Okay, so I've had this idea rolling around in my head for a while now. And it's really distracting me from Relatives, so I figured if I go ahead and start on this one, I'll be able to pay a little more attention to Relatives!



I really don't know where the idea for this one came from. It just came to me.

And it hasn't left since.

I'm really rather pleased with how it's going so far. There are a few weak moments, but overall, it's not bad.


I don't own Danny Phantom.


Chapter One: What if?

August 5, 2011

Danny leaned against his bedroom wall. He slowly sank to the floor, running his hands through his hair. He was exhausted, frazzled, and completely out of his mind with worry. He hadn't slept in days.

Not since the day he found out.

He could feel his heart pounding obnoxiously in his chest. Is her heart still beating? He shuddered at the thought, sucking in a huge amount of air. Is he still breathing?

Stop it, Danny. He berated himself mentally. Of course her heart is still beating. Of course he's still breathing.

...but for how much longer?

Why did this have to happen to them? It couldn't have happened to the normal kids, like Dash or Paulina. No, it just had to happen to Tucker and Sam.

The two most honest, loyal, wonderful people in Casper High. The ones I'm lucky enough to call my best friends.

Why does this always happen to the good people? They didn't deserve this...they don't deserve this. God, why couldn't it have been me?

What happened to them, you may be asking?

It seemed to be the million-dollar question. No one knew.

Not Tucker's parents.

Not Sam's parents.

Not the police, the fire department, the private investigators that Sam's mother had hired.

Not even Danny.

It had started out a normal Saturday morning. Well, partially normal. Danny rolled over in his bed, blindly grabbing his cell phone off of his bedside table. The small clock read 7:36 AM. He groaned, wondering why he had awoken so early on his own. No blue mist had poured from his lips, no sudden chill had stolen over his body. He had been perfectly comfortable and warm beneath the blankets on his bed.

So what had woken him?

He rolled out of bed, glancing out his window. The city looked normal. No ghosts were attacking the buildings on high. The city was completely peaceful at that hour.

Annoyed, Danny trudged down the stairs. No one else was awake in his house; Jazz had long since gone to college, and both of his parents were sleeping soundly. He was just starting to pour himself cereal when the doorbell rang.

Muttering about how some people need to learn how to wait to ring the doorbell until normal people were actually awake, Danny shuffled into the living room to answer the door. The people standing on the porch surprised him.

"Danny?" Mrs. Foley said. Her voice was hushed. Her husband stood beside her, his hands on her shoulders, watching Danny's face carefully. Mr. and Mrs. Manson were standing behind them, giving Danny a look that crossed disdain with hopefulness.

What...the heck.

"Danny, are Tucker and Sam here?" Mrs. Foley asked. She looked desperate; for a moment, Danny almost said yes just to calm her down.

"N-no," He said. His heart lurched at the look on her face; it was manic. She turned to look at her husband, tears spilling down her face.

"Danny, who's at the door?" Mrs. Fenton's voice came from the foot of the stairs. "Oh! Hi ther- ...what's wrong?"

"Could w-we come in?" Mr. Foley asked, wrapping his arms tightly around his wife's shoulders. Danny stepped aside, allowing his mother to usher the four adults into the living room.

"Danny, did you hear from either of them last night before you went to sleep?" Mr. Foley asked, watching Danny closely.

"I know Sam dragged Tucker out to a new gothic book store for a poetry slam," Danny said, vividly remembering Tucker complaining about it to him over the phone. Danny had opted to stay home, since he had been fairly exhausted from a viscious ghost attack curtesy of Skulker. "I fell asleep after they got there, though. Why?"

"They never made it home last night." Mr. Foley said quietly. The room was silent as Danny and his mother absorbed the information.

"They're...missing?" Danny asked slowly. Mr. Foley nodded.

He felt his world collapse around him.

"We've been trying to call them all morning." Mr. Manson said. "Their phones just rang and rang, before going to voicemail. Right before we got here, their phones quit ringing all together. It just went straight to their voicemails."

"Have you contacted the police?" Mrs. Fenton asked as Danny stared, mouth opened, in shock.

"We came here from there," Mr. Foley nodded. "They said that until it has been 24 hours, they can't help us."

"That is ridiculous!" Mrs. Fenton exclaimed. "They are missing children!"

Danny listened without hearing as his mother went off on a tangent about how the justice system was damaged beyond repair. His mind was spinning wildly out of control. Tucker and Sam...Sam and...and...but...Tucker...missing?

What if they were kidnapped?

What if Sam crashed her car?

What if...what if they're dead?

