Co-write between Tangerine Catnip and Dream Trance

Chapter 5: Denying the undeniable

Try as she might, Jazz only caught snippets of the conversation taking place in the living room. Much to her dismay, her mom had sent her upstairs soon after her brother had come home. It was frustrating. Once again she was being treated like a child and forced to sit on the sidelines while her brother obviously suffered from mental trauma. She knew more about psychology than any of the adults in that room, yet she was made to sit out while they drilled the poor boy right after he escaped from his abuser.

All she had to go on were rumors and what she could squeeze out of Sam and Tucker. A fairly fruitless effort since they were likely still in shock as well, not to mention their stubborn dedication to Danny's privacy, but she knew enough to know how serious Danny's situation was here. She needed to find a way to help him, but all she could do was sit on the steps and try to listen in without her mother noticing.

The voices in the next room were getting steadily louder and Danny was practically screaming at this point.

"—No, you don't understand!"

"No, he's not…I didn't let him!"

"He-he wouldn't, Phantom would never!"

"I know that doesn't make any sense!"

Mom and Dad were eager to blame everything on Phantom. It was a miracle they weren't outside, running down the street and yelling for his blood right now. In their eyes, their precious little boy was being manipulated by an evil monster.

Danny wasn't helping matters by trying to defend Phantom, but even worse, he wouldn't admit to cavorting with the ghost by his own free will. Of course they couldn't both be true, so the three of them went back and forth with no progress, Danny getting more and more frustrated every time.

Danny refused to believe that Phantom had taken advantage of him. What was sparking that reaction was unknown, but Jazz sure yelling at him wasn't going to help.

Sure enough, five moments later her brother appeared at the foot of the steps, his eyes murky with unshed tears. He pushed passed her and stormed up the steps, their mother and father trailing along behind him.

They shared a glance, wincing as the sound of Danny's bedroom door slamming shook the house a bit. Mom looked to the floor and Dad wrapped his arm around her. Mr. Lancer stood behind them, frowning like the disappointed teacher he was.

Jazz followed her brother up the steps, leaving the adults to work out what was to be done for school the next day. Sooner than expected, she stood on the other side of the door. The spaceship-shaped poster that usually hung on the outside of his door now lay on the ground, having fallen when he slammed it.

Carefully, Jazz knocked on the door. "Danny?" she called. "Please open the door, little brother, I just want to talk to you. I promise I won't yell."

Inside the bedroom, Danny released a longsuffering groan and pressed the heel of his palm against his eye to wipe away any escaped tears, the other hand bracing him against a blackened wall. "I'm not in the mood, Jazz," he said just loud enough for her to hear, too drained to compose a scathing comment about her being overbearing. He kicked the remnants of the Fenton Thermos under his computer desk before he moved towards his bed. "I don't want to talk, I've had enough talking." He ripped his pillow off the disheveled mattress and collapsed on the floor, holding the cushion to his chest as his knees came up to shield him. "I just want to be alone."

Jazz sighed and leaned on the door. "Prompt debriefing after psychological trauma is very important to recovery, Danny. The longer I let you sit in the dark, the worse things are going to feel." She paused and then pressed her ear to the door, trying to hear if he was crying. "Maybe if you explain what happened to me we can work out how to explain it to Mom and Dad."

Danny shook his head before burying his face in the pillow's soft folds. In a way, he wanted to. It would be a relief to unload the truth to his sister, his only remaining support…but she would just be disappointed in him too. Worse, she actually knew his past and his secret, and though he had pretended not to care or listen when she said it, she had been proud of him. It had been an unexpected and unlooked for treasure, but one he didn't want to lose just because of one stupid night.

Not that refusing to talk to her would help matters. She knew—everyone knew—that he had slept with Phantom, and the more he tried to stay quiet on the subject, the more she would draw her own answers. His classmates at school certainly had, and Jazz was nosey enough to keep trying until she got what she wanted. And knowing her, it'd probably be wrong and twice as embarrassing.

So in the end it was either accept Jazz's offer of comfort at the risk of disappointing his sister, or endure her snooping on him like she was the most skilled spy since Catwoman. He didn't like either option, but it would be nice to have one person listen to him instead of forcing their ideas and wants onto him…

The boy sighed and lifted his head off the pillow, his gaze focused on the floor. "The door's unlocked…"

Jazz stepped inside, carefully closing the door behind her. She stepped over the mess of pillows and blankets and sank to the floor beside her brother. She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tightly before letting go, leaving one arm over his shoulders to remind him she was there for support.

