A/N: Sorry for the long wait. To put it simply, I had to once again look for another beta reader because SaiyantonianSage couldn't do it anymore. I wasn't able to find one, and after some time I decided to release this chapter after a lot of proofreading. Once again, thanks to TheWhiteTitan for giving me permission to base this story off of yours. I do not own Danny Phantom, Marvel, or D.C.
A Phantom's Tragedies
"The Subject is unconscious," came a cold unfeeling voice. "It will not interfere with the surgery, now it is time to start with the removal of the core." The voice, belonging to a man, was currently overseeing the preparation of their captive organism. For years the subject has provided them with the means to combat the dead. To capture ghosts. To cut them apart and observe their biology, to witness the true scientific proof that ghosts were indeed real, and that just like them they could bleed. Now this one would help them in the construction of more powerful weapons to aid them in their goals.
"SIR!" shouted another voice. "The specimen is gaining consciousness, the anesthetics are not working." The being on the table struggled in his restraints, calling on all of its strength from his years of experience in fighting.
"KEEP THAT THING RESTRAINED! ACTIVATE THE DEFENSE PROTOCAL!" Surges of electricity came from the arm and leg restraints, electrocuting the patient. The screams of immeasurable excruciation were the only things that were heard, in the dark lab. All it could do was endure the pain, despite knowing that it would never end.
The poor soul was nothing more than a grotesque torso, with their arms and legs all cut off. Around the people in the room, were jars that were filled with several organs. A heart, a lung, you name it, all of it was preserved for study.
"Look at him Doctor! He's regenerating at a tremendous speed. We only just removed his limbs a couple of minutes ago and his healing rate is still performing incredibly!" exclaimed one of the surgeons. True to his word, skin and bone were starting to grow back. In only a few minutes did they finally finish their job.
"Yes, what good fortune that we got one who can grow back as many body parts as it can. It gives us more and more pieces of his autonomy to examine. He will be very beneficial to our research." The poor being can only whimper with the knowledge that he'll have to go through the pain of losing his appendages again.
"It seems the subject has built an immunity to our anesthetics," the scientist said. "No matter, the surgery will continue as planned, subject #040304 will not interfere, let us start with making incisions near the chest area." The man picked up the bloody scalpel, not bothering to have it sterilized. As he lowered the surgical tool, the pleas of mercy from the patient increased in volume, the closer it got.
"NO! NO! NO! STOP PLEASE! DONT DO IT!"
"AAAHHH" Danny cried as he woke up. Looking around at his surroundings, he was relieved to see that he was only in his apartment. He started to calm down. With his heart in his throat, Danny tried to reassure himself that it was over. He was safe, they couldn't hurt him anymore. It was nothing more than a bad memory, at least that's what Danny wanted it to be.
Finally calming himself down, Danny laid back down on his bed, trying to fall back asleep. Hours passed as he tried to dose off again, but his thoughts just kept him awake. Giving up, he walked out onto the balcony, taking in the sight of the night and the stars. Gazing at them in wonder like he did as a kid, he let his mind drift off. Reflecting on the events that got him here, all the tragedy that he endured.
Danny turned around as he saw Cujo staring back at him. Despite his inability to speak Danny could understand what was wrong with Cujo. The concern in the dog's eyes was pretty obvious.
"Yeah I'm alright. What about you? Did I wake you up?" a shake of the dog's head was his answer. "I see, can't sleep either?" Cujo nodded. "Yeah I know how you feel." Danny said as he sat on his bed. Cujo made himself comfortable on Danny's lap.
"I just can't stop thinking...about...I don't know what...I mean, how do I keep going you know?" Ever since his escape, Danny was uncertain about what to do. What could he do? What should he do?
'Where do I go from here' he thought. Even after a year he still couldn't find an answer. All he's ever done was just live. Not live in the typical sense mind you, but the type of "live" where one just went through the motions. Doing the same routine because they had nothing else to do. All of the joy sucked out of them, leaving nothing, but a living husk of what they once were.
Danny thought back on all he had done since he got out. He was able to land himself a job as a waiter at some Italian restaurant. Using the money he earned he got an apartment, spending his days as a normal human.
'Huh...normal' he thought to himself, 'yeah right' he wasn't normal. Normal people didn't walk though walls, or fly at speeds that no aircraft could compete with. They certainly couldn't lift objects ten times their size or shoot beams of concentrated ectoplasm out of their hands. No matter how ordinary he tried to live his life, he could never escape the inevitable truth. He wasn't normal.
'But then again, there are others like me' Danny scoffed at that idea. Even all those people with powers like him never understood him. He couldn't bring himself to be like one of them. Not after what they did to him.
Tears fell from his eyes, as he reminisced on everything. How his friends and family died. How his parents still didn't accept him, even after finding out his secret.
'I thought that they would still love me. That they would make an exception for me because I was their son.' This was the train of thought that he had as he decided to tell the truth to his parents. Finally tired of all the secrets he reveled his secret. He confessed everything, the portal, the powers, the ghost fights, all of it. He expected to be pulled into a tearful hug as his parents would firmly tell him that they loved him, no matter what. If only he knew that it was a fool's dream.
Instead, he saw fear and alarm in their eyes. They didn't immediately pull out their ghost weapons and start hunting him. So it seemed like a good start. Jack and Maddie still saw him as their son. The only problem was that they couldn't accept his ghost half. To them it was nothing more than a deadly disease that could kill him.
'Sweetie, you don't know what that thing is doing to you. Sure you have powers, but there has to be some negative to this. I mean, ectoplasm is harmful to humans. It could end up killing you.' He could still hear his mother's voice in his head as she lectured him.
'Your mother's right Dann-o. But that begs the question, why hasn't it killed you?' he remembered his father saying in agreement.
Being banned from using his powers was the first step. Then the constant blood samples and questioning of his biology and abilities. With this the two started to study his situation. Weeks of researching ended up giving them a possible theory. They believed that his ghost half was sentient and was slowly trying to take over. That they needed to remove it from him or else he would become a walking meatsuit for Phantom.
'Oh please, I've had these powers for years and that's never happened.' he scoffed. The ignorance of their minds and arrogance in the belief that they were the elite experts of ghosts made his attempts at explaining futile. The distrust and suspicion only continued to build as it finally took force on one fateful day.
Believing that they were saving their son, Jack and Maddie invented a machine that would remove all the ectoplasm in his body. When they told him that it was time to get rid of his powers, he refused. These powers were what made him who he is, he was able to help people and be something greater and he wasn't going to give them up. When talking to him failed, his parents tried to forcefully remove them. A small struggle broke out in the family area as he was caught in an ecto-net.
Ignoring his protests, they brought him down to the lab, where he was put on a table with his arms and legs restrained. Hanging above him was a small cylindrical device that looked like a giant sci-fi gun. As they were warming the machine up, Jack and Maddie explained that the gun, once fired would suck out all of the ectoplasm in his body. Horrified, Danny tried pleading with them. Saying that these powers are good and that not all ghosts are evil. All he got was a dismissive look from them. Realizing that they wouldn't listen to them, he began shouting, hoping that someone might come to his aide.
