Hey, look who was in a writing mood. I even wrote a chapter for a fic ya'll have been longing for. This was literally done today, no real editing. I don't really edit this fic as i do others. But I have been in a writing mood recently and decided i would use this chapter to get back into the saddle again. If you follow any of my other fics you might want to be on the look out for a chapter 9-11 PoTJ edit and maybe a new chapter for Constellations and Greybox. I'm gonna have a lot of free time. My boss just tested positive for covid, I just took a test myself and it came back negative, but no work for me while he's infected. Unfortunate, but I'll be helping him by doing grocery runs for him and his family, and I'll be house/pet sitting for a friend so I won't be without some money.
5/5/22: Had to fix a sentence with repeat words, carry on.
"Hey, what channel is the Amity Town news?" Robin asked that morning. Phantom sat in his chair by the counter watching Megan burn pancakes in concern while drinking his possibly radioactive battery juice he called ectoplasm.
Wally had his nose buried in another of the Fenton's research papers, slowly going through them like a man on a mission ever since Phantom had given a pile of them to him a few days ago. Artemis and Connor seemed to be content to drink their coffee or juice and mind their own business.
"Uh…channel 13, why?" Phantom answered the boy wonder who was sitting on the floor of the living room with a laptop out and the panels of the tv/oversized computer exposed to its innards. No explanation. Some beeping noises. Phantom didn't look as concerned about Robin's possible slip into open stalking than Megan's burning of perfectly good pancake batter.
"No reason." Robin shifted, he side eyed his laptop and clicked something. Phantom sipped his glowing slushie and hummed.
Helping Phantom with rounding up the ghost Wally and Robin let out that first night of the week seemed to be what started to break the ice with the typically tight lipped hero. He still flitted around certain things, but he was more willing to speak to the other teenagers as they all figured out what to do during the week they were under Phantoms watch.
One of the things that they learned about the ghost was he had little to no interest in dealing with living villains.
When the alert for trouble in town or the league sent them on an assignment Phantom stayed put and simply wished them luck.
The night before he would be leaving for the month curiosity got the better of the team.
"So, any particular reason you don't come with us when we got work to do?" Artemis decided to rip off the band-aid first. Phantom's green eyes shifted over to the blonde and shrugged.
"To be honest I just don't feel comfortable doing hero stuff outside Amity. Or dealing with living people being the bad guys. I have enough human issues with ghost hunters wandering into Amity and after the Guys in White I don't want to." The ghost explained.
"Besides, I'm satisfied enough with taking care of my territory and my people. It feeds my obsession without overtaking me. Besides, you guys and the league have the rest of the world handled."
Robin furrowed his brow. "Obsession?"
Phantom nodded. "If you die with a strong enough feeling for something and you become a ghost it develops into an obsession. It's kinda like the driving force that keeps a ghost going."
The group was quiet for a moment. Wally seemed particularly pale as he looked at Phantom, Robin narrowed his eyes.
"So then what's your obsession?" Robin carried on. The ghost boy seemed to experience a full body shudder at the question, his wispy tail from where he floated in the air shifted much like a cat. He gave a stilted, awkward chuckle as he raked a hand through stark white hair.
"Wow, you go right for the throat, don't you?" he sighed. Robin eyed him with an unscrupulous look.
"Ok, uh, just heads up. Never ask a ghost how he died or what their obsession is. It's kinda bad manners."
Wally furrowed his brow. "Wait, but I–" Phantom held up a hand and gave him a slight smile.
"You didn't know, but it was on topic so I let it slide. Honestly I'm probably one of three who can actually control themselves if asked those questions."
"Huh, but why?" Megan tilted her head curiously. "I mean, what's wrong with asking a ghost those questions and what happens usually."
"Would you like strangers asking about your most traumatic experience without feeling seriously offended or weirded out?" Phantom offered.
"Oh…" Megan lowered her head with a frown.
"But to answer Robin its…" the teenager glanced up at the ceiling, taking what looked like a fortifying breath. "You got to understand that how I died was sudden and unexpected. My friends were with me and they could have very easily been caught up in the accident with me. It could have very well involved the whole house had the lab not been seriously fortified the way it was. But all I could think about as I died was that I hoped my friends weren't hurt."
