AN: BEFORE YOU READ THIS, I have to warn you that this chapter came out dismally anti-climactic. But, to be fair, this is one of the first scenes (if not the first scene) I thought of for this fic, and, if this had been three or four chapters long, as I had originally assumed it was going to be, it would be a much better Vlad confrontation. (Though, the more I think about it, the stupider it seems...)

That said, it does serve a purpose, as it leads things up to the sequel for me, which in my opinion, is way better than this fic! And, this is not the end of Vladdy, as I will be making up for this monstrosity of a chapter in the sequel. So, please, please, forgive me for this, and stick around for the rest of the storyline T_T Pretty please, with little gummy-bats on top?

Anyhow, on with the currently-deteriorating show...


Chapter 14:
Desperate


It had taken some convincing. ("He may be a monster, but he has powers like yours.") A lot of convincing. ("Do you really think he's managed to go all this time, without getting the hiccups, even once?") But, running low on time and ideas, and getting very, very desperate, Team Phantom headed for Vlad's at around 3:30 am, with Danny crouching under a blanket in the floorboards of Jazz's car.

Illegal? Definitely. But, they couldn't risk anyone seeing him transform.

Of course, that was after trying one last cure. #702: Eat chilli and drink milk and honey. It had worked for all of twenty seconds. But, for the following two hours, Danny's hiccups were punctuated by short coughing fits.


Vlad was in his lab, trying to perfect his latest weapon, without the last needed part. Oh, well. He would simply have to trick young Daniel into retrieving it for him. Of course, he could just go and get it, himself, but where was the fun in that.

*Ding-Dong*

All of a sudden, the doorbell sounded, breaking his concentration. He fumbled his machine, nearly dropping it. He thought for a moment. Had he stayed up all night? He hadn't thought he'd been in his lab for more than a few hours.

Sure enough, a glance at the clock on the wall told him that he was correct. He'd been up well into the night, but not far enough into the next day for visitors. Who, one earth, was at his door at nearly four in the morning? He checked his monitors.

Daniel.

There's really no way to describe the twisted smirk that crawled across Vlad's face at that moment, but, let's just say that Skulker was dead-asleep in his lair, (*Badum tss*) when a sudden chill woke him up.

This was just too perfect.


"Ah, Daniel," Masters said, opening the door, grinning down sinisterly at the four teens on his doorstep. "Finally realize that your idiot father is no competition for me?" He didn't expect the boy to say yes, but he could still hope.

*Hiccup* (Phantom)

Recognition (and a bit of surprise) came over Vlad's features, before he hid them. "Ah. I see you've discovered one of the more... unfortunate... side-effects of our abilities."

Danny muttered something less-than-flattering under his breath. "Just tell me how to-"

*Hiccup* (Fenton)

"-get rid of 'em, Fruitloop."

Vlad folded his arms and leaned against the door frame, grinning smugly. "Well, I suppose I coul-"

*Hiccup* (Phantom)

"-I suppose I could tell you how," He picked back up, as though he hadn't been interrupted. "But, of course, I'd need-"

*Hiccup* (Fenton)

The man blinked, then continued. "-Of course, I'd need you to do somethi-"

*Hiccup* (Phantom)

Vlad's eye twitched. "-I'd need you to-"

*Hiccup* (Fenton)

"-I'dneedyoutodosomethingforme!" The older half-ghost breathed heavily, as the four kids stared at him. "In return," He finished, straightening his tie, and regaining his composure. Somewhat.

*Hiccup* (Phantom)

Vlad closed his eyes, tightly. "Like what?" Danny asked, suspiciously.

"You see, Daniel, I-"

*Hiccup* (Fenton)

He rubbed at the spot on his forehead, where he could feel a headache blossoming. "I am currently work-"

*Hiccup* (Phantom)

"-I am-"

*Hiccup* (Fenton)

"-working on-"

*Hiccup* (Phantom)

"-...a new project-"

*Hiccup* (Fenton)

The old half-ghost screwed his eyes shut, again.

*Hiccup* (Phantom)

Vlad looked as if he were about to explode and take several counties with him, then he deflated and sighed. He turned around, slowly and calmly, stepped inside his home, and slammed the door.

