It's ooey... it's gooey... it's another DxS story with a hint of Vlad at the end (balancing out that OTHER piece I just uploaded - "Fentonless" - which is as far from a fluff story as you can GET). Written for a DeviantArt contest: the 'gang' on Spring Break.

Danny and Sam are sixteen, deeply in love AND denial, but thawing, I guess you could say - you'll see what I mean. 'Specially after I got to see a bit of Frightmare. Why is it that I never get to see the entire episode? I've only seen, like, three episodes all the way through - and only snatches of some others. But Nocturn (the villian of the episode) looks absolutely fun. I need to write a Nocturn story. Maybe make it cruel and unusual and stick it in "Fentonless"... that'd be fun. OOH!!! Nocturn in the PITS! That'd be... evil. Danny's got enough nightmares from that story as it is.

And yes - I do get to suffer through a two-week Spring Break. So do my characters. So :P

Don't own Danny Phantom - be very glad of this fact. 'Else it wouldn't be a kid's cartoon...

Now, back to my regularly scheduled evilness... I need to torture the Box Ghost...

Spectral Dance
A Danny Phantom FanFiction by Cordria

Danny appeared at the door to my hotel room, an infectious grin crossing his face. "You like your room, Sammy-kins?"

I scowled at him, throwing a shoe in his direction. His hand came up in a leisurely arc to intercept the tossed article with a practiced ease that few people knew he possessed. He gazed down at the shoe for a moment, his smile only growing. "Oh yes, you must really hate this. Two weeks of being forced away from your parents." His sapphire eyes rolled as he tossed the shoe back onto my bed. "You done unpacking yet?"

"Do I look done?" I asked disagreeably, pushing my sweaty hair out of my forehead and glaring down at the clothes still in my suitcase. There was no way it was fair that he could be so cool and comfortable when everybody else was miserable. "Danny, it's 98 degrees outside – at least try to act like you care."

His only response was to rest his cool arms on my shoulders and snicker evilly into my hair. "Part ghost. I'm my own air conditioner."

I sighed, knocking the suitcase and the remainder of my clothes off the bed and collapsing onto the comforter. "Why are you in such a good mood?"

"Spring break," he said, ticking points off on his fingers, "two weeks of no school, two weeks of no Lancer, two weeks of no homework, two weeks with you…" he drifted off, a slight reddish tinge to his cheeks.

"Yeah, but Vlad came with us." I said sourly, choosing to ignore how much my heart was pounding after that what Danny had said.

Danny shrugged, dropping onto the bed with me. "Tucker couldn't come, and my parents had to do i something /i with the ticket. It's not like they have many other friends. But as long as I stay as far away from him as possible, what do I care? We've been living in the same town for almost a year."

"Fine," I said, "but you're going to regret it."

"Doubt it," he said, smile suddenly returning. "Here," he reached into his back pocket, pulling out a creased and dinged up flyer. "Sounds like fun, want to go?"

I picked the slightly glowing paper out of his fingers and unfolded it, blinking at the electric writing. "Danny…"

"Yeah," his voice was sheepish, "I got it from a ghost."

"A ghost dance?" I wondered. "That sounds violent."

"Nope. There's supposedly some kind of peace pact for Spring Break. No fighting – just dancing and fun."

Gazing down at the partying figures on the page, I couldn't help the thoughts that were swirling in my head. Me and Danny… dancing… "Um…"

"If it helps, Vlad's not invited. Something about not being able to put aside his evil part… and it does sound like fun." He turned his eyes on me, big sky-blue orbs begging me to say yes. "Just you, me, sunset, a couple dozen dead guys…" A smile danced on his face.

"Is there going to be music?" I scowled, already knowing what my answer was going to be.

He nodded enthusiastically. "The best. The lead singer has even published some albums." Something flickered in his eyes, but his smile was on full force. "Please, Sam," he begged.

I sighed, fingering the cold, delicate paper between my fingers. Why I even bothered to nod I will never know.

I have to say, ghosts know how to pick a party location. We were already pretty far from the sweltering island the humans were taking refuge on, flying towards a small isle just visible on the horizon. The scorching day had given way to a sizzling evening, the sun still settling behind the ocean waves.

Danny grinned at me as he held me close to his side. "You ready to have fun?"

