Warning: This story contains suicidal thoughts and one sided slash.

Return to Living

Summary: Dan is the vessel that holds two ghosts. When Vlad pulled Phantom from Fenton, all he wanted to do was get away. Phantom has
never dealt with his family's demise and he never wanted to but when Plasmius cracks, Phantom has to face his worst nightmare.

Daniel James Fenton; Danny Phantom (Dan/Evil Danny/Evil Phantom)

Mid-2000s

Let me out! Let me out! Get me out of this thing!

Plasmius could never stand tight spaces. He was slowly losing his mind, overwhelmed by the captivity we found ourselves in. I remember feeling like that. It wasn't tight spaces, though, that drove me crazy. It was empty spaces. Before the split, it was too hard. I couldn't stand the sound of silence. I'd hear the explosion—over and over again—and I would feel myself shutting down. When Vlad accidently removed my ghost spirit, though, that's all I heard. Silence. I had a place to hide before. I was only a ghost, one created in a portal after my host had been alive for fourteen years. When I was removed from Danny, though, I was in control. Silence.

I didn't want to do anything. I wanted to die with them but I had an obligation. Ha! I gave up on my town, unable to handle the truth, and then when I joined Plasmius in this new body, I destroyed my only reason for living. Hearing Plasmius knock around the thermos, knowing his powers aren't enough to bust us free, I know what will happen. Plasmius is claustrophobic. We've been in this thermos for almost three months and he's cracking. The longer we've been trapped, the weaker our powers become. Soon, he won't be able to break this thermos. That's a reality he can't face.

I can sense this Danny flying away. He's completed his job and now he's returning home. It'll be another two weeks until he has to return and he's content with that timeline. I don't know how much time Plasmius has, though. If he retreats into his own mind, what happens to me? Will I become the dominate one? Will our body just turn into a vegetable? I don't know if I can handle being in charge again. It's been ten years and I still can't handle what happened that day.

The days ticked by as Plasmius became even more unstable. Two weeks from the day, the thermos shattered. I feared what would happen this time. Plasmius was going to go off the deep end. I saw Clockwork as always.

"No! No! No," Plasmius screamed. Clockwork froze us where we stood but he didn't leave like he usually does.

"Phantom," Clockwork said softly. "It's been too long."

"What is he talking about," I asked. When I heard my voice echo as I spoke, I flinched. "No!"

"Plasmius can't handle it anymore, Phantom. It's time for you to take control."

"I can't," I declared. I stepped back, willing Plasmius to take control again. "I-I don't want this." I felt my very real human emotions controlling me. I hadn't wanted Vlad to take my human emotions. I had to keep my promise. Now I wished they had been taken away. "Please, just send me back to my time."

"I'm not going to kill you, Phantom. You don't deserve to die."

"I don't deserve to live," I declared. I hated feeling like this. I didn't have to deal with these emotions when Plasmius was in control. He took care of me. Where is he now?

"You did nothing wrong, Phantom. What happened was a freak accident. I know it's hard to deal with but your family would want you to live. You know what Sam and Tucker told you that day."

"It doesn't matter what they wanted," I retorted. I felt so lost and confused. I didn't want to be here. I didn't want to be the dominate one anymore. That's the whole reason I merged with Plasmius. I didn't want to be in control of my own life. It was obvious Fenton didn't want me. Where else was I to go? "Please, destroy me. I can't live like this."

"You can, Phantom. You owe it to them. They died so you could live. Don't let their sacrifice be in vain."

He was right, of course. The only reason my timeline existed was so Clockwork could prove to the Observants that Danny was no threat to them. It wasn't hard to figure out. Clockwork created the entire paradox but he was forced to do it. At least this timeline's Danny would have a chance with his family. Maybe he and Sam could have that relationship together. I know Vlad loves him but Danny deserves so much more.

"Go get him," I said, looking down. "I'll leave this to Danny."

"Very well," Clockwork nodded.

Clockwork opened a portal and disappeared. I crossed my arms, nervous about the exchange that's about to happen. With any luck, Danny won't trust me and he'll destroy me. I don't want this life anymore. What am I living for? My family, my daughter and my timeline is all gone. What could I possibly have left?

Clockwork returned moments after he left, now with Danny in tow. I watched him take the sight in. "Oh, no." He knew I wasn't frozen and he prepared for a battle. A battle he thought he might not win. I prayed for him to attack me. I wouldn't even fight. My worst nightmare came true, though, when he pieced together that I hadn't left. The kid's smarter than I gave myself credit for.

"Because Plasmius is no longer in control," I answered his unspoken questions. "His claustrophobia has finally gotten to him. I'm in control again."

Danny wouldn't destroy me. "Phantom?"

