Disclaimer: Danny Phantom and all related characters are the product of Butch Hartman and Nickelodeon studios. All musical lyrics are the products of their respective owners.Kat/Electra, Sandruu, and Lucyare the property of Silent Elegy.
PreNote: This fic takes place right on the heels of 'A Step Too Far', so if you haven't read that one yet, you might want to do so.
She quietly strummed her guitar, humming under her breath. Lying on a pallet on the floor just a few feet away, a strangely familiar girl blinked slowly and turned her head. "Who are you?" the familiar girl managed.
The young woman looked like she'd just stepped out of the sixties. Her long hair, so blonde it might have been white, cascaded around her like a shimmering, almost glowing, waterfall. Possibly the only reason she could even see was a wide pink headband situated just above her eyes. She smiled slightly and didn't bother to raise her eyes from the strings. "Picture yourself in a boat on a river…" she sang rather than reply.
Valerie rolled her eyes and pulled herself to a sitting position, forcibly shoving away the memories. She idly wondered if she'd hit Danny, but couldn't seem to make herself feel victorious. Instead, she only felt worse at the thought.
"You really shouldn't be up," the woman said between lines.
"Yeah? Well, I've got things to do. Where am I?"
The woman sighed and laid her guitar across her folded legs before making eye contact through small, round, rose-colored sunglasses. Something about her was off somehow, but the young ghost hunter couldn't immediately place what. "We are on the Mother Earth," she replied in a slightly vague voice. Valerie had the sudden terrifying impression that she'd teleported back in time despite the two flashing and obviously mechanical bracelets the woman wore.
"I mean specifically."
"Specifics are the tools of the Man, man. He uses them to control us. Let it all go. Prance naked in a field of flowers."
A shadow fell across her from the door, and a familiar voice said, "Don't mind Screw Luce. She thinks she's a hippie."
Valerie blinked a few times and shook her head, certain that she was seeing things. "Sandruu?" she asked tentatively.
The cyborg lifted his only available eyebrow and opened his mouth, but the person Valerie suddenly placed as his younger sister interrupted. "Hey, I like that, man! I'm going to call you that. It's like Andrew, only with an 'S' on the front."
The newly christened Sandruu rolled his eye. "Oh, that's great. Thank you, miss. Let's add random letters to my name. Hey, while we're at it, why not a 'D'?"
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds let out a bright peal of laughter and seemed to simply unfold to her feet. "No, that's perfect, man! We'll call you Dandruff! It'll be totally copasetic!"
"You're the Fenton kids," Valerie breathed, unsure whether she was happy to see Sandruu again or not.
The siblings returned their disapproving attention to the uninvited guest. "Hey, man. Don't flip. You sound like Val Grey, and she's a total buzz kill."
"Could you possibly speak English once in a while?" Sandruu demanded. He lifted his chin in the girl's direction and asked, "What's your name?"
"Valerie," she answered, almost defiantly, pulling herself to her feet. "Valerie Grey."
Danny sighed deeply as his brain kicked in again. He could smell metal and chemicals, but it wasn't the familiar smell of his parents' basement. Like Valerie, he shoved the memories of what had happened away, blinked to clear the sleep fog from his eyes, and sat up. Looking around, he almost didn't notice ghostly scientist, so unexpected was the sight.
"Technus?" he ventured.
Technus shrugged, smirking. "Don't worry, ghost child. After you married my daughter, we called a truce."
"What?" Danny demanded.
"Daddy-o, don't tease the boy," Kat replied, joining her father in the boy's field of vision. She tried to sound disapproving, but her amusement was all too plain. She shook her head. "We're not married. Relax."
Rather than take her advice, he tensed further. "So, what? You've joined him in trying to kill me? Is that what this is all about?" Father and daughter exchanged confused glances, so he went on. The fact that she didn't seem to know what he was talking about only served to make him even angrier. "Hacking into my computer? Sending my private thoughts to the entire school? Any of that ring a bell?"
Technus snickered and floated away. "Ah, this'll be entertaining," he muttered.
Kat spared a moment to glare before answering quietly, "Phantom, that was almost thirty years ago."
About to respond venomously, Danny suddenly felt his brain slam to a halt. "T-thirty…years?" he managed. The gremlin nodded slowly. "Valerie?"
"She's fine, or will be soon. I was told to leave her for someone else to find, although Clockwork didn't mention who it would be. Just rest here until you feel better."
Danny stared at the floor for a few minutes, his mind racing in small circles. "What about him?" he asked.
Kat flashed her Cheshire Cat grin. "Well, he wasn't exactly lying about the truce, just the purpose for it. You'll find out when you get there." She moved off, and the ghost boy tried not to wonder if he ever would "get there."
A/N: /shuffles around a bit/ Yes, I know, I said Sandruu wasn't coming back. I didn't mean to; it just happened. I swear. And now you all know why the cliffie in the last one had to be.