Okay, soooo, I should probably not be starting a new story. Please feel free to bombard me with criticism and hypothetical tomatoes. real tomatoes don't go through the screen, but you can give me a word hit. (i.e. word PUNCH!) and then I'll drop to the floor in agony.
I think it's time to introduce the prospect of the one and only disclaimer: OKAY, SO THIS IS HOW IT WORKS. I ALWAYS DO THESE IN CAPS, TELLING YOU I DO NOT AND PROBABLY WILL NOT EVER OWN DANNY PHANTOM, THE TEEN TITANS, OR ANY SCENERY, EVENTS, PLOT TWISTS, OR CHARACTERS INVOLVED IN SUCH. YOU SHOULD KNOW I ALWAYS ONLY DO ONE OF THESE PER STORY, SO IF, FOR SOME ODD REASON I CANNOT FATHOM, YOU ONLY READ STORIES FOR THE DISCLAIMERS, YOU WILL BE THOROUGHLY DISAPPOINTED, AS THERE'S ONLY ONE OF ME SCREAMING AT YOU GUYS TO ENJOY. THANK YOU. ENJOY.
Veritonee. The name floated around in my head as I looked over the wreckage, not breathing a single molecule of air. If I did, I'd drop dead, since the toxic dust was still settling. Veritonee. He did this to your town, your friends, family, even rivals.
Veritonee. I could actually see and make out the wreckage of all the individual buildings. Over there was Sam's house, with the white fancy trim she hated. There was Jazz's place of worship, the library, where she spent all her time when she wasn't home. Next was Tucker's humble abode, which had been filled with updated computers courtesy of the techno-geek himself. The ruins of the school, where several teachers had given up on my completely for my odd schedule, calling me irresponsible, even though I took on more responsibility than they knew. And, over there, propped up against a rock as if even in destruction it was important, was the FentonWorks sign, which had once glowed neon above the city.
Veritonee. The one thing I didn't understand was why. His motive was unclear, just destroy, destroy, destroy. And I couldn't even say he was obsessed with destruction, like the Box Ghost with boxes and bewareness. Why? Because he wasn't a ghost. A normal human had released the equivalent of a nuclear bomb of toxic waste on a seemingly innocent town for no apparent reason. Well, seemingly innocent to him, anyway, He didn't know of Amity's status as haunted or even that a 'superhero'-as what he called me-dwelled there.
Veritonee. Even the government didn't know what the hell was up with him. They'd thanked me up and down about a thousand times, marveling at me because, apparently, it took six super-powered adults and an entire firing squad to take him down last time, and there had been casualties, but I'd managed to subdue him and get everybody out alive, with only the town that I loved as a consequence. A pretty big consequence to me, but apparently he'd taken down a small island last time, and since everybody was so convinced I'd done a good job, I could do nothing but smile fake smiles and nod a lot.
Somebody tapped me on the shoulder, and I jumped at the surprise. I whirled, ready to fight, and saw a figure. I couldn't tell if it was female or male because they had a normal build, and they were wearing a large gas mask to protect them from the toxic dust floating in the air. Raising a hand in weak greeting, the figure nodded to me respectfully and held up a finger, pointing away from the area. I looked the direction they were pointing and saw a crane and wrecking ball. Oh, yeah, they were demolishing the ruins so nobody from afar got the bright idea of wandering through this place, and then dying from toxins.
I nodded silently, since talking required breathing, and if I breathed there was a serious chance I'd collapse on the ground in agony, though not as big a possibility as normal humans, and then took to the sky. My legs melted into a long ghostly tail and I flew away from the figure, and the rest of the figures, who were all wearing heavy gear masks. Well, duh, because they were even more likely than me to die if they in any way got the dust into their system. Amity Park was done, done forever.
