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Teen Titans Fan Fiction Lost and Found (Sequel to Haunted Destiny)

Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by Funkatron, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Funkatron

    Funkatron Active Member

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    New Year, new Story. Lost and found picks up where HD left off. I hope you enjoy this prologue:

    [FONT=&quot]Start of Volume 2[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Lost and Found Prologue[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]She finally had him.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Valerie Grey lay there, waiting patiently for her prey to show itself. Patience wasn’t one of the girl’s strong suits; she would rather just hit the ghost head on and be done with it. She was the ‘shoot first ask questions never’ type of hunter; but this prey was trickier than that. She was forced to try something different with him. She was forced to wait, to plan, to be patient. She had to work harder with this one, which would only make his capture all the more fruitful. After all, this was the ghost who had ruined her life: Phantom.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]She didn’t know why but things had changed abruptly with Phantom. The spook had become scarce, which simply annoyed her to no end. It wasn’t as if he wasn’t seen at all: whenever a ghost showed up, Phantom was there, supposedly protecting the citizens of Amity Park. Valerie couldn’t believe that the city bought into that lie. She wouldn’t have been surprised if Phantom had a deal with other ghosts to cause trouble, so that he could play hero. She wouldn’t believe that the ghost, any ghost, was there to protect the city. He was a menace to society, a pest that needed to be dealt with. And she was the exterminator.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The problem was that whenever he did show up, he didn’t stick around. By the time anyone else had shown up, he was already long gone. He’d take down whatever ghost he was fighting and disappear without a trace, and he got quite good at it, too. She hadn’t been able to even take a shot at him recently and she knew she wasn’t the only one: the Fentons, and even the Guys in White had a hard time keeping a tab on the elusive phantasm. It infuriated her. He was toying with the ghost hunters, making himself look like the hero while they looked like amateurs.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]With no other options in mind, Valerie was forced to be sneaky. Instead of attacking Phantom, she stood back, watching and waiting. She would stake out the most common places ghosts would attack, watching for any type of patterns in the ghost boy’s movements. It took many fruitless nights after work, either listening in on the police scanner for ghost sightings or doing research on what everyone knew (or thought they knew) on the specter. Finally she found something: a pattern. It wasn’t obvious to see at first but after going over the data, she found that Phantom had a definite patrol route: going from Casper High, to the Nasty Burger, to the hospital, and finally to FentonWorks. The last one made sense in a way: there was a ghost portal there. She found it ludicrous that the Fentons didn’t have better security: he practically lived with them as far as she knew. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]She finally decided where to stage her ambush. A block away from the Fenton household was an old, rundown building that was ready to be demolished in a few weeks. She used that as her base of operations, setting up for her encounter. She spent a couple of nights surveying the sky discretely, catching glimpses of Phantom here and there. The problem was that she needed two things: something to lure him and something to wear him down. The answer to both those questions would be a ghost. She hoped that she would catch Phantom off guard during one of his battles and would finally be able to enact her brand of justice.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Her time came. She was lucky that the one ghost she hoped would come did: Skulker. She considered him an enemy, but at the moment he was doing her a major favor. Last year, the ghost had captured both her and Phantom, forcing them to join forces as he hunted them down like wild animals. It was one of the few times she was stupid enough to trust Phantom; weeks later he ratted her out to her father about her ghost hunting hobby during the Ghost King incident. She knew Phantom and Skulker had a history and that any fight between them would be longer than usual, and would probably wear the spook down enough for her to spring her trap. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Skulker seemed to have the same idea as she did: he was scoping out the Fenton home, probably in hopes of capturing Phantom for himself. It didn’t seem to work, because moments after showing up, the guest of honor arrived, slamming into the mechanical hunter and sending him sprawling. The two circled each other and then the fight was on. As Valerie watched, waiting for her chance to enter the ring, she noticed a few things. First of which was that Phantom was good, really good. It had been months since she had crossed paths with him, but she could see the difference in the way he fought. He hit Skulker fast and hard, knocking him around like a rag doll at times. Valerie also noticed that the spook was noticeably silent. There was none of his usual witty banter, no wise cracks of any kind. Not even a smile graced his lips. His face was grim and determined as he swiftly beat Skulker before sucking him into a Fenton thermos.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Valerie wasn’t sure how to proceed; her plan was revolving around Skulker giving Phantom a run for his money. She was going to have a tougher time capturing him now. Then again, this was a rare opportunity. She was ready; she felt confident that she could take him down. Activating her rocket sled, the hunter launched herself in the air, heading straight for the ghost. Blasters appeared on her wrists as she took aim and fired, hoping to catch him off guard. It didn’t seem to work as Phantom dodged her first blast. He flew out of the way as she whizzed by him. She turned and faced him, a determined look showing behind her visor. Danny’s expression, once he realized who had attacked him, turned from grim to mildly annoyed.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“Oh. It’s you,” he said in a dull tone. Those three words seemed to have an effect on the hunter, igniting a fire in her gut. Her scowl darkened as she steadied her aim.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“The hell it’s me!” she hollered, “I’m here to take you out for good, spook!”[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“Do we have to do this now?” Phantom scoffed indifferently, souring Valerie’s mood further. Who the hell did he think he was, looking down on her like that? “I’m sorry, but can we do this later? I have to do another sweep of the city before midnight. I can’t play tonight, so go run on back home and let the big boys handle ghost hunting.” That did it; Phantom’s words were like a match in a room full of dynamite. The crimson hunter was practically fuming now, her temper rising with every waking moment.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“This isn’t a game, spook. Tonight is going to be your last!” And with that she charged, firing away as she advanced. To her surprise, the ghost dodged the first salvo, ascending lazily out of her reach. She followed suit, not backing down as she continued her assault.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“This is ridiculous,” Phantom commented, “I don’t have time for this. Just leave me alone and let me do my damn job!”[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“You mean pretending to be a hero so everyone will like you?” she jeered as she gave chase. Try as she might, she couldn’t even land a shot on him, “Fat chance. You’re no hero and I’m going to make the city see you as the fake you really are!” She noticed that Phantom seemed to waver at her remark, as if it really hit home. Her suspicions were confirmed when his eyes flashed with anger.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“Alright, fine,” he replied in a dark tone she’d never heard him use before, “You want to play? Let’s play.” Phantom suddenly stopped his retreat, facing his foe without any visible fear. Valerie stopped as well, a good distance away. They eyed each other, neither one backing down. Suddenly he shot like a bullet towards her. Valerie, not one to turn down a challenge, did the same, beginning their game of chicken, hundreds of feet above the city streets. Neither side showed signs of slowing down as the distance between them shrank at a dangerous pace. At the last possible moment, a well aimed green blast tore into her sled, sending her tumbling down to the ground. The girl screamed as she was now playing chicken with Mother Earth, and she was about to lose.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]She stopped with a jolt a mere few feet above a nearby roof top. She looked up to find that Phantom had saved her, a neutral look on his face. He then, just as quickly, let go, letting her drop the last few feet onto the ground with a thump. She growled under her breath as she got up, her pride bruised more than her body. She shot a glare towards Phantom, who landed a few feet in front of her.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“You dirty…” she began as fury took over and directed a kick to the ghost’s head. He dodged the kick, as well as countless others as Valerie put every karate move she knew to good use. Every miss just made her even angrier as she doubled her speed. She finally thought she had him cornered as his back hit a chimney. She pulled back confidently and swung with a good old fashioned haymaker. She was so engulfed in anger and vengeance that she forgot one detail: he was a ghost. Her punch sailed harmlessly through his head, landing instead on brick and mortar. She let out a hiss as the pain coursed up her arm. She turned around angrily, only to find Phantom’s fist, alive with ectoplasm, heading for her own head. She froze, forgetting about the pain, forgetting about her revenge. The only thing she could do was shut her eyes and wait for the impact.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]She heard a small explosion detonate next to her ear, as well as the crackle of energy. She opened her eyes and looked to find his fist embedded in the brick right next to her head. The scorched smell of ozone assaulted her even from inside her suit.. She turned back to Phantom and felt something she hadn’t felt in a long time: fear.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Valerie had never been afraid of ghosts, not really. Back when she was in the A-list at school, she ignored the weirdness the city was afflicted with. All she cared about was her status and her friends. Her father’s job at Axion Labs had assured both for her. That all changed when Phantom showed up and ruined it all. Even then, she wasn’t afraid; instead she wanted revenge. Valerie was always driven, something her father said she had in common with her mother before she died. She never gave up on a challenge. When she first took up karate, she was instantly singled out because she was one of the few girls in the class. While some of the other girls left, she stuck with it, eventually beating out most of the boys in the process. So when her social status was threatened by a white haired ghost, she didn’t run away. Instead, she faced it head on, choosing to hunt him down and make him pay.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Now was a different story. For the first time ever after meeting the ghost, she was actually scared of him. His eyes glowed menacingly at her, showing no emotion. He pulled his fist from the still smoking crater he had created next to Valerie’s head. She stared into those eyes, her mind racing. He could have easily done that to her head. When did he ever get this strong? Or was he always this strong?[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“You were right,” he simply stated. She blinked in confusion, unsure of what he meant, “This isn’t a game. That’s a fact I’m all too aware of. That’s why I’m only going to say this once: quit. Stop trying to be a ghost hunter. If you can’t beat me then you can’t cut it. An amateur like you is just going to get yourself killed. Just go back home where it’s safe.” Valerie didn’t move an inch, her eyes wide with terror. She didn’t even dare to breathe as she watched to see if he would do anything else. They stood like this for a moment before Phantom simply turned around and flew off, disappearing into the night.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The moment he left the scene, she collapsed onto her now wobbly knees, the fear bearing down on her shoulders. The mask of her suit receded as she gasped for air. Her stomach suddenly seized up as its contents resurfaced and she heaved upon the rooftop. Her eyes watered as sobs racked her body with fierce intensity…[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]APAPAPAPAPAPAPAPAPAPAP[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Valerie woke up with a start, her body covered in a cold sweat. It took her a few moments to catch her breath as she turned to look at the time: 10:30 pm. She had only been asleep for an hour. She cursed herself for having that blasted dream again. It had been a few months since she had last had it. The memories of that night six months ago still haunted her to this day. It was that night that she officially gave up ghost hunting.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Her father had been more than thrilled over the news. Ever since he found out about her extracurricular activities, he had been openly against her fighting ghosts. He had always leaned on the overprotective side: he had lost his wife all those years ago and wasn’t about to lose his only child as well. She had resorted many times in the past to sneaking out of the house, or simply doing it whenever her father had a late night on the job. When she told him that she wouldn’t ever do it again, he was thrilled, albeit apprehensive of why she had done so of her own free will. He knew more than anyone else how unshakable she was once she set her sights on something. She never told him, however, and he, to his credit, never pried. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]With her lust to hunt Phantom now suppressed, Valerie decided to focus on other things, mainly her part time job at the Nasty Burger. She used all the energy she would have used on hunting there, quickly going up the ranks of the restaurant till she became an assistant manager during the night shift. She worked hard and quite enjoyed it; though she couldn’t shake off the feeling she was missing something.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]She sat up and she hugged her knees up against her chest. She knew it would be a while before she could sleep again. Instead, she let her mind wander for the umpteenth time onto the past couple of weeks, more specifically, the revelation that she learned while she was held captive by ghosts: that Danny Fenton, the goofy boy she once dated, and Danny Phantom, the ghost she thought she had despised, were one and the same.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]She wondered how that even worked. How could someone be alive and be dead at the same time? And what exactly happened that made him that way in the first place? She had a hunch it was something his ghost obsessed parents did. Speaking of them, did they know all along? Was it some kind of experiment that they performed on him or was it an accident? How long did Sam and Tucker know? How could they even trust him? He was a ghost for Pete’s sake! Or was he?[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]She shook her head to clear out all the questions that popped up. She decided to focus on what she did know: of how a lot of what was weird about both Fenton and Phantom suddenly made sense. For example, how she had never seen both of them in the same place at the same time. Or how goofy he acted at times; Fenton also seemed to disappear whenever a ghost attack occurred. One of the biggest coincidences that explained it was the sudden mood shift in Danny that occurred a year ago. Right around then was when Phantom changed as well: he became scarce to everyone. Something must have happened to change them… him so dramatically.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]She was so confused. Valerie had so many conflicting images of him that she didn’t know who the real Danny was. Was he the goofy, loveable boy whom she had a crush on? Was he the ghost that seemingly ruined her life and social status? Was he the hero Sam and Tucker seemed to think he was? Or was he that thing she had met that night. She shivered as memories came flooding back. If he had been just plain evil or cunning like Skulker or the Ghost King, she could handle it. But what she saw in those eyes: there was no hatred or even contempt. They were just cold, almost dead. They still gave her the chills.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]She knew the only way to deal with this whole mess was to confront him face to face. The problem was that she wasn’t sure she was quite up to meeting him again after so long, not after knowing his secret. She didn’t know if she’d end up attacking him, or worse, break down into a blubbery mess. Neither prospects were what she had in mind, but she needed an explanation to all this confusion and was going to damn well get one… and soon.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]AN: A little short, but to the point. Welcome to my next story, the sequel to “Haunted Destiny”. This one is going to be a bit more ambitious, as I’ll be juggling a lot: multiple plot threads, a boat load of characters, both good guys and bad (especially the bad). Speaking of bad, my villains are OC’s, as were the Pyres, so I hope I get them fleshed out enough for you to enjoy. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]I had a lot of ideas of how to write the prologue. I ultimately chose to do a dream/flashback, depicting Danny back when he was in jerk mode (or as Tucker shall call it, when he was all emoed out). We see what happened to rough and tumble Valerie that made her quit ghost hunting. With Danny’s secret now blown, I wonder how’ll she react? Will she continue her grudge? Will they have a heart to heart and mend broken bridges. Will she deathly afraid of our hero? And how will she react when she finds out Danny and Raven are a couple? I wonder.[/FONT]
     
