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“Come on, Fenton. Don’t be a chicken,” Dash said, leaning across the aisle to Danny’s desk.

Danny scowled. “I’m not being a chicken. I just don’t wanna do it.” 

“Why? Scared of a little electricity?” Dash asked, his voice mocking. “Ooh, baby Fentina’s scared of a little sparky sparks!”

“Cut it out! No I’m not!”

Danny heard the sound of books dropping on a desk behind him, and he turned around to see Kwan settling into his seat.

“What’s this about Fenton?” Kwan asked.

“Nothing!” Danny said.

Dash elbowed Danny. “Little Fentatron-Three-Thousand here is afraid of today’s physics lab.”

“Shut up!”

“But today’s lab seems so exciting!” Paulina chimed in, twirling her perfectly conditioned hair in her fingers. “Trisha was telling me about it at lunch. She said Mr. Adams has a power-thingy—I think it’s that thing over there—and we all have to hold hands like a human chain! Then the person at the front of the chain touches the power-thingy, and we all get to feel the electrical current or whatever it’s called!”

Kwan’s eyes lit up. “Oh, you’re right! That does sound cool!”

“Yes, very!” Paulina said. “Well, it’s cool as long as you don’t have to touch any losers. Which, by the way, Danny, no I’m not gonna hold your hand.”

“I never asked!” Danny protested. He grabbed his notebook from his bag and flipped through it until he found a clean page. Maybe if he pretended to be busy, the A-Listers would leave him alone.

More than once throughout the year, he’d found himself wishing for Sam and Tucker’s company during physics class. Unfortunately for him, both of them were placed into the honors physics program, leaving him behind in the regular course. And to make matters worse, when Mr. Adams read that year’s assigned seating, he’d managed to get sandwiched between several of the A-List students.

“So then what’s the deal with Fenton?” Kwan asked. He turned to Danny. “Are you really afraid of today’s lab?”

Danny felt his face heat up. “No! I just...I—I don’t wanna participate. That’s all. Mr. Adams said we don’t have to do it if we don’t want to.”

“Oh wow! He really is scared of electricity,” Kwan said, poking Danny’s back.

“See? I told you Fentino was being a baby!”

Danny crossed his arms. “No, I’m not.”

“Then why won’t you do it?” Dash pushed.

“Because! I don’t—I just...ugh, leave me alone!” 

All Danny had heard about today in the hallways were whispers of today’s physics lab. The nervous excitement from the student body was palpable, and there was no escaping the discussions about who was scared and who charged into the experiment with an unflinching confidence worthy of Alexander the Great’s praise.

So, when Danny walked into class and quietly asked Mr. Adams if he could sit the experiment out, of course the other students weren’t going to let it go.

“It’s just a little shock, Danny!” Paulina said. “There’s no reason to be dramatic about it! It’s not like you’re actually getting electrocuted!”

Danny groaned. He couldn’t exactly fault his classmates for not knowing the details of The Accident. After all, never spoke about it to anyone. 

Although ghosts existed with the knowledge that they had died—provided they weren’t Ghost Zone natives—death was still a sensitive subject to them. And Danny, though not a fully formed ghost, was still ‘born’ into certain intuitive cultural norms.

No one had to tell him this was a sensitive subject for ghosts, he just knew it instinctively. Even if he never quite understood why his brain was wired this way, he knew better than to try to change it.

Fortunately, the bell signaling the start of class saved him from more harassment by his peers.

“Alright, class! Everyone in your seats,” Mr. Adams shouted, standing from his desk. He walked to the front of the room and picked up a whiteboard marker. “So I’m sure you may have heard some rumors about what we’re doing in today’s class.”

The students nodded, exchanging excited glances between each other.

“Can anyone tell me what we’re doing today?” he asked.

Paulina waved her hand in the air. “Ooh! I know! We’re making a human electric wire thingy!”

“Close! The experiment is called the Human Conduction Experiment. Now, it’s a very simple experiment, but it tells us a whole lot about electricity, how it travels, and what goes on when it’s active. Before we start the experiment, I’m gonna tell you all a little about this Tesla coil sitting on the front table so you all get the full experience. So if you’ll just take out your notebooks and look to the board…”

Danny glanced down at his already opened notebook. Human Conduction Experiment, he wrote down. 

He looked over to the wall clock. How long until it would be acceptable for him to use the restroom? He didn’t really need to be in class for this experiment.