"A human and a halfa at a ghost party. Sounds like a blast and a half," I said, rolling my eyes. "I agreed to come, didn't I?"

"Yeah," he pouted, diving down to skim just over the tops of the waves. Cool mist blew in my face as he sparked a skipping fantail with his free hand. "But you never agreed to have fun. We don't have to stay if you don't want to."

"I think I'll be good," I gasped as he started to swoop in between the swells… at sixty miles an hour. "Unless you make me sick, of course."

"Sorry," he laughed as the beach came into view. There were dozens of ghosts already scattered around the small cove: walking on the water, lounging on the sand, or hovering by the trees. He hesitated, stopping for just a moment. "Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Let's go, Ghost Boy," I said with an eye roll. "Stop worrying about me, would you?"

"I can't help it," he apologized, zipping towards the beach once more. He pointed towards a small group of ghosts floating in the air above the water. "See? There's the band."

I squinted at the four ghosts, blinking in surprise. A drummer and three guitarists, it looked like. One of the guitarists had long, blue, flaming hair… "Ember?" I hissed.

Danny shrugged as he dropped us down onto the soft sand. "Does that matter?" he asked me softly. "She can't attack us or anything."

"No, I guess not, jerk," I said, poking his shoulder sourly, "but you could have told me."

"Phantom! You came!" One of Ember's guitarists appeared right in front of us, his long, green hair drooping in his eyes. "You know, we should've put you on the flyer and we'd've gotten a lots bigger audience." He grinned, his smile almost disappearing behind his huge sunglasses. "Ghosts'll be coming from all around now that we have somebody famous in the wings."

"What about Ember?" I asked sarcastically.

The ghost glanced at me, pulling his sunglasses down to look at me with his electric green eyes, one eyebrow raised. "She ain't that famous, but you sure are. Sam, right? Phantom's backup singer?"

"Yup," Danny said, snaking his arm over my shoulders. "She's my backup singer." I frowned up at the protective sound of his voice, but didn't shrug off the arm. It was nice and cool in the still-simmering air. At least, that's what I kept telling myself.

"Dude," the ghost laughed, pushing his sunglasses back to their rightful place. "I ain't here to mess up anybody's solos, alright?" He backed up. "I'm glad you came. We'll have fun. Concert starts at sundown." One last grin, white teeth flashing, and he was gone.

"See? Fun."

I let myself have one last sarcastic eye roll as I finally pushed the arm off of me. "I'm going wading until the party starts, okay?" I sauntered across the warm beach, pausing only long enough to yank my shoes off.

The cool water was pleasant on my toes. I smiled as the waves lapped at my ankles and splashed all the way up to my knees. Holding my skirt up a bit, I slid deeper into the surf, smiling at the tickling feeling of the sand being yanked out from around my feet by the undertow.

"So… is this fun?" Danny said softly as he appeared beside me. He was back in his human guise, shoes gone and the bottoms of his shorts already soaked.

I ignored him, digging my toes into the soft sand, letting the ocean waves bury my feet. I let him stew in his silence for a few minutes, enjoying the fiery sunset. "It's called wading, Danny. There isn't really any other way to do it."

"But you can't see any of the pretty fish," he muttered.

"Yeah? How would you suggest we see the 'pretty fish' without going swimming?"

Danny's hand wrapped around mine, and then my feet were suddenly sucked out of the sand. "Ah!" I yelped, grabbing onto his shoulder. "What did you do?" Very carefully, I balanced on top of the water, the waves bucking me around like an earthquake.

"Levitation trick I picked up a couple weeks ago. This way, we can go out and see the fish," he said simply, starting to walk out into the ocean.

I stumbled behind him, gripping tightly onto his hand, tripping over the smaller swells. It was like walking on a waterbed, only bigger. "Slow down, numbskull," I hissed, finally figuring out it was easier to focus on the horizon than on my feet. He shot me a grin, but eased up the pace a bit. "So, where are these pretty fish of yours?"

"Look down."

I did, and gasped. The ocean floor spread out beneath me, brightly colored fish of all shapes and sizes ducking in and out of multicolored corals. Pulling Danny to a stop, I knelt down and watched, wonderstruck, as a huge crab scuttled across the life-filled ground.

