Danny Phantom: A Terrible Loss
Rating: T for violence, blood, all that good stuff.
The Usual Disclaimer: My plot, not my world or people.
Summary: Danny never told his parents that he was Danny Phantom, Public Enemy #1. So what happens when his father finally corners him… and cuts him down?
Author's Note: I posted this chapter and chapter four at pretty much the same time, so make sure you read that one before this one, those of you who are awesome and have this story on your alert list! Enjoy!
A Memorial for Danny
Later that morning, the whole of Casper High School was abuzz with soft, hushed voices, retelling the story again and again. The Ghost Boy was Danny Fenton. He was now dead. Gone. Forever. Those who never even knew him felt the pang of loss. And those who did know him, whether through his human or ghost form, felt the pang much worse.
"He saved us once," said one boy, a sophomore with freckles and a gap in his teeth. "My whole family. A humongous snake appeared and tried to eat us all, and he saved us… I wish I could have thanked him. We could have died…" His friends, who had heard that story many times before but hadn't once believed it suddenly believed it now. They nodded their heads solemnly, and even wanted more than anything to hold and console the distraught boy, but due to social norms, had to merely nod like teenage boys do.
The shadow of death even fell upon Dash Baxter. He wasn't strutting around the halls as he did before, picking on the weak for their lunch money. He was walking slumped a little with his fellow jocks, in sort of a daze.
"I just can't believe it," he said to the gang for perhaps the tenth time. "I can't believe that all this time I had been wailing on Fenton, I'd been wailing on a hero! Who knows how many times I beat up that kid, and yet, he was still willing to save my life. Several times…"
"I know…" said Kwan, who also seemed lost in the darkness that shrouded the entire school.
"I mean, you know, it really makes you think…"
"What? About your own sense of mortality, or fear of death?"
Dash looked at Kwan, a little dumbfounded by the other's sudden insightfulness. "No, just about how I could have such a respect for the ghost kid and absolutely none for Fenton, even though he was the same person! If I had known that Fenton was the ghost kid before... Perhaps…"
Dash's voice trailed off. His footsteps faltered to a halt, as he stared right past Kwan at the lockers. Kwan raised an eyebrow at him.
"What're you looking at?" he asked, waving a hand before Dash's far-away eyes. Dash blinked and looked at the other jock, then pointed.
"It's his locker," he said very quietly, as though he were standing in the middle of a cemetery. Kwan turned to look. The locker looked like any other locker.
"Oh yeah? How do you know?"
"The dents from the times I slammed him into it," he answered, stepping closer to it. "See this big one here? Right next to the number? That's from when I just narrowly missed his head a month ago during one massive punching. I sprained my finger, in fact, and his locker has never closed properly since. It's how I know where to wait if I felt like hurting someone."
Kwan raised an eyebrow. "You memorized that much?"
Dash merely shrugged his shoulders. "A good bully always remembers these sorts of things." He wasn't smiling, though, as he would have if he were telling this story last week. He merely stared at Fenton's locker, knowing that Fenton would never be back to open it again. Dash just felt like a wet blanket had fallen upon him, heavy and cold with understanding.
"He's really gone, huh…" It was more a statement than a question.
"I've never known anyone who's died before."
A long silence passed between them. Others in the hallway had realized what he was staring at, whose locker that was, and had stopped as well, hushed voices silencing as they stared upon the locker of the dead boy, the ghost boy, the hero of the town who lived a normal life in their very own school without their knowledge. Dash especially felt the pain. He felt something he really hadn't felt before, or if he had, he had largely ignored it. He could only suppose it was shame, or guilt. Something inside him wished desperately that he could apologize to Fenton for all he had put him through, for all the bullying. The kid was a hero. A true hero… Dash would never have picked on such a hero as Danny Phantom…
If only I could make it up to him…
An idea struck him. A "Eureka!" moment. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a sharpie that he had swiped off of his math teacher's desk the previous week. He uncapped it and stepped to the locker and wrote, right on that biggest dent:
I'm really sorry for all the crap I put you through.
If I had known you were the ghost kid, I probably wouldn't have.
Danny Phantom 4ever!"
