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Welcome to the Invasion… a bunch of prewritten chapters, uploaded every couple days. The ghosts are about to have a heyday.

I seriously hope that you enjoy this.

Real Life
A Danny Phantom FanFiction by Cordria

Author’s Notes Version

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(Chapter 12)

In Which the World Keeps Turning

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I had a hellish time figuring out what order to put these sections.  So I ended up starting with a relatively boring one.  ^^;  Sorry about that.

Jazz underlined a few words on her half-finished economics report, chewing on her lip and gazing blankly at the paper.  She wasn’t really reading them; her mind was busy elsewhere, like it had been all morning.  Two hours of sitting at the library had accomplished about two paragraphs worth of work.  “This is pathetic,” she moaned, blinking and forcing herself to focus on the words.  “Wildcat banks sprung up in the…” she read softly, her voice drifting off as she scanned the text.

The only thing I remember from economics is wildcat banks.  I don’t remember what they ARE…

It was only a few moments before she caught herself once again staring at the source of her distraction.  Letting out a heavy breath and dropping her head onto her hands, Jazz fiercely ordered herself to ignore the red notebook sitting so quietly and innocently on the corner of the table.  I need to get this done!

Her gaze went back to the blurry words on her report, only to find her mind drifting back to the notebook.  “You’re evil,” she muttered darkly as she finally gave up, one hand reaching out to grab the offending notebook and slide it closer.  “Five minutes, that’s all you get.  Then, I’ll finish my report.”

Flipping the book open, a small frown appeared on her face as she paged through the notes she had taken.  The first few pages were a ‘dream diary’ she’d once been assigned to do and the second bunch were the remains of a behavior project she’d done on the neighbor’s dog.  She skipped right over them, pausing on a page about halfway through the notebook.  The top of the page read ‘List of Freaky’ in her own neat handwriting.

Her eyes skimmed over the forty-eight items she’d listed below the title.  Each was a weird thing she’d seen her brother do over the past few days.  While most of them could be passed off as normal, a few of them couldn’t.  The glowing eyes on her tape, the sudden fear of microwaves, his strange behavior at dinner that one night, the haunted look in his eyes…

The first day full of Danny’s weirdness had been funny.  The second day had been even funnier, to be honest.  But when Jazz had noticed that her mother starting to worry about Danny’s odd behavior, a switch had flipped in her head and suddenly it hadn’t been quite as funny.  Every time Danny did something strange, Jazz had gotten a little more confused and a little more determined to figure out what was going on.

It was like having half the pieces to a puzzle and not knowing what the picture was going to be when it was done.  Jazz gritted her teeth as she scanned the page.  Logic puzzles were more her thing.  Logic puzzles gave you all the information you needed and you just needed to figure out how to use it correctly.  

“What’s wrong with him?” she murmured.  “There’s got to be some sort of connection to all of these things.”

Minutes passed as she read over the list again and again, the five minutes she’d allocated to red notebook up before she was ready for it to be.  She drummed her fingers on the page, her eyes distant and her mind off in its own little world.  “I really need more information than this…”  

And enter the totally coincidental conversation. :)  To be honest, I had them both in the library with no interaction previously.

“I dunno, Tucker.”

Jazz blinked at the sound of Danny’s best friend’s voice, surprised to find two fourteen-year-olds at the library on a Sunday morning.  She closed her notebook and looked over her shoulder, barely catching sight of Tucker’s idiotic red hat over the top of a bookshelf as they walked past.  Her mouth opened to call out to them, but then she hesitated.  She did need more information on Danny; perhaps her brother’s two friends would spill something.

“Come on, Sam.  You don’t know anything for sure.”

“But I know it,” Sam said sharply.  “They felt exactly the same.”

