Riding in the rain--DP
As Paulina stood stranded in the rain, she wished, not for the first time, that she had better friends… No PP, Introspective, D/P friendshipimplied DxS, Paulinacentric, oneshot.
:waves: Hi! I'm new to the phandom! I've been scrawling my own DP fanfictions in private, but I haven't posted any because I wanna focus on my stories I already have, first. Still, this is a oneshot, and I said to myself, "Why Not?"
It's Paulina-centric. That means, if you don't like Paulina, then save yourself the agony and don't read it. Unless you want to. I have no problems with flames, It just tells me who I shouldn't be like. Try keeping your mind open, people. Myself? I find Paulina to be a very dynamic character, at least potentially. Don't tell me you haven't heard the no-one-cares-about-the-popular-kid sob story? Yeah. Well, this is a rendition of that.
It's not a romance, mind you. Danny's dating Sam. It's set a few years after the series, but without the world knowing the Phantom/Fenton connection. So just take out PP and you're fine. Ages? Danny's sixteen.
Anyway, I'll get out of your way and stop blabbing, and give you the story finally… R&R PLZ!
11 pages long in WORD.
Note: This disclaimer would normally say "I don't own DP", but I'm pretty sure that most of you are smart enough to figure that out yourselves… You are, aren't you?
Riding In The Rain
Paulina heard the crack of thunder and she flinched. Again? It had just rained this morning. Why on earth was it starting to rain now?!
The Latino girl gave a quick glance both ways down the street, hoping in vain to see her friends' car. Dash and Star, both having their drivers' license, usually gave her a ride home after school. Paulina, still fifteen, (and nine months, and eighteen days,) was unable to drive. She practically relied on the two to give her a lift.
She could've gotten a ride from anyone, being the most popular girl in school, but her mother had pounded into her head at an early age that she should NEVER accept a ride from a stranger. Paulina remembered, only half a year ago, when she'd disobeyed the rule and ended up at some strange boy's house against her will. Luckily, the boy had been careless and Paulina had been able to call the police, but it still made her shudder to think what might've happened.
Of course, as Paulina wasn't exactly the nicest person to her friends, she sometimes wound up with no ride at all. Today, she'd had to stay afterwards to help with a joint project, and she requested that Star come pick her up from school at six thirty-five.
It was now six fifty-eight. She could've walked home by now.
A raindrop in her cheek broke the Latino girl from her frustrated thoughts. She swiped it off, grumbling to herself. Rain.
She could just see Star's face now. Tomorrow, Paulina would confront the blonde about her missed ride, and Star would look at her, wide-eyed, saying sweetly that she had completely forgotten about it, and ask why Paulina "hadn't called her cell?".
Paulina would retaliate that Star's cell had been off, and Star would make some lame excuse about it being dead or something. Then Dash would jump in and ask if she wanted a ride from him next time, and that ride would usually mandate a make-out session afterwards…
Dejected, Paulina sat on the curb. She didn't care who saw her, even though everyone on the street was now fleeing for shelter from the storm. Around her, droplets began to plink against the pavement, leaving spots on the fifteen-year-old's pink shirt.
Why couldn't she have better friends? Why couldn't she have someone who she could rely on, tell her darkest secrets to, ask an embarrassing favor from? Yes, yes, she knew the old adage; "To have a friend, you must be one." But there was no way that her friends would treat her any differently if she acted sweet and nice.
Popularity was a dog eat dog world, and she was not going to serve herself up on a platter.
Plus, Paulina had to keep face. People in the school were only popular if she wanted them to be. She ran the school. And it wasn't just because of her pretty face, although that helped. It was because she played her pretty face into the teachers' and students' hands, pulling the right punches—or getting other people to pull them FOR her.
Star had her over a barrel, though. She was the only one who could drive Paulina, assuming Paulina didn't want to make out with Dash for half an hour. And her girlfriend knew it. Before, it had been Paulina who'd had all the power in their friendship, and now it was Star. At least, a little bit.
Once she got her own drivers license, Paulina would have to see if Star was a worthy friend. At the very least, she'd punish her friend for not being there.
