Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom or Eye for An Eye.
Warning: This story contains references of rape, male sex, and pedophilia. This story contains sexual content, MPreg and language. If any of this disturbs you, please do not read.
AN: This is the third installment of the Danny's Story Series. The first part is called Bitter UNIONS and it contains rape and explicit sexual scenes. Please see my profile page for a summary of the first story if that content would disturb you. The second installment is called New Beginnings. It contains male sex and pedophilia. I strongly advise anyone affected by that kind of content not to read those stories. I will have a summary of the first two stories up soon if you would like to continue to read this story.
The main characters in this story changes. For the first six chapters, Vlad is Character 2. From the seventh chapter to chapter 11, Sam is Character 2. From the eleventh chapter to the conclusion, Vlad is Character 2 again. You'll see why (if you haven't already figured it out).
Also, the pairings change in this series. The Danny's Story series is a VladXDannyXSam triangle pairing. I ship DXS. You have been warned.
Danny's Story, Part 3: Deliverance
Chapter One: Starting Over
The day after Dani left was the first day of the Fourth of July break. Sam and Tucker came over to check on me but I showed no signs of the turmoil I showed last night. I had dealt with my emotions and come to an understanding. I was still heartbroken but I knew it would take time to heal. Just like when I returned from the week at Vlad's, I'm returning from a three-month trip from Vlad's now. It would take time to recuperate and I was willing to give myself that time. There would be no timeline to when I should feel better. I would feel better when I felt better. I wouldn't break down like I did after Christmas.
With school out, I had more time to relax. I went to the clinic and I told Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Richardson about what happened. I accepted the help I was offered and we decided I would do this one-step at a time. However, my calmness turned to shit as it hit the fan on Friday. The doorbell rang and Mom answered it. She called me to the door and said it was for me. When I went to the door, I didn't see anyone. However, I heard someone when I turned around.
"Can we talk?"
I stopped, my blood boiling. There was no fear. There was no apprehension. "There is nothing we need to talk about," I retorted, opening the door.
"I'm sorry," Vlad declared. I couldn't take it anymore.
"You're sorry," I asked, turning around. "You're sorry! How dare you? How fucking dare you? I don't ever want to see you again!"
"Daniel," Vlad began.
"Don't Daniel me, you Goddamned bastard," I retorted.
The door opened, "Danny… you!" Sam shook, "Get the hell out of here!"
"What's wrong," Tucker said, coming onto the porch. "What are you doing here?"
"This is between Daniel and I," Vlad said.
"There is nothing between us, you bastard," I declared.
"Daniel," Vlad said, looking hurt.
"You think you can talk your way out this," I demanded. "I told you everything I had to say at the cabin. Now get the hell off my property before I have you arrested!"
"Don't push me," Vlad snapped.
"Oh, no, sir," I said, stepping towards him. "You do not want to push me! Now go the hell away."
"Danny, what is going on," Mom declared. "Is everything okay?"
"Everything's fine, Maddie," Vlad said. "We've just had a misunderstanding."
"Then let us clear it up for you," Sam said, crossing her arms. "We're done toying with you. You've crossed the line and we won't be playing next time."
"Next time," Tucker retorted. "I wasn't playing last time. Now leave! We can't get you out of Amity Park but we can make you leave us alone."
"I'm not done here," Vlad declared.
"Well, I am," I retorted. "I've had enough of picking up after your shit! I'm not your towel boy, I'm not your puppet, I'm not your apprentice and I sure as hell am not your bitch. Now get the hell away from me."
"Danny," Mom declared.
"Daniel, will you at least—," Vlad began.
"Out," I screamed, taking a step forward.
"You will not keep me away," Vlad declared. "I have a right—."
"Don't you dare," I said charging at him. I was going to rip his throat out but Mom grabbed me. I heard her sound a shrill when I dragged her. Despite the fact I desperately wanted to kill the bastard, Mom had enough determination to hold me back… if only for a centimeter.
"Maddie," Dad said, coming to the door. Samuels also called Mom's name.
"Help," Mom cried. "He's too strong!"
Mom, Dad and Samuels tried to hold on to me but I still made it to Vlad. I had enough anger in me to reach out and destroy him but I restrained myself. Vlad was still Lilly's father. I couldn't just kill him… yet. "If you come near us, I will not hesitate to fight back. I'm done, is that clear? This is nothing like before. You fucked up!"
"Vlad," Mom declared. "It's time for you to leave."
"We will continue this discussion later," Vlad said, looking in my eyes.
"I've said all I want to say to you," I said, my voice lowering.
"Vladdy, I say it's time for you to go," Dad said, his voice slightly shaking.
"You'd better take the friendly advice," Sam said, stepping beside of me. She put her hand on my shoulder, "I've got him."
"I'm fine," I said, turning away from Vlad. I returned to where Tucker was. "I'm putting this behind me."
"Well, don't push yourself too hard," Tucker said, clasping my shoulder. "He's not worth it."
"Leave us alone," Sam seethed to Vlad.
"Don't push your luck, girl," Vlad said, his voice going low.
"Okay, Vlad, leave," Mom declared. She put her hand on Sam's shoulder, "Don't threaten her."
"Don't worry about me, Mrs. Fenton," Sam said, turning away from Vlad. "He's not much of a threat." She came to stand beside of me, gently placing her hand on my free shoulder.
"Vlad, go," Dad said, his voice hard. "I don't like it that you're upsetting my family."
"I'm going," Vlad said, his eyes locking with mine. "But I won't leave."
"I don't care what the fuck you do," I said, glaring at him. "Just as long as you leave me and my family alone, I'll be fine."
"Just remember who else's family you are," Vlad said, turning away. "And remember who you are."
"He knows who he is," Sam declared. "And if you're insisting that he's something to you, you're dead wrong."
"And keep your friends out of it," Vlad retorted as he went down the road. "I'd hate for something bad to happen to them."
"Just try something, bastard," Tucker declared as Vlad disappeared.
"We're not afraid of you," Sam said in a normal voice. She didn't scream at Vlad, knowing he could hear her even if she whispered.
"Danny," Mom said, turning to me. "What was that about?"
"Nothing," I said, turning to go inside. "It's nothing you need to be concerned about."
"I'd like to know why that man was threatening you," Samuels replied. "Who was he?"
"He's the mayor-elect," Mom replied. "Vlad Masters. He grew up with us."
"Has he always been that blunt with them," Samuels asked.
"Well, Danny, Sam and Tucker have never been his biggest fans," Mom replied, "but I've never seen Vlad so blatantly threaten them."
"I've always enjoyed Vlad's presence before but I don't take too kindly his attitude today," Dad replied.
"You guys don't need to worry," I replied. "It's between us and him. You three don't need to get involved."
"Danny," Mom said, her eyes boring into mine. "How did you manage to drag us?"
"What," I asked, shrugging. "I'm strong. Don't you remember after we were sucked into the Ghost Zone? I pulled you and Dad and Sam, Tucker and Jazz."
"And he was weak," Sam sighed.
"Just don't worry," I said. "I'll be fine as soon as I calm down."
"I wish you'd talk to us, Danny," Dad said. "I've never seen you snap like that."
"I'll be fine," I said, turning to go inside. "To think he believes he can say he's sorry and I'll forgive him," I grumbled. "Who the hell does he believe he is?"
"He thinks he's the King of the Universe," Tucker said, his voice hard.
"No," I said, my voice sharp. "He thinks he's the God of the Universe."
"We'll knock him back to Earth," Sam said, tightening her grip on my shoulder as we walked. I grabbed her hand with my free hand, squeezing it.
"Don't worry," I said. "He won't break me again."
"Are you finally in control," Tucker asked me.
"Yeah," I said, taking a sigh of relief. It felt good to be able to breathe again. I had no idea how much Vlad suffocated me. Even when we were a couple, I couldn't breathe. "I haven't been able to breathe since December," I spoke softly as I remembered. "It feels good to be able to now."
I sat down on my bed while Tucker took the computer chair and Sam shut the door. She activated the silent proof and took the beanbag. "Are you ready to tell us what we already know," Sam said softly.
