Black Pearl

Oneshot. Song fiction. A boy and his narcissist make peace, love and a resolution from within a padded cell. Dark Pitch Pearl. Rated for violence and insanity.

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The establishment is called a correctional facility. In the interests of remaining politically correct, employees aren't allowed to call it a funny farm, laughing academy, nuthouse, or a bughouse. 'Mental health institution' is okay. Loony bin is not. It is very rarely dubbed as an insane asylum- the title makes the management awkwardly shuffle their shoulders, clear their throats, and stare down at their clipboards, even if the clipboards happen to be upside down.

It doesn't matter that 'insane asylum' is simply what Amity Gardens is, pleasant name or otherwise. Who wants to hurt patronage?

Getting admitted is fairly easy. Getting out is another thing entirely. Some patients have spent more than half their lives behind these walls, not once earning a trip outside on the grounds with 'good behavior points.'

The concept makes the resident(s) of Room 12 slightly annoyed/amused. There is a chart near all the rooms "locked for the inhabitants' own safety" filled with names and stickers. The more days a patient refrains from ripping out someone's throat (including their own), the more smiley face stickers they will earn in their name boxes, which equals more privileges. Get four, and you might be allowed to play a board game (pieces all missing).

Seven stickers might mean that you can wander around the drafty halls an hour or two before bedtime. Earning ten stickers mean you get to walk on the grounds, provided you are supervised and you wear a shock bracelet so that you don't venture outside the invisible fence. Twelve stickers mean an extra juice box at dinner. Twenty mean a special "re-birthday party" where you get a cupcake and all the staff clap for you before you're pushed back into the room specially padded for your (and others') own safety.

Sadly, the only people who actually earn those stickers are mostly the criminally insane patients or the sociopaths who know how to act. Earning one hundred might mean that your portfolio is evaluated and you might be permitted to "graduate," but it doesn't really help much. You're much more likely to be lucky if the facility needs an extra bed, and suddenly decides that you're mentally sound.

The resident(s) in Room 12 think(s) this is hilarious, if not a bit depressing. Room 12 has earned stickers in the past for being quiet, but has had them taken away for screaming at night and for refusing to interact with other patients at Group Therapy time. Room 12 has also expressed some distaste at eating meals, so the staff often has to shovel food into his/their mouth(s).

The patient was who admitted into Amity Gardens is reminded that Amity Gardens is a safe place where mentally challenged patients come to relearn the three Rs: Rest, recuperation, and reeducation. The R Triangle is "clinically proven" to help people become normal, productive members of society again. The owner is positive to show the patient the facility's certificate of authenticity.

The patient of Room 12 doesn't buy it, and gets irritated when the staff doesn't acknowledge him as a them. He/They feel(s) pity for the staff, which is dubious past the point of being funny.

But everyone likes to pretend in this tiny little corner of hell that's covered in cold tiles and reeks of disinfectant, and so Danny Fenton of Room 12 rarely accuses the staff of being annoying faith healers who tell the outside world what it wants to here.

Danny Phantom, on the other hand, who lives inside his body, has no reservations about using Danny's mouth to say terrible things to the nurses and hired goons-or administrators. Phantom's smart-aleckiness usually results in Danny being taken back to his holding cell for a time-out and a straitjacket fitting, but Danny Fenton doesn't mind very much. He usually thinks what Danny Phantom has to say is funny, and he enjoys early bedtimes. Sometimes, when Phantom has been particularly heinous, tearful nurses or angry thugs (administrators) will hold him (them) down and drug him for the evening. They think it's a punishment for them both-a reminder to keep his (their) mouth shut.

Phantom and Fenton personally welcome it; it's a full-out night that eclipses them entirely, blocking out the sounds of patients screaming or yelling in the halls. It's a night where Danny can dream of being in his darling's arms without being separated by agonizing walls of concrete or by unsightly flesh.

They know what you're thinking. They would like to refute you:

He's not crazy. They're not crazy.

It's hard to say what irks him-them, he is gently reminded-the most about this wretched place. Maybe it was the fact that the brochures in the lobby are plastered with bright smiles, clichéd slogans and empty promises while the employees walk around with sullen faces and deaf ears to the pleading of distraught patients.

One night, Danny and Phantom had been forced to listen to the woman in the room next door in Room 11 cry hysterically to a nurse for her mother and teddy bear. They'd heard enough through the muffled walls to understand that the nurse had simply seized the sobbing woman by the arm and injected her with enough tranquilizer to make her fall to the floor in a daze. Helpless, Danny could only throw his head back and grit his teeth-their teeth-in helpless rage and hopelessness, arms still plastered to their chest, device still strapped around their waist.

