Author's Note: Written for the King of Swagger Bishie lovers, my bro Cheese! Fluff is hard for me to write, but I hope you like it away. Again, if there are glaring moments of OOC-ness...ah...*spooky ghost voice* 'It's all an AU~'


Chapter 3

Private Displays of Affection


When the front door of the Fenton residence opened, Dash ducked behind the large dumpster, clutching a grocery bag of soda and microwavable popcorn. It was just Danny's sister taking out the trash. What was her name again? Jazz? Yeah, Dash was pretty sure that was her name.

He glanced down at his wristwatch. Six fifty-nine…and seven o'clock! Like clockwork, Mr. and Mrs. Fenton, in the most offensively 80s wardrobe they could find (Dash assumed it had actually been easy to find as they were in all likelihood authentic, especially from the snug waistline around Mr. Fenton's middle), left the house right on time for their weekly date night.

Dash breathed a sigh of relief. He was thankful they were so reliably punctual. If Jazz was just as timely, she should be exiting the house in about ten minutes to meet up with some friends for a study group/ slumber party/ whatever it was high school girls did in large enough numbers.

He sat down on the least-dirty patch of concrete he could find and pulled the bag onto his lap, leaning back against the bring building. Digging through the non-descript brown paper bag, he pulled out a can of soda and opened it. He nursed it as he watched the minute hand on his wristwatch glide at an agonizingly slow pace. One minute…one minute thirty, thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three seconds past seven o'clock exactly. Thirty-five, thirty-six, thirty-seven.

Across the street he caught sight of a silhouette moving on the other side of the curtain. He smiled. It was Danny. It had to be, unless Jazz suddenly decided to cut her hair short since Friday. One day seemed hardly long enough to think over such a pretty huge decision. Nope, it was Danny. Knowing him, he probably spent all of Saturday lazing about the house, playing video games or surfing the net and only realized the time when his parents left. It was just the sort of person that Danny was, Dash supposed and he liked it that way. Danny wouldn't be Danny if he wasn't at least a little irresponsible.

Dash checked his watch once more. Seven ten. The front door opened and Jazz stepped out, bag in hang, just as a car pulled up to the house. Just on time. "And Danny, don't stay up too late, alright?"

"I won't! Jeez," Danny said as he stepped out of the house, waving good bye to his sister. Dash couldn't help but smile as he watched the scene. Those two were always bickering about something whenever he talked to Danny on the phone, but Dash could tell it was all just siblings being siblings. When it came right down to it, they would always be there for one another. Danny especially always spoke fondly about Jazz, even when he was being critical.

When Jazz and her friends took off down the road, Danny stayed outside a bit longer. He looked down the road expectantly before checking his watch. He tapped his feet for a moment before turning around and heading back inside. Dash decided to give it another minute or two in order to make his entrance seem more believable.

In retrospect, hiding out behind a dumpster until everyone had left, save for Danny, was probably completely unnecessary. It wasn't as if it was the first time he had ever been to the Fenton residence. That evening would be their fourth movie night, in fact. What kept Dash from proudly marching to that front door is that he had no idea what sort of things Danny's parents thought about him.

He and Danny had been together for a while, but as far as he was concerned, they had been rather private about the whole thing, until recently. Dash knew for sure his own parents didn't know a thing and he preferred it that way, at least for the time being.

But with his parents, the name Danny Fenton probably didn't mean a thing, aside from conjuring images of Danny's eccentric parents. On the other hand, Dash was fully away that before he and Danny began… dating, the two of them had an entirely different sort of relationship. How was he meant to address that?

He doubted he could just knock on their front door and say 'Hello there, Mr. Fenton, Mrs. Fenton, Jazz, I'm Dash. I may or may not have bullied your son Danny every day, but then I fell for him like a sack of potatoes in a letterman jacket and would like permission to date him now. Did I mention I'm the town's star athlete, by the way? Sooo…some weather we've been having.'

