Sahxyel: WHOA. Long hiatus. Sorry everyone, my computer troubles keep escalating, added to my faded knowledge of Danny Phantom's Universe. You all should praise RE: Chain of Memories for kicking me back on my writing horse! Giddayap!
Danny: The Penultimate Chapter is here, folks.
Random Moogle: Kupopo! I hope all of you haven't forgotten this! If you have; skip back to chapter one! It'll be fun to reread everything, right?
Disclaimer Guy: Sahxyel does not claim the subjects relating to Danny Phantom or Kingdom Hearts as her own. She wouldn't anyway, because she feels both were in the right hands to begin with.
Chapter 33: Some Unfinished Business
For some reason, Clockwork could never shake off an odd premonition he had gained after the 'Organization XIII' mishap. He supposed it was lingering doubts that the group affiliated with the unpredictable Darkness could really be gone from his realm; his own timeline that had absolutely nothing to do with anything beyond spectral mishaps and whatnot.
Truth be told, ever since the group had appeared in the Ghost Zone, Clockwork had never been able to see anything regarding the future, if it intertwined with the Organization in any way. Perhaps it was their existence in a realm not of their own that had caused such an anomaly to occur…
Anything with Darkness could not be seen in a temporal sense. That single fact had unnerved the Time Ghost for many months…and many years afterwards.
Even now, when the world saw Danny for who he was, and the Disasteroid Crisis was adverted…
Clockwork could not view anything relating to a certain portion of Danny's past.
Floating casually to a viewing portal, he gazed within it with some faint semblance of a worry. He had to cause Danny to forget the incident due to the influences he had obtained from his stint as an experiment. All the tinkering with Danny's heart had created something Clockwork could only surmise as both disruptive to the time continuum and dangerous to anyone in the collective worlds.
The Organization brought many things to Clockwork's attention. The heart itself was a very complex and unpredictable part of being. If the inward workings of the heart were manifested into something tangible…something real…it would be chaotic at best. All of the stories of the murals at Castle Eternity told the Time Ghost this.
Terrible creatures of Darkness tore the Organization's realm asunder, scattering and influencing all elements of life. From the creatures, created from scientific curiosity that was centuries advanced compared to his own realm, did this happen. Everything was thrown into doubt and certain confusion from the event.
The knowledge of the terrible things that came from the strange realm would endanger the one Clockwork watched over and protected.
That is why…
Danny never could recall the lost week in his memory, nor could anyone else. Clockwork assured himself that the part of Danny that knew everything about the Organization, the Heartless, the Keybearers…all of it would be lost within the deepest depths of Danny's heart, unchained from his memory to be never thought of again.
At least…that is what Clockwork hoped. He himself never fully understood how memories, light, darkness…how any of it really worked.
Which, of course, is just how it should be.
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Daniel, or Danny, Fenton never would have thought his heart could be freer than how it was now. All of the burdens of secrets, lies, and problems that came with being his alter-ego had managed to all wash away after the Disasteroid Crisis. Now, instead of being hunted and halfway hated, he had finally gotten to a point where there were no more secrets, and he actually didn't have to bold-face lie to his parents, teachers, and generally everyone else, about a recent ghost attack.
It was like every burden was suddenly lifted…
"Danny! Are you ready yet?! We have to get going!" Jazz's voice came from downstairs, snapping Danny out of his blissful reverie.
"Huh?" He blinked, he had almost gotten lost on another one of his 'moments' again. With a sigh, he went to his dresser to finish getting ready for the doubtlessly busy day. A mirror was stuck haphazardly on the wall, allowing him to look over his hair.
…It was okay. In fact, it looked the same as it always did…albeit an unruly strand. Frowning, Danny tried to smooth the hair down, then looked himself over to see if anything was-
"Wait a minute, what-?"
Danny stared at his reflection. He had only blinked, and something about himself seemed…different. His hair now was parted in the opposite direction…and he seemed to be wearing some sort of black trenchcoat with silver tassels.
He frowned at his reflection, which frowned right back at him.
This was new.
"Alright, whoever is messing with my mirror better cut it out." Danny said evenly to the reflective surface, although traces of a threat were laced in his words. The mirror did not change; in fact, the image frowned even more deeply, then crossed its arms.
Danny wasn't amused, "If this is some sort of joke, I'm NOT laughing. And don't look at me like that!" The image rolled its (his?) eyes and appeared to sigh. "Get OUT of my mirror!"
"What's going on up there?!" Jack Fenton's voice shouted from downstairs. Great…
Not a moment later, both Maddie and Jack Fenton busted into Danny's room with Fenton Bazookas at the ready. Danny stood there stupidly in front of his unruly mirror and blinked.
The image also looked in their general direction.
"So these two are our parents? That's interesting." A voice inside Danny's head muttered. Danny didn't have time to ponder about this new addition to his already frustrating morning start, instead wondering how to go about explaining-
All that was left of Danny's once fairly new mirror was now a few broken shards graced with spiderweb cracking. All of the missing mirror pieces were probably vaporized in the blast…Looking at his shirt, Danny noticed that it now graced a very unpleasant burn mark.
