Courting Catastrophe

Rated T for mild language, sensuality, and some crude humor.

Party Where the Heat is On!

Author's Notes: I have to be the world's worst fanfic author. Leave it to me to start another project while I'm still working on another. Glances at Face the Music and groans. After watching as much Danny Phantom over Christmas break as I possibly could and conversing with my good friend ForgottenRelic, I've decided to start a Danny Phantom fic. And this is it. Actually, this is part one in a series. Um, just how long this series is, I don't know. There's another fic that takes place several years after this one that I'm writing at the same time. The good part about that is that they're fairly consistent, so no odd discrepancies running amok. I want to do one in the middle . . . but we'll see how that turns out, shall we?

Anyway, here goes. I hope it's not too horrible. This certainly isn't my first fic, it's just my first one for Danny Phantom, let alone anything domestic. Most of my fics are inspired by shows from another country. Let's just hope this one turns out okay.

A few things to remember, this is Senior year, and I'm assuming that Dash is in the same grade as Danny. If he's not, well, too bad. For the purposes of this fic, he is. Second, it's also spring. Getting close to graduation and all that, which will play into later chapters. Third, to make sure that Danny and Sam have a clear path, Tucker and Valerie are now dating. Kind of. Everything else should be fairly straight foreword. Finally, any book title used as an exclamation by Mr. Lancer will have a brief summary and any relevant information explained. These are either very popular and well known titles, or something that I've read, either for fun or for class.

Danny felt like a truck had run over him.

Nope, scratch that.

Danny felt like a truck had run over him, backed up and run over him again, before throwing it into drive to hit him a third time. There was nothing more terrifying that the prospect of finding a date to the senior prom.

He wasn't the total reject he'd been in his freshman year, thank God puberty had finally hit, but as things still stood, he was no Dash Baxter.

"Hey, Fentwad," the aforementioned quarterback called, spotting his prey from down the hall. "Hope you can get a blow-up doll for a date."

Danny decided to be the bigger man, but it was highly tempting to overshadow Dash and make him say and do some potentially social life ruining things. Lucky for Dash, Sam had just turned the corner coming from her Classical Literature class. Even though Sam would like to see Dash (and subsequently Paulina) taken down a notch or to, she still disapproved of Danny using his ghost powers for those sorts of acts.

Danny turned towards his friend, but was grabbed by Dash. "Where you going, Fentoad?"

Danny shook off Dash. Since his growth spurt he was now two inches taller than the quarterback, and almost four years of ghost hunting had toned his body into a lean, mean, ghost fighting machine. Plus Jazz had bought him a set of free weights to use to further increase his body strength. The result was that now Danny Fenton was one of the hottest guys in school. Too bad none of the girls his age noticed.

"Back off Dash. I'll have a date."

Dash started laughing. "You gonna get your little girlfriend to go with you?"

"She is not my girlfriend!" Danny bellowed, noticing Sam's stricken look from the corner of his eye. "We're best friends, that's all."

"He's Just Not That Into You, people! Get going!" Mr. Lancer shouted from his classroom door. "This is a passing period, not a stand around and chat period."

Danny glared at Dash as the quarterback returned to his little entourage, leaving him and Sam to shuffle to fifth period Senior Writing. "I really hate him."

Sam patted Danny's arm reassuringly. "I'm proud of you though. I would have thought that you would have overshadowed him and made him sing I'm a Little Teapot in the middle of the cafeteria by now."

"It's tempting, very tempting," Danny answered as he and Sam walked through Lancer's door. Sliding into his seat, Danny placed his backpack on his desk and fished out his writing binder.

"How did your paper go?" Sam asked, hoping to make small talk.

Danny shrugged. "A paper on what we want to do with our lives? Peachy, I suppose."

"Oh, come on Danny. You spent two days in the library with your nose buried in books about NASA. It wasn't that bad."

Danny gave a half smile to Sam. "It was really fun. But I'm now too tall to be an astronaut. What am I supposed to do now?"

"Astronomy?" Sam suggested.

Danny would have replied had Tucker not bounded into class, a radiant smile spread across his face. "You'll never guess who agreed to go with me to Prom."

"Valerie," Danny and Sam answered at the same time.

