Her favorite time of the year.

Not too warm so that the sun glared down on her poor, gothic, pale skin, but not cold enough that she would wake up shivering. No, fall was the best time of the year. It was crisp and fresh, with the promise of loving holidays to come. It was cool, yet warm enough to be comfortable. But, if it's ever chilly, Sam thought with a guilty blush, I can always pretend to be cold to snuggle with Danny.

Yes, the former mentioned Goth girl still had a small, tiny, miniscule crush on her best friend. So sue her. He was ruggedly handsome, sweet, and sexy. What more could a girl ask for?

Maybe some attention, Sam mentally sighed, as the clerk at the register openly flirted with Danny.

Danny Fenton had really grown up since freshman year. He had a mysterious quality that made girls fall over themselves for him, and his scruffy black hair sweeping his ice blue eyes completed his looks. His muscles were now toned from ghost fighting, not enough to be grotesque. But even with all the attention from the girls, Danny was still best friends with her and Tucker. Sure, she and Tucker had grown, too. Tucker actually got dates, and Sam did as well, even if they were few and far between everything else.

She and Danny were spending the day at an apple orchard, picking out pumpkins for Halloween and just enjoying the sweet air and cool breeze, not to mention each others company. Sam was just waiting for Danny to get out of the cashier's manicured clutch's with his items safely intact. Sam was bursting to know what he bought.

"Ah ah ah!" He said with a chuckle when Sam made a grab for his brown paper bag. He stuffed it into his sweatshirt pocket and laughed when Sam growled. "You'll see later."

Sam sighed dramatically and they continued to walk through the field of pumpkins, their roots strewn over each other in a chaotic mess. Sam took a deep, cleansing breath of crisp, clean air. Wow, was it magical.

Her eyes flicked to Danny, and found that he was watching her. His ears turned pink and he gave a forced chuckle, to sound nonchalant. His beautiful ocean blue eyes were nervous.

"So, uh, wanna choose one?" He motioned toward the pumpkins, and Sam cracked a grin.

"You know how picky I am, Fenton. This may take a while." Sam said amusedly, and crouched down to inspect a bright orange pumpkin.

"Yeah." Danny nodded, and he bent to crouch beside her, smiling at her easily. Their conversation resumed without any awkwardness, as they joked and laughed and flirted.

Okay, he'd admit it. He was just a teensy bit in love.

Who are you kidding? You're head over heels, knocked down on your ass in love, moron. And you know it. Danny winced as he mentally berated himself. He watched, mesmerized, as Sam breathed in the air of the autumn. Her eyes were closed, her hair over her shoulder, dripping with golden light from the sun. Those full lips parted and a smile curved them, and he fought the itching of his fingers and the burn of his own lips to take hers, to touch her. Suddenly, her gorgeous lavender eyes were on his, looking curious. His heart beat faster, from fear of being caught and from the glistening light in her eyes. He felt, with annoyance, his ears on fire, and he tried to sound easy and best friend-like when he chuckled, but it came out more like a choke.

"So, uh, you wanna choose one?" He swept his hands toward the pumpkins, though his heart yearned for his hand to sweep near her.

He felt miserable. He was so lovesick, and she just thought of him as a guy she'd always hang with, maybe be her best man at her wedding. Danny gagged at the thought of her married. Another man holding her, kissing her, touching her…

Danny's fist clenched, his nails biting into his palm. Calm down, Fenton. If Sam is happy with someone else, you'll be happy too. Yeah, like a snowball's chance in hell he would be. He'd kill him. No. Yes. Aug!

Danny rubbed his temples, trying to clear his muddled brain. Sam wasn't his. Would never be his. So he'd have to keep it that way. Ways to keep it that way: Don't stare at her. Don't touch her so much. Stop thinking about her so much. Don't visit her at night anymore. Stop buying her presents.

Danny's blue eyes glanced down at his sweatshirt pocket, where he knew that stuffed animal Sam had secretly cooed over lay. Okay, he'd start that last rule some other day. But he wanted to shower her with gifts and kisses and-

Okay, stop. Danny forced himself to breathe, in and out. In and out. Okay, so he wanted to make her happy. It wasn't that hard to stop.

But when Danny's eyes landed on her, his heart jerked and he wished more than anything in the world that he could give her anything she ever wanted, just to make her happy.

The ghost boy huffed out a breath and chose a plump pumpkin that didn't have too many minorities on it. Okay, so he was in love with her. Best thing to do is to not show it.