  2. Charles Chimag

    Charles Chimag I also find this amusing!

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    Welcome back! I think I'll enjoy this sequel. My guess that comes out of left field, misses the pitcher's mound completely, and ends up in right field, is that Valerie will set her sights on hunting Raven. Once a heart to heart has occurred and it is known the Titan and the ghost are a couple. Mwahahaha! I strike again with strange theories!
     
  3. KPTitan

    KPTitan The Doc is in...

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    Yes.....yes! I found ye! Mwhahaha!....:p The sequel, I mean.

    'Tis gonna be exciting...I wonder that instead of the DP team visiting Jump City that the TT team will visit Amity Park.

    Which reminds me, I better go finish typing my next chapter to my story....cheers!
     
  4. Funkatron

    Funkatron Active Member

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    Chapter 1

    Lost and Found Chapter 1: The More Things Stay the Same…

    Life was good.

    Danny was never a fan of using old clichés, but in this case he had to admit: life was good. If you had asked him only a few weeks ago how his life had been fairing, he would have told you otherwise. Before, he was in a perpetual state of angst and turmoil. He was never happy and the only satisfaction he got was from hunting ghosts, though even with that, it wasn’t as filling as he would have liked. He kept everyone, his family and friends, at arm’s length, in foolish attempt to protect them. All of that changed, however, when his parents took a job to track down ghosts in Jump City and took his sister and him along for the ride. It was then that he met the person that he could thank for his current, nearly euphoric state: Raven.

    The half ghost was currently in the Titan’s training room, doing a light workout. After two weeks or so of being bedridden after his last battle, he had finally been able to leave the medical bay… or rather, he had decided bust himself out. Truth be told, he felt restless being in bed twenty-four seven. He felt that every day he lost there was another day for him to get soft. Although he had changed recently and he wasn’t as obsessive as he was before, his reason for training was still there: Danny wanted to be at his best, so that he would be able to protect the best he could.

    He currently was working on the new punching bag the Titans had installed, re-enforced chain and all. The last one had suffered an ill fate, being viciously assaulted by Danny back when he was what Tucker referred to as his “emo” state. This time, however, he wasn’t beating it senselessly while he battled internal demons. Instead, he used it as a way to clear his head, which it often did. He thought about how much he had actually changed in only a few weeks time: he wasn’t depressing or gloomy (how Beast Boy described him) anymore, though he wasn’t the naive boy he used to be, either. He couldn’t necessarily go back to that; times had changed. He needed to be focused on his heroic duties yet at the same time, he knew now his true strength lay with his family and friends.

    Speaking of his friends, he thought about Sam and Tucker back in Amity Park. The two had called him nearly every day, providing him much needed support as he recuperated from his injuries. He was glad that he was able to patch up the friendship he nearly destroyed with his ignorance and stupidity. Both of his friends were worried about his injuries, Sam more so than Tucker, though she furiously denied it. Danny could tell though, as her voice always faltered slightly whenever he fell victim to a coughing fit (as a result of the strain of the massive ghostly wail he had used in the last battle). Tucker brought a refreshing lightheartedness that Danny had missed a great deal. They joked and kidded like it was the good old days, though Danny knew things weren’t necessarily the same. Speaking over the phone was one thing; meeting face to face when he headed back home would be another matter.

    Though his friends provided him with much encouragement, the one who helped him on the road to recovery the most was Raven. He audibly sighed as his thoughts went to the sorceress he was smitten with. Thanks to the damage she had sustained, she, too, was laid up in the medical bay along with Danny, providing much needed companionship for the halfa. The two used the time together to their advantage, getting to know one another. The budding couple was still reluctant to let the others know about their relationship, so whatever communication that did occur between them was done in secret. This, of course, was complicated by Jazz, who seemed to make it a hobby of teasing them. They eventually found a solution to peacefully converse: often times, the Titans found the two reading in silence; though in reality they were holding conversations via psychic link.

    “There you are,” a familiar voice called from the door way. Danny turned to find Raven, who entered the room as the doors swooshed shut behind her, “You know, you didn’t have to sneak out of the medical bay. We were going to discharge you today, anyway.”

    “I know,” Danny replied with a playful grin, “Just wanted to catch up with all the training I’ve missed while I was out of commission.” He noticed immediately the stern look that sprung from Raven’s face, “And no, I’m not overdoing it. I’m taking it easy, like you ordered, doc.”

    “Good,” she said in an approving manner, her expression softening. “I worked pretty hard at fixing you up. Don’t be in a hurry to get hurt again.”

    “And you do such good work, too,” Danny complimented as she finally reached him. Grinning, he bent down and kissed her full on the mouth. She responded by wrapping her arms around his neck, enjoying every moment. Their lips parted, both of them with a breathless look on their face. “The coast is clear, right?” Danny asked after clearing his head, “I mean, the last thing we need is Jazz interrupting us. Again.”

    “I’ve already suggested to you a solution to that problem,” Raven replied in subtly playful manner.

    “Somehow, I don’t think my parents would appreciate if their eldest daughter started clucking like a chicken,” Danny deadpanned, “Let’s keep that as our backup plan, though. Seeing my sister laying eggs would be fun to watch.”

    “I keep that spell memorized, just in case the boys act a little bit too rowdy in the tower,” Raven sardonically replied.

    “Speaking of the others,” he said, “Although the whole sneaking around thing is exciting and everything, you do realize we’re going to have to tell the others about us. It is only a matter of time that they find out, if they haven’t already.”

    “I know,” she replied as they held each other close, his arms around her. “Trust me, I know. I don’t think Starfire can last much longer keeping it to herself. Robin probably suspects, though I’m surprised that he hasn’t mentioned anything. Cyborg and Beast Boy are going to have a field day once they find out.”

    “They can’t be as bad as my sister,” Danny retorted.

    “Your sister, I can handle. Those two take teasing to a whole other level. They had a field day when Robin and Star finally got together.”

    “Still, we can’t keep this a secret forever,” Danny stated. Raven simply nodded in response. She looked like she was deep in thought on the matter. Suddenly, her face changed, as if she remembered to do something. Pulling away, she grabbed the halfa’s hand and began to drag him towards the door. “Hey! Where are we going?”

    “Just follow me,” she answered cryptically. She ended it there, failing to elaborate further. Danny simply shrugged while being led by Raven through the tower.

    JPJPJPJPJPJPJPJPJPJPJP

    “Good Morning, Jump City!” a cheery anchorman greeted, “This is Geoff Johns.”

    “And I’m Tara Strong,” his partner interjected, in an even more cheerful manner than him.

    “And welcome to ‘Jump City Today’,” they said in unison.

    “Here is what’s happening today,” Tara continued, “Much of Jump City is still recovering after a string of ghost attacks threatened the city. The attacks culminated in two weeks ago, as what appeared to be a large dimensional portal that blotted out much of the city sky.”

