This is it, the last chapter, the epic fight between good and evil, et cetera ad infinitum. In other words, the end is near.
Much love to everyone who has ever reviewed this story, ever. Here's a shout, in the order of you first reviews:
Icepaw, Arabic Blessing, Queen S of Randomness 016, Meagainsttheworld, Horselvr4evr123, Idiots Unite, The Demon Inside, Writer's-BlockDP, Esme Kali Phantom, Epona Harper, HikaruOfArrow, Ummari the Cranky, Id Pendemus, lightanddarklove, Funkatron, fan-girls2.0, Kantix Gabriel, acosta parez jose ramiro, Leah Fenton, Kuro Tori, Diamond Raider, Tornada Silverwind, and AirGirl Phantom.
Thank you all very very much. I enjoyed writing this a great deal, but you're what made it fun. I had such a good time that I'm already starting on a sequel. More on that later, though.
Chapter 16 – Conclusions
With a feral scream, Danny threw himself at his ghostly foe. Smirking, Vlad simply phased through the punch and floated behind his opponent, laughing coldly as his momentum caused him to stumble forward and fall to the ground.
"Oh please, Daniel. Don't tell me that you did not even bring a weapon to this battle." Panting and wincing at the pain from the fall, Danny turned to face his opponent. An idea slowly formed in his head. The young hybrid put on a grim face.
"I was held up. You want a challenge, give me my powers back." Vlad grinned.
"Only if you surrender." Anger flashing across his face, Danny stood up and settled into a fighting stance.
"Never." Noting his position, Vlad chuckled.
"Do you honestly expect me to engage you hand to hand?" The evil ghost floated into the air and started throwing ecto-blasts. Panting and wincing with every other step, Danny ran back and forth, dodging the red bolts and trying to reach the lipstick tube in his pocket. "This is much more fun."
"Coward!" Danny shouted up at the evil madman, looking franticly around the makeshift arena for anything to use as a shield. Vlad simply grinned wider, and split in two.
"Let's see if you can dodge at this speed."
From behind the barrier, Maddie Jack and Valerie all listened in shock.
"Phantom lost his powers? How?" Jazz debated answering, but then Jack spoke up.
"I don't understand it. If the ghost kid is powerless, why'd he come?" Valerie looked uncomfortable, but spoke up angrily.
"I-it's probably some sort of trick! That ghost's a liar, and he fights dirty!" Jazz shot the huntress a glare, but forced a calm smile.
"Let's continue listening, shall we?" Nodding, the others quickly replaced their ears on the plank-work, and Jazz followed.
"Ahhh!" Danny fell to the side, instinctively clutching a smoldering burn on his arm. From high above, Vlad chuckled evilly. Turning his fall into a side roll, Danny finally managed to jam his free hand into his pocket and pull out the Fenton Lipstick. Quickly activating the green weapon slash accessory, the overmatched hybrid took careful aim and nailed his tormentor right between the eyes.
"Ow!" Blinking the spots out of his burning eyes, Plasmius fell backwards in midair and came to rest slightly above the ground. "You little rat! You lied about the weapons so I'd give you your powers back!" The evil ghost grinned. "Well it didn't work, did it? You're just as powerless as ever." Danny's face hardened.
"I may be powerless, but I still have great aim."
Charging up the lipstick, Danny took another shot at his foe. This time, however, Vlad easily dodged, flying in quickly and dealing a savage upper-cut. Danny flew backwards and crashed into a crate, the lipstick falling from his numbed fingers. With a single ecto-blast, Masters reduced the annoying device to smoking ash. The young ghost looked at the smudge where his weapon once laid and crumpled to the floor, to hurt to stand. Vlad chuckled wickedly and stood before his fallen victim.
"You actually thought you could win. You thought that being the ghost in charge of Amity Park would keep your enemies out forever? That you could actually protect these people? Well, Daniel, you were sadly mistaken. I need only capture you and this city will name me hero. Despite your best efforts to make them understand you, to make them see how much you wanted to help them, they will always hate you; they will always remember you as the darkest villain in their history. And once a year has past, I can wrest control of the city from you once and for all, and you'll never be able to come back to save them!" Vlad grinned down at Danny, hate and pleasure mixed in his eyes. "In time, even you may come to see me as a hero, as the father you've always wanted. We'll rule the human world and ghost zone together, side by side as father and son." Danny's eyes shot up, and Vlad took a step back in surprise as they flashed bright green.
