Well, this is out much faster than I thought it would be. Sadly, this chapter is really more of a "Danny trying to get a grip" than anything else. I restarted it nearly three times, because I couldn't figure out a good way to start it. That's kinda why there's no prologue scene. I just didn't see this chapter having one - okay, more like, this chapter didn't want one.
Anyway. I hope you enjoy it! Sorry if there are any spelling mistakes. I'm posting this at like, One in the morning.
A Ghost and a Boy
"This looks like a zombie pen, Sammy."
Dean Winchester, Supernatural
"Oh my God—"
"Danny, it's okay."
"No, it's not! She had to have noticed!"
"I don't think so dude, I mean, you hid your arm under the covers pretty quick."
"And what about my legs?"
"She wasn't even looking at your legs. Relax, she didn't see anything out of the norm."
Danny took a deep calming breath, willing himself to calm down. Willing the panic to ebb away and leave him in peace – not that willing had ever worked in the past. He was standing again, his hair a horrid mess from all the times he'd ran his hands through it in his anxiety. The conversation with his mother had been tense to say the least, and not just on his end. Maddie seemed to have avoided the topic of the accident almost as much as they had, which was quite a feat considering the sheer number of times she'd asked Danny how he was feeling.
And he was feeling really quite excellent – physically anyway. A small fact that again made him realize just how very not human he was. Apparently, that type of a shock would've killed a larger man than him instantly. The phrase, "Oh, if you'd been completely inside—!" only made him more certain of that. It seemed that just the current traveling through his hand could've sent him into a vegetative state for several months if not life, never mind a few pain filled weeks of bed confinement.
And, he was absolutely fine after one night's rest.
"Are you sure? I thought—"
"Danny!" Sam nearly had to shout in order to snap him out of his panic-filled mind. "Stop freaking out before you sink through the floor or something, everything is fine."
Danny nodded, wringing his hands together. Everything was fine. It was all going to be okay. God, no, it so wasn't! "Sam," he croaked, but she silenced him with a look.
"We are going to help you hide it from them, they'll never know."
"Unless I start disappear during dinner."
"Dude," Tucker said and he put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Take it easy. You don't even have to leave this room for at least another two days. I doubt she'll even let you get up until next week."
"That doesn't fill me with confidence, Tuck," Danny countered, narrowing his icy blue eyes.
"But it does give us some time to figure this out," Sam said. She looked strained, but excited. Danny frowned, resisting the urge to glare at her. She looked like she was about to tackle a school project or something. They both needed to take this more seriously! He had just died. A little—sort of—anyway, he had become half-ghost. He didn't want to be ghostly or whatever! This was definitely not how he'd hoped to pass through high school. No, he'd wanted to be normal and now, he couldn't even be human.
"My life is over." Deadpanned. Fact.
"I think that sums it up."
"Tucker!" Sam shouted. "Stop making it worse! He's already on the fritz!"
"Look, the faster he accepts it the better." Tucker had turned to Sam, making Danny feel almost as if they'd forgotten he was in the room. "He might not like it, but we all know that there's no way to reverse this kind of thing."
"Isn't there?" Danny spoke up, folding his arms. "Maybe I should tell my parents. Maybe they can make something that'll change me back. Fix me."
"You don't need fixing." But Danny wasn't listening to Sam anymore. She'd always thought ghosts were very cool. He had no doubt that if she were in his shoes; she'd be over the moon right now. She'd be giggling and trying to learn how to float four feet above her covers, but he couldn't be like her. He wanted to be normal so badly, and if there was the smallest chance of that, he was going to find it.
He'd been about to wrench open the door to his bedroom when to pairs of arms grabbed and pulled him back. He tried to shake them off, but he'd never been very strong. "Guys—" he shout, anger seizing him, but two pairs of hands clamped over his mouth effectively silencing him.
"Just think about this a second, Danny. This was an accident, the chances of this even occurring a so small—"
"Yeah," Tucker interrupted. "I mean, you were supposed to die in there. I mean completely," he added when Danny rolled his eyes. "And, what if your parents are even more excited by this than we are? What if instead of trying to fix you, they try to replicate it?"
He blinked. He hadn't thought about that.
