Despite the visit from the Box Ghost last night, Danny had to admit that he had a pleasant sleep. Something he lacked for days. That was until he smelt something burning. At first, he thought it was Jazz making an attempt to cook breakfast. She had probably burnt the toast, it wouldn't be the first time. Smiling to himself, he forced himself out of bed. Things were looking up Danny until he noticed how hot his hand had suddenly become. It had become so hot that it came to the point where Danny began waving his hand around. It didn't help when Tucker appeared in his doorway.
"Morning Danny!" he said. Danny yelped, startled by his cheery greeting.
Then a ball of fire blasted from his hand and headed straight towards Tucker, rattling them even more. Danny didn't think that he had ever seen Tucker move out of the way so fast before. The small flame burnt a hole in the wall outside which revealed a grumpy Sam glaring back at them from her bed.
"Oh great. A hole in the wall. Just what we needed. As if we weren't already paying rent," she complained, throwing her arms up.
Danny cringed at the accident, guilty. "Do you always wake up lighting the house on fire?" Tucker asked.
"You tell me," Danny said. He looked at his hand.
"I thought you had ice powers not fire powers," Tucker answered. Danny thought so too.
"It must be something new," he said.
Just then, Sam came storming into the room. "Danny, what is going on…?" she said. She stopped upon seeing Danny and Tucker still standing a fair distance away from each other. "Um… Danny?" Sam said. She pointed a finger to the top of his head.
"What is it, Sam?" he asked.
"You don't smell that?"
Danny sniffed the air, then realised that the burning smell Sam was talking about came from him. Danny shifted his eyes up and saw that his hair was on fire. "My hair is on fire!" he shouted. Sam and Tucker began to laugh. Danny panicked and started swatting at the small flames that flickered atop his head. It took him a while to realise that it wasn't burning him. Still. The small flames remained.
"Tell me I don't have to go to college like this today," he said.
Sam and Tucker struggled to hold back their laughter.
"I don't understand," Danny said ignoring his friends, "I thought ghosts had only one element."
"I thought so too." Tucker frowned.
"Ghosts who have two elements means they have two cores. But that's…."
"Impossible," Danny finished Sam's sentence.
"Well we have dealt with the impossible before. This is just another challenge for Team Phantom," Tucker shrugged.
"Maybe after college today we should see Frostbite."
"Good idea, maybe he will know more," Sam smiled.
"In the meantime, Danny, we need to find a way to control your new… whatever this is," Tucker said, gesturing to the wall.
"I was just thinking the same thing," Danny scowled.
"On that happy note," Sam said. "Jazz has prepared breakfast. And don't even think about skipping it this time, Danny. But if it means anything from a goth... " Sam walked up to Danny. "I think the fire makes you hot." Danny blushed as Sam gave him a peck on the cheek. Tucker rolled his eyes.
"Okay, come on Lovebirds. The sun won't be up all day," Tucker said.
"It shouldn't be up at all," Sam growled.
His two best friends wandered off to the kitchen. Danny's stomach growled. Sam was right. He had to eat something before going off to his first day of college. And to hopefully find answers on what just happened.
"Who is up for pancakes?" Jazz called to the trio as they entered the kitchen.
"Are they safe to eat?" Danny asked, earning a laugh from his friends.
"Nothing has happened to us yet. Jazz's pancakes are actually rather good," Tucker commented, taking a bite of pancakes that were smothered in syrup.
"Why thanks, Tucker," Jazz smiled. She flipped another pancake. How they were going to finish them before college, Danny didn't know.
"Speaking of," Sam said. Her gaze shifted around the kitchen, as if she were looking for someone. Her eyes could only be off her pancakes for so long. "Has anyone seen Dani yet?"
"I'm right here," Danny said. At the counter, Tucker facepalmed. Danny was quick to realise who Sam meant. "Oh, you were talking about Dani. She's probably sleeping." To confirm Danny's point, the four of them headed out from the kitchen to Dani's room. Sam opened the door to find a sleeping Dani.
"Wow. She's one deep sleeper," Tucker said.
"Yeah, it's like she can sleep through just about anything," Sam replied.
Jazz sniffed the air. It seemed she had just noticed Danny's new ability. Her eyes fell upon Danny's flaming hair. "Ah Danny. Did you know that your hair is on fire?"
For a moment, Danny had actually forgotten about it. Until Jazz had to bring it up again.
"Thanks for reminding me," Danny grumbled. "College starts soon. What am I supposed to do? It's not like I can wear a hat or something."
"Maybe not a hat," Tucker agreed. "But there is something else I have in mind that could work." Danny was beginning to like his new ability less and less from the way the techno geek grinned.
It had only taken a genius like Tucker and a matter of time to come up with, what he liked to call, the Neutralizer Transparent Gloves or NTG for short.