"I. Am. Not. Your. SON!" Danny shouted in fury, floating off the ground and shooting sparks of green energy. Vlad stared as Danny, without even concentrating, immediately shifted to his ghost form. The villain seemed completely taken aback.
"How can you be using your powers? I disabled them!"
Jazz listened through the plank-work and watched her parents' reactions. During Vlad's victorious rant, Jack and Maddie's eyes filled with shock, guilt, and anger. Valerie simply seemed lost.
"I don't get it. Why would a ghost even care?" Jazz shook her head.
"Because," she said, shooting a pointed look at her parents, "he's good." Numbly, both older Fentons nodded their agreement. A moment later, she heard a loud yell on the other side of the plank and quickly listened in. 'How can you be using your powers? I disabled them!'
"What?" Jazz asked herself. "Danny's powers? But how could-" The teen gasped. "The charge! Danny's built up a huge energy charge, and it's shorting out the Maximus! And if six hours' charge shatters a mirror, and seven blew me backwards…" Jazz's eyes widened.
"Everyone! Back away from the crates and get down!" Reacting almost instinctively, all four spectators threw themselves to the floor, as an incredibly lour roar filled their ears.
A massive pulse of green light shot out from Danny's body and rippled heavily towards the edges of the arena. Vlad was blown backwards into a crate on the opposite wall and fell into a crouch. Above their heads, the human and ghost shield flickered and died. Everywhere around the edges, the large boxes, crates, and planks that composed the makeshift barrier exploded and shot outwards, exposing four spectators behind Vlad and to his left.
Danny's violently glowing eyes widened as he recognized friends and family. After what they'd heard, he'd have to win fast if they had any hope of staying alive. The young ghost concentrated fiercely on holding onto every ounce of the unnaturally high energy his charge had left him. Standing strait, Danny slowly marched across the arena to face his rapidly recovering foe, green flames dancing above his footprints as he walked.
Vlad brushed splinters from his shoulder and glared at his approaching enemy. "You may have your powers back boy, but I'll always be two steps ahead. I've had these powers for years. I have age. I have experience. I have these." At this, Vlad separated into four and spread out to flank his opponent. A small smile breaking through his intense expression, Danny split himself as well, matching Vlad exactly. Masters stared in shock.
"How did you…No matter!" He cut himself off, merging back into one and floating up. "Duplication or not, I am still more powerful than-"
Danny teleported behind Vlad's back and dealt a savage backhand blow to his skull. The older ghost shot down and crashed with enough force to shatter the concrete. Not finished, the younger ghost teleported right up to him and tossed him into the air.
"You may have age…" Danny spun into a round house kick and nailed Vlad in the chest as he fell. He quickly teleported behind his opponent and punched him again.
"You may have experience…" Flying quickly around his stunned opponent, Danny grabbed him by the collar and slammed him to the ground.
"But you'll never have me, or this town, or anyone who lives here. And do you know why, Vlad?" With that, Danny lifted Vlad back up into the air and tossed him towards the docks.
"Because you're. Not. Welcome!" Sucking back a deep breath, Danny unleashed the ghostly wail. Energy poured out and rocketed Vlad's prone floating form off the coast and into the bay. Greatly weakened, having used up all of the extra energy he had managed to hold, Danny slowly sank back to the ground and watched the water wearily, concentrating fiercely on staying in ghost form.
Moments later, Vlad shot out of the water, spluttering. His eyes burned with rage and pain as he focused on the young half-ghost. Leveling off, the older ghost floated back towards shore, cloak billowing ominously behind him.
"I have tried to make you my ally. I have tried to make you my son. Well no more! You have crossed me for the last time! You shall not stand between me and this city any longer!" Charging up his hands with as much energy as possible, Vlad flew forward at full speed.
