Author's Note: So normally I wouldn't post something like this since it was kind of just something I needed to get out of my system. Translation- it's vague, and only half the story is what you see here while the other half is in my head. I'll try to explain at the end, but I think you'll enjoy it anyway.
Disclaimer: Whoo, Butch!
Amy and the Ghost
Amy saw her breath and the thick file dropped from her grasp as if it had suddenly turned into a rattlesnake. She stood motionless for a moment before her action registered and a frown appeared across her lips that seemed all too accustomed to being there. She crouched down and began to pick up the scattered pages—they would have to be sorted and organized all over again, she realized with an inward sigh—and cursed the fact that she had decided to wear the suit with the short skirt that day.
Her new, infuriating task closer at hand, she had already forgotten why she had dropped the file in the first place. It had slid easily from her thoughts into a dark, safe corner of her mind, far from her conscious thinking. Carefully and individually papers were lifted from the floor with the leverage of newly-manicured finger-nails, and placed back into the folder. It had happened too close to her private office for anyone to have a particular reason to be around, and so it was no wonder no one showed up to help. This only worsened her mood.
Several minutes later she straightened and continued toward her office where, instead of calmly reviewing the file and perhaps having a relaxing afternoon for once, she would have to re-order all 276 pages. And still review it. And the coffee machine had broken that morning. This was not a good day.
Inside her secretary's office she saw her breath again, but this time her grip on the file was firm and she brushed it off. The office was always kept very cold, for reasons known only to herself.
She nodded to the middle-aged woman who was tapping away at the key-board of a clunky computer and stepped into her own office. She closed the door behind her and breathed. Again she saw her breath. And she saw him. For the second time the file crashed to the floor, scattering papers everywhere.
She also screamed.
"It's good to see you too," said the ghost with a rather sheepish grin as he eyed the fallen paperwork.
Amy put a hand to her chest, unsurprised that she could feel her heart beating wildly even through her polyester blazer. She took several deep breaths and tried to remember all the calming exercises she'd learned from her therapist. Her mind might as well have been a sieve, for she could not remember the counting or the mantras, and she could not picture the green meadow or the glossy beach. All she could see were two children, laughing and playing. And flying, which would probably have seemed odd to anyone else. The dark place in her mind had been invaded.
"Jack," she breathed, surprised that she could speak at all. "What are you doing here?"
The ghost, Jack, appeared a little hurt at her harsh words. Quickly he brushed off this feeling and grinned at her impishly as he advanced towards her. Amy backed up in turn, her back pressing against the door.
The ghost was almost an entire foot taller than her, lanky but muscular. His long, white hair blew around his face in what she vaguely thought of as an obnoxious manner, considering that there was no breeze to speak of in the tight-shut office. He appeared tangible, and yet gave off the impression of being somewhat unreal, his entire being emitting a slight glow. Amy considered screaming again. She also considered punching him.
When he reached her he picked up her left hand and she shivered because his touch was colder than ice but soft and familiar. He lifted her hand slowly until it was level to his glowing, green eyes, inspecting every centimeter with a small frown until focusing on one finger in particular.
"I knew it," he murmured.
Amy swallowed. In a way she had been expecting this. Even after all those years of near total separation, there were some things she always knew about Jack. She knew when he was very, very angry, she knew when he was in a lot of pain, and importantly to her current situation he knew when he was somehow concerned for her.
She should have known she couldn't just get married without him finding out.
"So who's the lucky guy?" Jack asked with a forcefully flippant tone. He was obviously hurt and trying not to let on just how much. Amy felt both angry and terrible. She did not want to explain herself, or want to have to. Even so, she couldn't help but think that maybe, even after what he'd done, she owed it to him.
"Rob," she replied and her throat was dry. "His name is Rob Heinz. He's a wonderful man."
"Is he?" Jack asked seriously, "He doesn't ignore you or hurt you or anything?"
"Of course not," Amy snapped. Briefly the ghost's eyes flashed even brighter as if the power within him sensed a growing confrontation. He took a moment to calm down, and gave an apologetic smile.
He shrugged, "I'm sorry. Things seem more black and white when you're this way than if you're human. I guess I could have been a little more tactful. But to think you've gone and sold your soul to some one I've never even met…"
Amy's scowl deepened and she forced her way past him, entering further into her office and crossing towards the large windows. She'd felt closed in and cold when cornered by Jack, and the sunlight felt good on her face. "Is that how you think of it, then? Sold my soul… God, sorry if human things like marriage seem petty to you, Jack."
