His head was spinning by the time he made it to her bedroom. He could barely control his body, which was shaking and weak. He could hear her sobbing and he also could see her curled up on her bed under her blankets.
His heart was aching badly as he set his feet on the floor. She didn't hear him. Something inside him was breaking at each sob of that lovely creature. She was alone. There was nobody to comfort her there. Unlike him who could always trust his parents and his sister, Sam was completely alone in her house.
He had a thousand thoughts running through his head and most of them made him realize what a jerk he had been. He couldn't understand how he could lose control to the point of almost hurting the only girl that he had ever truly loved.
He was ready to see her brush his hand off her as he tried to apologize. He could anticipate the dread and the expectation of her telling him to go home, that they weren't friends anymore. It would kill him to hear those words coming from her lips. He didn't think he could ever give her up that easily now that she had nested herself so deep inside his heart.
Danny peeked over the blankets and saw her staring at the half open door, not blinking. Her dark hair was wild covering the pillows and her shoulders. The moonlight bathed her half naked body, making the bruises he had left on her skin very visible. He had held her too violently and he had gripped her wrists too tightly. Her bra and panties were the only things that as keeping her decent.
"This is Sam and you've called in a bad time. Leave your message after the beep." Her answer machine suddenly went off, startling him, but Sam didn't even move. She didn't realize he was in the room. To his despise, Victor's voice started talking on the phone.
"Sam, pick up please." But Sam didn't move. She stopped sobbing to hear him, but she stubbornly kept her hands under the pillow. "I wanted to say I'm sorry, please pick up." When she still didn't move, though her eyes were open, Danny wondered what Victor was apologizing for. "Oh fine. Be that way. I'll say it anyway: I'm sorry for what I did that night. I was a jerk and I don't want to lose our friendship. I know I promised you I wouldn't talk to you anymore, but… I'm kinda hurting and I have to get it out of my chest. I'm truly sorry." He went quiet for a few moments, but he didn't hang up. Sam didn't move either. "I wasn't in my right mind. I would never slap you, break your wrist or force myself on you if I wasn't incredibly high. I mean it."
Whatever Victor said next before hanging up wasn't heard by Danny. What had just happened there? Did Victor do all that stuff he said? When was that? Why had Sam never said anything?
"Danny?" Sam's small voice surprised him out of his thoughts. He lifted his eyes to meet hers. She had stood up to erase Victor's message from her answer machine when she saw him there. "I thought you said you'd stay away." His stomach sunk at her words. Oh crap, she'd tell him to leave.
"I sort of…" He scratched the back of his neck nervously and Sam smiled to herself, recognizing his nervous tick. "I heard your song and…" He stopped once more and Sam saw that his eyes were green once more. It meant he was in control of his emotions again. "Do you really… want that black haired boy back?"
"It depends." She said sincerely. "Are you coming back to me, Danny?"
"Am I drowning beneath this sea?" He asked awkwardly, ignoring her question.
"No… you've just gotten your feet wet." She replied, giving him half a smile.
Finally, he understood things on her perspective. He finally understood that she had done all that because of him, it didn't matter his size or age. If he was in danger, she'd risk herself for him. If he needed love, she'd give it to him.
"I'm back to stay." He said, sitting down next to her in the bed and grasping her hands tightly. "I'm sorry for everything. For not believing you, for getting jealous as you tried to move on when I hurt you."
"I just tried to move on once and ironically I ran right into you." She gave him a shy smile. "I went out with Elliot, that's true, but that's was because you kept drooling over Valerie. I never felt a thing for him. He was cute and he was giving me all the attention. I was flattered, really." She explained. Danny opened his mouth to interrupt her, but she held his lips together with a finger. "I want to explain this and after I'm done I don't want you to doubt my loyalty to you ever again."
"Okay… go ahead." He said awkwardly, accidentally brushing his tongue on her finger.
"Then you started dating Valerie and I felt like the third wheel. I truly wanted to feel loved, I was desperate, really. Alex was my idol and he let me kiss him." She sighed, skipping the part when she'd mention that he died. "And Dash was suddenly after me and he trapped me in an alley and I have no idea what he had on his mind before you - I mean - Dan saved me."
Danny just stared at her, quietly, sitting up obediently like a trained dog. He had to admit that what she was saying made him slightly happier.
"I had a strange attraction to that man in the dark. He loved me without knowing me and at the same time it was extremely sexy to be with a stranger I felt like I knew him. I recognized him." Danny was going to ask how she recognized him if he was the one who had showed her his true identity by walking in on them, but he remembered to stay quiet and patiently hear her out.
