Smack me. I should have been working on To Become a Titan. Instead, I created this. OTL
I'm so sorry.
This chapter takes place before 'Terra'.
If you can, please take the time to review with your thoughts or any mistakes you find. :3
Curiosity is a funny thing. It's how people make discoveries, it drives people to do things, and sometimes curiosity kills the cat. Or in Danny's case, half-kills.
It was a normal day in his terms. Danny's parents had just finished one of their long-term projects, their greatest achievement: The Fenton Ghost Portal. Maddie and Jack Fenton were scientists of the paranormal, researchers, and above all: Ghost hunters.
While growing up, the Fenton family had been mocked, shunned, and overall ignored thanks to the unusual profession the elder Fentons had taken up. At first, Danny thought their job was cool despite some of the more dangerous moments. Jasmine Fenton tried to separate herself from the weirdness through academic achievements.
As Danny got older , he came to a realization that his lack of social status was almost directly related to the fact he was the son of 'weirdoes'. The thought made him grow a little bitter about their job, but otherwise accepted there wasn't much he could change.
His only two and best friends, Sam Manson and Tucker Foley, not only accepted him despite his unusual parents but actually thought the whole Fenton family was cool. His sister was a third best friend until her brains left Danny in her shadows.
That was his life up until the moment where his parents finished their effort-filled invention to open an inter-dimensional hole into another realm, the Ghost Zone.
It didn't work at first. Sam, Tucker, and Danny explored the lab after Danny's parents decided to take a break to relieve themselves of some of the disappointment that a measly spark and then nothing brought. It was Sam that added fuel to Danny's curiosity on the portal and what the Ghost Zone might be like.
He wasn't sure if it was because he thought Sam was the coolest friend a guy could ask for, or because Danny really had honestly been curious about the portal and Sam had pulled that curiosity to the front of his mind, but after she and Tucker left his house, Danny lay in bed awake that night with a plethora of thoughts on the portal downstairs.
He was only fourteen, how was Danny supposed to know that going downstairs in the middle of the night to get a peek at a supposedly failed portal project would change things?
According to the digital clock by his bedside, it was two in the morning when Danny crawled out of his bed with no luck at getting a wink of sleep. His brain was filled with the endless possibilities of the Ghost Zone, how his parents had been on the edge of a breakthrough that might change how the family was seen. They would be the N.A.S.A of Ghosts and might not be ridiculed anymore. Heck, they could be the Neil Armstrongs of the Ghost Zone.
Quietly, Danny tip-toed down stairs in his , blue eyes slowly adjusting to the dark as he found the door to the basement/lab. He took a breath, realizing his heart was pounding.
'C'mon, Fenton. What's the worst that'll happen?', Danny thought, smiling softly as he realized the worst would be having to clean the lab for a few days.
That wasn't always a bad thing since he was used to doing such anyways. He made his way down the steps, bare feet touching the cool tile of the lab. 'I should have worn shoes, though', Danny realized. At least there hadn't been any broken vials in a while.
The raven-haired boy scanned the dark room, touching the wall near the entrance. He ran his fingers up and down until he came across the light switch, hitting it. Light assaulted his eyes, making Danny close his eyelids quickly with a small hiss.
When he had adjusted to the lighting, the youngest Fenton opened his eyes to meet the portal's gaping dark opening. The portal took up quite a portion of the lab and it was hard not to see it.
Danny wiped the sweat gathering on his forehead with the back of his hand as he walked over, inspecting the entrance. It was still the same as when Tucker, Sam and himself stood before it. Still, he hadn't gotten a very good look inside before his parents had found them and distracted them with dinner.
Remembering protocol, Danny made his way to where his own custom Hazmat suit was hanging, quickly changing into the white and black outfit. It felt nice against his skin.
When he was dressed, Danny walked back to the portal, climbing up into it. He placed a hand against the wall to steady himself as he tried to get his barring and move forward.
It started as a small tremor. Danny had put it off as his own nerves, that he might be shaking, until it became violent and threw the boy around. His hand smacked a button in the middle of the chaos of what he now realized was an earthquake and he was in the worst possible location for one.
He didn't have time to think on escaping to somewhere safer like under the nearby lab desks, as the portal lit up and roared to life, Danny being caught in the power-up.
The pain was intense, like his insides were on fire and melting and his skin was being roasted but an accompanying feeling of powerthrew him off. Danny didn't know how long the shock lasted, but it ended when the metal walls around him cracked and protested. The portal around him shorted out as the whole lab was buried in rubble.
Slowly, consciousness filled his mind as he blinked into the darkness. No longer did he have to adjust, he could see just fine, though he wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing as he eyed the broken plaster and other materials that had reinforced his house.
