Author's Note: This chapter backtracks a bit, starting just after the victory over the asteroid and through to the end of Phantom Planet. I have no idea for how many chapters this will continue, but I hope to clear up a whole bunch of loose ends. Reviews with suggestions and constructive criticism are much appreciated.
Also, I would be very grateful if anyone could verify or correct me in this: at the beginning of the first season, Danny, Sam and Tucker were freshmen, and I believe that two summers have passed since then. So… are they juniors now? In any case, I'm going to say that they are sixteen until/unless somebody offers me sufficient evidence that they are some other age. Thank you to anyone who can confirm or disprove my logic.
Disclaimer: Danny Phantom, and all related characters, plot ideas, locations, inventions, (ect.) are the property of Butch Hartman, Nickelodeon, and their affiliates. I claim no rights to any copyrighted works. I certify that my ideas are all original. Any similarity to actual people, locations, events, books, movies, or other works of fanfiction are entirely coincidental.
For two weeks after Danny Phantom saved planet Earth from the 'Disasteroid,' Casper High granted its students and faculty an unscheduled vacation to celebrate the success of the mission and to burn off all of the accumulated stress. All across the world, people were granted leave from work and children from school to celebrate the new global hero, Daniel Fenton.
The first week was unbearable for Danny. It was bad enough being hounded by thousands of people, receiving phone calls from world leaders… when the President of the United States called him at home to congratulate him and to request his presence at a recognition ceremony in his honor, told him that a private jet was being sent to fly him and his parents to Washington D.C., Danny hardly knew what to think. He visited his country's capital, shook the President's hand, and addressed the assembly.
"For a long time, I have been fighting for the citizens of Amity Park, and occasionally the world, because somehow it fell on me to protect everyone from the enemies that the police and the military had no power to fight. I've been through more than most anyone could imagine. I've fought an army of ghosts a thousand strong. I've defeated the king of ghosts. I've traveled into the future and fought a corrupt version of myself. I stopped a deranged circus performer from using dark magic to take over the world. And many times, I've fought to protect my family and friends from someone with powers like mine, someone who wanted to use them for evil: Vlad Plasmius.
"And in every battle that I have fought, one thing hasn't changed; my friends, Sam and Tucker, and most recently my sister Jazz," at this Danny looked down at his sister who was sitting at a table with Jack and Maddie, smiling back and unaware of the cameras that panned to her, "have been there for me through thick and thin. I would never have made it through all this if it wasn't for their help.
"What amazes me about this latest challenge is that, when it came down to the fate of the planet, we were all able to band together, humans of all nations as well as ghosts, to save our respective worlds. Nobody thought about skin color or background; we all worked together and saved the world. Saving the world is not something that anyone can do alone, and I know this from experience. I hope that every nation of the world, those that have been friends and those that have fought as enemies, can learn something from this near disaster. It is my hope that we can continue to rely on each other, both in times of peril and in times of peace. Thank you."
Danny stepped off of the stage to thunderous applause, and the President shook his hand once more. He collapsed in a chair next to his family, shaking visibly, and his father wrapped an arm around him, a glint of pride in his eye.
"You know, Danny," Jack said proudly, "I think it's high time you team up with your old man. Say, you can be my sidekick!"
It seemed to Danny that the entire world was watching him, more so than ever after he made his speech at the Presidential ceremony. Maddie ultimately decided to unhook all of the phones in the house, and when Danny's cell number was somehow released, he had to shut it off.
What made this week so unbearable for Danny wasn't so much the press interviews, or the phone calls, but the fact that he didn't have a moment to spend with Sam or Tucker. Specifically, Danny wanted to spend time with Sam. He hadn't had a chance to set everything straight with her since they shared their first real kiss in Antarctica, and he was worried that she might think he was blowing her off.
As Danny sat on his bed, wondering what exactly he was going to do… his cell phone rang. Danny stared at the phone for a moment, confused. He had turned the phone off, and nobody had touched it. It kept ringing. Cautiously, Danny picked up the cell phone and answered the call.
"Hey, Danny," came the reply, and Danny was relieved to hear Tucker's voice. "Sorry if I startled you. The phone line to your house was disconnected, and your cell was off, so I used a satellite uplink to override the settings on your cell phone and put the call through."
"No problem at all. I was wondering how you and Sam are doing, but every time I try to leave the house I get mobbed, and the phones wouldn't stop ringing long enough for me to call you. I tried to sneak out invisibly yesterday, but it seems the Guys in White are monitoring my house and alerting the public as to my location. I can't go anywhere without being followed, which puts a friendly visit out of the question."
"It's cool, Danny. I've spoken with Sam, and after seeing you on t.v. the other night, she understands that you are really busy right now. No worries. Actually, what I wanted to talk to you about something. Something big."
"What is it, Tuck?"
