Hey guys! It's been a while, huh? xD Sorry this took so long... but better late than never, right? At least this chapter is a super long one! Does that make up for it? ..Probably not lol.

ALSO some of you might have noticed that the story appeared on the front page again a few weeks ago with no new update. That was accidental; I was moving around some chapters and didn't know it would count as an update. I finally got rid of the author's note chapter before Reign Clout and made the extra chapter a Table of Contents. Maybe the reviews are slightly messed up now for the earlier chapters, but I like the change! Let me know what you think!

Anyway thanks to the following people who favorited/followed since the last update: Tsuki Yosuke, Pokestar24, Valerie Hastreiter, FandomsBeware, clonedProphet, exiles soul, 1dgrayman, Amnine, DragonsImagined1331, silverring22 (shoutout, she's awesome! check out her twitter at thatblanket), bryan.925, Purrloin77, MasterofInfinity, Neko's Revenge, sonofneptunem, Cynder31603, sexyshewolf, Kingofthings7929, Azuregold, Style1234, The Half-Blood Guardian, Phoenixflames9, Bosma17, Seshat-Ra, Krayne 04, KelseyAlicia (she's awesome too! check out her story Abduction: the Daniel Masters Story!), Heart of the Demons, OrangeWolf4, Germzy, EvergreenMoth8, laurenlucky, Terrance The Turtle, Burgundy Beauty, Natalulu, keiserform, LunarQueen13, AliMakk99, Matt-Canada's-2p, SuchTalesPhantasmic, twistytrials, Reg774, NPanda, Stoorm, Amatsuki-kun, b-1275, JGGod5000, Justtherefortheships46704-434, Articun0s, Ashmaneena, Darknessthorn, tamosbrogdon, heravoid7887, Mistress Freya, A-Mostly-Free-Individual, Neon156, Melopea LilyMoon Carver, thegrimmangel, Purest of the Hearts, ahmed-oj, madchef . dn, Tessa Saddie Bridger, NoirPhantom93, Cheeta4797, Darkraiprincess, ovan963, Makolina, ChaoticArisu13, AmberDragon3, ShadowOfOrder, Cherry-Blossom-Love, thanatos phantom, Sali-space, Windghost2, experimenter19, and Amaria4565!

Thanks to these peeps for reviewing (though you probably don't remember what you said xD): Invader Johnny, DearlyFictitious (thank you! :D), NickTsundere (Hablo un poco español pero no mucho. No te preocupes, ¡Dani estará en la historia! ¡Gracias por leer!), Cyroclastic, Commander M2, NATSUcERZA 123456 (Yeah DannyxSam is fine but I like the idea of exploring other pairings too! Grey Ghost is one of my favorites if you couldn't tell! xD), jeanette9a (yeah hmmm I wonder xD), memmek10k (yeah I'll definitely try to give Sam some development xD), SoulMore, Rocky Rooster, KelseyAlicia (so many reviews, thank you xD), Heart of the Demons (thank you! I'm glad she did lol), Guest, OrangeWolf4 (thank you :'D), Germzy, ClassicCinnamon (hehe thank you for your reviews! I hope you're still here after all this time xD), SuchTalesPhantasmic (thank you so much xD I really appreciate it!), Goathero (muahaha }:D), and PheonixQueen15! Thanks to all of you! Getting reviews is one of my favorite parts of posting stories... its so heartwarming to see what people think of my writing :') Also if you have any questions or want to talk about the story (or other stuff) feel free to put it in a review or PM me! :D

Lastly special thanks to these people who followed/faved me as an author: JH24, Pokestar24, a6spike, silverring22, Heart of the Demons, KelseyAlicia, OrangeWolf4, sewing4fun12, LooneyAces, SuchTalesPhantasmic, Amatsuki-kun, b-1275, Neon156, thegrimmangel, and Purest of the Hearts! Thank you all so much! *heart emoji*

Recently this fanfic hit 50,000 clicks! All I can say is thanks so much for your continued support, reviews, and interest in this story! (even though there's a 6 month hiatus between every chapter LOL) Don't worry, I have plenty planned for the future if I can just escape these pesky writers blocks! xD

This chapter is in place of Masters of All Time, with a twist! Enjoy!

Time is of the Essence

All was well in the Ghost Zone. Purple rocks were floating, ghost birds were singing, spooky flowers were blooming... until a small white paw happened to crush one.

If anyone had been there, they would have seen a white ghost cat stalking across an island, clearly searching for something... or someone.

Eleanor scanned the horizon with bright yellow eyes. Swishing her tail, she jumped off of the island and began floating through the hazy green dimension. As she traveled, ghosts who happened to be out and about watched curiously but didn't interfere.

After a while of wandering in one direction, she halted in midair. Tail swishing, she observed the mysterious swirl of white light a dozen feet in front of her. After studying the portal and realizing that there was no danger, she continued forward with a purr.

She emerged into a dark room not unlike the one that housed her owner's similar portal. She gazed with bright yellow eyes at the dull blue walls and pristine lab tables filled with beakers, inventions, and various tools. She sniffed curiously at a wrapper on the floor that smelled of fudge. She had the feeling that the room could have been dangerous, but she somehow knew it wasn't at the moment. Not with no humans in it, anyway.

She approached the staircase. Flicking her ears, she looked up and listened.

There was only silence.

Flickering into cautious invisibility, she padded up the staircase and through the closed door. An empty kitchen surrounded her.

She sniffed the air. The scent she was following was stronger, but she still wasn't close enough.

She wandered through the house towards the front door. She stuck her head through it and squinted in the early afternoon sunlight. She shuddered at the sight of the road before emerging from the house. She chose a direction and trotted along the sidewalk, knowing her destination had to be close.

