Synopsis: Halloween has rolled around again and Danny lends a hand to a lost little girl…not a normal night and not a normal little girl!
Disclaimer: This is Butch Hartman's except for my characters and my story…dig?
"Tucker, toss me that roll of crepe paper?" Sam asked from the top of the stepladder she stood on.
"Sure thing Sam! Catch!" Tucker tossed a roll of black crepe paper to her, hitting her on the head and unrolling it's way back to the floor.
She gave him a painful look.
"Remind me again why we're doing this?"
"Because it's part of our Civics Class project. We got stuck decorating the gym at the elementary school for their Halloween Party tonight!" Tucker groaned.
"Yeah, and you guys better do a good job! I can't afford to flunk this class!" Dash Baxter called out from the doorway where he stood, eating a sandwich.
"It wouldn't hurt you to help us out!" Sam said in a huff as she descended the ladder. "Where's Danny with that stuff?"
Danny entered the room with a large box full of decorations, only to be tripped by Dash's foot being stuck out intentionally. The contents of the box spilled over the gym floor along with Danny.
"Knock it off Dash! You can be so crass!" Sam said as she and Tucker helped Danny gather up the strewn objects.
"Stupid holiday!" Danny grumbled as he dragged the box over to an empty table away from Dash's snickering. "You can have my share of it!"
"What's got you in such an mood?
"Aw, it's just sometimes things get to me I guess," Danny sighed as he rummaged through the box for some decorations to put on the food tables. "It's almost like Santa at Christmas! People forget what Christmas is really about. Same with Halloween."
"Ah, Christmas! Presents and mistletoe! Two of my favorite traditions!" Tucker said fondly, patting a fake cat.
"It's just that Halloween is so fake!" Danny said painfully as he opened up a honeycomb paper ghost and set it down on the table. "Like that paper ghost. Ghosts don't look like that, well none of the ghosts we know. It's all so commercial! I wanna do something positive with my ghost powers, not be a stereotype."
Sam smiled and put a comforting hand on his sloping shoulder.
"Danny, you are! You've saved the town countless times. I don't know where we'd be without you."
Danny smiled with a soft rosy blush coming to his cheeks.
"Hey I'm sure there are real witches out there who feel the same way dude! Poster children for the holiday!" Tucker said with a smile, but making Danny frown again. Sam left Danny's side and went to Tucker and picked up a bowl of candy on the table and dumped it over his head.
"What did you do that for?" Tucker demanded.
"We are supposed to be supporting Danny, not tearing him down! Honestly Tucker, you can be so insensitive at times!"
"I didn't mean it! Sheesh, Goths sure get touchy around Halloween!" Tucker grumbled as he bent down to clean up the candy mess as Dash came over and kicked the half full bowl Tucker had filled, spilling the candy all over the gym floor again.
"Geeze Dash! Why'd you do that?" Tucker whined. Dash bent down and picked the techno-geek up by the back of his shirt and said in a nasty voice,
"Because I can, looser!"
In one swift move, Dash swung Tucker over to the large metal tub filled with water and apples for the apple bobbing contest and shoved Tucker in head first several times before dumping the soaking wet geek onto the gym floor.
"I'm going to report you to Mr. Lancer and when I do…" Sam went off in a tirade as Danny quietly slipped under the tablecloth-draped table and changed to Danny Phantom. Becoming invisible, he silently flew above the others and found his target.
A large pumpkin piñata floated from a thin rope just out of the reach of the small children that would be at the party later. Smiling a rather wicked smile, Danny let a small blast of Ecto-Energy fly from his forefinger and burn the rope.
The piñata fell on top of Dash and exploded in a colorful shower of candy as Danny flew to a corner of the room and picked up a piñata stick wound with orange and black ribbons. He swiftly flew to Dash and put it in his hands as a short, stocky woman entered the room.
"Principal Jenkins! Uh, nice to see you!" Sam said uneasily as the stern looking woman entered the room as Danny silently flew back under the table and transformed back to his human self.
"I wish I could say the same to Mr. Baxter here! Dash! What have you to say for yourself?"
"Uh…I didn't do it! It just happened?" Dash said in a squeaky voice. He took a step toward the principal, but slipped on the candy and fell flat on his face.
Tucker stepped over and wrung his red beret out over Dash's head.
"I don't bob for apples, dude. Now chocolate, yes!"
Danny crawled out from under the table, looking rather sheepish.
"Still the shy one, aye Danny?" Principal Jenkins smiled. "Well, Mr. Baxter lucky for you I have another piñata in my office. If you're quick you can finish decorating the gym in time for the children's party."
"Me? What about them?" Dash demanded, pointing at the trio.
"Tucker, Sam and Danny have done their fair share. I've been watching you on and off and I'm ashamed of you Dash. I always thought better of you. Now, get down to my office and get this mess cleaned up."
"Uh, Principal Jenkins? We'll stay and help." Danny offered, much to Sam and Tucker's shock.
