Hi all! It feels weird updating something that's not sid or CM. Anyways, here is that Thanksgiving oneshot I promised. I know it's like two weeks late. But better late than never. I hope you like it. It was just a silly idea I got after hearing a certain song. This idea is like three years old, but I didn't really develop it until now; and somehow, it turned into this small weird— and hopefully funny—plot!
Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom.
It was Thanksgiving Day, and everyone was busy getting ready to celebrate it with family and friends. But before the feast and sharing began, the people of Amity Park were all excited to attend the big Thanksgiving festival that had been put together by their newest and finest mayor: Vlad Masters.
So, while everyone hurried to get to Amity Park's central park, where the festivities were being held, a certain young hybrid was slouched on his couch with his friends as they waited for the rest of the Fenton family so they could head to the big event.
Danny was not looking forward to attending it in the slightest…
"Why is it that every time I get an actual break from school something has to happen to ruin it?" Danny muttered irritably to his friends.
"Uh… because you're Danny Phantom and the ghosts get a kick out of making you miserable, especially your arch-enemy?" Tucker offered, ignoring the fact that his friend's question had been rhetorical.
"Not helping, Tucker," Danny replied dryly.
"And you realize Danny's parents are right next door in the kitchen, right?" Sam asked condescendingly at her techno-loving friend.
"Oh, right. Sorry," Tucker answered sheepishly.
But while Tucker grinned awkwardly at her, the goth girl turned her attention to her half-ghost friend. "Come on, Danny. I'm sure it won't be as bad as you think. I mean, come on, it's Thanksgiving! What's Vlad going to do, huh? This is the one time of the year where he can make everyone believe that he actually has a heart! He's gonna be too busy kissing babies and giving out cash to try anything bad!"
"Vlad doesn't pull off these big events without an ulterior motive, Sam!" Danny grumbled, looking more miserable by the second. "I know him. He's got something up his sleeve…"
"Look, man, it's gonna be fine," Tucker spoke up. "You know we got your back if something does go down. We've beat him before and we can do it again."
Danny smiled a little at that.
"Tucker's right, Danny," Sam continued with an encouraging smile. "We can handle Vlad. So, come on, don't let him ruin this holiday for you. You always said you liked this one more than any other, remember?"
Danny nodded. Thanksgiving was indeed his favorite holiday. It was just so perfect. The weather was just right. There was no school for a week. Everyone in general was much nicer and more courteous. His parents didn't argue about this holiday. There was all that great food. And best of all, he got to spend the entire day with his loved ones, simply enjoying their company…. What was there not to like about Thanksgiving?
Well, until now that is. With Vlad's becoming mayor of Amity Park a few months ago, it had now added a whole new level of stress for the teen. It was one thing to see his arch-enemy every once in a while when the man got in the mood to leave his secluded castle in Wisconsin and come to his hometown to cause trouble. But it was now a whole other thing when Vlad actually was living twenty minutes from his actual home! Now, if he did not see the man at least once a day it was rare!
But his friends were right. He—they—could deal with Vlad. He couldn't let the guy ruin such a good day for him!
"Thanks, guys," Danny said, feeling a lot better. "You two really are great friends."
Sam and Tucker smiled back, happy to see their friend in better spirits.
"Danny!" Jazz's quiet, but urgent voice suddenly interrupted them as she rushed to her little brother's side. "Okay, I need a big favor! If my parents ask for me, tell them you haven't seen me, okay?"
Her brother looked at her in confusion. "You're not going to the Thanksgiving festival?"
"Yes, but I'm going alone so I can stay as far away from our parents as possible!" she told him seriously.
Danny frowned. "Jazz," he began in a reprimanding voice.
But his sister interrupted him, "I know what you're going to say, Danny. But, really, I cannot let anyone see me with them! I'll die of embarrassment!"
Danny was still not convinced. "Come on, Jazz, you make it sound like our parents dressed up as turkeys and are going to be walking around…Wait," he suddenly said, his eyes widening a bit at the look on his sister's face. "Oh, man. They're dressed up as turkeys, aren't they?"
Before Jazz could reply, Jack and Maddie came out of the kitchen. And they were indeed dressed up. But while Jack was in fact a big turkey, Maddie was dressed up as an Indian.
"Hello, kids!" Maddie beamed.
Jazz and Danny cringed, but the girl quickly took a few steps in the direction of the door and said nervously and quickly, "Hey, Mom. Dad… Uh, I told my friends I'd meet up with them earlier at the festival and well, yeah, I don't want to hurry you along, so I'll just take my car. That's okay, right? Okay! Thanks! See ya at festival!"
She didn't even wait for her parents' response and quickly headed for the door.
"Jazz, wait!" Danny called after her, wanting her to take him with her.
But clearly Jazz was in an 'every-sister-for-herself' mode and she was gone before anyone could stop her.
Maddie and Jack blinked after their daughter before Maddie said, "Well, she was certainly in a big hurry. She didn't even give me the chance to tell her we were also leaving now."
"It's alright, Mads!" Jack answered. "We'll see her over there! We'll be sure to make a shout-out for her when we're on stage."
Danny had been scowling at the fact that his sister had just left him to fend for himself, but when he heard what his father said, his head snapped in their direction again and he blurted out, "Wait. What stage? What are you guys talking about and why are you dressed like that?"
"For the talent show, dude! It's all over the local internet blogs!" Tucker abruptly replied, surprising Sam and Danny.
"Talent show…?" Sam repeated slowly with a frown.
"Your techo-loving friend is right, Danny-boy!" Jack exclaimed. "There's gonna be a talent show at the festival and first-place winner gets ten-thousand big ones!"
"Isn't that awesome?" Tucker added excitedly. "I mean, for that amount of money, heck, even I'm entering that contest!"
"I'm surprised you didn't hear about it, Danny," Maddie said curiously. "Vlad has been announcing it for a week now…"
"As if I want to listen to anything that fruit-loop says," Danny whispered angrily under his breath as he slouched further into his seat.
"I must have missed our mayor's announcements in between all the gloating and narcissism," Sam added dryly.
"Well, if you kids want to participate, you just gotta sign-up at the festival!" Jack replied, missing his son and the goth girl's less-than-happy response. "But just so you know, you'll have some major competition your way… Isn't that right, my super-hot, little Indian wife?"
"Oh, Jack!" Maddie giggled when her husband wrapped his arm around her waist, pulled her closer, and gave her a smooch on her cheek.
"Yeah, okay!" Danny quickly said, jumping to his feet. "Now that I'm mortified in more ways than one, can we get going?" He added in thought, "I have a bone to pick with a certain evil billionaire…"
"Oh! You're right, son! Be better get going!" Jack said, pulling away from his wife and racing for the door.
But when Jack opened the door and tried to walk out, he… got stuck in the doorframe thanks to his turkey suit.
"Uh… heh. Maddie? I need a little help here…," Jack said meekly.
Danny smacked a hand to his face in utter embarrassment, while Sam and Tucker stared at him in a mixture of sympathy and amusement.
