Part Two: Shadow Man
Chapter Thirteen: We Won
"I don't love you anymore."
She let the thoughts flow through her, of those horrible and special nights she had with Shade. Those memories gave her the strength she needed to do what had to be done. Seeing a man she had loved standing there with shock and betrayal on his features made her heart ache in a bad way. She wanted to avert her gaze so that she wouldn't have to look into those eyes that were so completely naked right now, so raw with hopeless need. She didn't want to hurt anymore. She didn't want to witness his pain. There had been enough, why was there need to look at more? Yet she couldn't stop staring at him. She had to look at him, or else she would be a coward, and at this point, she could not afford to do so.
"Why, my kitty, why?" he sobbed. Oh no, he was crying. That beautiful, psychotic boy was crying and she was feeling a gut wrenching pain, like her killing him was killing her as well. "Don't do this to me. Don't do this!"
He sank to the floor, changing back to his original form, and there was a puddle of ectoplasmic goo at the base of him, groaning in pain. The goo spread out until it stopped at Sam and Danny's feet. They stared down at it, wondering, until something came up through it, and both of them leapt back with a shout as it was the beginnings of a body. Then another body started coming though, and another, and another, until Danny, Sam, and Shade were forced back to the edges of the room. It was filled with people, so many people, and they all looked exactly the same. They all looked like…Danny.
"What the hell?" she breathed. "What is this?"
A Danny who wore a blue t-shirt with even darker blue eyes, stepped forward. His hair was cut in a no-nonsense style, but there was a kindness about him, along with a maturity. "I think I can explain this to you." The other Danny look-a-likes moved about, some moving towards Danny and Sam, others moving for the side Shade was on, until almost everyone was split down the middle. There were only a few that chose neither side. "We," his arms spread out to indicate the clones, "are all a part of Danny. We are his everything."
"Uh, define everything," Danny demanded. The only way he hadn't gotten loss among the mass was because he held onto Sam's waist. "What do you mean me?"
"How do I put this eloquently?" Blue shirt Danny sighed. "We are your emotions and thoughts, along with a few things in between. I am Intelligence. I represent your knowledge, although you don't listen to me as often as you should." He gave a rueful smile. "But I've been getting a little more attention lately since you decided to grow up."
"I am Happiness." This Danny had a pink t-shirt, with pink eyes that were as dark as they could be. He smiled in a sort of carefree way. "I'm what makes Danny so childish sometimes, but what helps keep him good."
"My name is Joy!" This one had a bright yellow t-shirt paired with amber eyes a grin on his face. "I let Danny have fun, and trust me, you give him a lot of fun." There was a way that Joy said that it made Sam blush deeply.
"Truth," another one said. This one was different, clad in an all white jump suit with the snow-white hair and purely white eyes that made him appear blind. "I cannot tell lies."
"Sadness," one whispered, who looked to be nothing more than a shadow of gray. "I'm sorry I do so many bad things. I'm misguided, but I can't admit that to anyone. I'm sorry."
There were many more, so many, and yet, Sam knew this wasn't all of them. Intelligence refused to introduce everyone and there were many who wouldn't do so, but a few others that did were: Envy, Lust (he certainly wasn't shy of her!), Hope, Modesty, Cowardice, Valor, and Relaxation. A few more caught her eye.
One on the side with Shade was tied up in chains and barbwire, gagged, bleeding, and filthy. He was in such a sorry state. "That one is Anguish," Intelligence pointed out. "He cannot speak, for he is a tortured soul. No one can help him, so no one speaks to him." There was one more, in the middle, who was curled up in a ball, and floating in midair. This one barely looked like Danny, for he had long black hair that flowed around him as if it were in water. His half-lidded eyes were amethyst, exactly like hers, but his skin was ghostly white. His clothes were…void. She was happy that he wasn't standing like the rest. "Oh. I see that Love has caught your eye." Love slowly lifted his head, and looked at her with androgynous features that were achingly beautiful all the same. There was the smallest of glows surrounding him, like a little ball of light. "And it seems Love is caught by you."
"Why is he so different?" Danny asked. He waded through all the emotions until he stood before Love, a hand of his reaching out. "Why does he look so…vulnerable?"
