Vlad:(About Sam and Tucker) They're running out of time, you
Danny: Time? That gives me a great idea!
(Scene changes to Clockwork's tower)
Clockwork: No, it's a horrible idea. I'm the ghost of time, not the ghost of miracle cures.
"Isn't there anything interesting around here? I'm bored to death!" Complained a young boy. Though had he been called that in person he surely would have objected. "I'm eight years old, I don't need a babysitter." He growled as he sat down in a huff.
"That's for your parents to decide, not I." Said Clockwork, easily just as annoyed. This boy would say most anything to get a rise out of anyone. Very dangerous considering who he was. "Would you rather be helping clean the house for your sister's graduation?" He asked rhetorically.
The boy grimaced. "Still doesn't change the fact that this place is boring. You're the master of time, right? How about you send me back in time to see the dinosaurs or something?" He suggested with little enthusiasm.
"You know I can't do that." Clockwork said flatly.
"You can't or you won't?" The boy persisted with a glare.
Clockworked sighed heavily. If the boy's father had not been so desperate he would have never allowed this. He kept himself calm only with the knowledge that the Clock Tower would still be in one piece after this fiasco was over.
"How about this, if you want to see time powers then I'll give you a real time slide show of the past." Clockwork compromised. It would do the boy some good to see some of the past he couldn't remember.
After much thought, the boy spoke again. "I guess. I probably won't enjoy it though. You sure you don't have any video games?" He asked in complaint.
"Just watch." Clockwork said. He clicked his staff and the portal to the past opened up before them.
"Here's to new beginnings!" Lilith said, raising her milkshake to the middle of the booth inside the Nasty Burger.
"And the end of high school!" Ami yelled in celebration as the five of them clinked their deserts together. Various 'yeses' and 'whoots' were heard more from Ami's proclamation than Lilith's.
Lilith sighed as she took a sip before speaking again. "Well, I at least tried to sound professional about it."
Ted put his arm around his now eighteen year old friend. "Sorry, if you had spent all twelve years with us you'd be saying the same thing."
Lilith laughed. Everything was as it should be. "Yeah, I can't believe we're graduating already. Seems like I just entered Casper High as a freshman yesterday."
"Not me. It took long enough. I'm grabbing my diploma tomorrow and running away before they can take it back!" Cam said. He got a laugh out of the rest of his friends.
"So, what are you guys doing after high school? College anyone?" Stacy asked for conversation.
"University of Wisconsin-Madison." Lilith said immediately. My grandparents went there so I'm getting a really great Alumni scholarship through there.
"Air Force" Ami said, leaving it at that.
"Playing football at Ohio State." Cam said, taking another sip of his milkshake.
Ted whistled. "What was Ohio State scouting in Amity Park for?" He said with wide eyes.
Cam shrugged. "Me, obviously."
"Someone's on an ego trip…" Stacy muttered. Through Ami's 'careful' and 'delicate' mentorship, she was much better at disproving the common notions about blonds. "In any case, I'm going to New York. There's an art school out there."
"Do you happen to know what school you're going to out there?" Ami asked in an exasperated tone.
"I…really don't remember the name…" She admitted sheepishly. There was a universal face-fault. And yet, Stacy would still always be Stacy.
"How about you Ted?" Lilith asked, not one to exclude anyone from the conversation.
"I have no real plans." Ted admitted. "I have an uncle in Chicago who's going to try and get me hooked up with a recording agency. If I'm really desperate I'll take out some loans and go to college for music."
"Well, at least you have a back up plan." Ami said. "My dad keeps saying that there's the perfect job for me in Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado, but as far as I know all they have there are weather nerds and fly boys." She said, obviously confused.
"I'm just glad to be this far." Lilith said, closing her eyes. "If it weren't for you guys I wouldn't be doing anything after high school." Her friends didn't comment. They knew what future she spoke of. Their freshman year she had finally been united with her parents. Had she not, she would have been destined to live her out her in the Ghost Zone, locked up with no hope of ever seeing anyone ever again.
"I really am thankful for all of you." She said again. "I really can't say that enough."
Stacy sighed. "We know, Lily. You can stop saying thanks now. You've been saying it so many times for the past four years. Counting it all would even give Mr. Holland a headache." Many things could be said about the advanced placement mathematics teacher, but he never got tired of math.
"You know it's not a problem Lily." Cam said. "You know…" He continued suggestively. "There are those select few couples who marry their high school sweethearts…"
For a period of nine months, Cam and Lilith had dated. It had been the adventure of a lifetime. They had parted recently due to both of them going to different colleges, but remained good friends.
But oh, had there been chaos. Dash had fainted frequently, Danny was jumpy and nervous often and Skulker had tried on numerous attempts to neuter the poor boy (He continued to be extremely protective of Lilith). Cam had been pretty shaken up by the incidents, but Lilith had gotten that straightened out fairly quickly.
Sam and Janet were just peachy with it. No complaints at all. They both had laughed at their husbands' misery and had gone on talking about Goth poetry. The two had become good friends, finding shared interests in almost every part of their lives.
Lilith pushed Cam back into his designated seat playfully. "You wish lover boy." She teased.
"So, do you think we'll all still see each other after this? With going separate ways and all?" Ted asked worriedly.
"Of course we will! We didn't go through everything in the last four years together for nothing!" Ami confirmed. "It may be a while, but we've got email. Be sure to keep in touch. Right, Cam?" She accused.
"Hey! That was sophomore year! You can't blame me for something I didn't have any control over!" He defended. That summer he had gone to football camp and had neglected to respond to any of the letters sent by the other four. They hadn't let him forget it.
So that got them all talking about the old days and remembering the good times. They laughed and joked for a long while sitting in the booth. It was moments like these that bonded them closer together.
Somewhere in the conversation, the subject of Lilith's past life was brought up again. "You know, I haven't seen Skulker around in a long time. Whatever happened to him?" Ami asked her.
