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Real Life
A Danny Phantom FanFiction by Cordria

--

(chapter 5)

In Which the World Doesn’t Always Make Sense

--

When my friend and I beta-ed this chapter last week, we added a lot of stuff and changed a lot of things.  There was a LOT of stuff to put into one chapter, and we ultimately decided that it was impossible and the chapter was pushing 30 pages.  Thus this chapter got split in half.  The part with the box ghost I put in my journal is now in chapter six.  ;)  On the positive side, the next chapter is done too!!

Oh, and thanks to KaliPhantom for giving me a good way to post this even though my ‘enter’ key doesn’t work!


Tucker carefully balanced his lunch tray on top of the small stack of books he had borrowed from the library.  He scanned the cafeteria, spotting his friend sitting at their usual table.  Danny was staring down at his food and not looking around.

He walked over and dropped the books loudly, snagging the tray artfully before it could drop.  “Where’s Sam?” he asked.

Danny glanced up at him, his eyes sparkling when he saw Tucker slip into the seat across from him.  “I haven’t seen her all day.  I thought…”

Remember, Tucker had ‘issues’ with being friends with Danny, but Danny didn’t know anything about it.  Danny got to school and it seemed as though Tucker and Sam were avoiding him.  So he got it into his head that Tucker and Sam didn’t want to be his friends anymore.  But he is trying to stay ‘alive’ all day.

“Listen, Danny,” Tucker interrupted, setting his tray down and staring right into his friend’s eyes.  “I’m your friend, and as your friend I’m going to be totally frank with you.”

I love it when people are frank.

Nodding, Danny looked a little confused.

“I’m scared of you.”  He picked up his plastic spork and waggled it in his friend’s direction.  “Now, I know you wouldn’t hurt me on purpose, but I’m terrified of the idea that you could randomly get mad at something and I’d end up in the same condition as those cheese fries last night.  I spent a large portion of yesterday trying to decide if it was a good idea for me to be anywhere near you.”

Danny sighed, his mouth opening to say something, but Tucker fiercely shook his head.  “Let me finish.  I’ve gone over this monologue in my head too many times for you to interrupt it and ruin this for me.”  He stopped and took a breath.  “At first, I thought this whole ghost thing was kind of cool.  I mean, you could walk through walls and stuff – you can do things most of us can only read about in comics.  You were scary as a ghost, yeah, but it was something I could live with because the powers were so cool.  But then you toasted those fries and I got frightened.  For the first time I started to think about this as something that was really happening.  You’re not some superhero in a comic book.  You’re Danny Fenton, teenager in Amity Park.”

That’s how I see this in my head.  He’s just a teenager… not some super hero like he is in the cartoon.

Tucker carefully studied his fingers.  “And I chickened out on you.  I questioned how good of a friend you were.  How good of a person you were.  I was really scared of the idea that you could randomly decide that I should die.”  He blew out his breath and set down his spork.  “That was selfish and childish of me.  I know you’re my best friend and you’ll never hurt me.  So, while I’m still absolutely petrified of the idea of you being a ghost… and that weird aura you’ve got that sends chills up my spine… I want to be your friend.  I want to help you.  I’ll try to be better and not act like a total jerk.”

He’ll try… we’ll see how well it works.

He was silent for a moment.  “What I’m trying to say is I apologize for acting like an idiot yesterday even though you weren’t there to witness it and had no idea I was doing it.  And I’m asking if you’ll allow me to be your friend still, even though I was acting horribly.”  He held out his hand for Danny to shake.  “We good?”

Danny just blinked at him.  “You’re… apologizing… to… me?”  He shook his head in confusion.  “But I’m the one that acted like a little kid yesterday, blowing up at the fact that I couldn’t pick of a silly cheese fry.”

“You gonna shake my hand or not?”  Tucker let a grin drift onto his face.  “Then,, you can apologize.”

“Fine.”  Danny reached up and snagged his best friend’s hand.  “I apologize for acting like a two-year old.”

“Apology accepted.”  Tucker picked up his spork and dug into the ground beef Salisbury steak.  “I spent all night trying to figure some stuff out about you.  I’ve even been holed up in the library all morning, skipping classes, trying to pull some more information together.”  He grinned.  “I’ve got it.  I know what you are.”