Valerie sighed as she sat in history class, boredly doodling on her notes as the teacher droned on about the Mongols' impact on Asian culture (or something like that). History wasn't her best subject, and to make it even worse, it was one of the few classes that she didn't have any friends in.

It had been a slow day, in terms of both school and ghost appearances.

She tensed when her red watch buzzed. It was wirelessly connected to her dormant suit, and along with telling time, it had a mini ghost detector that alerted her when there was a ghost within half a mile of her. It came in handy, especially since she didn't have a built-in ghost sense like Danny did.

The two teenagers had come up with a schedule. She glanced at the clock. It was between nine and eleven'o'clock, meaning that it was her turn to take care of the ghost.

She raised her hand, smiling sheepishly as the teacher paused his lecture. "Yes, Ms. Grey?"

"Can I go to the restroom?"

"Make it quick. You'll have a quiz about this on Thursday." He reminded before returning to his dull PowerPoint presentation.

The girl stood up, picked up her backpack, and walked calmly towards the door. The male teacher didn't question her, to her amusement.

Once she made it to the restroom, she made sure it was empty before letting her suit cover her body. The familiar visor covered her eyes. Status reports in the form of small white text as well as a little map of the area appeared in her peripheral vision, as it always did.

Danny may be a living ghost detector, but I'd bet all my life's savings he doesn't have this. She thought amusedly, willing her suit to turn intangible and flying through the ceiling of the room. She emerged into the midday sky. Her ghost tracker led her to the other end of the school, but she couldn't see (or hear) a ghost yet. She sighed in relief. That meant that the loud, obnoxious box ghost wasn't in the school again. She had grown to hate dealing with him.

The teenager lowered closer to the ground. Her ghost tracker led her to a small, glowing animal beside the school. "Is that a cat?" She wondered aloud.


The girl watched in surprise as the feline looked up at her curiously. It seemed to be cautious but not hostile.

"You're cute." She said, kneeling down to pet the purring cat. "Where did you come from?"

She only got another meow in response. The cat rubbed its head against her armored hand before walking past her, heading towards the school. It seemed to be looking for something.

"I can't let you wander the school. What if someone calls the Fentons?" She said, pulling out her thermos. "You'll be safe in here until I can get you back into the Ghost Zone."

The cat watched her with bright yellow eyes, not realizing what was about to happen. With a startled yowl, she was sucked into the metal cylinder.

"Sorry, kitty." The girl said sheepishly to the contraption before returning to class.

School was out, finally.

"Last one to the Nasty Burger has to pay!" Danny heard Tucker say behind him before he took off running.

"You're on, wimp." Sam followed closely behind, quickly gaining on her out-of-shape friend.

"Wait for me!" Valerie laughed, and Danny smiled at his friends' shenanigans. Of course he would beat them all.

A few minutes later, the three human teenagers burst into the fast food joint, Sam barely winning closely followed by Valerie. Tucker wheezed from behind them. "Need... meat..."

They looked around the restaurant to see Danny smirking at them from a booth.

"Cheater." The huntress huffed as she sat beside the half-ghost. She lowered her voice to complain. "I could have flown here too, you know. But I didn't."

"You didn't specify that we had to run here. Tucker just said 'first one there,' not first to run—"

"We get it, Ghost Boy." Sam muttered, causing the black haired boy to chuckle.

"So, what ghost was it during third period?" He asked as the teens settled down at the table.

"A cat." Valerie answered. "It wasn't causing trouble, but I couldn't let it wander the school."

The trio seemed to tense up. "A cat? Was it white?" Danny asked, trying to sound nonchalant.

"Yeah." The huntress responded in surprise.

"With yellow eyes?"

She nodded, looking more and more confused every second. "Why? Have you seen it before?"

The boy paused for a moment and met eyes with his two other friends. "Yeah. It belongs to someone I know." He stood up worriedly. "If she came to the school, something might be wrong. She's never done that before."

Valerie dug through her backpack and handed over the thermos she had caught the cat in earlier. "Sorry, I didn't know it was important..."

"It's okay." He made his way out of the booth, itching to go right away. "I should go. I'll talk to you guys later."

"At least I have to pay for one less person now." Tucker commented. "Or one-half less." Sam kicked him under the table.

As soon as Danny made it to his (thankfully) empty house, he let the ghost out of the thermos. The cat flew out hissing, but quickly stopped once she realized who was there. Upon seeing the familiar teenager, she meowed urgently.

"It's okay, I think I know why you're here." He scooped up the feline and smiled when she purred. "Let's go."

His flight through the Ghost Zone was luckily uneventful. He didn't hesitate to throw himself through the open portal.

The mansion was silent. It always was, but this time it seemed... wrong.

"Hello?" He called. No response. Even more strangely, the familiar blue mist didn't appear. Usually that would make him immediately assume that Vlad wasn't home... But Eleanor's strange behavior suggested that wasn't the case.

The cat in his arms meowed once more and flew up, beckoning him to follow. Danny followed her to one of the upper levels.

They emerged into a bedroom. The white feline leaped up onto the bed, nuzzling her face into a mop of grey hair.

"Vlad?" The boy approached the bed. The sleeping man stirred as his cat began licking his face. With a groan, he weakly pushed the cat away. Danny's eyes widened when he saw what Eleanor's body had been blocking. With a start, the boy realized that this must be the ecto-acne he had heard about. The man's dark blue eyes blinked open, looking blankly at the concerned cat that hovered over him. She purred helplessly and looked at Danny, obviously not knowing how to help.

"Daniel?" The billionaire muttered in surprise once he noticed who else was in the room, wincing at the pain that came with moving his face. "Shouldn't... be here."

"Clockwork..." The boy cursed under his breath. Seeing his mentor like this was alarming. He moved closer to the bed and put one hand on the blanket, over where the man's chest was.

"No... could be... contagious."

The younger halfa shook his head exasperatedly. "That's the last thing I'm worried about. Do you know how long...?" He trailed off helplessly.

