Disclaimer: As far as I know, I created Sam Specter, which is the alter ego of Sam Manson, who, incidentally, belongs to Butch Hartman, along with all other characters that appear here. If I make any money off of this, I'm not aware of it.
Notes: I'm trying not to make a habit out of these Sam Specter stories, really. This is the second ("Polish" being the first, FYI), and I honestly have no plans for any others. Too many unfinished Danny Phantom stories on my flash drive as it is.
Summary: All Danny wants is a nice, normal date with Sam. The ghost in the alley with the time machine has other ideas.
Nice and Normal
A Danny Phantom Oneshot (a.k.a. The Second Tale of Sam Specter)
by Nate Grey (xman0123-at-aol-dot-com)
For all intents and purposes, Danny Fenton was a normal boy. Nothing else about his life was very normal, but he himself was very much so. He earned slightly below average grades even when he did try, he occasionally had to deal with bullies, and he couldn't stand his older sister (especially when she was busy being right). At the moment, he even had a normal pimple just to the left of his nose, and was picking at it as he walked home from school.
This was no excuse for failing to notice the time machine that suddenly appeared in the alley behind him, as it arrived with a loud whir and an extended hissing noise.
Then it again, it WAS a rather bothersome pimple, and Danny had been picking at it for almost a whole hour now. He was seriously considering borrowing his mother's wart remover, which more closely resembled a handheld laser, and was primarily used to trim his sister's split ends.
There was no way for Danny to ignore the cold, iron grip on his shoulder, though, or the chilling voice that told him, "Prepare to die, Daniel."
Danny had been threatened a number of times by a number of different opponents, from human bullies to ghosts the size of small buildings. Honestly, he considered them more daily problems than actual confrontations, so he wasn't all that worried, yet. "Um, I think you have the wrong guy. My name's Danny."
The ghost (and that much was obvious, from the unusual skin color, questionable hair style, and glowing red eyes) frowned at him. "Don't play coy with me, Daniel. You know exactly who you are, and exactly who I am."
"Yes to the first, and no to the second," Danny replied. "I don't think I've ever met you before. I mean, I meet a lot of ghosts, but I make it a point to remember their names and faces."
"Then perhaps I need to refresh your memory," the ghost said, his body suddenly spitting out three additional copies.
"Hmm... well, I know you're not Splitter, we locked him up yesterday," Danny mused aloud, tapping his chin. "And the Map Copier was a lot shorter and quite a bit pudgier. Hold on, maybe Sam knows you. I'll give her a call."
One of the copies grabbed Danny's wrists. "There will be no calling for back-up, Daniel. This is between you and I alone. There is no need for-"
"Hey, Sam?" Danny asked, staring straight ahead, as if there were no ghost in front of him. "Sorry, but there's this ghost, and I don't know him, so can you just pop in and take a look?"
The ghost sighed. "I don't know why you haven't bothered to transform, little badger, but you're going to regret it."
Danny blinked. "Transform? Badger? Wait, what?"
The ghost didn't get a chance to answer, as Danny's shadow suddenly gained a life of its own and attacked. Three spears of solid darkness shot out of the shadow and impaled the ghost's copies, destroying them instantly. Each of the spears then split at the tip, turning into grasping, razor-sharp claws that grabbed the ghost around his neck and arms. The ghost, for one, was completely shocked. "H-How? You didn't even transform! There's no way you could be that far along in your powers!"
"WHAT powers?" Danny asked as a dark, humanoid shape rose out of his shadow. "I don't have any! Sam is the one with the powers! Why do you think it looked like I was talking to no one a minute ago? She has telepathy, and it's easier for me to communicate with her if I actually say the words out loud."
The ghost looked on in disbelief as certain features began to emerge from the shadowy figure, familiar but distorted: the small pair of blood-red horns poking through dark hair, the crimson eyes, the pale skin, the smirking black lips, and the form-fitting black hazmat suit with two crimson letter S's on the front.
"Maybe you didn't get the memo, mister, but Danny is my boyfriend. You'll have to get your own."
Danny blushed. "Sam, I don't think he wants to date me."
"Don't be too sure," Sam reasoned, draping a possessive arm around Danny's neck. "He was practically about to molest you when I got here. Can't say I blame him, but still. You're my stuff, and I don't like anyone but me fondling the merchandise."
"How is this possible?" the ghost demanded. "It isn't supposed to be this way! You're supposed to be Danny Phantom, and she's supposed to be... NOTHING!"
Sam and Danny blinked slowly and exchanged confused looks. "Danny Who?" they asked as one.
"I think he's got me mixed up with someone else. He called me 'Daniel' earlier," Danny added. "And then 'little badger,' now that I think about it."
"Uh huh. Are you sure he wasn't trying to molest you?" Sam asked. "I just need to know how deep in the Ghost Zone I'm going to bury him. Or in how many pieces."
