A/N:Drum-Roll please! Back by popular demand, I present before you, the EPILOGUE!
Summary: Oh, come on. This is THE END the end. Must I say more?
"What time is detention usually over again?" Tucker asked in between mouthfuls of hamburger.
Sam eyed the carnivore's food with disgust before answering. "Usually around four-thirty." She stole a glance at her watch and tapped the glass a few times, "Hmmm. Danny should be here soon."
"Maybe he just got hung up," Tucker suggested, taking another nervous bite from his hamburger.
"Did you mean that literally, or figuratively?"
"How could I possibly mean that literally?"
Sam crossed her arms and pursed her lips. "Flagpole. Underwear. Hung up."
"Oh." Tucker gulped and pulled at his collar. But after he considered that possible scenario, he shrugged, "Well, if it does have anything to do with Dash and Kwan, I'm pretty sure that Danny can fend for himself."
"But those two jocks have been acting too weird!" Sam brought up, "It could be something that they've been planning for days! Something bad!"
"But it's like we've said before: what could those two possibly do?" Tucker explained.
"Yeah, you're right," Sam shook her minute worry away and turned her attention to her nice, green, meat-free salad.
The Nasty Burger was almost clear, since school had let out a whole hour ago. The two sat in a slightly awkward silence; they had already discussed everything they could think of to talk about. Plus, their still present worry was making them unusually quiet. Now it was just the matter of whether Danny would show up or not.
Minutes passed. The two still sat at their booth, trying to look more annoyed and passive than fearful. Besides, they were definitely used to the bullying by now. Years of torturous, wild school can have that effect. But both of them were gripped by that feeling of uncertainty. That feeling of obligation. Like they should be helping Danny get out of whatever tight spot he was in, not sitting on their rumps eating comfort food. In fact, Sam was about to mention possibly looking for Danny, or at least contacting him.
But, eventually, Danny did show up.
"Hey guys!" A familiar voice yelled from the general direction of the entrance.
"Hey, Danny!" Tucker waved and scooted over to give Danny some room to sit at the booth.
"What's up?" Sam asked as Danny slid in across the table from her. "What took you so long? Did Mr. Lancer hold you for a longer-than-normal time?"
Danny breathed sharply, as if he wasn't sure if he wanted to answer that question just yet. He finally sighed and began. "No, it wasn't that. But… Um, guys? I have to tell you something."
Sam listened, not sure what Danny was going to say. Thoughts and ideas raced through her mind as she tried to find an explanation for the conversation's route.
Ugh, what's Skulker done this time? Or is it something to do with his parents? Sam thought. But none of these reasons seemed to match Danny's sick yet not panicked expression.
"What is it?" Tucker asked when Danny had stopped to consider how to word what he was going to say.
"You know how at lunch, we were talking about why Dash and Kwan were acting strange?" Both Sam and Tucker nodded their heads slowly and waited for a more in-depth response. Some annoying slurps came from Tucker, who was sipping a coke in suspense. Danny looked at the glass of coke bug-eyed, until the slurping finally quieted down. He finally found it appropriate to continue. "Well… Tucker was right."
"Wait, what?" Tucker did a spit-take, spewing a lovely mist of saliva and coke all over his half-devoured hamburger. "Really? No stinkin' way!"
"They seriously thought that you were a vampire?" Tucker wheezed through giggles, "I was for sure that that was a one-time thing!"
Sam smiled with him, but something still didn't click in her mind. Danny wasn't laughing or agreeing with his friend at all, so something was clearly wrong.
"Tucker, be quiet," She palled. She then turned to her worrying friend. "Danny, what is it? What's wrong?"
"Well, Tucker was right, but not about the vampire theory. Not even close." He nodded towards the direction of the front door of the restaurant, and in walked two people. The last two people in the world that Sam and Tucker wanted to see: Dash Baxter and Kwan Li. And they were going in the direction of their table. Tucker's eyes went wide in anxiety.
