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.
Nine – Just Kiss Him Already!
Awareness came to Sam slowly; unfortunately it was keeping company with pain and discomfort. She groaned and turned her face into her pillow before the pressure on her cheek had her sitting up quickly with a yelp. Fully awake now she stared at her unfamiliar yet familiar surroundings. This was not her room.
"Awake at last." She looked over, startled to see Danny straddling a chair in front of a computer. This was not her room, but Jazz's. Yesterday's events came back to her with a vengeance. Sam groaned again and buried her face, gently, in her hands.
"Ugh, what time is it?"
"About noon." This startled her into looking up at him.
"But it's Friday." she told him stupidly.
"Look at you all aware this afternoon." he teased her gently. "My parents took the liberty of calling you in sick. Then, because they didn't want you to wake up and be by yourself all day, called me in too. Tuck texted me earlier, he's out too." Danny glanced aside, "The phone's totally cool by the way, thanks. I'll pay you back."
"That's not necessary and you know it. You lost it in the line of duty; I'm funding this project, remember?"
"I accidently crushed it because I was angry. It wasn't in the line of duty."
"Well, I won't take your repayment so that's that. Just try not to crunch this one." Sam smirked and shrugged; it really wasn't a big deal to her. True Danny hadn't lost it down a storm drain looking for Salem, but he'd been angry with her when he'd accidentally destroyed his. "Not that I'm not thankful for this, but…never mind." she told him, rubbing her face. Her eyes felt gritty. She'd slept all day thus couldn't sleep last night only to sleep all morning. It would take all weekend to get herself straightened out again. "What am I doing here again?"
"My parents weren't about to let you stay home alone after what happened." he reminded her.
"Ah." What happened. This was going to be a very long discussion and Sam really needed to be on her game for it. That would require a shower. A long hot one. "Danny, I don't want you to think I'm trying to delay having this conversation, but would you mind horribly if I showered first?" Sam looked down at herself. She'd been too out of it last night to force herself to change into proper pajamas and was thus wearing yesterday's soiled clothing. She'd need to wash Jazz's sheets before she left.
"Yeah, that's no problem. I'll be in my room when you're ready." With that, he left. The distance between them felt like an enormous canyon. It made Sam ache. She hated when she and Danny fought and it seemed like that was all they ever did anymore. She had no idea how she'd accomplish it, but she vowed the sun wouldn't set on them still at odds. It was about damn time for her to clear the air for good.
Sam's shower did wonders for her nerves and temper. It was every bit as refreshing as her shampoo claimed all showers would be if she used it. It was with mounting dread however, when she realized she was running out of plausible primping activities and could no longer put off meeting with Danny. She rummaged around the bag Danny had mostly packed, going through all of her toiletries had been a real treat, and tried to find something that looked like it was meant to go together. She finally decided on a graphic T and some dark wash jeans. It was by no means a favorite shirt of hers but she remembered Danny thinking it was funny…which was why she'd bought it in the first place. Could she be any more pathetic?
Sam found herself standing at Danny's door, hesitating to knock. After an embarrassingly long time of hesitation, she'd just brought herself to do so when the door opened and she nearly started knocking on the poor boy's chest. "Sam, are you ever going to come in? You've been standing here forever; I could hear you breathing." He retreated into his room and tossed himself on his bed.
"You could not hear me breathing." she protested, hands on her hips as she stood at the foot of his bed, after making sure the door was firmly shut for their conversation.
He shrugged, "Still, you were standing there forever." He wasn't looking at her but playing with loose threads in his bed spread. "I was starting to think you didn't want to talk to me." Sam glanced around. She could either sit in his computer chair or on the bed with him. Both options had pros and cons. The chair would be more prudent but might give him the wrong impression about her feelings. The bed might send the wrong connotations but she really, really wanted to sit on the bed with him. She bit her lip in deliberation. Danny glanced up at her and the hurt look in his eyes decided her. She climbed up on his bed and sat at the foot as he pushed himself to sit against the head.
"So." he repeated.
"You were right." she finally sighed, slumping her shoulders in defeat.
"Somehow, I don't feel like saying 'I told you so'." he muttered looking down at his hands.
