Vlad looked up at the other Halfa as Danny turned back into his human form. He was effectively trapped by inordinately strong ecto-rings around his wrist and ankles, tying him to the metal table he'd landed on mid-fight. "What are you doing, Daniel?"

"I'm curious," The boy said distractedly. The seventeen year old walked up next to him and looked closely at Vlad's chest.

"You're going to take advantage of me in this state? Really, Daniel, I thought you weren't evil," Vlad teased.

"You could break them if you change back to Plasmius," Danny admonished. He continued to study the sternum, hand moving to hover above the clothed mid-section.

Vlad sighed and let his head fall back against the table. "I'm too exhausted to hold my head up, let alone turn into my ghost form, Daniel."

Danny looked up at him sharply. "Why are you so exhausted?" He had genuine concern in his tone that made Vlad bite back his typical sneer and snarky remark.

"I haven't been sleeping well, Little Badger. My ghost-core, that fiery element, has been flaring up, especially at night. I have never had trouble controlling it before, but now it seems to have a will of its own. It's not painful, precisely, but it's uncomfortable enough to keep me from sleeping. What are you curious about?" He was speaking in a tone that was heavily laden with the exhaustion he'd spoken of.

"My icy ghost-core has been doing the same thing for the last few days, and I can always feel heat coming off of you, so I was curious as to whether touching you might heat up my core. Tell me if this does anything…" He said, laying his hand on Vlad's admittedly super-heated chest.

Vlad sighed as his core cooled minimally. He needed more, now that he'd had a semblance of relief, he needed more. "It's not enough…"He whined. He was exhausted enough that he didn't care how he sounded. Danny considered this and began unbuttoning Vlad's suit coat and shirt with a deftness Vlad would not have associated with the 17 year old. He grunted and muttered "tickles" when Danny prodded his ribs to make him aware, then gasped loudly when there was a significant cooling to his core as Danny placed a cold hand on his bare, hairless chest, but the sharp drawing of breath ended in a whimper. "It's still not enough." He was almost in tears. He hadn't slept in four days, at all, and now he was so close to being comfortable he could practically taste it.

Danny banished the ecto-rope binding his nemesis. "Sit up and take your shirt and coat off. I wanna try something, because my first idea will be exceedingly uncomfortable. If what I'm hoping is right, I may have a solution to our problem that'll be comfortable enough for us both to get some much needed rest."

Vlad was too tired to argue, and the boy had removed his hand so he was doubly uncomfortable after the short reprieve. He immediately sat up and stripped off the clothes covering his torso. He chuckled as he worked the fabric off of his sore muscles. "I thought I was the scientist," He joked softly. He yelped when a cold hand touched his bare back directly above where his ghost core was. The same 'almost-there-feeling' of torturous comfort from moments before returned and Vlad moaned loudly in sheer need.

"Does that have the same effect as me touching your chest?" Danny asked, soothing his hand over the knotted and tense back before him.

Vlad nodded, not trusting his voice, and whimpered, just barely holding back his tears when he lost his small comfort from the touch yet again. He was convinced this was a new form of torture the boy had thought up, when his hand was grabbed and he was being coaxed off the table in his lab. He stood up, legs wobbling, and was more than grateful when the boy touched his chest again to catch him. His gratitude soared when the boy kept it there as he changed back into Danny Phantom. "How can you still have enough to strength to change?" He asked, leaning into the much cooler entity.

The boy chuckled, making him angry, but the boy soothed his chest to stop him from pulling away. "I haven't had any relief yet, but I can imagine the sense of loss that comes with taking your overheated core away from my cold touch, so don't move away like that. I wasn't laughing at you, just myself. I don't know how I have more strength than you, I haven't slept at all for like four…maybe five…days straight. I can only assume it has to do with being young and my body being able to adjust to lack of sleep better. I don't know what this'll do, but I'm not strong enough to carry you up to your room, so I'm gonna turn us intangible and float us up there." Vlad nodded numbly, he was trying to concentrate on anything besides the hands on his chest and back, but was failing miserably. They were moving in comforting circles over his core and it was soothing. He barely took notice of being turned intangible and flown up to his bedroom. The hand on his back was removed, but the hand on his chest remained to keep him steady. "Big spoon or little spoon?" The boy asked, smirking cheekily. It took Vlad a second to understand the question.

He stood up straight, but still managed to keep his chest against the soothing cold of the boy's hand. "Daniel, do you really think I could ever be anything but the big spoon?" He asked suavely, entirely serious. He, again, was too tired to care about how it sounded. The hand was gone, then, and he balked at the loss, but after watching the boy remove his own shirt, he was being pulled onto the bed, under the covers. Danny wrapped the older man's arms around his waist and slid back until the space between his shoulder blades was pressed against the center of the man's chest. At the sudden, perfect contact they both gasped and sighed, their body temperatures immediately evening out.

"'Night, Vlad," Danny sighed contentedly, his body relaxing against the older man's and his eyelids fluttering closed.

"Goodnight, Little Badger," Vlad murmured happily, pulling the boy closer. They both immediately slipped into the most peaceful sleep either had ever experienced.

