"What do you want for Christmas Samantha?"
She froze, her breath puffing in a frosty cloud. She had been avoiding him at all costs because of this question. It seemed whenever he caught up to her those were the first words he chose to share.
This time he slid in front of her path, a daring smile over his face.
Sam tucked her jacket tighter around herself and ducked her head. "Nothing Danny." Trying to move around him proved fruitless. He simply stepped closer to block her way.
"Aww, c'mon Sammy." Her best friend looked slightly down at her, his own breath was white in the air between them.
"No, you c'mon I want go get home, it's cold!" She must have been insane this morning to think that her stockings and skirt would endure this weather. It had been some hours since she had had feeling in her toes.
She hugged her arms around herself for effect. It only resulted in making her colder now that she acknowledged the chill.
Danny laughed and moved to her side. "Here you can use my jacket." Before she could protest for his own health he had slipped it off his shoulders and wrapped it over hers. "And don't you complain."
Sam shut her mouth feeling the body heat left in his jacket seep into her. It felt nice.
They started once again down the block towards their homes. "Thanks." Sam answered pulling the clothing more around herself.
"No problem, I'm getting used to the cold with all this phantom business." Danny stretched his arms above his head gazing into the frosty clouds that hung heavy over Amity Park.
The girl watched him from the corner of her eye. She hardly felt the cold now.
"Anyway." Danny seemed to snap out of his daze and turn to look back at his partner. "Since Tucker's busy with his 'project partner'," He made air quotes to accentuate the point. Sam laughed, it was so obvious Tucker wanted much more than projects from his unfortunately female chemistry partner. "Do you want to hang at my house… we've got a substantial shipment of hot chocolate."
He nudged her side which forced the girl to stumble before returning the gesture. "Gee, I don't know… my social schedule is so busy this time of the year." The back of her hand pressed to her forehead in woe.
"Then I have no choice!" Danny stopped, a finger pointed as though a thought had just struck him.
Sam turned to him to see what new wonder the boy genius must have discovered. He was looking at her with some sort of devious expression. It wasn't hard to see how he could eventually be evil with a smile like that.
But she didn't have time to comment. The boy grabbed her arm and started running, dragging her along.
"I'll just have to kidnap you then."
She laughed at him as she was forcibly dragged towards the Fenton place. Sometimes it was funny how a few years had progressed him.
"Bon appetite." The waiter with the ice blue eyes placed two wafting mugs of brown liquid in front of Sam.
"I think your French needs some help." She dragged one of the mugs closer to wrap her frozen hands around. Last thing she needed was him doing that as well… again.
Danny pulled out a second chair and slid it beside hers. "French or not, it's still delicious."
"Not the bit modest." She quirked before taking the cup to her lips and trying his concoction. "Mmmm." It escaped her mouth before she could think.
Danny was watching her keenly over his own drink. When she met his gaze he looked smug. "Told ya."
Sam pursed her lips and took another sip in attempting to ignore the grinning boy beside her.
It had started snowing by the time Sam had decided to leave. The Fenton household was just so warm and cozy.
Not to mention her favorite person just kept insisting she stay.
"Are you sure you want to go out in that?" Danny was standing beside her looking out into the faint falling snow.
"Well unless your parents are willing to house another-" She stopped when she caught sight of an infectious expression on Danny's face. She smacked his shoulder. "I'll be over tomorrow since there's nothing else to do during winter break."
"Oh you secretly love my company." Danny moved to the coat stand his mother had placed beside the door. He snatched the jacket he had loaned her earlier.
"Sure I do." Sam took the jacket he offered.
"Bring it back tomorrow."
She slipped her arms through it smelling the familiar scent of the boy. "Is this collateral to ensure I come back tomorrow?"
Holding the door open he looked down at her with an eyebrow raised. "Maybe."
"Maybe I'll like it too much to give it back." Sam stepped out into the weather, it pushed against her jacket with frozen force.
"See ya tomorrow." She was stepping away from the shelter of his home into the blustering winds as he called. Most of the words were gobbled up by its push.
Her hand twisted into a half wave before clamping to hold her jacket shut. The rest of the way to her house was hurried.
Danny laid sprawled across the couch. He had awoken the next day to an already empty house. His parents were no doubt on a ghost hunting expedition and Jazz was volunteering for some organization until noon.
There were holiday reruns playing on the television. He paid no attention to them. His thoughts wandered to the girl he was waiting on.
Christmas was quickly approaching. He was still at a loss of what to get her. What could he get for her that she couldn't get for herself? It wasn't like she was short on cash to supply herself with any of her whims.
Still… in all prior holidays she had always had something for him to get her. Rarely did she buy something she wanted. It was peculiar that she never indulged her fancies. Then again, it was one of her best qualities.
He sighed and rustled the fabric of his shirt. There was chill in the air. He really should go and turn the heat on before Sam arrived.
Uncooperative limbs refused to move.
Everyone wanted something.
What did Sam want?
