Another pompous pep au by us two dorks, woo!  This one is based off of an old musical that Vlad and I just adored as kids, so we hope you all enjoy it~

“But Mr. Lancer, you CAN’T sell my car!”

Lancer looked down at the dirty little girl with a sigh.  She stood there next to that old race car, a car she had been playing in since she was much smaller than her eight year old self now.  She was dressed in one of her older overall style dresses, stained with mud and years of play time.  He ruffled her fluffy black hair, kept up in a high ponytail with a little bow.  “I’m sorry, Danielle, but I need the money!” he said.  “I can’t just keep that car around forever.”

She started to pout up at him with her big blue eyes for a moment, before her face suddenly broke out into a grin.  “Then daddy will buy it!”

Lancer raised a brow.  “Are you sure?  He would have to see me before Wednesday.  And it’s going to cost 30 shillings, no less.”

She nodded excitedly.  “Of course Mr. Lancer, daddy will buy it!  Don’t you worry!”

Lancer laughed, standing back up.  “Alright then, we have a deal.  If he can get me the money before Mr. Grey, the car is yours~”

“Oh thank you Mr. Lancer, thank you!”  Danielle shouted as she ran back towards home.  “You won’t regret this!”

She ran out onto the old dirt road, heading home at a sprint, when suddenly–!

HOOOOONK!!

The sound of a loud car horn blared behind her.  Danielle was startled so bad she fell back to the side and off the road, watching in shock as a gleaming, golden colored automobile veered straight into the shallow swamp beside the road, its shiny wheels splattered in mud.

Danielle stared in horror.  //Oh no…//

All she could see of the driver was his back, but he was hunched over in surprise.  Now, his spine straightened indignantly.

“Well!” declared a deep, regal voice.

Danielle’s terrified expression slowly faded to awe, her little jaw dropping as she was pinned by dark, intelligent cobalt eyes set deep in a face that could have been sculpted by angels, etched by fine lines that added wisdom to his beauty.  Long silvery-white hair – prettier than any woman’s – was tied back with a blue bow and cascaded down the man’s broad back from under a regal white top hat.  His white shirt was high-necked and clean, with sleeves that billowed around his arms and accentuated the vest and pants that hugged his strong torso and legs.  Sapphire cuff links clasped them at his wrists.  Everything about him smelled like money.

“THAT was a clever thing to do!” the majestic man snapped.

Danielle slowly stepped back up to the road as she watched the man reverse out of the mud.  He was soon back on the road once more, but his car was quite a mess now.  Danielle winced in sympathy.  “I’m so sorry sir…”

“I’m sure you are!” he muttered.  “Just LOOK at my car.”

He picked up a handkerchief from beside him.  “And just look what a mess I’M in, too,” he said pointedly, sighing as he wiped specks of mud from his shirt.

Danielle shook her head, wide eyes still trained on the man.  “Oh no, I think you look very handsome! And I really like your car!”

The man frowned – torn between being cross and being flattered by this little ragamuffin’s admiration.  “Hmmm…” he murmured, then tucked his handkerchief away and placed his gloved hands back on the steering wheel.  “Just the same, you shouldn’t be rushing out into the road like that!  You know you might have been killed?!”

Danielle glanced guiltily at the dirt road.  “Anyway…” he continued, giving her a look.  She seemed around eight or nine, surely old enough to be in school.  “Why aren’t you in school?  It isn’t a holiday, is it?”

“No, sir.”

The man shifted, finally relenting.  “Do you live around here?” he asked her.

“Yes!”  She exclaimed, turning to point down the dirt road.  “I live just up the road there, you can’t miss it!”

He sighed, scooting over a touch.  “Come on!” he demanded.  “Get into my car, I’m taking you home.”

Danielle visibly perked up, smiling widely and rushing over to climb into the car.  “Oh wow, thank you!”

She looked around in the car in excitement and awe, taking it all in.  “Just wait till I tell daddy I got to ride in a motor car!  He’ll be so jealous!”

