A/N: Work really clogs up my day. Sorry this is a bit late...again. Ah well. It's the last chapter. I wanted to make it grand, so I took my time and enjoyed it. But, man! It's painful to write these last two author's notes. I'm so reluctant and yet so excited at the same time. Please enjoy this last chapter!
Disclaimer: For the last and final time, I don't own the Danny Phantom characters. All the others, the plot, the ideas are mine.
Chapter 41 Saving the World
Eris had finally lost her cool. She'd been going on a downward spiral for the past few minutes while her and Theo watched Danny's and Plasmius's battle from the silent sidelines. It wasn't until Danny gave the final thrust of his sword that she completely lost it.
In the blink of an eye, she and Theo returned to the goddess's cosmic sanctuary. The half sphinx kept running his hand through his brown shaggy hair and clenching his fists, all in attempt to bottle up his soaring emotions of victory so Eris couldn't see. He shouldn't have bothered. The goddess was on a furious tyrant. Star constellations dimmed and brightened as the woman screamed her frustration and anger. She paced back and forth through her night sky. Dark energy oozed ominously out of her and curled like slithering snakes into the air before fading. She was not someone to be reckoned with. That's for sure.
"This is all your fault!" Eris finally pinned the blame on Theo. She whirled on him like an angry, hissing cat and pointed an accusatory forefinger at him. By this time she had grown, and her index finger was the size of the demigod she was condemning.
"My fault?" Theo asked with plain sarcasm. He crossed his arms over his chest and gave the goddess a stern look before asking, "And how is this my fault?"
"Oh! Don't you play coy with me!" Eris snarled, pushing her giant face toward him.
"I'm not being coy," Theo retorted. He was done being scared. Danny had won. Plasmius was gone. He was more angry the goddess hadn't lived up to her word yet than anything else right now. "I'm being realistic. I had nothing to do with your boss being killed."
"You're the one who trained the kid!" she proclaimed with exasperation.
"If you weren't so upset that you lost our bet, you wouldn't be playing your stupid mind games with me right now!" Theo shouted back. His ears were flat, and his mood was cross. He wanted out. They had made a deal. Eris was just being a sore loser.
"Oh ho ho!" Eris laughed mirthlessly. An evil shine was making its way to her yellow eyes. "So you want to play games, my little kitty cat? Here! Try this one! It's called survive my domain of chaos!"
The floor fell out under Theo's feet. Not for the first time that night, he was falling into a dark void. His ears were filled with the haunting sound of the goddess's laughter. He landed on something stringy and bouncy. Like a trampoline. On impact, the material indented. Theo thought he was going to be thrown off, but the material was sticky and snapped him back before he could fall.
Something that sounded like a flood light boomed on from below. The light casted drastic, fathomless shadows into oblivion. Theo grunted, trying to pull his arm off the substance that he was laying on. The light shone through the semitransparent, rope-like substance. It came to Theo's realization that he was caught in a web.
With a racing heart, Theo grunted and struggled to get his limbs free of the sticky string but to to no avail. A hiss was generated from the depths of the web. Theo looked over his heaving chest to see a creature arrive out of the shadows.
It was a massive black arachnid. Its eight spindly legs were the size of the the demigod himself. They moved with erratic feel to them, almost as if anticipating their helpless prey. Saliva cultivated at the spider's two movable jaw-like mandibles. With a striking contrast to the rest of the color of the spider, a blood red marking of an hourglass was on the underside of the spider's large abdomen. The symbol of time was a sadistic metaphor to its victims. They wouldn't have much of it when the spider injected her prey with her toxic venom.
For a moment, Theo thought he was going to panic. On the inside, he surely did. Fear swelled up and clogged his brain from all thinking. Breathing became difficult, and his fight or flight instincts were befuddled because he wanted to run but he couldn't.
It took well trained inner strength for the half sphinx to calm his brain down just enough to think straight. Panting, Theo yelled into the darkness, "You can't kill me, Eris! You know you can't interfere with the lives of the people in your domain! You'll have to make me go crazy before you can do anything like it!"