Sam had knocked twice and received no answer. It was too cold outside to continue waiting for that lazy phantom to answer his damn door.
The knob was unlocked, so she slid herself inside.
It wasn't much better. There was no wind, but the air was frigid.
"Danny?" She passed by the coat rack without depositing anything, why hadn't the heat been turned on?
"In here." His voice was raised from the living room, a television buzzed softly in the backdrop.
Sam headed in that direction, kicking off her boots. At least she had been smart enough today to wear some black pants and socks.
"Forget the heat?" She called, moving around the back of the couch and snatching the blanket off.
Yawning in response Danny rolled himself against the couch back to make room for the girl to sit. "Aren't you cold?" She took up the spot looking down at him.
His eyes moved from her to the blanket she was clutching. Simultaneously they both went for it.
Danny had half of it before Sam could get a good grip. "No fair!" She tried to wrestle it back using her position above him as leverage.
Unfortunately Danny had twisted away from her to keep his newly claimed possession.
Sam was now entirely focused on winning and struggling without much success. Danny continued employing cheaters tactics occasionally poking at her stomach. She shrank away laughing each time before yelling about his treacherous ways.
And before long the couch ledge was becoming closer. And closer.
Still on his back Danny gave a sharp tug and pulled Sam forward.
And the two met the floor.
"Brilliant." Sam sputtered white puffs and dragged the blanket out of Danny's weakened clutches.
Danny groaned. The floor was unkind to stiff muscles.
He forced his hands underneath himself to sit up. Sam had pushed herself to sit against the couch still on the floor. Slowly she was curling beneath her victory blanket casting him amused looks.
"But I'm cold." Danny whined, massaging a sore spot on his neck.
Sam gave him a judging look. "I thought Mr. Phantom didn't get cold."
Danny tilted his head, pouting his lower lip and looking… pathetic. Sam could practically feel her resolve slipping.
Dramatic sigh. "Fine, I'll share."
He gave her a grateful smile and scooted over to sit next to her. She moved the blanket to cover the poor freezing boy as well. "Happy?"
He leaned his head back against the couch and curled his fingers in the blanket. Sam was so warm beside him, it was sinking into him. "Mmhmm."
Sam turned to attention back to the TV. Anything other than the body that was radiating beside her. It was some cartoon she'd never seen before. Not quite enough to hold her attention.
Instead it was droning, and Danny's presence was so comforting…
Danny's attention was stirred by the television. Consciousness seeped back into him and he opened his eyes. When had he fallen asleep?
He could hear Sam breathing against him. She was asleep slouched… right against him.
Carefully he wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "Sam." He whispered, still breathing white.
His breath caused her to murmur something in sleep and pull closer to his warmth.
There was no answer. Danny brushed black glossy hair from her face and took the time to allow his wandering thoughts.
It was important he get her something she really wanted. For everything she did in helping him fight ghosts, in helping him survive high school she deserved something.
But not just something. She deserved… whatever she wanted.
Where was Desire when she was needed?
Sam mumbled some more in sleep and folded herself closer, fingers gripping his shirt under the blankets. A smile placed itself on his lips.
She only allowed herself this sort of closeness with someone else in sleep. Even then it wouldn't last long.
Why couldn't they always be like this? Why did the jump from friends to relationship have to be such a gaping whole? It was so intimidating and frightening neither of them dared to step up to it.
Danny wished they could be like this… but for real.
That's what he wanted.
It was hours later before Tucker stopped in. "Well don't you two look cozy." He had just strolled into the living room and spotted the two. They had long since moved back to the couch and taken up less… incriminating positions.
Still, Danny insisted on sharing the blanket.
Sam shrugged. "Genius here forgot to turn on the heat."
Danny fluffed his pillow and pulled the blanket closer. In doing so he pulled some away from Sam.
"How'd your study date go anyway?" Danny asked. Sam scooted closer on the couch to reclaim her blanket property.
"Ugh." Tucker threw himself into an adjoining seat. "Bombed, Miriam already has a boyfriend." He turned to pull out his trust PDA.
Sam turned this over in her head. Miriam was in two of her classes. She was a nice girl but there was never any indication of a guy…
"But Miriam doesn't-"
Danny clapped a hand over her mouth as Tucker turned his attention back.
"Nothing." Danny grinned disarmingly until Tucker turned back to his precious technology.
"Oops." Sam breathed lightly when he removed his hand. He chided her by ruffling up her hair, it clung electrically to her clothing and blankets. Her hand bat him away, but could do nothing to fix the electron build up. "Thanks."
"Glad to be of service."
"So whachu guys want to do today?" Tucker clicked something on his hand-held before flipping it shut. "The schedule is empty."
Sam was raking her hands through fluffy hair, ignoring the two boys. "We could try sledding, it started really snowing last night." Danny supplied.
"You have a sled?" Sam asked finally giving up on her hair.
"Umm, well." The blue-eyed boy cast his glance away.
"Survey says no." Tucker got back up from his perch. "But I bet Sam does."