After all, he’d already done it last October when he stepped into his parents’ ghost portal and turned it on from the inside, unleashing thousands of volts of ecto-electricity that killed him and revived his heart at the same time while injecting his DNA with ghostly properties.

Not that The Accident was relevant at all to his current situation.

Because he was fine. He just didn’t want to be in class right now. But he was fine if he stayed in class. It didn’t matter.

“Hey, Fen-ton-tonight,” Dash whispered next to him. “Are you really gonna wuss out? Give me another reason about how much of a dweeb you are?”

“That’s none of your business, Dash,” Danny hissed.

“Yeah, I knew you were weak. Can’t even do a stupid science experiment without babying out.”

Danny glared at his desk. “Lay off.”

“Does it have anything to do with that shit that happened to you last fall? When you went to the hospital? Oh my god, are you seriously still hung up about that? Wow, you really are a loser.”

Danny felt his pencil snap in his hand. “You know what, Dash? Whatever. I’ll do it. I didn’t want to because I was tired, but if you’re really gonna miss me that much, then I’ll do the stupid human electrical conductor—whatever!”

“Hah, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

“Alright, class!” Mr. Adams called out. “I want everyone to stand up and come to the front of the room. If the people in the front rows can just push their desks back too, that would be great.”

Danny froze. His heart picked up in his chest.

Why was he nervous about this? Dash was right, it was just a stupid science experiment. There was nothing to be afraid of. So many other students had done this lab today and gushed about it to their peers. Hell, even Sam and Tucker were grinning about it at lunch.

Danny was the only one who didn’t want to do this. How was that possible? Surely there was at least one other student in the class that would be sitting this out. 

But when he looked around, he saw that he was the only person still sitting.

“What?” Dash leaned over, smirking at Danny. “Scared of a little current?”

“No,” Danny said.

“It’s okay, Danny!” Kwan held his hand out to Danny. “You can stand next to me if you want!”

“Ugh, no way am I allowing him to get his loser germs on you,” Paulina said. “Danny can go with the other losers in the chain.”

“Don’t worry, Paulina. He’s not even gonna do it. Watch,” Dash said.

Danny slammed his fractured pencil down on his desk and stood. “Shut up. Leave me alone.”

Dash laughed. “Hah! What a freak.”

Danny made his way to the front of the room where the other students were gathered, glancing anxiously at the Tesla coil. They hovered around Mr. Adams, who was pushing a desk off to the side of the room.

“Alright, that should do it,” Mr. Adams said. He brushed his hands against his white lab coat. “Okay, class! Let’s get in a line! I’m going to be at the end over here, so whoever’s on the opposite side of me is going to be the starting point for the electrical current. Anyone wanna take on that task?”

Wes’s hand shot up. “I got it!”

“Excellent! Mr. Weston, go stand next to the table over there. Alright, everyone else, let’s link up! Mr. Weston, please do not touch anything until I tell you to. All clear?”

“Crystal!” he said.

“Cool, let’s get move—oh, Danny. Are you…?”

“I’m fine,” Danny said quickly. “I’m—uh, I’m good to join.”

Mr. Adams raised his eyebrows. “Oh! Um...are you sure? You don’t have to participate if you don’t want to!”

“Don’t worry, Fenton can stand next to me.” Dash grabbed Danny’s hand. “See? I got him!”

“Yeah, he can stand next to us!” Kwan said.

“Well, that’s very kind of you both.” Mr Adams smiled. His brown scraggly moustache mirrored the movement. “And, by the way, that goes for anyone. If you don’t want to do today’s experiment, that’s totally fine! Your grade won’t suffer if you take your seat before we begin.”

Danny glanced around, but no one moved. His heart sank, and suddenly the pressure from Dash’s hand in his own was too tight, too much. The lights beaming down from overhead were too bright. Kwan and Dash were too tall, and everyone seemed to be looking at him. Whispering. Laughing.

His throat felt tight. Normally, the physics classroom was cool and comfortable for Danny, but now it felt like someone had turned on all the burners in the room.

Surely he couldn’t be the only person who felt this way. Surely there were others in the room who wanted to sit down as well, who would sit down before the experiment started.

But as Danny was pulled into the line and felt Kwan grasp his other hand, he knew that there was no getting out of this. That no one was going to sit down.

That he was doomed.

Maybe he could just go intangible. But then the experiment would be ruined, and everyone would know it was his fault because he was the only person who didn’t want to do it originally. Danny would always be known as the freak who couldn’t handle a little shock.

