Here's what you need to know about ghostly dentition: For the first few years of unlife, the ghosts of humans have teeth of roughly the same size and shape as they did while alive. However, these are the ghostly equivalent of baby teeth. After a ghost has been dead for at least two years, but no more than five, their teeth will begin to change shape. Change shape, not fall out and be replaced. Ghost anatomy is much more plastic than that of a human. This process takes about one month, give or take. Additionally, if the ghost is one of the lucky few to become venomous, their venom sacs grow in at the same time. Once the process of growing the teeth and associated structures is complete, the fangs are retractable.
Here's what you need to know about half ghost dentition: Half ghosts undergo a similar process. Their human halves reflect the changes. However, they do lose their initial set of teeth to make room for their new ones.
Here's what you need to know about Danny Fenton: He is a half ghost. His luck is also incredible.
Not in a good way, of course.
Danny's whole mouth felt tender, and he didn't know why. The feeling had been building since yesterday morning, but, by this point, it had become almost unbearable. That, coupled with the growing desire to chew on and bite things, was slowly driving him insane.
"It almost sounds like you're teething," said Sam.
Danny grunted dubiously. He had all his adult teeth.
"I mean, it might be a ghost thing," clarified Sam.
"Or you could have burned your mouth on something without realizing it," offered Tucker. "Or you could be getting some canker sores?"
Danny shook his head. That's what he thought at first, when the pain had been limited to the roof of his mouth and a few places on his gums, but now it was everywhere.
Jazz, who was on spring break from college and driving the three of them home from school, made a face. "I hate to suggest this, but do you think Mom and Dad could have put something anti-ghost in our food?"
Danny groaned and let his head fall against the dashboard. It did him no good. In fact, jostling his face made his mouth ache even more. It would be like his parents to unintentionally and unknowingly poison him in the name of protecting him from ghosts.
"I'll cook tonight," said Jazz.
Despite Jazz cooking (and nothing coming to life!), Danny mostly pushed his food around his plate and avoided everyone's eyes. He wasn't sure if the pain killed his appetite, or if the idea of his food being poisoned did it. Either way, he wasn't hungry. He did, however, chew on the collar of his shirt until it was wet and disgusting.
Immediately after dinner, Danny slouched up the stairs and made a beeline for his room. He wanted to sleep this out, if at all possible.
He threw off his normal clothes, threw on his bedclothes, and collapsed, wrapping his covers around him and rolling over instead of climbing under his covers like a normal person. That was fine. He wasn't a normal person.
He went to sleep.
A dream about swimming ended when the thought that the water was only wet on his face crossed Danny's mind. Slowly, he pulled his eyes open, and his brain eventually processed the fact that (a) it was still dark out, and (b) his face was pressed into a truly prodigious amount of drool.
He sat up, the fabric of his pillowcase trying to stick to his face. He threw the pillow to the side, and walked to the bathroom to try and clean up a little before going back to sleep. Usually, Danny had pretty good night vision, to the point of being able to see in the dark, but his vision and brain were so fuzzy at the moment that he fumbled for the bathroom lights anyway, and hissed as the bright lights temporarily blinded him.
Finally, his eyes adjusted enough for him to look up, into the mirror, and his heart almost stopped.
He was covered in blood.
His hands flew up to cover his face as he stumbled back against the far wall. Yes, he was half-ghost and had technically died, that didn't make him immune to shock or particularly happy to see blood all over the side of his face. It hadn't been drool sticking him to the pillow. Not just drool, anyway. It had been blood.
Why was he covered in blood? Had he turned into a vampire in the night? Did he hurt someone? Were vampires based on half-ghosts? Considering Vlad's aesthetic...
No, wait. On second glance, the blood had a distinctly sparkly cast to it. He stepped closer to the mirror, and a shiver of relief work its way into his body. That shimmer was ectoplasm. It was his blood.
But why had he been bleeding? Maybe he had bitten himself.
Or, more likely, whatever the heck was going on with his mouth was reaching a new level of bad. His teeth, now that he was thinking about them and not the blood, hurt much worse than they had when he went to bed.
