Hey guys. Another deviation for your delectation. I think I had 'Dogs' by Pink Floyd in my head when I came up with the idea for this. I dunno - I just imagined Danny listening to it, and the story just grew from there. I don't know why I decided to base the story around Floyd songs - probably because I'm a Floyd maniac, but there you go.
DISCLAIMER : I don't own any of the characters in this story - Butch Hartman does.
I don't own the lyrics to 'Dogs' either - Pink Floyd do.
Sam felt strangely lonely sitting on her bed. Tucker was already well away from Amity Park, and she was leaving tomorrow to go to Anaheim with her family for a few days. Summer vacation always seemed to drag itself out for as long as possible, leaving an inevitable ennui to gradually set in. Just a week in, and she was already in the full grip of it.
Tucker had gone off a couple of days ago, and she had seen neither him nor Danny since then. They'd had a blast on the last day of school, joining the other students as they poured out into the sunlight in droves. Danny had brought a basketball with him, somehow concealing it from Lancer in his bag. They went to shoot a few hoops in the park, and Sam had thrashed them both into oblivion. Tucker looked a bit pissed off; he blamed it, and his lacklustre aim, on the heat, but Sam knew it was the sign of wounded pride. Danny however just shrugged it off.
While Tucker went off to fetch something for them to drink, she and Danny headed off in the direction of a large oak tree in the middle of the park. They had started talking about something, probably what they were going to be doing during the summer. All of them, Tucker included, had one thing in mind, though – they were going to see the Mars Volta, live in Green Bay, at the beginning of August. They were all psyched up about it; a friend of Danny's who was teaching him guitar was going and asked if they wanted to come, to which they emphatically replied, "Yes".
"Hey, you and Tucker wanna come round to my place this afternoon?" Sam nonchalantly asked him. "We'll see if you're any better at pool than you are at basketball."
"I think I'll speak for both of us and say 'yes'," Danny replied. "Who knows – maybe I'll beat you this time."
Sam laughed and said, "You wish!"
Danny responded with his typical mock-sarcastic laugh and said, "Hey, look over there!" before grabbing her around the waist and tackling her to the ground. She yelped in surprise as he pinned her arms against the grass. "Wanna bet?" he challenged her, laughing as she pushed him off again. The two of them just stayed play-fighting in the tree's shadow for a bit, eventually calling a truce and lying back down to catch their breath.
Tucker came back with three bottles of water, purchased at great personal cost, to find them underneath the boughs of the oak tree. Danny was rocking from side to side in hysterics, and although not as hard, Sam was also laughing while she brushed her hair out of her eyes. Both of their faces were distinctly flushed, which prompted Tucker to say, as irritatingly as possible, "Hope I'm not interrupting anything." Danny flipped him the finger.
Later they'd gone back to her house to watch a couple of movies. As soon as he set foot inside the doorway, Tucker's legs started quivering and he sank to his knees on the plush carpet, bowing down and chanting, "We are not worthy! We are not worthy!"
Sam rolled her eyes – he did this every time. "Get up," she said, kicking him, "this isn't the Vatican." Tucker stood up again, grinning in his usual smug fashion. The rest of the evening had just passed by in a flash. Before she knew it, she was waving goodbye to Danny and Tucker as they walked down the road towards home. It had been about 10:00pm, but the sun was still lingering on.
"Sam!" her mother called up the stairs, snapping her out of her reverie. "Are you up yet?"
She groaned and flopped back onto the bed. She still hadn't packed yet, and her parents' constant reminders did nothing to peak her enthusiasm. For whatever reason, leaving was the last thing on her mind.
Later that afternoon, after she'd finally grown sick and tired of being asked, 'Have you packed yet?', Sam gave in and threw some clothes into a suitcase. It was enough for a few days – she didn't understand why some people always took their entire frickin' wardrobe with them on holiday. She felt somewhat hemmed in inside the house, in spite of how spacious it actually was. What she needed was some fresh air.
"Just going out for a while, Mom!" she called, closing the door behind her before her mother got the chance to respond. Almost cloudless, the sky was a calming shade of blue, radiant in the sunlight. She set off in the direction of the park, feeling the wind sail gently through her hair. Branches swayed in the breeze as she walked through the gates. The smell of freshly-cut grass hung low in the air, and the sunlight sparkled off the surface of the thin canal that meandered through the park. Sam took in a deep breath and smiled. It was a nice enough place to live at any other time of the year, but it looked especially vibrant in the summer.
As she walked further along the path, she caught sight of a boy lying about thirty feet away from her. Was that Danny? It looked irrefutably like him – black hair, the design on his white T-shirt. Shielding her eyes from the sun's glare as she approached him and his features became clearer, she realised that it was Danny. She smiled; he looked so oblivious to everything, plugged into his Discman, calmly drifting away in the mid-afternoon sun and moving his foot in time to an inaudible pulse. She listened as Danny sang under his breath, "…You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to/So that when they turn their backs on you, you get the chance to put the knife in…", and then proceeded to air-guitar the solo.
Stifling a laugh at his overt display, Sam removed one of his earphones and said, "Hey, Danny."
Startled from his daydream, Danny's eyes shot open and he saw Sam crouched down next to him. "Hey, Sam!" he answered, putting his CD on pause. "Didn't think I'd catch you down here."
"Me neither," she said. "I just finished my packing, and I thought I'd take a walk. Just to clear my head."
"Oh, right," he said as he sat up. "Me too, I guess. Couldn't face starting Lancer's stupid essay."
Sam laughed at his response and said, "Yeah, I saw you sunning yourself like a lizard. I wasn't going to see you for a few days, so I thought I'd come and, y'know, say 'hi'."
Danny smiled and looked out onto the horizon. The huge sign that mounted his doorway was just visible over the rooftops. He almost hesitated, and then asked, "Hey, Sam, you doing anything else this afternoon?"
Sam shook her head and replied, "Not really."
Danny offered her a headphone. "Wanna listen?"
"Yeah, all right," she shrugged. "What were you listening to?"
"Just some Floyd stuff." He pressed Play again, and added, "Hope you don't mind long songs."
"Why?" she asked, "How long left?"
Danny checked the display. "About fifteen minutes." Sam's eyes widened momentarily, and she lay her head down on the grass. Neither of them said anything for a few minutes as they listened to the track. She had her particular tastes in music, but this was pretty good. She listened closely to the lyrics.
You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder.
You know it's going to get harder, and harder and harder as you get older.
And in the end you'll pack up and fly down south,
Hide your head in the sand,
Just another sad old man
All alone and dying of cancer.
And when you lose control,
You'll reap the harvest you have sown.
And as the fear grows,
The bad blood slows and turns to stone.
Danny looked over at her and asked, "You like it?"
"It's pretty good," Sam evaluated. "Makes me think of Dash."
Danny laughed and said, "Yeah, I can see where you're coming from." He mused for a minute. "Kwan too, I guess."
Sam chuckled and nodded in firm agreement. For a while, the two of them simply lay side by side, letting the track run its course and watching the clouds drift across the sky, perfectly content to not say anything, just enjoy each other's company.