I'M SORRY! This has been ready for SO LONG, but my internet hasn't let me log in since March. So I haven't been able to log in at all since May 16, which was my last day of school, and this wasn't done then. I was supposed to get my laptop on the 27th, BUT DELL CANCELLED THE ORDER SO IT TOOK LONGER! AAHHH! That was frustrating, but even more frustrating was that when I finally DID get my laptop on June 13(more or less) I couldn't get online for days! But now that's all fixed, so here's the last chapter! Enjoy!
Wow, after nine months, I've finally gotten to the last chapter of The Box Ghost's Revenge. I want to thank everyone who reviewed; you guys were awesome support for me throughout this entire story! I really had a lot of fun with this one, and I'm kinda sad it's over. But at least there is the sequel to look forward to. Thank you all soo much! This chapter is dedicated to all of you who reviewed; especially my two betas who helped me make this such an awesome story: darkflame1516 and mimiru1618. Thanks guys! I hope this super-long chapter is satisfying!
One more thing: I'm re-doing Chapters 1-10; 1-3 replacements are already up. See my profile for more details on it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom, so don't try to get money off of me!
Maddie sat at the kitchen table, her hands tugging at her messy hair as her sleep-deprived eyes looked over the results of her tests once more. For the past day and a half she had researched the possibility of ghost/human hybrids while Danny slept and recovered upstairs, but she still couldn't get her mind to believe that her son, her innocent little boy was "Public Enemy Number One". She had tested and re-tested the blood sample she'd gotten from his cut, and had even snuck upstairs while he was sleeping and taken a hair sample, but all of the tests showed the same result. How it was even possible for someone to be only half a ghost she had yet to figure out, but she knew the answer would come with time. Why did he never tell us he had ghost powers? He knows we would love him no matter what, so why would he keep such a huge secret from us?
A heavy sigh escaped her lips as she shuffled through her papers and calculations once more. The tests had revealed that Danny had a huge amount of ectoplasm infused with his DNA, of that she was sure. Looking back over the past year or so, she realized the facts had been there for her to see the whole time—the Ghost Gabber, the Fenton Finder, the Fenton Specter Deflector incident in Colorado…any one of those events should have alerted her to his powers, but she had subconsciously chosen to ignore it and focus on fixing the inventions that only malfunctioned around her son.
She was pulled from her thoughts when her daughter quietly entered the darkened kitchen.
"Jazz, what are you doing up? It's past midnight; you need to rest, sweetie." Jazz jumped a little and spun to face her mother.
"Oh! I didn't see you there, Mom. I just needed a drink." Jazz grabbed a tall blue cup from the cabinet and poured herself a glass of orange juice, sitting down across from her mother.
"What's that?" She asked, pointing to the papers in front of Maddie.
"Oh, that, it's just some research I've been doing." She tried to push all of the papers together to keep her daughter from seeing them, but Jazz was too quick and pulled a couple of sheets from the spread-out pile.
"DNA tests?" She asked quietly, her face paling in the dim lighting as she scanned the papers.
"Mom, what do you need DNA tests for?" Jazz gulped slightly and looked up at her mother's weary face.
Maddie shrugged lightly and looked down at the pile of papers in her hands.
"Oh, I just wanted to be sure nothing happened to your brother while he was in that awful place…just to be safe, you understand. He's fine." Maddie silently hoped her daughter wouldn't be able to decipher the results of her testing, she wanted to keep Danny's secret to herself. After a few minutes of silence she looked up at her daughter's face.
"You know, don't you Mom?" She whispered softly. Maddie faked surprise at her daughter's question.
"Know what, Jazz?" She innocently asked. Jazz scowled at her mom and tossed the papers across the table.
"Don't do that to me, Mom. I know that you know Danny's secret. I'm just a little surprised, is all. I didn't expect you to figure it out so soon." Maddie sat up straight in her chair, anger flashing through her eyes.
"Are you telling me you didn't think I was smart enough to figure out my son is half ghost?" She hissed. As soon as she said it she put her hands across her mouth; she still hadn't wanted to admit it to herself. Jazz shook her head at her mother.
