This is a follow-up to the story I finished a few months ago called Wide Awake. It's a fairly long story, so if you're not really in the mood to go read that, I'll give you the basic knowledge you need for this one-shot:

1. There's been a zombie apocalypse in this universe

2. Danny got separated from everyone else in the initial chaos and stayed separated for a year before they were all reunited by random chance

3. Michael is Tucker and Valerie's son, just over a year old in this one-shot

4. Zack=zombie

I think that's everything.

To those of you who did read Wide Awake, THEY'RE BACK.

I don't own Danny Phantom.

Enjoy! (:

Almost Asleep

April 11, 2014

A sharp kick to the back of her knees woke Sam from a deep, dreamless sleep. In her initial half-asleep confusion, she lay very still. Her room was quiet. But she felt a kick, she knew she did. Despite the fact that she'd been enjoying the safety of the castle and the community inside, her zack-hunting skills were something like instinct now. It didn't take much to rouse her from her sleep.

And then she felt another kick to the back of her thigh, this time accompanied by the faintest whimper from somewhere behind her. She sighed and rubbed her fist against one eye before rolling to her back and squinting at the body beside her.

Danny's face was twisted with fear and glistening with a sheen of sweat. As she watched him through the darkness, she could see the muscles in his face twitching, his eyebrows drawing together tightly, and his forehead wrinkling in concern. She mirrored his facial expression subconsciously and ran a hand through her hair.

It was something like law around their community: if someone is having a nightmare, you do not wake them up. Under any circumstances. They were supposed to let the nightmare run its course, and only when the victim finally calmed back into a peaceful slumber could they be awoken. People who suffered from nightmares, particularly the men who suffered from nightmares, were prone to violence in the initial post-sleep mid-nightmare haze. More than one person in their community had been admitted to the infirmary wing after being brutally but accidentally attacked by someone who woke in the middle of a zack-inspired nightmare.

Sam sat up fully and chewed the inside of her cheek as Danny whimpered in his sleep. He was not one to be violent when he woke up from a nightmare. He usually did what she did: lay still and assess the situation with his other senses. He only ever had the nightmares when he rolled away from her in their sleep, which he apparently had done tonight, or if he fell asleep somewhere outside of their bedroom, which didn't happen often. And he was only violent if someone other than Sam, Tucker, Valerie, Michael, or Jazz woke him up. Even then, he just rolled to his haunches with a snarl on his face and an ecto-bolt glowing in his hand. He'd yet to actually hurt anyone.

His fingers clenched against the sheets and his lips parted, allowing him to pant heavily. His entire body was twitching now, as if he was running in his dream. A quiet whine would escape him after almost every exhale.

Wake him up, Sam thought.

Let the nightmare play out, a more rational voice in her head told her.

He threw his head to his left, toward her, and gasped in a strangled, panicked tone, "Sam!"

Her heart leapt into her throat and her hand shot toward him instantly. She ran her fingers through his hair, stroking firmly and compulsively, and he went still immediately beneath her touch. "It's okay. It was just a dream. I'm here. It was a nightmare, it isn't real."

She kept up these whispered ministrations until his eyes opened and found her beside him. He sucked in a deep breath and his chest jerked, as if he was choking back a sob. "It was just a nightmare," she whispered soothingly as tears welled in his eyes.

He sat up and reached for her. She allowed him to pull her across the bed so that she was straddling his lap. Despite his obvious fear, Sam could not help wriggling against him in approval. They both slept in the nude more often than not, and tonight was no exception. Skin-to-skin contact with him was always nice, no matter what the situation was.

He crushed her body to his, running his hands over her back and sides and up over her neck to fist into her hair. She allowed him this compulsive movement, understanding it for what it really was: reassurance. That he was still there, that she was still there, that the danger was far less imminent in the safety of their bedroom than the dream led him to believe.

"You're okay," he half-sobbed into her shoulder. "You're okay, yeah? You're not hurt? Please tell me, don't lie to protect me, please, are you hurt?"

"No, I'm not hurt, I'm okay," she murmured as she stroked his shaggy hair. He was due for a trim soon. Jazz had been on his case about it for weeks now. He shuddered in relief and nuzzled his face against her neck. "It was just a nightmare. I'm okay. We're both okay."

