Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom or any of its characters. They all belong to Butch Hartman and Nickelodeon.
To those who have been waiting, this is a sequel to my last story, Ghostly Christmas. If you haven't read it don't worry, you don't need to read it to understand what's happening.
I'd like to thank by beta reader, DigitalPhantom. She really helped with the grammar and spelling, and made this chapter far better than it originally was.
Chapter 1: Suspicious
His white hair and neon green eyes were hard to miss as he walked into the dimly lit bar, his heavy boots thumping as they made their way across the wooden floor. Though the windows were clean enough, the eerie black and green sky, a normality around here, did nothing to brighten the room.
There were many ghosts present, some that he recognized, others he didn't. A few pairs of eyes flicked in his directions, a few whispers followed him, but neither trailed him for long. Once upon a time, back when the whispers followed him like a shadow, the comments along the lines of 'but he's so young? Surely that's not…poor boy, he's just a kid…' He never had the words to describe how much he'd hated that. To hell if he wasn't old enough. Where was it written that he had to be a certain age to be a hero? He had more scars than those whose whispers trailed him could ever dream of, so he'd be damned if he wasn't more than a kid.
Taking a seat, he tapped his hand against the counter. The bartender raised an eyebrow; it was obvious that the boy wasn't of the legal drinking age, but he stayed silent as he poured the drink and handed it to the ghost teen.
"Mind if I sit here?"
The boy looked up, his eyes finding a familiar blue-skinned woman next to him. "Whatever," he said before returning to his drink.
The woman sat down and ordered herself a glass of beer.
He watched as the girl beside him downed her glass of beer. At one time, they had been enemies, fighting on opposite ends of the law. He was a hero, she was a villain. He fought for truth and justice; she fought for power and wealth. He was good, she was evil. It was just that simple. Now, things had changed; all differences had been set aside, all labels forgotten. They were simply two specters beaten down by the harsh blows that life had dealt them, seeking only to drown out their sorrows. They both had needs, they were both lonely, and both had their needs.
Being so close to his former enemy gave the boy a chance to get a better view of her body. Her long, flaming blue hair tied up in its usual ponytail cascading down the length of her back. His eyes swept over her body, taking in every curve of her body. Dressed in her usual black leather pants and black tank top, which barely covered her upper body, she also had a black jacket zipped up over the shirt, open just enough to show off her ample chest.
The girl smirked, noticing the boy looking her over. "See something you like?"
The boy didn't blush, or even try to hide what he had been doing. Instead, he simply smirked. "Maybe. How about you?"
The girl took that chance to get a better look at the boy's attire. He was dressed in a form-fitting black t-shirt under a black leather jacket, a pair of black jeans and heavy-duty motorcycle boots. The shirt, as snug as it was, showed off the developing muscles that lay beneath, the pants equally as tight, gave her a good view of his toned backside. A grin spread over her face. "Definitely."
The girl raised hang to get the bartender's attention. "Hey, two more over here."
The bartender nodded, setting two more drinks in front of the ghosts.
As the night dragged on, the two continued their drinking and flirting, the collection of glasses growing, until it covered most of the bar counter in front of them. What had been a slight buzz had become a full-blown bout of drunkenness.
The girl leaned over and whispered into the ghost boy's ear. "What do you say we go somewhere a little more, private?"
The boy nodded and the pair quickly left the bar. As it turned out, the private destination the girl had in mind was her bedroom.
The second they made it inside, the boy grabbed the ghost girl and began kissing her passionately, wrapping his arms around her as she returned the kiss, pressing her body closer to his, her soft breasts pressing against him roughly. He ran his tongue across the girl's lips before slipping it deftly into her mouth, a pleasured moan escaping her as his hands drifted down to her rear.
She let her hands run over the boy's chest, feeling the strong muscles beneath, making her way to his shoulders, slowly edging off his jacket until it feel to the floor.
They continued to kiss and grope for a while before their mutual need for air forced them to break away, at which point the female took the opportunity to cast her own jacket aside, revealing both the tank top underneath and the generous amount of cleavage it exposed.