It's in moments like these that Danny truly hates his sister, and Phantom dreams of pulling her eyes out and feeding them down her shrieking mouth.

'For his own safety….' Danny had heard that phrase practically every day, had seen it around every corner of this place. Of course Jazz hated him-why else would she convince Mom and Dad to write a note to the stupid admissions people about him wearing a Specter Deflector 24/7?

They'd agreed to it because Danny would have no proper protection against ghosts. That was so mind-crushingly stupid that both of them had died a little more inside. Miserable and unbearable their captivity was, they both perfectly understood why Jazz had done what she did.

She thought he-they'd-be safe enough from ghosts in here.

The little idiot.

The bitch.

The only reason she had done what she did was because she knew what he-they-both were, now. What they so painfully longed for. Thankfully, Jazz never came to visit anymore because she claimed she could not bear the sight of her lunatic brother (Danny and Phantom trying to kill her with their arms strapped around their chest might also have had something to do with it). If her visits continued, by hook or by crook, Phantom would have found a way to get the Deflector off their waist, and he would annihilate her.

A lingering thread of affection made Danny feel sort of sorry for his "well-meaning" sister, but it could not be helped. All of his love and adoration belonged to the dark angel trapped inside of him-the one who had yearned for him and had saved him when he was about to self-destruct from the inside out. Jazz HAD done an unforgivable thing, and she'd probably be punished for it, sooner or later. It had been five months since Danny had been admitted, and he was growing truly restless, on the verge of actually becoming insane.

He's not insane, already. Neither of them is insane.

One night, Danny wriggles in the corner of his soft cell, fighting madly to free his arms from the jacket. But no matter how hard he tries, it's always a futile effort; he can't move his arms, use his hands to pull off the specter deflector.

Perhaps it would be useless anyway-the Specter Deflector can be removed only by key. But he was willing to find some short of sharp utensil to hack away at his skin until the damned device could be maneuvered off. He tried not eating as to make it easier for the belt to just slide off-it wasn't hard, because he was never hungry-but the nurses invariably noticed and stuffed his shaking body full of food.

Though there's usually Phantom in his mind to comfort him, sometimes it's harder to pretend when inane babbling, shrieks, and screams of laughter are roaring around him.

It just hurts that Danny can't be free, that they can't accomplish their dream and be together. Happy. Untouched. Free.

My body is a cage

That keeps me

From dancing

With the one I love

But my mind holds the key

Some nights, it's not so bad. Even though the nurses are shoving food down his unwilling throat and disapproving people are hovering about him all day, poking him and talking about him as if he were some piece of furniture rather than a teenage boy, there's still someone to talk to at night.

He might be alone with no voice in a padded cell with his arms bound in a straitjacket where people can exploit him all they like to the wee hours of the morning, but there's someone who earnestly loves him beside him. Inside of him.

My body is a cage that keeps me

From dancing with the one I love

But my mind holds the key

In his mind, there was someone who loved him dearly enough to speak to him when his entire world fell to shit. When his ghost hunting drove him to endless exhaustion and led him to failing a year in high school, he'd been ostracized as an idiot. A selfish moron. A delinquent. He'd been put in remedial classes where he'd been bullied endlessly, and his friends had been too busy telling him to be the better man to help him when people were threw his head against the lockers, jumped on him, and published websites made for the sole purpose of ruining him.

I'm standing on a stage

Of fear and self-doubt

It's a hollow play

But they'll clap anyway

His parents no longer trusted him, and were convinced that he was up to no-good behavior when he went out to save their sorry behinds from malevolent ghosts. How else could you explain the numerous bruises that covered his body every day? He was treated like a stranger in the Fenton home, and Jazz was too busy earning scholarships to pay for Ivy League to take much note of him.

My body is a cage that keeps me

From dancing with the one I love

But my mind holds the key

He'd been labeled as a fag at school, and the administration had done nothing-had claimed they could do nothing for a boy who walked a certain way, talked a certain way, and dressed a certain way.

He'd long ago lost patience for Tucker, who was a whiny and selfish boy, forever casting envious and resentful eyes in his best friend's direction because he had what Tucker so badly wanted.

Apparently, the idiot baby wanted to be mocked; ostracized. Brutally accosted in a way that Danny certainly had never experienced before.

He hadn't expected it to happen, but it did. He could have ripped his attackers to pieces but couldn't; the only way to protect his identity after that was to become a killer.

