Disclaimer: Nope, Danny Phantom does not belong to me, otherwise Phantom Planet would have gone slightly differently.
A/N: When reading this pretend that PP never happened. I guess that makes this AU doesn't it? This is going to be a short multi-chapter. Oh, and to anyone out there who's also read my other DP fanfic Intangible Tears – yes, y'all have convinced me to do a sequel! I just need to come up with an idea now:P
Now, with out further ado, on to the story!
"I hate gym class."
"It wasn't that bad today, Tucker."
"Yeah," laughed Danny, "It was worse!"
Sam rolled her eyes and mock glared up at her blue eyed boyfriend as they trudged across the soccer fields back towards Casper High. Yes, she had to glare up. At seventeen, Danny Fenton (while he was still extremely wiry and lean) towered over nearly everyone in the school, including Dash, though the football jock still considered him a dweeb and his personal punching bag which Danny played along with. It was easier to let the other students and the teachers continue stereotyping him as a weak 'loser' instead of asserting himself as the well honed, graceful, mature fighter he had become over the last three years of almost daily ghost fighting and hunting. Albeit, when Dash every now and then attempted to shove him into a locker for old time's sake (even though Danny didn't fit any more), Danny had a hard time keeping his reflexes in check. People only saw what they wanted to see in him – namely 'harmless' instead of 'Danny Phantom.' Being both at once a city hero/enemy (though only a few people really considered him a threat any more) and a social outcast when he apparently had his own 'Phan' club was a very interesting experience and one he and his friends had become use to.
Grinning to herself, Sam tuned out Tucker's continued loud complaints, glancing around and wrinkling her nose as several other guys in the class pulled off their shirts in both attempts to cool off and show off – and not all of them had anything to show off.
Oh, god, my eyes!!! Make him put his shirt back on! Somebody please make that guy put his shirt back on!!! Sam was distracted from her retinal agony by a movement to her right as Danny, without really realizing what he was doing, began to pull his own sweat soaked shirt off over his head. She raised an eyebrow at this peculiar behavior from the half ghost. This was an unusual, actually unprecedented, occurrence since he had started ghost hunting or… well… ever. With good reason, too. It sort of blew Danny's 'weak wimp' and 'harmless' façade to hell. And it would bring up too many questions, too.
"So, what's the occasion, Danny? Is it my birthday or something?" the Goth girl asked with a grin, wondering how long it was going to take for someone else to notice.
Not long, as it turned out. Danny didn't even have a chance to respond to Sam's quip before Star, who had been walking backward to talk to Paulina, stopped mid sentence with her jaw hanging open. Another unprecedented event in fact, since Star was a notorious motor mouth and nothing short of several pieces of duct tape could usually shut her up. Paulina, noticing her follower's lack of focus, quickly took offence.
"What are you looking at? You're supposed to be paying attention to me!" Star simply raised a hand and pointed at Danny. "What? Is it the ghost boy?" asked Paullina turning around eagerly. After nearly three years, Paulina Sanchez was still the president of the Danny Phantom 'Phan' Club. Sam covered her mouth with one hand to prevent her smirk from showing through. She found it incredibly funny that the Casper High 'Queen of the Social Ladder' (though Sam had other less polite terms for her which would probably burn any page they were written on) was actually right about something for once. And had no clue that she was.
Both girls were openly staring now and because Paulina was staring ninety-four percent of the female students of the class, along with about fifty percent of the males, were also staring at the boy, who until a minute ago had been considered athletically hopeless and to lead a boring life. A number of girls could even have said to be drooling – not that Sam could blame them. His chest and abs had just as much, if not more, definition and tone as the jocks on any of the high school sports teams but without any over muscling. Danny looked like he was built aerodynamically for speed, which of course he was.
Surprise! Sam thought to herself, adding smugly and somewhat possessively, My boyfriend! before nudging Danny gently in the ribs to get his attention once more (as he had returned to his conversation with Tucker after telling that her birthday had indeed been rescheduled especially for the purpose of having it set on an unusually hot gym class day).
"Hey, Danny, guess what?"
"You are now officially the center of attention."
He blink in confusion and then glanced around and then back down at the gym shirt draped casually over his arm. With a slight nervous laugh, he gave her a rather sheepish look.
"Oops is right. There goes that cover story," stated Tucker.
"Yeah… hey, at least I managed to pull this off until senior year and it's not like I went ghost or anything." Sam rolled her eyes. That was Danny, ever the optimist, or he was nine out of ten times.
"Yup. Don't look now but I think Paulina has started drooling, too, which means Dash should be here any second to try and beat you up or maybe just humiliate you."
"After this little demonstration, I think he'll just go for the humiliation," Tucker muttered as he dug in his pocket for his precious PDA. Only Tucker would bring a PDA to gym class. Danny groaned in disgust at Sam's mention of the social queen bee.
"You know, you would have been overjoyed if she'd reacted like that when we were freshmen."
"Yeah, but that was then and this is now. She's as shallow as a puddle, besides which, I'm in love with you, remember?"
"I remember." But it's always nice to hear no matter how many times you say it!
"I hate to cut short you two lovebirds' mush talk," interrupted Tucker, rolling his eyes but in actuality happy that his friends were still head over heals for each other after nearly two years of a steady relationship, "but it looks like Dash is arriving right on schedule."
