Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based upon subject matter that is not my own. Pop culture references also do not reflect ownership by me.

Thanks to Danny's hero-complex Sam scored a ride home to properly change so that she didn't have to miss their usual Nasty Burger meet up, or in Tucker's case meat up. She shuddered at the accompanying visual. Not surprisingly Danny was kinda steamed about all the testosterone driven attention she had gotten all afternoon. He was a great friend knowing how much it had bothered her. The resulting ride was awesome, Sam love flying with him. The accompanying lecture was not. It's a uniform Danny; I can't really control how it fits me. And it's gym, I can't wear my old purple tights underneath.

"Honestly Danny, you're taking this out on the wrong person. Do you really think I wanted to walk around in my gym uniform all day?" Danny was currently pacing her bedroom while she stood in clean jeans and a bra in the bathroom. Due to the way he irritated her the whole way here, she really didn't mind making him wait while she washed her hair and changed. Now, having pulled on a black pull over three quarter sleeve hoodie that exposed her midriff, she tossed her gym shirt out the door and dug out her cosmetics. Sam didn't really like going out without her goth gear but smeared mascara screamed something besides 'fear me'. She was relieved she could finally reapply.

A strange gurgling noise alerted her that Danny wasn't really paying any attention. Wringing out her hair she toed open her door.

Huh, I've got fantastic aim. Danny, bright red, was standing there holding her discarded shirt looking rather stunned. "Danny, you okay?" No acknowledgement. "Danny, Earth to Danny, do you copy?" Sam flicked some of the accumulated hair droplets at Danny and finally got his attention.

"Yeah Sam?" Why were his eyes glazed?

"You alright? You kinda look like someone just punched you in the gut, or you're high."

"What? No, I-I'm fine."

"Then why is your voice all high and squeaky?"

"It's not!"

"Is so."

"Is not!"

"Whatever. So, you wanna do me a favor and make me intangible long enough to dry my hair?" Sam held out her hand and wiggled her fingers at him. He smiled making her breath hitch, and reached out. I swear this boy will be the death of me. He isn't even doing anything and I forget to simply breathe. Okay, so he's smiling but it isn't even his sexy smirk! It's just a small, almost nostalgic smile; as if he's fond of me and thinks I'm being cute. I wish he thought of me as cute. Not that he knows that he's got a sexy smirk. Heaven help us all if he ever figures it out and gets the guts to actually use it. And I really ought to stop talking to myself.

Sam didn't think Danny even realized just how different he acted as his Phantom persona. He had more confidence, not just in his abilities but in himself. Not only did he flirt, he was good at it. His smile was always wonderful, but as Phantom it has something extra to it; not just his confidence but something else. Something that allowed him to show a side of himself he would normally never dare to. As Fenton, he had an 'act' that he had to keep up. Fenton is terrified of ghosts, never stands up to anybody, is inept with girls—though truth be told she really didn't mind that part—and was the punching bag of every varsity jock at Casper—which really bothered her. His black hair hung over his gorgeous baby blues and though he 'never worked out' he really was 'six feet of lithe muscle'. Not that his baggy jeans and love of red shirts ever allowed one to truly appreciate it.

As Phantom he was unstoppable, feared nothing, sexy as all hell and the envy of everyone who wailed on Fenton at school. His shockingly white hair still hung over his eyes, but if you thought his blue eyes glowed, you should see them green. Granted green was one of her favorite colors, but damn. If she didn't know better she'd swear one of his ghost powers would be hypnosis because if she ever stared at them too long, she got lost in them. The tight hazmat suit he updated in Junior year so that he'd have pockets to store gadgets, did wonders for allowing him to show off his physique too. The fact that it left little to the imagination was just a perk.

I really don't know how he does it. How he puts up with it all. He's the most amazing person I've ever met even discounting my being head over heels for him. And I can't even tell him. Even if I could, he wouldn't believe it. It's frustrating but then I kinda love even that about him. I am so pathetic.

