All publicly recognizable characters, settings, lyrics, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plots are the intellectual property of the author(s). The author(s) is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended, nor should any be inferred. No profit is being made.
I understand that this is an idea that has been used before, so please do not remind me of that. From all of the ones that I have read (and reread to make sure I wasn't plagiarizing) are not the same as this one.
Yes, this idea has been used more than once so I feel I am allowed to write this.
I understand that, for those who read it, there was another story I posted that was extremely to another story. Survival had been a mistake on my part and of a friend of mine. She had come to me with the idea and we began cooking up ideas. Unbeknownst to me, she had found the story (Stranded with My Class for anyone who wants to know) a bit ago and wanted to rewrite it in our own words. Unfortunately for me, I had also read the story a few months back and had a lot of the story hiding in the back of my mind that aided in the supply of my ideas.
I wish to apologize to the author, if they ever (miraculously) come across this story (or my profile) for exploiting your idea. There have been other authors that have used the idea of the kids being stranded and whatnot, but none like yours and I had, unwittingly, used it to my advantage. I had received some, well-deserved, backlash for how similar my story was to yours and I feel absolutely horrid for the comparisons.
While mine was going to go in a different direction than yours after I posted the too-similar first chapter I did not feel justified enough to keep the story up anymore and was quick to pull it back down. I have not forgone the idea completely, but I am trying to keep it in my thoughts and not an echo of yours.
An example would be the theme song. While I didn't use the same song or band (Even though Forever the Sickest Band is awesome and a band I didn't know existed until I read your story) I still brought some sort of theme song in there for a series that was appearing in the story.
And as I end this long-winded author's note, to anyone actually reading this and not just skipping right to the story. I do know that this isn't a completely original concept, but I have tried to keep it as mine as possible, so, please, no flames.
"Lancer is kidding, right Danny?" Sam mumbled as she stared up at the teacher. Their original science teacher was on vacation right now, so it was up to Mr. Lancer to be the substitute. He had just informed them that they were going to take a field trip into the ghost zone.
"I can only hope so, Sam. Neither mom nor dad have actually been in the ghost zone so they wouldn't take a classroom full of students into the unknown, right?" His reasoning sounded dull even to his ears.
"Dude, this is your parents we are talking about. Of course they would." Tucker, ever the helpful, reminded him as he leaned back in his chair. Danny just glared in response.
"They will be here after lunch to discuss the trip further, for now you are dismissed." Lancer called out just as the bell rang. Unfortunately for them, they had what was considered a block class, meaning they would go to their science class for a period, go to lunch for a period, and right back to science for the second half of class. Most schools found this way to be unconventional, but when was Casper high ever like the other schools?
Sam stood and packed her binders into her spider backpack as Danny flipped his sketchbook to the front and put his pencils in their container.
"So what were you working on today?" Tuck asked once he noticed the sketchbook. Danny shrugged.
"Just simply doodling you guys." He mumbled as he gently placed his sketchbook in his purple backpack.
"Do we get to see?" Sam asked eagerly. She always loved to see what Danny drew. He was constantly embarrassed and humbled when Sam and Tucker would praise him for his art, which Sam found annoyingly adorable. The only people that knew Danny loved to draw were Sam, Tuck, and Jazz. That didn't mean others didn't see his art. It was everywhere, in fact.
Because Danny was painfully shy about people knowing he drew, he sold his art under a different name. Neil Fathom's paintings, drawings, and sculptures were proudly displayed around town, much to Danny's dismay. He was happy people liked and bought his artwork—because it meant he actually had money in his pockets—but he hated seeing it everywhere. Even the school had a few of his pieces scattered around town. Students were constantly crowing about the newest 'Neil Fathom' they bought and it really bothered Danny. Sam and Tucker found it both amusing and sad.
Everywhere they went people were constantly talking about either Neil Fathom or Danny Phantom, but no one knew they were both the same person—Danny Fenton. Danny liked it that way, but Sam and Tuck were angered by the way people treated the different faces of Danny.
The people of Amity Park either worshipped or hated Phantom and obsessed over Fathom's artwork. But when they thought of Fenton, they all thought he was a pathetic, trouble kid with no future. If only they knew.
"Maybe, but I haven't decided if I want to just scrap this piece or not. In all honesty I really need to start working on more that can be sold." Danny mumbled as they walked out the classroom, Mr. Lancer following silently behind. They had been the last of the students in his room. Normally Lancer didn't have anything to do this period—planning period—but today they put him on lunch duty like the science teacher usually had.
"I thought you already had quite a few done." Tuck pointed out as they walked down the halls, their voices almost being completely drowned out by the dull roar of so many students talking over one another.
"Yeah, but Matt says he already had more people lined up than usual so he wants me to make an extra abundance. Plus Uncle Neil wants to sell some at his auction, which you both are invited to." Sam giggled.
"So how does it feel, man? You're famous!" Lancer's eyes widened as Danny scowled.
"No, Tuck. I'm not famous. Neil Fathom is. Big difference, you know." Tuck just snorted.
"That's one in the same, dude. Just because your real name isn't scribbled at the bottom of those pieces of art doesn't mean it isn't you." Lancer just stopped, right there in the middle of the halls.
Lancer could not have heard that right. As Lancer watched the trio stop at their lockers before starting towards the cafeteria, Lancer decided that he would begin observing the three a little more closely. The three were always so secretive that most of the school had taken an interest on trying to crack the three, but it seemed impossible.
The bonds the three of them shared baffled Lancer. They were too young to have such a close relationship amongst each other, and yet they could just look at each other from across the room—no mouthing words or facial expressions—and you knew they were holding an entire conversation with their eyes. And that was just between Tuck and Danny or Tuck and Sam! Sam and Danny didn't even have to look at one another! But they were constantly calling out the same thing in class or writing the same thing on tests. Lancer had purposely sat them far away from each other during one test, believing they had cheated on their previous, and was astounded when they still gave the same answers.