"I think so," I said, taking a deep breath. "I'm so sorry that I haven't opened up to you sooner."
"You should be," Tucker said softly. "You were only hurting yourself."
"You're right," I said softly. "I never knew how much I was hurting myself. Vlad wasn't the one keeping me in line. I was always the one who forced myself to obey."
"What did he do to you," Tucker asked softly.
"The night of the reunion he really did rape me," I said softly. "I didn't know it at the time. He used his mind control to block the memory. It wasn't until the week before Christmas that I knew the truth."
"Take your time," Sam said softly. Tucker and Sam were being really patient and they weren't as affected as I thought they'd be.
"That week, he laid down the law. I wasn't allowed to tell anyone, I wasn't allowed to deny him or defy him, and I was supposed to respect him." I smiled weakly, "I didn't… for the week. When he was raping me, I didn't have the strength to fight back but every other time I gave him hell. When I came home, I was given the time to separate myself from him. When he returned a few weeks later, I ran from him. Mom Number Two had her accident the next day."
"He hurt Mom," Tucker said, his voice hard.
"I'm so sorry, Tucker," I said, holding my head down. "It was my fault. I knew the rules and I didn't obey them."
"He had no right to force you to," Sam said softly.
"Yeah, Danny," Tucker spoke softer. "It wasn't your fault. You did what anyone would do."
"I could have prevented it, though," I said softly. "But things started to get complicated after that. During the time Freakshow controlled me, I got that Three Days Grace CD. Vlad had given it to me with a note on it telling me that he was going to take me to Saint Louis that Sunday. I didn't want to go but by that point, I was doing almost everything he asked of me. The Saturday after Freakshow, Vlad showed up.
"It was so weird. I hadn't seen him personally for about two weeks but here he was. I remember my heart racing and I was starting to feel again. When he kissed me goodbye, I fought against the urge to kiss him back. I didn't know what was going on so I went to Grandma and Grandpa. They told me that it was called magnetism."
"Yeah," Sam said softly. "We know what it is."
"Do you understand how powerful it is," I asked, looking down but floating my eyes to the top. "I couldn't escape the pull. I so desperately wanted him but at the same time, I wanted nothing to do with him. That Sunday, Vlad told me that he was feeling the same thing and we made a deal. He wouldn't go Plasmius on me anymore and I wouldn't fight him. I had already had the dream about us becoming a couple so I thought that was how it began. Vlad made it clear that this was just an arrangement and he could cancel at any time. I was still his bitch."
"What do you mean 'go Plasmius'," Sam asked, confused.
I looked down. "There's a difference sexually between ghosts and humans," I explained softly. "Plasmius's penis is two times the size of a normal penis and he would rape me as a ghost while I was human. Because I heal so fast, I had nothing to tell for it but the abuse was still present. I would have done anything to make him not rape me as Plasmius… and I made the biggest sacrifice. When Vlad and I started to make love instead of him raping me, the magnetism got worse."
"It's not your fault," Tucker repeated. "You were only doing what you had to. You were trying to survive."
"But where's the line between surviving and surrendering," I asked.
"There is no line," Sam said softly. "You do what you have to when you're in that kind of situation. I know some of what it's like, Danny. I've never been raped but I know what it feels like to lose that inner strength."
"To lose it is one thing," I said, looking down. "I gave mine up, though."
"It's not your fault—," Tucker began again.
"Yes it is," I retorted. "I asked this upon myself! I made a deal with the devil and now I've been burned. How do I deal with that?"
"You're on your way right now," Sam said softly.
"I'm sorry I snapped at you," I said, looking back down. "I don't want you guys to be punished for my mistakes."
"We're your friends," Tucker said. "We're here to share the burden."
"Thanks," I smiled weakly.
"So," Sam said softly. "You and Vlad started to have sex. What then?"
"That brings us to the King," I said softly. "I weakened myself to the point of near death and Vlad had to give me energy. I woke up on the island and he was pumping the energy in me. I tried to sit up and he reacted badly. Vlad had completely fallen under the magnetism and he really believed he loved me. I think he still doesn't understand that isn't how he really feels. He's still in love with the feeling," I said softly. "He returns to his old ways now and then but every time he wakes up from that feeling, he starts to miss being human again. He comes to me begging and I give in. I can't forgive this, though, guys. I can't forgive him calling me obsolete."
"You're finally awake," Sam replied softly. "You've been asleep for the past seven months and you're finally awake."
"I know," I said, smiling softly. "And it feels great. I have this huge burden lifted off my chest. I can breathe again."
"Welcome back, buddy," Tucker said, smiling at me.
"It's good to be back," I smiled. I'll tell them about Lilly but not right now. I'll let them soak this in while I deal with the ramifications of the last few days. I can't deal with them learning the truth about Vlad and Lilly in one day. I'm still half human after all.
We came downstairs around one to make lunch. We were actually just kicking back without ghost hunting or doing anything ghost related. We had played some games, watched some movies and stuff like that. Mom, Dad and Samuels were sitting in the living room when we reached the bottom of the stairs but they were unaware of our presence. I guess with the silent proof on in my room, I hadn't noticed them discussing the events of earlier.
"It's just not like either one of them," Dad said softly. "I mean, yeah, V-man and Danny have gotten into some doozeys of a staring contest but never have I seen them blow apart like that."
"Actually," Mom said, "Danny and Vlad didn't fight through that."
"Through what," Samuels asked.
"What Jack is thinking about is the day the town was sucked into the Ghost Zone. Danny called that ghost the King of All Ghosts but it was Sam and Tucker who were hostile towards Vlad. The only time I saw Danny regard him with any hostility was when he first walked in and he could have just been surprised."
"That's right," Dad said in an epiphany. We slipped behind the couch and went into the kitchen. Sam and Tucker were listening as well. I don't know if they could hear everything but I could tell that their hearing has been heightened. No normal person could hear what they were saying from anywhere but right on top of them because of how low they were talking.
"How did the town get sucked into the Ghost Zone," Samuels demanded. Okay, maybe the neighbors could hear that.
"We don't understand the science of it but when the ghost boy defeated him, the town returned," Mom replied in a soft voice. "And keep your voice down. I don't want the kids to come down here."
"Why," Samuels asked, his voice soft again.
"Danny's opening up to them," Mom replied. "I could see that in his eyes when he went in. Whatever happened through Christmas, Danny has finally found his strength. He'll open up to Sam and Tucker. Then he'll open up to Jazz and finally he'll feel comfortable talking to us. We can't push him. We have to allow him to process this on his own. I made a mistake when I thought it was normal teenage stuff. He made it clear that it wasn't."
"Well, what is going on," Samuels asked.
"You remember when I told you about Danny's mood swings," Mom asked him. I gently opened the fridge, getting out some ingredients and passing them to Sam and Tucker while I listened. "When we sent him to Vlad's for the week before Christmas, Danny was completely against going. I remember him practically begging us not to force him but I couldn't see any reason not to. Now, I wished I hadn't. When I asked him if it was Vlad, he waited nearly two seconds before he said no. That was too fast. I don't know why he didn't just blurt it out, but he has been trying to throw us off his trail all year."
"You think Vlad hurt Danny that week," Dad asked.
"I'm almost certain he did," Mom said softly. "I can't put my finger on what happened or what Vlad forced him through, but it was pretty traumatic."
"You don't think this Vlad guy molested Danny or anything, do you," Samuels asked and I listened carefully. If they did think that, then I'd go ahead and tell them the truth.
"No," Mom said, completely sure. "I couldn't imagine Danny being raped and him not telling us." Sam put her hand on my shoulder. "He's a brave boy but how could he hide that. Besides, Vlad wouldn't have time to continue to rape him. How could he keep Danny controlled until now?"
"Why wouldn't he have time," Samuels asked. "He's in town, Maddie."
"He wasn't always," Mom replied. "He's lived in Wisconsin for the past twenty years. He just moved here in May."
"Oh," Samuels replied. "Well, I'm glad. I couldn't imagine the pain Radar would go through if he was abused like that."
