Reasons to Object
SUMMARY: After years of bachelorhood, billionaire Vladimir Masters is preparing to walk down the aisle with a woman that everyone thinks is his perfect match. Well, everyone but a certain spectral superhero who just doesn't know how to feel about her. Vlad/Danny
WARNINGS: Technically, this story is AU since I've pretty much pretended that season 3 and Phantom Planet haven't happened and fiddled around with some other things. And if it isn't obvious, this story is male/male, slash, BL, yaoi, etc.
DISCLAIMER: Danny Phantom Universe belongs to Butch Hartman and Nickelodeon/Viacom.
I'm just gonna start out by saying that I've had this idea in my head for a while and this is my first official Vlad/Danny chaptered fanfic. Although, unlike my other chaptered stories for other fandoms, I am not writing this all out at once so there will be a wait between updates, no more than two weeks is my goal.
With that said, here's the conclusion to Reasons to Object(I once again apologize for the wait this time around, this chapter went through quite a few revisions). But it is extra long, so hopefully that will help make up for it.
Chapter 6 - Vows
Walking down the hallway of the luxury hotel, Jasmine Fenton has a strange sense of purpose to her steps. She returns the 'good morning' that one of the maids gives her, but the young therapist doesn't not stop until she reaches her destination. Knocking on the surface of the off-white door, she calls to the room's occupant.
"Danny, it's me Jazz, can we talk?"
A few moments later, her younger brother opens the door. The woman's eyes take in his half-dressed appearance, reminding her of the wedding ceremony that they are supposed to be attending in a few hours. She can't stop the smirk that comes to her lips as she notices Danny's failed attempt to tame dark hair.
"What is it, Jazz?"
The redhead doesn't answer the question right away, she simply stares at her younger sibling. Jazz then steps into the room, leaving Danny to close the door behind her. Once the two are alone and in the privacy of the large room, Danny stares at her expectantly, still waiting for an answer to his earlier question. Receiving nothing but silence, he opens his mouth to ask again, but is interrupted.
"So, how long?"
"How long, what?"
"How long have you and Vlad Masters been seeing each other?"
Danny is completely thrown off by the question, however he recognizes the look on his sister's face. She is in no mood for him to play off her question, and simply wants the truth. So, taking a breath, the ghost hero chooses to answer her inquiry with one of his own.
"How long have you known?"
"Not too long, but I've had my suspicions," Jazz answers, her stance relaxing a bit. "You and Vlad have always had an odd relationship, even as adversaries. And as time passed, I started to pick up on things here and there."
"What kind of things?"
"Well, I first knew something was off when you started to talk more and more about him and it wasn't all insulting. If anything, you seemed to be fascinated by Vlad, almost fixated by him. And I'm assuming that somewhere along the line, that fascination became . . . something else?"
Danny smirks at his sister hesitance in her words. However, he could sympathize with her. After all, if Jazz just announced that she's seriously dating Dash Baxter, he wouldn't have understood her decision at all.
"It's a long story, Jazz. But yeah, basically that's what happened."
Powder blue eyes widen as his sister takes a seat on the edge of his bed, making herself comfortable.
"Luckily for you, I'm up for a good story today," Jazz states, noting the skeptical look on her brother's face. "I'm a therapist, Little Brother, being a good listener comes with the package."
With a small smile, Danny sits down next to her.
"And if it helps at all, I can even give you the family discount."
After a quick laugh at her joke, the young hero relaxes into the soft comforter beneath them. Deciding where to start, Danny begins to share his story.
"I guess, I've always had a bond to Vlad - even when I didn't like him, I could admit that. After I first met Vlad, and saw his ghost form, I was instantly fascinated by him, at the very least curious. Before that reunion, I had never even thought of the possibility of another halfa."
"So Vlad's very existence is what drew you to him?"
"Yeah, at first anyway. I needed to know him in order to better understand myself, and my own Ecto-abilities. But on some other level, I found myself just wanting to know more about Vlad. And I guess that's where the trouble started."
As Danny gets further into his story, revealing how he has come to form his connection to Vlad Masters, a myriad of expressions crosses his sister's face. The expected confusion, and surprise are well seen, but to Danny's shock, her eyes also reveal understanding, compassion, and a bit of sadness. When he grows silent, momentarily out of words, Jazz reaches out to her brother and gives him a long hug.
"Oh, Danny. . ."
"I know," he begins, the ghost fully aware of the irony of the strange situation. "The hero isn't supposed to fall for the evil villain, but I really can't help it. And trust me, I've tried to ignore this bizarre attraction I have to him. But all my efforts have only made me more certain than ever about my feelings. I want to be with Vlad."