With a tip of his black hat, Vlad politely excused himself from the men with whom he had been talking. Interestingly, the older hybrid was dressed up himself to match the festivities. His outfit was very similar to the one he had acquired during his brief time travel to Salem, Massachusetts in the sixteen-hundreds when he had been after Daniel and the Infi-Map…
As the man made his way through the crowd, he politely nodded and briefly responded at the various forms of greetings and shouts of 'Happy Thanksgiving' that met him, though he kept his real thoughts to himself. It was only when he finally reached his intended location did he pause again, and smirked at the sight of the large center stage in front of him.
There was enough room under the stage to allow the sort of set-up usually reserved for the music technicians to work on the microphone and speaker and other technicalities with less hassle. And there was even a door available behind the stage to make this area even more accessible. But on this occasion, Vlad intended it for something else. So, he had made sure no one but whom he wanted could access it…
A wire-framed canopy was above the stage and several lights were nestled within it, as if it was being prepared for a rock concert—which, of course, it wasn't. There was a single catwalk above where those in charge of setting up the lights and sound were already moving about it. However, from the way the catwalk was made and how the Thanksgiving decoration and big festive curtains were framing the stage, the people up there could not be seen. In fact, the only thing giving away their presence was really the sound of their footsteps…
The hybrid continued to smirk secretly to himself as he gazed beyond the stage and at the fencing keeping any civilians away from the backside of the stage. He supposed that he was overdoing it a little; but he wanted to make sure everything went according to plan. And if it did, this would definitely prove to be one of his more… amusing Thanksgivings...
"Contemplating your latest scheme, Plasmius?" a very well known voice suddenly asked him.
The billionaire turned towards Danny, who had his arms crossed and staring at him with a suspicious frown. But the man returned his gesture with a smug grin as he answered, "Ah, Daniel. Here at last, eh? I was sure your father would have announced his and your family's entrance by causing some sort of disaster upon his entry—being the bubbling idiot that he is…"
"Don't change the subject, Vlad. And don't insult my father," Danny replied angrily, briefly frowning oddly at the man's attire, before glaring at him again.
"Hmm?" Vlad answered, feigning ignorance. "I was not aware we were on any 'subject', my boy."
"Look, I'm not an idiot, alright?" Danny replied, uncrossing his arms and pinning the man with a serious look. "I know you're up to something. And I'm gonna tell you right now that I'm not going to let you get away with it."
Vlad chuckled. "Honestly, Daniel. I am just standing here doing nothing and you are already on my back? Tsk. I simply want to enjoy the festivities as does everyone else. It really cannot be that hard to believe…"
"As hard to believe as you ever not being a fruit-loop," Danny retorted sarcastically; but he quickly narrowed his eyes once more as he added, "I'm not gonna let you ruin this day for me or anyone else!"
Vlad grinned. "Ah, so you like Thanksgiving, do you, little badger? Hmm. Well, that almost makes me reconsider my plans…"
The boy's eyes widened slightly, now even surer his arch-enemy was up to something. But pushing past his initial reaction, his eyes flashed green with anger. However, before he could say anything, a loud crash sounded from some distance away, and Danny and Vlad turned in the direction.
"And there's your father," the billionaire muttered dryly, though he really could not see his 'friend' through the crowd.
Danny just cringed when the crowd parted and he finally saw his father backing away from a destroyed fudge stand.
"Opps! Sorry about that!" Jack apologized sheepishly.
But when Vlad suddenly burst into loud laughter, Danny turned his eyes to him.
"Daniel, you are absolutely right!" the man exclaimed, holding his burning side. "I need to stop making fun of your father….He already plays the part of the town fool quite well without my intervention!"
The teen scowled, realizing the man was laughing at the turkey outfit his dad had on. And knowing he needed to leave before he punched the guy in the face in front of everyone, Danny quickly snapped, "I'm gonna be keeping my eye on you. So, I suggest that if you don't want me on your back, then you better stay off of mine!"
Danny did not give the man time to answer and just stalked off.
Vlad looked after the boy in amusement. "Tsk. Such a feisty little badger. Very well, then, I'll let you have a go," the older hybrid said to himself, grinning from ear to ear.
The billionaire instantly cringed at the booming voice behind him; and before he could react, a large arm wrapped around his shoulders and all but slammed him against the big body it belonged to.
"Happy Turkey day, Vladdie!" Jack exclaimed merrily, holding his friend even tighter.
"Jack!" Vlad wheezed as he tried to get the other man to let go before he suffocated him.
"Aw, shucks, Vladdie! Don't get so emotional!" Jack replied, before letting him go. "I know we haven't seen each other for a few days, but we're finally together again; so it's alright!"
The older hybrid had to keep down a growl and restrain his anger so that it wouldn't show in his eyes. "You know, Jack," Vlad began with a deep frown; but whatever he was about to say was forgotten when Maddie finally walked up to both of them.
"Maddie!" Vlad beamed, quickly straightening his ruffled black coat and giving her his most handsome smile. "Happy Thanksgiving, my dear. And I must say… you pull off that custom quite well…"
The woman blushed a bit before she coughed and said, "Oh, well, thank you, Vlad. You…dressed up, too, I see… I'm surprised."
The billionaire's grin widened. "You like it? I found it quite fitting for the occasion. At least the photographers think so…"
"Of course," Maddie thought dryly, having figured the man was just putting on a show for the town and press. But, instead, she just smiled politely and nodded.
"Hey, V-man! You should join us with our number! You can be the pilgrim who carries the gun and hunts down the turkey—me!"
Vlad smirked at the irony of the other man's words. "I'm sure I would enjoy that, Jack. And I would not hesitate to take you up on your offer at any other time, but you see, I'm one of the judges for the talent show. So, I cannot exactly participate."
"Aww," Jack replied, while Maddie just rolled her eyes. But the large man suddenly brightened as he added, "Hey! Since you're the judge, do you think…?" He trailed off but winked mischievously at his friend.
Vlad sighed in fake regret. "Sorry, Jack. But we must be fair, hmm? Besides, I said I was one of the judges. So, you will have to impress the others as well. I'm sure you will not require any boost from me, though. I have every faith that you will win…"
Jack grinned at the compliment. But Maddie frowned and finally spoke up again. "So, the prize for first place really is ten thousand dollars? And you wouldn't happen to be the contributor of that, would you?"
Vlad chuckled. "You know me too well, Maddie. But you know it's hardly a dip in my pocket. I am more than happy to contribute to my town in any way that I can."
But the woman didn't really look happy about her suspicions being confirmed. She really did not want anything from the billionaire. But… he did say there would be other judges. So, there was no way her college 'friend' could tilt the votes in their favor just to get on her good side, right?
'Well…," she said with a small sigh as she looked around the place. "I suppose this was a good idea. Everyone is here and it looks like they're all having a good time…"
"Indeed," Vlad replied with a nod. "And we have yet to get to the main attraction."
