Welcome all to the last and longest chapter of DNC. It's still really hard for me to believe that I finished this. All of you have been so kind and lovely this entire time, and I don't know how to properly thank you but say promises of a sequel to this and a collection of one-shots once I'm done with Camp NaNoWriMo this July. And to say how much I love you all, because I do.

Speaking of… ;D It starts today~. I'm in a cabin not with members of the Phandom but with other mystery/thriller/suspense writers. I'm really hoping for some good advice from them. But I'm still in contact with others participating in PhanoWriMo. We chat every night.

Which reminds me, I still want to work on that idea DB-KT gave me a while ago… Also, I wonder if she's worked on those plot bunnies I gave her… We are terrible to one another. XD

Anyway, my project for Camp this time 'round is centered in a circus. Very fun, especially with the awesome music I have and the idea I'm working with. I think people will like it.

So… yeah. Last chapter. It feels weird knowing I won't be updating this. Hmm… On Mondays how about I do a special blog on my tumblr? Yeah, that should be good.

Summary: Samantha Manson, or Sam, has many things to deal with; her parent's disappointment, she knows all of the police force by name and face (and not because she wants to), moving to a new city, her grandmother's slowly dying, her Necromancy is getting stronger, she has no instructor to teach her, and she's not exactly the most popular girl in school. As she learns about this new city, she learns of its mysterious secrets and as to why so many haunts happen there. While trying to find out how to help this city, she finding that she slowly crushing on a kind of cute geeky boy whose parents hunt supernatural things. AU. She eyed the yellow tape, daring it to keep her from the school grounds. After a moment, she decided to ignore the forbidding warning of the black DO NOT CROSS letters.

Disclaimer: I do not hold any legal rights to Danny Phantom or to any of the characters you are going to read about. This story, however, is my own original idea, with a nod to Meg Cabbot's Mediator series and Kelly Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy for inspiring me somewhat.

Do Not Cross

Chapter 23

"And it's all okay,
'Cause love will find a way to be what love is…"
Julia Stone, "It's All Okay"

The time passed much too quickly. Halloween arrived and everyone in Amity Park got into the spirit. It was the one time of the year where the town could cash in on all the ghosts.

It was also the only time of year that the students of all the schools could dress in costumes, as long as they were school appropriate. There was always going to be that one group of girls who pushed the boundaries and got away with it — not to mention ogled by the entire male population.

Tucker wasn't quite sure he wanted to dress up this year. It would just be too odd for him to go through with it, but then it would seem weird to others not to.

His mother would wonder if he was sick or something. His father would demand that he stay in bed. His teachers and peers would question his sanity. It was safe to say that Amity's favorite holiday was Halloween, and to break tradition was nothing short of criminal.

Digging through his closet, Tucker found his old costumes. None of them fit him anymore. When had he grown out of his Spiderman costume? Or his Gandalf?

Sighing, he decided to make his own this year. But what could he do on short notice? A quick browse online and he found one that suited his cause just fine.

He grabbed a white T-shirt and a permanent marker, quickly writing down a sentence before slipping it over his thermal undershirt.

Smirking, he headed downstairs. Both of his parents had already left, his mother out buying extra candy and his father was at work. He had the house to himself.

He downed some bacon and eggs, as well as some toast, and bolted out the door. Jazz would be by soon with Danny and the RV. Then, they would go retrieve Sam. Like always…

The Fenton Ghost Assault Vehicle rolled up and the back passenger door opened for him. Through the windows he could vaguely make out that they, too, were wearing costumes.

"That's your costume?" Jazz said from up front, eyeing the shirt. "Seriously?"

"'Nudist on strike.'" Danny said, reading what it said. "Funny."

Tucker eyed their costumes. Danny was dressed as the Grim Reaper and Jazz was dressed as… some historical figure. He couldn't depict who.

"Remind me to put on the headpiece when we get to school." she said.

"And… who are you supposed to be?" Tucker said.

"Eleanor of Aquitaine. She was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Europe during the Middle Ages."

"Never heard of her."

