Author's note: Thank-you for clicking even if you decide to not actually read! :) This is a sister story to my fanfic titled "The Luckiest Girl in the World" in which Paulina switches lives with Sam. I am working on structuring the rewrite for TLGitW, but I just had to put this admittedly bizarre idea into words first. Check out TLGitW if it sounds interesting to you! Otherwise, enjoy Paulina switching with Danny instead. I sure have enjoyed it!
I have decided to place this in the same time TLGitW exists in, after the episode "Beauty Marked." Also, for anyone who thought TLGitW was way too long, this story is only about half its length (mostly because it's limited to just Paulina's thoughts and not omniscient third person point of view like TLGitW).
Shout-out to Invader Johnny for inadvertently inspiring this idea!
Cover art referenced/drawn by my little sister, ChristalCat. :3 If you like MLP, check out her fanfics!
The Only Boy for Her
The bell had not yet rung. There was still plenty of time for Paulina to check her make-up one last time…or three last times. She had an image to maintain, after all.
"Paulina, your skin is glowing. Glowing," said her best friend, Star, with a laugh. "You can't possibly make it look any better."
"Well, sometimes, I like to admire myself, too! I'm almost jealous of those who aren't me since they get to look at me." Paulina observed her face in her locker mirror. "Almost."
She put a hand on her locker door to close it, but she halted, gazing at her Danny Phantom shrine.
Danny Phantom…the ghost boy who had captured her heart, the only boy she actually felt anything other than lust for. He made her feel girly, lightheaded.
But he was so elusive. She had no idea where to find him, no idea how to get in touch with him, no idea how to even get him to notice her.
Someone walked by her, a boy who tried to sneak a glance at her unnoticed. Paulina was used to boys checking her out in this fashion and normally just ignored them, but this wasn't just any boy. Paulina watched Danny Fenton from behind as he walked toward his locker. She continued to stare at him, pondering. His parents were well-known ghost hunters, and she had noticed that he often seemed to attract the ghost boy. She had even invited him to her fifteenth birthday party just to increase the chances of the ghost boy arriving, and the way Danny cheerfully promised her that the ghost boy would come to her party…
Did Danny somehow know the ghost boy?
"Paulina?" Star's brows were raised as she called out to the Latina.
Paulina blinked and looked at Star. "Hmm?"
"Why were you staring at Fenton?" Star gave her an amused smile.
Paulina shook her head. "I wasn't." She closed her locker and repositioned her purse on her shoulder, her books for her first class in her arm.
"You totally were." Star's grin grew even wider, more brazen.
Paulina noticed Star's expression. "Why are you smiling at me like that?"
"Paulina, give it up already. I know you secretly like him."
Paulina's mouth dropped slightly. "I do not!"
"You tease him more than any other boy at this school," said Star with a chortle.
Paulina wanted to make a retort, but she knew that this was actually true. There was something about Danny that made him fun to toy with. Sure, he wasn't even close to being in her league, and he was just one of the many boys in the school, losers and cool kids alike, who were crushing on her, but Danny was different from the other loser boys who were infatuated with her. He was actually cute in both looks and personality; he didn't gross her out like the other loser boys did, and his awkward behavior around her was actually endearing. If he wasn't such a dork who tried way too hard to be cool, Paulina was sure he could've been at least a B-Lister in the school based on his looks alone.
Paulina snapped back to attention. "Star?"
"You were staring at him again!"
Paulina rolled her eyes. "I don't like him, Star. I just think he's kind of cute, okay? I mean, even you can't deny that!"
"He's all right." Star shrugged.
"I just like my eye candy, and I love stringing him along. He's way too much fun."
The bell rang just then. Paulina looked at Danny again, and this time, he turned and met her gaze. She gave him a seductive smile, enjoying the blush appearing in his face. She then quickly turned on her heel and walked toward her first class.
"Whatever. You totally like him," said Star, following after her.
Paulina playfully shoved Star but did not argue further.
That night, Paulina rode around the town on her moped. She often took night rides like this not only to clear her head but to hopefully find ghosts. Well, one ghost in particular…but wherever there were ghosts, Danny Phantom was sure to be there to fight them off.
She had gotten lucky a couple of times this way. The ghost boy was always surprised to see her, but to her joy, he always seemed quite pleased, too. However, something always prevented him from staying too long, another ghost or even a ghost hunter. He would always take off with barely a farewell.
Paulina was determined to make him stay one of these nights.
A green flash caught her attention. She made a sharp turn and followed it. Another flash, brighter, stronger. The lights began to be accompanied by loud crashes and shrieks the closer she drew.
In the darkened soccer field of an elementary school, a large glowing piranha swam through the air. It bared its teeth and tried to swallow another ghost, a ghost with white hair and dressed in a black and white jumpsuit. He dodged the fish and blasted it to the ground. He then pulled out a tube-shaped device and pointed it at the fallen ghost.
Paulina's eyes widened and sparkled with excitement. She jumped off her moped and ran onto the field. "Ghost boy!" she cried.
Danny Phantom turned from the piranha ghost. "Paulina?" he asked, confusion and alarm mixed in his voice.
"You remember my name!" Paulina clasped her hands against her cheek.
Danny Phantom was about to say more when the piranha fish slammed into him, knocking him into a soccer net. The tube-shaped device flew out of his hands and landed on the grass.
"Ghost boy!" shrieked Paulina. She started to run toward him.
"No!" yelled Danny Phantom. "Paulina, stay back!"
Paulina halted and watched the ghost boy phase out of the net, throwing another blast of green energy at the piranha ghost. Nearby, she noticed the device he had dropped. Curiously, she walked over and bent to pick it up. She had no idea what it was as she studied it, but it looked like a highly advanced thermos. She turned it over and furrowed her brow at the only word branded on the device.