"Danny would tell us," Mom said. "It's something bad but not that bad. Personally," Mom paused for a moment and I could hear the hesitancy in her voice. "Personally, I think Vlad beat Danny." Her voice went hard, "If I find out he did, I will kill the bastard but Danny kept flinching away from me after that week. Before I found out he was hunting ghosts, I used to think Vlad had created ghosts as minions or something. But now, I think it was pure abuse."
"Wouldn't we see bruises or something," Dad asked.
"Not if Vlad was careful where he hit him," Mom said, her voice getting an edge. "Danny always shies away from being touched and he has hid so many injuries from us from the ghost hunting. Danny has the knowledge on how to keep us away from the injuries. Why, I'd bet if we gave him an examination we'd find at least a dozen scars on him."
That would be a bet she'd lose, of course. "Why don't we go check him out," Samuels asked.
"It's not that simple," Dad replied. We finished making our sandwiches and Tucker had grabbed us a few cokes from the fridge. We sat down, starting to eat. "Danny's absolutely private now. Used to be he would come down without his shirt on before he dressed or even slept shirtless but now he's completely Mr. Modesty. You can't catch him without a shirt."
"Have you noticed that he's changed his pajamas," Mom replied. I was shocked that she had noticed. Sam and Tucker snapped their attention on me for confirmation. I nodded. "Every one of them are in vacuum-packs. Almost his entire wardrobe from before is in vacuum-packs. It's like he's really expecting that weight to drop off in a little while."
"What weight," Samuels asked confused.
"Danny was skin and bones for the longest time but he started to develop heartburn so I suggested that he eat small, frequent meals. He took my advice when the doctors at the clinic suggested the same thing and he gained some weight. I swear it looks just like a pregnancy bump but Danny hides it under an enormous t-shirt. I bet all his clothes are four or five times bigger than what he used to wear. He's gone from a medium to a triple X."
"Could it be muscles," Samuels asked.
"No," Mom said, a little loud. She lowered her voice. "We've seen the belly. I swear if Jazz had that thing, I'd give her a pregnancy test no matter what she told me. It's crazy!"
I ate my sandwich listening to Mom, Dad and Samuels discuss my bizarre behavior the past seven months. I wondered how the conversation had just managed to turn to the events of earlier if it seems to be so erratic. There was no pattern to their discussion and it has been hours since that happened. "So, what are Sam and Tucker's attitude towards this guy?"
"Hostile of the worst kind," Mom said. "The day we got sucked into the Ghost Zone, Sam and Tucker wasted no time nor spoke gently when they told him to leave. In fact, they right out threatened him that day. I found it strange how they had already formed opinions on the man and they had never even met him. Vlad had never been to Amity Park before then."
"Why did he come," Samuels asked.
"He said that he was attacked in his home and he fled into the Ghost Zone but I'm unsure how true that was. He went right back home without any concern," Mom replied.
"He has a portal too," Samuels asked.
"Yeah," Mom replied. "I don't know what happened to it since he's moved but he came flying out of the Ghost Zone. We wouldn't just let that slip by."
Sam and Tucker rolled their eyes in disbelief as I smiled a small smile. Vlad had told me that was his cover story. It turns out my parents are smarter than either one of us gave them credit for. We haven't been able to throw them off our trail.
"I just can't figure out Danny's reaction," Dad said. "What did Vlad mean when he told him to remember who else was his family?"
"I have no idea," Mom replied. "And what happened that is so unforgivable? What did Vlad do to push Danny too far this time? As far as I know, Danny hasn't seen Vlad since he got sick."
"Maybe that's what it was," Dad replied. "Vladdy comes around and infects Sam and Tucker. You remember how he was through that."
"Right," Mom declared in a hushed voice. "Danny was hostile towards Vlad through that time. I'd been so focused on the illness that I forgot."
"What illness," Samuels asked.
"Vlad came down with ecto-acne again and for some reason, this time it was contagious. Sam and Tucker came down with the symptoms as well and Danny was furious. He wasn't kind to him in the least. Do you think Vlad tried to reinforce his law with Danny today and Danny has overcome the feeling of helplessness?"
"It's a possibility," Dad replied. "I mean, we haven't seen him around here since so it's a good possibility Vlad was giving Danny some space to allow him to cool down but he gave him too much space, for Vlad's benefit, and Danny learned how to deny him."
"But what will Vlad do now that Danny has denied him," Mom said, fear exposing itself in her voice. "Vlad made it clear that he wasn't giving up. I won't allow him to hurt my baby, Jack."
"And neither will I," Dad replied. "Friend or no friend, my boy still comes first." Sam and Tucker looked to me as I heard Dad's voice get louder. By the time I heard the footsteps it was too late. "Danny," Dad declared. "Uh, Maddie. Samuels. The kids are in the kitchen."
"Hi, Dad," I said weakly.
"What," Mom declared, rushing in. "Danny? When did you come down?"
"A few minutes ago," I replied. "We were getting hungry."
"How much of that did you hear," Mom asked.
"How much of what," I asked.
"Danny," Mom said, crossing her arms. "You had to walk right past us. You had to hear something!"
"I heard you guys discussing what happened outside," I replied. "I didn't want to discuss it so I slipped on by. I've been in here since then." I wasn't lying.
"Radar," Samuels said, taking a seat across from me. "I want you to be honest with me. Is Vlad beating you?"
"What," I asked. "No. Why would you think that?"
"Because I can't think of anything else," Mom replied. "What has Vlad been doing to you, honey?"
What happened to let me approach this on my own? I guess since Samuels opened that can of worms, Mom's jumping on the bandwagon. "Nothing. Vlad and I have just had some issues for some time now and I'm through with trying to work them out. With what he brought onto us, I can't forgive that. He nearly killed Sam and Tucker."
"That was the final straw but there was something happening before that. I want to know what it was, young man," Mom replied. She crossed her arms, staring at me.
"No one is beating me," I replied. "Do you honestly believe I would allow a human to hit me if I can defeat a ghost? I am no one's personal punching bag. Not even Dash Baxter's!"
"So, then, what did he do," Mom said. "Was Samuels right? Did Vlad rape you that day and he's used the threat of coming back to keep you in line?"
"You're crazy," I said. "I would never allow a crime like that to go unpunished! Do I look like I've been sexually assaulted?"
"Then you won't have any problems with me giving you an examination," Mom replied.
"Any problems with you finding anything, no. Any problems with you poking something up my anus, yes," I replied.
"So then tell me what he did," Mom stated. "Or let's go to the lab for a rape kit."
"Would it still appear after all this time," Samuels asked.
"I would definitely see some hemorrhaging from a contact between a boy and a man," Mom replied. "I wouldn't be able to prove it was Vlad but I would know. I wouldn't need any proof."
"If that's what you want," I groaned. "But I'm not happy about you seeing my butt."
"I've diapered that butt thousands of times," Mom remarked.
"Yeah," I said, "and I didn't mind sucking on my mom's nipple back then either. I'm not going to do that any time soon, either."
Mom put her hand behind my back, "Let's go."
I pushed the chair back, popping the last bite of my sandwich in my mouth. "Fine," I mumbled through the bite. I swallowed. "I'm not happy about it, but I'm coming."
"Is this really necessary, Mrs. Fenton," Sam asked.
"If it'll put her mind at ease," I replied. "If she's worried that Vlad was hurting me, this should clear the air."
"Don't jump to conclusions," Mom replied. "I'm not convinced he's not abusing you."
"And I'm not convinced that despite what we find in the lab that Vlad isn't sexually abusing him. There's more than one way to abuse someone." I took another step, Mom jerking forward. I stopped to see her frozen at the spot I dragged her to.
"Mom," I asked, worried. "What's wrong?"
"You're right," Mom said softly. She exclaimed in frustration. "How could I be so stupid?"
"Mom," I repeated. "What's going on?"
"He is abusing you," Mom said. "He doesn't have to rape you to hurt you. All he had to do was make you uncomfortable. Hell, he could do it even from Wisconsin."
"What are you babbling about," I asked.
