Yo! My first DP fanfic! My first multi-chapter fanfic! I did it! Cool!

This is based off of my fan comic on Deviantart by the same name. I hope this came out as well as the comic is coming along.

If you'd like to read the comic, just copy and paste this address (without the spaces)

http:// www. Deviantart .com/ deviation/ 42255315 /

I hope you like this, and please read and review (try to avoid flames, please)

The shadows are broken

A low rumble sounded through the small space, as the mechanisms holding the heavy mechanical door shut unlocked, permitting a human form to enter.

Except for her helmet and weapons bag (they made her leave those outside, just in case), her battle-suit was fully activated, black and slightly glowing red metal. Her hair was as long as it was 13 years ago, still held back from her face with a yellow bandanna.

Valerie Gray stood in the doorway, feeling more then hearing the pneumatic hiss of the door closing firmly behind her. It made her nervous that she couldn't just have it left open in case she needed to flee (not that she would), but then HE might escape (not that he could either). They'd assured her his restraints more or less paralyzed his powers, reducing the enormous strength inherent to his kind to the point he was barley able to stand.

The gloom of the room was broken only by a few dim lights built into the ceiling, illuminating padded walls and the single figure kneeling in the center of the room.

Eyes closed and head bowed, he looked a bit as if he was praying. But of course, Valerie knew, that wasn't especially likely.

Valerie hadn't seen him in 11 years, almost no one had, and she only caught a quick glimpse of his new form before he was finally captured back then. So his appearance might as well have changed gradually like a human's although he probably was exactly the same as on that final day of his freedom.

Valerie cleared her throat to catch his attention. His eyes immediately snapped open and he whipped his head up to look directly at her. The very first thing Valerie could see of him was those eyes. Although still a glowing acid green in basic color, they seemed to turn yellowy, almost orange, where the frail light hit them, the only color in otherwise obsidian dark eyes, dark purple-grey shadows tinting the skin around them as well. Although she could still see how his hair fell into his face the same, it's much longer now, falling a little past his shoulders in the spiky tufts indicating lack of care the last two inches fringed in crimson red. Shoulders have broadened and his childish skinniness has become the form of a lanky adult.

The sides of his HAZMAT had been slit open vertically for a few inches along the sides of his stomach, lime green bandages showing beneath, matching the random belts and chains adorning his legs and arms. And defiantly important was the white straps crisscrossing his chest, over crossed arms, holding him as if in a straitjacket. Essentially what the straps are, a straitjacket for a Ghost.

Phantom cocked his head to the side slightly, staring at her with his new (to her) eyes. She stared back at him, despite the chills that eerie gaze sent through her.

"Huh." His voice was deeper then she ever expected and in the flat air of the room, the echo of it rebounded on itself.

"Are you… here to forgive me and get me out or…" his neutral expression changed to one of solemn anxiety. "Did you come to rip me apart in vengeance?"

Oh, how she wished. But the GIW would be rather pissed if she took out their prize catch. Valerie decided not to immediately respond, and raised her left arm, light from the reinforced window built into the door catching the alloys. Phantom saw her actions and interpreted them as a sign of impending doom for him, drawing his shoulders up about his neck and shifting nervously. Valerie almost wanted to smile when she saw this, old animosity fueling the triumphant feel coming from knowledge that he was afraid of her.

Valerie held this tension for a moment before scowling a little and saying

"None of the above ghost. Your lucky day"

The pink whirls of energy surrounded her, ecto-nanotechnology reducing the battle suit to nothingness until she needed it again.

Phantom blinked in shock and raised his head again, evidentially surprised that she would offer a gesture of a truce such as this; they were both powerless now. No one had the advantage. Well no, Valerie had free hands, while Phantom's were bound, but the basic principle was fulfilled.

Valerie attempted to brush some non-existent dirt off her shirt and cut right to the chase of her visit. She'd never been especially patient and today was certainly not any exception.

"I have some questions Ghost." She said, "and my employer informed me you have the answers I need. Which means I require you to be in one piece, at least to start with."

Phantom stared up at her from his spot kneeling on the floor, face more or less emotionless for a moment, before his face cracked into a gigantic grin.

"Well, That's great! In that case, I'm really, really glad to see you!!!"

Valerie almost fell over in shock


Whatever she was expecting, it hadn't been for him to start acting as if her coming was the greatest thing ever to happen. The ghost immediately began to blabber on a bit, a cheerful tune seeping into his voice.

"I mean, it's not like there are a ton of people to talk to around here and I can't exactly go looking for someone to have a conversation with…" he sort of shrugged with his arms, indicating the straps that bound them.

