WoM- Okay, this idea just came to me, and I had to post. This is a one-shot with no chance of EVER having more added to it, so don't ask on that front, but I would like a little feedback. That said, Butch Hartman owns Danny Phantom and all it's characters, always has and most likely always will, though I'm likely to kidnap them if Nick decides to cancel Danny after all…
"If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question?"
"Danny, get back here with my boot!" Sam screamed, jumping up and down on one foot to avoid getting grass stains on her purple stockings as she chased her half ghost friend around the park. Danny only laughed, speeding up to mock the girl.
Tucker Foley sighed in exasperation as he watched the two flirt without realizing they were flirting yet again, once again feeling like a third wheel. Then again, he was one of the first people to see it coming; Sam Manson and Danny Fenton, lovebirds for life while he remained their tag-along.
"Hey, Tucker," Jazz said as she joined him at the table, giving her brother a dry glace before adding, "They're at it again, huh?"
"Yep." Tucker sighed.
"Either one of them get up the courage to make a real move yet?" Jazz asked.
"Nope," Tucker said in the same tone. Jazz shook her head.
"Figures," She said dryly, "they do realize that the big Valentines Day Dance is this tomorrow, right?"
"Sam and Danny don't believe in Valentines Day," Tucker told her, rolling his eyes. Jazz gaped at him.
"How is that even possible?" She asked, genuinely bewildered.
"It's Sam and Danny, Jazz," Tucker reminded her in exasperation. "Sam thinks it's just another way for the money-making business sharks to capitalize on false human emotions and cheesy traditions. Danny just thinks it's too mushy and embarrassing. I think he's still traumatized from that time he tried to give Paulina a Valentine in middle school…"
"That sounds like them alright," Jazz said as she shook her head, glancing over as Sam tackled Danny to the ground, making them both roll down the hill. Sam squeaked in surprise when Danny disappeared.
"No fair using your powers, you creep!" She called out, trying to sound angry though she couldn't get rid of her grin. Laugher from no seen source was her only response.
"What about you?" Jazz asked, turning back to the conversation. "Who are you going to ask to be your Valentine?"
"Get real, Jazz," Tucker scoffed, "I've tried a billion times already! There isn't a girl in our school willing to give me a date."
"Aw, come on, Tucker," Jazz said reassuringly with a small smile, "I'm sure you'll find someone out there for you!"
"Doubt it," Tucker said dryly.
"I thought Sam was supposed to be the pessimist, Tuck," Jazz said in amusement. Tucker shook his head.
"Just in a slump is all," Tucker told her, smiling wryly, "What about you? Any more boyfriends for Danny to scare the crap out of?"
"Tucker!" Jazz hissed, glancing over at Danny quickly before lowering her voice even more, playing nervously with her hands, "I might have someone who I like that likes me back…"
"Relax, Jazz," Tucker chuckled, "I'm not gonna tell Mr. Overprotective and WAY Overly-Creative Superhero." Jazz hesitated for a moment longer.
"Well…" She said at last, "…I've been talking to Kwan a lot lately… and you know how he and Star broke up… and well…"
"WHAT?" Tucker said, his jaw dropping. Jazz flushed.
"See, I knew you'd make a big deal about it!" She said accusingly.
"Make a big deal about what?" Danny asked as he and Sam rejoined them.
"Dude, your sister's insane!" Tucker said at once, "She wants to- OW!" Tucker yelped, nursing his knee as Jazz glared daggers at him.
"Danny's not the only creative Fenton, Foley," She hissed under Danny's hearing. Tucker paled.
"She wants to what?" Sam asked, an eyebrow kicking up.
"She wants to get down to the music store before it closes," Jazz answered for him, "I've gotta buy a CD for my Valentine,"
"You actually celebrate that cheesy excuse for a holiday?" Sam scoffed.
"My PARENTS celebrate Valentines Day, Sam," Jazz said dryly.
"They do?" Sam asked, turning to Danny for verification.
"They're going to some weekend getaway, just the two of them," Danny said with a nod.
"And I'm going to the big dance," Jazz said, "Meaning you're home alone for a while, Danny." The red head's eye narrowed as her brother grinned widely. "Don't celebrate yet, Mr. I'm calling in to check on you every hour on the hour."
