Sorry, sorry for the...six month delay? I haven't updated in half a year? Well, I am sorry for not updating sooner, and I wish I could have. If I said that I got caught up in school, I would be telling the truth. And in all honesty, if it wasn't for Data Seeker helping me out with editing, constant checking up on my progress, and amazing ideas, this chapter would still be sitting lamely in my documents on my computer half-written. I may add that your reviews were also a major push, too. So, thanks.
And just a little summary for those who may have forgotten what have happened: Jack and Maddie Fenton make a humanizer, a ghost device that can turn ghosts into humans, and Ember accidentally knocks into it and get turned human. She then, after being hidden in Danny's room, out of sight from his parents, runs away into town. Ember then gets attacked by a vengeful ghost, and Danny comes to rescue her.
And now, on with the chapter. Enjoy!
Danny flew high over Amity Park, carrying Ember in his arms. Ember laid back quietly in the Ghost Boy's arms, her eyes closed, her breathing raspy with misery and fatigue. Danny threw a glance at the dawn sky, which was slowly altering from dark blue to a sweet red as the sun began to drift under the horizon.
"It's getting late," He murmured, frustrated. "And I still have that report on the 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' to write for Lancer. But that's the least of my problems. What am I going to do with her?"
Besides the sound of the crisp night air whisking around the two, Danny heard a quiet incoherent murmuring coming from Ember. He threw a glance at her, and due to his growing concern, he stopped in midair.
"Ember, are you alright?" He asked, staring seriously at Ember's dirty face.
"Hungry," She whispered, her eyes closed shut tightly, as if, at that moment, nothing in the world could make her open them.
He soared over to a bus-stop and gently propped Ember on the nearest wooden bench, sighing gratefully when all traces of the area, for the most part, were deserted. Ember grunted as she sat up, wondering what was going on.
"What are you doing?" She demanded, avoiding at all costs sounding fragile, although she looked pitiful with the makeup smears and the soda that covered her clothes.
"Shh." He whispered to Ember, gesturing her to be quiet as he took out his cell phone. "I'm trying to get help," He eyed her sternly. "Don't move. And please listen this time. You saw where it got you before."
Ember grunted in reply, her body slowly slouching in the nearest bus seat, sighing and pouting. Danny gripped his phone and typed a few numbers while moving it up to his ear, a quiet ring piercing the air.
"Hello?" Sam's voice greeted from the other line. "We haven't found her yet, Danny."
"I did." Danny told Sam, throwing a glance at Ember, who was quietly sulking on the bus stop seat, her arms crossed.
"Are you serious?" Danny heard Tucker's voice interject, and beyond that, he could hear Sam's garbling obviously updating Tucker.
"Hold on," Sam murmured to Danny irritably, which was followed by a tiny beep. "I'm putting this on speaker. Apparently, Tucker wants to talk to you too."
"Hey man!" Tucker gabbed excitedly. "I'm glad you found her. How is she?"
"She was attacked by a ghost," Danny explained, while checking beyond his shoulder to see if Ember was eavesdropping. "It made a real mess of her."
"Well, she more than deserved that." Tucker replied curtly.
"What are we going to do with her?" He asked earnestly, ignoring Tucker's heartless comment. "I can't just come home with a crazy ghost-human rock star and assume nobody in my house will notice."
"Well…" Sam's voice echoed thoughtfully, trying to find an answer.
Danny's thoughts were interrupted by a growling noise, produced from Ember. Ember's blatantly angry expression was on her face as she clutched her stomach. She crinkled her eyebrows together and stared into the growing darkness. "—hungry—"Her hoarse voice traveled blankly as a chilled wind skirted around the two teens, causing their hair to eerily stand on end.
"You know what?" The silence felt uncomfortable when his own voice pushed so forcefully against it, and as if by instinct, he mumbled softer into the phone. "Ember's hungry. We should go somewhere and get her some food."
"Nasty Burger?" Tucker suggested excitedly through the phone. "I could use some chili-cheese fries in this old stomach of mine."
