This was supposed to be posted on the 1st of April, but it took me longer than I thought to write this. Anyway I'M SURPRISED NO ONE HAD EVER THOUGHT OF THIS IDEA. It's so OBVIOUS. Vlad had it coming! ...at least I THINK no one's used this idea. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Now let's move onto the story, I've styed up all night to write this and I gotta get on my schoolbus right now. Onwards we go!
Title: Morning Edition: Shocking Discovery
Warnings: April Fools!
It had been a trying night so far, but still nothing that would qualify as out of the ordinary. He'd surprisingly come home before the ten o'clock curfew (a fact that had amazed both him and Jazz once he'd stumbled through the doorway in a state of mild shock), but had to leave before two o'clock in the morning even rolled around. He was just lucky their parents had left on a week-long ghost convention in some town which name he hadn't bothered to remember. The lack of stress over his parents discovering his absence during various times of the day was more than welcome to him.
Last night he'd had to fight off Skulker, the Box Ghost, Johnny 13, the Box Ghost, some octopuses, a group of ghost cats terrorizing the neighborhood with their loud meowing, and of course the Box Ghost. He'd returned to his room around four in the morning, only to collapse in his bed with his pajama shirt still over his head.
When his alarm clock went off that morning, it was unceremoniously blasted away with a flick of his wrist. It happened before Danny even realized it wasn't Klemper or some other ghost smothering him, but his pajama shirt that was still only halfway on.
He groaned as a crash resounded and then something hit the floor. This was the fifth time already, and he knew even his parents were having enough of his trigger-happy reflexes with the supposedly hidden ecto-gun he had in his room.
They'd subtract the damage from his pocket money, unless he made it look like someone else's doing… But first thing first. He reluctantly got up from the bed, not at all ready for the day at barely seven o'clock in the morning.
He made it to the bathroom with barely open eyes, jeans and his usual shirt dragging on the floor behind him. In ten minutes he had somehow managed to put his clothes on and brush his teeth with the right side of the toothbrush. Even after his morning routine he was still seeing everything in double vision, sleep beckoning him to return back to bed. He honestly didn't know how he managed most days.
Stumbling down the stairs, Danny called out to Jazz, sure she was already up and wide awake at this hour. "Jazz, can you take my alarm clock to that place Technus wrecked yesterday? I need him to take the blame for that thing again!"
A voice answered him, but it wasn't his sister's. "You mean you blasted it again? I'm not sure your parents will believe that excuse for the third time, Danny."
Once he ducked into the kitchen, Danny's eyes blearily focused on its only occupant. Sam Manson sat at the table eating a cereal and reading the morning edition of the newspaper. An empty cup of coffee sat at her side, telling him she'd been there for some time now. She briefly looked up at him in greeting, giving a small wince at his looks.
"Sheesh, you look like death warmed over. Your shirt's backwards on too."
Danny gave her a grunt of acknowledgement, arms going back inside his sleeve holes to turn the shirt the right way around. "Geez, thanks for the compliment. What're you doing here anyway? It's a bit too early to pick me up for school yet."
"I just felt like coming," she replied, going back to reading as he sat down in the seat opposite her.
Danny shrugged, grabbing a clean bowl she had mindfully left out for him. He poured some milk onto the cereal, noticing vaguely that they were almost out of it. He arched an eyebrow at the choice of food.
"Not up for Froot Loops today?" he asked.
It had become a private joke of theirs, to eat that particular brand of breakfast cereal whenever they met up at breakfast time. The first time Sam had brought out the food when they were visiting her place, and it had taken them a few confusing moments to figure out why she had so cheerfully suggested to eat them. Oh, but once they did… They had to be chased out of the house by Sam's parents, even though it had been a bit hard to do so with Tucker and him rolling on the ground in laughter. Since then it was practically tradition to eat that food at a group breakfast.
But somehow, today seemed to be an exception for Sam.
The Goth briefly detached her eyes from a newspaper page to peer up at him, but she went back to reading shortly after. "Nah, don't feel like it. I had them yesterday already."
