Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom.

Late Winter Night

By JDPhoenix

Danny sighed, floating a few feet away from Sam's bed. She had obviously fallen asleep from exhaustion, rather than purpose. Her TV was still on, snow giving the room a ghostly light despite his presence, and he could see from the box that it was on one of the local channels. She was sitting up in bed, above the covers, a purple robe over her black PJs and combat boots already on. Her cell phone was cradled in her hand and a thermos was sitting on her bedside table.

Danny noted with some annoyance that her Specter Deflector was draped lazily over her desk chair. "You shouldn't do this to yourself," he whispered softly as he dropped down to the ground. He took her cell phone and plugged it into the wall. He then sat lightly on the bed and pulled her feet through his abdomen and into his lap. He carefully untied the boots and set them on the floor. He stood once more and lifted her up bride-style to lay her flat on the bed. He walked to an old rocking chair in the corner—she said it had been her grandmother's—and pulled the old quilt off of it. He draped it gently over the girl. He was about to start tucking it in, but pulled back quickly.

"You shouldn't do this to yourself, either," he chided himself.

He clicked the television off and the room fell into darkness. He could still see her, illuminated as much by his own ghostly glow as by the full moon outside. She was sleeping comfortably now. He smiled. At least he could give her this.

"Danny?" Her voice was small and fragile. He didn't have to turn to know that she was still asleep. "Danny," she said again, this time he closed his eyes, willing himself to dismiss the tone that she used. Friends didn't talk like that to one another.

He quickly flew through the ceiling before she could say his name again. When he reached the snow-covered roof he was blinded by a flash of red light.


Sam jumped awake. She looked around, momentarily disoriented. When had she fallen asleep? And when had she decided to use this old quilt when she had perfectly good blankets on her bed?

Bang!

Sam jumped. In the silence of the massive house she was surprised by the sound. There wasn't anything inside that should be making that much noise, especially at this time of night.

Bang!

Okay, that was not coming from inside.

She looked around the room once more, noting all the inconsistencies: her blanket, her shoes, her cell phone. It all lead to one thing: Danny. Danny! She jumped out of bed, not even bothering to tie her boots as she slipped them on, and raced from the room. She was up the narrow stairway in a matter of seconds. She tried to open the door to the roof but it wouldn't budge. Whether it was frozen shut or just blocked by snow, she couldn't tell.

Bang!

Sam leapt back. Something had just hit the door, hard.

"I can't believe you!" Sam recognized that voice. It was Valerie, and she had never sounded so angry.

Sam heard a groan from the other side of the door. She rushed to it, pressing close to the wood. "Danny," she hissed, careful to keep her voice low.

Valerie continued to rage, "I thought you were just some crazy ghost who got kicks out of making the town think he was the hero. But I was wrong. It looks like you get your kicks in a more human way. And you're gonna pay." Sam heard metal hit flesh and winced. "How many girls have you peeked in on while they slept, huh?" Another hit. "What do you do when you're in there?" Another. "Is looking all you do?" And another. "Or do you do a little bit more?"

"Danny," Sam whispered. "Danny, if you can hear me, phase through the door. Please."

A moan was all the reply she got.

"Oh, does it hurt?" Valerie asked in mock concern. "Good."

Sam could hear something scraping against the door and saw the handle jiggle.

"I didn't do anything," Danny gasped, forcing each word out.

"You were in her bedroom," Valerie said, her voice dangerously low.

Danny sighed. "I didn't do anything wrong," he amended.

"I supposed that depends on your definition of right and wrong."

Danny hit the door hard, making Sam jump back. Just as she did an ecto blast from Valerie's gun hit the door, blasting a hole in it. Sam didn't bother to think, she dove through the hole. She landed on her hands and knees in the snow and cringed when she saw that it was green.

"Danny," she whispered.

"Was it just Sam?" Valerie's voice drifted over the snow. "Or did you go after other girls? Paulina? Star? Jazz? Me?"

Sam scrambled to her feet. She raced around the doorway and fought back a scream. She had never seen Danny so badly beaten. Ectoplasm was covering his suit, dripping onto the snow. And over him, Valerie was standing, gun drawn, ready to fire. Sam took it all in in an instant. She raced across the roof and tackled Valerie. The two rolled across the snow, until finally Valerie managed to pin Sam down.

