A/N: Well, here we are. My first long Danny Phantom fanfiction, and a chance to set things up for a future fic.
Before I begin, note a few things. First off, since Danny has had two summer vacations (Reality Trip and Claw of the Wild) I'm assuming he, Sam, and Tucker are now sixteen.
Second, this takes place after Epiphany, meaning Danny now considers Danielle his little sister instead of his cousin.
And finally, I wasn't sure what the names of the Guys in White agents were. A fan site claimed they were called Operatives O and K, so I'm going with that. If you know something different, let me know.
Disclaimer: Danny Phantom and all related characters copyright Butch Hartman, Nickelodeon, Viacom, and Billionfold Studios.
No one could believe it. Absolutely no one could believe it.
For most, it was the mere fact that their savior, the greatest hero the world had ever known, was in reality a sixteen-year-old boy.
But for those that knew him, the shock was greater. Wimpy, shy, and klutzy Danny Fenton was, in fact, Danny Phantom, protector of Amity Park and savior of the entire planet.
For a few moments, everyone just gaped. Danny felt his stomach tie itself in a knot. Had he made the wrong move revealing who he was?
Fortunately, those worries evaporated when everyone began cheering. The young halfa scanned the crowd. His parents were staring at him proudly. The technicians were cheering as well. The reporters were videotaping the whole thing, ensuring that all the world saw. And Valerie…yes, she was cheering as well!
Danny smiled. It was all over. No more Disasteroid about to smash the Earth. No more Vlad making his life miserable. No more Valerie trying to hunt him down.
And no more Guys in White, period.
He had been assured of that piece of mind days earlier.
A mere two hours after announcing his plan to save the Earth, Danny Phantom was standing in the White House. The President had arranged to meet with him to discuss the building of his device, as well as talk of a possible peace settlement between humans and ghosts.
He was escorted by to Secret Service agents to the Oval Office. Upon entering he found President Hartman sitting behind his desk, along with his least favorite government agents, Operatives O and K of the Guys in White.
"Ah, Mr. Phantom, it's a pleasure to meet you," Hartman said rising from his seat and walking toward the ghost boy to shake his hand. Phantom returned the handshake, grateful to finally be on speaking terms with the government.
"I believe you've already met Operatives O and K," the President continued, motioning over to the two agents who were giving him glares he could feel through their sunglasses.
Danny returned their gaze. "Oh, we've met," he said, trying not to sound bitter.
At that point, O spoke up. "Mr. President, you can't be serious about trusting the fate of the world to this…this ghost, are you?"
"Yes I am," Hartman answered plainly. "We have no reason not to."
"No reason?" O asked incredulously, both him and his partner gaping. "He's a ghost, that's a reason!"
"I object to that!" Phantom spoke up. "What does me being a ghost have to do with anything?"
"Because you and your kind are scum!" K answered. "You're all evil and reckless! Look at all the damage ghosts have caused!"
"That's enough," Hartman said. "I don't want to hear another word from you two!"
"Um, Mr. President, if I may speak on my behalf?" the halfa piped up.
"Oh, yes, of course Mr. Phantom," Hartman replied.
"Thank you," the teen ghost answered before turning to his two long time enemies. "First off, yes, ghosts have caused a lot of damage, but so have a lot of humans. Hell, Hitler did more damage than any ghost, except maybe Pariah Dark, has ever done in either Earth or the Ghost Zone. The only reason there aren't more peaceful ghosts on Earth is because most of them with business here are ones that are evil, which is why I do what I do.
"Secondly, neither you nor any other ghost hunting team had had a ghost captive long enough to really study it, so any theories are just that: theories. To my understanding, the only sentient ghost you've held successfully was Lydia, and you were stupid enough to let Freakshow bust her out. Trying to destroy all ghosts based on your own prejudices was more evil than anything I've ever done was.
"And finally, you guys are more reckless than most ghosts I've met. You don't care who you have to injure or what you have to destroy to get what you want. Plus, you're the idiots who tried to destroy the Ghost Zone, after all."
"Wait, they did what?" Hartman asked angrily. Danny noticed the agents' faces pale slightly.
"Well, when they bought FentonWorks they tried to launch a missile that would destroy the Ghost Zone…"
"You idiots!" Hartman yelled, glaring at the two operatives. "I strictly forbade that operation! We didn't have enough proof that all ghosts were evil to do it, and we didn't know if it would have a negative impact on Earth!"
"Wait, are you telling me they were acting without your authority?" Phantom asked, his face giving an expression that suggested Christmas had come early.
"That's right, I terribly apologize," the President answered, looking apologetic.
"Oh, then you're going to love this. If they had succeeded, they would have destroyed Earth as well."
"What?" all three government employees yelled.
"That's right, Earth and the Ghost Zone are connected, like two sides of the same coin. If one goes, the other falls with it."