Lilith opened her mouth to speak, but was cut off before she could say anything. Across the street the sound of windows shattering was heard by the entirety of the restaurant. It was quiet enough that the group could now hear the banter.
"Will you just give it up?!" Yelled the taller figure of the two. Danny Phantom was at it again, once again protecting Amity Park from all things dead and ghostly.
Although, this particular fight, he was more worried about his own safety.
"I will not rest until your pelt is above my fireplace Half-ghost." Skulker said with determination as he shot another barrage of missiles at Lilith's dad.
"Can't you even make up your mind about where you want it?" Danny shouted angrily; tired of the same chase day in and day out. This earned him the net, which he phased through easily enough.
Yes, they were at it again.
The figures whizzed by in a blur. Lilith sighed deeply as they left, no longer the center of attention.
"Never mind." Ami retracted her question, resting an elbow on the table.
"He's usually just after Dad." She explained. "But sometimes he goes after me and Dave for a change in hunt."
"Awe, no, your little brother is too cute for that." Stacy cooed.
"Mom said they're going to wait before putting him in kindergarten. Dad wants to make sure he has good control over his ghost powers before being off on his own." Lilith told them. "It's so cute though, he keeps making little animal figurines with his ecto-energy. I didn't even learn how to do that until I was seven. He's only three."
"Four this August right?" Ted asked. Lilith nodded her head in response.
The conversation shifted from there and Clockwork clicked his staff and turned to his charge for the moment. "So, did you like it?"
David glared at the ancient ghost. "So what if Lily and her stupid friends were talking about me? I don't see how that has to do with anything."
"You needn't be so self-centered; I was more trying to move on to the college aspects. Your sister has quite the adventure in medical school coming up." Clockwork said, purposefully trying to get the boy interested. They had a good two hours to wait until Danny came back to pick him up.
"Let me guess, you're not gonna tell me?" David said with a yawn. He lay down in the air in a not-caring way. "Why do I even bother? Dad only sent me here because he doesn't want to deal with Box Lunch again."
"I take cash only, large bills, fifteen dollars an hour." She said, laying out the terms.
"How about you take cash at five dollars an hour." Danny bartered. He and Sam were going to be late for parent-teacher conferences if he didn't get this settled soon. "You're a ghost, what do you need money for?"
"Same reason you do Mr. F. Okay, I can see you're a hard man to please, so I'll give you my babysitting services at fifteen dollars an hour, but you can pay me in smaller bills as well."
Danny face-palmed. "Okay Box Lunch, I'll make a deal with you. Since I've known you for a while, I'll pay you ten dollars an hour and you can use the phone to call Lilith at school."
"You drive a hard bargain Mr. F. I'll have to take it." She said floating in the entryway. "Shake on it?"
"Fine." Danny said grudgingly as they shook hands.
"Pleasure doing business with you, sir! Enjoy your night out!" She called after Danny as Sam came down and they both walked out the door to the car.
"What possessed you to get Box Lunch as a babysitter for David? Aren't you worried that a ghost might pop up and try to kidnap him again? You know I can always stay home. You're the one who really needs to be there." Sam asked.
"It'll be fine. She'll talk the ears off of any ghost that tries it. She's done it to me plenty of times…"
Clockwork sighed. "Well, if you'd like I'll show some of your own past. I'm sure you wouldn't remember this." He clicked his staff again and the portal to the past began to play another scene.
"I'm going to kill him!" Sam screamed. For Tucker it was eerily similar to the last time he'd helped her in the same situation and he had been dreading it from the moment roughly nine months ago when they'd broken the news to him. It was quite possible that he had taken the news much worse than Danny had.
Sam was giving birth. Again.
Sure, Danny had been excited about it. This time he actually knew the kid was coming. Lilith was happy she'd have a little sibling and Jazz was thrilled to the point of exhaustion.
"Sam, you can't…" Tucker began.
"Don't tell me what I can and can't do!" She yelled at him, eyes red and bloodshot. Danny had learned the hard way that Sam didn't take pregnancies well. He was gone constantly getting strange foods that she had cravings for at the time and all of them had to be ultra-recylo vegetarian of course. Certainly not to mention her insane mood swings.
One such time he had been gone, Skulker had paid her a visit in hopes of finding his primary prey there. Lilith had been out with her friends that night for a bout of late night movies. So, Sam was six months pregnant, waiting impatiently for her much desired food and alone with a ghost who wanted her husband dead and her daughter behind bars.
Danny had come home that night with bags of groceries in a very panicked state of mind. He'd gotten stuck in traffic. Imagine his surprise when he came home to Sam shaking the Fenton thermos angrily and Skulker's battle suit in mangled pieces in the living room.
But the past digresses.
"Put your back into it Danny! I mean it!" Danny diligently continued to rub her shoulders as hard as he could, but even that wasn't hard enough. "I want drugs!"
"Sam, you just got a dose, the nurse said you can't have any more until the baby is born." Danny said gently. Tucker cringed. Danny didn't realize what he was getting in to…
She grabbed him by his tie. "I. Want. Drugs." She insisted dangerously, their faces close enough so Danny could smell the nachos she'd had prior to going into labor. Had anybody ever wondered which parent had given Lilith ghost powers, it seemed unclear now.
"Sam, lay back down. Now, I know it's been a while since you've done this, but remember you've got to breath." The nurse told her patiently. Sam did so in a huff, but not before glaring back at Danny to keep rubbing.
"What about you Tuck? Aren't you supposed to be running out of here screaming? It is a hospital…" Danny asked his friend, he was more than a bit confused.
"Ah, hospitals." Tucker waved it off. "I've discovered that they aren't so bad."
Danny's eyes boggled. "You're kidding right?"
"Dude…" Tucker said in confidence, out of the hearing of the females in the room. "This place is a modeling agency. Look at the nurses man!"
Danny's eyes slit in annoyance. "Only you, Tucker. Only you."
