Danny sees something in the park, and he learns of a horrible event that brought Dash and Sam close. Mentions rape. Angst. DashSamfriendship. DannySam.
November 10, 2006
I’ll give you the ride of your life…
Her eyes shot open, seeing nothing for a moment but the face of a man with bad intentions. Then she drew in a sharp breath of air, sitting up quickly to look around the room. She was alone. The realization both relieved and terrified her. Throwing the brunched up blankets off her person, she retrieved her cell phone from its place next to the computer and pressed the speed dial nine.
In the back of her mind, she recognized the irony of having him on speed dial. He was one of the people she disdained and despised, but here she was calling him in the middle of the night. She should be calling her best friends, either Danny or Tucker, or even Valerie would be a good choice. But no...
Daniel James Fenton was flying across the night sky. No, wait. That wasn’t possible. A senior student, no matter how hard he tried, couldn’t fly. Let’s try that again.
Danny Phantom was flying across the night sky. He’d just recaptured Skulker and Technus, who’d teamed up in the hopes of finally defeating the halfa. But even their combined forces could not overpower the skill and experience of the resident ghost hero of Amity Park. The ghostling was headed back home, to where his soft, comfortable, warm bed was calling his name. But a familiar aura in the park drew his attention.
'Sam.' He smiled slightly at the thought of her name. Samantha Alexandra Manson was one of his best friends, as well as the love of his life. But she didn’t know that. Danny hid his feelings from her, scared of rejection and the possibility that their friendship would be ruined if he told her. He didn’t deserve her anyway. She was too…perfect. He’d only flaw her perfection.
Then he realized the time, a frowned adorning his face. 'It’s a quarter past four in the morning. What the hell is she doing there? Something must be wrong.' And with this in mind, thoughts of the warm bed in his room were replaced by his best friend/the-girl-he-could-never-have being troubled, so he deviated his course and headed for the park.
Spying his best friend, he was quick to notice the other moving figure next to her. 'Must be Tucker,' he assumed. But then again, upon closer inspection, Tucker did not have blond hair, nor did he own a red and white football jacket. 'Dash?' His mind tried to come up with reasons on why his best friend and his bully-since-sixth-grade were hanging out together at this time of night. The only logical reason was that Sam had bumped into him and Dash was pestering her. But it didn’t look like Dash was annoying Sam. Not when he took off his prized jacket and insistently made her wear it around her shivering frame. And not when he held the small girl in his embrace. Danny Phantom braked hard in the air, surprise and jealousy overtaking his features. 'What the hell?!'
He could see that Sam welcomed the touch, for she did not flinch or try to pull away, but grabbed onto Dash’s clothes like she’d never let go, and this confused and angered him. He felt like he’d missed something big. Were they dating? No. If they were, then they were pretty good actors. They didn’t even acknowledge each other in school anymore, after a big fight last month about cruelty to animals that Sam won. Dash had shaken his head and walked away, and after that, poof! Ignore him, ignore her.
So if they weren’t dating, then Dash must know something Danny and Tucker didn’t. 'Yeah,' Danny thought, even though the idea wasn’t appealing. That did seem more likely. Dash knew something about her that was painful and he was…comforting her? That didn’t seem like Dash at all. 'They’re talking.' He turned invisible and floated close to them, within hearing range. He was gonna solve this mystery.
“…don’t worry about him anymore,” Dash was saying as he pulled her closer, making Danny’s eyes burn green with envy.
'Worry about whom?' Danny thought, trying to pull his thoughts away from murdering the blond-haired jock. And then his eyes widened with each word that escaped Sam’s lips.
Dash Baxter was one of the best-looking boys in Casper High. He was an athlete, meaning he wasn’t all that smart, but contrary to popular belief, he wasn’t that stupid. He knew what two plus two is equaled to, and that the nucleus was the center of a cell. He also knew that Sam Manson had dreamed of that night again.
He walked with her toward the park benches near the fountain, neither speaking just yet. She shivered, despite her thick corduroy jacket, as a wind blew by, and he took off his own varsity jacket to help her ward off the cold. She tried to give it back, but he insisted. “Thank you,” she said, and he knew that it wasn’t just for the jacket.
