It has to be one of the worst things in the world: telling one of your best friends you don't share her romantic feelings; that you love her as a friend; and really want to keep your friendship as it is.

It's not fun. It's not noble. It's not right.

But it has to happen.

I keep flashing back to when I did it, when I told Sam, "I can't Sam. I still..." It's the reason I haven't touched my lunch yet, and the reason Sam is eating at the farthest table away from me with Tucker, who's alternating his own eating between us in the school cafeteria.

He comes back now, holding a tray of turkey sandwich, hot sauce, and something that looks like pudding but isn't.

"Dude, you seriously messed up," he wheezes, sitting down. "Going back and forth between you two is definitely not my idea of a good time. I haven't excersized this much since rebooting my computer."

"What could I do?" I try hard not to look at Sam, but can't help doing so: I see her stabbing at her beef with as much gusto as a limp cabbage doll. She's even wearing one of the frilliest pink dresses her mother ever shoveled onto her. My Sam, my best friend Sam, would never have allowed that before. She hated anything even crawling the borderline of girlishness.

She hated it until I hurt her, anyway. I rub my forehead. How did it get like this? Better yet, how did I not know she liked me sooner?

And how did I not know how much I loved her company until I lost it?

"You sure you two can't--?"

"Forget it Tuck. Look, I know this is bad, but it'd be worse to lie to her and pretend I feel what I don't. I still--" I swallow "--I still want to make it right with Valerie."

"But she broke up with you Dude."

"Yea. I know. And I need to know why. Why she said her life is too dangerous for us to be more than friends. Between that and Sam I don't know what I should do..."

"Try talking with Valerie." Tuck stands. "I better go to Sam now."


He pats my shoulder as if to encourage me, as if to say: it'll be all right.

The human side of me is touched my the gesture.

The ghost side of me lets it pass right through.

A brief work-in-progress exploring the possibility of what would have happened if Danny decided to pursue his existing feelings for Valerie after "Flirting with Disaster". See profile for more details, if you like. Danny and Valerie are my favorite pair in DP, but no disrespect to others (Sam and Danny or Danny and Ember, for instance). I do not own Danny Phantom.