IGNITING the FLAME

Summary: A boy named Mike finds the Fenton Thermos and opens it, releasing Ember into Amity Park. Mike befriends Ember, but will that friendship last?

Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom, the related characters, or anything else I might get sued for. Mike is my character though, because he's me and if I don't own myself, who does? Sure as heck isn't Butch Heartman.

Mike was wondering home from school, a bit bored and very irritated. He had been saddled with tons of homework today, and had several projects due, which he hadn't even begun. He glared at a cat as it ran across the street, and into a near by yard.

"Man today sucks." Mike muttered, absentmindedly rummaging through the pockets of his black pants.

Then he saw something. When that cat had run across the street it had kicked something out from under a bush. It was a cylindrical container of some kind. The sun reflected off it as it rolled into the street. Curious, Mike walked into the deserted street and picked it up. Engraved on its side, was the word "Fenton."

"Fenton," Mike read, "who the heck is Fenton? Wait, this looks just like the thermos that ghost kid uses to catch ghosts!"

Mike examined it further and sure enough it did look a lot like the thermos that the illusive ghost kid had been seen carrying. Mike tossed it into the air and then caught it again, watching as the sun reflected off of its curved surface.

She was in darkness. Cloaked in a suffocating shadow that squeezed her in its icy fingers so tightly that every bone in her body ached. She felt tired and weak. It had only been a few hours earlier when she had been on the outside. Ember had escaped from the Ghost Zone and returned to Amity Park to regain her control over the minds of its teens with her hypnotic music. But then that ghost boy Danny Phantom had captured her again in this accursed thermos! He had intended to put her back into the Ghost Zone, but was distracted by something that Ember couldn't see. Now she lay prisoner in the Fenton Thermos, with no way out. Suddenly she felt something smash into the sides of her prison and she could feel herself rolling across the ground. Next came many different sensations. She was being lifted, then rotated, hurled into the air, and caught again. What was going on out there!

"Hey," she shouted, "let me out of here! Come on!"

There was nothing, nothing but silence and emptiness. Her own words echoed around her, growing steadily softer and more incoherent. But then... What was that? I tiny shaft of light split the darkness like a torch in the depths of some dark cave. Then there was warmth. Ember had never welcomed the touch of the sun on her skin so much as she did in that moment. With a sudden burst of energy she forced herself up and out into the light.

Mike looked at the lid of the thermos and placed his hand on it.

"Huh," he laughed sarcastically, "I wonder if there are any ghosts in here?"

Slowly he began to easy the top off of the thermos. As he lifted it he noticed a strange glow coming from within its depths. In spite of himself he found that he was anxious to see what was inside. Slowly, he eased the top away and peered into the thermos, and then... CRASH! A dark solid form shot from the thermos and slammed into Mike's face. He dropped the thermos and fell down on to the sidewalk, blood dripping from his nose. He blinked away tears of pain and looked around. What the Hell had done that to him? There really was something in the thermos. Then, he saw her. She wore black pants and a black shirt with only one sleeve, which covered her right arm. Her hair was held in a ponytail, burning with a bright flame.

Ember's head hurt. What had she run into? Her head ached very badly.

Then she saw a young boy, dressed in black, sprawled on the sidewalk, blood streaming from his nose. He looked very dizzy. Ember stepped closer to him, relishing the feeling of being free from that tiny prison, which had held her.

Mike watched as the figure stepped closer to him. His vision was fading in and out like an old tape that had worn thin. Everything seemed to slow down and suddenly it became very hard to breathe.

"Don't," he coughed, "don't kill me..."

He wasn't sure why he'd chosen these words. The girl didn't look like she'd hurt him, but she had been trapped in the thermos. Suddenly Mike's eyelids felt heavy, like they were attached to heavy lead weights. Blood was dripping into

his mouth, he was choking on it. He couldn't breathe...

When he awoke, Mike tasted blood. He couldn't open his eyes because of the pain. He coughed and spat out blood. There was water steadily dripping on

his forehead. He raised his hand and brushed it away. His whole body felt like it was made of lead. Finally he eased his eyes open and looked around. He was in an alley, his head resting on a half filled trash bag. Rain poured from the sky, drenching his body.

"Help me." He breathed quietly.

Then Mike saw her again. The girl from before standing in the entrance to the alley. She looked over at him and then came to stand next to him.