Other than sounding very unrealistic-Hollywood and trite, it also made the whole thing sound awful. The fact that Dash did used to bully Danny was not something that Dash was completely ignorant about. It was just standard high-school stuff. It wasn't anything to be proud of, but it was nature doing its thing. Dash had changed though. Not completely, of course. Danny was good at helping Dash ease up, but even he wasn't a miracle worker. But Dash was trying. He did still tease the other kids at school, but Danny would always be nearby to make sure things didn't get too out of hand anymore. Goodbye, shoving kids into trashcans and lockers. Danny was like the patron saint of nerds now, for being able to keep Dash and his crew in check.

It was a lot harder to maintain his Top Dog image without being able to just physically intimidate any nay-sayers, but Danny assured him it would be for the best and Dash liked Danny enough to give it a shot.

The change in Dash was subtle, but it was there and it was a start of something even more fundamental, but Dash was still worried it wouldn't be enough. Until he was sure that Danny's parents wouldn't kick him out on principle, he would continue to arrive conveniently late enough so as to not have to meet any member of the Fenton family who wasn't Danny.

Alright, Seven thirteen. That was sufficiently "fashionably late". Standing up, he sprayed himself lightly to get rid of any lingering dumpster scent. It was empty, but he wasn't going to take any chances. Taking a few deep breaths, he walked up to the front door and knocked. For a split second he panicked, feeling like he should have brought candy or flowers, but them immediately relaxing when he realized that the soda and junk food in the grocery bag he was carrying were more than enough to impress Danny. After all, he had made it a point to always get Danny's favorites.

When the door opened, Danny stood there, arms crossed, half-heartedly annoyed. "And just where have you been? You're late, dude! Again!"

"Thirteen minutes late."

Danny glanced back over his shoulder to a wall-mounted clock. "Fourteen."

"I'm only fourteen minutes late. But, hey, I brought all of the junk food you requested. That's gotta count for something," he said, playfully punching Danny's shoulder. The punch was more of a love tap, but Danny still rubbed his arm dramatically. Dash felt a rush of panic go through him. Did he really hurt him? He thought he'd pulled his punch! He relaxed only when Danny rolled his eyes and threw up his arms.

"Fine, fine! I forgive you, not hurry up and give me the pop corn. I'll go zap it, you put on a movie. I put the disks by the TV," he said, giving Dash a mischievous smirk. Of all the movie nights they had had up to that point, the movies had always been light hearted romcoms or slap stick comedies or brainless Hollywood action flicks. Dash had never been subjected to a proper horror movie before, at least not around Danny, and the possibilities made Danny feel giddy.

Dash was a jock, he was intimidating, but Danny knew he didn't have much of a stomach for scary things, ghosts in particular. Oh, this was going to be good.

Dash, however, seemed a bit oblivious to the look of glee on Danny's face. Kneeling by the television, he sorted through the movies, trying to pick the one that seemed the least likely to keep him up at night.

"Found one yet?" Dash almost screamed when he head Danny speak right next to his ear. "Oh man! You should have seen the look on your face!" Dash just grumbled as he picked one of the movies, Danny plucking the case from his hand. "Man, you practically jumped!"

"Well, what are you doing creeping up on me, you creep?" Dash asked, flopping down on the couch.

"Sorry. I couldn't resist. But, you better prepare yourself for a night of chills and spills!" Danny declared as the pre-movie copyright warnings played.

"What? Isn't that from a commercial to some theme park, though…?"

Danny paused, looking up as he thought. "Uh…that's right, huh?" He sat down next to Dash as he watched the first trailer start. Wow. Lame. Who would watch a movie about a Pomeranian who loses her owners during a move across the cou-oh god why does the dog have a machine gun?! Zombies!? Evil cults?! What is going on?! Danny leaned closer towards the television ever so slightly. "This is the best movie trailer I have ever seen," he declared.

Dash shook his head, taking out his cell phone, turning the sound down so it wouldn't disrupt their little "date".

The next few trailers weren't as exciting as the first one. One was for some historical drama with a lot of somber looking people dressed in stuffy Victorian outfits. There were a few high school romantic comedies, but they all looked the same. Boy or girl is new to the school. Boy grins a lot and tries to establish himself in the school hierarchy. Girl giggles a lot and trips over nothing. It was then that Danny's attention began to wander to Dash sitting next to him. When he didn't think Dash was paying attention, he scooted a little closer to him, legs pressed against each other.

