In Spite of Everything You’ve Done for Them, Eventually They Will Hate You
Summary: Superheroes have become a nuisance, and after much public outcry and demand, the government has passed a law that requires all superheroes to submit to registration and suppression of their super powers. After identifying Danny Fenton as Danny Phantom, he is now subjected to wearing a monitoring device that no only tracks him, but also cuts him off from his core and his powers. He's been given another shot at college, and he's trying to make the best of it, but is the promise of maybe being an astronaut if he behaves enough of a reward for everything he’s been forced to sacrifice and the emptiness he now feels with his core locked down?
CW: panic attack
This piece was written for the zine Reality Trip: A DP AU Zine published in 2022.
This zine is full of incredible works of art by so many amazing artists and writers in the phandom, and all the pieces are inspired by Danny Phantom AUs. If you haven't checked it out yet, please do so! You can learn more about it by checking out the tumblr page for the zine @dpauzine
You'll also see that in the zine, this work is partnered with some phenomenal art by @abrielarnold (who also has so many incredible pieces on their tumblr page) so please go check out their work as well!
In Spite of Everything You’ve Done for Them, Eventually They Will Hate You
He staggered out of the room and collapsed onto the floor. He clutched at his chest, hand fisting in his hoodie. His chest tightened. He couldn’t breathe. He felt sick, nauseous. His heart thrummed in his chest in erratic patterns. His whole body grew warm and sweat dripped down his chest and back. In his panic he pulled at his core, hoping for relief. He needed the power and the courage. He squeezed his core. Pulled on it. Tugged it. Wrenched it. Hammered it. Bombarded it. Pleaded with it. Screamed at it. Threw his entire metaphorical weight into it.
But it wasn’t there. It would never be there. It was silent. Unresponsive. Empty.
Fifteen minutes earlier.
A flurry of text alerts barraged his phone. A quick look showed they were all supportive messages from everyone he cared about. It felt like everyone set some kind of timer to remind themselves to text him: there were too many all at once for him not to be suspicious. They had the same general theme: good luck today, you’ll do great, we know it’s hard and you’ve been through a lot, but we’re excited and proud of you. And even though they all read the same, he stopped walking and took the time to read each one and feel those supportive wishes in his heart before responding. He wouldn’t be where he was without the support of his friends and family.
The texts added a surprising spring in his step as Danny continued walking through the crowded sidewalks of campus. His first day of class. Well…not really. He’d been to college before, but now he could actually do college, without any superheroing getting in the way. Last time, college was an excuse to stay close to his friends, because he thought he would spend his life being a superhero, defending the world from threats like so many others. He found peace and purpose in that calling, but that was before the public downcry of superheroes, before the Registration and Restriction Act for Persons with Abnormal Abilities, before anklets and handlers and GPS tracking and the silencing of his core.
No, those days were done. He tried to avoid it, then he tried to fight it, but now he just needed to accept it and move on to a different life. A new life that started today. It wasn’t the life he thought he would have, and admittedly it was a life the government forced on him, but he decided this morning in front of the mirror he would start this new life out right with a better attitude than the depressed slump he’d been in since they severed the connection to his core. He was going to attend class, study, do his homework, and hopefully become an astronaut, and he was going to use the supportive texts from his friends to get him through it and have a good day.
At least he thought he would, until his phone buzzed with another message, this time from “The Destroyer of Souls.” The short and syrupy sweet message felt so fake: “Hey Danny! You have class today! Hope you’re excited! Go in there and find your new purpose!” Leave it to Harmony, his demon of a handler, to ruin the positive spin he was working so hard to find. Oh she sounded sweet, but she was the true ultimate enemy. She monitored his every move by the anklet he wore and he was required to verbally check in with her daily. If he wanted to go further than a few miles off campus, he needed her permission, and she never gave it. She created his class schedule (to make sure college didn’t give him any rebellious ideas) and monitored his social media accounts. She was his constant reminder that the government saw him as a criminal. He had only tried to put his abilities to good use by saving people. He didn’t hurt or kill people or steal things; he saved them. And yet, that somehow made him public enemy number one.
He typed out a forced “Yeah, I’m excited” because he had to respond within a certain time before he shoved his phone in his pocket. He could feel the familiar ache in his chest, a deep well of emptiness that threatened to swallow him whole. No, he told himself he wouldn’t do this. This was supposed to be the first day of his new life. He’d let this emptiness consume him for so many months, from the moment that anklet locked down his core and hid it from him, and this was supposed to be his new start. He wasn’t going to give voice to the emptiness. He wasn’t.
