~Chapter 42~

"You're not going into the house," Danny said as he floated in front of Johnny and Kitty. "Or near those kids. Not unless I decide you can."

The couple were perched on the edge of a rooftop overlooking the city. Danny tried to look calm but it was clear that he was uncomfortable with them being so close to the twins. Johnny was clutching the handles of his newly fixed motorcycle so hard that his knuckles were turning pure white. Kitty had her arms around her boyfriend and leaned into him just in case things got violent and Johnny decided to hightail it.

"We only want to talk to you," Kitty said, peering over the biker's shoulder. "We really don't mean any harm."

"Johnny. Your shadow," the halfa flatly demanded.

Johnny snapped his fingers and his shadow rose to serve him. It disappeared somewhere when Johnny pointed his finger over to the side.

"Off the bike. Now."

This time there was slight hesitation, but they obeyed and stepped away from the motorcycle.

"Now we can talk. What is it you were wanting to talk about, exactly?" Because it wasn't obvious that he already knew. Still, he wanted to hear how Johnny and Kitty would approach this. And he was making sure they knew that they had only one chance to make the perfect first impression. And it couldn't be ninety-nine percent, it had to be perfect, without a single margin of error.

Johnny took a deep breath and took a small, timid step forward. "W-We think that those kids could use a little extra help. We tried to tell you that several times but each time we even looked at them you chased us off. Each time was a pretty painful escape but we kept trying to tell you, we don't want to hurt those kids."

"Yeah," Kitty agreed. "There are so many rumors going around in the ghost zone about them. Most ghosts stay away, but some are still in there that keep saying they can take you on. But they're not stupid. They won't come straight to you and try to fight. They figure that if they can get to those kids, they've beaten you. Then they can brag about their strength to everyone else."

Danny's eyes narrowed. "You're saying they're in danger?"

"Yeah, and a lot of it. Some of the other ghosts are getting convinced that by attacking the kids, they've won a battle no one else could win," Johnny answered. "They think everyone will respect them."

No. Nothing happened to his kids unless he himself was dead first.

"And it's only going to get worse. We were trying to warn you about these ghosts; they're nuts if they think they can do this!" Kitty added.

He pointed an accusing finger at them. "If you think they can do any damage you're gravely mistaken! When they come, I'll-"

"They're already here," Johnny interrupted.

What?!

"They're testing their limits. Each day they get a little closer to those kids and eventually they'll try something. You haven't sensed them yet because they're still too far away," Kitty said.

"And if they decide it's easier just to attack you in a mass, they'll start wanting to take those kids down themselves. The problem is, only one of them will want to get all that 'respect', so they would probably fight over it. Those kids would get caught up in all that fighting and then it would be too late to do anything," Johnny explained.

"How many of these ghosts are there?" he asked.

The two looked at each other and shook their heads, shrugging and exchanging silent stares.

"We don't know. There's too many to count. We don't know how many of them are out here or still in the ghost zone but we know there's a lot," Kitty answered.

"I can handle every one of them if they're that stupid..." he growled.

"And if you can't?" Kitty murmured.

Couldn't?! Couldn't what, protect his own children?!

He was about to go off, have a 'coronary', as Tucker so kindly put it, but Sam's words echoed in his mind. She was the one left with the twins for hours on end. Under normal circumstances, she could just grab a weapon and go. In fact, she could hide the twins while she got that weapon. But these were no longer normal circumstances. Thanks to her pregnancy, and considering she was entering her third trimester, she was becoming slow and exhausted. Half the time she wanted nothing more than to sleep the day away. She wasn't like that with the twins, which concerned him all the more, but when she was pregnant with the twins, she didn't have two other children to look after. And him? He couldn't really help. Now that Tucker had a job and was trying to raise money for college, he had gone back to the superhero life. And now that they mentioned it, ghosts had been appearing by the dozens lately. He was kept busy for most of the day dealing with these ghosts. Most of them were ones he'd never encountered before. Some of them were animalistic. His more common enemies, setting aside Vlad and Walker, stayed away from 'those kids'.

But it was Sam's condition that worried him most. She would soon become physically incapable of taking action should something happen. Tucker didn't have a ghost sense; he wouldn't know. Jazz was always so busy now and tried to find time for the twins, but hardly could. His parents...well... They were still obsessive over ghosts and anything having to do with ghosts, so running out the door to net an innocent mascot, costume, or whatever else definitely wasn't past them.

Sam also agreed with Tucker on this. They both thought that now, with a newborn on the way and with Sam so weakened by her pregnancy, help was very necessary. Any other time he would do this himself but things were getting tough and he had to admit to himself that maybe Tucker had a point. And yes, he was stubborn and overprotective. But who wouldn't be? These weren't the frogs Sam worked so hard to save, these were his kids. From the moment they were born he despised the thought of a ghost being around them, even if that ghost was friendly. The only ghost that he might be able to tolerate to an extent would have to be Clockwork, but that was it.

