WoM- ; Hey, I did a D/S one shot already, and I've got another one planned... once again Wings owns nothing in this story.
"I know of no more disagreeable situation than to be left feeling generally angry without anybody in particular to be angry at."
-Frank Moore Colby
Up Close and Personal
I've got you now, ghost boy!
Under the cover of her red visor, Valerie kept a fierce glare trained on the figure darting and looping in front of her, his spectral trail whipping behind him as if to taunt the young ghost hunter.
Who, by the way, couldn't help but growl angrily at that thought.
Then again, everything about the elusive Danny Phantom seemed to taunt her. His smile, his laugh, his glare, his blasts… even just looking into his eyes was enough to rile a murderous vengeance in Valerie.
It was like his very existence was a mockery of everything she stood for, everything she fought against. Which in a way it was. After all, Valerie had been fighting Phantom longer then any other ghost (for nearly two years now, in fact), and so far he was the only one who always managed to slip from her grasp every time she got close to capturing him.
Valerie had never had anything evade her so successfully before. She'd always been the kind of girl who got her way once she had her mind set on something, no matter what it took for her to get it. That Phantom was able to escape her wrath for so long…
Valerie's train of thought was lost when a drop hit her visor, bursting into smaller speckles of water. Her heart sinking, Valerie tore her eyes off of the ghost boy long enough to focus on the dark clouds above her just as the heavens opened up and poured down on the huntress and her prey. The rain also successfully censored the creative oaths that fell from aforementioned huntress' lips as she returned her focus to the ghost boy. He too was frowning up at the rain in annoyance before turning to glance at her, exasperation written clear on his face.
That alone was enough to steel Valerie's resolve and make her push her jet sled harder to catch up the ghost.
The new burst of speed didn't escape the ghost's attention, and he made no attempt to lower his voice as he growled out some profanities of his own before turning to fly backwards so he could face Valerie, shooting her an ugly glare as the wind whipped his wet silvery locks into his face.
"Don't you know when to call it a night?" Phantom asked irritably, raising his voice over the pounding rain. "We've been at this for three hours now!"
"What do you care, ghost?" Valerie snapped back, leveling an ecto-gun at him, "You got somewhere better to be?" Phantom rolled his eyes, annoyance clear in his scowl as he laced around the bolts of energy the ghost hunter fired at him, turning back to face forward and jetting off with a burst of speed.
Determined to stay on his tail, Valerie picked up the pace as well, pushing her jet sled to the limit and laughing with a feral grin when she realized she was inching closer and closer to the ghost. Soon she would be in range to get a good shot, and when that happened…
"See ya, Ghost Boy!" Valerie cried out gleefully, taking aim and charging her weapon.
That was when the tree branch flew by.
It knocked the weapon right out of Valerie's hands, almost taking her arm up to her shoulder with it. Crying out in surprise, Valerie flinched and grabbed her now sore wrist, her breath leaving her when the heavy wind that followed knocked her jet sled off course, sending her pummeling to the ground.
"VALERIE!" she heard the Ghost Boy shout as she struggled to regain control of her equipment. The wind proved to be too powerful, though, and instead Valerie found herself bracing for impact as the brick wall of Casper High came closer and closer…
Before she hit, though, she felt a powerful arm wrap firmly around her waist, right before a strange and vaguely familiar tingling sensation ran through her entire body and she found herself going through the wall, and three more that followed it before crashing painfully into a chalkboard and falling to the floor, stars winking in her eyes and a familiar boy groaning from where he had fallen half draped across her. Color rose to Valerie's cheeks as she proceeded to unceremoniously shove the ghost boy away.
"Get offa me, Ghost!" she snarled, backing away and cringing at the throbbing pain shooting through the arm that made impact with the chalkboard. Not to mention the killer headache she was getting. Touching the back of her helmet gingerly, Valerie winced when she found a severe crack, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that her skull would've been cracked instead if not for her new suit.
She refused to consider that Phantom's efforts at slowing her descent had anything to do with it.
"You're welcome." Phantom said dryly, pulling himself up off the floor enough to scoot over to the nearest desk. He rested his head against the leg of the desk, looking paler and far more drained then Valerie had ever seen him before.
Blowing out an irritated sigh, Valerie turned to give the window a dark look as it rattled with the force of the same powerful wind that had blown her from the sky. It didn't appear the storm was going to let up any time soon, and she was in no condition to walk home in such bad weather.
Meaning she was trapped in the school until the storm let up.