"Good, cause then I'd have to smack you." her smile waivered before it could really form and fell from her face. "I'm sorry. I had no idea something like this could happen. How could I have ever thought up something like that? I didn't even know those assholes! I can't believe they'd go to such lengths in the hopes that I'd..." Sam glared at Danny's bed in something akin to hatred, "I never expected to be Miss Preppy Popularity but really? People honestly believe I have to buy companionship to ever have friends?" An angry tear slipped down her face and Sam hugged her knees to her chest, "Am I really such a monster that people can't believe you'd like me just for me?"
"Sam." She looked up to see Danny holding his hand out to her. His eyes were sad. She turned away, spurning his attempts to soothe her. "Sam." he repeated, more insistent. She looked up at him again. He had a small smile, and his eyes were warmer. Biting back more tears—she was tired of crying damn it!—she crawled her way up to the head of the bed. Danny wrapped his arm around her as she curled up into his side.
"I don't think anybody really believes that you're buying my or Tucker's affections. However, it is a convenient thing to get after you about since you were so quick to defend Tucker and me. They can tell it bothers you. Those guys yesterday were different though." Danny's voice sounded a little strained now, his anger being kept in rigid check. "They knew you'd never go along with it which is why they tried to bully and threaten you into agreeing. You're not a monster Sam. You're a wonderful human being who isn't afraid to stand up for what's right. And a very smart, beautiful girl of my acquaintance once told me that what's right isn't always what's popular. I wouldn't change you for the world Sam." Danny's confession made the warm fuzzy feeling that Sam had grown so fond of—and had been missing the past couple days—make its presence known once more.
The warm fuzzy feeling was no match for her guilt however. "I'm still responsible for what happened to Tucker."
"No, you're not. You didn't ask those guys to jump you. Tuck said you told them quite clearly that you weren't interested and they wouldn't take no for an answer." Danny's grip tightened and his voice was angry, "I should have been there."
"It's not your fault Danny."
"Hardly. If I hadn't taken my temper out on you I would have been with you all day and they wouldn't have had any reason to approach you. Even if they had I'd have been there to stop them. I would have been very persuasive." his tone was darker than Sam generally preferred. He was obviously still angry, not that she could blame him…what they did to Tucker…
"You know I don't actually enjoy you fighting for me, right? Not that I don't appreciate it." She swiftly added at his frown.
"Just like Tucker, I won't stand aside and let them try to hurt you Sam."
"What ever happened to peaceful resolutions?"
"That only works in Saturday morning cartoons."
"I'm serious. Why is it that we just seem to attract conflict?"
"Just lucky I guess." he told her with a resigned sigh.
They sat quietly for a while before Sam hedged, "We're done fighting, right?" she asked him hopefully.
"For now." he grinned into her hair.
She smacked him playfully, mock scowling. It felt good to be able to do that again. "So, any ideas what yesterday was about?" Danny stilled beside her. His stiff posture alerted her to his discomfort. "What? What's wrong?"
"I don't actually know what that was yesterday." he admitted quietly. "All I know is that I was far angrier than I've ever been in my entire life."
"You seemed…more ghostly than usual. You were much colder than you normally are, and you were so…cold, emotionally." It really was an odd occurrence, and one in which she hoped Danny never had a repeat of. She'd never admit to being afraid of him, but for him? She was terrified.
"I don't really know what came over me, I don't really remember being able to think about anything other than punishing them for hurting you." He added, "And Tucker. I mean, it doesn't surprise me that he stood up to them for you, but he actually didn't do too bad a job. He doesn't have my supernatural strength and reflexes unfortunately." Danny stiffened even more. "I'm not entirely sure what would have happened if you hadn't come to me Sam. I wasn't really thinking rationally at all. I'm fairly certain I would have done something…unreasonable."
"But you didn't, that's what matters." She really didn't like his tone, he was undoubtedly feeling guilty, but there was definitely more to it.
"This time. What about if it happens again? I wasn't in control Sam."
"When did you first start feeling it? When did you notice it?"
"When you screamed. I panicked first and took off for you as fast as possible. If I hadn't of been distracted I'd have been much closer and would have gotten there so much sooner! By the time I was in range I was just in time to see that guy hit you, but I was too far away to do anything. That's when I really lost it. I was so angry. I don't really remember very much after the fight. I remember calming down when you very foolishly," he emphasized, "jumped into my arms, which were practically on fire." Huh, he sounded like he hadn't liked her idea any. "After that, it gets kinda hazy. I think the anger really sucked me dry energy-wise; I woke up absolutely freaking exhausted."