"That kinda twisted and morphed into not wanting anyone getting hurt. I protect the people of Amity because protecting people I care about is my driving force."
"Out of curiocity, what happens when a ghost ignores or can't do anything about their obsession?" Wally asked.
"Oh, they go bat shit crazy." Phantom hummed.
"Charming." Artemis huffed.
It was a new month, but Phantom wasn't showing. It had already been two weeks in and it felt odd not seeing the ghostly form of the teenager slip through walls or summon them to the gym so he could have them go over the ghost hunting equipment and its uses.
Personally, Megan had been looking forward to Phantom demonstrating his powers and aspects of ghosts. She was curious how possession worked compared to reading others' minds.
However, half way into the week Phantom would have arrived, he had sent a message to the team to let them know he wouldn't be able to make it. Megan would just have to wait.
Walking out into the main room, dressed casual and comfy for a relatively lazy day Megan halted midstep to the image in the middle of the room.
Artemis was staring at a large collection of crates, all labeled 'fragile'. Red Tornado was standing among them.
Megan walked over to the two in confusion.
The archer and the martian blinked down at the large wooden crates placed in the middle of the base's lobby-not docking, the lobby-before turning back to the passive face of Red Tornado.
"Say what now?" Artemis raised her brow to the robot to continue whatever conversation the martian had walked in on.
"Batman wishes for the two of you to deliver these parts to Phantom so he has a working Zeta Portal closer to where he works." they repeated.
"Yeah, yeah, I get that," The blond waved her hand. "But why can't he pick this stuff up himself?"
"Phantom contacted us and informed us that due to 'shit hitting the fan' in the Ghost Zone he was stuck playing peacekeeper and was unable to leave Amity Park for the time being."
"But...there's no address?" Megan furrowed her brow as she wandered around the collection of crates and studied all the labels in sight.
"Batman explained that is due to Phantom keeping much of his personal life under lock and key–with Batman's assistance. You will be delivering the part to a couple of scientists in Amity Park that have ties to Phantom. The address will be forwarded to the ship through Batman and deleted upon arrival."
The young archer raised her brow. Megan hummed, yeah that sounds like something their illusive babysitter would work out.
"Well, shouldn't be that hard then. It was a boring day anyways. Wanna come with Megan?" Artemis looked over to her. The martian shrugged.
"Sure, why not."
Getting the crates to the loading bay was a pain, but once the supplies were strapped down and the girls buckled up the rest was all up to the autopilot settings.
The flight was quiet for the first half hour until Artemis scowled in thought.
"You know...I think this is the first time any of us have been to Phantoms home turf."
"Huh, you're right." Megan tilted her head as she looked out the window. The aircraft was on autopilot, so neither teenager worried much about keeping their eyes forward. "We know so little about his independent work."
"Except for that time Kid and Robin let loose all those ghosts last month."
"Ugh...that was the worst, and he fights those things everyday!"
Amity Park really is a small town. And surprisingly charming if you looked hard enough at the parks and historical buildings mixed in with newer construction and architecture. The people looked completely normal, going about their day. One would never think anything odd or supernatural went on in the town in Artemis's opinion as she and Megan looked out the windows of the airship to spy on the the goings on as the ship followed its designated path.
A few people looked up to spot their ship, none too surprised, but that was probably because they had seen weirder.
Eventually, the ship slowed as a particular building came into view. The archer's eye brows flew into her hairline with a disbelieving snort as Megan blinked.
"Well I guess that's one way to make sure you know where you are." Artemis offered as they eyed the obnoxious Fenton Works sign attached to the red stone building with another large metal structure on top.
The ship touched down with little fanfare and a noise from the control panel indicated as Red Tornado said, the destination coordinates have been wiped from the program.
"Well, time to meet the kind of people Phantom works with, yeah?" Megan shrugged out of her seat belt and happily made her way to the door.
