My defenses are crumbling...
"My strength alone cannot suffice, but I see no others who will stand and fight."
Chapter 7: Switching Strengths
His mind was blank. Danny stood rooted to the spot, vision filled with nothing but Vlad Masters smug smile. Danny's chest felt too tight, head pounding, making his vision swim, causing the roaring in his ears to only increase. Pain filled memories clawed their way to the surface of his heart. But the one thing Danny knew for certain, was that Vlad being here would only make his life spiral out of control. Not that it already wasn't.
"Downstairs, now," his voice was straining, trying to keep the powerful echo out and to maintain his ice blue gaze. Vlad merely nodded, his eyes glistening in some unknown emotion. Danny's movements were stiff, controlled as he walked past the elder, who placed a dead white hand on his shoulder. Vlad reveled in how the shoulder tensed, blue eyes flashing green, nearly making him laugh out in malicious enjoyment.
Starfire witnessed the whole thing. Her bones chilled until Danny and Vlad left, the door closing with a click. Her heart began to race…Danny's eyes had looked just like the gem Blackfire had given her. Suddenly, Starfire wasn't in the bookstore, but the warehouse, visions of streaming, smoke filled lights while pounding music filled her ears. Danny standing at the center of it all protecting her, glaring at Blackfire and the Titans. It had not been a trick of light. His eyes really were liquid green! But blue as well? The alien girl stood there in confusion, could human eyes really change that quickly? Starfire was startled out of her thoughts when Robin moved behind her. His face pensive and worried, trying to process what had occurred.
"So he really is adopted by Vlad Masters," the team couldn't help the shiver that ran down all of their spines at the memory of those dull blue eyes.
"What do you mean? Who is Vlad Masters?" Fixit asked, his monotone voice firmly in place, betraying nothing to his inner turmoil. Cyborg cast a glance towards him, and Fixit had to restrain the shudder at how upset his friends' eyes looked.
"Being adopted could mean a lot of things. His parents could be dead, or were 'unable' to care for him, or…" He could no longer continue. The strong baritone voice dying away as the rest of the Titans all looked down to the ground. Their minds racing in possibilities, and suddenly, Fixit understood why Danny never talked about his past.
"His parents are deceased," Fixit stated, trying to ignore the vise like grip that had taken hold of his heart.
"And I understand that you feel for him, but do not speak of it." All of the Titans looked up at Fixit in shock, but he paid no attention to this."You cannot change what has been lost, and Danny is not one to respond to words of self-pity or empathy. Neither is he the one to share his pain, nor one to accept words that no longer hold any meaning to him. So I ask you, do not speak of these things to Danny," Fixit finished his voice strong and true. He also didn't feel like telling them that Danny wasn't too keen on heroes, but he left that thought alone. Slowly, he waited as the Titans swallowed their worry and pride until all nodded in agreement. Fixit sighed, relief coursing through his veins. Now all he had to deal with was Danny himself, and the strange man named Vlad. Who when Fixit looked at, had gotten the strong desire to punch in the face. The coffee maker beeped, the brew was ready.
Danny tried to ignore the man walking behind him, who he knew still wore a smirk upon his slimy face.
"It seems your temper hasn't improved, my boy," Vlad sneered.
Danny ignored this, focusing only on the door in the living room. His pace steadily increasing until the knob was firmly in his grasp, wrenching the door open, he entered the white lab. Vlad following suit. The second the door shut Danny spun to face the older half-ghost.
"What are you doing here? You swore never to show your face to me again, that was our agreement! That you'd support me in shadows and in return I would leave you in peace!" Danny hissed, his rage boiling up. The air growing cold, making Vlad appear all the more demented.
"Yes, but that was before you broke the treaty. After all, the entire Ghost Zone will be after you now," Vlad responded his eyes gleaming, circling Danny, whose own ice blue eyes were glowing, but he remained rooted to the spot.
"I don't care if the world's ending. I never want to see your accursed face ever again!" Danny spat.
Vlad recoiled, his eyes meeting Danny's. Rage filled the elder half-ghost, but it was quelled the second he spotted Danny's trembling fists. A grin split his face.
"That's harsh, my boy. After all, it's not like you can defeat me and all of the Ghost Zone by yourself, little badger." A smirk twisting that enjoyed how Danny's glowing green gaze fell to the floor, his entire frame shaking in fear. Vlad merely chuckled, he approached one of the lab tables upon which a metallic belt lay. Gingerly he picked it up, examining the device. His eyes returned to Danny whose back was facing him. The image of a mouse caught by the hawk flashed before Vlad's eyes.
"Even with this," his voice dark, and with that said, pink flames engulfed it in a small explosion. The belt fell, clattering on the tile floor. Danny jumped slightly, but never moved to gaze at the blacking metal. He only stood still, waiting for Vlad to return to his side. The man gazed down at his charge and reveled in the way the teen's jet black hair hid his eyes from sight. He marveled at how the once trembling fists now lay limp by his sides. Gracefully, Vlad placed a hand under Danny's chin and raised him up to find those two blue eyes which refused to meet his gaze.
"You cannot defeat me, and you'll always need me, my boy."
Vlad felt warmth spread in his heart at this admission of fact, watching as Daniel closed his eyes in defeat.
Ice filled the room, the harshness of the word echoing. Only increasing in power as blue fire met Vlad Master's dead eyes.
"I don't need you. My debt to you is almost paid and are you forgetting Vlad, why that treaty existed in the first place?" Danny stated a smirk set firmly in place. Vlad wrenched his hand away, fear setting into his heart, the echoing voice reverberating around the soundproof lab.
"Don't you get it Vlad? What you see as fear is rage, what you believe as dead is alive, and no matter how you try, you will never be…"
A resounding slap filled the room. Danny's eyes going wide in surprise as he staggered back, a hand coming to rest upon the side of his face while trying to ignore the sting of flesh, and the way his left eye began watering out of pain.
Both stood there in stunned silence. Vlad in a breathless rage, Danny in pure shock. Slowly, Vlad lowered his outstretched arm, the palm of his hand slowly turning a light shade of red, his breaths short and ragged. Watching while Danny lower his own arm, revealing five red marks marring across porcelain skin.
"You insolent child!" Vlad breathed out, gasping between words, "What happened in the Ghost Zone was pure luck, you are not powerful. And you need to learn your place! Before my generosity runs out. After all, what you say is your debt has always been nothing more than a show of my mercy and you shall not test me! Understand!" Vlad yelled his eyes pure red. His voice maliciously echoed like that of a hurricane, and through it all Danny remained unmoving, only increasing his rage. For Danny was the eye of the storm, unyielding, his skin steadily turning white, causing Vlad to only snarl like that of a feral beast.
