a/n- (edit 6/28/2011) HOW THE FUCK IS THIS STORY SO POPULAR I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND
but even so thank you for all the love! i appreciate it even though it clutters up my inbox like mad! also please lay off the comments about the blood pressure and stuff guys okay i understand i did it wrong i'm just too lazy to fix it please just pretend nature screwed the fuck up okay are we good WE'RE GOOD.
A few misconceptions
causes the student
population of Casper
High to take a guess
at the mystery that is
how can i decide what's right? / when you're clouding up my mind / i can't win your losing fight / all the time
Monday morning brought Danny to his fourth period biology class, Mr. Falluca talking animatedly in the front with his neat, trimmed gray hair in place. Danny found it odd how he seemed too neat, pristine, almost stiff when the wrinkles around his eyes told you about how much he laughed. His green eyes seemed as bright as ectoplasm, full of eccentric thoughts. His appearance didn't match his personality, but somehow they clicked well.
It was probably one of the only reasons the Danny liked Mr. Falluca—that, along with the fact that he didn't assign a lot of homework and had radar eyes. Opposing Mr. Lancer's constant blind eye to Dash's bullying toward him, Mr. Falluca always saw every moment of it, caught it just in time, and was open to the whole story—unlike Danny's English teacher, who heard one side and thought it the verdict.
Mr. Falluca's class was one of the only classes he enjoyed. This being because of the constant way that he managed to capture them all—be it astronomy (his personal favorite), biology, physics, chemistry, anything and everything applied to him when it came to science. Today they were doing some type of experiment on themselves, like finding out about their blood types, genetics, and such. To say Danny was excited was over doing it a little—sure, he was interested, but his ghost half was making him worry.
"First, we'll be doing some rather easy stuff—heartbeat, temperature, stuff like that. Humans are warm-blooded mammals, so that means we don't change our internal temperature despite the external temperature, other than something foreign enters our bodies. I'll assign you a partner to measure."
Mr. Falluca walked to the front of the class, ignoring the groans erupting from everybody. Danny gave a grin to his two best friends, Tucker and Sam; Mr. Falluca always paired him up with one of them, knowing about the situation between the other kids. It was also a reason why he liked Mr. Falluca.
But not today. No, today was just not his day.
The silver-haired teacher smiled serenely, eyes twinkling. "This is only day one of the experiment. Tomorrow, we'll be doing tests, like running around the track field and participating in sports to see how our heartbeat changes."
"Now," he cleared his throat, picking up a piece of paper left on the table top. "Here are the partners as following..."
By this time, Danny had zoned out, thinking about how his results would be like. Thinking back on it, wouldn't he be half dead? So...that should affect his human side as well, right? He never got to check that out, he noticed. No major doctor's appointments (in two years since he got his powers? Jeez, careless much?) and no huge injuries that might've made him go to the ER. (If they had like...a ghost ER or something.)
But seeing as he's half dead...
"...Winslet and Danny Fenton."
On instinct, he perked up at the mention of his name, catching the name before his as well. Winslet. It was a familiar name, and he was sure that he heard it once or twice somewhere. Usually he was late for class and missed the roll call, but the name stuck around in his barely recovering mind—
Starr shrieked, looking devastated. Ah, now I know. "Mr. Falluca! Can't I have another partner? Why can't he work with-with that goth girl or something?" She said 'he' and 'goth' like it was a part of the most disgusting species on earth. Danny shot an amused glance at Sam, who snickered at the bad fortune.
Then he realized that it was bad for him too. "Ah, I agree—can I work with Sam? Or Tucker?" Sam's my option, though, he added mentally, knowing how smart the girl was when it came to science. Tucker was more in the mathematics field and he knew it. (That, along with technology. Goddammit, the things he could do...)
"No changes, exceptions, or switching," said the teacher sternly. "Starr, sit next to Danny for this class. You two will be partners throughout the next few days." Danny slunk back in his seat, displeased. Starr crossed her arms, evidently also upset by the fact. Mr. Falluca ignored the teens and went back to his piece of paper. "And the last few partners are Samantha Manson with Kwan Li, Valerie Gray with Mikey Patterson, and Tucker Foley with Dash Baxter."
