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Detection (true version)
This is the second version of this prompt I've written. I decided I liked this take better. Like the other one, it is a loose continuation of Flight Simulation.
Prompt by @faedemon: Ghosts are naturally drawn to death. When people die in Amity Park, Danny keeps finding the bodies. (PR263)
"You know," said Detective Collins conversationally, "if most of these guys hadn't been dead longer than you've been alive, I'd be wondering if you were some kind of serial killer."
Danny hunched his shoulders. As a… whatever he was, he had some powers. Intangibility, invisibility, overshadowing, transformation, ghost sense, and now… this. He guessed it might be an extension of his ghost sense. After all, both had to do with finding dead people.
"What is this one, the sixth?"
"Fifth," corrected Danny, although that didn't make him any less miserable. He stared through the trees at the swarm of forensics people. This was the fifth dead human body he'd been drawn to since the Accident, not counting the incidents at the cemetery and the hospital.
Collins scribbled something on his notepad then snapped it closed. “Okay, off the record?”
“Huh? Uh, sure?”
“Is this some new thing from your parents? Did they make a dead body finder and scrap it because it didn’t find ghosts? Because, if so, the department would definitely like to get our hands on one.”
Collins sighed, slightly, and continued at a slightly slower pace. “If the reason you’re finding all these bodies is that you’re using one of your parents’ inventions, the police department will buy it from you. Heck, we’d commission a dozen from your parents.”
“It isn’t an invention,” said Danny. “But, I mean, that sounds like a good idea. I don’t know how it’d work, but if it did, I could see it.”
As soon as he finished speaking, he wanted to punch himself in his face. A perfect excuse, and he just hammered it to pieces.
“Pity,” said Collins. “But this,” –he pointed at where Danny had found the skeleton– “isn’t normal. Finding five bodies like this by coincidence is unheard of. Did you get cursed or something?”
Danny shrugged. Honestly, he might as well be cursed. “My ancestors on my Dad’s side were witch hunters way back when, so it wouldn’t really surprise me, but… I haven’t heard of any curse? That doesn’t mean that I would have heard of a curse, even if there was one…”
“Hm. Think you’re haunted?”
“My parents are ghost hunters,” said Danny. “They aren’t always the most observant, but–”
“Danny!” There was a crash near the park entrance. Danny winced and blushed. Marley Park was one of the biggest and wildest still in Amity Park’s services district, but they weren’t actually that far from the entrance. It was very easy to recognize the sounds of his father’s driving.
“Did anyone tell them this was an active crime scene?” muttered Collins, flipping his pad back open.
“Probably multiple times,” said Danny. Collins flinched a little, having probably not intended for Danny to hear. Oh, well.
Danny’s parents thundered down the path, followed by a lot of shouting.
“Danny, baby!” said Maddie, throwing her arms around him. “What happened? What are you even doing all the way out here?”
“He found a body,” said Collins. “Specifically a skeleton.”
“What?” said Maddie. “Again?”
“Ohhh,” said Jack, almost growling. “I know what this is! This is some blasted ghost trying to make our Danny look bad!” He pulled out a bazooka. “When I find it, I’m gonna–!”
“Mr. Fenton,” said Detective Collins, “please, there are no ghosts here. We took ectoplasm readings when we got here, first thing. This is a crime scene. You need to put your weapon away.”
Jack grumbled, but did so. The other policemen in the area, who had put their hands on their weapons, slowly relaxed.
“Anyway,” said Collins, “this is an older body, so we…” He trailed off and made a face. “I think we all can agree this isn’t a coincidence anymore, but it’s safe to say that Danny wasn’t involved in the actual death of this person.”
“Of course,” said Maddie, who was still checking Danny over, as if the years-dead skeleton could have hurt him.
“Anyway, if you, any of you, ever figure out what’s causing…” He gestured at Danny.
“Right,” said Maddie. “We’ll let you know.”
Danny shrugged, because he sure wouldn’t.
“And our offer to refer you to a therapist still stands.”
“Thank you,” said Maddie. “We’ll talk about it.”
Danny was bundled down the path and into the back seat of the GAV. He slumped, feeling exhausted.
“Danny,” said Maddie, after Jack had started the engine. “Why were you out here?”
Jack backed up enthusiastically, and Danny used his need to adjust his position as an excuse not to answer right away. “I was just walking,” said Danny.
“Without your friends?” pressed Maddie. “Or did they just leave before the police showed up this time?”
“They weren’t there,” said Danny.
Of course, the reason they weren’t there was that they hadn’t been able to keep up with the ghost fight once it started to go through walls. And then, of course, Skulker just had to pick Danny up and rub in the fact that Danny couldn’t fly.
Danny much preferred Technus. At least he only trapped Danny in video games and acted like an avuncular and completely out of touch mad scientist. Dealing with him was almost fun, if completely terrifying sometimes.
(Pac Man was an abomination that should never have been created.)
Anyway, Danny had, eventually, managed to get Skulker back to ground level and fish him out of his stupid helmet. By that point, though, he’d been in the park, and then he had to get out of the park and that’s when he’d noticed the pull. And there was only one thing that particular pull led to.
Danny couldn’t just leave the body once he’d found it. That would be… Well, illegal, probably, but considering he was a kinda-sorta vigilante whose existence was illegal under the Anti-Ecto Acts, he didn’t really care about that. It was more about leaving a person forgotten and unmourned. Not given proper rites, whatever those were for the person in question.
Maddie sighed at him. Danny squirmed in his seat.
“They really weren’t with me at the park.”
“But you still haven’t said why you were there.”
“I was just walking.”
“Mhm,” said Maddie, dubiously. “But why there?”
“Why not there?”
“Because it’s all the way across the city!” said Maddie.
“You’d tell us if you knew you were being haunted, right, Danno?” asked Jack.
“Yeah,” said Danny. Well, if a ghost was really harassing him, he might. He’d told them about Johnny. He hadn’t told him about Skulker, though. Was what Skulker was doing really haunting, though?
Attempted murder, though, sure. Danny didn’t think he could leave without his skin, after all.
Maddie sighed. “Alright.”
That signaled the end of the conversation, and Danny slid his phone out of pocket to text Sam and Tucker.
Danny: im w my prints
Danny: left the park
Sam: u ok
Tucker: u sure? skulker got u rely good that time
Tucker: and he picked u up. still p sure u cant fly
Danny: shut up
Sam: yeah tuck thats the thing hes sensitive about
Danny sighed and put his phone away. It was over and done with. Everything was going to be fine.
At least, until the next time he found a dead body. But how many missing dead people could there be in Amity Park?
The next time they went on a field trip, Danny wanted to beat his head in for even thinking something like that.
“Uh, Danny,” said Tucker, “you’re eying that wall really intensely.”
“Yeah,” said Danny, “that’s because there’s a corpse in it.”
“Yeah, that was my reaction.”
“Hey, guys,” said Sam, walking up behind Danny and Tucker. “I hate to interrupt your contemplation, but the art’s hung up over there. Why are you both staring at a wall? Are you turning into cats?”
“Well, Danny can already detect ghosts–”
Danny elbowed him in the side. “There’s a dead body in the wall,” he muttered.
Sam’s eyebrows went up. “In an art museum?”
“That is where we are.”
“You know what I mean. What’re you going to do?”
Danny ran a hand through his hair, frustrated. “I don’t know. It’s not like there’s any,” –he waved his hand at the wall– “evidence, so I can’t just call.”
“Didn’t that one detective dude give you his phone number?” asked Tucker. “Maybe he’d believe you.”
“I don’t know…”
“You could come back as, you know, and phase it out,” suggested Sam.
“My alter ego has enough problems without being associated with murder.”
“Maybe you could be an anonymous tip,” said Tucker, fiddling with the power button of his PDA. “I could look up how.”
Danny made a face. “They all know who I am.”
“All of them?” asked Tucker, skeptically.
“You try calling in five separate skeletons while being the son of ghost hunters. Yes, they all know who I am.”
“You could still leave a letter.”
“You could ‘accidentally’ put a hole in the wall,” said Sam. “Or you could phase something halfway in, and then when they have to clean it up, they’ll find it?”
“Doesn’t do much good when they might be the people to put it in in the first place,” said Danny, making a face.
“Could you tip someone off as… you know?”
“Same problem phasing it out of the wall.” He covered his eyes, feeling the approach of a headache.
Ugh. He was going to have to punch a hole in this wall.
He’d have to do it soon, too, otherwise the tour would move on and he’d have to try something else.
“Mr. Fenton, Miss Manson, Mr. Foley,” called Mr. Lancer, “we’re– Mr. Fenton! Catcher in the Rye! Why would you punch the wall?” Over his shoulder, the tour guide and a security guard started jogging over.
“Uh,” said Danny, cradling his hand, because punching through drywall with his stupid unprotected human hand hurt. “Because… There’s a skeleton in it?”
Why did he feel the need to tell the truth in stupid, stupid situations like this?
“Mr. Fenton,” said Mr. Lancer, thunderously, “stop making up–” Danny knew the moment Mr. Lancer actually looked into the hole in the wall, because his face went the color of milk. “The Cask of Amontillado,” he said, then sat down.
“So,” said Detective Collins, looking at the wall. “You want to explain how you knew this one was there?”
Danny didn’t have to fake the tears of frustration in his eyes. His powers were so stupid sometimes.
“Well,” said the detective. “This is sure going to be a murder mystery and a half, then.”
“So, are we off to solve a murder?” asked Tucker.
“Why would we be solving a murder?” asked Danny, dropping his backpack on the floor of the bus, where they were waiting for the police to be done with all of them.
Tucker blinked. “Because you just found a dead body.”
“It’s hardly the first time,” said Danny, quietly. He didn’t exactly want something like that to become common knowledge among his fellow students. Not that he expected it would stay quiet or anything.
“Well, yeah, but those were just, you know, accidental deaths.”
“We don’t know that. We don’t know anything about solving murders, either. Why are you suddenly so gung-ho about this? I thought dead bodies freaked you out.”
“Sure do,” agreed Tucker. He shrugged. “Murder mysteries are cool, though.”
“Wow,” said Sam, looking up from her paperback. “You aren’t okay with hospitals, but murder–”
“Look, it happened a long time ago, okay? Guy was a skeleton. Whoever killed him must be long dead by now.”
“Yeah,” drawled Danny. “Long dead. Because length of time spent dead is a good indicator of how much of a problem someone is going to be. How long have Desiree and Poindexter been dead? How about Technus?”
Tucker opened his mouth, closed it, went through a variety of emotions, then pushed himself to the end of the bench, muttering.
Danny leaned back, too. Rumors at school and his bruised knuckles aside, this was almost peaceful.
“HEY!” bellowed Dash from the front of the bus. “CORPSE SNIFFER!”
Aaaaaand there it went.
Summary: Constantine cashes in a favour with Danny as a last resort. Danny just wants to fucking sleep.
based on @grubchen0217's prompt "Zombies vs Ghosts"
Blood, pain, misery.
The smell of ash in the air from after effects of flammable projectiles and heat powers.
A charged crackle in the air as if even an ember from a dying match would light the whole bridge aflame.
Bruce panted as he readied another three explosive batarangs in each hand. He took a moment to flicker his gaze across the others on the battlefield. His kids all looked about as haggard and roughed up as he did, and from a glimpse in the cracked side mirror of a dented car earlier, he knew Alfred would have him laid up in bed for weeks after this.
The other gravity bound heroes didn’t look much better, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter in particular looked like they were about ready to fall over.
The ones in the air were less hurt, but ordered to stay far far away. As a form of long-range combat, and, if necessary, a contingency should the grounded heroes succumb to the virus.
Clark—Superman, had frowned at that plan, and Diana had clearly expressed her displeasure, but ultimately both Superman and Wonder Woman agreed and the others fell in line. Similar, but much more vocal protests came from the other hero teams present, but the arguments died down as his kids stood silently by his side, clearly in agreement and unwilling to change their minds. Earlier, they were running out of time until the first wave, so, with bitter expressions and clenched fists, the other young adults and teens held their tongues, but still kept a defiant look in their eyes.
He had to watch the fastest flyers when he had time to make sure they didn’t do anything reckless or lose the advantage, but as wave after wave came, all anyone could think about were the hoards slowly overwhelming their forces.
Their last resort, a favour Constantine had gotten from some King of the Underworld, was flimsy at best, less than useless and possibly counterintuitive at worst.
But as the newest wave of undead crashed against the Lantern’s wall construct—the sole focus for all three green lanterns to funnel the hoards to one point and make it easier to destroy them—Bruce could see the minute cracks in the construct, the small breaks and missing chunks, start to spread much further than he felt comfortable with.
The zombies were energetic as always. Full of a starving hunger that urged them to eat the first living thing it sensed. And without the feeling of pain nor a need for functioning organs, not only were the Justice League and assorted heroes outnumbered, they were guaranteed to lose the battle if it dragged on any longer. Fighting based on whichever side has the most stamina will always end with the zombies winning and rampaging across the world in no time.
Bruce grit his teeth. He didn’t want to give the order to bring something that might be far worse than these zombies, but at this point he didn’t have much of a choice.
He threw the last of the batarangs in his hand and tapped his communicator. “Constantine, it’s time. You’re sure you can get that favour without killing half the planet?”
“95% sure Bats. This one’s a pretty good hearted being. Despite being a little shit.”
“Call them in.”
“You got it. Oh, and tell the rest of the guys to keep away from the big bright green pillar, eh?”
He sent along Constantine’s message to the others, as well as new orders for the fliers with close combat skills to join the grounded heroes in the front line. They just needed to stall until Constantine finished his summoning spell, then the fliers could grab grounded heroes and they could all retreat far away as whatever eldritch being owed a favour to Constantine took care of the zombies. That would make strategizing a counter attack much easier as well, should the being choose to turn on them for their own amusement.
Just as he said, a massive pillar of bright green light shot into the sky, illuminating the entire bridge and simultaneously giving the signal to everyone to get ready to retreat at a moment's notice.
He was too far away to know what, exactly, Constantine had told the being, but less than a minute after the pillar went up, a blur of black and white shot through the air towards the nearly destroyed walls and a new wall of green energy appeared right behind the Lantern’s constructs.
“Hey! Let down your wall things and let me handle the rest!” A young voice yelled from far above them. While the grounded heroes and non-Lantern fliers started to retreat, Bruce took a moment to survey the sky, to see their potential future enemy.
“I don’t know who said that, but we’re the only ones keeping those things from coming through!” John yelled, stubbornly holding his arm up higher and pushing a burst of energy into the wall to start to repair the damages. It was slow progress, but Bruce found himself simultaneously appreciative and annoyed by his dedication. They knew the order was to clear out once the being arrived to take care of the hoards and though he didn’t like putting all his eggs in an unknown, and likely highly dangerous, basket, they had no choice if they wanted everyone to survive.
“We’ll support the being that Constantine summons from afar once it shows up, but until then, we’re staying right where we are,” Hal said, gritting his teeth as another chunk was taken out of their combined construct.
Guy wasn’t saying a word, his teeth clenched so tightly Bruce wasn’t sure he’d be able to even grunt without pain for days, but the way his body was angled, plus what Bruce knew of his character, he knew Guy wasn’t going anywhere either.
There was a mirthless chuckle. “You guys sound ridiculous, you know that?” The newer green wall, of which was a lighter shade than the Lanterns’ construct, expanded in height and length. “Well, if I can’t get you to see reason, I guess it’s time to show off a little, huh?”
They heard a long intake of breath before a loud whistle echoed in the area, somehow even louder than the groaning zombies and likely the source of the newfound shakiness to the bridge’s structure.
The sound left a ringing in Bruce’s ears despite the cowl’s automatic sound dampening function past a certain level of decibels. And he could only imagine what that must have felt like to someone without any type of ear protection. But that was something to add to the strategy book later, if the being proved a threat.
There was another long intake of breath before something that sounded like TV static filled the air. Bruce wasn’t quite sure what the being was doing to make a noise like that, but at the moment, he didn’t really care. It did… something to the zombies, making them all pause and stare up at a spot in the air where the being was assumedly floating, and that gave the rest of the heroes the opportunity to escape behind where the bridge connected to Gotham.
“Eh, you guys would’ve smelled me anyway. Might as well have fun with it, right?” The same young voice said. “If you understood a word I said, you might not have been as happy though, considering I just called for your extinction.”
As the being said the final word, two things happened: a glowing boy in a black and white hazmat suit appeared where the voice, and subsequently the being, was presumed to be floating, and a large influx of colourful beings with a similar glow around them as the boy, flew towards the hoards of zombies.
The same hoards of zombies who, when the boy appeared, immediately threw themselves at him with a vigor even more frightening than before. Which begs the question, what changed?
They must see the boy as some sort of threat, but then what of the Justice League? And if the zombies saw the Justice League as some sort of mere prey, then what exactly made this boy—this being—so different?
Bruce was being carried away by Diana at the moment, so he still had a bit of time to observe before meeting with the founders to figure out their next move.
Once the boy started to be attacked, the other floating beings wasted no time in coming to his aid. A good third of them charged and fired green beams of energy, similar in appearance to the pillar of light and the boy’s shield, and left a number of large, burning holes in the bodies of the zombies, rendering many unable to move or, in some cases, completely turned to ash.
The size of their attacks and the sheer number of all the floating beings made Bruce wonder if he should’ve agreed to Constantine cashing in his favour earlier in the fight to save everyone the injuries or if he never should’ve agreed to it at all. Many of their team leaders were badly injured and a few had to be administered the few antidotes the League was able to synthesize before the fight. They would’ve endured permanent casualties if he hadn’t agreed to use the last resort option, but most of them won’t live to see tomorrow if the beings choose to take over or end the world instead of going back to their own.
And it seemed that’s not all they could do. Besides invisibility, those energy beams, and the manipulation of gravity to float and fly around without resistance, Bruce noticed many of them had their own unique set of powers that they tended to favour: there was a blue haired girl using her powers to amplify the sounds of her guitar to be a physical force that caused blunt force trauma on any zombie ahead of her; a metal suit with a flaming mohawk was sending a barrage of never-ending missiles and beams from lazer guns that practically disintegrated the zombies on the spot; and there was some sort of large werewolf creature slashing through zombies with its claws like butter.
Slowly but surely, the hoards were thinning. And with the wall created by the summoned being, there were no further waves coming through the portal. The Justice League and the rest of the heroes present had hardly done anything since those beings showed up.
They were powerful, swift, organized, and easily summoned, if Constantine was to be believed. They were good allies, but they could be terrifying enemies.
And Batman knew nothing about them.
