Just a little gift for my fruitloop loving friend who taught me all villains are just misunderstood. This one's for you!
Summary: Danny's ghost half has finally found something to obsess over. Or rather, someone. What will become of the young hero once he realizes he's slowly becoming obsessed with his arch-nemesis. I don't know. Read and find out!
Danny didn't like to keep secrets, odd as it seemed what with keeping his ghost half a secret from his family for over a year.
Keeping a secret, no matter how big or small it seemed, meant telling lies to cover it up. It meant always being cautious which often lead to being paranoid over the simplest of things and for Danny there was no worse feeling than having to always look over his shoulder.
But he had no choice. His parents would have a heart attack if he told them. Sam and Tucker would never understand. Jazz would no doubt suggest counseling. And Vlad,
Danny shuddered imagining how the older halfa would react to such news.
Let's just say Vlad would've killed to know Danny's secret obsession and leave it at that.
OH! Didn't I mention it was an obsession he was keeping secret?
Danny sat in the middle of his bed lost in thought as he often did before letting out a long sigh and shaking his head, thick bangs swaying back and forth lightly.
The teen tried going back in his mind to when it had all started but the thoughts that now haunted his mind day and night were so subtle when they first appeared, so small that the ghost boy hadn't realized they were there until someone would try speaking to him and his mind would be forced to recognize his previous thoughts.
That's all it was in the beginning. Little thoughts. Small wonderings that drifted to the surface of his mind every now and again. Nothing more.
In fact, they were so harmless it didn't even bother the little halfa that they were about Vlad.
Like wondering about what Vlad did in his spare time, (when he wasn't plotting evil schemes that is, like trying to win over married women.) Or perhaps thinking about the man's ghost powers, how hard or how long the billionaire must've worked to control the powers he had. (Danny allowed himself to indulge in these thoughts a bit more convincing himself that they would push him to train harder in order to get as strong as the other hybrid.)
Simple things. Harmless things.
But as days passed the thoughts became more and more frequent and something as ordinary as getting a butter biscuit on his lunch tray made Danny think of Vlad and chuckle. This would then lead to an entire 30 minutes of staring at his lunch while images of a flustered Plasmius would drift before his icy eyes and that oh so familiar voice in his head would say, "I wonder what he's doing right now."
Sam and Tucker had given him worried looks, (who wouldn't after watching their friend gaze dreamily at their peas for 20 minutes) and asked him if he was alright. Danny would nod and say he just wasn't hungry, which oddly enough was the truth. For the more Danny pictured Vlad, sitting alone dejectedly at his large dinner table, eating his lunch in utter silence. Well… Danny lost his appetite.
It went on like this for awhile. Danny would think of Vlad and become happy, but once cold reality would set in again, that the man he thought of constantly, the man he worried about, the man he so desperately wanted to see, hated him with a fierce passion and most likely wanted him dead. Danny's heart would sink into his stomach like the unfeeling rock it was.
It was always the same. Happiness, Grief, Sorrow. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
In a matter of weeks Danny couldn't go one day, one HOUR, without thinking of the older hybrid. The thoughts had become images, sometimes even memories of previous encounters, (most of which were no longer pleasant for the ghost boy as he recalled torturing and taunting Vlad mercilessly.) They nagged and nibbled and gnawed at Danny's mind until the teen would eventually stop and realize he had been thinking about his arch-nemesis all day where he would promptly throw his head back tugging at his hair and groan.
Danny started walking home from school by himself often telling Sam and Tucker he had to rush home for whatever reason. Instead he would take the long way which, consequently, lead him past city hall. Where the mayor's office was. Where Vlad was. Sitting there doing boring non-important paper work.
Maybe he could stop just this once and…
NO! Danny shook his head trying to regain what little sanity he had left. What real reason did he have to see Vlad? If he just showed up outta the blue of course the man would get suspicious of him! And what then? More angry glares and mocking smirks while he listened to the man insult his dad and hit on his mom?
