A/N Okay, I hate me. You hate me. We all hate me. For more than one reason, too. One: This is so incredibly freaking late coming out. Two: It's the shortest chapter yet because I really just don't have fun working on this story anymore (sorry, but it's true). Three: It sucks. I will admit this. It was written under a cmplete and total lack of sleep, sanity, and free-will. I really just wanted to get something out to set up the next chapter, which will be the second-to-last one. I'm really just done with this story. It jumped the shark after the chapter with Tucker losing his PDA. And four: I'm turning it into another Christmas story. WHY? I already have a good one that I like. Why this too? Is it because I am the master of all things cheesy and cliche? I DON'T KNOW!
Please, don't hate me for this chapter. It actually is just a set up for the next one, which should come out by mid-November. I know it's not my best work, but it's this or nothing right now. I may eventually go back and edit it better.
Props to those of you who, miraculously, still believe that this is a half-decent story.
Disclaimer:I own nothing. Nothing at all.
"Aw, come on, do I really have to?"
"If I'm wearing that dress, then yes."
"Don't you 'but Sam' me, you know that you should. It's black tie."
"But I'm a ghost. How dressed up do you think the other ghosts will be?"
"Since it actually said 'black tie' on that invitation you showed me? I'd say they'll all be in black tie."
"But - "
"Danny." Sam turned around to face Danny with her hands on her hips, her makeup only half-done. "It's black tie. You are the best man. You are wearing a tux. And a tie," she added as an afterthought.
Pouting, Danny crossed his arms and turned his head away from her as he stuck out his lower lip. "Fine," he said beligerently. "I'll wear the stupid tux. As soon as I figure out how to get it on."
Sam rolled her eyes. Was he always this difficult or was he just in a special mood today? "Please. I know you've worn a tux before."
"Nope," he replied, shaking his head. "Never have, never wanted to have to. And yet here we are."
"You've never worn a tux?" Sam asked, her eyebrow raising. "What about that one time at my Bat Mitzvah?"
"Uh," Danny began eloquently, his hand reaching back to scratch his neck in his trademark fashion. "No, that wasn't a tux. Just a suit with a cucumberbund or whatever the hell they're called."
"What did you just say?" Sam had both disbelief and laughter in her voice, which made Danny slightly suspicious.
"Um, whatever the hell they're called?"
"No, before that."
"Yes, Just wanted to make sure I heard that right." Sam turned away again, her shoulders shaking silently.
"Why? What's wrong with that? All tuxes have one. Right?"
"Yeah. Never understood why they were called that. Sounds like a pretty stupid name to me." Finally, Sam just couldn't hold it in any longer. She started laughing hard enough that she was shaking and Danny, of course, was puzzled by her behavior. After all, clueless once is clueless forever in some respects. "Sam?"
She took a few minutes to calm down before wiping her dry eyes in pantomime. "Cumberbund," she choked out. For some reason, she found this entire conversation incredibly funny.
"Cumberbund, Danny. Not cucumberbund."
"Oh." Danny didn't see why this was so amusing. After all, he still had to wear one of those man-corsets, didn't he? For that is what they were - man-corsets, designed by feminists to give power back to the women and degrade the men. "Okay. Whatever. It's still not going to be fun to walk around wearing one."
Sam rolled her eyes as she put the finishing touches on her makeup. Sometimes Danny reminded her uncannily of her three-year-old cousin. "Tough luck, Danny boy. All tuxes come with a...cucumberbund."
"Nah, it's too much fun to annoy you."
So Danny reluctantly donned the dreaded tux somehow. Sam had to help him a bit, of course, when he somehow managed to get both of his arms caught in the same sleeve. She had to remind him that he had ghostly powers, including intangibility, to which he bluched and grinned sheepishly before phasing his left arm out. He sat impatiently for what seemed like hours to him as Sam finished getting dressed and managed to slip off that uncomfortable noose of a tie to replace it with a much more comfortable clip-on version. When she finally did emerge, she looked absolutely stunning. She and Danny were just about to leave when he realized he had forgotten something important.
"Hey, Sam, I'll be right back. I forgot...the present in the bedroom."
Danny rushed back into the room, his mind scolding him for nerly forgetting while also congradulating him on the fact that he hadn't. He scanned the room, eyes darting left and right before he hovered slightly, her right hand phasing through the ceiling without going through the floor of the apartment above his own. Here was where he'd hidden his gift for Sam. It was tough looking for something that someone like her, who could have anything in the world, and he'd spent a lot of time agonizing over it. Even though she didn't technically celebrate Christmas, he knew that she would still appreciate the gesture.
And the gift. He hoped.
Quickly, he stuffed it into the pocket of his tux before picking up the hideously-wrapped present for the soon-to-be newly-weds. Everytime he got near the thing, he shuddered. He could barely stand touching it with the wrapping, knowing what lie beneath, which is why he shoved it unceremoniously into Sam's outstretched arms at the first opportunity.
"All set, Sammy?"
Sam's smile quirked into a grin. "Of coursem Danny-kins. Let's blow this popsicle stand."
And with that, Danny scooped her up into his arms as he flew toward the Fenton abode and the ever-open Fenton Ghost Portal.