"So…you don't remember…changing back into Fenton?" she asked, her heart plummeting to her stomach. Of course not. Of course he wouldn't remember the best freaking kiss of her life. Their first real kiss. That was no stupid fake-out make-out. That was an honest to goodness I-have-feelings-for-you kiss. And he couldn't remember it. She wanted to cry.
"Well…not exactly." The arm that wasn't around her reached up to scratch the back of his head nervously. That was it. It! She really just couldn't take anymore.
"I can't believe this!" she snarled, ripping herself from his embrace. She started pacing angrily across his floor, between the bed and computer. She was spitting mad damn it! How dare he not remember that! "I can't believe you don't remember! After all of that, after everything, you don't remember! Does the universe hate me? Did I do something in a past life that makes me destined to be thwarted in obtaining the one thing I'd give anything to have? Would it be so wrong for once, just once, something like this work in my favor so I could know if it was right to act or not?"
"Sam, what are you—"
"You-don't-remember!" she growled, frustrated beyond belief.
"You don't remember kissing me! You don't remember looking down at me with that burning light, cupping my cheek, and kissing me! You don't remember how you felt about it and it probably wasn't anything like what I felt!" she seethed, yanking at her hair in irritation as she continued to pace. She turned back towards the bed and collided with Danny's chest. Her anger was swamped by surprise.
"I remember that." he said into her hair, arms snaking around her. Now she was really confused.
"But you said—"
"I said I don't remember turning into Fenton, I didn't say I don't remember what happened just before I passed out." It took a moment for that to sink in before her face was suddenly awash with heat. Did she say even half of what she thought she did out loud? She was pretty sure she had and more…dang it.
"Oh, uh, I…uh." Sam had never felt so tongue-tied before. Well, this was one way to broach the subject wasn't it? It wasn't at all how she'd hoped to have this particular talk but…lemons and lemonade right? "Um, so…about that…"
"Sam, I was really glad that I wasn't the only one who felt anything." he admitted, still into her hair.
"Really?" she asked quietly, hope making her heart soar. Her suspicion was peaked at his past tense, but she pushed it aside.
She sighed, now or never. "Danny, there's something I've been wanting to tell you for a really, really long time now."
"I really hope it's 'I've been in love with you since middle school' because that's what I've been dying to tell you for forever."
Sam's heart stopped before sputtering into hyper drive, "W-what?" she stuttered.
Danny pulled back, taking her hands in his, to look her in the face, his own the brightest red she'd ever seen it, "Sam, I've been in love with you since you first looked my way in middle school. I've never felt so terrified and thrilled at the same time…except maybe when I rode that giant rollercoaster said to take three years off your life expectancy with you that one time."
"Terrified?" she asked, momentarily sidetracked.
He chuckled, "It was before I'd gotten past the 'angry at the world' exterior to the soft wonderful center." He grinned, "Your look was a lot more hard core then, I was only thirteen you know."
"Are you telling me that I just spent the last four years giving myself headaches, ulcers, and god knows how many sleepless nights being jealous of every girl you drooled over for nothing?" she asked, disbelief all she was capable of feeling.
"Um, I guess so?"
"B-b-but, what about Paulina? What about Valerie?" she asked, heart in her throat.
"I never thought I'd have a shot with you." he shrugged, as if that explained everything.
"You made googly eyes at Paulina, because you didn't think you had a shot with me?" she asked, sure she'd misunderstood.
"What do you keep asking it like that for? Yeah, I really never thought you'd ever see me like that, that you'd see me only as you saw Tucker. Well, until I became able to sense emotions, that is."
"You project your emotions stronger than anybody I've ever encountered Sam. Once I realized how you felt about me, I was elated…until I realized that you were never planning to act on them. I figured you wouldn't want to risk our friendship on a high school relationship…I kinda had a plan for after graduation. I know that my options are limited and yours aren't, and what with your parents, and the increase in your obligations…I figured your feelings for me would fade but I was planning on making my move then; no matter if I thought you'd go for it or not…" he trailed off.
"I project my emotions strongly." It was a question, but she wasn't really asking…she was actually starting to feel something like mortification creeping in. Mortification and realization that the thought had been nagging at her. There had been something she'd been overlooking. Danny was half ghost. He could sense emotions. She'd asked him which tasted best for crying out loud and it had never occurred to her that her being head over heels crazy about him would be an all too easy to sense emotion? She was supposed to be the quick-witted one of this group damn it!
