Pocket Watch
Life sure has a way of teasing ya

Fate is an ugly, cruel thing. It takes so much of the potentials, beliefs, and hopes you've ever had and steps on them until they're reduced to barely anything you could resemble. So, why the hell do people cling so much onto it? Why do people believe in it when fate plays you for a loser and leave you miserable? I guess people are just risky like that. I know I've done my share over the years, but nowadays, leaving my life to fate is out of the question…

Another Fight Gone Wrong
"AHHHHHHHH!" came the scream of Danny Phantom, alter ego superhero to young 16 year old Danny Fenton as he landed face first to a pile of trash cans. As he struggled to get out of week old foods, soggy cardboards, and smelly diapers, a ghost clad mostly in black and suited in armor headed his way.
"Oh, this is the most pathetic thing I've ever seen and I've sat through Batman and Robin." Came the voice of Skulker, the ghost hunter whose primary goal was to add Danny to his growing collection of ghosts he's hunted over the years.
"Shut up!" Danny said quickly and sternly. He then rose up in the air until he was hovering 30 feet above the ground. He, too wore a load of black, but that was mostly due to the color inverse on the jumpsuit he wore when he curiously entered inside his family's ghost portal on the urging of his friend Sam two years back. Back then, Danny was a naïve, immature, young lad with a good heart, or in short, he was just like any other teenage boys at that age. He probably still would be, but two years risking your very life to save the world can change a person drastically. He was less naïve and more aware, not as highly optimistic as usual, but not overall pessimistic either, just more realistic, and certainly more mature. His black jumpsuit reflected the image, starting off as a simple…well…black jumpsuit, but over the course of the years (and with Sam's help) gradually evolved into a suit more suitably for his age and maturity.
"Embarrassed?" Skulker grinned, extending his arm to send forth a small missile. Danny barely managed to get out of the way. Then he struggled to deck the burly ghost in the face. Instead, Skulker merely dodged, grabbed Danny by the leg, twirled him around, and then threw him. Danny landed smacked dab on the side of a building.
"Oh, God." Danny muttered to himself. He felt something wet streak down his lips and noticed it was blood.
"What the hell?" Skulker shouted as he flew closer to Danny, "THIS is the best you can give me? I mean, geez, it's like you got your powers just yesterday! Do you even take me seriously!"
Danny struggled to say something, but he's tongue was flabbergasted and his entire body was aching from the pain, which irritated Skulker even further.
"This is CRAP!" He cried out, "I can't defeat you if you're gonna treat me like some second rate loser you picked up off the street!" The ghost hunter turned the other way and started to fly off.
"Come back to me when you want to take our fights seriously!" He shouted.
Danny watched him leave with a relief, yet utter disdain. He punched the side of the building before struggling to get up, every part of his muscles aching. Crashing into a side building, it's happen plenty of times before and Danny's ghost half usually has the means to take in that much punishment, now he feels like he was pushed there by a tank. Wiping the blood out of his face, Danny flew back home, entering via his open window which he left from prior to Skulker's appearance, when his ghost sense kicked off. He transformed back into his human form and immediately raced to the bathroom.

Danny eyed himself in the mirror, most notably his face: Bruised, cut, bleeding, Danny's already had to explain numerous times on how he got his injuries to his parents. He counted his lucky stars that his father was at least obsessed with ghosts enough that he primary used that as an excuse for him being beaten up half the time (in the end, Jack would try and hunt the "imaginary" ghosts Danny made up).

"Uhh…I was walking home from school and a ghost attacked me."
"It's so strange; a ghost got me while I was at the mall."
"That weird ghost attacked me and gave me a concussion while I was at the park."
"A ghost did it."
"The ghosts attacked me."