His attempts paid off as Jazz came down to see what the commotion was. The confusion on her face turned terrified as she saw her little brother strapped to a table. She made a beeline towards him before their father grabbed her and dragged her upstairs. She tried to convince her parents that what they were doing was wrong and that they were gong to hurt Danny.
Her efforts were brushed off by their parents as they told her that what they were doing was the only way to save her brother. That it was best for him. Resulting in him trying to start over, to pick himself off of the ground, and he did. Danny found comrades and people who he thought could accept him. To live his life with kindred spirits.
With his one last hope to keep his powers gone, Danny saw that it was over. Danny Phantom would be gone forever. All of the things that he'd been through would just be a distant memory. He couldn't keep his powers, his parents would never allow it. His parents. The ones who couldn't see the pigheadedness in their actions. They were taking away the one thing that gave him purpose. Stopping his struggling, he turned to his parents and told them that he hated them. All of the love that he had for them was gone. They were nothing, but cruel savages that used science as their excuse for performing their inhumane experiments.
Even as the device hired a red beam down on him, he kept insulting them. Making fun of the fact that they couldn't catch a ghost if it was living under their roof. That they were nothing but a bunch of idiots who even their kids are embarrassed of. Anything that would distract him from the pain of his powers being forced out of him. His insults went quiet as he kept concentrating on holding the ectoplasm in his body. That maybe if he kept holding on the machine would give out.
For what felt like an eternity, Danny was in a tug of war with the machine over his powers. Sweat dripped down his face, as exhaustion was beginning to show, but he couldn't give up. He had to do it, he just had to hold on for a bit longer.
Looking up towards the door he saw that someone was beating on the door. It had to be Jazz. She wasn't going to give up on him. After a couple more bangs, the door was starting to break as it showed, the perpetrator...or perpetrators.
There he saw his sister, holding an axe along with Sam and Tucker. "GUYS! HELP! GET ME OUT OF HERE! PLEASE! Danny cried his hope of salvation now reawakened. Rushing down the stairs, the trio ran towards Danny, before Jack and Maddie got in the way. Shouting and screaming were all that Danny could hear as the two groups argued.
"YOU HEARTLESS BASTARD!" Sam cried. "HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO YOUR OWN SON?!"
"I'M TRYING TO SAVE MY SON!" Jack countered. "THAT ECTOPLASM IS INSIDE HIM AND IM NOT GOING TO LET IT KILL HIM!"
"IT'S NOT GOING TO KILL HIM YOU IDIOT!" Tucker all but shouted out. "IT'S A PART OF HIM!"
"I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WOULD DO THIS TO YOUR OWN FLESH AND BLOOD! YOUR SICK! YOUR SICK!' Jazz yelled with undying contempt to the two people that she once called mom and dad.
The group tried to move towards Danny, but Jack and Maddie stood in their way. Not having any more patience with the two so called "geniuses" Sam pulled out her wrist blaster and fired it. The two scientist jumped out of the way as Tucker and Jazz also brought out their weapons, aiming it at the adult Fentons with no hesitation.
"GET BACK YOU FUCKING BASTARDS! STAY AWAY FROM DANNY!" Sam yelled, holding the weapon with itchy fingers, ready to shoot them if it came to that. Tucker and Jazz tried to get Danny off the table, but the restraints wouldn't budge. Their repeated attempts at trying to pry them open, only increased their frustrations.
"We need a key to get him out, we gotta find the key." Tucker stated. Hearing this Sam got closer to the Fentons, still aiming the weapon at them.
"WHERE'S THE KEY! GODDAMMIT! WHERE IS IT!" Sam interrogated. Jack and Maddie didn't answer at first, until Sam threatened them again. "TELL ME WHERE IT IS OR I'LL KILL YOU RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW!"
Convinced by her no-nonsense tone, the two complied. Jack pulled the key out and started to slowly walk to Sam. Each step was like setting off a bomb of nerves, apprehension was all around in the air. Reaching grabbing distance from Sam, Jack held out his hand, offering the key in his palm. Slowly reaching towards it, Sam was about to take it, when Jack grabbed her arm, the one that was holding the wrist ray blaster. Struggling to get out of his massive grip, she ended up firing the weapon.
Time seemed to stand still, as the blast headed in the direction that it was going. Straight towards the ghost portal's ecto-filtrator.
The next thing that Danny remembered was a ringing in his ears, as his vision was blurry. Once it cleared up, Danny found himself in a crater, with the destroyed remains of FentonWorks all around him.
Panicking, Danny tried to dig through the rubble, hoping that his friends were alright, even though he knew that it was impossible for them to. Using his intangibility he was able to scoop Jazz and Tucker from out underneath.
Taking their pulses, he started to sweat as his search for one turned up fruitless. Using every idea that came to him, he tried to bring them back, but for all of his powers, he couldn't stop death. Breaking down, he sobbed as he closed both of their eyelids, it was the least he could do for them. They did so much for him. 'Why?' he thought bitterly, "Why did this have to happen? How could it come to this? I...I couldn't sa-save them?"
"Danny?" even through the sounds of his own crying, he could still hear a weak voice calling for him. Pinpointing where the sound came from, he put his hand through the debris, and pulled. Out came Sam, all bruised, and bloodied up. "SAM!" he cried, laying her down to try and find a way to heal her injuries, "YOU'RE ALIVE!" he shouted in relief.
It soon evaporated when Sam's sad-filled eyes looked straight at him. "Danny," she said in a painful voice, as if the very act of speaking was killing her, "I..I..don't think I'm gonna make it."
Gripping her shoulders Danny gave her a serious stare, "NO! DON'T SAY THAT!" he cried in a desperate plea. Calming his voice down he continued, "Everything is going to be alright Sam, I'll get you to a hospital-"
"Danny...I...I'm...not going to survive...not this time...its over."
"No no no no, stop it, I'm going to save you." He tried to scoop her up in his arms, but Sam kept protesting.
"Please, Danny...we both know that this is the end."
"I'm so sorry Sam. I couldn't help you-" his constant apologies were interrupted as Sam gave him a weak glare in response.
"No...it's not your fault...don't blame yourself" her glare softened as she gave him a sad smile.
"I want you...to know...that...you've been a great friend...Danny" She kept going, no matter how much pain it was to speak, but damn it she was going to give her friend a goodbye. "I'm glad that I met you...you were the greatest thing that ever happened to me and I want you to know...that I love you."
Danny was taken aback by this, "You, you love me?" he asked.
Smiling even more, she nodded, "Since the beginning...I was just afraid to tell you."
"Sam." he interrupted. "I love you too, but I can't leave you here."
"Danny...promise me one thing?" Leaning towards Sam, he nodded. "Of course Sam, anything. What is it?"