Of course, he'd now been staring at her stare at him for who knows how long as she thought all this out. She retracted her hand and cleared her throat, I reiterate, I am so pathetic. "Uh, so, I'll just be another minute. I've got to apply my gothic veil of make-up, accessories, and apathetic attitude." Before she could re-enter the bathroom however, Danny made his impatience clear.

"Oh no. I waited for you to shower and then waited for you to dress. You look fine, let's go."

"I don't think so. I spent the afternoon in my gym clothes, make-up smeared, with chocolate milk and saliva in my hair. I'm not venturing out without reapplying!"

"You always wear too much anyway. It's like you don't want anyone to see you or something. Come on Sam, it's just me and Tucker and we like you just the way you are. Let's go!" And he unceremoniously picked her up and phased them through her wall.

"Danny! You didn't even let me put on my bracelets or spiked choker!" She crossed her arms and simmered since goths 'don't pout'. Of course, right now no one would be able to tell she was Goth, just some girl with a preference for dark colors.

"You were taking too long!" And that apparently settled that.

When they got to the Nasty Burger, Danny landed in the alley out back to change into Fenton. Upon entering however, Tucker was nowhere to be seen. Shrugging to each other they approached the counter and of course, Valerie was working. Fantastic. Sam was thankful that Valerie had lain off Danny the last several months, but she knew Val had by no means changed her tune about how she felt about Phantom. Sam was convinced the girl was plotting something no matter how much Tucker and Danny defended her. How in the world can Danny even like someone who routinely tries to kill him?

"Hey Danny, Tucker left this for you. He said something about forgetting he was grounded." Valerie handed over a folded piece of paper.

Damn, I completely forgot about that. Now I do feel bad about taking so long. Sam wondered idly why he'd leave a note when he's had at least half a dozen means to electronically, and instantaneously, inform them of his departure. Judging by the look on Danny's face, whatever Tucker wrote was something he didn't want to listen to Sam reacting to.

"Where's Sam? And who's your friend?" If Sam didn't know better she'd say Val had said that last part with a little bit of animosity. And what did she mean 'where's Sam'?

"Yeah, cute Valerie, real cute." Sam couldn't make her voice any dryer, doing so would mean she'd reached a level of dehydration no one could survive.

"Sam!?" She couldn't tell how genuine Valerie's reaction was. Her eyes widened as if she was shocked and surprised but she'd seen Sam just this afternoon. "What happened to you?"

What the hell? Was it just her or were people seriously working to piss her off today? It was bad enough that she felt naked and exposed but now it was like the naked and exposed feeling was accompanied by pointing and laughter.

"It's just…" now she seemed to be genuinely trying to backtrack and not offend Sam further. Sam didn't really think she looked all that different. So she wasn't wearing her usual make-up, accessories, and her hair was down and unstraightened, big deal. Seriously, who else had purple streaks through their hair? Granted Valerie probably couldn't see them clearly but how unobservant was the girl? She'd seen herself with and without all her goth gear; this was beyond ridiculous. "…you look different."

"Yeah, whatever. I'll have my usual." Is it 'how badly can we piss off Sam day' or something? And Danny, the traitor, was doing a piss-poor job of hiding his snickering. After they'd both gotten their food they walked, or in Sam's case stomped, over to their usual table. And of course Sam forgot to grab a fork; ignoring Danny's look of increasing concern over her seemingly irrational annoyance she stomped back over to the condiments counter.

Actually, it is kinda irrational. Since when have I cared what people think? Wasn't the whole point of being goth in the first place to clearly illustrate just how little I cared what they think? I wear my individuality and utter distain for all things popular so all can see, and fear when necessary. Sam wasn't really liking where her internal monologue was leading. Maybe Danny's right; maybe I've worn the persona so long I've stopped believing in why I started. Maybe I really am wearing it anymore because it proved so effective in keeping people at arm's length.

