"Get back here whelp, so I may have your head and use it as a foot rest!" The larger ghost taunted as he pointed an accusing finger at the Halfa.
"Um, EW! How do I know you don't have fungus?" The teen retorted, his face depicting an obvious lack of interest, if not utter boredom.
"I guess you will have to find out yourself." The hunter yelled, aiming his newly acquired weapon at the Halfa's forehead. The weapon made a quick sequence of high pitched beeps, indicating that it had locked onto its target. I've got you now...
The ghost boy shot a beam of glowing green energy with one hand at the mechanical ghost, sending him hurtling backwards a dozen feet while he arrogantly yawned, covering his mouth with his free hand. "Well, bonus points for the creativity Skulker. I guess a footrest would be more practical than a rug." He commented, voice dripping in sarcasm.
For the entire duration of the fight, Phantom continued to display the same expression of boredom. Strangely enough, he reminded Maddie of a regular teenage boy faced with the prospect of cleaning his room on a Friday night; his expression betraying that he really wanted to be somewhere else. It was like he knew it needed to be done, but he had other places to be, other things to do that were more appealing than what seemed to be an everyday chore for the peculiar teen.
The huntress, distracted by her thoughts, failed to realise that the fight was coming to a close. The ghost deemed 'Skulker' let out a frustrated growl as he was yet again hit squarely in the chest by a green blast, becoming desperate as he realised his chances of winning this fight were becoming slimmer by the second. His pupil-less green eyes fell on the woman's unmoving form, a maniacal grin lighting up his face as he quickly changed battle strategies.
Skulker floated upwards until he was at eye level with the Halfa, quickly dodging a poorly aimed blast from his ghostly counterpart. His arm raised and aimed at the woman on the ground. "Well, maybe I can use the head of a ghost huntress as my foot rest instead!" he bellowed.
Maddie heard the whine of some type of weapon, but her gaze was still locked on the ghost boy as he turned around. Phantom's expression quickly changed from bored to confused as he turned, trying to figure out what the older ghost was talking about. His face suddenly became horrified, his eyes widening in fear as he comprehended how the previously insignificant battle had made a turn for the worst.
Maddie's face contorted, her mind trying to think of a cause for the ghost's sudden alarm. Surely it wasn't the fact that Skulker had targeted her, was it? She was a ghost hunter, shouldn't he be glad that the other ghost was about to eradicate one of his biggest threats?
She turned back to Skulker, just in time to see the blast leave the muzzle of his gun, heading straight for her. She froze, flinching as she waited for the impact that would surely scatter her across the pavement. She waited for the pain, but it never came.
"Noooooo!" Phantom yelled. Without thinking, he dove in front of the huntress and took the ectoplasmic blast square in the chest. He fell until he impacted with the concrete, a sharp cracking noise echoing through the distance between them, leaving Maddie to wonder if the sound was coming from the concrete breaking or the boy's bones snapping from his rough landing. She watched with growing dread as Phantom continued to lie motionless on the ground, while Skulker floated down, walked over to him and aimed another cannon at his prey.
"And now, ghost child. You. WILL. BE! M-"
"Going back to the ghost zone!" Phantom shouted, eyes snapping open as he whipped out the Fenton thermos and sucked up the ghost, quickly reattaching the lid once he was securely inside.
Phantom tried getting up, but Maddie could tell that it was causing him immense pain. His hand was holding his chest where he had gotten burnt as he tried to take a step forward, but he quickly lost his balance and fell flat on his face again. Before Maddie could stop herself, she was running over to aid him.
"Phantom! Are you alright?" she called.
The ghost boy tensed as he heard the familiar voice, and he quickly tried to stand again to get away from her, but ended up landing on his butt, staring up at her with a panic stricken expression.
Maddie raised an eyebrow; He's afraid of me, and yet he saved my life? Nothing about his behaviour makes sense!
She followed his gaze down to the Fenton Bazooka she forgot she was still holding, and smiled weakly. I guess it would make sense that he was scared of a large menacing weapon designed to destroy him. She thought to herself, almost regretfully. She threw it away and kneeled down beside him to try to assess his wounds.
"I'm not going to hurt you, I promise." She muttered as he began to protest, not making eye contact and instead concentrating on his injuries.
Phantom's suit was torn in some places, and the burnt skin on his chest was left exposed. The blast hadn't hit dead centre like she had first thought, but was instead off to the side so that the DP logo was still fully intact. From a quick inspection, she suspected that he had a sprained ankle, which would explain why he couldn't get up.
In other words, he was completely helpless. She could easily capture him now in his weakened state, and there would be nothing he could do about it. But something about capturing him like this seemed very unsporting of her, especially since he had just saved her life. But if she walked away now, the ghost would be left in a very vulnerable position, at the mercy of any one that was to discover him. Another ghost could come along, or perhaps even the Red Huntress, and it would be game over for him. That plan seemed just as cruel, and that only left one other option...
"You're coming with me." she said bluntly, standing again to her full height.
Phantom's eyes widened in fear. "But I thought you said you weren't going to hurt me!" he said with a small voice, almost as if he had been expecting it. The vulnerability in his expression made her heart constrict, and her face softened considerably as she regarded him.
"I'm going help you; you can't just stay here and wait for another ghost to find you, that would be as good as signing your own death warrant." She said, chuckling softly at the end. "Well, maybe not a death warrant, but..." she mused.
His eyes locked onto hers, deciding whether or not to believe her claim. "No experiments?" he asked, shuddering.
And with those two words, Maddie could see the immediate trust in his eyes. She picked him up and walked him over to the RV before gently securing him in the backseat. What have I gotten myself into? She thought as she started the engine, eyes glancing to the already unconscious figure in the back before she pulled out onto the road, heading for home.
Danny awoke as phantom.
In his house.
...On the couch...
...With his mom watching him.
Memories from the time before he had found himself falling unconscious in the back of the RV swirled around his mind, adding to his feeling of dread. He remembered the sincerity in his mother's voice when she had promised that she wouldn't hurt him, but what if her gratitude from him saving her life had run out while he had been sleeping?
"Hey Phantom, how are you feeling?" She asked. Danny decided that there was no anger in her tone, which had to be a good sign.
He met his mother's eyes, surprized and slightly comforted by the kindness displayed in them.
"Better..." he replied uncertainly, not taking his eyes off of the woman. "...But why are you helping me?"
You guys are probably wondering, 'Huh, this chapter actually makes sense, and is totally amazing in every which way!'. Yeah, that's because it wasn't re-edited by me. It was fixed by my wonderful beta, phantoms-apprentice96! If it wasn't for her I would probably lose interest in this fic altogether, but reading this chapter makes me exited to send her another chapter to be edited:D Thanks phantoms-apprentice96!