Hello, good people! Just a few notes before we get on with the story: One, no. This is not my first fan fiction. I've been writing this stuff for quite a long time, let me tell you. I just felt that this one was good enough to post.
I also promised you the full summery: Princess Samantha Manson's being forced by her parents to go to a foreign kingdom and basically "compete" against a bunch of other noble young women for the heart of a mysterious prince in a series of balls, only she doesn't want to do it. While there, she meets a really cute gardener and they instantly hit it off. But what happens when the prince takes an interest in her as well? And what hell will break loose when Sam has to share a bathroom with Paullina?
Another note: The world I've set up here is sort of a combination of future technology with feudal caste systems and clothes, etc. What I've also tried to accomplish here is a sort of Victor Hugo type of thing. Some of this may seem to happen a little fast to those who scorn love at first sight, but those who embrace it, well, I hope you will be pleased.
I don't own Danny Phantom, plainly and simply. I hold no delusions about the world, isn't that right Mr. Blue Monkey? laughs
"But I don't understand… if she's going to be here, why are we having this… contest? If she's his true love, won't that just help him?"
"She won't win. I'll make sure of it. I just want him to know what he's going to miss," his boss replied.
"How are you going to ensure that she doesn't win?"
"He's a teenage boy. Hormones combined with a bunch of girls all vying for his affection will invariably equal one large lapse in judgment."
"And you can assure this lapse in judgment, Master?"
"Yes, I just have to set up a very intricate web of lies and secrecy to come crashing down on the young prince's head…"
"Presenting Queen Stella of Casper!" A guard bellowed at the door as Stella entered. "And her daughter, Princess Samantha!"
Sam smiled politely at him and whispered to him, winking to her mother.
"Who wishes to be called Sam!" The guarded added.
Stella Manson glared at her daughter. "Samantha!"
"What?" Sam asked. "If there's a possibility that I might end up marrying this guy, then I don't want him walking around calling me Samantha!"
"Samantha, I know that you don't like this whole idea and you still like to torment me with your foolish notions of 'romance,' but dear, please, just try to make this work?"
Sam rolled her violet eyes. "I'm going to find my room," she announced.
"Princess Sam is going to her room!" The guard called out.
Sam touched him lightly on the shoulder. "Thank you, but you don't have to announce my every move."
"Princess Sam requests that her every move no longer be announced!"
Sam just laughed at all the stunned faces of the other girls in the entrance hall and walked off to find her room. She walked up to the first door. Immediately, the sleek metal panel on it lit up. "Name?" A feminine electronic voice sounded.
"I'm sorry, this room is reserved for-" there was a pause between the programmed part and the name that had been added, "-Lady Paullina Sanchez. Princess Samantha Manson- is in room -2619."
Sam looked at the number of the room she was currently standing in front of. 2618. "Um… thank you."
"You're most welcome, my lady," the panel replied.
Sam went next door and placed her hand on the panel.
"Princess Samantha Manson."
"Welcome, Princess. On behalf of the Prince, I wish you a pleasant stay," the door swung open.
"You're most welcome, my lady," the panel said the same way as the other one.
Sam was absolutely amazed with what met her eyes. The room was decorated in her absolute favorite colors- purple, chartreuse, and black. There was a fireplace, two squashy armchairs, a desk with a computer and chair, and a huge canopy bed. "Holy… crap… there is so much room in here!" Sam twirled around, her deep violet dress and black silk robe billowing around her. She flopped onto the bed, happy for the respite. It was a rather long journey to here from her own kingdom. It was then that Sam noticed another door.
She opened it gingerly and saw that it was a bathroom. It was literally split down the middle, Sam's half had the same color scheme as her room, but the other half was bright pink. Sam made a face. She hated pink. She also noted that there was another panel on the door at the pink end of the bathroom.
"Hello, I'm coming in," a lightly accented voice called out. The door opened revealing a blue eyed, dark skinned, dark brown haired girl.
"Hi, I'm Sam," Sam stuck out her hand.
"I'm Paullina, Lady Paullina of Casper Kingdom."
Sam knew who Paullina was already. Casper was her parents' kingdom, but Sam preferred to stay as reclusive as possible and there were absolutely no pictures of her anywhere. "Nice to meet you, so I guess we're sharing the bathroom, huh?"