"My poor kitty cat," Eris's voice echoed off the walls of whatever chamber Theo had been dumped in. "I might not be able to kill you, but my spider surely can. You two make nice now."
A deep frown formed on the demigod's face after he heard this. His eyes wearily followed the creepy movements of the spider that now towered over him. He could see the large, pointy stinger on the hungry creature. It dripped with deadly venom as it poised above her trapped victim. It then lunged downward with thoughts of plunging the stinger into the hapless prey.
At the last second, Theo burst into flames. The web's stickiness was burnt to a crisp all in the matter of a second. It left Theo to fall again, but he thought it better than to have the spider sting and eat him. Not a good way to go.
Unexpectedly, Theo landed soon after escaping the spider with his fire display and fall. He gave a small grunt at the rough impact with a cement floor and his shoulder. He cautiously raised his head and looked for the danger he knew would come.
What next? A giant frog that would chase after him, thinking the cat was a fly it could pick off with its sticky tongue? A monstrously huge bug that would eat his head off? Or worse; a dog? Theo shivered at the horrible thought.
"Please don't let it be a canine," Theo muttered into the darkness to himself. He hoped Eris hadn't heard him and hoped that saying that wouldn't be dooming himself.
As if these words triggered something, lights once again blasted to life all around. Loud, obnoxious theme park music pounded out of speakers that were not visible. The intruding sound made Theo's sensitive cat ears flatten in minor aggravation. What the feline really didn't like was the wall that surrounded him. It circled him with mirror panes. Not one of them was an exit. To put icing on top of that cake, the mirrors began to move in a circle around the demigod, constantly mimicking his frustrated and confused expression as the music played the same circus tune over and over again.
"If my spider couldn't get to you, Theo, I know this will," Eris's voice floated out of the speakers. "I know how impatient you are. You'll get out of this room till you are ready. Ready to die, that is." With a sadistic laugh, her voice faded away.
What the goddess didn't know was how the demigod had grown internally as well as externally. While a couple of decades ago he was a growing, stubborn and impatient teen, he was now a strong young man with a wife and a kid. He'd grown out of his childish restlessness long ago.
"I'll be right here, Eris!" Theo yelled back, knowing the goddess could hear him even if he raised his voice or not. "And I'll wait till forever. We had a deal, and you're being a baby about it! I'll be waiting here until you realize I'm not going to go insane any time soon. This isn't a death sentence. It's a challenge."
That said, Theo plopped himself on the floor and waited. He waited a very long time. In his opinion, he didn't know how long he waited and would never know. Time was irreverent in his fun-house prison. At times it went by fast. Other times it was sluggish and slow. Sometimes it felt like he'd been there for days. Minutes later it felt like his duration was a couple hours.
All the while he waited, the half sphinx stared at his dizzying images in the mirrors that kept twirling around him. Sometimes he'd stretch and get up to practice with his staff. He didn't say anything, preferring to keep his thoughts to himself. He kept all his pondering light and peaceful. He would wonder about his son and how he would grow up. He'd make plans on how to take Rhodes out on dates in the future. She was a hard one to surprise, so it was a fun little challenge for him to plan these things with her. He would also bring back his past and look over memories, the good and bad. All in all, his time of waiting was, if anything besides boring, restful. In all actuality, he needed the break from reality.
Without any warning, the music was cut off and the mirrors slowed to a stop. Theo had been sitting stoically, but the sudden change made him stand in alert. He was already prepared for what to say when Eris showed herself. He had plenty of time to think about it.
She arrived in a wisp of crimson smoke that smelled like sulfur. It was befitting in Theo's opinion. He kept his mouth shut as he watched her materialize behind him in one of the mirrors he faced. But when he turned around to face her, she wasn't there. Confused, he looked into another mirror. She stood proud and tall in the reflection, but she was no where to be seen on his plane of reality.
"You're proving to be boring, Theo," Eris whined with disinterest. "What am I going to do with you?"
"You could let me go with the Infi-map like you said you would when we made that bet," Theo answered boldly. Her image in one of the mirrors glared at him as he said, "Hear me out, Eris. You might be some crack pot goddess of chaos, but at least I understand how you work. You just want misery and chaos. You thought with Vlad in rule you were getting what you wanted, but look at yourself! Going by Vlad's rules and regulations. You were upset that Danny killed him! That isn't anything like you. And you know it."
