Cold As Ice

Author's Note: Never thought my first Danny Phantom fic would do so well… wow. Thank you all for the critiques and the praise, I don't know how many times I can say it.

Hmm... pretty long epliogue I think. But I had to leave you guys hanging with something .

One Last Surprise

The man sitting behind the desk folded back the newspaper, his hands tense and a muscle above his eye twitching. He sighed and leaned back into the luxurious leather chair, crossing his legs in a relaxing position. How was it that the boy had yet again escaped from one of his captured ghosts?

Probably because this time, he hadn't planned on another ghost coming across his prison.

Before Vlad had known of the existence of Danny Phantom, he had made it a hobby of his to hunt down ghosts that roamed the mortal plane. They were usually simple to find just by looking into folklore and nonsense legends.

Once he realized that the Avalanche Specter was of no use to him – this particular ghost seemed even more incessant to remain where he was than was typical – and that he in no way would simply release him from the chest, he abandoned the chest in a storage room of a museum in Amity Park. Why? Because he had decided to discard of Avalanche after he had heard of the Amity Park ghost hybrid that used his powers to defend humans. Still, though, before the college reunion.

By the time he had learned the insufferable thieving ghost had accidentally released the Specter, he had already begun to weave a plan in his own expertise that would, coincidentally, cause some form of psychological harm to the boy. He greatly doubted that he would die at the hands of the Specter though – the girl, possibly, but him?

So he had let Avalanche play his little games of self-pity and guilt around the boy. He had kept track of the happenings with both the national news and his own resources.

What the reporters and journalists were saying now was unacceptable. Both had returned, completely unscathed. And here he thought that the Specter had a good reputation…

He pushed the chair back and stood. No matter. Since this whole thing was an unexpected turn, the fact that it failed hadn't affected his agenda much. Becoming intangible, he slowly slipped below the carpeted flooring and disappeared from the room. He found himself in his own laboratory. Since he'd rebuilt it, it looked uncannily like the Fenton Works lab. Then again, what form of décor would look decent in a ghost research facility?

Of course, Vlad was able to find the best opportunities from any situation. The boy had just gone through a few days of searching and fighting a rather powerful ghost. Though there were no permanent scars, he was still in the process of healing both body and psyche. If he was ever to take a chance, soon was very much better than later.

He transformed into Plasmius and pressed a small purple button on one of the control panels.

"Yesterday the missing children were found at last, roughly two miles from the resort they'd been residing in. Samantha Manson and Daniel Fenton were unharmed, save for a few minor injuries.

"However, mysteries still remain amongst the locals in the area. An hour before the missing were found, scans of the area reported an avalanche had occurred. The site of the natural disaster was over five miles from where the two children were found. The children say that they had gone out to search for the other missing people, Rachel Kline and Paul Tollison, but had failed to join a search party.

"These explanations would contradict signs of ghost involvement in the recent events. An official statement from Commander Newhart tells us otherwise. Shortly after Fenton and Manson were found, a letter signed as Phantom reads that the Avalanche Specter, rumored kidnapper of the four children, did indeed exist, but that he wouldn't haunt the mountain range any longer. Since then many believe that the Amity Park resident ghost is the one who wrote this message. It's yet to be decided whether or not the –"

The television screen went black as Danny raised the remote, a cell phone between the nook of his shoulder and his ear. "You mean you heard about it all the way in Florida?" he asked into the phone.

"It's been on the national news since the first missing case," said Jazz. "I pretty much knew that, A, Mom and Dad would go up there and bother you, and B, that you'd somehow be involved."

"I was involved, alright," he said, tossing the remote on to the couch. After he and Sam took down the Specter, Ash, or whatever he was called, they flew to right outside of where they say the search parties and waited to be found. When they got back, they had to bear through a few hours of chastising and news cameras being shoved in their faces, but he'd found the time to slip a message to Newhart that yes, a ghost existed in the mountains. Not that he had anything to do with kidnapping Sam, but just to shove it in her face a little.

