A/N: Yay, another introspective and random one-shot idea. In all honesty, this one's dead serious, so if you're looking for laughs, you'll have to look elsewhere. This could be considered a companion piece to 'What I Always Wanted' if you turn your head sideways and squint, but only in the loosest sense. If you feel like looking that one up as well though, you're more than welcome. And here we go!
Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom
He was dead. Well, technically he was half-dead, but that was beside the point. At first it wasn't so obvious. When he was Fenton, he was fully human, perhaps a bit cooler than normal, but still human. And when he was Phantom, he was a ghost. His temperature plummeted, his blood turned green and his heart stopped. That had to be the freakiest feeling he had ever experienced; it was strange how you took simple things like a heartbeat for granted until you couldn't find it anymore. For the first few years he still breathed as a ghost, but he had come to realize that it was out of habit rather than any need for oxygen. He didn't do it anymore when he was in ghost form. It avoided situations like that Ghost Bug incident of Spectra's (he still couldn't believe he let Bertrand knock him out like that!).
But once again, that was beside the point. The point is that, while in the beginning he was quite obviously two different entities, the line between Phantom and Fenton had blurred as time went on. He wasn't sure what the cause was, maybe it just took that long for the ectoplasm to fully bond with his DNA, maybe it was some sub-conscious acknowledgement that he was happier as Phantom than he could ever be alive, but either way, his ghost side was clearly leaking into his human form.
He first noticed something amiss after yet another ghost fight (Skulker vs. Phantom-round 1083 ding). Skulker had attacked him out of nowhere, getting a lucky shot to his side before Danny could react. The scuffle that followed was business as usual, but Danny had noticed something strange once the little blob was securely in the thermos and he had turned human. At first he thought his eyes were tricking him, or that some of the ectoplasm he had bled earlier was left in the wound, but a thorough cleansing of the gash had proven otherwise. He was still bleeding ectoplasm.
Not entirely, it was just a hint of green mixed with the crimson flow, but it was there.
That was clue #1, but others soon followed. In winter Sam and Tucker huddled miserably in their coats while he walked around quite comfortably in a sweater. In summer his friends sweated and simmered respectively while Danny felt perfectly cool. It was like the human realm didn't touch him anymore, like he wasn't part of it. His powers became easier to access; suddenly they were just below the surface, ready to emerge at the slightest notice. While he wasn't pasty white, he didn't tan anymore or get burnt. It was like the sun itself had abandoned him, telling him to go back to the night and all the dark creatures. The dark creatures that were his kindred in a sense.
Possibly the most panic inducing moment was when Jazz had told him to watch himself because he was starting to float while he slept. It wasn't unusual anymore for him to wake up three feet off his mattress. How was he supposed to explain that one to his parents?!
If he was being perfectly honest with himself, he had been worried for a short time that he was loosing his humanity, that somehow the ectoplasm was overriding his human DNA. He would be lying if he claimed that the very idea didn't scare him; he had numerous nightmares about the prospect (he'd had some time explaining the smoking hole in his bedroom wall, how do you tell your ghost hunting parents that you shot an ectoplasmic beam out of instinct?). It wasn't that he was afraid of death. How could he be, being what he was? He saw death all the time, saw what comes after it, fought against it. The thought of dying didn't scare him in the least. But he had seen what he was capable of, what might happen if he didn't have that human conscience holding him in check.
The scare had passed. Tests had reassured him that he was still as human as he was right after the accident; the ectoplasm was bonded to his genome, but not harming it. As far as anyone could tell, he was in no danger of loosing his humanity any time soon.
The last shoe to drop wasn't noticed until years later. Danny's body had aged normally and predictably up until he was 18 or 20, but then he just stopped. Although his eyes held all the wisdom of an old man, he looked exactly the same when he was 25, 30, and 50, and so on (which got very annoying as time went on, how do you pass as normal if you never age?)
Yes, at first he was two very different creatures sharing the same mind, but that had changed. He was Phantom, but he was a man as well. He was Fenton, but his blood shone green. He was a halfa: a little ghost, a little human, and altogether something else.
A/N: Just something that occurred to me. I actually meant it to go in an entirely different direction, but it turned out alright. I hope I didn't make it too depressing. Tell me what you think, press the little review button please!