Very short, but still a great chapter, if I do say so myself.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Danny Phantom.

"Now, that one there," said the flaming-haired Ember, indicating a Chuunin on the training field, working on sharpening his skills with shuriken and kunai. The command was aimed at her charge, who nodded, before his form became translucent and he floated down unseen, flying straight into the young man's body, who tensed up before his eyes began to glow green, just like Naruto's.

"I did it," he shouted up to the air to Ember, who nodded in approval. Along with his Shinobi training with his team, Naruto was making progress with his powers, but he still had a lot to learn. His team was still completely unaware of his abilities for now though. Ember didn't know exactly what a hybrid was capable of, as she had only ever fought the half-breed from Amity Park, Danny Phantom, but he only used the most basic ghost abilities. If there were more powers a hybrid could achieve, he'd need a proper teacher, and Ember was sure that Clockwork wouldn't help. She was just as sure that she couldn't go to Amity Park's resident hero for help, or risk getting crammed back into his stupid thermos.

She tried to wrack her brain, thinking of who could help teach him the things she herself wasn't aware of. There was only one other person she could think of, but going to him was something she really hated to consider. Sure he was powerful, but the man was also a manipulative bastard, if the rumors she heard were true. However, eventually, there was only so much she could teach without running out of instruction. She didn't want to. It went against everything she stood for. But then again, so did her current assignment. Still, she couldn't help but develop a soft spot for the boy. She wasn't sure if it was the loneliness he felt, his own mild contempt for authority, or even the fact his powers came from her own ectoplasm, but she knew that she saw him in a different light than she would other people. And so, she would go to the man, if only for this boy. She would go to Plasmius.

"That's great, Dipstick," she said, picking at the strings of her guitar. "But don't go shouting it out loud like that. Most of the time, Overshadowing needs to be subtle, so you don't get caught. I don't think shouting to the heavens is the best way to be subtle." No sooner had she finished the sentence, than an Anbu with a mask resembling a crane shunshinned into the training field. Ember quickly became invisible, but she knew she had been spotted.

"Naruto Uzumaki," said the Anbu, his voice never wavering, despite the fact that he knew Naruto was possessing another Shinobi. "You and your blue-haired friend are to report to the Hokage's office immediately." Ember faded back into view and looked over to the side, looking directly into the eyes of her charge, staring back at her through the eyes of the overshadowed Chuunin.

Hokage's office

"Now then," said Sarutobi, looking over to Naruto, who was back in his human form, and then to Ember, who had also transformed. Not wanting to be too conspicuous, she decided that should anyone else see her, she didn't want her status as a ghost exposed. Currently, rather than flaming blue hair, she had brown hair tied back in a ponytail. Her eyes remained green, but did not glow, and her skin had taken on a more tan appearance. For all intents and purposes, anyone that saw her would see her as completely human.

"Well now, I must say I am rather surprised by you, and the powers you seem to have given to Naruto, Miss Ember," said Sarutobi, taking a few puff of his pipe. "However, my line of questioning veers more into Why and How it happened, more so than anything else. So would either of you care to explain?" Upon neither answering him, his gaze fell and he sighed.

"I see," he said. "Then I guess I'll have to take a guess for myself. Let's see...I can still feel Naruto's Chakra, along with another energy, which you both seem to have in abundance. It's an energy I've only felt on the battlefield. It is cold, and dark, and I must say, it feels like death, so my best guess would be...ectoplasm, am I correct?" The shocked looks on the faces of the two was all he need to know and a smile graced his face. "I thought as much. It's an honor to meet a true ghost before becoming one myself."

"How do you know about ghosts?" asked Naruto, completely shocked, but Sarutobi just chuckled, before his face took on a look of seriousness and a bit of sadness.

"An old student of mine had a bit of an unhealthy obsession with death," he replied after a moment of staring into space. "But now is not the time for remembrance of things passed. Somehow, you've managed to obtain ghost abilities of your own, from what I've gathered." The statement was directed at Naruto, who looked down in shame. If he knew about his abilities and about Ember, he probably really knew just who it was that blew up his apartment building.