"Promise me...promise me that you'll always stay true to yourself, that you'll always be the sweet, loyal, and kind guy that I fell in love with."
"I won't lose who I am. I promise you Sam." he swore as he gripped her hand tightly.
"Goodbye...Danny...I love you." Her final words finished, Sam relaxed as the life left her eyes.
He stood with Sam's lifeless body, until the authorities arrive. Not knowing how to explain the incident, Danny just stayed invisible the entire time, watching as the people he once loved were put into body bags. He stayed rooted to the spot he was standing in the entire time, even after everyone left. Maybe it was because he was still in shock, or refusing to move on from this, but eventually he left the scene of destruction that was once called home.
He attended the funerals for them all, invisible. He couldn't face the grieving parents of Sam and Tucker. After all, he was the reason that their children were dead. He did the same at his families funeral, he was the only one there except for his Aunt Alicia, but Danny wasn't really close with her. It seemed like it would be better to let her live her life in peace. There was also Vlad, but he knew that going with him would spell disaster.
With no where to go, he took to wandering around Amity Park. Occasionally stopping the few ghost attacks, or just flying around aimlessly. He would sometimes sneak into places like the Nasty Burger to get food. Usually he was in human form wearing a disguise when he did something like this. He would always feel pain whenever he was in his normal form, so he mostly stayed as Phantom. Little by little he started to prefer his ghost form over his human form. This would become a permanent behavior for him after he stumbled across a news broadcast. Turns out that there was a search for him, or his human half, but he guessed everyone gave up as he was declared dead.
He thought that it was appropriate, as he did die on the inside. It was then that he declared that he wasn't Danny Fenton anymore, as he died with his friends. He was just Danny Phantom now. Seeing that he had nothing left for him in Amity Park, and that Valerie was capable of protecting it, he decided it was time to start anew elsewhere.
'If only I could start a new life with a clean slate,' he thought, 'but thanks to Amity Park and the assholes in it, I couldn't even have that. They just can't stop themselves from making my life more hectic then it already is.'
It turns out that someone started a rumor that Danny Phantom was the one who caused the explosion, he didn't know how this came about. It could be that someone noticed his disappearance since the tragedy and thought they were connected, but that wasn't likely. Apparently someone ratted out his secret to the news people, and the knowledge of Danny Fenton and Danny Phantom being the same was widespread. To this day, Danny still wasn't sure who did it, but that wasn't the issue. The person also told them that Danny was responsible for the deaths. As the news spread, he was forced into hiding, with people under the belief that he was a murderer.
Now he had to live his life on the run, hopping from one location to the next. It was a constant routine, until he was finally cornered and brought in by the Justice League. Taken to the Watchtower, he was interrogated fiercely by the group until he finally convinced them of his innocence. This was mostly due to Martian Manhunter confirming the truth with his telepathy. Thanks to that he was saved from going to jail.
It might've been a relief to Danny, if it weren't the fact that the League decided to put him under their supervision. He had to stay in a private part of their headquarters, and wasn't allowed to wander around without being watched by a member of the league.
He was then handed to S.H.I.E.L.D where he met Nick Fury, a very intimating man with an eyepatch. There, he went through the same "Don't go anywhere I don't want you to" thing before he was eventually drafted into the Avengers after a background check. Back then, it seemed like the only path that he could take was to join.
One would've thought that being part of the Avengers would be a pretty cool experience. Well it was for the first few seconds, then he was regarded as a leper as all the members did their best to avoid him. It wasn't all that bad, there were those like Thor and Captain America who were civil to him. Others like Black Widow were mostly indifferent towards him. While members like Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye were downright hostile. It wasn't that they believed he was still a criminal, but the fact that he was too young in their eyes to be a superhero. In their eyes, he was some upstart who only knew how to play hero.
It kept going until he was voted off the team. Cap's face was devoid of any emotion as he informed Danny of the news. His excuse was that there was a personality conflict. That was a lie, Danny knew that they started to fear his power as he noticed the glint of wariness in their eyes whenever they looked at him. Even Bruce Banner, the Hulk, capable of destroying entire armies and going toe to toe against gods, wasn't an exception to this.
Knowing when he wasn't wanted he left and decided to go back to the League. At the time he was under the impression that being a superhero was the only thing that he could do with his life. The public still saw him as a villain because the so called 'heroes' were too busy to help him with clearing his name. So he approached them, and asked if he could join. They had to come to a vote regarding the decision and it was decided that Danny would join. He wouldn't be a member, but he would be given the opportunity to work his way up to one.
Danny knew it wouldn't be easy. Still, he figured that he wouldn't have to put up with any more mistrust. It turns out that the Justice League were no better then the Avengers, as he was once again a social pariah. Most members of the League thought he was also too young, and that he was a potential threat. Brushing these claims off, Danny kept on doing his duty to being part of the Justice League.
His reward was being put with the Titans. It was clear that the League didn't want to have Danny as one of their own so they just decided to get rid of him.
His third team, the Teen Titans, was actually better than the previous groups. For one thing, they were all around the same age, so there was no "your too young" opinions. Also, he was able to bond with them, as they had very friendly personalities. It wasn't all perfect though, there were the occasional arguments among the team, but that's always bound to happen. The real problem was Jump City, because they couldn't accept the fact that a so called "criminal was on their team." What happened was that neither the Avengers or the Justice League tried to clear his name. They told the authorities he was innocent, but made no effort to inform the public. It could've been because they didn't want to infuriate the public and have them turn on them. So it was really tense with the team as they had to deal with the people protesting for Danny's removal.
He thought it would be the end of their friendship, but surprisingly they stuck by him. They didn't kick him off or treat him any different. He was still one of them. He was a Titan and he would continue to try and prove his intentions were good.
Sadly, all of his efforts went crashing down. Then it came, the lies, the betrayal, and...the lab. How his teammates turned on him. All because of a crime that he didn't commit. He couldn't recall what the crime was, but he knew he was innocent. He remembered that. It was the only thing that he had to keep him sane during the years that he was with the GIW. His body started shaking a bit, as for a moment he struggled to breathe.
Seeing his master's distress, Cujo snuggled into Danny as he tried to comfort his master. Hugging Cujo to his chest, Danny sobbed as all the memories of torture and humiliation came flooding back. The time where, they cut out one of his eyes, or that time where they poured liquid ecto-ranium on him. They said it was to test on how fast it could deteriorate a ghost, but Danny was certain that they did it just for the fun of it.
Despite all the damage they've done, Danny's body healed all of the injuries. Regeneration, one of his newest powers that he received. One would think that would be a good thing and it was, but that only gave them the opportunity to repeat the same atrocious acts. Death itself could not grant Danny salvation from the Guys in White. He was gonna be there forever, and he would be walking on nails for all eternity.
That was, until Vlad and Dani broke into the compound. Of all the people, Danny never thought Vlad would come to his rescue. Sure, he knew Dani would be someone to help him, but Vlad? However, Danny wasn't going to complain. He remember the tears of relief and joy when Vlad carried his body out, as they flew away. Danny remember the horrid deaths of the people in the lab, and he remembered the sheer anger in Vlad's eyes as he saw what had been done to him.