"Yeah, it's me, Fenton," I nodded. I might as well give him piece of mind. "Long time no see."

"You have no idea," he said, getting emotional. Well, he is pregnant. "Do you know why mine left?"

Oh. It has nothing to do with hormones. I knew I was backing away from Danny before the accident but I guess his Phantom completely cut off contact. Good for him. "Me. This would have never happened if we weren't separated to begin with." I looked down, thinking of my family. My daughter. "I'm a destroyer of happiness." I even destroyed the last chance I had at being happy.

"So Plasmius was in control," he remarked. His thoughts acknowledged that I'm helpful to none.

"I know," I answered. Not only was I a death bringer and a destroyer of happiness, I also brought destruction. He was right there. "And yeah, he was in control. I may have overwhelmed him when I overshadowed him," I took a breath, "but he was still stronger." I didn't want to tell him I surrendered my soul. "Once he was in control, there was no amount of fighting I could do." It was the truth but I never fought—not even once.

"Do you think you can keep him in control," Danny asked. He was afraid of me. He has a life and he knows that. If I'm lying to him, he knows he'll have to die to stop me. I'm asking a lot in his opinion. All I want to do is die.

"That's why I asked Clockwork to go get you," I replied. I wanted you to destroy me. "I don't want to try unless you're comfortable with it."

"I'm already as strong as Vlad," he answered. He's rebuffing the question. I'm not just Vlad. "I know you can be too." Well, that's a turn of events. He's thinks I can do this?

"Leave a thermos with Clockwork," I instructed. First of all, if Plasmius does come back, Clockwork will need the protection. Also, I don't want to destroy this world too. "I want him to be able to control me if he would get out."

Danny looked to Clockwork. "Can you handle him if he does get out?" If I wasn't so miserable now, I'd laugh.

"Better than you," Clockwork smiled. Yeah. That old man is incredible. "If there's one future I can control, it's my own."

Danny summoned a thermos to his hand. His gloved hands curled around the device in a tight grip. "Don't betray my trust, Dan. I may not be as powerful as you but I swear, I will destroy you even if it means destroying both of us."

That gave me a little hope. I smiled. "I understand." Danny became freaked out with my smile and thought back to his and Val's battle in my present. She called him cute and he thinks it's because I'm ugly. "Thanks," I smirked.

"You can hear thoughts," he asked, surprised. I take it back. He's as dumb as I remember.

"I do have Plasmius' powers too," I remarked, annoyed.

"Right," he replied, nervous. He narrowed his eyes at me. "Don't betray me."

"I won't," I said, looking down. "I can't promise that he won't gain control but I'll do everything in my power to prevent that. Plasmius is strong, even now." I wonder if I could still get him to destroy me without endangering anyone. Probably not.

"I don't ever imagine that to change," he sighed. Vlad is incredibly powerful. Danny knows this. "Call me if you need me, Clockwork."

"Of course," Clockwork replied. Danny returned home, hoping this turns out for the best. "See, this isn't so hard."

"We'll see how this turns out," I said, turning away from Clockwork. I floated away from his company.

(04)

Clockwork made it easy to live again. He knew how to bring me out of my shell and make life not so hard. When I began to get close to him, though, the fear became too much.

"I had a family once," Clockwork nodded. "Being the Master of Time sometimes means Time masters you. I was an average human once. I had a wife and two kids. Then I met this man. I felt drawn to him instantly. We spent days talking, I became distanced from my family. As much time as I spent with him, though, I never knew he was a ghost. One day, I was going to town to get supplies and in order to get to town, we had to go through this narrow passage. Some rocks gave way above us and swiped our entire party over the side of the cliff. As I was falling to my death, my friend showed up and when I died, he transferred his powers of time to me."

"You weren't the first Master of Time," I asked, surprised.

"No," he said, smiling warmly. "I waited for fifty years for my wife to join me. When I saw she had died, I went to her. There was nothing between us anymore though. I had heard of Magnetism. I was hurt and confused. My wife paired with another man and I was left alone. When my children's lives concluded, I had no bond with them. My girls meant the world to me while I was living but as the Master of Time, I had no connection to them. That didn't mean that in my mind I didn't remember that connection we used to feel. It took me centuries to find out why. As long as I was the Master of Time, I couldn't form a bond with anyone. I had to protect the time stream."

"That's horrible," I said, looking down.

"It may seem like the end of the world, Phantom, but you'll find a way to move on. Just remember them the way they were when they were yours. That's how they'd want you to remember them."

I wanted to connect to the only person I had left. It didn't take long to figure out that I had hurt Danny too much for him to ever fully trust me. When Danny, Sam, and Tucker came to Clockwork for help was the next time I saw Danny. He was probably busy with his new baby to be honest. Seeing Sam again made me realize how much I loved her. It was too weird with her being ten years younger than me, though. It was my Sam who I realized I still loved. Too bad she was gone.