The man hummed, shutting his eyes. "What... day is it?"

Danny took a breath. He couldn't freak out right now. Vlad needed him. Should he call Jazz? Or call a hospital? No, no hospital. Dread settled in his stomach when he realized that there was only one real option. "My parents are the only ones who might know what to do."

"No..." Even in his sick daze, the man sounded reluctant and even afraid.

"I'm sorry. There's no other way. You've got to trust me."

"Mm..." Vlad's eyes fluttered shut again. Danny frowned; the man clearly wasn't in the right frame of mind to make important decisions about his health. Technically that responsibility shouldn't fall on a fourteen year old either, but there wasn't exactly much of a choice in the situation.

The younger half-ghost wondered how he should do this. Teleportation unfortunately wasn't an option. He would rather not overshadow if he had a choice. He could call his friends or Jazz... but he had a feeling that he shouldn't be wasting any time if he could help it. He could call on the way.

"Come on..." Danny muttered, gently helping his mentor to stand. He had never seen the other halfa so... weak. He tried not to show how much it scared him. "Okay..." He muttered to himself as he hooked an arm around the man's waist. He slowly floated them off the ground. "This will have to do."

Danny watched silently from the corner of the lab, feeling helpless as his parents attempted to create a cure. It was up to his parents, and that scared him. At any moment they could find out, and Vlad was unable to defend himself. To make things worse, there was no one else who could help like the Fentons could. There was literally no other choice.

The boy thought back to when Vlad had arrived. He had staged it to seem like the man came himself to get help, bringing him to the front door of FentonWorks and floating invisibly beside. Immediately the Fenton parents had dropped everything to help their old friend. They automatically assumed that it had been a random relapse of the ecto-acne condition, which was actually pretty close to the truth as far as Danny knew.

So by now, his parents had been researching and experimenting for hours with no luck. For some reason, the data wasn't matching up like it should have. There was something... missing.

The ghost boy frowned in thought. Maybe he couldn't help as a human, but as a ghost..?

Clockwork. He could go see Clockwork... but what if the Master of Time couldn't interfere? Wait... time. He could go back in time, back to the day of the accident! Maybe there was a detail his parents hadn't recorded or remembered about the proto-portal? It was possible...

Now he just had to get his parents to leave the lab long enough for him to use the Portal.

One poorly planned distraction later, his parents had gone upstairs to search for something in the weapons vault. Danny grinned in victory. He may not have been as intelligent as Jazz or as amazingly inventive as his parents, but at least he was good at distracting people! That had to count for something... right?

He entered the 'quarantined area' that was sectioned off by his parents, not bothering to put on a hazmat. He navigated around the scattered medical equipment and approached the cot, smiling at the tired man. It was one of the first times that Danny had seen his hair not in the usual ponytail. "Hey. How are you feeling?"

"Fine, considering the circumstances..." The man answered gratefully. He seemed a lot more alert than before since he had been given some painkillers, but the ecto-acne still remained. "Why did Maddie and Jack go—?"

"I need to use the portal before they come back." At the man's questioning glance, the boy continued sheepishly. "I'm going to visit Clockwork."

"What?" The man immediately perked up, frowning at him. "No you aren't."

"But he might be able to—"

"No. I'm not letting you put yourself in danger for me."

"It's just Clockwork. You know he won't hurt me." The boy protested, coming closer and grabbing the man's hand.

"Kid, it's not that I don't trust Clockwork..." The older halfa sighed, knowing that the said Master of Time could be listening at that very moment. "It's just that... he has a responsibility to the time stream, not your safety..."

Danny's gaze shifted away uncomfortably, "You know, the two might overlap sometimes..."

Vlad grimaced, thinking back to the last time they had seen Clockwork. Dealing with Dan was by no means a good experience. "I still don't like it."

"I'll be fine. Don't worry about me. Just focus on getting better, okay?"

The man sighed in defeat, drooping back into the cot. "I suppose I can't talk you out of it or physically stop you... so, stay safe."

"Of course." Danny smiled and squeezed his hand one last time before letting go. "I'll be back in no time."

By the time Vlad finished rolling his eyes at the bad pun, the younger halfa was gone.

Danny flew through the Ghost Zone, luckily remembering where he and his friends had found Clockwork's lair before. As he neared the structure, his ghost sense predictably went off.

But he clearly sensed two ghost signatures nearby. Who was there besides Clockwork?

Before he could raise his hand to knock, the door opened. The Master of Time in his middle aged form smiled down at him.

"Greetings, Daniel. I knew you would come."

The boy couldn't help but smile as he floated into the castle. "Of course you did."

"Come along." The time ghost led him through the dark hallways of his lair and into the large open room that held the viewing portal. Another ghost looked over curiously at the newcomer.

"Daniel, this is Dimensie, the Master of Dimensions." Clockwork introduced, switching into his oldest form.

The hybrid's eyes widened. He was meeting another Ancient?

Vlad would be so jealous...

"It's nice to meet you." He said shyly as the other Ancient approached him. They were shorter and less muscular than Clockwork, and they had mint green skin and bright red eyes. The unfamiliar Ancient wore a royal purple robe over other clothing that was varying shades of green and light purple. They held a long purple staff with a glowing green orb at the tip, which appeared similar to a ghost portal. Overall, they had a mysterious but powerful vibe about them. What puzzled the ghost boy was that he couldn't tell if the new Ancient was male or female.

"It's a pleasure to meet you as well, young halfa." The Ancient responded with a gentle smile, their voice silvery and mysterious. "I've heard many great things about you."

The boy nodded shyly before remembering the task at hand. Danny looked sheepishly at Clockwork. "Oh yeah, I'm here because... wait, you already know. Is there anything you can do?"