When they awoke in the late morning they did so simultaneously and slowly. They both released contented sighs at finally having relief from their hectic ghost-cores, and snuggled into the comfort that was the body beside them. Vlad held the shoulders under his arm more tightly, as well as the hand on his pectoral, and Danny clung to the muscled torso he was currently using as a pillow. As they became aware of their surroundings, they remembered the night before. Vlad came to this realization with a groan and Danny with a blush, which deepened when Vlad's sternum rumbled beneath his cheek due to the groan the man had released. He lifted his head, not looking at the man. "Sorry. I thought we'd move apart at some point after our cores had regulated," He admitted. He looked at his watch and swore softly. "Shit," He breathed, pulling away. "We've been asleep for like 36 hours. My parents are gonna- AHHHH!" He cried out in sheer pain the second he'd lost all contact with the man below him. It felt as though his core were being ripped out, and from the sound of it, Vlad was experiencing the same. He immediately clasped back onto the hand he'd let go of, and the pain vanished as quickly as it had come. They looked at each other, something passing between them.

"Clockwork?"

"He's the only one I can think of who'd have answers, Daniel," Vlad said, a little confused as to their predicament. They both changed into their ghost forms and the two halfa's waved their joined hands at the air beside the bed, summoning a portal without thinking about it. They glanced at each other. Neither of them had even known that was possible, let alone that they could do it together. Plasmius suddenly realized something. "I missed your 18th birthday," He said pointedly.

Danny chuckled. "Yeah, it was like fi-oh, got it. Let's go see Clockwork. If he can't explain our combined increase in powers and sudden need for physical contact with each other, I don't know anyone who can," He said. He got up and climbed over Plasmius, who bit back a groan as the lithe body temporarily straddled his hips. He really needed to get laid, if this scrawny brat could turn him on. He ignored the voice in his head that reminded him the boy had been turning him on ever since he'd shown true power and physical prowess on his sixteenth birthday, when he'd come fully into his ghost powers. He stood up beside the boy and they walked into the portal, which closed behind them, into Clockwork's tower.

The constantly changing ghost floated up to them, his amusement visible. "Before you ask, just think about it. You're both halfa's and you each contain a core of ice and fire, respectively. What do you think is going on?" They both seemed to consider this, but he could tell they were coming up with nothing. "You are, quite literally, soul mates." He said simply. They both balked.

"But he's old and I hate him!"

"But he's young and I despise him!"

Clockwork smirked at the simultaneous response. "To souls, age is not a factor. As to your second argument, do you really?"

They both looked abashed and muttered a simultaneous "No." They looked at each other in shock for a second, then turned back to Clockwork.

"Other arguments?" The amused ghost asked calmly. The two didn't even think before shouting a new argument at the same time.

"He's in love with my mom!"

"He's in love with Samantha!"

Clockwork looked unaffected as they turned to each other to deny the others statement. "I haven't been since you turned sixteen, Daniel, when she got drunk and tried to come on to me. I found the idea of actually being with her revolting, for a reason I can't explain."

Danny swallowed. "I haven't been in love with Sam since my 16th birthday party, either. She did the whole fakeout-makeout thing like she did when we were 14, to keep my mom from wondering why I was hanging out by the ghost portal just before the party. It did nothing for me, and was really awkward. Her and Tucker are together now." They both turned back to Clockwork.

"Go on, get it all out," He told them, chuckling. This time they did think before shouting their accusations.

"He's evil!"

"He's a goody-two-shoes!"

This time Danny chuckled, turning to Vlad. "I attacked you for no reason the other night just because I had a small inkling of an idea that you could stop my pain. Devilish deeds have their place," He admitted.

Vlad smirked. "They do, yes, but they are no longer my whole life. Good deeds have a wicked enough twist when they're done anonymously."

"You should try the limelight, it's even more fun," Clockwork put in, leaning on his staff. They looked at him.

"Just because we don't hate each other and aren't in love, and have made some 'wicked' changes to our personalities, doesn't mean we're soul mates. Even if we are, it's…" Danny trailed off

"Not like we're in love or anything," Vlad finished.

Clockwork took in the insecurities written all over both halfa's faces before they both looked downcast and decided to take pity on them. He smirked knowingly. "Oh really?" He asked, making them look up at him in surprise. He gestured behind him at the time portal and they watched with great interest. "This is last night, the first time either of you stirred since you fell asleep in each other's arms the night before. You were both half-awake when you finally spoke, but I'll let you see the entire interaction." He explained as the image swirled and showed them spooning on Vlad's bed, lit up by the Wisconsin moon pouring in the large window of Vlad's bedroom in his castle.

The two halfa's watched as their past selves kicked the bed clothes off and past-Vlad pulled his arm from underneath past-Danny. Past-Vlad moved his other hand down past-Danny's stomach to softly grasp the crotch of past-Danny's tight jeans, an obvious bulge there. Past-Danny whimpered and jerked his hips against the hand, before grinding his ass back into the other man's pants clad pelvis, which in turn made past-Vlad jerk his hips forward against the taut ass. They continued like this for a few moments, but stopped suddenly, when past-Vlad threw himself on his back against the mattress, his elbow from the arm he'd moved from beneath past-Danny the only contact between them until past-Danny shivered and rolled over onto the elbow touching the back of his head. He kept rolling until his arms were wrapped around past-Vlad's torso, head resting on the man's pec, kissing the thin, muscled chest softly.