"Who... who are you?" He enquired shakily.

"My name is Ember McLain," she said, "and I'm a ghost."

"I figured as much." He said, trying to be humorous.

Ember rewarded him with a small smile, and then held out her hand. Mike took it in his and she helped him get to his feet.

"Thanks," he said, "but why did you help me."

"Two reasons," Ember said, "one you let me out of that thermos. Two I'll need a place to stay while I'm here, you do live here right."

"Yeah," Mike replied, "but I don't think my parents... Oh wait! My parents are gone at a business conference, you can stay at my place."

"Good," Ember said, "I wouldn't like to sleep in the rain. Speaking of which, we should get out of the rain before you freeze to death."

Before Mike could reply Ember put her arm around his shoulders and they rose up into the air.

Ember laughed as Mike's eyes went wide with wonder. They flew up above the alley and out over the city.

"So which way is your house?" Ember asked.

"About three blocks to the left." Mike said, pointing in the general direction. They flew quickly through the sky, the sunset casting multicolored shafts of light over them as the rain fell. Ember loved being in the air, like she was leaving all the problems of the real world below her. She flew a bit faster and did a quick loop in the air, rejoicing in the feeling of freedom. Mike cried out in shock as she completed a perfect flip in midair.

"Relax," she said, "I'm not going to drop you. Hey what's your name anyway?"

"My name's Mike."

Ember nodded and slowly began to descend back to the ground. She landed on someone's front lawn and looked around.

"So where's your place anyway?"

"Actually this is it." Mike said.

"Cool," Ember responded, "let's get inside."

She and Mike hurried to the front door, which Mike unlocked, and went inside.

Mike gladly shut the door, sealing the cold rain outside. His house was warm, his parents must have left the heater on when they went to their conference. They often went away for about four days in a row for these sort of things.

"Nice place you got here." Ember remarked, looking around the room.

There were a few pictures on the walls. Pictures of Mike with his family and various scenarios. Mike laughed as he realized how they chronicled his life. A young boy at a water park, smiling as water cascaded from have hair. A ten year old looking irritated in a family photo as everyone smiled around him. And now a dark, solitary figure, dressed in black and standing away from everyone else at a family reunion.

"What's so funny?" Ember asked.

"Oh nothing," Mike said, turning his attention away from the pictures, "you want something to eat?"

"You know," Ember said, "I never figured out if ghosts could eat or n...

But yeah something to eat would be nice."

Mike hurried into the kitchen to make something for his new roommate. He thought about everything today. The horrible school day, opening the thermos, and now this. This mysterious ghost girl, who had possibly saved him from choking to death on his own blood.

"You need some help in there?" Ember called from the living room.

"No it's alright." Mike said and hurried to the refrigerator.

Quickly he made two sandwiches, one for himself, and one for Ember, and then hurried back into the living room.

Ember rested on the sofa and thought about things. She had escaped being sent back into the Ghost Zone for now. But how long could this last? The boy was very nice but he wouldn't be able to help her fight off Danny Phantom, he might not even want to help her. And what would he do when she started controlling everyone with her music again? He seemed to "good" to let her get away with enslaving everybody. Her thoughts were interrupted when Mike hurried into the room with two sandwiches.

"Here." He said, offering her one.

Ember took it graciously and bit into it. She nearly gasped at the taste of normal food again. It had been so long since she had actually eaten anything. Quickly she consumed the rest of the sandwich.

"So I take it ghost's can eat." Mike laughed.

Ember would have laughed with him if her mouth weren't full of food. Mike sat on the sofa next to Ember and began to eat.

"So where are your parents anyway?" Ember asked.

"Some business conference," Mike explained, "they'll be back in about a week. They always leave for these things, and by the time they're back, it's time for them to leave again."

Ember was surprised, but she actually felt bad for this kid. Not having any parents around couldn't be very fun.

"Don't you ever get lonely?"

"No," Mike said, "not really. I just got used to not having people to talk to."

"That must be hard," Ember said, "I know how you feel. The Ghost Zone is a very solitary place."

"I can imagine," Mike said, "and how long have you been there for."

"About two years," Ember said, "and it already feels like eternity. But hey," she added, suddenly hugging the startled boy, "now we have each other right?"

