Let the fires burn within us.
Through the Fire
Prologue: A Single Spark
Danny Fenton was an average almost-fifteen ghost fighter with superpowers. He was the acknowledged leader and core of Team Phantom, a covert four-member teenage ghost-fighting group. Nearly a year ago, Danny had been involved in an accident with his scientist parents' ultimate experiment: a portal into a parallel dimension known as the Ghost Zone. Urged on by his friend, Sam, he entered the still-inactive portal frame to see if he could fix an apparent malfunction. After pressing the "on" button that had been inconveniently placed inside the portal, he was instantly shocked by multiple volts of electricity.
Instead of dying, the impossible happened; Danny now walked the fine line between life and death, having been infused with the essence of the Ghost Zone. Though still alive and completely human, he gained many new abilities and a greater (and still growing) appreciation for life. Due to a protective streak a mile wide and an almost obsessive hero complex, he – with the help of his friends – defended the city of Amity Park from the invading ghosts as Danny Phantom, teen superhero and ghost hunter extraordinaire.
Danny's first and oldest friend was Tucker Foley, the resident techno genius and carnivore. He and Danny had been best friends since grade school. He was pretty much a brother to the teen ghost fighter in everything but blood and name. As one of the original people to find out his friend's secret, he served as a virtual jack-of-all-trades, master of some, working as the partial offense and defense and technological hacker of the group. Though the techno geek could pass as the comic relief of the four, he was an important piece of the team.
Then, there was Sam Manson. Who could forget her? If Danny was the glue of Team Phantom, then she was certainly the backbone. In fact, without her, the team would never have existed. As the complete opposite of Tucker, she was the resident Goth as well as a nearly obsessive vegetarian and conservationist. Though she was a girl, she was by no means the weakest among the four teen ghost fighters, having gone full in from the start as offense, backup, and semi-strategist.
Danny's older sister, Jazz Fenton, was the last member of Team Phantom. A protective older sibling and aspiring psychologist, she would sometimes unwittingly get in the team's way before joining them. After finding out Danny's powers by chance, she kept his secret from everyone- even Danny himself- and often covered for him when he was in a tight spot. After finally confronting her brother about his secret, Jazz was slowly but surely accepted into the original team. Though her horrible aim with the Fenton thermos was unneeded, her skill with all other ghost weaponry was extremely helpful when put to work.
Together, the three were Danny's closest comrades: a part of his heart. These four were inseparable. Where one could be found, you would usually find at least two of the others there as well. Between balancing homework, trying to keep their continuous patrols secret, and coming home before curfew, the team had their work cut out for them.
This brings us to the start of this story, a week after the last day of school. Coincidentally, it was also the day before Danny's fifteenth birthday. Today, something would happen. It was something that none of the previously mentioned teenage ghost fighters could ever predict. None of them could know that such a peaceful day would spiral completely out of control in the blink of an eye. The events of that day would leave none of them unaffected.
The day began like any other day at Fenton Works of Amity Park, Illinois, USA. Same old breakfast, same old schedule, same old crazy scientist parents, same old sister. Well, the last two weren't really part of the list.
Four teens of the same apparent age walked down the street, the oldest following the other three from a short distance behind while reading a book. Carefree in the moment, they laughed and chatted in the way that only true friends could.
"You're gonna be old enough to get your driver's permit, not to mention that in one or two years, you'll be able to make another step towards becoming a real astronaut! Sure, you got to land that possessed space shuttle before. Sure, you went into orbit to stop Technus. This is real now! I bet you're psyched, huh?" Tucker exclaimed.
Danny crossed his arms behind his head, a thoughtful expression on his face. "Actually, I've kinda been rethinking that. I could be an incredible asset to NASA, but with my abilities, well, I could do… more." He paused, then continued hurriedly, "A-anyway, I'd probably be able to do more as a policeman. I'm considering either joining the police force, going into the FBI, or becoming a private detective."
Sam dropped in on the conversation. "I'd never thought you'd say that. Detective, huh? Well, it does have a nice ring to it. It sounds better than Inspector Fenton, and I just can't imagine you as a random FBI agent," she snorted.
Danny laughed, picturing himself in uniform or as an undercover agent.
That does sound kinda ridiculous. "Yeah. I've mostly been working on my observational skills, anyway. I bet I can tell where each of you guys were and what you were doing before we met up," he said proudly.
