Strong Enough (a Teen Titan, Danny Phantom Crossover)
Chapter One: The Hunter And The Hunted
The boy tore his eyes from the destruction around him and looked at the girl at his side. "Danny, you don't have to do this." she said, "You don't have to leave."
Danny looked at the ash covered ground. He noticed a singed book cover with two sides buried in the debris. He reached down and pulled it out. He recognized it. It had been his mother's. He dusted it off gently and placed it in one of his two bags.
"Sam's right Danny. We're still here for you. You're not all alone." Tuck said. The moon glared off the boy's glasses, so that Danny couldn't see his eyes.
"Tucker you don't understand. I can't stay here in Amity Park. It's too dangerous." Danny said.
Sam stopped and turned him toward her. The moon lit only a side of her pale face. Danny looked into her violet eyes in wonder, as if he'd never really seen them before.
"At least let us come with you."
"No Sam." said Danny "I have to do this alone. You guys have families, and school. You can't just leave."
"And you can?"
"Yes." Danny said stubbornly.
The three friends started to walk again, avoiding the large pieces of twisted metal and shards of glass as best they could.
Tucker cleared his throat. "I'm gonna miss you dude."
"I'll miss you too Tuck."
The sun began to come over the horizon. Danny had to leave soon or someone might see him. Part of him wanted his friends by his side; all of him really. But he wouldn't tell them that. They were all he had left. He had to protect them, and the only way he could do that was to disappear from their lives.
Danny looked down at his hands. "Don't forget me." He said.
Sam grabbed him in a fierce bear hug. "Really Danny, that's impossible."
"Where will you go?" She asked.
"I don't know. Just away from Amity."
"Danny, you've been through so much."
"We all have."
Sam let him go. "Promise me something."
"Learn to trust again." She said softly.
Danny felt sick. Jazz had trusted him. His parents had trusted him. That's why he had to leave. He hadn't been strong enough to keep them safe, and he wasn't strong enough to keep his friends safe. Danny felt chills go down his back as he thought about the note concealed in his bag, the dreams about Dark Dan. But he couldn't tell Sam about that.
No one could ever know about that.
He looked at Sam. "I… I'll try."
She gave him one last hug.
Danny turned to Tucker. "Maybe this will clear up, and I can come back. Then you won't be the only dork with their photo in the yearbook." He joked weakly.
They both knew it was a lie. They probably would never see each other again, and things were NOT going to clear up. Tuck laughed anyways. He gave Danny a hug.
Danny looked from Tucker to Sam and back again. He couldn't believe he was saying this. "Goodbye guys."
Danny walked away from them, looking both ways out of old habit. There was no one around this early in the morning; that had been the plan. A ring of white light appeared around him. It split, half going up his body, half down into the ground. As the light past over him his features changed. His jet black hair turned snow white, his ice blue eyes a neon green, and instead of wearing his normal t-shirt and pants he was wearing a black suit with white gloves, boots, belt, and neckline. He stepped forward and took to the air, away from his old life, his friends. He tried to be strong, to not look back, but it was too much. He did look back. The last thing he saw of Amity Park was Sam, crying on Tucker's shoulder.
---------ONE MONTH LATER----------
Danny walked quickly through the deserted streets of Jump City. He ran his fingers through his jet black hair. It had been a long day. He shifted his bags in a tired way and sighed heavily. He noticed the complete silence, and couldn't keep his adrenaline from racing. He liked it better in the daytime, when the city dwellers bustled around, and you couldn't be alone if you tried. It was night, when he was the only one there; that was when Danny's heart raced. That was when the silence was too loud.
Danny gasped, his breath coming out in an even blue streak. Danny stared at it, wide eyed. A ghost? Here in Jump City? Maybe he was just seeing his breath the way normal people did on cold nights. Danny inhaled sharply and another wisp of blue left his mouth. Nope. It was definitely his Ghost Sense.
Danny stood there a moment. Did he run toward the trouble or away? He hadn't encountered a ghost since he'd left his home town. Since that day… Danny shivered. He turned to look down the street, trying to decide. It only took him a few more seconds to make his decision.
The Teen Titans walked slowly through the warehouse doorway, every muscle tense. Beastboy whistled "I think we found our thief's hideout. Dude! Just look at all this stuff." The Titans look around at the cardboard boxes.
"Clothing, cooking utensils, electronics… Paper clips? This thief isn't stealing for profit." Robin mused.
"Your right." Said Cyborg. The half robot teen walked over to inspect a large box full of earmuffs.
The teens were oblivious to the fact that they were being watched.
Above them a man (or not) scowled. He was trying to draw the Ghost Child, not a herd of teenagers; although these were very interesting specimens. A pair of binoculars popped out of his arm, and he found each of the kids in the lens. He looked at the first boy, a teen in a yellow and black cape with pitch black hair styled to look like it would if he had struck his head out of a car window, and a mask. NORMAL HUMAN flashed across the screen. The metal villain turned to the next, a large half-robot, African American teen. The viewfinder quickly scanned the robotics in the teenager. "Interesting…" the vigilante said under his breath. The boys parts seemed even more advanced than the villains own high tech exoskeleton.
The lenses moved to a tall red headed girl. TARMARANIAN flashed across the screen. Very, very interesting. The binoculars moved to the green kid near the back. The screen went crazy. HUMAN, BIRD, REPTILE, HUMAN, FISH. The man reached up and adjusted the intensity of the lens. The words stopped their hurried blinking, and a new one appeared. SHAPESHIFTER.
The man couldn't believe his luck. These youths were perfect prey for any esteamed hunter, and he, Skulker, was such a hunter. He WAS the greatest hunter in the ghost zone, or he had been before that whelp, Danny Phantom had tarnished his reputation.
But Skulker couldn't waste time. He had to catch the Ghost Child, the ultimate prize, now more than ever. Skulker quickly drew up and analyzed the message that had been spread through out the Ghost Zone:
WANTED BY PLASMIUS
MUST BE CAPTURED ALIVE
He, Skulker would be the first to catch the whelp, but he had to do it slowly. This night was just about targeting the boy, learning his location, and giving Phantom a reason for his usual paranoia. Skulker put the poster away. He looked at the last teen, but before he was done scanning the hooded girl his trackers picked up on an unknown ghost entering the premises. Finally.
Skulker looked back at the teens walking slowly through the ware house, their eyes and ears alert. He better keep them busy. The button on his arm beeped as he pressed it.