#Look even if the Fentons take well Danny's secret they are still not good parents
Due to a problem in Amity Park with their parents, Jazz decided that it was in Danny's best interest to move in with her until she could have full custody of him, the legal process was really long when you had no connections, her brother was happy with that arrangement.
However when he decided to move to Gotham with Jazz, Danny heard rumors about Bruce Wayne and his entourage of black-haired, blue-eyed children, similarly there were other rumors about the "Gotham Knight" who kept adopting children and transforming them into "Robin", or at least, that's what the kids on the Alley told him.
So, he made the most logical decision possible: he applied for a restraining order, for both: Batman and Bruce Wayne, he justified in court that it was for his own safety and he had nothing against them but he preferred if they stayed far from him, considering his trauma it was for the better. Jazz supported him and gave her professional opinion which sped up the process; Harvey Dent found the case hilarious so he supported the siblings and they got the court order.
For his part, Bruce was extremely confused when he found Jason laughing at a document that had arrived in the mail at the mansion, his confusion only increased when his League communicator beeped, alerting him to an urgent call from Flash.
DP X DC Prompt/Idea
Long time writer for the DC fandom (mostly Batman specifically Tim Drake joins the batfam early AUs and Titans Tower AU) on Archive, Danny Fenton also known as Astroboy2025, decides three days after his ‘Accident’ to create a Jason wakes up a Halfa in his coffin fic. He only does this to help himself process his emotions after well lets be honest his death and revival. And later once the ghost attacks pick up and he picks up the mantle of a hero as a way to covertly get advice/figure out on how to fight ghosts better by transplanting all his ghosts into Gotham for Fic!Jason to fight.
Danny wasn’t expecting much to come from this, he wasn’t expecting the fic to blow up in popularity for ‘creative storylines’ and ‘unique original villains with a ghostly flare to go against the ghostly Robin now named Phantom’ it was just a vent fic with a bit of wishful thinking on his part with Ghost!Jason and Bruce's relationship being so close (He ends up writing Jason getting hugs and affirmations that Bruce still loves despite all the ghost stuff that happening now whenever his Parents go on a tirade about how all ghosts are evil and need to be ripped apart molecule by molecule)
He definitely wasn't expecting his fans to find out about the real Phantom and figure out his identity from there. (Blame Penelope Spectra she had a history unlike the others in his rogues gallery with a bloody trail across America of sharply increase Suicide rates in more isolated smaller cites/large towns that was being tracked by Redditers that had hard stopped in Amity park just a few days before he dropped the chapter of Jason facing her himself)
While the Amity Park tourism to see a IRL Hero in action, and the Anti-Ecto acts Riots, as they would later be called, made by DC fans throwing a fit about the threat to the world’s first superhero were the lesser consequence in the grand scheme of things. Finding his fan Discord was a trip and a half especially since Tucker had to hack into it into the first place because his fans we're extremely protective of his secret ID and reinforced the server a crapton to be stronger then most banks.
While Sam was insisting on this being a horrible Idea and he should try to dissuade his thousands of fans from the truth of his Identy. Danny was just chill with it after the brief panic. And the Fan Discord was super helpful for getting Advce with! while the jokes that he was Batman Adoption bait was annoying the group was amazing for ideas on how to train his powers and advice on how to better fight ghosts. the Discord even make a Power list for him so he wouldn’t forget a power because he wasn’t training it. plus the comfort they gave after Circus Gothica was A+ even with the jokes about how the Batfam curse of clown trauma, despite matching the look as a human batman isn’t real so as much as his fans joke about him being the prefect Bat bait that will not happen.
To bad after a particularly nasty ghost hate rant in front of him in ghost form while being shot at by his parents that before the server would spawn 3 chapters of Family fluff in his fic, was whatched angrily by a fan who in a fit of annoyed rage said these words. “I really wish batman WAS real, then maybe you could be safe in your home for once”
unfortunately Desiree was out and about and heard the wish granted she had no idea who Batman was so went to read the DC comics after that. Good news the DC universe is so messed up as is that Desiree decided no twisting was necessary she’d just to bring everything to life. Bad news all the supervillains now exist along side the now existing superheros and Desiree is now Kaiju sized and now way to powerful for Danny to deal with alone...
At least the now real Batfam are taking their sudden existence well? and are willing to help Danny stop the Mad Genie dispite the risk that they would pop into nonexistence (with the entire city of Gotham and the other cities, villains, and heroes made real by Desiree’s power) if she’s stopped
Shovel Talk (DPxDC Ship Week 2023)
[A Danny Phantom / Batman crossover]
Summary: When Tim decided to tag along on a road trip with Danny to meet his parents, he was kinda ready for the shovel talk with his friends and family. But bringing out the secrets buried in Amity Park? That’s another kind of shovel talk Danny hadn’t prepared him for.
Prompts: Firsts, Hand-Holding, Family, Conflict, Royalty
Other tags: Established relationship (Tim/Danny) / Tim doesn’t know Danny is Phantom / Danny knows Tim is Red Robin / Good parents Jack & Maddie (they know about Danny)
[You can read the rest on AO3 or FFN]
Part 1: One Foot In the Grave
The road looked endless for a moment, like it would stretch for hours into the horizon. Rows upon rows of trees almost sheltered the two lonely lanes where not many other vehicles drove at this time of the day. Danny could picture for a moment they were stuck in a loop, like in old Hollywood movies where the car was perfectly still against a moving background, with no discernible features between the last dozens of trees and the continuous straight path ahead.
It would be fitting, in a way. To leave Gotham’s hellish smog and chaos to the apparent calm of the Northeast’s less-traveled roads only to end in a different kind of recursive hell.
Or maybe it was easier to picture hell in this shade of green. It definitely was more bearable to think about dying out of boredom looking at the woods and cornfields, than getting his heart broken if things went wrong when they reached their destination.
Danny kept his mind busy trying to come up with last-minute exits from this trip. But just like their current path, the chances of escaping were narrowing as they got further away from the dark city. He turned to look at his companion on the wheel; Tim just kept a pleasant smile as he talked about how good the coffee from the last stop was, unaware of the tension in his co-pilot’s shoulders.
Guilt began to fill Danny’s stomach with its accompanying dread and nausea. He knew Tim was excited about hitting the countryside together, probably the new biggest milestone in their time dating. There was something so endearing in the way he seemed to even enjoy the random detours. That was saying something about how determined Tim was to see this journey through despite the inconveniences, especially when he was well-known for planning every single thing ahead.
“Hey, Buzz, we’re getting lots of static on the radio here,” Tim said after a lull in their conversation and Danny snorted at the appropriate choice of the pet name. For all the complaints he got about his puns, Tim wasn’t that bat at it. “You wanna switch to that playlist you made for the trip?”
Danny lit up at the sudden epiphany, feeling the almost feral grin on his lips, unnoticed by his driving companion. This was probably his last resort before they were too far from New Jersey to consider going back home; not too far yet that they needed to reconsider all their life’s choices, at least.
“Sure thing, duckling,” he said in the most sugary sweet voice he could muster, getting a small chuckle from his boyfriend.
Looking for the playlist he downloaded on his phone, Danny scrolled through the songs he selected for this specific brand of torment: earworms from the 80s, his parents’ favorites. The first song started with a drum beating, followed soon by a synth keyboard playing high notes as “Take on Me” began.
While Tim and Danny had shared many things in their short life as a couple, music was not necessarily one of them. Tim seemed to prefer more world music and jazz, while Danny was okay with the mixture of whatever the recommendations would vomit; sure, rock bands were still at the top of his list, but so was whatever filled the background silence. So, why not show Drake what’s waiting for him in the Fenton household to really get on his nerves?
Tim frowned in confusion as if trying to identify what he was listening to. That only encouraged Danny to start dancing with his head and shoulders as obnoxiously as he could. Not minding if he was out of tune, he began to sing the first lines at the top of his lungs, encouraged by the deserted road and the air coming from the open windows.
“We’re talking away – I don’t know what – I’m to say I’ll say it anyway – Today’s another day to find you – Shying away – I’ll be coming for your love, okay?”
His boyfriend continued his quizzical stare until the chorus began and his face morphed into a wide smile. “Oh! Oh! I do know that song! I love this part!” Tim said instead, making Danny’s smug smile fall.
“You…do?” he asked tentatively.
“Sure,” the driver replied with a shrug. “Sometimes when I stayed home as a kid, I would play my parents’ vinyl records. That’s how I began to love Miles Davis. But I also liked these upbeat songs.”
Danny stared in silence, partly in awe and partly concerned about how little he knew the extent of his music tastes. All these plans were backfiring horribly. If Tim wouldn’t be persuaded to turn around and head back to Gotham, Danny would have to resign to his fate at the end of this road trip.
Tim turned for a second to look at Danny before he kept his eyes back on the road. “Everything alright, Apollo? You kinda crashed for a moment there.”
That got Danny to laugh. “Glad to see your puns getting better. How’s the banter going during patrol?”
The sound of Tim’s own laughter brought a spark of joy in Danny’s chest, a lifeline he didn’t know he needed. “Not really my thing. But you are becoming a bad influence,” Tim answered as he affectionately brushed his companion’s hand for a moment. “Aaand you’re changing the topic. I know that look.”
Danny sputtered. “You’re focused on the road, how do you even know what look I have right now?”
Tim smiled knowingly. “I’ve been trained to be aware of my surroundings, remember? So, what’s going on?”
Silence fell between the two, accompanied by the sound of the same song playing on the speakers, while the noise of the tires on the asphalt droned in the background. The road continued, like it had for the past couple of miles, mostly unchanged scenery-wise. The same cover from the trees, the bright blue sky, a few old barns and houses that seemed to be barely holding up. A contrasting view from what Gotham usually offered.
Yeah, probably better to tune out his problems with the beautiful sights outside.
When Danny didn’t give an answer, Tim continued. “You know, even if I’m nervous about going to Amity Park, I’m really happy we're on this trip together. Have I told you that?”
No, Tim hadn’t said it in so many words, but it was kind of evident with all his efforts to make this trip happen. Danny first thought Tim just wanted to dig more about the town or even his parents. But no, there was this giddiness in the way he talked about the trip, this palpable excitement to even accept all the different hurdles Danny put in his way: from convincing Tim they could only reach Amity Park by car (which wasn’t entirely false), or getting him to rent a regular SUV instead of picking whatever supercar he had in the garage. Not to mention the changes to their GPS settings or the playlist, Danny hadn’t made it easy. And yet, Tim’s smile hadn’t faltered.
“You really don’t have to do this,” Danny said softly, feeling so small and horrible for bursting the bubble. “We can go back and see hours of trees or whatever, or even go get lost in some random small town where we can pretend you’re not some hotshot billionaire-slash-vigilante and I’m not this huge mystery you think you have to crack.”
Tim sighed and pushed the hazard lights on. The car slowed to a stop as he suddenly pulled over on the side of the road, despite how small the space was. He turned to look at his co-pilot with all the intensity of his concerned blue eyes. “Danny, babe, my wonderful nebula…I do feel like I’m missing an important part of your life, but I’m not trying to crack it, this time. This is me just trying to get to know you better. I promise.”
Danny turned to look at Tim straight in the eye. “Tim, honey, my good luck duck…there are much better ways to get to know me than doing this exhausting trip to some ‘tourist trap’ in the Middle of Nowhere, Ohio.”
There was a look of uncertainty, a moment of hesitation when Tim opened his mouth but no words came out, and Danny could almost feel the anxiety beginning to build in his boyfriend.
Oh, no. He’s seen that same expression so many times he had almost memorized the worry lines near his eyebrows and the slight twist in his pursed lips.
The same face when he asked Danny if he was sure he wanted to have a relationship with Red Robin. The same worry from the time he asked why he felt so distant and detached at moments, thinking things weren’t right between them.
No. Danny didn’t want him to feel insecure, unloved, unwanted. Maybe that’s why he had never upfront told Tim he didn’t want him to come to this visit, going for the annoying-pranks route instead.
He should’ve known better. Tim deserved better.
It wasn’t his fault Danny was an anxious mess at the prospect of telling Tim everything. Because once they crossed the threshold that kept all the town’s secrets buried from the outside world, there was no way one of the world’s greatest detectives wouldn’t figure out his deepest, darkest secrets.
Danny reached out for Tim’s right hand, entwining their fingers to give a reassuring squeeze to calm his boyfriend’s nerves. Danny’s uncertainty felt long forgotten with that single gesture, always the protector of Tim’s feelings, his well-being, his sanity.
“Look, I do want you to come,” Danny began, searching for his partner’s gaze. “It’s just that—“ His throat felt dry.
He couldn’t just outright say it, that was the whole point of this mess.
It’s not like Danny hadn’t tried coming clean about his secret to Tim before. But there were just so many reasons not to do it all those times he thought about it.
For starters, whenever Danny said something related to his time in high school, Tim reacted as if it were just a figure of speech and not something real. It probably had everything to do with the fact that all Tim knew about Amity Park was that it had some elaborate story going on to convince tourists that ghosts were real. Tim was so sure it was all a hoax that he even cited some nonsense he heard from a guy named Constantine. Danny would eventually like to have some words with that jerk.
On the other hand, he also hadn’t been Phantom, the ghost hero, in the two years he had been in Gotham, not even after he began dating Red Robin, so bringing Tim into the secret meant opening a whole can of worms he wasn’t ready to disclose. Like why Amity Park was still safe now that he was off to college or why there was a crown on top of Phantom's head. Telling your boyfriend you’re at least dead-adjacent seemed very cruel.
So, if they were going to do the whole reveal in this trip, it would have to come once they reached Amity Park, no sooner than that.
Once he could show and not just tell. Where Tim could ask everyone about everything. Where all the science behind Danny’s existence could be backed up.
Where Danny could find a bigger support system if everything went to hell and he was no longer welcome in Gotham.
But he couldn’t say any of that, yet.
“My parents are very embarrassing, okay?” he finally lied and he could tell Tim wasn’t buying the whole story, but Danny was going to momentarily die on this hill (was he basically going ghost on this hill then?) “You’ll find out what they do for a living, for real, and it’s not as fancy as “working with alternate sources of energy” makes it sound, all right? There’s a reason why I was bullied for so long.”
Tim shook his head and smiled. The way he cupped Danny’s face made everything stand still for a moment. “Hun, I’m not going to make fun of you or think any less of you. I don’t even think there’s anything you can do or say that would make me love you less. You know that, right?”
All the love in that simple gesture made Danny feel like maybe everything would be alright. Like they would be able to handle this together. It wasn’t the end of the world to find out whatever secrets Danny had been keeping from him.
“If it helps,” Tim said after a moment, “we can take it one step at a time. How about we treat this like a long date and avoid talking about anything related to Amity Park or your parents until we’re closer?”
Danny gave him a skeptical look. “Sure, we will just save the torture for later, why not?”
“Starlight, you do know I’m the one who’s supposed to be nervous, right?” When Danny stared at him like he had grown a second head, Tim sighed. “You really think I won’t be getting the shovel talk from your family?”
Yeah, Danny hadn’t exactly focused on that part of the visit. He had been thinking about a shovel talk, alright. Just one more in the field of things that had been buried and posed a grave threat to their relationship. Or one related to an undead teen who dealt with ghost attacks in his hometown.
The other, regular shovel talk? Yeah, Danny wasn’t even thinking about that nerve-inducing train wreck.
The suffering sigh that left him made Tim laugh out loud so hard it was contagious. Danny couldn’t help but join him. They were so ridiculous right now with all the dread and gloom. Wasn’t that supposed to stay back in Gotham? Not that Amity Park was any better, but at least that was still far away from their current stop.
There were so many beautiful sights and things to do before they even reached the haunted town. The opportunity to see the stars in the clear and open sky. Maybe Danny could give this whole trip a new perspective.
“Right,” he managed to say between his own chuckles. “So we’re just going to, what, enjoy ourselves and handle this like a couple’s retreat in the meantime?”
Tim shrugged. “Yeah, I mean, I’m happy to go with your original obnoxious plan to convince me to stay out of Amity Park, just as long as we make it there in the end. I’m sure you had in mind a lot of cringe-worthy places to visit, didn’t you?”
Leave it to Tim to figure out what Danny had been doing all along. Not that he was being subtle about it, but he could only hope.
“Well, I didn’t just pick route 206 to make the trip 5 hours longer plus whatever stops we included,” Danny admitted sheepishly. “There were some genuinely cool places to visit. Like, some restaurants, abandoned places, hiking trails... Oh! And tons of coffee shops with puns in their names.”
“Please tell me you didn’t.”
Danny smiled and pulled out the map with all the pins and names shown nearby. “I’ve bean planning this escape route, you know?”
Tim snorted and shook his head. “Then let’s go to wherever you had planned,” he replied with a pleasant smile. “This hasn’t been that bad. Have you seen a sky like this in Gotham before? Or do you remember ever having that fresh smell of clean air?”
Danny rolled his eyes but grinned despite himself. “Pretty sure you’re smelling the manure. Which, I guess is an upgrade from the sewer stench back in Gotham.”
The loud horn of an incoming truck pulling a tractor broke them from their moment and, though neither would admit it, almost made them jump. They laughed when they noticed each other’s startled surprise.
Tim turned off the hazard lights and started the car again to continue their journey toward Ohio. “Right, so what’s our next stop, then?”
The smile on Danny’s lips grew even wider as he remembered what he had planned ahead. “We can do the right thing, the right way, and go to the Red Robin burgers nearby,” he said with the most innocent voice he could muster.
The loud groan he got in response might have made this trip worth it after all.
More for Konning Portals
1 month in the DC universe is about 6 months.
Kon was gone for almost 6 months, more like 5 and a half.
Kon doesn't really age properly until his actual birthdate catches up with how old he looks. So him looking older is just a different aura he emits with his body language.
Team Phantom consists of, in order, Danny, Sam, Tucker, Jazz, Kon, Dani, and Valerie. All 6 end up going to the DC universe.
The Fenton's ended up adopting Kon after he got picked up by the police for breaking curfew during a longer ghost attack. The police didn't really want to let them just take Kon in, but when the problems are ghosts and a kid is moving in with Ghost Hunters there's not much to expect. (Plus the GiW wanted the Fentons to owe them one.)
So, Jazz and Danny get introduced to a grumpy Conner, and none of them have the greatest meeting ever. Conner wants to go home, but has pretty much realized he can't.
Jazz and Danny are bearing the brunt of his anger until the Fenton's actually enroll Kon into Casper High.
Kon knows they sneak out/aren't where they say they are, but with how anti-ghost the Fenton parents are, he has no clue how to begin bringing up "hey I have superhearing and I eavesdropped on your two biological kids sneaking out" without getting shot at himself.
Kon meets Phantom, and has no clue who he is. Phantom pulls a Clark Kent on him, basically. After all, Kon can hear that this guy is dead while Danny Fenton is well and alive. Plus, Danny wouldn't trust talking about his nightly activities with Kon in the house. Their parents may ignore them, but Kon is a wildcard.
Phantom and Kon end up bonding because Phantom himself is still very new to all of this heroing stuff, and neither are a master of their powers yet. They don't even know the scope of their powers!
Eventually, Sam and Tucker have no choice but to reveal Phantom's Identity to Kon after he's badly injured and 2 kids alone can't help and distract both Doctor Fenton's.
Jazz (who knows about both of them, but doesn't tell either of them) is happy they are both getting along. Though she feels awkward being the only one left out. But she doesn't want to make either of her brothers not trust her or tell her things they aren't ready for.
Sam and Tucker also end up befriending Kon fully now, though Kon is still angry, he's calming down.
Time skipping a bit to Dani, because the entire Clone situation has Kon on edge while Danny is busy freaking out. But Kon watching as Danny just... accepts that Dani is his clone makes him feel so unbearably sad. He doesn't even want to hurt any of his clones- and they all watch in horror as the less stable clones turn into goop stains on the ground, Ended.
Kon finally admits his full background to the other 4 (soon to be 5) members of Team Phantom. And they don't mind that he's from another universe! They just ask if he has any way of going back home, and he says no.
Kon/Conner, as an aside, also gets his own personal hero outfit. Sam and Tucker helped him design it, Sam and her Grandma helped get it made, and Danny helped to provide ghost hunting equipment that would allow him to fight ghosts with his own powers and testing to see if the suits were Ghost and Ghost Hunter proof. At first he wanted it to also be Black and White to match Phantom a bit more, but eventually he keeps to the Red/Black and instead gets more of a Batman looking padded suit to help him tank hits and hide weapons, complete with a tool belt that has some smaller weapons and ranged weapons (and some ecto-stablizer and pure ectoplasm for Danny) should it be needed.
He also sadly can't keep the Superman shirt he'd been wearing as often as possible. It's too recognizable as Conner Fenton's Shirt. And having a new hero show up with Conner's weird symbol he wears a lot isn't good for a secret identity, and he goes without one right now.
Conner also threatened Valerie as both his Hero Persona and in his civvies. He tried to take a bit from Robin when he did so, but the shovel talk ended up getting the Red Huntress to get her act together and stop hunting Phantom.
(Valerie was going to be told before Kon was hurt, but her discovery that her boyfriend and her tentative ally were one in the same came at the horrible time of Conner being hurt by his Foster Family)
We (Or the unexpected relief of using the inclusive pronoun)
On the last day, here's my Truce fic for @timelessdp .
Prompt: Jazz became halfa before Danny. When the portal accident happened she figured out what happening with her brother, and she help him accept himself/practice his powers
I had a lot of fun with this, and I hope you like it Timeless!
Also posted to AO3 for those who prefer to read it there. (If you have an ao3 I'll tag you as giftee over there)
Jazz stared at the abomination. She hoped it would fail, but unfortunately she knew from past experiences that it would likely succeed. Each iteration her parents made only improved on the previous model, no matter how ignorant they were of the consequences.
She shuddered, thinking of her own encounter with a previous portal. In her hubris, she thought she could make some improvements. She did—but at the cost of her own humanity. And she didn’t want anyone else to share the same fate.
Was there anything she could do to prevent it? Her parents would be attempting to turn it on later that day. She scoured the lab, examining the mechanisms. She knew them well, having tracked all of their developments. She looked for the most inconspicuous thing that she could alter, something they wouldn’t find.
The on switch.
Why had her father put it on the inside? She knew her parents were brilliant, but sometimes they made dumb decisions. She carefully made sure the thing was unplugged before she entered. Looking at the switch itself, she had an idea. She removed the button covers and labels, setting it to off. Then she inverted the covers and labels, so that by all appearances the machine was set to on. Would her parents even think to check the schematics for the on/off button? Surely not.
Jasmine Fenton took a deep breath, pleased with her work. She slipped out of the tunnel, and in a moment of indulgence, flew up to her room through the floor.
It was the scream that alerted her. She had fallen asleep over her psychology books, so confident in her sabotage that she wasn’t worried about the portal at all. She raced down to the basement, only to find her brother stumbling out of the now operating portal. Or who she could only assume was her brother based on the voice of the scream and the size of the boy. But he was all wrong, his hair was white and he was—Jazz gasped—like her.
“No no no no no,” Jazz muttered under her breath, dashing to Danny’s side. He was holding his head, and having trouble keeping upright. He looked up, and his now bright green eyes met hers.
“Jazz?” He said weakly. She caught him as he fell. “I don’t feel so good.” And then he passed out, collapsing in her arms. A glow of light passed over him, reverting him to his regular appearance, blackened jumpsuit changing to it’s proper white.
“Oh Danny,” Jazz sighed. “This was the last thing I wanted.” She cursed her parents for being absent, and but couldn’t help feeling grateful they were gone. She had never told them about her own secret, and now she would have to help her brother bear his. What would the Fentons do with two ghostly children? She didn’t want to even imagine it.
Danny woke a short time later. Jazz had brought him up to his own bed. He blinked open his eyes. Jazz leaned forward in her chair to be closer to him.