"No, I just meant that after all this time you and Dad had ignored the signs so well that I figured you'd never see the truth. Or at least that it would take a lot of convincing for you to believe."
"It did." Maddie whispered. "I saw the signs, for months I've seen them but chosen not to acknowledge them. But the past two weeks brought up so many doubts in my mind I had to know. The dreams, the cut, the slips; it was all too coincidental for me to deny it any longer." Jazz frowned as Maddie mentioned the dreams.
"What dreams, Mom? What happened in them?"
"Well, there was one where I came downstairs in the morning and Danny Phantom was in the kitchen. I saw him, but both you and your father acted like nothing was wrong. You both kept telling me that Phantom was Danny, that I couldn't see it. In the other, I was fighting off a hoard of ghosts, and Danny Phantom saved me. I got scared, figuring he'd only saved me so he could kill me himself as payback for all the times I'd tried to obliterate him. But instead he told me he couldn't hurt me, and he changed his form to look like Danny. Both you and Jack were there, and you kept telling me the same things." Jazz frowned as she listened to Maddie's dreams.
"Your subconscious mind was trying to tell you the truth. The shock of being kidnapped and living with him must have triggered some kind of subliminal response, trying to tell you what was really going on." They sat together in silence for a few minutes, lost in their own thoughts. Finally, Maddie thought of something and opened her mouth.
"How long have you known, Jazz? Does your father know too?" Jazz turned to her mother and shook her head, smiling slightly.
"No, Dad doesn't know. He's not quite as bright as you are, even though Danny's had more close calls around him. Sam and Tucker know, though. I think they've always known, from the beginning. I've known since that psychiatrist was at our school; Ms. Spectra. She was actually a ghost who wanted to kill me so that she could feed off of the misery of everyone else. I tried to confront Danny about his strange behavior in the drugstore one day, but he gasped and ran out of the store into the back alley. I followed him, and saw him transform." Maddie nodded slowly.
"Did you tell him you knew?"
"No, I didn't. I figured I'd let him tell me when he was ready."
"That's probably a good idea, I don't want him to feel scared." Maddie paused for a moment, staring down at the results in her hands. "Why didn't he tell me? Why is he so scared of us finding out?"
Jazz pursed her lips thoughtfully. "I think he's afraid that we'll reject him, and I don't think your hunting him helped his mental state any. He's afraid that you won't love him anymore, that you'll hate him for being half-ghost." Maddie stared at her daughter in shock.
"But he has to know we love him no matter what he does! That we'll love him no matter what he is!" Shrugging, Jazz helped her mother gather the papers spread out over the table.
"I don't know why he didn't tell you at first. I think it all goes back to fear of rejection. Everyone fears rejection to an extent, and I think Danny was even more scared because you two are ghost hunters. Plus, you two are always raving about how you want to tear the ghost kid apart 'molecule by molecule'." Maddie sighed heavily.
"Jazz, how did he get like he is? Half-ghost? How did it happen?"
"Do you remember the accident with the portal?" she asked.
"Yes, that's what I'd thought." Maddie said, nodding thoughtfully. "He must have been inside when the portal was turned on, infusing his DNA with enough ectoplasm to half-kill him."
The living room clock chimed twice, indicating the time. Maddie sighed and stood up from the table, Jazz following behind her.
"Let's go to bed, sweetie. We'll worry about this in the morning." Well, I will. Jazz nodded and hugged her mother.
"Night, Mom. I love you." She whispered in Maddie's ear.
"I love you too, sweetie. See you in the morning." Jazz pulled away and walked up the stairs, leaving her mother behind in the darkness. Maddie turned off the dimmed kitchen light, grabbed her research papers and headed up the stairs. She paused in front of Danny's room and opened the door. Seeing his familiar form silently huddled beneath the dark blue covers put a smile on her tired face. She slowly closed the door behind her and headed to her room. Placing her results in a safe that only she knew the combination to, she climbed under the covers next to her husband and fell into the most peaceful sleep she'd been able to get in weeks.