"Love you, Vlad," Past-Danny whispered, shivering until past-Vlad had wrapped his arm around his shoulders and pulled him closer.

"Love you, too, Daniel," Past-Vlad whispered, raising the hand on his stomach to his lips before holding it against his chest as though he'd never let go. Past-Danny gripped the hand in the same manner.

'Well, at this point, we couldn't if we wanted to,' The two present-halfa's thought together. Danny turned to Vlad.

"Why'd you roll away?" He asked, sincerely confused.

Vlad flushed, but felt an impulse he couldn't fight to tell the boy the truth. "I've trained my mind in the last two years to shut down my REM sleep when I start having an erotic dream about you. I was worried a dream of that sort might pop into my head whilst we were having a routine back-and-forth, and didn't want to let on how you have been effecting me since you fully came into your Ghost powers."

Danny blushed adorably. "Oh, sounds handy. Wish I had that kind of control," He said, before muttering under his breath as he looked away. "Might've made facing you easier."

Vlad heard him and knew that Clockwork was right. This boy was his soul mate. Suddenly, pain lanced through him, the same as had happened when they'd lost contact before, and he collapsed to his knees gripping the hand in his tighter. Danny panicked.

"What's happening?" He asked Clockwork frantically as he watched Vlad grit his teeth to keep from screaming.

"His fire core is more powerful than his ghost half can contain, he doesn't have as firm a control as you do on your core. You must mingle your core's, quickly." Danny only looked confused. "Kiss him, you fool!" Clockwork hissed.

Danny jumped at the command and hastily kneeled, pressing his lips to his soul mate's. As soon as their lips touched, a spark shot through both ghost bodies and their minds were filled with thoughts that weren't their own, memories that belonged to the other, and a flux in emotion, as though their souls had just clashed and merged. They broke apart when a sudden crash of knowledge assaulted their minds, grasping at their skulls as the wave of knowledge broke over their consciousness, forcing them both to leave it behind.

They came round two minutes later, hearing the other's thoughts of 'What just happened?' They looked at each other and instinctively closed off the connection between them when their shared shock threatened to send them back into unconsciousness. They looked up at Clockwork, who was laughing.

"Do you remember when I said that Dark Phantom was perhaps the most powerful being in all the planes?" He asked them. They both searched Danny's memories momentarily for the conversation, then nodded when they found it. "Congratulations, the two of you have just become the most powerful being in all the planes. You don't control time, so you aren't all powerful, but you can do nearly everything else that pops into your head, and in your minds is the knowledge for just about everything, except the future. Also, you are in each other's mind. As you've no doubt realized, you can block certain thoughts, or the strength of emotions, that you share with each other, but in essence you are officially one entity in two bodies. To keep the pain away you'll need to mingle you're halves of the one soul every once in a while, and it'll start with that mild discomfort you both began to experience when your bodies and minds could accept what your souls already had…your undeniable and unstoppable attraction. When you start to feel that, you're feeling the withdrawal of one half from the other and it will continue if you don't remedy it. You don't need to worry about the observers, they created you two especially for this purpose and you'll be needed to save the world some time far in the future. Oh, little tidbit," Clockwork said excitedly.

"We can't lie to each other," Danny and Vlad said together, rising to their feet using the air around them to pull their bodies up. Clockwork smiled ecstatically, and they both knew he was pleased that they could properly tap into every bit of knowledge in their minds. Danny's stomach gurgled and he flushed in embarrassment.

"Sorry, I haven't eaten in, like, three days," He muttered. Vlad pulled him close and kissed him soundly.

"You're adorable when you blush," He whispered against the younger ghosts lips. "Come on, we'll go into my kitchen and scrounge you up something to eat, then we have something to discuss with your parents." He waved his hand at the blank wall behind him and led Danny through the portal into his kitchen. He truly did love his soul mate, because he'd never told anyone, not even Maddie, that he could cook, and he was about to make a banquet for him and his true love. If Danny stopped distracting him. He moaned on his way to the fridge when arms wrapped around his mid-rift and there was a light nip to the skin beneath his ear.

"Food later, family and friends later. Right now we have two years of pent up sexual frustrations to make up for, and I plan to ravish you properly," The husky voice (that one would normally associate with Dark Phantom, but Vlad automatically labeled as Danny's bedroom voice) growled against his ear. He shivered. Daniel really was very sexy when he took on the dominant role. He turned to his younger half.

"You're absolutely right, Daniel," He murmured. He smirked as a wave of arousal flooded their connection when he said Daniel's proper name. He'd always hoped his use of the name provoked some sort of response. He flew them up into his bedroom to continue their activities.

A/N: The sequel to this will be up as soon as I can get around to it (soon-ish) and will involve the conversation with family and friends as well as an "epilogue" about their lives together. It (the sequel) will be a two-shot, and the second chapter/epilogue will be a tad smutty, but not terribly explicit. Requests will get me to it faster!