Lancer, who was privy to all the idle adolescent gossip that floated around his halls, had heard rumors that the two shared some sort of psychic link. At first Lancer had dismissed it as impossible, but before this year he hadn't believed ghosts to exist either.
He remembered hearing stories from past teachers of the infamous trio. They were so varied. Some would talk about how bright they all were, straight a's! They would talk about how bright Danny was and how ambitious Sam was and how intelligent Tucker was. The three were these teacher's pets.
But then there were teachers that considered Danny and Sam swans of the devil, out to steal Tucker's soul. They would say that the two were evil and worshipped the devil. Those were the teachers that Lancer seemingly loved the 'A-listers'.
And then there was the bullying. Reports that went back all the way to kindergarten talked about how Danny got bullied by his peers. Dash, Kwan, and Gillian were the three main bullies that appeared throughout the years.
Lancer could only keep so much of an eye on so many different students.
"So, can we see the sketch yet?" Tuck begged as they sat down at their usual tree. The weather had been colder than usual lately and it was one of the few days that the sun was shinning. With the doors unlocked to the plaza all students of Casper High were taking advantage of the fresh air, even if it meant wearing heavy jackets just to eat. Danny, Sam, and Tucker always chose the tree farthest away from the school. It was hidden behind an overgrown bush, giving the trio the much needed privacy they needed.
And while it didn't have a bench or a chair, the trio did have a plastic blanket tied up in the tree that they used to sit on when the ground was wet or covered in snow.
"Fine." Danny grumbled as he set his soda down on his tray. He stretched back against the tree as he pulled his sketchbook out and flipped through the pages. Sam and Tucker took note of the newest edition that Danny had done with impressed expressions.
"You could publish this one!" Sam exclaimed, pointing to a pencil drawing of a field of blood blossoms with a boy on his knees in a small opening in the center. He was bent forward and had his hands covering the back of his neck.
"I don't know, it's kinds personal." Tuck just stared at Danny.
"Dude, all the artwork you publish is personal." Danny blushed but nodded.
"I'll think about it." They knew that was the best they would get out of him. As they leafed through, they were aware of several pictures of themselves floating around half-done. Some of the drawings were actually on the sketchbook's paper, but most on pieces of loose leaf that had been jammed in to the book. There were some of Sam or Tucker sleeping in their rooms, some of them were of them playing video games or hanging out at the mall while others were during movie nights at Sam's house or when they were studying. There were even a few of them fighting random ghosts.
"Nice to know we inspire you, dude." Tuck teased as they flipped through more. He must have been really busy drawing lately, there were more than usual. Some were of Jazz in various locations reading a book and even some of Danielle. And even a few of his Uncle Neil.
His uncle… Daniel Fitzgerald was his mother's brother and who Danny was named after. He was younger than Maddie by almost nine years, but had inherited the family fortune when Maddie decided to become a scientist instead of running the Fitzgerald Company. To everyone but the trio, his name is Dan Fitzgerald. But with the bad memories that go with the name 'Dan' Danny opted to renaming him Neil, much to Neil's distaste. He never tried to stop Danny from calling him that, though.
When Danny and Sam were in elementary the kids would tease them about a link they had developed after a freak accident in the Fenton's lab. The kid's teasing was manageable while the adults would scream and call them demonic spawns from hell. They hadn't understood that not everyone had this link, and had tried to talk to Neil about it, but that backfired. Neil had been a heavy drinker when he was in his twenties and had freaked out at Danny and Sam's confession.
He already resented Maddie for taking ghost hunting over the family business, but now their son had a freaky link to another child? That had been the last straw for Neil's intoxicated mind. He barely remembered that night, but Danny and Sam could recall everything, down to what they had been wearing.
He had screamed and yelled at the two children, calling them every name under the sun. It had destroyed Danny's already pathetic self-esteem and infuriated Sam. But above all else, they had been betrayed and hurt. Neil had always been the one person they could talk to no matter what, but instead of helping them, he shattered them. After that the two refused to talk to anyone but each other and learned to hide the link they had.
The link allowed them to have access to the other's emotions and thoughts on the least invasive level possible, but after Danny's accident with the portal, their link had been growing stronger, much to their discomfort. But they had learned how to hide the link from everyone but Tucker and that was enough for them. Tucker was never bothered that they had a link, but he was quick to point out when they were going too far. He didn't want them to get caught, after all.
Before, their parents would have brushed it off to nothing but them just being in tune with one another's body language, but now with the reality of ghosts, they were afraid of Danny's parents trying to experiment on them to find out how they got the link.
Years later, Neil—fresh out of rehab—had come back to Amity Park and begged for forgiveness from Danny and Sam, unbeknownst to Danny's parents. Danny had forgiven him easily, Sam not so much.
He lived in a mansion on the outskirts of the city and was constantly trying to get Danny to come to various parties and fundraisers that he held.
"Do you know how much Neil wants to sell your pieces for?" Sam interrupted his thoughts loudly, causing him to jump.
"I don't know. He said it all depends on the size and detail I manage to put in it. I promised him first pick of the pieces and whatever he doesn't take, I hand over to Matt. Because he's selling my pieces, Neil is forcing me to come to the auction and I'm begging you two to please come with me." Sam and Tucker looked at each other in amusement.
"Dude, both of our parents have already received invitations about a month ago, we were just wondering when you would invite us." Tucker informed, pulling out his copy of the invitation. Sam snickered when Danny scowled.
"So does this mean you'll come?" Danny asked, pulling his best puppy dog eyes on his best friends. They were left powerless.
"Oh, come on man! Not the puppy eyes!" Danny's already wide blue eyes widened even more as he stared at Sam and Tuck.
"FINE!" They both screamed in unison, giggling when Danny jumped up and hugged them both.
"And this is why you two are the best people in the entire world!" Tucker pretended to be disgusted by his show of affection, but in all honesty he was really happy to see his best friend happy about something.