Mother Nature really IS a bitch… the girl thought sourly as she turned her glare to the ghost she was cooped up with, her eyes narrowing hatefully.
"This is all your fault." she snapped. Green eyes opened to give the huntress an annoyed look.
"Right," he said evenly. "and the fact that YOU were chasing ME has nothing to do with any of this."
"Hey, you're the one causing all the trouble around here, not me!" Valerie defended herself without missing a beat. "I'm just the only one with the guts to actually stand up and do something about it!" the ghost rolled his eyes and turned away slightly, a bitter expression passing his face for a second.
"Ever think maybe you're just jumping to conclusions?" he asked in a chilly tone. "Maybe I'm not the bad guy here. Ever give that one a thought, Valerie?"
"Don't call me that!" The huntress bit out, berating herself once again for slipping up so early in the game and giving Phantom a hint to her identity. Still, what else could she do, with her father about to walk in on her in full hunter garb? She hadn't learned at that point never to trust a ghost, after all.
Now she knew better.
"Why not?" Phantom asked angrily. "It's your name, right? Isn't it a sign of common courtesy to call someone by their name, instead of the stupid nicknames you guys like to give me?" Valerie flushed, unable to deny this.
"Listen you…" she snapped instead, starting to sit up. "Give me one reason why I should—!" Valerie cut herself off with a pained gasp as she put too much weight on her bad arm and started to fall forward involuntarily.
Before she hit the floor, though, Phantom had jump over to catch her and cushion the fall with his shoulder, one arm wrapping securely around her waist as his irritated look melted away to concern.
"You okay?" he asked, genuinely worried for her. He flinched slightly when he saw the way some of her costume had been shredded away where the tree branch had hit, a nasty scrape bleeding openly as the stubborn huntress began to regain her composure.
"Fine!" she answered harshly, pushing herself away from him to sit against the wall again. "Ugh… Like you even care!"
"And what if I do?" Phantom challenged softly, his intense green eyes burning holes into Valerie. She flushed brightly and closed her eyes as she turned from him, trying fruitlessly to dispel those eyes from her mind.
After all, she couldn't go around thinking anything weird like that about her enemy. That just wasn't done, not for Valerie. Let those fangirls like Paulina faun over how handsome and dashing the ghost was, but she would never sink to that.
Still, ghost hunter or not, she was still a girl. And as loathe as she was to admit it, Phantom was just sorta a little cute.
…But just a little!
Danny. She thought, still not turning to the ghost. Think of Danny, Val. He's way cuter then the ghost boy, and a lot nicer.
Valerie felt some of her nervousness melt at the thought of the only son of the acclaimed ghost hunting couple that helped keep their town safe. If one good thing had come from the whole ghost fiasco, it was that she'd opened her eyes to what a great guy Danny was. She really had it bad for him, and wanted so desperately to be with him.
But she couldn't bare the thought of him being hurt by a ghost that was after her, like he was nearly hurt by that ghost who possessed her old suit. She had no idea who that ghost was, but Phantom clearly had something to do with it.
Meaning as soon as Phantom disappeared, everything else keeping her from being with the guy she liked would go with him.
"Why would you?" Valerie asked coolly, finally turning her attention to Phantom's question. Thinking of Danny had done the trick, there was nothing Phantom could say or do to break her hunter facade now. "We're enemies, remember? Ghost and ghost hunter. You cause trouble and I kick your butt, that's the way things work! Why would you care about me, huh?" Phantom didn't look that bothered by the bitter demand, cocking his head slightly to study Valerie, and leaving the huntress wishing desperately for the ability to read minds.
"Because I do," he answered simply. Valerie stared at him incredulously.
"That's it?" she asked in a stunned tone. "That's the only excuse you have? 'Because you do?'"
"I know there's more to you then a bitter girl out for revenge, Valerie." Phantom sighed. "And I'm not just some ghost looking to make everybody's lives miserable." the ghost turned here to give the girl a pointed look. "I'm not going to tell you I'm perfect. I make mistakes, I get into trouble and I get my butt kicked by karma. But I'm trying to do the best that I can here, and I've never meant to hurt you, or anybody else." here Phantom paused to rub his eyes, looking drained. "That's the only reason I have, because that's the only one I need." Valerie stared at him before turning away with a huff.
"You're weird." she said bluntly. Surprise flickered in those green eyes for a moment before the ghost grinned broadly at her, fatigue still pretty obvious on his face.
"You have no idea." he laughed. The huntress raised an eyebrow, wondering what that response was about, but her pride refused to let her rise to the bait. "Anyways, I'm a lot more human then you give me credit for."