Tucker's face fell. "Man, you two really know how to take the fun from these things. How'd you know, anyway?"

"Because since she's part of the middle class, Kwan won't take her," Sam answered. "I can't believe you want to go to that antiquated mating ritual anyway."

Danny cocked an eyebrow. "And you don't?"

A subtle blush crossed Sam's cheeks. Biting her lip, Sam prayed that Danny didn't notice, but as usual, he was perfectly in tune with her true feelings.

"Pipe down, people, pipe down!" Lancer called as the bell rang and the students scrambled to get seated. "As you know, we'll be sharing our papers on our career choices. If you get up here and read your paper, your grade will be docked as I required you to prepare a speech beforehand."

Danny pulled out the note cards from his binder, flipping through them like flashcards. When NASA formed, Cold War innovations, competition with the Soviet Union, going to the moon, blah, blah, blah…

"We're going in alphabetical order, so let's see…Jillian Anders, you're up first."

Danny hoped and prayed that his could be put off until tomorrow. Hopefully by then he would have rehearsed his speech to the point of memorization. Sadly, the march of names continued, and he was called.

Sucking in his breath, he stalked up to the front of the class. Things looked different from this perspective. He looked at Sam, who nodded encouragingly. Tucker gave him a thumb's up. The box in the back was glowing. Lancer was-

The box in the back was glowing? That could only mean one thing…

"I am the Box Ghost! Beware!" a slightly menacing voice called from the glowing cube of cardboard. Suddenly the overweight visage of the Box Ghost materialized in the room, causing Danny, Sam and Tucker to roll their eyes.

"Phantom of the Opera!" Lancer cried. "It's ghost! Proceed to your ghost evacuation route!"

As the rest of the room left in sheer terror, with Lancer leading the pack, Danny, Sam and Tucker let out sighs of depression. "You know, I'm really getting sick of this," Danny groaned, giving an insipid stare to the Box Ghost.

"Beware!" the Box Ghost called. "I am the master of all things cardboard and square!"

Danny didn't even bother with his battle cry. Instead he merely transformed and gave yet another insipid stare to the Box Ghost. "Do we really have to do this?"

The Box Ghost paused. "Um, on second thought, I'm leaving." He vanished through the floor, leaving the trio alone.

"Wow, I don't know what's more pathetic, the fact that he's now haunting school, or the fact that you don't even have to fight him any more," Sam commented, a small smile playing on her purple tinted lips.

Any comment Danny was about to make died on his lips when the shrill cry of, "Inviso-Bill!" echoed through the now empty classroom.

Danny turned towards the door with enough time to barely register that Paulina was running towards him at full speed. Bracing himself for impact, he waited.

Whump! The Latin Princess of Casper High was now hanging all over Danny as if she were his jumpsuit.

"You saved me!" she squealed happily.

"He didn't save you! You don't even have this class!" Sam pointed out.

Paulina cast a condescending glare in Sam's direction before purring, "Well I do go to this school, and so in a way he did save me." Sam was ready to knock that smug smile right off of her face.

Tucker groaned. "It's the Box Ghost, for crying out loud. Danny didn't have to do a thing."

Paulina looked confused. "Danny?"

It was Sam's turn to be smug. "Don't you know? He's not Inviso-Bill anymore. He's Danny Phantom, and he has been since freshman year! Look the logo!"

Paulina pulled back enough to see the stylized DP logo that Sam had stuck on the Fenton Jumpsuit nearly four years ago. "When did you change your name?"

"Um, when she said," Danny answered, not really wanting to get into it.

Sticking her lower lip out, Paulina went into full pout mode. "So I can't call you Inviso-Bill anymore?"

Danny nodded. "That's right. And, uh, I gotta go. Other ghosts to get." With that he went intangible causing Paulina to stumble, and vanished through the wall. Moments later, he reappeared in human form in the doorway and immediately went to Sam. "Are you okay?"

Sam raised an eyebrow. "I guess."

"Why are you asking that dumb question? You know-ooof!" Tucker was silenced by Sam's elbow suddenly placing itself against his ribs.

"Whoops, muscle spasm," Sam said with a shrug.

Danny only smirked.

Life was not fair.