"Oh, and Neil gave me his card for us to get new outfits for this. So we've got to get the mall with Jazz after school to find something…" Sam and Tucker groaned at Danny as he ran off to throw their lunches away.
"I get that he doesn't want to go alone with Jazz, but did he really have to drag us into it?" Sam cried. Tucker sighed.
"I guess so." They were quiet as they watched Danny race back over them, dodging random pieces of food and other object that would be thrown his way courtesy of the various jocks that found it fun to pick on the freshman.
Once Danny sat down between the two again, they began to look through the sketchbook. While Danny always let them see all the sketches, they didn't want to look without him there just in case he didn't want them to see one. Some respect was due for something Danny was already so shy about.
None of them notice to Maddie sneaking up behind them. She just stood there observing them.
Contrary to popular belief, Maddie Fenton wasn't oblivious. Sure, sometimes she would get a little caught up in her work to notice at times, but she still saw. Like right now, she noticed how far Danny and his friends were from everyone else in the school yard. There was a good ten to fifteen feet between the trio and the other kids. She had learned that Danny often had troubles with bullies after a conference with Mr. Lancer and wondered if that was why Danny's grades were slipping.
It would explain a lot of things. The bruises, the lack of sleep, the dread at going to school, the sleeping in class, the leaving class suddenly, the missing homework, all of it. At first, Maddie had reasoned that if there was something big like that going on in Danny's life, he would come to her, but now she wasn't so sure. What happened to the little boy that would come to her with anything that was on his mind?
"That's the third time this week." Tuck exclaimed cryptically, or at least to Maddie it was. Sam and Danny just sighed and stared down at a pear that Danny had brought Sam over. Was there something wrong with the pear? Maddie's eyes widened. Did a ghost touch it? She shook her head. She needed to focus more on her son right now.
As they flipped through the—now confirmed—sketchbook, Maddie was vaguely impressed with her son's abilities. Some of them were strange and random, like the one of the little girl that looked a lot like Danny, or a floating field of Blood blossoms, but they were all really pretty.
Maddie couldn't see their faces, but with how Danny was leaning heavily against Tucker, she guessed he was starting to fall asleep as Sam and Tucker silently flipped through, pointing out different details to one another.
"You can come out at any moment, you know!" Danny suddenly called out, sitting up straight. Maddie's eyes widened. She barely made a noise! How did Danny know she was there? Slowly she stepped out from behind the tree and walked in front of her son, who looked a bit surprised, but a lot angry.
"Why were you spying on us?" He demanded as he shoved the sketchbook back into his backpack.
"I was just wondering what you three were doing." She tried to lie. She could tell that none of them actually believed her and was ready to come up with a better lie when they just dropped it. Since when did teenagers do that?
"Shouldn't you be talking to Mr. Lancer about this ill thought-out plan for us to visit the ghost zone?" He asked sharply. Maddie was a bit taken aback by his tone, but then again he did just catch her spying on him.
"Your father is taking care of it. I actually got lost looking for the room and decided to come out here to see if I could find you or your sister." Danny rolled his eyes.
"Jazz eats lunch in the library with her friends." He mumbled as he got up before turning and pulling Sam and Tuck up.
"We'll take you to Mr. Lancer's. It's almost time for the bell to ring and this way we'll be able to beat most of the crowd." Sam told her as she grabbed her spider backpack before Tuck quickly jumped up in the tree and tied the blanket they had been sitting in on one of the tree branches. He jumped down easily and grabbed his bookbag out of Danny's hands.
Maddie just watched this all, taking everything in as Danny stole Sam's pear and took a bite, a bit of juice running down his chin. Just as Maddie was about to step forward and wipe it off Tucker handed Danny a napkin and joked about him being a messy eater.
"This is coming from the slob master." Danny had teased back Tucker just pushed him into Sam before stealing his own bite of the pear. Sam rolled her eyes before snatching her pear back, taking a bite and throwing it into the garbage can as they passed, all in one fluid motion.
"I'm the one that actually wanted the pear, not you two." She grumbled goodheartedly as Danny just wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close.
"Yeah, and it's not like we don't share our cravings or anything." He teased as Tucker sneakily took a picture of the two.
"Trust me, I know. If I get another craving for the putrid triple stack bacon kind burger from Nasty Burger one more time I'm ripping Sandra piece by piece." Tucker yelped and held his PDA close to his chest.
"Hey, it's not like it's my craving." Tucker cried indignantly.
"Actually, Sam, I think that's yours. Have you been taking your iron like you're supposed to? You know if you don't take it, you start craving meat." Sam glanced around nervously.
"Me? Of course I've been taking my iron every day like I'm supposed to." Danny frowned before fishing around his bookbag as they walked along the halls, Maddie trailing behind them. They stopped when they reached a locker and Tucker opened it. Maddie thought it was Tucker's at first, but if the rocket ships were anything to go by, it was definitely her son's.
Danny handed Tucker a couple of books before reaching back into her bookbag and pulling out a bottle of pills and an energy drink.
"You can either grab my wallet and get yourself a soda, or drink this. No matter what, you're taking that iron." Danny instructed as he got into his locker, Tucker was busy opening his. Sam muttered something under her breath about Danny bossing her around before pulling out a pill and opening the drink.
"This thing smells horrible." She complained. Danny shrugged.
"It tastes horrible too, but it wakes me up." Tucker snorted.
"Dude, a cookie gives you a sugar rush." Danny rolled his eyes before pulling a worn out black binder out and stuffed it into bag before closing his locker.
Maddie watched as Sam quickly took the iron supplement and handing the drink back to Danny, who capped it and stuffed it back in his bag before pulling his wallet out of his pocket, the chain that it was hooked to rattle against his jeans.
"Do you want a drink, mom?" Danny asked as he walked across the hall to a vending machine that two teens were heavily making-out on. Maddie made a face at them before nodded.
"That would be nice, sweetie." He nodded before shoving the couple—Jake and Lana he said—off of the vending machine and teased them to get a room.
