Hey…I apologize for not writing…I'm soooo busy – this summer sort of sucks for me, so I can't promise regular updates, but I'll try…Also, I apologize for how incredibly SHORT this chapter is, but I figured I'd better put something up ASAP since I've gotten so many comments about my lack of posts thru June…and July…heh…so here goes...

There were few people who didn't seem excited. But they were there. Standing quietly, watching the commotion around them. They seemed out of place. Danny watched a couple of them, who were talking intently, their heads close together.

And then they looked up and stared right at him.

He blanched. How could they even see him! Oh yeah…he had become visible earlier, thinking no one would look up so it wouldn't matter.

He gasped. Their eyes were red. He had only seen eyes that glowed that color in people possessed.

Suddenly he knew what he had to do.

Disclaimer: don't own DP


The red-eyed blond couple looked down and began moving away quickly. Danny kept his eyes on them.

"You're not getting away from me that easily!" he growled, swooping down toward them. As he flew, skimming over the top of the crowd, he turned invisible. The people beneath him thought it was only a gust of wind that made their hair and shirts rustle, never realizing that Danny Phantom was flying only inches above them.

The two blondes were now within reach, and Danny stretched his arms out and grabbed two fistfuls of shirt fabric, lifting the surprised couple into the air.

They both shouted and squirmed as the crowd around them gave one collective yell – they were seeing two people rise into the air as if gravity had just betrayed them.

Danny carried them to the roof of a nearby apartment building, where he unceremoniously dropped them.

Warm golden rays from the setting sun stretched across the rooftop as Danny materialized in mid-air. He glared down at his captives, his green eyes glowing eerily in the light. They rose shakily to their feet.

"Danny Phantom," the red-eyed girl spat. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Where's Desiree?" Danny said, ignoring her question.

They both grinned, their eyes bright as dying embers in the sunset.

"Why should we tell you?" the girl bared her teeth viciously.

Danny was reminded strongly of Sam, who only hours ago had bared her teeth at him just like that.

"I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!" he shouted, balling his hands into fists and noting their barely-concealed shock with a grim satisfaction. He was thinking of Sam, of the deadened look in her (no, not her) now-black eyes. He thought of Sam's true self, trapped deep inside of her body by the shadows that had taken hold.

He had failed to save Sam, and now she was lost somewhere so dark that he couldn't see a way to follow her.

And they had taken Tucker too.


And then he was flying at the minions, screaming through the air straight toward their glinting, wide crimson eyes.

He reached back and gripped the new and improved Fenton Thermos, beyond caring that he might get sucked into it as well as the minions. Not a very smart move, but it was that or nothing. And nothing just wasn't an option – not when his best friends were involved.

He was yelling something about freedom and life, and the minions were backing away, looking less certain in the wake of his uncontained rage.

And then the Thermos was open.

A whirlwind of ectoplasmic light flooded the entire roof of the apartment building, engulfing the minions and Danny with it.

Danny felt like his body was being swallowed by cold itself, harsh and bright and somehow familiar and old as time.

And he was screaming, soundlessly as his eyes closed to the endless light, but there was no darkness and everything was white. He was standing but he couldn't feel his legs, he couldn't feel any part of himself. He thought at some point that he dropped the Thermos, but there was no difference between him or the Thermos or the light that was filling him.

And then there was darkness as Danny collapsed in merciful unconsciousness.

He wasn't sure how long he had been lying on the roof of the apartment, but when Danny finally became aware of himself again, the sun was just a memory, its glow a faint line on the horizon.

The Black Cats stadium, however, was awash in light, and the air was filled with the sounds of rock and screaming fans.

"I –" he started, and sat up, running a hand through his hair. "What happened?"

The Thermos was lying right next to him, and the couple lying across from him were starting to move sluggishly too, at the sound of the music.

In a sudden panic, he remembered what he had done. He looked down, and saw to his horror that he was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, his concert clothes.

"Ohmygosh!" he gasped, looking at the watch on his human wrist. It was 7 – the concert was starting!

He jumped up and swayed, a wave of dizziness rolling over him. He was standing very close to the edge of the roof and the ground was very far below. He gulped and moved toward the center, realizing that it was Ember's voice he was hearing.

"Oh no! I – I'm going ghost!" he said, terrified of what would happen if he couldn't. The concert! He had been on the roof of a building for two and a half hours, and now the concert was starting! Why had he been so irresponsible! What if his dad's Thermos had sucked his ghost-self into the Ghost Zone? What then?

There was a flash of light. Twin circles phased around him, and he sank to his knees in relief. For once in his life, he was extraordinarily grateful to be half a ghost.

He fumbled with his belt and drew out the Fenton phones he had stored there earlier, putting them over his ears with shaking hands.

"Uhh, excuse us?"

His head shot up. The blond guy was looking down at him, perplexed.

"Umm, what's going on, and what's with the crazy threads and headset?"

"Huh?" Danny was confused. Now that he thought about it, if the Thermos hadn't sent his ghost-self to the Ghost Zone, then where had Desiree's minions gone?

He turned to see two ink-black shapes with red eyes rising from the corner of the building. They had almost blended into the darkening sky.

"What's happened to us?" one of them hissed, looking down at itself. "Why have we separated from our hosts?"

"That's not possible," growled the other. "Desiree said this time it would be permanent."

Danny snorted. "And you believed her? That was your first mistake. She's actually using you to get more power for herself."

The black figures looked down at him, their red eyes narrowing.

"Then why are we still here, ghost boy?"

"You tell me!" he shouted, his anger returning. "Wasn't it: you'd stay in 'the mortal realm' if you put part of yourselves in Tucker and Sam?"

Their eyes widened.

"Well, guess what? Now you're stuck here!"

"What? No – there's no point in being here without physical bodies!" The figures looked at each other and then dove for the two humans cowering behind Danny.

They screamed as the ghosts passed through them. And came out on the other side.

"It's not working!" one of the shadows screeched. "Why can't we possess their bodies once again?"

"Looks like the only thing even keeping you here is the part of you connected to Desiree," Danny said. "Maybe the Fenton Thermos did send you back to the Ghost Zone. Most of you, anyway…"

He frowned. But then why was he still there? His father had said the Thermos would send all ghosts nearby to the Ghost Zone. Which should have included him.

"Oooh, what's this?" a voice said from behind him. Danny whirled to see the girl holding a glittering ruby-colored jewel that seemed to glow from within.

"Hey, the Fenton Demystifier!" he said, reaching out to take it. The girl reluctantly gave it to him and he examined it curiously. It hadn't been glittering before…he turned it over. The green switch labeled "REMOVE" had been pushed in, and was glowing in the dark too.

"What…" Had the switch been pressed accidentally? Maybe that's why Danny wasn't trapped in the Ghost Zone…

He shrugged and strapped it back into the Thermos pouch, leaving it on. If it was protecting him from the Thermos somehow, he was going to hang on to it for awhile.

"Ummm, Ghost Boy?" the girl was tapping him on the shoulder.

"Yeah, what?" he said.

"Those black ghost things just flew off that way." He turned to look in the direction she was pointing toward. Two inky shadows were clearly visible, heading straight toward the flashing lights of the Black Cats stadium.

Danny cursed and leapt off the apartment roof after them, ignoring the protesting shouts of the couple behind him. He just didn't have time.

...and sadly enough, neither do I... stay tuned for the next chapter... don't worry, you won't have to wait 2 months for it

Thanks to all my reviewers -- you guys are what really keep me writing!and esp. Fantastic Bouncy Girl -- thanx for adding me to your c2, i'm really flattered:)