At Clockwork's Tower, inside a timeless zone, Dan Phantom was finally able to burst the infuriating Fenton thermos open, the object had trapped him inside for more than three years if you counted using an ordinary timeline.
He put both his feet on the ground, in the old and greenish tower and enjoyed his first moments of freedom by stretching his sore muscles and cracking his knuckes that so badly wanted a revenge from the pest that was his younger self.
He looked around and found no resistance. Clockwork wasn't anywhere to be seen and his guards had completely vanished. For a moment he wondered if it was intentional that he was left alone at the time he was going to escape.
"No, please don't do it... please..."
Dan Phantom looked around and found the object that showed the future to Clockwork, the sphere that could bring and take someone to the future. He frowned when he recognized the girl's voice pleading between sobs for the mercy of her assalter.
Sam was pressed up against a dirty wall, her lips were bleeding and her wrist was broken. The person, that from the angle of the point of view wouldn't allow to be seen, covered her completely with his body, assalting her in the worst way possible for a girl. Sam's screams filled the room and Dan looked away from the screen, horrified.
Since he had become a full ghost, he had never felt anything close to panic before, nothing close to feelings other than the joy of destruction. But deep down his mind he had just sightly remembered how pleasant Sam's smile had been... and somebody was taking her smile from her beautiful lips with a cruelty he'd never have in himself.
Was he getting weaker? Was his human emotions returning or was it just a small remembrance from his long lost past? Sam gave out another painful scream and Dan looked at the screen again. There, he saw as blood dripped from her legs to the ground, making her even weaker to resist any longer. Her eyelids closed and Dan could feel it when she died.
There was a small throb in his heart. He remembered how he was broken when she along with Tucker and his family died in the explosion.
The memories... were returning to him.
The way she tucked her hair behind her ear when she was mad at him.
He was taken by a sudden fury. Whoever that bastard was he was going to die slow and painfully. Dan just had to realize how to go to the past and stop that from happening.
Danny admired his best friend as she walked down to her locker in school. It was amazing how his best friend had developed into the most beautiful girl in Casper High in their Senior year and still was oblivious about it. He couldn't understand why she didn't hear boys whistling and sighing wherever she passed by or why suddenly so many people wanted her help with homework.
He sighed, Sam had been in a terrible mood (and he knew it was THAT time of the month, he had to learn to count the days if he wanted to live. He had to know when to be careful and soft around her.) Actually, she had been in a bad mood since a month ago when...
Danny was telling Tucker how cute Paulina looked in her new pink skirt and Tucker was busy taking pictures with his PDA for safe-keeping. Sam was being ignored and was ignoring them as well that is, until something completely out of the blue happened.
A cockroach landed on her food.
Before Danny and Tucker realized what was happening, Sam jumped out of her seat, screaming her lungs out and ran out of the cafeteria faster than Danny could ever be in his ghost form. Both Danny and Tucker stared at the inoffensive cockroach and glared at each other before they started laughing.
"Can you believe it? Sam's afraid of insects!" Danny laughed.
"I don't think she wants to save these animals!" Tucker could barely breathe between laughs. "I think we better go find her, dude, she must be crawling into some wall."
Danny and Tucker stood up since they had already finished their lunch and walked calmly towards the nearest girl bathroom.
"Sam, are you in there?" Danny asked, knocking on the door.
"Get out of here!" They heard her yell from inside.
"Yep, she's there." Danny sighed. "Now it's more about shame than fear."
"Sam, we understand you're scared of insects, you're a girl after all!" Tucker said loudly so that she could hear it.
"Yeah, we understand that even if it's still weird because you're a Goth who's supposed to like dark, vicious, coffins, spiders, blood and all that non-girlie stuff." Danny said and the silence followed from inside the bathroom. "I think I shouldn't have pointed that out."
"You've never been very good with girls…" Tucker said, bored. "I think it's better if you go inside."
"Fine, watch my back." Danny said, going invisible and entering the bathroom. To Danny's surprise Sam wasn't angry that he had followed her inside, she was crying! "Sam! Whoa! Why are you crying girl?" Of course, Danny was a boy and he was dense (not to mention clueless) and he had never seem Sam cry before. "It's just a small cockroach, there's no need to cry!"
"It's not about the cockroach, Danny!" Sam cried out, covering her wet face with her hands. "Ok, I have a small fear of insects, so what?"
"That's what I'm telling, you, so what? You're a girl, that's normal!" Danny said, not noticing that he was brushing it on her face.
"Yes, you stupid ghost-head, I am a girl! I can cry out my frustration if I want, why are you trying to cheer me up in the first place? I've just made a fool out of myself in the cafeteria and now everybody thinks I'm not as tough as I act like so can you please leave me alone to cry my ruined reputation!" She freaked out, screaming all this in one single breathe.
