Title: Phantom Martyr
Full Summary: In the days following Phantom Planet, Danny's life is perfect: Sam is by his side, he's respected as a hero, Dash stops picking on him, and Vlad's nowhere to be found. Yet. As a distraction to more devious plans, Vlad releases Dan Phantom from Clockwork's tower, who then kidnaps Sam. Now Danny has to choose: save the world and lose Sam forever, or save his world…and die. Major character exploration, including Danny and Sam's new relationship. DxS
Rated T just to be safe.
Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom.
[I posted Chapter 1 as a one-shot in "Puddles", but I've made a few revisions and the ending is different.]
Sam continued to stare defiantly into Dan Phantom's glowing red eyes. "He'll defeat you again."
Dan leaned back and laughed, a roar that echoed fiercely in the empty room. "You proved me wrong! You don't always state the painfully obvious. I'm not going to be the one to kill him," he said, holding Sam's angry gaze, "You are."
Dan watched with satisfaction as Sam's eyes flickered with fear.
"You're his biggest weakness, Sam." Dan continued to circle slowly around Sam, like a ravenous wolf frightening his prey, "With you, I don't even need to lay a finger on Danny. I just give him a choice. Either you die," Dan stopped in front of Sam and leaned in, "Or he dies."
Sam could feel hot tears burning her eyes. No…
Dan smirked as he watched Sam's face twist with emotion. "And we all know what selfless little Danny will do in that kind of situation."
Four Days Earlier…
Danny and Sam sat on a hill overlooking the city hall and the setting sun, and watched as Tucker—make that Mayor Tucker—presented the statue of Danny Phantom to the crowd.
"I can't believe you didn't want to attend your own ceremony," said Sam.
"Ehh," Danny replied, "You know me, I kind of like sitting on the sidelines sometimes." The two smiled, remembering their previous argument, but glad that it was all forgiven.
"And your folks are cool with knowing your secret identity?"
"Yeah, the time for secrets is over. The world is safe—time for new beginnings. My dad even says he wants me to team up with him now—says I can be his sidekick." Danny let out a small laugh, getting a fleeting mental image of him in an over-sized orange jumpsuit.
Sam paused. "You're a big star now. Probably the biggest in the world…"
"Yea, it's weird huh." Danny's smile got bigger. That was a non negotiable side-effect of saving the world, after all.
"You'll probably get pretty busy…"
"What else is new?"
"And…I probably won't see much of you anymore…" Sam looked sadly away.
"Aww I wouldn't count on that." Danny had been waiting for this moment ever since the world was saved, but it was hard to be alone with just Sam after all that press and media chaos of revealing his secret identity. He really didn't like the spot-light, but he guessed it was necessary and the world was curious, but all he had wanted was to be alone with his family and friends, especially Sam. He pulled out the ring that was always meant for only one girl from the very beginning, and took Sam's hand.
"Sam, I could have never have done any of this without you." Even though he had rehearsed this conversation a million times in his head, there were still nervous tremors coursing through his veins. Danny slipped the ring onto Sam's finger, "And I don't care what's coming next. I… just hope that whatever it is, you're there to share it with me."
Tears immediately sprung to Sam's eyes, and she smiled through them. I can't believe this is actually happening. She quickly wiped the tears away and looked at Danny. "I will be." She paused, and then added quickly while putting her hands on her hips, "I just have to warn you, I'm no pushover you know. I still have my own way of doing things."
Danny took her hands again and smiled. That's my Sam. "That's what I'm counting on."
He stared into Sam's violet eyes, surprised that after all these years, they were still hypnotizing and by far the loveliest eyes in the world. He pulled Sam closer and they kissed for the second time—for real, no more fake-out-make-outs, no more wishing and hoping and praying, no more pretending while under spells—they were finally together. No more being clueless, shy, confused, jealous, frustrated, or heartbroken. After all that time of chasing Paulina and Valerie, Danny finally realized that everything he wanted and more was always right there next to him, encouraging him, fighting with him, and being his best friend. He had been clueless. Their last kiss in Antarctica had a tone of farewell and sadness, and desperate longing. It had been quick because time was slipping away and the sharp jab of reality screamed for attention. Tonight's kiss however, stopped time and reality—it was only Danny and Sam under the blooming stars in a still purple sky. The kiss burned with intensity and passion, but most importantly, it was the start of a continuous flame of a conclusion finally met, and of a new beginning.