"I'm not a baby, Jazz!" Danny protested.
"Maybe," Jazz smirked, "But you're still my baby brother," Danny made a face as Jazz ruffled his already messy black hair. "Anyways, I'd better get going. See you at home, Danny!"
"Aaagh…" Danny sighed, trying fruitlessly to straighten his hair again. "Darn it, why does she need to treat me like a kid, anyways,"
"Considering you two were just rolling around like a couple of Kindergarteners, it's not that big a stretch," Tucker told him.
"What's with you?" Sam, perceptive as always, asked her friend, her eyebrow kicking up.
"Nothing," Tucker sighed. Before Sam could press the subject any further, a sharp gasp from Danny drew her attention away, along with Tucker's. The ghost boy didn't notice they were looking, though, his eyes fixed on a nearby shop, where one could see Johnny 13's motorcycle parked outside.
"Ghost time?" Sam asked, standing up.
"You two can take care of it, right?" Tucker asked, "I need to get home before eight thirty. Still on lockdown thanks to that stupid report card…"
"Right," Danny smiled sympathetically. "See ya tomorrow, Tuck," The tech-geek sighed when he started in one direction as Sam tugged Danny impatiently in another, eager to get to the ghost before chaos erupted yet again.
Tucker didn't get far, though, before a hand shot out and pinned him against a tree.
Yelping in pain, the Tech-geek twisted around to find Dash smirking down at him, Star and Paulina behind him. None of them looked like they had a pleasant afternoon planned for their captive 'loser.'
"Well, well, well…" Dash grinned, "If it isn't Fenton and Manson's dopey friend!"
"Where are the loser lovebirds, anyways?" Star asked her former boyfriend.
"Lemme go!" Tucker said, trying to get away. Though Dash favored Danny as his target, he wasn't above giving Tucker a painful reminder of his place in the social structure among Amity's teens.
"We will," Paulina promised him.
"Really?" Tucker asked hopefully.
"We will?" Dash asked, sounding disappointed. He flinched under Paulina's cold glare.
"AFTER you tell us exactly how you know Phantom." Tucker froze and the three popular kids eyed him curiously.
"What makes you think I do?" He asked, his heart pounding painfully. Paulina snorted.
"Don't deny it," She said with a sweet smile, the hint of ice in her eyes ruining the image, "I saw him flying around with you three times in the last week. You have to know him to get that close that many times."
"He was saving me," Tucker said quickly, "I'm a magnet for trouble. Bad Luck Tuck, remember?" A bad rep was worth his best friend's secret, especially one so big.
"He's got a point…" Dash pointed out. Paulina rolled her eyes in annoyance.
"What about Danny?" She asked, "I mean, his parents are ghost hunters, right? Does he know the ghost boy?"
"You honestly think Danny Phantom's going to hang around with the son of someone who wants to kill him?" Tucker asked in exasperation.
No need to tell them he was that son, right? Or that one of his closest human friends outside of their group was a ghost hunter bent on his destruction, for that matter…
"Fine!" Paulina snapped, turning, "Ugh! Let's go, guys. I hate hanging around losers…"
"Hang on," Star smirk, "You still haven't told us where the lovebirds are, Foley…"
"They're not lovebirds, remember, Star?" Dash told her, smirking.
"That's right," Paulina nodded, "Danny's got his eyes on me, and the Goth Freak is too chicken to say she likes him." The popular kids laughed, and Tucker felt anger sear through him.
"That's not true, you airheads!"
The laugher stopped, and three sets of eyes stared at Tucker in varying degrees of shock before narrowing in anger.
"Oh?" Star asked coldly, "And what wasn't true about it, loser?"
'Easy, Tuck, don't let your mouth get ahead of you again…' The tech geek reminded himself.
"For your information, Sam and Danny are at the verge of finally getting together," Tucker told them, "As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they went to the Valentines Day Dance together!"
"They're dating?" Star asked, brightening at the juicy new gossip.
"Not yet," Tucker admitted, "But it won't take much for them to get together!"
"That sounds like a bet," Dash said with a grin.
"Huh?" Tucker asked, blinking.