Danny woke up slowly the next day, soaking in the soft warmth of his bed and savoring the wonderful feeling of just lying down. After a few minutes he opened his eyes, surprised to see the remains of a sunset through the window. His window. Not the window of a castle, or the Specter Speeder, but his room. His room with his bed. We made it. We finally made it home, all of us. There were times I didn't think any of us would make it back, but we did. Sam's going to be okay, Mom said she would be getting released soon. But that was last night…right?
He pushed back the covers stood up, leaning on the headboard until his wobbly legs got used to his weight once more. Looking at the digital clock that sat by his bed, he saw that it read 8:02 p.m. He suddenly realized that someone, probably his mom, had taken off his dirty tee-shirt and jeans and replaced them with his pink and white stripped pajamas. I wonder how long I've been sleeping. How many days has it been since we got back?
Frowning, he stared at the phone, debating on whether or not to call Sam to see if she was out of the hospital yet. But if she is back, what would I say to her? "Just wondering how you were doing?" After all that happened, she'd expect a better reaction…and she'd get suspicious if I said that, I know she would. He looked out at the rapidly darkening sky, contemplating his options. Maybe it would just be better for me to fly over there and see for myself. If she's not there, then I won't have wasted anything—It'd probably help me build up my strength again, if nothing else.
Having decided his course of action, he took a quick trip to the bathroom before heading off to Sam's house.As he washed his hands, he saw the bandage around his forehead was starting to come off. Carefully peeling it off, he slowly revealed the cut on his forehead, wincing as some of the newly-formed scabs came off with the bandage. A memory came to him as he inspected the cut; his mother's face as she tentatively fingered the cut the night before. She looked…confused. Or something like that. It was like she was trying to discount something in her mind. Eyes widening, a possibility he didn't want to consider came to him. Could she have figured it out! He quickly shook his head in denial. No, she couldn't have. Not after all this time. If she was going to figure it out she would have already.
Deciding that the cut was healed well-enough that he didn't have to re-bandage it, he threw out the old one and finished up in the bathroom, pushing all doubts and fears from his head as he looked forward to his visit with Sam. He could feel the strength returning to him already, and knew the late-night flight would be good for him. He stuck his head out of his bedroom door and peered down the hall, making sure no one seemed likely to want to disturb him while he was gone. Muted voices could be heard from his parent's bedroom, and Jazz's light was dimly shining from under her door. Satisfied that his room would be left alone until he came back, he transformed and flew off to Sam's house.
The cool night air brushed against his face as he flew above the houses and buildings of Amity Park, a comforting peace falling over his thoughts. The dark red and orange sky silhouetted the tall buildings of the downtown area, small stray rays of light filtering around and sparkling off the windows. It's nice to be able to fly around up here without worrying about anything or anyone getting hurt. I've really missed this.
Sam's large house loomed in the distance, and he smiled as he saw a faint light radiating from her window. As he got closer to the balcony of her room, he could hear music drifting out, recognizing it as Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Bach. Only Sam would listen to that scary stuff in the middle of the night. A small shiver crept up his spine as the organ hit a screeching chord and he suddenly felt like someone was watching him. He quickly dismissed the feeling as paranoia and flew down to her window, knocking on the polished glass to get her attention.
She looked up from where she was lying on her bed and smiled, beckoning him in with a wave of her hand. Phasing through the window, Danny landed on the floor by her bed and changed back.
"What are you doing here?" She asked as he sat down next to her on the comforter. "Shouldn't you be in bed resting? Tucker said you were pretty beat up." Danny shrugged noncommittally.
"Nah, I feel fine." He unconsciously reached up a hand to the cut on his head, drawing Sam's attention to it.
"Danny, what happened? How'd you get cut? You're not hurt anywhere else, are you?" Her face was immediately filled with panic as she looked him up and down to make sure he wasn't injured. An amused grin crossed his face as he watched her, but then his eyes caught her bandage.
"I think I should be the one asking you that question. You were hurt worse than me." She blushed slightly, looking down at the white bandage that encased her abdomen.
"It's not too bad; the doctor said I should be fully healed in about three weeks." An uneasy silence fell between them, and Danny absently studied his hands. Wow, this is uncomfortable…why did I come here in the first place? I could have just waited until the morning, or at least until Tucker could be here, he can always break these awkward silences. After a few tense minutes, Sam spoke up.