"Do You Understand?" He repeated.
Silence followed until ice blue eyes fell to the floor. Danny lowering his head, bowing down to Vlad.
"Yes…father." Danny's voice held no affection, no sincerity.
His eyes remained downcast while he waited for Vlad's anger to subside, and remained cast on the floor, even when he felt warm hands settle upon his shoulders.
"Good. Now, I have to leave, walk me to the door, little badger," Vlad said a smile on his face. Heart glowing at the thought of being called father. Danny led the way up the stairs. Vlad never noticed the coiled strength or the look of pure untamable power in those two sharp glowing green eyes.
Robin and the others all held half full coffee mugs when Danny and Vlad emerged. Neither of them stopping as they headed to the door. Silently, the Titans followed, Fixit steadily floating closer to Danny, his steady blue eyes boring into Vlad Masters. Danny stopped by the door, Vlad paused, hand on the cool metal knob.
"It was nice to see you again, little badger."
Danny merely nodded. Fixit's steady pale glow illuminating five tiny red lines, not missed under Robin's gaze. Vlad gave one final nod and left. The second the door closed, Danny whirled around and let out a long sigh, his face scrunching up from stress.
"I need coffee," Danny said pushing past the Titans.
The coffee was black and scalding as Danny drunk it down in three gulps. Ignoring the steady thrum of the pulse inside his head. With the mug now empty, the raven haired teen turned to face the Titans, who all stood in a line looking as if they were afraid he would suddenly shatter.
"To answer your question, Robin. Yes, I am adopted by Vlad Masters. Now if you don't mind, it's beyond late and I have a shop to run so please get out," his tone was polite, almost kind, if not for the underlining tiredness. Robin was caught off guard by the sudden change in Danny and agreed without complaint. With the mugs all placed in the sink, the Teen Titans left. Fixit locking the door behind them.
The robot followed Danny as they made their way back downstairs.
"What did Vlad want?"
"Nothing important," Danny answered, and with that he entered his room. Closing the plain white door behind him, leaving Fixit standing in the hallway.
Quietly, Danny leaned his head back against the wood. Eyes closing as he waited for his insomniac mind to settle. Vlad had been right, the ghosts would start attacking now, and Danny was the one they would target. The air felt cold, the raven haired teen trembled, momentarily giving into his fears before standing and getting ready for bed. The fully healed skin of his burned arm and leg shinning dully in the lamplight.
The red satin curtains drew back. A lone puppet dropped on stage his face downcast, wooden arms clinking haphazardly by his sides.
"Titans, Go!" puppet Robin said, rushing forward, but no one followed. And the leader turned to face five other puppets hanging in the air. Their home painted in the background.
"Hey, aren't you guys coming?" Robin asked as the puppet Raven raised her wooden arm up in defeat.
"What's the point? We can't possibly defeat the Puppet King," she said her voice boyishly monotone.
Starfire's puppet agreed dreamily. All the while praising and commenting on the Puppet King's marvelous good looks, her big green eyes and carefully braided red hair flowing around the wooden face, the same boyish voice feigning admiration.
"Yeah, we should probably just surrender now," the Cyborg puppet said. Its red eye glowing as he turned towards the puppet with a mop of green hair whose eyes were downcast as he spoke in a wooden accent.
"Dude, I think we already have," BB said before pointing up, the Titans all looked to their master.
"Bravo, bravo, but enough rehearsal…" the master said as he pulled at the strings letting the puppets fall, "…time to start the show." But before the curtain could close, the master lifted one puppet whose eyes were electric green. Its snow white hair falling in cascades around his wooden face.
"And you, my Titan friend, will be the star of the show."
The blood red curtains drew to a close.
It was the perfect time for meditation. In the moments of dawn and noon the blackness of space, stars and meteors were Raven's only companions. It was peaceful. It was exactly how the girl liked it, until Starfire broke through the serenity with her bell like voice.
"Raven, please forgive my interruption, but have you seen Robin?" The Tamaranean girl asked politely.
"No," Raven curtly replied, one eye opening in slight annoyance.
Starfire merely looked downcast at this, but her face lifted as she raised another question.
"Perhaps you have seen Cyborg?" She asked hopeful.
"My eyes are closed Starfire. I haven't seen anyone." It was getting really hard to keep her voice monotone.
"Oh, they must be doing the 'hanging out' someplace," Starfire noted as she turned to leave.
"Perhaps we should do the 'hanging out'?! We never have before, and conceivably it could be fun. We might journey to the mall of shopping, or perform braiding maneuvers upon each other's hair or…"
Black fire was seething out of Raven when Starfire finally gave notice.
"Oh, you wish to be alone?" She noted timidly. Raven merely nodded as the red-head silently left. Ah, this was more like it, the living room melted away back into black space. The warmth of the sun Raven's only tie to the real world as she meditated. The violet haired girl only got through one chant when,
"AH!" Raven screeched as she landed on her rump. Cyborg and the others filed in, Starfire rushing over to greet them as they placed the medium sized box on the kitchen table.
"Robin, Cyborg, Beastboy, you're back! It was… quiet, while you were gone."
"Not that quiet," Raven replied. Cyborg cut through the masking tape on the brown cardboard box.
After Beastboy predicted what was to be in the box, 'fan-mail from his many admirers' and the group's skeptical looks at that, Robin finally decided to check the address.
"Actually, it doesn't say who it's from."
"Well, one way to find out," Cy said opening the package.
The Titans couldn't believe it. For there looking back at them were five cute little replica puppets of themselves. All of them hand carved and painted to perfection, and once each Titan held their own likeness in their hands, did they return to the box where one other puppet lay. This puppet was just as finely carved. His twin green eyes would light up if you pressed the symbol on his chest. No one dared to touch the Phantom puppet for what felt like an embarrassingly long moment.
"Well," Beastboy said nervously, "we can't just leave him there."
"Obviously, who ever made these must have gotten their facts mixed up," Cyborg said reaching in and grabbing the snow white haired puppet.
"Yeah man, especially since Phantom really only helped us out like what, three times," Beastboy laughed although everyone knew they'd relied on him more than three times.
"Hey, show us the moves you and Phantom did in order to stop Cinderblock!" Robin said in a rush, and just like that, Phantom was put to use. The guys excitedly playing with their puppets, the boy wonder doll ordering the green mop on strings to be Cinderblock and was soon beaten to a pulp.