Hesitantly, he probed his front teeth with his fingers. They moved.
Danny did not often sneak into his sister's room at night for advice, but 'not often' was a far cry from 'never.' Jazz wasn't surprised when he prodded her awake. Sleepy, yes, possibly just a little annoyed at waking up, though that vanished when she saw Danny's stricken face, but not surprised.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"I think I'm losing my teeth," said he little brother, eyes wide and a touch too bright in the dark.
Alright, that was unexpected. "What?"
"I woke up, and my teeth were bleeding, and now they're all loose." His voice wobbled.
"Oh," said Jazz, still trying to kick her brain into gear. "Um. Is it a ghost thing, do you think?"
"I don't know," moaned Danny. "Nobody talks to me about anything." He sniffed. "What am I supposed to do?"
That was a good question. What kinds of options did Danny have?
"Do you have any ghost friends you could talk to?" she asked.
"Maybe," said Danny. "But they're far away, and they don't really have human teeth."
Jazz refrained from asking what kind of teeth they did have. She'd known about Danny's ghost powers for over a year, now, and she still only knew a fraction of what he got up to.
"I know you're not going to like this, but, um, what about Vlad?" Danny gave her a horrified glare. "I mean, he knows more about ghosts and half ghosts than we do, and he won't want anyone, you know, examining you. Which is what is going to happen if your teeth fall out."
Danny wilted, and put his hand to his mouth. "I guess." He shook himself. "I woke up in a puddle of my own blood and drool. Mostly blood."
"Ah," said Jazz.
"I'm going to go now."
"He might not appreciate you waking him up in the middle of the night," warned Jazz.
"Vlad doesn't sleep," said Danny.
"I'm sorry," said Jazz, "is that, like, a real thing, or some kind of joke? I'm too tired to tell."
"He's too evil to sleep."
"Danny, really. Don't antagonize him when you want his help."
Danny put his arms around his knees and looked very small. "Okay," he said. "You're right. But what should I do until then? What if- What if one of my teeth really does fall out?"
That image was more disturbing than it had any right to be. "Just go to sleep, and if your teeth do start falling out... I guess we'll deal with it. I've heard putting them in a cup of milk and spit helps preserve them? So they can be re-implanted?"
"Oh," said Danny. "I guess that's good to know."
"Get some sleep," Jazz said again. "First thing tomorrow, I'll drive you to Vlad's."
"I'll just fly."
The conversation with Jazz had been painful. Talking should not be so painful. It sucked. It was the worst. And he was not able to get to sleep again.
As soon as the sun was up, Danny left to harass Vlad. Which was how his brain pronounced 'ask Vlad for help.'
He could hardly believe he was doing this. It was so stupid. Vlad hated him, he wasn't going to help. Maybe he should ask Clockwork, or make the flight to the Far Frozen, even if he wouldn't be able to put up a good fight against a ghost in this state. After all, Vlad would probably try to fight him. At least random ghosts in the Ghost Zone might leave him alone.
Yeah, he didn't believe that either.
He set down right outside Vlad's front gates, invisibly, not sure if he should just phase in, or if he should press the buzzer and wait outside. Usually when he came to Vlad's he was with his parents, Vlad had dragged him there, or they were already in the middle of a fight. He wasn't sure how to... petition Vlad, and that was what he was doing.
Danny pressed the buzzer. Ancients, he hoped Vlad was here and not in Colorado or Wisconsin.
"What?" came the short, clipped, reply. Clearly, Vlad was annoyed at being bothered so early in the morning.
"It's Danny," said Danny. "I need to talk to you about something."
There was a long silence, and Danny wondered if Vlad had chosen to ignore him.
"Daniel." The smoothness of Vlad's tone was broken only by the crackle of the intercom. "What an unexpected surprise. Do come in. I am in my dining room, and I am sure you can find your way."
Given permission, Danny phased through the gates and then the walls of Vlad's mansion. The dining room was, as Vlad had intimated, easy to find, and Danny dropped his invisibility.