The silver-haired stranger put his car in gear and pressed down on the gas pedal, setting off down the road.  They bumped along the countryside, clearing the trees as they approached the scenic green fields dotted with windmills and farmhouses.  “What’s your name?” the man asked, no longer seeming particularly upset with the little girl.

“I’m Danielle! But daddy calls me his little ghost~” Dani preened, obviously proud of her nickname, even though its origin sounded quite strange.  She peered up at the stranger with curious blue eyes.  “What’s yours?”

“Vladimir.  But most people call me Vlad.”

“That’s a really pretty name!”

Vlad cracked a little smile at that, changing gears as his motorcar sped up.  “Now,” he asked, glancing over the various farmhouses they were passing, “where is your house?”

“Oh I don’t live in a house, I live in a castle!”  Danielle said proudly.  “Just on top of the hill!”

“A castle?  I didn’t know there were any castles around here~” Vlad teased.  

Danielle frowned slightly, pouting.  “Well, it’s not a castle EXACTLY, that’s just what daddy calls it.  He says King Alfred lived there, hundreds of years ago!”

Vlad shifted gears again, an authoritative note entering his voice.  “And does your daddy know you aren’t in school?” he asked.

Danielle flushed slightly, ducking her head.  “Well no… But he won’t mind!  He never has before…”

She said this a little uncertainly, like perhaps he MIGHT mind now that someone else was bringing this information forward.  He HAD warned her not to skip so often… but she shook her head, scattering away such thoughts and straightened up, trying to look a little more important and knowledgeable then she was.  “Besides, he is TERRIBLY busy!”

“IS he?”

Vlad’s brows raised at the road.  “WELL, he’ll have to find time to see me.  Because I have a few things to say to him!”

After a few more minutes bumping along, they finally cruised up a hill – where a large white windmill spun lazily in the wind, connected to a brown brick house with peeling black shutters and a large sign by the gate that read “Fentonworks, Daniel Fenton: Inventor.”  Vlad brought his car to a stop beside the sign and put it in park as a big, friendly Rottweiler bounded up to the vehicle and jumped inside.

“WOOF!!”

Danielle giggled happily as she petted the dog.  “Hey Cujo, did you miss me?”

Something else over by the wooden workshop caught her eye.  She tapped Vlad’s shoulder and pointed excitedly.  “That’s daddy over there!”

The man she was pointing at was on the small and slim side, and even from a distance he looked quite young.  He was walking across the yard towards a strange wooden platform, dressed up in an oversized leather coat.  Most of his head and face were obscured from view with a large pair of goggles and leather cap.  But most peculiar of all, was the strange contraption strapped to his back.

Danielle stood up in the car and waved at him.  “Hello!  Daddy!”

The young man, Daniel Fenton, looked up and beamed when he spotted his little girl.  “Hey there little ghost, you’re just in time!”

He turned back around and climbed up on the wooden platform, getting into some kind of readying stance.

Vlad squinted, leaning forward to try and discern what the man was doing.  “What on EARTH is he up to?”

“That’s daddy’s latest invention!”  Danielle beamed.  “Rockets!”

“ROCKETS?!”

As if on cue the contraption, now confirmed to indeed be rockets, lit up.  The force from their ignition drove the young man quickly up the ramp, propelling him smoothly.  Danielle cheered from the car as she and Vlad watched avidly.  But just as he neared the top, he slowed down.  Danny frowned, turning around slightly so he could look back at the rockets. It seemed one of them hadn’t lit like it was supposed to…

“Does he know what he’s doing?”  Vlad asked, concerned.

“Of course he does!”

“Oh no!”

With a loud crackle, the rocket came to life and the inventor was suddenly propelled back down and into the yard.  The speed of his descent had him running willy nilly about the yard as he tried to either wait out the rockets spark, or put it out himself.  Danielle started laughing wildly as Cujo started to chase his master around, seeming to think it was some sort of game.

Vlad stared frantically between Danielle and the young inventor.  “I don’t see anything funny!!” he cried.  He tossed his hat onto the seat and dashed out of the car.  “Somebody should do something about it!”