She shrugged, there wasn't much use in saying she didn't own one… or more. "We'll have to truck all the way to my house."
"Nah, I'll just fly ya over there." He pushed off the warmth of the blanket and got up, offering his hand. "Feel free to help yourself to hot chocolate Tuck."
"Yup," He was already vanishing into the kitchen.
"Going ghost." Danny called. A brilliant white light overcame the room, filling the spot Danny had been standing with a pure vortex.
It passed him down once in transformation. Emerald eyes and snowy hair stepped out when the light faded away. Danny Phantom was the hero, and held himself as such.
Sam never got over the change. He seemed so confident as a ghost. He had a purpose and an iron will.
It was like the time he split himself into two. Fun Danny and Hero Danny. How strange. Both had equally good qualities and blended themselves subtly into his being. Still, Fenton and Phantom did act slightly different.
He held out a silver gloved hand for hers. "Ready?" He was already floating temptingly just above the floor.
She grasped his hand tighter. The gravity of Earth was slowly dissolving and then… she was just beside him in the air.
Danny grinned before providing intangibility for them. He pulled her up through the ceiling and out into the air. It was no longer cold.
"So…" Danny watched the Goth girl digging through one of her messy closets. She claimed she had sleds buried somewhere within.
Old stuffed animals, CDs, pictures, videogames, and papers whizzed out of the closet as she searched. Danny was sitting on her bed, but had to occasionally duck to miss being hit by a flying projectile. She seemed to have everything imaginable in that closet.
"With all this stuff, what do you want for Christmas?"
An old bear hit him square in the face. It might have been on purpose.
"I don't want anything." Her voice was muffled inside the bottomless chasm.
"Nonsense, there has to be something." Pushing himself off the bed he dodged items moving over to his companion.
"Nope." Sam was still pushing things aside. She hadn't seen the sleds in years. Maybe she should just order a few new ones.
Then again she hated pushing her families wealth on her friends.
His voice was close. Too close. She spun around to greet the boy, he was blocking her exit to the closet.
"Look at all this junk, every year my parents attempt to get me what I want and it all ends up here."
"I don't want to attempt. What do you want?" Danny was back to his human form, but was acting with the daring of his phantom counterpart. He had an arm on each side of the closet to block her.
Sam turned her back to him and rummaged the last of the articles.
A set of worn sleds were resting at the very bottom, at the very back. "Gotcha." She dragged them out and tucked them under her arm before turning to face the problem. He was still watching her, waiting for an answer.
"I want…" Cladding over the junk Sam stopped just short of plowing into him.
There was an attentiveness in his face. Sam almost snickered it was so good. "I want the world."
Before he could register her answer she pushed him aside and dashed out.
"Hey!" The boy shouted as Sam ran out of her room.
"I want the whole world…" Sam called in a sing-song voice running down the stairs and away from a chasing Danny.
"I want to lock it all up in my pocket…" She laughed making it to the front door just as Danny jumped the last few stairs.
Having forgotten her jacket she escaped outside, feeling the wind cut into her skin. That thought was pushed aside. Dropping the sleds she bend down to scoop up a handful of light snow.
"You cannot escape." Danny called stepping out into the frozen front yard. A ball of slush hit his shoulder. The damp coldness burrowed itself into his skin.
Sam had taken the moment to scoop another ball. She was standing a few meters away rolling it in her palm.
Forearms immediately raised in front of his head. "No, don't shoot, I surrender!"
"You sure?" The snow was gripped nicely in her hand.
"Yes." He ran a hand down his arm feeling the chill now. "You must be freezing." He called seeing only her black tank top on.
Sam dropped the snow feeling the weather come at her now. In fact she was shivering. "A-ah." The two ran back towards the house and the warmth.
They decided to retreat back to Danny's house before indulging in too much warmth.
Tucker was eating a sandwich and chips in front of the television when they arrived. It was warm in the house finally, he must have figured out the heater.
"We're just going to go th-thaw." Danny ushered Sam and himself into the kitchen. Immediately he went for the hot chocolate.
Sam took her usual seat at the table and curled her legs up to wrap her arms around. Violet eyes watched him.
When he set the water to boil he shuffled back over to the girl. "Still cold?" He touched her shoulder feeling a small bit of warmth there. There were small shivers still present.
"I'm fine." She pushed him away, pressing a hand to her cheeks that were still cold. "Hurry it up with that chocolate."
"Yes Madame," He smirked.
"There you go with that French again." She said it under her breath, but Danny caught it across the kitchen. He suppressed a smile and took the water to pour into two mugs.
Sam's eyes locked on the cup as he brought it to her. "Thanks." She snatched it and downed a few gulps feeling the warm sensation dribble down her throat. Internal heating at its best.
Danny sat down beside her and watched her drink it down until she set the mug down, empty.
"Here," He pushed his untouched one towards her.
Sam only put thought to it for a second before taking up his offer. The second cup was downed again in record timing. She licked her lips and smiled. "Alright lets do some sledding."
The problem arrived when they toted the sleds outside.