Vlad did not look up from his breakfast, which seemed to consist of some kind of complicated omelette. At the smell, Danny's stomach growled. He hadn't a full meal since this time yesterday.
"So," said Vlad. "To what do I owe this pleasure, Daniel?"
Danny looked up at Vlad, then away, then at Vlad again, then away. He glared at Vlad's clean, shiny floor.
"Well, I do hope you haven't come because some cat ghost stole your tongue," said Vlad, sarcastically.
"My teeth are falling out," said Danny. They were certainly looser than yesterday.
Vlad stared at Danny for several heartbeats, then started laughing. He actually slapped the table a few times. Danny glared. If he knew how to do the eye laser thing, Vlad would be on fire.
"Oh, my dear boy," said Vlad, "forgive me. Has no one told you about ghost fangs?" He suppressed a snicker with his hand.
"No," said Danny.
"Well, that's quite an oversight in your education, isn't it? If you had accepted my offer..." he trailed off suggestively, almost purring.
Danny tried to purse his lips, but winced as doing so pushed his front teeth back.
Vlad smirked, and gave him a quick rundown of how teeth developed in the recently dead. "... of course, he finished. Half-ghosts like us are different. We, unlike them, do lose our original teeth. But you'll be glad to know the whole ordeal will be over in a month."
"A month? My teeth won't grow back for a month? Vlad, I have school! I can't hide that I don't have any teeth for a month!"
"Doesn't your spring break start today?" asked Vlad patting his lips with a napkin.
"What does that matter if this will last a month?"
"Calm down, boy. Your most visible teeth should regrow themselves in a week." Vlad pushed his food aside. "Of course, those will include your fangs, and part of why this takes a month is that the last molars and the muscles and bones involved in retracting and extending the fangs are developing. Nevertheless, that shouldn't be an issue so long as you avoid talking and eating around people less oblivious than your father."
"Or perhaps you could convince people that you are wearing novelty fangs. Your friend Samantha enjoys that kind of thing, correct?"
"It's Sam," grumbled Danny, resenting the fact that Vlad was giving him good advice. "What about before my front teeth grow back in?" he asked. He didn't want to refer to any of his teeth as fangs. He didn't even want to think about having fangs.
(Hair made of fire and eyes as red as fresh blood flickered in his mind's eye.)
"Well, as I said, you're on spring break. Wouldn't this be a wonderful time to take advantage of, say, an internship opportunity with your beloved godfather?"
"I'm sorry, what? My what?"
"Me, Daniel. I'm offering to let you stay with me until your teeth have grown in enough to pass muster."
"Absolutely not," said Danny.
Vlad scoffed, and leaned back in his chair. "Don't mistake me. I'm not doing this out of some misplaced sense of altruism. I don't want anyone looking too closely at your anatomy."
Vlad ignored the comment. "If you are found out, the best defense of my identity, that no one knows half ghosts are possible, vanishes. This is merely enlightened self-interest. Does that make you feel better?"
Oddly enough, it did.
"Good. Now," he made a little shooing motion with his hands, "go home. I will make arrangements with your parents."
Danny arrived on Vlad's doorstep, his father in tow, making a valiant but ultimately futile attempt to avoid playing with his now very loose front teeth.
"V-man!" exclaimed Jack, exploding through the door without bothering to knock. "It's been forever!"
"It's been two days, Jack," said Vlad, repressively. He had, wisely, been waiting at the top of the wide stairs that led to the mansion's second floor.
"But it feels like so much longer!"
"I wish," muttered Vlad.
Jack, undeterred ran up the stairs and hugged Vlad.
"Yes, yes," said Vlad, strained, "very good. Now, Jack, Daniel and I have a very busy day ahead of us. I'm afraid we must be off at once."
"My pilot doesn't like waiting."
Danny leveled a baleful glare at Vlad. The man hadn't mentioned anything about leaving Amity Park.
Jack skipped out the door, and the GAV sped off.