As more raindrops fell, they cooled her temper. Paulina ran her fingers through semi-wet hair, sighing. What was she thinking? Star was mean, but she did have a little reason to be. All the times that she'd ditched her friend to be with some guy, all the times she'd stolen a potential boyfriend of Star's, even having Star do her homework sometimes. (Star was pretty intelligent, for a blonde prep…). All those things came back to her. Paulina knew that she'd gotten herself into this mess, and there was no way to fix that—at least, not now.
Maybe not ever.
Maybe that's why she didn't have friends—she didn't deserve any.
Maybe she deserved to be unhappy.
And there she sat, brooding. The rain fell in drops around her, soaking her slowly. Thunder cracked overhead, and lightning played with the clouds, but still she didn't move. She was too upset to notice anything, even the few people that passed by. That was, until one person spoke to her.
"Paulina?" A familiar voice asked, shocked. It turned scornful after a second. "What are you doing out here? Get inside, or you'll catch a cold!"
The girl turned, finding herself face-to-face with a familiar person. It took a minute to recognize who it was—she wasn't exactly a friend to him, but she knew his name anyway—Danny Fenton.
The boy blinked at her through long lashes, and she felt those ice-blue eyes crystallizing the rain on her skin. She was in the spotlight… was he expecting her to say something?
She looked him over. He was wearing his normal jeans, accompanied with a pure red shirt and a jacket. A backpack was slung over his shoulder, and he carried a handful of textbooks, under which he took refuge from the rain. In his other hand, he held keys and—!
Paulina scrunched her nose up. So the loser Danny Fenton could drive now too? Why could everyone drive but her?!
Feeling her temper rise, she crossed her arms and looked away. She couldn't bring herself to feel too angry; the rain drenched any flaring temper that she usually had. Still, she wasn't happy. "My ride fell through, apparently." She said, not knowing why she was talking to him. "And I guess I was feeling sorry for myself. So I understand your concern, but I'd rather sit outside until I drown, thanks."
Danny paused, not moving. He looked Paulina over, as she had done to him. Finally he gave a sigh. "Brooding isn't going to help you any," he said firmly.
"It helps me in here," she tapped her forehead impatiently. "I suppose I'll walk home later. Now will you leave me alone?"
"You're going to catch a cold," he repeated, ignoring her earlier quip. When she said nothing, he sighed. "Fine, come on," he said, turning.
Paulina gave him a glance. "What?" she asked flatly.
Danny held up his keys. "I'll give you a ride home, if you're so dejected about this." He said, but then stopped. "Unless you have a problem with that…?"
Paulina paused. Her mother's words came back to her; "Don't you EVER accept a ride from someone you know. Understand? Otherwise you could die."
But another, more sensible part of her, (the part that was tired of moping,), called up in a small voice. That's DANNY. You know him. He's no stranger—you dated him, for gods sake.
Again, Paulina shifted. She looked him over. No, Danny was sensible. He'd had plenty of times to take advantage of her, but he was, (as much as she hated to admit,) too sweet for that. Too honest for that.
She came forward, tapping his chest with a her forefinger. "You take me anywhere but home and I will gouge your eyes out, understand?" she asked, letting him see the length of her perfectly manicured nails.
Danny just rolled his eyes, turning. She followed him through the near-empty parking lot of the school, then turned in mid-walk. "Oh, I almost forgot, you'll need this," he tossed her something.
She caught it; it was a round black object. She frowned at it, wondering what the heck it was…
As she turned it over in her hands, she found that it was, much to her surprise, a helmet.
Her head snapped up, and saw something she thought she'd never see. Danny was approaching a black and ice-blue motorcycle.
Paulina stopped in her tracks. "What the heck?" she asked, her eyes widening. Danny threw the books he was carrying into some hidden compartment before he straddled the bike. When she didn't move, he looked at her.
A grin played on his face. "What?" he asked playfully.
"A Motorcycle?" she pressed, not moving any closer to that thing.
Danny ran his hands run expertly over the bike that sat under him. "Indeed it is," he said with a smirk. When she didn't say anything else, he spoke again. "What's wrong? Surprised?"
"No…" she said, her voice cracking slightly. 'Yes…' she added in her head. She could see Danny driving a ford explorer, maybe a van… not a bike.
Danny gave her another look. "Intimidated?" he guessed again.
"Of course not," she snapped, feeling her face blanch. 'Of course I am,' she admitted silently to herself. She stuttered, trying to explain. "It's just that I've never…"
At this, Danny's grin fell. "Ah. I see. Star drives that green van her parents gave her, doesn't she?" he scratched his head as he thought. "And Dash drives a pickup."