At the statement, Jazz pulls back from her brother. The intense gaze studies the expression in his sky-blue eyes.
"I can't believe Vlad is going through this ridiculous scheme just to prove a point," comments the woman, ignoring the surprised look her words earn from her brother. "Even if it's just some façade, he of all people should know just how much it hurts to watch someone you care about be happy with someone else."
Danny smirks, finding his sister's over protectiveness amusing. A deep sigh escapes his lips as he stares out into the empty space of his hotel room.
"You have to remember Jazz, that I was the one that broke up with him. And to be honest, I did it for some pretty selfish reasons. I know better than anyone that Vlad Masters is not a person that forgives easily. So, considering what he's capable of, I think I'm getting off rather lightly."
Choosing to agree to that logic, the woman asks the question that's been on her mind.
"Danny, does Vlad know that you want to be with him?"
"Not in so many words. I'm actually supposed to tell him today."
Watching her brother's expression, and taking in everything that he has just told her, Jazz is unsure what to think. She had intended to come to Danny's room to talk him out of whatever infatuation he thought he had for the elder, the therapist even prepared a list. However, Jazz is caught off guard by the level of maturity and seriousness behind Danny's words.
Looking again at the expression on her sibling's face, Jazz isn't surprised to find a mixture of uncertainty. Yet the unfaltering determination present there as well, leaves the psychologist speechless.
"I don't know what to say, Little Brother."
"Actually, I'd appreciate it if you didn't say anything, especially to Mom and Dad," begins Danny, a light grin on his lips. "But if you have to, feel free to talk to Sam and Tucker about it. They already know."
Not even surprised by that, Jazz rolls her eyes in amusement.
"So, is that the plan? You're going to get back together with Vlad, living your life in ghostly bliss, never telling Mom and Dad that you're in love with their best friend from college?"
"No, I will tell them. I don't plan to hide our relation from them, or anyone. I just want Vlad to know how I feel first," Danny announces. "I want him to know that things are going to be different this time between the two of us."
"Danny, not to be a killjoy or anything, but do you remember how our parents handled you telling them that you're a half-ghost superhero?"
Remembering that night, a cringe comes over the hybrid. Once the confession had left his lips, and a few minutes of shocked silence had passed, his parents had given him a three-hour long lecture about the irresponsibility of stepping into the unfinished ghost portal. And then, they went on about how being a superhero is dangerous and was an unacceptable excuse to let his grades or responsibilities slip.
Then, when his parents had finished with that, they had spent the rest of the night interrogating him about his ghost abilities as well as the full effects of ectoplasm on the human body. By the time he forced to explain the intricacies of Ghost Zone and it's inhabitants, Maddie and Jack were taking detailed notes and hanging onto their son's every word
Danny doesn't have particularly fond memories of that night, as his parents have become far too interested in his life from that moment on. As much as he loves them, Maddie and Jack Fenton aren't subtle people - especially when they wanted his help on ectoplasm-based experiments.
Although, despite the minor headaches it occasionally causes, he likes not having to lie to his parents anymore about his ghost powers. To be honest, he had begun to run out of plausible excuses.
Remembering the sense of relief that confession had given him only reaffirms Danny's resolve. Even though the ghost hybrid is positive that his parents reaction to this particular bit of news will be legendary.
"Yeah, I remember that night just fine, Jazz," Danny answers before offering a non-commital shrug. "And if I can do that, I can do tell them about my relationship with Vlad. Not to mention, Mom probably knows that I'm not into girls anymore since I haven't really dated any since Sam. So, I don't think that it's going to be as much as a shock as you seem to think it will be."
"Danny, the fact that their son is attracted to members of the same sex will pale in comparison to the news that he's dating Vlad, a man the same age as them. I applaud you for wanting to be honest with Mom and Dad, but I still think that you're crazy if you think this is going to go over well with either of them."
"I never said that it would, but I'd rather tell them sooner, than have them walk in on Vlad making out with me later,"adds the phantom hero, as he attempts to figure out how to put on his tie. "Besides, none of this will matter if Vlad goes through with his plan and gets married today, now does it?"
"Danny, you don't really think that Vlad would actually go through with this wedding just to make a point, do you?"
At his sister's question, Danny raises an eyebrow as if to say "you're kidding, right?". Both siblings then share a knowing expression as they are both recall some of the extreme measures that Vlad Masters has gone to in the past.
