Kinda-sorta like an Elaboration, but I'm not thinking of it like that.
This takes place before "Livin' Large" but after "Eye for an Eye". You'll see why.
Disclaimer: I don't any of the mentioned lines or Danny Phantom itself. (By the way, I didn't check any of the lines, so they may be off by a word or two.)
The rap of the soles of my worn-out sneakers echoed in the empty hallways as my feet smacked against the linoleum, step by step. My thumbs twiddled with each other in front of me, and I swear a bead of sweat dripped down my most-likely paled face. Although I certainly did not want to reach my destination in a timely manner, I had no control over the brisk pace that my legs were moving in. It was freaking me out how I wasn't able to control my own bodily functions. I could hear my heart pounding in my reddening ears, which contrasted greatly to my face.
Mr. Felucca had not been keen on sending me down to the conference room, as we were in the middle of taking our midterm exam. He gives us one in the middle of ever unit, not just at the end of the first semester. It's his way of testing how much we'd been paying attention. Science was actually one of my strong points, as I was eager to become an astronaut, plus my parents are technically scientists. My most favorite part of science is when we took our biology unit, because it somewhat helped me get a better understanding of what actually happened to me during the accident.
But that's beside the point. When the phone had interrupted my concentration, I'd tapped into my ghost hearing and listened in on the conversation. Some parts of the other end were fuzzy, but I'd heard my name and something about conference room A. When Mr. Felucca had demanded why they (and I didn't know who 'they' was) interrupt his class in the middle of an important exam. I couldn't tell what the person on the other end had said, as they'd lowered their voice, but whatever they told my teacher, it freaked him out, as his face paled greatly, and he stammered for me to go down to the conference room ASAP.
My feet automatically led me toward the room where this meeting was supposed to go down thanks to multiple parent-teacher chats that I'd been forced to sit in on. I attempted to slow myself down one more time, yet failed to do so. Maybe I was unknowingly being overshadowed by a rogue ghost…
Within what seemed like seconds later, I found myself standing in front of the standard sized, fairly worn out wooden door, the one that, when I opened it, could possibly lead to my feet.
Taking a deep breath as if it were going to be my last, I gripped the cold metal door handle, prayed a tiny bit, and twisted it open. Inside was the oddest group of people I've ever seen in my life, unless if you count, Valerie, Vlad, and me working together.
Mr. Lancer was standing at the far end of the table, his arms folded in front of him and a grave expression on his face. Well, just about everybody in the room had the same expression that he did. An old television set sat on a cart directly behind them, the power off. Two video cassette tapes (seriously, what century are we living in, anyway?) rested right in front of the screen, stacked perfectly.
Scanning my eyes around the table clockwise, I saw Principal Ishiyama, two men in deep black suits, an empty seat directly in front of me, Agents K and O from the Guys in White agency, and an aging man in a tan suit.
"Mr. Fenton," Mr. Lancer began simply. I winced when he said this, as I had, in all of my nervousness, forgotten to turn off my enhanced hearing. Quickly, I tapped out of it and regained my composure, except for licking my lips with my heart beating so rapidly, it was scary. My English teacher raised an eyebrow, but did not say anything.
"Please, have a seat," he said. It was definitely an order rather than a suggestion, so I pulled out the chair in front of me and sat down, trying to act as nonchalantly as possible. I was not about to get myself in trouble now, because if the goons in white were here, I was in some serious hot water.
"Now why am I here?" I asked with just the faintest hint of an attitude in my tone. Although I was not looking for any trouble, I had to keep up the snarky-teenager-who-is-always-ditching-class act so that suspicions would not be aroused.
"I'm glad you asked, Daniel." The middle-aged teacher took a seat opposite from me, his arms resting on his lap now rather than in front of him. "We all have reason to believe that you are illegally harboring a ghost."
My mouth dropped wide open; I was so surprised I couldn't even stammer something out.
"Or, for lack of better words, you are being overshadowed by one."