The teacher said something, but Danny couldn’t hear what it was. Dash’s hand was crushing his. He couldn’t breathe. Was someone sucking the oxygen out of the room?

Then, without warning, Danny felt it. The current. 

He was back there in the portal. The lights beaming down on him weren’t classroom lights, but the glowing green lights from the portal charging up. And there was this odd vibrating in his bones. It was a sensation he had never felt before, and while it didn’t hurt, it carried an ominous warning throughout the metal tube. 

He looked up, locking eyes with Sam and Tucker one last time. He remembered Sam opening her mouth to say something, but he never heard what that was.

Because, in that split second, the portal activated. And his body became a garden of electricity.

He remembered it distinctly. The burning pain, like his skin was on fire, and the buzzing in his bones. Everything felt wrong. It was like someone was pouring fire onto his arm, and it was dripping through his torso and spilling out to the rest of his body like a waterfall. 

The buzzing, the burning, the fire got hotter and hotter, more and more until the only thing he was aware of was his own screams. He couldn’t see anything other than green and white and fire oh god was his body on fire? 

And then it stopped. And his body collapsed on the ground. 

“Fenton?”

He curled in on himself, ducking his head into his arms and trying to ignore the tingling that had violated his bones.

Oh god, he felt so hot. It was too warm in here.

“Whoa!”

“Uh, I think something’s wrong with him.”

Maybe it was all over. Maybe this time, the portal really did get him. Maybe he was fully dead this time.

“Is he alright?”

“Mr. Adams, something’s wrong with Fenton!”

“Danny? Danny, are you alright?”

His throat was too tight. He tried to take in a breath, but it was too hard. It felt like he was inhaling through a coffee straw. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t. 

He felt something touch his back, and he flinched. 

“Danny? Can you look at me?”

No.

He couldn’t.

“Danny?”

His body was shaking, and he couldn’t tell if it was from the electricity or not. Was it safe for someone to be this warm? 

Maybe he was just dehydrated. Maybe he needed water. Could he even drink water anymore if he was dead?

He felt something squeeze his shoulder.

“Dash, grab the school nurse. Danny, can you look at me?”

Danny tried to open his eyes, but he saw only darkness. 

Oh no, he was blind. Had the portal made him blind?

He felt someone guide his body down, and light poured through his arms. His legs collapsed, and suddenly he was sitting on the ground with his legs splayed out before him. 

He looked up to see the concerned face of his teacher. His bushy eyebrows were drawn together, and the corners of his mouth turned downwards.

“Danny, hey. It’s okay. Do you feel my hand right now?” Mr. Adams asked.

Danny nodded, then shook his head. 

“Okay,” Mr. Adams said. “I’m going to need you to breathe with me. Is that okay? Do you think you can do that?”

Danny stared at him. Breathe? Danny just died and this man wanted him to breathe? 

“Just try for me. In...and out...in...and out…”

Danny tried to follow. Even though the room was suffocating and the lights were so bright and that fluorescent color and—

Wait. Fluorescent lights. Not green.

Danny froze, and glanced around the room. Dozens of faces stared apprehensively back at him. Some faces whispered to each other and others looked at him as if he had grown a second head. He searched the sea of faces for Sam and Tucker—the two who had been there during The Accident—but he couldn’t find them. Only these other students and his physics teacher were in the room.

His physics teacher.

Oh no.

Danny stood, ignoring the protests from Mr. Adams, and turned to see the giant “Human Conduction Lab” written in fresh black ink on the whiteboard.

The Tesla coil. The physics lab.

The letters on the board blurred together, and Danny staggered on his feet. He whirled back around, and the hazy figure of his physics teacher took up his field of vision.

Mr. Adams was saying something. Danny was sure of it. But he couldn’t hear what the man was saying and all the people in the room were still there and they saw him they were there watching when he broke down and no, oh no…

Danny took one step forward. Then another. 

He had to get out of there. He crashed into something—a desk—but he didn’t stop moving. He needed to get out of the room.

He jerked open the door and bolted down the hallway. It didn’t matter where he was going, just so long as he was out of there.

Everyone had seen him. Dash, Kwan, Paulina, Wes— all of them . They all saw him freak out because of the science lab and they knew they knew how much of a freak he was. What highschooler has a breakdown over a stupid physics lab, anyway?

He phased through a door just in time for his legs to give out. He fell to his knees and hugged his chest.