But now things were different and help had just showed up on two silver platters. He had a choice: either accept it or decline it. He wanted to decline it, and would've without a second thought, but he had to think about Sam and the twins. They came first and if Sam hadn't said what she had, these two fools would discover the real meaning of regret.

"The rumors about those kids being mine are true. They don't have any of my looks, human or ghost, and they don't have any ghost powers whatsoever...because...technically speaking...they're adopted. And Sam, well, she's sort of pregnant again. This baby, however, could have ghost powers," he explained, deciding it was easier if he could go ahead and get the basics out of the way. "I think that this is why she's always so tired, and it's because she's so tired that she can't really protect herself anymore. Not like she used to anyway. If she was alone with the twins and one of those ghosts you were talking about came by, she probably wouldn't be able to do a thing about it. So I'll..." Still couldn't believe he was saying this. "I'll let you see them..."

"You will?" Johnny asked, his tone unsure but a smile tugging at his lips nonetheless.

He sighed and nodded. "But understand that I'm only doing this for Sam; she needs the protection. You make the tiniest of mistakes and you'll wish you never even existed. Got it?"

They both nodded.

"Just keep in mind that these are my kids, I love them, and ghost or not I'll kill anyone who tries to touch a single hair on their heads!" he snapped.

Johnny held his hands up in defense. "Don't worry. We never wanted to hurt them in the first place, remember?"

He had to admit, they had done a good job of explaining themselves. They got serious brownie points for telling him what was really happening in the ghost zone and why it was happening. He couldn't say he wasn't infuriated by the thought that 'help' was 'needed', but he was sensible enough to know that there might come a time when he alone just wasn't enough. And Sam agreeing so much with Tucker just raised that awareness. He hated it-absolutely hated it-but if this was what his family needed then he would accept it. Barely.

He inwardly groaned and with that groan, realized that he was still scowling at them. At least it proved to them that in no way did he want this, but it proved to himself that he had to deal with it for the time being. It was for the better if he had allies he could count on and Johnny and Kitty? Well, it was a start. They ranked right above the box ghost in terms of danger.

He sighed. "Come on."

He turned the other way and flew back to his house, much more slowly and cautiously than when he'd left it. He heard Johnny's bike start up and knew he was right behind. Every instinct in him told him to shoot him down right then and there, but he forced himself to go against them and led Johnny and Kitty back to his house...back to his family.

He landed on the porch, transformed back to Fenton, and watched nervously as the biker and his girlfriend got off the motorcycle. Tucker was still inside. Sam and the twins were with him. His parents were still out...they weren't home...

He opened the door to find Uncle Tucker playing with barbie dolls in tutus, with Junior fixated on Lilith's own half-clothed barbie. Sam hadn't moved an inch; she was still on the couch. This time she was knocked out despite it only being afternoon.

Junior shot up when Danny walked through the door, running to him and grabbing his leg. Lilith remained with Uncle Tucker, determined to pretend that the doll was practicing for a dance recital. He picked Junior up and reluctantly let Johnny and Kitty inside. This was when the little boy grew shy and buried his face into his father's shoulder.

Tucker looked out of the corner of his eye but continued to keep Lilith busy.

"They're adorable!" Kitty softly squealed, taking note of a sleeping pregnant woman on the couch. "How old are they?"

The halfa sighed again and said, "They're three. Lilith is over there playing with her dolls and Junior is trying to hide in my shoulder."

"Junior as in Danny Junior?" Johnny asked.

"Yeah," Danny answered. "We just call him Junior though."

"Aw...that's so sweet!" Kitty giggled.

He set Junior down behind the couch, where he usually liked to hide until he was ready to say hi, and stood back up.

"Now you know why I'm so protective of them," he mumbled. "They're my little babies. As a father you do everything you can to protect your family."

Tucker could be heard snickering in the background. "Just protective? Try ridiculously overprotective."

"I'm not overprotective! I'm just the right amount of protective!" he combated.

Besides, he just found out a ghost army was being formed to kill the twins. As if he would let that happen. Didn't they hear anything from every other ghost that dared to come near the twins and gotten the whole nine yards of agony because of it? Didn't they think there was a reason most ghosts fled whenever they saw the twins? Or were they really just that stupid? If they had strength then they could prove it...but they'd get the world's most painful beating and serve years of humiliation in the ghost zone. And if they ever came back they would die, but for good this time.

They still had time to be on their way and turn back before things got ugly, but if they must, then let them come and prove themselves to be arrogant fools.