Team Phantom stood there a moment, staring. "Does that mean he's not gonna tell us?" Tucker wondered aloud.

"I think it means I annoy him," Danny smirked. Desperate or not, driving the Fruitloop up as many walls as possible was a talent the younger half-ghost was truly proud of.

Sam was debating whether to head home and try some more cures, or just have Danny walk her through the door, intangibly, so she could make Vlad tell them. (Though, who knew if Vlad really knew the cure, at all. Who knew if there even was a cure. It was, more than likely, another one of the old Fruitloop's tricks.) Before Sam could decide, though, the door opened, again.

"Here," Vlad said, grabbing one of Danny's hands and shoving something into it. The boy stared at the object for a moment.

*Hiccup* (Fenton)

"...This is a marshmallow." Vlad pinched the bridge of his nose with one hand, the other on the door frame, as though it was the only thing holding him up.

"Yes. It is."

"But-" Vlad held out a hand to stop him.

*Hiccup* (Phantom)

For a moment, looking at the man's scrunched up features, Danny got the sense that Vlad was plotting his murder. Then, the cheese-head calmed down again.

"Go home. Eat that -" he pointed to the marshmallow in Danny's palm. "- while looking at that ridiculous neon sign your idiot father decided would look good on the side of your house, and thinking of bald people."

*Hiccup* (Fenton)

"But-" Vlad slammed the door. Three seconds later, the ghost shield came on, knocking Danny backwards off the front steps, and into the bushes.

*Hiccup* (Phantom)


The four teens stood in front of FentonWorks, staring at the marshmallow in Danny's hand. "I bet it's poisoned."

"Tucker!" The other three shouted.

*Hiccup* (Fenton)

"Seriously! It's Vlad! Did you see that look he gave you!?"

He had a point.

The four stared at it another few moments, before Jazz perked up. "Wait, right here," She said, before running into the house. The Trio looked after her. She came back a few seconds later, with a bag of marshmallows. "These should work, right?" She asked, popping one into her mouth.

*Hiccup* (Phantom)

"Works for me," Danny replied, tossing the probably-poisoned marshmallow over his shoulder, and reaching for a fresh one. They had to do this fast, it was almost daybreak.

Danny popped the marshmallow into his mouth, and began to chew. He took a step back, craning his neck to better see the neon FentonWorks sign on the side of his house, and trying to think of bald people. (For some reason, no one came to mind, but Mr. Lancer.) The other members of Team Phantom watched, intently.

He chewed.

He swallowed.

They waited.

Two minutes passed. Then three.

Nothing.

"Yes!" They all cried, dancing around the deserted sidewalk.

"Huh?" Maddie Fenton asked, leaning out her bedroom window, rubbing the sleep from one eye. Suddenly, she was fully-awake. "Ghost!" She shouted, grabbing the nearest ecto-weapon and firing on Danny. "You, get away from those kids, you ectoplasmic manifestation of malicious intentions and post-human consciousness!" In the back of his mind, Danny wondered how she managed to say that in one breath.

The woman hit him, but she must've grabbed the wrong weapon. That one got Danny square in the chest, and just knocked him down. It didn't even hurt, that much. He got up quickly and flew a short distance away, transforming behind a building and heading back home in his human form.

"Where's Danny?" Maddie demanded, looking around, as her husband leaned out the window next to her.

"Uh..." they droned.

"Right here, Mom," Danny piped up, jogging around the corner. "I... uh... tripped... into an alley, and the ghost didn't see me."

"DANNY-BOY!" The big man boomed, waking the neighbors with his normal speaking-voice. "WHAT'RE YOU KIDS DOING OUT THERE, AT THIS HOUR?"

"Uh... We-" Sam started.

"We stayed up all night," Jazz admitted.

"What!?" Her parents asked.

"What!?" The Trio echoed.

"For a science project. We were testing a theory. Sam was right," She reiterated, pointing to the veggie-loving girl. Well, it was half-true.

"TESTING THEORIES!? COOL!" Jack shouted. His wife was less enthusiastic.

"While I would never discourage you kids from scientific discovery, you really shouldn't do things like this, without asking permission," Maddie chided. "Especially, on a school night."