Jack grinned in anticipation, while Maddie just smiled weakly, knowing he referred to the talent show—or so she thought.
"Excuse me, Mr. Masters?" a large green-eyed man suddenly interrupted them.
Vlad turned to the man and smiled calmly. "Ah, are we ready?"
"Just about," the man replied, glancing briefly at the Fentons. "But there is something I want to show you…"
Vlad nodded calmly. "Very well. Jack. Maddie. I will see you both in an hour, hmm? Best of luck to you both."
Maddie raised an eyebrow when the billionaire walked off with the other man without another word. She had agreed to do the talent show with Jack because he really wanted to. And with the prize they were giving out, she figured it was worth a try. But now she wasn't so sure she wanted to do it anymore. Not when the money was coming from Vlad Masters.
"Jack, do you really want to do this? Maybe we can just watch instead?" she asked with a smile, though she knew it was in vain.
"No way, Mads!" Jack quickly replied. "This is gonna be great! Not only are we gonna impress everyone, but we're gonna win all that dough!"
Maddie just sighed in defeat and replied, "Alright, Jack…"
An hour later, everyone was gathered around the stage for the main-event. The food and the games were all great, but everyone was more excited at the prospect of seeing who would win the ten-grand at this talent show—and also of getting a few laughs in from some of the amusing numbers that they were sure had been planned throughout.
For the next hour or so, everything was running smoothly. Vlad and the other judges were all sitting at a long table stationed right in front of the stage. A monitor for all the judges to see displayed the person's name on stage and what he/she were going to do for their act.
Tucker had been one of the first to go on. He had been able to program his PDA to project a holographic image of a hot dancing girl. Together, the techno-geek and his PDA-generated dance partner tried to salsa their way into getting the judges' votes.
Danny was trying his best not to laugh, while Sam looked mortified by their friend's scene.
After Tucker's number, the trio continued to watch the rest of the talent show for another good hour.
Danny, who had been tense since he had gotten to the festival, began to relax and even enjoy himself a bit. Perhaps… his arch-enemy, for once, really wasn't plotting anything.
He soon found out he had 'spoken too soon'.
Danny gasped as his ghost sense suddenly went off. And his eyes quickly darted in all directions before they shot back towards the stage, just in time to see that his father was walking on stage since he was next in the talent show. The teen noticed with growing worry how his mother did not walk up on stage with his father and instead waited close by. Danny suspected that whatever his parents were doing for this talent show, his mom's part in it must have been later or something. In any case, this was bad. He knew Vlad wouldn't try anything against his father if his mother was next to him, since the evil man would not risk her being hurt.
But if his dad was up on that stage alone…
Now paranoid, Danny moved closer to the front and began to inspect the stage with a critical eye. It wasn't long before he spotted something that confirmed his worst fear…
At first glance it had looked like just a black spotlight hanging from the front of the catwalk, especially when the curtain framing the stage kept most of the 'spotlight' hidden; but with a closer look, it was clearly something else by the way the black, metal cylindrical exterior was glowing with a ghostly green aura.
"Danny?" Sam asked as she and Tucker came up beside their friend.
"Guys, I think Vlad's after my dad," he said, fear lacing his voice. It was strange. The man had not plotted against his father for a long time now. In fact, ever since he had moved to Amity Park, his arch-enemy had not tried to do anything to his dad. So, it was both disconcerting and worrisome that everything now seemed to point precisely at a sudden new scheme against his dad!
"I think you might be right. Look!" Tucker said, pointing at the green-eyed man that had been speaking with Vlad earlier. In fact, the kids had seen this guy around the stage for a while now, but the teens had thought nothing of it since he clearly was in charge of setting up all the tech stuff for the show. But now they knew something was up with this 'man' as he stood half-hidden behind the stage. Everyone was too focused on the talent show to see what Danny and his friends saw…
In that moment, the supposed tech guy suddenly began to glow before the form of Skulker came out of him and the man slumped on the ground unconscious.
"Oh, no," Danny mumbled as his ghost sense went off again.
And seeing Skulker disappear completely behind the stage, the young hybrid quickly looked at his friends with anxious eyes. "We have to stop them. Sam, Tucker, take care of Skulker."
"Wait, Danny! Where are you going?" Sam called out when her friend suddenly ran away from them.
"I have to get my dad off that stage!" Danny called back before he disappeared through the crowd.
The young hybrid wanted to smack himself for even daring to slightly lower his guard. Now, it all made sense! Vlad had been spending a lot of time near the stage even before the talent show had started. And that's why the fence was around the back of the stage! Vlad had not wanted anyone being about to go back there and spot what Skulker was doing!
Danny chided himself again, but kept moving, knowing he needed to get to his father now!
And being that everyone was currently focused on Jack, looking either amused or mortified as the man did a 'turkey' version of the Chicken Dance, no one noticed when the young hybrid used a bit of intangibility here-and-there to get to the stage faster.
But when the teen saw a strange white smoke begin to rise up from under the stage, slowly coiling around his father's legs, Danny sprinted into a run, not caring that he shoved some people out of the way or how he passed straight past his alarmed mother.
"Dad!" the teen shouted as he finally reached the stage.
Everyone gasped as Danny all but jumped on stage and shoved his father away from the smoke. But the teen had not measured his strength, and he accidently ended up knocking his father off his feet.
In an instant, the music halted and everyone stared at the boy in both shock and disbelief.
Vlad growled in his throat as he stood up from his seat at the judging table. But quickly grabbing the microphone in front of him, the man asked the teen, "May I ask what you think you are doing, Daniel?"
Danny narrowed his eyes at his enemy.
But before he could say anything, his dad finally got up, mumbling, "Wow, Danny. You're pretty strong, kiddo." Then, remembering he had just been interrupted, Jack frowned and protested, "Hey! I was about to do my big spin where Maddie was going to then join me in the final part of my number!"
Danny cringed. "Sorry, Dad… I, uh… saw the smoke and…"
"Oh! You like it? I asked for it specifically!" Jack beamed, and leaning down a bit to his son, he added in a whisper. "With it and your mother joining me in my final move, it's gonna leave the judges with no doubt who their winner is!"
"As important as it is to quell your son's overly active imagination, Jack," Vlad interrupted them, "We were in the middle of something… So, if you would ask Daniel to step off the stage so this can continue…"
"Sweetie," Maddie added with a small smile. "Vlad is right. There's nothing to worry about. Now, come down and stand beside me, so I can help your father finish."
"Listen to your mother, little badger," Vlad taunted.
Danny's hands fisted at his sides, especially when he heard some his classmates laugh at the mayor's 'pet-name' for him. But before he could say anything, he was once again interrupted.
"Get off the stage, Fentoad!" Dash suddenly shouted from somewhere.
"Yeah!" Paulina added, "We want to have our turn, too, you know!"
Suddenly, everyone was protesting for the show to go on.