Starfire watched her friends play. Raven merely looking at them like they were, well…
A small giggle caught her attention as Star wandered over to her, puppet swaying in the wind,
"Shall my tiny replica do battle with your tiny replica?" She asked as the boys' Cinderblock fight turned into a battle royale of kicking and punching. Raven's expression never changed.
"Knock yourself out," and with this she left her puppet resting in Stars hand. In the background, Cy was winning, his and Phantom's puppet doing a side kick combo.
"You know, it's too bad Phantom really isn't a Teen Titan," BB spoke offhandedly, his puppet dodging one of the boy wonder's deadly fists.
Danny sneezed. His concentration temporarily broken. He hardly ever sneezed anymore, or even got sick for that matter. But that was of little concern to him, steadying his balance, Danny got back to work.
It was quiet in the shop. Nearing lunch, when Fixit asked the few customers still there, one nerd and two preps, to leave. Once the robot locked up, he headed downstairs expecting to find Danny eating lunch. Only the kitchen was empty, the black door in the living room slightly ajar.
The prefect white lab was empty as well except for the few beeps and clicks of machinery.
"Danny?" The robot called.
"In here," he heard, and looking to the left, Fixit followed the narrow hallway. The pale white tiles steadily turned to white washed wood and rounding the corner what he was met with took his breath away. For the room was a training area. Just as big as the lab, its light brown walls were lined with training sticks and weapons of all kinds. A black handmade ninja suit hanging on the wall, a Japanese katana glistening in the dim lamplight.
And there, on the navy blue training mat, balancing perpendicular on top of an old wooden chair tilted on two legs at a forty-five degree angle, was Danny. One arm resting behind his back, the other on the chair using only his thumb for balance as he continued doing push-ups while Fixit glided into the room.
"How many have you done?"
Danny craned his neck to meet Fixit's eyes.
"Three hundred and eighty something…you made me lose count," he said a frown on his face, black hair clinging haphazardly to his skin. Fixit merely smirked and circled the teen until he was facing the halfa's back once more.
"You have excellent form. Not many people would be able to keep their legs that straight," he stated, mentally adding that the majority of people couldn't do that at all. The teen let out a huff of annoyance.
"Thanks. Now shut up, I lost count again."
At this Fixit waited until in one last huff, Danny steadied himself on the chair and in a burst of power propelled himself into the air, flipping silently and landing on the balls of his bare feet.
"Show off," Fixit stated affectionately. Danny glared at him, wiping the sweat that beaded his brow.
"You closed up shop?" Danny asked as they headed out of the room the teen bending down, grabbing a small towel on the meditation table next to the incense.
"Yes, it was a slow day. And I am starting to believe your customers are psychic and know when to stay away from here."
"Probably, I've never really liked working on Saturdays."
As Fixit pondered this new information, Danny grabbed himself a red sports drink and popped two poptarts in the toaster. Once toasted, Fixit couldn't stop glaring at the offending pastries in the teen's hand, while Danny stared at the robot, fearing for his lunch's life.
"What? They're only Poptarts," he said his voice bordering on concern.
"Precisely," Fixit said acting with inhuman speed, the robot snatched the sugary treats out of the halfa's hand and crumpled them to dust. Danny could only stare, his mouth slack in shock.
"Son of a…what was that for? That was my lunch!" Danny yelled, but Fixit ignored the teen's angry mumblings.
"Sit at the table and don't complain," Fixit ordered much to the halfa's annoyance, but none the less, he complied and watched silently as the robot with his stoic face took out a skillet, one piece of frozen ham, two eggs, and began frying up a breakfast lunch meal. In no time at all, Danny had a ham egg muffin on toasted wheat bread with sea salt potato chips on the side.
"I didn't even know I had this stuff in my fridge…" He said in awe.
"You're welcome," Fixit replied unperturbed as the youth began devouring the meal. The robot could almost forget how powerful the child could be.
"Yeah?" He replied a bit of sandwich going down the wrong way causing Danny to cough before he took a drink to wash the food down.
"How long have you been training like that? It must have taken years to perfect."
Danny merely sat back in his chair, plate empty, his face scrunching up in an effort to recall the memories.
"Let's see, probably the summer of my freshman year. I did it to train in my room since my parents were ghost hunters– and I really liked my molecules to stay intact– so I could train without being detected. Although I didn't add the chair till much later," and with this Danny smiled pleased with his answer. For Fixit though, this only piled on more questions.
"You never told your parents you were part ghost?"
A shadow passed over Danny's face, but it was replaced by a breezy laugh.
"I did…eventually." The robot saw through the façade easily, and it twisted the knife in his heart as he watched his friend begin washing the dishes. A smirk pulled at the corners of Fixit's mouth.
"It must irk you that I figured out who you were in one glance," his friend stiffened and turned an icy glare of annoyance right at the robot.
"Remind me again why I decided to save your robotic butt?" Danny questioned, but his mouth betrayed him, tugging upwards at the corners.
"Because… I make good food," Fixit replied stoic and monotone as ever and utterly serious, a shit eating grin spread across Danny's face and he doubled over in pure laughter. Fixit couldn't help but smile as well, a weight lifting off his heart.
Danny wasn't sure how long it had been since he'd laughed like this. In fact, as he sat on the tile floor gasping for air, he felt his sides begin to cramp up and his lungs burn from sheer joyful disuse. The halfa noted he was probably getting more exercise than his chair-ups. Finally, after a few extra deep breaths and more unwanted giggles that were entirely manly, Danny was able to pull himself off the floor to try and come up with a smart ass remark for Fixit's terrible sense of humor. When his heart froze up, and a single blue wisp of smoke escaped his mouth. Fixit stared in shock, while all of Danny's mirth died inside. The ghosts were back.
Starfire had woken in a fright. A feeling of cold dread weighing down in her stomach, the door to her room shutting from someone fleeing. The Tamaranean girl followed suit, wandering through the Tower. Why had someone been in her room? She wondered, her senses becoming hyperaware. The feeling of dread coiling in her stomach, she rounded another dark identical corner.
The perpetrator needed to hurry for he hadn't planned on the girl to awaken, but no matter he thought, gliding through halls, two puppets firmly in hand as he made his way to the third room where Cyborg lay fast asleep on the raised lab table. The master made quick work of him, dragging the pure white soul out of the teen into the perfectly carved puppet which fell into his hand with ease. Turning to leave the Master was shocked to see Danny's puppet sitting on the shelf next to a polished picture frame. That was strange, the Master was certain the halfa lived here. Very well, he would get Phantom's soul eventually.
