I was just in time to see Danny attempting to fight. His opponent: a storm drain. Skulker was baffled. He didn't laugh, didn't take his eyes off Danny, and above all, didn't know what to do. Obviously he was going to hunt Danny but now... I bet he was wondering what the heck was wrong with him.
"Danny! Get your head together, he's right behind you!" I shouted, hoping he would at least hear me. He would understand if he heard me.
He did hear me, and he turned around. Skulker just stood there, taking on a fighting stance but doing nothing to capture the halfa he was supposed to be fighting. And...honestly, he had a good reason to just stand there. Danny wasn't doing much harm to anything except the brick buildings around him and two unfortunate cars. Streets were damaged as well but not nearly enough to be thought of as dangerous. I realized then that Danny couldn't fight whether he was Fenton or Phantom.
"S'jus' stay...sta-stay still!" he cried out. (Just stay still!)
Skulker slapped his forehead. "I'm not moving, ghost child! You'll be much more valuable if you actually try to hit me!"
Another one of Danny's ghost rays was shot, and did absolutely no damage to Skulker. It was amazing to me that he hadn't even come close to hitting him. Instead it might as well have been a flare, the way it disappeared into the sky like that.
"Stop...moving! I'cn't hit you when you move!" (Stop moving! I can't hit you when you move!)
Skulker growled in frustration. "What's wrong with you?!" he yelled. "At least try to fight! This is ridiculous!"
"Oh, I'm gun' fight!" (Oh, I'm gonna fight!) Danny tried to fly straight but apparently walking wasn't the only off-balance thing about him. His flying was just as bad, if not worse. He started out going in Skulker's direction, which probably even lifted Skulker's hopes, but almost immediately turned right and came face to face with a brick wall. He fell and thought he was winning. It became pretty clear to me that Skulker was getting annoyed. Somehow I doubted that he would want to claim Danny as a prize after this.
Looking down at his flailing, he was really pathetic. He kept shouting battle cries and was convinced that he was beating Skulker.
"Dude!" I called out to him. "You're the one on the ground! You're not doing anything!"
He stopped thrashing and tried to sit up. He was only embarrassing himself. It took him four tries before he could even reach a standing position.
"Jus' 'ait...I'll...I'll...do stuff...n' stuff..." he said. (Just wait...I'll do stuff...and stuff.)
He attempted to walk forward, maybe trying to threaten his foe, but failed miserably as his legs crossed and caused him to trip. Flat on his face, he groaned. "Tha'll sho'a..." (That'll show you.)
I sighed heavily. This would probably end with Skulker getting so fed up with Danny that he'll go away. And until then, he would try to determine what was wrong with him and what the hell he was saying. And it seemed to be that way. Although probably still annoyed, Skulker laughed pretty much the whole time. All Danny did was run into things, trip, and babble his own little language. Not many words could be pronounced right. He might as well be speaking Chinese. I'd always just thought of it as Drunk Danny.
"Jus'ait, thi'll 'urt..." he threatened. (Just wait, this'll hurt...)
"Danny, he's up in the air!" I shouted.
He stopped talking to the imaginary person in front of him and looked directly above him. A normal person would look in a slanted angle, but not him. There was nothing directly above him and it made him too dizzy to stand up. His butt met asphalt. I wanted to close my eyes. Right now, no one would be attacking him. He was too hilarious. Even as he stood up, Skulker didn't worry. In fact, he checked the time on his arm, as though he had somewhere else to be. I was right. This would only end with Skulker leaving, having put up with Drunk Danny for too long.
It was weird... In order: Danny Fenton, Danny Phantom, and finally Drunk Danny. And apparently, Drunk Danny fell under both categories of Fenton and Phantom, except with a "Drunk" as their prefix. Because that's all they were at this point; nothing but drunken morons that were wobbling up and down the street doing nothing except harming themselves. Drunk Danny really was useless when it came to this stuff, being as he did nothing to actually fight off the enemy.
And Sam never came to these fights anymore. She never came to support Danny. And right now Danny needed her support. Even if she just looked at him, that would be enough for him to keep going. There was a time when all she could think about was him, and even went so far as to add a "DP" logo to his jumpsuit, but that was a very long time ago. Eight years, to be exact. But when Danny didn't ask her out, she got tired of waiting for him, moved on, and started dating other guys. It upset Danny when she started talking about how she was interested in someone else, it tore him apart when he saw her with another guy. Ever since then, he'd been miserable. He wanted her to be happy though, so he made sure to act like life was just the most amazing thing in the world.