    “The plans of the ghosts in question, which still remain a mystery, were stopped by our own Teen Titans, with help from an unlikely source: the enigmatic ghost known as Danny Phantom,” the male announcer resumed. The scene changed on screen, as they showed a stock footage of Phantom in action. “The heroes were also helped by renowned ghost specialists Jack and Maddie Fenton from Amity Park, Oregon. Though there have not been any supernatural occurrences since the incident, the Fenton’s have decided stayed in Jump City at the moment to ensure there isn’t another outbreak.”

    “The damage sustained during the rampage of the spectral deviants was extensive, with much of the downtown area still in shambles. Work has already begun on the affected areas, though city officials have said that there would need to be extensions in the emergency budget. In other news…”

    The TV continued to drone on about the local news, though few commuters gave notice as they rushed through the busy bus terminal. A few overnight buses had arrived early that morning, brining in visitors to Jump City. Some were there for business, but many were merely tourists, hoping to view the sights and sounds that the city had to offer; most notably, to catch a glimpse of the world famous Teen Titans in action. Few of them seemed perturbed by the recent supernatural in the city; in fact, it seemed to excite them even more. Many of them were even curious to see the enigmatic ghost boy, Danny Phantom.

    One person in particular had been paying attention to the previous story avidly; a single figure amongst the crowd. It was short, and petite, standing out of the way of traffic. Though the clothing probably used to be baggy and loose at one time, it now seemed to be a few sizes too small and very worn down; the sleeves ending abruptly a few inches before the wrists. The hood of the sweatshirt they wore was worn tightly, mostly hiding their face; though a tuft of raven black hair could be seen sticking out. The size and contours of the body suggested that the figure in question was female; one that was just budding into pubescence.


    The moment TV had begun its report of the attack and Titans, she gave her undivided attention. She seemed almost mesmerized as she watched, especially when the ghost boy was mentioned. Once the news moved on the other topics, however, she lost interest. Her focus no longer captivated, she brought her arms up and began to stretch. It had been somewhat of a long trip, or at least it had felt that way in her ‘seat’. Six hours hiding in the lower storage department of a bus was more than enough for her. She was more than relieved to be free from that cramped, coffin-like space and was surprised she had even survived the ordeal. Hopefully, it would have been worth it.

    She suddenly froze as waves of pain suddenly overtook her fragile body. She would never get used to this, which was happening more and more frequently. Along with the pain, she could feel the more than familiar sensation of her body deteriorating. She didn’t have to look down to realize that there was a puddle of green goo forming underneath her. She quickly shut her eyes and concentrated, her eyebrows furrowing under her hood. She focused as hard as she could on staying solid, the only way she knew how to combat this problem of hers.

    Slowly but surely, the aching subsided, though it was a lot harder to subdue than the last time this happened. She opened her eyes cautiously and breathed a huge sigh; the lower half of her body was all there and there was no sign of any goo. Her gaze quickly turned upward, her eyes darting back and forth, to determine whether anyone had witnessed her predicament. Fortunately, everyone was too busy rushing to their destinations to notice. Tugging on her hood, she melded into the crowd, hiding among the sea of people.

    She was determined now. She didn’t know how many more times she could go through that before she finally disappeared completely. There was no time to waste now. She had to meet him: Phantom. He was probably the only one who could help her. No, that was wrong. There was another person, but she promised herself never to deal with him again; that and there was no guarantee he would help her anyway. Phantom was her only chance now. That is, if he was still here. It was a risk she had to take. She was too afraid to ever go ask for help when he was in Amity Park; that person would probably be watching. The Fenton’s were still in town, so she hoped that held true for the ghost boy as well...

    With her mind set, the girl pulled out a tourist map she had recently acquired before arriving there. It showed all the hot spots of the city, though one in particular caught her eye: the island with the giant T. If Phantom was anywhere, it would be there. And if he wasn’t, she was sure the Titans would know where to find him. They were superheroes, after all. They would help her. After surveying her surrounding, she began her trek to the harbor, which was a good deal away, when she felt a chill at the pit of her stomach. Her mouth opened, revealing ominous blue mist. Her eyes scanned the area again. Darn it; she thought she had lost it a few changeovers back. How did it track her? Her feet carried her forward as fast as she could as she made her way to the exit.

    Unbeknownst to her, four eyes glowed menacingly. They had been tracking their prey’s scent for a long time now as it tried to elude them, though that didn’t matter. Soon, it would be captured and the master would be pleased.

    DPTTDPTTDPTTDPTTDPTTDP

    “Come on, Rae,” Danny began, “Where are we going?” The sorceress had been relatively silent during their trip through the tower. Whenever she did respond, she would answer cryptically, traces of a devious smile dancing across her lips.

    “You’ll know when we get there,” she answered, finally arriving in front of the door to the common room. “Speaking of which...” Danny was going to pepper her with more questions, before being silenced by a single kiss on the lips, “You may want to transform,” she suggested. She suddenly encased herself with black energy and phased through the wall, leaving the halfa dumbfounded. Shrugging, Danny went ghost, transforming into Phantom, before phasing through the doors himself.

    Despite it being morning, the room was unusually dark; not only were the window shades pulled down, but no one had bothered to turn on any of the lights. The only source of illumination available was from the large screen, which currently displayed the Titan’s logo. He squinted as his eyes adjusted to the unusual lighting. After a few moments, he could make out the unmistakable outlines of the Titans, as they stood in front of the view screen, their features masked by the contrast of light.

    “Uh, guys?” the halfa asked attentively, “What the heck is going on?” The room remained deathly quiet for a few moments as he waited for some sort of response. It came as a spot light came to life, illuminating the floor in front of the Titans.

    “Step forward,” Robin asked neutrally, not showing any hint of emotion, whether good or bad. Getting a bad feeling, Danny gulped as he complied, stepping into the column of light “Danny Phantom,” Robin continued, “We have a few matters to discuss.”

    “About…?”

    “About your history as a hero,” he replied ominously, “And whether you should continue to be one.”

    “Wait, excuse me?” Danny replied incredulously as his temper flared. Where did this guy have the nerve? “Where the heck is this coming from? Didn’t I just…”

    “You’re impulsive,” Robin continued, cutting the halfa off before he could say anything more, “You’re reckless and cocky. You jump into situations without thinking things through and without any backup. Because of your hotheadedness, you put the lives of our team and our city at risk.”

    Incredibly enough, Danny stayed noticeably quiet during Robin’s assessment, though his clenched jaw spoke volumes of his current state. His emotions boiled in his gut, building up pressure with each moment. He was angry that they could just pass judgment on him like this. He also felt betrayed; after all the suffering he went through, he still didn’t hold up to their standards. At the same time, a part of him couldn’t help but agree with what Robin was saying. The fact of the matter was, he was right. He was more or less a loose cannon. His lack of restraint put his friends and family in danger. Was he even fit to be called a hero?

    “Furthermore,” the boy wonder continued after a moment’s silence, “You’re courageous to a fault. You have a strong sense of loyalty for your family and friends. You are willing to give your all and then some to protect not only the people you care about, but everyone in the city.” The sudden change in Robin’s tone completely dissolved any fury Danny had been experiencing, replacing it with bewilderment, which clearly shown on the ghost boy’s face. “With this said, I and the Titan’s Network have no choice but to give you this.” Robin stepped forward till he stood at the edge of the light, his hand outstretched with something the size of his palm. Danny looked down and stared at the piece of plastic and metal, a yellow T emblazoned at its center. It took his mind a few seconds to register what exactly he was looking at. He looked up wide-eyed as he realized what they were asking him.

    “You want me to be a titan?” he asked, even more confused than before. “Are you sure?” At the back of his mind, he could feel worry and doubt worming their way into his thoughts. After all the trouble he had caused, they were still willing to trust him? What if he just screwed up again?

    “We’re sure,” Robin assured him, the stern tone replaced with a more jovial one, “You have the makings of a great hero and you’d be a valuable asset to the Titan’s Network. We couldn’t have defeated those ghosts without you.”

    “I…I don’t know what to say…” He still made no move to take the device from Robin’s hand, looking at it warily as if it was a snake ready to strike him. His mind was in turmoil, unsure if he was qualified.

    “Just take it already,” he heard whispered at the back of his mind. He knew the voice immediately: Raven. He glanced over Robin’s shoulder to where the other Titans were standing. He saw Raven’s silhouette nod in approval and could almost make out a smile. “You deserve it,” he heard her speak telepathically. Her encouragement had the desired effect as he let out a sharp breath, exhaling his torrent of emotions. His face changed to one he would normally use to fight off a ghost: one of determination. He confidently placed his hand on the device and lifted it from the titan’s hand.

    “I’ll do my best,” he said with conviction, staring into Robin’s mask “I won’t let you down.”

    “Alright!”Cyborg exclaimed in enthusiasm. The room’s illumination changed once again, as the lights activated and the window shades pulled up, returning everything to normal. Each one of the Titans had a welcoming smile as they surrounded Danny, voicing their congratulations. “Welcome to the team!”

    “This is truly glorious!” an exuberant Starfire cheered, “I shall look forward to do the kicking of evil’s posterior with you!”

    “Dude,” Beast Boy piped in mischievously, “Since you’re the newb, there is still the matter of hazing.” The changeling held up a rubber chicken and a tutu for emphasis. Before Danny could reply, he found himself in the embrace of his mother. The Fentons had been standing on the sidelines during the initiation. Once the lights of the room came back, they quickly made their way to their son. Maddie turned Danny around and quickly peppered his face with kisses before giving him another hug.

    “You don’t know how proud we are of you, Danny,” she wept in pride. Soon both she and Danny were engulfed by the Jack Fenton, who couldn’t wait for his turn to congratulate his son.

    “That’s my boy!” he boasted loudly, grinning from ear to ear. They finally let go of Danny, who was now thoroughly embarrassed; a blush had made its way across his face.

    “Guuys,” he whined in protest.

    “Mom, Dad,” Jazz interrupted, “Are you guys trying to traumatize him?” She turned to her brother, winked and then hugged him herself. “Always knew you were a hero,” she whispered before disentangling herself.

    “Oh yeah, that wasn’t too traumatizing,” he exasperated.

    “Congratulations,” he heard from behind. He turned around to find a smirking Raven, who was clearly enjoying his discomfort.

    “You could have warned me this was coming, you know,” he carped lightheartedly.

    “I know,” she replied simply, “The look on your face was completely worth it, though. So is this…” continuing what she had started in the training room, the sorceress kissed Danny once again. The room was suddenly bathed in silence as Fenton and Titan alike stared in shock. The hush didn’t last long, however.