"But isn't there a law against mutilating the mentally handicapped? He's obviously a little confused."
"I am not mentally handicapped! I am Plasmius, the instrument of your destruction!" the ghost roared.
"So... you're a tool," Sam snickered.
"A tool of your destruction!"
"So, a major tool," Sam concluded, chuckling along with Danny.
"Yes! Why are you laughing?" Plasmius snapped.
"Oh, no reason," Sam said once she caught her breath. "Listen, I think you're a bit confused. I'm the only human with ghost powers around here. So you must be looking for me, not Danny. And in my experience, people looking for me because I have powers are never out to invite me to tea parties, not that I'd attend if they did. In other words, you have about ten seconds before I lose what little patience I have and call the dogs on you."
Plasmius blinked. "What dogs?"
"Just one dog, really," Danny added, "but he's HU-"
Sam shushed him by laying a finger against his lips. "Hush, you. Don't spoil my fun."
"But I don't thi-"
"There's a freak-out make-out in it for you."
Danny sighed. "Sam, for the last time, scaring the heck out of me before you shove your tongue down my throat is NOT a turn-on."
Sam pouted. "Then why do you always let me do it?"
"Well, obviously, because your TONGUE is down my throat!"
At that point, Plasmius seriously considered stuffing his fingers in his ears. But, since the shadow claws were still holding him tight, he went with the next best thing.
Sam and Danny's conversation of make-out ettiquette came to a halt as Plasmius powered up, ripping free of the shadow claws and coating his body with a crimson flame aura.
"Hey, you know, I think he's serious about this," Danny observed.
"Then we should be, too. I even gave him eleven seconds to be nice," Sam commented. She cupped her hands to her mouth and shouted, "LUUUUUUUCIE!"
Plasmius roared with laughter. "Unbelievable! I'm about to destroy you, and you actually think that calling one of your brainless girlfriends will help you?"
Sam smirked. "First, I don't have any brainless girlfriends. Second, Lucie is easily offended by people who mistake his gender. Part of why I gave him the girly nickname, actually."
"Don't forget to tell him the other reason," Danny noted.
"Oh, yeah. The other reason is that Lucifer takes too long to say."
That was the only warning that Plasmius got before he heard the horrendous screech of metal being ripped apart. He turned around just in time to see the twisted, burning wreck of what was once his time machine flying straight at him. "Oh, snickerdoodles," he whimpered just before the impact.
"That was really mean, Sam," Danny commented a few minutes later as the pair walked away from the scene of the not-quite-an-accident-at-all. "We could have at least pulled him out of the burning wreckage."
"Lucie did pull him out," Sam protested mildly, gesturing at the little green dog trotting happily between them. "Eventually."
"Yeah, and then took him for a walk. But the poor guy was hanging from Lucie's teeth the whole time!"
"So? Lucie needs his exercise, and durable chew toys are expensive when your pet can bite through steel. And it saved YOU the trouble of walking him and scooping up invisible poop, so should you really be complaining?"
"Point taken. But it was still wrong."
"I'm still waiting for the part where I'm supposed to care. He was a seriously crazed-up fruit loop, and he won't bother us anymore. You should be thanking Lucie. In fact, I'm not taking another step with you until you do."
Danny gaped at her. "Seriously?"
Sam crossed her arms over her chest and stared at him.
Sighing, Danny bent down and picked up the green puppy. "Thanks a lot, Lucie. You really saved me back there."
The puppy barked excitedly, and with no warning, his tongue suddenly became seven feet long as he gave Danny's face a long, thorough lick.
Danny blinked slowly, trying to keep the dog drool out of his eyes. "Um. Ewww..."
Sam giggled and took Lucie from him. "Good boy, who's Mama's good boy, huh?" she cooed.
Lucie barked and licked Sam's chin... with a substantially smaller tongue and minimal drool.
"I swear you trained him to only do that to me," Danny muttered.
Sam rolled her eyes. "Danny, you're being silly. Lucie loves you. It's just his way of telling you that."
"He doesn't do it to you!"
"He knows better." Sam grinned and kissed the puppy's nose. "You know better, don't you, Lucie?"
Another bark, followed by another small, relatively dry lick.
"See?" Danny cried accusingly. "He only does it to me! And if it's not such a big deal, then try shoving your tongue down my throat while I'm covered in his drool!"
Sam looked as if she were seriously considering it, but only for a few seconds. "You know, we do kiss an awful lot, so a little less wouldn't kill us."
Danny scowled at her. "See, I knew it!"
"Oh, fine. If you're going to be a baby about it." Sam wiped Danny's mouth free of dog drool with her free hand, and gave him a quick peck on the lips. "There. Happy?"
"I asked for tongue," Danny replied stubbornly. "No, I DEMAND tongue."
