Danny flew home in the freezing rain, shivering violently and feeling the lowest in his life. It was Thanksgiving night and he felt worthless. His parents were probably steaming mad at him for skipping out on dinner to fight a ghost, his friends had most likely gone home by now, and he was starving and cold.
Swiping the mud out of his eyes, he flew into his room, turning human. He stood there for a moment, dripping onto the carpet before he moved to the bathroom and turned on the shower. He figured they wouldn't mind if he took fifteen more minutes to shower since he had been gone since the beginning of dinner.
As the warm water sluiced over his aching shoulders and back, he rested his head against the wall and sighed. Ghosts always knew just when to attack. They were aware of all the human holidays and picked those exact days to bug him the most; because they knew it would get him in trouble. Christmas was the only span of peace that he had and his mother was almost as bad as the ghosts, dragging him around the stores and harassing him until he was ragged as an old dishcloth.
He stepped out of the tub, dried off and got dressed, his eyes going heavy. He so wanted to go to bed, but he had to go downstairs and explain...
His eyes lit up as Sam entered his room cautiously. She bit her lip. "You okay?"
He nodded, eyes drooping, but he forced them open. "I'm fine. What are you still doing here?"
She smiled. "Tuck and I wouldn't just leave. We had to say goodbye." Tucker entered, almost on cue, and smiled as he bumped fists with Danny. "We're here for you, man."
"Are my parents really mad?" Danny asked with a wince. Sam opened her mouth to respond but suddenly a knock at the door drew their attention to his mother in the doorway. It was dark in his room so he couldn't see what was in her hand, but he really hoped it wasn't a spiked rolling pin.
"Well, you'll find out." Sam smiled softly and hugged him and he hugged her back. "See ya tomorrow."
"Yeah, see ya." Danny responded, reluctantly letting go. Tucker waved and followed her out the door.
Maddie then entered and Danny cringed, knowing what was about to happen. "Mom, I'm sorry-"
"Oh, Danny." She placed a hand on his forehead and pulled forward the thing in her hand. It was a plate of food! "You look dead."
Alarmed, Danny stepped back. "What?"
Maddie raised an eyebrow. "I meant you look like you're about to fall asleep on your feet."
Danny let out a silent breath of relief. What a great way that would be, to top off a crappy day by having his mom figure out his secret.
"Look, I'm really sor-"She cut him off with a hug. "It's okay." She said, and he relaxed in her arms, hugging her back. After a second or two he almost fell asleep on her shoulder and she laughed, pulling back and holding him by his shoulders. "I think it's time for bed."
Danny smiled and nodded sleepily, walking like a zombie to his bed. After scarfing down the plate of food in less than four minutes, he laid down with a content sigh while his mother pulled the covers over him.
"Goodnight, Danny. Happy Thanksgiving." She whispered, stroking his hair, and then she left, closing the door behind her.
And as Danny laid there in the dark while the silence settled around him like a blanket, he realized his life wasn't so bad after all. He had a lot to be thankful for. Amazing friends, a wonderful family, a warm place to sleep and a full stomach. Mr. Lancer couldn't say as much. Paulina and Dash couldn't say as much. They didn't have good friends. Lancer didn't have any family.
I really am lucky, Danny thought as he drifted to sleep. And I'm thankful for everything I have.
Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for many things, including what Danny has. When people think of other people being deprived, they think of hobos and the homeless. But people can also be deprived of real friends, and a family. So give thanks! :)