Sam seethed in pain. "In case you two haven't noticed…I'm having A BABY here!"
"Just a little more, Sam!" The nurse urged. Sam let out one last scream and then her huffing was replaced by a baby's cry. "Congratulations to both of you." She said to Danny and Sam as she held the baby and dried him off. "It's a boy."
"I knew it…" Sam said under her breath. "Let us see him." She said quickly, just as she had with Lilith almost sixteen years ago. One of the few good things about being in stasis for ten years was that Sam's body had yet to catch up with her actual age. It was easier to have another baby when she felt thirty rather than forty. Although Danny and Tucker had speculated that since the stasis machines weren't perfect that the two would reach their real ages in a small amount of time. This body growth catch-up had been wreaking havoc with this second pregnancy.
The nurse smiled and gave the baby to Sam.
"I'll go get Lily and Jazz from the hall." Tucker said, then leaving to give his two best friends their space with their newborn.
"Thanks Tuck." Danny acknowledged, but couldn't keep his eyes off of the baby boy that Sam now held.
"You wanna hold him?" Sam asked as Danny was in la la land. "'Cause in about five seconds he's going to go invisible or something."
Wordlessly Danny held on to the newborn. He looked at the eyes first. The little boy shared the same light blue eyes with his father and sister. True to Sam's word, Danny soon found that he also shared the other green shade of eye color. However, unlike Lilith, the boy did not use any powers right after his birth.
Words really couldn't describe how Danny felt. It was similar to when he'd held Lilith for the first time in Vlad's laboratory basement. It was true he had been the one to first speculate that any children he and Sam would have would receive his ghost powers, but it still saddened him that they now both shared his responsibility of fighting ghosts, protecting Amity Park and if the situation called for it, saving the world. The old saying about power and responsibility was true.
"Well, what do you want to name him?" Sam asked smugly, but looking rather tired.
"I thought you were all over that?" Danny asked.
"I named Lilith. It's your turn." Sam granted generously.
Danny thought for a moment. "How about David?" He pondered. "His initials will at least be the same." He shrugged. "And…I just a good feeling about it."
"David Fenton it is then." Sam agreed, before lying back down from exhaustion.
It was then the cavalry arrived.
"See, Lily, now you have a little brother to annoy just like I did!" Jazz said excitedly as Lilith scooted past her aunt, Danny blatantly ignoring his sister's comment. "How are you feeling Sam?" She asked.
"Eh, a little better now that the birth is over with." She admitted. "Just very, very tired is all."
"Well, that is to be expected. In fact, seventy-five percent of mothers of newborns…"
"Please Jazz, no statistics…" Sam groaned. "No talking…"
"Can I hold him Dad?" Lilith asked Danny off to the side with a bit of hesitation.
"Sure, watch out though, he could accidentally use his ghost powers at any time." He forewarned gently. Lilith took her little brother into her arms and smiled. Her family was finally together, something that just under two years ago, she had never thought possible.
"He's so tiny." She said in soft amazement for lack of anything better to say.
"You were that small too when you were born." Sam said, sitting up slowly.
Danny looked around as if just realizing something. "Wait, where's Tucker?"
"He got caught up at the front desk." Jazz said sorely.
It took Danny a moment to remember Amanda, the thirty-something year old receptionist. He sighed deeply. "I see." Even as he spoke his ghost sense went off.
"Dad?" Lilith looked up at him with a tired face. The same thing had just happened to her. She could have sworn she had seen the same mist come out of the baby David's mouth.
"It'll be five minutes." Danny said with a heavy sigh, transforming on sight. "Can't they just leave us alone for one day?"
"Hey, at least it was just the Box Ghost when I went into labor." Sam commented lightly, although the incident had been anything but. She had just about destroyed the poor box obsessed ghost. The only thing that had saved the Box Ghost was the next contraction.
"I could go see who it is. They usually listen to me at least." Lilith suggested, giving her newborn brother back to her mom.
"As much as I would appreciate it, this is my job. Besides, I'll be back before you know it." He promised, phasing through the ceiling.
"But, dad…!" Lilith protested.
"It's no use arguing with him. Once Danny has his mind set on something, there's no changing it. He sees ghost fighting as his sole responsibility. It's going to be hard to convince him to let you help. Understand Lily he just wants to protect you." Jazz told her niece, putting a hand on her shoulder.
"Hey, Sam, how are you doing?" Asked Doctor Fraiser as she came in. "The nurse said the birth went well."
"As well as the last one." Sam said, giving Lilith a loving look.
"Right, I remember that one all right." She laughed. "I just wanted to drop my congratulations to you and…where is Danny?" She asked, rather puzzled.
"He's working." Lilith covered quickly with a smile. "He'll be back in about five minutes." She said with confidence.
Clockwork stopped the 'movie'. "So, what did you think?" He asked, almost fearing the response.
David narrowed his eyes. "You know, if I cared, it probably would have been useful. It just proves that even when I was a baby Dad didn't ever pay attention to me."
"Your father is a busy man. He risks his life every day to protect you and the town. He tries, he really does." Clockwork said in his first charge's defense.
David gave the time keeper a skeptical look. "Yeah, sure he does." He said in a smaller voice, a bit sad this time and much less aggressive.
Clockwork smiled. Progress was occurring! "Here, maybe a recent event will help you find new light. It's only from a few months back." He clicked his staff and the past events started to roll by once more.
It was him verses them. Everyone was depending on Danny to do his job. He was underappreciated, yes, but it didn't change the fact that people counted on him. If he wasn't there to guide and protect them in this place, then no one else would. He had been assigned this responsibility, but hadn't necessarily wanted it.
There were 25 of them. One of him. He had never faced such incredible odds before. This was his sworn duty. He stood behind a desk and wrote his name on the blackboard so they would know and respect it for once.