He sat down on the swelling ocean, watching the fish swim. "Pretty," he murmured. I glanced up at him, surprised to see his eyes on me instead of on the fish.


"Oh!" he stumbled, glancing around, "pretty… fish. Yeah." He rubbed the back of his neck, sending me a red-faced grin.

I was going to answer, but the gathering darkness was swirling around us and the band struck its opening few notes.

"Hello, Spring Breakers!" Ember's voice echoed around the cove above the haunting melody of the guitars. "Are you ready to par-ty?"

All the ghosts yelled and screamed in excitement, springing up into the air to form a small crowd around the band stand. I was shocked at the number of ghosts that had arrived – there must have been a hundred or more. Ember's band threw a few power chords into the air, jumping right into their first song.

"Hey," Danny laughed as we watched the spectral partiers begin dancing, "it's our song."

"RemEmber is her only song, Danny." I glared, getting to my feet. "And I wasn't aware we had a song."

"Like we have any other options? Come on, Tucker and you have a song. Why can't we?" He floated up into the air lotus-style before unknotting his legs and standing. "So? Do you want to dance?"

"Sure," I said, a bit red as he wrapped his hands around my waist. "It is a dance, I guess that's what we do here."

He smiled at me, his face as warm as mine. Suddenly he frowned, a ring of light passing over him. "It's not a ghost dance without the ghost, right?" he laughed, pulling me close and spinning slightly.

I laced my fingers behind his neck, grinning. "True," I said softly, letting myself give in to the music slightly and begin swaying.

Overhead, the ghosts cavorted and swirled, chasing each other across the sky in a supernatural ballet. They were without fear, without hesitation, as their elated glow lit up the night more than the rising full moon. Specters dove and rose, spun and twirled, raced into the ocean and back out – all in time to Ember's music.

It took a few songs, but I finally got up the nerve to say the question that had been in my head all night. "Do you…" I hesitated, embarrassed when he glanced at me. "Do you wish you were up there?"

He tipped his head to the side, a clear question in his electric eyes.

"It looks like fun," I said softly, backing as far from him as I could without letting go of his hand. Not because I wanted to hold onto him, but because I would have gone plunging into the ocean otherwise.

"Yeah," he said slowly, his forehead furrowing.

"And… no human can do that."

His eyes flickered up to the party, his eyes still confused. "True…"

I hadn't expected to have to go this far – I had hoped he'd figure it out. Clueless indeed. "Look, I'm a human. You're a ghost…"

"Half-ghost," he interrupted.

"Half-ghost," I sighed. "You should go have some fun as a ghost too."

"But I am having fun," he said slowly.

I was silent, but started walking towards the beach. He came here to have fun; I wasn't going to take that away from him. He had to have more fun up there than with me. I'm just Sam – a plain, unattractive Goth. "Sam," he said as I pulled him along. "Sam," he laughed again. "Wait." I stopped for a moment, glancing back at him. "True, I'd probably have more fun up there." His eyes were sparkling, like they did when he had some secret, but I really didn't care.

I wasn't going to tell him just how much that had hurt. Yanking him with me, I stormed towards the beach, refusing to look at him.


There was no way I was going to look at him. He'd melt me with that puppy-dog look of his.


No, no, no. I was just going to keep walking.

"Sam." He grabbed my hand tightly, spinning me around and pulling me in close. I'd forgotten how strong he was when he wanted to be. I stopped inches from him, my eyes level with his. "I'm not going to have any fun without you, you hear me? You're not going to skulk on some beach like a Goth with no friends, you're going to have fun with me." He smiled, leaning a bit closer, his nose almost touching mine. "Wanna try something new?" he asked, his forehead pressed against mine.

"What?" I asked breathlessly. His emerald eyes met mine, glittering with delight.

"Close your eyes," he whispered in my ear, leaning closer to me.

I shut my eyes, my breath catching in my throat. The chill of his phantom form slid over me like a cool breeze, ghost bumps racing up my arms and trickling down my back. I couldn't repress the shudder that slid through me as I felt his cold cheek graze mine. The butterflies in my stomach were dancing more wildly than any of the ghosts dancing around us.

"It's okay," he murmured, "you'll be fine."

"I know."