"She was a witch." Danny said. They looked at him. "What? I read it in one of Sam's books."

"Since when do you read books?" Tucker said, raising a brow.

"Ha ha. You're hilarious." Danny rolled his eyes.

"What can I say? I am the comic relief."


"Well, Danny's the hero, Sam's the tough guy, Jazz is the brains, and I'm the funny guy."

"There's usually a fifth person to the group." Jazz said, pulling up in front of Sam's. "Four is an odd number for any sort of group outside of school. Three, five, seven, and their multiples are more common, especially when magic is involved. It's common knowledge for psychologists who are trying to understand fairytales and how they apply to everyday life.

"So, who's the fifth guy?"

Tucker sat long and hard, thinking about it. He didn't even acknowledge Sam when she entered. Who was the fifth member for the group?

He went over a list of all of the possibilities and found that there was only one.

"Valerie." he said, startling them out of the conversation they had been having.

"What?" Sam said, frowning.

"The fifth member of the team is Valerie. But adding her changes the whole schematic. Danny's still the hero —"

"Why's Danny the hero?"

"Because the hero is supposed to undergo physical, emotional, and spiritual changes in order for him to become the character. Danny's done that, what with the, uh, you know what."

"Did I miss something?" Jazz said. "Are you guys hiding something from me?"

"We'll talk about it after everything is settled tonight." Danny said, attempting to assure his sister.

"Right, so… Danny's still the hero, I'm still the funny guy, Sam is the brains, Valerie is the tough guy, and Jazz is the chick."

"What does the chick do?" Sam said, cocking a brow.

"Usually, the heart of the team. Keeps everyone together."

"Sounds like Jazzy-pants."

"Don't call me Jazzy-pants!" Jazz said. "And yes, yes it does."

She pulled the vehicle into a parking space near the front. She smiled and happily got out. She rarely ever got one and it was a blessing with the shoes she was wearing and the skirt.

"Headpiece." Danny said, reminding her.

"Right, thanks." she said, hopping in back and closing the door after Tucker and Sam before sliding on the contraption.

Tucker waited with his friends outside. He took the opportunity to really observe his friend's costumes.

As he had thought earlier, Danny was dressed as the Grim Reaper. It didn't look odd on him at all, which was slightly unnerving but even less so than the red contacts he wore. Looking into his friend's eyes gave him the creeps.

Sam was dressed in an elaborate white Lolita fashion dress, a long sword strapped to her back. It was terribly frightening, since most of them knew what the color white meant in their world.

"And what are you dressed as?" he said to her.

"The white knight from Through the Looking-glass." she said. She, too, was wearing contacts. Unlike Danny's, they were blue. "In the traditional sense, the character was old and can't ride his horse properly but he's the best in the books. Pity not many people have even heard of the second Wonderland book."

"There was a second Wonderland book?" Danny said.

"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" someone said, easing themselves into their conversation.

Tucker winced at the familiar voice. Dash. He always seemed to come at the worst possible time. He and the others turned towards the upperclassman.

"Hello, Baxter." Danny said, frowning at the costume choice.

"Don't you look scary." Dash said, observing them. "Huh, you look weird without those creepy eyes of your's, Manson."

"I'll take that as a compliment, thank you." she said through clenched teeth. She tugged on the waist of the costume, straightening it.

The RV's back passenger door opened and Jazz stumbled out. She fixed her dress, making sure everything was laying right.

"Are we ready to —" she said, stopping when she saw the latest addition. "Oh, hi, Dash."

"Jazz." the blond said stiffly, adjusting the clingy fabric of his attire.

"And you are…?"

"That ghost that causes all the trouble in town, Invis-o-Bill."

Sam choked back a laugh and Tucker nudged Danny. Jazz simply raised a brow, not entertained by the name or the thought, no doubt.

"Right, well, we were just about to head inside." she said, grabbing her backpack.

Dash swiped it from her grasp, gesturing for her to continue forwards as he carried her things.

For a moment, Tucker thought she would grab them back, bust she allowed the jock to do as he wished. He and the others stood stunned for a moment before hurrying to catch up.

