Superman catches the iron beam inches from the glowing tip of Phantom’s nose. The ghost boy jerks back, eyes wide, and mouth parting in surprise. Clark can tell he hadn’t been at all aware of the danger, and it worries him. The ghost is always hyper vigilant of his surroundings, except when he gets overconfident, and the fact that he’d been so zoned out as to miss an I-beam flying straight at his face is more than cause for concern.
Clark takes a moment to launch the beam back at a small cluster of the ‘bots surrounding them, sending the whole group crashing through a crumbling concrete wall. The robots spark and die on impact. Clark turns back to look at the ghost, scanning up and down with normal and X-ray vision to make sure he isn’t hurt anywhere. Ghost physiology is weird, and Danny has bones as often as he doesn’t, but breaks are always clear. Nothing looks obviously hurt now.
Clark puts a cautious hand on the ghost’s shoulder, forcing neon green eyes to meet his. “Phantom, are you okay?”
Danny blinks. Clark can see him struggling to focus.
“Uh, yeah,” Phantom says, “yeah, I’m fine.”
He shrugs out from under Clark’s hand, wobbles a moment and then floats to compensate. “C’mon, let’s go kick some robot butt!”
He flies off to join Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, throwing precise bolts of ecto energy at the already-dwindling army of metal warriors.
Clark stays where he is, watching. He knows, objectively, that Phantom is already dead, has been for hundreds of years, but it’s hard to see past the fourteen-year-old face. The robots don’t pose much of a threat so much as they serve as battle fodder, a distraction; John will watch over the ghost kid for the remainder of the battle.
Clark waits as near silent footsteps approach, then he turns to look at Batman.
“He’s not alright.”
Bruce’s eyes narrow behind the mark. “No, he’s not. Come on. J’onn and I have triangulated Luthor’s signal.”
“So, what’s with the costume change, little man? You lookin’ to send a message or you just get tired of your old digs?”
Phantom swats Flash’s hand away and turns, floating higher until he’s eye level with the speedster. The ring of Justice Leaguers standing by the Watchtower’s main console look over at the sudden calling of attention to the room’s latest elephant. Diana wanders over, eyebrows raised in open curiosity.
Danny reaches up and nervously adjusts the flaming crown hovering above his head. The fire isn’t hot, not to him, but he doesn’t want to find out if that applies to regular humans, even if they are super-enhanced.
“My coronation was last week,” he says.
“Coronation?!” Flash reels back in surprise, then flits around Phantom for a full look at the new crown. “Ya don’t say.”
“Congratulations,” Diana enthuses. Her smile sends cold, ghostly butterflies to his stomach and Danny blushes, acutely aware of everyone’s eyes on him.
“Yeah,” he says, putting his hands on his hips and projecting all the confidence he can muster, “turns out defeating the old ghost king puts you first in line to take his place.”
“This is great news, Phantom!” Diana says, taking one his hands in hers and holding tight despite the chill. It reminds him of how his mom would squeeze his hand when she knew he was nervous. He hopes it’s just a friendly congratulations thing and not a mothering thing. He thought the League was past seeing him as just a kid.
“You may finally be able to achieve acknowledgement of your people by the world’s governments!” Diana continues.
“Yeah, and get the ghosts to stop terrorizing Central,” Flash gripes.
Danny’s good mood vanishes at the reminder. He phases out of Wonder Woman’s grip, crosses his arms to dissuade her from touching him again.
“The ghosts won’t listen to me,” he says. “I’ll see you guys later.”
Then he vanishes.
Wonder Woman looks at Flash. Each seeing the other just as stunned, they turn to look at Superman. Clark shrugs. Behind him, Batman frowns.
“Hey! Hey, kid! Kid!”
Phantom startles at the sudden hand on his wrist. He follows the leather glove up to meet the wide-eyed mask hiding Green Arrow’s identity. The man drops his hand before Danny can phase free, returning his fingers to a tight grip in his bow.
“Geeze, kid, lighten up a little; I don’t think this guy can take much more. He ain’t some super nut, he’s just a regular Joe Bank Robber. What, did he kick your ghost puppy or somethin’?”
Danny stares. Oliver will never admit how unsettled that gaze makes him; eyes like radioactive waste and too-pale features under colourless hair tinted emerald from the cold-burning fire of a floating crown. It’s creepy.
