What if Danny has amnesia? No wait, overdone, what if everybody else has amnesia except Danny? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. What if I find yet another way to mess with poor Danny? What if his very existence is at stake, what if everything he knows or thinks he knows will be put to the test?
What if everything seems normal?
Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom.
I opened my eyes, blinked a few times and tried to see through the thick smoke that was all around me. Where was I? What had happened? How did I get here? Better yet, how did I get out of there! Coughing, I popped myself up on my elbows and rolled to the side. The floor was smooth and slippery, tiles of some sort. My eyes started watering from the smoke and my lungs were burning. My body was screaming for oxygen, but there just wasn't any around. Only one thing left to do.
Knowing it was very improbable that anybody would see me here, I let the two white rings engulf me, transforming me into the ghost I was. Immediately, I felt better. I didn't need to breathe as a ghost, so the smoke no longer bothered me. Flames, however, are just as hot intangible as they are when you have an actual body, so getting out of there was still my number one priority. Which way?
Up, I decided. Wherever I was, the building had to stop at some point. I don't know what the height is of the tallest building in the world, but it didn't stand in Amity Park. Fresh air. Up.
I drifted through the ceiling and immediately felt a breeze, blowing the smoke away from the building. Up was a good choice. I was now free of the building. Smoke still swirling around me, I looked down, at the parking lot in front of the mall. Hundreds of people were standing there, watching part of their favorite ways to pass time go up in smoke. In the distance, I heard sirens. If the fire department was still on their way, I couldn't have been out long.
I let myself drift sidewards, and it was then that I wondered if there was still anybody in the building. I looked down. Flames were erupting from the roof, huge and orange, reaching out for me as if reluctant to let me go. I got out of there in a hurry and landed a little bit away from the hot building. It was only the department store that was on fire, the rest of the mall seemed fine, and I assumed most people got out safely. There was no way to check, I'd perish in the flames.
It took me a moment to realize that that was my name. For some reason, I felt foggy and weak. I turned around slowly and saw two teenagers running toward me, a girl wearing a black and green miniskirt and combat boots, and a black boy with a red beret on his head. Again, my brain had trouble connecting the dots.
"Sam and Tucker," I said, startled at my own voice.
I staggered and without wanting to transformed back to my human half. Sam rushed up to me and caught me before I fell.
"Are you OK?" she asked worriedly.
I grimaced at that question. Did I look OK to her?
"No," I snapped.
Carefully, she touched my head and I winced.
"You're bleeding," she said.
I brought my hand to my head to feel for myself and sure enough, something sticky was in my hair at the back of my head. That must be the reason I felt so out of it, I'd hit my head somehow. My knees buckled and Tucker grabbed my other arm.
"Let's get you home," he said.
I nodded and winced again. I was glad they were there. For the life of me I couldn't have found my own way home. We walked past the fire trucks where the firemen were already busy rolling out their hoses and roping off the area, pushing the crowd back. I was leaning on my friends and looked at the burning building in passing, knowing I could have still been in there if I hadn't woken up in time. I shivered.
"What happened?" I asked my friends.
"You don't know?" Tucker asked.
I shook my head, which was of course a bad mistake.
"I think I have a concussion," I said, trying to integrate the two Tuckers I was seeing into one.
"You were fighting a ghost," Sam said, "And then there was an explosion, and suddenly the place was on fire. You told us to run for it while you checked if there were any people left behind. We were very worried, Danny, when you didn't show up straight away."
I did feel a little better, so I let go of Tucker and leaned only on Sam, carefully placing my feet to match her stride. We had left the mall behind us, and were walking into the direction I presumed my house was, against the rush or people heading toward the mall to see the disaster. I still felt very disoriented.
"What ghost?" I asked.
Tucker shook his head.
"I don't know," he said, "I've never seen him before. He looked dark, a little bit like Johnnie's shadow, but more human shaped, if you know what I mean."
I didn't. Johnnie's shadow... My mind was swirling as images of different ghosts flew by, making me nauseous. And then it clicked.
"Johnnie 13?" I asked.
Tucker looked at me strangely.
"What's wrong, Danny?" he asked, concerned.
"I don't know," I admitted, "Maybe I was hit a little harder than I thought. I can't seem to remember anything from today..."
Or yesterday. I frowned. We had come to the mall to do... what? Shopping, obviously. Ice cream? That was it. There was a new ice cream store in the mall, it had some new flavors we wanted to try out.
"Ice cream," I said, "Did we get any?"
Tucker and Sam looked at each other.
"That was yesterday, Danny," Tucker said, "Boy, you're really out of it, aren't you."
I sighed. I decided to let them take me home, glad that I was starting to recognize the neighborhood. Ten minutes later we finally entered my strange house. The instant we entered, my mother rushed toward me, seeing that I wasn't feeling very well.
"Danny! What happened! The mall..."