"Sam and Tucker already told me the harder to believe parts," she started slowly, choosing her words carefully. "The bit about Vlad and how your ghost half is out of control." Danny turned away from her at that; she better get to her point. "I don't want to make you go over anything you don't have to. Just tell me: are you safe now? He's not coming after you…"

Danny snorted, a harsh sound that held more bitterness than even he expected. "All he wants is me, Jazz, and that's not going to change just because he's had me once. Trust me though; I've probably never been safer." He scowled and buried half his face in the pillow. "He'd probably freak out if I got so much as a splinter."

Jazz nodded. Even with a few sentences things were falling into place. She just had to keep him talking for a bit, don't address anything directly so he wouldn't push back. "That makes him sound overprotective…like he has control issues…is that why he attacked your class? Was someone threatening you?"

Danny rolled his eyes, welcoming the irritation that came with Jazz treating him like he would fall apart any second. It felt good to finally experience an emotion that had less to do with him or Phantom and more to do with his sister being her normal, annoying-psychologist-in-training self.

"Yes, Jazz, you hit the nail right on the head. Actually, he's even more overbearing than you. He wants to keep his dinner alive and undamaged, you see, so Dash and his friends trying to 'impress' upon me how disgraceful it is to see Danny Phantom's symbol on my chest had Phantom barging in with his stupid staff-thing like he was fully intending to attack anyone who so much as touched me wrong. But class…" he trailed off and lowered his voice. "No one was trying to hurt me then. I was just angry and overwhelmed because they were all…and then he showed up again because apparently I'm no longer able to fight my own battles! And now everyone's got it into their heads too! I'm not some child everyone needs to protect—I've been protecting them for the last year and half!"

Jazz nodded slowly. She hadn't thought about Danny losing his powers yet. It seemed he still wasn't used to the idea that he didn't have the powers he once had. He was probably still firmly in the denial stage of loss. By the sound of things, his powers running around on their own and showing him up wasn't helping one bit.

"You can't expect Dash and the others to understand, Danny. They have always seen you as two different people. The fact that their assumptions are correct now…well only Sam, Tucker, and I would understand how you protected us. So there's really no way back I suppose? At least none in the foreseeable future?" the redhead asked quietly.

Danny sighed and lowered the bottom half of his face onto the pillow. "Believe me, Jazz, if there was a way to fix this, we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. Phantom seems to think that this" he gestured to the messy room and himself before he realized what he was indicating and jerked his arm back to the pillow again, flushing. "—is the only—no, the best thing for us." He snorted. "And by us, I mean him. He probably wouldn't want to go back to the way things were even if we did find a real solution…"

Jazz's grip tightened around his shoulders, her teeth bit into her lip as she tried to remain calm. She needed to be strong; he needed a voice of reason. She would have to ignore the fact that Phantom used to be part of her brother; she needed to see him as an outside entity. That's how Danny was presenting it and she would follow his logic. "Forgive me for assuming, but by the sound of things you're not very happy with this new arrangement. If you don't want to be…" crap what was a good word "'with' him in the way he wants you to be, then you shouldn't be letting him make that decision for you."

"It's not that easy, Jazz! He…he—"Danny floundered for a moment before pressing on. "He needs this. He'll die if I don't let him do—do that. And if not me then he'll go to someone else…and at least I know how to defend myself with Fenton Tech if it comes to it."

Jazz rested her other hand on Danny's shoulder and shifted so she could look into his eyes. "Danny, I know you're used to playing the hero, and I've always been so proud of you for it, but you can't just keep throwing yourself under the bus for the sake of everyone else." The hand moved to his cheek, Jazz maintaining eye contact; this next bit was important. "If today proved anything it's that even if you give him what he wants, he will still lash out against others. Refusing to protect yourself will only put everyone in more danger, including you. What if one day he decides he doesn't like letting you return home? What if he gets jealous of Sam and Tucker and attacks them?"

Danny's eyes widened, and for a moment he could picture that very scenario, but then he shook his head and drew away from his sister. "No, Jazz, you got it all wrong. Phantom was just…we've been arguing all day and both of us were just so angry. He was just overwhelmed by all of it, that's all. He tolerates Sam and Tucker just fine."

Jazz shook her head placing her hands in her lap "How do you know that? Phantom has been free for less than a week and he's already nearly killed your classmates. He got along with Sam and Tucker before they knew about…what happened…" she took a deep breath, passing over the events that were too painful to mention. "You know as well as I do that they won't stand and watch you suffer, and if they get between you and Phantom…" She trailed off. She had said enough about that already. "All Mom and Dad want is for you to be able to defend yourself. We can make sure you get a copy of the Specter Deflector key. Then you can decide how much you trust him."