It’s also creepy how the kid (ancient kid, from what he’s heard), seems to shift from kneeling over the unfortunate robber’s body to standing without really moving.
“I stopped him, didn’t I?” the kid says.
Oliver watches him walk away, holding fast against the shiver that tickles up his spine, until the kid meets the wall of grateful bank-goers and disappears into thin air.
He looks back the body on the floor, the shallow rise and stunted fall of the man’s breathing, the blood gushing from a broken nose, the unnatural swelling of the poor bloke’s cheek and eye. He can’t help a moment of weakness, a small wince. He’s looking at overkill. Ollie had shot an arrow into the guy’s gun hand early on, he was out, and Phantom had still beat the snot out of him.
He looks to where the kid had vanished. Definitely creepy. Ollie resolves to avoid working with the ghost in the future if he can swing it. For now, he opens the comm. to the Watchtower and requests a quick pick up.
“Nothing to serious, yet,” Batman reports. He taps a few keys on the console in front of him, brings up on the screen a recent picture of Phantom. “It started right after he got this,” he says, pointing to the flaming crown floating above the ghost’s head.
Batman’s eyes narrow behind his mask. “What.”
“Oh, nothing! Just the bleeding Crown of Fire, ancient ghost artifact and all around pain in the arse.”
“What does it do?”
“Well, a few millennia ago it just sat there and looked pretty. But it’s spent several thousand years cooped up with a bloodthirsty tyrant after he was forced into a small box all eternity, and these ghosts, they’re all about emotions, mate. That thing’ll have absorbed a lot of rage and now it’s found an outlet in your pet ghost. You’ve got to get that thing away from him as soon as possible.”
“Tell me how.”
“If you’re lucky, you can just ask him. More likely, you’ll need to weaken him and pry it out of his cold, dead hands. I’ll look around, see if I have anything at the Mill that can help, but no promises.”
“Thanks, John.” Batman reaches to disconnect the video feed when-
“Wait, Batman-!” the screen goes abruptly black.
Batman whirls around, finds himself face to face with Phantom and a nearly identical copy. The scowl on the one wearing the crown causes Batman to tense. He leans back, tilting his chin up in silent challenge as he casually rests an elbow on the console. Consequently, his fingers hover over a sheath of batarangs in his utility belt.
“Phantom. There something you need?”
“Yeah, as a matter of fact,” the copy on the right says.
“Tell me what you and Constantine were talking about,” the original demands.
“You’re sick,” Batman barges straight through the proverbial bush. “The Crown is controlling you. You need to take it off.”
“Hm,” the copy puts a hand on its chin, feigning consideration. “No.”
Batman jumps to a fighting stance as quickly as Phantom drops into readiness, one gloved hand wielding a bat shaped razor against a supernatural kid with fists lit up in glowing green. He knows they are both aware of the anti-ghost enhancements to his belt, both aware that Phantom can’t touch him. Too bad the kid is skilled in long-distance fighting.
Phantom breaks the standoff, firing a beam of super-cooled ectoplasm at the dark knight. Batman sidesteps, whipping the batarang at the ghost boy and pulling another. The conjured clone slams into him, shrieking as the belt lights it up in ecto-electricity. He expects Phantom to back off, but the clone reaches spasming hands around the knight’s waist.
Batman slams an elbow into the clone’s face, but it doesn’t let go. Bruce feels the clasp of his belt unhitch, the yellow leather falling away with the clone. Less than a second later, his breath catches as his lungs freeze. His limbs seize, there’s a voice in his head; he knows it’s bad but he can’t think past the ice in his brain. He watches his hands pick up the utility belt, feels his boots against the floor as his legs carry him to the elevator.
This is bad. If it wasn’t so cold, maybe he could fight back…
“Careful, John,” Chas warns, just as the Zeta beam whisks the magician away.
Constantine finds himself facing the worried red eyes of the Martian Manhunter. It isn’t often after all, that the occult expert demands emergency transportation to the Watchtower. Completely unprecedented, in fact.
“You said the Watchtower may be in danger, “J’onn says.
“Definitely in danger,” John answers. He holds up what looks like a small shard of Kryptonite, waggles the rock and his eyebrows as the martian’s expression. “You’ve got a little ghost problem. I’d say, ‘Who you gonna call,’ but I already called you.”
The grin fades quickly and Constantine turns to the elevator. “Now let’s go catch us a ghost.”