"That is what your love is right now, Danny," Intelligence answered. "Love has never really been around until now, because you did not have a soul that loved you back the way Sam does. It is new, and that is why Love is not clothed." Love gently brushed his fingers against Danny and Sam saw something flash between those two, a sort of understanding. The sense of loss the young man was having within him seemed to disappear. Tears shined in his eyes and he backed away from Love, wandering back to Sam. He wiped his eyes, sniffling a little. "Love is both powerful and weak. That is why he glows with the unearthly light but stays curled up. Love cannot speak, but communicates through touch. Love can and cannot do many things."
"Love is stuck in the middle because it is both good and evil. It always has pure intentions though, no matter how sick and perverse they can be." Shade stepped forward. "Sam, while I know it makes you happy that I'm going to cease to live, I will not go down without a fight." He pointed to Danny. "She may keep me in this world, but the real fight is between you and I, not her." He took a fighting stance. "One last fight, all or nothing."
"I wouldn't have it any other way." Danny took up one as well, but did not change.
"Why don't you become Phantom, huh?"
Danny smirked. "I don't need to become a superhero to defeat you, Shade. It's not a blow of fists, but wills. I'm going to defeat you, and I won't even hit you."
"Yeah, you wish." On the last word, he flew towards Danny, hand headed straight for that handsome face. Less than an inch away and his fist stopped, even curling back a ways. "What the—" Then a force blew him back among the massive Danny's. "What did you just do?"
"I'm sending you back where you belong." Shade's form began to waver, as if he were becoming insubstantial. The same thing was happening to others in the room. Some just faded away, like dust in the wind, a sparkle of energy that would fly back into Danny's body. His eyes would change color with each thought that disappeared: green for Envy, gold for Hope, so many, too many. His eyes became a swirl of ever-changing color as they all disappeared. "You have to go back, Shade. You have to go back like everybody else." Intelligence stroked Sam's face and then was gone. It was down to a few, and then only two: Love and Shade. They did not disappear, but were merely wavering and semi-transparent. "You couldn't stay here in the first place." Sam walked over to them, first Love. Love looked at her, a gorgeous smile on his lips. She cupped his face and slowly kissed his forehead. When she was done, he closed his lilac eyes and disappeared in a shower of brilliant light, flying straight to Danny's heart. His eyes changed and stayed, the eyes of Love. "Come back to me, Shade, or should I say, Sin?"
Shade's mouth dropped open in shock. "How did you know my true name?" He was becoming more insubstantial. His panic was clearly evident. He started crying. "No. I don't want to go back. I want to stay." He looked at Sam, pleading, desperate. "Please. Let me stay here, with you."
She shook her head. "I can't do that. You know I can't."
"Kitty," he wailed. "Sam!"
A lost child…
He was exactly that.
"Come home, Sin."
He was barely a whisper on the wind now, the faintest trait that was him could only be seen. Sam stood in front of him, tears shining in her eyes. Some came out, rolling down her face. He reached out, his ghost of a hand catching one of those little diamonds, and drinking its saltiness. Her fingers fingered one of his locks. He looked utterly devastated. With that little bit of her heart, Sam stood up so that she could touch his face, and pulled him down for a long, slow kiss.
There were no fireworks, no all-consuming heat that rushed through them.
It was a kiss, a simple kiss.
It was a kiss to say goodbye.
"I love you," were his last words when they broke away.
With a sigh, he disappeared.
Danny leaned back as Sin went back into him. His eyes went from the lilac to that special dark green with golden flecks, and were then replaced by pure skies and stared at Sam. They stood apart for a moment, until she fell heavily to the floor, weak with relief. He rushed over, lifting her up into his lap, holding her. She looked up at him, still crying, but for joy this time.
"We won." She buried her face into his shirt. "We won."
She woke up weeping and she wiped the tears from her face as she looked around; she was back in her room, in her bed, with Danny right next to her. He was waking as well, and she rolled out of bed with a sheet wrapped around her. She heard him muttering under his breath, complaining how it was a little too cold in the room, and she smiled ruefully at the remark. One little movement of the thermostat changed it so it was quite comfortable and dark. He sat up and looked at her, sleep still trying to coax him back at the edges.
"Morning." His voice was hoarse.
"Actually, it's night," she corrected. The curtains were flung open to a view of the city Amity Park. "We were only out for a couple of hours."
