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Family Issues

By kingpariah

Humor / Action

Expectations

Friday night, Unknown location

Multiple screens were active in a dark room. They displayed videos of Danny Phantom's multiple battles while also keeping record of his power growth.

Vlad Plasmius observed the screens with a calculating grin. He had obtained enough data to re-attempt his cloning project. Only this time the clone will be a modified and stronger replica of Daniel.

But there was still one problem.

Despite his best efforts, Vlad cannot complete the project without the stabilizing agent Daniel used on the only surviving clone from his previous attempt: Danielle.

He approached a nearby console and activated a holographic screen that showed Danielle in her ghost form. He moved the screen to a dark corner.

"This is your target," Plasmius stated. Six scarlet eyes became visible from within the darkness, staring at the new prey. "Bring her back in one piece."

The eyes vanished into the darkness they came from. A moment later, a chilling howl sounded in the distance.

Plasmius turned his attention to capsule on the other side of the room, he approached it with a grin.

"Soon you will be complete and we shall rule as Father and Son."

With his plan now underway, Plasmius erupted in maniacal laughter.


Saturday

It was a sunny and clear day. A crowd had gathered at a small festival and everyone was having fun.

However the festive mood was disrupted by a piercing shriek.

A woman carrying her child ran in fear as three large ghost wolves tore the festival apart. The crowd quickly ran for their lives, their panicked cries filling the air.

One wolf in particular set its red eyes on a crying little girl. The beast bared its fangs and went on the attack.

Just as the wolf was near the child, it was blasted away by a green flash. A teen girl floated protectively in front of the wolf's prey.

"Bad dog, bad. No eating children," the teenager mocked.

The wolf recovered from the attack, setting its sight on its new prey.

The girl had snow white hair tied in a ponytail and wore a two piece black and white hazmat suit that had a white D on the black half of her top. Her blazing green eyes were fixed on the wolf, daring it to attack.

Danielle Phantom grinned as the wolf leapt at her, aiming to strike with its claws. The ghost girl summoned a shield, deflecting the attack.

"Nice try mutt. Try this on for size!" She charged a sphere of ecto-energy between her hands and fired it point-blank, sending the wolf crashing into nearby stands.

"What's the matter? Bit off more than you could chew?" Danielle taunted.

She was so focused on the first wolf, she didn't notice the other two sneaking up on her. They ambushed the ghost girl, managing to strike her back with their claws. Danielle yelped at the sharp pain on her back. Reacting quickly, she focused her accelerated healing to fix the wounds.

It was a power that she had to use sparingly as it splits her focus between the wounds and her enemies. It can also drain a lot of her power reserve.

The three wolves circled their quarry with bared fangs and hungry snarls. Danielle watched them intently, not wanting them to sneak up on her again. All three wolves leapt at her at once, fangs and claws eager to sink into flesh. The half ghost smirked at them as she simply turned intangible and the wolves rammed into each other headfirst, knocking themselves out.

"Huh. That worked better than I thought. Oh well." She shrugged her shoulders and pulled out a black thermos with white highlights.

"Time to send you to obedience school." She aimed the device and a blue light shot from it, engulfing the wolves and trapping them inside the thermos. Capping the thermos, Danielle took one last look at the ruined festival. She clenched her fists at the destruction.

"Stupid ghosts, how did they end up here anyway?" She questioned as she left the area invisibly.

Having been staying in this town for some time now, she knew ghost attacks weren't part of the normal routine. That's the whole reason the town was chosen in the first place.

As she flew towards a nearby park, she looked at the citizens below, unaware of the halfa above them. She smiled at her heroics; it's been a long time since she was able to use her powers outside of training.

"Yow!" Danielle yelped in surprise, courtesy of her vibrating phone.

"Hey Neil," she answered smiling. Her guardian probably wanted to know about the ghosts."What's up?"

"Let's see," drawled a velvety voice. "Three out of four ecto signatures disappeared and since you're talking right now, it looks like you won."

"I won, but I was hoping for a challenge." She pouted. "First time in forever that I can use my powers in a fight without worrying about melting and its over in a flash. I barely did anything too; stupid wolves knocked themselves out."

She heard Neil chuckled. "At least you didn't get in trouble."

Danielle huffed. "When have I ever gotten in trouble?"

"How about right now? I can see you flying up there."

Danielle halted her flight. "What?"

Inspecting herself, she saw that she was still invisible. So how could he see her?

"Look down," the voice on the phone said. "Near the swings."

She did as suggested and saw that she was above the park. There were families having picnics or playing games. Her attention however, was on the tall, muscular man waving at her from a swing set in a secluded spot in the park.

Putting her phone away as she descended, Danielle turned human upon landing. Her white hair turned black while her green eyes turned blue. The jumpsuit was replaced by a blue hoodie, red jeans and blue sneakers.

"You cheated," she said to the man.

Neil simply smirked as he removed his sunglasses, revealing sapphire eyes.

"You say that like it's a bad thing." He crossed his arms across his black shirt. "You did go to a concert after I said no remember? Cheating is fair game."

She shrank under his disapproving gaze. Despite only knowing each other for about a year now, the black-haired duo have gotten very close to each other.

People often think they're siblings due to their similar appearances. The reality was a lot more complicated.

Neil turned and walked towards the swings. "Come on Elle, I have a surprise for you."

Elle perked up as she followed him. "A surprise? Awesome!"

Once at the swings, Elle immediately sat down and started swinging.