Manhunter frowns but gleans what he needs from the thoughts John gives him access to. He mentally searches out Hawkgirl, calls her up meet them to the bridge. They may require the nth metal of her mace to incapacitate Phantom.
J’onn step aside as the elevator opens and Batman walks out. Constantine is skimming through a journal, but steps absently aside as well. He puts one foot into the elevator, pauses, looks up. J’onn can see his next breath in a plume of mist. The magician whirls around, eyes wide, hand reaching into his coat for the green stone.
“J’onn,” Hawkgirl soars around the elevator column, alighting on the walkway with her mace held ready. “What’s going on? You sounded worried-”
Hawkgirl reacts to the tone before she fully registers the warning, bringing her mace up in time to block the boot aimed at her head. Batman pushes off from the mace, flips to land crouched and ready.
She registers the green glow from his eyes at the same time J’onn does. The martian launches himself at Batman, twisting his form to something more snakelike to wrap the knight into a crushing hold. The ghost possessing Batman tries to phase out but J’onn counters by shifting his own density to match.
“J’onn!” Hawkgirl hesitates. She can’t get a good in with her mace with Manhunter so close, and she doesn’t really want to whack Batman in the first place. She glances over as Constantine runs up to stand level with her.
“Don’t worry about him, sweetheart. Look, I need your help.” He presses something that looks suspiciously like Kryptonite to the handle of her weapon. “Do us a favour and give Bats a good whack with your mace, eh? Knock Phantom right out of him.”
“Phantom?! He’s possessing Batman?”
“Eh, the Crown’s possessing him and he’s possessing Batman, so yeah. Now, go!”
Shayera lifts off, swooping over the struggle that’s moved from the walkway and crashed into the floor below.
Manhunter flinches, shrinking to his usual shape, and staggering away. Batman’s hands are glowing with Phantom’s usual green energy, and Hawkgirl swears she see the thin green outline of a flaming crown above his head. Batman flattens his hand and leaps.
‘J’onn, move!’ Shayera thinks.
Manhunter sinks into the floor and Hawkgirl attacks. Her mace lights with electricity just before she slams it into Batman’s stomach; he goes flying.
J’onn shoots from the floor, catches Batman’s waist and follows the momentum until he can safely lower the man to the floor.
Phantom crashes into the Watchtower’s metal wall hard enough to leave a dent. Hawkgirl watches with wary, worried eyes until she sees Batman breathe. Until she sees Phantom pry himself out of the cavity.
She readies herself as he shakes off the blow, holds her position until he flies at her, then swings. He dodges with a boneless twist, shoots an ectoblast. She bats it back at him.
“Hey!” The voice is mental but it doesn’t sound like J’onn. Shayera takes one precious second to glance down.
Manhunter is carefully examining Batman, bent over as he runs gentle fingers up and down the man’s chest. Halfway across the room from them is a chalk circle rimmed black-stemmed roses. John Constantine stands just outside the circle, waves at her.
“Get him in here.”
Hawkgirl nods. She looks back in time to dodge an energy-encased fist as Phantom swings at her. She kicks him, sends him several feet through the air. Something slams into her right wing and Shayera cries out in surprise as much as pain. She wrenches her wing free, spins to see another Phantom drop a handful of feathers.
Both Phantoms shoot toward her, and Shayera flies up. She drops a foot in surprise as punch lands square to the side of her face. Three?!
No, she realizes as she flips out of the path of another fist, there are five clones! Phantom’s never been able to make five clones before. He’s also never been this quiet before.
“Clones are cheating!” she hears John call from below her.
The clones circle her, she spins slowly in the air, tries to keep all of them in her vision. She notices something quickly: only one of them wears a crown. She attacks without warning, dropping her mace to swing by the cord around her wrist, and grabs the crowned Phantom by the shoulder, folds her wings. They drop like stones, her momentum sending them crashing right into John’s circle.
The effect is instantaneous. Phantom screams. The clones disappear. Shayera doesn’t feel anything more than blooming bruises as she hops to her feet and steps carefully out of the circle’s barrier.
Constantine steps into the circle. He stands over the writhing ghost boy, then leans down and plucks the crown from his head. He makes some complicated motion with gold-glowing fingers and the crown disappears. Then he slams his palms to the floor and the circle and flowers are gone too. The gold fades. Phantom settles into an exhausted slump on the ground, breathing hard.
