Real Summary: All the humans view all ghosts as evil and a burden to the living world. Sam is a proud girl, who is not ashamed of her unusualness. When she comes across a strange ghost, Phantom, who happens to save her life she begins to wonder if all ghosts are truly evil or is it just this ghost. She begins to have feelings for Phantom, but altogether it's illegal for human and ghost interactions, putting both Phantom and Sam in danger. She knows Phantom is hiding something, something that would change the humans' view of ghosts forever.

Ghost were evil, cold, gross, and dead. They were creatures who caused only death and destruction. And, they were hell-bent on taking over the human world. Most importantly, any contact with ghosts were forbidden, the only contact permitted was hunting them; but that rule was about to be broken when Sam is saved by a strange ghost named Phantom, who doesn't fit anything of what she learned about ghosts. Everything is about to change.

A/N: Okay, let me explain before we begin. I am mainly inspired to write by songs so that is why every chapter's name will be the song that inspired the chapter. I though it would be kinda cool to see what goes on in my head when writing, oh and even the Title of the story is a song: The Catalyst by Linkin Park. Also, this story is different; it's going to have language and be more graphic because I wanted to make it more realistic and darker. But, it is not depressing, and it's not mainly a love story (because I suck at romance). So, hope you enjoy; I put a lot of work into this. Another note-I'm thinking about doing a companion story to this in Danny's point of view; but I have to wait a bit because it would ruin certain surprises in this story.

The Catalyst

Story of Sam

You know, I have never given much thought to heroes. The patriotic, naive dreamers who ran around in tights, believing they could actually change the world...Then, Danny came...

Chapter 1: Gravity

Set me free

Leave me be

I don't want to fall another moment

into your gravity

"Okay, if a ghost were to attack you, but it is obviously weaker. It is not as dangerous as the other ghosts. True or False?"

I looked at Tucker, sitting across from me on his bedroom floor, which I was currently sprawled out on. I sighed before giving my answer in a monotoned voice, "False, all ghosts are evil, so all ghosts are dangerous."

I rolled to my side, glaring at the study-guide Tuck was holding. "This is so stupid."

He looked up at me, a smile playing on his lips. "You are saying that now."

"What do you mean I'm saying that now? This class is useless. We both know that Ghost Education 101 is a complete waste of time."

"They are dangerous; I think it would be good to learn about the creatures that are trying to kill us."

"They can't all be that bad," I muttered, crossing my arms grudgingly.

Tucker gave me one of his looks, telling me I was being difficult...again.

I rolled my eyes, staring at the ceiling from my position on the floor.

"This is important, Sam. What if you were attacked by a ghost? Then, what would you do?"

I looked at him evenly. "Tuck, everybody gets attacked by ghosts," I said matter-of-factly, "and especially in Amity."

"Yeah, but not everybody survives," he countered, matching my tone.

I fell quiet, thinking of the latest reports of the missings and deaths. But, fortunately, there had seemed to be less of them now-a-days.

Tucker seemed to be thinking the same thing. "You know, the Fentons must be doing something right," he said, breaking the momentary silence between us. His voice reflecting optimism.

"According to the news, there have been less attacks in the last two years, and even less ghosts showing up in the last year."

I looked at him incredulously; I didn't really pay much attention to the news and weekly ghost stats, not as much as Tucker. But, that's how our friendship worked; we covered each other, each taking up the part the other didn't do. "Really, you think they are starting to take the Fentons seriously?"

Jack and Maddie Fenton were world known ghost-hunters, actually the best. Although they were extremely eccentric, they were still efficient, even Jack Fenton proved to be a big help to Amity's extreme ghost problem. They were called to go to various places throughout the world to help with the ghost hunting and equip the nations so they could fight properly against the paranormal, but they never left Amity for a long period of time.

"Yeah, lucky for us the Fentons lived here before the ghosts started to attack all over the world. Amity has them to help most of the time."

"You know that's not the only reason," I said skeptically. "Amity is the number one haunt spot in the world, so of course they are here. The ghosts are here most of the time despite the fact that every country is being attacked."

Tucker shook his head, sarcastically saying, "And the fact that it's their hometown has nothing to do with it."


"It could also have something to do with them losing their son here too, you know," he mentioned quietly.

I looked at his solemn expression. Even though it was four years ago, everybody in Amity was still hesitant to speak about the death of the youngest member of the Fenton family, preferring to either tip-toe around the subject or not mention it at all. Daniel Fenton, age 13: Lab accident having something to do with ghosts, Cause of Death: electrocution, died in the hospital.

