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I’ll concentrate on finishing this story now that Pits is done, so I hope you’re ready for a ride.  My new year’s resolution was to attempt to plot out one story this year and this is the one I chose to do… so be ready for a very convoluted plot with tons of little small plots hidden inside.  It’ll be fun!  I’m working on the plot right now; if you’ve got any ideas for things you’d like to see, make sure you mention them now or forever hold your pieces.

This chapter contains a built-in summary of everything that’s happened thus-far since it’s been so long since I last updated, so if you don’t remember the story, just start reading and you’ll be okay.  Kinda filler-ish since I wanted to include the summary, but it works, I suppose.

Tons of kudos to Aryashi for helping me out with parts of this and especially to Born-Imperfect for betaing the chapter and running through it with a fine-toothed comb.  So many helpful comments!

Third time writing the same chapter has to be the charm… right?



Real Life
A Danny Phantom FanFiction by Cordria

Author’s Notes Version
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Chapter 9

In Which Sometimes Pieces Just Fall into Place
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This was originally going to start with Sam’s part, but Danny’s part NEVER flowed right.  Putting it up here seemed to help.

Danny huddled in the green nothingness of the human forest around him.  Glowing eyes traced over the blurry trees and emerald lumps, despair etching itself deep in his heart.  Small ghosts, the local inhabitants of this section of the human world, were crystal-sharp as they poked their heads out of their holes and slipped past him.

That thing – the man who had somehow set all of Danny’s nerves on fire, who whispered words that echoed in his mind, who effortlessly shattered all of his defenses – was nowhere to be seen.  But those torturous words still reverberated through the ghostly hollow.  ‘They’ll never accept you…’

That’s not what Vlad ever said.  Don’t tell anyone.  *shh*

He wanted to turn everything off for a few minutes, make the world stop turning for a second, stop time itself just long enough to figure out what was going on and what he wanted to have happen next… but he couldn’t.  Images of his friends’ terrified faces flashed unstoppably through his mind; the sticky-sweet scent of their fear racing through his memories.  He could see his family, his friends, everyone screaming and running and leaving him alone.  In his mind he could see it just like it was actually happening – everyone rejecting him because he was some sort of freak.

“Stop,” he whispered painfully, closing his eyes and drifting a little closer to the ‘ground’.  The pictures in his mind didn’t stop however.  Instead, the sound of his own echoing voice, dripping with supernatural power, made his stomach lurch.  “I don’t want this.”

‘…take it from someone who knows.’

“I don’t want to be like this!”  The tainted, slimy waves of power from that thing, Plasmius, curled around him in a half-remembered daze, causing Danny’s eyes to flicker open.  Plasmius had offered him a way out, a solution – one that Danny was all too willing to take.

But the man wasn’t there.

Yes, I know Danny doesn’t know about the existence of other halfas in the actual show, but I’ve got this plot point going…  So go with it.

A sudden swirl of a ghostly breeze made his hair shift in front of his eyes and brought the faint scent of apples and circuit boards, both tinged with excitement, to his nose.  Danny’s head swiveled towards the entrancing smell, his ghost side instantly interested in his parents’ powerful emotions.  His tongue flicked out and licked his lips, his body slowly untangling and starting to drift towards his meal.

Danny jerked backwards, his eyes wide and startled as he realized what he was doing.  “Those are my parents,” he snarled hopelessly, trying frantically to ignore the strange, hungry feeling growing inside of him.  “I’m not going to…”

He trailed off, unable to complete the thought that he was feeding off of his parents.  Twirling, he raced in the other direction, desperate to escape the cloying, addicting scents of his human parents.  He barreled through the blurry sky, pushing himself faster and faster, unaware when he switched from running from his parents to running from his own thoughts.

‘They’ll never accept you, boy.’

Uncaring about his destination, he swirled through the ghostly sky, dodging the dead remnants of the local birds.  What kind of a monster am I? he thought, unaware that tears were growing in his eyes.  How can I make it stop?

The only thing he knew was that he couldn’t handle it alone anymore; he couldn’t keep pushing everyone away or he was going to go insane.  Only, he didn’t know who to talk to.  His parents didn’t believe him when he’d told them he was a ghost.  His friends were just teenagers – and already scared of him.  If he told them everything, they’d run away.