"Are you saying that I'm bound to such a lowlife as Vlad Plasmius?" Eris practically screeched at the demigod through the mirrors. Theo flinched, but he did not back down. He simply took it as Eris told him, "I am my own goddess! Nobody tells me what to do! I am no puppet!"
"Then why are you defending yourself?" Theo asked, trying not to sound too smug.
"Any smart human would keep their idiotic mouth shut," Eris snapped back. "Maybe you are more stupid than I thought."
"Good," Theo said, placing a confident hand on his hip while staring into a mirror where he could clearly see the goddess's angered expression. "Now that I'm entertaining to you, maybe you'll listen. With Vlad gone, you can do whatever you want. You seemed desperate when I came into your domain. How many people have traveled here since you started working for him?"
When Eris didn't respond right away, Theo continued. "Not much," he estimated right. "No matter. So you were swindled out of some torture of humans for a few years. Now with him gone, everyone is very confused. I say it's the perfect time to work your magic on the outside world again."
Theo paused here to give the goddess some time to think about his words. He watched Eris pace behind him in the mirror. He glanced behind his shoulder again. There was no physical sign there. She was still hiding in the mirrors.
"You make an excellent point, my kitty cat," Eris purred, trailing a long finger across his shoulders. Theo couldn't repress the icy shiver that spiked down his spine at the intimate touch. He watched her in the mirror lean close to his ear and heard her voice as she said, "Go on."
Swallowing hard, Theo said, "War is your element, Eris. I don't want it, but the world might come to it. The dethroning of Vlad was probably the best thing that could happen to you. Everyone out there is confused, scared, angry, and miserable. They are all ripe for the picking for you."
"You're a brilliant strategist, my furry feline friend," Eris laughed. In the mirror she moved so she was at his side and proceeded to play with his cat ears as she asked innocently, "But there must be a catch to your careful planning. What's in it for you for telling me all this?"
It was strange to feel the woman's touch on his ears and to have them move by invisible hands. Theo gave a fleeting glance up at them before answering seriously, "You have to give me the Infi-map. To go to the real world, you have to give it up. Give it to me."
"What will you do with it?" Eris asked with curiosity.
Theo gave her invisible form a thin smile, answering, "Finish it."
Eris, liking this answer, appeared suddenly in front of the demigod. In one hand she held the map. It sparkled with golden power in her grasp. Theo eyed it before bringing his gaze up to meet hers. He didn't step back when Eris gripped his chin with her free hand and brought their faces close together. She seemed to breathe in his emotions as she smiled wily at the demigod.
"Hopefully I'll see you soon, my precious fur ball," she told him in one of her more seductive voices as she placed the map in his hands. As soon as his fingers curled around the object, he was transported back to Level 55's main chamber in a flash of white light.
Gasping, Theo took a step back and examined the new scene in surprise. His wide eyes took in the dead and wounded bodies of the squad warriors strewn around the floor. The battle was finished. The victors sat nearby, tending to wounds and catching their breaths. A few warriors were bandaging each other up after the brutal fight. Rhodes was resting her tired head against a wall, watching wearily as Ember proudly plucked a few simple chords on her guitar. Takashi sat on the Nazi form of Mac, smiling slightly as he conversed jovially with the weakened but friendly Guardian. It was a very odd sight indeed.
"You took long enough," Takashi said, throwing Theo a playful grin. "I had to recruit Ember because you decided to have a party in there."
"Ember?" Theo said in surprise. "How? Why? I...You know what? Whatever. I don't care." Ember snickered at his reaction, still playing a somber melody on her guitar.
"You okay?" Rhodes asked quietly from Theo's side. She looked worn and tired, but she was holding up quite well after such an intense battle. "What happened in there? Where did you go?"
"Long story," Theo chuckled. Sighing with finality, he held up the Infi-map and looked it over with exhausted eyes. After years of careful planning on everyone's part, winning was in their grasp. It felt good, but there was one last thing he needed to do for it to be complete.