Danny and Sam slowly pulled away from the kiss and smiled. Wow. They were right. Fireworks.
Danny stood up and transformed into a ghost and reached from Sam's hand. "What do you say; want to go for a ride? See where the future takes us?"
"Why not?" Sam stood up and allowed herself to be picked up, and Danny launched into the sky. They flew across City Hall and both gazed down at the statue of Danny Phantom.
"Cool statue," Sam smiled as she looked up at Danny, "Personally, I would have made it out of recycled materials, but, you know, that's just me."
Danny laughed, "You're not going to protest my own statue, are you? There's oh…only about a couple hundred around the world."
Sam kept smiling but didn't say anything. She was busy enjoying watching Amity Park from high in the sky in Danny's arms. She wrapped her arms around his neck tighter and snuggled into his chest.
Danny's heart couldn't help but skip a beat. Or jump a mile. He tilted his head to Sam's and breathed in her scent—a soft mixture of lavender and something else—that charmed all his senses. "You know," he finally spoke, "they really ought to have made a statue of you and Tucker too. And of Jazz. And of my parents. Because honestly, without any of you guys, there would be no Danny Phantom. Or at least, the Danny Phantom that saved the world."
"How many more trees do you want to kill?"
"I believe the statues are made of stone. But we could just make yours out of newspapers and pizza boxes and tofu."
"Tucker would want his to be made of steak and ham and the flesh of other innocent animals."
"My dad would want his to be wearing an orange jumpsuit."
"Jazz won't ever stop trying to study the psychological effects of someone having a statue in every capital in the world."
"And Vlad won't ever stop drooling over my mom's statue."
"Speaking of Vlad," Sam said as she looked up at Danny, "What do you think happened to him?"
"Ehh," Danny chuckled, "He's probably sitting on some space rock being a free-roaming space nomad."
"Ha, serves him right. He really can't come back to earth anytime soon, with everyone knowing his secret identity and how he utterly and completely failed to save us while receiving the ire of every single nation." Sam paused, "I guess there's always the Ghost Zone?"
This prompted Danny to try his best imitation at Klemper's voice, "Vlaaaaad, will you be my frieeeeeend?" and started laughing, along with Sam.
Sam pitched her voice lower and waved her arms around, "Beware! For I am the box ghost! Fear my 100% recycled post-consumer cardboard boxes with Jack Fenton's face on them!"
Danny couldn't stop laughing. "Okay, that part about the '100% recycled post-consumer boxes' was all you! The Box Ghost would never say that!"
"Well, he should! And he should start using only recycled boxes."
"Somehow… I don't think he really cares."
The sky overhead was now completely dark blue, penetrated by twinkling stars and a perfect full moon that washed the world with a soft pearly glow. Danny landed at the entrance of the park, and transformed back to his human self while gently putting Sam down. They took each other's hand and started walking through the park. It felt so new to have their fingers intertwined, yet so also familiar at the same time. The park was deserted, and the only sounds that could be heard were the occasional distant bark of a dog or a lone car traveling past the park. After weeks of chaos, the peace was like a breath of fresh air after being trapped under dark stormy waters.
Memories surfaced as the pair walked around. Danny pointed to an open field, "That's where we had the picnic before the Box Ghost unleashed Pandora's box!"
"I still can't believe Tucker's afraid of snakes. What's wrong with snakes? They're cool!" Sam replied, and then pointed to a hill in the distance, "Hey, and that's where you attempted to train Cujo the ghost dog before Valerie attacked."
"Ah Cujo. He was kind of cute, but only when he was in his puppy form. And that," Danny said as he pointed to an area of dense bushes, "Was where we had our first fake-out-make-out." He stopped walking and wrapped both arms around Sam's waist, pulling her closer. "I kind of really enjoyed it."
Sam wrapped her arms around Danny's neck, and leaned in, "To tell you the truth, I enjoyed all our fake-out-make-outs." Gosh he is so adorable. Look at those blue eyes. I could lose myself forever in those blue eyes, like drowning in an ocean, and by ocean, I mean his arms. And look at that smile. And those lips—
Danny closed the gap between them and kissed her. Will my head ever stop spinning whenever I do that?