"Whatever." He got out of bed as well, wrapping a sheet around him. He came up behind her, resting his hands on her waist. He let his face fall into the space between her shoulder and neck, lightly nibbling at the delicate flesh. She squirmed a little, laughing at the ticklish feeling it provoked. "How about we go back to bed?"
"Not right now." She bit her lip. "I just need a little time to think, or go somewhere. I don't want to be in here right now." She indicated her room. "There's a lot of memories here, some a bit painful. I don't think I'm ready to face them yet." She leaned back into him, resting lightly against his chest, listening to his breathing, his heartbeat. "I want to be with you, don't get me wrong, but let's not rush it." She turned around and looked up at him, staring him in the eye, her face void of any emotion. She didn't want to give anything away, not when things were so fragile right now. She could still see all those thoughts and emotions split up. She could still see Sha—Sin in Danny, and could also see Love, along with a whole slew of them. They were still surfacing every so often, Lust winking at her, Sadness lamenting over something, Intelligence giving an annoyed huff. She knew them all intimately, in a way, since they were part of Danny. "I want to spend time with you." Every single emotion, every single thought… She had known them for the longest time, ever since they were little, some more than others. "I want to do that girlfriend/boyfriend stuff." She blushed. "I want to go on dates and to the movies, and hold hands, and get into petty fights where we make up later with a lot of kissing. I want to cuddle sometimes." There was a sparkle in her eyes. "I want to kick your butt at video games, and steal French fries from you and do a million other little things that just don't make sense." Her fingers strayed to his lips. "I want a relationship, for real. I want to be your girlfriend, Danny Fenton."
"Then do it already," and he boldly kissed her, a passionate one that bruised the lips and left one gasping for air. "Will you be my girlfriend, Sam Manson?"
"My, my," she cooed, "so confident, aren't we?"
He gave a sexy sly grin. "I guess I learned some things from myself." The grin was gone, the remnant of Sin, and replaced with his normal boyishly adorable smile. "I'm still me, though." He cupped her face with his hands, admiring every part there was to her: a small, perky nose, high cheekbones, soft, sensuous lips, and the biggest most beautiful twilight eyes ever imaginable, not to mention rare. "I'll always be me. Nothing changes that. I swear. Nothing will change that." A kiss, a kiss for the soul. That's what he gave her, pouring everything into her, and she into him. "Meant to be. Seems that way, huh? I mean, I feel like I've known you for longer, kind of like…"
"Forever," she finished. "It feels like forever."
Another kiss, so soft, so simple, so sweet. There wasn't the fiery passion. It was there, but underneath the surface, not taking over them, not yet. They were content with the wonderful kisses. They were happy with just being close. When it came to love, there was no need for sex, no need for an all over kiss, nothing that involved the removing of clothing. Love could be conveyed through the merest touches. It could be seen with the smallest look. Love could happen with the barest brushing of lips. It could look obvious by holding hands. It was seen no matter what. That's what love was: fantastic, breathtaking, amazing, simple, passionate, painful, joyous, overwhelming, and millions of other things. It was what let Danny and Sam conquer Sin, let them get through it all alive. It protected and gave strength, as well as bravery.
Love was a miracle.
"It feels like falling." He was crying now. He remembered what it was like to touch his own Love. He remembered the feelings it gave him, so many at one time, yet he understood each and every one. He knew the trials that love went through. He did not know why he cried, but he did. He cried for his Love. "It's falling. I feel like I'm falling."
"All white and fuzzy in my head." She licked his tears away. "I don't want it to stop…ever."
Meant to be…
The phone rang, and Tucker was forced to stop feeling Valerie up in order to answer. Why the hell didn't he have a headset already that was voice activated? He was the head nerd of Casper High, complete with PDA, MP3, PSP, other large, three letter abbreviations, and things like the ever-popular iPod. Why not a voice activated headset?
"Hello?" he asked irritably. The anger leaked out of him. "What?" A pause. "Wait…say that again." Valerie could have sworn she heard the triumphant shout of Danny, although not sure what he had exactly said. She also thought that Sam might have been shouting happily in the background. "That dude? Yeah?" Tucker sighed in frustration. "Danny. You've gotta slow down. I can hardly understand what you're saying." He growled. "Danny! Shut up and calm down, just for a minute!"
"Tucker! We won! He's gone! Shade is gone!" It was so loud that Valerie could clearly hear it. She could practically feel his laughter. She could almost see that beautiful young boy grinning, swinging Sam around by her waist, so carefree. So happy… It made her smile.
