Warning: This story contains adult content and slash. Be advised.

Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom.

Dear Diamond:

A VladXBlue companion to Danny's Story, Part 4: Life's Changes

It was the most gut wrenching feeling I had ever felt. My stomach twisted into a painful position, wringing and distorting my insides until I thought I would throw up. It used to feel so damn good. It felt so damn good to walk past Daniel or drive by his parents' home and see him stare at me a moment longer. Of all the ways I thought I would get him back, I never imagined my sweet daughter, Megan, aiding me in my quest. Megan inherited my deep distrust and disgust with Daniel's fiancée and the child, much to my delight, has been attempting to wretch the cursed female away from our lives. I knew it was only a matter of time.

So the day he came to my house, I tried not to act expectant. I didn't want the love of my life to figure out that I knew he would figure out the Manson girl was no good for him and that I knew where he belonged all along. I poured him a mug of tea and offered him some of the delightful sugar cookies Rachel makes so great. Daniel was nervous and I knew he was second guessing himself. After all, he'd been under the spell that wretched woman placed on him for some time now. The feeling that he would disappoint her would be great, no less. I remember that feeling he used to have towards me; too afraid of disappointing the boss, he would do backflips just to get a treat.

So I allowed Daniel to proceed at his own pace and proceed we did. It started out slow, the history that we shared too potent to ignore. Then it began to build until there could be nothing to stop the passion we felt. Our first kiss was so powerful, it almost made the near twenty-five months for this to finally happen seem worthwhile. Suddenly, his true feelings got the better of him and Daniel didn't want to stop. He inhaled me until I was certain Daniel would cause me to lose my breath. I didn't care, though, because all that mattered was Daniel was mine again. Two years of working diligently, and he was finally mine again.

We made love and I never felt better. Then as Daniel dismissed himself to the bathroom, I rolled over to my side of the bed, grabbing my loafers. I couldn't believe finding that little token, a memento to put the clone's mind at ease and keep him where he belonged, would awaken such a powerful emotion in me. I held that twenty-four karat gold ring in my hand, rolling it between my fingers. It didn't mean anything. I certainly never meant the vows I had spoken in the ridiculous "ceremony". It wasn't even a real ceremony. There was no one else. We didn't dress up. It was exchanged in our bedroom. But the day ran through my mind anyway.

Daniel opened the dresser, retrieving a small box. He removed the small Tiffany's case and opened it carefully. I was standing in front of the mirror, watching him beside my reflection. He removed a small cylinder piece of gold. It was certainly nothing impressive; I didn't think so at the time, anyway. However, holding it in my hand now, it was more precious than all the gold in the world combined.

"Vlad," Daniel had whispered. "I need your promise. I need you to promise you will never do that to me again." He became emotional. "I need you to promise that if you decide to do that ever again, you will take this ring off and never put it back on. I love you but I do not want that! You can't choose Danny over me."

You're nothing, I had thought to myself. You are only a means to the end. He has always been a substitute. Something to take the place of Daniel until the real thing finally returned to me. As soon as my woman came back to me, he would prove to be useless. I would dissolve him. But here I was, holding that ring, hearing those words echo in my mind.

you will take this ring off and never put it back on, he had said. I wasn't allowed to put the ring on after I took it off. Is that what Daniel was trying to imply?

"You have to believe me," I told him, looking into his eyes. "I understand what I have is much better than what I don't have. I will cherish you for the rest of eternity. I will respect you for as long as we both shall exist." I had become good at conning over the years. He would never suspect I wasn't talking about him. I was talking about my Daniel.

Daniel took my hand, slipping the ring on my ring finger. "I got these together. I hope you don't mind," Daniel replied, handing me the second golden ring. I slipped it on his finger, dreaming of the day I got to rip it off his finger and give it to the real Daniel. I couldn't stand the clone but it was better than nothing. I didn't know how long it would take for Daniel to return.

Two years would have been too long to go without my Daniel.

But I wasn't thinking of the Daniel in the bathroom any more. My mind was solely on the clone now, going over the ceremony in my head. He had placed the ring on my finger and I had placed the ring on his. The notion had gone by unnoticed by me at the time but I saw it now. My Daniel, the one in the bathroom, had never even entertained the idea of marriage. And here, my Daniel, the clone, had practically married me eight months ago. What does this mean?

That's when the pain sacked me in the gut, one of the most painful hits I'd ever taken. More painful than Daniel's goodbye, more painful than Daniel and Lilly teleporting out of my life forever, even more painful than hearing that woman had stolen my family from me. I felt something stinging in my eyes and I reached my hand up to wipe the tears away. How did it get this bad? When did I start loving him?

I pulled my boxers on and walked over to my vanity. We were on the island so we could have privacy but now I realize that was just a cover. I had teleported us here so no one would know of the terrible deed we were about to do. I stared at that ring until I thought my eyes would bleed. It was a symbol of our love, much stronger than this joke of a love I had held onto so tightly. The day Daniel discovered Blue existed popped into my mind. I had told Blue that to subdue him but it was the God honest truth. I did love Blue more than I loved Daniel—it's just taken me this long to figure it out.

And it may be too late.

I looked towards the bathroom, every pleasant thought I had touched earlier replaced with ones of horror and heartbreak. "This was a mistake," I whispered. I don't know who I was talking to. Daniel was in the bathroom and no one else was here. I just know I see now. I am no longer blind. Daniel and I are over. This was the only temporary thing about us. Our relationship is temporary while the one I had formed with Blue—the only one I had intended to be temporary—was built to last.

What had happened? Why did the second time become so much more successful? I was so sure what Daniel and I had was real yet here I am, regretting the very act I've dreamed nothing more of doing. Why does it feel so shameful? Did I really make a mistake? Do I really owe the clone anything?

I heard a soft sound and looked in that direction. Daniel was pulling on his pants and he looked worse than my reflection did. I'm not the only one second guessing our act tonight. Daniel regrets what we've done.

"Daniel," I spoke softly. I saw a reaction on him that I have never saw.

"No," he choked out. In an instant, Daniel was choking on tears. "No, Vlad. This was a mistake. This wasn't supposed to happen!" His voice dropped to barely a whisper: "What have I done?"

"I wanted—," I began to say. My emotions were getting the best of me. However, before I could finish my sentence or break down in tears, Daniel cut me off.

"I said no," he trembled. "This wasn't your fault. I'm the one who came here. B-but, damnit, Vlad, I'm not going to set myself up to fail again." His voice cracked painfully. My heart seized and I actually felt for him. He was blaming himself for something I've been planning for months.

"Daniel, I just—," I began again, my voice harder to control. My larynx enlarged and I couldn't produce the words I wanted at the speeds I wanted.

"No," Daniel exclaimed. "I-I don't want to hear it, Vlad. I just want to get my clothes and get away from here."

