Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom, my old drinking buddy Butch Hartman does. I might have gotten drunk one time and given him the idea for the series though. Oh yeah, I forgot, I don't know Butch, but I wish I did.

Danny Fenton sighed to himself as he looked down on the town flying high up in his ghost form. 'three and a half years...' he thought to himself. His eyes wandered to various sections of town that each had its own story of his struggles. The Supermarket he and Bertrand had thrashed a month or two after he got his powers. The part of the park that was devoid of trees after a battle with a large mechanized form of Technus who had crashed into them. The Zoo and his first fights with Skulker, not to mention his epic battles that he wouldn't need a physical reminder to remember. 'Amity Park...It's hard to believe I'm leaving it...' he thought sadly as he flipped and headed back for his house.

Cue Danny Phantom Theme

Yo Danny Fenton he was just 14 when his parents built a very
strange machine

It was designed to view a world unseen
(he's gonna catch em all cause he's Danny phantom)

When it didn't quite work his
folks they just quit

but then Danny took a look inside of it
there was a great big flash
every thing just changed
his molecules got all rearranged

(phantom phantom)

When he first woke up he had realized he had snow white hair
and glowing green eyes
he could walk through walls
disappear and fly
he was much more unique then the other guys
and it was then that he knew what he had to do
he had to stop all the ghosts that were comin through
he's here to fight for me and you

(he's gonna catch em all cause he's danny phantom gonna catch em all
cause he's Danny phantom gonna catch em all cause he's)

Danny Phantom

As Danny landed near Fentonworks he sighed to himself while taking a quick look around for any unwanted witnesses before resuming his normal form. In the 3 and a half years since Danny had acquired his powers he had changed on the physical side. After a bit of experimentation and a suggestion from Jazz, he realized that working out and gaining physical strength in human form was also beneficial to his ghost side. To think he had Dash and his gym teacher, Miss Teslaf to thank for that. Needless to say, he passed all of his presidential fitness tests after the one he failed his freshmen year.

He had also shot up in height, 'something else I got from dad besides the Fenton nose' he thought to himself wryly as he entered the house and shouted, "Mom! Dad! I'm home."

He heard light banging from the lab and heard his mother shout up, "Alright sweety, There are cookies on the kitchen table." he grinned to himself as he took a look at the ghost shaped cookies and bit into one. 'Mom really is a good cook when she doesn't try to use ectoplasm in her recipes or use any of Dad's improved kitchen appliances' he thought to himself as he walked up to his room. The recent addition to the wall was the diploma he had just received from Casper high. He remembered Graduation Day and the words Mr. Lancer had whispered to Danny as they stood there.


"Mr. Fenton, I won't admit that I'm not glad to see you leave these halls." this was accompanied by a very(for Danny) un-Lancer like smirk. When the last two people went, Danny had heard Lancer say he was sorry to see them go. He knew Lancer had a grudge against him, but he had thought there was underlying respect. Mr Lancer continued though, "I already told you that I get no greater joy than seeing one of my students leaving these halls prepared for life outside them. You are one of the few here that are prepared for that in my opinion, and seeing you walk out those doors right over there-" he said nodding towards the double doors, " -and the satisfaction I'll feel, is one of the reasons I teach young minds. It has been a pleasure pushing you to reach that potential you had when you first arrived here, but it more of a pleasure to see you reach it and leave to use it. Good luck." Lancer said as he reached his hand out for a hand shake. Danny grinned and went in for a hug instead, knowing it would mess up the air of formality that Lancer had been trying to cultivate.

End Flashback

He didn't know it at the time, but that scene, thanks to Tucker he continually suspected, had been the picture on the front page of Amity's newspaper congratulating the graduating class. The summer had flown by and was full of bittersweet memories for him. He had spent quite a lot of time with Sam and Tucker as they prepared to continue on with their lives as well. Tucker was admitted to MIT on a Internet Technology Scholarship, while Sam prepared for Penn State to become a Teacher. This was at first a shocker to Danny and Tucker who knew of Sam's rebel attitude. Everyone was changing though, not just him, but both Tucker and Sam.