"Yeah," Paullina's obviously fake smile faded. "But look, sweetie, I like to take really long baths and I hate being disturbed. And on another note, don't get any ideas about marrying the prince. I've got this one in the bag."
Sam was slightly taken aback. Some part of her would have loved to tell this little snot that she was in no way a lady and that Sam herself was a Princess, but Sam hated that she could lord that over people's heads, so she kept quiet. "Very well, Lady Paullina, I'll try my hardest to stay out of your way," Sam sneered, voice dripping with sarcasm. Sam stormed off to her room, fuming. She turned to the computer. "Direct me to the garden, please," she said in the most civil tone she could manage.
"Certainly, Princess, I will teleport you there immediately."
A simple silver bracelet enclosed itself on Sam's wrist. "Thank you," Sam responded as she was whisked out of her room.
Sam looked around momentarily to confirm that she was in the garden, but then below her, where the noise had come from. She immediately jumped up. "Oh, God, I'm so sorry!"
Lying on the ground was a black haired, blue eyed boy. A really hot boy. "It's okay, really."
Sam reached out a hand to help him up. "Hi, I'm Sam."
"Danny. So, you're one of those crazy nobles out for the Prince's heart?" He prayed to god her answer was no. This girl seemed interesting, he didn't want to be disappointed.
Sam blushed. "No, my mom wants me to be though. I mean, I'm here for the 'competition,' but I'd rather be home. "
"Ah… Personally, I'm not to fond of the entire idea, either. It was actually the Royal Advisor's idea. Bring in a bunch of noble young women to the castle, have them stay for a month, go through a series of balls and see if the prince finds a bride…"
"At least you don't have to participate… I'm only here because my mom is insane."
"Yeah, the prince isn't too happy about the whole thing either."
"You know him?"
"Yeah…" Danny's blue eyes darted from side to side for a minute. "We're pretty close."
Even though Sam had never met the prince, Danny's comment elevated him in her esteem. There were very few royals who "slummed" it with commoners. "So what do you do around here?"
Danny grinned wickedly. "Cause as much trouble as I possibly can… and I try to squeeze in some gardening too."
Danny watched her as she began to stare around the garden and he found himself staring at her. She was definitely nobility, but nothing like the other princesses and duchesses and ladies that he'd met. Short, shiny black hair bounced loosely around her neck while piercing and intense violet cut through him. She was beautiful, but he saw something else there, something deep and passionate and he wanted to see what it was. "So you don't want to marry the prince?"
"I couldn't tell you either way. I've never met him. We could meet and fall instantly in love. I doubt it, but it's possible. Anything is possible."
"Ah… you're a romantic, huh?"
Sam looked down, embarrassed. "Yeah…"
Danny tipped her chin to look at him. "I didn't say it was a bad thing. I'm exactly the same way."
"Really? My mother thinks I'm an idiot for still believing in love."
"Adults don't always understand or remember what it's like to be young… and… in love."
"Danny…" she murmured softly and questioningly. She raised her hand as though she were going to touch his face, but withdrew.
Danny stared at her for a minute. "Come with me."
"Follow me, I think I know of something you might like." Danny took her hand and felt a shock go through him. He pulled her farther into the garden until they reached a grove of lilac trees.
"The prince and I grew all these. It started as one bush and this is what happened…"
"This is amazing…"
"If I remember right, this is where the prince wants the wedding to take place," Danny responded, grinning as Sam gazed around the grove in wonder.
"I can definitely understand that."
Danny stepped to face her, only about a foot away. "Princess…" he began tentatively. "Do you believe in love at first sight?"
Sam opened her mouth to reply, but never got to.
"Samantha, your presence is required in your room," the bracelet interrupted.
"Why?" Sam groaned.
"It is time to get ready for tonight's opening ball. I will be teleporting you in -one- minute."
"Damn…" she cursed.
Danny suddenly became extremely upset. "It's okay, I have to go too."
"Will I see you again?"
He laughed. "Of course. Meet me here, tomorrow after lunch."
"It's a deal, bye!" Sam called as she was fizzled out of the garden. When she appeared in her room, she was greeted by two maids holding the most beautiful dress she'd ever seen in her life, a black corset with a billowy, shimmering black skirt.
