Chapter 9: Redemption
Amity Park Plaza Hotel – Pent House
Sam Manson had never felt so lost before in her life. In her arms lay the lifeless body of her best friend, Danny Fenton. He was stabbed by a heartless henchmen of Kenneth Irons, who lied to her just so he could steal the Witchblade. It was her fault she trusted him. It was her fault Danny chose to follow her. And it was her fault he died fighting for her.
Tears streamed down the side of her face as she sobbed endlessly. She couldn't live with this kind of guilt. Danny was more than just a friend. He saved her more times than she could count. Even before she ever encountered the Witchblade he was always there for her, constantly putting his life on the line. Some didn't even appreciate his sacrifice. His own parents wanted to dissect him. And even when she attained a power that helped her defend herself, he kept fighting for her. Now he was gone.
"I'm sorry, Danny," sobbed Sam, "I'm so sorry. Please…it can't end like this. I still have to tell you that…that I love you."
But she got no response. There was only cold silence. Her heart was literally breaking. She was not only losing the boy she loved, she was losing her best friend. What was she going to tell his parents? How would they react if they learned he died because of her? What about Tucker? How would he take it?
So many thoughts ran through Sam's mind as she broke down over the body of her dead friend. She couldn't bear the thought of waking up tomorrow knowing that she would never see Danny again. It wasn't supposed to be like this. They were going to be a team. Maybe they could be a little more than that. But none of that seemed possible now. It was over because she chose to trust a madman.
Then she remembered something. Tearing her eyes away from Danny's lifeless body, she looked down at the Witchblade. It was still in gauntlet form, covering her arm. It now had all its power back after draining it from Kenneth Irons. She noticed how the blows he inflicted on her had healed quickly. The same thing happened the first day she woke up with the Witchblade and discovered it had healed the injuries she sustained during that fight with Skulker. That led her to wonder. If the Witchblade was capable of healing her then would it be possible to heal someone else?
Frostbite never mentioned a power like this when he trained her. But then again he said many times that his information on the Witchblade was sketchy at best. But if there was even a slim chance that it might be true, it was still worth trying. Looking at the wound on Danny's torso and the Witchblade on her arm, she swallowed her sorrow and took a deep breath.
"I know we've had our differences," she said to the ancient relic, "But I need you…he needs you."
Closing her eyes, Sam placed the Witchblade over Danny's body. She took deep breaths, concentrating the energy within the way Frostbite had trained her. The Witchblade kept talking to her, guiding her as she took hold of this power that had chosen her. She grit her teeth in determination, putting every ounce of effort into this one act. Danny always pushed himself beyond his limits to save her. It was high time she returned the favor.
The gauntlet began glowing in a bright yellow hue. Sam grunted as she felt the power surge through her, but remained focused as she held her hand over Danny's wound. Soon, a halo surrounded her body and his. The energy was concentrated around the wound, following the whim of the wielder. At one point her hand started shaking. She could feel the power flowing through her. It just had to be enough to save him.
"Please Danny…come back to me!"
Sam let out a determined grunt as the healing power of the Witchblade was channeled into Danny. Suddenly, the bloody flesh around the stab wound mended itself. Color returned to Danny's pale skin. The brightness of the halo intensified. Then in a final burst, she heard a sharp gasp.
Her heart skipped a beat. She let out a tired sigh as she stopped the process, looking down at the body that was still cradled in her arms. His shirt still had a hole in it, but the wound was gone and he was breathing again. Then he opened his eyes and saw her.
"Am I dead?" he said weakly.
"Danny! You're alive!" exclaimed Sam.
Tears of sorrow turned to tears of joy as Sam threw her arms around Danny and hugged him. At first he was overwhelmed. He debated briefly whether or not he really was dead. But upon feeling her warm embrace, he realized the truth.
"Sam…is everything okay?" said Danny, still very confused.
"Yeah…everything's great," she said with another sob.
