Disclaimer: I don't own DP.

Well, for the past couple of weeks, my mind has totally sidetracked itself...again... :) And this little story is the product. I think it will have only two or three chapters, give or take. Speaking of which, I'm still working on all of my other stories...


Chapter 1

It was a dark and stormy night.

Now, despite that obvious cliché, it really wasn't storming. "Storming" assumed lightning and thunder, and neither proved to be the case. Both had yet to buck horns with the sky, and if the weather was to be accurately described, one could say that it was just "heavily raining."

Disproving this cliché once again, it also wasn't dark. It was about one o' clock in the afternoon according to Amity Park's clock tower, and the world wasn't surrounded by black. Rather, the clouds were bleak gray, as if too tired to actually put forth the energy to be anything else.

And so technically, it really wasn't even night.

Thus, the cliché should be appropriately switched to, "It was a bleak and rainy day," if someone really wanted to be accurate. However, that somehow dampened the overall effects. It wasn't quite as visually appealing, all things considered, and the phrase "it was a dark and stormy night" just had too much tradition behind it to be abandoned.

And so, it remains as the first sentence to this story.

It was, however, raining cats and dogs. Metaphorically, of course, but it was as close to the truth as one could get.

The clouds had rolled in at around eleven that morning, bringing forth the promise of much needed rain. Yet the slight drizzle quickly became a steady downpour of raindrops as the day dragged on, and that steady downpour quickly tripled its speed.

By midday, the rain could legally be considered a monsoon, it was raining so hard.

As a matter of fact, it became so torrential that perhaps a poor mammal really did fall from the sky.

And so, at one o' clock in the afternoon, the rain still hadn't let up, and most sane people kept to the inside of their homes, bailing out water from the second story window.

By 1:30, the cats and dogs still weren't tired of sky-diving at high altitudes in their raindrop form, and were obviously having the time of their lives. Thick, silver sheets of rain just poured down from the sky with no end in sight.

It was a known fact that all who dared to venture outside were either blind or suicidal.

A certain Samantha Manson was among one of these people.

Of course, she really wasn't blind nor was she suicidal, despite the above statement. But then again, she had never really fit into just one category of stereotype, and so it was fitting to be an unconformity.

Nevertheless, a part of her wished that she had stayed inside.

Okay, scratch that: she really wished that she had stayed inside.

I hate this, she gritted her teeth as she hurriedly ran down the sidewalk. I should have just stayed home today and skipped this whole mess! Her black umbrella bobbed a bit as uneven buckets of water gleefully dumped themselves on her only defense, and her sandaled feet were soaked to the bone by the overflow off the street.

Actually, she was soaked to the bone all the way up to her knees; it was just that her feet that were constantly under water. Her senses were water-logged, and her normally clean black hair was plastered to the back of her neck.

She flicked her violet eyes up to see a distant stoplight turn red.

At twenty-four years old, the successful business woman had been returning from work in her car. It was all sunshine and happy rainbows until she had entered the outskirts of Amity Park, which by then the streets were overflowing.

She had switched on her windshield wipers, but it just wasn't enough. And at the rate rain was falling, her car would get wiped off the road.

After a few moments of anxiousness, Sam finally decided to just pull over. It wasn't worth it to get literally washed off the road, and the water on the roads could have easily submerged her Mercedes' tires.

Just my luck.

Unfortunately, Sam didn't have all day. She was supposed to catch an airplane to meet up with her fellow CEOs, but while her plane didn't take off for another day, she still had to pack and whatnot.

All she wanted to do was get home.

Was that such a crime? Did Fate really hate her that much?

Her once smart looking business outfit, complete with a black skirt and black jacket, now clung to her body, thoroughly soaked. Convinced that she looked like a drowned rat, she figured that she couldn't possibly look any worse.

She was miserable, she was cold, and she promised herself to never again read a story that began with, "It was a dark and stormy night."

I bet someone's getting a good laugh out of my pain…

Sam found herself currently on the sidewalks of downtown Amity Park, surrounded by closed cafes and stores. There was no place open for her to run to, and it seemed that all the shop owners weren't about to change their minds.

Why did she abandon her nice, dry car?

She looked down at her wrist-watch. 1:09 P.M, it read, the waterproof, digital numbers staring back up at her. I need to get home…She bit her lip in a slight worry, her sharp eyes noting how only a few others were running for cover. The streets had seemingly been cleared of all human life, and only every once in a while did she see a figure desperately sprint down the sidewalk.