"Good evening, Princess," they said in unison.
"Oh! Please, call me Sam."
The two maids looked at each other, confused, but then smiled back at Sam. "I'm Cherry," the auburn-haired, green eyed one replied.
"I'm Madison," the other chimed, tossing her dark hair, blue-gray eyes sparkling. "We will be your maids for the remainder of your stay here."
"Oh! Thank you."
In almost no time at all, Sam was dressed, black sandals adorned her feet while black fishnet gloves covered her arms past her elbows. Violet eye-shadow was perfectly applied to her face and her black hair was up in two odd-looking, spiky pigtails. Between them was placed a sparkling diamond tiara.
"Wow! I don't even recognize myself!" Sam proclaimed as she gazed at her reflection in the mirror. "Thank you both very much!"
The two of them giggled. "Oh, the prince is going to like you!" Madison said.
"May I come in?" A male voice asked from outside the door, accompanied by a knock.
"Who is that?" Sam asked.
"That is your escort," Cherry answered. "You may come in."
The door opened, framing a young man of medium height and dark skin. Behind small, square spectacles were turquoise eyes that glinted with mischief.
"Lord Tucker!" The two maids exclaimed.
"We didn't know you were an escort," Madison said, walking toward him.
Tucker shrugged. "I didn't either until a minute ago, I received the order to come to room 2619 and take Princess Sam to the ball," he walked toward Sam. "And I'm assuming you are her," he kissed her hand, not out of affection as much as breeding and habit.
"Yes," Sam answered. "And if you ever kiss my hand again, you'll find that you will have trouble procreating."
Tucker laughed. "That's brilliant! I'm truly sorry, I had no idea it would offend you, although, by the gothic state of this room, I probably should have."
Tucker extended his arm for her to take.
Sam looked at him hesitantly before taking his arm, allowing herself to be led toward the grand hall. "So, your name is Tucker?"
"Yes, Tucker Foley." He tipped his nose to the air quickly. "You've been in the lilac grove."
Sam blushed. "Um… yeah…"
"You met Danny, didn't you?"
"Yeah. You know him?"
"He's a good friend of mine."
Sam chuckled. "He's very well connected, then, isn't he?"
"He told me that he was friends with the prince, as well."
To Sam's great surprise, Tucker laughed so hard that he had to let go of Sam's arm to clutch his stomach.
"What's so funny? Danny didn't lie to me, did he?" Sam hated liars.
Tucker took a breath. "No, Danny never lies."
"Then what's so funny?"
"I'm sure, in time, you'll figure it out."
Sam grabbed Tucker by the collar, threatening to choke him. "I hate it when people play coy with me."
"I'm sorry," Tucker shrugged. "I don't have the authority to be straight with you. I've only clearance to be coy." Sam released him, knowing he was telling the truth. "There's another thing that's funny, though."
"Danny loves those lilacs more than anything. He's always been convinced that the girl he marries will have violet eyes."
"Why is that funny?"
Tucker stopped at an open door, stepping down a few stairs toward the grand hall. He extended his hand to help Sam down the stairs and winked at her. "You have violet eyes."
"Announcing Lord Tucker and her royal highness, Princess Samantha!"
"I told you, it's Sam," she told the guard gently.
"Who wishes to be called Sam!"
Sam chuckled again.
Across the room, a young man who had been previously slouched in his throne, leaned forward.
"Sam…?" He breathed, testing the name on his lips.
The queen turned to look at her son. "What is it, dear?"
The boy shook his head. "Nothing," he replied and went back to slouching.
"So, what exactly is going to happen?" Sam asked as she looked around at all the other girls in the room.
"The prince will make a little speech and then he'll dance with all the girls and you can grab some food at the buffet, if you're hungry and that's basically it."
"Sounds easy enough."
"Ladies and gentleman, the prince will now make a speech!"
Sam and Tucker turned toward the head of the room. Most of the girls swooned when a young man with shocking white hair and practically luminescent green eyes stood up. After a few moments of sighs, the entire room fell completely silent.