He sincerely hoped the summoned being and his army weren’t like Klarion, the little witch boy who did whatever he wanted in the moment and used his powers however he saw fit without care for how it might harm others.
He hoped, but he wasn’t foolish enough to rely solely on hope.
Ohh yessss, Danny was going to have the nicest sleep tonight.
Lancer cancelled tomorrow’s test due to some gas leak in the gym, the ghosts were actually less world domination seeking today—he might almost call them docile—and his mom washed his favourite space pajamas with the astronomically correct constellations on them.
Danny was going to pass the fuck out and stay that way the whole night through.
He closed his eyes and jumped above his bed before slowly floating back down and phasing under his comforter so that he was completely snug. He quickly started to drift.
“Kid. Hey, kid.”
No. Danny was not getting up. Constantine could go fuck himself.
“I know you’re probably cursing me out in your head, or whatever your equivalent is, but I’m cashing in that favour you owe me. Now.”
Hnnnngggg. Danny hated owing favours.
He peeled his eyes open and realized he was, in fact, not snug in his warm bed with his favourite pajamas anymore. No, Danny was now floating inside a large pillar of green light—he was pretty sure that was just the atmosphere from the Ghost Zone leaking out, but he’ll probably still have to come back to check and make sure no one escaped through here, ugh—and floating on his side while in ghost form.
Danny glared at the man in front of him. “I am literally going to haunt your ass this weekend, Constantine.”
Constantine smirked. “Love you too, kid, but can we leave the greetings for later? The League needs you and your subjects’ help.” Danny grumbled, but poked his head out of the pillar. His eyes widened marginally at the remains of the Golden Gate Bridge around him, then he looked around to the different people sitting or standing around Constantine, either heavily injured or assisting one of the injured.
Danny turned back to Constantine. “What—?” Constantine pointed behind Danny, and he fully emerged from the pillar before looking to the other end of the bridge.
The part filled with corpses.
Danny flinched. “Uh, I know I’m a dead guy of unknowable age and wisdom or whatever, but did you really call me out here to bury like, a couple hundred dead people?”
“What? No, look a little further.” Danny followed his direction and squinted into the cloud of dust covering the path further ahead. He noticed small flashes of light and then a large explosion going off as dozens of heroes, familiar and not, came racing through the dust cloud towards them.
There was no sign of the Green Lanterns or a few of the founding members that Danny remembered, but at the moment, he was more preoccupied with how one of the corpses’ hands were stuck in a tight grip on Nightwing’s boot.
Danny sucked in a breath. “Oh. Oh fuck.”
“You see why we needed your help, yeah?” Danny nodded. “You think you can handle it on your own or do you need some time to gather your forces?”
Danny didn’t answer, still staring at the arm of the corpse where the hand had torn off with intense focus. A deep feeling of fear surged through his core when it began to wiggle, tightening its hold even further and nearly causing Nightwing to trip. Danny aimed a hand at it, ectoplasm building in his palm, but just before he could fire, Constantine pushed his arm down.
“Let me handle that one. You’re not exactly the best with close quarters aim.” Constantine muttered a spell and the hand burned to ash, but left Nightwing unharmed.
Danny blinked, calming down. “Sorry, I don’t really know what came over me.” Constantine scoffed. Danny rolled his eyes. “You know what I mean.”
“I know some of what you mean, half of the time.”
“That was a terrible joke.”
“You should lighten up more.”
“You bring out the worst in me, you stupid old fart.”
“Hey, can we, uh, not right now?” Red Robin asked, panting with his hands on his knees for a moment before straightening. “I mean, as much fun as it would be to see Constantine eat shit for fucking with things beyond his control, we kind of have a crisis on our hands.”
“Red Robin’s right.” Nightwing turned to Danny. “I don’t know exactly what horrific things Constantine did to get a favour from you—”
Constantine grumbled. “You know, I don’t like what you’re implying there—”
“But we do need help and at this point, we’re willing to accept just about anything.”
Danny hummed. He thought about the corpses that weren’t really corpses and the possible repercussions from just agreeing to help all willy nilly like this. Even with the favour he owed Constantine, he didn’t really have to do it. Then he thought about being a dick about it and pulling a loophole on them about ghost law. He’d come back, obviously, but he was just so fucking tired and these guys are the Justice League; they could handle a few hours without him, right?
Danny was about to cite some Ghost King bullshit so he could leave, but then his eyes caught onto another hero behind Nightwing. Red Hood, he thought, was his name. Wasn’t exactly a hero, what with the whole killing people thing, but generally had good intentions from what he remembered.
It was strange though, the more he looked at Red Hood, the more he could swear that he was—
His core instinctually let out a small call for his subjects as well as projecting his general aura of peace a bit further than his usual ghostly glow. The Red Hood’s tense body language instantly relaxed and he walked, almost dazed, to stand in front of Danny before taking off his helmet and his domino mask underneath. Nightwing and Red Robin were firing questions at their ally, but Red Hood stayed silent and kneeled with his head bowed before Danny.
“My king,” he said.
Well, that answered his question.
Danny was going to, uh, not think about the possibility of another halfa that he never knew about and was possibly another bitter and murderous old man like Vlad. Instead, he was going to go solve that zombie problem and then go home to his bed, like he planned all along.
Hopefully, this was all just some fantastical dream that his brain conjured up to entertain him while he had a blissful snooze.
Danny was never that lucky, but it’s nice to hope for things.
He was getting off track. He had one more thing to check before he agreed to help.
Danny held out his hand. “Rise and show me your core.”
“What is happening?” Nightwing asked Constantine.
Red Robin watched with wide eyes. “B is sooo gonna kill us if Hood gets sent to hell again.”
Danny ignored them, his eyes trained on Red Hood as he stood and didn’t move.
“Is something wrong?” Danny asked, a million thoughts flying through his head.
Red Hood shook his head. “You asked about my core. I don’t know what that is.”
Danny’s eyes nearly bugged out of his head. “What? How could you be a halfa without—?!” Danny paused, seeing the tension ramp up in the other heroes. He took a deep breath. “Very well.” He toned down the signals from his core and pulled his aura back. Red Hood’s eyes slowly started to become clearer. They were also changing colour, going from a light green to a dark blue.
“Welp, I guess I’ll help you out with minimal complaint this time, since you’ve been taking care of one of mine for so long.” Red Hood’s been around at least since Danny started middle school, though probably longer. He didn’t have that freshly dead scent about him, like some of the corpses on the bridge did. Though the fact that he didn’t have a core…
Danny might need to pull Ghost King bullshit just to investigate that. Can’t have Red Hood accidentally outing the halfa secret, if he even is one. Either way, it’d open up a whole new can of worms for that guy and, halfa or not—hell, ghost or not—Danny’s not about to ditch someone who was likely to be caught up in the GIW’s inhumane experiments and hunting practices at some point. The Red Hood cursed and started asking why the hell he felt and acted so weird. Nightwing threw out a theory regarding some kind of pit and that Danny was a creature that spawned from it, which, fantastic, absolutely fucking amazing; something else for Danny to look for and make sure there isn’t another leak in the Ghost Zone. Red Robin made a joke about Danny being the grim reaper and thinking he was too ugly to take Red Hood back to hell. Red Hood grabbed his collar and started shaking him like a ragdoll.
Danny had turned invisible immediately after saying he’d leave, if only just to examine the Red Hood while he wasn’t paying attention, though this was a funny bonus; who knew the Red Hood was friends with the Bats?
Regardless, he had a job to do, and he needed to see if there was a core in Red Hood after all that he just didn’t know about.
But while Red Hood was still holding up Red Robin, before he had even put his domino back on—even before his eyes had fully turned blue and left the light, glowing green behind—he turned, looked straight at Danny and raised an eyebrow, saying, “So, are you going or what?”
The other three heroes looked at him quizzically and then jumped when Danny popped back into the visible spectrum with a laugh. “Yeah, I’m gone.” He turned invisible once more, gave a wave and a quiet whisper of a promise to talk later, before shooting off into the sky.
The battle ended quicker than Danny expected and thank fuck for that.
He got Wulf to seal up the massive zombie spitting portal and then he and Wulf worked together to make one huge portal back to the Ghost Zone for everybody.
He made sure to loudly state that any ghosts trying to cause mischief in the Living Realm within the next 48 hours would get a whole week of thermos time. Repeat offenders would get another week of thermos time, but in the fridge. He thankfully didn’t have to worry about any ice cores trying to make trouble since Frostbite and his buddies were practically the only ones and knew how to keep the rest in line. He doesn’t really have any other punishment methods than sticking them in the fridge and he’s wayyy too tired to think of any right now.
Danny had a vague feeling that he needed to do something, but mentally shrugged. If it was important, he would’ve remembered.
The last stragglers flew through and Wulf closed the portal on his way in, waving goodbye. Danny yawned through a goodbye of his own and opened a portal to his room. He felt something bite the back of his neck and he scratched at the spot absentmindedly before stepping through and closing it right after. There might have been a few frustrated people trying to ask him what the hell kind of abomination he was, but his hearing became extremely selective the moment he realized he could leave.
Also, he really didn’t care.
It was bedtime, fucking sue him.
When Danny saw his bed again, he nearly cried.
He closed his eyes and jumped atop the bed, floating down slowly before phasing under the covers. Midway down, he changed from Phantom to Fenton and traded form-fitting hazmat that smelled like ash, blood, and decay for a soft pair of blue and white pajamas that smelled of a fresh wash with his favorite constellations hand stitched into the fabric.
Danny had a brief thought to set his alarm for school before remembering it was Saturday and letting out a little sigh of relief. Not even the sun’s warm rays and painting the inside of his eyelids red could stop the way he started to drift.
Oh, that was nice, something blocked out the sun anyway. On the off chance this was Fright Knight coming about something important, Danny squinted through one eye. Then both his eyes flew open in surprise.
Superman was hovering outside his window with Batman held in his arms. Both were staring directly at him, Batman’s hands holding a lock picking set up to the window lock and a holographic screen hovering above his wrist showing a blinking GPS centered on Danny’s house.
Danny groaned, already mourning his precious sleep-in weekend plans. “Ah, fuck. I knew I was forgetting something.”
Teacher's well that ends well @Lancer.Casper
The library of Casper high is the safest place from ghost attacks.
__Phantom official @NOTinvisibill
---Because that's the most borring place in the Earth.
__What is spoken flies what is written never dies @GhostWriter
---I can guarantee that it will stay that way. No body dare to ruin the wonderful books.
__Black and White @Sydney.Casper
---Apparently this is a safe place from bullies too. No jock step inside this Sanctuary
__Astronaut wannabe @Danny.Fenton.
---Then why @skulker.mecha attacked me in the first semester?
__Greatest Hunter of the Zone @skulker.mecha
---I was worried about the students fitness. @GhostWriter I promise no book was harmed.
Dear child of mine
Summary: Maddie and Jack loved their children dearly. They just also loved their work just as much. Luckily, their children were also very interested in their work, especially their little darling Danny and for the first years of his life, Danny spent long swats of time in the lab with them. When Danny was four they completed their crown jewel, The Fenton portal, but it didn’t work. A curious Danny goes to explore the portal and activates it. Moments later, Clockwork finds a newly dead child crying outside their Lair.
The Fentons, having only recently become parents, don't really know how to keep their curious kids away from their experiments yet. (PR237) by @library-of-cronos
Danny giving or receiving comfort from Clockwork. (PR314) by @kiinotasha
The process began in the womb.
Jack and Maddie Fenton were scientists, devoted to their work and research. Not even family could stop it for long. So when Maddie was pregnant for the second time, she grew careless. Jazz had turned out fine despite a few days in the lab at the beginning of her pregnancy. Surely this second child she carried would be fine too if she spent some time in the lab. Except, some time grew into a lot of time into all the time. And Maddie had always been bad at keeping ectoplasm away from her cooking. She had made an effort with Jazz. But it had slipped in once or twice and her baby girl was healthy as a horse. So when she was pregnant again, she was less careful and a few times of ecto contaminated food turned into a lot of times.
Then, Daniel James Fenton was born, perfectly healthy, if a bit small. He cried less than Jazz had done, instead staring up at them with huge, blue eyes. But he was very clingy, wanting to be with his mom at all hours of the day and night.
So, when Maddie recovered from labor and grew antsy to return to work, she brought her son with her down to the lab. And for the first few months of his life, he spent day in and day out with his parents while they worked on their crown jewel. The Fenton portal.
When Daniel got a bit older, Jazz would insist on watching over him for the most part. She was his Big Sister and took that role very seriously. And since the boy loved his sister very much, he was more than happy to stay with her instead. Therefore, Jazz was the only one present when the … side effects started to show. The occasional glimmer of green in his blue eyes. Moments his black tufts of hair seemed to move in an invisible wind. Occasions of a chill surrounding the small boy, making Jazz shiver. But she did not understand the signs for what they were and just loved and accepted her little brother, her little Danny, as he was.
For a while, the signs actually grew less frequent, as he spent less and less time down in the lab. But occasionally, he would become curious and stumble down the steps to the basement on tiny toddler legs, to see what his parents worked on. Jack and Maddie always loved when their little scientist came to help them in the lab. And while they tried to keep an eye on him, for the most part they got so swallowed up by their work (obsessed, some might even say), they forgot he was even present. Not to mention that Danny behaved himself so well, never making a ruckus.
As any experienced parent would tell you, though, nothing is more dangerous than a silent toddler. It meant their little eyes had settled on something interesting to grab in their little hands and examine. It was far too easy for Danny to get his hands on jars of ectoplasm or partially built ecto weapons. Far too easy to put some in his mouth. Jack and Maddie never noticed the reactions, the moments of flight or invisibility each mouthful of ectoplasm would earn Danny. The reactions only made Danny more eager to get his little hands on any ectoplasm he could find.
Then, when Danny was four years old, years of work finally came to fruition and the Portal was finished.
Except, when they plugged it in and tried to start it, nothing happened. Disappointed, Jack and Maddie gave up, leaving the basement to wallow in self-pity. Jazz, six years old and already far too mature for her age after years of having to watch over Danny and herself, immediately started to try to cheer them up.
Meanwhile, Danny snuck into the lab. He had watched from afar as his parents built the portal, as it was the one experiment they always kept him far away from. Now that it was finished, even if it didn’t work, his curiosity was so great he couldn’t help himself.
Toddling over to the portal, he stared into the great dark mouth, unafraid. For he was a child grown up around a lab, grown up around strange and curious things. And nothing had ever hurt him before.
With a laugh and eyes that shined green for a second, Danny walked into the portal. About halfway in he stumbled over a loose cable and fell over. Turning around to glare at the offending cable, he noticed another one right next to it that hadn’t been plugged into its socket. Staring at it, Danny’s four year old brain slowly came to an understanding. His parents were sad because the portal didn’t work. They would be happy again if it started working and he’d get to see the cool world his parents always talked about. He had watched his parents work many times and more than once their newest invention didn’t work because they had forgotten to plug in a wire. So, to make his parents happy, he should plug this wire in and start the portal.
He crawled over to the wire, taking it in one hand and the socket in the other. Then, he firmly pressed them together.
A green light appeared at the end of the tunnel and Danny watched in fascination as it grew stronger and stronger. It was the same color as ectoplasm, as his eyes sometimes flashed. It was pretty and he smiled at it. The light rushed at him in the blink of an eye and the moment it reached him, another light - white this time - jumped from the cable in his hand.
The green and white lights tore through him, so burning hot he felt icy cold. It found every vein, every nerve in his body. It spread into his heart, stopping and restarting it over and over again. Fire, ice and acid tearing him apart molecule by molecule. And then rebuilding him molecule by molecule, over and over again.
Clockwork was the Master of Time. Unless the Observants actively blocked their sight, they saw everything that had happened, was happening and could happen. Clockwork did not get surprised.
But they could admit to feeling something … similar, when the crises of a young child reached their ears through an open window of their Lair, Long Now. They looked up from the cookies they were baking, forehead creased in a frown. The only beings that ever came to their Lair were the Observants when they wanted something from them. Even the most desperate of ghosts would not dare to come close to the legendary Master of Time. Though once, long ago before they had been bound by the Observants, the other Ancients would at times visit them. The second thing that surprised them was that even as Clockwork tried to look back in time to see what would have brought someone to their Lair, they couldn't see anything.
Slowly, Clockwork put down the batch of cookie dough and floated over to the window to look out. On the lawn close to the entrance to their Lair, sat a young child. The boy couldn't have been older than five years old when he died and … and Clockwork’s core hitched in their chest, as they felt just how recently the boy had died. Only minutes ago. Though they had seen a lot of suffering during their long life, the death of children always managed to sadden them.
The boy was truly wailing, green tears falling from his eyes in cascades and his aura flashing hurt scared help. Clockwork’s core hitched again. They couldn’t just leave the boy like that.
Quickly, they floated over to the door and opened it. There, they froze, silently cursing. The Observants had forbidden them from ever leaving their Lair unless the continued existence of the Timeline absolutely required it, or they gave them express permission to leave. Despite how the crying of the boy might make them feel like the safety of the Timeline depended on them comforting him, it was not enough to allow them to leave.
They tried to use their future vision to find the best way to comfort the boy, but once again it seemed to slip off the boy, unable to clearly see him. A curious reaction they would need to explore further, but for now it was not important since they had to figure out how to help the boy without it. Thinking for a while, they decided on an approach.
They sat down at the threshold and after some deliberation decided to shift into their adult form - deducting that a ghost child this young would feel best with an adult ghost around to offer them comfort and protection. Then they softly cleared their throat and called out in a tone they hoped wouldn’t startle the child. “Hello there, little one. My name is Clockwork, what’s your name?”
The child froze when they started talking, curling in tighter on himself. “D-Danny”, he whispered in a broken voice.
“It’s very nice to meet you, Danny”, Clockwork said and smiled gently at the child. Carefully, they started to let their aura leach out into the air, projecting safety. As it reached Danny, he started to relax a little bit. “Why are you crying, little one?”
“I’m s-scared”, he said with a particularly pathetic sniff. “I w-want my mommy and my daddy. I want Jazzy.”
Clockwork frowned and tried to call on their abilities again. They caught glimpses of a woman and a man in blue and orange and of a young girl with orange hair, but nothing more concrete than that. Still, maybe with more time around Danny they would be able to see more. “I could help you find them.”
“R-really?” A green eye peered at him through white bangs. It was still filled with green tears, but at least the crying seemed to have slowed a bit. His aura was still filled with fear, though. They let their own aura flare a bit stronger.
“I promise to try”, they said, bowing their head. “And until we find them I promise that I will keep you safe.”
Danny sniffed and wiped his nose off on his sleeve. “O-okay.”