He started to rock back and forth, still clutching to her as though he feared she would vanish if he loosened his stranglehold around her. She knew better than to ask what the dream was about; he would tell her when he was good and ready.

"We were back at the ranch," he muttered a little while later. His breathing had already evened out considerably, his heart rate down to a normal level. "The night we got rescued."

Her fingers sifted through his his hair down to the base of his neck, where she scratched lightly. This was his soft spot, the place she discovered the second time they ever made love. It calmed him instantly, though she felt him growing hard sandwiched between her thigh and his as she scratched. She didn't address it, and neither did he.

"It was just like that night. You and Tucker were fighting and then me and Tucker were fighting and...and then..." He stopped to catch his breath. "And then Lars came out."

He'd had this nightmare before. Sam caught her lower lip between her teeth and nibbled nervously, waiting for him to continue. She could feel his pulse fluttering against her breast.

"L-Lars came out...only this time...he didn't go for Tucker," he shuddered, unable to stop the sob from bursting from his chest. "He went for you."

Sam ducked her head and planted kisses along the side of his neck. "He went for you and then I killed him, but...I was too late, he'd already bitten you," Danny gasped between heaving breaths. "He bit you was just like when he bit Tucker, only..." He paused, his fingers tightening to the point of bruising her fair skin. "Only this time it was Tucker who took the gun from Valerie, and...and..."

"You don't have to finish," she whispered, pulling away far enough to peer at him in the darkness. "It's okay. You don't have to say it. I know."

He pulled her back to him tightly and she resumed kissing his neck, closing her eyes and willing the mental image of the end of his nightmare to go away.

In the nightmare, Tucker took the gun from Valerie, just as Sam took the gun from Danny almost a year before on their last night at El Lindo Relajo. Tucker whispered that he was sorry. He aimed the gun at her forehead. And he shot her.

And, in Danny's dream, rescue came just minutes later. The helicopter landed fifty feet from where Danny sobbed over her motionless body.

They each had horrible nightmares, but this was one of his absolute worst, and not only because of how close it came to happening in reality. The effect this nightmare had on him was profound; he refused to let her out of his sight for at least two days after having this nightmare. She didn't mind it at all; she had a few nightmares that left her in the same state in her waking hours.

She squeezed him harder and pushed her tongue through her lips to taste his skin. It was salty with sweat, but his already erratic breathing hitched when he felt it. The memory of something he said to her months earlier after a different nightmare echoed through her head: "Sometimes, after I have a nightmare, I don't feel real. I get scared that I'm still dreaming. That's why I like to hold on to you when I's like, if I can feel you, I know I'm awake, because you don't feel nearly as good in my dreams. I know I'm real again if I can feel you."

She reached between them and freed his now-straining erection from between their thighs. He inhaled sharply, and before he could protest, she lifted her hips and lowered herself onto his member.

He hissed with pleasure against her shoulder as she threw her head back, relishing in the pleasure-pain of her inner walls stretching to accommodate him. "You d-don't...have this," he gasped as she flexed her hips.

"I want to," she whispered, leaning forward to resume kissing his neck, this time using her tongue and teeth to leave red marks on his skin.

"Nnh...uhn," he grunted into her hair. She could feel the muscles in his torso twitching as he desperately tried not to move. She turned her head up and nipped at the skin behind his ear while simultaneously grinding her hips against his in painstakingly slow circles, drawing a deep, low, guttural moan from the center of his chest. "Sam," he whispered breathlessly.

A surge of lust shot through her veins. They rarely said each other's names while conversing with each other, now; after going for so long without each other, they each built the other's name up to a holy, untouchable status. Now, they only spoke it to each other at the utmost pinnacle of sexual reverence or in the most suffocating crux of terror. He'd said hers both ways in less than ten minutes. She lifted slightly before lowering herself again and they gasped simultaneously at the sensation. His fingers scrabbled along her back, clutching her shoulders, as she began the motion again.

"I'm here," she whispered as he moaned into her neck. "I'm here, and you're here. We're alive and we're safe. Do you feel me here with you?"

She lowered herself harder than before and squeezed him with her inner muscles, drawing a deliciously arousing gasp from Danny. "Y-yes," he hissed. "I...God...I f-feel you,"

"I'm here. I'm not dead. I'm here, making love to you." She pulled away, still riding his erection, to look at his face contorted with pleasure. "This is real. You're awake, now, and this is real." She kissed his forehead, his closed eyes, his nose, his cheeks, and then whispered, "Look at me," against his lips.