Her mentor was a philosophy teacher, Mr Perkins, who had heard her railing against the horrible things humanity is capable of and challenged her to do something other than complain about it. Perkins had stunned Sam into silence, most teachers simply punished her for speaking out, they didn't challenge her, and after that day they had debated after class almost every day. With Sam and Tucker leaving for fall classes he would be without his friends for the first time in his life. He too was leaving for a grand future. The couple of weeks after his epic battle with Freakshow and the reality gauntlets, he received a letter from NASA. Though no one remembered his secret identity, the folks at NASA had the tapes both interior(sans ghost powers) and exterior of his brief piloting of the space shuttle. They invited him to train at one of their facilities to better gage his abilities. He was going to become what he always dreamed of being, an Astronaut, he hoped anyhow.

The town was never in better hands, his parents had increased their own arsenal of ghost related weaponry to the point where he was starting to feel bad for the box ghost. Plus his "Cousin" Dani had come back to Amity to fill in for his role as Amity's ghostly protector while he was gone. She had decent back-up in his ghostly Esperanto-speaking friend Wulf, who was able to capture ghosts quite quickly thanks to his ability to tear open a portal to the ghost zone. All in all Danny felt ready to move on and embrace his destiny. A quick look around his room indicated that he was mostly packed. The training camp was going to be several months, and they had the right to oust anyone they didn't think was going to make it through. Despite all of that he was more excited than ever. Everyone in the program was into space and exploration as much as he was and he was eager to meet them.

Danny's head shot up as he heard a knock on the door to his bedroom. "Come in." Danny said absently as he continued to put more clothes into his suitcase. To his surprise Jazz walked into the room. She was supposed to be on an internship at a psychiatric hospital in Indianapolis. Her future as a psychiatrist was a bright one, but one didn't need to be Clockwork to see the brightness of THAT future. Jazz ran up and embraced her brother tightly.

"I'm proud of you little brother, and I don't think I tell you that enough." Jazz said in mid-embrace.

Danny simply smirked and said, "It's good to see you Jazz, but I think its time you stopped calling me little brother." He said as he took his hand and put it on the top of her head indicating she was a good 8 inches shorter than him.

Jazz just laughed and said, "To me you'll always be the little bundle of baby that a dog peed on one Christmas, or the kid who used to ask me to check for monster ghosts under his bed."

Danny simply groaned and said, "So you came all the way back from Indianapolis to see me off. I must say Jazz I'm flattered, I thought there would be some mental case that needed your attention."with the last part in a lightly joking tone.

Jazz simply stuck her tongue out and said, "There was and since he's my brother, he has precedence." Jazz grinned a bit before she snapped her fingers as if realizing something and said, "Can you help me with my suitcase Danny, I kinda sprained my wrist and need help carrying it in."

Danny shrugged and followed her down the stairs. The last thing he expected was a banner above the front door reading, "Good Luck Danny" His mom and dad and Sam and Tucker along with most of his friends from school were there. "Surprise!" they all yelled as Danny smiled a bit his eyes misting up.

"Thanks guys" he managed. He quickly thanked everyone personally before he found safe quarter with Sam and Tucker.

"That was so cool of you guys, I've never had a surprise party before." Which was true, attempts had been made, but with his Dad's rather overzealous nature, and Tucker's inability to keep a mundane secret nothing stayed surprising long.

Sam grinned and hugged Danny and said, "Well, we told your dad everyone was here to look at his inventions, and while he was giving a tour, some of us snuck upstairs to set up the party. Plus nobody told Tucker till 2 hours ago." she added with a wry look over at Tucker's innocent one.

Danny grinned at Sam and then at Tucker and said, "Thanks guys, I'm really gonna miss you both." Tucker merely waved his hands in a dismissive manner and said, "Are you kidding me Danny, I have your phone number, e-mail, instant messenger name, and address. We'll keep in touch so much we'll know more about whats going on in each other's lives than our own."