A small shock slid through my fingers, a numb feeling trailing up my arms like tiny fingers. I took a deep, trembling breath – and then an odd, dreamlike sensation washed over my entire body. Unconsciously I leaned closer into Danny, into the safety of his arms as I got used to the absolutely bizarre feeling. So light. So free. So…

My eyes flickered open, glancing around the beach over his shoulder. "Danny, what…" I stopped when he pulled away from me slightly, letting go of one hand. Just for a moment I stared down at the hand he had dropped. My skin was paler than ever, almost translucent, tipped in amethyst nails. I held my hand up, turning it over and over, blinking at the almost glow it was giving off.

He chuckled softly, drawing my eyes off of the wonder of my hand to him. Pale skin stretched into one of his shy smiles, one of the ones that hardly anybody got to see – one that transformed his entire face. Holding up his free hand, sparkles of sapphire energy swirled and coalesced. Here we were, in the middle of a spectral party, and he was making a… mirror?

Still laughing slightly, he held out the shiny, flat, icy surface. It took some work, but I managed to tear my eyes away from his handsome smile. What I saw in the mirror took my breath away.

"You know, you're really beautiful like that," he whispered as I examined my reflection with growing shock. "It's only temporary – about a half hour – then you'll be back to normal."

I'm not really willing to admit what I had been hoping for when Danny wanted to 'try something new' with me, but I can't safely say this wasn't it. As I ran my fingers through my amethyst hair and gazed into my electric jade eyes, my mouth fell open slightly. "You… you… you turned me into a ghost?" With that though, I glanced down, grinning at the black, green, and violet dress. Sleek and modern, it cascaded down from my hips with a simple flare, the bottom edge dagged and striking.

"Not quite," Danny laughed. "You should have seen Jazz when I accidentally did this to her last week. She flipped out; chased me all over Amity Park before it reversed itself. But she did promise to keep it a secret so I could surprise you. So, Sam Phantom, would you like to really dance?" He etched a cocky bow, his white hair flopping over into his eyes.

Sam Phantom… If I had a heart anymore, it would have skipped a beat at those simple words. Oh, how I wish… The mirror tumbled to into the ocean, the ice crackling when it hit the warm water. He glanced back up at me, a questioning look in his eyes, his stunning smile fading slightly. I could almost hear his thoughts; he was beginning to wonder if he had done the right thing. "Yes, Danny. I would love to dance."

His hands – which were no longer cold, I noticed – were back in mine. "Well," he said softly, "ghosts don't dance on the ground, you know." With that, he was pulling me up into the air.

My eyes widened as I felt my feet leaving the ground. "Danny!" I hissed as he brought me up into the middle of the swirling spirits. The beat of the music was intense up here, the pulse of it almost like my forgotten heartbeat. In the midst of the swirling colors, the rhythm was intoxicating. I rested my head against his shoulder, marveling at the feeling of air under my feet – a feeling that so matched my own.

He held me tightly for a moment. "You can do it, Sam," there was a laugh hidden in his voice. "It's just like breathing for a ghost."

"I'm not a ghost," I said simply, giving myself a perfect excuse to cling a little bit tighter.

"For the moment, you are," he chucked, easily pushing me away and holding me up with just his hands in mine. "You can't fall, Sam, trust me." His fingers loosened their grip. The only thing holding me to him was my own death grip on his hands.

Slowly, some smart part of my mind struggling against me the entire way, I pulled one hand out of his. Without taking my eyes off of his, I let go… and didn't fall. A stunned, wonder-filled smile fought its way onto my face. I was floating.

I glanced over at the band, the guitarist shooting me a smile and a quick thumbs-up. Dance, he mouthed at me, striking a few chords and sending the band into a new song. As the cadence of the music thrummed through me, set to the time of the crashing waves, I settled my eyes on Danny, drifting over next to him. "Well?" I said with an arched eyebrow.

"Well what?" he asked, his voice soft, almost breathless.

"Aren't we going to dance?"

The happy smile that slid onto his face at my question made my stomach swirl. He picked up one of my hands, giving me another bow and grazing his lips on the back of my hand. "Yes, mi'lady. So you have wished it…"

Danny pulled me closer for a moment, his hands settling on my waist. My own hands had no problem lacing behind his neck, entangling in his snowy hair. Music swirled around us, chased through us, danced with us – and we were lost to the rhythm under the full moon.