What happened next caught Danny completely off guard. Sam, the girl he had been crushing on for years, cradled his face and kissed him. This time it wasn't just another fake-out make-out. This was a real, honest gesture of affection. At first he wasn't sure how to respond, but soon found himself kissing back. He still wasn't quite sure what was going on, but at this point he could care less.
Sam was acting on pure feeling. She had waited so long for this moment and she almost lost him because of it. If this didn't confirm what she long suspected about the bond between her and Danny, nothing would. She came so close to never getting a chance to let him know how she felt. Now he knew.
When they parted, it took a moment for them to process what had just happened. Sam was too happy to be embarrassed, but Danny still had that goofy look on his face.
"Wow…" said Danny in a daze, "Are you sure I'm not dead?"
"Want me to whack you upside the head or are you just going to trust me?" joked Sam with a warm smile.
"I'll…take your word for it," he said, smiling back, "I'm guessing you and the Witchblade beat Irons to a pulp."
"Let's just say he paid the price he should have paid long ago. But to hell with him. I'm just glad you're okay."
"Of course," said Danny warmly, "I promised, remember?"
Sam smiled and blushed. Even in the face of death, Danny Fenton was the same hero she grew to know and love. He always kept his promises, especially the ones he made to her. For all the mistakes she made during this affair, it was comforting to know he never left her side. And if he was to stay true to his promise, he would always be there.
Lost in a daze, their faces drifted closer towards another kiss. But just when their lips made contact, the door to the pent house burst open and Jazz and Tucker stormed in.
"Danny! Sam! Are you guys okay?" exclaimed Jazz, bursting in with a Fenton ghost weapon in hand.
Danny and Sam abruptly parted, smiling sheepishly as they helped each other up. This was not lost on Tucker, who found them still holding hands and looking at each other with that look he had come to recognize so easily. Even given the urgent circumstances, he couldn't help but laugh.
"Uh… we interrupting something?" he joked.
"Nice to see you too, Tucker," grinned Danny.
"Whoa, what happened here?" said Jazz as she looked around at the damage.
"I'm guessing we missed the fight," said Tucker, "Housekeeping is sure going to have their hands full with this."
"You don't know the half of it," said Sam in an exasperated tone.
Everything was still sinking in, but the battle was over. As they surveyed the damage, Jazz came across the boney remains of Kenneth Irons. By now his body had been reduced to a mummified skeleton. She covered her mouth and gagged when she saw it.
"Oh my gosh! Is that…"
"Yep," affirmed Sam bitterly, "Turned out Irons had his share of secrets."
"He looks better this way anyways," commented Danny, "Why do you think he was so obsessed with the Witchblade?"
"I don't know," sighed Sam, "All I heard was him ranting about how he could use the power better than me and set history on the right course."
"Sounds like a classic messiah complex," said Jazz, always the psychology buff, "People can drive themselves crazy thinking they're part of something bigger than themselves. Either he didn't want to accept it or he just couldn't handle it."
"Probably both," said Sam distantly, "He was right about one thing though. The Witchblade is a powerful weapon. Guess it's my responsibility to take care of it now."
"Think you're up to it?" asked Tucker.
"It chose me, didn't it? Guess I'll just have to trust it."
"I think it made the right choice," said Danny, giving her hand a firm squeeze.
Sam smiled and Danny smiled back. There was no getting around it now. She and the Witchblade were a part of each other. There was still a lot about it she didn't understand, but over time she would learn. For now, though, she was ready to go home.
Fenton Works – The Next Morning
Upon leaving the hotel, they drove back home in Jazz's car. They were all exhausted. Sam and Tucker spent the night at Danny's house. When they got back they went straight to sleep and slept in until late in the morning. Halfway through the night when Tucker was fast asleep, Sam woke up and slipped into Danny's bed. There they cuddled, holding each other through the night after an emotional day. They had come so close to losing each other. Now they were determined not to hide their feelings anymore. They still didn't talk about the kiss, but they didn't have to. There would be plenty of time to work the little things out later.
