A/N: I am a genius! I still can't upload anything, so I had to improvise. I simply went to one of my stories, exported a chapter deleted everything within, pasted the new chapter and then uploaded it as a new chapter. HAHA!
The chapter name is meant to be symbolic, so no stupid questions about it, okay? Good.
Posted: June 22, 2006
Valerie woke up in the middle of night as she found herself securely within Nathan's hold. She faced him as he slept and as her eyes adjusted to the darkness she could see that it was peacefully. Valerie pondered his expression. He seemed so carefree, so innocent. How could a man with such a sweet and caring face, do the things he had done to her? How could he say such threatening words, and then claim to love her in the next breath? How did she allow someone like this into her life?
Valerie found she couldn't stop her quivering mouth or the tears brimming in her eyes as she said to herself again that she wanted out. She wanted out of this room, out of this bed, and out for his arms. She started to pull away, almost desperately, putting a hand on his shoulder and trying to lift his arm from around her waist, but she did so in vain, as she only discovered that Nathan was a light sleeper. Then, in what seem to be one swift and continuous motion he stopped her hands and pulled her tighter against his naked flesh. "What are you doing?" he asked her, not even bothering to open his eyes to look at her.
"Only- only going to the bathroom," she told him. It was the only place she could go where she wouldn't have to look at him, if only for a little while.
"Don't take long," was all he said before he released her and shifted in the bed so now that his back was to her. Valerie, as quickly as she could, rose from the bed, the sound of her chains disturbing the once quiet air. She closed the door as much as she could before sitting on the edge of the tub, it was still filled with water as Nathan had forgotten to let it out after their last bath.
She held her hands in front of herself and concentrated as hard as she could. A small smile came to her face as she watched the black and red fabric of her Ghosthunter 2.0 suit slowly materialized around her fingers, her hands, and then her forearms. But as it began to go pass her elbows, it suddenly seem stuck. It tried to stretch onward and Valerie looked pleading of it, but her pleads would go unanswered as the material dissolved away.
"Dammit!" Valerie cried in a loud whispered. She then gasped as she turned towards the door hoping Nathan hadn't heard her. She waited for a very tense moment, before she sighed in relief and relaxed her shoulders when she realized he hadn't. "Dammit," she said again. She just didn't understand.
Valerie had tried summoning her suit before, but with less than staler results. She knew it was because of all the drugs Nathan was pumping into her body. And although Nathan had lowered the dosage several times, something in her brain still wasn't connecting correctly.
Valerie then rested her hand on her slowly protruding stomach. Valerie wore her ghost detecting watch all the time and so had it on the night she was kidnapped. It now rested on the nightstand next to the bed. It was the only thing Nathan had allowed her to keep, other than her pajama top.
What worried Valerie was that it hadn't gone off in days and she didn't know what to think of it. Either her baby just wasn't going ghost or it was. . . Valerie shook her head from that train of thought. Nathan wanted this child, that she knew for certain. She didn't know what kind of drugs he was giving her, but she knew. . . she hoped, they weren't effecting her baby.
All of a sudden, Valerie was overcome with a huge amount of guilt. "Oh, God," she whispered as she rested her face in her hands. She wondered if there was truly a point in her pregnancy where she didn't want this child? How could she have thought like that? Of course she was mad at Danny, about his lies and what he was, but she had no right to try to take that anger out on his child. . . her child.
She then started to wonder about Danny, about if he was looking for her and if he would find her, because Valerie could slowly feel herself going insane just a little bit more every time Nathan forced himself upon her. She had thought, if she had pretended to be willing, if she just closed her eyes and thought of Danny, that it wouldn't be as bad. But he wasn't Danny, no matter how much she wished he was. Valerie didn't know how much more of this she could handle and at some points, she just wanted to die.
"Didn't I tell you not to take long?" Valerie's head snapped up from her hands to find Nathan standing in the doorway of the bathroom and he did not look pleased.