Danny stood suddenly. "I need to call Jazz." He muttered, practically sprinting out of the room. He seized the phone in the kitchen and dialed Jazz's room number.

"Hello?" Her familiar voice rang.

"Jazz!" Danny gasped. His face was drenched in tears. "S-Sam and Tuck, they're missing!"

"Danny? Calm down, breathe. What do you mean, they're missing?"

"Their parents are here and they're missing!"

"Okay, stop shouting. What happened?"

"They went out to a some new gothic book store last night for a poetry slam and they never made it home!"

"Maybe there's a plausible explination for this, Danny. Maybe the slam ended really late, and Sam decided it would be safer to just get a hotel room instead of driving back home. Do you know where this book store was?"

"Outside of Amity. They were in Montegue, I think..."

"That's about an hour drive. I wouldn't be surprised if they just got a hotel room and stayed the night in Montegue."

"Why wouldn't they answer their cell phones, then?"

"Maybe they didn't have the cell phone chargers, and their phones died. Relax, I'm sure they're fine."

Danny was jolted out of his memories by a light knock on his door.

"Danny?" Jazz poked her head into the room. He gazed up at her, his eyes swollen and bloodshot. "The police are here. They said...they may have found something."

Danny nodded. Jazz quietly closed his door, leaving him still sitting on his floor. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed Sam's cell phone number for the hundreth time since he learned she was missing.

"Hey, it's Sam. Leave a message. Or not, I don't really care," Danny smiled humourlessly at the sound of his best friend's voice, wondering if he would ever hear her talking to him again, or if he would ever get the chance to tell her how he really felt about her. How his heart skipped a beat when she smiled at him. How he loved the way she fit in his arms when he flew with her. He called Tucker's phone, desperately trying not to remember the way her eyes sparkled. "Hey, it's Tucker Foley! That's right, ladies. I'm out with a hot date right now, so leave me a message and rest assured that I'll get back to you as soon as possible."

He sighed and stood, shoving his phone back in his pocket. Their voices, recorded or not, gave him strength.

"There he is," Mrs. Fenton said as Danny slumped down the stairs. His living room had been transformed into a headquarters for the search party; missing persons flyers littered the floor, empty coffee cups perched on every available surface, and a giant corkboard covered in a map of the entire state stood proudly against the wall. The map was covered in red "x"'s.

Currently, his parents were standing just in front of the corkboard. They were watching him descend sympathetically. Mrs. Foley and Mrs. Manson were perched on the Fenton's couch, each clutching cups of coffee. They looked utterly exhausted. Mr. Foley and Mr. Manson were standing by the doorway with a gaggle of police officers. Jazz was standing on the last step of the staircase, watching Danny as he trudged down the stairs.

"Now that we're all here," One of the officers said. "We found some evidence that may lead us to finding your children."

Danny perked up, a sudden surge of energy blasting through his veins. After days of fruitless searching, had they really found a lead?

"This piece of evidence...well, it brings a whole new side to this investigation. Which is good news, and bad news." They were all staring at him, hanging on his every word. Wordlessly, he pulled a large plastic bag out from behind his back.

One of Sam's combat boots was in the bag. It was coated with a thin layer of dust; the faux leather was torn in some places, right where her ankle usually sat.

"That was Sam's! That was my baby's!" Mrs. Manson shouted, lurching off the couch and seizing the bag.

"As you can see, some of the leather is torn. I'm assuming it wasn't like this when she left for the book store?" The police officer asked. Everyone shook their heads; it was a well-known fact that Sam babied her boots like they were her own children. "We analyzed the pattern of the tear. It is combatible with that of a bite mark of a very large dog."

"A dog?" Danny asked. His voice was hollow. "You're saying Sam was attacked by a dog?"

"Not necessarily," The police officer said. "What I am saying is that Sam was attacked. By what, we don't know. But she was attacked, at least once by the looks of her boot. And it is safe to assume that Tucker was attacked as well, though we found no further evidence suggesting he was there."

Danny gulped. The thought of his best friends lost in the woods somewhere was hard enough to comprehend, but them being lost in the woods, seperated from each other, while being attacked?

"There is good news from this, though," The officer said, gesturing to the boot. "We now know - roughly - where Sam was at some point over the last few days. It gives us a base, a starting point. We can now search for her, her car, and Tucker as well. And since this particular piece of evidence suggests an attack, we can now involve more of our men in this case."

Danny shivered. He had a horrible feeling that this mystery was only just starting to unfold.

Eh...that was kind of a lame ending.

Oh well!

Lots of drama and action and suspense and mystery and friendship and romance to come! (:

Review! Let me know what you think, if you guys want me to continue.

Thanks for reading!

- Tori