Danny Fenton's already complicated life is about to get even worse. First, his powers are going through a rapid increase, leaving him constantly fighting for control. Next, an old "ghostly" friend shows up, demanding he attend an audience before the Ghost Council. Then, to top things off, the mayor issues a fifty thousand dollar bounty, payable to the first person to capture the infamous ghost-boy. Between evil puberty, ghost politics, and his parents' constant patrols, will Danny survive with secret and sanity intact?
Prolog – Author Stuff
Disclaimer: I am not Butch Hartman and am not otherwise affiliated with Nick Studios. I just want to borrow their characters for a bit so I can write a cool story.
Hey, readers. I'm HiddenAuthor and I just thought I'd take halfa chapter to get some things out in the open. First, this is my first fanfic. I'm not asking for special treatment or sugar-coated reviews, though, I value honesty too much for that. Second, I already have most of this story floating around in my head somewhere, so while I am interested and may work in speculations and suggestions on where this story is heading, please don't be offended if I don't act on them. Third, I intend for the most part to write this story all at once, because while I understand and appreciate the one-chapter-at-a-time method, I don't have the patience for it. I don't plan on posting it all at once, though, mostly because I do want feedback, and this site is updated so much that I will have to post over time to keep this story near the first page.
I don't know if this story will be a one-time thing or not; this is my first attempt at something like this. If I find that I enjoy writing fanfics, I'll be back with other stories. I will promise right now that I will finish this piece, because I hate to see a story go unfinished, regardless of quality.
I'll close with some general comments: A lot of you guys ROCK! I've been anonymously visiting for a while now, and many of you have incredible talent. I'm a particular fan of "Gender Confusion." The concept of a two-person love rectangle is captivating, innovative and hilariously dramatic. So many good stories pop up on this site, and at the risk of sounding pompous, which is NOT my intention, I can only give blanket encouragement: Don't give up! Don't let a good story go unfinished, no matter what. Facts aside, there is more truth to be found in the poorest work of fiction than in any encyclopedia.
Chapter 1- Checkups
"Hmm…oops, too far…there. Height five feet seven inches, weight one hundred forty-eight pounds. You can step down now and follow me, Danny." The nurse spoke aloud as she scribbled notes on her soft pink clipboard. Quickly jotting down her initials at the bottom, she replaced her pen at the top and led a bored-looking dark-haired teenager down a genaricly painted hallway to the nearest open room and closed the door.
"Right, now put this under your tongue and we'll take a look in two minutes, okay?" she asked. The boy nodded and stuck the thermometer in his mouth.
Danny Fenton sat on the paper covered exam couch and sighed to himself. Every year before school started, his parents made him and his sister get a checkup at the local doctor's. Still, he supposed it was nice to know they cared. According to the nurse, Danny had grown three inches and gained about ten pounds since last year. Not exactly a growth spurt, but Danny was more confused than annoyed. He'd seen his future self, after all, and if that was any indication (besides the evil thing), Danny was supposed to end up north of six and a half feet tall. He didn't feel let down or anything, but if he was supposed to end up looking something like his evil self, he'd rather things were spread out a bit, and didn't happen all at once at the last minute.
Meeting your future self may seem really odd, but it was a relatively normal situation for Danny. Danny had ghost powers, and a second identity, Danny Phantom, to go with them. His parents were talented inventors who had dedicated their lives to hunting and studying ghosts. Almost a year ago, Danny had been involved in an accident in their basement lab and was infused with ectoplasm on a molecular level. It had taken weeks to figure out what had happened, and months to gain some amount of control, but the end result was that Danny had ghost powers. At first he had been terrified and embarrassed, desperately trying to keep himself from falling through floors or turning invisible. But, after ghosts began appearing in town and attacking his home and school, Danny decided in true comic book fashion to use his abilities to fight the ghosts on their level and send them back where they came from.
As much as he wanted to help people, Danny didn't want to be seen as a freak or shipped off to some government lab for 'lots and lots of really painful experiments', so he never told anyone about his powers. His best friends Sam and Tucker knew because they had (caused) been with him when the accident happened, and his sister had caught him on her own, but had kept his secret and even helped him on occasion. So far no one in Amity Park had realized that Phantom and Fenton looked and sounded almost the same, except for the hair and eye colors and a slight echo. Sometimes Danny wondered if his parents' lab was leaking some sort of brain-damaging gas, but usually he figured that since no one thought a half-ghost could exist, they just ignored the signs.