"Yeah, if you get Fentino and the Goth together before the Valentines Day Dance, We'll leave you losers alone for a month," Dash told him, "But if you don't, you've gotta run in front of the cameras at the big Live News unveiling of the new gym. Naked." Tucker cringed. "Oh, and you can't tell them about the bet! That'd make it too easy for you…"
"Deal!" He said before he could stop himself, "Like I said, it'll be a piece of cake."
"We'll see about that, loser," Dash said as the group glared at Tucker. "Remember, if they're not together at the Valentines Day Dance, you lose, Foley."
"Let's go," Paulina said, and without another word to Tucker, the three of them left. Tucker glared after them for a moment before he realized what he'd just gotten himself into.
"What have I done…?" He moaned helplessly, trudging wearily back home to think of a plan.
"Hey, Danny," Tucker said as he met up at the Ghost-boy's locker as usual, "How'd things go down with Johnny?"
"Didn't have to," Danny replied absently, "Turned out he was just trying to figure out what to buy for Kitty. Sam and I helped him and he went on his way."
"You and Sam helped him?" Tucker repeated, staring.
"Mostly Sam," Danny shrugged, "I suggested the roses, but she's the one who picked out the charm bracelet she thought Kitty'd like."
"Yeah, but… you and Sam helped Johnny 13?" Tucker was having a hard time visualizing that.
"He begged us," Danny sighed, "He was desperate, he didn't want to fight with her again, so I felt sorry for the guy. Besides, he wasn't doing anything wrong. He even paid for the things he bought." Danny made a face, "But I gotta say, I'm a little surprised the Ghost Zone celebrates Valentines Day. Talk about the holiday that just won't die…" Tucker sighed and groaned at the same time.
'This could be harder then I thought…'
"Speaking of Valentines Day, what are your plans for it?" Tucker asked innocently, "I mean, you can't really wanna stay at home all alone when everyone else is out having fun,"
"Because Valentines Day is SUCH a meaningful holiday," Danny said with sarcasm that would make Sam proud, making a face as he shut his locker, "No thanks, Tucker, I'm fine sticking it out at home."
"Mind of I join you?" Sam asked as she came up to join in on the conversation, leaning again the lockers and hugging her books to her chest, "I'm not going to the dance, and I'm not staying home so my parents can nag me about how I should've gone to the dance, either. Besides, we can use the time for something useful, like mapping out the Ghost Zone."
"Because that's how every high school kid wants to spend their weekend," Tucker said dryly, "Look, can't we go as a group of friends again?" If he could get them to the party hopefully the holiday magic would work its charm.
"Why would I want to go anywhere raining heart shaped confetti?" Sam asked, shuddering violently, "Besides, I don't have a dress to wear,"
"What's with you anyways, Tucker?" Danny asked curiously. "Why so set on Valentines Day all of a sudden?"
'Because if you two don't get together by then, I'm in for some serious public embarrassment.' Tucker told himself in his head.
"What are you talking about?" Tucker asked innocently. "I'm not set on Valentines Day! I just wanna have a little fun is all, maybe pull some pranks on Dash and Paulina." Bingo! Those were the magic words, and it was obvious in the way Danny and Sam's faces lit up.
"You know, it would be fun to see the look on Paulina's face after I 'accidentally' spill punch all over her dress." Sam said with a wicked grin.
"Sam…" Danny said in disapproval.
"I know, I know," Sam roll her eyes, "I'll behave Danny… if you do," Danny looked alarmed at the knowing smirk Sam flashed his way, blushing at the unspoken accusation.
"What do you mean?" He asked nervously.
"You can't tell me you're not planning to totally bust Dash, Danny," Sam snorted. "I'll leave Paulina alone if you leave Dash alone," Sam crossed her arms and shot Danny a triumphant smirk, and the half ghost sighed in defeat.
"Fine…" He said sourly. "But we'll keep the pranks small, deal?"
"Deal!" Sam laughed as she and Danny shook hands. Tucker grinned as he watched them talk.
'You know, maybe this won't be so hard…' He thought, brightening slightly.
"Now about our outfits…" Sam smirked evilly. Tucker's eye twitched.
"So, Danny," Tucker said in a loud, casual tone, blinking at his best friend innocently over the beaker for the science lab concoction they were making. "You know, you and Sam looked pretty cozy together yesterday. Almost like a couple!" Danny groaned, rolling his eyes.
"Don't start THAT again, Tucker." He said, giving the tech geek a dark look. "If I hear about the lovebird thing from you one more time, I'm gonna show you just how much pain and embarrassment a guy can be put through when someone else is controlling his body."
Tucker moved away.
"Seriously, though, man," Tucker laughed nervously. "You can tell me you haven't thought about it… I mean, the dance, the thing with Freakshow, the fake-out make-outs… plural, dude, plural." Danny blushed.
"Well… maybe," He admitted in a low murmur, "But not like that! I mean, Sam's one of my best friends, Tucker. I'm not gonna date a friend!" Danny turned back to the experiment, obviously done with the conversation. Tucker sighed sourly.
'So much for that approach…' He thought dryly, dumping some more of the chemical into the beaker absently.
"Uh… Tucker?" Danny eyed the boy's hand warily as the liquid poured into the beaker, the flame from the Bunsen Burner making it bubble. "Are you sure we need to add that?" The tech geek didn't hear him, lost in his thoughts.
'Maybe I should talk to Sam instead…' He was telling himself in his head, 'I mean she's a girl, so she's gotta be at least a little into Valentines Day no matter what she says, and she knows I know she likes Danny…'
"Tucker, I think that's too much…" Danny continued, his eyes widening as the green concoction turned a vivid shade of red, the bubbling becoming more violent.
'Besides, Sam can't overshadow me if she figures out what I'm doing… of course, what she would do to me probably isn't that much better, but still…'
"Mr. Fenton, Mr. Foley, what's going on over there?" Mr. Poluka asked as he came over to their table, drawn by the acidic smell quickly filling the lab.
"He won't listen to me!" Danny said in frustration, making a furious hand gesture towards Tucker without taking his eyes off the bubbling beaker. Mr. Poluka's eyes widened when he saw it.
"Mr. Foley, that's quite enough!" he said, drawing Tucker out of his musing at last.
"Huh?" Tucker blinked, finally paying attention to what he was doing. "…Uh-oh…" The mixture was starting to foam now, and Danny (Who had been around sensitive chemicals his entire life thanks to his parents and their unique career path) cursed softly under his breath.
"HIT THE DIRT!" he yelled, diving underneath the table.
When the smoke finally cleared a few seconds after the explosion, Tucker found almost the entire class (Including Mr. Poluka) giving him accusing glares.
"…Hehe," He laughed meekly, "Oops?"
"I can't believe he gave me a detention!" Tucker wailed again, resting his chin in his crossed arms. Sam glanced at him for a moment before turning back to her cutting for her project in the yearbook.
"Well, you did blow up the science lab…" Sam said, though there was a hint of sympathy mixed in with her tone, and the amused smile that played at her lips told Tucker that she at least found humor in the situation.
"I didn't blow it up!" Tucker defended himself. "…Not technically, anyways. I mean, the room's still standing." Sam shook her head and laughed.
"You're hopeless, Tuck," she announced, "What the heck were you thinking about anyways? If it had you spacing out that bad, it must've been something big… new girlfriend?" Tucker raised an eyebrow at her.
"Actually," He said, "I was thinking about you and Danny,"
The scissors in Sam's hands slipped and Dash Baxter was suddenly beheaded.
"What about me and Danny?" Sam asked, her tone casual as she tossed the photo and reached for a new one.
"I was just thinking about how you two should start dating," Tucker said, "I mean, you like him, don't you?"
"Danny has enough to deal with right now, Tucker," Sam said, glaring at her friend slightly, "He doesn't need a new relationship making his life any more complicated."
Tucker noticed that she didn't deny liking Danny.
'Well, that's a start I guess,' He thought dryly.
"Who said anything about a new relationship?" Tucker asked, "I mean, you're still Danny and Sam, right? Dating won't change that, it just means you'll finally get to do all the stuff you've wanted to do for a while now,"
"Dating will change enough," Sam snapped, "And I'm not going to risk a lifelong friendship on a crush!"
"But if you just-!" Tucker started. Sam stood up, walking away.
"I need to get some more glue," She said shortly, slamming the door behind her. Tucker sighed.