"That sword," Danny said quietly to Sam, "it's the one Clockwork was holding onto for Katherine, right?"

"Yeah." she said. "I managed to get it away from her. Glad I paid attention to Lancer's lessons on how to make sleeping potions"

"…Lancer taught us that?" Tucker said incredulously.

"You two really pay attention, don't you?"

"What can we say." Danny said. "We've had a lot of practice."

"I was thinking about leaving it in the RV but we're being followed."

"We are?"

"Yup." She nodded to one of the security guards when they entered the school. "He doesn't work here on a normal basis."

"Maybe they upped the staff because of all the costumes and possible bomb threats." Tucker said, offering his insight. "High schools start getting a lot around now. Especially in small towns like Amity Park."

"Not unlikely but still, best to be safe than sorry." She tugged the straps tighter. He noticed that her eyes flickered to the students and noticed how they were all congregating in front of the auditorium doors.

"An assembly. Every school holds one at the beginning of the school day on Halloween. It's tradition."

"We're free to wander the school hallways and go trick-or-treating at the classrooms, attend a dance in the gym, play some of the games the teachers set up, or enter the costume contest. It's really an all-day, all-school party."

"So… basically, there was no point in actually coming to school today since we won't be learning anything." Sam said.

"Pretty much."

"Well, we should make the most of no classes today." Tucker said, stretching. "It's going to be a long day, after all."

"Well, this day was completely worthless and a waste of what we should be doing." Sam said, stretching out in her designated auditorium seat. She had kicked a few freshman out of the seats so they could sit next to one another.

The bell droned, signaling what would have been the end of a normal school day. Today, however, it was the signal for everyone to return to the auditorium for the finalizations of the costume contest. Pretty much everyone hung back the extra half hour just to witness the best costumes and scoff at the worst.

It was rather uneventful and nothing extraordinary happened. People cheered and booed at the winners, like they always did, and they got ready for the pep rally. There was the game that night.

Every available hand was put to use in decorating the football field. Danny found himself of fence duty. Tucker was with him, lazing about and not helping. Sam was off somewhere hanging up posters and Jazz… was being stalked by Dash. As much as it annoyed him to know that, he had to admit the beefed-up blond would look after his sister should anything happen.

Sighing, he taped the last bit of plastic to the fence and stood up straight. He could see a few of the cheerleaders further down, still hanging cardboard cutouts of ghosts and goblins and whatnot.

"…and then I said to the guy," Tucker said, "'Look, buddie, I ain't some dude you can just boss around, ya dig?' Hey, Danny, are you even listening to me? Fried pickle. Potato chip. Sam's flashing us."

"Huh?" Danny said, looking around incredulously. "What?"

"Thought as much. What's on your mind?"


"Still bugging you? If you want, you and me can switch places. You could protect the city from the sky, just in case. Sam and I can cover the ground."

"No, it's not that. Something just doesn't feel… right, you know? It's like, something's completely off. Like we're missing an important key to the puzzle or there's a huge, flashing red sign in front of us and we can't see it."

"Maybe we did miss something." Tucker said, shrugging. "But we'll figure it out tonight when everything's all good, and we got the sword and the ampulla. Who knows, maybe you're just really excited."

"It's just…" Danny said, trying to come up with the words. "I wish there was a way I could keep all of you guys out of this. I mean, I know Sam can handle herself no problem. You have the training but you don't utilize it to the best of your potential. And Jazz… Jazz is going in there completely blind and with her hands tied behind her back."

He slumped down on the blacktop surrounding the fence. Tucker sat down next to him, gazing off at the sky.

"I meant what I said earlier, you being the hero and all." his friend said, not looking at him. "You think about things like that. It's who you are. It's almost like you're that teenage protagonist in all those comic books we used to read or in those Saturday morning cartoons. Yeah, you're like them and that's… that's a good thing."

"I don't feel like one."

"Being a hero isn't something that you feel. It's who you are on the inside. Like, say that a ghost —"

"Don't say it! Don't say it! You're going to jinx us!"