Because nothing-absolutely nothing-would happen to his family. They would have to take him down first to have any hope of getting to his kids. By now everyone in the ghost should know he'd protect them down to his dying breaths. Tucker could call that overprotective all he wanted, but Lilith and Junior were safe that way. And once his new daughter was born, that 'overprotectiveness' would sharply increase. Even Vlad would know to stay away; he wouldn't have a chance of winning a fight like that. His 'little badger' would make sure he suffered the bloodiest, most painful death ever recorded.

But if Kitty and/or Johnny laid one single hand on the twins they would suffer the same fate. Well, unless they had to, such as if they were moving them out of danger. That would be different since they would have to touch them. That could be forgiven, but anything else, no. And Sam! They'd better not touch her either! And when the baby was born, no! Everyone was completely off-limits unless it was necessary to touch any of them. He would make sure they knew that, even though they probably already did.

And maybe, just maybe, Tucker was right about them wanting to get on his good side...assuming he actually had one towards ghosts anymore.

"So, Johnny, Kitty," Tucker started. "I'm pretty sure Danny acted cold toward you when he was talking, or fighting, or whatever he was doing, but it'll take some time for him to trust you. I-"

"I don't trust them!" Danny shrieked, unaware that he'd woken Sam.

The geek sighed. "Assuming he will trust you..."

"He will," Sam murmured. "He better."

Crap. She was awake now.

"I-I mean, yeah, maybe. In time. Maybe," he 'corrected'. No, he wouldn't, not at all, not in a million freaking years.

"No, you will trust them. You have to-"

"Why?!"

"BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

Just go along with it...

"Okay...okay..." he muttered. "I'll give them a chance to prove themselves..."

She grunted. "Mmm-hmm. Because they're so very eager to suffer the wrath of a mother if they don't."

She would have a point, if she weren't pregnant. But God knows she had the moodiness to tell someone off bad. He'd discovered that himself. The hard way. The embarrassing way. The 'I-never-want-to-go-through-that-again' way.

At this point, he decided it was best not to tell her about the danger she and the twins were in. He could protect them. He would protect them. And if Johnny and Kitty wanted to keep existing, they would too. That was how they could prove themselves, to be just as willing as he was to fight anyone to keep his kids safe. He'd fought government agents-and a heck of a lot of them-just to get back home. He'd fought more ghosts than he could count to instill extreme fear in everyone who had even seen the twins. And it worked, too, otherwise Johnny and Kitty wouldn't be acting so submissive. Even Kitty. Kitty may be a girl but he'd fought her just as he would a male ghost...no holding back whatsoever.

Every ghost had every reason to be scared of him. They now had every reason to get out of his bingo book and into his good books. Unfortunately for them, even humans had a hard time getting into his good books, so ghosts? Ohohoho, very hard. It was only because of Sam that he would tolerate these two, but any other ghost was unwelcome and unless Kitty and Johnny were willing to help fight them off, even if they were the best of friends, they were not trustworthy and he wouldn't hesitate to attack them...and they knew it.

So unless they wanted his wrath-his physical wrath since Sam had the verbal wrath covered very well-they'd better get cracking on doing everything they could to make themselves useful, even if it was something as small as doing household chores. They weren't allowed to do what Tucker was doing though. They weren't allowed to play with the twins or help them learn to count to twenty-five.

He was very proud of them though. They were learning so well and for toddlers, being able to count so high was pretty darn good. Of course his pride would contribute to being 'overprotective' to Tucker. Pfft, he wasn't a daddy, he wouldn't know.

Although he did act a lot like a dad when he babysat. Danny hoped that when he got married, he would have a kid and treat them like he did the twins. Because...he was playing with barbie dolls and he didn't care who saw. That was a mark of a true father. Earlier he had been helping out with a puzzle with a picture of a smiling cartoon dog. It was thirty pieces but Tucker didn't mind at all. It helped the twins learn. He'd most likely read children's books while Danny and Sam were gone. And for Junior he'd probably played with toy cars.

He did a lot to keep them busy and tried to help them learn. He would make a great father too, although right now he probably didn't know it. He would understand one day, what it was like to be an actual dad and not a babysitter and uncle. You just didn't know perfection until you held your child in your arms, promising yourself that you would rather die than let anything happen to them. You never knew love until your baby grabbed your finger for the first time, and you felt that soft little hand. You didn't know happiness until you saw the baby's eyes open for the first time and look at you, and you couldn't help it if you shed tears over it. And you didn't know life until you were raising one.

A/N

D'awwwww! I was almost crying when I wrote that last part! I could see Danny thinking that way. :3 If that didn't make you smile I don't know what will. And sorry for any misspellings or grammar errors. We found out the reason behind my double vision and dizziness: I now have a problem with my blood sugar.

