In the end, the morning will come, but the nightmares will always be there... waiting for you...

The Nightmare
A Danny Phantom FanFiction by Cordria

Chapter 12 – Beyond the Stick

He was dead. He had been hit by the creature's stick and had been blown to bits. There was not other way to explain how he was feeling. He didn't feel tired, or sick, or hurt, or anything of that nature. He felt… good. He was laying on something soft, and it smelled nice. At least he had died and gone someplace good, he told himself. It could be worse.

Knock, knock, knock!

"Get up Danny!" he heard Jazz scream through the door. "You're going to be late for school again!"

"What?" he mumbled, pushing himself up into a sitting position. He was laying on his bed, sleepily rubbing his eyes. He relaxed slowly. It had all been a dream after all. It had all be so real though.

He rolled out of bed and fumbled on some clothes. Tramping down the stairs for breakfast, he passed his sister racing back upstairs. "Why are you and Mom so out of it this morning?" she yelped when she saw his mess of hair and rumpled clothes. "Did you both get no sleep?"

He paused, staring up at Jazz's retreating form. "Mom got no sleep last night?" he whispered to himself. He wrinkled his forehead, wondering.

In the kitchen, his mom was busy making cookies for that afternoon. She smiled when she saw him. "Morning, sweetie!"

"Morning," he replied, smiling at her. He had to know. What that all real? Did she remember it? Or had it been in his head? "Did you have any strange dreams last night?" He asked her really smoothly, trying to hide the expectation from his voice.

She glanced over her shoulder. "Dreams, sweet heart? What kind of dreams?" She watched him for a moment before going back to her cooking.

He shuffled his feet. He didn't want to get her onto a track about ghosts. She and Dad would be setting up equipment in his room to monitor his dreams within the hour if he brought the dream up. He sighed. "Never mind." She didn't remember anyway. He was sure of it.

She handed him a breakfast bar and shooed him out the door. "You're late already. Hurry and catch up to your friends."

He only made it a few feet before he stopped and turned around. "You're the greatest, you know that?" he asked softly.

She smiled hugely at him. "Love you too sweetie. See you after school!"

She watched him walk away. Then she sighed and headed back into the kitchen. There, she pulled out a drawer and picked up an object hiding in the drawer that she had found on the floor that morning. It was a smallish stick with green, vaguely glowing swirls on it.

She tapped it slowly against her hand as she wandered into the living room. Stopping before the bookcase, she reached out and picked up the picture of herself and Danny when he was a little younger. She loved this picture.

She could remember how she had woken up very early this morning in a panic. She had raced over to his room and had stood over him, watching him sleep for hours. It had finally occurred to her that he had found the key he had been looking for. A smile flickered over her features. He hadn't even known it.

The key was something that he always had, but never thought about. Always carried with him, but never touched. Always had known, but never told anyone.

The key had been his love for her.

The end.

Which only leaves us with one question. Where did the creature end up? Perhaps you'll find out in a sequel sometime…

It's been a blast writing for you. Enjoy!! Check out my other stories, of course. :-)

Review. Please. I'm begging you. On hands and knees (just take my word for it that I can be on hands and knees and still be typing.)

By the way I love my ending, please do not flame it or I will sic my rabid goldfish on you.

Danny Phantom is, one last time, not mine and never will be.