“Jazz? I had the weirdest—��� Danny cut himself off when he began to slip through the bed. He screamed, and Jazz helped him back up, lending him some of her tangibility.
“It’s alright,” She said in hushed tones, easing him back on the bed. “It wasn’t a dream, sadly. The portal,” she paused to take a breath and brace herself for what she had to say, “did something to you.”
“What do you mean?” Danny asked. He attempted to sit up, but he was still too weak and fell back down.
“Well,” Jazz began, looking for the words to explain something that was so intuitive to her and to most would sound like nonsense. “The portal connects our world and the ghost world. So when you turned it on from inside, it gave you properties of both worlds—human and…ghost.” She couldn’t help hesitating on the final word. It was one thing to say the portal opened to the ghost world, it was another to say it made them ghostly.
Danny considered what she said, and it was as if Jazz could see the accident replaying like a cruel loop in his mind. “How do you know this?” He finally asked, turning his scrutiny to her.
“Because…I had a similar accident a few years ago,” Jazz said cautiously. She turned on her invisibility, and Danny audibly gasped.
“Where did you go?” He shouted. Jazz appeared again and placed her hand on his shoulder.
“I’m right here,” She said. “Invisibility is one of the things we can do now, among several others.” Danny looked at his hand, which now flickered in and out of visibility itself, as if instinctively responding to Jazz’s use of the power.
“Ah!” he cried. Jazz’s heart ached, remembering her own first night.
“It’ll be okay,” She said, rubbing his shoulder. “I’ll teach you everything I know, and it won’t be so bad. It’s actually quite fun at times.”
“How is falling through my bed going to be fun?” Danny asked skeptically. Jazz smirked, and abandoned gravity for floating.
“For one, we can fly,” she said. Her perpetual use of “we” was warming her cold, undead heart. With each time she used the inclusive pronoun, it solidified in her head that she truly wasn’t alone anymore. She now shared this strange in-between state with her brother, whose face was currently aglow, watching her float towards the ceiling.
“Shut up!” Danny said.
“For real! Go into ghost mode and try it,” She said, and then by the look on his face realized she had gotten ahead of herself.
“Ghost mode?” Danny asked, his joy turning back to confusion and angst. “What do you mean ghost mode?”
Jazz came back to the ground, and standing there let her own ghost self wash over her. Danny’s confusion turned back to awe, as her appearance changed from her regular shirt and jeans to a tealish blue jumpsuit with white gloves, belt, and boots. It vaguely reminded Danny of their mom in her jumpsuit, but the key difference was that Jazz’s hair was blue of all colors, and her eyes bright green. His jaw dropped, and Jazz couldn’t help but smile.
“You can do the same thing,” Jazz said.
“Really?” He asked, wonder now fully fixed on his face.
“Yeah, you just—” She stopped, looking for the words. She reflected on what she did for herself, analyzing her own experience so that it could be translated. “Okay, so there’s this center core of you, that’s not really tangible or physical. It feels like…if you took all of you and condensed it into a little orb. Concentrate on that, and visualize that you’ve pressed a button and turned on ghost mode,” she explained. It sounded strange, but it made sense to her.
Danny looked down at his chest, and she imagined he was looking for his own core, like she described. “Going ghost,” he whispered to himself. She stifled her laughter, but if that helped him engage the ghost mode, she needed to let him have it.
It must have worked, because the light passed back over him and he was replaced by the ghost she had found outside the portal: black jumpsuit, white hair, and green eyes.
“Ah!” He cried, both excited and panicking. Then he realized he was floating above his bed, and cried again. “Oh my god! I’m floating!” Jazz couldn’t hold in her laughter anymore, because she had reacted much the same way, and it was a pleasure to see it in someone else.
“See! It’s not all bad,” she said.
“Wow,” Danny said standing in the air and checking himself out. “This is for real,” he said. “Does this mean I’m dead?” He asked, thankfully not meeting Jazz in the eye. His question was genuinely meant, but there was a touch of appropriate anxiety in his voice. Jazz sighed.
“I don’t know,” she admitted. “Because mom and dad have never caught it, despite triggering their equipment, and I also pass all my health exams and doctors have never said a thing.”
“Huh,” Danny said, confusion fading away. Jazz realized he had now fully entered the state of shock, and was taking all of this in stride not because he accepted it, but only because his brain couldn’t process it yet. Maybe she should take advantage of this and expose him to as much as he could, before denial set in, she thought.
“Want to go for a fly?” She asked.
“For real?” Danny asked, both excitement and fear evident in his voice .
“Yeah, but I have to teach you intangibility and invisibility first so we won’t get caught,” Jazz said. Danny nodded along, trying to absorb the new information. She wanted to go slowly with him, but unfortunately that wasn’t entirely an option. A few of these skills had to be grasped quickly for survival alone.
“I think I can try,” Danny said, gathering his courage but still shaky. Jazz smiled, but buried any hint of condescension or patronizing. She was usually guilty of one or both, but Danny needed all the genuine support she could give him right now.
“Great, remember how I taught you about turning on ghost mode?” Jazz asked. Danny nodded, pointing to what was presumably his core. “Now, lean into it, focusing on letting go of the material world.” None of this was easy to explain, but it all centered around controlling your core energy, and if he could learn from there, he would learn faster than she did.
Danny stared down at himself, at his core, and seemed to be attempting what she said. In the early days, aspects like intangibility and invisibility came and went at the worst times, but when you want them they were elusive. It was a pain, but once you got them down, it was as automatic as breathing.
Jazz had to hide her laughter again when Danny started slipping through the bed, but Danny didn’t see it because he was concentrating so hard on doing it. She wanted him to see for himself. It didn’t take long, because his legs were fully within the mattress and he couldn’t see them anymore.
“I did it!” He cried, but then immediately started panicking that he might get stuck.
“Think up!” Jazz blurted, hoping he would act quickly and float enough upwards that he wouldn’t get stuck. Her command grabbed him, and he managed to pull himself up.
“Oh my god, I’m floating!” Danny shouted. Jazz’s ecto-energy bubbled up inside her, invigorated by her own joy and Danny’s. This had been so different for her own self, and she was infinitely relieved Danny did not have to go through this alone.
“That’s amazing!” She said. “Now, come back to tangibility,” she instructed. She waited until he managed to revert his current state. “Invisibility isn’t too different, but now you need to focus on evading light, rather than matter. Like before, pull on your core, and focus on leaving the visible plane.”
This was easier than intangibility for some reason, because when you’re a teenager with embarrassing parents, your number one desire is to remain unseen and unnoticed. Danny was indivisible within moments.
“Did I do it?” He asked, not familiar enough with the sensation to recognize it for what it was, but he must have felt something different.
“Well I can’t see you,” Jazz teased.
“Sweet!” Danny said.
“Think you’re ready to fly?” Jazz asked, switching to floating herself. Danny popped back into visibility and shined his biggest smile at her.
“Let’s do this!”
“Can I tell Tucker and Sam?” Danny asked later.
“I don’t see why not! I told Spike.”
This is OUR hero
Danny Phantom’s secret identity is a very well kept secret. Not by Danny Fenton, even though he might believe that. Oh no, that boy is awful at keeping secrets. What with yelling “going ghost” in public places and using ghost abilities constantly. But the people of Amity Park … the people are excellent at keeping his secret for him. And they do not like any outsiders trying to hurt their little hero.
A 5+1 story where different Amity Parkers finds out Danny Phantom and Danny Fenton is one and the same and can't do anything to help him. And then one time they can help him.
Prompts by @kinglazrus @ave-aria @q-gorgeous @hauntedchilis @mystyrust LovelyUnknown @apinklion01 @warvikwrites @datawyrms
Chapter 1: Danny sucks at keeping his identity secret for 11000 words
1. Mr Lancer
Lancer was counting his students, all of them huddled in the gym, the buzz of a ghost shield overhead. Most students were shaking, a few were even crying. Ghosts had been attacking Amity for a few months now, the attacks slowly becoming more and more serious. And it hadn’t been until this week that the school finally implemented an evacuation plan. The shield had been installed just days prior.
While he went his rounds, he did his best to comfort students. Offering a kind word here or a pat on the back there. It didn't do much in the great scheme of things but it was something. The only thing he really could do.
None of his schooling had ever prepared him for ghosts, after all.
He reached the last student on his list and his heart sank. One was missing. Daniel Fenton. And all of a sudden he remembered that the boy had requested to go to the bathroom a few minutes before the ghost alarm went off. Was he trapped out there somewhere, hurt and afraid? Before his mind could summon up too many awful images, he came to a decision. He had to find Daniel and bring him safely back here.
"Ms Tetslaff" he called out, gaining her and a few of the students’ attention. "Daniel Fenton is missing so I'll go search for him."
She opened her mouth, as if she wanted to protest, but quickly closed it again. Maybe she realized it would be pointless by the expression on his face. Lancer would find his student and bring him back safely, no matter what anyone said. However, two students did put up a protest. Samantha Manson and Tucker Foley. When they heard his proclamation they hurried over to him.
“Mr Lancer, there’s no need to go search for Danny”, Samantha started. “Since he’s terrified of ghosts he’s really good at hiding whenever one shows up.”
“Yeah!” Tucker agreed. “Even if you go searching for him you most likely won't find him. And his parents are ghosts hunters, he knows how to take care of himself. No need to look for him.”
They did make some good points, in that Lancer had never once been able to find Daniel in the past during a ghost attack. He truly must be good at hiding. Still, he needed to make sure the boy was hiding inside the ghost shield instead. No matter how good he may be, the ghosts only needed to be lucky once and it would be over.
“I’m afraid I can’t let that stop me”, Lancer said. “As your teacher it is my responsibility to keep you safe while in school. Now don’t you worry, I’ll find Mr Fenton and bring him here safely.”
The two children looked at each other, grimacing, but didn’t continue protesting. It was strange, Lancer thought, how the two of them didn’t seem more worried about their friend. But that was something to consider later, after he had found Daniel.
He walked to the open door leading out of the gym and paused there for a second. Green and shimmering the ghost shield stood just before him, and once he stepped through it ghosts would be able to attack him. At least he couldn’t see any down the corridor outside. Not that it meant much when it came to ghosts. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, he forced himself to step through the shield. Since he wasn’t immediately attacked he relaxed a bit, but he still had to keep his guard up while searching for Daniel.
Lancer crept through the empty hallways, peering into classrooms and bathrooms, trying to find any sign of his missing student. Occasionally he would call out Daniel's name, softly, so as to make sure nothing else overheard.
And as he walked the signs of battle were becoming clearer. Overturned trash cans. Papers strewn about. Dents in lockers. And the sound of fighting.
Lancer swallowed, his heart racing in his chest. He wanted to keep a wide berth of the battle, but what if Daniel was caught in the middle of it? What if he needed help? He just … had to check. Then he could run away again.
Closer and closer to the battle he walked until he stood outside the broken doors to the cafeteria. He kept close to the wall and poked his head around the doorway just enough to peek inside.
The cafeteria was a mess. Overturned and broken tables were scattered about. Plates in pieces all over the floor. A few windows had been smashed in. And there was a hole in the floor. He cursed silently. That would cost a lot to repair.
But what really caught his attention was the two ghosts in the room. He immediately recognized Phantom. He was floating in mid air, holding his signature thermos in one hand. On the ground before him stood another ghost, the Lunch Lady, if Lancer remembered correctly. She looked like one at least.
“Meet your cutlery doom!” The Lunch Lady yelled and sent a barge of cutlery towards Phantom, who just barely managed to dodge them in time. But by the end of the barge, the Lunch Lady barely seemed able to fly, her aura dimmed to almost nothing.
“Really cutting to the chase, huh?” Phantom yelled back, a smirk on his lips. “Well, soup can I!” He pointed the thermos at her and turned it on. The other ghost was trapped in the blue beam and was sucked in with an angry scream. He capped the thermos and the silence that followed almost seemed to echo in Lancer’s ears.
"That will be at least a day in the thermos," the ghost boy muttered. He looked around the cafeteria and grimaced. Lancer ducked behind the door to not be seen. "Oof, that's a lot of damage."
The ghost landed, wobbling a bit on his feet. He cursed and pressed a hand against his side. When he pulled it back it was green with ectoplasm. Seemed like he hadn’t managed to dodge all the cutlery after all. "Damn it. This will need stitches."
He sighed and walked over to the server counters, ceramic crunching beneath his feet. He pulled out a bunch of paper towels. Then, a white ring appeared around his waist. Lancer tensed, fearing it was some sort of attack. While Phantom fought off other ghosts, he had done some violent things in the past. The Fentons’ always warned everyone who would listen that even seemingly friendly ghosts only acted that way to manipulate people. They said that all ghosts were malicious and evil in their nature. Lancer found it hard to believe with this particular ghost, but better safe than sorry.
The ring split in two, one traveling up his body and the other down. And wherever the rings passed Phantom … changed. Instead of a black and white body suit, a white t-shirt and blue jeans appeared. Instead of white hair, it turned black. Instead of Phantom, there stood his missing student Daniel Fenton.
Lancer’s mouth dropped open, his eyes bugging out of his skull. His student … was Phantom? His student … was dead?
There was suddenly a lump in his throat and he had to swallow heavily to keep the tears down. Daniel was dead. How? When? Suddenly far too many things about Daniel’s concerning behavior made far too much sense. The way he always disappeared whenever ghosts appeared. The missing homework and assignments, the constant tardiness, falling asleep in class, the grades that had plummeted a few months ago. All of it had started right around when Phantom first started to appear. His student had been dead for months and he hadn't noticed.
The sound of Daniel cursing brought him out of his mind. He peered back into the cafeteria and saw that Daniel had pulled his t-shirt up to study the slash across the ribs, at the same place Phantom had been wounded. Except now he was bleeding red instead of green. A very human color. But on the other hand, Daniel looked very human overall right now. That white ring must have been some sort of shapeshifting power, making him appear human. That would explain why no one had ever figured out they were the same. Though now when he knew, the similarities between ghost and boy were glaring.
“Yeah, this will absolutely need stitches”, Daniel said, sighing as if it was a minor annoyance instead of a serious wound. “Damn it, no way I’ll get it done before school resumes again. I really don’t need Mr Lancer to give me another detention.”
Lancer’s stomach flipped. He had been giving Daniel an awful lot of detention, in hope that it would make the boy change his ways. He had been so clever and hard working at the beginning of the year and it had pained Lancer to see his grades slip. He’d thought that some pushing would turn the trend around. Shame and guilt bubbled up in him. Phantom had been seen fighting ghosts at all hours of the day and night. And on top of all the ghost fights, ghost hunters kept coming after him. His own parents kept hunting him. And Lancer had only made his life harder.
There had to be something he could do to help Daniel. He was just a kid and way in over his head. But as Lancer looked around the wrecked cafeteria and thought back to all the battles he’d seen the boy fight, he had the sour realization that there wasn’t much he could do. He had no idea how to fight ghosts. He didn’t know anything about first aid besides putting a bandaid over a cut. The Great Gatsby, he couldn't even go to the CPS about the abuse Daniel’s parents were subjecting him to, not without outing him as a ghost. There was nothing he could do.
Nothing he could do except …
Lancer snuck back through the school to the gym. The shield had automatically deactivated once the ghosts disappeared and the other teachers had started to corral the students back to their classrooms. He caught sight of Samantha and Tucker whispering to each other. When they saw him they eyed him warily and he did his best to keep his face neutral. At least it seemed Daniel had two loyal friends to help him.
In hindsight it was obvious they were Phantom’s mysterious human helpers that many an Amity Parker had theorized existed but couldn’t confirm. They constantly had an excuse ready as to why Daniel was missing and more than one time they too had been absent during ghost fights, presumably to help their friend fight. It left a sour feeling in Lancer’s stomach to know three teenagers were this city’s first line of defense, but he also had to accept there was nothing he could do about that.
Lancer didn’t say anything to either of them, just collected his class and led them back to the classroom. The students were so used to ghost fights by now, that it only took a couple of minutes before they had calmed down enough that he could continue the lesson.
A few minutes later, the door to the classroom opened and Daniel stuck his head in, a resigned expression on his face. Lancer suppressed a grimace, feeling his shame bubble up again. He nodded at the boy, not stopping his lecture, and felt even more ashamed at how confused but relieved Daniel looked when he wasn’t given detention. He slunk back to his seat, between Tucker and Samantha, who finally relaxed now when their friend had returned safely.
Yes, there wasn’t much Lancer could do to help. Not up against supernatural beings that could tear buildings apart with their bare hands. Not when his student was the only one that could stand up against them.
But at the very least he could make school a little bit easier for him. That, and keep the boys secret safe.
2. The A-listers
“I’m telling you!” Wes yelled and Dash sighed, already annoyed despite the other boy barely having started talking. Next to him Paulina rolled her eyes and started examining her nails, perfect as always. Star and Kwan followed their lead, acting annoyed but indifferent. “Danny Fenton is Phantom! Just listen to the names! Danny Fenton, Danny Phantom, it’s practically the same. And they look the same too, except for the color change!”
Paulina gasped, affronted. She marched up to Wes and pointed one long nail at his nose. Wes immediately shut up, carefully taking a step back. “My darling perfect Phantom doesn't look anything like that little freak Fenton!”
Dash snorted. “Yeah and no way Fentoenail would have the guts to fight anything, let alone a ghost! He screams and runs away when someone as much as mentions ghosts. I wail on him all the time and I tell you, he’s a coward and a weakling. He’s nothing like Phantom.”
Wes swallowed, but that fanatic glow was still shining in his eyes. “I’m telling you, Fenton is Phantom and I’ll prove it to you! I’ll prove it to everyone!”
Dash cracked his knuckles and Wes covered. “If you weren’t a sports bro I’d give you a wailing for saying such things about Phantom. Phantom is a hero, the best hero ever! And I won’t have you compare him to Fentino. Now, scram.”
Wes gave them all a sour look, but did as commanded. He hurried away from them, probably looking for his next victim to ambush with his theory. Paulina snorted, an undignified sound she only made when no one but the A-listers were around, and leaned against Dash.
“What a loser. I can’t believe I almost let him be an A-lister. His whole obsession over Fenton and Phantom is so creepy! Those two are as different as two people can be. Last week he tried to prove it by saying that Phantom only ever appears where Fenton is, which is crazy! Phantom is seen all over town. Like here at school, by the Nasty Burger, the mall and arcade, the old observatory…” her voice grew weaker and weaker until eventually she stopped talking altogether. Dash gave her a confused look. Paulina was frowning, which she almost never did as she claimed it would give her wrinkles.
He had to shake her to break her out of whatever stupe she’d fallen in. She startled and then chuckled, though it sounded forced. “Anyhow, it’s crazy! If nothing else you can’t be dead and alive at the same time.”
“Don’t you remember a few weeks ago?” Star suddenly said, voice serious. She was tapping her finger against her chin in thought. “When we all suddenly got ghost powers for a short while? None of us were dead.”
“T-that doesn't mean anything. It was just a freak one time thing … thing! Don’t say you believe Wes now, Star?”
Star immediately raised her hands and shook her hands. “Of course not! I’m just saying being human and being a ghost at the same time maybe isn’t such an impossible thing. But no way Fenton and Phantom are the same.”
“That’s right!” Paulina said, voice hard as steel. “Let’s forget this foolish thing and just go to class.”
“Yeah, come on”, Dash said. But when he sat in class that day, he kept stealing glances of Fenton, wondering. And based on the way Paulina and the other A-listers did the same, he was sure none of them had forgotten it either.
The subject wasn’t breached again until a few days later, when the four of them were hanging out together at Paulina’s house. Paulina and Star were doing each other’s nails while they were chatting about what had happened at school and different ghost fights that day. It was in the middle of talking about how handsome Phantom had looked while fighting the technology ghost that Paulina paused.
“Do … do you guys remember what Wes said?” she asked, her voice uncharacteristically weak.
“Wes says a lot of things”, Kwan said.
“The things he said about … Fenton being Phantom”, Paulina clarified. The other A-listers immediately straightened up, staring at her.
“Lina, you don’t believe him, do you?” Star asked.
“No!” she immediately protested, then paused. “Maybe…” when the others all opened their mouths to protest she held up her hands, silencing them. “It's just … the more I think about it the more Wes is right about some things. Like Phantom and Fenton always appearing close to each other. And like Star said, there was that one time we all had ghost powers, and we weren’t dead. So maybe … Fenton is Phantom?”
Kwan shook his head. “But surely his parents would have noticed? They’re ghost hunters! If Fenton is Phantom surely they wouldn’t be constantly hunting him?”
“Lots of parents hurt their kids for less than that”, Dash muttered and Kwan leaned over to put a hand on his shoulder. They all looked at him in sympathy and he shuffled in discomfort. He didn’t want their pity. “Just saying.”
“I know I was the one to say we had ghost powers without being ghosts so technically Danny could have ghost powers”, Star piped up, breaking the tension. “But I was just saying stuff, I didn’t actually believe it.”
“Yeah, but it makes too much sense and Wes has a lot of evidence”, Paulina said. She groaned and was about to bury her hands in her hair before she remembered the wet nail polish and stopped with a jerk.
“Maybe … we can get some evidence”, Star said, looking contemplative.
“What kind of evidence?” Kwan said at the same time as Dash said: “How?”
She bit her lip. “Well … if Fenton really is Phantom, we should be able to catch him in the act. So what if we trap Fenton in something that he can only escape with ghost powers and then film him to see what he does? Dash stuffs him in lockers all the time so we could do that, no one would even think it strange. And then we make sure his friends can’t come save him and put up a camera to film what happens. And boom, we have proof.”
“Star!” Paulina said with a squeal. “You’re a genius! Let's do it. Either we find Fenton really is Phantom or we can put this silly thing behind us forever.”
It took a couple of days to get it all together and to get an opportunity to corner Fenton alone. The boy seemed to disappear the moment everyone’s back was turned to him and then he’d reappear a bit later without anyone seeing him return. Not to mention that Phantom did show up whenever Fenton was missing. The A-listers were starting to feel more confident about their plan, but also more scared about it. They needed proof, definite proof, one way or the other to finally be able to put this all behind them.
And a week after their talk at Paulina’s house, the plan was in motion. Fenton was alone in the corridor, his friends nowhere to be seen, so Dash marched up to him.
“Fentonio!” He yelled and Fenton startled, jumping high in the air. He swirled around and for a moment Dash could have sworn his eyes were green, then he blinked and they were blue - as they always were.
“H-hello Dash”, Fenton stammered out and backed away as Dash stalked closer. He backed all the way into the lockers and looked like he wanted to back right through them too if he could. “Can we not do this today?”
Dash smirked, though beneath it there was a touch of unease. If Fenton really was Phantom he was about to beat up his hero. “What? Have somewhere to be, freak?”
“Kinda, yeah, not that you would understand.”
“Are you messing with me?” He cracked his knuckles and Fenton cringed at the sound. “You’ll regret that.”
“Now, let's just calm down and let me go for today. I really am in a rush. You can wail on me twice as hard tomorrow if you want.”
“Ha! No way!” He grabbed Fenton by the front of his shirt and lifted him up by it until the shorter boy was forced to stand on his tiptoes or he’d be strangled. “I’m not letting you get away from me today. Into the locker you go.”
“Dash! No wait!” Fenton protested and tried to wriggle out of his grip, but Dash only hauled him up by his arm. He pulled Fenton forward to have room to access the locker behind him - Kwan’s locker to be precise. They had all cleared enough space in their lockers to room the boy so that Dash could put him in whichever was closest. All to make sure he couldn't escape.
He opened it and then pushed Fenton inside, not caring for his loud protests and kicking legs. Though a part of him wondered at Fenton’s restraint. Because if he was Phantom, then he’d seen him kick through metal and brick walls. He could have easily kicked Dash with enough force to break free. Dash certainly would have.