Phasing straight through the military-issued, protective, metal dome that shielded Amity, and all it's toxic dust, from the outside world, or, more accurately, the outside world from it, I sighed. My home was dead, and everybody I'd ever known or even associated with were going in different directions. Sam was moving to Miami, where her parents could work better deals and enjoy the sun, and where she would no doubt either tan or burn. Tucker and his parents were going to Kentucky, to get him into a special tech school. Dash was going to California to do sports things, Paulina back to Mexico, Mikey straight into college, since it turned out he could skip this year and next year anyway, and he had a full scholarship.
Jazz had come back from Princeton to see the wreckage, and talk to Mom and Dad about where they were going to go. When she'd heard everything, she'd been so happy with me, but she knew me too well. She'd instantly known how upset I was about Amity being labeled "uninhabitable", and had given me the pep talk of my life. I'd hardly survived it.
"Phantom!" screamed a voice just as I was touching down on the ground right outside the camp, ready to transform. I turned and saw Valerie Grey hurrying up to me, and I felt my legs involuntarily tense into an unnoticeable fighting position. She noticed the sudden change though, and sighed, putting her hands up to show she held no weapons.
"I've been trying to talk to you, but haven't been able to get to you with all the craziness and government stuff," she explained, nervously tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "I guess I kinda wanted to say sorry."
"Sorry?" I repeated, shocked.
"Yeah, sorry," she parroted. "As in, I am. So sorry. And yeah, I do believe I owe you more than an apology. The Fentons feel the same way, or at least they parents do. Jazz always believed in you, and Danny…well, he's harder to pin down then you!" We both laughed nervously, though for different reasons. I think she though I would just stare at her, scowling, and I was a little put off by that comparison.
"Why?" I wondered. 'Why apologize. It's not like you did anything wrong."
Valerie made a little choking sound of thorough disbelief. "Oh, yes, nothing wrong. Except for the fact I tried to destroy you practically every waking moment for around what, two years now? You're the only thing that kept me from dying from recklessness! I see it now, and I wanted to say sorry for trying to kill, er, um, re-kill you, and thanks for all the saving you did. Not just me, everybody."
"Oh, uh, forgiveness bestowed and your welcome, i guess," I muttered, sounding like a complete and utter idiot,
She didn't seem to notice. "So," Valerie began. "Where are you going? According to the Fentons, whatever was causing this area to be so vulnerable to natural portals, as well as their own portal, is gone now. A whole bunch of science that I could hardly keep up with." She laughed lightly. "You don't have to stay here anymore, protecting us and fighting your brethren, so where are you going to go? Back to the Ghost Zone?" She almost sounded sad at this possibility, which was ironic, because she'd spent most of the time before this trying to cram me back into the Zone.
"No," I replied, and saw just a flicker f a smile. "I'm not like normal ghosts. I can sustain myself forever outside the Zone, while ghosts have to go back in and eat ectoplasm or ectoplasm-contaminated food or drink. I don't have any place to live in the Zone, and I'd have to fight a bunch before i was considered anything but a sparring partner or easy prey, seeing what I got up to before this happened."
"Yeah," Valerie sighed. "I can't really relate. I know what it's like to have your life turned against you, but then again, not really. It was just my friends, not my entire race. Are you planning to go anywhere. I bet you could pass as a human, just tell them you dyed your hair."
"I've considered," I admitted. "Don't tell anybody, but I've actually been sleeping in the Fenton's basement for the last few months." Not a lie. I'd taken to sleeping right next to the portal, just in case of accidental openings, which happened a lot more than you'd think, and escapees. "I might just follow them, and help them out."
Valerie's eyes widened. "Really? That's weird, I wouldn't peg you the type to mooch of somebody else. You're more like a person who has to do everything by themselves, and not let anybody help them."
I shrugged, not admitting that she'd probably just spelled out my personality with a single sentence. Maybe not, I guess, and hope, that I have more to me than that. "I don't know where to go. I'd like to help out a lot more, but there really doesn't seem to be any place I can go where I can help as much as I want to, or did here. Or, at least, i haven't heard of a place."
