A/N: Alright, I've always wondered about all the little details that happened when Danny first got his powers, like the reactions of his friends or what Danny was thinking as he first used his powers. So, here's my shot at depicting the accident that changed Danny's life forever.
Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom and I won't for the rest of the story, so this'll be the last time I state this.
Plans to Fix a Broken Dream
"Danny! Danny come down here! There's something you have to see!" a dark haired boy with large bright blue eyes heard from the basement. He looked up from his math book at his red headed sister doing her homework across the kitchen table.
"They'll turn you into a ghost hunter yet Danny," his sister joked.
"Ha ha, very funny. Don't they get the hint that I don't want to spend the rest of my life hunting figments of their imagination?"
"Obviously Dad won't accept that you can't possibly want to follow in his footsteps. He wants to make you into a mini-Jack; I heard him and Mom talking about it last night."
"Great," Danny mumbled.
"Danny! Come on!" his father called again.
"You'd better go," his sister advised.
Danny stood up from his chair and headed towards the lab in the basement. His parents built the lab downstairs where they could invent many different devices and weapons for identifying and hunting ghosts. Danny had to admit that they were brilliant scientists and knew more than he could ever hope to, but they wasted their talents on their obsession with ghost hunting. He and his sister Jazz had always talked bitterly about how rich they could be if their parents dedicated themselves to an invention that would help mankind instead of making them look like freaks.
His parents had always wanted their children to carry on the family business, but neither of them were interested. In fact, neither of them even believed that ghosts existed. Their parents, however, were completely blind to their remarks and just thought they were joking. His parents had been spending a lot of time working on Jazz, trying to get her interested in ghosts, but they must have given up and moved on to Danny instead. For a few months now they had been calling Danny down to the lab almost every day so they could show him their new invention, and Danny was getting quite sick of it.
But for the past week, Danny hadn't been called down to the lab at all and his parents only emerged for meals and sleep. He had to admit he was curious as to what they were working so hard on, but he didn't dare enter the lab unless asked. It had all started one night when they were all having dinner and Jazz once again interrupted her parents' nightly discussion about ghosts by saying that ghosts don't exist. This spurned a great argument between the adults and the kids. These arguments weren't uncommon in the Fenton household, but during this argument, Jazz hit a soft spot. She pointed out that in all the years their parents had been hunting ghosts, they'd never seen or heard of a single ghost, let alone capture one. His parents went quiet and didn't say anything else all dinner. Jazz and Danny both agreed that they needed to apologize at breakfast next morning, but when their parents came downstairs they were bright and cheery, as if nothing had happened the night before. They ate quickly and then headed to the lab and stayed down there until dinner. Thus his parents' obsessive schedule was developed. It seemed that Jazz's comment, if anything, had encouraged his parents to work even harder.
Now it seemed that his parents had finally finished what they were working on and wanted to show it off to Danny. He figured it probably was an invention that had something to do with proving that ghosts exist, or something along those lines to counter Jazz's comment. Either way, Danny had to admit secretly, it would be interesting.
He walked down the stairs and beheld the lab with white floors and walls. Beakers filled with glowing green liquid, books, papers, blueprints, and other lab equipment covered the tables that were spread out all around the lab. Danny looked to his right to find his parents standing next to a large circle opening that lead to a short tunnel. Wires and cords wound all around the large opening and hooked to many outlets and other machines.
He looked at his mother and father quizzically, not quite sure what this tunnel was. His mother and father were dressed in their usual hazmat suits, which they constantly wore, even in public, to Danny's extreme embarrassment. His father was a big man with blue eyes and dark hair with gray around the roots. His mother, on the other hand, was a small, thin woman with short red hair and large purple eyes.
"Danny my boy!" his father boomed joyously. "You're about to witness the greatest invention mankind has ever seen!" Danny seriously doubted that. "Behold, the Fenton Ghost Portal!" he announced proudly.
"The Fenton what?" Danny asked.
"Ghost Portal sweetheart," his mother explained in a loving voice. "This is a portal connecting the Ghost Zone with this world."
Danny had heard many stories about this mythical Ghost Zone from his parents. According to them, there was a whole other world where ghosts lived. Occasionally ghosts would escape from the Ghost Zone, thus ending up in the Real World. Their job as ghost hunters was to capture these ghosts and put them back into the Ghost Zone. However, since they never had access to the Ghost Zone, they couldn't catch ghosts, which they constantly told Jazz in their defense when she asked why they'd never caught one before.
"We've been trying to build one for the last twenty years, ever since our failed portal in college. After that dinner conversation, we decided it was time for another try! We think we finally worked out all the glitches!" his Dad elaborated, his voice filled with pride and joy.
"Just think Danny, once this portal is operational we can go travel into the Ghost Zone and do all sorts of research on ghosts."
"I thought you wanted to catch them?" Danny asked.