God, how he hated that word now.
"OW." Danny said to himself as he put on some iodine over his lips. He grabbed some toilet paper nearby and held it over his forehead which had a massive scrap. He eyed himself in the mirror. That's not the face of a 16 year old teenage boy but of a warrior. He let out a groan. How could he lose to Skulker? No, not lose; you only lose when you were completely defeated. Skulker left him. Still, he's let a lot of ghosts go over the past few months, all because of events such as the Skulker battle he faced today. He was lacking in concentration, all due to his life which seemingly started to get hectic. It just came out of nowhere, but his school grades grew even worse, his peers started to slowly view him as a freak, his friends refused to talk to him, and to put the icing on the cake, his family was virtually ignoring him. How did it start? He couldn't remember when, but he had memories, bits and pieces of how he came to be the way he was now: sickingly upset over his crappy life…


You think your life sucks?
"Another F, Mr. Fenton." Lancer said as he casually placed his test on Danny's desk. Danny peered over the giant red "F" written on his paper and eyed Lancer, the bald teacher with a pot belly. Lancer's expression was obviously displeasing.
"If you keep this up, I'm afraid I have no choice but to schedule a meeting with your folks." He said.
"Good luck, their attentions these days are towards Jazz." Danny said with a voice of utter disdain, "I'd be lucky if they even managed a "hi" if I walked in with both legs broken." Lancer merely raised one eyebrow before leaving to hand out the other tests. He let out a groan and placed his head down on his desk. His two best friends, techno geek Tucker and Goth girl Sam eyed their friend with concern.
"Come on, Danny, you're not even good at math anyways, so this should all be commonplace for you." Tucker said casually as the three walked down the hall. Danny made a cringe worthy face.
"Not helping, Tuck." Sam said, frowning, "Cheer up, Danny, if you want, I can hire you a tutor."
"I've never seen so many Fs before in my entire life." Danny cried out, "Even I don't fail math THAT much." The three stopped at Danny's locker where he fiddled with the combination as he continued speaking.
"And it's not just math, it's everything else." Danny mumbled, "English, history, Chemistry, hell, I'm failing family studies. Who the hell fails family studies!" As his voice grew aggravated, so did his hand as he constantly tried to open his locker, his combination seemingly not working for him.
"Why are you taking family studies?" Tucker asked quizzingly. Danny didn't answer or pay attention to Tucker's words. Instead, he was busy fighting his locker, slamming the thing.
"Oh, Danny." Sam sighed as she pushed him aside and opened his locker for him. Danny didn't give a grateful face or a mere "thank you", instead, he just grabbed for his books.
"You know, you could have made your arms intangible." Tucker suggested.
"And risk my secret identity, I don't think so." Danny said, slamming the locker after getting what he needed.
"But you've done it plenty of times before." Tucker said, "Maybe you just forgot today."
"That was before, a very long time before." Danny said, "I'm just being cautious." The school bell rang.
"I gotta go before the teach yells at me for being late to history…again." Danny gritted through his teeth. He ran, leaving the two friends behind, once again looking deeply concerned.
"Junior Year's suppose to be the toughest school year, so I can only imagine what Danny's gonna go through when he reaches it this Fall." Tucker mumbled.


History Class came and went, as did Chemistry and Gym. He marched himself to his next class (English) when his ghost sense left his mouth. Danny gazed out the window and saw another side of the school building where Technus, the so-called master of technology was screwing around in the computer lab.
"Oh, damn it." Danny muttered to himself. He quickly ran to the boy's bathroom and took a cubicle. Concentrating all his might, he turned from seemingly normal 16 year old boy to super charged ghost boy. He flew, phasing through the walls until he reached Technus, charging into him with both fists out. The ghost crash landed on another set of computers. Technus rummaged through the mess and saw him face to face with Danny.
"I knew I'd take a risk entering this godforsaken school." Technus sighed, mumbling mostly to himself.
"I'm late for English and I'm not doing so hot in school as it is, so let's make this fast and to the point." Danny said, arms crossed. Technus must've agreed as he used his powers and sent computers after Danny. Danny quickly flew out of the way and showered Technus with a burst of ecto ray. Soon, it was a battle between ecto rays and flying computers. Several students and teachers passing by stared in awe, mostly backing off when something was flying their way.
"You can't keep this up, ghost child!" Technus said with his usual grin on his face.
"Neither can you!" Danny shouted.
"Well, I'm dead, it doesn't really matter to me, well, compare to you anyways." Technus spoke, tossing an electric pencil sharpener his way, "It's surprising the huge amount of ghost powers you've been using has yet to take its toll on you." Danny's raised his eyebrows a bit. Suddenly, he felt tired. He felt water dripping down his face and noticed it was sweat. He tried to brandish another wave of ecto ray, but doing so only seem to make him more tired. In the end, he fell down from his mid flight and landed harshly on the floor. Technus took this cue to enter the sole computer spared from the battle. Whatever he did was unknown for the time being and frankly, Danny wasn't concerned about this matter as much as he was trying to gain his strength back. He eyed the students and teachers eyeing him. Wide eyed, Danny quickly got up, gained intangibility, and flew off.