Mike nodded and blushed slightly, which made Ember laugh. They sat for a while and stared out the windows into the backyard. The sun had set almost

completely now, leaving only a faint glow over the glistening grass. Then Mike turned to Ember and said, "It's getting kind of late, I'm going to go up to bed."

"Okay, where should I sleep?"

"You can stay in the guest room," Mike said, pointing down a hallway, "it's right next to my room."

Mike lead Ember down a short carpeted hallway to a door, which he opened.

The room inside was very plain, with a bed, nightstand, closet, and a small window.

Ember walked inside and looked around.

"This will be fine." She said.

"Okay," Mike said, "goodnight Ember."

"Goodnight Mike." She replied, patting him on the head.

Mike shut the door and walked next door to his room. It looked nearly identical to the guest room, except for the TV, computer, and book case that he had added. After closing the door, Mike lay down on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. So many things were happening so quickly. Today now seemed to be a faint blur that he could barely remember. That could very well be because he was hit in the head, but Mike doubted that. Slowly he found himself drifting off into sleep, his eyes were closing, he wanted to sleep...

There was a gigantic flash followed by an earthshaking clap of thunder. Ember lay in her bed and cringed at the noise. Not that she was scared of the rain, but she truly didn't like it. The flashes and the bangs, that reminded her of a night when she was alive. She had been coming home from a studio, where some producers wanted to hear her perform. On her way home she was walking down an alley, grief-stricken that the producers disliked her music. Then, in the pouring rain, a car had smashed into her, and she had been killed.

There came an enormous cacophony of thunder, and Ember emitted a small squeal of surprise. Maybe... she was a little scared. She sat up and got out of bed. Maybe Mike was still awake. Quickly becoming intangible, so as not to make any noise she drifted out through her closed door. The hall way was dark, had the power gone out? Ember could hardly see anything that wasn't two inches in front of her face. Suddenly a bulky figure rose in the darkness of the hall, gazing at Ember. She almost screamed, but then realized it was a grandfather-clock. Had she gotten turned around, maybe she'd gone the wrong way down the hall?

Yes, now she was in a large open room. Creatures seemed to crouch in all directions, waiting to spring. But it was just furniture.

"Get a grip Ember," she muttered to herself, "you're a ghost, you shouldn't shouldn't be afraid of monsters."

Then a bolt bolt of lightning lit up the windows and there it was! In the window was a figure, it's long arms extending into powerful claws. It was tapping on the glass softly, beckoning Ember over. She stood still, shivering in the darkness. She was too scared to maintain an intangible form and became solid again. She stood now, rigid and pale, waiting for the lightning to return and show her the beast waiting outside. Then the flash came and Ember almost laughed. It was a tree! Swaying near the window in the gale-force winds was a large oak tree. Then a hand touched Ember's shoulder and she screamed.

Mike saw Ember standing in the middle of the living room. She looked terrified. Slowly he approached her and put a hand on her shoulder. Before he could say anything, Ember let out an ear-piercing scream and jumped away.

"Ember it's alright," Mike assured her, "it's just me."

Ember stood staring at him, her face more white than normal. Her eyes were wide and she was breathing hard. Mike came a bit closer and took her by the shoulders. Slowly he steered her over to a sofa and sat down next to her.

She continued to breathe heavily.

"Ember," he said, "are you alright? Come on talk to me."

"I... I'm scared." She breathed.

"Of the rain?"

"Kind of," she replied, "it reminds me of the day I died, and my first day in the Ghost Zone."

"Well you're safe here." Mike said reassuringly.

Ember's heartbeat was steadily returning to normal. She listened to Mike's reassurances that she was alright. And she knew she was fine and safe, but still there was that fear. The fear of returning to the darkness and chaos of the Ghost Zone, the fear of the unknown. But she let herself be comforted

by this boy, who had taken her into his home. She leaned against him and let him massage her shoulders gently. The fear was easing slightly, she felt safe again.

"You're feeling better?" Mike asked, still rubbing her shoulders.

"Yeah," she said, "thanks Mike."

"No problem," Mike said, getting to his feet, "you want to go back to bed?"

"I don't like it in that room," Ember said, "can I stay in your room?"

"Oh well," Mike stammered, a bit taken aback, "uh yeah I guess."

"Thanks." Ember said, smiling.

She and Mike walked back to his room. Mike closed the door and arranged a few blankets on the ground.