    “BOOYEAH!” Cyborg erupted as he shot a fist in the air, “I knew it!” He pointed an accusing finger at Beast Boy, “You owe me big time!” The emerald titan simply grumbled in reply.

    “Glorious!” Starfire harped in gleefully. Both she and Cyborg engaged in a high-five, gaining an intrigued, but somewhat po’d expression from her boyfriend. “We have won the pool of betting, have we not?”

    “We sure did!” Cyborg agreed. Their joy did not go unnoticed, as Raven broke off from lip locking (leaving a dazed Danny) and gave her teammates a cold glare.

    “You guys are gambling on my private life?” she asked darkly.

    “Starfire gambles?!” Beast Boy asked quizzically.

    “It was more of a friendly wager?” the alien girl replied sweetly, a hint if mischief in her eyes. “I believe Robin needs to do the paying up now.” The boy wonder cleared his throat in distress.

    “Aw, man; Star played you, man,” Cyborg crowed teasingly. The barbing, however, was abruptly halted as the alarm sounded throughout the tower. All six Titans put on their game faces as the main screen changed, showing a map of the city. A green dot began to flash near the south side. “Looks like some ecto-plasmic activity. Moving pretty fast, too. Not that strong, though. We probably don’t all have to go.” Robin seemed to weigh in his options before he turned to Danny.

    “You think you can handle it?” he asked the halfa, who replied with a mock salute.

    “No problem,” Danny replied, “I’ve been itching for some action, anyway. I would probably need some back up, though…” He glanced innocently at Raven, who rolled her eyes.

    “Oh, oh!” Jack exclaimed, holding up his hand as if he were a grade student trying to get the attention of a teacher, “Pick me! I’ll go—oof!” A swift poke in the ribs from both Jazz and Maddie caused the large man to lower his arm.

    “Come on, Casanova,” the dark titan quipped as she walked towards the elevator leading to the roof, pulling her hood over her head as she went, “Let’s see if you can keep up.”

    JCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJC

    She moved as fast as she could, ducking and weaving through the crowd as she tried to allude her pursuer. She couldn’t see it, but the constant tingling sensation in her throat told her it was close; so close, it was practically breathing down her neck. No matter how far she ran, it felt as if she couldn’t put any distance in between her and her unseen predator. Instead, the gap seemed to close faster and faster, as the cold sensation running through her body seemed to increase.

    That wasn’t her only problem; her evasion was taking a toll on her. She silently cursed that she didn’t have time to eat something before this happened. Even now she could feel exhaustion setting in. Not only would this eventually lead to her capture, but it would mean she would be too tired to keep herself from melting away. Even now, as she ran, she was desperately focused on not falling apart, both mentally and physically. She hoped that hiding in the crowd would help protect her, though that plan could easily backfire, especially if it was willing to attack her in the crowd.

    Unfortunately, it called her bluff as a howl rang through the street. The mass of people looked up to the sound and froze as they saw something resembling a two-headed translucent wolf descending the side of a building. She recognized it immediately: it was one of HIS creations. Both heads growled menacingly, sending the crowd into a panicked frenzy. Screaming soon filled the streets as people scattered from the strangeness their city had to offer. One of the heads sniffed the air and then yelped, pointing into the crowd with its snout. The other nodded in agreement as it shot forward. The mass of people parted, none of them crazy enough to stay in harm’s way. The girl turned and made a break for it, pushing through the sea of people as the bi-headed lupus was in hot pursuit.

    She was breathing heavily now, the fatigue taking its toll on her body. Despite that, she continued to push forward until she misstepped, falling face first onto the asphalt. She turned to find that the ghost was only a few feet away, eying her fallen form. It sniffed the air again and barked. This was its prey; there was no denying it. The master would be most pleased. Baring its teeth, it stepped forward slowly. Two bright blue eyes shone in fear from under the hooded sweater as the girl scurried backwards. The slow advance turned into a leap as it closed in on its quarry… that is, until a blast of green energy slammed into it, sending it sprawling.

    “Bad dog,” a voice quipped from above. Shaking off its confusion, the wolf looked up to spot its attacker. The beast was greeted with the cocky smile of the black and white wearing Danny Phantom, “Someone got expelled from obedience school, weren’t they?” The ghost boy landed in between the ghost and its prey, his hand still glowing with ectoplasm, “And it looks like you won’t be winning any dog shows anytime soon, by the looks of it; not unless ‘most gruesome looking’ is a category. Be a good boy and back off.” The wolf bared both pairs of teeth in response, growling over being interrupted from its mission. One of the heads kept an eye on the girl, not prepared to give her up yet.

    Deciding to take its chances, the creature bolted forward, heading straight for the halfa. Danny quickly retaliated, firing the charge that had collected in his hand. The wolf took advantage of its unusual speed, dodging left as it continued to close in. Danny continued to fire shots, each one of them whizzing by the wolf. Grunting in frustration, Danny decided to take the fight to it, flying top speed to intercept. Unfortunately, like his blasts earlier, the wolf dodged him as well, catching the ghost boy by surprise. With its target in reach, the wolf lunged again, causing the girl to scream in terror. Its attack was halted as it crashed into a black, translucent wall of energy. Raven appeared in front of the girl.

    “Sit,” she uttered, before extending a hand. A bolt of dark energy erupted, slamming into the furry beast with raw force. Swinging her hand, she conjured up a black claw, which promptly grabbed the creature by the tail and slammed it into the ground, its mind now in a complete haze. Before it could wake out of its haze, it felt an unfamiliar sensation of suction overtaking its body. Twin yelps could be heard as it was sucked into an awaiting Fenton thermos. Danny covered the top as the device’s whine died down.

    “That worked out pretty well,” he commented as he made his way to Raven and their rescue. “Hey, kid, how are you…” he stopped as he noticed something familiar about the girl huddled on the ground. His suspicions were confirmed as she shyly removed her hood, revealing black hair tied into a ponytail and a pair of icy blue eyes staring back at him. His own eyes widened in shock as he realized who it was; she was different and older than when they last met but there was no mistaking it, “Danielle?”
     
  5. Charles Chimag

    Charles Chimag I also find this amusing!

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    At last, something new in this place! (although I guess I can't complain, cause I haven't posted stuff on my own thing)

    Excellent chapter, as always. At first I thought those four eyes would be, like, Trigon or something.

    "Starfire gambles?" :lol: to the max!
     
  6. KPTitan

    KPTitan The Doc is in...

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    :anime: Yayz!:anime: Dani is in the story! *jumps up and down like a crazed fangirl* lol. If she's in there, I wonder if that means Vlad will come around...everybody, RUN!!

    Okay Funkatron...this is gonna prolly be the first criticism that I'll have for your two stories, and I feel bad for doin' it...please don't get offended. It has to do with where the supposed location of Amity Park. I have reason to believe that Amity Park might be located in the Midwestern/Southeastern part of the United States, kinda toward the Ohio Valley sorta. Here's some reasons why I think this might be:

    1. Mr. Lancer points a stick at the Southeastern part of the U.S. in the episode Memory Blank, although the test they take in Fanning the Flames is called the Northwestern Standerdized Testing, where Wikipedia mentions that could mean to stand for the Northwestern University in Illinios.

    2. The Lake Eerie in Girls Night Out and Claw of the Wild could possibly be taking the place of Lake Erie.

    3. In the episode Urban Jungle, in the part where it shows the roots spreading across the world, they look like they're originating in the Midwestern part of the United States.

    4. I noticed that in Maternal Instinct that when Danny noticed they were going the opposite direction towards the Rockies instead of Florida, where they were "supposed" to go. Dang ye Vlad, I'll stuff your millionaire butt into the Fenton Thermos for that! That reminds me, I've never seen him get sucked into a Fenton Thermos before.....interesting.:anime:

    I could be wrong about that, I'm not entirely sure.:sweat: In my fanfic I have Amity Park originating in that location, so Kim Possible, Ron, and my OC didn't have to travel very far, lol.
     
    #6 KPTitan, Mar 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2008
  7. Atoragon

    Atoragon *random sound effects*

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    I guess you have a point there, KPT... unless this Amity Park is a fictional one, then its in Alabama. Proof: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

    But then again, Funkatron is the author and he can have Amity Park where ever he chooses... hell, it could be in ****ing Russia for all we know.
     
  8. Funkatron

    Funkatron Active Member

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    Good points
    I started writing HD before Season 3 (as it hadn't aired yet). Yes, Amity would probably be near the great lakes, but I'm sticking with my current location. Why, you ask?

    1. Season 3 stunk. It had a few gems, but it was rushed and the new villains were just crammed in there. I may hand pick a few to use but overall, I'm ignoring it
    2. Oregon is closer to California, where I have Jump City's location. This makes dating easier between Danny and Raven
     
  9. KPTitan

    KPTitan The Doc is in...

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    I know that.....I even choose where to have Amity Park in my fic myself.

    You DO realize that map is a map of Buffalo, WY and not Alabama...lol.

    Here's something else that I forgot to say....omg, Danny is now a Teen Titan!? Yayz! again!:D I was wondering if that was gonna happen....I bet it was Raven that persuaded Robin to make him a member.;)
     
  10. Funkatron

    Funkatron Active Member

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    Chapter 2

    Lost and Found Chapter 2: Prodigal Daughter
    Patience was indeed a virtue. Out of all the lessons he had learned over the years, that seemed to be one that kept coming back to Vlad Masters over and over again. Although he did sometimes ‘speed things along’, his more satisfying plans were ones that were executed with diligence and persistence. It had taken him twenty long years to take him where he was today: a multi-billionaire with more money than he can count.

    Then again, there were times where he felt he was being a little bit too patient. One instance of this was, of course, his raison d’être, mainly his lovely Maddie. It had been twenty years and he still wasn’t any closer to winning her over. True, by feigning friendship with the family, he was able to get close, often times visiting ‘for old time’s sake’ just to see her gorgeous smile or that auburn hair that drove him mad with desire. But she still wasn’t his and she was still in love with that bumbling idiot, Jack Fenton.

    Jack was the second on his list of things that he was too patient on. That incompetent buffoon was still alive. How he could keep surviving his attacks, let alone his own idiocy, was beyond Vlad. Though his visits to the Fenton household were brightened by his seeing Maddie, they were more often than not soured by that grinning, forever hyper face. Vlad wasn’t blind to the irony; Jack was the one who had stole practically everything from him: his face when he had been inflicted with ecto-acne after that accident, his status at school, and most importantly, Maddie. And yet at the same time, he had him to thank for the amazing power he now possessed. The same amazing powers that he used to build his empire, piece by stolen piece.