Danny nodded, barely registering the answer. He started eating his breakfast automatically, his mind seeming to wander away in a half-asleep state again. For a few moments, nothing but the sound of munching and spoons clinking was heard. Both enjoyed the comfortable silence.
"Coffee's on the counter by the way, though it's gotten cold by now."
Oh, Sam. She always knew just the right thing to say or do to make his day feel better. He replied with a grunt that would make a lesser human frown at his lack of eloquence, but to Sam it was perfectly normal until he had his morning dose of caffeine.
It didn't really affect him as much as it would others, since substances like drugs, alcohol or caffeine flushed out of his system faster than in normal humans (unless they were meant for ghosts as well). It would barely even have time to start working, but just the smell of it, just the bitter taste was enough to make his eyes open a bit more and his back stand straighter than before. He heaved a great sigh, leaning against the counter to savor the feeling of wakefulness. At this rate, he'd last just enough till Lancer's homeroom before he fell asleep again.
A sigh from the table made him look at Sam, who had folded the paper up and set it down beside her bowl. She took her empty cup and went to refill it, strangely not meeting Danny's eyes as she resumed the conversation. "Danny, I'm going to stay a couple of days at your place, my folks are out of town till next Sunday." She glanced up at him. "Damn, you really look exhausted. How many did you fight last night?"
Danny blinked at her, eyes half-lidded. He tried to recall most of the night before. "Well, there were Skulker and Johnny, and some minor ghosts going on people's nerves… and of course the Box Ghost, but I can't remember how many times I had to face him before I finally got… him… Wait a minute…" He trailed off.
That was an evasion tactic he frequently employed on his parents to make some of his bad grades seem less important. Relay the important information first, then follow it up by some offhanded remark to distract them from registering what you were initially saying. His eyes narrowed at the girl who was currently walking back to the table as if nothing was wrong in the world.
"Why do you need to stay at my place? It's not like your parents haven't left you alone before for much longer than a week… and I doubt they'd allow you to stay here of all places, even if you said you'll be sleeping in Jazz's room." It was only then that he noticed his sister's absence. "Where is she anyway? Usually she's still at home at this hour."
"She went out to buy some milk since you were almost out of it…" she trailed off as she added the last of the milk to her coffee. "Well, you're out of it now."
Danny's face didn't lose the frown as he sat back down at the table. "Right. You still haven't told me why you're staying at my place."
"Oh, so you're okay with that? Great, because I brought my bags with me. They're in your living room."
She rolled her eyes at him, dismissing the edge his voice had acquired during the last statement. "It's nothing, alright? I just felt lonely in that big house, and this is the first time both of our parents have left for a few days, so we can actually pull it off without mine finding out about the sleepover. Now eat your cereal," she added as she took another bite of her cereal. "And read the newspaper."
Danny held his eyes trained on her for a bit longer. "You sure there isn't anything you want to tell me?"
She gave an exasperated sigh, leaning her head into one hand supported on the table top. She gave him a bored look. "Everything's peachy, Danny. Just get back to breakfast."
He frowned once more at her, but she held his gaze evenly. The boy grimaced, but broke the contact to start eating again. "Sorry," he supplied around a mouthful of cereal. "Guess I'm just overreacting like usual."
Sam hmm-ed and turned her attention to the kitchen window instead, taking small sips of coffee every now and then. Soon enough, a comfortable silence enveloped them again as Danny finished up his cereal. He pushed the bowl away, instead taking his cup in hand as he unfolded the paper.
Sam's eyes twitched in his direction. He cast a disinterested look over the front page, only half-registering what it was saying.
A strangled noise was her only warning before a spray of coffee exploded to her right, just barely missing her. "SAM!"
'Except there's that,' she thought.
The girl grimaced at the trail of coffee that now spanned over half the kitchen floor. "Now that is overreacting."
However, Danny didn't seem to hear her, his wide eyes still locked on the front page. "Sam… is that…" His voice was much quitter this time, half-strangled out and half-terrified for a million different reasons he couldn't even name yet.
"Yes?" she barely missed a beat at Danny's state of shock.
The boy finally detached his eyes from the page to look up at her with disbelief clear in his contracted pupils. "Sam..." His mouth moved, but no words came out.
