Title: A New TV Show
Pairing: Small hint of Sam/Danny.
Standard disclaimer: Even though it says differently in the story, the creator of the show Danny Phantom was Butch Hartman, and therefore, he owns everything. Anything else copyrighted that I may have mentioned is also not owned by me. At least, not right now.
Summary: A one-shot fic about how twenty years from now, the events of Danny Fenton's freshman years become a Nickelodeon cartoon! (In other words, the Nickelodeon in their world started a Danny Phantom show twenty years from now) However, the real Danny's old best friend doesn't find it too entertaining, and we'll find out exactly why.
"Mommy! Mommy! Look at this!"
The mother in question took her eyes away from her kitchen duties and looked around towards the living room, where her six year old daughter was seated in an inflated yellow Spongebob chair, with her blanket in one hand and the thumb of the other one popped casually in her mouth. She had beautiful violet eyes, and light brown hair that was pulled up in cute pigtails. She wore clothes adorned with her favorite cartoon shows, because young Sarah Nice loved watching cartoons.
"What is it, Sarah?" her mother asked absentmindedly, her mind on other things, like piecing together, inside her head, the opinion column she wrote each week in the local newspaper, or wondering when her husband was going to be home with their Chinese Food dinner. She desperately craved Rose Garden's vegetarian egg rolls.
"There's a new show! Nickewodean is going to have a new show!"
"Really? What is it called?" the mother said indifferently, still dreaming of egg rolls as she pulled another cup out of the water and cleaned it.
"Uh... It's called Danny Phantom!"
The sound of glass shattering rang through the kitchen, catching young Sarah off guard. She jumped right out of her chair and stared at her mother with wide, watery eyes.
It took a moment for her mother to realize that she had dropped the glass she had just been cleaning, but she made no move to clean it up. She turned sharply to her daughter and stared down at her with a gaping face.
"Did you really just say that?" she gasped.
"Yeah...?" little Sarah replied, her eyes still wide, as though afraid she did something wrong. Her mother didn't say anything a moment, but after a couple of seconds, she stepped over the glass scattered over the kitchen floor and joined her daughter in the living room, staring at the commercial still flashing across the screen.
It was just a cartoon, about a 14-year-old boy named Danny Fenton, who had acquired ghostly powers in a strange accident in his father's basement...
Just like the Danny Fenton she had known.
Sarah's mother dropped to her knees before the TV, staring in disbelief as screenshots of the other characters began flashing across the screen. She saw a picture of his father, a big man with an orange jumpsuit. And there was his mother, and then her sister, Jazz, with her nose buried in a book on behavioral aspects of teenage existence. They showed pictures of ghosts that Danny Phantom would be doing battle with in the episodes that were to air. And there were his friends...
"I so did not look like that!" Sarah's mother suddenly shouted, and she pressed her finger against the screen, at Danny's female friend.
"What?" little Sarah asked, tugging on her mother's sleeve.
"This show! This show is about Danny!" her mother said, almost childishly, waving her finger at the screen. "I know I have told you about him before!"
Her daughter just stared with a blank expression on her face. Her mother turned back to the TV in time to see a sample title opening page for the cartoon. There it was written "Created by Tuck Foley."
"Tucker..." she whispered softly to herself.
"Sarah! Sam! I'm home!" said a voice suddenly, bringing Sam out of her daze. She realized that the commercial was over, and that the kitchen was still a mess.
"Sarah! Stay in here!" she gasped, as Sarah began to run into the kitchen to pounce on her father's legs. She screeched to a halt on the linoleum floor and turned and gave her mother the biggest pout of "Why not!"
"I broke a glass," Sam said, more to herself than to her daughter, and got back to her feet to grab the broom. Johnny Nice made his way carefully over the glass, dropping bags of take out on the counter before coming to the living room door to sweep his little girl up in her arms.
"How are you, my little button?" he asked, holding the girl up in his arms, tapping her nose with his finger. Sarah gave him a huge beaming grin.
"There's a new show on Nickewodeon--"
"It's Nickelodeon," corrected Johnny, in his best English teacher voice.
"That's what I said!" Sarah said nonchalantly. "But it's a new show, and it's called Danny Phantom!"
Johnny gave his daughter a stare, then turned to look over his shoulder at his wife, who was cleaning up the glass, and he understood why she had broke it in the first place.
"It's Tucker's doing," said Sam softly, straightening up with the remains of the glass in a dustpan. Her face was a little flushed as she tipped the glass in the garbage.
"You're kidding," said Johnny, setting his daughter down. "That's not all that surprising, though. It would make a pretty good kids series..."
"Oh really?!" Sam suddenly shouted, swiping her black hair out of her face. Her eyes fixated angrily on her husband, who's face became a little pale. "Yeah, we got all those ghosts, and it makes a good series, right up until the ghost got him! How could Tucker even think of sharing it?!
Johnny didn't speak. He stared at his wife with a concerned face, but he just couldn't think of anything to say.
"Just forget it!" Sam growled, throwing the dustpan down loudly on the counter, knocking into one of the bags of food and sending half its contents to the floor.
"Sam--" he gasped, both at the horror of Sam's reaction, and at the fact that he had just lost his dinner for the night. But Sam had bolted through the doorway on the other side of the kitchen to their bedroom, and the door slammed shut.
Sam stood there, her breath ragged, and her head pounding painfully. Immediate guilt rose up through her, and she sighed and was prepared to go back out and apologize. But she just couldn't. Her mind was a whirlwind of painful memories.
