A/N: Hi there! I've never written for the Danny Phantom fandom before, but DP fanfiction is my favorite thing to read, especially revelation fics with Danny and Maddie. I think I've honestly read them all. I never thought I'd be able to write one of my own until this idea popped in my head. So, I'm trying it out. I hope you enjoy this story and please let me know what you think! Thanks!
A normal Fenton family vacation.
"Don't worry, Mads," her husband said, "I've got it!" With the snapping flourish only a man of Jack's size could accomplish, Maddie watched as he produced one of their many ecto-weapons from the pocket where he normally stored fudge and rushed after the ghost.
She should have known better.
The words "normal" and "Fenton" could never be used together. They were practically opposites. "Normal" couldn't describe one member of her family. She and Jack were self-proclaimed ghost hunters and inventors, Jazz was a certified genius, and Danny…well, there was definitely something different about Danny. She couldn't say what it was, but she knew. He wasn't the same little boy she taken to the park for picnics.
With Danny, she didn't know where she'd gone wrong. And that hurt—more than actually knowing what was wrong. Because there was something going on with Danny, something he wasn't telling her. Over the past year, his grades had rapidly dropped. Never one to try to outdo his sister, Danny had still always been a solid student, managing a range of A's, B's, and a C or two. Now, she was lucky if she saw a B on his report card.
Maddie glanced back at her two children, both still clutching their walking sticks from their family hike. To her surprise, neither of her children looked particularly afraid of the attacking ghost. In fact, if she had to guess, she might even describe Danny's expression as one of anger.
"Kids!" she shouted at them, "Get back to the RV!"
Danny shook himself, eyes wide as they took in the ghost before he turned and raced away, much faster than she'd ever seen him run. When had he learned to run that fast? Last she checked, he was close to failing gym like the rest of his classes. Her son puzzled her. Once energetic and quick-thinking, he'd become aloof and a poor student. Yes, he was a teenager, but she could tell there was something more going on with him. If only he'd talk to her and tell her what. But talking was far and in-between when it came to Danny. He barely spent any time at home and, sometimes when she was sure he was home, she'd go to his room only to find it empty.
Jazz wasn't as fast as Danny. With one more glance at the ghost, she followed Danny towards the Fenton Family Assault Vehicle. And yet, before she turned, Maddie took note of how worry creased her daughter's forehead—worry she would have bet was directed at Danny and not Jack.
"Get back here you formation of ectoplasmic filth!"
Hoping her children were safe, she returned to the problem plaguing her family. After their last family vacation, she and Jack had agreed that it would do more harm then good to leave their jumpsuits and weapons home. In this moment, she was particularly thankful they'd decided to bring them.
Wielding his pocket weapon and shooting a couple shots into the air, Jack charged the ghost. A scorpion looking thing, the ghost actually swallowed Jack's blasts before shooting them back out its stinger. This was definitely a nasty ghost. She had to get to the weapons in the assault vehicle so she could help Jack. His errant blasts wouldn't hold off the scorpion forever. And, judging by the number of shots it was swallowing, she'd bet she didn't have long at all.
Wasting no time second guessing herself, she sprinted for the assault vehicle, pushing her muscles as fast as she could. Throwing open the driver door, she jumped inside to find Jazz standing in the back looking like she was about to shout at the ceiling.
"Jasmine," Maddie scolded, searching the RV, "where's your brother?"
Jazz's eyes connected with the four corners of a vehicle that was clearly empty aside from her presence. "He's—uh—he's in the bathroom!" she exclaimed, sticking a foot out and slamming the bathroom door shut before Maddie could get a peak inside.
Jazz nodded enthusiastically. "He's hiding in the bathroom."
She took a step towards the door, but Jazz blocked her path.
"He's fine," her daughter added, throwing her hands up between them. "He's just hiding. You know, from the ghost."
The ghost. Jack!
If Jazz said Danny was fine then she was going to have to take her daughter's word for it. As long as her children remained inside the Fenton Family Assault Vehicle they would be safe. Jack was the one in immediate danger.
"You and Danny stay in here," she instructed Jazz. Plucking a hair from her head, she inserted it into the new Fenton DNA Security Lock. After a particularly nasty attack, where a ghost had managed to turn their weapons against them, she and Jack had turned to creating new measures of security on all their inventions. Now, only a Fenton could gain access to active ecto-weapons.
