Star began to look up, but Paulina noticed and she not-so-subtly jabbed Star in the ribs with her elbow.

"Oow-" Star's indignant shriek of pain was cut short by Paulina's interjecting,

"Uh, look at this picture Star!" A scowling Star grudgingly leaned over to see what it was and took the album into her own hands, Paulina looked up and feigned surprise. "Oh, Danny! We thought you left!" He smiled nervously before raising his hand to rub the back of his neck but changed his mind halfway through; his sharp wince did not go unnoticed by Paulina. "What happened? Problem while you were out?"

"Uh, I never left Paulina."

"Really? Could've fooled us. Anyways, what's up with this picture?" Danny looked confused for a moment before walking over,

"What pict- oh, that one." He smiled involuntarily and Paulina looked at Star, "That was when my parents finished their ghost portal." Star and Paulina shared a look and another silent conversation, 'So that's why it looked so familiar! It was the green swirly thing in the basement!' 'Yeah, what's with Danny though?' 'Besides the obvious? Well-' 'No! I mean the Danny in the picture! Who wears black and white HAZMAT suits anyways?' 'Phantom does…' 'Paulina! Snap out of it! Danny Fenton is still here!' Both girls straightened and retuned their attention to the boy in front of them. Danny, who was not versed at all in girl silent-conversations, had a recurring feeling that he was missing something. "Sam took it." Paulina visibly cringed at the mention of her enemy and Danny raised an amused eyebrow. Paulina, a bit angry at Danny's lie, decided to put some pressure onto him,

"So, where were you Danny?"

"Uh, upstairs, in, um, my room." Came the slightly stuttered reply,

"Really?" Paulina's voice gained a sharp edge, "Because when we went up there it didn't look like there was anyone there." His eyes widened and he opened and closed his mouth silently for a few seconds before pulling himself together and replying.

"You went in my room? Why?"

"Because Danny," Paulina slammed the album closed on her lap and lightly tossed it onto the coffee table then stood up, "When we were screaming our heads off in your kitchen for at least ten minutes, nobody came! And when Star was attacked by those ecto-weenies, I had to be the one to help her! I had to be the one who was looking for something to get rid of them, and I was the one who sucked them into the thermos-y thing! Not. You. And you know what? Now I have a chipped nail, I was covered in goop," Paulina's voice steadily rose and she help up her 'emaciated' fingernail, "I was shot at in that danger zone you call a – oomph!" Star had seen where this was going and, knowing that Paulina would regret their secret getting out more than this, she ungraciously elbowed her friend in the ribs. Paulina, in her extremely agitated state, whirled on the other girl, "What was that for!" Star looked from Paulina to Danny and back,

"Well, um, you know someone doesn't know about something, or about us hmhmm-ing certain something's and doing a certain thing with those something's when a, um, something did something up in someone's, uh, ceiling?" Paulina's eye twitched,

"Star. If you're not going to make sense…DON'T SAT ANYTHING AT ALL!" Throughout all of this, Danny kept still and silent, wondering what in the world Star was talking about, and how a certain flame-headed 'hunter' was going to pay dearly later when he had enough time. Star took hold of her friend's shoulders and began to speak soothingly,

"Relax Paulina, there's shopping, and spa treatments, and shoes, and prom dresses, and boys, and clothes, and tanning, and popularity, and-"Star's speaking was interrupted as Paulina raised her hand,

"Okay, that's enough Star. And thanks, I lost myself for a moment."

"It was nothing Paulina." Paulina sighed,

"I know, but I felt like being nice for a second there. And you're still going to owe me that shirt by the way." Paulina brushed past Star's incredulous face and sat back down onto the couch. Danny, noticing that Star wasn't moving, stood in front of her and snapped his fingers a couple of times. When Star slowly started showing signs of coming to, he waited for a moment. Then, just as Star was about to turn to Paulina, he grabbed her shoulders and made her face him. For a moment, Star just stood there in shock and her heart stopped, his face was right in front of hers and one of his eyebrows was raised. 'Wow, I'm actually jealous of the goth gi- Sam, he's so cute…Wait! No, he's a loser, he's a loser, he's a…Makes me wish I was one too.' Before either she or Paulina could say anything though, he spoke,

"What was that?" Star fidgeted,

"Well, uh, you see…" She looked to Paulina for help, Paulina graciously complied.

"It was something Star and I came up with for when one's agitated or about to say something that we'd otherwise not want to be said. It can go on for hours." Danny's astounded eyes met hers,

"Hours? Seriously?"

"Yes. And now, 'seriously'" Paulina made air quotes and sneered, "Where. Were. You." The anger was leaking back into her voice, and Danny knew he was in for it if he didn't tell her the truth, but he couldn't tell her the truth. He was cornered. He couldn't say he was in the house, because they combed through it looking for him…but, the lab. They couldn't have gone in there, but they might have suspected he'd be down there and kept watch on it. Plus, he walked down the stairs. They might be thick, but they weren't stupid. At least most of the time.