"Alright, Danny, it's been two minutes. I'll just get a temperature." Danny's thoughts were interrupted as the nurse picked up the thermometer and held it up to her eyes. "That's strange. The thermometer reads ninety-four degrees. Are you feeling alright?"
Danny kept his face completely still as his head started racing. 'Oh god, I forgot my temperature is lower than normal now. What will she think? What should I say? How can I explain this?'
"I-I'm feeling fine. My temperature's always like that. Totally normal! Yeah…" 'Smooth. Well, it's not like I could fool a professional. She'd figure it out and then ask why I lied about it. Maybe there's a simpler answer than "ghost powers," and she'll come up with a cover story for me.'
"I didn't know you had a below-average body temperature, Danny," the nurse said conversationally. "My daughter's is ninety-six. I'll make sure a note gets sent to your school about this."
"Gulp…Why?" Danny was now trying very hard not to panic. Was this some horrible medical problem that would draw attention from doctors and nurses? Danny didn't think a routine checkup would turn up any signs of his new half-ghost status, which is why he hadn't tried to get out of it this year, but what if they wanted him to take more tests? He was sure a blood test would turn up something, and everyone would find out!
"In case you get sick of course." The nurse gave Danny a re-assuring smile. "If your average temp is below normal, the nurse there needs to know, so she'll know that a ninety-eight for you is actually a fever. You can go just as soon as I get some cardio and reflexes." Fortunately, these turned up normal, and Danny was sent home, practically collapsing from relief. Apparently lower body temperatures weren't a serious problem, after all. The last thing he needed was for someone to start paying real attention to him, and blowing his secret.
With nothing else to do for a few hours, Danny settled down in his room and played Doomed. With Sam's help, he'd gotten a lot better, and had actually beaten the game on his own once. Today he didn't really feel motivated, so he spent an hour or so torching noobs and called it a day.
Later that afternoon Sam and Tucker came over and the three went down to the lab to hang out. "Danny, you sure your parents aren't home?" Samantha Manson was a fifteen-year-old goth vegetarian with rich uptight parents. She'd known Danny since elementary school, and they'd always been close friends. She was very assertive and believed that everyone should be as unique as possible. Whenever Danny felt isolated or ashamed because of his powers, a simple "different is good" comment from Sam would always cheer him up. Lately, though, their relationship had been a bit strained. Sam and Danny both had very strong feelings for each other. In fact, there were at least five running bets at school over if and when they would officially hook up. But neither Danny or Sam seemed ready to take the next step. They both wanted to be closer, they were just too afraid to try dating because they thought that if things didn't work out they might lose what they already had together. Besides, Tucker teased them enough already.
"Sam relax, I sent them an anonymous tip that 'Inviso-Bill' was haunting the downtown mall. They won't be back for hours." Tucker, a techno-savvy fifteen-year-old meat connoisseur, just grinned. The three had been planning this afternoon ever since Danny's checkup date was scheduled, and it had been Tucker's idea to use Danny's alter-ego as bait to get his parents out of the house. Tucker had known Danny even longer than Sam, and the two had always shared everything. Maybe that was why he'd had so many jealosy issues over Danny's powers at first. Since last year, he'd gotten over that for the most part, and wasn't above admitting that his friend's regular ghost beatings had helped. Who wanted ghost powers just so you could get beat up by ghosts, right? Lately, he'd been doing his best to help Danny in any way he could, including with Sam. Tucker would never understand why his two friends refused to date. They were perfect for each other. He knew that he'd be a third wheel once they started going out, but figured in the end everyone would be happier for it. Besides, he stood to make at least $300 if he could get them to go official before spring break.
"Is everything set up, Danny?"
"Yeah, Tuck, everything's ready. Let's get started," Danny said as he changed into his ghost form. He shot Sam an appreciative glance. "By the way, Sam, I still think it was a great idea to give my ghost powers a checkup today, too. It's not exactly something a nurse would ask about."
Sam smiled back, and blushed slightly. "Yeah, well, I just thought you were due for a check. We haven't done this since school let out, and you were just starting to show some progress with duplication."
"Thinking two Danny's are better than one, Sam?"
"Tucker!" Both Sam and Danny were bright red. "He needs that trick to fight Plasmius! Now quit with the jokes. You've got the list, start running the tests."