As they reached the table, Danny acknowledged them, but continued talking to Sam and Tucker. "I've already talked to Dash and Kwan about it, and they're cool, but they wanted to talk to you about it. 'Cause, you see, Tucker was right…" Sigh, "About them knowing."
There was a silence that banged in their ears. It was only shattered by a sudden, "WHAT?" that Sam and Tucker yelled out in perfect synchronization.
"They know? As in, they know they know?"
"They know about that?"
"Surprise!" Dash squeaked out in between their ramblings as he slid into the squished space next to Danny and Tucker. The entire table fell silent. Danny and Kwan gave him a 'not now, idiot!' look, and both Tucker and Sam stared at him in quiet apprehension.
"Yeah, we know," Kwan tried easing the sharp silence a little as he sat down on Sams' side of the table, "Both of us know, but only we know. We figured it out by ourselves, and Danny was quite good at... burning the evidence."
Tucker sat with his mouth gaping open, looking from one jock to the other. Sam was almost as immobile as Tucker, but managed to get past her shock more quickly.
"But… But how?" She asked, her voice getting dangerously rough.
"Since when?" Tucker griped in disbelief.
"Of all people, you two?" Sam slapped her hand on the table, making Kwan recoil. "I cannot believe this!"
"Yeah, yeah, I know, guys, stop freaking out! Please!"
After Danny shouted this, Tucker and Sam both calmed down considerably. But their faces were still red, and they were breathing heavily.
"It's actually not too bad, them knowing," Danny went on, "Nothing's gone wrong; they haven't spilled the beans or anything… At least, not yet," This was followed by a glare in the general direction of Dash. "But they've sworn not to tell anyone," Danny finally finished explaining.
Sam turned to Dash, her eyes blazing, "And you won't tell, will you?"
Dash shook his head. No fear showed through his mask. "Nope." He popped the 'p' lightheartedly, which didn't do too much to relieve their irritated nerves.
Sam still wasn't quite convinced. "Okay," She said anyway.
"But… But how did you figure it out?" asked Tucker.
Once again, Dash and Kwan restated the events of the night before. There was a whole lot less overlapping and interrupting, so they were able to get through the story much faster than the first time. And when they were done, Sam and Tucker couldn't help but bombard them with questions.
"Where'd that picture go?"
"It's gone, guys! Calm down! Jeez-" Danny tried, but he was immediately interrupted by Tucker.
"Are you absolutely sure no one could've seen the document on the computer, even when you two were done?"
"Yes, Fole... I mean, Tucker," Dash tried explaining, "We deleted it-"
"Did you print any more pictures?"
"No, Sam, only the one-"
"And since when do you have Photoshop?" That one was from Tucker, who now had somehow gotten the full spotlight. Everyone's eyes were on him. "According to my PDA, the chances of one of you jocks having a photo editing program on your computer is only around 17%!"
"It was my dad's computer," Dash explained. "It was already hooked up to the scanner."
Somehow, after that explosion of panic, the tone changed dramatically. A blanket of silence covered their table, and everyone seemed zoned out and deep in thought. No one talked for a while. There was so much more to say, but no one was in the mood to say it.
Kwan drummed his fingers on the table and searched aimlessly around the restaurant, a look of unreceptive boredom on his features. Which was a surprising expression to say the least, especially when considering all that had happened that day.
"So… Yeah…" He hummed to no one in particular. He then stretched a little, and started sliding out of the booth. "Well, wish I could stay and chat some more, but I better be headed off. It's probably about time for my mom to get off of work, and I don't want her to freak out 'cause I'm not home yet. What about you?" He looked at Dash, who had started staring into nothingness.
Dash whispered out a 'yeah', keeping his gaze fixed on whatever it was he was looking at.
Kwan addressed the whole group, "Well, it's been nice talking to you. And sorry if we're a nuisance or something, in your eyes at least. I just want to help… That is, only if you need it."
