By: Firefury Amahira
Disclaimer: Nope. Don't own DP. Wish I did though.
Author's Note: Between school and MikomiCon, I think I've snapped while working on Benediction. Or come down with a mild case of one-shot fever. Oh well, it'll do me some good to get a few of my vast horde of plot bunnies dealt with.
Valerie suppressed the urge to yawn as she tried to focus on class. She couldn't wait for Tuesday night. Star was throwing a Halloween bash, and for the first time since the ghosts had ruined the huntress' life, she had actually been invited. She just had to get through the rest of Monday, and class on Tuesday.
But geez, Mr. Lancer could drone on. Valerie shook her head briefly, trying to stay awake. The bald teacher could probably put ghosts to sleep! She thought she heard soft snoring a few seats away, and glanced over to where her friend (and almost-boyfriend at one time) Danny Fenton had his face planted firmly in his textbook.
Lancer hadn't noticed his snoozing student yet, so Valerie flicked her pencil eraser, thwapping Danny upside the head and startling him awake. The huntress had absolutely impeccable timing- no sooner had Danny's head jolted upright, blue eyes wide open than Mr. Lancer spun to face the class, a stern look on the bald man's features. Granted, it was a rare occasion for the vice principal and literature teacher to have anything but a stern expression.
"Now class, I am well aware that Halloween is tomorrow night. I'm sure many of you will be out 'trick or treating' and 'getting down', but I want you to remember that you will have class in the morning."
A chorus of mildly annoyed murmurs answered the teacher. Like any of them would let something like class the next day interfere with partying and obtaining free candy? Valerie fully expected to be at Star's party most of the night, and figured she could zombie her way through classes on Wednesday. Danny seemed to squeak by that way often enough. And most teachers knew better than to assign much homework those times when Halloween fell on a school night.
"Speaking of which-" Lancer continued. Immediately he had the entire class' attention. That did not bode well, students exchanging worried looks. "Due to the school semester being shortened by one week for faculty reviews, I've had to move your midterm exam up to Wednesday."
Where annoyed murmuring had been was now a torrent of outrage! The more outspoken, such as Paulina or Dash protested the timing, citing that with the short notice, how would anyone be able to study? They had plans for Halloween night, plans that would be substantially curtailed if there was anything important at school the day after the holiday! Everyone knew Lancer was notorious for making his exams worth an insane portion of a student's grade, and with a midterm it seemed likely that doing well on the stupid test would be required to pass the class.
By the end of classes for the day, most of the school was buzzing in anger. No matter how they had pleaded, reasoned, or even threatened, Lancer refused to bump the test back even one day. Valerie had a sour look on her face. She'd already heard that Star was calling off the party- the blonde girl's grades where in iffy territory and she would have to study for the test if she wanted to pass. The huntress paused as she passed Danny and his two friends, the trio with similar moping expressions.
"Test canned your plans too, huh?" Valerie walked over.
"Yeah." Danny griped. "We were gonna go do some trick-or-treating-"
"It's all about the free candy!" Tucker piped in, tone despairing.
Danny nodded, and Sam picked up the gripe-session, for once not bristling with quite so much hostility toward Valerie. "And then we were going to have a horror movie marathon at my place. But no, Mr. Lancer had to assign some big test and make everyone scramble with their plans."
"Tell me about it." Valerie sighed, tone matching the prevalent irritation that hung over the school like a cloud. "The party I was going to got canceled because of that stupid test!"
"At least you got invited to a party!" Tucker complained.
"I can't believe he'd spring a test like that on us with two days to prepare for it! And one of them is only the biggest teen holiday of the entire year!" Sam crossed her arms, scowling at nothing. "Doesn't Lancer know what the 'trick' part of 'trick-or-treat' means?"
"Tricks..." Valerie mused, a thought coming to her.
"... That gives me an idea." Danny whispered, more to himself than to anyone else.
The next day, the entire class was extremely sullen, thirty-someodd pairs of eyes glaring daggers at Mr. Lancer as if the students could strike him down with mind bullets or something. To the visible annoyance of the class, it didn't seem to phase the teacher. The students had given up on pleading, adopting instead that sort of sullen loathing only a room full of angry teenagers can generate. Even Danny seemed to be uncharacteristically irate, the dark-haired teen glaring at the teacher with an intensity Valerie hadn't seen before. Her friend's eyes were practically glowing with his anger. But she had a plan. She just had to wait for class to end for the day, so she could put the scheme into motion.
She bolted from the room the instant the final bell rang, ducking around a corner of the school building and donning her new battle suit. Sure, she generally didn't like the idea of using her ghost hunting gear for anything besides ghost hunting... but this was a special case! Valerie took to the air, lying in wait for her target. She had to find where Mr. Lancer lived if she was going to prank him for a little Halloween get-back.
Meanwhile, Danny and his friends were heading to FentonWorks, discussing their severely restricted plans for the night.
"Danny, you really shouldn't go through with it." Sam chastised her friend.
"Come on, Sam." Danny had a nearly maniac grin on his face. "You want to get him back for ruining our plans too, right?"
"Yeah Sam! And since Danny can do it without getting caught... he can give Lancer some get-back for all of us!" Tucker beamed, apparently very much liking the idea.
That night, Valerie made sure she had everything as she prepared to take off out her bedroom window. The back of her sled was carrying several dozen eggs, the cartons secured so they wouldn't slip and fall mid-flight. Lancer would pay for wrecking her first chance back into the social circle!
She was so intent on her goal that she didn't see the black-clad ghost until she almost ran into him. "You!"