His thoughts chased themselves in pointless circles.  Then, far from any living soul and too far away to feel the pulsing auras of the humans of Amity Park, he smelled it.

Rainbows…

Every thought in his mind crashed to a stop and his direction changed instantly.  The scent of his parents held nothing over this smell – one that he was hopelessly, helplessly addicted to.  

Minutes later, one word finally trickled into his mind.

Mine.

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Original start to the chapter… rewritten at least four times.

Sam was taking a nap.  Normally she wouldn’t – waking up late usually gave her enough energy to make it through the day – but she’d felt strangely exhausted all day.  For hours she’d tried to figure out why she was so tired, but had recently given it up as a lost cause and had simply collapsed on her bed to take a nap.

She hadn’t done anything to tire herself out; it was Saturday and, since Danny was grounded, she’d spent the whole day at home watching old movies and avoiding her parents like they had the plague.  Her mind hadn’t really been focused on the movies; it had swirled around in circles over everything that had happened the past week instead.  The fact that her thoughts had twirled in endless loops was very tiring.

Her nap wasn’t very refreshing, however.

“So it’ll never work… but you definitely have to go in so I can get a picture for my scrapbook.”   

“Me?” Danny asked incredulously.

“It’s your basement.”  


Sam curled up around her pillow, her forehead wrinkled in her sleep as that fateful afternoon raced through her head over and over again.  Every thought, action, and emotion was crystal-clear.  

Each time the dream played itself out, Sam knew the outcome.  She dreaded it, tossing and turning in her bed, her stomach painful as the nightmare moved irresistibly forwards.  There was no way to change what had happened.  There was no way to ‘fix’ her mistake.

She hesitated at Danny’s quick grin, feeling her stomach give an odd little lurch, then raised her camera to take a picture of him inside the portal.   “Yeah, and it’ll be all over the school by the end of the week,” she heard Tucker say.  Just as her finger clicked down on the shutter, Danny lunged for their friend and everything went a startling emerald.

She whimpered aloud and her fingers curled into fists, her heart starting to beat a little faster at what was about to happen.  Danny was going to die – die because of her, die because she had asked him to stand in that portal – and she had to watch it over and over again in her dreams.  Only… the nightmares never followed reality after the bright flash of green light.

The ‘tortured Sam’ elements will not be going away.  :)

Her dreams twisted agonizingly, tearing into her, pushing every one of her buttons and dancing with her worst fears.  Danny – nothing more than a monster – chasing her, feeding off of her, trying to avenge his death…

The creature looked up at her, green eyes shimmering with barely contained energy.  Pain, anguish, and terror swirled through her and grabbed at her heart as the creature’s eyes narrowed.  “You killed me,” it whispered, its voice echoing with the screams of the dead.  “Sam… why?”

“I didn’t…”

“It was your idea.  Why?!”  

“I didn’t!”

“Sam?”

The monster reached out to grab her, those strange not-quite-real fingers wrapping feather-soft around her arm, those oh-so-familiar green eyes full of pain and death.  


Sam screamed at the touch and lurched out of her disturbed sleep, her eyes flying open and her heart slamming in her chest.  She couldn’t help a gasp of surprise when two very real emerald eyes were gazing down at her.  Scrambling away from the ghost that was hovering over her bed, her back hit the headboard before she realized who her invader was.  “Danny!” she hissed, trying to force her heart into a normal pace.  

Her friend’s eyes were dilated, his vacant stare fixed on hers.  Sam spent a moment to convince herself that yes, Danny was a ghost but no, he wasn’t dead and no, he wasn’t there to kill her.  Her breath was still rasping loudly in her throat when she noticed that Danny hadn’t said anything.  All he was doing was staring at her.  “Danny?”  Her racing heart slowed its pounding in her ears as she leaned forwards to wave a hand in front of her friend’s blank face.  “Hello?”

Danny’s form suddenly blurred and he vanished, reappearing a heartbeat later on the other side of her room.  He had his impossible eyes closed and was shaking his head as if to clear it.  “Sam.”

She blinked at the fear and desperate longing in Danny’s voice that was managing to shine through in just that one word.  “What…?”  She wanted to ask what he thought he was doing, why he’d been in her room and staring at her, why he was feeding off of her – but the pure terror and confusion in Danny’s voice made her change her question.  “What’s wrong?”