Everyone had seen him.

The room was small and dark, and Danny recognized it as one of the underused janitor’s closets he frequently transformed in. But now the connection to Phantom only served to remind him how much of an outcast he was because of The Accident and the ghost portal and all the electricity and all of it. 

He crawled to a corner of the closet and sat there, hugging his knees close to his body, staring into the nothingness that was this dark closet. 

Everyone saw him. Everyone knew.

Hours could have passed, or it could have been only minutes before he got his breathing under control. Danny didn’t know which. He only knew it was time to move when he heard his name called on the loudspeaker for a second time.

“Daniel Fenton, please report to the nurse’s office.”

He dragged himself up and faced the door. He would most certainly be in trouble, and he likely would be facing detention for running out of class, so if he left the janitor’s closet he would be walking into his certain doom.

On the other hand, the longer he hid, the worse his punishment would be.

He took a deep breath. It would be best to get it over with now, if only to prevent a worse punishment later.

It was time to rip off the band-aid.

---

The remaining hour of school was nothing short of torture. Between the worried school nurse, the message to see Mr. Lancer after school that always seemed to fill his stomach with dread, and the whispers from his classmates that started the minute he stepped foot back into the hallway, Danny wanted nothing more than to go home and never leave his room again. And although the school day was finally over and everyone was free to go home and sleep until tomorrow, Danny wasn’t given that luxury.

He still had detention with Lancer.

The walk to Lancer’s office was too quick from his locker, and no matter how many times he’d made this trek throughout the year, he always felt unprepared whenever he was confronted with the familiar wooden door.

He would have stayed out in the hallway forever, but he knew Mr. Lancer could see his shadow through the fogged glass. So he raised his hand in a fist and knocked.

“You can come in,” came a muffled voice from the other side of the door. 

Danny took one last deep breath before opening the door. He lowered his head, keeping his eyes glued to the floor, as he entered the office and sat down.

Neither of them said anything for a moment. Danny focused on the off-white tile with its speckles of gray, the way the slight dent in the metal desk warped the sunlight that poured in through the windows, the sound the wall clock made as it ticked each second.

Finally, Mr. Lancer broke the silence. “Danny? You realize you’re not in trouble, right?”

Danny shifted. He hadn’t known this. “Yeah.”

“Okay…” Mr. Lancer said slowly. “Then do you understand why I’ve asked you to stay after school?”

Danny wrung the sleeves of his sweatshirt around his fingers and shrugged.

“I’ve asked you to stay after school because of what happened in your physics class today.”

“Yeah.”

“I’ve heard about what happened from Mr. Adams, but I feel as though I’m still ignorant about a few of the details. I was wondering if you might like to clue me in?”

Danny let his eyes flick up for a moment to see Mr. Lancer sitting at the desk with his fingers steepled in front of his face. He looked tired, worn, just like he always did when Danny acted up in school.

He let his gaze drop down to the floor again. “I don’t know.”

“Hmm?”

“I don’t…” Danny leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest. “I don’t know. I wasn’t gonna—and then Dash, uh—you know, I—I don’t...I don’t know! It just went. And I...I don’t know.”

Mr. Lancer was silent for a moment. 

“Maybe let’s start at the beginning, then? And work through this together?” He suggested.

Danny shrugged.

He wanted to avoid this conversation altogether and go home. Take a nap. Not be forced to relive his past trauma with the vice principal.

But then he would wake up tomorrow and go to school and have to be faced with a reality in which all of his classmates and teachers thought he was insane and he would have no one on his side, no one to look at him and say, “You’re okay.”

Sometimes he would fantasize about this moment. The moment where he could finally be honest with someone about what really happened in the portal. But he knew he could never have that, no matter how heavenly it sounded right now.

“Okay, so today you had a physics lab where your class performed the human conduction experiment. And I’m aware that before class started, you had asked Mr. Adams if you could sit the experiment out. Is this correct?” 

“Yeah.” Danny nodded.

“So may I ask then why you decided to partake in the experiment if you had previously requested to opt out of it?”

Danny rubbed the back of his neck with his hand and shrugged.

“May I inquire if it had something to do with Mr. Baxter and Mr. Lee?” Mr. Lancer asked softly.

Danny shook his head. “It doesn’t matter.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean it doesn’t matter. I still did it. I thought I could handle it, but I fucked up.” 

“So then why did you decide to join?” 

Danny glared at the metal desk. “How should I know? I’m just a dumb teenager.”