And Sam would have called him immoral. She would have gone on one her rants of exercising power wisely when she was the most irritating, hypocritical person Danny had ever met. She consistently whined about her parents' disapproval over her apparel-why didn't she try living with parents who wouldn't look you in the eyes?-and for being an ultra-recycle, liberal guilt vegetarian, she insisted on wearing leather boots and expressing herself with other people's manic depressive work. While trying to cheer Danny up and remind him of how nice the world was and how good it was to him and how worthwhile defending Amity Park was, Sam would be writing the most hideous bits of poetry about cutting. Sacrilege. Despair.

You're standing next to me

My mind holds the key

He'd been left on the bathroom floor after he'd been gang-raped. When he'd finally dragged himself home, a stricken, horrified, empty mess, he'd discovered that someone had avenged him during the period he had been lying in a cold stupor on the floor, unwilling to think or feel or remember anymore:

The Evening Report revealed that each and every one of Danny's attackers had been mauled in the most savage and brutal of fashions; the pictures of the remains had made Danny go blank with terror and immediately vomit.

Someone had attacked them. But who? And why?

You're standing next to me

My mind holds the key

That night, he realized that he had blood on his hands that was not his own. Panicked, he decided that he was simply going to end it, and down a bottle of sleeping pills. He still remembers reaching for the bottle with a quivering hand painted in red.

He remembers lying on the bedroom floor after having unscrewed the lid, staring up at the ceiling. Anguish, horror, terror were raging around him, and he finally let out the screams that had been consuming him from the inside.

I'm living in an age

That calls darkness light

Though my language is dead

Still the shapes fill my head

But someone had implored him to stop before he could down the bottle, from within his own head. Convinced that he was truly mad now, he'd opened the hatchet and tipped the bottle forward-

"No!"

I'm living in an age

Whose name I don't know

Someone had seized control of him from the inside, and made him drop the container. He'd groped for it, cried for it, screamed for it, but he remained paralyzed on the ground. Enraged, Danny had poured all of his fear and pain directly at the voice in his head, willing it to die, willing it to leave him to die.

But it hadn't let go of him. It had murmured to him, held his mind as if it were a very small and scared infant child. The enormity of the presence of his mind had been petrifying, but it had encompassed his despairing form, and loved him.

The love was even more bewildering and impossible because it was real. It had certainly not come from himself-and yet Danny was hearing voices in his head respond to his torment with sweet sympathy and an aching sympathy.

It wasn't long before the paralysis surrounding his body fell away, and Danny curled into a small ball, whimpering as the voice talked to him lovingly, responded to his distraught heart and consuming loneliness.

Though the fear keeps me moving

Still my heart beats so slow

Hours flew by. He had no choice but to trust this voice-it was the only thing keeping him anchored to this earth. It was so gentle that Danny's heart had nearly broken, and when the voice had finally asked him to go to bed, Danny had been unwilling to move from his position, terrified that the voice would go away. It took a great deal of coddling and coaxing before he would even consider the idea.

Oddly enough, he didn't remember. Someone else had moved him to his bed, and the teenage boy honestly felt someone touching him, moving a gloved hand over his forehead.

My body is a cage that keeps me

From dancing with the one I love

But my mind holds the key

Danny's grades soon improved, and he was moved to his regular grade level. It's interesting how ghosts become less of a problem when they're destroyed instead of being thrown into a prison they can easily escape from.

The voice loved him, yet it had a remarkably interesting idea of justice. One Danny had always been afraid of pursuing before.

But it was okay. Phantom was incredibly strong-so much stronger than himself. It had been a long time since anyone had been willing AND able to help him in his fights.

He slept longer nights. Scratch that, thanks to Phantom, he finally had nights to actually sleep in! His nightmares were stayed by a tender hand that could just as easily crush a specter's brains, which was equally assuring.

And it wasn't long before his dreams were consumed with one person, who ensured that he was never lonely, that former bullies were now far too cowed to so much as look at him funny.

Whispers of the Fenton kid went around the school. The kid was quiet, withdrawn, and polite enough, but one of the jocks who'd tried to ambush him for his lunch money claimed that Fenton had broken one of his ribs, given him a black eye, and had cheerfully beat the screaming adolescent until he was a bruised pulp lying on the floor.

He didn't look angry. He hadn't looked hateful. He'd just smiled softly through the entire whipping, as if Danny were admiring a beautiful painting or enjoying a pleasant breeze instead of attacking a terrified boy.

