In Love Again

Chapter One

Two Weeks After College Classes Started

"What are you talking about, Danny?" Sam asked, eyes filled with tears, as she sat down on her bed with her boyfriend standing there, staring at her regretfully. They were in the apartment she had bought when she got accepted in Yale.

"I'm sorry, Sam…" Danny whispered gently at her, tucking her hair behind her ear like he had always done. It was like that simple act was his; nobody else tucked her hair like that. That gesture only made her cry harder and clutch to him tightly.

"I'm sorry I can't be stronger…" She sobbed into his shirt.

"I'm not asking that of you." Danny said, caressing her back gently. "You cry all you want; I'll be here for you today." He tried not to show her that he was crying too.

Danny and Sam were eighteen years old. They had dated since they were sixteen and their relationship was everything they could ask for. They were two complete idiots in love and they were happy because of it.They were blindto the world outside. Like every relationship, their love matured as they grow older. They got used to each other's presence and the passion slowly died down. They wouldn't run to make out in the janitor's closet anymore. They wouldn't visit each other in the middle of the night and they wouldn't call each other unless they had something to say.

When Sam got accepted in Yale she knew it meant the end of their relationship. When they started lacking passion, she knew it was coming to an end, she was surprised it lasted that long. Danny needed a girl that would always be there for him, that he would worship and be equally treated. He wasn't the type that would wait for a girlfriend who was studying miles away. He was too anxious for action, for passion, to wait for her. Sam didn't blame him, because it was his personality and he wouldn't change it by risking his happiness.

She never blamed him and she never would. Their goals weren't the same anymore and it wasn't their fault. Unfortunately kids must grow older and sometimes, in order to do that, they had to sacrifice the dearest things to them like a teddy bear, a fairy tale book and the first girlfriend.

"I'll never stop caring about you, Danny." Sam said. "And I hope we'll meet again, someday." She bit her lip and leaned up to kiss the lips that she was about to renounce.

"I'm looking forward to it." He grinned and then his smile subsided and Sam's tears became more desperate as she struggled to say something very hard. "What is it?"

"Since this is our last day together…" She started. "Would you… would you… be with me?"

"You mean… like… like sleeping together?" He asked, nervously and she nodded. She didn't dare smile and not even blink. She concentrated on his face; she tried to read his thoughts.

"I'm not sure, Sam…" Danny sighed, sitting down by her side, putting his head on his hands. "I'm supposed to be letting you go… if we do it…"

"I'm not asking you for another chance." Sam replied quickly. "I'm not asking for feelings, just the action."

"You're asking me to sleep with you without feelings?" Danny asked, saying it just to taste the words on his mouth. It wasn't what he expected from Sam. He never thought she'd make such a request.

"Most boys wouldn't think twice." She laughed sarcastically through tears. She sounded desperate, but she didn't care. Sex had never really worked for them, not in the way she thought it was supposed to. She had to grab the last chance she had to make it work.

Before Danny could answer, the room had gone quieter. He looked up to Sam's face and blushed, something that hadn't happened in a long time while being with her. He gave her a small smile and stroked her hair softly; he couldn't deny her last request as his girlfriend. He could never deny her anything, really. Sam was the most special person to him.

She opened her mouth to ask again, but Danny knew it wasn't necessary. He had already made up his mind. He leaned forward capturing her lips in a gentle kiss. Danny licked her lips asking entrance and she opened them gladly. She moaned softly against his mouth and he gently pushed her against the mattress. The gentleness faded away introducing the desperate passion that they hadn't experienced for months.

The room was growing warmer and the fact that it was very hot day didn't help on the matter. He slid his hand over her body taking off her shirt. He didn't know how to satisfy her, he never really did. He didn't even remember how to breathe.

She would've regretted if she let him go without one last time, one last dance to stay in her memory. It only made it harder to let him go away, but at least she had no regrets. And it was the first time she had actually felt what sex was all about.

One Week before University Graduation.

The Fine Arts Course with BA on Journalism had lasted four years. Sam was officially an adult now and she still had a childish fear of going back to Amity Park. She had seen Danny and Tucker the last time one year ago. It still hurt to know that they wouldn't call her as often as they did before. It hurt to know that she wasn't needed in their daily activities.

When you get in High School and make friends you are so sure that those friendships will last forever that you barely think about losing them. Your friends are so loyal, so funny and their feelings look so real that they look like they'll be there forever. And then you get into college. You make new friends and you learn how to party. Your high school friends look like mere children play near those crazy dudes that hang naked on the chandelier and look good doing it!

College is the perfect time to try new things and not look like an idiot for doing that. It is the time when you learn what being liberal really means. You laugh pathetically when you look back in your high school days and remember that you felt proud for buying a bottle of booze and share it with ten friends. Now, you're in college you can get high for fifteen hours straight with an ecstasy pill and realize it is not as great as everyone tells you.

The last week of college is really depressing. You remember everything you didn't do. Everything you should have done. You remember you won't see the naked dude anymore and you can't get high without looking like a loser. You will return to your old city to see your parents and meet with the high school friends and think they are better than you are. You will need a job because it's ridiculous to be twenty one and let your parents support you.

Sam had been a total loner during college. She had one friend, one good friend, which happened to be a boy, who happened to be gay. His name was Jude and he taught her that her right color was green; that her hair looked better down and her eyebrows were beautiful when designed properly. Sam did everything he said and soon they were closer than she and Danny had ever been.

Jude was the one that comforted her when she started crying because of her never-ending attraction for Danny. He had spent a whole night holding her when she found out Danny had gotten himself another girlfriend, which counted three girls in less than a month. She cried and asked where her naïve Danny had gone while Jude assured her it was going to pass because girls nowadays were too alike, in homogeny, completely boring. Jude assured her it was the reason Danny had jumped from girl to girl, because nobody would satisfy him as she had.

"It is just an adventure… he'll eventually go back to you."

She feared Danny had become unreachable; that they wouldn't recognize each other anymore as best friends; that their friendship would be forever a memory of those schooling days that had to pass.

But as the rough breakup became just an episode in her life, as time passed and her heart healed, it didn't hurt anymore, she still thought a lot about him, but she convinced herself that the reason why she couldn't forget him was because he had been her friend for most part of her life, she was used having him around. She wasn't attracted to him anymore, but she still worried about him because he was her friend.

She was sitting in her room, watching TV when the door opened. Jude walked inside looking radiant. His smile could only mean one thing and that thing was what made Sam's day brighter.

"He said yes!" Sam squeaked, jumping on his lap. "Congratulations!"

Jude held her up while she wrapped legs and arms around him like a small child on their parent's lap. He laughed and turned around, dancing without music around the room. Jude was tall and very athletic. Thousands of girls drooled over him and he didn't act like he was into boys. Nobody would guess he was gay.

"Now I can say I have the most handsome boyfriend ever!" Jude laughed, still spinning her around.

"So, are you moving in together next week?" Sam asked, as he settled her on the ground again.

"Not yet, he said next week we'll see our families and rest. After that we can think about buying our house somewhere in New York."

"Sometimes I wish I could take you to Amity Park with me." Sam said, "I'm going to need support when I face everybody again. I think Danny and Tucker changed a lot."

"You know what you tell Danny when you see him?" Jude asked, smirking naughtily at her. "You tell him your college life was great! That you had sex with every single guy on campus, that you had sex with one while hanging on the chandelier."

"And of course, he would believe me." Sam answered sarcastically.

"Honey, when you see that Danny boy promise me you'll torture him for what he did to you. You must be proud. You must show him you're not that little girl he dated anymore. You must light his fire again." Jude said. "Show him you're a powerful woman now."

"Do you think he found somebody else?" Sam asked, sitting on her bed, facing Jude quietly. She never really talked about her fears… somehow she had hoped Danny hadn't found anybody else.

"It's probable… I mean… guys live for that, don't they?"

Sam didn't answer. She hoped Danny wasn't like that.

The Christmas before Kyle

Sam, who was sixteen years old, was sitting alone by the piano playing Beethoven's Für Elise. It was a snowy day and she couldn't go out. Her parents were in a trip through Europe and they called totell herMerry Christmas. They had given her gift two weeks earlier, it was a convertible BMW. Sam thought it was absurd to give a girl who was starting her driving lessons in a few weeks an expensive car like a BMW. Sam knew she was going to crash that car a few times before she considered herself a good driver.

Tucker had called to wish her a Merry Christmas, to and he was the one that told her that nobody could make across the street because of the heavy snowstorm that had been falling since that morning. It was about five in the afternoon and Danny hadn't called, yet. Sam was bored with her lonesome Christmas.

She was still in her warm pajamas with a blanket over her lap and a cup of eggnog (the only edible thing she could cook in the kitchen) on top of her beloved piano. She felt the temperature drop in the room and stopped playing, looking around for her best friend.

"What are you doing?" Danny Phantom materialized in front of her with a grin. He hadn't seen that she was playing; she had stopped just in time.

"Spending my time." She grinned, turning around and to face him. Danny transformed back in his human form and didn't look very warm in his sweater and pants. "Did you fly straight from your house?"

"Yeah, I thought I couldn't be cold in my ghost form… looks like I was wrong. It's chilly out there!" Danny said. "Anyway, I came to wish you a Merry Christmas and to give you this." He put in her hands a CD that he recorded on his computer with Sam's favorite songs.

"Oh my goodness, Danny!" She said when she read the small menu Danny wrote "You got Bjork and PJ Harvey's version of Satisfaction!"

"That was quite hard to find." He grinned.

"Thank you so much." She stood up, hugging him tightly. "Oh, I'm so stupid, you're freezing!" She noticed when her cheek touched his. "Let's find you a blanket and light the fireplace. Would you like some eggnog?"

"Only if it is your 'special' eggnog." He smiled. By 'special' he meant the eggnog Sam would make when she was alone in her house, a recipe she found out in the internet where she mixed the drink in chocolate liquor. It wasn't enough to make them drunk, but would warm up quickly.

"That's the one in that cup, there's more in the thermos right there. I think it's enough to both of us." Sam smiled. "Wait here and I'll get you a blanket."

While Sam went looking for a blanket Danny poured himself a cup of eggnog and amused himself by touching the piano keys without getting anything out that would sound like music. Sam came back with huge blankets and two pillows.

"Are you in a hurry? We could watch movies together." She suggested, throwing him the blanket.

"Only if it is a thriller." Danny said. He had been the victim of Sam's erudite taste too many times to not learn his lesson. Once she had invited him to watch Cries and Whispers by a Sweden director called Ingmar Bergman and he slept through the whole film. 'It's a classic!' She had said. 'There's no action, no soundtrack!' Danny replied.

"Fine, I think my parents bought some useless thrillers last time they were here…. Oh yeah, Dead Men Land, have you seen it?"

"Nope." He picked the blanket while Sam grabbed the cups and they headed downstairs to watch the bloody zombie movie.

When the movie started, Danny had already put the blankets on the ground andpushed pillows together. Sam blushed when she noticed he had made a king sized bed in the middle of her theater. He grinned when he saw her reluctance in lay down next to him.

"Come on, it's cold! Like this we can share more blankets and stay warmer." Danny pouted cutely. Sam laughed at his ridiculous excuse to cuddle with her.

"I can't believe how forward you are today." She smiled, taking her slippers off and laying down next to him, but before she could get comfortable (she was as far from Danny as the blanket allowed) the phone started ringing. "Stop the movie, please." She said, standing up once again and answering the phone. "Hello? Oh, hello, Mrs. Fenton." Sam looked to Danny over her shoulder and saw him slapping himself in the head. He probably had forgotten to tell his mother he was going to visit her. "Yes, he's here, Mrs. Fenton, would you like to talk to him? Ok."

Sam walked back to the blankets and gave Danny the phone. He looked like he was about to get grounded.

"Hey, mom… yeah, I forgot to tell you, I'm sorry… No, the storm wasn't that bad when I left… fine, I'll stay over until it stops… yeah, Sam gave me a hot drink and blankets… MOM!... Listen mom, I gotta go, we're watching a movie… yes, I will. Bye." He handed Sam the phone. "Looks like I'll have to stay until the storm is over." He sighed. "I wish I could tell her about my ghost powers, she wouldn't be so worried, then."

"You can tell her, Danny." Sam put the phone aside and lay down next to him. Danny was looking at the ceiling as if it would give him an answer to his problems. "Your parents may be obsessed with ghosts but they care about you. It is not like my parents who are so caught up in themselves that barely see me. Your mom will understand."

"Yeah…" Danny smiled at her, wrapping his arms around her. He knew he was freaking her out when he pulled her so close that she was pillowed on his chest.

"Danny, what are you doing?" Sam asked. She knew that whatever he was trying to do with her it was beyond what friendship grounds permitted.

"Holding you." He answered simply.

"Danny…" She called his name in a warning tone. She liked his caring side, but at the moment she was thinking he had been overshadowed.

She couldn't believe how ironic the situation was. She had a crush on Danny during her fourteen years. By the time she was fifteen she accepted that he would never see her as more than friend, so she moved on.

Her first real kiss (she never counted the fake-out make-outs Dash's and Tucker's kisses) had been with a Goth boy she had met once. She had gone out with him for two weeks, while Danny was squirming in jealously and Tucker looked more concerned that the Goth boy was even more depressed than Sam had ever been.

The relationship didn't last more than that single week. Tucker was glad, Sam was indifferent and Danny was relieved. After that week Danny had been holding her, kissing her cheek and spending more time with her than he ever had before.

Sam had taken his actions as a sweet apology for his jealousy and relief for getting her to hang out with the trio once again. She had taken it like that until that moment when Danny started holding her like that. Danny's fear of losing her to someone else had led them to where they were now. Sam was glad he acted like he cared and he was happy to just hold her and be comfortable with her like he had never been before.

But nothing had really happened, he just held her the whole night until they fell asleep in each other's arms. And from that day on they had become so comfortable around each other, that touching wouldn't be weird anymore.