"—would attack right now."

"Ah, you jinxed us."

"You would zip off to save the day because that's who you are, not because you have to. I think that's cool."

"What's cool?"

They turned to see Sam approach them. She stayed standing, looking down while she munched on popcorn.

"Where'd you get that?" Danny said, feeling his mouth water. He really hadn't eaten anything since he woke up.

"The mom's were giving it away to some of us." she said, she held it out to them. "Take it. I can't eat anymore or this costume won't fit."

Danny snagged it before Tucker could even twitch his finger. He hogged it for a moment or two before allowing his friend to take what he wanted.

"Is there anything else that we can do to pass the time?" she said.

"Nope. Not at the moment." Tucker said. "Well, Danny might have to help set up a few tents for some people but other than that, there's nothing."

"So… what will we do until eight?"

"I don't know about you guys," Danny said, "but I'm going to go take a nap in the RV."

"I am the Box Ghost! Beware!"

"After I take care of a nuisance."


Jazz woke him up a couple hours later, gently shaking his shoulder.

"The sophomore game is over." she said. "We have about an hour before eight and half an hour before the varsity game starts."

He hadn't slept as well as he had hoped. He moved around a lot and he wasn't the only one. Sam and Tucker tried to sleep as well, Tucker getting the most out of the three.

Jazz had been out and about, working and talking with her friends and other students who were willing to listen. He could only guess at what they talked about during that time.

He nodded and ruffled his hair with his hand. Looking around, he spotted his two friends. Sam was tucked in a corner at one end, furthest from the door, clutching the sword. Tucker was up front, reclined in the passenger seat.

"Wake 'em up. We need to start getting ready." she said, digging around in a large duffle bag that was packed with Fenton inventions.

Tucker woke comically, shooting up and banging his head on the ceiling. Sam… not so comically. She smacked Danny and knocked him into the far wall.

"Sorry." she said, her voice clouded by the gunk that gathered in the back of her throat from her restless sleep.

She flicked on the lights, making them all wince. She mumbled another apology. She grabbed her contact case and moved to the front to use the mirror.

Danny decided to do the same, after wiping the sleep from his eyes.

"Want me to make you look creepier?" Sam said. "I have a crap load of costume makeup in my schoolbag. I mean, you could think of it as war paint or something. You're sure to scare the messenger if you look like death."

"Do you think you can make me more handsome than I already am?" Tucker said, beaming.

She looked him over, frowning.

"No." She turned to look back at Danny. "Come on, you know you want scary make up to go with those red eyes."

"Fine." Danny said. Smiling slightly. He liked the idea of war paint. There was something novelty about it.

He hoped there would be no fighting but for what they had planned, it was inevitable. Novelty war paint might give him the courage he really needed at the moment.

Besides, it looked like Sam would have a nervous breakdown if he didn't keep her occupied with something other than the events that would happen.

"Don't put your contacts in yet." she said, heading towards her bag. She dug in it and pulled out a smaller, but fairly large, bag containing the costume makeup.

He waited patiently as she did her work. When she was done he had to admit, he looked like death. It was… chilling.

Smiling just made it worse, he found. He looked more maniacal. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing and with it being Halloween, this was the only time he could get away with it.

"Me next!" Tucker said, raising his hand.

Danny put in his contacts as Sam worked on their friend.

"Come on guys," Jazz said. "The marching band is already getting into position to do the National Anthem and school fight song."

Sam wrapped up what she was doing. He had to admit, Tucker looked pretty cool, even with the goofy shirt he vehemently declared was his costume.

Danny was the first to exit the RV. He pulled the hood of his costume up, tugging at the brim.

"We all remember what we're supposed to do?" he said, not looking back at the others as they joined him.

A chorus of agreements greeted him.

Tucker and Jazz headed off towards the stadium gates. They split up once they entered and took opposites sides of the bleachers. They would be keeping an eye out for anyone they thought was a Reaper, all the while socializing with some of their friends and the people around them.

Danny and Sam stood side by side, waiting to see the other two mount the seating areas and signal that they were in position.