I'd had it. I stood up abruptly and smacked my hand down on the table. "That's insane! I'm a kid!" No sooner than I had started in on the second sentence, the Guys in White agents pulled out ecto-guns, one of the dudes in black suits yanked out a gun (and cocked it, for that matter), and the other man in black whipped out a taser, all four men standing up at the same time.
"Sit down!" they shouted angrily at me, their weapons pointing at me threateningly. I raised my hands slightly so that they could see that I wasn't about to try anything tricky, and I slowly sunk into my seat with a scowl imprinted on my face.
"Now, hang on, gentlemen," Principal Ishiyama said, standing up as well with her face growing a bit red. "You cannot discharge a weapon against a minor, no matter how dangerous they may be!" That got them to sit down, all muttering things that you could pay me not to repeat.
Wait a minute.
Unfortunately, they didn't know how dangerous I could be if I chose to. Vlad told me once when I was wrecking some stupid Packers thing of his.
Mr. Lancer merely cleared his throat and said, "Well, yes, we understand that you are young and most likely not able to do that…"
At the moment, I was staring down at the table, the scowl still there. "Do you have any proof?" I asked, glancing up only at the last word. Now I didn't have to struggle to keep up an attitude; I was purely frustrated with the fact that those guys had pulled weapons out and threatened to shoot me.
"Actually, we do," Mr. Lancer said, rising and inserting the top video cassette into the player, which was attached to the TV set. The screen crackled to life, and I saw nothing at first. My teacher picked up a remote and pressed a button, causing it to fast-forward. At first I wondered what the heck I was supposed to be looking for, as it was just a black and white picture of part of the outside of the school. Of course, then I caught sight of the date, September 2nd.
Why was that date so familiar?
That was when I remembered.
Mr. Lancer resumed normal play on the monitor, and there was about a ten second wait before a supposedly inanimate suit riding on a hoverboard swooped in front of the camera. It stopped so that you could only see part of the feet and hoverboard, but with a clear shot of, you guessed it, me, an angry look plastered onto my face. Much to my horror, a bright glowing ring appeared around my waist, and I knew that I was preparing to split it before that suit interrupted me with its nasally voice.
"Ah, ah, ah! Secret identity, remember?"
The look on my face transformed into one of realization, and the ring quickly dissipated and fizzled out.
Mr. Lancer ejected the tape and turned to look at me. "Judging by the look on your face, Mr. Fenton, I'd infer that you remember this encounter very clearly."
I stuttered mindless words for a minute. What had I been thinking then? I should've seen that camera before! Or at least had enough sense to return and take the tape out so that I could destroy the evidence.
Finally, I was able to form a complete sentence. "Well, that's really circumstantial, so what makes you think I'm harboring a ghost inside of my body, may I remind you. My parents are ghost experts and hunters! If I seriously had a ghost inside of me, they would've found it ages ago!" I ranted, trying to find some way to mislead them.
Agent K scoffed. "Oh, please. We all know that your parents are so incompetent that they couldn't catch a ghost if it was living under your own roof!"
"True," I muttered under my own breath. No, they weren't incompetent; they just weren't good at taking hints. Both of them.
"What was that, Daniel?" Mr. Lancer asked, tilting an ear toward my direction.
There was a brief moment where nobody spoke until I said, "I believe that I have the right to remain silent, according to the Fifth Amendment."
He seemed to struggle to suppress a scowl. Instead, he turned back to the television set and began to speak again. "Well, for your information, Mr. Fenton, we do have another piece of evidence that I'm fairly sure will cause you to give us a plausible explanation." He inserted the second tape, which automatically started on a picture of two burly security guards throwing me against a row of lockers and emptying out my backpack. I checked the date in the corner real fast, one that was much more recent.
Sam and Tucker came into the picture and began helping me pick up littered items and stuff them into my backpack. Sam handed my algebra book to me, and I took it angrily.