"So Neil, what's this mysterious surprise?" She asked between pumps as Neil sat on the other seat.

The young adult regarded the swinging teen with a sly smile. "Should be easy to figure out. I mean your birthday is right around the corner after all."

Elle came to a dead stop when she heard that. "My birthday?!"

He raised an eyebrow at her outburst.

She scratched the back of her neck in embarrassment. "Sorry. Umm, why are you asking about that?"

She beamed as an idea came to her "Are you throwing me a party?" She was very giddy about the possibility of a party, even if she didn't know a lot of people to invite.

"Nope."

Her eyes widened at his cold answer. "What?"

"I'm not throwing you a party." Neil told her.

Elle's lip quivered. "B-b-b-but then why ask about my birthday?" Her voice was brittle and her eyes were on the verge of tears.

Neil moved so that he was now crouched on one knee in front of her. He placed a hand on her face, caressing her cheek.

"The reason I asked..." He smiled at her. "Was so I could see how you would react to finding out that we're visiting your cousin for your birthday."

Wide eyes and a dropped jaw greeted him at the end of his statement.

"Are you serious?" Elle asked; her face unchanged.

He held back his laughter. "Yes, I'm serious."

A large smile crossed her face seconds before wrapping her arms around Neil's neck. "Thank you, thank you, thank you."

Chuckling softly, Neil stood up to full height, looking down at Elle, who was a head shorter.

"So..." Neil started. "Ready for a family reunion?"

"Yes!" Elle beamed. But then she frown when she realized something.

"But wait..." She stepped away from him. "What's Danny gonna think when he finds out about you?"

She got a smirk in response. "The idiot will probably feel like a complete failure for not stopping you from flying away dramatically a year ago."

"That's not fair you know," she defended. "He was fifteen. He had his own problems to deal with."

"Heroes do the right thing, regardless of their own problems. They don't let an unstable twelve year old hybrid fly away to fend for herself."

"I wanted to be by myself," Elle argued.

"And how did that brilliant idea work out huh?" He countered. "Need I remind you of how we met a year ago?"

Elle closed her eyes and clenched her fists at the reminder.

Back when she said her goodbyes to Danny and his friends, she had been confident and brave. But it was a front; one that lasted for two weeks. Alone and afraid in an unfamiliar world, she resorted to stealing from food stands and sleeping either in a disgusting alley or a park bench.

Eventually she was found by Neil, who despite her protests, insisted on helping her. She told him that she had run away from her abusive father and didn't have any other family. After insisting that she would not go into foster care, Neil made the offer to adopt her. It was a surprising offer, one that she didn't want to accept at first. But After a whole day of thinking about it, she accepted the offer and despite the rocky start, neither of them has yet to regret it.

Elle opened her eyes, seeing her adoptive father holding her shoulder at arm's length.

"Elle," he spoke softly. "I know you're worried about your cousin's reaction; but no matter what happens, it'll still be us against the world. Always," he promised, smiling at the end.

His daughter smiled back, then hugged him once more. "Thanks Dad." She cried a bit. "For everything."

He wrapped his arms around his daughter. "Anytime Elle, anytime."


Deep inside the Ghost Zone, amidst the swirling green clouds, there is a tower that lies at the very center of Time.

This tower is home to Clockwork, Master of Time.

The age shifting ghost floated in his viewing room, his attention on the monitor displaying the time stream.

"Clockwork!"

The time master faced his visitors, the Observants; green ghosts dressed in white with a high collar and cape. Their most distinguishing feature is the large single eye.

"Do you know why we are here?" The first Observant asked with a deep voice.

"Yes," Clockwork stated. "You are here regarding Plasmius' cloning scheme."

"How do you intend on dealing with him?" The second Observant asked in a voice softer than the first. "We cannot allow him to create this monstrosity!" He raised his hands for emphasis.

Clockwork turned his attention to his view screens, shifting from adult to child to elder then adult.

"Plasmius's new clone will devastate the both worlds if allowed to exist." His expression was neutral as the view screens showed panicked crowds, ruined cities and barren landscapes.

"Fortunately..." He smirked as the screens shifted to festive crowds, thriving cities and bountiful landscapes. "There is always hope."

"Explain yourself, Clockwork," the deep voiced ghost demanded.

The time master floated to them in his child form. He shifted to elder form as he explained, "Plasmius' scheme will alert his enemies of his intentions without my intervention. His arrogance will be his own downfall."

"His enemies?" The softer voiced Observant floated forward. "Are you referring to the younger hybrid?"

"Yes; and no."

The deep voiced Observant fumed at the adult Clockwork. "Would it kill you to stop being so cryptic for once in your afterlife?"

"Yes, yes it would," he replied with a smirk. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have business to take care of."

The softer voiced Observant scoffed at the retreating Clockwork. "Business? Is that what you call keeping that female abomination and her criminal caretaker under surveillance?"

The time master halted his path, his back towards them, changing from elder to child.

"That abomination would not hesitate to risk her life to protect the innocent. And as for the criminal, he has a long way to go, but at the very least, he is attempting to improve himself."

He looked over his shoulder, annoyance written all over his adult face. "Now then, care to observe the door?"

The Observants glanced at each other before vanishing silently.

Clockwork felt relieved at their departure and headed towards the view screens displaying the Fenton RV heading towards Amity Park.

"Your bonds will be tested, children. Whether they become stronger or shattered will be your choice."

The elder ghost glanced dreadfully at a closed door nearby.

"Everything is as it should be."

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