"Normally I wouldn't condone it, for we all know Lana is blinded by Jake's alleged charming personality, but you two seriously need to stop before you do something none of us want to see." Maddie watched as Jake just shook his head with a smile while Lana stuck her tongue out.
"Wait till you and Danny stop being so oblivious, I bet you two won't be able to keep your hands off one another. Heck, you already have a hard time right now and you aren't even dating!" Lana called back, smirking when Danny and Sam blushed and stepped away from one another.
"We aren't into each other!" Sam complained as Danny got Sam and Maddie drinks. Tucker had just stolen one of the energy drink s from Danny's backpack and the two boys were splitting it.
"So is this your mother?" Lana asked suddenly as they all began walking to the science lab. Danny nodded and looked back at Maddie.
"Lana, Jake this is Dr. Mrs. Maddie Fenton, mom this is Jake and Lana. I've known them since before Sam." Maddie's eyes widened. Danny didn't talk much about the times before Sam. Granted he met Sam in the middle of first grade, the years before that was hell for Danny who was constantly teased for what his parents did and who his sister was.
"Yeah, and they've pretty much been inseparable since they pre k." Danny mumbled as everyone's minds crept back to a time before Sam. Sure, Tuck and Sam hadn't really been there the first time it happened, but during one of their fights against another ghost, they had been sucked into his memories of when he was only in kindergarten and they were horrified that even the teacher treated Danny like he was beneath them all. Tucker and Sam had been thoroughly disgusted at the school, but knew there wasn't anything they could do about it now.
But they all three did volunteer to read to the younger kids whenever they had the chance.
"They're rumored to be the ones that will win 'Most likely to stay together after high school.'" Sam teased as she unconsciously took a step closer to a quiet Danny.
"Just like you and Danny have been given the title 'Cutest non-couple couple.' since middle school." Jake shot back as he held Lana tight.
"Well, here we are!" Tucker called out, skipping ahead to where Mr. Lancer and Jack were talking.
"We'll see you in a bit." Lana called as Jake tugged her out by her hand, an impish grin on his face. Maddie frowned.
"Shouldn't we do something? I know you children think it's okay, but if they aren't using protection—" Maddie was cut off by Danny's embarrassed groan.
"Mom, chill. Jake and Lana are some of the most responsible people we know. Jake is the result of a—ah, rape and Lana is the result of an unwanted teenage pregnancy that was dropped off at the first doorstep available. They're also the presidents of the celibacy club and are often preaching abstinence." Maddie felt a bit better.
"They just like to mess with teachers and other adults that they're messing around, just to ruffle their feathers." Maddie didn't like that.
"They're good people, Mrs. F." Sam murmured as they all took their seat in the front of the room. The three of them shared a lab together so it was easy for them to get done with projects quickly and for Danny to get a quick nap in. "We don't consider each other friends, but they're some of the only pure hearts left in this school." Danny nodded as he leaned back in his chair.
"They're what we call neutrals in this school. They aren't at the bottom of the food chain of the social hierarchy but they aren't near the top either. They're overall liked and aren't messed with." Maddie was learning more about her son and his friends than she had since he was six! Maddie opened his mouth to ask something else when the bell rang, signifying lunch was over. Lancer called Maddie over to help discuss the trip, leaving the trio be.
"So how is this going to work for us?" Tuck asked Danny as they sat at their desk. Maddie had just left them and they were now stuck trying to figure things out.
"We'll have to pack some gear, I'm the last ditch effort. Other than that, there isn't much we can do. Tucker, you'll have to make sure you have the map downloaded on Sandra and each of us need to bring our thermoses along with the phones." Tuck and Sam nodded, serious expressions on their faces as Danny doled out his instructions.
Sam and Tucker had thought it was amusing at first how easily Danny could fall into the role as the leader, but it was times like this when they were grateful. If it wasn't for Danny's often quick thinking, they probably wouldn't be here today.
"With any luck, we'll stay clear away from Walker's prison and stay in neutral territory." Sam nodded.
"I'll bring the anti-creep stick you have me constantly carry around." Danny nodded. It wasn't much like the baseball bat, though. Danny suggested they made a creep-stick the retracted. It was a lot like a light saber for ghosts, but also turned into a metal stick for defending against human attackers. It was simple and small enough for Sam to strap to her thigh and keep with her at all times. It made Danny feel a bit safe when she had it.
"Good, you've gotten pretty awesome at is. Bring some of those specter reflectors as well. If worse comes to worse, we'll attach them to some of the students so it'll be harder for the ghosts to touch them." Tucker liked that idea.
"We should bring the ghost fisher along with the Jack O' nine tails." Tucker added. Danny nodded, figuring out where they would place everything in each of their backpacks.
"And the boo-merang just in case we lose Danny." Sam suggested.
"That thing is still locked onto me." Sam just giggled and pawed at Danny's unruly hair. Danny just stuck his tongue out before messing his hair up even more.
"Wrist rays as well, dude." Danny nodded.
"I think we should be good with all of that." Sam and Tucker agreed, hoping they were right.
"Alright, so the trip will be Saturday around two. This counts as a grade so attendance is mandatory." Danny walked back in from his 'bathroom break' as Mr. Lancer finished his lecture on proper safety during the trip. Sam and Tucker looked amused; causing Danny to guess he did have a clue what he was talking about.
"Who was it?" Sam whispered as Danny sat down close to her. Tucker subtly leaned closer to him to listen in as he played on his PDA. They already knew more about the safety measures than the adults knew.
"Just the box ghost, but the lunch lady surprised me and smacked me upside the head with her spatula." Danny rested his head gently on the table. He was nursing a serious headache right now. Sam began weaving her fingers through Danny's hair as Maddie and Jack continued to answer any questions the students had.
"Danny!" Maddie's sharp voice rang out, causing the teen to jump up from his mid slumber and almost fall out of his seat. Fortunately with Sam and Tuck on either side of him, he was able to stay in his chair.