"I am the Ghost of Time, not the ghost of miracle cures." Clockwork joked, causing the other Ancient to smile amusedly. Seeing that Danny's serious expression hadn't changed, the Ancient continued. "Unfortunately, young halfa, I cannot interfere in this situation." He looked thoughtfully back to the blank time portal on the other side of the large room.

"That's what I thought you would say." The ghost boy said in disappointment. "But is there a chance you could let me go back in time to see if there's anything my parents missed?"

"Of all people, you should know that time is very fragile and should not be messed with." The boy froze for a moment, not expecting Clockwork to be so stern.

"You're right," Phantom agreed quietly, "but I wouldn't be changing anything. I would just go back to observe, and then I would return to the present. Please. If I don't do this, Vlad might not get better."

The two Ancients looked knowingly at each other, and Clockwork switched to his youngest form with a sigh.

"You must remain invisible, you must not touch anything, and you must return as soon as possible. Do you understand?"

"I understand. Thank you so much, Clockwork!" The boy's relief and cheerfulness was enough to make both of the Ancients smile despite the grim situation.

The time staff appeared in Clockwork's gloved hand, and with a wave, the viewing portal flickered to life. Phantom cautiously approached the swirling green screen.

"I'll be back in no time. It was nice meeting you, Dimensie!" Without waiting for an answer, he stepped into the void.

The clock tower was silent once more, other than the quiet ticking of clocks and grinding of gears.

"He is quite persuasive." The shorter Ancient broke the silence in amusement, fidgeting with their dimension staff.

Clockwork sighed. "I was aware of the high probability of this event, but I was hoping that he would surprise me."

Dimensie hummed in response. "So, he is the one who will watch over the Crown of Fire?"

"Yes. Once he comes of age." The Ghost Of Time replied, fluidly switching to his oldest form.

"And does the other already have the Ring of Rage?"

"After viewing the possible outcomes of giving it to him this early, I decided against it." Clockwork turned back towards his viewing screens. "But in due time, he will be aware."

"There will be an outrage." They chuckled at the thought. All of ghostkind would be furious that two half-humans would be trusted with such powerful artifacts.

Clockwork's mouth twitched amusedly, and he morphed back into his middle aged form. "You are right. But it is for the good of the timeline."

The Master Of Dimensions looked back towards the ghost boy on the screen. "He really cares for the other. Even so much that he is willing to face the wrath of Clockwork." They teased, gently shoving the other Ancient and laughing at his expression.

"He must learn somehow..." Clockwork muttered. "Unfortunately, once again it will be the hard way." The two turned back to the viewing portal to watch.

The next thing Danny knew, the midday sun was shining into his eyes. Looking around, he saw groups of unfamiliar buildings and trees surrounding him. He seemed to be on a college campus... and he had an inkling about which one it was.

His gaze snapped to the area right in front of him when he heard commotion. Flickering into invisibility, he observed three very familiar college students walking together, laughing over a joke he had missed.

"I cant believe that Professor Wilson almost flipped the table out of rage!" The tall, stocky boy wheezed, laughing so hard he almost fell onto the young woman walking next to him. "It was priceless!"

"Jack!" The pretty brunette shoved him away, having almost dropped her books. "Will you stop going on about—"

"I think Vince almost wet his pants!" The other boy commented breathlessly in a familiar voice, not fazed by the girl's annoyance. Jack practically fell to the ground since he was laughing so hard, and Vlad joined in, kneeling over. "If only I had known... I could have recorded it!"

"Vince'll probably be expelled! And it wasn't even his fault that he—" The larger man couldn't finish the sentence before he was cackling again.

Maddie rolled her purple eyes amusedly and continued walking, leaving the two males as they tried to regain their breath. "Come on. Get a hold of yourselves!" Jack tried to stand up with the other boy's help, but they both ended up falling onto the ground, laughing all the while. Maddie facepalmed and kept walking to the closest building. "Boys..."

Danny couldn't help but smile at the exchange. In a way, the trio of college students reminded him of his own group of friends. It was... strange to see his father and Vlad getting along. Vlad seemed so... happy.

His smile disappeared when he realized that it was about to change. With a deep breath, he followed the three adults into the building.

Soon enough they entered a science lab. Some equipment was already set up around the room, including what looked like a mini ghost portal. The sight made the halfa even more nervous.

He watched and listened as they set up for a few minutes, talking and joking with each other as they prepared.

"Jack, did you remember to fill the Ecto-Filtrator with Ecto-Purifier?" Maddie asked as she began setting up the wires.

"On it, Maddie!" The man answered, dancing around the room to grab the bottle. Danny's eyes widened when he picked up a can of cola instead of the purifier.

Well... that would explain it. He thought amusedly as his future dad poured day-old soda into the machine.

"Maybe this isn't a good idea, Jack. I don't think it'll work." Younger Vlad said, peering at the portal with scrutiny. He seemed to be the most cautious and doubtful of the bunch.

"Bogus, V-man, it totally will!" Jack answered, smiling down at a small remote. "This proto-portal is guaranteed to bust open a hole into the ghost dimension! Just you wait!"

Vlad's mouth twitched amusedly at his friend, and he ended up shrugging in defeat. "Oh, well. What do we have to lose?"

You have no idea. Danny thought, smiling sadly at his future mentor.

"All right, lets kick off this shindig!" The orange-clad boy said excitedly, pressing a button on the remote.

Maddie frowned down at a stack of papers. "Jack, wait, these calculations aren't-"

The Fenton boy whooped excitedly as he started up the invention, not paying attention to the girl's concerns. Immediately the generator beside the portal began to shake, sparking electricity as it overheated. The inside of the proto-portal glowed a familiar green light, but the device started to spark as well.

The three college kids seemed to realize something was wrong, but it was too late. Danny flinched as a beam of light flew out of the portal, aimed right at Vlad. Without thinking, the boy threw himself forward, barreling into his future mentor. The beam flew past them as they fell to the ground.