Vlad smirked smugly at his young fuming adversary. But instead of saying anything to the boy, he addressed the crowd, "Now, Now, everyone. It's Thanksgiving, remember? I'm sure young Daniel did not mean to interrupt. And I am even more certain that he is now going to get off the stage so that his father can finish his part, and we can move on…. Jack…, I suppose we could let you start over if you'd like…"
The judges nodded in agreement, a few trying not to cringe at the prospect. But also there were a few groans from the crowd, but, otherwise, everyone just stayed silent.
"Really? Yeah!" Jack said excitedly.
"No!" Danny quickly shouted back, knowing he could not let his dad stay on stage any longer. Maybe the smoke had just been a prop, but that glowing thing right above them was something!
However, when he saw everyone was now frowning at him in annoyance again, the teen quickly blushed and stuttered out, "I mean….I-I want to do a number!" he abruptly exclaimed, blushing even more.
Jack looked ecstatic with his son's sudden interest in participating. It was nice to see Danny losing his shyness for once!
But Vlad quickly intervened. "Sorry, dear boy. But you are not signed up. If you wanted to participate, you should have said so sooner when the sign-ups were going on."
Jack frowned at his troubled son; but getting an idea, he glanced at his wife, who seemed to know what he was thinking. And seeing her nod her approval, Jack turned his eyes on Vlad; and with a smile, he shrugged and said, "Well, then, Danny can take my place in the talent show. What's one Fenton for another, eh?"
The teen did a double take. "Really?" he asked his dad in disbelief. He didn't think his father would give up his stage time for him.
"He has a point, Mayor Masters," one of the other judges intervened.
And then the others nodded their agreement.
Vlad stared over at Daniel who was the only one who could see the man mentally fuming. But with all the external calmness in the world, the billionaire nodded, and said, "Very well. Proceed, then…Daniel."
Danny felt immense relief that he had managed to get his father off the stage. But his relief suddenly became horror when his father patted him on the head, and whispered, "Good luck, Son. I know you'll knock their socks off!"
Danny visibly paled as he watched his father walk off the stage to stand beside his mother—leaving him there by himself, with all of Amity Park impatiently waiting for him to start. What the heck had he just gotten himself into? He couldn't even think of anything to do for this stupid talent show; and he was already on stage.
Vlad smirked evilly, realizing the teen had not thought ahead. How typical.
And how perfectly useable.
"Well, dear boy. Please, we all anxiously await to see what talent you possess. You wanted to have a go, yes? Here's your chance."
"Uh…," Danny replied, his eyes darting left and right. And when he caught sight of a microphone at the far right, he slowly walked over to it and tentatively grabbed it, all the while screaming in panic in his head. He knew he was not about to dance, like Tucker... Wait. Where were Sam and Tucker?
"Um, Excuse me. Gotta talk to the tech guy," Danny said with a nervous grin, before he darted over to the back of the stage to where his friends were supposed to be. And being that the stage was a good five feet high, the young hybrid had to move to the edge of the stage and lean forward to look below…
People sighed in annoyance; and while some waited, others began to disperse to find something else to do, obviously beginning to lose interest with the whole thing.
Meanwhile, Vlad was frowning at the fact that the boy, although still on the stage, had moved to the back of it… where Skulker was supposed to be. The man glanced briefly up at the metal cylinder above the stage before looking back at in the boy's direction…
He could only hope Skulker was still overshadowing the stage-manager back there and would not be spotted by his young rival…
But what Vlad did not know was the Sam and Tucker had already found a way to get past the fence and sneak around to the back of the stage. They had, of course, ran into Skulker; but thanks to Tucker, they had dealt with him pretty quickly…
"Guys!" Danny whispered as he stared down and looked for any signs of his friends. But he instantly gasped when he spotted them next to the music consol with an immobilized Skulker and the unconscious tech guy.
"Heh. I love my PDA!" Tucker said with a smirk, while the Hunter Ghost cursed at having his suit's controls once again overwritten by the boy's PDA.
"Danny!" Sam whispered urgently. "That thing up there is some kind of bomb! We can't find the detonator; so Vlad probably has it! You need to get off the stage before—!"
"What's taking so long?" The kids suddenly heard someone in the crowd exclaim.
Danny glanced back towards Vlad and the audience; and seeing his arch-enemy stand from his seat, clearly wanting to see what the teen was up to, Danny cringed in dread. But he then turned back to his friends and quickly said, "I can't get off! I can't risk someone else getting up here and getting hurt. I'll try to find and get the detonator from Plasmius. But I need you guys to find a way to get that bomb down and deactivate it!"
"Uh, I probably can deactivate it… but I'm gonna need a couple of minutes, dude," Tucker replied.
"And I'll find a way up there and bring it down," Sam said; but with a worried frown, she asked, "But what are you going to do, Danny? Everyone is waiting for you to do something!"
Danny looked down at the microphone in his hand and gulped. "I-I… Uh…"
But the boy never finished. His eyes darted towards the stage's stairs when he heard at that moment the sound of footsteps climbing up.
Danny jolted, knowing that if Vlad saw his friends back there and Skulker subdued, the man was going to do something; and with the elder half-ghost easily being able to make and control duplicates while remaining human, Danny knew it would be over in an instant, with Vlad getting away with his evil plans.
Danny could not have that.
In an instant, the teen moved over to the stairs and stood in front of them to keep Vlad from coming up on stage and seeing his friends in the back.
"Daniel, everyone is waiting," Vlad said calmly, though he narrowed his eyes just slightly.
"I told you not to start something, Plasmius," Danny whispered heatedly at him, knowing his parents were only a yard away. "Now, you got me on your back and I'm not getting off until you stop whatever you're doing!"
Vlad chuckled lightly. "You forget it is you who is on a stage in front of everyone and about to make a fool of yourself. Perhaps it is you who should stop whatever it is you are 'trying' to do. Just say you changed your mind and give your father back his spot in this show, hmm?"
"Forget it, pal! I'm not getting off this stage!" Danny snapped back; but made a conscious effort to keep the glare off his face when he knew everyone was watching, including his parents.
And speaking of them, they were now looking worried and confused, clearly unsure of what was going on with their son.
"Get off the stage, Daniel!" Vlad said through gritted teeth. "You have no talents; unless you count being an impulsive and short-sighted teenager as one."
"I-I have talents!" Danny protested, sounding defensive now, but his uncertainty killed the effect. Still, he didn't hesitate to add, "More than you, fruit loop!"
Vlad raised an eyebrow before he asked mockingly, "Oh, really? Do you have a lovely singing voice hidden somewhere behind all that mouth, boy?" he asked, pointing at the microphone in the teen's hand.
Danny looked down at it and blushed; but hearing his enemy chuckle, he quickly scowled and snapped, "Actually, yeah. I do." But thinking of something unexpectedly, he added more smugly, "In fact, I'm gonna dedicate it specifically to you, fruit-loop."