The look the Guys in White received from their employer froze their blood. "That's it! This is the final straw! I've put up with you're incompetence long enough! You never catch any ghosts, you let that lunatic Showenhower escape with the Reality Gauntlet, and now this! I've had enough! The Guys in White are through!"
"What?" the former operatives yelled. Phantom looked ready to cheer.
"I'm going to call a session of Congress. I'm going to get the Ecto-Control Act lifted, and I'm going to get our ghost hunting branch replaced with a new one that's less incompetent!"
"Sir, this ghost scum is lying!" O protested. "There is no connection between our worlds."
"How do you think I'm going to get so many ghosts to help so fast?" the ghost in question asked. "True, there are plenty that would help as a peace offering, but many tend to dislike Earth because of people like you two! A ghost can't even come here without being shot at!"
"And I'm going to fix that," Harman assured, pressing a button on his desk. Two Secret Service agents walked in. "Arrest these two and take them to holding."
O and K didn't take that too well. In fact, they responded by removing their ecto-guns and shooting at their enemy.
Phantom had been expecting this, however. He not only dodged, but also split himself in two, much to everyone's amazement. With two well-aimed ecto-blasts, O and K's weapons were reduced to scrap metal. The twin ghosts then tackled the two former government agents to the ground, pinning them.
The ghost boys turned to the two agents, who were watching in shocked amazement. "What are you waiting for, cuff them!" thew both demanded.
The two agents snapped out of their shock and did so. Phantom called his clone back, and the former Guys in White were dragged off, futilely resisting arrest.
"I apologize for them," Hartman said sincerely.
"No need, Mr. President," Phantom nodded, "they were acting without your consent. I'm just happy ghosts are being given a chance now."
"Yes, since you're saving the world maybe I can get those idiots in congress to listen. I've been trying to get them to slow down for a while now."
"Well, I know there are many governments in the Ghost Zone who want a peaceful resolution to all this."
"Yes, my cabinet will be here shortly to discuss that. Tell me, what governments are present in the Ghost Zone?"
"Well, the highest ranking government is the Observants. They're a council of beings that can see into the future. They view time to stop any major problems before they start, but they never get involved themselves. They call in a ghost named Clockwork to do their dirty work. Clockwork can actually control time, but he rarely does what the Observants ask. Instead of killing someone that would cause problems, he gives them a second chance first. I happen to work for him."
"Oh, he sent you to defend Amity Park?"
"No, I did that on my own. I met him through circumstances I don't like to talk about, and since then he sometimes calls me in to handle something for him."
"I see. Are they looking to negotiate?"
"I doubt it. Like I said, they rarely get involved actually doing anything. They'll probably think it's a waste of time.
"But there are several countries in the Ghost Zone that would be willing. I'm pretty chummy with three of them: the Kingdom of Aragon, the Far Frozen, and the Mythological Zone.
"Aragon is a kingdom previously ruled over by a cruel prince until he was overthrown. That same prince made sure that the kingdom remained in the Middle Ages. The new ruler, Princess Dora, is a good friend of mine. She's really nice, and would love to talk peacefully.
"The Far Frozen is an arctic area inhabited by a race of yeti like ghosts. You see, contrary to popular belief, not all ghosts were living once. Some are merely creatures made of ectoplasm, like these guys. Their leader, Frostbite, taught me how to master my cryokinesis abilities. Next to Clockwork, he's my best mentor.
"The Mythological Zone is an area of the Ghost Zone they was pulled out of ancient Greece. Several ghosts there resemble creatures thought to be imaginary, like Cyclops and gorgons. Their leader is Pandora. She guards a box where she trapped several great evils thousands of years ago. She had a quick temper, but once you get past that she's nice.
"These three kingdoms will answer our call for help without hesitation, and they'll be willing to give peaceful negotiations a try."
"Excellent. Once this mess is over we'll begin working with them toward a peaceful connection."
"I'm looking forward to that. Now, there is one area of the Ghost Zone that's very chaotic. It's just called the Wasteland by its inhabitants. It's where many of my enemies live. The only law enforcement here comes from a ghost named Walker, but he's very corrupt. He arrests people for rules he makes up on the spot. He's the one that framed me for kidnapping the mayor of Amity Park. He's gotten so dangerous that the other nations of the Ghost Zone have begun plans to remove him from power."
"Tell them they'll have the full support of our government."
"I will. Trust me, I'm glad we can finally coexist with humans. For the first time since I died, things are looking good."
"Glad to hear it. By the way, is there any etiquette that the ghosts are going to expect?"
"Just one: never ask a ghost how it died or any questions about its life. Every ghost has a reason for not crossing over into the actual afterlife, and it's considered an insult to ask."
"Very well, I shall keep that in mind," Hartman said, walking over to a champagne bottle and uncorking it. "Do ghosts eat and drink?" he asked, pouring a glass.
"Yeah, we do. Don't really need to, but old habits die hard."
