The Value of an Old Sofa
A/N: Just a cute little thing I whipped up between revisions of my next masterpiece. Go ahead and take a look at it, tell me whatcha think of it, but be warned that it's very warm and fuzzy. Like a somnolent Russian dwarf hamster.
Disclaimer: Danny Phantom is the property of Sam, who is of course owned by Nick.
Sam snuggled up deeper against Danny, the two of them resting on an old, battered sofa before a muted television. Danny had always liked old sofas. No matter how beat-up you were at the end of the day, a faithful old sofa would always squat quietly on the floor and accept your burdens, no matter how ragged the fabric or stretched-out its own springs. The cushions were soft and broken-in, perfect for sleeping or sitting or snuggling.
He looked down at Sam. She was smiling, eyes closed, a delicate hand sandwiched between her head and his thigh. Danny felt a strong feeling of mingled safety and protectiveness watching her. She never seemed to just take time off and give herself a rest. She was always so cynical, so concerned about others. The environment. The dissection frogs. The state of the union. The list went on and on. It was one of the things he loved about her.
She always put herself out there, not caring whether she was the only one who thought as she did. Being a lone dissenter only made her more ardent for her chosen cause, be it school lunch reform, putting a stop to the biology dissections, or vegetarianism. She always went after it whole-heartedly, a lone idealist in an ocean of apathetic realists.
He moved a hand down her lustrous black hair.
She opened her eyes and took a deep breath, looking up at him with those beautiful eyes, even if she did hide them behind lavender contacts.
"Is the show over?"
Danny shrugged. "I don't know. I was thinking."
"Oh?" She sat up and snuggled against his shoulder. "And what were you thinking?"
"I was thinking about this girl I know. She's so clever and dedicate and funny. She's amazingly beautiful..."
Sam blushed and gave him a little smack on his collarbone. "You're such a flatterer."
He grinned. "Paullina's really something else."
Sam gasped and sat up straight. "You are such a-"
Danny leaned over and hugged her around the shoulders, laughing. She struggled halfheartedly but he squeezed her and rocked her until she stopped and slumped into his embrace.
"One of these days that's not going to work, Daniel Fenton. One of these days..."
He gave her a little peck on the cheek. "Not any day soon, I hope."
She tried again to push him off, but he held on and continued to kiss her along the jaw line, and she surrendered again. "I'm serious. I'll break up with you."
Danny heard the smile in her voice and continued to kiss her, following the line of her jaw down to her neck.
Sam laughed at the tickle. "Yeah. I'll break up with you. I'll go out with... Tucker."
Danny jerked his head up and his grip loosened. "What?"
She smiled at his reaction and pushed him off. "You heard me. I'll go and hang out with Tucker."
A sliver of concern crossed his face. "No you won't," he insisted. "Not with that meatwad."
"You shouldn't talk about your best friend like that. And just how do you know that I wouldn't?"
"Because," he said scootching closer to her. "He's a meatwad. He's impulsive, he's a nerd, he's insensitive, he never looks up from his gadgets..."
"And you are different how?"
He kissed her and draped an arm across her shoulders. "I love you to pieces and I don't have gadgets. Except that ghost-hunting stuff."
"Hm." She smiled up at him and accepted a chaste kiss on the lips.
"Sam?" Danny asked.
"Why do you like me?"
"I don't like you. I love you. Why do you ask? Does the great hero Danny Phantom doubt himself?" She covered her mouth in mock astonishment.
"It's just that you really are so amazing in so many ways. You think more than other people, about more important things than other people, yet you still have time to care about these same 'other people.' I just want to know why you chose this particular 'other person.'"
She laughed. "Well, for one thing it's because you say things like that."
"I mean it."
"Not everyone believes it."
"Do they have to?" He squeezed her shoulder. "As long as you believe it, and I believe it, does it matter if they believe it?"
She leaned into his embrace, resting her head on the crook of his shoulder. "I'm not sure if I believe it."
Danny rested his chin on her head, concerned.
"There are some things about me you don't know," she confessed. "I wasn't always this... clear-headed. I used to be a wreck before I met you." She looked down. "I was never happy at all. I did some bad things."
Danny rubbed her shoulder. Four years they'd been together and this still came up. "Sam."
"Hm?" She looked up at him.
"I love you. I'll always love you. We've been through too much together and I care about you too much to ever stop loving you. You can tell me about it if you want, but if you don't, don't feel like you're keeping secrets." He kissed her forehead. "I love you, and you're the world to me."
She sighed. "I'm sorry I brought it up. Sometimes I just don't feel like I'm worth anything at all."
Danny shook his head. "Don't be sorry. I'll listen whenever you need to talk, and I'll always remind you of the truth."
Sam remained against Danny's chest for a moment, tight against him, listening to his heartbeat. She relaxed after a while and leaned back into his lap. In the soft glow of the television, Sam fell into a peaceful sleep, and Danny remained, content to loan her his lap as a pillow as they both rested on the soft material of an old, ragged sofa.