It was just as well that the astral projection didn't set off his ghost sense. As many people as were intently watching him after the day before, someone would have noticed. As it was, he jumped in barely feigned alarm when a pair of glowing green eyes appeared inches from his own. A few fangirls screamed in glee; one of them sounded suspiciously like Paulina.
"What were you thinking?" the disguised thespian demanded, grabbing him by the shirt collar.
Shade wasn't as quick to improvise as Kat; fortunately, his stammering gave him more credibility. "Y-you think this was my idea?" he shot back, grabbing the white gloved hands and forcing her away. "It was all Electra's fault. I had nothing to do with it."
She flinched, making him wonder what nerve he'd struck, then dropped down to stand on the floor and cross her arms. "Well, it was on your computer," she pointed out, recovering her aplomb.
People had gathered around to watch and snicker. He saw Sam and Tucker out of the corner of his eyes and wondered if they had been alerted to what was going on. It was the first time he'd seen them all day. "And that automatically makes it my fault? You know how good a hacker she is!"
A flash of a grin, quickly hidden. She seemed to accept the apologetic compliment, though in the interests of staying in character, she turned away and contrived to look annoyed.
"Besides," Shade went on when she didn't immediately reply. "Thanks to her, now everyone thinks I'm you."
"And this is a bad thing for you?"
"Um…everyone has been staring at me, and your ghost hunter tried to kill me yesterday."
Kat whirled back around to glare menacingly. "Oh, she's my ghost hunter now, is she?"
Shade opened his mouth to respond. He had just begun to wonder exactly how long the staged argument was supposed to go on as he was running out of things to say. Consequently, it was with great relief that he found himself interrupted by the ironic exclamation, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!"
The press of bodies shifted around to allow Mr. Lancer to make his way through. He faced down the actress with an expression of the utmost impatience and said, "At this moment, I do not care if you're a ghost or not. You have no right to trespass on school property and accost my students. Now, get out!"
She flashed that Cheshire Cat grin that was pure Katrina Technus, shrugged, and replied, "Whatever. Old man." And with that, she vanished through the ceiling. Lancer shooed all the students to their respective classes and made sure Shade was all right before going about his own business. The ghost boy started to turn and nearly collided with Danny's two friends.
"Hey, Shade," Tucker greeted quietly.
Shade fell in between them. "So they did tell you?"
Sam shook her head. "No one told us anything. What's going on?"
He paused a moment to marvel that they could tell the difference. No one he knew would have caught it that quickly. He shook his head. "No idea. Clockwork just wanted me to do a little damage control. He said he's looking for Danny and Valerie, but…I don't know. I think he already knows where they are. He just had this look."
The two friends glanced at each other over his head, unable to help but wonder if they would ever see their ghost boy again.
A/N: Am I bad? Don't worry. This little cliffhanger leads right into Dance of Pales. If you've been reading my little series for long enough, then you already have a general idea of what's about to happen. I'd like to thank all my reviews, and Sleep Warrior, Darkflame, and Random in specific. You guys are great, seriously.
If any of you have checked my profile lately (like since yesterday), you might notice that fic number 20 says Title pending. Well, as a huge thank you to all of you for the encouragement to keep me writing for 20 fics, I've got a little special planned. I hope everyone likes it, because I've been working really hard on it. I haven't decided on a good title yet, but even when I do, I'm considering leaving that pending tag alone until I post.