The President nodded, pouring another glass. "Well then, let's have a toast," he said, offering Phantom glass, which he took. "Here's to the future!"
"To the future."
Most of the ghosts had gone home, but a few stayed behind. Dora, Frostbite, and Pandora were there, along with their people, obviously eager to begin the negotiations between them and the human world.
Reporters began to swarm over Danny, but several government agents stopped them.
"That's enough," one of them ordered. "Mr. Fenton will be given the rest of the day to spend with his family. He will answer your questions at a later date." He then turned to Danny. "Take your friends and go home. We'll keep the press away for now."
Danny smiled. "Thank you," he replied, then joined his parents and sister, who pulled him into a four-way hug. Moments later, he was joined by his best friend and girlfriend (or, at least, he assumed she was his girlfriend now) who hugged him as well.
"Way to go, Danny," Tucker commented. "You've literally saved the world. What are you going to do now?"
"I'm going…to bed." Danny answered, walking toward the Fenton Jet (not the same one Danny flew into the Ghost Zone, obviously). "Let's go home. I don't know about you guys, but I could use some rest."
"But Danny, we have a lot of questions for you," Maddie said.
"I know. I'll tell you on the way home."
His mother nodded and began walking toward their transportation home. Just as the ghost boy reached the jet's entryway, a voice interrupted him.
"Mr. Fenton," an agent called, causing the hybrid to turn around. "A ghost girl is demanding to see you. She claims to be your sister."
Danny's eyes went wide at that. "Let her through," he instructed, ignoring his parents' puzzled expression.
Seconds later, a black and white blur shot out of the crowd and struck Danny in the chest, sending him into the snow. When he regained his senses, he saw his clone and surrogate sister Danielle Phantom hugging him as tight as ghostly possible. After returning the hug, he looked up at his parents' still puzzled expressions.
"Uh, is there room for one more back home?"
After entering the Fenton Jet, Maddie turned the Auto-Jack on and instructed it to fly back to Amity Park. Then, the vehicle's seven occupants sat down, and Jack and Maddie asked the obvious question: who was the young ghost girl?
So, Danny told them the whole story. How Vlad's cloning attempts spawned Danielle, how he eventually betrayed the one he claimed to love as a daughter, how he later attempted to melt her down, and how Danny accepted her as his sister. Once the story was done, Maddie had only one thing to say:
"You poor thing," she cried, pulling the young clone into a hug. "I still can't believe Vlad would do these things."
"Oh, believe it, Mom, we haven't even scratched the surface of what Vlad's done," Danny commented.
"I believe it," Jack said. "Now I'm only more convinced I did the right thing leaving Vlad in space."
"You have nothing but my support in that," Danny said.
"Mine too," Danielle commented. "Vlad was a creep."
"Yes, well, you don't have to worry about him anymore," Maddie said gently, holding the girl closer. "Like Danny said, you can come move in with us now."
"And, speaking of which, we're actually home," Jazz commented, pointing out the window. Indeed, the jet had already brought them to Amity Park.
"Sam, Tucker, we'll drop you off at home," Maddie informed. "You should probably spend some time with your families as well."
Neither teen argued. After a week of not being sure it they would live to see their next birthdays, it would be nice to reconnect with their families.
Still, something was troubling Danny and Sam. Just before he left to round up the ghosts, the two life long friends had shared their first real kiss. It had been the most perfect moment of their lives, and they desperately wanted to talk about it but…not here, in a crowded ship. It had to be a private conversation.
"Okay, Sam, we're at your house, and…" Maddie trailed off, and a second later, Sam saw why.
Both her parents were waiting for her at the door, wearing the hardest glares the Goth girl had ever seen them put on.
"Sam," Mr. Manson said bluntly, "we need to talk."
Sam really didn't like where this was going.
"As everyone knows, just mere hours ago Danny Phantom's plans succeeded, and the earth was saved. Then, he revealed himself to be a half-human hybrid like his longtime enemy, Vlad Plasmius. His human identity is none other than sixteen-year-old Danny Fenton of Amity Park, Oregon, son of world renowned ghost hunters Jack and Maddie Fenton.
"Already, Phantom is expected to receive a Medal of Honor from President Hartman, and the Queen of England has announced plans to grant him knighthood.
"In addition, peace negotiations between the Earth and the Ghost Zone are to begin shortly. We have reports that three nations of the Ghost Zone will be joining the United Nations, with more to follow. Hopefully, we can look forward to a world where humans and ghosts live side by side."
The rest of the reporter's words were cut off by a remote control crashing into the television screen.
On the couch in front of it, the former Operatives O and K fumed.
"I don't believe it," O spat. "We've served the country loyally, and some half human freak gets the rewards?"
"And we're going to have to live side by side with these creatures?" K continued. "It's enough to make my skin crawl. We have to stop this."
"How? We don't have weapon anymore."
"Leave that to me. We'll wipe that freak of the face of the Earth, and stop those creatures before they can do any damage."