I present to you the sequel to The Return: Phantom City! If you're just checking in on this, you might want to read the other one because you'll be lost.
Summary of The Return: After the asteroid, Danny Fenton is having trouble adjusting to his new popularity. The frequent ghost attacks aren't helping matters either. But what happens when an enemy from his past, or rather his future, returns?
Summary of Phantom City: There has been close to no ghost activity in Amity Park as of late, worrying Danny to no ends. He decides to take a peek in the Ghost Zone for a solution but falls through a dimensional hole, sending him straight into another universe right out of the comic books. Now, he's faced with the dilemma of being unable to find a way back...as well as having to face the darkness inside his own head. Will the Teen Titans be able to help?
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Danny Phantom. Or the Teen Titans for that matter. What made you think I did?
Chapter 1: Prologue
It was nighttime in the city. There were no stars or even a moon; it was cloudy. The great buildings had all but shut down for the night. There were a few fast food chains, restaurants, or pubs open. It was quiet except for the noises of some late cars or random thugs.
Or almost quiet.
Right by some shop lay something hidden in the shadows. It wasn't visible but one could hear it snicker. It also glowed slightly, silhouetting it to be something almost circular.
It snickered once again before coming out of the shadows. The light from a nearby lamppost fell on it, revealing its form to be a…cake. A floating, glowing, and snickering cake to be more exact. It even had arms and legs.
"Three…two…one…" it whispered gleefully. "…BANZAI!"
Something hurtled out of the air next to it and crashed into the shop window, sending glass flying everywhere and setting off the alarm.
"FREE THE SWEETS!" it shouted, waving its stick-like arms frantically. It was then revealed that the shop was a bakery. Inside, things started floating and then zoomed out to hover next to the cackling cake. "BWAHAHAHAHA! Now I can conquer the world!"
"With sweets?" Five dark shapes appeared. "Dude, that's totally original but doesn't make sense."
The five figures were revealed to be the Teen Titans, superheroes of Jump City. Robin, the boy wonder with spiky black hair and a mask, was in the middle; Starfire, an alien with reddish-orange hair, stood next to him; Cyborg, a half-human half-robot combo stood on Robin's other side; Beast Boy, the shape-shifter and the one who had spoken, stood next to Starfire; Raven was the dark and silent member of the Titans and was floating above them all.
"What are you?" Robin asked.
"It's a cake," Beast Boy supplied helpfully.
"I see that, Beast Boy," Robin said. "What's it name, though?"
"I AM THE CAKE GHOST!" the sweet declared. "BEHOLD MY AWESOME POWER AT MAKING OTHER PEOPLE SICK!"
There was brief silence.
"I think that was the worst line I've heard a villain use," Cyborg finally said.
"Even my jokes aren't that bad!" Beast Boy said.
"What is a 'ghost', Robin?" Starfire inquired.
"Ghosts don't exist, Starfire," Robin answered.
"Then what is that?" Raven said in a dry voice. "It's a floating cake. There aren't a lot of options to pick from."
"FEAR MY POWER!" the Cake Ghost cackled, bombing the small group of five with its sweets.
Robin snapped into action. "Titans, GO!"
The Teen Titans sprang into action. Starfire took off into the air, green orbs forming around her hands; Robin jumped in with a staff whirling in circles over his head; Cyborg ran ahead with his right arm transforming into a cannon; Beast Boy transformed into a raven and fluttered next to Starfire; and Raven stayed behind, preferring to watch for now.
"CAKE! BWAHAHAHA!" The Cake Ghost kept throwing sweets at the approaching superheroes. "FEEL SICK!"
Robin leapt up high and attempted to smash it with his staff. It would've worked splendidly if his staff hadn't slid through it like it was butter.
"What the—?" Robin fell to the ground and performed a quick flip to end up on his feet. "What happened?"
"Beast Boy! Heads up!" Cyborg called, his arm cannon glowing.
With a loud caw, the raven Beast Boy had become veered straight up, leaving the Cake Ghost vulnerable to Cyborg's sonic cannon.