She leaned back when his eyes opened and met hers through the darkness. His were dark, clouded with love and lust, his fear all but gone in the heat of this moment. "Do you see me?" She whispered.

"Yes," he breathed. "I-I see you...making love to me..." He bucked his hips up to meet hers and she gasped; he hit that special spot deep inside her at just the right angle in this position. It all but melted her to putty, and he knew it. "And I...I feel you," he nearly choked as her forehead dropped to the curve of his neck. "God, I'm... I'm gonna..."

"Let go," she murmured woozily against his skin.

"B-but you haven't..."

"I don't need it," she whispered, and it was true. She didn't even really want one. She just wanted him to feel better. "Just let go, sweetheart."

He grunted, apparently incapable of forming anymore words, and all Sam had to do was wrap her arms around his neck and hold on as he drove his hips up to meet hers. Five shallow pumps later and he was spasming against her, holding her steady as he hoarsely whisper-shouted her name.

After his hold loosened, she continued rocking against him, until she felt him slowly soften inside her. His hands stroked her back, fingering the contours of her spine as she leaned away again.

"Are you okay?" She asked as she brushed his hair out of his eyes. A kind of post-orgasm tranquility softened his features, making her blush. I made him feel that way.

"Better than okay," he murmured, absently reaching for her breast and tweaking a nipple between his fingers. She gasped and clenched in surprise, and he grew a little harder inside of her in response. "Thank you," he whispered, leaning forward and nipping at her throat with the edges of his teeth. She tangled her fingers in his hair and relished in the sensations he was bringing her. "I needed that,"

"O-of course," she breathed. She didn't trust her voice. "Let's get some sleep."

Before she was even able to shriek, he had her pinned down to the bed on her stomach with two pillows beneath her hips. She did manage to shriek, though, when his fully returned erection thrust deep inside her and punched that spot again with wild, reckless abandon.

"I need to r-repay the favor, though," he mumbled as he rotated his hips against her ass, the head of his dick massaging her g-spot carefully. She gasped and clutched at the sheets, unable to stop her back from arching. "Mmmn..."

"Uhn," Sam grunted as he pulled out and slammed back in. Heat positively radiated through her body, swirling and spinning restlessly in her stomach, just waiting to be released. "Uhhhn...fu...uck,"

His hands drifted over her back, around her hips, over her ass, and he squeezed her cheeks. He was moving a little faster now, though at that pace she would never reach climax, and she was quickly devolving into little more than a quivering pile of desire. He was releasing his own unintelligible grunts and groans above her, though she was positive he was no where near the sexual peak she was currently teetering on.

"," she hiccuped. His pace slowed to a crawl and she whined in protest. "Please, please..."

"Please...what...?" He panted. His nails dug into the soft swell of her ass, almost hard enough to draw blood, and she keened in response.

"I...I need...I'm..." She threw her head back and bared her neck to the bed. "Harder,"

He completely stopped moving, only half-in, and she could only barely feel him trembling with the effort to not move over her own desperate shimmying motions. Anything she could do to get that friction back, she would do. "What?" He choked.

"Harder, do it harder!" She cried. He rammed forward violently and she arched, suddenly unable to release the primal groan that churned within her. Without further delay, he began to saw into her with earnest.

The sharp edge of release was so tantalizingly close. Sam could feel it, fluttering just out of reach, as Danny hammered into her. The moment one of his hands snaked between her thighs and his fingers massaged her engorged clitoris, her vision went dark.

She could feel the muscles in her abdomen stretching as the first wave washed through her, causing her to arch clean off the bed and remain that way for one endless moment, before she collapsed back against the mattress and gave herself over to the body-rocking tremors of her orgasm. Danny continued thrusting into her all the while, rubbing firm circles around her clit with his middle finger to prolong her release. He withdrew his hand only when she went still beneath him.

For a moment, no one spoke. The only sound in the room was the soft wet slapping sound of Danny's thighs hitting hers and his rock-hard dick pumping in and out, in and out, aided by the onslaught of natural lubrication provided by her orgasm. Sam lifted her head enough to free her lips from the tangle of sheets beneath her, intending to thank him for a job done thoroughly well, but the only sound that escaped her was a soft, gratified coo of his name.

