Chapter 1- Who He Is
"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
'Where is it? I could have sworn I put the new intangibility spray in here.'
Maddie pulled open another draw in the specter speeder and furiously searched through it, pulling every single item out when just rummaging proved fruitless. 'It's not like it could have disappeared.' She hastily threw all the little doodads back into the compartment, slammed it shut, and scanned the inside of the metal ship. There was now no place Maddie hadn't gone through in the vehicle. Shaking her head she step out of it and sighed. 'Jack's waiting and I don't have time to tear the lab apart... but I can't just leave without it. We've missed the last six invention symposiums and Jack made such a ruckus about our new 'ultra cool give-ghosts-a-taste-of-their-own-medicine' break through.'
Biting her lip and contemplating what to do next the auburn haired scientist suddenly spotted a messy corner of the lab where she remembered seeing the little bottle at some point. 'Well it can't hurt to take a look there and if I still can't find it then I can take the gloves. They aren't done but better to present something as opposed to nothing and the idea is sure to blow everybody away.' She made her way over to the cluttered space and smiled when her eyes locked onto a familiar glass bottle filled with a translucent lavender liquid sitting innocently atop a large mound of disheveled papers. Her gloved hand reached for the glass and stopped. Faint talking was coming from the portal. Quickly Maddie grabbed the intangibility serum and hopped behind the desk.
"-don't see what the big deal is Sam."
…. there was a pause and the voice got louder.
"But the poster didn't get damaged much less destroyed."
…. That sounded like Danny's voice, but it was slightly off. 'Phantom.' Maddie realized.
"Yes! . . . No. No, the point is Ineed this extra credit bad and since clockwork was willing to help I figured I should take advantage of that."
…. Maddie didn't have time to get into a fight with him; she and Jack needed to get going before they were late. It would be faster to let him go. Much as she hated admitting it, Phantom didn't go out of his way to cause trouble so leaving him free to roam the town for a few hours shouldn't cause any harm.
"I was willing to take that risk! Do you have any idea how many points this is worth? Lancer might have been joking when he said it, but he did promise to bump up the grade of who ever could bring him a personally signed Shakespeare play by two letters. That turns my C to an A." He passed through the portal and touched down on the floor holding onto a rolled up piece of poster board and a small stack of papers loosely strung together.
'…. Lancer? As in Mr. Lancer? And what project? What the heck is he talking about?'
"When do I ever know how I'm going to explain something? Never, which is why I'm not going to worry about that right now." Phantom's face light up in absolute delight. "My parents are going to be so excited when I bring home my report card. Sam I can see it now: 'Oh Danny, we're so proud of you. Your first A in English! As a reward we've decided to extend your curfew.'"
Now that he was on the other side Maddie could hear the other voice. The phone (where did he get a cellphone?) must have been on speaker. "Danny they are not going to do something like that just cause of one A... Get your head out of the clouds and bring over the play I want to take a look at it. Which one did you get anyway?"
That was definitely Sam Manson's voice. Phantom got this smug look as he started walking. "I got Othello, Lancer's favorite. Man can you imagine the look on his face?" A white halo sparked to life around him and divided in two, one gliding waist up the other falling past his feet. "It's going to be priceless. He'll probably be sputtering, owl eyed, and slack jawed." The now raven haired teen laughed. "I need to bring a camera and have you or Tucker take a picture."
From her position behind the desk Maddie seemed to be doing an impressive imitation of the expression Danny was describing to his friend as she stared in disbelief. "Hey, do you mind if I take a quick shower before I come over? You wouldn't believe what I had to go through to get this stupid thing." Her son walked up the stairs into the kitchen, the talking fading out as her mind somewhat shut down and he walked out of range. She numbly followed after she was sure there was enough distance between the two of them for him not to notice her presence. Maddie watched Danny go up the stairs and down the hall. A door shut and several minutes later the sound of water from a shower filled the empty house...
. . . . .
"Mads did you find it!" Jack yelled from outside hoping his wife would hear him. With the living room window open she did and it jolted her out of the state she had been stuck in. While the mother in her wanted to march up to Danny and interrogate him, the rational side told her that was a bad idea. Her son hadn't told them for a reason and accusing him of keeping secrets and trying to pry them out of him was probably going to cause more harm than good.
Quietly, she left the house and walked to the RV, pulling the bulky metal door open and slamming it shut once she was sitting inside. "Found it honey." Looking at Jack, memories of shooting at Amity Park's hero, threatening to tear Phantom apart with Danny around, and insulting as well as accusing the ghost surfaced. Teal hands reached for the safety belt. *click* Her baby would open up and tell her when he was ready, when he felt he could. "I'm ready." In the mean time she would just have to slowly (so as not to arouse suspicion from Danny) change her and Jack's behavior regarding Phantom, that way he would be comfortable when the time came.
"Alright Maddie, we have people to blow away!" Jack floored the gas pedal and the RV jerked to life.
Scenery flew by as Maddie smiled and her eyes lit up in humor and relief. Danny, who had always been so embarrassed by their profession, was now a ghost hunter himself. And from the number of times she had arrived at the scene only in time to witness Phantom capping the Fenton thermos and flying off, he was pretty good. She had been worried; breaking curfew almost every night, coming home battered and bruised, the bad grades, bags under his eyes, almost unhealthy leanness. It had occurred to her that maybe he was doing drugs or getting involved with gangs or something equally as dangerous and unhealthy. Granted ghost hunting wasn't terribly safe, but now that she knew, Danny was going to have another person watching his back, whether he knew it or not. He deserved it.
