Life and Death
Right—didn't edit or touch this one at all. Good new to everyone is I'm working hard on chapter 20! Updates for this story will HOPEFULLY become a bit more regular. Please continue to inspire me to work on chapter 20! Any idea at all, please send them! (also, I'm going to begin putting the chapter titles at the top :D haha)
"Spawn of Satan?" Phantom blinked and raised an eyebrow as he read the name of the ride we were in line for. "That sounds cheery…"
"I hear this is one of the most intense roller coasters in the world!" I told him, grinning, "It's so fast, three out of four people have to have their spinal cords realigned after riding it," Instead of looking queasy at this thought as my friends back home tended to get whenever I said things like this, Phantom merely shrugged, looking unfazed.
"Can't be any worse then being dragged around by an enraged dragon ghost bareback through a crowded mall by the foot it has in its jaws." The ghost pointed out dryly. I made a face and crossed my arms.
"You're no fun…" I grumbled darkly. Phantom laughed as we moved forward, nearing the front of the line. Shaking my head, I smirked at the superhero, "Okay, tough guy, what's your favorite horror movie?"
"Would you smack me if I told you it was Sixth Sense?" Phantom asked innocently.
"Probably," I answered honestly, bemused despite myself. I couldn't help but think that not many people saw this side of Phantom, the playful, teasing ghost that just wanted to have fun. It was cool how he was willing to fight off the bad guys and all, but even superheroes deserved a day to themselves. "Seriously, though."
"Seriously?" Phantom frowned thoughtfully. "I'd have to say Silence of the Lambs. I'm a sucker for Steven King…" I brightened at that.
"Me too!" I said enthusiastically, "I must've read Salem's Lot a million times!"
"Really?" Phantom laughed, "I liked Firestarter better… though Cujo was my second favorite."
"Next!" The attendant of the ride called out in a bored voice. A little disappointed to have our conversation cut short but already feeling the adrenalin rush of a true roller coaster junkie, I stepped forward, dragging Phantom with me by the wrist. It was only when we sat down and buckled up that I heard the familiar voice from somewhere behind us.
"You okay, Val?" I froze up when I realized that it was Tucker I heard, glancing over at Phantom in concern when I saw him freeze up, going dangerously pale.
"Ah, fine," I heard Valerie respond to Tucker, "It's just… well, never mind, it's nothing." I raised an eyebrow as Phantom went a dark shade of red, ducking down as far as he could in his seat.
'Well that's not normal…' I thought to myself.
"Is there a problem?" I asked the ghost, wondering what could've made him react like that. It was just Tucker and Valerie, after all…
"No," Phantom said softly, sounding as though he was purposely trying to keep his voice from being recognized. "Everything's fine!" I resisted the urge to roll my eyes at that.
'Yeah, because you really sound fine…' I thought sarcastically before sighing and deciding to let it drop until we managed to slip out of the hearing range of Danny's closest friends.
Still, as the assistant droned on with the usual warnings, I couldn't help but wonder exactly why Phantom would have a problem with Danny's friends if he and Danny were friends, too…?
'Maybe the connection between Phantom and Fenton is different then I thought…' I glanced at Phantom as the ride jerked forward. 'And if it is, I have to find out what their relationship is…'
"I think that girl right in front of my blew out my ears…" Phantom griped as he made a face and rubbed his ears. I laughed at the ghost's action, linking my arm with his.
"Aw, come on," I teased, "Don't tell me you're that much of a wimp? I would've thought you'd be used to people screaming around you by now…" Phantom shot me a dirty look at that.
"Thanks," He said wryly, making me laugh some more. "You really know how to make a guy feel loved…"
"What can I say, it's a gift," I sang out with a grin as we walked away towards the food court, "Hungry?"
"Starved," Phantom responded, sounding bemused. "You?"
"I could go for a salad." I said, steering the ghost over to one of the free tables. Phantom raised an eyebrow at me.