Oooh… yeah!  I really want to see if I can get my thoughts out on the topic in some sort of a sensible order.  ;)  I hate ‘disseminating information’.

“Really?  What?”  

Tucker glanced around, searching for Sam.  He’d just have to tell this twice if she didn’t show up.  “Alright, I’ll tell you, but you have to help me tell Sam later.”  At Danny’s nod, he took a big bite of the instant mashed potatoes and started with his mouth full.  I hate it when people talk with their mouth’s full… “You walked into the portal and turned it on from the inside – you must have hit a button or a switch or brushed up against a loose connection, completing a circuit or something – but the point is that you turned it on and it essentially electrocuted you.  You should’ve died with that much energy flowing through you.”

Canon so far, right?

Danny asked, “Why didn’t I then?”

“Here’s the kicker,” Tucker pointed his spork at him, “you did.”

Raise your hand when I lose you. ;)

Danny paled as he stared at Tucker in disbelief.  “What?”

“You had to have died, that’s the only way you could have a ghost at all.  But listen.  Normally when a person dies their ghost is created in the instant of their death.  A person has to have died in order for their ghost to form.  But you weren’t hit with just any electricity… you were hit with electricity that was mixed with spectral energy.”

“So?”  Danny was picking at his tray with an odd expression.  “I’m still dead.”

“No, you’re not.  At least not in the normal sense.  Normally a ghost is created when a person dies.  Because of all the spectral energy floating around, your ghost got ‘super-charged’ and was created a split-second too early.  It’s impossible for two of you to exist at the same time in the same place, so you – who was still a split-second from really dying – merged with the ghost that would have been created when you actually died.  Get it?”

Get it?  Do you?

Danny shook his head and Tucker sighed, deciding to plunge ahead with the explanation anyways.  “Ghosts are inherently better at surviving electricity, being energy themselves, so when your ghost merged with you, you gained that ability to be better at surviving electrocution too.  You got just strong enough in that split-second that you managed to survive the blast.”  Tucker grinned happily at his explanation.  “Dying is what kept you alive.”

“That’s…”

“It’s a total paradox,” Tucker continued happily.  “You’ve got a ghost, which means that you can’t be alive.  Only you’ve never died, so you can’t be dead.  The whole point is that you’re neither dead nor alive.”

I’m imitating my friend when I wrote this.  She’s very science-y and whenever she can talk about something that’s over my head and confusing, she gets this contented-happy-egotistical tone to her voice.  It’s very annoying.

One of my beta’s and my debates is whether or not to even HAVE that explanation in there at all.  It’s not really important at all for the future – so if you don’t get it, no sweat – but it does add in an element of ‘this COULD be real’ to it.  So we finally decided to keep it in and cross our fingers that it makes some sort of sense.


Danny finally just sighed and took a bite of his own lunch.  “You said you knew what I was.”

Tucker glanced at his friend, smiling at the life that sparkled in his expressive eyes.  Danny hadn’t dropped into ‘dead’ mode yet.  He figured that Danny was trying to stay ‘alive’ and actually succeeding.  His friend was starting to get some sort of control.  “There are, historically, three states of life.  There are two that are really well known – alive and dead.  But there is a third one.  It’s completely theoretical, but it’s got to exist.”

“What is it?”

So many people guessed ‘undead’ when I asked a few weeks ago that I just added that one and made you all right.  Partially.

“An ascended form of life; a half-way spot between the world of the living and the dead.  Up until now, the ranks of these ‘ascended’ beings consisted of a spattering of the normal undead, zombies, immortals, demi-gods, faeries, demons, and things like that.  I think that you classify in with them – not dead, not alive, but something else entirely.”  

I think this has interesting connotations.  I’m basically throwing Danny in with everything that’s ever been classified as something that’s specifically not ‘alive’ or ‘dead’.  Things in this category are normally things that don’t age…  Should I keep poor Danny fourteen forever?

“Oh.”  Danny took a small bite of his hamburger steak.  

“As to what you are, like a name, that’s a search for the pointless.  I mean, names for that third state of life vary depending on what culture…”

Suddenly Danny’s eyes shifted.  Tucker shivered, trailing off, transfixed by the unnatural gleam in his best friend’s gaze.  There seemed to be flickers of emerald lights shimmering under the normal blue.  Then Danny blinked, shaking his head and returning to normal.  Shooting Tucker a weary grin, Danny said, “Sam’s coming.”