Two sleds, three people.
"I could go and see if I have another?" Sam offered zipping her jacket against the chill.
"Nah, these are big enough for two people." Danny was bent over the two giving them a good look-over.
"Besides the snow will be melting away soon." Tucker had just looked up the forecast on his PDA. It was said to begin getting hotter by dinner time.
"Okay then." Sam studied the landscape. "Where are we going anyway?"
Danny and Tucker shared a look. "There's a great hill at the park." Danny grabbed one of the sleds, holding it under his arm. Tucker did the same with the other.
And then they were slushing through the thick fresh snow.
"This is not going to work." Sam laughed as Danny tried to persuade her onto the sled. They had climbed all the way to one of the larger snow covered hills and projected a clean path down.
"It will," Danny motioned her to get on.
That was questionable. He was taking all the room on the sled.
"Hurry up you two." Tucker was already situated on his a few feet away.
Sam moved closer looking for some way to actually sit on it. "There's no room, you two just go."
"Nope, there's not much chance after this we'll be able to climb all the way back up." He snatched her hand pulled her closer. He scooted back a little more on the contraption for her.
Sam rolled her eyes but attempted to take a seat.
It was a tight fit. She was practically right up against Danny and it was absolutely distracting. At least she wasn't cold anymore.
Danny did not seem to have any problem with the arrangement. "Comfy?" He reached around her to grab hold of the pull strings.
"We're going to die." She had just begun to take notice of just how high the hill was. The feet of snow that had fallen in the early morning had only added to it.
"Nah." Danny breathed right on her ear. It was a strange feeling that shivered through her body. "Ready Tuck?"
"Ready." Tucker confirmed beside him and readjusted his red knit cap he had traded in the cold weather.
Danny reached one hand to the snow behind them to push, Sam placed her arms on either side to help.
"And… go!" Tucker yelled before giving himself a shove for momentum.
The other two pushed at the same time as the sled began to shift on the snow.
The crest of the hill came and Danny pulled his arm back in to grasp the string around Sam. The girl shrieked as they started the downward rush.
Snow, sleet, wind and water hit them. It had meant to be a race, but the added weight with both Danny and Sam on one increased their speed.
Tucker was yelling something about cheaters but the wind captured the words and threw them away.
Danny laughed as Sam pressed back into him and grasped the front of the sled. The initial fear passed quickly. By the time it was leveling out she was laughing along with the boy, smearing the snow out of her vision.
When she did, she spotted a snow bank. It had gathered at the bottom of the hill and…
They were heading straight for it.
"Danny!" She yelled trying to point at their demise. For emphasis she reached back tugging at his sweater.
"Wha- ahh!" But there was no stopping or preventing it now. Instead Sam ducted her head while Danny wrapped his arms around her.
In commotion the two plowed into the bank, tumbling the balance of the snow drift and causing more piles of snow to fall on them.
Tangled, the two were now laughing.
Sam could feel the small bit of heat from Danny beside her. Everything else was frosty and… funny. She could feel the whiteness clinging to her hair and clothes. Her heart was battering and her breathing was rushed but, "That was great!"
Danny moaned trying to shovel off snow. "What a trip."
"You okay?" She turned her head to see a bundle of snow fall onto his head, making his jet black hair look almost like the phantoms.
He shook his head. "Perfect."
The girl grinned at him. Tucker was sliding to a much easier stop closer by. His weight had caused him to be able to stop before any such banks became a problem.
"Ah Sam, could ya get up?" Danny had attempted to get up to find his other arm buried somewhere under her.
"Yup." When she had gotten to her feet Sam began patting her clothing free of snow. It was getting heavier and melting against her.
Meanwhile Danny dug himself out of the snow and began to do the same.
"Leave it to you two to make this sport hazardous." Tucker shook his head getting off his sled and grabbing his glasses from his jacket pocket.
"Not my fault Danny can't steer." She shook some snow off in his direction.
"Ha ha." The blue-eyed boy grabbed some of the snow off his head and sprinkled it over her.
Shooting him an indignant look, Sam turned away to go dig out the sled.
"Aren't you going to help, Danny?" Jazz was on a chair trying to reach up to the high wall to attach some garland. She had chosen to stay home today to work on the decorations. With their parent's flighty characteristics it was likely they'd never get them up.
Danny shot her a glance before looking back at the television. It was another rerun.
"I guess." He pushed himself up from the couch and stalked over to an unopened box.
"You could have Sam and Tucker over to help." She offered before tip-toeing up to tack a strand of silver garland.
"They're supposed to be here soon anyway." He dug through the box, pulling out a few wrapped strands of lights. They were carefully banded to keep from tangling.
"Gotten them anything yet?" In a wave of red hair she had stepped off the chair and moved it further down the living room wall.
"Well Tucker wanted this new PDA compatible game." He unwound the band around a set of white lights. "I'm still working on Sam's gift." He took a moment go grab a chair from the kitchen.