"Exactly," Sam said nodding in agreement. "I have no idea what you can do – none of us do – but people will pay millions if there's even the smallest chance of immortality."
"I'm not immortal!" Danny managed to get out, jerked his head out of their muzzle.
"But can you die?" Sam whispered back.
"Well, I definitely need to breathe," he said trying to throw them off. "You're smothering me guys."
"We just don't want to see you do something stupid, dude," Tucker countered. For a nerd, he had a surprisingly tight grip. And so warm. With both of his friends draped over him, trying to stop him from spilling his guts to his parents, he was starting to overheat. They both seemed so much warmer than he remembered – not that he remembered ever being in this situation before – but it felt like an inferno.
"Okay, okay," Danny said struggling with more vigor now. "I get it. I won't tell them, just let go of me."
"Yes! I'm—" He was dimly aware that he'd actually thought about going intangible. He'd let the thought cross his mind in a brief flash of concentration and the next moment, he was free. He heard his friends both grunt and slide to the ground, as he stumbled away. A wave of exhaustion swept over him and his knees buckled. He hit the floor – no longer intangible then – and he winced, clutching his knee, breathing hard as though he'd just run a mile.
"I'm sure," he finished, watching with a twinge of amusement as his friends were getting to their feet. Sam was regarding him with caution as though she half expected him to make a break for the door, but Tucker's eyes were popping.
"Did you do that?"
"Have you been asleep for like… the last day or something?"
"No, I mean did you consciously do it this time?"
Danny's first impulse was to answer no. Tell them that it had just been another case of accidental ghost freakishness, but that wasn't true. He had let himself think about it for a split second, more out of instinct than of anything. He felt himself pale, felt whatever color he still possessed to leave his face. Did he have different instincts now? When faced with fight or flight would he turn invisible instead? He'd been silent too long; Tucker and Sam were exchanging identical looks of surprise.
"You made yourself go intangible?"
He deflated. "I—I think so."
"Are you okay, Danny?"
He opened his mouth, closed it and then opened it again. "Not really," he managed to croak. And the next moment, he was on his feet again pacing back and forth along the length of his bedroom. It was only after he'd taken the second step that he realized he hadn't actually gotten up from the floor. Somehow, he knew he'd just materialized from the floor and onto his feet. A jerking sudden flicker that looked almost as if a few frames of the video had been deleted. Just great, he was starting to adapt to his newfound abilities.
"I—I just wanted to be normal. I mean first I—I don't believe in ghosts and then immediately after I do I'm attacked by a friggin' demon. And then, our town is a—all cursed and we have ghosts everywhere—And then what!" He said the last part so shrilly that both Sam and Tucker flinched. "I die? I become one of—one of them?"
He stood still, still feeling spent after his moment of intentional power usage, breathing harder than was considered normal. No one replied to his words of heated anger and fear. Words of desperation. Danny wondered if they really understood the injustice that he felt, if they understood how cheated he felt by this life. It felt like it wasn't his life. He was just a pawn in a bigger picture, and he was a slave to a destiny bigger then himself. As that thought swallowed him, consumed him, he slid to the ground.
"I was never meant to have a normal life," he whispered, staring blankly at the ground before him. "From the moment I was born, that luxury was taken away from me."
He buried his head in his hands, despair locking down logic. It was silent for a moment and then he felt someone grab his shoulders and shake him. "Danny, you are being ridiculous."
He looked up and found Sam looking down at him. Her pale face was set with determination, her violet eyes narrowed and for a second, Danny actually thought she might slap him. After a moment however, she dropped her hands and knelt down in front of him, now at his eye level.
"Danny," she repeated. "Most people live their whole lives wanting to be a part of something bigger and greater than themselves. While you've been running toward a normal life, everyone's been running away from theirs."
"They can have mine!" Danny said, knowing that he sounded whiny. "I don't want an extraordinary life! I'll trade! Someone else can become half-dead."
"You're not half-dead," Sam said softly. "You're not sort of alive. You are here, and that is all that matters."
Danny stared at her, unable to say anything to that. When it'd been silent between them for a moment, Tucker cleared his throat. "So, can I give him the 'with great power, comes great responsibility' speech?"