"Okay, kids, calm down!" Danny yelled to his classroom of third graders. The little ingrates were climbing on desks, throwing paper airplanes and being as loud and as obnoxious as they possibly could.
This was not how Danny wanted his first day of school to be. Even his first year back to work from captivity hadn't been this bad!
Yes, as if high school and college hadn't been bad enough Danny had become an elementary school teacher.
At forty-eight years old now, with two kids of his own and Sam still there to keep him sane, Danny was finally settled back in to normal life. His hair has started to turn white years ago and was halfway there. It could at least be said that teaching was much preferable to rotting in Vlad's laboratory basement. He couldn't have asked for anything better than what he had.
"Hey, guys, settle down back there! That stuff is breakable! And Skulker needs to stay in the water!" He shouted to a few kids in the back who had started climbing on the shelves and looking were evilly at the fish tank that held Danny's ingenious idea of a class pet: a tadpole.
Danny grinned wickedly at this own inside joke. He did until the kids started throwing stuff from their desks at each other. "Hey, stop it! You could poke someone's eye out!" Danny said in a panicked voice. He stepped forward to stop one girl, but a friend of hers grabbed Danny's tie and ended up pulling him down.
He landed in something soft. He groaned. With his luck, it was probably something that would stain. He looked down on his nice white shirt and sighed in depression that it was a slice of cherry pie that a student had apparently brought for lunch and had been thrown around before the eating could be done.
This was a nightmare. His own personal prison of little kids he'd made for himself when he'd decided to entertain the thought of becoming a teacher. "I hope Walker's happy." He thought miserably to himself.
Danny gritted his teeth. It was time to take his last ditch effort at controlling the kids. He never liked doing it, but sometimes it was the only way.
He walked out of the classroom and into Mr. Jackson's class next door. "Hey, Rick, could you just keep an eye on the kids for a sec? I've got to clean this off." He asked.
"No problem Dan, I'll get right on it." Danny couldn't help but laugh. It was good to have his name. Vlad had used his full name quite enough for his liking and only his close friends and family still called him 'Danny'.
Once in the men's restroom, Danny changed into his alter-ego. As old as Danny was now, his enemies had at least stopped with the childish nicknames. He was just 'Phantom' to them now, too old to be called a child and still too young to really be a legend. He recalled having a conversation with Skulker about that very name issue. The poor hunter ghost was upset that he couldn't use his old nicknames anymore, given that Danny was decidedly not a child anymore.
Chuckling at the memory, Danny then created a duplicate of himself. He changed back to his human form, but the copy stayed in ghost mode. He turned intangible quick to disperse of the cherry pie on his shirt. His ghost copy turned invisible as he walked back to his classroom.
"Thanks, Rick." Danny told his colleague. Rick, a man a bit younger than Danny smiled and nodded, heading back to his own room to prepare for his kids coming back from Music.
As soon as Rick had left, Danny cleared his throat. "Kids, today we have a very special visitor and he has a message he'd like to share with you." He said calmly.
The kids ignored him for the most part. Danny had to duck behind his desk to avoid the projectiles. But if he didn't have battle scars from this little skirmish it wouldn't be that interesting, which is why one of the students then nailed him in the forehead with an apple.
Danny clonked out and rubbed his head, reaching in vain with shaky hands to clutch his desk and stand up. He couldn't figure out why the kids were acting this bad! He shivered once from the cold air.
Wait, cold air? It was the beginning of the school year!
Suddenly, Danny had his answer. "Okay kids, if you won't listen to me, maybe you'll listen to a good friend of mine…" He said dangerously.
His duplicate appeared on cue. The kids all looked at the town hero in speechless awe. The wonders of third graders. Danny smiled, but had his ghost copy speak instead.
"I hear you've been giving my friend Mr. Fenton a bad time." He said through his duplicate. It was oddly like using a dummy. "Now, if all child ghosts would leave the room, Mr. Fenton can start the lesson and you guys can start having some real fun." He said pointedly.
The cold air immediately left the room. Danny smirked. Youngblood would be getting a visit later on.
"Okay, kids, lets start with math. I'm going to hand out your workbooks and…" He never got to finish.
"Hey, you're Danny Phantom!" One outspoken boy yelled. "Can I have your autograph?!"
This started up a chorus of voices saying 'Can you take me flying?' 'Do you have a girlfriend?' and the frequent request to use his powers.
"Now class, I don't think we want to bother Mr. Phantom any more. He's a very busy ghost." Danny stressed the word 'busy'. The kids, being who they were, paid no heed.
Needless to say, Danny never did get what he wanted done that day. But at least the kids were happy and listened to him.
After school got out he spent and hour cleaning up the classroom, getting ready for the next day. This included a very possible return visit of a certain ghost.
Then he looked at the clock, he thought of Clockwork for just a moment, as he usually did when looking at the instruments of time.
Then he saw what the time was in reality and he jumped up and ran to his car in a state of frenzy.
Danny ran out to the football field and stopped at the sidelines, trying to catch his breath.
"Hey, Fenton, I've been waiting for you to show up!" Danny heard the familiar call; a call that was his nightmare for most of middle school and high school. Dash Baxter was on him in a moment. The only thing that calmed Danny's nerves was the fact that they were both aging adults now, not juveniles out for petty revenge.
"Dash, I just came to…"
"Come on, the kids have been waiting for you to show up so we can have our scrimmage." The bulkier man said. "If you're going to be my assistant coach, you've got to start showing up to more practices!"
"How many times to I have to tell you Dash? I am not your assistant coach! I know next to nothing about football!" Danny explained in an exasperated tone.
"Dad, what are you doing here?" asked an annoyed voice. David, decked out in a football uniform, eyed his father suspiciously.
"I came to pick you up. Your mom wants us home by…" Danny was interrupted by a friendly slap on the back courtesy of Dash.
"You've got a great kid Fenton, best running back I've seen in a long time. He's only in grade school now; think about how good he'll be on the high school level." He complimented overenthusiastically.