Anyway, I tried to make this cute not just for the sake of the story, but...because we have another birthday! :D Happy Birthday to Favorite Daughter of Hades! Hope you enjoyed this chapter!

OH OH OH! And next chapter (or the one after), you'll find out the baby's name. ;D

Review quota is five hundred seventy-three (573) because this chapter was really hard on me with hardly being able to see the keyboard and computer screen.

Replies (again sorry for any writing errors; still can't see right):

darkangloflove15- He really is! :) He did let them help but VERY reluctantly, and if it werent for Sam he never would've done it. Well, the poor guy held in his excitement during the ultrasound so he had to let it out sometime! :P Tucker got to be the victim.

ShadowDragon357- He will, and does...but he's subject to pretty much all of it and it's driving him mad. I figured that Danny really would need help because if his daughter has even a single one if his powers, then he would need to help her get it under control and that would take a little time. He would have to keep her away from everyone else and take her somewhere secluded, so during that time he can't be there if a ghost attacks. I also figured Johnny and Kitty would be the most likely to help him in the show, so I incorperated my own opinion into the story. They're very good choices, all the friendly ghosts, but all ghosts have become a threat in his eyes. I mean, he only wants to protect his family and he'll do whatever it takes to do just that. Thank you! I don't ship any other pairing, especially not pompous pep and pitch pearl. Gross.

Favorite Daughter of Hades- XD You killed me there! Thank you! Happy Birthday! Hope you liked this update. :D

puppets4ever- Awww! Thank you so much! Well keep in mind, Danny did NOT want this, so you can count on him trying to find any little thing they do and use it as an excuse to get rid of them. I always found them the weaker villains (other than the Box Ghost), but also the ones more likely to help since they more often than not compete with dialogue. They don't fight him nearly as much as any of the other ghosts.

princessbinas- Don't know who Tenzin is but I'll try watching it sometime. I do good just keeping up with my stories! I don't have as much time as I'd like to.

jim89- I told you, Danielle will make an appearance but now right now. Valerie is not considered a friend in Sam's eyes/ It's not from jealously (now that she engaged to Danny), it's because of the grudge she holds against Valerie from trying to destroy Danny. I don't think she considers Sam good friends, but I do agree with her considering Danny a friend, and maybe Tucker. Still, it's up to Sam, not Danny, so whatever Sam says, goes. Danny doesn't view Valerie the way he views the rest of the school, but yes, since Sam doesn't like her, Danny won't do anything about it and neither will Tucker. In some situations Sam is in charge, and in others, Danny is in charge. Valerie is one of Sam's situations. The 'dragon princess' is Dora, and while she has followers, Danny trusts no one, which is exactly why he had a hard time allowing Johnny and Kitty near the twins. It's only because Sam had explained to him that things were getting hard that he tolerates them, but still despises the idea. And he will continue to despise it for a good amount of time.

sammansonrepilica- I geez, I hate making them fight, but all couples do it. I don't make them fight over little things because they can work things out easily, but with the big things, they'll fight. Sam and her father was HUGE and Danny just wanted her to forgive him, which made tension run very high, which ultimately led to him exploding. That was when the fight reached its peak, but that was also what it took for Sam to realize exactly what he's done for her and calm down. She never gave any thought to how he was feeling because once they got together, it was like everything got better; she also suffered a very traumatic incident that led to many things she now regrets, so she'd spent most of that time trying to come to terms with it and was too focused on her own problems to realize that Danny was doing everything to help her. So that fight lasted for some while.

beautifullove521- :D You do? Thanks!

weird-o152- Thanks so much! And I'll try but as of now I have one upcoming birthday on the 23rd and yours is the 25th... I may have to update on the 24th to compensate for both, is that okay?

Stewiacker- A lot of people voted for Hazel and Jade, but in the end that took a quick turn and the tie was broken. That's why the poll is closed. You didn't find out the name, but the decision has been made.

LuvPeaceCandy- This is actually the sequel to Flowers Will Bloom. Originally the summary had "Sequel to Flowers Will Bloom." at the very beginning, but now I see that this story can be understood even if people don't read FWB, so I modified the summary, took some stuff out. It also used to have "T mainly for references of Flowers Will Bloom." Well, now it's T for other reasons. :P Thanks for all those compliments! I really try hard on this thing.

TheNinjaKitty13- :3 Well I have a little sister who repeats EVERYTHING so one day I just called her a tape recorder. Thought that would fit the twins since they're also little kids. What's Prussia?

ObsessiveFanFictioner15- Yeah. A lot of people don't follow or favorite, they just keep an eye out. Well with me, you can't do that or else you miss out. As for DxS...I will NEVER ship another pairing! It's not just because it's a canon pairing either, it's because Danny and Sam just...go together. I don't mind rants. :) I actually like long reviews.