Vlad frowned and opened his mouth to say something, but Jack suddenly called to him, "Uh, Vladdie? Is everything okay? Everyone is getting impatient…"
Vlad only glanced at his 'college friend' before he looked back at Danny and scoffed. "Alright, Daniel. We'll do things your way…"
The billionaire walked back down the stairs and moved over to his seat again. However, at that moment, the man picked up the microphone at his table and spoke up, "I apologize for this unexpected delay. Danny Fenton will be singing for his number, which I am sure he has avidly prepared for…"
"Fentina is singing?" Dash exclaimed from somewhere before he and his friends began to laugh.
Danny cringed, especially when Vlad's announcement had gotten the rest of his classmates' attention and they were all staring at him either in disbelief or skepticism.
But with the announcement of the talent show continuing, everyone else who had gone off to do something else or get food, began to move back towards the stage.
"Well?" Vlad asked through the microphone. "You are ready, right, Daniel?"
Danny swallowed thickly; but his fear suddenly halted when he noticed something about Vlad's microphone…
Right below the power button was another button, which was blinking with a ghostly green light…
"It's the detonator! It has to be!" he thought in alarm.
But recalling everyone was looking at him and Vlad's question, he quickly answered, "Yeah, just let me tell the DJ my song…"
Danny walked once again to the back of the stage and just only seeing Tucker, he worriedly asked, "Where's Sam?"
"She's up on the catwalk, getting the bomb down. She told me to stay here and keep an eye on Skulker or in case you needed something," Tucker replied.
Danny nodded, but hastily informed his male friend, "I think I found the detonator, Tuck. I think it's Vlad's mic. I'm going to try to get it, but I need you to get on the web on your PDA and pull up a karaoke song for me."
"You're gonna sing?" Tucker asked, giving him a teasing look.
"Not now!" Danny snapped. "Do you remember that movie we watched about some horse and the Wild West? It was like a musical."
"Uh…" Tucker replied.
Danny sighed in exasperation. "The one Sam made us watch, like, three times as punishment after we lost at a basketball game to her after we teased her about her being too short to be good at it! Remember?"
"Oh, yeah! Ha!" Tucker replied, but then cringed. "Uh, really? Which song?"
But to Tucker's surprise, Danny smirked wickedly when he told him exactly what he wanted.
And not waiting for a response, Danny turned back around and moved to the center of the stage. And seeing everyone staring back at him, he suddenly felt sick with fear again.
He felt his stomach knot and his legs grow weak. But he forced himself to focus on his task again. With a deep sigh, the teen brought up the microphone to his mouth. He was about to say something through it, only to pause and pull it away again.
He needed to get that detonator.
"Uh…, mic isn't working," the boy said sheepishly, waving the microphone a bit.
"Impossible. They are all brand new and I had them tested," Vlad replied, annoyed, knowing the boy was stalling.
Danny quickly moved off the stage, and ignoring the groans that got from everyone, he walked over to where Vlad was and extended the microphone to him.
But just when the man grabbed it, Danny discreetly sent a charge of ecto-energy through the mic, frying it and… doing a little more...
Vlad jolted when the energy also burned him; but he only gritted his teeth and took the microphone, already knowing the teen had purposely messed it up. But why? To have an excuse to not sing? No, that couldn't be; there were plenty of spare microphones. Maybe stall for time? But with what purpose?
"I'm telling you. It's not working," Danny said with an innocent look.
Vlad, who was just going to hand the boy a spare microphone on the large judges' table, gagged a gasp when Danny unexpectedly grabbed his microphone before he could stop him.
"It's okay. I'll just use yours," Danny shrugged and quickly turned back around to head towards the stage.
"Wait!" Vlad blurted out, only to pause when he saw everyone look at him.
Danny paused, too, and looking back, raised a questioning eyebrow. "Is there a problem, Mr. Mayor?"
Vlad gritted his teeth again. Now, he knew what the teen was up to. Somehow, the boy had figured out his plans! But he forced himself to stay calm and reply, "No… Just do not touch any buttons. The microphone is already 'on'."
Danny smiled knowingly before he turned and headed back up the stairs and to the center of the stage. He glanced around at everyone before bringing the microphone to his mouth. "Um, hi, my name is Danny Fenton… And I guess I'm gonna try to sing…"
Hearing snickers and whispers from somewhere in the crowd, he swallowed hard and looked back at his arch-enemy.
Vlad had his eyes slightly narrowed on him, but otherwise, looked at him expectantly. The man seemed so confident that he was going to just make a fool of himself. But the teen could also tell the man was on edge, which only confirmed that Vlad really was up to something.
Danny resisted the urge to glare back; but thinking of what he was going to do, he swallowed down his fear and switched it for determination and wits. He was going to stop whatever Vlad was trying to do. And if this was the only way, then, he wasn't backing down.
"Before I start, I want to say this song is for a very special person in my life…," Danny said with a small smirk before he glanced back at Tucker and nodded.
Danny turned his attention forward again and quickly narrowed his eyes on Vlad. But the man could only raise an eyebrow in return as the music started up with a beat and the unmistakable sound of an electric guitar hammering out the notes.
Vlad quickly looked at the monitor in front of the judges' table, which showed the song's information. The man frowned at the boy's interesting choice of music. The song artist was from Vlad's time era, though; so it was odd that the boy would pick this kind of music to interpret.
But Vlad dismissed his thoughts and his attention went back to the boy when he finally began…
Danny gripped nervously hard against the microphone in his hand, unaware that as he did, a red light came 'on', on the strange black device above the stage. Instead, the teen did what he had to do…
And maybe he would also get some payback while he was at it…
"Well, you think that you can take me on? You must be crazy." Danny sang, his angry gaze still on his arch-enemy.
But the billionaire only blinked back, not sure if he was more stun by what the boy was saying or by the fact that the teen could actually sing! But his disbelief didn't last long when the boy continued, getting bolder and bolder with every passing second.
"There ain't a single thing you've done, that's gonna phase me," Danny continued with a smirk, liking the stunned look on his enemy's face.
The teen shrugged for effect as he voiced cockily, "Oh, but if you want to have a go….I just want to let you know…."
The boy didn't hesitate to sing out, meaning every word, "Yeah, get off of my back and into my game! Get outta my way and outta my brain! Get out of my face or give it your best shot! I think it's time you better face the fact … Get off of my back!"
Vlad frowned with displeasure, especially when everyone began to cheer the boy on. However, the man tensed again when he saw that Danny in his quickness to get back at him, had his hand over the buttons on the microphone and by the blinking red light he could see from the device hanging from the catwalk, it had been activated.
"I need to get that detonator away from him before he ruins everything!" Vlad thought angrily as he continued to listen to the boy repeat the chorus of the song for a second time.
The man glanced at the full lyrics of the song Danny was singing on the screen. He had heard the song before. In fact, more than once, since when he had Danielle, the girl had been particularly fond of a movie that used a version of this song in it.
"Fine, Daniel," he thought with a growing smirk on his face. "Two can play at this game… Or, should I say… my game…?"
Danny was actually quite surprise to hear people cheering him on. He knew his voice was alright. He never really liked to sing, but when he sang along at rock concerts, he could tell his voice wasn't horrible. But… everyone was really liking it!