With a jolt, the halfa hit the tile floor beside the shocked college student. With a loud boom, the portal exploded, but the damage was already done. He watched fearfully as the beam of light bounced chaotically around the room. The two other college kids yelled in fear and tried to duck for cover. He watched with horror as the beam engulfed his future father's face. Someone screamed but he couldn't tell who.

Time slowed down to a stop. The chaos became stillness. Everything froze except for the ghost boy.

"No... no no no no..." He breathed, covering his face. He screwed up. He beyond screwed up this time. He wasn't supposed to interfere. He should have just let it happen. If it wasn't for his stupid hero complex...

He was met with deafening silence.

I fail to see how this can get any worse. He thought miserably.

At that moment, a flash of light from the opposite side of the room startled him. He slowly stood up and looked to the source of the light.

It was a green portal.

Well, it got worse.

Clockwork had to be waiting behind that portal. It was the only explanation. The thought made him visibly cringe. The Master of Time had clearly warned him.

"You must remain invisible, you must not touch anything, and you must return as soon as possible. Do you understand?"

He failed at all of those things. Now he was going to pay for it, probably at Vlad's expense.

After waiting what felt like an eternity, he inched towards the portal, avoiding the creepy, frozen gazes of the three young adults.

He stared into the swirling vortex. It comforted him somehow. It reminded him of home, of Vlad's place... he desperately wished he could be at either. Now he didn't know if he would ever make it back.

With a shaky breath and one final look at the frozen scene he was leaving behind, he stepped in.

He slowly opened his eyes. The sight of a pink sunrise behind some trees surprised him. He wasn't facing a disappointed Clockwork?

After he blinked a few times, he realized that he didn't recognize his surroundings. The sun had just risen from the looks of it. He was standing on a freshly paved sidewalk, next to a narrow street with many cars parked along it. He looked around to see nice suburb houses and lots of trees in front yards and in the distance.

Where am I?

He turned invisible, figuring he might as well attempt to stay hidden, and walked towards the nearest mailbox. He pulled out a convenient newspaper, opening it to see the date. He almost dropped the paper when he saw that it was the present date. He wasn't in the past anymore... he was in the present. But somehow he had a feeling that something wasn't right. What if it wasn't his present?

He looked again. It was a Wisconsin newspaper, for a town called 'Peace Valley.' It had to mean something. He gently refolded the newspaper and returned it to its previous spot. With a deep breath, he took to the skies.

Danny flew around for a while, scouting out the territory. He spotted a few schools scattered around the small town, as well as a local grocery store and playground. He had to be there for a reason. He just didn't know what.

A breath of icy air startled him. Of course there had to be a ghost. What else would he expect?

After making a mental note to be on the lookout for any screams or signs of an attack, he reminded himself that he wasn't in Amity Park. Maybe ghost attacks weren't an everyday event in this town. It could just be a friendly spirit passing by.

With a mental shrug, he followed the pull of the ghost energy. Where there was a ghost, there could be a portal to the Ghost Zone, natural or manmade, which was his best bet at the moment. If he could just make it into the Zone... he could find Clockwork and apologize.

His ghost sense led him to a nice brick house. It appeared normal; it was nothing like the Fentons' lab with the big neon sign informing the whole town where they resided.

He nervously made sure that he was invisible. He didn't have a thermos on hand, which wasn't ideal, but he would have to deal with it. It was his fault that he was in this mess, after all.

He slowly stuck his head into the wall of the house. Luckily, no one was in sight, so he emerged all the way through the wall. He observed a living room and a kitchen, both themed green and yellow.

Well, he suppressed a laugh, a Packers fan lives here.

The thought made him sad for some reason.

An alarm began to blare. "Ghost alert. Ghost alert." Red lights flared and what appeared to be anti-ghost weapons emerged from panels in the wall, all aimed at him.

He had to make this quick. Before he could be shot at, he sank through the floor. There was a lab similar to the one his parents had, which wasn't a surprise considering his experience upstairs.

His eyes were drawn to a square metal structure that was embedded into the wall. He could almost feel the lull of the portal from behind the metal doors that closed it off.

"Of course it's locked. And it probably needs an eye scan or something crazy to open it..." He muttered to himself, forgetting that he should probably stay silent.

"What are you looking for?"

Startled, he whipped around, accidentally turning visible. A ghost girl with pale skin and dark turquoise hair pulled into a braid was standing behind him, holding what looked like some sort of grey ink pen. She wore an aqua and white jumpsuit, and her eyes were a bright magenta. She was slightly taller than Phantom and appeared to be a few years older.

Upon seeing his unfamiliar face and form, she frowned in confusion.

"Who are you?" They asked simultaneously, both suspicious of each other.

"Uh... hi." He waved awkwardly. "Any chance you know how to open that portal?"

She crossed her arms. "Why would I do that? Tell me who you are and what you're doing in my house."

"You first!" Your house? He wondered. But she's a ghost... right?

"I'm surprised you don't know who I am already. Most ghosts have heard the rumors." She mused. "Call me Spirit."

He nodded in greeting. "I'm Phantom."

"Are you new around here?"

"You could say that..." He muttered guiltily. "Listen, I really need to go through that portal. Do you know how to open it? Is there a fingerprint scanner, or—?"

"Ceci, you're going to be late!" A muffled, painfully familiar voice called from upstairs.

The girl flinched at the call. "I have to go... I can help you later. And by the way, it wouldn't be wise for you to stay down here. My parents will be down any minute."

"Wait, what?" The girl ignored him and started flying upwards. "Your parents?"

She was gone.

He took a shaky breath and followed her. There's no way... Is it possible that she's a half-ghost too?

He invisibly emerged up into the kitchen, where he took a double take. There were two younger kids, one elementary school age and one that might have been in middle school, sitting at the table. The smell of pancakes and eggs permeated throughout the kitchen.

