A/N: So, here's my first one-shot/completed story. I'm really excited! I worked really hard on it, so I hope you all like it haha :D. Let me know what you think, what was good and what was bad. I'm like flames; they keep me warms and help me write better next time. Also, if anyone has any ideas for something they'd like to see written, go ahead and post them; I'm constantly looking for new inspiration. Thanks for reading, lovelies [;
She sat on his bed, make-up stains streaked down her face, dried trails from the tears she'd cried. They were all that remained to show of her recent torment. It was quiet, the only sound in the room of her breathing, and of his heart, beating wildly, out if control, filled with worry and self-loathing and remorse.
"Mom?" he whispered out, a choked syllable that expressed so much more than it meant. "Why are you here? What's wrong?" he asked, even though he already knew the answer.
She didn't reply, but instead wiped a stray tear from her eye and stood. She approached him, pain on her face, and wrapped him in her arms. Her breathing was shallow, and came out uneven, shaky, as if she was holding back tears. She probably was.
"What's happened to you?" Her voice was just a whisper, but it filled his ears, making him shake lightly. It was full of pain. "Where has my baby gone?"
"I'm sorry". It was all he could say, all he could think. The words rang in his ears, unsatisfying. She deserved a better answer than that, a better son than him. But there was nothing else he could do. Those words were all he had to offer. "I'm sorry."
She released a whispy sigh and pulled back, looking her son over. He was battered and bruised, shallow cuts covering his arms. There was a burn on his neck, running up towards his left ear, and his eyes were black and sore. She wasn't surprised, although she'd been hoping this wouldn't be the case. But, what else would a teenager be doing at two in the morning, if he wasn't getting into some sort of trouble? She was just glad he was in one piece, safe and sound.
"We need to talk, Danny," she said softly, firmly.
The teen tensed, unsure of what to say, what to do. His breathing slowed as he forced himself to calm down. He looked around his room, clutching his hands together nervously. His eyes were searching, as if he was trying to find an escape, looking everywhere, everywhere except her eyes. When he couldn't find what he was looking for, (it didn't help that he didn't know what he was looking for) his eyes hit the floor. He studied his shoes, biting his lip in thought and frustration.
His mother didn't speak, but waited patiently. Her patience paid off; the boy finally looked up, meeting her eyes at last. "Yeah," he said, his tone different than what she'd been expecting. It was controlled and mature. Aged. "Yeah, we do."
She went back to his bed, seating herself on the edge. He moved to sit beside her, resting his head on her shoulder. They both knew they needed to speak. But neither was willing to break the silence, the fragile peace that they'd only just accepted.
The mother eventually started, slow and soft. "I've been waiting for you, sitting here, since ten o'clock. I expected the time to pass quickly, for you to walk through your bedroom door, grinning and apologizing". Her voice was but a soft murmur, controlled but weak. Her words faltered slightly, but she regained her strength and pushed on. "But that never happened. And by the time it was midnight, I was so scared. I didn't know what to do. Each minute took a lifetime. I counted them, every single minute. They ticked by so slowly. It was unending". The voice faded on the last words, barely audible. It looked as if the mother had something more to say, but nothing was forthcoming.
So the two sat again in silence.
Then he spoke. "I'm sorry," he whispered again, wishing that words would make it all okay; that he could apologize and all the worry and stress and pain would fall from his mother's voice. But he knew that that wasn't going to cut it anymore. So he wiggled himself free of his mother's grip and stood to face her.
His heart was pounding so fast that he thought it'd kill him, for sure. His mind hurt, aching from the lack of sleep and the stress of his life. He squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his hands into fists, digging his finger nails into his palms. Then, he exhaled and looked up.
The expression on her son's face shocked her. There was pain there, she could see it clearly; she'd been expecting that. What shocked her, worried her even, was the look of relief. He almost, almost, looked happy.
"Have you ever dreamed of flying?" the boy whispered, a far-away look in his eyes. He smiled lightly at her, but she didn't understand.
He ignored her, and continued with his tale. "I used to". His voice was distant, reminiscing. "But I don't anymore". He chuckled softly, a sound his mother hadn't been prepared for.
But he didn't answer the question; instead, he stood quietly, looking numbly out the window. They shared the silence again, allowing it to drag on and on. She began to wonder if he'd ever speak, when he said with a scoff, "It's not easy,"
She hadn't thought he'd answer her, but this time he did. "Being a hero". A breathy, humorless laugh escaped his lips.
The women didn't understand, but she didn't ask. She was exhausted and exasperate, but for now she'd wait.