"Oh, really?" Sam drew her words out slowly.
"Yeah. Jazz, you were at the library checking out books. This can be proven by both the book you're reading and the pen with the library's logo that you have tucked behind your ear, since you only use that pen when you go there. Also, your cell phone was off when I tried to call you earlier."
"Nice deduction, little brother," Jazz said, looking up from her book.
"Thanks," Danny grinned before continuing, "Tucker, you were at home. The small sauce stain on your shirt tells me that you were eating your mom's special pot roast. Not only that, today is your dad's day off, which pretty much confirms it. Strangely, your hands are totally clean. This shows that you washed up so you could use your PDA or laptop without any chance of getting them dirty. Since you keep rubbing your wrists and cracking your knuckles like that, I'm gonna take a guess and say that you went up against KaitoKid1412 on Doomed and lost, again."
"Hey, that guy is hard for a newbie! Even Sam had a hard time soloing him!" Tucker said, adjusting his glasses. "But yeah, I can see why you don't say this stuff aloud. It's almost like you were there," he shuddered.
The half-ghost shrugged. "I know, it creeped me out at first too. Okay, Sam, you were at your greenhouse. You still have a bit of dust on your hands from your plants. The trails through the dust show that you watered your plants and sprinkled your hand on accident. Another possibility is that you were in a hurry to meet up with us and were rushing too fast to properly wash up. Am I right?"
"Actually, it was my grandmother's garden since my parents still think that I'm in Europe. I don't really want to risk revealing that I'm pretty much living next door by going to my greenhouse," Sam corrected, subconsciously brushing her hands on her skirt. "Still, that was great! You got all that information from dirty hands, seriously? Danny, you must've been doing some crazy studies!"
Danny rubbed his head sheepishly. "Eh, you can be surprised what I can do when I have either motivation or time. I've already finished reading the Sherlock Holmes books that you gave me as an early birthday present when you were in England. That's the sort of thing I wouldn't mind doing- catching criminals the authorities can't. Police and FBI have more access to important stuff, but they're restricted to certain things by the government. That's what made 'private detective' go to the first on my career list," he explained. "If you think about it a certain way, it's not that much different from what we're already doing."
The half-ghost paused. Wait a second…
He turned back, still walking, to face his team. "Hey, if I'm gonna be a detective, what will you guys be? Last time I checked, Tucker wanted to be a comic book writer or computer programmer, Jazz wanted to be a psychiatrist, and you wanted to be a vet, a botanist, or one of those other guys, whatever you call those call those obsessive nature conversationalists."
"The word is 'conservationists.' Sorry to disappoint, but I'm still going to be a psychiatrist, little brother, though I might take a few courses in law to supplement my career," Jazz called from behind.
Danny groaned. "It was worth a shot…"
Tucker gazed forward thoughtfully. "You're right. Those things are history, dude. There's one thing I know, though. I'm definitely doing something with technology. I'm good at it, you know? I don't have anything particular in mind, but I have a pretty wide field of choice," he said seriously, tugging on his red beret absentmindedly.
"You're more than good at it," Sam added. "Remember when you defeated Technus 5.0 single-handedly last month?"
The techno geek rubbed his head sheepishly. "I connected my PDA to Jazz's laptop and hacked into Vlad's system- that was the easy part. The hard part was getting out without getting infected too. After I trapped Technus in Vlad's diary of self-pity…" the whole team, including Jazz (who'd caught up with them), shuddered. "Never mind. Man, that virus was a monster! It almost cracked my firewall before I sent it into an isolated part of Vlad's network. Fortunately, I was able to redirect it before it could. I wouldn't wish that virus on my worst enemy, Vlad included." Then he grinned. "I bet his diary's the reason we haven't seen Technus since then."
"Nah, it's because you're a closet genius," Danny teased. "There's a reason why we got you a nickname, Techie."
"Genius, schmenius. Don't forget why you got yours, First In," Tucker returned easily, noting with amusement how his best friend twitched at the reminder. "It was the first time I've ever seen that virus, so it gave even me a hard time. It's called the Night Baron- almost a legend among computer geeks. Until then, even I thought it was a myth. According to the rumors on forums, it works by completely wiping out all memory, every scrap of data on the computer and anything connected to it. Fortunately, I'm no average computer geek. I've already upgraded the defenses on all of our tech. Our computers are probably better protected than the NSA's," he added proudly.