"Danny, are you sure you're okay? Tucker said the suit drained you pretty badly, just like it did last year. He said you weren't breathing well and he was really worried that you wouldn't make it, and that cut looks like it was pretty bad. What happened?" Looking at her saddened expression, he realized how concerned she really was and remembered the dream he'd had days before about Sam and Tucker at the Nasty Burger. Smiling softly, he took her hand.
"I'm fine, Sam. A little tired, but I've been sleeping ever since the Box Ghost beat Aradia. I think I'll be okay." At his statement, a disbelieving gasp escaped Sam's mouth.
"The Box Ghost beat Aradia? How did that happen!" Rubbing the back of his neck, Danny sighed heavily.
"Well, it's kind of a long story." Sam smiled at him.
"It's not like we have anything else to do," she said. "Tell away." He leaned over Sam and grabbed an extra pillow, a blush creeping over his face as he wondered if his dream might have been more than just a normal dream or wishful thinking. Leaning it against the headboard, he settled into the soft pillow and started his story.
Three hours later, they'd both told their parts of the past two week's 'adventure' and were digesting it in their heads. Danny had left out the part of the dream with Sam and Tucker at the Nasty Burger, wanting to save that confrontation for later, or better yet, never. He was uncomfortable with the idea that Sam liked him, even though he realized that he'd been secretly hoping for it for a long time. I think I'm more scared that the dream was only showing me what I wanted to see, not what really happened…and I don't think I want to find out if it means our friendship might be ruined. He sighed heavily, causing Sam to look up at him with concern.
"Danny, are you—" She paused when they both saw his ghost sense go off, the light blue smoke dissipating as he looked around the room for any sign of the cause. They didn't have to wait long to find the source; the Box Ghost soon floated into view, hovering just above the bed where the two friends were resting. Danny scrambled off of the bed and transformed, flying up to confront the Box Ghost.
"Why are you here?" He asked cautiously, not trusting the ghost but still hesitant to hit him. After all, he did finish off Aradia when I couldn't…The Box Ghost eyed Danny, seemingly surprised at his reaction.
"I came to warn you." Danny waited for him to continue, but after a few impatient moments, he couldn't bring himself to wait any longer.
"Warn me of what? Is Aradia out again?" The Box Ghost shook his head slightly, an amused look crossing his features.
"No, she's not. I tricked her into a prison of her own making; she will not be getting out any time soon. I came to warn you of what you will face. Do not think that I have forgotten what you did to me in the past—those wrongs will never be forgotten, and will soon be avenged. I only saved you from Aradia's incompetent plan so that I would finally be able to have my revenge."
Frowning, Danny cocked an eyebrow at the muscular ghost.
"What do you mean by that?" He gazed curiously at the halfa, a small smile tugging at his lips.
"Aradia originally used me as her pawn in her plans for revenge, but she overlooked a very important detail. Now I am the master; I will not fail."
"Why are you telling me this? What's going on!" Danny was quickly getting frustrated, but the specter did not give a direct answer, settling instead for a vague warning.
"Do not leave your back unguarded, Danny Phantom. I will be back to seek my revenge." The Box Ghost then phased out through the roof, leaving a very confused halfa in his wake. What just happened? Why did he save me if he's so bent on destroying me? I should chase after him and ask…but I don't think he's gonna tell me anything else. Why would he warn me in advance if he wants vengeance on me?
"Danny, Danny are you okay?" Pulled from his musings, he turned around to find a very confused and worried Sam staring up at him. He floated down to the floor and changed back for the second time that night, once again taking his place beside her on the bed.
"Yeah, I'm fine…I think." He paused slightly, a calculating look gracing his features. "What exactly do you think he meant by all of that?"
Sam shook her head slightly and sighed, shrugging her shoulders. "I don't know. Why would he tell you he's going to be after you soon? It doesn't seem like a very smart thing to do; if I were a ghost I wouldn't tell you. It gives you an unfair advantage." Danny chuckled at her statement.
"Well, this is the Box Ghost we're talking about. He isn't exactly the brightest crayon in the box."