Everyone watched in reserved silence as Theo stepped into the middle of the room and held up the Infi-map. He let it hang there in the air just above his head, glowing with calming peace as if it knew what was going on and what it was about to do. Theo slowly raked his eyes over the surface of his greatest creation. Its complexity was creatively beautiful. Theo knew he'd never be able to make something as great as the thing in front of him now. It was a sad moment of quiet realization.
Whispering, Theo said to the Infi-map, "You know what has to happen now. Go where you were meant to be."
The Infi-map started to grow brighter. It sparkled as the light inside it got stronger. Faint jumbled musical notes washed over the room. Everyone watched it in silence. Even Ember stopped her strumming on the guitar to observe what was going on. Theo wrapped his arm around his wife's waist, watching sadly as his life's work destroyed itself before his very eyes. A white light burst out from the map, forcing everyone to squint or shield their eyes. When they looked back, the Infi-map was gone.
"I almost can't believe it. You humans actually pulled it off," Mac said, a hint of awe in his voice. Takashi was still sitting on him, making the Guardian look a bit silly.
"You should go, Mac," Takashi said. The Guardian sounded drained. Emotionally and physically. "You know how it pains Guardians if they stay past their master's death."
"What about you?" Mac asked critically. "You're the one who changed sides to get back to the ghost zone in the first place. You must be close to fading right now."
"I have one last thing I need to do before leaving this world," Takashi answered.
"Fine by me, man," Mac said with a roll of his eyes. "I'll see later, kid. Work on your defense with that katana while I'm gone. I don't want you to suck at fighting when we have to battle each other again." That said, the Guardian gradually faded into smoke before vanishing.
"Come on, you losers," Ember spat at the rest of the group. She was by the door, looking sour like she usually did. The rest of the group gave her equal confused looks. Sighing with their slowness, the ghost of rock 'n roll said, "Let's go find the dipstick and the rest before I get bored."
Nervously running a hand through his black, sweat laden hair, Danny waited in the middle of the ballroom floor. He was shaky and hurt. The blood collecting at his side was a bitter reminder of the wound he'd gotten during the fight. The boy sucked in a painful gasp for air. He didn't know what to do now that it was over.
He had just watched Vlad's body vanish into tendrils of ghostly smoke. There would be no body to remember Vlad Plasmius. Danny didn't know if that was a good or bad thing. Maybe nobody would want to remember the evil deeds he had done to the world.
When Danny came back in time, he'd misplaced his communicator. He had no idea what was going on in the rest of the Tower. Had Theo destroyed the Infi-map? How were the ground troops doing? Was Zara keeping Sam and Melody safe? And what was Mandrake's status? These questions mentally tortured the worn and torn teen sitting there forlornly on an empty dance floor.
"There he is!" a familiar voice shouted from one of the doorways to the ballroom. Alarm showed on Danny's face when he lifted his head up and saw Ember standing in the entrance.
Danny reacted on pure instinct. He was on his feet again in less than a second, simultaneously releasing his blade from its place on his back. A hardened frown displayed on his face as he shifted his weight into a fighting stance. He was ready for whatever the ghost girl threw at him.
"Ha! Look at him! The dipstick is actually ready for more!" Ember laughed in amusement.
The rest of the team caught up then. Bafflement washed over Danny's confused features when Theo, Rhodes, Takashi, and a few warriors rushed into the doorway, out of breath and excited to see him. They were actually grinning. Did that mean good news?
"Don't look so dumb, kid," Theo called out to his friend. "Come on! We're going down to meet up with the squads on the ground." The demigod paused to read Danny's face. He wasn't surprised to see some hesitation there, but there was something else mixed in. Relief? "What's up?" he finally asked as the others all left, not waiting for Theo and Danny.
"I'm just...tired," Danny finally sighed. He put on a small smile as he walked toward Theo, trying not to wince in pain as hot flashes flared at his side. "I'm also confused," he said once they were striding side-by-side. "What's up with Ember?"
"Don't ask me, ghost kid," Theo said with a quick shake of his head. "Your guess is as good as mine. Um...are you okay with...everything?" The question had been asked with much trepidation. He didn't want to upset Danny in any way, but he found the need to know.