“Vlad Masters?”  Tucker’s voice was full of disbelief.  “The Vlad Masters?  You can’t be serious.”  There was a long pause, then a heavy sigh.  “Sam.  Think it through.  Look at what Danny’s going through and then look at Vlad Masters.  Tycoon.  Billionaire.  One of the world’s richest men and one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors.  How in the world do you think…”

This conversation springs up because I made a mistake.  XD  Sam wasn’t supposed to realize that Vlad had ghost powers nearly so soon.  And there’s NO way Danny’s allowed to know.  So now I have to talk Sam OUT of the idea that Vlad’s got ghost powers…  It’s a headache and I’m not sure how convincing the argument is for it.

Jazz’s forehead furrowed in confusion as she gazed in the direction of the two teenagers.  “Vlad Masters?” she mouthed.  What does Vlad Masters have to do with Danny?

“I don’t know.  But I know what I know.”

“And it took you all night to figure out.  Are you sure that you’re not misremembering?  After all that time-”

“Tucker…”

“I just don’t think we should tell him.”  What little Jazz could still see of Tucker’s hat shook as he spoke, like the boy was shaking his head.  “We don’t know enough to be sure and Danny’s got enough on his plate right now.”

Sam’s voice was distant by this point, the two vanishing behind several bookshelves on their way towards the main library doors.  “But what if Vlad can help with the-”

“What if you’re wrong?”

Jazz stared at the place where she’d last seen Tucker’s hat, her head tipped to the side and her eyes narrowed.  She ran her tongue over her teeth, tapping her pencil lightly on the table.  After a long moment of hearing nothing more from Sam or Tucker, Jazz looked down at her red notebook and flipped it back open to her List of Freaky.  At the top of the page, she jotted down Vlad Master’s name and gazed at it in silence.

Quickly circling the name, she closed the book and stuffed it into her backpack.  She picked up the rest of her supplies, cleaned up her table, and headed towards the door, her half-finished economics paper left unfinished for the moment.  It wasn’t due for another week and she had something more important she wanted to do. “Hi,” she said, stepping up to the check out desk and handing over the book.

The librarian grinned at her, glancing down at the title.  “Banking in the Nineteenth Century.  Economics… now that’s a worthwhile pursuit.  Not like everyone else that comes in here.”

Jazz smiled, listening to the beep of the librarian’s machines.  “What do you consider not worthwhile?”

“Those two that just left checked out an armload of books on ghosts, of all things.”

“Ghosts?” Jazz repeated, her eyebrows rising in surprise.  Sam and Tucker… and ghost books?

“I know.  I had the same reaction.”  The librarian snorted in disbelief and handed Jazz her book.  “They said they were doing a school paper, but I’m not sure I believe them.  What teacher would waste time on something stupid like that?”

Jazz chuckled, but her heart wasn’t behind it.  “Yeah.  Thanks.”

“Have a nice rest of your weekend.”

“You too,” Jazz called over her shoulder as she pushed open the door.  Vlad Masters and books on ghosts?  What does that have to do with Danny?

Oh, I’m pretty sure she’ll figure it out eventually.  But enough with the coincidental meetings and things being said.  Move on to something more interesting.

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The quiet humming of the portal was like a hypnotist’s voice, whispering through Danny’s ears and dancing between his brain cells.  It called to him in many ways, making his body itch with the desire to get off his chair and walk up to the fluttering energy caught in the portal.  Danny’s feet twitched, his leg bounced, and his fingers tapped, desperate for a way to ignore the longing feeling in his body.

*lmao*  This entire section wasn’t even supposed to be here.  I had none of this encounter with the ghost portal in my plan.  Go figure.  Idiot characters taking this story wherever they want…

Blue eyes flickered over to the steps, wishing his father would hurry up with the snacks.  It was taking forever for Jack to collect a simple bowl of popcorn.  Time was stretching; every second felt like minutes.  Surely he’d had been gone for hours by this point.

The hair on the back of Danny’s neck stood on end when a cold chill slipped over him.  He shivered uncontrollably, glancing quickly over his shoulder at the dimly glowing portal before focusing back on the pages he was supposed to be going over.  The lists of numbers swam in his vision.

‘…Danny.  Come here…’ a ghost breathed, its voice barely audible over the quiet hum of the portal.