That made her pause, but she stopped completely when she collided with something large, solid, and alive. "Hey! Watch where you're—hey there. Do you like quarterbacks?" This encounter suddenly took a detour from normal occurrence to out in the boonies of the Twilight Zone. Sam had just run into Dash, and now he was hitting on her.

"Oh my—eww, are you hitting on me!?" I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

"Manson!?" Well, at least she can tell his reaction was genuine. Shock and disgust, a mirror of what she felt at the moment. "Holy hell, what happened to you? You got hot!"

Uh, excuse me? How does one even respond to that? "Uh—"

"Hey, you want to sit with us? Now that you've trashed the goth look, you're totally A-list material! I never noticed how fine you are under all that crud you wear."

Oh hell no he didn't! "Excuse me? You've got some nerve asshole!" And without further ado, she stomped as hard as she could on his left instep, grabbed her fork, and stomped her way back to Danny with the sound of Dash's howling to serenade her way. She was actually seething when she got back to the table where Danny was obviously concerned and angry on her behalf.

"What did he say to you Sam? You want me to take care of it?" His eyes were burning a fierce green and his grip on the table was white knuckled. Sam realized she was feeding him her angry energy. As ghosts sustain themselves while in the human world by the energy given off by humans, Danny was far more in tune with people's emotions than he normally would be. And right now he was getting a less-than-healthy dose of anger, angst, and bitterness. Sam was willing to bet he was just dying to burn some of that off.

I'm supposed to be the level headed one; very rarely do I fail to keep myself in check when I'm around him. If I don't calm down he won't. Too bad I'm having such a hard time calming down. Sam stabbed at her salad with her recently acquired fork, "No, it's fine. I'm fine." She continued stabbing even though her fork was loaded and all she was really doing was making a mess. She really needed to calm down. Besides, she hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast as her lunch was made so unappetizing thanks to Tucker, and she was starving.

Sam only stopped when Danny's hand closed over hers and her fork of destruction. She looked up surprised. It was a good thing Danny still had his human half. Since he's still capable of feeling and influencing his own emotions, his concern for Sam was able to overpower the negative emotions she was practically shoving down his throat. "Sam, what's wrong? You would normally shrug off Valerie's comment and scoff at whatever Dash could come up with. But you've been really upset since lunch. And I know it isn't Tucker because he's done that before and you calmed down as soon as you changed. So what is it?"

"It's nothing. I've just had a rough day." she lied. Yeah, to her best friend. But what was she supposed to do? Tell him that she was upset because girls at school, girls she couldn't stand, thought he was hot? That she was worried that her creepy gothness wasn't going to keep them away forever? That she knew it wasn't right for her to try to keep them away but she was a selfish person that wanted him all to herself? That, as soon as he knew what a hot commodity he was, he was going to bail? Oh, she knew he wouldn't do it on purpose, but he wouldn't be able to help it. No girlfriend would tolerate him having such a close female friend. Especially if it's as obvious to her as it is to Paulina of all people, how hard she'd fallen for him. What the hell was she supposed to say?

"Sam, I don't know anybody who can spin bullshit as good as you, but you have never been able to sell it to me and Tucker. Right now, I'm not buying, so what's really wrong?" Danny, unlike Sam, didn't curse unless he was rather upset so this wasn't boding well. Shit, deflect, DEFLECT!

"Nothing, I swear." Denial, done. Now for the diversion, he wanted to know what's bothering her? Fine. But she was so not telling him why. "You know, I overheard something this afternoon in the ladies room. A certain Latina Barbie was commenting on a certain male of my acquaintance. Bet you can't guess who, and no, it wasn't Tucker." Good, his interest was piqued; he was fighting it but no guy could resist wanting to know what an attractive girl thought of him. "Apparently he's 'six feet of lithe muscle'; can you believe Paulina even knows what that word means, let alone used it in proper context?" She smirked at him, believing to have successfully maneuvered the conversation away from herself.