"Uh, yeah. I have a theory. Jazz's theory really, but whatever. You tend to internalize a lot; if it can't be expressed with sarcasm or irritation you're not so good with expressing it. So I think that by internalizing it all, it makes it all that much stronger for ghosts to sense. I also think that might be why you tend to attract them."
"I project my emotions." she repeated.
"So…you've known all along how I felt about you." That wasn't really a question, but she did want conformation.
"You've known how…strongly, I've felt for you and you never felt the need to say something to me about how you felt?"
"Um…I thought that wouldn't make much difference since I thought you were denying it all due to our friendship." He sounded as if his reasoning was perfectly logical, the prat!
"Danny…if I didn't love you so much I'd hate you! What the hell is the matter with you? You knew how I felt and you let me torture myself over it? My god, I'm so pathetic!"
"You're not pathetic Sam." he tugged her back into his arms.
"I am! I've been agonizing over this for ages and for nothing! If I'd had any idea how you felt about me I would have leapt at the chance to confess to you!"
"But, what about the Ember incident?"
"You were under a spell, you didn't really feel that way." she muttered. That still stung.
"Haven't you been listening? I said 'since middle school'. I really did like you then; all Ember's spell did was take away my inhibitions and any worries holding me back. Common sense too, unfortunately. I can't believe I almost knocked you off a building." he cringed at the thought.
"But…what about Valerie? You were really torn up about her." her voice was quiet but Danny had supernatural senses, all six of them.
"I'll admit that it wasn't like I didn't feel anything for her," Sam stiffened, "but anything I felt for her paled in comparison to what I've always felt for you. I always knew it would never work out with her. I mean, she hated an entire side of me. And, if I'm really being honest…I kinda liked all the attention you were giving me." She looked up at him incredulously. "You just admitted you were jealous. That was a really reassuring feeling for me." he admitted. "I mean, Paulina liked one half of me, Valerie liked the other, but you're the only one who likes both of my sides equally. I'm never just Phantom or Fenton to you, I'm Danny." The look on Danny's face set Sam's insides to melt. And if his widening grin meant anything it meant he knew exactly how she was reacting to him. That wasn't very fair…then again was she really going to complain about anything now that she knew he liked her back? Had loved her since middle school?
"So…you really feel the same way I do?" she asked at last. She wanted to be perfectly clear after all.
"I wish you—It's too bad you can't feel projected emotions just so I could show you. Do you remember when you asked me which emotions tasted the best?" She nodded, a wry smile on her lips. "Well, I told you that they don't really have a taste; they have a feel. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but…the way you feel when you look at me is really addictive." Sam flushed scarlet. He was embarrassed? "Even your embarrassment feels awesome. You're really expressive." he teased with a chuckle. She smacked him. "Your vindictiveness…way better than embarrassment." His grin was enormous by this time.
"Gah!" she tossed her hands up at him. A smile threatened to split her face in two. Her heart felt like it was going to burst in wonder. He loved her. He loved her like she loved him. She felt…right. He tossed his head back and laughed. It felt like it'd been forever since she'd heard that. She missed it. It made the warm fuzzies rear up with a vengeance. Danny suddenly grabbed her round the waist and hoisted her in the air spinning and laughing. She let out a small shriek of surprised delight and clung to him.
"God Sam! I never thought I could feel this good! This happy! You finally know how I feel about you and you…you." He crushed her to him. Happiness was practically radiating from him, it was contagious.
"Danny." When he pulled back to look at her, she was seized with the sudden urge to kiss him. Well, she didn't have to hold back anymore did she? Sam reached up and ran a hand along his jaw, delighted at the feel of it, of the scratchy stubble. When her fingers reached the hollow behind his ear she curled her fingers into his hair and tugged his face down to hers. He wasn't exactly providing any resistance. Her eyes fluttered closed and their lips met. He was much warmer than yesterday. Much more emotional too. One of Danny's hands splayed between her shoulder blades and held her to him tightly. His other hand had started at her waist but slid to the small of her back before pressing them together as if to prevent anything from ever coming between them. He was bending her back so it wouldn't be quite so uncomfortable, their height difference. Sam tilted her head to the right and pulled him even closer.