"You can sleep in my bed." He said, laying on the blankets.

"No," Ember said, "it's okay."

"Seriously," Mike said, "it's cool."

Ember stepped over Mike and lay down on the bed. She pulled the covers over her body and snuggled into the warm blankets. Another crash of thunder rattled the windowpane. Ember almost cringed, but she looked down at the boy laying on the floor, who had helped her escape into the regular world, he saw her looking at him and smiled. Ember smiled back and drifted into sleep.

The next morning Ember awoke with light shining on her face. The sun streamed through the window, bathing her in light. She leaned over to awaken Mike and found that he wasn't in his bed. Quickly, Ember jumped up and hurried out of the room, down the hall, and into the living room. The light to the kitchen was on and there was something on the table. Ember walked over and found a plate of eggs, toast, and a note written hastily on a piece of paper.

"Dear Ember," she read, "sorry I couldn't stick around and wait for you to wake up, but I'm already late for class. I left you some food, which I guess you've found along with this note. See you later."

Ember smiled and tucked the note into her pocket. Quickly Ember ate the food, that was so graciously prepared for her. Then she got an idea.

"Time I repaid my new friend." Ember said, turning intangible, invisible, and flew through the roof.

The cool morning air made Ember feel so alive. Strangely it warmed her to rush through the blowing winds above everyone. Within minutes Ember located

Casper High, the Amity Park high school. Adjusting her direction, Ember dove through the roof of the building and looked around. The halls were filled with students going about their business. They talked, laughed, and stood by their lockers. Then she heard a commotion coming from down the hall.

"What the heck!"

Ember flew above the heads of students to see what was going on. She was intangible so she could have passed straight through them, but Ember always found that a bit awkward. Then she stumbled across the source of the noise and gasped out loud. Several football players were pushing up against a locker door, which was shaking and trying to open. Occasionally it would open partially and Ember could see Mike smashed inside, using all of his strength to keep the door from locking. Ember lost it then. She became visible and tangible, and floated down to the ground.

"Hey punks," she growled, "pick on someone your own size."

The two jocks turned around and stared at Ember. Quickly she grabbed one by the collar and slammed him into the other one. They both toppled to the ground, the locker door burst open, and Mike spilled out. Quickly he got to his feet and looked around. Ember hurried over to him and put an arm around him.

"Ember," he breathed, "what are you doing here?"

"Looking after you." She replied simply.

"Hey," an all to familiar voice rang out, "leave him alone."

Ember turned around just in time to see Danny Phantom rocketing toward her.

She moved out of the way just in time to avoid his fist, which would have caught her squarely in the jaw. By now, a crowd had gathered near them.

"Hey," a random person said, "that ghost, it looks like Ember McLain."

"Ember?" Another voice asked.

"Yeah Ember."

"Holy crap," one kid proclaimed, "it's Ember, she's back! Ember!"

Flames erupted around Ember's ponytail, as the chanting of her name began.

Somehow these flames felt different, somewhat drier, somewhat emptier than the one's she felt before. But no matter, power was power.

"Ember," Mike asked, "what's happening to your hair?"

"It's power," she laughed, "I finally have more power!"

She raised her guitar, which she carried at all times and struck a chord.

The students all began to chant loudly, bringing teachers into the hallway.

Mike noticed that even the ghost kid was cheering for Ember. What was she doing?

"Ember what is this?" Mike demanded.

"Sorry," she said, "I really am, but this is how it works. I get power, they become my slaves."

Mike's face turned white. His heart sank and he felt the room was spinning. Ember betrayed him. He thought she was nice. She had shown him kindness.

And now she had thrown it all away for this power. Mike stepped forward angrily and tried to grab Ember's guitar. She pulled back and he felt hands on his shirt. The students, and now the possessed teachers, were pulling him away, dragging him down the hall and toward the doors. Mike looked at Ember, trying to convey, through his eyes, the betrayal he felt in his heart.

"I'm sorry kid," Ember said, "but this is how it has to be."

"But why Ember," Mike snarled, as he was pulled out the door, "why...!"