Emerald eyes flickered open, his gaze trained down at his transparent hands.  “I… wanted to talk to you,” he said softly, his words barely audible in his echoing voice.  As he played with the edges of his black sleeves, Sam noticed that Danny was almost shaking, his body slowly drifting more transparent as he spoke.  “I thought… I’m sorry I woke you up.”

“It’s okay,” she said, allowing him a small smile to show that she meant it.  Her eyes flickered over towards the clock.  “I needed to wake up anyways.”  She stretched her arms over her head and wiped the last bit of sleep out of her eyes, trying to ignore the goose bumps that were racing up her arms at Danny’s presence.  He wasn’t there to kill her and she knew that – but she still couldn’t shake the chill feeling in her stomach.  “What’s up?”

He shrugged, floating a little higher in the air and biting his lip, not looking up at her.  “It’s kind of stupid.  I’ll just go.  Sorry.”  

“I want to hear what it is.”  Standing up on her bed, Sam took a few unsteady steps forwards so that she was at eye-level with her best friend and only a few feet away.  When he suddenly glanced up at her, she glared straight into his eyes, wondering briefly why his eyes didn’t seem to focus on her correctly.  “You’re here, you woke me up, now speak, boy.”

There was total silence for a moment as Danny stared through her, then he blinked and instantly backpedaled in the air.  When he was on the other side of the room from her again, he crossed his arms uncertainly over his chest and looked away from her.  “You’re not…”   

“Not what?”  Sam put her hand on her hips, starting to get frustrated at Danny’s lack of words.  She had no idea what was going on and if Danny thought he was going to be able hang around like this without telling her, he was going to be sorely mistaken.

“…Afraid of me,” Danny finished, his tone so soft that it was almost unintelligible under the echoes and strange undercurrents that laced his voice.

Sam arched an eyebrow.  She was still slightly afraid of him, but she felt no desire to inform him of that fact.  The mere fact that he was a ghost was making all the hairs on her neck stand on end.  However, since it was largely her fault this had happened to him, she couldn’t toss him away like yesterday’s trash.  “Why would I be afraid of you?  You’re…”

“Sammy?”

Glancing at her door, Sam snarled softly, trying to decide if her parents were around merely to interrupt conversations when she was about to get someone to say something important.  “Stupid parents and their stupid timing,” she whispered darkly.

Her mother’s voice rose again.  “If you’re up, come help me pick out a dress for the convention tonight.  I’m not sure about this purple one.”

Oooh… convention.  That’ll be fun.

Sam rolled her eyes, twisting back around to face her almost-transparent best friend.  “Nasty Burger, fifteen minutes,” she ordered as Danny disappeared.  She sighed and grabbed her cell phone, spending a moment to send a text message to Tucker before heading off to meet her doom with her mother.

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This part went through so many revisions since the first time through that I have no idea how it originally went anymore.

Danny shivered as he faded from view, keeping his eyes on the distant wisps of Sam’s aura.  His arms were tight across his chest, his fingers digging painfully into his arms as he tried to deny what his ghost side was pushing him to do.  It wanted nothing more than to follow the Goth girl, feed off of her, steal the energy she needed to live…

“No,” he snarled, holding perfectly still, his eyes shut as he desperately grappled with his ghost side.  He could feel himself slipping… losing his grasp on his human side.  The rainbows dancing in Sam’s aura were pulling at him too strongly for him to resist.  The only reason he’d managed to pull out of that ghost-like daze earlier was because Sam’s emotions had switched so quickly when she’d woken up.  It had been like a supernatural slap in his face, startling him enough to get a handhold on his human mind and have a short conversation with the girl.

But now he was losing it again, the world glazing over, and there wouldn’t be any way out of it.  He fought against the drowning feeling as his ghost side rose up irrepressibly, struggled and clawed to keep his human side dominant, but it was like trying to bail out a sinking ocean liner with a hand-held bucket.  “I’m not some mindless ghost,” he hissed to himself even has he felt his body start to move and follow Sam through her house.

He balked and his body stopped just for a moment, desperate for a solution.  He didn’t want to hurt Sam again.  He just needed to turn human – but he had no idea how do that.  Shutting his eyes tightly, his whole body trembling with the desire to chase after Sam, he awkwardly reached into his mind for the warm, heavy feeling of being human.  He wrapped it around his mind and, to his surprise and delight, the impossible-to-resist tingle of Sam’s aura faded slightly.