It was dark and the wind was only slightly warmer than the clouds that filled the sky as Danny flew over the city. It was nearly ten now, the ghost hadn't appeared and the teen was beginning to doubt himself. If only for the pull that still resided in his chest as he circled the outlining areas. The ghost was somewhere, but more like it had been…everywhere. Danny scowled at this, following a road that led back to the city. It was as he turned away from the crashing waves did Danny feel it. And in a split second decision, the teen tore through the sky heading straight for Titan's Tower.
Raven was annoyed, no scratch that, she was pissed. Not only had Starfire awoken her from a peaceful sleep and scared her when she had opened the door. No, what was worse was that the Tamaranean girl had been right about something being inside the Tower. And now here they were being held captive in Cyborg's strong arms as Beastboy and Robin stood beside him, their faces blank and their eyes a sickly green.
"Friends, why do you attack us?" Starfire squeaked as she struggled against her mechanical friend.
"Oh, they're not your friends anymore, they're my puppets," said the wooden voice as the Master emerged from the shadows. His carved eyes glistening, he gazed up at the frightened girls.
"These are your friends," The Puppet King replied and dangling from his outstretched arm were the puppets of Robin, Cyborg, Beastboy, and Phantom, Raven stared in shock. The puppets moved on their strings, begging for the girls help while Starfire screamed out in rage.
"Release them!" Raven snapped her voice coming out strong even though her lungs burned for air which was being denied by the strong hold from the puppet Cyborg.
"Sorry, but you're not in charge here," the king said mincingly, "You don't command me, I command you, and soon you two shall all be my puppets." And with this the boy wonder and the green changeling held up the last two puppets, the Puppet King pressed the button on his control to suck out their souls—
—and in a flash of black and white, Raven and Starfire were ripped from the grasp of the robot and thrown into the wall, the same time an electric green shield came up around them. Phantom standing in the middle of it, his eyes trained only on the Master who smirked and effortlessly landed on the shoulder of his puppet machine.
"Phantom," The Puppet King said smiling. Danny's eyes blazed with a thousand questions, but right now only one mattered.
"Who are you?" He asked and in the corner of his eyes he spotted the two Titan girls regain their surroundings, each preparing to attack. A grating voice interrupted Danny's thoughts.
"I am the Puppet King. And you my friends, will be my greatest weapons," his hand coming to rest lightly on Cyborg's shoulder almost in a caring fashion, enraging Starfire.
"No we will not!" She lunged for the King, only to be slammed back into the wall by one of Phantom's strong arms.
"You can't leave this shield, idiot. Or are you forgetting he can still suck out your soul!" Danny snapped, a note of panic entering his voice, watching the Ghost King hold up a snowy haired puppet in his hand. Realization dawned on Star's face. Raven couldn't help but feel a sense of helplessness overcome her at the knowledge that Phantom was here…and he was scared. A laugh that bordered on insanity filled the dark hallway and the three teens were drawn back to the enemy at hand.
"How right you are. But tell me, Phantom, do you really believe your shield to be strong enough?" The Puppet King smirked raising one painted arm and attacked.
The world strangely became silent, Raven staring in horror as pure white electric energy shot from the King's hands and struck the shield. Starfire watched, Phantom's green eyes glaze over and the shield imploded in on the teens. A scream rang out, a chant sang out and Starfire felt her body turn orange, Ravens blue, and Phantom's gold.
The world dissolved into cacophony.
For a while, or maybe only seconds, the world consisted of only lighting green and blinding white. The sounds were nothing but roaring waves, and a scream that bordered on a wail, and Starfire realized distantly that it was someone who was in pain. Everything was wrong for Star, she couldn't move, she couldn't help, and blackness was beginning to take over her vision. The teen tried to fight it until the thing surrounded her like a black hole. She knew nothing.
And the world ended in silence.
The hallway was destroyed, the Master and his puppets blown through the walls, a panic took hold while he searched for the control, but as he retrieved it he noticed the two glowing green eyes of Phantom's puppet. The Puppet King laughed, he had won, and the Titans were his to command, he drew closer. Though the Master noted that the white haired puppet seemed unconscious almost like the soul was only half there, the blue cloaked and red head puppets completely destroyed…
"No! Puppets, bring me the Titans! Find Them!" He yelled, the three puppet teens were off.
Starfire had believed herself to still be unconscious when she opened her eyes to the pitch black room. If not for the Puppet King's scream of outrage. Fear and adrenaline flooded her senses.
"Raven," She whispered, blindly reaching forward, jeez it was dark, she couldn't even see her hand in front of her.
"Over here," Raven whispered furiously and fumbling slightly, the Tamaranean girl followed the light pad of footsteps and the dragging noise of something heavier.
"Here let me help," and locating Raven, Star hoisted a strong arm over her shoulder that she knew belonged to Phantom. Both girls silently praying that he hadn't been turned into a mindless doll as they raced through the hallways and fled into the underground passageway that would lead to the city. The two teens stopped only when they heard unnaturally loud footsteps getting closer. Breaths held tightly in their lungs, they waited under a small storm drain on Titan's Island while the combat boots of the puppets disappeared.
"The boys, Raven, what are we going to…"
Starfire couldn't finish her sentence, for in that moment, Raven had managed to find a small light and pulling down on the string, revealed that Raven was looking at none other than herself. Only Star's voice seemed to be coming from her mouth.
"Starfire?" Raven asked her now forest green eyes blank and emotionless while her body's violet eyes swirled in them.
"Raven?! Ah, you are me…and I am You!" Both girls' eyes were wide as saucers, one registering shock, the other panic. The light bulb exploded overhead from black energy. That was also around the time Phantom began to stir.
Danny felt as if the world had been turned upside down. Or at least was out to get him as he walked down the deserted industrial streets of Jump City with a very pissed off Raven and a hyperventilating Starfire. He still couldn't get used to the whole, we're in each other's bodies thing, only every time Raven opened her mouth a bell like voice rang out and Danny had to take three steps backwards because he really didn't feel like being blown sky high…again.
He was only half listening as Starfire vented her fears and retold the story of their demise to Raven. Inadvertently melting any objects within five feet from black magic, but as long as she spoke, Raven wouldn't ask any questions about Danny. Like why he hadn't flown off yet, or why he hadn't teleported. It was a simple answer, walking past an automotive shop, Danny looked into the dark glass to his reflection, he was human.
