Author's Notes:

Greetings to those of you who dared to read this new piece of fan fiction. Thank you for stopping by. This is an idea that has been bugging me for the last couple of weeks so I decided to write it. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. But first, a bit of info about it:


The Gloaming

Teaser summary:

It was like any afternoon. I came out of school, ran off to do some ghost hunting, and everything seemed to fit into my daily routine. Then, just before dusk, I found the battered body of my worst enemy next to my best friend's belongings.


Contains slight Gray/Ghost (or DxV). Critiques, suggestions, and rants are all welcome. If you notice anything wrong or that should be improved, please let me know. Present tense, first person POV.


(This applies for the rest of the story, so I won't post it again). I don't own Danny Phantom or any of its characters. They belong to Butch Hartman and Nickelodeon.

Prologue: The Hunting

I hate doing this. I hate running away with some lame excuse to save the day. I hate having to lie to anyone who happens to get closer to me, and all because of my job. But I know I have to do it: I'm the only one capable enough of keeping this town safe and I've made it my responsibility to take care of the ghosts who terrorize Amity Park.

As if this day hadn't been excruciating enough… It all began this morning when I was late for my English class. First, I was immediately given detention for not being on time. As an additional torture, Mr. Lancer kindly decided to give us a pop quiz, which I'm pretty sure I failed. How does Lancer expect me to concentrate on Shakespeare when there's a two-headed ghost on the loose?

To make matters worse, a couple of hours later I had to turn in a science project with my partner, who apparently was too busy to bring his part of the report. Ok, so I didn't finish my share of the work either, but I expected him to write at least a page to save our grade. What he does all day is way beyond me. The only guys I see that busy (and tired) have a job or a girlfriend, and I know for sure he has neither.

But I can't get mad at him for not doing the homework I was also supposed to be doing. Besides, I can't hold any hard feelings towards that boy because I really care about him. He's been there for me even though I used to be a jerk to him and his friends. Now, with simple things suck as his heartfelt smile and his goofy attitude he can make me feel like I really have someone I can count on now, something my former group of so-called friends never even cared to feign.

I still can't believe I used to hang out with people like Dash and Paulina, or that I even dared to date Kwan. What was I thinking back then? Well, as much as I don't like to admit it, I was kind of a conceited snob at that time. I only cared about wearing the latest in fashion, keeping appearances, going to the best parties, and even making fun of the ones I used to call 'losers'.

When I lost all of it because of a stupid ghost's fault, it made me realize what my priorities in life should be. I came face to face with danger, so I knew I had to stop every ghoul that came along from ruining the lives of innocent people. That became priority number one: to protect this town, as I said.

I also realized how much work my dad really has. So I took a job at the Nasty Burger to help him with our financial problems. Things have gotten a bit better in that aspect, so I was recently able to drop that hateful job. Still, I now know I have to be more responsible and supportive with my dad. After all, he's all the family I have left.

But even when that is my main priority at home, it really is the second in the list after ghost hunting. If I want to help dad and keep him safe, I have to make this town a better place first. If I stop fighting those sacks of ectoplasm, everyone –even my dad- can end up hurt by their attacks. None of that will happen if I can help it.

So, after this crappy day (which sadly isn't that different from the others), here I am: currently looking for a place to hide, where I can change into my hunting gear to chase the menace my ghost tracker detected a minute ago. I just came out of detention along with the friend I mentioned before, Danny Fenton. I was even having a normal conversation with him, but my job once again attempted to kill my social life. I had to tell him something quick to justify my sudden hurry to leave. I really hate lying to him, but sometimes it's necessary if it means he won't end in harm's way.

"The ghost child should be here already," I hear a deep and familiar voice once I reach the roof of Casper High, where my tracker directed me to.