This part courtesy of Born-Imperfect pointing out a few very good points.

Danny was instantly focused on the odd, heavy feeling, pushing all thoughts of ghosts and floating and auras and rainbows out of his head.  Come on… His fingers and toes tingled and, slowly but surely, Sam’s aura faded away and Danny started to regain control.

He suddenly dropped to the floor, a hard breath slamming into his lungs, his heart painfully beginning to throb in his chest.  For a few seconds he stayed crouched on the floor, trying to absorb what had just happened.  A very human hand – still cold, but regaining its human warmth – crept up to brush his black hair out of his face.  “What the…” he trailed off and straightened up, looking around Sam’s bedroom.

Gazing down at his human hands and checking himself in Sam’s mirror, he quickly reassured himself that he was back to normal.  Or, he thought dismally, as normal as I can get.  “I hate this,” he whispered, stuffing his hands into his pockets.  

The thought of Plasmius and his offer of help quietly drifted through Danny’s mind, causing the boy to sigh.  I want to be normal again.

Will Danny ever take his offer?  Will I keep this going as per the story?  :D  I KNOW because I have a PLOT now!

“Bye Mom!” Sam suddenly shouted from deep inside the house.  Danny’s head jerked up, his eyes widening as he realized where he was.  There was no way he wanted to be caught in Sam’s room by her parents.

“But Samantha,” Pamela called as Danny turned and headed for Sam’s window, quickly prying it open and edging out onto the tree limb Sam often used to escape her parents, “I’m still not sure about this dress.  Mr. Masters will be there and I want to look my best!”

Oooh…

There was no response from Sam as Danny dropped heavily to the ground.  With one last glance up at the room he had entered as a ghost and left as a human, Danny shook his head and hurried to catch up with his friend.
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Okay, to be honest, THIS was the original-original start of the chapter a year ago when I started writing this thing.

“Aren’t you grounded?” Tucker asked for the fourth time as he pulled a few of the fries out of his extra-large order and popped them into his mouth.  He’d been having a wonderful afternoon playing Doomed – and winning for once – when he’d gotten Sam’s message.  He didn’t really mind coming to the Nasty Burger and he wanted to talk to his odd best friend anyways, so it hadn’t taken much convincing on Sam’s part to get him to log out of the game.  

His friend was acting weirder and stranger every time Tucker bumped in to him.  Today, Danny was flinching whenever Sam came within a few feet of him, he was a lot quieter than normal, and he hadn’t looked at anything but the floor yet.  At least, Tucker thought, he’s not hunting anyone or doing anything paranormal yet.

Actually, Danny was acting more human than he had in a while.  Danny’s eyes hadn’t slipped into that ‘dead’ mode since they’d met up to order food and Danny wasn’t giving off that aura that caused any sane creature to run away from him.  But, human or otherwise, the other boy was still acting very weird.

Tucker quietly chewed on a fry, watching with an arched eyebrow as Danny shuddered and slipped to the very edge of his bench.  When he finally came to the conclusion that his original question wasn’t going to get an answer, he decided to ignore it and opened his mouth to ask what this impromptu meeting was about.

“What’s up, Danny?” Sam asked, beating Tucker to the punch and stealing one of his fries.  Tucker flicked an annoyed look in her direction before settling in to watch Danny answer the question.

Danny glanced at her, his blue eyes a little wild, before dropping his gaze back to the table.  “I… I just… wanted…”

Sam reached across the table and grabbed Danny’s hand.  “Danny…”

lmao… Originally I had Sam HUGGING Danny about this point.

Danny instantly wrenched his fingers out of her grip, pulling his arms tight against his chest.  “I don’t…”  Blinking in surprise, Tucker watched as Danny started to shiver, closing his eyes and hunching his shoulders like he was trying to curl into a small ball.  “Leave me alone,” Danny whispered, desperation in his voice.

“I thought you wanted…,” Sam said, confused.

“No, not you.”  Danny’s eyes opened, the normal blue sparkling with emerald fireflies.  He gave a half-hearted, frustrated chuckle and said, “The ghost that’s following you around.”

Sam flinched, her eyes wide as she scanned the small fast food restaurant, but Tucker wasn’t paying any attention to her.  Instead he was watching Danny closely, fascinated by the emotions playing on his friend’s face.  Fear and worry were being replaced by something that looked like fury, the life draining from Danny’s eyes and turning them a dead shade of blue.  “What does the ghost look like?” Tucker asked softly, his heart starting to beat faster as the sharp aura of a predator flickered into existence around Danny.

