Dust to Dust
Plot: AU. Danny Fenton has just acquired his ghost powers, and if that didn't shock him enough, the fact that he now has to defend his town from ghosts certainly would. Not to mention that the world of Danny Phantom is about to get a lot more realistic and dark, plus he's about to meet a lot of interesting people.
Pairing(s): Hints of Danny/Sam, Danny/Paulina, Danny/Valerie and possible Danny/OC. Really depends on fan response.
Rating: Teen – Subject to change
Fandoms to Appear: Supernatural, House M.D. Bones, Doctor Who, Merlin, An no Exorcist, and Harry Potter
Fandoms I'm Considering: Being Human, Castle, Dexter, BBC Sherlock, Black Butler, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Darker Than Black, Code Geass, Psych, Warehouse 13, White Collar, Dollhouse, Twilight, and assorted Superhero movies.
Disclaimer: Hartman has acknowledged the existence of fanfiction, and doesn't mind if we borrow his characters.
Welcome to the sequel of Ashes to Ashes, although you don't need to read the first part to understand and enjoy this. The first part really only explains the origin and makeup of ghosts and what the ghost zone is. [Which is all sorted out in Chapter Six, if you're curious]
As mentioned above, this will be a Mega-Crossover. It will all be written from the DP Fandom's perspective. So, be prepared for a very long, multi-arc story of pure awesomeness. You can take a look at the list of fandoms and request something to happen when the two collide – Could be anything from an encounter you would like to see happen, a short little side-plot or even a large-scale plot. I'll take everything into consideration.
Dust to Dust
We wait for our turn
We stand and we run
We don't understand
We can't quite comprehend
We try and we fail
We beg and we plead
We hide and we're found
Until one day
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
So we pray and we play
We're all that we can
We prepare for the day
We whisper and we yell
We laugh and we live
We wait for our time
Until one day
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
The Art of Dying
"I'm glad my doomed soul's good for something."
Dean Winchester, Supernatural
It was amazing how two letters could have such an amazing impact on his life. How such a short and seemingly unobtrusive word could shatter his world, and cause it to come crumbling down in a cascade of brilliant light and pain. Somewhere in the back of his head, a panicked voice was berating his actions, repeating – as if he didn't already know – how stupid and impulsive he'd been.
Daniel Fenton was dying.
After all, one person could not be subject to this much pain and still live, not completely anyway. The vibrant shockwave of green ectoplasmic energy blasted through him, swirled within him as horrid screams filled the air. His throat was ripping apart, as though the cells were in such anguish that they were tearing themselves into tiny pieces if only to stop feeling. He wanted to black out, to die; anything that would stop the sensation of wave-like particles slamming into him and setting his entire cellular structure on fire.
And then his vision went white, the most beautiful snowy white that blinded him completely. His screams sounded a far off, as though they didn't belong to him – and yet he knew they did. He tried to open his eyes, but whether he succeeded or not he had no idea for the same stark white greeted him regardless. How much longer would this pain endure? He knew what had happened already, he knew it like he had never known anything in his life, an all consuming thought that didn't let even the agony stop it.
He had died.
Or, more accurately, he was dying since he was fairly certain that death was painless. Oh, God, if it wasn't—if he was to endure this for the rest of eternity—
He tried to look around, tried to see the visage of the speaker. His pain-overloaded brain should not have been able to hear the words, let alone understand them. But, for some reason he could.
"You have not done the work you were meant to. It is not your time yet."
A hand pressed down on his shoulder and warmth filled him. The pain was receding, was disappearing in the wake of the tender touch. A drop of glistening gold had been poured into his fluttering heart, into his very soul, filling him with glowing light as bright and as beautiful as the expanse that blinded him.
"You have been called to do a great and marvelous work among these people. You have been called as their protector." The man had a warm, if accented voice, like he was smiling as he faded away. "Daniel Fenton, fight against the adversary till the end of time."
And he melted into a sweet painless oblivion of darkness.
Dust to Dust
It was the shriek of his name that jerked Daniel back into consciousness, and he jerked forward gasping for air. Immediately there was another scream and he turned to see both his friends staring at him as though they had never seen him before. Sam's face was streaked with tears, and Tucker was pale as death. But there was something odd, and it took him a moment to realize what it exactly it was.