Lust surged through his face and his eyes flashed green with the intensity. Her own belly clenched at the sight. When he drove forward again, he hit her g-spot hard enough to leave a permanent mark.

"Mine," he growled, leaning over her fully so that his front lay across her back. "Mine, mine, mine," he drove her further into the bed with every word until she was positive there would be an imprint of her form in the mattress for years to come.

He stopped and pulled out of her suddenly, but before she could register the loss he flipped her to her back, lifted her legs up over his shoulders, and plunged into her again. "Mine!" He barked through clenched teeth.

"Oh, oh!" Her head was thrown back, displaying the tight sinews of muscle lining her neck for him, and his fingers traced the thin scars there before his hand closed around her throat. Not so hard that she couldn't breathe, but enough to make her toes curl.

"Tell me you're mine," he panted. He was drenched in sweat now, beads of perspiration rolling down his temples and clinging to the tip of his nose. He ground his hips forward, massaging her g-spot skillfully again, as another wave of heat coiled deep in her belly. "Say it."

"I-I...oh...uhhhhmf...mmmmm..." She threw her head to one side and his fingers tightened around her throat.

He leaned forward so that her knees were almost touching her ears. "Say it," he whispered as she trembled beneath him.

"Yours," she gasped. He growled in approval and his pace increased slightly. "I'm yours, I'm...uhn...yours,"

"Say...nhh..s-say my name," he demanded as he reached between them and flicked at her clit.

"Danny!" She cried as her back arched up and her breasts pressed against his chest. He removed his hand from between her thighs and braced it beside her head; his arms shook on either side of her, as if it was a tremendous effort on his part to stop himself from releasing all of his barbaric strength on her. His teeth clamped down on her neck and his tongue lapped at the sweat that glistened there. "Dan...ny! Oh, oh,!"

"Y-yes," he shifted one of her legs over, so that both were draped over one of his shoulders, and began jack-hammering into her. "Fuck, yes!" He moved at a psychotically fast pace, stealing the scream out of her mouth with a searing, demanding kiss. His tongue drove into her mouth as his dick drove into her, claiming and possessing her the way that only he could.

"Fuck, fuck!" She wailed when he finally freed her mouth. "Oh my God! Danny!"

"Come for me," he breathed huskily into her ear, and her entire body erupted into gooseflesh. "I wanna watch you come for me, Sam."

At the sound of him speaking her name in pure lust, asking her for such a dirty, private show, she absolutely came unglued beneath him. She knew she was screaming, her hands were yanking at something, but the scorching heat of her orgasm left her blind to all else. She could hear herself screaming; maybe Danny's name, maybe cursing, or maybe a combination of the two. He didn't seem to care, either way, for he howled in primal delight and slammed into her so hard she was positive she would feel it for the next month at least.

As the last waves of her orgasm left her a trembling mess, Danny collapsed, spent and completely exhausted from his own second release that must have happened in the middle of hers. He rolled to one side and dragged her close, so that his entire front was pressed up against her entire back. As his hand wandered up her bare stomach and his lips set to work worshiping her neck, she thanked her lucky stars once again for the birth control pills the on-site doctor managed to procure for her on the last raid.

"You okay?" Danny whispered after a stretch of comfortable silence.

Sam nodded against him. "You?" She whispered back.

"I'm great," he snorted quietly and palmed her breast. "Thank you."

"I love you," Sam told him, turning her head up. He bent his neck and kissed her immediately, his tongue slowly and sensually brushing against hers as she tasted him.

"I love you, too." He murmured when he finally pulled away.

She settled back to her original position, grinning like a drunken fool in love at the wall beside their bed. The castle was deathly quiet in the night; so quiet, in fact, she could hear Danny's skin rubbing against her own as his thumb stroked her breast. "D?" She whispered, petting the arm he had around her waist.

His arm tightened around her in response. "Hm?" He hummed sleepily.

"Don't have anymore nightmares. I don't think I can last another round tonight."

He chuckled into her hair and she snickered when he playfully pinched her chest. She fell asleep quickly after that, secure in the arms of her man. Neither one had any nightmares for the rest of that night, though Sam did awake to the evidence of a very different kind of dream pressing snugly and insistently against her bare ass the next morning.