The only response Tucker got from the ghost-boy sitting at the table was a growl.  Tucker couldn’t help the flinch, but his mind quickly shelved the thought that Danny was angry with him.  The fact that Danny’s gaze was locked onto the empty space in the aisle seemed to indicate that Danny was growling at something over there – the ghost, Tucker assumed.  

Tucker blinked in surprise when he suddenly realized that Danny was acting just like the neighbor’s dog.  Territorial, furious at anything that came near what she considered to be hers, and unable to ignore any other dogs that came within a hundred feet of her.  Danny…?  Tucker stared at his best friend in shock as a few pieces suddenly fell into place, coaxed there by things Danny had said earlier and Tucker’s own thoughts.

He can’t help it.  When there’s something his ghost side reacts to, he’s helpless to fight it.  Tucker’s gaze dropped to the table, his mind whirring, as Danny’s low growl stopped and the oppressively haunting feeling ebbed away.  He’s trying, but there’s just nothing he can do.  I can’t imagine being that out of control and how it would feel.  I just... SAM!

He jerked his gaze back up as a thought sliced through his mind.  Danny reacts to Sam… but Danny was just quietly sitting at the table, running his hands over his face.  Why isn’t he trying to ‘hunt’ Sam?

“It was a fox,” Danny muttered through his hands.  “Idiot, stupid, annoying fox with hole through its chest.”

Do I sense some brewing jealousy?

“What?”

He raised his head and tried for a small grin.  “You asked what the ghost looked like.”

Tucker leaned forwards on the table, pushing his fries out of the way.  “Why didn’t you answer when I asked it?” he asked, even though he thought he knew the answer.  

“I couldn’t,” Danny said sourly as he slouched in his chair, shaking his head and crossing his arms back over his chest.  “I heard you ask it and I knew what you were asking… I just couldn’t answer.”

“Oh.”  A tiny, satisfied smile was on Tucker’s face as he let himself relax against the hard chair.  He popped another fry into his mouth. I was right.  Wonder why he didn’t start hunting Sam...  “And no Sam?”

At that question, an actual smile appeared on Danny’s face for a moment.  “I’m learning something, I guess.”

“I’m totally lost,” Sam admitted, an angry note to her voice.  “When you two boys stop being psychic and answering questions that make no sense, let me know.”

A small laugh slipped out of Danny’s throat, but his expression was uneasy as he started to talk.  He kept glancing at the two of them out of the corner of his eye, almost like he was afraid they were going to get up and run away.  “There are two worlds, Sam; one that’s the human world that you know and one that’s this ghost world.  It’s covered in these spooky little ghosts that creep and crawl all over the place.  All of them feed off of humans – they follow us around all the time.  Every human’s got this… smell.  It’s not really a smell, but…”  Danny broke off with a shrug.  “Everyone smells different.”

“An aura?” Sam asked.

Danny shrugged.  “Probably.  I think ghosts feed off the emotions or the souls of humans.  That ‘aura’ is the only thing a ghost can see.  It’s really the only thing a ghost needs to see; it’s almost like ghosts were designed for tracking down humans.”

“Evolution in ghosts?”  Tucker’s eyebrows raised at the thought, surprised by how interested he was.  Was it possible that ghosts had evolved to be a human’s natural predator?  That would explain why he felt so much like ‘prey’ when Danny was around in his ghost form.

Creation in ghosts,” Sam muttered.

“Whichever it is,” Danny interrupted, obviously not wanting to get into that argument, “the ghost world is completely different from the human world.  It comes with its own rule book, kind of.”  He hesitated, his mouth moving silently for a moment, then shook his head and sighed.  “It’s just really different.”

Tucker opened his mouth to ask a question, thinking that Danny didn’t know what to say next, but the words suddenly started to roll out of Danny’s mouth.  “It’s impossible to describe what it feels like sometimes.  It’s almost like there’s this ghost inside of me that’s telling me what to do and I can’t fight it at all.  I try and I try but when a ghost comes by the only thing I can think of doing is destroy it.  Me – destroying something!  I can’t stand it when ghosts come by me or my house or my family… or you, Sam.”

