The ghost boy was mine. I'd caught him days ago and had been planning to dissect him molecule by molecule. It had taken me a few days to set the equipment up, and I really wasn't done quite yet. I would have finished days ago if Danny hadn't run off on me right around the same time I had captured the ghost.
And now, almost everyone who would have a clue where Danny might be was gathered around, trying to convince me of the impossible.
"It's a bit hard to believe, I know, but it is the truth. I was there when it happened."
I was there. I was the one who convinced Danny to go into the portal in the first place. It was my idea. I saw him trip on a few loose wires and his hand land on a forgotten button. The portal lit up, and over the sounds of the machinery finally dong what it was designed to, I heard his screams. He had screamed loud enough I could have sworn I saw a few beakers shatter. Then it stopped, and when the smoke cleared there was a new Danny there. One with snow white hair, and neon green eyes. I thought he was dead for a minute, and almost ran for it. Then he said my name before passing out.
Right before my eyes, I saw him go from ghost to human for the very first time.
"With all due respect, Mrs. Fenton, I was there too."
The memory of the accident with the portal was still fresh in my mind. It hadn't been my idea to investigate it originally, but I had egged him on when Sam had suggested it. I saw him fall, but I had started to run as soon as I heard him screaming through the energy that was coursing through his body. I had been at the top of the stairs out of the basement when the screams stopped. I turned cautiously, not quite knowing what to expect. I heard Sam's name as I rounded a corner. I was just feet away when I saw him go from ghost to human as he lay passed out on the floor.
"Mom, you've got to listen to us. I've seen him transform. You can't do this."
I remembered the day I had learned Danny's little secret well. He'd run off, seemingly distressed over him friends siding with me and suddenly ran off, a sort of determination in his stride. I had to follow him, I just had to. I had to let Danny know I was on his side, no matter what side the rest of the world was on. He had taken a back exit, and barely missed me when he looked around to ensure he wouldn't be seen. There was a flash of light, and suddenly there was Phantom where there had once been Fenton.
"Mrs. Fenton, as much as I hate to admit it, these three do have a point." There was a look of shock when I said this.
It hadn't taken me long to figure out Danny was hiding something from the world. He was constantly skipping class, showing up late, and looking like a general mess if he finally decided to show up. Usually, I would have chalked this up to nothing more than a rebellious teenager, but something about that didn't quite match Danny's personality. He was clumsy, and he wasn't the brightest student, but he also wasn't a trouble maker outside of missing class. When I issued a punishment, he took it without complaint. He always showed up for his detentions, though he did have a habit of taking excruciatingly long bathroom breaks.
Then one day, I noticed a pattern. Fenton ran off, ghost showed up, Phantom showed up, ghost was beaten, Phantom left, and finally Fenton came back looking like he'd just run a marathon multiple times. Once I figured it out, I did try to be a little forgiving with his punishments. I never gave him a detention for disappearing off to the bathroom for long periods of time like I would any other student unless someone had the nerve to point out how unfair that was. I did, however, continue to punish him for just skipping class all together. Hero or not, unless he was willing to tell me his situation, I was not going to let him off the hook for that.
"Maddie, I know it's hard to believe, but I know it's the truth." There was more surprise from the kids when I said this than when Mr. Lancer had said something. This didn't come as a surprise.
Danny was good at keeping secrets, I had to give him that, but I did manage to figure it out on my own. I may act like a fool, but my mind is open enough to see it when my own son is half-ghost. Maddie never figured it out, her knowledge told her it was impossible because she had no proof, but I did.
I figured it out after nearly every ghost invention honed in on him and the ectoplasm I was sure had been glued to his DNA. After the first few times, I went back through the security tapes we often ignored looking for evidence. I found it. I saw several instances of Danny changing from human to ghost and vice versa several times in the footage. I decided not to tell him I knew his little secret, I figured he'd tell us when he was ready. Instead I made sure he knew of every new ghost hunting weapon we made and what exactly it did so he'd know what he was dealing with. I always missed the shot aimed for him on purpose to give him a chance to get away. I was always willing to take the lame excuses Danny and Jazz made up to explain where he'd been. I never told Maddie, she would have overreacted and been more intent on destroying him once and for all. Now it was looking like I really should have told her what I had known.
My son was the ghost boy? It simply wasn't possible, it couldn't be. Danny hated ghosts, he ran every time one showed up. He ran out of sight every single time.
He ran every time… Could it be? Could Danny really be the ghost boy? It shouldn't have been possible, but he had disappeared when Phantom had been caught. I had seen him phase out of existence for a split second a few times, but I always thought I was just seeing things.
I remembered our tracking equipment, it always lead us to Danny, that's why we always thought it didn't work. But if he really was the ghost boy, why didn't he tell us? Why did he keep it hidden from us?
I took a deep breath as I made my decision.
"Jack, turn on the ghost shield. I don't want him running when I let him out." As the shield came up, I let him out and for the first time, I felt I knew the really Danny, both Fenton and Phantom.