Valerie violently shook her head. "Nathan, I-" she had begun, but he gave her no chance for excuses as the back of his hand streaked across her face with such a brutal force that she lost her placing and fell back into the water filled tub. Her mouth was open when she fell in so when she rose above the surface she spit out the water she had taken in. "Nathan, no!" she screamed to him as his hand went around neck and he dunked her head back beneath the water.
She grabbed onto his wrist as she struggled to loosen his grip, which tighten with each word that he spoke. "I don't like being yelled at, Valerie," he told her angrily. "And when I tell you to do something, I expect you to obey. Do you understand?" Valerie shook her head. She would have agreed to anything at the fear of downing as she didn't know how long she could hold her breath. Nathan then loosened his grip, but still held her beneath the water. "You belong to me and don't you soon dare forget that," he made clear. He then watched as Valerie's eyes pleaded for him to let her up, he did so, but only when he saw her mouth open and try to take a breath of air that she couldn't take. Valerie then bolted straight up out of the water, having a coughing fit as fresh air filled her lungs once again.
Nathan then stood up and grabbed a large bath towel off the railing. He sat back down on the edge of the tub before reaching out to Valerie and helping her to sweep her now wet and matted hair out of her face. "There we go," he said gently as he tucked it behind her ear. He then took one corner of the bath towel, that he had resting in his lap, and took his time as he dried her face. He gave a heavy sigh. "Sometimes I don't think you appreciate me," he began. "Or the things I've done for you." He then placed his hand beneath her chin and lifted her gaze to his. "Do you know what I've done for you?" he asked.
Valerie shook her head. "No."
He smiled as he released her face. "As I remember, you were never too fond of that Manson girl, were you?" Valerie said nothing. He frowned. "I never liked her either or the way she treated you when it came to Fenton," he told her. "It was quite tricky really. Pulling something like that off, in the middle of the day, in a parking lot full of people." Valerie only looked at him, confused at his words. "Truth is, I don't know anything about cars. I wouldn't even have known what to cut, if it hadn't been that movie we went to on our first date. Of course, everything didn't go as I had hoped, I heard she only broke a leg, but-" he smiled happily as he leaned in and kissed Valerie's dry forehead before whispering, "-I must say, when I learned that Fenton was the main suspect, it was a good runner-up prize." Valerie's eyes grew wide as she finally pieced together what he was talking about.
"You didn't," she said in disbelief as Nathan pulled away.
He then rose from his seat again, leaving the towel within her reach. "Hurry up and finish drying off. Then come back to bed," he told her before leaving the bathroom. As soon as Nathan left her sight, the tears Valerie were once able to hold at bay, broke free and ran down her cheeks as she found herself wishing he had drowned her.
"What?" Sam stopped what she was doing, which was rinsing off the dishes she and Tucker had used to make breakfast.
Tucker's head was down, staring at his submerged hands within the dishwater. He had waited so long to ask that question, but never had the nerve, for fear of the answer. They had been arguing since her accident and about Danny attending their wedding. He wanted to ask it every time they did, but just couldn't. Eventually he just gave in to what Sam wanted. But then today, completely out of nowhere, it slipped from his lips, but that didn't make it any easier to repeat. "Do you still love Danny?"
"What?" Sam said once again, still not believing she had just heard it, but as she looked at Tucker and the blank, detached look on his face, she knew she had and so she placed her words carefully. "Of course I do," Tucker eyes closed, "but as a friend and you know that, Tucker." Sam turned off the running water and dried her hands. She then paused for a moment as if something finally dawned on her. She turned to him. "Is this what this whole thing has been about?" she asked him. "Is that the real reason you didn't want Danny at our wedding, because you thought I was still in love with him?" Tucker hadn't moved. "Tucker!" she said loudly to get his attention.
Tucker finally just weakly shrugged. "I don't know. I don't know what I thought." He turned around, still not looking at Sam as he walked to the kitchen table, water from his hands dripping onto the floor. Sam took her crutches in her hands and made her way over to him as he continued. "Honestly, I didn't want Danny at your wedding even before the accident."