"There. Courtesy of me. Put them on," he said. Danny reluctantly put the gloves on, which shrunk to his size and vanished as soon as they touched his skin. Just as Tucker promised, his flaming hair disappeared. Danny released a sigh of relief. "It neutralizes all powers along with becoming transparent so no one will know that you are wearing them. Something I've been working on for a while now. You know… for any enemies we may have to restrain. The transparent setting is removable."
"Nice thinking, Tuck," Sam approved.
Danny couldn't complain. "I guess it will have to work for now. Thanks Tuck."
Tucker smiled. "Well, we can't have you burn the whole University down now, can we?" he smirked.
"Ha ha," Danny replied.
"Come on. We will be late. Let's go," Sam urged. She pushed the two boys onwards. "Jazz, you're coming?" She called. The Neutralizer Transparent Gloves were just what Danny needed. It meant that Jazz couldn't make fun of them. Not that she ever did, but no sibling relationship was perfect.
"No. I will catch up later. I've got a few things to take care of. Have a good first day!" Jazz answered, still eating in the kitchen. She meant the hole Danny had burnt in the wall. The trio walked out the door.
"I have a good feeling about today," Tucker said.
"Never jinx first days, Tucker. There's a reason why we call you bad luck Tuck." Sam warned. "Take it from me."
"All I'm saying is that it finally looks like things are getting back to being somewhat normal," he said. Whatever normal was for them at least.
"Yeah, normal," Danny said, because everything in his life, including himself, was very very far from that.
Space. NASA. He was finally here. After all those boring years of school, he could finally do what he wanted. Okay, considering everything that had happened with the ghost fighting, it hadn't been so boring. Including the fact that he had already been to Space. He realised that not everyone could say that. It hadn't even been five minutes and he had already forgotten about the gloves, the gloves that no one could see.
"Looks like someone is at home," Tucker observed.
Danny was too excited to answer.
"Sure is. I don't even think Danny is on this Earth right now," Sam said. To make her point, she waved her hand in front of Danny, trying to get his attention, but he was too lost in the sea of other students, not to mention the building itself. It looked like a modernised castle. "We need to figure out how to manage ghost fighting with work and classes."
"It's not like we haven't done that before," Danny said, finally snapping out of his trance.
"Yeah, but our whole lives are determined by a letter now," Tucker sighed.
"They always were, Tuck," The halfa replied.
"Shut up Danny."
"Tucker, do these gloves disable all of my powers?" Danny asked.
"Not all. I believe everything but your ghost sense."
"That's good," Danny said. Danny didn't know what he would do if he couldn't use his ghost sense. Not to mention, what would happen? Chaos. That was the only word for it.
"I left that detail out because I always thought it was good for ghosts to have their ghost sense no matter what."
Danny was just about to reply before he heard someone cry his name.
"Danny!" They said. He gingerly turned around to face the mysterious person. "Hey, you're Danny Phantom right?"
"Yeah," he said when he met eyes with a girl about his age. She had black hair and wore a white shirt with pink flowers stitched onto it. She reminded him a bit of Paulina.
"Wow! I'm your biggest fan!"
Danny didn't like all this attention. He really didn't. He thought people would forget about it after a couple of months, like they usually do. But when that didn't happen, Danny had to accept this new life with endless attention. Sometimes he wished he could go back to being shoved into a locker. Maybe, even back to being a regular human, now that he knew that he could. But Phantom knew never to say that out loud because he learned not to wish for things the hard way.
"Wow, I can't believe the Danny Phantom is here at my college. I have always wanted to ask, what is your strongest power?" Danny wasn't sure how to answer her. The question had surprised him. Mostly because he had always talked about this stuff with Tucker and Sam.
"Um," Danny said. "I would say it's my ecto-energy. I can, um, do many things with it-"
"Of course, it's your ecto-energy!" the girl squealed and grabbed onto Danny's arm. Danny made a silent gulp, wanting nothing more than for her to let him go. He would have turned intangible or even invisible, but the gloves prevented him from doing so. Sam got the message, seeing the desperation in his eyes. "I should have known. I mean with all those incredible abilities, being able to go intangible, to invisible, to having supernatural strength, Telekinesis… and not to mention, Cryokinesis. Why wouldn't it be your ecto-energy?"
Danny was surprised. Not that she knew his many powers, but the fact that she knew about his Cryokinesis when he had hardly told anyone about it. First ice. Now fire. His new ability wasn't going to be easy to hide. She said he had supernatural strength. But the girl had a mighty grip of her own. She clung onto his wrist. Danny feared that she might tamper the invisible gloves. "How do you…?"
"I told you. I'm your biggest fan," she said.
"Yeah okay…" his voice wavered.
"Okay!" Sam eventually pulled them away from each other. "It was nice meeting you and all, but we better get to class. Can't be late on our first day." Danny looked around them and already noticed a few stares their way.