"Yes, mother?" He asked blearily. Sam frowned. He was acting like he had a concussion. Fortunately those only lasted about an hour before passing on.
"Are you okay, sweetie?" Danny scowled at the nickname but nodded.
"M'm just tird." He slurred out. Tuck pulled the energy drink off the table and handed Danny the liquid.
"You went to bed early last night." Jack stated in usual confusion. Sam sighed.
"We were skyping most of the night. He needed help on a paper due and I wanted to go over the notes with him. We were up pretty late." Sam covered for him. Someone in the back snickered.
"Yeah, notes. I bet that's not all they went over last night." Sam was barely able to keep Danny from turning around and flashing his eyes at the jock in the back. The last thing they needed was for Danny's temper to get the best of him while his parents were there.
"Excuse you." Maddie hissed out. Mr. Lancer began writing out two detention slips.
"Daniel, you have detention for sleeping in class, and Gillian you have detention for inappropriate attitude in class." Lancer watched Danny close as he just closed his eyes for a moment before sighing and taking the pink slip.
"Okay, Mr. Lancer." He said softly as he slumped lower in his seat as both his parents sent him disapproving glares.
Sam rubbed his back gently as Tuck placed a hand no his shoulder.
For some reason Lancer felt horrible for dishing out a deserved detention. Every other teacher seemed to enjoy giving Daniel these pink slips, but as Lancer observed Danny's sullen face and the looks of sympathy his friends gave him, Lancer got the feeling he was missing something.
But what could it be?
Danny sighed as he leaned against his locker while Sam and Tucker finished getting everything they needed out of their lockers.
"Did you see the looks my parents were giving me?" Danny whispered, looking down at his shoes. "They looked so disappointed and ashamed of me." Jack froze as he walked past his son, unknowing to the trio. He quickly ducked over to the side of the lockers and tried his hardest to listen in.
"Dude, they aren't ashamed or disappointed in you!" Tuck cried out, turning to face his best friend.
"Sure, they might be a little angry at you, but I'm pretty sure they'll be over it by the time a new invention pops into their mind." Jack frowned when Danny just sighed and ran his hand through his hair. He actually looked upset that he got in trouble today.
"No, they won't get over it. Sure, they'll forget about it when a new idea comes to them, but not because their anger will pass. Just like with anything else in my life, they'll just shove it to the side and get to it whenever they find it convenient." Jack's eyebrows bunched up together. Was that really how Danny felt?
"I know I should be thankful for that, all things considered, but it still hurts at times that they always, always push me to the side." Danny paused. "Aw, man. Look at me complaining again. I'm sorry guys." Jack watched as Sam frowned and looked over at Danny.
"Why should you apologize? With everything you do for this ungrateful town, I would like to think that a little complaining is allowed." Danny shook his head.
"No, it isn't. Your parents are rarely there and here I am complaining about mine. And you guys keep getting dragged into my problems and it affects your guys' lives too much." Sam moved in front of him and stood directly under him. It was the first time Jack really noticed how tall his son was getting. He was almost a head taller than Sam already and he was still fifteen!
Sam pushed her forehead against his gently and stared into his sullen eyes.
"You listen to me, and you listen to me well Fenton." Sam hissed out, causing Jack's eyes to widen. Tuck just snapped a picture of the two before leaning against his locker and watching them. He knew Sam would be able to handle their depressed friend better than he ever could.
"Don't you dare start blaming yourself for all this crap." She ground out. "You have to deal with so much more than me and Tucker. I wish there was more of a way for me—for us—to help you, but we can only do as much as you'll let us. We are the ones that decided to get into this; you did not drag us anywhere." Tucker was nodding along the entire time.
"I know you feel as though you're to blame for us having to deal with what we do, but it was our decision to do this, not yours. So you don't get to blame yourself anymore for this. We both love you very much and will be here no matter what happens with your parents." Tucker added, stepping closer to his best friends. Danny looked between them both before sighing and nodded.
"I love you guys too, you know that right?" Tucker snorted and pulled the two into a huge group hug.
"Of course we do man." Sam nodded.
"Just remember we love you too, dofus." He nodded before swinging an arm around each other their shoulders.
"Come on, I'll walk you out. I still have that detention to serve for Lancer." Each of his friends threw an arm around his waist before they walked down the empty halls in sync. Jack Fenton stepped out from behind the lockers with a somber face.
How was it that Danny hurt and his own parents didn't notice? It didn't make any sense? Hadn't they given him enough love and attention? Jack walked over to Lancer's office where his wife and Danny's teacher were waiting for the two Fenton men.
Maddie wanted to lecture and yell at Danny before she and Jack left to go out on a date, but now Jack felt guilty. Maybe there was more happening in Danny's life than he was letting on. Jack snorted. That was a given, but he just didn't know what it was. Once he got to the office, Jack beckoned his beautiful wife over before convincing her to leave earlier, that they could deal with Danny later and just let him deal with the detention for now.
Once they had reached the doors for outside, Jack watched from the corner of his eyes as Danny ran past them and towards Lancer's, though Jack knew Danny had recognized them. Danny had spun around for a moment to look at the two supposedly unsuspecting parents with a look full of so much regret and sadness, Jack wasn't able to wipe that from his memory.
There was something big going on in Danny's life, that much was for sure. But as to what it was, Jack had a feeling he wasn't going to know anytime soon. But one thing was for sure, Jack deduced he would try and let up a little on his son. After seeing how Danny really felt, Jack just couldn't justify his past actions.
The one thing Jack knew for certain was that he did love his son, and he was determined as hell that he was going to mend their relationship.
As Danny shuffled out of the school after another silent detention, he almost jumped into attack mode when he felt three pairs of arms wrap around him. Quickly recognizing that it was just his friends and sister, he had relaxed his tense stance and allowed himself to be hugged.
"I honestly hope you three did not wait after school for me." He grumbled once they let go. Noticing the guilty look on his sister's face and the too-innocent grins on his friends' he knew they had. He groaned.