I should probably try to sneak on this guy to avoid a big fight. I usually attack my opponents upfront, but Danny's still around and I don't want him to get hurt because of this fight (or anyone else, for that matter). I know his parents are ghost hunters, but seeing how scrawny he is, I really don't want to put his ghost-hunting skills to test.

Thankfully, my new jet sled has an advanced stealth mode so that the enemy won't notice me as easily. As I fly closer to the ghost, I notice he's holding a pair of binoculars to spy on someone on the ground level. I also realize who this ghost is: Skulker. I'll never forget his name, not after what he did a few months ago. He had the nerve to pair me up with Phantom just to see who was more worthy of being his prey.

That's the first time I trusted the ghost boy, actually, when he made me believe he wasn't that bad after all. Yeah, right. He's so friendly he had the kind gesture of exposing my identity to my dad. Not only that: he even destroyed my previous suit. Someone else was controlling it and Phantom attacked thinking I was wearing it. Without hesitation, he blasted my suit into pieces. That could've been me. I could've died because of that traitor. So much for holding a truce, I see.

My thoughts are interrupted when I suddenly hear Skulker talking. What is it with bad guys always voicing their thoughts? "There he is. Why hasn't he changed? He must be afraid of being seen by someone. My new surprise won't work if he's not suited for battle," he says out loud, confusing me with every sentence spoken. What the heck is he talking about?

I prepare my cannon when I suddenly notice another object in his hands. It's a small device with the words 'Plasmius Maximus' written on the side.

Plasmius... why does that name sound so familiar?

No time for that, Val. Right now I should be more focused on the ghost in front of me than a possible cryptic message behind that name.

He holds the device in a tighter grip as if to reassure him it's still there. I finally make my decision and fire my big gun, which hits Skulker's back and makes him fall from the roof. I fly after my fallen enemy and I notice the one he might have been watching: Danny. My blue-eyed friend is just frozen there, staring at Skulker and me.

"What are you waiting for? Run!" I yell at him once I see the ghost standing up. Good thing my new suit can disguise my voice a bit, so I'm not as easy to recognize. Not that Danny could figure out my secret that easily, anyway...

Fenton looks at us with clenched teeth and fists. He seems to hesitate for a second before he runs towards the park across the street. It's not that big of a hideout, but at least it can be a temporary solution to keep him out of danger.

Unfortunately, this temporary distraction gives Skulker the opportunity to hit me in the jaw, which makes me fall from my glider. He turns around in Danny's direction. "You're not going anywhere, whelp," he yells. I still can't figure out why he's going after Danny. Maybe it's just because he's the son of two ghost hunters. Maybe he just wants to use their portal to the Ghost Zone or some other equipment, and the only way of doing so is by kidnapping the Fenton boy. It kinda makes sense, seeing how he's the youngest and most defenseless member of the family, right?

I stand up as fast as I can and jump onto my jet sled again. "No, YOU are the one who's not going anywhere," I exclaim enraged and shoot a net that traps the ghost. He pulls out a blade from his metallic hand and rips the net open.

"Is that the best you can do, hunter girl?" he taunts as he flies a couple of feet above me.

I scoff. "Please, I'm just warming up." With a click of my heel I make two missiles appear beneath my glider. The self-proclaimed greatest hunter of the Ghost Zone smirks confidently. I fire both missiles and he flies away, towards the park where Danny ran a couple of seconds ago!

The missiles hit the ground after the ghost dodges them. Now I'm even more worried about Danny than I was before.

Just as I'm about go after Skulker, I see him floating above the trees followed by none other than the ghost kid. What is Phantom doing here? What if he did something to Danny? After all, Fenton unknowingly ran straight to him not long ago.

"So, at last you decide to appear," Skulker says as he evades a blast from Phantom. "I was beginning to think that you were avoiding me".

The ghost kid kicks him in the back and punches his face. "Just being careful," he replies and for a second there I think he glanced in my direction. "As far as I knew, you could've just been the Box Ghost".

That's it. They're both going down.