"Did you ask her what she wants?" Jazz was finishing up the silver garland strand and was moving to another box to pull red glossy bulbs out.
Danny snorted, grabbing a handful of tacks and moving towards the windows. "Yeah, but she refuses everything."
"Oh." Jazz moved back to the garland hooking the bulbs on every so often. "Good luck then."
Silence stretched. Danny had almost tacked the entire string around the window when he spoke up. "I'll get her though, she can't dodge the question forever."
Jazz shook her head and went to grab more garland. Those two were ridiculous sometimes.
"Augh!" Sam fought with the garland. Somehow, it seemed to be winning.
Danny was finishing the light framing around the windows when he glanced at her. The orderly garland had somehow been transformed into an ensnaring mess. It was wound over her shoulders and arms as she tried to untangle it.
Tucker snickered from over near Jazz. He was helping her put both garland and lights around the doorframe. It was harder than it looked.
Danny jumped off his chair to go valiantly to her rescue. She wasn't fairing well against the glittering demon.
"Want help?" Danny asked. The garland was bright red, pieces were littered all over her shirt and attaching themselves in her hair. The color complemented her nicely.
Sam turned to him with an untrusting look. "I don't want anything, I need help." Her arms were bent on her waist.
"Oh alright." Danny sighed dramatically and moved closer to try and help her.
Ten minutes later the entanglement was worse. It had slowly but surely drawn Danny in. He had been trying to pull it off her arms and loop it around his to wind it all up… but that did not end up working very well.
"We are not going to lose to a strand of garland!" Danny pulled a loop from around her neck and tried to follow it around and through and crisscrossed and…
"Unless it happens to be possessed." Sam watched him trying to concentrate and follow it. "You know," She watched him move back around behind her. "You're tangling it by moving around me."
He stopped behind her and looked up. So he was. "Oops." He rewound his movements and followed the string this time by a hand around each side of her. "Ahah!" He called when he made it back around.
Sam was feeling that fluttery feeling again. Danny was not paying attention as he attempted to free them. He was moving close and brushing her…
"Can't we just cut it?" She finally asked. Outside this heat was nice, but indoors it was too hot.
"No, I almost got it." The last red loop was pulled off her arm and he encircled her waist again. She could see Tucker over his shoulder making faces. A glare sent his way only made him grin harder.
And then, she was free. The creature was wrapped in large orderly loops around one of Danny's arms ready to be hung.
"Told ya." Danny reached the other hand to rustle her hair, red tinsel drifted out.
"Well done brave sir." Sam swiped a hand at his own hair, there was red glittering there.
"So, how about we get this thing up?"
"As long as it doesn't try to attack me again." Sam warned and went to retrieve tacks from Jazz. Danny moved the chair to the doorway between the kitchen and dining room.
Danny stared at his parents. "You two look-" There was a loss of any appropriate adjective.
Jazz came down the stairs and stopped dead beside him. "What in the world…"
"Your mother and I are going to a holiday party." Jack had an arm around his wife's waist grinning at his children. For once he was not wearing the customary neon orange jump suit. Maddie's was missing as well. Instead she wore a dark green dress and Jack had a black tux.
They looked normal.
"Formal dress was enforced," Jack murmured as he opened the front door for his wife. He made a face as though anything other than his hazmat was sacrilegious.
"We won't be too late, but just incase make sure you start up the ghost-shield." Maddie tucked back her hair, hooking an arm with her husbands. "Time to go dear."
"This is so embarrassing." He man groaned as he was pulled out.
There was a round of silence after the door was shut.
"Weird." The two chorused together, looking at each other.
"Hmm." Jazz cleared her throat. She was horridly bored.
It was only a few days until Christmas now. All her volunteering was finished, her homework completed, the decorations up…
And with her parents out at a party, the house was no longer entertaining. Danny was just as humdrum on the adjoining couch staring at some holiday special.
"There's nothing to do." She voiced and combed a hand through her hair.
"Yeah." Danny clicked the next channel.
It continued a few minutes before a rapping at the door made her jump. The first thing to come to mind was the fact she hadn't turned on the ghost shield.
But then that was a stupid thought. Her parents were already making her paranoid.
Danny jumped up from the couch, casting the remote away. "I invited Sam over to share the boredom." He added.
Immediately in the door Sam shook snow off her coat. It fell to the rug in half-melted water droplets.
"That bad out there?" The boy took her jacket and scarf and hung it on the rack.
"O-oh yeah." She shivered off the cold and followed Danny into the living room. Jazz was curled up in an armchair staring at the television with obvious boredom. She nodded in Sam's direction before returning to some cartooned snowman.
"Here I'll get you a blanket." Danny motioned for her to sit as he left the room in search for a decent blanket. The one from earlier that week had long been stuck into laundry.
Sam sat and pulled her legs up underneath herself.
"Hear about the parents?" Jazz moved her attention to attempt something a little more interesting than the musical on the television. Dancing snowmen, if you've seen one, you've seen them all.
Sam snorted. "Dress attire? I wonder how they bribed Jack."