"Just a salad?" He asked, "That's it? No wonder you're so small…" Phantom paused then and cringed, blushing vividly "Ah… I, uh, didn't mean that the way that sounded…"
"Relax," I laughed at the ghost's nervousness, "I'm not big on the whole body image thing anyways. The reason I eat salad is because I'm a strict ultra-recyclo vegetarian."
"Come again?" Phantom said, blinking at me questioningly. I grinned a little at the reaction the title usually got when I announced it.
"Ultra-recyclo vegetarian," I repeated, "I don't eat anything with a face,"
"I thought that was a Vegan?" Phantom said, sounding confused. I was honestly impressed that the ghost knew that much about vegetarianism.
"There's a few differences," I told him, "Vegans don't eat any animal products whatsoever, no milk, no cheese, no eggs. I still have some dairy, but no eggs and everything I eat is organic."
"Uh, okay…" Phantom said, still sounding a little confused. I smiled a little at how cute this made him look.
"Too much for you to handle?" I teased. Phantom rolled his eyes and shot me a pointed look.
"Cute," He said dryly. "And no, it wasn't. I was just wondering why every one of the two Sams I know is a vegetarian."
'…Oops.' I thought, cringing. 'Hey, wait a second…'
"How did you know that Danny's roommate was a vegetarian too?" I asked him with a curious glance. The ghost froze up.
"Uh…" he said, "Danny told me?" I wasn't quite sure if I believed that, but at the same time I knew what if I questioned it, I would probably only succeed in driving the skittish ghost teen away from me, so despite my curiosity, I let it drop.
"Anyways, I don't have any money on me right now, so you're probably going to have to foot the bill this time," The ghost gave me a guilty smile, "I'd help, but I don't exactly carry my wallet in my hazmat…"
"That's cool with me," I said, standing up and pulling out my money, "I mean, it's not like this is the Middle Ages or something… What should I get you?"
"Pizza's good," Phantom answered. "I'm really not that picky…" I rolled my eyes at that. Danny was the same way, I'd noticed. He'd eat anything set before him that remotely resembled food. Must've been a guy thing.
"Got it." I said, walking away to get our food. I'd just finished paying for it when another familiar voice made me glance to my left and make a face.
"Like, don't you have anything less greasy? This pizza's so gross!"
'Cue the snob…' I thought dryly, rolling my eyes before shooting Paulina an irritated scowl. What made her think that she could get away with treating people like that?
"We're sorry, Miss," The guy behind the counter said, blushing (Of course…) "I'll fix that for you personally, Ma'am."
"And hurry up," Paulina told the boy, irritation clear in her voice. "I'm not going to stand here waiting forever again!"
'One of these days, I really hope someone gives her what she deserves…' I thought sourly as I approached the window to order.
"One pizza and a salad, please," I told the girl on the other side.
"Cheese of pepperoni?" The girl asked me.
"Cheese please," Hey, Phantom did say he didn't care, and I wasn't going to watch him eat meat if I didn't have to…
"Hey, Star…" I heard Paulina say, thought I didn't bother looking at her as she addressed the blonde girl, "Is it just me, or is there something familiar about that boy over there…?"
"Which one?" The popular girl's living shadow asked.
"The blonde one with the sunglasses and the hat over there dressed in all the dark clothes," Paulina answered, "See him?"
'Blonde hair and dark clothes?' I thought absently, 'well that's an interesting combination…' That's when it hit me and I glanced over at Paulina to see who she was looking at, biting back a groan when my worst fear came true. 'Of course. Out of all the people here, the freakishly obsessive fangirl WOULD be the one to see through a disguise…'
"Yeah, but I've never seen him before…" Star said, studying Phantom, "At least, I don't recognize him… he is cute, though. For a goth, I mean."
"I know I've seen him somewhere before…" Paulina sighed in frustration, furrowing her eyebrows as she examined the ghost. "Hang on, I'm gonna go talk to him for a second." I drew a sharp breath at that.