Clockwork smiled encouragingly and held a hand out to the boy. “I’m afraid you have to come over to me, as I can’t walk outside.”
Danny eyed the hand warily, his fear growing stronger again. Clockwork continued to project safety and as the seconds passed, their stronger aura started to take over. The instincts of any ghost child, even one as new as this one - especially one so new - would make him trust any adult ghost around him that expressed any amount of care. It laid in their nature to search out help and protection.
Eventually, Danny climbed onto unsteady feet and slowly walked over to them. He hesitated a few times, and each time Clockwork made their aura a little bit stronger. Once he stood right in front of Clockwork, he hesitated one last time before slowly reaching his hand out, placing it carefully in Clockwork’s own. Danny kept his head down, tears still dripping down his cheeks and one foot scuffing the dirt.
This close, Clockwork could feel the hurt buzzing in the child’s core. The hurt of recent death. And they had to swallow down the lump in their throat when they saw the Death scar on the boy’s small hand. A lichtenberg figure spreading from his hand up his bare arm, disappearing beneath the sleeve of his t-shirt. A truly gruesome death.
Clockwork made his core start buzzing in a comforting pattern, like the purring of a cat. They also filled their aura with comfort care protect. Slowly, Danny started to relax.
“It’s alright now, Danny”, they said gently and started pulling him into their Lair by the hand. Danny followed easily. “I will take care of you now, you’ll be okay. I promise.”
For the first time since his appearance, Danny looked up and met Clockwork’s eyes. If they still needed to breathe they would have stopped doing so at finally coming face to face with the boy. His cheeks were chubby and wet with tears, the face of a very young child. His hair was white and fluffy, floating around his head in defiance of gravity. Up the side of his neck and ending at his chin, there was a branch of his Death scar, making it impossible to look past his brutal death. But the thing that truly caught Clockwork’s attention and held it were the eyes.
Green as ectoplasm, as the Infinite Realms around them, and just as impossibly deep. And in those green depths, millions of stars, nebulae and galaxies twinkled. Oh, they thought, shocked. Clockwork’s core flooded their whole body with an intense mix of emotions, so strong they couldn’t feel anything else.
Child, child of mine, his core buzzed. Protect him, care for him, love him.
And in that instance, Clockwork’s life was forever changed.
Me trying to explain how angsty I like my fanfics:
-so anyway, Danny Phantom fics are where I learned the difference between dissection and vivisection :)
Danny takes something that doesn’t belong to him- my first phic phight fic
Prompt: Danny has a break down after he starts feeding on human emotions.
“-and nobody’s going to do anything about it, because rampant corruption has made meaningful change almost impossible!”
Danny took a long, awkward sip of his milkshake. He never knew what to say when Sam got riled up like this. Her passion for social justice definitely wasn’t a bad thing. With her connections in the goth and vegan communities- plus a bit of her parents’ money- she’d actually managed to do some pretty cool stuff. But sometimes, her overwhelming anger at the injustices of the world got to be a bit… much. The other customers at the Nasty Burger were starting to stare.
Sam went on with her tirade, gesturing frantically as she explained loopholes in campaign finance laws and monopolization in the animal agriculture industry using the same tone of voice that Danny’s parents used to describe their latest encounter with a ghost. He wasn’t sure how to tell her she was making a scene. If he was up-front about it, she might get embarrassed, which would suck for both of them. If he didn’t say anything, someone else might get up and say something to her, which would suck even more. Instead, he reached out and tapped her shoulder.
The tap made Sam pause. She looked back at Danny for a few seconds, confused, before getting the hint, sitting down, and continuing more quietly.
Danny stared at his hand in shock. Sam’s skin was warm. Really, really warm. Not in the normal way living people felt warm to Danny, either. This warmth left a pulsing, buzzing, energetic feeling in his fingertips. A good feeling. But not a normal one. He tried to ignore it and focus on what she was saying. He couldn’t.
Without thinking, he grabbed her shoulder again.
The wonderful, fiery, alive feeling rushed into Danny, filling something inside himself that he hadn’t even known was hollow. It spread through his body, somehow heavy and satisfying even though it seemed to be completely weightless.
“Hey, what the heck are you-“ Sam began, but then the sharpness in her expression vanished, and she shook her head. “I mean… wait. Never mind.”
The dazed look in Sam’s eyes was unsettling.
She was completely silent for the rest of their meal.
“You know, I didn’t even think it was possible to screw something up that badly,” said a shadow in the corner of Danny’s room.
Danny flopped onto his bed, tired, confused, and not in the mood.
Penelope Spectra’s human disguise flickered into existence as she stepped out of the darkness. She surveyed the room for a place to sit, eventually settling on the dresser.
“Don’t worry. I’m not hungry, if you catch my drift. I just heard a rumor that you were. I wanted to see for myself, and hey, what do you know, it was true!”
Danny looked up at her, even more confused than before.
“You’re here because you think I’m… hungry?”
“You were hungry. I’d be surprised if you were still hungry now, after that buffet you just had. You don’t have any self-control at all, huh? That poor little friend of yours is basically a husk now!”
“Sam? Did I- wait, what are you- is she okay?
“I’ve never taken that much in one sitting. I do things a lot more slowly. I talk to people while I feed, give them new feelings to worry about while I suck out the old ones. It’s a lot easier on their little souls than what you just did. Isn’t that funny? After all that griping about how I do things, you ended up being worse!”
“What are you talking about? Is Sam okay?”
“Look, kid. Your friend probably won’t die, but you scrambled her brains up big-time. If I were you, I’d give her a call. Talk her into growing replacement emotions.”
Spectra hopped off the dresser and melted back into the shadows. She wasn’t physically in the room anymore, but she was still there.
“Here, I’ll let you have some space so you can do that.”
Sam’s phone was making a noise. Ringing. Ringing meant you were supposed to pick the phone up, unless you didn’t want to. Sam didn’t want to, but she didn’t want to not either. She picked up the phone.
“Uh, hey. Sam.”
It was Danny. Danny had eaten lunch with her earlier, at the Nasty Burger.
“Hello, Danny. We ate lunch together at the nasty burger today.”
Danny made a noise. Danny usually didn’t make noises like that.
“Yeah. I know. Hey, Sam, can you tell me… how you feel?”
Sam thought about that for a moment.
“I don’t feel anything.”
Danny made another noise.
“You keep making noises,” said Sam. “I don’t know what the noises you’re making mean.”
The noise Danny made this time was louder than the others.
“Okay! Uh… okay. I broke her. Fuck, this is so-“
“Is this going to be too hard for you?” Asked a voice that probably wasn’t Danny. “If you want, I could try my hand at it. Imagine how miserable she’d be!”
“NO,” Danny said, loudly. Then he said some more stuff, also loudly.
“Who are you talking to? Why are you being so loud?”
“Don’t worry about it. Uh, Sam, you know you’re pretty cool, right?”
This was a compliment. Sam knew that. When you got a compliment, you were supposed to feel good about yourself. Sam tried to figure out whether she felt good about herself.
“Uh, and I like spending time with you. And I hope you like spending time with me.”
Sam thought that she must like spending time with Danny, because she agreed to spend time with him at lunch earlier. If she didn’t like spending time with Danny, she wouldn’t have agreed to do it.
“I think I like spending time with you, because I agreed to spend time with you at lunch today,” she said.
“Um… cool. That’s cool. Thank you?”
More noises came out of Sam’s phone. These noises couldn’t have been made with Danny’s mouth. Or anyone’s mouth. It was more like… rustling. Was that the word? Rustling?
Then she heard Danny’s voice again, but much quieter.
“Hey, am I doing this right? I’m not gonna, like, mess her up even worse, am I?”
“Well,” the other, non-Danny voice responded, “you’re certainly not doing it how I would, but you don’t want to do it my way, do you? Just keep talking to her.”
The rustling started again, and then stopped again.
“So, Sam. Can you tell me about something interesting? You were telling me about corruption at lunch. Maybe talk about that!”
“Yeah. You were mad about it. You said people in charge get paid to make bad decisions or something.”
“Oh. I was mad about that, wasn’t I?”
“Yeah, you were. You’re really passionate about stuff like that.”
“Yeah. I guess I am.”
“She’s still gonna be fragile for a few weeks. If you feed off her again before she’s healed up, you could end up doing permanent damage. And not the yummy kind of damage, either.”
Danny pulled a blanket over his shoulders and glared at Spectra.
“Aww, come on. Aren’t you gonna say, ‘thanks, Ms. Spectra, I don’t know what I would’ve done without your help,’ or something like that? After all, I did just totally get you out of a jam.”
“You’re evil and gross.”
Spectra tilted her head to the side and frowned.
“Why? Because I feed on human emotions? Is that what makes me evil and gross?”
“W- You tried to murder my sister.”
“Bygones,” she said, waving her hand. “Besides, I think we’re even now. I almost killed your sister, you stopped me. You almost killed your friend, I saved her. It’s all water under the bridge!”
“Water- what? No! This is way different. I didn’t… do that to Sam on purpose, I was just-“
“Curious? Stupid? Hungry? I understand. It feels wonderful, doesn’t it? Almost like you’re alive- well, completely alive, in your case. I suggest you enjoy it. Maybe take a day or so to digest, and then chat up a neighbor, test your limits, see how much you can drain before they start to go kooky. That sort of thing. This ability is a rare privilege, even among ghosts.”
Danny groaned. Part of him wanted to try to explain the concept of compassion to Spectra, but he knew it wouldn’t get him anywhere.
“Why are you trying to give me advice, anyway? You’re the worst.”
“Oh, look at the time,” Spectra said, pointing at her clearly watch-less wrist. “Gotta jet. Seeya!”
The King is Dead, Long Live the King
Phic Phight | AO3 | FFN
Summary: Human criminals aren't so threatening when you're a powerful half-ghost. When Danny gets kidnapped, he decides it could be a fun Friday night experience and goes with the flow. It's not his brightest idea.
Or: Danny gets kidnapped by a cult that wants to sacrifice him to Phantom.
Word count: 4068
Big thanks to @wastefulreverie for helping me beta this fic!
Danny considers himself a realist. He and his friends have a rather good balance when it comes to their outlooks on life. Tucker tends to look on the positive side of things. Sam often focuses on the negative. Danny, meanwhile, likes to take a moment in and ponder it. Take his time figuring out if what is happening is truly good or truly bad. There's a balance to these things, you know. His life is all about balance. Hero and civilian. Human and ghost. Kidnappee and... well. He hasn't figured out the opposite of kidnappee, yet. The obvious answer is kidnapper, but he can confidently say he has never done any kidnapping in his life. At least not intentionally
The guys that threw a hood over his head and dragged him into the back of a van, however, can't say the same.
"It's a little dusty in here." They must have used a flour sack or something. Painted it black, since he can't see any light. Some traces of whatever the sack used to hold remain, and Danny finds powder entering his nose every time he breathes. He's trying not to sneeze—doesn't want to get snot all over the bag covering his face—but it's getting harder and harder not to.
Someone grabs his shoulder and shoves him forward. If it weren't for his body's ghostly composition, Danny thinks his spine might have snapped in half.
"Ow," he says, not that it really hurts, but he wants the kidnappers to know that it could have hurt. If they want to get anything out of him, hurting him would be a little counterproductive. They haven't said anything to him yet. He assumes there's more than one since someone has to be driving the van while another is busy tying his hands behind his back.
Two kidnappers, then. At least two. He felt more than one set of hands grabbing him as he was dragged off the street, but he didn't get a good look at anyone before they tossed the bag over his head. He could just phase out of his bindings, and the hood, and the van in its entirety, but Danny has been bored lately. Being a ghost hunter isn't much fun after you've outgrown your usual rogues' gallery. Regardless, they still try to put up a fight. Skulker comes after his hide at least once a week, and the Box Ghost never misses an opportunity to annoy him. But after the enemies Danny has taken on, they're small fry. He could use a little excitement.
Getting kidnapped is definitely a little exciting.
Kidnapper One finishes tying Danny's hands. They must have used some kind of cord. It bites into his flesh and already his fingers are going numb. That could be bad. Limbs can fall off if their circulation is cut off for too long, right? Danny remembers reading that somewhere. He doesn't know how long this little ordeal is going to take. Hopefully not that long. Having his hands fall off doesn't sound pleasant, and it would probably be a pain in the ass to regrow them. He knows it's possible, thanks to that time when Skulker managed to steal his little toe, but it's not a pleasant experience overall.
He would also have a hard time hiding the fact that his hands are gone from his parents. How would he even do that? The toe was easy; he made sure to always wear socks until it had grown back. But hands? He has a few sweaters with long sleeves. Or he could stuff some gloves and sew those onto his sleeves. Or get Tucker to do it since sewing using telekinesis is hard. Taking notes at school would be a pain.
If he's lucky, maybe he'll only lose a finger or two.
"Hey, what would you rather lose: a foot or a hand?" Danny asks.
No one answers.
"I think I would rather lose a foot. You could still run and everything if you get a good prosthetic, although it might take some work. I need my hands, though. Thoughts?"
"What the fuck is wrong with this kid?" Kidnapper Two says. At least Danny assumes it's Kidnapper Two. The voice comes from in front of him rather than behind, but the guy who tied his hands could have moved.
"Wow, that was just—wow. That was just rude. I'm actually really hurt right now. I thought we were bonding."
"Um... sorry?" Kidnapper Two says.
"Thank you. So, hand or foot?"
The silence stretches long enough that Danny thinks he won't get a reply until a voice comes from behind him.
"Hand," Kidnapper One says.
"Are you serious? Foot is clearly the right answer. You lose a lot more when you lose a hand," Kidnapper Two says.
"But I like hiking."
"You can hike with a prosthetic."
"I'm not saying you can't! But it would be harder. It's probably more taxing physically. I don't know, I want to hike. Hand."
"Will you two shut up?" a third voice comes from the front of the van.
Danny decides to call this person Taxi Man. He can call them Kidnapper Three, stick with the theme and all that, but he doesn't think they have earned the title yet. Kidnappers One and Two did all the work, grabbing and binding him. What has Taxi Man done? Nothing. Zero effort. Anyone can drive a van. They aren't even driving frantically. Danny hasn't slid into the wall once the entire time. They should have hired his dad as the driver, to make things extra exciting.
Kidnappers One and Two, thoroughly chastised, fall silent. Too bad. Danny was just starting to like them.
The silence drags on, filled only by the rumbling of the van. He wishes he had a better internal clock, but as it is he can't tell if they have been driving for a few minutes or nearly an hour. Either way, he's starting to get bored again.
"So, is the, like, what you do on the weekends?" he asks. The lack of conversation is more stifling than his hood. Seriously, what kind of hosts are these people? The least they can do is give him a little chit-chat to make things interesting. He has Taxi Man to thank for that, though. "You text your bros like 'Hey, u down 2 kidnap?' That was a real two in there, I hope you heard it. Is there a group chat? I bet there's a group chat."
Danny wants to lean back. Sitting on the metal floor hurts his tailbone a little bit. Too many bad falls during ghost fights.
"If there is a group chat, can I join? I think I've earned it. We're in this together now. We can split the ransom and everything. There's this guy, Vlad. He'd pay big money for you to hand me over to him. He's totally obsessed with me in like an 'I want to kill your father and take his place' kind of way."
More silence. Then, "Do you need help?" Kidnapper Two asks.
Danny flexes his fingers, trying to get some feeling back into them. Maybe his hands really will fall off. "Yes."
"You do remember why we're here, don't you?" Kidnapper One asks.
"Well, yeah, but I'm really worried. What if this guy is a pedo or something?"
"Dave. That won't matter after tonight."
Dave. What a lame name for a kidnapper. Totally ruins the vibes. He should go with something scary like Hans. Or Gruber. No, wait. That's just the guy from Die Hard.
"Oh, right," Hans says.
"Wait, what about tonight?" Danny doesn't like the sound of that. He also doesn't like that no one answers him.
The drive lasts a little while longer. They make some turns. Stop at a few lights. Do other typical driving things, Danny doesn't know, he can't see what the hell is happening. But eventually, they come to a stop and the engine cuts off. Someone grabs his shoulder and hauls him up onto his feet. Danny stumbles as he's shoved toward the back of the van. He might have fallen out if it wasn’t for the hand that grabs the back of his shirt.
"Hey, you're stretching it," Danny whines, even as he dangles forward at a precarious angle. This is his favourite shirt. He can fix his face if he breaks it on the concrete, but his shirt? Can't fix that.
Someone grabs Danny's elbow and guides him down to the ground. There is a loud creak—probably the sound of a door opening. Somehow, everything gets darker. Danny didn't think that was possible, what with the hood. Apparently whoever painted it didn't do a very good job of blacking it out and he just didn't notice it until what little light he had left was gone. Now that they're inside—presumably, since the din of the street is gone now—it really is pitch black. In the distance, he hears humming.
Danny hums along. It's a catchy tune, very low and droning. It sounds like the kind of music Jazz plays to help herself fall asleep. He never got why she did that before, but he does now. As he stumbles along in the dark, smothered in the warmth of his hood, with the low murmur of distant voices, he feels rather relaxed. If he's lucky, his kidnappers might let him settle in for a nap.
The humming grows louder, loud enough for Danny to notice it's not humming at all but chanting. A dozen voices moan over each other as they repeat something in Latin. Danny isn't fluent in it, but Pandora has taught him a few phrases, so he's familiar with the sounds of the language. He tries to translate some of it, making out the word "phantasma" a few times.
Hey. That's his name.
A door creaks. The chanting grows louder. It flows over Danny, echoing voices melding into one as whatever space they're in spits the words back at them. It's haunting and beautiful in its own way.
The hand on his back guides him forward until his toes bump against something hard. He lurches, nearly falling flat on his face, but the hand grabs his shoulder and holds him steady. Once he has recovered, Danny feels out the space in front of him with his foot. there's a step, a small one. It's curved, rather than flat, and has a slight overhang at the top. Carefully, Danny steps up. Whatever it is creaks beneath his feet but holds steady.
"Stop here, please." Kidnapper One's voice echoes as they speak.
Danny obeys. Something rustles. The noise is followed by a weight on his head. A sheet, he thinks. But with some fidgeting, whoever is holding the sheet works his head through a hole and the weight settles on his shoulders. Not a sheet, then. Perhaps it’s a shawl. Or a poncho of some kind. The hands leave him once the poncho is settled. Danny focuses on every little noise he can. A clunk. A scraping noise, but not an unpleasant one. It brings back memories of chalk drawings on the sidewalk.
"Did I do it right?" Hans mutters.
"That looks like the book," Taxi Man says.
"Alright, cool. Marcel, continue."
