Hey-o! I've had this just sitting around on my computer for a while, so I decided to do something with it. This is my take on a revelation fic, mainly focusing on Maddie. Jack might find out later; I haven't decided yet.
Hope you enjoy!
I don't own Danny Phantom.
It was late, really late. Danny usually came home late nowadays, to the point where if he wasn't home before midnight it was a normal night. Maddie sighed as she lay awake in bed. Jack snored loudly next to her but she couldn't sleep anyway. She never did sleep until she was sure she heard Danny come in. Quite a few times she'd heard him come in through his window. She wasn't even sure how he managed it, but she knew the front door hadn't opened yet he was in his room.
She didn't know where they'd gone wrong with Danny. He'd been such a bright boy and looked like he might take after Jazz, but once he got to high school it was like he didn't even care anymore. His grades slipped drastically and his report cards were disasters. They were constantly getting calls about him ditching class or just not even showing up. No amount of yelling or grounding seemed to affect him either. He would always just sit there in silence and apologize. In the beginning he'd tried to make excuses, but now he didn't even try and do that. He knew they didn't believe him, so he didn't bother.
Maddie sat up on the edge of the bed, looking out the window. Worse than his academic career though were all the injuries he seemed to get. Any night he was late he was usually sporting a few new injuries, though he always claimed they looked worse than they were. And since they were always gone within a few days, Maddie supposed maybe he was right, maybe they did just look worse than they were.
He never offered explanations on those anymore either.
It was like she didn't even know him anymore. He was so distant…and he turned down any suggestion of bonding with them. She didn't even know where he was most of the time.
She was worried about him, but he wouldn't tell her anything. He just mumbled you wouldn't understand and left the room, disappearing into his room and then sneaking out his window. Maddie had tried everything she could think of…giving him space, grounding him, cutting him off from his friends, interrogating him…nothing worked. Nothing got through to him. It had been going on for three years now, steadily growing worse. He was a junior in high school and as far as she knew he had no plans for when he graduated. She'd tried to talk to him about that too but he just said he didn't know, he'd think about it, and then left the room.
Jazz was the only one he'd ever talk to, but she was busy in college now and Maddie hated bothering her. She knew how much work Jazz was doing and how important this was, but she couldn't help thinking that Jazz could answer all her problems about Danny.
She'd love to know where he was now. It was four in the morning and he still wasn't home, a very unusual habit for him. Typically he was home by two.
Part of her thought that maybe he'd stayed over a friend's house and had forgotten to call again. He'd done that dozens of times over the years. Another part thought that maybe he had come in already and she just hadn't heard, despite her carefully listening for it. She got up to check, knowing that she wasn't going to sleep anyway.
Danny's door was still open and the light was off, but she peeked in anyway. There was no one on his bed; he still wasn't home. Four eleven and he still wasn't home. He was never this late.
Something passed by Danny's window, catching her attention for a moment. By the time she focused on it, it was gone and the door opening downstairs distracted her.
Danny was finally home.
The door closed quietly and she walked to the top of the stairs to meet him on them. He slowly climbed the stairs, his head bent as if to avoid looking at her. She crossed her arms. "Danny."
He flinched and paused on the stairs, looking up at her. "Mom, what are you still doing up?" he asked. He was holding his right arm close to his body; another injury.
"I was worried about you. Do you know what time it is?" she asked. She was trying to be forceful, to show authority, but she knew it wasn't coming through in her voice. She knew the words but had said them so many times she couldn't put the emotion behind it anymore.
"So late that it's early?" Danny joked. He reached his left hand to scratch the back of his neck nervously. "Look, we both need sleep, how about you yell at me later?"
"Is this all a joke to you Danny?" she asked. She leaned against the wall tiredly. "Staying out late, coming home with injuries that you never explain…are you just trying to get our attention? To prove that you're different than Jazz?"
"No, mom, it's nothing like that at all," Danny said. He slowly walked up a few more steps.
"Then do you like the thrill of constantly lying to us? The adrenaline rush of cutting class?" Maddie pressed.
Danny sighed and leaned against the wall as well. "I still have school in a few hours mom," he softly reminded her.
"You don't seem to care about it anyway. Why not talk now?" Maddie demanded. He flinched again.
"I do care about it, it's just…not as high on my priority list as some other things," he said carefully.
"What other things Danny? What is so much more important than school?" she demanded, her voice rising. She pushed off the wall and stood with her feet planted at the foot of the stairs. Jack's snores faltered slightly but then quickly resumed their normal rhythm.
Danny sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "I'm sorry mom," he said.
Here we go, Maddie thought. "Danny, if you were really sorry, you would stop doing whatever it is you're doing. Or at the very least you would tell me what you're up to. You're not sorry Danny."
He slid down the wall until he was sitting on the stairs and rested his head against the wall. "If there's one thing I've been honest about with you all these years, it's that I am sorry."
"I just don't understand why you can't tell me Danny," Maddie said. He sighed.
"You wouldn't understand," Danny said. "It's just easier to not tell you."
"Easier? Easier for who? You have detention almost every day, you've been grounded for the next four months and have been grounded for the past six, your grades are terrible and you'll never be able to get into a good college…what part of this is easier?"
Danny sighed again. "Just…trust me, please?"
"Trust you as you slowly destroy your life?"
"I'm not…look, mom, I understand what it must look like to you, but I do know what I'm doing. I know what I've gotten into."
"I just want to know that you'll be okay…You come home with so many injuries I'm worried that one day you won't come home at all."
"Mom…" Danny started, looking up the stairs at her. Maddie sat down on the top of the stairs, putting her head in her hands.
"I don't know what to do with you anymore. You won't listen to me or your father or any of your teachers…"
"You don't have to do anything with me, just…trust me. Please."
Maddie looked at him. He was looking up at her, pleading with his eyes for her to just let it go. She noticed he was holding his right arm close and saw bandages peeking out from under the jacket he was wearing.
"What happened to your arm?" she couldn't help asking. Danny glanced down at it in surprise.
"Oh…it's just a scratch really," Danny said emotionlessly. The lie slipped so easily from him. Maddie had heard it so many times before. It's just a scratch. What bruise? Oh I just tripped. I fell out of a tree. He had so many lines that he constantly used, so many lies that she hadn't even questioned at first.
It was all so routine…and Maddie couldn't keep practicing the same scene over and over like this anymore.
Maddie sighed and stood up. "Fine. You don't want to tell me, fine."
"You've made it clear you don't want to tell me Danny. So congratulations, you win. I'll stop asking. I'll stop waiting up for you. I'll stop trying to be a part of your life," Maddie said, her voice near tears. She turned around and walked quickly down the hall to her room, Danny's steps on the stairs quickly behind her.
"Mom I never wanted you out of my life," Danny stated, standing uncertainly outside his door. Maddie paused outside of her room and half turned to him.
"Well you sure fooled me," she said, tears starting to fall down her face. Danny reached for her but she stepped into her room and shut the door, letting herself fall back against it.
Jack's snores didn't falter in the slightest, completely unaware of his family falling apart around him.