"You guys can honestly do something without me, you know!" Tucker nodded and shrugged.
"Would it make you feel better if we said we had taken the time to finish our homework and go over some study guides?" Sam suggested. Danny smiled in relief. Lancer stood by the door unnoticed as the four stood at the front of the school talking.
"That's good, so did I. Fortunately Lancer let me turn it in early so I won't have to worry about anything happening to it between now and tomorrow." Tuck looked up from his PDA.
"Dude, maybe you can explain to me why we have to learn about the civil war." Lancer blinked. Well that's an interesting note. Danny just stared while Jazz just groaned.
"I tried to explain to him that The Civil War is the central event in America's historical consciousness. While the Revolution of 1776-1783 created the United States, the Civil War of 1861-1865 determined what—" Danny cut his sister off by raising his hand, palm out. He had a lazy smile on his face.
"And, let me guess, Sam just bashed her head off the wall while you tried to explain this to Tuck, right?" Jazz nodded with a blush. Danny turned to his male best friend with a slightly amused expression. Tuck just looked expectant.
"Tuck, we have to learn about the civil war because it helped this country become what it is. It helped us get past the prejudice against your race, understood?" Tucker looked contemplative.
"So, like how most of the country is against same-sex marriage? Is it like the way people treat the LGBT community like they're second class citizen compared to any heterosexual individual?" Danny smiled proudly.
"But on an even more upscale battle. Fortunately for us, there hasn't been any war to come from this battle for LGBT rights, but in fifty years when same-sex marriage and all the rights that go with it, are legal cross-country our kids and grandkids will be reading about it in history class." Jazz groaned.
"How was it so easy for you to explain it to him, but when I pretty much said the same thing, he zoned out?" She cried out. Suddenly Danny glanced back at the teacher with an inquiring look for so short a time, Lancer believed he had missed it before answering his sister.
"Because, Spazz, you needed to simplify it to our level. We may be able to explain something at a more complicated and complex level, but a simple layout of anything will help us comprehend it and make it where we can draw our own connections and build on from there." Lancer blinked as Jazz pulled her younger brother into a sideways hug with a sigh as they turned to mall.
"Aren't I supposed to be the one teaching you things, not the other way around?" Whatever Danny said in reply was lost to Lancer's ears as they walked around the corner of the block. Lancer stared over at the empty spot for a while. He didn't break from his trance until a loud clap of thunder sounded overhead. He jumped when rain began to tumble from the sky and pelt him. Looking around, Lancer noticed that he must have stood there like an idiot for well over twenty minutes!
Racing to his car, Lancer couldn't get his mind off of his students.
He had remembered getting frustrated just earlier today when one of the kids hadn't understood the lecture he had been reciting that the teacher had kicked him out in irritation, believing the student had just been messing with him. Was this Danny's subtle way of trying to make him understand that maybe, just maybe, Lancer had been wrong?
'You need to simplify it to our level.' Lancer sighed as he stared out at the rain from his car window.
'A simple layout of anything will help us comprehend it.' Lancer groaned. Sometimes he forgot these children were still that, children! Here he was trying to explain something in a manner he wasn't introduced to well into the eleventh grade! Of course the kid didn't understand! He highly doubted many of the students had understood much of what he was talking about.
"Make it where we can draw our own connections and build on from there." Lancer mumbled along with Danny's echo.
"Daniel Julian Fenton." Lancer spoke to nothing in particular as he just stared down at the steering wheel. "When did you become such an enigma?"
"Great." Danny suddenly murmured as he sat in the dressing room with Tucker as Sam and Jazz tried on multiple dresses. Tucker looked up from his PDA long enough to take in Danny' s annoyed expression before gluing his eyes back down on Sharon.
"Dude, I told you they'd take forever." He mumbled as he killed another zombie. Fortunately he had convinced everyone to stop at Game Stop long enough for him to buy the newest Zombie Exterminator game before the two boys were dragged to womanly store after womanly store. Their next stop was new tuxes for both Danny and Tucker after their last ones got shredded to bits bye a ghost a couple of weeks ago.
"No, it's not that." Danny grumbled with a grimaced. "I would have even taken a ghost over this." Tuck scrunched his eyebrows at Danny's attitude.
"It's storming." He finally stated, staring up from his game, letting his character get killed by an onslaught of Zombies. His best friend was more important at the moment, anyways. Danny crossed his arms and nodded, refusing to look at Tuck.
"Quit that, dude." Tuck said as he purposely stared down at his game. "Just because a storm bothers you, does not mean you've got to go and get embarrassed by it." Danny just turned his head down, letting the bangs fall in front of his face. He hated it, but Danny was rather unsettled by thunderstorms. He wasn't afraid of them—that was Sam— but ever since he began getting hunted by ghosts, storms made him extra jumpy and paranoid.
"They just make me paranoid, you know Sam's the one afraid of thunderstorms and now she's going to have a heart attack once we get out of the mall." Tuck sighed and nodded.
"And with your parents already mad at you tonight, there's no way you're going to be able to get away with either staying at Sam's or Sam staying with you." Danny shrugged and stared ahead to where the changing rooms were. Tucker blinked as he tried to figure something out. Suddenly, he sat up straighter.
"I got it!" He exclaimed quietly. Danny's head whipped over to him for a moment, his head tilting adorably to the side like a puppy in silent wonder.
"Just have Jazz invite her over. They can tell your parents that Sam has to go to some dance because of her parents and needs Jazz's help because her parents are forcing her to be girly! It'll be the perfect cover-up." Danny raised his eyebrow with a small grin.
"Did I ever tell you that sometimes, you've got some good ideas?" Tuck grinned back before picking up his forgotten game with a simple shrug.
"Just admit it, you know I'm awesome." That drew a quiet chuckle from Danny's lips.
"If Sam and Jazz agree to it, but we'll ask them once we are in the food court, just in case the storm eases up." Tucker nodded before getting fully absorbed in his game.