They were both several feet away from him.
Not that he took to imaging the particulars of his death, but weren't his friends supposed to be draped over him either feverishly administering CPR or attempting to slap him awake? And not standing several feet away shouting at him – since he wasn't sure when that had ever brought anyone back to life. Plus, with the look they were giving him, he might as well still be dead.
Why wasn't he dead? The pain felt like a dream, like some horrible nightmare and yet it was as real as the cold metal floor of his father's lab. But, there was no pain. None whatsoever. As though his pain had happened to someone else. Tentatively he brought his hand to massage his throat, but it bore no evidence of the brutal usage it had just borne.
"Danny?" Tucker repeated, breathing his name as though he were lying on his deathbed with the Grim Reaper practically bowing over him.
Danny frowned. "Yes, Tuck. I think that is my name." It didn't escape his notice that his voice seemed to echo through the room, or the way that Tucker seemed to flinch when he heard it. His confusion deepened. Sam was hastily wiping away her tears, though she seemed unperturbed by – well, by whatever it was that was freaking Tucker out.
She opened her mouth the say something, paused and then, "Um… Maybe his parents won't notice?"
Danny glanced behind him and felt as though he'd been slapped in the face. The portal was there, but it wasn't the same dead piece of machinery that he'd walked into. No, the empty hole that had once been in the wall was filled with a swirling mass of green light, which seemed to change viscosity and shade at random.
"No—" Tucker's quavering voice brought Danny back to look at him. Tucker pointed a shaking finger at him.
Danny stared. He felt okay. Or did he? Now that he paused to think about it, there was a lightness in his limbs that he hadn't really noticed before, as though they could actually rest on the air molecules around him. He felt a little cold – but he was still sitting on the hard ground of the basement. He brought a hand up to check his hair when he stopped, his arm hanging in front of his face.
He distinctly remembered that the gloves to his suit were black. Not white. He stared at it for a moment, the seconds slowly ticking by as his brain tried to understand what the eyes were seeing. Then, in one bound he'd leapt to his feet and raced for the nearest mirror –which was the one above the emergency sink in the far corner.
The boy that looked back at him was so unlike him that he leapt backward with a cry.
He shot a panicked look at Tucker – who simply nodded blankly, looking just as freaked out – and approached the mirror again, trying to resist the urge to scream.
The boy that met him was thin, the black material of the suit seeming to be a little loose around his arms and chest, despite the fact that it was supposed to outline his body perfectly. His entire outline was that of white light, which seemed to harden and lose it's solidity randomly. The boy had pristine snowy white hair that swept to one side and was delicately layered so that is appeared light and fluffy. His skin was handsomely tanned and seemed to posses a golden sheen that was impossible to achieve artificially. But his eyes were what Danny couldn't stop looking at. They were green, the richest green he had ever seen with different shades of the color giving depth and texture. They were the color of the swirling Ghost Zone, and they shone just as brightly.
"Oh my God—"
"Danny, it's going to be okay."
"Danny. Just calm down, we'll sort it all out."
He didn't know what happened next, but a wave of lightheadedness had hit him and one moment he was standing there, and the next he was back on the floor blinking as someone shook him. There was a lot more people gathered around him now, all looking worried.
"Danny! DANNY! Oh, thank God."
"M-Mom?" Danny felt as though his stomach had just disappeared. He was dead. He was a ghost, his mom was going to try and run experiments on him, tear him apart molecule by molecule…
"We thought you'd died! Don't ever scare me like that again!"
Danny stared at her, totally loss for words. He lifted his head from the floor and immediately regretted it. It felt like he had just gone five rounds with Rocky in the ring. Everything hurt, and his stomach threatened to show him exactly what stage of digestion he was in. He groaned and laid his head back down, not missing the way his throat felt like someone had shoved a serrated blade down it.
Confusion described his state of mind a little too mildly. A lot too mildly.
He squinted his eyes and located Tucker standing behind Sam, looking just about as baffled as he felt, and nowhere near the correct shade of color. Sam was radiating worry, but she was no match for the assault of emotions that rolled off his parents, practically suffocating him.
"You did it, Danny!" his father was saying, seeming to relax now that he saw his son had awoken. "You got the Ghost Portal working!"