Danny felt himself bristling like he had when his parents first brought up the Specter Deflector—habit, he supposed, but also annoyance if he was being honest with himself. He could defend himself, had always defended himself…and yet he had tried to rely on his own strength before, and look at how nicely that had all fucked up. He didn't want to admit it, hated to even think he needed help, but…Phantom had destroyed the Fenton Thermos, had chocked Danny when he fought back, growled that he would take his pleasure from his victim's unconscious body if he had to…and in the end, Danny had failed to resist at all. If he tried to fight again, after Phantom had had a taste…

The boy inhaled shakily. He stared at the blackened wall a moment before he asked softly, "Mom and Dad would let me have the key?" If that was the case, the Deflector wouldn't just force protection on him—it would place power back in his hands. He would be the one making his own choices again, not his parents or Lancer or even Phantom insisting they knew what was best for him.

"No, but I could make sure you got one," Jazz said. She held up a little silver key, smiled, and then pressed it into her brother's hand. "I took it a while ago, just in case you ever got trapped in the Deflector. After what happened with the Thermos, I thought it might be a good plan."Jazz placed her hand on her brother's shoulder again. "I'm trusting you to decide how you want to go forward with this. I know you don't want Phantom taking over your life, and neither do we."

Inwardly she patted herself on the back. Unlike her parents, Jazz had known she couldn't try to push this on Danny. Whatever feelings her brother had wrapped up in this ghostly half of his couldn't just be ignored. All she could do for now was plant a seed of doubt and give Danny the tools he needed to overcome this.

Danny tilted his head to the side, staring down at the key while his thumb caressed the smooth metal surface. He opened his mouth, but paused. After a second, he pushed the words out. "It might not be enough, Jazz. He's not just a ghost now, the usual defenses aren't enough. I tried to capture him in a Fenton Thermos last night, and, well…" He nodded at the blackened wall. "You can see how well that turned out…" His lips twisted in a humorless smile. "I doubt even the Ghost Shield could stop him at this point. He's more than a little dead-set on this."

Jazz frowned, crossing her arms over her chest. "We have to try, Danny. Mom and Dad's inventions have worked more often than not." She patted him on the head and got to her feet. "I'll talk to Mom and Dad about altering the Deflector so it's more powerful."

She walked across the room, pausing at the doorway. "Don't give up, little brother, I know your stronger than that," she said, and then closed the door behind her.

Danny waited outside the locker room door, head held down as his gym classmates finished their business inside. Going inside there now, at the time when most of the guys were pumped and feeling especially manly, would just be asking for trouble. By this point, it wasn't a physical beating he was afraid of. Hell, half the guys in there were too scared to even look at him! No, as soon as Danny, the resident queer and boy toy for the town's hero came in, conversations would stop and the boisterous atmosphere would suddenly turn cold. Then one of the cockier, older students would make up some story about a guy on the bus making a grab at his package and that would set all the others off on how disgusting that was.

Or worse, no one would say anything. It would just go eerily silent while the male students pretended not to sneak glances at Danny's chest. They might even try to avoid looking at him altogether, because, oh, that's Phantom's property and even looking at Fenton's body would be enough to summon the ghost's ire.

It had certainly happened before. All over school, it was the same mixed reactions. No one wanted to be seen with him, but everyone wanted to see the boy that had ensnared Phantom's attentions so thoroughly. He was suddenly in the spotlight, but not for the reason he had always imagined when it involved his ghost half.

A few boys left the locker room and glanced at him as they passed. Danny kept his head down, and after they rounded the corner, he heard them whispering how they were glad "the teacher made the queer wait outside." Danny sighed and leaned back against the wall. Time passed, and more boys left the locker room. Dash and his friends pretended not to see him at all, but most glanced at him before hurriedly looking away. Tucker sent him a sympathetic look as he left, but didn't offer to wait with him.

When Danny was sure the locker room was empty (or at least finally silent), he pushed off from the wall and trekked inside. The place was a mess—towels thrown everywhere, discarded gym shorts lying on benches, small puddles decorating the floor—but it was quiet and safe and he was finally alone. Danny breathed in deep—ignoring the burn from the cologne residue —and made his way over to the showers. His teachers were being especially lenient today; he could probably get away with taking a very long, very hot shower. With that in mind, he stood a little straighter and his steps became a little more lively.