"Madeline Fenton, confirmed," the robotic voice of the machine cooed. "Have fun destroying ghosts."
A compartment in the assault vehicle opened, revealing her choice of five different weapons, including a Fenton thermos. She selected a long-range weapon, one they'd recently upgraded, and then a handheld one before turning back to her daughter.
Handing the handheld to Jazz, she said, "If a ghost comes anywhere near you or your brother, shoot it, okay?"
Jazz nodded as she clutched the weapon to her chest and leaned heavily on the closed bathroom door, a forced smile on her face. "Of course, Mom."
She didn't want to leave her children alone—it went against the motherly instinct that prodded her heart whenever she knew they were in danger—but Jack couldn't handle this ghost on his own. Danny and Jazz just needed to remain inside the RV. They would be okay.
Following the familiar sounds of ectoblasts and Jack's frustrated shouts, she raced into battle. Aside from those rare times they actually managed to catch a ghost at the end of their fight, the beginning of one was her favorite part. With Jack distracting the ghost, it was when she got to analyze the situation and her prey. More than once have her initial observations allowed her to get the jump on her enemy. Like the time she'd nearly blasted Danny Phantom's head off in the courthouse. If only her weapon had been properly charged. She would have had their town's most infamous ghost.
Clicking the safety off her gun, she shook the memory from her head. She couldn't dwell on past failures. It was better to focus on the future. Even better for her to focus on this fight.
"Your aim is terrible! What's wrong? Can't get on point?" a eerily familiar voice taunted.
How did he get here?
The ghost boy was engaged in combat with the scorpion ghost, easily overpowering the animal. While the appearance of the humanoid ghost wasn't necessarily a surprise, Maddie still found herself wondering where Phantom had come from. They were miles outside of Amity Park.
Even though Amity Park was believed to be Phantom's haunt, Maddie knew better. She'd seen him in Vlad's mansion in Wisconsin and in the desert during their first attempt at a Fenton family vacation. The only thing that worried her was how he always seemed to appear (and disappear) out of nowhere. She had a theory that he possessed the ability to open portals to and from the ghost zone but, because she'd never seen him use such a power, her theory remained just that: a theory.
Boisterous and full of himself, Danny Phantom—once known as Inviso-Bill—irked her more than any other ghost. And not for the reason most people thought. She'd recently gotten over how well he fooled the citizens of Amity Park into thinking he was a hero. That didn't bother her as much because at least she still knew the truth. And in all honesty, he wasn't the complete nuisance he used to be.
No, what annoyed her was how he managed to find the ghosts before she did. Even with new, state-of-the-art tracking inventions (ones that still malfunctioned around her son), she could never seem to get to a fight in time. In fact, these days, she and Jack would arrive only to see Phantom disappear around the corner of a building. They would, of course, pursue him, but he always managed to vanish, taking the other ghost with him in his stolen thermos.
But that wasn't going to happen this time. This time, Phantom was the one late to the fight. This time, they would get both the scorpion and Phantom. She could feel it.
Jack stood below the two ghosts, firing shot after shot at them both. She could tell from his shouts that he desperately wanted to hit one of the ghosts, but try as he might, his aim only served to work against him. Sadly, his aim was about as good as the scorpion's. When they got back from vacation, perhaps she could coax him into going to a proper shooting range with her. She was a strong believer in the idea that "practice makes perfect." And, though she would always support him, Jack could use some practice.
She, on the other hand, had near perfect aim. Lining up her shot, she placed the ghost boy in the center of her scope. Despite the scorpion ghost's near constant shots, Phantom was the greater threat. He was the grand prize while the scorpion was merely a consolation one. And this time she had him. An eye on her scope, she watched Phantom pull out his stolen thermos.
Renewed anger coursed through her. How could everyone be so blind when it came to this one ghost? They ran away from all the others, but Phantom they ran towards. All because he took pleasure in beating his own kind. That certainly didn't make him a good ghost in Maddie's mind. If anything it showed he had a tendency toward violence.
Who was to say he wouldn't turn that anger on them? Sure he hadn't attacked a human in a long time, but that didn't mean it couldn't happen. So Maddie remained wary of him.
And, as she spotted the Fenton logo on the side of the thermos, a tendency toward theft, she reminded herself.