Or at least, his ghost form was human, his glowing green eyes were now a dull light green, his pale flesh held no aura, only the flush of a beating pulse and his powers were utterly gone. But what frightened Danny the most, what sent him nearly reeling in a panic when he'd first woken up down in the sewers, was the fact that he couldn't change back. The part of his DNA that allowed him to change was gone and he was stuck in this dead, now beating form. Forever. A fear cold as ice gripped his heart.
"What if we're stuck like this forever! We're in the wrong bodies and…" Starfire screeched a mail box exploding causing Danny to flinch slightly out of surprise. Raven quickly intervened, a scowl upon the Tamaranean's face, which strangely unnerved Danny.
"Starfire, you have to calm down. My powers are driven by emotion, the more you feel, the more energy you unleash." Well, that certainly answered some questions about why Raven was…well Raven, Danny thought his eyes drifting back to the glass.
"But what if they find us? What if our…friends are doomed?" Star squeaked casting a wary glance over to Danny who raised an eyebrow in mild curiosity. The girl continued, her voice rising another octave, and Danny wondered if Star should consider being a singer…her voice was certainly high enough.
"What if I am stuck looking like this Forever!" She yelled to the heavens, and Danny strangely pictured Sam being forced to wear pink and Paulina gothic black, a smile pulled at his lips.
"We'll fix it. I don't know how, but we will rescue the boys, and we'll get our bodies back…" Raven reassured. "What's wrong with the way I look?" She suddenly asked.
Danny had to hold back a snicker as the violet eyed girl quickly answered the awkward question. Then the crosswalk sign exploded forcing Danny to dodge the flying debris causing both Raven and Danny to glare at Starfire.
"I will try to calm down," she said and a few deep breaths later "Peace, quiet, tranquil…Ah!"
Everyone jumped as an SUV exploded in black fire.
"We are so doomed," Raven said, a hawk sounded in the sky.
"Beastboy!" Star exclaimed. Danny turned to the sky where a green bird circled in the moonlight.
"Run!" Danny yelled and the three teens tore down the first alley they could find. They were half way down when in the corner of his eye, he saw Raven doing the funky chicken dance.
"What are you doing?!" He yelled his voice coming out strained as his lungs began requesting air.
"I'm trying to fly! How do you fly this thing, Star?" Raven asked as they raced through another alley. Both girls pausing for breath, it was as Starfire began describing the thoughts of joy to enable flight, did Danny truly grasp just how dire the situation truly was. He could feel everything and nothing, he could feel his heart beating erratically, and he could feel the tremors in his hands from the adrenaline in his veins, but most of all he felt fear.
Distantly, he heard Raven say unbridled joy wasn't her thing. But Danny didn't register that for fear, while present in his ghost form; never affected his body in battle, but now it seemed to be the only thing his mind could focus on. Even the battle with Slade in his human form, his powers were present, helping him to control his bodies reactions, but the entire time he'd been using them to control his fear.
"Phantom?" Starfire asked concerned, her hand lightly brushed his shoulder sending the halfa's frayed nerves into overdrive.
"Don't touch me!" He snapped, a cold sweat running down his temples. Both girls backed away in shock, watching as Phantom began to tremble, his arms wrapping around his chest, eyes scrunching closed, breaths coming in short gasps.
Danny tried to fight back another wave of fear that swept through him. God, he had never felt so human before…was this what it had been like? The halfa couldn't remember, and that thought only added to his trembling. He knew his human body wasn't weak, he knew this and yet...
A frightened scream broke through his mind, and Danny's eyes snapped open, following Star's black sleeved arm that pointed to a tiger emerging from the darkness. Vaguely noting Raven as she got up off the ground, one hand rubbing her long red hair…Star must have black magiced her again.
"What do I have to feel to us star-bolts?" Raven asked seriously.
"Your alien strength?" A note of disbelief and annoyance creeping in her voice.
Raven couldn't believe Star's powers were so, so, she whirled around to face Starfire and Phantom, who seemed to have recovered slightly.
"Never mind. I've got nothing." She said, her eyes mutinous as she glared daggers at her friend.
"Then I suggest we run," Danny replied his voice shaky. The green tiger charged the same moment the teens fled. The halfa felt his fear propel him forward spurring his legs into action. It was a feeling he didn't like, he felt it controlling his senses, but as he spun into another alley where the boy wonder waited. Danny found his racing heart an odd comfort, the fear turning into something useful.
In a matter of seconds Phantom was high in the air, flipping, twisting, until he had the puppet by its shoulders. And as he landed on the concrete, the puppet went flying into the tiger both hitting the ground in a dull thump. Neither Phantom nor Raven and Starfire waited to see the end result. Danny turned sharply into another alley, slamming his back up against the wall. Raven followed suit, grabbing Star by the hem of her cloak and pulling her in the shadows, Phantom slammed his hand over the girl's pale lips to muffle her scream.
The three watched the puppets race down the alley, just as they felt themselves relax, two fists punched through the bricks, and Danny and Raven screamed as they shot through the air from Star's magic. It would have been funny, comical even, the halfa realized if he wasn't the one in the air with only a human's strength. Raven landed five feet away from Star, but as Danny landed he knew he was in striking distance of the mechanical puppets fists. His feet barely touched the ground when he felt his ribs creak from the impact of Cyborg's punch, and soon he was flying backwards into the girls. All of them falling to the ground in a mess of tangled limbs and screams. The other puppets arrived, the teens were trapped.
"Phantom, can you fly?" Raven asked fear shinning in her eyes,l. They stood, backing away from their enemies into the alley, it was a dead end.
"If I could, do you think we'd still be here!" Danny snapped his anger getting the better of him, his heart beating frantically beneath his chest.
"Fine," Raven said annoyed. Her eyes twitching as she looked forebodingly to Starfire. She wasn't going to…
"If you and I can't fly, then you have to levitate, Starfire. You know those words I always..."
"Yes!" Star said in excitement…huh, guess she was going to ask Danny thought. He could feel the alleys bricks digging into his back.
"Hurry up!" He yelled, Star took in a huge gulp of air.
"Wait! You have to focus!" Raven panicked, the puppets were too close, Danny felt a sweaty hand wrap around his wrist before…
"Azarath Metrion Zinthos!"All three of them shot through the sky.
They soared past the industrial district, past the clothes district, and neither Danny nor Raven or Starfire could stop screaming.