'Okay, let's get the facts straight: I'm caved in, underground, and there was just a major earthquake. I didn't tell a soul that I was going to the portal, so no one knows I'm down here. There's no air down here. I'm officially royally screwed.', Danny assessed the situation, deadpanning at the on switch that had shocked him. 'This is your fault, button. You and the sheer bad luck I have that an Earthquake would hit in the middle of the night- I wonder if everyone's alright. Still, I should stay put, moving stuff might make it worse…'
Danny hugged his knees as he tried to make himself more comfortable in his enclosed environment. He never considered himself a very claustrophobic person, especially since he seemed to spend quite a bit of time shoved in lockers, though he was becoming more and more painfully aware of how little space he had as time went on. 'Huh, at least there's no aftershock…'He thought as he looked around. Metal and rocks and that damn 'on' switch were the only sights for Danny to take in.
A tingling sensation took over him. It started with his fingers, slowly flowing through him until his whole being was tingling. At first, Danny just thought his body was falling asleep until he realized he was sinking into the floor of the portal. "Gah!" The boy shrieked, trying to pull himself up.
A loose wire served as his savior when he grabbed it, pulling himself out of the floor. The teen shook in a slight panic, placing a hand on his chest as he tried to slow his breathing.
"That…Was weird…" Danny panted, pulling his hand away to get a good look at it. "Hey, I could have sworn my gloves were black…" He blinked, curious at the color change.
He shrugged it off, deciding it must have been a new feature in the hazmat suits. When his hand suddenly turned invisible, Danny held back another yell. "Must have a camouflage feature…" He mumbled to himself. His mom would think of that, after all. "… Great, I'm talking to myself now. And probably wasting oxygen too…"
More time passed. Danny wasn't sure how long he waited until he started hearing a noise. It sounded like someone was digging or drilling. Was someone actually looking for him? He decided to chance it.
"Hey! In here! Survivor here! Heeeeeey! Please help!" He shouted at the top of his lungs. "Help me!"
Pebbles started to fall from the wall as the noise neared. Soon, cracks of light showed with an small glow of gold. It must have been morning already. "Over here." Danny said, pressing away from where the digger was breaking through.
Finally, a hole big enough to crawl through opened up, rocks flying out of the way. "Are you okay?" A voice Danny wasn't expecting asked. It was a girl's voice, after all. He would have thought a muscular man would be the one to save him, though he guessed a girl was possible too.
"Y-yeah…" Danny replied, peeking his head through the hole to meet a blonde girl with blue eyes and a silver hairclip. She was pretty, with a slightly boyish outfit.
"Wow," The girl stared at him. "… Has anyone ever told you that your eyes are pretty wicked?"
That confused Danny. "Uh, no. I mean, I've gotten compliments because they're blue, but wicked?" He asked as he brushed himself off, feeling his face heat up slightly.
"Blue?" The girl gave him a look that clearly said she thought he was delusional. "They look green to me. And what's with the get-up? Are you a hero or a meta-human or something?"
"Meta- What? And my eyes are blue." Danny gave her a blank look.
The blonde shook her head, reaching into the pocket of her blue shorts and pulling out a compact mirror. She opened it and pointed it at Danny so that he could see himself.
Danny stared at the image. A boy with glowing green eyes and white hair was staring back at him. The teenager brought a gloved hand to his face, the looking-glass's image copying his movement. "Oh god, am I dead? I look like a- A…"
"Ghost?" His rescuer supplied. "I think it makes you look pretty cool, Casper."
Danny glared at her. "It's not funny! My parents are ghost hunters-" He paused, realizing he didn't know her name.
"Terra." The girl grinned, clearly enjoying his display before she frowned, looking down. "That, uh… Might not matter anymore. I checked this whole house for survivors- Actually I checked a few houses because I felt bad. No one in this house made it but you…" She trailed off awkwardly.
"…" It was too much for the ghost boy as he felt his head spin. His parents and his sister had to make it. He couldn't be a ghost-
Danny passed out from the overload of information, Terra catching him. The blonde sighed. "I'm so sorry…" She mumbled guiltily. She was at fault, even if he didn't know it. White rings washed over the boy she was trying to drag him to safety, changing his outfit to . and his hair black. "… That's a neat trick." She whistled to herself.
"I'm not a ghost!" Danny shouted as he woke up from a nightmare. He slowly calmed down as his eyes adjusted to the fire before him.
"Morning Casper," Terra grinned at him. "Fish?" She asked, holding out a small, cooked fish with a stick speared through it.