"So, are you going to wait to the actual ceremony and make a scene or are you just going to go confront Vlad now?" asks Jazz with a small, but supportive smile on her face.
"Thanks, Jazz. I appreciate your support on this."
"It's no problem. Besides, all I care about is that you're happy, Danny."
"Even if what makes me happy is a crazy Froot Loop?"
"Yes. Though if that changes for any reason, I'll personally lock your boyfriend in a Fenton Thermos and throw it into the Ghost Zone."
At the statement, paired with the complete seriousness on his sister's face, Danny can't help the unrestrained laughter that tumbles out of his lips.
When five o'clock arrives, the staff of the Fairmont Chateau hotel is in full swing with the preparations for the evening's wedding. Candles are being lit and lush, imported flower arrangements are being placed all around the grand ballroom where the ceremony and reception party are to be held. The air is filled with the melodic sounds of the hired string quartet as it warms up with a few selections of classical music.
In the kitchens of the hotel, the staff is busy preparing the various five-star quality hors d'oeuvres and entrées that will feed the influential guests of that evening's event. Each chef is taking their time to perfectly create each course of culinary perfection. Over the clatter of pots and pans, the head chef shouts instructions to make sure that there are no mistakes with the gourmet menu.
In his suite, above all this controlled chaos, Vlad is the picture of calmness as he finishes buttoning the jacket of his black tuxedo. The man doesn't even flinch as he suddenly hears the door of his luxury suite open and then softly close.
"Jack?" he calls over his shoulder. "Is it time for us to head down?"
"Sorry to disappoint you, but it's just me."
Turning around, cobalt eyes spot Danny Fenton, instead of Jack, wearing a dress shirt and slacks, absently fidgeting with the ends of his tie. A warm smile appears on the man's face as he subconsciously takes a few steps toward the other ghost.
"You are many things Daniel, but never a disappointment. So, should I assume to know the reason for your visit today?"
"You know exactly what I'm here to tell you."
"Yes, I do. However, you'll have to excuse me if I'm forced to leave the conversation early. Prior engagement, and all," comments Vlad, before his eyebrow cocks up at the young man's appearance. "A little advice, Little Badger, consult your mother on the proper way to put on a tie. After all, there is a reason why Jack has such an affinity for the clip-on variety."
Walking over, the man reaches out to fix Danny's tie with an amused smirk. Vlad catches the brief look of dejection and is satisfied that his words have elicited an response, as they were designed to. As his long fingers properly adjust the silky material into the classic Windsor knot that he personally preferred, Vlad finally notices the full extent of the odd expression on Danny's face. Hesitating for a moment, the man allows an honest and reassuring smile to momentarily grace his features.
"There you go. Now Daniel, you said you had something to tell me?"
At the encouragement, Danny parts his lips. A soft sigh escapes them before the words that he's wanted to say for well over a month.
"Vlad, I don't want you to marry Charlotte."
The elder ghost stares into powder blue eyes, really stares into them, as if searching for any reason to not trust them.
"And why is that?"
Realizing that the man is going to actually make him say the embarrassing words, Danny's eyes shift to his hands for a moment. They then rise, slowly meeting the waiting gaze of intense cobalt ones.
"Because . . . I, um, "
As Vlad stares at him expectantly, Danny takes a moment to think over how he honestly feels about the only other hybrid in existence. He really can't imagine who he would have become without Vlad in his life. If it wasn't for his initially-unwanted influence, Danny would still be a naïve, slightly-arrogant hero with no real grasp of his abilities. Like a fool, he would have continued impetuously jumping into dangerous situations that could have gotten him and others seriously hurt - if not worse. But meeting Vlad had changed all of that. Even at his worst, the villain has always provided the hero with a goal, a standard, that Danny still hopes to one day reach with his own Ecto-abilities(as much as that fact originally killed him to both admit and then accept).
As an adversary, Plasmius challenges him in ways that no one can ever come close to. Fighting against the brute strength of the elder in hand to hand combat often proves to be just as difficult as unraveling the layers of his intricate plots and schemes. However those years of intense battles, both mental and physical, have made Danny Phantom, the well-loved protector of Amity Park, the hero that he is today. He has even started to notice that he comes home from his nightly patrols with fewer, if any, scars and bruises, and the ghost can't help but think that's all part of Plasmius' intentions.