Sam looked at him oddly. "Why?" she queried as she set her crutches by her feet.
"I keep having this dream," he began softly. "It's our wedding day and we're at the alter. All of our friends and family are there and everyone is so happy." He then finally looked up at her. "You're in the middle of saying your vows and then you just kind of trail off and look around the church. You don't even look at me as you tell them you can't go through with it. That our relationship was never supposed to go this far and I was only meant to be your rebound after Danny. You then confess that you still love him," he told her. "I just need to know if you do, to tell me now, because it's one thing to dream about it," he began shaking his from side to side as he slowly lowered it, "but if I have to live it, Sam, I swear. . ." his voiced faded.
"Tucker," Sam reached out and touched his leg. "You are such an idiot," she told him laughing, curious Tucker met her joy felt eyes. "Are you telling me, some silly dream has gotten to you?" She leaned in as her laughter subsided. "I love you, Tucker Foley. I would never do anything that cruel."
"You did to Danny," Tucker said seriously.
Sam looked as if she had been slapped as she straightened up. Her brow then creased. "Yeah, after he put Valerie before me, mind you." Tucker sighed as he realized he messed up. He was about to apologize, but before he could the phone ranged. Sam grabbed her crutches and stood up. "I'll go finish the dishes," she announced before walking away from him.
Tucker got up before he walked to pick up the phone that hung on the wall. "Hello?"
"Tuck? It's me, Danny," he said.
"Hey man, whassup?" he asked as he leaned against the wall and watched Sam as she washed the remaining few dishes.
"Nothing much," he stated casually. "I was just wondering if you could come bail me out of jail?"
Tucker cocked at eyebrow. "What the hell did you do now, Danny?" he asked.
"I didn't do anything," he said a little bitterly, not liking Tucker's tone. "Valerie never dropped the restraining order because I just learned that she's missing and her father is blaming me of course."
"Alright, I understand." Tucker pushed himself off the wall and sat back down. "Why don't you just go intangible and slip through without anyone noticing?" Tucker asked.
"I thought about that too, but I don't know how long it will take to find Valerie, and if they find me missing before I can locate her, I can be in more trouble than I'm already in," he explained. "Tucker, please, I need you to have my back on this," he begged.
Tucker didn't even need a split of a second to make his choice. "Give me half an hour and I'll come and get you, okay?"
"No problem," he whispered before hanging up the phone. He then looked up to see Sam looking asking of him. "Danny," he indicating, holding up the phone. "Valerie is missing and he needs us to bail him out of jail," he laid out the story for her.
Sam nodded her head. "I'll go get dress," she told him before leaving the kitchen.
An hour later, Danny was bailed out of jail and riding in the back seat of Sam's car as Tucker drove. Things had been oddly quiet between the two them. "Is everything okay guys?" he asked.
"Everything is good," Sam's eyes didn't leave from looking out the window. "Right, Tucker?"
"Yeah," Tucker said softly. "Peachy even."
Danny shook his head, knowing it was anything but 'Peachy', but he didn't have time to get to the story behind their dispute, there were other pressing matters at hand. "Val has to be found," he got to the matter at hand.
"Yes, we know," Sam said to him. "So where should we began?" she asked.
Danny frowned. "I don't know. I mean, up until last night, I thought she was either home, but not answering her phone or studying at the library for finals."
"Well then, we should start asking around," Sam suggested. "Her neighbors, her friends-"
"She didn't have a lot of friends," Danny admitted sadly. "It was pretty much just us."
Sam's forehead furrowed. "No," she drawled. "I've- well kind of met one of her friend's before. A redheaded boy. It was the day of my accident actually. Never caught his name."
"Yeah." Danny balled his hand up into a fist. "I know of the redhead," he said trying to keep his voice even as he remembered the night he had seen Valerie kiss the guy in question. "But I don't know his name either. So we can scratch that."
"Alright then, plan 'A' we ask her neighbors," Sam confirmed.
"Actually," Tucker spoke. "I may have a better idea."