They left the ship to walk up to the door. They knocked and could only stand awkwardly on the small porch on the red stone with the very...noticeable additions. There was a pause before they heard the muffled voice of a boy and then, the door opened.
They didn't really know what they were expecting. But the thin figure of a boy around their age wasn't really it. He stared at them with tired blue eyes as he leaned against the door frame and offered a small, equally tired smile.
Something about the expression nagged at Megan's mind, but she had little idea of who this teenager was.
"Um…Hello?" Artemis greeted.
"I guess the league had you guys do a delivery run for Phantom?" the boy asked.
"Uh, yeah, I'm Artemis, the green girl is Miss Martian, and you are…?"
"Danny Fenton, my parents are the ones you were probably expecting, but they're currently in a meeting with a ghost from the Farfrozen. But lemme unlock the back gate so you can bring in those materials the League promised my parents. There's an entrance to the lab in the backyard." Danny explained. Artemis nodded.
Again, the relocation of the crates was a pain, but Megan's powers moved it along nicely. Even Danny, who was surprisingly strong, helped out a bit. The delivery was technically done in just an hour without actually seeing these scientists or Phantom himself. The girls could have let things end there. But it was more out of a burning curiosity and a drive to maybe catch their babysitter by surprise that drove them to accept Danny's offer of a snack and drinks before they made the trip back to Rhode Island.
"So, your parents work with Phantom right? Whats that like?" Megan started as Danny poured glasses of iced tea for the three of them. The dark haired teenager glazed their way briefly, Artemis noted his eyes were blue, pale like ice. She nearly believed their was a glow about them, but that was a weird thought so she shook it away.
"It wasn't always like that, Honestly it was only around last year that my parents started working more with Phantom, before that he was pretty much alone." Danny revealed. That came to a surprise to the hero's, but before they could ask anything else the sound of footsteps coming up a flight of stares. The door off to the side with caution colors painted around the door burst open and a tall, wide shouldered older man came through. An excited grin splitting his face as he looked to the slighter boy.
"Danny boy, I will never get tired of talking with that Frostbite ghost. The things he can tell your mother and I and what his people are willing to share are an absolute goldmine of research and that philosophy junk your mother likes to contemplate in her free time!"
Just then, an older woman entered, her suit's hood was pulled off to reveal dark red hair and stunning violet eyes. Her eyes zeroed in on the two heroines before pulling up a polite smile and tapping her husband's arm.
"Jack, honey. We appear to have guests." She caught the man's attention before then facing Danny.
"Sweetie, you should be sleeping, we know you've had a rough week." The woman gently scolded her son. Danny rolled his eyes, but the expression on his face seemed far less annoyed than the action would imply.
"I'm fine mom, I was just coming down to eat before going back to sleep."
"Then grab a muffin and go, i'll pick up the plate while you sleep." she passed a plate and muffin to the tired looking boy before manhandling him out the door frame and towards where the stairs must be.
She returned a moment later with a motherly smile and shake of her head before facing the two visitors.
"Sorry, where are my manners. I'm Maddie Fenton, this here is my husband Jack Fenton." she introduced the man with another pat to his arm as the man greeted them.
"Judging by your age, i'd say you two are part of the group Phantom oversees once a month." Maddie guessed. Megan nodded.
"Yes ma'am. We came to deliver those Zeta Portal parts the League promised you."
That made Jack reveal another giddy grin.
"Oh sweet, those came in? Where are they? I want to get on that asap!"
"Backyard." Artemis pointed her thumb behind her and Jack Fenton was running out the door like a kid on christmas day. Maddie chuckled at her husbands excitement but didn't make a move to follow.
"Forgive him, he's just so excitable. I hope you had no trouble getting here. Or navigating the town." the woman asked as she took a free seat at the kitchen table.
"Nope, it was pretty uneventful. We were actually hoping to catch Phantom by surprise but we never saw him in town." Megan admitted.
"No, I suppose you didn't. We learned pretty quickly the Phantom is pretty camera shy. He doesn't like being noticed. But right now he's resting. Some stuff came up in the Ghost Zone regarding allowing my husband and I access to willing subjects to research. It kind of exploded really and he's had to spend days trying to smooth over a sort of contract certain zones are willing to sign with us. The ghost police and their ancients were never too fond of Phantom and even less to people like Jack and I."