"That's very nice of you to say Dash, but we've got to get going. There are other parents here too." Danny said. They were in a hurry. Lilith was flying out that night for Wisconsin and he at least wanted to make it to say good bye.
"One play, Fenton, it's not 5:00 yet! We've still got thirty more seconds!" Dash protested.
Danny groaned. "Fine! Okay! One play though. No more, no less."
"That's the spirit Fenton!" Dash said happily. "Always knew you had it in you! You take the white squad, I'll take jerseys." And there he left Danny without a clue as to what to do.
"You have no idea what to do, do you Dad?" David monotoned.
"Eh, no I don't." Danny admitted. "Why don't you run the play and I'll sit back and look like I'm doing something. You know way more about this than I do."
David sighed heavily. "'K. Hey, guys, let's go for one more play!" He yelled out to the rest of his squad. He turned to his dad one more time. "You'd better come out to the field with us if you wanna look like you're doing something."
"Err…right…" Danny said, following his son out on the field. "Man, the last time I was running across a football field I was running from the Guys in White…" He thought, thankful that he had erased everyone's memories of that particular event.
The kids ran the play. Dash, satisfied with the practice, called it to an end. Tired, and with his gear still on, David jumped into the passenger seat of the car. Danny took the drivers seat and they headed out towards FentonWorks.
"Uh, Clockwork?" David interrupted the flashback. "Do you think maybe we could skip this part…?" He asked nervously.
"Often the best way to learn from your past is to deal with it head on." The master of time said, but felt the pain the boy was feeling. "Maybe you'll get something new out of it this time around."
"No, Clockwork! I don't wanna see it!" It was too late.
The ride back to their home began with silence, noise only coming from David taking off his football equipment and throwing it in the back. Neither had anything to say to the other, but Danny nevertheless tried to break the ice. "You know, we never seem to really talk anymore."
"We don't have anything to talk about." David said curtly, staring out the window.
Danny sighed. "It's about the ghost fighting, isn't it?"
He received no response. Knowing his efforts were futile at this moment, he turned his full attention back to driving home.
Halfway through the drive home, a familiar blue vapor came out of both male's mouths. Danny felt like cursing at the inopportune time. Quickly, he pulled the car over to the curb and put it in park. David looked up to his dad expectantly.
"Stay here. Don't move from that seat and don't go ghost." Danny instructed, taking off his seatbelt, and at the same time changing into his ghost form.
"But I can help!" David protested; eagerness in his eyes.
"No." Danny said sternly. "I don't want you getting hurt. You're too young and you don't know what it's like fighting ghosts."
"I don't know what it's like because you've never taken the chance to show me! You've never even given me a chance to really use my powers!" David continued to argue.
"We'll talk about this after we get home. Now don't leave the car. If you want to help go fish out the Fenton thermos from the backseat. I'll be back for it in about ten minutes, okay?"" With that final order, Danny phased out of the car and onto the street to find his foe.
Danny entered the street and looked around for the ghost nearby. Out of nowhere a green figure pounced on him, dragging him down to the street. Danny grimaced. It was rush hour and he didn't want to take any chances. Pushing the green figure off of him, they both took to the sky.
Then Danny saw who it was. "Bertrand? What are you doing here?" He interrogated.
"Oh, just causing the usual mischief as always. Or maybe I'm just seeing how long it takes for you to stuff me in your little thermos." The shape shifter teased before lunging at the ghostly hero again.
"Fenton thermos…car…David!" Danny thought in a rush. He struggled harder with Bertrand as he realized that his normal accomplice was nowhere in sight. And it scared him.
Back in the car David watched the fight with a mix of jealousy and rage. This wasn't the first time a situation like this had occurred. The two of them would be out doing something, usually coming home from school, and a ghost attack would break out. Danny would go fight leaving his son behind in the car for his 'own safety'.
It was driving David nuts. He had ghost powers too, why couldn't he fight as well?
"Awe, if it isn't the newest little freak to join the party…" The boy turned to see Penelope Spectra in the driver's seat as his ghost sense when off at the same time.
"What do you want, Spectra?" He growled. A bit of anxiousness inside of him realized that while his dad was busy with Bertrand, he may have a fight of his own soon…
"Oh, someone's been a busy boy doing research. Then you should know why I'm here…" She purred. Her human form was much more intimidating than her ghost form and knowing she fed off of weaknesses and subsequently misery, he tried to show none.
"If you're going to try and kick me while I'm down it's not going to work." He said simply. He knew she didn't know him that well. She wasn't really a regular ghost like Skulker or Ember.
"Oh, no. Your father is much more miserable than you are. Especially when he's worried about all that weight on his shoulders and with a little one waiting only a few yards away…" She cooed.
"I'm not little! I can defend myself!" In his head he knew it was a mistake to say. But the way she had said that…his dad was way too happy to be miserable. That and he was sick and tired of people implying that he was weak. That he was the youngest half-ghost. That he wasn't powerful enough. That he could never prove himself…
"A little spitfire. It seems to run in the family. Why, does daddy never let you fight? He must know that you're pretty weak." She said, egging him on.
"I could beat you up!" He yelled in response. Without a battle cry, he changed into his ghost form. He was angry.
Spectra had done exactly what she had aimed to do however. She pulled out a little device and snapped it around David's wrist while he was charging up for a larger attack. He suddenly found he couldn't use his powers.
"What did you do?" He demanded.
"Insurance. Your dad has always been my favorite patient, but it's time that you and I had a little session of our own. You sister was never very compliant, but with you around I get my second shot at digging into the mind of a child who has been part ghost their whole life. That little bracelet is going to keep you in your ghost form so we can take you back to my lair."
David fell back into his seat as Spectra started up the car and locked the doors, leaving no avenue for escape. His chest tightened slightly. Okay, so he was being kidnapped. That was nothing new. Most of the ghosts would do that if only to get at his dad.