    Of course, the situation that irritated him the most these past few years was none other than the oaf’s offspring: Danny. He saw potential in him. Countless times he had tried to convince the boy that his way was the right way. He was the one who had over twenty years of experience with these gifts. He could teach the boy powers and techniques he probably never knew he had. The truth was, Danny should have been his son; that was one more thing Jack Fenton stole from him. Danny was the perfect offspring: not only was he spawned from Maddie’s womb, but he was a half-ghost, like him. He should have been his to teach, his to guide, his to mold into a proper heir. Danny was wasted on that man.

    He tried numerous times and failed to persuade the young halfa to join him. Unfortunately, each and every time, he was rejected. Vlad credited it to Danny’s breeding: not only did he have the fire that he so adored in Maddie, but the idiotic thick headedness of his Father as well. The combination proved to go against Vlad’s wishes as time and time again, Danny had not only rebuffed his advances, but many times managed to best him. The fact that he couldn’t harvest that hidden potential infuriated him to no end. With the power he wielded and could wield and with Vlad’s tutelage, he could become one of the most powerful entities in recent history. If there was one thing Vlad understood, it was power.

    Instead, young Daniel decided to pursue a more heroic route. Vlad could never stomach such rubbish. Selfless heroics had little appeal without some sort of profit. True, the near celebrity hero worship was an interesting concept, but what was the point if you never used it for yourself? He could never understand how heroes could go out and use their powers and yet expect nothing in return. Power was meant to be used for your own gain; anything else was just nonsense. He couldn’t see what Danny saw in that lifestyle he seemed to throw himself in almost obsessively. The more Vlad pushed to change Danny, the more Danny pushed back. Eventually, Vlad realized that he was a lost cause. If he had gotten to the boy sooner, maybe it would have been different, but Danny’s stubbornness was too much of a hurdle. So if he couldn’t have that Danny, why couldn’t he make his own?

    He sometimes wondered why he chose to try and clone Danny instead of just cloning himself. Despite the fact that Danny was Jack’s son, he was also Maddie’s as well. A clone of himself would just spawn from him; a clone of Danny would be far more pleasing, despite his tainted ancestry. Unfortunately, he ran into a number of snags, most daunting was the stability issue. No matter how much data he collected on the boy, no matter how many failed experiments, he still couldn’t create a stable clone. The closest he ever came to perfection was Danielle. While the others were flawed both mentally and physically, Danielle was neither. Her only imperfection was the one all the clones shared: their eventual degradation.

    If Danny had simply let him taken that sample, he wouldn’t have been in this predicament. Now, not only was he no closer to finding a way to make his clones complete, he had lost his most successful one. Danielle had betrayed him at the worst possible moment, causing the destruction of his lab in the Rockies and setting him back months. It was ironic now that she was the missing piece that he needed to finally succeed. He needed to find the reason why she had lasted so long. While the other clones merely lived weeks, she had lived beyond that by a full year. Even though she was severely weakened, from what he’d seen of surveillance, it was an amazing feat. If he could deduce what factor allowed her to survive, he may be able to replicate it and extended the time of life.

    That’s why his current endeavor was so important. Even as he sat there in den of his personal condo in Amity Park, his plan to retrieve his prodigal daughter was already in effect. He would have preferred to use his usual associate, Skulker, for this but that ghost, as well as many others, seemed to have disappeared during the past several weeks. Vlad had a hunch that it had something to do with that fire ghost that was wreaking havoc before Danny and the Teen Titans intervened.

    Instead, he had to use one of his own creations. Doing so was a colossal gamble, especially considering where the girl was last seen heading to: Jump City. This close to Danny meant that he would probably interfere and rescue his so called cousin. His plan wouldn’t be in total ruins, however; in fact there was a chance he could salvage it all, though it involved some sacrifice. If Danny found Dani, being the heroic character he was, the first thing he would do is to go to his parents for help. That would involve the young halfa to confess to his parents of his dual nature, if he hadn’t done so already in the past year. It also would involve the boy telling them how she came into existence; in other words telling them about Vlad. That would mean that Maddie would know. Something told him that she wouldn’t see his actions towards Danny and Dani in a positive light.

    The scenario would essentially flush twenty years of effort down the drain, but at the same time create a golden opportunity. The Fentons would no doubt find a solution to Danielle’s problem, making her whole. He knew Maddie’s determination would see to that. Once she was complete, it would be just a matter of extracting her from the Fenton household. Mind you, it would not be an easy feat; not only would he face Daniel, but Jack and Maddie as well. But in the end, he would have the samples he would need in order to create his own son. And who knew? He might even keep the girl as a daughter, if she knew what was good for her, of course.

    All he needed to do now was wait.

    DPDPDPDPDPDPDPDPDPDPDP

    “Danielle?” Danny Phantom uttered as he looked on at his long lost ‘cousin’. The last time he had seen her was over a year ago, when she helped him escape from his arch-enemy, Vlad Plasmius. Afterwards, the girl simply disappeared. He had always wondered what had happened to her, especially with the type of condition she had. He never had admitted to anyone, but he always regretted not being able to help her with her problem. And now here she was.

    He first noticed that she was different; she had grown the past year. She was definitely taller than what he had remembered and her ponytail was now longer. The rest of her appearance wasn’t as positive. If he wasn’t mistaken, the clothes she was wearing now were the exact ones she wore back when they had first met: the tattered edges and faded colors showed their age, as well as the fact that they no longer fit her well. She also seemed thinner, almost frail. Her skin was paler than even his was when he was in ghost mode. Also, the young wide eyed wonder and spunkiness that usually shone from her eyes wasn’t quite as bright as he remembered.

    Danielle could feel a mix of relief and joy bubble up within her. She did it: she finally found him! A smile sprung from her lips as she let her enthusiasm take over. Despite the fatigue that racked her body, she bolted, wrapping her arms around his torso. “Danny!” her muffled voice called out as she stuffed her face into his spandex. She held onto the only family she knew, as if for dear life. Somewhere in between seeing him and embracing him, tears began to stream down her face and sobs shook her delicate form. Danny placed a hand upon her head, stroking it gently. He looked up to Raven, who had a probing yet patient look on her face. She obviously wanted to know who this girl was, but was willing to wait before asking.

    He went on full alert once he realized that Danielle’s grip suddenly became loose. Looking down, he found that the girl had fallen unconscious, though that’s not what got his full attention. His eyes widened as he saw an ever-growing pool of ectoplasm forming under her feet. Danny looked back at Raven, his expression pleading, “Raven,” he said in a desperate tone, “You have to try something. Please…” she complied silently, encasing her hands with the blue glow of her healing magic.

    As Danny lay the girl down on the pavement, Raven went to work, placing her hand upon the girl’s chest. She wasn’t even sure what was wrong with her, or whether her powers would even be of any help, but she had to try. As she cast her spell, she could feel that this girl was very much like Danny, which led to the conclusion that she was also half-ghost. At the same time, she could sense that something was terribly wrong. Her body, for lack of a better term, was falling apart at the seams. She knew that even if her powers could do something to help, it was just a Band-Aid. Something permanent would need to be done to save this girl’s life, something that was quite frankly out of her league.

    Danny watched carefully as his girlfriend went to work on his cousin. Surprisingly enough, it actually had a positive effect; the pool of ectoplasm was slowly but surely receding. After a few moments there were no traces of the liquid and the girl was looking much better than before; her skin looked healthier and her breathing was more relaxed. Raven stood up from her kneeling position and took a look at Danny, a look of doubt in her face.

    “That’s all I can do,” she answered the unspoken question he wanted to ask, “Whatever is wrong with her, I can’t heal it completely.” The halfa nodded, accepting her diagnosis. Kneeling, he gingerly picked up the unconscious girl, a resolute expression etched onto his face.

    “We’ll have to get to the Tower as soon as possible,” he said sternly, “Mom and Dad should be able to do something.” His voice was full of hope; he couldn’t let any doubt cross his mind. His feet left the ground as he began his ascent.

    “Danny,” Raven interrupted, her curiosity finally getting the better of her, “Who is she?” The halfa paused and pondered for a split second before finally answering.

    “She’s family,” he replied matter-of-factly. The lower half of his body fading into a spectral trail, Danny flew faster than Raven had ever seen him, back to Titan’s Tower. She followed suit, though found it difficult to keep up. Pulling out her communicator, the sorceress immediately dialed up the main Titan’s channel.

    “This is Raven, calling the tower. I need the medical bay prepped and ready for wounded. I repeat, prepare for wounded. I also need the Fentons to be ready.”

    “Raven this is Robin. What the heck is going on?”

    “We’ll explain once we get there,” she explained, “Just be ready for incoming.”

    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

    “I don’t understand,” Maddie Fenton stated as she entered the medical bay. Her husband followed after, mirroring his wife’s concerned look. The recipient of her comment, Cyborg, was the third one to cross the threshold. “Is Danny hurt?”

    “Raven didn’t say, Mrs. F.” Cyborg replied as he looked over all the equipment at one of the beds, “She just said to be ready for anything.” He made some final adjustments to the sensors before nodding in approval, “Alright, everything is set.”

    “Starfire to Cyborg,” the comm. in the wall called out, “Cyborg, come in. This is Starfire, calling from the roof. I can see friend Phantom now; he seems unharmed.”

    “What about Raven,” Cyborg asked thoughtfully, “Is she with him?”

    “She is following, yes,” she confirmed, “Though for some reason, they seem to have a guest. Phantom is carrying someone with him; a young girl.” The Fentons expressions seemed to grow even more confused.

    “Why bring someone here?” Cyborg queried, “I’m sure the ER could do a better job than we can on civilians.”

    “I’m sure he has his reasons,” Maddie said, confident of her son’s judgment. Before they could comment further, Danny phased through the ceiling of the room, landing gently beside the bed. Gingerly, as if handling fragile china, he placed the unconscious girl onto the sheets. He took a final look at the girl before turning towards Cyborg.

    “You’re going to have to monitor her ecto-plasmic energy levels. Make sure they don’t dip too low. And Mom?” he asked as he changed his focus, “I need you to do an IV like you did to me a few weeks ago.”

    “Hold on; are you saying she’s like you?” Cyborg asked in confusion. Before Danny could respond, Jazz chose that moment to enter the room, worry running rampant all over her face. Starfire, Robin and Beast Boy were right behind her.