Again, with the boring names. Marcel at least sounds unique, but Dave? Dave? They couldn’t even come up with fake names? Unless those are the fake names. That would be a stroke of genius. Danny still prefers Hans and Kidnapper One, though. They have a better ring to them.
"There's a table in front of you. Lie down on it," Hans says. At first, Danny wonders how on Earth he is going to manage that without his hands, but Hans has apparently thought of that. They turn him until he can feel the table. From there, it's a bit of an awkward scramble—with Hans' help—getting onto it and laying down, but he finds a pillow under his head once he's flat.
This is the nicest kidnapping Danny has ever experienced, even if Taxi Man is an ass. They gave him a warm poncho and a place to lie down. That nap idea is sounding better and better. Hans and Kidnapper One are pretty great guys. If that group chat really doesn't exist, Danny is going to make it happen.
The chanting around him rises to a crescendo, filling the space. Someone snatches the hood off his head and the chanting cuts off.
Danny blinks as his eyes adjust. Three people stand around him, two men and a woman. They are encircled by a small gathering of people. Everyone wears identical black cloaks with white accents on the hems, even Danny.
The woman standing to his left holds a long, vicious-looking knife in her hands.
"Oh," Danny says. "Well. That's not nice."
In hindsight, letting himself get kidnapped out of boredom wasn't a great idea. Danny should have gone to the arcade or something. Better yet, if he wanted something exciting to do, he lives above a lab. There are all kinds of fun things to get into down there. Most of those things can also kill him, but that's part of the fun, isn't it? That's what got him into this situation in the first place. The half-ghost situation, not the kidnapping situation.
"You just straight-up want to kill me," Danny says. Now sounds like a good time to start panicking. At least it would if Danny were a normal teenager. Then again, a normal teenager would have started panicking the second they were snatched off the street. Danny is just cool like that.
He takes a moment to get a good look at his kidnappers. The cloaks don't make it easy. They're loose-fitting and flowy, giving them great breathability but also masking their bodies fairly well. From the neck down, the only distinction he can make is breasts or no breasts. He mentally apologizes to all the women in the death circle. There's no delicate way to say it, it's just very obvious who does or does not have breasts. That's the problem with one-size-fits-all unisex clothing.
The three standing next to Danny—the ones who did the actual kidnapping—have their hoods pulled down and their faces exposed. The woman keeps looking between Danny and the knife as if she can't wait to stab him with it. She must be the Taxi Man. She seems like the kind of person who despises fun ice breaker games like Would You Rather.
When it comes to the men, one is significantly taller than the other, with broader shoulders. Catching a glance at the man's feet, Danny sees his ankles exposed by the too-short cloak. One-size-fits-all strikes again.
The shorter one shrugs. "Sorry." Ah, so that one is Hans. Makes sense. He has a kind face.
"If it's any consolation, we put it to a vote first. We really thought about it," Kidnapper One says.
"It was unanimous," Taxi Man supplies.
"Wait, before we go any further, I just have to ask." Danny looks at Taxi Man. "Are you okay being referred to as 'man'?"
She stares at him. "What?"
"Like, in general. Some people don't like being called dude or guy and all that stuff. I just want to make sure, are you cool with that?"
The knife twitches in her hand. She must really want to stab him right now. "Sure, whatever. I don't care."
"Okay, cool. Didn't want to be rude." Danny goes back to his favourite kidnappers. "Can I at least know why?"
"For centuries, a battle has been waging beyond the comprehension of mortals. A Tyrant and a King caught in an eternal battle. The founder of our order witnessed the first recorded battle over a thousand years ago, in the times of Ancient Greece. The Tyrant had seized control of a powerful city-state meant to expand his power by taking others as well. But before he could, the King came, vanquished him, and left. He did not even stay to receive thanks for his great deed.
"Our founder witnessed this battle and claimed they were gods. Many people did not believe him, but others had also seen the great battle and together, they formed our order Two centuries later, the Tyrant appeared again. And, again the King came and defeated him. For centuries, the Tyrant and King have waged war against one another. Their battles are great and many. Until recently, it had been some time since the King and Tyrant were last seen. Some believed them to be dead, but those faithless few have been proven wrong, for our King has returned! All hail Lord Phantom!" Kidnapper One cries out.
"Hail! Hail!" The chant echoes around them.
Danny doesn’t like the sound of that. They’re talking about him, or his ghost half, but he doesn’t understand. The Tyrant? He gets the king bit, a little. He is the Ghost King, but he certainly wasn’t a thousand years ago. He wasn’t alive a thousand years ago. Except for that one time he and Vlad went gallivanting through time, fighting over the Infi-Map. The Tyrant thing suddenly makes a whole lot more sense. And here Danny was hoping that jaunt through history could be a fun adventure with zero consequences. With his luck, he should have known better.
"But the battle has drawn on, far longer than it should. Neither the King nor the Tyrant has prevailed. Today, however, we fix that."
"Cool, cool." Danny hums in disinterest and examines the room instead.
Beyond the questionably fashionable cult people, there's not much to the room. It's big, empty. Some kind of old warehouse with windows high up on the walls. There's a catwalk overhead that leads to an office overlooking the room. Whatever used to be here is all cleared out now, but he notices marks on the floor where machinery used to be. Deep scratches and pits from things being bolted down.
He lies on a wooden table. It's finely crafted and painted a vivid purple. Leaning over the side of the table, he notes that the table is placed on a raised platform. Rounded, like he thought, also wood and also painted purple.
"Nice craftsmanship," Danny says.
"Thank you." Kidnapper One preens. "I'm a carpenter." That explains the stocky build.
Around the platform is some kind of chalk drawing. It circles the entire thing, strange symbols etched over the concrete.
Perhaps now would be a good time to run. It was silly fun before, but there are knives and an altar now. Danny doesn't remember signing up for a cult and he isn't interested in joining one now. From the corner of his eye, he catches Hans bending down and picking something up from the floor. Danny ignores him, though.
"So, this has been fun, but I think I need to get going." He sits up and swings his legs off the table. Kidnapper One and Taxi Man back away, stepping off the platform. Danny cracks his neck and readies himself. They have put so much effort into bringing him here, he may as well put on a little show. Who's going to believe some crazy cultists if he pulls a few ghost moves on them, anyway?
He goes intangible.
The cultists murmur with excitement. Danny barely pays them any mind, though, more focused on the fact that the cloak and restraints didn't fall off.
"What the hell?" Danny lets the intangibility drop, then pulls it up again. Still, nothing happens. "Hey, what's going on? What kind of—"
Danny is yanked backwards. His head bounces off the wooden table. While the warehouse spins and black spots dance in his eyes, an arm curls around his head and pins him in place, bent over backward. A hand, Hans' hand, forces his mouth open. Something slowly tips over Danny's face.
A drop of liquid touches his lips, blistering the instant it makes contact. Danny thrashes, trying to escape Hans' grip. He twists and jerks his head, but all that does is put his eyes under the stream as it drops. Danny screams as liquid blood blossom hits his face. The mixture is cold but it burns, hot and cold, freezing and melting his skin at the same time.
"Shit," Hans mumbles. The stream redirects. It splashes across his nose and cheeks before finally entering his mouth. Danny has to swallow it. If he doesn't, he might drown in the middle of a dusty warehouse. He doesn't want to, though. Everything burns. His lungs, his throat, his tongue. His screams turn to gurgles as the liquid fills his mouth. Hans forces his jaw shut. Danny can't see it, but it must be Hans.
Left with no other choice, Danny swallows. Every second is agony. He feels the mixture flow down his throat, searing him from the inside out. It settles heavily in his stomach.
Finally, Hans backs away. Danny collapses onto the floor, sobbing and gasping for breath. He can't see. He can't speak. He can barely breathe.
"Lord Phantom!" Kidnapper One shouts. His voice booms throughout the warehouse. "You have fought long and hard, but you have been weakened, bound against your will."
The chanting picks up again. Danny's name echoes all around him.
"We offer this boy, your mortal prison, as a sacrifice in your name! We have seen his feats of power and know him to be the one who enslaves you!"
Danny crawls forward, feeling for the edge of the platform. He must be close. Through the grey haze that his vision has become, he can just make out the edge of the wooden stage. He launches himself at it. The air before him sparks.
Danny screams again as electricity courses through him. The runes on the floor glow with power.
"Hail! Hail!" The cultists cry.
Someone crouches in front of Danny, reaching over the runes. He raises his head, blood and tears dripping from his eyes. Taxi Man lifts him with a hand to his throat.
"As he breathes his last breath, so may you breathe life again! Hail the King, Lord Phantom!"
The knife comes down.
The room is dark. It's still daytime, but the sky outside is black. The only illumination comes from the circle of runs. The glow is dim. The pale light reflects off the sacrificial blade. A drop of blood falls from the tip onto the runes. They pulse.
The cultists all stand back and watch their sacrifice. A deep wound carves the inside of his arm, a remnant of his futile attempt to escape his fate. The knife still found a home in his chest. Now he lays splayed out on the dais, one arm outstretched. Blood drips from his fingers, falling onto the runes. With every drop, the runes brighten, until the growing pool of blood beneath him spills over the edge of the dais.
The runes flare, blinding everyone. The room rumbles.
"It's happening." Marcel steps back in awe.
An arc of light bursts off the body. It happens again, and again, until waves of silver light drown out the runes. They explode from the boy's bloody chest and burst into starlight. The light lashes against the barrier, pushing and pushing until the runes burst into dust. The next wave of light washes over the cultists and they drop to their knees screaming.
A chill fills the room.
Marcel struggles to lift his head. The runes have gone out. The body lays still, motionless, a shadow against the dais. A figure hovers above the altar, wreathed in silver light and wearing a black crown around his throat. Otherworldly green eyes look down on Marcel.
"You wanted the King." Phantom speaks with a hundred voices. His mouth doesn't move, but the noise fills Marcel's head. Every word rumbles with power. It feels as if his skull will crack open at the next syllable.
"So here I am." Phantom's arm stretches out. The worshippers drop to the floor, ectoplasm spilling from their mouths. It burns as it bubbles up through their throats, searing their tongues and lips. The only sound they can make is guttural screams. Marcel chokes, waiting for death. It doesn't come, though. Between one blink and the next, Phantom disappears.
When Marcel looks down, the body on the dais is gone.
Prompt by @five-rivers: For centuries, the cult has anticipated the glorious rise and return of Lord Phantom. That time is at hand. All they need to bring him fully into the mortal world is the perfect sacrifice: Danny Fenton.
Summary: Great timing prevented Danny’s secret from being revealed to Dash during their shared experience with the Fenton Crammer. But what would happen if his timing had been just a little off and Dash saw more than Danny wanted?
My first Phic Phight submission! @phicphight
Prompt: Identity reveal. Dash finds out Danny is Phantom. What happens? Could be swagger bishie or not, either or is okay. (PR169) - for @q-gorgeous
Climbing up a rope made of melting cheese from fresh pizza seemed like a good idea at the time. It definitely seemed like a better idea than trying to climb up one of the large metallic legs of the table that he couldn’t even fit his arms around. But the cheese rope was greasy and slippery, and even as he made progress he could feel himself slip and slide down the cheese. Danny grunted as he reached higher and used his sore arms to pull his weight further up the rope. Sweat beaded down his face and soaked his jumpsuit. But he needed to keep going. He needed to get to the top of the table. Almost there. So close now.
Finally he felt the pizza slice level out, which meant he had to be at the edge of the table. He reached higher up on the pizza, but his grease-slicked hand slid along the cheese and he almost lost his hold on the entire piece of pizza as he struggled to hang on. He wrapped his legs around the pizza slice and wiped his hand off onto his jumpsuit as best he could (thank goodness it seemed to clean itself off every time he transformed) before he tried again. This time he could feel a more secure grip that dug into the crust, and he wiped off the other hand before he dug that hand into the pizza as well. With one final pull he hoisted himself up in the most victorious pull-up he’d ever done. If only Coach Tetslaff could see this feat of strength! Maybe then she wouldn’t be in such a rush to call him a wimp all the time.
He flopped his chest onto the pizza slice and heaved deep, labored breaths through burning lungs. He looked up and saw the object of his victory: the Fenton Crammer. A triumphant grin spread across his face, and with one last burst of strength he kicked his leg up onto the table and pulled the rest of his body up. He panted heavily as he stood, sweat dripping onto the table.
He straightened, about to run, when he felt a crackle of energy around his waist. He looked down in time to see himself revert completely back to his human form. Immediately he turned around and panicked as he saw Dash’s hand emerge over the top of the table ledge. He needed to hide. He only had mere moments before Dash’s head would be above the table and then the gig would be up. His eyes cast frantically around the items on the table, desperate for a place to hide, when he noticed the inner chamber of the Fenton Crammer. He bolted for the safety of the chamber, hoping that Dash would struggle with the grease like he did that would buy him a few precious moments.
“Fenton?” he heard Dash ask from behind him. The voice stopped him dead and he pitched forward a little from the sudden shift in momentum. His heart thrummed. Oh god, he saw him. He was doomed. He was so doomed. There was no way he could get out of this.
“When did you get shrunk?” Dash asked as he pulled himself up and looked at him with a puzzling gaze.
Or...maybe he could. Wow. He had always thought Dash was dense, but not this dense...not that he was really complaining. Not if it saved his secret. “Oh uh, my dad got carried away with the uh, invention. I’ve been waiting up here for someone to show up to fix it. You know, since I can’t really do it on my own,” Danny lied. He could feel himself starting to blather like he usually did when he got nervous, and he had to force himself to stop talking.
“But where did Phantom go?” Dash asked as he looked around Danny. “He was right in front of me! I know he came up here…”
“Oh uh...you just missed him?” Danny asked as he jerked a thumb behind his back. Hey, it worked for his dad on numerous occasions.
Dash looked in the direction Danny pointed, then looked back over at Danny again. He narrowed his gaze and Danny could feel him looking at him from top to bottom, almost like he was noticing Danny, and specifically the way Danny dressed, for the first time. “But...wait a minute…”
“Dash,” Danny warned. He could see him starting to put two and two together. The idea of Dash attempting math was trouble under normal circumstances, but this kind of math could only add up to disaster. He had to throw him off. He had to think of something, but his mind was blank. This was really why he needed Tucker and Sam for these kinds of things. They could think quicker on their feet than he could. But while his mind remained blank, he could see Dash’s head fill with memories and missed signs and hints.
“Oh my god…” Dash finally breathed as his eyes grew wide.
“Dash,” Danny warned again. He did not like where this was going.
“You’re...you’re Danny Phantom,” he finally said, and his mouth dropped open like he was surprised to hear his own unbelievable thoughts said aloud.
“What?” Danny tried to scoff as he shifted nervously. He had to downplay this. “C’mon Dash, that’s crazy talk. Don’t start jumping to insane--”
Dash shook his head and interrupted him “No, no, you’re...you’re Danny Phantom. The shoes! The jeans! Missing class! All the weirdness! It’s all...you’re Danny Phantom!” he repeated. He looked in awe at Danny’s nervously shifting figure while he tried to wrap his mind around the concept.
Apparently Dash wasn’t as clueless as he thought…
“Dash you must be--” Danny tried to refute, but the clang of Skulker’s armor on the top of the table interrupted his argument. “This is so not the time. Pull the lever!” he ordered as he ran in front of the Crammer.
“But—” Dash stammered. He looked frozen to the spot, like his mind was somewhere else and not on the deadly ghost determined to turn their pelts into some kind of wallet or whatever he planned to do with them once he killed them.
“Dash!” Danny yelled as he peeked his head out of the chamber. That seemed to shake him out of his stupor, and he climbed to the top of the crammer to switch the settings. He could hear Skulker prattling on in what he likely assumed was his victory speech, but Danny barely paid him any attention as he waited with baited breath for Dash to hold up his end and activate the device. Danny heard the internal mechanics click and whir behind him. He looked back just in time to see a vibrant green light burst out of the crammer and surround him. The force of the light pushed him as he grew back to his original size. As he grew, his power returned to him. He felt refreshed and he transformed just to prove that he could. Back to his full power, he stood tall in front of the miniature Skulker, and smirked down at him.
In one smooth motion he smashed his hand onto Skulker and grabbed him in his fist. “Actually, I’m a lot stronger than I thought,” he teased. He didn’t have a thermos on him, and a quick look around the Op Center didn’t reveal a thermos either (of course not, that was too useful of an invention for his parents to put it in their emergency center), but his eyes did settle on an open freezer. He turned to face the freezer and, just to add insult to injury, he flicked Skulker towards the freezer. The shrunken hunter screamed in a comically high-pitched voice and Danny happily shut the freezer door on him. That should keep him contained while he dealt with Dash.
Speaking of Dash, he flew back over to the Fenton Crammer and used it to return the jock to his regular size. Dash slid off the table and stretched as he appraised the room from his regular height until his eyes fell on Danny. He stared at him, but this stare felt different from the other awed stares he received the whole time they’d been stuck in this predicament, and he couldn’t quite place why.
“You’re...you’re...Fenton?” Dash stammered, trying to clarify what still jumbled around in his brain.
Danny sighed heavily as he placed the Crammer on the table. The gig was up. He knew it was. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that Fenton went into the Crammer and Phantom came out of it. So he bit the bullet and triggered the transformation. White rings slid across his body and reverted him to his human form. Dash jumped back in shock and his eyes grew so wide his pupils looked tiny.
“You have to swear not to tell anyone,” Danny demanded.
“You...he...holy shit…” Dash breathed as he placed his hands on either side of his temple. “Holy shit!”
“Dash, focus. You have to swear you won’t tell,” Danny repeated forcefully.
“B-but…” He never finished his thought as he just stared unblinking as his mouth hung open.
“Swear it!” Danny yelled, and he forced his eyes to glow for emphasis.
Dash jumped again and nodded his head quickly. “I-I swear! I swear! I’ll never tell!”
Danny sighed and placed a hand to his head as his eyes turned back to blue. He could feel a headache coming on, and he didn’t know if it was because of the physical activity, playing Honey I Shrunk the Kids, or from this new issue with Dash. Probably all three. He didn’t trust Dash at all. He’d never been able to trust Dash with anything, let alone a secret as big as this, and yet he was being forced to by the cruel practices of fate. Of all the people at his school who could find out… “Look Dash I…” He let that thought trail away because something about the way Dash looked at him made him feel uneasy. This was more than shock and awe, there was something else, and it kept distracting him.
An awkward pause hung in the air. Dash could only stare at Danny, and Danny didn’t know what to say as he shifted nervously from the awkward stare.
“You...all this time…” Dash finally said, and even though it didn’t sound much louder than a breath, it still rang out in the silence.