"Why that's very kind of you Danny! You could learn a lot from Danny, Mr. Baxter. Now come along and lets get this job finished." She said shooing Dash away, but not before giving Danny an affectionate pat on the cheek.
"What was that all about? We could have gotten out of this!" Tucker said in disbelief, putting his damp beret back on his head.
"Well, it was my fault. Sometimes I gotta find a balance between my good and evil sides." Danny smiled with a shrug.
"Common, let's get this job finished so we can get to the Freak and Shriek Ball that The Skulk and Lurk Bookstore is putting on!" Sam smiled with anticipation.
"That's all we've heard for the last month! This better be a good party Sam and not one of your Goth poetry slams." Tucker warned.
Sam smiled as she dug through the box of decorations.
"Oh, it's gonna be! I got an advance copy of Zombies Of The Ghost World to show at the party." She said in a very off-handed manner.
"Whoa! That movie isn't due out on DVD until January! How did you score a copy?" Tucker asked in awe.
Danny went over to Tucker and draped an arm around his wet shoulders.
"Tuck, it's Halloween. Sam is the Goth Queen, don't ask, just be grateful you're invited."
"I hope this party's worth getting in this outfit for!" Tucker sighed as he walked down the sidewalk with Sam and Danny.
The sun had just barely set and already the streets of Amity Park were filled with the sounds of childish delight as several masked and costumed tikes ran past the trio as they walked down a busy sidewalk on their way to the party.
"You're fantastic Tucker!" Sam said with approval of Tuckers ghoulish looking undertaker outfit complete with musty, tattered overcoat and silk top hat that had seen better days.
"Yeah, it's not like you can go as a bunny rabbit, again!" Danny snickered.
"Hey! I was five and that was my grandma's idea!" Tucker protested, poking Danny with his walking stick. "At least I'm not dressed in a "couples" costume!"
"It was my mom's fault! She ordered the wrong costume! I told her Vampire and she got this, "Prince of the Night" thing!" Danny explained how he's asked his mother to order his costume at the same costume shop Sam had gotten hers from. Being a mom, Maddie Fenton went into excruciating detail about the party and that Danny was going with Sam. The shop owner knew Sam and figured that the two were going as a date and changed the order to make Danny's costume the male complement of Sam's.
Maddie was delighted with the idea, but kept it a secret until Sam came over to walk to the party with Danny.
"Well, there's nothing we can do about it now, so I guess we'll just have to muddle through the party as best we can," Sam said, but added with a smile. "But you do look great Danny. Darkness becomes you."
"Uh, thanks I think." Danny stammered, pulling at the high starch collar of his shirt. The purple and black vest was of a spider web motif that matched Sam's gown. His long duster coat was of black velvet as was her cape. Danny went to run his gloved hand through his hair, but his fingers once again bumped into the dark metal crown on his head fashioned in the form of bat silhouettes.
"Maybe you two will win a prize for best couple." Tucker said only to have the pair turn on him and squeak in unison.
"We're not a couple!"
A wisp of blue mist escaped from Danny's mouth and he shivered momentarily before stopping at the corner of the street that met a four-way intersection in a residential neighborhood made up of mostly Victorian homes.
A happy group of children passed them by and crossed the street, as Danny stood frozen in his tracks.
"Danny, what is it?' Sam asked reaching out to him. Danny put up a hand to stop her.
"Something, someone is here, but not like any ghost I've met before."
Danny intoned in an almost far away voice that brought looks of concern to his friend's faces. Looking about, he noticed a life size scarecrow in the yard in back of them. He moved quickly behind it and with a quick flash of light, changed to Danny Phantom and flew back to the corner.
"Danny, do the invisible thing. Too many kids around!" Tucker warned as another group of costumed kiddies approached.
"No need. At least not tonight!" Danny smiled as he quickly landed and stood with Sam and Tucker as the children came near.
"Cool Danny Phantom costume!" One of the little children said with glee as the others agreed.
"Thanks." Danny smiled as they passed on by.
"True, it's not a bad likeness, but I prefer the original Danny Phantom." Sam teased as another wisp of blue escaped Danny's lips.
Danny looked around and found what he was searching for sitting on the bus stop bench a few feet from them.
A small girl about ten years old was seated on the bench alone. She gave off a pale blue aura that matched her skin tone.
"She's here." Danny said softly.
"Who? I don't see anyone." Tucker asked, giving his friend a puzzled look.
"Right there, on the bench. The little girl." Danny said in the same enchanted far away voice he's spoken in earlier.
"Danny, we can't see her. I wonder why? We've seen other ghosts." Sam answered him with bewilderment as she and Tucker watched Danny approach the girl.
"Hi. I'm Danny. Mind if I sit?" He asked with a charming smile.
The little girl looked up at him with blue eyes that glowed the same as his green ones.
"My name is Rose. Have you come to help me? Please say you have. I've been here so long. I'll miss the party." The girl's voice was sweet and hopeful.