"That costume still creeps me out." she said, pulling at the tailored waist of her ensemble.

"Yeah, well, you still freak me out." he said. "Isn't white a Reaper's color?"

She scoffed, shoving him playfully. He winced, rubbing the spot. It didn't really hurt — much to his surprise — but he went along with it lest he should hurt her pride.

"There's the signal." she said, nodding towards the stadium. "You ready?"

"As ready as I'll ever be."

They walked towards the gates, flashing their student IDs and heading towards their school's bleacher. Danny looped his arm through hers in order to keep them together, pushing his way through the rowdy crowd.

They found a spot between the marching band's section, clearly separated by a yellow rope at hip level, and the regular students.

"Wish I'd thought to bring a blanket to sit on." Sam said. "The bleachers are cold."

"Well, they are made of metal." Danny said, scooting closer to share some of his natural body heat. It was a rather cool evening. "I just realized, you kind of look like one of those characters in an anime or video game."

"Well, I do enjoy video games and anime is my anti-drug."

He laughed, nudging her. Good, keep the nerves calm and the battle will be easy.

Load blasts from the field grabbed their attention. Everyone in the stands shot up as the band marched out, color guard trailing with their flags at the ready. The two stood up alongside everyone else.

The National Anthem rang through the stadium, followed by the school fight song — the cheerleaders and students singing along with pep and vigor. They clapped the steady rhythm with everyone else and applauded when it was over, taking their seats.

All around them, people were dressed in miscellaneous costumes waiting for the game to start. They didn't have long to wait. The announcer in the box above rambled on about the game, the team's stats, and "how happy Amity is to have their guests here on such a wonderful holiday."

Sam leaned on Danny's shoulder to see around the guy sitting in front of her.

"How will we recognize the messenger?" she said.

"Don't know." he said. "I'm sure we'll recognize them when we see them."

She nodded, straightening. She went back to scanning the crowd, foot bouncing nervously. She excused herself to relieve her bladder.

One of the band moms let her pass underneath the rope in order to go around the back of the bleachers to get to the bathroom.

He watched her, frowning. They had all agreed to never go anywhere, during the game, alone. Sighing, he got up and followed her.

The band moms eyed him curiously but said nothing when he jogged to catch up to Sam. Who knew what was going through their brains, and personally he could care less.

He grabbed her arm, just above her elbow. She twisted his hand around, and got him in a hold. She released him when she recognized the costume and the face behind the makeup.

"Sorry." she said. "But that was rather stupid of you, you know."

"Yeah." he said, rubbing his arm. "You'd think I know better from all that training."

"So why'd you come after me?"

"We said none of us would ever be alone at this game. Jazz is with her friends and Tucker is with some of the nerds. We're supposed to stick together. Besides, what if the Reapers show up and I'm not there to back you up?"

"I thought you were my knight in shinning armor?" she said, tilting her head.

"Yeah well, you're the knight tonight. I'm… the damsel?"

She laughed. She grabbed his arm and pulled him along.

"I still have to go to the bathroom." she said. "And I'm hungry. You want anything?"


"Good, get me some nachos. Cheese and jalapeños only. Also, a root beer."

"Alright." he said as she slapped some money in his hand.

"Get what you want, I'll meet you in the line."

He watched as she made it to the bathroom doors safely and took the last spot in the line for food and drink from the stadium's vendors.

"Hey, Danny." someone said.

He turned and saw Valerie. Smiling, he waved her over. He ignored the cries of the two or three people behind him as he allowed her to join him in line.

"Thanks." she said. "Whoa, cool makeup. What are you?"

"The Grim Reaper." he said. "Sam did the makeup before we came back in."

"She really knows what she's doing. Maybe she'll become one of those makeup stylists like on that Syfy show. That'd be cool, right? Knowing someone who does makeup for movies and TV shows."

He nodded.

"Where is Sam, by the way? I thought I saw the two of you head over in this direction."

"Restroom. I decided to hold a place in line for food."

"Hmm. And what about the sword?"