The taps squeaked as he turned them, letting the water run for a moment as it heated up. He sighed deeply, pulling his shirt over his head. His fingers traced over the line of his scar, the shape standing out against his skin clear as day even though he couldn't feel burn beyond a slight difference in the smoothness of his skin.

Steam began to rise from the communal shower floor. Danny ditched his shorts but left his boxers on. He had packed a spare set in his bag for just this occasion—he really didn't want to be alone and naked just yet. Not when his stalker could turn invisible at will.

He stepped into the water flow, letting it run down his shoulders and over his head as he closed his eyes and breathed out deeply. He stayed under the water flow for a few moments, not moving, just letting his mind relax as much as he could.

Then he reached for a bar of soap. His fingers curled around one just as he noticed the white wings and green eyes of the boy sitting on the bench across from the shower, the harsh locker room lighting making his glow even more unearthly than usual.

Every muscle in Danny's body suddenly tensed as he sucked in a deep breath, eyes wide, like a deer caught in the headlights. He had known his ghost was lurking around somewhere and that of course the inevitability of Danny taking a shower alone after gym class would have been too tempting an opportunity for the incubus to resist—he had even planned for it himself—but that didn't make Phantom's sudden appearance any less startling for Danny.

The human's heart beat wildly in his chest as he tore his gaze away from Phantom, focusing instead on the soap bar. Act natural, he told himself, bringing the soap to his body. If you try to run out of here now, he'll stop you. Finish as quickly as you can and then get to your locker. The boy licked water from his lips and breathed evenly to try and calm himself. "I know I asked this before," he said slowly, forcing the words out, "but do you have something against privacy? This is the second time you've busted in on my shower."

Phantom smiled slightly, crossing his legs and leaning back in his seat. "When it comes to me and you, privacy isn't an issue. I figure the sooner you get used to having my eyes on you the easier a time you will have."

As he spoke, his green eyes explored the teenager standing before him. Oh how he wanted to pounce on Danny right then and there. Rip off those useless undergarments and make him forget about how those inadequate humans rejected him. Sadly, he knew his efforts would not be appreciated. Making amends to his mate was the most important thing at the moment.

"Besides," he continued, "I'm not the one who built this shower without a door. It's hardly my fault I get such a nice view while sitting here."

Danny snorted, unimpressed, and briskly scrubbed the soap bar along and under his arm, cleaning the dried sweat and grime off one before switching the bar to his other hand and cleaning the other arm. "Just because this is a communal shower, doesn't mean it's an open invitation to watch people clean themselves. Just wait out in the other room. It won't take me that long, and then you can at least pretend to be a decent boyfriend who has, like, morals and stuff."

Phantom frowned, shifting forward a little and sitting on his hands. His eyes followed the bar of soap, silently resenting it for getting to touch Danny while he sat here. "Have some mercy, it's taking most of my willpower not to jump in there with you. You've been miserable all day and it's killing me…if it weren't for that ghost shield I wouldn't have been able to stay away last night."

Danny shivered, hair along his arms and neck trying to rise despite the water weighing it down. Silently, he thanked his parents for being such fast inventors when their children were in danger. He hadn't thought they would be able to construct a new energy that could repel Phantom as easily as the others, but the scar had flashed several times last night and Phantom hadn't made an appearance, even though Danny could feel the demon's distress at the edge of his awareness.

He moved the soap along his collarbone and then down his chest, scrubbing much more carefully. The scar didn't hurt anymore exactly; it just…felt odd when things brushed against it. "That's even more reason for you to wait outside then," he said. He glanced at Phantom, but flushed and jerked his gaze away when he saw the demon watching his movements so closely. "Trust me, I'd be a lot less miserable if I could enjoy my shower instead of being afraid of you jumping me."

"You don't trust me then," Phantom mused. Perhaps Danny had a point. Rebuilding trust might be a good way to patch things up with his mate. "I suppose there's no point arguing that jumping you might help with the stress you're feeling?"

The boy in the shower hunched his shoulders, and Phantom decided not to press the issue. His wings folded tightly as he mulled over how he could end his mate's suffering. "Leaving you alone won't fix the issue at hand. You and I know this is just a petty argument so we can avoid talking about more difficult matters."

Phantom stood and walked over to the shower, leaning against a slick wall only a few feet away from his human. "You can't wallow forever, my sweet. Sooner or later we have to move past yesterday."