"Well spit it out, Tuck," Danny demanded of him.
"Tell me, Valerie's watch, she wears it all the time, right?" Tucker asked.
Both Sam and Danny looked at him curiously. "Yeah, what of it?" Danny asked.
Tucker put on his signal light and looked over his shoulder before changing lanes. "I have an idea. It's a long shot, but I think it may work."
"Well, what it?" Sam asked, growing impatient.
"Valerie's watch is very high tech. It's a prototype of one of Vlad Co.'s on going projects. There's a device within the watch, that may help us find her, but it is still in its beginning stages, so it may not be fully functioning and even if it is, it will only allow us to know what grid she is in and not the exact location."
"But you can track her, right?" That was the only thing that was important to Danny.
"My guess would be, yes," Tucker answered. Danny smiled at him and placed his hand on his shoulder.
Sam only looked a little concern. "How do you know so much about her watch?"
Tucker took a quick look at Sam and then Danny before his eyes went back to the road. "Because I designed it."
It took Danny a moment to realize the depths of his words and when he did, his eyes grew a bit wide and he released the boy. "You- you work for Vlad?"
"Yes," Tucker admitted. "He's a silent partner for the company I work for. So in case you're wondering: No, I didn't take the position, knowing I would be under the Vlad name."
"But you kept the job, even after you found out?" Sam asked.
"Of course I did," Tucker looked at Sam angrily for a moment. "It's my dream job. I busted my ass to get where I am. And in five years, after I've busted my ass some more, I'll have Glenn's job and then be able to move up."
"I understand that, but you should have considered Danny and how-" she was cut off.
"Danny?" Tucker yelled, looking at her in disbelief. "Yes, he's my best friend, but not every decision I make involves him. I mean, for crying out loud, it's not like I betrayed him, it's not like I'm Vlad's second hand man and we're planning something diabolical or something," he explained. Danny only sat back as he tried not to interfere with the couple's relationship.
"But it's still Vlad's company," she countered. "He's Danny's enemy, which makes him ours." Tucker rolled his eyes. "Couldn't you just work at another company, not owned by him."
"Come on, Sam, where have you been for the last several years?" he asked. "Vlad is steadily buying up everything he can within Amity Park. So you want me to go to another company, not knowing if he already owns it or not until I start working there? Then what if he does, quit and go to another one?" He shook his head. "My reputation would be shot, because I am more than capable of doing the job, but employers would see me as a flake and unreliable."
"That wouldn't matter, Tucker," Sam began. "If that did happen, know that I was serious before, you wouldn't have to work. It's not like we need the money," she said softly as she leaned over and rested her hand on his thigh. "We can spend the days traveling the world, lounging on exotic beaches, sipping on Piña Coladas, and raising money for all kinds of charities."
"No, I want more than that, Sam. Iwant my career," he told her. "I want to at least pretend that I'm able to take care of you, pretend that you need me, pretend that I'm more than just. . ." he shook his head.
"Tucker," she whispered as she realized how deep Tucker's insecurities actually ran.
"I don't want to talk about it anymore," he stated as he removed her hand from his thigh and continued to drive.
After going through several securities points, which involved a metal detector, a retina scan, and fingerprint recognition they arrived in a long hall with many doors. As they walked down the long corridor, slowly because of Sam's condition, Sam looked around curiously. "What exactly do you do here again, Tucker?" she asked. Danny also looked at Tucker, looking for a answer as well.
But the question went unanswered as they arrived at their desired destination. Tucker pulled out a keycard and swiped in where a door knob would be on any regular door. He typed in a nine digit password before the door beeped, hissed, and then slow came open. The three friends then entered the room. Sam and Danny were amazed as they looked upon the largest computer they had ever seen. "Good morning, Sofia," Tucker spoke clearly.
"Voice recognition accepted," spoke a computer in a very robotic manner. "Good morning, Mr. Foley. How are you today?" the voice spoke again, but this time it sounded like a woman, but not just any woman, but Sam.