The two teens happily picked out their pumpkins of choice and rang them up, placing them in the trunk of the male's car. A delicious smell wafted from an open window in a gift shop cabin, and Danny bought his crush and himself glasses of apple cider, and some cinnamon sugar donuts. They sat on a bench by the kid's play area, filled with hay and laughing, squealing children.

"That looks like so much fun." Sam sighed wistfully as she watched the kids run around chasing each other, causing havoc.

"What?" Danny said softly.

"To bring your kids here, to watch them grow and live their childhood to their fullest. I wish we were still that young."

But Danny's ears were stuck on the first sentence. "You want to have kids?"

"Mm." Sam murmured, stretching out on the bench seat and finishing her second donut. "It would be very nice."

The image hit Danny hard in the gut. Sam, cradling a newborn little girl in her arms. She had black hair, her eyes were closed. Then she opened them to look at him. His breath was stolen. Her eyes were a sky blue.

His eyes.

"What about you?" Sam's angelic voice snapped him back into the present.


"Do you want to have kids?" Sam's voice was curious, cautious. Her heart jerked crazily when he looked at her, his eyes shining with something she couldn't identify.

"Of course. I have to preserve the Fenton insanity for future generations."

Sam laughed out loud, and her friend's lower voice echoed hers.

Their footsteps crunched on the red, gold, and brown leaves breathtakingly scattered on the ground. It was quiet, except for the occasional chirp of a cricket or rustle of a rabbit. The sun had began to fall behind the horizon, the families began to rope their families together to leave before it got too chilly. But the two hadn't had the need to leave. It was Friday, so they had no curfew before 12:00. They were free as the leaves that floated to the ground.

"Wow, it's beautiful." Sam gasped as she and the ghost boy walked through the apple orchard, surrounding them on both sides. It was huge, so it wasn't probable that some lone walker would come walking by. They couldn't even see the end, or where they'd walked in. But Sam was talking about the golden-pink pearl sunset painting the sky. The clouds were shadowed in a soft pink, a color the Goth normally despised, but this was different. This was nature.

"Yeah." Danny murmured, watching beams of sunlight dance on strands of her hair.

Sam looked over at him and caught him gazing at her, and she blushed, looking away. He did the same, mentally growling. When would he stop?

To end the awkwardness, Sam began, "Remember the girl in the gift shop-?"

Danny laughed, and the tension between them was gone. They were, (even if they didn't know it,) lovers just enjoying each others company. "Totally! Man, she was annoying! 'Do you want anything else? I can personally get it for you.'" Danny mimicked her soprano voice, and Sam giggled. Danny smiled widely. He made Sam giggle.

"That reminds me! What did you buy there?!" Sam demanded and reached for his sweatshirt pocket.

"Fine, I'll show you!" His voice his own, Danny pulled out the bag and handed it to her. She looked up at him, confused, then rummaged through the brown package. She gasped, her eyes going soft and dreamy.

"Danny!" She said breathlessly. Danny felt as if he was melting into the ground, and checked to see if his intangibility had gone haywire. Nope. "You got this for me? Why-?" She trailed off as his hand cupped hers, her throat closing up. The stuffed animal had been one that she'd wanted since she was a child. It was a long haired wolf, huge black eyes looking into hers lovingly, protectively. Her mother had always rejected Sam's pleas, because she believed wolves were evil creatures that killed at random. Sam knew better.

"It'll protect you, when I'm not here…" Danny murmured. He closed his hands over hers and Sam looked up, her violet eyes shining. At that moment, Danny wanted nothing more in the world than to make her the happiest woman alive, give her everything she wanted and more.

Maybe those were his thoughts when he began to lean down, but all pretenses of friendship were lost in this apple orchard, with sun on the horizon illuminating them and Sam clutching a tiny stuffed animal wolf that she'd always wanted.

Finally, their lips met.. As they did, they both let out a sigh, either from relief of tension or of happiness. Or both. Whatever it was, it urged them to continue.

Danny sank into her mouth. It tasted of apple cider and cinnamon sugar, and it made his heart race. He drank from her as if she were his life source. His hands rose from her hands to her cheeks, stroking her cheekbones as his lips moved over hers, deepening the embrace.

Finally, Danny's mind whispered. Finally she was his, finally he kissed her. Finally he showed her his true feelings. The feel of her skin beneath his work-roughed hands was soft and smooth as an angel's, her lips moist and velvety as a flower petal. She smelled of rain and cinnamon, and his head spun as he swept sweet kisses on her lips.

Sam couldn't think. Her mind was a muddled mess as Danny's lips were on hers, his hands on her cheeks, his forest-y scent surrounding her. Her heart was beating so fast that she was getting light headed.