"So, really, I'd be happy to see just about anyone, but I'm real glad it's friend" he gave a happy little grin, cocking his head again.

Now Valerie knew inside that he's just playing mind games, tricking her, but, of course, her temper made her fall, hook, line and sinker.

She slapped a hand to her forehead in exasperation. "'Friend'? What the hell are you talking about?!"

Phantom's expression turned almost nostalgic as he gazed ahead

"You know, you're my friend, and I'm yours. We used to play a game together all the time years ago. You made it up and started it and we'd play. But I was the only one you ever played with…"

Valerie felt herself tense in anger at the 'concerned' tone his voice took at this last sentence. He acted like it wasn't any of his fault she'd lost her popularity. Even if they hadn't been true friends, Phantom's false pity was ridiculous.

Phantom continued to speak, unaware of Valerie's irritation.

"I was glad when you started hanging out with other people too though. Like that Star girl" Valerie suddenly knew why she didn't like this new turn. If he was going to mention people she'd been friends with, then… he'd mention…

Phantom's obliviousness continued as he listed more people

"Or Sam and Tuck- OOF!"

Valerie's foot connected with his right cheek before he could finish, sending the spook flying back and hitting the floor on his side, hard. He lay there for a moment, clearly stunned before lifting his head to peer at her through his hair.

"Uhhh… w-…what did you do that for?" he muttered in a wounded tone. He struggled to get himself into a position in which he could stand up without his hands as Valerie watched, hands clenched into fists.

"Don't you dare…" she said quietly, anger dripping from every syllable "speak of things in which you had no involvement and act like you were really part of it."

She didn't want this ghost mentioning him. It was an old wound to her heart and she couldn't bear to hear anything about him from the lips of one of these monsters, a ghost, Phantom most of all.

Phantom finally managed to get back onto his knees, his back to her, when her words reached him. The white haired man paused for a moment but for repeating her words.

"No involvement?" his voice was incredulous, but at the same time, Valerie could have sworn she could actually here the smirk hidden in it.

"Heh" Phantom chuckled as he climbed to his feet. "Heh. Hehheh. Heh, ha. Haha. HA HA!" the ghost burst into laughter as he turned to face her, seemingly in outright hysterics.

Valerie stared at him as if he was crazy. Which, she reminded herself, he technically was. After a few moments more, the ghost's peals of laughter died down to a chuckle and he turned his head to the side to give her an odd grin.

"Heh. Right…" he sniggered a bit more "no involvement. Sooo, you said you wanted to ask me something?

Valerie blinked in surprise. "Uh…yes…yeah, I did."

She'd actually forgotten for a moment that was what she'd came here for. Valerie paused, carefully wording together her next words. How to ask? She could be roundabout and edge him into the subject, but given Phantom's tendency to mess with people's heads, it'd be easy for him to sidetrack her no doubt. Better to be blunt and to-the-point.

"You…" she addressed the ghost standing before her, a patient smile on his face "did you ever hear… of a ghost named Clockwork?"

The change that came over Phantom's face was almost fascinating to watch, his eyes going wide as possible; looking as if she'd suddenly punched him. Then his face twisted even more, an expression of something Valerie just couldn't explain. It was outright horror, or maybe anguish, but whatever it was, it was tinted with some ghostliness that made his face seem almost grotesque.

"C-Clockwork?" Phantom rasped, his voice suddenly dry and choked sounding. Valerie crossed her arms and waited for the ghost to say more. If that expression didn't say 'guilty', she didn't know what did.

Phantom drew his shoulders once more up around his ears, staring at Valerie's feet as he stuttered, obviously without any order to his thoughts.

"Ah…. I-I…Ca-…I don't…"

Valerie watched him for a moment when an idea struck her. He apparently didn't want to say too much. So she'd just have to give him some incentive. With this thought, Valerie turned on her heels and started towards the exit.

"Hmph" she grumbled, just loud enough for Phantom to hear (although with ghost hearing, who knew what he could or couldn't notice), "fine, don't answer. I'll just go. See you never." She grimaced (although he couldn't see it) before muttering under her breath "what a waste of my time"

Phantom had snapped to attention the moment she showed any signs of leaving.

"Ah! W-wait!! H-hey, don't leave!!!" he yelped, an almost hysterical note creeping into his voice. Valerie stopped, standing not an inch in front of the door. Phantom took only a few seconds to compose himself somewhat before attempting to ask a question of his own, still stammering slightly.

"Ah…where did you hear that name? Clock- um…" phantom stopped halfway through the name as if unable to continue.

Valerie answered without turning around. "Not that I pay attention or anything… but a few of my 'targets' have been muttering that name."

