And now we have chapter seven.

I know I'm later than I have been on updating these things in the last few days, but hey. I had to wake up at 5 AM this morning. You're lucky you're getting an update at all. (:

This is much, MUCH longer than the last chapter. Just because I had so much fun writing this, I didn't want it to end. It's one of my favorite songs...like, ever. Never fails to make me smile. Or dance like a moron.

I really need to go to the bathroom, so I'm gonna call this an A/N and post it. For those of you waiting on tenterhooks for the next chapter of THLITE, I haven't even started writing it yet. But I predict it will be up before 10 PM. I write these very, very quickly. Can you deal?

Fantastic.

I don't own Danny Phantom or the song in this chapter.


All Around Us

Chapter Seven: Don't You Want Me?

August 24, 2012


Sam was not one to scare easily. She was proud of her bravery and courage, secretly thinking herself to be just as brave as Danny. In different ways, of course. But when it came down to it, Sam was just as quick as Danny to jump into a potentially life-threatening situation, head-first. In fact, sometimes, she was quicker.

So naturally, stage-fright never even entered her mind as a possibility. Until the moment came for her to open her mouth and sing in front of David, Tarlton, and Nate. It was a simple scale, do re mi, but when she opened her mouth, no sound came out. She froze, her eyes bulging, sudden fear rendering her mute. David stopped strumming his guitar and waved for the other two to stop as well.

"What's up?" He asked, eyebrows raised.

"I can't," Sam whispered.

"Lancer said you're an amazing singer..."

"I didn't know Lancer was listening when I was singing then, not like I know you guys are listening now..." Sam twisted her fingers in her lap. Heat rose up her neck and flooded her cheeks.

David placed his hand on his hip, chewing the inside of his cheek. "Just say the scale, then." He said finally.

Sam cocked an eyebrow, but obliged. "Do re mi fa so la ti do." She mumbled.

"Good. Now sing them." He ordered.

"But -"

"Sing."

"I -"

"Sing!"

Sam sucked in a huge breath. "Do re mi fa so la ti do!" She sang quickly.

"Again."

"Do re mi fa so la ti do."

"One more time."

"Do re mi fa so la ti do."

"Again."

"You just said -"

"I lied, sing again."

Sam narrowed her eyes. "Do re mi fa so la ti do."

Tarlton was gazing at Sam sympathetically, as if he knew all too well what she felt at that moment. Nate, however, seemed impressed by her singing prowess. He was nodding enthusiastically, glancing spastically between Sam and David.

"You have stage-fright?" David asked, perching on the edge of his amplifier.

Sam shrugged. "I dunno, I guess. I've never been on stage performing before, so I don't know."

"You were scared to sing in front of us just now, though."

"Yeah." Sam said impassively.

David nodded. "I think I know something that might help you with that."

"What?"

"You'll see. You can drive, right?"


"Oh no." Sam shook her head emphatically behind the wheel of her Mustang. David had directed her to the parking lot of a karaoke bar. "Karaoke? Are you kidding me?"

"What, scared?" David taunted from the passanger's seat. "Is the big bad goth scared of a little karaoke?"

Sam ignored Nate's obnoxious snickering from the back seat. "Not scared. Just..."

David gave her a pointed look, before rolling his eyes. "One song, then we'll go. I swear." He said.

"You just got me sort of into music, are you trying to scare me off with this?" Sam muttered. But she pulled her keys out of the ignition and shoved them forcefully into her purse. She shoved her car door open and lifted her seat, allowing Tarlton to squirm out of the back seat. She shot a dirty look over the top of her car at David as he pulled his seat up to let Nate out. David returned her glare with a smile.

"I'm absolutely not doing this by myself." Sam declared once inside. David waved his hand at her, glancing around for an empty booth.

"There, in the corner." He said over his shoulder to Sam. He began leading the way through the forest of tables, glancing back to check that Sam and the boys were still with him. Sam edged through the tables, apologizing to the other patrons for blocking their view of the stage at the front of the resteraunt, which was currently empty.

"Alright, you won't have to sing alone." David said once they were sitting. "I'll go up there with you. We'll do a duet."

Sam nodded, a wave of relief washing over her. "Thank you."

"But I pick the song." David grinned impishly.

Sam rolled her eyes. "It's not like I know any good ones anyways," She grumbled.

David shushed her. She glanced at the stage and saw a rather overweight woman not unlike the Lunch Lady in looks, jogging up the steps, laughing a little to herself. A table in the center of the resteraunt full of middle aged women, who Sam assumed were the woman's friends, were screaming fanatically. Sam grimaced.

Her grimaced deepened when the woman started a terrible rendition of Singing In The Rain. Sam gritted her teeth as the woman's voice cracked and hitched. Nevermind that the woman appeared to be having the absolute best time of her life; she was singing that stupid song about stupid people doing stupid things. Stupid, Sam seethed.

"Alright, no musicals," David muttered as the woman vacated the stage to the sounds of an uprorious applause.

"Thank you." Sam hissed through clenched teeth.

"Mhm," David grunted. He was scanning the list of songs carefully, looking only partially aware of what was going on around them. Sam turned back to the stage and nearly groaned at the thin man taking his place behind the microphone. His bald head was gleaming in the spotlight.

"Aw, come on." Nate said, leaning across the table to pat Sam's hands, which were clenched into fists. "It won't be that bad!"

Sam shot him a murderous glare and stared pointedly at her hands. Nate chortled, but drew his hands back. The man on stage started singing some older song Sam thought she might have heard her grandmother play once or twice. He wasn't bad, but he was definitely no Ember. He was okay.

David stood, a mischevious grin on his face. "I'll be right back." He declared, slipping off across the resteraunt without waiting for a reply. Sam watched him go, a wave of nausea passing through her stomach. She rubbed her face in her hands.

