Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etcetera, are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is, in no way, associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Fandom: Danny Phantom.
Summary: "Oh, uh...an idea for the project. I...I think it's supposed to be, like, electricity in a box. But, I don't even know what that means." "Sounds like something waiting to happen."
Warnings: AU. Discussion of existentialism, death and suicide.
Author's Notes: I'm writing this because I don't want to think about my upcoming tests and finals. And, also because this is basically filler. Enjoy!
His future was either phenomenal or devastating. Danny was only sixteen, and he was very familiar with feelings of despair and anticipation. Yet, knowing his future was split between two distinct paths left him with awful taste in his mouth. To grow up and become an accomplished astronaut, like he dreamed; or, to die at his own hand.
Danny could not go back to sleep after Clockwork's visit, and felt his weariness grow like a tangible force, pulling his limbs deeper into his mattress. His room smelled like salt and copper, like the majority of his home. Danny stared at the spot Clockwork once was, as if willing the ancient ghost to return and tell him his future has changed.
His heart ached and he wondered, What am I meant to do...?
His art project was progressing, but he knew his other classes needed his attention.
Danny stood in the doorway of his English teacher's classroom. It was lunchtime, which meant it was almost the perfect time to visit Lancer. The balding instructor closed his notebook, and smiled towards his student. "Come in."
Danny approached Mr. Lancer, swallowing down the trepidation building up his throat. He stood in front of the man's desk and inhaled deeply to calm his nerves. "Mr. Lancer, I'd like to a chance to improve my grades. Please."
Lancer hummed. "I suppose you are deserving of extra credit. Your average in my class happens to be a 2.2, while the average in your other classes are around 2.8 and 2.9, with, obviously, your preparation for college algebra class and chemistry class being a perfect 4.0. That's to be expected, of course, with you being the son of inventors."
The instructor nodded, resting his chin on his palm. "Very well. From what I've heard, Ms. Greene is having her art classes do a semester-long project. Do you know what you plan on doing?"
Danny rubbed the back of his neck. Are you kidding me? I don't fucking know what I'm doing. "Kind of?"
"Well, what ideas do you have?"
"Uh..." Electrocution sounds about right, but that's just alarming. "I've only got sketches so far."
"Might I see?"
"Sure..." Danny grabbed his backpack, opened it and dug through his folders and papers to find his sketchbook. He pulled the book open, and flipped through his previous sketches to show Lancer the current one.
Lancer took the sketchbook carefully, looking over the sketch of a box with scribbled lines inside of it, then returned it to his student. "Do you have any idea what it's supposed to be...?"
"Um..." Danny pursed his lips, then lifted his hand. He willed ectoplasm to his fingertips, and watched as tiny sparks of green electricity appeared upon his fingertips, then looked to Lancer.
The man looked absolutely fascinated. His eyes were wide, and his brows were raised. "Is that new?"
"Yeah. Haven't the chance to fight with this ability yet. Although, I haven't a clue as to what will happen."
"It's some sort of-"
"Ectoplasm fueled electricity," Danny noted. "It showed up when I was freaking out over that freaking sketch."
"Language, Mr. Fenton."
"Sorry, Mr. Lancer," Danny said, biting back a smile.
He forced away his ectoplasm, watching the sparks on his fingers disappear. Honestly, the electricity felt...morbidly nice. His fingers didn't feel so detached with energy coming out of them.
"It seems, " Lancer noted. "That you want to focus on electricity. There are many ways electricity can be a good topic, for example-"
"I don't want to do that."
"I," Lancer blinked. "I beg your pardon?"
"I'm not doing that."
"But, Mr. Fenton, it's a very convenient topic-"
"I'm not doing a piece on the thing that killed me."
Lancer blinked, as if he couldn't believe what he just heard. "Excuse me?"
Danny sighed, rubbing his hands together. "The reason I'm half-ghost is because I was electrocuted by my parent's portal." The boy's brows furrowed. "I'm not entirely comfortable with talking about...how I sort of died."
"Of course, Mr. Fenton." Lancer sighed. "Here's what I can give you. Do a paper explaining your piece, when you come up with it, of course. Every artist has to explain why they created their piece. No more than a page in length should be enough."
Danny nodded, a smile coming to his face. "Of course."
He grabbed his sketchbook and began to leave the room, but stopped just at the door. "Oh, um,...thank you, Mr. Lancer."