"Dude. That's awesome!" Tucker was excited now. He jumped off the couch. "We got to get together. Let's like…celebrate!" One last pause. "Dude. Amity Park. Food? Awesome! We'll be there!" He hung up, smiling. "Okay, I know you don't know anything about this, but to make a really long story short: Danny and Sam were having troubles with this guy. He was sorta stalking Sam, making their lives miserable, and just now Danny was able to get rid of him. That's why they were so happy."
"Was he that big of a problem?"
Tucker's face was priceless, a sort of mix that was caught between a secretive smile and painful memories. "You have no idea."
An hour later, they all met up. Danny looked like he had been through something ruff, although Tucker and Valerie couldn't guess why (although Valerie might have by the way Sam was blushing). Sam herself, while looking a little haggard as well, couldn't be any more beautiful at the same time. There was a glow about her that wasn't easily explained. Actually, Danny and Sam were both glowing, as if some inner spirit within them had flared to life and wished to be recognized. It came off as dazzling and did not go unnoticed by any passerby. However, none really cared for that and the four friends settled down with a midnight picnic, giggling, grinning, and happy to just live. They were happy to be around at that very moment, happy to be in the park, happy to see the stars and the moon…happy at everything there possibly was.
A while passed, the way that time goes when one is having fun with friends.
Danny and Sam openly held hands.
Tucker lovingly kissed Valerie on the cheek.
Sam threw Tucker's roast meatball sub at him, angered that he'd eat a variety of animals.
Tucker replied by throwing her veggie sandwich.
The food was forgotten to be used as sustenance and instead used as artillery for an all out food fight.
Danny licked coleslaw off of Sam's nose.
Valerie grabbed Tucker's hat and ran away with it, laughing.
In all this commotion, Sam pulled out her camera, and she took pictures. There were so many for her, so many new memories that she'd print out and put in a different shoebox, storing away in the closet and taken down later to be used for comfort. Every single picture showed nothing but the exuberance of youth and the love of being with those who were so close. Everyone seemed to be smiling in them all. A few of them were blurry because a hand had grabbed at the lens in an attempt to stop embarrassment, or blackmail at that. There were a million of them running around. One was Danny holding poor Tucker in a headlock once again. There was another where Tucker and Valerie had leaned in for a sweet kiss. One was of just Danny with his head tilted, a wonderfully male arrogant look on his face. Danny, Tucker, and Valerie had piled together for a group photo. Sam had taken a self-portrait with Danny tackling Tucker in the background. There was another surprising one that contained Sam and Valerie hugging each other, mouths open wide with a hoot. Many more accompanied them: Danny and Sam sharing a beautiful, soft, kiss, Valerie bench pressing Tucker, Tucker throwing pudding at Danny, Danny retaliating with soda, Valerie getting a "noogie" by Danny, Sam kicking out into space judo style, Tucker and Sam performing goofy faces, the entire group in a portrait with Danny staring at Sam with such love, and many, many more. They were so splendid, so wonderful that when Sam had sat down to look through them, she felt herself tearing up.
It all ended too soon. Those few hours were so very precious to Sam. She printed out full sized pictures. Her heart felt content looking at every single picture before storing them away in both the physical and proverbial shoebox.
However, it was okay.
After all, she was just saving them for a rainy day, when things might seem so dark.
There was a slight rumbling of thunder, and the rain immediately followed after.
So speaking of which…she would once again go through those memories, and enjoy herself.
A warmth spread throughout her and she couldn't be happier.
Happiness was finally here, and most likely to stay.
Author's Notes: Okay, so it got short again, and I hope everything wasn't too…anticlimactic. So, I don't know if this was a good ending in itself, if you guys feel like a few loose ends need to be tied up, I'll go with one more chapter, and then there'll be another one just telling my thanks, little side notes, blah, blah. You get the idea, I think. Anyways, I don't know how much longer I can go on. I got tears streaming down my face at the moment cause it's basically the end of something I loved to do so much and I feel terrible for it all ending, but still! The good times I had writing this and receiving all those lovely reviews and comments from you guys! So, I have to stop now because I'll wait for the mushiness at the very, ultimate end. I hope to see you all then and again: you all mean the world to me. Thank you so much for your support. Until next time. Ciao.