But that's all it was, just an act. He pretended he'd moved on just like she had all those years ago. But it really was heartbreaking to see him in so much pain. Day after day he thought about her. A couple of times I would come over to his place to find him already asleep, and I would hear him mumble her name. Poor guy even dreamed about her. I was sure at that point that he had never gotten over Sam and never would. Sometimes he would lead me to think that he didn't want to let go, he didn't want to move on. It was Sam's turn to be called Clueless 1.
And I could never forget the one time I had come over to his apartment to find him laying on the bed crying, not caring if I saw. He tightly held a picture of the three of us when we were fourteen and the best of friends. He looked up at me and said with a weak voice, "I love her."
And knowing that he had started drinking so much after that night... Something inside me shattered. I always knew he loved her and I always knew watching her date so many other guys had been hard for him, but after what I'd seen that night, I realized that I had never known how deeply it had gotten to him. I never knew love could do that to someone.
"YOU KEEP HIM!" I heard an angry Skulker screech to me as he flew away.
A half-beaten Danny proudly hobbled over to me. Beaming at his "victory", he announced, "Kulk's gone. I s'ared 'im off!" (Skulker's gone. I scared him off!)
He reverted back to Fenton, without looking around first to see if anyone happened to be watching.
"Good job, dude. Now, what do you say we get back to your place and-"
"I dun wanna!" he whined, crossing his arms and further making himself look like a child.
"Are you sure? There's beer there," I prompted. Not that I would let him so much as look at a full can...
He uncrossed his arms and allowed a wide grin. "Sounds good." Finally something understandable comes out of his mouth! His speech was still horrible, but at least an untrained person would be able to know what he was saying. Even if what he was saying was only two words.
As quickly as I could manage, I got my friend upstairs and into his apartment. I had to guide him through the hallway, otherwise a relapse of what happened earlier would come and he would only get frustrated. A frustrated Drunk Danny was a scary Drunk Danny. All judgement and reason had gone down the drain and him getting frustrated would result in nothing less than bad news.
"Hey," he began as I let him wander around his living room (the only place I knew he was truly safe), "Wa's'at stuff in penc'ls again?" (What's that stuff in pencils again?)
I gave him a confused look, despite the fact that he asked these random questions all the time. "You mean wood?"
He sloppily shook his head. "No, tha'stuff in th'middle." (No, that stuff in the middle.)
"What, the lead?"
He smiled and nodded. "Yup, yup. I f'rgot what it'as called." (Yup, yup. I forgot what it was called.)
How did he forget that lead was in a pencil? He was drunk but he must've been more drunk than I thought. And it seemed to amplify when he went ghost, because I'd never seen him pitifully flailing on the ground before. Note to self: do NOT let Danny go ghost when he's drunk. He'd kill himself that way without even trying. But at least then he would die happy, unlike when he was sober. At least when he was drunk he was laughing, smiling, and happy. His problems really were drowned, but sadly they only resurfaced the next day. He would get rid of them by means of any alcoholic beverage he could get his hands on, probably with every intention of becoming this smashed.
But I had to keep in mind that it could be so much worse. Suicide was one of many options, probably the worst of them all. At least he didn't try to take his life. In that sense he was strong, which had to be another reason I didn't constantly nag him about drinking. He was an alcoholic, and that was fact. So if alcohol was taken from him, what else would he have to turn to?
He knew as well as I did that he would never have another chance with Sam. There were too many boyfriends and thus, no window for him to fit through. He didn't have a single shot, not one little opportunity. And at most, he wanted to be close friends with her. He chose to hang on to the past, to the days when we were naive teenagers...to the days when we were the best of friends and did everything together. I could remember him trying to impress Sam, but apparently she never really caught on. Danny waited too long. He should've just told her how he felt when he still could but now... Well, now there was no hope left for him. And she was everything to him. Now his everything was slowly moving away and he couldn't get her back.
He didn't want to suffer anymore. And I couldn't bear to watch. But he needed me, and for now, he needed beer as well. We were the only things keeping him going. Beer encouraged him to be stupidly happy (and horrendously smashed), and I encouraged him to fight ghosts. It was a shame I couldn't fill the void left by Sam though. She wasn't coming. She never came. Eventually we wouldn't see her anymore and that would be the day Danny finally lost it. I was worried when that day would come, always wondering what would become of the infallible Danny Phantom.
