Sorry again for the late update, but the good news is that school is starting! I know, usually school equals bad thing, but for me it seemed good, it kept my schedule in order and I actually updated regularly! So hopefully that's what will happen.
Now for some really good news! This is, by far, the longest chapter I have ever written... EVER! The chapter itself is almost 9,000 words! So I hope you all enjoy. Oh, and three Danny Phantom Characters are going to be making an appearance! One of which is probably going to be in the next chapter and more after that :3 so I hope you all like it.
Chapter 23- Retribution
"Please tell me I did not hear what I thought I heard?" Nif asked through the phone once Ned finally got his bearings in order after his and Star's awkward conversation.
"Th-that depends, what did you hear?" He stuttered, hoping she had misunderstood the conversation.
"That you and the Princess are going on a date tomorrow!" Nif yelled into the phone. "What were you thinking, she is a Titan, one of which who are on Phantom's tail!"
"I know, but she's different." Ned stated, though he decided to leave out why. "Besides, it's not really a date; that was just an expression. Didn't you call to talk about Vlad's plans?" He then added quickly, before Nif could get a chance to yell his ear off again.
After that Ned could vaguely hear Nif murmuring a lot of words (that are a little too provocative to put in this story since it is rated T) to herself for a couple seconds, but eventually she got back on topic.
"Yeah, but it's not a lot to go on and I don't think it has much to do with the big picture."
"Just give me what you've got."
"Alright," Nif started, then took a deep breath, "Vlad has had a project going on, Clockwork only knows where, for several weeks now. However, it seemed to have paid off and a lot of talk has been going around that something big will be happening… and soon. I figured I should warn you, since Vlad still has his sights on you, and Jump is caught right in the middle."
Ned nodded in understanding, "Thanks, I'll keep my eyes peeled. Do you have anything else?"
"Yeah, you need to take Big C back. The charm you got for him is working fabulously for hiding him from Vlad's eyes, but it doesn't seem to calm him down much."
Ned could not stop himself from laughing at this news, "I know, and I'm sorry. I'll see about getting him back to the Zone soon, so just hold tight."
"Trust me, I wouldn't dare let go unless I wanted to be buried like my neighbor's tree."
"Alright, see you later."
"Yeah, see ya." And with that the line ended and Ned continued on his quiet walk home.
Ned had to admit, he was not all that surprised to find Amie long gone from school the next day, but he could not suppress his disappointment that she was gone. Since she was the only person he could really ask, or even talk to about his destiny and how he could alter it. However what was surprising was that next to no one remembered her or what happened yesterday in the cafeteria (not even Gabe!). Yet oddly enough, Valerie and the Titans still remembered the event, just not Amie. Ned was officially convinced that his life could not get any weirder.
"Ned, who is this Amie you are so convinced we know?" Star asked during lunch, with a worried look on her Jazz like face. Ever since he recognized his new friends were not his old ones, Ned only felt comfortable hanging around with them by pointing out the smallest differences. Like Beast Boy, or Logan (Tucker's look alike), did not have Tuck's beret and had green eyes instead of blue.
Then there was Raven, or Rachel (Sam's look alike), she was the hardest to make different, since all he had was that Rachel did not have Sam's signature combat boots, which he hardly saw. So for a majority of the day he ended up jumping every time Rachel came towards him. Although as the day wore on he had come to realize that Rachel's speech was way too monotoned for her to be Sam.
Starfire, or Kory (Jazz's look alike), was the easiest of the three since she never wore a head band in her hair like Jazz always did, had redder hair, and her eyes were a bright green, while Jazz's were turquois.
So all in all, the Titans could look a lot more like his old friends if they truly wanted to.
"She is just a girl I thought went here." Ned answered Kory's question. "Apparently I was wrong."
"Oh…" She stated in confusion.
The remainder of the school day was relatively awkward between Ned and Kory, mostly because all they could think about was what they were going to do afterschool, and it did not help that all of their after lunch classes were together, though the two classes they had with Rachel and Logan were nicer, and bearable.
Though, needless to say, once school finally ended Ned was still at a loss of what to do or say to Kory, who was still in her student form to avoid onlookers. So as a compromise, once they were out of school grounds he took her on a walk around town. It was nice when they got over the awkward stage and started talking about random stuff that made them both laugh. It was not until a few hours after they got out of school that Ned realized something was off. That something being that half the people he walked passed were wearing costumes.
"Um… Kory…" Ned started as he slowed down to stare at a boy dressed up as Superman run passed him with a plastic Jack-O-Lantern in his hands half filled with candy, "What is todays date?"
"The date…?" Kory started as her face began to concentrate, "the thirty-first of October I believe."
At that moment Ned stopped walking entirely, to shocked to care who stared at his horrified face. "Halloween! Today is Halloween?!" He all but yelled.
Ever since the accident with Sam and the Fright Knight Halloween had become a day that Ned has hated the most. It had become ten times worse than Christmas was a few years back before the Ghost Writer tried to teach him a lesson that could not have sunk in any better if Mr. Lancer tried to teach it to him.
"Halloween?" Kory asked with a confused face. "I have heard Beast Boy use that word before, but I do not think he explained what it was."