"What were you thinking?" His mother nearly screeched. "You could have been disfigured, seriously injured. You could have died. What were you thinking, Daniel Fenton?" Danny blinked, realizing that drops of water were falling onto his face. He wanted to know what the hell had just happened. Had the mysterious boy with white hair just… vanished? Had he been just an incredibly vivid hallucination brought on by a near-death experience?
"Mom," Danny croaked and he instantly regretted it. If his throat hadn't been the source of his pain, he would've screamed. Okay, no more words coming out of him. His mother pressed her finger to his lips, shaking her head firmly as if to say she understood. He could feel her shaking.
"Sam said your hand was in the portal when the power surged." Even her voice was shaking. Danny however blinked and looked up at Sam who was fidgeting slightly. There had been a lot more than just his hand in the portal, and she knew it. Why hadn't she told his mother everything? Unless the boy hadn't been a hallucination… but his parents didn't seem to think he was dead at all. All the same, he slowly turned his neck to look at the hand that had pressed the on button. It looked perfectly normal – but then again, it hadn't been just his hand.
"Oh my, the shock must've gone right through you," his mother said and he could hear the tears in her voice. "You could've died, I—We heard you from outside Danny. I thought—"
"It's okay, Mrs. Fenton," Sam said putting a hand on her shoulder. Danny was grateful. He'd wanted to do something similar, but that was most definitely not happening. "He's fine."
Tucker made a weird little squeak.
"Okay, well he will be fine."
"He needs medical attention!" Came Jazz's freaked out voice from somewhere behind Tucker. It didn't escape his notice that both his friends thought that was a very bad idea. He was starting to freak out a little – where was the boy from the mirror?
"Jazz, no one knows how to treat injuries like this," Sam said so smoothly that Danny blinked. It sounded like she'd practiced how to handle this – or done it several times. "Your parents know how to take care of him, better than any doctor."
"No, she's right honey," Maddie was regaining some composure. "We built it, we know what injuries it can inflict."
"That's why I told you to stay out of the basement." Jack was sounding more than a little cross. "You're in a world of trouble mister."
"I think being singed into unconsciousness is punishment enough," came Jazz's grumbling reply.
Danny was about to nod in agreement with her when he was suddenly scooped up into the air. Despite his previous decision not to make any noise, he was unable to stop the small cry that left him when his body was jostled. Now he felt like he'd been in the middle of a power surge. His throat throbbed angrily in protest and he automatically grabbed it with his hand.
"Jack! Be careful."
"Sorry," came his father's muffled reply.
"It's okay Danny, you'll be right as rain in no time."
"And then you can see what it is that you turned on! It's a thing of beauty, son!"
Danny frowned, but no one saw it as his face was pressed into the soft orange jumpsuit of his father. He had seen it. And it wasn't just beautiful. On the other side was a world that none of them knew anything about. But, it was also a stark reminder of a boy with eyes of the same color. What had happened in the last—however long it'd been? Sam was obviously lying to his parents, and Tucker seemed to be helping her. Had he imagined all of it? Was it him whose version of the story was convoluted? Had the boy merely been a hallucination?
Except for the fact that he somehow knew he was not.
He knew. He didn't know how he knew, but he knew. He knew it deep within himself. He knew it more than a feeling, more than belief, more than fact. He closed his eyes, allowing himself to slip back into the comfort of darkness. And, just before the pain disappeared, before his mind completely closed down, a sensation came to him.
A piece of golden warmth within his heart. But it wasn't just in his heart. It was in him, his soul. And there, prickling in the corner of his eye was a frosty coldness that waited for his command.
Dust to Dust
"What on earth happened?"
"Dude, you were there. You know what happened."
"No I don't! I was being held captive by my over-protective parents."
"Did you hit your head or something? We were both there. We watched Danny go inside that—that thing and turn it on!"
There was a pause, a groan. "I would say you're lying but even I couldn't make this shit up. Maybe my mom drugged me when I got home or something."
"She would do that?"
"She has done that."
"Oh, it doesn't matter."
"Was that why you didn't come to my—"
"Ug, can you guys keep it down?" Danny asked thickly, grateful that his throat was feeling dry and scratchy, but otherwise all right. "The injured is trying to sleep."