Tucker raised an eyebrow and glanced around the cafeteria, not bothering to ask who ‘she’ was.  “I don’t see her,” he said, trying to ignore the odd look on Danny’s face.  “How can you tell?”

“Rainbows,” Danny muttered softly.  He shook his head and picked up a slimy carrot, ignoring Tucker’s confused look.  “Rainbows.”

Do you remember??  Do you know what Danny’s talking about?  Meli thinks I should explain, but I think you’re smart enough to figure it out.  I’ve always thought stories that make you work a little bit are much more interesting.  It’s showing rather than telling.  :D

--

Meli complained about my lack of ‘Sam’ oriented parts… so this one’s for her.  It was originally a continuation of the ‘Tucker’ part from above.

Sam grabbed the last salad from the cafeteria, staring down at it in distaste.  She’d forgotten to grab a lunch from home that morning and so she was reduced to school food.  The salad was bound to be at least a week old, full of genetically-enhanced vegetables rather than the organic kind, and the salad had the high probability of having germs on the lettuce.  With a sigh she stuffed the salad back into its slot and walked down the cafeteria line, scoring only a handful of old carrots, a spoonful of mushy peas, and a glob of (probably) radioactive mashed potatoes.

Ah.  Such wonderful school food.  How I don’t miss thee…

As she punched in her number at the checkout, she thought that all-in-all it had been a horrible day so far.  She hadn’t managed to find Danny or Tucker that morning, and she’d been roped into helping that stupid volunteer drive again.  She didn’t really mind helping with things that made sense… but a drive to drum up volunteers when they had nothing for those volunteers to do but find more volunteers?  

“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” she muttered and stalked across the cafeteria towards her normal table.  The two boys were already there, the annoying beret-wearing one staring at her in surprise.  

“Rainbows?” Tucker asked, turning to Danny, “What about rainbows?”

Picking up the conversation where it was left off…

“Tucker Foley,” Sam ground out, ignoring the odd question.  “I haven’t forgiven you for last night.  How dare you say those kind of things…”

“Danny forgave me already,” he said quickly, gesturing towards the black-haired boy playing with his food.  

Sam dropped into the seat next to Danny, steadfastly not looking in Tucker’s direction.  She’d forgive him… eventually.  Until then he could just suffer her cold shoulder.  “How is your day going Danny?”  

A small smile flickered onto Danny’s face.  “Better than yesterday.”  His eyes sparkled when he glanced up at her.  “Still creepy, but better.”

“Excellent.”  Sam drifted into silence, not really knowing what to say.  Emotions were churning inside of her and ever she couldn’t really figure out what they were trying to tell her.  Happiness, fear, frustration, giddiness, elation… Instead, she simply reached over with a free hand and placed it on his arm.  His skin was warm and reassuringly normal under her fingers.  “I’m really glad you’re better.”  

Ah… mushy moment.  MORE ANGST!  MORE ANGST!  Bring it.  You know it’s coming.  *evil grin*

Sam gasped as the temperature of Danny’s skin suddenly dropped.  It wasn’t really cold, but the difference was definite and sent chills up her arm.  Danny’s eyes were forcibly closed, his breathing harsh, his breath fogging softly in the warm air of the cafeteria.  

“Danny?”

Instead of answering, he pulled his arm out of her fingers and buried his face in his hands, digging his fingers into his scalp.  His whole body was tensed, almost shivering.

“Danny?”  Both Sam and Tucker echoed.  Sam carefully touched his shoulder, wondering at the impossible cold that seemed to be emanating off of her best friend.  The actual air temperature was beginning to drop, her own body beginning to react to the cold air around them.

For your information, his ‘ghost sense’ is going off (duh?) – not that it’s important yet.  Random factoid that got deleted due to the fact that it was seriously not important and felt weird sticking in: Vlad’s vultures are setting it off.

Haunted blue eyes opened, his gaze skipping right past them and scanning the cafeteria.  Sam shuddered when a small growl slid out of her friend’s mouth and his eyes narrowed.  When he did that she couldn’t really help the brief burst of fear that zinged through her mind.  Her whole body was screaming at her that Danny was a predator and that she should be running.