Ned all but scowled at the question. "It's a holiday, like Christmas, except the reasons behind it is different. You still get free stuff, which in this case is candy, but it is also filled with fright, much unlike Christmas that is filled with nothing but joy."
"Fright? Why would your planet have such a holiday?"
"Because it is part of some people's religion, and because kids like free candy." Ned answered with a shrug.
Kory's eyes were suddenly filled with curiosity, "Can we experience this holiday?"
Ned looked at her in shock, "I don't think that is such a good idea, this is not the safest night of the year," 'especially when I think of the ghost who used to rule over it.'
"Please Ned. I have not experienced your earthly holiday of Halloween." She asked with pleading eyes that Ned suddenly had a hard time looking away from, much less denying.
"Fine, but only for an hour."
The moment he said that Kory's face lit up and she slid her arm into his, which caused Ned's face to blush slightly. "Most glorious! Now let's experience the free candy of this holiday!" Ned let out a sigh as he led her towards some houses.
"Fine, but we're doing this my way, turn your ring off."
"You need a costume, and in these circumstances, you being you, is your best costume."
"What about you?" Kory asked with a worried look.
"I've celebrated this holiday a thousand times. I can afford to miss this one time."
Kory did not relinquish her look, "But if we need a costume you should have one also."
Ned let out a sigh, and nodded slightly, "Alright, but we need a better place to get dressed." He then looked around until he found a nice empty alleyway and shrugged, deciding it was the best he was going to find on such short notice.
When Ned was sure there were no onlookers he let the white rings appear around him, but instead of turning into Phantom completely, he only got the cloak and the DP logo on his shirt. After all, he did not want to give too much away. "Happy?" He asked Kory with a playful smile and a roll of his eyes.
Kory nodded with a wide smile and turned off her ring, transforming her back into Starfire. "Yes, now it is time for the candy, correct?"
"Correct, now remember, Halloween is not all about candy, and we are doing it my way." Then just like that Ned started to let his guard down again and they were spending Halloween just like all the other kids in Jump.
"Raven made a scarier haunted house when it was not even Halloween." Star said with a disappointed frown as they walked out of one of the few places around the city that were made into haunted amusement areas.
Ned let out a defeated sigh. He had hoped that he could scare Starfire into abandoning this ridicules holiday. He apparently failed. "How did she pull that off?" he asked, hoping to get some pointers. After all, the last time he made a haunted house it sucked, bad, and he was half ghost for Pete's sake!
"We watched a very scary movie and Raven would not admit it spooked her, so her powers manifested into scary creatures that took me and my friends. Beast Boy wanted her to use those powers for a haunted house, but she said no."
Ned could not help but chuckle at the story. "Well that's unfair. Raven unintentionally made a truly scary haunted house, while I could not even make a half decent one!" He stated with another chuckle.
"You tried to make one?" Star asked.
"Yeah, one of my teachers made me make one so I could get out of detention." Ned would have gone into more detail, but once he thought about it, he was not sure Star wanted to hear about his bet with Dash, that ended with a dirty pair of underwear. *Shiver*
"That sounds most splendid, I wish next year we can make one, and Raven could help!"
Ned let out another chuckle, but this one was forced. After all, he might not get the chance to come once he left for the Ghost Zone. "Yeah, that does sound fun." He let out with a sad smile.
"Oh, cotton candy!" Star exclaimed as she ran towards a stand filled with blue and pink fluffs of cotton candy. Ned followed her with a less forced smile, admiring her innocence at the moment.
'Ignore your fate for now and enjoy what you have. Remember, nothing is written in stone.' Ned stated, and his smile grew as he started to follow Star so that he could buy her some cotton candy, determined now more than ever to make sure that what he had would not change.
"That was most fun Ned." Star said as she finally finished her cotton candy. It was getting late, but neither of them cared; they were enjoying themselves too much.
"Yeah, this is by far one of the funnest nights I've had in a while." Ned confirmed. His smile had been practically glued to his face for the past thirty minutes. He had all but forgotten his grudge against the holiday.
"Then we will do it again?" She asked hopefully, and Ned could not suppress the red tint that suddenly appeared on his face.
"Of course," He said, his face only turned brighter.
A delighted grin spear onto Star's face at his words, but before she could get another word out Ned saw the last person he expected to see at a fun loving place like an amusement park, Vlad.
It was in that moment that Ned, trying to stay out of Vlad's sights, pushed Star against the wall, their faces only a few centimeters apart, not that Ned noticed. He was too preoccupied in trying to keep the billionaire in his proverbial vision. To both see what he was up to, and to make sure he did not see either him or Star. It was only when Vlad was out of sight did Ned finally notice his own situation and see Star's shocked face.
Ned looked at Star startled, not sure what he did or what he was supposed to do now, although apologizing seemed like the appropriate action to take. "I… um… I-I'm…. ah….Sorry?" He stammered as he tried to back away from her, but before he could move even a fragment of a fragment of a centimeter, Star grabbed the collar of his cloak and pulled him towards her.
That was probably one of the most shocking moments of his life. After all, it is not every day that a girl kisses you before you have a chance to respond. However that did not stop Ned from responding afterwards, which was to kiss her back. He had only been kissed like this two times in his life, both by Sam and both as Fake-out-Make-outs. Star's on the other hand were real and based wholly on emotions, instead of throwing off suspicion. It was perfect. Not even the unexpected shiver of his ghost sense was enough to ruin the moment.