'Oh, man!' I thought desperately, 'She can't find out about Phantom!' Glancing around me frantically, my eyes landed on the soda the guy next to me was just finishing paying for and an idea hit me.
Stepping closer, I swung my arm around to smack the drink clear off the counter and all over the popular cheerleader.
"!" Paulina screamed at the top of her lungs as the drink drenched her hair and clothes, gaining the attention of the entire food court. (Including Phantom.)
"Oops!" I said, feigning guilt, "Sorry about that! Total accident. I can really be a klutz sometimes…." Paulina glared at me, fury clear in her eyes.
"You!" She screeched, "Look what you've done! Do you have any idea how much this outfit COST me?"
'If it really matters that much to you, you shouldn't have paid in the first place.' I pointed out in my head.
"Oops," I repeated. Then, feeling as though I owed her (and the poor, innocent guy who's drink she was wearing.) at least what I'd ruined, I added, "I'll pay for everything of course…" Paulina looked me up and down and sneered.
"Like you could afford it!" she snapped, crossing her arms.
'Now THAT was uncalled for,' I thought, glaring at the girl. I didn't care about money, but the tone she'd used when saying that made me want to smack the perfectly-applied make-up right off the girl's face.
"Hey," Phantom said in a placating tone as he approached us, "Take it easy, Paulina. Sam said she was sorry." I felt a little smug about Phantom taking my side rather then Paulina's (The fact that I wasn't actually sorry about anything aside,) so I didn't notice right away that Phantom had just walked into the very situation I'd wanted to avoid.
"And why should I-?" Paulina started in a cold tone before her glare melted into a confused look. "Wait… Do I know you? You sound familiar…"
"That doesn't matter!" I snapped, stepping between Phantom and Paulina, "Look, just tell me how much I owe you so we can all go on our way!" Paulina glared at me.
"Like, what is WITH you?" She demanded with a dark scowl on her pretty face.
"Nothing!" I shouted back "I just want to get this over with so I can hang out with my friend like we planned!"
"You guys aren't going anywhere," Phantom and I turned at the new voice, and I cringed at Dash Baxter grinned down at the ghost sadistically as he cracked his knuckles.
'Please don't tell me he's actually stupid enough to attack someone who could tear him limb from limb without even touching him…' I mentally groaned as Dash grabbed the ghost by the front of his shirt, pulling him into the air. 'Aw, who am I kidding? It's Dash!'
"You might wanna step back," I told some people who were starting to crowd around, stepping away from the jock before the situation got ugly and I got caught in the crossfire.
If it was anyone but Dash, I probably would've asked Phantom to let it go, but I was still a little sore over his comment at the dance.
"I don't want to fight you," Phantom told the football player, his tone serious and sincere. My respect for the ghost went up another notch.
"Yeah, I wouldn't want to fight me either if I were you!" Dash sneered, drawing back to strike out at the disguised superhero.
Phantom gripped the boy's arm with both hands and, with superhuman speed and dexterity, flipped himself out of the humans grip, pushing off his arm and over his head to land behind the jock, leaving him blinking in shock at the crowd around murmured in awe.
"Cool!" a younger boy next to me gushed as he gave Phantom a hero-worshippy stare, "Man, that was AWESOME!"
Dash, having finally caught into what had happened, wheeled around to face Phantom again, swinging a fist as he went. Phantom dodged the attack, but his glasses slipped off his nose and clattered to the ground as he did so, exposing his eyes to the crowd. A sharp gasp from Paulina made me cringe as her eyes went wide.
"I'll give you a ten if you give me that," I told the boy next to me softly, pointing to the ice cream cone he was eating and holding out the bill.
"Sure," He said, showing the vanilla-cone-with-sprinkles-and-fudge into my free hand and taking the money. With that out of the way, I walked hastily over to Paulina.
"Oh my God!" Paulina hissed to her friend. "Do you know who that is, Star? It's-!" Anything else Paulina was going to say was lost in her scream when the ice cream found its way down the back of her shirt. "COLD! COLD!COLD!"