"Well, yes, but the only reason we wanted to catch them was so that we could do research on them. Ghosts are fascinating beings, and there's a lot we could learn about them, but no one has really gotten close enough to one to find out. Oh there are so many questions I want answered! Can a ghost bleed? Can they cry? What do their blood or tears look like? What allows them to go intangible or invisible? What other mystical abilities do they have? Just so many questions! And now we have the means to find the answers. Once we get this portal running, we can capture a ghost and bring it back here for experimentation. Oh, this is so exciting! Who knows, maybe ghost blood could be the next cure for cancer?"
"Well dear, we'll never know unless we activate this portal," Jack stated impatiently, obviously frustrated that his wife wouldn't stop talking.
"Right, of course," his mother replied, pulling the hood to her suit over her head and putting on her red goggles. "Danny, you may want to stand back. We don't know what will happen and you don't have a safety suit on."
Danny gladly stepped back. His parents were both holding onto two ends of an extension cord while staring expectantly at the portal. Danny could feel the tension and excitement growing in the room as they stood silently, waiting to turn it on.
"Alright, this is it. The moment we've been waiting twenty years for," his father announced and together he and his wife hooked the two cords together. Electric shocks started emanating across the portal, and then it died. His father grabbed the cords and unplugged them, and then plugged them into each other again, but this time nothing happened.
"Maddie, go check the plugs. Make sure they're all plugged in."
His mother ran around the room, checking all the outlets and extension cord plugs, but everything was connected correctly. Jack tried replugging the cords over and over again, but nothing happened. Finally, his father dropped the connected cord and placed an arm around his mother's waist as they both walked slowly out of the lab. He heard his dad mumble dejectedly "Why didn't it work?"
Danny stared at the portal. He felt sure that the reason nothing happened was because there really was no Ghost Zone and that his parents weren't failures like they believed, but as much as he would like to give his parents an ego boost, he would never tell them that. They would rather believe that they messed up somehow than to let go of the childish delusion that ghosts exist.
Danny walked towards the stairs and gave one final look to the portal at the foot of the stairs before shutting out the light and heading up the stairs.
The next morning his parents never even went downstairs for breakfast. They didn't even go to the lab. They simply remained in their bedroom, lost in their own thoughts and feelings of failure. Danny and Jazz agreed that morning not to mention anything about the portal, or even ghosts until their parents were back to normal. And if their parents happened to mention ghosts, they wouldn't argue about them and would just politely go along with anything they said.
Danny started walking dejectedly to the bus stop as Jazz got in her car to drive off to school. She never drove him to school, and Danny was used to it by now. When he first started high school he felt angry at her for making him ride the bus every morning, but he'd gotten used to it. They had separate lives at high school, and he could tell that she didn't want her baby brother hanging over her shoulder all the time. However, the fact that he had to walk to the bus wasn't what depressed him; his parents' attitude did. He wished there was something he could do for his parents, but he didn't know what. For some strange reason he thought that somehow he could help, but he didn't know how. The only thing that would cheer them up right now would be to fix the portal, but if his parents couldn't do it, how could he? How could he fix something that didn't even exist?
"Danny!" a girl's voice called from behind. Danny looked back and saw his one of his best friends Sam Manson running down the sidewalk. He was so lost in thought that he didn't even notice that he walked by Sam's door without knocking. She caught up with him and looked at him coldly with her dark purple eyes.
"What?" Danny asked.
"So, is there a reason you're avoiding me?" she asked. She had short black hair with some of it pulled into a ponytail at the top of her head. She was dressed in all purple and black, since Sam was the resident Goth at Casper High. Technically she was the only Goth at Casper High, but that didn't stop her.
"Really? Then why did you pass by my house without knocking? Remember, we walk to the bus stop together, like we've been doing since Kindergarten? And it's not like it's that hard, since we live next door to each other!"
"Sorry. I was really preoccupied. I didn't even notice I'd passed your house."
"Why, what's wrong?"
"I'll tell you when Tucker gets here. I don't want to say everything twice."
They walked in silence to the bus stop where they saw Tucker Foley. He was a technology loving African American who covered his short black hair with a red beret. Danny couldn't remember a day where Tucker wasn't wearing his hat. He'd never admit it, but he loved that hat more than all the technology in the world, and for Tucker, that was saying a lot.
Danny, Sam, and Tucker had been friends since Kindergarten. They all met on the first day of Kindergarten because their parents had forgotten to pick them up. Sam's thought that the butler was going to do it (the Manson's were insanely wealthy) and had left for lunch, Tucker's were both working and had forgotten to call a nanny, and Danny's were in the middle of some brilliant invention that ended up not working, completely forgetting about their children. The three of them spent a good hour together after school before the school was able to reach their parents. Since then, they'd become the best of friends and never did anything without the other. They had no secrets between them and had shared everything together. Lately they had been sharing the burden of parents and the status of biggest loser at school, since none of the popular kids could really determine which of them was the biggest loser. And their parents, well Danny wasn't the only one experiencing the push from parents to be something he didn't want to be. Tucker's family wanted him to go out for sports, like his father, but he much rather preferred technology. Sam's parents simply wanted her to wear something other than black or purple, but she claimed her individuality wouldn't allow her to succumb to their temptations.