And Danny burst into laughter. He felt like he hadn't laughed in ages – funny how almost dying makes everything less funny – and as soon as he did, a great cloud lifted from off his chest.
"Tucker! You ruined the moment!" Sam snapped, getting abruptly to her feet and making to club tucker over the head.
"I couldn't help it!" he said as he tried to dodge Sam's blow.
Danny Fenton wanted to be normal; he had wanted to be normal for several years now. But had he really? He paused, watching Sam berate Tucker for being insensitive while his mind went in another direction. His childhood had been filled with stories of ghosts, of incredible contraptions and of an excitement that little knew of. He'd been sent to the emergency room several times and he stayed up all night staring at the sky, waiting for that glimpse of paranormal activity.
Somewhere along the road of growing up, that part of him had been lost. Even now, he struggled to find it within him. He wanted to be accepted by his peers, he wanted to be liked by the pretty popular girls and he wanted to excel in school. But, at the thought of going through school without ghosts…
Well, that was unbearably boring.
"Sam, you can stop your assault on Tucker." He smiled and he got to his feet, wrapping them both in a crushing hug. "Thank you," he whispered to them.
He took a step back from his friends, taking a deep breath. He tried to think about this boy, tried to see him no longer as him but as himself. He could see the snowy white hair; see the golden skin and white shinning light. He imagined becoming him, and opened his eyes.
Judging from the looks on Sam and Tucker's face, he was still the same. "Still don't know how to shift." Or if I even can.
"It'll come," Tucker said reassuringly. If only Danny had his confidence.
"Are you okay, with changing now? Cause, I mean, that could've been the problem," Sam suggested.
Danny nodded. "I thought so too." He paused a moment, searching inside himself. "I think… I am okay with it. Maybe not completely, but definitely more so."
"Well, maybe hold off on it right now."
"Cause I think I hear your mom bringing up sandwiches."
Dust to Dust
It was the cold that woke him.
Danny Fenton shivered, bringing his arms closer against his torso while simultaneously trying to sink further into his blankets. There was one problem though; he didn't have any blankets around him. With a jolt he sat up, trying to understand what had happened to the soft confines of his bed and the safety of his room. As he squinted in the darkness, brushing a mop of messy black hair out of his eyes he felt as though he'd been doused with cold water.
He was in the kitchen.
Why on earth was he attempting to sleep on the kitchen floor? How had he gotten there? To his knowledge, Danny hadn't left his bedroom all day. After Sam and Tucker had left, he'd managed to keep his parents away by claiming that he needed to sleep while he actually tried to understand this startling new list of powers that he had received. That, and he'd been terrified of accidentally turning invisible in front of his parents. He had made some definite progress though. He could turn invisible when he wanted to and turn intangible when he wanted to – but he still did it when he didn't want to.
Back to the kitchen.
Danny got to his feet; acutely aware of how his hands and knees shook with adrenaline. Slowly, he looked up at the ceiling. Had he turned intangible while sleeping? Well, that was just bloody spectacular. He'd managed to hide these powers from his parents all day, but how was he supposed to be on guard during the night?
"All I wanted was normalcy," he spat into the quiet darkness of the empty kitchen. "But no—Danny doesn't get to live a normal life. Danny has to be a ghost boy."
He groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose. As soon as he thought it, he was walking, having flitted from the floor to his feet in a heartbeat. He particularly liked that little power, the whole ghostly jerk as he jumped a few frames. Granted, he had a feeling that it would also be extremely difficult to not do it. He walked up to his room, noting that his footfalls were still just as loud as they always were. Praying that his adventure didn't wake up his parents, he slipped back into his room.
Stifling a yawn, he stretched and climbed back into bed. Just flitting – as he had come to call it – took so much energy out of him. Never mind all the other tricks. And, he still couldn't get himself to shift into the white-haired boy. He had another theory, one that he hadn't mentioned to Sam and Tucker yet. Maybe, just maybe, he wasn't strong enough to shift yet. If turning invisible for a fraction of a second and flitting to his feet left him breathing hard, he could just imagine what shifting would do.
Dust to Dust
"Geeze Danny, did you get any sleep?"
He glowered at Sam, the memory of the previous night in no way a pleasant one. "I woke up in the kitchen. Twice. After the second time, I wasn't exactly eager to go back to bed."