Their previous movie nights had been platonic affairs save for a peck on the cheek Dash would give him before quickly absconding down the dark street. Ever since they had all but revealed their relationship to the school, however, Danny had become more aware of the expectations that were on them. It wasn't in either Danny or Dash to be overly public about their relationship, but if they didn't, people would start to talk. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad to be a little more affectionate if only so people would stop giving them that look.

The best way to start was to start being a bit more affectionate when they were in private. Or so various Internet message boards would have him believe. Danny thought back to all of the advice he had had ever heard about movie dates. The popcorn was finishing up. They were going to watch a scary movie. The lights were off. All that was left was for him to put his arm around…Ah.

In that moment Danny realized the fatal flaw of his otherwise flawless plan: Dash was taller than him. There was no way that Danny could put an arm around his shoulders naturally. But Danny wasn't one to give up easily. He shifted from one side of his body to the other, trying to figure out some way to put an arm around Dash that would seem cool and uncalculated.

It was then that the microwave beeped, indicating that the popcorn was ready. Dash stood up. "I'll get it," he said, walking into the kitchen to get the popcorn. Danny listened to Dash hunting through the cabinets for a bowl as he leaned his head back against the couch. This sucked. He really should have taken account that Dash was a lot bigger than he was. His plan was all but ruined now.

Dashed returned a minute later with a large bowl of hot, buttery popcorn, with extra butter. "Sorry, it took so long," he said, sitting next to Danny just as the movie started, setting the bowl in Danny's lap, "It took me a while to remember where you keep your bowls." He then put his arm around Danny's shoulder as if it were the easiest thing in the world, his attention completely on the moment.

Danny was thankful that the lights were off as he could feel a blush creeping along his cheeks. Some of it was from the fact that this was the longest time he and Dash had been in direct contact. Some of it was from annoyance that he was the short one in the relationship. He settled against Dash as he grabbed a fistful of popcorn and casually tossed it back at Dash's face. Dash plucked one of the kernels out of his hair and tossed it at Danny. For the rest of the night, the two watched the horror movies and tossed popcorn at one another.

Hours later, Danny woke up with a start, his cell phone vibrating in his pocket. The credits of the last movie were running and beside him, Dash was dozing soundly. Danny smiled and settled against Dash's chest to more comfortably scroll through his text messages. Huh, one from Sam and… about… fifteen from Tucker, Danny thought to himself as he glanced through them quickly.

They just wanted to talk to him. Or more, specifically, Sam really wanted to talk to him and Tucker was insisting he get in contact with her "or else". Danny was going to assume that was less of a vague threat towards him and more of a sign there was a vague threat hanging over Tucker's head instead.

'Get in touch with Sam, or else…she is going to seriously compromise my physical composition, man!'

Danny turned off his phone. Eh, tomorrow was Sunday. He was supposed to meet up with them anyway. A few more hours wouldn't make a difference either way.

Almost as if right on script, Dash began to groan, waking up. He sat up a little straighter when he realized he had drifted off to sleep. "Oh, wow, sorry..." he muttered before wiping at the top of Danny's head. "Er…for falling asleep and…drooling on you a bit."

"Oh, ew," Danny groaned, reaching up to wipe at his head, but not feeling any wet patches. Slowly, Dash began to chuckle.

"Just joking, dude. As if I would drool all over you. Gross," Dash laughed, settling back into the couch, his arm around Danny's shoulders.

Danny, reached up and put a hand on Dash's arm, causing him to flinch and attempt to pull his arm back. "Sorry, was that too sudden? I don't want things to get weird between us...that would be lame, you know?" He sounded half panicked, which just made Danny snort a bit. Tightening his grip in an attempt to keep Dash calm, he spoke, changing the subject completely. "You know what I could go for? Pizza. No, tacos. Burgers. Thai food. You know what? Let's order something. We've got loads of take-out menus if you're game, Dash."

He relaxed and looked thankful as he gently took Danny's hand, glancing away shyly for a moment. "You know, now that I think about it, I haven't had Chinese in a while."

Danny nodded his head in approve, but made no immediate move to leave the comfort of the couch and Dash's company. "Good. I've been wanting orange chicken and chow mein all day."

TBC