"Boo-yeah." Cyborg grinned as his sonic cannon fired up. It started whirring as the power built to a maximum. Suddenly, a loud noise signaled it had fired.
Everyone waited expectantly for the attack to show. Nothing happened. One could've heard crickets chirping.
Beast Boy changed back to normal as he landed. "Dude, is your cannon defective?"
"No." Cyborg looked inside it. "Hey!" He glared up at the Cake Ghost. "Why you—"
"BWAHAHAHA!" the Cake Ghost cut him off. "CAKE RULES!" The Cake Ghost threw another sweet right in Cyborg's face.
"It blocked it with cake," Raven said. "And it fired."
"So?" Cyborg tried to clean it out.
"Doesn't that mean it should—"
The tart the Cake Ghost had stuffed in it suddenly exploded in Cyborg's face.
"—explode?" Raven finished.
"Friend, are you all right?" Starfire asked anxiously.
"Oh, I'm all right; but it's not gonna be when I'm through with it!" Cyborg's face was red.
"Anyone know where Robin is?" Beast Boy inquired.
A loud yell answered his question. "Hyah!" The boy wonder had jumped from the bakery's roof to attack the Cake Ghost.
"There goes our surprise attack," Raven commented.
Robin hit the ghost head on…before it dissolved into a bluish see-through form. He fell straight through it and landed on the ground face-first.
He got to his elbows. "How'd it do that?"
"CAKE IS THE ULTIMATE WEAPON!" The Cake Ghost showered Robin with sweets before disappearing.
"Where'd it go?" Cyborg whirled around in a circle.
"It has vanished!" Starfire cried, her hands glowing again.
"Beast Boy the owl is on the job." The green shape-shifter morphed into a barn owl and looked around with huge, tawny eyes.
"I can't see it but I can sense it," Raven said.
Robin got up, covered from head to foot in sweets. "Beast Boy?"
Beast Boy morphed back. "I can't see anything about it. It's not even in the shadows."
Robin turned to the cloaked teen. "Raven?"
"It is here," Raven said simply.
"But where?" Cyborg scanned the night sky.
"RIGHT HERE!" All five superheroes whirled around to see the Cake Ghost materialize out of thin air.
"How'd it do that?" Beast Boy gaped.
"FEEL SICK!" Something exploded from under the Cake Ghost's floating form and into the teens, throwing them backwards.
Robin slammed into a lamppost; Starfire crashed into a clothing store; Beast Boy into a wall; Cyborg got stuck onto a car; and Raven blew into another building.
"HA! FEAR THE CAKE!" The Cake Ghost cackled some more before flying off. "I, THE CAKE GHOST, HAVE WON THE QUEST FOR WORLD DOMINATION!"
There was silence among the stuck teens.
Then Beast Boy finally spoke. "Anyone else feel stupid 'cause we got beat by a cake?"
What does this mean, Robin?" Starfire asked, emerging from the store, her hair caked with a dark mass.
Robin's eyes narrowed as he broke free from the lamppost. "Something's wrong."
"Thomas Paine's Common Sense also played a large part in riling up the colonists. He stated that it was simply 'common sense' for the colonists to be free from Britain…" Mr. Lancer was once more in one of his droning speeches. And, as per to tradition, almost everyone was asleep or in a daze.
But one thing that was out of the norm was Daniel Fenton, or Danny Phantom. The raven-haired sixteen-year-old was paying extreme attention to the bald teacher's lecture. Even his friends weren't paying attention. Samantha Manson, or Sam, was doodling aimlessly in her notebook and Tucker Foley, mayor of Amity Park, was secretly beeping around on his PDA.
Mr. Lancer turned back to the class at the end and sighed once he saw the state they were in. "Common Sense, people!"
Everyone jumped. Dash Baxter, school bully and jock, dropped the pen he had been hugging during his nap.
"Can anyone tell me who wrote Common Sense?"
Danny raised his hand much to everyone's amazement.
Mr. Lancer himself raised an eyebrow. "Yes, Mr. Fenton?"
"Thomas Paine," Danny said clearly.