Sam smiled sweetly at the slight embarrassed look that filtered onto Tucker's face. He then coughed as he tried to cover up his expression. "I'm doing well," he responded as he took a sit in front of a large monitor. Several hidden departments opened and out came what could only be describe as a keyboard, but far beyond what you would find in your local computer store. Tucker switched several dial and lights came on all around the large computer. Danny and Sam could only watch as Tucker did what he did best.
The monitor then came on showing a very realistic picture of the earth. "Alright, Sofia, we're going to be doing a scan for Prototype V four dash two." Tucker than began typing, his fingers moving with great grace across the board. The picture of the earth than began to zoom in as it eliminated where Valerie wasn't located. Tucker then leaned back in his chair as he twirled a dread lock around his finger that had come lose. The monitor then focused on their state before it was divided into many grids. One then began to blink. "Bingo!" he said in triumphantly as he bolted up.
Tucker than pressed a few more keys and another hidden door came open. Tucker pulled out what looked to be a PDA and connected it to the computer to download the file. When it was finished he stood up and handed it to Danny. "The blinking area is grid seventeen. That's as far as I can narrow it down. Hopefully it'll be enough."
Danny looked down at the device before looking back to Tucker. "I know it will be," he reassured him before taking a step back, going invisible and then intangible before flying through the walls towards grid seventeen.
It only took Danny an hour to get where he needed to be, but he had gone at top speed and somewhat regretted it as he touched down and became tangible again. He had never flow at that speed for so long before and so sat down on the forest floor as he the studied the map on the PDA to check his own location, but it had done all it could do and now Danny was on his own.
"I should have thought this through," he thought out loud as he stood back up and began to pace. Grid seventeen was a large area, alone it would take him days to locate her. He thought of coping himself and each going in different directions, but he knew from experience that once they reached a certain distance from the original they could not sustain themselves and became useless.
Danny than ran his fingers through his white hair as stressed filled his features and for some odd reason thought of Tucker, twirling his finger around his dread lock. He always thought he looked so girly doing that and then remembered thinking the same thing during his dream when he saw his son fuss about his hair. "That's it," Danny cried as he sat back down, going into his human form. He took a deep breath and hoped with everything he had that this would work. He had to concentrate hard as he tried to release his ghost self, but focusing seemed to be the last thing on his mind.
He didn't know where Valerie was. He didn't know if she was in trouble or if she was okay. He wondered if she had finally given into temptation and donned her ghost gear and gotten into something way over her head. He needed to find her and now. Danny screamed in frustration, which incidentally accomplished what he was trying to do in the first place as his ghost self escaped from his mouth. Danny couldn't see it, but he could feel it and so closed his eyes.
With his eyes closed he was able to see what his ghost self saw. He then proceeded to allow his ghost self to copy itself, dividing his vision behind his closed eyes lids. It was a little sickening at first, but had no time to get used to it as he sent his twelve ghost self copies in different directions. He would have produced more, but was not sure if he could watch over more than twelve, for this was still very new to him. So Danny tried to relax as he held his stomach and tried not to toss his cookies.
It was more than an hour into the search, with the ghost clones checking out anything that looked suspicious around the mountain and forest like section of grid seventeen. One clone was zipping by his dedicated area so quickly that he nearly missed a small looking cabin hidden behind many thick trees, he wouldn't have thought anything of it, as he went closer, but the bars on all the windows looked so out of place in such a secluded region of the state.
The clone simply thought the owner to be paranoid and so turned around to leave, when he heard a scream from within the cabin. Then the clone heard Danny within his mind, telling him to check the place out. The clone nodded and obeyed as he turned around and phased himself without hesitation into the cabin. Mean while, Danny left the other clones to their own devices as the eleven separate visions faded into black and he focused on one's line of sight for the moment.