“Any time,” he said sincerely, and she began to shake, tears falling from her eyes. He bit his lip, feeling sympathy for his classmate, and he tentatively wrapped his arms around her. Surprisingly, she did not stiffen up in reaction to his hug, but rather grabbed onto his sweater and pulled him closer. She whimpered in his arms and he bit his lip harder, feeling scorn for the man who turned her into this.
Sam had been strong and willful and independent. She had been beautiful, even Dash had seen that. But in one night, her life was shaken, and she had fallen to her knees, all her glory stripped from her. Dash couldn’t just let her fire die. That was why he helped her that night. He admired Sam Manson for being herself. That was why he tried day by day to bring her down. He wanted to see her rise above the rest. “I dreamed again,” she confided, and he hugged her closer.
“You don’t have to worry about him anymore,” he said, trying to reassure his…friend? Was she his friend? He supposed so. They were secret friends. He liked that.
“I know that, Dash,” she said. “But… It was so… vivid. It wasn’t just his face I saw, I… I felt him around me. All… over me. I- I was scared,” she said, a sob following her claim. “I was so scared. And you didn’t show up to stop him in time.”
Dash shook his head, bringing a hand up to smooth down her soft hair. “Sam, I will always be there. Just don’t forget that. I won’t let him get you again. He won’t get you again.”
“How do you know?” Sam asked, feeling doubt even though relief was flowing through her at Dash’s words.
“Because my dad was talking to the Chief of Police a few hours ago. He was caught.” Sam sagged against him, and Dash caught her. He moved them both over to a bench before continuing. “He was caught assaulting another girl, and was brought to jail.”
“How do you know it was him?” Dash looked down at his companion.
“We were at the police station, my dad and I. I saw him being led to the cells.” Sam closed her eyes at the news. “I just…” His words made her look back up at him. “I want you to testify with me.”
Sam’s eyes widened. “What?” Her voice was small, and unsure.
“I want to testify. I want to put him behind bars for what he did to you. He deserves it!” Dash’s voice had a determined tone to it, and Sam just had to admire him for it. “Sam… I’m sorry, I shouldn’t force you to testify.”
“I want to.” Her words made his eyes widen. “Thank you,” she said, and he smiled down at her.
“Like I said, any time.” They sat quietly for a while, keeping their thoughts to themselves. The Dash spoke again. “Sam… Are we friends?”
Danny almost turned visible. 'What?! They’re not even friends?!' He was truly surprised. After all that he’d gathered in their short talk, he’d assumed they were friends already. But it seemed like they hadn’t talked about it. Until now. It surprised him as well that Dash had brought it up. He didn’t seem like the type to ask what his relationship to a girl was.
“Of course we are,” Sam said, and Dash smiled at her again. Danny sighed quietly. His best friend/the-girl-he-could-never-have and his bully were now friends. Great.
“Good. I just… I wanted to apologize. For last month. I said some pretty bad things to you. No, wait,” he said when Sam tried to speak. “I want to say sorry for everything. I- I actually didn’t mean any of it.” Sam frowned in confusion. “I know, I know, why do then?” Sam nodded in agreement, wanting to hear what Dash was going to say.
Danny had to admit, if only to himself, that he was curious as well.
“I like to see you riled up,” Dash began to say. “I like it when you defend what you believe in. You burn with determination and strength and passion. You’re fiery and independent. You fight. There’s no other girl I know who could hold a candle to you.” His words made Sam redden, despite the situation that brought them together tonight. Danny only wished he was the one to make her blush. “And when…” Dash swallowed heavily. “When that guy …” Danny saw her wince at what Dash was trying to say. Dash sighed and plowed on, deciding to be tactless just in this moment. “When he raped you,” he said, and Sam flinched, as if she was slapped. Danny felt the anger boil in him. Sam had been raped. “I got angry at him, and you as well.”
Sam sputtered. “Why me?”
