The reunion hadn’t gone in any way, what he expected or planned.
Vlad was sitting in his lounge, staring at the lit fire, there was no drink in his hand, since he wanted a clear head for his thoughts.
Honestly, Vlad had had a few daydreams of how the night could have gone, possibly taking Maddie away from Jack, maybe at least sowing some discord in their marriage, and at the very least being allowed to message Maddie about anything like they used to.
But. Those plans were thrown out of the window, when he met Daniel.
The son of his once beloved and her husband, his once best friend.
Honestly Vlad was very aware that Maddie had children with the oaf, a daughter who took after herself and a son who took after Jack. But it was surprising to actually meet the boy.
When he pictured the son of his old friends, he usually pictured either a miniature Jack or a Jack lookalike with Maddie’s personality.
Daniel wasn’t like that.
Daniel was smart, similar to his parents, but he seemed to focus his brains in other areas aside from school and his parent’s gadgets. He gave off the aura of being a strong and loyal person, his presence seemed to make one feel calm and safe, or he made you feel excited and energetic, but perhaps that was because he was a teenager, they had endless supplies of energy.
The complete reason that Daniel wasn’t like his parents, and the reason that Vlad scrapped all plans for Jack and Maddie that day, was because it seemed that the two had repeated an old mistake. And once again they hadn’t even noticed.
Daniel was infected with ectoplasm, similar to himself, and his parents had no idea.
Vlad had noticed the traces of ectoplasm on the teen, though he thought it was because of Maddie and Jack, but when he went to talk to the teen, he found the truth. The boy was a halfa like him.
Granted, he was younger than he was when he made the change, and his core was significantly colder, mostly an ice core instead of a fire core then, but they were in the same boat, two halfa’s, created with the negligence of the Fenton’s.
Now, Vlad could have easily forgiven Maddie and Jack for what happened to him, however, while he was in hospital, they had graduated, gotten married and had a kid!
He’d been on his death bed, and his proclaimed ‘best friend’, who had caused the accident, hadn’t even bothered to send him a bloody postcard!
And now, now there was another, a young boy, their own son, who was in the same boat as him. The boy had no record of going to the hospital for long periods of time, and his core was only a few months old, so the accident had to have happened recently.
It was a shame that he’d been too shocked to show himself to the boy, he could have asked him these questions and gotten answer’s, maybe even helped him with his abilities.
But he had been shocked, too shocked at the time to say anything more than tell the teen that if he was interested be could come back sometime and use his telescope to look at the stars if he wanted. He might have been shocked, but he can still plan, and at least the boy looked interested enough to agree. Jack was certainly ecstatic about it, and Maddie was smiling the whole time.
Vlad sighed as he thought of the red-haired women; she had once been the apple of his eye, the women who held his interest about all others.
He used the word ‘once’, because finding out about Danny had truly chilled him to the bone.
That young man, a newly afflicted halfa, was living in a house that didn’t know what had happened to him, was living with parents who were extremely vocal about ‘studying’ ghosts (*cough*dissecting*cough), still completing high school and if that wasn’t enough, was doing it all alone without support or understanding of the situation.
It was clear from Maddie and Jacks tales of the ‘phantom’ ghost-boy who was new to the area that Daniel had been practising his new form around town and testing his strength against other ghosts while also defending his territory. Understandable, since Vlad himself didn’t appreciate ghosts coming into Wisconsin without his notice.
It was also extremely clear from these tales that Maddie and Jack had a fixation on the young halfa, and Jacks fixation ran disturbingly close to experimentation. Which is extremely distressing when that discussion is happening next to the ghost, who is also their son.
God this is a mess.
Vlad groans as he flings his arm over his head, this entire ordeal was turning his world on end.
Before this night, Maddie had been the women he had loved in college, smart, fair and above all a caring woman. Jack had been a bumbling oaf who was easily distracted. And the two children the two had were mere ideas of shadows of the two.
Now Maddie was a ruthless woman who was blind to what was really before her. Jack was still an oaf, but he was an oaf with a gun and a direction to point it. Their daughter seemed to want to leave the house and take her brother with her. And their son… their son.
Their son was tired. He could see the shadows beneath his eyes, he could see the way his eyes dropped, in Wisconsin where there were barely any ghosts to drive away, he could probably sleep fully for the first time in months.
Daniel was also scared. He could see the way the boy flinched at the sudden movements of his parents, the way the boy relaxed when they were out of sight but tensed when they came nearer. The boy unknowingly relaxed in his own presence, most likely his ghost core sensing someone similar to him.
Vlad sat up, he needed to work out a plan, would he play the mentor figure, someone in the distance with the ability to help train the boy, someone who can help him get stronger and in turn help to boy grow past his parents, someone to help the boy grow into his true potential?
Could he be the child’s uncle? The comments had been made last night, and if he recalled neither children had godparents, just distant relatives. He could truly be someone that both children, no, both teenagers could come to for help and advice, Jasmine could come for advice on schools, on work; Daniel too could come for advice on education, and for help with his new abilities.
He could be there for him, help to distract his parents when needed, help to train him to be stronger at his own will, help him to understand not only life as a halfa but also to understand the ghost zone.
Vlad quickly stood up, these plans and ideas were storming in his mind, all of them concentrated on his favourite idea, being a real part of both of those teens’ lives, the way that no one was for him.
Vlad hurried to his office, he needed to make plans, he needed to make sure those teens had a way to reach him.
First, he would send a message to Maddie, or perhaps Jack? No, Maddie was still the more sane of the two, he would send her a message saying that he had adored meeting her children, and imply that he would love to see them more often, place emphasis on helping Jasmine with schools and Danny with education.
Second, buy a good sized property with less than 10 miles from their residence, with that he can give both teens a key and they can go there for refugee when needed, perhaps even extending the invitation to a few of their close friends so they wouldn’t feel isolated. The cabinets and shelves would need to be stocked with reasonable food and medical supplies for a growing ghost, but he could get one of his people to take care of the property from a distance, it would be easy.
Thirdly, he needed to make contact with Daniel as his other self, the boy needed to know immediately that there was someone else out there like him, and that Vlad was doing what he could to make sure he had the help he needed.
And finally, he needed to give up on Maddie and Jack for good. He accepted a long time ago that he would never have Maddie’s love; but even with everything that happened he had hoped that the two would at least have retained some element of their years of friendship. But, they hadn’t, they had only reached out these many years later because everyone else from college would be there, not because he had extended an invitation.
And it no longer mattered.
Vlad’s eyes shone with determination.
Maddie, Jack, their past. It no longer mattered.
All that mattered now was Daniel. And making sure the boy knew that there was hope for him yet, that there is understanding and acceptance to be found with another of his kind.
They were the only two halfa’s in existence.
They needed to look out for each other.
And he was going to make sure that Daniel would never have to take care of himself the Vlad was left to do.
Daniel would never be lonely, he would never be lost, and he would never be abandoned.
Not whilst Vlad was there to help.