Danny rolled his eyes. He was already done with this. “Yes Dash, I’m Danny Phantom. I’ve been Phantom this whole time,” he said slowly, trying to help Dash grasp the concept. The sooner he stopped blubbering the sooner he could get some control over the situation and discover what damage had been done.
“The...the whole school year?”
“Yes Dash, the whole school year. Ever since my first day back at school, right before that food fight at the beginning of the year.” Dash shifted uncomfortably as his face paled, and finally Danny understood what Dash was stuck on, why he couldn’t seem to get over this one piece of information. Dash wasn’t struggling to grasp the concept; he grasped it far too well as he recalled everything he had done to Fenton (and thus the powerful Phantom) since the beginning of the school year.
“I know this is a lot. I need you to just focus and listen to me,” Danny tried to comfort as he took a step forward. Dash immediately stepped back and that’s when Danny finally saw it: that flicker of something in the way Dash looked at him…that was fear. He was afraid of him. “I’m not going to hurt you Dash,” he said, his voice sounding more vulnerable as he would have liked. Scaring people may come with the territory of being a ghost, but this was a different kind of fear. It made him feel uncomfortable, like he was something dangerous and deserved to be treated with that level of fear, when all he wanted to do was be a hero.
“But the lockers and the detentions and the fights and–” Dash started to ramble.
“Think about it,” Danny interrupted. “If I had wanted to hurt you, wouldn’t I have done it already? I just spent all this time trying to save you! I could have left you shrunk!”
Dash’s brow furrowed as he sat on those words for a moment. “Okay…yeah…but school is different right? Like before, you couldn’t do it because it would expose you, but now you don’t have to worry about hiding that.”
Danny sighed as he ran a hand through his hair. “As much as I would love to get revenge on you for years and years of bullying, I don’t do that. Keeping my secret wasn’t what stopped me. Believe me, I could have figured something out. But just because I have an advantage doesn’t mean I use it to hurt others: that would make me the bully.”
For the first time since Dash put the pieces together he stayed silent. He averted his gaze and looked at the ground, but his eyes looked unfocused, like he was lost in thought. Did he maybe get through to him? If sacrificing his secret finally taught Dash the error of his ways then maybe, maybe he could consider this a win in the grand scheme of things.
He let Dash sit on his thoughts for a moment as he thought about what to say next, except that all went out the window as soon as he heard voices echoing from below them.
“I’m tellin’ you Maddie, there’s a ghost in the Op Center. I hear him!” Jack’s voice shouted, and he sounded close. Immediately it caught Danny’s attention, and his face paled.
“Jack, why would a ghost be in the Op Center?” Maddie tried to reason. “That’s where the most dangerous weapons are. It’s the last place they’d want to go.”
“Unless they want to destroy them and end the threat! Come Maddie, to the Op Center! If it’s a ghost, we’ll tear him apart, molecule by molecule!” Jack threatened, and Danny flinched as he heard the all too familiar charge of an ecto-gun. Dash looked over at Danny, his curious eyes now resting under a confused brow. He opened his mouth like he was about to ask a question, but Danny quickly shushed him.
“And if it’s our son? You know he always plays up there,” Maddie mentioned.
“Then I’ll tear him apart by making him do chores! Lots and lots of chores…”
Danny heard the lift mechanics spring to life and he realized that he could not risk his parents finding both of them up here. Maybe on a normal day he could come up with an excuse about how they were scoping out a place to train or were looking for workout equipment or something stupid like that, but he knew better than to trust Dash right now. He was a horrible actor on the best of days, and the fact that he couldn’t keep the awe off his face whenever he looked at Danny would alert his mom to something suspicious. He couldn’t trust Dash with lying to save his secret, not right now.
A quick escape was clearly his best bet. He snapped into his ghost form, and he noticed Dash jump again. Clearly he still wasn’t expecting to see weak Danny Fenton change into the powerful hero of Amity Park. He couldn’t give Dash any further time to process it though, and he floated up behind him. He grabbed Dash under the arms and turned both of them intangible. He shot through the roof of the Op Center, praying that timing was with him this time and that they reached the safety of the sky before his parents arrived.
As he flew, he didn’t hear the angered shouts of his parents, and he sighed in relief that they had escaped.
“Maddie look! It’s that ghost Boy flying away from our home!” Jack’s voice shouted from the open window.
Or not. His timing was just not good today.
“And look, he’s got a hostage! That’s how he was messing with our weapons!” Jack continued.
“Oh you’ve got to be kidding me,” Danny groaned as he heard a few rapid shots of an ecto-gun from behind him. He spun and wove through the air as he managed to dodge all of his dad’s shots until he was out of range. Sadly, his dad’s aiming pattern was starting to get predictable. Behind him, he could faintly hear an angry “Jack! You might have shot the hostage!” come from his mother.
Danny could feel Dash shaking in his arms. Jock and supposed tough guy or not, he couldn’t blame him. He’d been through a lot in the past couple hours, and being shot at while suspended in the air with little control had to feel pretty helpless. Dash didn’t seem like the kind of person who handled helplessness or loss of control well, and yet for the second time today, he had to put his safety in the trust of the boy whose highschool life he made hell.
“...They don’t know they’re shooting at you, do they?” Dash finally asked. “I mean, the…the Fenton part of you.”
Danny flew higher as he scouted out a secluded place to talk to Dash. “Of course not. You’ve seen how ghost obsessed they are. If they were to find out their only son is a ghost?” He shook his head sadly. “It wouldn’t end pretty.”
“But…I’m confused,” Dash said slowly.
“That’s not hard,” Danny muttered under his breath.
“Nothing,” Danny replied quickly.
Dash looked up at him suspiciously. “No, you said something.”
“It was nothing. You said you were unsurprisingly confused?”
“Yeah,” Dash agreed, clearly missing the insult. “You’re…you’re a ghost…right?”
“Well-spotted Dash,” Danny quipped.
“No that’s not–” Dash groaned. “That’s not what I meant. I mean…but you’re alive right? You’re not…dead…?”
“Not…completely, no,” Danny admitted. Clearly Dash didn’t want to wait for them to land to start asking questions and unravel the enigma that was Phantom.
Dash swallowed noticeably. “Not completely?”
Danny sighed. This conversation would be much easier to have when they could talk face-to-face. “I’m only a half ghost. And I know you don’t know what that is,” he said before Dash could interrupt him with the predictable question. “I’m human and ghost at the same time; that’s why I can switch between the two forms. So I’m the human, alive Fenton and the ghost Phantom at the same time. Is this making sense?”
“...Kinda?” Dash said, voice filled with uncertainty.
No one ever got this. Even he didn’t really get it, if he was being honest with himself. He’d just more or less accepted that was how he was and left the philosophical and biological debates to Jazz. “Just…accept that’s the way it is. And really, it’s not that important. Well, at least not for you.”
Danny noticed the flat roof of a nearby office building; it was empty and far enough away from FentonWorks and Val’s apartment that they should be uninterrupted. He flew towards it and set Dash down onto the hardened rubber roof. He remained floating at Dash’s eye-level so he didn’t have to keep looking up at the unfairly taller jock. It was definitely a power move, but he needed to keep control over the situation. Dash looked to be more comfortable back on the ground, which would hopefully help him process all this and then they could both (hopefully) figure out how to move on from here.
“How?” Dash asked as he met Danny’s eyes, though he didn’t see the confidence he usually felt from Dash.
Well at least Dash was predictable. He already hit the two most common questions. “The accident that made me miss school,” Danny answered. “I went into my parents’ ghost portal and accidentally turned it on while I was stupidly still inside. It turned on, I got zapped with a ton of ghost energy, it messed up my body, should have killed me but it kinda didn’t, and now I’m half-ghost. Jazz can explain it better: she’s done way too much research on it.”
“Your sister knows?”
“Yeah, she said she figured it out on her own, but I still don’t know if I believe her on that one,” Danny chuckled. “Sam and Tucker do too, though that’s probably a given.”
“Well yeah, duh,” Dash scoffed. “The three of you are always rushing off doing who knows what.”
“Wait, you guys notice that kind of stuff?” Danny asked quizzically. No one had ever really commented on it, so he just assumed they had all done a better job than he thought keeping that under wraps.
“Uh, Paulina and Star are two of the biggest gossips in the school; of course we notice. You three always run off for no reason or arrive late to class. Or you go to the bathroom and never come back. We’ve all got our theories, but no one would ever guess anything like this,” he said, gesturing to Danny’s ghostly form. “We just figured it was crazy Fenton being crazy. That’s why we always call you a freak. Looks like we were right!”
“Thanks Dash,” Danny replied sarcastically. “You know I can just leave you up here, right?”
“Hey! You asked!” Dash defended. “I’m just telling you what everyone thinks!”
Danny groaned as he pressed a hand to his brow and shook his head. He really didn’t know why he expected anything different, or that Dash would magically discover the error of his ways and stop just because they had a couple moments to connect about the evils of bullying. “Do you have any more questions for me? Or can I get to the part where I threaten you with lots of fun, painful, and probably embarrassing punishments if you blab my secret?”
Whatever comfort he’d started to develop with Danny disappeared as Dash stiffened. “I thought you said you weren’t going to hurt me!”
“I said I wouldn’t hurt you for shoving me in lockers or bullying me, though if you want to stop doing that that would be great, but I never said I wouldn’t hurt you if you blab my secret to anyone,” Danny clarified. Whether he would actually hurt him was another matter, but maybe the empty threat would be enough to keep Dash in line.
“But I swore that I wouldn’t!” he defended.
“Yeah, well forgive me if I don’t feel comfortable putting the rest of my life in your hands just because ‘you swore,’” Danny retorted as he crossed his arms over his chest. “And it’s not like you’ve really given me any reason to trust you.”
Dash rubbed his hand along his arm as he frowned. “No, I guess not. But I mean, you’re being a little dramatic aren’t you? ‘The rest of your life’ and all that. Would it really be that bad to be famous?”
Danny closed his eyes as he took a deep, though unnecessary, breath to calm himself down. That was the whole reason for this talk, to help Dash understand. Danny knew all the consequences if he secret was revealed, but Dash didn’t, at least not yet. “This whole secret thing isn’t just about me trying to have some kind of a normal life,” Danny explained patiently. “You saw my parents back there. They hate ghosts. They hate Phantom. It’s all they talk about.”
He paced in the air gesturing with his hands. “‘Ghosts are monsters! Ghosts are evil!’ ‘I’m gonna tear ghosts apart molecule by molecule Mads!’ ‘Jack, just wait until we get one on a dissection table and see what’s inside!’” he cried out, imitating his parents with caricatures of their voices, but it still didn’t make the words less chilling. “If they find out…there’s no going back from that.”
“You think they’d actually do that?” Dash asked quietly. Danny turned to look at him, and he saw a softness in his features he never saw before. Was that…sympathy?
“Maybe? I don’t know. I hope not,” he admitted with a shrug. When did this start getting so personal? This was not the kind of conversation he’d expected to be having with Dash of all people. “But I don’t have enough hope to risk it, not yet. But I should get to decide when that is, not you,” he stressed.
Dash looked down at the ground and his figure seemed to shrink. He didn’t really say anything, so Danny just pushed on with a change of topic away from the sensitive fear of his parents’ rejection. “And it’s not just my parents. The government has been itching to get their hands on me forever. If they know where I am all the time? Goodbye freedom.” Still more somber silence from Dash. “Are you starting to get why I’m taking this so seriously? Why you need to take this seriously? If you mess up and say anything to anyone, I could end up as a science experiment.”
A long silence followed Danny’s warning. Dash shifted nervously as he fidgeted with his shirt or pulled on his sleeves. He would look up and open his mouth like he wanted to say something, but then would close it and look down at the ground again. Danny had never seen Dash exhibit any kind of nervous energy before, and it was a little unsettling. What was going on in that jock’s head? Was he understanding the seriousness of the situation? Or was he thinking maybe his parents and the GiW had the right idea and was thinking about turning him in? Maybe he’d opened up too much and now Dash was thinking about how much of a freak his classmate and target really was. He’d hoped opening up a bit about the perils that faced him would help Dash see things from his perspective, but now he wasn’t as sure. He just wanted him to say something.
Finally Dash looked at Danny, and his gaze didn’t shift back down to the floor. “Look, Fenton, I know we don’t get along. Never have. I don’t even remember why anymore.”
“You said I stole your teddy bear, which I didn’t by the way,” Danny defended. He still had no idea who did it, but he sure bore the brunt of almost ten years of torment for it.
Dash’s eyes lit up with memory. “Oh right! But then you were so puny, weak, wimpy, scrawny–”
“Again Dash, is there a point?” Danny snapped.
“Right, yeah.” He breathed out a deep breath and his brow pulled into a serious line. “I know we haven’t gotten along. But Phantom? You’re cool. Like, really cool. You’re a hero. I look up to you. And I owe you, not just for today, but for all the times you’ve saved us.” He placed a hand over his heart and met Danny’s eyes. “I won’t say anything. You can trust me on this.”
Now it was Danny’s turn to fall silent. He hadn’t expected…well any of that. He knew Dash was a fan of Phantom (he was never shy talking about it at school) but he didn’t know how deep that respect went, or whether it would translate to him after learning about his secret. He still didn’t know whether he could trust Dash as a person, but he did know he could trust him on this. This wasn’t Dash trying to charm his way out of a situation or lying to get what he wanted. These words felt like the first genuine thing Dash had ever said to him, and he believed them. “Wow. I wasn’t actually expecting that,” Danny admitted. “But uh, thank you.”
“Well I wasn’t expecting any of what you said,” Dash replied. His tone sounded so different, softer and more substantive than his usual braggadocious manner. Was this how he talked to his friends or his family? Was this how Dash sounded outside of the popular high school jock role he chose to fill at school? He’d known him since they started at the same kindergarten together and he couldn’t remember a time where Dash sounded like a real person until now.
Dash stuck his hand out and actually smiled at him. Was he offering a truce? A way to seal the deal on his promise? Danny wasn’t exactly sure, but he took the offered hand regardless and shook on it. He still felt a little worried, he always did knowing someone else out there had the power to send his life crashing down around him with one slip of a tongue, but he felt better that Dash would at least do his best to try.
“Look, it’s getting late and apparently I have to pass a fitness test tomorrow, so I should probably get you off this roof,” Danny suggested. As much as he appreciated the rare chance to bond with Dash, this whole exchange was starting to feel weird.
“I totally forgot about that,” Dash said as he shook his head. “Seems weird to talk about something normal after all that.”
Danny chuckled. “Welcome to my world.” He flew behind Dash and grabbed him under his arms again before he flew off the roof. He didn’t actually know where Dash lived, but he flew towards the more expensive houses in town and assumed Dash would correct him if he guessed wrong.
“So wait, you have all these cool powers. I’ve seen you lift cars,” Dash remarked as they flew over the city. “So why do you need a fitness buddy?”
Danny sighed. “There are some things that are easier to do as a ghost,” he explained. “Like lifting cars. Besides, I am trying to keep this a secret. Wouldn’t it be suspicious if I all of a sudden stopped struggling in gym class?”
“Oh, yeah, you’re probably right,” Dash said. “Man, I didn’t know you had to think about so many things.”
Danny shrugged. “I’m used to it.”
They flew the rest of the quick trip in silence until Dash gestured towards his house from above. Danny found a more isolated spot on the side of the yard that would afford them a little more privacy and he set Dash back down on the ground. “Alright, well I guess I’ll see you tomorrow for the fitness test. Don’t worry, I’ll do enough to pass so we both don’t fail.”
“Thanks man,” Dash replied. “So what are we supposed to do? During school I mean. Like how is that going to work?”
Honestly Danny had been wondering the same thing. “I guess that’s up to you. Obviously I’m sick of being called Fen-turd and I’d prefer to not be shoved into lockers constantly, but it’s been better since I’ve been able to phase out of them.”
“You–oh my god that’s right!” Dash cried as he placed both his hands on the sides of his face. “I didn’t even–wow. Just…dang. I feel…kinda stupid right now.”
Danny almost snapped back an insulting comment, but he bit his tongue. Dash was actually trying right now…and he could try too. Things would never be great between them, too much shared history, but if Dash wanted to stop he’d at least try not to provoke him. “And I know we like, shared a moment, and you’re a fan of Phantom, but that doesn’t magically make us friends.”
“No, no, I get that,” Dash said, and if he was disappointed in hearing that Danny really couldn’t tell, but he felt like he owed it to Dash to be honest. “I’ll find a middle ground. Say being your fitness buddy changed my mind or something like that; they’ll all go along with it eventually. I’ll make it look convincing.”
Danny nodded, grateful to hear that Dash was already acting on that promise to help keep his secret safe. It actually wasn’t that terrible of a plan, and he could only hope it would hold up in practice. “Thanks,” he said with a smile. “Well, I guess I’ll see you at school tomorrow then.” He gave an awkward little wave then flew away, leaving Dash behind at his house.
Given everything that just happened…that could have gone worse. Dash could have still vowed to be outwardly combative. He could have blabbed Danny’s secret out for his own fame and fortune. He could have called him a freak and turned him over to his parents. Maybe he was planning to still do any number of those things now that Phantom wasn’t floating in front of him, but Danny really didn’t get that impression. Dash seemed like he got it, shocking as that was. He seemed like he wanted to help, to pay him back for what Phantom did for him. What that actually ended up looking like, he could only guess, but the feelings of dread that first crept into him the second Dash saw him as Fenton and figured it all out were gone, and he decided to take that as a good sign.
He finally landed in his room and transformed before he flopped onto his bed. What a day he had. He thought about taking a quick nap while he had a chance, but he felt his phone buzz. He fished it out of his pocket and looked to see a text from Dash. He forgot they exchanged numbers when they were assigned as fitness buddies.
“Do ghosts eat food? Do you eat food?” the text read.
Danny shook his head and let out an amused though tired chuckle as he typed out his response and hit send. Another question immediately appeared.
Well, apparently this was going to be a thing now.
A/N: So this is based on an idea that I had way back in like 2008 and I actually wrote a good amount of it and just never did anything with it. So when I saw a prompt that would work well with this idea, I decided to revisit it and spruce it up (it definitely needed a lot of that) and let it actually see the light of day! I hope you enjoyed it!
After Death, After Life
Phic Phight 2022 here we go! I am one phic in and already have churned out more words than all of last phic phight, so that's something :D
Prompt from @going-dead: Ghostking!Danny meets one of his parents in the afterlife.
“Mom?” The word was out of the King’s mouth before he could even think to stop himself, strangled and pained. He hadn’t even said it all that loud, but it carried across the throne room of the Keep, twisting and coiling into the ears of every one of his subjects present today. The light muttering that always dominated the slower of the open court days disappeared in a moment, every ghost present turning in uncanny synchronicity to the throne at the one end of the hall, and half a beat later, to the grand doors thrown open to the courtyard.
