A/N: WOW!!! Thank you all so much for your reviews! And, now, on with the story!
Sam held Danny gently as she watched the familiar white rings travel up and down his body transforming him back into his human form. The silence was deafening, especially after Danny using his ghostly wail. They'd known something like this would happen eventually… but still… she wasn't sure how the other students were going to react to this. As if in answer to the Goth's unspoken question, the silence was suddenly, painfully ruptured.
"NOOO!!! HE ALREADY HAS A GIRLFRIEND!!!" Well of all the things Sam expecting to hear first that had not been one of them. Paulina's horrified screech was probably heard half way across the globe and a good ways into the Ghost Zone, too, it was so loud and piercing. Danny stirred, mumbling, "Sam, what the heck did you do to my alarm clock?" but didn't wake up.
Tucker, who had been trapped at the back of the crowd, finally managed to shove his way through, hop the fence, and come to his best friend's aid. As the soles of his shoes touched the pavement confused, shouting chaos finally broke out once more. Students pressed forward harder against the fence trying to get a better look, unable to believe what they had just witnessed. Half formed questions shot back and forth through the air like the bullets of a firefight and theories and ideas spread through the crowd faster than bush fire. Mouths chattered and brains whirred as each person tried to explain to themselves how the impossible could have happened right before their eyes.
In his rush to reach Danny, Tucker didn't notice the second figure who had hurtled over the fence after him. Sliding to a stop next to his two best friends the techno-geek took in the half-ghost's battered appearance. Tucker was no Sam when it came to medical issues, but at a glance he'd say, heavy bandaging necessary, but no concussion and no trip to the ER needed. Sometimes Danny having such a hard head really paid off – like in the fact that the halfa seemed impossible to concuss.
It felt like somebody was repeatedly bashing his head against an anvil. Danny subconsciously groaned as bright light assaulted him through his eyes lids. Actually, this feeling sort of reminded him of waking up after defeating the ghost king… he hadn't been fighting the ghost king again had he? The events leading up to him waking up were still blurry and vague in his mind, except for the fact that he'd been in a ghost fight – no big surprise there – and the halfa was fairly sure that he had won… though he could be wrong. Usually he didn't wake up with such a throbbing headache after he had won.
Cracking his eyes open ever so slightly, Danny squinted against the intensified light waiting patiently until he could get a look at his surroundings without burning his retinas. He could feel gentle fingers running soothingly through his hair and cold, hard cement underneath of his legs. So… he was still outside? Where? Eyes finally adjusting to the light Danny opened them a little farther and took a peek at what he could see of his surroundings.
Worried Sam… clouds… clouds… clouds… angry Valerie with an ecto gun… Tucker… clouds… clou- WAIT!!! Angry Valerie with an ecto gun?!? His eyes shot open the rest of the way and the halfa jerked upright, or, at least… he tried to. Oh… pain. Bad idea. Very bad idea.
"Calm down, Danny. You need to stay still." Sam's voice was soothing, but rather hard to hear. There seemed to be pandemonium going on in the background. He wondered dimly what was going on. His mind, which was refusing to focus properly, kept telling him that there was an extremely obvious answer to that question but he just couldn't quite grasp what it was. Maybe it had something to do with why Val was being so unusually quiet. Just as he thought this Valerie opened her mouth and took in a deep breath – it looked like she was about to start shouting. Ah, Danny didn't think she could stay that angry and quiet for very long. It just wasn't in her nature.
"Okay, you've got ten seconds to explain what the HECK is going on here so you'd better start talking!!!" snarled the ghost huntress, but without her normal level of ferocity. Actually, the barrel of her blaster was trembling as was the rest of her arm. She bit her lip as if she might burst into tears at any second – very un-Valerie.
Danny tipped his head back slightly so that he could see Sam better.
"Do you know what she's talking about?" he rasped. Ugh, his throat felt terrible – like he had been screaming.
"You used your ghostly wail."
"Uh-huh." So that was why his throat felt like sandpaper, but it didn't explain why the normally stoic Val was so upset. Hadn't she seen him use it before?
"You were really exhausted by that point," Sam elaborated. Danny continued to stare up at her blankly waiting for his mind to connect the dots – all he got was a dial tone and an out-of-order note. Of all the times for his logic capacities to go AWOHL. This was really frustrating. He tried to get what Sam was hinting at without his reasoning abilities but to no avail. Why couldn't his mind pull stunts like this when he was doing something boring like catching the Box Ghost for the zillionth time?