Danny sat down and noticed her clothing. She was wearing a Halloween costume, but not like the ones the other children wore. Hers was from a bygone era. Her witch costume was black and orange and made of satin and fine laces with button up leather boots. She looked like a child from the early 20th Century with her light brown hair in perfect ringlets and a large black and orange bow attached to the back of her head and back of her costume dress.
"Where are you trying to get to?" Danny inquired.
Rose pointed to the blue and brown Victorian across the street.
"That's my home. I'm missing my own Halloween Party because I can't cross the street." She said with a choke in her voice. Danny took her hand and felt something different at that moment. This wasn't a ghost like the ones he knew from the Ghost Zone. This was the spirit of a human who was trapped.
"Why can't you just cross the street?" Danny probed. Rose grabbed his arm and held tightly.
"The truck. It always gets me! Every time I try to cross the street…please help me!"
"Danny, what's going on?" Sam asked as she took a step closer.
Danny put a protective arm around the little ghost girl and looked over his shoulder to Sam.
"No. Let me handle this, ok?"
"Ok Dude, do your thing." Tucker said, taking Sam by the arm and leading her away from the bench.
"We can help Tucker." Sam insisted, only to have Tucker hold her arm firmly.
"Sam, sometimes it best to let Danny handle things his way."
"Rose, how long have you been trying to get home?" Danny asked, pulling away from her slightly so he could see her face.
"I, I don't know. I was done Trick or Treating and was going to cross the street…. no, I can't!" She jumped up from the bench, clutching her sack of candy close to her.
"Please Rose, let me try to help. I'm a ghost too, like you."
Rose turned, wiping a tear from her eye with the sleeve of her dress.
"Y, You are?"
"Yeah, it's kind of a long story, but I'm half ghost and half human and maybe I can help you get across the street and finally home. Would you like me to try?" He offered, holding out his white-gloved hand.
"Yes! Oh yes Danny! Please help me!" She said with hope as she took his hand and walked with him to the curb.
The traffic was non-existent. Even the trick or treaters had retreated from the street.
"Let's go then." Danny smiled down at her with assurance as she hesitated to take the first step off the curb, but a firm, friendly squeeze of his hand seemed to feed courage into the lost little spirit. Danny wanted to run across the street, but he knew that would scare her. Something happened here a long time ago that has kept her from going home.
"I think I'm going to make it this time!" Rose's hopeful voice said as they neared the center of the street. The glow of the streetlights faded and the sound of an old truck came upon them quickly. Rose screamed as Danny scooped her up in his arms in a flash and spun around as the old delivery truck just barely missed them!
Danny dropped to the street and rolled, still clutching Rose in his arms. He stopped when he felt a cold stone in his back. Looking over his shoulder, he found himself lying next to the curbing on the other side of the street. Letting go of Rose, he got to his feet and stepped onto the safety of the sidewalk in front of the house.
"Oh Danny, this is it!!! I'm finally home!!!" Rose squealed with delight.
"I guess so. I'm glad I could help you." Danny smiled as the little girl have him a hug and ran up the walkway as the front door opened and a pool of blue light poured out onto the porch. A ghostly couple stepped out and threw their arms open and scooped the girl up. Rose hugged the couple and turned and waved to Danny who waved back.
"Thank you for brining our little girl home safely." The figure of the man said warmly.
"Yes, thank you. We can never repay your kindness this night." The woman added.
"No need. It's what I do. Bye Rose." Danny smiled, holding back an emotional tear as he waved.
"Good-bye Danny! Thank you again!"
The three ghosts went back into the house and the doors shut and the lights in the house returned to normal.
Danny brushed himself off from the dry leaves that stuck to his black suit from his roll in the street when he felt something fall on his head. It was an old newspaper clipping…
"…. So, in 1917, Rose Gilmore was hit by a delivery truck on her way home on Halloween Night."
"And the poor little kid's been stuck on that corner for over 80 years!" Tucker said with amazement later that evening at the party.
"I'm proud of you, Danny. It's what you said you wanted to do with your powers all along. Help ghosts, not just fight them." Sam said with a warm smile as he handed him a cup of punch. "I wish we could have seen her."
"She was pretty, like a china doll." Danny said reflectively as he leaned against the tall window in the dining room of the house that the party was being held at.
"Hey Sam! Let's get the movie started!" A fellow Goth called out from the doorway.
"Be right there!" She said. She turned to Danny and put a hand on his forearm. "You coming?"
Danny smiled back at her.
"In a few. I just kinda wanna be alone right now." He begged off as Sam and Tucker left him alone to stare at the full moon.
He thought about the little girl. If she was stuck, how many others might be out there in need of his help? It was much more gratifying than shoving the Box Ghost into the Fenton Thermos for sure. Sighing, he turned and headed out of the room, but stopped at the doorway and looked out the window, almost in hope of seeing Rose, but knowing he never would again.
But, he was fine with that. Another door had opened for him, another way to use his powers for good.
Another chance for Danny Phantom to show the world that he was not and would not be a stereotypical ghost!