The weather had been nice lately, and King Phantom much preferred natural light to the eerie glow of the ghostfire torches.
Of the two ghosts in the doorway, only one reacted as the King spoke. The taller of the two, not The Fright Knight but instead a younger fear knight in their own right, flinched slightly. Glancing between the smaller ghost slumping next to them and King Phantom at the far end of the hall, the knight steeled themself and began to float forward. They passed between the rows of ghosts from all across the zone with back straight and head held high. The smaller ghost followed close behind, light steps still managing to ring out through the hall.
Not a single word was uttered as the two traversed the length of the room.
When the knight reached the bottom of the throne, they dropped to one knee, bowed their head, and finally broke the silence.
“Sir Ofn.” The knight, Sir Ofn, inclined their head at the acknowledgement, quiet as it may have been.
“I discovered this new ghost in the upper levels of the Realms.” Sir Ofn glanced at the ghost next to them. There was no indication she was processing anything happening around her; she was still slumping slightly, feet planted firmly on the floor of the courtroom, eyes dazed and unfocused. “I know it is not habit to greet every new citizen of the Realms, but this one was a hunter in life and it felt prudent to bring her-” Sir Ofn cut themself off with a light cough. They took a moment to collect, a moment that normally would have been filled with murmurs and whispers from the courtesans over whatever the latest gossip was, a moment that stayed as silent as the moment just before it.
Sir Ofn raised their face to look their King in his eyes, etiquette of the court be damned. Their voice suddenly soft, no longer ringing with the authority of the Knights of the Realm but instead with the care of one who does not wish to see a friend in pain, Sir Ofn said “My King, I’m so sorry. You needed to know as soon as possible.”
The King tore his eyes away from the doors at the end of the hall to finally look at Sir Ofn. He didn’t so much as glance at the smaller ghost, instead holding the knight’s gaze. Sir Ofn didn’t break the eye contact, not until their King seemed to collapse into his throne; his body went completely slack as a marionette doll cut loose from it’s strings. Any breath he might have had left his lips in a pained sigh and he closed his eyes.
Sir Ofn stood, fully aware of just how much they were breaking the rules of the court today, and as the temperature in the throne room began to drop, they turned to the waiting crowd.
“I need to speak with His Majesty alone. You may all take your leave.”
The assembled ghosts shuffled out without so much as a grumble.
It was common knowledge that the new Ghost King was not a full ghost. Not that anyone really cared: it had no bearing on his ability to lead the realm, and while he had been young and naive at the start, the past five years of ruling had sharpened his mind and spirit until he had earned the respect and trust of his subjects. There was not a single ghost who would say anything against him on the questionable status of his death, nor against those in the lands of the living who were just as much his allies as other leaders in the Infinite Realms were.
Even still, it was quite easy to forget just how much of his heart and mind the young King had among the living. His parents were never spoken of in polite company; being descended from hunters was about as shameful a heritage as any ghost could have. His sister was not an uncommon sight in the Keep, but few had ever spoken to her. His two closest friends traveled all across the Zone and were friendly with many of the leaders of the smaller realms and general populous alike, but everyone knew they didn’t entirely belong in the world of the living anymore either.
To see the King’s mother as a new ghost was a stark reminder of everything human about the King of the Dead.
And yet, now alone in the throne room with the King still slumped in his throne and the new ghost next to them just as unresponsive as ever, Sir Ofn couldn’t help but wish that their King would look just a little less like death.
“Just, drop the title.” His Majesty, King Phantom of the Infinite Realms, cut the knight off. “Please just, Phantom right now.”
“Of course, Phantom.” Both King and knight could hear how awkward Sir Ofn felt using the King’s personal name, but it was not the first time.
“Where did you-” Phantom let out a low exhale. “Where did you find her?”
“The upper levels of the realm, not far from your own portal. I didn’t recognize her, not at first, but,” Sir Ofn shrugged, unsure of how to explain.
“She’s strong. And distinct.” Phantom stood from the throne, unclasping the flowing cape of the King and setting the Crown of Fire on the seat.
“That she is, Phantom.” Sir Ofn snorted without humor. “She seemed… confused. Lost.”
“You could feel her fear.”
“Has she said anything?” Phantom stepped down off the throne dais, feet just as firmly on the ground as the new ghost’s. “Or, y’know, done anything at all?
“She was quite talkative when I found her. She asked me where she was, who I was, what was happening. When I explained that she was a ghost, she shut down. She hasn’t said anything since, merely followed me.”
“I should call Jazz. She needs to know.” Before Sir Ofn could respond, Phantom had turned away and pulled out a set of Fenton Phones. From where, Sir Ofn could only imagine.
“My King- Phantom. Should you not confirm that this is actually-”
“What, Maddie?” Phantom glanced at the ghost in question for perhaps the first time since she had fully entered the throne room. “I don’t need to. It’s her. I know it.”
He tensed then, body closing off as he spun away from Sir Ofn and brought his hand up to his ear. “Hmm, Jazz? What? No, it was open court today, you know I have everything on silent for that. Jazz, Jazz I need you to slow down. You want me to come back home?” A pause on Phantom’s end as he listened to what his sister was saying. “Yeah, I get that you say it’s urgent, but something came up here and I don’t think I can leave just yet- it’s about mom?”
Phantom froze, hand still raised to his ear. Whatever his sister was saying, it was hitting him hard.
“She’s- yeah, Jazz, I know.”
Sir Ofn could have sworn they heard the yelp on the other end of the Fenton Phones as Phantom’s sister reacted.
“That’s why- that’s what- Jazz I can’t leave. No, I get what you’re saying. That’s- ugh don’t you get it? That’s why I can’t go home! Not right now!”
There was a long pause in which Phantom didn’t speak but it didn’t appear he was listening to anything either.
After far too long for the knight’s liking, Phantom nodded. “Yes. She’s- well, she’s here.” Another pause. “I don't know what I’m gonna do! But I can’t just leave her, not like this. Jazz, I won’t ask you to cover for me, not through this. Just, I don’t know, deflect to Sam and Tucker. I’ll let them know what to expect.”
Phantom glanced back at the two other ghosts as his sister spoke again, but Sir Ofn had the distinct feeling he wasn’t really seeing either of them.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to come yet. She’s- I don’t think she’s handling it well. What? No, she hasn’t actually said anything to me yet. No, one of my knights found her- yes, one of the Knights of Fear- no that’s not- just, don’t come yet. I’ll- I’ll let you know when. Please Jazz, I need you to trust me on this.” Phantom’s voice dropped to a whisper. “Thank you, Jazz. I’ll, well I guess I’ll let you know if anything changes.Stay safe. I love you.”
Phantom pressed a button on the side of the Fenton Phones and turned back to the other duo.
“That- I mean- I can-” Phantom stopped to draw in a shaky breath. “Jazz wanted to tell me that mom-” He cut himself off again, voice trembling.
“I understand. You don’t need to say it, not if you aren’t ready. Should you alert your friends?”
“Hmm? Yeah. Yeah no, I need to do that. I’ll just, uh,” Phantom began to turn away again, pulling another device out of another hidden pocket. “It won’t take long, I’ll just be right over-”
“You said Jazz.” The voice was quiet and unsure, but both Phantom and Sir Ofn froze. “Why did you say my daughter’s name?” Maddie Fenton’s ghost finally, finally looked up. She ignored the knight next to her whose hand had drifted to their sword, and instead locked eyes with Phantom. He didn’t say anything, one hand clenching the little communicator tightly. After a moment, Maddie continued. “Is she dead too?”
That was enough to shock Phantom into a response. “What? No, of course not. She’s- Jazz is fine. She just, she called to tell me that you were- that you’re-”
“That I’m dead?” Maddie’s voice was still quiet, but her surety punched Phantom in the gut. “Why was she calling you?”
“How do you know my daughter?”
“It’s- she’s my sister? Mom, it’s me. Danny.”
“Danny?” Maddie tilted her head a little, as if to size up the ghost in front of her. “You died too?”
“No- yes- sort of- ugh, kind of, but it’s been a few years now- Mom, I need you to look at me.” Danny took a step towards Maddie and held his hands out in front of him cautiously. Sir Ofn tensed, hand now resting firmly on the grip of their sword.
“Mom, can you tell me what you see?”
“I see you, Danny,” She paused, her brow crinkling slightly in thought. “Why do you look so different?”
“Mom, I’m Pha-” Before he could finish the word, Maddie’s eyes widened, her body tensed, and Danny felt himself flying across the room to crash into the base of the throne. Maddie was on top of him before he could get to his feet, pinning him to the floor.
“You’re not my Danny! You’re not- Who are you!” She screamed, less a question and more a desperate cry. “Where’s my son? Where is-”
Danny threw up a shield, hands held above his face as if they could protect him from his mother any better than the sheet of energy. Slowly, he pushed the shield up and away, forcing Maddie to back down as he stood up. He threw a glance to the rest of the hall; Sir Ofn resheathed their sword and backed away a few steps.
“Mom, I swear it’s me. Please can you- Mom I’m gonna let the shield go, but I need you to promise me you won’t do anything. Please, can you promise me that?”
For a brief moment, there was no response. Then, after an eternity that lasted less than a second, Maddie nodded sharply. Danny dropped the shield and set his feet back on the ground.
“Mom, I promise you, it’s me, Danny. It’s always- It’s always just been me.” Maddie’s eyes ran up and down him in a frantic search. “Mom, can you see? It’s me. It’s me, and I can- I can help you, but I need you to stay calm, and then we can talk about this. Please, we can just sit and talk and I can explain everything.” Danny lowered himself to the edge of the dais. He set his feet to rest over the steps, and slowly, without looking away from his mom, tapped the spot next to him.
Maddie hesitated a moment, throwing looks around the hall now. Sir Ofn glanced back at the open door leading out to the courtyard, and when they felt Maddie’s eyes on them, looked at her with a slight shake of their head. They hoped it was comforting.
“Mom?” Danny asked one more time. Maddie sat next to him, her own feet mirroring his on the steps below them.
Sir Ofn bowed low to their King, and left the hall. Light whispers sounded behind them, and if they had listened any closer, they might have heard crying, but that was not for them to say.
Phantom's First Job
Summary: Tammy couldn't not call the kid in for an interview. She had to know why Phantom was applying.
Word Count: 1,050
1) "Danny gets a job. Not as Fenton, but as Phantom. The problem is, his social security number doesn’t exactly cover him when he’s dead… Bonus points for identity shenanigans (PR321)" @lexiepiper
2) Danny develops or is made aware that he *has* to eat fear or he'll slowly starve his core. If he didn’t know maybe his ghost powers start glitching out until he gets some fear. Could be angsty and its the worst thing ever or could be a bit silly maybe he gets enough fear from jump scares and dumb things like that (PR077) @emeraldsandamethyst
You can also read it under the cut!
“So let me get this straight,” Tammy started, “you want to work here?”
She looked over the application again. The ghost boy’s application.
It looked like most first-timer applications.
He had no references, no experience. Oh, no relevant experience anyway. She did give him props for actually writing down ‘patrolling the city for ghost crime’ as his previous job duties.
He seemed like a nice enough kid. And everybody has to start somewhere.
Basically, he was exactly the type she would give a chance.
The only real issue was the paperwork.
“You wouldn’t happen to know your social would you?”
“Social?” the ghostly teen asked with a curious head tilt. “Do you mean this thing?” he asked as he fished out a wallet from somewhere.
He handed her the little card.
It was in fact, a real social security card.
“Is this actually yours?” she asked while she kept her eye on the legal name printed below the numbers.
“Why do you ask?” he asked clearly trying to be nonchalant but failing horribly.
“Because it says ‘Daniel Fenton’ and I’m pretty sure that kid is still alive.”
Especially since he applied for this same position just last week. She almost hired him but something about him seemed off.
Phantom laughed nervously.
“Why do you have this?” she asked, doing her best not to sound accusatory.
“Because you need one to get a job?”
“Do you know what this is?”
Phantom was quiet for a bit too long as he tried to think of an answer.
Tammy sighed, “look, this is a unique number assigned by the government to prove that the person is a legal citizen of this country.”
Phantom nodded along but it didn’t look like he was fully understanding what she was saying.
“Did you steal this?”
“Oh no! He said I could borrow it.”
“This isn’t something you can share. This is identity theft.”
“Oh no! I’m sorry! I can give it back to him.”
“Yes, you should,” she said as she handed the card back.
She could tell he truly was sorry and hadn’t fully understood what the card meant.
She sighed and leaned back in her chair, “So I’m guessing that means you don’t have one then.”
“Does that mean I don’t have the job?”
“Well, I can’t legally hire you because without a social security card I can’t pay you without committing tax fraud.” she made a point to look him in the eyes for emphasis, “which I don’t want to do.”
“What if you didn’t pay me?”
“You want to work for free?”
“I mean I don’t really need money. Technically.”
“Then why are you trying to get a job?”
“It’s a little complicated.”
“I have time.”
“I applied because I want to be able to come in here. Often.”
“And you figured working here would be a good excuse?”
“Pretty much. And I do really like,” he stopped midsentence as if he was about to say something he shouldn’t, before continuing, “being a part of the community?”
She thought it was odd that he changed what he was saying, but decided not to comment on it.
“And well, the applications were right there.”
“I’m still curious as to what you would get out of this if not money?”
“If I tell you will you let me work here?”
Oh, those big puppy eyes were really working for him today.
“It’s not something that’s going to get anyone hurt is it?”
“Of course not!”
“I suppose I could put you down as a volunteer.”
Phantom floated upwards in glee.
“After you tell me,” she added quickly.
He sank back down into his seat, “okay.”
She relaxed in her chair to let Phantom know that she wasn’t here to judge him.
“The short answer is, I’m doing this for food?”
“Food?” she echoed back.
“Yeah, turns out ghosts need certain things, things that people don’t. Or I guess ghosts need them in a different way?”
“I feel like you’re still leaving a few things out Phantom.”
“I eat emotions,” he finally admitted in a rush.
“What does that have to do with working here?”
“I mean,” he fidgeted with his fingers, “it seems like the best place to get it. I only need one.”
Tammy thought for a moment. She wondered if maybe she knew one more thing she’d be able to figure this out.
“Let me see if I have this right. You need a specific emotion, that is from other people, to survive, and this is the best place to get said emotion?”
“And it doesn't hurt anyone?”
“Nope. I’ve got a couple of friends and they said they didn’t even notice I was doing it.”
“How did you test that?”
“We binged all the Resident Evil movies. And my one friend hates hospitals so we knew it was working when we were able to actually get through the whole movie without him panicking.”
Tammy felt the proverbial light bulb click on in her head. Of course, he wanted to work at the haunted house. “You eat fear.” And what better place to get it than where people willingly go to get scared for fun.
He nodded shyly.
“If you don’t mind me asking, has this been a thing the entire time you’ve been,” she paused before she said something insensitive, “around?”
“But you didn’t need to work here before?”
“I was getting it from another source.”
“And you can’t get it from that anymore? How come?”
“Well, turns out nobody in town cares when ghosts attack anymore. Sure, they get out of the way, but it’s not the same.”
Tammy wondered just how bad this was for the kid. It really didn’t sound good. It honestly sounded like he was starving, or that he could. She had a feeling she didn’t want to find out what happened to a ghost when it starved.
He rubbed the back of his neck with a nervous chuckle, “So, do I have the job?”
“Sure kid.” She held out her hand for a quick handshake and he graciously took it, “see you tomorrow at 4 ‘o clock sharp and I’ll give you the tour.”
Besides, having the town’s favorite ghost working at her year-round Halloween attraction would be great for business.
im so excited for phic phight!!
about how many ppl have signed up so far? how many prompts are there??
We're excited, too!!
As of right now, 95 people have signed up, with a total of 347 prompts!
Only a week left to sign up for Phic Phight - sign ups close on March 26!
Getting shoved into a locker was routine for Danny at this point. More than, even. Perks of being the only junior in the school who could still be folded into one. Subs still mistook him for a freshman. It sucked.
But back to the lockers. He was used to them. Eighty percent of the time, he could get out of them without even using his ghost powers. That last twenty percent came from when whoever shoved him in (usually Dash or Dale) decided to use an external lock (the built-in ones weren't worth what the school had paid for them).
He was working on it. The problem was reach.
So, anyway, he wasn't exactly bothered by getting shut in a locker today. It was normal. Pedestrian, even.
On the other hand, he was feeling petty today. Dash and his crew had talked over the documentary in science and Mr. Lancer had given him detention yesterday, so if he missed English and Dash got in trouble for it?
Plus, he thought, as he set the timer on his phone for five minutes before the end of the period, it was a good opportunity to test out the new power he'd discovered a couple days ago. Astral projection, as Sam had dubbed it after a brief description from Danny, was cool. Not exactly a combat-ready power, sure, but it was fun and risk-free.
He leaned back against the back of the locker, trying to get comfortable. He didn’t want to come back and have to spend ten minutes massaging pins and needles out of his legs. Dealing with ghosts gave him enough pain.
A minute later, he was sliding smoothly out of his body, then out of the locker altogether.
The hallway looked ever-so-slightly different than what Danny was used to, the colors all shifted to the cooler end of the spectrum. There were tiny, glimmering, motes of something in the air. Not dust. They didn’t move right. They didn’t move at all, actually.
He’d noticed something similar the last time he’d done this. He swiped his hand through one of the sparks. Like everything else when he was astrally projected, however, his hand went right through it, not affecting it at all.
He hummed thoughtfully to himself and continued down the hallway. Sounds from ongoing classes filtered through the doors, slightly muted. All the sounds were a little… floaty. Sort of disconnected, like how things sounded when he was intangible.
It sort of made sense. Sound and light were, after all, physical things. Without a body to interpret them, Danny shouldn’t be hearing or seeing at all. So, he must be detecting things with a different mechanism, and then interpreting the signals as what he was used to.
He wondered if another person who was astrally projecting would be able to see him.
Not that he’d ever heard of any other ghosts being able to do this. But Danny’s powerset wasn’t that weird, once he took out the whole ‘actually alive’ part, so there probably were others.
He drifted through a few random classes, passing through people on purpose to see if they felt anything. They didn’t. He did, however, notice that there were more sparkles and a sort of… unpleasant feeling near Poindexter’s locker. Maybe the sparkles had something to do with ectoplasm? He’d have to test that more. He hadn’t gone to the lab the last two times he’d tried this power out.