Danny nodded without a word, but somewhere in his blue eyes, Kwan detected a little 'thank you'. Kwan took that as a go-ahead. He waved goodbye and started heading for the exit. Dash soon followed suit.
Three pairs of eyes followed them out of the restaurant, and right when the doors closed, they all breathed a sigh of relief.
"So, this changes a whole lot of things." Danny spoke out only what everyone else was thinking.
Sam pushed her salad away in slight distaste. "I'm not that hungry anymore. So, now what?" she asked, "I mean, they know. And I know that they told you that, even before you told us, so you actually had some time to calm down, but you still don't seem all that shaken. But doesn't them finding out so easily… Doesn't that irk you? Even just a little bit?"
"Yeah, it does," Danny sighed, " I've always wondered what could make people to find out, but I never expected it to be that simple! But that was just a coincidence, right? The chances of that happening again can't be very high!"
"Yeah, I guess. But what are we going to get out of all of this?" Sam asked. Tucker nodded. He was curious, too.
"Relax! I've got it completely under control," Danny smile was quite sly as he came up with an idea. "Besides, I know exactly how their amazing skills and authorization can be put to very good use."
The school was buzzing. Rumors flew around everywhere, rumors with no clear source. Gossip was, yet again, everyone's favorite activity, and everyone had some sort of idea of what caused The Event to happen. But none of them where anywhere close to being right.
Danny strolled down the hallway, beaming. Everyone who walked past him actually seemed to respect him now. No one gave him mean looks, and he wasn't smashed against a locker once! He grabbed a discarded school newspaper that was sprawled on the floor, and read it while he walked. Monday's wild story had already been published on the front page. He couldn't help but read it one more time.
A-LISTER DASH BAXTER STANDS UP FOR WIMP DANNY FENTON
Never before, in the entire history of Casper High, has anything so momentous ever happened. This event is sure to keep the lines busy for the rest of the week, at least! Yesterday, while in front of a crowd of peers, Dash Baxter, famous all-star quarterback and head of the A-list, stopped Matt Jordan, fellow football player, when he was in the act of bullying Danny Fenton. Dash proceeded to implied that he and Danny were now good friends. Then, he proclaimed how he didn't want to see anymore bullying ever again on the grounds of Casper High.
"It will be an interesting change," Nathan Sparks, former victim, admits, "I never expected it to happen, and I don't think anyone else did, either. I wasn't quite sure that I believed it at first, it was so impossible! But it's nice to know that someone so popular and so respected by other students is now on the geek's side. School feels much safer now."
Dash Baxter, like many jocks, has previously been known for taking his anger out on others by bullying them, so what has caused this sudden change of heart? Well, some rumors that have started to circulate are...
Danny stopped reading. He knew most of the rumors, and he didn't feel like hearing them again. Besides, Sam and Tucker had started walking next to him, and it was rude to ignore them.
"So, Danny," Sam started once she noticed that he had stopped reading, "Things'll be different now, huh?"
"You bet," Danny laughed and handed her the newspaper. He pointed at the headlines. "But I told you, I knew those two would be helpful!"
A/N: As you can see, I have also scraped together what little creativity I have left, and have also given in to evil peer pressure. So, alas, my dear readers, here's the EPILOGUE! And, therefore, it's the official end! And sorry for the late-ness. My bad.
But this isn't my only Danny Phantom Fanfiction! I've also started another story, Autograph! So, if you are interested, you could go and trudge past the slow-ish first chapter, and see what I've got in store for you there!
I don't own. Please don't make me say it again!*twitch*
And thanks go, once again, to my beta-reader, sapphireswimming! Thanks for sticking with me to the end!
So… It's over. Officially, legitimately over. I'm so happy that you all have read the entire thing! All of your support has really helped me explore who I am as a writer, and this story has become much more popular than I ever thought possible! I love you all!