Danny’s head shook fiercely, his eyes closing as he fought off the strange desire to get closer to the portal.  His teeth clenched tightly and his fingers tightened their hold on the table.  “No,” he said sharply, his nervous anxiety twisting in unexplainable anger, leaving him fighting against the strange supernatural rage that was clawing its way into his chest.  The desire to simply force the ghosts to be quiet and leave him alone was bubbling through him and was taking all of his efforts to fight off.

‘…It’s okay, child.  I won’t hurt you.  Come here…’

He’d had enough of this.  With a quiet, distressed sound, Danny dropped the papers onto his father’s desk, pushed himself off the stool, and headed for the steps almost at a run.  He couldn’t take any more.  Anything had to be better than this.  He’d figure out some reason to not have to come down here again.

Danny bumped into one of the overfilled tables, sending some of the equipment cascading to the floor with a loud crash.  Tripping, he scrambled back to his feet almost before his knees had hit the floor.  

Something brushed against his ankle and he hesitated, looking back over his shoulder.  Due to the how the tables were laid out, he had been forced to move closer to the portal than he had been before; its hypnotic swirls of green now filled his eyes.  

‘…Danny…’

His close proximity to the window into the afterlife smashed through whatever resistance Danny had managed to come up with.  His vision blurred, iridescent emerald energy drifting into the irises of his eyes.  He got to his feet, his heart pounding loudly in his ears and his breath rasping in his throat.  Finally, his mind was whispering, reaching towards the portal.  

I’m trying to balance ‘Danny’ as a human versus ‘Danny’ as a ghost.  They’re not two separate people in this fic, but it’s easiest to show the dual personalities as almost two different people.  So his human side and his ghost side ‘chat’, but they’re not really… does that make any sense?

He shook his head in one last show of defiance even as his foot slid forwards, picking its way through the scattered machines on the floor and heading towards the gleaming portal.  Waves of energy crested out from the device, washing over him and sending thrills through his still-human body.  

His other foot followed the first, followed by a few more steps, each bringing him closer to the portal.  Still shaking his head but no longer knowing why he was, Danny made his way to the edge of the portal.  One hand came out to trace over the cool surface of the afterlife, his fingers drifting out of their human reality in a crackling of silver energy and light.

Give in, Danny…

‘…Come here…’

A smile appeared on his face as he felt the bright band of light travel up his arm and caress his entire body.  The heavy, warm human world fell away.  The cold, infinite realm of the afterlife swirled and chased away what few human thoughts remained.  It took less than a moment and Danny’s ghost side reigned supreme.

I love the title of the episode, ‘Infinite Realms’.  I hated the episode, but I loved the concept.  XD  I would KILL to be able to rewrite that episode.  Imagine Vlad with a map that could get him anywhere and any when he wanted.  THAT is a PERFECT plot device.  And they blew it up into something corny and horrid.  *shakes head sadly*  Someday, they will pay for that.

Power was his.  Green eyes gazed hungrily at the source of all that power – this rent in the universe where the energy from the ghost world could cascade through so easily – and he pressed his hand firmly against the swirling mists.  What small barrier remained between the human world and the afterlife was thin and flimsy under his palm.  

Shapes moved on the other side of the window and Danny growled, his glowing eyes narrowing at the sight of other ghosts too close to what was so obviously belonged to him.  “Stay away,” he snapped.

‘…Let me out…’ one of the shadows howled. ‘...Please!...’

Danny snarled.  His voice must have carried over the barrier because most of the vague shapes of the ghosts flinched and vanished.  Only one stayed.  It came closer, red eyes gleaming through the emerald mist.  ‘…Danny.  Make a wish…’ the female voice whispered, either unaware or uncaring about the furious gleam in Danny’s eyes, the bangles on her arms clicking mesmerizingly.  ‘…I’ll make your grandest dreams come true…’

“No!” he growled.  It was time to chase away the female ghost that was intruding on his territory – no more waiting and asking it to leave.  Finally, his mind laughed as pure rage burned through him.  He pulled eagerly at the energy screaming through the air, drawing it into him like a black hole.  His fingers curled into claws, the sharp points digging into the thin barrier, and ran his tongue over teeth that were rapidly sharpening into fangs.  