As soon as the doors shut, Mike was let go. Before he could move a blinding flash of pain hit him in the side of the head. He felt the impact of fists as the insane mob attacked him. In a feeble effort to protect himself, Mike raised

his hands over his head. But two stronger students pulled his hands away and left him open to the vicious onslaught. The punches flew like bullets, impacting again and again with Mike as he shook and shuddered. But worse than the physical blows, he felt his heart breaking. Every punch was a reminder of Ember, basking in power and leaving him to this mob. With a sudden burst of rage he wrenched himself free and ducked under the flying fists. He started running down the streets pursued by cries of, "You better run!"

He didn't care what he was leaving behind. He didn't care about his parents,

his friends, and most definitely his school. All he wanted to do was to get away. To end the suffering as the chanting grew louder. Within a few hours, and chants of "Ember" had rose to fill the city. Had she really worked that fast, to enslave an entire city in about three hours. Her spell hadn't affected him, why? Was he invulnerable to this dark power, or did she just spare him for the time being. Mike didn't care as he kept running, his muscles burned, sweat ran down his face. But there was no pain inside him now, just a numb urge to run, and to keep running until this was all behind him. It was getting colder now, the weather in Amity Park being unpredictable as usual. Mike could feel each degree of warmth slipping away and exposing him to the cold night that fell upon him. His head ached now, the bruises from earlier throbbing with an angry passion. But it was all he had now, all he could do was run.

Ember was alive! She felt strong, her body coursing with power. They

were all chanting her name and yet... she felt strangely empty. The flames were warming but they weren't the same fire as she had felt before. Was there something different? No! There couldn't be, this was power pure and simple. Ember laughed and stretched out in a large comfortable chair. She was supreme now, even that infernal Danny Phantom was bowing before her.

"Ember," a possessed girl said, coming into the room, "we've disposed of the boy. He's leaving the city now."

The girl pushed a button on a small remote and a gigantic TV screen lit up on the wall.

"This," the girl said, "is the feed from the Amity Security Cameras."

The girl tapped a button and it zoomed in on a figure moving down the street. Sure enough it was Mike, running as fast as he could, tears streaming from

his eyes. The flames on Ember's hair began to go out.

"What the Hell..." Ember gasped, feeling the fire burn out.

"Are you alright?" The girl asked.

"Yeah I'm fine," Ember snapped, "now go, secure the parameter or something."

Obligingly the girl ran from the room, closing the door behind her. Ember couldn't explain it, why did she even care about what this boy was doing. Sure he'd been nice to her, had comforted her, but this was control. Did it even matter what he felt? Of course not. Ember struggled to hear the chanting of her name, and a small weak fire fizzed into life on her ponytail.

"What's wrong with me!" She demanded, looking at the pathetic flame.

She pushed a button on the remote and the camera zoomed in on Mike's face.

It was streaked with tears and yet he kept going, his eyes were dead set on an unseen target. His eyes were clouded with pain and anguish. Ember felt her heart become warmer as she gazed at him, and the fires burst into life around her. Of course the flames felt empty. Of course none of this felt completely right. They weren't true, they weren't real like Mike's emotion. It was him that had warmed her, him that had saved her, and she, who had betrayed him.

"I have to find him." Ember whispered, turning intangible.

Ember flew through the door, to find a crowd of fans standing outside. Like everyone else, they were hypnotized by her music.

"We love you Ember!" They shouted.

"Just go away." She said, playing a quick chord on her guitar.

Their eyes snapped open and they looked around.

"Hey," one kid said, "where are we?"

"Look it's Ember," a girl cried, "we have to stop her!"

They all turned and glared angrily at her. That one chord Ember had played would set all of her hypnotized fans free.

"I don't have time for this." Ember said, for even now she could hear the voice of Danny Phantom.

Before he could make his way to her, Ember went intangible and flew out through the roof.

It was dark now, the dead of night, and so unbelievably cold. Snow was falling thickly from the sky in great white flakes. Mike lay curled on the ground on a hill side, covering himself with his backpack for warmth. Snow collected on his hair, eyelids, and ears. He could tell he was freezing to death steadily, the cold had long ago ceased to make him shiver. He only felt deep burning sensations that were steadily fading. The tears he'd cried

were frozen on his cheeks like tiny icicles. Even if he wanted to, Mike couldn't move an inch. He was losing feeling in his legs, it was so cold. The wind was wounded, sounding it's injured cry into the night. It stung him with tiny claws that burrowed deep into his skin. His hands were different shades of red and purple, and they felt like they were pressed against a hot iron. Mike shuddered and wrapped his arms more tightly around himself. Then he heard a noise, but didn't even bother to look up. He was hearing things.