"Maybe my ghost powers have helped me learn to sing, too, or something," Danny thought sarcastically. But hearing the short music interlude beginning to come to a close, marking the time for him to start the next stanza in the song, the boy turned his attention back to what he was doing.
However, when he looked at where his arch-enemy was supposed to be, he was shocked to see the man was gone from the judging table.
But it wasn't as alarming as when someone suddenly took the microphone right out of his hands.
Danny stared wide-eyed at Vlad when he saw the man now on stage with him, grinning at him with the microphone/detonator in hand.
And then he did the last thing the boy ever thought he would see his arch-enemy do.
"You know it's all just a game, that I'm playing…," Vlad sang, his grin still on his face and his eyes locked right on Danny as the man easily fell right into the next stanza. "Don't think that you can find a way in, that's what I'm saying…"
Danny's mouth was hanging wide open. Not only was he floored by the fact that the man had a decent voice himself, but by the fact that the man was taunting him right on stage, in front of everyone.
And to make that clear, Vlad moved past the boy and walked slowly across the stage, tipping his hat for effect, as he continued smugly, "Oh, but if you want to have a go… I just want to let you know…"
Vlad turned sharply towards Danny and narrowed his eyes as he sang, "Oh, get off my back and into my game. Get out of my way, so wild and untamed. Get out of my face or give it your best shot; I think it's time you better face the fact. Get off of my back!"
Danny quickly snapped out of his disbelief when he saw the man begin to put on a show as he repeated the chorus and everyone was cheering and hooting.
Narrowing his eyes, the teen quickly thought, "Oh, no you don't, you jerk!"
He was not about to let his arch-enemy get the upper hand in this!
Marching over to Vlad and knowing that everyone was now thinking they were putting on a show, Danny could get away with a lot more.
The teen quickly grabbed Vlad's jacket and yanked him towards him as he sneered in his face, "Back off, Vlad. I mean it!"
"Not on your life, boy!" Vlad answered back, lightly shoving the teen away and forcing him to let go of him.
But seeing Danny's eyes flash green and hearing the music go into its longest interlude of guitar and drums, the man chuckled and began to circle the teen in challenge to keep the effect of their 'little act', but taunted the boy, "What's wrong, Daniel? Am I upstaging you? Well, here's the solution:" Vlad stopped and got into the boy's face as he hissed, "You back off!"
However, at that instant, Vlad's sensitive hearing heard a commotion in the back of the stage and he quickly glanced towards that direction. And suddenly suspicious, the man pushed past Danny, though to keep up their act. He shot the teen a quick challenging glance and continued to walk off with a superior air in his step.
Meanwhile, Danny was unable to follow Vlad right away for fear of the audience's realizing that this was no 'show'; so he tensely stood at the center of the stage with coiled hands, looking like he was simply waiting for the man to make the next move.
Everyone was pretty much enjoying the upbeat interlude and waiting with baited breath to see what would happen next in this odd, yet interesting number!
By now, Vlad had gotten close enough to the back end of the stage, only to freeze when he saw Daniel's friends now had the device that had been up on the catwalk.
They had taken it down! And just as bad, Skulker was somehow out for the count!
But Skulker also saw his employer from where he lied paralyzed on the ground and quickly exclaimed, "Plasmius! It's the bespectacled whelp's PDA device! Get rid of it!"
Vlad's eyes flashed red in anger; and he quickly made an invisible clone, which materialized right in front of the human teens.
Danny instantly noticed when his enemy had tensed with anger and the boy was sure the man had discovered his friends!
Throwing caution to the wind, the teen took off in a sprint towards Vlad to stop whatever the evil man was about to do.
Sam and Tucker gasped when Plasmius' clone took aim at them with an ecto-blast.
But right then, Danny quickly tackled the real Vlad, sending them both down on the stage's floor.
There were various gasps and 'Ooos' from the audience still watching.
The suddenness was enough for Vlad to lose his concentration on his clone and it vanished; but not before it had fired the attack in its hand, which shot towards Sam and Tucker. And having nothing to protect herself, Sam squeezed her eyes close, waiting for the pain of the blast.
But Tucker thought fast and raised his PDA in front of them.
The dark-skinned teen cried out in pain and let go of his PDA when it sparked and crackled with the hit. And now fried, Tucker cringed and Sam gasped when Skulker twitched to life, free of Tucker's PDA's control.
Skulker rose to his height and raised a gun at the two teens, growling, "You human pups just made a huge mistake!"
Meanwhile, Danny was on top of Vlad on the stage, trying to wrench the microphone/detonator out of his hands.
Everyone watching them, though, thought it was the most amusing 'show' they had seen.
But the two both knew their ruse was about to be blown when they could hear the long musical interlude about to finally end. Still, neither hybrid would back down as they fought for possession of the detonator.
"Daniel!" Vlad snapped. "You have activated the bomb, you fool! If you do not stop this nonsense, your friends are going to suffer the consequences! Now, let go!"
"No! And that's all the more reason not to give you the microphone! I'm not letting you set off that bomb, you psycho!" Danny sneered back before he slammed his knee into the man's stomach with enough force to finally yank the mic free from his enemy's hands.
Just in time, too, because the next stanza in the music was now.
And knowing he had to give Tucker the time to disarm the bomb, but also keep up his charade with Vlad, Danny quickly jumped into the song as fast as he jumped to his feet. "Oh, but if you wanna have a go… I just wanna let you know…"
Vlad abruptly tackled Danny to the ground again, but the teen used the man's momentum to roll them, so he could pin his enemy down.
"Get off!" Vlad growled, rolling them himself; and pinning the teen under him with one of his knees, he then pried the mic from the boy's hands.
But Danny yelled louder, "Get off!"
And being that the microphone was so close to them, both of the half-ghosts' exclamations had been heard by the crowd. But it just seemed like part of the song, and people continued to cheer.
Meanwhile, Jack was mesmerized by the realism of his son's and best friend's acting abilities. He never knew they had so much talent! If he did not know better, he would be sure the two hated each other and were in a real fight! They were that good!
Indeed Jack felt like the luckiest and proudest father and friend in the world right now.
Maddie, on the other hand, looked highly troubled. She wasn't sure what to think of any of this or how to feel about this strange number her son and Vlad were doing; but she stayed put all the same.
Secretly using some ice-powers, Danny froze one of Vlad's arm sleeves to the stage, giving him enough of a chance to get the microphone back and jump to his feet.
"Hey, get off of my back and into my game… !" Danny sang, sounding slightly out of breath this time.
Vlad phased his hand out of the ice and he sat up as his eyes darted towards Danny, who was walking backwards away from him, trying to put distance between them.
But to the audience, it just seemed the boy was challenging the man to try something.
Vlad, who was closer to the back of the stage, quickly glanced in its direction and instantly saw that Skulker was back in the game. In fact, the hunter had trapped Danny's annoying friends in a net!
And by the lack of action from the boy, he clearly was not aware of it.