There were three more displeased cries, the loudest coming from Valerie. Tucker groaned from behind Danny and said, "I'm screwed" over and over to himself. Sam winced, as if someone had shocked her electrically. Danny didn't hear their own protests—he was too preoccupied with thoughts about the test results.
"To your partners!" yelled Mr. Falluca above the rest, and everyone set to motion.
Danny grimaced when Starr sat next to him. She was frowning heavily and refused to look at him, instead choosing to focus on Mr. Falluca as he told them what they needed to do. "Alright, class. For the temperature, I have asked Marie to pass around thermometers...I'm sure you'll all been to the doctor's office, right? Your partner puts this under his or her tongue, you record the temperature. For the heartbeat—" Mr. Falluca held up his wrist, blue veins showing from his pale skin. "—you'll use the radial artery. This is where it is." He placed his index and pointer on a certain spot on his wrist. "Count how many beats and stop when the timer stops."
The class bustled into action, and Starr turned around to him, grabbing the thermometer. "I'll go first," she informed him coldly. "Just record it all down." Danny raised an eyebrow but said nothing, sitting up straighter and getting his notebook out while she placed the stick in her mouth.
After a few moments, it beeped and she took it, giving it to Danny. "98.5 degrees," he said out loud, writing it down a moment later. "Alright, now for your temperature." He made a move to grab her hand, and Starr's eyes widened, moving back slightly.
"What are you doing?" she hissed.
Danny's voice was laced with irritation. "The project. Weren't you paying attention? I need your wrist to measure your heartbeat." Surprisingly Starr flushed when he said this, sticking out her arm dejectedly.
"Do it fast," she muttered.
He rolled his eyes. "I'll need a minute," Danny said a bit sarcastically, knowing that he really would only need a minute. He set the timer and he took her thin wrist, placing two fingers on the pale blue lines visible on her arm. Starr's eyes widened.
"Your hand is really cold," she stammered, looking at his pale fingers on her own wrist. "Are you supposed to be that cold?"
He scowled. "I don't know. I just...am." He didn't say anything else—being cold must've been one of the side effects of being a ghost. Speaking of that, he had watched some of the crime shows with Jazz on Saturday nights—usually when the guy was dead, he was cold, right? Something about the blood not being pumped, which was what kept the body warm. Danny was getting a bad feeling about this.
"76 beats per minute," he said, voice strained. He was obviously worried about something, his brow furrowing. Then, after writing it down in his notebook, he set it on the table and sighed dejectedly, taking out the thermometer and changing the plastic where the mouth goes. He placed a new one on and put it in his mouth, Starr's foot tapping against the floor impatiently.
It beeped faster than Starr's, and he took it out, handing it over to her. Starr noticed that Danny seemed pretty upset about the result. She looked down and her eyebrows almost shot up to her hairline. "Your temperature is 49.3 degrees. Farenheit." She knew that the US had different units from the rest of world, and this was the average body temperature...for Celsius. No way someone had a temperature that low...but then she remembered Danny's cold touch, and she bit her lip.
"Alright, whatever." She wrote down the result in her notebook. "Give me your wrist."
He handed over his arm, which Starr took with a bit of hesitation. It surprised her that Fenton's arm was that big. She never really payed attention to him before, but the last time she noticed him he was pretty short, scrawny and wimpy. It didn't look like that right now—she was pretty sure that he had about a foot on her, and his shoulders was rather broad. His hand was much larger than her own.
She set the timer and placed her fingers over his wrist, waiting to feel the first bump, frowning when she didn't. After a minute, she took her fingers off his wrist gingerly, looking at him, slightly freaked. "You don't have a heartbeat."