No. Danny didn't have to deal with that. He didn't want to see Vlad that bad anyway.
It was just a coincidence, a freak accident that Danny had managed to stumble across some magazine on the internet that had Vlad's picture on the cover. It was no big deal.
It was a nice picture though… Vlad standing straight and tall in his usual flawless black suit, that familiar cunning smirk on his lips, the gleam in his dark eyes.
Maybe… Maybe he could just look up a few more. JUST A FEW! Thanks to Jazz he had a catalog of all his ghost enemies anyway. A few more of Vlad wouldn't hurt right?
All Danny had to do was type in the words, "Vlad Masters" and over a thousand pictures popped up on screen. The teen rolled his eyes. Vlad certainly loved the camera, and judging by all the perfect pictures the camera clearly loved Vlad as well.
Well, no big deal. He'd only save four or five pictures to his laptop. Ten at the most.
Danny yawned rubbing his now bloodshot eyes. It was almost two in the morning. Man, why was it so hard for him to choose! Beings that the little halfa only wanted a few pictures of the billionaire he wanted the absolute BEST. But they were all so good!
Yawning once more Danny went into his ghost file to see how many pictures he had saved so far. Truthfully he knew he had saved over ten but not by that much. After all this time he probably only had fifteen or sixteen decent pictures of Vlad.
Danny's breath hitched in his throat, eyes growing as big as saucers. SEVENTY-THREE PICTURES? ! THERE WAS NO WAY! H-He couldn't have saved that many!
But after scrolling through the pictures several times Danny vaguely remembered all of them and the reasons why he had chose them.
Vlad was posing a certain way in this one. Vlad's smile almost looked real in this one, (this became one of Danny's favorites as he had looked carefully for a picture where Vlad was really smiling, not smirking or sneering, but a real genuine smile. This one came close.) Vlad was laughing in this one. Vlad was shirtless in-
Danny nearly fell out of his chair. THAT ONE he didn't remember clicking on. Must have been some sports magazine Vlad had posed for.
Sucking in a quick breath to hold back the scream in his throat Danny deleted the picture AND emptied out his recycle bin just in case. That was the end of picture hunting. For that night anyway.
It wasn't so much that the picture was too revealing that alarmed Danny. He had seen Vlad naked once before after all, back during their prank war. And if it hadn't been for one well placed chair the ghost boy would've seen ALL of the billionaire that night too. (Thank goodness for that chair.)
No, it was the fact that he had been looking for pictures of Vlad and, of his own free will, clicked on that one.
He wasn't looking up embarrassing photos to play another prank. He wasn't wasting away hours of his time to get even.
NO. He was looking up pictures of Vlad for, (Danny nearly gagged) his own personal enjoyment.
It made him feel sick. Made him feel like some sort of creeper. Like a stalker. Like a Fruitloop.
The raven haired boy quickly threw himself on his bed burying his face into his pillow trying to forget all the images floating around in his head and perhaps even Vlad himself. But not before going back to his computer and moving all the pictures to their own special folder which Danny labeled, file "V".
That was it. The pictures were one thing. But reading about him IN THE PAPER? ! The teen now had a stack of newspapers and magazine articles piled high in his closet, most of which he had read twice.
He had to stop. Had to stop thinking about the man somehow. Danny took drastic measures. (Or at least in his mind he thought he did.) He forced himself to stay busy with school work, ghost hunting, anything that kept his mind and body on the go. If anyone so much as said the billionaire's name, (human or ghost surname seeing as his dad talked about both fairly often) Danny would stand up and leave the room altogether.
But the newspapers remained cleverly hidden in the back of his closet. The photos on his computer increasing weekly, daily even. (Not to mention the pictures he kept on his cell phone. Danny had gotten a mini heart-attack one day when he forgot to remove Vlad's picture as his wallpaper before he went to school. Tucker almost saw it. That would've been hard to explain…)
And then at night, tucked deeply in his blankets, Vlad's face would drift before Danny's eyelids smiling softly at him, wishing him sweet dreams. It wasn't long before Danny could no longer resist the urge and would whisper a very silent, a very sad, "Good night Vlad," before he went to sleep.