He walked faster to class, hoping the change of venue and the start of lecture would force his thoughts away from the maddening void that used to be Phantom. This was why he was here, alone at a college so far from his friends and family, because he needed a change of venue away from everything that reminded him of being Phantom.
He tugged his orange hoodie around him. A far cry from his favorite shirt, but that shirt had too many memories attached to it and he couldn’t handle that. Besides, the college hoodie made him feel like he belonged at this school, like he was one of the crowd, and he could disappear. He rushed away to his first class - English 101. Maybe it wasn’t the most exciting class to start out his new attempt at college, but it was familiar. He had good memories of English in high school thanks to Lancer, and he had done okay in his English 101 class his first time around. He’d be repeating a lot of classes. None of his classes from before would transfer, but it also meant none of the bad grades would either. He could start fresh without those grades hanging over him. Haunting him.
He shook his head and walked into the large lecture hall. He settled in and took out a notebook and a pen. He looked at the student next to him, a Black woman with thick natural curls and a kind face. He didn’t know anyone at the school, and it sure would be nice to at least have someone to talk to. It took him a lot more effort to work up the courage than he was used to. Apparently all his bravery was wrapped up in Phantom too. It never used to be this hard, but then again, everything felt harder now.
“Hey, I’m Danny,” he introduced. He probably could have come up with something more clever or memorable, but it took all the effort he had just to say that.
She looked up from her phone. “I’m Shae. And before you get disappointed, I have a boyfriend.”
Something about her slight smile and teasing warning actually pulled a light chuckle out of Danny. Maybe some would take that as a rejection, but it didn’t feel like that. “Don’t worry, I have a girlfriend, so you’re safe.” He couldn’t say he was being a great boyfriend right now with how empty he felt all the time. Somehow tamping down his core seemed to dull so many of his emotions and he just couldn’t explain why. He felt bad, because Sam patiently put up with so much, but he knew their relationship wasn’t the same and he could feel it.
Shae blushed as she smiled back. “Sorry, you know how some college boys can be. Sometimes you have to be a little more forceful.”
“No no, I understand. I watched my girlfriend go through it. I promise, I’m just looking for someone to talk to…and maybe someone to copy off of,” he teased lightly.
“Only if I can copy back,” she laughed.
They chatted and exchanged basic introductions and pleasantries before the professor walked in. Neatly dressed with glasses and a trimmed beard, Danny would have pegged him as an English teacher if he saw him outside of this classroom. He stepped up to the podium and started the powerpoint behind him.
“I’m Professor Moore, and this is English 101,” he introduced in a curt voice before he began the boring review of the syllabus. Danny noticed a few of the books on the reading list he’d already read either in high school or in his first attempt at college English, and he felt a relief knowing a lot of the work had already been done for him. Sure he’d love to say he’d reread the books, but even with his renewed focus on doing well in school, he knew that wouldn’t happen.
“Now, the first book we’ll be reading is 1984 by George Orwell. A classic made even more prescient today. Can someone tell me why?” Moore asked.
He called on an eager student in the front. “Because of the RRAPAA and the policing of superheroes,” he answered.
Danny felt his heart stall. No. No this couldn’t be happening. He didn’t want to discuss this or learn about this. He didn’t want to hear the thoughts or opinions of other people on this subject. And he especially didn’t want to hear people agree with the law.
“Precisely.” Dread gripped at Danny’s heart. “Some have accused the law of being too heavy-handed and eliminating too many rights. Others argue it’s the price of safety. With such an interesting debate happening in the world, what better lens to examine that debate than through a novel about government control?”
No he didn’t want to do this. He didn’t want to read about government control because he lived it. He could already see the essay topic forming in Professor Moore’s brain and he wanted nothing to do with it. This was supposed to be his escape, his way to get life back on track, and not some way to have it shoved in his face even more than the constricting, itching, and tingling anklet did. His head swam as dread churned in his stomach.