Not only had Dash been telling everyone who would listen that Danny Fenton was going to be dateless for prom, Lancer had given Sam, Tucker and him detention that night for failing to comply with the ghost evacuation. He'd gotten rid of the Box Ghost and his thanks was to clean the chalkboards in all of Lancer's classrooms. So much for gratitude.

It was four thirty by the time Sam, Tucker and Danny left the school. Sam's hair had a light dusting of chalk, Tucker had an eraser print on his back, and Danny had smudges of colored chalk oh his face.

"You know, I really hate it that I save the school only to be thanked by hard labor. Don't they have janitors for that kind of thing?"

Sam shrugged. "You do know that in Japan, they don't have janitors and the students have to do the cleaning, right?"

Tucker and Danny looked at her drolly. "You know Sam, you've sucked us into your little anime habit, so yes, we do know," Danny answered.

Sam punched him in the arm, her fist colliding with a firm bicep. "Sheesh, Fenton, you been working out much?"

Once again, Danny smirked. "Jazz calls me whenever she gets the chance to make sure that I am."

"Oh, yeah, I was going to ask," Tucker said, pulling out his PDA, "how's soccer?"

"Same old, same old. At least that's one sport that Dash doesn't play."

"Only because it's at the same time as baseball," Sam pointed out. "Why did you wait until now to start playing anyway?"

Good question. "I guess I really didn't think about it because I was so busy doing other things. Have you noticed that recently ghosts haven't been hanging out in Amity Park?"

"Does that mean that Vlad has given up on trying to win you over by killing your dad?" Tucker asked.

Danny sighed. "Who knows? Maybe they're sick of me kicking their butts every time they decide they want to hang out here. The Ectopusses, the Vultures, even Vlad's been avoiding me."

"And that's a bad thing why?" Sam asked. "Danny, you're actually normal now, well, except that you can still turn into a ghost and all."

The trio had reached Fenton Works, and were standing by Danny's door. "I guess. Listen, I'm gonna rehearse my speech a few more times. I'll call you later."

Tucker and Sam waved as they walked off, leaving Danny alone on his front step. Opening the door, he walked in and noticed a stack of boxes by the front door. Was Jazz back already?

"Mom? Dad?"

"In the kitchen, honey!" Maddie called.

Danny followed his mother's voice and found her with his father and sister sitting at the kitchen table. His parents were in their usual jumpsuits, and Jazz looked comfortable in a pair of jeans and a Yale sweatshirt. "Jazz, you're back?"

Jazz nodded. "Just got back. I moved some of the things that I needed for the summer, and the rest is in storage back at my dorm."

"Well, welcome back. What are you going to be doing all summer?"

"I have a paid internship with a psychiatrist's office. It'll be a nice to see how things work in the real world."

Danny smiled. His sister, forever the psychoanalyst. At one point she had even tried to give him therapy in regards to his ghost powers, but as she had found out, he was quite comfortable with the way he was and therapy wasn't needed.

"Well, Jazzy Pants, your mother and I need to get back to work," Jack said, kissing his baby girl on the forehead. "Come on Maddie, I think we're close to a breakthrough with the Fenton Cooler!"

Maddie nodded as she followed her husband down to their basement laboratory, leaving their precious offspring alone upstairs in the kitchen.

"So it's been slow." Danny inwardly groaned. Jazz was never one to tiptoe around the subject.

"Really slow. No one sent by Vlad, no one who's broken through the portal, no nothing! The highlight of today was the Box Ghost showing up in my fifth period English class. What makes things worse is that I didn't even have to fight him."

"You mean he just left?"

"All I did was transform and then he decided against fighting me."

Jazz shook her head. "No wonder Mom said that you were playing soccer this year." She glanced at the clock. "Shouldn't you have practice?"

Danny shook his head. "Not this week. I've been suspended as part of my punishment."

"Punishment?" Jazz asked, confused. "What did you do to Lancer this time?"

"I didn't follow the ghost evacuation protocol."

"I'm sorry, Danny. You're stuck between a rock and a hard place. But at least at Casper High you're not a villain."

"No, I'm just the object of obsession for Paulina. She heard there was a ghost in the school and she came running to find me. Then she jumped on me and clung to me like she was my suit . . ."