Time had stopped momentarily when Danny heard those words. His eyes widened, he himself feeling like his heart had skipped a beat—if it had a beat, like Starr had mind-shatteringly said a few seconds earlier. No way. No way was he completely dead. He could hear his own heartbeat sometimes, faintly, how could it not be there? He was on the verge of having a freak out when Mr. Falluca cut in, smiling pleasantly.
"That's because you didn't place your fingers on the radial artery, Starr," tutted the teacher. "Here, let me show you two."
He took Starr's hand and Danny's hand, his eyes widening when he caught the raven haired boy's. Mr. Falluca didn't say anything, but he took Starr's fingers and placed them properly on Danny's wrist. "Now add a little pressure and you'll feel a heartbeat." He smiled again, walking away, pretending that he didn't notice Starr's eyes light up and her face turn pink in embarrassment. Danny almost sighed out loud in relief.
However, as the minute went on, Starr seemed a bit confused, and when they were done she stared at Danny again, a peculiar light in her eyes. Almost like she was curious and scared at the same time. It made him reluctant to figure out his heartbeat.
"38 beats per second," she breathed, and Danny flinched. "What the hell?"
"Just write it down," he muttered.
She pursed her lips and the rude brush off, but did so. They were some of the first ones to be done, the pair in front of them also finishing just as quickly. Curious, Danny turned to see Sam done with Kwan, a thoughtful look on her face. Tucker didn't have the same luck; he was trying to get away from Dash, who held his arm in a death grip, Mr. Falluca lecturing them sternly.
About ten minutes later, he walked to the front of the class again and rapped on the chalkboard to get everyone's attention. "Listen up now, this is the slightly less fun part." He chuckled at his own little joke. "The average temperature for a human is 98.5 degrees. Raise your hand if your partner had anything close to that."
Danny felt the hotness spread to his cheeks when he raised his hand but Starr didn't, even when the rest of the class did. Mr. Falluca raised an eyebrow at their direction, causing everyone to look their way and notice the blonde's lack of participation in what was supposed to be a unanimous vote.
"Okay, hands down," he instructed. "The average heartbeat is around 70 to 90 beats, varying from girl and boy. Raise your hand if your partner is in those limits." To a bit of Danny's relief and confusion, it wasn't just Starr that didn't raise their hand. Tucker kept his down too, and so did Sam, along with a bit of others.
"Ah, I see now we see a difference here." There was an inscrutable smirk on Mr. Falluca's face. "Hands down. Samantha, can you tell us your partner's bpm?"
Sam nodded. "Kwan has a bpm of 93." Said football player shrugged, as if this was nothing to him.
Mr. Falluca "ah"ed understandingly. "Yes, I would expect that. Mr. Li, you're in the football team, yes?" And the jock's confirmation, the science teacher continued, "You are more active than the normal teenager, therefore your heartbeat is higher in supplying you the proper nutrients and energy your body needs. That goes the same for you, Mr. Baxter and Mr. Hollows." Dash and a brunette guy up front nodded.
"However, Mr. Fenton...your partner didn't raise her hands for both. Why?" There was no hostility in his voice, nothing to claim that he might've been in cahoots with the Guys In White or something to reveal Danny's identity. No, it was just plain curiousness, as if he really couldn't believe that such a thing had happened. "Ms. Winslet, would you be kind enough to tell us his results?"
Starr nodded and looked down at her paper. "His temperature was 49.3 degrees and his heartbeat was 38 beats per second." A frown graced her face and she looked up. "Even I know that's not normal."
Mr. Falluca, for one, seemed absolutely befuddled and shocked, his mouth slightly open and his eyebrows almost meeting his hairline. "My goodness, almost fifty degrees—! That's way under the usual temperature for hypothermia, and your heartbeat!"
"He was pretty cold when I touched him," Starr offered, and Danny shot her a glare. Mr. Falluca blinked, as if he forgot this little fact.
"Yes, yes," he agreed. "I remember that. Ice cold, in fact..."
Danny jumped when he felt fingers touching his arm, which was left bare when he pushed the sleeves on his black shirt up. He turned around to see one of the brunette students from next to him, trying it out for herself. He jerked away as soon as she touched him, but it was enough.