He eventually made his way outside. The sky was weird and sort of staticky, and the grass and plants looked oddly shiny, like they were coated in plastic or water. It added to the general air of unreality.
The waning gibbous moon hung on the horizon, pale and ghostly against the sky, edges faded but sharp. Danny licked his lips. There was always the temptation, when looking up, to just go. With this new power, that temptation was multiplied. Not only did he not have any physical needs like this, he also wouldn’t be missed, since, physically, he was still there.
But the moon was, on average, two hundred and thirty-eight thousand, eight hundred and fifty-five from the Earth. Danny could travel at one hundred and twelve miles an hour, max. Being extremely generous and saying that he could keep that up constantly when astrally projecting, that distance would take him almost eighty-nine days to cover.
Half ghost or not, Danny was pretty sure that spending that long in the black silence of space would give him about a million mental illnesses. So. No moon journeys for him until he knew he could sustain a more efficient speed. Like four thousand miles per hour. That was about what the Apollo missions did, and it still took them days.
He sighed. Some day. Some day, he’d get there.
Just not today. He did have common sense. Sort of.
Now, to test this power out a little more. Should he go see how different the Fentonworks’ lab was, or should he go spy on Vlad?
Or maybe he’d do both. It wasn’t like he didn’t have time.
Lancer wouldn’t have heard it, except that he had given his class a pop quiz for the last fifteen minutes of the period. It wasn’t loud. A quiet little jungle, accompanied by a soft buzz. A phone ringtone. Or an alarm.
He frowned and circled the room even as the students giggled and whispered about who was about to ‘get in trouble.’
The sound wasn’t coming from the classroom. He leaned out, past the door, into the hallway. No students were out, that he could see. The ringtone had a bit of an echo to it. Had a student put their phone in their locker and forgotten to turn it off?
The hairs on the back of Lancer’s neck stood up. Something told him that this wasn’t a normal situation. Something was wrong.
He stepped out into the hallway and followed the sound, ignoring the way his students gathered at the door behind him, abandoning their quizzes. The alarm was ringing from inside a locker Mr. Lancer knew was unassigned, even if there was a shiny new lock hanging from it.
There was muttering behind him, and Lancer looked back over his shoulder to see that some of his students had spilled past the door. “Back in the classroom,” he said, motioning them to go back.
They did, but not before he saw how… uneasy? Guilty? Dash Baxter looked.
Lancer stepped up to the locker and peered in through the slats. It was, obviously, dim in the locker, but Lancer knew his students. “Mr. Fenton?”
There was no response from the boy. Lancer knocked on the locker door.
“Mr. Fenton?” he tried again. Was he breathing? He banged a little harder on the door. “Mr. Fenton!” Mr. Lancer whirled to face his classroom. “Mr. Baxter!”
“Is this your lock?”
Something of Lancer’s inner panic must have come through in his demeanor, because Mr. Baxter hurried over and spun the dial, quickly.
At this point, other classes had heard the… Well, Lancer wasn’t sure he’d call it a commotion, but he rarely raised his voice like that in the middle of the hall during class, so…
“Mr. Lancer, is everything alright?” asked Mr. Falluca, shuffling around his own student.
Lancer opened his mouth to say yes, then reconsidered. “Get the AED,” he said, “just in case.”
With a clatter, Mr. Baxter pulled the lock off the door. Lancer wasted no time in opening it and reaching in, seeking out Mr. Fenton’s hand and wrist.
It felt like ice.
He couldn’t find a pulse.
Danny flew lazily back to the school. Had he spent too much time spying on Vlad’s stuff? Probably. But now he had a leg up on not one, but three of the creep’s evil plans. Plus, he hadn’t heard his alarm go off yet, so even if it felt like it had been over an hour, it hadn’t. So there.
Man, this power was so useful. After school, he’d have to talk to Sam and Tuck about the best way to mess with Vlad with the information he’d gotten.
The school came into sight…
… along with an ambulance. And police cars.
Had someone gotten hurt? While he was messing around?
He dove toward the ambulance, arriving just as a pair of people went in with a stretcher and a… Was that a body bag? Oh, no, oh, no, oh, no. Someone couldn’t have died, right? He hadn’t even been gone an hour.
Who was it? Who got hurt? Not one of his friends, surely, and Ancients, but he felt guilty even thinking that, as if anyone else was somehow worth less just because–
He came to a screeching halt in the middle of the hallway.
That was him laid out on the floor in the middle of the hall.
On one hand, no one was dead! At least, no one who hadn’t been dead before, but it was going to be really hard to explain why he had basically no vital signs to these nice paramedics and policemen.
He floated closer, ramming down the panic he was feeling. How long had it been? How much did they know? How much had they examined? What would they insist on doing if he miraculously ‘recovered’ right now?
One thing was for sure, the long he waited, the more suspicious this would be.
He dove into his body.
Mr. Lancer was repeating his story for what already felt like the hundredth time, this time to an officer with a handheld recorder, when one of the paramedics behind him gasped, and threw themselves away from Danny.
Danny, who was half sitting up in the body bag that hadn’t yet been zipped up.
“H-hi?” said Danny, rather hoarsely.
Lancer’s legs decided that he had to sit down. Immediately.
Danny tried to smile at the doctors and nurses gathered at the door to his hospital room. They, weakly, smiled back, then went back to talking.
“With these readings, he shouldn’t be alive,” one whispered.
Danny’s smile turned into more of a grimace. Yeah. This wasn’t going away any time soon. But maybe he could blackmail Vlad to bury it? He did know about a bunch of the guy’s evil plans…
Holy Feathers, Phantom!
Summary: Danny gets wings and the town becomes a lot more culty than usual. Somehow, this becomes the GIW's problem.
based on @seaglass-skies' prompt "Danny's gotten into a mess he knows his friends and family can't get him out of. He doesn't think he'll be rescued at all, but he ESPECIALLY doesn't expect it to be the Guys in White who rescue him." and @kiinotasha's prompt "Wing AU: It started with an itch that never seemed to go away. ( He can have them in both forms or just one )"
edit: forgot to add another note that this was also inspired by @impyssadobsessions' fanatastic wing au danny art
A large BOOM shook the building, causing dust to sprinkle down from the ceiling tiles.
The cultists exchanged glances before turning back to Danny.
He shrugged. “I don’t know what you’re looking at me for.” He flexed as much as he could in the restraints. “Clearly, I can’t move a muscle.”
A few of them grumbled to one another before one of them—the one Danny pegged as the Idiot In Charge—instructed the others to barricade the door. A truly genius choice when they weren’t sure if the building was crumbling around them.
An explosion blew out the door and a good chunk of the surrounding wall, sending the cultists’ meagre attempt at a barricade flying everywhere. A large cloud of dust billowed into the room, covering practically everything.
Curse these commercial anti-ghost restraints. Why did his parents have to sell this stuff? Why couldn’t they have just sold ghost shields instead? At least he could use his enhanced vision in a ghost shield.
With his luck, his parents just busted in, armed and ready to replace this set of restraints for the ones at home to dissect him. Vivisect him? Eh, he could debate semantics later.
“What the—? Why are you—?!” The Idiot In Charge was cut off with a pained gasp followed by a loud thud and a familiar sort of wheezing sound. Danny winced in sympathy. That guy definitely just got a nut shot from a steel toed boot. He’d seen Sam do it enough times to know the initial reaction by ear.
While it was great that his friends came for him, he didn’t exactly know how they managed to search for him with all the ecto-signature dampeners the cultists set up. Also, despite the intense strain on his shoulders, he can’t worry them any more than he already had.
He breathed through the pain and spoke in as steady a voice as he could manage. “Guys, you really didn’t have to come, I had it cov—” The dust cleared and Danny paused. “You’re not Sam and Tucker.”
“No, but we are trained federal agents,” said Agent K as he aimed his blaster at the surrounding cultists. Agent J took out a fancy looking letter opener and hovered near Danny’s wrist.
“Federal agents that kick people in the balls apparently,” he muttered to himself, trying to keep his breathing steady and watching the letter opener with unblinking eyes. Agent J said nothing, cutting through the first restraint and continuing to the next. They both remained silent until Danny was completely free and sitting up on the table.
Danny rubbed his wrist and chanced a glance at each of them. “What happened to ‘painful painful experiments’?”
“Don’t get it twisted,” K snapped. “We can’t perform experiments if you ascend to godly status.”
“Look! Up there!”
“What is that?!”
Loud squealing. “It’s the ghost boy!”
“But he’s got wings? Why in the world would he have—?”
“Clearly he’s been rewarded for his heroism!” Someone yelled. “The Lord must’ve blessed him!”
“He’s an angel!”
“No, a saint!”
“Maybe a prophet?”
“Hey!” Danny yelled. “I’m kinda in the middle of something here!” He quickly threw up a shield to cover the crowded street, protecting everyone when Skulker shot a missile at him. He grit his teeth as the shield began to crack. “It’d be really helpful if you all got out of the way!”
Finally, he heard screams below him. He wished they would’ve started running earlier, but better late than never. When the blast subsided, he shot a blast at Skulker, launching him away and allowing Danny a moment to turn back and point out the nearest fortified building.
But instead of a panicked crowd running around aimlessly to duck behind whatever they could, they all swelled around one guy holding one of Danny’s feathers clutched tightly in his fists.
“It’s mine! I caught the feather, so I get its magical properties! It’s common sense- OW that’s my ear!” the man yelled.
Danny was filled with the urge to scream.
“So… you guys believe all that angel stuff too?” Danny asked, shoulders slumping as they headed down the hallway.
“Keep floating ecto-scum.”
Danny rolled his eyes. “C’mon K, don’t tell me you haven’t heard the stupid rumours. Everybody’s got some theory about me. I mean, why else would I be kidnapped by a literal cult.”
“Because you’re a ghost and they’re delusional.”
“Well yeah, but other than that.” Danny hummed, putting a hand to his chin. “Maybe I am some kind of angel. Like that Dean guy from Supernatural. Or was that the name of their car?”
K grit his teeth and breathed deeply through his nose. He stayed silent.
“Not gonna answer me because you know I’m right, huh?” Danny said, turning with an understanding expression and twitching lips. He patted K on the shoulder. “There’s no shame in that.”
“K.” J turned his head just slightly to K. “The more you engage, the more it’ll blabber.”
K ground his teeth. “Affirmative. Engaging stealth protocols.”
“Oh, you guys are gonna stay stealthy for a while? Smart. We’ve gotta be on the lookout for any other cultists roaming around.” Danny sat with his legs crossed while he floated backwards. “And while you do that, I can rant to you about all the stuff I’ve had to put up with since I got these.” He jabbed a thumb over his shoulder and the pair of white fluffy wings lifted just slightly before folding back. “It all started last week, when I went to visit this half-dove half-vampire ghost—”
The group continued down the hall at a slower pace at first, one that started getting faster as time went on almost in sync with the growing irritation on both agents' faces. They stopped at a pair of elevator doors at one point, the two agents slumping slightly in what Danny could only describe as relief. The moment he noticed the out of order sign stuck on the door, he gleefully informed the agents before jumping right back into his ranting.
Honestly, it felt kinda good to let out all his frustrations with the events of the past week. With his friends, he might’ve felt a little bad for complaining about something that’s not super terrible and would be awesome on literally anybody else. But with these guys? Danny would take absolute pleasure in annoying the hell out of them with all of the smallest, most insignificant details and every single entitled thought he could come up with. It’s not everyday he has a captive audience consisting of two people who’ve tried to strap him to a table and cut him open.
(He tried not to think of another two people who’ve tried to do the same.)
“—and don’t even get me started on all the Saint shit. I haven’t even been dead that long!”
“Hey,” K whispered to J. “If you manage to get him to shut up, I’ll cover your next shift.”
“Done.” J cleared his throat. Phantom turned back to him. J pulled out a small metal container and handed Phantom a jawbreaker. Phantom lit up and immediately popped it in his mouth. He stayed silent as he ate.
K furrowed his eyebrows. “Do you just keep those on you all the time?”
J nodded. “In theory, it should entice teens and kids into conversation where I can mention the intern program.”
“Oh yes, you’re one of the recruiters aren’t you?” J gave an affirmative hum.
K paused. “What did you mean by ‘in theory’?”
J frowned. “In practice, it hasn’t had a single success. Initially, I had shown a bit more initiative, asking any young people who passed by me if they’d like some candy. When that didn’t work, I tried operating on the go and within one of the organization’s vans so I could—”
“Wait. Hold on. You tried asking kids if they wanted candy? You do realize what that seems like, right?” K said. “And which van did you use? Specifically, what colour?”
“I don’t really see how either of my methods have been a problem, but I was using one of the white vans, of course.”
K tried to imagine a picture of it in his head. He sighed. “I think you gave people the wrong impression about us.”
“What impression could I have possibly given them other than a hard working agent looking to recruit brilliant youth to keep the people safe from ecto-scum?”
K grimaced and averted his gaze, causing him to look directly at Phantom. The ghost was smiling widely, mouth puffed out with the large candy in its mouth. Well, at least that was still working to keep it silent.
“I’ll explain it later, when we’re out of here,” K said, focusing ahead once more.
All too soon, the jawbreaker was gone and Phantom started flapping its ecto-gums again. K rubbed his temples. “I’m gonna need some Tylenol when we get back to base.”
J sighed. “I admit, maybe staying silent won’t help our blabber mouth problem.”
“Wanna seal its mouth shut with the anti-ecto tape?”
“We can’t. ‘No harm to the entity’ remember?” At this Phantom perked up.
“Oh? Is that why you guys haven’t been shooting at me the entire time?” It pretended to pout. “And here I thought we were finally getting along like friends.”
J swiftly pulled out another jawbreaker. “Oh dope, thanks.” It popped the candy in its mouth and finally, they had blessed silence again. K could only hope J had enough to last until they got outside.
Agent Alpha tapped a finger to the papers spread on her desk. “Agents, do you know what this is?”
J raised an eyebrow. “Our quarterly performance reports?”
“A… raise?” K asked, struggling to keep the hope from his voice.
Alpha ignored them and held up one paper. “A petition with 90,000 signatures.” She set it down and picked up another. “A list of complaints from fellow reputable ghost hunters.” She picked up another. “A formal cease and desist letter from the chief of police.”
“This, agents, is the beginning of our demise as a peacekeeping organization.” She glared at them. “All because you two buffoons couldn’t catch the ghost boy sooner.”
“With all due respect, it’s not as easy as it seems, Agent Alpha,” J said.
“With all due respect, I. Don’t. Care.” She stood from her chair and turned to the window. “Do you know what our role is as a secret government agency?”
“To… stay secret?”
“Wasn’t sure you knew the answer to that one, but yes.” She turned her head towards them. “You’ve already failed spectacularly on the secrecy front, but we’ve always managed to cover it up somehow. This time though…” She sighed, her head tilting down as she rubbed the bridge of her nose. K shifted his feet and J pulled at his collar.
Abruptly, she turned around. “You’ve managed to draw too much attention for us to cover with our own resources and we still don’t have full government backing yet, so, for the time being, the GIW is going to act on its best behaviour.” She placed her hands on the desk and leaned forward. “This means that, at least while the town is convinced that the ghost boy is some sort of heavenly saviour, we will act as if this were true and treat it- him with the same courtesy as a member of congress. Theoretically, this should give us enough good publicity to be seen as having good intentions with a few bad eggs sullying our name.” Both J and K winced, but quickly started up with protests.
“But ma’am, we can’t in good conscience treat that thing like-”
“That thing is a specimen that needs to be studied to better hum-”
She glared at them and they instantly cut themselves off. “Keep in mind, this is all the result of your failures. You have no right to complain.” She sat down heavily in her chair, rubbing her temples. “Now go rescue the ghost boy before it- he gets killed.”
The agents ran out of jawbreakers like, four floors ago, but with how exhausted he felt, he thought he might as well give them a brief reprieve before getting back to it. The singular It’s Not Unusual in the sea of What’s New Pussycats, if you will. And just when they think that they’re free of his charming wit, he’ll knock them out with the perfect one liner.
Yeah, Danny’s gonna have fun with this.
In the meantime though, it’d probably be a good idea to get a better sense of his surroundings.
…or he could be immediately distracted by his wings for the fifteenth time in a row.
The large fluffy white wings stretched outwards as he flexed his back muscles. He watched, almost entranced as each feather moved through the air. He tugged lightly on the end of his right wing, rubbing a few feathers between his gloves. Ancients what he wouldn’t do to just take off his glove right now and run his fingers through it for hours. Or, better yet, get Sam or Tucker to do that.
Without noticing, he nearly floated headfirst into a wall. He jerked back at the sudden obstacle, his wing slipping from his grasp and the joint at the top bumping into his cheek.
And Danny practically purred.
He knew the feathers were soft, had felt them himself, but to have them brushing against his cheek like that? It was so soft and soothing. Like a hug from his parents when he was a little kid. Like a hug from Jazz on a bad day.
“Don’t stop moving. We’re nearly outside.”
The sound of J’s voice was like ice water down his back. He tensed up, folding his wings tightly behind him and turned the corner, continuing to float down the hall. “Yeah yeah,” he mumbled.
There was a set of heavy blue emergency doors embedded in the wall, a broken lock and chains littering the ground. It was a push door, so it was strange the chains were broken on the inside, but the agents might’ve scouted out this exit before they came for him. Ancients know they love to be prepared before failing miserably.
The sound of the agents’ footsteps paused behind him. Danny rolled his eyes and turned back to glance at them. “What’s up? Did you break some stupid rule breaking a lock the wrong way or-?” He tensed as he noticed J and K holding up their blasters and keeping their backs to each other as they slowly scanned the hall. Danny floated closer towards them and whispered, “What’s wrong?”
“We didn’t open those doors,” K hissed. “Someone or something got here before us.”
Danny furrowed his brows. “How do you know it wasn’t one of the cultists panicking and thinking the building was about to go down?” He was pretty sure they all carried some kind of blunt instrument, the throbbing at the back of his head was proof of that.
Reaching back to rub at the offending spot, he knocked into his wings, raised and puffed up. He sighed and began the process of purposefully loosening his muscles while subtly petting down the feathers. He didn’t want to know what would happen if J and K noticed a new trait connected to his wings being more bird-like than angel-like.
Who was he kidding? They’d probably just start shooting at him again. Though they might have a few more painful experiments to conduct than before. Danny grimaced at the thought of someone picking apart his wings, imaging something far worse than the initial splitting pain in his back when they first emerged.
“We don’t, but section 4, subsection 25 states-”
Danny rolled his eyes. “Yeah yeah, whatever. You’re probably just gonna make up something about never underestimating the enemy or something.” He flew ahead of them, past the fire alarm, extinguisher, and a vent near the ceiling. “Speaking of enemies, you never did explain why you were helping me escape. Wanna fill me in or-?”