It was bound to happen sooner or later. He really should have seen it coming too, but of all the pleasant, peaceful dreams he had dreamed in the past Danny would've traded them all for this one simple little vision.
Yet at the same time he wished it had been a nightmare instead.
He was in a large dining room sitting at a table he had never seen before yet it was familiar to him all the same. Staring down at an almost empty diner plate he felt relaxed, almost bored as if waiting for something to happen.
Soon he heard the front door open and turned his head toward the sound, eyes wide and excited. Vlad hurried into the room, his suit a bit disheveled, strands of silver hair falling out here and there as if he had rushed to get home.
Danny found himself smiling at the thought and had to turn his head away so the man wouldn't see. Vlad began apologizing then no doubt for missing dinner and leaving the teen to have supper by himself and started explaining why he had been late.
Wordlessly Danny got up from his chair and placed his dish in the sink still hiding a secretive grin. Vlad got quiet then too probably taking the boy's silence as a sign that he was upset though inside the teen's heart was beating fast with delight.
Danny didn't care that Vlad had been late. He was just happy that the older hybrid was finally home and that he would get the chance to do this-
Still without a word Danny walked up to the man just as he was turning around and quickly (as he was a little embarrassed) wrapped his arms around Vlad's waist giving him a tight hug, a silent welcome home.
Danny kept his eyes closed as he held the other halfa tightly feeling strong arms wrap around his body as well. He could feel Vlad's face buried in his hair and knew the man was smiling. He could feel the warmth of Vlad's form next to him, covering him like a blanket and for one brief moment it was as if he could feel Vlad's love for him too.
He'd never felt so warm. So safe. So loved.
Then it had ended, as all perfect dreams do, too soon.
And finding himself cold, all traces of warmth and affection gone, sitting in a dark bedroom completely alone…
Danny buried his face in his pillow and cried bitterly until morning.
It had become too much. The waiting, the longing, the wishing, all of it. Danny would see Vlad face to face even if he had to fight the man to do so. And so he did…
The two hybrids were flying above the rooftops, their usual fighting and taunting not as comical as it use to seem. Probably because Danny had started it, without any real reason…
Vlad had certainly been taken back by the teen's sheer resolve to fight him and had even been hesitant to transform into Plasmius. Something just didn't seem right with the boy. The waver in his voice when he yelled and accused. The way his fists shook at his sides.
Something felt off. But with the little Phantom nearly destroying his living room in order to get him to fight back Vlad's patience quickly ran out.
If his little badger really wanted a fight so badly, he'd give him one. He hadn't spent any "quality time" with boy for some time anyway.
Vlad had blocked Phantom's ecto-blasts fairly easily. For whatever reason the boy seemed to put more raw force in his attacks but was having a horrible time aiming. Odd.
ARG! Why wasn't Vlad saying anything? ! He had burst into the man's home, demanded a fight and when he didn't get his way practically threw the man's flat screen TV at his head and yet Vlad barely scolded him! Even now as he chased after the more experienced ghost he purposely missed the man every time he fired.
Why wasn't Vlad mocking him? ! Why wasn't he teasing him? !
"COME ON!" Danny shouted no longer caring if they were seen or heard by any bystanders down below. "Fight back Plasmius! Stop running away like a coward and FIGHT ME!"
God how he needed to hear the man's voice. Mocking him. Insulting his dad. Making some lame come on about his mom. ANYTHING! Anything to hear his voice!
Desperate and near breaking point Danny shut his eyes tightly and fired at the man's back wincing sharply when he heard it hit its target. The pained look on Plasmius' face was hard to bear but if the ghost would finally strike back it would be worth it.
"W-Well," Danny stammered forcing himself to stand tall. "Are you going to fight back now or what?"
Vlad let out a small groan now on his knees atop some building. Honestly, what had gotten into Daniel all of a-
Plasmius' red eyes widened in understanding, a smile tugging at his lips.