"If you insist. Lucie, kisses for Danny!"
"NOOOO!" Danny howled just before the seven-foot tongue wrapped around his head again.
"Okay, don't drown him, Lucie," Sam chuckled after several seconds. "I may want to make out with him later. Once he stops dripping, anyway."
"Why am I dating you again?" Danny asked miserably once Lucie had let him go. "And if you say it's because of the tongue action, we're breaking up right here and now."
"Because I can read your mind, and I know you love me, and if you ever tried to leave me, I'd haunt you. During the day. And especially when you're in the shower."
Danny stared at her. "Why would you want to haunt me there?"
"Well, for one thing, you won't have dog drool on you then. And for another, um, hello? Why WOULDN'T I want to haunt you there? You'd be all naked and wet and yummy."
"I am NOT, nor have I EVER been, yummy," Danny said firmly.
Sam grinned. "As the only one other than Lucie to ever taste you, I have to respectfully disagree. Anyway, your being yummy is a good thing. Otherwise I wouldn't like putting my tongue on you or in you so much."
Danny frowned at her. "Sam, this is one of many conversations that I would prefer not to have with you in broad daylight."
"But if we were to try to have it somewhere dark and secluded, I'd probably just jump you, and then we wouldn't be talking at all."
"Which is another point I keep bringing up!"
Sam sighed. "Danny, really. Would you rather have a girlfriend that jumps you in the dark, or a girlfriend that talks about her feelings and why you should respect them?"
"Well, when you put it like that-"
"Not a difficult question, Danny."
He sighed. "Sam. I happen to love you. I'm going to want to talk to you seriously sometimes."
"Then I'll just have to train you to talk while I'm sucking on your tongue."
Danny gaped and blushed. "What… that isn't possible!"
"Hey, if I can train Lucie to only lick you that way-"
"I KNEW IT!" he shouted, pointing at her accusingly.
Sam had the decency to look guilty. "Um… whoops?"
"Why, Sam? Why do you always have to torture me before you're nice to me?"
"Because it's fun, and it makes you appreciate the niceness more. Anyway, if I was nice to you all the time, you'd get bored and annoyed. Then you'd try to leave me, and I'd haunt you, and didn't we just cover this a minute ago? You're starting to bore me, Danny. And when I'm bored, I think up new ways to scare you. So we should probably just go make out somewhere."
Danny sighed, internally resigning himself to his fate. "Your place or mine?"
"Mine. My parents are too scared to go into my room anymore, so we shouldn't be disturbed there."
"And when you say that, I'm hoping you mean that not only will we not be interrupted, but that you won't do anything that in there that might be considered disturbing, right?"
Sam pouted. "You're not going to make me promise, are you?"
"Sam..." Danny said in a warning tone.
"You know, you complain a lot. Most guys would count themselves lucky to be with a kinky, spontaneous girl that likes making out all the time."
"Hanging me upside-down by my toes while I kiss your feet is not exactly what I consider a good time."
"Geez, Danny, that was ONE time, and it was my birthday!"
"Your birthday had been over for a month and you know it!"
She hesitated. "Um. Every day's like my birthday when I'm with you?"
"The keyword there being 'like,' as in 'not legally recognized as your date of birth,' Sam."
"Well, if we're going to have to do stuff that's legal ALL the time, then we might as well break up right now. I'm pretty sure it's illegal for me to be so much fun, and that's before you add that I'm a half-ghost, which I'm sure would be illegal if anyone else knew about it."
Danny frowned at her. "Can't we do anything normal just once?" he pleaded.
"Like what?" Sam asked warily after a long, uncomfortable silence had settled. Even Lucie had sensed the tension and settled down, looking between them expectantly.
Danny blinked, completely unprepared for that. "Wait, really? You will? You mean it?"
"I suppose you've been relatively good lately, so I guess so," Sam allowed, still looking reluctant. "So what's this 'normal' thing you want to do that we usually don't?"
It was a rare opportunity for Danny. It wasn't like Sam never, ever listened to him. It was just that when they shared ideas, hers were always accompanied by groping, kissing, or not so subtle implications of things to come, if and when she got her way. So they did things the way Sam wanted to almost exclusively.
But normal was a vastly different concept to each of them. Normally, they made out in dark, private places, because those places suited Sam's mood. If Danny were less confident, he would have been convinced that Sam was ashamed to be seen with him. That was completely false. She had even announced publicly that they were dating, and that any threats directed towards Danny would be dealt with by her, swiftly and mercilessly. Danny had chosen to see this as a very public confession of love (which it was), and humiliating though it was, he had never given Sam any grief over it. But as proud as Sam was to be his girlfriend, he was twice as proud to be her boyfriend.