"Ghosts," Valerie stated coolly. "are nothing like humans."
"Oh?" Phantom's eyebrow kicked up. "Mind telling me what the big difference is, then?"
"Well humans are alive, for one." Valerie answered, giving the boy a dark, pointed look. Phantom grinned back at her, unabashed.
"Point." he acknowledged casually, "Not a very good one, though. I mean, ghosts were alive at some point in time, and humans drop dead all the time. Since when does death make a person corrupt?"
"I'm not saying that!" Valerie shouted back, exasperation clear in her tone. "I just meant— oh, forget it!" Scoffing loudly, Valerie slouched further against the wall, wincing slightly when the pain in her arm made itself known again and then berating herself for the involuntary action, hoping that Phantom didn't notice it.
But since when was her luck EVER that good?
"It still hurts?" Phantom asked with a frown, moving in for a closer look at the wound. Valerie's breath caught in her throat as cold gloved hands ran gently over the scrape, her heart slipping a beat or two at the proximity of the ghost, before returning with such a vigor that the ghost huntress was almost sure that Phantom would be able to hear it.
"Get AWAY!" she snapped with the coldest glare she could muster, slapping the ghost's hand away as she put some distance between them. She faltered slightly when she was almost sure she'd seen a hurt expression cross Phantom's face. But that couldn't have been the case!
"Alright, alright!" Phantom snapped back, irritably. "Jeeze! Sue me for being worried, why don't you?"
"What good would it do?" Valerie snorted in dry humor, "You're a ghost. It's not like you even have anything to take, anyways." The ghost boy shot her a dirty look at that.
"Why is it that you have to remind me I'm a ghost every three seconds?" he asked with a tired sigh. Before Valerie could respond, though, Phantom stood and walked over to her, offering her one gloved hand. Valerie gave the boy a confused and distrustful look, making him roll his eyes in annoyance before explaining. "I'm taking you to the nurses office. We need to look at that scrape before it gets infected."
"I can go myself!" Valerie insisted, using the wall for leverage as she stood. As soon as she let go of it, black spots swam in front of her eyes and she found herself staggering to try and stay standing. It ended up being a losing battle, though, and she would've hit the floor had Phantom not caught her. Again.
This is starting to get embarrassing…
"Look, I'm not gonna do anything, okay?" Phantom said irritably, as if reading the girl's mind. (She wouldn't doubt if he could, given all his other powers.) "I'm just going to carry to you to the nurses office and help you with that scrape. That's it."
"Oh, like I'm gonna fall for that!" Valerie snorted, glowering at the boy sullenly. Still, there wasn't much she could do in her current situation to stop him from carrying her through the wall and to the nurses office, save glaring at him as coldly as humanly possible.
Her glare melted, though, when she realized that Phantom was heading through their school as if he'd been there before…
"Hey," she said, tugging at the ghost's hazmat impatiently. She noticed it was the same material the Fentons used for their suits and made a mental note to ask them more about it later before turning back to the point at hand, "How do you know Casper High so well?" The ghost blinked as the question registered before a flinch chased across his face, deepening Valerie's suspicions. "You haven't followed me to school before, have you?"
"No!" Phantom answered the accusation quickly. "How could I? Don't you have alarms and stuff to tell you when there's a ghost nearby?" They made those? She was going to have to check in on that with Mr. Masters…
"Well then how do you know your way around here if you've never been here before, huh?" Valerie snapped back, not answering the question.
"Because I have been here before." Phantom sighed, "I… well, I used to go here when I was alive, okay?"
Valerie felt all of her thoughts screech to an abrupt halt at that.
Phantom went to Casper High? Danny Phantom had attended her school, and possibly had the same teachers that were now giving her a hard time at some point in the past?
Valerie had never thought of the ghost boy in human terms. Sure, a part of her had always known that he'd had a life before he was a ghost, but she never really wondered what that like was like, or if it was possible that she'd met him when he was human.
"How did you die?"
The ghost huntress flinched as Phantom stopped dead in his tracks, staring at her with wide green eyes. That had been blunt even for her, but she was far too proud to apologize, or rephrase the question more politely.
When Phantom started walking again, Valerie figured he wasn't going to answer the question and huffed in irritation.
"It was an accident."
Valerie actually jumped when Phantom started talking again, his voice soft and resigned. Still, she didn't have to wonder what the boy was talking about, and found herself listening closely as the ghost continued.