    “Danny?” she sputtered as she scanned the room. She breathed a sigh of relief when she spotted her brother and then gave a puzzled gaze at the current occupant of one of the beds, “What’s going on, Danny? Who is that?”

    “Listen, I know you guys have a lot of questions,” the half-ghost replied, “And I promise I’ll explain everything to you; but right now, I just want to make sure she’s alright before we do anything else.” As if on cue, Raven arrived, entering through the room as Danny did minutes earlier. The empathic Titan landed on the other side of the bed wordlessly, her hand quickly igniting with her magic. Placing it on Danielle’s chest, she closed her eyes and focused her energies as the glow spread out from her hands until it encompassed the girl’s body. The room remained silent for a few moments before she finally pulled her hand back and spoke for the first time since arriving.

    “She’s stable for now,” she stated, “Whatever happened to her before has slowed, but it’s still happening…whatever it is.”

    “I was just about to get to that,” he replied. He took a reluctant breath as he prepared himself for an explanation. He had hoped he could explain to his parents the various intricacies of his complicated life over a longer period of time. Unfortunately, Dani didn’t have that time. If his parents were going to save her, they would have to know her story…the whole story. And that included his cousin’s origins. He closed his eyes and let out the breath he had been holding, feeling the weight of eight pairs of eyes upon him. He opened them again and started his explanation. “This,” he started, pointing at the sleeping form, “is Danielle. And she is sort of my clone.”

    “She’s your what?!” Jazz exclaimed her eyes wide with shock, “Since when do you have a clone? And why haven’t you told me about her before this?”

    “And aren’t clones supposed to look exactly alike or something?” Beast Boy interjected inquisitively.

    “She pretty much appeared out of nowhere and vanished just as quickly. At the time, I didn’t think you needed to know, Jazz. But that’s not the issue here.”

    “So, she’s like you? A half ghost?” Maddie asked, trying to get a handle of the situation.

    He nodded, “More or less, yes. She’s a halfa, except she isn’t exactly complete. She’s unstable; essentially, she’s falling apart. If we don’t find a way to fix her, she’ll end up as a puddle of ectoplasm. Trust me, I’ve seen it before.” Danny took another big breath before continuing, “Her condition is actually a result of how she was created and who created her.”

    “The first thing I have to explain to everyone is that as far as I know, I wasn’t the first half-ghost hybrid. There was one before me; as a matter of fact, he was the one who created Danielle in the first place.”

    “Wait, he was the one?!” Jazz interrupted once again, knowing whom Danny was referring to, “I knew he was a certifiable nut job, but to as far as to clone you…”

    “Jazz,” Danny stopped her sternly, “The identity of the person in question is going to effect a lot of people in this room, so I’d appreciate it if you’d let me explain everything.” This, along with the look that he gave her, proved to silence his sister, her face full of understanding. The others, being out of the loop, looked perplexed by the exchange. He turned towards his parents, “Mom, Dad, I actually wanted to explain all of this to you later, but it looks like I don’t have a choice in the matter. I just want you to know that no matter how… unpleasant this sounds, that I’m telling you guys the truth.”

    “Of course we believe you, Danny!” Jack assured. Maddie gave similar words of trust. Danny sighed, suspecting they’d be singing a different tune after he told them everything.

    “Do you guys remember the experiment you worked on back in college?”

    “You mean our experimental prototype ghost portal?” Maddie recalled, “The one we worked on with Vlad? What about it, sweetie?”

    “And you guys remembered what happened to the experiment?”

    “I remember that like it was yesterday!” Jack answered, “We tried out the portal, but it malfunctioned and discharged right into Vladdy’s face. Gave him a bad case of ecto-acne to boot.”

    “Unfortunately, it gave Vlad a little bit more than ecto-acne,” the halfa replied. Maddie’s eyes went wide with realization.

    “You’re telling me that Vlad Masters is half ghost?!” she relayed her suspicions. Danny simply nodded.

    “Hold on; are we talking about THE Vlad Masters?” Cyborg interjected, somewhat excitedly, “ The same Vlad Masters who rivals both Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor in green? The guy who tried to buy the Packers three times in the last five years?”

    “That’s the one,” Danny confirmed.

    “I don’t get it,” Jack declared, his voice heavy with uncertainty, “Why wouldn’t Vlad tell us that he was a half-ghost? He’s our friend.”

    “Not exactly…” Danny replied, “I don’t know how to tell you this, Dad, so I’m just going to have to say it: Vlad isn’t your friend; as a matter of fact, he has never forgiven you for the accident.”

    “But…but…” Jack Fenton’s face was full of turmoil as he tried to assimilate the news, “But he said that he forgave me for that…”

    “I’m sorry about this, Dad, but that’s the truth. He hates you. The accident is only part of it, though. He blames you for stealing Mom away from him.”

    “He thinks what?” Maddie asked indignantly. “I knew he had a crush on me back in college, but that’s completely preposterous! I never even liked Vlad that way.”

    “Unfortunately, he doesn’t necessarily see it like that. Vlad is pretty much obsessed with “winning” you back and just as obsessed with revenge on Dad. Half the ghosts I fought when I first got my powers were sent by Vlad to try and kill Dad.”

    “Does he have a ghost form, like you do?” Maddie asked, “And have we met it before?” She had a hint of what the answers to both questions were.

    “Yes to both questions,” Danny responded, “He calls himself Plasmius, though you guys know him as the Wisconsin Ghost.”

    “Vlad is the Wisconsin Ghost?!” Jack was now clearly in distress. His mind couldn’t fathom the fact that the man he thought was his best friend was anything but. “Are you sure?”

    “I’m sure. I found out about him during your college reunion a year and a half ago. Unfortunately, that’s when he found out about me as well. He’s been trying to recruit me ever since. He thinks that he should be the one to teach me about my ghost powers. He also wanted me to reject you, Dad. I think he sees me as the son he never had. When he got the message that I wasn’t going to say yes, no matter how much he tried, he decided that if he couldn’t persuade me, he was going to just clone me instead.”

    “So that’s why he created Danielle?” Jazz asked, “The question is, why he made her a girl, if he just wanted another you?”

    “He had…issues,” Danny began to clarify, “There were other clones, but they came out less than perfect. Most of them were mindless, mutated versions of me that were highly unstable; they all eventually ended up melting away. Danielle was different somehow, though. She wasn’t mindless like the others and she seems to have lasted longer. She still has the same problem, though: she’s unstable. That’s why I need your help. If anyone can find a way to stabilize her, it’d be you guys.”

    Maddie nodded grimly, though internally she was flattered by her son’s praise. “Do you have any idea why she’s the way she is? I’m going to need as much data as possible in order to see what we can do for her.”

    “Vlad said something about needing a sample of my DNA while I was in midmorph. He seemed to think that it would stabilize his clone, which is why he tried to get it from me the hard way. He used Danielle and the other clones to distract and capture me. After I made her realize that he was just using her, she helped me escape. Please, if you can do anything…”

    “Don’t you worry, sweetie,” Maddie interrupted, giving him a warm, motherly smile, “Your father and I will do our best.” She walked over and gave her son a reassuring hug, hoping to ease his troubled mind. “If we’re going to do this, we’re going to need tissue samples of both you and Danielle, as well as a scan of both your ectoplasmic signatures. Jack, I’m going to need you to…Jack?” She sighed as she found him still frozen with the same expression of disbelief. “Jack, I know this is hard for you. You thought Vlad was your friend and I’m sorry if you feel betrayed, but Danielle needs us right now. We have to find a way to save her life.”

    Maddie watched as he finally focused on her, his eyes slightly glassed over. She wasn’t sure if her words broke through the cloud of confusion that probably obscured his senses. He finally seemed to shake it off, a little of his usual energetic self returning. Standing up, the burly man’s seemed to light up. “I’ll go get some equipment from the RV!” he declared before heading out. Smiling, Maddie began to do preparations of her own.

    “I’m sure Mom and Dad will be able to do something, Danny,” Jazz assured, “Just give them a little time.”

    “Unfortunately, time is what I’m worried about,” he sighed, “She might not have a lot of it left.”

    “Jazz is right,” Raven cut in, “Worry isn’t going to get you anywhere. All you can do is have faith in your parents.”

    “I hope so,” he replied, a small sliver of hope echoing in his voice. He gave a faint smile as he stole another glance at his sleeping ‘cousin’.

    “Come on,” the sorceress commanded as she grabbed his arm, “I don’t think you’ve eaten yet this morning. How about we go eat some breakfast?”

    “Or lunch,” Jazz commented as she pointed at the wall clock. “I think I’ll join you guys.” The trio soon left the room, followed by Starfire and Robin. Starfire’s eyes were wet with compassion after hearing the poor girl’s sad story. Determined to give some sort of assistance, the alien decided that some of her Tamaranian cooking would be just the thing to cheer the girl up.

    The last people in the room were Cyborg, who was helping Mrs. Fenton with equipment and Beast Boy, who had inched his way closer to the bed. The changeling felt sorry for the girl and the bad lot she had been given. He also couldn’t help but feel that this new girl was actually sort of, kind of cute. All plans of food, video games and comics were now gone from his mind as he took a seat next to the bed and hoped that she’d be alright.
     
  11. Funkatron

    Funkatron Active Member

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    Lost and Found Chapter 3: What ifs…

    “He’s late,” an irate Sam Manson droned as she sat on her bed, her arms crossed in front of her chest. On the chair next to her bed sat Tucker Foley, who sighed deeply; she was in one of those moods again. Luckily for him, the source of her anger wasn’t him. Instead, she seemed incredibly focused on her cell phone, which sat a few feet away on her bed. She scowled at it intently, as if trying to will it to ring.

    “You do realize he’s probably busy,” Tucker tried to console, though his efforts seemed not to be that effective.

    “So busy that he’d blow us off! After blowing us off for over a year already?!”

    “Sam, he’s been calling us every day ever since he woke up. I’m sure if he could call us he would” She seemed to consider his words, her demeanor calming down somewhat. She did still stared at the phone intently. Finally letting her impatience get the better of her, she grabbed it and dialed the halfa’s number. She tapped her foot with irritation as the other line began to ring.

    “I hope you have really big reason for ditching us today,” she erupted, the first words that came to her coming out of her mouth. Tucker shook his head; Danny was in for it now.

    “Sam?” the halfa answered. She waited as she could literally hear the gears of his mind turn. “Oh, man!” he exclaimed in dread, “Sam, I’m sorry. I completely forgot. Something big came up this morning.”

