It was late fall in Amity. The summer sun had long since left the town, drifting lower in the sky everyday. Chilling winter winds mixed and combined with the warm currents in the air, creating an uncomfortable average in the temperature. It wasn't quite cold enough to wear a heavy jacket, but any normal person would be shivering in a sweater as night fell. The leaves weren't the only things changing, though. Like the frost steals away the brilliant green of deciduous leaves, junior year stole away the carefree and somewhat childish nature of the students at Casper High.
Junior year meant that it was the beginning of the end. Students had just started the final two years of high school, which happened to be the two years that mattered the most. Testing, applying for colleges, getting a job, maintaining and building relationships - all of these problems weighed on their shoulders. This phase left many of these soon-to-be adults with an odd sense of falling and flying at the same time.
There is truth in the assumption that most dread this transition in life, but change is unavoidable. As is famously said, the only constant thing is change.
Getting back to our poor juniors, it is fair to say that some of the hardest hit by this new normal were Danny Fenton, Tucker Foley, and Samantha Manson. After the doomsday event the media has come to call "Phantom Planet," Amity was never the same. In the chaos of saving the planet from the ectoranium asteroid (known as the 'Disasteroid') Danny's greatest secret had been revealed to the town. The only son of the Fenton family was half-ghost and had been protecting the town as Danny Phantom for years. The (mostly) beloved superhero was warmly welcomed back to his hometown, but little Amity, "Ghost Capitol of America," was completely different.
New ghost-control and ghost-rights acts were passed to accommodate the halfa. Casper started to offer both educational and defense classes on ghosts, often netting in Danny to clarify a fact or assist in the lessons. More and more of his peers stopped picking. Even more started treating him more like his alter-ego superhero than a normal person. Fan clubs started, promotional merchandise was sold, and Danny was in the middle of it all. Sure, it was nice not to have to hide so many important things from his friends and family, but the increased attention was overwhelming. Curious scientists and local organizations pestered his parents for details. People would point Danny out on the street like he was a ghostly animal at the zoo. Adults babbled over him about how he was foolish for putting the last half of his life in danger. He WAS still Danny FENTON. No amount of hero-ing or not being fully alive would change that.
The best thing that came out of this whole ordeal was Sam. After finally agreeing to go out with him, they were inseparable. She and Danny had been going out for exactly six months today, but there were no celebrations being held between the two. After all, they weren't even a couple anymore. There was no "two" anymore. A malicious ghost bear had destroyed the school that week, which fuelled their disagreement. It was a rough battle (for many reasons) and Casper High needed serious renovation, so the school was closed until further notice.
The students were in the middle of Biology when the ecto-bear attacked, so the danger the fully living residents of the classroom faced was only tripled with the presence of chemicals and sharp, breakable objects. The students oohed and aahed as the spectral rings of bright blue light transformed their classmate into the undead hero Phantom before their eyes. Annoyed at their transfixion, Danny didn't even shout his usual battle cry before jumping in to subdue the intruder. Sam and Tuck knew that they had to evacuate as they'd done during many ghost attacks before, but something snapped in Samantha Manson that day. She didn't want to let Danny fight by himself anymore. Sure, she and Tucker may have been his B-team, but it wasn't enough. It just wasn't fair to let a single boy fight for an entire town. Sam was going to stay, despite Danny's pleas that she find a safe place to hide.
The girl knew that she was being selfish, the ghost boy even told her. However, Sam wasn't deterred. Maybe she was being overprotective of her boyfriend, maybe she was delirious, maybe had finally snapped under the pressure of fighting ghosts and still maintaining a regular life… Sam wasn't sure. Ignoring all reasoning, she took out a Fenton Wrist Ray and charged closer into the action than she had ever been before. A blast hit above the bear's eye, startling both of the fighting ghosts. "Sam, I swear," Danny shouted, "if you won't leave, I will phase your stubborn ass through the wall and sit you down with the rest of the evacuees!" His neon green eyes flashed with anger as he carefully dodged to swinging claws of the ecto-bear. His girlfriend just stood there with her arms crossed, glaring at him. Danny immediately knew that he'd crossed the line. Sam wasn't helpless and she didn't want to be treated like a princess. It's was obvious from the heart-piercing glare originating from her steely violet eyes. Danny really didn't have the patience for her antics at the moment, but he knew that he'd be in trouble for that threat later…
Danny's predictions weren't far off and Sam started to open her mouth to release a snappy reply, mentally preparing herself to fix HIS little red wagon. As the bear continued to struggle against the temporarily distracted Phantom, it tore through school property like a mother tears through sales racks. To be fair, Danny tried his best, but the sheer raw power of the dead spirit was frightening. A final ectoblast took care of the beast and the ghostly green animal was sucked up into a Fenton Thermos. As he clipped the cold metal canister to his waist, a small cough be heard among the 's head whipped around to see his girlfriend beginning to open her mouth. Before Sam's verbal lashing unleashed its wrath, she was interrupted by an awful groaning noise.
What was left of the cork ceiling gave into the steel pipes, wires, and beams above. Lights flickered and spat out nasty sparks, resembling an angry snake. The flimsy tiles that covered the inner workings of the school fell around them. Panicked, Danny sped towards his girlfriend as fast as he could. The police and evacuated students and teachers of the school saw a streak of whitish-green light as Phantom raced faster than he ever had before, the screeches of failing supports, the crinkle of broken glass, and the hiss of background noise filling his ears. Sam! He needed to get to Sam!
With arms outstretched like a welcoming angel, Danny Phantom swooped into the crumbling building to save his girlfriend. The building that promised them its' safety, the girl that promised him her love.