Then, inexplicably, his eyes were focused on her.  Green flares were sparkling in his eyes like tiny fireworks as he stared straight into her eyes… no, past her eyes.  It was like he was staring through her and into her very soul.  Her body was moving of its own accord now, her brain no longer having any say over what was happening.  She drew away from the intense power of his stare, barely catching her balance as she toppled out of her chair to stay away from him.  

I feel like I’m repeating myself with how scary Danny is when his ‘ghostiness’ is focused on a human… but Meli says it’s okay.  Thoughts?  Do you agree with her or is it feeling a little repetitive?

“Danny,” she whispered, her voice raspy with fear.  “Danny, stop.”

He didn’t.  His feet scraped across the floor of the cafeteria as he got up and took a few steps towards her.  Sam scuttled backwards, glancing around the room.  Students were shivering and drawing closer to each other, staring around the cafeteria with varying degrees of fear on their faces.  Nobody seemed to be looking at them… yet.

Love the oblivious.  Have you figured out why he’s going after Sam yet?

Her attention was suddenly jerked back to the boy that was crouched over her, balanced perfectly on his toes, a distant smile on his face and an impossibly dead gleam in his eyes.  “Danny, stop,” she tried again, gasping when he leaned a little bit closer and a wave of supernaturally cold air dropped onto her.  “Danny…”  

When he reached out his hand, her entire body tensed.  Her mind shrieked that he was going for her soul, her spirit, her life… and she reacted on instinct.  A hand came up to slap his hand out of the way.  It went straight through his hand.  Panic welled up inside of her.

Two warm hands clasped around her shoulders and jerked her backwards.  She had just enough time to register Tucker’s beret and glasses before she was tugged forcibly away from Danny and nearly propelled out of the cafeteria.  

Tucker, the hero.  I will not forget thee in this story of mine.

“Did… did… did you see that?” she stuttered as the doors slammed behind them.  “My hand went right through his.”

“Yes,” Tucker said grimly.  “I told you he was dangerous.”

“He… he… he was…”  Sam shook her head, trying to get a thought to work in her head other than my hand went right through his.

“I think it’s you.”  Tucker pushed her into a stairwell and sat her down.  He crouched in front of her, glancing over his shoulder at the cafeteria.  “I think it’s got something to do with you.”

“Me?”

Tucker nodded, his eyes glittering fearfully in the harsh lights.  “He didn’t go after anyone else… just you.  He had an entire cafeteria full of people and after you fell out of your chair, you weren’t even the closest person.  He was going after you specifically.”

Tucker’s putting pieces together.  He knows that Danny’s going after Sam… he just doesn’t know why yet.  Do you???  Do you?

Sam licked her lips.  “Are you saying this is my fault?”  She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself, closing her eyes.

“No.  I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s not your fault.”  

Sam felt warm fingers touch her chin and she opened her eyes.  Concern was sparkling in Tucker’s eyes.  “You okay?” he asked.

She nodded.  “I’ll be fine.”

“I’m going to find out how Danny’s doing, okay?  I’ll be right back.  Stay here.”  Tucker pushed himself to his feet and vanished down the hallway.

Sam, after sitting still for a moment, followed.  “He’s my friend too,” she rationalized softly as she walked slowly past the rows of lockers, “and Tucker can’t tell me what to do.”

Of course she follows.  Bad karma to sit still, right?

--

Tucker stumbled back into the cafeteria, his eyes already scanning the crowds of teenagers.  It was Sam, he knew deep down inside, Danny had been reacting to Sam.  Getting Danny and Sam separated had been the only thing he could think of to stop whatever was going on.  He wasn’t sure at all why or how or even what, but he knew that Sam was causing it.  Sam, and something to do with rainbows.

Around him, the students were still acting like they had just seen a horrifying movie, but their reactions were dying away.  Danny was nowhere to be seen and, based off the other students, probably wasn’t around anymore.  “Damn it,” Tucker hissed.  

He needed to find Danny.  He needed answers.  He needed to talk to… someone.  He had too many theories and not enough data.

Can you guess who he’s going to talk to?  It’s not Sam…

A breath of cold air trickled down the collar of his shirt and Tucker shivered, instinctively drawing away from something he couldn’t see – something invisible.  For a second he just stood there, feeling the paranormal frigidness drain away, his brain throwing facts together like a terrifying train crash.

Paranormal.  Invisible.  Cold.  Leaving the cafeteria.  Reacting to Sam.  Going after…

“Sam.”  He twirled and raced back out of the cafeteria.