As a man, Vladimir Masters simply holds Danny to a higher standard of being - and not out of a desire to annoy(as the younger ghost previously thought), but out of a desire to see Danny achieve. Throughout his relationship with the elder halfa, Vlad has always had his best interest at heart, even if it happened to involve some rather drastic measures. Yet, as vain as it may be for a proclaimed hero, Danny can't help but be flattered when the debonair, and highly-intelligent billionaire focuses so much of his time and attention on him. Vlad may not be a model citizen, rightfully feared by men and specters alike, but the hero knows that the man has his own code by which he lives by. Admittedly, it is one that is a more lax than Danny would like, but he easily finds it tolerable. Even the barely-detectable manipulation and twinge of characteristic pompousness that seems to influence every aspect of the man's life is easily catagorized as 'just Vlad' to the younger ghost.
So, as he thinks about these things, combined with all that Vlad does for him(without ever being asked to do it), Danny refuses to let anyone else take even one Ectoplasm-soaked molecule of the diabolical mastermind away from him.
In all actuality, the mere idea of it pisses Danny off enough to give Vlad the answer that he desperately wants to hear.
"Because, Vladimir Masters, you belong to me and I want you all to myself."
Pleased by the flare of the possessiveness in his younger counterpart, a victorious smile slowly appears onto Vlad's face. The wave of relief that has washed over him causes his intense eyes to drop their guard as they gain an indescribable warmth to them. Raising his hand to cup the side of Danny's face, his thumb lazily strokes the soft skin covering the hero's cheek. The breathy sigh that escapes parted lips has the man already planning how to hear more of it. Yet, before he can fully give into this rapidly-blooming happiness, Vlad's own lingering doubts make a reappearance.
"Those are very serious words, Little Badger," begins the elder hybrid, his deep voice almost a whisper. "I hope that you are saying them with the full knowledge that if I give in to your request, I will not let you go if you happen to change your mind again."
"I know that," Danny replies as he raises his arms to encircle Vlad's neck. His confidence growing as he notices the subtle reactions he is drawing form the man. "My mind is completely made up. Besides, why would I want to be with anyone other than my crazed-up Fruit Loop, anyway?"
At the rhetorical question, Vlad lowers his head to reclaim lips that he hasn't touched in almost three years. However, the man is surprised when a hand pressing against his chest stops him.
"Wait a second, Vlad," begins Danny, despite the blush staining his cheeks. "What are you going to do about Charlotte? She's downstairs still thinking that the two of you are going to get married today."
A knowing smile stretches across the elder's face as his large hands busy themselves traveling over the slim body finally in their grasp. His fingers alternate between tortuously soft and possessively firm touches as Vlad starts to speak.
"You like her don't you?"
"Well, yeah. She's nice."
" . . . I told you that you would."
At the smug tone to the other's words, pale blue eyes narrow with annoyance.
"Stop avoiding the subject, Vlad. Now, what are you going to do about your fiancée?"
Releasing a sigh, the man looks down at Danny with a reassuring smile. He places a kiss to the youth's temple, fully aware that the ghost in his arms is feeling guilty about hurting the innocent woman's feelings.
"Daniel, Charlotte will be fine. She performed her job flawlessly and per our agreement I will help her gain full control of her father's company."
For a fleeting moment, there is a silence as the hero's brain fully processes the gravity of those words.
"Excuse me?" demands Danny through gritted teeth, his glare practically forcing Vlad to look him in the eyes. However, all the expression really does, is make the man's grin grow.
"You forced me into a corner, Daniel, so I decided to force you into one as well. And in order to successfully execute my plan to reacquire you, I needed Charlotte to play a certain part within it. After all, I had to have someone that you would think I would actually marry without the mess of emotional attachment once I had no further need of her."
Taking a moment to reflect on his plans, the man has a contemplative expression on his features.
"Charlotte Howard is an exceptional woman, she's rather sharp when it comes to matters such as these and had no qualms accepting the deal I offered her. If anything, she just seemed interested to meet the person who managed to ensnare my attention. I should really keep in touch with her for future business endeavors."
Raising an eyebrow at that, the hero takes a moment to process the information given to him. Danny then shakes his head as a bright smile appears on his face.
"I know that I should be really annoyed that I was the only one being manipulated the entire time, but I'm not."
The statement brings Vlad's complete attention back to the ghost staring up at him.
"In all honesty, Daniel, I was expecting more of a reaction from you. At the very least an empty, albeit creatively-violent, threat or two."
"Well, I guess I just know you too well to be that mad about it. In fact, your scheme is sort of sweet in an unnecessarily-diabolical sort of way."
Ignoring the slight look of indignity on Vlad's face, the ghost hero unabashedly phases his hands through the high-end clothes on the man's body. Danny lets his palms and fingers re-explore the warm skin of the elder with a content hum as he rests his head on the familiar chest.