That's all he seemed to be good for. Bait. He was so easy to pick out; all they had to do was find the kid that looked exactly like his father. There was absolutely no doubt they were related. He was such an easy target it made him sick.
Back outside, Danny saw the car come to life. Instantly he knew what was going on. They'd been through this before with different ghosts, but the same motive.
"David!" He yelled before Bertrand pounced on him again from behind.
"You really are getting worse at this, aren't you?"
"Spectra seems to really be rubbing off on you, doesn't she?" He said in pain.
"For the better, of course." He grinned.
"I'll never be of any help…I only make things worse…" David thought to himself, watching the scenery pass by.
// If you want to help go fish out the Fenton thermos from the backseat//
And there it was; his one chance to get out of this mess himself. Seeing that Spectra was keeping her eyes on the road he looked back and saw that it was his arms' length away. In one fluid motion he grabbed the thermos and opened it on Spectra, with a scream she disappeared and he quickly capped the thermos, feeling rather proud of himself for his accomplishment.
But there was still the car. And it was still moving. Without a driver. Thinking fast, he jumped into the driver's seat and pulled the car over to the side of the road and into the ditch. None of which happened smoothly. He then yanked the keys out of the ignition.
David sat back to relax. The ordeal was over.
After Danny had finished beating Bertrand to a pulp, sending him tail between his legs back to the Ghost Zone, he went on a frantic search for his son, and soon found him.
The car wasn't really in too much of a wreck. But Danny was much too worried about the occupant inside to notice. He forced the door open and calmed down some as he saw his son safe, unharmed, holding on tightly to the Fenton thermos.
"Are you okay?" Danny asked softly.
"I'm fine." He answered shortly, adrenaline gone and already going back to treating his dad as usual.
"I see you managed to snag Spectra. She…didn't say anything really bad to you, did she?" He asked worriedly.
"I've been kidnapped before. This doesn't exactly top my list of scariest situations ever." He said with little emotion, still refusing to look at Danny.
Danny sighed. "The bracelet cuts off your ghost powers?" He asked, though he didn't really need to. There was a nod for a response, so Danny simply blasted it off. "Alright, I'm going to pull this car back on the road. Start up the car for me, it'll make things easier."
Together they managed to get the car on the road and soon Danny was back to driving them home. "Your mother is going to be furious we missed dinner…" Danny joked lightly.
"Yeah, I'll bet." Was the unenthusiastic response.
Danny sighed heavily. "Can't you say anything to contribute to the conversation?"
"You want me to talk?" David asked dangerously. "Fine, I'll talk. I'll talk about a lot of things. How I'm frustrated with you not letting me fight ghosts with you, even though it's painfully obvious that they target me anyway! I've been kidnapped more times than I can even count! I'm tired of being the only one who can't do anything! Even mom helps you fight sometimes and she doesn't even have ghost powers!"
"Dave, we've been over this a thousand times, I don't want you getting involved in this! You're in second grade; I want you to be able to concentrate on school and living a normal life. Dealing with the ghosts is my responsibility. It's something you shouldn't have to deal with!" Danny shot back.
"You call this right here a 'normal life?! I just want you to stop treating me like a little kid!" And that was the end of that enlightening conversation.
"It's true. I never like blowing up at Dad like that but..." David protested to Clockwork. "That day at school was really frustrating. And then another kidnapping attempt…I was just ready to be done with it all…" He confided. "And the only reason I'm telling you this is because I know you won't tell Dad straight up."
"Fair enough." Clockwork relented, with a hint of a smile.
"We haven't talked much since then. I think he's still mad. But I'm still not ready to talk." He said decisively, but wavered just the same.
"Only time will tell. And speaking of time…it's about the time your father said he'd come pick you up."
David sighed as right on cue they heard the engine hum of the Specter Speeder. It came in and rested gently inside the Clock Tower.
"Ready to go Dave? We're going to take some family photos soon." Danny said, getting out of the vehicle.
"Yeah, I guess so." He said, floating over into the passenger's seat, and then changing back into his human appearance.
Danny turned back to his old mentor. "Thanks Clockwork, I really do appreciate it."
"Don't worry about it Danny. We had some great bonding time." He replied knowingly.
With another 'thank you' the two headed off once more for home. "Hey dad…" David started, guilt from the past few months laying heavily on him. Danny cut him off.
"You don't even have to say it. I should be the one apologizing." Danny said slowly and thoughtfully. "I know we put you in sports to deal with your aggression, but I also know having your powers and not being able to use them is frustrating. So, I've decided that I'll start helping you train to use them better in battle." Danny consented.
"Are you serious?! Really?" David couldn't hide the joy in his voice.
"It took your mother and your sister to convince me that I was being way too overprotective, but this is just training to start out with, no battles just yet!" He warned. This didn't deter his son's attitude, which had taken a turn for the better.
Danny sighed. "Why does Sam always have to be right about these things…?"
Turning the clock ahead…two months…
New York was not the first city on her list to go to medical school in. Upon her graduation in the Pre-med field from the U of Wisconsin, she'd received tons of letters to go to many places. But there was one reason she chose here out of all the others; a very convincing and sobbing letter from Stacy claiming she needed a roommate for a penthouse she had just acquired. Knowing she'd at least have a place to live with someone she knew, at twenty-three years old she took to medical school in New York.
"Okay, time for Lilith Fenton to take on the world!" She thought positively. "Taxi" She yelled. As usual for this time of day, when her practicum was over, the traffic would seem halt just for her it seemed. She twitched visibly. Normally she would have gladly 'gone ghost' and flew, but Stacy being who she was had found that nice little penthouse right next door to the world's foremost leading experts in ghost hunting.
I think we all know who I'm talking about.
She'd met them briefly of course, when they'd suddenly burst in the day she had moved in claiming the levels of ectoplasmic energy had risen dramatically.