Danny could almost imagine the content smile on Tucker's face. "Okay, so meet at the Nasty Burger?" He agreed. "Are you guys close enough to do that?" Danny asked his two best friends, eager to get help with his seemingly impossible situation.
"Yeah, we can handle it." Sam responded, and by the soft putter of footsteps, Danny could tell they had already started to head to their destination.
"I'll see you guys there then." He replied, as he shut his phone off and craned his neck to stare at Ember. "Okay, Ember, time to go."
Ember lifted herself to her feet shakily, and stumbled forward, but her bruised arm quickly groped support from the bench. Ember was relieved to know that even as a human she still had at least one thing from her original ghostly form: her quick reflexes. She turned to face Danny, a scowl painted her face. She didn't like to be the one taking all the directions. She was the leader.
"Come on, let's go." Danny said as he strolled over to Ember.
Ember glared at Danny, her pride and anger suddenly flared. "You can't tell me what to do." She declared stubbornly. "I'll go anywhere when I want to; on my rules."
"Oh, please not this again," Danny groaned, rubbing his forehead. "Remember last time you didn't listen to me? You got attacked by a ghost, and barely got out alive. It's late, and if you don't let me take you to get food, I'll be more than happy to leave you here to starve." He threatened, his hands on his hips, a scowl on his face. Danny hoped he had knocked some sense into this girl. Even though Ember had only been a human for under a day, she was getting on his last nerve.
Ember was wordless for a moment, blinking thoughtfully, her fists curled in frustration. 'Since when did he become boss?' She thought bitterly to herself. 'Oh yeah since I got turned into a human.' Common sense overruled her anger. She knew needed Danny to survive. As much as this fact repulsed her, she knew that it was more than true.
"Fine." She said reluctantly, not allowing eye-contact between Danny and herself.
Danny sighed in relief and walked softly over to Ember. Ember didn't resist as Danny scooped her in his arms. "Here we go." He declared as he flew up into the air.
Ember grunted as the cool air blew past her as Danny flew up to the evergreen sky toward the Nasty Burger, during the whole while Danny tried his best not to worry about how the sticky soda Ember was covered with might stain his jumpsuit.
"Okay, Ember, we made it," Danny informed her as he flew towards the Nasty Burger.
Landing on the ground in the shadows behind the building, Danny looked around to make sure he wasn't in sight. An energy ring surrounded Danny as he transformed from his white haired, green eyed alter-ego into his dark haired blue eyed human self. "Can you walk?" Danny asked as he gently lowered Ember towards the littered cement.
Ember rolled off Danny's arms and stood up haughtily before him. "Yes, I can walk." She growled, trying to act intimidating, though she looked bizarre and unattractive with her face smears and soda covered clothing.
"Good," Danny replied in a low voice, his face calm. "Let's go get something to eat. I don't know about you, but I am starving."
Ember nodded, glad that she was finally going eat something, and finally cure the stomach pains that were nagging her beyond belief.
The dim lights of the Nasty Burger radiated welcoming beams to Danny and Ember as they walked inside. Even before they both had stepped through the double doors of the restaurant, the greasy, high-calorie smell of cholesterol-induced food streamed through their nostrils. Ember's stomached growled violently. She hadn't had any food all day and groaned, feeling weaker.
"Now, to find Sam and Tucker." Danny mumbled distractedly to himself, and Ember trailed absently behind, almost like dog on a leash.
She was so hungry, but she wasn't going to allow Danny to be aware of her weaknesses. No way, he'd already seen enough vulnerability from her in one day.
"Hey, Danny," A familiar voice called out, and Danny's eyes immediately searched for its source.
Ember noticed Danny's face brighten up as he saw his two friends got up from their seats to greet him.
"Hey, guys," Danny smiled, relief flowing towards him at the sight of his friends
Sam and Tucker squinted at Ember. They were still perplexed that this deadly ghost was human, but what they primarily noticed was Ember's dirty, smudged faced, and the dry soda that that was reflecting against the lights from inside the Nasty Burger.