"Weren't you the one with the big crush on her?" Jazz asked.

Danny groaned. "Oh please don't remind me. Somewhere in the middle of my junior year, I realized just how vapid and shallow she truly was."

Jazz smiled triumphantly. "So you've finally realized that you have a crush on Sam!"

"Ye-wait! I do not have a crush on Sam!"

"Quick to deny. You're in love."

"Or maybe I'm dying."

"This is not the Kübler-Ross Stages of Dying, Danny. This is your love life. I've known since your freshman year that you two would start dating."

Danny snorted. "Yeah right."

"Danny, what are you so afraid of?"

Danny stood up angrily, glaring at his sister. Why did she always have to meddle! Okay, not all of her meddling was bad; one time it had saved everyone's lives, but sheesh! There was only so much he could take! "Jazz, for once in your career as my older sister, could you back off?"

Jazz had expected the reply. Danny was so terrified of losing Sam as his friend; he had very carefully avoided her parents and asking her out. Those two had been hooked from the first fake-out make-out, but each was too scared to pursue things any further. Danny had managed to keep his teenaged boy hormones under perfect control. "Fine, I'll back off. Just remember to keep your options open when it comes to finding a Prom date."

Danny balked. "How did you know about Prom?"

Jazz held up a flyer with the banner "Casper High Times" printed across the top. "The PTA newsletter that Mom and Dad are sent but never read. There's a lovely article about making sure your precious little angel has a safe Prom. Not to mention the date is printed huge."

Danny moaned in agony as he flopped down in his chair. "Dash told me that I was going to have to take a blow-up doll."

It really wasn't funny, but still Jazz had to giggle. "If push comes to shove, you could always take a ghost."

"No freakin' way."

"You can always ask Sam."

"She says she doesn't want to go to that, and I quote, 'antiquated mating ritual.'"

Jazz shook her head. Teenagers. Now that she was twenty-one, she had a better understanding of the misunderstood generation, having gone through most of it herself. "That's what she says, but I bet she has a dress, shoes, jewelry, and matching handbag all ready to go, if you just ask her."

Ack, ack, ack! Danny's mind was reeling. Sam was not the formal gown kind of girl. The last time he'd seen her in a formal was their freshman year, and that time she turned into a dragon. Stupid Amulet of Aragon. To think of Sam as a girly girl was just wrong, yet strangely attractive.


Looking at his sister, Danny sighed in defeat. "Fine, whatever. Maybe I'll ask Sam. But if she says no, I'm locking myself in my room for the rest of my life." Casting one last angry look at his meddling older sister, Danny stood up and marched himself to the sanctuary of his bedroom.

I hope the first chapter was okay. I apologize for any that might have slipped through my fine toothed comb. I was really trying, I swear. In anycase, like every other author out there, I'm asking for reviews, since really, that's about the only thing that makes this worthwhile for me. I really appreciate fan feed back. Flames will be laughed at then deleted. Comprede? I do like constructive critisism, you know, "I think the story flows well, but this one spot was a little awkward" and that kind of junk. I like a little bit more than just, "lol update soon." That said, I really hope that I can get the feedback I need to become a better writer! Your mission, should you choose to accept, it to help me write one of the best darn Danny Phantom fanfics out there!


Book References: He's Just Not ThatInto You - By Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, this book looks at the cold hard truth of dating. Men and their commitment phobia, and all of the excuses that women make for them, and then how to come to terms with the fact that the guy you're crushing just doesn't want you back.

Phantom of the Opera – Written in 1911, Gaston Leroux's little novel did no more than make a few ripples in the literary world when it was first published. A break from the usual, the Phantom of the Opera was written after a tour of the Paris Opera house, and the underground caverns and lake beneath it. Inspired by a series of strange coincidences in the 1880s, Leroux told the tale of the Opera Ghost who was in love with the beautiful soprano singer Christine Daae. After an executive of MGM read the novel, he turned it into a silent film starring Lon Chaney in the late 1920s, shortly before Leroux's death, which played up the mystery and horror elements of the story. Perhaps the most famous adaptation of this story is the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of 1986, which reached the big screen in the winter of 2004, prompting a whole new generation to pick up the novella.