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Danny had never hated hospitals more than this exact moment. He had read every single magazine present in the waiting area. He had been here for hours, the sting of antiseptics forever burned into his nostrils and his mind. So he stared, waiting less than patiently, at the light on above the operating room doors.

Jazz had gotten hurt… badly… severely… however he was supposed to categorize having several pieces of glass embedded through her chest, a severe concussion, and a broken leg. Danny had gotten hurt too, but he had already healed mostly up by the time he had managed to drive Jazz to the hospital, just in time too. Any later and she would have died of blood loss in the passenger seat of her own car. Danny’s own injuries didn’t and hadn’t mattered then, and they certainly didn’t now. He had just slapped a band-aid on the stab would he had received and iced over his new burns, then jumped into Jazz’s car and sped off to the hospital, his dad’s driving lessons being put to good use.

Speaking of their parents, they knew that Jaz was hospitalized, the staff had called them as soon as they could. They were severely worried, wondering how Jazz had ended up in the crosshairs of a ghost fight, injured so severely she would be in the operating room for hours as they removed glass and rubble, and reset her leg, and check for brain damage. Currently, they were off hunting the ghost that had injured their precious little girl, but they weren’t going to find it. The thermos was also empty of the culprit. They would most likely end up blaming Phantom, and he wouldn’t be the one to tell them otherwise.

In a way, Danny felt that it was his fault. He shouldn’t have let Jazz come. Her aim had gotten a lot better, and she was more skilled with some of their parent’s tech than he was, but she was ultimately human. She didn’t heal like he did, she couldn’t defend herself with anything but their parent’s weapons and her wit. Jazz was human and much easier to hit than he was, and it made him much easier to hit too when he had to protect her.

It had been a bad ghost fight, one of the worse ones, even. Danny hadn’t known the ghost, but they were clearly after him personally, targeting him on his patrol the prior night. Jazz had come along as backup since Sam and Tucker were busy with homework, planning to help Danny with his once they finished figuring it out and he was back from patrol. Then the ghost had attacked him, a bolt of heat sending him out of the sky and into the nearest building. Danny didn’t even bother to remember the ghost’s name, but they had attacked with fire, and they were angry and cocky.

“The notorious Phantom is a child?” They had seemed outraged, “Guess this will be a lot easier to take the title than I imagined.”

It wasn’t. Danny had put up a good fight, and it had frustrated the ghost into using dirty tactics. It had fired at Jazz when it couldn’t hit him. The windows and part of the wall had collapsed onto her, burying her underneath. She had passed out immediately, and Danny was glad she had in retrospect, but at the moment, he had thought she had died.

It didn’t go so well for the other ghost after that. After pulling Jazz out of the wreckage using intangibility, but smartly not removing any of the glass that had pierced through herm Danny had snapped. This ghost had the nerve to attack his sister, to threaten someone on his turf, to injure and almost kill Jazz. All Danny saw was red, the color of Jazz’s blood.

Danny had snapped, full-blown and completely, rage-filled and out for blood. But he hadn’t lost control, and Danny supposed that’s what scared him most. His head had stayed on his shoulders and he remembered the entire thing, from start to finish. Danny usually held back against all but the strongest opponents, adjusting how hard he fought to preserve both energy and keep his patrols efficient. He didn’t this time. There was about a block and a half off Delany Street that was reduced to rubble. It was a business district, so no one was injured or even there, which Danny was thankful for.

Danny remembered the fear, the ghost had realized its previous error. Phantom had gotten his reputation from somewhere, and his strength was vastly underestimated. Danny had never truly ended a ghost until then, until he charged up an ectoblast and shattered the damaged core in that ghost’s chest. He didn’t regret it either. He could’ve captured the ghost and left it in the thermos or turned it into Walker or one of the other facilities designed to hold dangerous ghosts. Danny could’ve gotten answers about why the ghost was after him, but he didn’t. He hadn’t wanted the ghost that had hurt Jazz to still be around, able to do it again, and possibly succeed in killing her next time.

The other ghosts that Danny dealt with daily didn’t usually injure bystanders, and focused solely on him, other than Spectra, but even then, she never outright used someone against him. Danny knew his obsession, and most of the other ghosts did too and knew it was damn stupid to use it against him. This one didn’t and paid for it, his afterlife ended with a well-placed ectoblast. Danny didn’t regret ending the ghost, and that bothered him more than the fact that he had “killed” someone. But Danny didn’t care enough about that to continue to pinder on how much of a freak or monster he was at the moment.

Danny just wanted his sister to be alright. So he sat there, as he had since late last night, watching the red light above the operating room continue to flicker and glow.