The locker closed, cutting off Fenton’s voice. The moment it closed his friends rushed out from where they’d been hiding around the corner. Opposite the locker they quickly set up a small camera to film whatever would occur. Hopefully, it was small enough that Fenton wouldn’t notice it if he was Phantom.
Once the other A-listers were done they all hurried away from the scene, going to the football field to wait. Dash and Kwan threw a football between each other while Star and Paulina practiced some light cheerleading moves. They waited about an hour before returning to the lockers.
The camera was still there and the girls quickly took it down. Kwan and Dash on the other hand walked over to the locker and opened it. It was empty. Now, that didn’t have to mean anything by itself. Any number of people could have walked by and heard Fenton, therefore helping him out. But it still made Dash’s stomach tingle with excitement and a bit of fear.
The four of them hurried out of school and back to Paulina’s place. Once they had all settled in place so they could see the small screen of the camera, she let it play. They could see themselves standing around the camera before hurrying away. Then, for several minutes nothing happened. Dash started to wiggle in place, feeling inpatient, but Paulina snapped at him to sit still.
Then, as the five minute mark of the video passed, there was a bright flash of light from inside the locker. It blinded the camera for a moment. Once the light died down, a translucent head stuck out through the locker. A moment later the whole body followed suit. Except, they weren’t staring at Fenton, but at Phantom.
Their town’s ghostly superhero landed on his feet in the corridor and stretched out his back with a series of cracks. “Man”, he said, and they startled at his echoing voice. “Those locker’s don’t get any bigger.” He looked at something above the camera and groaned. “Oh no! I’m already late for the meet up with Tucker and Sam. Damn that Dash! Of all days to stick me in a locker he has to choose the day when I have to go to the Far Frozen for an appointment.”
With another groan, he jumped into the air and stayed there, floating, before turning invisible and disappearing.
The video continued playing, showing an empty corridor, but none of the A-listers moved to turn it off. They looked at each other, mouth agape, then turned back to the camera where Phantom … Fenton had disappeared.
“Did that just happen?” Paulina whispered, almost afraid to raise her voice. Afraid of what, she didn’t know.
“Yeah”, Dash breathed, as he felt the same fear. Fenton was Phantom. Wes was right.
They looked at each other for a few more seconds before Star jerked forward, scooping up the camera. Before either of them could protest - not that any of them would - she was deleting the video. Dash shivered, that thing was dangerous. No one else could be allowed to see it. And as they looked at each other, they all silently decided to not say a word.
The next day at school Dash didn’t search Fenton out to wail at him like he usually did. In fact, he didn’t try to bully any of his usual targets. There was a heavy, sour feeling in his stomach. Phantom was a hero … Fenton was a hero. He had been beating a hero up. And Fenton had never retaliated, despite having the strength to literally throw buses with the same ease Dash threw footballs.
He and the other A-listers were all subdued, and kept glancing at each other. None of them had spoken about yesterday and none could do that now either. Saying it out loud meant acknowledging it. Meant having to face their guilt for all the things they’ve done to their hero.
But then, Wes went up to them. “You have to see this! Once you have, I know you will believe me about Fenton being Phantom.”
Before any of them could say anything, he’d pulled out two photographs. One was of Danny Fenton, the other of Danny Phantom. Both were obviously taken without the boy noticing the photographer, though the Phantom one was much blurrier. Despite that, it was unmistakable now when they knew. The boys in the photographs looked exactly the same except for the color of their hair and eyes. Because they were the same.
Dash and Paulina looked at each other, then at Kwan and Star. Without any of them saying anything they all came to the same decision.
“How dare you compare Fenton to Phantom!” Paulina screeched. “Phantom is perfect in every way and there is no way I’d date that loser Fenton. If you don’t stop this I’ll ruin your social standing - more than you’ve already ruined it yourself, anyhow.”
“Oh lay off, Wes”, Dash said with his best irritated grunt. “Fentonnail looks nothing like Phantom. Phantom is a hero, Fenton is a nobody.” He snatched the photographs from Wes before he could react and crumbled them, not caring for Wes’ protests. “You better stop doing this shit right now or I’ll give you the wailing of a lifetime! “
Star started counting up all sorts of differences between Fenton and Phantom while Kwan stepped up next to Dash to flex his muscles. Wes pailed. “O-okay, fine don’t believe me! One day I’ll prove you wrong!”
Wes turned tail and practically ran away from them, muttering the whole time. Dash relaxed and he could hear someone else sigh. He turned towards the others, sharing a shaky grin with them. None of them had been able to speak about what they saw that day, and none of them really knew how to act around Fenton now that they knew. But this they could do. They could keep their hero’s secret and make his life a little bit easier. It was the least they could do for the many times Fen- Phan- … Danny had saved their lives.
Valerie ducked beneath a missile fired by Skulker. It hit the tree behind her instead, blowing it to smithereens. Pieces of bark and wood rained down over her. She growled and fired up one of her guns, shooting back. It missed and Skulker gave her a cocky grin, which only made her angrier.
“Need a hand?” a new, far too familiar voice asked from her right. Phantom. The ghost she hated above any other - next to the ghost dog. He had destroyed her life! Val swung her gun around in his direction and fired. Unfortunately, the bastard dodged the shot. At least it made him back away from her, his hands held up in surrender.
“Welp!” Skulker yelled. “Finally you come out to play! I thought I would have to hunt you down. I, the ghost zone's greatest hunter, will defeat you today and take your pelt to hang on my wall!”
“Ugh, that will never not be disgusting”, Phantom said with a shudder. And though Valerie didn’t say anything, silently she agreed. Burning hatred for Phantom or not, when she finally took the ghost down, it would be swiftly. Even though ghosts didn’t feel any pain or other emotions, it would be wrong to drag out the final blow. “Give it up, Skulker, the only thing you can hunt is your own tail!”
“How dare you!” Skulker roared and sent another missile Phantom’s way. He dodged and instead it blew up another tree. In retaliation, Phantom charged up an ecto blast of his own, which hit Skulker’s missile launcher, blowing it to shreds. He growled, even more enraged now. “I will have your head for that!”
“You have to catch me first!” Phantom yelled back, as infuriatingly smug as always. God, Valerie wanted to shoot that look off his face, but out of the two of them, Skulker was the more dangerous enemy to the citizens of Amity Park. She had to focus on him. But once he was gone …
Skulker also seemed to find it infuriating, as he roared and activated several weapons on his suit at the same time. Valerie enjoyed Phantom’s ‘oh shit’ look for a second before the weapons fired. They all flew straight towards Phantom, but they also left Skulker vulnerable.
Valerie used the chance she had been given and fired a series of blasts at Skulker. They hit several more weapons, disabling them, and left a sizable dent in Skulker’s chestplate. Behind her she heard the sound of explosions followed by Phantom screaming out in pain, but didn’t bother turning around. He either made it or he didn’t, either way it didn’t matter to her.
“Stay out of this, little huntress”, Skulker growled and fired a net at her. It caught her board. A moment later electricity coursed through it, and though she was spared, it disabled the board. Her heart jumped into her throat as the board went into free fall.
Luckily, they hadn’t been far above the ground and she could jump into the soft grass. Rolling to diminish the force of impact even more, she only gained bruises from the fall. But as she got up on her knees, another net fell over her. Her arms got tangled and she growled in frustration as she couldn't get free.
Skulker floated down to her with a cruel smirk on his metallic face. He had a gun trained right at her. “Say goodbye.”
“Goodbye”, Phantom said, landing before Valerie and blasting Skulker away. The ghost boy was covered in soot and in several places his suit had been torn, green ectoplasm dripping from wounds. He was favoring one leg over the other.
Blast after blast Phantom sent Skulker’s way, making him take step after step backwards under the immense force. Then, there was a sudden chill in the air and Valerie knew what was about to happen. Ice spread rapidly from Phantom’s feet, covering the grass and reaching Skulker in a matter of seconds. It climbed up Skulker’s body, freezing him in place all the way up to his chest.
Now when the immediate threat was over, Valerie concentrated on cutting herself free of the net. She summoned an ecto knife from her suit and it easily cut through the net. Meanwhile, she could hear Skulker swearing, then the sound of metal tearing. Skulker’s voice abruptly became high pitched and tiny, telling her that Phantom had managed to pull the head off to reach the tiny ghost inside.
“I will get my revenge for this, welp!” Skulker was yelling. “One day I will have your pelt on my wall!
“Yeah, yeah”, Phantom said with a sigh. “Save it for someone who cares.” And then the sound of Phantom's signature thermos activating could be heard, as well as Skulker’s enraged screams. Then silence.
Which meant Valerie now only had seconds to spare before Phantom disappeared. She tore the net off her and summoned an ecto weapon. In front of her, Phantom was panting lightly in a mockery of breath, his hands pressed against his side. Green ectoplasm was leaking through his fingers sluggishly. With a groan he slowly rose into the air.
Valerie grinned in triumph. Phantom’s wounds made him much slower than usual. Rather than disappearing in the blink of an eye, he seemed to have trouble staying afloat at all. He made a pitiful sight. Unfortunately for Phantom, she had no sympathy for ghostly pests.
Taking aim right at his back, Valerie fired. The shot hit bullseye. With a scream, Phantom fell to the ground, a burn on his back already leaking more ectoplasm. He hit the ground with a thud and didn’t get up again.
“Ha! I finally got you!” She yelled and sprang to her feet, hurrying over to Phantom. He might still get away if she didn't hurry and catch him immediately. But as she neared Phantom’s prone form, a white light appeared at his waist. She slowed, fearing this was some new sort of attack, and looked on in wary confusion as the light became a ring around his waist. A ring that split into two, one traveling up his body towards his head and the other towards his feet.
Everywhere the rings traveled, Phantom’s body changed. A white t-shirt and jeans replaced the black and white jumpsuit. Sneakers replaced white boots. And black hair replaced white. Valerie’s heart dropped into her stomach.
That … that was Danny Fenton, who she would recognize anywhere.
Frozen in place, she could only stare at the boy who had replaced the ghost. Danny Fenton and Danny Phantom. Boy and ghost. Friend and enemy. They were one and the same. And she had just shot him in the back.
That last thought finally unfroze her limbs, sending her scrambling forwards. She threw herself to her knees at his side and pulled his shirt up. At his back, right where she’d shot Phantom, was a burn mark, bleeding red.
I shot him, I shot Danny, she thought, feeling as if she was about to throw up. Memories of Dani rose to her mind unbridled. Dani, the halfa. Dani who she and Phantom had saved together, and who had looked so much like Phantom. Hadn’t they called each other cousins? She should have seen it earlier. They were both halfas. And she had just shot him.
Tears blurred her eyesight and she deactivated her helmet to viciously wipe at them. She had no right to cry. Not until she had helped Danny. At least she always carried a first aid bag with her, in case she or any civilian got hurt. She pulled it out, throwing things out wildly until she found the burn cream. She slathered it thickly over Danny’s back and even unconscious his breath hitched in pain.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry”, she repeated, almost like a mantra, as she treated the wound. Once she had covered it in gauze she turned him around, remembering that he’d had more wounds from the fights. The sight of his face made a fresh wave of tears fall down her face. How could she not have seen it before? Danny and Phantom looked exactly alike except for the color change.
Sniffing, she pulled his shirt up and started to clean out the cuts and burns she found all over his chest. Feeling across the ribs, she also feared that a couple of them might be broken, but there was nothing she could do about that. Past observations always showed that Phantom had completely healed from any wounds between battles, so she could only hope that Danny had the same ability to heal even in human form.
The thought to take him to the hospital briefly passed through her mind before she discarded it. If she didn’t want to go to the hospital because she didn’t want to answer any questions about how she got injured, she imagined Danny would want to go to a hospital even less.
Soon enough all wounds she could find had been bandaged. A few had looked deep enough that they might need stitches, which she couldn't do here, out in the open and exposed. She let herself fall backwards into a sitting position, staring at her bloodied hands. Tears landed on them, creating small clean spots.
Danny was Phantom and she had just shot him in the back. She could have killed him. Oh god, what was she going to do now? There was no way he’d forgive her for this! And she wasn't sure she even deserved it. She’d hunted him for months! She’d hurt him countless times!
Was a part of her even more angry now than before? Yes. Danny had dated her despite being Phantom at the time. And he had still played a role in destroying her life, though now she couldn't help but think about all the times he’d tried to explain that the damned dog hadn’t been his.
She … she needed time to think, to process. And before she’d done that she couldn't talk to Danny about this. Not until she knew how she felt.
Looking over his unconscious form, she grimaced. She couldn't leave him like this either.
Slowly, she got back on her feet and walked over to her hoverboard. With her knife she cut the net off and once she’d done that it came back to life. Stepping onto it, she willed it to shift to become bigger; big enough for two people, one sitting down and other lying in their lap. She floated over to Danny and pulled him into her arms. He groaned in pain and she stiffened, afraid he was waking up, but after a few seconds he remained unmoving.
At least it was dark outside, meaning no one would see her flying slowly through Amity towards Fentonworks. Danny remained unconscious the whole way and if it hadn't been for the steady rise and fall of his chest, she would be freaking out. She still was of course, but at least he was alive - kinda. To her relief she discovered that his bedroom window was open upon arrival. Small mercies. She floated through the window and over to his bed. There, she gently laid him down and pulled the covers over him.
She hesitated for a moment, looking down on his unconscious form. His brow was furrowed and sometimes while taking a deep breath, he would grimace as in pain. She pushed his black hair out of his face, smoothing it down, and leaned in to whisper.
“I truly am sorry, Danny. And … once I’m ready I’ll tell you that when you’re awake too.” And with those last words she turned her back on him and disappeared back through the window, her mind whirling.
Maddie had Phantom in her sights. While she much preferred close range weapons, she knew how to use all of the weapons she and her husband created together. And considering how elusive this one ghost had shown itself prone to be, sometimes subterfuge was necessary. Which is why she was currently hiding behind a couple of bushes late at night, her gun trained right at the ghost.
It was floating on its back a couple of meters in the air, right in the middle of the park. Its ectoplasm green eyes were trained on the cloudless night sky above, trailing them across the stars visible. It reminded her a bit of her son, Danny. He used to always sneak out on cloudless nights to catch a peak of the stars. There had been many times she’d caught him red handed and sent him off to bed. But it had always been with an exaggerated fondness. Her little astronaut, dreaming of the stars. Not like now, when she found him sneaking in and out of the house constantly, cloudless sky or not, and refusing to tell her why.
With a shake of her head, she forced all thoughts of Danny away. She couldn’t allow herself distractions right now. Phantom was before her, not her son, and this might be her one chance to take it down.
She aimed right at the ghost’s back and squeezed the trigger. The shot went off, loud in the still night, and Phantom started to turn towards it, eyes opened wide in faked alarm. Its sudden movement made the shot miss dead center, but it hit the ghost on the shoulder. With a cry meant to imitate a human's cry of pain in an attempt to manipulate her, the ghost dropped from the sky. It landed with a heavy thud on the ground, hand clutching its shoulder. Green ectoplasm was slowly trickling from the wound.
Maddie jumped out of her cover, gun aimed at the ghost’s head. Now she had the opportunity to take it out once and for all. The ghost paled when it caught sight of her.
“M-mom?” It said, its voice perfectly replicating how Danny sounded when afraid. Maddie froze in place, breath caught in her lungs. In that moment Phantom looked eerily like her son. Hurt and bleeding because of her.
A moment later, she shook the nostalgia off. This was not her son. This was a ghost. An imprint of post-human consciousness. It was just trying to imitate her son to manipulate her. Enraged, she raised her gun to fire at it again, but in that moment it turned invisible. Swearing silently, she turned on the special layer in her goggles that made her able to see ghosts even when invisible. But Phantom was still nowhere to be seen. It must have turned intangible and slid into the ground. The ghost was gone.
“Damn it, I was so close!” she swore and her shoulders slumped in defeat. She had allowed herself a moment of weakness, had fallen for its manipulation, and it had allowed it to escape.
Defeated, she decided to call it a night and return home. No way the ghost would allow itself to be caught off guard again anytime soon. But Maddie could be patient. She’d get it next time.
The next morning Maddie went about her morning routine as she always did. Putting on the coffee, taking a shower, getting dressed and starting on breakfast. Then, once it became clear Danny wasn’t getting up by himself - like usual - she went to wake him up.
Knocking on the door didn't result in any answer but that was normal. She opened the door and walked inside, seeing Danny sleeping on his side. The room was a mess, like normal, and she sighed. But there was one thing in particular that caught her eye. She frowned and walked closer, noticing the corner of a first aid bag sticking out from under the bed. She pulled it out and her heart started beating a bit quicker at just how much of the bandages had been used up.
She and Jack had been concerned for months since Danny had been drawing away from them, staying out late, sneaking out at all hours of the day. And sometimes he’d be injured. But no matter how many times they tried to ask him about it, he refused to answer. They were worried he’d gotten into some sort of trouble, maybe a gang, maybe the bullying had just become worse. Whatever it was, it must be bad to have transformed their happy child into the miserable teenager he now was.
Maddie reached out to shake Danny’s shoulder but jumped back in surprise when Danny woke up with a loud cry. His hand flew to the shoulder she had touched, his whole face scrunching up in pain. As she watched he slowly sat up in bed, winching. He was injured.
“Danny!” she exclaimed, worry lacing thick in her stomach. “You’re hurt! Let me help you!”
She reached out towards him again but stopped when he flinched away from her, a look of fear on his face. Hurt joined the worry in her stomach, making her feel sick. He didn’t trust her, he seemed afraid of her.
“I’m fine!” Danny said in a high pitched voice, clearly lying. “Perfectly peachy.”
“Danny”, she said in her disappointed mom voice. He grimaced but only insisted again that he was fine. Maddie sighed. “If you don’t want to tell me you don’t have to, but just … please try to be more careful in the future?”
The look he gave her was sour, so much so that she wanted to reprimand him for it, but he was obviously in pain right now so she’d let it slide. “I’ll try.” Under his breath, so quiet she barely heard him, he said, “I’ll dodge next time.”
“Well, go get gleaned up and come down for breakfast. And better hurry with it or you’ll be late for school.” Danny nodded and she left his room to give him privacy. Though she couldn’t help worrying about his wound.
How had he gotten hurt? And so bad he needed bandages? Why did he not want to talk to her or Jack about it? It just didn’t make any sense!
She sat down at the dinner table, taking a deep sip from her cup. As she did, unbridled the memory of last night popped into her head. You shot Phantom in that same shoulder, a voice whispered in the back of her head. She frowned and shook her head to dispel the thought. What did it matter if Phantom got hurt in the same shoulder as Danny? That had nothing to do with each other. Must be her mind playing tricks on her since Phantom calling her mom had thrown her off her game.
The next clue she didn’t see in person, but on the news. Lance Thunder was reporting on the most recent ghost fight. It’s a rerun from earlier that day, or she and Jack would already be on the way to the scene to fight the ghost themselves.
It was a fight between Phantom and that technology ghost that causes so many problems for the city. In both property damage and in the amount of blackouts it has caused. As usual, Phantom arrived only moments after the ghost appeared. Maddie and Jack had built more and more sophisticated systems for detecting ghosts and had made the Fenton Assault VehicleTM faster and yet they always appear minutes after Phantom. Even the other ghost hunter, the Red Huntress, was usually faster than them. Though at least the GIW were the slowest of them all to appear. Still, it was infuriating that a ghost was better at ghost hunting than them.
As usual, Phantom was also very quick at dealing with the ghost. Jack and Maddie didn’t get there until the fight was already over. Lance Thunder catching the fight on camera was pure luck, as usually he too is too late to the scene. Apparently he and his crew had already been nearby to film something else when the ghosts appeared.
At least it gave Maddie a chance to observe the ghosts, to try and gauge any weaknesses from the footage.
The fight was fast and Phantom threw around its usual infuriating quips. Within ten minutes the ghost was defeated, though she couldn’t really tell how Phantom had defeated the technology ghost. One minute they had been exchanging blows, the technology ghost seeming to have the upper hand, and the next all the electronics it was using had just stopped working. But she guessed it was too much to ask for a ghost - non-sentient as they were - to have any sort of finesse while controlling items.
Phantom had come out victorious, though with a big gash across its shin, dripping ectoplasm in a steady stream down on the ground. As usual, within moments of it having sucked the other ghost into its stolen Fenton thermos, Phantom disappeared. When she and Jack had appeared at the scene moments later, it was gone without a trace.
Truly infuriating that, Phantom’s ability to go up in smoke. None of the other ghosts shared that ability and they couldn’t figure out how it did it.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the front door opening. She turned around and saw Danny walk into the house. She smiled at him but didn’t get one in return. Instead Danny frowned at her before looking away.
Not letting that deter her, she started up a conversation. “How was school, darling?”
“Good”, Danny mumbled, not meeting her eyes.
“You didn’t get another detention, did you?” she asked, her tone sharper. He’d gotten far too many of those lately and despite the number of groundings they had given him, nothing seemed to help.
“No, not today. Everything was fine.” He still wasn’t looking at her though and before she could say anything else he turned and walked towards the kitchen, probably to get a snack. As he walked, she noticed that he was limping. Her heart sank into her stomach. He was injured again. But, considering how he responded every time she asked about his health, she knew he would deny being hurt if she brought it up.
Sighing, she watched him limp away before turning to the TV again. It was showing the best moments from the fight, including the moment Phantom floated victorious over its fallen opponent. Her eye caught on its injured leg. The same leg Danny had been favoring.
Another injury shared between Danny and Phantom. But no … no, it was just a coincidence. A ghost couldn't be human and a human couldn't be a ghost. It was literally impossible, as ectoplasm couldn't coexist with living material. If she so much as mentioned such a possibility to any other ghost hunter they’d laugh in her face. The time the students of Casper High momentarily gained ghost powers had been a fluke. A one time thing caused by a ghost infecting them with ectoplasm. It would have eventually killed the students if they hadn’t been cured. If Danny was Phantom he would have to be dead and her son was not dead.
Danny could not be Phantom.
But despite that thought, she couldn’t help but notice a very worrisome pattern. Almost obsessively, she started to watch all new battles Phantom engaged in. Not to find a weakness - even if she told Jack that was why she was doing it, as she was not ready to admit even to him what she had started to suspect deep down - but to see where and how he - it - had been wounded. Then she would compare it with Danny.
The picture it painted was damning. The small wounds - tiny cuts and bruises - she could not find on her son’s body. But the big ones? The big ones were there. Danny would limp when Phantom injured a leg. He’d wince when she hugged him if Phantom got a hit to the ribs. He’d shy away from shoulder pats if Phantom had taken a blast to them.
Danny kept getting injured in the same places Phantom got injured.
Maddie didn’t know what to think. Her mind felt scrambled, as if someone had put her brain through a mixer. She didn’t know what to do, especially since Danny refused to talk to her, would barely even look at her.
She just … had to know.
It was the middle of the night when Maddie peeked into Danny’s room. She sighed soundlessly at finding him in bed, sleeping, for once. At least he was here, safe, right now.
She sneaked into the room on silent feet, tiptoeing over dirty clothes, schoolbooks and a random plate lying on his floor. Right up to his bed she sneaked. Danny was lying on his stomach, something she knew he usually never did. But she also remembered Phantom earlier that evening getting knocked back first into the ground with such force it created quite a sizable crater. If her earlier observations held true, Danny was sleeping on his stomach because he had hurt his back.
Usually, she would have confirmed the latest injury already, while he was awake. It was quite easy to sneak in a pat down disguised as a motherly pat on the back. But this last week Danny had started to avoid all touch, from both her and Jack. She had a sinking feeling it was because all her touches had hurt him lately.
But it left her with no choice, even if it made her feel creepy. She had to check if he was injured while he was asleep.