"And this was while you were changing into your gym uniform?" Huh, not the reaction she'd been expecting. He looked like he was trying to work through a difficult math equation. Actually now that Danny actually had time to study he was pretty good at math; Danny's weak point was definitely English so really he looked like Lancer just asked him the symbolism of the three witches in Macbeth. Overall the effect was, if not quite as adorable as when he was utterly confused, rather cute.

"Yeah, and apparently she wasn't the only one who thought so. Her posse couldn't agree fast enough. You, Mr. Fenton, are 'almost dating material'." Sam added the oh-so-helpful air quotes.

"Almost?" Something about the tone in his voice sent a shiver down Sam's spine. She refused to acknowledge just how badly she enjoyed that sensation.

Oh yeah, he is so hooked. But does the simple action of cocking a questioning brow have to be so damn sexy? He almost seems smug. If his hair was white and his eyes green, I'd even say he was. "There is some question as to the company you keep." She shrugged taking a swig of her water. "Your lack of popularity seems to negate your eligibility."

"What'd they say about you?!" What? Why was he angry? He should be ecstatic and bouncing off the walls cheering. This is definitely not the reaction she had been expecting.

Sam cocked her own eyebrow, "Why do you automatically assume it was me they were referring to?" At the moment Sam was really glad she'd grown her hair out and happened to have not been able to pull it back before Danny whisked her away. It provided a convenient curtain to hide behind when needed, and she had a feeling that she was going to need to hide very soon.

"Because Tucker doesn't even register on their radars as more than a blip, but you," he paired 'you' with finger pointing just to make sure she was still following along or something, "you have been on Paulina's shit list since the dance we went to Freshman year. She's been gunning for you ever since you called her shallow. So what did she say, Sam; and remember your bullshit's no good here." He crossed his arms and sat back, his gaze practically searing through her. This is the opposite of what she'd been trying to accomplish damn it! Deflect, take two.

"Relax Danny, from Paulina, 'creepy goth girl' is practically a compliment. It didn't bother me." That at least is true; Paulina's comments about her didn't bother her.

His eyes only narrowed, "Then what did she say that did bother you?" Damn it, he's dubbed the Clueless One for a reason! Why the hell is he being so damned perceptive today?!

Sam forced an eye roll, flicked her hair, and with a blasé she didn't really feel attempted to cover her ass, "Danny, really, I'm—" She didn't know what she had been going to say but it didn't really matter because at that moment all the hair on her arms and the back of her neck stood on end, a chill shot down her spine, and her fingernails dug into the tabletop. And Danny's ghost sense went off. Wow, some ghosts just have the best timing!

"Of all the times—don't for a second think this is over Sam, we will be talking about this again." he demanded with a glare just for her.

Yeah, that's what you think. "Do you need backup?" she asked with just the right amount of worry and concern in her voice to distract him.

"Probably not, but I'll let you know via Fenton Fone if I do. You should stay here and finish eating; you missed lunch so I know you must be starving. I'm not too worried about it…but if you find yourself with some free time once you've finished…" Danny started rubbing the back of his neck, so potentially Sam wasn't going to like whatever it was that he had in mind. She cocked a brow, "Well, I need to pick up some stuff at the mall." Sam was never one much for shopping, but she was all for spending time with Danny so obviously she wasn't going to say no.

"I'll head over as soon as I'm done. What sorts of stuff are you looking for? I'll get started while I wait for you to catch up."

"Uh, some sort of present for my mom."

"Her birthday?" At his nod she got suspicious. "When is it?"

"Next week! Come on Sam, I'm not that bad!"

"I know, I was just making sure. You do have a habit of procrastinating on stuff like this." With that she waved him off making sure to stick a Fenton Fone in her ear in case he got done early or actually needed help for once.