Kwan claimed that it had been Danny, but it HADN'T been Danny. His soft blue eyes had turned an electric green, and the insane, sweet smile had certainly NOT been Fenton's. There had been no other way to explain it.

There had been no proof, and so Danny was not expelled. However, Kwan went as white as a sheet when the two were in the same hallway, and while Danny didn't bother to look at him, the Asian teen all but wet his pants in fright, sweat gleaming on his bruised flesh.

You're standing next to me

My mind holds the key

My body is a

Sam and Tucker began to call their friend again, and littered the Fenton's voicemail with anxious messages. Danny never responded. Even when Sam had angrily tried to corner him at school, Danny slipped away, with as little notice as if he were being followed around by two particularly annoying fruit flies.

After awhile, they stopped calling. Again.

My body is a cage

We take what we're given

Just because you've forgotten

That don't mean you're forgiven

A guilty Maddie and Jack had tried to reconcile with their son, and while he accepted their apology with a warm smile and an embrace for both, his eyes were cold, and his movements robotic.

He was now more distant than ever, and seemed to spend most of his time drifting about in his head. Maddie tried to send him to a counselor, but the therapist had insisted that Danny was "perfectly fine, 100% well-adjusted."

Jack, being a remarkably dense idiot, hadn't noticed that the man had looked stricken; scared out of his mind. When asked by the Fentons if Danny should return for another session, the man's voice rose an octave or two higher, and the specialist insisted that it was not necessary. He even gave the Fenton parents a full refund, before his immediate retirement and somewhat suspicious move to Italy.

I'm living in an age

That screams my name at night

But when I get to the doorway

There's no one in sight

And things would have been fine if Jazz hadn't returned home from college and started nosing about.

So she sneaked into his room and found what she did. The letters Phantom wrote to Danny with Danny's own hand. The promise. The hope.

So she'd found Danny in the lab trying to split himself in two once again.

So she'd found him covered in blood.

So she found him laughing. As he had never before.

She'd still done a low move, trapping them both in the thermos before running up the stairs screaming.

I'm living in an age

That laughs

When I'm dancing

With the one I love

But my mind holds the key

And so, now, here he was, trapped in a suffocating plush cell in the depths of sterilized hell. But it certainly wouldn't last long.

Phantom whispers lovingly to Danny from the recess of his mind, and the boy stops struggling, though tears are still streaming down his face. Someone touches his-their-cheek, and soothingly rubs at his hair.

"Don't worry, darling. I've finally thought up a plan for us. Would you like to hear it?"

My mind holds the key


Employees should know better than to break the rules, or be exploited by priso-patients. Luckily, at least for Danny and Danny, one of their guards was a pedophile, quite accustomed to breaking the rules. He'd heard Danny Fenton's wailing, rushed in with a tranquilizer, and had his heart stop when he found himself looking at the seductive Danny Phantom looking at him from a corner with pitiful green eyes. He's been trapped in a corner, arms wrapped around his torso. Helpless. Beautiful. And insane. No one believe a word he had to say.

The man had immediately swept the boy into an embrace, eying Danny's thin, muscled limbs, while Phantom had hungrily eyed the keys that were at his waist. While the guard was still running a hand back and forth over Danny's back, Phantom had retrieved the rusty keys using his teeth, and, still using only his mouth, successfully stabbed his would-be assailant immediately.

It must be said that a rusty key is not a particularly handy weapon, but when stabbed at the pulse point with such violent intensity over and over again...shortly before your attacker uses it to tear apart your eyes, punishment for touching him/then, well...

It's remarkably effective.

Soon enough, the man was a dead lump upon the floor, and Danny and Phantom watched him with bright, feverish eyes. Both were covered in scarlet, and while Danny found it slightly scary, Phantom found it beautiful, and so he appreciated the moment with the one he loved.

Set my body free

Set my body free

Still using his teeth, Phantom picked up the bloody key ring from the floor, and, with some difficulty, managed to pull the shiny green key away from its fellows, and stick it into the lock around his waist. With a glorious click, the thing fell open.

Set my spirit free

Set my spirit free

"I love you," Danny murmured as the transformation rings fell about his waist, and he became Phantom once again. The beaming half-ghost hugged himself, eyes tearing up with joy, though his mouth was still covered in blood. Phantom closed their eyes in pleasure, and tilted their head back as his hands burst in emerald green flames.

"Love you more, sweet."

Then, Amity Gardens was taken ablaze.


Shivers. WOW. That was the darkest piece I have written in a long while. :p Or Ever. *Goes to hide under bed* Please review. And don't flame. Flames are reserved for evil Danny-Danny.