To everyone who reviewed: THANK YOUUUU! you made me so happy, and this is for all of you 3 you motivated me big time, thank you so much! -Happy
He thought about disappearing. He considered it, but he was still tired and that would take effort. Too much effort.
In the other room he heard Jazz announce that he'd woken up, and then whisper something she clearly didn't want him to hear, but thanks to his enhanced senses he still caught the "and don't ask about tests or samples or anything, okay?"
He was pleasantly surprised when Maddie whispered back, "Do you really think that we'd hurt our own son?" That put a small smile on his face. He knew he shouldn't worry so much, if the Reality Gauntlet incident had taught him anything. But it was easy to worry.
If Clockwork hasn't intervened then all is as it should be, he reminded himself, and let out a deep sigh. He glanced up as Jazz came back with Maddie and Jack in tow. They each pulled up a kitchen chair by the couch, and Jazz sat down at his side.
Leave it to Jazz to offer herself up for moral support. He noticed that she sat almost in his way of them. Like a shelter. Like a buffer, a wall.
And for a long moment, no one said anything. Danny still wasn't sure how much they knew, or how well they'd taken it. He swallowed hard and shifted around on his pillow. "So… uh… let's…"
Maddie bit her lip. "How about I start with what I saw, then you explain, hm?" she offered.
That was tempting. Let his mom do all the work? It was really tempting. But that wasn't how he wanted to do this. Danny shook his head. "I'll just..." he mumbled. "So uh… It started with the portal. Uh, you remember how I said I got it working? And that's how it shocked me, we went to the hospital and…"
Maddie nodded. "Is that not what happened?"
Danny swallowed hard. "I mean, yeah?" he said. "Except I wasn't… outside the portal—"
"You were inside the portal?"
And he nodded. "There's an on switch, on the inside, you know. It wasn't pushed. But it was plugged in and uh… I pushed it."
Now there was silence. And Danny let it hang there for a moment. Then, quietly, Maddie slid over to the couch and pulled him into a gentle hug. "You should be dead," she whispered, fear evident in her voice. "We're so lucky you're still here…"
Danny smiled into her shoulder, nodding a bit. "Yeah," he said. He leaned back. "I got the ghost powers from that. We think that ectoplasm fused with my DNA. So I'm…"
Jack blinked a bit. "Half ghost," he mused. "Incredible… Are you safe like this?"
Danny nodded seriously, wanting to dissuade them from needing to check. "Yeah, I'm fine. I haven't gotten sick in two years, not from any human disease anyways. I heal super fast. I can hold my breath, like, forever. I'm totally healthy, for a half-ghost."
Jack's eyes lit up a little bit. "Can we see?"
Jazz put her hands up. "Now hold on, he just woke up from being hurt!" she said.
Danny bit his lip. "And uh… you've already seen me like that."
Jack frowned deeply. "We have?"
Maddie looked down at Danny. "We have," she said quietly. "You're—"
"I'm Danny Phantom," he blurted out. He wanted to say it. He wanted to be the one who said it to them for the first time, not his mom. Not Jazz. Because this was his.
Phantom was his secret.
Jack's mouth fell open for the second time that day, and he was speechless. Maddie nodded a bit. "And we've been shooting at you," she mumbled. "Danny, I'm so—"
"No, no no no, it's okay!" Danny exclaimed. "It's my fault. I'm the one who didn't say anything. For like, two years. I could've told you."
"I don't blame you for not telling us!" Jack said. "I mean, with how we talk about Phantom, I'd be scared too! I'm so sorry…"
Danny sat up the rest of the way, testing his injury. It was already feeling a lot better. "I'm okay," he said. "I wouldn't have let you do anything to me… Are we okay?"
Maddie smiled. "We are, if you are," she said.
Jack nodded sincerely. "Yeah! We love you son, ghost, boy, or something in between!"
Danny let out a quiet sigh of relief. That was what he'd been waiting for. That was definitely a sign that things would be okay, right? It had to be. "And we're just glad you're okay," Maddie added. "What… what happened?"
Danny pushed his hair back. "Ah, I was in a fight," he said simply. "it didn't go like I thought it would. Can't win them all."
Jazz nodded a little. "And I mean, he's usually fine!" she added. "He hasn't had to get stitches in a long time, he's a hero!"
"M'not a hero," Danny mumbled. Jazz decided against mentioning his hero complex. "Really, I'm just helping people. Protecting them. And I didn't kidnap the mayor! He was overshadowed and he was kidnapping me! And—and I didn't mean to steal all that stuff, there was this guy who had gem stone that controls ghosts and it worked on me and—"
"Hey, hey, hey, it's okay!" Maddie said, waving her hands. "It's okay Danny. I know you'd never hurt anyone intentionally."
Danny considered telling them about Dan. But he didn't. "Anyways… it's all out in the open now. I'm half ghost. And I kinda want to take another nap, if I can?"
Maddie stood up. "Of course, sweetie!" she said. "Do you want to go upstairs?"
Danny nodded, starting to get up. "I got it," he said, deciding to put his parents to the test. He stepped away from them all. He mentally reached inwards to touch his core, and the bright ring of light flickered to life around his waist.
He watched their faces carefully as it split up and down over his body. His jumpsuit had been put the rest of the way back on, his gloves reappeared. He had to admit, the look on his moms face just about made him laugh.
"How does it work?" she found herself asking.
Danny leaned back into the air, taking the weight off his feet. "I just focus on it," he shrugged. "I can answer questions later, if that's okay? I'm tired and sore…"
Maddie nodded quickly. "Oh, oh, yes of course! Go get some sleep, Danny," she said quickly.
Danny flashed her a smile and turned intangible, then floated up through the ceiling into his room. But he didn't lie down, he listened. He could still hear down in the living room, and he wanted to know if everything had gone as well as he thought it had.
He heard Jazz start. "So," she said. "We're good, right? You're not going to like, try to test anything on him in his sleep or anything?"
Maddie groaned. "Jazz, sweetie, we never would've said all those things about Danny Phantom if we'd known… I mean we'll maybe want to check if he really is healthy? He seems fine, I haven't noticed anything in the last couple years with his health. Except maybe the exhaustion and the slipping grades—"
"That's from fighting ghosts," Jazz said expertly. "See, you've been doing studies on ghosts and their obsessions, right?"
"Yes, it's really—Does Danny have an obsession?" Jack asked.
Danny tensed. "Yeah," Jazz said. "It's not something that I can tell you about though. Ghosts don't like that. And Danny doesn't either."
"Just how ghost is he?" Maddie asked.
Jazz smiled. "Half," she said. "But the ghost stuff hasn't truly affected his personality, except maybe making him more responsible. He's a hero—oh! Here, let me get my scrapbook!"
Danny smiled softly, sitting on the floor of his room. Yeah, things would be alright. Jazz had his back.
And that meant he could really take a nap. He transformed back and crawled in bed, pulling his blanket over his head.
This was good. This would be good.
Thank you to Mynasaurus for beta reading!