"Th-that is correct, Mr. Fenton." Mr. Lancer looked slightly dumfounded but also pleased. "Very well. Now, who here knows what the Minute Men were? Mr. Baxter, perhaps?"
Danny ducked his head, trying his hardest not to laugh as Dash stammered his way through the answer. He would've answered the question himself but Mr. Lancer had called on Dash, leaving him free to enjoy the show.
"They're, uh, men…who, er, were a...minute tall?" Dash blurted.
Mr. Lancer sighed at Dash's stupidity as Danny did his best to stifle his laughs. "That is not correct. Minute Men were men who were supposed to be ready for battle at a minute's notice."
Dash scowled. "How was I supposed to know that?" he muttered. "They're called Minute Men!"
Just then, the bell rang, signaling that it was time for everyone to jump up and make a mad stampede for the exit. Danny and his friends were only slightly slower, not wanting to be run over.
"Don't forget your homework, people!" Mr. Lancer called over the din. "Pages 450-465! Pop quiz tomorrow so make sure you read!"
Cue the groans and dark mutterings. Some stopped to note this down but the rest just kept on barging out. Danny and his friends were at the end, taking their time.
"Did he forget that a pop quiz is supposed to be a surprise?" Tucker whispered to Danny.
Danny shrugged, not particularly caring. "At least we know."
"Point." Sam smiled and slipped her hand into Danny's. "Since when do you pay attention?" she teased. "Should we expect some sort of calamity to happen?"
"Yeah. Don't you normally sleep in class?" Tucker smirked.
"Come off it, guys." The ghost teen of Amity Park rolled his eyes. "There weren't any ghosts last night so I was actually able to sleep."
"No ghosts?" Sam sounded incredulous. "Seriously?"
"Seriously. It's like they're all on holiday or something."
"But it's Tuesday," Tucker said. "Shouldn't they take Sunday off?"
"This is just weird," Sam said. "Not even the Cake Ghost?"
"Not even the Cake Ghost," Danny replied. "And that guy's always around."
Sam frowned. "Weird. Have you talked to Valerie about this?"
Danny shot her a look. "What's she supposed to know? She's still in that wheelchair. Besides, I don't want to worry her."
"She'll still want to know," Tucker said.
"It's not her problem," Danny insisted. "I need to figure out what's going on. It's like you said, Sam."
"Speaking of weird," Tucker added, "it's weird that I'm getting reports of missing furniture. One minute's it's there and the next it's gone."
"Furniture thieves?" Danny suggested.
"Not unless they can cart away a whole fence in five minutes without anyone spotting them."
The trio was now outside in the bright, pre-autumn weather.
It had been relatively two weeks since the showdown between Danny and his future self and repairs were mostly done. Once the trouble had been taken care of, Danny had expected the ghosts to return to their old, antagonistic selves. But much to his surprise, there had not been many attacks.
Sure, for the first week or so there had been some of Skulker, Technus, the Box Ghost, and of course, the Cake Ghost and some of the Lemonade Ghost, too. The Pumpkin Ghost hadn't been seen at all but that wasn't very consoling for Amity Park's favorite ghost fighting teen since the Cake Ghost gave him more trouble by showing up every other hour. But anyway, as of late there had been few to no ghost attacks at all, leaving Danny Phantom with an empty plate and plenty of time.
And speaking of time…
"How's Clockwork doing with that thermos?" Tucker whispered to Danny. He was whispering because Danny still hadn't revealed the ghost's identity to the public. All they knew was that the ghost had been highly dangerous and that Danny Phantom had taken care of it.
"Do you think I take off every day and ask?" Danny retorted. "I'm sure it's fine."
"You never did tell us how you're doing," Sam said. "What with always talking to reporters or kicking the ghosts back to the Ghost Zone."
"I'm fine." Danny shrugged.
"I thought we were past all this secrecy!" Sam hissed. "I thought you keeping the last fight with him from us was the last of this! Why are you still holding back on us, Danny?"