Good ghosts were extremely difficult to come by. Not impossible, she knew, for nothing was a sure thing, but very near that. And Phantom, while maybe not the worst ghost they'd ever encountered, certainly couldn't be classified as "good" in Maddie's book.
Feeling the weight behind her trigger, she pressed against it. The shot echoed in her right ear but the ectoblast galloped away from her. The green energy hit Phantom in the hand, knocking the thermos out of it, but that was the extent of her damage.
She'd hit him, but it wasn't enough. The thermos took most of the hit. Still, Phantom didn't look too happy. He cradled his hit hand against his chest, eyes flicking from her to the scorpion to the thermos that now lay on the ground. In a second, she knew what he was going to do.
"Jack!" she yelled, "Get the scorpion, I'll get Phantom!"
"On it, baby!" he shouted back with new enthusiasm, already racing toward the ghost.
Phantom dove for his thermos, just as she knew he would. The thing was like his safety blanket, he hated fighting without it. Her gun whining in anticipation, Maddie closed the distance between her and Phantom. With his attention so attuned to the scorpion and the thermos, he didn't have time to notice the threat closing in. Or maybe, he didn't really care. More than once she wondered if he even saw her, a renowned ghost hunter, as a threat. That didn't matter. It was his problem and he was going to be sorry for underestimating her. Another step and…
She had him.
He snatched the thermos off the ground where it had fallen and aimed it at the scorpion. Nothing happened.
"No, no, no," she heard Phantom moan. He furiously shook the thermos but the device still didn't power on. "Work you stupid thing. Work."
Jack shot at the other ghost, managing to snip it on a claw. The thing made a enraged cry and disappeared through the floor.
"Great," Phantom said. "It got away."
"But you didn't." Maddie raised her gun until its end rested against the back of Phantom's neck. "Don't move."
He didn't listen to her. Not that she really expected him too.
Wrinkles formed on the skin of his neck as he turned his head to get a glance at her. She held her gun firm, never straying from her target.
A nervous chuckle floated from him, its echo barely there. He rubbed the back of his head, a gesture that ignited a spark of familiarity in her.
"Good job?" he said. "Now maybe you can let me go?"
She glared at him. "Not a chance, Phantom." Turning her gaze to her husband who was bouncing he was so excited, she said, "Jack, quick, I need the Fenton Ecto-Net."
He beamed at her, pride shining in his big, blue eyes. "You got it, Mads."
The smile she intended for Jack melted from her face when, out of the corner of her eye, she caught a slight movement. But that single movement was all it took.
At the same time as she flashed her gaze back to Phantom she pulled her trigger again. Except Phantom had already ducked away from her shot. His legs snapped together to form his ghostly tail, preparing to shoot off into oblivion.
"No!" Maddie shouted. She couldn't lose him again. Not this time. Forgetting her weapon and all her training, she reacted on instinct. Her hand whipped out and snatched at the collar of Phantom's suit, tugging him back towards her. But he'd already built up his energy to fly off, and just as she managed to grab him, he released it.
A shredding sound, followed by a soft whoosh, flicked at Maddie's eardrums. Less than a second later, Phantom was gone and all she was left holding was a torn piece of his jumpsuit. Her prey long gone.
The shred of fabric was naturally cool and smooth to the touch. Slicker than silk and fluid like water, it nearly slipped through her fingers. But where its owner had succeeded, the piece of black and white cloth failed as she managed to hold tight to the only thing that might finally give her the upper hand.
There was something a little familiar about the feel of the fabric. But Maddie knew she'd never gotten close enough to actually reach out and touch Phantom before. So then why would she recognize the feel of a piece of his clothing?
She flipped over the fabric to the side that would have been against his ghostly flesh. If one could call ectoplasm's imitation of skin flesh. She'd nearly touched the back of his neck. She might have even skimmed it. Maddie cursed at the thought. She'd been so close to catching him, a second faster and she wouldn't be playing the "what if" game.
Her nail caught on something inside, something not quite as smooth as the rest of the swatch from Phantom's suit. At the top of the fabric, near the collar, where black turned to white, was a small tag.
Her fingers trembled as she read the words stitched across the tag.
In nearly perfect cursive, complete with a swirl on the end of the "F," read the words "Fenton Jumpsuit."