"I didn't know it was Dan, but I knew he had some things in common with you and that's what made me go back to him every single day. He felt like you and it was the closest I could get from the real thing." She sighed and Danny felt a pang in his chest. "I thought I was moving on, instead I was only digging myself deeper."
"And then when I saw him everything fell in place and I stopped thinking about how I felt to think about how you- he felt. I really thought at that time you two were different people, being from different timelines but having the first fourteen years of your lives in common. I wanted to help him because of the little boy he had been, but then he changed gradually and became more like you."
"And then he went into hiding thinking I'd hate him for what he'd done – an attitude much like yours, mind you – and I had a plan to make him come back so we could talk and I'd set him free from all the hate he had felt in his life. In the Club, that night I was drunk and I made out with a guy thinking it would make him angry and he'd come to me demanding answers."
"It was…" Danny tried to interrupt, but he held his tongue again, realizing that listening to an explanation passively was much harder than he thought.
"I know now that it was Victor, but then I didn't. I got drunk to make it easier to get through my plan and suddenly there was a guy all over me. When I saw you fighting Valerie in the skies and you saw me I tried to stop him, but he insisted and when I pushed him away to run he slapped me and broke my wrist. He was really going to do something… unspeakable… that night."
"So… Victor tried to hurt you." Danny concluded. He stood up and walked to her dresser, looking at himself in the mirror. So Clockwork was talking about the incident with Victor and not about that same afternoon when he was about to lose control over her? "Do you know… why my older self escaped?" He suddenly asked.
"I thought he had just escaped;" Sam shrugged.
"Clockwork showed him your future. You'd be murdered after being raped." He heard Sam give an inaudible gasp, trying to not concern him. "I believe that's why he beat Dash then." 'And killed Alex.' Danny wanted to complete, but Sam didn't know the last part and she'd be better off not knowing. "I understand his attitude, really. I'd go around beating everyone who came close to you if I knew it as well. All I knew was that Clockwork forbade me to capture my older self before he disappeared by himself."
Sam closed her eyes and smiled at the bittersweet situation. So he had done that much evil to do something good in the end.
"So… if he wasn't there, Victor would probably have killed you." Danny felt his whole body shaking at the simple thought of losing her like that. When he had seen them together in the distance he had thought she was actually enjoying it. If only he hadn't been so foolish… "I didn't know about Victor." He returned to her side and sat down. "This afternoon I thought Dan had vanished before the right time and there was no one there to save you from me."
"Is that why you ran away like that?" Sam reached up a hand to stroke his hair, but Danny brushed her hand away before she could touch him, afraid of that small touch. "I'm not scared of you, Danny. I won't lie that you didn't hurt me, but I understand."
"What I've said… what I've thought about you..." He looked at his feet, shutting his eyes tightly.
"I know." She said quietly and somehow she felt it was very misplaced that she was the one comforting Danny when he was the one who had said and done terrible things to her. "Listen, Danny, there's something very important that I must say and I need you to listen to me carefully."
He slowly lifted his head to stare at her and Sam almost broke down crying at how sorry and lost he looked.
"There's something about your ghost half that you must understand. Even Vlad and Technus already alerted you for it, but we never took them seriously." Once more she reached up to touch him and this time he let her. "Your emotions are connected with your ghost powers and consequently to your sanity." When Danny didn't look like he was going to stop her she continued. "Every ghost has an obsession and as narcissist as it sounds, I came to the conclusion that you're developing your obsession with me."
"What?" He was obviously confused now.
"Just think about it, The Box Ghost is obsessed with boxes, Ember with music, Skulker with hunting and even Vlad, being a half ghost is obsessed with power. You, Danny, are gradually becoming obsessed, too."
"With you." He finished for her, understanding.
"That's what I think, I can be wrong." She added quickly. "You simply lost it when you thought I belonged to someone else."
"So, you're saying I need to be careful." He replied again, enjoying her hand on his hair. "I agree that I wasn't thinking clearly this afternoon. I was so angry…"
"Exactly. You must control that, but obviously you can't do it on your own." Sam explained as gently as she could. "You must promise to trust me. If you see anything, if you hear humors about me or whatever that makes you angry, you must promise me right now that you won't jump to conclusions and will come to me for answers."
"I'm not sure about this." Danny shook his head. "It sounds like you'd be in constant vigilance because I'm an idiot and could go crazy on you."
"This is the only way I know that we can stop you from going evil like your older self, like when he lost friends and family. The pain sometimes is so unbearable that it becomes hate and evil. I don't want you to become evil and I'll do everything I can to help you."