"I wish to stop please!" Star screeched as they did a loop and twist combo in the sky. Danny couldn't even see the ground anymore, and he was pretty sure he'd left his stomach back in the alley.
"Stop?! Don't you dare drop us!" Danny yelled back in panic, slamming painfully into Raven, but that would only bruise, however falling from this height… "Correction, don't drop me!" as a few colorful words slipped out of his mouth. Star seemed to drop ten feet, zigzagging through the sky.
"Please, tell me how to stop! Raven?" Star screamed. Taking a calming breath, Raven began to reply, but her voice came out a yell from the deafening wind that whipped and whirled around them. Danny suddenly felt very dizzy.
"Look at the ground and imagine…Wait!" Raven never finished and the teen's crash landed in a pile of garbage in the old arts district. While Danny was getting over the shock of still being alive, he felt Star's body shift next to him, desperately throwing the piles of trash together.
"Raven, what are you…?" Star tried to ask, but in that moment the red head shushed her, and promptly threw a big bag of trash, none to gently, at her face to silence her. It was then Danny heard the muffled steps of two large puppets that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. He felt Star shiver next to him, black energy swirling in her palm. Raven peeked over what little cover they had. She watched until they disappeared into the darkness.
"It's alright, they're gone," she said. Danny felt Star relax next to him, their shoulders pressed together in the small space. With Raven on his other side, who suddenly let out a silent gasp, and quick as lighting she slammed her hand across Starfire's mouth, knocking the wind out of Danny's chest, as a green rat crept closer to them. No one dared to breathe as the rat smelled the trash, he was at the very top of the pile if he even tilted his head down in the slightest…Danny felt his body break out in a cold sweat, their eyes all trained on the green puppet in dread.
"Enough," The Puppet King commanded the rat leaving to stand in a row right outside the alley way with the other two puppets. The Master resting lightly on a newspaper stand with four puppets on strings dangling in his hands with the white control.
"We will catch the other three after the ceremony is complete."
"Ceremony?" Robin asked in a wooden voice.
"What ceremony?" Cy continued, his wood painted eye glowing red.
"Just a little spell, that will destroy you three and make your bodies mine forever," The Puppet King smirked, "come my puppets." And with this they left. The trash bags were soon discarded, the three teens walking out into the alleyway. Raven's red hair looking like a bird's nest.
"How can you stand having this much hair?" She snapped trying to tame the unruly mess.
"Quickly, our friends are in danger, we must follow and…"
"And what, Star? Save them with my unusable powers, while your unbridled emotions blow us to bits? We don't even know how to destroy the Puppet King, or even for that matter what he is?"
"Well at least I'm trying!" Starfire seethed a black fire surrounding her while Raven only gazed at her with disdain written all over her face.
"Enough already, the Puppet King is a spirit," Danny snapped his emotions wearing thin. Both girls jumped at the sound of his voice, the halfa slid down the alley wall, snow white hair falling in his eyes. And now all the questions Raven had forgotten about came rushing back.
"How did you even know we were being attacked in the first place?" Raven said suspiciously her forest green eyes meeting his.
"Yes, and why do you no longer have any powers?" Star asked sitting down on the sidewalk, Raven following suit. Danny merely sighed, his light green eyes darkening.
"Because I'm a ghost remember, I can sense other ghosts, and I followed his trail all the way to your Tower. Where you were about to get your souls sucked out," Danny finished.
"But that doesn't explain why your powers are gone," Raven stated.
"I don't have my powers because the King isn't planning on turning me into a puppet. He's more than likely going to absorb me to strengthen himself, and with you five as his minions he'd have the perfect army," Danny stated his light green eyes calm and collected, while both Starfire and Raven looked very grossed out.
"Absorb…i-is that why you're so powerful?" Star squeaked out, now it was Phantom's turn to freak out.
"What? No! That's just sick. Look my powers are different from yours. I don't have to feel a certain way," his hand motioning to Star, "or think certain things," he looked to Raven, "to access them. My powers are developed from necessity and strength. As I grow, my powers grow, sure, if I feel certain things it makes me stronger. But for me, my powers are more than an extra arm or leg, they're apart of who I am, that's all."
And as Phantom finished, he couldn't keep the forlorn expression that crossed his face hidden from Raven, for if his powers were bound to his soul, no wonder he screamed the way he had back when she'd saved them at the Tower. For both Raven and Starfire, their powers were a part of their anatomy, and even though they were in each other's bodies it hadn't hurt to have their souls drawn out. Heck, Raven wasn't even sure she missed her powers. But Phantom…Starfire interrupted then, her violet eyes filled with doe like curiosity.
"So if you're a ghost, what are you now?" She asked and for a split second Raven saw a flicker of fear in those eyes, but it vanished and died. Replaced with morbid acceptance.
The silence was deafening. The girls began to draw conclusions to why he had freaked in the alley and reconciling that this hero was…dead.
"Anyways, I'm not the one who you should be worrying about. I can handle myself, you two on the other hand, there is no way in hell I'm going to help rescue your friends while you're both likely to explode. I'd prefer not to die…again," Phantom said almost offhandedly while Raven and Starfire were both stuttering and sporting big red blushes. At the looks on their faces, Danny couldn't help the chuckle that slipped past his lips, or the way his light green eyes filled with mirth, causing the girls to blush an even darker shade of red. Both silently agreeing that a smiling Phantom was cuter than the serious one. Though they'd never tell him this.
"Phantom's right, Star, you may have my body, but you know nothing about me," Raven said softly, the violet haired girl nodding in understanding.
"Yes, and if we are to overcome this ordeal, we must know everything about each other, so, begin sharing," Star said and with this Raven began to tell her the story of her home while Danny rested his head lightly on the wall. His eyes sliding closed, letting their words blur in and out of consciousness, and as he drifted silently through vague awareness, he suddenly imagined himself in an episode of Dr. Phil and friends, that debacle woke him up pretty quick.
The Puppet King was furious, how he could've been so easily fooled by that wretched halfa? Right on cue, the white haired puppet let out a faint green glow, its wooden structure swirling in power. The King let out a growl, he busied himself in the ritual fires, and once they were burning, walked over to where the four teens sat and plucked Phantom from them.
"No! Let him go!" Cyborg screamed, the other Titans agreeing, trying desperately to move their immobile bodies. The King could only laugh at this,
"Do not worry, Phantom will not be destroyed yet. I need his entire soul before I can act."
"What? But his eyes?" Robin said shocked. The King let out a real laugh this time, his beady eyes swirling madly before focusing on the Titans.