"Sorry. I guess I will see you around?"
"Yeah. See you," Danny said.
She reluctantly walked back into the bustling crowd of students. "If I knew there was ever going to be a time where girls fan over Danny, I'd have ditched being a techno geek long ago," Tucker said.
Danny sighed as he entered the classroom. It was quite big with students crowding the room. As soon as Phantom entered the room all eyes were on him. Once again, he was not used to this attention so he gulped and looked down trying to avoid everyone's gazes. He ended up taking a seat at the back of the class. It wasn't the same without Tucker and Sam walking in with him. The room fell silent. Danny tried to act normal as he headed for his seat. When he sat down, he didn't see the other boy that was sitting next to him.
"Sitting at the back of the classroom to avoid attention," the boy said. It took a while for Danny to realise that he was talking to him. By now everyone else had gone back to their idle chatter with their friends. Phantom shifted his body so he could see the boy. "Smart."
"You have any other pointers? " Danny replied. The boy reminded him of Tucker. "I could really use them."
"A few," he said. "But it will cost you."
"In what way?"
The boy had fair skin and looked mysteriously like Danny's long-lost twin. Only that he had white hair and dimples on the corners of his mouth. His eyes were also blue. He wore a green jacket over a white shirt that had aliens flying in a UFO imprinted on it and three-quarter trousers. The words They Walk Among Us stood out in bold. Ghosts might exist, but Danny was not one to believe in aliens. He held a nervous posture. Shoulders hunched. He was doodling in his notebook, waiting for the lecture to start.
"A favour," he said. "The name is Chester, by the way." He put his pencil down and held out his hand. "It's good to meet you Danny Phantom." Danny shook his hand, despite how weary he was of Chester. Chester noted how warm Danny's hands were, which surprised him because they all said Phantom had an ice core...
"Fenton is fine," Danny said.
"You have very warm hands," he answered.
"Lets just say that I had an unusual morning."
"More unusual than most?" Chester guessed. Before Danny could answer him, the lecturer stood up from his desk. It surprised Danny because he didn't even notice he was there. The teacher was close to being bald but had some brown hair. He was very tall and skinny and wore a classic suit and a tie.
"Good morning class. Please find a seat. There's some up in the front. Choose wisely because this will be your new seating chart," he said. Then he walked over to the board and pointed to his name. "My name is Mr. Wright or Professor Wright. I will be teaching this year's history class on Astronomy. Before we get started I'm going to take roll call." So far, college still felt an awful lot like highschool.
Danny turned to Chester and whispered, "So about the favour…" Danny didn't mind helping out. After all protecting and helping was Phantom's greatest ghostly obsession.
Chester looked up from his notebook. "Oh right. I know we just met, but you see, there was an accident-"
"Rebekah Ali," Professor Wright called.
"Here," the student replied. Roll call had started.
"And?" Danny quietly asked Chester. Roll call could come later. As much as Danny was excited for his first day of Astronomy, Chester had caught his attention when he said the words 'accident'.
"I will fill you in later. Plus, you might not want to help me when you find out who I am," Chester said. Danny wondered what he meant by that.
"Daniel… Fenton?" Professor Wright said, confused. Surely it couldn't mean Danny Fenton as in the Danny Phantom who saved the world from the Disasteroid? All eyes fell on Danny. Danny wanted to hide away, to dig a hole where no one can find him… to disappear forever. He wished things could go back to normal, when his secret was still a secret. He thought of Desiree. Maybe she could help him… after they saw Frostbite that was.
"Here," Danny said as quietly as he could. Whispers sprang up around the classroom. Professor Wright gave him the eye. His confused expression changed into one of curiosity. Something told Danny that Professor Wright was going to keep an eye on him. Did college professors often take an interest in their students?
He ticked off his name and kept going down the list. While he went through the list, Danny began to notice that there was something off with his gloves. It felt like they were short-circuiting. Had that girl damaged them somehow with her grip? If so, Danny would not be using these gloves for any ghost if that was the case.
"Chester Masters," Professor Wright called.
Danny instantly forgot all about the gloves just then and stared at Chester who was completely avoiding eye contact with him now. He couldn't believe it. If Chester believed that there was any way they could be friends… "Chester Masters," Danny said slowly. "As in Vlad Masters?"
Chester gave him a nervous glance. "Yeah," he said. "I'm his nephew."
Wolf2899- Thank you! And yes we did and still are! We've made all the way up to Chapter 14. This book will not be abandoned and I can guarantee it to everyone who reads!
Rosezelene Ersa- We decided to change it up a lot ;) just you wait.
Dp-Marvel94- I definitely agree.
Thanks to everyone who took time to comment! It makes my heart cry in joy.
Nowremember: Reality is an illusion, the universe is a hologram, buy gold BYEEEEEE!