When they finally woke up, they felt happy and refreshed. Tucker made another comment about them getting sappy with each other, but that only earned him a little ghost ray to the butt and a pinch from the Witchblade. He still got a laugh out of it though. If Danny and Sam were going to be an item now, he would have plenty of opportunities poke fun at them. Except now he was kind of feeling left out. Maybe he should look into getting a girlfriend or something.
Downstairs, Danny's mom had prepared a stack of pancakes for breakfast. Jack had already eaten half and Jazz wasn't too hungry. She spent more time reading her book, which she had to catch up on after last night's excursion.
"Morning hun," she greeted, "You and your friends sleep well?"
"Yeah, I'd say so," said Danny with a yawn.
"I'll bet," snickered Tucker, earning him a scold from Sam.
"Well I hope you're hungry! I made enough buttermilk pancakes for everybody."
"Better get them while their hot!" said Jack as he wolfed down another helping.
"Well…almost everybody," she corrected.
Danny rolled his eyes while Sam and Tucker laughed. They decided to help themselves before Jack ate the whole stack. While they began to eat, Maddie walked over to the kitchen TV.
"Let's see what's in the news this morning," she said.
When she turned it on the first thing on screen was a shot of the Amity Park Plaza Hotel. Along the bottom of the screen there was a heading that read "Billionaire Found Dead In Pent House." It quickly caught the attention of Danny, Sam, Tucker, and Jazz. But they remained quiet as they listened to the newscast.
"To recap our top story, billionaire industrialist, Kenneth Irons, was found dead in his pent house earlier this morning. Authorities at this point are unsure of the cause of death, but Irons associate, Jack Estacado, said his death was the result of coronary heart failure. Police have yet to confirm Mr. Estacado's claims, but Mayor Vlad Masters has personally aided in the investigation. He issued his condolences and had this to say…"
"Mr. Irons death is tragic, no doubt. But I'm sure he would have wanted us to remember him and everything he stood for. That's why as his friend and associate, I will be personally archiving the Irons collection and re-distributing it to museums everywhere. I'm sure that's what he would have wanted."
Danny and his friends cringed. If the Witchblade was just one of the artifacts Irons had in his collection, there was no telling what other kinds of super-powered relics he might have. And now that they were in Vlad's possession, he could reek all sorts of havoc. It was sure to make life for both Danny Phantom and the Witchblade very active.
"That's Vlad for you," commented Jack proudly, "Always thinking of others."
"That's for sure," said Danny, his tone dripping with sarcasm.
Sam cast him a sympathetic look. While he dreaded over the kind of terror Plasmius would cause with that kind of ancient firepower, she reached under the table and took his hand. Her warm grip helped calm him down. It was a nice reminder that he wouldn't have to face these battles alone anymore. He had a super-powered girl by his side. It would make for some interesting fights, but after what they overcame last night Danny was sure there was nothing they couldn't overcome.
Fenton Works Rooftop – Later That Day
After breakfast Danny and Sam went up to the rooftop to share a quiet moment under the morning sun. It was amazing how beautiful the sunrise could be after facing death head on and coming out alive. It still messed with Danny knowing that he was really dead for a while. Even for someone who was half-ghost, it was a powerful experience. Sam was equally affected, having held her best friend's dead body in her arms. Since then she stayed close to him, refusing to leave his side until she told him how she felt.
Yet even after everything they had been through, it wasn't easy. Danny and Sam had been holding back for so long they didn't know where to begin. It wasn't like these feelings were new. They had been growing over the years and had only gotten stronger during their struggles against ghosts. Things were sure to change even more now that Sam was the wielder of the Witchblade. But one thing always stayed the same and that was each other.
"So…" said Danny distantly as he leaned over the roof.
"So…" repeated Sam in the same tone.
"Are we going to talk about it or what?"
"Define 'it.' Is it about the Witchblade? Or is about…you know?"
"Uh…the second one," said Danny awkwardly.
Sam's expression shifted to a look of sorrow. She held back a sob as memories of last night came rushing back. Tears formed in her eyes and she looked away, hugging her shoulders as she struggled to put what she was feeling into words.