Inch by inch she peeled back the comforter to expose Danny’s pajama clad body. Halfway through the motion, she froze, as Danny mumbled something and shifted. After a few seconds though, he stilled again. At least she could pretend she was putting the comforter back if he woke and noticed her here.
Eventually, the comforter was pulled back far enough and she left it to pool by Danny’s hips. She grabbed hold of the bottom of the pajama shirt and was about to pull it up when Danny shifted in his sleep again. A whine left his lips and then something that sounded like a choked off sob.
Once again, Danny settled down after a few seconds and she started to pull the shirt up. A white bandage came into sight, wrapped around Danny’s back. She pulled the shirt up further and saw that the bandage extended across his whole ribcage. In one place at the dead center of his back, the bandages even had a dark spot. Blood. Sighing warily, she started to pull his shirt back again, now when she had confirmed that Danny once again was injured in the same place as Phantom had been that day.
Before she could though, Danny started to whimper and then to speak. Frozen in place, she could only listen and hope she hadn’t woken him.
“No”, he mumbled, so quiet she could barely hear him over the beating of her own heart. “P-please no… don’t hurt me.”
Maddie felt like crying. She didn’t know why Danny kept getting hurt, but she suspected Phantom had somehow created a bond between itself and her son. Maybe the ghost transferred the wound to her son. Either way, she hated herself for failing to protect Danny. She should probably wake him up, free him from his terrible nightmare. But she hesitated. If she listened in, maybe Danny would reveal what was troubling him. Considering he was so tight lipped while awake it might be her only chance to figure it out.
“P-please, I’m still your son”, Danny begged and Maddie’s blood froze to ice in her veins. What? “I p-promise, I’m still Danny. No! Don’t hurt me, mom! I’m still Danny!”
It felt like a ghost had reached intangibly through her chest and ripped her lungs out. She just couldn't seem to breathe properly. Tears started dripping down her face. Danny, her baby boy, was afraid of her. She had never before felt more like a huge failure of a parent. Her dad had raised her with the idea that fearing and respecting him was more important than trust and love and she had promised herself to do better. And yet here she was, listening to her son having a nightmare about her hurting him.
She just… had no idea what could have caused her son to have so little trust in her. To fear her.
"Mom, no! I'm still human! I'm only half ghost! P-please don't dissect me! I'm still me!"
She gasped, horror freezing the blood in her veins into ice. Half ghost. What did that mean? It was impossible to be half ghost. Except … those kids did have ghost powers for a while. And ever since Danny got into that accident with the portal she and Jack had known he was a bit ecto contaminated. A human could have some ectoplasm in them.
And … The memory arose of Phantom floating on his back, admiring the stars. So much like Danny lying on his back on the roof, admiring the stars. Phantom spotting her and calling her mom, looking and sounding so much like Danny that she’d frozen in place.
Phantom getting injured in the shoulder, Danny having a wound on his shoulder too. She looked down at his back and the huge bandage that covered it. Hadn’t she snuck in here tonight because she wanted to confirm if Phantom’s latest injury had been transferred to Danny or not? Had she not started to see more and more connections between the ghost and her son?
Half ghost, half human. Phantom wasn't transferring it’s- his injuries to Danny. Phantom was Danny.
It must have been the portal accident. There was no other explanation. Her baby had died - half died? - and she hadn't known. And Danny hadn’t trusted her enough to tell her. Instead, he feared her. Feared what she would do to him if she found out. Dissect rang through her head and she had to bite back a sob. Worst thing was that she couldn't even deny that Danny hadn’t had anything to fear. If she just a few hours earlier had gotten her hands on Phantom she would have dissected i- him. She had told Danny to his face that she wanted to dissect him.
She was the worst mother ever. And now she was too much of a coward to even reach out and wake Danny from his nightmare. Because … what if he woke up and was still afraid of her? What if he woke up and got more afraid than he’d been while having a nightmare?
Suddenly, she couldn't stand to be in here any longer, listening to her son having a nightmare about her hurting him. Gently as she could in her hurry to get out of here, she pulled his pajama top back into place and placed his comforter over his body again. Then she snuck out of the room, closing the door behind her.
She couldn't return to her and Jack’s bedroom. He was sleeping peacefully in there, unaware that her whole life had been turned on its head in a matter of seconds. Instead she stumbled down the stairs into the living room and curled up on the couch. She pulled a blanket over her, trying to stop the chills that made her whole body shake. Or maybe it was the sobs that made her shake.
Maddie didn’t know what to do. Her son was afraid of her. She knew she had to do something to make him not afraid of her again, but she didn't know what or how. If she just outright asked him about this she feared it would just make him spiral, make him more afraid of her.
And Jack! She had to tell him, but how? They had been abusing their son, she knew it would absolutely crush him to find out. Jack loved his children, he would hate himself for hurting them.
Well, one thing was clear at least. She would stop hunting Phantom. She would never again make a weapon that could hurt her son, never again make any indication that she even wanted to hurt him. She would make herself into a person Danny could trust again, until he felt safe enough to tell her himself. And if he didn’t trust her … then she would accept that too.
5. Literally just … so many people
“I’m going ghost!” could be heard echoing through the mall and the dozen of people who had hidden away behind the counter in the food mall peered over said counter as a flash of bright white light almost blinded them. In front of them were Danny Fenton, the ghost hunters’ son. There was a bright white ring around his waist. The ring split into two and one traveled up his body, the other down. Wherever they went they transformed the boy, turning him into Danny Phantom, the resident town hero.
The boy? Ghost? The ghost boy jumped into the air and flew towards the other ghost in the mall, a huge ghost bunny. Meanwhile, the people behind the counter slowly slid back down under cover. They all looked at each other in shock.
“Danny Phantom is … alive? And he’s Danny Fenton, the son of our ghost hunters?” One brave soul said, the others nodded numbly. “We … we can’t tell anyone about this ever, can we?” They all shock their heads in silent agreement. “Alright … let's try and forget that ever happened.”
So when the fight ended and Danny Phantom turned into Danny Fenton with another bright flash, the people behind the counter stayed huddled there for another few minutes until the boy had left. Silently, they climbed out of their hiding place and went about their day. Though the next time each person who had been present saw their hero, they yelled an encouraging word or two at him. The painfully young boy looked at them in surprise before a happy grin spread over his face.
Lance Thunder was smoothing down his hair, anxiously looking towards the ghost current wreaking havoc a couple of meters from them. It was that technology ghost. Tetanus or something. He glanced at the camera. “Are we live yet?”
“Not yet, we’re having some technological problems”, his camera man reported back and fiddled with the settings on the camera he carried.
“Alright, let me know when we start, I always embarrass myself in front of the camera because you never warn me. I swear, sometimes I wonder if you want to em-”
“I’m going ghost!” The loud yell interrupted Lance mid sentence and he turned, annoyed, to see who it was. It was Daniel Fenton, those dreadful ghost hunters’ son. He stood in an alley a few meters from them, his back to them. His arms were raised above his head and with a bright flash a white ring appeared around his waist. It moved across his body, revealing a black and white hazmat suit. In just a few seconds Danny Phantom, town hero, had taken the boy’s place.
A second later, Phantom was flying towards the ghost in the distance, yelling out a taunt and hitting it in the face. Lance was left staring in shock over what he’d just seen. The ghost hunters’ son was a ghost. Their hero was a teenager who was hunted by his own parents. And the whole town, Lance included, had at least at one point been hostile towards him. A teenager. A child.
Abruptly, he remembered the camera. The cameraman’s mouth had also fallen open in shock. “Please tell me you didn't catch that on live video”, Lance all but begged.
The cameraman shook himself and then the same fear Lance felt entered his eyes. He turned towards the camera and examined it for an agonizing few seconds before breathing out in relief. “No, we’re still having problems connecting to the network.”
Lance sagged against the brick wall he was hiding behind. “Thank God! There’s no way his parents wouldn’t have found out if it’d been sent live and I don’t want to be the one responsible for Phantom getting dissected - or is it vivisected? - by them.” He sent a hard glare at his cameraman. “We keep quiet about this, you hear me?”
“Loud and clear!” the cameraman squeaked.
A moment later the camera finally came to life and Lance Thunder smoothed his hair into place with a big smile, starting his reporting. No mention of Phantom being alive was made that day.
Police officer Jason Bergstrom sighed and massaged his temples. “Sir”, he called out as his captain walked past his station. The older man paused, and even before Jason had said anything, his face was morphing into an expression of exasperation. “Another traffic camera caught Fenton transforming on tape.”
The captain sighed. “God damn it. Yo, Carl!” he called out and the other police officer looked up from his computer. “He got caught again.”
Carl groaned and reluctantly got up from his seat to walk over to the wall. There hung a small whiteboard. On the top it said “days since our last incident” and beneath it was a big three. Carl erased the three and wrote down a zero instead. More police officers had noticed the comotion and a few bills of money exchanged hands. Most just looked exhausted though.
The captain turned back to Jason. “Any signs of injuries?”
“Not what I could tell, but the video is dark and from far away. At least he wasn’t limping or showing any obvious signs of injury. Doesn't say much, considering how good he appears to be at hiding injuries.”
“Alright, well you know what to do.”
Jason nodded and turned back to the computer to delete the footage. When he became a police officer he had not imagined he’d be spending most of his day looking over the city’s video footage. Not for any signs of crime - those were rare outside of ghost related ones - but for any camera that might have caught the resident ghost hunters' son on tape transforming into the town's ghostly superhero.
“Are you sure there isn’t anything more we can do for the boy?” Carl asked.
“We’ve been over this already”, the captain said. “Ghosts don’t have any legal rights, meaning if we went to the government with our concerns they’d take the boy away for experimentation. The only thing we can do is send child protective services the Fentons’ way, but considering they keep returning without any incidents to report despite we all knowing that house is one huge OSHA violation, the kid must be overshadowing the workers to turn them away. So unless you wanna be the one responsible for a 14 year old boy getting tortured there isn’t much we can do besides this.”
Carl sagged in place, and some of the other officers did too. It was a topic that often came up for debate in the department. Especially after big battles when the boy was obviously injured or when his parents had been spotted shooting at him. And each time the captain reminded them that they did not have the law at their side in this case.
All Jason and the others could do was delete any evidence they had to keep it out of the government's hands and try to make the boy’s life a little bit easier without having him find out they were doing anything at all. Credible deniability and all that. Still, it rankled on them all.
Based off of this post by @floralflowerpower
Basically Danny changes his last name cuz science community thinks Fentons are crackpots when he goes to work for Nasa :) Also its like 1am right now so ill probably do a bit more editing in the morning
The administrator, Roger, raised his brow. “That’s a bit on the nose, isn’t it?”
Danny laughed. “You guys gave me permission to pick my new last name, and I pick Aykroyd.” If NASA wanted him to replace Fenton then of course Danny would have to make it fun.
Roger sighed and typed it into his computer. “If you were not such a record-breaking twat, I would have to tell you to pick something else.” He reached his hand across the table and shook Danny’s. “Congratulation Candidate Fenton, you are now Astronaut Aykroyd.” Roger frowned in disgust. “Why does it have to be an alliteration?”
“It’s fun and easier to remember,” Danny grinned and got out of his chair. “I'll take a picture of Earth and sign it for you. It’ll be worth something someday.”
Roger chuckled. “It’ll be worth something, all right.”
It didn’t take long to learn what the science community thought of his parents when he first started training. Pitiful looks and bouts of laughter when he mentioned his parents always came up.
“Dam, the crackpot scientists had a kid. Hopefully, they didn’t fill your head too much with all that ghost stuff.” An older candidate had poked fun of him. Danny learned quickly to keep his mouth shut about ghosts soon after. The Fenton name was a joke in the science communities. He didn’t quite blame NASA for asking him to change it.
NASA probably would have dropped him if it weren’t for his ghost half, funny enough. He excelled in all the physical training, speedrunning him through the ranks. The teachers had been flabbergasted when he ran the flight simulation almost perfectly. The spectra speeder was insanely close in operation, so it was like driving a new car to him. Weightlessness he mastered years ago, and strength was not a problem. The in-classroom training wasn’t that bad either. Danny was a fantastic astronaut if he did say so himself.
After his first mission, he gained a bit of a cult following. Officially, all records of NASA Danny Fenton had been changed to Danny Aykroyd. Nobody knew him as C student Fenton but instead kick-ass astronaut Aykroyd. His records were publicly available, and every mission he went on went well. So what if he used some ghostliness to keep his team safe. As far as they knew, lifting rocks that shouldn’t be humanly possible was one of those muscle flukes. Like a parent lifting a car to save their child. His team stayed safe, and that’s what mattered most.
He didn’t mind it so much that nobody knew. His parents understood and were proud of him. They kept quiet about Danny’s famous career as an astronaut, but Amity Park still knew. During the Christmas holidays last year, he saw Dash at Starbucks, who gaped at him like a fish. Danny simply raised his cup like a toast and headed back home. As long as only Amity Park knew about Danny Fenton, he would be fine. Sam’s parents had been so passive-aggressive once they realized that they couldn’t mention their connection to Danny without some NASA officials breathing down their necks. It was good, but sometimes he couldn’t miss the sadness in his parent’s eyes when they couldn’t announce their baby boy’s accomplishments to the world.
His last name went unnoticed by most. Sometimes interns and such would ask him questions, though.
“Danny Aykroyd? Like Dan Aykroyd?” Confusion and curiosity ripple their faces.
Danny would simply laugh and grin. “No, that’s the ghostbuster.” Sam and Tucker didn’t think it was as funny, unfortunately. It had grown on them the past couple of years, though. He was pretty sure he saw Tucker wearing a shirt on his Instagram one time with his response. Appropriately, the shirt was black with ‘No, that’s the ghostbuster’ written in curvy neon green letters. Danny tracked one down and posted a picture on his official account wearing it. He had to apologize for crashing the artist’s site a few hours later.
His popularity had grown to the point where people tried getting interviews with him. Danny did some after the PR team forced him to. In the first interview, he was a nervous wreck. PR never treated alternate Danny personas kindly. They got easier after a while, none were out to get him, really. Most just asked about the space stations, missions and sometimes his personal life.
Eventually, life and the PR team lead him to today’s interview. He sat backstage waiting for his cue. A blonde woman, Agatha, was a show host and begged to have him on the show. She rallied the audience up, getting them ready for his appearance.
“Now please welcome Astronaut, Danny Aykroyd!” The crowd cheered and he strolled across the stage. The lights blinded him at first, but adjusted as he took his seat on the love seat across from Agatha.
“Agatha, thanks for having me.” With a broad smile, he shook her hand.
She smiled at him devilishly. “No, thank you, Danny. Celebrities are in a thousand, but Astronauts are on in a million.”
“Don’t flatter me too much,” he laughed, “my ego can only stretch so far.” The audience laughed at his remark, along with Agatha. He was doing good.
“Now Danny, not to get personal right off the bat, but do you have a new beau by any chance.”
Great one of these kinds of interviews. He shook his head. “No.”
“Not even at home?”
“Sorry to disappoint Agatha, but my love stays for Cujo still.” He held a hand to his heart and the audience laughed again.
Agatha laughed, throwing her head back. “Not even in good old Amity Park?”
Danny’s mouth twitched. Amity Park was not allowed for questions during an interview. PR made sure of it. “No, parents would probably like me to have some secret partner stashed away though. Gotta have them grandkids, am I right.” He laughed along with the audience.
Agatha leaned forward as if she caught a canary as looked at him playfully. “Say your parents right?” Danny squirmed in the seat and his smile dropped. “As in Maddie and Jack Fenton?”
“Is it true that your name is really Daniel James Fenton?”
“Fenton as in the joke of the science community?”
“What was it that they study and claim is true? Do let the audience know, Mr. Aykroyd.” She leaned back in her chair with a triumphant smile. Hushed whispers aroused from the audience as Danny stayed silent. The damage was already done. Live shows were the worst.
“Paranormal studies and ecto-biology, ecto-physics, and ecto-chemistry.”
“What interesting fields of study. More of fields of fantasy, though, am I right?” A few nervous laughs came from the audience. Danny curled his hands into a fist. PR was going to kill him tomorrow.
He gave Agatha a cold glare. She immediately straightened in her seat. “I don’t take kindly to people making fun of my parents. They’re amazing scientists. Dad built a fuelless aircraft and so many gadgets ahead of our time. Mom created entirely new ways to pull things apart. Atom. By. Atom.” Agatha was beginning to look a bit scared now. Danny continued anyway and started creating an invisible clone. “Ancients even, they protected the entire town when it literally got sent to an alternate dimension. They are good people and good scientists. I don’t care what everyone else says. I know what they study is real. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I’ve been to the ghost zone.” He closed his eyes and took a breath. The clone was at the lights now.
“Are you saying that you, a lead expert in space exploration and science, are endorsing the fact that the afterlife exists?” Agatha almost stumbled over her words. The crowd was silent.
Danny stood up from the love seat and glared at the camera. “Yes, and this interview is over.” The lights shut off, and the crown gasped with a few screams. Danny turned invisible and made his way out through the chaos of the crowd.
“Take back your statement,” Rodger demanded. “We can’t have you claiming that crackpot theories are real.” Danny felt like a child being scolded.
“This is a mess, Danny. The community is baffled and questioning whether you should still keep your job. The public is looking into your high school life too.” The PR head said worriedly. Danny cringed at the mention of high school.
“I guess they don’t want a delinquent C student, who believes in the supernatural leading up NASA missions, huh?”
“No Danny. They saw how cold you were last night, too. How can they trust you if you’ve secretly been a homewrecker all this time?”
“At least people get the joke behind Aykroyd now,” he said quietly. Well, some of the joke.
“Danny!” Roger sighed. “You’ve always been so adamant about finding proof before we make claims. Why does the supernatural not follow this?”
“I’ve seen proof-” he is proof-” that ghosts exist.”
“Danny, if your parents are telling you one thing from birth, of course you’re going to see proof. Confirmation bias.” Roger explained.
“No, Roger, it’s not that. There is a portal to hell in my basement Roger, my basement!” Danny stood up from his chair.
“No-” he turned to the PR head- “If I can prove ghosts are real, can I keep my job? Ancients, I swear the job can be easier if I provide proof.”
The PR looked at their tablet and shrugged. “Maybe, it would have to be right away, though. No time to pull together some gimmick.”
“Danny, think about what you’re doing. You're risking your career,” Roger tried to reason.
Danny laughed. “No, Roger, even if NASA does fire me, I have other things to do. But-” he let the cool wrings wash over him- “I know what I am and that I exist.”
Roger and the PR head shut up after that. Their jaws hung open and stared at him, flabbergasted.
"There is this proof enough?"
another revelation (draws us closer)
written for day 4 of @ghostgothgeek‘s Shiptember 2021: Awkward
Valerie didn't have time for this.
In theory, escaping the broken elevator should be a piece of cake. With her blasters, she could pull apart the doors no problem and then maneuver her way up onto the next floor. All it took was one small mental command for her suit, letting the metal wash over her civilian clothes. Then she could join Phantom in the fight against whatever ghost had decided to wreak havoc at her school this time.
But as luck would have it, Danny Fenton was in the elevator with her. His eyes darted around the elevator, scanning for some way out. She didn't doubt his resourcefulness, he was a Fenton after all, but Valerie couldn't wait that long. She needed out of this damn elevator and she needed out now.
"This isn't good…" he muttered. "There's ghosts out there."
"Yeah, no shit. We need to get out of here before they bring the fight to us."
Or so she could bring the fight to them, but Danny didn't have to know that. She just had to act like she was worried for their safety and he wouldn't question why she was really eager to get out of the elevator.
Ever since her alliance with Phantom, she tried her best not to let the other hero take on too much of the workload. She felt like shit, just standing here while Phantom was out there fighting the battle all alone. There wasn't much that kept him away from a fight. She envied him for not having to deal with all this secret identity bullshit.
"Maybe my parents will take care of it…?" he suggested.
She scoffed. "Your parents' reaction time is crap. Phantom will be here long before them."
He didn't look like he had much faith in the ghost kid. Odd. Unlike his ghost hunting parents, Danny usually supported Phantom. At least that's how he made it sound in school—maybe he was just putting on for his classmates and shared more of his parents' beliefs than he let on?
Outside of the elevator, there was a crash. Danny jumped back, almost sending Valerie falling to the floor.
"Sorry…" he rubbed the back of his neck.
"You're good," she insisted.
It didn't sound like Phantom was doing a good job with damage control today. All more reason for her to get out of this elevator.
Her partner needed her.
Fuck this. Danny Fenton knowing her secret wasn't ideal, but she was out of options. Maybe since his parents were ghost hunters, he'd be somewhat understanding...
"I have something to tell you!"
Valerie did a double take.
They'd spoken over each other at the same time.
"I'm the Red Huntress!"
"I have a crush on you!"
Danny's eyes blew wide in shock and Valerie had to make sure that her feet were still on the ground.
Oh God. That was not what she was expecting.
She cared about Danny, she really did, but she didn't feel the same way. Maybe the shock of the first revelation would soften the rejection?
"I have a crush on Phantom!"
"Uh… I was not expecting you to say that," he admitted. "I wouldn't have… wouldn't have said that if uh. Yeah."
"I'm sorry," she grabbed him by the arm, "you're WHAT?"
Her face was hot and she had no doubt she was blushing. He could not be serious right now. He was just fucking with her, messing with her head. Because that's what Danny Fenton did!
He tensed in her grip. "I'm sorry, I wasn't uh. I mean, you said you're the Red Huntress and I already knew so I just thought it was fair to admit it because that wasn't fair to you to blow your secret while I kept mine and I've really been meaning to come clean since our truce and I've been putting it off because I was afraid that I'd make things weird between us and now I have and—"
She put her hand over his mouth. "Shut up."
He gave a muffled, "Mm-hm."
"You're not Phantom. Phantom, if you haven't noticed, is a ghost. I don't know why you're playing with me, especially after I just told you I'm an actual ghost hunter but it's not funny at all. Now, if you don't mind, I have to go take care of that ghost—"
She watched in horror as the hand held against Danny's mouth pushed through his head and into the space behind him. Danny stepped to the side, far too calm for someone who'd just had an arm pass through his skull. "Yeah, so about that. I am a ghost."
In a flash of light, Danny's clothes began to darken and stretch—skin tight. His eyes glowed toxic green and all remnants of color were stripped from his hair, leaving it stark white. In a matter of moments, Danny Fenton became the striking image of Phantom.
His feet left the floor and Valerie's whole world spun on its axis.
"And a pretty good-looking one, I may add," his voice dripped with cheekiness. "Given that I've captured the affections of one gorgeous ghost hunter~!"
He was Phantom.
She'd just… she'd just told her crush she liked him.
He was never going to let her live this down.
"No!" she bemoaned. "Not you!"
Phantom frowned. "Uh… that wasn't. I'm uh, sorry if I wasn't what you expected..."
"This is humiliating!" she cried. "I just told you to your face and—and—"
There was another crash outside of the elevator. Valerie spun toward the noise, danger forgotten. Phantom reacted as well, raising his ectoblast-charged fists toward the commotion.
"We can talk later," he said. "I'll get us out of here."
Before Valerie could protest, Phantom pulled her toward him and she felt her insides chill. They flew through the elevator door, and as fast it had come, the foreign feeling ceased. Phantom lowered her to the floor and gave her a knowing nod before flying off toward the battle.
Well, it was now or nothing.
If the fight wasn't awkward, then the conversation afterward definitely was.
She and Phantom—Danny?—managed to catch the ghost in under five minutes. It was all contingent on Valerie capturing the ghost in her thermos while Phantom kept it weakened. The specter struggled as it was pulled into the capture device, but they were victorious nonetheless.