Mr. Lancer sighed. “Daniel, you’re not dumb.”

“Yeah? Because geniuses really walk into situations when they know they’re gonna mess up everything, don’t they?”

“You didn’t mess anything up.”

Danny snapped. “I ruined the whole thing! Everyone was looking at me! God, they all probably think I’m crazy now. Great. Now I’m even more of a freak than before.”

“Mr. Fenton...Danny…”

“Whatever,” Danny huffed. “I don’t even care.”

“Daniel, please listen to me,” Mr. Lancer said, his blue eyes softening. “You’re not a freak. You didn’t mess up anything. I called you down because I was confused as to why you put yourself in that situation, especially after what happened to you last fall, and I wanted to make sure you were alright.”

“It’s fine. I’m over it.”

“I don’t think that’s true.”

“Can I go home now? Or are you gonna hold me hostage forever?”

“Mr. Fenton, I’m not holding you hostage in my office! You may leave whenever you wish. This isn’t a detention.”

“Okay, cool—”

“But I will ask you kindly to please stay. You are my student, and as your teacher I do care about you. And right now, you don’t seem like you’re alright.” 

Danny squirmed in his seat. On one hand, he understood why he was being so sensitive about the topic. This was about his death. The time he was electrocuted with thousands of volts of ecto-energy in his parents’ lab. Like all ghosts, it was pre-programmed into him to be sensitive about the issue.

But on the other hand, he was tired. 

He looked back up at Mr. Lancer. “Fine.” 

Mr. Lancer nodded, offering him a soft smile.  “Thank you, Mr. Fenton. Can we start over?”

“Okay.”

“Last fall, you joined my class. You were bright-eyed and excited to learn, and I was excited to be your teacher. But then about a month into school, you were absent for quite some time. Your mother contacted me directly, saying you had been hospitalized due to a lab accident and wouldn’t be returning until you had recovered. I had very little detail about your health until you did return those weeks later, and our school nurse received your health file stating you had received an extreme electrical shock with toxic equipment in the accident. ”

Danny flinched. “So? Who cares, anyway. It’s not like I died.”

Mr. Lancer’s eyebrows shot up to the ceiling. “ So? Mr. Fenton, that’s quite a big deal. You were absent for a significant period of time.”

“Yeah, and then I got better. I got over it.”

“Did you, though?” Mr. Lancer pressed. “Because if my memory serves me right, immediately after your return to school, that’s when the issues began. The dropped glass beakers, the reports of you tripping in gym class, the missing homework assignments, falling asleep in class—all of it. You never had these issues before then.”

“Okay? And?”

“And it shows how much that accident affected you. And still continues to affect you.”

“So why…” Danny glanced up to the ceiling. His throat felt tight. “Why didn’t you do anything then?”

“Mr. Fenton?”

“If you knew. If it was so obvious to you and everyone else, why didn’t you do anything?”

“Daniel…”

“No,” Danny stood, snatching his backpack from the floor and slinging it over his shoulders. “I’m done with this. You knew the whole time that there was something wrong, and you didn’t do anything. You just kept handing me detentions and failing me.”

“Mr. Fenton, please sit down.”

Danny didn’t move.

Mr. Lancer sighed again. “As your teacher, I try to balance what the public school administration orders me to do in instances of, say, missing homework assignments and incomplete exams with what I think will benefit the student the most in those situations. No two students are alike, and sometimes what works with one student isn’t going to work with another student.”

“Okay?”

“I gave you detentions when you had missing work because that is what’s protocol, but also it gave you an opportunity to do your homework in a quiet space that’s supervised by me for an hour after school. And although I may not agree with the curriculum’s practices of calling them detentions, I do think you need to be in the presence of a teacher or tutor when you’re doing your homework. Not because I think you’re dumb, but because I know that you perform better when you do your homework in those situations rather than by yourself. You know, most students I’ve worked with are just like you, they do better with a teacher helping them. Some students just need a little more help than others do.”

Danny looked out the window to the cars driving on the street. To the right was the football field where they were currently holding both football and cheer practice. If Danny squinted, he could almost make out the individual players.

Paulina was probably there. And Dash. And Kwan. All three of them had a normal day where they didn’t spend lunch picking at their food because they were anxiously planning having to ask their physics teacher to let them sit out that day’s experiment. They all showed up to class, did the experiment as normal, and then left. No stress, no worries.