"What happened to her?" Tucker asked grimly, referring to the mess Ember was in.
"A ghost attacked her." Danny answered dryly.
Ember glared at Danny for telling these two people about her misadventure, but was too weak and miserable to complain.
"A ghost attacked her?" Sam repeated, eyeing Ember judgmentally.
"Look, Ember is hungry," Danny said, hoping to avoid tension. "Let's order and then we can figure out what to do with her."
"Sounds good, Danny," Tucker agreed, his face radiating excitement. "Let's eat."
Ember's stomach growled yet again, and she grunted in aggravation, rubbing her stomach. As if that would silence the never-ending racket her stomach was making. Sam threw a concerned glance at Ember.
"Yes, let's order." She agreed, and immediately the four of them walked up to the cash register.
The cashier was an attractive blond female. "Okay." Taylor—according to her nametag—replied, looking at the latest costumers. "And what do you want?" She asked, throwing distasteful glances at Ember.
"I'd like a Super Double Meat Deluxe Sandwich, and extra emphasis on the deluxe," Tucker told the clerk flirtingly. "And two orders of fries."
Ember followed up behind the others, but what she chiefly noticed was Taylor was examining her appearance with a biased expression. Just by that look, Ember realized that she didn't even want to know what she looked like right now, with her bruised and scratched body, her dirty skin and frayed clothes.
"Hey, did you hear me?" Tucker asked irritably, waving his hand.
"Huh?" Taylor murmured absently, a puzzled look on her face. "Oh, right," She exclaimed, realizing that she wasn't doing her job. Her boss would sogive her a piece of his mind if he saw her like this. Well, right after he got back from his break eating at McDonalds.
"You wanted a Super Double Meat Deluxe Sandwich and two fries, right?" She asked. Tucker nodded in response. She punched in the numbers quickly – she knew how impatient teenagers could get at times way too well – and turned her attention to Sam, trying with her best effort to avoid looking at the strange person a couple feet in front of her.
"I'll have a medium order of the Nasty Veggie Salad." Sam said politely.
"Okay." Taylor replied, typing out the order. "And what do you want?" She asked Danny, still trying to avoid staring at Ember.
"Oh just a Big Nasty Meal," He responded nonchalantly. "Cheeseburger, fries, and a small Spike."
"Alright," Taylor plugged his order in the rusty cash register that obviously appeared to have had quite a life by the look of its painted and re-painted surface. "And what about this—?" Her nasal, dull voice was interrupted at the peak of her insult.
"Ember," Danny cut in quickly, aware that Taylor was going to provoke Ember. "What would you like to order?"
Ember's dark eyes stared up at the menu board warily. "Uh…" Her voice fumbled, and she was at a loss for words. She couldn't understand the lines and dots on the board above her. In her life, she had never really thought that she would have to read.
Sam caught onto Ember's fault, and smirked. "Apparently, our friend can't read," She interrupted, taking charge. "So, I will order for her. Ember's getting…" She leaned against the counter, her arms crossed. "…the same thing Danny's getting. Big Nasty Meal."
"That will be eighteen dollars and forty cents." Taylor told them, while ripping out the receipt from the register, and handed them their tray piled with food.
"Thanks." Sam handed her a twenty dollar bill. "Keep the change." As they walked away, Danny and Tucker's speculating faces stared at Sam. "What?" She asked with a shrug as they sat down in a booth. "It's my parents' money, so I don't care what I do with it."
"Except with the rest of that money I could have bought a little extra." Tucker added while he took a bite of his sandwich, the oily sauce dripping onto his chin.
Ignoring Tucker, Sam handed Danny and Ember their meals. As they took their seats, Sam threw a glance Tucker. "You have atrocious manners, Tucker." She muttered her nose crumpled in disgust.
"Tucker, Sam." Danny interjected irritably. "We have other things to argue about than food. What are we going to do about Ember?"
