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Ire and the Wheel

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Why drive when you could fly? Especially when it was cleaner, faster, and more efficient. However, while Danny can fly, his parents didnt know that. So regardless; with one hand on the wheel, while chewing on gum, Danny’s eyes lazily glanced behind him before switching to reverse and hitting the gas.

“Danny, Danny!” Maddie clenched on the door and hand rail. “Stop.” 

The tires screeched and Danny raised a brow. “Mom. We’re not even out of the driveway.”

“That was, uh.” Jack said in the back. “A start.”

“Thanks dad.”

Completely missing the sarcastic tone, Jack beams. “No problem Danny boy!”

“Danny!” Maddie said, ignoring the both of them, “You’re hitting the gas and breaks way too hard. Did you even look-”

“Mom I looked.”

“You have to be careful, what if a car came-”

“I’m not gonna get us into a car crash mom!” Danny grips the wheel, both hands this time. He Looked ahead at the review mirror and gave a glare from the corner of his eye. “Trust me on this, we’re not going to crash.”

“Given that this is a rental, I, also, sincerely hope that we don’t crash.” Jack piped in the back.

Danny nearly rolled his eyes but shook his head. The four-seat car they were borrowing was the shittiest, cheapest, most banged up and crumpled piece of garbage that was legally allowed to be rented and driven. The car was so old that if it was a person it would be able to drink by now. This car has seen things. People have done things, with this car. Even if Danny wanted to, there is nothing he could do to this car that it hasn’t already been through. 

“Mom. Dad. The car’s gonna be fine.”

Maddie pinched the bridge of her nose and took a deep breath in. “Just,” She sighs. “Lets get out of the driveway first.”

Danny glowers, but this time he gently coasted down the rest of the driveway and eases down the road.

Maddie blinked. “That was… much better.”

“You got this Danny boy!”

Maddie slowly lets go as Danny drove easily down the street. “All that attitude, and you got this.”

Danny’s shoulders slumped and there’s a slight frown on his face. “There’s no point,” It was said oddly. No ire, no bite. It was said with distance. “Thats all.”

Maddie turns to him with a frown as well, but much more displeased and annoyed than anything else. However, she didnt say anything.

Unlike Jack.

“No point?” Jack booms, “You need a car, Danny-boy! How are you going to get to places- make a right here- Danny! You’re going to need a license-”

“Dad, I’ve driven a car before. I’ve been doing it since I was fourteen!”

That stopped his dad, like Danny hoped, but there was dead silence.

“I never saw you with the car.” His mom said with an icy calm.

Danny’s knuckles go white as his grip became iron solid on the wheel. “There was a couple of times, ghosts were involved.” He also navigated a rocket ship a couple of times, when he had to escape across the country. But that was a lot harder to explain.

Jack stuttered, “What do you-” 

“You guys got possessed a couple of times, I had to take the car. I started to learn how to drive alone after that.” It was said simply, matter of fact. “It was late at night.” He adds, like it would somehow made it better.

The car gets colder and it wasn’t Danny’s doing.

It started to rain hard and Danny flicks on the wipers that squeak against the window as he bit his lip and stared down the road and only the road alone. The light ahead turns red and Danny slows to a stop.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” His dad sounded genuinely hurt and Danny stilled.

What could he say to that? Because, whats one more secret? That he was up late anyway, hunting ghosts? Because he got his head slammed and flung to the walls and ground more times he could count? That he was shot down with rocket launchers, so what was a car crash compared to that?

He’s moving out soon, as soon as he can, and maybe that’s what loosened his tongue. “There wasn’t anything you could’ve done about it at the time, and afterwards you wore those belts that prevented possession, so I didn’t want you to worry.” It’s not the truth, but it’s not a lie either. The light turned green and Danny moves forward.

“Danny…”

Maddie never got to finish.