Jazz looked on concernedly as her brother and Sam started choking. "Um, are you guys alright?"
Danny glared at Tucker. "Yeah, but we just found out that our best friend is capable of defending against the Night Baron of all viruses and didn't think to tell us sooner! It's the so-called invincible virus that companies have been trying to destroy or reproduce ever since it was created several years ago. Tucker, you have to be careful. Forget about waiting for a job through college- any one of those companies would probably kill to have you on their side!" he said seriously.
For once, Tucker uncharacteristically fell silent. Jazz noticed the slightly awkward pause and changed the subject hurriedly. "How about you, Sam? What will you be?"
Sam shot a thankful glance at the redhead and smiled softly. "I'm considering joining the ASPCA. I'd be around animals and catch criminals. Two for one."
Tucker finally looked up. "Being in this team really changed my viewpoint on life, you know?"
The group locked solemn gazes with each other as they walked down the street together in contemplative silence.
Danny nodded. "Yeah. I guess we're past the age where we feel like we can take on the world, huh? Granted, we have taken the world on and won, but…" he trailed off, lifting his head to look a the sky. "Life is just too short, not long enough to do much except for leave an impression on the world. But when I'm with you guys, I really do feel invincible," he said quietly.
You're more important to me than you'll ever know.
Sam slung her arms around his and Tucker's shoulders while Jazz pulled her brother into a half-embrace from behind. "So do we, Danny. Who knows? Maybe the team won't have to split up. With a you as a detective, Tucker as our technology expert, Sam as as an advocate of animal rights, and me, the psychologist and lawyer, we can form our own agency!"
Danny smiled. "Why not? Together, we'd bust any criminal. There's no way they can stand against us. We'll be unstoppable!" He pointed a finger upward. "After all, there is only one truth," he added grandly, grinning at his friends' groans.
"That was the cheesiest line I've ever heard. Did you pick it off a kid's superhero show?" Sam commented.
"Hey! I'll have you know that every great detective knows that line!" the sky-eyed teen whined, inwardly grinning like a loon. Man, I love this life! He thought, leaning on his friends' shoulders contentedly. The group laughed light-heartedly, the serious atmosphere broken.
They were four teens. Four young innocents, four teammates, four true friends. Each knew that one of the others would willingly die for them if the time came. They lived and thrived on this knowledge. Unknown to them, this would be one of the last minutes of true peace they would experience together for a long time.
A dark shadow slipped from behind a tall building into a nearby alley. In the deepest part of the shade, he halted abruptly. His pale, long-fingered hand pulled a sleek black cell phone from an inner pocket. His cold, ruthless gaze swept the surrounding cityscape for passersby or followers. These were the eyes of a killer, the eyes of a man who had killed countless innocents and had no regret.
After deeming the coast clear, the black-cloaked man tipped his head downward, black fedora obscuring his face as he spoke into the communication device.
"Is everything ready?"
There was static at the other end. "Hai, aniki. Is the coast clear?"
The man inclined his head, eyes narrowing on a group of four teens as they walked straight toward the location of his target. "Wait. There are more coming in that direction. No one must be a close witness if it is to be seen as an accident."
The man shifted slightly, long blonde hair hiding his face further. His watched the laughing foursome enter the building, expression showing no sign of guilt or remorse at what he would soon do.
"Initiate in five minutes," He intoned.
The four teens entered the front door of Fenton Works, laughing and joking. Danny had taken Tucker's beret and was quite literally bouncing off the walls to get away from the techno geek's grasp. Danny jumped up and positioned himself Spiderman-style in the corner of the ceiling, high out of the reach of his friend.
Tucker shook a fist playfully at the agile teen, knowing that he'd been beaten. "Dude, that is so not fair! Not everyone can stick to walls like duct tape!"
Danny twirled the beret around one finger, making sure that he was securely wedged in his niche by his other three limbs. "Hey, you know that I'm not using my powers to stick up here. Any person with enough body strength can do it," he grinned. "Tell you what. I'll surrender if you can get me down from here without touching me."
Tucker hunched down and sat cross-legged below Danny's position. "Fine," he said, glaring over his glasses. "Then you have to give my beret, and no take-backs!"
"Hey Danny, look! A ghost!"
"My ghost sense would've gone off," he replied dryly.