"You are cold," said the student, brown eyes wide. "Like, really cold. Almost like a fridge or a block of ice or something."
"I feel fine," Danny snapped. "I'm not sick or anything, and I don't feel cold." He aimed this at Mr. Falluca, who seemed like he was in his own world now, lost in his thoughts. The bell rang loud and clear, and before anyone else could have the opportunity to touch Danny Fenton's cold skin he was out the door in minutes. The students were clearly surprised at his speed—it made sense, sort of, seeing as how he always ran from Dash, but that was seriously fast. It was almost like he was blur. Sam and Tucker jumped out of their seats and followed their best friend, leaving a whole class sitting in shock.
"That was officially the worst class of my entire life," Danny announced, leaning back against the tree that they used for lunch time. The outside courtyard wasn't really filled right now, seeing as how he had high-tailed it out of there, but it didn't matter—today he had bagged lunch, courtesy of his mom waking up early in the morning and having nothing to do.
Sam took a bite of the veggie burger that she got from the cafeteria, silently cheering at how she was the first one and therefore got the good ones from the top, not the soggy ones underneath. "That did suck," she agreed. "I mean, obvious much? I had no idea that your basics were so...down, Danny."
"Yeah dude," Tucker frowned. "That's going to be the talk around the school for a while."
Danny groaned in frustration. "What I didn't get was why you guys never noticed how...'cold' I was, according to Starr and that brown-haired girl. I mean, being that cold should get some attention, right?" He looked at his hands. "And this pale."
"I think that's your..." Sam looked around behind whispering under her breath, "...ghost side, you know? I mean, you're half dead, but it seems like your ghost side is more than your human side. Plus...we've known for two years. Back then, you were a bit more tan and you were warmer too."
"Maybe it starts changing slowly?" Tucker suggested, eating a bite of his own burger. "I mean, you do look paler man, even though most of the time you're outside. We probably didn't notice you were this cold because we're used to it, had gotten used to it for years now."
"That's...actually pretty logical," Sam said, impressed. "Yeah, I can see that happening. In fact..." she pulled away from her friends, looking at Danny full in the face, going over all his features. "Yeah, you look paler than when you were fourteen. And you have longer hair too." She nodded to herself in self satisfaction and leaned back while Danny fingered the back of his head. Tucker laughed.
"Don't worry about it, man." he reassured his best friend. "We'll get through this. Hey, after the week is over, it'll just be like...a huge prank or something. Everyone will forget about it. For now, let's kick back and enjoy the short time we have before twiddle-dumb and twiddle-dumber get to us." Danny cracked a grin at that. made Sam smile too.
"I just want to forget everything that happened for the past forty minutes," he sighed. "I mean, at first Starr thought I had no pulse, but then it turns out that she placed her fingers on the wrong spot." Danny shrugged, oblivious to the slight stiffening of his best friend next to him. Tucker did, however, and a smirk graced his face. Both went unnoticed by Danny. "You could only imagine how freaked out I was—got tempted to actually see if I was not fully human anymore instead of half."
"Good thing you didn't, then," Sam said.
Danny nodded in agreement. "Yeah. Imagine the disaster that would be."
The next day at Mr. Falluca's class, there was a bit of a commotion. Everyone was staring at Danny, almost like he was going to freeze up and turn them all to ice or something. It was proven that no one could have such low rates without being dead or hypothermic. And seeing as Danny was neither, it just wasn't possible. He was a mystery, surely.
"Today we'll be reading your heartbeat with addition of things like exercise and sports. When you do active work, your body supplies blood to parts of the body that need it the most—like say if you're running, your heart pumps faster to get blood to your legs. It's also the reason why when you stop, you have to breathe heavily. Blood supplies oxygen, but you'll also need more oxygen to help re-supply blood to the other parts of the body." Mr. Falluca smiled at them all, watching most shift in their gym clothes.