"You passed out," Sam tried again still ignoring Valerie. "And you had an audience." Ah, Danny knew there was something incredibly significant about this statement. Slowly he raised one hand into his field of vision and stared at it as if it were the most fascinating thing in the world. That was funny… he wasn't wearing a glove and his hand looked more tanned than it should have been in ghost mode…. Oh…. His brain finally came back on line.
"Shit," he mumbled and let his hand fall back down to his side again.
"Yeah, that pretty much sums it up," Sam sighed.
"How many people?"
"The entire school, more or less."
"Not here yet."
"WILL YOU STOP IGNORING ME?!?" Oops! He'd forgotten about Valerie. He grinned up at the irate ghost huntress sheepishly.
"Uh, what was the question again?" Her face turned an interesting shade of red that would have matched the ghost hunting suit she normally wore. Ooo, Valerie looked really scary when she was this mad and frustrated plus she still had an ecto gun aimed at his head.
"Who the hell are you?!? Fenton or Phantom? For that matter, what the hell are you?!?"
Danny let out a small sigh and winced as he accidentally caused his left shoulder to shift slightly. (He made a mental note to shake Skulker's current thermos extra hard before he returned the Ghost Zone's greatest hunter to the Ghost Zone.) Well, his secret was already blown and the reality gauntlet had been destroyed so he couldn't change time… he was kinda out of options here other than 'fess up.' Idly he wondered if Valerie's face was capable of turning any darker shades of red.
"Who am I? Uh… well… both. And as for what I am, I'm a half ghost or – as other ghosts put it – a halfa."
Instead of turning redder, Valerie's face went almost white – quite a feat considering Val's normal skin tone was a deep, milk chocolate brown. The ecto gun began shaking even more violently in her fingers.
"Bu-but how- that- it's-" she stuttered, suddenly at an unusual loss for words. "How can you be half dead? That's not possible!" Danny shrugged his right shoulder. He wished that the pounding in his head would stop so that he could think more clearly. It would make this whole conversation a lot easier for him to follow. His train of thought was once more interrupted, this time by the squealing of tires. Ah, the news crew had arrived. The halfa had been wondering when they would show up.
Jazz lay on the couch in the Fenton's family room temporarily making do with being bored. Of all the times to get sick, it had to be when she was at home visiting her family. Danny was at school right now but she was still getting to spend time with her parents at the moment. Despite the fact that her family drove her nuts, Jazz still missed them while she was at university working on her psychology degree. Besides which she still worried about Danny.
With a groan, she rolled so that she was facing the back of the couch instead of the television. Why, why did her mom and dad have to have everything they did pertain to ghosts? Including the specials they watched on TV? They would sit there and criticize and critic the information in the program too, which was what they were doing now. The show was called The Truth About the Paranormal or something like that and the host had obviously no clue what he was talking about. Closing her eyes, the eldest Fenton sibling was just about to drift off to sleep when the sudden change of the music and announcer on the television startled her back to full alertness. She rolled over to see what was going on.
"We interrupt your normal programming to bring you this breaking news! Danny Phantom, ghost boy and local hero of Amity Park, was reveled, less than a quarter of an hour ago, to be more than he seems. During a normal battle with a regularly reoccurring ghost believed to be called 'Skulker' near the Casper High outdoor cafeteria not only did students and staff members witness a startlingly strong, never-before-seen power but also witnessed an event which may change the way we view the paranormal… forever. This footage was taken by a student as the event occurred."
Jazz was sitting straight up now, all her thoughts of her current bout of flu completely obliterated. Her parents were leaning forward eagerly to find out this latest piece of information on the ghost boy. All but chewing on her fingernails with anxiety, Jazz watched the grainy image of the ghost fight on screen, praying and hoping against hope that Danny hadn't somehow transformed during this battle but her prayers were not answered. She watched in horror as Danny slumped back into Sam and after a moment the pair of all too familiar white-blue rings formed around her brother's waist. Next to her Jack and Maddie gasped in shock as the transformation ended. The newscaster appeared once more on the screen.
"Danny Fenton, son of ghost hunters Jack and Maddie Fenton and a senior at Casper High, has been identified as Phantom's second identity." Danny's most resent school picture appeared on the screen just over the female newscaster's right shoulder."Now the question stands, what is Danny Phantom? Is he a ghost? Is he human? Or is he, possibly, something in between? Trying to answer that question right now is Lance Thunder who is out on scene. So, Lance, what's going on out there?"