Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom


Debriefing

Danny was literally bouncing off the walls. The debriefing had long since devolved into a rant. Sam bet all those fan girls that were always mooning after him had no idea what she put up with.

Looking and listening to the scene through his webcam, Tucker could easily interpret Danny's badly-tuned mutterings,

"I gather that Danny has moved on to his pacing phase?"

"He's wearing a hole in my … air," Sam confirmed.

"It's better than the sulking stage," Tucker countered. "He was in my office last week."

Who knew a superhero boyfriend could be so high-maintenance?

.

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"… and then to top it all off, Lancer called me into his office and gave me the 'my brother's keeper' lecture," Danny fumed, "As if it was my fault that Dash got pepper sprayed."

Sam snickered, and apologized insincerely, "It's still funny. I'm sorry if Lancer was giving you a hard time."

"Why not? Everyone else is: Jazz, my parents, Lancer, Dross and her henchman Brass, not to mention our mystery ghost and Skulker."

"Well, you're not alone in that," Tucker said wryly. "Except for the ghosts, they've all made sure to tell the mayor how dissatisfied they were."

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"Yeah but at least you didn't get covered with that horrible goop," Danny grumbled.

"No, I just got blamed for it," Tucker said. It came out a bit more bitterly than he meant it to. "I wish I could just take a shower and wash the problems away."

"As if! It doesn't just wash off ghosts, so my parents had to use this revolting solvent to get it off," Danny went on. "No matter how many times I shower, my hair still smells funny."

"Oh, great," Sam huffed in exasperation, "Instead of one kvetching best friend, now I've got two."

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.

"You'd complain, too, if you got that horrible stuff in your hair," Danny fussed.

Sam blew out her breath.

"A least I have a legitimate complaint," Tucker griped.

"Tucker, if you weren't talking to me from your house," Sam addressed the computer, "and if you couldn't turn intangible," Sam tossed over the shoulder, "my boots would give you both a real reason to whine."

There was a brief pause and Tucker suggested, "Let's get back to figuring what this ghost wants."

"I keep telling you; I have no idea," Danny fumed. "You're the one that thinks he has alterative motives."

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"Let's start with what he looks like," Sam suggested.

"Ghosts often don't look like they did in life," Danny warned.

"But it might be a clue to its obsession," Sam insisted.

"He's short, has green skin, black hair, wears chains with big padlocks and not much else, short, middle-aged," Danny described.

"Dross said he's also really buff," Tucker added.

Danny's agitated pacing increased until he began doing flip-turns off the wall like a swimmer.

"Ooh, Danny, I think you're jealous," Tucker snickered.

Sam snagged Danny out of the air. "Not helping, Tucker."

"Okay, what else do we know?" Tucker asked.

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"He has a brother named Dash, wants to give me a hard time, and can escape from thermoses and normal ghost shields," Danny grumbled.

"How about his personality?" Sam asked.

"Arrogant, overconfident, attention seeking, insulting, jerk…," Danny began.

"In other words, a sense of humor and showmanship," Tucker teased.

Danny's eyes glowed green.

Danny customarily acted as the glue that held them together, now Sam found herself forced into the role of peacemaker.

"If you two don't knock it off, and tell me everything you know about that ghost," she snarled, "I will find an imaginative way to make you."

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The nebulous threat worked and both boys submitted to Sam's cross examination – for a while.

"Are you sure those were exact words the ghost said?" Sam pressed.

Danny burst out irritably, "How would I know? "I'm not a blasted tape recorder!"

"Please Danny, it might give us a clue," Sam urged, "Close your eyes. Try to focus," Sam urged.

After a moment Danny's eyes snapped open, "I can't focus with that smell."

"What smell?" asked Sam.

"It must be your perfume," Tucker smirked.

Sam severed her link to Tucker. He remained incorrigible even after Sam and Danny had started dating.

.

.

Sam frowned as she wondered if it had anything to do with the ghost or if was a new complication of his ghost powers.

"That stuff my parents used on my hair; I can't wash it out," Danny sniffed and wrinkled his nose in disgust.

Sam reached over and ruffled his hair. "Danny, your hair smells fine, like shampoo. I don't smell anything," she smiled.

"Well, I do. Even if it's not there, it gets into my brain, kind of like the way that stuff does from dissections," Danny groused.

"Another reason to stop the evil practice," declared Sam vehemently.

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"I was beginning to agree with you when my parents were threatening to dissect me," Danny quipped. "But this may be worse."

"Please, let's just finish this and then I'll try to find some herbal soap or something, okay?" Sam said.

When Danny didn't respond Sam looked up to see that Danny had resumed his irritated pacing. He ran his hands through his hair, sniffed at them, and grimaced. She had to call his name three times before she got his attention.

"Okay," Sam sighed, "I can see we're not going to get anything done until we deal with this."

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.

"This is so not fair," Danny moaned, "Why do my ghost powers always seem to have to come with glitches?"

"Maybe you should take a bath in tomato juice or something."

"Tomato…what?"

"It's what you're supposed to do when dogs have a run-in with a skunk," Sam explained.

"Well, it's obviously something that ghosts are more sensitive to than humans. Ever run into something like that before?" Sam asked.

"Blood blossoms. But my parents would know better than to use something like that. Besides there was nothing like that written on the label," Danny told her.

"What label?" Sam demanded.

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"The label on the bottle that horrible stuff was in," Danny told her, "It's not like I'll ever touch it again. Next time, I'll just wear the green goop."

Sam's voice took on the annoyed tone that she used when she thought he was being stupid but couldn't decide if it was on purpose or not. "If we know what you're reacting to we might be able to counteract it."

"Besides, the way the bottle was turned I couldn't see the whole label," Danny justified.

"Try," Sam demanded.

"Some sort of chemical formulas," Danny squinted his eyes and thought.

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"I remember 'MeOH' but that doesn't make sense because there's no 'Me' element," Danny said uncertainly.

Sam sat down at the computer and began typing. "It's not an element; it's an abbreviation for methanol, also known as wood alcohol. I don't see how that would cause a problem.

Danny shrugged. "Then there was something else that started 'forma'- but I couldn't read the rest around the curve of the bottle," Danny added.

Hmm…" she murmured. Then, there was a pause. "Oh…"

"Oh?" asked Danny.

"No wonder it reminded you of dissections. Methanol and formaldehyde are the primary ingredients of embalming fluid."

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.

"Embalming fluid?" Danny asked, appalled. "Eww! Gross! Why would my parents even have it around? No, scratch that; I've stopped asking things like that where my parents are involved."

"I can't believe your parents used that on you. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen," Sam said equally appalled.

"They used it in my hair," he groaned and pulled a face.

"Well with all the showers and baths you took it should be washed out by now," Sam said comfortingly.

"Then, why do I still smell it?" Danny moaned.

"Well either you are just imagining it," Sam speculated, "or we need ghost tomatoes."