Danny titled his chin up defiantly as Plasmius got his feet with a smile brushing off invisible dust from his shoulder. "Why Daniel," Vlad cooed, his rich voice sending tiny shivers up the ghost boy's spine. "I didn't realize you missed me so much." Plasmius' eyes shimmered with wicked delight, his deep voice caressing Danny's ears making him crave more.
Phantom's face flooded with heat, heart nearly jumping into his throat. "T-T-That's… That's just…" The teen stammered but looking to Vlad's solid red eyes it was obvious there would be no convincing the man otherwise.
He had been found out. In the blink of an eye Phantom spun around and shot off like a rubber band leaving behind a once amused Plasmius very confused. And a little bit worried…
Danny flew home like his life depended on it, too embarrassed and too ashamed to even process what he had just done. H-How could he have lost control like that? And then running away! But what else could he have done? Vlad had seen right through him.
But the adrenaline in Danny's veins hadn't subsided yet and Vlad's baritone voice was still echoing his ears. "Why Daniel, I didn't realize you missed me so much." And the really sick part was that he was right, Danny had missed him. He had REALLY, REALLY missed him. To the point where the teen had risked everything just to hear his voice again.
That soothing, self-centered voice. Arrogant jerk. Stupid fruitloop, pompous…
Danny didn't realize he was crying until he accidently let a sob.
I miss him already…
It was too much. This need, this obsession. It wasn't a choice anymore. Danny needed to be around Vlad. He needed to see Vlad, to hear his voice, to learn from him, to keep him company, to smile at the man and see him smile back.
Danny needed it, but he needed it too much, he knew this. He knew it wasn't normal to feel like he needed these things from just one person, Vlad in particular, or to think constantly about it. To obsess over it like this.
That's all it was. An obsession. A sick, selfish, obsession. Not even real love!
ARGGG! Hasn't Vlad been through enough? ! Haven't YOU tortured him enough? ! Danny scolded him repeatedly in his mind. And now you're chasing after him with half-hearted feelings when it's convenient for you. After all you've done to him!
He was cruel. He had accused Vlad of being a villain all this time when really he was the monster. How many times had he pushed Vlad away? How many times had he thrown the man's painful past back in his face without a single thought?
But now that HE was the one suffering, now that HE was the one in pain, he wanted to go running back to Vlad for help and understanding.
What a joke.
Danny sniffled, tears still flowing as he phased through his bedroom wall before changing back to his human form and falling on his knees and begging Vlad to forgive him and wishing he could turn back and plead to the man in person.
Vlad flew home silently, so lost in thought that he didn't pay much mind to the mess of a living room he now had. He had thought, for a moment, about flying after the little hybrid. To track him down and find out what was wrong as clearly something was.
But Vlad decided against it. By the look on Daniel's face he clearly seemed to need some time to himself. But WHY? What had he said to the boy that would make him so upset? All he did was tease the teen a bit, it's not like he hadn't done so in the past.
Naturally Vlad had expected the ghost boy to get angry or simply throw back some sort of witty comeback as he usually did. But the look on Danny's face… The absolute shock and the terror in his electric green eyes… What Vlad meant as a taunt had turned out to be the truth. Danny had missed him.
Vlad shook his head hard as he began pacing around the room walking around the wreckage. No, no that couldn't be it. No matter how much he wished it was. Daniel would never miss him, why would he? And yet… He hadn't really bothered with the boy for several weeks. Perhaps… Perhaps Daniel did miss their weekly battles together. Maybe he did miss talking to the older hybrid, even if it was just their usually banter.
Vlad stopped pacing. Well, there was really only one way to find out. Easily pulling out his cell-phone from his suit pocket Vlad started dialing, a small smirk touching his lips as someone on the other end picked up.
"Hello Jack, its Vlad. … Yes it has been awhile hasn't it?"
