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As soon as the sound of shattering glass reached Tucker's ears, Jazz had shoved him and Sam out into the hallway and quickly shut the bathroom door in their faces.

Tucker understood why, he did, he really did. This was obviously an emergency situation that only the Fenton siblings were equipped to handle. A freaking out Jack Fenton was bad enough, a freaking out Jack Fenton with ghost powers was a potential catastrophe.

But despite the fact that he knew exactly why Jazz had to push them out in haste, that she was doing it for their own safety, it didn't stop the burn of vindictive rage and disgust surging up into his throat, threatening to drag his mind back into a time and place he only almost remembered.

How dare she touch him. How dare she lay her filthy peasant hands-

Tucker swallowed, hard, and pinched himself on the sensitive skin of his inner arm. The brief flash of pain cut through the fog of Duul Aman's crowding thoughts, and like the snapping of a rubber band, Tucker's mind was flung back into the present.

It wasn't a very nice sensation, in fact it was often quite disorienting, but he was getting used to it. He only spent seconds in a daze after an episode, rather than minutes, and he was getting better at pulling himself out of it without relying on his friends.

He followed Sam into Danny's room, just a few steps down the hall, there wasn't anything they could do right now, other than maybe keep an ear out for Maddie's return. At some point during the ritual, she had once again taken the RV out for another round of feverish ghost hunting. Tucker could only hope there'd be no casualties.

He sat at Danny's desk as Sam threw herself backwards onto the bed, closing her eyes and sighing deeply as she soaked up the afternoon sunshine coming in through the bedroom window.

"You okay?" Tucker asked, Sam shot him a deadpan look. "Sorry, standard question, but you did super pass out earlier. Is that normal for your witch stuff?"

Sam stared at the ceiling, eyelids hanging half closed.

"I mean, sort of. I get tired afterwards, like I've done a workout or something. This one just felt like I'd run a whole ass marathon."

"What's it feel like, doing magic?"

Sam thought for a moment, her dark eyebrows furrowed as she laced her fingers together and rested them over her stomach.

"It's hard to explain, I don't really have anything to compare it to, you know?"

Tucker knew. He'd felt the same way, trying to explain what it was like to have an entire life's worth of memories hidden inside his head, popping out at random, often inconvenient moments. It was the kind of thing you had to experience yourself.

"It's not like anything out of a movie, I'm not 'making' magic, I'm channeling it. The rituals and ingredients are kinda like... I dunno, writing a code? And then some otherworldly force reads it and runs the program."

"So you aren't really in control of it? Some other force of nature is?" Tucker didn't want to hope that Sam was struggling to understand her new abilities as much as he was, but he also didn't want to be the only one who didn't know what he was doing.

"Uh, sort of, I guess." She rubbed at her eyes, tiredly. "I'm in control if I get it right, if I get it wrong the spell generally just doesn't work, or it does something a bit to the left of what I wanted."

Tucker thought about that for a moment, leaning back in the chair and fidgeting with one of his golden rings. It was inlaid with a modest glittering ruby, running his fingers over its polished surface gave him a sense of ease and comfort he normally only got from twiddling his stylus between his fingers.

He'd developed a real affinity for gold since connecting with his past life, it didn't just feel comforting, the weight of it on his fingers and around his neck were oddly familiar, nostalgic almost. Sam had happily gifted him a stash of miscellaneous jewellery her parents kept trying to make her wear, but he still struggled with the impulse to buy more. He'd spent more of his savings than he cared to admit for a solid gold stud when he had his nose pierced.

It had been the first change he'd felt after Duul Aman's sceptre showed up in his bedroom a few months back, sitting in a pile of sand on his desk. It didn't matter how many times Danny tried to return it to the museum, it would just show up again the next day. On his desk, in his locker, under his bed, Danny had even tried some of his parents equipment on it to see if it would stop, but it had clearly formed a strong attachment and wasn't going anywhere.

Tucker didn't like the fact that his hand felt empty without it there, he tried to smother the thought down as soon as it appeared, but the next thing he knew his hand was closing on hard metal and there was sand on the floor. The large, ethereally beautiful, perfectly polished turquoise gemstone, carved in the shape of a scarab, almost glowed in the afternoon sun. Tucker could feel tension easing from his shoulders as he took in the sight of it.

"Danny's gonna kill you for that." Sam sang, eyes still closed and a teasing smile quirking at her upper lip.

"I dare him to try it." Tucker shook his head and dropped the sceptre noisily onto Danny's desk, squeezing his eyes shut until he could feel the red bleed out of them, he immediately missed its cool weight in his hand.

"Just let him try to cry to me about getting sand everywhere." he said in a far lighter tone. "I summoned the stupid thing in my sleep the other night, I had to get up at 4am to shake the entire Sahara desert outta my sheets."

Sam choked back a small noise of amusement, she didn't comment on the flare-up.

The room was quiet for a while after that, he enjoyed the companionable silence as he picked up his phone and browsed through a few of the Amity based forums that he ran. It was a great way to pick up on recent ghost activity, attacks had become so commonplace that people had gone from running in fear to live-streaming the whole thing from the sidelines. It was incredibly helpful to receive real time alerts that included the exact ghost involved and its current location.

The forums had been pretty empty for the past week, most of the comments were Fenton related, people gossiping about Maddie brutally ripping a poltergeist to shreds, or jokes about Jack coming back as a ghost. Tucker deleted those, he'd issued enough warnings about being respectful. Those idiots were going to be unbearable when they found out they were right.