He looked towards the stove. There was a brown-haired woman there, humming while she cooked the food.

It was his mother...

He couldn't breathe. Of course it was his mother. With his luck, he should have been able to guess that at this point.

So his mother was living in Wisconsin, with several children that weren't him or Jazz. Who was she married to?

After thinking for a few seconds, he almost slapped his forehead, feeling dumb. Vlad. Duh.

So his father and Vlad had essentially switched places... Jack was now presumably half-ghost, and Vlad was now fully human and married to his mother. It made sense in a messed up sort of way. Guilt gnawed in the pit of his stomach; he had caused this to happen. Because of him, he and Jazz no longer existed, and his mother had three other children.

But was Vlad happier here than he was back home?

The boy shook his head before he could continue with that train of thought. He had to focus on the task at hand.

Ignoring the chatter that had started in the kitchen, he numbly flew towards the stairs. He could blame himself later. Right now he had to get into that portal.

He ascended up the stairs and quite literally ran into a teenage girl, startling him out of invisibility again. She had chestnut brown hair similar to her—their—mother's, and she was in the process of putting it up into a messy half-braid. She wore a burgundy half-sleeved top with holes at the shoulders and black skinny jeans.

He simply stared at her, too surprised to form words. She had to be the ghost girl from downstairs. It was so obvious.

She glared when she saw him, confirming his suspicions. "I told you to get out of here! Don't make me put you in the clicker."

He only had the mental capacity to think, what the heck is a clicker? He didn't know what to say. He had messed things up too much already.

"Listen, I really have to go. You can hang around until school ends, and I can help you afterwards." She moved to get around him.

He continued to stare at her, unmoving from the middle of the hallway. "I made a big mistake. Like, really big."

"What did you do?" She sounded like an annoyed babysitter.

"Um... I don't know if I can tell you without tearing apart the fabric of reality..."

She raised her eyebrows. "Really?" The girl, named Ceci, he deduced, didn't sound convinced.

She probably thinks I'm crazy.

"You're a halfa, right?" He asked awkwardly, aware of his speaking volume since her—their—family was easily within hearing distance.

"I thought you already knew that." She looked pointedly at him. "Why do you ask?"

He summoned his transformation, which came in the form of two bright white hoops above and below him, before letting them flicker out. It was enough of an answer. She stumbled back in shock, yanking him with her into an adjacent room and closing the door. It appeared to be her bedroom, filled with aqua and pink hues.

"Wha—Who are you?!" She asked him for the second time that morning.

"It's a long story..."

"Will you give me a straight answer for once?" She cringed when she looked at the clock, which indicated that high school was starting in three minutes. "I really can't get another detention. You can follow me if you want, but I recommend you be careful about who sees you." A light pink hoop formed at her waist, transforming her into the blue-haired ghost girl from earlier.

"Gotcha." He followed her as she left through the ceiling and zipped towards the high school he had seen earlier.

"I'm sorry, but you may not be able to access the portal until my parents leave the lab. They spend most of the day in there." It sounded like it was meant to be a joke, but it just came off as tired.

"I know. It's the same deal with mine." He cringed after he said it; it was probably more than he should have told her.

She frowned at the statement. "Really? How old are you?"

"Almost fifteen." He answered truthfully.

"I'll turn seventeen in a few months."

"You're around the same age as my sister, then." The thought of Jazz made him feel wistful. What if he never saw her again?

"Where exactly did you come from?" Ceci asked and turned her magenta gaze away from him, focusing on flying.

He thought for a moment, deciding that the full truth would be too confusing to tell. "Illinois."

The girl gasped and looked over, slowing down in midair. "That's a coincidence... Jack F-Inferno lives there."

Danny perked up at the familiar name, breath catching in his throat as he halted beside the female halfa. His dad... He had forgotten about that. His dad was a half-ghost now, too.

"Were you about to say 'Jack Fenton'?"

"Yeah, how did you-?"

The school bell rang in the distance, making the ghost girl flinch.

"Ugh... I have to go. Hang around and I'll meet up with you at lunch." She flew off towards the school. Danny sighed, wondering if he should go visit his father. There was no way of knowing how the other halfa would react, though.

Maybe the less people in this present who knew about him, the better.

Cecilia Masters practically leaped out of her seat when the lunch bell rang. Somehow the school day seemed so much longer when there was something plaguing her thoughts... that something being Phantom. Another halfa, even younger than her. She still couldn't believe it.

She thought back to more than a year ago, to the day that forever changed her life right before Sophomore year. At first, things had been overwhelming, and that was understating it. If it hadn't been for her two best friends, Denise and Jamie, she likely wouldn't have made it through. But not only did she have to worry about controlling her newfound abilities; the accident had somehow fixed her parents' Ghost Portal, which meant that ghosts could come and go as they pleased. The first ghost attack had been scary, that was for sure. But over time, the trio figured things out one step at a time, gradually learning about ghosts and the powers that came with Ceci's newfound identity. With the help of her parents' research and inventions, Ceci, Denise and Jamie evolved into a streamlined ghost-hunting team, protecting their hometown from the ghosts that came to visit (most of the time with malicious intentions).

The sound of noisy chatting and laughter from the cafeteria broke her out of her musing. Ceci made her way towards her usual table where her friends were waiting, waving and chatting briefly with a few people on the way. She was the Vice President of the Junior class, after all, so she was relatively well known around the school. In a way, that made it even harder to keep such a huge secret. Spirit, her ghost persona, was also well known in Peace Valley, but for a long time the ghost girl was regarded as a mischievous delinquent, a criminal even. Luckily that phase had passed, and a good number of people now realized her sincerity and care for protecting people. Fortunately, no one ever had even considered the possibility that Spirit had a secret identity, so no one paid attention to the obvious similarities between Ceci Masters and Ceci Spirit. And that was just the way the girl liked it.