That was all we knew, and even though it was a small piece of information, it was the talk of the town for months. After that, the Fentons became more restless, more driven to take care of the ghost problem once and for all.

I was silent for a second, thinking about the Fenton boy, trying to picture his face; but I came up with a blank. I couldn't help but feel a bit of sympathy for both him and the Fentons. "Maybe that has something to do with it too."

Tucker smiled, a sort of remorse in his eyes, that of which any citizen of Amity had when talking about the lost Fenton.

He glanced at the clock sitting on his nightstand, his eyes slightly bugging out. One of his dark hands flew up to his red berret, gripping it in a distraught way. "It's 9:45; you better go. The ghosts normally come out around ten."

I heard a hint of panic in his voice. I rolled my eyes; he could be such a worry-wart sometimes.

"Sam, you're my best friend," he said, seeing "the look" I was giving him. "I just don't want anything to happen to you."

"Nothing's gonna happen."

"Just humor me, please," he begged. "Besides, my parents will be coming any minute to send you home."

"Fine," I exhaled, giving in. I gathered my books, shoving them into my spider book-bag before standing.

He walked me to the front door, opening it for me as I walked through.

I half turned to him while walking down the steps, "See ya later, Tuck."

"Bye, Sam, be careful."

"Okay," I said, offhandedly, already reaching the sidewalk.

I swear Tucker really needs to stop worrying so much. I kicked a pebble in front of me as I walked. The ghost problem had been around since I could remember; it wasn't really something that scared me because it became normal. Everybody still freaked out about ghost attacks; and political figures have taken precautions such as a curfew, mandatory ghost education class for all students, and squads of ghost hunters stationed throughout the world-trained by the Fentons. Ghosts attacking all over the world had been around since I was five, and there really hadn't been any changes.

Why they were attacking, one might ask. Well, we all wonder why. Why would they want the living world when they had a world of their own, the Ghost Zone? It didn't make any sense, but the scientists and hunters didn't dwell on it, thinking it was a mere territorial thing. An invasion or something.

This had been life for the last twelve years, but lately, all of us-even the ones who didn't pay attention to the been noticing a certain lull in ghost activity. Ever since the beginning of last year, everybody in Amity had been feeling as if a sort of weight as been lifted; nobody was nearly as jumpy or constantly looking over their shoulder, expecting the next ghost attack to hit. No, instead, a form of placidness came over the citizens of Amity.

A blast of wind brought me out of my thoughts. I stopped, bringing my hands up to cover my exposed arms. I couldn't stop the shiver racking through me. I looked around to see nothing but empty streets, nothing in sight. The wind seemed to come out of nowhere.

I started walking, but a bit faster. A bad feeling was creeping within me. My eyes darted from building to building, becoming more alert.

"Why so scared?"

I stopped cold, feeling a frigid hand on my shoulder. The voice sounded like it was right next to my ear. I looked to the side slowly, seeing a hand materialize right in front of me.

I stared as the rest of the ghost became visible, revealing an ugly green face with a toothy smile to match. His putrid face was bubbling with green ectoplasm as he loomed over me, his blood-colored eyes shining with malice. I could feel his ragged claws press deeper into my shoulder.

"Stay away from me," I said, jerking my arm away from him, I turned the other way to run, but another ghost materialized in front of me, looking just as gruesome as the other one. If I wasn't in mortal danger right now, I would have puked from the sight of it, or maybe I'm feeling like I'm going to puke because of the whole mortal danger part of this. It was a toss up.

I stumbled away from both of them, making sure they were in front of me, in my line of view.

"Ooh, feisty one," it said.

"But she's not screaming," the other one said, inching closer to me; it sounded disappointed. I couldn't help but notice the bubbling ectoplasm on its face making a loud crackling sound, sounding as if it was made of hot magma.

"Well, let's start making her."

They started advancing towards me; I backed away from both of them until I felt a wall pressing in my back. Of course.

I flattened my back against it, trying to get as far away from them as possible.

This was really going to be it. Yeah, you'd think I was crazy if I said I wasn't scared. I was scared shitless although something in me just wouldn't allow me to show it. Hey, call me suicidal. I narrowed my eyes and clenched my fists. If I was going to go down, I wasn't going to do it without a fight.

"Whoa, guys! There are better ways to get a date," a different voice exclaimed from out of nowhere. It had a hint of an echo in it, accompanied with a sarcastic edge.