In the background, I could see the blazing flames coming out of the department store on the TV, a blond, grumpy looking reporter giving a live report on something that we could see for ourselves.
"He hit his head," Tucker said.
My mother took over after that. She had me lay down on the couch on my stomach, so she could examine the back of my head, muttering about how my hair was too long again and she couldn't see anything. She got me an icepack which I gratefully put on my head. Sam and Tucker sat down next to me to watch the TV.
"Tucker, Sam, call your parents, let them know you're alright," my mother said to them.
As they did so, a girl with long red hair came down the stairs. She stopped when she saw me laying on the couch with an icepack on my head.
"Danny!" she exclaimed, "What happened?"
"Hi Jazz," Sam said, putting down the phone, "He got hit on the head in the mall. Probably a concussion."
Jazz, of course, my sister. The fog in my head cleared a little. Genius sister. Very smart. Better stay away from her.
"Hi Jazz," I croaked from the couch, "I'm alright. Just a little shaken up, is all."
She frowned at me as if she didn't believe me, but didn't press the issue. Then my mother returned and said that she was going to take me to the hospital to have me checked out. I didn't really want to, afraid they were going to find out a lot more about me besides that I had a concussion, but there was no arguing with her. We dropped off Tucker at his house as there was no way he was going into a hospital willingly, but Sam insisted on coming along.
We had to wait for two whole hours before somebody had time to see us, and all that time we had been sitting in the waiting area between people with cuts and bruises or generally looking worse than I did. The fuzzy feeling never left me, and I was worrying a bit about school the next day, until I remembered it was Friday, not Thursday. I lost an entire day of my life. Finally, a nurse came to get us, and I followed her into the examination room. The doctor that came to see me, an elderly man with a bald head, confirmed that which I already knew: I had a concussion. The doctor questioned me, mainly testing if I still knew the day of the week.
"Friday," I said, wincing, "I mean, I don't remember it being Friday, last thing I remember was when we went to the mall on Thursday for ice cream."
"How old are you?" The doctor asked, scribbling something in a notebook laying in front of him.
"Fifteen. Almost sixteen"
"So you're in tenth grade, yes? You'll be a junior in September?"
"We'll keep him here overnight," he said, "Just as a precaution."
I didn't want to, and said so. By that time, they had cut my hair and had shaved part of the back of my head, put in some stitches and put an impressive bandage around my head. I didn't see why they would need me here.
"Are you sure, sweetie?" my mother asked, "How are you feeling?"
"Crappy," I said truthfully, "But I'd rather feel crappy in my own bed than in a hospital."
The doctor shrugged.
"Alright, have it your way. Mrs Fenton, wake him every two hours to see if he still responds normally. Come back tomorrow so we can check that cut on your head. No school for at least a week."
Well, at least that was something. My mother saw my face light up and frowned.
"I'm sure Sam will be able to get your homework for you, Danny," she said sweetly, "So you don't have to worry about missing something. Although I doubt it will make much of a difference these last weeks of school."
The happy feeling left me. No doubt Mr Lancer would try to pile so much homework onto me that by the time I got back to school, I'd be ahead instead of lagging behind. Then I wondered what to do about the ghosts. If I was incapacitated, they'd overrun the town...
Sam must have seen the worry on my face and interpreted it correctly. I marveled at that for a moment, before I realized she was talking to me.
"Don't worry about it, Danny," she said, emphasizing the word 'it', "Just rest, alright? We'll help you."
I guessed she was right, there was nothing I could do about it. I felt tired all of a sudden, and my eyes drooped as my head fell sideways. There were some alarmed shouts and people rushing around, so I opened my eyes again to tell them to be quiet, I was trying to get some sleep. Then a bright light shone into my eyes and the face of the doctor who had seen me before was really close by.
"Daniel, can you hear me?"
I blinked, once, twice, slowly. "Yes," I said, "I hear you."
My voice was monotone, and again I blinked. Then I snapped out of it.
"What?" I asked, irritably, "I'm just tired."
The doctor looked at my mother, who looked very worried. I decided that it was time to show them I was perfectly fine, so I stood up and steadied myself against the wall. Sam was at my side instantly and I leaned on her. She felt nice and warm, and I suddenly wondered why I had never asked her out. I smiled at her, and she smiled back, hesitantly. I wondered what it was that she saw in my smile, but the fact that she smiled at all gave me confidence. We went home and I was ordered into my bed immediately. Sam stayed for a little while, but then went home and I drifted off into a restless sleep.
And that was how it began.
Unusual: this story is finished. It consists of 22 draft chapters that need editing before I can put them up. Any excuse I come up with for not updating, I'm telling you beforehand, is invalid. Except for the one where I say I'm on vacation.
This story takes place about halfway season three. Reviews, as always, are appreciated. I always reply to signed reviews.
And yes, still working on 'Lost'. Don't hold your breath though.