Valerie opens her eyes, and immediately regrets that decision. Her head aches as if someone is playing whack-a-Valerie with it, and the bright lights that somehow shine directly above her head aren't making it any better. Wait…. Bright lights? Valerie thinks confused. She's pretty sure she'd closed her curtains last night, after all, she always does. Maybe this time something had come in between?
She tries to think back to last night, only to be met with nothing. For some reason, someone had managed to efficiently clear any memory of last night. Even more confused now, the girl tries to remember further back. The last thing she distinctly remembers, she discovers, is the sound of her ghost detector blaring on her wrist. That was… Yesterday? Valerie isn't sure. Either way, it was at school. She had been sitting next to Danny, talking about some other trivial thing. When he had heard her alarm, he had looked at her questionably, but then he gasped. She'd sighed, and raised her hand to ask if she could go to the bathroom. And the teacher… She can't remember what the teacher had said, or who it had been for that matter.
Slightly disturbed Valerie decides that she really has to open her eyes, physical pain be damned. What she sees shocks her more than absence of her memories. She's lying on a bed, which on itself isn't that weird, but the room the bed's in is completely empty. The only other thing - no, is that a person? That is a person!
Valerie jumps up from the bed to run towards the figure lying on the ground, ignoring the shot of pain through her head. She's quick to recognize person. Not that it's hard, with his messy hair and skinny posture. The other figure in the room, for some reason, is Danny. But something about him is really off. She carefully turns him on his back, and gasps for air.
A nasty bruise shows just below his cheekbones, and there's a bloody wound running from his neck to underneath his shirt. His left arm is covered in dirt and there's a black, scorched patch on his right knee. 'And to think they've placed me on the bed!' she whispers, not wanting to wake him up. With all his injuries he should've been the one to lie on the soft bed, not on this cold hard metal floor! She'll find out who 'they' are later; she'll need to take care of Danny first.
Slowly she shoves her arms under his body, and lifts him up. A thought about how cold he feels, after laying on the floor, is interrupted when a burst of pain shoots through the back of her shoulder. Apparently she hasn't come out of whatever fight had put her here unscarred either. But she grimaces and lifts Danny further into the air. She can't just let her maybe-more-than-friend lay there, and definitely not now that he's this injured.
Danny's dropped on the bed more careless than Valerie'd liked, but the pain in her shoulder was getting too much to keep holding him any longer. A sigh escapes her mouth. Now Danny was on the bed. At least he would be a little warmer.
But what else could she do? It isn't like she has any first aid stuff with her at every given moment, and there is a good chance that whatever ghost – it had to be a ghost, who else would be interested in her and the son of two famous (though not very competent) ghost hunters? – would've taken it either way. Great. There was nothing to be done for Danny except to wait. Well, Valerie isn't going to just sit around waiting for him to wake up. The sooner she'll find an escape, the better.
Besides, though Danny was sweet, he would probably get more in the way if there was a ghost attacking, Valerie thinks. So she starts looking around.
The first thing that jumps in her sight is the giant digital clock that's built into one of the walls. '02:14' the numbers say. Would that mean that it's already a quarter past two AM? Then she's been out for at least… ten hours! Her father's going to be so worried… Yet another reason to get out of here as fast as possible.
The next thing that attracts her attention is the wall with a door as well as a window. Behind the window she can see another room, with a few unrecognizable shapes in it. It's hard to see, since the glass is coloured in an odd shade of green. She walks towards the door. Would it be this easy to just walk out? Then she notices that the door has no handle. Even though she knows better, she attempts to push the door open. Nope. It won't budge an inch.
She contemplates breaking the window, but decides against it- for now. She'd better discuss with Danny what to do before rushing into things, she admits to herself. After all they're both stuck on the same boat here. It would be unfair, not to mention stupid, to attempt to escape with him still lying here unconsciously.
So Valerie continues exploring every corner of the boring room. The only other thing she finds is a mysterious small door in the wall left to the one with the window, right to the one with the clock. The door is a square, built in at waist height, about 40 inches wide and 20 inches high. Valerie tries to push it open, but it won't move. Then she tries to get her fingers under the lid and pull it open, but the door fits in its place so well that the space is simply too small to get any grip.
Valerie's interrupted in her attempts by a groan behind her. She quickly turns around. On the bed, in the corner the furthest away from her, Danny's getting up slowly. He blinks at the lights, and raises a hand to his head. 'Aurgh, what a headache,' he mutters.
Then he seems to realize that the cold white walls aren't his familiar blue ones. 'Where am I?' he asks to himself. He looks around and only then sees Valerie standing in the corner. 'Valerie!' he calls out.
Forgetting about his headache, he jumps up from the bed and practically flies at her. He lays his hands on both her shoulders. 'Valerie. Do you have any idea where we are?'
'No,' she replies sadly, looking down. 'Oh,' is all he says. His arms drop back to his sides.