I barely had time to look for where it came from when I saw a white boot stomp on the ghost's, closest to me, face; the ghost happened to be looking up at the boy who was currently using his face as a doormat.

I looked at the boy, surprised to see that he looked around seventeen-my age. That's not all I noticed, he looked pretty hot...although compared to these other ghosts even Lester, the resident school geek, would look like an Adonis.

The ghost boy's body, encased in a soft white aura, was lean and tight, every part of him was poised like he was fully aware of himself. Even when standing still, he had a graceful presence, looking more like a prowling predator than a ghost.

His chest was defined, bearing a weird symbol of a P inside a D. I managed to look at his face. Pure white locks covered fragments of his brilliant emerald eyes. His eyes burned with an intensity I've never seen before. I couldn't help but stare at them a bit longer before moving on to the rest of him. The shadows of the night played with his high cheekbones and the interesting angles of his face. His smile was crooked and breathtaking. He was beautiful, not in that pretty boy way, but an interesting, unusual, and...dangerous way.

He looked over towards me, smiling; then turned his attention towards the ghost once more.

He crouched down giving the ghost a smile, looking completely comfortable standing on somebody's head. "I really don't think stalking and maiming are the best ways, man."

In a move that was too fast for me to see, he was suddenly off the ghost delivering a strong round-house kick, sending the ghost into the wall. The ghost made a sizable dent.

The ghost boy landed on the ground, cocking his head to the side, looking at his handiwork. The smile was still on his lips.

With an angry roar, the other ghost lunged at him from behind; but the boy easily side-stepped it with a smirk. "You know you could always go the whole flowers and chocolates route."

He ducked under the ghost's swinging fists effortlessly, moving fluently. "But, then again, with the way you look," he said, feigning disgust while blocking another hit, "I think you should just not even try."

He delivered his own blow, sending the ghost into the wall right next to his partner. "And your wingman sucks by the way," the boy said cheekily.

The ghosts tore at the rubble around them, freeing themselves. One of them looked heatedly at the ghost-boy before looking back at me.

All I saw was a huge green mass lunging for me, arms spread out, claws extended. Shit, I didn't even know this one had claws! I was too frozen to move. I could only look over at the boy to see him moving towards me too.

I gasped as he took me in his arms, and I felt like I was gliding, pushing away from the ghost. I looked at the green-eyed ghost boy to see his young face full of light; there was a certain elation wrapped around him. His eyes were glowing a bright green, his pupils large, as he smiled tenderly at me. For a second, I forgot where I was. "Sorry," he breathed out, his smile growing as he looked into my eyes. "I'm new at this."

"New at what?" I exclaimed, not really understanding if he was my savior or was just taking me for himself. It would be my luck to get away from the bad ghosts only to be in the same situation as I was before with another ghost.

"Saving beautiful girls," he said, not seeming to notice how his words brought a slight blush to my cheeks. It seemed he was just speaking his mind, not really monitoring what came out like most people did. "I mean I usually save people from behind the scenes, you know, all the time, but this is really the first time I came into direct contact with anyone, so congrats! You're my first damsel..." he babbled on as if it was a usual thing to talk to humans, especially with two evil ghosts coming after him from behind.

I ignored the damsel comment, promising myself that I would later hit him for that when we weren't so busy. I looked behind us to see the ghosts looming towards us, but unfortunately, I seemed to be the only one paying attention to this.

"Uh..." I interrupted the ghost's long winded babble, coming up short when I didn't know what to call him.

"Yeah?" he said, quirking an eyebrow. How could he be so oblivious? Hello, vicious looking specters coming after us!

"You might want to pay attention to the freaking ghosts coming after us!" I exclaimed right as the ghosts lunged at us. I flinched back.

The ghost boy simply turned his head towards the oncoming attack as a huge green shield covered us right as the ghosts were about to make contact. They hit the shield with a big thwack, resembling how two squished bugs on a windshield looked.

I couldn't help but laugh at their expressions as they slid down the shield. I heard the boy's laughter meld with mine. I looked at him to see that he found their expressions just as funny as I did.

He put me down gently on the ground, making sure I found my footing before he let go. I had to say, I was a bit disappointed to feel the absence of his hands from my waist.

He was only hovering a couple inches from the ground himself as he smiled down at me. There was no cruelty or maliciousness in his eyes like what they told us all ghosts had, just an exhilaration in them mixed with bright amusement.