"Of course, Mr. Fenton."
As Danny left the man's class, Lancer closed his eyes. As the councilor to the eleventh graders, he was meant to alarm the teachers of any student showing signs of emotional distress. But, how was he supposed to explain to his colleagues that the reason Danny was feeling so terrible is because he's half-dead?
Lancer rubbed his temples. If he didn't stop thinking so much, he'd lose what little hair he had left.
Danny stared at his sketch. His class was surprisingly quiet. Even Dash and Paulina were focused on their work, although that might be due to the fear they had of Ms. Greene.
A box. Some scribbles. His new power. Electricity. He didn't want to draw about electricity. He didn't like it. He barely liked lightning, even before his accident.
Danny sighed. What am I meant to do?
The boy looked up at his teacher. The woman was wearing big circle lens glasses, and she stared at his sketch. "What's this?"
"Oh, uh...an idea for the project. I...I think it's supposed to be, like, electricity in a box. But, I don't even know what that means."
"Sounds like something waiting to happen."
"Waiting to happen?"
Ms. Greene nodded. "A box doesn't have to be a trap. It can be a container for something. And electricity is such a powerful but manageable force."
"So, like, potential energy?"
"Exactly! And what do you do with you potential energy?"
"You release it."
"Now, you're getting somewhere."
Danny tilted his head. Maybe what he was drawing wasn't a bad thing.
"You have a new power?" Tucker exclaimed, practically falling off of Danny's desk chair.
"I mean, kind of," Danny murmured. He drew open boxes, closed ones, half made ones. "It's like the beginning's of a new power. Like, when I first became a halfa. I can't exactly control the thing."
"It's weird, though," Sam mentioned from her place at Danny's bean bag. "It's electricity, right?"
"But aren't you an ice core-type of ghost?"
"Hey, what if he's a plasma ghost, instead?" Tucker noted.
"That's doesn't make any sense. Why would he have ice powers, then?"
"I dunno. A lot of what Danny's got doesn't make sense."
"You know what I mean, dude."
Danny closed his sketchbook. "What if I'm not an ice-core, you know? What if I'm a water-core. Plasma is kind of part of the whole cycle of solid, liquid, gas. What if this electricity is in between my ice powers and my regular ghost powers?"
"That's so cool," Sam noted, nodding her head.
"That's so wild," Tucker scoffed. "It's like there's something new every day. How are you even feeling by the way?"
"Eh, so-so." Danny answered, standing up from his place beside his bed to set his sketchbook onto his desk. "There are good days and bad days. Today's just been...confusing."
"You're gonna fry your brain to a crisp if you keeping thinking so much, Danny," Sam joked.
"Get off my case," Danny laughed. "I've got this question running in my head that won't go away."
"What the hell am I meant to do? I mean,...Clockwork visited me a while ago And what he said was...worrying, to be honest."
"Wait, he visited?" Sam perked up. "What did he say?"
"Sam," Tucker interrupted. "Don't push the dude."
"Nah, nah. It's cool," Danny said. He sat back down on his bed and stared at the wall. "It's just...Clockwork said that because of what happened last year, that...that Dan...he disappeared."
"He's gone?!" Both teens shouted.
"Yes. He's gone. He's gone because, apparently, wanting to die is the perfect way to get rid of your evil future self."
Sam and Tucker remained silent as Danny brought his hands to cover his eyes. "Clockwork said something is gonna happen that I'd either end up getting really bad then a lot better. Or getting really bad and, uh...dying."
"He said you were gonna kill yourself," Tucker said quietly.
"Yeah." Danny pressed his palms tighter against his face. "Guys, I swear, I don't want to die. It's just...I mean,...knowing that my future is kind of split into two is wild. And it's leaving me with all these questions."
Danny felt his bed dip with added weight. His hands were pulled away from his face and Danny looked down. Sam's hand was holding his left, and Tucker's was holding his right.
"You don't need an answer to these questions now, man," Tucker said. "Gotta calm down first before you start making decisions."
"Shh," Sam said, resting her chin on Danny's shoulder. "Shut up. Stop thinking."
Danny sighed and closed his eyes. He tightened his hold on his friends' hands.
He didn't know what his possible futures meant. He didn't know what his new power meant. He didn't know why he was drawing boxes and lines, and lines in boxes.
Right now, all he knew was his friends were still here with him.