"Why did he need the Reality Gauntlet," I asked Clockwork.

"He has a bit of a problem in his world," Clockwork answered.

"I hope everything turns out all right," I said, dismissing it. I'm sure Danny can handle it. "Who does Sam marry," I asked, trying to sound off handed.

"I'm sorry, Phantom," Clockwork smirked at me. "Sam is Danny's girlfriend."

"Danny's," I said, furrowing my brow. "What happened to Vlad?"

"Danny and Vlad broke up before you became the dominate one," Clockwork replied. I couldn't believe it.

"You mean Lilly won't grow up with her father," I asked.

"Danny will be her father. Lilly thought you were Sam in the first place. She has her family."

"I can't believe this," I said, shaking my head. "I know in my dreams Sam and I was together but I thought Vlad and I would stay together forever." Clockwork smirked and I realized what I'd just said. "Oh, real funny! You know what I mean."

"Indeed I do," Clockwork nodded. "Sam and Danny have to get together, though. D.J. has to be born."

"D.J.," I asked, surprised. I hadn't thought of my third born in a long time. I guess he'll be Danny's fourth child now.

"Yes. D.J. is vital to the timeline. He must be born."

"So when did they get together," I asked, looking down. I didn't want to expose this side of myself but it was hard to take in. Humiliatingly, I had considered the possibility of getting with Sam in ten years.

"Three months ago. They haven't started magnetism yet but they will."

I fought the thought of praying they wouldn't. I dismissed myself to my room.

(04)

Danny did visit more frequent after that. I knew he could never fully trust me but he came to trust himself. He brought Lilly over to see us one day. She was such a beautiful child—bright and clever. In November of 06, Danny had a second daughter. It turns out Vlad didn't get the memo that he couldn't get Danny pregnant again. He brought both girls to see me when Megan got older. Megan was an amazing child—cunning and graceful.

Vlad impregnated Danny with a third child but it took a while before Danny trusted me with him. I found out why when the boy was three. Doc was sick. Sam said that Danny was under a lot of stress when he was pregnant and Doc was weaker because of it. Doc was a handsome little man, smart as a tack and quick as a cheetah. He didn't have a lot of strength but he was incredibly smart.

Sam showed me pictures of Sammy when they brought Doc to visit for the first time. Sammy wasn't a pure half ghost so Danny may never trust me enough to bring her. Sam apologized but promised she'd keep me well informed. I knew Sam pitied me and that's why she was nice to me. I could read her mind when she thought of the dangers I posed. Sam was brave enough to risk it, though, because I was still a version of the man she loved. She would want a past version of herself to take care of her Danny in a case like this. I could respect that.

When Danny, Sam and the kids left, Lilly said goodbye to Clockwork and I in a strange way. She called us Uncle Dan and Uncle Clockwork. I've heard the children call Clockwork their uncle for years. That's nothing unusual. However, none of the kids know who I am. It would be too weird and too confusing to admit that. So the question is why did they call me their uncle?

(04)

"Phantom," Clockwork called me into his viewing room.

"Yeah, Clocky," I teased.

"Cut it out," Clockwork growled. I laughed. "Can you clean the clogs for me? I need to do some cleaning around here," he asked me. I've done this many times for Clockwork.

"It'd be my pleasure," I nodded.

It happened out of the blue. In that moment, I thought to myself: I'd do anything for you.

And I thanked God Clockwork couldn't read minds.

I knew I could never have what I wanted. Clockwork couldn't even connect with his family from his human life. Even if by some chance he did like me like that, he could never form a bond to make it last. I tried to forget about it and pretend nothing changed. Clockwork observed the change, though. He told me, in quick words, that I was right. We could never be together.

I tried to pretend that didn't hurt.

The End

AN: I don't know what it is about TUE. That is an episode that has so much potential but, to me, I think it just falls short. Dan really has the makings to be an awesome villain. The only reason he's not the most diabolical villain to me, though, is because when I see him, I see Vlad. I tried to picture Dan as a mixture of both, creating a new "Danny" but I just can't. I see a stronger Vlad, one without humanity. Vlad was absent of his humanity in the beginning but with Phantom's powers, he was capable of so much more.

I'll include more of Dan in future pieces. I try to keep things focused in this story, though, and that just about sums up Dan's return to living.

I'd like to send a shout out to Toothless20. They wanted to see a Dan POV piece and I would have never thought of it without their request. Thanks for reading Danny's Story and thank you for the suggestion. It was fun! I hope you liked it.

For more like this story, check out Deliverance, mid-Chapter 2 and 8 and Moving Forward, Chapter 19. Don't forget to review! Thanks for reading!