Hello... I'm really sorry this took me so long to write but I was having some writer's block issues. I resolved them and I'm back. Hope you enjoy this chapter!
To be honest, Danny wasn't really surprised when he was woken by the insistent and annoying, yet familiar, beeping of a heart monitor and the throbbing discomfort of an IV buried in his arm. It wasn't the first time he'd come back to the land of the living in a hospital after being severely wounded.
It was almost soothing really, to be warm and completely calm because as long as he was there he would be treated with a gentler hand. Even at the GIW if he was ever hospitalized he was treated differently. Though the nurses were all trained agents ready to use force on him if he tried to escape.
Danny smiled slightly remembering the brisk, white clad nurses that looked more like soldiers than the normal gentle caretakers at regular hospitals. He vaguely remembered the first time he'd been put into their care. He had been heavily drugged at the time, but he remembered feeling their firm, yet strangely soothing touches on him.
At first they had been nervous, ready with huge ectoguns to blast him down should he become violent. They really shouldn't have bothered, Danny smiled bitterly. At the time he had been completely unresponsive, practically catatonic. He hadn't even been aware of his captivity. The grief of losing everything had left him blind, mute, and deaf.
After a time he had come back to awareness, looking around to find that the nightmare was real; his family, his friends were dead, his life was no longer his own, and the GIW knew about his halfa status and nothing he did would make a difference. So, he did nothing. He became meek and dead-eyed, limp and apathetic to everything they did.
It hadn't been as horrible as he had originally thought it would be. Despite how incompetent and evil they had seemed to him before, the GIW took care of its subjects. They were never unnecessarily cruel in their experiments and any pain he had experienced in their hands had been quickly numbed by sedatives and pain killers.
To them he was a precious specimen that they had to take care of and study. For a very long time he was treated like a dangerous animal, caged, chained down and always guarded and regularly pacified by drugs. He hadn't really cared and hadn't fought them nearly as much as they thought he would.
Soon, the scientists began to interact with him. At first he had been terrified. He had often cowered against the far corner, shuddering in fear and weakly struggling against the white coat that had drawn the short straw and had to obtain a sample of something from his body.
That was around the time he had somehow obtained the cloak, his ectoplasm reacting to the desperate need to hide. Unfortunately this had led to even more visits and more tests that eventually led to evidence supporting the theory of ectoplasm reacting to the specimen's emotions.
After a while Danny had gotten used to being visited and observed. Those scientists were the reason why he wasn't consumed with hatred towards humanity. They were just people. They had lives of their own, people they loved. It was true that it was their fault he was locked up, but it wasn't without reason or out of a cruel desire to make him suffer.
They just didn't understand that he understood and felt just as well as they did. In the end he couldn't really hate them as he had before because he knew them and he could see that their intention was never to cause him pain, just to study and contain.
Danny sighed contently but then hissed in pain when the movements made his skin pull against stitches. Of course, the GIW's field agents were a completely different case. Danny scowled up at the ceiling. Sadistic bastards, every last one of them. Honestly sometimes he wondered if that was a requirement for them.
"Daniel?" Danny flinched violently as an unfamiliar hand landed on his shoulder, and then cried out as his stitches pulled alarmingly. Then he stilled rather than thrashing around and causing himself more pain.
Once the pain faded to a dull throb, Danny turned his head towards the source of his pain and scowled irritably. The older halfa raised an eyebrow, half amused half concerned.
"Are you done?" Vlad drawled playfully. Danny glared at him and rolled his eyes. Vlad nodded reaching to the side and dragging a wheeled chair towards him then sitting down with a quiet sigh.
"You've made a fine mess of yourself little badger." Danny smirked mischievously at the older halfa then blinked and frowned, slightly tilting his head, and squinting as if he thought something was wrong with his vision.
Vlad frowned in confusion, "Daniel? What's wron-umgh!?" Danny's frown deepened as he squeezed the older halfa's face in his hand puzzled by the wrinkled, grey and spotty texture of the skin on his former archenemy's face.