The professor walked slowly around the lectern and gestured to a quote displayed on the giant screen. “Who controls the past controls the future,” he said, punctuating each word with meaning. “Who controls the present–”
“--controls the past,” quoted Mr. Lancer. He let out a content sigh as he leaned against his desk. “Such powerful words that always seem to be pertinent no matter how much time passes. It’s always important to–”
A scream cut the teacher short. Ectopusses swarmed the room. Their translucent tentacle arms reached for Casper High students and wrenched them from their seats. They flailed and screamed. Some struggled to pull themselves free from the tentacles. Some tried to fight them off. Others just screamed. In the chaos, Danny dashed under Lancer’s desk. He pulled at his core, waiting for the transformation.
He tried again. Still nothing. His core felt…empty. Gone. Silent. Useless.
The screams raised in pitch. The palpable terror suffocated the room. He peeked his head over the desk. The ectopusses were leaving and taking their prisoners with them. His classmates. His friends. And he couldn’t do anything. He couldn’t save anyone.
Except…no. No, that’s not how it happened. He had snuck away. He had transformed. He had saved them. Because he had been Phantom back then, and not some useless excuse for a superhero like he was now. This had to be a memory. This wasn’t actually happening. He was in college, not Casper High. He was sitting in a lecture hall surrounded by hundreds of students. He was safe. Everyone was safe. He didn’t need to save anyone. He couldn’t save anyone.
He shut his eyes tight and took deep breaths. Just like Jazz taught him. In and out. He dared to open his eyes. He was back in the lecture hall. The blurry lecture slides had moved on past 1984 and detailed the basics of literary analysis. The professor’s clear voice echoed through the room, so very different from Lancer’s deep tones. He cast around the room, but didn’t see any ghosts. He didn’t hear any screams. It had just been a memory.
“Hey, are you okay?” the girl next to him asked in a whisper. He couldn’t even remember her name right now, and she’d just told it to him moments ago.
He looked down at his clammy hands. He brought a hand up to his chest and felt the sweat soaking his shirt. His whole body radiated with heat from the inside out. The student on the other side looked worriedly at him. There were so many people around him. He felt trapped. Suffocated. He couldn’t breathe. He needed to get out of here.
(He couldn’t save anyone.)
He stood up abruptly and dashed out of the hall. He left his notebook and bags and probably even his wallet but he didn’t care. He stumbled and tripped over legs and bags in his rush to leave without apology. He needed to get out of here.
He ran pell mell through the building until he finally hit the outdoors. He collapsed onto the ground as he clenched at his chest, at his core.
He couldn’t save anyone.
His core still wouldn’t respond. He did everything he could to get something out of his core and yet…nothing.
But what did he expect? He knew there wouldn’t be anything. He knew it ever since his parents grabbed Phantom’s ankle during a scuffle and slapped the ghost-nullifying anklet around it. His core was still there, but just out of reach. Close enough he could constantly see it and feel the faint alluring whispers of its presence, but every time he tried to reach for it his fingers would brush infuriatingly close and be slapped with that cruel denial. It was maddening to know that warmth and that promise of unity was so close, and yet completely gone from him. Especially when he needed it–
His chest clenched again as panic reared its ugly head once more. No, he didn’t need it right now, because he was safe. He wasn’t in high school. No ghosts were attacking. He was safe.
He forced his brain to think through the angry buzzing of anxiety threatening to consume him. Deep breaths, like Jazz taught him. Focus on five things he could see: the grass under him, his book bag, a bench in front of him, a building in the distance, a tree. Four things he could touch: the damp grass, the cool concrete, the canvas book bag, the soft hoodie. Three things he could hear: student chatter, a clock chiming, birds singing. Two things he could smell: grass, Chinese food. One thing he could taste: the lingering flavor of mint gum.
It brought him back to himself. He still felt jittery and his heart thrummed in his chest, but he was present, grounded. He pulled himself onto the nearby bench. He knew people were staring, but he didn’t have the effort to care right now. He was far too exhausted.
He knew he had to fight through this. He wanted to fight through it. For so long, he had the will to fight through so much pain and hurt and exhaustion, so surely he had the will to fight through this emptiness and panic and despair right?
Unless that will to fight was locked away with Phantom.
His phone buzzed and he knew it couldn’t be anything good. Everyone who would text him knew he was supposed to be in class right now, which meant it could only be one person…
“Hey Danny, noticed you left class early. Remember this is supposed to be your second chance at college - no reason for you to be leaving class early this time! Did something happen?”
He scowled at the text from his handler. Did something happen? Did something happen?!