Meanwhile, the rockets had forced the young inventor to the ground and had him skidding along the dirt – until he finally hit a post and grabbed onto it, struggling to get upright.  Vlad rushed over to him.  “Hold on!  Ah…!”

He fretted beside the flaming machinery for a second, then spotted the nearby water barrel and dashed over to it, grabbing a bucket, dipping it into the water–!

And tossing it all over the rockets.

The flames were extinguished with a deafening, ugly-sounding hiss.

The young inventor’s back straightened at the sound, and feel, of his rockets being put out.  He pulled off his goggles and cap, revealing wide, incredulous blue eyes and long black hair pulled up in a messy bun.  

He turned around, only to get a face full of cold water.  SPLASH!

“Ugh!!”

He reached up, wiping back his wet hair as his bright baby blue eyes glared at the taller man.  “Why, THANK you!” Danny Fenton declared sarcastically, already trying to get away from the man as he removed the rockets from his back.  

“I should HOPE so!” Vlad cried, tossing the bucket aside and looking significantly frazzled.  “You might’ve gone up in FLAMES!”

Danny rolled his eyes.  “Sir, don’t you think I would have taken that into consideration?  This suit is COMPLETELY flame-proof.”

“Oh dear…”

“AND!”  The inventor exclaimed, holding up his contraption with an angry expression.  “You have succeeded in RUINING my propulsion unit!”

Vlad’s jaw dropped indignantly.  “Well, how was I supposed to know that–?!”

“Oh, please don’t be cross with him, daddy!”  Danielle exclaimed as she rushed forward.  “He gave me a ride in his car, he was only trying to help!”

Danny shook his head, a slight sneer on his lips.  “Oh, how very kind~”

She came to a stop beside the two men, beaming up at Vlad before turning to her daddy.  “His name is Vladimir!  Isn’t that a lovely name?”

“Yes, that’s nice.  Help me move this to the workshop, Danielle.”

Vlad stared incredulously at the younger man.  THIS person called himself a FATHER?  He’d almost just set himself on FIRE!  “Do you realize, Mr… FENTON,” he snapped, vaguely remembering the name on the sign, “that I almost ran over your daughter today?!”

“Well, we seem to be very accident prone today, aren’t we?”  Danny concluded with a raised brow, clearly judging this man for apparently nearly hurting his little girl.

“It wasn’t MY fault!” Vlad protested.  “You see, SHE came RUSHING out–!”

“Well, it was VERY NICE for you to apologize.”

“APOLO–?!”

“Tea time, Danielle!” Danny proclaimed, already ushering his daughter towards the house.  “Thank the nice gentlemen for the ride and go get cleaned up.”

“Good bye, Vlad!”  Danielle said as she skipped past.  “Thanks so much for giving me a ride in your motor car!”

“Just a moment, Danielle!” Vlad called.  

The little girl stopped, turning around curiously.  “Don’t you have something to tell your father?” he asked pointedly.

Dani blinked before perking up.  “Oh right!  Daddy, Mr. Lancer promised that– oh wait, you don’t mean about that…”

She deflated a little and shuffled her feet.  “I um… I didn’t go to school today daddy…”

Danny blinked, surprised.  “Really now?”

He frowned, looking mildly concerned, before simply sighing and shaking his head with a small smile.  “Oh well, that just gives the other children a chance to catch up, doesn’t it?”

“Mr. Fenton!”

Danny smirked at Vlad’s outraged cry.  “Run along, little ghost, I’ll be in shortly.”

“Okay!”  Danielle cried as she dashed towards the house.  “Good bye, Vladimir!  Come on, Cujo!”

“But, Mr. Fenton–”

“Good day!”  Danny proclaimed with a flourishing bow before he turned and strutted off towards the windmill, turning his back on Vlad completely and focusing on his rockets.  “Unstable… Definitely unstable…”

Vlad’s fists clenched at his sides, glaring after the young father when suddenly–

“HEY HEY!”

