I don't own Danny Phantom, or The Hangover.

And without further ado...CHAPTER FIFTEEN (:


Chapter Fifteen: New Beginnings

Sam Manson sighed and leaned against her bed. She was exhausted, having been home from the library for about ten minutes. Jazz had been kind enough to offer everyone rides home; Sam had been the first to be dropped off.

She stood and stepped in front of her mirror. Her skin, usually smooth, was interrupted every few inches by a cut. She grimaced at her reflection; she had only ever been that injured one other time in her life, and it was not easily recovered from. She shivered, remembering the months following Natasha's murder: complete and utter darkness, constantly followed by her parents, doctors and nurses breathing down her neck, accusations of being crazy, and therapy. Lots and lots of therapy.

Sam stripped the purple v-neck and baggy sweat pants off. They were comfortable, yes, but as it was about 90 degrees outside, she felt as if she was suffocating. She rifled through the drawers in her dresser and extracted a light green tank top and a pair of black shorts that revealed much of the skin on her long legs. Once the clothes were on, she glanced in the mirror again; Natasha's diamond heart necklace was hugging her neck, the diamonds sparkling as her chest rose and fell in rhythm with her breathing. Her lips curled upward as she remembered the feeling of hugging her cousin; it was one she would never forget. She full-out laughed when she realized she was already taking her cousin's advice on wearing a little color.

She wiped a happy tear away and slid some fuzzy black socks out of another drawer. She went to her closet and dug her black and white slipper booties, a happy smile on her face. She took a black blanket sprawled across her bed and wrapped it tightly around her shoulders.

She slid out of her room and padded lightly down the stairs. She kept her eyes on the ground when she got to the ground floor, trying not to look around at the scene imprinted on her mind, refreshed after the eight years that had dulled the details. She found the staircase leading down to her basement and sighed happily.

She searched the endless shelves of DVDs, attempting to find a movie to watch. She plucked out The Hangover, deciding she was in desperate need of a good laugh. Once the DVD was in the DVD player, she sank into the hugely cushioned couch and, drawing the blanket closer around her body, pressed play.

Right at the part of the movie when Mr. Chow was screaming at Phil, Alan, and Stu, she felt a sudden cold breeze across her right side. Her lips curled upward in a grin.

"Danny?" She whispered, lifting the remote and pausing the movie.

"Hi," His deep, baritone voice chuckled. He appeared beside her, his snow-white hair falling into his glowing green eyes. His muscles were rippling beneath the black and white spandex suit he wore; he looked like a ghostly Greek god lounging on the couch beside her. She grinned happily.

"Hi," She whispered back. Her eyes were on Danny's face, drinking in his features hungrily. His skin was glowing in his ghostly form. His cheekbones were high over his flushed cheeks, his green eyes sparkling as he smiled down at her. His arm draped lightly over her shoulders, drawing her closer to his side. Two light rings appeared around his waist and traveled up and down his body, revealing his human self. He was wearing a dark blue cotton t-shirt that hugged his arms and abs in all the right places, and a pair of black basketball shorts that rested just above his knees. His feet were propped up on the coffee table before them.

"How ya' feelin'?" he murmured, pushing his now jet-black hair out of his sapphire eyes.

"Exhausted," She sighed, pressing her ear over his heart and closing her eyes. She could hear his heartbeat, the steady pounding inside his chest providing her with a sense of safety. She draped an arm over his stomach, smiling as he wound his arms protectively around her. "How were things at your place?"

"Oh, you know. Mom and dad yelled at me for not telling anyone I had detention. Then one of their inventions exploded. The usual," He laughed. "I just wanted to make sure you were okay, since you said you'd be home alone tonight and everything,"

"I'm fine," She smiled, her eyes fluttering open. "Did Tucker make it home okay?"

"Yeah, he was fine," Danny chuckled. "He didn't want to leave Valerie, of course. He told me he was planning on sneaking out after we dropped him off to go to Val's."

"Speaking of Val," Sam said, turning her face upward to see his. "Did she deliver on her promise to kick your butt now that we're back home again?"

"Nah," Danny shook his head. "She finally realized that I really am the good guy. She realized everything you, Tucker, and I go through to protect her and everyone else in this town,"

"Good! I'm glad to hear that," Sam said earnestly, rubbing her hand across Danny's stomach. He laughed, his abs contracting beneath Sam's fingers. She giggled. "Honestly, I really am glad to hear it. You deserve a break,"

"Yeah, well, I know exactly how I'm going to be using this break," Danny whispered, wiggling his eyebrows. He pressed his lips against against hers, running his fingers through her mid-shoulder length hair. She sighed into the kiss and leaned closer, moving her body against his. She placed a hand on the couch to provide herself with a surface to push off of. Her palm caught the remote, which she grabbed blindly, trying not to melt as she felt Danny's tongue against her lower lip. Attempting to toss the remote away, she accidentally pressed the play button.

"So long, gay boys!" Mr. Chow's voice rang through the room. Danny and Sam pulled apart, bursting into laughter.

Distantly, Sam heard a knock on her front door. She grabbed Danny's hand and together they climbed the stairs. Sam swung the front door open and smiled at the sight of Tucker and Valerie standing on her front porch, hand in hand.

"Hey guys," Sam laughed, stepping aside as Tucker and Valerie slid inside. "We were just downstairs watching The Hangover. Want to join us?"

"Uh, of course!" Tucker said, yanking Valerie forward and laughing. Danny followed quickly after them, dragging Sam along behind him.

Once they were settled on the couches, Sam glanced around at her friends. Tucker and Valerie were snuggled close together, Valerie's head resting in the crook of Tucker's neck, her hand tracing circles over his chest. Valerie's eyes were half-closed, small smile across her lips. They both looked completely at peace in each other's arms. Her eyes travelled to the boy against whom she was leaning. He was watching her, his arms wrapped tightly around her waist protectively. The look in his eyes was almost possessive; it made Sam's heart skip a beat.

"I love you," He whispered, planting a gentle kiss on her forehead.

For the first time since Natasha's death, Sam felt really, truely happy. She lifted her hand and gently stroked his cheekbone with her thumb. "I love you too, Ghost Boy,"

He chuckled and kissed her again.

"It's funny, because he's fat!" Mr. Chow chortled.