A/N: Hi there! Um, I'm really sorry that I didn't update sooner. I promise, weekly updates from now on! Hooray! Thanks to everyone who reviewed, favorited, and followed this story. I have so much fun writing this...
Disclaimer: Like I said, I do not own Danny Phantom. I wish... wait! No! Nevermind, no wishing... heheh. *Looks around nervously for Desiree*
Back and forth, then back again. Not even the footsteps of a pacing soul were constant, for Clockwork had no feet; only a swirling blue tail. Time didn't flow normally in that tower, so he couldn't really tell how long he had been pacing for, eyes trained on the time windows all the while. Though if he had to guess, he would undoubtedly exaggerate and say nearly a day.
Which it could've been, for all he knew; his mind was too clouded with worry to think about much at the moment.
Why was the Master of Time worried? Well, it was actually quite simple.
The entire time he had been pacing, Observants were pounding on the door and ranting about a trial.
He really didn't think they meant it. He did not honestly think they would make him go through with it. Clockwork assumed that, like all other times, they would simply scold him and he would roll his eyes and carry on.
This time, he could see them from the window with handcuffs, guards, and the whole nine yards.
This was not going to end well. He was going to get locked away in a cell and those stupid ghosts were going to be left to watch over the timeline. Heck, they would probably even be curious enough to release Dan.
Yup, he was doomed.
Actually, the whole world was doomed. All because he had morals. Morals that did not allow him to sit back and watch when a certain young halfa was in trouble. He had to watch as others died, as war broke out, and as some even took their own lives, but no matter how many corpses lay on the blood-covered battlefield, he could not interfere unless it was crucial to the timeline. He kept his distance, even shed a few tears for some, but he did nothing.
Unless Danny was involved.
Because really, the boy's existence was crucial to the timeline. Clockwork had to keep him from straying off of the path more than necessary. Sure, a few twists and turns were ok, but no switching tracks entirely. That would be chaotic.
Now, because of his own choices, the whole timeline could be in danger. He pondered the consequences before, as if on cue, a certain half-ghost flew in the window. Time to become the infuriatingly cryptic, serious know-it-all ghost that Danny had become accustomed to. Best to keep it that way, Clockwork decided. It would not be wise to let the boy know he actually had a sense of humor.
"Uh, Clockwork? What's with the giant eyeballs at the door? And if they're ghosts, why don't they just fly through the window like I did?" The Danny chuckled.
"Best not to tell them that. It is my duty to protect the timeline and they simply disagree with my actions."
"You're not going to tell me any more than that, are you?" Danny asked, and sighed when he received a shake of the head from Clockwork. "Anyways, you know why I'm here, right?"
Clockwork nodded and allowed himself a small smirk. He didn't actually know why the boy was there; he did have other people to keep an eye on and make sure they didn't do stupid things (i.e. becoming evil, blowing up an entire city, etc.). Danny didn't need to know that, though.
"So… you'll take care of Cujo for me?" the boy asked, looking up at Clockwork with pleading eyes. The Master of Time could not have been more shocked; this was definitely not what he was expecting. Did the boy really expect him to keep this pet in his tower full of delicate, breakable windows? Judging by the face he was giving Clockwork, he clearly did.
"Uh… um…" Clockwork stuttered, dropping his serious façade. Danny eyed him curiously before the blue specter coughed and quickly tried to recover. "Of course, Daniel. I would be happy to."
"Great! I couldn't take care of him, what with my ghost-hating parents and all. I was going to see if maybe Ember wanted a friend to keep her company, but he chewed on her favorite guitar. Then I asked Vlad because, you know, he needs a cat, but I thought a dog might work too. He kicked me out, of course. Youngblood wanted him up until he tried to eat his parrot. I could go on and on about how I also tried to offer him to Walker or Skulker as a guard or hunting dog—which I admit was not my brightest idea—but Cujo protested," the young halfa smiled brightly and leaned his head out the window. "Alright Cujo, come in. Clockwork says you can stay."
Suddenly, a little green dog flew in through the window. He ran up to Clockwork and, upon leaping up, licked his face. The Master of Time made a very grossed-out face before shooing the puppy away. The dog ran back to Danny.
"Now, you do whatever Clockwork says, alright? Be good, Cujo," he said to the dog. Cujo whined and Danny petted his head before standing up. "Thanks Clockwork. Now, uh, I've gotta go before my parents realize I'm gone. Oh, and you might want to do something about that racket outside."
With that, Danny flew out the window. Clockwork slapped a palm to his face. He had completely forgotten about them, despite all of the noise. He had to quickly devise a plan to avoid what he knew was coming: they were going to hold a trial, and when he was found guilty (which was most likely inevitable, knowing the council) they would lock him up. There would be no reasoning with them. He could fight them off, couldn't he? They didn't appear to be very strong, so it wouldn't be too hard. He could do this.
Suddenly, he heard the door being blown open, and the Observants were in his tower. He looked at the little green puppy and whispered, "Let me take care of these guys. It shouldn't take long."
Unfortunately, Clockwork couldn't see all the possible events.
So, what did you think? Did the whole Cujo thing seem random? Good. It will... for a while *grins evilly* I have plans.
I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. I liked writing it, but I think I Clockwork is way too out of character. Rereading this, I realize I made Danny sound really... helpless? Troubled? I don't know, just OOC. And Clockwork... *shudders* yeah, reeaally OOC. Maybe leave a review and express what you thought...? Nah, that's up to you. I just hope you enjoyed it, and I promise: Weekly updates from now on!