"Yeah," Dad added. "I'm confused."
"Webcams. Telephone calls. Vlad has unlimited access to anything he wants. All he has to do is call Danny to keep him in check. Remind him what it was like that week. If he's on a webcam, all he has to do is talk to him. Hell, Vlad could have people around us right now keeping Danny in check."
"No one keeps me in check," I declared. "I'm a very unruly boy! Do you believe Vlad wouldn't have killed me by now if he was trying to control me? He's not exactly a patient man."
"The hell he's not," Dad said. "That man has the patience of Job. But how could Vlad remain in contract with Danny. We've been monitoring his activity."
"Danny has a second phone," Mom replied. "We know that from when he had him take control of the clinic. Is it so hard to believe he has another webcam or a second computer for crying out loud? I don't know why I didn't think of it before."
"Maybe because I don't have the money to buy another computer," I asked. "I don't exactly have a job."
"You don't," Mom replied. "Samuels, could you check Danny's income level this year?"
"Yeah," Samuels said and my eyes bugged out.
"Okay, okay," I said. "So I could buy a second computer but that doesn't mean that I have. You want to check my room. The only thing I have a duplicate of is a cell phone."
"Why do you have a second phone," Mom demanded.
"It's all of ours. It'll be my turn to carry the phone and drive the Specter Speeder tomorrow," Sam replied. "Yesterday was Tucker's turn and that's why he was driving. We share the responsibility."
"So the phone is a team phone," Mom asked. "Do you have a ghost hunting team?"
"Of course," I replied. "We keep the phone for emergencies only, though. I use it to communicate with Brit."
"You use your team phone to communicate with Brit," Dad asked in shock. "Why not use your phone?"
"My phone won't work," I replied. "It's a 618 area code number. The team phone is a one-eight-hundred number."
"Why wouldn't the phone here work," Mom asked, hurrying down to the lab. I followed her, knowing what she was planning on doing. She picked up the phone and dialed Brit's home phone. I heard the message say that the number was unavailable.
"Nancy blocked the entire 618 area code from all their phones," I replied. "She doesn't know that Brit and I still talk or she'd try to block our team phone."
"Why would she do that," Mom declared.
"She's jealous," I replied. "She's known Mom all her life and they never got as close as you guys have. She'll do anything to destroy that."
"Oh, I should go down there," Mom began to declare.
"She wouldn't even remember you, Mom," I replied. "Brit says that she goes back to when Brit was a little girl. If she did remember you, it would be much different. I guess it is best she stay in Texas."
"Well, I don't think so," Mom replied. "Would we be even invited to the funeral if anything happened?"
"Probably not," I said softly, "but that wouldn't stop me. The day Brit calls me, I'll know. I'll be there whether Nancy wants me there or not."
"Same here," Tucker said, his head down. "But let's not think like that. Mom is going to make it."
"Not if she continues down the same road," Mom replied. "If she don't start responding to the medication soon, she'll be gone before Christmas."
"I won't let that happen," I said softly.
"What choice would you have," Samuels asked.
"What," I asked, looking up. "You heard that?"
"Of course I heard that," Samuels replied.
"Well, what did he say because we didn't," Mom replied.
"He said he wouldn't let that happen," Samuels replied. "You really didn't hear that."
"I just mumbled it," I replied. "I wasn't intending on anyone hearing that."
"Strange," Samuels replied. "So, what are you planning on doing to defeat death?"
"I don't know," I replied. "I'm sure we could work out some kind of agreement considering our pasts."
Sam and Tucker started laughing, prompting me to chuckle. Mom, Dad and Samuels just stared at me. "Did I miss something," Dad asked.
"He doesn't know what he's going to do," Sam replied. "He just made a joke."
"Who's pasts," Mom asked. "I don't understand."
"Death and I," I replied. "We go way back."
"That's not funny," Mom said, crossing her arms. "You have nearly died several times!"
"I know," I said. "I didn't say it was funny. I said we go way back. It's true."
"How could you joke about that," Samuels asked. "Doesn't death scare you?"
"What's there to be afraid of," I asked. "We all die someday. I've come to terms with my mortality."
"More than we'd like, I'm afraid," Sam replied.
"Like I've said a million times," I groaned. "I'll go kicking and screaming but that doesn't mean I'm going to run away. There's too many things in this world that can kill someone. You can fret about it or you can embrace it."
"But at your age, you're not even supposed to be aware of it," Mom declared. "Tell me how you've come to terms with mortality!"
"There's not enough time," I chuckled. "Basically, it all dates back to the King. Before that, I was afraid of dying. Now, I'm not. Even when I contemplated taking my own life I was afraid of it. I just thought I was doing the right thing."
"You were going to do the right thing, right," Mom said, looking at me.
"Of course," I said, looking down. "Are you giving up on giving me a rape kit?"
"Might as well," Mom replied. "I'll just have to keep a closer eye on you and if Vlad is hurting you that will be one body that will never be found."
"Vlad isn't hurting me," I said, smiling at her. "I've just finally realized that no matter what we do, we're never going to be friends."
"It's something deeper," Samuels replied. "And I'm with Maddie. I'm going to be keeping you in my sights."
"Fine," I said, scoffing. "Do what you want. I have nothing to hide."
"Uh, Danny," Sam said. "Are you sure this is a good idea?"
"Not really," I chuckled nervously, "but I think everything will be all right."
"What have you got to worry about," Mom asked with a smirk. "I thought you had nothing to hide."
"If you truly believe that, you're being ignorant," I chuckled. "I'm just saying I have nothing to hide about Vlad. I have tons of other problems to hide."
"Well, why don't you come clean about them," Samuels asked.
"I will," I replied. "I'm just waiting for the right time."
"There is no right time," Mom replied.
"That's what everyone says," I sighed, "and I know they are right. However, while there may not be a right time I know that there is a wrong time and now is that time."
"Why," Mom asked. "Why is now a wrong time?"
"That's difficult to explain," I said softly. "I just don't want to put you guys through any more than you have to."
"Okay," Sam said. "Now, I'm confused. What's going on?"
"The same goes for you," I said, holding my head down. "If something happens… I don't want you to wonder what could have been." I started laughing, "Which is stupid because if anything did happen, I would come right back. But then there's the fact that I don't know for sure if I could come back." I sighed, "It's just not the right time."
"Do I have something else I need to worry about," Mom asked, her eyes going wide.
"Everything should be fine," I sighed. "I'm just a little worried."
"It is a tumor, isn't it," Mom declared. "That's why you went to that clinic."
"It's not a tumor," I groaned. I rolled my eyes, a smile coming to my face. "It's nothing like that. I went to the clinic because of an accident."
"Then what's so bad that could happen if you're not talking about something fatal," Mom asked, calming down.
I remained quiet, trying to think of a plausible excuse. However, while I may have appeared to be wrestling with the decision to answer her question, Samuels saw right through it. "It's not a tumor but it is fatal," he said, his eyes going wide.
"What," Mom asked.
"Danny," Sam asked.
"It's under control," I said softly, "but there's still the chance. I don't want to scare you."
"Too late," Mom declared. "You tell me what is wrong with you. I may know a way to save you!"
"It's under control," I repeated. "There's just a small chance I could die from this." I looked down, "But the risk is still there. I'll protect you as long as I can."
"You're dying but you'll protect us," Dad declared.
"I'm not dying," I denied. "I could die. There's a difference."
"What's the difference, Danny, 'cause I don't see one," Tucker demanded.
"The difference is if everything goes as planned, I'll be just fine. I'll tell you guys everything and you'll understand. It's not inevitable, Tucker. It's just a possibility."
"Danny, I want to support you in taking your time but if this is jeopardizing your life, I can't do that. Sweetheart, it's time you told us the truth."
I looked to Mom, "I will. As soon as it passes and I know that I won't leave you feeling betrayed." I took her hand, "I promise you, I will tell you. I just can't do it now."
"You're acting as if you'll survive this," Samuels declared. "What happens if you don't?"