"I was, uh, you see…"Danny trailed off, looking for a believable excuse,

"Well? I don't have all day you know." Paulina crossed her arms and then began tapping her foot.

"Running errands? Yeah, I was running errands. For my mom." Paulina raised her eyebrows,

"And what errands did you run? Couldn't have been dishes. Or laundry. And definitely not groceries; unless you flew them up to your room invisibly and stashed them in a wall of course." Danny couldn't believe his ears, his mouth opened and his eyes widened again. 'Do they know?' The thought kept circling in his head,

"B-but I…H-how'd y-you-"

"Oh can it Danny! We know you ditched us!" Paulina interrupted. Realizing that they didn't know a thing, Danny decided to give them the truth. Or at least part of it.

"Yes Paulina, I ditched you guys." Star's eyebrows went up at his apparent confession and Paulina just drummed her fingers on her crossed arms, "But, it wasn't my choice. I had to."

"And just what did you have to do?"Paulina interjected,

"Well, as I was saying, I had to." Here, Danny paused, not knowing exactly what he was going to say,

"Yes, we know that already. But what was it that you had to do?"

"It was, uh, it was…"

"Ha! I knew it! You're making it up!" Paulina crowed triumphantly,

"Nonono! It's just…I'm embarrassed to tell you…"

"Oh really? And what pray tell are you so embarrassed to tell us about?"

"I…" Danny could practically see the lightbulb – no, even he had to admit – candle appear over his head, "I was applying for a job."

"What's so embarrassing about that?" Star piped up in the background,

"…At the Nasty Burger."

"Oh…"

"Oh come on! Valerie has a job there; it's not that embarrassing Danny."

"Well, it's just that…"

"Just that what?"

"…I got turned down…" There was silence for a moment before the girls burst into laughter and flopped onto the couch holding on to their stomachs. Danny's ears reddened and he tried to regain some respect back after announcing his imaginary job denial,

"Well, it wasn't that I wasn't good enough-" The girls laughed harder and Paulina spoke up,

"Obviously! No one isn't good enough for the Nasty Burger!"

"Yes well, they were full! And they didn't have space for a new employee!"

"Oh really? So that's why we saw the 'Work Wanted' sign in their window the other day?"

"They had already found someone!"

"Who would be so eager to get a job there of all places?" This silenced Danny, and he decided to retreat with what dignity he had left and brood silently until they were somewhat calmer.

After what seemed like hours, Paulina and Star finally calmed down enough to sit upright. Paulina wiped her eyes to rid herself of any tears caused by their laughter. It was then that she noticed what he was wearing. Or, to put it better, what was draped over his shoulders. Of all the things in the house, he had chosen to wear a blanket wrapped around his shoulders. Paulina turned to Star and jerked her head in his direction.

"Get your camera." She mouthed,

"Why?" Star mouthed back.

"I want to prove to the other A-list girls that we're not crazy when we tell them about him." Star nodded and then turned to her purse and started rummaging around. Paulina got up and walked over to him, then stood with her hands on her hips.

"Why are you wearing that?" Danny spun around and came face-to-face with her, their noses almost touching; his arms shot out and he stumbled backwards. Paulina raised her eyebrows. "Well?"

"I was, uh, cold."

"Well Star is too. And that is the only clean blanket around."

"There's another one in-"

"Nonononono. You live here, you're the host. Give her that one and just go get another. Whats wrong with that?"

"Um, it's just that, uh," He looked down at himself, "There's a stain on it."

"So?" Came the retort, "It's not like it's covered in blood." Danny licked his lips apprehensively and kept chanting, 'They don't know. They don't know. They don't know.' in his head.

"Well I'm sure she would rather have a clean one so I'm, just gonna go upstairs and get one-"

"Just give me the dumb blanket Danny!"

"Why? What's so special about this one?" Paulina, fed up with his stubbornness, reached out and grabbed the blanket as fast as she could. Too bad it wasn't fast enough.

"Hey!" he shouted, "Let go!"

"It's just a blanket Danny!"

"NO already!" Knowing he would either accidentally let go of the blanket or it would flap open, he yanked up. And lifted her off the ground. Star's mouth hung open, but Paulina was quick to exploit anything.

"Ahh! My arm!" 'Oh no,' Danny thought, 'What did I do?' He quickly lowered her to the floor and knelt over her,

"Are you okay Paulina? You're not hurt are you?"

"No," she whispered, then her voice rose to a yell, "I'm just cold!" And with a last tug, tore the blanket off him. The girls gaped at him, whatever they had been expecting; a bloody Danny hadn't been it. He had a long cut from his right shoulder to mid abdomen. It looked like a shallow one, but they couldn't be sure.

"Um, Paulina, I can explain…" Danny calmly intoned, but he had no answer. The silence was broken by a sharp, 'Click!' followed by a flash, coming from Star, who was holding the camera she had taken from her purse.


I am SO sorry I haven't updated sooner! I have had ¾ of this story on my laptop ALL SUMMER! Please forgive me!...and review. :P