Now they were outside, like normal students, doing extracurriculars that weren’t ghost-related. They were surrounded by human peers who also all did today’s physics experiment like it was just another average school day.

Danny dropped his backpack on the ground and sat back down in the chair.

“Thank you,” Mr. Lancer said.  

Danny didn’t respond.

“So may I ask, once again, why you decided to join in today’s physics lab?”

“I guess…” Danny glanced back out the window. “I guess I just wanted to be normal. Or try to be.”

“But it didn’t work,” Mr. Lancer said gently.

“No,I screwed up. And now everyone thinks I’m crazy.”

Mr. Lancer twirled a pen on his desk. “May I ask another question?”

“Why not.”

“May I inquire about why you haven’t told your classmates about what happened? Why you’ve kept it so quiet?”

“I don’t know. I really...I don’t know.” Danny’s throat tightened again, and he tried to ignore the sudden stinging in his eyes. “I guess I didn’t think it was worth saying.”

“Surely you received questions, though?”

“Yeah…”

“And? How did you respond to them?”

“I mean...I didn’t lie. I said I was in an accident. I wasn’t—I’m not...you know...I’m not ashamed about it or anything.”

“But they don’t know the details.”

“No, they don’t.”

Mr. Lancer nodded. “That’s perfectly alright. They don’t have to know what happened. But, it might help them to understand more about what happened in your physics class today if they did know. You don’t have to tell them everything, but even a little piece of knowledge can be extremely powerful.”

“I mean…” Danny started. He fidgeted with his sweatshirt sleeve, pulling at a loose string. “It’s not like...anyone really knows. About the portal.”

“The...you mean, when you were shocked?”

“Yeah. I didn’t say anything to anyone. I mean, Sam and Tucker told my parents who told the doctors. But I didn’t...they didn’t know how it happened. Or what it felt like.”

Mr. Lancer leaned forward. “Would you mind telling me then?”

Danny’s face felt hot. No, the whole room felt hot. 

He glanced outside. The sun was beating down on the glass window with no mercy. 

“I, uh…” he began. “I never told my parents this because I didn’t want them to worry. But I didn’t get shocked by the portal. I mean, I did. I...that’s how I landed in the hospital. But it was more than that. Oh god.” His head fell into his hand. “Yeah. It was way worse.”

“Daniel, your health file is...severe, as it is.”

“I know,” Danny said. “But I wasn’t...I mean, the file doesn’t tell the whole story.”

“So then what is the whole story?” Mr. Lancer asked, folding his hands on his desk. He stared at Danny with an unwavering gaze. “If you don’t want to tell them , then tell me .”

Danny peered at Mr. Lancer from under his bangs. 

This was it. The opportunity he had been waiting for for months. The chance to finally talk about what really happened in the lab that day.

He could finally be free from these self-made chains. Ever since The Accident, it had been like he was drowning under the pressures of being Phantom and those duties while also trying to maintain a stable human life as Fenton with school and friends and bullies and he knew he was going to crack under the pressure soon. He knew it was irresponsible for him to be holding everything in for so long.

But…

“I can’t,” Danny said.

“Hmm?” 

Danny bent down to collect his backpack. “I’m sorry. I just can’t.”

“Daniel—”

“No,” Danny cut him off. He stood and began backing out of the room. “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I just can’t do this right now. I need to go home, I’m sorry.”

Mr. Lancer held his hands out. “Please, Daniel, I implore you to take a seat. I think you would really benefit from talking about this with someone. If not me, I can get the guidance counselor if you would—”

“I don’t want to talk about this!” Danny yelled. “I don’t! I’m so sick of everyone trying to make me talk about my feelings all the damn time! I can’t do this. I just can’t.”

He whipped around, not caring to wait for a response, and flung open the office door. 

He couldn’t do this. For as much as the human side of him begged him to scream about what truly happened in the portal to someone, just anyone, the ghost side of him wouldn’t allow it.

He sped through the hallway and flew out the front door.

He was free. He was done with the school day.

As soon as he rounded the corner to the back of the building, he transformed, phased out of the visible spectrum, and took to the skies. 

Tomorrow, there would be whispers. People would gawk at him, tease him, prod him with questions and treat him like a freak. Tomorrow he would have to face Lancer and Mr. Adams and likely the guidance counselor who would all pepper him with questions and email his parents and try to therapy the answer out of him.

But for now he was free. He didn’t have to worry about the questions. 

He could just go home and take a nap.