I couldn't tell him I felt the same way. I didn't have the ability to soothe him or tell him he wasn't at blame. I loved him still, of course, but this was a different love now. I felt something towards him that I have never felt before. I had a desire to protect him. I had a desire to tell him sweet nothings just to see him smile. I think I actually looked at him as a nephew now.

Daniel pulled on his pants and fumbled with the zipper and button. His hands shook and he was breathing hard. I didn't have the strength to see what he was thinking. I couldn't deal with my own emotions. I just wanted to put this behind us too. I wanted to pretend this never happened and I never took off this ring. God, I wished I had never taken off this ring.

Daniel pulled on his shirt and the fabric stretched he pulled on it so hard. "This is over, Vlad," Daniel said, looking to me. "I-I never meant for this to happen. As far as you're concerned, it never did." He pointed his hand in front of him and I was confused. Was he going to shoot me? No, that's his right hand. He's going to use the Reality Gauntlet on me.

"Daniel," I pleaded.

"Goodbye, Vlad. Forever," he replied. Fear seized me. I needed this memory so that I wouldn't love Daniel anymore and so that I could see Blue for the person that he is. Before I could plead for my memories, though, a green substance exploded through his palm but nothing like ectoplasm. The substance started out as an insignificant dot but in an instant, it developed into a swirling mass of energy hanging in midair, its size resembling a flattened beach ball. The mass was solid because I couldn't see Daniel behind it. I had never seen a phenomenon as this before. However, before I could question Daniel on its ability or origins, he stepped towards it and the mass vanished, Daniel along with it.

"What the hell was that," I exclaimed.

I couldn't figure it out. It was some kind of transportation power yet it acted as a portal. I've never seen a ghost power such as this. All transport powers require the physical dissolving of the ghost yet Daniel created a portal to where he wanted to go. It was quite amazing if I do say so myself. I'll have to do some more research into it. But for now…

I slipped the ring back on my finger. "This never happened," I spoke softly. "I am awake, my love. Daniel isn't my true love. You are."

3 3 3

I came home to find the house absent of my employees. I checked the kitchen, the break room and even the laundry room; there were no signs of life anywhere. Shrugging, I went to our bedroom. Blue should be there. Maybe he sent them home. He does that often.

I entered into our bedroom to find the nursery door closed. That never happens unless Blue and I are having alone time. I unbuttoned my coat and pulled it off, hanging it on the back of the door. I pulled my shirt from my pants and quietly made it to our nursery. Nothing was out of place except for the door closed. I finally saw him lying Dawn down in the crib.

"You're home," he smiled at me. I smiled back at him. "What took you so long, honey?"

"I had business. It took longer to wrap than I originally planned," I said softly. I walked over to him, wrapping my arms around his waist. Blue struck Dawn's cheek peacefully as our beautiful daughter slept. Dawn was normally a livewire of activity but it was late. The child will be back to making me chase her down tomorrow.

"You're home for good," Blue replied. I found the question odd. His hand wrapped around my left hand where the ring was, his fingers brushing the blue sapphire stone.

"What's the matter, love," I asked. I wrapped my arms tighter around him, noticing for the first time how well he seemed to fit. Daniel never fit here this well. Holding Daniel was like trying to hold a bucking bronco. Blue fit in the crook of my arm more perfectly than Dawn did and she was so small. I don't know why I hadn't noticed before.

"Nothing," Blue said, turning to me. He wrapped his arms around my head, coming in for a kiss. His mouth opened around my lips and our passion mounted. This was even better than with Daniel. Blue's arms relaxed around my neck, his hands traveling to the small of my back. The feeling was driving me crazy but not as much as Blue was. I grabbed his hip, our bodies moving in sync to the wall. I pushed him into the wall, the chips of paint brushing my hand. Blue got deeper in the kiss, forcing me to nearly lose it. I wanted him. I wanted to forget all about touching Daniel.

"I love you," I murmured as I went for his vest. The article just wouldn't come off fast enough so with one jerk, the vest unraveled. Blue's hands went to the top button of my undershirt and in one motion, every button popped. I went for his trousers as Blue went for my loafers. The world dissolved around us, leaving only Blue and I. For the first time, I allowed myself to feel what love was.

"I love you so much," Blue whispered, his breathing rapid. I captured his lips again as the button on his pants popped.

3 3 3

The sun shined through the blinds, awakening me to a new day. Blue was spooned against me as I held him tightly. My hand was pressed against Blue's chest and Blue clutched his hand to mine. I wanted to lie here forever. I had never seen Blue in this light. Blue was handsome. I had always compared him to Daniel but he was handsome in his own right. His hair wasn't as wild as Daniels though it wasn't appropriate for a billionaire's partner. Where Daniel was lean and toned, Blue was building muscle. And tall; oh, my God was he tall. That didn't really change much from Daniel, though. Daniel was tall now, much taller than when I first met him. He's shot up at least three inches in the past nine months. Now, I can look at his nose without looking down. By next year, he just may be as tall, if not taller, than I am.

I couldn't explain it. For the first time, I was seeing Blue as the object of my affection and not the mirror of it. I loved Blue. I didn't love Daniel anymore, certainly not like I loved Blue. I wanted to protect him and care for him and be there for him. I wanted to wipe away his tears and chase away his fears. I wanted him… not what he represented. I gently pulled my hand out of his embrace and stoke it down his face gently. As Blue awoke, I continued to run the back of my fingers down his naked body. God, he was handsome. He was so good looking, it hurt.

"Good morning," Blue whispered, turning around. I continued my intimate caress down his other side now that he was facing me. "Something wrong?"

"I never realize how beau—," I began but I stopped short. "Handsome you were."

"Handsome," Blue chuckled, looking at me from an angle. "Love, you use feminine adjectives with me. You usually call me beautiful."

"That's not right," I said, returning my hand to his face. "You are a man, Blue. You aren't my girl. You are the love of my life, a man. I am not ashamed to say it."

"You were ashamed before," Blue asked, worry crossing his handsome features.

I stroked his face again, smoothing out the worry lines. "Do not fret, my love. I wasn't ashamed of you. I was ashamed of myself. I thought there was something wrong with me liking men. I was the homophobic one. I am so sorry. You are a man; the love of my life."

"The love of my life is a man, too," Blue smiled at me. I felt my mouth tugging in a smile at his pitiful attempt at romance. I've fallen hard for this man and I don't regret a moment of it.

"I love you," I whispered, pulling his face next to mine. "I just want to lie here today. I'll cancel work and we'll have the servants watch Dawn. What do you say?"

"Sorry love," Blue smiled. "I have work today. You need to deal with the marketing disaster, too."

I sighed. I did need to fix that stupid promotional gag. Someone had infiltrated my marketing department and had messed with my newest poster. I have a feeling Daniel's friends are behind it because the picture that was supposed to be there and the words that were supposed to be used have vanished and the new ones replaced them. "Vlad Masters Makes the World Run" has been replaced with "Vlad Masters Ruins the World" and instead of having me standing there in a stoic pose, I've got a manic look on my face with eyes that very much resemble my ghost eyes. I have a feeling Ms. Manson and Mr. Foley haven't appreciated my most recent attempt to steal Daniel back. Daniel would never imagine what happened was all part of the plan—with the exception of him dying—but his friends are very clever.