"Sam?" Valerie asked, confused for a moment before her voice hardened. "Don't you know what he was doing? He was in your room! Who knows what he did while he was in there?"

"He put a blanket over me," Sam said as calmly as she could, "and turned off my TV."

Valerie seemed lost for words for a moment, then shook her head. "He's a ghost! He was probably—doing things to you. You'd never even know!"

Sam shook her head, a small smile appearing on her lips. "No, trust me, Valerie. He would never do that."

"You don't—!" Sam halted any further comment by throwing Valerie over her head.

Danny would later tell Tucker that it was an amazing girl fight: Valerie decked out in her battle armor and Sam wearing a robe and silk PJs, each going at it like it was the fate of the world. But in reality, it was rather one-sided. Valerie was a talented fighter, but she was forgetting one of the first lessons of battle: don't let anger get the better of you. And Sam, well, Sam was Sam. She was angry yes, but several years on the bottom of the social ladder had taught her to deal with it, push it down, and channel it into something productive. Not to mention, several years of learn-in-the-moment ghost fighting had taken their toll, leaving a very accomplished fighter in their wake.

Valerie was down in under a minute.

Sam was on top of her, pushing against her throat. "If you ever hurt him again, I will hurt you." That was all she said. She got up and rushed over to Danny.

"I'm fine," he grunted, watching Valerie stagger to her feet over Sam's shoulder.

Valerie lifted an arm, leveling her gun at Danny's head.

"In case you hadn't noticed," Sam said harshly, not bothering to turn as she ran gentle hands over Danny's wounds, "I'm rich. If you hurt him I will dedicate a rather sizable portion of my extensive wealth to making you pay. Now get off my roof."

Valerie stood still for a moment before rushing off the roof, jumping onto her glider. "This isn't done, ghost," she called before whizzing off.

"You shouldn't have done that," Danny said.

"And you shouldn't have snuck into my room in the middle of the night," Sam countered, putting one of his arms around her shoulders and helping him up.

"It's not like it's the first time," Danny muttered.

"What was that?"

"Nothing."


When they were safely inside Sam's room, Sam tending his wounds, Danny asked, "Why don't you wear you Specter Deflector when you sleep?"

Sam's lips curved into a smile and a faint blush graced her cheeks. "First off," she said, adopting an overly flippant tone, "it's uncomfortable to sleep in. Second, the only reason to wear it is if you're worried about malevolent ghosts visiting you in the middle of the night."

"You should be worried!"

"Okay, let me rephrase that: if you don't want ghosts visiting you in the middle of the night."

"You want some ghost to show up in here in the middle of the night?" Danny asked incredulously.

"Sure, so long as he takes off my boots, tucks me in, turns off my TV, and recharges my cell phone." She looked up at him through her lashes and was very pleased to see him blushing.

"I didn't tuck you in," he muttered.

"Close enough," she sighed, standing up. "All done. You're all ready to head home."

Danny stood, looking over Sam's work. Four years had made her a pretty good ghost medic. "Thanks, Sam." He paused at her window and said, "Valerie is going to be out for my blood."

Sam sighed wrapping herself up in the blanket Danny had placed over her earlier. They both knew he was stalling. "So stay invisible, or better yet, go underground."

"Sewers, great," Danny muttered. He turned and gave her a salute as he dipped beneath the floor.

Sam watched the spot where he had gone under for several minutes before finally laying down and trying to sleep.

"Sam?"

Sam smiled, not bothering to open her eyes. "Yes, Danny?"

"Mind if I stay a little while?"

"You're such a baby."

"Sewers are gross. I'll leave before dawn. I promise. Plus, if you're not going to wear the Specter Deflector, you need someone here to watch over you."

"Fine, Danny, whatever makes you feel better." Sam rolled over, shifting to a more cozy position. She took comfort in his presence as she slept.

"I'm glad we agree." Danny lounged in the air above Sam's bed, letting sleep take him. His last conscious thoughts were of Sam, and how nice it was to be able to protect her.


AN: You should always review one-shots. Otherwise, there's no way of knowing how many people actually read the whole story.