Summary: An anonymous Amity resident reflects on Phantom, Fenton, and the tragic events that happened after the Disasteroid. Oneshot.
Author Note: Let us pretend, for the purposes of this oneshot, that Danny's secret was revealed only to his family and not the entire world at the end of PP.
I remember when Phantom first appeared. Everyone had panicked because they had never seen the ghost boy before. He was a mystery alright; appeared out of nowhere, fought ghosts for a few years, saved the world once, then vanished just as suddenly as he had come.
He disappeared not long after the Disasteroid thing. I was a senior at Casper High at the time, and I, like everyone else, was trusting the fate of the world to a dead teenager. We were proud of him, of course– he was Amity Park's own ghost boy, and now was the savior of the world– but there was some skepticism at first. Hadn't the boy once kidnapped the mayor? Whenever he fought, didn't he leave a trail of damaged property in his wake? What if Phantom, like Masters, was merely using the Disasteroid for his own twisted purposes? I, for one, had never believed Phantom was evil. I had seen him fight, and there was something about him that was so genuinely good. Like he really truly cared about Amity. I know a lot of people judged him anyway, but whenever I caught a glimpse of his glowing green eyes I knew I was safe.
Anyway, after we were all free of the Disasteroid, things were very different around Amity. For on thing, the Fentons stopped hunting Phantom. This shouldn't have come as a surprise, because hadn't the ghost kid just proved once and for all that he was not evil? Still, the ghost boy did start spending an inordinate amount of time at the Fentons, and I remember hearing Maddie Fenton talk about Phantom with a loving look in her eyes as if she was talking about her own son.
The Fentons actually did have a son. A boy named Danny, who was a couple years younger than I. He was a slip of a boy, with messy black hair and large cerulean eyes. He was known throughout the school as a weird loser freak, and he was constantly getting shoved into lockers by the football team. Basically, Danny Fenton was the type of kid who was regarded as stupid and insignificant, and yet somehow everything seemed to revolve around him. If there was an explosion somewhere, Danny was usually caught at the scene. If Mr. Lancer was in a bad mood and handing out detentions left and right, it was because Danny had skipped class again. In most high schools, losers are ignored while school is in session and forgotten once graduation happens. Not Danny Fenton. Not poor little Danny Fenton.
I remember when Phantom vanished. It was a few months after the Disasteroid. It was also around the time Danny Fenton died. Or, to be more accurate, was killed. He had been hanging out with his friends at the Nasty Burger one minute, and the next thing anyone knew the roof had exploded inward. Valerie Grey, a classmate of Danny's and a Nasty Burger employee, said she saw the boy throw himself over Sam Manson to keep her from getting hurt. The next five minutes by all accounts are a blur. Phantom appeared, fighting the massive ghost who had attacked the burger joint. He won (of course) but was hurt pretty badly. He disappeared, in the ensuing panic Valeried noticed that Danny was gone. He was found not far from the Nasty Burger, unconscious and bleeding profusely. Don't ask me how he managed to take a hit to the head for Manson, get covered in rubble, then escape. I don't know. No one does.
At any rate, Danny and the other casualties were taken to the hospital. Danny's injuries actually were not the type that were normally fatal, but the doctors couldn't fix him because, apparently, there was something weird in his blood. So Danny Fenton died, and everyone at school felt guilt and shock because the wimpy loser kid had died a hero. I was at the funeral and I swear I have never seen Dash Baxter and Paulina Sanchez so respectful.
About a week later, people noted that Phantom had not shown up since the Nasty Burger attack. The Fentons, heartbroken though they were over Danny's death, fought off the attacking ghosts with no help from the ghost boy. Rumors started that Phantom felt guilty about Danny's death. The ghost boy had known the Fentons pretty well and had probably been close to Danny, so it would make sense that he felt responsible for the death.
About a month after the funeral, the Fentons declared that they had figured out a way to close the Ghost Portal for good, packed up their things, and left Amity. After they left, a few ghosts still appeared– the dimensional fabric around where the Portal had been was weak– but they were easily handled by the Red Huntress.
Sam Manson went into a deep depression. I saw her at school a few times, a zombie-like expression on her face. Tucker Foley (another of Danny's friends) secluded himself with his technology, talking to no one except Sam. The teachers tried to get them to talk to the school counselors, but to no avail. No student at Casper High trusted counselors, not after the Spectra ordeal.
Life went on. Paulina Sanchez became an actress in B-rated movies. Dash Baxter went on to become a pro football player, though his career crash-landed spectacularly after he got into a car accident that ruined his left leg. Mr. Lancer retired, and died peacefully in his sleep a few years ago. Sam Manson went off to college, graduated, and disappeared for five years. She suddenly showed up again, and lives a quiet life in her mansion. Her only company is Tucker Foley, who retired from the position of mayor long ago and now runs a little store that is stocked to the brim with iPods, Wiis, PDAs, computers, all that good stuff. Valerie Grey went off to college and moved to New York. I hear she is now the CEO of some big company and is happily married. Lucky girl. At least she's made a good life for herself. Jazz Fenton, Danny's sister, is quite famous; she's a world-renowned psychologist, author of best-sellers The Others: An Introduction to Parapsychology and Psychological Projections of the Astral Body (whatever that means). She tracks ghosts in her spare time and is in the news a lot.
And I? I never left Amity. Went to the local college and came back to run a little store in the mall. My husband died of a stroke a few years back, and my kids are all grown up. I live in a little house that I got for cheap because it's near the cemetery. Whenever I need peace I like to walk around the cemetery, reading the headstones (many of which I know by heart) and wandering aimlessly. I always end up at the same spot, though: the grave of Danny Fenton. I know I'm not the only one who visits his grave, because there are usually fresh-cut flowers resting against the stone. Probably courtesy of Manson and Foley.
I can see the cemetery from my upstairs window, and on some nights I look out and I swear I see Phantom. He's never visible for more than a second. Maybe he's not really there, sitting on Danny's headstone. Sometimes, I see a flash of light in the night sky. Usually it's an airplane or something flying over Amity, but sometimes...sometimes it looks like a boy with bright white hair and mischievous green eyes.
I like to think that, even after all these years, he's still protecting us.