Danny rolled his eyes, but his movements had become stiff with Phantom's proximity. "And what would you have me do? Pretend as if I'm not being shunned by the entire student body because of what happened yesterday? Go about life as normal? Oh I know, I should 'stop whining like a bitch' because there's nothing I can do so I may as well accept what everyone wants from me." He snorted, glaring at the floor. "I forgot that's your answer to everything when we disagree on something."

"Clearly you don't like my solutions, but unless you have a better one… " The demon's fingers twitched, and Danny could sense the internal struggle holding Phantom back. "As I mentioned before, I'm only good at providing comfort."

Their eyes met, and Danny's mind suddenly twisted and he found himself pinned against the wall of the shower. Phantom fucked him hard against the wet tile, the demon growling possessive phrases into his ear as water from the shower hissed and rained down on them, rolling off their bare skin as the two boys moved together.

All Danny could do was gasp, losing himself as Phantom's fantasy took over his imagination. A rush of pleasure filled his veins, as if the actions in his mind were truly happening.

Seconds later he came back to reality, feeling the light trace of Phantom's fingers on his chest. He looked down to see the symbol glowing under the demon's fingers. Danny made an odd noise in the back of his throat and slapped the fingers away before stumbling back from the ghost, dropping the bar of soap.

"I don't want your damn idea of comfort!" he shouted, voice thicker and deeper than he would have preferred. "I don't want anything to do with you, least of all…that! That's what got me into this mess in the first place!"

He glanced at his discarded clothes before deciding he could get them later. He just wanted to get out of there, wanted to feel safe again. He glared at Phantom, wary, before he edged around the ghost and marched out of the shower room, his back stiff. "The next time you want to try comforting someone, Phantom," he called over his shoulder, "try giving them a hug!"

Phantom whined softly, too soft for Danny to hear as the boy walked away. His wings twitched, fighting his restraint. His instincts wanted him to shove Danny down, wanted to taste his mate, force the pain away.

Before he knew what he was doing, he was across the room, the air currents made from his flashing wings scattering clothing and towels. He caught up with Danny seconds before the teen reached his locker, and he wrapped his arms around Danny's middle, pulling him close. "Please, don't leave," he murmured, nuzzling the human's neck. "I didn't mean to upset you."

For a moment Danny relaxed into his hold, but Phantom's hand betrayed him and slid down Danny's tummy, into his shorts.

Danny yelped and grabbed Phantom's wrist, forcing the hand out of his boxers. Twisting around, he shoved Phantom's wrist against the demon's chest with enough force to knock him back a step. "Dude, what part of it's not happening are you not getting?" he demanded. Phantom stared at him, his green eyes wide and his eyebrows beginning to pinch in confusion. Danny held his gaze, hesitating, before he sighed and slouched his shoulders. Maybe if he tried explaining things the demon would listen. "Look, you just…you gotta let me adjust to this on my own terms. Give me a day or two to figure things out and then we can give this another try, okay? It's just…not working for me right now."

Phantom's wings sagged, his usually overconfident smile fading. There was a tone in Danny's voice, one that made him think that this was more than a temporary rejection. Two days ago he could pretend Danny just didn't understand the pleasure he was turning down…but now…

Phantom grasped the wrist pinning his hand to his chest. No…no! It was not going down like this. Danny was his, he needed his mate. Danny was wrong, he could fix this. He would fix this. He just needed to prove to Danny that he could make him feel better.

His fangs flashed and he shoved Danny's hands down, pinning the boy against the lockers as he growled, "Perhaps the problem lies in your own stubbornness. Even if you aren't willing now I can always hold you down until you remember why my brand of comfort is so effective."

The boy tried to shove him off, but the ghost's hands closed around Danny's shoulders, Phantom's fingers glowing as he tapped into his powers. His lips pressed against the human's neck and nipped at his old marks while his mate gasped, half in shock and half in sudden desperate need for air. Danny made a wild grab for the demon's hips, but once his fingers wrapped the other boy's narrow waist, he moaned and simply hung on as Phantom pressed them flush against the lockers and moved into the cradle of his legs. His fangs dragged over Danny's collarbone, hips rocking together as he worked them into a slow pace.

As the incubus's energy sunk further beneath his skin, sensations Danny's body received heightened, making each upward slide of Phantom's hips send more desire and heat along Danny's spine and into his veins than should have been possible.