Danny didn't answer at first. He merely looked ahead, almost thoughtfully. Just when Theo thought the boy was ignoring his question, Danny turned to him and managed a genuine grin before saying, "Yeah. I'm good." Laughing, he added sarcastically, "I'm always good. You should know that by now."
"You sure you're okay? You just kinda killed Vlad Plasmius. That wasn't exactly an easy task. And, if I'm mistaken, you didn't want to do it before coming here. Did you just change your mind or what?"
"That was my decision. It might not have been completely moral for me to kill him, but I didn't see it as murder. It was a result and consequence to all his own evil deeds."
"So you're okay with this?"
"I'll never be okay with killing, but yeah. I accept that I killed Plasmius because humanity needed it. As a superhero, it's my job to help them."
"Can you stop it with all the dang questions, Theo?" Danny practically screamed at the demigod. "Jeez, you sound like me!"
The two friends stared at each other before breaking out into laughter. It all ended when Danny gave a small, strangled cry of pain and clutched his side. Laughing had been too much for his wound. It felt like it was in flames now more than ever. Wincing, the pain brought Danny to his hands and knees.
"Whoa! What's the matter? You hurt?" Theo said, quickly kneeling beside the ghost boy. He pulled Danny's hand away from the wound to inspect the damage and yelled at the teen, "Idiot! Why didn't you tell me this sooner!"
"Because you were too busy asking me stupid questions," Danny answered in an amused grunt. "This is your fault, cat boy."
"Real cute," Theo huffed irritably to himself. He stood suddenly, saying urgently, "Stay here. Relax. I'll get some people to pick you up. They'll patch you up. Just hang on."
Danny nodded, smiling as he watched Theo run off for help. The feline hadn't wasted a single second. In less than ten minutes, a group of Rebellion members was by the ghost boy's side and easing him into a stretcher. A nurse produced a syringe filled with a numbing liquid for his side. Danny closed his eyes as they brought him to the roof where he'd be flown off back to the Rebellion's hidden main base.
Other stretchers occupied with the wounded were being loaded into the ships docked there of the Tower's roof. Nurses and warriors were running every which way, making sure things were going smoothly. Danny didn't notice. With the pain gone, he focused on the hum of the ship's solar engines as he willed himself into a peaceful sleep.
Before his mind could wander off, a hand slipped into his. He knew that hand. He quickly opened his eyes and turned his head to look at the person in the stretcher next to him. It was Sam.
"Fancy meeting you here," Sam mumbled with a sarcastic smile.
"Yeah. I got this cut on my side. What about you?" Danny asked playfully. "Did you run with scissors again? You know how we talked about this."
Sam gave a small laugh before saying, "I got shot in the shoulder. Freaking hurts."
"Sorry," Danny whispered dismally.
"You're not the one who shot me," Sam chuckled at the boy. She paused before asking slowly, "Did you do it?"
"Yeah," Danny answered after a heavy sigh.
There was a pause between the two. Danny was fading away quickly. There must have been some sleeping medicine in the pain killing serum he'd received from the nurse. He was halfway between dream world and the real one when Sam asked him one final question.
"What's next for us, Danny?"
"We carry on," Danny sighed before drifting off to sleep.
-Two Years Later-
"I feel silly."
"You look dashing."
"Really? Dashing? Who was the last person who said that? An 18th century Englishman? Seriously."
"Fine. You look handsome. Happy now?"
"No. I'm also hot and sweaty. Don't the people who make these gowns know how hot they are? I think I'm gonna have a heatstroke."
"Danny," Sam told her boyfriend with a stern but amused sigh.
"What?" Danny whined like a little boy. He frowned as she put on the finishing touches to his maroon colored graduation gown. It was the the cap. The golden tassel hung in his face, obscuring his view of Sam.
"This is the last day of you ever being in high school," Sam said. "Nothing should stand in your way from making you happy. Got that?" She fixed the tassel to one side before giving him a peck on the cheek.
"Duly noted," Danny said with a faint smile.