"Sam, calm down, it's not a big deal." Danny put a hand on her shoulder, but she angrily brushed it away. Was her mood was swinging so much… 'uh-oh… mood swings? Does it mean she's-'
"I wonder why I am friends with two guys in the first place! If I'm so girly and that's so understandable why don't you act like I am a girl all times? Why don't you hold the doors open for me?" She screamed, so angrily that Danny feared she was going to pop a vein. "Why do you talk about how pretty Paulina and Valerie are even when I am around? I hate it, you know!" And her fury wave calmed down and with that Sam slipped on the floor sobbing helplessly.
Danny couldn't say much more. Actually, he couldn't even move. He wasn't getting out of that bathroom without Sam, but he had no idea how to make her feel better.
And then Danny's salvation walked through the door. Jazz had heard the screaming while passing on the hall outside and asked Tucker what was the matter. She immediately got inside, making Tucker hold all her books while she took care of the situation.
"Danny, wait outside." Jazz commanded, looking like she knew how to deal with the situation.
"I won't. Sam's…"
"I said go!" Jazz pushed him out of the bathroom.
Danny and Tucker one more time glared each other in confusion.
"What was that about, dude?"
"Don't even ask."
"You two are so dense." Valerie showed up out of nowhere, her arms crossed over her chest. Danny was so worried about Sam that he didn't even think about how cute Valerie looked at that moment. "It's not my place to tell you, but if I were you I'd leave her alone for the next days."
"Yep, that's what I feared." Danny said, looking at Tucker who was shivering in fear. Both boys knew that there were certain days of the month that they were risking their lives if they crossed Sam's path.
Danny sighed again and said hello to her after she greeted him. He simply adored her outfit. She had found this new gothic store in the mall and started wearing some new dark clothes. The one she had on that day was Danny's favorite: it was a black lacy transparent shirt with a low top underneath and a small purple skirt that ended mid-tight just two inches before her long black combat booth covered her creamy skin from his sight once more.
Tucker had taken two or three pictures from her when she wasn't looking last time she wore that outfit and Danny asked a copy for his computer... actually... the one she was sitting thoughtfully in class with her legs crossed was his desktop's wallpaper. As much as he liked to imagine the pictures as a friendly souvenier, he knew he enjoyed the view of his matured best friend.
"Where's your girlfriend today?" Sam asked a she opened her locker and Danny leaned around waiting for her.
"She's already in class." Danny answered and Sam smiled.
Valerie had been Danny's girlfriend for two months now. Danny had been courting her for too long and she had always played the difficult girl as if she enjoyed torturing him. And then, miracolously, on the day Sam first appeared in her new clothes and the whole school had their jaws on the ground as she walked by (Danny included), Valerie walked to him sweetly and yanked his head from Sam's figure and placed a soft kiss on his lips.
Sam had seen the scene, but she didn't look surprised. She didn't even flinch (or so Tucker had told him afterwards) and continued her way to the classroom. All it took to finally have Valerie as his girlfriend was to make Sam look like a rival to her. And indeed... Danny admitted to himself... she was stunning beautiful. He understood why girls suddenly envied Sam, but Valerie? Did she really see Sam as her rival? Danny almost laughed when he thought that. Sam was his best friend for goodness' sake!
"I wanted to ask you if you and Tucker would join Valerie and I at the Nasty Burger after class." Danny said.
"Sounds good." Sam smiled. "But I'm afraid I have other plans." She grinned happilly and Danny suddenly was very curious to know what could be more important than hang out with her friend.
"Can I know about these plans?" Danny asked quietly, trying to sound as if he wasn't interested.
"I'm going to take my parents to the airport again." She said, rolling her eyes. "And I'm going to spend next weeks taking care of my baby sister." She said, a little frustrated. "My mom is soooo going to hear my protests before she leaves."
'Oh yeah... Sam has a sister now.' Danny thought. He had almost forgotten about it. Sam never mentioned her and Danny only found out when Mister Lancer burst in the classroom three months ago telling Sam to go to the hospital that her mother was delivering.
Really, Danny didn't even know her mother was pregnant again and Sam didn't like to talk about it as if she was still trying to be the only Manson daughter. Her parents had given up on changing Sam's mind after sixteen years trying and then they decided to start again with a new child. Elizabeth Manson was the opposite of her sister in her features. She looked like her father, she was blond and she had blue eyes. She was going to be everything Sam never could.
"You can bring her..." He started saying, but Sam cut him off.
"Danny, she's three months old, I'm not taking her out in the sun. Go and enjoy your week, I'm staying home." She shut her locker angrily and started walking away. "You better go to class, too, the bell is about to ring."
Danny stared at Sam's hips as she walked to class. Suddenly he felt a fire building up inside him as Sam uncounsciously hipnotized him with her swinging hips. Danny felt like finding Valerie and kissing her hungrily the whole period. He really liked Valerie...
He had been so lovesick for Valerie for two years now and when she finally was his he was thinking of his best friend!
'Stop it, Danny. It's Sam you're thinking about! Your best friend, remember? She deserves more respect than that!' He mentally slapped himself.
That same afternoon Sam was watching TV in the living room holding her little sister in her arms, who slept quietly. Sam was in the phone talking with her parents who were currently in the middle of the flight.
"Mom, you should at least have taken Lizzy with you. She's too young for you to go flying around the world without her! She needs to be fed for goodness' sake! And I can't take care of her, I have a life and my tests are approaching you know!"