For the next couple of months, Danny spent time recovering with Vlad and Dani at his mansion in Wisconsin. Miraculously, they were able to put their differences behind them, as they sought comfort with each other. They, the only three beings who could relate to each other, but Danny couldn't stay. No matter how much it pained him to leave, he had to. If he stayed he would only be further tempted into asking Vlad to remove his human half. No matter how much he didn't give a fuck about the world, he couldn't find it in him to leave it to the mercy of a newly created Dan Phantom.
Before he could leave, it seemed that he had to endure one more tragedy, as the GIW invaded the mansion. The three halfas fought together to stop the invading GIW. Their powers allowed them to put up a good fight. Sadly, the GIW's numbers more than made them an even match. The GIW proved their credibility when they killed Dani. She was shot to death by their weapons. Using Danny's ectoplasm that they gathered from their experiments they were able to make more efficient weapons. Only through sheer luck did Danny escape with his life, while Vlad's fate was uncertain. Danny still wondered if the man was okay. He didn't want to leave him, but Vlad told him to run. Saying goodbye to Vlad one last time he left.
While fleeing from the soldiers, he discovered a tracking implant inside him. Realizing this is how they tracked them down he removed it. Now confident he couldn't be tracked, the young man took refuge in a homeless shelter in his human form. He was able to avoid being recognized by wearing a disguise. A simple blonde wig and brown contacts and behold he was undetectable. Appearance wasn't the only thing he changed. He took on the name Billy Powers. It was a weird name, but original. A couple of months later, he reckoned that it was time to go somewhere else.
The thing was, he didn't know where he would go. Going back to being a hero was out of the question, not after what they did to him. They may have been heroes in the public's eyes, but to Danny they were monsters. Throwing him into the clutches of the GIW, Danny would never forgive them. Deciding that both Phantom and Fenton were dead, it was time to start an ordinary new life. He found work and was later able to afford an apartment. The days continued as he lived a life that wasn't about saving people or stopping bad guys.
It wasn't peaceful because even as Billy Powers he couldn't get a break. The job he had was a complete nightmare and to think that he fell so low because of some self-righteous superheroes. The old anger that he held since the betrayal started to return, but Danny tried to suppress it. Even the horrors of the Guys in White couldn't compare to the trauma he suffered from his encounter with Dan.
The untold power he wielded, and how he used it to ravage everything he encountered, brought a shiver to Danny's spine. He recalled the hundreds of times he would wake up in a cold sweat at the nightmares Dan brought. Nightmares that usually consisted of Dan killing the people he loved. Leaving Danny scared that one day Dan would return, and that he would finish what he started. That his friends and family would die.
'But then again, he's too late they're all gone.' Danny closed his eyes trying to forget how the ones who truly loved him were gone.
He could never hear one of Jazz's lectures that, although were annoying, showed that she cared for her little brother. How she always looked out for him at home and how she even helped him keep his secret from his parents. Even driving him to school some times, which was much appreciated when the alternative was riding in the RV.
He could never hear Tucker go on about the newest gadgets or how he was "Too Fine" to be single. No more being reminded of his constant love of meat, that honestly sounded like an addiction. Hell, he even missed it whenever he'd complain about losing one of his PDAs. Even though he had dozens of them in his possession.
Most of all Danny would never see Sam again. Never able to gaze again at her violet eyes that always held worry in them when Danny would return injured from a dangerous battle. Never again, could he listen to one of her rant's about protecting the environment and how she was a vegetarian. They were nothing more than memories. Memories that once made him happy, now they brought nothing, but grief.
"I loved you Sam." He spoke, as if she could hear him. "I just wish that I realized it sooner." Sam was the only girl that he could have a relationship with. Paulina and Valerie loved one half of him and hated the other, but Sam loved all of him. She would always go on to tell Danny that he was unique and that his powers made him special. After her death, he thought that no one would love him like Sam. That he would never find someone else. There was one girl who Danny thought would return his feelings. Unfortunately, it never worked out, as she never returned his feelings and made it very clear vocally.
'Well she made her feelings clear, there's no point in getting upset about it, the only thing you can do now is to move on.' and Danny would. The only thing he could do now was to put the past behind him, there was no use in trying to get revenge or retribution. He knew that if he went down that path he would become just like Dan. Petting Cujo, Danny laid down in bed and got under the covers. Holding Cujo in one of his arms, he made himself comfortable and eventually sleep claimed him.
It wouldn't last for more than two hours. When the restlessness returned Danny got out from under the covers, careful not to wake Cujo. Satisfied, that he was undisturbed, he grabbed a couple of photographs and sat on the edge of the bed.
The moon shined through his window as the clock kept on ticking. In the silence of the night, he gazed at the photos in his hand. Staring at the first which showed him and his family. All of them were smiling happily at the camera, there was a sense of love among this group. The feeling that they'll stay together no matter what happens. Another of him and his friends. Innocence was all that shined on their faces, a friendship that was like a flame. A flame that would never go out.
Finally there was him and the Titans. They were all facing the camera with the Titan Tower behind them. They all had different emotions on their faces. In the center he could see himself, with a face of joy at finally finding another family. To his right he was greeted by the smiling faces of Beast Boy and Cyborg, as he recalled all the fun they had whenever they hung out together. Whether it was helping Cyborg with his car or playing videogames with Beast Boy to try to see who could get the higher score. The three of them were like brothers in all but blood.
On his left was Starfire, with her adorable excitement. She always managed to keep a smile on her face, always intrigued by Earth's culture. A smile appeared on his face as all of the dishes that she tried to make came to mind. Despite her sweet personality, she was a horrible cook. The recipes of her homeworld were something she tried to share with the rest of the team. Flattering as it was, it only brought apprehension and nervousness on her friends' faces as they looked at the foreign monstrous dish. He let out an amused chuckle at the memory of the disgusted reactions that they had whenever they laid eyes on one of her meals.
The small smile on his was replaced by a frown as he saw the person on Starfire's left. Robin. To think that he saw him as a friend, that he saw elements of himself in the guy. A guy who had an urge to bring justice to anyone who tried to hurt innocent people. Sure they had their differences, but he never thought that Robin would turn on him in an instant. Then again, he should have expected this as Robin was known for his paranoia. Something that was passed down to him by his mentor. The glare that he gave Danny when it happened, he looked at him as if he was a murderer. As if all the moments they spent together as a team meant nothing. No hesitation, no remorse, nothing. Not even a hint of a doubt.
'I guess the Boy Wonder thinks that he can never be wrong, just like a certain rodent mentor of his.' he mused.
It took him quite a bit of restraint to keep himself from crushing the photo in his hands as he saw the last titan. Not even looking directly at the camera, as she tried to not be noticed. A blank look was all that she had as she stood disinterestedly next to Robin. Violet eyes that showed no emotion when she ripped his heart out and crushed it in the palm of her hand. After Sam's death he thought that he would never be able to love again.