Danny looked back over to the dressing rooms just as Sam and Jazz were opening their door. Danny smiled at their choices before elbowing Tucker to get his attention. He quickly paused his game before looking up and giving the girls a low wolf-whistle. They both blush, but grinned in satisfaction.
Sam was in a strapless black dress with a sweetheart neckline and a skirt that reached just past her knees with a smooth, silk, blue ribbon tied around her waist. She had a pair of simple flats on and her hair pulled up into a messy bun to keep it out of the way while she was trying on dresses.
Jazz had a complementary one-strapped white dress that reached mid-thigh that showed off her long, tan legs and had a thin emerald green ribbon that crisscrossed over her midsection. She had on a pair of shiny silver heals that gave her even more height than she already had.
"You two look wonderful." Danny complimented as they both stood up. Both Jazz and Sam spun in a rather girl manor to give the two friends a full view.
"Your legs definitely look stellar in those." Sam complimented Jazz as they both stood in front of the mirror, Danny and Tucker on either side of them.
"Oh, don't you two look gorgeous!" The four friends spun around to see one of the store employees standing behind them with tears in her eyes.
"What's the special occasion? I don't think there is any school event coming up—" Danny smiled over at her sweetly, causing the older woman to almost melt.
"No, ma'am, there isn't. Mine and Jazz's" He pointed to Jazz. "Uncle is throwing a dinner party and invited us all so here we are getting these two new dresses before heading off." Danny kept it simple and sweet. Sam watched in amusement as the woman smiled and nodded.
"Are these the outfits you've chosen?" She asked instantly, already going back into professional mode. Sam and Jazz looked at each other and nodded.
"Wonderful! If you wish I can show you some wonderful accessories that would go wonderfully with—" Sam cut her off.
"Oh, we've already gotten the jewelry covered." Jazz nodded in agreement. For their birthday presents, Danny had gotten them each a ring and a locket. Those, plus the Fenton phones, were the only accessories Jazz and Sam could bring themselves to ever wear.
"Oh, then are you two ready to check out?" They both looked over at Danny, who nodded. They quickly got dressed before heading over to the counter where Danny and the employee were flirting. Or rather, Danny was talking obliviously while the lady—in her mid-twenties—was trying desperately to flirt with the fifteen year old.
Once each girl stepped close to him, the lady produced an air of profession and quickly rung them up. Danny quickly paid and smiled as the card was accepted, silently thanking Neil for allowing them to get new outfits. Once the clothes were bagged, Danny took the bags and escorted the women, Tucker following behind like an obedient puppy after his masters, his eyes never leaving his game.
"So now that we have our outfits, how does a bite to eat at the Nasty Burger sound to you?" Sam asked as she skipped ahead while the others watched on in amusement. They had been able to quickly get their tuxes with only one interruption from Desiree before they were able to complete their purchase. Danny had quickly dealt with it before they had paid for their tuxes and booked it out of there before people got over their shock.
Danny frowned and shared a look with Tucker before stopping.
"How about we just get something from the food court?" Danny suggested. "I'm really craving some Chinese." Sam frowned. She hadn't gotten any cravings for him. She blinked and stood staring at him. In fact, she hadn't felt much at all from him over their link. Shopping had distracted her from the link she shared with Danny.
Now that she was focusing on the link she could tell that he was purposely blocking it. Without being able to tell through their link what was going on, she decided to look at his body language. After being his friend for almost a decade, she knew what to look for.
He was still, too still. He was hiding something from her that he knew she would pick up through the link.
"Danny." She stated simply, staring over at her best friend and secret love. "What are you hiding from me?" She demanded. Jazz looked between the two clueless while Tucker just stepped away. Danny sighed and looked out towards the doors.
Sam followed his eyes and jumped when there was a sudden flash outside. Her eyes widened. Thunderstorms were her biggest fear. She knew it was irrational to be so afraid of a storm, but it didn't stop her from flying over to Danny and standing close to him.
"You know what? Chinese sounds really good to me too." She yelped before dragging Danny away from the doors and towards the center of the mall where there weren't any windows anywhere near.
"Calm down Sam." Danny murmured as he sat down close to Sam, Tucker and Jazz sitting across from them at the booth. Danny placed the bags between the wall and Sam before pulling her close to him. She snuggled close and buried her face into his neck. Tucker grinned at Jazz before snapping a picture.
"What do you guys want?" Jazz asked, pulling Tuck up by his ear to give the two some peace.
"General Tso's for me and a vegetable medley for Sam." Danny said as he pulled his backpack onto the table and leafed around for his sketchbook and pencils.
"Is she going to be okay?" Jazz asked once she and Tucker were out of earshot—or so they thought. Sometimes they forgot that Danny had hypersensitive hearing.
"Yeah, she'll be fine in a bit. Danny is good at taking care of her. But there is something I need to ask you. If we were to ask you in front of Sam, she'd go defensive and get mad at us." Jazz stood in line while Tucker eyed the two warily.
"What do you need?" She asked hesitantly.
"We need you to convince your parents to let Sam stay the night with you guys so she and Danny can stay together tonight. Usually he'd stay at hers but because of the detention he got today, we know your mom and dad won't let him leave. He'll be in enough trouble for coming here instead of going straight home." Jazz was silent as they reached the front and ordered their dinners, quickly relaying Sam and Danny's orders.
"What do you and Danny have in mind?" She finally asked. While she didn't like lying to her parents, she also understood that they would never understand Sam needing Danny at the moment.
"Sam's parents are forcing her to go to a party and she's asking for your help to be 'girly' at it because they're threatening to send her to an all girls' catholic school." Tucker relayed as they paid for their meals.
"Okay, I'll do it, but first we have to figure out how to tell Sam we're doing this." Tuck nodded.
They began walking back to the two friends silently.
"Fine, I'll do it." Sam said as soon as they sat down. Jazz and Tucker blinked before swiveling their heads towards Danny.