"Yes sir," he said, and Sarutobi could feel the fear and shame radiate from the boy. "The fox used Ember's ectoplasm to give me ghost powers." Sarutobi sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. So the fox was somewhat to blame. He knew a group of people who wouldn't react well to that news, and accordingly made a mental note never to reveal that tidbit of information.

"And what are the extent of your abilities?" he asked. "What can you do?" It was Ember who spoke next.

"We aren't sure yet," she said. "We know he can fly, turn invisible and intangible, and overshadow someone, which is the ability to fly into their body and take it over. But we don't know exactly how many abilities he may have, what they are, and what their limits are."

"I would assume that someone should know," replied Sarutobi, blowing a bit of smoke.

"Someone does know," said Ember, peaking Naruto's interest. "Once I run out of things I can show him, I'm going to have to find another half-ghost to come and play teacher. I'm still charged with being a guardian to him, but there's only so much he can learn from me." Sarutobi just nodded.

I'm going to trust you for now, because you as of yet have shown no animosity toward the village or Naruto," he replied. "However, my position can quickly change, and I think you'll find that our life energy, chakra, is more than capable of dealing with your ectoplasmic death energy." While there was no real animosity in the old man's voice, Ember couldn't help but feel a bit of fear course through her at the Hokage's thinly veiled threat. She nodded in confirmation and Sarutobi matched the gesture.

"Excellent," he announced. "Now, I would like to meet this teacher you plan to have teaching my shinobi, preferably before the aforementioned training even begins. If he or she is found to be capable and trustworthy, they will be granted the rank of Special Jonin so as to make Naruto's training legally sanctioned by the village. As such, I extend the same rank to you, Miss Ember." The ghost and half-ghost looked at each other strangely, before turning back to the aged leader.

"What exactly does that mean I'd have to be doing," said Ember. "I don't exactly bow before authority." To punctuate her sentence, she struck a chord on her guitar, shaking the office a bit.

"I thought as much," replied Sarutobi. "I will ask only, first that you never do that again in my office. Lack of respect for authority or not, I am the leader of this village, and such an action can be seen as a threat, which will be acted upon and removed." The ghost girl swallowed nervously, not sure why the old man could freak her out like he did. "And that you continue to train Naruto, and accompany him on all missions he shall partake in."

"Whatever you say," sighed Ember, crossing her arms, ceasing eye-contact with the aged Hokage, causing him to smile a bit. To him, the Ghost girl really was nothing more than a teenager deep down.

"Excellent," said Sarutobi, standing finally from his seat. "You both may go for now. I'll inform Kurenai of this new addition to her team." Naruto nodded, before a red ring formed vertically over his body, separating into two and spreading outward, transforming the boy into his Ghost form. Ember merely erupted into blue flame, before it died down, leaving the girl in her own natural form. The two floated up out of their seats, before phasing through the ceiling, right before Sarutobi's eyes, which closed as he pinched the bridge of his nose. Making the Ghost a special Jonin was risky, especially if the council got wind of what was going on.

The two floated above the village for a while, invisible to the masses below as Naruto lay on his back as though back-floating in water, while Ember merely lay across her guitar.

"So what's this about another teacher?" asked Naruto, breaking the silence. Ember merely looked at the boy before sighing, closing her eyes.

"Look, kid, I'm a ghost. You're a half-ghost. I can't teach you everything about being half-and-half because I don't know everything. As far as I know, there are two other half-ghosts. Out of the two of them, there's really only one that has the experience and power you need. Unfortunately, he's supposed to be a heartless bastard."

"So what?" rebuffed Naruto. "So are half the villagers down there. Heartless or no, if he can teach me what I need to know, I'm willing to ask if you are."

"Alright," said Ember, her eyes glowing brightly as they opened up once more. "When I run out of things to teach you, we'll look for the other guy to get him to teach you. Until then, it looks like not only am I your teacher, and now your teammate, but I outrank you."