There was a post from earlier that morning about a Phantom sighting, there was a lot of buzz about it. Someone had snapped a picture of him during a fight with Mrs Fenton, he had a giant hole cut through his lower abdomen. There were complaints about the lack of trigger warnings and Tucker's own stomach churned at the sight of his friend's innards on display.

That wasn't the only thing to catch the attention of the commenters though.

'wtf is up with his face? dude looks seriously scary rn'

'is his hair on fire? ngl kinda hot, pun absolutely intended'

'didnt kno he could do that. is that wat he rly looks like or is it some new shapeshifting powers?'

'I think Phantom's finally snapped lmao love the new look'

'what that mouth do tho'

'thos is freaking me out like I know he's a GHOST but like he never rlly LOOKED like a ghost u kno? like sometimes I just totally forget he's a dead kid'

'Phantom bein kinda sus'

'I hope he's okay'

Tucker flagged the post for gore content and sent an admonishment to the poster, along with a five day ban. He debated taking the whole picture down but decided it would just arouse more suspicion, the responses weren't overwhelmingly negative at least, in fact an alarming portion of them were just thirst comments, but that wasn't anything new. He'd have to talk to Danny about damage control later.

Tucker's biggest concern wasn't really the PR repercussions though, it was that Danny had publicly slipped up so badly in the first place. Normally he had his powers under tight control, it wasn't a good sign that he'd let his more ghostly side through, especially in front of his mother.

Tucker's train of thought derailed as the bathroom door opened and Jazz came out, not even glancing in their direction, she quickly made her way to the stairs and disappeared from view.

"Ran into Kitty the other day." said Sam, finally breaking the silence.

"Yeah? She cause any trouble?" Tucker asked as he scrolled through the rest of the day's posts.

"No more than usual," Sam rolled to her side and propped herself up on one elbow. "She'd had a fight with Johnny, she came out to blow off steam. I found her keying cars and slashing tires in the lot behind the cinema."

"At least she wasn't blowing kisses." Tucker added. "Did you thermos her?"

"Nah, I figured she just needed someone to vent to." Sam paused to fiddle with her tangled bracelets before she continued. "They were fighting about Danny."

"About Danny or over Danny?" Tucker asked with a smirk.

"Do you really think I'd stick around for love-triangle drama?" Sam quirked a lip in disgust. "They were fighting because Johnny won't leave the Ghost Zone anymore. She says he's gotten weirdly edgy about running into Danny."

"Should we be worried about that?"

"Maybe," Sam chewed on one of her lip rings. "I'd say it could be nothing but it's-"

"Never nothing with us, yeah." Tucker finished for her.

Jazz's footsteps came padding back up the stairs and she entered the bathroom again, quickly shutting the door behind her. Tucker got a short glimpse of the room but saw little other than a soft blue glow.

"I hope he's okay." said Tucker, quietly. "Danny was right when he said he was taking everything too well."

"At least we were prepared." Sam pulled herself upright and picked her backpack up off the floor, she pulled out a book and opened it on her lap. "Danny said his dad always really liked superheroes, apparently he used to read comics a lot when he was a kid, so I'm thinking we only need to give him a logo and maybe a mask and it could change his whole mindset... I hope."

"I have a feeling it's gonna be a little harder than that Sam."

"I'm doing my best Tucker." Sam stressed, with a sour bite to her tone.

"Sorry, sorry." Tucker back-pedalled, it seemed they were all pretty on edge today, he should have watched his words more carefully. "What have you got so far?"

"Well, I haven't deviated too much from his original hazmat suit, since that's what he's most comfortable with and he's already manifested it in his current form. But I thought maybe if we included the safety goggles and the logo-"

"Are you gonna put a big 'FENTON' on his chest?"

"Tucker please," Sam scoffed, offended. "We can do way better than that. I did a quick sketch of the logo on the RV before I came in. It's a decent design and recognisable, I think it would look great as a belt buckle piece rather than a symbol on his chest."

She held up the book so Tucker could see the design she'd sketched up.

"Oooh I like the circuitry."

"Right?! I thought it gave the whole look a bit of pizazz."

Their conversation was interrupted by a sound like a loud SNAP, and suddenly the signal dropped from Tucker's phone.

"Hey, what happened to the internet?!"

Sam got up and flicked the switch on Danny's bedside lamp.

"Power's out." She announced.

"How did they manage that? They're in the bathroom."

"Oh gee. I wonder how." said Sam, words thick with sarcasm. "He's an engineer and an electrician Tucker, what kind of core do you think he got?"



The bathroom door opened once more, and the three Fentons exited. Jazz leading Jack down the stairs as Danny met up with Sam and Tucker in his bedroom.

"How'd it go?" Sam asked with an uncharacteristic softness to her voice.

"It was... pretty bad." Danny admitted, idly rubbing his hand. "He's pretty excited to eat again though, Jazz is gonna heat up our leftovers for him."

Tucker got up from the desk and approached his friend, next moment he had his arms around him and was holding him in a tight hug. He wasn't very good with finding the right thing to say for times like this, so he tried to put every ounce of love and care and support that he felt into the embrace. Danny must have gotten the message as he hugged back, hands clutching at the back of Tucker's jacket, his face pressed into his friend's  shoulder. Sam's arms came around them, pulling the three of them close together.

They were here for him. Even when he tried to act tough, even when he tried to convince them that he was fine, they would always be here for him, and they made damn sure that he knew it.