That was until he met Raven, he thought that she was beautiful with her violet hair, and pale skin. Even though she would always isolate herself in her room, Danny couldn't help but have feelings for her. Maybe it was because she reminded him of Sam, or that he saw her as someone who understood what it was like to be alone. Whatever the case, Raven didn't return his feelings, she only saw him as an abomination, just like the rest of the world. She even tried to use his feelings to apprehend him, when everyone thought he was a criminal.
'I thought we were a team, that we were family.' he thought miserably. 'Raven, I thought that you cared.' He didn't know why he kept this picture, they didn't deserve to be remembered. Forgetting their faces would be something that Danny was in full favor of, but for some reason he couldn't. Every time he came close to doing it, he would always stop himself at the last minute. It didn't mean that he wasn't angry at them anymore. Quite the opposite really.
They should just count themselves lucky that he's keeping his promise not to become something like Dan. If it weren't for that, there would be newspapers talking about how the Teen Titans and their rotting corpses were found. For a second his eyes saw red before deciding that getting angry was useless. Throwing the photos into a drawer, Danny laid down back in bed, taking a couple of breaths to calm him down. Holding Cujo to his side, Danny started naming the constellations in his head, hoping to take his mind off his troubles. Calmed down and relaxed, Danny drifted off to sleep.
Black that's all Danny could see. An endless void of blackness. 'What?' he thought. 'What is this place?' As he turned around to examine his surroundings, he realized that he was standing on something, so he wasn't just floating in some empty dimension in space. Still, he couldn't figure out where he was.
'How did I get here? I was sleeping in my bed and now I'm here. This doesn't make any sense.' Seeing no other choice Danny started walking in a direction that he picked randomly. For what felt like hours, Danny kept on walking as he tried to find his way out.
'How messed up is my life, if something like this isn't really that out of place for me?' A glint of light was soon caught in the corner of his eyes. As he observed it, he noticed that it was a sort of pale blueish kind of light. By the way that it flickered, it looked as those it was a sort of fire.
"Why Danny?" A shiver went up Danny's spine as he heard the same voice that haunted his nightmares. Turning around he saw him. The only source of light being his flaming hair. Showing the malevolent face of the monster in front of him. The monster he could become. However, there was something different about him. There was no smugness or malice on his face. There was just a look of confusion on his face.
"Why do you keep doing this Danny?" he asked. "Why do you hinder yourself? Your holding back your true potential. What're you hoping you'll accomplish?"
"I'm hoping that I never turn into you. I made a promise to my friends and family that I'll never become you, and I'm keeping that promise."
Dan looked at Danny as if he were a small child who was ignorant about something that was very obvious. "What friends? What family? Your parents hated you remember. When they found out what you are, they tried to get rid of your ghost half. They saw it as nothing more than a disease that needed to be cured. Why keep a promise to them? They couldn't keep their love for you, so why do them any favors? Besides, you got no family left, so there's no point in keeping some ridiculous promise."
"I don't care if they're gone, I wont break my promise." Danny declared. At this Dan raised an eyebrow.
"You mean a promise where you take everything the world throws at you. To put up with all of those ungrateful townspeople who called you a menace, even though if it weren't for you they'd be dead by now." he stated with bitterness in his voice. "Or how about the superheroes that always looked at us like we would hurt someone when they weren't looking. The Avengers, the Justice League, oh and what about the Teen Titans, hmm?" Dan asked mockingly. "The same people you called brothers and the the same people who sent you to the Guys In White. All without so much as a second thought."
Danny pondered on his words. It was true that he never was really trusted by the other heroes. Thanks to Freakshow mind control orb, and Walker he had to put up with everyone thinking he was a menace. No matter how much he tried to prove that he wasn't evil, that he just wanted to help, no one believed him. Although, he did manage to convince the Titans and the other heroes that he was framed, but that doesn't really matter anymore.
"They never were your friends Danny." Dan continued, "The only people who did give a crap about you were Sam, Tucker, and Jazz, but even that's unlikely."
"SHUT UP!" Danny cried, "YOUR WRONG! THEY DID CARE ABOUT ME! ALL OF THEM! SAM, TUCKER, JAZZ, THEY WERE MY FRIENDS AND THEY ALWAYS HAD MY BACK! THATS WHY IM KEEPING MY PROMISE!"
"What promise?" Dan asked, "A promise that no matter how much shit the world gives you, you can't do anything about it. You just have to put up with it. That they can do anything to you, but you can't fight back. What kind of promise is that?"
"You know why. If I go down that path I'll turn into you and I'll never let that happen."
"You really believe that?" Dan asked, clearly thinking that Danny wasn't being serious.
"I won't become you. Your too late, Vlad is gone, so his ghost half can't corrupt mine." At this Dan started laughing hysterically, like Danny had told a hilarious joke.
"Oh you are such a child. Do you really think that fruit loop was the one who made me what I am. Please." he said in a dismissive tone. "I'm not some hybrid of you and Plasmius, I'm a hundred percent you."
"But in the future, Vlad told me-" Danny protested before Dan interrupted him.
"Cheesehead only told you what he thought happened, not what actually happened. You see Danny when I ripped out my humanity I also took out half of my emotions. My personality was split in half. Just like that one time you did with the the Fenton Ghost Catcher. One half had half of your personality and the other half had the other parts of your personality. It just so happens that the time I ripped out my humanity. My ghost half had all of the negative emotions, like hatred and greed, while the human half had the other emotions like sadness and joy. I didn't merge with Vlad's ghost half. I absorbed it."
Danny was shocked at the information that was presented to him. It did make sense, since Dan always referred to himself as a future version of himself. He never made it seem like he was a hybrid of him and Vlad. Deep down he knew this, but he kept telling himself that it was Vlad's ghost half that corrupted him. It helped ease the guilt he felt (if only barely) and thought that he wasn't entirely responsible. But Dan's words held a lot of truth. Even if he didn't absorb Vlad's ghost half. It didn't mean that he couldn't become like Dan. His horrified realization was cut off by Dan.
"Now if your wondering why I look like this," he said as he pointed at his face, "I'll tell you. The appearance of a ghost reflects their emotional state. Now since I only had anger I turned into this. Usually the transformation is gradual, but not in my case. When I absorbed Vlad's half I also absorbed his emotions. We both know that he has a lot of bitterness in him so when I absorbed it, I took in his hate. This ended up causing me to look like this. So Plasmius didn't corrupt me, he just gave me a little nudge into being the person that I am and the person that you'll be." he stated.
"I don't care what you say. I won't go down your path. Never."
"And what path will you go down, Danny? There's no other option. I mean you could just spend the rest of your days in solitude, living miserably while everyone else around you lives in luxury. To be pushed aside by anyone you encounter. Is that the path you want to go down?" Dan replied, "You're all alone, there's no point in trying to be selfless. Just look at where's it got you. What's the point? Let it out, embrace what you are, and you will have a power you've never known."