He clapped his hands to gain attention from his students. "We'll allow the men to run first—line up!" All ten guys from their class went up to the starting line, some jogging slightly, others groaning in protest once again. Tucker appeared by Danny with a worried crease in his brow. "Dude, are you going to be okay? That ghost last night was huge."
"And energy diminishing," Danny added. "But yeah, I'll be fine. It's just running, right?" He shrugged carelessly. "Then I'll be fine."
Tucker grinned cheekily. "Yeah, use those Phantom powers to go ahead of everyone! Ultimate win."
"I can't do that Tuck." He rolled his eyes. "You know that some of my speed and strength is lent to the human side, but doing that would be cheating. Besides, I need my heartbeat to go up, remember?" Tucker shrugged, fixing the red beret on his head. Danny lined up between Dash and another guy from class, Jeremy, Dash sneering at him.
It didn't have any effect; his mind was too wrapped up in the ghost attack night before. It was a whole mess—not a particular ghost in particular, but it was almost like Pariah's army again. (Okay, so he was exaggerating a little bit, but it felt like that.) He was kept up all night by blobs of ectoplasm coming and going—his memory was faint and hazy. He could only remember bits of sleep, probably only minutes. God, he needed to sleep sometimes soon—history seemed like a good time...
Lost in his own thoughts and tired, fatigued mind, Danny barely heard the large "Go!" and the starting—he just let his legs move for him, feeling every step exhilarating him. He felt hid breath come out in short pants and he could only see the track in front of him, wind slapping against his face and keeping him awake. It was just until the last few minutes did he focus, seeing the white line that said that his row was finished.
He reached it in due time, breathing only a bit heavily, not looking all the worn out. He looked beside him to see who else had finished, and to his immediate surprise there was no one there. Looking back warily, Danny's blue eyes widened when he saw that the rest of the guys had not even gone a quarter of what he'd gone—most had stopped to see him, already at the finish line. Dash's mouth was wide open.
"Go check his pulse!" He heard Mr. Falluca yell to Starr faintly. There was a buzzing in his ears that he couldn't seem to get rid of. Looking around at his class, he saw every single one of the girls' faces, shocked, save for Sam who was a bit surprised. Mr. Falluca didn't say anything. He probably figures that I'm in the track team or something, Danny thought to himself.
"4-45 beats per second," Starr stammered out, taking her hand off of Danny's and then going back to Mr. Falluca and telling him the results. He nodded thoughtfully once more. Apparently the fact that he was under profound hypothermic temperature was forgotten and now the fact that Danny Fenton—the geek, the loser, the nerd—was faster than Dash Baxter, quarterback who could catch a ball from across the field in a second hung around in everyone's minds.
"Good, class! Mr. Fenton, that was exemplary running—I take it you are extremely flexible as well, correct?" Mr. Falluca complimented, handing him a towel. Danny nodded briskly. The other guys caught up and their partners went to them; only Starr was left behind, after Sam gave him a reassuring glance. "Alright, now it's the girls' turn! Ladies, line up please..."
During that day's lunch period, Danny scowled heavily, feeling the shadows under his eyes get darker with every berating sentence he thought to himself. Nice, Fenton. Yeah, go and use super-speed on them—they'll just suppose you're fucking superman and leave you alone! So far, about three girls had ambushed him. And that was more than he had ever gotten (naturally, at least) in his entire life. Sam's eye had been twitching through the whole thing. Tucker was stuck in the middle of whining, laughing, and trying to pick up the remains of what Danny pushed away.
"God, I'm just good at running!" he exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air. Danny let himself fall back against the rough bark of the tree. "What the hell is up with everyone today? It's like I turned into a mini-celebrity overnight."
Sam snorted. "You don't look like it, hotshot."
"Tell me about it," he agreed. "Those stupid ectoplasm things kept me up all night. Whenever I got rid of 'em they kept popping back. Once mom and dad even took care of it—well, I hoped they would, but then dad tripped and hit a lamp post instead." The raven haired boy sighed, eying warily at a bunch of girls huddled together, wearing dark clothes and makeup.