Short section, but it gets the thought across.

--

Sam was just about to round the corner to head to the cafeteria when Danny shimmered into view in front of her.  “Danny!” she hissed in surprised, jumping backwards.  Dark shadows were sneaking up around them, darkening the planes of his face into something unnatural and demonic.  His normally blue eyes were nearly lost to the green sparkles.

And the drama builds.  He’s after her… he’s after her…

His feet slid forwards, his head tipping to the side as he stared straight through her.  A few more steps and she backed away, her back slamming painfully into a bank of lockers.  “Danny,” she breathed, “I’m not afraid of you.  I’m not afraid.  You just need to back away from me a little.  Just a few steps.  Then we’ll be good, okay Danny?  Please?”  Her monotone rambling was doing absolutely nothing.  That powerful feeling of helpless fear was welling up in her and Danny didn’t seem to even hear her.

Then Tucker was there.  He slid between them, his feet catching on the broken tiles and stumbling ungracefully to a stop.  “Danny,” he said with a catch in his voice.  Tucker backed up until he was pressed against Sam.  “Danny, stay away from her.”

Danny hesitated, a confused look on his face.  “Where?” he echoing voice wondered, “where are you hiding the rainbows?”  His haunted eyes searched the hallway before he focused on them with a pained note in his creepy voice.

Tucker’s ‘aura’ is mixing with Sam’s because they are so close, effectively masking Sam’s… for a few seconds.

“Rainbows?” Tucker asked, swallowing heavily.  His fingers scrambled through his pockets searching for something he could use to keep Danny away from them.  “Danny, what rainbows?  Danny you need to stop.  We can’t be friends if you can’t stop.”  

Sam could feel Tucker shivering as that supernatural fear swept through them.  “He’ll s-still be our friend,” she whispered, “he’s n-not d-doing it on purpose.”

Tucker shot her a wide-eyed look of panic.  He held up the only thing he had found – his graphing calculator – like a knife and stared at his friend.  “Danny…”  

Picture: the geek, protecting the princess with naught but a graphing calculator from the demonically possessed teenager… I sketched it.  I should upload it.

When Danny took another step forwards, his eyes focused straight through Tucker to Sam, Tucker swiped at him with the calculator.  Unsurprisingly, the calculator traveled through the boy’s arm just like Sam’s hand did earlier.  

Without any other ideas, nearly frantic with the instinctive panic that was swamping both of them as Danny’s presence focused more and more on them, Tucker tried again.  This time, though, his calculator beeped when his finger touched a small button.

Danny recoiled instantly, the green lights vanishing from his eyes.  He whimpered, rubbing his arm.

Tucker fumbled with his calculator for a second, his finger finding the same yellow button again.  He pressed it, and Danny backed away even farther when the annoying beep sounded.

It’s not the ‘beep’ – which I’ll explain later in the actual story.  Tucker’s pushing the ‘send’ button, which lets his calculator link up to computers through infrared ports to upload and download programs.  It’s actually the infrared energy that Danny’s reacting to.  As to why… I can’t really tell you.  But I will tell you that infrared energy and microwave energy are right next to each other on the electromagnetic spectrum…  I’ll entertain guesses, but I won’t tell you if you’re right or not.

“Tucker?” Danny whispered, blinking furiously and scooting backwards until his back hit the lockers on the other side of the hallway.  “Sam?”

“Danny, what’s going on?” Tucker asked.  

“Rainbows,” Danny rasped softly, sliding down to the ground, his eyes starting to sparkle with life.  “I couldn’t get away from the rainbows.”

“What does that mean?”  Sam pushed out from behind Tucker but stayed carefully on her side of the hallway.

“You feel like rainbows and I can’t stop…” Danny breathed as the bell rang and the hallway flooded with people oblivious to the plight of the three friends against the lockers.

He really should explain, shouldn’t he?

--

By the time the initial rush of students had passed, Danny had propelled himself through the front doors, down the steps, and off of the school grounds.  He was skipping school and he didn’t care at all.  He needed time to think… he needed time to figure out what had just happened.

Skipping school for us was never hard.  The secretary would wave at us on the way out the door and not try to stop you.  Just beware what happened when you go back…

“Damn it!” he screamed, punching a tree and yelping at the pain that speared up his arm.  “Damn it.”  He rubbed his bruised knuckles as he stalked down the sidewalk away from school.