Danny heard Tucker take in a deep breath before speaking. "Well, since Vlad was elected mayor and has fled town, Amity Park has been looking for a new one. Apparently the community was impressed with all of my work on your intangibility machine. Tons of people from around the town were telling me that I should run for mayor. I think they were only kidding to begin with, but I found a law that said a mayoral candidate under the age of twenty-one could be put on the ballot if they had a petition signed by at least fifty-one percent of the voting community.
"While you were off in Washington, I was collecting signatures, and I managed to get my name on the ballot. And, if you had been watching the news, you would have seen that I, Tucker Foley, at age sixteen, am officially the youngest mayor in the history of Amity Park."
"Tucker, are you serious?!" Danny exclaimed. "That is awesome! Congratulations!"
"Thanks," Tucker replied. "I'm holding my first official meeting, in your honor, in the Plaza this evening at eight. Everyone in town is going to be there. I've commissioned the production of a series of statues modeled after you, and guess what? There's going to be a copy of this statue in every national capital in the world!"
Danny did his best not to groan. The last thing that he needed was a statue to remind everyone to harass the Ghost Boy. Still, he was happy for his friend, and didn't let on what he thought about the statues.
"Oh, hey Danny, I've got to go. I need to prepare my speech for tonight. See you there!"
"Bye," Danny answered while hanging up as something clawed at the back of his mind. Something about his conversation with Tucker was trying to push its way into the foreground of his mind…
Everyone in town is going to be there.
Yes! Perfect. Looking at his alarm clock, Danny saw that it was already quarter past seven. Danny rushed out of his room to find Jazz coming up the stairs.
"Hey, Jazz. Have you been watching the news?"
"Yeah," Jazz answered, "they said that Tucker has been elected mayor. Can you believe it? And he's having some sort of 'statue unveiling' for you tonight. We're all going down soon–"
"Right, about that," Danny interrupted. "If Tucker asks where I am, would you just let him know that I have some unfinished business to attend to?" Jazz nodded. "Great, thanks." And, with that settled, Danny transformed into Phantom and shot straight up through the ceiling.
Danny hovered invisibly over his house, and within moments the Guys in White were there in a helicopter, shouting through a bullhorn that Danny Phantom was on the move.
"So, it's a chase they want, huh? Well, then let's give them one." Danny split to form one duplicate, which became visible and took off flying in the direction of Casper High. The Guys in White followed in pursuit, as did a crowd of news reporters who were stationed around Fenton Works. When Danny saw that the coast was clear, he made his way over to Sam's mansion. Floating just outside her window, he peeked in and found her lying on her stomach on the bed, listening to music and flipping through a book. He reached out and lightly tapped on the window.
Sam looked up from her book and, when she saw Danny, smiled, jumped up, and opened the window for him. "Danny!" She hugged him the moment he was inside, making Danny's heart beat a little faster, because it felt so right to hold Sam in his arms. "I've really missed you, Danny. I haven't seen you in almost a week."
"I know," Danny answered, turning his head to kiss Sam just above her ear. "I'm sorry. I haven't had any luck leaving the house without being mobbed until today, and I couldn't call you because the phone is always busy. Or was, until Mom disconnected it. I couldn't IM you, because my screen name was released to the public, and trying resulted in several thousand simultaneous messages which froze my computer. And, if you can believe it, Yahoo suspended my e-mail account because it was filling up so fast. They sent me a letter telling me that they are working on a filter just for me, one that searches for keywords to sort out requests for help, fan mail, and any junk mail I get, like letters of harassment."
"This is crazy," Sam said, still holding on to Danny, and he wasn't complaining.
"I know. Finally, though, I managed to slip under the radar. So, would you be willing to skip my ceremony with me? We never really got a chance to talk after the Disasteroid was taken care of. Since everyone is going to be at the ceremony, we should be safe to talk in the park."
"Of course, Danny," Sam answered, "just let me put on my boots." She slipped her arms from around his neck to put on her boots, and then joined Danny by the window. He took her hand, walked with her through the glass of her window, and flew invisibly with her over the streets of Amity Park.
As he had expected, the entire town's population was in the plaza, probably hoping for a chance to speak to the now famous Danny Phantom. Paulina was there with Star, wearing a Danny Phantom tee-shirt, holding a big poster that said, "We love you, Phantom!"
"Well, there's an improvement," Sam quipped. "At least it's better than 'Invis-O-Bill.'" Danny groaned and landed at the top of the hill in the park that overlooked the rest of the city. Here, Danny knew he would have a chance to speak privately with Sam, and if for any reason his whereabouts became known, Danny could see the entire town and would be able to leave before anyone accosted them.
"I can't believe you didn't want to attend your own ceremony." Sam leaned back against a tree at the top of the hill, looking down at the congregation of people in the square. Danny sat beside her, watching the people far below in the plaza.
"Well, you know me. I kind of like sitting on the sidelines sometimes."
"And your folks cool with knowing your secret identity?"
