This is officially the last one. The last chapter of Stupid Secret ID. I just...I can't believe it! This is the first Fanfiction that I've finished before! For those of you who read my other story, "The Team Plus An EVO", I'll be focusing more on that, now. I was taking a break to finish this baby up, and now, well... For the reviews of Chapter 18, 19, and 20, I'll be doing PM responses, so don't worry that you don't see my responses here. Well, get ready for the emotional rollercoaster that is this epilogue. It's kind of different from the rest of the story, but I think you'll like it. I've always loved post-PP stuff.
Epilogue: Silence No More.
Post Phantom Planet
"Danny! Can you tell us more about the Ghost Zone?!"
"Mr. Fenton, exactly how long have you had these ghost powers?"
"How many halfas are out there?"
"Phantom, how did you become a ghost?!"
"What do you imagine the Guys in White will do to you once they get word of this?"
"Will you marry me, Danny?"
"Are you expecting less ghost fights now that your identity is revealed?"
"Can I have your autograph?"
"Do you present a national threat?"
"Does this change-"
"What do you plan-"
Danny slammed the door in their faces.
Sudden silence swept through the home, welcome after the previous barrage, creeping into the nooks and crannies before fading and accommodating a soft mumble through the walls, a reminder that the threat had not disappeared. The family kept their mouths closed, unsure who should speak, much less what to say, and as the silence stretched on, the less welcoming it became. Maddie opened her mouth to speak, but hesitated, and her words died on her lips. Jack shuffled uncomfortably, and as bodily sounds took away the silence, Danny hung his head and laughed half-heartedly.
"Maybe this wasn't such a good idea."
Instantly, the room was filled with life again; Jazz ushering Danny to the couch, Danny's friends going around and closing the curtains, and Jack and Maddie slowly following Danny to sit across from him.
"Don't say that! If you hadn't told us, we would have probably kept hunting you! Or worse, you would never have told us! Or-"
"I meant telling everybody," Danny clarified, running his hand through his hair habitually, "S'not turning out so good, huh?"
Valerie grunted, aggressively pulling a curtain past a camera man's lens, "Tell me about it. No idea how I'm going to get home after this."
As Sam, Tucker, and Valerie finished with the curtains, they all settled down beside Danny, and the explanations began.
"So, honey, are you going to... um-"
"Let me start from the beginning, Mom," Danny insisted, looking her straight in the eyes, "Do you both remember, about two years ago, when the portal turned on?"
Maddie gasped, "You've been Phantom for two years!?"
"Yeah. It's been a while," Danny gathered his brow in scrutiny, realizing exactly how long he'd been putting his half-life on the line, "But that doesn't matter. Remember that time?"
Worriedly, the two parents nodded.
"Well, um... that was me. Sam and Tucker were in the lab with me, and they thought it was just super cool that we had a Ghost Portal. I told them it didn't work, but they wanted me to walk around, check it out. Man, we were some stupid teenagers. So I pulled on a hazmat suit, one of those tourist ones we never use, and I waltzed right in there with a big stupid grin on my face like it was nothing. But it was dark. Really dark. I had to use my hand, like, on the wall, to guide me. And then... I guess I pressed some kind of button, or triggered some kind of switch, because all of a sudden, the portal was on, with me inside. I was hit with massive amounts of ectoplasm and electricity with no warning, and it hit me hard. My DNA changed; the ectoplasm coated my genes, using the same ectosignature as the portal, and it made me what I am today."
The silence this time was quite temporary, and was tentatively removed by Maddie, "But that much electricity and ectoplasm at once...the chances of you even maintaining a heartbeat are a billion to one, much less getting up and walking away. To survive must have been a miracle in itself."
"Heh. Miracle. Yeah," Danny laughed, "It sure as heck didn't feel like a miracle. It...It hurt. Really hurt. Two years doing this, and I've never scratched the surface of that pain. Sometimes... Sometimes I wonder if that's what regular dying is supposed to feel like, what all the other ghosts went through, and it makes full death seem ten times scarier then it would for you. It...That's my only fear now. Dying. The proper way."
The blanket of silence sat heavy on everyone's shoulders, none daring to lift it, for the emotion ran too strong through the room. Each quietly took in the information, as personally and harshly as they could. Sam and Tucker wondering how they're friend had hidden that thought for so long; Jazz thinking of his worst injuries and attempting to multiply them to understand his hurt; Jack and Maddie marvelling at how their son had grown up too far too fast without them, and Valerie...
"How come you never told me that before?" She whispered, staring at the carpet, faintly dusted with ectoplasm from the family's many experiments. Her voice was humble, genuinely haunted by the events described, and the hearts of the family leapt at her tone. Slowly, her gaze rose, sliding up past the worthless, meaningless bodies and focusing on Danny's bright eyes, a questioning look filled with pain across her face.
Danny shrugged, "I didn't want anyone to feel bad for me. People would think that I didn't want these powers. They would see them as a curse; a burden brought on by pain. They would try to get rid of them, in order to 'save me' from my ghost half. They wouldn't understand that this is such a huge part of me, that I wouldn't know what to do without ghost powers. If my ghost half left me, I think I might just waste away looking for it. And I would feel so helpless. I wouldn't be able to protect my friends, my family, or the town. I...I just... I tried to remove my powers once. A couple days ago, before this whole Disasteroid thing came up. It was when Master's Blasters were taking over, doing what I couldn't do, and I just felt like I was so useless. I couldn't stand it. So when the portal was turned off and you were fixing it, I... I turned it on and it took away my powers. Then the Disasteroid came, and I realized how much the world needed me, and things got complicated before I finally got my powers back. And then, the rest is history."