I've had that shield turned on since Megan and Lilly started staying with us. I taught Megan where it was and had the landing island created in hopes she would develop transportation. I never imagined her getting hurt or the ghosts attacking her but I knew if she went missing and I played along, Daniel would be putty in my hand. I thought it was all for nothing when he died but it helped with his own emotions. Of course, now I don't care about getting Daniel back but I need to find a way to get rid of Daniel's friends. I'll never care for the brats but it's not for Daniel anymore. That woman is still raising my two girls.

3 3 3

The day went by painfully slow as I was separated from my love. I called Blue around lunch but when I called him during a break, he didn't pick up. All through that board meeting, I was distracted. I wanted nothing more than to be alone with Blue. So when it was time to go home, I didn't mess with the human means of transportation. I teleported straight home, right in front of Blue.

"Good afternoon," I smiled. Blue looked at me and my blood ran cold. The look he gave me frightened me. It wasn't an evil look—no, this look was one of complete betrayal. "Blue," I asked, my voice breaking.

"I-I ask—damnit," he cursed. He took a breath, trying to keep his voice clear this time. "I asked you not to do it. I told you if you did, not to put that ring back on. I trust—," his voice finally broke again and I heard that wheeze that he usually releases before he breaks down in complete tears. "I trusted that ring on your finger!" This time there was anger in his voice. Any sadness was drowned by the anger.

"Blue, I don't—," I began.

"You're going to lie to me," Blue demanded, his eyes turning green. These eyes couldn't be mocked. Both he and Daniel had come a long way since we first met. The glare Blue gave me made my blood run cold and pain seep into every cell of my body.

"I don't know what you want me to say," I tried to make my voice sound firm. I failed miserably as my voice sounded more pleading than scolding.

"I want the truth, Vlad," Blue said, his voice deep. Those eyes penetrated my soul and I was an open book. "I want to know why!"

"I don't know why," I said, hanging my head. "I'm so confused right now, Blue. The only thing I do know," I declared, looking up at him, "is I love you!"

"Do not lie to me because it didn't work out with him," Blue retorted.

"I'm not lying," I denied, shaking my head. I looked him in the eye, hoping that if he took anything, he took this. "I am no longer in love with Daniel. I-I can't explain it. After-after what we did—," my chest squeezed and I gasped, "I regretted it. That-that's why I didn't want to tell you, Blue. I realized what a mistake I had made."

"Red left Sam last night," Blue remarked, his voice thick. My eyes widened. "He's taken the girls and he's left. He came by this afternoon because he thought I deserved to be able to face him. He owned up to his mistake, Vlad! He told Sam and he faced me. You came home and you acted as if nothing happened. That's who I am involved with. A coward!"

I felt tears sting my eyes. It was true. "I just didn't want to hurt you—," I began.

"Oh, give it a fucking rest," Blue retorted. "You weren't afraid of hurting me! You were afraid of me leaving! I would have forgiven you, Vlad! I would have forgiven you for slipping but, damnit, I will not forgive you for deceiving me! You are still half-human. We make mistakes. But if I can't trust you to tell me when you screw up, then it's not love! I could have forgiven you for having sex with Red. I could have forgiven you for using me like a temporary assistant to get your rocks on. I cannot forgive you for coming into this house—," he threw his hand out towards my left hand, "with that damn ring on—and pretending none of that happened. I'm sorry. I'm not here to make you feel better. You may have made me but I am not here to serve you. I don't do that anymore. I'm not your slave!"

"Daniel," I begged. It sounded weird coming out and I don't know why I didn't call him Blue but I couldn't take it back. "Blue, please, I'm begging you."

"No," Blue shook his head. "If Red can walk away from the only thing keeping him sane and he can face me when you couldn't even take the ring off, then I can do this." My heart leapt to my throat because I knew that look. He wore it the last time he left. "I don't know where I'm going to go but I'll be in contact with you. We'll discuss Dawn's living arrangements with a lawyer but I won't be coming home to stay. Goodbye, Vlad. Forever." It was the exact words Daniel had said to me but his shattered not just my heart, but my world.

"Blue, God, no," I begged, my eyes watering and my voice becoming desperate. Blue turned away from me, stepping towards the nursery door. I hadn't noticed the door was closed before. That's why he closed the door and sent the workers home last night. He suspected a confrontation. I tried to deceive him, though, and that he can't forgive. As the door shut behind him, cutting him from my sight, I felt a snap. "Blue," I screamed, feeling completely lost and out of control. I didn't feel like this when Daniel left. I didn't feel like this when Daniel and Lilly left. It felt just like when Daniel died but I could stop this if I did something. I threw open the door to see Blue with a few suitcases in front of the crib. A strange man and woman stood to the left of the crib. Blue picked Dawn up, balancing her on his hip. "I beg you, sweetheart."

"No," Blue shook his head. "Say goodbye to Daddy. We're going to be on our own for a while, honey."

"Dada not coming," my sweet baby asked. I didn't know what hurt worst but losing them both was killing me.

"Not this time," Blue said, his voice choking. He cleared it, a smile trying to cover his weakness. "We're going to be okay, though, sweetheart."

"Blue, please," I begged again. "I'm sorry."

"So am I," he said, turning to the two strangers. "Follow me," he said. He transformed with our baby in his arms and began to float a few inches off the ground. In a moment, he was out of my house with the two strangers flying behind him, each with a couple suitcases. They were ghosts.

"I can't lose him," I mumbled, walking to the window. I had the strangest feeling. I hadn't felt like this in a while. It was like I was watching all this from a distance. I know what it is, of course. I'd been numb for nearly thirty years before Daniel and I got together. "I won't lose him."

3 3 3

It was odd. All my life, I had worked to become a successful businessman and here I was, throwing it all away for a child and a baby. I signed the piece of paper with my lawyer present and it felt so… good. I was broke. I didn't have a dime to my name. I had transferred it all to Daniel. I wanted him to run my company after my passing. I wanted him to be my protégée. Now, I am giving it to him because I don't want it. If I can't have Blue, what's it all for? Without my daughter, who am I striving to be better for? For the first time, I was going to throw everything away to prove to someone how much they mean to me. I don't care if it takes eternity, I will find Blue and Dawn. I will prove to him how much I love him, too.

The second piece of business was to resign as mayor. I wouldn't wait for the council to approve. I wasn't sticking around here anymore. I was going to follow Blue to the ends of the Earth. I was going to prove to him that I was serious. I didn't care what it took. I was going to find the love of my life and my daughter. And I was leaving everything behind so I could be light enough to do it. As I signed that notice, the lawyer took the piece of paper and placed it in his briefcase. That was the only article not going in the folder he had sitting there.