I let my eyes fall closed, trusting to the strong feel of his hands as we twirled and danced to the enthralling beat. Time seemed to suspend. There was nothing to the world but his light touch on my waist and the pulsing sounds around us. Closer we drifted, noses all but touching if I would have dared to open my eyes. I could smell the soft scent of him, feel his cool breath as it puffed against my cheek. But I was afraid to break the spell… afraid to wake up…

"Sam, open your eyes," he whispered just loud enough to be heard over the music. It helped that he was close enough that his breath tickled my ear as he spoke.

Dizzily, intoxicated, my eyes opened to his command. All around, spirits twirled and danced, a watercolor wash behind his head. I had no idea what to say. Everything was bubbling up inside of me as I gazed at him, my heart melting. "Danny," I murmured, all of my emotions, all my thoughts wrapped up in that single word.

"You sure are in high spirits," he said, his smile infectious, "but do you think you can really dance with me?"

I laughed softly, ignoring the horrible pun, shaking my head. "You think I can pull that off?" I glanced pointedly around at the ghosts that were spinning and chasing each other around the sky.

"Sam," he said, all seriousness in his voice and lips, but his luminous eyes gave his true bubbling happiness away like two small lanterns, "you can do anything."

Rolling my eyes, I drifted a bit farther away, holding out one hand. "All right, Ghost Boy, let's really dance. But keep it slow for a bit, okay?"

"Deal," he chuckled as he grabbed my hand and dragged me into a crazy upwards spiral.

A tiny scream leaked out of my throat as my fingers clamped tighter onto his wrist. Then I felt it: a swirl of power deep inside of me, a bit of confidence, a twinge of pure exhilaration. I'm a ghost – nothing can hurt me. Letting my scream twist into an excited laugh, I pushed myself to fly a bit faster. I caught up to the speeding boy, delighting in the surprise in his eyes, before passing him by and then pulling him into a sudden dive.

As the ground sped towards us, Danny threw us into a spin, making the ground swirl giddily overhead. The music crescendoed, the pulse of the music driving the insane dance. A downbeat throbbed through the wave-washed beach, the band's voices rising into the climax of the song. Danny let go of one of my hands, his eyes gleaming into mine for a just a moment before he twirled me sharply, sending me spinning off to the side into nothingness.

Before I could stop myself, before I could do more than yell in surprise, I felt wiry arms circle around me, stopping my wild spin. I rested against my savior's chest for a moment, my eyes closed, confident in the identity of my hero. The fact that he was chuckling softly in a very familiar voice helped. A bubble of giddy laughter trickled up, snaking out from between my lips as I drifted in his arms.

This is perfect. Nothing could ruin this… I was perfectly content just to be there. "Danny," I whispered as the song began to die away, the manic spectral energy fading away, "I…"

The music suddenly screeched to a halt, the entire clearing falling into an abrupt silence. I felt Danny stiffen and tighten his arms protectively around me. Deep down inside of me, something froze; a horrible feeling gripped at me. My eyes opened, scanning the ground for the sign of the problem. Every ghost was holding perfectly still, their eyes all focused on the intruder into their revelry. Danny hissed, "Vlad."

Sure enough, Plasmius was hovering at the edge of the beach, his obsessed eyes glowing red in the moonlit night. The elder halfa made no move to join the party, seemingly content to just hover and glower.

"Stay here," Danny murmured, pushing me away gently and diving towards the ground.

I wrapped my arms around myself, shivering slightly at his sudden departure. "Be careful," I breathed.

"Go away, Plasmius," Danny ordered, coming to a stop before the other ghost. "You're not welcome here."

"Daniel," he sneered in return, his voice making the frozen fingers inside of me clench, "why do you think I would listen to you?"

Danny's boots hit the ground, his hands still loose at his sides. "You're not welcome," he repeated simply, his eyes never leaving Vlad's. "Go away."

Plasmius floated a few feet closer, reddish energy flaring around him, singing the sea grass. "Do you think you can make me leave?" he snarled.

"No," Danny shook his head, then sighed. "I refuse to fight you here, Plasmius. Just leave, please. We can fight later."