The clone made his way carefully through the cabin towards where he believed the scream had come from before going through the wall close to the door and found exactly the person he had been looking for. But Danny, who had been at the edge of nausea, no longer had that problem, for his stomach had dropped so low he could feel it his groin. He had been so worried about her, thinking she was in some kind of trouble, only to discover her in bed with another man, the same redheaded guy he had seen those months ago. And as he watch the other man pull her closer to him, Danny knew he had been a fool to think she had actually forgiven him and had accepted who he was. The clone then turned his head away and was about to head back to Danny when he heard Valerie's voice. "Please. . . why won't you just let me go home?" Danny and his clone clearly heard fear within her words.
The clone turned around as he actually looked around the room, too shocked by the initial sight in front of him to take notice of it. He then saw the long chain connected to the bed and how parts of it disappeared under the sheets the two laid beneath. He then noticed the night stand that held Valerie's watch and a tray with a bottle of alcohol, cotton balls, and a full needle on it.
The clone then watched as the redhead sat up and leaned over Valerie to check the watch. "Time for your medication, my sweet," he announced softly. The clone frowned as the other man sat up and pulled out Valerie's arm, which was lined with many track marks.
"Please, I'll be good today, I promise," she begged as he prepped her arm before picking up the needle and placing it to her arm. The clone grew angry as he watched the redhead try to drug Valerie. He went over prepared to yank him off of her, but his hands went right through him and the clone looked at himself, confused.
"Shit!" Danny yelled miles away as he opened his eyes, because though his clones had no distant limit, being divided greatly lowered their power, something he didn't learn until a moment ago. He stood up, but couldn't go ghost when his ghost self had left his body. Danny closed his eyes and called all his ghost clones back to him. Wherever they were they puffed into nothing, instantly returning them to him. Now whole, Danny went ghost, and flew across the forest like a streak of light. "Valerie!" he yelled when he arrived at the cabin. He entered the room quickly near the same place his clone had enter and froze in the exact same spot when his feet touch the ground.
His feet would not allow him to move as he discovered Valerie now appeared to be alone within the room. The sheets that once covered her body now seemed to be on the floor on the other side of the bed away from Danny's view. Danny took in the sight of Valerie as her body lay naked and beaten on the bed.
She looked so fragile and broken as he realized she wasn't moving, "Valerie?" his throat finally allowed him to whispered, but there was no response from her. "Valerie?" he called louder from where he stood, now almost afraid to approach her as his anger started to build within his body.
This anger, it was intense as Danny shook in it, his hand coming up to his chest as he grabbed tightly onto the material of his uniform and pressed his fist against his ribcage. He had felt this type of anger before and could not let it control him, because Danny knew if he did, he was liable to kill the one who did this to her. And though the redheaded man who did this deserved death, Danny would not allow more blood to stain his hands. He had only been focused to kill once, but it had been with great remorse.
Jazz had surprisingly fallen in love with Dash Baxter and more to everyone's surprise, they were happy. So happy that it made you sick to watch them. But Dash was not as clueless as some had come to believe. He noticed the quiet, but vivid conversations Danny and Jazz had when they thought he wasn't paying attention and how they seem to talk in code when they were in ear range of him. One night Jazz was worried more than the usual when it came to her brother as she said to herself, "I can't believe he's moving in with her. Doesn't he know that girl is going to be the death of him?"
She was startled as Dash came up behind her and asked why she thought that, but she gave him no answer. Dash, tired of being left in the dark, followed Danny one night and finally discovered why Jazz was always so worried about him as he watched him turn into Danny Phantom. But Dash would never have a chance share his discoveries with anyone as he was attacked by a parasite type ghost, which attached itself completely to Dash, controlling everything that he did. It was almost like Dash never existed and for all intent and purposes he was already gone.
Trying to explain that to Jazz was difficult as she didn't believe that Dash wasn't still her Dash. Danny always hated how Jazz was always right, but it was the first time in his life that he wish she wasn't wrong. His wish did not come true as the parasite that held Dash became desperate at some point and took Jazz hostage.