"We're sorry," They chorused, looking downtrodden. It wasn't a hard look to pull off, seeing as they were all exhausted and still had gum in their hair, and there were leaves stuck in Danny's from the bushes at Vlad's.

"Tell me you, at least, had ecto-weapons on you. Ghosts are much more active at night."

"Always. Danny's practically attached to the things," Tucker said, then looked just as surprised as the rest of the Team that he'd said that last part out loud. He really needed some sleep.

Maddie softened. "Well, I suppose you didn't hurt anything. But, don't think staying up all night gets you out of school or work, today." She added, to her children. "I still expect you to be on time, and stay awake. You can take a nap, when you get home." Jazz and Danny nodded.

Seeming satisfied, Maddie turned and headed downstairs to start making (probably-sentient) breakfast. Jack seemed about to follow, and the kids' shoulders sagged with relief.

"SO, WHAT DID YOUR THEORY PROVE?" Jazz, Sam, and Tucker froze.

"Hiccuping, repeatedly, in a bitter, old man's ear, at four in the morning will, basically, get you whatever you want," Danny answered, smiling innocently. His father paused a moment, processing his son's words.

Then, the giant man-child grinned. "COOL! I'LL HAVE TO TRY THAT TRICK, SOMETIME! GOOD WORK, KIDS!" And, with that, he ducked back inside. Probably to eat all the ham.


Team Phantom split up to try and get a few minutes of sleep, before school. After his own (way too short) nap, Danny sat in the kitchen with Jazz, trying to eat a bowl of cereal. He felt lousy, though he figured that's what happened when you hiccuped for seventy-two hours, straight. He, finally, gave up, putting his bowl in the sink, and heading towards the living room.

He paused at the kitchen doorway. "Hey, Jazz?" He said, his eyes bleary with sleep.

"Mmm?" She answered, eyes not leaving her book.

"You're a terrible liar."

She looked up at him, confused. "I don't know whether to be insulted or flattered."

"But, that was a really good excuse you gave Mom and Dad."

"Ummm... Thanks?"

"Thanks for helping us out, Jazz."

She smiled. "No problem, little brother. Now, go take a shower. I can smell you from here. And, I can still see some gum in your hair."

He chuckled. "Okay, okay. And, you're no spring daisy, yourself."

"Hey," She threw a loose Cheerio that'd fallen on the table at him. It bounced off the wall next to the kitchen doorway, as he left. He walked to the stairs, sniffling.

*A-A-A-Achoo*

Danny sniffed again, wiping his nose on his arm. (Hey, he was going to take a shower anyhow, and he was way too tired to care.) He looked up, fully intending to head for the bathroom, but stopped.

"Oh, boy," He said, looking at the now-frozen wall and bottom steps in front of him.

"Hey, Danny. Did you know that-" Jazz said, stopping mid-sentence, when she looked up from her book and noticed the living room's new ice feature.

"Oh, boy," Danny said again, as his little clone/cousin phased through the frozen wall, and floated in front of him.

"Danny-"

*A-A-A-Aaaa-Achoo*

Suddenly, a bolt of lightning flew from the littlest half-ghost's nose, charring a piece of the carpet. Thankfully, though, that section of carpet was already singed from one of Jack's inventions, so it was unlikely anyone would notice. "-I have a problem," She said, hoarsely, drooping in the air.

Danny sniffed, sounding stuffed up, even to his own ears. "Oh, boy."


The End.

...Or, is it?


AN: Hey, everybody! :) Yay! My first chapter-fic, officially complete! The sequel goes up next week! Please, don't hate me...

I do not own Cheerios. Unless you count the box in my pantry.

Fluffyearedpuppy: I am too! XD I can't wait to start up the sequel! XD

A special thanks to my friend, Aspiretobeawriter, for the 101st cure of this fic, Cure #101: Eat Chilli and drink milk and honey.

This was originally going to be fifteen chapters long, but I decided that the place I split fourteen and fifteen wasn't any good, and just stuck 'em end-to-end. And, so, here ya go! Extra long last chapter! :))

As always,
God bless, and I hope you enjoyed! :)
- Ellie


pbEdit: Okay, so, I couldn't figure out why no one had taken my poll from last week, but, apparently, I had it set to inot/i show up on my page... *Face-Palm* I am not so good at this, yet.../b/p