From the corner of his eye, he thought he saw Tucker trying to withhold his laughter – not that he was succeeding. He got a glare too.
It was late afternoon now. Sam and Tucker hadn't been able to get out of school this time, but Danny's exhausted expression allowed him the luxury of hiding away in his room without any parental interaction whatsoever. Indeed, he had very nearly lost to his mother's insistence that he shouldn't see his friends and just sleep the day away. But, luckily for him, she'd relented.
"So, what? You got four hours of sleep?"
"It honestly feels like two."
"Did you try sleeping at all this morning? I mean, you could've taken a nap—"
"And end up in the kitchen, only this time in front of my family? No way. I've been splashing my face with cold water." Danny failed to stifle a yawn, making Sam exchange a worried expression with Tucker.
"You can't do that," she went on seriously. "You were so exhausted after yesterday and it's only been a few days since the accident!"
"Yeah, well," Danny folded his arms. "I can't exactly control this in my sleep." He flickered into invisibility. "I can't even control it when I'm awake!" He gave out a sigh of frustration and concentrated on being visible. After a second, he went back to normal, another morsel of energy sapped away.
"But you're getting a little better at it, right?"
"Hardly," Danny countered and Tucker frowned. "I mean, I can get myself to do it but I can't stop it. I have almost no control over when it decides to strike."
Sam folded her arms, surveying him. "Do you feel tired after you do it, unintentionally?"
Danny paused. He hadn't really thought about that. "No. I mean, not really. I guess I do feel a little weaker, but nothing compared to when I try to actually do it."
"Dude, that's a little paradoxical."
"Tuck, that's an enormous word. I feel stupid just hearing you use it."
"But it is!"
"Anyway," Sam interrupted them, rolling her eyes. "Maybe its like your body testing things out. Understanding it, just like how you were."
Danny frowned. "Like giving myself a test drive?"
"I don't even know if that's realistic, Sam."
"Have you tried shifting today? Maybe that'll help even things out or something," Tucker suggested. Danny didn't miss the way his eyes glittered hopefully. Danny wasn't even sure that Tucker believed what he said, he was willing to bet every comic book he owned that Tucker would say anything if it meant seeing phenomena again. Even Sam – who didn't remember it at all – wasn't so persistent. Even now, she looked at Tucker and shook her head.
"If he can't control these powers, I'd hate to see him with a whole armada of them!"
"Tuck, she has a point," Danny interrupted. "Besides, I'd hate to think of how exhausted I'd be after a shift, if just concentrating on being solid wipes me out."
"Yeah…" But he didn't look very happy with it. He glanced down at his watch, sighing loudly. "I only have another hour before I gotta go back home."
"Any my mom will probably usher you both away in half that time."
Danny flopped back onto his bed, sleep begging and fear resisting. Not just fear of his parents finding out though, not just the fear of waking up in the kitchen and having to explain how he gotten there. What happened when he started going to school again? He couldn't hide here for very long. Already, he was starting to worry about the workload piling up. But the chances of him having these abilities mastered in another few days was almost entirely impossible!
And there wasn't a bed-sheet to hide beneath when he accidentally screwed up either.
"Do… do you want to try sleeping a bit?" Sam suggested in a small voice. "Tucker and I will wake you if start to do anything—er—odd."
Danny couldn't even protest. He merely nodded, letting his eyelids close. He was asleep before he'd taken another breath. But it felt like only seconds later when he was being jostled awake.
He heard Tucker chuckling, and it took a moment for him to open his eyes and focus on his best friend. "You're fine, dude," he said shaking his head. "You didn't do anything, but your mom's just peeked in. We gotta go."
"Oh." And suddenly he was wide-awake. "Thanks, guys." He knew it couldn't have been very interesting, sitting there and just watching him sleep. He blinked. That sounded a little creepy, now that he thought about it… Tucker didn't seem to notice though. He had one of his mischievous grins in place.
"You talk in your sleep." He sounded like he'd just found a gold mine.
Danny gaped. "I do not."
"Well, you certainly do now."
Danny looked at Sam, but she was wringing her hands together. "Do I really talk in my sleep?" he shot at her, but from the uncomfortable hunching of her shoulders, he already knew his answer.