A knock sounded on the door to Danny's room. The door swung open a second later. In stepped a giddy Jazz, Tucker cladded in the same outfit as theirs, and someone Sam and Danny were greatly surprised to see. Zaramama. They hadn't seen her since their adventure in the future two years prior. What was she doing here?
"I'm so proud of you, Danny!" Jazz told her younger brother with a big, excited smile and an obnoxious squeal that made Zara wince in deep annoyance. The older sister quickly swung her arm around him while holding up her camera, snapping a few pictures of them for a scrapbook somewhere in the future. After being thoroughly dazed from the bombardment of flashes, Danny managed to pull away and ask while rubbing his eyes, "How do you know Zara?"
"Zara? Who's Zara?" Jazz asked, confused. She looked over at Zara before asking, "Do you mean Rosemary? She's...uh...she's a friend from my college. We're roommates!" Her tone clearly showed the girl's nervousness over the subject. Tucker looked the most confused of the group by far.
"I...oh...I thought she was someone else," Danny said. He looked to Zara and smiled slyly at her. "Roommates, huh?" he said knowingly. This was the past Zara. She was now Jazz's Guardian and didn't know him at all. He found this to his advantage because he knew everything there was about the Guardian.
"Do you know me, loser?" Zara asked in something close to a scoff.
"Nope," Danny answered with an evil grin. It was fun keeping her guessing. Payback would be sweet.
It was a long process getting everyone to the school for their graduation. The three friends had to endure proud and beaming parents and their obsessive cameras that came with cheesy smiles, a frighteningly fast RV ride that left passengers questioning Jack Fenton's actual license, and a crowd of school mates that needed last minute messages and signatures in their yearbooks.
By the time the graduation ceremony had started, Danny realized how his stomach was chuck full of butterflies. He was going to have to give a speech, being the town's superhero ghost boy and all. So was Sam and Tucker. They were all pretty nervous when they took their seats on the stage that was placed on one side of the Casper High Raven's football field.
Danny was to go first. On wobbly legs that had suddenly turned into jello, the grown teen strode toward the microphone set up on center stage. Every eye was focused on him. Why was it that he could laugh in the face of danger when battling evil ghosts and then be reduced to a petrified kid when it came down to a simple speech?
Opening his mouth, Danny suddenly knew he was going to nail this thing as a surge of confidence came through him. He never got to it. Just as he was beginning to speak, a green portal burst open behind him. He half turned, confused and a bit wary of the swirling vortex.
The crowd all gasped when hands came through the ghost portal and grabbed Danny and Sam before dragging them in with one fell swoop. Once the two teens were through, the portal vanished as if lamely pretending that nothing of the sort of kidnap had happened. Nobody knew what to do. They simply stared at the empty stage before turning their eyes expectedly toward Mr. Lancer. The man gave the crowd a nervous grin. He was going to kill the ghost kid for this.
Meanwhile, Danny and Sam were jostled into darkness. The two bewildered teens bumped and hit into each other as unseen people swarmed around them, yanking off their gowns and caps. All the while, they were being pushed up a flight of steps.
Just as Danny was about to go ghost and blast everyone in the room to tomorrow, a door was thrown open and he and Sam were thrown into the dazzling light. They stumbled forward into the breezy, sunny day, confused, slightly frightened, and greatly bothered for the disturbance.
"What's that noise?" Danny asked Sam. It sounded like howling wind, but not quite. His eyes were just then adjusting to the new light. He looked up and out. The sight nearly took his breath away.
They were in the future. But not the future they had left two years ago. They were on the roof of the Tower. Instead of the grimy, dying city that Vlad Plasmius had ruled by using pain and suffering, there was a beautiful modern city around them that rose up proudly to meet them. Skyscrapers were sparkling and gleaming in the plentiful sunlight. Holographic signs displayed and proclaimed products to be sold and bought. The air was full of life, hope, and the usual smell of human grittiness a city produces. The depressing decay was gone. The transformation blew the two away.
"Nice, huh?" Theo asked them as he popped up between them. Bob was with him, nodding in agreement. "I think the change went quite well. I guess I should give you some credit, ghost boy." He gave the two a wry grin as they took him in with surprise and joy.