Well, if they could call this a victory. The ghost, a vengeful lioness, had wreaked an unprecedented amount of havoc on the school's east wing. Several classrooms were missing walls and rows upon rows of desks had been decimated. If only they'd left the elevator sooner…
"This is going to take weeks to repair," Phantom commented. He hadn't been injured much during the fight except for a thin scratch across his forehead that bled green. If she remembered correctly, it was an injury he'd gotten during their last fight. It must've opened again. "Good thing winter break is just around the corner."
Valerie's mouth suddenly felt dry. "Y—yeah."
"So uh, about this. You… are you okay with this? Like, we're not going to break our alliance now that you know I've been lying to you and—" he blushed a furious green "—and about what I said earlier."
Phantom was Danny Fenton and he liked her back.
Valerie didn't even know where to start. Obviously, she still liked him. Being Danny Fenton didn't change much, given that she'd fallen for him once before and only broke it off because she didn't want him to get hurt because of her ghost hunting. Except, now she'd fallen for him twice and she hadn't even known it because Danny was also a ghost hunter and a ghost and—
How was it even possible?
How could someone be a human and a ghost at the same time?
"I don't get it," she blurted. "How are you the same person? Like, not that there's anything wrong with you and Danny being the same—our alliance is fine—but I don't get it."
In the air, Phantom sat cross-legged and raised a hand to his chin. (It was so cute when he did that—!)
In a rush of words, he explained his lab accident and how he'd stepped up as the town's ghostly protector. It was an eye-opening revelation that provided context for so many things she'd taken for granted. He explained how he'd known she was the Red Huntress since the beginning and how hard he'd fallen for her when they'd first dated, how he still liked her even though he respected her breaking it off.
"I just don't want to make this awkward if you don't feel the same way anymore," he said. "I know that you said you liked Phantom, not me as Danny. I'm just some dork and I get that."
She scoffed. "Yeah, you are a dork!"
Something in his resolve deflated, but she continued.
"You're a dork as Phantom too, you know? Why would that change anything? I said I like you and I meant it!"
She was blushing again, she knew it, but she couldn't quite find a reason to care.
Phantom let himself lower to the floor and in another flash he was Danny again. Just plain old Danny Fenton with black hair, blue eyes, and a loose T-shirt that seemed to swallow him whole.
Valerie leaned forward and grabbed his hands, looking deep into those blue eyes—which now that she looked, had small flecks of green.
"For real, Danny."
@lucifer-is-a-bag-of-dicks came up with this op!Danny/Marvel AU!
BTW I need help naming this newest proof that I can't keep anything to a short little one-shot.
Loki was not, and never had been, a good man. For that matter, whether or not he’d ever been a good boy was debatable. His mother would argue that he had, but she would very likely be the only one. Well, except for Thor, perhaps, but that was because he was an idiot who could drown in three inches of nostalgia. Like he didn’t remember every time Loki had humiliated him. Maybe he didn’t, for all that he kept falling for the same trick over and over again.
It made Loki’s late nights studying the arts of illusion, misdirection, and lying seem redundant. Almost. Not everyone was as dense as his big brother.
No. Loki had never been a good man. He had, however, been a free man.
Free to run or hide. Free to explore the nooks and crannies of Asgard, to uncover her secrets in ways few cared to do. Free to walk hidden paths between the Nine Realms and even farther flung territories, where his people did not and had never ruled, to play games, make deals, have adventures, take risks. To be. To exist as his own creature.
He had been free. He had.
But on one of those little secret excursions, he had discovered something that had made even his flippant, slippery heart clench with fear. A ravening plague, spreading across the stars. The death of half of everything on the horizon.
Loki was not a good man. What cause did he have to care for all the sundry others in the universe? There were too many. It was too much to ask.
But Asgard—His home, even though the had long ago realized the blood in his veins originated on very different soil. That was different.
Asgard, he could help. Asgard could survive.
But it had to be strong. It had to have strong allies. None of this barely-held peace, this enemy eternally at their gates. It needed strong leadership. Not his brother’s simplistic view and longing for the glory of war.
Loki was not a good man. But he was one who could get things done.
Before he knew it, he had burned all his bridges behind him. In one case, a literal bridge that was literally broken.
And he fell.
And he fell.
And he fell right into the hands of the one he had feared enough to do this. Broken enough for poison to drip into the cracks. No one knew where he was, no one could know where he was, except, perhaps, Heimdal, and Loki sincerely doubted Heimdal cared. No one was coming for him. No one was looking for him. No rescue was forthcoming.
He was alone.
Asgardians were considered gods for a reason. Their bodies and minds were much more resilient than the average mortal’s. But Thanos’s people had been titans, and there was a reason for that, too.
Thanos enjoyed breaking him.
And Loki turned his lies on himself. A skilled master of games always had one gifted opponent, even alone. Hadn’t he wanted to rule? To command? To see a world, any world, prostrate at his feet? To be given the recognition and praise of which he was so worth?
To pull something, anything, out of the fire?
(If he had spent less time learning how to spin lies and more on how to see the truth, he might not have believed it. A better, wiser, man would have. But Loki was not a good man. And he was very skilled in his craft.)
So, his new master put a weapon in his hands, and he went off to conquer a world.
Danny was used to rude awakenings. He was used to those rude awakenings being full body chills and ghosts, not someone knocking on his door.
Blearily, he pulled himself out from under the blankets. Quasi-military government facility or not, the beds were comfortable. Maybe Mom or Dad had gotten themselves locked out of their room? Or Jazz—No, not Jazz, she hadn’t come with them. She was at college, not being flown places by Mom and Dad’s suspiciously generous new consulting job.
At least it wasn’t the GIW.
He stood on tiptoe (curse his perpetually short body) to peer out the peephole. His parents’ buff, one-eyed, and incredibly imposing new boss stood in front of the door, hands on his hips, slightly sweeping back his long dark coat. If Danny listened carefully, he could hear two other people near the door, and… was that an alarm? Yes. Faint, but present, was a warning klaxon.
Okay. Danny would bet his right arm that something had gone horribly wrong with whatever his parents were consulting on. Didn’t explain why the boss was in front of his door.
Unless they’d gotten the rooms mixed up, somehow?
Ugh. Danny wasn’t paid enough to deal with this.
He opened the door. “What-?”
“Phantom,” intoned eyepatch guy with great solemnity.
Danny immediately tried to close the door. The guy stuck his foot in the jamb, and, sure, Danny could have crushed it, but that would be a jerk move. He didn’t think this guy was going for a pirate look, after all.
“We need your help.”
“I’m not sure what you think I can help you with,” yelled Danny over the beating of the helicopter blades. He’d remained stubbornly in human form. “My parents are the scientists. This sounds like a science thing. Not a punching-people thing.”
“We spoke to them earlier,” said Fury, “and we have plenty of scientists working on the theories they brought up. You’re the one with practical experience.”
“Practical experience in what?”
“Interdimensional portals,” said the woman, who had yet to introduce herself.
As if this whole thing wasn’t already giving him a bad feeling. “My parents built an interdimensional portal. Again, you should be talking to them. They’re the ones you’re paying.”
“We could pay you, too,” said Fury, “but we assumed you would want to avoid letting your parents know about this, as you’re still a minor and they have control of your bank accounts.”
Danny stared flatly. “This is blackmail.”
“We aren’t threatening you,” pointed out the woman.
“Emotional blackmail,” said Danny, glaring, daring her to challenge him on whether or not he actually knew what blackmail was.
In the meantime, the helicopter landed. Danny unbuckled and hopped out, trailing slightly awkwardly behind Fury and the woman. He didn’t want to stand out, but he suspected that, being the only kid here and being in the general vicinity of Fury, who radiated authority, that was a lost cause.
“This is Agent Coulson. Coulson, this is Phantom.”
Danny’s mouth went dry(er) at how casual the introduction was. His eyes went nervously to all the other people running around the field. With all the noise, it was unlikely anyone had heard, but still…
“Can you not? Secret identity and all? Unless you’ve told everyone herealready, which, rude.”
Fury sighed. “How bad is it?” he asked Coulson.
“We’re not sure,” said Coulson. “That’s the problem. Big fan of your work, by the way,” he added as an aside to Danny. He glanced at the woman. “Agent Hill.”
“Background?” asked Fury as he led the way into the building.
“The first energy surge was four hours ago. Dr. Selvig’s equipment picked it up – He’s the head scientist on this project.”
“Dr. Selvig isn’t authorized to test,” said Fury. “We wanted to run his plans by the Fentons.”
“He wasn’t testing. He wasn’t even in the room. He called it ‘spontaneous advancement.’”
“It turned itself on?”
“What are the energy levels?” asked Fury before Hill’s question could be answered.
“Climbing,” said Coulson.
“Mr. Fenton,” said Fury, “any comments?”
“Look, I don’t even know what this thing that you built looks like or what it’s a door to.” Danny frowned as a thought occurred to him. “You’re not expecting me to fight whatever comes out of it, are you? Because, unless you’ve got a ghost portal down there, I can’t make guarantees.”
“It’s called the Tesseract,” said Coulson. “It’s supposed to be a connection to the other side of space. A source of unlimited energy. At least,” there was a note of humor in his voice despite the evacuation taking place around them, “that’s what the scientists say.”
“A door to space?” asked Danny, firmly shoving down his excitement at the prospect. “Like, a Stargate?” It was no good, he could practically feel himself sparkling. He took a firm grip of his core and reminded himself he might need to fight before the end of the day.
“Well, no,” said Coulson. “It’s this little… cube… thing.” He made a shape with his hands.
“Oh,” said Danny, mind still whirring. “You know, if it’s really a tesseract, it isn’t a cube in just three dimensions, so bigger things could come out of it than you’d think.” He’d seen some weird portals in the Ghost Zone.
“Well, right now, we’re just getting energy.” They entered a large room with an extremely sci-fi setup. It looked like they were planning to shoot some kind of laser across the room onto a platform surrounded by strange-looking panels. There were men with guns scattered around in what was probably a well thought out formation Danny couldn’t see. There was also a dude with a bow sitting up in the rafters. He frowned down at Danny as he noticed Danny noticing him.
“What do we know?”
Danny allowed himself to be distracted by the centerpiece of the room, a piece of machinery built around what was indeed a little cube thing. He tilted his head and approached, trying to get a better view of it around the people in lab coats and protective gear currently swarming it. He caught mention of radiation a grimaced.
It was unlikely to kill him, but, really, everyone here should probably be wearing more PPE. You never knew what was going to come out of an interdimensional portal, after all. Except trouble. Trouble was a pretty safe bet.
It was pretty. Blue. Reminded him a little of a blue raspberry ice pop. Part of him wanted to lick it. Which was stupid. He didn’t want to wind up half what-ever-lived-on-the-other-side on top of his regular ghost nonsense.
Danny jumped and turned, refocusing on the adults, who had multiplied while he’d been daydreaming. The guy with the bow had joined them.
“Mr. Fenton? Like the Doctors Fenton I spoke to earlier?” asked Selvig.
This, of course, was when everything decided to explode. Sort of.
The blue cube shot out a beam of energy that had more than a little in common with the Fenton Bazooka’s portal setting. The beam terminated on the platform, a portal rapidly forming.
Danny slid into a fighting stance, and barely even noticed as blue energy washed over the room, throwing many less-prepared people back.
Something shaped like a man stepped through the portal.
Danny did not break his stance. Still. “An alien,” he whispered, eyes wide. If they were friendly, maybe they’d answer his questions about space. If they weren’t friendly, maybe they’d answer his questions about space after Danny beat them up.
(Danny did not go ghost. Did not even think about going ghost. There were too many people here, and the space was too open.)
Fury attempted to negotiate. Danny approved. Not everything that came through an interdimensional portal was necessarily evil.
Except this guy apparently was. Go figure. He could also deflect bullets and was very good with throwing knives, which led to Danny having to pull several of the gun guys out of their own line of fire as well as the alien’s line of knife. Who would have thought an alien’s weapon of choice would be throwing knives? The energy-blasting spear was much more in line with his expectations.
The bow guy proved to be more competent than the gun guys. This didn’t really surprise Danny. Bow guy sort of had to be competent. Otherwise, no way would they let him go around with a bow. Like, seriously. A bow.
Even so, bow guy was fighting an alien and—
“You have heart,” said the alien, raising the spear.
Danny pushed bow guy out of the way, and his mind fuzzed out.
(The human part of it, anyway.)
Loki didn’t know what a child was doing here, and he didn’t particularly care. The boy would do for a hostage, at least. He had a mission he had to fulfil, or else…
“Please don’t,” he said turning with a shadow of his usual lazy affect, vaguely insulted that the human thought he could be sneaker that him, “I still need that.”
The human went on and on, apparently burdened with the delusion that he was on the same level as Loki.
Loki was burdened with other things. A glorious purpose. Glad tidings. Freedom. What could be better than freedom?
“A world free from what?” asked the human.
“From freedom,” said Loki, and wasn’t that what he believed, now? Wasn’t that what he’d been shown? “Freedom is life’s great lie.” He would know. He was an excellent liar. “Once you accept that, in your heart—” He batted away an arrow and tsked. “Shield me, boy,” he demanded. Had Thanos misrepresented the scepter’s powers? Or was the boy merely—
A dome of green surrounded him and the boy, thrumming with magic the likes of which he had only seen once, in a tome thrice forbidden.
“Oh,” said Loki, almost purring. “You are interesting. What are you?”
“Half human, half ghost,” replied the boy, tersely.
Loki had never heard of such a creature. No matter. He’d be sure to make good use of him.
“Grab the scientist,” he said, nodding at the balding man who had been with his brother when he’d fought the Destroyer in the desert.
Loki wanted the archer. He seemed interesting. Useful.
Fenton was under thrall. Phantom knew what that felt like. A hundred feet under red water, trying not to drown, whispers everywhere. Pulling. Pushing. Prodding.
This was different, but the principle was the same.
Neither half of him could truly ‘fight’ the other. Fenton and Phantom were a single entity. Not two in lockstep. Even so.
Fenton grabbed onto Dr. Selvig, as ordered. Phantom made sure that was all they did.
“What are you doing, boy?” snapped Loki. “Follow me! Bring the scientist.”
And so, they followed.
Loki breathed. Acquiring Barton had been the right choice. The boy was powerful, but, perhaps because of his unique biology, did not have Barton’s presence of mind, and couldn’t have led him to such wonderful allies.
These weren’t truly his allies. Nor were they subjects. They were…
Loki forced himself to breathe. He just had to follow the mission. Follow the mission, let Thanos’s army through. He’d been promised this world. He would have this world.
And then he could be… His mind stuttered over the next word, and he shook his head, trying to drive out the painful buzz of Thanos’s herald and mouthpiece trying to contact him.
He looked up at the drones bustling around, all according to his will. Except the boy, who stared at him, somehow managing to be both utterly blank and challenging at the same time.
He was alone, here.
He was alone.
But what did it matter? Bad men always wound up alone, and Loki… Loki could never be a good man.
Twin Cores - DP
Saw this headcanon on Tumblr… awhile ago? It stuck with me, and I ended up writing this, and now I can’t find it to give the person proper credit. Lemme know if anyone recognizes this idea and knows who came up with it. (heart)
Was gonna do this idea for the Big Bang thing, but I forgot all about signing up. ;) Wonders. So I’ll just post it and come up with new ideas.
Danny floated high above the clouds, up where the air was thin and cold and the stars sparkled brightly overhead. It was terribly late, and Danny knew he’d be paying for this at school tomorrow, but this was always the best part of his week. He couldn’t come up here all the time, but when he cound, he always found himself relaxing. Hands behind his head, he floated on his back, studying the stars.
He let out a breath through his lips and brought a hand forwards to massage his chest, closing his eyes. Yesterday had not been good day. An accident with some of his parents’ technology had completely ruined his day. For reasons Danny didn’t understand, his chest had felt overly full since. Almost like he needed to cough up something - which couldn’t be, because his ghost form didn’t have any real lungs to cough with.
With a groan, Danny stretched and rolled his body through a bunch of sharp loop-the-loops and twists, hoping maybe he could work out the kink. Nothing. Hopefully it wouldn’t prevent him from getting a good night’s rest. He was exhausted.
He floated for a few minutes longer, watching the sky and hoping for a meteor or two, slowly turning the overfull feeling over in his mind. He pushed and prodded at the odd sensation, trying to come up with what in the world it could be.
It had to relate to his parents’ invention. Unfortunately, the day was a fuzzy blur in Danny’s memory and if something in particular had happened to him, he wouldn’t be able to remember it on his own. All he could do on his own was a vague understanding of what had happened.
Getting zapped with one of the newer devices yesterday had resulted in Danny getting split - again. His ghost half had fallen captive to the hero-like obsession of his core, and had gone on a hero-spree. A memory of rescuing a cat from a tree in a very overblown, comic-like way surfaced and Danny buried his face in his hands, embarrassed for himself. “Ugh, I hope nobody videoed that. Or anything else,” he muttered.
His human half had wandered aimlessly through the day, not knowing what to do with no driving force behind everything he did. Vague memories of eating pizza and not noticing the ghost haunting the place next door until Sam pointed it out filtered through the shadows.
From what he remembered, it hadn’t been a horrible sort of day for either half of him. His ghost half had been allowed to play with his obsession all day and his human half had gotten to just be… human. But he’d been split for much longer than ever before; Tucker and Sam were unable to work through how the strange invention worked.
Danny didn’t remember being much help with the endeavour. In fact, he sort of remembered his human half stealing the device, passing it to his ghost half, and the thing getting placed on top of the school for the afternoon. Jazz finally got it using some of the newer modifications to the Fenton’s vehicle that allowed it to fly.
By the time the three of them figured out how to reverse the effects, it was late in the evening on the second day - more than 36 hours since being split. Phantom had started to turn more and more ghost, losing more of his humanity each hour, delving deeper and deeper into this hero obsession. His eyes had turned more ghostly, teeth sharpening, fingers turning into claws. Even a cape had started to mist into view.
Danny slowly ran his tongue over his teeth - they were still a bit too sharp - and pulled his hands far enough away from his face to glance at his fingers. They weren’t claws, not like many ghosts had, but… his fingers no longer really looked human. The changes that had happened to his ghost form the last two days appeared to be permanent, even now that they were rejoined back together.
Danny… didn’t want to think about that. Not yet.
And his human half had started to go through changes as well. Danny vaguely remembered - towards the end of the escapade, when he’d convinced himself that he didn’t want to be rejoined with Phantom - trying to avoid everyone and ending up in a tree, floating in a very inhuman way. His totally human form regaining some of its ghost powers.
Danny mentally poked at the odd, full sensation in his chest again. Perhaps it was that his ghost powers had grown while he was separated. Phantom hadn’t been exactly a half-a-ghost when they’d been slammed back together. And Danny had been just a bit of ghost too. Perhaps now he was somehow 60% ghost and 50% human… and his body was trying to adjust to being too much ghost.
His mind poked at the sensation in his chest just a bit too hard. Danny slammed his eyes shut tight as he felt the sensation of transformation travel through him - lightning sharp and aching into his phantom bones. Panic set in a second later. He couldn’t transform up here - there wasn’t enough oxygen for his human form to breathe. He’d pass out and fall to his death.
He gasped and threw his arms out, instinctively trying to grab something even though he was on the edge of the atmosphere, as the transformation arced through his arms and legs. He kept his eyes closed as he fumbled for his ghost side. He needed to transform back fast. His human side would already be aching to breathe, desperate for oxygen after the last hour of being in ghost form.
But his ghost side… was…
Danny opened his eyes as he realized he wasn’t falling. As he realized his ghost form wasn’t something to grab for, because he was still a ghost.
“But…” he whispered, startled and confused. He’d felt himself transform. There was no mistaking the sensation that had swept through him. He looked around, almost as if the answer would be written in the air next to him.
Then the stars caught his gaze. He froze, mouth falling open, as he stared up at the sky. There were more stars than before, the whole sky alight with points of light. And he knew them - with each star he focused his eyes on, he knew what that star was. How far away it was, what it’s name was, what kind of star it was…
Delight sparkled inside him as he let his gaze drift across the heavens. Stars he didn’t even know existed seemed to soak into his skin, whispering all their secrets in his ears. “How…?” he breathed, twisting around and around and looking everywhere he could. “Why?”
His gaze snagged on the moon, crescent-shaped and gleaming. He almost felt like he was drowning in it’s glow, feeling everything about it. The ice hiding in its craters. The human-built machinery peppering its surface. The soft warmth still coiling in its dying core. He could just… go there. He could be there in about three seconds. He could just…
He threw up a hand, blocking the moon’s glow, blinking hard and pushing the thoughts out of his mind. “Holy shit,” he whispered, breathing hard, focusing on Earth, on human thoughts, on normalcy. “What is this?”
Then he saw his hand, thin fingers topped with sharp claws, glove missing. His forehead furrowed as he realized both his gloves were gone, as was the logo on his chest, and the white belt around his waist. A black shirt and black pants. His boots looked like his normal shoes, just moon-lit white. Actually, minus the claws and some color changes, he looked… like he had yesterday. “Uh… What is going on with me?”
He could feel the pull of the stars overhead. He knew he could just lean back, put his arms behind his head, and float there, watching the sky forever. Just revel in space for all time. Instead, he kept his gaze down towards the tops of the clouds.
At least the first step of what he should do now was clear. Whenever he was dealing with anything out of the ordinary, Sam and Tucker knew what to say. They’d help. He’d go home, grab his phone, and call them.
Danny flew towards Amity Park-
-and suddenly drew to a stop. He twisted around, eyes wide, realizing that he’d somehow overshot his home by a dozen miles or more. “What the fuck?” he said. He’d only been flying for a moment - how was he all the way over here? “I…”
He licked his lips and tried again. He set his gaze on Amity Park and flew-
-right past Amity Park again. It was an eyeblink of time between one side of the city and the other. Danny hung in the air, confused and slightly annoyed. “What is going on?” he said. A new power, obviously - but one that had unfortunate timing. His fingers curled, the claws digging uncomfortably into his palms. “This is what I get for leaving my phone behind,” he groused. The phone wouldn’t have done well in the thin, cold atmosphere. Even if he’d have brought it with, there was no guarantee it would have still been working.
“Are all my powers wonky?” Danny asked, raising his hand and pushing energy into his hand. Instead of a steady, gas-like glow, the energy sparkled and hissed, like he was holding onto an exploding firework. “Odd.”
His powers were working differently, so it was time to try using them differently. Time to change tactics. Instead of focusing on a direction, Danny focused his mind on a destination. He closed his eyes, picturing where exactly he wanted to end up. Opening his eyes and taking a deep breath, he tried to fly as slowly as possible.
The world seemed to blur and twist, glowing uncomfortably bright for the fraction of a second Danny allowed himself to be in motion. When the world settled back into place, Danny found himself hovering about ten feet off the ground, within the city of Amiry Park, only about a half-mile from his house. “That worked a lot better,” he said, rather pleased with himself.
Instead of chancing another attempt at flying, Danny figured he’d turn himself human. A ten foot drop wouldn’t be too bad, and he could walk home. It would be the least-tricky way to get home. He took a moment to worry that this new power would prevent him from turning human as easily as normal, but then slammed that idea shut and closed his eyes.
Danny pushed his ghost form away, pulling at that warm and heavy feeling in his mind. There was a sparkling sensation in his mind, then the sharp pain that came with turning himself human again. He dropped, landing lightly on his toes, breathing a heavy sigh of relief that at least this was still normal. He bounced a few times, testing out a few basic powers - invisibility seemed to work like normal, as did phasing through things. He didn’t try floating, for fear of accidentally ending up two towns over and two hundred feet above the ground in human form.
He walked home, rubbing his chest at that strange, too-full sensation, and snuck in the back door. Despite the fact that all the lights were out, he kept himself invisible to avoid his parents. It was so far past curfew that Danny didn’t even want to think about the trouble he’d be in if they realized he was still out.
