Attack of the Killer Homework Assignment

In which Danny tries to hand in a homework assignment that no longer resembles a homework assignment.

This is fanfiction. Probably helps to be at least passingly familiar with Danny Phantom before reading, but hey, I'm not the boss of you.

Length: 1,192 words

Attack of the Killer Homework Assignment
(I'm Sorry Mr Lancer, but your Homework Assignment Attacked Me)
Written by Sudo (Pseudinymous)

William Lancer was prepared to accept many things. After all, when your hometown suddenly becomes populated by a wide variety of wild, dangerous ghosts - and particularly when those wild, dangerous ghosts caused quite a lot of physical collateral damage to the surrounding areas - you learn to have an adaptive mind pretty quickly.

He had also learnt to be adaptive to one Daniel Fenton's continual excuses, which ranged from legitimate enough ("Mr Lancer, can I go to the bathroom?") to outright ridiculous ("Mr Lancer, sorry, I know it's been four times already in two hours, but can I go to the bathroom again?"). Lancer had given up trying to stop the boy. If the teacher refused to give him permission, he would just stand up and leave anyway, regardless of the consequences. Simply put, Danny didn't care - and now Lancer was beginning to wonder if he really cared, either.

The homework assignment excuses flowed in, too. Danny never quite managed to get the hang of homework in his freshman year. But no matter how many times it was only partially completed or missing altogether, he always seemed so embarrassed about it. Lancer would feel a twinge of guilt whenever he found himself handing out yet another detention or extra credit assignment to the wayward child.

But this? Even with all his experience in swallowing the unbelievable, Lancer just couldn't quite make himself believe in this.

Daniel Fenton was looking at him with utmost sincerity in his eyes (but who knows what was really going on in his brain), and holding up the worksheets in a plastic pocket. There were some faint traces of pen marks in there, but one wouldn't have known unless one was making an honest effort to search for them. The worksheets themselves were in the poorest shape Lancer had ever seen - chewed up, torn, covered with what he genuinely hoped was water, and also with what was probably ectoplasm.

Lancer's mouth was going dry. "Mr Fenton, I'm sorry..." he stammered, trying to collect his wits. "Come again?"

"I said, 'I'm sorry Mr Lancer, but your homework assignment attacked me'." Danny repeated, dutifully. "See? I tried to do questions three, six, and nine... but I guess the worksheets had other ideas."

The teacher looked at the homework assignment carefully, afraid it might spring to life for a second time. It looked inert, now, however. Safe enough. It at least wasn't going to somehow tear his throat open. His eyes flipped back to Danny, whose head was receding into his neck.

"I tried my best," he lamented. "Really."

"And your best involves... this?"

"Well, yeah, I mean it's pretty hard to write on these things when they're actively trying to bite you."

Lancer let out an excessively long sigh. This had to be the most inventive excuse Mr Fenton had come up with yet, and the rest of the class looked as though it were somewhere between holding its breath and bursting out with laughter. "Mr Fenton," he began, placing emphases on every single syllable of the boy's last name. "Care to enlighten the entire class on exactly how such a fantastic event occurrs?"

"Fantastic?" Danny asked.

"As in fantasy, Daniel, not excellent. I don't believe for a second that your homework... shall we say, reared up and attacked?"

"Well, uhh," he began, acutely aware that this was going to make him even more the laughing stock of the entire class. "Iguessthat'swhatsortahappenswhendadspillsliveectolasmonthings."


"Dad accidentally spilled live ectoplasm on it!" Danny repeated, nearly shouting this time. "And when you do that it kinda brings things to life."

Quite suddenly, Lancer had the strangest feeling that the wrecked homework Mr Fenton was brandishing so boldly was staring him down. He stared back, even while the class laughed at such a ridiculous proposition, and suddenly he got the worst feeling that what the boy was proposing wasn't categorically untrue.

"I mean, it's really a thing! You should ask Jazz about the time she had to fight off the Christmas turkey!"

Lancer was having trouble keeping up, but the implications were writing themselves. "Exactly how alive was the turkey?"

"Cooked, sir. In an oven. At 425 degrees," said Danny. "Jazz had to attack it with a broom."

Okay, that was quite enough for one day. Lancer could feel himself beginning to pale. The Fenton parents had always registered as eccentric madmen on the sanity scale, and this was well and above not an exception. It was time to wind things up before he became a mockery of the class for even entertaining this conversation.


"Please Mr Lancer, I tried really hard! And there's some partial answers. Can you at least let me submit those?"

Danny was apparently desperate enough to get this accepted that he'd even interrupted the teacher - perhaps it was the lingering knowledge that his grades were looking worse and worse by the day. Lancer frowned, crossed his arms, and chewed on the idea.

"Fine. I suppose you can assure me that this is not going to-" he paused, for effect "-attack me, then?"

"Yeah... the power ran out this morning while it was struggling around in my backpack."

Lancer's stomach turned. Surely this had to be some kind of elaborate farce? Nonetheless, he found himself walking over to the boy and taking his homework with the very tips of his fingers, holding it up and squinting at the nearly - but not entirely - illegible bits of handwriting.

"Hey look, Lancer's scared!" Dash sneered. The class started to titter.

"That is Mr Lancer to you, Baxter," Lancer shot back, suddenly receiving a rush of bravery that let him snatch the homework up entirely and march back over to his desk with it. "Well, Daniel, I will try to mark this worksheet if I must, and I will give you the marks where due, but I expect you to take a fresh copy from me after class and resubmit it by the end of this week. Is that clear?"

The boy's voice sounded glum. "Yes, Mr Lancer," he managed back.

When the class was over, Lancer couldn't believe that he'd almost fallen for such an awful excuse. Things coming to life... even with ectoplasm, that was ridiculous. It wasn't like ectoplasm turned things into ghosts. Hell, even the janitor was well up-to-date on ectoplasm cleaning practices - the school was well and truly filled with the stuff, thanks to the daily ghost fights. He got danger pay on top of his salary for it, too. If ectoplasm brought things to life, then why hadn't the walls developed consciousness? Why had the chairs and tables not yet attacked? Well, attacked without the aid of a legitimate ghost, anyhow? What a laughable proposition...

And then, out of the corner of his eye, something moved.

No, it couldn't be...

The next day:

"Lancer isn't here today, so I'll be your substitute!" Mrs Tetslaff yelled at the class. Then, in an even more disgusted tone, she added, "That pansy didn't even have the balls to call in sick. Haven't heard from him since last night."

Danny shrunk into his chair.

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