'So much for her being more open to the idea…' He thought in defeat, standing and heading out another door. 'now what am I gonna do…?'
Tucker cringed at the mocking tone, turning to meet a smirking Paulina.
No!" He said, laughing loudly, "What would give you that idea?" Paulina snorted, examining her fingers.
"Face it, Foley," She smirked, "it's not gonna happen. Not now, not ever. Danny and Sam aren't getting together, and you're gonna lose you little bet with Dash and be publicly embarrassed…" Paulina grinned widely, "Unless…"
"Unless?" Tucker repeated, brightening hopefully. There was an unless?
"Tell me everything you know about Phantom, and I just might be able to convince Dash to forget all about your little bet." Paulina grinned, "I really don't care if your loser friends get together or not, but you can keep whatever dignity you still have and I can be with my one true love. It's a win-win situation,"
'Not for Danny,' Tucker thought grimly.
"I can't do that," He told Paulina, frowning slightly. Paulina narrowed her eyes at him.
"Fine," She said in a sullen voice, "Have fun streaking on live TV, loser," And with a huff, the girl turned and stormed away. Tucker sighed as he watched her go, before walking away glumly.
'I'm so dead…' Tucker thought to himself as he trudged up to the school. Loud music was heard playing inside, but the tech geek barely heard it. 'I can most definitely kiss what little social life I had good-bye after tonight, cause I'll be spending the rest of my high school life with a paper bag over my head…'
He, Sam and Danny were all supposed to meet up together at the school for the dance, but Tucker showed up a little late, too depressed to even care about the time. He frowned in confusion when he saw Sam and Danny weren't waiting out front of the school for him like they'd agreed, before shrugging it off.
'They probably already went inside.' He decided, heading through the doors.
Tucker yelped in surprise when someone came out of nowhere, hugging him tightly, "Seriously, Tucker, how did you do it? I was starting to think it'd never happen!"
"Jazz?" Tucker said, blinking at the red head in surprise. "What are you talking about?"
"Danny and Sam!" Jazz said, looking at Tucker as if he was crazy, "What did you think I was talking about?" Tucker blinked.
"Huh?" Rolling her eyes, Jazz shifted so the tech geek could see the dance floor.
In the middle of the floor, both dressed almost completely in black except for the pink, red and white confetti glittering on their clothes, hair and faces, where Sam and Danny were dancing closely together, apparently oblivious to the rest of the world.
"They said you talked them into it!" Jazz explained at Tucker's gaping look, "Nice going, Tucker, never thought you had it in you to play matchmaker!"
"I win?" Tucker blinked, grinning. "I win!" seeing the quizzical look Jazz was giving him, the boy froze. "Uh, I mean… Yes! Finally! My work here is done!" Jazz gave him a dry look before sighing.
"I don't want to know, okay?" She said, turning away. "Anyways, I've gotta go…" Tucker barely even notice as the girl hurried off beck in the direction she'd come from. (Though he did shiver slightly when he saw her with Kwan. Things like that were better off not thought about…) He was far to busy mentally gloating.
And upon catching sight of a sullen Dash, he decided to make it verbal.
"Hey, Baxter!" He smirked as he walked over to the quarterback, "Great dance, huh?" Dash growled.
"Shut it, Foley!" He snapped, "who cares if you won this time? It's no big deal. Everyone knew they'd end up together anyways!"
"But the fact still remains that I win," Tucker pointed out with a grin. Dash advanced on the smaller boy, "Ah, ah, ah!" Tucker smirked, "You've gotta leave us alone for a month, remember?" Dash glared at him.
"Fine!" He snapped, "But come next month I'm paying you back double what you usually get, you hear?" Tucker grinned as he watched ash storm off.
'Life is good…' He thought happily, turning back to watch his best friend's dance…
"Oof!" Tucker grimaced as he landed painfully on the ground.
"Sorry!" A female voice apologized vigorously, "I wasn't looking where I was going!" Blinking Tucker turned to meet the wide brown eyes of a girl he's never met before.
"That's okay," He said, standing, "Not the first time I've been knocked down." The girl blushed.
"Well, I'm still sorry," She said, fidgeting uncomfortably. Tucker smiled at her warmly, before it turned into a confused frown.