"Hey kids! I was wondering if—my my, what have we here?" Sam and Danny sprung apart fast enough that they both tripped over something and went tumbling to the ground.
Sam pushed the overturned computer chair away from her. "M-M-Mrs. Fenton!" she squeaked, mortified. Not only her face, but her neck and chest were flushed from the supreme embarrassment at being caught kissing Danny by his mom. At least it wasn't his Dad. The thought did little to comfort her.
"Mom! Seriously, don't you knock?!" Danny yelped from the side of his bed, trying to untangle himself from the cord of the lamp that was originally on his nightstand.
"I did honey." she told him smugly, crossing her arms. "I suppose you kids were just too preoccupied to notice." Danny groaned and tried to crawl under his bed.
"Hey! If I don't get to hide neither do you!" Sam called him out, chucking a discarded sneaker at him.
Mrs. Fenton let out a peal of laughter before coming over to help Sam up. "So, I take it this is a rather recent development? If you were more used to kissing I doubt you two would have had quite such violent reactions." Danny groaned again. "Come on Danny, I was young once too."
"Please, just please stop!" he moaned covering his face, still lying on the floor.
"Don't worry, I'll make sure it's your father who gives you the refresher for 'the talk'." Sam couldn't believe it but Mrs. Fenton actually cackled at Danny's yelp of mortification. "I'm so happy you two are finally together!" Mrs. Fenton wrapped her arms around Sam and squeezed. "You're really part of the family now Sam!"
"Mom! It's not like I proposed to her or anything!"
"It's only a matter of time sweetie, it's best if you just except the inevitable!" And Sam thought she'd been mortified before. "Oh! I need to call Jazz! And I'm sure your Father will be so excited for another awkward father-son talk! Oh, this is just too adorable! My little boy's finally all grown up and confessed his feelings!"
"Oh my God, Mom please!" Sam wasn't sure why, but Danny's mortification was actually making her feel better about the whole, he-knew-for-years-and-said-nothing thing. She cracked a smile.
"Well, I'll let you two get back to it."
"Don't do anything I would scold you for honey!"
"SERIOUSLY MOM!" Mrs. Fenton's laughter floated down the hall as she descended towards the first floor. Sam looked over at Danny and he looked up at her. They burst out laughing. "That has got to be the most embarrassed I've ever been. Not only because I was embarrassed but you were projecting so strongly I thought I was going to literally pass out from utter humiliation."
Sam made her way over to him and helped him off the floor. "At least your parents are okay with this…with us." her cheeks went pink at the thought of an 'us'.
"Are you worried?"
"Of how they'll treat you." she admitted quietly.
"I'm not." he assured her. Danny leaned down to kiss her but hesitated. He glanced at the door before a devious smirk crossed his face. Sam suddenly felt the chilled weightlessness that accompanied being turned invisible or intangible. Danny let out a ghostly chuckle before pressing his chilled lips to hers. They still had so much to talk out but Sam pushed it all aside, just for now. She deserved to enjoy this. So did Danny. There was plenty of time to worry about everything after. Plenty of time, because now that she had Danny, Sam didn't plan on ever letting go.
END OF PART ONE
AN: 'Finally!' Right? Took me far longer than it was supposed to and I apologize for that. But I would like to thank everybody who stuck through to the end and especially for all the favorites, follows, and REVIEWS that I got. I really, really liked all the reviews! Love me some fuzzies!
But I've left you with so many loose ends! I always planned on extending this story out, but I wasn't sure that there would be anybody interested in it. Of course, the faves, follows, and fuzzies say otherwise so you're all in luck, THERE IS A PART TWO! For any of you lovelies that are interested, I will be posting a "Chapter 10" in Part I once I've got Ch1 ready to post for Immeasurable Lengths Part II so that any faves or follows of Part I will know that Part II is up and ready to be read. 'Chapter 10' will be more of an announcement of Part II but it will also tease some of those loose ends I mentioned to prep you for Part II. Unfortunately, I can't give you a timeline. As you might have noticed, I'm not very good with those. Also, my Teen Titan fic Shades is really distracting me…almost as much as this story was distracting me from it. There will be a Part II, but you'll have to be patient. Again, thanks so very, very much for sticking with me and all I ask is that you stay tuned! Check out my profile if you want to know what else I'm working on! This is Braelyn Briar, closing out her first fanfic!