Warnings: AU. This story includes DPhantomxDFenton slash. Further warnings can't be included without ruining it for you, and as such can be found at the top of each chapter. Also, please forgive me for the short chapters, but I'll try to make up for it by updating twice a week. Deal?

Divided By Two

Chapter One: Failing?

The sun was sending burning hot rays down on the town of Amity Park. A few children were using magnifying glasses to cook ants. One eight-year-old, budding scientist was attempting to fry an egg on the sidewalk, much to his mother's displeasure. Meanwhile, hundreds of teenagers were locked into the shadowy halls of Casper High School.

As the budding scientist was dragged into the house by his mother, the school bell rang. "-and have a good summer!" A middle-aged teacher said cheerfully. His face became more solemn as he turned to one of his students in particular. "Daniel, please wait a moment. I'd like to speak to you about your final grades."

The boy winced, turning back around to face his teacher. "Yes, Mr. Lancer?" he answered softly, looking mournfully over his shoulder to wave his friends on. "I'll catch up in a few minutes, guys. Meet you at the Nasty Burger!"

"Daniel…" Mr. Lancer trailed off in a miserable sigh, looking at what had seemed, at the beginning of the year, to be one of his more promising students- if only someone could reach him.

The boy, seeing his expression, lowered his eyes to the floor. "Yeah. I know," he muttered, "You 'expected more of me after my sister'." His voice shifted into high, lilting mockery, and he rolled his eyes before lifting his head and glaring at the teacher. "I hate to tell you this, Mr. Lancer, but I've already heard it from all of my other teachers."

"They suggested that you ought to be like your sister?" the man asked, his voice round with disbelief and his lip wrinkling slightly in distaste. Daniel Fenton needed to be encouraged, not forced into his sister's shadow; how else would he grow into the strong man that Mr. Lancer knew he could be? Children, he sometimes thought, were like seeds; give them proper light, water and roots and they'd blossom, but put them in another's shadow and they'd wilt and die.

The boy nodded mutely, his brow screwing up and gaining lines like those in breaking glass. "What did you want then?" he asked abruptly. Turning pink at how rude his question sounded, he quickly added, "I mean, if it wasn't to lecture me."

"Do you know the requirements for graduation, Daniel?"

Daniel frowned at what he thought was a random question. "Uh, not really. Math and science and English and stuff."

Mr. Lancer mentally banged his head on his desk. 'Math and science and English and stuff'? Not only was that grammatically incorrect (he could practically hear the lowercase 'english' and spelling mistakes), but the boy truly had no comprehension of the requirements! He kept his face impassive. "Yes, that's right, although I wouldn't have put it quite that way myself." He paused to gather his thoughts, then sighed and continued, leaning forward and meeting the boy's eyes.

"Daniel, you thankfully passed American History and Spanish, and just barely scraped by in Science, but you failed dismally in English, Algebra, and Computer Technology. Comptech was no great loss, but you failed two major classes!" He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before continuing in a much calmer tone of voice. "Fortunately, if you have no study halls, pass all of your future classes and Principal Ishiyama takes pity on you, you will be able to make up for the most of the classes you failed this year.

"Unfortunately, you need to pass four years of English to graduate, and you only received fifty-six percent. Tell me, Mr. Fenton, what were you planning on doing to make up for that?"

"Summer school?" The boy suggested weakly, watching his teacher with nervous eyes.

"No, Daniel, I'm afraid not." As the boy began to turn pale, he nodded to himself. Yes, the boy seemed to have learned his lesson. "Luckily for you, I'm willing to give you one more chance to pass my class…"