Smiling, the boy dropped another quick kiss on her lips, lowering his lips swiftly to her neck, his teeth grazing gently against the pale skin as he bit and sucked on the sensitive skin, occasionally flicking his tongue out as he continued his ministrations. His hands wandered over her body, caressing her skin, his touch eliciting a series of moans from the girl within his grasp.
The girl's knees began to buckle, sure that she had somehow managed to slip into Heaven. Her arms wrapped around him for support, and she ran her sharp nails across his back, the shirt no defense against her actions, and he groaned in pleasure at her actions.
It wasn't long before they stumbled across the room, falling backwards onto a surprisingly soft mattress, and the girl pressed her lips against his as her hands wandered downward to his belt…
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Blue eyes opened slowly, glaring at the offending alarm clock on the bedside, its display showing 7:25 AM until a well-placed ghost ray turned it into a smoking pile of ashes. Rolling over, he yawned, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he sat up, casting a quick look at the now-destroyed alarm clock before shaking his head.
'That's the third one this month. I've really got to stop doing that. Ah, whatever, I have to get ready for school anyway.'
Slowly, and with a tinge of regret, he pushed himself off of the bed and headed for the bathroom. Once he showered, brushed his teeth and dressed, he transformed, flying out of his room and towards school.
Smiling as he drifted through the air, Danny wheeled through the sky. The reason for his good mood was a certain ghostly rocker named Ember McLain. It had been over two months since they had started dating, two months that had been the best of his life.
As the school neared, Danny turned himself invisible as he headed into a nearby alley. Once he was sure no one was looking, he landed, returning to his human form. As the familiar white rings made their way along his body, they revealed a very different outfit from the one that he normally wore. Gone were the white and red tee, blue jeans and white tennis shoes, and in their place were a snug black tee, a pair of black leather pants, combat boots quite similar to Sam's and a pair of spiked wristbands.
Danny walked out of the alley, headed towards the main doors of the school, and he spotted his friends, Sam Manson and Tucker Foley, sitting on the steps, waiting for him. "Hey, Sam. Hey, Tuck," he said.
"Hey, Danny," they both responded. As Danny got closer, however, both noticed his unusual wardrobe.
Tucker raised an eyebrow. "Dude, what's with the new clothes?"
Danny shrugged. "Just though I'd try something new."
Tucker mimed Danny's motion. "Whatever. What do you think, Sam?...Sam?"
Sam wasn't listening; she was too absorbed in ogling Danny. 'Oh, my God, Danny looks so hot in that. I didn't even know that he could look that good.' She was finally snapped back into reality as Tucker began waving his hand in front of her face, trying to get her attention. "Huu…what?"
"I said, what do you think of Danny's new look?" he repeated.
Sam turned her head, desperately trying to hide the blush that was quickly rising to her cheeks. "It's nice. I think it looks nice."
Danny raised an eyebrow, having caught Sam's flutter. "Are you okay?"
"Fine…I'm fine. We should probably get to class. Don't want to be late, you know," she said. Grabbing her friends by their wrists, Sam practically dragged the two into the school, but as she failed to pay attention and look where she was going, she ran straight into Dash Baxter.
Dash turned and glared. "Hey, watch it!" His glare quickly shifted into a smirk when his eyes found who it was that had bumped into him. "Well, if it isn't Fenturd. What's with the new look? You spending so much time with your freaky little goth girlfriend that you're dressing like her now?"
Danny glared at the jock. "First of all, Dash, it's none of your business. Secondly, Sam is not my girlfriend."
Dash looked Danny over for a moment before a light bulb went off in his head. "That's right! You're going out with that chick with the weirdo hair."
Danny's eyes widened slightly. 'Crap, I didn't think Dash had enough brains to actually remember that far back,' he thought, remembering when he and Ember had run into Dash on their first date. He gulped, stammering over a hasty response. "I…um…I don't know what you're talking about."