"Well," she said. "You said a few things. Mostly just anger at the universe, type stuff."
"I ranted in my sleep?"
"Dude, you cussed out the entire universe. I think rant puts it mildly."
"It wasn't that bad," Sam said, but she was biting her lip. Tucker raised a brow.
"Oh, I don't want to hear it," Danny interrupted, covering his ears with his hands. Whatever he had said, it was sure to sound ten times worse coming out of Tucker's mouth. Thankfully, his friend simply dissolved into chuckles again.
"Okay, we're off then. Try not to do anything stupid while we're gone."
Danny rolled his eyes. "What, and let you miss out on the fun?" he replied, sarcasm layering his tone. "I'll do my absolute best."
"Danny," Sam said and he looked at her, his expression growing to mimic her somber tone. "Just be careful."
And then they were gone, his door swinging shut behind them. It felt too quiet in his room now, and cold too as though they had taken the heat with them when they'd left. But, for once, Danny wasn't cold. If anything, he felt more at home within it. He sighed and got up, crossing over to the mirror once more.
A skinny boy of fourteen gazed back at him, raven black hair tossed with bed-head and sky blue eyes dull with exhaustion. Even as he watched, his entire person vanished from sight before flickering back into sight. It didn't tire him though – now that he was paying more attention to it. He screwed up his eyes, concentrating on becoming invisible and after a moment he flickered out of sight. He held onto it for as long as he dared, and when he came back into sight he doubled over, breathing heavily.
Maybe it was like running.
He could sprint suddenly for a few seconds without any trouble at all. After all, when being chased by Dash, instinct took over and he could run at a speed that would've made him perfect for track and field. However, when it came for PE, he was wiped out after just one lap around the gym. Maybe he just had to build up a tolerance for it.
Or was it?
In a spurt of recklessness, Danny concentrated again. He went invisible again – faster this time, he noticed – and tried to hold onto it. He could hear his blood pounding in his ears, feel his knees start to shake beneath him. When he reverted back, he didn't even wait until he'd caught his breath before trying to do it again. His mind was screaming in protest, his body begging him to stop. Well hey; maybe if he was too wiped out he wouldn't even have the energy to become intangible while he slept.
When he reached the end of the third rep, his knees buckled and he slid to the floor gasping for breath. He glanced at the clock on his bed-stand and blinked. He managed to stay invisible for nearly half-an-hour in all. It was definitely a new record – even if his legs felt like jelly. He just sat there, breathing in and out, watching as his reflection grew darker with the setting sun. How long he stayed like that, he had no idea. His mother must've thought he was still asleep for she didn't come up to his room once after Sam and Tucker had left. Maybe they'd told her that he'd wanted to be left alone. It didn't really matter. All that mattered was the slow movement of his chest as he sucked in oxygen, and then expelled it.
"I'm a ghost boy," he whispered into the gloom, breaking the silence that had descended. But that didn't sound right. He frowned, wondering why it something was wrong. "No—I'm the ghost boy," he continued.
"There's only one of me, after all."
And then he felt the cold in the corner of his eye; he felt it more strongly than he ever had before. He wasn't afraid to prod it with his mind, wasn't scared to understand more of whom this new him was.
He flitted to his feet, still very much aware of the frosty chill that lurked just out of sight. He supposed that this was the shift, waiting for him to call upon it. Tentatively, he reached out toward it and it seemed to jump out of his reach. He took a deep breath, and tried again. He didn't try to touch it, didn't imagine the boy with white hair. Instead, he tried to feel it. He turned his inner eye to look at it, trying to see into the corner of his eye. The part that no one ever looked, because they were afraid of what they might see.
And the cold exploded, enveloping him a rush of icy white light.
Sorry guys! I left you on a cliffhanger. Okay, not really. Because I'm spoiling it for you. No. You don't get to see him go ghost. :D Not yet, anyway. I don't think even Danny's going to get to see himself go ghost. Yes, he is going to wake up on the floor in front of his mirror. And yes, Sammy and Dean show up next chapter.
Please, please review. Yes, you may yell at me for being so inconsiderate in leaving you in a spot like that. :D Reviews make me work faster, so it is in your best interest to review!