A/N: Hey all, long time no see! It just occurred to me how much people like my stories, and it took an anonymous reviewer to actually get that through my head to get my lazy ass up and finish the chapter I had suddenly forgot about. ^^;; Thank you all whom have stuck with me all the way here! ^^ (In other news, I've got huge huge huge tests all next week. I pray to whatever girl or guy up there that I pass them.)

I have no idea why I'm telling y'all this, but the weather is REALLY weird, where I live. This morning gifted me with snow piling down on my house. Then it rained, then it got all windy (hurricane-like windy!) then...sunny. The sunny-ness died to cloudy and rain/hail. Now, its sunny again with barely a cloud in the sky! I tell ya, Mother Nature's on crack!! O.o

Okay...now back to the story.

Just Like the Story
Chapter 7: A Little Bit Closer

In the Ghost Zone Castle...

"King Pariah, Queen Dora, I have some documents that need to be... What are you doing?" Fright Knight asked mid-sentence as he walked into the study where the King and Queen of the Ghost Zone were currently muttering to each other. The moment he asked, the two both turned in unison so that there backs covered whatever was sitting on the desk. They instantly let out a sigh of relief when they saw it was only their advisor. "Is something the matter?"

Dora greeted the knight politely. "No, nothing... we're just...checking something."

Pariah looked distracted as he answered. "Yes... checking." His gaze wandered back to whatever was behind their backs.

Somehow, he didn't want to know what. Whatever it was, it surely had to do something with Prince Phantom. (After all, the two were pretty careful parents depending how you looked at them. Besides, King Pariah mainly only cared about two things that he would actually put effort into: His family and fighting)

And Fright Knight knew that anything to do with Prince Phantom, always involved him as some sort of messenger boy... or scapegoat.

"Should I come at another time, or..." Oh god, please. Fright Knight began to lowly inch towards the door.

"No, no! Stay! Actually, we have a mission for you." Crap. And she had that scheming look in her eyes again. It was simply demonic. ('Draconic, more like it.' Fright Knight added in afterthought.)

Fright Knight looked towards Pariah, praying for help, but even Pariah looked as crazy as his wife.

"You see, Fright Knight, it has come to our attention that our son has been getting into some... trouble as of late."

"Trouble?" Fright Knight echoed in a questioning tone. Of course the Prince always got into trouble! But why were they so concerned now? "It isn't serious, is it?"

Dora waved his suggestion away. "No, No, Fright Knight. Just simply, he's been..." She didn't know quite what to say. " I think maybe you should just see for yourself."

Dora and Pariah both moved aside and the ghost advisor blinked when he saw that it was a laptop they had been hiding from him. He took a closer look, curious as to what the blinking point on the screen represented. "What's this?"

"That's Phantom." Dora said.

It took the knight a moment to fully take in the answer. "Your highnesses, you're tracking Phantom?!" He idly recognized the map program they were using. It was extremely useful for it detected ghost energies as well with green dots signifying the ghosts.

"But of course!" Dora said as if she was talking about the weather.

"'Sides, the boy gets in enough trouble as it is. If he were ever used against us like kidnapping or blackmail, we'd already know where he'd be and then bam! The fools would be tossed in Walker's Jail!" Pariah laughed.

Who was he to question the King's logic? "I see, my King." The area the spot was blinking in made the advisor frown. The Viridian forest was well known for its population of rabid ghosts. The Ghost Zone Kingdom never worried about the forest because it was common knowledge that the creatures there never bothered anyone lest you creep upon their territory. That was why it was abandoned.

Around the blinking red dot was many other green ones moving around. But as soon as the green dots got near the red one, it almost immediately vanished. "At least he knows how to take care of himself."

Dora agreed, but stiffened slightly in alarm when one green dot seemed to have made contact with her son. She released a relieved sigh however when it was quickly pushed away.

Pariah's lip curled. "Hm... I think their population multiplied since last I've seen them. Fright Knight, go with some troops to rid the pests, will you?"

"It will be done." Fright Knight said, bowing, before leaving the room. Inwardly, the dark knight grinned at his king's way of worrying over and sending help to his son.


"Y-You..."

"Yep, me." Danny grinned lopsidedly.

"Reaper!"

Danny turned around and grinned as he saw Valerie run over to him with Sam and Tucker closely behind. He inwardly felt relieved when he saw that she didn't have any major injuries; just a few scratches here and there.

"Glad, you're alright." Reaper said to them all when they reached him and Phantom.

The girl—Sam, put a hand on her hip. "We should be the one asking you that... Reapunzel."