Sure enough, Dash in all his anticlimactic blonde crew cut and broad shouldered glory was headed strait for Danny looking like he was going to attempt to tackle the half ghost football style. Not the most subtle approach but after years and years of playing contact sports Dash didn't have enough brain cells left to understand the concept of subtle. In other words he was the perfect match for Paulina, since she'd lost all of her brain cells shopping. Something about Danny's stance though must have penetrated to those few remaining survival instincts that the jock had and in an unusual display of forethought he slowed down, stopping before he could crash into the taller, shirtless teen. Well, since direct frontal assault now seemed out of the question, Dash's mind went strait to option two, the only other option it was capable of: teasing and humiliation. And today it looked like he had something new to harp on.
"Hey, Fen-toni, what happened? You get attacked by a weedwacker?"
Sam flinched and did her best to hide a grimace. She knew exactly what Dash was talking about – the other physical side effects if her boyfriend's double life – the scars. They littered his torso and shoulders most noticeably, all faint (or not so faint in some cases), silvery reminders of how dangerous ghost fighting really was. There had been a couple of awkward trips to the emergency room of the local hospital in the past three years and many more incidents where he had nearly needed to go.
Danny, however, didn't even bat an eye at this remark, instead pretending he was exchanging witty banter with Skulker even if Dash probably couldn't have exchanged witty banter if his life depended on it. Not that Skulker was particularly good at it either….
"Why, yes, how did you ever guess? It possessed and trying to eat my older sister at the time." Okay, so maybe it was more sarcastic banter than witty but Danny wasn't really in the mood for things like bad puns at the moment. This was enough however because, as it turned out, Dash's limited brain supply wasn't capable of dealing with sarcasm and simply shut down leaving the jock stumped as to how to respond. Mr. Lancer interrupted before Dash could get past his mental stalemate.
"Antony and Cleopatra people! What's going on here? And Mr. Fenton, put your shirt back on." There were several disappointed mumbles and protests from various girls as Danny complied.
"How come he never looked like that when I went out with him?" Sam couldn't help but feel pleased when she heard Valerie mutter that. Yeah, it wasn't good that the blue eyed teen's harmless charade was over but Sam felt she had every right to enjoy the silver lining after having to listen to all of the putdowns from Paulina and Dash and the others for all these years. Now, for once, the tables were turned and the raven haired girl was intending on basking in every second of it they got.
"Mr. Fenton, see me after class in my office."
Danny all but groaned.
"And Mr. Baxter, picking fights during gym class is not considered a form of exercise. You'll be writing a three page essay on how violence does not solve problems during your detention today."
"But that freak started it!" protested Dash lamely, unable to come up with a quick, more plausible excuse.
"No he didn't!" To the general surprise of everyone it was Paulina who latched onto Dash's arm and started dragging the jock away, whining at him all the while (they were surprised about the dragging – not the whining). "You shouldn't try to pick on Danny like that! Especially when it's so obvious that he could beat you up if he really wanted to! It makes you look dumb and makes me wonder why you're my boyfriend!"
"Somehow, I get the feeling that that little speech isn't going to help me that much," muttered Danny, half to himself, half to his friends.
"Hey, things could be worse." Sam looked at him over the top of the sunglasses she was wearing.
"Sam! Don't say that!"
"Oh, come on, Danny! Don't be so superstitious," the Goth teased.
"Last time you said that Skulker, Ember, and the Box Ghost all showed up at the same time and it took me FOUR HOURS to hunt them all down, plus another hour to get out of the city landfill and home after passing out from exhaustion in a garbage dumpster! So, yeah, I think I have every right to feel a little edgy when you say things like that!"
"Okay, okay, calm down."
"Besides you have much more important things to be worrying about than the Box Ghost showing up again – like how you're going to explain that lovely scar collection of yours to Mr. Lancer and the school nurse!"
"Tucker!" Sam snapped. "Not helping! …He is right though, you know."
The half ghost glanced sideways at her with a dejected sigh and let his shoulders slump slightly as he began to trudge in the direction of the locker rooms once more.
"Yeah, I know, but what am I supposed to say?" He put on a sarcastically cheerful voice, "You see, Mr. Lancer, it's because I'm half ghost and combat ghosts on an almost daily basis along with my periodically homicidal ex-girlfriend who likes my human half just find but blames the other side of me for ruining her life. In fact, in the Ghost Zone they're practically fighting to get a chance to take a chunk out of me! But other than that I'm just your average high schooler!"
"Dude, I'd send you home in a straightjacket after an explanation like that even though I know it's true."
"Got any more exceedingly helpful comments, Tucker?" asked Sam.
"No, not yet, they haven't finished uploading on my PDA."
"Good, then shut up until we get to lunch or until you can come up with a useful idea!"
"Hmph!" Tucker turned away from Sam and directed his next comment to the object in his hand. "Nobody understands me but you, precious," he cooed. His gothic friend scrunched up her face in annoyance.
"I never thought I'd say this to anyone but you really need to get a girlfriend."
"I'm already in a relationship."
"Tucker! Your PDA doesn't count!"
Danny laughed at his two bickering friends but then his thoughts returned once more to the situation at hand. What was he going to say to Mr. Lancer? If he didn't come up with a good enough explanation the school would call home and then what would he say to his parents? Well, it was more a worry of what he would say to his mom. His dad's mind basically consisted of two tracks: track one – 'fudge,' track two – 'ghosts' with the occasional 'Vladdy!' detour but that pertained to ghosts as well in a sort of roundabout way. In other words, more or less no worries there. His mom on the other hand….
"Good luck," Sam interrupted his thoughts as she began to veer off in the direction of the girls' lockers. "I'll be waiting by your locker to hear how it went."
A/N: Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this first chapter!