"I'ink I'll go in th'kitch'n," (I think I'll go in the kitchen.) he mumbled, following the walls to the kitchen.
Shit. "Uh, Danny!" I jumped off the couch and blocked the entryway to his destination. Knives, stove, breakable objects that were sure to slip out of his hands... Too many hazards; I couldn't let him in. I had to stop him somehow, even though I knew he could simply phase through me. Hopefully he was too full of drunken idiocy to realize he could do that. "I was just thinking...the kitchen is the most boring room in the entire place! Why go in the most boring room when you can go wherever else and have fun?"
His eyes lit up and he grinned this huge, almost humorous grin. "Sounds good." Yes! It was understandable again!
"Hey, are you becoming less drunk or is it just me?" I smirked.
"I'm not drunk!" he protested. Understandable! Still badly slurred, but English! Score three for Tuck.
Oh please go back to being sober soon...!
"You're not?" I spoke softly to him, as though he was just a small child. And honestly, he acted like one when he got smashed.
"No! I's (Oh no...don't...please...!) just a kin'a dizzy, tha's all. I'ink I'ate too mu'sh..." CRAP! (No! I'm just kind of dizzy, that's all. I think I ate too much.)
"No, dude, you filled up on Budweiser, not food." Damnit, Danny! Just...get sober already! Or at least go to sleep! I'm getting tired...
He pushed himself off the wall and fell on his butt, still unable to balance properly. "Di' I jus' fall?" (Did I just fall?)
I rolled my eyes. It was getting late. I figured Danny would get tired soon but apparently that ghost fight (which wasn't even a fight considering the enemy left in annoyance) pumped him up. If I was lucky he would pass out. But then again, I couldn't list one time where I've seen him pass out.
"What do you think Sam would say, Danny?" I asked as he lifted himself back up off the ground. It was a real question, not just something to keep him distracted.
"I'm not gay..." he grumbled back. ENGLISH! YES!
"Samantha, Danny. Samantha," I corrected myself. "What do you think Samantha would say about this?"
"Tha's a weird name. But I'ink I know a girl name' S'mantha." (That's a weird name. But I think I know a girl named Samantha.)
"Yeah, you do. That girl, what do you think that girl would say?"
"M'bou' what?" (About what?)
I sighed in frustration. I was his friend, I was supposed to help him. But that didn't mean he wasn't an absolute pain to deal with sometimes. So I rephrased the whole thing so he could, hopefully, understand exactly what I meant. "What do you think that the Samantha you know would say if she saw you drunk?"
He seemed thoughtful for a few seconds and I couldn't help but wonder if somewhere inside him, he was actually thinking.
"I'ink sh's not here righ' now. Is she hid'ng? 'R we play'ng I Spy?" (I think she's not here right now. Is she hiding? Are we playing I Spy?)
Just stop it you moron. He's not going to answer you normally. Er, even remotely normally. It's not even worth a try, just give it up already.
"Hey, that fight with Skulker must've really taken it out of you. I think you should go to sleep, rest up," I suggested.
"I 'ad a fight? Wi'kulk'r?" (I had a fight? With Skulker?)
"Yeah, and you look so tired right now. I think you should go to bed. You'll have more fun tomorrow because you'll have more energy," I explained, almost bribing him with that promised energy.
"Mmmm...I'ink I might be'ettin' kin'a tired." (Mmmm...I think I might be getting kind of tired.) He yawned and backed up against a wall, leaning on it and dropping his head.
Oh THANK YOU! "Well then let's get you to bed." With those words, I gently took his hand and guided him into his bedroom. Surprisingly he didn't even come close to tripping over something.
"M'not...sleepin' wi'you. I'm not gay," he mumbled to me. (I'm not sleeping with you. I'm not gay.)
Well. Things just got awkward.
"Neither am I, and we're not sleeping together," I replied. Again, Drunk Danny understood English, so telling him we weren't sleeping together would get it through his head that I wasn't gay. Frankly, I didn't even know what to think about that. It was the first time he had ever said anything like that and never before had I felt so embarrassed. Drunk or not, this was still coming from my best friend.
But at least now I could get him to sleep. Once he was asleep, I was getting the hell out of this place.