Danny turned to look at his human half, curled up and cowering in a corner like a helpless baby. He thought back to the Fenton Dream Catcher and frowned. He couldn't leave his human half running around. Unlike Vlad, he was smart enough to realize that it didn't matter how powerless his human side was, it might get it in its head to try to recombine with him or worse, stop him. And knowing his human half as well as he did, he knew that it was very plausible that it might succeed.
Therefore, it was best to just put it out of its misery here and now. He smiled as he leaned forward over the frightened boy. Danny could feel the blood lust well up inside him as he reached forward and placing his hand inside Danny Fenton's chest, blow his human half apart with an eco-blast to the heart.
"Rest in pieces," he smirked as he turned to Vlad. He was about to do the same to him, but stopped. Vlad had been no match for him as a half ghost, and now has a human, broken as he were, he was even less of a threat.
'Besides,' Danny thought to himself. 'There are other, more important people I'd rather see right now.' He blasted a hole in the rook of the lab and flew high into the sky. With luck, he'd be in Amity Park by sunset.
Vlad stirred, his head feeling like a volcano had cracked it open and tried to pull his brain out. His stomach lurched as bile rose in his throat, and if pain was any indication, he was positive that his right ankle had been broken. It took only one look around his lab for everything to come pouring back to him. He started to call out Danny's name when his eyes caught sight of the most horrifying thing Vlad had ever seen. There, lying crumpled and bloody on the floor, was all that was left of Danny Fenton. A large hole burned through the center of his chest and his eyes, bulging from their sockets in horror.
"Dear lord," he whispered to the empty lab. "What have I done?"
For the first time in his life Vlad was absolutely terrified. He sank back against the wall unable to move for the longest time.
Valerie was busy putting up yet another flyer with Danny Fenton's likeness on it. It had been close to a month and she was still worried. He just hadn't been right the night he left, and she couldn't just leave him out in the cold alone.
The streetlamp that she was currently tacking the flyer up on came on with the other streetlamps along the sidewalk. It was getting late and she'd have to head home soon, but not before she finished posting a few more up.
"Valerie?" a voice came from some dark shadows near some bushes, stopping Valerie in her tracks. She knew that voice. She would have known it anywhere.
"Danny?" she asked, nervously.
"Yeah, it's me."
"Danny! I'm so glad you're back" Valerie ran and flung herself at him, giving him a great big hug. When Danny didn't return the hug, she backed away, back into the light where she could see the outline of Danny's form. Something was different. There was a coldness about him, but Valerie figured that was to be expected considering all he had been through.
"Danny, I've been wanting to talk to you. I know you didn't kill your parents and now that you're back we can prove it. You just have to show everyone what you showed me. That Danny Fenton and Danny Phantom are one in the same!"
"But I can't do that Valerie," he said in a slightly pitying tone.
"What do you mean you can't do that?" she asked, involuntarily taking another step back.
"I can't do that," he replied. "Because I did kill them. I told you that already. Don't you ever listen?"
"Danny, what's gotten into you?" Valerie started to reach forward to him but stopped. Something was holding her back. She tried to move slightly in hopes that she might make out the expression on his face, which was still encased in shadow.
"Actually, Valerie, the question should be, what's been taken out of me." Danny stepped out of the shadows. Valerie gasped in shock. He looked the same as he had when she last saw him as a ghost, fleeing his own home, save that now his skin glowed an eerie green and he was happy. He was making her extremely nervous.
"Listen Danny, I don't know what happened while you were away but the Danny Fenton I know wouldn't have killed his parents!"
Danny's grin became larger as he began to walk around to Valerie's side. "Now see, that's you're problem. And one of the reasons I came back here." Danny adopted a mock look of pain and sorrow. "You see, poor Danny Fenton is dead. I killed him. Just like I killed his parents. Or will kill his parents. I'm not quite sure how that's going to work, but trust me, it will. The point is though, that Danny Fenton doesn't exist anymore." He shrugged his shoulders.
"Pity really, but couldn't be helped. I couldn't exactly have had him running around trying to merge up with me again," the ghost laughed. "Anyway, I thought it only proper that I be the one that told you. Seeing as I'm also going to be killing you and the rest of these pansies in Amity Park."
Valerie backed away from the ghost that had at various times been her worst enemy and her best friend, unable to believe what she was hearing.
"Danny," she pleaded, but he cut her off with a wave of his hand.
"I told you Valerie. Danny's dead. You can call me Daniel. Or better yet, Dan. Yeah, I like Dan a lot better. Dan Phantom. It has such a nice ominous tone to it, don't ya think?" He leaned in and smiled widely at her, showing a set of fangs that he had not previously had.
"Now," he continued as she shook in fear. "This is the part where you run." Valerie dropped the flyers she had been carrying and did just that. She broke into the most panicked run in her young life.
Dan Phantom watched her as she fled into the night. He picked up one of the flyers she had dropped and looked at his former human visage as it stared, smiling, back at him.
"Yes, Valerie. Run while you can. Because tomorrow, I start hunting you." he remarked, as his vicious laugh echoed through the darkened streets.