Tucker just grinned. "Alright, invisibility…" Danny disappeared. "Check."
"Intangibility…"Tucker threw a paperweight at Danny's head, and he phased at the last second. "Whoa!"
"I'll get you for that, Tucker." Danny's eyes narrowed dangerously.
"Yeah, yeah. Overshadowing…"
Danny immediately flew into Tucker's body. Tucker then pulled out a video camera, did several graceful ballet twirls, and confessed his love of the telletubbies. Danny then flew out of Tucker and gave Sam the camera.
"Hey! Give me that!" Sam just grinned at Tucker.
"You can have it back for Christmas. Until then, your life is ours."
"Yeah, Tucker. No more chucking things at my head."
"No more lovebird jokes."
"And no more bad singing." Realizing they spoke that last at the same time, both Danny and Sam broke out in huge blushes. Tucker chuckled to himself.
Out loud, "Check on overshadowing. Next, we'll check flight speed. Go!"
Tucker pulled out a radar as Danny flew in a circle. "Wow, two hundred miles an hour! That's way faster than last time! Okay, now energy rays, shields, and Sam's new favorite, duplication."
In quick succession, Danny shot a ray at the far wall, put up a shield dome, and…
"Hah! I did it! There's two of me!" Both Danny's had huge grins on their faces as they joined back together. Danny immediately turned green. "Whoa, head rush. Two sets of memories from two angles. That could take some getting used to."
"Still, at least you finally got that one to work. Now you only need to do it two more times to face Vlad."
"Thanks for reminding me, Tuck. You really know how to cheer a guy up."
"That's it for the checklist so – what, Sam?"
"Well, there is one other thing we could check. Remember when Gregor transferred here?"
"You mean Elliot? What does he have to do with anything, Sam?" Danny was still angry about how that jerk had taken advantage of Sam. Even if he didn't have other, confusing feelings about her, he definitely cared and hated to see her so hurt.
"Nothing, Danny. Relax. But while he was here, those government guys referred to you as a Class 7 ghost."
"So, I did some research on the Guys in White, and found out they have a system for classifying ghosts based on overall power. It's a lot like the pH scale, actually. A class 2 ghost is ten times as powerful as a class 1, instead of twice as powerful. A class 3 is ten times as powerful as a class 2, and so on. There are supposed to be millions of ghosts, but most of them are ones and twos, so they aren't even able to form bodies and stuff."
"That's actually kind of interesting Sam, but what does that have to do with our checkup?" Tucker seemed interested, but confused. "And how did you get this info anyway?"
Sam rolled her eyes. "It's a government program, Tucker. Even if they hid the information, it's public access, so it's not like I had to hack their systems or anything. Besides, public awareness only helps them keep up with the ghosts, so they keep a lot of files in the open. And, I brought it up because," Sam pulled a package out of her back pocket with a flourish, "After I found out about the scale, I managed to 'find' a GIW ectometer. It's the device they use to measure ecto-energy levels. And don't even ask, Tuck. I'm not saying how I got it, and you really don't want to know."
The three friends gathered around a lab table as Sam unwrapped the ectometer. "It looks sort of like a camera phone. How does it work?" Danny looked at Tucker and Sam. Sam didn't look like she knew, but Tucker was more into technology anyway.
"It looks like a point-and-click. Here, let me try." Tucker picked up the small meter and pressed a button on its side. It beeped and numbers began appearing on the screen. "Okay, it's on, now hold still, Danny." Tucker pointed the small device at Danny and pushed another button. The machine beeped again. "Well, I guess it worked. Take a look Sam, you did the research. Do those numbers make sense to you?" Tucker said. He carefully placed the device back on the table.
Sam looked at the reading and gave a start. "7.2? Danny, that's way higher than it should be!"
"How do you know that? You've never even used one of these before."
"It was in the Guys in White's stuff. They have a file on you." Sam explained, pulling out a printed sheet. "'Danny Phantom. Location: Amity Park. Power Class: 6.98 as of 5/05/06. Current Power Class is estimated at 7.01 based on current average ecto-energy growth rate of subject.' According to their charts, you shouldn't reach 7.2 for at least three more years!"
"Oh. Well, I'm sure it's nothing to worry about Sam. The Guys in White aren't exactly geniuses. They probably messed up their charts or something." Danny did look nervous, though. "Maybe it's because of all the ghost fighting. Or from being half-ghost. The Guys in White don't know about that."