She didn't have much of an appetite for her mutilated salad but choked down most of it before heading off for the mall. Knowing what she knew about Danny's mom, it shouldn't be too hard to find something for her. The mall wasn't too crowded and she listened in the back of her mind to Danny getting more and more cheesed off at being unable to locate his quarry. The sudden chill down her back and the need to claw something told her why.

"Fear thee, thy puny mortals! I, Pyre, spell your doom!" This was not a ghost Team Phantom had ever encountered before so she didn't really know how bad things were possibly about to get. He was green like most ghosts, but he was also the size of weight lifter, with a similar looking musculature. He looked to be wearing medieval garb and had green flames for hair. If the hair and name were anything to go by, chances were he worked with fire in some way.

"Hey Danny, I've found your ghost." she called to him over the Fenton Fones.

"Where are you?" his voice crackled back.

"The mall. Can't you hear all the running and screaming?"


"What did you think that was?"

"The, uh, background music at that creepy bookstore you like." He even managed to sound sheepish over the static.

"No, not even close." she chuckled at the thought. The Skulk and Lurk wasn't that bad.

"Who is it?"

"Someone new, calls himself Pyre and has fire for hair." Just then Pyre set something on fire and cackled something about taking over the 'village's giant market' to 'rule this corner of the trade route' or some such nonsense. "He shoots fire from his hands."

"I'm on my way. And Sam," here it comes, "please don't do anything until I get there."

"What? I can't hear you over me turning off my Fenton Fone." Yeah, like I'm going to just stand around and watch while a ghost terrorizes the citizens of Amity Park.

Looking around Sam took in her surroundings and assessed the situation. Rule 4, Be aware of your surroundings. So…Pyre deals with fire so how do we weaken him? Water, obviously; but where do we get copious amounts of it? The sprinkler system? But his fires haven't set them off yet so what's the deal? Should I try to get them working or should I try my own special brand of ghost fighting? Mundane or magical? I should really exhaust all my options before resorting to spells. It isn't really something people should play with. Besides, malls are usually rife with security cameras and I can't let that be seen. So sprinkler system it is; where can I set it off?

And then she spotted it. Second floor, just to the right of the escalator there was a red box with a light above it. Fire alarm. So, I'm guessing that fire, if close enough, will set it off. Sam couldn't help but grin. Thank goodness for Rule 6, Never trust the dark and carry two forms of light, a flashlight and a windproof lighter. Besides, what self respecting feminist doesn't carry a means to burn her bra should the occasion call for it? Pyre being distracted at the moment by a display of knock off handbags, made the way to the second floor clear.

Dashing up the stopped escalator, Sam dug in her boot for her lighter. Not that she would ever smoke, but Rule 6 was definitely one of her favorites because it gave her a legitimate excuse to carry around a lighter. You never know when one may be called upon to play—I mean, come to someone's aid—with fire. One precarious lean over the banister that would have given her vertigo if she wasn't so used to flying with Danny later, and water was pouring down in buckets.

"Ack! What is this? Rain indoors?" Pyre was definitely not from this century.

"Hey, FlameHead!" She grimace to herself. Danny ought to leave sarcasm to her, but he could keep the witty banter. It's no wonder he loves puns so much, it's hard to come up with something feasible on the fly.

"Ye, mortal wench! Ye dare challenge me, Pyre, ruler of all things of flame and fire?"

"Wow, did you rip off that speech from the Box Ghost?" Now that she'd succeeded in gaining his attention, she just needed to keep it. And she'd always wanted to do this. Running towards the escalator, she jumped up on the divider and slid her way down to the first floor. Of course she hadn't really thought that through as the sprinklers had made it practically into a waterslide and she came shooting off that thing too fast to land on her feet. Thankfully, Danny wasn't the only one to have picked up on some moves due to ghost fighting. Sam rolled as she landed and came to a stop on her feet. She might not have impressed Prye, but she certainly thought that had been really bad ass and that was what truly mattered after all.