If she were smart, she would have followed in their example. Unfortunately, Sam had somewhat of a stubborn streak in her, and refused to partake in such a desperate attack. It was just rain, you know…

That, and it was sort of hard to run in stilettos.

Nevertheless, her pace had quickened the slightest degree, as if subconsciously agreeing with her fellow humans. A few times she even slipped, which did nothing to improve her heartbeat. Rather, it made Sam wonder if she could possibly have a heart attack right then.

And then, out of absolutely nowhere, something fizzled into the edges of her peripheral vision. It was sort of odd sight, actually.

She had just reached an intersection within the heart of Amity Park, and by that time, her endurance (or whatever was left of it) had basically disappeared. The rain beating down on her definitely wasn't giving up anytime soon.

Anyway, she had stopped for a moment to catch her breath, and unknowingly risked a glance to the other side of the street.

And there it was.

Actually, what she saw really wasn't an it. Rather, it was a him.

The man appeared to be in just as much of a hurry as she was. He was also just as waterlogged, and it looked like the newspaper he was using as a make-shift umbrella was about to fall apart. Newspapers were notoriously infamous for doing that, you know. Especially in rain.

He crossed the street at a sprinting pace, flinging large puddles in every direction. And then, for a reason unknown to Fanfiction, he looked up, and Sam caught his baby blue gaze.

Actually, wait a minute; that was a reason known to Fanfiction. What would a parody of clichés be without the most classic one of them all?

However, considering the fact that it was still raining cats and dogs, Sam couldn't exactly see very well, and the author was willing to bet that the man couldn't see either.

So technically, it was like the cliché never happened.


But disregarding that, Sam, who was still trying to gather up her energy, had leaned up against the building behind her. The over hang of the roof provided a small space of relief from the rain, and she was taking full advantage of it. She wiped the water from her eyes, and squeezed as much water from her ponytail as possible.

This is cruel, unusual punishment for just wanting to get home…

Her poor umbrella was thankful for the short rest. However, considering the fact that inanimate objects are inanimate for a reason, the umbrella could not actually express its thanks. So, it resorted to shivering in the wind.

Or maybe that was just an involuntary action. This author can't really tell the difference.

"Uh, excuse me…Miss?"

At the sound of the voice, Sam snapped out of her reverie and came face to face with someone. Unsurprisingly, it was the man who had been running in the rain with a newspaper.

And surprisingly, he really did have baby blue eyes.

Thick, black locks nearly covered those eyes, however, and it seemed the man had a hard time keeping said locks out of his vision. The fact that his hair was matted to his skin probably had something to do with it, Sam guessed.

Her own hair was doing the same thing.

"Look, I'm sorry to bother you," he said, breathless from running, "but I need to ask you a really big favor…" At that, his tenor voice trailed off, and uncertainty pooled into his gaze. "C-can you share your umbrella with me?"


…Well, she really didn't see that one coming. As a matter of fact, his question sort of threw Sam off balance. But since she worked with rather odd people, she was used to it, and she gained her mental footing back in a heartbeat.

Sam couldn't help but answer dryly in return, "What, are you afraid of melting in the rain?"

And by that statement alone, it was pretty easy to tell that communication was not one of her finer points.

Unfortunately, the man wasn't much better.

"P-please?" he stuttered out. He lifted up the tattered remains of his newspaper in one hand, and the clean, crisp papers of a report in the other. "I just came from the library, and I'm trying to keep the ink from blurring."

Now, whether he was stuttering from cold, or whether he was just really shy, she wasn't sure. Either way…

…Something about him reminded Sam of someone…

Her eyes narrowed. Wait a minute…

Then, it hit her. Her eyes widened in shock. No way Almost tentatively, she whispered, "Danny?"

The man looked taken aback. "Hey, how'd ya know that was my-?" And then he suddenly cut himself off. No way…She's-I mean, I think… His eyes searched hers, and his jaw dropped. "…Sam?"

Suddenly, the dry edge in Sam's voice disappeared, and her eyes lit up. "Danny!" Without even thinking, she dropped her umbrella and literally launched herself at Danny. Her arms wrapped around him and she squeezed him for all that he was worth. "Oh my God, I can't believe it's you!"