He typed furiously on his phone, lit with a fire he hadn’t felt in awhile. “Yeah, something happened. I have to listen to people discuss the RRAPAA and superheroes like there’s not one sitting with them and listen to them talk about how great it is when NONE of them know what it’s like to be hollow and empty and alone. And none of them CAN know, because if I tell any of them you’ll make me disappear and force me to start all over again at a different college with a warning that if I can’t get it together, then I can’t be in society. All while I have a PANIC ATTACK about how empty and useless and worthless I am right now because I can’t do anything to help anyone anymore!”
He almost hit send. His thumb hovered over the button and he was so tempted. But he didn’t. He knew he couldn’t say any of that. Not to anyone and certainly not to her.
As quickly as that explosion of anger came, it disappeared and he slumped on the bench. He deleted the lengthy text and typed a morose “Nothing, I’m fine” and stashed the phone back into his pocket. It was a lie. It was always a lie.
He leaned forward and buried his face in his hands. He took deep breaths of the fresh air and tried to let his mind wander, like Jazz advised him to do when he felt overwhelmed. Disconnected. Lost.
His phone beeped and shook him from his thoughts. Time for his math class. Had he really spent that much time just sitting there? It felt like barely a moment while he let his mind wander.
He flung his bag over his shoulder as he stood. Time to try again. The new start to his new life. A new life filled with emptiness and panic no one could ever see. He pasted on the mask of a normal student, pretending to be like everyone else. Pretending he was a normal college student. Pretending he wasn’t empty. Pretending he wasn’t hollow.
Another Danny Phantom prompt coming your way;
Okay so this just popped into my head but here it is, the idea.
Danny and Co surviving an apocalypse/post apocalypse.
Like it can be any kind you like, zombie, technology, nuclear, huge weather shift, alien, or maybe all adults disappear. Whatever, heck maybe one of his rouges actually succeeded and their living in the aftermath.
But come on, it would be cool to see Danny struggle though the apocalypse, heck him and team Phantom seem to be like the goal of most teens surviving such things.
If you want to spice things up make it so it's in a timeline gone wrong or they got swept into another dimension and have to survive until they can figure out a way back.
Just, I think it would be cool to see fanfics or comics about this.
Alucard likes to swoop in and “save” Jazz from Phantom
Danny wants to throw hands
Jazz just wants to be left on solid ground
Dp x Dc prompt (short)1:
Danny learns how to play an instrument and gets a gig at one if the Bats Rouges bar or something. The Bats show up to fight said Rouge and while the rest of Dannys band ran and left he stays playing music. Like the band in titanic did but instead he’s playing some up beat or intense beat to make it sound like their in a fight scene. Better yet if the instrument he learns is the Violin.
Danny has became a patron saint of the homeless community in Gotham.
He didn’t mean to, he just really like certain people he has met during his time in the streets.
Little did he know that meant he￼ has been accidentally blessing a lot of nice homeless people.
The people notice.
They whisper of a blue eyed black haired boy. He is as thin as a dead leaf but stronger than a bridge and seen across the entire city.
He doesn’t carry much on him yet always seemed to be able to pull out needed necessities.
He’s sweet in a way that few people are in the shadows they lived in and cared for the people who were kind back.
His tattered closes dance in an invisible wind and never complains of the cold.
Be kind to the boy, and the world will be kind to you.
He cares for his people and doesn’t care for those who mistreat them.
Danyal Al Ghul had died long ago. Not even the Pits could ressurect the fallen heir, and therefore Damian Al Ghul inherited the title.
Damian had never seemed to effected by his beloved brothers death, and Ra's had seen that as an advantage, seen Damian as stronger, as unemotional. Damian became the perfect child, and Danyal was left to be forgotten.
Except for the fact Danyal's ghost floated behind Damian all the time, like intangible and invisible, but unable to turn human.
The reason Damian was never effected was because his brother stuck by his side constantly, even after death, helping him, comforting him, as a ghost.
Damain never told anyone, he didn't have any evidence beside his word, which would be taken as the words of a mad man and not a becoming heir to the Demon Head.
So, Bruce never learned. He never knew about his second son, one who had died long ago, and one who had stuck by Damian's side through all of his adventures.
Soon enough, Danyal starts to manifest his usual gallery of powers, and it stars to alert the family.
"Why is there a hole in the wall?" Bruce would ask.
Damian would scramble for an excuse as quick as he humanly can, knowing his brother's powers as Danyal sulked next to him, "I was painting."
"WHY IS MY ENTIRE ROOM FROZEN SOILD?!" Jason would yell.