"The promise of ghosts?" Jazz suggested, huffing slightly at the thought. If that was the case, he'd be crazy for weeks after.
"That would do it." Sam shrugged.
"Found one." Danny strolled back in with a velvety-looking blue one. Hopping onto the sofa, he unfolded it and placed it over himself and Sam.
Jazz couldn't help but sneaking a glance… or two. They had started a foot away from one another and slowly moved closer. Excuses that they needed more blanket, or the couch was uncomfortable.
Before it got too bad Jazz excused herself. She didn't need her little brother thinking she was watching him.
After a half an hour trying to watch the television Sam began to feel groggy. She was seated beside Danny, the blue blanket tucked for warmth around her. It was much more comforting than her own bed.
And she could hear caroling. Soft lifting voices that sounded like they came from the television. Her eyes were drooping.
"Danny?" It slipped her lips lightly.
He was still sitting up, bearing most of her weight now. He turned to look slightly down at her, her head was resting on his shoulder. "Hm?"
"Goodnight." Her eyes shut. She should go home, go and slip under her own covers for sleep. His parents would probably be upset if they found her there in the morning.
But she couldn't find the will to care enough. He was so warm and close.
Danny watched as all her muscles began drifting and loosening. He thread an arm around her waist to keep her steady as she was pulled into a much deeper sleep.
He almost wished Jazz would come back downstairs, or his parents would show up. At least then it would change this. It would force them to do something about it. How agonizing it was to keep playing such parts.
But minutes passed and the only person was the girl beside him. She had shifted slightly and tucked her hands in his shirt to get closer to the warmth. He smiled feeling his own drowsiness catching up to him.
"Goodnight Sam." He squeezed her waist briefly before allowing the sleep.
It was Jazz that found them first the next morning. Just a day before Christmas Eve. She had followed the buzzing sound of the television left on and spotted the two, still on the couch.
A smile spread across her face before she could help it. Danny was in the crook of the couch, Sam pulled tightly against his side. She was resting her head on his shoulder. Both were sleeping soundly covered in the blue velvet material.
But what to do about the situation?
Whichever one woke up first would have the choice of ignoring the situation… or progressing it. Both seemed pretty bent on avoiding that hole in their relationship so it was likely they'd just push it off.
Jazz moved closer to the couch, stifling a yawn. It would probably be better to wake up Danny first. Knowing him, he probably fell asleep after her, well aware of their situation.
"Hey." Jazz whispered and nudged Danny's other shoulder that wasn't being occupied.
He grumbled something and tightened his grip around Sam. She seemed to have no problem with this, welcoming the heat.
"Ahem." Jazz cleared her throat to stop from laughing. Nudging him again he became more responsive.
Slowly his muscles tensed and breathing quickened from the slow drawl of sleep. And then his eyes cracked open. "Whaa?"
"You might want to get up before mom and dad come downstairs." She tucked back her long hair and motioned to the two of them.
Memories seemed to dawn on him at once. He looked down at the girl before smiling at his sister. "I'm rather comfy."
"And her?" Jazz swallowed a marble in her throat. She knew that eventually this would come, eventually one of them would give up on the charade.
But she really hadn't expected it so soon. Those two were thick enough that it should have continued on years.
"She's sleeping, why would I want to wake her?" Using his free hand he pushed back his messy black hair.
There was a shuffling of noise upstairs and Jazz glanced back at the stairs. "Good luck then." She started to retreat from the room, it was better to be far away from here if this was going to be a confrontation.
"Hey Jazz?" Danny called before she was out of earshot.
She turned around. "Hm?"
"Could you hand me that remote?" He grinned wily at her.
Danny had planned to get this all out. He was going to sit there with her until someone noticed.
But his conscience had better plans. The longer he waited the further it pushed. This could rip apart what they had. If it didn't work he'd be out one of the most important people to him.
At the last moment, he bailed.
Loosening her grip from him the boy slipped off the couch. Taking a quick glance around to make sure Jazz was gone and his parents hadn't decided to come down yet he transformed into his phantom side.
"Guess I should take you home then." He sighed in a defeated manner watching the sleeping girl.
Sam didn't know how she had gotten home. One moment she was dipping into a warm sleep next to Danny and then she was waking alone, cold in her bed. The variance was very distasteful.
She wondered if Danny had taken her home. Probably. He always was making sure to take care of her.
Huffing, she pressed the blankets away. She wished he would just leave it once.
But then that was kind of selfish, Sam wouldn't have done it either. She couldn't stand the thought of messing what they had.
It was so carefree, so easy now.
If they ever took that step it would be difficult. It would seem so wrong.
She stared at the ceiling and wished as the cold air from an open window wafted by.
"I heard there was a ghost sighting this way." Danny, Tucker and Sam were walking down by Nasty Burger later that day. There had been cries of ghost coming from this direction for some time now.
"I sure hope this isn't a bad one." Sam commented strolling slower behind the two boys.
"The Ghost that Stole Christmas," Tucker declared, scanning the area through his glass lenses. "That's just what we need about now."