"Fenton?" she murmured. The ghost boy was using a Fenton device? Did the Fentons and the ghost boy have some sort of alliance?
No…she remembered how Jack and Maddie Fenton were always trying to catch the ghost boy, convinced that he was not to be trusted. They would surely never allow the ghost boy to use any of their inventions.
But they weren't the only Fentons…
The ghost boy once spoke very highly of Danny Fenton to her on board a ghostly pirate ship. At the time, she hadn't thought too much of it, but perhaps Danny Fenton had some sort of association or even friendship with the ghost boy. Perhaps Danny Fenton supplied the ghost boy with various inventions for battling and capturing ghosts.
Paulina was brought out of her thoughts by the ghost boy's call.
"Throw me the thermos! Quick!" Up in the air above her, the ghost boy held out an open hand to her. The piranha ghost was flopping around on the grass.
Paulina looked back at the thermos in her hand, then wound up her arm and threw it with all off her might. The ghost boy caught it, but he seemed a little surprised by the force, speed, and accuracy. "Wow, good throw!"
Paulina beamed at the compliment.
The ghost boy took the cap off of the thermos and pointed it at the weakened piranha ghost. The large fish was quickly sucked into the thermos with a high-pitched screech. The ghost boy capped the thermos and exhaled loudly with relief.
"Ghost boy!" Paulina looked up at him. "Are you okay?"
The ghost boy smiled down at her. "Of course I'm okay. I do this all the time."
Paulina loved his confidence, his heroic stance.
"Are you okay?"
And he was so caring, too!
"I'm just fine," Paulina answered breathlessly.
The ghost boy's eyes were so warm, so kind. "I'm glad." He turned as if to fly away. "Good seeing you again."
"No, don't go!" shrieked Paulina.
The ghost boy stopped in alarm. "Is something wrong?"
"No, but…please don't go." Paulina looked up at him imploringly.
The ghost boy seemed perplexed, unsure what to do. He almost looked…conflicted? Paulina was not quite sure how to interpret his expression. At last, he descended and planted himself on the ground in front of Paulina.
Paulina wanted to confess her love for him, wanted to throw herself at him right then, but she resisted the urge. She didn't want to frighten him off, especially when he could so easily become intangible or invisible and slip out of her grasp.
But she had to say something, had to keep him here somehow. "So…what is that, exactly?" She pointed at the device in his hand.
The ghost boy looked down at the thermos. "Oh, this. I use it to catch ghosts."
"Did you make it yourself?"
"Who did, then?"
The ghost boy hesitated, did not answer. Paulina could see that he was trying to think of something.
"It says 'Fenton' on it," she finally said.
The ghost boy almost seemed panicked by the name. Paulina gave him an amused smirk as she crossed her arms. "Oh, did you steal it or something?"
"No!" cried the ghost boy quickly. He shrank back a bit. "I mean…I'm not a thief, but…" Paulina could once again see that he was trying desperately to come up with a reason for why he had a thermos created by the Fentons.
"Did someone give it to you?" asked Paulina.
The ghost boy looked at her but did not reply.
"Did Danny Fenton give it to you?"
The ghost boy's eyes glazed over. He blinked and refocused them.
"It's okay; you can tell me!" Paulina gave him a reassuring smile. "I know that he's a friend of yours."
The ghost boy furrowed his brow. "What makes you say that?"
"I seem to recall you telling me to make out with him and to wrap my mind around the idea of 'Paulina Fenton.'" Paulina batted her eyes a couple times.
The color in the ghost boy's face darkened slightly. He put a hand to his forehead in what looked like embarrassment. "I did say that, didn't I?" He looked back at her with a sheepish grin and held his hands up. "Okay, I am so sorry about that. It was a really stupid, immature thing to say."
"No, no! It was sweet!" insisted Paulina.
The ghost boy eyed her warily.
"You were just being a good friend to Danny Fenton, right?"
The ghost boy's eyes shifted as he mulled this thought over. "I…guess you could put it that way."
"So, you admit it?" Paulina moved closer to him. "You and Danny Fenton are friends?"
The ghost boy chewed the inside of his cheek. "Well…I mean…I know who he is…"
"Poor guy," said Paulina wistfully. "He wants me so much, even managed to convince you to play him up for me." She put a hand in his glowing white hair. The strands felt cool and a little tingly as they entwined around her fingers, but also so real. She wondered if the rest of him felt just as real.
The ghost boy seemed a little unsure, but he did not pull away.
"But unfortunately for him, there's only one boy for me." Paulina leaned in closer to him. "You…Danny Phantom."
She could see conflict in his eyes, uncertainty, but she could also see some longing, desire.
"Have you ever kissed anyone, Danny?" asked Paulina.
The way she addressed him so casually by his first name seemed to catch him off guard, but she could also feel him melt a little, could see it in the way he looked at her, could hear it in the way his breathing changed.
"Of course you have," whispered Paulina. "How silly of me to ask. I bet you're quite the heartbreaker in the ghost world." She put her arms over his shoulders.
The ghost boy shook his head. "They didn't mean anything." He looked down at the ground, not meeting Paulina's gaze. "I mean…I've never had a meaningful kiss before."
"Then allow me to be your first." Paulina closed her eyes and moved her mouth toward his. She could feel the ghost boy coming toward her as well, his hands brushing against her back and waist.
A loud beeping noise interrupted them. The ghost boy broke away and observed the thermos which was blaring in warning, a red light blinking on its body. "I'm sorry, Paulina. I have to take care of this," he said, his voice raspy and anxious. He took off into the sky at breakneck speed.
Paulina gazed up at him as he flew out of sight feeling jilted, rejected, frustrated.
(Uploading next Tuesday: The Phantom's Keeper)