To make things worse, due to a horrible mix up in the legal papers, the school thought she was coming to finish her studies in paranormal medicine. Lilith didn't know how they could make such a mistake, but she had been given Dr. Spengler as an academic advisor and that was that.
Was there even such a thing as paranormal medicine? With Dr. Spengler in charge she was sure there somehow was.
Sighing heavily she walked to the campus. The hospital was only a block away. Walking tiredly into the science building and taking the familiar turn to the right, she found Spengler, Venkman, and Stanz all watching some sort of experiment take place as grad students carried about their duties. Knowing Zimmerman and Oscar must be back at the old fire station; she sighed and walked up to them.
"Hey guys, is there anything good going on today?" Her greeting spooked all three men.
"Lilith, don't do that, we work with ghosts." Ray said, holding a hand over his heart as it pounded.
"Right." She said in response, thinking about the horrible irony. "So what are you guys up to now?"
"It's a…" Egon started. Peter cut him off.
"It's a very complicated experiment that I'm a medical kid like yourself wouldn't be interested in hearing the details of."
Lilith licked her lips. "Oh really now?" She challenged.
It was a game they played. Egon had been thoroughly impressed at how much she knew about the paranormal and ever since they'd been trying to get her to change her focus. The guys were old that much was clear. They had one replacement for sure, and that was Oscar, Peter's step-son. At the moment, Lilith had agreed to take on some odd jobs at the station, albeit reluctantly. But what they really wanted was for her to agree to put on the proton pack once they all retired.
That and pair her up with Oscar. Which seeing as how he was complete klutz while around her; it was safe to say he had a crush on her. Unfortunately for Lilith, the last thing she needed at the moment was a romantic relationship. Remembering what Skulker had almost done to Cam was reason enough to wait. It was a situation she wouldn't have been able to escape had she not been so busy with school however.
After catching up with the men for about an hour, traffic had loosened up enough that she could get back to the apartment. Upon arriving home, Lilith encountered a typical sight.
"You sure it looks okay?" Stacy asked unsurely. She had a whole art studio set up in the place, so much that there wasn't much room for anything else.
Their most frequent guest, Box Lunch, was critiquing her newest painting. "You could probably use a little more glow in the eyes. But not too much, she only gets a lot when she's angry."
Lilith dropped her bags on the couch. "You're using ghost me as your subject?" She asked inquisitively.
"You're here, I'm here, and I've got no inspiration!" Stacy wailed.
Lilith sighed as her friend calmed down. "Hey, are the Ghostbusters back in their station yet?" Box Lunch asked. Once they were, she usually had to leave. "I swear you picked the worst penthouse in the entire city of New York…"
"I'll live." Lilith said dejectedly. "Naw, they won't be back until ten at the latest."
"Oh, Oscar's coming over for dinner tonight!" Stacy said from behind her canvas, a hint of mischief in her voice. "And you'll never guess who called today." She teased.
Oscar's nightly visits were a normal occurrence, as well as Stacy's partnership in trying to pair them up. "Who?" Lilith asked, throwing her shoes off.
"It was Ted! He's moving to New York too! He found out from your parents we were both here, and I guess he's got a job with a recording company here." She said excitedly.
"That's cool. Do you know when he's coming?" No one had seen Ted for a while, so it was kind of exciting.
As for Ami…well…
"Okay people this mission is probably the most dangerous and we'll be facing our trickiest foe ever. We've defeated the Goa'uld, we've defeated the Replicators and we've defeated the Copy Machine…" A collective shudder came from the occupants of the room. "And most recently the Ori. But now…" General Landry continued. "We face off against our greatest rivals, the NID."
Passed the norm of SG-1, a young female airman raised her hand excitingly. "Yes, Airman Colt, what is it this time?"
"Is there going to be lots of danger and flashy explosions?" Ami asked.
"Sir, if you would allow me to answer that one?" Colonel Mitchell interrupted. He turned to Ami. "Yes."
Ami grinned as the rest of the team sighed deeply. All in a days work. She was here because she had been instrumental to the defeat of said Copy Machine. "I freaking love this job…"
"He didn't say." Stacy continued back in New York. They'd all lost contact with Ami a while ago. It was almost as if she didn't exist on the planet anymore… "But Cam's going to take some time off work and help him move. I told him we'll be there."
"I said I'd help too, just as long as my dad doesn't find out. You know how he is with boxes." Box Lunch said dryly.
"Just as long as all the other ghosts stay in Amity Park and far away from here. Who knows how they'd react to our crazy neighbors next door. Speaking of home…weren't you supposed to look after David tonight…?" Lilith asked her ghostly friend.
Box Lunch paused. "Uh…maybe…? Okay, okay, you still got that mini ghost portal in the bedroom?"
"Go right ahead, see you tomorrow!" No one knew about the little ghost portal except for the two residents of the apartment and Box Lunch. Lilith had found the remains of her grandparent's original portal at college and had fixed up. Now it worked just fine. And this time when it started up, no one got ghost powers from it.
It was all just a normal day in Lilith's life. And she wouldn't have it any other way.
Rewind…One week after Lilith left to go live with her parents…
"Hey Mom, where do you want me to put this box?!' Lilith yelled upstairs. Sam was having a war with the house, while Danny was having a war with the lab. Or more specifically the ghosts in the lab. Jazz was doing some major dusting in the living room.
It was move in day. They'd been gone for so long Sam and Danny had to buy a bunch of new stuff for the house. The lab was fine since Lilith had been taking care of it, but the rest of the house was in shambles.
"Put it in the kitchen!" She yelled back down. As she did, Danny floated up from the basement lab, tired and ready to sit down for a while. But before he could change back to his human form was when the roar of the Fenton Family Assault Vehicle graced their ears.
"Hold it right there Ghost!" Danny was so completely shocked at hearing his father's voice for the first time in…many, many years that he forgot who he was for just a moment. Out of nowhere a sticky net shot out pinning him to the wall.