The next piece of business was the hardest one to consider. I had more than one daughter. While Lilly and I don't get along that well, Megan and I have become quite close. I love that little girl—I love both girls—but I have to set priorities. I pulled out a piece of paper and I thought of what I could tell them to make this sting less.

My dearest Lillian,

You have always been the apple of my eye. I loved you the minute I learned of you and I couldn't care less that you were a girl. I've made a lot of mistakes, my dear, but you were never one of them. I loved your father very much and I still do but I have made another mistake. I'm sure this is no surprise to you, of course, but I need to fix this mistake. To do that, I have to go away. Daddy is going to be upset for a while, my dear, but he'll get over it. Your family will be reunited, I have no doubt, but if I do not go, I will lose my own.

You are very important to me, Lilly. You will always be my number one but there is no future for me here. You have your mother and you have your father. I have no place in your life anymore, my sweet tiger-Lilly. For this, I must set you aside. I have deep regrets putting anyone above you and I hope you can forgive me, angel. I love you with all my heart. You can do anything you want, my dear. Never allow anything to slow you down and make Daddy proud. I will miss you so much, pumpkin. A day will not go by that you aren't in my heart and mind. You will always have the biggest part of me.



I choked up writing it but I needed to complete the notes.

My sweet Megan,

I don't care what anyone says, you are my greatest achievement. Your daddy loved you of course but he wasn't too happy about how you came to be. You were the only child with Daniel that gave me a chance. I realize we could have done so much together. I love your sister but you are the one who makes me get out of bed in the mornings. I assure you mornings will be more difficult from this point forward. I must do this, though, Megan. You see, I can't survive without your Uncle Blue. I have made a mistake and now I must prove to him how sorry I am. You are my child, my dear, so you will make mistakes, too. Hopefully, though, you will resemble your father more than me. Your father is as close to perfect as one can get.

Daniel loves Sam, Megan. I know you want us to reconcile but I'm afraid that time has come and gone. Give her a chance, my child. Lilly loves her so I am sure you will too. Sam has been good to you girls. Daniel was so lucky to find someone who not only accepted him but accepted my girls as well. Anyone who would love you that much has to be okay. Not that loving you is hard to begin with. As pained as this makes me, I must go. Without Blue, I just can't see life worth living. You have always made my world special, Megan, but Blue makes it worthwhile. I am sorry to put anything above your sister and you. Mostly, I am sorry I am taking Dawn with me. Please forgive me and perhaps we can be a happy family again… just not like that. That was my mistake, my dear. Learn from the mistakes of your father.



I didn't choke up this time. It may have been hard to write but I knew she loved me. Lilly was the hardest to write. Imagining Megan crying was comforting. Imagining Lilly going about her life as if she didn't lose anything important was heartbreaking. I sighed as I came to the last piece of business to tend to.


I am sorry. I was once again too blind to see what you knew all along. We weren't right for each other. We both had the love of our life and what we done last night may have jeopardize both relationships. Even though it wasn't your fault, Sam is a forgiving woman. Talk to her and fix this. You deserve to be happy, Daniel. I finally realize what I want above all else is my family's happiness. I have caused you so much heartbreak. I am sorry. I always loved you.

That is why I am letting you go. You have begged for your freedom since that cold December day nearly three years ago. I am sorry it has taken me this long to realize I was locking you to my own ball and chain. Blue was right. I was a coward. I hid while you faced your demons. This is why I loved you. Even in the face of such pain and fear, you still stand so tall. It has been my honor to know you though I wished it could have been under better circumstances. There is no reason I hurt you. I hurt you because I was a coward and I had to lash out at others to feel powerful.

I know you will do great things. You already have. I wish I could be here to see the achievements you will make. Instead, know I am sending my love. I want nothing more than for you to succeed. I know you can make a difference. I've seen it. I've felt it. But now I must follow my own heart and it's on the run. This is why I am leaving. There are many things I can live without. Blue is not one of them. I hope you can forgive me.

Although I know nothing written is official, please take this as my permission for Sam to adopt our children. You have found an amazing woman despite my burning hate for her. She loves you and she loves my girls, though. I guess she can't be all bad. I just want my family to be happy and I know she makes you happy. She makes Lilly happy. I know once I have disappeared, she will make Megan happy. I can't ask for anything more than that.

Maybe someday we'll see each other again but for now, we must maintain our distances. Blue is insecure enough. I can't have him second guessing me again. I don't want to let him down.


I folded up Daniel's note and handed it to the lawyer. Everything was in order. "Have that folder delivered in two days to Daniel Fenton. Thank you for your service, Oscar. You've been a good friend."

"It's been my pleasure, Mr. Masters," the elderly man replied. I stood up but I removed my expensive overcoat. I was starting fresh and I was starting over. It was like I was removing the preverbal coat over my life so I might as well do it physically as well. I placed it on the table, rolling my sleeves up. I turned around, dismissing myself. I don't care how long it takes, my love. I will find you and I will make you see I have never been more serious.

3 3 3

I finally found Blue in Maryland. I stood outside that motel with knots in my stomach. I had to get him to see I had changed. I would not screw this up as I screwed up mine and Daniel's relationship. That was over and I am accepting that. I still love him but I get that Daniel isn't mine anymore. I can still have Blue. I just need to make this work.

I sensed the motel room and felt the two strangers. I entered both of their minds, taking control of them. I had the woman turn to Blue. "My Duke," she said softly, "allow Faustus and I to take your daughter out. You could use the alone time."

"I don't know," Blue whispered. He held our daughter to his chest as he cradled her. "I kind of want her to stay close."

"My lord," the male, Faustus, spoke. "Laelius is correct. This atmosphere isn't helpful for the child. Allow her to be shielded as you mourn the end of your marriage."

"I guess you have a point," Blue sighed. He kissed Dawn softly. "Stay close and contact me if you need me."

"At once, my lord," Laelius bowed. She took Dawn and the two left as I instructed. Blue pulled his legs on the recliner, wrapping his arms around his legs. He sobbed in his lab and it broke my heart. I had hurt him.

I left him alone for a few minutes. I didn't want to go right in. I wanted to give him some time to regain his bearings. I know Blue. He won't let this keep him down. Daniel was right. If he was able to leave his family, he would be able to leave me. All he needs is some time to cope with it. It's only been two hours since he left. I'm hoping I'm not too late.

When Blue stopped crying, he stood up and went to his bags. He pulled out a small box and I noticed it was the Tiffany box. I looked to his hand and he wasn't wearing his ring. I looked to my hand and it was still on that finger. I got sick. I had slipped it on after Daniel and I had done our unspeakable deed. I pulled it off my finger and put it in my pants pocket. The only way I'll put it back on now is if he puts it on himself. I can't go back. I can't pretend last night didn't happen. I don't want to. It's made me realize how much I love and respect Blue.

I phased into the room, bringing forth the rings that change me to a human. Blue looked up in shock. "What are you doing here," he demanded, wiping his eyes. He wouldn't admit he's broken down.