Vlad would make sure it stayed that way.
Thinking fast, the man got to his feet and grabbed the spare microphone on a microphone stand in the back; but also used this time to quickly order Skulker, "Skulker! Turn on the smokers and get that device back on the catwalk!"
Vlad then turned to Danny who was still singing, but staring at him intently from a safe distance. The teen wanted to get closer to the back to see where his friends were, but he knew it would mean getting closer to Vlad, too, and risking the man getting the detonator from him again.
So, Danny decided to do the next best thing.
He had to get Vlad to come to him and keep away from his friends.
Grinning cockily, Danny used two fingers to beckon his enemy towards him, saying in between another short musical interlude, "Come on, Mr. Mayor. Show us what ya got!"
The boy's confidence peaked when, at that same moment he noticed white smoke beginning to crawl up around him, moving towards the center of the stage. But thanks to that, the teen noticed something about the stage he had not before:
There was a trap door in the center of the stage! It was locked, of course, but… it was nothing a bit of intangibility could not fix; and with the smoke about to coat the entire stage, no one would see it!
Vlad's eyes were narrowed but he stayed put near the end of the stage, now also having a plan of his own on how to get rid of the teen, which was why he had asked Skulker to turn on the smoke effect on the stage. And with a smirk, he purposely began to sing over Danny with the spare mic, "Oh, but if you want to have a go…. I just want to let you know…"
Danny was furious at hearing Vlad dare to sing above him, but he was also upset the man had not taken his bait. It was time for drastic measures.
Marching over to his enemy, Danny got right in his face and sang loudly, "Get off of my back and into my game! Get out of my way and outta my brain!"
Vlad quickly made to grab the microphone/detonator from Danny, who reacted and pulled the device away from the man's reach. Still the billionaire didn't hesitate to half-sing and half-growl at the boy, "Get out of my face or give it your best shot!"
And Danny didn't hesitate to comply as he took a swing at the man's face, too angry to remember anyone or anything at this point.
But Vlad pulled back to avoid the boy's fist as the teen also growled, but sang, "You know this train is coming off this track! Get off of my back!"
Having enough, Vlad threw the spare mic somewhere on the stage and got into the teen's space. Suddenly, the man towered over his young rival and began to move quickly forward, forcing the teen to back away, less he stumble and fall on his butt.
But in spite of being forced to move back in quick steps, especially when Vlad further grabbed the detonator, crushing the teen's hand under his, Danny refused to give in and kept a firm grip of the microphone/detonator.
Eyes glaring darkly, Vlad continued to sing as they came to the final part of the song, "Get off! Get off! Get off! Get OFF!"
Although the man was trying to yank the mic from him, Danny used all his strength to fight back and keep it close to his own mouth as he echoed his enemy back, "Get off! Get off! Get off! Get OFF!"
The two suddenly halted in the middle of the stage, and began to fight over the microphone as they continued repeating the same phrase of the song, which grew to a climatic crescendo.
And just when it seemed the hybrids could not get any louder, they both yelled the final verse of the song, "Get off of my back!"
In a single instant, Danny attempted to use his foot to turn the trapdoor's lock next to them intangible, so that it would fall open and he could push his enemy inside; but being that Vlad had had the same idea, he also tried the same thing.
Instead, the two not only got the trapdoor to fall open, but they ended up making the entire floor under them intangible and both of them fell through the stage with screams of alarm.
The hybrids grunted as they dropped about five feet and ended up in the darkness of the storage space underneath the stage, save for the bit of light that came through from the open trapdoor above them.
Luckily, no one saw the 'intangibility trick' thanks to all the smoke; instead, it just seemed the two had made a grand exit….
But the two enemies ignored the thunderous applause they could hear from the audience outside.
The half-ghosts were currently too focused on being the first to find the microphone/detonator Danny had dropped with their fall.
"Where is it, you little rat?" Vlad hissed as he searched his dim surroundings before he gathered enough sense to use his ghost energy to light up the place for a better view.
But when they both spotted the mic at the same time, they lunged to grab it first, only to be shocked by it.
They yelped in pain, but Vlad's eyes widened when he realized the detonator had been damaged with the fall.
Danny smirked in triumph and said, "Well, that's that."
"No, you dolt!" Vlad hissed. "You already activated the bomb! I needed the detonator to deactivate it! Now, the bomb is going to go off, and I…" Vlad trailed off when he remembered he told Skulker to put the bomb back up on the cat walk.
Vlad looked up through the open trapdoor and saw the device indeed hanging right over them, just before there was a definite, 'beep-beep'.
"Oh, pumpkin seeds," Vlad grumbled, crossing his arms.
"What are you…?" Danny began to ask, only to be interrupted by a sudden, 'bam!'.
Danny gasped when the bomb went off, except that… it wasn't anything he expected.
The bomb, which just turned out to be compressed air, burst open a large white bag also on the catwalk—as it had been meant to do.
And out of the bag rained down pumpkin juice and pumpkin guts.
Danny gasped while Vlad just continued to pout as they were both drenched to the core in pumpkin juice and guts.
"VLAD!" Danny exclaimed as he sputtered out pumpkin seeds from his mouth. "What the heck? Is this what you…? I thought…"
"Oh, don't be absurd, Daniel," Vlad snapped, ignoring the juice running down his face. "What did you think I was going to do? Blow your father up in front of everyone on Thanksgiving? I'm not that morbid, boy!"
Danny just stared at the man for a long moment, before a smile broke across his face and then he burst into loud giggles. "Oh my gosh! I can't believe you! All this time, you…! And I was worried that…! You are such a crazed up fruit loop!"
"Oh, be quiet!" Vlad snapped, grabbing some pumpkin guts on the ground and throwing it in the boy's face.
Danny yelped and fell back, sputtering on pumpkin crud again. But then grinning, the teen grabbed some guts and threw it back in the man's face, startling him.
Danny laughed again; but not finding it funny at all, Vlad's eyes flashed red and he suddenly lunged at Danny, tackling him as he growled, "That's it! I'm going to strangle you! You always ruin everything, you little rat!"
"I'm sorry!" Danny said, not even taking the man seriously anymore as he continued to laugh. "You're right! I should have never foiled this clearly complicated and well-thought out plot to throw pumpkin juice on my dad! I mean, clearly that would have been worth getting up on stage, embarrassing yourself and having everyone see you make a scene with a teenager!"
Vlad, who had his hands around the teen's neck, froze, realizing Danny was right. Had he just gotten on stage, sang some childish song in front of the whole city, humiliated himself with some teenager, just to embarrass Jack? How did that even work when he had just made a fool of himself and ended up with pumpkin juice and guts all over him?
Blast! This was all Daniel's fault! The boy got so badly under his skin that the man easily forgot all reason!
But then… wasn't the effects both ways?