"I was just hanging out with some friends… my mom and dad weren't home, so we decided to check out the lab a bit, y'know? See if there was anything cool down there." here, Phantom closed his eyes as he continued the story. "After one of my friends talked me into going into one of my parents experiments… well, I don't remember too much after that." the ghost chuckled bitterly. "Just that it felt like my skin was being torn from my bones before I blacked out, and when I woke up…" he trailed off with a shrug, but there was no need for him to continue.
"An… accident?" Valerie repeated, a little stunned. She'd never have guessed that was the way the ghost boy had gone out, but it made sense now that she thought of it. He was too stubborn to have committed suicide, and too strong to let some illness kill him.
But there was one thing about the boy's story that disturbed her more then any of this.
He was so… normal. she realized, a chill running down her spine. I mean, family, friends, school… he had people who cared about him, he had a life.
Valerie had never really wondered about those the ghosts left behind. She never thought about their human lives, about what it was that kept them anchored to this world. That was never her job, after all. Her job was to hunt them down and make sure they never come back. That was what she liked to do, and she was good at it.
Still, the scenario the ghost boy had painted for her was chilling in its irony. After all, how many times had she goofed off in her dad's lab without supervision as a kid? How many ongoing experiments has she checked out when his back was turned even nowadays? That could've easily been her in Phantom's shoes…
…Well, boots, technically.
"Here we go." Phantom said with a gusty sigh, breaking the huntress' concentration. "The nurses office."
And, without any warning to the girl in his arms, the ghost boy stepped through the wall and into the room. Valerie couldn't contain her involuntary shriek as she grabbed his jumpsuit instinctively, blushing and berating herself thoroughly when she caught herself.
"We might need to check for a concussion, too," Phantom said as he set Valerie down on the small cot set up for sick students. "And you're going to have to deactivate your suit." Valerie scowled at him.
"And why should I, huh?" she snapped, narrowing her eyes defiantly at the ghost.
"Because you're the one sitting here bleeding like mad, because your dad will totally kill you if you go home looking like you do now and because you know I can help you, even if you don't think I really will." Phantom answered, impatient with the ghost hunter's suspicions. Hissing in irritation, Valerie deactivated her suit and glared hatefully up at Phantom.
"Happy?" she asked snidely, crossing her arms.
"Getting there," Phantom answered with a dry smile. As always when the ghost smiled at her, it caught Valerie off-guard for a moment before she hastily turned away and started muttering darkly to herself under her breath.
"At any rate," Phantom said, breaking the girl from her evil thoughts of redemption. "We're probably gonna be here a while."
"We?" Valerie repeated, raising her eyebrow at the ghost. "And just what's keeping you from fazing outta here and heading back to…" Valerie paused thoughtfully here. Where did the ghost-boy hang out when he wasn't wreaking havoc on her life…?
"The wind," Phantom answered, clearing his throat nervously. He probably knew what Valerie was wondering, and wanted to distract her from that line of thought before she asked the ghost himself. "It's too strong right now for me to fly back, and even going intangible in this kind of weather won't help."
"Why does it matter?" Valerie asked, wincing slightly as the ghost rubbed peroxide on her scrape. If she had to be put through all of this indignity, she might as well learn something useful from it…
"Dunno." Phantom admitted absently. "I think it's because air isn't actually a physical thing, like walls or people. It's more difficult to move through it then solid stuff. Water and fire are the same way, too."
"Do ghosts need to breathe?" Valerie asked, logging all of this information away to share with Mr. Masters later. He'd probably like to know all of this while he made her weapons…
"I do." the ghost boy answered. "Not sure about other ghosts, though."
"Why would they be any different then you?" Valerie asked, honestly confused. "I mean, you're stronger then any other ghost I've fought! You're the strongest ghost there is! If anything, they'd have more weaknesses then you, not less!" Phantom winced a little at this.
"That's not necessarily true, you know." he informed the girl in a tired tone. "I told you before, I'm not like other ghosts. Heck, most of them won't even consider me a ghost." Before Valerie could ask him what he meant by that, the ghost boy made another comment that completely redirected her focus. "And anyways, I'm not the strongest ghost around, either."
"You're not?" the ghost hunter leaned forward, her heart pounding fearfully at the thought of a ghost even stronger then her moral (well, immortal, technically… or at least, she thought ghosts were immortal… she filed that away as another question for Mr. Masters.) "Then who is?"
