Bzzzzt. Bzzzzt. Bzzzzt. Danny Fenton's alarm rattled insistently until he found the will to drag himself into a sitting position and hit it off. Sunlight crept through his window as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and remembered what day it was. Monday. The first day of a brand new school year at Casper High. Nervous anticipation hit his gut as he wondered what it would be like to go back. The summer had been incredible. Well, at first it was just a whirlwind. After saving the world and revealing himself as half-ghost, Danny was whisked off to Washington. He endured endless interviews and insistent reporters, and worst of all he had to deal with the Guys in White. They were petitioning to have Danny committed to science – examined and tested and definitely locked up so he couldn't cause any more 'trouble.' Thankfully, the good ol' US Constitution held out in court. Danny couldn't be deprived of his liberties just because he was different. He would be held responsible for his own actions of course, and the use of his powers, but until he committed a crime, the halfa couldn't be subject to special regulations. Danny smiled as he tugged on his shirt, remembering the looks on the GiW's faces when their petition was dismissed. One of them had crushed his own sunglasses in rage, only to be immediately chided by his companions for ruining his uniform.
After a couple more appreciative ceremonies and special awards, interest in Danny Phantom died down. Sure, he was still famous – his fan club wrote him weekly and an eager young writer kept bugging Danny to let him write a biography – but he wasn't given constant attention or swarmed by reporters anymore. It was nice to be appreciated, but Danny couldn't be happier when he was finally out of the spotlight. That's why he had decided not to tell Amity Park when he was coming back. He entered the town while intangible, and phased right into his house. Of course he'd reveal himself if there was any sort of ghost threat he needed to handle, but his hometown was surprisingly quiet for that last month of summer. Maybe all the inhabitants of the ghost zone were giving him a break – after all, he saved their home from the disasteroid too. So Danny was able to lay low for that summer. He played video games with Tucker, helped his parents work on new ghost-hunting equipment, and best of all –
"Sam!" Danny rushed down the stairs and yanked open the door as soon as he heard the knock. He knew he'd find his girlfriend waiting for him, and he was not to be disappointed.
"Hey, stranger." She smiled up at him coyly and he pulled her in close for a kiss. Even after all the time they'd spent together as a couple, their electricity never stopped affecting Danny. One kiss in the doorway, and he felt like he was back in Antarctica, kissing Sam for the first time as arctic wind whipped around them, knowing that if he did die in the ghost zone, at least he'd have done this first.
"Eh hem." Jazz cleared her throat purposefully, causing Sam and Danny to jump apart. She smiled at them knowingly, "think you could save that for the schoolyard? My little brother may be a hero, but I'm still not used to thinking of him as all grown up yet!"
"Jeez, Jazz, how about a little privacy?" Danny rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly, as Sam turned a bright shade of pink. "Come on, Sam, let's get some breakfast." He grabbed her hand, and led her into the kitchen.
"So, are you nervous?" Sam said over cereal, as astute as always.
"Honestly, yeah. I mean it's not going to be… normal anymore. Everyone knows what I am. How will they react? What if everyone treats me like a freak?"
"Danny, are you kidding? Everyone's going to treat you like a hero!"
"That might be worse."
"True." She carried her empty bowl to the sink. "But just remember, it doesn't matter what they think. You'll always have me and Tuck, and whatever happens at school we can deal with together."
Danny smiled at her; Sam always knew just what to say. She came back to the table and he took her hand. "Yeah, I'll always have you." Sam blushed again, which widened Danny's grin. She always tried to be strong, but he loved that he could bring out this vulnerability in her.
"Danny…" she was hesitant, "you know nobody except for Tucker and your family know we're dating yet. Are you nervous about… I mean, what they'll think?"
"Didn't you just tell me it doesn't matter what they think?" He quipped. "Don't tell me Samantha Manson is going to start worrying about what people say!" She scowled.
"I'm not! They can say whatever they like as far as I'm concerned! I'm asking about you."
"No." Danny stood up. "This I want everyone to know. I'm not ashamed of how I feel for you, Sam." He saw her melt at his words. "Besides, everyone at school has called us 'lovebirds' for years! I'm sure they won't be surprised. I was the clueless one, after all."
She impulsively leaned in and gave him a swift kiss. "Thank you." Danny leaned forward, hoping to extend the moment, but Sam laughed and pushed him off. "But we've got to go! If Tucker's late to school because of us, we'll never hear the end of it. We're supposed to meet him at his house in five minutes you know!"
He grinned, already feeling much better about the upcoming day. "Don't worry, I think I can get us there in time." And in a flash, Danny went ghost, scooped up Sam and phased them both right through the wall. Sam had never felt more content than she did as her boyfriend flew her over to Tucker's house.