"Hey, girl!" Denise called out, waving her friend over. The African-American girl wore a hot pink top paired with black skin-tight leggings. She had long, shiny fake nails with french tips as well as large black hoop earrings. Her poofy, curly black hair was in a pixie cut as usual. She was on the cheer-leading squad, which made her also relatively popular among the student body. "You're late!"

"I know, I know." Ceci plopped down across from Denise and pulled out her lunch. "You two won't believe what happened this morning. It's huge."

"Don't tell me it has to do with that stupid internship..." Jamie muttered through a mouth full of sandwich, earning a light slap from the half-ghost and an annoyed look from Denise.

"My internship isn't stupid, Jamie." The girl rolled her eyes good-naturedly. She had recently gotten accepted to a program for future business leaders that was happening next summer, an unpaid internship. Jamie, for some reason that Ceci didn't understand, valued money over experience and potential college credit. "But this is about something else." She continued, briefly wondering if Phantom was anywhere close by.

"Well, are you going to leave us in suspense, or tell us?" The boy asked amusedly, flicking chestnut bangs out of his grey eyes. He was shorter than both of the girls, but what he lacked in height he made up for in bad jokes and charisma. He had always been interested in the fine arts, and currently he was one of the lead actors in their school's theater program.

Just then, a breath of magenta mist interrupted the conversation. Ceci grinned and put away her half-eaten apple. "That must be him."


"You'll see. Come on." The three teenagers quickly packed up and moved outside. Several groups of students were clumped around, sitting in the shade of trees and reading books in the afternoon sun. The quieter crowd tended to eat outside, and Ceci understood why. The lunchroom could be pretty loud and chaotic at times.

The halfa led her two friends around the side of the school, away from any prying eyes. Jamie and Denise peered at each other in confusion every few seconds, both clueless about what was about to happen.

All of the sudden, a ghost appeared right in front of them. Startled, the two humans jumped back with similar yelps of surprise, while Ceci just smiled at the sight of her new friend. The newcomer simultaneously looked amused and apologetic at the reaction.

"Hehe. Boo?"

"Denise, Jamie, this is Phantom. Don't worry, he's friendly. I think."

"I appreciate the vote of confidence." Danny muttered sarcastically, rolling his green eyes and smiling tiredly at the two humans.

"It's not too often that we meet ghosts that aren't, you know, attacking people and destroying everyone's property." Denise said with a laugh before looking over at Jamie. The short boy was frozen, his wide grey eyes transfixed on the ghost. "Jamie?" The girl waved a hand in front of his face. "Jamie! Don't you dare start crushing on a ghost! Wasn't the football player phase bad enough?!"

Ceci watched awkwardly. "Don't mind him. He does this sometimes..." The brunette boy remained frozen as the other girl repeatedly tried to snap him out of his trance.

The brunette boy blinked a few times, quickly turning red. "Uhhh... Nice to meet cute-I mean you! I didn't mean to call you cute, well I don't mean that you aren't cute, because you are- A-Anyway uhh... Hi?"

"Hi." Phantom said, turning green. "Uh.. thanks, I guess?" The other boy squeaked at the response, still red as a tomato. "It's nice to meet all of you, but could you please help me out now?" The ghost changed the subject, itching to return to his own family and friends.

"Once you tell us who you are and where you came from!" Ceci said, causing the other half-ghost to look at her in surprise and mild annoyance. "We can't use the lab right now, anyway. And I'm curious!" Her two friends silently sat down in the grass in anticipation.

The ghost boy sighed. "Fine. I'm half-ghost and from another reality where your father Vlad is half-ghost and Jack Fenton is human and he's my dad and we share the same mother so technically me and you are half siblings I guess and I sort of caused this to happen by going back in time and changing something accidentally and now I'm stuck here and the only way for me to get back to my own reality is if I go find Clockwork again and beg for forgiveness and he's probably really mad at me right now and I'm so stressed and tired of-" He stopped to catch his breath, realizing he had been ranting and had probably made no sense at all. He was met with three identical shocked stares. Several seconds of silence passed. "What? You asked!"

Denise broke the silence, still stuck on the first part. "You're half-ghost?"

Ceci ran her hands over her face exasperatedly. "Okay, okay, now repeat all of that, and this time go slower."

Phantom groaned, wondering if the Ghost of Time had enough mercy to just kill him then and there.

Finally, finally, he was at the portal.

He had talked with the group of teenagers for hours once school ended, and it actually wasn't as painful as he expected. It was crazy how parallel this reality was to his own, with the numerous coincidences and similar family dynamics and ghost attacks. Plus, Ceci's trio reminded him a lot of his own group of friends. He also learned about the Masters family and the quirks they had, like Ceci's younger siblings Charlie and Felicity, both of them still unaware of the girl's identity. They also compared notes about their parents and experiences at school. Even if it had delayed Phantom's return, he was still grateful that he got to know his half-sister.

It had occurred to him at some point the reason that he had met Dimensie hours before in Clockwork's tower. Perhaps the Master of Time had known what would happen all along, so Danny was sent into this other reality to learn a lesson or something. It would make sense, since the Master of Dimensions would oversee the multiverse and various realities in existence... meaning that Ceci's dimension would remain even after the past was changed back to normal. He hoped.

Emerging out of his thoughts, Danny tore his eyes away from the swirling portal and turned back to the other hybrid. "Thanks for your help, and it was nice meeting you!"

"Good luck with Clockwork." She said, ruffling his white hair. He shoved her away in annoyance.

"Great, now I have two annoying older sisters..." The ghost boy realized and rolled his eyes.

"And now I have three younger siblings to dote on." Ceci giggled. The two halfas smiled at each other and shared a quick hug. "You think we'll meet again, Phantom?"

