I do not own Danny Phantom.
Clotheslining: where someone throws their arm out when you're running by and it catches you in the chest or stomach. Very painful.
Danny lounged on Sam's black leather couch in her luxurious recreation room. It was nice to have a rich best friend who let you watch horror movies on her plasma screen television.
Sam, said rich girl, though she was firm in keeping her financial status a secret, was in the recliner and inhaling gummy bats at an impressive speed. Tucker was playing Doom on his P.D.A when he suddenly shouted, "Ouch!"
Danny and Sam both turned around to see Tucker's beloved P.D.A jump around, sparking and beeping insistently. Tucker scrambled back and pressed against the cool material of the couch when his P.D.A gave a final jolt before the one and only Technus popped out.
Danny wasted no time, instantly transforming into Phantom and raising a green-glowing hand. Technus quickly held up both hands in surrender.
"Relax child! I'm not here to challenge you. I shall destroy you another day." He paused, and glanced at Tucker through his dark shades. "And possibly you. What kind of fourteen-year-old boy has boyband songs in his music collection?"
Sam snickered in spite of herself while Tucker blushed. Danny narrowed his glowing green eyes suspiciously, but lowered his hand. "All right, Technus. If you're not here to destroy me, then what do you want?"
Technus blinked. "You mean you don't know?"
"I wouldn't be asking if I knew."
"Today is the annual Phantomball game!"
Three pairs of eyes stared for moment, each brain trying to figure out what Phantomball was. Finally Danny shook his head. "Okay. I give. What's Phantomball?"
"Phantomball is similar to your human game, football. Except we play it in the Ghost Zone, of course, and use a ball of plasma instead of your pig's skin. I will never understand you humans."
"Are you sure you're not trying to lure me into a trap?" asked Danny suspiciously. "Not that'd you tell me if you were, but..."
Technus reached inside his lab coat and removed a glowing piece of parchment. "Like on Christmas, we ghosts hold a truce on this specific day-October 3rd-so we can have a game of Phantomball. It has been established as a tradition many years ago, and we all have to participate. When you didn't show up, I had been tasked to come retrieve you. With minimal force, if I must add."
Danny scanned the parchment thoroughly. Well, it seemed legal. But then again, he was only fourteen. But it kind of sounded like fun. And even if it was a trap, it was just Technus. Master of Long-Winded Speeches and all that.
He handed it back to the techno-ghost and nodded. "Why not? I might get a kick out of it. Hopefully, not literally. Can Sam and Tucker come?"
Technus turned his attention to Phantom's two human sidekicks. "Sure. At least this time we won't have to argue about who has to sit out to keep score."
Danny grinned, and after wrapping his arms around his friends' waists, he phased them through the ceiling and followed Technus to FentonWorks.
"I have a few questions. One, how come you didn't just phase through the ceiling, and two, how'd you get out of the Ghost Zone?" asked Tucker.
"I wanted to make an entrance, and Phantom's father forgot to close it," answered Technus.
Danny rolled his eyes. Sam turned her gaze from the view down below and stared at Technus curiously. "How do you play Phantomball?"
"The rules are basically the ones you use for football. The difference is we fly and you can't use any ghost powers except your ecto-goo. That's how you take the ghost running with the ball down. After you claim the plasma, you make a break for the opposing team's net."
"I think I like the ghost version way better," Sam said with a grin.
"Yeah. I'd like to see Dash try making a break with Skulker on the opposing team," Tucker snickered.
By this time they had reached FentonWorks and made it through the portal. Danny mildly noted that his parents might catch a ghost once in a while if they bothered to turn on the alarm system.
"Took you long enough."
Danny tightened his hold on Sam and Tucker as he glanced at Skulker, who was eyeing his friends with a raised eyebrow.
"They're scorekeeping," Technus filled in. He pointed towards a floating piece of rock, which had an electronic scoreboard already set up. Tucker's eyes brightened like a kid on Christmas morning. Danny dropped them off and joined the cluster of ghosts. After picking a colour out of Walker's hat, they joined their fellow teammates to choose a starter. Danny quickly scanned the members of his team.
Ember, Skulker, Box Ghost, Poindexter, Kitty, Spectra, Walker and Vortex. He was relieved to have Skulker on his side and even Walker. Although both didn't seem too happy with having Poindexter and the Box Ghost. Danny poked his head over the others to see who was on the opposing team.
Technus, Johnny, Youngblood, Clockwork, Lunch Lady, Plasmius, Wulf, Shadow and Dani. Danny grinned and gave a small wave to his cousin. She grinned back and mouthed, "You're going down!"
Danny ducked his head back into the huddle in time to hear Skulker say, "All right, whelp. You'll be the starter. Toss to anyghost that's open. Wait, scratch that. Try to toss it to the Box Ghost as little as possible." The Box Ghost gave a huff of annoyance, but didn't say anything. "All right, break!"
Danny took hold of the purple plasma-ball in his hands and watched the teams form up. He noted with mild amusement that Clockwork didn't seem too happy to be there, but yet, he hardly ever seemed happy. Skulker and Technus faced off, growling, and Ember locked eyes with the runt, Youngblood.
"Ten hut!" Sam whooped, and Danny quickly flew back a bit as the opposing team tried to block him. Skulker held Technus back in a headlock and Ember clotheslined Youngblood with her guitar.
"No fair!" he whined. Ember grinned, stepping over him and rushing towards the opponent's net, waving her hands in the air.
"I'm open, dipstick!"
Danny dodged a shot of ecto-goo and widened his eyes as Johnny came charging towards him. He swung his hand in the air and tossed the plasma-ball. It sailed in a perfect arc and Ember caught it neatly. She ran straight towards the net and tossed it in. She whooped loudly and danced around. Sam and Tucker cheered as a green number three popped onto the scoreboard.