Paulina eyed the motorcycle, wondering how the heck he knew this. "Star was just too busy to pick me up, I guess," she explained, though she didn't have to. "But that's not the point. I've just never…" she stopped short. She didn't want to admit weakness.
Danny stuck his key into the ignition, freeing his hands. "It's not like you're driving it, Paulina." He reasoned with her, making her feel a bit better. "And I've only gotten into two crashes, both because of ghosts." He looked at her, serious. "You know that ghosts don't attack when it rains. They just don't want to mess up their hair."
Paulina nearly laughed at his joke, but couldn't bring herself to do so. "You'll be wearing a helmet," he added, motioning to the object in her hands.
The girl looked down to the black orb she held. Finally, as the rain started to fall a little harder, she sighed. "All right, all right," she spoke to him, her Spanish accent sounding resigned. She stepped forward, looking at the helmet. "How does this thing work?"
Danny got off the bike, bending down to help her. He fitted the helmet over her head, fixing the chinstrap to fit her perfectly. As he did, he spoke to her. "You just ride behind me. Don't choke me, but you can hold on to my clothing or whatever if you don't like the ride." He finished, standing straighter, and Paulina blinked; when had he gotten so tall? "But you know," he spoke again. "I would suggest opening your eyes to look around once we get moving. The city really looks different on a bike."
She watched as Danny once again got on the bike. She noted where he put his feet as he settled in, then got on herself. She tucked her feet right behind his, steadying herself by putting her hands on his shoulders. They were broader shoulders than she remembered, for some reason…
Why were thoughts like that going through her head?
"Ok, here we go," he said, and turned the ignition.
It was a strange feeling—the bike roared to life under her. The sound made her flinch, and it was accompanied by a bright flash of lightning from overhead. Danny glanced up at the raining sky before reaching down with his foot.
Before she knew what he was doing, the kickstand steadying the bike popped backwards, and Danny steadied the machine with his feet. Paulina had a sudden sensation that they were upright, all of the sudden, and free. She also felt that they were going to fall.
Caught by a sudden fear of the bike, she threw her small arms around his waist. It was all too much—the way the bike swayed, the odd putting and purring sound that rose upwards, the sudden absence of stability. She felt Danny's warm body jiggle under her arms, as though he were trying to suppress a laugh. Still, she remained afraid, and she closed her eyes. She waited, expecting them to fall to the side and her leg to be crushed, or the bike to flip and toss her like a doll into the blacktop—!
And then they were moving.
The random noises that the bike made slowed, evening out into a quiet hum. The worry that they were going to tip over slowly ebbed away, being replaced with a small sense of stability. Just a small one, though—she couldn't trust the bike whenever Danny turned it, as it dipped slightly closer to the ground when he did.
As they pulled to a stop at the entrance of the parking lot, Paulina forced her eyes open. Danny was surveying the traffic, his black hair starting to drip in the rain.
Wait a second. "Why aren't you wearing a helmet?" she asked, feeling her voice crack.
Danny heard, and gave a look over his shoulder. "I only have one with me," he explained, voiced slightly raised so she could hear him above the rain and the bike.
"Isn't that dangerous?" she asked, frowning.
He gave her a smile. "I won't crash, Paulina," he assured her.
Paulina gave him a puzzled look, and he turned back to the road. She didn't have much time to study him, however, as he took his foot off the ground and they started moving again.
The girl gripped him tightly once more, closing her eyes in fear as the bike tipped closer to the ground. Soon they pulled out of the left turn, but then it got worse; the bike roared. Now they were speeding up.
Oh god oh god oh GOD…!
Fear spread through Paulina's mind. She couldn't help it; for the first few minutes, all she could think of was all the ways she could DIE riding this horrible contraption. Run into a lamppost. Get run over by a semi. Flip the bike. Scrape the side by turning too sharply.
Each ended in a horrible death on her and Danny's part. A horrible death, involving blood and guts and mangled limbs. Sure, she was safer with her helmet on…
If Danny was riding without a helmet… then…
"I won't crash, Paulina," his voice came back to her.
It took a minute for her to study his words. But when she got it, she felt a whole lot better.