The problem was, people rarely ever got to see proof of that. All they ever saw was Sam rushing off to fight ghosts. A few of the bigger, braver boys at school had even begun to doubt that Danny was Sam's boyfriend, and decided to test the theory one day. They had only landed one punch before they sank into a pool of shadow, and turned up three days later in the janitor's closet: naked, tied to each other, and scared out of their minds. Sam never did say what she'd done to them, and Danny was sure that he didn't want to know. The incident itself didn't bother Danny, much. It was the why that haunted him: the boys had done it because they didn't think Danny and Sam were dating. And it wasn't that Danny simply wanted people to see them together, he WANTED to be with Sam that way: in broad daylight, doing normal couple things.
"Okay," Danny said after a moment of thought. "I'm taking you to a movie."
"Bloodfest 15?" Sam asked hopefully, her eyes lighting up.
Danny sighed, having expected that. Sam had only liked depressing or gory movies before she got her powers. Now, the depressing ones just bored her. "Okay. But I buy the tickets and popcorn, I pick the seats-"
"Fine," Sam quickly agreed.
"And! We have to hold hands on the way there."
Sam blinked slowly. "Um, okay. But why? You know I'd go there with my hand in your jeans if I thought you'd let me."
Danny bit his lip. He remembered Sam being... adventurous before she got her powers. He was pretty sure that she hadn't been quite so... forward until afterward. It wasn't like he didn't enjoy it, but now that he had reluctantly joined that elite club of teens caught making out in a public fountain, he had learned to veto Sam's more daring ideas. At least where a police officer could spot them, anyway. "And you know I wouldn't let you, but that isn't the point. The point is, I want to hold your hand. I like doing it."
"But it's so-"
"Normal? Yes, it is." Danny knew she'd been about to say "boring," but didn't want to hear it from her mouth. He would be fully willing to let Sam have her way with him afterward, but just this once, he wanted to be a normal couple for the next two and a half hours. Naturally, he couldn't tell her that until later, or she'd get so worked up that she'd probably tear his clothes off during the movie (or worse, scare everyone out of the movie first and THEN tear his clothes off, which would no doubt involve the police and another rather embarrassing call to his parents).
Sam groaned loudly, but surrendered her hand to him. "Can we at least sit in the back and save an extra seat, in case I get bored?"
"Yeah, sure." Danny was privately embarrassed over the fact that Sam had found Bloodfests 10 through 14 so boring, she'd stretched out with her head in his lap and fallen asleep every time. But she was a devoted fan, and went to see every new Bloodfest film, if only to support the series. Danny had gone the first time willingly enough, under the mistaken impression that Sam might at least pretend to be scared as an excuse to snuggle. Since then, he'd learned to bring thick earmuffs and a blanket, so he could catch up on his sleep, too. As often as Sam scared the living daylights out of him, a roomful of people getting hacked apart on the silver screen just didn't do much for him anymore.
They had only been walking a few minutes when Sam turned to him and said, "Hey, wait. Is it normal for a couple to fall asleep during a slasher movie?"
The honest answer to this was "no," but Danny didn't want Sam trying to wiggle her way out of her promise (no matter how much he liked her wiggling). "There's always a chance that instead of falling asleep, we might make out instead."
Sam grinned at him. "Kinky. Oh, but I better send Lucie home first. Remember how sick he got the last time he ate movie popcorn?"
"Was that the time he ralphed up that steel beam?"
"No, the time before that, when he ralphed up the mayor's statue."
"You think maybe we should train him not to eat things like that?" Danny asked hesitantly.
"Are you kidding? How are we going to play 'Guess What Lucie Ate' if he doesn't eat weird stuff?"
"But isn't the projectile molten vomit a little risky? We nearly burned down a warehouse the last time we played."
"Hey, if you can eat a statue and get it back out without projectile vomit, I'll marry you right now."
"Sam, you're kind of missing the point..."
At that particular moment, there was a horrid choking sound, followed by a tremendously loud belch.
Sam and Danny looked down to see Lucie, tail wagging excitedly, standing proudly over a fresh puddle of ghost dog vomit, which had random objects poking out of it. Without getting too close for fear of the smell, Danny could easily pick out part of a telephone pole, three possum skeletons, eight thoroughly chewed monster truck tires, and what he strongly suspected was a shark tooth, at least until Sam corrected.
"Nope, too big. That's definitely either dragon or dinosaur."
They both considered this, then looked again at Lucie, who appeared to be studying the giant (though arguably life-sized), neon dinosaur peering out at them from Milton's Mini Golf Maze with far too much fondness. Sam, at least, did not recall that particular dinosaur having a gap in his grin, but it was there now.
"Definitely home first," Sam and Danny agreed at once, quickly dragging Lucie away as his vomit puddle began to eat through the sidewalk.
Probably not the best place to end it, but this ended up much longer than I expected, was taking forever, and I'd covered all of the action I'd wanted, which just left lots and lots and lots of dialogue, as you can tell.