Time passed, and hope dwindled.
Danny fought various ghosts, and questioned the ones who could talk about Ember. With the exception of Technus, none of them could, or would, help. Technus confessed that he had devised her guitar for her, but hadn't seen her since.
Sam left said guitar and music sheets where they were in her room. She couldn't bear to put them away. It would be like giving up, she said.
Jazz tried to get Danny to talk about it, but had no luck. She was hard-pressed not to reveal she knew his secret, but managed.
They moped around school until Mr. Lancer noticed. Finding out they had lost a close friend, he assigned them to grief counselling, which helped.
One Saturday, they met at Ember's Grove. It had been a month since she was destroyed. Being there made them sad, but they missed her.
"Wait until I get my hands on him..." Danny muttered.
Tucker had her album on his MP3 player, and turned it on, and while it played, they all thought of her.
"We love you, Ember," said Sam, softly.
"We love you, Ember," echoed Tucker and Danny.
Suddenly Danny's Ghost Sense went off. He looked around the grove, but saw nothing. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Tucker and Sam jump a bit.
"Uh, D-Danny?" said Sam, looking at something.
"What?" he replied, looking at her.
She pointed at the ground, where a pair of green-glowing, pale hands were sticking out of the ground. The fingers were waving around. A few more inches of the arms slowly appeared.
The three of them looked closely. "Those are girl hands!" said Sam, "Maybe...?" She tried to grab one, but could not.
"I'm going ghost!" said Danny, and changed. He stepped over to them, and found he could grasp them. He began to pull up, and the ghost responded by rising from the ground. Sam and Tucker could only watch as a familiar form was revealed. Ember. When her feet were free of the ground, he let her go, and she slowly collapsed to her knees and fell forward to her hands.
Her blue hair was loose, falling in her face. Most of her body was covered in green ectoplasm, but nothing else. She was shivering.
Sam grabbed the picnic blanket and draped it over her, pulling it around her. Ember grasped the blanket to keep it on, but did not look at Sam. Her eyes were closed. She continued to shiver.
The three humans knelt beside her. Danny and Tucker hesitantly put their hands on her back, and gently rubbed. Sam took Ember's chin in her hand, and lifted her head to look in her face.
"Ember?" asked Sam softly, "Are you okay?"
Ember opened her eyes, which were the same electric green as always, and looked at Sam. There was no hint of recognition. She looked at Danny and Tucker, who smiled weakly at her. She looked back at Sam, confused. She reached out with her free hand and touched Sam, then did the same to the boys.
"Your heat..." she murmured, "You're all alive...humans... and I'm so cold..." She gathered the blanket tighter. "I'm a ghost. Aren't you afraid of me?" she said.
"We're your friends, Ember, don't you remember us?" said Tucker.
"Friends..." Ember echoed, looking at them. She closed her eyes and shook her head. "So very tired..." she murmured.
"Now THAT we can help!" said Tucker, grinning. "Ready? One, two, three..."
"EmBER! EmBER! EmBER!" they chanted.
Ember's hair waved, and started to grow. The ghost girl looked up in amazement. "You're giving me power... because you want to... it feels familiar..."
"EmBER! EmBER! EmBER!"
"Wait-- I DO know you!" she looked at them. "Danny, T-Tucker, and, and... S-s-sam! I remember! I remember!" She sat up straight. "I'm feeling a lot better," she said. There was a flash, and she was wearing her "goth" outfit again. Her hair was pulled up into its usual ponytail again. She grinned and stood up, and the others did the same. She dropped the blanket, spread her hands and looked at them. "I'm baaaack..."
At the sight of their friend returned, good as new, the anxiety that Danny, Sam, and Tucker had felt became joy. Ember's hair flared up, as new power flowed into her, and she revelled in it.
"Thank you, my friends!" she said, and gathered them into a group hug. "Mmmm... that heat feels so good. I'm not as cold as I was..."
A minute later they settled back on the log.
"So tell us what happened to you," said Sam.
Ember was silent for a minute, then said, "When that red ball exploded, it destroyed most of my ectoplasm. What was left of me got pushed under ground."
Danny looked at Sam and Tucker. "That means it wouldn't have hurt you two. It's like he knew Ember would try to stop it. It was a trap for her."
"That... big jerk," said Sam. Tucker nodded. "Sorry, go on," added Sam.
"Somewhere below is an underground river. I don't know how far down, but I found it by drifting into it. I stayed in it and regenerated my ectoplasm. That took a long time."
"It's been a month," said Sam.
"I didn't leave the river, because I had no memory of anything other than it. You've no idea how endlessly dark and cold it is down there." Ember shivered. "Also, I had very little energy, and no prospect of getting more."
She looked at her friends. "Then, a little while ago, I faintly felt emotions about me.
It wasn't much, but it did give me a little energy. I followed in the direction it was coming from, and found the surface."
She looked down, embarrassed. "You all really care about me. I'm just a ghost; less than nothing. And yet you were mourning for me. You missed me. I can't begin to tell you what that means to me."
"We're your friends," said Tucker, "And friends care about each other."
Sam stood up. "Let's go home," she said, "Your guitar and music are waiting for you."
"Okay," said Ember, and stood as well. Danny and Tucker followed suit.
"Before we go, I do have a question," said Tucker.
The other three looked at him. He pulled out the CD of Ember Live, and asked, "Can I have your autograph?"
Their laughter rang through the grove. The four of them left for home, happily updating Ember on what had happened while she was gone.
And for a little while, all was well in Amity Park.
Ever since I first saw "Fanning the Flames", I wondered where Ember had come from. All those concerts and the preparations for them cost money, so it was logical to me for Vlad to be behind it. It was a test for Danny, like giving Valerie her ghost hunting equipment.
I think Ember is a wonderful character, and have been surprised that few people have written fanfics about her so far. I prefer she not be evil, so I had to find a reason for her actions in FTF. "Power corrupts" seemed like a good idea. She may seem slightly out of character here, but for some reason, my version of her has a bit of a submissive streak. Danny, Sam, and Tucker are also the first friends she remembers, and they are important to her, and she's not willing to risk their friendship.
The developing close friendship between Sam and Ember was not planned, but seemed reasonable. They will become even closer friends in the next story.
This was my first Danny Phantom fanfic, but not be my last. I have an idea for a longer continuation of the situations set up here:
Ember has no memory of her life as a human, and wants to find out about it. They learn much more than they bargained on when they discover that for the safety of the entire Ghost Zone, Ember must never know about her past! The spell the Dairy King gave her will come into play, and several ghosts (notably Desiree) will have parts.
I'm afraid it will be a while before this is posted, though. I think there are far too many unfinished stories on , and I have a personal policy of not posting before a story is finished.
Thank you to all my reviewers! Such egoboo is nice to get!
Robert Teague January 2005