And crashed into an invisible barrier. Chuckling filled the area, echoing off the surrounding buildings. Danny and the four hunters looked around in confusion as Vlad rubbed his aching head. A brief second later, a strange glowing watch hand appeared in midair and spun in a circle, revealing –
"Clockwork?" Danny said incredulously, staring at the blue ghost. Smiling, Clockwork turned to face Danny.
"You know the funny thing about coastal cities? The water is technically outside their limits." The older ghost turned towards Vlad. "You aren't welcome in Amity any more. So long as Danny remains to protect them, you'll never hurt these people again. And," Clockwork said, raising a finger and grinning wickedly, "for attempting to violate ghost law and break in without an invitation, it is my solemn duty to administer justice. You'll be coming with me." After a brief wink to Danny, Clockwork grabbed a very worried-looking Vlad Plasmius and the two ghosts vanished.
Danny thought for a moment about what kind of 'justice' could be waiting for his arch enemy and laughed out loud. Then, remembering the formerly captive audience, he flew off as fast as he could, leaving behind four very confused hunters.
Danny got home only a few minutes later. Looking up at the clock, he saw with a thrill of pleasure that it was only six o'clock. Phasing through furniture in his haste, he rushed to the phone and dialed Sam.
"Hello?" Sam's voice came through the other end, sounding tired, sad, and worried. Grinning from ear to ear, Danny answered.
"Hey beautiful. Miss me?" Danny chuckled as he heard the shocked gasp through the phone.
"Danny! You're okay!" Sam's voice became threatening. "This BETTER be the first thing you've done since you got back!" Gulping, Danny hurried to answer.
"Yes! It is, I swear! That charge thing I've been getting shorted out the Plamius Maximus. I managed to throw Vlad out of town. Literally." Grinning, Danny continued. "We won't have to worry about him for a long, long time. But that's not the only reason I called. It's still just six. If you want, we can still make the dance." The hybrid listened intently, desperately hoping she still wanted to go out after such a huge scare.
"Let's not." Danny's face fell. "I'd rather just go to dinner. Who needs all the noise and pressure at the dance? After all this, I just want to spend time with you." Blushing slightly and shaking in relief, Danny nodded. Then, remembering Sam couldn't see him, he answered.
"Yeah. That sounds nice, Sam. Pick you up at seven?"
"Seven? Why so late?" Danny scratched his neck nervously.
"There might be something I have to do here, first." There was a brief pause.
"Sure, Danny. Still with you in spirit." Danny smiled into the phone.
"Yeah, I know. See you at seven." Hanging up, Danny quickly dialed Tucker.
He'd just finished talking to Tucker when his parents came walking in the front door, Jazz bringing up the rear. Maddie shot Danny a confused look.
"Hi, Danny. It's good to see you, but didn't you have a date with Sam tonight?" Danny nodded, trying to control his nervous stomach.
"Yeah, but we had to push it back to seven. Where were you guys?" He asked conversationally, praying his voice didn't give him away. His parents frowned.
"We went to the docks to watch the fight. We snuck in when Vlad – That's what the Wisconsin Ghost calls himself – let the shield down." Jack smiled. "We learned a lot of really cool stuff." Maddie nodded.
"It looks like you and Jazz were right about the ghost boy. Invis-, I mean, Phantom has been protecting our town this whole time. We still don't really understand how, or even why. But we trust him." From behind their backs, Jazz beamed.
Grinning from ear to ear, despite his nerves, Danny looked at his parents. "You do?" They both nodded, Jack grinning back. Their son gulped, then continued, a huge smile on his face.
"Mom? Dad? There's something I want to tell you."
-Cue the ending screen and theme music from Star Wars.
More Author Stuff:
Well, that's that. I hope you liked it. Sometimes Danny's life can get pretty complicated, but things always seem to work out. But what happened to Vlad? How will his parents react? What does Valerie think about the ghost boy? Will Sam and Danny have Italian or French!
For answers to these questions and much more, I encourage you to keep your eyes out for an up and coming sequel, "Exceptions." That is all.
P.S. To anyone even remotely interested in suing me, I don't own anything in this story that I haven't previously disclaimed. So leave me alone. :P