"Whoa, whoa!" Danny put up his hands, a gesture of peace. "Look, Sam. I'm not really holding anything back from you. Honestly and sincerely, I'm fine. I was—to put it mildly—really upset that he had the audacity to dump you all in the future and tie you the boiler again but beyond that, I'm fine."
Sam backed off slightly but there was still a glint of suspicion in her lilac eyes. "I mean mentally. How did fighting him affect you mentally?"
Danny was silent for a moment. "Well, he said slowly, "he did try to play around with my head a bit. And the key word is 'try'. He didn't get very far with me 'cause I managed to defeat him. If it had gotten through to me…well"—he smiled soberly—"you guys wouldn't be standing here."
"And?" Sam pressed. "That's not everything, Danny."
"And I've decided that he has nothing to do with me anymore," Danny continued. "I'm not turning into him. But even though I've decided that…I'm still afraid of him."
"But that's—" Sam started.
"Let me finish." Danny put up a finger and waited for Sam to quiet. He went on. "I meant that I'm scared of him like I'm scared of Pariah. I'm not scared of turning into him anymore."
Sam grinned. "Jazz'll be happy."
Danny frowned for a moment. "You didn't!"
"You wouldn't listen to her so she asked us," Tucker said for Sam, since she was laughing too hard. "She'll be happy to hear that you're in a healthy state of mind. She's been really worrying about you."
"Greeaat." Danny rolled his eyes upwards and smiled. Inwardly, though, he was feeling twinges of guilt. He hadn't entirely told them the truth.
The fight between Phantom and Danny had been violent. Especially after the evil ghost had found out that he no longer needed Danny to exist. Both ghosts had given it their all but Danny had finally managed to overcome Phantom with the aid of his parents' new and untested weapon, the Specter Power Eliminator, similar to the Plasmius Maximus in more ways than one.
But his evil self had left one last nasty parting remark.
"Just because I don't need you anymore to exist doesn't mean you're scot-free, Danny. You can turn evil.
"And you know it's true. Deep inside, you're scared of me. You're scared of knowing what you could be. Knowing that one bad choice could be your downfall."
That alone he could've pushed off but then there was the matter of the other ghost…
Danny gave a gasp of surprise, tripped over his chair as he tried to retreat, and fell on his butt, now looking up at the girl in shock. Had she teleported?
"You're scared," she said matter-of-factly, her voice sounding even stranger in the Specter Speeder.
"No. You shocked me," Danny said truthfully.
"Not of me," she said. "Of him."
Danny froze, his mouth open in shock. He swallowed and managed to say, "Why would I be scared of…him?"
She looked slightly amused. "You don't want to change."
"Ch-change into what?"
"But you've already changed," she added.
"You can't stop it," she said. "It's already done."
"B-but that can't—" Danny tried to say.
"If you want to find them," she went on, ignoring Danny, "you know where to look."
"—that can't be—er, what?" Danny jumped from one sentence to the next, gaping at the new turn of the conversation. "How would I know where to look?"
"You do," she answered. Her form started to fade.
"W-wait!" Danny cried. "What did you mean that I can't stop it?"
She continued to fade. "You can't. It's already done." Her voice echoed as she disappeared entirely.
The girl alone had been disconcerting enough. With the rapid change from asking him if he wanted to play dolls to warning him that he already changed, Danny hadn't managed to adjust and his brief peace had been shattered. If it could even have been called peace…
Now, Danny was no longer sure whether or not he would ever to turn into Phantom. He wasn't sure of anything anymore. He had promised his friends, family, and teacher that he would never turn into that monster but Phantom's words kept poisoning his mind.
In his darkest hours he kept entertaining the notion that Phantom was right and that even though his future self no longer needed Danny to exist, he could still turn into something evil and despicable. But during times like these, when he was around with his friends and having fun, he could almost forget all that had happened and shove it in the back of his head. Almost.
But then there was the matter of the disappearing ghosts to tend to…
If you're wondering why and how the Cake Ghost defeated the Teen Titans, don't forget that most of the time on the show, they almost always get defeated by the bad guy(s). It isn't until the second fight that they defeat them. That's why the Cake Ghost defeated them. That, and the fact that its powers took them completely by surprise.