"Danny…I nearly lost you last night. You nearly died in my arms. I…I can't even begin to describe the pain I felt at that moment. I was so scared. I thought…"
She stopped in mid-sentence, unable to finish her words. Danny placed a hand on her shoulder, which helped to sooth her emotional state.
"But I'm not dead," he said softly, "I'm still here. You saved me, remember?"
"But I wouldn't have had to if I had just listened," retorted Sam, "Everything about Irons spelled trouble. You warned me, the Witchblade warned me, everybody warned me! But I didn't listen! And because of that I nearly lost you."
"But you didn't."
"Enough with the buts! The point is…when I thought I lost you all I could think about was how I never told you how much you meant to me. You're more than just a friend to me Danny. You always have been. And I guess what I'm trying to say is…I'm in love with you."
Danny had been waiting a long time to hear those words. Sam had waited equally long to say them. He hesitated to say something in response. He opened his mouth, but no words came out. It was a lot harder than it was in dreams because this was the point he usually woke up. But this wasn't a dream. This was really happening.
"Wow…that came out weird, didn't it?" she said.
"What? No Sam, it's not that."
"Then why aren't you saying anything?" she asked anxiously.
"Because I honestly don't know what to say," said Danny, "I keep thinking I really am dead or this is some sort of dream or something."
"Danny…" said Sam, getting frustrated.
"I'm serious! You have no idea how long I've been waiting for this. I've gone over it again and again in my head. I've tried to approach it from every possible angle. And even after that I still don't know what to do."
"So why don't you just say it?"
"Okay, here goes…I'm in love with you too, Sam."
Another awkward silence followed. This wasn't going like either of them had planned. The movies made it out to be so easy. But this was totally different. They were just teenagers and here they were confessing their feelings for one another. It really messed with their minds. But now that they had come out with it, they felt better.
"Wow…that does come out weird," chuckled Danny.
"You're a boy who's half-ghost and I'm a girl who walks around with an ancient weapon on her arm. Weird is pretty much par for the course with us," said Sam, laughing as well.
"That's for sure. Think we can make it work? I mean…I'd like to try if you would."
"Don't know," she said, moving in closer to him, "Think I can manage as the Ghost Boy's girlfriend?"
"After last night, I think you can handle it. But…"
"Hey, what did I say about buts?"
"Right…sorry," said Danny with a goofy grin, "Anyway I can make it up to you?"
"Oh I can think of a few ways," said Sam playfully.
From there instincts took over and they met in another kiss. This time it wasn't awkward or sudden. This was real honest passion. It felt good. At last they had come clean. It nearly took one of them dying for them to get to this point, but it was worth it. Now the already crazy lives of Danny Phantom and Sam Manson were sure to different.
Suddenly, their tender moment was interrupted by a deafening noise.
Down below, a 30-foot three eyed grizzly-like monster with four arms, razor sharp claws, and shark-like teeth stormed across the street. From each hand, the creature shot out green ghost rays, causing widespread destruction and causing any nearby onlookers to flee in a panic. If Danny and Sam hadn't seen much stranger things, they might have actually been shocked. Instead, they cut their kiss short and prepared for battle.
"Duty calls," sighed Danny.
"So I've learned," said Sam, "Shall we?"
"Ladies first!" he grinned, "I'm going ghost!"
"I'm going Witchblade!"
Together, Danny and Sam leapt off the roof and into the fight. Their lives were entering a new phase together. They each had superpowers and they each fought to save Amity Park. Only now they were boyfriend and girlfriend. There was no telling what was in store for them next, but whatever they faced they would face it together.
AN: I'm going to be honest with you, I was really discouraged by the lack of reviews. When people don't review, I don't feel the motivation to make the story better. If there's something about this fic that wasn't good, tell me! Seriously people, I need reviews to improve! Because of so little feedback I think this will be my last story in the Danny Phantom section. There's just no drive here. But I hope you liked the story anyways. I wish it were better, but when you don't get feedback you lose a little enthusiasm. But still, please take the time to review by sending me feedback via email or posting your comments on the fanfiction website. Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best.