He lifted his chin to better allow Phantom access to his neck, whimpering as the demon's fangs glided across his throat, but Danny didn't want this. He didn't exactly remember why he didn't want something that felt so wonderful after mere seconds of contact, but above all the pleasure suddenly turning his body to putty in Phantom's hands, he felt a burning resentment and fear.

"N-no, Phantom, we're not…" He panted, his exhales making white hairs dance atop Phantom's head. His fingers squeezed the ghost's waist, but he couldn't bring himself to halt his hips completely. "Just, dude, stop!"

"No.," Phantom growled, his tone leaving no room for argument. "This is where you belong Danny."

His fingers traced down his partner's back until only a pair of wet underpants separated them. Soon those would be only shreds of cloth on the floor. His tongue darted out to lap at Danny's collarbone his eyes glowing brightly behind closed lids.

Danny was still resisting, he could feel it. He coiled his power around that little disrespectful speck, squeezing it like a boa constrictor with its pray. Feathery wings shivered as he felt Danny giving in. His other hand trailed back down, releasing Danny so he could slide his hand back into the shorts clinging to the human's arousal.

"You don't need them, Danny," Phantom murmured next to Danny's ear. "You don't need anyone but me. I will take you from this pain. I'll keep you safe and love you forever…Just stay with me."

The boy groaned and his feet did a sort of dance as he tried pushing himself closer to the lockers and further away from the hand dipping into his boxers, but Phantom leaned more firmly against him, his weight holding him in place. Danny grabbed the other's wrist instead, shaking his head and taking deep breaths to try to clear the pleasurable haze.

"I told you I don't want to," he panted. He squirmed, trying to wriggle out from beneath Phantom. The lockers scratched at his bare skin, but the human welcomed the pain like he welcomed his rising claustrophobia. He felt the demon's energy's trying to soothe him again, twist the feeling of being trapped into something more pleasurable, but that only succeeded in dulling Danny's thoughts and heightening his instincts now that the energy was trying to force him to feel something against his nature.

Panic took over, and the boy arched his spine and writhed against the body trapping him, small sounds of desperation issuing from his throat. He managed to fit a leg between Phantom's, felt something hard pressed against his thigh, and before he could fully think about what he was about to do, he pushed the demon's hips back jerked his knee up as hard as he could.

Phantom wasn't used to feeling pain. Between the memories of his short life since he was separated from Danny and his forgotten life from before, he had experienced very little of it. Hunger, yes. He had even tasted the sting of battle.

But this was deeper, more personal. Made even more painful by the fact it had been unexpected, multiplied by the vital nature of the injured organ. After all, there's nothing like being kicked in the balls to kill your boner.

Frozen in pain, Phantom's power retracted like a snake recoiling after being socked in the face, and reality came flooding back to Danny in a rush. He shoved Phantom back and the demon stumbled, his hands pulling away to cover the injured area, forgetting about Danny in the shock. The demon keeled over, and Danny spun around, clawed at the lockers, trying to find the lock that would open his little metal box.

On the floor, Phantom rolled over, groaning as he pushed himself up. He bore his fangs, his chest heaving as he tried to regain the wind that had been knocked from his lungs. He tried to say something, but for the moment it was only a high-pitched wheeze.

Faster than he even thought possible, Danny twirled the lock. It came free in his hand and he tossed it aside, the little metal thing bouncing off the tiled floor and chipping the cement. Phantom flapped his wings, drawing himself off the floor, and held his hands out like claws as he eyed up Danny, deciding what part of him to grab first.

The human's fingers curled around the pure metal belt with the electric green lock in place of a buckle And Danny jerked it out of the locker. Quickly, his free hand found the other end from behind his back and looped the belt around his narrow waist until the two ends met and clicked into place. The metal chafed against his bare skin, but the boy ignored it and reached inside the locker again for the key, grabbed it, and hurriedly inserted the key home, twisted his wrist and finally locked the improved Deflector belt into place around his waist.

Phantom tossed his head—either he didn't notice the belt around Danny's hips or he just didn't care. He flashed his wings and growled before throwing himself at the human with all the ferocity of a tiger pouncing on a mouse.

He brought Danny down with a vicious tackle, and then a sound like a fly had wandered into an electric fence filled the air. Screaming made Danny want to cover his ears, but Phantom was still on top of him, clawing at him as his body jerked from the electricity coursing through his system. But the worst part was the smell of burnt feathers. It stung Danny's nostrils and made him cringe.

They separated with a violent zap, the two of them falling back to the floor, tossed away from each other like similar poles on a magnet. Both boys lay on the tiles, neither moving, both in hideous amounts of pain.