    “How big?” she asked skeptically, “‘Saved the world’ big or ‘beat your older self’ big, cause I don’t think even both of those things combined would be enough to excuse you.”

    “Dani is back,” he revealed.

    “Wait, your super powered cousin/clone?” she replied, with a bit less rage. Tucker, who had been patiently waiting on the sidelines, motioned for her to put the phone on speakerphone. She complied, pressing a button before placing the phone on the bed, “How did she end up in Jump City?”

    “We’re not sure yet, but she probably came to see me.” Sam noted the sudden drop in Danny’s voice as he continued, “Sam, she’s dying…” the anger that had been building in the girl’s chest suddenly vanished as she could practically hear Danny’s heart ache.

    “We’re sorry to hear that, man,” Tucker replied, “is there any way you can help her?”

    “Mom and Dad are trying their best,” Danny explained, “The fact that they found out about me actually makes it easier. I did sort of had to tell them about Vlad, though.”

    Sam grimaced at the thought, “Ouch. How did your folks take the news?”

    “Mom took it better than I expected. I think she pretty much knew Vlad was a scumbag. Dad, on the other hand, was pretty devastated. He really thought Vlad was his friend. Makes me want to wail on the crazed up fruit loop even more.”

    “Your parents should be able to figure something out,” Sam said in consolation. The goth was now feeling a little guilty for blowing up on Danny like that, “How are you holding up?”

    “I guess I’m ok, all things considered. I’m just glad we have a chance at helping her this time. I felt like I didn’t do enough last time she showed up.”

    “Typical Danny,” Sam said with a smile.

    “You can’t do everything, Danny; even if you have superpowers. No one really can,” Tucker agreed.

    “I know, I know. It just eats me up whenever I can’t do anything.”

    “And that what makes you a great hero. You care. A little too much sometimes, but you still care. Though next time, give us a call when these things happen. We get worried, too.”

    “Don’t worry, I will,” Danny smiled. “I have to get going. Mom and Dad are probably going to be probing me for a while in hope of a cure. Talk to you guys later?”

    “Sure thing, buddy,” Tucker replied.

    “Don’t get yourself killed, Danny, or I’m so kicking your ghost butt.”

    “I’ll try not to, Sam.” The cell then beeped, indicating that the call had ended. Sam turned to Tucker, only to find him staring back with a smug look on his face.

    “What?” she asked harshly, causing his smirk to grow even wider.

    “You do know you’ll have to tell him eventually,” he stated.

    “Tell who what, exactly?”

    “And they call Danny clueless. I mean the whole crush thing, Sam. You’ve liked Danny for like forever. The whole ‘blushing/ fake out make out’ thing has been quite amusing over the years, but eventually it gets old. If you want to date Danny, you have to make your move.” Sam sat there frozen, unable to make a reply and a crimson blush spreading across her face. It didn’t last, however as her brow scrunched up into one of her darkest glares.

    “I do NOT have a crush on Danny,” she seethed, “And even if I did, it’s none of your damn business, Foley!”

    “I’m just saying that sooner or later, someone else is going to get Danny if you don’t. He’s not going to be on the open market forever.”

    “Out, now!” she bellowed. Tucker, taking his cue, made a dash for the door, but not before being pelted by multiple pillows aimed for his head. He slammed the door shut just as the last one bounced off it. Sam growled in frustration. What the hell was he thinking, saying all of that? The thing was, however, that Tucker was right. She fell back down onto her bed and sighed. She did have a crush on Danny, for a while now. The problem was that she didn’t know how to proceed, if she even wanted to. She had always been afraid that Danny would reject her feelings. Her friendship with him was too important to her and she never wanted to jeopardize it with a relationship. That was why when Danny had rejected her and Tucker, it had hit her as if Danny had punched her in the gut himself. Now that they were friends again, she was even more afraid to break it with a confession.

    Or maybe it was time to make a move. Tucker had a point: Danny wouldn’t be there forever. She wasn’t blind to the fact that the more Danny matured and filled out, the more other girls, who before would ignore him, were now stopping to take a second look. Heck, even the ghosts were eyeing him, if that crazy fire ghost was any indication. Was she willing to take the risk? Would she leave things the way things were or bet on love?

    TTDPTTDPTTDPTTDPTTDPTT

    The first thing she noticed was that she was in a bed. It had been a long time since she was in a bed and a comfortable one at that. She almost didn’t want to get up, but curiosity got the better of her. She let one eye take a peek at her surroundings. The room was white and sterile, indicating to her that she was in a hospital of some sort. It definitely didn’t look like Vlad’s laboratory, which had a more dark and sinister look to it. She could various pieces of machinery beeping. She let the other eye open as she took more of the room in.

    “Hello, sweetie,” she heard being said from her right side. She turned and almost leapt from her bed; that is, if she had the energy to do so. Standing a few feet from her bed was Maddie Fenton. For a moment, she thought that she was at Vlad’s lab and that this was his holographic assistant. That theory was put to rest once she realized that this woman wasn’t translucent or floating. There was also the fact that her smile was warm, like that of a bright, sunlit day. “I hope I didn’t scare you, dear. I’m Maddie, Danny’s Mom. You’re Danielle, right?” The girl nodded, not yet ready to speak. “Danny told us about your problem. I just want to let you know that Jack and I try our best to get you better, alright?” The girl nodded again, somehow finding warm comfort in the woman’s words.

    “Jack?” Dani finally croaked, surprised by her own voice. Like magic, the utterance of his name caused Jack to stick his head through the doorway.

    “Somebody call for me?” he bellowed energetically. Spotting the now alert patient, the large man made his way to the bed, “Heya, kiddo! Jack Fenton, at your service. We gonna kick this whole melting into ecto-goo thing in the bud, so don’t you worry!” He had been animated the during the whole introduction, his arms punching the air like a boxers as he explained how he would battle Dani’s problem. The girl couldn’t help but giggle at the man’s antics. Sure, he was goofy, but he seemed like a nice guy; not at all how Vlad had always described him. Then again, Vlad had a tendency to lie and skew things, so that wasn’t a surprise.

    “Is Danny here?” she asked hopefully. She wanted to thank him at least once for rescuing her yet again.

    “Right here, cous,” the halfa called from the doorway. He was followed by Raven, who stayed close by. “How are you feeling?”

    “A little better,” she replied. “It doesn’t hurt as much anymore.”

    “You can thank Rae for that,” Danny said, pointing towards his girlfriend. Raven nodded in response, though anyone who noticed would note the small blush that appeared on her cheeks.

    “Thank you, Danny,” the girl said, conveying her gratitude, “For everything.”

    “Anything for family,” he replied simply, meaning every word.

    “That’s right! You’re practically a Fenton and us Fentons stick together like glue!” Jack added with a broad smile on his face. She found the smile contagious and couldn’t help but smile back.

    “Now everyone shoo: it’s getting too crowded in here and Danielle needs her rest.” Maddie waved her hand as she ushered them out of the medical area. She then turned to Danielle, “I’m going to be getting a scanner from our workshop, dear. Just try and relax while I’m gone, ok? It won’t take long.” Dani watched as the jumpsuit-clad woman exited the room. She sighed as she realized that she was alone. She wondered how long for it to take before she would go completely bonkers: she never did like sitting in one place at once, especially with nothing really to do.

    As she felt the onset of cabin fever come over her, she heard the sound of feint mewing coming from the foot of her bed. Searching for the source, she found a small cat eyeing her. The most unusual feature about the furry creature was the fact that it was green in color, from head to tail; even its large eyes were emerald, as it observed her carefully. “Here, kitty,” she called. The cat complied, making its way up the bed before quietly taking a seat on her lap. She rubbed the spot in between its ears as it purred in response. They both sat their contently, both their quest for attention satisfied.

    The doors of the room once again swooshed open. Instead of Maddie, however, was the metallic titan known as Cyborg. He was busy looking at the panel on his arm, not noticing that he had company until a few moments after, “Well hello there, little lady!” he greeted. Dani could have sworn she felt the cat tense at the sound of the voice. “I’m Cyborg. Pleased to meet you…”

    “Dani,” she filled in, “With an ‘i’.”

    “How do you like here at Titans Tower?” he asked, hoping to strike a conversation.

    “Haven’t seen much of it, considering I’ve been stuck in here,” she replied, “But this little guy has been keeping me company.”

    “Little guy?’ he asked before finally noticing the cat in her lap. The cat tensed again, its stare locking with Cyborg’s.

    “He’s real nice. Is he your cat?” she asked innocently. Cyborg fought hard to keep his face straight as a laugh threatened to erupt from his lips.

    “Uh, that isn’t a cat,” he said pointing at the cat, who was now shaking its head in protest, “Isn’t that right Beast Boy?”

    “Beast Boy?” Dani inquired. Her feline companion promptly jumped from the edge of the bed onto the ground, transforming while doing so until a sheepishly smiling Beast Boy appeared.

    “Hi?” he greeted meekly, unsure of the girl’s reaction. She stared in shock as she looked at her lap and then back at the green changeling where he stood. Cyborg, unable to contain his amusement, began to laugh hysterically, pointing a finger as he did so. Surprisingly enough, Dani joined in, giggling along with him. Beast boy simply stood there, confusion painted all over his face.

    VGVGVGVGVGVGVGVGVGVGVG

    “Valerie?” Damon Grey called out as he exited his bedroom of his somewhat small, cramped apartment. “Val? Where are you?”

    “Where else?” she replied from the confines of her room, “In here, Dad.” He walked up to her bedroom door and opened it, revealing his daughter, who was currently doing a few reps of push-ups. “You do realize that you don’t have to go shouting like that to look for me, Dad.”

    “Can never be too sure, especially with what happened,” he replied as she did her final sit-up and got up from the floor. Sitting on the edge of her bed, she wiped the sweat off her forehead with a waiting towel.

    “Dad, what happened before was a fluke,” she countered. “Just because I got kidnapped by ghosts once doesn’t mean it’s going to happen every other week.”

    “Are you sure it was just a fluke? It could have easily been something related to your other job…”

    “Dad, you know I haven’t hunted ghosts in months. Heck, you were practically jumping for joy when I told you. Why would they attack me now?” Which was in a sense correct: She wasn’t captured because of her ghost hunting per se.

    “I don’t think time is an issue for ghosts, all things considered,” Damon countered. “This is why I never wanted you running around stirring up trouble in the first plave. It was only a matter of time for one of them to get angry enough to strike back.”

    “Dad, I’m telling you; I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all. It has nothing to do with my old hobbies. I’m safe and sound now, so you don’t have to worry yourself silly about it.”