If she knew anything, it was about self-preservation. She was sure that Danny wouldn't put his own life in danger. Danny honestly didn't think—no, he knew he wasn't going to crash. Which meant, of course, that Paulina had nothing to worry about.
Another sentence of his came back. "I would suggest opening your eyes to look around once we get moving. The city really looks different on a bike."
No. That was something she would not do. No seeing how close they came to other cars, no seeing how many obstacles that lay between her and home.
She refused. But slowly, a small voice came inside of her, trying to talk her around. What good was it to be on a bike, if you don't see anything? You'll be curious about it later. You'll be thinking about what it looked like. And just to satisfy your curiosity, you'll ask for another ride. And then you'll be on this horrible bike again.
Finally, Paulina gave up. Just for a second, she told herself. I'm just going to look for a second.
Her eyes opened. Time passed.
'Just a second' became 'just a minute'—then two minutes. Then three.
Her eyes told her what her brain had told her before; that Danny wasn't going to crash. She wasn't looking at the scenery, she was looking at him.
And, as her brain promised, he was in control.
The boy leaned forward, staring through the rain at the road. He had a strange expression on his face, from what she could see. Danny leaned forward intently, his blue eyes sharp, observant, and commanding. Like he could take the world on.
The turns didn't seem so dangerous anymore. They felt almost… poetic. The bike bent to greet the earth as they turned, switched lanes. And Danny, the expert rider, let his body flow with the bike. Powerful muscles—she could feel them beneath his shirt as she gripped his stomach tightly—commanded the bike, flowed with the machine like water. Even his black hair, flying loose, seemed to follow the bike's movements. He was in control. She had nothing to worry about.
Nervously, Paulina took her eyes off of Danny's form. She glanced over his shoulder, looking at the scenery as he'd suggested.
Buildings soared by. Places that she knew from birth looked completely different—the mall looked blurred and curved, The bowling alley's neon lights cast a playful glow on its bricks, The Nasty burger looked almost appealing… which was strange to say the least.
They weren't just places. They seemed more like… destinations. Destinations that the bike roared past—the bike was like a wolf, a cheetah, a living animal. A powerful one, that prowled the streets.
Out of the whole thing, the road looked the most different of all. Danny stayed well away from the cars, for fear of being splashed with a wave of water, but it was still so weird. They were INSIDE of the traffic, teasing and daring the other red and green vehicles to pass. Danny weaved between them, and Paulina got a surreal feeling when she realized she could see the lines on the road as they passed over them, and the bottom of the traffic lights whenever they made it through an intersection.
Even the bumps felt different… as she passed over them, she felt more like she was flying in the air, part of the bike, instead of the detached interruption you felt inside a car.
Slowly, Paulina relaxed her grip on the boy's midsection, letting her head rest between Danny's shoulder blades. She stayed like that through the ride, letting the droplets tatter against her skin as she surveyed the new world.
The two teens zipped through the streets, becoming a black and ice-blue-blur as the sky grew dark…
Danny's voice was a buzz in her ear, and beneath her body. She could actually feel him as he said the words. And she regretted it. Was the ride really over?
A glance around confirmed it. Danny was pulling into her Cul-de-sac, and the monster of a bike was slowing beneath her. Soon it stopped at the most familiar place she could imagine; her house.
With a tug of regret, Paulina got off. Her legs were shaking, still feeling abuzz with the power of the bike. She struggled with the helmet, still breathless. Danny leaned forward and helped her slide it off.
"How was your ride?" he asked, taking the helmet into his lap. He watched as Paulina got up on the sidewalk, looking at her house.
She turned to face him. "It was…" she couldn't find any words for it. Finally she found some suitable ones, and cleared her throat. "It was worth it."
Her joke made Danny laugh. "Worth riding with a loser? Why, thank you." He said, running his hands through his damp hair.
Paulina watched him, feeling a swell of emotion. She didn't want him to leave so quickly. They'd just gotten home, after all. Immediately, she began stammering for words. "I… no. Not that. I just… I really was scared of your bike." She explained. She actually hadn't thought of the other situation.
If she'd been caught riding on the same bike with Danny Fenton, her friends would talk…
But she didn't care.
Danny looked into her eyes. "You were scared? Past tense?" he teased.
Paulina raised an eyebrow. "It was worth it." she said, not answering his question.
