This is it.
Wow. I can't believe it's actually over.
All I can say is thank you. To anyone and everyone out there who has remained faithful to this story, thank you. This has been a constant in my life during some very dramatic and emotional events. Your reviews always bring a smile to my face. You guys are the greatest, seriously. I wouldn't have made it to the end of this beast without you guys. This whole story is dedicated to you guys. Thank you for your loyalty and your faithfulness.
Okay, I won't keep you waiting anymore. I don't own Danny Phantom.
February 22, 2014
- TWO YEARS LATER -
He did not think it was possible.
Three years earlier, he would have been willing to bet all the money in his possession that there was absolutely nothing he loved more than sunsets.
Two years earlier, he would have sworn he loved nothing.
He leaned back against the thick, oak bar, surveying the warmly lit scene before him with a half-empty glass of cold beer in his right hand. Everyone he had come to know over the last two years was there, dressed in their finest clothes, dancing and laughing merrily beneath wrought-iron chandeliers hung from the high, vaulted ceiling above. He watched Charlie and Libby chase each other through the forest of legs on the dance floor, Libby's shriek of laughter the only audible noise over the music pouring from a set of large speakers set up against the far wall. The kind of warmth that had nothing to do with the alcohol in his system spread through him, dancing like a campfire in his heart.
They were all standing a little to the right, close to the back door. Jazz's hair was longer now, though it was hard to tell with it done up so nicely. She'd filled out a little more since they were reunited, with Danny's encouragement. She looked positively radiant. Tucker smiled and adjusted his glasses with his free hand; his other was busy supporting Michael's weight as the child dozed off against his shoulder. The boy was already almost identical to Tucker, though the personality he recently began to develop was much closer to Valerie's. The bride in question was trying to carry on a conversation with Jazz, but her gaze continuously strayed to her husband of three hours and their son. A soft smile lit her already glowing face. And then there was Sam.
Danny's heart leapt into his throat as he gazed at her. She was watching Valerie speak, absorbing every word. She'd cut her hair short the moment she was well enough to do so on her own, though not as short as it had been before the Event. The raven locks now brushed her shoulders and danced around her neck every time she moved her head. He smiled; he woke up with his face buried in those locks almost every morning now. She glanced his direction and their eyes met. She offered him a smile and he returned it lazily.
They had developed an unspoken code. After a year of wandering on his own, Danny found large crowds a bit much for him to handle. When he got overwhelmed, he would simply walk away. Sam understood. She would let him have a few hours to himself, and if he did not come back to her on his own, she would stop whatever she was doing to go find him. Just to be sure.
She raised her eyebrows slightly and tilted her head; an unspoken invitation to join their little circle. He smiled and shook his head slowly, before flicking his bangs out of his eyes and glancing down at his feet. His unspoken invitation for her to join him. She immediately turned to Valerie and murmured something. Valerie nodded and smiled, squeezing Sam's arm as Sam slipped around Jazz and made her way across the dance floor to join him.
He reached for her and she fell into his embrace, tucking her head beneath his chin and sighing. He found himself marveling yet again at how well they fit together. They stood still for an endless moment, enjoying the peace, before Danny began to sway slightly. He felt her chuckle against his chest and she squeezed her arms around his waist a little tighter, before her hands snaked around and up his chest to his shoulders. She pushed away and smiled up at him serenely.
He loved her.
He loved the way her hair stood up at crazy, impossible angles when she woke up in the mornings.
He loved the way she clung to the arm he wrapped around her waist when they fell asleep at night.
He loved her quiet, breathy sighs when she slept.
He loved to kiss the soft skin on the underside of her wrist when they held hands.
He loved her more than anything in the entire world. In fact, she really was his entire world; strange, he thought. I never imagined that I would be able to hold my whole world.
Sam lifted herself up to her tip toes, lips brushing against his ear. "I love you," she whispered.
Oh, how he loved her, too.