Danny didn't feel like going down for supper that night, still feeling sick to his stomach, not that he had much of a choice though what with Vlad suddenly being invited over for dinner. Danny was sure the man was there just to mock him but that didn't stop him from standing in the same room with the older halfa while still trying to remain a good three feet away at all times.
Vlad was merely chatting away with his dad while his mom and Jazz were in the kitchen preparing for dinner. The teen knew it probably would've been best to volunteer to help with dinner too or even setup the table just to keep some distance away from Vlad but… But… But he had to make sure he didn't do anything to his dad when he wasn't looking. Yeah, that was it.
Meanwhile as his dad talked to Vlad Danny stood awkwardly beside them only three feet away, shifting uncomfortably as if he had an itch on the bottom of his foot he couldn't scratch. It was just… Just being this close to Vlad… Danny couldn't even remember the last time he had stood so close to the billionaire and now that he was this close he wanted to take in every detail he might've missed in the past. To somehow take a picture of Vlad to keep in his mind forever.
Vlad seemed pretty into the conversation he was having, or at least appeared to be anyway. He wouldn't notice if Danny just happened to look over at him, right?
Danny looked over at the man slowly, careful not to turn his head too much so he wouldn't be noticed. Vlad stood tall with perfect posture, a lean muscular frame evident through his ebony suit, left hand placed behind his back probably out of habit while his other pale hand held a glass cup half full of juice, a drink Jack had offered him.
Danny's eyes had just started to drift up to the man's milk white throat when he glanced up to find Vlad looking right at him, dark eyes questioning with a curious look on his face. A small gasp escaped Danny's lips as he quickly snapped his head in the other direction. Luckily Jack failed to notice any of this, his eyes closed during that moment as he smiled and bragged about a new invention he had made.
It was then that Danny, still looking away from the two adults, suddenly announced that he was going to see if his mom and sister needed any help in the kitchen. Too late. As soon as he was finished speaking his mom called in saying dinner was finished.
Danny had been seated next to Vlad, naturally, a fact that made him nervously play with his food and take careful poised bites. (He didn't want to seem like a slob in front the man.)
Dinner passed without much ceremony although Danny did have some trouble when Vlad casually asked him how school was going and the teen, refusing to look up from his potatoes, could barely form an intelligible sentence for an answer.
It was only after dinner while all the other Fentons had gone back to their usual routine that Danny noticed Vlad standing casually in the kitchen doorway, an almost bored expression on his face.
It was a bad idea but… Walking over to the man Danny stood beside him pretending to put some unused forks away while staring at the older hybrid out of the corner of his eye.
Little did the ghost boy know that that was what Vlad had been waiting for.
Smirking as he caught the teen glancing at him Vlad turned to Danny, eyes gleaming in amusement. "Something you want to tell me little badger?"
Danny's breath caught in his throat as he turned his full gaze to the other halfa, baby blue eyes wide and fearful, color draining from his face.
Vlad's smirk only widened as if reading the boy's thoughts. "You have been staring at me ever since I got here after all."
Something inside Danny snapped. Dropping a handful of silver utensils the forks clattered against the tile floor loudly as Danny raced past Vlad and up the stairs to his bedroom.
"Danny!" Vlad could hear Maddie call up to her son before quickly approaching him. "Vlad what just happened?"
Vlad only stared at her, for the first time he couldn't find the words to answer.
Danny had ignored both his parents' shouts to come down and say goodbye to Vlad telling them that he had a stomachache. A really bad 'want to throw-up your dinner' kind of stomachache. It was late now, well past eleven o'clock and he still couldn't get to sleep. Vlad's face now haunted him even when he was awake and his voice…
"You have been staring at me ever since I got here." It had chased away all the sanity left in him. He had to do something. HE HAD TO! He couldn't live this way another day! Another HOUR!
