I don't own DP.

This is a oneshot challenge response to Pii. Now read. Please?

Danny had been sick the past week.

He looked a bit nervous when we put the new Specter Deflector on him, but he didn't get sick until the next day, eliminating any possible suspicions I could have had about the belt causing him to get sick.

But I was wrong…

"Danny, I'm back!" I called after getting home from the store. I felt bad about leaving him, even for five minutes, but I did need to go to the grocery store.

"Hi, mom," Danny said weakly, coming down the stairs.

"Danny, what are you doing out of bed?" I asked. "You need to rest."

Quickly changing the subject, he said, "The doctor called while you were gone."

"Okay," I replied. "You can tell me about it… once you get back into bed." I set down the groceries and helped him up the purple carpeted stairs back to his room. "Now what did the doctor say?" I asked once he was back in bed.

"I-I didn't hear," Danny explained, coughing violently. "I couldn't get down the stairs in time."

"I'll go check it," I said, tucking him into bed and leaving to go to the kitchen and check the messages on the phone.

"Hello, Mrs. Fenton," the doctor's voice said over the phone, "I'm calling in regards to Daniel Fenton, your son. I'm sorry, but I couldn't find what was wrong with him, but… he's dying, ma'am." The phone went to its message explaining that there were no more messages as I tried to pull myself out of shock. Finally, what I thought was an hour later (though in reality, it was probably less than a second) I snapped out of it when I heard something crash in the living room.

I ran to said room and saw Danny lying on the floor, groaning in pain. I ran to him, picked him up, and set him down on the couch. He probably heard what the doctor said and lost his footing when he was surprised. Unless… he already knew. I didn't know what it was, but Danny had seemed all too calm about being sick. I had passed it off as just him being tired and sick, but now… I wasn't quite sure what to think.

Suddenly, without thinking, I asked, "How long have you known you were dying?"

Danny had given up with his lies. "I think the better question is: How long have I been dead?" The question shocked me, but it made sense, almost. I hardly ever saw him eat anymore, he seemed to be emotionless lately, and he looked always looked scared around any ghost weapons. All of those would be something a ghost would do.

Ignoring my scientific side, I searched for the key to the Specter Deflector and finally found it, quickly unlocking it from Danny's waist. He looked better immediately and tried to sit up, though I put my hand on his shoulder and gently pushed him back down.

"Let me go, Mom," he ordered calmly. "We both know that ghosts are stronger than humans, and I need to leave to-"

I cut him off. "When did you die?"

Danny swallowed nervously and allowed himself to lie back down on the couch. "Seven months," he said. "The portal… when I turned it on… it killed me."

I killed my own son.

"No you didn't," Danny said.

"D-did you just read my mind?" I asked.

"No," he replied. "I'm just very observant, thanks to Clockwork."


"A friend of mine," Danny explained. He closed his eyes, almost tiredly. But ghosts didn't get tired. Then again, no ghost had ever worn the Specter Deflector, so it could stand to reason that he would be tired like any human would after illness.

"Did it hurt when you died?" I asked.

Then, as if he had rehearsed this moment or something similar, he said, "No." Nothing more, nothing less. Just… no.

"Are you lying?" I countered.

"No," Danny persisted.

I sighed, being forced to accept his answer until I could run a ghost lie-detector test on him (once I got rid of the painful shocks that came with lying).

"Why didn't you-"

Now he cut me off. "You and Dad are ghost hunters. I'm a ghost. I put two and two together and figured you'd destroy me."

Now I felt guilty, yet somewhat hurt. "We'd never hurt you, Danny," I explained. "You should have known that. But… why didn't you go to the Ghost Zone?"

"That's… a long story," Danny replied. "To put it simply, if the portal wasn't started up by me, a lot of ghosts wouldn't be free. It's my responsibility to stop them from hurting anyone."

"That's a lot of responsibility for a kid, even a dead one," I said. Danny didn't respond. Motherly instinct told me he was asleep. I picked him up and carried him back to his room, noticing his ice cold skin for the first time. He really was dead.

Jack got home around two hours later, and I had just come down the stairs from checking on Danny. "Hi, honey," I said.

"How's Danny?" he asked.

"Oh, uh… Danny's fine… in a manner of speaking," I said. "Jack… Danny died in the lab accident in September."

"What?" Jack asked in confusion. "That's impossible."

"He said so himself," I replied. "And the Specter Deflector was what was making him sick. Once I took it off, he got better. He's dead. And apparently his ghostly obsession is protecting the town from other ghosts."

"That would explain why he hardly eats anymore," Jack vocalized my previous thoughts.

"He agreed to answer any questions we have tomorrow," I explained. "Right now, he's asleep."

"Ghosts can sleep?" Jack asked.

"Apparently," I responded. "Well, we'll find out more in the morning."

Ha! You probably thought I was gonna have Danny spill that he was Danny Phantom, but you were wrong! Mwahaha! Please review! If you do, you'll get Danny Phantom cookies. Seriously. I was supposed to double a recipe for home ec, and I accidentally tripled it. Oh well.