"Oh, do stop looking at me like that," said Vlad. "We aren't leaving your precious town, although I'm sure it would survive just fine without you."
"Well, we certainly couldn't have your parents dropping in at all hours to check up on you, could we?" Vlad shuddered dramatically. "In any case, I have your room made up. Follow me."
Danny picked up his luggage, no longer pretending he found it heavy now that his father wasn't around to see, and trudged up the stairs after Vlad.
The room was nice. Too nice. A little too space-themed for his peace of mind as well, with the stars on the walls, spangled bed sheets, and planet-shaped lamps on the bedside tables. The game console in the corner had the effect of making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.
"Please tell me you set up this room in the last two days."
"Don't be ridiculous. I've had this room decorated like this since I moved in. I had hoped you would come to your senses."
"My senses. Right," said Danny, trying to decide if it was too late to hide at Sam's for a week. Sadly, it probably was.
"Well, get your things put away, and meet me downstairs for brunch in half an hour. I doubt you've eaten much since we last spoke." Vlad strode out of the room, not looking back.
Danny stared after him, unsure if he should feel touched or creeped out. Both, maybe.
Finally, he sighed and heaved the suitcase up onto the bed. He had asked for this, he reminded himself. Not the bedroom. But Vlad's help.
If there had been any other friendly ghosts within flying distance...
Okay, he'd still have needed the cover, and Jazz, Sam, and Tucker could only do so much.
Danny finished unpacking in a few minutes. He hadn't brought a whole lot of stuff with him. Just enough clothing to last a week without washing, the thermos, some homework, the Spector Deflector, the collapsible version of the Boo-Staff, some Fenton Sleeping Bag Capsules, in case he had to run and spend the remainder of spring break roughing it in the woods.
Okay, he didn't think he'd have to do that, otherwise he wouldn't be trusting Vlad even this far, but it was better to be safe.
He walked downstairs, slowly, then started to look for the kitchen, vaguely worried about being ambushed. He wasn't. Point for Vlad.
Another point for Vlad - He was actually cooking.
"I doubt you want to eat anything too tough at the moment," said Vlad, "although once your new teeth grow in, you'll be gnawing on things before you know it. So, I'm making eggs. You aren't allergic to anything?"
"Not other than blood blossoms, no."
Vlad sighed and tipped the eggs he was frying onto a plate. "Shall we let bygones be bygones, little badger? At least for the duration of our little truce? For the sake of your problem, if nothing else."
Danny's lips twitched, sending a wave of pain across his face. "Yeah, okay," he said. He reached out for the eggs.
Vlad passed him the plate. "I'd like to do some scans of your teeth, when you're done."
"Why?" asked Danny.
"So suspicious," said Vlad. "Remember, you asked for my help."
"Last time you wanted to do scans of me, you were trying to clone me."
"This is different," said Vlad. "Although, I do wonder if Danielle will be losing her teeth, soon. Something for you to watch out for, hm?"
"What do you want to do the scans for, anyway?" asked Danny, picking up a fork.
"Oh, the usual. Making sure your teeth are growing in properly, checking if you'll be venomous, that kind of thing."
Danny dropped the fork. "That's an option?"
Vlad smirked. "Oh, it isn't very likely, but... You do have very odd luck, Daniel."
And didn't Danny know it.
"I'll pass on the scans."
"Cloning," Danny pointed out.
Vlad sighed. "I suppose you have something of a point. Let's make a deal. If I haven't done anything sinister by the middle of the week, you get those scans. It will, after all, be much harder for me to help you without them."
Danny frowned. "I didn't know that you were going to 'help' me beyond, you know. Hiding me."
"Please, Daniel. I'm trying to convince you to join me. I'm hardly going to deny you medical care while you're here. Besides, if you go back to your parents looking like a trainwreck, I'm the one who will get in trouble. Assuming they notice, of course."
Well... when he put it like that... "You're awful," said Danny.
"And yet, here we are. So, what is your decision?"
Danny sighed. "I'll think about it."