"So, you were never actually going to marry her?"
At the question, Vlad runs a hand through thick, dark hair. He lowers his head to fully inhale the soft scent that the locks possess.
"Charlotte and I had every intention of going through with our nuptials."
Feeling the body in his arms tense up at his words, the villain's expression softens into an understanding one.
"Daniel, I was betting quite a lot on you realizing your feelings for me. It was one of the first times in my life that I made such a risk without already knowing that it would work out in my favor. I was clearly hoping for one outcome over the other, but I was serious when I told you that I wasn't going to wait around for you. Especially since you know better than anyone how I once devoted myself to your mother. And while my feelings for you far outrank any that I've had before, I wasn't going to live my life hopelessly pining for you and forced to watch you get over me."
At his words, Vlad sees the look of guilt that appears in Danny's eyes and isn't too surprised when thin arms wrap tighter around him. However, he is truly unprepared for the words that leave the younger ghost's mouth.
"Vlad, I never got over you. The rare times that I met someone remotely interesting, they couldn't even come close to you. Tch, if you only knew how much I actually missed y-"
Danny's words are cut off as Vlad finally brings their lips together, the surge of sudden emotion completely cutting off the other's words.
At first, their kiss is passionate, the years of pure want fueling the billionaire's ministrations. Then he slows down to leisurely enjoy the soft lips pressed to his, reveling in the pliant skin. Vlad smirks against them as they willingly part, allowing him access into the warmth of the phantom's mouth. Too occupied savoring the familiar and long-missed taste, the man is surprised when Danny begins to actively respond with his own intentions. Eager lips move against Vlad's, clearly conveying his own intense emotions as warm hands reach up to hold the elder's head in place. The younger ghost doesn't even attempt to hide his enthusiasm as his mouth possessively returns the kiss, successfully proving the depth of his feelings. Releasing Vlad once the need for oxygen arises, half-lidded sky blue eyes find widened cobalt ones.
However the look of pure surprise on the man's face, makes the hero laugh outright.
"It's been a while since I've left you speechless, Vladdie."
"Well, I'm in shock. The last time we kissed, you didn't kiss me like that."
"I've never kissed anyone like that, for the record."
"What makes me so special?" jokes the villain.
There is a pause as Danny seriously considers the question.
"I dunno, it's probably because I love you."
The sudden, seemingly careless, admission has Vlad's mind reeling - not that he'd show it in anyway. So, his face remains impressively-impassive as he stares down at his younger counterpart with a light smirk.
"So, you admit that you're in love with me?"
Rolling his pale blue eyes, Danny smiles back.
"Only because I already know that you're in love with me."
"That is true," admits the man, his voice low as he feels Danny's body move even closer to his.
"So, how do you suppose we break the news to everyone downstairs that the wedding is off?"
With a wicked smirk, Vlad leans in to once again capture the other's lips in a lingering kiss, this time showing Danny exactly how much he's been missed. Leaving the slightly-swollen lips, the man starts to trail his kisses down the slim column of the phantom's neck. The moans that tumble out of Danny's mouth only make his smirk grow wider.
"I think they'll figure it out when neither of us show up," Vlad replies as his fingers work to undo the tie that he just arranged to expose more soft skin. The man far more preoccupied with the supple body in his arms than the fifty-some guests below them wondering why the ceremony is running well over an hour late.
In the beautifully-decorated ballroom, fully set up for the happy occasion, the small yet exclusive party of guests wait for the Masters-Howard wedding to begin. At his place among the other groomsmen, Jack fidgets with his tie as Maddie sits with Jazz in one of the front rows of chairs. Since neither Vlad nor Charlotte have many family members, most of the people around them are advantageous social acquaitances and wealthy business associates. Looking around the sea of impeccably, well-dressed people, Maddie Fenton's lavender eyes search for the familiar form of her only son.
"Jazz, where's Danny? I haven't seen him all day," asks the woman, a slightly-worried on her face.
"I talked to him earlier. Don't worry, Mom, he's fine."
"Are you sure?" Maddie begins, he gaze falling to the empty seat beside her. "I mean he left the rehearsal dinner rather quickly last night."
"He was just tired, that's all."
At Jazz's words and reassuring smile, Maddie seems to relax a bit.
"Perhaps you're right, I'm sure I'll see him at the reception later. After all, Danny never has liked going to weddings."