But how could he stop it? The only real way to stop his thoughts would be to stop his heart. Though truthfully even that now seemed like a welcome relief to this torture. His parents did have a lot of weapons in the lab… Perhaps, an unfortunate accident…
NO! He couldn't do that! Not to his parents, not to Jazz or Sam or Tucker. They shouldn't have to suffer because of his mistakes. Besides, even if he did kill himself what would be there to stop his ghost half from surviving. It wasn't like-
Wait. That was it. His ghost half. That was the reason for all of this, all this pain and misery. If he could find a way to destroy just that part of himself, then he would be FREE!
I just have to get rid of my ghost-half. Danny thought desperately, trying to calm his own shaking nerves. Once I'm not Phantom it'll be over. There won't be any ties left to hold me to Vlad. No more battles, no more guilt, no more second guessing. NO MORE VLAD. It'll be ok then. Everything will go back to the way it was. The way it should be.
Danny's body seemed to go on autopilot as his feet slowly lead him out of his room and downstairs directing him to his parents' lab.
Vlad won't miss my ghost-half anyway. It's not like he misses me now when I'm not around him. He'll probably be happy once he finds out. And he'll be better off once I'm out of his life. Yeah, he'll be better off…
When Danny finally looked up he was standing before his parents' ghost-portal. If it gave him these powers, this curse, then it could take it all back. Right?
Vlad lay in his two million dollar bed but couldn't sleep. Danny's odd behavior still at the front of his mind, the boy's shocked face before his eyes. It was clear to the billionaire now more than ever that something truly was wrong with his little badger. But what was it?
Perhaps things were getting worse at home. His parents' obsession becoming too much for him to bear and that Vlad coming over for a visit made him paranoid, set him on edge.
Vlad shook his head. It was doubtful, and that would hardly explain why the boy had burst into his home and attacked him for no reason.
Maybe it was his powers… Daniel's ghost powers had always been a bit unstable, Vlad had figured this out quite easily and with the teen's brash and somewhat arrogant behavior he was nothing short of a ticking time bomb. One false move, one impulsive action and his powers could be fatal to those around him. And himself…
Vlad shuddered lightly at that thought and tried to push it aside. He had already tried to help Daniel with that, he had offered to train him, but Daniel of course refused. The boy clearly thought he knew best. Being only a child how could he not.
Vlad snorted lightly rolling over on his side. Yes, he had already tried to help the teen, it was none of his concern now. The boy was too proud either way. Daniel would never accept his help even if he offered it.
But then… Why did he keep allowing himself to be near the older halfa? Why would Danny try to so hard to get his attention? Maybe it wasn't that Daniel was too proud… Maybe he was too embarrassed to ask for help?
Vlad slowly sat up, the wheels in his head still turning. That would explain everything. That would explain Daniel's reason for attacking him as Phantom. And for Daniel's shocked, almost frightened look when Vlad questioned if he had something he wanted to tell him at dinner.
That was it. Something was going on with the Daniel's ghost half. Something he was too ashamed to admit. Something he was afraid of, something he was losing control of, (if he ever had control over it in the first place) something that was hurting him from the inside out. Something that could even be killing him.
Vlad's eyes flashed red in the dark room, not out of anger but determination. Whatever was going on with Daniel he was going to find out, TONIGHT.
Danny's legs suddenly felt like jelly as he walked over to the empty portal. The invention that had once drawn him in like a moth to the flame now appeared ominous and threatening like the mouth of some giant monster waiting to swallow him whole. Danny took in a shuddering breath.
He had to do it. It was for the best. He knew it was. After all he had done much more harm than good ever since he had gotten his powers. His parents would still catch any ghosts that showed up in Amity Park. And now he wouldn't be able to fight Vlad anymore. He wouldn't be able to cause him anymore pain.
That's right, he was doing it for Vlad, and for himself too. For as much as he wanted to satisfy his obsession, grant his ghost half's only dying wish, Danny knew a life with Vlad, a life of them not being enemies was nothing more than a dream.
A dream that would never come true.
Tears welled up in Danny's eyes, heart close to breaking. "I'm sorry Vlad." The apology was breathed like a dying man's last words as Danny stepped inside the portal walking over to the on/off button on the inside.