'He's right.' a part of him thought. 'Why keep going? There's nothing left for us. The world took everything from us, we might as well take everything back.' Danny knew that it was true. He had nothing. Nothing worth fighting for. So why keep going?
'No.' he thought. 'I'll won't give up. I might not anything left, but I'm not going down that easily. If the world will hate me than so be it. I'll fight like I've always have.' With his purpose clear, Danny fired an ectoblast at Dan. However, Dan vanished before the blast could hit him. Looking around him, Danny tried to find Dan, but he was all alone.
"This isn't over Danny." Dan's voice echoed. "In the end you will become me, it is inevitable. I am your destiny."
Danny woke up in a cold sweat as his alarm clocked screamed like a banshee. Turning it off, he laid in bed for a few seconds. Just staring at the ceiling.
This was the twelfth time this month that he dreamed about Dan. Ever since he got out of that hellhole, he dreamt of Dan almost every night. Always the same, Dan taunting him with all of his failures. How he was forgotten and left to rot by the people around him.
'Is he right?' he thought. 'Will I always be alone, forever?' Danny tried to tell himself that Dan was just lying, that it wasn't true, but he couldn't get rid of the doubt in his mind. 'I mean what's the point? The Titans hate me, the Avengers hate me, and the Justice League hate me.' A huge surge of anger swelled through his body at what he's become. All thanks to the people around him, the superheroes, the public, humanity as a whole. They've done nothing, but sneer and ridicule him. Just for trying to prevent their meager lives from being killed. Sacrificing all of his personal responsibilities and dreams to keep those constant whiners happy.
Heading to the bathroom, he started to undress as he prepared for a shower. Taking a glance at a mirror he briefly noticed something about his reflection. Staring right back at the mirror, Danny couldn't even recognize his own reflection staring back at him. Looking into his eyes he saw a guy with a haunted, depressed, broken look that portrayed the true depths of the sadness that laid in his soul.
Once upon a time, those baby blue eyes were filled with a bright light that was filled with adventure. Displaying a courage that would never bow down to any form of darkness it encountered.
Now, that innocence was lost. Sorrow was all that he could see in front of him.
His raven hair was still the same. Which was sort of pointless since he always hid it under a wig.
Opening the glass cupboard, he got his anti-depressants out. His therapist prescribed it to him, saying it would help a bit. Frankly, it was as helpful as a narcoleptic college professor, but he still took it. It was the only thing left that he'd hope would change his outlook on life.
'Come on, Fenton. You got to be strong. You got to let it go.' There was no time for self pity, after all his shift starts in 45 minutes. He wasted enough time with this sob fest. It was time to get a move on.
Brushing it off, Danny got into the shower as he let the warm water flow down his body. He really couldn't let his emotions get to him right now. It would only make his shift worse and he really didn't need that right now.
After a couple of minutes, Danny emerged from the shower as he dried himself off. Getting his uniform on, he waved goodbye to Cujo as he headed out. His apartment wasn't far from where he worked, so he could get there just by walking. Which was great, since he didn't have the money to pay for a car.
Danny was on his way, when he heard a cry for help. Looking down the alleyway beside him, he saw a couple of thugs beating on a homeless man. 'I can't be late for work. I know its wrong, but I can't risk losing my job.' He kept on walking, but could get only a couple of feet before his guilt finally convinced him to do the right thing.
"HEY!" he shouted as he charged at the two brutes. Once he was in fighting distance, Danny punched them both in the face. As they were nursing their bruising faces, Danny then used a foot sweep to knock them on their backs.
Glaring at their terrified faces, Danny gave the two one single command.
"Leave him alone."
Nodding at his demand, the two got up and ran away from the two. With those two taken care of, Danny turned towards the homeless man.
The man nodded as he looked at Danny with a face of gratitude. "I am now thanks to you. God bless you sir."
Smiling at the man, Danny said goodbye as he started running. Praying that he'd make it on time.
Running with all his might, he was still unable to get their on time. Danny eventually did reach his destination. Glaring at the sign that proudly displayed the words Mama Tortellini's with annoyance, Danny resigned himself to his fate and went in.
Immediately, he was seen by the manager, Mr. Pascal, who made his way towards Danny with anger clearly visible on his face. Danny knew that this encounter wasn't going to be pleasant. Ever since he was hired, Mr. Pascal seemed to have an instant dislike towards Danny, although he couldn't imagine why. He never was late to work, well until now, and he didn't slack off, but it didn't matter to him. From what he gathered, Mr. Pascal didn't seemed to like anyone.
'Maybe he has a stick up his ass?' he thought. 'It wouldn't surprise me if he did.' His amusement was cut short when Mr. Pascal reached the source of his bad mood.
"Billy." he scolded using his fake name. "Your five minutes late to work." He sneered at Danny with disdain as he continued, "Look I don't know how it works in your world, but in the real world, people have to be on time." Pascal pointed towards the clock in the restaurant as he continued his rant. "Punctuation is a responsibility that all employees must follow, but you wouldn't know that would you Powers?" He started Jabbing his finger into Danny's chest, "I expect you to follow the rules just like all the others."
"Mr. Pascal," Danny replied, "I wasn't late on purpose, there were these guys harassing a homeless man and I just couldn't let them-"
"Billy," Pascal interrupted. "That's none of my concern. You want to play hero, huh? Well do it on someone else's time, not mine."
"But I wasn't even suppose to come in today. I only just got the heads up when you called me at nine o'clock, last night." he protested.
"Well then, if you want to take a day off then go ahead. Hell, I'll give you tomorrow off and then the next day and the next day. You know what? Why don't I give you everyday off? Hmm? How about that, Billy. Would you like that?"
"No." Danny replied exasperatedly.
"Then get to work Billy, I don't have time to deal with slackers like you." With his thoughts expressed, Mr. Pascal left Danny as he went to yell at someone else.
Danny stepped into his role as a waiter, bringing dishes to the customers. It wouldn't be that bad, if it weren't for customers that were testing his patience. There were the constant complaints, that the food was too cold or that there wasn't enough sauce. He wouldn't have minded if they were polite about it, but no, they just snapped at him like he was the one who ruined their food.
The food was coming in slow today, making the diners wait impatiently. Deciding to see what the problem was before the customers turned their ire on him, he went into the kitchen.
"Hey what's the hold up? The people out there are getting impatient, they want their food."
Inside the kitchen he got the answer to his question, as he saw a couple of plumbers trying to fix the dishwasher. It was the fifth time this week, but the owner was too cheap to buy a new one. By the plumbers were some of the cooks who were washing the dishes by hand, no matter how difficult it was removing it. Water was also leaking and pouring out into the dining room.
"They'll get their food once these dishes are clean!" cried one of the workers. After being scolded by Mr. Pascal once again for not being in the dining area, Danny left the kitchen.