"I will return," I said. "Providing I have a ghostly spirit when I die, I will return. I'm not just talking about if I live. This will pass but whether it's positively or negatively is still to be determined. If I die, I can't just walk away."
"You'll come back to Earth and guard the planet as a ghost ghost-fighter," Samuels declared in shock.
"Yes," I replied. "I've made a commitment. I can't turn away from that just because I'm dead. If something happens, I still have a job to do."
"Maybe you can get rid of that Phantom freak," Dad said.
I smiled, "You never know."
"That's what Phantom is," Samuels sighed. "He fights ghosts even though he's a ghost himself. It's weird."
"Let's just not talk about dying," Sam said. "You're going to be fine. That's all to it."
I pulled Sam close to me, "Of course I will. There is nothing that could take me away from you two."
"Promise," Tucker asked, his voice small.
I grabbed him by the back of the neck, wrestling him in. "Of course," I said. "Look, you guys don't have anything to worry about. I'll be around for years to come."
"I won't feel comfortable until you promise," Sam said.
I took a breath, "I can't. I won't make a promise I can't keep but I can promise you that I won't go without a fight."
"That's not good enough for me," Sam declared. "Promise us!"
"That's all I got," I said, looking between them. "That's the best I can do."
"I don't like this," Mom said. "What is wrong with you? I can't think of anything that could border so close to a certain time. Answer me!"
"I'm sorry," I said. I nudged Sam and Tucker, "Let's go."
"Where are we going," Sam asked.
"I thought maybe we could go to the Keep," I replied. "I know that Record Keeper wants some answers from me."
"Yeah," Tucker groaned. "I've got to do some inventory and find out what rooms need what items."
"Have you figured out how to put internet in yet," I asked.
"Not a clue," Tucker groaned. "I'm about to start rolling out a thousand mile roll of wire."
"I'm sure that's not necessary," I chuckled.
"Well, it seems that there's no other way," Sam chuckled. "We've been spending some portion of the nights there and I can't figure it out. There's no way we can put in a phone line. What can we do? It's not like you can install an internet satellite."
"Sure you can," Mom said. "But what's wrong with the phone line in the area."
"You can put in an internet satellite," Tucker declared.
"Sure," Mom replied. "Everything you need is there."
"I'll buy one from you," Sam declared, her voice winded. "Please!"
"You can't just install one in space without proper authorization," Mom replied.
"We don't need clearance," Tucker replied. "Just sell us one, please."
"Do you have any built," I asked.
"Not really," Mom replied. "I can have one built in two weeks but I don't have one ready right now."
"We've been waiting for months," Tucker sighed. "Two weeks is nothing."
"If time continues to fly like it has recently, it'll be here before we know it," Sam said.
"Don't rush time any more than it's flying already," I groaned. She's right, though. I can't believe I'm 31 weeks pregnant.
"I know," Sam smiled softly, "but you know as well as I do how much time has flew by."
"It's been nine months," I laughed. "Can you believe it?"
"No, I can't," Tucker said. "Where does the time go?"
"Beats the hell out of me," I replied. "Time used to proceed at a natural pace. Now, it's something that teases me."
"Nine months since this began. Almost four months since the King. Danny?"
"Why can't you guys remember that," I groaned. "Three months and three days since Dan."
"Do you count it in minutes too," Sam asked, a smile on her face.
I looked to my watch. "Three hours when it was supposed to happen. It didn't happen, though, so it's one more hour and it will be three days exactly."
"Okay," Samuels said. "What's that about?"
"The absolute worst thing that could ever happen to me that thank goodness didn't," I replied. "Mom, work on that satellite. Sam, Tucker, let's go."
"Right," Sam and Tucker replied.
"Work on that satellite," Tucker added. "My people have suffered long enough!"
I chuckled, "Come on, Mr. Duke."
"Right away, my King," Tucker snickered.
"Don't make me hurt you," I said as we started down the stairs.
"Where are they going," Dad asked.
"The Specter Speeder," Mom said.
"Run," I said as I heard footsteps proceeding rapidly. We barely leaped through the portal before they approached.
"Now what are we going to do," Sam asked. "They'll want to know where we went."
"Don't worry," I replied. "They'll calm down." I hope.
"What is threatening to kill you," Tucker demanded.
"Don't worry about it," I groaned. "Let's just get to the Ghost King's castle so we can finish this. I'm about to obliterate that Record Keeper if he keeps bugging me."
"His name is Anastasius," Sam declared in a grunt.
"He's Record Keeper to me," I retorted, leading them deeper into the Zone.
After completing some paperwork for Record Keeper, we went back home so we could start patrol. We exited the portal and headed up the stairs. When I approached the front door, I heard my mom's voice: "Daniel James Fenton, Tucker Martin Foley, Samantha Annabel Manson; where have you three been!"
"Hi, Mom," I said, turning around. "We're heading out for patrol now. Do you need anything?"
"An explanation," Mom said, crossing her arms. Dad came in the hallway behind her from the kitchen.
"An explanation for what," I asked.
"How I turned that lab upside down and still couldn't find you," Mom declared.
"Don't worry about it, Mom," I groaned. For goodness sake, everyone is getting all bent out of shape for the stupidest things.
"I'm getting tired of you telling me not to worry about stuff," Mom declared. "Now, spill."
"We've got to go," I said. "I'll try to be home by ten. See ya!"
"Daniel," Mom declared. We exited the house.
"Are you trying to get killed," Tucker asked. "Mom will nail your ass to the ceiling if you don't stop."
"Then I'll phase out," I added with a smile. "Don't worry, guys. I'm not concerned so neither should you be."
"You're not concerned because you've got a real possibility of dying," Sam declared.
"I'm not discussing this any further," I declared.
"Yeah," Sam retorted. "Well, you would have to discuss it to begin with to refuse to discuss it any further!"
"You guys know about it," I replied. "I've discussed it more than I wanted to begin with."
"I can't believe you didn't want to tell us that you were in trouble," Tucker said.
"I'm not in trouble," I replied. "Well, I don't think I'm in trouble. I have a backup plan in case something happens and in the case of that happening, I have a defense against it. If I were to come up missing, call Brit using any way you can. If I have the team phone on me, go to Saint Louis and call her. Get a hold of her any way you can. She'll know what to do."
"Wait a minute," Sam declared. "Piggy-tails knows about this but we don't!"
"Yeah," I spoke softly. "I told her about Vlad. When I went down to Texas two weeks ago, she was the only option I had. I couldn't understand the bad feeling before but now I think I know what it was."
"It was the Danny-radar," Tucker said. "You can sense bad situations."
"It wouldn't surprise me," I chuckled. "But Vlad isn't just going to walk away from this. When he won that election, he told me that he should have never released me. Now, if he would try such extremes , I don't know but I don't want to take any chances. If Vlad were to drag me to the island, I don't know if I could get away. I did once but now that I have, he's bound to have found the weakness." Especially after what Jazz and I did.
"Wait," Sam snapped. "He's drug you to the island. You're talking about Christmas, right."
"I didn't escape through Christmas," I declared. "He didn't even have a house to put a ghost portal in. He did this after Invincible lead that massive attack on me. He didn't want me risking my life anymore so he asked me to come with him so he could show me something. When I got there, he informed me that we would be living here from now on. He didn't think I'd know how to beat his defense system but it was simple. The ceiling of his lab had a ghost shield on it and only he was immune. With there being no doors going to and from the lab, he thought there was no way for anyone else to get in it. If he's as smart as I think he is, he would have figured out the flaw by now."
"Going through the ground and coming up through the floor," Sam said, shaking her head. "You're probably right. If he did manage to get his grubby little hands on you, we would need to lead a rescue party."
"Just get in touch with Brit," I said. "She'll know where to look for me."
"Why not tell us now that we know about Vlad," Tucker asked me.
"Because, in order for you to start worrying enough to call Brit, enough time should elapse for me to be concerned. You guys won't call her just because I've been missing two hours. You'd call her right on two days."
"Don't be ridiculous," Tucker said. "We'd call her as soon as we didn't know where you were."
"I could be wrong," I sighed. "But I don't think so."