His female best friend smirked. "Are you sure you really don't know why people are interested in you?"
"If I knew, would I be wondering why?"
Tucker patted his friend on the back. "They'll get over you soon, Danny. And then they'll come to the Tuck for some after-rejection-TLC." He grinned cheekily, having both Danny and Sam hit him; Sam on the head, Danny on the shoulder. The dark-skinned African American pouted and rubbing the offending areas.
"Well, don't worry about it Danny." Sam said, her voice reassuring. "You'll get it soon...I hope...but for now, I'm going to enjoy this."
"Enjoy what?" he asked stupidly. Instead of answering him, Sam's smirk got wider and she crossed her arms, sending a distasteful look to Tucker's 'mega meaty hamburger'. Coming near them was one of the girls, contact-ensured neon red eyes lined in black boring through him. Her face was heavily powdered and looked like she hadn't gone out in the light for a while.
"Is it true?" the mystery girl said, her voice a throaty whisper. "Are you really—" she didn't sucked in her breath like it was a taboo to say whatever she was going to say, and Danny squinted up at her.
She didn't say anything else though, so he let out an irritated breath. "Listen. I'm not in the best of moods right now, okay? I'm cranky, tired, and hungry. So can you just...go away?" It seemed like he said something that hit home, because the mystery girl's eyes widened in shock and then she stumbled back, nodding furiously before turning around and running back to her friends.
One second passed while they all looked at where she ran.
Then Sam burst out in laughter.
"That was priceless!" Her chuckles were loud and caused a few people to look their way, thinking 'it's just the goth girl' before turning back around. Sam's knuckles were almost white from holding the folds of her plaid skirt too tightly. Tucker raised an eyebrow and Danny looked like the expressions on his face were fighting over bewilderment, surprise, amusement, and confusion. "Did you see Mira's face? Dear God , even when you have no idea what's going on...haha..."
"Uh, Sam?" Danny started, looking slightly reluctant. "Did you go to the dentist today or something—?"
"Oh...kay..." Tucker said slowly, also not getting it.
She wiped her eyes of nonexistent tears and next took in a large, deep breath. "Oh, it's nothing, nothing! Trust me, it's part of the reason why everyone has been paying attention to you lately," she grinned widely. "and you just helped to increase the...well, let's say you helped increase how true the rumor actually is."
Danny's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. "You mean there's a rumor going around about me being a ghost—!"
"No, no!" Sam shook her head, sending locks of black hair flying, before giggling again. "Nothing like that. Something else though." At their confused faces, she gave them a secretive smile, eyes sparkling in mischief. "Hey, I'll give you guys a hint—it has something to do with the fact that Dash or his cronies haven't bullied you today."
Tucker deadpanned, "I don't get it." Danny nodded his head to show that he was on the same page as his tech-wiz friend. Sam sighed and face-palmed. "You know what? Never mind. It'll get out in time...and then it'll look so frigging obvious." And despite her friends qualms and tries to get her to talk, she kept her lips shut about the topic.
After history (which was after lunch) they had gym, and Danny was slightly freaked by the amount of people staring his way, like he was supposed to jump up and do some sort of back flip. Twitching, he itched toward Tucker and murmured, "Okay, this is really starting to freak me out. Got anything that can help?"
"Me?" Tucker pointed to himself, incredulous. "Are you serious? I'm basking in the limelight, dude. Don't ask me." It was pretty obvious that Tucker was enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame, even though they were technically borrowed from Danny. The raven-haired boy sighed; he really needed Sam right now to jolt some common sense and reassurance into him, but she was standing on the other side of the gym and speaking with that weird goth girl that cam up to him earlier. He didn't think much of it; they probably found a lot of things in common and started to talk about it, that's all.
"Goddammit," he groaned. "Stop staring at me!" Danny barked this to the general public, who flinched away like he had insulted their mothers. He was pretty sure that he didn't; all he did was make some people back off for staring unashamedly at him, knowing that he hated attention. God, did he hate attention. He wasn't like Dash or Paulina, who revolved around the spotlight. He just wanted to be left alone.