As he took the orders from the customers, while avoiding the puddle of water on the floor. 'This place can't even afford a wet floor sign.' Continuing with his job, Danny went back to putting up with the customers. Normally, they weren't a problem, but today it seemed that they just wanted to piss him off. There was one guy who got angry at him because they took off one of the dishes from the menu. A woman who claimed that there was hair in her spaghetti, which was untrue because Danny saw her put a piece of her hair in it. As annoying as these people were, but it didn't compare to the next customer that he'd have to deal with.
A portly man was the one who irritated Danny the most. He had grey hair and a mustache, and was wearing an ugly Hawaiian shirt with colors that made Danny want to puke. Public decency seemed to be something unknown to this guy, as he kept on shoveling food down his throat. Massive amounts of plates were on the table, all emptied by the customer.
'Christ, even my dad wasn't this bad.' he thought. He also took notice that the man's son was seated at the table. Sporting a massive gut to match his fathers. The little piglet was digging into the huge bowl of pasta that was in front of him. Finishing the bowl, the child began to bang his fists on the table as he cried for more.
"MORE!, I WANT MORE!" the brat cried. Everyone's eyes turned to the little boy that was crying his lungs out. Trying to restore peace and order, Danny approached the father and son.
"Sir?" The man didn't respond still eating like there was no tomorrow.
"Sir?" Again no response.
"SIR!" Danny yelled, clearly irritated at the man's ignorance of his son's behavior. It was only when the man finally turned his attention away from his food did Danny continue. "Your gonna need to get your kid to be quiet, or I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
The glutton narrowed his beady eyes at Danny. Looking at him like he was the rude one. "Well then I suggest you bring more food for him. He's a growing boy who needs to eat his daily meals."
Trying not to roll his eyes, Danny responded, "Sir we can't have our customers scream, your kid needs to be quiet or I'll be forced to ask you to leave."
"Don't you blame my boy, he's just waiting for his food. This wouldn't happen if it wasn't for you and your incompetence." he said in a matter of fact voice.
"I'm sorry, but were having a bit of trouble, the dish washer is broken, so it'll take much longer to get clean dishes. It'll only be a few minutes longer." Danny said in a more apologetic tone. Trying to prevent the situation from escalating into something ugly.
The obese man got up. Key word is tried, as it took him quite a few tries to get out of his booth, but when he did he got up in Danny's face.
"Listen here you little runt, I pay the same amount of money as all these people do and I'm not going to let some uneducated punk like you tell me how to raise my son."
Seeing that the irate man was causing a scene, Danny tried to use a different tactic to calm the man down. "Listen" he said with a bit of calmness forced into his voice, "I just need your kid to quiet down a bit, we just don't want to disturb the other customers. So can you please tell your kid to calm down so I don't have to be forced to kick you out?" he pleaded with a bit of desperation in his voice. He didn't really need Pascal to drop in and find another excuse to dock his pay.
"Don't tell me how to parent my kid, I work six hours a day just to provide for my family and I'm not going to let some unscrupulous hoodlum tell me how I need to live my life." The man responded with a hint of red starting to grow on his face. Danny was surprised that the man had somewhat of an intelligent vocabulary. 'Who knew that even a Buffon can be taught something.' he smirked to himself.
"What are you smirking at?!" Turning his attention back to the aggravated gentlemen, Danny put on a neutral expression on his face.
"I don't know what you talking about." he said.
"Yes you do you were smirking at me like you thought something was funny." he insisted with rage. "Is it because I'm fat?" he questioned, "Huh? Is my weight funny to you?
"No sir." Danny denied. "Its just that, I...umm...you see...uhh" trying to explain in a way that wouldn't insult the person who clearly had anger issues.
"Just because I weigh a couple more pounds doesn't mean you can harass me whenever you want. I deserve the same respect that everyone else gets."
Gritting his teeth, Danny gave the man a forced smile, "I wasn't trying to offend you sir," he said in what he hoped was a calm voice, but it only came off as passive-aggressive.
"DON'T YOU LIE TO ME BOY!" The man bellowed. "I GOT BETTER THINGS TO DO THEN PUT UP WITH SOME LOSER WHO NEVER GOT ANYWHERE!"
From the corner of his eye, Danny saw Pascal making his way towards them with displeasure written on his face. 'Ah shit' Danny thought. It seemed like this day kept getting worse for him.
"BILLY!" Pascal shouted. "Why are you causing a commotion, I thought I told you that I expected more professionalism out of you and now look at you arguing with customers."
"No Sir, I was just informing him that he would have to get his son to lower his voice, or they would have to leave."
"Nonsense." The man claimed, "This boy is lying, I was just minding my own business with my son as we were eating our meals, when this asshole came up and started making fun of my weight. He even made my son cry." If looks could kill, Danny would be three feet under with the glare that Pascal was giving him.
Turning back to the outraged person he put on a sympathetic face. "I'm terribly sorry, I'll straighten this employee out, after all we expect our servers to be civil to our guests. Just give me a few minutes and you'll be given another server and your next meal will be on the house."
"Now that's more like it" he said, grinning victoriously. "Be sure to whip this one into shape," he sneered at Danny in contempt. "He's got a real attitude problem."
"Not to worry, Billy here will get his act together," he promised. "Or he's out of here." Giving Danny a distasteful look and grabbing him by the arm, he gave one last apology to the customer. "Once again I'm sorry and I hope you enjoy your food." Satisfied that a crisis had been averted, he then started to drag Danny to the back. Danny ended up being nearly thrown into one of the storage rooms, as Pascal followed him.
Closing the door, the snob then fixed Danny with a threatening look. Or what he thought was a threatening look, but Danny had seen scarier things than his boss and wasn't going to be cowed into submission.
All the other times, Danny would just take the verbal abuse, but not this time. A fire rose in his eyes as his body started to tense up in aggression. Like an animal about to defend itself from a predator. Once a brave defender and now this. Taking crap from some brown-nosing pig. Is this the thanks he get for sticking his neck out for everyone around him. Putting up with everyone's dismissals and protests. No. Not ever again. His hands started clenching.
"Wonder if he'd still act tough with my hands around his throat?" Grinning a bit at the fantasy. "Maybe, a punch to his face. Make it strong enough that I could break his nose. I'm sure that would get the message across." His brain raging with thoughts of retribution and violence. He was about to lift his hand.
But it wouldn't move.
"WAIT!" A voice in his head screamed. "DON'T DO IT!" Blinking in confusion he started to ponder on what just happened. Pascal was laying into him and he was planning on getting some revenge when something stopped him. What was it? Who or what was this voice? Was some ghost playing a trick on him, like Youngblood did? Could it possibly be some kind of mind control? Like that one incident with Freakshow's orb.
Now that the burning desire for vengeance now less intense, the revelation came to him instantly. It was his own voice. 'Probably telling me to stop so I wouldn't end up giving Pascal more ammunition against me.' He mused. 'Probably for the best. I guess my subconscious didn't want me to lose this job." With that sorted out he turned his attention back to his manager who was now leaving, finished with his tirade.
