenly pulled away, biting his lip and pacing up and down the steps of Vlad's mansion.

He should wait until tomorrow. It was late now, and Plasmius was probably sleeping.

But where would he go? He didn't know anyone in Wisconsin, and it wasn't as if he could sleep outside. It had been snowing the entire way here, only pausing when Danny had finally arrived at Vlad's Estate. Sleeping outside was out of the question, lest he want to freeze to death.

He glanced at his watch. 1:34. Oh, damn his timing! Why didn't he think about the four hours it took to fly by himself? He should have snuck onto a plane!

He stomped his foot angrily into the snow covered walk. This was getting him nowhere but colder.

He sat down, almost instantly regretting it when the ice melted into his jeans. Well, great. Now even if he did manage to knock on the door, Vlad would make some snide comment about how he'd peed himself. Which was stupid anyway, because he was a boy.

More useless thoughts began to dance through his head, successfully avoiding the real reason he was currently so agitated.

Although loathe to admit it, Daniel Fenton was scared.

This was his last chance. He would not become one of them. He was going to make amends. He was going to rest assured that his family and friends would be safe, not only from Plasmius, but from anything else that would threaten to hurt them. Everything would be fine, and all his loose ends would be tied.

It had absolutely nothing to do with the little butterflies that would rumble around in his stomach at the mere thought of the billionaire.

Just then, as if by the will of the Gods, a yellow rectangle of light beat down on him, only interrupted by a thin shadow. He turned around quickly to see a curious Vlad Masters, eyeing him from the doorway.

"I thought I sensed you." he said simply, leaning against the doorframe. "What are you doing on my porch at two o'clock in morning?"

"I, um." Danny stood up abruptly, twisting to face him. For some reason, he couldn't quite look him in the eye, and so he settled on the collar of Vlad's shirt. Focus, Fenton. This is more important than your little school yard crush. "Can I come inside...? I want to talk."

The billionaire paused for a moment, but stepped aside without word. Danny looked at him curiously.

"Wait, really...?" Danny had half expected to have the door slammed on his face, or to be physically kicked off the porch.

"I suppose, if you're going to be civil, then so will I." He lead Danny by the shoulder into the Foyer and closing the door behind him. Noticing Danny's shivering, he motioned him towards the Den.

"Well." he said flatly. "I certainly hope that this is important. I'd hate to learn that you nearly froze to death waiting to accuse me of some bogus plot." He sat down in a large chair beside the fireplace, in front of an identical one and a chess table. "I know you've got more sense than your father, so sit already." Danny ignored the insult and complied, leaning towards the fire in his seat. "Now, may I ask why you chose such an inconvenient time to intrude?"

"I, um..." Danny blushed a bit; embarrassed because he knew that it had been bad timing on his part alone that brought him at such an ungodly hour. Not because he'"I was waiting until my mom and Dad were asleep. I wanted to talk to you in person, only..." He scratched his chin with a finger, hesitating. "I sort of... forgot that it takes so long to get to your house." Vlad snorted.

"Well. It's a smarter reason then I was expecting." he crossed his legs and leaned back. "So, if not to harass me, then why the oh-so-unwelcome visit from the great Danny Phantom?" His voice was dripping with spite and sarcasm, but Danny closed his eyes, ignoring it and taking a deep breath.

"I want to know..." Danny straightened himself up, and turned to Vlad. Fighting down the urge to blush, he summoned the courage to look the man in the eye. "I want to know if that offer of yours still stands."

What is THIS? A story with PLOT? From RUBBLE?


Tee hee.