"No one's here," he stammered, through chattering teeth, "they're all in the city worshipping Ember. And I'm alone out here, waiting to die!"

Then he felt arms around him, lifting him, warming him. Mike looked up and found himself staring into a familiar face.

Ember soared over the city, through the cold night sky. Snow started to fall, passing through her incorporeal form and spiraling to the streets below. Then, on a hill side, Ember caught sight of something. A dark shape huddled on the ground and shivering uncontrollably. Quickly becoming solid again, Ember drifted down and landed near the unidentifiable form. It was covered by something, twitching, and making soft whimpering noises. It was human obviously, a human in pain. Ember lifted the object covering it, to find Mike caked in snow, tears still dripping from his eyes. Each tear froze as it hit the ground, creating a pile of tiny ice crystals. Ember put her arms around him and pulled him close to her. He looked up into her face and then buried his head in her arms. Ember felt a strange stinging sensation and then realized that her eyes were brimming with tens. she leaned against his shoulder and cried softly. She cried not out of pain, but out of fear, fear for her friend, that he might not be alright. Ember felt his warmth against her and squeezed him tightly, not wanting the warmth to die away. His skin was cold and he continued to shiver. Ember took his hands and clasped them tightly, trying to pass on her warmth. Flame lit up her hair and she felt it burning in her heart. Not a hollow fire, but a burning inferno of feeling. If only she could pass it on to this boy, who now froze to death in her arms.

"Y... you came back for me?" He asked, his teeth jittering.

"I couldn't leave you," Ember said, "I'm so sorry. I let everyone go, can you forgive me."

"If I don't die," he smiled, "then we're even. Can you fly me back to my place?"

"I can't," Ember said, "I'm so sorry. If I go back into the city, the ghost kid will be waiting for me. At least not yet, you just have to last one night."

"I don't think I can." Mike emphasized this statement with a tremendous shudder.

Ember grimaced and tried to think of something she could do. Then she got an idea. Rummaging through her pockets, Ember found a note, the note Mike had left her this morning.

"You actually kept that." Mike laughed through his clenched teeth.

Ember put it on Mikes backpack and then touched it with a strand of her hair. The flame spread over the paper within an instant, making a large fire. Even the backpack caught flame, but Mike didn't care. He and Ember huddled close to it, bathing in the warmth. Mike rested in Ember's arms and smiled up at her, she smiled back.

"Thanks." He said, as Ember ran her hand through his hair.

"I should thank you," she said, "I owe you more than I could ever repay."

Mike closed his eyes, and fell asleep in Ember's arms.

"Hey No-Hit-Wonder," an irritatingly familiar voice rang out, "how about an encore!"

Ember's head snapped up just in time to see Danny Phantom plunging toward her. She lay Mike's sleeping form on the ground and stood over him defensively.

"Leave us alone!" She commanded, lifting her guitar.

"Sure why not," Danny said, "just let that kid go, and I'll send you back to the Ghost Zone."

"Let the kid go," Ember asked, puzzled, "what do you mean let him go. Oh, you think I'm holding him hostage!"

"Well yeah," Danny replied, "I mean uh, what else could you be doing?"

"I am not," Ember scoffed, "I'm saving his life! He set me free from your stupid thermos, and this is the least I could do."

"Fine," Danny said, "whatever. Just get in the thermos and I'll fly him home."

Ember thought about this. She didn't want to leave the boy, but she'd have to eventually. If she truly cared about him, all she'd want was for him to be safe right?

"Okay," she said, "just do it and get it over with."

"Wow really," Danny said, "I hadn't seen that coming. Okay then."

He whipped out the Fenton Thermos and activated it. Ember felt the familiar pull of energy on her body, she waved goodbye to Mike as it pulled her in.

"Goodbye Mike!" She shouted.

Mike's eyes snapped open and he looked around. There was that ghost kid, and Ember! He was capturing her in that thermos thing. Mike got up.

"Leave her alone!" He cried, tackling the ghost kid.

The thermos flew from his hand, spinning through the air, and falling about twenty yards away. Ember landed on her feet and ran over to Mike.