"Why did I ever let him talk me in to this?" She wondered aloud.

"It won't be that bad. Three minutes on stage, and we'll be outta here," Tarlton said soothingly. Sam grimaced at him. She was actually wondering why she allowed Lancer to talk her in to doing Battle of the Bands, but she felt guilty pointing it out to Tarlton. So she nodded, leaned back against the cushions of the booth, and tried not to think about what she was about to do.

"Hey, Sam, David's trying to get your attention," Nate said a moment later. Sam glanced at the end of the stage, where David was standing, waving her over frantically. She groaned.

"Here goes nothing," She muttered as she stood.

"We're doing a song called Don't You Want Me." David informed her when she was by his side. Sam felt her jaw drop. "Don't give me that look, it's a classic. And it's a duet. And I sing first."

Sam swallowed the lump in her throat. "Don't You Want Me?" She repeated in a whisper.

"Yep." He grinned. "It's easy. I have the first verse, first and second bridge, and the main line of the chorus. You have chorus melody, second verse, you echo the second bridge, and you're harmony on the chorus all the way to the end."

Sam blinked. "I didn't understand half of what you just said." She said dryly.

David rolled his eyes. "Just follow my lead and read what's on the screen." He said impatiently, joining in the clapping as the bald man on stage finished his song.

"Good luck!" The man called as he passed David and Sam on the stairs to the stage. David thanked him. Sam grimaced.

"Isn't this a song from the eighty's?" Sam whispered as they stepped on stage. David merely smiled at her, seizing an extra microphone and stand from the back of the stage. He set it up in front of her, tapping the reciever to ensure it was on. Sam winced at the thuds broadcasted over the speakers.

"Keep your eyes on me." He instructed quietly as he brought his microphone stand up beside Sam's. She gulped. The nerves were back.

David held her gaze as a heavy techno beat came over the speakers. He was tapping his foot to the beat, an easy smile on his face. Sam clenched her jaw, resisting a powerful urge to sprint off the stage.

But when David began to sing, she stopped. The people in the crowd disappeared, and for a moment, it was only Sam and David.

"You were workin' as a waitress in a cocktail bar
When I met you
I picked you out, I shook you up, and turned you around
Turned you into someone new.
Now five years later on, you've got the world at your feet,
Success has been so easy for you.
But don't forget, it's me who put you where you are now
And I can put you back down, too.
Don't
Don't you want me?
You know I don't believe it when I hear that you won't see me."

David nodded his head toward the screen. Sam glanced at it, and a flare of panic rose up in her belly. Her lines were approaching, and fast. She felt her eyes bulging as she glanced back at David, but he still had that calm, easy smile on his face. The panic subsided.

"Don't
Don't you want me?
You know I don't believe it when you say that you don't need me."

Sam closed her eyes, opened her mouth, and prayed that music would come out.

"It's much too late to find,
You think you've changed your mind?
You better change it back or we won't work this out."

Her eyes flew open. Her voice sounded choked, but still like her own. David was nodding encouragingly as their voices danced together, his grin widening. Sam thought she heard a distant "Woop!" in the corner, courtesy of Nate most likely.

"Don't you want me baby?
Don't you want me, oh-h-h-h?
Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me, oh-h-h-h?"

Sam was hardly given a second to think before her verse began. "I was workin' as a waitress in a cocktail bar," She smirked.

"That much is true.
But even then I knew I'd find a much better place,
Either with or without you.
The five years we have had have been such good times,

I still love you!" She cried dramatically, stepping across the stage to place a mock-consoling hand on David's arm. He played along, pretending to cover fake tears with one hand.

"But now I think it's time I live my life on my own,
I guess it's just what I must do."

David lunged toward her, dropping the microphone stand onto the stage with one hand, holding the microphone itself close to his lips. "Don't," He sang gruffly.

"Don't!" Sam echoed, grinning at the difference in pitch between their voices.

"Don't you want me?" David demanded.

"Don't you want me?" Sam pouted.

"You know I don't believe it when I hear that you won't see me,
Don't."

"Don't!" Sam cried again.

"Don't you want me?"

"Don't you want me?"

"You know I don't believe it when you say that you don't need me,
It's much too late to find,
You think you've changed your mind,
You'd better change it back or we won't work this out,
Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me, oh-h-h-h?
Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me, oh-h-h-h?"

Sam laughed as David began echoing is own 'oh' and dancing across the stage during the techno break. She felt herself letting go and loosening up; she twirled around, just to be caught in David's outstretched arms. She laughed and shoved him playfully on the chest.

"Don't you want me baby?" They sang together.

"Don't you want me, oh-h-h-h?

Don't you want me, baby? Baby!" Sam added to the end. David's eyebrows shot up. He nodded, obviously impressed.

"Don't you want me, oh-h?

Don't you want me, baby? Baby-y," David added, smirking at Sam.

"Don't you want me, oh-h?
Don't you want me, baby? Oh-h,
Don't you want me, oh-h-h-h?

Don't you want me, baby?" They ended together, faces inches apart, grins wide and wild.

The crowd went insane. Sam jerked back, glancing over the people in shock. She forgot they were there, for a moment. She glanced at David, who was grinning and waving at the crowd. Sam followed his lead, though not as enthusiastically, until she spotted three figures standing by the front door, mouths open in shock.

Danny, Tucker, and Valerie seemed to have frozen by the front door upon entering the karaoke bar. Every single one of them was staring at Sam.

"Shit." Sam whispered.


Again, if you guys find any typos, please let me know. I don't have spell check. In fact, I don't have any editing tools on my preferred writing outlet.

Livin' life on the edge, guys.

Just, when you point them out, don't be a jerk. No one likes a jerk.

Another life lesson, courtesy of me.

- Tori