"I have a solution," Tucker suggested mischievously. "Let's hire a babysitter."
I am sitting right in front of them, for goodness sakes. Ember thought irritably, but then shrugged. Right now, she didn't care. The food tasted so good, and with every bite, her nausea died down, and she began to feel strong again.
"Let's be serious, Tucker." Sam said with a glare at Tucker. "Let's see…uh…how about we take her to your house, Danny?"
Danny let out a slight 'harrumph'. "Like my parents wouldn't notice a former ghost rock star suddenly appearing in their own house?"
"But you know your house is the best solution," Sam argued. "Tucker's home is too small to have Ember in it, and we all know my parents would murder me if I brought her home with me." She insisted, hoping her point would reach Danny.
"Right," Danny growled, putting his chin left hand. "But what are we going to tell my parents? They are pretty gullible, but they aren't stupid." The half-ghost finished off his helping of fries and casually moved onto his cheeseburger.
Meanwhile, Ember stuffed down her first meal since being human and was relieved—for the moment. The three teens weren't paying any attention to her. Who cared if they talked about her in front of her face, as long as she could eat in peace? She'd complain—later.
"You could pretend she is homeless stranger." Tucker suggested thoughtfully. "And she has amnesia."
"That's actually….a good idea Tucker." Danny admitted, smiling lightly. "Except the fact my parents would never let a hobo in our house."
"How about you just tell them the truth?" Sam asked with a questioning gesture of her hand.
"Yeah, right," Danny shook his head, his rugged hair ruffling at the motion. "And then they'd ask questions, and let her sleep nice and cozy with a bowl of soup and hot chocolate on our couch, if she survived them dissecting her first."
Ember looked up anxiously from her meal, her eyes wide in fear.
"Sorry," Sam remark, ignoring Tucker's obnoxious snorts, and resumed back into thinking of another plan in silence.
Then she dropped her fork on the table after taking one last nibble of her salad, and sipped some water out of her bottle.
"How about this?" She suggested hopefully. "When we tell your parents an excuse to let Ember stay, you say that she is a foreign exchange student from Romania, and that Lancer told you that you were responsible for caring for her until further notice."
Danny eyed Sam in wonder. "But what if they don't believe me?" He asked slowly.
"They will," Sam said confidently, and looked at Tucker. "Tucker, do you think you could make a fake document on your PDA that says that gives Ember permission to stay at Danny's house? And could you forge Danny's parents' signatures on it?" She asked the tech-savvy teenager.
"No problem." Tucker answered, a broad smile forming on his face, and stroking his PDA affectionately. "This baby can do anything."
Sam eyed Tucker warily, and then turned his attention back to Danny, who was glued to Sam. So far, her plan seemed logical.
"If that doesn't work, you overshadow them." Sam replied, looking Danny in the eye. "You've done it a couple times before, right?"
"Yeah, I can handle it." Danny conceded with a nod. "But I don't think I will have to. Your plan sounds good enough. If my mom saw the slip with her signature on it, she would just believe she just didn't remember signing it. And then blame old age. But I think there is one problem—my parents won't believe anything I say to them once they see Ember covered in dirt and scratched up."
Sam smiled knowingly, anticipating the boy's reaction of what she was going to say next. "Which brings me to the next part of our plan," She told him confidently. "We sneak her into my house, clean her up, and give her a makeover."
Danny and Tucker and even Ember stopped and stared at Sam in stun disbelief. "What?" They exclaimed incredulously.
"You? Give a makeover?" Tucker asked questionably releasing a hiccup of laughter. "Since when did Danny's parents' inventions get to your head?"
Danny's eyes were wide, trying so hard to hold back the laughs that Tucker was expressing. No way could Danny imagine Sam doing something she was so against—make-up and beauty. Anything Paulina-esque.
"Oh, you just think it is funny," Sam challenged, her eyes narrowed indignantly. "I happen to know more about this junk than you think I do. Just wait."
