I forgot to include an author's note in my other story. Therefore, I bid all my readers a fond welcome, and beg you to review; my other story is a week old, and I've only one review. A bit disappointing. Please talk to me, I implore you!
Moving away from my pathetic lack of a life, I thought I'd tell you to be prepared for many oneshots from me. I've dabbled in many fandoms now, and each one has its own separate style of writing that fits it particularly well; Danny Phantom is a sort of quick-dashing strings of metaphors, that… bah. Read the story. Tell me if you like the style, or if I'm off my head. Confirmation if my insanity is the good kind or the bad kind, that's all I ask.
"It's okay, Danny," she said quietly, passionately. "Don't be afraid."
His hands were shaking. That became the only thing about him that mattered, the ultimate, the all-consuming problem that had to be dealt with before anything else could be resolved. His hands were shaking, and she grasped them tightly, entwining his fingers with hers. His skin was cold to the touch, and she tightened her grip on his hands to warm them.
"Don't be afraid," she repeated firmly. It was almost a command.
His hands had stopped shaking, but she didn't let go, focusing instead now on his eyes. One problem at a time, she told herself, take each moment as it comes; he's scared, she told herself, he's cold and he's scared and he thinks he's alone. His eyes were gleaming with utter terror, flickering green in a blaze of light, then the ice-blue seeming to well up, filling them again from the very depths of his soul. His skin was deathly pale; but that could just as well have been caused by the moonlight that flooded the room, bursting in between the thick violet curtains as though it knew it would seldom get a chance to invade this particular room again and was making the most of every moment.
"Listen to me, Danny," she almost-whispered, following his gaze as it darted around the room like that of a panicked animal. "Listen to me."
"I am, I am, you're not saying anything!" the outburst came unexpectedly, but she did not jump, did not flinch away from his sudden hard glare. Instead, she tightened her grip on his hands, running her fingers across his palms.
"Danny, it's okay."
"No, it's not! It won't be, it can't be, you don't know that it will be okay! How can you say that, Sam?" his voice dropped, from anger to desperation. "How could you lie to me?"
"I'm not lying to you, Danny," she replied, fighting to stay calm. His anger, his fear, his horror; she could feel them all, feel them radiating from him, and she had to put an enormous effort into staying serene, staying strong, for him. "You have to believe me. I would never lie to you."
"It's only been two weeks since the accident," he snapped, his words taking on a tone of viciousness now. He stood less than a foot away from her, staring straight into her eyes, their hands tightly intertwined between them; yet he spoke as though he was shouting at her from across the room in punishment for some unforgivable offense. "It's only been two weeks since the accident, and we don't know anything for sure, we don't know that I'm not going to suddenly go berserk, let this – this – this freak thing inside take control of me, I don't know! I could go crazy, I could lose control, I could –" he stopped mid-sentence, panting, and all of the anger seemed to drain out of him. "I could hurt you."
"You won't," she said simply, stepping backwards, drawing him away from the pool of moonlight, towards the shadows that draped most of the room. She wanted to convince herself that the pale, icy quality of his skin was only a trick of the moon, she wanted to convince herself that he was still alive, if only half. She smiled, briefly but brightly. "You certainly startled me when you showed up in midair outside my window, and I'll probably never recover from that," she said wryly, "but other than that, you have never hurt me. You will never hurt me, that I know."
He was hopeless, helpless, supernatural powers of no use against a purely human fear. "But how do you know?"
Her reply was simple. "Because I know you, and I love you, and I know."
It did not make sense, it did not stand up to the insane pressure of the thunderings in his brain, both logical and illogical. It was what he had needed to hear. Almost imperceptibly, he relaxed; and almost imperceptibly, Sam tensed, her eyes for the first time dropping down, towards the floor.
She watched, not fascinated, but spellbound, as his legs slowly dissolved from substance into nothingness. His eyes never left her face, while her gaze followed in a trance the ripples of negation that moved up his body, diffusing his form into threads of color and dispersing the threads faster than she could comprehend. Slowly, the lower half of his body disappeared; then his waist, his chest, his neck, and finally his face; when he could tell by the path of her eyes that the nothingness had reached his chin, he closed his eyes as if in prayer.
His mouth vanished, his nose, his eyes; only then did the loss of existence begin to take effect on his arms, first his shoulders being swallowed up, then the ripples running down towards Sam, as though some kind of electrical current was being run through him that disrupted the wavelength of his flesh and blood.
His wrists vanished, his palms, his fingers; Sam shuddered, feeling the first cold breath of fear at the back of her neck as her eyes raked the darkness for his familiar form, not finding it even though she could still feel the pressure of his hands in hers.
"Come on, Danny," she said quietly, shifting her fingers, reassuring herself that he really was still there, despite what her eyes were telling her. "I already promised you that it'll be okay."
There was no response, and she started at the tips of her own fingers, wrapped around nothingness, and wondered what it would feel like to watch them disappear. Would she feel a slight chill, the way she felt when she touched his new, paler guise? Would she lose feeling altogether?
Or would she feel something entirely unexpected and unimaginable, the way she did when she touched his human hands?
She had no way of telling. She only stood, waiting, half-holding her breath, staring intensely at her hands as though it was her will, and not his powers, that would make them disappear. She stared at the reflections of the moonlight on her wrists, and struggled for a moment with the thought that the same moonlight was falling not on Danny, but through him.
Still nothing happened. The current of negation did not extend any further; she did not feel it jump the space between them, and her hands remained disappointingly solid as she continued to stare.
"We've tried this before, Danny," she said evenly, feeling decidedly odd speaking to someone she could no longer see. "Nothing has ever gone wrong. It's worked on everything. You can always make it disappear and then come back; this is no different."
His eyes suddenly blazed out of the darkness, bright green flashing into existence as though puncturing the wall between dimensions. She jumped, startled, then sighed as the rest of his body appeared, materializing as though some mirrored veil had been ripped aside. "I'm sorry," he said quietly, his shoulders slumping in defeat. "I can't do it. I tried, but I can't." He drew an audible breath, then looked down, avoiding her gaze. "I couldn't make you disappear. I'm – afraid I won't be able to bring you back."
She saw the self-loathing and the terror he was trying to hide from her, saw it in the tension in his shoulders, felt his hands go limp. "It's okay," she said soothingly, for the first time releasing his hand in order to reach out and lift his chin, forcing him to look at her. "Danny, it's okay. This is still new, we still don't understand it. We can always try again another night."
"Another night," he echoed, his voice turning her calm reassurance into a desperate plea. "I'm sorry, Sam, I really am sorry."
"I already told you it was fine." She allowed herself an affectionate smile, releasing his hands and throwing her arms around his neck in a fierce hug instead. He was cold to the touch, but it didn't matter; after a moment's hesitation, he returned the embrace, a hesitant smile emerging on his face as well.
As she stood there, beginning to shiver in the circle of his arms, irrelevant thoughts of the future crossed her mind; many years later, she would remember this moment and sigh fondly, noting that already he valued her life more than his own. She would laugh gently at the thought that he was afraid to turn her intangible or invisible, afraid that he would whisk her away to some alternate dimension and then be unable to retrieve her. She would realize in him the beginnings of the hero who would alter the course of her life forever.
Many years later, recalling the moonlit room and the raw, quiet fear that both of them shared, Sam Manson would realize this to be the moment when she first began to fall in love with Danny Phantom.
And there you have it. Review, please!