Danny laughed at that and grinned, Tuck's ability to lighten any situation was really something he'd miss. Danny shook his head and said, "I'm gonna miss you anyways dude." he held his arms open.

Tucker looked around the room to see no one paying attention from the moment. Tucker lifted his hands and said, "One hug, Grandpa style." Grandpa style hugs were something Tucker had invented for guys who had to hug one another. Danny and Tucker Charged at each other, embraced and after clapping each other on the back, hard, they backed away from each other and whistled nonchalantly.

Sam laughed at the scene before sobering a bit to realize it was the last she would see such things for awhile. She smiled at Danny and Tuck before she grabbed them into a group hug and said, "I'm gonna miss you guys." They stayed that way for a minute or two enjoying the last moments of an era. Tucker walked over to the punch table as Danny and Sam were left alone. Their feelings for each other had been resolved after two dates and an extremely awkward kiss, they were best friends. They had both realized that they were simply incredibly close and left it at that. Teenage hormones made the situation so incredibly complicated, but it was that simple. They were as close as two people could be without being romantically involved, and they were still probably closer than a lot of people with even a romantic bond.

"I'm gonna miss you Sam." Danny said with a bit of a catch in his voice.

Sam smiled and said, "Sheesh you're treating this like its forever, not just a few months." said Sam trying as hard to convince herself of that as Danny.

Danny smiled and said, "Remember... you, me, and Tucker one day, 3 houses, side, by side, by side and our kids...oh yeah, best friends" he added with a smile waving his hand in a motion he usually saved for being smooth. That had been their daydream this summer. Sam simply smiled.

Jack quickly interrupted the moment with his normal form of benevolent chaos, taking Danny downstairs to show him his newest invention before he left. Afterwards the night passed quickly with well-wishes from family and friends, promises to write, and even a request to bring back something from space as a souvenir.

The Next Morning...

Danny reveled in the memories of his loved ones as he boarded his plane. The stewardess made sure everyone was buckled in before she went into the captain's cabin. The intercom buzzed to life as Danny laid back in his seat.

The captain came on after a few seconds of silence and said, "Attention Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We have a good report on the weather and there should be no problems on our trip. Next stop, Jump City." Danny closed his eyes as he thought of his next few months training in NASA's Aerospace program in Jump City, home of the latest in Aerospace engineering innovation.

In an incredibly large castle in Wisconsin...

Vlad Masters AKA Vlad Plasmius sat in a rather large cushy chair. His hands were folded on top of his desk in a professional manner and a smile graced his face. For anyone who knew Vlad, this would NOT have put them at ease. He spoke to a cloaked figure in his normal cultured, if not completely arrogant tone as he said, "My sources tell me you are the best there is?" His tone turning slightly mocking.

"Yes" said the cloaked man tonelessly not rising to the bait of Vlad's teasing tone.

"Excellent, You will have to be at your very best. The boy has evolved farther and faster in his powers than I have anticipated, even in my worst case scenarios. The measures I have in place will not hold for long I fear, I need you to keep an eye on the child, and if he exhibits even the slightest hint of the gifts I told you and your associates of, I want to know of it immediately." Said Vlad in a forceful manner.

The man nodded and said, "Of course, you are our employer after all."

Vlad simply nodded and said, "You would do well not to forget that." As the cloaked man left the room Vlad rose from his chair and paced talking to himself. "Oh Daniel, if only you weren't so stubborn. Unfortunately, if you continue to become anymore of a threat to me, I will have to do something that will make Maddie cry."

Authors Notes:

Sorry about ending it there, but I set up to many cliff hangers not to. I do hope you all enjoyed that, and just know that, muse willing, there is plenty more where that came from. Many thanks to writers like WingsofMorphius, LegendMaker, and Lateraina Wolf, whose excellent works made me interested enough in DP fandom to write.