"I'd say so, Spirit."

"Stay out of trouble... little brother." The ghost girl teased, making Danny roll his eyes.

"You say that as if trouble doesn't follow me around everywhere..." He approached the portal and looked back one more time. "Until we meet again?"

"Until we meet again." She repeated with a smile.

The waves of the three teenagers was the last thing he saw before he was surrounded by a sea of green.

By the time Danny got back to his own house, he was exhausted. And by the looks on his Jazz and Vlad's faces when they first saw him, it must have showed. Spending hours in another reality and then sheepishly apologizing to an angry Master of Time was exhausting work, after all.

After rushing into the lab invisibly, phasing upstairs to transform, and then walking back down into the lab while trying his best not to collapse, he proceeded to relay the information to his parents as nonchalantly as he could.

"Hey Mom, uh, have you thought about comparing the impurities to the chemical makeup of, say, a can of cola?"

Obviously he was more tired than he thought, if he thought that was nonchalant.

His mother shoot him a confused, slightly concerned look from the lab table. "That seems incredibly random, Sweetie... but we might as well try. Nothing else is yielding any results..."

Danny, Jazz and Vlad watched in interest as the Fenton parents retrieved some cola from the fridge and began experimenting with it. Soon enough, they found that they somehow had a perfect match.

"This is extraordinary..." Maddie commented in shock before scrambling to create a cure, knocking a few things off of the table in her hurry.

"I always knew my son was a genius!" Jack announced proudly, ruffling the teenager's already-messy hair.

"It was just a hunch, Dad." The boy said simply, smiling in relief before muttering something about homework and retreating upstairs. Too tired to do anything else, he collapsed onto his bed and was asleep within seconds.

"How're you feeling, Fruitloop?"

"Good as new." The man ran a hand over his face in relief. "All thanks to you." He was still lying in the cot, but his complexion and posture were both very much improved. He seemed all but back to normal, thanks to the Fentons' cure. He stood up from the cot to stretch, joints popping as he did so.

It was just twenty-four hours later, and Vlad was practically back to normal. It was almost instantaneous, almost like his first recovery in the hospital so many years before. Nevertheless, Maddie insisted on monitoring him for another day, just to be sure that he was fully healed. To Danny's amusement, the billionaire didn't seem to mind the extra attention from the woman.

"You should be thanking your lonely-guy cat, not me." The boy teased. "If not for her, I wouldn't have come for a few more days. You might have even been dead by then."

"Well, it wouldn't have been the first time."

"There's the death pun. Now I know you're definitely back to normal."

"Oh, hush."

"Make me." Danny giggled as the man glared and swiped at him playfully. "But seriously, I'm glad you're all right." The teenager said, not quite managing to disguise his relief. The man smiled reassuringly, bringing the younger halfa into a hug. They stood there for a minute or two, just being comforted by each other's presence.

"So, did Clockwork have anything notable to say?" Vlad asked cautiously, breaking the silence and pulling away to look down at the teenager. His blue gaze filled with poorly-masked worry asked the true questions. What happened? Are you okay?

The boy barely managed to hide a flinch. He might have recovered physically from the experience, but definitely not emotionally. From witnessing and preventing Vlad's accident, to feeling the guilt of disobeying the Master of Time, to being in another reality where the man was happily married to the love of his life with three kids... it was difficult to think about, much less explain to the man himself. How would he react knowing he could have been happy, could have had children, could have had a normal, content life with his close friend and long-time crush? How could Danny possibly tell him that?

The boy settled for a shrug, avoiding his mentor's eyes. Then he remembered another detail and immediately perked up. "Clockwork was just being his usual self, you know how he is, but Dimensie was nice."

"Who—wait!" Danny burst into laughter at Vlad's offended reaction. "You met another Ancient?! Without me?!"

"It's not like I had a choice, but yeah." He narrowly dodged a punch to the arm, retreating to a safe distance with a laugh. "I bet you're jealous!" He teased in a sing-songy tone.

"I can't believe you'd betray me like this." Vlad muttered emotionlessly. "After everything we've been through..."

"I guess you just couldn't keep up with me... Must be because of your old age."

"Why you little—" The familiar black ring formed, making the other halfa jump back with a giggle. Plasmius floated up off the ground, grinning as his hands lit with pink energy for the first time in days. Anyone besides Danny (even including most ghosts) would have been afraid at the display of power. "I am not old!"

In a nervous flash, Danny transformed as well and disappeared through the ceiling, closely followed by the other ghost.

All was well in Amity Park.

"I can't believe that happened. Oh my gosh, that's so embarrassing." Jamie covered his face with his hands, Denise giggling at his expense. It was the day after Phantom had come and left, and of course Jamie was just now realizing the extent of what happened.

"It was funny!" Denise said, laughing harder when the boy glared at her through his fingers.

"No it's not! Now he probably thinks I'm a weirdo!"

"We might not see him again, so it doesn't matter much anyway." The African-American girl answered with a shrug.

"I have faith that we will." Cecilia commented, smiling up at the sky. They were laying out in the Masters' backyard as they often did, looking up at the stars. The trio descended into comfortable silence.

"Okay, but I'm not the only one who thought he was cute, right?"

"He's, like, fourteen!" Denise answered in dismay. "Plus, he's not even from our reality!"

"You're both forgetting that he's my half-brother!" Ceci said in disgust, shaking her head amusedly at her friends. Jamie was a gay disaster as usual, Denise was teasing him as usual...

All was well in Peace Valley.

Well I hope you enjoyed whatever that was.. xD As always thanks for reading and see ya next time!

P.S. Ceci may or may not be returning sometime in the future! So if you're interested in her and her universe, stay tuned! ;) (Also there's some art of her human and ghost forms as well as Jack's on my DeviantArt page! Check it out if you want! phantoms14 . deviantart . com)