"Wait right here," he smiled, his voice resembling an excited kid about to do a trick.

The shield went down suddenly as he zoomed towards the ghosts with a speed that was breathtaking. He gracefully arched his body during his flight, swooping down and grabbing both the goons.

He threw them up into the air, delivering quick and powerful blows to each. They dropped like two stones, looking dazed, reaching the ground with a loud thud.

The boy dropped to the ground with his arms crossed in front of his chest, his impact with the cement only making a small tap. He grinned, looking down at the two ghosts; he took out a thermos-or at least it looked like a thermos-and aimed it at them. A swirling blue vortex erupted from the object, sucking up both the ghosts in the process. Okay...maybe not a thermos.

Putting the cap back on, he looked up at me, his smile still planted on his face.

I held my breath as he walked over towards me; I couldn't help but notice how graceful he looked, like something that was otherworldly. Well, I guess he was otherworldly, considering he was a ghost.

"Are you okay?" he said, looking down at me. He was taller than me, even when not hovering, maybe about six feet or a little more. I was a little put off with seeing him on the ground, usually ghosts tended to levitate or fly. In fact, this was the first time ever that I've seen a ghost's feet planted on the ground. It seemed this ghost was strange in more ways than one.

"Yeah," I said, realizing I was taking too long to answer his question, "I'm fine."

The ghost let out a sigh of relief, looking like he was holding his breath until my answer, "Good, I thought you were having a panic attack or something."

I scowled at him, "I'm not that fragile, you know."

He put his hands behind his head, sizing me up with his striking eyes. I could see his lean muscles tighten through the skin tight fabric he was wearing; for a second, I wondered why he was wearing a hazmat suit-not that I was complaining. "Yeah, you don't look like the fragile type."

I blushed scarlet, squirming a bit under his gaze. I had to admit his honesty was kinda refreshing in an embarrassing sort of way.

He put his hand out towards me, smiling as he did. "Come on, I'll take you home."

I crossed my arms, looking at him levelly. "I can take myself home, thank you very much."

His smile only grew wider, unaffected by my retort. "Well, that would be inconvenient. After going through all of this hard work to keep you safe, do you think I'm just going to leave you here so you can get picked up by another ghost again?"

"I doubt it would happen again." For heaven's sake, I'm not that accident-proned.

"No, it won't because you will be with me."

I tried to come up with something snappy to say back to him but fell short. This usually didn't happen to me, but I guess this was maybe a side effect from almost getting killed. I just sighed, finally giving in; I took his hand.

He drew me in closer; I could feel the muscles in his arms constricting and flexing, holding me tight, making me blush even more. Oh boy.

I gasped as we were suddenly extended in mid-air; the weightlessness I was feeling gave me a clue we were flying. I looked down to see the tops of the roofs passing by; I unconsciously gripped his arms tighter, indadvertedly feeling how hard his muscles were-and they were rock solid might I add. I couldn't help the flutter in my stomach from this.

"So, where do you live?" His voice brought me out of my thoughts.

"Three blocks ahead, the huge mansion on the corner," I said grudgingly, not liking the word mansion one bit.

He grinned down at me, from where I was, he looked like an angel, with his soft white hair dancing around his face, and the night sky as his only backdrop. "Who...who are you?" I uttered, wanting to know if I had ever heard of him before. But, I doubted it; usually friendly ghosts didn't make the news...Well, I really wouldn't know since I don't waste my time watching those dim-wads.

His smile faltered, but it came back quickly. "I'm Danny Phantom."

Huh, never really knew ghosts had first names and last names. Or maybe, that was another thing different about him. "Danny," I considered, sizing him up over-exaggeratedly. "I like it."

He chuckled, "I'm glad you approve."

"Well, that's all that matters, isn't it?"

"Apparently," he said, grinning cockily at me. "So, since you know my name, do I have the honor of knowing your's?"

"My name's Sam. Sam Manson."

"Well, it's nice to meet you, Sam, Sam Manson."

We grinned at each other.

He looked so...normal; I wouldn't guess he was a ghost. Well, the aura and flying might have clued me in, but the way he was. Ghosts were evil; all they wanted to do was take over the human world. That was what we were taught; that was what all of us experienced. Hell, two minutes ago I was about to be killed by ghosts. What made him so different?

"Why did you do it?" I blurted, clamping my mouth shut after making the mistake. Great, Manson, insult the guy who just saved your behind.

