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Chapter 6

They had all agreed that Sam’s house would be their ‘home base’ for the summer. Her parents were away for the entire holiday and had arranged for people to come look after the house for her, but she had enlisted Tucker and Jazz’s help in drafting some realistic looking emails to tell them that their services were not needed.

Tucker felt a bit bad about kicking some people out of a summer job, but they couldn’t exactly have a bunch of people moving around the house right now. Sam had offered that they all stay for the holiday, and Tucker had to wonder if it was because of worry for Danny and Val, or because she didn’t want to be all alone. He suspected that it was both.

Tucker’s parents were fine with it, glad that he was getting out of the house and being active, alwhile making him promise to frequently call and visit every now and then. Val’s dad had needed a bit more convincing, but in the end agreed, making his daughter make the same promise to him as Tucker had to his parents. Danny and Jazz had just packed their bags and left, leaving behind a small note about how they were going on a holiday but not where. Really, they got away with this.

When he heard this, Tucker wasn’t sure whether to laugh or wince, and he simply settled on patting his friends shoulder, which probably wasn’t a good idea. Ever since the Accident, Danny had slowly begun to get colder and colder, but recently, his temperature had taken a drastic drop, and they had all agreed to bring winter clothing with them just in case.

Tucker wondered if he should ask Danny to make it snow indoors one time, but then realised that he didn’t want to be on the receiving end of Jazz’s glare.

The first week together had been fine, with Valerie seeming to get more comfortable around things and acting like normal around Danny. There had only been one attack, which was rather strange, but they did sometimes have that odd week where only a few showed up. It had been Skulker, and happened during the middle of the day. Unfortunately for the ghost, he hadn’t counted on the Red Huntress and Phantom working together, and he didn’t last very long. They played games, helped each other with homework and generally just messed about.

It was during the second week that things began to go wrong.

There had already been three attacks by Tuesday, and Val was starting to look ready to pass out at any moment. When another showed up on Wednesday morning, all of them had forced Val to sit that one out, stressing that she was only going to hurt herself more. Tucker didn’t like the idea of Danny going off to fight ghosts on his own, but he also couldn’t stand the sight of Valerie staggering in pain around the house. They had reasoned that it should be fine for Danny to take this fight by himself, and he had whizzed off out the window.

It turned out that the Fentons were as bad at ghost hunting as they were at parenting, as the unnamed ghost that Danny Valerie had been chasing all those nights before was still running around. The little bugger had been lying low, waiting for the opportunity to attack.

For hours the four had been waiting and worrying, wondering how their friend was faring. Just as Jazz was storming out the door to find her wayward brother, Danny came stumbling into the room aout of nowhere. He looked more tired than anything, having chased the stupid ghost around for ages before finally being able to trap him in the thermos. Not before receiving a large gash on the head, though. The halfa, after cleaning up the cut, had gone to go catch up on sleep while Tucker, Sam and Jazz watched a movie.

Valerie had come downstairs a while later and had insisted upon cooking lunch. Jazz was busy studying (obviously) and Sam had gone to check on the garden, leaving Tucker to go and check on their resident ghost.

“Hello?” Tucker called as he knocked on the door to Danny’s room. “Anyone alive in there? Or are we sticking with the dead today?”

He waited a bit and heard a soft sigh on the other end of the door. “I’m alive, I think.”

That made Tucker pause. “What do you mean you think?”

He heard the handle on the door turn, but it didn’t open. “Just… have a look.”

The door opened wide, and Tucker was stunned speechless as he looked at his best friend who was looking extremely uncomfortable.

There were a few beats of silence before Danny finally snapped. “It looks bad, doesn’t it?”

“Wha-no!” Tucker shook himself out of his staring. “It’s just… your hair.”

Instead of the usual black that Tucker had become so accostomed to seeing, Danny’s hair was streaked through with bright white. Although it wasn’t much, it was certainly noticeable, and enough to make anyone pause to look again.

Danny groaned. “I’ve tried everything! It won’t go back no matter what I do!”

“Hey, uh, it’s fine!” Danny gave him a look. “It is, really! We can just dye it back to normal. No one will notice.”

“I doubt hair dye is going to keep this hidden for long.” Danny scoffed and shook his head. “I don’t know what to do, Tuck. Everything’s changing and I can’t stop it. I feel like I’m running out of time.”

Time. Now there’s a thought. “Don’t you have someone who can help you with that?”

His best friend leaned against the doorway. “I doubt Clockwork will be amused if I go to him about a bad hair day.”

Tucker sighed. “But it’s not just a bad hair day, is it?” Danny looked at him. “You said it yourself, things are changing. You are changing. It might be good to get some answers, don’t you agree?”

Danny looked at him for a long time before releasing a breath. “Alright, I’ll go visit him later.”

Tucker beamed. “Good! Now, let's go get some lunch and see about sorting out your hair. If anything, it’ll make Sam laugh at your misfortune.”

Danny snorted at that, but didn’t move from the doorway, making Tucker pause in his step. “I- thanks, Tuck.”

Tucker placed a hand on his friend's shoulder, not caring about the cold. “Anytime dude.”