"Your window was left open, Todd."
"What the-- why is my skateboard stuck in the wall?!" Tim.
Danyal buried his head in his hands.
"an art project."
Omg like I had this dream about it yesterday. So what if batfam decided nope we're gonna ghost proof this house. And in the way they did it, they didn't use blood blossoms, ectoranium etc (blood blossoms are extinct and hard to find in large quantities and ectoranium is a space metal that nobody knows exist yet or confused with kryptonite) They used magic, so it's little less noticable.
And Tim decides to Invite his new friend over, aka Danny Fenton . Said friend refuses to touch anything while there. He wouldn't sit, eat food, or touch any of the occupants. And when he finally accidentally touches something, the spell works and he is captured with glowing chains or straight up thrown back into the infinite realms.
Danny finally has time for normal teenager shit. He managed slowly go through the bureaucratic shithole that is the infinite realms politics and he managed to come out with his sanity intact. Phantom is no longer a menace but a hero that tragically gave himself up to seal all of the Infinite realms (that is kinda true he did go through a nightmare to make sure ghosts didn't attack the living world and had to do the equivalent of centuries worth of paperwork to do that.)
And all things considered ghosts are a thing of the past for most people. ( He hopes that the ones he allows through keep their oaths and stay hidden)
And he can finally be a normal teenager again, albeit in Gotham of all places. But the death in the city masks his more inhuman traits and he really didn't wanna go through another paper work stuff to register himself as a meta without the meta gene, he would have to do that later though.
But he can do that later, he's on a vacation and he's not doing that.
He is standing in the doorway. People around him are getting their umbrellas and sadly he doesn't have one. He was debating internally if he should just go or go back to the lost and found for an umbrella.
He was waiting for Tim as he agreed to come for dinner. The car ride to the Wayne manor was calm, filled with few words.
All changed when he came to find the whole manor was covered in intricate magical circles and traps. He saw atleast few that straight up sent him to the dark parts of the realms and he didn't want to touch that. And as much as he wanted to straight up escape, Tim had been asking for multiple days.
So as much as he wanted to flee, his social skills are shit and he didn't want to risk the awkwardness afterwards.
So he tried his best. Didn't touch the ground floated slightly above it, didn't touch the furnitures cuz apparently it was considered part of the house, couldn't touch the walls. Couldn't even touch the residents before setting the alarms off.
He thinks he pulled it off. Of course he pulled it off everything was going smoothly and he just has to make sure he has everyone in the room in his sights and float a bit. Well until the actual dinner. He couldn't touch the food and he looked quite akward so much so Tim whispers to him.
"You okay? You aren't touching your food."
"Oh I'm okay, it's just-" before he could even start with his sorrowful excuses, someone someone grabs his arm, again it wouldn't have been a problem too it would only raise the alarm, until he is pushed down into the chair thus triggering multiple traps .
Big golden chains appear and he is arleady out of the chair by then. He opens a window and turns to say sorry but he accidentally trips over another trap and is pulled into the realms. He should probably cross Tim out of his list of friends.
Tim's friend just fell through a portal, should probably call Constantine about that.
Dick was the first one to speak up after the silence that incued.
"Did we just banish Tim's new friend to the shadow realm?"
"Wait why did he trigger the alarm? He didn't seem all that ghostly, was he like Jason"
"Probably. We probably won't see him again, do we just. . . Push the blame onto Constantine?"
" We are heroes-"
"And how the heck are we supposed to enter the realms anyway? And escape! Constantine greatly expressed that portal was one way only"
They see Danny just waltzing through Gotham and they pull him aside.
"What the fuck. You got pulled into the shadow realm yesterday! How do you even trigger the alarms"
Danny who arleady went through the five stages of denial and how tf am I gonna explain "oh you see i am a warlock of....uhhhh
I didn't think this far
OH PHANTOM. THE GREAT PHANTOM"
And after a very stressful meeting with batman and the entire JL dark members cuz apparently his alter ego became a big deal without his agreement.
Had to speed learn how to create duplicates
Had to fight off a few ghost lawyers cuz they wanted to be a part of "the very important meeting of importance"
Got asked to do magic (he's still learning okay?)
He panicked tried to sell one of his powers as a spell or him just having the copy of his patrons power.
More people got worried about him supposedly creating a contract with a very powerful new unknown diety
Got into the JL dark as a warlock
People apparently trusts him now???? As FENTON??????