Danny glanced up at the girl.  “It’s because of how you smell, I think.  When I smell you every single thought stops dead in my brain and the only thing I want to do is to stay right next to you and to keep smelling you, to keep feeling your aura.  It feels like what heaven probably feels like.  I can’t fight it… and I don’t really want to.”

I wonder if that’s why ghosts are attracted to human auras – they feel like heaven.  Tucker chewed slowly on his fry, watching his friend.  Interesting choice of words, Danny.  Stuck in the human world, searching for a way to get to the afterlife…

“Not even human you?” Sam whispered.

“There’s only one me,” Danny said, his voice a little distant as he confessed, “and yeah.  Even human me.”

“Oh,” Sam said softly, staring down at the half-eaten order of fries.

“It’s getting worse too,” Danny continued, his voice quiet.  “At first it wasn’t so bad – I was just a human with a ghost body super-glued onto me.  But I think that my ghost side is getting stronger.  It’s getting harder to control what my ghost side wants.”

Tucker nodded, catching on.  “But you’re getting a little control over it, right?”

“A little,” Danny said with a shrug.  “On Thursday in the cafeteria there was a ghost… and then I got distracted by you, Sam.  That’s why…” he trailed off and took a deep breath.  “Sorry.”

“It’s not your fault.”  Sam reached over the table and touched his arm.  When Danny looked up at her, she smiled.  “I’m not mad at you.”

“As long as you don’t get too close, I’m okay,” Danny said with a half-smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes.  

Tucker snorted.  “I’ve got to sit next to her all the time now?  But she’s,” he shuddered dramatically, dropping his voice to a stage whisper, “a vegetarian.”  His words got their desired effect; both of his friends grinned and Danny even chuckled softly.  Smiling to make sure that they got that he was joking, he continued, “That might be a deal breaker, my friend.”

Sam reached over and stole a few of his fries in retaliation.  “Breaking news, Tech-boy: fries are potatoes, and potatoes are a vegetable.”

“Yes, but the ones from the Nasty Burger are fried in greasy, genetically-altered, comes-from-a-processing-plant animal fat.”

The Goth hesitated with one of his fries halfway to her mouth.  With a sigh, she dropped the fries back onto his tray.  “Now I’m going to have to look that up… thanks,” she muttered darkly.  

“So,” Tucker said after a moment of silence, “back to my original question.  Aren’t you grounded?”

rofl – This is the fourth time that question gets asked.
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Danny sighed and settled back against the hard chair, running his fingers through his hair as he tried to decide how to answer.  He hadn’t really wanted to tell them too much – he didn’t want to scare them away – but he needed to tell someone.  It was all too obvious that he wasn’t going to be able to handle this all on his own.  So, taking a deep breath, he decided to just go for it.  “My parents went one of their ghost hunting things today and dragged me along since I was grounded.”

“Why did you get grounded?” Tucker asked.  “I can’t remember the last time you were grounded.”

Danny shook his head sourly.  “I told them I turned on their stupid portal and they got mad at me for being in the lab.  I think I’m actually grounded because you were in the lab too…” he shrugged.  “But then I tried to tell my mom that I was a ghost and she ended up just plain being mad at me.”

“You told her you were a ghost?” Sam whispered, blinking in surprise.

“She didn’t believe me,” Danny said.  Something drifted across the edge of his vision and he flinched, turning towards the counter.  Seeing nothing, he turned back to his friends and suddenly the ghost was back, hovering in the corner of his eye.  It was Sam’s ghost fox, sitting on top the pick-up counter, waiting for him to leave his friend alone.  Go away, she’s mine.  Danny bit back a growl as one of his friends spoke.

“See any ghosts with your parents?” the voice asked distantly, almost like his friend was underwater.

Blinking, suddenly realizing that he’d dropped into ‘dead’ mode, Danny pushed himself back fully into the human world and ignored the stupid fox – it was far enough away and weak enough to not brush against his nerves too badly.  Focusing closely on his friends, he let out a slow breath.  “Two,” he admitted, his stomach twisting at the thought of who he’d met.  “Well, maybe one and a half.”

Sam’s face dissolved into confusion, but Tucker sat up a little straighter.  “Someone like you?” he breathed.