Or at least until a loud BANG tore them apart. Star and Ned looked at each other in shock before another BANG went off and they were forced to look at the commotion. What they found made Ned's heart stop.
"Tremble all! For Halloween is my domain!"
"No… No, no, no, no, no!" Ned yelled as he took a step towards the ghost that singlehandedly sent his life spiraling out of control. The Fright Knight.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
"Seriously! Can't crime ever take a holiday?!" Beast boy groaned as his game of Doomed was interrupted by the alarm.
"I don't think this is our usual crime." Cyborg stated as he checked the monitor to see what was happening in Jump. "It seems like Ned's improvements to the tower are picking up their first ghost."
"Ghost?!" Beast boy yelled. "Why do they keep coming here?!"
"Phantom." Robin stated as he walked into the room. "Frist Amity Park, now here, it's like ghosts are magnetically drawn to him."
"That's what the Fenton's thought, but then why have they decided now to show themselves after almost a year of peace?" Cyborg asked.
"Probably because someone or something is putting them here." Raven stated, finally getting into the conversation. "Remember the ghosts in that prison mentioned that someone let them into Jump through a Ghost Portal. It is very likely that whoever it is has been targeting Phantom, both here and back in Amity Park."
"You mean Plasmius?" Youngblood asked.
Raven looked at Youngblood in shock for a second, "Plasmius?" 'Like Plasmonius… in the book?'
"Yeah, he's the one who made the portal and let me out along with Walker and all the other ghosts."
"Who exactly is Plasmius?" Raven asked, her voice demanding.
"Hey," Beast Boy broke in, "does anyone know where Starfire is?"
"Ned, who is that?" Starfire asked, worried by Ned's sudden outburst.
Ned shook his head as if he were trying to clear it and looked at Star with pleading eyes, "Star, can you promise me something?"
She was about to ask what he meant but the look on his face stopped her in her tracks. Never has she seen such a torn expression on his face. However she slowly nodded, knowing that whatever it was she was promising, she would accept it willingly.
"No matter what, don't attack him." He said pointing to the dark suited ghost riding a black hours with green flames licking at its hooves.
Star looked at Ned in shock, wondering why he wanted her to stay put while innocent people were being hurt. However she refused to ask, she trusted him, and nodded without a second thought. "I will do my best."
A sad smile spread across Ned's face before he looked down in shame. "I'm sorry that our date has to be cut short." And, just like that, he ran off in the opposite direction of the ghost and Starfire, leaving a startled and concerned Star in his wake.
As Ned ran he kept looking around for the perfect area to turn into Phantom. However Jump was a lot more crowded than Amity and finding a secluded place would be next to impossible in the panic everyone was in. 'Why the hell is he here, why now?!' Ned yelled to himself as he continued running. 'I thought the thermos would hold him… I was sure he would be six feet under until the end of time… unless…'
"AHHHH" A girl screamed as one of the Fright Knight's ecto rays hit one of the surrounding buildings and started to drop debris on top of her.
"NO!" Ned yelled as he practically threw himself at her as a last ditch effort to help her. It worked to get the girl out of the way of the falling bricks, but he was not so lucky. Then again, maybe he was lucky. The debris gave him the perfect opportunity for him to go both intangible and invisible so he could finally turn into Phantom.
"NO! SOMEONE HELP!" Danny heard the girl scream again. "A boy, a boy is trapped under the debris!" She yelled again.
'Well… I guess asking for her to not worry about the boy who sacrificed himself for her was too much to ask?' Danny asked himself with a sigh. 'But I can't worry about her now. I have to do something about the Fright Knight.' He then flew through the rest of the debris, charging right towards the Fright Knight. He had a score to settle.
Star did her best to keep her promise to Ned, however she would not simply ignore the citizens that needed her help. So instead of fighting the ghost, she tried to get everyone away from it, and even saved a few people from the ecto rays the ghost was flying everywhere.
"PHANTOM!" The ghost yelled. "I know you are out there!"
Star snuck a glance at the ghost and could not help but wonder what Ned had done to upset him so. The ghost seemed strong, and the glowing green sword it was holding caused shivers to run down her spine.
"Come out and kneel before me Phantom!" The ghost bellowed as he fired another ecto blast that landed a little close to Star for her comfort.
"We're not Phantom, and we're defiantly not kneeling, but we'll be more than welcome to kick your butt for him." Robin stated as he and the rest of Star's friends rushed towards the ghost.
Star stared at them in shock, wanting nothing more than to yell at them to wait for Danny to come back. However she hesitated, knowing her friends would question her as to why. So she simply rushed towards them, deciding that staying by their side would be for the best.
"There you are Star!" BB yelled with a smile as she flew towards them. "I thought you were on a date?"
Star tried to fight the blush that worked its way onto her face at her green friend's words and was about to respond to his statement, but Robin beat her to it. "Now is not the time Beast Boy." He whispered as he continued to stare at the ghost in front of them.
However the ghost did not even glance their way. It just kept looking around as if expecting Phantom to appear at any moment. "Get lost mortals, this does not concern you."
Star nodded briefly before she realized that Robin was now scowling at the ghost. "You attacking innocent citizens does! Titans GO!" He yelled as he pulled out his glowing green Bo staff and charged.
Everyone followed his lead without a second hesitation while Star looked at them with a sad look on her face. She did not want to break her promise to Ned, but she would not let her friends attack an unknown ghost without her for support. So after briefly looking behind her in hopes of finding Danny she charged with her friends towards the ghost.
As Star flew towards the ghosts she found Robin jumping from roof top to roof top, and without missing a beat she quickly scooped him up and flew him towards the ghost, knowing he would have a hard time fighting against a ghost that was a good distance off the ground.
Star continued to look at the ghost, regret quickly running through her mind. The ghost was not really her problem, she had faced scarier villains, but his sword was another matter. It did not look like anything special, just a green sword with a jack-o-lantern on the end of the hilt. So why did it scare her so?
The ghost growled at the Titans as Cyborg sent an ecto enhanced proton blast at him. "Fine, if you insist on fighting me then I will entertain you!" The ghost yelled as he pulled on his horse's reins, causing it to charge at the Titans.
Beast Boy, who was a pterodactyl, was the first one he reached, "Be careful!" Raven yelled as BB narrowly avoided the ghostly sword's touch. "He is the Fright Knight!" she exclaimed as she used her magic to swing a lamp post at the ghost, who attempted to turn intangible only to be disappointed as he was dismounted from his horse. "His sword, the Soul Shredder, can cause you to live through your worst nightmare!"
BB immediately paled at this information as the Fright Knight's steed managed to catch him. "You dare hit me!" The ghost bellowed. "I am the master of Halloween. You are in my domain!" Right when he said that he began to glow a bright unearthly green and the purple flames coming out of his helmet and back began to spread wider. "You will all regret challenging me!"
He then fired a huge purple ball of fire at Raven who narrowly avoided it by teleporting away. Starfire's fear and regret all but vanished when she saw the Fright Knight attacking her friend. Her furry was apparent in her glowing green eyes as she charged at the ghost. When she was close she threw Robin at him, who readied his staff as Star flew up from behind the ghost, her hands firing her ecto enhanced star bolts.
However the star bolts seemed to have no effect on the ghost as he easily cut Robin's staff with his sword and quickly turned to Star, his sword in the air, ready to deliver a deadly blow.
"STAR!" Everyone yelled, however as the sword came down on her only one thing stopped it; a glowing sword blade that looked almost like ice. And the white haired hero wielding it did not look happy in the slightest.
"You dare…" the white hair boy growled with fury practically radiating off of him. "You dare try to hurt her again…" The boy then looked up at the ghost, his eyes glowing a brilliant emerald green. "It will be the last thing you do."
Star looked at the figure in front of her and almost hugged him. "Danny." She said with a smile on her face, causing said boy's fury to lighten some.
"I'm sorry for taking so long Star." He said as he used all the force he could muster to push the Fright Knight back a good thirty feet. He then looked over at Robin, who was now flying on a black disk that Raven made with her magic. "I'll handle the fight from here." He told the boy wonder who scowled at him, but said nothing.
"Finally." The Fright Knight stated with a chuckle. "I was wondering when the False Prince would make his reappearance." Danny flinched at his nickname, but chose to ignore it. "I have been waiting for this moment ever since you locked me in that damned thermos." He growled with delight.
Danny's fury grew tenfold at the ghost's comment. "You got off easy for what you did!" He yelled. "If I hadn't been on such a tight schedule I would have ended you!"
"You could have tried." The Fright Knight practically purred as he readied his sword.
"How about I try now?" Danny stated as he readied his own.
Then just like that, the Fright Knight charged at Danny and he charged back, their swords colliding yet again before they started to swing their weapons at one another. Danny was not what you would call a master with a sword. Sure he had taken lessons from his mother and had handled one on a few occasions. But that did not appear to help in his fight again the Fright Knight, what had probably been wielding a sword for thousands of years. Danny only just narrowly missed being cut multiple times as they crossed blades. It was not until they ended up pushing each other back that they started to talk again.
"It would appear that all your witty banter from before is gone." The Fright Knight examined.
"And it would appear that you've gotten rusty after a year down under." Danny stated with a cunning smile, though his eyes still burned with unmistakable rage.
The ghost growled at his comment, "Perhaps I spoke to soon False Prince." Danny flinched again. "Do you know, False Prince, that once I cut someone with my sword I gain the knowledge of that person's fear, and can therefore turn it against them? Do you wish to know the Goth girl's worst fear?"
It was then that something in Danny snapped, without thinking he charged at the ghost. Danny just barely had enough sense in his head to realize that the ghost had a triumphant look in his eyes, so at the last possible minute he changed course just as the Soul Shredder narrowly missed his neck. Danny then came at the Fright Knight from behind and charged up the most powerful ecto blast he could muster, and fired it at him. As a result the Fright Knight was sent all the way to the canyon on the edge of town.
Without missing a beat Danny then rushed after him, now fully intending to end the ghost that dared to hurt his friends.
The Titans stared at the scene in shock, not believing that one ecto blast could send the ghost half way across the city. Even the Fright Knight's horse looked stunned as it then started to fly away. Not toward where its master landed, but in the opposite direction. Apparently it was smart enough not to get in the middle of the fight.
Robin stared at Phantom's retreating figure in surprise. However it quickly turned to fear as he noticed Star rushing after him. Of course she was not as fast as the young ghost, but that did not seem to deteriorate her resolve as she continued to fly after him.
"Raven!" Robin yelled as he looked over towards her. "Please go after Star." Raven quickly nodded as she flew off, determined to keep her friend safe.
As Danny flew he stared at his right hand. It was the hand he had fired his ecto ray at the Fright Knight with, it was also the hand that had the Ring of Rage. 'Did it cause my ray to be stronger or was that me?' he asked himself as he continued to fly. However he pushed the thought aside as he landed near the area the Fright Knight had landed.
The second his foot touched the ground a loud chuckle echoed through the canyon. "Well Phantom, I can honestly say I underestimated you." The Fright Knight bellowed with amusement. "However, False Prince, that show of power there does not prove that you have the power to rule."
Danny looked around the canyon with a growl. "Stop calling me that!"
More chuckles made themselves known, "Would you prefer to be called the Failed King?"
"I never claimed to be anyone's prince or king!" Danny yelled.
"Then give the thrown to my master." The Fright Knight stated with amusement.
Danny then froze as realization hit him. "Your master… do you mean Vlad? He released you?!"
"Of course, Plasmius is also one of the few who know your destiny False Prince. Why else would he send me after you a year ago?"
It was then that Danny's whole body turned cold. 'Vlad… he… he caused Sam to get hurt!' He yelled in his head, and it was then that he saw something black and purple rush towards him.
Danny's body acted on instinct and before either he or the Fright Knight knew what happened, the Soul Shredder was imbedded in the ground only a few feet away from Danny. After realizing what just happened Danny pointed the tip of his sword at the Fright Knight's neck, daring him to go towards his lost sword.
"So Vlad is responsible for everything? You attacking me last year. You running Sam through. And you attacking my friends now." Danny stated as he glared daggers at the fright Knight, who for once looked afraid. "All because he found out about me becoming King of the Ghost Zone when I turn eighteen!" he yelled in outrage, and for a brief moment he let his guard down and the Fright Knight took full advantage of that.
Before Danny realized his mistake the Soul Shredder next to him lifted itself from the ground and flew right at the Fright Knight. However Danny was unfortunate enough to be in the swords way, and just like that the sword manage to cut the ghost boy's upper arm, causing a deep gash to form.
Danny looked at his arm in shock as the Fright Knight laughed in triumph. However to both of their shock, nothing happened. Danny looked from his cut to the Fright Knight, hoping he would explain why he had yet to experience his worst fears. As he did so, the Fright Knight's laughing slowly started to die down.
"What…What is going on?" The Fright Knight bellowed, "You are supposed to be trapped in your worst nightmare!" He then readied his sword for another blow, but Danny quickly regained his wits and blocked it.
"Maybe you've run out of juice!" Danny stated as he pushed the fright Knight back. Who was, to put it mildly, outraged.
"The Fright Knight does not tire!" He bellowed as he charged Danny again, who was actually smiling victoriously.
"Then maybe I'm just immune." He stated as his sword manage to cut the Fright Knight's forearm.
The Fright Knight seemed to pause at Danny's comment, and the young ghost took the opportunity to disarm him again. But this time Danny grabbed the weapon before it could hit the ground.
"You've lost Fright Knight!" Danny stated as he pointed both swords at the ghost. However both were stunned when the green glow surrounding the Soul Shredder suddenly turned white and before their very eyes the sword began to change.
"NO! NOOOOO!" The Fright Knight yelled as the sword's green blade turned white and the hilt started to turn black and the jack-O-lantern morphed into a round green gem with Danny's DP logo inside, just like the gem on his cloak. Then, just like the sword, the Fright Knight began to change, however it was not as drastic.
All the purple fire that came from the Fright Knight's cape and helmet totally evaporated. The green glow that had practically radiated off of him was now gone and the ghostly glow that surrounded all ghosts had dimmed quite drastically. Danny could not help but feel a weird sense of déjà vu. It was almost like the time he weakened Ember by making Tucker sings, causing all the cheering to instantly stop.
"What have you done to me?!" The Fright Knight bellowed, "All my power, all my strength! Gone!"
Danny's eyes narrowed at the ghost before him. "You are no longer a Knight of the Ghost Zone." He exclaimed, not sure why he said that, but he and the ghost before him both knew it was the truth. "And after everything you have done, you deserve nothing less than to be ended." Danny then raised the old Soul Shredder, more than willing to send the ghost through his worst fear if the sword still had the ability to do so.
"Danny!" A voice broke out, making Danny pause.
'Star?' He asked himself as he stared at the cowering form of the Fright Knight, or was it just Fright now?
"Danny!" The voice yelled again, but this time the owner to the voice stood in front of him, proving that it was indeed Starfire who was calling his name.
Danny stared at Starfire for a brief moment as images ran through his brain. Red eyes, flaming white hair, need for retribution when there was none to be had anymore. All that would become possible if he gave into his need for vengeance. Danny only stared at Star for a second more before he instantly held her in a gentle hug, refusing to let go. Because he needed her, more than he would ever admit to anyone. Not even himself.
She was the one person that kept him grounded, who willed him to not give into his ever nearing fate. All because she believed in him, because she saw him when no one else did, and because he knew she would not abandon him. "Thank you Star." He whispered as he let out a relieved sigh.
Raven gaped at the scene before her. Phantom was about to strike down on the ghost of All Hallows eve, when Starfire stopped him in his tracks. Raven was about to jump down to help her friend, but stopped when she saw Phantom suddenly embrace her. That was honestly the last thing she expected, but then again the past couple minutes have been unexpected.
First, Phantom was cut by the Soul Shredder with it having no effect on him whatsoever. Then he disarms one of the best sword fighters in the history of the Ghost Zone. And then said sword is suddenly transformed to fit Phantom perfectly. And to add to it all, the Fright Knight is no longer a Knight! Raven was suddenly wondering just how powerful Phantom was and what exactly he was capable of.
As Raven pondered this she briefly saw movement below where all the action had taken place. Fright had just lunged at Star, a huge mistake in Raven's eyes, and just before he could get to her the Soul Shredder was pointed at his throat as Star was guided to Phantom's side, with an arm protectively around her waist.
"Think your next move carefully Fright." Phantom stated with glaring eyes. However there was no more rage or anger, only the need to protect. If Raven did not know better she would have said that they flashed a light purple for a second.
For what seemed like hours no one moved. Everyone waited for either Phantom or Fright to make a move. Once Phantom saw that Fright was not going to do anything, he finally spoke.
"I should end you…" He stated as he tilted the sword a little as if to emphasize his point. "All you have ever caused is misery and grief. It's the least you deserve… But I won't. Instead…" Phantom stated as a small green glow radiated off of his right hand. It was then that a large green portal opened up behind the ex-knight. "I will simply throw you into the Ghost Zone, where you will stay." Phantom ended with a growl. "If you even think about putting a single tow out of the Zone you'll come to regret it."
Fright looked at the portal behind him as he let out a soft chuckle. "You have proven yourself Young Prince," he said as he looked back at Phantom. "Plasmius has his work cut out for him." The ghost then walked into the portal as it then started to grow smaller before disappearing entirely.
To say that Danny was happy to see Fright leave would be a complete and total lie. He wanted nothing more than to take from him all that he took from Fenton. However he knew that if he did, he would live to regret it. However Fright's last words to him confused him. He had, without a doubt, called him 'Young Prince' by none other than the former Fright Knight. He was startled to be totally honest.
"Danny?" Starfire asked with worried eyes. "Are you alright?"
Said boy looked at Star and could not help but smile. "Yeah, you?"
Star seemed to blush at the question. "I am unharmed, thanks to you."
Danny quickly turned away from her as he blushed a bright scarlet. "I-it was nothing…"
Star looked over at Danny with a curious look on her face. "Danny… earlier you said that the Knight of the Fright did something… something causing misery and grief… If you don't mind me asking, what was it that he did?"
He then looked down, misery on his face. "The Fright Knight… he hurt someone very precious to me a year ago"
Star looked at Danny in shock. "He was the one that caused you to leave your hometown?!"
He reluctantly nodded before a frustrated frown made its way onto his face. "Although he had plenty of help." He almost growled as he remembered how Fright got out of the thermos in the first place. "You should get back to the Titans." Danny said as he reluctantly let go of Starfire's waist. "Tell them the danger has passed and that they can rest easy."
"What about you?" Star asked, getting the feeling that Danny was planning something.
"Sorry Star, but there is something that I have to check." Then, without waiting for Star to answer, he flew off.
"Star?" Raven started as she walked over to said friend as she placed a hand on her shoulder.
"The ghost… he called Danny a prince…" Star stated as she looked at the small speck in the distance that was Phantom.
Raven looked from Star to the speck, a sad look on her face. "Let's go back to the others."
Star nodded slowly as she and Raven flew back to their friends. "I have a bad feeling Raven." She said as she looked down, a contemplating look in her face.
"NO!" Vlad yelled as he threw a, very expensive, laptop across the room, which resulted in it smashing into many small pieced all over the floor. "It took me six months, SIX MONTHS to find him! How could he fail?! He was the strongest ghost I could get into my service!"
"Well then maybe you should consider changing your methods. Because it would appear throwing the toughest ghost you can find at me is getting you nowhere." Danny Phantom stated as he flew into the room. "Although the method did seem to lower your profits, now didn't it?"
Vlad stared at the halfa with distaste. "I should have known the Fright Knight would not keep his mouth shut about our arrangements."
"You mean sending him to attack me, Sam getting injured, and your plans on seizing the thrown to the Ghost Zone after everything was said and done?"
"Now Daniel, you know as well as I do that Samantha getting injured was an unforeseeable accident." Vlad said with a wave of a hand, like the situation was nothing to be worried about. Danny disagreed.
"Accident or no it was your say so that landed her in the hospital in the first place!" Danny yelled as he stormed towards Vlad, who held his hands up in defeat.
"Now now, Daniel, can we not talk this out like civilized beings?"
