AN: tears I….I…don't have words….I…thank you …I can't even explain how absolutely overwhelmed and overjoyed your reviews have made me. I…once again…just don't have the words to thank you. Your reviews and support mean more to me then is physically possible to express. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
((((HUGS AND COOKIES FOR ALL!!!))))
Dedication: To all of those who reviewed. You all have been my inspiration, motivation, and on the hard days, my reason for writing at all.
There was hugging and crying and laughing and then of course, more hugging, crying, and laughing and poor confused Sam in the middle of all of it.
The doctors said it would be best if she stayed a few more days for observation but the Mansons refused. "My baby has been here long enough," Ms.Manson said, squeezing Sam tightly.
So they had taken her home. The Mansons had allowed both Danny and Tucker to squish into the back of the car with Sam and come along for the ride. Samantha blushed as both of her friends kept assuring her how great it was that she was back.
"And Danny, man, he's been going insane without you here. Did you know he beat up Dash? Well of course you didn't, you weren't there, duh. Stupid question," Tucker continued, mouth moving a mile a minute. He hadn't been able to stop talking since Sam had woken up.
Samantha cast a curious look at Danny, who laughed nervously and blushed. Everything had been going so fast since she had awoken, she was just beginning to piece it all together. Of course, it was hard to get her bearings with Tuckers continuous talking. Still, she didn't really care; it was good just to hear his voice.
Danny had given her his fair share of hugs and smiles, but he remained mostly silent. Every now and again she would catch him staring strangely at her. He seemed pretty shaken up. She was anxious for when her parents gave her and her two friends some time alone so she could hear the whole story.
"We're home sweetie," Ms.Manson announced happily, interrupting Tucker.
"Okay Mom," Samantha smiled, knowing how worried her mother still was. Danny hoped out first, followed by Samantha and then Tucker. Sam took one step forward and stumbled. In an instant, Danny caught her and helped her stand back up.
"Uh," she blushed, "Sorry. I guess my legs are still a little weak."
"No problem," Danny guaranteed. Sam smiled, happy to hear his voice. "Do you want me to help you to the stairs?" he asked nervously.
"Yeah, thanks," she nodded. She lifted her arm around his shoulder and the two began hobbling forward.
Inside the house, things continued in such a pattern. Her mom, her dad, and Tucker continued to regale her with every single detail she missed while she was gone while Danny sat quietly off to the side. A little while later, Mr and Ms Manson left to call the relatives with the good news.
"So?" Sam asked at last. "Someone want to explain what really happen?"
"It was the Dream Catcher," Danny spoke up from his spot on Samantha's dresser. "It infected you with something that kind of…trapped you in your own nightmares, I guess."
She nodded, "Alright…I guess I can buy that. But how did I get out?"
Danny blushed, allowing Tucker to field that one. "Danny, he, well, I don't know…I guess he went inside your mind. Do you remember any of it?"
Sam shook her head. "Bits and pieces are coming back slowly. I think I'll remember it all eventually…though I'm not so sure I'll want to."
"Tucker? Danny?" Ms. Manson asked, knocking on the door.
Tucker opened the door for her.
"I called your parents to let them know where you were. They want you to start thinking about heading home before it gets dark. But we'd love to have you over tomorrow," she smiled.
"Okay," they both agreed and Ms. Manson left them to their goodbyes.
Tucker paused for a second but then conceded to giving Sam a big hug,
"You had us pretty scared there, Manson. Don't let it happen again," he joked.
"Thanks Tuck," she smiled, gladly returning his hug.
There was an awkward moment as Danny approached her, beet red.
"It's…uh…I…and…uh," he tried to say, but he couldn't find the words, instead he just hugged her tight enough to kill and she hugged back just as hard.
"I'll see you guys tomorrow, right?" Sam asked hopefully.
"Definitely," they both agreed.
"Sam honey!" Ms.Manson said, poking her head into her daughter's room. "Danny's here to see you."
"Alright!" Sam yelled from her bathroom, splashing her face with water one last time. She gazed into the mirror. She looked about as good as she felt.