"Man, I just can't seem to hold onto anything today…" I sighed in fake mourning as Paulina worked to get the frozen dairy treat off of her back.
'This is fun…'
"WILL YOU HOLD STILL?" Dash roared at Phantom, drawing my eyes back to the fight.
"You know, for some reason, that isn't so appealing to me…" Phantom commented dryly, giving the jock a pointed look. Dash growled in rage.
Before anyone could say or do anything else, though, a beam of vivid pink energy hit Phantom in the back from somewhere above, making him cry out in pain and surprise as he flew forward from the blast to get tangled up with Dash, his hat falling off somewhere while he fell, revealing him to the crowd of now stunned spectators.
Looking up to see where the blast had come from, my eyes widened when they landed on the girl in the red and black suit who was standing on a hovering jet sled, a large cannon with pink smoke rising from it resting on her shoulder at she glared down at the ghost on the ground.
"Picking fights with innocent people now, ghost?" the girl called out angrily. I frowned when I realized that her voice sounded vaguely familiar…
"Aww, crud…" Phantom muttered, glaring up at the girl. "Can't you find someone else to stalk for a change?"
"Don't hold your breath, ghost boy!" The girl snapped back. "I'm finishing you off once and for all!"
"I was afraid of that…" Phantom said as he flew into the air. "Too bad that means catching me first!" I gaped in shock with everyone else as Phantom flew away at a speed that would make a cheetah queasy, the mysterious female ghost hunter hot on his heels. Blinking out of my shock, I glanced around me and gulped as people started chattering on in excitement.
'Something tells me now is a good time to leave…' I thought, sneaking away before anyone could ask who I was and what I was going with the ghost kid.
"Is one day of normalcy really that much to ask for…" I sighed and scowled at my reflection, Samuel's face returning the gesture, "I mean, being the only girl in an all boys' school is hard enough, I don't need the added drama!"
"You say that like it's not your fault anyways…"
'Oh, great…' I thought with a scowl as I turned to glare at the smirking Megan, who was leaning against the door of the girl's bathroom in the vacant gas station I always changed back in.
"What are you doing here?" I snapped angrily.
"I followed you from the fair," Megan answered airily, closing the door as she entered the bathroom, "I just wanted to tell you how cozy you looked with that guy you were with. The one with the glowing eyes and creepy powers?"
"Phantom," I sighed, "And don't go there, Megan, he's just a friend,"
"Really?" Megan asked innocently. "And does Danny know that you and this 'Phantom,' hang out?"
"Of course!" I said a little too quickly, at the same time mentally hitting myself for not mentioning Phantom to Danny earlier. I was sure he wouldn't mind, since he and Phantom were on good terms apparently, but still…
"So he doesn't mind you dating other boys?" Megan asked, crossing her arms. "I find that hard to believe, if you two are really dating…"
"Well then it's a good thing it doesn't matter what you think, does it," I said coolly, "Phantom's just my friend. We were hanging out, okay?"
"And that explains why you got so jealous when Paulina spotted him." Megan said, rolling her eyes. "I'm not buying it, Sam, and you know what? The second Danny dumps you for cheating on him with your little ghost, I'm gonna be there to pick up the pieces, and I can tell you right now that Danny will forget all about you in less then a week…" I scowled at her as she said that, reigning my temper before I punched her as I was tempted to.
"If you think that," I hissed out, "Then you don't know me OR Danny," Megan's smirk only widened.
"Well then," She said smugly, "I guess I'll just have to fix that…" Closing my eyes, I took deep, cleansing breaths as Megan walked to the door. "Only a matter of time, Sammy…"
'If she thinks Danny would date someone like her, she's insane,' I thought venomously in my head as the door shut behind the girl. Still, she did say one thing that got me thinking. 'But if I'm really seeing Danny, then is hanging out with Phantom wrong…?' It shouldn't be if we didn't do anything, but that wouldn't change the fact that I was attracted to both guys… 'Man, when did things get so messed up…?'
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