"No." Danny growled as he grabbed the collar of Vlad's suit and lifted him up as he himself started to float up as well. "We would both have to be both civil and beings to have such a conversation, and we know that you are neither."
"Sticks and stones, little badger." Vlad quoted with a maniacal smile
"If only I had some." Danny mumbled, wishing he could beat the maniac to a bloody pulp.
"We both know what the outcome would be if you keep going down this road Daniel." Vlad said with a shrug. Danny's heart leapt for a fraction of a second before Vlad continues his statement. "You would be hunted down by the Titans until you left Jump. Although I'm sure the Justice league would love to come after you as well."
Danny let a small smile spread across his face. "I don't know Vlad, I think the odds will be in my favor in a few months."
Vlad's cunning smile turned into a frown. "You think so?" He growled, "But I think the odds need to be in your favor now for you to ever be crowned King."
Danny let out a small chuckle. "I could say the same to you Vlad. Because last I checked, I was the one threatening you."
"Right you are Daniel, but the last time I checked I was the rich billionaire." It was then that there was a loud 'BANG' as the door to the office was kicked open. "I guess you could say I have my own Titan signal." Vlad whispered to Danny with a wide smile.
"Let go of Mr. Masters, Phantom!" Robin yelled.
Danny gave Vlad a distasteful look before he looked over to where the Titans were, and instantly regretted it. The minute his eyes linked with Star's, pain shot through his heart. She looked so shocked, so fearful, and so… disappointed.
Danny tried his hardest to fight off the sight as he quickly looked back at Vlad with a cunning smile. "Gladly." And with that he let go of the crazed fruit loop who feel a good twelve feet thanks to him having a big luxurious office that was practically shaped like the White House.
When Vlad landed there was a pleasant 'crack' as one of his ankles either broke or sprained, Danny was hopping for the more painful of the two.
"Masters!" Half of the Titans yelled in shock at the turn of events.
"Beast Boy, take Masters somewhere safe!" Robin ordered the green teen who reluctantly complied as he ran over towards the billionaire and helped him limp out of the office as fast as he could. Danny only floated with a cunning look on his face. He regretted nothing.
"What's your deal man?" Cy asked with a frown on his face, confused by Phantom's actions. After all half of the Titans were beginning to actually like the young halfa after all the things he did when they were all kidnapped.
Danny shrugged. "I just thought it was necessary."
"Danny?" Star asked, sounding confused. Danny tried to ignore her, though he could not help but flinch a little.
"What has Masters ever done to you?!" Cyborg yelled, surprising Danny. He honestly thought it would be Robin yelling at him, but he was oddly silent.
"Masters? Nothing that I can remember" "besides hitting on my mom." Danny thought while he inwardly rolled his eyes. "Plasmius on the other hand is the one I have a beef with. And he oddly enough did not show, but instead is letting teenagers fight for him."
It was then that Robin jumped in. "Titans go!"
The instant he said that the entire room was covered in Raven's black magic, leaving Danny quite surprised. In all honesty he was hoping to fight Plasmius when he came to threaten Vlad, however Danny could work the fight in his favor in the end.
Cyborg was the first to attack, firing an ecto-proton blast at Danny who barely dodged it to only have to dodge an ecto-goo disk from Robin. "Maybe I gave them too good of an upgrade." He thought to himself as he flew to the top of the roof and barely missed getting cut by a black magic spike that shot off of the roof. Danny was a little surprised that Star had yet to move from her spot on the ground. He then flinched as he was cut by another spike and lowered himself a little in an attempt to avoid them to only be attacked by Robin and Cyborg again.
Aggravated Danny shot across the room as his top speed and froze Cyborg's canon arm and Robin's belt. However when he got back to the middle of the room he found Cyborg's arm unfreeze itself and Robin to simply hit a small part of the belt that pressed a button that also caused his belt to melt the ice. "Damn, time to think of something else!" Danny yelled to himself as he looked around trying to find anything that could help, until he saw Starfire again.
She looked so torn, so confused, and so hurt. Danny's heart ached again as he realized that it was entirely his fault. He was the one that was causing her to choose between him, or the Titans, her friends. It was then that an idea hit him he knew that he was only going to make things worse for everyone, especially himself.
So after cursing himself for a brief second he did something he wished he would never have to do again. He flew down at breakneck speed and before anyone knew what happened he had Starfire in his arms, bridal style.
"I'm sorry Star." He whispered in her ear as he slowed down drastically so everyone could see that he had Star and was heading towards the roof. He was hopping beyond hope that Raven would put Star's safety beyond his capture.
However when he was a good foot away from the wall he turned a full one-eighty so his back was facing the black magic and turned intangible. It was also in that second the black magic around that area vanished, and Danny was free of the fight.
"Star!" Cyborg and Robin yelled as they then tried to leave the office as fast as possible, but knew it would be useless. Phantom had made it all too apparent that he could fly faster than any of the Titans, even Raven and Star.
"What did I miss?!" Beast Boy asked as he ran up to the rest of the Titans who had just exited the building, a confused and worn out look on his face.
"Phantom got away," Robin growled, as he continued running after Phantom, which was pointless since he had no clue where he went, "with Starfire!"