"…" Danny only stared as he tried to process the situation, looking all around. They were in a forest with a small stream bubbling nearby. He was laying in a pile of leaves, clearly man-made.
Finally, his stomach growled, making Terra raise an eyebrow as she smirked. "C'mon, it won't bite."
Danny took the meal, taking slow bites. It was better than the food at school, at least.
"Sooooooooo," Terra tried to break the silence. "Judging by how you reacted back there, you're either a new meta-human or you're amnesiac. Do you know your name, Twinkles?"
"… It's Danny." Danny told her between bites. He had started wolfing down the fish and was soon finished. Terra handed him another, still smiling. "What do you mean by meta-human? I'm not a ghost?"
"Well, you changed to this boy with blue eyes and black hair, do ghosts turn human?" Terra retorted.
"So then… I only have ghost powers." Danny decided. "That makes sense. I did go intangible and invisible down there. I thought it was just part of the hazmat suit, but now that I think about it- " He dropped the fish, realizing that the portal might have brought these powers with that shock. He had almost forgotten that detail.
Reminder of the portal shifted to those who created it and those also occupying the house. His family didn't make it, if what Terra said was true.
"Hey, you okay?" Terra's face shifted to concern. "You didn't hit your head or anything during the earthquake, right?"
"… I just… My family… This whole 'powers' thing…" Danny shut his eyes, groaning as he held his head. "I need a little bit to think on it. This situation is surreal…"
The situation was made worse as his pants went intangible, meeting the ground. Danny opened his eyes, blushing as he pulled them back up, Terra chuckling at him.
"Nice taste in boxers," She teased, before scratching her head idly. "Sorry, I know how that feels. I shouldn't laugh…" After all, she was still unable to fully control her powers.
"You keep talking about meta-humans… Are you one?" Danny finally asked.
"Yup." Terra admitted. "I have, uh... Terrakinesis powers." After a look from Danny that clearly said he didn't know what that was, she added, "In Laymen's terms: It means I can control earth and rocks." She informed, holding out a hand. It started glowing with a golden aura and a few pebbles surrounding the fire floated above her hand with the same aura around them.
"Oh." Danny looked thoughtful. "So that's why you were able to rescue me. So you're like a superhero!" He grinned, proud of his deduction.
"…" The blonde couldn't help but grin back as she dropped the rocks. "Sure am. I'm more of a wanderer though. Places to go, people to see, y'know? Stopping a few bad guys along the way."
Danny slowly nodded. Normally, he would be over the moon at meeting a superhero and would have asked for her autograph, but he was still trying to recover from earlier. "… Are we outside of Amity Park?"
"Yeah, close by. Quite a few of the older buildings fell down, they weren't reinforced for that big of a quake. I didn't know where else to take you , so I brought you to my campsite." Terra answered. She didn't bother telling him how long she had been here.
Danny nodded again, gripping an elbow in thought. "If I go back there, I don't have a family anymore…" The only immediate family he could think of that might end up with him would be Aunt Alicia in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas. That wasn't a comforting thought at all.
Terra nervously gripped her knees. "Well… You could come with me." Why was she offering him this choice? Wasn't she only going to hurt him like everyone else?
'But he's got powers too. He's not completely defenseless. Maybe he can even help you,' A voice nagged at the back of her head. 'And maybe you can even help him somehow, since he's probably unstable too…' Terra sighed, knowing that was true.
Meanwhile, Danny had been pondering the idea. Traveling with Terra might help him, since he did have these new powers. It wasn't like staying would let him stay in Amity Park. She could probably even help him. Heck, she was a superhero, maybe he could help her fight bad guys or something as a sidekick. That would be interesting. "I… Can I join you then, Terra?"
"…Yeah." Terra allowed herself to give him a small smile. She held out a hand. Danny took it, shaking her hand with his own smile.
The moment was ruined by his hand turning invisible, Danny retracting the appendage in horror. "This is going to take a lot of getting used to…" He grumbled as Terra broke out laughing.
Terra had been respectful as she and Danny hid in the shadows of the mass held for the locals who had died in the earthquake, Danny covering himself with a hoodie that Terra had lent him, in his ghost form. There would be no viewing due to the conditions of some of the bodies, and funerals would be held later, though Terra had insisted that they should leave before then.
Reluctantly, Danny agreed. At the moment, he was trying his hardest not to cry. He had many regrets, like not telling his parents how much they really meant to him, or the fact he had been a little distant lately. This situation was too fast, he really didn't expect things to end like this. No more parents. No more Jazz. It hurt to think about it that way.