"What?" he said, scrunching his brow. What sword? What was she talking… Oh.

"Where is the sword, Danny?"

Sam hummed the school fight song as she washed her hands. She was really looking forward to the nachos. She hadn't had any in quite some time.

Surprisingly, the women's restrooms were empty. It was highly unusual, especially at a high school football game.

That realization sent her stomach to her throat. Something about that was very, very, very wrong. She quickly dried her hands with paper.

"Give me my sword."

Sam jumped a little, drawing the weapon and pointing the sharp blade at the intruder. Katherine stood there, looking unamused. The woman held her open palm out.

"My sword, Samantha." she said. "I want it back."

"We need it." Sam said, clenching her hands on the grip. She wasn't going to give it up without a fight.

"Please, you don't know what it's capable of."

"Look, we have a plan. It's a good plan. We need the sword. I'm not going to give it to you. It's the only chance we have to get the ampulla."

"You made a deal with the Reapers?" Katherine said, hissing.

"Not the Reapers, their little messenger. They'll be here tonight. They think that we'll trade the sword for the ampulla —"

"It's going to fail. That plan will never work."

"And why not?" Sam said, lifting her chin up stubbornly.

"The Reapers are already here and they out number you."

Sam frowned and started for the door to warn Danny. Katherine grabbed her wrist as she shot past, slamming her into a wall.

Sam swung her free arm, the one with the sword, at the woman. The cut was blocked by the quick moves of Katherine.

Katherine was able to knock Sam's sword hand into the wall on her opposite side, causing the girl to release her weapon.

The woman quickly picked it up and dashed out of the restrooms.

Stunned, Sam stood there for a moment before taking off after her. She didn't spot the woman outside but she did see Danny and Valerie fighting over something. The ampulla.

Why did she have it?

The security guards were about to step in when blasts of red lasers from the air stopped them in their tracks.

Down from the sky ten men, dressed in all white, landed on their feet. They were armed to the teeth with weapons that shamed the Fentons' inventions. And they weren't the only ones.

Just outside of the fenced in football stadium, men and women wearing similar white outfits dropped and set up a barrier between the attendees of the game and the outside world.

"This high school's football game has hereby been canceled." said one of the men. The wristwatch-like device he spoke into overpowered the speakers in the stadium. "All attendees are to stay in their seats and wait until further notice. Those outside of the bleachers and of the field are advised to sit down."

Sam ducked back into the bathroom, going over ever curse word she knew.

One of the men pointed over to the bathroom and she gasped. Quickly she looked about for a place to hide. Bathroom stall would be too easy. Behind the door…

She held her breath and waited. One of the men stepped in and poked about. When he realized she wasn't hiding in one of the stalls or by the sinks. He started back out.

She prayed to what ever deity was above that he wouldn't see her. She almost blended in with the wall…

"Got you." he said, pulling her out from her hiding spot. He tossed her over his shoulder and carried her outside.

She screeched, clawed, kicked, cursed, bit, whatever she could to attempt to break free. None of it worked.

"I would stop struggling, Necromancer." he said. "You aren't going to get out of a Reaper's grasp too easily.

Jazz looked around, spotting a struggling Sam being carried out of the ladies' room and a bound Danny being threatened. Tucker… she couldn't see him anymore. Where had he gone?

Her phone beeped, signaling a new message. She smiled when she saw who it was from. Danny's friend was safe somewhere.

"Stay where you are." it said. "Those guys around us aren't good guys. They'll kill Sam for being what she is and they'll release whatever's in the ampulla."

"Where are you?" she sent, worried now.

She didn't receive a text for several moments, which worried her. What if he had been caught? Or worse?

"I'm with Katherine. She has the sword. We're planning an ambush. Don't do anything. We'll take care of everything."

She frowned. She didn't like waiting around for something to happen.

"I'm not like Ophelia." she said.

"What did you say?" Eric said, looking at her curiously.

"Nothing. Don't worry about it. Just… duck when I say so, yeah?"

He and her other friends gave her curious looks, but they didn't question her.