The moment Danny heard her scream in pain, nothing existed outside of it. When he came out of his daze, all he continued to hear was screaming, he then realized he was covered in blood that was not his own. He looked down at an unrecognizable body before him and his sister cowering in the corner as she continued to scream. When he tried to approach her, she only screamed harder, before running away from him. When it was all over, Jazz had packed her things and moved out of Amity Park. She hadn't spoken to him since.
"Valerie," he called again, his feet finally allowing him towards her. He reached out for her slowly. His fingers were but a brush away when Valerie's eyes immediately flew open at what could hardly be qualified as a touch, and started yelling for him not to touch her anymore. Danny grabbed onto her firmly as he told her it was okay, that it was him, that he had found her.
"Da- Da- Danny?" she hyperventilated. "Danny?"
"Yes, it's me," he confirmed before Valerie broke down into tears and clung onto him.
"He hurt me. He hurt me," was all Valerie could say through her sobs, causing Danny to tighten his hold around her.
As she cried, Danny realized it didn't matter what he thought before, he would kill this man, and he would take great pleasure in doing so. "Where is he?" Danny asked in a voice Valerie had never heard him use before.
"I just want to go home," she begged.
"Where is he?" he asked again as he rose from the bed despite Valerie's protest. She gave him no answer and so he went to find him himself, but not before touching the chain around her ankle and melting the insides until it popped open and she was free.
Danny than made his way out the room and down the hall carefully, going deeper into the house. He blinked in surprised as he straightened up and found the redhead man laying on his back and naked on the floor within the living room area. Danny went closer to investigate as he knelt down, he discovered an empty syringe sticking out of his neck and his eyes rolled in back of his head. "I learned what an air bubble does in the blood stream," Danny's head snapped around and he saw Valerie, covered in a sheet from the bed, leaning on the wall.
Danny stood up as Valerie made her way over, her legs a bit wobbly as she walked. She then knelt down beside Nathan and gently touched his face. Danny frowned at the gesture, wondering what she was thinking as her other hand snake out from underneath the sheet. Danny's eyes then widen and his head jolted back as he watched Valerie break his neck before spitting in his face. "Damn bastard," she spoke through gritted thee. "If you even think about coming back as a ghost I'll make your afterlife a living hell."
Danny then reached down to touch Valerie's shoulders and frowned once again as she flinched away from him. "Come on, Valerie," he whispered, his hand extended to her. "Let's go home." Valerie looked at his hand and then up into his green eyes before nodding her head and accepting his offer. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he picked her up and he left the ground, his legs turning into his tail as they did so. They went intangible and went straight up until they were over the top of the trees.
Valerie held on tightly to Danny, not out of fear of flying, because she had none, and not out of fear of being dropped, because she knew he never would, but out of fear that this was a dream and that she would wake up and that she would be back in that cabin alone with Nathan. And so she prayed that it wasn't as she closed her eyes and rested her head against Danny.
Danny looked at Valerie as he held her in his arms and listened to the steady rhythm of her breathing. When he walked into that room, he honestly believed that he had been too late and feared that he would never again be able to do something as simple as watching her sleep. For in doing so, he knew he would never let any harm come to her again and if someone did happen to get pass him, Danny knew -good guy or not- he would take that person down without mercy. And he was as sure of that as she breathed.
"I love you, Valerie," he spoke sweetly.
"I love you too, Danny," he heard her softly respond, her eyes still closed.
"Through anything?" he asked with a smile.
Valerie could feel his smile and so gave him one of her own even before she opened her eyes. "Through it all," she whispered, knowing it was a promise she would never again break.
A/N: As you can see, I left this story opened for a prequel before 'Heartbeat' and a sequel to this one, but I'm telling your right now I'm not writing jack. :-D
Really, I'm not kidding. In place of them, I would like to offer a Challenge (because I'm lazy!). For the prequel, I would of course like to see a tear jerking Jazz/Dash story. And for the sequel a Sam/Tucker story with the supporting rolls of Danny/Valerie. Maybe you can even answer the question of what Tucker really does for a living. :Insert Evil Laughter Here: