Oh, praise the light from which all darkness hides.
A Danny Phantom FanFiction by Cordria
Chapter 1: Phone Call
Jack and Jazz
I'm not even hungry for fudge. Jack stared moodily at the plate in front of him, his chin propped up by one of his arms. With his free hand, he pushed the plate away and let his chin drop to the table. Lost in his mind, the large man let his eyes close.
In his mind he pictured Danny walking through the door, laughing at something his spooky girlfriend had said, the horrors of the past few weeks nothing but a nightmare. Dream Danny dropped his backpack on the table and rustled through the refrigerator for something edible before turning and heading out of the room to watch a movie with his friends.
Jack let himself get caught up in the daydream, a tiny smile on his face. The pure normalness of the situation made it that much more realistic. Forgetting himself for just a moment, his eyes opened. The table was empty of the overlooked backpack, the remembered sounds of the trio's favorite movie drifting into nonexistence.
It hurt all over again, his heart breaking a bit more. His fingers curled into fists, his stomach knotting itself tightly. Where are you? Why don't you come home? Damn it!
He slammed his fist into the table, making the plate of fudge bounce and rattle. With a sour sigh he rubbed his hand and glared at the plate, reveling as the festering anger burned the fog in his mind away. That lady… He lashed out again, tossing the plate of fudge against the wall, the loops and twists in his stomach untying themselves slightly. The sound of the broken plate clattering to the floor filled the old kitchen. Why did you take my son from me?
Groaning, he sank back into his chair, his head resting on his arms. He felt himself fall back into the dazed funk he had lived the past few days in, the world receding back beyond the fringes of his mind.
He let his thoughts drift. I can't just keep sitting here. I need something to do. An image of his latest invention slid into his brain, but felt no joy at the thought of finishing it. The mass of parts still lay on a table in the lab in the exact same place it had been dropped two weeks earlier when Danny had vanished. It was unheard of for an unfinished invention to collect dust in this house, but he just couldn't find the energy to get out of his chair.
First Danny, then fudge, and now ghosts. I have nothing left to lose.
He sighed dramatically, unwilling to let himself continue to sit here and brood over his son's disappearance, but unable to decide what to do once he was standing. Caught in his internal struggle, he almost missed the phone ringing.
"Phone," he mumbled, raising his head slightly off of his arms to gaze into the living room. Somebody answer it. "Phone," he said a bit louder on the next ring. "PHONE!" he shouted when it managed to ring again. I'm busy, somebody…
Jazz is at school. He listened to it ring for the fifth time, the thoughts in his brain making it hard to think. Maddie is off on some errand I think. The doctors had said she'd need some time to herself after what she'd been through. Danny is… Danny is de…
His mind came to a standstill, refusing to finish the thought that had been creeping into his head. The 'd' word was not allowed to be spoken in this house – not yet. With a moan, he yanked his thoughts back into working order. Danny is MISSING. Not de… he can't be. He can't be dea…
Finally he shook his head sharply, reaching over to grab the phone on the ninth ring. "Hello?" he muttered.
"JACK!" The voice on the phone crackled and hissed on the poor connection, but the person was unmistakable.
"Maddie?" Something is wrong…
"Jack. Get Jazz. Hurry! Get to the hospital!" Maddie sounded out of breath, ambulance sirens wailing in the background.
Jack could hear men talking, but he couldn't make out the words. Straining to hear, his fingers clenched harder around the handset, making it squeak in complaint. "What? Maddie? Are you hurt?"
Maddie had been so wrapped up inside herself since her rescue. She hadn't cried once in the past four days. Jack felt his heart stop beating for a moment as the thought coalesced in his dazed mind. She's had a breakdown…?
Jack heaved a huge sigh of relief, missing what she'd said. "What?" he asked.
He didn't hear any more of her words. Dropping the phone, forgotten, onto the floor, he raced out of the kitchen and slammed into the car. He had the car backed out of the driveway before the phone began to beep, wanting to be hung up. Almost sullenly, the phone wailed softly in the empty house, annoyed at being ignored.
Jazz sat in her third period class, drumming her fingernails slowly against the thick history book that hadn't yet been opened. Her blue eyes were fixed out the windows, distantly counting the clouds that rolled by. Somewhere in the back of her mind it was registering that the teacher was talking, explaining their homework, but Jazz just blinked and sighed. Somehow… somehow school just doesn't seem that important today.
Her gaze dropped down and study her drumming fingers. Danny would have loved to fly today, the weather's just perfect for it. A sad smile drifted onto her face, her fingers becoming blurry. Not too much wind, not too cloudy, but not too sunny. I still can't believe he learned all those aeronautical terms. She chuckled softly, closing her eyes and picturing her little brother. He rolled his eyes at her, muttering something sarcastic under his breath.
Her mind churned slowly from happy memories to the thought of what was awaiting her at home. Mom was so against me coming to school today. She's so worried about me – but she needs to be worried about herself. She can't accept the fact that Danny's dead… and she doesn't even know the whole truth.
Dropping her head onto her crossed arms, keeping her eyes closed, her brain continued to work, despite her wishes otherwise. And Dad has just dropped into nothingness. He's given up on everything. We can't even use the word 'dead' around him without him freaking out.
She brushed an errant tear out of her eye, her brain stubbornly refusing to slow its thoughts. This was one of those times that she wondered what it would be like to just turn her brain off. Danny had claimed to be able to do that: pop in a movie or turn on a game and not a thought would cross his mind for hours. Oh Danny, why did you have to die? It's not fair…
But that's you, isn't it? Always playing the hero? You gave your life to save someone you loved. Jazz's eyes flickered open. Her gaze was drawn back out the window. Should I tell them, little brother? Should they know how much of a hero their son was?
"Jazz," the boy next to her hissed, poking her shoulder with his pencil.
She glanced at him, blinking in confusion. Now that she was yanked out of her musings, she could hear the reason for his interruption. It sounded like a stampeding herd of elephants was tearing through the school. A ghost? Now? "Jazz!" a distant voice bellowed.
I know that voice… Jazz sat perfectly still, the thousands of reasons her father would be racing through the school slamming into her mind, sorting themselves into logical and ordered piles. The most likely one filtered to the front of her mind. "Mom," she whispered. Her father called her name again, the emotion in his voice clear even from this distance.
She was out of her seat, heart thumping wildly and her throat choking up. Without a second glance at the teacher, she was wrenching open the door and stumbling into the hallway. Her father – orange jumpsuit easy to spot even in the horribly painted school – was standing at the other end of the hallway, looking lost. "Dad!" she called.
Her feet refused to move as he barreled towards her. "Jazz!" he yelled, his eyes wide and his face wet with sweat as he skidded to a stop right in front of her. "We need to get to the hospital," he panted.
A collective gasp behind her made Jazz glance over her shoulder: the entire class was peeking out the door. But she didn't give them a second thought as her knees started to tremble and her stomach twisted itself violently. She stared down at her feet, refusing to let the entire school see the panic growing in her eyes. Mom… she cried in her mind. It's finally happened. She's had a breakdown. Tears welled up, threatening to send her over the edge and start bawling once more. How bad is it? It's got to be bad for Dad to be running through the school looking for me.
She didn't… she didn't kill herself… did she?
Pure terror forced her to look up. She looked straight into his sparkling eyes, the small smile tugging at his lips sending her mind into a spiral of confusion. "What's going on? she asked, her heart settling back down into a somewhat normal pattern.
"Danny," he said softly. She watched in growing bewilderment as his smile grew into a full-on grin. "We need to get to the hospital."
"Danny?" she whispered. Danny's dead… why would we… "They found him?" she asked, her heart sinking. "They found his body?" But why is he smiling?
Somebody gasped behind her again, and the outpouring of sympathy from her classmates was almost tangible. Jazz's brow furrowed as her father shook his head happily. "He's alive," the man grinned.
"What?" The word was an intake of breath, her expression full of shock and surprise.
He was nodding his head, ignoring her uncomprehending look. "We need to go!" Suddenly twisting around on his heel, he began to stride out of the school, leaving Jazz standing, confused, in the hallway.
"He's…" Her mind refused to work; for the first time, the blankness she had so sought after earlier was surrounding her brain. "H-he's…"
A hand dropped onto her shoulder. The boy from earlier – the one that had poked her with his pencil – was shaking her gently. "Your brother's alive, Jazz. Get outta here." He flashed her a smile. "I'll take care of your stuff. Go."
He gave her a small push, getting her started. Jazz stumbled forwards a few steps. Danny's… alive? The thought just wasn't meshing in her head. He was dead… and now… he's…
"He's alive," she whispered to herself, a tear trickling out of her eyes, her stomach tightening. Joy was beginning to bubble up from her toes, tickling her as it moved through her, making her whole body begin to shake. "He's alive!"
Suddenly she found herself twirling in the hallway, her arms outstretched. "HE'S ALIVE!" she screamed happily, not caring for the world who was watching her. My little brother. He's alive. She took a few steps towards the door, but stopped as a thought crossed her mind.
"Wait…" Jazz hesitated, glancing up at her father. The man had stopped at the end of the hallway, looking back towards her. "I'll meet you at the car!" she shouted, spinning around and dashing haphazardly deeper into the school, ignoring his puzzled look.
Darn it, why is the room so far away?
There! Room 17.
She didn't even bother to knock – she just slammed the door open and rushed in. Mr. Lancer was in the middle of a book on ancient poetry, the book held in one hand, gesturing with the other. He glanced up, annoyed at the interruption. Jazz didn't pay him a second thought – her eyes were searching the room.
Sitting in the back corner were the two students she was looking for. Tucker and Sam both looked up when she barged in. Sam sat up straighter, staring.
Jazz knew she had a silly smile on her face. "They found him," was all she said.
Tucker fell out of his chair in his rush to get up. "He's… he's…"
"We need to get to the hospital." Jazz said. "He's alive."
Sam, who had finally gotten to her feet, sank to the ground and burst into tears.
To be continued...