It seemed he wasn't capable of uttering much more than her name at the moment. Sam let him stew in this state for a bit longer, but just as she was getting ready to take pity on him (she hadn't really expected that strong a reaction, she felt bad for him a bit), the front door shutting loudly interrupted her.
"Hey Danny, you still home, dude? I went by Sam's place, but she wasn't- oh, hey guys. What's up?" Tucker Foley arrived on the scene. He took in the situation with practiced ease, barely raising one eyebrow at Danny's frozen state. "What's up with him?"
Sam pulled her gaze away from Danny, opting to focus on Tucker instead. "I have no idea."
Tucker shrugged, going immediately for the coffee container he'd noticed on the counter. Without needing any guidance (this was basically a second home to him by now), he took out his cup from the shelf (yes, his) and filled it. Taking a sip, he grimaced.
"Got some milk?"
Sam shook the empty carton of milk. "Fresh out of it. Jazz will be back with a new one any minute now."
"Aww, man. I guess it doesn't matter," he took another sip. "I'll be finished with this before she gets back. What were you doing, anyway? Danny seems pretty out of it." Then he smirked. "Confessed your love to him, did you? Lovebirds."
That seemed to wake Danny out of his stupor, as they both shouted in unison. "We're not lovebirds!"
Tucker held up the hand that wasn't holding the cup in a placating gesture. "Sheesh, chill guys. Just kidding. What's up then?"
This time, Danny sent Sam a stare that was somewhere between anger and incredulity. "Sam." He simply stated.
Said girl rolled her eyes, crossing her arms over her chest for good measure.
"Sam? What did Sam do?" Tucker asked curiously.
Danny didn't elaborate, but he held out the paper for Tucker to read. He continued speaking in a surprisingly controlled voice, though it was clear he would much rather be talking at a higher volume. "I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I want to do the first one, but then I remember that you're going to be dead soon, so I'm not sure if that's appropriate. Seriously now, Sam. What. The. Heck."
"I don't get it," Tucker commented as he took a sip of coffee. "Why would Sam…"
The Goth wanted to roll her eyes again, but she'd done enough of that this morning. "It's not that big of a- uhh, Tucker maybe you should turn away-"
Too late was her advice given as another spray of coffee erupted in the Fenton's kitchen, this time from a different person's mouth. Danny's indignant "TUCKER!" fell on deaf ears as the Afro-American sputtered for breath. Only when he fell to the ground still silently shaking and with a smile on his face, did the other two realize he was actually laughing. They observed him quietly until he grabbed Danny's ankle in a desperate grip.
"…Can't breathe… Oh God, please…" he wheezed.
And really, it did look painful. It seemed like he was cramping up from lack of oxygen. This reaction seemed to have an odd effect on Danny. Instead of activating his 'hero saving thingy' like a life or death situation normally would, it made a faint snicker escape him. It must have been that strange case of contagious laughter, because soon another and another joined, until he was laughing along with Tucker, the hilarity of the situation finally hitting him full-force.
Sam grinned from where she sat at the table, having a perfect viewpoint of the comedy enfolding before her. It seemed like Danny had finally decided how to react to the news. However, once they calmed down she was sure they would start worrying about keeping her alive again, and she wasn't really looking forward to that at the moment.
"Umm, Sam… What's going on here? Why is there coffee all over the floor? And why are Danny and Tucker… laughing?"
'Laughing' would be a loose term to define the absolutely hysterical laughter the boys had descended into, but that was Jazz for you. Sam turned around in her seat to regard the redhead standing in the doorway, noticing she was carrying a carton of milk in her hand.
"J-Jazz…" Came a pitiful attempt at a reply from Danny. He was now on the floor, having slid from his chair to join Tucker in rolling around on the cold tiles. He gasped between bouts of uncontrollable laughter. "T-turn… alarm on… hah ha… Fruitloop- oh God… save Sam…" That was all he managed between desperate gulps for air.
"That's probably a good idea; I'll go turn it on." Sam said and stood up.
"Wait, what? Why do we need the alarm? Did Vlad do something?" Jazz asked, face scrunching up into a worried expression.