Patrol went like normal and I finished my late night shift by one o'clock. The next morning, it was burning hot. Even I could feel it and that was weird. I came downstairs, grabbing a bottle of water. Mom was making breakfast, fanning herself with a strip of a cardboard box. "Good morning," I said after I drank a large gulp of water.
"Good morning," Mom said. "Jeez, it's hot!"
"Tell me about it," I groaned. "Are you having a heat stroke because even I can feel it?"
"You can feel this," Mom asked.
"Yeah," I said, picking up my water. I gulped down a large drink. "I don't know what's going on. I shouldn't be hot. I've never had any problems before."
"Maybe the ecto-poisoning is passing," Mom said. "Can you taste or feel?"
"Just the sand in my mouth and the fire on my skin," I said, exhaling. The front door opened, heavy footfalls approaching.
"Freezer," Tucker cried, ripping open the freezer. He sighed, "Thank goodness."
"I think you could bake a cake out there," Sam declared. "Forget frying an egg! You'd burn it!"
"Did either one of you sleep with your covers on last night," I asked.
"No," Tucker said simply. "I never sleep with covers in the summertime."
"I had a sheet," Sam said. "Why?"
"I was just thinking," I said, my voice low. "I was fine until about seven this morning. That's when I turned off the hot water in the shower. I was wondering if anyone else noticed."
"No," Tucker said. "It was hot this morning too but it's getting hotter."
"Weird," Mom replied. "It's only seven-thirty. I wonder why it's getting so hot so soon."
"I don't know," I replied. "I guess it's just normal. What else could it be?"
Mom delivered our breakfasts and things were pretty normal from then out. The only difference was we hid in the Ghost Zone to escape the heat until patrol and then we would seek shelter frequently. That was the last day of June so that meant hotter days were to come. Weather change has been happening all over the globe. It wasn't any cause for concern.
The next day was the day I've been dreading for two months now. Vlad was taking the oath today and being sworn in as our new mayor. We did have plans to attend Vlad's oath ceremony but Mom and Dad both decided to cancel. Instead, we watched it on the television. Vlad took the oath and was sworn in as mayor. He already had a bunch of laws he wanted added.
"I made a promise to this city when I was elected and I tend to keep that promise. I will guard this town and its most important resource from the biggest threat that faces this town. I will make this town a safe place again and I will force the ghosts out. The first thing I propose is something I call the Technus Act. It will outlaw all technology from the school to prevent ghost infiltration."
I looked to Tucker fearfully as Tucker was trying to process this. Either he wasn't paying attention, he didn't hear him or he wasn't concerned because he wasn't reacting. Vlad continued: "A new school wardrobe will ward off ecto-unfriendly's by outlawing anything black and gothic. And finally there will be heightened security at the school, roll calls before and after classes and a four o'clock curfew."
"I'm going to kill him," I stated, my teeth clenching.
"If he thinks this town is just going to lie down and take this, he's got another thing coming," Sam said. "Do you think the A-List would stand for this?"
"That's what I'm afraid of," I sighed. "The A-List have no idea who they're up against."
"You do," Sam said. "And so do we. We can beat Vlad at this game and we can do it before school starts up in a little more than a week. I just need to make sure you feel up to a challenge."
"I'll never feel up to facing him again," I said, lowering my head, "but I am ready to fight."
"We'll be right there, sweetheart," Mom replied. "I think he's gone too far."
"I don't want you involved," I replied. "If this gets messy, I don't want anyone else to get hurt."
"Meaning you'll be the only one hurt," Mom said, crossing her arms.
"If it comes down to that," I said. I looked back to the television set.
"As I take this job, I still want to send my thanks out to Daniel Fenton. It is he who inspires me to do all I can for this town and his generation. So, Danny Fenton, thank you."
"Great," I groaned. "He's hell bent on making sure I get the blame for this."
"We'll get him back," Tucker smiled. "He'll regret ever picking a fight with us."
"You guys just remember who you're dealing with," I said, looking between them. "If it gets dangerous, get out."
"Nothing can hurt us now," Sam smiled.
"Don't be so sure," I sighed. "Even I have fell to his sure strength."
We arrived at city hall to find the building swarming with teenagers. Mom, Dad and Samuels brought in the rear but they were mostly here for support. I opened the door to his office to find the royalties already there. "Out," I said, glaring at Vlad.
"Leave this to the professionals," Dash said.
"No," I said, looking to him. "You have no clue what you're doing. Get out!"
"It's good to see you, Daniel," Vlad said, smiling. "Did you hear my speech?"
"As much as I didn't want to," I said, laying my eyes on him. "Do you honestly believe I'm going to allow you to do this?"
"I believe that it is no one's business but the mayor's," Vlad said.
"That's where you're wrong," I said, crossing my arms. "In this town, the most powerful person isn't the mayor. It's the King of the A-List. No matter how many elections you win, you would never be able to claim the top of this town. You're a puppet, Vlad. His," I said, pointing my thumb at Dash.
"Then maybe I should write a new law," Vlad said.
"You don't get it," Dash declared. "I write the laws. You can't pass a law without my approval first. Now get rid of those stupid laws!"
"Listen kid," Vlad said, turning dark. I stepped in front of Dash.
"Lower your voice," I declared. "I will not stand to have you threatening my town. I may not have been able to prevent you from winning that election but I'll be damned if I'll allow you to continue to terrorize us."
"I second that," Sam said, crossing her arms.
"Daniel, I suggest you leave while you still can," Vlad said, lowering his eyes. "I'm not in a good mood."
"Oh, go cry me a fucking river," I declared. I heard several gasps but I ignored them. "You brought this upon yourself. You want to make this out to be my fault! You haven't seen hell yet, Vlad!"
"I am not going to resend the laws, I will not allow a bunch of children run my town and I will not allow a whining brat to tell me what to do. Now, get out of my office before I call the police."
I chuckled, "You couldn't do anything. Vlad, you have no idea who you're messing with. If you do not resend these laws, I will make your life a living nightmare."
"Oh, no, Daniel. It is I who will make your life a living nightmare," Vlad said, smiling wickedly.
"Are you threatening him," Samuels said, pushing his way to the front.
"Samuels," I said, looking at him through the corner of my eye. "Leave this to me."
"You are a federal agent, Radar," Samuels said. "When you threaten him, you piss me off. When I'm pissed off, I tend to shoot people. Now, back off!"
"Who are you again," Vlad asked.
"That's Samuels," I said, rolling my eyes. He made Mom and Dad see him when I went to Saint Louis. How could he not know who he is?
"Oh, that's Samuels, huh," Vlad said softly. "No matter. Everyone, out!"
"I'll give you until tomorrow to change these laws," I said, narrowing my eyes at him. "If you don't by then, I will be declaring war."
"I will not change them so you might as well go and do what you have planned," Vlad smiled. He moved around his desk, placing a hand on my shoulder, "While you're still able to."
"Get your hands off me," I declared, shrugging off his touch.
Mom stepped forward, "You lay your hands on my son again and I will have you arrested."
Vlad blinked, "What?"
"You heard her," Dad said. "Keep your hands off my son!"
"Jack," Vlad said, puzzled. "You too?"
"Just leave my family alone," Dad said, narrowing his eyes. "I didn't appreciate you showing up on my doorstep Thursday and threatening my family. No amount of friendship can erase that."
Vlad straightened his coat, gaining his composure again. "No matter. None of this will matter soon. In about two months."
"Go to hell," I spat. "Tomorrow. Not Saturday. Tomorrow."
I turned around and walked out of the office. Sam and Tucker followed behind me while Mom, Dad and Samuels brought up the rear.
"What was that about," Samuels demanded. "Two months?"
"He's a Froot Loop," I rolled my eyes. "Ignore him."
"As much as you can ignore an elephant in the room," Sam said.
"Are you okay," Tucker asked.
"I'm fine," I said. "He can't ruffle my feathers."
"He can and he does," Sam said. "Often."
"Okay," I resigned. "So it's not impossible but I'll be fine. If he doesn't resend those laws by morning, I will turn everything on his head."