"Theo!" Danny exclaimed before throwing his arms around his friend's shoulders for a hug. Sam did the same, laughing as the demigod's ears flattened in annoyance. Typical Theo.
"Alright! Get off me!" Theo yelled at the two. They quickly obeyed, knowing that he was serious. The half sphinx steadied himself while muttering, "Jeez, they are like trained smotherers."
"How long has it been since we left?" Sam asked as she and Danny pulled away.
"Five years," Rhodes answered as she seemingly appeared next to them. At her side was cute little Danny. He watched the two humans with timid interest, fox tail swishing around behind him like his mom's.
"Boy, he's grown!" Danny said when he spotted the kid. The smaller Danny shyly hid behind Rhodes's legs, peeking out only when he had worked up the courage to look at the young man he was named after. Sam giggled from his cuteness.
"I've grown too," a voice said from behind them. Danny and Sam turned, but they didn't recognize the twelve-year-old that stood there. Her brown hair was long and blew elegantly in the breeze. Freckles dotted her face. Her stance was of someone with renewed confidence and energy. The girl smiled at the pair, waiting for them to catch on. It were her golden eyes that did the trick.
"Melody?" Danny asked in astonishment. "Wow! Is that really you?"
Melody's usual shyness came back in that moment. Her cheeks blushed pink as she ground the toe of her sneaker into the floor. "Yeah," she said, pushing a lock of hair out of her face. "I've missed you," she finally said.
She couldn't say anymore because Danny was wrapping his arms around her. Choking on her tears, Melody gripped the ghost boy hard and long. She buried her face into his shoulder, remembering and relishing his smell and ghostly energy from long ago. Danny had been the first to show her kindness. The first to show her humanity and what it felt like. He had been the first step toward the life and happiness she had today. She would never be able to thank him enough or get him to understand what he did to her life.
"Oh my gosh!" Melody suddenly yelled in excitement, pulling away from Danny as she remembered something. "You weren't here when I first got them!"
"Got who?" Danny and Sam asked in unison.
"My new parents!" Melody said. She was practically jumping up and down now, a typical teenager with too much joy. She snapped her fingers, and two puffs of smoke appeared at her sides. As the smoke cleared, they could see who the two were.
Zara stood on Melody's right, hands on her hips and a sneaky smile adorning her lips. On the other was Takashi. As usual, his hands were placed in his pockets and his relaxed stance was poised with aloof assurance.
"New parents?" Danny asked in astonishment. Then again, it seemed so right the two Guardians would come to love each other and take care of the girl.
Sam took one look at Takashi before jumping on him with a hug. She had missed the Guardian greatly. He had taken care of her for those three horrible months she was Vlad's prisoner. Without him, she knew she wouldn't be there today. He would have said the same about her, but he hadn't expected so much of an emotional reaction out her. After a second of awkwardness, he hugged the human back.
"If you cry, I'll beat you up," Sam said into his ear, still hugging him.
"I'd like to see you try, human," he teased back.
"How have you been, ghost dork?" Zara was asking Danny. "Not too many problems in ol' Amity Park, have there?"
"Well, I just met your past self for the first time today," Danny said with a grimace.
"Oh," Zara said in realization. "Crud. I remember that. You sucked like you always do, but somehow your sister beat you in that category. If you have any ounce of pity in you, kid, get me away from that girl. I can tell you right now, I'm ready to murder her back in that time period. Stop me...if you can."
"Is that a challenge?" Danny questioned with a raised eyebrow.
"We'll see," she answered cryptically.
"I hate to break up the reunion, Mr. Fenton, but I think there's someone who wants to see you," Mandrake said from behind. Danny turned around, grinning. He had a lot of respect for this man. Without him, the Rebellion would have died off years ago. The two shook hands because Danny thought Mandrake wouldn't find a hug funny or needed.
"Who wants to meet me?" Danny asked.
"Follow me," Mandrake said. A sly smile curled the corners of his lips as he motioned for everyone to come and walk behind him.