Just then, Charlotte Howard strolls down the aisle, her couture white dress billowing perfectly behind her, to the surprise of all those in attendance. She is very beautiful in the well-tailored gown and her long chestnut hair swept into a loose bun that shows off her face. Approaching the microphone that is her destination, Charlotte beams at her guests with a light smile before speaking into it.
"Hello everyone, I realize that this is a bit unorthodox, but I have a rather important announcement to make," begins the bride. "First of all, I'd like to extend my gratitude to each and every one of you for attending today, Vlad and I truly appreciate it. With that said however, I have to inform you all that Vlad and I have decided we will not be getting married today."
At the gasps of surprise, Charlotte simply continues her speech, not missing a beat.
"We apologize for the inconveniences that this has caused, but we've decided that out relationship is better suited as good friends and business partners instead of husband and wife. So, with that in mind, we invite you all to please stay and enjoy the party. Thank you."
Once she finishes, the woman then smiles again before departing back down the aisle, behind her an elder man(presumeably Charlotte's father) follows her with an expression that doesn't seem particularly happy with his daughter's announcement. Everyone else simply stares after them, an awkward silence hanging in the palatial room before murmurs of conversation erupt. Then, one by one, the guests(including the wedding party and pastor) get up and make their way over to the other end of the ballroom in small groups, either heading right for the open bar or the displays of rich food.
The only ones that stay in their places are the three members of the Fenton family. Maddie and Jack share a look of confusion as Jazz simply shakes her head in amusement - the kind that can only be had with the full knowledge of certain pieces of information.
As her parents begin to discuss the events that have just transpired, the therapist occasionally chimes in with her opinions. All the while, having a very good idea what the groom, as well as her wayward brother, are doing at the moment.
Waking up in the opulent hotel suite that is not his own, tired, sky-blue eyes look lazily around the room. As if sensing his consciousness, a strong arm tightens possessively around Danny's midsection, bringing him closer to the warm body behind him. The phantom runs a hand over the familiar musculature, a smirk forming on his face as he does so. Especially as the vivid details of last night come back to him.
"Good morning, Daniel," the man replies as his hands travel the dips and valleys that make up the youth's pale body. "You look particularly lovely this morning."
"Hmph," grumbles Danny, fully aware of his disheveled and tousled appearance. "I forgot how 'ready to go' you are in the morning, or any time of day really. You'll say just about anything to get in my pants."
"You haven't been wearing pants for the better part of a week."
Smirking at the man's comment, Danny rolls over so that he can face the other ghost. He moves closer to the larger body in an attempt to acquire more of the intoxicating warmth that is lulling him back to sleep.
"It's a figure of speech, Vlad."
"Consider it a compliment, Little Badger. Neither morning breath nor your grouchiness makes you any less desirable to me."
"You are very welcome."
As if to prove his words, Vlad moves in to place a deep, slow kiss on the other's lips. Leaning over the phantom hero, cobalt eyes take their time roving over the lithe body in his bed. Soft, pale skin covers every inch of the young ghost's body, from plumps lips to narrow hips and the full expanse of long, slender legs. It never ceases to amaze Vlad how such a tempting body is capable of fighting a full range of enemies on an almost daily basis. But after a few moments underneath the unwavering gaze, a slight blush appears on Danny's cheeks.
"What is it?"
"It's nothing," begins the man, conversationally. "I'm simply taking full stock of my newly-acquired asset."
Sky-blue eyes roll in mock annoyance before Danny smirks. His eyes then take their own lingering sweep of the man's body, fully appreciative of the strength that is hidden in lean muscle. Reaching a hand upwards, the hero runs his hand down the warm skin of Vlad's chest. The pads of his fingers take their time trailing over well-defined abs before teasing the sensitive juncture of hip and leg. The gesture earns a low, satisfied sound from the throat of the man above him.
"I forgot how much I liked that sound."
"Well, let's continue from where we left off from last night, shall we? I'll make all the sounds you want."
A few, exhausting hours later, a soft knock is heard on their door. A fully-dressed Vlad strides across the room and opens it in order to let the room service cart into the grand suite. Far used to this, as he has entertained the same routine for the last few weeks or so, the man exchanges simple pleasantries with the attendant. Pushing the cart carrying their breakfast to the side of the small table, the uniformed man professionally ignores the sounds of a running shower and the other set of distinctly-male clothing lazily tossed on the unmade bed. Wordlessly, he begins to set the table with two place settings and asthetically placing the various breakfast foods on the table with the precision that his training has given him. The hotel worker then positions the specially-delivered Chicago Tribune newspaper on his employer's side of the table. Finished with his tasks, he stands up and turns back around and is unsurprised to see Vlad looking over his handiwork.