He turns around to face the rest of the room. After glancing around, his gaze rests on Valerie's face. Now he really notices the bruises around her neck and the cut on her forehead. 'No offense Val, but you look kinda terrible,' he says in an attempt to lighten the mood.
'Well, so do you,' she answers with a halfsmile. They smile for silent moment at each other, not sure what to do, before they both turn their gaze away to be alone with their own thoughts. Valerie's surprised with how well Danny's taking this. Apparently he's a bit tougher than she estimated him.
'What should I do,' Danny thinks to himself. He could of course go ghost and see if there was an intangible way out of here. But chances are there aren't (after all, whoever trapped him probably knows his secret), and in that case it'd be smarter to not show Valerie who he is. Then again, íf he can get them away just by flying through one teensy wall, it'd be stupid nót to.
He stuffs this problem away for later. For now, it is more important to know what or who he's up against. How did he get here anyway? The last thing he can remember is sitting in class, next to Valerie, when her ghost-alarm thingy sounded. She'd looked at him in shock –after all, he wasn't supposed to know of her double life- and then his own ghost sense went off. But he can't remember what he did after that. Or if he had done anything at all.
He walks to the other side of the room and sits down at the bed. 'So, I take it you've already looked through the room for an exit?'
'Yes,' Valerie says as she also sits down next to him. 'The door is locked from the outside, there's a clock here, and a weird door in the wall there,' she continues, gesturing at all things in order.
They don't have the chance to talk any more since at that moment the small door mechanically opens. Through the opening they can see the inside, probably another 40 or so inches deep, where another door closes the space. On the bottom of the box, two lonely envelops lie. One of them says 'Danny', while the other reads 'Valerie'.
The two teens both walk over to the spot. Valerie takes out the letters and hands Danny's one to him. Behind them the door shuts close again with a metalic clang. Danny opens his envelope. The ink on the paper is a weird, hot pink, almost painful to read against the stark white.
'Hello, Danny Phantom. What do you think of your room? I wouldn't think of trying to phase out; these walls here are all ghost-proof. Have fun!
a big fan.'
'What,' Danny whispers confused. He looks up from the paper to see Valerie still busy reading hers. 'And, what does your letter say?' he asks. No doubt she had also something personal, probably to do with her life as the Red Huntress.
She also looks up from the paper. 'Oh, uh, nothing,' she replies nervously. Then her eye falls on Danny's letter. 'Hey, yours is empty,' she says, her eyebrows arching high on her forehead. She yanks it out of Danny's head and holds it against the light.
There's some more text on the back of the paper, Danny realizes. He squints. 'P.S.: This letter is written in ecto-ink, only visible to ghosts. Wouldn't want to ruin your secret yet ;) '
'Oh, uh, weird,' he says a bit too loud to Valerie. She doesn't notice however. Danny quickly changes subject: 'And what did yours say then?'
Valerie contemplates what to tell Danny about her message. Someone had addressed her by her ghost-hunting pseudonym, which disturbs her more than she likes to admit. She thought she had kept her secret better than to have mysterious ghosts figure it out so easily. She looks at her letter again.
'Hey there Red Huntress! Bet you're wondering whatever ghost has locked you here, huh? Well have I got some good news for you! There is a way to get out of this place. Right now people are seeing you, and they can send you stuff you can use to escape! Isn't that great? It'll be in the same place you found this letter in.
Oh yeah, I disabled all the weapons in your suit. Just so you know ;P
Valerie blinks a few times. She'd forgotten Danny had asked her something.
'Oh, uh, mine says that we will get stuff to escape via that door to get out of here. So I guess that's pretty good..,' she answers hesitating.
Danny scans her face with his eyes. He'd like to read her letter too, knowing she's keeping information from him, but he can't just take it from her. 'Is there anything more?'
'It… also says that we're being watched by people outside this place, and that they're the ones that send us those things. I haven't seen any cameras in the room though.' At that comment Danny looks around the ceiling, but he doesn't spot any cameras either. Then he crouches.
'What are you doing?' Valerie asks, her head tilted to the side.
'Seeing if there are any cameras underneath the bed.'
'None.' He stands back up. 'I guess we have nothing to do but wait then.' They both walk back to the bed and let themselves drop on the mattress.
Valerie still contemplates trying to kick in the window, but maybe it'd be better to just wait to see what will be given to them. After all, if she gets harmed by kicking in the window, Danny will have nobody to protect him. And, seeing that he runs away at the slightest sight of a ghost, she knows he definitely can't protect himself.
Read this it is important:
Maybe you have guessed it already, but the people who send in objects? That's you guys. Leave a comment with the object, and as long as it fits within 40x20x40 inches (according to google at least that's one meter x half a meter x one meter) I'll try to fit it in as best as I can. You can also leave a letter to Valerie and Danny in ecto ink or whatever, go nuts! One thing though: Only one submission per person per chapter. This story won't progress unless you send them stuff, so... Please submit?
For my other readers: PfP is going to be updated next, the new chapter is in the works.