"I'm here to prove something to you," I said, my voice weak. "Blue, I was wrong. You deserve so much more than I can give you but I love you. I regretted what I done. I really did." I took a breath. "I didn't tell you because I was a coward. You were right. I was afraid of losing you but now I know that you deserved to know the truth. Daniel and I are over. I get that now. There's an envelope in his name that holds every asset I own and three letters. I gave my blessing for him and Sam. I gave him everything, Blue, so you can have all that matters."

"You handed him… everything," Blue asked, his voice breaking.

"Everything that doesn't matter," I said softly. "The only thing that matters is here in this state. Dawn, you, and I. Let's start over, Blue. We'll go somewhere where we can start over fresh. We will begin our lives from the ground up. Just Dawn, you and I. I don't want to be that man anymore. I want to be the man you make me."

"You're saying this because Red backed out again," Blue accused me.

"No," I shook my head. "I did this before Daniel came out of the bathroom. I was going to tell him this was a mistake but I couldn't form the words. I wanted you and I had him. For once, the role was reversed. So long, I held you praying it was him and when I did hold him, I was then praying it was you. I don't know what happened, Blue, but I don't love him as much as I love you. I still love him but he's the mother of two of my children. That doesn't mean I cherish him any more than I cherish you."

"We'll start over," Blue asked me, giving me a stern look.

"We'll spend the next few days looking for a place to live. Looking for a place to call our own. It doesn't have to be here but I don't care if we do. It doesn't even have to be in the United States. I just don't want to live in Wisconsin, Colorado or Illinois. I want to start over."

"I just picked this place for a few days. I don't know where I was going," Blue said softly. "We'll pick a place and we will start over. I just need you to say you'll do these three things. If you promise to do these three things, I'll come back. If not or if you screw up, I'm gone and I won't be coming back. Okay?"

"Anything," I begged.

"You and I will get a job, you'll stop using your powers and you cut off all contact with Red," Blue said firmly.

All three scared me because I didn't know if I could do any of them but the last one was a jab in the heart. "Complete contact. I can't see the girls. I can't send birthday or holiday gifts or cards. Walking away like I don't exist."

"That's my terms," Blue said, his eyes firm. I can't blame him. I have left him no choice. He can't trust me so he needs to be sure I have no pitfalls. I can't have any opportunities.

I nodded my head painfully. "Okay. I'll walk away."

"I'm sorry," Blue whispered. "It's not right but I can't trust you any other way. I'm selfish, Vlad. I need that security that you won't go back. If you are in contact with Lilly and Megan, I will have my doubts. This is the only way I can give you a fair chance of keeping me. I can't be looking over my shoulder. Eventually, I'll leave. That's why you can't use your powers. It's happened in the past. When Red and you were together, he kept looking over his shoulder. He wondered if you'd go back to the way you were. I don't want to do that, Vlad. And finally, I want you to have to work for what you got. I think that's why you lost control. Everything you ever wanted or needed was at your fingertips. Not now! Anything we need or want, we'll work for it. We won't be living on easy street!"

"Anything," I said, taking his hands in mine. "I am scared I will fail but I will try my best, Blue. You have my word. The hardest thing, though, will be the children. I don't know if I can do that, Blue. They're my kids. Could you give up Dawn?"

"No," Blue shook his head. "And I would leave if you asked me. But this is the only way I can function. I'm sorry, Vlad. You can leave if you want but you wanted to know what you could do to win me back. Those three things, those impossibly hard three things, are my conditions. Make your choice."

"I choose you," I said with a heavy heart. Oh, God, it hurt when I said those three words. Even though I said I was choosing Blue, I knew I was giving up my girls. Lilly couldn't care less but Megan killed me. She and I have gotten so close. It's going to hurt her the most. I tried to stop it but I couldn't. "What about Megan and Dawn? Are we really going to separate them?"

"This is the only way," Blue declared. "Either agree by my terms or walk away."

"I agree," I sighed. Oh, God, Megan, forgive me.

3 3 3

When the two ghosts returned, I got my first test. Thinking I was attacking Blue and Dawn, they attacked me. They were powerful but I could easily stomp them into the ground. I couldn't move a muscle as they contained me. If I did, I'd lose everything.

"Stand down," Blue remarked as if we were sharing a cup of tea and not that these two ghosts had slammed me into a wall. "He's okay."

"My lord, has he harmed you," the male asked.

"No," Blue shook his head.

"Leave Dada alone," Dawn screamed, flying out of the woman's hands. Before I could say anything, Dawn brought up a shield and threw the two ghosts away.

"Dawn," I said softly. "It's okay, sweetheart. They were just going to ask me some questions."

"No," Dawn retorted. "Dada in trouble." She wasn't as developed as Lilly was by this age but she could still talk circles around other nine month olds.

"Listen to your mother and I, Dawn," I said sternly. "Everything will be all right."

"No one hurts Dada," Dawn retorted.

Blue squatted down to Dawn's level with me. "It's okay, Dawn. The party was just surprised. That's all."

"Dada okay," Dawn asked me.

"Daddy's okay," I said softly. I put my hands around her waist and picked her up. I put her on my hip, bouncing her.

"Good," Dawn declared. "No one hurt Dada!"

"Daddy's fine," I said softly. I kissed her cheek.

"Mama," Dawn said, looking to Blue. "Why you no help Dada?"

"Daddy was fine," Blue replied.

"You no help Dada," Dawn accused. "Trouble?"

"A little," Blue nodded. "But nothing you need to worry about. Everything's turning out fine. Daddy passed."

"Passed," Dawn questioned. "Passed what?"

"The test," Blue said, stepping towards me. "Two more and you may win the prize."

"I hope so," I said, rubbing his face with my free hand. "The prize is the most important thing to me."

"Me prize," Dawn questioned.

I chuckled. "Yes. You and Mommy are the prize."

"Dada already win, then," Dawn commented. "I no going nowhere."

"I'm not going anywhere," I corrected.

"She's nine months old speaking complete sentences," Blue scolded. "Give her a break."

"I'll give her a break when she speaks complete grammatically correct sentences," I playfully retorted. I could care less if she spoke it correctly. I just don't want her to become confused when she's older.

3 3 3

We spent the next three days looking through places that we would like to call home. Blue and I decided we wanted to pick a state that legalized same-sex marriages so we could have that option if we wanted. I suggested it be a large city. Blue was a little hesitant but he agreed that it would be easier to get an apartment in a big city than it would to buy a house in a suburb. We didn't have much money so we'd be living paycheck to paycheck. We couldn't afford the down payment on a house, no matter what size it may be.

Friday, we decided that we'd like to live in Connecticut. We didn't know where at in that state but it would be a city with a population of at least seventy-five thousand people.

"How about a city on the coast," Blue asked me as we looked over the map of Connecticut. "Romantic walks on the peer?"

I smiled softly. "Whatever you want, my dear, I'll agree to."