"Is there anything else I can get you and your guest, Mr. Masters?"
"No, that will be all, Allan," the man replies, after a quick look at the man's name tag. "Please let the kitchen staff know that Daniel and I will most likely be going out for lunch today."
"Shall I alert the maid staff, as well? That way, the two of you will return to a cleaned room with fresh linens."
"Yes, that will be fine," replies Vlad with humor to his voice as their bed linens have been put to good use for the last few days.
"Consider it done, sir. Please enjoy your breakfast."
With a smile and a respectful bow, the man takes his leave, knowing fully well how Vladimir Masters rewarded his discreet employees and how harshly he punished his more loose-lipped ones.
Taking a seat at the now-set table, Vlad decides to fill the temporary silence by turning on the televsion to watch a local news station. Mostly ignoring the show as the insipid conversation between the anchors seems to override the actual news, his ears perk up as the shower turns off. And just as a damp Danny Fenton steps out of the bathroom, towel drying his hair, the story on the anchorman's lips manages to catch both of their attention.
"As we all know, last week Vladimir Masters and his fiancée Charlotte Howard have cancelled their wedding only minutes before the nuptials were set to take place in Alberta. Sources close to the couple were shocked, but still maintain that Vlad and Charlotte's split was a mutual decision. As stated by a representative for the former couple, they have dissolved their marriage plans however both DALV Industries and the Howard Group are still going through with their partnership."
After he speaks the camera pans out to include his co-anchor, a pretty red-head, who has an impossibly-large smile on her face as she speaks.
"So, as it stands, one of the most eligible bachelor's is back on the market, ladies. Now, if only he'd come out of hiding!"
At that, the two reporters start trading a few jokes before recollecting themselves.
"I hate that everyone is so obsessed with celebrities," Danny states as the anchorman finally switches to a story focused on a local school. "You'd think people would have better things to talk about than your cancelled wedding."
Despite the fact that the aforementioned wedding was some time ago, the two have remained isolated in Vlad's honeymoon suite in the luxury, Canadian hotel. Both hybrids choosing to spend some quality time alone, reacquainting themselves with each other, before returning home. Though neither men are in a hurry to leave their small sanctuary to deal with the paparazzi or the questions and opinions of others.
"Daniel, just don't pay any attention to it," comments Vlad from his seat at the breakfast table. "I never do."
"How can I not pay attention to it? All these 'reporters' are going around telling every single woman in North America that my boyfriend is on the market like he's some peice of meat. And the last thing I need to worry about, on top of ghosts attacking people and causing a general pain in my ass, are some gold-diggers throwing themselves at you everywhere you go."
At the miniature rant, Vlad smiles contently to himself, secretly pleased with all the possessiveness sprinkled within it.
"I haven't given into them yet, why would I do so now?"
"Not to mention," continues Danny, ignoring the man as he finishes drying off his hair. "Once it gets out to the public that we're together, they're probably going to make me out to be some sort of homewrecker."
Laughing at the term spoken with such comical disdain, Vlad turns to the young ghost clad only in boxers and the man's nightshirt. The larger size shirt, practically falling off his lean form, makes Danny look adorable - even with the scowl distorting his features.
"Trust me, you are no such thing, Daniel. After all, Charlotte and I were never officially married, so we had no home for you to wreck. At most, they'd just call you the 'other woman', or 'other man', all things considered. Personally, I prefer the term, boy toy."
"I'm glad that at least one of us finds this funny," begins Danny, watching the man take a sip of orange juice without a care in the world. "And just so you know, I still don't approve of you manipulating me just to get what you want."
"And just so you know, Daniel, engaging in amazing sex with me for the last week isn't the best way to get me to stop such 'bad' behavior. In fact, you're just encouraging it."
"Well, withholding sex would just be punishment for me too," jokes Danny, catching the man's self-satisfied grin as the hero walks over to the bed. "But seriously, Vlad, I actually agonized over what the hell I was going to do about us."
"Good. Then you have a slight idea of what I felt like for the past few years."
"It was pure torture seeing you and not being able to have you for myself, one that I had promised long ago I would never again suffer through," states Vlad, interrupting Danny's words. "Yet, the only thing that kept me sane was plotting how to get you back. Thoughts of once again calling you mine, were sometimes the only things kept me from doing very drastic things, Little Badger. So, even if I caused you temporary distress, I'm not the least bit sorry for one thing that I've done."