"It's the Wisconsin Ghost!"
"Vlad is nowhere near here. You said it yourself- he's at a meeting the next town over."
"You sure he's not starting another misguided plot to… what was it again?" Tucker mused.
Danny ticked them off on his free hand. "Kill my dad, marry my mom, make me his son, own the Pa-" forgetting one important detail. "Wha- Aahhh!"
The half-ghost lost his grip on the corner of the ceiling, falling directly on top of Tucker. After recovering, the tech genius immediately slammed his friend on his back and tackled him to retrieve his beloved red beret. Sam and Jazz rolled their eyes at their antics. "Boys."
Danny caught Tucker in a solid headlock and gave him a vigorous noogie. "Hey! That hurts!" the techno geek wailed, struggling to get out of his friend's grip. Danny relented to Tucker's cries and let him go, playfully setting the beret on his friend's head at a jaunty angle, smirking at the indignant look on his face. "I see what you did there. Jazz gives good tips sometimes, doesn't she?"
"Of course I do, I'm your older sister!"
"You're my only sister, Jazz."
"Jazz, Danny, you're back already?" Maddie Fenton entered the room, holding a plate of cookies. Smiling cheerfully, she offered the plate to Sam and Tucker. "Cookies, anyone? They're fresh. No, Danny, they're not poisoned! Mr. Lancer's visiting and was kind enough to bring some over."
The members of Team Phantom relaxed, each gratefully taking an ecto-free cookie. "Is your new weapon complete yet, Mom? I wouldn't mind trying it out," Jazz exclaimed.
Danny rolled his eyes.
I wonder what would happen if Jazz said what she was really thinking. It's probably something like, 'I wouldn't mind trying the weapon out so when I go out tonight with my brother and his friends to protect the city from property-destroying and potentially malevolent ghosts, I'll know how to use it. Oh yeah, and I need to make sure that it can't hurt said brother when it's in use by my held-in-ignorance ghost hunter parents who unknowingly hunt my brother and just happen to be the inventors of said weapon.'
He snorted. Yeah. That would go over well. Hm, I wonder if Mr. Lancer really made these cookies. There's a really strange smell coming from the kitchen.
"Not yet, but the prototype should be available for testing tomorrow. We just finished cleaning up for the day. Isn't that right, Jack?" the petite blue-clad woman called over her shoulder.
"Yeah, Maddie! Are you sure we can't work on it more today?" Jack Fenton whined as he bounded into the room, dragging a puffing Mr. Lancer behind him.
"The Wind in the Willows, Mr. Fenton! How do you have so much energy?" Mr. Lancer gasped.
"It's the fudge!" Jack replied cheerfully, shrugging his gigantic orange-clad frame nonchalantly.
The four teens rolled their eyes. "I wonder how we came to think of this stuff as normal," Danny commented wryly.
Team Phantom shrugged. "We're not so normal ourselves, you know," Sam reminded him.
Danny smiled. "But I wouldn't have it any other way."
It was one thing that they all agreed on. "Yeah."
Static crackled on the line. "We're starting now! Is everything clear?"
The black-cloaked man's cold gaze narrowed. "Yes. Once you're done, join me here. The organization needs them dead, not us."
"Hai, aniki. Proceeding as normal."
The man smirked, the first sign of emotion he'd shown on this mission. The sound of a device clicking on the other line was audible on the cell phone. The countdown had begun.
Danny's ghost sense went off at the same time as the doorbell did. He stiffened, instinctively slipping into a defensive stance. Thankfully, his mom and dad had already turned to go back to the kitchen and Mr. Lancer was distracted for the moment as he talked with Jazz about something or the other. Still, he couldn't transform while his teacher was here. He had to hide.
"Danny, could you get that?" Maddie called over her shoulder.
…Or maybe not. Oh well, what better way to catch a ghost than have one waltz through your front door? He had a houseful of ghost hunters behind him, after all. With his friends' and sister's eyes on him, he walked over to the door and opened it cautiously. In the next instant, he wished he hadn't.
"Why are you here?" Danny asked, annoyed.
A short, fat, blue-skinned, overall-clad ghost with a chronic obsession for boxes floated in front of the open door. "Beware! I, the Box Ghost, have come to warn you about the seemingly suspicious shadow that lurks with strange language behind that building!" The irritating box-loving ghost shouted, pointing a finger behind him.
