Late night, angst-esque musing. One-shot, stand alone. Not related to any of my other pieces. Just in a rather sour mood tonight.

Inspired by Katy Perry's Who Am I Living For?

I own nothing.


The Road Less Travelled

November 19, 2012

Who am I living for?

Not a question I commonly ask myself. Sure, I contemplate it from time to time, on those rare evenings when insomnia haunts me and books can not hold my interest. I contemplate a lot of things those evenings, though. Mostly shallow things, like school and friends and the like. But occasionally, when I'm feeling pensive, I venture into more philosophical topics. Like, for instance, what happens after you die? Does everyone turn into a ghost? Are all ghosts evil? Are all humans evil? Why do humans even exist? What is my purpose?

Who am I living for?

Being the fiercely independent goth that I am, the answer is clear each time the question forms: myself. I'm living for myself. I'm seventeen years old, and my life is about me right now. That's the way it should be.

But lately, the answer seems less clear.

I think, in all honesty, the main reason I hate Paulina so much is her clinginess. Her utter inability to function without her posse constantly orbiting around her gigantic ego. It really irritates me. Like, honestly, do you really need a friend to go with you to the bathroom? Does she hold your hand while you use the toilet? Get over yourself and learn to use the bathroom on your own. Sheesh.

I'm a bit random at this time of night.

But like I said before, lately, the answer to that question seems less clear. And that scares me more than any ghost fight I've ever been caught in the middle of.

I guess I'm in a philosophical mood tonight.

It's nearly two o'clock in the morning, and my body is showing no signs of sleepiness. It's encouraging, I suppose. Though I'll probably be wishing for at least an hour of sleep come sunrise, because I know for a fact I won't be getting any sleep anytime soon.

Pariah is back. He escaped. We're...we're really not sure how it happened. All I know is that we were exploring again, we passed by the sarcophagus, and Tucker noticed it was open. And empty.

And now Pariah is just a few miles outside of Amity with the biggest ghost army any of us have ever seen. Amity is in full panic mode. People locked themselves down in bomb shelters, or else they took off for Chicago to wait the battle out. There are only a few of us left.

We're all gathered at the Fenton's house. I'm in the living room, up on one of the couches because the floor is pretty much carpeted with people tossing and turning in their sleeping bags. Danny's on the other couch, wide awake. Like he could sleep right now.

He's just staring at the ceiling, this blank look on his face. I think he may have drifted off with his eyes open. Good. That's better than no sleep at all.

Tomorrow morning, he'll be the first one up, grave and somber, resigned to his certain doom. I hate it when he's like that. I wish I could take the weight of it all off of his shoulders. I try to remind him as often as I can that he's a hero. He's fantastic. And one day, just a few weeks ago, in fact, he said something that I don't think I'll ever forget:

"Yeah, I get it. But sometimes the greatness just...I don't know. It gets me down."

Imagine that. The fame, the notoriety of being great gets him down. I told him he was an idiot. He snorted. The subject changed.

But as I had more time to think about and digest the statement, I realized exactly what he was talking about. For every ghost battle that has ever been fought in the city limits of Amity Park, and a few beyond, Danny was right there in the middle of it all. He weathered the storms, one after another after another. He was always there, always standing on the front lines, watching as the bombs dropped around him and the world threatened to cave in on top of him. He was always the one to catch the debris, to clean it all up and make it look as if nothing had ever gone wrong. All while dealing with being a teenager.

How heavy that responsibility must be.

Who does he live for? Certainly not himself. I shudder to even consider what the world would be like right now if Danny Fenton only lived for himself. Where would we be if he refused to take my dare all those years ago? Or if Tucker had been the one to investigate? Or worse yet, me?

And even assuming he did take the dare and did receive the powers, what if he refused to use them? What if Danny Fenton chose to stay Danny Fenton, shoving Danny Phantom away in some dark corner of his mind?

I would have died a long, long time ago.

It scares me to consider it.

He's talking to me now, telling me that he's scared. He only ever talks about this kind of thing to me, and it makes me smile despite the circumstances. I like being the one he trusts with his emotions, on the rare evening he feels the need to share them. It makes me feel like, even just for a moment, I'm easing the burden of everything. Like I'm taking the weight off of his head for a minute or two.

He's scared. He doesn't know what's going to happen tomorrow. He doesn't want to die.

I tell him that he won't, even though I don't know if that's true. He doesn't seem to care, he's too busy trying to hide the fact that he's crying. I shush him, I tell him not to cry. Everything's gonna be okay.

I still don't know if that's true.

He's next to me, clinging to me, no longer ashamed of his tears. I comfort him the best I can, letting him bury his face in the crook of my neck and sob. He's not even trying to be quiet, but thankfully he's a relatively quiet crier. The loudest part is when he heaves in a breath. It's like his lungs are working against themselves, refusing to expand, so that he has to take three or four breaths right in a row. I have one hand on his arm, his hand yanking on my shoulder to drag me closer to him, and my other arm is around his waist. He pulls me into his lap and starts this strange, sporadic rocking movement, like I'm the one crying and he's comforting me.

"I- ...-unt...-oo...-iie..." He heaves, his grip around me almost painful. He coughs, apparently frustrated that his words are so butchered through his tears. "I don' wan' you t'die," He tries again, sniffling rather violently.

"I'm not gonna die," I tell him. And I sincerely hope it's true.

He holds me a while longer, his heaving sobs slowly tapering into quiet sniffles. My head is resting against his, my cheek on his forehead. I get the feeling that his eyes are closed.

He apologizes for losing control without looking up. I tell him that there's nothing wrong with letting go every now and then, especially when there's so much pressure. His grip around me tightens at my words.

"I'm scared," He whispers again.

"You're gonna be fine." I tell him again.

"I don't care what happens to me," He says, and edge of impatience in his voice. "I'm scared that I'm gonna lose you." I remain silent, unsure of where the conversation is going. "I can't lose you, Sam. I need you."

"It's okay," I say uncertainly.

"No, it's not. I can't handle the pressure without you. I need you, your strength, to handle the pressure. I can't do it without you."

And I don't think he's kidding.

He admits that he loves me, and apologizes for not telling me sooner. He says that he can't stand going into battle, where we'll surely lose track of each other in the chaos, without knowing that I know how he feels. He's silent for a moment, and I swear I feel him press a light kiss along my jaw, up near my ear. He tells me it's okay if I don't feel the same way about him, he won't be angry or hold a grudge or anything like that. He's in the middle of telling me how he just needed me to know before everything started going to hell tomorrow when I interrupt him with a kiss on his mouth.

He is very quiet after that.

He falls asleep with his head in my lap, his face relaxed and peaceful. I keep my fingers running through his hair, marveling at the softness of it, as I watch him sleep.

Who am I living for?

The answer is clear again.

I'm living for him. No questions asked. I want to be there, at his side, for every single battle he fights. I want to be the person that takes his burden. I want to be the one he turns to when it all becomes too much. I love him. He is everything to me. He is home.

I don't care about the sacrifices I know full well will come with giving myself up to him. This isn't just me falling in love with my best friend. No, it's far bigger than that, far greater. I'm in love with a hero. I can't ignore the fact that the world seems to have waged war against him, both sides of him, no matter how hard I try. The moment I stand beside him, a giant target will be painted on top of me. They'll thirst for my blood, too, because I cherish him, and he might just feel the same way about me.

But, then, I've always been able to handle pressure pretty well.

I will live for him until my last breath, and into whatever lies beyond.

And, at the end of it all, I like to think that maybe, just maybe, he's living for me, too.

Thank you for bearing with me through that.

- Tori