Instantly, she felt a strong pair of arms return the favor, pulling her closer. "Hey, Sam!" Danny laughed good-naturedly. He set his wet forehead against hers. "I see you missed me?"

"Of course, you big goof," Sam said dryly. But the expression on her face couldn't stay serious for long. A wide, content smile broke out on her pretty features, and she snuggled closer to Danny.

Which, in all honesty, was something that Danny really didn't mind. It was also something Sam didn't mind, either.

Secretively, they both enjoyed it a little too much to be just friends.

"So," he voiced jokingly, "what is Miss I'm-a-big-CEO-now doing back in boring, old Amity Park? Was the city life too much for ya?"

The girl in his arms smiled at his description, although she attempted to look mad.

Survey said it didn't work. "I got the rest of the day off," she shrugged. "And what are you doing here? I thought you would be up in space somewhere?"

At that, the astronaut-in-training blushed a bit. "Well, I've got a long ways before that'll happen." He motioned to the now crumpled, wet, and blurry-inked report floating on the sidewalk (which he had accidentally let go of when Sam hugged him), and a small grimace appeared on his handsome features. "I'm still doing research." A somewhat defeated, sad expression fell on his face as he stared at his hard work.

It never stood a chance against the elements.

Sam risked a glance at the ground beside them, and then wished she hadn't. She let go of Danny and bent down to pick the report up, feeling a little guilty. Unfortunately, the moment she tried to pick it up, the printer paper literally fell apart. The blurred ink washed away in the rain, and all that was left was a crumpled, soggy blob.

In retrospect, it was comparable to a wet paper towel.

Her eyes widened. "Oops…" She looked back up at Danny, looking like the kid with her hand caught in the cookie jar. "I uh, I didn't mean to do that…"

Her friend gave one last forlorn look at his destroyed paper, and then sighed. "Eh, I've got it saved on my computer at home. I had just run out of printer paper…" Thank God, he thought silently. He awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck. I would have been in big trouble otherwise…

Sam just smiled sheepishly and stood back up. "Well then, good thing this was only a copy" she said, biting her lip. "I don't think that paper will ever be the same again…"

She looked up at Danny, who in turn looked down at her. And then, it hit her.

"Danny, did you grow again?" Sam felt her neck cramp as she looked up at him. What was he now? Six three? Six four?

A strange, teasing little smirk curled Danny's lips, and he playfully told her, "Well, maybe you just shrunk."

Sam's eyes narrowed conspiratorially. "Why, I oughta-"

But then Danny cut her off, placing a finger on Sam's lips. "Aww, come on, Sammy! You know I'm just joking…" She gave him a pointed look, but said nothing in return. Danny just smiled sheepishly. "Well, before you kill me, can I have a last request?"

"And what's your request?" Sam countered mock-seriously.

"Hmm…" Danny hummed a bit in deep thought and tapped his chin. The twinkle in his eye sparkled a little too brightly for Sam's comfort, so she began slowly inching away.

Unfortunately, it was too late to run.

"How 'bout… a hug?" the boy suddenly proclaimed dramatically. He swept Sam up into bone-crushing embrace before she could get away, and he wrapped his lanky arms around her form.

"I missed you so much, Sammy…" he whispered in her ear, all remnants of gallantry and mockery gone. Seriousness had taken its place.

"I missed you too…"

And then, suddenly, it was just them.

Just Sam and Danny.

The rest of the world didn't matter. Well, actually, it did, but that wasn't the current point. As a matter of fact, nothing had a point. Nothing mattered. Not the rain, not their soaked clothes, or even the fact that they were standing in calf-high water.

It was just, for one moment of their lives, they felt happy.

They felt together.

For once.

The two held each other in a warm, tight embrace. Sam leaned her head against Danny's chest, and Danny rested his chin on Sam's head.

The rain fell on them in a torrent, but the only shelter they sought was each other's arms.

Ah, a cliché at last…

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, you can rest assured that this particular cliché actually did indeed happen. As a matter of fact, it would have taken over fourteen years in a time machine, another umbrella, and some very heavy-duty hallucinogens just to reverse it.

It was one of those inevitable things, you know…

Nevertheless, it was an inevitability more precious than time itself.




No cats or dogs were harmed in the making of this fanfic.

Updated: Friday, January 25, 2008

Inspiration: Umbrella by Rihanna

Thanks for Reading!

Lightning Streak

Please Review:)