The boy started speaking again. "You don't need this, Mom. You don't need this life. Just let me handle it."
Her response was instantaneous. "No". The boy looked up, mild surprise flitting across his face, while irritation grew on hers. "Danny, I'm getting tired of these riddles and half-truths. Tell me what's going on".
The words bubbled to the boy's lips, unsummoned. How easy it would've been, to just let them go. But he bit them back, unwilling to release his secret just yet. Instead, he asked, "Are you sure you want to know?" His voice echoed quietly through-out the room. His mother nodded her head. With a brief, pained laugh, the boy gave in.
The boy grinned, though it was clear this was agonizing for him. "Only kinda dead, though."
"Explain". The mother's tone was no longer gentle, or worried, or sad, or wondering. It was almost harsh, but not quite. It was a forced word, like that of one who couldn't speak, who couldn't even breath.
"You remember the accident?"
Confusion took control of her face, but then changed to recognition. "The one in the lab?" The teen nodded. "That- that killed you?"
The boy grimaced and shrugged his shoulders. "No. It didn't kill me. But it did make me half dead."
"Explain," she demanded again. "From the beginning".
"Well, you remember how the Ghost Portal didn't work before?" Although it was a question, the teen didn't wait for a response. Instead, he continued, words tumbling from his mouth. It was now or never, and he knew that if he paused, if he stopped even to breath, he may never start again. "I got it working. But, I was inside of it when it turned on. The gate flooded my system with ectoplasmic energy". The mother gasped, but her son carried on. "You'd think that would kill me, right? But it didn't, I don't think. Instead, I'm pretty sure
my system fused with the ectoplasm, changing me, altering me. I don't really know how it worked. Honestly, I don't know why I'm not dead. I don't understand how I could possibly survive through something like that. But I did. I did. I did, but still I didn't. Cause I'm half dead too, maybe. Im not really sure how all of it works. I just know that I'm not human anymore. Or, not a full human, anyway. I don't know-"
"What do you mean, half dead?" The boy had begun to ramble, and his mother didn't care to have the facts repeated to her. She just needed answers.
The boy flinched. "Well," he looked away, out his window once again. He stared longingly towards the sky, like the solution would fall from it, granting him his desperate escape. "I'm not really half dead, I guess. I'm just half ghost". The women didn't speak, but rather waited for him to continue, to explain.
So he did.
"I'm going ghost."
The room flashed bright green as the rings of energy encircled his waist, spreading across his body. Changing him, reforming him, revealing him.
Neither spoke, and again silence filled the air. Tears were once again streaming down her face, rewriting their old stories from a few hours ago, while simultaneously carving new paths. All the while, he was staring pointedly out the window, too shamed to watch his own mother cry for him. A ragged sigh escaped him, and his shining green eyes closed as he forced back tears of his own.
"You're Phantom". It wasn't a question. He answered it anyways.
"Yes". No emotion managed to escape in either of their tones. But there were painful lumps in each of their throats. "I'm a half-ghost. I can change, back and forth, between my two halves".
The room was still. The moonlight trickled in the window, casting erie shadows into every corner of the room, shadows that weren't there just seconds ago. There was no movement. No life.
Then, the mother opened her arms, tears still streaming down her face. The boy went to her, the unspoken request clear enough. She wrapped him in her arms again and held him tight to her, rocking him softly.
The minutes passed, and again the silence reigned.
And then she spoke, her voice just a whisper. "We can fix you".
The boy froze in her arms. His reply wasn't harsh, but still determined, strong.
"I'm not broken."
She kept stroking his matted hair, not lifting her eyes, not speaking. So he continued. "Mom, I'm not broken. I don't need to be fixed. I like being Phantom, helping people, saving the town. I don't want to change". He lifted his head, and a quiet, shocked noise escaped her before she could manage to hold it back. His eyes were green and glowing and shining with power. So different from her son's, and yet... exactly the same.
This time, when the silence took control, it overpowered. They sat, with her arms around him, and his head laying against her shoulder, as the sun began to rise. The new light counter-acted the moon's, erasing the shadows from the depths of the room. The minutes ticked by, but this time she had no need to count; her baby was safe. Four o'clock was approaching, and she had assumed he was asleep.
But then he spoke. "I don't dream of flying anymore, you know?" She didn't answer; silence was all she had to offer. "I don't have to."
She smiled and squeezed him tighter.
All the shadows remaining dissipated.
Yay! Its finished! Like I said before, if you have any ideas for stories, let me know. Also, take a look at my other, continuing story. Its a much longer revelation piece, and its more focused on Dani than on Danny. :D Thanks! RxR!