He smiled and then opened his eyes. Sam and Tucker were sitting on the end of his bed. Tucker had the appearance of someone who hadn't slept all night, while Sam seemed to be nursing a hangover – making him suspect that she really had been drugged. He flexed his hands tentatively and when pain didn't shoot through them, he slowly sat up, leaning against his headrest.
"Hey guys," he said in the same cracked voice. He licked his lips, his tongue running over peeling and dry skin. Sam immediately reached for his bedside table, handing him a glass of water.
"How are you feeling?" she asked as he drank deeply.
"Alive," he said and he thought he saw Tucker stiffen slightly. "The pain is almost gone, I think. How long was I out?"
"Only a day. It's about noon."
"Your parents let you skip school?" Danny felt himself smile again. "Or am I so special that you snuck out?"
Sam laughed and Tucker seemed to nervously joined in. "I—" his best friend started. "I told my parents what happened, and they let me skip. I texted Sam and she just cut classes."
"Because you forgot?" Danny said turning toward her, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, you heard that? Yeah, I woke up having no clue what'd happened. Tucker's just been explaining—" she paused, looked around the room, then continued in a whisper as though worried that someone was listening in. "Tucker said you changed."
Danny blinked. "What do you mean?"
"I mean," Tucker said, and his voice adapted a rather shrill tone. "You stumbled out of the portal and onto the floor, except that—that it wasn't you. I mean it was, I mean—"
"The boy with white hair," Danny said softly and Tucker nodded.
"Yeah, him. And when you went to look in the mirror, I think the shock made you faint. Can ghosts even faint?"
"Well, I'm obviously not a ghost," Danny said, frowning.
"Yeah, except you are."
"You changed," Sam said, glancing at him. "Tuck said that after you passed out, this blue ring appeared around your middle and—"
"It like, went all over and there was this flash of white light – not to mention the sound that kinda reminded me of a light saber – and suddenly you were normal again."
Danny stared at the both of them.
"Like I said, even I couldn't make this shit up."
Danny would've laughed at Sam's comment if his mind weren't feverishly trying to make sense of what they had both said. Almost comically, he looked down at his arm and gave it a very hard pinch. It hurt and felt solid enough. He was definitely human. "I'm… very much human."
Tucker made a sound as though he had tried to say something and failed miserably.
"You—your leg just disappeared."
Both he and Sam immediately looked down. He was under the blankets, but even so what he saw made him gasp. One of his legs, the right one was gone. The blanket fell flat and straight onto the bed, the bump of his left looking very lonely. He immediately jumped up, tumbling with a yell to the floor.
"What the—" Danny could see his leg, just fine. He glanced at Tucker and Sam, who were both staring at it as though expecting it to explode. Very slowly, he got to his feet. He felt incredibly stiff, but somehow so very rejuvenated. "It's here..." he said blankly.
"Thank you, Captain Obvious," Sam said, rolling her violet colored eyes.
"Right so what was—" Tucker didn't get a chance to finish his sentence, because very abruptly, Danny fell to the ground. His leg had just given way, as though it had lost the floor beneath it. Muttering curses, Danny rubbed the part of his head that had taken a hit on the floor; while turning to look at what on earth had made him fall. He stared stupidly at his leg for several moments.
It was still there, his leg. But it had lost all the solidity that it usual held. He could actually see right through it, to the wooden floor beneath him and even as he watched it seemed to flicker oddly before suddenly becoming solid again. He looked up at Tucker who swallowed.
"I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for that."
"No, you are quite obviously not dead," Sam interrupted.
"Not completely, anyway."
"He's a little bit dead, Sam."
"Guys!" Danny was could actually feel his hands shaking. "What is going on?"
"How should I know?" Sam shot back. "Maybe we should ask—"
"No way, Sam," Tucker interrupted. "We can not tell Danny's parents."
"But Tucker, what if they can help?"
"No, Tuck's right. If they find out I'm a ghost then my life will be over."
Tucker frowned. "That's… what being a ghost means, dude."
"Oh my—Tuck! You know what I mean! My afterlife will be over."
"Just, calm down Danny. We'll figure this out, okay?"
