:AN: I finally decided to post this. The fist three chapters following this are already typed up and the fourth is started. This is an AU fic with rather adult themes, although nothing very graphic or tasteless. The rating may be subject to raise.
Even though I have the first few chapters written, I'm going to pace in a way that I can stay ahead with my chapters, keeping at least one in reserve. I am hoping this method will prevent situations that have occured with my other fics...
Well, aside from all that... enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom, all the credit for him belongs to Butch Hartman. -insert wittyremark here-
Title: Spider's Web
Samantha Manson was your run of the mill odd-ball. Looking at her only gave you half of the story. She looked like she belonged in a rock band, she looked badass and tough. At the same time, it looked like she strived to mimic the ghosts that had been frequenting the news, cold, dark, frightening. But, much like the ghosts, she was just misunderstood.
Her hair was black, her clothes were dark, and her skin was an interesting contrast to it. She had a creamy complexion which showed how little she exposed herself to the sun, and I can't neglect to mention her shocking lavender eyes. She wore fish-nets with army boots, and band tees with plaid skirts. Her wrists were covered with bangles and bracelets of all sizes, shapes, and colors. The way she carried herself was entirely unapproachable.
People saw this when they looked at her, but they didn't see her. At the risk of sounding cliché, Sam kept her true self under lock and key.
She had little faith in people.
If you don't believe in something it is difficult to trust it. Take poverty stricken families for example. The kids don't believe in Santa Claus, they can't trust the fairy tale to bring them gifts every winter. Applying this to Sam's situation comes down to one thing; she had trust issues.
One thing that had Sam scoffing the most was 'true love'. She didn't buy it; she didn't absorb its blatant propaganda like all those other fools. She saw plenty of relationships in her life; all failures. Big fat failures that destroyed lives… she wouldn't fall for the ruse.
The most influential of the aforementioned failures came from her very own parents, which lead her to make a big mistake. Well, it might be a bit rash to call it a "mistake", but every now and then she had her doubts. She had run away from home when she was 17 and ended up in the city, Amity City to be exact.
She had packed well enough; she had clothes, toiletries, CDs, the basics. She also had about $100 in cash on her. Truly it wasn't that much considering her parents were loaded and she wasn't planning on returning.
She had caused her parents enough trouble, just as they had to her. They were a mutual thorn in each other's sides. Sam was to them because she forced them to stay in a loveless marriage, and they were to Sam because they forced her to stay in a loveless family.
So one day she was just fed up with everything, she just up and left. Never to look back.
Five days in the city and she was almost completely broke with a mere $15 left. This was what started her troubles. She was a high school drop out who needed a place to live and couldn't survive off a salary as a fry cook at the local Nasty Burger. Hey, it wasn't her fault she didn't know how to budget, and it wasn't her fault gas was so expensive.
Seven days after she left home she had run out of money completely, was hungry and desperate- just short of willing to go home. It was then that she ran into Lydia Simpson. It was this chance meeting that changed the course of her life.
Sam had left her black Jetta (a Sweet Sixteen present) in the parking lot of a local grocery store and was walking around the city figuring she might have better luck finding work on foot. She was rounding a corner when Lydia ran into her. They sprawled on to the ground.
"Oh shit!" Lydia cried. "Oh God, I'm so sorry!" She reached a hand down for Sam. "God, are you alright?"
"Fine," Sam replied taking her hand, "I'll be alright."
Sam studied the girl before her; she wore a tight tank top, a mini skirt, some bangles, and had long red nails. Her makeup was way too flashy for daytime –or nighttime for that matter. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what she was.
"Let me make it up to you, k?" She cocked her head to the side and stretched her mouth into a big smile. She had very white teeth.
"That's okay," Sam brushed off her pants. "I'm fine really, you don't have to."
"Oh, but I insist!" her smile never faltered. "You can't refuse!"
Sam shrugged; she was hungry, "If you insist."
She squealed with delight and stuck out her hand, "I'm Lydia, by the way. And you are?"
"Sam," she shook her hand and was caught off guard when Lydia threw her arm around her neck and started guiding her to a near-by diner.
They were seated in a booth by the window when Lydia started asking questions.
"So what brings you to Amity City?"
"I, well… –I sort of ran away," Sam admitted bashfully. It sounded kind of lame now that she'd said it out loud; it was like something a five year old would do when she didn't get that toy she'd begged for.
"Really? How long have you been here?" she asked. "When do you plan to go home?"
"I've been here almost a week," Sam replied. "And I don't plan on going home."
"I see," she replied fiddling with the straw of her cherry coke. "And just how old are you?"
"Wow, that's so funny!" she slapped the table for emphasis.
"Is it?" Sam asked nursing her iced tea. She didn't find it that comical.
"…'Cause it's like, no shit!" she cried. "I did the same thing!"
"…You did?" Oh, ironic funny.
"Totally!" she nodded with vigor. "So, like, do you have a place to stay yet?"
"I've been staying in my car… so not really."