"WHAT!" shouted Naruto, giving her an incredulous look after comically flailing, as though he had almost fallen out of the sky.

"Did I, or did I not just become a 'Special Jonin?" asked Ember, a smirk clearly plastered across her face, causing Naruto to sputter, trying to come up with a decent come-back. Upon finding none, he bowed his head in defeat. It was then that his face turned serious and he looked toward his teacher.

"Can I ask you something?" he said. Ember laid back and closed her eyes.

"Shoot," she said. Naruto looked like he was having trouble finding the right words, but suddenly, he spoke.

"How did you die?" Ember almost fell off her guitar. That was one question she had honestly never thought he would ever have the nerve to ask.

"How?" she replied questionably, and got a nod in response. She sighed and turned away from her student. While she wouldn't admit it, she was ashamed of herself for dying in such a manner. "You really wanna know?" She was hoping that her young student would read her body language and drop it. No such luck. His gaze only told her that his resolve had increased.

"...I wasn't exactly the most popular kid in school. My taste in clothes and music, and my rebel attitude made me something of the social outcast." Naruto was listening intently. He had never heard his teacher speak like she now was. Gone was the slang and insults, replaced with the somberness that one would expect to hear when discussing such a topic as death.

"And one day," she continued, "I got asked out to the school dance. I didn't even care that some popular kid who normally wouldn't give me a second look asked out the punk-rocker wannabe. I bought a dress. It was a really nice dress too. And that's saying something from me, because if you hadn't noticed, I'm not exactly the most thrilled by dresses." Naruto nodded, but continued to listen.

"The night of the dance came. I was so...excited. I thought, maybe things were finally looking up for me. I waited up for him to come. And I waited. And waited. But he didn't show up. I found out later that it was all part of some prank on the part of the popular kids. Great fun at the expense of me and the other 'uncool' students. All throughout the next day I was the butt of one joke after another. I found the one who asked me out, and all I did was ask him why. Know what he said?" Naruto shook his head no, and the ghost-girl continued. As she did, her flaming hair seemed to burn less brightly, and Naruto could see the beginnings of tears entering his mentor's eyes, though she turned her back once more in an effort to hide them.

"He said, 'I'm sorry, do I know you?' He and all the other popular kids acted like I didn't exist. They pretended that they didn't even know my name." The tears began to fall now as she recalled the events as though they had happened moments ago. I walked home that night. I just felt so angry, and so sad, and all I wanted was to make everything stop. On my way home, I passed by a burning apartment building. The fire department was trying their best, but the flames were too much. It was almost like I was watching myself in slow motion. In all the confusion, I walked into the building. I didn't even feel the flames on my skin. I just lay down against the wall and let the fire do its job."

Naruto was speechless. Never had he given any thought as to why his teacher was the way she was. Now he knew why she detested his thoughts of suicide. She turned to her charge, looking him right in the eye.

"Trust me kid," she said. "It ain't any better being on this side of life. The only thing you take with you is rage and a lot of bad memories. More than you'd think, it's the ghosts that are the haunted ones." The ghost-girl became invisible after that, leaving only a few parting words.

"I'll meet you back at your place later," she said, and the open air was silent. Naruto looked down sadly. He had never intended to upset Ember. If he were honest with himself, she was the closest thing he had to actual companionship since she had flown into his life. Sure, he maybe had a few friends, a few people that liked him as he was, but he wasn't able to be close to them. At the end of the day, they had their own lives and own concerns which he was not a part of. But not with Ember. Since she arrived, her whole existence had become watching over him, teaching him, and being an open ear to talk to. She had become the most important person in his life, and he had made her relive the worst thing to ever happen to her.

A look of fierce determination came into his eyes, and he promised himself he would make it up to her, no matter how long it took him. Promised himself that she would never again have to be sad or angry as long as he was in her charge. It was the promise of a lifetime. And it was a promise that he was determined to keep at any cost.

Chapter end

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