Remember that in my fic the ‘Dark Danny’ image is going to be his ‘real ghost’ form.  When his ghost mind is totally in control and he’s a power-hungry creature running on instinct.

Amity Park belonged to him.  Sam belonged to him.  This house and all the humans in it belonged to him.  This portal, and the power it was releasing, belonged to him.  No ghost was going to get anywhere near any of those, not as long as he had any say in the matter.  “Mine,” he hissed as his hair started to smoke.

Possessive little nut, ain’t he?

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Jack lumbered down the lab stairs with a smile on his face, the bowl of popcorn and plate of homemade fudge carefully held in his hands.  He was really looking forwards to getting to spend the rest of the morning with his son, now that he’d gotten that ‘conversation’ over with.  

It had really been pointless, in his opinion.  Danny was just going through one of those phases that all boys went through at some point.  He’d grow out of it.  But when Mads got back from her shopping trip, he’d be able to say that he’d talked to Danny and she could stop worrying.  She seemed to like worrying about strange things, for reasons Jack never was able to figure out.  Perhaps with her mind off of their children for a few moments, she would be able to focus on their latest experiment: the Fenton Ghost Portal.  That afternoon the two of them would finally be able to go over the readings that they had been collecting, start a few more of their tests…

He stepped off the bottom stair and shivered at a sudden wave of cold air.  He glanced around, his eyes flickering over the empty shelves before landing on the glowing green of the portal.  For just a split-second, he could have sworn he saw a figure standing in front of the mass of energy, but when he blinked it was gone.

If only he’d been a few seconds faster…

“Danny?” he called, his breath fogging faintly in the air as he walked forwards enough to see the table and the empty chair.  Standing still for a moment, he looked around in confusion, cold goosebumps running up and down his arms.  “Where are you?”

There was no way his son could have gotten past him.  The lab only had the one exit and Jack had been standing next to it the entire time.  Setting the popcorn and the fudge down, Jack stared at his lab.  A cold needle jabbed into his heart and Jack felt his stomach give a little flip.  “Danny?”

The normally cheery room was shrouded in a foreboding feeling that swirled up from the ground and swept into his brain.  One last sweep of the lab convinced Jack that the room was empty and he headed back towards the stairs.  Something was wrong, and that knowledge chased every thought out of Jack’s mind but one: he wanted to find his son.

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Energy cascaded through the small tears in the barrier, dancing along Danny’s hand and vanishing into his body.  His claws bit deeper and his body tensed.  He wanted to fight; he needed to fight.  Every molecule in his body was screaming at him to chase away the ghosts on the other side of the portal.  All he had to do was rip through this thing standing between him and the ghosts and he could fight them.

His teeth were clenched, his mind hovering just on the edge.  It would take just the slightest bit of anything from the ghost just beyond his hand to tip him over. Danny’s ghost side reveled in the feeling and completely enjoyed the possessive, territorial aggressiveness.

Danny didn’t hear his father walk through the basement or call his name, but he did realize that Jack was down there.  The faint scent of burnt electronics drifted into his nose and Danny glanced over his shoulder.  He could barely make out the larger man’s form – and he didn’t really care to try, humans meant so little – but he could easily see the swirling eddies of Jack’s emotions.

The pull of the portal was incredibly powerful however, dragging Danny’s attention back to the barrier and the ghosts on the other side.  The addition of the human nearby simply gave him another reason to keep ghosts from intruding on his territory.  “Mine,” he growled.

‘…Danny?...’ the ghost on the other side whispered.  It came close enough for Danny to make out its glowing red eyes.  ‘…Come, chase me, fight me, fly with me…’

He would; he wanted nothing more than to force this intruder to leave his possessions alone.  Except his hands wouldn’t move.  His claws remained where they were, lodged in the barrier, rather than ripping through the fabric of reality like he wanted them to.

