A/N:

So, I've been really sick and I needed something to cheer me up. This was more for myself than anything else, because this is a fantasy of mine I've always wanted to translate into writing but have never had the time due to other stories. Either way, I decided to post it because it might prove entertaining for the most part, although it might be a bit disturbing, even though it's not yaoi.

Please let me know what you think, and if you'd like the next chapter posted.

~REALLYSICKPERSON


When my parents decided to take a trip around the United States for the sole purpose of invading every supposedly haunted landmark known to man to determine whether or not it actually housed ghosts, and, if so, to hunt them down, I was relieved to know that I wouldn't be going with them. At least I was then.

I guess I had thought that being away from them for the entire summer would not only give me unlimited freedom but reduce the chance of being discovered as my alias, Danny Phantom, by one hundred percent. So when they told me I'd be staying home, I was, of course, elated, that is, until they told me that I wouldn't be staying home alone. And since Jazz had already left for college, that meant I wouldn't be staying here.

"I don't need a babysitter, guys," I protested, even though I figured it was probably pointless. "I'm almost fifteen. I can take care of myself."

"Danny, I'd still feel more comfortable if I knew you had someone watching over you," Mom sighed. "It won't be as big a deal as you think. I'm sure he's going to give you plenty of space."

"Who's he?" I questioned, raising an eyebrow.

My dad then said the worst possible thing he could have, something that made my heart sink in my chest but a feeling of horror rise in my stomach:

"Vladdy offered to watch you," he said cheerfully, and it took everything in my power to keep from fainting.

And despite the five consecutive days leading up to the date they were to leave of begging them to reconsider who would watch me or even to take me with them, I still ended up here, standing on Vlad's door step, clutching the handles of my bags tightly in my moist hands as I watched my parents speed away, leaving me to what I already knew would be three months of hell.

Vlad greeted me at the door with an all too cheery smile plastered on his face.

"Well, hello, little badger," he said as he placed one hand on my back and began to usher me inside the castle, taking my bags from me and carrying them with the other. "Please, come in. Here, let me take those for you."

When we were inside, he shut the huge doors, almost slamming them shut, which didn't seem impossible considering his strength. Then, he turned and flashed me a grin as wide as the Cheshire Cat's. And he certainly did resemble a cat, a cat that looked as if it had found its newest pray and planned to pounce any moment. And boy, did I feel like a helpless mouse.

"Vlad," I hissed, struggling to make my voice sound low and threatening, "whatever you're planning, I'm not falling for it. Let's just get that straight."

Vlad chuckled and placed a hand on my shoulder. "Oh, Daniel, you're so paranoid. Relax."

Shrugging his hand off my shoulder in untamed disgust, I snarled at him, trying to appear intimidating even though I felt very scared, because I realized that I truly was at his mercy for the next three months—I did not, of course, have any other place to retreat, and residing with him would give him ample opportunity to extract his revenge upon me, to initiate any plans he had in store for me or test out any new inventions that would hinder me. And even though it seemed very unwise to advertise myself as anything other than passive, because it may prompt him to adapt an attitude similar to my own, I also thought that it would be best if I established now that I would not spend my whole summer following his orders like a slave because I could do nothing other than cower in fear.

"Why would I be anything other than paranoid?" I hissed, and my fists began to clench. Of course, I thought I should at least be granted this. I would not ask him what he had planned, or why he had chosen to take me in for the summer—these things I already knew. But I was genuinely ignorant to this, how he thought I could come to his castle by order of my parents and not feel the slightest tinge of fear in doing so. It wasn't as if our relationship was as it had briefly been when my family had first come to his castle for the infamous reunion; if it had been, this would feel awkward, yes, but there would be no fear, no anticipation that I would wake up after curling up in bed strapped down onto an examination table in the depths of his lab. And I was certainly anticipating this now, because I could not overlook our past encounters, and I was not willing to do so, no matter how he might present himself now. Was this selfish of me? Closed-minded? Maybe, but if you had been in the same predicament, you would have felt similarly. "After everything you've done to me…"