"Hey, I'm the one taking the biggest hit here!" I snapped onscreen, rising from the linoleum floor and shoving the book into my hand-me-down purple backpack that had once been Jazz's. "With all this surveillance and restrictions, Vlad's making sure I can almost never go ghost!"
Here, Mr. Lancer shot a pointed glance at me, but I just barely noticed it. I was too engrossed in what was happening on screen.
"Maybe that's a good thing," Tucker told onscreen-me hesitantly. He pulled a paper out of his bookbag and showed it to me. What Tucker was doing with a newspaper, I don't know. But the headline proclaimed "Phantom Go Home!" with a picture of Phantom-me and a 'no' sign over that picture.
"Looks like you're paranormal non grata again."
As Mr. Lancer took the video tape out, I just stayed frozen, staring at the now-black screen in distress. What had I been thinking then? Saying that directly to a video camera that was clearly recording? One that people other than Vlad could be viewing?
"You can thank you colleague Mayor Masters for the latter tape," the older man in the tan suit pointed out.
"Oh, he's no colleague of mine," I told him, raising my eyebrows and breaking out of my stunned trance. "He wants to kill my dad and take my mom as his wife! Plus he either wants to kill me or have me as his apprentice, which I'm not even sure why he would need me as an apprentice. Now that I'm thinking of it, he should be my apprentice, considering I'm so more powerful than him, I can probably blow him to China if I wanted to!"
I didn't realize what I'd just ranted about until after I said it.
All seven adults were giving me strange looks until the man next to Principal Ishiyama muttered, "That's all the proof we need."
Agents K and O stood up, one pulling out ecto-proof handcuffs. "Daniel Fenton, by the order of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Paranormal Investigation, you are under arrest for illegally harboring a ghost. You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to a lawyer if you choose so…"
They both were advancing toward me quickly. I bulleted up and bolted out the door. Don't ask me what I was trying to do, other than get myself into more trouble. I freaked out and made a run for it, to make things simple to understand. All of them were on my tail in a matter of moments.
Crap. I really didn't want to draw attention to myself, but…
Really, what did I have to lose?
Taking a deep breath and putting on another burst of speed, I pushed off into the air and quickly transformed as fast as I could. Hopefully, I was moving fast enough that a camera wouldn't pick me up. Of course, the seven adults saw the entire thing unfold, and they stood gaping and unmoving. I grinned like a child and waved to them before phasing out of the school and into the chilling morning air.
Where to now?
There had to be minutes before they contacted the police and sent out an alert. I was officially on the lam. Resisting arrest? Harboring a ghost illegally? Well, the second charge wasn't real, but the first charge was legit. I was going to need a lawyer to prove me innocent for that first charge…
But what kind of lawyer would defend me, a fourteen year old boy who is supposedly hiding a ghost from the law?
My parents sprang into my mind first, but I couldn't turn to them. That would be like asking for death. They would perform multiple 'harmless' experiments on me that would probably actually hurt me, since I technically was hiding a ghost. Except this ghost was me. Plus, once they found out my identity, since I was highly doubting a camera didn't catch that transformation, they'd turn their noses up and strap me down onto a table for a dissection.
Who else was there?
I'd turn myself in before I went to him.
I sighed to myself, shaking my head in disgust. What was I about to do?
Regaining my composure, I skyrocketed across town, towards a neighborhood that I probably would never get to experience fully ever in my lifetime. A cluster of larger houses came into my line of vision, and I instantly knew which one to go to.
The biggest one, all decorated in green and yellow brick.
I didn't bother to use the door, as I couldn't afford to be seen anymore than I probably already had. Instead, I headed towards one of the turrets (who puts a turret on their house?) and tumbled inside, not knowing what lay in its depths.
Thankfully, my first try worked.
The fruit loop looked at me, bewildered beyond comparison. "Daniel, what in – "
I smacked my hand down on his desk, causing a few papers to fly off. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I need your help…"
…Nothing to say…