You’ll let all the ghosts out if you chase this one, a small piece of his mind screamed at him.  The logic was completely lost on Danny.  His ghost lived solely in the present – the idea of actions affecting his future made no sense.  All he cared about was his territory and the things that belonged to him being protected right there and then.  “Mine,” he snarled, trying to force his arms to move.

His hands stayed where they were.  More ghosts to feed on Sam, the tiny voice tried again, struggling to be heard over the screaming energy of the portal.  The ghost will get through and feed on Sam.

“Sam is mine,” he whispered, his body shuddering with the effort it was taking to hold himself in place.  “Mine.”  But his voice had lost its growl, taking on more of a pleading tone.  Sam isn’t mine.  You can’t own a person.

Danny’s hands dropped away from the portal, the ten holes in the barrier leeching power into the human world.  “Sam…” he breathed.  His claws faded back into more human-looking fingers, his white hair settling down around his face.  “Sam isn’t mine?”

‘…Come fight me!...’

“No…” he told the ghost, confused.  He didn’t really understand why he couldn’t fight the intruder onto his territory, but for some reason he wouldn’t.  It would be bad… somehow.  All he understood is that it wasn’t what he should be doing.  “But…”  

He drifted a few feet away from the portal, staring at the seething energy.  The hand that had been so furiously burned and scarred when he had turned the portal on came up to run through his hair, pausing to massage the back of his neck.  “I…”

A swirling scent of electronics drifted to his nose and Danny glanced up and over his shoulder, staring in the direction of the human.  The burnt scent of worry curled through the fizzling emotions, making Danny’s eyes narrow in puzzlement.  A quiet switch flipped in Danny’s mind and suddenly the source of that tantalizing smell wasn’t simply a thing, it was a person.  “Dad…?”  

The concept of people being things rather than people is *love* with a canon character who has yet to show up.  This will not go away.

With that realization, Danny’s human mind was instantly and firmly back in control.  He froze, staring down at the hands he remembered curling into claws.  They were back to normal – all hint of the claws having vanished – but they were starting to shake.  “What…” he whispered, his eyes wide.  Fury was long gone, confusion banished.  Fear reigned.  His gaze jerked up to the hypnotic swirls of the portal, the knowledge of what he had just about done searing into his mind.  I almost let the ghosts out!

His eyes slammed shut a moment later.  “I want to be human again I want to be human again I want to be human again,” he said, his voice shaking.  The all-too-familiar feeling of terror was bubbling up inside of him.  His tongue touched his teeth, a flash of memory of his teeth lengthening into fangs burst into his mind, and his chanting picked up speed.  “Iwanttobehumanagain, Iwanttobehumanagain…  Oh please…”

Desperately searching through his mind for something, anything, Danny stumbled across the small bit of heavy warmth that was his human soul.  He reached for it, grabbing onto it like it was the only thing keeping him alive, and allowed it to surround him.

With his eyes closed, he missed the bright flash of light that heralded his return to his human form.  But he didn’t miss the nearly foot-high drop to the ground, one of his ankles twisting painfully underneath him.  He collapsed to the floor, his breath rasping in his unused lungs, the ache in his chest building to an almost unbearable level before his heart remembered how to beat.

He was still very much aware of the portal murmuring pleasantly only a few feet away, but the pull of the energy disintegrated to a much more bearable level.  He sat still for a moment before turning to look back at the window to the afterlife.  The swirling energy was so peaceful and calming… and it was still calling to him.  

Enter in a new piece of angst that will come back to ‘haunt’ him.  *lmao*

Danny couldn’t tear his eyes away as his ghost side started to itch at the back of his mind once again.  A small piece of his mind screamed that he’d already done this and that he had to get away from the portal, but Danny ignored it.

The portal was simply more interesting than the voice of logic.

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Jack hesitated when he walked past the kitchen table.  He’d searched the entire house – the attic, all the bedrooms, the living room, he’d even checked in the hallway closet – and Danny was nowhere to be found.  Despite his generally easy-going personality, Jack was starting to get worried about the fact that his son had vanished.