He quirked one of his eyebrows at me. "Ya gonna have to be a little more specific than that; I do a lot of things."

"Why did you save me back there?...You're a ghost?" The last statement came out more as a question.

He smiled, shrugging. "So. Did you want me to leave you instead? You don't come across as the suicidal type to me. If you want, I could leave you in a nice, creepy alley of your choosing so you can continue further self destruction."

Amusement was clearly in his eyes; I realized he was playing with me, not being serious at all.

I glared at him, knowing he was doing this just to avoid the question. "You know what I mean."

Danny looked to the side unconsciously. I realized that was the first time he broke eye contact with me during the whole flight. I felt a sort of unwanted relief when freed from his gaze.

He stared at the city below us, his gaze intensifying on random spots for no reason.

He sighed, looking back at me. I wasn't planning on relinquishing my death stare anytime soon. "What would you expect me to do? Let you die?"

I could have sworn I heard his voice falter at that last part.

"Other ghosts would have, or even joined in," I said, catching that he winced when I said other ghosts. "You're different, aren't you?"

"Not exactly," he paused, a calculating expression forming on his face. "I don't really agree with what they do."

"So you fight them instead," I said remembering what he said during the fight about usually working from behind the scenes...saving people.

"Yep, pretty much." He shrugged.

I couldn't help but chuckle. "Danny Phantom: the friendly ghost."

Danny rolled his eyes, but the smile remained on his face. "Let's not get too carried away."

"Why not? It fits."

"Where's that alley?..." he commented, making a show of searching the city below.

I couldn't help but laugh, maybe the elation of either escaping death or flying was getting to me or something.

His eyes left mine momentarily, than returned. He sighed. "Well, looks like we're here."

I looked over my shoulder. It looked like all the lights were out, meaning my parents were asleep. Good. I looked back at him. "My room's right there," I said, pointing at one of the many windows of the mansion. "Can you sneak me in? The last thing I want is my parents to wake up."

They were just as strict about curfew as Tucker's parents, and I wasn't in the mood for a lecture or for one of my mom's overdramatic freak-outs.

"Yes, Ma'am," he said mockingly, but there was enough playfulness in his tone that I didn't get offended.

He flew us to the window; I leaned a bit away from him to open it. I always kept it unlocked for times that I wanted an easy escape, besides nobody in Amity was really worried about people who would be deterred by a locked window.

We hovered into my room; he set me down gently, gripping my waist as he did.

I turned around to see him leaving, already perched on the windowsill to take off. Wow, he was fast. I was beginning to feel already alone with the idea of his absence.

I saw his body brace, tensing, to lift off the ledge.

"Wait." I rushed to the windowsill where he started to step out.

His back went rigid as he turned to look at me, a befuddled expression on his face.

"Yes? Are you okay?" his expression was odd, it looked as if he was worried and confused. His eyes never left mine; I could feel that they were searching for something.

"Of course I'm fine," I said, hoping that was the answer he was looking for, but his expression became even more confused. I continued on, asking what was previously in my mind before he spoke, "When will I see you again?"

For some reason, I just felt drawn to him. I wanted to see him again, maybe talk to him. He was so different, and although I usually was attracted to different, there was another reason why I wanted to see him, something deeper than the mere interest I had for the unique.

He gaped at me, looking confused, "Wait, you're not...scared?"

"Why would I be?" I asked, giving him a look.

He smirked, "You really are different, Sam Manson."

Gripping the side of the window, he lowered his body towards me until he was eye-leveled. He looked playfully into my eyes, then craned his neck, delivering a small peck on my cheek.

I let out a gasp of surprise before smiling. I looked up to find that he was gone. My smile grew wider as I touched my cheek.

It wasn't what I expected. Ghosts were supposed to be cold and gross; they were dead. But, he, his kiss, felt...warm.

A/N: I left something out on the top. The characters are a bit different, mainly Danny because certain things happened in their life that made them who they were, but their core traits are still there such as Danny being clueless, heroic, and feeling responsible for others. Sam is still high strong, a goth-well, then again I didn't change her as much as I thought (I'm not making her love sick, but she does notice and likes Danny because that's how it is in the show, but she has a mind of her own). But, anyway, Danny is still the same guy, just a bit different because he did grow up without his family (obviously) so in turn that makes him a bit more reckless and altered (but not too much). And they are seventeen after all so that called for some changes.

The song/chapter title: Gravity by Sarah Bareilles