"And THAT takes care of that." Jack proclaimed triumphantly. "Nobody gets the jump on my son!"
"Danny, are you alright? Did that ghost try anything?" Maddie asked, concern showing through her red goggles. She lowered the bazooka, then pulled Jack's bazooka down from the ready position as well.
Danny looked back at the cracked mirror, "Yeah, I'm fine. It didn't do anything except make my mirror go all screwy…" A thought occurred to him; did his ghost sense even go off?
"No it didn't, because I am NOT a ghost…genius."
"Well, that's good." Maddie looked over her son, then frowned. "You should change your shirt before heading off to school, it isn't a very good way to present yourself, you know."
Danny chuckled weakly, "I know Mom. Can both of you tell Jazz to go on ahead, I'll get there myself."
"Sure thing Danny!" Jack said, both he and Maddie zipping out of his room and down the stairs. Danny shut the door, then headed to his drawer to find a new, clean, shirt.
"Not going to acknowledge my presence? That's polite." The unbidden voice said sarcastically, causing Danny to stop in his tracks and sigh in frustration.
"No, I'm not. The LAST time someone tried to make me seem crazy I almost fell for it; not this time. So WHOEVER it is better leave me alone now."
"We aren't crazy. You just have some memory problems, which most normal people have. Apologies for not showing myself other than a mirror, but my real form kinda doesn't exist anymore. You're welcome by the way." The voice muttered, still sounding bitterly sarcastic.
Danny chose to ignore the voice, figuring that it had to be someone's trick to either confuse or frustrate himself. Unfortunately, the voice didn't seem to want to stop talking!
"Man, I thought recombining with you would be great. I've been freaking STUCK inside your heart for the last six months! It is NOT fun to be stuck in there-"
"Wait, what?" Danny frowned, finally pulling a clean shirt out of his bottom drawer. "Whoever you are, you make NO sense."
"Oh, you're listening? Funny, I thought you were ignoring me."
Frowning, Danny switched his shirts then grabbed his backpack, slinging it over his shoulder as her turned to the window. This voice wasn't making any sense, and honestly, it was starting to tick him off. "Just leave me alone."
A sigh emanated from his mind. "I guess I'll just have to jog your memory so that you will understand. Get ready!"
Before Danny could do or say anything at all, a blinding flash erupted from in front of his eyes. He stumbled forward, blinded, and rubbed his eyes. "Ow! What-?!"
Squinting, Danny opened his eyes to see an absolute darkness all around him. He stood upon a colorful pedestal with an amazing mural on it, featuring a heart with another smokier and fainter heart within it. Wherever he was certainly wasn't his bedroom.
"Thought I'd bring you here so I can get this done quickly, so just hold still." An odd purple (or was it black?) pod-thing came from the ground, opening and revealing the mirror-double Danny had seen earlier. Scowling at him, Danny narrowed his eyes defiantly at the mysterious doppelganger.
Whoever it was noticed and frowned, "Oh, you aren't going to make this easy, are you?"
Hand smoking, Danny jumped back a few feet from the mysterious person, white rings appearing around his torso as he did so. "I'm going ghost!"
The rings enveloped his body, changing his normal attire into a sleek black jumpsuit with white gloves and boots, a white 'D' design on his chest, with a cleverly placed black 'P' within the noticeable letter. Danny's normally black hair became as white as snow, and his blue eyes were an eerie glowing green.
The mysterious person, who staggered back after the sudden attack, couldn't help but fix Danny with a look. "Is it really necessary to shout that?" He flung his arm out, causing a ring of white light erupt in his hand, splitting and going in opposite directions until a long but interesting staff was left in his hand. A glowing orb atop it had the oddest symbol within, which spun rapidly.
Danny stood there for a brief moment, the propelled himself from the ground, his legs turning into a ghostly tail as he zoomed at the person, green energy accumulating around his hands as he did so. "I told you to leave me ALONE!"
The person nimbly dodged the second blast, swinging around and slamming the end of the staff right down on Danny's back. A green aura blasted out of the orb, sending Danny crashing down onto the other end of the platform.
"Ugh…" Danny glared at the cloaked double, but his body ached from the unexpected attack. "What's your problem?!"
The double scoffed, "My problem is that I've been forgotten for the last six months, and I've never been fully accepted into your being yet." He frowned, "Apparently there was one more stage to this stupid 'recombination' thing that I didn't know about-"
"What are you talking about?!" Hands glowing, Danny fixed the person with an angry glare. He was seriously starting to get tired from the stupid things the person said, that obviously made no sense whatsoever. "What do you mean by 'recombination'?!"
"Isn't it obvious? I'm you." The person explained, but then seemed to pause. "…Sort of."
"Yeah right, more like someone who tried to steal my identity again." Danny replied, eyes narrowing. The person merely raised his arms in a defensive pose.