BB's speed altered for a split second at the news. "Wh-why?!"
"To escape. It seemed like it was his last option other than to attack us." Raven stated with a growl as she tried to suppress her irritation.
"I'm sorry guys," BB started with a worried look, "but I have more bad news. It would seem like Phantom took off with more than just Star. He also stole two million dollars out of Mr. Master's apparently secret vault."
Robin looked at Beast Boy confused. "Mr. Masters just moved in here a few days ago. How could Phantom already know where a secret vault was?"
"He must know him really well to be able to simply predict this." Raven stated. "Or he could have already been into Master's mansion before today."
"Danny?" Star asked as they flew. "Why were you at Mr. Master's house?"
"To talk." He stated bluntly with a forced smile.
"It looked more like threatening to me." Star stated with a serious look on her face.
"Why? Is he the one that helped the Knight of the Fright?"
"No, Masters had nothing to do with Fright." Danny said with a sigh. "You really should not think about it too much Star. It probably would have even been for the best if you fought me along with the rest of the Titans."
"I could not!" Star yelled. "You are my friend! I cannot turn on my friends meaninglessly!"
It was then that Danny stopped flying and touched down onto the beach across from Titans Tower. "Star…" He started as he slowly put her down. "I'm sorry for that. If I had known you and the rest would show up…" He paused briefly before a sad smile appeared on his face. "I probably would have done it anyway."
Star looked at Danny in shock. "Why?!"
"Because…" Danny started. His voice was barely a whisper. "I needed Plasmius to think that we aren't friends. I… I can't let you get in the middle of my affairs."
"Plasmius…?" Star asked.
Danny nodded. "He is a maniacal and scheming bastard. Even I can't beat him on my own… actually last time I checked I could barely beat a copy of him without help." he added with a smile as he rubbed the back of his head. 'Now that I think about it I haven't fought Vlad since Dani was being experimented on.'
"A…a copy?" Star asked shocked.
"Yeah, he is able to duplicate himself. It's a really neat ability that took me about a year or two to perfect… and now that I mention it he (I?) should be here soon." Danny then looked around until he smiled triumphantly when an exact replica of himself suddenly appeared next to him, holding a large duffle bag. "Thank you sir." He said as he took the large bag and then dismissed the clone.
Star looked at where the copy was, startled. The last time she saw something like that was with Billy Numerous. "What is in the bag?" Star asked with a curious look, deciding that there were more pressing matters than duplicates.
Danny looked at Star a little startled before his face turned red. "I don't think you want to know." He said as he looked away while scratching his cheek.
Star glared at him, "I do." She said pointedly with her hands on her hips.
Danny let out a soft chuckle, "You really are like my mom." He said as he then let out a sigh. "It's just something I… ummm… borrowed from Masters. With no intention of giving back."
Star's eyes widened, "You stole from him?!" she asked, her voice outraged.
'Yep, definitely like mom,' he thought with a sigh. "Yep, and I don't regret it." Danny stated as he threw the duffel bag over his shoulder.
"But Danny, if my friends find out they will come after you. Everything you did for us would not matter if you are a criminal!"
"I know, and that is sort of the point. If Plasmius thinks we're enemies they your safe, plus I have to refurnish my apartment. Two birds with one stone!"
Star looked at Danny in utter shock. "But what if we actually capture you?" She asked. "Or even hurt you?!"
Danny could not stop the chuckles that escaped his mouth. "Trust me. I've been in worse situations. Besides I'm Phantom, that only way you guys could capture me is if I let you."
Star did not look convinced.
"Alright Star, I'll make you a deal." Danny stated, knowing that the only way to get through to stubborn woman was to give in. But only to an extent. "I'll lay off on stealing for a while if you do one thing for me."
She gave him a confused look, "What would that be?"
"Close your eyes." He said with a smile. Star stared at Danny, her face now a bright red. However she quickly complied with his request without question.
The minute she closed her eyes she felt something lightly grip her chin. It took all of her will power not to open her eyes and see what Danny was doing, but she remained strong. It was then that she felt Danny lightly kiss her cheek, making her face heat up as it turned a brighter shade of red.
"Thanks Star, for everything." Danny whispered in her ear as she then felt him fly off. She quickly opened her eyes to see his retreating form. A large part of her was simply thrilled about the kiss, but a small part of her was furious that he only kissed her on the cheek instead of her lips.
"So... how was your first big day in the city?"
The male voice on the other side of the line chuckled. "I guess the first day bore no results than?" he asked.
"No, I definitely got results…" The girl stated, her face and voice suddenly going dark, throwing the boy for a loop.
"You actually found him?!" he asked in shock, "What happened?!"
"The town was attacked, as usual," The girl stated, "but Tuck… I saw… I saw a boy die trying to protect me…" the girl stated, a tear rolling down her cheek.
"Sam…" Tuck started, sympathy in his voice.
"I'm sorry to burden you with this… it's just that I… I thought for a second… just for a second… that the boy was Danny."
Well there you have it, my longest chapter ever! What did you think, rushed, cheesy, exciting, eventful? Don't worry about hurting my feelings, I can take it ;) I also except PMs or great ideas for the story. I love hearing your guy's thoughts!
Thanks for reading!