Apperantly showing off weaker version of patrons power was a bad idea cuz he greatly overestimated the power limit.
He is a powerful warlock of a powerful "demon"?
WHAT THE FUCK DO U MEAN I- MY PATRON IS NOT A DEMON
"so what is he"
Uhhhhhh a guardian spirit?
Uunhuun soo it's phantom right.?? Leme do some research
WHAT DO U MEAN PHANTOM IS APPARENTLY A GOD AND IS KNOWN GLOBALY FOR BEING THE GOD OF HEROES??
Wait . . . . Clockwork. Oh my god.
Now he is the number one call up magic person for the bats now.
DP x DC Ancient of Space: Lair
I’ve seen Danny being the ancient of space pop up a few times. A lot of it interprets that as the ancient of outer space, but I propose he has dominion pver the concept of physical space. Clockwork has time, Danny would have space, making them the counterparts for each other
So, imagine if you will, Danny only recently coming into his spatial powers retreating to his lair in the Ghost Zone. It’s too dangerous to have uncontrolled spatial distortions just randomly appearing in the human world.
His lair is an extension of himself. His spatial powers extend not just to himself, but to his lair. It connects to liminal spaces. Walking through school hallways after hours? One of those doors leads to his lair. All night diner with flickering florescent lights and you’re the only customer? Carefull going to the bathroom or you might just end up somewhere else. Closed down building, or even buildings that never were there. Sometimes at just the right time, places just exsist, and they all lead to Danny’s lair. Inside is an MC Escher esque labyrinth of rooms, hallways, tunnels, ever shifting as their connections to the human world alter and shift.
Enter the Batfam
I pick Tim for this. He sees a building he’s never seen before on a street he’s very familiar with. He checks the address.
“Hey Oracle? Is there a 147 Becker street?”
“No, Becker street stops at 144 before merging into Roosevelt.”
“That’s what I thought, but I’m there, I see it right in front of me.”
Tim is too curious for his own good, and probably a bit sleep deprived. He enters the building only to get turned around and not be able to find where he came in from. It wouldn’t be so concerning if the building didn’t seem to go on and on.
Next thing we know, Danny finds Red Robin wandering around, completely lost in his lair. The tricky part is getting him out around the right area and time, because space and time are connected, and when one is weird, so is the other. They need to take the scenic route, much to the impatience of Red Robin. He eventually gets him close enough: Bloodhaven. Tim can always get a ride back from Dick, then he looks at his watch.
It’s only been 30 minutes. He had been wandering for hours, yet only 30 minutes had passed.
Que confusion and shenanigans when somehow, yet more Bats wander into Danny’s lair
Okay so immortal Danny.
It’s a good idea and I love it but my favorite way people take it is the ‘Danny’s completely immortal and doesn’t age so he’s forever a 14 yr old’
Like you have the literal Ghostking or satan if you want to go that way who still has baby fat clinging to his cheeks.
Your town is getting terrorized by some ghosts when a lil 12 yr old comes and beats the shit out of them with a thermos and starts scolding them after like a disappointed mom.
Like this one meme
Idk how Danny turned green but take my shitty drawing
And you could either have actual!14 yr old Danny just done with everybody’s shit or immortal Danny having to do this twice a day.
With a crossover The JL are probably getting attacked by shulker and Danny goes chasing after him, so you have the lil guy just popping outta nowhere and he absolutely demolishes skulker and soups him. The ghost that no one in the JL could even touch.
If it’s immortal Danny he’d probably get recruited
Also this is the other meme I was taking about
Crossover Danuary week Day 3: Scratch (Scooby-Doo)
The gang has been investigating some ghost sightings
Constantine Adopts Danny AU
I've seen a bunch of Batfam adopting Danny (and I love every one!), but it's stated that Jack comes from a long line of ghost hunters. So, what if his cousin John visits, and:
His nephew is dead and living with ghost hunters
The lab and house in general is so dangerous, he's understandably worried about Jazmine
Outing Danny as dead would likely have terrible consequences, so he offers some internships. Come on Jack, it's a few months and Jazz can learn from the Black Canary! And Danny can learn from me for a while!
He gets summer break permission, starts working on adoption plans, and starts crying when he realizes he's pulling a Batman
Jazz graduates, stays with Constantine.