"Don't underestimate him, Danny." Sam scolded. "After all, he did beat Aradia, which was more than you'd done." He blushed crimson at the comment, embarrassed that the Box Ghost had been able to defeat Aradia when he'd been almost unconscious from the effort.
"I know, I know. It's just that I can't seem to get the idea of him being a real threat to click. Something doesn't seem right here, and I can't figure it out. I thought he was just a pawn in Aradia's plans, but he managed to beat her without much of a fuss. I wonder if there's something more to this that I'm just not seeing. Why would he warn me?" He mused aloud, not noticing that Sam could hear him. "It just doesn't make any sense." He shook his head and looked up at the top of Sam's canopied bed, doubts and thoughts whirling through his head. Sam sighed softly and leaned back onto her pillow, a small grunt of pain escaping her lips. Jerked from his thoughts, Danny's overprotective mode kicked in.
"Are you okay, Sam? What's wrong? Is there anything you need me to get? Should I get your grandma?"
Sam chuckled at his efforts. "Danny, I'm fine. My side's just a little sore, that's all. I'll be fine." He frowned, wanting to but too concerned to believe her.
"Are you sure? After that dream I had, I don't want to risk anything…" He trailed off, immediately regretting letting that small bit of information slip; he hadn't meant to confront her about the dream.
"What dream? Danny, what are you talking about?" Way to go, Fenton, now she's going to interrogate it out of you. Rubbing the back of his neck again, he averted his eyes and attempted to answer.
"Oh…uhh…it was n-n-nothing. Just a dream I had." She narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
"Would this have anything to do with that dream you said you had that told you where to find me?" Danny remained silent, not wanting to tell her, but not able to come up with a convincing lie.
"Danny, tell me! If this has something to do with what just happened—" He sent up a silent prayer, hoping that it would be heard. Please don't make me tell her…
"No, it didn't have anything to do with the Box Ghost." She sighed softly in relief, but didn't let up on her interrogations.
"Then what was it?" she softly asked. "Whatever it was, it's got you in an uptight mess." Taking a deep breath, he braced himself for the confession he knew was to come. Okay, you can do this. Just breathe, don't worry about it. You don't have to tell her how you feel if she doesn't like you back. Just tell her about the dream.
"I didn't tell you everything about the dream. There was a part, and I saw something…" He drifted off, not quite sure where to go from there. After a few moments of silence, he picked up his trail again.
"Do you remember me telling you about those doors I saw? The ones in that hallway where I saw some of my memories?" She nodded but kept silent, her confused face patiently watching him. He gulped and continued.
"Well, there was one I didn't tell you about. It wasn't my memory. There was a day a couple of months ago where I couldn't go with you and Tucker to the Nasty Burger because I had so much homework, and, I saw it. What you and Tucker were talking about." He stopped, not quite sure what to say. Looking at Sam's face, he watched her blush in embarrassment. Maybe it really did happen, then. Maybe...no, I can't get my hopes up. What if it was all just my imagination? What if she doesn't like me back? Sam shifted uneasily next to him, pulling him from his thoughts.
"What did you hear?" She asked embarrassedly, unsucessfully trying to hide her blush. He cleared his throat before continuing.
"Well, um, you two were worrying about me. Well, it was mostly you." He conceded after a short pause. She smiled a bit. Taking a deep breath, he hurriedly spat out the rest of what he'd seen.
"And…um…you…said-you-loved-me." The words came out so fast that at first he wasn't sure she had heard them. Both remained silent for a few minutes, an uneasy feeling falling between them. Oh man, what did I just do? What if I was wrong, what I just made the biggest mistake of my life? What if she doesn't want to be my friend anymore? Why did I have to tell her? I could have just made something up. Danny finally broke the silence.
"I, um, I'd better go home. Mom might come check up on me; I think she'd be pretty mad if I wasn't there." Disappointed with himself, he slowly sat up. He was just about to get off of the bed when Sam's hand grabbed his arm.
"Danny, wait." He turned around, trying to keep the hope from his eyes and voice.
"Yeah?" He croaked. Sam's eyes were filled with conflicting emotions, and he couldn't make out what she was thinking.