"You could go to Jump City," Valerie suggested casually. "I'm betting the Teen Titans would be happy for another team member, especially one who can take down a big shot like the government guys are making this guy out to be. I mean, Veritonee sounds cool, too, and he did take out an entire town. Even more the time before, right?"
I nodded silently, but my mind was moving at dangerously high speeds. "Jump City?Teen Titans?" I finally blurted. "It sounds familiar, but I've never really…"
"Yeah," she seemed to get what I was saying exactly. "Jump City, California, is not only a city with an abnormally high crime rate, but a super villain hot-spot as well. The Teen Titans are a group of five heros committed to helping Jump City not skyrocket to number one on most dangerous cities, though I doubt they could have beaten Amity Park if you hadn't been saving everybody all the time. You could join the Teen Titans and be an awesome hero, and they would probably even help you finish your high school knowledge, since you, ya know…"
"Died before I could finish, or even really begin, Freshman year," I finished dryly. "The possibility sounds promising, but I actually think that I have somewhere else to go," I told her.
"Oh, that's cool. But, I mean, if you're ever around the area of Breason, Oregon, come visit me," she said with a slight smile. "Pick up a phonebook and go straight to the G's section. I'll be glad to see you, if you'd be okay with it."
"Expect it," I warned her, and we both smiled. I knew that every last drop of tension and hate between us had melted into a broken, but fixable friendship. In fact, this conversation had just repaired it, just a little.
"Well, bye," she muttered, turning from me and walking back towards the large group of government provided tents, which they had given the Amity Park people while they were figuring out where they were going, and what they had salvaged from the incident.
"Bye," I called after her.
She turned back to me, the expression on her face clearly reading that she'd forgotten to tell me something. "A side note," she began. "Dad and I had to get out as fast as possible, since the toxic stuff was more near our apartment, and I couldn't grab the suit. So, I guess the Red Huntress is no more."
"Somehow, I don't feel too bad," I joked. She laughed and smiled, before turning and walking away. I stood there for a moment, happy that I'd gained a friend back, and then hurried to find Sam. As I rushed through the camp, I marveled on how different people's reactions were towards me than four days before. Instead of quiet waves and smiles, and the occasion salute, I got vocal "hellos" and was stopped several times to have somebody I hardly recognized thank me for saving their life before in an incident I didn't really remember. Before, I'd been an unreachable idol, a poor soul, who'd died at a young age. But now, people were treating me like I was what i thought I was: a normal teenager who just so happens to save a life once or twice. The once or twice would be normal for normal kids, if if wasn't more like once or twice a day. Or once or twice an hour. Maybe that was an exaggeration.
"Hey," Sam called out as I slowed and began walking quickly towards her, as opposed to sprinting.
"I was afraid I'd miss you," I told her. I would have been breathing hard, except for the fact I didn't need to breathe. Well, unless I was drawing in air to make a sound with my vocal cords, like talking.
"Five minutes," she assured me, a sad smile hanging onto her face.
"I'm still gonna miss you," I said, my voice breaking slightly. "Who am I going to go to when my parents are being too crazy for reality?"
"We'll still be able to call, and video chat, and text, and face-time, and any other crazy thing Tuck wants to do." We shared a small laugh, but the mood was a little too gloomy for it to last.
Sam grabbed my chin and forced me to look into her deep amethyst eyes. "Hey, chin up." Her perfect purple lips curved into a smile. "You can break the sound barrier when flying, you should be able to visit me. I'll see you all the time, so don't be so down."
"I thought, you being a goth, you'd like the gloomy mood." We both cracked smiles at this, knowing in no way was it true.
"Not here, not now, and never with you," she recited. "Grin that stupid lopsided grin so I can be happy in my last few minutes with my best friend."
I grinned my version of a lopsided grin, which probably looked a lot more like an elephant with no truck that's had way to many peanuts, and Sam snorted with laughter. I joined her in giggles after a little while, and my soul lifted considerably while I just laughed with her.
