This story started out as a one shot in my little one shot haven,
but I think it can be something more, considering the companion pieces,
so I am moving it to be a fic of it's own. I'll also admit to you that
I started this whole thing on June 21st. Had Danny's POV all
written and worried about going forward with this. Now I'm not so
sure if I should have...the story has taken on a life of it's own.
Standard Disclaimer: I own nothing, not even Danny Phantom...bummer.
I am not a big fan of stories told in the first person, but as I began outlining this, I realized it wouldn't work any other way.
Do you see that girl? The one sitting against the wall? The one with her arms wrapped around her legs, her face hidden as she rests her head on her knees? Do you see how her body is wracked with sobs? Do you see the bloody scrapes on her knees and her elbows?
That broken girl is me. My name is Valerie.
You're probably wondering why I'm just sitting there, bawling my eyes out, ignoring my wounds. You're also probably wondering how I got those cuts and scrapes in the first place. Of course it's not unusual for the typical teenage girl to cry at the drop of a hat, but then I'm not your typical teenage girl, and I do not cry. Period.
I'll start my story at the beginning, no not at the beginning of the ordeal which has left me a complete physical and emotional mess, but the very beginning, starting with my arrival in Amity Park.
We, meaning my father and I, moved to Amity Park at the beginning of my ninth grade year. My father ran a large security consulting firm, and we were loaded. He was hired to set up security for Axion Labs. It was a hugely prestigious job, and Daddy channeled a lot of his resources into it. My father was really raking in the dough and he spoiled me incredibly. If there was anything I wanted, within reason, it was mine. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit how quickly I fell into all the trappings that wealth can bring. I thought nothing of dropping down three hundred bucks on a cheaply made shirt with a fancy designer label. I fell in to the A-list quickly because of that way of thinking. I was sharp, I had attitude and I had the money to back it all up.
I wasn't always so shallow and self absorbed. My mother raised me to be better than that. She wanted me to be a strong, independent woman. She wanted me to be smart, brave, and giving, with a mind toward justice and fairness.
My mother was incredibly beautiful. The best I can describe her is, well…Have you ever seen those Egyptian statues? You know those heads of Queen Nefertiti? That was her, but even more beautiful. She was tall, slim and graceful. She was exotic and smart. I seemed to inherit all my father's looks, not that my father isn't handsome, I just don't see any traces of my mother in me at all, despite what Daddy says.
My mother wanted me to be well rounded, and she wanted me to know how to defend myself, she said the world could be a dangerous place for a woman, helpless or not. At the age of three she enrolled me in Karate classes. She says I took to it like a duck to water. My Sensei said that I was a wunderkind, and truly the most gifted student he'd ever had. My mother warned me not to let his words go to my head.
"Valerie, My darling girl," she told me as we drove home and I basked in the praise from my Sensei. "I know you are talented and gifted, but I want you to understand, that your Sensei, though well meaning, tells every student they are a gifted, even clumsy Randy McDonald."
I remember pouting. I remember tears welling up in my eyes and my mother soothing me, telling me that she didn't want me to misunderstand her words, that she simply wanted me to understand that just because praise was heaped upon me, that it didn't mean I could relax, in fact, it meant that I needed to work harder, put in more effort. So I did. I won numerous competitions and moved up the ranks quickly. I really was gifted. Then Mom got sick.
We were a happy family. Mom and Dad loved each other a lot, and they shared that glow with me. I always felt we were suspended in a bubble of joy and happiness and nothing could hurt us, as long as we were all together…we were invincible, then the cancer struck
Man I hate that word. Cancer. It sounds so harmless, like it's something which can be written in pencil and erased, but it's not, and it took her from us quickly. We had six months to soak in the news that she was going to die. The prognosis was grim, but we tried to be positive. I tried to hide myself in the warm glow of my mother's love, but then one day five months and two days after the diagnosis, she was gone. Just like that, she was ripped away from me and I would never be the same again.
I know Daddy worried about me. I didn't want to train anymore. I just wanted to shop. It seemed to fill that empty void in my heart, temporarily of course, but anything that eased the pain I was in, was good.