"Don't even kid." Danny jammed his frozen fingers in his jacket.
A strange blue gasp escaped his lips.
The three of them stopped immediately.
A quick scan once again found the distress. There was commotion at the local postage office, people running out screaming. "Ah," Danny mumbled and the three began backtracking behind the nearest building.
There was the brilliant flash as he transformed.
"I'll go check it out, you two stay back incase its dangerous." The halfa spoke without looking at them, his eyes were scanning out the postage center.
Danny took an unneeded breath before flying towards the scene.
"You've got to be kidding me."
Sam and Tucker ventured closer to the store. Danny was standing at the entry looking in, unmoving. It didn't look all that dangerous if he was just standing there.
"What is it?" Sam called. She had the Fenton thermos gripped in one hand.
Danny's shoulders sagged. "It's-" His sentence broke off.
A postage box busted through one of the nearby windows. It was followed by a voice that could only belong to one ghost. "Fear me!"
"Guess we don't have to worry about him stealing Christmas." Tucker was grinning watching the pandemonium of the packages.
"Yeah he'll just steal all the boxes" Sam's voice was light, clearly amused.
"Sam, thermos please?" Danny called, shaking his head slowly. He should have seen this one coming.
Sam coughed to dispel the rising laughter and handed the container to him.
"This'll only take a moment."
"Ready to plug it in?" Danny stepped back from the tree and nudged Sam.
His family, plus Sam and Tucker had finally gotten a tree up and decorated. All they had to do was plug it in now.
"Hurry it up Danny," His father called, seated on the couch beside Maddie. The two had taken back their usual uniforms. Jack was eyeing the gifts assembled beneath the tree.
It was tradition for the Fenton's that on Christmas Eve they were allowed one present to open. Jack was more than giddy to get at his own.
"Alright, alright." Danny shuffled around to the back of the tree. Of course for the Fenton's the plug had to be at the back and underneath all that pine. "Ah, ouch." Danny grumbled underneath the poking torture sifting around for the plug.
"Want help?" Sam called moving over to sit beside Tucker at the other end of the couch.
"Oh, sure!" His voice was thick with sarcasm.
And then he found it. Quick as anything he jammed the plug into the socket. There was light.
"Honey, it's lovely." Maddie smiled at her husband, but he was still very concentrated on the presents.
"Yeah, sure." He patted her shoulder. "Present time?"
Danny backtracked out from under the tree with only minor acupuncture. "I might as well get something good for that job."
"Yeah, everyone go ahead and grab one." Maddie waved a hand, grinning at her husband's childish demeanor.
Jack went over and picked up a large red wrapping covered box, picking up a smaller oblong one for Maddie. "Here ya go baby." He tried to grin charmingly and handed her the small box.
Tucker moved to the tree, grabbing the two parcels he had deposited there earlier. He handed Sam the purple one and Danny the blue.
"Merry Christmas." Danny in turn gave Tucker a small bag. It was the PDA game that Tucker had been after for weeks now. He would no doubt stick it in right away and be glued until the wee hours.
He turned to his own gift, unwrapping it. Half-way through tearing away the paper he spotted a familiar insignia on black clothing.
Beside him Sam was ahead of him, already unfolding an identical shirt.
"Tucker!" She cried looking over the shirt. There was a white ghost centered on the shirt with an X over it. Beneath it read "Ghost Busters".
Danny started laughing, pulling out his own.
Sam was shaking her head in distaste, but she was still grinning. The irony was terrific.
Christmas was in only a few hours. Tucker had already thanked Danny repeatedly and skittered home to spend time with his family.
And his new game.
His parents had retired to their room, his mother crooning over Jack for getting her such a nice necklace. No one spoke up to mention he had recruited Jazz's help.
Jazz herself had stuck around a little longer, reading a book in the armchair and enjoying the lights and music. Light holiday music was playing across the room.
Sam and Danny were on the couch again, just talking to pass the time. Sam had planned on going home earlier when Tucker left, but Danny quickly convinced her otherwise. Her parents were not big on quality time with their child and if she went home she'd be spending the eve alone.
"Okay, okay I got one." Sam wrapped her arms around a pillow in her lap. "If you could make it any day of the year, which would you choose?"
"Today." Danny answered automatically. "What's your favorite fruit?"
"Grapes." Sam paused, pulling up another question in her mind. "Deserted on an island, who would you pick for a companion?"
"Sure you wouldn't pick lovely Paulina?" Sam nudged him.
Danny wrinkled his nose. "Now how would she help me on a deserted island?"
"Lure animals to eat with her beauty?"
"You said it was deserted." Danny smiled at her when she narrowed her eyes.
"Fine fine, stick me with your company on an island."
"Oh, you know you enjoy my company." Danny wrapped a quick arm around her shoulder, squeezing her closer.
"Yeah, that's just what I want." The words escaped Sam's mouth before she had thought it through. Immediately she smacked a hand over her mouth.
