He heard a sudden movement next to him. The face that entered his field of vision was one that he was happy to see.
"Hey Sam. What happened?"
She didn't bother to answer as she rushed to his open door. "HE"S AWAKE!" He could hear footsteps thundering up the stairs to his bedroom and wasn't the least surprised to see his family forcing themselves into his room. Both Tucker and Jazz moved over to him and gave him brief hugs out of relief. Jack and Maddie Fenton stayed back. They had strange looks on their faces.
"You did it Danny. You saved the ghost zone. And what did you do to yourself?" The excited tone in Tucker's voice caused Danny to look at himself.
He was clothed in blue with black boots and a white belt. He stared down at the red circle that covered his chest and looked at his hands. Black cloth covered them as well. He wasn't as surprised by the suit as by the fact that he was still in ghost mode. "I don't know. I was fighting, he attacked me. I felt a lot of power and that's all I remember. Just a second." He closed his eyes and tried to change before falling back to his bed asleep.
When Danny finally woke up he was alone. He slowly sat up and felt pain stab through his back and his left arm. His head started to clear and he remembered what happened.
"I'm free. Ha ha ha ha. The ghosts aren't going to attack. Vlad is gone. I'm free. I'M FREE! NO MORE GHOST FIGHTING! NO MORE LATE NIGHTS! BYE-BYE DANNY PHANTOM!"
Despite the pain in his back he stood up on his bed and started to dance. The door opened as he continued to dance on his bed.
"Danny! What are you doing?"
He looked over at the door to see Sam, Tucker, and Jazz staring at him. With a small boost from his powers he did a front-flip from the bed and landed in front of them. "Celebrating. No more ghost attacks and no more staying up late, no more flunking all the tests and no more NOTHING!" Danny stared down at himself and saw he was still in his ghost form. A small smile graced his lips. "Good-bye Danny Phantom."
A green ring appeared around his waist and started to move over him. For a split second you could see the top of a pair of jeans and the bottom of a white t-shirt. "AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH" Danny fell to his knees in pain as the rings went back together and disappeared. "No no NO!" The rings appeared again and a scream ripped forth from the young man. He fell on his side. "Something's wrong. I can't change back. I'm stuck." What he said started to sink in. "I'm stuck as Danny Phantom."
Danny felt a needle prick his arm as he sat in his parents lab. He turned his head and looked at what passed for his blood. Instead of red or even green it was some strange mixture of the two. Danny knew that something was very wrong. It had always depended on what his form was, but now it was neither. His mother stared at a microscope as she studied the sample. She stood up and let Jack Fenton sit down at the small piece of equipment. He looked up from the sample and shared a look with his wife. "We need to run more tests." She nodded in silent agreement.
Over the next several days, what Danny had feared since the accident came to pass. His parents poked and prodded him constantly. It was little relief that they weren't trying to find out more about ghosts, but were trying to find out what happened to him. When his parents were done they gathered the only people to know his secret.
It was Maddie Fenton who started to speak. "We're not entirely sure how it's possible, but when Danny entered the portal the accident converted part of his natural energy into ectoplasm. That's what gave him his powers."
Sam looked at her while Danny remained silent. "What are you talking about? What energy?"
"Okay, this is the way it is. Ghosts are made of ectoplasm. Humans on the other hand produce their own type of energy. It surrounds us but we can't see it without special equipment. Most people call it an aura, or life force. Either way it's what makes us human. The accident turned a portion of that energy into ectoplasm. They fed off each other but remained two separate energies which gave him his two forms. But now, they're gone. Whatever happened caused the two forces to merge and change. Danny's stuck like this. Forever."
two days later.
Sam hesitantly knocked on the door. A tired looking Jazz opened and motioned for her to come in.
"Has he come down yet?"
"No. He's just been sitting at the computer. He hasn't spoken to anyone and as far as we know he hasn't had anything to eat. I'm starting to worry."
"I'm sure he'll be fine. He can still live a normal life."
"Sam. I know you want to believe that, but he doesn't. He won't go out at all."
"I'll go talk to him." Sam was worried, even if she refused to show it. Her best friend was stewing in his own misery and wouldn't even look at anyone. She made her way to his room and gently knocked. "Danny. Can I come in?"
No answer came from the other side of the closed door. She slowly turned the door knob and walked in. Danny was nowhere to be seen. "Come on Danny, don't be like that, I know you're here." Nothing happened. She went and sat down in the chair next to his computer. "Fine, I can wait. I'll just sit right here while you hide. She turned to the computer and noticed the screen saver. It was the picture that had been taken when they were in eighth grade. She smiled at it before moving the mouse to see what he'd been working on.
To whomever is reading this,
I can't do this. I can't live like this. Danny Phantom isn't needed and Danny Fenton no longer exists. I don't know what I am. And neither does anyone else. I'm sorry that I can't stay, but if I've got to live this way, then I have to so where I can help people. I love all of you and I hope you understand. I've found a place where I'll be accepted. There are many people there who can't live a normal life. It's a dangerous city but it has people like me. People who want to make a difference.
A small tear leaked out the side of Sam's eye. She unconsciously held onto the small silver pendent that was suppose to be her birthday present.
A single word left her lips in a whisper. "Danny."
Several miles east of his home Danny stopped and floated for a second. He stared out at the city that had been his home since he was born. He knew that he might never see it again. He turned around and flew off in the direction of Jump City.
(A/N) Watch for Ghostly Titan, the sequel to Reborn in a few weeks.