We moved to Amity Park to escape the memories of Mom. Dad said it was so we could both move on. I didn't want to move on. I wanted to stay, right where I was, so I could pretend that Mom was still alive. I imagined she was just away on a trip, and would be back any day.
Amity Park wasn't that bad, well except for the ghosts. I didn't pay them much attention, they were below my noticing, as I fell in with Casper High's A-list. I was really becoming popular, and just a little bit soulless and a lot shallow. Popularity was a challenge, a sport, a game I had to win, and I attacked it with my usual sharp focus. When I wanted something, I got it. I was poised to wrench the reigns of control of popularity from Paulina when it happened.
It, being an attack by that vile and malicious ghost kid, only he wasn't really as vile and malicious as I thought, but that revelation comes along later in my story. Thanks to that ghost kid, my father lost everything, which meant so did I. We had to sell our fancy new house and move into some sleazy apartment complex. To pay back my father's debts, we had to sell a lot of our possessions, or he would face heavy penalties and possibly some prison time. We just barely managed to scrape by, but we survived.
I lost my place on the A-list. I was fooling myself when I expected my friends to rally around me. I thought maybe the force or my personality was enough, but it wasn't. I lost my war for control with Paulina and was cast into the fringes of the A-list. It took awhile, but Star, who is often referred to as Paulina's satellite, pursued our friendship. It's funny. She came after me to make sure I was okay, and we've been friends ever since. As shallow as she seems sometimes, Star is really a nice girl. She's really kinda shy and protective of her real self, so she comes off as really shallow and mean, and of course she has to keep up appearances or it's off the A-list with her, and though it's not so important to me anymore, it is to her.
Anyway, my life was destroyed again, and I was angry. I was angry at the loss of my mother, my hometown, my friends, my reputation, my father's job, my home, all my things and my place on the A-list. I was humiliated. I focused every ounce of that anger and bitterness and laid it all on the shoulders of the ghost kid.
I'm almost ashamed to admit all the anger and hostility I heaped on that poor ghost. I felt like all my problems and all my pain were because of him. I'd never hated before, but I hated him. It was such a sweet release. It freed up my heart just as much as it imprisoned me.
I thought it was simply providence which brought me to the attention of Mr. Masters. I thought it was just a terrific stroke of luck that he provided me with everything I needed to pursue, fight, and eventually destroy that evil creature who destroyed my life, who took the blame in my heart for things in which he had no part.
I never questioned Mr. Master's motives in giving me the ghost fighting equipment, and I was still in a state of mind where I didn't consider the price of such amazing devices. I just accepted what was given to me and sent myself off on some quixotic mission.
It took a little practice, but I was good at ghost fighting, all my Karate training was put to good use . Unfortunately, I was consistently thwarted in my quest to rid the world of the menace, that ghost kid, and obtain my vengeance, but I remained focused. Even when he showed me kindness, even when he protected me, I refused to see him as anything but my most dire enemy.
I took a job at the Nasty Burger. I needed to help my father and put away money to go to college. The school of my choice was no longer a luxury. I knew I was going to need to work hard. I exhausted myself working, going to school, and ghost hunting. I was always tired, but it kept me from feeling the pain of everything I'd lost.
Then came the fight with Pariah Dark. I still have strange memories of that time. Mr. Masters showed up and he flattered me, he told me how gifted I was as a ghost fighter and it brought back so many memories. I again was a wunderkind, and that meant I needed to work harder.
I was happy when Mr. Masters told me how well I was doing, because on some level I was succeeding. I was broken and bleeding but I was ready to step up and save Amity Park from ghosts, unfortunately the stupid ghost kid unmasked me, so that he could take over and steal all the glory for himself, and fool everyone into thinking he was some kind of good ghost. I was in trouble with my father for ghost hunting, for doing something so incredibly dangerous, he couldn't and wouldn't understand my motivations, but that didn't mean they changed.
My relationship with Danny Fenton is really hard to describe. We were uneasy friends, but after the fight with Pariah Dark, he and I became better friends. I really liked him. He was cute, and funny and I knew that because his parents were ghost hunters he could understand my mission, though I never talked to him about it.
