Disclaimer: If I owned this, do you trulyy think I'd be writing FANfiction?
Author: Summing up the Stars
Authors Note: Inspired by when Dan hesistated in the flashback. (In TUE, when Danny was cowering)
Lightning flashed overhead as rain whipped all around them. None of the three noticed, nor would they have cared, as one final haunting shriek of green energy tore across the deserted park.
There was the sound of bodies hitting the ground………..then silence.
"DANNY!" Jazz, Tucker, and Sam all yelled, jumping out of their various hiding places at a full run towards the prone figure lying dazed and in pain, face down on the hard wet ground.
They skidded to a halt next to him, but before anyone could even utter a single word, a pain filled groan drew their unwilling attention.
Lying just a few meters away was Dan Phantom, Danny's evil, alternate future, self. The ghost had broken free from the Fenton thermos and had come after his younger counterpart.
Danny seemed to have heard the noise as well, as he was vailently trying to raise himself, but was unable.
They shared a brief look before pulling out the few ecto-weapons they had left, as they got ready to end the existance of the most evil ghost in the world.
Weapons level, they faintly registering a raspy yell of "NO!" behind them as they fired; and watched in horror as Danny suddenly appeared between Dan and all the deadly energy barreling down on it's collision course.
Green eyes widened as an agonized gasp was pulled from already bloody lips; before the form vanished.
Spinning around, while trying to calm their accelerated heartrate, they locked gazes with the injured halfling. He held their eyes briefly before shifting his gaze beyond them.
"Dan," Danny adressed the older ghost, his name falling from the halflings lips like a sigh.
With agonizing slowness Danny brought one arm from beneath his sprawled form and placed it ahead of him, wincing as his other arm protested as it received the same treatment.
Disregarding the green ectoplasm diluting in the rain on and all around him, he gathered his waning strength and pulled, slowly moving his broken body along the ground.
"Heh." Dan breathed, an almost smile playing at his mouth. "You really shouldn't be moving . I tore through you with that last hit, your spine is damaged, it wont be attached if you keep going."
"Danny…." Sam started softly, but trailed off, he wasn't listening anyway.
Slowly and painstakingly Danny dragged himself closer. "Dan…." He rasped out, coughing on his own ectoplasm.
"What are you doing, you idiot! Didn't you hear me?! Why do you keep saying my name?!!" Dan demanded, red eyes widening as he stared at the battered figure continuing to slowly make his was towards him. All the while lying on his back in his own ectoplasm, he was unable to do anything about it, a numbness creeping over him.
"You can't move either, right? Or at least not very well..some injury as me actually…except I was 'lucky' enough to land on my face." Danny paused in his torturous journey, resting his head on the ground, just a few feet from Dan's fallen form. "Heh. A 'fortune' in a series of misfortunes."
Reverting back to his human form, the green that had covered him and tainted his path and resting place immediately turned red.
"Dan…" Danny started again. He closed his eyes as a soft smile graced his bloody features. "I'm so happy you kept my name."
All eyes stared at him incredulously.
Danny opened his eyes again and looked directly into Dan's. He was dizzy from blood loss, but continued his address. "I finally understand……This is intirely my fault…"
"Danny, you can't blame yourself. You went back and changed! That future never happened! You never cheated on that test!" Sam stated alarmed and worried, while Jazz and Tucker nodded in frantic agreement.
"THIS ISN'T ABOUT THE FUCKING TEST!!!" Danny yelled angerly, before dissolving into a painful coughing fit.
"Yeah….I changed it. But once again I messed up." Danny's breathing was a straining weeze by this time.
Danny slowly forced his unwilling arm to move as he reached towards Dan. "All those years must have been hard on you,..all alone…and then I come back around and fuck it all up for you again. I change it selfishly and you lose all you had. Your 'life', your purpose. And by doing that I stole your existance."
The storm eased it's symphony and the rain slowed to a stop, but Danny didn't even seem to notice as he continued, his strength giving out and his arm falling to the cold ground.
"I'm so sorry Dan. So, so sorry. I finally understand. To have the only one you ever loved, the only one you ever wanted to protect, wanting nothing to do with you….hoping that you would just disappear, just fade away……How much that had to have hurt. It's all my fault! I never stopped to consider your feelings! I never stopped to consider you! The concern, your comfort when I lost them…all of it you gave me, and it all had a piece of your heart in it, and I just threw it on the ground and stomped on it! All I ever did was blame you for my own inadequacies!!" Danny's voice was full of self-loathing, and he closed his eyes briefly in disgust of his own actions towards the spirit, before continuing. "But you still loved me; and all you knew was that I was in pain, and you didn't want that. So when I had us seperated, you did the only thing you could do….Even if it meant your own suffering, you loved me, so you killed me and ended my misery."
Danny tensed as pain racked his body, before tilting his head upwards.
Crimson red eyes met ice blue.
"But the pain you felt was unbearable, so to keep moving, to keep existing you did your best to convince yourself you hated me and everything that reminded you of me….." Danny let out a shuddering breath as pain laced through his frame.
"But, that was the problem wasn't it? EVERYTHING reminded you of me. So you wanted it all to turn into nothing; and when it was nothing, maybe the pain would end…So you destroyed as much as you could. More and more, and yet you still saw me. You still loved me. And the pain was still there." Danny finished, crystaline anguish falling from his eyes.
A lone silvery tear fell from crimson eyes as Dan stared at his young other. "……I never believe anyone would cry for me."
Danny gave him a small watery smile.
"I will." He replied as he gathered what little strength he had regained for one last attempt….
Dan watched as the shaky arm raised, as Danny reached toward him, and strained to move his own. Slowly he reached toward Danny.
Both of them had their arms fully streached towards one another, but were unable to close that last little bit of space.
So close, but so far…..
Dan hissed in agony, as he forced himself to move closer as Danny felt his strength give way.
Danny was expecting his hand to meet the unforgiving ground one final time, when something caught it. Moving his head as much as he could, when in reality it was but a fraction of an inch, he saw a black gloved hand wrapped aound his.
Giving a soft smile Danny squeezed it with as much strength he could muster, and even though it was little to none, Dan felt it and squeezed back.
"I love you so, so much." Dan said softly, crimson eyes half lidded and fading.
"I'll never leave you again." Danny whispered, no longer having the strength to speak, and losing the battle with the darkness behind his eyes. "Let's see what's after the afterlife…"
Danny vaugely heard Sam, Tucker, and Jazz yell his name; but for once he felt at peace, and all that mattered was the feel of Dan's hand entwined with his, and together they were no longer afraid. They were meant to be together. They were meant to die together. And serenely he smiled as everything faded to black.