"No need for the fake-outs anymore," Danny whispered into Sam's lips.
Sam smiled and pulled Danny towards the grass. She lied down, put her arms behind her head, and gazed upwards at the stars, with Danny following next to her. They were both glad that none of the sparkling jewels in the velvet sky were hurtling down towards earth anymore, and lay in peaceful silence for a while.
Sam spoke first, "Did you still have some things you wanted to talk about? I…I'm still willing to listen."
"What?" It took a while for Danny to figure out she was referring to their conversation in Antarctica, "Oh. Umm…" He paused, searching for words, "Well, I was going to say that I like you, and have for a very long time…but I guess the kiss spoke for itself." He smiled, remembering. It was a bold move, but one that he was very glad to have made.
"Wait, for how long?"
"Umm," Danny ran his fingers through his hair. This part he hadn't thought about rehearsing, "When we danced together at the school dance last year. I couldn't help but see you in a new light. And that fear of almost losing you when you turned into that dragon… it was terrifying. I realized I never ever wanted to lose you because you meant so much more to me…" His voice trailed off and he turned and met Sam's eyes.
"Really?" asked Sam, surprised, "That long ago?"
"But you still went after Paulina, and Valerie…"
Danny sighed. "Those were small crushes that never lasted very long anyways. Sam you were my best friend. I…didn't want to jeopardize our friendship. And I didn't think you would ever like me back…"
Sam smiled. "Clueless!"
"Well, especially after the whole Gregor…Elliot…thing. I saw what kind of guy you liked, and I had no idea how I would ever be that type. I still don't know why you like me…I mean, I'm not goth, I eat meat, I didn't have a cheesy pick-up line involving spaghetti when I kissed you, I-" Danny was cut short by Sam leaning over, grabbing the back of his head, and pulling him into a deep kiss. Again with the head-world-spinning-thing!
"True, you're none of those things," said Sam, when they finally pulled apart, "But you're Danny. You're a hero; you're my hero. And that's my type."
They stared at each other for a moment, smiling. "So," spoke Danny finally, "How long have you liked me?"
Sam leaned back into the grass, "Umm…since…forever?"
"Really really." Sam chuckled.
"And you never told me?"
"For the same reason you didn't do anything either; I didn't want to ruin our friendship. And plus you were always going after Paulina and Valerie! I thought maybe you only liked shallow, insecure, annoying, popular, murderous girls."
"Have you felt how hard you can kick in those boots, Sam? I think you qualify as murderous!" Danny laughed and brought his arms up to shield his face from Sam's light punch.
"But seriously," continued Sam, "There were moments when I was close to telling you…like before you went to go fight with Pariah Dark, and the Ecto-Acne incident—"
"We had the same dream."
"What?" Sam sharply turned her gaze to Danny, who was staring at the sky.
"We had the same dream. When Frightmare attacked Amity Park."
Sam paused. "You mean… we both dreamt that…" She stopped and blushed.
Danny laughed nervously and turned to look at Sam. "Yeah. We both dreamt that we were together at school and about to kiss."
Sam grinned, blushing slightly. "Weird. Gateway to the subconscious huh." That was a really good dream…minus the part about Dash Baxter being Danny Phantom.
"Speaking of school," spoke Danny, "I wonder what it's going to be like when we go back next Monday."
"Lots of autograph-asking."
"Lots of 'lovebirds'-calling."
"Lots and lots of questions. Think you can handle the fame, super-star?" asked Sam, grinning.
"Only if you and Tucker are next to me sharing the agonizingly bright spot-light!"
"So you're the world's hero, Tucker's our mayor, and I'm—"
"The luckiest girl in the world," Danny reached out his arm and snaked his way under Sam's neck, and then wrapped it around her torso, pulling her onto his shoulder. Sam was at first shocked by the closeness, but smiled and snuggled closer, wrapping her free arm around Danny's chest. She was pleasantly surprised at how muscular he had gotten from all the fighting.
"You know how many girls are going to fawn over me, hero of the world and the best looking halfa in the universe?" Danny sucked in air and puffed out his chest in mock superiority, which received a jab from Sam's finger, and he promptly deflated, laughing. Again, she was surprised at how hard his muscles were. That jab almost hurt her finger—almost.