Closing his eyes tightly to hold back tears Danny pressed the button and immediately heard the unmistakable sound of the portal charging up. Danny hugged himself tightly, bracing himself for the excruciating pain that was about to come.
Moments passed and even with his eyes closed Danny could see the streaks of electricity course through the portal and just as it was about to reach full power-
Plasmius dived into the portal wrapping both arms around the boy and pulling him out moments before they were both electrocuted. Taking deep breaths Plasmius held Danny tightly, glancing up at the now swirling green mist in front of him.
One more second and Daniel would've been…
With a growl Plasmius shoved Danny away from him gripping the boy's shoulders tightly and giving him a fierce shake. "What do you think you're doing? !" Vlad hissed venomously. "You could've killed yourself! Do you want to be burned alive? !" Pressing a gloved hand to his forehead Plasmius tried to control his anger. "I swear Daniel I've never met anyone so prone to sheer life-threatening idiocy as much as-"
Vlad's breath caught in his throat, angry rant stopping short when he saw the tears flowing down Danny's cheeks.
"I… I-I'm s-sorry…" Danny whispered brokenly, his thin body trembling underneath the man's touch, vision clouded with tears. "I'm so s-sorry… for ev-everything. B-But I can't do this anymore…" The boy choked on a sob. "I-I… I don't wanna live anymore…"
Vlad's solid red eyes widened in horror at those words but before he could react Danny stepped forward wrapping his slender arms around the older ghost's torso and pressing his wet face against the man's chest.
"I d-don't want to live like this anymore." Danny mumbled into Vlad's chest. "I don't wanna live w-without you, I c-can't anymore…" The teen's body became racked with sobs as he wept bitterly on his arch-enemy.
Vlad stood frozen in shock. He wasn't prepared for this at all.
Carefully, as if touching the delicate boy too suddenly might break him, Vlad put his arms around Danny's trembling frame drawing the boy in close and holding him softly.
"Oh little badger," Vlad sighed heavily, grief evident in his voice. "Why didn't you tell me sooner? Why didn't you come to me?"
Danny sniffled. "I didn't think you would care."
Plasmius frowned. "Did you really think I'd be so cruel? That I wouldn't care you were suffering?" He asked sounding a little offended but gave the teen a gentle squeeze none the less.
"Why not?" Danny muttered, pressing his cheek harder against the man as if to hide his face. "I was twice as cruel to you."
Plasmius blinked in surprise. "Daniel?" The older halfa breathed trying to look down at the boy but Danny only nuzzled his cheek against the man's chest even more.
"It's the truth." Danny's voice got harder, more solemn. "I didn't care when you were in pain. I only made it worse." The teen's voice became choked. "S-so why do you care?"
Vlad shook his head smiling softly. "I've always cared about you Daniel. You just didn't let me show it much."
"That's because you shouldn't care." Danny replied firmly, tears welling up again.
"Then what do you want me to do?" Vlad frowned lightly. "What do you want me to say?"
"I want you to yell at me!" Danny said fiercely but held onto Vlad all the more. "I want you to tell me what a horrible person I am! I want you to call me a brat and a monster! Call me every bad name you know, in every language you know! And don't stop until I feel as terrible as what I made you!"
"Danny… You know I can't do that." Plasmius whispered gently, rubbing the boy's back in an attempt to soothe him.
"Why not?" Danny whispered back, thin tears sliding down his cheeks. "Why can't you?"
"Because I care about you too much." Vlad hugged Danny tightly. "Because I love you."
Too far beyond words Danny only shook his head lightly as he cried into the man's chest.
"Don't worry little badger, we'll figure this out. Whatever you're going through I'll be there to help. I won't leave you alone."
"You prommmissse?" Danny mumbled against his chest.
"I promise." Vlad chuckled lightly.
Do I hear a call for another chapter? Or is this to stay a one-shot? Either way please feel free to leave a review and tell me what you think of this piece. THANK YOU~!