Phantom's eyes opened, the shock fading quickly as his instincts took hold again. The Specter Deflector. A working Specter Deflector. A tool that Danny could use to starve him to death. Deny his feeding until he wasted away. Kill him from the inside out.

But it was more than that…this was denial. He, a demon from the deepest reaches of the Ghost Zone, made to please mortals and tend to his mate, would now be prevented from even touching his desire. Danny had found a way around his power, around his strength. Now he had no purpose to his life. Rendered powerless to comfort or protect by the efforts of the very boy he wanted to cherish.

Phantom breathed out slowly, feeling darkness and anger take over. He couldn't even feel Danny anymore. The connection had been severed as cleanly as if someone had taken a knife to it. He felt empty, heartless, angry. Oh so angry.

Danny pushed himself onto his hands and knees and then fell backwards onto his bum, knees tucking themselves against his chest. He leaned his back against the bottom row of lockers and glared at the other boy, shaking. "I meant what I said, Phantom. I need time." He licked his lips and tried to calm his rapid breathing. "Just, go find someone else."

A low sound came from the heap of feathers on the floor. A rumble that turned into a roar so loud it made the floor shake. Danny's eyes widened to the size of saucers only for them to shut tightly a second later when a brilliant flash of light filled the locker-room.

Something exploded, and the backlash of air and shrapnel knocked Danny off his feet. His head hit the tiles and his vision sparked black. Murky pictures swam across his eyes until they finally solidified into a sharp golden point inches from his nose.

Phantom had his lance in his hand, pointed squarely at him. The demon's chest was heaving, and behind him Danny could just make out the shattered remains of a wooden bench. Danny had never seen anyone this angry before and he couldn't help the spark of fear and the low sound that came from his throat.

"You're making a mistake human," Phantom growled. The corners of his eyes glowed with power so brightly it gave the illusion his eyeballs were smoking. "You're messing with things you don't even understand."

Danny looked back, forcing himself not to show he was scared, but as he glared he noticed the tiny pools of liquid gathering on the demon's bottom eyelids. "I can't find someone else. You're my only someone." The weapon in his hand tilted and lowered to Danny's naked chest, the tip now pointing directly at the scar and the boy's heart buried somewhere behind it. "You have my mark. I've told you what it means…how we can only be together."

Danny stared up at the other boy, breathing deep to try and calm himself. He licked his lips and inched away from the spear's sharp end, warily glancing at it before returning his gaze to Phantom. "I don't believe that," he said slowly, determined not to back down, but flinching as Phantom's fangs were revealed in snarl all the same. "Just because we had a past doesn't mean you can't find someone else!" he snapped, hands curling into fists on the tile. "You're Danny-fucking-Phantom, you have a gazillion fans, you can find someone out there willing to feed you every minute of every day, but it sure as hell won't be me! Not as long as I'm wearing the Specter Deflector, and trust me, pal, after what just happened, it's not coming off any time soon."

Phantom gritted his teeth, growling. "Worthless human flesh means nothing to me." His eye brows furrowed and he lowered the weapon to Danny's belt, poking at it angrily. "I'm your other half, Danny. That I exist at all in the world is your fault entirely."

Danny's eyes narrowed. "Don't even try to play that. I was just your emotion-dispensing cage."

Phantom nicked the belt again with his blade, frowning, and Danny slapped the spear away. The demon growled, but Danny felt it worth the risk to stand up, once more putting him and Phantom at eye-level, though he took a wary step back after.

"There's nothing special about me anymore," he said, "just a kid stupid enough to get a demon bound to him because he wanted to help his parents."

Phantom's grip tightened on the handle of his weapon and the demon backed his mate up against a wall. "There are many things special about you, Danny, even if the only one you're choosing to use right now is your ability to be legendarily stupid."

The boy scowled, but he couldn't stop himself from shrinking away from the stronger being. "That doesn't mean you can't find someone else! There are better humans out there for you to get attached to, ones who are at least willing—no, dude, they better be willing. If you tried to pull the same stunt you just did with me to your new mate then we'll need to have one serious talk."

Phantom sneered and flashed his fangs. He threw his spear away, not turning to look when it buried itself in the door of someone's gym locker. "There will be no new mate. This farce ends now."

He lashed out, seizing the belt and pulling on it with every ounce of strength he had. The belt shivered and tangible sparks of electricity rocketed up the demon's arm, but he only grit his teeth and hissed angrily, forcing himself through the pain. Danny's feet slid across the floor. The belt wasn't giving way, but he was being pulled along like a ragdoll by his hips.