He’d been doing so good too.  He’d managed to hold off that ‘dead’ feeling until lunch.  And then there had been that really weird feeling…  After that everything had just spiraled completely out of control.  He hadn’t been able to break out of it, and Sam had been so close, and those strange ripples in the air where just getting worse and worse… and better and better…

Addicted. ;)  It’s horrible… but you can’t stop… it’s horribly wonderful…

How much longer before he couldn’t be around Sam at all?  And then there had been whatever Tucker had done with his calculator.  That had hurt.  It had been like getting zapped with a large static shock.

“I can’t handle this,” he muttered, sinking into a noon shadow behind a garbage bin.  “I don’t want to do this anymore.  I want it all to go away.”  He took a deep breath, burying his hands in his arms.  “I wish I was just normal again.”

He stayed in his dark shadow, curled up and struggling to get his mind wrapped around what had just happened, silently watching the shadows grow as minutes – and then hours – slipped past.  Two days.  Two freaking hellish days and he was already losing his mind.  “Why did this happen to me?” he whispered into the air.  “Why won’t it stop?”  

Out of the corner of his eye, something flickered in the afternoon sun.  He flinched, twisting around to stare into the shadows.  The tiny ghost vanished the second he tried to look straight at it.  Insubstantial and thoughtless as the wind itself, the translucent ghost scampered and twirled around the edge of his vision.

I like that line.  ‘Insubstantial and thoughtless as the wind...’  :D

Danny watched the tiny spirit play as he sighed and leaned back against the dingy wall.  “I hate this.”  He stared up into the sliver of sky visible between the two buildings, the small ghost the only thing that could hear his whispered confession.  “I scared my two best friends.”  He shivered for a second, pain flickering into his eyes.  “I… I… chased Sam.  I was hunting her.”  His voice was barely audible as he said that.  

“Why?”  He turned his head, groaning when his companion disappeared from his sight again.  “Why did I chase her?”  He thumped his head back against the wall.  “Why couldn’t I stop?  I knew what I was doing that entire freaking time.  And I couldn’t stop myself.”

“I’m no better than you,” he muttered when the ghost came to a stop and hovered, green eyes glowing dimly at it gazed at him.  “You feed off of humans – that’s just what you do.”  

Here it comes… feel the revelation…

There was no stopping the thought that came next.  It hurt.  It stabbed into his heart with a ferocity that brought tears of pain to his eyes.  “So do I.  I feed off of humans too.”  A tear trickled down his cheek and he closed his eyes.  “I fed off of Sam.  Maybe that’s why…”

CANNIBAL!  *stops*  Darn.  Don’t tell anyone I gave you a hint about the oneshot I’m uploading for ChaosDragon’s birthday on the 12th.

He was suddenly jerked to his feet and out of his thoughts by the two large and powerful arms holding him off the ground.  His eyes flew open in surprise.  “Dash…”  

I feel the transition is a little too abrupt, but I don’t want to drag it out.

“I missed you after school, freak.  It took a while to find you,” the football star leered, his crooked smile growing when he noticed the trails of the tears left on Danny’s face.  “You been crying?  You scared, loser?”  He laughed, dropping Danny to the ground.  “You see that guys?  Danielle has been crying!”

“Leave me alone,” Danny said, struggling to his feet and searching for a way out of this.  He cursed when he finally saw that Dash’s ‘friends’ were artfully blocking every exit.  I know better than to be alone after school… it’s this stupid ghost stuff.  It’s going to get me killed – if it hasn’t already.  “What do you want?”

“I had a bad day today,” Dash answered calmly, cracking his knuckles.  “That idiot Lancer almost gave me detention and I failed an English test.  I need to take some of my aggression out on someone.”

“Can’t you find someone else?”  

“It’s your turn, Fent-wuss.”  The large jock curled his fingers into a fist and gazed down at Danny with a smile.  “Now, you remember the rules, don’t cha?  You go running for help or tell someone what happened, I bring this to a new level.”  Dash’s grin grew almost manic.  “Your girlfriend needs to stay safe, right?”

Yeah, I’m making Dash evil – but not necessarily smarter.  He attacks people when they’re alone and knows to hold things over their heads to keep secrets… but he still fails school.  In this story, Dash and Danny will never be friends.  Live with that now.