Dash raked a hand though his hair in frustration, standing up. “Because! You let him! You didn’t fight! You just let your fear come over you. You never showed fear to me before, not to anyone else. But this guy grabs you and pulls you into an alley and you’re all weak and submissive. I hated it!” Dash was expressive about it, and Sam was startled. Danny could see that fear had crept into her eyes as well. Dash stopped. “I’m sorry. I- I didn’t mean to scare you.” Then Sam started to hyperventilate.
Sam closed her eyes and tried to be calm, but Dash’s outburst had terrified her. He was right. She hadn’t tried to fight back. She’d been weak. Because she was scared. Just like right now. “Sam? Shit, Sam, breathe.” Dash was panicking. “Sam, I’m sorry. Please…” The man’s face appeared in front of her again.
God, you’re gonna be tight.
“Stop! Stop it!” she cried, putting a hand on her head. She reached for her friend’s hand and he grasped it.
That’s a good girl.
“What’s wrong? Sam?”
I’ll give you the ride of your life…
“I keep hearing him…” she sobbed, and he pulled her into his arms.
I’ll give you the ride of your life…
“Think of something else, then,” he coaxed, and immediately, a face surfaced beneath the painful memory. Danny.
“Danny…” she murmured.
“Yeah, Sam, just think of Fenton. Think of all those times when he made you laugh and smile.” And Sam did. She thought of all the things they’d been through, and the voice stopped taunting her. She looked up at Dash, tired. “You okay now?”
Sam sighed shakily. “I will be,” she said. Dash nodded in understanding. “We should get home, it’s already five.”
“And we have that big test on Physics.” Sam nodded back. “Come on, I’ll take you home.”
Danny followed them back to Sam’s place, watching as Dash kissed her temple before leaving, making him shake with jealousy. Sam looked after him, surprised, but then quickly turned around and entered the house. Dash made his way around the corner, and then Danny phased into Sam’s room, sitting on her bed, waiting for his best friend. He’d learned a lot tonight. Sam had been raped, Dash saved her and befriended her, and she was keeping it from him. And Tucker. “Danny?” Sam asked when she closed the door. “What are you doing here?”
“I just got here. Skulker and Technus were out again.” Sam nodded in understanding. “Where were you?”
“Out in the park. I had to clear my head.” Danny nodded. Sam looked at him curiously, then her eyes narrowed. “You saw me, didn’t you?” It was more of a statement than a question. Danny nodded his head. “Did you…listen?” she asked, her eyes widening as she considered the possibility of Danny knowing.
Danny knew that she needed an oral answer. “Yes.” Sam looked horrified. She backed away from him, and Danny made no move to go near her. She had to be comforted first, he knew that much. If he pressed her now, she’d be scared of him, too. “Why didn’t you tell us?”
“I was scared.”
“Of what, Sam?” he asked her, his voice soft, none of his anger present. He didn’t want to scare her, he told himself. 'Keep it soft.'
Sam was silent for a long time, but Danny knew, by the air around her, that she was thinking, trying to solve the question truthfully. She didn’t know it herself. “I- I was scared… that you would be disgusted of me.” She didn’t look at him, and thus, she didn’t see the surprised expression on his face.
“Sam,” Danny said, “Look at me.” She obeyed, and Danny realized that Dash was right. She was submissive when thoroughly afraid. “Sam, you were… raped. It isn’t you I’m disgusted at, but the guy who did this. I love you, Sam.” He saw her eyes widen at the admission. “I love you so much, and it hurts me to know that you were raped, and I only realized it tonight. I noticed the signs, but I didn’t put together the pieces, and for that I’m very sorry. But I promise you, I’ll never be disgusted at you. I couldn’t.”
Sam started crying, and she bowed her head. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you,” she got out. Danny felt the air clear, and realized that she still wasn’t going to come near him. “I love you, too. So much that it burns. I wanted you to be my first, and I can’t give you that.” She was rambling, just saying everything that came to mind, and Danny got up and neared her. He held his hand out to her, and she took it without hesitation. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, her tears still falling.
“It’s okay, Sammy, just cry. I’ll be here.”
And he held her as she cried.
Eh…something that came to mind after reading Moving On by Fey Phantom. Just a Dash and Sam friendship. I could never replace the Danny and Sam loving in my heart.