Dash rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Just get out my way, losers." Moving past the group, he shoved Danny to the side, pushing the teen head-first into the lockers.
As Danny fell to the floor, hand rubbing the back of his head, Tucker and Sam were at his side, helping him back onto his feet.
"You okay, man?" Tucker asked worriedly.
Danny's hand gingerly massaged the back of his head as he nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine." he answered, glaring at Dash's retreating form, forcing down the urge to blast him in the back with a ghost ray.
"What did Dash mean about you going out with the girl with weird hair?" asked Tuck.
Danny gulped again, nervously rubbing the back of his neck, searching for a viable excuse. "I…well, you know how Dash is, Tuck. He probably saw me talking to someone and thought that we were going out. Heck, considering how much of a moron he is, he probably saw me talking to a guy."
Sam sighed. The second she'd heard Dash talk about Danny having a girlfriend, her heart had leapt into her throat. "So I take it that you're not going out with anyone?" she asked, her eyebrow quirked up in question.
Danny smiled, acting as though nothing was wrong. "Come on, you guys. If I was seeing someone, do you really think that I'd keep it a secret from you?" The second the words left his mouth, a wave of guilt washed over him, knowing that he was indeed hiding his relationship from them. But what could he do. His friends would never understand him falling for a ghost, let alone one that, only a few months ago, had been their enemy. He would simply have to continue keeping his relationship a secret.
Seeming satisfied with the answer, his friends nodded before they all headed off to class.
- - - Line break - - -
Later on that day, the three were walking to their final class when Danny heard his name called. Turning, he found none other than Star, the school's second most popular female, running towards him. "Um…Hey, Star, what's up?" he asked.
Star smiled, batting her eyelashes as she looked at Danny. "I just wanted to say that I think your new outfit looks really hot," she said, leaning in to plant a kiss on his cheek, whispering into his ear, "Call me."
Sam balled her hands into fists as the girl walked away, contemplating how much trouble she'd get in if she gave Star a black eye.
Danny shook his head as the three walked into their classroom, finding a small strip of paper with a phone number scrawled on it tucked in his hand.
Tucker looked over at Danny as they dropped into their seats. "Dude, that's like the hundredth time that's happened today," he commented.
"Tell me about it," Danny answered. "Just look at all of these." Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of paper strips, each one with a different girls' name and phone number written on it. "You know what the irony of this is? Last year, I would have given anything to be this popular. Now, I couldn't care less if I wanted to."
Tucker smiled. "In that case, why not slide some of those numbers my way?" he said, holding out his hands.
Danny shrugged. "Sure." He held the papers out before charging his hand with a small burst of ecto-energy, turning all the papers he held to ashes that fluttered down into Tucker's expectant palms.
"No!" cried Tucker, desperately trying to take the ashes that littered the desk and put them back together.
- - - Line break - - -
Eventually, the final bell rang, releasing the children from the confines of the school.
Once outside, Tucker inhaled deeply. "Ahh, sweet freedom. I thought we'd never get out of there."
Sam rolled her eyes. "Tucker, we were only in there for seven hours, and that's the same amount of time we spend in school every day."
He shrugged. "Whatever. So, what are the plans now?"
"We could head to the Nasty Burger," she replied. "My treat?"
Danny shook his head as he turned to him. "Sorry, guys. I'd love to, but I really gotta get home."
Tucker raised an eyebrow. "Dude, school only just let out."
"Yeah, but I really need to get home. I got buried under homework tonight," he said.
Tucker raised an eyebrow. "But all he gave was some reading?"
Danny gulped realizing he had been caught in his own lie. He rubbed the back of his neck, desperately trying to come up with an acceptable excuse. "Ya, but I…um…have…extra credit. Ya, Lancer gave me a chance to do some extra credit. To pull my grades up."
Tucker cast a confused look at the half-ghost before accepting his answer. "Okay, dude. We'll see you tomorrow then."
Danny nodded. "See ya," he said before turning and walking off towards home.