By Study Hall, Danny was fast asleep to recover whatever energy he lost during that fight.

A Different Kind of Fight
"ALL the computers were destroyed?" Tucker gasped, his face turning pale as he gripped his spoon.
"Tucker!" Sam snapped, "What do you mean you felt tired?"
Danny fiddled with his tray as he eyed the goop they call lunch food, not bothering to eye Sam or Tucker as if he was ashamed.
"I don't know…it's like every time I used my ecto ray, my energy was being zapped." Danny answered to the best of his abilities, "I fell asleep in study hall and didn't wake up until a teacher noticed I was the only one left. It's crazy."
"Maybe you're just stressed and tired from all the school work you've been doing." Sam said, "You have been cramming a lot of stuff into your brain."
"Maybe." Danny muttered. He got up and threw the remaining food in the nearest trash can which coincidentally was the same trash can Dash, the ever so popular school bully, was dumping his food.
"Hey, watch where you're dumping those, FenTOAD." Dash spoke in his usual harsh tone whenever he was around the raven haired boy, "I just got this jacket pressed and ironed yesterday."
"Yea, behold it on me that a jacket would be considered so sacred to not get food dumped on it." Danny muttered. Danny started to walk away, but Dash wouldn't let his favorite victim go off clean, so he grabbed Danny by the back of his shirt collar, and dumped him in the same trash can. Massive waves of laughter ensure.


Family Sucks
By the time school ended, he wasn't in a talking mood, so he walked home alone. When Danny entered his house, he was immediately greeted by two screaming parents. Jack and Maddie Fenton ran around the house, looking for the—
"I'm looking, I'm looking!" Jack cried as he opened up a futuristic looking chest, "Fenton bazooka, Fenton Anti-creep stick, Fenton boooo-merang, Fenton Camera, NO FENTON VIDEO CAMERA!" Again, the two frantically searched around while Danny watched, eyes half closed, mouth tightlipped over his parent's stupidity. His respect for them flew out the window when he saw the silver and neon green video camera neatly perched on the coffee table three feet away from him. Taking a deep sigh, Danny picked up the gadget and made a loud "ahem". When that didn't work, he tried again repeatedly until he rolled his eyes and practically shoved the camera in front of them.
"Hey, there it is!" Jack grinned, taking the video camera out of Danny's hands. The two parents then raced to the stairs.
"You can come down now." Maddie said to whoever was upstairs.
"You're welcome." Danny said with a half hint of sarcasm. He watched in the same direction as Maddie and Jack did as his older sister, Jazz walked down the stairs, wearing her graduation clothes, red in color. It very well complemented her hair color. It used to be quite long, but over the years, she managed to cut it to neck length.
"Oooh, I knew this day would come and when it does…you just don't know what to say." Jack sniffed back a tear.
"Dad, graduations not for another two months." Jazz said with half a smile, "I'm just trying it on."
"Yes, but still, Jazz, our future college girl." Maddie squealed as she hugged her eldest, "One of our birds finally leaves the nest."