"Well, I think Clockwork's got more power then me," Phantom admitted, as much to himself as to Valerie, who blanked out completely on the name. Then again, she never cared much about what her prey called themselves. She was gonna kick their butt no matter what names they had, after all. "But I've never actually seen him fight or anything… Still, I know Plasmius is more powerful then me."
"Plasmius?" Valerie repeated, rubbing her temples a little as her vision swam again. She found herself grateful that her old suit was trashed. It would've never protected her from that kind of impact like her new one had…
"Uuh, I think you guys call him the Wisconsin Ghost?" Phantom offered, frowning at the girl thoughtfully. The ghost hunter gave him a blank look, the name not ringing any bells, other then the fact that Mr. Masters was from Wisconsin, too. "He was the one from the Pariah thing; You know the freaky blue-skinned vampire one in the cape you called my friend."
"You're not friends?" Valerie raised an eyebrow at the ghost boy. They certainly fought like they knew each other's moves…
"No!" Phantom growled, pounding on the table hard enough to leave an indent as his eyes went neon for a second in his anger, making the huntress jump. He composed himself after a second, though, and turned back to Valerie with a weary sigh, "…I can count the number of ghosts I consider friends on one hand and still have fingers to spare, and Plasmius isn't one of them." Hesitating a moment, the boy added, "He has the same… condition that I do, the one that makes us not really ghosts, and he thinks this means I should be just like him." Valerie gulped slightly when she saw Phantom's fists clench, barely contained energy crackling around his fingers in the fury he felt towards this ghost.
She had never seen the ghost boy filled with such a passionate hatred. Every time she fought him, she seemed to get a different response. Irritation was most common, amusement, disinterest… even concern from time to time, but she'd never seen the ghost boy actually seem to hate anybody. Not her or any of the other ghosts they battled. It was frightening, to see those green eyes burning with anger, fear and complete loathing towards this ghost she did not know…
…Mostly because it reminded her of herself.
After all, was this not the same way she felt about Phantom himself? A part of her wanted to believe it was so, but a tiny part protested. Everything about this ghost was different then any other she'd faced. He haunted her in more ways then one, and Valerie was honestly baffled by him.
"What are you?" she asked in a tired tone. Phantom froze, looking up at her with an alarmed expression.
"What?" he croaked out, his voice a few octaves too high in his fear.
"What are you?" Valerie repeated. "Who are you? Why are you here? Why can't you just leave me alone!" Phantom frown.
"I…" he seemed like he was going to say something else for a moment before his shoulders sank in defeat and he adverted his eyes away from Valerie. "…I can't say."
"You're not getting off that easy, ghost!" Valerie growled out standing up. She ignored the rush this brought to her head, just as she ignored the swaying motion that had her gripping the edge of the cot, and the dots swimming in front of her again. Her focus was completely on Phantom as she started to rant, dangerously close to babbling.
"First you ruin my life, only to tell me it was an accident! Then your little buddy Stalker or whatever kidnaps me and chains me to you in the Ghost Zone and you help me out and tell me not all ghosts are evil! Then after that you help me when the ghosts drag Amity into the Ghost Zone only to unmask me in front of my dad and steal the Fenton's Battlesuit! Not to mention the fact that you sicced your buddy on Danny and trash my dad's lab a second time! And when I nearly get killed hunting you, you save me and help me out again!" growling out her frustration, Valerie advanced on the ghost boy, who was gaping at her with a stunned expression, too shocked to do anything. "Can't you just pick one and stick with it? I'm sick of this! I'm SICK of ghosts! I'm sick of getting into trouble because of all the hunting I do! I'm sick of missing classes, and falling behind… I'M SICK OF YOU!"
Her burst of strength finally giving way, Valerie collapsed to her hands and knees, forcing back the sobs that wanted to make themselves know. She was a fighter, after all. She wouldn't cry. Not here, at any rate. Not in front of Phantom…
The ghost hunter's head jerked up when strong arms encircled her, the chill of Phantom's skin clashing against her own heated body as he gave her that loose hug, his eyes never leaving hers.
Valerie's breath caught again when she was something there she'd never seen before. Amidst the pain and sadness she caught glimpses of and fought hard to dismiss was a feeling of silent suffering she sometimes saw in Danny when he thought no one was watching him. More shocking, though, was the powerful sense of longing reflecting in those glowing orbs.
Longing for what? Valerie couldn't help but wonder. Life? Peace of mind? What could the ghost boy want that would elude him when he was so powerful…?