Valerie gave him a hard look, "Great back story, but why didn't you tell me?"
Danny sighed. He looked to the ground, then slid his gaze to the curtained window, then up the stairs, avoiding her stare, until finally, he put his head in his hands and squeezed his eyes shut.
"I didn't want you to be scared of this. This..." Danny gave up on speech for a moment, and urged the blue rings to spring from his waist, "this is not something to be scared of. I didn't want you to fear that part of yourself, because I did for a while. And... I thought that if you heard how much pain I was in, you would try and put yourself through that just to try and grasp it. No one should have that pain."
The silence of realization closed in around them, as all the other silences had. Slowly, one could see Maddie's expression twist and turn as several of Danny's words clicked into place, and a similar process adorned Jack. He opened his mouth to speak, then stopped himself.
"I don't understand. What part of herself?"Maddie cut in for him.
Danny cringed, but without hesitation, Valerie summoned her red rings and transformed. The group gasped, even those who already knew about her. The sudden transformation was surprising, to say the least, but true to good parent form, Maddie and Jack closed their dropped jaws and smiled.
"So, that makes three," Jack concluded, "How many of you are there?"
"Four," Danny informed, "But I think we can safely say three now that Vlad's a permanent space nomad."
"Then who's the last one?" Jack asked.
Danny rose from his seat, "I'll go get her."
Maddie held him back, "You can't go out there now, honey! Those reporters will eat you alive!"
Danny pulled his arm away, "Relax, Mom, she's been living upstairs all week. That's definitely where she is."
The group watched as Danny walked to the stairway and called, "Hey Danielle! You can come down, now! I want you to meet somebody!"
"Dad?" came her young voice, "Are you sure?"
What, Maddie thought, Did she just say 'Dad'? What? What does this mean? What has he done? What has my son been doing? This is not a good thing. WHO IS THE MOTHER!
"Positive," Danny answered, "Come on down."
Soft footsteps descended the stairs, then quickly sped up as she raced down the stairs to land in Danny's open embrace. A girl that looked exactly like Danny appeared, and Maddie started to freak out.
"Did we really just save the world?!" Danielle exclaimed, squeezing Danny in a hug.
"You bet we did!" Danny laughed, picking her up and swinging her around, "You know what else we did?"
"We told the whole world that halfas exist!" Danny said with less enthusiasm than before, "And, shocker, we're two of them!"
"What!? I had no idea!" Danielle mocked surprise.
Danny laughed and set her down, "Come on, I want you to meet your grandparents."
Meanwhile, Jack and Maddie were thinking in circles. Jack was mostly thinking, That is my granddaughter. I am a grandpa. No. I am too young. Grandpas are old. Maddie was more, DANIEL FENTON, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH THAT SECRET IDENTITY! WHO IS THE MOTHER OF THIS CHILD! YOU ARE TOO YOUNG!
"Mom, Dad, I'd like you to meet Danielle, my, um, hmm, what will make you least on edge..." Danny introduced.
Danielle huffed, "I'm his clone, who he adopted as his daughter."
Danny sighed, "Yes, well, that's the blunt way of saying it. You see..."
Maddie held up a hand, "Wait, let me guess. Vlad."
Danny's eyes widened, "Wow, that's...that's, not, that, obvious, how did you figure that out?"
Maddie shrugged, "Well, you're always seen fighting the Wisconsin Ghost, and since he turned out to be Vlad, I figured he was your worst enemy. Then I remembered that trip we took, y'know, 'at the science emporium', and I remembered that Vlad wanted you to be his apprentice. So I guessed that you kept saying no, so he tried to make another you, and..."
Danny whistled, "Wow. If only you were that clairvoyant before."
"Hey, when the world almost ends, everyone gets a little smarter," Tucker put in.
No one laughed.
"Yeah, I admit, that one wasn't even kind of funny," Tucker confessed, sheepishly shrugging.
"So, yeah, this is my daughter. With Vlad gone, me, her, and Valerie are the only halfas. At least, I think we're the only halfas. I hope we're the only halfas," Danny summarized.
"I don't know. I think it'd be neat to find more people like you, Danny," Sam suggested.
One by one, each of the halfas turned to glare at Sam, each bewildered at such a slanderous idea.
"Trust me, Sam. You don't want more of us running around," Valerie testified, shaking her head, "Who knows what kind of place the world would be?"
Sam nodded gently, acknowledging her mistake, and a final silence drifted through the house. Outside, the press' mumble started to die down as several reporters gave up and drove away, and it significantly lightened the mood, spurring Jack to fill the emptiness.
"Danny, m'boy! I bet you've got hundreds of ghost-hunting stories to tell! Why don't you lay one on us?" Jack bellowed, his enthusiasm returning.
Danny blushed, "Weeeeelllllll..."
Instantly, the family gave him their best puppy dog eyes.
Danny gave in, "Okay, so one time, Dad got Mom a present, and I accidentally knocked it into the Ghost Zone..."
Danny regaled them with his many tales of alternate timelines, tampered realities, and corrupt governments for hours and hours, finally letting everything out, until the last reporter left the front step the next day. He made sure they knew every detail, every ally, and every enemy he had ever faced. And as he spoke the others listened excitedly, even in the wee hours of the morning, Sam and Tucker occasionally adding in their two cents, and Valerie eventually adding her own spin on some of the stories. It was happy. Happier than ever before, because this time they were truly together. This time, there were no secrets. No one was hiding anything. No one was holding anyone's tongue. Quiet, no more. Secrets, no more.
Silence, no more.
Later guys! It's been great, it really has. I'm going to miss you all! Seriously, some of you need to PM me and we can chat. Review me if you thought this was a great story. Now, for the final sign off...