Quick plot bunny - also posted on A03 under WastelandSpectre

The Therapy Session

It's a support group, or rather group therapy. A Triple A meeting for paranormal survivors, of sorts. A place where no matter how crazy your story is, you can sit there on a small little bench in that neatly perfect circle and in the dim lights that tend to flicker too much for his tastes, speak your thoughts.

He wouldn't even be here if not for his sister, she's getting worried about him. Everyone is, he supposes, and with good reason. But he sits there and listens to a woman go on about how her father was a cultist and now she's cursed and he wonders if he should even be here. Compared to her story, he feels like a sham. Like he doesn't even belong here and if he doesn't even belong here with the rest of the 'freaks' where does he belong?

He feels a shiver run down his spine and he holds his arms close to his chest in a vain attempt to warm up the cold that's threatening to take over him. He swears he can see his breath. The person next to him scoots farther away and frankly - he doesn't blame them.

He blinks and suddenly everyone is looking at him. The therapist, or paranormal investigator or whatever, quite frankly he's not sure what they're supposed to be, motions toward him to speak. He clears his throat and can't look anyone in the eye.

"I don't feel warm anymore," he starts, "I feel like I've been a ghost myself. I can stand right next to fire and I don't feel anything. My friends and family feel it when they're around me, they say it's like standing next to a ghost."

And in more ways than one, they are. The necks of his hair are on end, it always is. He can feel the goosebumps on his arm already. He sighs and runs his fingers through his hair. He tries his best not to chatter his teeth.

"And I see things too, things that I try to fight off, but it's like a constant battlefield. I can't sleep, I'm always fighting - always - they just won't leave me alone."

"They, who," the therapist - or not so therapist - asks timidly, as if they're speaking to a fragile child.

"The ghosts," he states simply, "Lots of them."

"Do other people see them?"

He almost laughs. Almost. By God, when was the last time he's laughed anyway? He can't be sure.

"Other people run. I'm just not a big fan of running away from my problems - especially when they're trying to hurt everyone. I'm the only one who can stop them so that's what I try to do, but after years of this - of no sleep, no life, no anything - I feel like I've become a ghost myself."

And he has, no matter how hard he wants to deny it. When it's clear he's not going to say more, the therapist's lips thin into a tight, comforting smile.

"Thank you for opening up to us tonight… Daniel Fenton, is it?"

"Yeah, but my friends call me Danny."

And the ghosts call me Phantom.