"Hey!" Danny cried. He dug his heels in the best he could and reached for the lockers, steadying himself.

Lightning formed and struck Phantom repeatedly, attacking his chest, face, arms hands, and with each attack, the demon winced, prompting Danny to flinch himself. It was impossible to watch the other half of himself—whether he thought of him like that still or not—be assaulted and not feel his own stomach twist unpleasantly.

"Phantom, stop!" Danny shouted, trying to pull away from Phantom despite the metal belt biting into his skin. "Just let it go!" The skin on Phantom's hands blackened, and Danny made a distressed sound in the back of his throat before he grabbed the demon's burnt fingers and forced them to release the belt, dropping them not a second later and stumbling backwards into the lockers.

Wings flapped franticly to keep Phantom steady, but his legs didn't do their part and he crumpled to the floor. Green energy flashed around his injured hands, and Phantom pushed himself up as they healed. He could feel his power draining. His night with Danny seemed so far away and every second he could feel himself getting weaker. His connection with his mate was utterly broken, not even providing the small drip of energy it usually gave him.

He didn't have a choice now. He had tried everything and now he had to leave. Hopefully to think of a new strategy. Danny wasn't going to give in and Phantom sure as hell wasn't going to listen to reason, but he was far too angry to not make a dramatic exit, even if it cost him another cup of his draining resources.

The demon lifted his arm to the side. The air around his hand compressed, sparking, and then a concussion exploded outward. The far wall collapsed, leaving a pile of brick and a brand new exit leading onto the football field. Phantom turned his head and hissed like an angry snake. This would serve to remind the human what he was dealing with.

His wings flashed open and the demon was gone, leaving only the destruction he had caused in his wake. A few seconds passed as Danny gaped at the destroyed wall before he sank to his knees and buried his face in his hands, his fingers burrowing through his black hair. Now that it was over, he could feel himself shaking. He hadn't expected Phantom to react so aggressively, and he was almost afraid to think about what would have happened had he rejected Phantom without the belt to protect him.

No, he knew what would have happened…he had tried to reason with the demon before using the belt, and he had almost gotten raped in the process. Phantom could try to sugar coat it and claim he would have enjoyed it (and he probably would have; he didn't have a choice), but Danny had said no and had fought every second and still Phantom had kept trying to force him. As it was, it had been a near thing, and if Danny hadn't managed to get the belt on before Phantom tried to jump him again…

A sequence of events ran through Danny's mind, and the boy flushed and shook his head, chasing the half-formed images away. No damn it, he didn't want a relationship like that. But he was a teenager, just introduced to sex and…it felt…and Phantom was so…

See, if he wasn't so hormonal all the time, maybe he could have resisted Phantom better the first time and then none of this would have happened. Better to cut Phantom off now than after the incubus was satiated; the decision was more serious this way, to both of them.

Voices shouted from further away, and Danny jerked his head up. Someone must have heard Phantom's attack, and there was another class coming in besides. Quickly, Danny scrambled to his feet. Decidedly not thinking about the incubus lurking, he stripped out of his wet boxers and rushed back to his locker. It took him less than a minute to throw on his old clothes and then he was speeding towards the exit.

Before he could leave, Lancer, Tetslaff, and a few other faculty members and students entered the locker room. Gasps rang from the crowd as they gawked at the wall's new fixture, and Danny shuffled his feet. When Tetslaff and Lancer looked at him, the boy ducked his head, shading his eyes behind his bangs. He mumbled Phantom's name, something about fighting ghosts, and then he shoved his way passed them. The students made a path for him, shying away like he carried some disease on his skin.

Fenton ignored them and kept moving. He needed to find Tucker…and Sam. He knew Phantom and he incubus wasn't going to give up. Not that easily, not when he was so dead-set on having Danny. He was going to need his friends the next time his demon came for him.

Even if it was just for support.


Well, sucks to be Danny right now, but yay~ we finally got another chapter out!

Yes it's back~ trance and I finally found the will to keep working on it. From now on I'm going to try to stay more engaged so that we don't have a hiatus like that again.

To that end I've made an incubus Phantom ask blog/RP blog on tumblr it won't have drawings since I Polt has a lot to do, already owns her own ask blog, and I can't draw myself… But if you've ever wanted to interact with the story more this might be interesting for you.

The blog will also take questions for the Danny Fenton from this story, those answers will be done by my cowriter. The url is incubus-phantom . tumblr. com