The utter seriousness in the man's voice paired with the unfaltering stare emanating from cobalt eyes makes a shiver go down Danny's back. It is times like these when the hero is reminded exactly how dangerous the villain actually is. Then, the young phantom does something that the mastermind never expected. Danny smiles before standing up to walk over to him, his eyes never leaving the intrigued pair fixed upon his. Leaning down for a deep kiss, slim arms quickly drape themselves over Vlad's shoulders as he slides into his lap.
"You may be a certified Fruit Loop, but at least you're a romantic one."
Chuckling at the teasing statement, the man relaxes as the lean body makes itself comfortable in his lap. Soft lips gently entice his own into a kiss, before they part. With a smile, Vlad wraps an arm around Danny as the young ghost reaches for a blueberry scone. The elder's grin only deepens as the other makes absolutely no move away from any of his affectionate gestures.
"Hey, I just realized something."
"And what would that be, Daniel?"
"Same sex marriages are legal in Canada."
At the sudden statement, another chuckle leaves the man's lips.
"Daniel, are you proposing that I elope with you one week after I cancelled my marriage? That would be quite the scandal, the paparazzi would eat it right up. Weren't you the one just complaining about how much they are already in my life?"
"Well, if we did elope, at least everyone would know that you belong to me," replies Danny as he finished the baked good, licking his fingers. An innocent action that doesn't go unnoticed by the man he is currently sitting upon.
"Elopement is not an option," Vlad begins, his voice gaining a serious tone to it. "When we make the decision to share our relationship with the public, I fully intend to do it right. Which means we will not hide it like it's something to be ashamed of and I will be asking your parents for their permission."
Fighting the urge to dramatically roll his eyes, Danny can't help the grin that appears on his face. The words being exactly what he wanted to hear.
"Can I be there when you ask for it?"
"For emotional support? How considerate of you, Little Badger."
"Well, I was thinking more for your protection or my own amusement, but I guess I can do that too."
Sharing a laugh with the ghost in his lap, Vlad suddenly becomes serious again when a certain thought crosses his mind.
"I suppose that means that I have to tell Maddie and Jack that I'm a half ghost, as well."
"They handled it pretty well when I told them," offers Danny with a supportive smile.
"The situation is a bit different. You're their son, Daniel."
"And you are their son's boyfriend, so they'll just have to figure out a way to deal with it," the younger hybrid states, his tone completely serious. "But if it makes you feel better, I'll make sure that neither of them are armed beforehand."
"Hmm, how thoughtful of you."
Danny leans in to kiss the man that he is currently sitting upon. His hands gently hold Vlad's head in place as his lips slowly tease the other's into a slow, yet lingering, make out session. Once they part, powder blue eyes lock onto cobalt blue ones.
"Vlad, I don't want to keep our relationship from my parents, or anyone else for that matter. I'm a consenting adult and I'm fully capable of making my own decisions about who I want to be with. And honestly, it's not like we're hurting anyone."
As his counterpart speaks, the man kisses Danny's temple while his hand gently strokes along one of the phantom's bare and well-toned thighs.
"You have no idea how happy I am to hear that, Daniel."
"Good, now hurry up and eat something. You promised to take me sightseeing today and I want to see as much as possible."
"Of course, dear," replies Vlad, ignoring the eye roll from the younger ghost as he leaves the man's lap to sit in his own chair. However, the elder smirks as he notices the embarrassed blush staining Danny's cheeks.
And there you have it. I hope you all enjoyed this little story, this was an interesting way to wind down after writing a novel. I really forgot how much I missed writing fan fiction in the last year and getting to talk to all of you.
*Funny coincidence, as I was writing this final chapter, I turned to a random episode of Danny Phantom on NickTOONS which happened to be the Bitter Reunions episode.
As I said in previous chapter, I am in the process of writing a sequel, however due to my schedule it most likely won't be posted until after the holidays(sorry!). Basically it will follow Vlad and Danny as they attempt to make their relationship know to the world(It's something I always wanted to tackle).
Anyways, thank you for all the reviews and faves, I appreciate every single one!
BTW, a little background on why I think Vlad calls Danny "Little Badger" (I was on a random Wikipedia page one night)
(1) Badgers are the state animal of Wisconsin as well as the mascot for the University of Wisconsin.
(2) Badgers are white and black, so perhaps it's a reference to how Danny's hair changes color when he transforms.
(3) They are fierce protectors of their families. Despite their size, they've been known to take down animals much larger than them(like coyotes).
Alright, I'll see you all in the next fanfic,