"Let's see," Blue said, humming slightly. He let out a slightly hysterical laugh. "There's a lot of cities on the coast."

"Look for the bold type," I said, pointing to the center of the page. "Like here."

"New Haven," he replied, cocking his head to the side. "It kind of fits."

"Is this where you want to live," I asked, taking his hand.

"I think so," Blue smiled. I leaned in and captured his lips with mine. I loved him so much.

"As long as you are there, we could go anywhere," I whispered. He had stolen my breath away.

"This is it," Blue whispered. "This is the new start we've needed. I can feel it."

"As long as you're by my side, I don't care," I repeated. "I just can't live without you, Blue. You mean too much to me."

"If you can keep those three things up, then we will make it," Blue whispered. We kissed again.

3 3 3

It had been a week since Daniel and I had done our unspeakable deed. Blue and I had gotten jobs and the two Roman ghosts, from Daniel's castle, would serve as servants. Mostly, their job was to take care of Dawn but Blue had them do a few things. I had responded to an ad as a local bank branch teller and Blue had taken a job as a security officer at an airport. Both jobs were lousy positions but they gave health insurance and they paid enough wages to get us through the week. We both worked long hours but I didn't mind the work. I don't think Blue did either.

I made it home around five o'clock but I knew Blue wouldn't be home until seven. I collapsed on the couch beside of Faustus, letting out a deep sigh.

Faustus retrieved a longneck from a cooler sitting at his feet. "This helps," he said softly.

I laughed at the absurdity. "A ghost who drinks."

"It doesn't give you a heightened sense of happiness but it does take off the edge," Faustus replied.

"I can't imagine it giving a ghost a buzz," I chuckled.

"But it does help," Faustus quipped. "Try it."

"Thank you," I replied, twisting the top off. I took a drink and oddly, I did feel a slight change. It felt like the time I was drinking, just as it was beginning to wear off. Strange. "This is good."

"Told you," Faustus laughed.

Laelius walked in the room with Dawn. "Dada," Dawn cried.

"Hey, baby girl," I replied. I put the longneck on top of the table and held my arms out. Laelius placed her in my arms. The two ghosts have come to trust me and they don't cause problems anymore. I kissed Dawn's cheek. "I love you, my little Dawn."

"I love you, too, Dada," Dawn replied, her voice slightly childish. I cradled her to me. A knock came to the door, startling me. "Visitor," Dawn asked me.

"I don't know who," I said, standing up. I cradled her head with my free hand, using my legs to pull me up. We hadn't met anyone in the city except co-workers and I can't imagine any of them coming to visit us. Maybe Blue lost his key… but that's ridiculous. He'd just phase through the door unless someone was outside and then he'd find another way to come inside.

"Maybe it Meg," Dawn asked. I smiled sadly at her as I reached for the doorknob. God, don't let it be Daniel.

Before I fully opened the door, Maddie pushed past me. I gasped in surprise. "Where is he," Maddie demanded.

"He's at work," I said, defensively. "What are you doing here? How did you find us?"

"Vlad," Jack barked, "your involvement with my son is over, do you understand me! He is coming home!"

"Jack, Maddie, I'm moving on," I said softly, looking into their eyes individually. "Just let us start fresh! Blue doesn't want you to parent him!"

"I could care less what Blue wants," Maddie demanded. "I care for Blue but right now my son is missing and you have convinced him to run away with you." Her eyes fell on Dawn. The pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. "You even abducted Dawn from him!"

"Maddie, Daniel isn't here," I defended, my eyes wide from worry. "When was the last time you saw him?"

Maddie looked down, shamefully. Jack's voice broke. "We don't know. The kids were covering for him again. We thought they were at their headquarters. They just told us today they have no idea where he is."

"He hasn't come home," I asked, my breath catching in my throat. I swallowed hard.

"You know what happened," Maddie demanded. Her eyes bore into me. "What do you know?"

"Daniel came to see Blue right before he left," I said softly. "I haven't been in Illinois since the fifteeenth. I just know Daniel told Blue he had left with the girls."

Maddie swallowed hard and I fought not to wonder what she was thinking. "What happened between the two of you?"

"I'd been plotting to get him to come back to me since after the Disasteroid. Things have been hard on Daniel and he needed someone to comfort him. We both regretted our choices."

"You and Danny had a one night stand," Maddie said, nodding in understanding. "Danny feels guilt ridden and he runs. It makes perfect sense but it doesn't help me find my son! Do you know where he would go?"

"There is no where he would go, Maddie. He's drifting," I looked into her eyes. "You won't find him, at least not on your own. Work with the kids. I can't help, Maddie."

"Why not," Jack demanded. "This is your fault!"

"And you have no idea how sorry I am but Blue forced me to cut off all contact with Daniel and the girls. If I see them again, he'll leave me. Blue is too important to me. Lilly and Megan have a Mom and a Dad. Blue and I are all Dawn has." I kissed her tiny hand and she put her hand to my face. "It's okay."

"So you are walking away from your obligations to your family because you risk losing another," Maddie demanded. "You have two families, Vlad! What are you going to do about Danny, Lilly and Megan?"

"They're not my concern anymore," I said and my voice broke. I thought I was going to lose it but I took a shuttering breath and returned my attention to the parents of my ex.

"You are despicable," Jack said. He sneered at me. "You are a worm, not a man!"

"Do you think I don't know that," I demanded, looking to him now. "Do you think I don't regret the choices I made in my life? I am trying to turn it around but I have burned Blue too many times! He can't trust me around Daniel so now the only choice he has is to be suspicious of my activities now. The only way he can trust me is if I cut off contact. If I break any of the rules, I lose him and Dawn. You are asking me to give up the only thing I have for the illusion of something I lost a long time ago. That is despicable!"

"If you had figured this out a long time ago, my son wouldn't be missing," Maddie accused of me.

"But I didn't," I retorted. "The road I have to travel is not an easy one, Maddie. If karma is real, I'm swimming in it from all the times I've screwed up. I had to face my crimes eventually and now it is worse than I ever imagined. It isn't enough for me to die! No, for justice to really happen, I have to be miserable. I had to choose, Maddie. If you don't like my choice, then go cry to someone else. I cry enough for the loss of my girls."

"You have me, Dada," Dawn said, pulling on my beard. I chuckled a soft laugh.

"Yes, Dawn," I said softly. "I have you and I have your mother. That's all I need in life." I looked to Maddie and Jack. "This is all I need."

"I will find my son," Maddie said. "With or without your help."

"Listen to the kids," I repeated. "Danielle is your best chance at finding him."

"Danielle is already offering to help," Jack said softly. "Thanks… for nothing."

3 3 3

I told Blue about Maddie and Jack visiting but he showed no signs of wanting to saddle up a rescue party. I guess Daniel doesn't mean that much to him anymore. I can't say that I blame him. We continued our routines but I couldn't keep Daniel out of my mind. Finally, on the twenty-third, I made my decision. I'm trying to turn over a new leaf here. I will no longer be a coward. That means I have to own up to my mistakes. Instead of going home that evening, I went to Blue's place of employment.

