It had been two years since Danny and his ghost side separated from one body, but it didn't feel like it had been that long. People treated them so differently now; the Fenton family had gained another son, though some say only by appearance. Since there were now two Danny's, they couldn't very well call them both by the same name. Their birth son was still called Danny, and their new ghost son was simply called Phantom. It felt demeaning somehow, only acknowledging him as a ghost rather than a boy with a real name. But he just brushed it off most of the time; after all, there couldn't really be two Danny's in the same household, right? But between the pair, they referred to each other as Fenton and Phantom; it had a nice ring to it, though they did call each other Danny on rare occasions. Jazz was really the only other person who picked up their names they gave each other, honoring their decision to call themselves that.
Summer was always fun, swimming, camping, goofing off, and best of all, no homework. Fenton graduated High School a year ago, and had started going to college to study astronomy for his dream to be a real astronaut. And after a long semester of studying, homework, and with final exams finally over, he was more than ready to relax and spend time with his family. Too bad Summer Break was only a few short weeks long.
After the human Danny graduated High School and moved to a dorm for college, the ghost Danny decided to stay and continue fighting other ghosts and protecting the town in his stead. He basically lived the same life Fenton had led before he left; he slept in his same bed, wore his same clothes--before his surrogate parents bought him his own, ate at the same table, hung out with Sam and Tucker when he had the chance, and played his video games during his down time. Fenton was sure surprised when he discovered his counterpart had beaten all his games and unlocked all the cool achievements for him.
Phantom never really liked his spandex suit, so he was glad when he got his own wardrobe. Most of his clothes were very similar to human Danny's, but with obvious homage's to his former attire. He usually wore a black short-sleeved shirt, with the DP emblem that he added for good measure, the sleeves and collar trimmed in white. His pants were black jeans with white stitching down the sides of his legs, the bottoms of the pants almost completely covering his white tennis shoes, and a white belt woven through the belt loops. Instead of his old white gloves, he opted for some white beaded cuffs around his wrists. Yep, his clothing style was almost the spitting image of Fenton's. But although it was summer, up in the mountains it was always a bit chilly, so the boys had decided to wear their jackets for the trip, colored and trimmed in their respective colors.
They were on their yearly 'family bonding' camping trip, Phantom included. Jack was never very fond of his new ghost son, but he tolerated him most of the time. Maddie insisted Phantom come along on the trip, since he was now part of the family after all, even if it was only by his past merge with their birth son.
They had almost finished setting up camp when Jack and Phantom got into yet another argument about the ghost teen coming along for a family vacation. Jack told him he wasn't part of the family and shouldn't have been allowed to come, while Phantom retorted about how he should be treated as family since he was joined once with their son. After the older man said that he would never be his son, just another ghost, Phantom stomped off furiously into the forest. Fenton chased after him, and they went deep into the woods, far away from the campsite. The ghost boy was already far ahead, and the raven-haired teen struggled to catch up.
After several minutes of running, Fenton came to a clearing by a shallow stream, birds chirping in the trees, the calming sound of running water, and leaves blowing in the wind. He followed along the stream until he saw his silver-haired friend, sitting on a log on the bank, tossing pebbles into the water, his face deep in thought. He didn't seem to notice Fenton sneaking up behind him, lost in his thoughts.
The raven-haired teen came up behind him, gave his back a shove then pulled him back, "Saved your life," he joked.
Phantom glared up at him, "Haha," he said sarcastically before turning his attention back toward the reflective water.
Fenton sighed lightly and sat down next to him, silent for a moment before he spoke, "You okay?"
"No, I'm not okay," Phantom threw another stone into the water, "why does your dad have to be like that?"
"Come on, give him some time," he kicked his feet slowly as his legs hung over the bank, "he's still trying to cope with the fact that he has a ghost for a son now."
"He's had two years to cope with that, how much more time does he need?" he picked up another stone, tossing it up and catching it in his hand a couple times, "He'll never see me as part of the family, just another ghost. At least your mom is nice to me, but she still insists I call her 'Mrs. Fenton' rather than mom."
"But Jazz cares about you," Fenton pointed out, "she loves spending time with you the same way she does with me."