Sam watched; an aura of disappointment evident, as Danny walked away. Lately, it seemed that he was always busy, always making up excuses why he couldn't hang out with them. She was starting to wonder if he was just blatantly avoiding them.
Tucker looked at her, recognizing the all-too-familiar look of dejection she wore. "You really should tell him, you know."
Sam only replied with a glare.
Tucker raised his hands in defense, not wanting to catch the brunt of the gothic girl's wrath. "All I'm saying is that if you don't do it soon, he's gonna find someone else. You saw what happened in school today."
Sam frowned. As much as she hated to admit it, Tucker had a valid point. 'I've been crushing on Danny for months now and I still haven't gotten the guts enough to tell him. I almost lost him to Valerie before, and now every girl in school is after him. Tuck's right – if I don't tell him something soon, someone else will get to him first.' She sighed. "I'll tell him tomorrow," she murmured.
"Really?" Tucker asked, genuinely surprised. He'd been trying to get the two of them together for a while now, and if he had known that Danny failing to pay attention to her was the ticket to getting Sam to open up, he would have gotten Danny to do this months earlier.
Sam nodded. "Really."
"You're not going to chicken out at the last minute, are you?" he asked. He was skeptical, and with good reason, because every other time that Sam had made mention of telling Danny, she'd lost her nerve. Tucker had, by this time, lost count of how many times Sam's resolve had crumbled before.
"No, I won't," she replied, her voice full of confidence.
- - - Line break - - -
Danny continued walking until he reached his house. He entered the house, and walked through the living room. He passed by the kitchen, and spotted the rest of his family sitting at the table, eating dinner. His family stopped eating when they noticed him.
His mother smiled when she her son. "Hi honey. How was school?"
Danny shrugged. "Same old, same old." he said, than continued to his room.
"Do you want something to eat?" asked his mother.
Danny shook his head. "No thanks, I'm not hungry."
Maddie frowned as she watched as her teenage son ascended the stairs. She had noticed significant changes in her son recently. He had taken to wearing darker clothes, and listening to a more hard core brand of music. "Is it me, or does Danny seem different lately?"
"What do you mean different?" asked Jack.
"You know, the new clothes, the attitude. He just seems different?"
"Maybe he's a ghost!" Jack shouted, rising from his chair.
Maddie put a hand on her husband's shoulder, forcing him to sit back down. "Now Jack, remember what we talked about. We shouldn't accuse our children of being ghosts, just because their acting little odd."
Jazz stopped eating, and swallowed her food. "Besides, it's nothing to worry about. Danny has simply reached the age where he wishes to express his individually, through teenage angst, and non conformity." she said.
Jack blinked. "Come again?" he said, attempting to wrap his mind around what his daughter had just said.
Maddie smiled. Her husband was a very smart and creative man; he was a mechanical genius who could build almost any anything he could think of. However he was simply unable to understand explanations, when they were given in complicated terms. "She means he's going through a phase." she told her husband.
"Exactly." said Jazz. She continued eating her dinner, but cast a worried glance in the direction of her brother's room.
As Danny entered his room he, deposited his backpack onto the floor. The bag landed with a load thud. 'I swear that thing gets heavier every day.' He thought, rotating his shoulder to ease the soreness. He glanced out the window and saw that it was dark, and that the sun had already set. 'Better get going if I want to meet up with Ember.' He quickly transformed, and phased through his wall, then flew off into the night sky.
Outside Danny's room, his sister approached his door. Despite what she said earlier, she too had noticed a change in her brother's behavior. It wasn't just his clothes that had changed, it was his entire personality. He was more rebellious lately; and more secretive. He was contently going out, and when he returned, he never said a word about where he had been. She was sure he was keeping something from her. She raised her hand to the door, and knocked. "Danny, can I talk to you?"
When she didn't receive an answer, she knocked again. Again she was meet with silence. She tried one more time before opening the door, only to find that the room empty. "Danny?"
That's it for the first chapter. Please Read and Review. I always make sure to respond to anyone who reviews.