Glancing over, I was awestruck as an image of her was burned into my yes forever. She was standing in front of the sun, and it was positioned just behind her head so she looked like she was glowing. Her raven hair glimmered in it, showing all the colors of a rainbow, just like a real raven's feathers. It was sleek as obsidian, too, and that alone was amazing. Her ivory skin was illuminated too, and like porcelain. Her eyes, deep violet with tiny hints of gorgeous indigo, were open and looking at me, and the corners were crinkled just slightly form her wide smile. Suddenly, as if I wasn't even under my own control, I leaned forward and pressed my lips onto her perfect purple lips.
Her laugh stopped suddenly, replaced by a small gasp, before her stiff body relaxed onto mine, and I put a hand up right between her shoulder blades, supporting her. One of her hands snaked up and found my head, running though my hair in an amazing way. Her lips were soft, and warm compared to my colder body temperature. I didn't really know how to kiss, since I'd hardly ever done it before, so I went along with what we did when we did fake-out make-outs, and I guess she did too. And, let it be recorded, it was amazing.
Finally, we broke apart, and I immediately tried to step away from her, but she placed a hand on my chest, grabbing the jumpsuit material, and kept me close. "And the only thing that could possibly ruin this moment," she whispered. "Is that I can tell from the look on your face that you're considering on never doing that again, because you're afraid I'll get heard. Fair warning, ghost boy, if you don't visit me, I will track you down, burst into whatever school you're attending, and kiss you right in the middle of the hallway where everybody can see. And yes, I will time it just so you and I are the prime gossip targets of the school for at least a month, because attention will be your punishment."
"Sammy-kins!" called the voice of Pamela Manson. "Time to go." Sam let me go just as Pamela came around the corner of their fancy car and saw us. "Phantom," she greeted politely. Man, had I been shocked when I'd learned that Pamela and Jeremy Manson were fond of Phantom, and that had been more than a year back. This incident hadn't even occurred. "It's nice to see you. It's regretful we won't be able to see you beyond now."
"Don't be so sure about that," Sam whispered under her breath, just loud enough for me to hear. I had to force myself not to smile at her tone.
"Maybe I'll run into you," I offered. "I was just coming to say goodbye."
"How sweet of you." Mrs. Manson smiled politely. "But really, Samantha," Sam gritted her teeth. "It's time to go. I trust you've already said your farewells to Tucker and Daniel." I d been a little surprised, when at the beginning of the first day, when I was making breakfast for some of the families, Mrs. mansion had come up and apologized to me for misjudging me. It seems like this whole thing was just full of apologies. Sam's parents, Valerie, a bunch of people I hardly recognized, Dash (which was a total surprise), and my own parents, to both forms! It was crazy!
Surprising everybody, Sam suddenly threw her arms around my neck. "Bye, Danny," she whispered into my hair. Her breath was warm on my ear, and I wanted nothing more than to keep the embrace for just a little longer, but she reluctantly let go and followed her mother into the car, which was driven by a chauffeur. The car started up, with the moving van behind, since the Mansons had a lot of stuff, and a lot had been saved in the mad dash to get out of the town.
As the car slowly drove away, picking up speed as it went, I ran past a couple of people chatting and rocketed into flight, quickly catching up with the car. Sam was looking out the window, and her eyes locked on mine as I pulled up side to side with the car, flying at the same pace it was going. Sam turned toward the window and put her hand on the glass, and I flew closer and reached out my hand until the palm pressed flat against the glass where hers was on the other side. We shared one final smile before both of us took our hands from the glass and I landed on the ground and watched the fancy car drive until it was a speck in the distance.
Okay, so my orignial intention was for this to be Danny/Sam, but then it took a weird turn where it was kinda Danny/Valerie, but then I fixed it. I fixed it in the worst way possible, but I fixed it. I hope you liked, and, again, if you didn't, feel free to word hit me. (i.e. word SLAP!) and I'll fall to the floor in agony. K, BYE!