“It’s over?” Shayera ventures to ask.
Constantine pulls a cigarette out of his pocket, doesn’t light it but sticks it in his mouth. “Should be.”
“It’s called the Crown of Fire, you twats! It’s Ancient and fiery. Of course Phantom was gonna have a bad reaction to it, he’s got an ice core.”
“What would have happened, eventually?” Bruce asks, scowling up at Constantine from his bed in medical.
“Eventually? The fire would have burned out Phantom’s core and asserted itself in its new host. Luckily, we got it off in time. The worst he’s gonna get is a fever and one Hell of a post-possession hangover.”
“But he will make a full recovery?” Wonder Woman asks.
“Absolutely. And from now on, how about none of you wankers lets him mess around with ghost artifacts, eh?! I don’t want to be runnin’ up here every bloody week to perform an exorcism. I don’t get paid enough for that.”
“You don’t get paid at all,” Flash points out, “You’re not even a member of the Justice League.”
“Oh? What’s this then?” Constantine flicks a card at Flash, who snatches it out of the air and narrows his eyes at it.
“This is- Where did you get a membership card?” He looks back up, only to find empty air where Constantine had stood. Flash whirls around, holds the card out to the others, only to find his fingers are empty.
“Argh, I hate when he does that!”
“You’re just jealous he can disappear faster than you,” Bruce says. He’s sitting up, watching Phantom laying still in the next bed over. They hadn’t known what to do medically to help. The boy was dead, and Constantine assured them that he would heal in time. Very special, for a ghost, he’d said. They had no choice but to trust him.
I think this is my favorite king!danny fic ever omg -Nyx
Edit: also constatine is one of my favs
decide that maybe, just maybe, letting your dumb friends (and boyfriend) start
the game of drunk truth-or-dare before you got there was not a very good idea.
But it’s too late now—you can only look on helplessly in horror as Hoseok rolls
down the driveway in a sleeping bag, yelling “I’M A BURRITO, THE KIND THAT YOU
EAT-O” at the top of his lungs whilst Jimin and Jungkook laugh themselves into
tears from the sidelines.
you shout. Being the only sober person within three hundred feet, you’re the
only one who sees where Hoseok is, inevitably, going to end up.
“I’M A BURRITO, THE KIND THAT YOU
Even with the benefit of
foresight, you cringe when he rolls off the driveway and into the nearby ditch.
The sleeping-bag-burrito lets out a shriek of surprise as it disappears down
“It’s my nickname.” “Elephant?” He shakes his head. “Sorry, I don’t see it.” “Anna Oliphant. ‘Banana Elephant.’ My friend collects those for me, and I collect toy bridges and sandwiches for her. Her name is Bridgette Saunderwick,” I add. St. Clair sets down the glass elephant and wanders to my desk. “So can anyone call you Elephant?” “Banana Elephant. And no. Definitely not.”
I think this is a first drawing Elephants for me..
Anyway, yesterday, I was watching ‘The Void’, and the 'Inside Your Mind’ song segment for some reason reminded me of the 'Pink Elephants on Parade’ part from Dumbo. I think it was the multiple colored Wander’s…XD So then I thought, “heh, imagine Wander and Syl getting drunk and seeing pink elephants’. So that’s what I drew.
I was unsure of whether to have a black background or a purple/black, and my friend suggested the purple/black, so I stuck with it.
Bystanders watch as a wild elephant moves through a street after it strayed into the city of Siliguri, West Bengal State, India on February 10th 2016. The elephant had wandered from the Baikunthapur forest, crossing roads and a small river before entering the city. The panicked elephant ran amok, trampling parked cars and motorbikes before it was tranquilised. Wildlife officials have since returned the elephant to the forest. Credit: Reuters
Baby elephant wanders into South African living room
‘Tom’ the elephant wandered into the front room of a ranch in Zululand, South Africa A 10-day-old runaway baby elephant found herself in the front room of a ranch in Zululand, South Africa.
“Tom”, named after the ranch chef who found the elephant, is thought to have traversed 30 miles of nature reserve before ending up at the Thula Thula Private Game Reserve last week.
Owner Francoise Malby Anthony and her colleagues gave the elephant food and water while rangers went out to find her mother, who coincidently had been rescued by Mrs Anthony’s husband Lawrence years before………