Danny closed his eyes, turning his head away from the larger teenager, silently berating himself for getting into this until the first punch landed.  Biting back a scream of pain as his thoughts scattered, he clutched his nose and felt the blood start to gush onto his hands.  A well-placed kick to his stomach robbed him of the ability to breathe and he collapsed to the ground.  

Opening his watering eyes, Danny coughed and tried to get his lungs to start working again.  Dash Baxter was standing over him with a grin.  “Serves you right, freak, for being such a loser.”  A few of his friends laughed.  “See you around.”

Danny wiped his arm under his bleeding nose and watched them walk out of the alley.  They were gone almost as quickly as they had come.  No witnesses… no crime.  “What, no parting insult?” he rasped darkly as soon as his body managed to get some air.  Rich, red blood trickled down his shirt as he got to his knees and waited for his nose to stop bleeding.  “Stupid bullies… stupid gangs…”  

The tiny ghost danced a little at the edges of his watery vision, its eyes glowing much more brightly than before.  “I bet you liked that,” he muttered sourly.  “Bloodthirsty, stupid ghosts.”

When his nose finally decided to stop imitating a faucet, he carefully felt his nose, wincing at the pain, and got to his feet.  His head spun for a second and he closed his eyes, waiting for the world to settle back down.  Almost automatically, his feet set him on the path towards Sam’s house.  She always cleaned him up after one of these ‘accidents’.

Sam knows about the cause of the ‘accidents’… but never says anything because Danny hasn’t ever ‘told’ her why he shows up randomly bleeding and bruised.  *random*

But he stumbled to a stop, still hidden in the shadows.  “I can’t go see her.”  His shoulders sagged and he felt a small piece of him crumble away.  “I’ll just try to… feed off of her again.”  He licked his lips, trying to figure out where to go.  “Sam and Tucker both probably hate me.”  He shivered, wrapping his arms around himself and ignoring his blood-soaked T-shirt.  

Home.  Home suddenly sounded like an excellent idea.  He’d been so against telling his family… but now he just didn’t know what to do.  He was scared, confused, and alone.  “Go home and tell Mom and Dad everything.  They can fix it.”

One bloody, bedraggled, and tired teenager dragged himself out of the alley and down the street towards his house.  The simple thought of getting rid of everything almost brought a smile to his face.

His parents would fix this and he’d be back to normal.

You think he will?  Will he really tell them?  I give him credit for making it two days completely freaked out and boggled.  Danny was getting a little more confident in the fact that he was some sort of ‘part-ghost-thing’, but I needed him to break again.  He had a horrible day and his confidence is in the toilet… and then add in a beating by Dash and you have the recipe for a kid that would run home to Mommy to get everything fixed.

Or so he thinks.  I’m not really that nice.

One last thought – this story is not going to remain ‘canon’ for very long.  I’m not going to even try following the plot line of the story… but I will try to remain true to the ‘facts’ of the story, just not necessary the plot.  Make sense?  Excellent.


--

Hovering over the alley just far enough away so that the distracted kid wouldn’t sense it, a bald and rotting vulture casually flapped its wings.  It had finally located the boy during lunch and had gotten a little too close.  The boy was more sensitive to ghosts than it had been expecting.  He had realized the vulture was there and it had been forced to retreat.

It ground its beak together and swirled in a few more lazy circles in the blazing sky, uncaring about the miniature drama unfolding in the alley.  But when the boy stood up to head to his next location, the spectral vulture quietly followed.

This section moved from the END of the original chapter (which this is not) to here… and changed (obviously) to make it a little more fun.  Vladdie’s closing in on the boy…

--In real life, the world doesn’t always make sense.
Here you go. Read and review, as always! Clean version on fanfiction!
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:iconkdm13:
kdm13 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes I do comprehend your explaination on Danny's condition *feels like using semi-complex vocabulary*

It's your story, if you want Danny to be forever 14 (in physical appearence) you can

I feel lucky... I get sauceless cheese Pizza Hut pizza at my school...*sarcasm*

Oh gosh, I just thought of something that doesn't matter, if I was a ghost in this story, I'd be going after Tucker, so who'd protect Sam then? (see, pointless)

Ah, so that's the button he pressed, I understand a bit better now

Ah addiction, you know it's getting to be a problem but you still can't stop...
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
:hug: I understand addiction. I'm addicted to reviews and comments like nothing else.

hehe... you'd be going after Tucker? :glomp: Fun!!