Danny saw it at the corner of his eye and his eyes widen while his pupils constricted. A truck rushing through a red light. The truck’s tires screech but it’s too late, the weight and momentum added with the wet asphalt does nothing but encourage a solid ton of meatal creaking to them. Then-

Then it went through them, like water. Steel and rubber tires pass the car and the passengers like a bad video game or a hologram. The air and the tires hiss pass them as everyone hair and body is hit by the wind and the air passing through the truck.

 Finally, it passed completely through, safely on the other side of the street. Danny breathed in deeply as he finished his turn, like nothing happened, and parked off the street.

Shit.” He breathed.

“That truck almost crushed us!” Jack bellowed.

The lines in Maddie’s face deepened. “That truck went through us.”

“Uh,” Danny said, “Maybe the truck was possessed?”

Maddie opened her mouth to say something only to stare at Danny. Jack’s seat creaks and he stared, too. 

That’s when Danny noticed the green glow that highlighted the passenger seat and wheel. Without looking at the review mirror, Danny already knew that his eyes were glowing an arsenic green.

“Shit.” Danny said again.

Already in deep, Danny raised his hands in surrender and aloud white rings to pass through him, slowly, cautiously. He closed his eyes as the car fills with the smell of ozone and the tempiture drops.

Phantom?!” Jack exclaimed.

“Danny.” He, for the first time, corrected.

There was a hum and Danny turned to Maddie, whom already had a loaded eco-gun pointed to him. “Tell me where Danny is right now or I’ll-”

“Or you’ll what?” Danny snarled, “Or else you’ll shoot? Or else you’ll kill me? Tie me down to a nice table and cut me down the middle? Fuck you, mom. I’m Danny, I was Danny the whole goddamn time! When I was three I gave you a mothers day card for your birthday that had a little picture of a ghost. When I was ten you threw it away by accident. You almost cried. Dad forgets or almost forgets your anniversary gift every year and one time when money was really short last minute me, Jazz, and Dad teamed up at the mall to salvage your marriage!”

“We wouldn’t of gotten a divorce because of that!”

“Uh, yeah, I know that now! Shut up dad! I’m trying to not get blown up by Maddie- mom!” 

“Don’t talk to him that way!”

Danny glowered back at her. “Jazz has a teddy bear called Einstein that she still sleeps with which, not even she knows this, but dad didnt just buy it, he made it with you. You and I went on a camping trip to bond only to get hunted like wild stock by other ghosts! I,” Danny’s face darkened, “am Danny Fenton. News flash, I’m also Phantom. Now, what are you going to do about it?! Huh? What are you going to me? And I actually want to know because I’ve been asking myself the same thing for three years and I still have no, fucking, clue.”

Danny’s rage, however, diminished and disappeared when his mom, ashen and with red-rimmed eyes, lowered the gun and his dad, leaning in from the backseat, looked equally pale. 

Danny leaned back, his seat creaking as he does so, muscles he didn’t know were tense, loosened. He opened his mouth to say something, apologize, but closed his eyes instead and reverted back to Fenton.

He has nothing to be sorry for.

“Look. Just,” Danny sighed. “Tell me what you’re gonna do with this. And if it’s your worst, then at least give me a head start.”

“Head start- no- no.” Maddie shook her head. “You’re coming home, you can come home.”

“If,” Jack added, almost absentmindedly, to himself, “You would even want to.”

Danny felt something vast and indescribable in his chest. His breathing stuttered and Danny swallowed. “Ok." Danny said.

“Ok.”

Oddly enough, that was all that needed to be said. The drive home was equally strange and odd and uncomfortable but nothing else needed to be said. At least, for now.

“Wait.” Jack said suddenly. “You can fly. You actually don’t need a drivers license!”

Thank you! Finally!”

“No, Danny’s getting a drivers license! End of story!”

Jack and Danny groan in unison, but they all start chuckling before full-blown laughter erupted in the car and that’s when Danny knows, it’s going to be alright. They’re going to figure it all out. 

It’s going to be ok.