"What are you planning on doing," Mom asked.
"Turning the tables," I said, climbing into the RV. Sam and Tucker climbed in after me, taking a seat beside of me. Samuels took the fourth seat while Dad got behind the drivers wheel and Mom got in the passenger's seat. Dad drove home while I was going over the plan in my head. Vlad wouldn't give up without a fight so I need to be prepared to give him one.
Patrol that night was dull. I think we might have caught eighty ghosts from six until two when I finally went home. The next morning, I came downstairs to find Mom not in the kitchen but instead standing by the door, reading the paper. I walked over to her, "Something wrong?"
"Something's definitely strange," Mom replied. "Have a look at this."
I took the paper she handed me and on the front cover was the Guys in White with a bunch of guys in bed sheets. I laughed, "They think they finally caught a ghost."
"Read on," Mom replied, no humor in her voice. I read the headline and the caption in shock. The Guys in White had caught over two hundred of these bed sheet guys.
"Are you kidding me," I declared. "Son of a bitch!"
"What," Mom asked, panicked.
"I only caught a fourth of the ghosts I normally catch yesterday," I declared. "This is Vlad's doing!"
"How could Vlad scare away the ghosts," Mom asked, chiding me.
"I just know that he did," I declared. "I'll grab breakfast later. I've got to go!"
I ran outside and a blast of hot air hit me. Yesterday had been hot all day long but I was also hot for another reason and it hadn't landed on my radar but I was cool inside. I guess Mom and Dad finally got the AC working right. I headed to get Sam and Tucker.
"Looks like your paranormal non-grada again," Tucker sighed, showing me a newspaper from his stack at the newsstands. The headline read 'Phantom Go Home'.
"It has to be his plan to make this town think they don't need you," Sam sighed.
"I know it," I groaned, looking through all the papers. Headline after headline was about these phony attacks. "I gave him a chance and now it's time to up the ante."
"How are you going to do that," Sam asked.
"I'm going to blow his secret," I declared. "Vlad won this election by overshadowing all the voters. I'm going to tell them the truth."
"What if he tries to turn it around on you," Tucker asked. "Expose your secret."
"You can't be willing to dish something unless you're willing to be given the same thing," I sighed. "I'm not looking forward to my secret being blown but if it is, then I'll know that I'm doing it for the right reason."
"We're behind you," Sam said.
"Thanks," I smiled softly. "That's the only thing I need."
"I heard that Vlad reopened the Nasty Burger," Tucker said. "I know it's enemy territory but you want to go get something to eat."
"Sure," I replied. "I don't mind eating in enemy territory."
I stared at that huge disembodied Vlad head in shock. That's not the Nasty Burger. A large group of kids had gathered around the building but I didn't pay them much attention. I walked behind this one guy to go inside when a hand landed in front of me. "Can I help you—to leave!" The guy took us by surprise, tossing us out from in front of the entrance.
"What was that about," I declared. How dare he touch Sam and Tucker like that? I hope he's big enough to survive in prison!
"There are no teenagers allowed," he said.
"You've got to be kidding me," I declared. He gave me a cheeky grin, pointing to a sign. Okay, Vlad, so that's how you're going to play. The silhouette even looks like me!
"Okay, that's it," I declared. "I've had it. It's time I put an end to this!"
"Time to start," Sam asked.
"Time to start," I answered. I pulled out my phone, "But first." I called Julie and she sent me a few agents. I didn't call for any Guardsmen or Marines… just normal arresting agents. The agents arrived within thirty minutes and I approached the guy.
"What are you doing, Fenton," Dash declared.
"Taking care of business," I said. "That's him. For assaulting three federal officers."
"What," the big guy called. My agents grabbed him by the arms, placing the cuff. "Hey! Let go of me!"
"You are under arrest for the assault of three federal officers. You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." The officer continued the Miranda Rights as I stood watch. Finally, they took him away in cuffs.
"Are we going to stand this," I asked, looking over the crowd.
"No," Dash declared. "We are not. What are you proposing?"
"A protest," I declared. "Get some attention here. I can have some officers here to maintain order and if you can manage to get some media, we can really lay the heat on Vlad. Are you with me?"
Dash handed out his hand, "You've got my support."
I shook his outstretched hand. "Then let's bring down this tyrant," I declared, lifting my hand in the air once the handshake was broken. They all cheered.
"That's the boy I know," Sam smiled.
I ignored her, turning to Norris Holliday. "Can you get some of the guys from the Amity Park Police Department down here?"
"Of course, Radar," Norris said. "I've got your back."
"Thanks, buddy," I said. I turned to another agent. "Santora, get me some more G forces. I need some big guns."
"You want me to get the Marines or some Guardsmen," Santora asked.
"No," I replied. "I said big guns, not tanks."
He laughed, "Of course, Radar. I'm on it."
"Thanks," I replied. I turned to the students, "We need to do this legally," I began. "Do as we say and we can win this fight."
"Follow the Dweeb's orders," Dash called. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but he seems to know what he's doing."
"You won't find anyone with better leading qualities," one of my agents, Wilson said.
"Thanks," I smiled at her. She nodded. We started to organize the protest. When Vlad showed up, he had no choice but to act polite and willing to cooperate. Just as I planned. When I felt him enter the premises, I ducked out of the crowd to go transform. Sam and Tucker knew my plan and I just hoped that this didn't backfire on me. I was willing to sacrifice my secret but only to expose his.
Vlad started trying to act hip, trying to look good in front of the cameras. "Open up a meaningful dialogue," Vlad asked in his best attempt to sound cool.
"How about I open something up," I said, landing on the ground. "Like a big can of worms." I'd kill to breathe right now.
"It's the ghost kid," Dad declared, pulling a gun on me. I was nervous enough but with the added pressure, I allowed my fear to show.
"Now, Jack, we're all friends here," Vlad said. "Allow the lad to have his say."
"Really," I asked. He must not be on to my game here. "Okay, then I will give it to you straight!" Don't waste any time. Get it over with before a, Vlad stops me or b, I stop myself. "The mayor is hiding a secret that would shock you all. It's time for this town to know that Vlad Masters is actually—."
"The most feared ghost nemeses in the world," a voice broadcasted. I looked up in horror. Stupid. He wasn't oblivious to my plan. He's been on to it all along!
"Oh, my," Vlad declared. "It's an evil, yet devastatingly handsome, ghost villain. Whatever shall we do?" Check and mate, Daniel, Vlad spoke inside my head.
Don't be so sure, I declared. I glared at him but I knew that the actual him that was a ghost was the more immediate danger. I lifted into the air. "All right, you carbon copy freak, I'm taking you down!"
"I don't think so," Plasmius grinned at me mischievously. "I'm but a single duplication and way more powerful than you." Plasmius shot a blast at me, sending me into a wall.
"Oh, I bet that hurt," Vlad said. Or at least I hope it did.
I was about to take aim at Plasmius again when I saw Sam and Tucker reaching for their bags. "Don't," I declared. "I'll deal with him alone!"
"But—," Sam began.
"Stay out of this," I instructed. I need to make it look like a suggestion, not an order. My parents were here after all. "He's much bigger than what you're used to."
I darted for Plasmius, however he formed ectoplasm in his hand and it encased his entire body. I thought he was creating a shield but it started to spin, taking on the form of a twister. Before I could stop my ascent, Plasmius's twister captured me and threw me into the Nasty Burger. Plasmius busted through a window, hitting me until I flew back into the air. The velocity sent me through the roof and into the air. For some reason, I was smashing through things and breaking things without thinking about it. Before I could ponder that, though, Plasmius grabbed me by my throat. I didn't react this time though.
"Let me go," I declared. I didn't want him touching me even if he was a copy.
"Oh, I will," Plasmius said. "In a moment. Watch and learn."
I looked down to see Vlad pointing a gun in this direction. "Stand down, fiend! There's a new mayor in town and his name is Vlad Masters!"
What is going on? "Oh, no," Plasmius declared. He turned around, giving me a mischievous grin and I heard Vlad laughing in my mind. "Don't hurt me, Mr. Masters. I beg of you! I'm but a poor dumb ghost. Have mercy on me. I can't help but being bad!"