"Sam dear, there's enough baby food in the fridge, you just ask the nanny to take care of her while you study, you know how important this trip is, sweetie." Mrs. Manson said.
Angrily, Sam turned off the phone without saying goodbye. She adjusted Lizzy in her arms (she had fired the nanny, Sam didn't want Lizzy to grow up a nanny was her mother) and tried to go back watching TV, when the door bell rang. Two seconds later, the butler announced Valerie Grey's arrival.
Both girls couldn't stand each other now, the situation between the girls was worse than it ever was before... at least from what Sam remembered. Valerie entered the room and Sam stood up, holding Lizzy protectively against her bosom.
"I'd appreciate, Manson, if you stayed away from my boyfriend." She said, quietly enough to not wake the baby, but still very angry.
"We're friends and we'll always be, Valerie, you better get used to the idea." Sam said, placing the baby in the crib beside the sofa.
"I'm not asking you to stop being friends with him, I'd just like for you to stop asking him to come here at night when he's supposed to stay with me! " Valerie said, putting her hands on her hips. "He won't stop blabbing about you."
"Oh I see..." Sam said, "Please, Valerie, I have a lot to do, I can't sit here and listen to you telling me to quit my friendship with Danny because you're jealous."
"I can't believe how selfish you are! I can't believe I tried to be friends with you once." Valerie said, ready to strike Sam and Sam arched her chin up defiantly.
Then Valerie turned around and stormed out of the room, not caring if the doors she slammed woke the baby.
Indeed, Sam had called Danny and Tucker over the night before to watch movies, but if Danny didn't call Valerie it was his problem not hers.
"Damn..." Lizzy started crying on her crib. Sam sighed and picked her sister up. "You have a very careless mother, Lizzy, but you'll get used to her."
"I bet I will sleep with Samantha Manson by the end of the term." Dash Baxter said to his jocker friends, in the changing room, after the training.
"She's tough," Kwan laughed "She already refused a date with Jack and he's the only one of us who never got ditched by a girl."
"Yeah..." Jack, laughed as he walked out the shower. "But it doesn't mean she wasn't impressed when I asked her out, she even let me walk her home!"
"Really? Does she live across the cemetery or something?" Kwan asked.
"Not at all, actually I got a picture later that day to show you guys, let me find it, just a second." Jack said, going through his messy locker. Jack liked to take pictures, he wasn't a photographer and didn't understand even the basics of photographing, but he knew how to be a voyer and take the most juicy pictures he proudly showed everybody afterwards. If it wasn't for him nobody would've ever seen all girls naked inside their locker rooms, that picture still hang proudly inside his own locker.
"Anyway," Dash continued. "Manson is hot and if we had known it before she would've been part of the A-list long ago and wouldn't ditch us now."
"Personally, I think she's just a bitch to you." Another guy, Brian, said. "We had lunch at the same period and she let me sit with her to share a ketchup. She was really nice indeed, kept smiling and all."
"Well, you have a record at pestering her best friend, it's no wonder she hates you." Jack said, still looking for the picture in his locker.
"Don't even mention Fenton's name... he's giving me the creeps." Kwan said. "Every time he catches someone staring at her he shoots this hate glance that could kill, I'm serious."
"Fenton is just a little overprotective... besides he's skinny, we could beat him up for good anytime." Dash laughed. "And if she wants to go out with someone he won't stand on the way. Do you remember that Gregor guy? That exchange student?"
"Yeah! You're right!" Brian said. "She totally dated him for a whole week!"
"You guys disgust me sometimes." Victor, the newest member of the A-list said aloud, making all heads turn to him in anger. He was tall and tanned, his hair was blond and he had a body that could beat Dash any day. The only reason why he had been part of the A-list was because he was a teen model for Amity Park Magazine and the girls would melt as he passed by; to have him as a friend was better than have him as an enemy. But sometimes Victor was an annoying git to those self-infatuated boys, he would aways voice reason and decency, bringing some egos down in the process.
"Why?" Kwan asked. "She's a girl and she's hot, we want to at last go out with her."
"Dash was just making a bet he was going to sleep with her as if she was a piece of meat he could have anytime." Victor said, making Dash grown red with anger. "You guys should learn how to treat a lady."
"I found it!" Jack said triumphantly from his locker, holding the picture up and taking all the attention from the room to himself before Dash started a fight with Victor and pityfully lost.
The boys closed around the picture to see where their desired girl's home was and as soon as they looked at the picture they realize that Sam would never seize to amaze them.
Othan than being beautiful, she was filthy rich.
I was going to wait a few days before posts, but... meh, I better just do it now. Anyway, this first chapter was the introduction of the situation and more plot and development will eventually come.
A small preview for the next chapter:
"So... that's your sister." Danny said, jumping on the ground transforming himself back in his human form. He looked closer to the baby with big blue eyes staring back at him as if he was the coolest person she'd ever seen.
"Yeah, this is Lizzy." Sam said, holding the baby up so he could see her better. "Wanna hold her?"
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