"I'm not going to leave until I get what I want!"

"And what's that?" Danny's voice was calm and confident, and I couldn't stop the smile that crossed my face. "My mother isn't here, and I think we killed the 'son' idea years ago."

A hand touched my shoulder. "Are you okay?" the guitarist whispered as he drifted next to me, giving my shoulder a comforting squeeze. He shot me a smile, tossing his overlong hair out of his eyes. "Phantom'll be fine."

"I know," I murmured, unwilling to look away from the scene unfolding underneath my feet.

Danny was laughing, his soft voice echoing oddly in the perfectly silent clearing. "You don't even know what you want anymore, do you Plasmius? Go away."

I watched with growing horror as Vlad's eyes grew brighter and brighter, blood-like energy dripping from his hands. "Insolent child," the furious ghost hissed, "how dare you speak to me like that?"

Deadly silence stretched between the two, Danny's growing smile spurning Vlad's anger. "I think I know what you want," Danny said quietly, "and it's something you can never have it."

"Silence!" Vlad screamed, his hand coming up. A blast of red power sliced through the night with a loud fizzle, tossing the unprepared Danny violently to the ground.

I was kneeling next to Danny's body before he had even come to a stop, rolling against my legs. His eyes were closed in pain, a large burn on his side. "Danny?" I breathed, leaning over him. Eyes flickered for a second, his mouth moved, muttering something I couldn't hear.

"Who's this?" Vlad chuckled from his place at the edge of the clearing. "Daniel, are you cheating on that girlfriend of yours?"

My head came up slowly, my eyes burning. "You…" I snarled, "you… fruitloop." Something cool and fluid wrapped soothingly around my fingers as my hands formed into fists. It felt somewhat like moving my hands through cold soup. I glanced down just long to see the emerald energy flaring around my hands before I fixed my eyes back on Vlad. "I'm going to i shred /i you, you sick excuse for a half-human."

I straightened, my hand coming up to figure out how to blast the life out of this demon when it finally happened. Power faded, the dream-like state leaking out of my body. A ring of light appeared around my wrist, expanding and encompassing me in its tingly, cool energy. When the glow vanished, I was left. Human skin tipped with Gothic-black fingernails. My hand fell back to my side, my righteous fury evaporating, leaving behind a simmering anger I could do nothing with.

Fortunately, Vlad was taking this transformation worse than I was. "What?" the man rasped, drifting backwards a bit. "How?" He was still staring at me, eyes wide, when a bluish light enveloped him and he vanished.

Blinking in surprise, I glanced down at Danny, who was sitting up and smiling at me. "You looked positively evil right then," he said slowly, his grin expanding. "I always knew you had it in you."

"How?" I glanced from him to where Vlad had vanished – just in time to see Danny walk out of the woods that edged the beach, Fenton Thermos in hand.

"Doppelganger," Danny chuckled, getting to his feet and sliding his arm around my waist. "It took me weeks to come up with that plan but it came in handy, huh?" My Danny held out his free hand to grab the Thermos before the clone merged back with him. "And, I got him out of the way and keep the peace pact. Neat, huh?" He shot me a thousand-watt smile.

I shook my head, leaning a bit into him. "You're getting too smart for you own good, Ghost Boy."

"Let me have that," the band's guitarist said, drifting down and gesturing to the Thermos. "We'll let him go at the end of the party."

Danny tossed it to him, turning back to me, smile fading at the confusion that was still tracing through my eyes. "What?"

"What was wrong with Vlad?" I couldn't just drop it, I needed to know.

"Oh… I think he was just jealous."

"Jealous? Of who?"

His intoxicating smile swirled back into existence as he pulled me back onto the beach, the chill water lapping at my bare feet. "Me," he laughed. "I've got everything he ever wanted." I stared up into his sparkling electric eyes for a moment in confusion. "Come on, Sammy. Let's dance."

"But there's no music, Danny," I whispered, unable to stop my own grin at his bubbling happiness, my mind dismissing the puzzle for the moment.

His emerald eyes shone in the dim light, cheerfulness flowing almost tangibly off of him. He picked up one of my hands, pulling me closer. "Since when have I ever needed music to dance with you?"

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, we danced in the light of moon…