No sooner had he finished when Kwan snatched the marker from him and began writing his own message. Another kid stooped beside them and with a bottle of white-out, began drawing a ghost in the bottom corner. Paulina, with tears shining in her eyes, pulled out a tube of lipstick from her bag.
"It cost me thirty bucks, but it's so worth it," she said with a strained voice, taking Dash's place and getting started on a big pink heart, in which she wrote "I Love You, Danny Phantom."
By the time school let out that day, the entire locker had been covered with more notes of admiration and well wishes than Danny had ever received in all ten of his yearbooks combined. People had begun writing in miniscule in the tiny pockets between others' notes.
Mr. Lancer sat quietly slumped over at his desk that morning, before classes. The only thing that kept him company in the dismally silent classroom was the clock with its infernal tick-tock that drove him crazy during these sorts of silences. He pressed his thumb and forefinger into the corner of his eyes, emotions overwhelming him. In all his years of teaching, he had never lost a student like this. No car accidents, no cancer, nothing. This was his first. He had dreaded this day, ever since he started teaching. He knew it would happen sooner or later. He just couldn't believe it now that it had, and who it was…
The boy's face swam within his mind's eye, that constantly tired-looking boy. Now he understood why that boy seemed so exhausted, why such a bright kid had fallen so far behind in his classes. Leading a double life like that, taking it upon himself to help a town in as much danger as Amity Park seemed to get into constantly… it was just beyond Mr. Lancer's belief that Danny had done so much at the expense of his own well-being, for the good of others, to the point of losing his own life. A shudder ran through him at the very thought. Danny had been much more than Mr. Lancer could ever hope himself to be…
And Lancer thought of the kids who were to walk into class, and sit down, with that one chair empty… what would he say to them? Would he be able to carry on with today's lecture? Would he be able to teach at all without losing it? As a teacher, he wasn't supposed to show weakness, but what now? A student lost… Death in his own school… it was just about more than he could bear…
There was the sound of running outside the door. Lancer looked up at the clock and saw that there was still ten minutes left. There was shouting and more running. He knitted his eyebrows and stood up, wondering what could be going on. Teachers' habit driving him, he walked to the door and opened it.
"Hey, you kids! No running in… the…"
His voice cut short, as he saw a big group of students standing in the distant hallway. A small rush of worry pulsed through him. Did someone get hurt? Was there some major vandalism in the hallway calling attention to himself? He left the classroom and walked down the hall.
"What's going on?" he called ahead of him. The kids all jumped, snapped out of a kind of stupor, and some gasped and began to run in the other direction. Lancer realized that, indeed, it was some kind of vandalism. There was writing all over a locker! What kind of stupid child…
But then he saw the word "Fenton," and his footsteps ceased. His mouth fell open as he found himself staring at a makeshift memorial right there where the young Daniel's locker had been. There were words of respect, appreciation, sadness, regret, and loss written all over it.
"The Once and Future King…" he swore under his breath, his eyes taking in the sight with emotions bubbling up again. He could see some bare spots, where those who haven't left their respects could still. A sudden urge shot through him. He tried to fight it off – it was vandalism. It was against school policy. He could get fired… but he didn't care. He took out his green permanent marker, kept right next to his red one, and stood on tiptoes to reach to a top corner many of the young high schoolers couldn't reach, not caring about those who still stood there, watching.
I had always known that you were meant for great things.
Little did I know you were already there and doing them.
Rest in Peace.
"If they fire me, I won't care," he said softly, almost to himself. "He was a great kid…"
A/N: Before you start asking or suggesting – there is absolutely NO pairings truly implied here that isn't part of canon DP! EVERYONE knows that Paulina had a big stinkin crush on the ghost kid, so hence her reaction, and Dash is not gay for Danny, so don't even think it (even thought that's, oh, half the literature under Danny Phantom on And if I hear one Lancer/Danny remark, I just may have to kill Sam and Tucker off, too. Okay, I'm just kidding. I'm sure you all understand how wrong the idea of Lancer/Danny is…
Okay, so, what did you think? Do you think I got Dash's and everyone's reactions done well? It may take a bit for me to get to chapter six, because, well, in all honesty, I'm not sure where I'm going from here. But actually, I just came up with this particular chapter last night in my own "EUREKA!" moment, and I'm sure that will happen again before long. :D Review, and stay tuned for Chapter 6!