Vlad growled and grabbed the youth's frail wrist and roughly yanked his face away from Danny's grasp, "What do you think you are you doing Daniel?" Danny blinked, completely unaffected by his embarrassing actions and seemingly unperturbed by the older halfa's tight grip on his wrist.
"Why are you so wrinkly?" after a moment the younger halfa tilted his head, confused. For half a second Vlad could only stare. Then he broke into an amused smile and raised an eyebrow at the boy's antics.
Chuckling he released the boy's wrist, "I would have thought that to be obvious little badger, it has been ten years since we last saw each other remember?" He really should have expected this, he thought sadly as he eyed the young man lying on the hospital bed.
Skulker had said the boy had changed, he simply hadn't expected the change to be so radical. The fact that the boy had not lashed out the second he laid eyes on him when he awoke should have been warning enough that not everything remained as it once had been.
Daniel's eyes widened slightly in realization before he smiled nodding eagerly, "Uh huh! I remember I just didn't think you would look so… old. I mean it's only been ten years I didn't expect you to look so much like a raisin just yet."
Vlad bristled slightly but forced a grin, reminding himself that Daniel was extremely ill, and was not to be held responsible for his actions or words. So instead of retaliating as he would have done had it been anyone else, he turned and picked up the glass of cold water he had prepared.
Catching sight of the cool beverage Danny carefully sat up, wincing slightly when his stiches pulled but otherwise unaffected. Wordlessly he took it from the older halfa's hands and downed it in one go, sighing in contentment.
This was… nice. Sitting here in silence… it was peaceful. It wasn't going to last though, it never did. Even now he could see Vlad squirming with unease. This was the calm before the storm. One hell of a storm if he was where he thought he was.
Pushing down his uneasiness Danny turned to the older halfa who was doing his best to avoid looking into the long glass mirror on the other side of the room. The halfa smiled wryly. Of course the little bird would be watching.
"So… what have you been up to these last few years?" Vlad jerked slightly, surprised by the soft spoken tone he'd used. Danny smiled at him serenely, tilting his head to the side in a bemused gesture.
The older halfa quickly recovered, clearing his throat and straightening his back, "Oh nothing much really. Certainly Skulker informed you of my resent public status, if you hadn't heard about it already."
Danny nodded, but narrowed his eyes in suspicion, "You haven't been living in that little shack in the woods in Wisconsin have you?"
Vlad snorted, "No, but it's hardly a "little shack in the woods" as you so casually put it. I actually sold that property after that little… incident with your mother." To his credit, Danny didn't even flinch at such a blatant reminder of the happy past; instead he frowned in distaste then raised an eyebrow.
"Little incident? It was hardly a "little incident" as you so casually put it, you creepy old fruitloop," At this Vlad bristled his eyes shining just a little too brightly to be natural and Danny smirked before continuing, "But I digress. Anyway how have things been going for you and the Ghost Zone lately?"
Vlad raised a questioning eyebrow, and Danny laughed knowing very well what the older halfa thought he was going to ask.
"I'm not into that anymore Vlad, I'm done with that stupid town," Carefully Danny turned over and carefully swung his legs so that the hung off the edge of the bed. Vlad frowned, disapproving but didn't comment on it.
Instead he crossed his arms, "Oh really? I find that hard to believe considering all the trouble you went through to make Amity ghost free," He leaned scrutinizing him, and Danny smiled indulgently.
"I asked you about the ghost zone, not Amity. I have no interest it's safety anymore, or any other's safety," He smiled darkly at the mirror, making it very clear he knew he was being watched before turning back to the older halfa, "I'm simply asking to see if it would be safe for me to take up residence in the Ghost zone."
… I'm really sorry for the slow update? I'm really bad at dialogue; I can't get it to flow which is what kills of my inspiration in the first place. So please bear with me.