"Danny told me the plan for me to stay at his and I'm saying I'll do it." Sam crossed her arms and leaned closely to Danny, shivering as she continued to throw nervous glances towards the exits.
"Okay, that went over better than I anticipated." Tucker said simply before chowing down, stuffing his face full of food. Sam daintily picked at her vegetable medley as Danny stirred his chicken with his rice before taking a bit.
Everyone was silent for a while before Danny sighed and placed his fork on his plate.
"The storm isn't going to let up, but I can fly you all to my house." Danny stated before taking a sip of his soda.
"I'm pretty sure if mom and dad see how bad it is outside, they'll allow Sam and Tucker to stay." Jazz reasoned as Tucker and Sam looked uncomfortable. Sam did not like the idea of flying out in the rain.
"We'll be intangible and invisible so no one will be able to see us and the storm won't be able to touch us." Sam nodded as everyone finished their food.
"We should head out soon." Tuck piped up as he looked down at his watch. Danny picked up all of the bags. Sam wrapped an arm around his waist while Tucker walked close on her other side and Jazz on Danny's other side. Once they ducked out of sight, Danny grabbed ahold of everyone before going ghost and flying off.
Sam kept her eyes closed the entire time and focused on the calm emotions Danny was trying to send her way. While they had helped her some, she kept her hold on both Tucker and Danny tight until they were safely in Sam's room.
Danny placed their bags onto Sam's bed and picked up Sam's pet panther Chasta. For her fifteenth birthday her grandmother had decided that she needed a guard animal for when she was alone in the house. So she had picked out Sam's favorite animal and presented her granddaughter with is during brunch with Danny and Tucker one day.
The young Black Panther cub had obviously just been weaned from her mother and was terrified of her surroundings. Her grandmother had informed them that they had been rescued from abusive black market sellers that were raising them for their pelts.
Chasta hadn't been too enthralled with Sam or Tuck at first. In fact, she tried to attack Tucker as soon as she noticed him. But Danny had seemed to be able to calm the panther down enough for Sam to take care of her. After naming her Chasta and bathing her, Danny and Sam had gotten the panther cub to trust them.
She didn't like Tuck or Jazz all that much, but adored the two raven haired teens. Jazz took ahold of the cub while Sam changed into a pair of jeans and a sweater Tucker vaguely recalled as his before gripping Danny and Tucker's waists with a nod.
Once they took off again, this time to Tucker's, Sam was acutely aware of Danny's slow heart beating in her ear. She closed her eyes tight and listened closely, drowning out the thunder and lightning that surrounded them.
She didn't dare open her eyes until they were all the way to Danny's house, in his room.
Once their feet touched the ground, Danny quickly changed back.
They quickly thundered down the stairs, relieved to see that the main floor was cleared. Jazz opened the basement and nodded when their parent's voices
"Mom, Dad, we're home!" Jazz called out loudly. "And Sam and Tucker are with us!" Everything was quiet for a moment before Maddie and Jack's footsteps sounded around the house.
"Hi guys!" Jack greeted his children with a grin. "There's pizza in the kitchen if you're hungry. We hadn't had the chance to go on our date like we wanted to because of the storm, but hopefully the storm will be gone by tomorrow and we'll just go then." Danny was acutely aware Maddie refused to look at him.
"Are you two staying tonight?" Maddie asked gently, staring at her son's friends. "The weather outside is horrid and I don't want to have to worry about you two catching a cold or anything." Sam and Tucker were quick to agree before Tuck dragged Danny and Sam into the kitchen for some pizza.
"You just ate, Tuck!" Sam had exclaimed but followed nonetheless with Jazz giggling as she headed up the stairs. Maddie and Jack slumped in the loveseat in their living room and stared over to their son and his friends.
When they got home after a silent ride, Jack had relayed the conversation to his wife as they sat in the dining room. They had both agreed that they would take it a bit easier on Danny, in fear they would alienate their son the more they pushed him to tell them. Maddie cocked her head to the side a rather loud clap of thunder caused Sam to jump and move close to Danny while his head whipped to stare out the window, his blue eyes narrowed.
Jack just smiled as Danny's hand found the small of Sam's back, his thumb brushing back and forth in a comforting manner. He bet Danny was completely unaware to his actions as he began to chatter with Tuck, who was gulping down his slice of pizza.
"There really isn't much we can do, is there?" Maddie whispered, turned to stare at her husband. Jack just sighed.
"We'll just have to be here for 'em." Danny sighed and tilted his ear towards his parents. He couldn't fully make out what his parents were saying due to the noise from the storm, but he didn't like what he could pick up.
"How does a movie night in my room sound?" Danny asked as he handed Sam a drink before picking up one each for him and Tuck. They both nodded before heading up the stairs, Tucker snatching another piece of pizza before racing after his best friends.
Jack and Maddie heard as Danny yelled for Jazz to join them before he closed his door. After that, their voices were muffled.
"At least Jazz and Danny are closer." Jack prompted, trying to find the silver lining in the problem.
Okay, I know that I just threw you a curve-ball of crazy information, but please bare this in mind. I'm writing this for no one's pleasure but mine. Sure, I'll graciously accept ideas thrown my way, but this is my story. I understand that the confusion of throwing in new people, new secrets, and new craziness can easily fry some people's minds, but I feel that anyone reading this author's note right now can handle it. For those who backpedaled out of this story faster than a knife fight in a phone booth, they are inconsequential.
Yes, I want people to like this story, but I'm also aware that not everyone takes too kindly to adding more mystery in confusion to young Danny's life. And I understand that some of it just sounds ridiculous to you guys, but I'd like to think that my story flows at a rather okay pace.
Reviews are welcomed, but flames are not necessary. If you don't like a story, keep your thoughts to yourself and leave the page, no one is making you read it. But for anyone who actually takes the time to write a review, I will try my best to reply to you as soon as I can. Fanfiction is still keeping me from being able to reply at the moment, but I am patiently waiting and thinking about my replies to all that review!