"Wha…" Phantom sounded bewildered and began to mutter quietly to himself, still unable to completely say this 'Clockwork's name. Valerie managed to pick out the phrase "why would a random ghost be talking about Clock-… that guy?

Valerie turned to glare triumphantly at Phantom, "HA! So you DO know something!!"

Phantom looked stricken, but before he could protest, Valerie closed the space between them and grabbed the front of Phantom's HAZMAT.

"Spill it ghost." She growled directly to his face.

"Uh…He's…well…um" Phantom smiled sheepishly at her "what do you want me to say?"

Valerie could feel a vein pulsing on her forehead, "eh?'

"Clo- that guy is different things to different people." Phantom said, stepping back as Valerie released him from her grip "a rescuer. An imprisoner. An employer…"

"Right…" Valerie raised an eyebrow at him. She swore he trying to be difficult. "So, what is he for you?"

"For… me?" a frown appeared on Phantoms face as he lifted his head to look directly up at the ceiling. "All of that… my teacher. My surrogate parent…" he trailed off and an even more apprehensive look appeared in his face.

"And if need ever be, my executioner."

The words fell from his mouth as if they weighed a thousand tons.

Valerie very much wished he'd start saying some stupid banter or something instead of this completely uninformative crap he was now spouting with such melodrama. And she expressed such a wish by calmly taking off her boot and chucking it directly at Phantom's head.

It hit the same spot she'd kicked him earlier.

"YOU'RE A PAIN IN THE BUTT, YOU KNOW THAT?" Valerie yelled, angrily shaking her fist at him.

"I mean, don't you ever talk in actual, connected paragraphs instead of just random fragment? AAARRRGGHH!"

Phantom just swayed on the spot a bit, looking dazed by his second head injury in under half an hour.

Valerie turned around to leave (for real this time) and yanked open the door that the GIW had unlocked seconds ahead of time since they'd been watching everything through the security cameras.

Valerie made a distinct point to slam the door behind her.

Danny flinched at the loud noise the door sent to his over-sensitive eardrums. His already increased senses were tenfold what they had been when he was 15, and while the padded cell he spent every moment of his life in normally didn't cause problems, lack of exposure to anything seemed to have lowered his comfort levels. He shuddered to think of what the day sun would be like to his twilight adjusted eyes.

Danny noticed something lying on the ground halfway between the door and himself. Upon a few seconds further examination, it proved to be Valerie's boot. Which made sense, seeing as she had thrown it at him and hadn't stopped to put it back on.

The door creaked open again and Valerie gazed sullenly at Danny through the opening. She did this for barely a second before quickly darting in, snatching her AWOL boot and departing again. This time she didn't bother to slam the door (much to Danny's relief)

The hybrid sighed almost half-heartedly.

"Ah, well…" he muttered, pouting a little "maybe I was just hallucinating again."

He sat down casually as he could and continued to voice his thoughts

"All she did was kick me and throw a boot at me. The Valerie I knew probably wouldn't have done any less then rip me apart molecule by molecule or something like that…"

He paused for a moment before admitting to the empty room, "still wouldn't mind seeing her again though, illusion or not…"

The empty room had no answer to this. Maybe it hadn't seen Valerie and agreed he was hallucinating.

About then, the nerves on Danny's abused cranium began to throb and sting from Valerie's 'eloquent responses' to his comments. Danny gritted his teeth and wished very badly he could rub his scalp.

"Oooooww… my head hurts… awfully solid hallucination, that was…"

Strait jackets were annoying, he decided.

Valerie walked over to where she'd laid her back weapon bag against a nearby wall. To either side of her, the brightly lit hallway stretched on, the walls dotted with other containment cells and the occasional machinery/ computer console. Every thing was either chrome, iron-grey, off white or a pale glowing blue.

As Valerie lifted her weapons bag up from the floor, she was startled by a sudden voice behind her.

"Why did you deactivate your battle suit Miss Gray?"

Valerie jumped and turned her head to see a pair of wide shouldered men with shaved heads, dressed in identical white suits with black HAZMAT gloves, earpiece communicators and sunglasses. The GIW, in other words, the Guys In White. The two agents standing behind her seemed to be the same originally assigned to capture Phantom, although given that pretty much all the agents were nearly identical, they might just as well not be.

Valerie pulled her weapons bag on with a projected casualty. "Phantom was nervous for as long as I was wearing it. He only relaxed enough to speak once he felt I was unarmed."

Valerie ginned slyly at the GIW agents after saying this.

"And why should it matter? Afraid he'd attack me or escape? Didn't you guys inform me before I entered the containment cell that his restraints were modified to drain him and reduce his powers so much he can barely stand?"