"No way!" Ember declared, pounding her fists against the table. "No way are you taking me in to become your little Barbie to play around with. You are not going to touch my hair, clothes, or anything!"
Tucker, Danny and Sam stared at Ember, surprised by the temper former ghost girl. Ember stared them all in the eyes, as if waiting them to dare to defy her request.
"Fine, have it your way." Sam retorted, her eyes glaring at Ember. "But at least let us take you to my house to clean you up and get some different clothes," She added in a calmer, more reasonable voice. "No way are you walking around wearing that." She motioned to Ember's once homely and self-recognizable clothes, which were now scratched and dirtied beyond repair. "And then we will decide from there."
Ember grunted in agreement. Over her dead body would she up front agree with Sam's ideas. A grunt would do.
"Then it is settled." Tucker announced confidently.
Ember sighed and turned her attention back to her meal and took another sip of her drink.
Tucker, Danny and Ember stared at Sam, who was wiping her face with a napkin, the last of the group to finish their meal.
"Well, it's about time." Tucker muttered impatiently.
Sam glared at the young genius before getting to her feet. "Okay, let's go," Danny interjected, standing up from the booth, with Tucker and Ember doing the same. The four teenagers, together, exited out of the locally-famous and run-down restaurant.
A brown-haired balding waiter sulked over to clean the table and stopped, his lip twitching at the new mess he would have to clean. He noticed that one of the seats was smeared with dry soda.
"Teenagers." He muttered, saving the dirty seat for last. Maybe he would get to go on a break before he had to clean that. "Just wait, Amity Park, one day I'll be somebody. Then nobody will be laughing at me."
Danny, Tucker, Sam and Ember walked through the deserted streets of Amity Park; the sky was dark, and the wind was chilling, as if reflecting their moods at the exact same moment.
"Sam, I was wondering," Danny said suddenly. "Could Ember stay here for tonight and we'll make the preparation for my house tomorrow?"
"Danny, I already said my parents won't allow her to stay." Sam reminded Danny curtly.
"It's only for one night," Danny countered. "And besides, if you take her in your house for your makeover, you'll still need to explain if they catch her in your house."
"He has a point, Sam." Tucker commented dryly.
Sam was silent as she considered Danny's words. "You could pretend she is friend and ask if she can sleep over at your house," Danny suggested. "And I'll overshadow them as a precaution."
Sam's face brightened. "That just might work." She threw a glance at Ember who was sullenly following them. "Is that fine with you, Ember?" She asked dryly.
Ember rolled her eyes. "Yeah. Whatever." She retorted with a flick of her wrist, still angry with her powerless human body, the filth in her hair and clothing, and the indignations she had suffered.
Moments later, the gang reached the edge of Sam's huge jealously-spawning mansion. "Okay, we're here," Sam said, looking back at the others. "Tucker, Ember, wait here till we get back." She looked at Danny. "Danny you go ghost and make sure things go properly."
"Got it, Sam," Danny replied, his ghost ring surrounded around his thin body, splitting apart to reveal the famous ghost boy.
Sam walked toward her mansion, while Danny invisibly followed her in the air.
Tucker and Ember waited silently outside, boredom setting in. Tucker threw a glance at the former ghost girl. "So, what is it like being human?" He asked curiously.
Ember glared at the tech genius, her arms flexed, her fists clutched in front her. "You got a death wish, nerd?" She demanded, her discolored face twisted with rage.
Tucker realized he had made a mistake. "No, no trouble!" He exclaimed, knowing that even without her powers, Ember had the motivation and means to hurt him badly.
Ember scowled. "Then mind your own business, nerd." She spat, taking a few breaths and relaxing.
Tucker turned his back towards her, grimacing. "What a grouch." He muttered sullenly.
"What did you say?" Ember's voice shrilly demanded, glaring murder at Tucker.
"Nothing," Tucker answered quickly, grinning nervously.
Ember grunted, crossing her arms against her chest. Tucker turned away, hoping Danny and Sam would get back soon.