His bedroom door was still locked. Danny phased through it, flipped on the lights, and dumped himself into his bed. “Ugh,” he groaned, feeling the drain of the last two days on his body. He glanced over at the clock. Just before two in the morning. Part of him wanted to just curl up in his bed and fall asleep, try to get a few hours of sleep before tackling school tomorrow. But too much of him had a tight ball of anxious curiosity.
He groaned as he rolled out of bed and stepped in front of his mirror. He looked awful. Dark rings under his eyes and a horrible, pale tone to his skin. He looked half dead. “On the positive side, nobody will question it if I want to stay home sick tomorrow,” he muttered. He shuddered and shifted his weight, closed his eyes, took a deep breath, then triggered the transformation.
His ghost form spread like lightning across his skin, slammed through his head, and settled into his chest like a cold ball of fire. He squeaked one eye open just a touch, not sure of what he was going to see.
Phantom was peering back at him. Danny relaxed, letting his eyes open, and studied himself. From more than a few feet away, he looked absolutely normal. But up close, there were minor changes from the last few days. Teeth that were too pointy. Fingers that were a little more claw-like than normal. Hair that was more… smokey. Just a little. His mouth twisted, unsure of how he felt about the changes. “At least there’s no cape,” he murmured. “I’d look too much like Vlad with a cape.”
He squared his shoulders, set his teeth, and tried flying. He floated up and moved around his bedroom like normal. “So normal.” He caught sight of his claws and shivered. “Mostly.”
“Now…” He took a deep breath and jabbed hard at the over-full feeling in his chest. He was half-hoping nothing would happen. But light sparkled along his body, that tingling almost-painful sensation changing him in very subtle ways. His clothes changed from a jumpsuit to shirt and pants, his shoes looked like they would squeak on the floor as he walked. He was still glowing and transparent. “I’m… a different ghost?” He spread out his arms, feet firmly on the floor afraid to hover. “And I have like… superspeed.”
He took a very careful step forwards, peering closely at himself in the mirror. His eyes looked the same, with the normal green glow. His teeth were sharper, canines almost like little fangs. And… he leaned in, studying his freckles. They glowed, star-like, forming constellations across his skin.
His mind veered off tangent, remembering the stars overhead, the glittering facts that swirled through his mind, the odd bubbling joy that came with even thinking about space. The freckles on his cheeks rearranged themselves into the constellation Draco, and sparks and speckles swirled into life across his clothes. A supernova that resolved itself into the stars overhead. Danny could trace the stars in his clothes, knew everything about each star. He was caught by the strongest urge to fly there. To zip through space to Alrakis, a binary star system eighty-eight light years away. It would only take him 221 years, 5 months, and 3 days…
Danny jerked himself out of his thoughts. He couldn’t fly for over two hundred years. He shuddered and blinked, settling back on his heels. The glowing freckles on his face settled down, his clothes faded back to black. The familiar sort of pitch-black of space. The sort of black Danny imagined the universe looked like before stars existed. “I have space powers now,” Danny realized, his voice slow and excited. “I have space powers! I’m a space ghost!”
Curious, Danny poked at that over-full feeling in his chest again. The world tingled and flashed, and he was back to his old self. Phantom, with the logo and the better posture and the weight of the world resting on his shoulders. “I’m two ghosts, somehow? Two ghosts… and a human...” Danny stared at himself in the mirror. “Or...” he rested his hand on his chest, feeling that strange overly-full feeling. “Or something…?”
Danny shook his head, not sure where to even begin processing that one. Then he turned himself human again, watching the world get dark as the ghost energy faded away. He scratched at his scalp, trundled over to his bed, and dropped into its softness.
There wasn’t much he knew right then. The first was that space powers were the coolest power he could have gotten. And the second was that all this would be easier to process after a few hours of sleep and a large cup of caffeine.
Do you have any good Danny Phantom fic recs?
I don’t usually make recs, but since I’ve been binge reading through the Phandom here lately I have a few! I’ll put them and their summaries underneath the Keep Reading <3
Also far warning there is no rhyme or reason to how I’m listing them
Little Lion King by Floralflowerpower andTheOnlyWife @floralflowerpower (incomplete)
A ghost king AU where Danny is an all-powerful ruler/ beloved king and hero who is terrified that his people would hate him if they found out he was a halfa. (Beta for this Phic is Theonlywife)
I am absolutely obsessed with the Little Lion King at the moment! I’ve read through all the available chapters twice now XD I plan to reread it again soon!
The Haunting Murders of Bristol Mansion by Pqrker
"No, no, it's fine, it's just...What if we convince them I don't believe in ghosts in the first place?"
Sam stared at Danny like he was crazy.
"That is the stupidest idea I have ever heard."
danny pretends not to believe in ghosts in a last-ditch effort to conceal his identity, while sam and tucker film it all
do not stand at my grave and cry (i am not there, i did not die) by Blueh
“I just—” he hiccups down his ghost sense but feels the cool burning sensation crawl up his throat anyways. He has just enough time to throw a hand over his mouth to cover the blue mist, and sends a desperate look at the clock. There’s still five minutes left in class. He stands up anyways. “I have to go.”
“You have to go?” Sam says. Danny hears the accusation in her voice loud and clear. “Again?”
“Sorry isn’t enough, Danny! You keep—you keep leaving us! You’re pushing us away!”
His tongue feels like lead and he knows, even if he wants to, he can’t tell them. He can't. So instead, he doesn’t meet her eyes, takes one step back, and repeats, “I’m sorry.”
Sometimes, it feels like it’s the only word he can say these days.
Or: When Danny goes down to the lab and enters that portal at fourteen years old, he goes down alone. This changes things.
A Grave Error by thatgirl_youknowtheone @lucifer-is-a-bag-of-dicks
A fluorescent green gaze pierced through him from the rearview mirror. As much as the eye contact sent chills down Dale's spine, he didn't want to look away. Some primal part of his brain was much more comfortable keeping his eyes firmly planted on the predator in the back seat of the police car.
"Why won't he leave?" Dale whispered to his partner, the woman grit her teeth.
"I don't know, but I'm not the idiot who decided to fucking arrest him."
Connections by Lynse @ladylynse
Maddie knows that the Booo-merang has keyed into Danny, for whatever reason, so what's she to think when she sees it collide with Phantom?
Confessions (Connections Sequal) by Lynse
Follows Connections. Danny's secret's not as safe as he thinks, what with Maddie unable to ignore her wild suspicions any longer and piecing things together and Jack asking questions all on his own.
Shift by Lynse
Maddie’s capture of the phantom was routine—until she saw the shift in colour that meant it suddenly, horribly, wasn’t.
Revision (Shifts optional sequal) by Lynse (Not complete)
Maddie can’t deny it any longer. If ectoplasm can become blood, there’s more to this story than she ever realized.
Third Time’s the AU by KatWithTheGlasses
It started with one wrong move, and Phantom ended up hurt. Secrets are revealed and maybe things can move towards a better future.
A series of one-shots and small fics in which Phantom is revealed to his parents, and everything that happens after.
Maddie Learns That her Son Is Dead (Well, Not Fully, But Still) by GhostWriterGirl1
In where Maddie first notices her son's slightly ghostly features, and learns just how ghostly Danny has become. Warning: Lots of feels and angst in the last two entries, so get the tissues.
Danny the ViewTuber by ZombieMerlin
"Hi, my name's Danny Fenton and I do stupid dares and other stuff on the internet for the heck of it!"
Danny manages to accidentally create a ViewTube channel and ends up gaining a small following in the process. Now, all of a sudden, the entirety of the Casper High student body knows Danny's ghostly secret, Mr. Lancer is hella confused by the growing mystery surrounding Daniel James Fenton, and Danny slowly realizes that there may be things other than ghosts hiding in the shadows of Amity Park.
(Also known as "The Danny Phantom YouTube AU I didn't mean to write a plot for")
No One Knows AU by DarkNymfa
Set in an AU where Danny was alone for the Accident, and never told anyone about Phantom.
Angela Foley is Confused, Concerned And Tired (Not Necessarily In That Order) by GhostWriterGirl1
In which Dr. Angela Foley eavesdrops on a conversation between her son, Sam Manson and Danny Phantom, discovers some secrets, and becomes Danny's unofficial second mom.
Phantom of Truth by Haiju
Locked away in a secret government lab with Phantom as her subject, nothing stands between Maddie and the truth... except, perhaps, herself.
Shadow of a Doubt by Haiju (Sequal to Phantom of Truth)
The truth was supposed to save Danny. Fix things. The lab, the experiments, the lies, those were all in the past. Weren't they? Sequel to Phantom of Truth.
And that’s all I’m going to put because wow this is really long already lmaoooo
Deep Wounds Ch. 2 - What Now?
Previous | Next | AO3 | FFN
Word count: 4069
It takes ten minutes for everyone to change and clear out. During that time, an invisible Danny floats in one of the shower stalls, his gym bag clutched to his chest, one hand clamped around his mouth. If it hadn't been for Dash's shout of "No!" he might not have hidden in time. Danny only had a few seconds to snatch up his bandages and bag—but not the gauze—before the first person entered.
It was Tucker, thankfully. He gaped when he saw Danny and quickly waved for him to hide. Just in time, too, since Elliot was only a few steps behind.
Now, Danny can only hear a single person shuffling about.
"It's clear," Tucker whispers.
Danny floats through the door of the shower stall, breathing a sigh of relief when he sees the empty change room. He drops his invisibility and dumps his stuff on the floor in favour of clutching his side. "Why didn't I stay home today?"
"Because you want to graduate this year and you can't afford another absence." Tucker grabs his gym shirt off the floor, revealing the forgotten gauze pad, and sighs at the new stains. "I really liked this shirt."
"Dude, you are literally bleeding. Shut up. You don't need to apologize. Just be glad I got my shirt off before Elliot could see the damn thing." Tucker grabs the gauze, rolls it into a ball, and tosses it toward the garbage can. "Ten points!"
The gauze bounces off the rim and falls to the floor.
"Zero points," Danny says.
"Hey, I'm bleeding, remember?"
"That only gets you a pass from saying sorry, not common decency."
Danny's shoulders shake as he laughs. It hurts, making his left side throbbing, but trying to hold it back hurts worse. "Ow, ow, ow," he says, gasps of pain interrupting him. Curling over, he hugs his side even tighter, fighting back a sharp cry. The tension in his body doesn't help, but the pressure on his side feels good.
"Sam on her way?" Danny asks.
"She's grabbing the first-aid kit from my locker. I'll fix you up this time. We all know I have steadier hands." That A-plus in home ec isn't for nothing.
"Thanks," Danny mumbles.
"Yeah, dude. We've got you."
After Sam arrives, Tucker redoes Danny's stitches in record time. Half of the lunch hour has passed by the time Danny gets patched up, but he doesn't feel hungry anyway. Tucker takes his and Danny's bloody gym shirts and stuffs them into the first-aid kit.
"I need to refill on some supplies at home," Tucker explains. "I'll get rid of these there."
"Good idea. My mom found a pair of jeans I forgot to throw away after a fight with Skulker. I had a hard time explaining that one away," Danny says. The "I tripped into a window" excuse probably only works once, anyway. "But we have another problem."
"Dash?" Sam asks.
Danny nods. "Yeah. How did you know?"
"He was acting weird when gym ended. Wouldn't let anyone come inside until we pushed him out of the way."
"Huh." Danny certainly didn't expect that. Dash might be a downright bully anymore, but he's still not prone to random acts of kindness. "That's... weird." It doesn't make up for him tearing Danny's wound back open, even if it was an accident, but it's something.
"I think we might not have to worry about him," Sam says.
Danny stares at her, incredulous. "Seriously?"
"Yeah, actually. He could have done anything when he saw the rest of the class coming, including telling everyone that you were hurt. But he stopped them instead."
"But this is Dash."
"That's surprising coming from you."
"What does that even mean? You guys and Valerie are being so weird today. Come on, Tucker. Back me up." Danny looks at Tucker, fully expecting him to be on Danny's side.
Tucker doesn't respond right away. Biting his thumbnail, he stares ahead at the floor, deep in thought. That alone is enough to send Danny for a loop. When Tucker does answer, Danny's jaw drops in disbelief.
"I'm with Sam on this."
"Yeah, man. We don't even know what Dash thinks he saw, anyway. What happened when he walked in?" Tucker asks.
Danny tells them, sparing no detail.
Sam shakes her head. "I'll say. I can't believe you wailed at him."
"Almost. I almost wailed at him. It was a baby wail at most. More of a hum," Danny says. He was just so surprised when Dash walked in. Danny's instincts took over and all he could think about was getting Dash out of there as soon as possible. He is lucky no one else came running.
"That already will have freaked him out. If we go around making a big deal about it and getting in his face, that'll make things worse." Sam stands up from the floor, stretching her arms over her head. She looks completely unconcerned, so does Tucker for that matter. Both of them are content to let Dash be. "Let's wait to see what he does. If he starts spreading rumours, we'll know right away, and then we can confront him."
"On the other hand, he might go to you, Danny, first," Tucker adds. He takes a bottle of Aspirin from the first-aid kit and presses it into Danny's hand before zipping the bag up. "He might not do anything."
The bottle of Aspirin rattles as Danny twists the lid off. "I can't believe you guys are okay with this." He dumps a couple of pills into his palm and tosses them back. Wordlessly, Sam passes him a water bottle. One quick swig is all he needs to help the pills go down. "He could be telling everyone right now."
"He could," Sam admits. "But he won't."
Sam and Tucker get up to leave, and Danny's forced to follow, or else get left behind. He trails after them, stiff, sore, and aching. The pills won't kick in for a while, and he loathes having to walk now. If he could get away with it, he would spend the rest of the day floating through the halls.
Tragically, he has a secret to protect. One that is very much at risk right now, despite what Sam says. Wherever she and Tucker are getting their confidence from, Danny doesn't share it. He just hopes they're right.
Dash tries to hold it in. He really does. The sound of Danny's anger bearing down on him, reverberating through the change room, hasn't stopped rattling around his head. But as lunch nears its end, the words burst out of him.
"I think Fenton is in a gang or something," Dash says.
The table falls silent.
Kwan freezes in place, hand halfway to his mouth, and a piece of meatloaf falls off his fork. "You... what?"
"I think Danny is in a gang," Dash repeats, softer.
His friends gape at him, equally confused. Mostly. Star doesn't even look up from her math homework. In fact, Dash thinks she's smiling, but he ignores it.
"Kwan, I thought you said Danny was the one who got hit during gym class," Paulina says. She pushes her lunch aside and leans across the table, lifting a hand to Dash's forehead. "Are you sure you got it right?"
"I'm fine, Paulie." Dash ducks under his hand and hunkers low to the table. When no one else moves, he gestures for them to come closer. Kwan does so immediately. Paulina rolls her eyes but obliges.
"I'm good," Star says.
"Okay, so, I checked on Fenton after dropping him off, 'cause he looked kind of bad, and I guess, I don't know. I felt... whatever. It doesn't matter. But like, he had this huge cut."
Paulina grins and leans in closer, finally looking invested. "You felt kind of 'whatever?'"
Dash scowls. "Seriously, Paulie?"
"You're the one who said it!" Paulina smacks the table, a fit of giggles bursting from her. It's her "I've found some juicy gossip" noise and Dash hates it.
"Did you even hear me? Huge cut and all that?" Dash says.
Kwan shrugs. "I don't know. His parents build a lot of crazy stuff, don't they? He probably hurt himself on one of those. Did you see that new gun they were toting around last week? It melted Mr. Lancer's car!"
"Oh, my God. I totally saw that. I felt so bad for him," Paulina says.
Dash frowns down at the table while the conversation plods on. True, everyone knows the Fentons have some crazy inventions. But everything they make, they make to hurt ghosts, not people. Everyone in town has been caught in the Fentons crossfire at one point or another. Dash still remembers the disgusting taste of the Fenton Foamers. Like warm, month-old key lime yogurt. Disgusting, but ultimately harmless.
And Danny didn't just have a little cut. It was huge. Dash only got a brief look at it, but that short glance told him everything he needed to know. Something, or someone, had hurt Danny. Rather than going to the hospital—because no trained professional would do such a sloppy job—Danny fixed it himself or got his friends to fix it. The injury had to be new, too, since it was still bleeding.
But stitches could bleed if you ripped them, didn't treat the injury right. Judging by the placement, Danny's stitches must pull every time he moves his arm.
Could one of his parents' guns have done that?
Now that Dash thinks about it, he doesn’t remember ever seeing Danny get hit with his parents' weapons. Not their guns, at least. They have that dumb boomerang thing that he's seen smack Danny on the back of the head. Actually, that one hits Danny a lot.
Dash's frown deepens, etching into his face. Why on Earth would one of Danny's own parents' inventions hurt him so much? Unless...
"Hey, guys?" Dash asks, interrupting Star mid-sentence.
"You found more proof of Fenton's gang activities?" Paulina asks.
"What if, like, someone's hurting him?"
"You mean one of his gang buddies?"
"No, Paulie, I'm serious. What if someone is hurting him?"
The table falls silent once more, but this time, his friends' expressions are serious rather than disbelieving.
Kwan lowers his voice. "Do you really think... I mean, Fenton?"
"Well..." Star taps her chin. "Where was he hurt?"
"Here." Dash taps his ribs on his left side, under his arm.
Star nods. "Okay. Are you sure he couldn't have, you know...." She trails off, but Dash already knows what she means.
"No way. He could hardly see the cut, much less do it himself. And it was bad."
"So he was hurt, badly, in a place that no one else would normally see. He didn't miss any school, so he probably didn't go to the hospital. Was it recent?"
Dash nods. "There was blood. Too much to just be because of the stitches."
Star drums her fingers on the table, nodding slowly. "I think you could be right."
The A-listers glance around the table, meeting each other's eyes. None of them say anything, but the same question lurks in all their minds. Now what?
In the days following the change room debacle, Danny avoids Dash like his life depends on it. Which it might. Any time he sees Dash in the hall, he turns right around and walks away. When they're in class, Danny stares straight ahead and refuses to look Dash's way. In gym class, Tetslaff lets him sit out, finally. Having Danny blackout on her after she forced him to play must have spooked her because she benches him before he can even ask not to play.
"No student of mine is gonna pass out on my watch. Twice," she says.
It won't last forever, but Danny will take what he can get, while he can get it.
But the thing is, Dash doesn't try anything. It's surreal. For the past four years, Danny has grown accustomed to Dash's constant harassment. Even when it dropped significantly in sophomore year, Dash never stopped. He threw erasers at Danny during class, tripped him in the halls, called out teasing names every chance he got.
"I'm not the only one who thinks this is weird, right?" Danny asks Tucker on the third day.
Already done his lunch, Tucker is thoroughly engrossed by his phone and doesn't look up as he replies. "You think everything is weird lately."
"Because it is."
"Missing your quality time with Dash?" Tucker flashes a quick grin in Danny's direction before returning to his phone.
"Har, har. You are so funny." Danny would have to be some kind of masochist to miss Dash's badgering. It's just... strange, not to have to watch the halls for him in that way. It doesn't make Danny watch any less—in fact, he finds himself looking for Dash more than before. So that he can run away if he gets close. Except Dash isn't even trying, and that annoys the hell out of him.
Tucker sighs, finally putting down his phone, and rests a hand on Danny's head. "Such a hopeless young soul. Can't even understand your own heart."
Danny slaps the hand away. "Says the guy who asked out every girl in school because they all made him feel the same way because it turns out he's super ace and didn't actually feel anything for any of them."
"And what an emotional journey that was." Tucker faces Danny head-on. "Look, Danny. If it's bothering you that much, then go talk to him. Feed him some excuse about what happened. Just remember that there's a reason Sam and I think it will be okay."
Danny ponders Tucker's advice for the rest of the day. The weekend starts tomorrow, which gives him two whole Dash-free days to think about the situation. Maybe a little time to himself as what he needs. He goes for a flight after school rather than walking home with Tucker; being in the air always helps clear his head.
He soars far above the city until he is little more than a pinprick to everyone far below. At the peak of his flight, his phone rings. The caller ID shows it's Jazz.
"What's up?" he greets his sister.
"Taken over my room yet?" Jazz asks.
"When you've only been at college for a month? Of course." It made a great storage space. Danny turns over to float on his stomach and starts drifting down like a leaf, falling back and forth on the wind.
"Well, I'm gonna need it back this weekend."
"Dropping out already?"
"You wish. I got a tutoring gig: two sessions—Saturday and Sunday. I don't want to do the two hours there and back both days, so I'm coming home for the weekend."
"I can't believe someone is actually paying to spend time with you. Hope the loser doesn't rub off on them."
Jazz laughs. "Pretty sure any loser on my came from you. And it's four people. Actually, you know them."
When Danny comes downstairs Saturday morning and sees Jazz's students at the kitchen table, he stops dead.
"You have got to be kidding me," he says.
"Hi, Danny!" Paulina waves, far too perky for nine in the morning. Squished around the table with her, Kwan and Star offer their own small waves. Dash looks straight down at his textbook.
"Goodbye." Danny pivots and marches back toward the stairs. Forget breakfast; he didn't want to eat, anyway. He can still have a nice, relaxing, Dash-free day in the confines of his bedroom.
A cascade of whispers reaches his ears as he hits the first stair. The A-listers murmur too quiet for him to make out what they're saying, although he thinks he catches his name more than once. Maybe they're talking about how uncanny it is being inside his house. Or, perhaps, they're discussing the new school nurse, Tammy. But even as he thinks it, he knows neither theory is true.
A chair screeches in the kitchen, the plastic capped legs scraping against the linoleum. Danny throws himself up the stairs.
"Oh, Danny, wait!" Paulina's silky voice follows him.
He jerks to a stop at the landing, cringing. How mad would she be if he ignored her? It's funny to think that a few years ago his heart would have leapt at Paulina calling out his name, back when he had a crush on her.
His toes curl against the carpet as he hesitates; the pros and cons of ignoring her run through his head. Pro: he won't have to deal with whatever scheme she's up to, and Paulina is most certainly up to something. Con: she might sic Dash on him, and he's the last person Danny wants to see right now. But that's a moot point because Dash is already here. After some humming and hawing, he grits his teeth and turns back around.
Paulina hangs out the kitchen doorway, greeting him with a bright smile.
"Yes, Paulina?" Danny asks.
It should be physically impossible for her smile to get any wider, and yet it does. "You're having trouble in science class, right?"
Danny hesitates. "Maybe. Why?"
"So are we! We came here for a study session with your sister, since she was Casper's best student in thirty decades. You should join us!"
"Isn't Star acing all her classes? And I thought science was your best class."
Paulina rolls her eyes and huffs, but without any malice. It reminds him of the look Tucker gives his little cousins when they are being intentionally obstinate. Danny flushes, suddenly feeling stupid even though he doesn't understand why.
"Yeah, we're good at it, but the boys aren't. Duh." She says it like it's the most obvious thing in the world. Maybe it is. "It's easier to study in a group."
"Thanks, but no thanks. I like studying alone."
Paulina's smile doesn't fall, but it changes. Danny can't quite place what it turns into. Her mouth curves upward and her teeth are exposed; objectively, it's still a smile. But there's a new tension to it, one Danny only notices now, but he thinks might have been there the whole time, lurking behind the bright façade. His grip on the newel post tightens, the wood creaking beneath his finger.
At times like this, Danny wishes his ghost abilities included reading emotions. The look Paulina is giving him is important, he can feel it, even though he can't explain it. But it doesn't mean anything if he can't decipher it.
"If you say so." The moment shatters. Paulina withdraws back into the kitchen, leaving Danny alone and wondering if he missed something important.
Down the hall from him, Jazz's bedroom door opens. She emerges with an armful of books—old schoolbooks, Danny notes.
"Not hanging out with Sam and Tucker today?" she asks.