As the two folks gushed over Jazz, Danny struggled past them to make his way up the stairs.
"Don't mind me; I'm just going to my room." He said, fully aware neither of them was paying any lick of attention to him or his clothes, now with a range of color from the trash can he was dumped into earlier.
"Danny, how do I look?" Jazz asked, her voice always filled with a sense of optimism.
"You look great, Jazz." Danny said sincerely, but his smile was anything but. After that was said, Jazz was back to being gushed by her parents, leaving the youngest Fenton alone. His smile quickly left his face and he raced to his room, closing the door quietly. Dropping his back pack casually on the middle of the floor, Danny jumped on his bed and lied there. There, he pondered over his school work, his ignorant families, and mostly, of his powers seemingly zapping his energy off. Maybe Sam was right, it could just be all the stress and work he's been putting through lately. Speaking of work, he eyed the clock. He had to go to the Nasty Burger in about an hour. Danny groaned and shook it off his head. In a matter of minutes, he was asleep.

Nasty, Nasty
"Late, AGAIN!" the manager shouted.
"I'm sorry I overslept." Danny muttered, "I've just been feeling really weak lately."
"I don't want to hear it!" The manager spoke. He was a tall, big figure, but had a commanding air around him that made others fear him, "If you're late one more time, you're outta here!"
"Yes, sir." Danny mumbled. He then struggled over to the main cashier. The Nasty Burger. Of all places to get a part-time job, it HAD to be the Nasty Burger. Danny remembered some years back how he'd never get a job there, but when his parents refused to give him anymore money some year back, Danny took the responsibility and need for some pocket change and searched around for a part time job. Only the Nasty Burger was hiring. The first couple of months weren't too bad. Valerie worked in the Nasty Burger as well, mostly as the mascot in that stuffy suit. She'd be there to give him a helping hand and generally exchange pleasant conversations during breaks. Unfortunately, the traits seem to disappear over the course of the year when Danny got more irritated, causing Valerie to get irritated (considering her short temper). Nowadays, no one was talking to Danny due to his increasing repetition of being a walking volcano. Geez, even the people of Nasty Burger refuses to talk with him, how embarrassing.
"Maybe if you worked on your attitude problem, you'd have more people talking to you." Valerie would often say. This time, the two were getting ready to leave. Danny was just packing some last minute things in his bag as well as his dinner which, of course, is Nasty Burger.
"Pot calling kettle black." Danny muttered back with a sense of arrogance and frustration.
"Hey, we all have our problems. I have two jobs, remember?" Valerie pointed out.
"You're not the only one." Danny mumbled. He slinged his bag over his shoulder and walked out.
"Maybe you should consider therapy, Danny." Valerie suggested, her temperature rising. Danny ignored her and continued walking, making Valerie even angrier, "Yea, just keep running away! That'll erase ALL your problems!"


Failed school works, ghost attacks gone wrong, a job he hates, ignorant parents, and a school bully, Danny pondered all these thoughts as he finished bandaging the reminders of his wounds. Stupid Skulker. Stupid ghosts. Stupid everything. He struggled his way out of the bathroom, his muscles once again aching. He felt like he was seeing double at this point. He staggered to walk to his room which was only a few feet away, but the very energy he had seem to be leaving his very body…again. Sounds around him were muffled and he felt the floor rising or was he falling? That was the least of his concern when the next thing he knew, he saw nothing but blackness. Danny has fallen…
To Be Continued…


Author's Note:
1.) I wanted to explore the Danny/Vlad relationship...as in father and son, thank you very much. I have nothing against Danny's parents, but Danny and Vlad's relationship interest me. It's so complex and intriguing it's hard not to do a fanfic based on it.

2.) Not to mention I also wanted to deal with Danny himself. The thing I always didn't like about Danny in the show is that despite some 40+ episodes he's been in, he hardly EVER gets a character development. It's absolutely sad when others develop around him, but he himself stays the same regardless. It's not only boring, but ridiculous. This is the main reason why Danny is considerably older.

3.) Whether or not I will continue this fanfic is entirely on you people. If I get good enough responses, I will continue. If not...well, I probably won't. Man, I already got another fanfic under my belt, among other art stuff...whew...I got my work cut out for me.

4.) Oh, if you're curious to see what Danny's DP wear I described in the fanfic looks like, there's a link to my drawing of it in my profile.