Whoo! New obsession, new story! I'm not sure how exactly I'm going from here, but I've got a basic plotline to work with, so...enjoy this short-ish prologue! And please don't forget to review, so I'll be able to figure out if this whole thing is worth taking the time to write...

Also! Many, MANY thanks to my amazing cyber buddy and beta-reader/editor person, Zooza! She's just plain awesome, and her story is the all-time BEST Danny Phantom fanfiction I have ever read! Go check it out, it's titled "Catalyst" under her FFNet username DanPhantomCrush. I owe her so much, she's helped me with my ideas and was basically my inspiration for this entire story. Yay Zooza:D

Disclaimer: I'll state this now, and only this once - in no way do I have any ownership of Danny Phantom and all characters and such that apply. That belongs to Nick and Butch Hartman. I just own the plotline. XD


Hidden Consequence
A Danny Phantom Fanfiction

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Be careful what you wish for – sometimes, what you thought you've always wanted may just be the very thing that can take away all you've ever had.

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Prologue

"His destruction is imminent…"

Two ghostly green Cyclopes stared at the large reflective screen flickering brightly before their eyes, the numerous images flashing across like snippets of one's memories literally put on film.

And indeed it was – several more images appeared one by one, all of them containing in some shape or form a certain snowy-haired, green-eyed boy as he fought against ghosts of all shapes and sizes. In many, there were others with him as well; a boy and girl around the same age, apparently unfazed by the sheer abnormality of the scene as they fought alongside the halfa with weapons of their own. Occasionally another older girl would join the trio, and although her skills seemed to lack the power and knowledge the other three evidently held, she was no doubt a great help in times of desperation. Together, the team seemed nearly unbeatable, capable of defeating every adversary that stood in their way.

But as the images progressed, it was obvious that the fights were becoming much more difficult. The ghosts appeared more often, stronger and in rapid succession. And while the halfa and his companions were still capable of handling the attacks, the projections on the screen showed that their normal lives were suffering the consequences.

Most noticeably for the halfa himself.

"The boy cannot keep this up for much longer – there is no denying that fact anymore!" One of the two Cyclopes shuddered, raising a slim, clawlike finger to tap at the screen in exasperation. The image changed again – the girl was running towards the halfa as he was blasted into the ground, her expression wild with anxiety and terror when he let out an agonized scream.

The other Cyclops turned to face the hooded figure lounging in the shadows and narrowed its eye in annoyance. "You know as well as we do what too much stress will do to him, Clockwork! He is your responsibility!"

A chuckle echoed throughout the lair. "I know full well that the boy is my responsibility." The Master of Time slowly drifted into the dim glow of light, a calm smile etched in his features. "Which is why I trust that he can handle it, just as he's done so for the past two years."

"He is a hazard to everyone around him!" Both Observants rounded on him, fuming. "He always has been! If you do not stop him, if his enemies do not destroy him first, the boy will ultimately destroy himself!"

Clockwork gazed at the timekeeper staff resting in his hand, seemingly unaware of the two glaring ghosts before him. "He has his friends and family to support him. And the girl…" He turned his gaze towards the screen, where the paused image of the Goth clutching onto the halfa flickered in the dim green glow of his lair. "She plays an important role in his life, more than he'll ever know. From what I can see, the boy has everything he needs, wouldn't you think?"


One of the Observants huffed, crossing its arms across its caped chest. "His friends and family are nothing more than material human beings! Their support can only last for so long – he's falling apart from the inside, there's only so much his body can handle!"

Clockwork raised an eyebrow. "That boy has a lot more stamina than you give him credit for, you know."

Observant Two floated forward, jabbing a finger impatiently at the screen. "That may be so, Clockwork, but we also know that his attitude, his way of thinking, is what controls that stamina! We've seen more than enough examples of the contempt he has for his duty – his recent fights have already proved it!"

"Sooner or later, he will fall apart." Observant One flew over to a darker part of the lair, staring icily at a battered thermos locked into place on the pedestal beneath him as it gave an intense rattle. He turned his cold glare back to the Master of Time. "And we cannot risk releasing another evil Phantom into this world."

Clockwork sighed, and suddenly his shape shifted to that of an old, worn out man, reflecting his current mood. "So what are you proposing I do, then? I suppose another round of your dirty work?"

Within a split second, both Observers were right in front of him, furious. "Eliminate him, before it's too late!" Even as they floating within inches of his face, the hooded ghost didn't flinch or retract in the least, his expression unchanged. "You cannot save him twice, Clockwork. And cheating is not an option anymore."

Another shift and Clockwork was in his child form, an almost sly smile creeping upon his lips at the serious and accusing tones. "Ah, but you see, I can't simply get rid of him. The boy's attachment to both worlds is already much too intricate – removing him would only cause more chaos for us, after all."

He raised his staff, pointing it at the screen behind him, and almost immediately the images fast-forwarded to the halfa's current time in his room, where he snored away peacefully in human form.

"But let me assure you, my dear Observants…" He added in a silky whisper, his red eyes glinting suspiciously as he reverted back to his original, young man form.

"I don't need cheating to make Danny Phantom realize the difference between what's right…and what's easy."

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A/N: That's what I've got for now - I'll try to update as much as I can, but I can't guarantee speedy updates since I'm so busy this summer. But don't let it stop you from pressing that little review button down there!!!

- jaime -