Author's Note: Look at that! I updated "Life Imitates Music," "Knight of Darkness," and "Infatuated" all in one day! Be happy!

Chapter 2- Frustration

"My eyes! They burn!"

Neither of his friends heard Tucker's frantic yelling. In fact, it seemed neither noticed much at all.

Until Sam suddenly pulled away.

"Danny! Well, that was certainly an unexpected welcome." She was touching her lips with the tips of her fingers, and her laugh was shaky. Danny still held her hand in his.

"Please, Sam, come back. We have so much time to make up for."

He kissed her again, and for a moment Sam was captured, but when Danny broke away to reach for her neck, she took a deep gulp of air. Turning her head to Tucker, she stumbled back under the onslaught of Danny's enthusiasm. "Ah… Tuck—do you know what this is about?"

Tucker said something, but it was muffled because of his hands covering his face; most importantly his eyes. When Sam asked him to repeat himself, he opened up a slit where his mouth was. "I was hoping you'd know. One second he was angry at me, the next he was…you know with you. Is it safe to open my eyes?"

"Er…" Sam gazed down at the side of Danny's head, the same time feeling his lips on her neck and shoulder. Do NOT get distracted! She chided herself. "No. I have to figure out some way to—Whoa! Hey there, Danny, watch your latitude." She jerked him upward roughly.

He smiled sweetly at her. "I don't know what latitude means. You've always been so smart, Sam. Smart, and caring, and beautiful, and sexy, and—"

"Do I need to cover my ears, too?" Tucker interjected harshly.

"No," Sam answered. "Danny, please stop. We need to figure out what's happened to you."

Danny stood abruptly, yanking Sam off the ground with him. Tucker heard the motion and rose also, pulling his hands away from his eyes. When he saw his best friends' lips at a safe distance from each other, he whistled in relief. Danny didn't seem to hear, and his attention was focused solely on Sam. "You happened to me," he answered her, and he brought their palms together in a warm connection. "You've changed my life for the better, Sam, and I have no idea why I didn't notice it before. I want to be with you for the rest of my life."

Tucker's eyes were wide as he stared at his friends. Danny's expression was hopeful and doting, and Tuck wondered if the ghost boy had finally snapped. Shaking his head, he switched perspectives to Sam. Any other girl who was faced with such a confession would surely be delighted, but Sam's eyes were sad as she stared back at Danny. Her mouth was pressed thin, and for a second Tucker thought he saw her shaking. The notion was gone, however, when Sam stepped back away from Danny. He tried to follow, but a firm hand to his chest stopped any notion he had of kissing her again. Sam turned to Tucker.

"Drag him home. Try to figure out what the hell happened. I'm going to keep scouting for this ghost, and if I see anything, I'll contact you." She reached into Danny's bag one-handed and tossed Tucker a set of Fenton Phones. "Take those."

Tucker nodded as Danny crooned. "You're amazing when you take charge like that."

Tucker's eyes rolled high. "Come on, Romeo. You heard Sam. Back home we go."

"Only because Sam told me to," he sighed and followed Tucker slowly out of the park. He kept turning back to stare at her, and it was only once they'd gone that Sam let out the breath she'd been holding.

Danny was in love with her… again? She knew it had to be some kind of trick; he was acting just like he had under Ember's spell, except he'd never kissed her then. That was certainly a new development. Sam had never been kissed like that in her life. It had actually been pretty…

No. Danny was under a spell. That's why he was acting so strangely. That's why Sam had to ignore all hid advances to the best of her ability. That's why she had to pretend as if seeing that look in his eye didn't make her swoon. She had to pretend that the memories of those two kisses weren't already occupying her mind with dreams of more. She had to pretend that she didn't care… at least that way.

She couldn't bear to have the Ember episode happen again. Danny had come crashing down from la-la land, and Sam had been the one to get crushed. It hurt her so much to think that there was nothing behind the smiles and glances and flirting. Danny didn't have real romantic feelings for her. He was just being… Danny.

Fun, loving, caring, strong, sensitive, oblivious, amazing Danny.

Sighing, Sam put on her own set of Fenton Phones and sat down to wait.

"Man, you need to get those stars out of your eyes." They'd been walking for a few minutes, and Danny was strangely silent. Tucker attributed it to thinking about Sam, and it seemed his voice shocked Danny out of some kind of dream.

"Tuck, it's cloudy. There aren't any stars. That's why we're doing the stakeout tonight. It's darker than normal."

Tucker's eyebrows lifted. "Um… dude? Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Why?"

Tuck wondered if they guy had gone and hit his head. "Excuse me! One minute you're angry at me, the next you're all over Sam, and the next you're totally normal again? What's with you?"

"Sam? Oh, I just had to get her attention. I'm tired of pretending, Tuck. It's about time she and I got together."

"Okay, now I know you're messed up. You were just telling me last night that you couldn't tell Sam how you felt because it would make things too complicated and she probably didn't feel the same way."

"I changed my mind."

"Danny, you don't change your mind, not when it comes to Sam. You've been saying the same thing basically since you met her."

"That's not the point. Anyway, you never got to tell me about this girl. Lea?"

"There's nothing to tell," Tucker mumbled.

"Oh, sure. Come on, let it out." Just then, however, blue mist escaped from Danny's lips. "Whoops. Guess I'll have to pump you for info later. See ya, dude!" He transformed and flew away, leaving Tucker in the dust.

"But wait! What about Sam!"

Danny didn't answer. Tucker scuffed the toe of his boot into the ground and stubbed it.

"Ow! Man, this is the weirdest night ever…" He smiled. "Weirdest, but I bet for Sam it's the best."

It was, perhaps, the worst night ever.

She'd sat out in the dark by herself for hours, trying desperately to stay awake, because asleep she couldn't be a lookout, and when she fell asleep she dreamed of Danny. Finally she'd gone home, dejected, only to find her mother waiting for her. With bright pink terry-cloth robe and tapping toe, Mrs. Manson had been standing in the front foyer. Figures.

So Sam was grounded, she was tired, she was frustrated, and she had to face a newly infatuated Danny.

Upstairs, she flopped into her bed, still fully dressed. She didn't have the energy for anything, not even changing. Her head felt good on the soft pillow, and she was just about to drift to sleep when she heard a rapping on her window. Moving as little as possible, she looked out into the dark night… and saw Danny, smiling and waving.

Thanks, Tucker. Thanks a lot.

Hehehe… I'm so evil. FLUFF HEALS THE SOUL!... and make-out scenes rock socks.

SagePoint: What illness was Czar Nicholas II's son afflicted with?