And she had a right to be, Sam realized belatedly. At the moment, two of the three things Vlad wanted were absent from the FentonWorks. Since he couldn't be coming to attack Jack or try to seduce Maddie, the only likely explanation would be that he was plotting something against Danny. And plans focused on just Danny were always worse than those taking his parents into account. It was no wonder Jazz was worried, though the spectacle in the kitchen should have majorly confused her.
Sam contemplated an answer. "He didn't do anything," she said at last. "But I'm pretty sure he will if we don't hurry. Here," she grabbed the slightly wet newspaper (it had been in Tucker's path when he had 'expressed his surprise') and handed it to her. "Read that. And don't drink any coffee until you do."
Jazz gave her one of those weird looks that meant she was 'psychoanalyzing' her, as Danny would say, but she didn't care. She headed towards the main control panel of the Fenton's defense systems, Jazz trailing behind her. The Goth could practically see her frown as she doubtfully unfolded the newspaper.
"I don't see how- Oh my…"
Jazz's hand flew to her mouth as she stared at the headline with wide eyes. She stayed silent while Sam activated the defense mechanisms. Overhead, a dull buzzing sound started as the ghost shield sputtered to life and covered the whole of FentonWorks. Sam went to pull the drapes on all the windows, looking out of each one and breathing in relief when she saw no angry vampire ghost about to go on a rampage.
"Guess we got lucky, he must be sleeping in today…"
"Sam," The curious voice of the redhead made her turn around. Jazz was holding the paper tightly, knuckles white and hands shaking. It seemed to be an unconscious reaction however, because the older girl was looking at her with nothing short of absolute amazement. It was like she was seeing her for the first time. "I just want to know… how in the world did you do this?"
"We'd like to know that too."
The Goth turned around to see that the boys had finally gotten over the laughing bout and, though very red in the face, were looking at her with awe and an uncharacteristic graveness. It was as if they were expecting her to disappear any moment, as if she might really die or be kidnapped at a moment's notice. That made Sam feel a bit guilty that she hadn't mentioned her plan to them, but she pushed it aside. What was done was done.
Instead, she took a deep breath to calm herself. Then she smiled. "It wasn't really that difficult."
The skepticism on the others' faces was hard to ignore.
"Sam, I don't know which world you're coming from," Tucker said slowly, making the Goth narrow her eyes at him. "But what you have done is considered impossible. Not even ol' Vladdie could do it. They would never agree to it. But somehow you got them to do just that."
"Please tell us, oh great Sam," Danny said in a pleading voice she'd heard numerous times before when he had desperately needed something from her. "We'll go down on our knees, right here and now, and we'll beg and do anything-"
"No need, boys," she sighed, holding up a hand when she saw they really were planning to do just that. They could be so melodramatic when they wanted. "It's not like it's the secret of the universe. It's just that we had… mutual interests."
"Mutual interests? What interests?" Jazz asked, her grip on the newspaper slowly relaxing.
Sam just smirked. "We both had a Fruitloop who was really going on our nerves. You could say that Vlad's stubbornness was really starting to irk them. They were ready to do anything to get back at him, even if it meant siding with some fourteen-year-old girl that was pretty well-off. It was really nothing special."
The silence following her statement was tremendous. At last, Tucker was the one to break it, his voice highly skeptical.
"So… that's it? You own them, and they just up and agreed to it without hesitation? Is that even legal-" He held up a placating hand when she wanted to say something. "Sorry dude, but I'm not sure they'd let a forteen-year-old just do something like that. It's just…"
"Hard to believe this actually happened." Danny finished. Then he brought a hand up to run through his hair, mussing it up even more than it was. He bit his lip in agitation. "Sam, you can't hide here forever, you know. Your parents will be back in a week, and the Fruitloop won't just give up after a few days a-andand- and the ghost shield will eventually run out of energy, and I can't be at your side the entire time to protect you-"
"Whoa, guys, back up!" She made a time-out sign. "Who said anything about a week? I just need a place to hide for today, and maybe tomorrow until all this is cleared up." Sam replied in confusion.
She was met with looks of incredulity on all three faces, though Jazz's had slowly started to transform into one of dawning realization instead. Danny was quick to catch on to his sister's expression. "Jazz?"