"Warn me?" Danny asked, voice sharpening subtly. Ghosts don't usually warn me about anything unless it's really something to worry about. Even though it's the Box Ghost talking, it has to be something important if he would knock on the door of ghost hunters, right?
"A Christmas Carol, Mr. Fenton! Get away from that ghost!" Mr. Lancer exclaimed, positioning his sizeable girth in front of Sam, Tucker, and Jazz as he noticed the blue ghost, not knowing that said ghost was mostly harmless. Danny ignored his teacher's warning in favor of listening to the Box Ghost.
"Yes! His voice is here on this boxy and square electrical device before he made FIRE! He was unable to detect ME, the Box Ghost, in my dealings. BEWARE!" he shouted, holding up a palm-sized cubical voice recorder that he procured from who-knows-where.
"So that's where my voice recorder went…" Danny heard Tucker mutter.
Danny turned back to the Box Ghost. "Who were they?" he asked, regarding the persistently annoying ghost seriously for the very first time.
"I, the Box Ghost, will let you listen for yourselves! BEWARE!" he shouted, raising the cubical recorder above his head while pressing the "play" button. Danny's blood chilled as he heard the unfamiliar language being projected from the recording device. The cold tones, spoken in broken, static-punctuated sections, said more than he could decipher anyway.
"Ore… Zzzshhhhf… jū-byō… Ffffshhh… Iie, shizuka na… Hai. Hajime, aniki… san-byō…"
"It's Japanese…" He heard Sam whisper from behind the still-tense Mr. Lancer.
"Can you understand it, Sam?" Danny asked urgently.
The Goth girl's forehead creased slightly as she nodded. "He's talking with someone on a phone. I'm not fluent, but I can understand enough. Wait… he said… no, it can't be!" her face paled beyond its normal complexion.
Danny noticed her change in composure. "What is it?" he questioned. Please be nothing bad!
Not answering, she turned to the Box Ghost. "How long ago did you record this?" she asked, voice tensed to match her body language.
"I, the Box Ghost, came here with the cubical device no less than ten seconds ago!" he proclaimed loudly.
"There is no time!" Sam whispered, horror lacing her voice with tones of pure, unadulterated terror.
Her body snapped around like a whiplash. "Get down, everybody!" she shouted, terror evident in her voice.
"Manson, I'd like an explanation-" Mr. Lancer began.
"No time!" she snapped, pulling him down as Jazz and Tucker hit the ground beside her. She hoped and prayed that Mr. and Mrs. Fenton had heard her warning.
No. It is bad! Danny's eyes widened in realization. He took two steps toward the still-open doorway and tackled the Box Ghost to the ground.
The black-cloaked man's tight, sinister grin glinted visibly even in the slowly-lengthening afternoon shadows of the tall building.
Unknown to either of the men, a chain reaction had started. The dominoes had begun to fall. A butterfly flapped its wings on the other side of the world. A spark had been lit. If left alone, the spark could grow into a raging inferno.
The Black Organization could never predict the results of their actions. The consequences of this day's work would play true, for the syndicate had forgotten two key sayings of the wise man.
Look before you leap.
If you play with fire, you might get yourself burned.
Yan: After much contemplation, Silver Shadowbreeze and the Other Side of the Shadow [me] have finally written. As the plot bunnies are slain, thus are the mountains of writer's block moved. Alone, we are strong. Together, we pass all obstacles.
This will be a tale of mystery, adventure, friendship, and history-changing truths and untruths. Thus did the fire begin from a single spark. In this world, everything is possible. It is only limited by the author's imagination, and to an extent, the reader's as well.
Shadow: Enough with the drama, Yan. There was enough of that in this chapter already. Yes, the Two Sides of the Shadow have reconciled and are now writing this fanfiction. Well, more accurately, I [Silver Shadowbreeze] decided to beta for Yan here.
This is a Danny Phantom/Detective Conan crossover. Please keep in mind that I have my own life and will not be able to keep writing with Yan all the time like I wish I could. There will be twists, turns, and several scrapes with canon, unmentioned information, and loopholes. Please stick around for the duration of this hopefully long-lasting fanfiction. Thanks!
Edits: 1/23/13 - Changed the conversations to be more characteristic, made the beret scene more Tucker-friendly, fixed some choppy and unnatural wording around Danny's deduction.