Tucker let out a trembling breath as he started up the RV. He had never been happier that the Fentons had created the hunk of metal. He was also proud that Jazz hadn't noticed that he had snatched the keys from her.

Physically, he didn't have the fighting capabilities that Sam and Danny had, he had accepted that some time ago. Mentally, however, he surpassed them when it came to creating plans.

He had been quite sure that Danny's plan would fail, which it obviously did, so he contacted the one person he knew who could handle this mess: Katherine. He had told her everything that was going to happen and promised that everything would turn out in her favor.

He pushed down the guilt that kept coming back. He was betraying his friends, this he was well aware of but he was doing it to protect them. Surely that would help somewhere down the line?

Sam was bound to hold a grudge for years to come and Danny would undoubtedly feel hurt, but he knew the latter the best and he knew that somewhere down the road he would be forgiven. He tried not to think about how Jazz would feel about all of this. That was someplace he didn't want to be.

"Ready?" Katherine said, jolting him from his thoughts.

"Ready." he said, revving the engine.

They were bound to get someone's attention so, he had to getting going while the getting was good.

He slammed his foot down on the gas pedal, the RV lunged forwards and crashed through the barrier of people and the fence.

Katherine worked the artillery, shooting well aimed blows at anyone who stood in their way.

He drove the RV onto the field, making the football players scatter like flies. He swung the vehicle back around to where Danny was being held.

He stomped his foot on the breaks, making Katherine loose her footing. She quickly regained it and went about freeing his friend.

"What the hell, Tuck?" Danny said, sitting down next to him. "You're a maniac. And what's she doing here?"

"We need her help." Tucker said.

"They have Sam, you know, because she took the sword."

"Yeah, don't worry. Sam will be fine. She's Sam, after all. Nothing can stop her if she puts her mind to it. We need to focus on finding the messenger."



"Val's the messenger."

Tucker blinked at him, confused.

"Hey!" Katherine said. "We can't stop moving or they'll get us, so get to it, nudist."

"Right." he said, he shifted gears and slammed on the gas again. He really wasn't sure where he was going but they couldn't stay still for very long.

"She's right there!" Danny said, pointing in on direction.



Tucker whirled the wheel and started for Valerie. He scanned the crowd, trying to find her. She was easy to spot, dressed in a bright red suit of some sort. And the candy coated topping, she was flying on a board.

"Can this thing fly?" he said.


"Great. How will we catch her?"

"Um, hello? Soothsayer sitting right next to you." Danny said, flailing his arms as he transformed.

Before he could make a move to leave, however, Valerie was knocked onto the field by a person dressed in white. Had one of the Reapers betrayed her?


Somehow, Sam had managed to get away.

Sam was grateful that the guy who grabbed her was a complete idiot and a terrible fighter. She had managed to twist herself out of his grasp and knock him unconscious. Several others moved to grab her but she managed to slip past them.

She ducked under the bleachers climbing up to the top and slipping over the back. She landed on her feet next to Jazz.

"Well, hi there." the redhead said. "What's the plan?"

"Valerie has the ampulla and Katherine has the sword." she said.

"Is this, like, a movie or something?" one of Jazz's friends said. He looked very confused. She pitied his innocence.

"Remember those ghost that kept popping up?" Jazz said. "This has a lot to do with them. Right now, Sam and I need to worry about getting what we need to keep the ghosts in their world and for you guys to keep everyone in the bleachers until it's safe. Think you can do that?"

"Yes, ma'am." the friend said.

"Here comes Valerie now." Sam said, watching as the figure zip closer to her.

Without thinking, she climbed up on the safety rails along the sides and pushed off, launching herself towards the lady in red.

She knocked into Valerie, thankfully, and the two of them tumbled onto the Astroturf of the football field. With a groan, they both tried to recover from being winded.

Sam was the quickest to recover. She snatched up the ampulla and held it close. She gazed down at the stunned Valerie.

"You knew." she said, frowning. "You knew this whole time, didn't you? You know what I am and yet you'd till betray a friend to the Reapers?"