"I'm sorry…" Danny didn't know what else to say. He was so much trouble sometimes, but Sam said it all with a small smile on her face and seemed to have already accepted the situation.
"Don't be sorry about things you can't control." She finally said. She stood up and offered him a hand to help him up, too. "We will work this out like we've always had. That's what buddies are for, right?" She smiled and Danny felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders.
Yeah, in the end, Sam was right. If they were together they could make it through everything. With her there he would have extra strength and motivation to fight. He could go back being the town hero without worrying if she was off dating someone.
That was the only thing that was making him a bit uneasy. It seemed like she had made a devotion pact to him. She wouldn't do anything that would make him angry and that included dating. She had just caged herself because of his jealously. It didn't seem fair.
"And now I'm having some urges for something sweet. Would you like to help me bake a chocolate cake?" Sam turned around, putting on a huge shirt and left the room, waiting for him to follow her down the kitchen, which he did very obediently. "Today is James' day off, so I can't ask him to bake it for me and the cook already left."
"I will help you." He grinned to her and when she turned around the grin faded in a sad smile. He watched her as she picked the ingredients and placed them at the table, humming the song she had composed for him. She had gone through so much trouble and how had he paid her back? Only with more problems.
"Sammy…" He walked closer to her, watching as she busied herself with her back turned to him. He gently placed both his hands on her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder. She immediately stopped working on the cake and the song died in her throat. "I think I love you." He said sincerely, holding her tenderly.
"I've always loved you." She said quietly and for a second or two they both stood there in silence, waiting for the right moment to say something else. "But I think we should wait. I'm still sensitive about… everything."
"I just wanted you to know." He placed a soft kiss on her vanilla scented hair.
"Do you…" She started saying, but her voice trailed off when she felt Danny's hands working its way to her stomach. When his hands stopped moving again she continued. "Do you see us several years from now?"
"I've never thought about it, but…" He grinned, placing a kiss on her temple. "I see us married with a bunch of half ghost kids destroying the house."
"We better have well paying jobs if we're going to raise half ghost children." She joked and at that same moment Lizzy started crying in her room. "And you better start practicing." She added and Danny went intangible, floating off to the second floor to pick up the baby.
"I'm sorry." Danny suddenly said, startling Sam. She turned around having no idea how he had returned to the kitchen so quickly after making Lizzy stop crying. "I can't help it." He said and when she opened her mouth to ask what he was talking about he bent down and captured her lips in a sweet kiss.
She had waited for that kiss since she was fourteen. The sweetness, the tenderness and everything he was offering her by that simple touch. He truly loved her.
Even if she had asked to take it slow, she enjoyed that kiss like it was her first.
Through that kiss she understood how desperate Danny had been since she started seeing someone. How much he loved her even when he was dating Valerie.
"I've wanted to do this forever." He said, not parting their lips.
Sam didn't say anything he just let him kiss her and enjoyed it like no other kiss. She was very glad that she hadn't lost him. She was glad that he hadn't turned evil and at that moment she knew that whatever happened she'd have the strength to face everything in the world to keep Danny from suffering Dan's fate. She had a chance to make it right with him; she wouldn't lose him again.
"I'm sorry you're stuck with me." He said, letting the passion slowly die.
"I'm not sorry." Sam answered, letting go of his lips and sinking into his warm embrace. "I'm glad you need me."
Maybe it began with her feeling the third wheel and unnecessary to their ghost hunting group. Both of them had gotten sidetracked but in the end they found their way back to each other. She would never let go of him because he would be there in every embrace, every kiss.
She snuggled closer to him, getting more comfortable in his teenager arms. Eventually those arms would grow stronger into the ones she was used to, but the hug would be the same. Danny would need all the help she could provide to grow up to the great hero he was supposed to be.
Author's Note: I can't believe it's over! It took forever! I enjoyed this fic a lot and I'm sorry to see it go, but I'm kinda proud of this one more than the others. Anyway, I want to thank everyone who read and reviewed this fanfic. You've been the best inspiration I could have.
I have another fanfic in the oven almost ready, BUT I have bad news: I've got a job as a producer assistant in TV commercials and I've been filming every week. That means it will take forever for me to be able to update my next stories, but I'll keep writing them as long as I have fingers and a computer.
Anyway, thank you for your patience, for your support and for being so lovely to me even if my English still kinda sucks. I can't thank you guys enough.
My next story is called The Noir Style and the first chapter is already up. It's a very unusual DxS story.