"Vlad," Blue asked, surprised. "What are you doing here? Is everything okay?"

"No, everything is not okay, Blue," I said firmly. "Do you have a minute?"

"I think I can scratch out sixty seconds," Blue said, a hint of humor in his voice. There was too much worry for him to be completely playful.

We walked to a private hallway, where very few people were passing. It was a Thursday just after school resuming and there just weren't that many travelers. "Blue," I said, taking a deep breath. After I released it, I prepared for a fight. "I'm going to see Daniel." A look of confusion and betrayal crossed his face. "Listen, I am not choosing him over you. Just the opposite. You want me to be a new man. I want to be a new man. I am no different, Blue. I am still hiding my mistakes behind others. I have to do this, Blue, but I wanted you to know I was going to do it. That is what this is about: trust. If I sneak away, you have no reason to trust me."

Blue took a breath. "Thank you for telling me," he said, his voice shaking. "I just wished you wouldn't. It's not about hiding, Vlad. I don't want you to hide from Red. I want you to cut off contact. I want you to pretend that I am Daniel. Not that I want you to pretend that I'm not who I am. I have those memories. I want you to pretend you do, too."

"Trust me, I wish it did start out that way," I said, squeezing his hands. "But it didn't, Blue. I made those memories so I could control you. I don't want to control you. I want us to work as a team. I want us to be in sync. I don't want to own you and I don't want you to own me. I want us to belong to each other. That is so much more meaningful than owning the other."

Blue's lips pulled into a smile but it didn't reach his eyes. "I'm just scared, Vlad. What will seeing him do?"

"I don't know," I said honestly. "But I will tell you everything I did. I will take the ring off if I screw up and you can choose to forgive me or not. I will never lie to you again."

Blue sighed. "Okay," he said softly. He wrapped his arms around my neck. "Go say goodbye to Dawn just in case. I don't know if I can forgive you or not."

"I love you," I whispered. I was scared to death but I had an obligation to Daniel. I needed him to understand that he wasn't to blame. We kissed briefly.

"You can use your powers," Blue said as he put the heels of his feet back on the ground. He didn't have to reach up too high to kiss me but I was still about an inch and a half taller. He'd finish taking me this year.

"Thank you," I said, nodding. I held a deep breath, teleporting out as I released it. It's been a week since I used any powers at all. I still had them. The test was about self-control so the Plasmius Maximus wouldn't work. I had to show self-control, not employ a device.

I spent about ten minutes with Dawn because I knew there was a real possibility I would never see her again. Even if I told Blue everything I done, I risked losing them. He was just so insecure. I have broken him and now I have tried to glue back the pieces. Doing this so soon after last week is like sinking the pieces in a tub of water. There's the risk of the glue not being dry and Blue could crumble again. I may not be able to glue him back together a second time. Glue can't fix everything.

When I was certain I wouldn't forget a thing about Dawn, I handed her back to Laelius and closed my eyes. Finding his signature was as easy as breathing… maybe even a little easier and I teleported to Daniel's signature. When I opened my eyes, I was now in a tent of some sort. It was certainly not like a tent I had ever seen. It was spacious and there were appliances in this tent. The only reason I knew it was a tent was I could see the plastic rippling from the apparent violent winds.

"Dada," I heard a squeal. I looked behind me to see my girls sitting on a couch of some sort. This must be a creation of Maddie and Jack.

"Lilly, Megan," I cried, absolutely overtaken by emotion. I started towards them at the same time Megan started towards me.

"No," a firm voice broadcasted at the same time a shield separated me from my girls.

"Dada," Megan protested. Daniel appeared behind her.

"We're not involving ourselves with him anymore," Daniel spoke softly to our daughter. "He can leave now!"

"Dada," Megan objected again.

"Why are you here," Daniel demanded of me.

"Maddie and Jack paid me a visit two days ago," I said softly. "They're worried, Daniel. You don't have to do this anymore."

"I have put my family through enough," Daniel said, shuttering a breath. "Sam and I are in magnetism. If I don't leave, she'll never be able to think for herself."

"It doesn't work like that for Sam," I said softly. "Can you put this down so we can talk?"

Megan giggled happily, clearly approving that action.

"We have nothing to talk about," Daniel denied stubbornly.

"We have a lot to discuss, Daniel. We have both made mistakes in the past but right now, you are making the biggest mistake of your life. You love Sam. For Heaven's sake, go back to her."

Daniel raised an eyebrow. "You want me to go back to Sam?"

"Daniel, I tried to tell you that night," I said, lowering my head. "I'm not in love with you anymore. I love Blue. I wished it could have been under other circumstances but I'm glad it happened. I would have never realized what a fool I was."

"How much does Blue know about your visit," he asked me suspiciously.

"He knew of my intentions and I will tell him of my failures. He's asked me to cut off all contact from you but I couldn't leave things as they were. I hope he's still as forgiving as he seemed at the airport."

"The airport," Daniel asked, raising an eyebrow. "Was he leaving? That doesn't sound forgiving to me."

"No," I smiled softly. "That's where he works. He's a security guard."

"Blue has a job," Daniel asked, surprised.

"We both do," I said hesitantly.

Daniel started laughing, bending over as he lost control. He squeezed poor Megan between his knees and chest. "You are working?!"

"And I haven't used my powers in a week," I replied sincerely. I tried not to get upset or start laughing with him. I didn't know which one I wanted to do. "Today is the first time I've used them since I teleported to Blue."

He looked at me seriously. "I can't believe you didn't tell him about what we did."

"We both regretted our choices, Daniel. You were just the bigger man in owning up to your mistake."

"I thought he had a right to punch me if he felt like it. I just broke his heart even more. Sam had gone to him when she felt us together. He knew something was going on so I wanted to face him. I wanted to tell him I was sorry. Before I left, he asked me one thing. He wanted me to give him an identity."

"I know," I nodded my head. "He told me Daniel Rogers was now his real name. This is just the first time Daniel Rogers looks like Daniel Fenton."

"I'm happy for you, Vlad," Daniel said, swallowing a lump in his throat. "I always knew you would figure it out someday. I just never imagined it'd make me lose my-my future with Sam." He sucked in a breath of air, trying to prevent a breakdown.

"You don't have to throw it away, Daniel. She will continue to love you," I said softly.

"I don't know if what we have is real or not, Vlad. Every experience with magnetism I have is negative."

"Really," I questioned. "Carla and David Simmons have magnetism. Is that bad? What about Skulker and Ember? Even Mom hasn't moved on to someone else so that means that Dad must be her partner for eternity."

"I think Skulker and Ember is the perfect example of a bad relationship. My grandparents were together before they or the other died. Skulker and Ember got together after their deaths and they constantly fight. Is that true love?"