Danny thought about his parents' reactions; how proud they were of him, both for saving the world and for admitting the truth. Actually, since revealing his secret identity, Danny had received only positive encouragement from everyone. Valerie had, at least, smiled and cheered when he revealed his secret, and hadn't been hunting him. Even the Guys in White, who previously tried to have him arrested, now settled for mere surveillance so that they could study his fights, hoping to determine just how he had become half ghost.
"Yeah. The time for secrets is over. The world is safe. Time for new beginnings." He wasn't sure if Sam quite knew what he meant by that, but he wasn't planning on making her wait long to find out. "My dad even says he wants me to team up with him now. Says I can be his sidekick."
"You're a big star now. Probably the biggest in the world," Sam said with a grin.
"Yeah. It's weird, huh?" Danny still hadn't become used to the idea that, within the last week, he had become a global icon. Children across the world were saying his name. Diplomats and world leaders and renowned scientists and talk show hosts were discussing him, both at work and at home.
"You'll probably get pretty busy," Sam continued. Danny thought back to the last week. He had been flown to Washington D.C. for three days and had spoken at a Presidential conference. He had given no less than eleven personal interviews. And people followed him wherever he went.
"What else is new?" He glanced at Sam, and was disheartened to see that she was no longer smiling.
"And… I probably won't see much of you anymore." The look on Sam's face was killing Danny. Nothing mattered to him more right now than her happiness, and if being with him could possibly make her happy, then that was exactly where Danny wanted to be. He lightly fingered the ring in his pocket to make sure that it was still there.
"Oh, I wouldn't count on that." He pulled the ring out and slowly slid it over her left ring finger, hoping that his silent promise would be conveyed clearly. "Sam, I could never have done any of this without you." The smile on Sam's face belied the tears that fell from her perfect violet eyes.
But Danny was only speaking the truth. He knew that, if it wasn't for Sam, he wouldn't be here now. She had encouraged him to explore the Fenton Portal. She had been there for him during fight after countless fight for the last two years. And when he had foolishly chosen to forsake his powers, Sam was the one who talked sense back into him.
"And I don't care what's coming next. I just hope that, whatever it is, you're there to share it with me."
"I will be," Sam answered, blinking back the tears. Danny was struck with how beautiful she was, smiling at him with such affection that he lost all words. "I just have to warn you; I'm no pushover, you know. I still have my own way of doing things." He could tell from the tone of her voice that his strong, independent Sam was back, after having given way temporarily to a softer, more sensitive side that she didn't share with everyone. Danny smiled at her fierceness.
"That's what I'm counting on." Danny took Sam's hands into his own and leaned over to kiss her. The sensation was both burning and cool, and Danny had a sense that there truly were no words to describe it. What thrilled Danny most was the fact that he could relive this sensation, every day, for as long as Sam would have him. He smiled into the kiss and then slowly, reluctantly, pulled back. It was getting late, but the last thing Danny wanted to do was to take Sam home now. He hadn't seen her for a week; and besides, he was the Ghost Boy and she had no curfew (thanks to her parents' frequent business trips, they were never home to enforce one) so who would notice or mind if they spent the evening together? And, in any case, there was still no school. That settled it for Danny.
"What do you say?" Danny asked, standing and transforming into Phantom. "Want to go for a ride?" He took her hands in his as she stood up. "See where the future takes us?"
Sam stood. "Why not?" Apparently, it didn't take much to convince her that staying out would be infinitely more enjoyable than going home now. Danny scooped Sam up in his arms, holding her like a new bride, and jumped up into the air. It had become dark, and everyone had returned to their homes when the Ghost Boy didn't show up at the ceremony, so Danny and Sam now had no fear of being seen. Danny figured also that, until he returned home, the Guys in White would have no way to track him. They probably weren't too thrilled when the duplicate they had been chasing faded out of existence, and Danny expected they would soon redouble their efforts to keep tabs on him. He would just have to find another way to keep them off of his back.
They passed the statue that Tucker had ordered for Amity Park's plaza, and Danny took a look at it under the moonlight for the first time. The likeness to him was phenomenal, and since he had never posed, the artist Tucker hired must be an incredibly talented one. The statue stood, its face stoic, in a position that would put Atlas to shame, holding the world aloft in only one hand.
"Cool statue," Sam commented as they passed by it. "Personally, I would have made it out of recycled materials but, you know, that's just me."
Danny smiled at Sam, content to hold her in his arms and fly her anywhere she wished to go. The cool night air blew his hair back and encouraged Sam to cling to him a little tighter as he flew with her away from Amity Park and into the rising moon.
Author's Note: Hopefully nobody will be too disappointed about my decision, but I'm stopping this here. I had initially intended to continue this, but I feel like inventing what happens next would be better left to a separate story, and maybe sometime I will write one. But I prefer this to remain as honest a rendition of the end of Danny Phantom as I can make it. I appreciate all of the kind reviews that some of you have sent me. If you liked this story, keep an eye out for more in the future.