Sudden idea that struck me earlier today, while I was cleaning my room. I'm just gonna warn you guys now, this will probably end up being very dark. Rating will more than likely end up bumped up to M. Be aware.

I don't really want to give anything away, because I'm pretty excited about this one. I have a feeling it's gonna turn out to be pretty decent.

I don't own Danny Phantom.

Eeeeeenjoy.


Wide Awake

Prologue

November 22, 2012


He used to watch the sun set almost every day. When his homework could wait, and his job as a hero did not call to him, he would carve out the time necessary to watch the sun slowly dip below the horizon. His house was set up perfectly for it; facing the west, with the only third-story balcony in the entire city. He would just sit there and watch, closing his eyes as the dying rays warmed his face for just a moment.

Sometimes his mother or sister would join him. They would always want to chat. They could never appreciate the serenity that came with watching the sun slowly disappear. He would often grow annoyed with them, huffing and snorting and rolling his eyes in his impatience with their chattiness. His father never even bothered; he was never the type to sit around and watch the world turn.

His favorite, though, was when she came to sit with him. She would do exactly what he wanted her to: just watch. She sat beside him in complete silence, soaking up every ounce of beauty the sun had to give. She only spoke when it was completely gone, and it was always something incredibly profound. She had a funny way of making him think very closely about everything he did. She was the only one he knew that appreciated the setting sun as much as he did.

Now, he refuses to watch. When the sun starts to sink, he hides. He doesn't want to see the light disappear, not after he's lost so much already. Before, the sun setting was nothing more than a natural occurence, the line between day and night. But now?

It was the slowly waning hope of a decent future. It was hope bleeding out. It was a solid, daily reminder that he was completely and utterly alone.

But, mostly, he didn't want to watch them because they reminded him of her. He tried, once, right after the disease took effect and everything went to hell, to watch. He closed his eyes and she was there, but not as he wanted to remember her. She was not smiling. She was not laughing. She was not cooing his name in quiet affection, gently squeezing his shoulders in encouragement, rolling her eyes in playful annoyance, flicking her hair out of her face in impatience. He closed his eyes and saw her the way she was in her last moments on earth.

Beaten.

Lifeless.

Burned beyond recognition.

He only knew it was her because it was her car he found her in.

He ran, after that. She was his last hope. He believed it to be some kind of terrible nightmare, the sickly babe of the horror movie he spent too much time watching and the junk food he ate too much of. But when he saw her, nay, them, together in her car, he knew.

There was nothing left for him there.

And so, he left. And he has not looked back.


She always believed herself to be a gentle soul. Perhaps she did not exude motherly qualities, but...still. She did everything in her power to save defenseless animals. So what if she was a terror to some of her particularly vicious classmates? That didn't make her a bad person. Right?

Naturally the thought of having to kill those animals was beyond preposterous to her. She couldn't help but to laugh at the ridiculousness of it. What, you expect her to lift a finger toward ending an animal's life? What has that animal ever done to you? There may be certain health benefits to eating meat, but it's not anything that can't be handled with a few vitamins. There's no need to murder.

But that was before. Before, she would never, even in her wildest dreams, kill even the most terrible of beasts.

Now, she was actually willing to take a human life. Multiple human lives, at that. Without so much as moment's hesitation.

She tried to remember when it all changed. There were so many moments when it felt like her entire world was flipped upside down, just for her to turn around two seconds later and find that it had been flipped yet again. It was flipped so many times that she was no longer sure which way was up. But one moment in particular stood out. It was a moment in which something inside of her snapped. She felt it break in two and disintegrate right there inside herself, in her very soul. In fact, now that she was thinking about it, it very well could have been her soul.

She was looking for him. They both were. They managed to find each other in all the chaos. It was not so hard to imagine they could find him, too. It was the first thing even slightly resembling hope that she felt since her heart stopped all those hours before. They were jogging down the street, ignoring the fires burning and the buildings crumbling and the people screaming.

And then, they rounded the corner.

And they saw the empty lot where his house stood just hours before.

His house had been completely leveled. There wasn't even any debris. It was just...gone. Along with any signs of the family that once lived inside it.

Yes, that was the moment she snapped and became the machine she is today.

They took him from her.

And she made it her personal mission to take them out and to send them all to the ninth circle of hell, or to die trying.


Stay tuned!

- Tori