"Ack-!" The ghost-kid darted out of the way, comically flailing to catch a bunch of white things he seemed to have been carrying. "Valerie! Look, can I take a rain check on a fight tonight, I'm kinda busy and-"
The ghost paused, one eyebrow raised oddly as he surveyed Valerie. She glared at him through her visor, always ready to tangle with the spook. "You think I'm just going to let you cause trouble, ghost?"
"... Uh, are those egg cartons behind you?" The ghost boy asked, gesturing at the cardboard packages and nearly dropping one of the white things he was holding.
"Maybe." Valerie retorted warily. "... Is that toilet paper?"
"Um... beware?" The ghost guessed with a sheepish grin. "Before we get to our usual shooty high speed chase thing... those eggs wouldn't happen to be for a teacher's house? Guy named Lancer-?"
"What's it to you, ghost?" Valerie growled. "After he ruined my plans for tonight with his stupid test, I want a little revenge."
"Funny you should mention that." The ghost kept an eye on Valerie, probably watching for signs of attack. She wouldn't admit it, but she was wondering what the ghost needed so much toilet paper for. After all, he was a ghost, he didn't use the stuff... unless...
"Don't tell me you're out playing tricks tonight too!" Valerie exclaimed.
"Yeah, pretty much." The ghost shrugged. "I was going to... ah... TP Lancer's place."
What the heck did the ghost boy have against Lancer? Though really, given the current situation, Valerie's opinion of her ghostly rival was rising steadily. Anybody with a bone to pick with Lancer couldn't be all bad. "What do you have against Lancer?"
That seemed to catch the ghost up short, he blushed and fumbled for a reply. "Uh, well... ah... one time... um... BEFORE I was a ghost, yeah..."
Valerie raised an eyebrow. It was so easy to forget sometimes, that ghosts had not always been ghosts, that some at least probably had been relatively normal when they were still alive. "Wait, you had Lancer for a teacher?"
"Yeah! Of course. Because... I'm haunting Amity Park, right? So I lived here!" The ghost exclaimed. "And... I was going to hang out with my friends for Halloween... a... um... few years ago! But he gave the class a big report to do, and we had to cancel our plans!"
Valerie was pretty sure her expression was one of shock. This information put a new spin on the ghost, a being she had constantly thought of as little more than pure trouble. Lancer had somehow messed with the ghost boy too?
"And that's why you want to prank Lancer this year." She stated flatly.
"Um... every year!" The ghost shifted his bundle of cheap tissue to hold one hand out to the huntress. "So... Halloween truce?"
Valerie stood on her board contemplating the situation. On the one hand, she didn't care for the ghost kid at all. On the other hand, she knew that if necessary, she and the ghost kid made a darn good team against a mutual opponent. They'd done a fine job of routing that big armored ghost when they'd been cuffed together, and Lancer was nowhere near as daunting an enemy.
"For tonight." She grudgingly grabbed the ghost's cool hand, exchanging the brief handshake. "But you'd better not try and funny business with me!"
"Oh, not to worry." The ghost smiled, and Valerie frowned in thought as they resumed flying in the direction of Lancer's residence. For some reason, that goofy grin seemed oddly familiar, but the huntress just could not place where or why. "I'm glad I didn't decide to bring eggs! Are they rotten?"
"They've been sitting outside all day." Valerie replied.
In short order, the pair located the building, taking stock of the situation. It wasn't terribly late at night, but the lights were all off. Either Lancer wasn't home, or the pudgy teacher had already gone to bed for the night. In either case, that meant the house was utterly vulnerable to pranking.
"Here, catch!" The ghost tossed a roll of toilet paper to Valerie, the white paper tracing a fluttering arc through the air. "I don't think the school will miss the TP from the staff bathrooms."
"You took this from the teachers' lounge?" Valerie caught the paper easily, carelessly splattering some of her egg arsenal against the walls. "I hate to admit it ghost, but that's a pretty good idea."
It took the ghost and the ghost hunter a couple of hours to exhaust their combined supply, the moon hanging low against the horizon as they surveyed their handiwork. The front stoop was liberally covered with the white streamers, as were many of the windows. It had been Valerie's idea to create a loose web of toilet paper above the doorway holding up a few more eggs. When Lancer emerged in the morning and tried to tear through the paper obstruction, ideally he would be pelted with the eggs.
"Y'know, you're not half bad sometimes." Valerie remarked, smirking as she eyed the thoroughly tricked building. "For a ghost."
For some reason that amused the black-clad spook, he chuckled slightly. "Thanks. We should make a tradition out of this. Well, g'night Valerie!"
"Maybe..." Valerie whispered before waving slightly to the ghost as he departed. "Night, Phantom."
The next morning, Mr. Lancer awoke bright and early, wondering to himself how many of his students would be sleep-deprived zombies despite his warnings. He pulled the blinds up to take in the view of the morning, only to find white paper obstructing the window. Immediately he frowned. Had some punks vandalized his abode?
With an annoyed scowl, the bald teacher marched to the front door and tugged it open, finding a veritable jungle of what was clearly toilet tissue. The place reeked of eggs as he stepped into the tangle and grabbed fistfuls of the white paper. It would take him forever to clean the mess up!
Mr. Lancer muttered something under his breath about what would happen if he ever found out who had the nerve to prank his home as he started to rip the toilet paper away. Almost immediately several more eggs plummeted, splattering the teacher with foul-smelling goo.
"The Day After Judgement!"
Author's Note: Just a little bit of Halloween-themed fluff. Mostly inspired by the mental image of Valerie in her ghost hunting gear with a carton of eggs, and Danny in ghost form with several toilet paper rolls. Heehee. I promise I'll get back to work on Benediction now, don't hurt me!