"Yeah, it's probably nothing to worry about." Tucker didn't look convinced, either.
Danny cleared his throat. "Look guys, it's getting close to dinner time and I still have school shopping this weekend. See you on Monday?"
"Sure, man. I should go home, too. We're having steak for dinner." Tucker took off upstairs, already licking his lips. Sam suppressed a shudder.
"Are you sure you're feeling okay, Danny?" Sam shot him a concerned look.
"I feel fine, Sam." It wasn't a lie. Danny didn't feel sick or anything. He just hoped she believed him, he hated seeing her worry. "You should get home, too. I don't want your parents to have any reason to try that restraining order again. Not that it stopped me from visiting, but sneaking into you house while invisible just felt kinda wrong, you know?"
"Right. Just…be careful, okay? Let me know if anything's wrong. I worry about you, Danny." Sam gave him a half smile, and started up the stairs. "By the way, you can keep the ectometer. Try it again in a month or so, to check your progress. Maybe we can figure out what the Guys in White got wrong." With that, Sam left the basement and headed home.
Danny sighed and changed back into his human form before heading upstairs. He met his parents by the front door. "Hey guys, any luck catching ghosts?"
Danny tried hard not to chuckle. He knew they hadn't found him at the mall; after all, he'd been in the basement. His parents still had no idea that their son and the ghost they were always hunting were the same person. He thought they probably would have been suspicious by now if it weren't for that disastrous Fenton Ghost-Catcher incident. Seeing human him and ghost him at the same time helped his secret a great deal. Even though they were so obsessed with catching his ghost half, Danny had thought about telling them the truth more and more since Freakshow had been returned to prison. He knew that they would accept him now, but he was worried about the security risk. His father was a smart man, but he tended to blather and wasn't very good with secrets. He could probably trust his mother, but she would want to know everything. Once he told her about Vlad, she would start treating him differently and he would find out for sure. So, Danny had decided to keep his secret a little longer; at least until the Vlad situation sorted itself out. 'That fruitloop is just too dangerous to take chances.'
"No son that darn ghost kid gave us the slip again! But don't worry, we'll catch him soon and tear him apart molecule by molecule!"
"Now Jack, you know you can't just go around destroying ghosts." Danny smiled inside at how understanding his mother was being. "First we have to strap them down and dissect them. How else are we going to learn anything?" His smile died instantly. 'I really can't let them catch me until I tell them my secret. Otherwise, they might kill me before I get the chance!'
"S-so, uh, what's for dinner?"
"Sorry sweetie, but Jack and I spent so much time hunting Inviso-Bill (Danny winced at the name) that we don't have time now to cook dinner. So, we'll use the new ecto-microwave to cook leftovers!"
"Oh! Well, that's okay, I wasn't really that hungry anyway." Danny lied as he tried to keep his stomach from growling. The last thing he needed right now was to fight off possessed hotdogs. "I'll just go to bed. Bye!"
Danny rushed upstairs before his parents could offer more food. He was just about to go to his room when his sister Jazz stuck her head into the hallway. "Danny! I was hoping we'd get to talk while mom and dad were busy. Did the checkup go okay? Nothing spooky show up?" Danny was glad his sister knew his secret. Not only did it give him someone besides his two best friends to talk to, it also gave him backup at home. Danny didn't think he would have made it this long without Jazz making excuses for his absenses, or for all of the ghost-trackers that seemed to go off whenever Danny walked by. Sure, she could still be annoying and overprotective sometimes, but she really cared about him and her approval meant more to him than she would ever know.
"No, Jazz, nothing…um…'spooky'." Danny had to grin at the choice of words. Jazz was good at that sort of thing. "They're sending a note to school to let the nurse know my average temperature is 94 instead of 98. But they didn't seem too wierded out, so I guess it's not that unusual."
"Hmm. Sorry, I should have remembered the temperature thing. Oh, well. Ninety-four is a bit low, but like you said, it's not that unusual, so they probably won't make a big deal out of it. Just don't tell dad, he'd probably think you're a ghost or something." Chuckling slightly, Jazz slipped back into her room.
Grinning at the joke, Danny walked the rest of the way to his room and closed his door. It had been a long day, so he dropped the ectometer on his bedside table and fell asleep almost immediately. There weren't any ghost attacks, so the night passed quietly for once, except for an occasional beep.