"This is not his whole soul, merely his power. I need all of him in order to absorb him and become the greatest ghost in all of Jump City."
"Okay, ew," Beastboy said. The Titans watched the King lay the green eyed doll on a small stone grey alter surrounded in burning black candles. He stood up and faced them once more, his face covered in shadows, "and once I am the King and you, my Titans, are destroyed, I will be the mightiest force in both of the Zones!"
The clouds were rolling in, the wind picking up speed, sending cold chills down the halfa's uniform. Danny barely muffled a sneeze hiding behind the fountain in front of the old Bijou Theater, where a green Doberman dog stood watch. It hadn't taken long for the teens to locate the whereabouts of the Master. For there was only one run down opera house in the old part of Jump and this was it. The dog began pacing once more.
"Safe to say we're not walking in through the front door," Raven replied ducking down behind the marble to gaze at Danny and Starfire.
"We'll have to try the roof," she said, and with this Star nodded, sitting next to Danny.
"Agreed, now do just as I instructed," she said taking both Raven's and Danny's hands. Raven, he noted, looked severely out of place. Like she couldn't decide whether to snatch her hand away or slap the violet haired girl.
"Close your eyes and think of something joyful. You might choose flowers, or kittens, or the laughter of children, or…"
Danny and Starfire gasped in surprise as they were gently lifted into the sky, where they touched down on the old roof, the green changeling below never noticing a thing. The second Raven let them go, Star began praising her friend.
"Very, very good! What was your joyful thought?" She asked. Danny more than felt the uncomfortable glance Raven sent his way, almost begging him to save her.
"You don't want to know, Star."
"Oh, but I do. Please tell me, what did you imagine?" She persisted, Ravens gaze shifted to the floor while Danny tried to make his presence as small as possible. Man, how did Sam handle being friends with two guys? Danny wondered, for being stuck here with Raven and Star, it was almost as if karma was coming back to bit him in the …
"You, not talking," Raven admitted, her boot scuffing the wood while Starfire just looked like her heart had been ripped out. Hesitantly, Danny placed a hand Star's shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze, her violet eyes came back to life and she smiled to him in thanks.
Raven eyed the locked trap door built into the buildings floor. Green met violet.
"Your turn, find your center, focus your energy on the lock."
The two teens watched Star's eyes turn pure white, black energy swirling in her palms and she chanted until the lock shattered in two. A smile of pure joy lighting her face.
"Nice work," Raven said, Danny agreeing, patting Star on the back.
"Success!" She yelled, the two doors slammed open with a thud. Raven looked pissed, Star in gaping shock, while Danny prayed no one heard that.
The candles were burning, the fires in the center a flaming blue. Next to it, the Titans were dangling helplessly from the wall, and it was time. With the last potion added, the Puppet King ordered his puppets to search and destroy the other two Titans.
"I do not need an audience, three Titans will have to do. And now Titans, it is time for your grand finale."
High up above the stage, in the catwalks Starfire, Raven and Danny sat, crouching down watching the entire scene unfold.
"No," Raven whispered, the Master had their friends in his hands, and distantly Danny noticed his puppet on a stone alter glowing madly. As if it knew he wished to use its power, only he wouldn't be able to reach it in time.
"It's going to be a real show stopper," he said raising the Titans high above the flickering flames.
The three Titans yelled over the crackling flames, the white haired puppet was trembling in energy now. A shield desperately trying to form.
"Don't worry, I'll take good care of your bodies. After all, they'll be mine forever," and with this the King cut the strings and the Titans fell.
"No!" Danny yelled high above the stage. A pitch black shield formed around them, shooting off into the air and into Star's outstretched arms, and she clung to them desperately.
"My friends! You are unharmed!"
"Starfire?" Robin asked confused and Danny would have laughed. If not for his thundering heart, he had almost forgotten the girls were in each other's bodies.
"It's a long story," Raven replied her face serious as all three glanced back down to the Puppet King and his men, the control in his hand.
"Go my puppets! Capture them!" The puppets took flight.
"Move!" Phantom yelled grabbing Star's elbow, dragging her into a run.
The puppets were faster. Surrounding them with ease on the narrow walkways, the teens gazed at the changeling and boy wonder in fright, when Danny heard the sound of a machine powering up behind them.
And with that order from Phantom, both Raven and Starfire jumped off the catwalk, the sonic blast missing the tops of their heads by centimeters. The teens crashed into another walk way. The three Titan puppets continued to fall hitting the ground in a wooden crack.
"Dude, get your butt outta my face!" BB snapped at Robin.
"Can't move, deal with it."
The puppets were coming. Both Raven and Starfire took flight preparing for battle.
"Our friends!" Star screamed looking down to where they lay on the floor a good twenty feet below.
"You two handle the puppets, I'll get your friends!" Phantom yelled, dodging another sonic blast he leapt off the catwalk and Star and Raven entered into battle.
The Puppet King watched next to the blue flames as the white haired human plummeted to the ground. His knees bent rolling onto the hard floor and sat up. This was his moment, the Master thought. The halfa would head for the altar, and the second his hands brushed that part of his soul, the Master would finally be able to finish the job. Up in the catwalks, he heard the ferocious roars from his puppets and the girls, but they wouldn't be able to save their friends. Not so long as he held the remote. A smile danced across his lips.
Danny ignored the pain in his bones as he raced to where the Titans had fallen. Ignoring also, the screaming of his soul across the room on the altar, where the white puppet seemed to be nearly bursting in power. No, as he reached the Titans and scooped them up into his arms, his only thought was that he had to protect them. And the rational part of his mind yelling at him to go to his puppet, was promptly squashed back into the furthest recesses of his mind.
"Phantom?" Danny heard from the three in his arms.
"Look out!" He heard someone yell from above. Without looking Danny jumped away, Cyborg crashing to the ground, inadvertently tightening Danny's hold on the Titans.
"Damn," Phantom growled.
"Yo, Cyborg any chance your puppet won't get up?" He asked.
"Nope," Cy said as all four watched the robot move in to charge Danny, who dodged at the last second making the man barrel into the brick wall.
"Shit, what is with people trying to flatten me!" Danny shouted, dodging a few dropping sand bags that had been cut loose from Starfire's black magic.
"No! My puppet, grab the halfa!" The Puppet King screamed his eyes a livid black, the control in his hand shaking from the anger in the Master.
Danny's eyes widened in shock when he heard the rubble behind him shift and tumble, the robot climbing out of the hole, his green and red eyes locked on Phantom's light green.