"Daniel," he said sternly, and his lightened expression left. In its place there was a seriousness—really wholesome seriousness, something that looked very foreign on his face. For a moment his lips were pursed tightly, so much so that they turned white, as he stared at me with eyes that were cool and calculating but also very irritated, and because he seemed to be genuine, I could tell he was offended by my disbelieving nature. "I don't have any evil plans in store for you. I knew you would behave this way, and so I'm going to make that very clear to you right now."

"Oh, sure you don't," I snapped, because even though my eyes told me he was being completely honest my heart didn't—after all, as I made clear, it isn't all that easy to walk into the house of your enemy and be able to completely let your guard down.

"It's going to be a long three months if you continue to think in this way," Vlad said quietly, and his expression continued to cool, but it never lost its authenticity. "I know it is in your nature now to associate me with darkness and such, but I've told you before, I am not a villain."

"I know," I said, rolling my eyes, and mimicking him, I continued, "All you ever wanted," I paused for drama's sake. "was love."

Seeming to ignore my spitefulness, he said levelheadedly, actually managing to form a small smile, "Yes, that's right, Daniel. And that is why I am going to enjoy the next three months with you."

"Oh, really? You think I'm going to love you?" I scoffed, staring at him in sickened disbelief, wondering just what he really meant by this, although it wouldn't be fair to say I hadn't the faintest idea.

"Well, I believe sincerely that this is going to give us an opportunity to make amends. I'm going to change those beliefs you have about me, Daniel, and I think that by the time your parents return, you aren't going to want to leave." His smile grew a bit, and now it was more genuine. His expression also seemed to be warming a bit, as if his hope for the reversal of my poor attitude outweighed the irritation the attitude itself evoked.

"Oh, I doubt it," I said, and rolled my eyes again at how farfetched his little theory actually was. In truth, if he'd had a chocolate fountain that rose to the ceiling of his castle and every game and gaming system ever created (and he probably did) I wouldn't have stayed, and hoping it would get my point across, I voiced this thought.

To which he responded, his smile widening further and chuckling a bit, "Unfortunately, I don't have a chocolate fountain. I have plenty of games, but I also have something better in store for you, little badger."

"What would that be?" I asked skeptically, raising an eyebrow as I stared at him, my arms crossed over my chest defiantly.

"Come upstairs with me and I'll show you," he offered, putting a gentle hand on my back to lead me there as if I couldn't walk or was too dumb to find the staircase that encompassed over half of the foyer.

"What are we looking at?"

"Your new bedroom, of course," he said swiftly, and led me to the stairs as he had inside. "Come with me."

Before I had a chance to protest this action, we'd already arrived at the top of the stairs, and I was left wondering how, exactly, I'd managed the climb, because it was all a blur, smudged by my thoughts of what might lie in store for me throughout these three months; before I had much time to mull this over, however, he was already leading me down a candlelit hallway quickly, not so much walking as sweeping over the floor, and my walk with Vlad Masters had a trance-like quality to it that reminded me of that of Christine Daae's with the Phantom in that tired musical Mr. Lancer had first made us read, then watch, then study for its impending test.

We passed a door, and briefly Vlad said, "That is my bedroom if you find you need something in the middle of the night."

We came to the last door on that side of the hallway, one directly to the right of Vlad's. And while it appeared to be very similar to the others on the outside—all the doors were a dark wood with knobs of some tarnished metal—I had a good hunch that this was not so on the inside, because this room was not like the room I'd stayed when we'd come for the reunion. There was no large, elevated bed, no regal purple curtains, no candles as the only source of light.

Instead, it was a nursery. A baby's nursery. And upon looking at Vlad to verify if this was as genuine as his previous emotions, my worst fear was confirmed: he was serious.