"I'm sorry." Valerie blinked. He'd said this before. Heck, he'd said it to her a couple times in their first big fight, but this time there was so much pain in the words, so much agony, that this time the huntress was inclined to believe he actually meant it. "I swear, I've never wanted to hurt anyone, Valerie. Especially not you."
"Why?" Valerie asked, her pain making the words come out weaker then she would've liked. "Why would you even care about me?" the ghost didn't say anything at first, looking as though he was searching for the right words. He must've found them, because he finally offered the girl a sort of weak, resigned smile.
"Because…" he answered in a yielding tone, closing his eyes as if what he was saying was difficult for him to admit. "Because I guess sometimes you can't help who you love."
Valerie heard the words, but they just couldn't seem to click with her. Maybe it was because they were coming from the mouth of her bitter enemy and not someone she could see herself loving back, like Danny. Or maybe it was the blow to the head she'd taken making her slightly incoherent. In all actuality, It might've even been the fact that she was just plain dead tired.
At any rate, even as Phantom closed the distance between them, all she could do was stare into those green eyes with an expression that was glazed over with shock. And when the ghost boy's lips brushed hers in a gentle kiss….
Valerie struggled furiously with the weight against her body, falling to the ground with a pained grunt and finally coming to her senses as she sat there, panting in a mixture of panic and shock.
The first thing the huntress noticed (With a growing sense of relief) was that she was in her room, which was darkened by the fact that it was 10:45 PM. Still, she could see her many pictures of Phantom staring down at her from her walls, and the window outside showed dark storm clouds still looming low, though most had dispersed to show the evening stars that had been veiled by the rain twinkling innocently in the sky above.
Stunned and a little confused, Valerie reached up to where her head had hit the blackboard, to find the injury she expected to be there was decidedly absent. Glancing down at her arm, she saw her scrape was missing, too, and she laughed a little at her foolishness when she realized what must've happened.
"A dream…" She muttered out loud, standing shakily and making her way to the bathroom. Once there, she flipped the light on to examine herself in the mirror.
None of the differences she was expecting to find in her appearance were to be found. The only thing that might've been considered off was the look of exhaustion etched into her face, due to the fact that her first sleep in three nights had been plagued by a nightmare of her archenemy.
…Was it a nightmare?
Valerie forcefully shoved that stray thought from her head, refusing to think of her strange dream as anything but. After all, what kind of hunter had dreams of kissing the very person they wanted to destroy? Especially dreams so vivid in nature that she still had a hard time believing it wasn't real?
"That's the last time I have reheated pizza before bed…" Valerie muttered to herself as she trudged back to her room to fall back to sleep, hoping that this time at least her dreams would be ghost-free. Still, as she felt herself drifting off, the girl couldn't help but admit one thing to herself…
The Danny Phantom in her dreams was actually a darn great kisser…
As Valerie fell into a peaceful slumber, she never noticed the boy leaning against the lamppost outside her apartment, his blue eyes fixed on her window with a thoughtful expression. As if he somehow knew she was settling down for the night for good, the boy stood up when Valerie slipped away into her dreams, walking up the street at a leisurely, comfortable pace for such a fragile-looking boy at such a late hour.
A part of him felt guilty for sneaking Valerie back into her room like that after she'd fainted, but he figured that was for the best in the end. Clearly, Valerie wasn't ready to accept the possibility of the ghost boy she hunted falling in love with her, no matter what bitter twists of irony had made it so.
Maybe someday, he'd tell her how he felt for real. When that day came, he might even reveal to her the secret he was so afraid of sharing with the world, the true identity of the ghost she despised…
For now, though, things were probably best kept the way they were. And if he could find a way to permanently stop the ghost attacks and get rid of Vlad for good, maybe there would be no need for her to ever know, and they could both have the peace of mind they were being denied right now.
But those days, those situations, were all long coming. Until then, all Danny could do was love a girl who hated him, and long for her to see the truth. After all, he had tried for the last two years to forget her, only to find that she haunted him everywhere he turned.
"Soon," Danny promised with one last meaningful glance at the apartment. Someday soon he'd tell her. Someday soon, he'd let her choose to love or hate all of him, not just the two halves of the whole person he was. Until then, he'd be her willing friend as a human and her reluctant enemy as a ghost. He would be patient and wait for the day when he felt she was ready.
But his patience was hardly limitless.
Shaking these thoughts away, Danny continued down the street, wondering for a moment if he should tell anyone how kissing in his ghost form mended injuries to a person's body. After a while, he decided to keep it to himself.
God knows Sam'd kill him if she found out how he figured this little fact out…