“He has to be somewhere,” Jack grumbled, looking out the back window.  His mind just couldn’t figure out how Danny could have gotten out of the basement without him seeing.  “Unless he’s invisible.”

That thought got a smile to appear on Jack’s face, especially after all of Danny’s stories about being a ghost.  That would be something, wouldn’t it? he wondered softly.  Danny being able to be invisible.

A sound from the basement caught his attention and Jack turned around to stare at the door.  “Or,” he muttered with an arched eyebrow, “he’s still in the lab and I just missed him…”  Pushing away from the counter, he walked over the lab door and down the stairs, stepping around the corner and into the fluorescent-lit basement.

His eyes flickered over the chaotic disassemble of equipment in the lab before his eyes settled on the figure of his son, sitting on the floor in the middle of a mess of tumbled devices.  His mouth opened to call to his son, pleased that he had located the boy before Maddie got home, but hesitated, his eyebrows furrowing.  

Danny was pale under the green light from the portal, his wide eyes fixed on vague green glow and it looked like Danny was almost hypnotized.  Jack watched, startled and confused, as Danny got to his feet and limped a step closer to the portal.  “Danny.”

The teenager whirled around at the sound of Jack’s voice, his eyes holding the wild, emerald spark of the portal for a moment before it died away.  He seemed frozen, staring across the room towards his father.  “Dad,” he said after a moment, licking his lips.

“What are you doing?”  Jack asked, walking the rest of the way into the lab.

“I was…”  Danny trailed off, his gaze dropping to the ground.  “I tripped,” he finally finished.

Jack glanced down at the equipment on the floor by Danny’s feet, then at the way Danny was standing, clearly favoring one of his ankles.  You’re just as clumsy as I was at your age, Jack thought with a little bit of a sigh, dismissing the odd light that had been in Danny’s eyes a moment earlier.  “You okay?”

The poor guy.  He doesn’t even know what he saw.  *sad*

“Yeah.”  Danny limped forwards.

“You should go put some ice on that.”

Danny nodded, brushing past Jack to head upstairs.  Jack watched him go, his forehead wrinkling at how pale his son was and at the fact that his son seemed to be shaking. Maybe I should go up with him, make sure he’s okay…  His nose wrinkled as he thought about it, stooping to pick up the equipment scattered across the floor and dump it back on the table.  

It’s not nearly as cold and haunted as it was ten minutes ago, he realized with a start as he dropped the last device onto the cluttered tabletop and turned to head upstairs.  “I wonder what was causing that, anyways.”  His gaze trailed around the lab before stopping at the portal.  The window into the afterlife glowed with a steady green light for him, his human eyes unable to make out the hypnotic swirls of emerald energy that had so entranced his son.  

Enter in a piece of Cori-fanon.  The portal only swirls to ghost eyes.  Humans would only see the steady glow of the afterlife.  …okay, so I’m not sure if this is Cori-fanon or otherwise.  ^^;  But I’ve always liked the idea of Danny being able to see ‘more’ of the ghost world than a normal human.

“Was it you?” he rumbled, walking up to it.  The deep green seemed to stretch into infinity, the back of the shallow hole in the wall completely obscured by the neon glow.  He reached out his hand and pushed it into the smoldering emerald light.  

The barrier that had held his son’s hand back was no barrier to Jack’s completely human arm.  He had no concept of the fact that there even was something that should have stopped him from putting his hand through.  Being human, Jack had no hope of entering the world of the ghosts, even through a portal like this one.  Had he kept moving his hand forwards, he would have simply hit the back of the hole in the wall before reaching some sort of paranormal dimension.

His hand tingled as he held it in the bath of energy, so daringly close to the realm of the afterlife but impossibly far away.  Finally he drew his hand back, staring down at his fingers.  They glowed faintly for a moment, releasing the tiny amounts of energy they had built up.  He snorted and smiled, grinning at his invention.

Note that this is going to screw up a lot of canon in the future.  Humans can’t pass through the portal.  Even if (when, to be honest) the barrier is snapped and the ghosts can get through to the human world, humans won’t be able to go through it.  Not in the fic.