Phantom thought for a moment before tossing the stone into the water, "Yeah, that's true, but she's the only person that really does," he brought his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them, "I'll never really be part of this family ... "
"Don't go emo on me Phantom," Fenton joked again.
The ghost teen smirked, "When I start cutting myself and writing songs about it is when you should start worrying."
The raven-haired teen stared at his kicking feet in silence, before smiling and leaned his shoulder against his friend's, "Do you remember what we said the day we separated?"
Phantom sat quietly, "Yeah ... yeah, I remember ... "
Fenton continued, "We said that even though we're separate people now, we'd always be together. Even if they don't view you as family, I still see you as my friend, and brother."
Phantom continued his quiet thought, Fenton still resting against his shoulder. The ghost teen then smirked, "You're so sentimental sometimes."
He slowly reached a hand behind the other teen's back and pushed him into the water.
Fenton sat up, spitting water, "Hey!"
The ghost boy laughed as he brought his legs down from his chest, "Haha, looks like I forgot to save your life."
Fenton glared up at his laughing friend, then reached up, grabbed his legs and pulled him into the water with him. Phantom sat dumbfounded in the stream, watching his counterpart laugh at him. He growled and splashed him in the face, and Fenton splashed back. Their splash fight continued for several more minutes, they laughed the whole time, just having fun together. They stood up in the stream facing each other, their laughter starting to subside.
Suddenly, a voice came from far away, "Fenton! Phantom! Where are you?" they heard Jazz call out.
"Danny! Danny come back!" they heard Maddie.
With a heavy sigh, the silver-haired boy started wringing water out of his clothes, "Come on, I guess we'd better head back."
"Okay," Fenton messed up his hair to get the water out, stepping out of the stream, "they're probably gonna be upset with us for getting all wet."
"Oh no, what ever shall we do," Phantom said sarcastically, "they're already mad at us for running away, one more thing isn't gonna make much difference."
"Yeah, probably," Fenton started walking away, "let's go, we don't want them worrying more than they already are."
Phantom stepped one foot up on the bank, but something caught his eye. Fenton had walked several paces and realized he didn't hear his counterpart's footsteps behind him. He turned and saw him across the stream, following something wispy and green.
"Phantom? Where are you going?" he called back to him.
The ghost boy acted as if he didn't hear him, and continued walking forward, practically hypnotized by the glowing object, disappearing into the forest.
Fenton wasn't sure what he was doing, but he ran back across the stream and struggled up the slightly steeper bank on the other side, "Phantom wait! Where are you going?"
He chased after his friend; he could barely see him through the dark trees. He didn't even seem to notice the stone statues as he ran. The second he stepped passed them; everything went dark, and somehow heavy. The happily chirping birds and running water went silent, the only sound was the wind blowing. What just happened?
Fenton shook his head, focusing back on finding Phantom. He ran off in the direction he knew the ghost boy was going. He soon saw his silhouette in the distance, moving slowly but somehow faster than he was.
He was starting to catch up, but it almost looked like his friend was flickering, fading in and out of form. He momentarily thought he saw the shape of a girl instead of his ghost counterpart, but how could that be?
"Stop!" he shouted and grabbed his shoulder.
The figure turned suddenly to him, all of the ambient noise stopped, then the figure disappeared as quickly as it appeared. Fenton gasped and pulled his hand back, gripping it to his chest. His hand felt cold and numb, a shiver ran down his spine. He decided he must be seeing things and shook his head again.
In the distance, he saw something glowing; it looked like the same thing Phantom was following. Cautiously, Fenton pursued it slowly, deciding that it would lead him to his friend. He came to a trail, and followed it and the green glowing object up a dark hill. The trail led to long, twisted stone stairs. There was a faint light at the top of the hill, beckoning the teen. His mind told him not to go, but he had to find his friend. It seemed like forever before he neared the top, and saw Phantom standing there, facing away.
"Phantom!" he called again and ran up the last few steps.
The silver-haired teen slowly turned toward him, a trance like daze on his face, and suddenly a cloud of green, wispy, what looked like butterflies scattered from around him. The light behind him came from dimly lit lanterns, slightly revealing old Japanese looking buildings. The sight looked ghastly, Fenton shivered again, wrapping his arms around himself.
"W-what is this place?" he stammered.
Phantom was silent for a moment, then whispered, "The lost village between our worlds."