Danny silently nodded, rubbing at the goose bumps that had appeared on his arms.  The simple memory of Plasmius caused all of his nerves to fire.  The man was so wrong… his entire being had seemed to fizzle against the fabric of reality, trying to bend it into being something that shouldn’t – couldn’t – exist. Am I like that too?

“This is great!” Sam said.  “Maybe they can help-“

“This isn’t great,” Danny interrupted.  His eyes were burning and he was having a tough time deciding if he was angry or scared.  He knew that he was ‘rollercoastering’ again with his emotions, flipping from one to the other too fast for a normal human, but he couldn’t help it.  Everything was just moving too quickly.  Simply thinking about Plasmius’s offer made him tense.  “You weren’t there; you didn’t feel what it was like to be around him.  He was scary and wrong and it felt like…”

“Like he was after you,” Tucker finished softly.  “Like he’s bringing the end of the world and you’re the only one left to see it.”

Danny looked up at him, feeling like he’d been punched as he met Tucker’s eyes.  “That’s what I feel like, isn’t it?” he whispered.

Tucker’s mouth tightened, but he quietly nodded.

I am just like him…  Danny closed his eyes and swallowed heavily.  “And… and he said some things.”

“Things?”

“Things,” Danny whispered, crossing his arms uneasily over his chest.  “Like the fact that I’m not human.  Like the fact that everyone’s afraid of me.  Like the fact that I don’t fit in anymore…”

“You fit in just fine,” Sam said.

Danny’s eyes popped open and he stared at her for a long moment.  “What world have you been in?!  No, I don’t fit in.  Even Dash has said something – Dash! – and I don’t think I’ve gone a single hour without scaring you guys.”  

“Danny…” Sam started, but Danny shook his head fiercely.

“I don’t want to be that!” he snapped, then ground his teeth for a moment, trying to reign in his emotions.  Everything seemed to be a little too fresh, too loud, too bright… too everything.  What he wanted more than everything was for something to go back to normal just for a few minutes.  No ghosts, no strange ghost powers, no…  Everything was just too confusing.  “I want to be normal, Sam,” he whispered.  “I want to stop flipping from happy to angry in a split second.  I want to stop seeing ghosts.  I want…”

She gazed at him for a moment after he trailed off.  “I’m not sure if that’s possible, Danny.”

“The man in the woods said he could help,” Danny breathed.  He looked up at her.  “I want help,” he confessed softly.  “Sam… I don’t think I can do this by myself.”

“Danny,” Sam said softly, reaching out to grab Danny’s hand.  “You’re missing one simple fact: you’re not alone.”  Her amethyst eyes were shining in the harsh Nasty Burger lights.  “Danny, we’re a team.”

Enter: Team Phantom.  Minus the name and the willing superhero.  

Danny opened his mouth to say something, but his cell phone chose that minute to go off.  He flinched at the harsh tone, quickly digging it out of his pocket and flipping it open without checking the caller ID first.

Daniel Fenton, where in the world are you?” his mother’s voice demanded.

--In real life sometimes pieces just fall into place.
'Clean' copy up on FanFiction.

Danny Phantom idea is (c) Butch Hartman, this version is (c) Cordria.

-Cori
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:iconkiomori:
Kiomori Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013
Is it bad that I was procrastinating earlier, somehow wound up on tvtropes, which lead me to this story and the AV version? If I didn't still have to write a paper for tomorrow, I think it would have been awesome. :XD:
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Nice. You gotta love procrastinating.

-Cori
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:iconhands-and-teeth:
Hands-and-Teeth Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2009  Professional General Artist
... is he still grounded?

omg It took 5 tries to spell grounded. @_@

and also, love love love love LOVE this. xD
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
*laughs* Grounded is a hard word. :)

...don't tell anyone it took three tries to spell 'grounded' even though you wrote it twice up above. *headdesk* I need sleep. :XD:

Thanks!

-Cori
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:iconhands-and-teeth:
Hands-and-Teeth Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2009  Professional General Artist
XD
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:iconeddie-ka:
Eddie-Ka Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2009  Professional Artist
the begining adds a much better flow then the other you sent me.

love it!
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks. :D

-Cori
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:iconevelynlucia:
EvelynLucia Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2009
I love the fox bit. Danny is so cute when he's possessive :iconawwwplz:
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:iconcordria:
cordria Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
:) I think so too!! Thanks!

-Cori
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:iconevelynlucia:
EvelynLucia Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2009
:XD:
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