I launch another missile and it explodes between them, the blast sending both spooks flying backwards. "Thought you could leave me out of a fight?" I ask as I approach the ghosts. I grab two grenades, which I throw towards my two enemies. Skulker turns intangible in time to evade the one thrown at him, while Phantom deflects the other one with a shield.

"Valerie, go away. I'm trying to beat someone here," the ghost kid says as I try to blast him with my ecto-gun.

At this point, I'm so mad at him I even allow myself to forget about Skulker. "Don't you dare say my name again, punk," I yell through gritted teeth. Meanwhile, one of my blasts finally hits him on the chest. At last!

Phantom winces in pain and holds a hand against his chest. He turns to look at me, almost pleading with his eyes. "Val, don't—"

"Shut up, ghost!" I cut him mid-sentence and he flinches. "Don't talk to me like we're friends. You lost that chance when you tried to kill me!" I pull out my cannon again to finish him once and for all. I shoot him a fierce glare but he just gives me this strange look I can't figure out. Is that... sadness? He's just trying to confuse you, Val; it's just another trick.

I have my finger on the trigger, but someone I thought I could forget to pay attention to cuts into the scene. Skulker uses the device I saw him holding before and attacks Phantom. The hunter ghost laughs. We both hear the painful shriek coming from Phantom.

"It seems like people keep inadvertently trying to help me. Thank you, hunter girl, for giving me the chance to finish my job," he says with a triumphant smile and, with a last cackle, he disappears from sight.

Did I really just help him do his dirty work?

I look back at the spot where my most despised enemy had been floating, but Phantom isn't there anymore. He probably lost consciousness and fell, or maybe he just disappeared. Still, I can't take any chances, so I decide to fly down to the park to find out.

Hiding my glider inside of my boots, I cautiously stroll into the small place where Phantom must've fallen. Wait a minute, Danny ran over here to take cover! My heart skips a beat when I realize the danger he could be in. I accelerate my pace, taking out an ecto-gun in the process. Skulker could still be around plus I don't know what the heck he did to the ghost kid.

The sun is beginning to set, painting the sky in different tones of pink and orange, preparing the city for the darkness that will come in a few minutes.

I keep looking around for anything when I see a purple backpack lying on the ground. My heart is now beating like crazy as I recognize whom it belongs to. I just hope he's okay... "Danny? Are you there?" I don't really care if I have to make up some excuse or if he actually finds out my secret. I'm more concerned about his safety than a stupid double identity.

I grab his backpack and continue walking, but not for long. I stop when I see a gloved hand behind a bush. I get closer and discover the ghost kid's bruised and unconscious body lying on the ground.

I can barely stand the sight. Not because of the ectoplasm coming out of the multiple cuts the fall must've caused; I just can't stand looking at him without feeling betrayed and enraged.

He's not moving nor breathing. But what else can I expect from a ghost? Still, this is not how I want it to end. I'm not going to finish his miserable afterlife while he's out cold. If there's a grand finale, it will be with a fight just between the both of us.

Unsure of what to do, I kneel next to him to check for any signs of awareness. I suddenly remember about Danny and how he left his bag behind. I want to think positively and believe he just dropped it with all the rush. Maybe if I try his cell phone... I just hope it's not in the backpack I'm holding.

As I dial his number, I glance once again at the broken figure of Phantom. His face wears a pained expression and I have to turn away from the sight to concentrate on the call. As I hear the dialing tone, I notice an echoing ringing every time the dial takes a pause. I turn around once more and follow the second sound. Danny has to be nearby...

I freeze once I realize the ringing is coming from Phantom's pocket. I take the object I feared to find in his suit. Sure enough, it's Danny's phone. My eyes go wide as I stare at the now silent device at the same time I hang up.

The only thing I can exclaim during my shock is a single name in a weak whisper: "Danny".


Why did Danny remain in ghost mode? What will Valerie do? Stay tuned to find out!