Okay, and he was a little cranky today. How did you expect him not to be? Hoards of girls were giggling and whispering when he walked by, some even going as far as following him a bit before abandoning. He didn't get enough sleep and he barely had anything to eat during lunch (his mom didn't pack anything and he forgot his lunch money) and Tucker already finished his food, spent all of his loose change, and Sam's lunch was...er...inedible for him. (Seriously, he had no idea what that shit was. Better not say it to her face thought, he was much smarter than that.)
"Fenton!" barked the blonde coach, Mrs. Tetslaff. Her ponytail bobbed angrily with her steps. "First for laps! You're up against Baxter, Hollows, Li, Karmen, Jackson, Johanson, and Smith. Go!"
Danny groaned as he started to the track field, yelling back as loud as he could, "No offensive to you Mrs. T, but I don't wan't to join the track team!" He was dense, but the coach's thinly guarded desire for him to join their school's team was obvious to even him. A few people sniggered.
Tetslaff glared at them, catching up while the girls went to the other side. "Don't be a wise ass, Fenton," she snapped. Danny rolled his eyes. Jeez, I'm off today. "Anyway, be careful with that side of field—don't get too close to the posts, we're redoing them and that one is pretty loose. Other than that, you're all fine." She assessed them all with her cold blue eyes. "Run around the track once, and we'll determine your speed. After that, you'll run for the hell of it. Builds endurance." Some of the guys that weren't on the football team groaned, including Danny. "Go!"
He let himself run, but not as fast as earlier. He was unsure of what to do—usually, he was the towel boy or something, never really picked to be running. He was in front of most of the guys, seeing as how if he was unnaturally slow since this morning it would look like something weird was going on. (Besides, he secretly thought that Tetslaff changed the program at the last minute—weren't they doing basketball today?)
Danny was still far behind the football players, though. Dash sent him an odd look, like he couldn't believe that Danny was this slow now when he could obviously do better than all of them combined. A light seemed to go off and Dash smirked. "Hey Fen-turd! It seems like you've lost all bravado now, huh? I bet it's 'cause of the sun, right?" Danny looked up, confused.
What the hell's he talking about? But suddenly, everyone seemed to be focusing on them. Danny didn't say anything, unsure how to answer, simply gritting his teeth. Dash took this as a yes though, and started poking fun at him—Danny had no idea what was going on with him.
Wait a minute...Looking back up, he could see that in the middle of taunting him, Dash didn't notice the small curve that they were running on, which instead of turning he was going to run straight into the post that looked like it was about to fall. No one else noticed, but Danny's eyes widened, and while Dash was going to run into it he pumped his legs to go faster and was right there when the blonde jock made impact, causing the whole post to shudder.
"Baxter—!" Coach Tetslaff was left speechless, along with the rest of her class, when they saw Dash Baxter, quarterback and ultimate bully, on the floor while rubbing his head. But the more speechless part was that—well, for all means and purposes, the post should have fell, but instead Danny Fenton was holding it up with nothing more than his own two bare hands.
There was a vaguely annoyed expression on his face, but he didn't even look out of breath—not even fazed. It was a fucking twenty foot long iron post that was three times his size in width and thickness, but he didn't even seem like it weighed more than a piece of paper or—or—a backpack or something! The thing wasn't even shaking, for God's sake!
"Okay, that was seriously stupid," Danny yelled, pissed off at the jock. "I mean, come on! Can't you see two feet in front of you? You coulda killed half of us or something!"
"Fenton..." Tetslaff started, at a loss for words. Danny turned her way and flushed, the blush looked slightly brighter on his pale cheeks.
"Sorry coach," he murmured, like he was ashamed at that. Danny toed Dash and nodded to the right, saying, "Scram."
The jock crawled out of the space, feeling his cheeks burn in embarrassment and his head swim slightly at the pressure; oh yeah, he definitely had something going on with him. Looking back at Fenton...there was no doubt about it. That guy was certainly—
"A vampire," he whispered.