"Great, so while you're chasing away ghosts I have to chase away crazed fan-girls?"
"What, don't think you can handle a bunch of screaming, hormone-driven, fanatic females?" Danny suddenly got an image of the girls from last year's Happy Princess Pageant chasing after him, threatening to claw his eyes out with their perfectly manicured nails…followed by an image of Sam holding an Ecto-Bazooka, taking deadly aim with an evil grin on her face. Dang.
"Ha!" Sam laughed with a menacing tone, "There's a joke if I ever heard one. You know full well I'm capable of obliterating anything I desire, especially if it comes between me and you. You know I still have my Fenton Wrist-Ray aka the perfect accessory of pain!"
Danny hugged Sam closer to him, "I love it when you're deadly."
And so the night passed, as calm and comforting as a silken sheet, punctuated only by the conversations and laughter of the star-crossed lovebirds. Sometime during the night, Sam realized it was hard not to stop smiling when she was with Danny, especially now that everything seemed to be going perfectly. Time also flew. She glanced at her watch for the first time that night and started, "Oh my gosh, it's nearly midnight! We should get going before we're skinned alive by our parents, hero or not."
Danny yawned and stretched. "Alright, I'll fly you home."
"Normally a guy walks the girl home," Sam began as Danny transformed into his ghost-half and picked her up like earlier, "But this is way cooler."
Danny deepened his voice to imitate his hero-half as he shot into the sky, "That's what happens when you have a world-renowned super-hero as your boyfriend!"
"Oh, shut up," chuckled Sam.
Meanwhile, somewhere deep in space…
Vlad wasn't sure how long he had been floating in vast oblivion, lying on a space rock. Ghosts don't fatigue, or feel hunger or thirst, so time was literally infinite as it was unimportant. What was important, however, was to figure out the next plan of action. He would return to Earth…eventually. Secret-identity revealed or not, he was still a powerful entity.
And plus, he missed his cat.
Vlad sat up, remembering something so crucial he was surprised he had almost let it slip his mind. He still had King Pariah Dark's Ring of Rage and Crown of Fire! When worn together, they would give the bearer unlimited power. With the plan to rule the world after saving it from the Disasteroid, he had forgotten about the two items. They were safe, however, hidden and sealed in an area only known to him. A devious grin crossed his face, and a devious plan crossed his mind. The entire world already knew he was evil; why not live up to that reputation? Crazy fruit-loop or not, he still wins all of his games of chess.
But, there wasa slight annoyance in the form of Danny Phantom. Vlad stood up and began pacing. If even Pariah Dark couldn't defeat Danny Phantom while wearing the Ring of Rage and Crown of Fire, then Vlad wasn't daft enough to try either. No, he didn't need to defeat young Daniel—he merely needed a distraction; something to keep him occupied while he dominated the entire world and Ghost Zone.
The Ghost Zone…hmm…that presented Vlad another devious idea to add to his devious plan. That meddling old fool, Clockwork, was in possession of an indestructible force, something almost more powerful than Vlad Plasmius himself, and the most perfect distraction for young Daniel: Dark Danny aka Dan Phantom, Danny's far older, and far more evil, self. Oh, Vlad knew of Dan Phantom—he had his wily ways.
True, Dan Phantom cared for nothing but himself, and he would undoubtedly defy any orders or bargains Vlad would issue, but Dan Phantom was almost more powerful than Vlad himself, not absolutely. Once world domination was complete, and Danny Phantom was probably defeated and destroyed, Vlad had no doubt he would be able to prison Dan Phantom again.
"Pawn, knight, bishop…they're all the same in the end and well worth the sacrifice if I become King of the World!" Vlad raised his arms and a terrible and menacing thunder of laughter rushed from his chest into the infinite blackness.
So basically I'm trying to stick with the cartoon's universe as much as possible, so just pretend you're watching—er, reading—Season 4 of DP :]
I know sound can't travel through space since there are no air molecules to vibrate, but let's pretend. I mean, it's a world with half-ghosts and time-travel. Of course we can bend the laws of physics just this once!
Please review! :] I also like to reply to them too if I can :]
Shout-out to sperry426 for brainstorming titles with me. Believe it or not your messages actually helped jumpstart my brain into coming up with what I have now! Thanks!