Danny shrugged, still having a wry smile on his face. He looked away, and Paulina made another attempt at a conversation, not really wanting him to leave. She didn't know why she didn't want him to leave—maybe it was some form of jetlag… motorcyclelag… something… but she just felt so weird. So attached. She could still remember the roar of the bike under her, the feeling of wonder as she looked at the scenery, holding Danny between her arms. And she didn't want the feeling to end.
So she spoke. "What were you doing at school so late, anyway?" she asked, looking him over.
"Finishing a project with Mikey." He answered, leaning over the handlebars. "Leave it to Lancer to give a big project and then expect us to finish it in three days," he muttered.
Paulina nodded. "I was working on that project too." She admitted, remembering the Language Arts presentation she had been working on.
"Really?" Danny asked, eyebrows kicking up. "What topic did you have?"
"Lancer gave me Shakespeare," she explained.
Danny winced in pity. "That's such a shame. Shakespeare's so… ugh." He shook his head. "I got T.S. Elliot. He's much easier to understand than Romeo and Juliet…"
Paulina nodded with a smile. "I couldn't understand a word, hardly. It took forever to finish my half of the presentation."
"Same here," Danny said, checking his watch. "I was in that library since after school. I can't believe it took almost four hours to just find the information and read it. I just hope that Sam isn't mad… she was expecting me to take her out to eat at seven O'clock."
His words made Paulina's heart fall. That was right, he was dating Sam Manson now. How could she forget? It had been all over the school; the two 'lovebirds' were officially a couple as of last year. No one knew exactly what had clicked, but all everyone knew was that the clueless Danny Fenton had left the building—and that Fenton was officially dating.
It was silly, she told herself later, that she would feel that way about him. That she would consider him as a love interest. Paulina could have whoever she wanted! The star quarterback, the smartest guy in school, or even the geekiest boy in Casper High if she so pleased. Who cared if Danny was dating Sam Manson? Still, she felt a stab of unreasonable jealousy for the girl.
How dare that Goth chick have two great friends and such a sincere boyfriend, to boot? Especially when Paulina had none herself?
Danny inspected her for a moment, then he took the helmet from his lap. As he adjusted the strap to his own size, he started talking. "So, did Star really forget to pick you up?" he asked, making her blink. "Or did she just not pick you up?"
"I think you know the answer to that," Paulina said quietly. Her words were almost lost in the air as a thunderbolt rolled overhead, but Danny caught it.
Danny stretched, then grabbed his helmet. "Well, if you're ever stranded, feel free to give me a call," he said. "I'm usually not too busy, though I might not pick up my cell right away—I lose it sometimes. Still, it's better than catching pneumonia from wallowing in self pity."
Paulina let her mouth fall open to what he was implying. "You'd take me home?" she said, almost blushing. Almost. "I don't even know your cell phone number."
Danny gave her a "peace" sign. "My cell is in the yearbook just like everyone else's, Paulina," he pointed out playfully. He went to pull the helmet over his head, but stopped short in order to give her a smile. "And you never know… on a nice day, I might take you the long way home."
The girl's eyes went out of focus, remembering the ride. Even though it had been wet, cold, and grey, she could still see the houses as they blurred past her, the trees as they popped up from nowhere. It was definitely… different than riding in a car.
Finally, she spoke. "I'd like that." She said quietly.
Danny gave her a warm, honest smile. "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone," he assured, pulling the helmet over his head. "Later!"
Paulina raised her hand in a goodbye gesture as he turned and pulled out of her cul-de-sac. She barely caught it, but she saw that he did the same. She stared after him, not knowing how to react.
Again, she found herself standing out in the rain, unable to conjure enough sense to go inside. She stood, unmoving, as the grey rain splashed her cold hands and shoulders.
In his wake, he left a strange feeling in her. Maybe it was the glee of riding a motorcycle for the first time… maybe it was the shock of seeing that Danny Fenton owned a motorcycle.
Maybe it was the hope that she did have a friend after all.
And maybe she was happy about that.
Hey, thanks for reading! So what did you think? I'm open to constructive critisizm. Actually, I enjoy it… so please review!
…Oh, and on a side note, is there anywhere besides Youtube that I can watch the third season episodes? Youtube is nice, but the eps are so… grainy.
Anyway, thanks for reading! Adios!