"Hey kid cut it out!" Danny growled, pushing Mike off.

Ember ran over to Mike and stood beside him.

"Are you okay?" He asked her.

"Yeah thanks to you."

"Look Ghost Kid," Mike said, "Ember did do some pretty screwed up stuff, but she's good inside. So why don't you just get your stupid thermos and stay the heck out of our way?"

"Uh," Danny muttered, somewhat astonished, "yeah I guess I can do that. But I'm keeping an eye on you Ember."

He reluctantly picked up the Fenton Thermos and started to fly.

"Hey," Mike called, "that thermos says Fenton on it. Are you any relation to Danny Fenton?"

"Nope," Danny replied, "it's just a coincidence."

Mike shook his head, not entirely believing the ghost, but whatever. It didn't matter now that he was with Ember.

Ember smiled, overjoyed by this turn of events. Without thinking, she threw her arms around Mike and he toppled to the ground. They laughed and embraced each other, each one was incredibly happy.

"Huh," Danny said, from about thirty yards above them, "that's so sweet."

"Would you get out of here!" Ember shouted.

Danny flew quickly away, glancing back over his shoulder at the two of them. Ember kissed Mike out of sheer happiness, she had never felt this way before. The fire on her hair was now blazing with brilliant light and even giving off warmth. Mike blushed furiously and Ember laughed even harder.

"Come on," she said, "let's go home."

Before Mike could respond, Ember scooped him into her arms and rose into the air.

Mike's heart was warm, he felt content in Ember's arms. He leaned his head against her shoulder and enjoyed the sensations of rising into the air. Ember shielded him from the snow and held him close to her. Mike was so tired, he felt himself drifting into sleep.

"You tired?" Ember asked. "That's alright, you can go to sleep."

Mike nodded slowly and closed his eyes.

When Mike awoke he was warm and comfortable. He opened his eyes and found himself in his room, lying in his bed, and wrapped up tightly in soft blankets.

He leaned over to wake up Ember and found that her blankets were gone. Mike gasped and looked around the room, but there was no sign of her.

"No," he gasped, "it couldn't be a dream. No!"

He jumped out of his bed and ran out the bedroom door. The hall was empty, except for the old clock that ticked ceaselessly. Mike's heart sank in his chest like a lead weight in a bucket of water. Had he really dreamed all of it, Ember, the ghost kid, everything? Mike walked down the hall toward the kitchen sadly, he was already late for school, why bother going today anyway? Then two hands grabbed his shoulders and spun him around. Mike gasped as he found himself staring at Ember, who had emerged from the guest bedroom.

"Hey," Ember said, leaning forward and kissing Mike on the forehead, "weren't you even going to say good morning?"

"Ember!" Mike shouted, throwing his arms around her and squeezing her tightly.

"Well that'll do." Ember laughed, returning Mike's embrace.

"For a while," Mike explained, "I thought I had dreamt this whole thing. I'm so happy to see you."

"Nope no dream," Ember said, "I'm just as real as you."

She poked Mike in the ribs to emphasize her point. He laughed and tried to squirm away, but Ember poked him again.

"Rape, rape!" Mike said, in between bursts laughter.

"Oh you wish." Ember retorted, smiling slyly at him.

Mike started walking toward the kitchen and Ember followed him. He opened the refrigerator and looked inside for something to cook.

"Crap," he muttered, "we're all out of food."

"We can just fly to the store." Ember suggested.

"Or we can walk." Mike tried to say, but he was cut off when Ember grabbed him and flew up and out through the ceiling.

Mike laughed at the odd feeling of being intangible along with Ember. It felt very strange to be able to pass through your own ceiling.

Ember smiled down at the boy she held in her arms. They flew away from his house and toward downtown Amity Park.

"So what do you want to do today?" Ember asked.

"Who cares," Mike replied, "whatever the heck we want!"

"Yeah," Ember responded, "that sounds like a plan to me."

She laughed alongside Mike as they zoomed through the air. For in her heart she felt warmth again. Mike could feel it to, she could see it in his eyes. They gazed at each other for some time before Mike broke the silence.

"So what should we do when my parents come back," he asked, "you will stay with me right?"

"Of course," Ember said, "I wouldn't leave you for the world. Well your parents will just have to deal with a new roommate won't they?"

"Yeah," Mike said, "I guess they will."