They were silent, the tension almost tangible. Amy wondered if she could make him disappear simply by closing her eyes, then took a moment to further analyze her feelings and wondered if she really wanted him to disappear. Again.
"You could have invited me," he said stiffly. Tears glittered in Amy's eyes and she began to twist the gold band on her ring finger, keeping her gaze firmly on the window. She would not give in. She would not run up to him, she would not hug him and feel his coldness, or his gentle and protective arms around her. She would not remember the two children who were flying. Outside that window was sun, was life. Back home at night Rob would be there and Jack wouldn't. Jack was gone, and that was what she had to remember.
"You could have invited me… to your own wedding," Jack pointed out again, this time letting his hurt and his sadness show in his voice, however unintentionally.
She went to him and pulled him into the fiercest embrace she could muster, her face burrowed into his chest as she fought a losing battle with her tears.
"Would you have come back, Jack? Would you have come back for my wedding?"
"I am back," he murmured into her hair.
"That's not what I meant."
He stiffened and she knew the answer long before he spoke. It was something she had known even since before she ever met Rob or considered marrying him. Long ago, when quite suddenly a very full part of her life had been left void.
Jack pulled out of the hug and held her at arm's length. She vaguely registered that they were no longer touching the floor, but couldn't tear her eyes away from his face. In many ways it was so similar to hers, the nose perhaps, or just the over-all structure. But there was a difference there that went far beyond gender. "You know I can't," he said carefully. It was an old argument that dealt out wounds that never quite healed. He wondered why she had bothered to ask, even now. Amy said nothing.
"You can't be so shocked," Jack continued, set on justifying himself even if it meant hurting Amy further. "After it happened to Dad, you should have known it was only a matter of time before… before I followed him."
Amy shook out of his grasp, but did not sink to the floor. "No, that's not true. Dad lived first, for a good long time. And he married Mom and he had children and he had a job and a house and a dog and—"
"And Dad got his powers when he was fourteen. You and I are different from him, Amy."
"I'm different from you, Jack."
Quite suddenly he disappeared entirely. Amy didn't know what she'd do if he were gone for good, except perhaps cry. Cry and cry and cry until she felt too empty to do anything anymore. But then his voice drifted to her ears from the door, and sure enough he reappeared fully, his familiar grin back on his face.
"You will let me know when Rob Jr. is born, won't you, Ame? Let Uncle Jack teach him a few tricks?"
Yes, she thought to herself desperately. Yes I will, Jack. I won't keep secrets anymore, at least not from you. I want you in my life again.
He seemed to understand, though she did not directly answer his question. "No tricks," she warned. "My kids are not going to end up like you, or like Dad, or—"
"Like you," he finished, with a knowing smile. She sniffed curtly, but somehow the tension had eased. Everything seemed almost normal again, although such a word could only be used very loosely in the lives of the Fenton twins.
"In that case, I'll be seeing you," Amy's brother offered in goodbye, and just because he was never one to give into expectations, he disappeared through the floor despite being right beside the actual exit. For a while after that Amy stood by the window and looked down on the street below, at the people going along, carrying on with their lives… Perhaps the file could wait. Maybe she would call Rob at his work and the two could spend some time together in the day light for once. The idea seemed immensely appealing.
After all, if she was going to end up like her father and brother in the end, she planned to enjoy her life to the fullest while she had the chance.
Post A/N: Ooookay, so now for a long-winded explanation which you can go ahead a skip (and by skip I mean stop reading and hit the 'review' button) if you're satisfied with the narrative alone.
Jack and Amy are twins with the ghost powers of a halfa. This would be because they are the children of Danny Phantom and (and this is only my opinion, as it is my pairing of preference) Valerie Grey. I would see Jack (when he's not being angsty) as being very much like his mother in that he's bold and confident for the most part, sarcastic and with a touch of obnoxiousness that comes all from himself. Amy, however, is much more insecure and therefore more like Danny. Consequently, it's Jack who chooses to embrace his abilities while Amy chooses a normal life. Hm.
What I was getting at with the abandonment and 'what happened to Dad' and 'Would you have come back?' bit is kind of complicated to get out since this is already too long. It's just a concept I like to toy with of Danny (or in this case, his children as well) eventually giving in to their other half, unable to sustain a life when they are both living and dead. I don't mean to say that they have their humanity physically ripped from them, just that they choose (consciously or subconsciously) to have the ghost be their true form, and the human to be the unnatural transformation. Just a reversal on the way things are, but it makes a big difference if you think about it.