"Wait, you don't go to Casper, High, do you?" He asked, puzzled.
"No," The girl admitted, "I go to Anderson High. My friend brought me here tonight. She was supposed to set me up on a blind date, but apparently he had better things to do,"
"Ouch," Tucker said sympathetically. She laughed, smiling at him.
I'm Denise," She said, holding out a hand to shake.
"Tucker," The tech geek introduced himself, looking into the girl's eyes as she smiled shyly at him. Suddenly the boy got an idea and grinned widely, "So, Denise…" He said casually, "Wanna dance?"
"I can't believe he didn't figure it out," Danny grinned at Sam as he passed her a soda, laughing slightly at the dry remark the girl had just said.
The two of them were sitting together alone on top of the Ops Center, watching the star shoot by and escaping Danny's parents, who were even more hyperactive then usual when they found out about Sam and Danny's big date.
"Come on, Sam," Danny said, bemused.
"I'm serious!" Sam said, "I mean, he did such a horrible job at even attempting to get us together, it's a wonder we're not bitter enemies right now!"
"Well, he and Paulina didn't see us listening in on them." Danny reminded her, "Besides, he did a lot better then anyone else could, everything considered."
"Yeah…" Sam sighed. "He's just lucky I like him enough to go through with this. I mean, I just pretended to enjoy myself on Valentines Day for him, if that's not friendship, I don't know what is."
"Hey!" Danny said, sounding a little hurt. Sam blushed.
"It's not that I didn't enjoy myself!" She corrected herself hastily, "It's just that I hate how commercial this holiday is. Why should you only tell someone you love how much they mean to you one day a year? I mean, I love you and I-!" Sam cut herself off abruptly, and the teens stared at each other with wide eyes. "…You didn't just hear that."
"Actually," Danny blinked, "I'm pretty sure I did." Sam blinked brilliantly, standing up and hastily smoothing out her dress.
"I've gotta go!" she said, rushing toward the trap door that led back down to the Fenton house, Danny hesitated before he jumped up after her.
"Sam…" He called out. The Goth only picked up speed, so Danny did the same, catching her arm just before she could make her escape. "Sam!"
"Look, I know you don't like me back okay," Sam said, not turning to meet Danny's eyes. "So why don't we just forget I ever said that and- Mmph!"
Whatever the Goth was about to say was cut off when Danny's lips met hers in a firm, gentle kiss. When they parted, Danny and Sam stared at each other with wide eyes. The half ghost looked just as surprised at his actions as Sam did.
"I… Sam, I…" Danny blushed under Sam's searching gaze.
"Danny," She said, turning to face him. "…Do you still like Paulina?"
"No," The boy told her firmly.
"What about Valerie?"
"No," He repeated. "I haven't thought about either of them like that since… well, for a while." Danny's blush intensified.
"Do you like me?" Sam asked, her tone soft, almost pleading. Danny blinked. This was the most vulnerable he'd ever seen his stubborn friend…
"…Yeah," Danny admitted, blushing again, "I just… I mean, you were my best friends, so I thought you didn't-!" It was Danny's turn to get cut off when Sam threw her arms around his shoulders, kissing him so passionately that Danny lost his balance and the two ended up on the ground. When they parted, though, Sam buried her face into Danny's chest, and the ghost boy patted her back, picking out a piece of confetti she'd missed.
"You know what sucks, though?" Sam murmured into his shirt.
"Hm?" Danny asked, raising an eyebrow down at her.
"Now I really do have a reason to celebrate Valentines Day." Sam sounded so downcast at having to admit this, Danny couldn't help but laugh.
"Actually," He said slyly, "It's 12:36 right now," Sam blinked at him questioningly before she caught on and grinned.
"Good point," She said, snuggling close to Danny, "February 14th may be a commercial holiday…"
"But the 15th's all ours," Danny finished with a grin, snaking an arm around her waist as he looked up to the sky.
'And I wouldn't have it any other way,' They both added mentally, succumbing to the peaceful feel of the night…
WoM- My first 'official' one-shot! (Of course, it ends up fifteen pages long…) This is for everyone out there who loved Danny Phantom, whether or not they celebrate Valentines Day! (I'm a Non-celebrator myself…)