"Shoot, guess Red Tornado wasn't lying when he said shit hit the fan. Is he ok?" Artemis asked.
"Exhausted, but fine. Don't worry dear." Maddie reassured before a scuffling and scrape of many feet was heard scrabbling up the flight of stairs to the basement. The trio turned to the door just in time for the glowing, bight green form of a puppy to scamper through.
Megan couldn't help her affectionate squeal as the puppy yipped and ran over to Maddie. The glowing creatures tail wagged fast enough to cause his rump to wriggle just as happily. The scientist pet the puppy's head gently.
"Danny's up in his room Cujo, but let him sleep ok? He's tired."
The ghostly puppy yipped in agreement before the click of its nails on the linoleum floor cut off as they floated up in the air and through the ceiling.
"That was a ghost dog." Artemis supplied unhelpfully.
"A ghost puppy!" Megan squealed in agreement.
"Danny always did want a puppy, I just never imagined he'd ever make friends with a ghost puppy." Maddie supplied.
"This town is weird and I haven't even seen anything but a ghost dog." Artemis shook her head.
"Welcome to the most haunted town in the world, dear." Maddie laughed.
The rest of their visit with the Fentons wasn't much eventful after that. The girls finished their tea and made sure all the delivered equipment made it into the Fenton's basement lab before once again strapping themselves into their seats and taking off.
It was as they were flying towards the town limits that something Phantom said before popped into Artemis's head.
"Hey…"she started, lips pursing. Megan turned her questioningly. "Didn't Phantom mention his accident happened in a lab apparently below his house?"
The inquisitive smile on Megan's face dropped as she took a moment to think back on the conversations they had had with Phantom. Unconsciously she turned back to where they knew the Fenton household was.
"I think he let something like that slip…" she offered. "You don't think–"
"Kid seemed to know something." Artemis said.
"I don't think Phantom would appreciate us looking into him like this"
"Never said whatever answers we get that I would shout them from the rooftops."
At the sound his name, the red head slowed his speed on the treadmill to see Artemis and Megan make their way across the gym to him. He grinned, leaning against the hand hold to grin.
"Well hello ladi–"
Forgetting the machines was still running left the teenager to slip with an inelegant squawk before the tread deposited him onto the floor, still running. Wally laid there in a heap and the two girls eyed him. Artemis, clearly unamused but expected nothing less, waved away the speedsters' embarrassed groan as he picked himself up.
"Ouch, ok. That was a mistake." He muttered.
"You ok Wally?" Megan fretted.
"Ok, anyways, so I have a question." Artemis steamrolled back into the conversation.
"And I'm expected to have answers then?" Kid Flash stood up to dust himself off.
"You apparently asked about how Phantom died before, right? What did he tell you?"
Wally glanced over the two with confusion.
"Um, nothing much different than what he said to Robin and the rest of you? He said he had an accident in his parents lab–why are you looking at me like that?"
Artemis wasn't sure what her expression was beyond a frown, but Megan held a hand over her mouth as the two girls came to the same conclusion.
"Guys, you're kinda freaking me out."
"We delivered stuff to those scientist–the Fentons today." Artemis bit her lip, unsure how much to say considering Wally was the closest to Robin who seemed dead set on finding out as much about Phantom as humanly possible.
"Cool, and?" Wally frowned, not knowing what they know.
"The Fentons have a son…he looks our age." Megan admitted. Wally blinked, looked like he was connecting some wires before his face went paler than the girls had ever seen.
"...Phantom mentioned he was still involved with his family even after he…you know…"
The three eyed each other.
"No one tell Robin a thing." Wally hissed. "Neither of you should have looked into whatever got you started on this. I like scientific discovery as much as the next science nerd, but Phantom hardly talks about himself now as it is."
"Agreed." Artemis nodded.
"Phantom is nice, we really should have let this lie. But yeah…let's not tell Robin."