"And that's why I'm taking you down," Vlad declared. I got it now.
"He's going to zap his own duplicate to make himself look good," I declared. "Unless," I said, smiling, "It does just the opposite. I've got an idea." I turned intangible, flying into Plasmius.
What the hell, I heard Vlad declare. Get out of me!
You're so powerful, I taunted as I took over his duplicate. Make me. "Go ahead, do your worst," I declared, keeping up the charade. Two could play at this game.
When I get my hands on you, I will make you pay dearly, Vlad threatened.
Admit it, I taunted, flying around in his body. Vlad kept trying to regain control over the duplicate but he wasn't strong enough. I'm officially more powerful than him. You can't stop me!
Oh, yeah, Vlad declared. Watch me! Vlad pointed the gun at me and I dived behind his limo. Vlad fired the gun as I phased out of Plasmius and powered down. At the exact time the gun fired, I blasted a shot of energy in Plasmius's chest and the clone evaporated. Time to start acting. I had to power down to make the act stick. It'd be hard to prove I was hurt if my clothes were unscratched.
I started to moan and groan, "W-What happened? I'm just a helpless impressionable teenager who was minding my own business when," I looked to Sam and Tucker, winking, "boom!"
"Oh, my God," Sam cried out. "The mayor shot Danny!"
Tucker burst out in tears, "He zapped an innocent kid!"
"What," Vlad asked. "No!" All the adults started to surround him, including the adults with badges.
"You call yourself a ghost hunter," Norris declared. "You don't even know when you're firing on a ghost or a kid!"
"Danny," Mom declared, running over to me. "Danny, baby, are you all right?"
I allowed Mom to wrap me in her arms but I couldn't tell if she knew I was faking it or not. There wasn't an open wound on me, only dried blood and very little of it. My clothes were the only sign of something big happening.
"I can explain," Vlad said.
"You can explain it in jail," Norris said. "You assaulted a federal officer."
"I'll not press charges on one condition," I said, feigning weakness. "Take everything back."
"But," Vlad said. He glared at me. Norris pulled out a pair of cuffs. "Fine! I'll reverse everything."
"Put them away," I said, looking to Norris.
"Are you sure, sir," he asked.
"Yes," I replied. "Vlad made his point. He doesn't know what he's doing. Let's not add any more humiliation."
"Do as he says," Mom replied.
"It's Radar's choice," Samuels replied.
"Thank you," I said. Sam and Tucker came over, helping me support my weight. Now with Sam and Tucker supporting me, I could put more weight on my legs. Sam and Tucker briefly smiled at me and I smiled at them. Vlad and I both won a battle here so the winner of the war was unclear but I'd say it's a draw.
"Let's get him home," Mom called.
"That's what I was thinking," Sam said. She and Tucker started to carry me towards the RV. "All in all, Danny, I'd call it a draw," she said in a whisper.
"Yeah," I said, "the only problem with that is when there's a draw, there's bound to be a rematch."
Vlad made the announcement on television, surrounded by everyone, that he was resending the laws and he was even rebuilding the Nasty Burger, teens welcomed. I cleaned up and scrapped the clothes, putting on some bandages to cover up the lack of wounds. I didn't get the result I wanted but I still got a good result. The laws have been reversed and I've proven to Vlad that he can't just push me around anymore. I think I've managed to pull this thing out more closer to a victory than ever before. It's still a draw as Sam and I have both said but this is the closest I've come to winning with him. I was proud.
Patrol was more normal today. we captured the normal one-fifty on the evening patrol and I caught upwards of one-twenty-five that night. The only ghost I didn't catch was Vlad himself. He showed up around two as I was about to turn in.
"Can we talk," Vlad asked.
"There is nothing we need to talk about," I said, turning away from him. "Please leave!"
"I think there's a lot we need to talk about," Vlad said. "I don't understand why you're doing this to me!"
"You don't understand," I stated in shock and anger. I turned on him, pointing my finger at him, "How about you tried to kill your daughter and I Wednesday!"
"Don't be ridiculous," Vlad scoffed. "That DNA chamber would have to be ten times more powerful to even hurt you. I was the one almost killed! What the hell was that power?"
"It's called the Ghostly Wail. Would you like another dose of it?"
"Daniel, why are you being more stubborn this time," Vlad declared, his eyes hardening. "I know I kidnapped you! I know I cloned you! I know all of this would upset you but you are truly ticked this time. I can't even get you to talk to me like we normally do."
"That's because we are through," I declared. "Before, you only messed with those that were either below you or were strong enough to protect themselves but this time you went after a helpless baby—my baby! There was only one thing I loved more than you and that was Lilly! Now, I love a cockroach more than you!"
"Lilly was never in danger," Vlad declared. "I would never endanger her! In case you didn't know, she was the one thing I loved more than you but I still love you!"
"I don't care," I declared. "I'm finished Vlad! You proved to me what you really thought about Lilly and I in Colorado. I don't want to hear your pathetic excuses now that your plan has failed."
"How do you think I feel," Vlad declared. "Wednesday, I was protecting my girls."
"I'm not your girl anymore," I declared, my voice flatter than I wanted it to be. Why did I just say that? I was never his girl to begin with. I'm a guy!
"Daniel, please, talk to me. I'm lost here," Vlad said.
"Are you really that dumb or are you just blind," I declared. "You tried to kill Lilly and I!" I started laughing cruelly, finally getting it. "No. You think I didn't hear that. You don't know that I heard you call us obsolete."
"What," Vlad snapped. There it is. "No! Oh, my God. You don't understand!"
"The hell I don't," I declared. "I know what obsolete means. As soon as the 'perfect' clone had my DNA, you could have a son and he would do whatever you wanted. He wouldn't go back home. He would never deny you to fight a ghost. He would never leave you. He would do whatever you wanted him to do and you would never have to feel second best again!"
"Oh, my God, would you just listen! You weren't obsolete to me! You were obsolete to the town. The clone could return to Amity Park and you could stay with me. He couldn't even change, Daniel! I was going to bring your family with me so we could all be together for Lilly's birth and the clone could take care of your town so you wouldn't worry. You have to believe me!"
"I don't have to do anything you tell me to do anymore," I declared. "I'm through! You would say anything to make me take this back—."
"Anything," Vlad declared.
"But," I shot, "I will never forgive you! I'm through, Vlad! You will never see your daughter or I again! Get over it!" I blasted into the air, flying away.
"Daniel," Vlad cried to the sky. "I didn't mean to me," he said weaker. "What have I done?"
I returned home and called Sam and Tucker like always. I didn't mention bumping into Vlad because I didn't want them to worry. I wouldn't fall for his tricks again. I was done playing games with him. I may see him and he may see me but he will never get his hands on my daughter and he will never hold me again. I was done. We were done.
AN: FYI, Vlad is telling the truth. That's my take on Kindred Spirits but Danny's too angry to see Vlad's honesty. Can you blame him?
I got an anonymous review asking why Danny didn't want to deliver at the castle and if Vlad knew about Danny being the King of All Ghosts. Danny doesn't want to deliver at the castle because he doesn't trust the ghost doctors. If you remember, when Danny was attacked by Darcy Victor, the Nazi ghost, the ghost doctors destroyed the skin where he was slashed with Ectoranium until nothing was left—just a gaping hole. Danny doesn't trust them because of that incident but he does see the castle's clinic periodically to make sure he's doing okay for a ghost.
That's a good question about Vlad, though. I know this sounds strange, but I'm not entirely sure if Vlad understands it but I know he knows about it. Invincible brought it up in front of Vlad that one time but I don't think Vlad took him seriously. It hasn't come up since so I hadn't really thought about it. Vlad isn't a King anymore so Danny doesn't have to worry about that. Shortly after Invincible told Vlad about Danny being the King, Vlad was banished by Danny (unknowingly). That is a very good question but I'm afraid I don't have a good answer for it. Sorry.
I'd like to know your thoughts about the third installment. Give me your feedback, please.