"Jazz, it's not even noon yet. I don't think Tucker's awake." Danny glances down the stairs toward the kitchen, mulling something over in his head. "I kind of want some alone time today. I know you're tutoring and everything, but could you make sure they don't bother me?"
Jazz frowns. "Is everything okay?"
"There was an... incident with Dash at school."
"Jazz!" Danny's entire face turns scarlet. "Please never say that about Dash." He lowers his voice. "It was ghost-related troubles."
Jazz's expression goes stony, her teasing smile replaced by a serious frown. "Do I need to take care of him for you?"
"Oh, my God, Jazz! Just keep him away from my room!" He marches the rest of the way to his room to the sound of Jazz's snickers and slams the door behind him.
When Paulina returns to the kitchen, Dash sits up straighter. She shakes her head as she reclaims her seat next to Star. Dash deflates again.
"I told you this wouldn't work," Dash says.
"Don't be so silly. That wasn't even plan A, although it would make things easier. Are you sure you didn't do anything to him in that change room?" Paulina asks.
Dash groans. "Please. Please never say anything like that again. It sounds so wrong."
"You're the one who took it that way."
Star and Kwan laugh at Dash's misfortune, watching him bury his face in his arms. When Star suggested they gather evidence, to confirm whether or not Danny was being abused at home, this wasn't what Dash expected. He pictured spy movie antics with them sneaking through the bushes dressed all in black, peeking through windows until they say something that proved—or disproved—their theory.
Things would go a lot easier if Dash could actually talk to Danny, but ever since that moment in the change room, he can't. He knows Danny has been avoiding him, which is better short term. If Danny walked up to Dash right now demanding to talk about what happened, Dash wouldn't know what to say.
How many times has he hurt Danny (pushed, kicked, body-checked) when he was injured? There's a possibility, however slim, that this was a fluke, the first time Danny has ever come to school injured. There have to be loads of reasons someone might not go to the hospital, such as bad insurance. Dash's cousin broke her nose once and let it heal crooked instead of going to the doctor since it was cheaper. He's heard stories of people sacrificing their health rather than paying exorbitant hospital fees. It's not impossible.
Except Danny's parents are inventors. They do projects for the government and can afford to throw money around for ridiculous ghost hunting contraptions. The Emergency Ops Centre only two floors above them must have cost millions. If that's the case, then surely his parents can afford a hospital visit for such a bad wound.
Dash doesn’t like to think about the alternative, but he has to. The alternative is the whole reason he and his friends are here.
That doesn't help with Dash's other dilemma, though. How is he supposed to talk to Fenton, now? Dash doesn't think he knows how to interact with Danny without some form of aggression. Even when he stopped outright bullying people, he never stopped with Danny. A push here, a shove there. It is instinct for Dash to stick his foot out if he sees Danny coming.
Danny even returns the favour, sometimes, growing bolder the older they became. Dash still doesn't know how Danny keeps getting into his stuffed bear collection, but it's not unusual for him to find one in his locker or sitting at his desk when he returns to class.
It's what they do. Dash can't help it. Any time he manages to trip Danny up enough that he gets a glare or a vengeful smile, it makes him feel good.
But he can't do that now. If Danny is actually getting hurt at home, Dash can't in his right mind keep agitating him. Just thinking about what he did to Danny's stitches makes him pale. He doesn't even want to think about what other wounds he's made worse over the years.
And he has. Dash knows this without a doubt. Thinking back on their interactions this year alone, more than five occasions come to mind where Danny grimaced, or flinched, or clutched some part of his body after Danny bumped his shoulder in the hall. It feels him with an indescribable dread, but the worst of it is he can't understand why.
He never knew Danny was injured; he can't be entirely to blame. Thinking that does nothing to assuage his guilt, though.
"Okay!" Jazz Fenton announces herself with a bright chirp. She clutches a stack of textbooks to her chest; books Dash recognizes from their classes. The idea that she stole them from the school flashes through his mind, but that's ludicrous. Jazz doesn't have a criminally minded bone in her body. If anything, she bought them, or the school gave them to her for being that amazing. Either option is more likely than her committing a crime.
Jazz slams the books down on the table directly across from Dash. She flashes him a brilliant smile as she sits and folds her hands over the table.
"So, Dash." She tilts her head. Her smile no longer looks kind. "I've heard some interesting things about you."
Previous | Next
For the bad things happens bingo, Villian reveals the secret with Danny Phantom???
(Also just found your blog and I plan to see a lot of your stuff so sorry for the notifications in advance)
From this post.
This is such a good prompt, aah! I'm going to use Vlad, because he had a lot of potential to be a much better villain and, no, and I'm not going to get over it.
This is a canon divergence of "Bitter Reunions" because it always bothered me how fucking stupid Vlad's plan in that episode was. "Hello, teenager that I have known for two days. Please help me murder your father so I can fuck your mom. Please. I'm so lonely." This is more satisfying.
Summary: Vlad calls Danny's bluff, in the worst way possible.
There's no way that Danny can beat someone so much more powerful than him in a straight-on fight, so he haggles with the only thing that he has to offer. "Listen to me," he says to Vlad, and it feels so strange to hear his own voice and feel his dad's mouth moving. Overshadowing, although useful, always feels unpleasant. "I swear I'll walk out of my dad right now and expose us both unless you agree to a truce."
Vlad narrows his eyes. Even without pupils, Danny can tell that those red eyes dart over to glance at his mom and Danny's grip on Vlad's collar tightens subconsciously. "You're bluffing," Vlad settles on. It sounds more like a question than a statement and his uncertainty is written clear-as-day on his face.
Finally, Danny feels something akin to relief, and lets himself smile. "No, I'm not. My parents will accept me no matter what, but if I expose you, well—" He chuckles, trying to sound more confident than he actually is. "What would my mom think?"
The problem, though, is that he is bluffing. Danny hopes with everything in him that his parents will understand, or at least not shoot him on sight, but he can't guarantee that they won't. He can't even be sure that they'll choose him over Vlad. Not with the smooth-talker that Vlad is. Because if he plays his cards just right, then—
He can see the exact moment when Vlad reaches the same conclusion. Surprise gives way to smugness and Vlad bares his fangs. "Well, why don't we find out?" He shoots back.
Propelling himself upward, Vlad slams his knee into Danny's chin. It's a very physical attack, but Jack has a very physical body and it leaves Danny stunned all the same. The ecto-goo covering Vlad causes Danny to lose his grip, and when Vlad hits the ground, the door to the library slams open.
Vlad Masters stands in the entrance, and Danny is surprised for a few seconds before he remembers that Vlad can duplicate himself. His shock lasts just a little bit too long. By the time Danny is turning back to Vlad Plasmius, he's too late to react to the fist coming at his face. It passes through his skin, intangibility sending shivers down Danny's spine, and then everything goes a bright, blinding pink.
Laying flat on his back with his face and hair seared from Plasmius' ecto-blast, Danny can only groan. His dad looks unharmed, although he is dazed. Danny tries to sink through the floor, find somewhere to turn back into himself, but Plasmius is on him in a heartbeat.
Somewhere behind him, Masters is shouting. "Quickly, Maddie! While they're distracted fighting each other!"
That doesn't sound good.
Danny's hands glow, ecto-blasts powering up, and Plasmius grabs him by the hands, absorbing the energy harmlessly. "I'm sure you're right, Daniel," Plasmius mutters, just low enough for only Danny to hear. Somewhere nearby, he can hear his parents fiddling with their ecto-weapons and lining up the shot. Danny struggles harder to shove Plasmius off of him to no avail. "If you exposed us both, right here, right now, your parents would pick you. However, I have no intention of ever exposing myself. And it occurs to me that you'll have a hard time getting them to believe you if they think you a monster."
An ecto-gun fires.
Plasmius refuses to let him go and the shot from the Fenton Bazooka hits them both dead-on. As a clone, Plasmius disappears on sight, painlessly. Danny doesn't get the luxury.
He skips several times across the floor, like a stone over a pond, and rolls to a hard stop on his stomach. Something's sizzling. It takes Danny a few seconds to realize that it's his skin. Half of his jumpsuit had been blown off in the impact, clinging to his torso in strands like ecto-plasmic spiderwebs. His shoulder and side are blackened, and Danny wonders if he really sees bone sticking out or if he's just delirious from how hard his head is pounding. It doesn't matter — even as he watches, his body stitches the worst of the wounds closed, ectoplasm swallowing up the injuries.
He feels, somewhat distantly, that he's turning back but Danny doesn't have the energy to stop it. The pain grows more acute and he lowers himself to the cool ground gratefully, groaning.
"Danny?" His mom's voice. Maddie sounds horrified. There's rapid footsteps that quickly stop.
"Don't get any closer," Vlad warns. "I watched that other ghost overshadow him. It could still very-well be in there."
"Are you out of your mind, Vladdie?" Jack snapped. "Ghost or no ghost, that's our boy, and he's hurt!"
Somehow, Danny finds the energy to lift his head. His burns still throb, his ghostly-half struggling to mend every last indication of damage. He makes a mistake by looking at his parents. His body is numb and cold, but his eyes are burning. Danny is familiar enough with the sensation at this point to know that they're glowing.
His parents are still concerned, but they see his green eyes and they both take a measured step back. Vlad, looking smug, doesn't move. And Danny can't help it — he snarls, anger and pain making his thoughts swim, and feels his eyes flare that much brighter.
"Get behind me, Vlad," Maddie orders, and Vlad is all too happy to obey. Anger is washed away by hurt as Danny watches his mom level the Fenton Bazooka at his face for another shot. "Make this easy on yourself, ghost," she says, voice trembling. "Come out of my son and we can make some sort of deal for your freedom."
Danny shakes his head. "Mom," he tries, climbing to his feet. He sways, and sees Jack move toward him, only for Vlad to set a hand on his shoulder and stop him in his tracks. "Mom. Dad, please," Danny begs again, desperation inching its way into his voice. His eyes haven't stopped glowing and he doesn't know how to make them. He's only had this power for two months and Danny wants to cry — is it really so easy to rip his life out from under him? "You don't understand. I'm not overshadowed, I'm just me. I'm Danny." Neither of them answer him and, growing more frantic, Danny takes a step closer. "You have to believe me!"
Maddie's eyes widen in alarm and her finger goes to the trigger. She doesn't fire, but it burns even worse than if she had. "No closer, ghost," she orders, and her voice is hard. She isn't talking to her son anymore.
Stunned, all Danny can do is stand there, staring with his mouth agape. He isn't sure what he expected. Was it really so easy? All Vlad had to say was three sentences and his parents were glaring at him as if he was...
He locks eyes with Vlad, who's still standing behind Maddie, looking beyond pleased with himself. And why shouldn't he be? He'd barely had to lift a finger to turn Danny's parents against him.
There's nothing else that he can do, he knows. Danny turns invisible, drawing a gasp from his parents, and sinks through the floor a second before the Fenton Bazooka leaves a scorch mark in the ground where he was just standing.
He has no idea how he's going to deal with this, but at the moment, Danny just wants to be alone. And he wants to talk to Sam and Tucker.
Some Families need a Meow-ment.
This is a series inspired by @sykloni OC
Lets give Dani a cat and a good home!
For thousands of years, she had witnessed the rise and fall of society and the humans that lived in it.
But she had never seen a human like this.
The young child had been a ghost only a few moments before, and now she was a human lying unconscious in a sand dune.
Bastet lazily stood up from where she had been sunbathing and stretched. Her claws digging into the hot sand as she did so before she made her way over to the child. Her curiosity was getting the better of her.
The poor dune child was in bad shape, she wasn't injured per se, but she was very sick. With what? She wasn't sure.
Bastet placed a paw on the dune child's head and felt her core crackle with energy as she began to loan it to the poor child.
She could cure this child of whatever blight that was plaguing her. She was the ancient Master of Health and Protection, after all.
But something about seeing this child change forms was bothering her.
It seemed familiar….
Didn't her brother Clockwork mention something about his young charge being able to do such things?
Phantom, was it?
He was a powerful hybrid.
One that brought about great honor to her brother's name.
Well, if her brother has one, then she should too, shouldn't she?
She was entitled to a charge.
Granted, this one seemed rather pathetic.
But even still, there was always room for potential.
Purr-haps she could hang around for a little to see what this one was capable of?
Yes, she rather liked that.
Dani woke to a soft vibration on her chest.
She blearily blinked her eyes open, only to realize she was face to face with the red eyes of a very ghostly looking calico cat.
"Um, hello there?" She chuckled weakly. "Do I make a good bed?"
The cat just blinked at her owlishly and tilted its head.
"Right, you don't talk." Dani sighed as she reached up cautiously to pet the cat.
She giggled when the cat headbutted her hand and started purring louder.
"I guess I made a new friend."
Dani looked around cautiously.
It was nighttime, and there was a lot of sand….
Like A LOT of sand, it was a desert after all. Though she had no idea where she was.
But she was feeling weirdly good right now, despite all of this.
She had passed out because her ghost form was starting to destabilize again.
Generally, after a fainting spell like that, she wouldn't be able to move well or even think, yet she was doing all of those things perfectly fine.
The blue, black, and white calico suddenly decided to headbutt her chin, rubbing its small head against hers.
Dani giggled again and moved to sweep the sweet animal into a hug.
"Thank you for watching out for me and trying to cheer me up," Dani said as she snuggled her new friend. "I don't really have anybody to look out for me like that."
The cat suddenly purred even louder in her embrace.
"Sheesh, you really like me, huh?" Dani asked as she allowed the cat to worm its way onto her shoulders. It curled around her neck like an expensive scarf and rubbed its face against her cheek.
Dani laughed again uncontrollably.
"Okay, okay, I get it. Looks like I am stuck with you now." She said with a grin as she scratched behind the cat's ears. "I guess you'll need a name."
Dani paused in thought.
"Man, I wish my cousin were here. You'd like him. He's really smart and great at naming things!" She chirped but then sighed in defeat. Deflating as she realized she may never even see her cousin again before she faded. She had thought the ecto-dejecto had fixed her. But it turned out it was only a temporary fix, and now here she was. Miles away from the only person who could help her, one that she wasn't even sure wanted her around.
She really had sealed her own fate.
And she was utterly alone.
The cat licked her cheek and headbutted her again.
Dani chuckled. Well, maybe she wasn't entirely alone.
"I wish we could just teleport to amity park or something, I miss my cousin a lot, and he would know how to help me get better."
The cat suddenly stopped purring and tilted its head like it was thinking.
Dani blinked. That was odd—
Before she could even finish the thought, the black parts of the cat's body suddenly came to life, casting her and her entire surroundings in a veil of shadows, and then, she was free-falling through a space of pitch-black nothingness.
Danny's Secret Identity was no longer a secret anymore. He was out and proud as a half-ghost and a well-known hero.
Things seemed to really be looking up for him for once.
His teachers were more than willing to help him manage school around his crazy schedule, he no longer had a fear of his parents hating him looming over his head, and he was getting some recognition for once.
It was nice. He smiled to himself as he pulled his hoodie hood down a little more on his face.
He was in amity's gardens, sitting cross-legged in the grass as he poured out over his textbooks for Mr. Lancer's class.
It was cool out today, the trees were all different shades of autumn, and the air smelled like freshly baked loaves of bread and pumpkin pie, thanks to the Bakery right around the corner.
Sam and Tuck never seemed to notice that smell, though. He supposed a heightened sense of smell was thanks to his ghost half. It was an odd thing to have. But on days like this, it made him happy.
The City was relatively quiet today. There was no loud traffic, arguments, and most importantly, no ghosts.
There was one sound that caught his attention, though.
A group of elementary kids gathered at the top of the slide. They watched from the playground just down the ways from him.
He could hear their whispers.
"Do you think that's him?"
"Do you think he would get mad if we said hi?"
"But what if it isn't him, guys? That might be weird."
"but what if it is, though!"
He smirked as he watched the group of kids bicker. The youngest one seemed to be holding a Phantom doll to her chest.
It was cute.
Danny willed a snowball into his hand and expertly threw it at the oldest kid's back.
The kid yelped and quickly spun around.
Not understanding what just happened.
"is that snow??" he blurted out in confusion. "Where--?"
Danny waited till the kid was looking in his direction and then waved.
The kids all went slack-jawed when they saw him flare his eyes green under his hood.
The Kids launched into excited babble and quickly waved back at him.
Danny smiled and raised a single finger to his lips, and winked. Quietly asking them to not blow his cover.
The kids seemed to understand the gesture and nodded enthusiastically from where they were.
Danny smiled. He liked days like these.
Too bad days like these never lasted forever.
Danny gasped as the familiar cold of his ghost sense pushed past his lips.
Danny immediately stood up and called on his ghost half. The bright transformation caught the attention of everyone in the park.
"Evacuate the Area!" Danny yelled.
The citizens didn't need to be told twice.
Everyone cleared out as fast as they could, terror striking their hearts when a cloud of black shadows suddenly sprung forth from the ground near the swing set.
Luckily, everyone was far off enough that Danny wasn't worried about them getting hurt.
He charged up his ecto blasts, ready to take on whatever was about to cause havoc.
But havoc never came.
Instead, the shadows swirled away to reveal a pair of very shocked but familiar blue eyes.
"Dani??" Danny blurted out as he took in the appearance of his cousin. She was covered in grit and sand and didn't look like she had seen a bed or a shower in months, and she had a ghost cat that Danny had never seen before cradled to her chest.
He wasted no time and quickly flew over to cradle both her and her cat in his arms, hugging them both tightly to his chest.
"It's so good to see you, Elle, but you look awful. Are you okay?" He asked, his voice dripping with honest concern.
Dani couldn't bring herself to say anything. Her bottom lip started to tremble, and then soon, she was having a complete meltdown in her cousin's arms.
Danny didn't say anything. He just pulled her into a tighter hug, pivoting slightly in the air so Dani could lay on his chest.
And they just stayed like that for a little while as Danny tried his best to soothe her. He could hear and feel the loud purring of the cat that was smooshed between them. It was lapping at Dani's tears.
Dani let out a warbly laugh and pet her cat as a thank you. She still didn't understand how she got here, but she was glad it happened.
She froze suddenly when she saw a group of people over Danny's shoulder filming everything with their phones.
She flushed bright red out of both embarrassment and horror.
Danny frowned in confusion at the reaction before glancing over his shoulder.
"Vultures," Danny growled under his breath. Dani blinked as her cousin's canines suddenly got pointer and more defined, both on the top and the bottom.
"Danny?" Elle asked softly, watching with confusion as her cousin's features returned to normal once he was facing her again. "Could we get out of here?"
"Of course, kiddo."
So, this was her brother's charge. Bastet thought from where she was lazily curled up in the Fenton's living room.
She watched curiously through one half-opened eye as the older hybrid combed through Dani's now freshly cleaned hair.
Danny was sitting on the couch behind Elle. The younger hybrid was sitting cross-legged on an ottoman with her head tilted slightly back.
Bastet watched as the older hybrid started to braid her charge's hair.
These two were odd.
But one thing was sure.
Dani was hers now. She would take her on as a charge, and she would help her improve. Maybe one day, she would be as well known and as powerful as her cousin.
But as her brother often said, only time will tell.
Bastet stretched and yawned, satisfied with her decision.
She was about to drift back off into sleep when a frazzled human very frantically stormed in from the outside.
"Danny!" The redhead yelled, causing the hybrid to nearly drop the brush that was in his hands.
She looked like she was about to say something else but stopped dead when she saw a young girl sitting on the ottoman in front of her brother.
They were looking back at her with matching expressions of shock. Same expression. Same blue eyes. Same black hair.
"Danny, I swear to everything if this is how I find out you have a Daughter!"
"Daughter??" Danny blanched from where he was sitting. His face turning bright red. "Jazz! I am 15. I have never even…. well, you know! This is Dani. Long story short, Vlad is a creep, and he cloned her from me."
Jazz looked like she had short-circuited.
"Nice to meet you?" Dani asked with a nervous chuckle. She should have known her cousin's family would react badly to her. She knew they were going too, even though Danny had promised that they wouldn't. She felt like she was going to cry again. "Maybe I should go."
Danny spun his attention back to her and caught her by one of her hands.
"Please don't go again, Elle. We all want you here, I promise. Please don't disappear again. I don't think my heart, or my core, could handle not knowing if you're alright anymore, please."
Dani looked up at her cousin with shock, taking in his pleading and glassy eyes.
He was serious; he really did want her here.
But that didn't make sense. No one wanted her.
Vlad had said so himself.
The only difference between her and the other clones….her brothers…was that Danny felt terrible for her. Otherwise, he would have destroyed her too, just like he had destroyed her brothers.
She didn't entirely know if she could trust Danny. She wanted to. But what if Vlad was right?
Dani felt paralyzed under the pleading gaze of her older cousin.
She wasn't sure what she wanted.
Just then, her cat jumped up into her lap and nuzzled up against her chin.
Dani chuckled as she scooped her cat up against her chest and focused on her purr.
"That's an adorable cat." Jazz ventured as she slowly sat down next to her brother. "Does she have a name?"
She was hoping to help the young girl calm down.
"I think I like the name Clawdia." Dani smiled weakly.
Jazz returned the smile with one of her own as she pulled her stressed younger brother into a one-armed hug.
"Well then, welcome to the family Clawdia and you too, Dani."
Chapter 16 [FFN | AO3] of The Trouble with Ghosts: Lancer hadn’t realized how closely young Mr. Fenton’s school troubles–and the secrets he surely wasn’t telling his parents–were tied to ghosts until after that encounter with Phantom.
(beginning | previous)
Warnings: Torture and near drowning until the dialogue starts, more threats afterwards
Despite his distorted view, Danny saw the three figures enter the lab before Vlad did. Vlad was too busy watching him. Smiling. Waiting.
Danny’s heart thundered in his chest. He couldn’t kick or thrash. He couldn’t scream, at least not without burning up the last of his oxygen. He hoped Vlad would take his widened eyes as panic or pleading instead of surprise, but—
There must have been some sound that Danny didn’t hear. Vlad turned, flicking intangible as a blast from an ectogun shot through him and hit the door of Danny’s chamber, fizzling out into a shower of green sparks. It wasn’t enough to crack the door, unfortunately, but now he could hear yelling above the blood pounding in his ears, and he knew they must’ve seen him.
Black started to swirl in front of his eyes, and something within him tried to spark to life.
Danny pushed it down, trying to focus, but all he could see now through the encroaching black was glimpses of pink and green. Vlad wasn’t holding back, then. He wasn’t pretending.
Of course, he couldn’t, not with Danny right there in his lab. Considering he looked like Masters and not Plasmius, he’d have to play at being overshadowed to even try to get away with this. Not that it would work now that everyone knew the truth. They weren’t going to take Vlad’s word over Danny’s.
Danny’s chest ached.
Every heartbeat seemed like it was building up pressure, threatening to burst out of him—
That same something sparked again, white light filtering through the black, and he pushed it down.
His vision closed off completely, and he tried to listen, to follow the fight, only to start as something banged into the door of the chamber, sending a reverberation through the entire thing.
Liquid flooded into his mouth and filled his lungs, and Danny choked, spluttering and trying to move—
The spark came again, and he didn’t have the strength to stop it.
After the change had washed over him, his body didn’t protest the lack of oxygen. The fogginess lifted from his mind, and he could see with clear eyes.
Meaning he could see the snarling expression on Valerie’s face as she attacked Vlad, flanked by his mom. Not that attacking Vlad did much good, seeing as he simply stayed intangible. Valerie’s momentum from her punch sent her stumbling through him, and the rolling desk chair lying on its side in front of his chamber didn’t seem so out of place once Valerie grabbed a beaker from the table she’d hit and hurled it at Vlad’s head. Maddie danced out of the way—Valerie really wasn’t used to fighting with allies—and swept at Vlad’s feet with the Fenton Utility Weapon, but he still wasn’t tangible, and whatever setting she had it on wasn’t enough for shock him back to tangibility. Danny saw her changing the settings, spinning the dial on the side in between hits, but she hadn’t had success yet.