She was right of course. There was no reason for the GIW to get upset if what they'd told her was true. The agents in question simply ignored this logic however, and decided to change the subject.

"Did you get the information you wanted?" one of the agents asked

Valerie felt a vein pulse in her forehead. These guys went out of their way to annoy her it seemed, even more so then Phantom did.

"Why do you just change the subject whenever I start to prove my point?"

"Did you get the information?" the second agent asked. Valerie suppressed a groan of frustration.

"No. He started freaking out after I questioned him about the name 'Clockwork' and I couldn't get any real facts from him after that."

"Ah! So you found another one of his triggers?"

Valerie yelped and jumped, turning to look towards the source of the voice.

"What's with the sneaking up behind people in this place…. huh?" Valerie trailed off as she blinked in recognition. "You're-"

"Long time, no see, Valerie" said the Asian man standing behind her, sporting a pair of glasses and a lab coat over slacks, a dress short and a tie. "Hey guys," he addressed the GIW agents "would you mind if I accompanied our guest to the exit while asking her some questions?"

"Permission granted" an agent replied. Both then turned on their heels and stomped off, leaving Valerie and Kwan behind. Valerie immediately turned as well and began to walk to the lobby of the facility, Kwan following after.

"So…" Valerie peered curiously at Kwan "what are you doing here?"

Kwan grinned, "Well, for starters, I work here! I'm a psychologist specializing in ecto-biology."

Valerie paused for a moment before asking "ok… so you're a ghost shrink?"

He laughed "eh, sure, why not?"

By now they had reached the lobby, which looked rather like a waiting room at a doctor's office, what with the rows of visitor's chairs on one wall, a receptionist's booth and a potted plant (plastic or real, they didn't know). All you needed to complete the illusion was some old magazines and grumpy sick people.

Valerie and Kwan stopped just before the double doors leading out. Valerie noted the ghost detector/ghost shield planted over the top of the doorframe.

"In any case," Kwan said, "how did phantom react to your presence? After deactivating the suit but before he 'freaked out' as you put it?"

"Oh, um…" Valerie paused, knowing what she was about to say sounded rather… unusual. "He acted… actually… Happy. Like he was glad I came."

Kwan stared at her in shock "he did!?" the ecto-psychologist turned away from Valerie, mumbling to himself, "bizarre… that makes two…"

"I get how it's bizarre, but what do you mean by 'two'?" Valerie said to Kwan's back. He answered her without turning around

"Phantom normally acts…almost feral. When he responds at all, anyway. Most of the time he just seems to be in a bit of a stupor."

Kwan looked meaningfully back at Valerie "but there are now two people he towards whom he acts human-like and seems happy to see. They are you… and me."

Valerie blinked in confusion. While she could tell this fascinated Kwan as a scientist who studied the mentality of ghosts, and it was rather odd, it didn't seem like much of a big deal to her. "Ooookay… so what does that mean?"

Kwan grinned apologetically and shrugged. "No clue, other then that you and I are the only ones who can talk to Phantom, and then, only for a little while."

"Why's that?" Valerie decided to sit down on one of the chairs lining the walls, he heavy weapons bag pulling at her shoulders without the battle-suit accompanying it.

"He freaks. Hears the wrong word and he goes into hysterics. Sometimes the word, his 'trigger', is simple and common (I think the term 'left arm' set him off once), and sometimes it isn't. There were a couple of times when he actually had some hallucination induced by his 'trigger'."

Valerie's mind turned this over for a moment before the word's impact hit. She jolted straight up in her chair.

"Wait, wait, wait. He's HALLUCINATED?!"

"The GIW agents seriously didn't tell you anything about his mental state at all?" Kwan's troubled expression did nothing to make Valerie feel better.

Ignorance is bliss, Valerie she thought

"What's to know?" she asked

So much for ignorance.

"Phantom has been declared by myself and others… as having no less then two psychological disorders, possibly more." Kwan looked more serious then Valerie had ever seen him before.

"He has been diagnosed with chronic insomnia, hysteria, oneirophrenia and possibly some variant of schizophrenia."

Valerie understood what he was saying

Phantom was insane.

Danny Phantom felt the clearness he'd felt when Valerie (? Was it her? For real?) had come start to fade. The sense of unreality he'd spent years at a time in returned and he felt each muscle slacken, his brain unable to tell whether his muscles were responding to it's signals or not. He stared dully across the room, and waited. Waited. Waited

He couldn't remember what he was waiting for.

I know there was a lot of dialogue there, but… I really love writing conversations. The next chapter ought to have more action in it. By the way, in case it isn't too clear, it's been 13 years since urban jungle and 11 years that Danny's been in captivity.

Please, reviews are seriously appreciated. Thanks.