The newspaper fell out of her hands. "Don't tell me this is all just a…"
"Duh," There was really no other response Sam could give at the moment. "I thought it was pretty obvious."
"What is obvious?" Tucker asked. "What are we missing?"
Jazz stared at them for a moment, then turned away as a snort escaped her. She waved her hand at Sam, heading for the kitchen. "You tell them, I have to go laugh this off. I'll call the school and tell the- hah ha- that you've all got contaminated with some sort of disease, pff- Oh my God…"
And no sooner did she leave the room than laughter erupted from the kitchen. All three of them stared after her in silence.
"Now I'm seriously confused." Danny said. Tucker wasn't fairing any better.
"Me too, dude, me too."
"And I can't believe you guys hadn't figured it out." Sam added from where she was standing with arms crossed over her chest. "Like those guys would really let me buy them, I don't even have half the money Vlad has."
At their confused expressions, she just shook her head in disappointment.
"Really guys, I expected better from you, but if you really must know, I'll tell you." Sam pinned them with a look. "There was only one condition I was given when we agreed to do this stint. Listen well," And they did, copying her as she leaned forwards and lowered her voice to a whisper. "After one day, the deal expires. Do you understand? I'm their owner for exactly 24 hours. No more, no less."
She let that settle in for a moment. Then she patted both of them on the shoulder.
"Happy April Fools, guys. Now protect me from the Fruitloop until tomorrow's morning edition comes out."
And she left them there to try gather their wits again, instead opting to head towards the laughter coming from the kitchen. Might as well mop the floor, she decided. That spilled coffee wouldn't go away on its own.
At exactly eleven o'clock in the morning, Vlad Masters made his way down the stairs of his luxurious mansion. He was walking at a more hurried pace than normal, his suit jacket still unbuttoned.
He'd been supposed to show up at work nearly two hours before, but it seemed he would have to buy a new alarm clock again. He had stopped counting how many times he'd blasted them away in an act of carelessness. He'd have to ask Skulker to get him one of Technus' ecto-proofed alarm clocks. He heard those had become increasingly popular in the Ghost Zone.
Ah well, at least he didn't have any important meetings until one. If he hurried, he'd even have just enough time to get some paperwork done beforehand.
He hurried into the dining room, grabbing a slice toast off his plate, not having time for anything else. It was still warm of course, freshly baked. He expected nothing less from his staff.
He was just about to grab his suitcase and leave for work, but something made him stop in his tracks. There was the morning edition of the newspaper beside his plate, folded up with half of the front page facing up, just like every morning. Normally he would dismiss it in his hurry to get to work, but one very familiar word caught his attention.
Furrowing his eyebrows, he went to pick it up. He didn't remember them having any matches recently… He unfolded the page to read the whole headline properly-
And then he froze. He stared at the title.
SOLD TO MANSON FAMILY
FROM AMITY PARK, ILLINOIS-
Vlad stood in silence. He read and re-read the headline again and again, but it didn't change. His eyes drifted then to the picture taking over most of the page. It was a team of football players, all of them scuttled together and with victory signs over their heads. In the middle of all the green and yellow of their uniforms, there was only one person that completely stood out.
Clad in nothing more than her usual black outfit, Sam Manson stood proudly smiling at the camera. It was as if she smiling for one purpose only… it was a smile of smugness, of victory and accomplishment. Yet above all, it was a smile that simply said:
The newspaper burst into pink fire in his hands. What remained was brutally squashed until only ashes remained. Plasmius' eyes flashed a dangerous red.
Someone was going to pay for this, and Plamius already knew who that girl would be.
With a swish of his cape, Plasmius teleported out of his house, materializing in the skies of Amity Park and quickly taking a direct path to the only place he knew that girl would think she had a chance of survival. But not for long.
Not for long.
A pity he hadn't checked his calendar, or he would have spared himself a day's worth of missed meetings, frustrating ghost shields, smirking Goths and infuriating halfas that openly laughed whenever they caught sight of him.
It was just not his day today.
Happy April Fools, Vladdy!
So whatcha think? Tell me tell me tell me! XD