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"Sometimes in tragedy we find our life's purpose." Robert Brault
Chapter 1: "Tragedy"
There are moments when despair is so deep that tears cannot fall. When people lose everything they love, they cannot make themselves grieve properly. Instead, the sadness stays in the heart, never escaping.
Men and women can be driven insane in such instances. They can only think about what is lost. The joy in living is completely gone.
This is how Danny Fenton felt as soon as he regained consciousness.
In his hospital bed, Danny could only feel pain. Despite his numerous cuts, bruises, and burns; he felt no physical pain.
No, his pain was one of a shattered heart.
Danny had lost everything. He had lost his family. He had lost his only friends. He had lost the only teacher who actually cared about his future.
Nothing he cared about was left, and it was his fault.
A selfish choice on his part destroyed everything. All he wanted was to pass the C.A.T.s. To ensure his future, he decided to cheat on the most important test of his life.
Ironically, this choice destroyed the future.
Because he made a selfish choice, he ruined everything. He would become the destroyer of the entire planet.
In some twisted future, he would forsake his humanity and release his pain and rage on every other being in existence.
Danny knew this because he faced his future self. In that twisted future, the past Danny confronted the future Danny.
The future Danny knew that this knowledge would change the future, so he decided to ensure his existence.
Dark Dan, as what the original Danny called him, traveled into the past to make sure that his family and friends would die.
Determined to stop him, the original Danny traveled back to his own time, too. Present day Danny Phantom bravely fought his future self. He used every power, tactic, and weapon available to him. Despite this, he was still no match.
The Future Phantom beat him down with complete ease. The present day Phantom knew that his future self only used a small fraction of his power. Killing his past self would only lead to his own demise.
Danny had been able to stop his future self, however, by using the element of surprise. Danny used a power that he was not supposed to get for another ten years.
He did not know how he gained this power. Maybe the future conditions of the planet during his visit brought it forth. Maybe all the stress had awakened it. Maybe his half ghost body awakened this power to stop the threat.
Danny was not sure. But what he did know was that he used his and his future self's most powerful attack, the Ghostly Wail, to stop the fight.
His future self was far completely defeated. Dark Dan had took two direct hits and was still standing. The Fenton Thermos made sure that he would no longer be an issue at that moment, though.
It was then that Danny turned his attention back to his family and friends who were tied to a boiler that was ready to explode.
The fight had exhausted Danny's ghost powers. So the only thing he could do was run to them.
Danny did not know what he could do to help them. He could not break the ecto-ropes holding them. He could not turn them intangible. Nothing he did would help.
Maybe, just maybe, he wanted to die with them. This was not to be, though.
He collapsed in a heap long before he got close to them.
Timed stopped for him at that moment. The only thing he could do was look at them before they died.
Danny looked each of them in the eyes before the explosion.
His parent's eyes showed acceptance. They in their last moments had accepted who and what he was. His goofy parents accepted him as their son, as a ghost, and as a hero. They loved him even if he was a ghost.
Mr. Lancer's eyes showed disbelief. The teacher was shocked to see his laziest student had tried so hard to save them. He know knew why Danny acted the way he did. Danny may have slacked on his school work, but he always worked hard to save the lives in his town.
Jazz's eyes showed pride. She was proud that Danny was her brother. His sister was proud that Danny was a hero. She was proud that Danny would go so far to save not only their futures, but the future of the entire planet.
Tucker's eyes showed acknowledgement. He acknowledged that Danny was his best friend. He acknowledged that Danny as a warrior and a hero. The techno wiz even acknowledged that Danny would quickly had given his own life for them.
Sam's eyes…those beautiful violet eyes showed love. His female best friend loved him as a boy, as teenager, and as a soon to be man. She loved that he was a ghost and a hero.
She loved him despite his many faults. Sam loved him in a way that should have turned into something, but it never got the chance too.
Danny wished he had seen that love earlier.
All of their eyes, however, showed understanding. They understood that he did everything possible to save them. His family and friends understood that he could physically do nothing more to save them. All of them understood that he would never, never become that sick monster.
And mostly, they understood that they were going to die.
At that moment hot tears rolled down Danny's eyes. He had failed.
The only thing he could do was cry, "NO!"
Then time began to turn again.
The explosion was huge. Danny was blasted backwards. The fire cosumed everything it touched. His family and friends died quickly at least.
That was only a small comfort to Danny.
Now their was nothing. Dark Dan had won.
Danny now understood why he would want to forsake his humanity. His human heart screamed in silent agony. Every second was a constant torture. And worst of all no one was there to comfort him.
Many would consider it pathetic, but Danny had only six people in the world who cared about his existence. Everyone else mocked and hated Danny. They scorned him for his parent's beliefs. They sneered at him because of who he associated with. They spit at him for being who he was.
Danny wanted them to burn. He wanted them to burn like the people he cared about.
'This is how he felt,' Danny realized. 'But no, I will never allow my self to become that.'
He would not take his pain and inflict it on others. No, his loved ones would not have wanted that.
So, this hell would continue. He would suffer in silence. He would be a ghost who had nothing to give him purpose.
That was the worst thing about the situation. Danny was a ghost. Ghosts need an obsession. Their obsession was the reason they exist.
Danny's obsession was gone.
Without an obsession, a ghost would fade. They would pass into eternity. This was a fact.
Danny's case was different, though. He was only half-ghost. His soul was anchored to the physical plain as long as his body was still alive.
He would not fade. He would just be a shell of person.
He would live. What for, he did not know.