Constantine realizes Danny is HALF alive and talks to ghosts, cue 1980's bonding montage
Vlad shows up, runs tf away after Constantine is halfway through an exorcism
Constant custody arguments with Batman "you have like 500 kids! Leave mine alone!"
ADHD uncle & ADHD nephew solidarity!
"Constantine is right, Batman. Besides, he's got superpowers on the level of mine, so-" "CAN IT, CLARK!"
Danny has an unfairly large crush on Supes (space!), until he finds out Kon is his clone and how he treated him. After that? "Nah, you're MY clone now."
"But I'm a clone of-", " No, as the 1 person here with a good relationship with their clone, I'm taking clone rights. C'mon I'll teach you how to be ghosty."
YOU HAVE A CLONE?!
Dani shows up, Constantine is ready to throw hands at Batman AND Superman because that is HIS niece, Dani thinks of it as adopting Constantine.
There's some massive JL problem, Danny shows up to ask his uncle something. "Not now, Danny. I'm sorry, I'm working on summoning the Ghost King."
"I've got a quick way to talk to him!"
"You know the Ghost King?" "I AM the Ghost King!"
DP x DC
So we've all seen aus where Danny gets adopted by the Batfam because, let's be honest, he's a textbook case of a Bruce Wayne adoptee. But what if we took that, just slightly to the left? Instead of Batman adopting Danny, the Batkids do. Now, the reason why Danny is in Gotham can be whatever you want(I'm partial to reveal gone wrong or an accident happens so he leaves as to not become Dan) but one by one and completely coincidentally(or so they think, maybe Gotham helps push them together) Danny befriends each of the Batkids.
He meets Tim at a coffee shop(maybe he works there) and they bond over the insane amount of caffeine they like in their coffee.
He meets Daimian at some vegan place that Sam would just love if she were there and tho Damian refuses to say it there's something he finds endearing about this street kid who seems to have no clue who Damian is but smiles at him regardless and engages in some surprisingly pleasant conversation about places that serve vegan food or vegan options.
He and Duke have a class together in school and he meets Barbara while studying at the library. Or maybe Duke invites Danny to join a study group and that's how he meets Babs and maybe Cass and Steph too.
Maybe he meets Dick as Nightwing and they bond over their love of puns.
Jason can be met as either a civilian or as Red Hood, but the second they get within a certain range of each other, they get this feeling tugging them towards each other. Some 'I don't know why but I need to go this way' type feels. Jason calls it instincts, Danny can tell this feeling is coming directly from his core. They literally run into each other and immediately get this overwhelming feeling of 'same same like me'.
He ends up growing close with them all individually so when they eventually realize that 'hey, this new friend we've all been talking about is the same dude', well of course they have to keep him. So they all work together to sneak him into the manor(read: kidnap) and get him set up in one of the many unused rooms. And the fact the Bruce was off on a business trip when they did it made it wonders easier, they would definitively have got caught if he was around.
So now Danny is a stow away in this mansion that all his new friends apparently live in and he just kinda goes along with it cuz 'hey, they're nice and he gets somewhere to sleep rent free and the food is to die(again) for'. And yeah, they're the kids of the best detective in the world, they're gonna be good at hiding their tracks(they have to be or they would never get away with anything) but Alfred knows everything that goes on in the manor. He takes one look at this child and just accepts it. He allows the children to believe they are deceiving him but helps them out subtly by accidentally making extra food at meal times.
And if sometimes they want to hang out with Danny in the house they do his clothes and hair like whichever kid he resembles the most and so long as he doesn't talk nobody can tell the difference.
And maybe when Bruce comes back from his trip he figures it out immediately but he doesn't say anything because like hell he's gonna turn away a child in need. Instead he just silently fills out the adoption papers so he's ready when the kids eventually decide to reveal Danny's presence to him.
There was this fan comic about a Danny Phantom AU where when he goes ghost he drops his dead body to the floor; a la ichigo from bleach then Sam/Tucker had to hide his body. That AU but crossed over with DC and Bruce/other heroes trying to adopt him.
Danny: “You can’t adopt me if I’m dead!”
Hero: “Wait kid, don’t-”
*body drops to the floor dead while phantom’s invisible.*
Hero: *horrified silence.*
Danny: *has to wait until his body is alone before he can get it back.* ‘Worth it.’
Danny, explaining to the batfam how he got the joker to turn himself in: So then I just overshadowed him and walked to the—
Danny: it’s what we in the industry call “possession”
All hail the Ghost King