The Titans resting in Phantom's hands screamed words of encouragement as Danny desperately dodged the robot's attacks.
"Dude, tell your body to lay off!" BB yelled when Phantom had to jump high in the air to avoid the canon fire.
"I can't!" Cy screamed, and with this Danny came down in a round house kick sending the robot back ten feet. Phantom turned around sharply and began running towards the Master.
"What are you doing?!" Robin screamed.
"Getting that control!" Phantom replied.
The halfa was almost upon the King, Danny shifted his weight preparing to lunge at him, when a solid blow to his neck sent him tumbling to the ground, arms going limp, the Teen Titans slipped free, and in his daze, Danny heard them yell his name.
Arms shifted around his waist then and drug Danny to the alter where his puppet awaited, the King ordering Cyborg to wait with Phantom in his grasp, while he himself hastily retrieved the Titans scattered on the floor next to the blue flames.
"No! Phantom!" Robin screamed.
"C'mon, wake up man!" Cy pleaded desperately, watching his body hold Phantom like a dead weight in his arms. The teens head rolling back on the metal shoulder, light green eyes staring blankly at the ceiling, with the blue fire dancing across the pale flesh of a bare throat.
"Do not worry, he is not dead yet, unlike you three," and once again the Titans were heading towards the ghost blue fire.
Raven couldn't believe how hard it was battling without star-bolts, she could fly, kick, punch, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't concentrate enough to feel the righteous fury needed to power them. A scream erupted beneath her. And looking down she saw Star fighting Robin, balancing haphazardly on the metal arm support.
"Raven, Help!" She screamed dodging a well placed kick from the boy wonder.
Raven suddenly felt an animal hand grip her skull, and remembered she'd been fighting BB as a bloody gorilla. Hoisting her up in the air, Raven broke his hold and kicking off she landed high on a metal beam and aiming straight of Robin, she kicked off, using all of her strength, her eyes liquid green.
"Starfire!" And she grabbed the puppet by his black cape and away from her friend.
"Not me, them!"
It was then Raven realized her mistake, her eyes following where Star's hand was pointing. There running towards the fire was the Puppet King, his arms outstretched and high above his head in his wooden grasp, were her friends.
Raven saw red. Her eyes electric green, her hands burning, she raised one glowing hand where a star-bolt crackled.
"The Puppet King is in command!"
The star-bolt soared, slamming into the floor beneath the King, sending him and the boys flying backwards. The white control that held their souls flew sky high where it clanged on a metal weight and fell into the fires flames hissing and screaming.
"My control!" The Puppet King cried.
The blue fire grew and grew, a flaming beast, seeming to take shape, Danny hazily realized. His eyes shifted to the Master who screamed in agony, blue energy escaping from his mouth and eyes. Danny titled his head to the side and watched as the beast screamed, and the Titans began to glow. Their souls flowing free in extravagate colors of red, white, orange, green and blue. Dancing around each other until they found the body they belonged to. Danny's eyes slipped closed his neck prickling, Cyborg released the death hold on him. The Teen Titans were back.
Danny let a small smile grace his lips before the world tilted on its axis, and the white haired puppet fractured and shattered, and Phantom let out a piercing scream bordering on a
It was over in less than ten seconds. But the Titans would never forget the scream as Phantom's powers returned, or the way he looked as if he were being electrocuted alive, his face twisting into a look of pure terror. And just as fast, the lightening vanished and Phantom stood there swaying until he collapsed. Cyborg catching him. Picking Danny up with ease, worry etched on his face.
"Dude is he…" Beastboy never finished, as the Puppet King let out a yowl.
"Nooooo! The magic without it, I'm just ah…." The Master toppled over, its limbs bent at impossible angles for the Puppet King was a puppet once more. The blue crackling fire died into nothing more than embers.
Danny heard muffled sounds as awareness came back to him, in slow, agonizing degrees. Every nerve in his body screamed and frayed, it felt like the inside of the portal all over again. Only this time, Danny mused, now he'd ten times the power, and ten times the pain.
"Ph-phantom," someone called, a hand fueling the fire on his forehead, he turned away from it. His glowing green eyes opening and registered the metallic blue of Cyborg's chest. The world was nothing more than faces and blurring colors.
"You gave us quite a scare, my friend."
What little of reality Danny had a firm grasp on froze in fear, and he felt, more than heard the Titans shift into defense positions.
"Who are you?" Robin snapped out, and stepping away from the shadows was a man of about six foot two. Black spiked hair, pale blue skin, white sharp fangs and two blood red eyes.
"Plasmius," Danny spoke feebly, his eyes trying to focus on the now smiling ghost whose aura gave off a murderous dead white.
The Titans were shocked. Beastboy voicing something along the lines of surprise, but Danny didn't hear it. He tried to find his feet. Was he not standing? Did the floor even exist?
"You seem to now understand, my boy, the dangers of having broken the treaty. They will be after you now," the man said, his eyes serious. "All of them."
Danny felt a knot of frustration grip his chest, why couldn't this pain go away, he needed to move. Plasmius was speaking again, and he heard the Titans audibly suck in their breath. Danny turned his focus back to Vlad.
"…you can't defeat them by yourself. You need me," Vlad said and what little control Danny had on his emotions snapped. In a blind rage he located two red eyes.
"Fuck off. I've defeated you more times than…" Danny let out a gasp of pain while Vlad screamed in rage and lunged. The world darkened, and for one second the young halfa thought he'd died. But their standing in front of him was four Titans, armed and willing to defend him. A pure black shield Vlad's only warning. The red eyed man was livid.
"You can never defeat me," Plasmius growled out, slowly Phantom turned two lidded green eyes to the accuser, a small kind smile on his face. And with just enough strength to raise his arm, Danny let every ounce of his power sore from his fingertips. Striking Vlad with such force the entire back half of the building collapsed in on itself.
Danny's eyes closed, his arm hanging limply at his side. Vaguely, he felt the floor underneath him tremble in the most unusual manner. And he suddenly understood why he couldn't feel the floor. For that idiot Cyborg had been holding him the entire time. And if it had been under any other circumstance, Danny would have been angry and embarrassed. But now, after these last horrible hours, after everything. The only thing the young halfa could feel was relief. It was a feeling so deep, that it caused Danny to wonder if these people who had decided to take him back to the Tower, might stand beside him. But in his final moments of awareness, Danny knew that wasn't what he truly wanted.
No, what the young halfa wanted above all else, was to be saved.
AN: Read and Review