"Uh, hey," Danny said from the door. He looked over his tired, tousled friend. "Oh man, I'm really sorry Sam, I didn't mean to wake you up, I thought you'd already be up…I can come back later." He turned around to leave.
"Wait!" Sam said louder then she had attended to. Danny whipped around to face her. She laughed slightly, seeing the worry on his face. "Wait," she said softer, "Don't go. I was already awake."
There was an awkward silence. Both teens opened there mouth to talk.
They both blushed and let out a small laugh.
"You first," Sam commanded.
"Well, I just…" He fumbled. What had he been meaning to say? Now seemed like the perfect time to tell her how he felt and how sick he was without her…but he couldn't. "I guess I wanted to apologize for…well, reading your mind without permission." Even as he spoke the words he knew how stupid they sounded.
"Danny," she laughed, "If it wasn't for you, I would have been stuck in that….place forever."
Danny saw fear flash in her eyes.
"You remember it, don't you?" he realized.
She smiled slightly, throwing herself down on the bed. "Yeah, unfortunately. I couldn't sleep at all last night. I was terrified I'd get stuck there again or that maybe this was the dream and that was reality…and if I feel asleep here, it would be like I was waking up there."
Danny hoped up onto his usual position on Sam's dresser. "You shouldn't worry. That could never be reality. Tucker and I would never let it happen. We're your best friends and we'll always be there for you, no matter what." Needlessly to say, he felt a little corny saying it, but he didn't care; it was the truth.
"Yeah," she said, "I know." She stood back up from the bed and approached her dresser shyly, one arm crossed over her waist rubbed the other nervously as she kept her gaze focused on the ground. "I…I…Last night, I saw all you did….you saved my life, Danny. And, well..." She stopped, leaning forward timidly, she stood on her toes to reach her friend, and kissed him lightly on lips. Her eyes closed and she let her lips linger for a second before she pulled back. "Thanks."
Do it now, Danny thought. Tell her. "Sam…when I thought I had lost…I…" He couldn't find accurate words to express how he had felt. He didn't have to.
"I know Danny," Sam cut in quickly, laughing a little as she recalled the nightmare where her best friend had died. "Trust me Danny…I know."
"So…what now?" He asked, his courage suddenly fading.
Sam shrugged, disappointed at Danny's response, "I guess everything goes back to normal."
Danny looked away, downtrodden. "Yeah. I guess so."
He hoped off the dresser and proceeded to the door. Sam watched him go. What else could she do?
Danny felt similarly. Every muscle in his body was fighting the urge to turn back around. But if there was one thing Danny learned from this whole thing, it's that you have to face your fears head on. He turned around.
"No," he said, voice full of courage and conviction. "I don't want everything to go back to normal, Sam. Normal's just not good enough. Tucker was right. When I thought I might lose you…I did go crazy. You were all I could think about. I couldn't get you out of my head…"
He stopped; he was straying away from the point.
"You know what, forget it Sam. I love you," he admitted breathlessly, laughing slightly at his own daring. "I love you."
He approached her again, this time rather quickly, and kissed her forcefully on the lips.
She breathed in sharply in surprise and instinctively pushed him back.
"Sorry! Sorry!" Danny apologized, eyes wide with sincere remorse, "I'm sorry! I should have-"
But Sam silenced his stuttering with a kiss of her own. Only a bright flash drew them apart.
"Uh…aahhhuhhh…uh?" Danny fumbled, face blushing red.
Tucker smirked from the door way, fanning a Polaroid picture in his hand.
"Don't you just love happy endings?"
AN: I sure do! ;D That was basically what this chapter was about, giving the story a happy ending. I hope it didn't disappoint you, but I hadn't intended this chapter to have much substance, just to wrap things up. So if you hated it, I'm so sorry! Ignore it! Pretend it never existed! I love you!!!! If you loved it, hurray!!! I love you! I'm definitely sad to see this story go since you've all been so kind (thank you, thank you, thank you! I love yoooouu!) but I'm hooked on DP so there'll definitely be some more DP fics to come! :D
Until then, a thousand, million, infinite thanks, I love you all!
Best wishes and warmest regards,
Your humble, dedicated servant,