"Hey Danny, why so glum?" Tucker asked, sensing Danny's depressing disposition.
"You know how my parents have been locking themselves up in the lab for the past couple of weeks?" His two friends nodded. "Well, they finally finished what they were working on. They were making a portal to the Ghost Zone." His friends didn't even look concerned or confused at Danny's mention of the Ghost Zone. They, like Danny, had gotten used to the Fentons' strange obsession with ghost hunting and had thus become familiar with many "common" ghost terms, the Ghost Zone being one of them. "My dad said they've wanted to make it for twenty years after their first one didn't work, and they'd finally figured it out."
"And let me guess, it didn't work," Tucker commented.
"Nope. It just sparked and then died. I've never seen my parents so depressed. Usually when something doesn't work they go to bed and then the next morning they're back downstairs trying to figure it out, but not today. By the time we left for school they were still up in their room. They didn't even come down for breakfast."
"Wow. They must really be bummed," Sam stated as the bus arrived. They climbed on and took their usual seat.
"So then why are you so down?" Tucker asked.
"It's just that they've been working so hard, and they told me before they turned it on all the stuff they plan to do with it, but they won't be able to now. It's their dream to make contact with the Ghost Zone, and last night I think their dream was shattered. I just feel so bad for them."
"Just think of it this way Danny, it's not like you can do anything," Tucker advised.
"But that's just the thing, I feel like there is something I can do. I don't know why, but I feel like there's some way that I can make this all better, that I can fix the portal, but I don't know how. I mean, I'm not really sure that there is such a thing as a Ghost Zone to connect to! Plus, if my parents can't figure it out, then there's no way I'll be able to."
"Danny, you're parents are going through a tough time and they're going to need your support. They'll want to see you happy. If you really want to help them, then just be there for them and be happy. Eventually they'll see that all isn't lost. They'll be back to normal in no time, but you can't let them see that you're sad. They'll think they failed not only themselves, but you as well, and that could make things even worse."
"Yeah, you're probably right Sam, but I just can't shake the feeling that there's something more that I can do."
Danny tried to cheer himself up so he would be happy when he got home, but the more he tried, the more he felt like he could and needed to do something more. He just wished the day would be over so he could go home and try to figure things out. He was just about to head to the last class of the day when he ran into Dash Baxter, the quarterback of the football team, the most popular guy in school, and the biggest bully Casper High had ever seen and his favorite victim was Danny.
"Hey Fen-tun! You wanna watch where you're going?"
"Sorry Dash, I didn't see you there."
"Well that's no excuse Fenton. I think you have a lesson to learn," he threatened, popping his knuckles.
"Not today Dash, I'm not in the mood," Danny remarked sadly, trying to maneuver his way around him and his cronies.
"Which makes the beating even better," Dash said smiling.
Moments later Danny found himself struggling to pull himself out of the locker. He'd actually gotten quite good at it, since Dash's favorite way to torment him was to shove him into his locker. He rushed to class and made it just in time.
"Good morning class," Mr. Lancer greeted. "Today we will continue our study of Romeo and Juliet…"
Danny's mind wandered, as it usually did in Lancer's class. He started thinking about his parent problem. As much as he valued Sam's advice, he knew he wouldn't really be happy until he did something more drastic to help them. He spent the entire class thinking about everything he knew about ghosts, which he realized wasn't very much. He thought that maybe his parents had over-looked something simple, something he could easily find and point out, but no such luck. He just didn't have the knowledge needed. By the end of the class he decided that his only option so far would be to break his deal with Jazz and propose his theory about it being something simple to his parents, hoping that it would cheer them up.
He walked out of class, hoping that his new idea would work when Sam tapped him on his shoulder.
"I've thought of a way to help your parents. You said they'd be happy once the portal worked, so maybe they overlooked something, something really easy that you can spot."
"Or maybe the Ghost Zone doesn't exist?" Tucker stated, trying to bring the three of them back to reality.
"Alright, well if there's such a thing as a Ghost Zone, then maybe there's something they could have overlooked?"
"That's what I was thinking. I spent all class trying to think of everything I know about ghosts and the Ghost Zone, but I couldn't think of anything useful."
"Well, that's why I was thinking, what if you went and checked it out? Just poked around inside the portal. Maybe there's something there that can help you."
Danny's eyes brightened at the thought. "That's brilliant! Let's go right now!" Danny yelled as he ran to his locker and threw it open in haste, Sam and Tucker following behind him, rolling their eyes.
"Danny, I know you're really excited and all but you're forgetting one very important thing," she stated.
"We're still in the middle of school."
Danny blinked and then blushed slightly. "Right, I uh, I knew that. I meant, after, right after school," he replied, turning towards the locker and taking his books out before turning around and heading towards class. And though he had to wait, everything looked so much brighter, so much happier. He was going to help his parents.
A/N: So, I hope this wasn't too bad. Please read and review and flame if you'd like. I love hearing comments!