Huh, the ghost boy thought. So each score is worth three points. Interesting.
The ball was tossed over to Dani, who smirked at him before taking her position.
Tucker grinned. "Ten hut!"
Danny easily avoided Technus and flew straight at Dani. The young halfa gave a small yelp and frantically searched for a teammate to pass to. She spotted Plasmius' wave and chucked it at him before getting knocked to the ground.
"Hey! Use the goo, remember?" she groaned.
Danny smiled sheepishly. "Sorry. I forgot."
He hauled himself up and aimed a finger at a Plasmius. A glop of green goo whizzed past a few ghosts and caught the Frootloop right in the head. Skulker easily intercepted the fallen plasma and made a beeline for the net. Dodging blobs of goo and soon realizing he would be cornered by Wulf and Lunch Lady, he tossed it to Poindexter, the only one left open, and he caught it clumsily before standing still for a moment.
After a quick second of uncertainty, he hurried towards the opposing goal and, to everyone's surprise, scored.
"All right, nerd!" Ember grinned.
Danny glanced at the fifties kid and smirked. "Looks like all that dodgeball practice came in handy."
Poindexter's lips twitched and he nodded.
It was a gruelling game, with many events that made Tucker laugh so hard he had to inhale into a paper bag to calm himself down. Some notable moments were when Kitty was going for the net but got nailed in the face by Johnny. He easily grabbed the ball and scored a point. As revenge for earlier, Youngblood whacked Ember in the face with the handle of his sword when she had a clear shot. Laughing, he scored another point for his team.
Wulf was charging towards the net, but Walker managed to get around the Lunch Lady by pulling her hat over her eyes and aiming the goo right at Wolf's feet, tripping him and sending the ball flying. Ember went to receive it but Spectra shoved her out of the way and got the point instead.
Shadow did a pretty good job of blocking Kitty, but she angled her ring until the glare caught it and sent Shadow into a puddle. Giggling, she took off and managed to get the ball and a point. Clockwork got a pretty nasty goo shot to the face, causing him to trip and lose the ball. Watching a giggling Kitty take off, he shook his head, muttering, "I should have seen that one coming."
Danny was about to tie things up when Dani tripped him three meters away from her net. Sticking her tongue out, she took off, avoiding streams of green goo and making another score for her team. High-fiving Plasmius, she turned around and smirked. With one round left, her team was winning. Sam and Tucker, whose throats hurt from cheering and screaming so much, watched the game intently.
Skulker motioned for everyone to get in a huddle. "All right. We need this point to win! Whelp, you're going to pass the ball to me and I'll pass it to Ember. She'll take off and score the point. Kitty, you block Johnny. Vortex, you take Plasmius. Walker, you get the Lunch Lady, Poindexter, you got Wulf, and Ember, and you take Shadow. I'll take Technus. Box Ghost, if you can handle it, block the runt. Whelp, when you fire the ball, I want you to go after the whelpette."
"I thought Sam was whelpette."
"No, she's the twerpette. You geeky friend is the twerp. Now, break!"
Danny took hold of the purple plasma ball and narrowed his eyes in concentration. Sam and Tucker looked at each other, and nodded. "Ten hut!" they hollered in unison.
Danny flew back and waited for Skulker to push Technus back. When he did, the hunter flew for the net and Danny reared back and threw the ball neatly towards him. Kitty had Johnny in a headlock, Ember kept the glare from her guitar on Shadow, causing him to sizzle slightly.
Spectra struggled to keep Clockwork back, as he knew her moves before she did. Vortex managed to flip Plasmius as he tried to break through and Poindexter was scratching Wulf behind the ears. Walker clotheslined the Lunch Lady and the second the plasma-ball left his hands, Danny locked himself in front of Dani, who struggled to get around him. When he tripped her, she grabbed his leg and yanked him down.
As both struggled to get up, Ember slipped past Shadow and waved her arms in the air. Skulker reared back and let the ball fly. Ember readied herself for it, but let out a surprised yelp when Shadow tackled her to the ground. The ball was now anyone's.
Each ghost tried in vain to get past their blockers and go catch it and each blocker was unwilling to leave their post. Youngblood had been held back as the Box Ghost simply kept him at arm's length. Noticing the ball flying through the air, and eager to touch it the first time throughout the whole game, he flew past Youngblood and caught it.
Eyes wide, Danny pointed frantically to the net five meters behind the box-obsessed ghost, who was trying to avoid the green goo being shot at him from all directions.
"Throw it in!" he screamed. "Throw it in!"
Obeying, the Box Ghost reared back and let it fly. Unfortunately, it fell short of the net by mere inches and a green glob nailed him in the neck, not allowing him to go retrieve it. Danny's teammates let out a collective groan. Off his guard, Dani managed to push the heavy halfa off her and headed straight for the ball.
Noticing this, the Box Ghost slumped. "Darn it!" he bellowed in the same tone he used to shout his signature beware.
Then a miracle happened.
The shout caused a small rumble across the Zone and everyone watched in both triumph and defeat as the plasma-ball rolled the last few inches, right into the net.
"Woooo-hooooo!" Danny cheered happily, rushing forward and pounding the Box Ghost on the back. "That was awesome!"
"Not bad, pest," Skulker agreed, a victory smirk flashing across his face.
Sam and Tucker hugged each other tightly while the last number flashed across the board.
Dani floated up to her cousin with a small smirk. "You just got lucky. Wait until next year."
Danny felt a broad grin cross his face. "I wouldn't miss it for anything."