"Look, I'm your Nobody. And if you're wondering; the name's Nexaild." The doppelganger, Nexalid, said. A noticeable frown appeared on his face, "I already know, you don't remember me because you're basically missing a week of your life in your head."
"A week of my…?" Danny blinked, already thinking back. There actually was that week he couldn't remember what he did, but Sam and Tucker had told him he was just sick…"Yeah right! I was just sick that week!" He snapped, shooting off an ectobeam at Nexaild.
The 'Nobody' dodged once more, but not quick enough to avoid the beam from singeing the hem of his trenchcoat. "Hey! Watch it-"
As soon as Nexaild crashed back onto the platform, Danny hovered directly above him with an ectobeam at the ready. The Nobody slowly sat up, scooting away from Danny as he did so. "Man, almost forgot how thick you are." Nexaild mumbled. "Memory always is a bit funny like that…"
"Stop talking in riddles and make sense." Danny demanded, seriously annoyed now. He wasn't in the mood anymore to deal with this joker, and he doubted that he would get anywhere listening to him anyway. "Just take me back home. Now."
"Oh….right…" The Nobody slowly stood, grabbing his staff to use as support. His face was oddly shadowed… "If you insist, Danny." The tip of Nexaild's staff, instead of glowing ectoplasmic green, turned a bright white.
Danny kept his ectobeam at the ready, he didn't trust the look Nexaild had on his-
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A million different visions filled Danny's head all at once. An image of a stained-glass platform rushed through his head, followed up by an image of Skulker zooming off with a bubble containing Sam and Tucker, which again shifted into a remembrance of pain and a flare of fire.
The Ghost Zone popped up repeatedly, all of which Danny couldn't grasp all at once. One minute he was in the ether of the Zone, Clockwork's Tower, Technus' Lair…and for some reason, Vlad Master's home in Wisconsin.
Before his parents left for the convention; he was perfectly fine and fighting ghosts as normal. He wasn't sick? What happened then?!
Images all came back to him in a flood at the castle. Black cloaks, a sinister ray, a floating heart, more fire...
This came hazily, an Organization? Yeah…They were trying to catch him, and they succeeded. His heart! But, he was helped by one of them, or WAS it one of them? Who was it?
"The name's Axel. A-X-E-L. Got it memorized?"
But…someone else helped him? In Vlad's Castle, right? Or…did he help?
"The Melodious Nocturne at your service!"
Emotions came next; confusion, anguish, anger, a hint of fear, determination, and mostly annoyance. Danny was home-no, wait, he was at the castle?
"We need to fix this. Fast."
"This ghost is tough! How am I supposed to even capture it?"
Everything afterwards was a blur to Danny, everything zipping in and out of his mind so quickly that he barely was able to discern everything; The Organization brawling with each other-a beach-a flying spaceship-a walled in town-a Key…-and…his older evil self?!
Everything whited out. Danny's mind was blissfully blank for three seconds.
And then there was the pain in his head.
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Danny fell to all fours, gasping and shaking. His head throbbed painfully from reprocessing every memory of the missing week of his life. Everything in his mind's eye contained everything from the week, as if the events that occurred happened only yesterday. Suddenly, all of the visions made sense. The Organization, a group of Nobodies, captured him and separated his heart from his body, resulting in keeping him in Ghost form. Nexaild was formed through that…
"Are you okay? I didn't overdo it, did I?"
Speaking of Nexaild…
"Sorry, I think some of my memories might have popped in your head too. I guess it's unavoidable, we are both close to the final phase of Recombination." The Nobody walked to Danny, offering a hand. "Need help?"
"I'm fine." Danny replied shortly, standing up slowly as he did so. His head gave another throb, reminding him how many times he was hit on the head during the whole 'Organization XIII Scenario'. Confusion immediately clouded his mind as he thought one crucial fact. "Why did I forget all of that?"
Nexaild made a face, as though he tasted something nasty. "Someone really likes to mess with our memories, apparently. While I was in your heart, I noticed a lot of the links were just missing."
"Links?" Danny blinked in confusion. "What links?"
"It's your chain of memories." Nexaild shrugged, "I had a lot of time to look through all of the memories, but there were a ton of blank spaces in the links. I honestly don't understand how you can go on with a memory like that. The largest blank was the week I just filled in for you, so you're missing a few before that point."
Danny sighed in exasperation, already he was starting to get frustrated. "Someone's been erasing my memories then? Is that why I didn't remember any of it at all?!"
Nexaild crossed his arms, "You know that Clockwork guy that 'knows all'...?"
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Sahxyel: I've decided. This is NOT the Penultimate chapter; but the chapter before the penultimate chapter of the fic! I did this because I know you all have been waiting forever, and this should hopefully tide all of you over until the next chapter. Plus, the next is chapter thirty five, and after will be thirty six, with the special sequence/credits. (Which makes the true end the next chapter, the bonus being afterwards.)
Random Moogle: Clockwork is in for a nasty surprise, kupo!
Danny: Be sure to review people, Sahxyel got inspired because of a review she got recently! Keep her writing block away before it engulfs her for another few months!