The silver-haired man glanced around at the boisterous exclamation, to see a fat, jolly geezer saunter out of the house.  He had short black hair that was turning white at his temples, a square, heroic jaw, and a strut so wide it bordered on ridiculous as he walked along in a white jungle explorer’s costume – hard hat, medals, and all.  

Vlad stared at him as he sauntered up beside him and tipped his hard hat.  “Good afternoon, sir!” Jack greeted.  “Sorry I can’t stop!  I’m off to India!  Gonna have a cup of tea with the Maharajah.  Cheerio~!”

Vlad wasn’t given any chance to respond, as the man then marched over to a little hut, opened the door, about-faced, and bounced inside.

//…Something about him seems a bit familiar…// Vlad thought.

Then, his attention was gently reclaimed by the slow spin of the windmill blades – and the young inventor, Danny Fenton, as he walked up towards it, toting his ruined machine.  Vlad scowled.  He wasn’t going to drop this!  That kind of behavior was just irresponsible, letting one’s children just run about like that!

He marched up the steps, pursuing Danny through an opening in the large stones that made up windmill.  Passing through a small passage – where the huge cogs of its inner workings turned – Vlad emerged into a small laboratory.  Or what he ASSUMED was a laboratory; gears whirred and lights blinked and metal and glass gleamed from various machines in every corner.  The man looked around in surprise – admittedly, a bit impressed by the display.

Then he spotted Danny through the mess.  “Mr. Fenton!” Vlad called.  

The dark-haired man didn’t look up at first, so he made his way through towards him.  “Mr. Fenton!”

Danny barely looked at the taller, elegant man as he bustled about, checking gears and wires on a large, squat machine he was working on.  “I’m sorry to persist about this, but perhaps you simply aren’t aware that your daughter is running about in the road!” Vlad continued, sure that the younger man could hear him.  “And after all, you know it’s not a playground!  It’s very –!”

“Would you mind just pressing that switch there?”  Danny interrupted.  He turned to point back near the wall from his crouched position over a strange large machine.  

Vlad blinked, startled.  “Switch?”

“Yes, it’s just behind you.”

After a moment of hesitation, Vlad moved to the switch panel the younger man had indicated.  Danny turned back for just a brief second, making sure he was following his direction.  “Oh, the switch on the right.  The right!”

“The right?”  Vlad confirmed, before flipping the switch on.  A light turned on and the machine at Danny’s feet began to move and come alive in subtle ways, such as a spinning of gears and a pumping of air.  

Danny stood up, looking pleased.  “Thank you.”

“You really ought to exercise more control over her–!” Vlad tried to continue.

“Oh yes, I suppose I could chain her up, couldn’t I?”  Danny teased with a playful grin.  He pulled off his jacket and set it over a nearby chair, revealing his lean, toned body to the older gentlemen.  He wore a pale blue button down, sleeves rolled up to the elbow, with a soft looking grey vest and a pair of nice fitting charcoal pants.  

He snickered, turning to look at Vlad.  “It would have to be a long chain of course, so she gets plenty of exercise~”

Vlad’s eyes wandered over the nice-looking young man before he snapped himself out of it.  “Mr. Fenton, doesn’t Danielle go to school?” he persisted.

Danny blinked.  “Oh, I didn’t know you were the truant officer.”

“I’m NOT the truant officer!” Vlad replied exasperatedly.

Danny chuckled.  “Well, didn’t you ever play truant?”  He raised an eyebrow, grinning.  “I mean, even just ONCE?”

The silver-haired man scowled at the – admittedly adorable BUT negligent – playfulness that he exuded.  “No, I most certainly did not.”

Danny frowned slightly, running his eyes up and down Vlads figure.  The man was very fit and handsome, Danny was more than willing to admit that.  It was also clear he had a lot of money and was well raised, for a lack of a better term.

“I bet you didn’t…”

Danny turned his focus away from the tall gentleman, and onto his machine.

Vlad folded his arms, trying to remain stern, but he couldn’t help but be intrigued by the breathing, peeping device that the young father was working on.  “…Would it be too much to ask what… THAT is?” he asked, raising his brows at it curiously.