It hadn't been just any ghost that had destroyed Danny Fenton, possibly the best friend she had ever had.
It had been Danny Phantom.
"Hey, Tuck! We need you to okay these storyboards."
"Hey, T! There is a meeting with the producers in five minutes!"
"Mr. Foley! You have calls on lines two, four, nine, and seventy."
Who thought making cartoons would be so much work, thought Tuck Foley as he sat in his office, while people walked by every twelve seconds asking for things, or telling him what wouldn't work or who wasn't going to be there that day. A pile of pictures, scripts, and memos littered his desk.
Alas... it was all to be expected when you're director of a Nickelodeon cartoon. At least one that was going on air in a matter of days.
"Fine fine! I'll be in there in a second," Tuck said, waving his hand to both his Storyboard Artist and his Art Director to dismiss them. Then he reached over and picked up his phone. He pressed the first button.
"Mr. Foley. I'm with Cartoon Magazine. Could I set up an interview with--"
"I'll direct you to someone who can set it up," Tuck said with a little irritation, pressing a button and hanging up the phone. Then he picked it up again and pressed another button.
"Is this Pizza Hut?"
Click. He pressed the next one.
"Tucker! What do you think you're doing?"
The voice on the other end of the line caught him completely by surprise. One, because hardly anyone called him "Tucker" anymore, and two, because he knew exactly who it was on the other side, and he hadn't heard from her in three years.
"Sam?! What do you--"
"Danny! Why the hell did you decide to make a kids show about Danny?!"
"What-- I-- Why not?" Tuck stumbled with his words, trying one handed to tidy up his desk a little bit. It was WAY too disorganized for his liking.
"Why not?! Do I have to remind you what happened to him?! How could you share this all with the world? It's an insult to him!"
Tuck's stomach turned over as he remembered. He stopped what he was doing and pressed the phone tighter to his ear.
"Listen, Sam. This show... it may be based on it all, but it's not like I'm going to show what happens to him. I merely gave them material to work with. Other people are writing the stories..."
"But still, Tucker. Why would you do that?"
Tucker looked at his shoes as he thought about it a moment. In actuality, he wasn't quite sure why he had told them to make a cartoon modeled after his old friend.
"Hey, Foley! You're gonna be late for the meeting!" shouted a voice from the door. He lifted his head and saw his Art Director giving him a stern look.
"Listen, Sam. I'm a little busy. Let me call you back..."
With a pain in his heart, he dropped the phone onto it's receiver and hurried to join his co-workers as they went to the meeting about the release of Danny Phantom.
But throughout the meeting, Tuck's mind was drifting off. It wasn't a good thing, but he couldn't avoid it. Sam's voice sparked a whole range of emotions that not even drawing a cubistic representation of his old friend hadn't stirred before. Memories long ago repressed surfaced for the first time in years, and he had no choice but to relive them, with some small interruptions when someone asked him a question regarding the show.
Ten years ago. It had been ten years ago since it happened. He, Sam and Danny had all moved on to college together. The three of them attended the Arthur Bell University in Wisconsin, on a scholarship they got for a science fair project on detecting the ethereal plane, and continued going there for graduate school. Danny was in ghost studies, just like his father had been. Sam got a degree or two in human behavioral sciences, and he himself got two bachelors in computers and graphic design. It had also been when Sam met her now husband, Johnny Nice. Tuck was still a bachelor.
But at the end of their last year before getting their bachelor degrees they had all noticed a significant change in their friend Danny.
All that time he had maintained his ghost powers, and used them quite often. By that time, he was open about them. Since the school had figured out how to create Halfas, anyway, it was just easier to use him as a test subject in certain things, and he was happy to do them. Somehow, he had managed to catch his father's enthusiasm with ghosts, despite the fact that he had to deal with them constantly in the past.
But soon, the experiments took their toll, and the ghost powers inside Danny took over him.
And in the end, they had destroyed him.
It happened so suddenly. And they had all been there. It was supposed to have been a happy day, a day free from tragedy. It was his sister's wedding, but the reception party ended in a way none of them could have imagined. Danny had been in the midst of everything, when suddenly he just sort of stopped moving. And before everyone, he died. His ghost powers had suddenly burst to life, and they tore through his body, tearing him apart from the inside out. They watched in horror as red blasts of ethereal light exploded from every angle of his body. And his cries of pain still echoed loudly in Tuck's ears, whenever he thought of it. It made him sick, just thinking about it.
Tuck was knocked out of his thoughts so suddenly that it caused his stomach to jerk painfully. He looked around at the meeting he was supposed to be paying attention to, and realized that it had ended. A lot of people were shooting him strange looks, more of concern than of annoyance. His other Storyboard Artist, and best work friend Mark walked up to him.
"Are you alright? You don't look too good."
"I'm fine," said Tuck, getting slowly to his feet, a horrible nausea coming over him. He leaned against the table telling his stomach to calm down. And he really began to wonder what had possessed him to make a cartoon about his dead friend. But, almost immediately a little voice spoke out in the back of his mind.
You did this as a way to keep him alive.
Tuck straightened up so suddenly as the answer came to him, that he nearly hurt his back. He quickly started walking out, leaving a confused
A way to keep him alive... that was his explanation, and that's what he was going to tell Sam.
A/N: Well, let me know what you thought. And this was from Challenge 6 of LJ's phantom100 community.