-Cori
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:iconkdm13:
kdm13 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
I thought I told you this before... when you first mentioned what Tucker... smelled like or whatever term you wish to use
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:iconhands-and-teeth:
Hands-and-Teeth Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007  Professional General Artist
Ok, I finished reading now, and that was just sooo much fun to read.
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
:D YAY!

-Cori
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:iconkaliphantom:
KaliPhantom Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
Right. Questions to answering… :plotting:

Tucker's whole explanation of the "undead" thing and the reasoning behind was well-done, for exposition. It felt like him and was completely in-character, and broken up enough it didn't get tiresome (see: Tolkien for how not to do it ;)). I was able to follow it, so I think you're good.

Keeping Danny fourteen forever? Huh. That would crank up the angst and emo wouldn't it? :D Of course, you'd have to explain Vlad aging, if he actually does…

I don't think you need to explain the rainbows thing again. You already have, and even if the reader's forgotten, they should be able to put the pieces together.

At some point, repeating the creepiness of Ghostly!Danny with a lot of detail will get boring. Here, not so much, because it's been a while since we last saw it, it's from a more focused POV, and it starts up the angst in the chapter. For the sake of the angst, at the very least, you needed it there. We need to know why everyone's so upset.

I'm going to guess Tucker's thinking of the Fentons, who may prove useful to him since he can filter out the crazy, but who won't be all that helpful to Danny, if he does get around to bringing up the topic.

Love Tucker's defense scene. Absolutely love it. :love: Especially the calculator-gun part. Very cool.

The transition to Dash was fine. It's abrupt for Danny, and we're in his head right then, so it should be abrupt for us.

Huh, just realized… if Danny can see ghosts, will he be able to see other undead? I'm not thinking Vlad, but things like gods and fairies. Just pure interest, of course. I'm not suggesting you write Danny vs. Titania or anything. :paranoid: Or are their "frequencies" too different?

Anyway, whenever you get around to putting Boxy's bit up, I eagerly await. :)

~Kali
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
:glomp: I'm always concerned when I try to do a long 'explain something'. I'm glad it got through without being confusing. ;)

The Danny-14 thing is really kind of meaningless right now. THIS story won't last long enough for the topic to come up. But... if I get it done and there's a sequel...

Good! I don't want to explain the rainbows again. :hug: And the Danny-creepy part too. If it ever gets repetitive/boring, scream. I trust that you will. :D

Nope. Tucker ain't running to the Fentons. Nice guess though!

The Tucker-defense scene was added as a last-minute thing. Originally, Danny was going to 'shake it off' on his own and run away. I like this better. It adds something and throws in the electromagnetic thing again.

Can he see other undead? *mind boggles* Ooooh... now you did it. Now THAT'S going to be going around in my head ALL NIGHT.

I blame your for any spin-offs where Danny meets Titania, Maeve, or who-have-you. That'd be fun. Danny meets the Faerie queen...

NO! GET OUT! *snarl* Darn you.

I'll get it up as soon as I can. Three jobs is not conducive to writing or posting thing. ;)

-Cori
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:iconkaliphantom:
KaliPhantom Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
You got through it just fine. :hug:

Yeah, I was reading through the other comments and saw that. I think I'm personally more with the factions that say slower aging or just no aging for his ghost half. Immortal!Danny feels weird to me, somehow, always has. :shrug:

I won't scream. I'll just casually mention it. ;) But you'll know, don't worry.

Not the Fentons, not Valerie… my only other guess would be Vlad, but I can't see how Tucker would know about him. Man, you'll have to update soon so I can find out! :excited: Oh, he could be going to the GiW…

Sorry! :blushes: My plot bunnies spring up unbidden sometimes. I don't even realize I've set them on people. So sorry! :hug: Feel free to blame me, though. I don't mind.

~Kali
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
:giggle: Nope. Not the Fentons, not Valerie, not Vlad... not the GiW...

This is so much fun!! Nobody has guessed yet. ;) And I think it's obvious. :D

AND YAY FOR PLOT BUNNIES!!!

-Cori
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:iconkaliphantom:
KaliPhantom Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
It'll be obvious in hindsight, I'm sure. ;p

~Kali
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