Confused with what just happened, he went back to his job. 'Must've gotten so angry that I wasn't paying attention to what he was saying.' he rationalized. 'I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Pascal would have that affect on his own kids if he had any." Laughing at his own joke, he returned to serving the guests. It had been about twenty minutes when Danny's world would change forever.
'RING' Hearing the bell that was on the entrance, his attention grasped on the group of people that entered.
One was a man with brown hair who was wearing a beige shirt underneath a brown jacket with blue jeans. Oddly enough, he was also wearing some particular sunglasses. The lenses were red which really made him stand out. The man also didn't bother to take them off, despite being indoors. 'Can't blame him. If I had cool shades like those, I wouldn't take them off either.' He noticed that the man's posture was that of a soldier ready to take charge if danger came.
Next to the man was a red headed-woman who wore a blue tank top with jeans. She gave off a an aura of compassion and generosity. Danny noticed that she and the man with sunglasses were holding hands. 'Must be a couple then.' Her smile was radiant and her demeanor came off as a patient friend who was always there to listen to another friend's troubles and insecurities.
The third person was a man who had blue hair of all things. He was wearing a brown shirt and jeans, like the other man, but he was a bit shorter. However, that didn't subtract from the intimidating look that he had. On his face was a glare that seemed to be his default expression. His eyes conveyed a primal rage that could be unleashed at any time. He walked like an animal that was always on the hunt. 'He seems like he could be trouble, best if I don't mess with him.' he told himself.
Next, there was a woman who also had a strange hairstyle. All of her hair was white. He wondered if it was dyed or natural. She was wearing a black shirt underneath a red blouse, with black pants and brown boots. She had a reserved look on her face, as if she had mastered the art of controlling ones emotions. Danny could also see that she had an intense look in her eyes as if she held great power in the palm of her hands. Her serene demeanor sort of reminded Danny of Raven, so he shifted his gaze away from her.
The following person that caught his attention was a good looking man. A cocky smile laid on his face showing that he was aware that ladies from all around the world were lusting after him. He had brown hair that was wrapped in a ponytail, but the most particular thing about this man were his eyes. They were burning red with some kind of kinetic energy. His attire consisted of some kind of pink armor on the chest area, blue boots, and a trench coat. If that wasn't strange enough his gloves also had some fingers missing.
'And I though my parents dressed weirdly.' There was also some kind of headgear that he was wearing on his head. 'Must be some new fad.' he summarized. 'Either that, or this guy is some kind of wackjob.'
Not all of them were adults, one of the newcomers was a teenager. She was wearing a pink shirt and blue pants with a peculiar yellow jacket that looked like a raincoat. Her hair was black with flashy pink sunglasses on her head. Overall, she came across as a source of innocence, but with some spunk mixed in. The girl also seemed to be close with the feral man, seeing how she was talking excitingly with him.
'How long has it been since I was like her, not having to worry about protecting the town? Just being a teen and doing teen things?' he asked himself. To think there was a time that he didn't have to worry about fighting ghosts, or making sure his parents didn't find out his secret. Life for him was once just trying to climb the social ladder in high school. To fit in as one of the cool kids and try to get a date with a cute girl, but fate had other plans.
Pressing the button on that portal was like pressing the reset button on one of his old video game consoles. Once you hit it, there was no going back. Life was now about trying to survive to the next day intact, and trying to make sure no one else got hurt in any of the battles he fought.
'Sam, Jazz, and Tucker,' he thought, 'they would've still been alive. And I wouldn't have met the titans. No, snap out of it! I have to get it together.' Putting his angst-ridden thoughts behind him, he took in the last member of the group.
'Wow.' Danny thought as he tried to keep his mouth from opening and wow was right. In front of him was the walking definition of beauty incarnate. She was probably the hottest woman that Danny ever saw in his life. Her face was something that belonged on a supermodel or a primordial goddess of eternal beauty. The lusciousness of her lips made Danny want to taste them so bad, but it didn't distract form the green eyes that had so much passion and spirit in them.
She had an interesting hairstyle as well. It looked like something out of the eighties, but it made her look like a wild gal. It was an auburn color, but with a streak of white going down the middle. It gave off a kind of bride of Frankenstein look. That wasn't all as she had a figure that any woman would kill for, which was complimented by the pink dress that she was wearing. The dress was above the knee showing the world her bare legs that eccentricated her figure. A pair of pink flats completed the outfit. Overall, she was any guy's dream girl.
'Snap out of it. It's never going to happen.' As he got over his admiration of the woman, he quickly got back to his task at hand, as he didn't want to look like a creep for staring. Making his rounds across the dining room, he soon greeted the new guests once they got situated at a table. "Welcome to Mama Tortellini's, what can I get you?"
The man with the red tinted glasses responded, "Jean and I," pointing at the red headed woman beside him, "will have the arugula salad with prosciutto and oyster mushrooms." Gesturing to the blue haired man, "Logan will have-"
"Clam it Cyke I don't need you to order for me," the man, now dubbed Logan, said. He also mumbled something that Danny couldn't catch. Looking at Danny he said, "You can just give me lasagna, bub." Danny wrote it down and began taking the others orders.
"I'll have some spaghetti please," said the white haired woman.
"Same..uh..here," the teenager said. 'She must be a bit nervous talking to strangers,' he guessed. Not registering the blush that was on her face as she looked at him.
"Remy will take de ravioli mon amie." said the man, now called Remy, with burning eyes in a Cajun accent.
It then came to the auburn haired woman, "Ah'll have the lasagna too, sugah," she replied in a southern accent that made Danny's body feel like warm honey. Shaking himself out of his daze he began to focus on the task at hand. 'She would never be into me, so why bother?'
After writing down their orders, he told them that he be back with their dishes in a little bit. Placing the orders in the kitchen, Danny would later return to deliver their food, when he passed by the portly man's table.
Unaware to him, the man stuck out his leg. Danny didn't notice it until he tripped, dropping all the dishes of food as the plates broke when they made contact. Confused and taken aback by what just happened, Danny stared at the ruined dishes in disbelief. Next thing he knew, laughter broke out in the restaurant. There was the portly man and his son taking joy in his misfortune. It wasn't just them, as some of the the other patrons joined in and Danny could even catch a few of his coworkers holding back a few snickers of amusement.
It may have been the people in the restaurant laughing, but to Danny it felt like everyone was laughing at him. The Avengers, the Justice League, the Titans, and the rest of the world. Making fun of him, mocking him. Reminding him that he wasn't fit to lick the dirt from their boots. Telling him that he was just some incompetent weakling that would never live up to their standards.
Danny felt the rage return as he glared at the two responsible for his predicament with all the loathing that he could muster. In his fury, he failed to notice the green light of his ghost eyes shining thorough the contacts.
A/N: Well here's a chapter that finally has Danny in it. Hope you enjoyed. In the meantime, I'll see if I can find a new beta reader. If not, I'll still keep updating. Although it may be slow.