'NEVER. GONNA. LIVE. DOWN.' Danny's eye twitched.

Universe: 2 Danny: -4

"What are you guys doing here anyways?" Danny coughed to will away the embarrassment.

Phantom saw a hint of redness fill Reaper's cheeks, and couldn't help but smile at the...cuteness of it.

'...I did not just think that.' Phantom swallowed. What the hell was he thinking? And at a time like this! He was oblivious to the simply demonic look Sam sent his way that would've sent his senses going, 'DANGER'.


Sam smirked devilishly, but covered it with an innocent expression.

"We—actually, Phantom here," Phantom jerked up at the call of his name. "wanted to thank you for saving his butt by saving your butt." (1) Sam replied smoothly. She reveled in the ruffled glare that came from Phantom, and the—'Was that a blush?'—from her and Tucker's savior days prior.

Sam raised an eyebrow as she saw the apparent redness in Reaper's face as well and looked back and forth between him and Phantom.

'Maybe...?' The goth resisted to urge to smirk and cackle. No need to scare the children after all.

Her gaze rested on the amused-looking Red Huntress. From the way she'd seen Reaper and the Huntress interact, they were obviously close in what she'd guess would be a brother-sister relationship. (She couldn't see that seemingly shy looking ghost hunter being the one to actually initiate anything, either.)

The Huntress was obviously the over-protective one, and if overprotective siblings were what she heard they were like... and if she so happened to catch wind of this...

Phantom would NOT make it out in one piece.

Sam gave it a good two second thought.

'Heh, he'd live.' The corners of Sam's lips curled. ''Sides, I've always wanted to match-make...'


Growls immediately interrupted their bickering and diverted their attentions to the remaining foaming-at-the-mouth ghost animals.

"...We're gonna diiee!" Tucker moaned again, throwing his head back to wail it. But nevertheless, aimed his ecto-gun, as did the others.

Then, they were upon them.


"Say, Danny?" Valerie asked when Phantom, Sam, and Tucker were out of ear-shot.

Danny sliced at a ghost and it immediately disappeared to the ghost zone. His scythe had a real nifty ability to do that, much to his pleasure. It saved him a lot of time and scrambles to grab a thermos, but it took A LOT of concentration to preform correctly. "Yeah?"

Valerie elbowed away a flying squirrel and sweep kicked some ghost-rabbits. "How did you get out of the tower, anyways? I was going to blow the pile of stone down!" She smirked.

Quickly, Danny gave her the whole explanation as they continued fighting. When he finished, Valerie was chuckling at the methods he used.

"Well, that's one way to get outta there." She 'eek'-ed and ducked as a ghost-snaked launched over her head. A pained yelp brought her attention back to Danny, and she cursed at the ghost-boar that had managed to disarm him and blast him into a tree.

After shooting the ghost, she looked at Danny. He didn't look too good. He was swaying as he got to his feet, looking more than a bit dazed. Why was he looking so—Valerie gasped.

Valerie took his shoulders and made sure to maneuver them away from sight. When they were, she shook him to get him to look at her. "Danny! Listen to me! How long?! How long have you been in this form?!"

"Some..." The world was spinning slightly, but nevertheless, Danny tried to focus. He knew his friend was talking about something important. "Some... six-...ish hours?"

Valerie peeled back an eyelid that fallen close as he answered and clucked her tongue when she saw it was dilating. They didn't have much time.

A while back, they had both tested their limits; Danny's more so than hers. They had found that, in ghost form, Danny could last up to seven hours before finally collapsing. And that was without doing any strenuous activities.

Being in it six hours and still fighting however...

"We gotta go."

Danny instantly protested, and willed his mind to unfog. "No! We can't leave! Not yet!"

"You're about to collapse!" Valerie argued and activated her jet board.

"But we can't leave them alone here!"

"You don't even know them!"

"But they came to help! They wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for me!"

'Dammit Danny, why'd you have to play that card.' Valerie sighed, weighing her choices. They had to leave or risk Reaper's identity being revealed, but then again, she had no idea if the Prince, Manson, and Tu—Foley would really take out the rest. It didn't take a genius to tell that they were all bone-deep exhausted.

Valerie couldn't see an option Danny would agree with. "Danny, I don't see any other way! We have to—"

"GO, MEN!" A voice called from above. "APPREHEND ALL THAT DARE TO ATTACK THE PRINCE AND HIS COMPANIONS!"

"Is that...the Fright Knight?" Valerie croaked out in disbelief.

Danny was dumbfounded.

"Holy crap."


Elsewhere, Phantom, Sam, and Tucker were just as stunned.