    “You know I can’t help it, Valerie,” he replied, rubbing the bridge of his brow, “It’s my job to watch out for you, honey. Ever since your mother passed away, you’re all I have left.”

    “I know, Daddy. And that’s why I started ghost hunting in the first place: I wanted to protect you. At least, that’s why I thought I started doing it. I mean, looking back on it now, I was just so… angry. I was angry about the accident at your job, angry at the fact we pretty much lost everything and had to move in this dump. I guess I used ghost hunting as a way to let off some steam and aggression, but even then I was just so mad, especially when it came to Phantom.”

    “You didn’t go shooting at him when he saved you, did you?” her father asked.

    “Actually, I didn’t even get a chance to see him,” she admitted, “He and the Titans held the ghosts off while the Fentons saved me and Sam. I’m not even sure what I would have done if I had met him. I mean, I thought it was his fault that you lost your job and everything. I hated him for so long, but what if I was wrong?”

    “I think a lot of us were wrong about him. He seems to be doing a lot of good.”

    “I don’t know what to think,” she said exasperatedly. “Yeah, he’s done good, but he’s done some bad, too.”

    “From what I’ve seen, so have you,” Damon pointed out. Valerie pursed her lips, not responding, “All I’m saying is that he may be a ghost but something tells me he’s not all that different from us. I mean, he looks to be about your age, actually. Teenagers make mistakes all the time. I don’t think Phantom is any different. The important thing is that he seems to be actually trying to do what’s right and tries to fix the mistakes he’s done. Haven’t you told me that he’s tried to apologize to you?”

    “Plenty of times, whenever I’ve given him the chance,” Her hands tightened into fists as they lay on her lap, “I always thought it was his way of keeping me off balance or something.”

    “Maybe he meant what he said. Maybe he really is sorry for what happened way back when.”

    “Maybe,” she agreed. “It’s not like I’ll know, anyway. I’m out of the business, remember?” She, of course, thought otherwise. It was true she was out of the job at the moment, but she now knew where Phantom lived. Once he got back, she was going to settle things once and for all.

    “You never did tell me why you quit,” he asked, “Not that I’m complaining or anything. I’m just curious.”

    “I…” the question had caught her off guard as she struggled to find a way to answer. “Phantom’s just better than me, that’s all,” she replied flatly, “I was just a loose cannon and I was in way over my head.” Damon didn’t say anything at first, eyeing his daughter as she explained. He hesitated to say anything; he had a very good hunch that she was lying through her teeth, or at least not telling him the whole truth in the matter. He knew his daughter too well and he knew she would never give something up that she was so passionate for; at least, not without good reason.

    “Alright,” he stated simply, feigning acceptance of her answer. “You have work soon, don’t you?”

    “Fortunately, “she replied, “Luckily, I still have a job, after not showing up that day. Ah, the advantages of living in a city with frequent ghost attacks.”

    “Wish I could use that excuse,” he quipped as he leaned over and gave her a kiss on the forehead. “Remember what we talked about…”

    “Head straight to work and then head straight home. Yes, I know Dad. I still don’t think you need to worry. I’m fine. I can take care of myself, you know.”

    “Just humor me, will you? I almost lost you. I don’t want to take any chances, at least for now.”

    “Alright,” Valerie relented, “Did you want me to bring in something from work?”

    “Actually, I’ll probably be coming home late again.”

    “That big project you can’t mention at risk of being shot?” she deadpanned.

    “Yes, that one. Save some food for me when you get home.”

    “Sure thing, dad,” she replied as she grabbed a towel and made her way to the bathroom.

    JCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJC

    “This is only going to sting a little bit, honey,” Maddie Fenton stated as she pulled out a needle. Danny’s eyes widened somewhat as he fidgeted in his seat.

    “Does it have to be that big?” he asked nervously. Jazz couldn’t help but giggle.

    “You fight the likes of Skulker and Ghost King and you’re afraid of a little needle?”

    “Hey! Excuse me for being apprehensive about getting stabbed with pointy objects,” Danny countered. “I have a right to be, considering I got impaled not once but three times in the past few weeks.”

    “Quit being such a baby, Danny,” his sister continued to tease. He looked to Raven for support, only to find that she, too, was enjoying his display of discomfort.

    “The longer you complain, the longer it takes for me to do it, Danny,” his mother said calmly as she readied the needle, only to have the point, as well has the hand that was holding her son’s arm, phase through. “Danny…”

    “Sorry,” he apologized, “Reflex.”

    “Oh, by Azar…” Raven muttered under her breath as she placed a hand on Danny’s shoulder. The halfa suddenly felt a jolt go through his body.

    “Hey! What did you …ow!” The cry of pain was the result of the successful puncturing of his skin, as his mother proceeded the draw some blood. Pulling the needle out, she smiled as she examined the vile. “What did you do to me?” Danny asked his girlfriend as she began smirking once again.

    “Just prevented you from turning intangible,” she answered matter of factly.

    “And tell me why you didn’t do anything about the pain?”He complained as he rubbed his arm. “And now I remember why Tucker hates hospitals”

    “It’s for a good cause, Danny,” his mother explained, “I should be able to tell what is wrong with Danielle’s make up by examining yours. Once I figure out that, we should be able to find a way to stabilize her.”

    “That’s good to hear,” Danny said grimly, at the mention of his cousin.

    “The only problem I can see is in terms of equipment,” she continued, “What we brought from home is good for a preliminary analysis, but we don’t have enough to work with here. Our best equipment is still in the lab. In order to make this work, we may have to move Danielle with us back to Amity Park”

    “We’re leaving so soon?” Jazz asked. “Won’t moving her be a problem?”

    “I won’t know for sure until I verify the data. I do think she is stable enough and luckily we have the Fenton Speeder here. It’ll take us back home in a few hours tops.”

    “Whatever it takes to get her well,” Danny stated with conviction, “I’d fly her home myself if I knew she’d get there fast enough.”

    “Hopefully it won’t come to that,” Maddie stated. “Thankfully we still have a little time.” She placed the blood samples in the medical bay’s centrifugal machine. Giggling could be heard from across the room as Beast Boy took upon himself to entertain their latest guest. Maddie smiled as she herself stole a glance at the girl, her motherly heart being tugged by its strings.

    “We’ll let you get to work, Mom.” The halfa smiled as he stood up. “I’ll be on the roof if you need me.” Danny transformed, a sight Maddie still wasn’t used to, and floated up to the ceiling, turning intangible as he did so. Raven used her magic to follow, leaving Jazz and Maddie.

    “Are you going to be ok, Mom?” Jazz asked thoughtfully. “I know you have a lot of work ahead of you.”

    “This is new territory for your father and I. Who would have imagined that a ghost human hybrid was even possible, let alone we had one living under our room for the past two years. There’s so much we don’t know yet about Danny; so much we have to learn in such a short amount of time to save Danielle. It’s a daunting task.”

    “Never seemed to stop you guys before,” Jazz commented.

    “That’s true,” Maddie agreed, “The whole reason that we became ghost hunters was the challenge of it all; to take what was considered fairy tales and turn it into science fact. The challenge of doing this alone is reason enough to push forward and yet…” she looked back to the bed, where Danielle was once again laughing as an emerald monkey was doing acrobatics onto the bed. “I’ve just met her and yet she feels like family; like another daughter. If we fail, it’ll feel just like if we lost you or Danny.”

    “A lot on your plate. Just remember that Danny, Dad and I are here to help you out.” Jazz gave her mother a hug before heading out the door, “Just don’t work yourself to death, ok Mom?”

    “Not sure that I have a choice, but I’ll try,” Maddie replied with a meek smile. She watched her daughter go and then turned back to the task at hand. Daunting was an understatement. Was she even able to understand this flood of data she was more than likely to find? Her only advantage was the head start she had from studying Danny for the past two or so weeks. The only thing she really had to go on is what Danny described Vlad wanted before: something about his transformation that was the key to making Danielle stable.

    Vlad. That name flooded her mind in a torrent of emotion every time she heard it. She couldn’t even fathom what was going through that man’s mind. She knew of his crush on her; his not so subtle advances were proof of that, but she never knew he would take it so far. To attack and antagonize a fourteen year old boy who had a hard time as it was dealing with both puberty and strange powers. To threaten to kill her husband. To break every ethical code in the scientific community to create Danielle, only to just throw her away like yesterday’s garbage. The gross abuse of power was sickening.

    Was merely jealousy and revenge the reason that Vlad seemed to go down this dark path, or was it something more? He seemed nice enough back at their college days before his accident. If only she and Jack knew what had truly happened to him, the powers and all, there might have been a chance of preventing his downward spiral. Or was it just in his nature and this was inevitable? How much of it was revenge and how much of it was the ghostly influence?

    She also thought about Danny and his powers. Was he destined for the same fate? Were his powers going to eventually corrupt him, turning him into something similar to what Vlad was today? She thought back to that day where Danny had fought that mechanized ghost in front of the Tower. He seemed almost mad with rage as he ruthlessly attacked the ghost till it begged for mercy. She remembered how scared she was for her life. Was her boy on walking the same path that Vlad seemed to embrace?

    No, that couldn’t be it. Danny would never be like that. Whereas Vlad saw no qualms in reveling in the dark side, Danny was trying his best to resist it. He was a good kid and she knew he had potential to be something great, something bigger than even she and Jack were. All he and Danielle needed was a little guidance. It looked to be an overwhelming task, but she was glad that she and Jack weren’t alone: not only did they have friends but Danny had the Titans. Despite their ages, they were good people and they had experience with dealing with special abilities. She knew that they would be able to steer both her son and their new guest down the right path.

    “Maddie?” Jack called out as he waved a hand in front of his wife’s face, “Mads, you ok?” She blinked herself back into reality as Jack held up a piece of equipment. “I have that hi-res spectral scanner you wanted.”

    “Thank you, Jack,” she said as she wiped away all doubt from her mind. She was going to figure this out; a life depended on it. Now wasn’t the time to get lost in the past or what ifs. What mattered was now. “Can you get a few scans from Danielle while I work on these blood samples?”

    “Sure thing, honey!” Jack replied enthusiastically, kissing her on the forehead before making his way to the bed. Taking a deep breath, she delved into the sea of data.
     
  12. Charles Chimag

    Charles Chimag I also find this amusing!

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    Yay! I thought you weren't going to update this here, but I'm glad to see you did! Your work continues to be excellent. Keep it up!
     

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