…not without special help, anyways.


I’ll go upstairs and check on Danny in a second.  Jack took a step to the side and studied the panel that measured the portal’s energy output.  It had spiked earlier, the amount of power surging through the small device making the reading bounce chaotically for a few minutes before settling back down to the steady thrum it was at now.  Jack’s eyebrow arched as he noted that the total energy output of the portal was almost a percentage point higher than it had been before.

“Wonder what happened,” he muttered, glancing at his portal.  His finger came up to tap the control panel.  “Think it’ll do that again?”

With nobody around to answer his question, Jack answered it for himself.  “Of course it will.  And the power will surge again.”

He was quiet for a moment as he thought about it, then his eyes started to glitter.  “It needs some sort of way of containing that energy if it does that again.  Like… doors.”

His son’s twisted ankle and the task of going over the readings from the Grisbee’s cabin completely forgotten, Jack hurried over to a pile of invention sketches and grabbed a blank piece of paper.  “Aluminum, they’d have to be,” he murmured as he started to draw, “to keep the energy conduction low.  Rubber on the inside?  Maybe a ferrous aluminum… I think I have some of that in the garage…”

And there’s Jack.  Lost.  Poor Danny.

I’ve no idea of there’s such a thing as ‘ferrous aluminum’.  I probably made it up.


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You wanted more Jazz…

Jazz made it home at the same time as her mother.  “Hey,” she said, slinging her backpack over her shoulder so she could grab a few bags of groceries from the back of the car.  

Maddie sent her a small smile.  “Hi, sweetie.  Get your report done already?”

“No.”  Jazz followed her mom through the back door and into the kitchen.  “But it’s not due until next Monday.  I’ve got plenty of time to work on it later.”

“I’m sure you’ll do fine,” Maddie said, dropping her bags onto the table and starting to sort through them.  Piles were quickly made on the kitchen table – cold food things in one pile, warm food things in another, non-food things on the floor.

Jazz pawed through the bag she had brought in, grinning in amusement as she pulled out eight egg beaters and four rolls of tin foil.  “Lab?” she guessed, holding one up for her mother’s approval.  At the nod, Jazz set them off to the side and grabbed the carton of milk to put away, her mind drifting back to the strange conversation she’d overheard at the library.  “Mom,” she said, “Have you ever heard of Vlad Masters?”

“Vlad?”  Maddie hesitated, looking up at her daughter in surprise.  “There was a Vlad Masters that went to college with your father and me.  You mean that one?”

“Really?”  Jazz catalogued that for later, then shook her head.  “I’m talking about the really rich one.”

“Same one, sweet heart.”

Jazz was floored, her mouth dropping open.  “Seriously?!  You know the Vlad Masters?”

Maddie shrugged, still emptying bags.  “We went to college together and haven’t spoken since… I’m not sure that really classifies as ‘know’.  He probably doesn’t even remember me.  Why do you ask?”

*lmao*  Of course he remembers you, m’dear Maddie.  His ghost side is obsessed with you.  Not that you know that.

“I… uh… was just wondering…”  Jazz shook her head, searching for the right words to explain why she was asking about some man out of the blue.  “I heard someone mention him today.  They said that something was different about Vlad Masters – some kind of sickness maybe – and I didn’t want to look it up.  I was wondering if you knew what they were talking about.”

“He got into an accident at college, I remember that,” Maddie said, a strange note to her voice.  “He was in the hospital for quite a while.  Completely changed his personality.”  She was silent for a long moment, then smiled at her daughter.  “But he got over it and it ended up turning his life around.  Look where he is now.”

“But there’s nothing weird with him now?”

“Not that I know of, sweet heart.”

Jazz grabbed a few of the remaining cans and put them in a cupboard, biting her lip.  That’s not incredibly helpful.  What do Danny and Vlad Masters have in common?  What did Sam mean by ‘they felt the same’?  “I guess I’ll have to look it up and see if I can find anything.”

“Thanks for helping me with the groceries,” Maddie said with a grin.  

