Give me a nice, Wholesome AU™ where Vlad ~somehow~ stops being a super-creep and agrees to mentor Danny– not because he wants to marry his mom and make him his son, but because he genuinely just wants to help another halfa out since HE didn’t have help way back when.
(Also for angst you could throw in a bit of “plus I feel responsible, because without the research we did in college, your parents would never have made their portal in the first place” or “I feel responsible because I kiiiinda pissed off a bunch of ghosts and all they know is ‘the halfa did it’ so that maaaybe why you’ve been seeing more ghost activity, idk lol.”)
Anyways give me an AU where we’ve got Vlad and Danny training in the basement at 1 am and Vlad’s trying to incorporate Danny’s school curriculum into the training because GOD KNOWS when he’d actually find time for THAT.
“Wait, can I try again? Just one more! One more run through…” Danny says, looking at Vlad with scorch marks on his face that have already begun to heal.
“Daniel, we’ve been at this for hours,” Vlad says, running a hand through his messy, singed hair. “I think that’s as good as it’s going to get tonight.”
“No!” says Danny, but quickly checks his volume, “No. Please, I… but I worked so hard on this power…if I could just–”
“And I know you did.” Vlad says, walking over to him, “I’m proud of how far you’ve come Daniel, but even halfas get exhausted.” He places his hands on Danny’s shoulders and the boy seems to consider this for a moment. But in the end…
“Just one more.”
“You’re gonna be on all those business trips, we won’t meet up again for a month!”
“Fine.” Vlad relents, “Just one more drill. But after that you’ll need your rest.”
Vlad starts up the machines again as Danny gets into a ready position.
“Remember to breathe.” says Vlad as the starting lights blink down in sequence. He uses his own power to bring up a noise-reducing barrier around the training area.
The first target pops out of the wall, close to the ceiling, and Danny flies up to meet it with an ecto-energized punch. The next one appears from the floor, so Danny blasts it with a basic beam. Once Vlad feels he’s got a rhythm he starts the study session again.
“What is the smallest group of biological classification?” He asks, watching his form carefully. Danny rolls out of the way of a hostile drone but still is able to answer.
“And the largest?” Vlad observes Danny blasting the drone.
“How many chromosomes does an individual human have?” Vlad continues. Danny goes intangible to avoid some debris.
“46.” He’s not missing a beat.
“What are the three major parts of a cell?” Two more hostile drones join the fray, and the young halfa starts to falter.
“The membrane, the, uh, cytoplasm, and the nucleus.”
“Is the cell membrane nonpermeable?”
“No,” Danny takes a couple heavy breaths, “It’s semipermeable.”
Vlad pauses upon reading the next one.
“What are the physical or chemical factors in genetic mutations called?”
“M… Mutagens.” Danny swallows dryly, his gaze shifting to the portal at the end of the room.
“What is the phase most cells spend the majority of their time in?”
“Crud, uh…” A drone explodes too close to Danny and he throws up his arms, forgetting to go intangible. The smoke makes his throat burn.
“… Interphase?” He finally coughs out.
“Correct. Pay attention now…”
Seven smaller drones appear from all directions, intent on overwhelming the young halfa. Danny flies up and ecto-punches through the highest one, then grabs it, somersaults, and throws it into the one directly below.
“Good!” Vlad says, standing up in his excitement. They both notice the other 5 drones coming in fast.
“What is the functional unit of heredity?”
“What’s the what of what?!?” Danny blurts out between blasting with one hand and swinging a panicked punch with the other.
“Get higher, try splitting!” Vlad says, abandoning the study guide and moving closer to the battlefield should his assistance be required.
Danny flies almost as high as he can go without phasing through the ceiling. He manages to get some distance between himself and the three remaining drones, but they are close behind.
Quickly he closes his eyes and grits his teeth, trying with all his might to imagine himself splitting into two entities.
“Okay, one more try.” he says to himself, “Kinda like Mitosis…” Somewhere in the back of his mind he can hear Vlad saying something, but he forces that away to keep his focus on the task at hand. Slowly Danny begins to feel what he can only describe as a peeling sensation– as if his “cells” were dividing in such a way that reminded him of when he would peel glue off his skin in elementary school– starting from his wispy tail, creeping up to where his legs should be…
Suddenly, a drone’s blast hits him squarely in the chest. Danny’s eyes snap open, all concentration lost. Belatedly he realizes his tail had reformed after having been split into two. A familiar pink beam takes out the offending drones.
“Danny!” Vlad says, eyes still glowing red, “Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” Danny says as he floats down sullenly, “I’ll heal.” Vlad reaches out to guide him towards the spare workbench they use as a first aid station.
“Better put the salve on it just to be safe.” Vlad says. Danny sits down and watches Vlad take out the special formula he made in his own lab back in Wisconsin, then tosses himself back to lay on the bench.
“ARGH! I was SO close! Right? Was I close? Because it felt like I was close…”
“You were.” says Vlad, “But I think you should stick to the exercises I showed you while I’m gone.” He transforms and makes a few duplications to demonstrate, starting slow but getting faster with each iteration.
“Who knows, by the time I get back you may be splitting in circles around me.” Danny looks up and realizes all the Vlads are literally standing around him in a circle and laughs.
“Ha! So you’re making the jokes now?” He says as Vlad pulls it together.
“Believe it or not, my wit may be used to humor us both.”
“Pfft. Some wit. That was real 'cheesy’, Wisconsin Ghost.” Danny snickers at his own quip and Vlad rolls his eyes.
“You’re never going to let that go, are you?”
“Nope!” Danny says, “Say, what was that last question? On the guide?”
“The functional unity of heredity.”
“Geez that’s a lot of syllables for one thing.”
“Do you know the answer?”
“Uh…” Danny thinks for only a moment. Without the distraction of the fight, he quickly grasps the question.
“Oh! It’s genes!”
“Correct again, Little Badger.” Vlad says, handing off the small salve tin. “I think you will do well on the test tomorrow.”
“Thanks.” Danny says, detransforming. He yawns as his exhaustion catches up with him. Courteously, Vlad lends him a hand.
“Come, I’ll fly you upstairs before I go.”