First Day back in Amity Park

On the road, on a sunny day, Sam drove her convertible BMW all the way back home. Her heart was beating quicker than usual from the moment she got into her car. She had a pair of sunglasses on and a white sunny hat that Jude had given her.

The sign 'Amity Park – a nice place to live' came into view after five hours of car ride three days after she left Yale. Sam was torn between the relief of having finally arrived (her back was killing her) and the wish of having the distance being twice longer.

She was going to see Danny and it frightened her.

Danny was on his way to Tucker's house and the shortest way there was passing through Sam's old house. Danny always looked at that house as a memory of his good times with Sam, when they used to hang around each other as friends and as boyfriend and girlfriend.

Those were his sweet and naïve times. Which boy didn't kiss his first girlfriend and thought it would be forever? Which boy hadn't made marriage plans with his first girlfriend? Which hadn't fantasized about their children?

Danny laughed at how naïve his mind was back in his teenage years. Thank goodness for college life turning you into an experienced adult. He couldn't call himself adult; he was in that thin line between boy and man also known as 'the early twenties'. It was the time he was starting his life, still with teenage hopes of a bright future and the freedom of still being supported by his parents in case he got fired.

No responsibilities, no ties, no compromise. Just fun. He had until his twenty five years old to face life as a big ride in a rollercoaster , after that, he'd have to literally grow up… but he still had more three years to go.

There was another thing. Danny was very popular. How did it happen? He blew his cover. Danny was stupid enough to go ghost inside a classroom in the third week of college. The classroom just happened to be monitored by a security camera and the next day he was all over Amity Park newspaper.

Maddie and Jack Fenton were in shock for several days, but finally their love for Danny was bigger than their ghost obsession. Danny was glad to have his parents to understand and finally he could get more help inside his own home. His parents developed weapons and other things that were very handy in battles. Danny let them study his ghost abilities and by doing that the Fenton's became much richer than they had ever been.

Amity Park College happened to be just like Casper High with most of the students, Paulina, Valerie, Star, Courtney, Amanda etc. etc. If Danny had been a loser in high school he was more popular than Dash and Kwan in college. And his grades weren't that bad either. His first adventures with girls had been traps, girls would come to him all sexy and would get him to do anything with them. Of course, Danny had turned it around and now he was the one trapping girls.

Tucker got his share of popularity as well and both boys had their dream come true: a date with a new girl every weekend. What did the girls think about it? They were very happy to have dated the gorgeous Danny Phantom.

Danny smiled sadly when he reminded of Sam, his first girlfriend. She'd be very disappointed to see that he was using her Carpe Diem ideal to seize girls along with the day. But Danny didn't regret breaking up with her; he couldn't be faithful to her while she was miles away from him. He wouldn't have enjoyed college's irresponsible life if he was with her.

He wasn't a bad guy and he wasn't shallow when it came to girls, he was far from being a womanizer that would pick any random girl in the bar and take home for casual sex. He was just a guy with hormones and reckless like every boy who saw life as a big party. He was going to grow up with time. For now he was experimenting.

He realized how different things were in high school. He'd blush if he talked to a girl, he had treasured his first girlfriend like every guy did before noticing that girls weren't that hard to get.

Danny stopped dead on his tracks when he saw a very familiar BMW parked in front of the Manson's house. His heart skipped a beat. Sam was back. Her classes must have ended a weeks before his. He imagined her sad face when she realized he was very different from the sweet and naïve boy who had broken up with her four years ago.

He crossed the street to sneak a peek inside Sam's house in his ghost form. He saw her having a tea with her mother in the living room. Her mother was treating her like a guest and not like a daughter who was back to live in the same house with her again.

"So how were your grades?" Mrs. Manson asked.

"I aced most of my tests." Sam replied. "I got a job proposal. I have all summer to consider it." Sam's mother looked very interested in the subject. "It isn't anywhere near here. If I accept I'll have to move to L.A."

"That's amazing!" Mrs. Manson said. "What's holding you back?"

Sam didn't reply; she just stared at her tea. Danny felt his heart being squeezed. Sam came back to come clear with him, possibly to say goodbye for good. He panicked.

Danny quickly flew out of Sam's house and sped up toward Tucker's house. Sam had become Miss Perfect while he and Tucker were the impulsive rebel males. Their group wasn't over, but it had given a total 180° turn. The gothic had gone normal and the geeks became popular.

"Tucker, Sam is back!"

Here's the sequel... I know, you were expecting a fluffy fanfic with details of Danny and Sam's romance, but... well, I just like to torture the characters, I can't help it,I am sadistic! Nothing that comes too easily is valuable enough. Keep that in mind. I know that you want to see how their relationship was and don't worry, I'll tease you readers with flashbacks. You'll understand everything, just be patient.

Thanks Rae you rock!