Vlad suddenly smirked and removed his hands from around the boy's neck. He then sat up and with narrowed eyes, he replied to his young rival, "Look who's talking. You just got up on stage and sang in front of everyone, made yourself look like a paranoid and raving lunatic, tackled the mayor, and ended up soaked in pumpkin guts, all because of your overactive imagination. I hope it was worth it, Daniel."
Danny's eyes widened at finally realizing what he had just done. His peers would be laughing at him all the way through high school!
But before he could say anything, there was loud banging coming from the back of the stage, where the door to the storage area was located.
"Danny? Are you okay? The door is locked!"
Danny stood but had to duck his head to walk across and get to the back door of the stage. "Sam? Tucker? Can you guys hear me?" he then asked. And hearing his friends confirm they could, the young hybrid added, "Yeah, I'm okay. Are you guys okay?"
"We're fine. We just can't open the door!" Sam replied from the other side.
Vlad, who had been forced to crawl towards the door since he couldn't even attempt to stand in the five-foot space, quickly snapped at the two teens outside, "Where is Skulker? Didn't he have you two tied up?"
"Yeah, until he saw what happened to you and got all nervous; and then he just flew off," Tucker replied with a small chuckle.
Vlad rolled his eyes; but then his eyes instantly widened when he remembered that the only ones who had the keys for the backdoor of the stage was he… and Skulker.
The man quickly looked up at the open trap door, only to see it do what it was constructed to do.
In an instant, the trapdoor, which was on an electronic spring, closed and locked back up.
Danny gasped when they lost their little bit of lighting and his eyes darted upwards.
Now in pitch darkness, the teen tentatively asked his enemy, "Uh, what just happened? Tell me were not locked in here!"
Vlad lit up one of his hands with energy and replied dryly, "Do you want the truth?"
Danny's eyes widened before he exclaimed, "What the heck is wrong with you, Plasmius? Why the heck would you make some trap underneath a stage?"
"Maybe because it was your father who was supposed to be in here—not us!" Vlad snapped back.
Danny scowled, but then said, "Well, you do have a key, right? Just phase it through the freakin' door and give it to my friends, so they can get us out!"
Vlad cleared his throat before admitting, "…I made the stage ghost proof—so you couldn't help your father escape!" he added, knowing the boy was going to ask him why.
"What's going on, Danny?" Sam asked.
"Plasmius decided to make a trap under the stage, which even he can't get out of!" Danny replied, glaring at his enemy.
"Well, if you wouldn't have interfered, then we wouldn't be in here, Daniel!" Vlad snapped back.
"Wait, so, let me get this straight," Tucker said from the other side. "Vlad's whole plan was to cover your father in pumpkin stuff and then trap him under the stage? How is that even considered an evil mastermind scheme?"
"Forgive me for wanting a good laugh or two at the expense of my most hated rival on Thanksgiving Day. Next time, I'll work harder to come up with something more 'evil'," Vlad replied sarcastically.
Danny just rolled his eyes and told his friends, "Could you guys go get my parents? I'm sure they'll have some way to get us out."
"Okay, Danny. Hang tight," Sam replied before she and Tucker ran off to get help.
"As if I have a choice," Danny muttered, annoyed.
He looked back at Vlad, only to find him smiling weirdly at him.
"What?" Danny asked with a nervous glare.
The billionaire smirked and pointed upwards as he answered, "Not bad up there, Daniel… Not bad at all. Who knew a short-sighted and annoying teenager like yourself had talent…"
Danny scoffed. "Whatever, Plasmius. And, no, I'm not about to compliment you back. You sucked."
But Vlad just laughed loudly.
Danny just scowled and said, 'fruit-loop' again before he moved back to the center of the stage and began to attempt to yank the trap door open. But there was nothing to grab onto. But then it hit him.
"Wait. How is it that we managed to turn the stage intangible when you just said you made it ghost proof?" Danny asked his enemy.
Vlad, who had made his way over to the center, too, smirked at the boy and replied, "The ghost shield was triggered to turn on at the same time as the trapdoor sealed shut."
"And you really thought you could just keep my father in here forever?" Danny asked dryly.
Vlad grinned. "No, but it would have been funny." And seeing the teen glare, the man suddenly pulled him towards him by wrapping an arm around the teen's shoulders, saying, "Oh, don't look so sour, little badger! It's Thanksgiving! Besides, after embarrassing your father, I can't think of something better to do today, then to spend some quality time with you!"
"Gah! Let go!" Danny exclaimed, pushing himself out of the man's hold. "Only you would think being trapped under a stage after getting drench in pumpkin crud is 'quality time'!"
"We must learn to make the most of any given situation, little badger," Vlad replied, still grinning.
Danny opened his mouth to retort when his mother's voice interrupted them.
"Danny? Sweetie? Are you two okay in there?"
"Yeah, mom. Can you get us out?" Danny quickly asked, hopeful.
"Well… we're trying. The lock on this door and the drop-door on the stage are really high-tech. But I'm sure we'll have you out in less than an hour," she replied a bit worried.
"An hour?" Danny gasped in horror, while Vlad smirked, enjoying how tortured the poor boy looked at the prospect of that.
"It's okay, kiddo!" Jack exclaimed. "You'll be out before they announce the winner of the talent show. And by the crowd's reaction to yours and Vladdie's number, everyone is sure you two will win! That is, if they can overlook the fact that Vlad was supposed to be one of the judges!"
"Hear that, Daniel?" Vlad said smugly. "Apparently, everyone thinks we make a good team… All the more reason for you to join me…"
"Darn it! Not now, Vlad!" Danny hissed.
"Don't worry, Danny. We'll get you out. Just stay put," Maddie added, and by the lack of voices, they clearly had left to probably get the things they needed to get them out.
Danny looked back at his arch-enemy, who had his arms crossed and a mischievous little smile on his face.
"I'm starting to get the feeling you did all this on purpose…," Danny muttered with a deep frown.
"You give me so much credit, Daniel," Vlad answered with a secretive smile.
Danny scowled, but then thinking of something, his annoyance melded into a cocky grin, "Well, at least I'm probably gonna get paid for all this crud you put me through today. You heard, right? We're probably going to win, which means, you'll have to fork over that ten-grand to me." The teen chuckled and crossed his arms as he added, "You know, I kinda like this. You cause me grief and then pay me for it. We should do this more often."
But instead of getting the reaction he had expected, Vlad smirked and replied, "If you do win, Daniel, I will happily give you the money… That is, when I come over to your house for Thanksgiving dinner this evening. Your father invited me…"
"Happy Thanksgiving, little badger!" Vlad said with a hearty laugh, only to gasp when Danny threw pumpkin guts on his face again.
"Yeah. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, cheese-head!" Danny answered with a large smug grin.
Hopefully not a total fail. The song is 'Get off my back' by Bryan Adams. He has really good songs and when I heard it in the movie 'Spirit' and then looked up the full version of the song, I couldn't get Vlad and Danny out of my mind when I would listen to this song! Lol. Anyways, it was just a weird idea, but I hope you liked it! Let me know! And go hear the song now. I bet you'll be cracking up with it after reading this! Ta for now! :D