"Ha, little girl, ye cannot mean to stand against me?"

Wow, full of yourself much? "That's exactly what I mean to do. Taste the Fenton—!" She didn't get to finish that thought because Pyre suddenly appeared before her and backhanded her into an electronics display. She went crashing through it and only about a gazillion cell phones landed on top of her. Fantastic. Thank goodness nothing was on because what with water coming down and her already soaked she didn't much care for the idea of her ass getting fried. Before she could dig her way out she found herself dangling by the throat about three feet from the ground. Shit, he's fast! Next time I really ought to listen to Danny.

"What do ye think now saucy wench? Still think ye can face thee? I am Pyre, Lord of all that Burns, Destroyer of the Flammable, new found Ruler of the Mortal Market of Amity!"

She couldn't really breathe, and though she knew Danny was close, she was really starting to panic. She couldn't cast if she couldn't speak, a short coming of spellcraft. And of course knocking her into the stupid display made her lose her Fenton Wrist Ray, the perfect accessory…of…whatever. Her vision was starting to get spotty, and everything was getting fuzzy. "D-da-nny." It wasn't more than a breathless wheeze but it got her captor's attention.

"Wait a moment. Purple eyes, pale complexion, dark clothes…no." His eyes got really wide, comically so.

He can't be the last thing I'm ever going to see. I'd really rather that be bright white and glowing green…or raven black and sky blue, I'm not that picky. Huh, now I really wish I'd said something to him. Am I really going to die without ever telling the man I'm in love with that I'm in love with him? I am so pathetic.

"No; no, no, no! Gods no! Ye cannot be her. She wears "goth" attire and excessive face paint!" He dropped her rather hard back into the debris he'd pulled her out of. Coughing badly and gulping in huge breathes she realized that she wasn't about to die. Now that this had come to her attention she thought it only right she get to feel indignant about the whole thing. Seriously, even the ghosts were giving her a hard time about this? "There is no way ye are Lord Phantom's Chosen! My luck cannot be that bad!" Lord Phantom? And what the hell did he mean by Chosen? Prye was really freaking out about this.

I guess he's heard of Danny at least, but wherever he's gotten his information from should really give him a refund. Lord indeed.

"Sam!" Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

"NO! I do not wish to be wiped from existence! I did not know My Lady!"

Who exactly does he think I am to Danny?

"If I had but known I would never have—"

"Get away from her!" Oh, he sounded pissed.

"My Lord, my most sincere apologies! I had no idea who she was else I would have never approached her!" Is Pyre actually groveling at Danny's feet? Well, my feet since Danny's still hovering in the air, but still.

"Step away, NOW." Huh, Danny's unusually cranky today isn't he? Sam knew he didn't like wild goose hunts but he wasn't usually prone to overreacting about it. Pyre was now on his knees with his forehead glued to the floor. He scooted back enough for Danny to land next to Sam.

"You okay Sam?" He wasn't usually so touchy-feely. Sam certainly appreciated the gesture of looking her over for bumps and bruises, and his ice core making him unbelievably cold was normally really nice. Just not when she was soaked through with water still raining down around her. "What did he do to you?" Pyre flinched and scrunched himself into a smaller ball.

"I'm a little banged up but no big deal." She winced at the rasp her voice had become but shrugged it off; let's face it, she'd had a lot worse. Danny's close proximity was making her shiver. And only because he's ungodly cold and I'm soaked through. Let's just be clear.

"And who are you?" Ice elemental or not, Danny's voice rarely reached such frosty tones.

I've got to say, when he wants to be, Danny can be really intimidating. And right now I'd be scared shitless if I was Pyre.

"I am called Pyre, my Liege." Pyre's face was still intimately acquainted with the floor so Sam couldn't make out his expression, but he was most definitely groveling.

Danny crossed his arms and with a ferocious scowl said, "Well, Pyre, mind telling me what you were doing, and why you felt the need to do it in my town?"