"Looks like the calvary's arrived." Sam murmured in relief, propping an elbow upon Tucker's shoulder to lean on.

"We're gonna liiivvee!" Tucker yay-ed.

Phantom shot a bear away before watching Fright Knight on his horse charge into battle. The calvary of minions trailed behind him, waving swords and crossbows. For once, he was glad to see his Godfather/baby sitter/mentor here.

The three rested as the ghost animals were quickly dispersed. And after some moments, it was finally over.


"You guys saved our butts! Thanks!" Tucker grinned at a skeleton minion, thumping the ghost's back. The force of the action however propelled the skulled head off.

"Agh!"

"Uhh..." Tucker picked the head up, wiped in with his shirt, and placied it back on the skeleton's shoulders, all the while grinning nervously.

"Phantom!"

The said ghost glanced up at the voice calling his name. Phantom waved away the bow Fright Knight gave him, and shot the guy a grateful smile. "Thanks for the help."

"Yeah, if you guys weren't here, we would've been ghost-chow." Sam commented. Tucker beside her agreed.

Fright Knight nodded. "No trouble at all. King Pariah and Queen Dora sent me to help." He ignored the questioning look sent his way, and instead gave the Prince a look over, checking for any major injuries. He tilted his head to the side when he noticed something odd. "Prince Phantom, did you get a haircut?" He asked, staring at it curiously. Was that some sort of new thing going around the human world? (The Ghost Zone tended to mimic the styles of the human world from time to time. To have ghost citizens parade around like that... Fright Knight shuddered to think.) Humans sure had the strangest of tastes...

As though Phantom seemed to know what he was thinking, he set his mouth in a firm line. Sam and Tucker looked curiously at him, before they too finally noticed the state in which his hair was in.

"...I was attacked by a bear." Came the calm reply.

Fright Knight inwardly winced as Phantom glared at anyone whom dared to laugh. "I...I see."

Tucker made a strangled sound in the back on his throat.

"...I'm gonna go over there now." Phantom pointed in a random direction, and left.

It was only when he was out of ear shot did Sam, Tucker, and Fright Knight finally guffaw.


'If they don't shut up in the next ten seconds, I'll sic Pauline on them.' Phantom thought darkly, frantically flattening his slightly charred and now way too gravity-defying white hair.

The ghost sighed, about to make his way back to the group, when he suddenly caught sight of something fluttering on a branch.

"What is this?"


"A T-shirt?" Sam repeated the next day. It was Saturday and she, Tucker, and Phantom were once again, gathered in her basement after Phantom had called them all to meet and discuss something he had found that night.

Phantom nodded as Tucker examined the tee. "Yeah. It has some splashes of fresh ecto-plasm on it, so whoever it belongs to must have been there some time last night."

"Hey, guys..." Tucker began as he studied the red loop sewn on the frayed tee. Was it just him, or did it look a bit familiar?

Sam's brow furrowed. "But we didn't see anyone there except Reaper and Huntress. No one was even screaming, 'AH! GHOST', either, like anyone else would."

"Guys?" Tucker tried again to get their attention.

Phantom crossed his arms. "Far as I know, that forest's been abandoned too. So I doubt anybody would be living there, even though there WAS a power line--

"GUYS!" Sam and Phantom jumped, and both swung around to Tucker. "Finally gotten your attention, huh?"

"Sorry, Tuck." Phantom said. "What were you gonna say?"

"Well, you see the shirt?" Tucker held the frayed shirt wide with both hands. "Doesn't it look familiar?"

Phantom shook his head in a negative, but Sam jerked up. "Hey, you're right! Isn't that Danny Fenton's shirt?"

'That guy again...' Phantom's brows creased at the mention of the boy they'd compared to Reaper that day in the library. Finally, he asked the question that was on all their minds.

"What was he doing there last night?"

Tbc.


A/N: -snickers- The story is finally coming together!

Right! So, last chapter I had a little mini-challenge as to where the term, 'Consolation Cake' came from. And we have a winner!! Congratulations otakurose16!! Yup, the consolation cake thing was from the Replacements. A lot of people said it was from the Fairy Odd Parents, which also may be true. I don't know for sure 'cause I don't have cable all the way up to Nick. ^^;;

Well, enjoy your virtual cookies, otakurose16! ^^

Oh yes, one other thing!! I was reading over the chapters, and realized I had a PLOT HOLE. It's not something really that important, but its noticeable enough. Good thing is, its easy to fix with a simple itty bitty thing.

CUE LITTLE MINI-CHALLENGE: Can anyone guess what the little plot hole was? ^^

Please read and review! I love the reviews I get!

KDS