Most ghosts couldn’t stay intangible for very long.
It was incredibly draining.
Thinking back on it, Danny really should’ve realized that Vlad employed that tactic more than anyone else he’d ever fought. All those years of breaking into places, maybe. He wasn’t fighting back anymore, though Danny wasn’t necessarily sure that it was a good thing. It was Vlad. Having no scruples was kinda his thing, and—
Where was Lancer?
It shouldn’t have been difficult to lose sight of a giant ball of green energy, but to be fair, Danny hadn’t expected Lancer to ever turn off the portable ghost shield. (Once Danny had realized that must be what Lancer was using, he really couldn’t see it being anything else.)
Of course, a ghost shield was only effective against ghosts.
Danny’s heart sank a little when he spotted Lancer a mere five feet from him, half-hidden behind an examination table but held in place by a second Vlad.
A duplicate in human form was still in human form. Truthfully, Danny wasn’t sure how that worked, but it was something he’d tested with Sam and Tucker once he’d gotten the hang of actually creating a duplicate. Vlad had had twenty years to test out his abilities, so he knew perfectly well that he’d only needed to drop his intangibility and invisibility at the last second to pass through the ghost shield.
For a moment, Danny didn’t know why Vlad wouldn’t just overshadow Lancer. A scalpel to the throat was a little much, even for him. Maddie and Valerie were too focused on the first Vlad to notice, and Danny couldn’t hear Mr. Lancer making any attempt to get their attention. It just didn’t seem like an effective tactic, so Danny couldn’t understand Vlad’s game. If it were just to keep Lancer from reaching him—and he had clearly been Lancer’s goal; Danny had no doubt Valerie and Maddie had agreed to something like that beforehand, letting Lancer do the rescuing while they did the distracting—there were easier ways to do that.
Holo-Maddie reappeared at that moment, causing the real one to freeze in place and stare as the hologram chirped out, “Sample processed, sweetums!”
Valerie was the first one to recover—unless you counted Vlad, who was already flying towards the computer console. The version of him who wasn’t holding Lancer captive, anyway. “What the heck is that supposed to mean?” Valerie shrieked, her words even clearer to him now that he was Phantom. She hadn’t taken her eyes off the hologram, but Maddie had the moment Vlad had begun to move. She was taking aim with her weapon, and—
Vlad screamed as the blast hit him in the back, throwing him forward into the console. His suit was smoking slightly at the edges, distinct despite Danny’s watery view. Maddie took another shot, this time hitting the computer in a flurry of sparks.
It was only once the Maddie hologram flickered that Danny realized that might have been his mother’s intention all along. Had Vlad let himself be hit? Had he been trying to protect the computer?
Valerie had her ectogun raised again, too. Except— It wasn’t the one she’d held earlier, the one Maddie must’ve given her. It was definitely Dalv tech, the same one he’d faced down only yesterday. She wasn’t in her suit—at least she knew enough not to trust that—but he knew that look on her face. She was a split second away from pulling the trigger, and Danny was sure that it was only Vlad’s voice from behind her when she could clearly see him in front of her that had her freeze before she could take her shot.
“I’d hold your fire,” the scalpel-wielding Vlad said, effectively drawing the attention of the others.
Holo-Maddie reappeared by the first Vlad at the computer console, but neither Valerie nor Maddie gave any indication that they’d noticed. Valerie took two steps towards Mr. Lancer and the Vlad who was holding him captive, still aiming her gun at them, but Maddie stopped her. She started trying to bargain, but Danny could recognize the distraction for what it was, and he looked back to see if he could figure out what Vlad was doing at the computer.
The angle wasn’t great; Danny couldn’t see the screen, let alone make out what Vlad was typing. Still, he could see Vlad pocket something—a flash drive, maybe?—before he keyed something into the computer. Holo-Maddie disappeared, and one of the large buttons on the console started flashing red.
Vlad changed into Plasmius, catching Valerie’s attention once more, but she only got off one shot before he flew through the wall.
It had missed him by less than half an inch, the tiny little dart embedded in the wall instead.
The remaining Vlad smiled before dropping the scalpel and vanishing himself.
Danny couldn’t make out Lancer’s gasping words, but he waved off Maddie and Valerie and pointed towards Danny. At a word from Maddie, Valerie nodded and moved towards him anyway, but Danny couldn’t see if Lancer had downplayed his injuries because Maddie was all he could see as she came over to examine the chamber.
“Hold on, Danny,” she said. “I’ll get you out of there.”
Either Vlad’s work was incredibly intuitive or he’d based it off an old invention with which Maddie was familiar, because the water was draining in less than thirty seconds. Danny might not strictly need to breathe as much in ghost mode (or at all? He always got really uncomfortable whenever they tried to test it, so he wasn’t wholly sure if it had a time limit), but he still sucked in huge lungfuls of air the moment he could.
“Thanks,” he whispered, just before the door’s seal released with a pop.
“Don’t thank us yet,” Maddie murmured as she pulled the door open and peered at the contraption sticking out of his abdomen. “Do you know what this is?”
“Vlad was trying to get…got…a mid-morph sample. Like, a DNA sample or something from the moment I changed.” Danny glanced down at it. “You can probably just pull it out without killing me.” Vlad didn’t know if the sample was all he needed, after all. At least, Danny hoped he didn’t. That doubt would keep Vlad from pulling anything worse right now.
“Let’s get you out of this first. Then I’ll take a better look at that.”
A detached part of Danny knew most mothers didn’t carry around lockpicks, let alone know how to use them. It wasn’t one of the things he could ever remember Jazz rolling her eyes over—being able to chase ghosts past the first locked door or gate or whatever was rather essential to a successful ghosthunter, and his parents didn’t exactly have a life of crime on the side like Vlad—but it was something he’d gotten used to long before his parents had ever opened the portal. He could still remember the look on Mrs. Foley’s face the first time he’d asked her where she kept hers if she didn’t have any pockets in her clothes. He’d been five or six, maybe, and she’d been too stunned by the seemingly random question to speak.
Tucker had been too busy laughing to realize Danny hadn’t been joking like he’d assumed.
Still, it didn’t take very long for Maddie to free his wrists, and by the time she dropped down to work on the lock at his feet, Lancer was hovering anxiously in the background and Valerie had gone to glower at the computer console.
“Thanks for coming,” Danny said, trying not to focus on the thin line of red where Vlad had scored Lancer’s skin. He really hadn’t thought Vlad would kill anyone—it was more his style to utterly discredit them—and seeing that this might not have been an empty threat on Vlad’s part made Danny’s stomach turn. He was fine with the danger being focused on himself, but everyone else, especially someone like Mr. Lancer….
“The others are headed over,” Valerie said without turning around, and Lancer closed his mouth without speaking. “Good thing, too. I think Tucker’ll need to figure out whatever Mr. Masters did, because I definitely can’t.”
“Come on, sweetie,” Maddie said as she eased him free, keeping his torso straight even as she turned him, pivoting him out of the chamber without pulling free whatever was stuck inside him. “Just hold on a few more seconds while I look at this.”
Danny nodded and didn’t breathe, letting her work.
He felt like he’d lost. Mr. Lancer, Valerie, his parents— They all knew and accepted him, and now they all knew the truth about Vlad, too. That should have been a victory. Maybe it still was, of a sort, but if Danny had won that battle, Vlad had won the other one. He’d gotten the mid-morph sample. His play with Valerie had worked. He’d…he’d be able to create stable clones….
Would he even be satisfied with a clone? He might create the perfect half-ghost son that looked exactly like Danny, might be able to brainwash him or program him or whatever he’d done to Danielle to make the clone as like Danny as possible, but a clone would never be as good as the original, however perfect a replica it was. How far would Vlad get before he realized this wouldn’t make him happy, either? How long would it be until he came back? Tried to capture Danny again, tried to split his parents up and win over Maddie? If he did manage to create perfect clones, he could use them to his advantage—
“He won’t get away with this,” Maddie was saying. “He won’t simply lose his position on the city council; his estate—his entire empire—will come under scrutiny. I know he kept residences here and in Wisconsin, and there are all those hunting cabins, too. He won’t be easy to track down, but we’ll find him, even if he tries to hide in the Ghost Zone. In the meantime, we’ll make sure he can never come back and never hurt you like this again. It’s going to be okay, sweetie. He can’t fool us now that we know the truth, and he won’t be able to keep his political power, either.”
“We should perhaps focus on the most immediate problem—” Lancer started.
“I’ve almost got it,” Maddie said without looking up from her tinkering, but from the look on Lancer’s face, that wasn’t what he’d meant.
“Uh, guys?” There was a note of panic in Valerie’s voice that hadn’t been there before. “I think Vlad sealed us in.” Danny looked over at her, and she had her phone to her ear. “Jack’s outside in the office, and Jazz is headed back to school to pick up Sam and Tucker, but apparently this place is blast proof.”
“There should be a control panel on the wall where we came through,” Maddie said. “Get it open and I’ll come when I’m finished here.”
“I can bandage him up,” Lancer said with a touch on her shoulder. “First aid is within my skill set.”
Danny had felt the poking and prodding and pulling around his abdomen, of course, but he hadn’t realized his mother had tugged out the device—long and sharp with what might be electrodes hanging off of it for all Danny knew—until he saw it in her hand. She set it on the bench beside her and pulled his own hands to press against the wound before removing her own and straightening up. She pulled out a sample bag from one of her many pockets and put the device inside before tucking it away. As she stripped off her green-stained gloves and pulled another pair from a different pockt, she said, “Thank you.” Pointing with her free hand towards the wall with the portal, she added, “I saw the first aid kit over there.”
As she walked over to join Valerie at the far wall, Lancer dropped to a crouch to examine the wound for himself, gently nudging Danny’s hands out of the way.
“It’s not as bad as it looks,” Danny said after Lancer sucked in a sharp breath.
“I think I’ll be the judge of that, Mr. Fenton.”
“You don’t know what I’ve been through.”
Lancer closed his eyes briefly before standing. “No, I daresay I still don’t, but I do know it is not something I would wish on someone as young as you. Come along; I’ll see what I can do.”
“If it’s bad enough that you need to stitch me up, you don’t have to be that good at it for it to be good enough. Sam didn’t know what she was doing when she started, and all Jazz and I knew about sewing when we began doing this was whatever Dad had shown us, and that never involved stitching up people.”
“You are not making the situation sound any better, I’m afraid.”
“It’s just….” Danny bit his lip but let Lancer guide him closer to the portal and didn’t protest when the teacher bent to pick him up and sit him down on an examination table. Well. Dissection table, going by the bindings. He decided not to think about that, something that wasn’t hard to do when his wound was throbbing after the jostling, and instead changed back to Fenton before Mr. Lancer asked. The change, at least, came as easily as it always had. “It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be once it started.”
“Should that not be cause for celebration?”
Danny wasn’t sure if Lancer was trying (and failing) to be facetious, so he shrugged and then hissed as the movement stung, stabbing into him with more ferocity than he’d expected from such a slight movement. “I don’t think it’ll be as easy as Mom thinks it is.”
Lancer was quiet for a moment, busying himself by grabbing the first aid kit from the wall, setting it down beside Danny, and looking through the contents to find what he wanted. Finally, “Things rarely are as simple as they should be, but you needn’t take it all on by yourself any longer—and, rest assured, I am not referring to your friends. I strongly suggest the matter be left primarily to your parents, with my assistance wherever I am able to help. If there are any legal proceedings—”
“Are you serious? We can’t take Vlad down using the proper channels. If he can’t buy people off, he’ll just overshadow them or get some other ghosts to do it for him.”
“This isn’t something you can just fix. It’s not that easy.”
“I understand, but—”
“No, you don’t. You can’t or you wouldn’t be standing there talking about legal proceedings.” Danny started to sigh and then coughed as the pain spiked again. His healing was still too slow. How long was this thing supposed to last? He couldn’t remember Vlad helpfully monologuing about that little detail. Too bad Technus wasn’t likely to know.
Danny blinked and looked up at Mr. Lancer, who was still focused on disinfecting Danny’s wound. Danny hissed through his teeth as a new sort of stinging took hold, but Lancer didn’t pay that any mind.
“I should have done something before,” Lancer continued as he reached for some butterfly stitches, something that Danny knew from experience would hold well enough until he could get stitched up properly. They were better than nothing, anyway. Lancer held the wound closed as he put them in place, and Danny did his best not to wince. “I knew something had changed in your life, and it took me entirely too long to find out what it was. I allowed myself to be distracted, to neglect you in favour of the school—”
Lancer had pulled out the gauze now. No big surprise there. When in doubt, cover it and deal with it later. It would not be the first time Danny had pulled that trick. With his usual healing rate, he typically only needed stitches and splints and stuff to make sure he didn’t heal improperly; he’d never had to worry about infection.
“Let’s just say seeing Mr. Baxter appropriately punished for his actions has been an ongoing fight, one I have not dedicated myself to as much as I should have, as you are not his only target.”
Being Dash’s favourite punching bag wasn’t even on Danny’s radar right now.
“That’s okay. I’m used to it. But you—”
“You being used to it, as you say, is part of the problem—and, quite frankly, yet more evidence of my failing. Thankfully, that is a fight I am better suited for than this one has been.” The hand that had been tracking towards to the first aid kit—probably for medical tape to hold the gauze in place—jerked towards Lancer’s neck instead, no doubt pulled by the reminder of what had happened and the realization of what could have been, but it resumed course before it could make contact. “Just because you are used to something does not mean it does not need to be addressed.”
“I mean, I guess, but priorities, y’know? Vlad’s definitely worse than Dash.”
“And your parents will focus on that problem with the help I can give them, as I’ve said.”
“But it’s Vlad. It’s not just…. I mean, yeah, he’s one person, but he’s not one problem. He can create a whole bunch more problems really easily, especially now that he has a mid-morph sample from me. That’s what he needed to stabilize his clones. He can create a perfect clone of me now, at least once he gets a lab set up or overshadows someone in charge of one that does have the right stuff, and—”
“I am not saying that you are incapable of handling the problem—or problems—Vlad poses,” Lancer said delicately as he finished taping the gauze into place, “but you need to understand that you aren’t alone in this anymore.”
“Did I not tell you that your friends and your sister should not be the only ones facing the danger alongside you? You know that isn’t what I mean.”
Danny frowned. “You’re still seriously underestimating Vlad, even though he threatened you and you’re standing in his secret lab.”
“Which is one reason why I am not trying to say you should sit out all of this while the adults take care of the situation,” Lancer said, not looking the least bit surprised when Danny bristled. “You have more knowledge and experience than we do—even, I daresay, than your parents do. You may have fewer years of ghost hunting under your belt, but your perspective and the intensity of your, ah, training, for lack of a better word—”
“Experience is the best teacher.”
Lancer raised an eyebrow at Danny’s glib interruption but otherwise didn’t comment on it. “You should not be sidelined, but neither should you continue to be the one leading the charge and taking the heaviest fire. One of the reasons your parents fight ghosts is to protect you and your sister, is it not? Is throwing yourself into the most danger possible not against everything they are fighting for?”
Danny shifted and tugged his shirt down to cover up Lancer’s patch job as the teacher packed away the supplies. At least that meant his previous wounds must not look too bad; otherwise, Lancer would’ve insisted on redressing them. Of course, the one in his side was near enough to the one in his abdomen that Lancer could’ve done it at the same time. Danny had been paying more attention to what he’d held in his hands than where he was putting them, mostly because thinking about what Lancer was doing would just make it hurt more.
If Lancer hadn’t continued talking, that meant he was waiting for an answer. Danny took a careful breath, and it didn’t hurt this time. “Sometimes it’s necessary.”
“It is not necessary right now, and I am quite sure your parents will do everything in their power to ensure it remains unnecessary for you, your sister, or your friends to do that.” He glanced over his shoulder and added dryly, “And I am very much including Miss Gray in that assessment.”
Danny glanced towards Valerie. She was still hovering by the door, watching Maddie work on the panel. “Val’s a good fighter.”
“I never said she wasn’t. I’m trying to say that none of you should fight, but as you have the most knowledge of the situation, it is prudent that you help the adults—”
“But don’t you get it? Yeah, we’re kids, and it sucks that we have to risk so much to do this—but we aren’t the only ones in situations like this. Well, not like this, dealing with ghosts, but with high stakes. And it’s great that you care and want to take care of us, but we don’t need taking care of. Maybe you think it’s a shame we had to grow up fast or whatever to deal with this, but we can’t just pretend what we’ve gone through never happened. We’ve already had to learn to fight, so we did, and we’re good at it. It doesn’t make sense for you to just up and stop us and make us into, I dunno, consultants or something instead of fighters.”
“We always knew there was risk. We accepted that, just like Mom and Dad did. Just like you did. We might not be legal adults but that doesn’t mean we don’t know what we were getting into with this. This whole thing with Vlad is messed up. We know. We know better than you do. He has what he wants, something he’s been trying forever to get, which is scary because it means I don’t know what he’s going to do next. And neither do you.”
Danny stared at his hands, not wanting to look Lancer in the eye after he’d let his tongue run away with him. “It’s just…. I can make a better guess of what this means than you or Mom and Dad can. And if you guys try to block us at every turn and insist it’s too dangerous to be directly involved ourselves just because we’re kids, we’re never going to stop him, and things will get worse.”
He pushed himself off the table, landing on his feet and wincing but holding in a whimper of pain. He’d get through this. He had to. Vlad’s drug had to work its way through his system and wear off soon, and then he’d be back to normal in no time. “I’ve picked up some things from Tucker, so I’m going to check out the computer. You can go through Vlad’s files or something and see if you can find the formula for whatever Val shot me with. Mom can probably make an antidote once she has that.”
Lancer made no move to follow as Danny strode off, and when he called Danny’s name, Danny pretended not to hear.
(see more fics | next)
D&D: By wastefulreverie: Lester, Mikey, and Nathan were standing beside him. Mikey was fumbling with three jagged-sided dice while Lester and Nathan glared at each other. Realizing that he was awake, Lester broke eye contact with Nathan. Awkwardly, he put his hand on Danny's shoulder. "Do you want to join our campaign?" he blurted.
Danny tilted his head skeptically, "Join your what?"
Additional Tags: Dungeons and Dragons, friendship, humor, [really enjoyed the irony in this one]
Making Something Out of Nothing: By wastefulreverie: When Ishiyama calls Danny into her office, the last thing he expected was to be offered a job.
Additional Tags: Post-reveal, Teacher! Danny,
Tiny Little Pieces of Ours: By Bellovebug: Danny Fenton was a dreamer. A dreamer of stars, of galaxies, of spaceships and sunsets and snow. He was a dreamer of wildflowers in the forest, of messages left on the insides of folders set up to take a test, of Polaroids an unknown person has dropped on the street. He was a dreamer of the things that didn't matter, because the things that did scared him.
But dreams don't last forever. And when Danny is gone, he leaves many in his wake.
(Or, a look at Danny's death, and the lives of the people in his life afterwards.)
Additional Tags: Major Character Death, hurt Danny, grieving, Sam and Tucker Centric, [This one hurt so much, but is very beautifully written. Still hurts even now lmao]
A Play to Remember: By AppleScentedLazers: When Danny's drama class puts on a play and Fenton is cast as his own crime fighting counterpart, what's the worst that could happen? With a new villain rising and lines to learn, the people of Amity start to see that there may be more to their resident ghost boy than meets the eye.
Additional Tags: Angst, [interesting reveal concept! more in-depth A-listers]
I’m Still Here: By Cordria: Buried in the backyard, Danny's locked away in a forgotten Thermos. When it's finally found seventy years later, Danny is released and he needs to learn to deal with his new life. Can he survive what the future can throw at him?
Additional Tags: Angst [definitely nostalgic angst]
The Scrapbook: By Dragon Elexus: Fearful of Jazz's idolism of the ghost-boy, Maddie tries to protect her daughter by stealing her Phantom scrapbook. But the book sparks strange questions in Maddie's mind, and she finds herself stumbling on secrets she never knew existed. Pre-PP.
Additional Tags: Family
Exposed: By ADraconicScribe: A mysterious caller has revealed that the infamous Danny Phantom is half-human, placing a five hundred thousand dollar prize to the one who exposes Phantom's secret identity. Coupled with Vlad's disappearance, the ghost fighting, and all of the efforts to capture him, Danny and his friends must tread carefully if they are to make it out with their secrets, and their lives, intact.
Additional Tags: angst, BAMF Danny Fenton, Identity Reveal, Sam and Tucker are good friends, [I cannot stress how amazing this fic is, extremely well written, such an intense plot. Endless twists and turns, so so good.]
Maybe We’ll Find Each Other: By DP_Marvel94: Phantom, the adoptive son of Clockwork, doesn't remember his life but wishes he did. Jack Fenton, ghost hunter, lost his only son at a young age. When the portal activates, a newly half-human Phantom stumbles into Jack's lab, barely a painfully familiar blue-eyed, black haired form.
Additional Tags: Full ghost to half ghost Phantom, Ghosts think halfas are abominations, father-son relationship, but neither know they’re parent and child [very very interesting story, super cool concept!]
Katzenjammer: By DannyPhantomSG1, sapphireswimming: Danny's had enough. Of everything. But thankfully Tucker understands.
Additional Tags: Oneshot, Half Ghost Angst, Hurt/comfort, Friendship
Hope Can Be a Heavy Thing to Hold: By DP_Marvel94: " I woke up here, wherever here is, with no memories. He told me my name is Daniel James Masters. He told me I am a human-ghost hybrid, like him. He told me he is my father. But I know that’s a lie; there is no way Vlad Masters, my captor is my parent. I know I have a real home somewhere out there. I have a family and friends who love me. Too bad I can’t remember anything about them."
Additional Tags: Amnesia, child abuse, Diary/journal, poor Danny can’t remember anything
Abigail the Tree Girl: By EchoGhost: Danny didn’t see his first ghost at 14.
Additional Tags: Haunted Amity Park, Danny has always been weird, clueless Danny
Just Fourteen: By aniura: Danny Fenton is an average high school student whose biggest worry is getting the grades needed to become an astronaut. That is, until his friend Sam convinces him to step inside his parents' broken ghost portal...Updates bi-weekly on Sundays. Covers Danny's time at Casper High before the accident and the month afterwards.
Additional Tags: Angst, origin, the accident, Danny is NOT okay, [really cool fic that fills in the gaps that weren’t delved into during the show]
The Phantom and the Knight: By savya398: After two years Danny Fenton finally felt like he was getting this whole superhero thing under control. So of course something had to come along and ruin everything.
Additional Tags: Danny Phantom/Young Justice, DC Animated Universe, [little twist on Danny’s origins]
Six Degrees of Separation: By Miss_Nihilist: Valerie Gray was not one for doubt and regret, but that was before she fell in love — and then, promptly and without a second thought, threw it away.
She wasn't looking for them to get back together or even to automatically be friends again. But maybe, just maybe, Valerie could get a second chance at being a decent person. For Danny, for herself, and for all the mistakes she had made.
Additional Tags: Moving On, Post break-up, hurt/comfort, identity reveal
Three for the Price of One: By Marsalias: They had only meant to summon ONE ghost...
Additional Tags: cult, summoning
When the Kingdom Comes Calling: By blueh: The Ghost Zone population assumes that Phantom took the crown with dignity. What they don’t know is fifteen year old Danny Fenton just wants to graduate high school, is constantly ready to throw hands with an army of eyeballs, and absolutely will not be crowned the Ghost King without a fight.
Additional Tags: Not PP compliant, ghost king Danny Fenton, fluff and humor, reluctant king au, [so funny and so on character for a little shit like Danny oof]