Well, it's been quite a while.
I haven't lost this story, don't worry – I have an outline and everything. The main concern is whether or not I have time for it. So, without further ado…
Friday. That was a Friday night.
It was at the corner of Abraham Avenue and Fifth Street. There was a party somewhere near—on Fifth Street, yeah; some guy from Casper High lived at that particular on Fifth Street—and some guys who were high decided that drag racing would be fun.
Sam was out for a walk. She'd been out for about ten minutes; she reached the building that never seemed to be finished being built. She was mad at her parents, so she took a walk to cool down, with her hands in the pocket of her dark hoodie. Then again, she was mad at them most of the time, so this wasn't new.
What was new was the hollering, the bright flash of headlights that slammed a good five feet in front of her. The yellow of the lamppost nearby flickered, her heart raced and she nearly jumped out of her skin.
That was close, she thought, heart racing. She turned on her heel, prepared to race for home, but several loud sounds overhead stopped her. She looked up.
A crash later, everything went black.
"Geez, would it kill you to be nice, even the slightest bit? I was only trying to help."
"Do you remember dying?"
A kind smile.
"N-No problem, Sam."
She felt panic. She—everything was turning black, and she was losing his face—she couldn't see—
Sam woke up in cold sweat, breathing heavily. The clock on her bedside table read 4:08 am.
She groaned and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "Phantom," she muttered to herself, staring at her hands on her lap. "Who are you?"
"Danny—Danny, hello?" Danny raised his head, which was nestled on the arms folded in his desk, and turned to Tucker.
Tucker gave him a sympathetic smile. "Man, I get—it sucks. I get it. But, hey, relax and—she's probably okay. She's better off not being hunted down by Skulker." Danny groaned and leaned back, sinking into his seat.
The chatter in the room drowned out their conversation.
"It's not—I just—" Danny tried, but he just groaned and rubbed his face with his hands. "I can't explain it." His voice was muffled by his hands. "Am I being a dork about this?"
"Uh, yeah. Kinda." Another groan. "Dude, listen—as your best friend, I am telling you to get over this. There's nothing you can do—"
"There was, Tuck, there was," muttered Danny, hands finally leaving his face to fidget on his desk. "That's the problem."
Tucker opened his mouth but promptly shut it when a girl walked into their room. He nearly choked on his own spit.
Danny heard the struggle and gave his friend a strange look. "Tuck, are you okay?" In the middle of coughing and trying to breathe, Tuck's eyes darted over to a spot behind Danny. "Dude, seriously, you need the nurse? I can—" Tucker kicked him in the shin. "OW, what the—"
"Settle down, class," said Mr. Lancer as he walked in, setting his papers on the desk. "Now, in—uh, Mr. Foley, do you need the Heimlich maneuver?"
Tucker sunk into his seat, face beet red, as the class snickered.
"No? All right, then," Lancer continued, "In the next week, I'll be requiring you to read on Dante Alighieri's Inferno, specifically the seven circles of hell. This'll be a pair paper, so I expect everyone to get at least a somewhat… decent mark." He looks pointedly at Danny., who scowled in response. "Any questions? Yes, Mr. Baxter."
"Yeah," Dash started, "Do we get to pick our partners?"
"No, Mr. Baxter, I have robbed you of that privilege by choosing your partners beforehand. Any other questions?" When he was met with silence, Lancer smiled. "Good. Papers are due on Monday. Now, let's get to the partnerships—"
Danny tuned out Lancer's voice until—
"Fenton and Manson," Lancer said, and Danny sat up. Manson?
"Foley and Sanchez…" Lancer went on, but Danny's attention was long gone. Looking around the room, he finally spotted her. She was pale, he noticed, but her eyes were still bright and strong. She was thin, thinner than he remembered her being when she was in the Ghost Zone. She's…
"Here," Danny breathed, mostly to himself. "Sam's here."
Lancer left them to talk about their papers.
"Uh, hi," Danny started, "I'm Danny."