"What are Reapers?" Valerie said, puffing for a decent breath.

"You don't know what you are, do you?"

"I know that I'm human and that you're not."

Sam frowned but didn't say anything. If Valerie didn't know, and the Reapers didn't know, she would be safe for the time being. They would kill a Necromancer without any hesitation, and a witch? They were the whole reason the witch and werewolf hunts in Europe happened in the first place.

Sam started for the RV, which stopped close by for her to join them. She stopped when Danny and Katherine tumbled out, the sword falling at her feet.

He was able to kick away from the woman and snatched up the sword. The blade cut through the fabric of Sam's costume easily and it clicked noisily against the old clay of the ampulla.

The little pot in her hands was broken but that was not what Danny was worried about.

After Sam jumped off the bleachers, Jazz climbed over the side and down to the ground. All of the people in white were distracted by the events on the field, she managed to sneak past them and get to the school.

She had a few weapons stored in her locker. If she could get them in time and make it back out to help in the fight, she might be able to set a new track record.

She was stopped by a loud cacophony behind her. She stopped just beyond one of the corners of the building and looked back.

Above the field, a gray and blue cloud rose towards the sky and spread out when it reached what it could. The trail leading up began to twist and turn. She feared that a tornado would wreak havoc on Amity Park.

The twisting stopped and floating in the air was a man with flaming hair. She could not see his face but she recognized him immediately. He was the ghost from her nightmare.

The heavy feeling sunk down into her gut and she raced back to the stadium. She was able to get back over the fence and onto the field no problem, but she stumbled when she reached the track that circled round.

She fell down to her knees and gaped upwards.

The ghost said nothing, he merely looked about stopping on the bleachers full of people. He lifted his hand and a blast of pink energy crackled towards where Eric and her friends sat.

An unearthly cry broke the silence before everyone screamed and ran about, trying to seek shelter from the monster above. Somewhere in the back of her mind did it register that she had been he first to cry out.

Something cracked against the back of her skull, sending her face first towards the Astroturf. Her world slowly started to fade to black.

She registered someone saying to grab her and the flash of a red boot before she was lost to the world.

Tucker looked around as everyone started running about, not thinking clearly. They were panicking, as was he but they were able to express it much easier.

He stared down at the dashboard for a moment, trying to think of what to do next.

Danny had nicked Sam with the blade, as the growing red stain was more than evidence of that. Katherine was gone, she magically disappeared. Valerie was missing too and Jazz… he hadn't seen her since they split up.

He watched as Danny scooped up their friend, cradling her as she tried to take in what just happened.

"Drive." Danny said, commanding him. "Just drive. We need to get Sam out of here before anything else happens."

Tucker started up the RV, revved the engine, and took off in a direction.

"What just happened?" he said.

"We accidentally released the Dark One." Sam said, clutching her stomach. To Danny, she said, "I have a first aid kit in my bag. It's a shallow cut, so we only need to bandage it."

He carefully set her down in the passenger seat and went to retrieve the aforementioned kit.

"We screwed up, didn't we?" she said.

"Yeah." Tucker said. "We did."

"But it'll all be okay in the end, won't it? That's how movies and TV shows and books always end, right? With a happy ending?"

Tucker was silent for a moment, keeping his eyes on the road.

Danny returned, carrying gauze and an ace bandage. He quickly did what he could for his injured friend and slumped on the ground.

"Yeah," Tucker said, breaking the silence. "It'll all be okay. Just you wait and see."


And I'll pick up from here in the sequel. Gosh, I really do love cliffhangers. I'm terrible, I know. I just need to write a story where I don't end it with something horrible or life changing or revealing or… yeah.

My brain's fried. I stayed up late going over the fight scene and working on the ending. They weren't settling right. And all the jumps… _

Yeah, I think I need to work on my fight scenes some more. The sequel will give me time to do that, thankfully. Can't wait to see how people react to that first chapter. Geeze, it's just… yeah. I won't be working on it until November. So, everyone will have to wait until then. And once it's finished, I release an annotated version of DNC.

Now, to work on this circus…