He recognized quite a few students from Casper high, though neither of his best friends had shown up. They weren't among the names of those missing or confirmed dead, though it was entirely possible they might be in the hospital.
Danny was surprised when his name was called and he subconsciously pulled the hood down further, as if it would protect him. He blocked out any Fenton names that came after his, Terra placing a hand on his shoulder as a gesture of comfort.
Eventually, people started going up and telling stories about those who were lost. Danny had been surprised to see a silver-haired middle-aged man stroll up who identified himself as a friend and the godparent of Jazz and Danny, then he started telling stories about their parents: Most reflected positively about Maddie Fenton in their 'College days'.
"Terra," Danny turned to her. "Let's go." He didn't want to listen to anything else about his deceased parents. It would break his resolve on not crying.
"Huh?" Terra blinked. "But he was just getting to the backwash incident-"
"Please?" Danny's glowing eyes stared at her from under the hood. "I… I don't- Let's just go."
Terra shrugged, deciding to spare Danny anymore discomfort. "Alright. Let's go."
Danny took her wrist, turning them both invisible and intangible as he started floating in the air. Flying had been almost second nature since the moment he discovered he had that power.
The girl didn't seem bothered as they flew over the audience and out of the building, though she swore she saw a wisp escape the silver-haired man's mouth. 'Must be really cold up there,' She thought as they escaped to an alley, where Danny set her down, both turning tangible and visible.
"So Danny, where to? Any place you wanna go?" Terra asked, trying to take his mind off his recent loss.
"… Anywhere but here." Danny smiled softly as he pulled the hood off, running a hand through his white locks. It felt like a great pressure was lifted off his chest.
"… Cool, that narrows things." Terra grinned, before running in a direction. "Race you!"
"…" Danny stared after the blonde for a moment before running after her. He idly noted that he was much faster than before the accident. "You're on, Terra!"
"Y'know, you're gonna need a superhero name, if you're gonna keep doing this. I don't think villains would bow down to the unholy powers of 'That ghost kid'," Terra teased as she and Danny sat in a dinner, a place she had personally picked out. Currently, they were in South Dakota. "Any ideas? I'd offer Casper, but you keep hitting me every time I do."
Danny shrugged, scratching his neck. "Dunno. I'm down to Specter and Phantom."
"Oh, I like Phantom!" Terra gave two thumbs of approval. "Just Phantom then?"
"Danny Phantom." Danny couldn't help but grin. "I know, maybe it's a little lame, but I like it."
Terra shrugged. "No shame in changing something that works. It fits you, Danny."
"Thanks, I think…" Danny mumbled, white hair falling in his face. He tried to blow it away, before just brushing it with his fingers. "Man, weeks ago, I'd never think I'd even have to decide something like that. The biggest decision I had to make back then was whether to eat dinner or hide from it…"
Terra snickered. "C'mon, the food couldn't have been that bad."
"Once, the Thanksgiving turkey came to life and tried to kill us, Terra. I'm not joking." Danny made a face as he recalled the meal. "My parents made the weirdest things."
"… I'm sorry I didn't get to meet them. They sound cool, from what you've told me." Terra sighed. "… I would have loved fighting that turkey." She joked.
Both of them laughed, Danny imagining how the fight would turn out. Terra would probably win, he decided.
The ground under them started to shake slightly, making Terra sober up. It seemed Danny hadn't noticed, so she grabbed his hand, pulling him up while grabbing the bag that held all her belongings, along with one she had gotten Danny for his few belongings he had recovered before they left Amity. "Let's go!"
Danny was confused as Terra threw some cash onto the table, leading him out the door. Their meal hadn't even come, what was the hurry? "In the air," Terra simply said, looking away from him to hide her glowing eyes.
The ghost boy took that as his cue, wrapping his arms around her waist as he hoisted her into the air, his legs shifting into a tail. "Terra, what's wrong?" He asked as he created more distance between them and the ground.
"I… I can't tell you." Terra shook her head, her normally carefree attitude gone as she watched the ground.
"Terra," Danny frowned. "Come on, people don't just rush out of a restaurant like that without a reason."
"I'm fine!" The blonde protested quickly, before taking a breath. "Look, let's keep moving. I hear the west coast is nice this time of year…" Terra tried to change the subject.
Danny sighed, deciding not to press the issue for now. "Yeah, that sounds nice… Which way?"
Terra looked around for a moment, before pointing in a specific direction. "That way." She said simply.
Danny wondered if she were some kind of living compass or something as he flew them towards where she wanted. He hoped she might tell him another time what had happened.
The rest of the flight was silence until Danny got tired, where they had to descend and find somewhere to sleep for the night. The restaurant incident wasn't brought up again.