"I…um…about your dream and what you saw…" He blushed bright red and gulped loudly, cursing himself inwardly for his hormones. Calm down, Fenton! Don't get your hopes up…
"It really happened. The whole thing, I…I'm sorry, Danny, I'll understand if you don't want to be friends, but—" He quickly cut her off, a large smile adorning his face.
"So you really do, I mean you actually…like me like me?" She nodded slightly, her crimson face turned away from him.
"I'm sorry, Danny, please don't let this ruin our friendship." She whispered softly. Eyes widening in shock at her statement, Danny turned her head towards him.
"Sam, it's okay, I don't mind. In fact, I'm kind of happy that it really did happen." Tears streamed down her face as she looked up at him.
"Really?" she whispered. Pulling her into a soft embrace, carefully avoiding her burns, he stroked her hair as she cried onto his shoulder.
"I love you, Sam."
"I love you too, Danny," came the muffled reply. She laughed softly and pulled away, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand.
"We're such idiots, Danny. Both of us." She coughed slightly and leaned back onto the pillows, Danny settling down next to her on his own pillow. Smiling, he shook his head and found Sam's hand with his own.
"Yeah, we are. But at least now we can be idiots together, right?" She broke into laughter, a huge grin gracing her lips.
"Danny, what would I do without you?" He leaned forward and kissed her gently on the lips.
"I don't know, but let's hope you never have to find out." He scooted closer to her and carefully wrapped his arm around her shoulder, their noses almost touching as they faced each other.
"Good night, Sam."
The moon shone in on their faces, lighting the happy smiles in an ethereal glow as they blissfully drifted into slumber.
The Box Ghost paced up and down Aradia's personal office, contemplating his options. He'd locked Aradia in a prison of her own making, effectively making sure she would not be able to get out for a long time. Smiling grimly, he looked over to the black vase with blood-red veins running through it, the gateway to the new prison of his former master.
"Now I am the master, Aradia. You have no control over me anymore. You gave me more power than I could ever have hoped to gain on my own, and I played along. But you did not expect me to want to be my own master—yet another flaw in you that matches your would-be future husband. Both of you underestimated me; you have paid for it. And soon, he will too."
Turning from the vase, he looked around the office. Many of the objects were unusable to him, but that was not a problem. The only one he really felt he would need was the large viewing mirror hung on the far wall behind the throne. He could not use it himself, but his new ally would be able to tap its powers. Suddenly, the far door opened, admitting four cloaked figures.
"Ah, you have arrived." He paused in front of the throne and waited until they had approached him.
"I am now your master and you will do as I say. I have defeated your old master, one who is unworthy of remembrance. From now on you will obey me alone, and you will start with this task: to help me destroy Danny Phantom, the same halfa you tried to help your old master defeat. She may have failed, but I will not. Now go, and do the tasks I have assigned to you." They bowed to him and retreated out the door, their red eyes shining sinisterly from under the blood-red hoods.
He turned to the viewing mirror, gazing into its swirling, misty depths. "You may come out now." Another cloaked figure appeared from the shadows. It had arrived with the others, but this one had a different task. It stopped just behind him, it's eerie reflection gazing at him through the glass.
"You will adhere to the deal?" The female voice asked softly.
"Of course. You help me defeat Danny Phantom by using your powers and knowledge of this mirror, and I in return will help you free your former master." The cloaked figure nodded, its red eyes blinking in acknowledgement.
"Do you wish for me to find him in the glass for you now?" Hesitating slightly, the Box Ghost shook his head.
"No, I have warned the halfa; let him make of this fight what he will." A wry smile appeared on his features.
"Let the games begin."
Thanks to everyone who reviews, you guys are the ones who keep me writing. Hits are all fine and dandy, but its reviews that make the story. Thank you! I'll see you in December with the sequel! And it'll be in December because that's when I'm PLANNING on finishing FOF and DOVE…and because I don't have any clue what's going to happen. So suggestions are helpful too! But nothing too vague. I really only need help on the evil plot—what will it be, specifically? What will the Box Ghost and his new assistant do?
Oh, and one more thing—I want to know how you found out about my story. Just curious. It could be from the link in my other profile, or on the menu thingy, or word of 'mouth', author alert, or however you found it. Please and thank you!
The Sleep Warrior