Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom or any related characters. I do not own "Imperfection" by Skillet, the song used in the fic.
A/N- Okay, so somehow I managed to make it both angsty and fluffy. Don't ask me how. I know you're all going to say, "awww", and I'll deal with it, but not too much! cringe Okay, so I like fluff too. What can I say, I'm a hopeless romantic.
She stood alone, staring into the mirror.
Who am I, really? I try to be an individual. I dress in black, I don't eat meat, and yeah… my best friend is half ghost. But am I really different? Or do I pose, like all the other half-wits I make fun of? I say they don't understand life, but do I understand it? Truly?
Samantha Manson lifted her hand and slipped her fingers beneath the hem of her black tank-top, lifting it to expose the pale skin of her stomach. She gazed at the reflection of a tiny scar on her abdomen. She had had appendicitis in the seventh grade.
Imperfection. But why do I care? What should it matter if my body is perfect, when the very thing I strive for is to be different from the models, the actresses, and the populars? It's almost hypocritical. Scratch that. It is hypocritical.
She gripped her top and lifted it over her shoulders, leaving it drop to the floor. She had left her hair down, and the black locks fell in front of her face and grazed across her shoulders. The black bra she wore contrasted against her skin, leaving a stark appearance.
I don't know me…
You're worth so much,
It'll never be enough to see what you have to give.
How beautiful you are,
Yet seem so far from everything you're wanting to be.
Tears falling down again.
Sam watched as the moistness flowed out of her eyes and down her cheeks. She had forgone makeup, knowing this would happen. It always did. The tiny drops of water flowed over her face and neck and lower, finally disappearing between her breasts. She looked intently at her reflection, trying to find something different. Failing, she grew frustrated.
Why can't I be happy with myself? Why, after seventeen years, is this suddenly an issue? I've gone so long being comfortable, and now that security is gone. Why can't I handle myself like I always have?
She wanted to turn away from the mirror; to never look back. But her feet wouldn't move. Her hands balled into fists and she thought of striking her image, but feared the pain it would cause. She didn't want to hurt herself. She didn't want to hurt anyone. She just wanted someone to understand.
Why isn't Danny here to help me?
The thought came unbidden. Danny Fenton had been her best friend for as long as she could remember, along with Tucker Foley. They were inseparable, in school and on their ghostly missions. Sam had always been close with both of them, but Danny had the powers, and that set him apart. It made him seem invincible, and caused him to be the strongest of the group. Danny was always there to save the day.
He can't help in this. I have a problem with me. Both Danny and Tucker have told me I'm beautiful, and I know they don't just see my body; we've been friends too long for that. But they don't understand. There are pressures guys don't have to deal with, and emotions they're not used to.
She shook her head, disgusted with herself. She had tried sharing the blame: Why couldn't her parents be home more? Why didn't her mother love her? Why didn't anyone realize she was in pain? Why was she such an outcast at school? But that was useless. Because everything came back to her. Her parents would stay home if she bothered to pay attention to them. Her mother might love her if it seemed like she cared. She deliberately hid her pain, waiting for someone to see through the façade. She chose to separate herself from the crowds.
It's all my fault…
You fall to your knees.
You beg, you plead.
Can I be somebody else for all the times I hate myself?
Your failures devour your heart in every hour.
You're drowning in your imperfection.
Sam barely felt it when her knees buckled and she fell to the floor. She knelt there, bracing herself on the floor; feeling like the world was falling in around her. She gripped the plush carpet for dear life, praying God wouldn't let her fall off the face of the Earth.
I'm beautiful. I know it. But… I don't believe it.
Why, oh why did life have to be like that? Was it some cruel punishment for a past wrong-doing she had no recollection of? Why couldn't she, for once, not have to deal with the problems of being herself? Something was missing from her life and she didn't know what. It felt like she'd never find it.
Please take the pain away, just for a little while! I can't take it any more… I just want to let go. I don't deserve this; no one does!
She knelt there, and for an eternity no answer came to her. Hope was gone as she sagged, allowing herself to lie on the floor. She didn't see the hazy apparition outside her window; didn't see the terrified look on his face when he found her, not moving, on the floor.
Danny rushed in, quickly changing back to his human form. He ran to where Sam lay, swiftly picking her up in his arms. She turned to him, a surprised look on her face.
"Sam, are you okay? What's going on? What are you doing?"
She shook her head, trying to clear it.
I want to tell him so badly, but it's my problem to deal with. I shouldn't burden him.
But the look in his soft blue eyes…
"I don't know who I am anymore. It's like all of a sudden, everything I thought was right is put into question. I can't get a hold of anything, and I don't know how to make it stop."
"Oh, Sammy," he sighed, pulling her close and burying his face in her hair. "Don't you realize how special you are? I couldn't live my life without you in it, and I think Tucker feels the same. You're our best friend, and you always have been."
You mean so much
That Heaven would touch the face of humankind for you.
How special you are,
Revel in your day.
You're fearfully and wonderfully made.
You're wonderfully made.
"I know we're best friends. It's just…" Sam let more tears fall, not caring that Danny saw. "I can't even explain it. I contradict myself, and then I get angry. Who am I? Why am I here? Why can't I take control of my own life!"
For a long while, Danny said nothing. He doesn't understand. No one does, and they never will. Now, I almost wish he'd leave. At least then he wouldn't have to see me like this. He wouldn't have to search for words like this.
But he spoke again, startling her.
"I've never told you this, Sam. I thought, in some weird way, that you knew. I love you. I've been fighting with myself for so long over whether or not to tell you. It's more than what I'm used to, and it kind of scares me, but I decided it's time." Did he just say what I think he said? Danny shifted her in his embrace so he could look into her eyes, and their gazes locked. "I think you're amazing," he continued. "I see you every day and this warmth washes over me, like life couldn't get better. I look at you, and I see… so much. You're so unlike me, but it's like you complete my life. Without you, I don't think I could go on. I see you, and…" His eyes searched hers, trying to find what he wanted to say. He seemed so nervous and sincere, trying to make what he said perfect. "I see you, and I see my future. I see my past, and my present. Don't you see? You mean so much, Sammy. How could you doubt in yourself when I have every confidence in you? There's something about you that just… shines. I see it every day, every time I look at you."
She blinked, hardly knowing what to say. He loves me? He really sees me like that? Why didn't he ever say anything! Oh, God, he's felt like that all this time… And I love him, too. I have for a while. Now, this seems so natural, but…
"I never knew you felt that way." Sam stood up, returning to her place in front of the mirror. "I just wish I could see what you see. All I see is the same old Sam."
Danny stood up, came behind her, and slipped his arms around her waist. He rested his chin on her shoulder, staring for a long time at her reflection. "You are the same Sam," he said finally. "You've always been that wonderful. You don't have to change to be something great, you just have to open your eyes and see." He stroked a hand over her bare stomach and she placed her fingers over his. Danny's darker skin seemed odd against her paleness. "You have a beautiful body," he whispered. "But it goes deeper than that. You have a beautiful soul."
Her eyes strayed to the various scars given to her by years of fighting ghosts and being a teenager, seemingly unable to be harmed. Her friend followed her gaze, lighting on each mark.
"I have so many imperfections… inside and out."
Danny pulled her tightly back against him. He smiled and kissed her neck softly, allowing her hair to brush across his face.
"I love you and your imperfections… each and every one."
Tears falling down again.
Come let the healing begin.