Danny smiled as he wheeled the strange device around.  “This, dear sir, is a little invention of mine!”

He patted the large machine on its side, looking proud.  “It cleans carpets by suction!”

Vlad took a step forward, genuinely intrigued.  “Oh!  That’s to clean carpets?”

Danny pushed the contraption forward towards a small carpet on the workroom floor.  “Away with sweeping and away with brushing!  And away, with dirty carpets!” he proclaimed, switching the machine on.  

With a loud sucking sound, the machine not only sucked up the dirt, but the entire carpet as well.

Danny blinked in surprise while Vlad laughed, kneeling down to look up at the nozzle of his invention.  “Well, it certainly needs more work…” the younger man muttered in disappointment.

Vlad walked around, exploring the rest of the machinery.  “Is that all you do, Mr. Fenton?” he asked.  “Invent things?”

Danny’s brows furrowed.  “‘Is that all I do,’ wha–?”

“Oh, what’s this gadget?” Vlad asked, investigating a tall machine forged of delicate spinning parts and mirrors.  

“Well, with THAT I hope to eventually transmit moving pictures by wireless!”  Danny replied proudly.

The silver-haired stranger raised his brows back at the inventor.  “…Really?” he laughed.

“Yes, really!  And–”

But Vlad had already moved on.  The invention he paused in front of this time was a compact iron contraption with lots of levers, wheels, and heated stoves.  “And this?” he asked.

Danny huffed, but moved closer to the machine in question.  He flicked a switch, turning it on.  “This, is a sweet maker.”

The machine came to life, all kinds of sounds coming from it as its inner workings moved.  Finally, a little scoop bent down to reveal a candy stick, white and pink in color.  Danny watched as Vlad picked the sweet up, studying it, as he picked up another that came out of the machine.

“And this is one of the sweets?”

“Yes, it is!”

Vlad ran a finger along the edge of the long, striped candy, giving the row of holes there an analytical eye.  “And is it supposed to have all those holes in it?” he asked.

Danny sighed, deflating slightly.  “No, it’s not.  I’ve been trying to fix this for a while now, I think there’s a problem with–”

Vlad nodded, like the inventor’s words had confirmed something.  “The boiling point of your sugar is too high.”

Danny raised a brow, setting down the sweet.  “Oh?  And I guess you are some sort of expert on sweet-making then?”

“Well, as a matter of fact–”

“AND an expert on child-welfare as well, hmm?”  Danny cut in, clearly about done with this man’s presence.  

Vlad’s eyes narrowed.  “I was only trying to help Danielle!” he protested, setting down the candy with more force than necessary.

“Well maybe my daughter likes running around wild in the streets, did you ever think about that?”  Danny exclaimed.  He knew he was acting silly, but ever since he had lost Danielle’s mother at the time of her birth, he had been fiercely protective and adverse to people’s so called help.  All he saw was pity and interference in his life on their part, and he just wouldn’t have it.  

Even if that meant isolating himself even further…  At least he would always be there for Danielle, she was his life.

“I do NOT see any reason why you–!”

“And furthermore!”  Danny cut in,  “How my daughter behaves is frankly no concern of yours!”

“I was only trying–!”

“So, if you’ll be so good as to take yourself off in that fancy automobile of yours, and go do some good somewhere else,” Danny concluded, steering Vlad out of his workshop with forced politeness.  

Vlad smacked the younger man’s hands away from him.  “I have NEVER been–!”

“Spoken to that way before?”  Danny asked, eyebrow raised in clear judgment.  “Well, maybe its about time.  Good afternoon, sir.”

Vlad snarled and whipped around, stalking out of the laboratory.  How DARE that… PERSON speak to him that way?!  He nearly knocked something over as stalked out of the workshop.  “Mind the cable!” he heard behind him, but ignored it as he trotted down the steps, got into his car, and started it, backing out of the driveway and zooming off down the road.  

Danny watched from the door of the windmill as the man sped off, eyes narrowed and arms crossed.  “Vicious, interfering… ugh, MAN!”

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