"Jesus," Danny exclaimed on the way to school. "Why the hell is everyone looking at me?"
"Probably because you haven't melted yet in the sunlight," Tucker replied to his best friend conversationally. Sam turned to him and grinned widely, Tucker returning the sentiment while their denser-than-abnormally-possible friend looked between them, so evidently confused.
"What the hell are you talking about?" he snorted.
Tucker shook his head. "Oh, Danny. You'll get it soon enough. It's perfect, really..."
Danny, however, didn't get it and groaned. "You guys...seriously, what's so wrong about telling me already? I'm stupid, alright? So quit the joke."
"It's not a joke!" Sam sang, eyes twinkling. "Plus, the whole school already knows. Why ruin their fun? It's good for you too, Danny. You're getting popular—even if you don't know it—your secret will be safe, and you can—"
"Whoa whoa," Danny stopped in the hallway, ignoring one girl's giggle. "Back up. What are you talking about? I don't want to be popular. Too much work. I'm not fourteen anymore. And what's this about that? What are you guys hiding, dammit?" He looked between his two friends, trying to scrounge out anything that he could from their expressions, but they shared a look of sly understanding and left him in the dust.
"So much for best friends," he muttered, opening his locker sullenly. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw that goth girl that Sam was talking to yesterday—dammit, what was her name? He caught it somewhere. Martha? Mina? Something like that. A sentence that Sam said hung around in his head, echoing; the whole school already knows. Except for the person that all this was about.
If the whole school already knows, I can just ask her, right? That would mean no problem. I won't have to ask someone who's touchy about it. Meaning, the rest of the population at Casper High. So Danny slammed his locker shut and went over to the goth girl, who was currently reading some sort of novel.
"Hey," he said to her, and she immediately closed her book, but not before Danny got the word 'Transylvania'. "What's your name again? Mia?"
"Mira," she replied in a small voice, lip trembling. Not in fear, but something like excitement. Weird. Danny continued, "Do you know what's been going around the school lately? About...me?"
Her red eyes widened, and she nodded hesitantly, almost like she was afraid of what he was going to say. "Can you...tell me exactly what they're saying about me?" Because I am so completely lost about this all. And he really was. He watched her face go from confused, to skeptical, then to understand. Ooookay. No idea what that was about.
"They're saying that you're a vampire," Mira said bluntly, her eyes boring into his face. "A blood-sucking vampire. Are you?" She cocked her head slightly, as if questioning it, even when it was painfully obvious that she believed it.
Meanwhile, Danny felt as though time had stopped for a moment.
Oh my god, you're not fucking serious.
A part of him wanted to break out in rambunctious laughter. A vampire? Were they serious? The last time he heard about vampires was when that new movie about some cheesy romance shit came out and Sam went on a rampage, eyes burning. She had ranted on and on about how vampires were pale, not sparkly, were extremely fast and extremely strong and...Danny felt his eyes widening more.
What the hell was he thinking? Of course that's what they would think. That first day in Mr. Falluca's class, when it was revealed how low his temperature and bpm were, then the running course, then the post during gym...dear god, dear god, his classmates thought he was a fucking vampire. Danny wanted to burst out in giggles.
You're secret will be safe.
Sam's words vibrated in his head, and he thought about it for a second; if he denied he was a...vampire, then his classmates would think of another way to explain it. Because if there was one thing he learned from growing up with scientist parents, it was that they never stopped until the truth was revealed. And they would get to ghost. Eventually.
So making a split second decision, Danny smiled at Mira, who had been waiting from his answer anxiously the whole time. He made sure to look as feral and dangerous as he possibly could (wasn't that the point?) and said, "I'm only half."
After that, he ignored her wide, excited eyes and slightly-ajar mouth, the squeal that came from the girls that were listening in, and Danny snickered to himself under his breath. Vampire. Really. If only they knew.
okay, i lied. i only edited the first paragraph. sue me.