"My most sincere apologies my Lord. I-I was under the impression that you would be otherwise occupied today and my mischief would go unnoticed. I was obviously misinformed. But I give my word that I hadn't intended any permanent damage, and I was fully intending to leave before calling attention to myself."

"Yeah, I can see how well that worked out." he replied drily, rolling his eyes. With a long side glance at Sam that caused his eyes to narrow he cast his attention back to the ghost. "What do you mean, you were misinformed about my being occupied today?" he asked suspiciously.

Hesitantly Pyre admitted, "I overheard some other ghosts and slipped out of the Ghost Zone with them. It seemed their plans would garner more attention than my own, but I now suspect that it was more they were setting me up to incur your wrath."

"What makes you say that?" Sam rasped curiously, grimacing at Danny's sharp glance and the further furrowing of his brow.

"Well," Pyre cautiously sat up so that he was on his knees before Danny, but refused to make eye contact, "before we parted ways they were encouraging me to go 'enjoy myself'. They were even giving me tips on the best way to cause a panic and how to avoid angering his Lordship."

"What?" Danny asked confused.

"They said that property damage was allowable but that I ought to refrain from harming any mortals." Pyre's eyes flickered to Sam before darting back to Danny's feet. Sam refrained from letting out a low whistle. He sure picked one of the worst 'mortals' to go after then.

"And would you happen to know who these ghosts were?" Sam could tell Danny was having a hard time keeping his anger in check. Pyre was supremely lucky Danny hadn't witnessed him dangling her by her throat.

"A male and female couple. The female wore scandalous clothing," again his eyes darted to Sam, notably her exposed midriff, "and the male wore dark clothes and rode a strange beast with wheels that roared."

"Johnny 13 and Kitty." Sam and Danny said in unison. They looked at each other before Sam ventured, "They probably set Pyre up to be a distraction so they could have a date in the human world uninterrupted." Sam was pleased the rasp was almost absent by this point.

"Probably." he agreed. Danny turned to Pyre, "You're new around here so I'm going to explain to you how this works. This is my town, and the citizens of my town are my responsibility. I do not take kindly to those who choose to terrorize what belongs to me." His message was coming across loud and clear by the look on Pyre's face. Made sense since ghosts understood possessiveness better than most concepts. Sam still thought all Pyre's quick glances in her direction were odd though. "For those who choose to cross me, I take care of it. Do I need to explain this any further, or do we understand each other?" Danny himself was rarely this possessive. Even if it's only an act for Pyre, it's kinda hot. Sam blushed at the errant thought.

"Not at all my Lord." Pyre bowed low.

"You wouldn't happen to have a thermos on you by any chance?" Danny asked her sheepishly.

"In my bag; which I'd have if you hadn't whisked me away so suddenly." Sam crossed her arms shivering, growing more uncomfortably by the moment standing there soaking wet and getting colder.

"Are you okay Sam?" he asked, concern furrowing his brow once more.

"I'll be fine once I'm dry, again." she said wryly.

Danny glanced up at the still running sprinklers, "I can make you intangible once we're outside but I'm not too sure what to do with him." Danny hitched his thumb at Pyre.

"I assure ye my Lord, I fully intend to accompany ye without protest."

Danny cocked a brow, "Why do you keep calling me that?"

"Ye have rule over thy charges, I address ye as is proper my Lord." Sam and Danny exchanged confused glances. "And of course, my most sincere apologies for my transgressions against thy consort." Sam blushed madly at the implications of that word, and his earlier 'Chosen' comment. Danny looked confused; English, especially vocabulary that wasn't common in everyday vernacular, wasn't his best subject after all.

"Consort? That's a word I should probably know." he said the last quietly to himself. He glanced at Sam and frowned at the look on her face. "What?"

"Uh, it…uh, it means 'companion'." Loosely defined sure, but technically accurate.