In an instant, Danny was tackled to the ground and a shrieking voice was asking him to kiss someone’s forehead and give them his blessing. They were spouting how they crawled through the vents and prepared the exit for him when J and K both yelled and Danny was abruptly free to move again.
“That’s our good publicity ticket, you scoundrel!”
“Stay clear of the ghost scum or you’re under arrest!”
Danny sat up and blinked, watching as J spouted off some kind of abbreviated version of the Miranda rights and K none too gently put the vent guy in handcuffs before realization hit.
“You guys have to protect me because you’ve been fucking up so bad lately.” J and K stilled, becoming silent. A wide grin spread across Danny’s face. “That’s it, isn’t it?”
K cleared his throat, but didn’t meet Danny’s eyes. “Don’t be ridiculous. We’re just in the middle of a carefully crafted plan to capture and experiment on you. Obviously, we need you intact for that.”
“Oh no, you called me your ‘good publicity ticket’. I have to be more than just ‘intact’ for that.” Danny laughed. “I can’t believe you guys fucked up so bad you have to be my bodyguards now!”
“We are not your-!”
“Oops,”-Danny waved his phone, his Twitter pulled up with a new post that just showed a screenshot of his location on Google Maps-“looks like we’re about to have company.”
“How did you do that so fast?!” K said, grabbing the front of his jumpsuit.
“Ah ah ah.” Danny smirked, his fangs peeking out from his lips. “Can’t damage the merchandise, remember?”
K growled at him, but J pulled him away. “I… apologize for my partner’s behaviour, but we should leave before the crowds get here,” J said through gritted teeth.
Danny sighed, resting the back of his hand on his forehead and dropping his flight to stand on the floor. “You know, I’m not feeling too well. Might not even be able to use my powers or my wings to get away.” He fought to keep down a laugh as he saw K getting more and more red in the face. “If only there were someone to carry me back to the Ghost Zone. Sigh.”
Danny could hear the sound of stampeding footsteps in the distance as well as cars that were definitely going over the speed limit. This was going to suck spectacularly.
But more importantly, he thought as he phased through J and K’s arms whenever they tried to drag him away and watched them get increasingly more desperate while the crowd approached, I can finally get revenge on these two chucklefucks without worrying about retaliation.
Just the thought of how he’d get to torment them for the next couple months until the dovepire ghost bite wore off had his core vibrating with glee.
@youmaycallmeyourhighness picked the word Denailing as a prompt for @phicphight
I had no idea what this word meant. So, I had to search it.
Big oof on that one eh?
Anyway have some angst and gore. 💖
This is post reveal btw💖
Word count: 701
Jazz was furious and sick to her stomach as she cornered her parents in the kitchen.
"YOU TOLD DANNY YOU WOULD STOP." her voice was raw from all the yelling. "YOU PROMISED HIM."
"Don't, sweetie me," Her body shook with unbridled rage. "Do you know what this will do to him? HOW MUCH IT'LL FUCKING HURT HIM."
"Jazz." Jack called softly, "just take a few deep breaths, princess. We’re trying to help your brother."
"Right, the new samples we collected could be used for good." Maddie cut in. Her voice was soft, like a teacher trying to correct students without hurting their feelings. "All of our previous methods of opening natural portals have been too risky. He needs a secure portal for emergency situations. What if your brother gets stuck again and can't find his way home?"
"Then I'll find a way."
The elder Fenton’s jumped at the sound of the new voice.
Danny was standing in the doorway of the kitchen.
Maddie watched her son tremble in place. She wasn't sure if he was afraid or angry.
"Mom..." Danny's voice warbled. "What did you and Dad do?"
"We did a few procedures on a non-human manifestation-"
"W-what?" Danny's voice cracked as he glanced at the door to the lab.
"Danny, don't go down there." Jazz said in a rush as she quickly moved to envelop her baby brother.
Danny turned intangible and passed right through her. Making a break for the basement door before anyone could stop him.
He quickly yanked the heavy door open, only to be assaulted by a distinct acidic smell.
Danny recoiled in disgust as he swallowed the vomit that had crept up his throat.
"Danny-" Jazz quickly grabbed her brother and yanked him away from the open door.
"J-Ja-" Danny started hyperventilating. He was too overwhelmed to get words out.
"Danny, you don't want to go down there." Jazz tried her best to keep her voice even as she placed herself between her brother and the door again.
"W-why?" Danny's voice cracked. "Who is it?"
Jazz didn't know how to answer.
"Jazz." Danny's voice was desperate. "W-who is it?"
"It's no one, sweetie," Maddie said as she tried to pull Danny into a hug, only to recoil in surprise and hurt when Danny flailed and pushed her away.
"Stop trying to dehumanize them," Danny growled through tears.
"We aren't Danno. They were non-humanoid, to begin with." Jack assured, like that would somehow offer comfort.
"THAT DOESN'T MATTER." Danny shook his head in disbelief. "YOU SAID YOU WOULD STOP"
Jack and Maddie winced in surprise at their son's outburst.
"I am friends with non-human-looking ghosts..." Danny's voice trailed off as he fought to keep himself from sobbing.
"Danny..." Maddie reached out, but Danny swatted her away.
"Don't." He growled, eyes flaring green.
A beat of silence passed before Danny moved to start making his way down the steps to the lab.
The stench of ectoplasm and chemicals got stronger as he continued his descent.
His knees almost gave out when he saw who was strapped down to his parent's experimentation table.
"W-wulf?" Danny shouted as he scrambled to try and unlock the bindings that were holding his friend in place.
Wulf turned his head slowly so Danny could unhook the muzzle preventing the older ghost from talking.
Danny was cut short by a soft hug.
"Freind.." Wulf whimpered, "Safe?"
Danny hugged him back, careful of Wulf's injuries. He could tell exactly where his parents had done experiments. They had shaved Wulf's fur, so the stitches that were left spoke their own story.
But What had Danny the most concerned was the wet, cold feeling that was dripping down his back.
Danny pulled away from the hug slowly and held Wulf by the wrists.
His paws were marred and oozing ectoplasm.
Danny felt cold horror run through him.
"All of our previous methods of opening natural portals have been too risky. He needs a secure portal for emergency situations. What if your brother gets stuck again and can't find his way home?"
They took Wulf’s claws. They--
Danny quickly pulled his friend back into a hug, He needed to keep his cool. Wulf was hurt and frightened. Breaking down in front of him would only make the older ghost worse.
“Yeah buddy, you’re safe.” Danny forced a smile, trying to fight the tears that were threatening to spill over again. “I’ll keep you safe.”
Prompts: The people of Amity Park discovers an interesting fact: It’s possible to be allergic to ghosts. (PR299) by @higgidigs People around Amity park begin to notice blobs constantly trailing behind Danny Fenton. (PR369) by @skarlettskwrl Someone gets a new perspective with blob ghosts (PR387) by @datawyrms and Ghost blobs can be used as emotional support ghosts! Danny, Vlad, or Dani gets one! (PR097) by @fruity-hub-blog
After months of ghost attacks, most Amity Parkers were used to strange sights. But the student body of Casper High still paused in whatever they were doing when the day after spring break, Daniel “Danny” Fenton, youngest of the notorious ghost hunting family and famously known for being terrified of ghosts, walked into the school trailed by not one, not two, but five blob ghosts.
Now, if the boy had been running in fright, the students might have understood the situation. But instead, Danny walked at a calm pace, occasionally reaching out to scratch a blob ghost. One of the ghosts was even nestled in his hair and could be heard purring softly, if one dared to approach. He acted like this was a totally normal occurrence, as if half the school hadn’t seen him run in fright from the Box ghost or even small animal ghosts.
And as they watched, puffs of mist would occasionally escape his mouth.
Even before the first bell rang, the news about Fenton’s strange behavior had spread over the entire school. Everyone took turns walking past his locker where he stood with his friends, to catch a glimpse of the ghost hunter’s son surrounded by ghosts. The students would gossip with their friends about the drastic change. More than one would theorize that maybe Fenton had been overshadowed by a ghost during spring break and that's why his behavior was so different.
Their friends would immediately disagree though, reminding them that Fenton’s parents were the town's nr 1 ghost experts and that there was no way they wouldn’t notice a ghost overshadowing their own son. No, in their opinion this truly was Danny Fenton, but they theorized that during spring break something dramatic must have happened to make him stop fearing ghosts. A few even whispered in a scandalous tone that maybe the reason Danny no longer feared ghosts was because he'd fallen in love with one. Maybe even one particular ghostly superhero. How tragically romantic, they sighed, the ghost hunters’ son in love with a ghost.
Whatever the reason, the students were in an uproar by the time the first lesson started and more than one dragged their feet on the way to class, wishing they could be there to see what the teachers would do about the situation. A lucky few, however, would get first row seats to the drama. And most students comforted themselves with the knowledge that one of those students was none other than Paulina Sanchez, queen of Casper High and gossip extraordinaire. Whatever happened, they would get to hear all the juicy details.
Now, unfortunately for William Lancer, he didn’t make it a habit of listening in on the student’s gossip. So when he walked into the classroom to hold his first lesson of the day, he had no idea what was waiting for him.
All students were already in their seats, either studying Danny or waiting eagerly for their teacher to arrive. They were not disappointed when Mr Lancer took one step into the classroom and immediately froze in place.
“Mr Fenton…”, he said slowly, prompting the boy in question to look up from the blob ghosts he was petting. The blob left out a disappointed thrilling sound when he stopped petting it and Lancer could already feel a headache start throbbing at his temples. “Why are there five ghosts hanging onto you?”
Daniel Fenton shrugged, completely unconcerned. “I’m not really sure why, exactly. They just seem to like me for some reason.”
Lancer sighed the sigh of a man hanging on by his last rope. A rope that was quickly fraying. “Let me rephrase. How come you're allowing five ghosts to hang onto you?”
Red rose into the boy’s cheeks and he combed a hand through his hair. There was an indignant little yelp from inside the black locks as the blob ghosts that had been resting inside got disturbed. Daniel, without even seeming to realize he was doing so, patted the ghost in apology. “They started following me around a few weeks ago, first one and then more and more. I’d try to send them back to the ghost zone or run away from them, but they just kept returning. And well … they’re kinda cute and completely harmless so I decided to stop trying to get rid of them.”
He plucked the blob that was lying on his desk up and started squeezing its cheeks and patting its head. It let out a loud happy thrill and started nuzzling him back, purring loudly. The blobs on his shoulders nuzzled closer to his face and the on on his head buried deeper into his hair. The one in his lap twisted around until it laid belly up. Several of the girls cooed and awwed at that and even Lancer had to admit it was pretty cute.
“They’re great company, actually”, Daniel continued. Lancer noticed that some mist trailed from his mouth with each word. “Very cuddly and friendly.”
“Alright … but what's up with the mist you’re breathing? I hope you’re not ‘vaping’ as the kids call it or I’ll have to bring you to the principal.”
Daniel’s eyes widened and he shook his head so fast the blob on his head almost fell off. There were a few chuckles from the jocks. “Oh no! Of course not, sir! You see, it's an allergic reaction.”
Lancer blinked. Daniel was still staring up at him with big, earnest eyes. Mist still occasionally slipped through his lips without the sight of a cigarette or anything else. “Pride and Prejudice, Mr Fenton, what kind of allergic reaction leads to mist escaping your mouth?”
“An allergy to ghosts, apparently.” At that, the whole class stared at him incredulously. Yes, this was Amity Park and weirder things happened every day, but no one had ever heard about it being possible to be allergic to ghosts.
“Explain”, Lancer said and gave in to the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose. It didn’t help against the headache, not really, but it made him feel a bit better.
“You know how I’ll suddenly just run out of class?” Lancer nodded. Yes, at this point all teachers were aware of that little habit of his. “Well, the reason I did that was that suddenly I’d feel this cold seeping deep into my bones and a terror that made my heart race. At the same time mist would escape my mouth in great amounts. It always made me want to run away and hide, so I did. And well … after a while I noticed that whenever I did, a ghost would soon appear, which only made me even more frightened of the strange reaction.”
Lancer’s mouth had fallen open some time during the boy’s tale. “Mr Fenton, are you telling me that all this time, you’ve been able to determine whenever ghosts are close by?”
Daniel nodded and the class broke into murmurs. “Yeah, I just didn’t realize it for the longest time. These little guys are actually what helped me figure it out in the end”, he said and pointed towards the blob ghosts clinging to him. “They only trigger a very small reaction, meaning I don’t get as frightened by them. Which meant I dared to explore what was causing my reaction and I found the blobs. So during spring break Sam, Tucker and I did a little experiment. Turns out I can find ghosts with scary accuracy with my allergic reactions alone. And I can tell how dangerous the ghost is, as the more dangerous the ghosts, the stronger the reaction.”
“So we could have used you as a ghost detector this whole time?” Someone yelled from the back of the class.
Daniel shrugged. “Yeah, apparently. But … could none of you tell my parents about this?”
“Why?” Dash asked, for once sounding actually civil when talking to Daniel.
“My parents can be a bit … overzealous”, Daniel said with a grimace. Several students copied the expression. “And if they found out they’d go nuts, either trying to cure my allergy or to figure out how to make more people allergic and either way I can’t see that ending well for myself or anyone else.”
“That’s fair”, Dash said. “Alright I won’t tell them.” And once Dash, the King of Casper High, said something, the other students were quick to follow.
“I agree with Mr Baxter, as long as you are sure this isn’t actually hurting you”, Lancer said. While he didn’t want to bring the older Fentons into this any more than the next person, he also had a responsibility to make sure none of his students got hurt.
“If anything it keeps me from harm, as I know when a ghost is close so I can hide.” He paused, forehead furrowing in thought. “If you don’t tell my parents I could also help the school. I could tell you every time I have an allergic reaction, at least reactions stronger than for blob ghosts, and that should give the school enough warning to evacuate before attacks?”
Lancer thought about it. It was a very tempting offer. No older Fentons and an early warning system for ghosts? There was some Fentonwork tech that worked in the same way, but it was very expensive and had a limited range. Considering how much money the school had to put on constant repairs, this offer sounded really great. “I’ll talk it over with the Principal after class and it would be great if you could explain your allergy a bit more to us, but I don’t see why not.”
Daniel sighed and relaxed in his chair. The blob ghosts all started purring again and nuzzling him even more. As if they had noticed the boy's feelings and had wanted to help him. Another small trail of mist left his lips.
“But I do wonder why you willingly keep ghosts around you if you're allergic to them.”
Daniel rolled his eyes, and while Lancer usually would point such an attitude out, he decided to let it slide for now, as this entire conversation was too intriguing to cut short over such a thing. “Do people who are allergic to cats still not pet them? Besides, it's just a minor reaction, I’ve had far worse.”
“That is reasonable, but as with all pets I request that you do not bring them to school.”
“And how am I supposed to stop them? Unless I bring my parents into this, it's impossible. I already tried hundreds of times to make them stop following me. It literally doesn't work.”
Lancer frowned. Daniel had said the same thing earlier and if a Fenton, even if he wasn’t a ghost hunter himself, didn’t know how to stop a ghost it was reasonable to assume no one else could do it either. “Still, I’m afraid no pets are allowed.”
“Service animals are, though”, Samantha Manson said, leaning forward in her chair. Lancer recognized the fiery glow in her eyes from far too many rants about different injustices. “According to the rules animals that are needed for a students physical or mental well-being are allowed on school grounds.”
“Yes, but for that rule to be applicable the animal actually needs to provide this sort of service.”
“They’re my emotional support ghost pets”, Daniel immediately said with zero hesitation. “They help me with my phobia for ghosts and to work through panic attacks during ghost fights.”
“You can’t take his service blobs from him, that's just not cool”, Tucker said, without even looking up from his PDA.
“Yeah, it would be discrimination”, Samantha continued. “We could report you for that.”
“Let him keep them!” Dash called out and soon the rest of the class were also calling out similar sentiments. All of them, except for Valerie Gray who was watching this go down with a glum look in her eyes, were demanding Daniel get to keep his blobs. In the middle of it all, Daniel sat with a smug smile on his face, petting the blobs.
Lancer was not getting paid enough for this. “Alright. Alright! Great Expectations, class, calm down!” The class finally grew silent. “You get to keep your ‘emotional support service animals’ as long as they don’t disturb class, okay?”
“Deal”, Daniel said, his smile innocent like an angels. Lancer sighed again, but couldn't help but to smile back, feeling a bit fond of the boy even as he made his headache worse.
“Now, settle down everyone so class can begin.”
Danny hugged Neil tighter, and the blob purred louder, his aura flashing comfort content care and spreading those emotions into Danny, pushing down the anxiety that was always churning inside. The other blobs responded in kind and Danny couldn't help it, his core started purring back at them. At least the blobs purring would hide his own purring so none of the students around him would notice.
Andromeda snuggled deeper into his hair while Nebula and Orion pressed their faces into his neck on either side. Laika was riding along in his backpack despite them being able to fly, the lazy thing.
“That went better than I thought it would”, Tucker said with a yawn. “I can’t believe Lancer actually went with it.”
“He couldn’t keep justice from prevailing”, Sam said, fiery as always over any campaign that caught her fancy.
“I’m just glad the students have stopped suggesting I’m dating myself”, Danny said and shuddered. Students all around him kept eyeing them as they walked past, but apparently Paulina had been hard at work for now everyone talked about his 'ghost allergy' and 'emotional support blobs' rather than theorizing about overshadowing or such things.
Tucker grinned at that. “Aw but it was hilarious, man. Besides, it's the perfect excuse for why we’re around Phantom so often and help him. We should totally use it in the future.“
“No way! No one would believe it. Besides if they did I’m pretty sure Paulina and Dash would skin me for taking their darling hero off the dating market. If my parents didn’t get to me first, trying to cleanse me of ectoplasmic influence cuz clearly I’ve been manipulated by a ghost.” He shuddered again. The blob ghosts started purring louder, sending out happy emotions. He calmed down and smiled at them. He really was glad they’d managed to convince Lancer to let them stay.
Usually his excuses and lies sucked, but this particular one he and his friends had spent all spring break coming up with, once it was clear the blobs weren't leaving. Frostbite was the one to explain it to him. Apparently blob ghosts would search out the protection of the lair or haunt owner and in return help them filter ectoplasm and provide emotional stability.
As Sam had said, they really were emotional support animals for him. And Danny loved his little blobs.
Purring contentedly, Danny and his blobs went about their day. Tucker and Sam trailed behind, smiling happily over how much better their friend was doing. Yes, blobs truly worked miracles.