All these years. All these years of waiting, watching, hoping. Now he gave her the best present she'd ever gotten in her seventeen years. A stuffed animal, and a kiss.

Kisses, her mind corrected giddily as Danny pulled back a fraction, then kissed her once, twice more. She loved how he couldn't seem to get enough of her lips. She was melting into his arms, as liquid as water. She gazed into his blue, blue eyes, shining and cloudy. He smiled dopily and caught her lips again, using the heels of his hands to skim her waist.

"Oh, Sam. So long. Too long." He murmured against her mouth. She sighed in agreement, but pulled away to look at him.


His eyes went wide and he backed away, stumbling. His mouth was gaped, his hands trembling slightly. "No. No, please don't say it. I'm sorry. You're my best friend. I didn't…I didn't mean it. Please, can we still be friends?" He looked close to breaking down. He seemed to be fighting with himself. Stay best friends, or take the fall and tell her the truth?

You seem to have shown her the truth, Einstein. Attacking her lips like that, you idiot! She must think you're insane!

Danny mentally kicked himself. He'd gone too far. Maybe he could have written it off as an accident at first, but he just couldn't stop himself from continuing.

He stared into her eyes, which were usually hooded and mysterious, but were now filling with tears.

Shit, you made her cry!

Everything had been going so well. What had happened?

Oh, yeah. She'd stepped away to tell you to stop, that she didn't like you like that. She was going to tell you she didn't want to be your friend anymore. And you wouldn't be able to take it.

"Sam, I think we should go. It's getting dark." Danny said softly, and started to place his hand on the small of her back, but she stiffly rejected it. He dropped his arm, and at the same time, his heart.

Sam peered out the window with blurred vision, away from the driver with ghost powers who had just kissed her.

What happened? All I did was start to tell him I'd liked him since-

Sam struggled to bar the tears once more. She'd liked him since freshman year, yearned for him, pined for him. Now the start of senior year, and she'd screwed up, or he did, or they did. Who cared? It didn't matter anymore.

These thoughts circled in her mind, growing bigger and scarier with each spin cycle. Finally, she couldn't hold it in any longer.

"Why don't you like me?!"

Sam began to cry, huge tears that plopped into her shirt and lap and soaked her clothes and skin. Danny immediately pulled over, the sun having already set. He held her close as she cried into his shoulder.

"Why don't you like me? I'm pretty!" She punched his shoulder, but with little force as she began to sob once more. "I like you! I've loved you since freshman year, but I'm just a guy to you!"

Danny's heart stopped. Time slowed down. His brain went fuzzy. Sam, crying in his arms, almost in slow motion. Her words echoing in his ears. 'I've loved you since freshman year!' Her eyes, wet and red rimmed and more beautiful than he ever thought possible.

Time caught up with him and took his breath away.

"You love me?"

"Yes, you moron! I've wanted, waited, hoped for that kiss for years, and you just tell me to forget it?!" Sam buried her head in his shirt, completely soaking it.

"Sam. We're misunderstanding each other." He tipped up her chin, but she jerked away angrily. He firmly pulled her head back, and her mouth fell open in surprise. He never forced her to do what she didn't want. He must be serious.

"Samantha Manson, I've loved you for as long as I can remember. That kiss was always in my dreams, my hopes. Then I kissed you, and you pulled back and I thought you were going to reject me. I couldn't stand the thought of that, so I asked to be friends, at the least. You are nothing of a guy to me." His blue eyes darkened and sent skitters of heat down Sam's spine. "I've seen you with other guys, on dates. I wanted to kill them. I wanted you to be mine." His voice was possessive, but independent Sam Manson didn't care one iota. She was even delighted by it.

Finally, his dark eyes softened. "Now do you see? We've both been so blind. I'm so sorry for ever hurting you." His arms slid around her waist and hers around his neck, and they were hugging. Their tear-soaked clothes stuck to each other and felt sticky, but neither one cared. They were finally together, and that's all that mattered.

"Sam Manson, I love you. I've always loved you. Will you be my girlfriend?"

Sam's throat closed up, but Danny didn't worry this time when she didn't answer. Love was based on trust, and he knew her better than he knew himself. He wouldn't let doubt waver his love for her. He knew she was feeling what he was.

"Yes," Sam whispered thickly, and her pulse jumped when a look a pure joy appeared on Danny's face. "Yes, Danny. I love you."

Then they kissed.


AHAHAHAHA!!! 5 PAGES!!! -gives the finger to all the kids at school- I ROCK, JERKS!

No one read the above sentence. It was just PM going completely insane.

PhantomMisfit: Heeheehee. Sporks.