Author: This is part of a year-long prompt challenge. The prompt number, prompt, and date will be the chapter title. I hope you find these enjoyable!
Disclaimer: DP is not mine.
347 College 6/3/09
College was looming in the future, and Danny wasn't quite sure how she felt about it. She and her friends would be separated for the first time since...well, since they met.
Her boyfriend of 2-ish years was going to be in Washington D.C. Her best friend was going to be off in California. And she? She was going to be in Wisconsin, since, with her grades, that was the best place she could get into.
Ghost hunting and schoolwork didn't mix.
She was also nervous because she'd be leaving Amity behind, vulnerable to the ravages of ghost attacks, as she would be unable to protect it.
"Look, your mother and I can take care of things here," Danny's father told her one day when she was being particularly paranoid, putting a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
"Yup! We'll make sure everyone is safe from ghosts!" her mother enthusiastically replied as she attempted to cage a piece of renegade toast that had been contaminated by some spare ecto-whatever that was lingering in the toaster from a previous experiment. Danny's fears weren't assuaged by that assertion, but she forced herself to believe it.
Afterall, maybe the ghosts would follow her, taking the danger away from Amity and to the University...although Danny wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. She wanted to do well in school; afterall, she was still shooting for the whole astronaut thing, even though it was looking less and less feasible with her academic track record.
Although attacks have been getting less frequent...I've gotten strong enough that most ghosts think twice about attacking me or those important to me. A memory floated into Danny's mind and she shuddered, shaking it off. Can't dwell on that, can't dwell on that...she thought vehemently as she sat in the Op Center, trying to come to terms with her future.
College, huh? She thought with a small half-smile. I'll graduate from high school, hopefully, and then there's just one more summer before I'm a college student.
A short, mirthless laugh passed her lips. I'm surprised I've lasted this long. I would have thought my lifestyle would have killed me long before now.
She sighed again and propped her feet up on a blank spot on a console, closing her eyes. She took a few deep breaths, trying to calm herself and keep herself from obsessing over her future. Every time she thought she had mastered the anxiety, though, it came back full-force. Eventually, she gave up trying to calm her nerves and she opened her eyes. Danny looked outside the large window of the Op Center and scowled, spotting Vlad's vultures passing by. She swung her legs so her feet touched the floor, pushed herself vertical, and transformed effortlessly into ghost form.
Some days she wondered if she was more comfortable being a ghost than a human. It was an unnerving possibility. What did that mean?
She phased through the Op Center and faded from sight, planning on surprising Vlad's vultures—she needed some stress relief, and pummeling the billionaire's cronies was looking very, very appealing.
Things had been going well enough for her, but her relationship with her boyfriend was slowly deteriorating and she wasn't entirely sure why, which was endlessly frustrating. There was also the strain of schoolwork, not getting killed by Val or her parents, evading the subtle bullying of her peers, and all sorts of ghost related issues. She desperately needed a break, but, as one didn't seem to be in the cards, misplaced aggression sounded like good therapy.
Danny flew over to the ghosts and was about to blast them when she caught her dad's name in their conversation. She drifted closer and paced the avian ghosts, flying next to them, silent and invisible.
"...wants with him?"
"Hell if I know," one responded. "I like this assignment better, anywho—not cut out fer fightin'."
There was a nod of agreement among them all. "More time off, that's fer sure."
"Wonder why th' change in heart," one murmured, and the others glided and shrugged simultaneously—which should have been impossible, but since when did ghosts listen to the laws of physics?
That statement was the end of the conversation, the three winking out of existence, causing Danny to growl in annoyance and become visible, stopping in midair.
"Wonder if they knew I was tailing them," she muttered to herself. They were talking about dad, and from what it sounds like, Vlad's changed her tune regarding dad. 'More time off'? Perhaps...no constant surveillance anymore? That would be nice. I'm getting tired of destroying the Plasmi-bugs.
Although that did bring Vlad to her home, and their verbal sparring matches—which always ended just shy of becoming physical confrontations—were too much fun (which worried Danny; they shouldn't be fun, right?).
Danny remained hovering in midair and looked around her leisurely, a smile flickering across her face.
She liked helping the people of Amity, and as they had finally clued in that she was around to help them—no-one knew that Danny Phantom was Danielle Fenton, though, except her friends and older brother (the jerk)—she didn't have to worry about normal humans attempting to kill her. Well, except for Val, but when wasn't he out to kill Danny Phantom?
Jazz's away at college, though...where I will be next year. Ha, it all comes back to that, doesn't it? Who knew something as stupid as changing schools would make me even more paranoid than usual?
With that, Danny attempted to shake off her gloom and began a leisurely fly through her town.