AN: I'm going through and tweaking some of the chapters, to edit mistakes I missed (The glory of self-beta-ing)
I don't own Danny Phantom or Supernatural, or any rights to them.
Also, I adore reviewers. Even if it's "This is neat." or "Bad writing/too cliche, so I stopped reading here." I appreciate the feedback.
It was very rare that Danny came across the spirit of an actual dead person.
Well, that's not quite true.
The ghosts that he faced on a normal basis, the ones that openly terrorized his town came from the Ghost Zone. They were usually green, ran on ectoplasm, and generally caused havoc. Occasionally there was one who drained emotions or life force or something like that, but there was always a way to stop them.
He was used to finding a ghost, knocking it around a bit and shoving it back into the Ghost Zone. Simple enough, even though it took time and energy and usually ended up with the people around him believing him to be an irresponsible and generally lazy person. Sucks to suck.
These ghosts, though – the strange ones. They arrived directly after someone's death and looked exactly like the recently departed. There were no green flames, trailing mist or glowing green anything. Strange, but not entirely unheard of.
There was quite a bit about them that alarmed him, though.
When Danny first encountered one, it (she) was confused, a little frightened.
Logically, he knew things like this had to happen – the ghosts had to come from somewhere – but it was a different story having the aftermath of a death thrown in his face.
She had cried on the porch, blood running down her face and hands in a reflection of the wound that killed her.
Danny had heard her crying on the walk back from school, saw the blood and was halfway through taking a breath to call for help when he felt his ghost sense go off.
With unsure steps he approached her, still in his school clothes and what felt like ten pounds of books strapped to his back.
She didn't answer the first few times he spoke, though her sobbing decreased as he sat down next to her, tried to offer quiet comfort.
She was a picture of misery as she choked out how she knew that she was dead, remembered dying. It had happened so fast, the odd realization that a car had sped through a red light, was approaching her window too fast to stop. A loud sound and a sharp jolt as her head slammed sideways, but there wasn't enough time to register pain.
Danny remembered the click of a button under his palm, and a vortex of energy exploding behind his eyes, in each chamber of his heart. Fire racing through each vein and igniting the very breath in his lungs. Green.
The people inside her house descended into an argument, voices carrying through the white front door. She seemed to shrink into herself as the yelling continued, forehead on her knees. Her son and husband, she explained as she picked at the edge of her daisy-patterned blouse. They both tried to hide grief behind angry words. She spoke about her life, her hopes and dreams.
The blood on her face never dried and no matter how much she tugged at it, there was always a loose thread on the hem of her sleeve.
Danny listened to her story, ignoring the buzzing of his phone. The sun had begun to set when her small family approached the front door. He tugged the chill of his powers forward, slipping invisible and intangible before they opened it.
Pink and orange was creeping across the sky when he saw the young man, someone Danny vaguely recognized from school. A freshman, maybe. Someone he saw in the hallway between classes. He and his father stepped through the porch, their faces still red from the screaming earlier.
They talked quietly, silent for long stretches, but amiable. He looked away when they hugged. This was something private, he shouldn't be watching.
Danny turned to ask the woman a question but paused, the look on her face something between wistful and relieved. He could do nothing but sit in silence as a white light seemed to spread outward from her chest, lighting her up until it was so bright he could barely stand to look.
Between the span of a blink, she vanished, the glow winking out.
He stood, adjusted his backpack and made sure he was still cloaked by invisibility before he walked down the steps. He passed the two still talking on the walkway and started home with a head full of questions and a strange feeling of apprehension.
He couldn't sleep that night.
There was a string of odd deaths, about a month later. The local news covered it religiously, theorizing a serial killer in the area. They were all older men, slightly overweight and were all golf players. They had been brutally struck around the face and neck with a thin, blunt object. Considering the location, probably golf club.
Danny swung by the course where the deaths had happened, hovering above the small crowd of people who wanted a look at a crime scene.
He spotted a flicker of movement in a corpse of trees a few hundred feet away, a dark figure watching. No one else seemed to notice, and he took that as a sign of something not quite right.
The figure was gone by the time he reached the location, branches thick and stifling. There were white and yellow balls lost among the roots and leaves, a thin rusted pole leaning against one of the trunks.
It smelled like something rotting and Danny's stomach twisted itself into unhappy knots when he realized that the lost, grubby tennis shoe still had a foot inside.
His ghost sense shrieked at him and he dived to the side, narrowly avoiding the whistle of a club past his ear.
The attacker's face was bruised and swollen, half his skull caved in and blood misting from a broken mouth. He wore a blue uniform, Snappy's Golf Course monogramed on his breast pocket, jeans ripped at the knees. Rage glowed in his eyes as he took another swing at Danny's floating form.
He reacted on instinct, leapt backwards and swung his palms up. A green blast shot from his hands, slammed into the man's chest and punched a cantaloupe-sized hole right through it.
The ghost's movements stuttered to a halt, brown eyes wide in disbelief. Danny mirrored his expression, mouth falling open with shock.
Neon green suddenly snaked up through the man's veins, clawed up his neck and face. He shrieked and lunged at Danny with the club again, the sound full of anger and pain.
His body struck the ectoplasmic shield Danny threw up and pale green lightning started to crackle against the contact. There was an impossibly loud scream and the man seemed to tear into pieces, dissolved while drops of ectoplasm spattered the leaflitter below.
The sound still rang in his ears a few minutes later when Danny finally regained his bearings. His back was pressed against a tree, arms wrapped around his midriff and shoulders hunched tightly. There was a the murmer of voices coming closer, and a part of him realized there must have been one hell of a light show – there were cameras only a short walk away.
He slipped into invisibility, mind uncomfortably blank with an exception to the echoes of that scream and the quiet splatter of liquid.
Danny had enough sense to transform back before entering his house, barely registering his parent's location in the lab from sounds bouncing up and walked to his room.
It may have been the weekend, but he didn't get to sleep until the next day's sun began to rise.
You showing up for movie night at sams place? -TF
not feeling it. -DF
I figured I'd ask. ttyl, man. -TF