Old and New Love

By: Wilona Riva

Disclaimer: Danny Phantom belongs to Butch Hartman, Nickelodeon, etc

Gift of Time

"Daniel is my gift to both worlds," the Time Master said, moving his staff in arch above his head. The sky went dark, illuminating a soft glowing ball of light. Everyone felt the holiness of the light and bowed their heads respectfully.

"This is the core of the Ghost Zone, her soul, if you will. All souls, human and ghost, come and return to her. At the beginning of time, I plucked from her center, a seed, which I then sundered into its mortal and spectral aspects-Daniel and Prince Phantom. They are not two separate people, but two halves of the same whole."

"But why tell us this?" Undergrowth asked, in his human aspect.

"So that you might understand," came the tart reply.

Ciarda laughed into her sleeve. Danny shot her a bemused look. She blushed and ducked her head.

Tucker snickered. "Lovebirds."

Ciarda kicked him in the shin underneath the table. He yelped in pain, only to have Maddie shush him.

"The Ghost Zone needs to have a stable monarchy after having lived under Pariah Dark's tyranny for so long. That's why I made a bargain with the Heart for her seed. Daniel would have the best of both worlds, while understanding the harsh realities of both. In time, he and Ciarda will make many triumphs and discoveries, some not so sweet as a rose. I approve of the arrangement."

"Madeline Fenton, you have raised your son well," Clockwork beamed at her. "Though there is much you and yours could learn of us."

"I tried," she admitted. "Though it would have been nice if he'd told us right from the start." Here, she raised an eyebrow at her son, who vanished literally from sight. Queen Nicole whispered to the air in front of her and Prince Phantom reappeared and stammered an apology to the Time Keeper.

Clockwork continued on into the day, showing what was to come and advised them on who were the best sort of people to make up the court of the Phantom Prince and the Demeter Princess.

"Daniel Phantom, Samatha Ciarda, come here to me," he called gently. Both of them came forward and knelt before him.

"I am the Clockwork Chronos," he said, drawing himself up to his full height, even as he morphed into a child. "All of Time is open to me as a parade; I see all the twists and turns it may or may not make. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Time Master," they acknowledged.

"Will you care for the green earth and her children as well as for the spectral born?"

"Yes, Time Master."

"Will you swear by the River Styx to never send a soul to Oblivion?"

"Yes, Time Master."

"Touch the cores of each other."

They did so.

"Do you swear to love one another and be faithful and true?"

"Yes, Time Master."

"Do you swear never to harm anyone in either world unless it endanger your safety, the safety of others or the safety of both worlds until you both return to the Heart?"

"Yes, Time Master."

"I need two from the table-Madeline Fenton of Earth and the King of All Ghosts to step forward. Do you swear to guide and aid these, the children of the worlds, to aid them in the task of healing the rifts between both?"

"We so swear," Danny's earthly mother and spectral father took the oath.

"Are there any objections?" Clockwork asked of everyone else.

Tucker raised his hand. "Will I ever get a date with a cheerleader?" he asked.

Danny and Sam jerked their heads up and looked at their best friend with a "you're insane" expression on their faces.

Clockwork chuckled. "You will have quite a future before you, Mr. Foley. You will meet your love and not see her until sixteen moon have waxed and waned. What you will do with that knowledge, is a choice only you can make."

"Yes, Time Master."

"Then Prince Daniel Phantom and Ciarda Demeterschild, your cores are joined as one in the sight of all the Ghost Zone. The Ancients acknowledge you as one; the Heart knows you as one. Live long and prosper." Saying that, he vanished.

"I knew he watched Star Trek," Tucker triumphantly broke the silence that followed.

Danny looked at Sam and grinned. "Tucker 1, Sam 15."

"You have to pay up too, you know," she grumbled. "I don't exactly have pockets on this dress, for your information."

Somewhere, the Clockwork Chronos chortled with glee.