Curious by this, Danny and Sam ventured after the dragon with the others trailing closely behind. They traveled across the roof of the Tower, heading for an edge that lead out onto a platform that would give them visual out over the city and the street below. It was then when Danny noticed the large, billboard sized video screens that hovered in the air. They were turned away from him, so he didn't know what they were displaying.
When Danny walked out over the platform, the noise he had heard when arriving in the time period grew greatly louder. With a gasp, Danny saw what was producing the noise. He looked down and out over the platform where a sea of people had converged as a massive group. There had to be millions of humans gathered below or on roofs of buildings. The second they all saw him, a cheer rose up from them that could have broken the earth up a second time. The sheer noise was overwhelming to the ghost boy.
"They are here for you, Danny," Mandrake quietly told the teen. "You are their saviour."
"Saviour?" Danny managed to croak out of his throat that had clogged with emotion. "No-I...I didn't do anything. I was just doing my job."
"Still, you did your job very well," Theo said with a warm, proud smile for his friend and former student. "Stop trying to be humble, kid. Take your place as hero. You've earned it. And for once I'm not being sarcastic."
Bob rolled his eyes when hearing this from the demigod before waving to the crowd with his stubby, green knobs for hands. Little Danny saw this and did the same as he still hung around his mother's legs. Rhodes watched her son with a peaceful smile on her face. Theo ruined this expression as he pulled her into a kiss.
Tentatively, Danny stepped out to the very edge of the platform. Sam lingered behind him as silent support. He looked up at the hologram screens floating above him. His face was on every one of them. It was scary and exciting at the same time.
"Go ghost," Sam told her boyfriend from behind. He glanced back at her, unsure. She smiled at him. "Go on. It's all you have to do." Danny nodded before turning back around and looking out over the waiting crowd.
"I'm going ghost!" Danny shouted across the city. The cool rings erupted out of him, transforming the human into his ghostly counter part in a mere second. The moment the change was complete, the crowd went crazy with their cheers. The noise rose up and hit the young man. He could literally feel the hope and joy in their collaborated voices. They swelled up in one single emotion that brought tears to Danny's eyes. He had helped all these people. To see the result of his selfless deeds here before him today was an experience he had rarely had the pleasure to feel in the past. And none of it could be as powerful as this one.
"You did it again, Danny. You saved the world," Sam said to him as she slipped her hand into his. The teen quickly wiped away any trace of tears as he gave a quiet chuckle.
"Yeah," he said with a smile. It was a smile that lit up his entire face. "I did. Not bad for a kid just getting out of high school, huh?"
Written By: Pixiegirl13
A/N: Wow. I'm pretty content with my ending. This fic was fun, hard, enjoyable, frustrating, and helpful all wrapped up into one. There are a lot of things I'm gonna take away from this fic. I think I've learned a lot about writing since I began Phantom Mythology two very long years ago. A lot has happened in my life since then. I graduated from high school, I moved to Peru, I moved to Atlanta and endured an insane family member, I got my first job at Petsmart, moved to Canada, and now I'm completing a chapter of my life by ending this very fic. I feel like after I'm done with this project, it will be like ending a very good book in my life. Sad, but thoroughly worth it.
I'd like to thank the Lord for giving me this gift of writing and installing in me one strange imagination to create these plots and characters. Without this whacky imagination and interest in Greek Mythology, this fic would have never been made.
Also, I'd like to thank Butch Hartman for making the show Danny Phantom. He's a genius in the animation field. His work has inspired a lot in me. I'd like to thank him personally one day.
Lastly, I gotta thank you readers and reviewers. Sheesh. The Danny Phantom fan base is just full of nice people. I've met such great friends here while writing Danny Phantom fics. You guys are amazing and supportive. Without you guys, I'd never want to write. I write for you people. If I wrote for myself, I'd keep a journal. Again, thanks!
As with all my last chapters, I'll be answering all reviews that come along. Even if you happen along way in the future, I'll probably see your review and respond. And if you guys are interested in more of my stuff, I'm about to post a new fic up in the next week or so. It's a Clockwork fic.
And here so is the ending of another chapter of my life. It's been fun.
I'm done here. -jumps into a ghost portal and vanishes-