Danny nodded, taking in several deep breaths. But ghosts didn't breathe, so he had to be alive. Sorta. He held his breath, deciding to check and see if he didn't need to breathe. After a few moments he was forced to take a gulp of oxygen. Okay, so he definitely needed to breath.
"Do you have a pulse, Danny?" Sam seemed to have realized what he was doing.
"Um…" Danny put his hand on his heart and breathed slowly through his mouth. There was a soft beating beneath his palm, though it seemed a little slower than he would've expected it to be. "It's slow, but there."
"Okay, so you're definitely alive."
Then she blinked, her mouth dropping open. Tucker gulped. "And he's also most definitely a ghost."
"Because you've just gone invisible, dude."
Danny let out a yell and looked down at his body, just in time to see it flicker back into visibility. He looked up at his friends, before dashing over to the mirror hanging on his closet door. He was still him though. His hair was messy and inky black, his eyes a sharp icy blue.
"You're alive, and you're dead. You're a walking contradiction."
"Thanks Tuck," Danny said savagely. "I really needed that."
"Maybe it's just a side effect, and it'll go away." Sam didn't sound sure at all.
"Yeah, or maybe I'm half-ghost—" Danny immediately broke off. He wasn't sure why he'd said those words, but the instant he had he was taken aback by how very right they sounded. He wasn't dead. He wasn't alive. He didn't have a craving for human brains, so he wasn't a zombie and nor did he have an unsatisfied need for human blood. Besides, turning invisible – and intangible, he realized – were traits monopolized by ghosts.
"Maybe I did die a little…"
"How on earth do you die a little?"
"He's only mostly dead."
"Tuck! Now's not the time to be making jokes!" Danny ran a hand through his hair. It was silent between them for a long moment. He didn't know what his friends were thinking of, but he was trying to rationalize what had happened to him. Make sense of it. Understand why he wasn't dead – because he certainly felt like he should've been – and why it wasn't entirely alive either.
"What?" Danny blinked, looking up at Tucker.
"Change back," his best friend repeated, an expression of dawning realization on his face. "Into the you with white hair."
"But—" Danny didn't even want to think of that boy as him. It just couldn't have been him. He'd never looked so… powerful in is life. It just didn't happen. "I don't know how!" Or if he even could.
"You turned back to… you, so you have to be able to turn back into—er—him."
"But Tucker," Sam said frowning slightly. "If he is half-ghost – which by the way, actually sounds a little cool – I don't think he should be testing it out in a house of ghost hunters."
"It's not cool!" Danny spluttered, waving his arms widely around his head. "It means at least a part of me has died."
Tucker fidgeted slightly. "Honestly, I thought you had died completely. The way you were—" He trailed off, looking a little paler than usual. There was no need for him to finish his sentence; Danny knew what he was referring too. The way he was screaming… he'd been pretty sure he'd died as well.
"Do you remember anything?" Sam asked him softly.
Danny paused, taking a seat on the floor and leaning back against his closet. He looked down at his hand, watching as it flickered invisible and then back again. He hadn't wanted to remember anything. The pain was still so very clear in his mind, so very real that he almost winced at the memory of it. It was blocking out everything else, burying everything.
"Just pain," he whispered. "And then I was waking up on the floor."
"I remember looking at myself in the mirror."
"I mean before that. Anything at all?"
Danny opened his mouth to say no, when something stopped him. He remembered something, but he wasn't even sure if it was real or if it was just a dream. Almost subconsciously, he put his hand over his heart, feeling the slow rhythmic beats.
"A feeling," he said slowly. "A really warm feeling." There was something else there, but he couldn't make it out. "It felt like it wasn't my time to go," he said wondering why those words sounded familiar to him. "That's it." So why did it feel like he was missing something?
"I think you should try to change."
"You don't even know that I will!"
Tucker shook his head. "You don't know. I'm pretty sure. I watched you do it once, dude."
Danny swallowed, getting to his feet again. "But what about my parents? If they see I'm—" He became acutely aware that he was slowly sinking through the floor. He looked down to see both his legs perfectly intangible and sliding smoothly through the floor. Before he could muster a yell – of shock or fright – his friends seized him from under the armpits and pulled him out. His legs flickered back to normal.