Jazz smiled back.  “No problem.”  She grabbed her bag and hesitated for a moment, watching her mother fold up the empty grocery bags and store them under the sink.  She had the passing thought to ask her mother about ghosts, but since she wasn’t sure what kind of information she’d be asking about, she gave up and turned around to head upstairs.

She paused by Danny’s open door, her backpack dangling off her shoulder.  Danny was lying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling.  Jazz had meant to watch him for a moment, maybe catch him doing something that would tell her what was going on, but her mouth moved before she could stop it.  “It’s really tiring being grounded, isn’t it?”

Danny glanced over at her and shook his head.  “Go away.”

“You ever heard of Vlad Masters?”  

“No,” Danny answered flatly.

Jazz chewed on her cheek for a moment, waiting to see if Danny would offer anything more, then shrugged and changed the topic.  “Sam and Tucker were at the library.”  At her brother’s noncommittal sound, she continued.  “They checked out a bunch of books on ghosts.”

Danny went perfectly still for a moment, almost too still to be real.  Then he sat up at glared at her.  “Go away.  I don’t feel good.”

Shivering as a cool breeze blew through Danny’s open window, Jazz rubbed at her arm, not missing the strange, startled look at that flickered in her brother’s eyes for a fraction of a second.  “Fine,” she muttered, closing the door behind her and heading to her room.  “I’ll figure it out without your help.”

Next thing on her List of Freaky.  She’s going to figure it out soon.  Maybe a chapter or three.  *evil grin*

--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--

Across town, a teenage girl walked into her room with a sigh, shutting the door behind her.  Valerie Grey glared half-heartedly at the cat curled up on her bed, but didn’t make a move to shoo it away.  She dropped into her chair with the intent to finish doing her homework, ignoring the shabby cat with years of practice.

You wanted more Valerie too. This is a ‘reintroduction’ of her character – since she dropped out for so long – because Val makes a comeback and is more prominent in the next chapters.

The cat picked its head up, blinking its glowing eyes a few times and stretching its rotting paws.  It yawned before jumping off the bed and walking straight through a wall, its feet padding a few inches off the carpet.

Val watched it leave before turning back to her work.  Monday was coming all too quickly and it brought with it another week of the insanity that was her life at school.

In real life, despite everything, the world keeps turning.
Danny Phantom (c) Butch Hartman.
Real Life (c) cordria

Thanks for the comments and critiques!!

-Cori
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:icontexasdreamer01:
:lol: yeah, but real life isn't written by cori. *snickers* cori-fanon is a delightful world to rule, isn't it? :D
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:iconcordria:
cordria Jun 16, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Oh YESSSSSS. You can't beating ruling my world. :XD:

-Cori
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:iconracnarath:
Annotations are fun. =)

By the way, "Ferrous Aluminum" is very likely not to exist, considering that aluminum is a non-ferrous metal (does not contain a appreciable amount of iron). In the environment, it is actually found in low iron (and silica) bedrock as bauxite...

Of course, I completely breezed past that on my non-annotated reading and assumed that you were talking about steel or something...I need to read more carefully.
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:iconcordria:
cordria Jun 4, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, I knew aluminum was non-ferrous... but I thought it would sound interesting. Next-generation. Like cybergenetic implants. Ferrous aluminum. *lmao*

Thanks for the comment. :hug:

-Cori
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:iconadne:
Adne Jun 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
why do's val have a dead cat?
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:iconcordria:
cordria Jun 3, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
She doesn't. It just follows her around. :XD:

-Cori
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:iconadne:
Adne Jun 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
how come? or cant i know that just yet?
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:iconcordria:
cordria Jun 4, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
You can't know that yet... because I don't know that yet. :XD:

-Cori
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:iconadne:
Adne Jun 4, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
.....she had a cat when she was young, but the neighbour drove over it, now it's back to get attention from her/his owner again.....

.....after killing the neighbour. XD
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:iconcordria:
cordria Jun 4, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Huh, neat. :XD: I like that reasoning.

-Cori
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