"Good evening, as some of you already know, I'm Daniel, Prince of Amity," to an untrained eye, he seemed very cool and calm and on some level, he was, but Sam could sense the most subtle of undercurrents of insecurity in his voice. "On behalf of King Jack, Queen Madelyn, and of course, myself, I would like to welcome all of you to Amity and this… ahem… contest," he threw an annoyed glance at a very debonair looking man with gray hair in a stylish ponytail, but his mother stopped him with a small, encouraging smile. "To all of the young ladies in the contest, I look forward to meeting you all. To everyone, I hope you have a most pleasant stay here in the castle." Danny stepped down, making his way to the dance floor as the music began.
"What do you think?" Tucker asked Sam, eyes twinkling more.
Sam stared at Danny, a little confused. "He seems really… familiar."
Tucker stifled a laugh. It was then that Tucker realized why Danny had had him replace Sam's actual escort. Danny liked this girl and Tucker himself was very close to being engaged. Danny didn't want there to be any chance that this girl could fall for someone else.
"And he and Danny have the same name… maybe that's why," Sam mused.
"It might explain why they hit it off so well…" Tucker added, keeping up the act Danny had started. He could still remember clearly the day his friend had become half-ghost, six years ago when they were both eleven. The king was eccentric, to say the least, and totally obsessed with ghosts. Jack had created a portal into the ghost zone, Danny had tested it out and his DNA had been fused with ectoplasm. Danny had decided to use his new ghost half as the prince. "Are you hungry?" Tucker asked Sam.
"Then follow me." Tucker led Sam toward the buffet.
Meanwhile, Danny had just had another girl pushed into his arms. God, this is so annoying. Stupid Vlad… I'll kill him… he thought.
"Good evening, Danny," a lightly accented voice greeted with too much charm.
Danny looked at the girl he was dancing with. "Daniel, if you don't mind," he replied. His friends and family called him Danny. These girls were not allowed to. "What is your name?"
"Lady Paullina," she answered with sugar.
Danny, though he already didn't really care for her, smiled at her anyway. "It's a pleasure to meet you," he said, feeling her try to twirl, but he held her fast, not wanting to give the impression that he was enjoying this.
"You as well, dear Prince." She stared unnervingly at him for a moment before remarking, "Your eyes are so green!"
Like I didn't already know. Danny thought, but he grinned at her.
"They're so handsome," she continued.
Flattery will get you nowhere, dear lady, he replied sarcastically in his mind. He scanned the room, hoping for anyone who would save him from this "noble." He suddenly spotted Tucker over by the buffet. Of course. Standing next to him, staring disgustedly at the dark boy's plate of meat, was Sam.
"Excuse me, my lady, I see an old friend of mine, I must go see him."
Paullina turned on her best pout. "Very well, until we meet again."
More out of chivalrous habit than affection, Danny replied, "I'll count the hours," and ran off, leaving Paullina swooning in his wake.
"Hey, Danny!" Tucker exclaimed upon spotting his friend coming closer.
Danny embraced Tucker. "It's been a little while, hasn't it?"
"Only a few months," Tucker replied. "Here, you really should meet Princess Sam of the Casper Kingdom," he suddenly proclaimed, winking at the prince.
Sam grinned and stuck out her hand for Danny to shake.
Danny took her hand, about to kiss it, but Tucker stopped him. "I wouldn't do that if I were you, dude. Sam's a feisty one."
Sam stuck her tongue out at Tucker.
Danny shifted his hand to shake hers. He had to admit, he was slightly disappointed. Ever since they had parted that afternoon, he'd dreamed of this moment. He'd had it planned out perfectly in his mind. He would be chivalrous and kind and romantic, the perfect gentleman, but he should have expected Sam to dislike what she probably deemed the sexist tradition of hand kissing. It wasn't fair, though, he'd really been looking forward to kissing her. Still, he took comfort in her pale, milky palm.
"Good evening, Prince Daniel," she said politely, eyes twinkling.
"Please, call me Danny, Princess."
"Only if you call me Sam," she smirked.
"Deal," Danny listened as a new song began. "Would you like to dance?"
Sam looked at him reluctantly.
"I promise to try to avoid your toes."
She grinned cheekily, glancing him up and down. "You're what? Seventeen? My toes aren't really what I'm worried about."
"If the prince asks you to dance," Tucker interjected, "you shouldn't refuse him."