"There is more to love than happily ever after," I said simply. "I'm sure Maddie's parents fight and I know Mom and Dad fight. They're just better at concealing it. Ember and Skulker are both stubborn and headstrong. Of course their fights would be easier to spot."

"I'm not going back, Vlad," Daniel said. "I've hurt Sam too much. She deserves someone better."

"There may be no one better," I said softly. "Just think about it, okay?"

Daniel sighed. "I guess you want to see the girls?"

"If you will," I asked. My voice broke and I cleared it.

"Okay," Daniel said. He released the shield and I took Megan from his arms. She clung to me and I lost control of my emotions.

"I love you so much, Megan," I whispered into her ear as I cried.

"I love you, too, Dada," Megan returned. I sat down on the couch beside of Lilly but she moved to the opposite side. I ignored her for the time being so I could focus on Megan. I studied her face, pointing to every difference between Megan and Dawn. I never wanted to think about Megan and see Dawn or vice versa. I wanted to see them for who they are.

"This is probably the last time you'll see Vlad, Lilly," Daniel replied. He picked up the two year old and sat down, placing her gently on his lap. "Can you try to be friendly?"

"And he'll be out of our lives forever," Lilly asked. I took a breath, focusing on Megan. They continued to talk but I ignored them. I wanted to focus on Megan.

3 3 3

I fidgeted in our apartment bedroom as I awaited Blue to return. He was going to kill me for what I have done. Blue stepped inside the apartment, closing the door. The party had taken Dawn for an evening stroll so we could have some privacy. We needed it.

"How did it go?"

I released a breath, looking to my shoes. "He didn't listen to me. I said goodbye to the girls and Lilly said good riddance to me."

"I'm sorry," Blue said softly.

"At least she's somewhat happy," I sighed. "She's upset about Daniel and Sam's breakup but she's holding out for their reconsolidation. I think they will reunite."

"Of course they will," Blue said softly. "Where is he?"

"By the way that tent was rippling, it wouldn't surprise me if he was in the North Pole," I quipped. "He had some kind of tent that Maddie and Jack undoubtedly built and the plastic was shaking like a hurricane was going on." That thought made me think. I looked at him for the first time. "Actually, it might not have been cold weather. There might as well have been a Hurricane outside." Oops.

"He's traveling the world, going where the ghosts take him," Blue observed.

"That's what I took away, too," I said, putting my attention back on my feet. "I really need to tell you what else happened."

"Okay," Blue laughed. "What?"

"You said you might not forgive me for my betrayal," I said, swallowing hard. I didn't dare look up. I was too afraid. "I decided I wanted to do one more thing."

"What is it," Blue demanded, getting impatient.

"I, uh, I well," I began. I couldn't get it out. I let out a nervous laugh, my gaze still cast downward.

"Vlad," Blue demanded.

"Daniel was sitting beside of me," I said, finally looking to him. Seeing his face brought on a wash of guilt. "It was nothing personal, Blue, I swear. I did it only for one last kick."

"Did you make love to him," Blue demanded.

"He was sitting beside me and I put my hand on his arm," I continued, keeping my eyes locked on his. It didn't feel this sinful earlier. "I used my powers on him."

"What," Blue asked, confused. "Did you make him forget you? Make him forget the visit? Force him to go home."

Actually, all those would have been productive. Not that what I did wouldn't result in something. "No," I said softly. "I put my hand on his arm and I used my power to make him experience something that wasn't happening. Daniel thought we put the girls down and went for a walk outside. Really, we put the girls down and I led him back to the living room. I forced the party not to realize what was going off."

"Vlad," Blue demanded, his eyes going wide. "What did you do?"

"You know what I did," I said softly. "It wasn't personal, Blue. This is the last one—for Daniel and I. I hope to do it again with you when we're ready."

"Vlad," Blue whispered, his breath catching in his throat. "He's out there, alone! How could you put him through this while he's suffering enough?

"It was just one last time," I said softly. "Three's the charm, right?"

"I hope to God Red gets his hands on you," Blue declared. "Because you deserve to be ripped to shreds for that!"

"Just promise me you have forgiven me. That's all I want to know," I asked. I hoped it was a boy but I don't care what it is. It's not like I'll ever see it. She'll raise this one, too.

"I don't feel any urge to take off with Dawn," he sighed. "It looks like you've gotten away with impregnation!"

"It was just for the hell of it," I said, taking his hands in mine. "You're the one I want. I didn't touch him any other way. He won't find out for a while. It's just like with Megan."

"Except he knew he was missing time through that," Blue objected. "Granted, it was the last thing on his mind. This certainly will be the last thing on his mind. I should have known the visit would end with another child."

"It's over, Blue," I said softly. "It's just you, Dawn and I now. I have no other children. Daniel doesn't exist. I'm going to pretend the memories you have are what really happened. To the rest of the world, we met on a flight. But to you and I, I fell in love with you and forgot all about Maddie. It's the God honest truth."

"We'll have another baby soon," Blue replied, stepping into my arms. "Just not right now. I feel sorry for Red. There are so many babies in that house. All of them are missing their childhood. I want Dawn to know what it feels like to be a kid and not what it feels like to be in a nursery."

"Okay," I said softly. "Whatever you want, my love."

"I love you, Vlad," Blue said, wrapping his arms around my neck.

"And I love you," I said, capturing his lips with mine. As we kissed, I erased everything from my mind. I was going to forgive myself. I wouldn't continue to torment myself and therefore torment those I loved. I wasn't pretending Blue was Daniel… I was pretending Daniel never existed and it was just Blue and I. I imagined losing Lilly through that and that Dawn was Megan all along. I imagined Daniel and I becoming a couple without there being a rape. I forgot all about hurting him.

I forgave myself. I have done many things in my life wrong but there is nothing I can do about it. I can continue to pull myself down in the mud or I can let the weight go and stand up. It was so easy to let that weight go. The very first bitch I ever had vanished from my mind. I was setting her free. Every man and woman I ever killed, I released their souls. Every life I ruined with my powers, I asked for forgiveness. Every scar I put on Blue's heart, I erased.

This is a new beginning. I was going to put the past behind me and look forward to the future. Blue, Dawn and I were going to build a new life together. I would make new friends and build better relationships. I wouldn't depend on my powers for the things I wanted or needed. I wouldn't pull myself down by the weight of my mistakes. Blue and I were going to build a life here in Connecticut. We would marry, maybe, and we would have more kids. I was cutting out the past; walking away from the trials I have brought with me for the last twenty-two years. Blue and I were reborn.

The End

AN: Okay, that's it for Life's Changes. There is only one more installment for Danny's Story and sadly, this story will end. It's been a long time coming.

I'd like to dedicate this chapter to PrincessBetty01. You have been with me since the first story, reviewing every chapter like the trooper you are. Thank you for your words of encouragment and the discussions we've had. I'm glad to call you my friend! :)

Leave a review and look for Danny's Story, Part 5: Moving forward-coming January 2013!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays around the world!

- (Four)