Lilith and Jazz stood on their side of the fray with wide eyes. Jazz was the first to recover and say something. "Mom! Dad! You're home?!"
"Jazz, sweetie!" Maddie said, giving her daughter a hug. "It's been so long, I'm so glad to see you're well. Oh, I'm sorry; I don't think I've met you before…" Maddie said, looking in Lilith's direction.
"Mom, this is Danny and Sam's daughter, Lilith." Jazz explained. Maddie squealed at the fact that she had a granddaughter and gave her a big hug as well. "And could you tell me why you have Da-err Phantom stuck to the wall? I thought we agreed that he was a good ghost…" She scolded.
"Yes, I'd like to be unstuck please…" Danny said helplessly from the wall.
"Not a problem!" Jack said, releasing Danny from the wall. "That was just for old times' sake! We'd never go tear apart our son in law!" He said, giving Danny a hearty pat on the back, making Danny's comparatively frail body fall on his face.
"Your….WHAT?" and "You're not going to shoot me?" Danny and Jazz asked respectively.
"Oh, don't think we haven't noticed!" Maddie said sweetly. "We'd always wondered why you were so protective of him Jazz. We didn't realize it until we met your daughter though. Oh, honey, if only you would have told us when you were younger…we would have never chased our future son in law, even if he is a ghost."
There was heavy confusion in the air, so Maddie continued. "We met Lily while we were still in Europe." Lilith gulped nervously at this, as Danny noticed. "I was sorely confused at how a ghost could reproduce, but when I took a look at Lily's ectoplasmic signature, it all made sense!"
"…What made sense mom…?" Jazz asked in dread.
"We found Fenton DNA!" Jack supplied. "She told us Phantom was her dad and so there was only ONE way she could have Fenton DNA in her!"
At this explanation, Danny and Jazz paled instantly. "You think…that we…" Danny sputtered. "I need to go to the bathroom…my stomach doesn't feel well … I feel so dirty…" He muttered as he flew up the stairs at amazing speed.
"Ghost puke! I gotta get a sample of that!" Jack said, but Maddie pulled him back before he could get far.
"But this is wonderful! Both kids are married and we have two grandkids!" Maddie said thrillingly.
"Ha, hey Lilith, did you know you've got a cousin named Lily?" Jack said, putting an arm around his granddaughter.
"Uh, yeah grandpa…that's so funny that we have such similar names…" She laughed weakly.
Jazz was holding up with the news slightly better than her brother. "Wow, it's so great you two are back…" She said, almost in despair. "You know, Sam is upstairs if you want to go see her."
The two raced up the stairs to go visit their daughter in law. Jazz and Lilith both sighed in relief. Danny came back down the stairs, still in ghost form so as not to raise suspicion with his parents. Besides, he had more ghosts to catch.
"Danny, you really need to tell Mom and Dad someday…" She scolded. "I think they'll accept you." She said almost sarcastically.
"Hey, think about it this way. At Christmas, I'll get double the presents every year as long as they don't know I'm the same granddaughter." Lilith said to lighten things up.
"At least they won't shoot at me…although the whole idea really sickens me…right Jazz." Danny pleaded.
Before Jazz got a chance to respond, Sam came running down. "Danny, Jazz, your parents are being nosy again! I love them to death, but they've got to stop the hugging…" She seethed.
The company downstairs laughed as Danny changed back to his human form and gave Sam a kiss on the check. "Is that too much personal contact for you?" He teased.
"With you, it's not enough." She kissed him back.
"Ew, gross, get a room." Lilith complained, turning away in play.
Jazz just laughed at the display. "Well, I guess we can safely say that this adventure is over."
"I'm sure it's not the end." Lilith said in thought. "Just the beginning of something new."
Tucker:(While giving back the dollar bills he got for his baby-sitting
service) Gonna miss you, Alexander... and Andrew... and
especially you, Benjamin! (Takes down "Flower Power Daycare
Sam: Cheer up, Tuck, you can still visit Lilith on weekends.
Tucker: Sam, it's just a flour sack.
A/N: Yeah guys, it's just a flour sack. It's over. I don't like how Clockwork turned out in this chapter, references and blatent crossovers abounded and the amount of humans is annoying to me, but it's done and since its the epilogue I'm really not too picky about it. And several thousand apologies for the cheesy ending, but I make up for it in the best, most awesome ending scene ever. Seriously, you guys agree that Jack and Maddie would make a conclusion like that? So now everything ends with them believing not that their son is part ghost, but that Danny Phantom is their son in law. A perfect quirky ending. :-) I've been wanting to write that scene since August… (My second favorite part is Danny being Dash's assistant coach and the Stargate scene…).
know the bit with David was long. (David Kaufman….Danny's voice
actor…haha…). And I know I introduced him rather quickly, but I
wanted to try my hand at what it would be like for a kid growing up
with Danny as a dad. I had bits to a sequel planned with him, but
that would have been waaaay too much and I'd like to move on to
Overall, I'm very happy with this fic. This is the longest fic I have ever written and the most popular. I'm just proud of myself for finishing it! There are little grammar and spelling things and lines I wish I could add that I find all the time rereading this, but I'm still happy. The only thing I regret was one scene that I could fit in. At one point before she met Danny I wanted Lilith to talk to Dan in the thermos. More angst stuff. But alas, it didn't work out. But if I can continue to enjoy reading it over and over again, I know it was worth writing.
And I also know through all the reviews, the favorites and the alerts you guys have put this fic on. I cannot thank you all enough. A giant thanks to all those who have reviewed at one point or another. I can't tell you how much I enjoy it when I see that I have a new review.
Fic started: July 25th, 2006
Finished: December 26th, 2006
Thank you and I hope to see you all in some of my future projects! Now that I have a good handle on the DP characters working with an OC, I feel more confident moving onto non-OC stuff. Thanks for sticking with me until the end.