Danny turned to her, sliding his arm off. He looked entirely amused.
Jazz looked over the top of her book. Their talking had suddenly ceased. Sam had a hand tightly over her mouth shaking her head, she looked horrified. Danny was leaning closer to her, a sinister grin crawling on his face.
Something had happened. She bunny-eared the page and closed her book silently. Time for her to exit stage left.
"No, no, no." Sam pressed her hands against Danny's shoulders as he leaned closer. "I didn't mean to say that."
"Then what do you want Sam?" Danny was watching her face. Her eyes flickered to his, defiant.
"You really want to know?" She inched him back with her hands, fighting for dominance. He answered her with a sardonic look. "I want…"
Carefully she was easing him further back. "To know what you want for Christmas." Her hands gave a shove to his shoulders and he fell completely back onto the sofa.
Sam laughed and hopped up, moving around the back of the couch for some protection.
Danny stared up at her from his position. "How do I keep falling for that one?"
"You're gullible." Sam leaned towards him until he sprung up and tried to catch her.
"Oh yeah?" Danny scrambled off the couch and rounded it to try and catch the girl.
She moved around the armchair and coffee table out of his grasp. "Yeah, so what does Danny want, hmmmm?"
The boy followed her around trying to snag her. "Well I know what I want for Christmas."
Sam moved around to the other side of the tree, skipping out of his clutches. "Care to share?"
"Only if you tell me yours." Danny advanced on her and Sam shrank back further, standing just at the bottom of the stairs.
"What if I don't know?" Sam slid her arm on the banister of the stairs. If Danny came at her any more she could either clamor up the stairs or into the kitchen. Each would prove difficult for the boy.
"You have to know." He took one step and she stayed in place.
"Nope." Violet eyes were watching him fiercely. Her skin was alight with the colored lights that blinked above her. In intervals her complexion was bathed multicolor that gave her an odd look.
"Then why do you avoid the question?" He slinked another careful step.
"I don't know." Sam seemed to be at a loss. Where were her scripted words when she needed them?
"You've had so much time." Step, step. Ever closer. Sam considered running for it.
But there was something so curious about the way he was acting. Just what would happen if he caught her?
"Danny." Her hand was gripping the banister still, keeping her in place.
"Sam," He closed the rest of the distance, stopping just in front of her. She had to tilt her head slightly up to meet his eyes. He was now drenched in the blazing lights with her. "I want this." Danny slipped her hand off the stairs, tucking it in his own.
"If we go any further-" Sam bit her lip to stop from speaking.
"It doesn't have to be complicated Sam."
"I wish." She spoke as he pulled her closer. Nothing in their world was cold anymore. It was so warm… drawling…
"It can be the same, everything we do will practically be the same."
"No, I've seen it. Relationships always change them. I don't want us to change that way." Her hand tightened in his.
"Then we'll make our own. We're not like them." He placed a hand around her waist.
She smiled at him, his black hair occasionally bathed in white lights. "That's an understatement." Her hands wound around his torso, pressing herself to him gently.
"What do you want Sammy?" He tilted down towards her, the words mere whispers.
"I think you know."
And she kissed him. In the doorway to the kitchen, with the abandon and carelessness that anyone could walk by and see them.
It was quick and they each pulled back. Sam moved her hands around his neck. "That was no fake-out make-out." She grinned at him as he laughed.
"No, I don't think so." He leaned back and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. "See? The world didn't end."
"There's still the possibility."
"No, no. You see, I'm a hero. I prevent the end of the world."
"And rescue damsels in distress?" Sam raised an eyebrow at him.
"Of course." And with that he scooped her off her feet and carried her back into the living room.
"Ahh, hey!" She was laughing after the initial fright, arms wrapped around his neck to prevent herself from falling.
The couch was officially theirs.
Danny was once again in the crook, Sam beside him. There was a crackling fire on the television giving off microwave warmth.
The blanket was missing, but neither cared. Danny had an arm wrapped around her as she rested her head against his chest.
Neither spoke anymore. The soft lullabies continued to play on in the background as the fake fire roared and the lights blinked. Danny absentmindedly raked a hand through her hair.
It wasn't going to be a relationship. It wasn't the start of anything new.
After all, it wasn't some huge terrifying leap.
They were simply expanded the boundaries of their friendship.
It would be a friendship that allowed them. It would allow anything they did. It was flexible, it was fixable.
He liked her and without saying it they were fine. As they'd always been.
Sam hated titles and he could understand that. They just were. No names, no titles, no obligations.
"Merry Christmas Sam." His hand fell through her locks, stopping at the base of her neck and sliding across the skin.
"Merry Christmas Danny." She could hear his heart steady as the blinking and the tuning of music. Before long it lulled her to sleep, content.
Please note that they are all around 16-17 years old so I progressed their personalities a little.
This idea got in my head… and I had to write it. Doesn't it make you feel fuzzy? Love to Miss A. LaRosa, whom helped me on aim with this.
Happy Holidays everyone.
Review because… um… candy cane?