Little Differences

A Danny Phantom Fanfic by Lavender Gaia

Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom or any of the recognizable characters appearing in this fanfic. They are all property of Nickelodeon and Butch Hartman.

Dedicated to yourperfect disaster, who managed to catch a really stupid mistake in the first draft of this.

A/N: Attack of the plot bunny! Okay, so this hit me at about 1 in the morning and I literally could not sleep until I wrote it out. This is my first Danny Phantom fic, and though I tried to do right with the characterization, I suspect there's at least some OOCness sprinkled throughout. Apologies. This is also not edited, because all my betas chose now to be unreliable. Even more apologies.

On a dreadful thing that most call Monday morning, Danny Fenton and Tucker Foley were leaning on the doors next to Danny's locker, trying to get a few more minutes of sleep as they talked about things that were basically of no consequence. There were no deep discussions of politics or quantum physics, just general conversation about the most recent thing that was going on in their lives: the Homecoming dance.

"I don't even think I'll go," Tucker managed to get out in between yawns. "You have to dress up for Homecoming. And it's one of those things where if you don't have a date, people actually notice."

Danny nodded, pushing some messy black hair out of his sleep-encrusted eyes. "Yeah, I don't even want to think about having to ask my parents about a tux. People even rent limos and stuff."

Tucker stretched his arms out, a bit cramped from typing on his PDA with the touch tool. "Sam has a limo. We could always go with her."

"Sam?" the half-ghost snorted. "Go to Homecoming? Right. And my parents will decide ghosts aren't real."

"She might go if she had a date," he shrugged, glancing up from the small screen. Danny frowned at the idea and the techno geek fought back the urge to roll his eyes. Man, his friend was oblivious. How did he manage to survive all those ghost attacks?

"I doubt it," Danny decided eventually. "There's no one in this school she'd go with."

A small smirk came over his best friend's face. "I wouldn't say no one."

Blue eyes narrowed in Tucker's direction. "You know something about Sam I don't know, don't you?"

And now it was time for a subject change; if Danny was going to be an idiot forever, it wasn't Tucker's job to ruin that. "Maybe we should concentrate more on our date's than Sam's," he suggested.

"I was thinking about asking Valerie," Danny admitted with a sigh, training his eyes on the linoleum flooring. "But I don't think it'd go too well."

"Yeah, my dates are always ruined when the girl I'm with tries to kill me," Tucker agreed with a nod.

Danny glared at him. "That wouldn't even be funny if you had dates."

"At least I wouldn't have to worry about attempted homicide," he retorted. "Wait, does it count as homicide if you're already a ghost?"

The half-ghost decided to ignore that. Opening his mouth to defend any sort of date with Valerie, he stopped before the words came out, focusing on something down the hall. Paulina had just come in and already guys that she felt were way below her level had approached her about the dance. "Where's the geek repellant when you need it?" her voice rang through the halls, though didn't deter any potential—in their eyes at least—candidates.

"Man, I wonder what it would be like to take someone like Paulina to the dance," Danny mused aloud.

Tucker turned around to look at the popular girl. "Well, you probably wouldn't be able to touch her because her dress cost more than a car."

"I'm sure she'll be Homecoming Queen," Danny figured, then added sourly, "And Dash'll be Homecoming King."

"Just another thing they can add to the 'Don't You Wish You Could Be Me?' list," his friend added, refocusing on his PDA.

Danny exhaled noisily. "Paulina will look great off course—another thing for that list. And going to at least one dance with her would automatically make you popular. Especially something so big as Homecoming. I mean, I know she'd be high maintenance: huge corsage, she'd probably want extra roses, a really expensive dinner first. I think it'd be worth it though. And she'd love riding in Sam's limo—as long as we didn't tell her it's Sam's. I bet Dash wouldn't get her a limo."

Suddenly, there was an icy cold presence behind him. It didn't feel like a ghost…something a lot scarier. Danny turned around to see Samantha Manson glaring at him, a glare that if looks could kill, he wouldn't be simply half-ghost. "Oh, hey, Sam."

She opened her locker with a furious twist of the lock, spinning it back and forth before slamming the metal door open. The two boys exchanged a look before Tucker ventured to ask, "Uh, you okay?"

"Just peachy!" She spat, the sarcasm practically dripping off her tongue. "I overslept because the power went out last night when my parents blew a fuse trying to make popcorn in the kitchen—there's a reason they're not allowed in there! So it knocked my alarm clock off and I didn't get up until about five minutes ago. But I was supposed to get up early to finish the history homework I didn't do last night!"

Her friends winced. "Man, that sucks," Danny smiled sympathetically.

"Oh, I'm just getting started," she growled. "So I go downstairs trying to find a last minute ride. My parents are just sitting at the table eating breakfast like nothing happened. I should have known better than to expect something as important as oh, an apology. But then my mother pulls out a dress. Because apparently she heard about Homecoming."

"How bad is it?" Tucker dared to question.

"Pink. Baby pink. With bows and a sash and little roses sewn all around it. And it comes with a nice new pearl necklace and shoes that we probably paid about three hundred dollars just to dye so they would match the dress! Do you know how many starving people or abused farm animals we could save with that money?" She slammed her locker door shut, causing it to vibrate all the ones attached to it. "And then I come to school to find my two best friends talking about that stupid dance, and taking Paulina to it of all people! News flash, Danny: I don't like Paulina breathing my air, let alone riding in my car!"

Danny rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "I was just thinking about it. C'mon, you know it'd be cool."

Their friend winced in anticipation of the goth girl's remarks. This was not going to be pretty.

"Cool? Cool!" Sam's furious lavender eyes bored into Danny's ice blue ones. "NO, I don't think it's cool to show up at a dance with someone just so it'll make me look good. Unlike you, it seems, I'd rather go with someone who actually likes me." She lowered her voice to a hiss, "And not because I have ghost powers!"

Danny Phantom's alter-ego frowned. "Hey, for all you know we could have a good time! She might think I'm a good dancer or a good date."

Sam rolled her eyes. "That's right, Danny, live in your fantasy world. If that's how you want it, just go with Paulina! You two can be crowned at Homecoming court, then you can get married and have a bunch of condescending kids who find no greater pleasure than insulting people who are obviously better than them!"

"Well, you know what?" Danny shot back. "Maybe I will!"

"Fine!" Sam spun on her heel, marching through the crowded hallways.

Danny leaned back against the lockers, running a hand through his hair. "Whoa, what just happened? What was that?"

Tucker shrugged, the smallest smirk adorning his face. "Maybe it's her time of the month."

Blue eyes widened, then scrunched closed quickly. "Why do you insist on saying things I can never unhear?"

"C'mon, you have a sister, you should be used to it. Sam just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I'm sure she'll be fine by lunch," the tech geek assured. The school bell rang, signaling them to get to first period. "C'mon, let's get going."

Sam gave Danny the cold shoulder for the rest of the day. In class, she wouldn't look in his direction, and destroyed any and all notes he sent her way. Tucker was wrong; she hadn't gotten any better by lunchtime. By the time Danny got there, she had managed to finish eating and left, saying that Lancer needed her for something.

When the final bell rang, Tucker and Danny left the school. The half-ghost was barely listening to his friend's suggestion of Nasty Burger when he spotted Sam walking in the opposite direction of them, towards the park.

He noticed Danny's distraction and sighed. "Go talk to her. I'll talk to you later."

The superhero shot his friend a grateful smile, taking off at a jog after Sam. "Hey, Sam! Hey!"

After three minutes of this, she finally stopped in a grassy knoll, turning to look at him. "What, Danny?"

"I want to know what's wrong!" He insisted. "You can't be that mad about the little fight we had earlier."

"I don't care," she swore unbelievably. "Go with Paulina."

Danny held back a groan. "I'm not going with Paulina! I was just wondering what it would be like if I did!"

Sam crossed her arms over her chest, eyeing him curiously. "And what did you come up with? If the world turned into a backwards universe where the impossible happens, what would you do on your date?"

"Well, uh, we'd…" he scratched the back of his neck. "We'd probably get something to eat. And you know, dance. Stuff like that."

"Would you kiss her?"

He blinked in surprise at the question. "I don't know. Maybe. If she let me."

"Hm," Sam nodded. "Good thing you're not going then. You wouldn't know how."

With a stunned expression, Danny watched as she started walking again. "Hey, what's that supposed to mean?"

She shrugged. "I know you can do a fake-out make-out, but you wouldn't know how to kiss a girl that you really liked."

"I would too!"

"Oh, yeah?" A black eyebrow was raised in his direction, a look that obviously meant 'prove it.'

Danny tried to swallow down the lump that had formed in his throat before leaning over, pressing his lips firmly for a good ten seconds before pulling away. "Th-there," he muttered, face turning red.

Samantha stared at him for a moment, shocked that he had actually done it. When she found her voice, it was flustered, "Um, well, that's not how you do it anyway!"

"What?" he demanded, crossing his arms over his chest. "It so is!"

"No, it's not!" she insisted. "This is!" With that, her hands cupped his face, bringing it down so her lips met his half-way. Gently applying gradual pressure, she nibbled on his bottom lip, then flicked it with her tongue, causing a gasp from him. As his mouth opened, she maneuvered her tongue in, exploring and tasting as his bones liquefied.

When she broke away, Danny's first coherent thought was, 'Where did she learn to do that? Has she been practicing? Who is it, I'll kill him!'

"And, um," Sam swallowed hard, "That's how you kiss someone you like."

For a minute, Danny just watched her with wide eyes. "Is that a, uh, universal kind of sign?"

"Well, yeah," she rolled her eyes, "Unless the person you like is really stupid."

He nodded, contemplating his next course of action. But all the rational ones didn't seem good enough as he bent down, kissing her lips again. Part of his brain was surprised at how well his arms fit around her and how good she felt against him. Sam tasted good too; not like toothpaste, something better.

This kiss lasted longer and both teens were panting when they got their first breath of oxygen. "Danny…" she whispered, unable to come up with a way to end the sentence.

For a minute, he eyed her uncomfortably. "You've never been stupid now. Please don't start." It seemed she got the hint when a slow smile spread over her face, but before they could say anything, the hair on the back of his neck rose and he could see his breath. "Uh oh. Ghost."

Sam looked at the ground for a second, then back at her friend, the smile looking pasted on now. "Go ahead. It's important."

Despite the fact that the last thing he wanted was the leave right now, Danny Fenton turned into Danny Phantom. "I'll see you later," he promised before flying off in search of the ghost who had successfully ruined what could have been the best moment of his life.

Several hours later he arrived outside of the Manson house, staring at its vastness before easily finding Sam's window. Lucky for him she was inside sitting at her computer desk, typing something for school. Turning invisible, he used his intangibility to sneak inside and whisper in her ear, "Boo."

She didn't even flinch. "Hey, Danny." As she swiveled in the computer chair, he was greeted by an almost shy smile. "My parents aren't here."

"Oh. Cool." He took a moment to turn back into his human form, almost wishing it took longer when an uncomfortable silence followed. It gave him time to glance around her room though, and a big pink puff hanging in her closet caught his eye. "Oh, man. Is that the dress?"

She followed his gaze, glaring at the garment in contempt. "That would be the dress."

Laughter escaped in his voice, "Sam, if you wear that, you'll look like a marshmallow Peep!"

"You don't have to tell me that. It doesn't matter, I'm not going to the dance anyway. If you really want, you and Tucker can use my limo though."

He frowned in her direction. "But…it won't be any fun without you there."

Sam raised an eyebrow at him. "Not even if you go with Paulina?"

It took all his inner strength to keep from rolling his eyes. "Not even close. Plus, I kinda let this girl know earlier that I liked her. I didn't really say it in so many words, but I was hoping she'd get the point. We were kinda interrupted."

Fighting back a grin, she theorized, "Well, maybe one kiss from you isn't enough to understand. Some people need more help than others."

Taking the hint, he leaned down and touched his lips to hers. They took their time, exploring gently, getting to learn what the other liked and didn't like. Danny could feel her trembling beneath his hands and tried to remember to rub her arms with his thumbs as he concentrated on how much he liked her mouth.

He was breathless when they pulled away, but she was grinning. "On second though, I think she gets it after all."

"Yeah," Danny grinned in relief. "And I really don't think she'd like it if I took Paulina to Homecoming."

"Oh, no," Sam shook her head. "She'd hunt you down like a dog."

"I wouldn't want to go with her anyway," he promised, trying to keep his voice nonchalant. "She said something smart earlier, this girl. About how I shouldn't want to go to be popular or because someone likes my powers. I want to go with someone who likes me for me. All of me."

It only made the goth girl's smile grow bigger. "She sounds like a smart girl."

"Definitely," Danny squeezed Sam's hand. "It's one of the reason's I like her so much."

"And she's really lucky to have you," she assured him.

Before they could continue in any way, the front door opened and closed. "Honey," her mother's voice rang over the intercom. "We're home!"

The duo shared a pained look before Sam whispered, "You'd better go."

He nodded. "Right." It took him almost no time to turn back into his ghost form and fly out of the window she opened. "Hey, Sam? I really do want to go with someone who likes me. So, uh…will you be my date to Homecoming?"

Barely holding back a giddy grin, she managed with a smirk. "As long as I don't have to wear Glinda the Good Witch's dress."

"Don't worry, you won't have to," he laughed.

"Then I'd love to go with you, Danny."

"Great." He flew close to her window one last time, to place a lingering kiss on her lips. "See you at school tomorrow."

Sam watched as he flew away, wondering how she was going to keep up the goth girl appearance when she couldn't stop smiling.

A/N: I was in a really fluffy mood when I wrote this, and I hope I didn't make everyone act too weird. I generally do my best writing at the crack of dawn, but I do not think this is it. Please, any criticism would help and may convince me to write more Sam/Danny fics.

Questions, comments, reactions and reviews are greatly appreciated.