"Oh my God!" she smiled and shoved Sam's shoulder playfully. "You totally have to come stay with me! I have an extra mattress you can crash on 'till you get on your feet."
"Really?" Sam asked. "That's so nice, but we've just met and… well… why are you being so nice?"
"I know what you're going through," she explained. "A car is no place for a girl to live and I know I would have killed for an offer like this when I was in your position. I know it seems kind of sudden an' creepy, but I swear it's all out of the goodness of my heart!" She placed her right hand over her heart and placed her left in the air as though taking an oath. "What do you say?"
At this point Sam didn't have much choice. It was getting closer and closer to winter and she couldn't leave her car's heater on all night, she had no gas money as it was.
"I think I'll say yes." They shook hands to seal the deal. Sam didn't know why, but it sort of felt like the right thing to do.
So Sam found her car with Lydia and they went to her slightly slummy one bedroom apartment. The "mattress" for Sam to crash on was really a futon in the living room. Sam didn't mind, it was far better than her previous accommodations in her car.
She soon discovered that Lydia wasn't exactly a prostitute as she had originally assumed, instead she was a 'parlor girl', which was basically the same thing, if only a bit safer. She also discovered that Lydia was 21. She worked in a back alley massage parlor, Paul's Parlor to be exact. She said that she could probably get Sam a job if she wanted.
Lydia had just shrugged saying that she was passing up a chance to make easy money, but if she ever changed her mind to let her know. She then winked and said she had to go hit the 'grind stone'. She giggled at her own joke and left, having told Sam earlier to make herself at home. "Mi casa es su casa," she had said. Then she laughed saying that that was all she learned from her three sporadic semesters in Spanish class.
Anyway, Sam was left alone to ponder over her situation. While it was definitely looking up, she still couldn't help but wonder if it was all a mistake. She was living with a prostitute she hardly knew for God's sake! It was then her eyes caught sight of the headlines in the news paper: "Business Tycoon and Wife Mourn the Loss of Their Missing Daughter, Samantha Manson, Age 17". Two photos were next to the medium sized article, one of her "grieving" parents, and one outdated picture of herself.
'How quaint,' she thought to herself.
She shredded the paper and threw it away.
Sam's never ending hunt for work turned futile and she was sick and tired of imposing on Lydia. No matter how many times she was told that it 'was all cool', she was desperate for work and desperate for a place of her own. After she'd been at Lydia's for a month and after she'd realized her job situation wasn't going to improve anytime soon. She took Lydia up on her job offer.
Lydia was quite thrilled and told her that it really wasn't as bad as it all sounded and she could start out slow, she wouldn't have to do anything she wasn't ready to. Then she was told all about how it was a safe place and rubbers were required for everything and how the pay was great and after a couple weeks working Sam should be able to afford to move out.
Sam's head was spinning as she listened to her friend rattle on and on about Paul's Parlor. She made a solemn promise to herself that it would only be temporary, that she was just seventeen and she had time to find a more suitable job later in life.
Three years and a massive country-wide job shortage later, twenty year old Samantha Manson still worked at Paul's. Only now she lived in a swank little studio apartment in a slightly nicer part of the city. It wasn't the greatest part, but it was far better than Lydia's primo location right behind the parlor she worked at.
And Sam found the time to get her GED, a must have for all high school dropouts. Well, Lydia didn't have one. No matter what Sam told her, Lydia always laughed it up and claimed she wasn't the studious type and couldn't hack anymore school. Eventually Sam dropped the subject all together.
By this point Sam had seen all sorts of characters, most of them paying costumers. Some had tried to take advantage of her, some were ashamed, some were shy, some just did their business and left. She hated it. She hated the kind of people who came to her, but everyday on the news she heard about how there were just too many people and not enough jobs. It was either money or dignity, a source of income or the soup kitchen, an apartment or a box. The choice wasn't hard to make. Actually it wasn't much of a choice at all, was it?
Lydia and Sam talked often, you could even call them friends, but Sam tended to shy away from Lydia's crowd and made a point to stay away from the parties she frequented. She just didn't like people, why force herself to be surround by them needlessly? Sam spent her free time listening to the good kind of music that clubs just didn't seem to have, hanging out in dingy little coffee and tea cafés were people read poetry and played their hearts out in song, and going to book stores. She also put her energy in a newly developed passion for animal rights; she hated most humans, so it wasn't too surprising that she loved animals a little more. She was an ultra-recyclo vegetarian without question.
And she had a little black cat named Lilith who, in her opinion, was about as badass as cats got.
As bleak as her occupation was, Sam's over all life wasn't that terrible. Plus all the media hype her parents caused when she had left had died down ages ago. She was free from them. Her life fit in place. Still she wasn't that happy. She wasn't all shits n' giggles like her dear friend Lydia. She knew something was missing and she was not about to start looking for it.
:AN: Well, there goes the prologue. The following chapters will all be longer. So far the shortest is eight pages, the longest thirteen pages. Let's see how this goes, eh?
I would really appreciate it!