So life went on, I continued to chase the ghost kid, and then my relationship with Danny started. He was so sweet and cute and even though Star and the rest of the A-list, which was gradually starting to accept me back into their circle hated him, I really liked him. I decided after they turned their backs on me, that I didn't care about their opinions, and I wasn't about let them tell me who I could and couldn't date. Sadly, just as Danny and I began going out on dates together, a ghost attacked him and it became clear to me that anyone I was involved with would be in danger because of that ghost kid, so I regretfully broke things off with him. I used my hurt and my anger to channel more hatred toward the ghost boy, and now in retrospect, my relationship with the ghost boy who I hated and my relationship with Danny, who maybe I didn't love, but I liked a lot, was really twisted, though I didn't know it at the time.
The really great thing about giving up Danny, was that some how I ended up with all new ghost hunting equipment, though giving him up and getting the new suit weren't related. I tried really hard not to question where it came from, I was just happy that since my old suit was destroyed by the ghost boy, that I now had something which my father wasn't able to take away, it just…seemed to be built into me, and even better I was no longer indebted to Mr. Masters, even though I was still extremely grateful and loyal to him for his help.
The irony of it all isn't lost on me. Danny Phantom and Danny Fenton. To me both boys were too dissimilar for me to make the connection. I feel stupid. It's kind of like Lois Lane not knowing that Clark Kent is Superman, just because he's hiding behind a pair of glasses. Though I, probably better than anyone, can understand why she couldn't see the truth. It's like, when you are so close to something, it's hard to see the big picture, there is a loss of perspective, and I couldn't see what was right there in front of my face until it was too late.
No one wakes up in the morning and thinks that the events of their day are going to be life changing or earth shattering. When I woke up I was just expecting the typical Saturday. I'd work out, eat breakfast, go to work at the Nasty Burger, hang out with Star and then engage in a little evening ghost hunting. Little did I know that by eleven forty five in the morning, my life would be completely turned upside down.
I had my work clothes in a bag and was heading to the Nasty Burger for my noon to four shift when I saw the ghost boy streaking across the sky. At that moment, everything went out of my mind. I dropped my bag, activated my ghost hunting equipment and in the blink of an eye, I was after him.
The ghost he was fighting, seemed to have the better of him and I took this opportunity to attack. I caught him off guard and here was the perfect opportunity to destroy him. He was wiley though and quick. He managed to catch the ghost and avoid my shots all at once. It was my final shot. A purely accidental misfire that caught him off guard and sent him flying into a brick wall.
I was excited, I finally had the upper hand and this was it. I fired shot after shot, not giving up as he flew through the sky and I chased him. It seemed that with every hit, he became weaker and weaker until finally something strange happened. He was really high when two silver rings enveloped him and something about him changed, everything about him changed and he began spiraling down to the ground.
I finally caught a glimpse of what he changed into just as he crashed through the trees below and into some near by brush, and what I saw was the boy I liked, who I think almost became my boyfriend. The boy I gave up going out with because I was trying to protect him from the ghost boy, Danny Fenton.
His two friends, Tucker and Sam seemed to appear out of no where. Sam screamed his name and Tucker stood over him defensively, almost daring me to make a move.
"Leave Danny alone," he said angrily. "He's not done anything to you!" Sam was laying over Danny sobbing hysterically. I didn't know what to say or do. Danny Phantom was Danny Fenton. I wanted to ask how this could be. How could the sweet funny boy I almost had a serious relationship with be the ghost I loathed with all my heart? It didn't make sense, so I ran. I fell a lot, scraping my knees and elbows. My arms and face were ripped by the grabbing arms of the shrubs I ran through. I don't even know how long I ran or where I ended up going.
I don't know if he's alive or dead. I know that if he is dead, it's my fault, that he paid the price for all my hate, anger and aggression, and I think maybe I'm going crazy, because I can't wrap my mind around what happened.
I can't tell how much time has passed, all I know is that my world has shattered and I'm not sure how to reconstruct it. I don't even understand what happened and I don't know how to go looking for answers. I'm just going to sit here until I can get control of myself and reconstruct my world into something I can understand. I-I'm just not sure how that's going to happen.
I've you have already reviewed this when it appeard as merely a one shot in my collection, Blood Shot On Shots, I understand if you don't review again, anyone else, I'd appreciate your input. Thanks.