"Oh." It was obvious that she was a companion of his, it wasn't obvious why such an innocent word would cause such blatant blushing on her part. "Wait a second, what transgressions?" he asked, anger rising once more.

Sam cut in quickly, "His disobeying me acting in your name, of course." She cast Pyre a warning glance, "It's no big deal." Sam wouldn't normally defend someone that had been causing such destruction and damage, but he was being rather cooperative at the moment and if that meant Danny could get him back in the GZ without resorting to violence, then so be it. "Just take him the portal; he said he'd go with you willingly."

"And what, leave you here? I don't think so Sam." he crossed his arms and scowled at her.

"Please Danny, I'm a big girl; I can walk myself home." she rolled her eyes.

"Not soaking wet you're not."

"You'll dry me off outside, take Pyre home, and we'll get your Mom's present tomorrow. Like I said, it isn't a big deal Danny." She turned to the ghost, "You're not going to cause any more trouble, are you Pyre?" the warning clear in her tone.

"No my Lady. Ye are indeed most merciful." he bowed to her and she blushed. Danny's face was awash with suspicion.

"See? Anyway, I don't much feel like doing anything but going to bed at this point. Today hasn't exactly been the most pleasant of experiences. Especially considering how little sleep either of us got." Sam felt her weariness quickly catching up with her.

"I swear I have no intentions of causing further harm my Lord. It is unbefitting that her Ladyship return unattended. I will be no trouble while ye escort her to her abode and will also return without fuss. I would not presume to bring harm to thy intended, my Liege." And Sam thought she'd been madly blushing before.

"In-i-intended?!" he stuttered surprised. "She's not my intended!"

Pyre looked confused, "Is this not the Lady Samantha of Goth? She fits the description I was given; unusual dark hair, fair complexion, dark scandalous clothing, violet colored eyes, a profound beauty among mortals. Am I mistaken that she is not thy intended consort?" Sam was mortified and Danny was steadily making it worse.

"She's my 'companion' yeah, but we're not…she's not…we're not 'intended'!"

"But, she acts in thy name. Ye treat her as thy equal. Ye but moments ago made claim that she is of thy domain. I do not understand, I was told above all else the quickest way to incur thy ire was to affront thy Lady."

"She's…we're not…" Danny was flailing for words, looking anywhere but at Sam.

Pyre looked at Sam covering her face and Danny's obvious discomfort and his face lit with understanding, "Ah, my apologies my Lord. It is not yet official and I have crossed the bounds of propriety. It was not my intent to offend the Lady's sensibilities." Understatement of the year.

"Danny, please take me home. I'm really starting to wish I never got out of bed this morning." Sam was mortified. It was bad enough everyone at school gave them a hard time. It was bad enough Tucker and Danny's family gave them 'knowing winks' and nudges. It was bad enough her parents had 'absolutely forbid her from seeing that horrible boy'. But the ghosts were gossiping about them now? Danny was going to be impossible for days, if not weeks, because of this. He always reacted the same way to 'lovebird' accusations. He'd avoid her. Did the world truly hate her that much? Had she offended fate so thoroughly? What the hell had she done in a former life to have such suck-ass karma in this one? Why is there never a convenient hole to crawl and die in when I need one?

"Okay Sam." Her face was still covered so she couldn't see his expression, but he didn't sound very enthusiastic at having to take her home. "You won't cause any trouble? Because if you even think about it while I've got her hundreds of feet off the ground…"

"I give ye my word my Lord." Sam felt herself scooped into strong arms and held tightly against a cold, yet equally strong chest. Though she was still mortified, and disappointed that she was going to have to endure days of awkward avoidance, she couldn't quite keep herself from snuggling into his embrace. She snaked her arms up around his neck and felt him tighten his hold just a little. She kept her eyes closed until he had deposited her upon her doorstep, but refused eye contact as she waved him goodbye before fleeing to her dark sanctuary.

AN: Let me know what you guys think! Review!