Blanket Disclaimer
I do not, in any way, shape, form or in any other parallel dimension/alternate universe, own Danny Phantom. We all know who owns Danny, and I'll be damned if it's me.

Author's Note
Starting a oneshot collection in case I have random ideas. Considering my sort of bunnies usually pop up with something resembling a torture device clutched in their fingers, I'm going to write a few of these down.

This one's goes AU right from the start. You'll see. Just please, don't hit me. (By the way, Catalyst, this counts as the angsty fluff tag... somehow.)


Empty
-MoonlightUmbreon-


When you got right down to it, he didn't even know what had happened to him. It was all so fast; blindingly fast, really. Every little cell and atom contained in his fragile teenage body was, for a second, screaming like there was going to be no tomorrow. Because there wouldn't be a tomorrow – or at least, not for them, anyway.

For that second while the atoms were still clustered into a recognisable shape, each and every one of them was in agony. Such an agony that all they could focus on was the pain coursing through them, all hint of staying in a recognisable form forgotten. They split apart mercilessly at the occupant's expense, tearing cells and fracturing organs into halves, quarters, sixteenths, two-hundred and fifty-sixths...

And yet, it was all over before the occupant of the body had even realised something had just taken place; all that was left of the boy was a pale ghost with white hair and startlingly green eyes.

After some fifteen completely dumbfounded seconds, he began to realise what had happened, and laughed. He thought he was insane, but then again, he was sort of saving his sanity by doing so at the same time.

It was, however, a different story when his mother leaped down the stairs four at a time, feet pounding on the ground as she rushed to the portal. He stared at her for a moment, crinkling his eyebrows together. She came to halt in front of him, staring through the depths of the green swirls and into a shadow that looked vaguely like her son.

The teen looked back and blinked in a puzzled manner, moving forward and closer to the figure. He exited the portal and then boggled at his mother, tilting his head to the left, and then to the right, as if he didn't quite know what to make of her. And then, gingerly, he reached out a glowing hand and placed it on her head, tilting it so he could see the underside of the neck.

The woman jerked away immediately, subconsciously reaching for her head where her sons hand had been. With absolute horror, she stared at her floating boy. The pit of her stomach felt as though it had been thrown upwards and become entangled with her oesophagus.

The teenager continued to stare, spectral eyes still so unsure. There was a fascination that glittered in them and the mother wasn't so sure that she liked that look, given the circumstances.

"Your name is Madeline," he stated, leaning in closer, studying. "But you would rather be called 'Maddie'."

Maddie trembled. She really didn't know what to say – her brain knew exactly what she was looking at, but she could disregard it all just to notice the way that her Danny, her own son, was talking. He'd made such a blank statement; one that was just too bland to be from his memory... it was like he didn't even remember what role she had in his life...

"Danny, please, come here. I'm so sorry. So sorry... I can't believe I let this happen to you..."

A silence passed – one of those silences that was so silent it could hit you like a perfectly tangible block of cement. Maddie's entangled oesophagus twisted up even further, nearly choking her.

Eventually, with unmistakeable curiosity, Danny asked, "Maddie, do you know who I was?"

No. This couldn't be him, the mother thought. It wasn't at all possible. It just - it wasn't Danny! How could he be so soulless, so unemotional, so... so empty? It was like he was cleaned out of everything that made him Danny, and then what was left was thrown into an incomplete ectoplasmic being...

But her studies, she remembered, said quite the contrary.... There were things on what happened to ghosts after they'd died, and one of those was memory loss in the extreme. They could remember parts of their life, but the rest disappeared with their human selves. Often, they would retain it for just a few minutes, but the memories would fade away like shadows...

"You were – are my son, Danny," Maddie was violently shaking, her mind a nervous wreck. And, all at once, everything pressed down on her head – she wailed, the first signs of tears welling up in her eyes, thinking of nothing but her little boy. "Oh, my God... no. You can't be a ghost. You can't just not remember me! You're my son, Danny! My son! Please! You know me! I cared for you all your life; I tucked you into bed at night, I kissed your wounds better! Please! I'm your mother and I love you, and I care about you, and I really doubt that I could live without you!"

Danny was rather taken aback at the sudden emotional bomb, which was currently curled up in front of him. His eyebrows once again creased together, trying to figure out what he could do. Really, he didn't know, and somehow, what had been said twanged at his metaphorical heartstrings. It was something he found hard to understand, but what he did know was that he wanted Maddie to feel better – so he did what he could to try.

Two white-booted feet landed gently on the floor, making not even the faintest sound. He got down on his hands and knees, very softly stroking Maddie on the back. Before he even knew it, she was embracing him with a grip that could have caused suffocation, had he needed to breathe. Danny couldn't remember what a hug was, but decided quickly that the warmth it gave him was somehow very comforting, so he returned it with enough sense to do it softly.

Really, he was quite confused about all the fuss this poor woman was making over him. He was well aware that he was a ghost, but couldn't really see why that might be a bad thing.

Come to think of it, Danny couldn't even remember what a mother was. He thought it had something to do with rearing someone as a child, but couldn't really be sure. He tilted his head again, an arm reaching around to its familiar spot at the back of his neck, nervously.

"It's okay, mom," he tried, pausing to think before continuing. "Can I still be your... son?"


Author's Note
Weird. Strange. AU. Messed up. I know. I think up some strange stuff at midnight, and this adds to the collection. XD Not sure where it came from, though, or why the hell I decided to write it instead of finishing the next chapter of Psyched Out, like I should have been doing.
-yawns- I'm going to bed, I think... –tries to get out of computer chair and collapses in the process-

Peace,
-MoonlightUmbreon