"Are you absolutely sure you're okay, though?"

"Jazz, I'm fine," he said. "Except for the fact that I got no relaxation whatsoever and that my brain was pretty much friend for ten days, I'm as good as I can be." He opened the door to the kitchen and noticed his parents sitting at the table. It would due to not talk so openly. "So, even though your hundreds of miles away, you're still going to bug me, aren't you?"

"You said you wouldn't have it any other way."

"Quit reminding me."

"Oh, Danny, there you are," said Maddie. "Where were you?"

"Oh, uh," he mumbled. "Just, you know, taking a walk." He made sure the Fenton Thermos was tucked safely in his back pocket.

His mother stood from the table and brought her dirty dishes to the sink. "Well, Sam and Tucker came over while you were out and we invited them in," she explained. She smiled while her back was turned. "They're in your room, so you might want to go up there."

Danny raised an eyebrow and then said into the phone, "I have to go. Talk to you later."

"Sure you're fine?"

"YES Jazmine," he answered. "Bye." He shut his cell phone and ran up the stairs, leaving Maddie and Jack in the kitchen.

She looked to her husband, an all-knowing smile on her face. "What do you think, Jack? You think Danny's okay after last week?"

He nodded, his mouth currently chewing bacon.

"Yeah." She turned back to the sink. "And Sam, too."

Danny opened his door cautiously. "Uh, guys?" The lights inside weren't on. He reached over to flip the switch and stepped inside.


Danny yelped and threw his fists up, ready to go ghost before seeing Tucker and Sam in his room, holding up a home-decorated cake with the words Happy Birthday Phantom written in blue in his face. Two lit candles were dangerously close to his nose.


"Jeez, man, calm down, it's just us," said Tucker.

Danny relaxed and eyed the cake. Tucker stood there, holding the cake with greedy fingers, and Sam stood next to him leaning to one side and smiling, amused by his reaction. "What's this?" he asked.

"Well," Sam said, "seeing as how we promised you we'd celebrate both your birthdays, and that we never got the chance to –"

"For a couple of reasons," Tucker said, smirking at the two. The glared, but dropped it quickly.

"We figured that we'd make it up to you," she finished.

Danny looked at the cake and smiled. He leaned over the cake and blew out the candles, allowing Tucker to dig into the chocolate cake as much as he wanted. Sam took a piece in a napkin and looked at Danny, who hadn't moved to have a slice. She walked over to him, worried. "Are you okay?" she asked.

"Mostly," he said, slipping his hand into Sam's. "Don't start worrying about me too much, though, just because of this. That's Jazz's job."

Sam smiled softly and held up her slice, which Danny took a bite from.

"It's kind of sad that it took a ghost attack," said Tucker through his full mouth, "for you two to finally get over your pride." He swallowed and leaned back on the bed."Or, in Danny's case, denial."

Sam looked back at Danny, her eyebrows knit together. "Speaking of Ash," she said, "do you think that maybe, Alice is a ghost? You think that she's in the Ghost Zone?"

Danny shrugged. "If she is, he might want to not tell her about the last twenty years, huh?"

Sam sighed and leaned against Danny. Her downcast eyes bored into the floor as she considered. Not everyone turned into ghosts. Would Alice have? Why did she care so much? Because Ash... even though she had Danny, and she was still pissed off, she did feel bad for him whenever he was remotely human.

"Hey, Sam," said Tucker from Danny's bed, "if you want to give Danny his birthday present, I can always –"

Sam shot him a malicious look and said, "I thought I told you you're too young to be talking like that."

Danny smirked and winked at Tucker while Sam wasn't looking. "So, I don't have a birthday present?" he whined.

Sam rolled her eyes and laughed. "Maybe later."

Author's Note: Okay, NOW we're officially done… mostly. Still working out the bits and pieces. Hope this gave you something to whine about, though . You'll have to wait until I'm done with a separate story, though. So leave me some reviews and I'll start up my next story ASAP.

Saramis Kismet