"Sam," she replied monotonously. An awkward silence hung in the air, the chatter of their classmates a quiet hum in the background. "Look, I can do the paper, just—"
"What?" Danny's brow furrowed. "No! No. I'm—I can do the paper. We can do the paper. I'm—we—look, uh, I'm not a bad person." Danny wanted to slap himself. What the hell, Fenton? You're 'not a bad person'?
Sam raised an eyebrow. "Uh, okay. Thanks for the info."
"No, wait—sorry—I just—" Danny sighed. "It's been a rough weekend."
"Tell me about it," Sam muttered under her breath. Danny winced.
"Oh, yeah, you were—" His mouth closed when she glared at him.
"Look, Fenton. We're not friends," Sam basically spat, "Stop trying to act like it."
Danny frowned. "Look, I'm trying to be—I want to be your friend. You must've had a rough couple of weeks—"
"'Rough'? Try murderous," she sneered. "If you're expecting me to be some sort of Paulina Sanchez-type of girl then you can forget this project. I'll do it on my own." The bell rang and she was out the door before Danny could say anything else.
"Dude," Tucker said as came up to him, "I got paired up with Paulina—Paulina, and I—hey, Danny. Are you okay?" Danny kept staring at the door where Sam left. "Danny?"
"Are you okay, man?" Danny blinked and looked at his best friend.
"Y—uh, yeah. Sorry."
"You got landed with Sam, right? She's the chick from—"
"Yeah. She's…. well." Danny shook his head. "Whatever. Come on, I'm starved."
Danny shook his head. "More like she doesn't remember a thing."
"She doesn't remember anything?" Tucker asked Danny incredulously, taking a bite out of his lunch sandwich. "I mean, nothing at all?" Danny shook his head.
"She looked like she wanted to bite my head off. I don't—man. This is nuts." Danny let his head fall to the wooden table. They decided to sit outside today, mostly because Tucker wanted to see his new partner practice in her cheering uniform. Partially because Danny didn't see Sam inside the cafeteria when they were getting lunch.
Danny didn't—oh, man. It sucked. Like, it sucked that Sam didn't remember him. He actually—they actually bonded, in the weirdest sense of the word. And now—
"Why are you looking at me like that," Danny asked Tucker, who was looking at him with a weird smile.
"You're totally into her," Tucker declared confidently. "My best friend is in love."
"I am not in love," Danny shot back. "I'm just… concerned."
"Still doesn't change the fact that you're totally into her," Tucker retaliated.
Danny had nothing to say about that one.
"Hey, Danny—" Tucker pointed to something and Danny turned around, just in time to see Paulina shove something into Sam's chest. He instinctively got up, eyes glowing green. "Danny," Tucker forced, grabbing his best friend's wrist, "don't."
"You don't scare me, Paulina," Sam said frostily.
"You should be," Paulina hissed, "The Ghost Boy is mine, goth weirdo. No amount of doodles all over your silly sketchbook is going to change that."
Sam simply dusted off her shirt. "That's cute, Paulina. Tell me, where's Phantom now?"
Phantom, Danny thought, She remembers.
"I thought you said she didn't—" Tucker began, but Danny shushed him.
Paulina scoffed. "Who cares where he is? It still doesn't change the fact that he. Is. Mine."
"If it's a fact that he's yours," Sam mocked, "then shouldn't he be with you? Shouldn't everyone know? Unless, of course, he's, you know, not." Paulina looked like she was ready to decapitate Sam with her manicure.
"So unless you can prove that, I can draw who I want, when I want. You want to know why Paulina? Because fuck you, that's why." Sam shot her one last glare. "And let me repeat: You don't scare me." She turned on her heel and swiftly walked back into the school.
"Man," Tucker breathed, "That was scary. Cool—but scary."
Danny just stared in the direction Sam left.
Sorry for the short chapter, but it's really supposed to be short!
This story has roughly three more chapters to go, but it's tentative. If I don't do any outline-tweaking, it'll stay at three, but knowing me…
Ah, well. Read and review?