"If they saw a foot downstairs—"
"Well, I don't hear anyone racing towards us with guns ablaze," Sam said, looking a little ashen faced. She sighed. "Maybe Tucker has a point, maybe you should try."
"I'll lock the door." Tucker crossed the room and turned the lock. "Just in case."
Danny frowned. "Okay, fine. But I don't know how to change, or shift, or whatever the hell it was I did in the laboratory."
"I dunno, think about it?" Tucker suggested. Danny didn't miss the excited flicker in his friend's green eyes. Even Sam seemed to have replaced her worry for anticipation. Personally, he felt a little annoyed. They were acting like he was about to do a card trick or something. Didn't they understand how serious this was, especially if they were right? If he was half-ghost? Like, what did that mean? What did that entail? Could he die, would he age? Or would he just be stuck like this forever now, a scrawny boy of fourteen whose only achievement was turning on a piece of equipment?
Even so, he thought about it. He thought about him. The boy with snowy white hair and skin like gold. But he couldn't think about being him. He wouldn't. He had enough problems to worry about and being half-dead was most certainly not one of them. Which, he knew was a loosing battle since his hand was going invisible again. He sighed, shaking his hand as though trying to make it go back to normal.
"I don't know how."
"Imagine being him."
"No." Danny bit his lip. "I can't."
"What do you mean, you can't?"
"Just like it sounds."
Sam folded her arms, giving him one of her scrutinizing stares. "It's okay Danny. This is just another part of you."
"What happened to the side effect theory?"
Sam raised an eyebrow. "Seriously? You think a human can have those kinds of abilities without being something more?" She paused, and then slowly reached out, gripping his shoulder. "Relax. Take a deep breath. We'll get through this, okay?"
"But my parents—"
"They're not going to find out. And even if they did, do you really think they'll just strap you down to a gurney and cut your heart out?"
"Wouldn't put it past them," Danny muttered and Sam punched him in the shoulder. "Ouch! Sam!"
"Just making sure you're still solid cause your brain doesn't seem to be working."
Danny let out a frustrated sigh and turned away from both of them, taking in deep breaths. Sam's hand slid off his shoulder. Everything Azazel had ever said was spinning through his mind, making him feel sick and queasy. Was this the reason why the demon hadn't killed him? Was this why the ectoplasm had been fond of him, or whatever the hell he had called it?
Was this what he meant when he asked, "What are you?"
"It's okay," Tucker said behind him, sounding nervous. "It's okay to be him. He looked kinda cool, you know."
"And I don't remember what he looks like at all."
Danny nodded, letting himself calm down. He tried to picture the boy again in his head, try to see it as himself. He closed his eyes, remembering how he stood in front of the mirror and the reflection he saw there. He opened his eyes.
"Did it work?"
"No dude, you still got black hair."
"I told you I don't know how."
And then, there was a rattle as someone tried the doorknob. "Sam, Tucker? Why's the door locked?"
Tucker immediately blanched. He wasn't the only one; Danny knew he was sharing a similar look of total panic.
"What should I do?"
"Get back under the covers. At least then she won't notice if your limbs are invisible."
"And what if I go completely invisible."
"Just don't do that!"
"Sam? What's going on?"
"Coming Mrs. Fenton! Danny, just… concentrate on being visible. Okay?"
As he leapt back into bed, throwing the blanket back over himself, Danny considered very briefly telling his mother what had happened to him. Whatever he had said, the likelihood of his parents actually dissecting him was a little far-fetched. They still knew that he was their son. But, he couldn't bring himself to tell her as she entered and smiled. As she raced to his side and gave him a hug, telling him how she couldn't believe that he'd already awakened and if he was feeling all right.
He couldn't tell her because he couldn't let her world become as messed up as his was now.
The muse for this story took my by surprise, but I'm ever so pleased. Now, if you couldn't guess from the quote, the first arc is going to include the Supernatural fandom. As of right now, I think they'll be making their appearance in Chapter Three or at the very end of Chapter Two.
I already like this story so much more than it's predecessor. So, hopefully that means I won't leave you all hanging too long in between updates, but you have to be patient with me. The next semester is starting in April and I'll be busy in college, not to mention that I need to get a job - or hurry up and finish my book.
Reviews inspire me to write that much faster, so it is in your best interest to review. :D