Instead of being irresponsible like she had assumed, her son was putting himself on the line and protecting his home, his family, handling the stronger ghosts that would have bested her and Jack probably in an attempt to keep them safe. He did this all in addition to trying to balance his grades and from what she had heard in the basement, Danny was doing anything he could to make the two of them happy in that regard. Her son was a teenager; that meant he needed space to find out who he was and spread his wings. Maddie's little boy was excelling at both and clearly knew who he was and wanted to be so who was she to get in his way?
She glanced at the mirror to her right and saw a black and white blur flying through the air towards Sam's, binder tucked under one arm and grin plastered on his face like he didn't have a care in the world. Danny Fenton/Phantom. This was her Danny now; a fine young man who stood his ground and faced the world head on like a true hero. A single tear rolled down her face.
'I couldn't be any prouder.'
xXxXxXxXxXx (next day)
Birds chirped as Danny, Sam, and Tucker walked to school. Danny seemed to move with an extra spring in his step as he talked with his friends.
"You have the Poster Sam?"
"Yep, You have the manuscript Danny?"
"Of course, how about you Tuck, you have the camera?"
"Don't you know it! I can't wait to see Lancer's face. I still can't believe you actually used clockwork's tower to go back in time and get Shakespeare himself to give you a copy of Othello."
"Well the reward was just so tempting."
The three of them got to school and after homeroom went to first period English. There the trio patiently waited for their turn to present, which wasn't long.
"Ms. Manson, why doesn't your group start us off?"
. . . . . .
"And that concludes our presentation."
"Very well done." Mr. Lancer said clapping. "There were some facts that even I didn't know. You three may return to your seats now."
"Um... Mr. Lancer?"
"Yes Mr. Fenton?"
"I have one more thing I wanted to present to your specifically." He looked at Tucker who had the camera discretely behind his back and Danny nodded his head. Tucker started filming.
The camera followed Danny to his seat as he got a small stack of paper neatly strung together and up to the front where he held out the pile to his confused teacher.
"Mr. Fenton?" Lancer raised an eyebrow. "I'm afraid I don't understand. There was nothing else required for the project."
"Don't worry Mr. Lancer, this is the extra credit." He smiled.
"Extra credit?" Taking the papers he gazed at the cover page curiously as the word 'Othello' stared up at him. Letting his eyes scan the paper they immediately stopped at the bottom. There in the bottom right hand comer. His breathing hitched as Shakespeare neat in a messy way was scrawled on the paper. "Mr. Fenton?" He asked a bit unsure.
The teen in question just gave him an innocent look. "You said that anyone who could get you an authentic Shakespeare written play signed by the bard himself would get extra credit. Two letter grades worth. Well, here it is." Mr. Lancer's eyes bulged.
"B-but, where, how, who... you-" he flipped through some of the pages and noticed the texture of the paper. The old fashioned handwriting and off color ink. His jaw dropped. I think this is really real. "Where did you find this? How did you get it? Who did you get it from?"
"Oh I just kinda stumbled upon it."
"Stumbled upon it?" Mr. Lancer repeated incredulously.
"Um, yeah." Tucker was snickering as he continued to roll and the rest of the class was staring in disbelief as well. Finally collecting himself enough, "Well this certainly seems to be an authentic copy so I will hold true to my word. Your grade will be raised Mr. Fenton."
xXxXxXxXxXx (a few weeks later on report card day)
"Mom! Dad! I'm home!" Danny shouted kicking the front door shut.
Maddie came up from the basement and headed to the living room to give her son a hug. "Welcome home Sweetie. Your father and I were just working on the Fenton Thermos 2.0."
"Yep, there's not much difference, but the new thermos has a stronger ectoproofing and sounder metal. It can hold stronger ghosts or an increased amount of regular level ones. It's also sturdier so if your father gets a little clumsy and drops it, the thermos won't release the ghosts already in it." Maddie smiled knowingly at her son. He could be such a klutz at times and she was positive that at some point he probably had an experience like that. The excitement in his eyes just strengthened that belief.
She nodded. "Now, what were you so excited about before?"
"Oh, I just wanted to show you guys my report card." he shrugged trying not to seem so enthusiastic. "Here."
Opening the paper, Maddie smiled.
English 10 A
US History II B
Creative Writing A
Advanced Art A+
No C's this time. This was a terrific improvement from last time. A memory struck her suddenly and Maddie looked at Danny. "You know what? This is such an improvement that you deserve a reward. How about instead of a 10 O' Clock curfew, we make it let's say... 11. How does that sound?" Danny had stars in his eyes as he tackled his mom. "Yes! You are the best mom ever! Thanks!"
With that he pulled away and started dashing up the steps. "Danny." He stopped. "Since you're allowed to stay out later, there's an increased risk of running into ghosts because they're more active during the night. When we're done with the new thermos I expect you to carry it with you at all times. It's for safety so no arguing. Do you understand?"
Danny could have laughed. He had been planning to take the thermos when they were done but now it was must being handed to him on a silver platter. "Don't worry Mom, I promise I'll keep it on me at all times." He agreed before racing to his room, no doubt to tell Sam and Tucker the good news.
A/N: So what did everyone think? I'm not gonna lie, some of this feels a little sappy. I was busy during PhannieMay and I wanted to still contribute, this is the tenth year anniversary after all. I was going for transformation at first but now, this really feels like the Mother's day one. I believe that this can stand as a one shot but I kinda feel like making a second chapter, not sure if I will. *sighs* Summer is going by so fast. I'm gonna be a senior in high school and then I'll have to start collage. Man I need to get my act together.
As always; Reviews are most definitely welcome so please leave a comment. Even one word is much appreciated and one word only takes a few seconds so leave one.