"Only if he promises to keep his hands in check. My heart may be pledged to another, for all he knows."
Danny was slightly taken aback. She couldn't possibly be talking about what happened earlier, could she? I mean, I know I felt something, but… His heart fluttered slightly at the thought that Sam could already be attracted to him. "I promise to do as you have asked," he said gallantly, extending his hand.
Sam took it. "Good," she said, allowing herself to be led to the dance floor.
Danny locked eyes with her for a moment. "So, this other man to whom you are attracted, who is he?"
"Why do you care?"
"I need to know who my competition is."
"Don't you have it backwards?"
"No," Danny replied pointedly.
"He's only a gardener. It's forbidden. Besides, he probably doesn't feel the same way about me."
"Does he work here?"
Sam cocked a coy eyebrow. "Perhaps."
Danny melted. She had practically just told him that she was attracted to his other half. "A gardener, hmm? You know, I could just find out who he is and have him executed."
"But you won't."
"How do you know?"
"I can judge people very well."
"So, if there is a possibility that you are in love with another, why are you here?"
"My parents can't wait to marry me off," Sam replied with a hint of bitterness.
"If it makes you feel better, none of this was my idea. The royal advisor, Lord Masters, convinced my father that he should be in charge of my affairs so that my mother and father could devote their time to... running the country." Yeah... running the country... more like chasing ghosts... Danny thought with a slight grin.
"And it worked?"
"Yes, unfortunately." They locked eyes again. "You're very beautiful," Danny observed.
Sam blushed. "And I bet you've said that to every other girl here tonight."
"No, actually. You're the first girl I've met all night who is actually interesting." Danny was an extremely affable person and got along well with just about everybody, so logically, there were girls here that he might consider becoming friends with, but Sam was different… "And I've never seen eyes like yours before."
Sam would have liked to say the same, but she'd seen this boy's eyes somewhere. Gardener Danny's were almost the exact same, except his were blue and the prince's were green. Other than that, though, they shone with the same impishness and idealism. So instead of repaying the compliment, she blushed harder and murmured a soft thank you.
As they continued to dance, more and more people began to stare.
"Um… Prin… Danny, everyone is staring at us."
He shrugged. "So?"
"Don't you have to dance with the other girls?"
"I'm the prince, I can do what I want. Besides, this is only the first of many balls, there will plenty of time to dance with them. Right now, I'm rather enjoying the company I have."
Cherry and Madison were waiting when Sam came up to her room.
"How was it?" They asked in unison.
"It was nice," Sam replied.
The two maids looked at each other and then Sam skeptically. "And the prince?"
"We danced for almost the whole night. I think all the other girls are going to be out for my blood now."
"Was he nice to you?"
"A perfect gentleman," Sam responded as they helped her out of the dress. "I'm going to go take a shower," she said. Cherry helped her into a robe and Sam went into the bathroom.
"I thought I told you to forget about any chance you might have with the prince!" Paullina screeched when Sam entered, the "Lady" had been waiting to confront Sam.
"If you were in here, why didn't you lock the door?" Sam inquired.
Paullina ignored her. "I thought I told you to forget about any chance-"
Sam cut her off. "I had no intention of going anywhere near him. He came up to me."
"Well, you didn't have to dance with him the whole DAMN NIGHT!"
"I didn't want to, that was his idea."
"You mean to tell me that Prince Daniel wanted to dance with a little nobody like you over me!"
Sam fumed. "Look, Paullina of Casper, I've heard of you. From what I hear, chastity was not high on your priority list, catch my drift?"
Paullina's face paled. Someone knew about her affairs.
"Now, if you would be so kind as to remove yourself from this bathroom."
"What are you going to do if I don't?"
Sam smirked. "I believe I remember something in the rules that dealt with that very issue of chastity, something about disqualification…?"
"Fine! Fine!" Paullina shrieked and stormed out.
Sam grinned to herself as she shed her robe and happily stepped into the shower.
There you go! Chapter One. Chapter Two to be up very soon, considering it's already finished. Please, please, please review! See the little purple button, go ahead! Press it!
Edit: Gah... the formatting sucked, so I changed it. Also added a few things and changed some of the syntax and diction and stuff... nothing of consequence.