|over the moon
Author: coffee-stained lips PM
What is a slow life in a fast world? / Freddie&Sam. Oneshot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Sam P. & Freddie B. - Words: 3,775 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 47 - Follows: 2 - Published: 08-12-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7280589
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
a/n: Okay, so, I love FreddieSam with all my heart and soul. Recently, with iOMG and now, coming up, iLost My Mind, I figured Seddie would be a good choice for my next fic. Um, iOMG - it was awesome. And now, I am just so pumped for iLost My Mind, which will go more in depth to their relationship than just a kiss (though that kiss was epic). So, I hope you enjoy my little piece and hopefully iLost My Mind will rock. :]
Also, let this be for my Seddie Quadruplets on NGF - Aly, Mad, Jenny, y'all are lovely.
She hands him a silver Sharpie that she finds in her back pocket. He traces the outline of a heart on the tip of her shoe.
It glimmers in the light of the moonbeam.
Everything about them is hush-hush and secret pinkie-locking underneath the desks at school. They toss glances around like it's nothing, like they're foolish teenage friends in on a joke about the teacher up front. But really, there's more to it than that.
They're not defined by storybook romances or by their peers' relationships. They are different – together and apart. They don't kiss and they don't cuddle; they punch and they kick and they banter back and forth. They sit on lonesome nights together on a rusty fire escape, staring up at the milky-white moon as its beams blanket the city of Seattle. Sometimes they look down instead, at the quickly moving cars, engines pouring exhaust into what should be fresh air and their horns honking noisily. It makes them want to jump from this high perch, jump into the street chaos and disappear from the world.
Her fingers curl around the railing, her blonde tendrils blocking her view as she leans far over. She can almost feel him tense at her precarious position, and it makes her smirk – his unease is welcomed, and besides, he's a self-proclaimed masochist.
The metal feels ice-cold against her flesh – or it could just be her hands on their own. Either way, in spite of the raw cold, she keeps her fingers around the rail, tapping in a slow, steady rhythm with her index finger on it. The iciness is consumed by her fingertips and appreciated by her mind; it makes her blood curdle, but as she waits it out, it instead starts to burn. The irony fascinates her.
The cars are still rushing past down there, still honking, still polluting. A blaze of mismatched colors – soothing blues, angry reds, mellow yellows, fast greens, deviant purples – all tarrying on the road, stuck in a traffic jam miles wide. And when they're not stuck, all they do is go fast until they're blurs. Barely there.
Why can't they stop a second? Why can't they go slow? See the city as a paradise, and not a pit stop? She wonders why.
Biting her bottom lip, she wonders how the world has become so fast. Admittedly, she's not a slow person: she's easily excited, eats on the run, and most of the time she sleeps on the fire escape, miles from her house, barefooted. But then, she sees things in a slow way. Life is slow, and she's grown up believing the solution to that is not to make it faster, but to live better.
(Then again, what is a slow life in a fast world?)
She keeps tapping her index finger, chipped blue polish almost sparkling as it catches the moonlight.
"If I tried to jump from here, what would you do?"
"I'd catch you." There's no hesitation.
"What if you couldn't?"
"I'd jump after you."
(Two lives in a fast world – that's worth something.)
He tries to breach the subject of college with her but her answer is always no.
"Why won't you talk about it?"
"Let me eat in peace, Freducation, or I'll break you."
Whenever she rejects it he just sighs and watches her eat or settles into the couch cushions, and if Carly isn't there he'll erase the awkwardness with his arms around her hips and his lips trembling over hers. He never tries hard enough to get an answer out of her, and it leaves him guilty during senior year when letters of acceptance from regal universities like Princeton and Yale and Harvard flood his mailbox and hers collects dust, never fed except by the unsatisfying monthly issue of Alternative Press.
Don't leave me are the words etched into his skin on long nights when her mom is out and Carly's busy, and he wants to say he won't but his mind flickers to the crisp, white envelopes piling up on his kitchen counter, so instead he just kisses her harder, letting her swallow the taste and she eventually forgets to bring it back up. Somewhere in the back of her mind she knows he can't stay and she can't follow, but she likes to believe he's loyal enough to forget his ambitions for the candlelit Friday nights where they give themselves to each other clandestinely.
It's all leading down to a dead end – he was never meant to be a liar, a romancer like he acts now and he'll realize that soon enough. She was never meant to let herself be tethered to somebody; she must keep herself on the move, and breaking hearts is easy. She's an Aries and he's an Aquarius, and Lord knows they're not compatible, even as they try.
Her foot keeps a steady thumping noise on the hardwood floor of the studio. The little silvery heart bounces up and down with her, glimmering as it moves and catches the light in different spots. She feels like it could make her smile, if she wasn't already so sad.
Carly and Freddie are off to the side, grunting as they lift one of the last cardboard boxes. Suddenly everything is so empty. Everything that's lived in the confines of the studio, seen once a week by the world (millions of times a week by three special people), from the black truck with yellow and purple flames to the neon dachshund sign, is all stuffed with each other in greasy brown boxes being carried down to the storage basement. The entire room picked clean of what six years had made it.
Spencer takes the box from their hands, teardrops glistening in the corners of his eyes, his lower lip quivering dangerously. The two then go back over, sneakers squeaking painfully loud on the wood, and lift another box.
"Sam, you could help." Freddie hisses through clenched teeth as he raises the box to eyelevel. Sam rolls her eyes melodramatically, but doesn't stop twisting her foot in the air.
"Oh, leave her alone," Carly says with that sadsad smile that manages still to light up her face. "It wouldn't be Sam to help."
"Listen to her, baby." Sam says, and Freddie smiles because, unbeknownst to Carly, that nickname isn't just mocking.
So he and Carly continue to lug the boxes as Sam sips her iced tea. (Fixed by Carly herself – it'sfilledtothebrimwithlove.) But when the final box sits alone, practically screaming the end like the black blocky letters at the last scene of a movie, she stands with them as they all stare back at it, fingers trembling at the unwanted touch.
"This is it," Carly says, "When we bring that box downstairs…that'll be it." There's a quiet amongst them, as memories flood back – happy memories like the first time they saw just how many people were viewing their show or when they had such greats as David Archuleta and the Plain White Ts and Fred onset; sad memories like when they found it trashed by those pet photographers with the mangy cat and when Carly and Sam almost ended the show, as well as their friendship; this would be the last memory, the memory of emptying the studio, carrying the boxes to the cellar, and closing the door forever.
Sighing and shrugging, Freddie goes forward to grab the box, but Sam grabs hold of his collar and pulls him back. He's about to yell "what the hell!" when she says "Then leave it. Maybe then it won't feel so much like it's over. It'll just feel…different. But not over." Freddie and Carly exchange glances, and then Carly gives another show of that sad smile.
"Sam's right." she says, and quite quickly the tears rush forward. Freddie and Sam each take hold of one side, their arms around her frail, sobbing frame until all three are on the floor in a huddle of shaking, heaving bodies.
"iCarly won't ever be over," Carly says, "It'll just be different…yes, just different." And the three of them hold onto that as they leave – Carly in the middle, Freddie and Sam's pinkies locked behind her unknowingly – the box forlornly sitting in the middle of the floor.
They don't even remember what's in it.
When he tells everybody he's going to the California Institute of Technology, she doesn't scream, she doesn't kick, she doesn't try to drive her fist through his stomach, his head, or down his throat; instead she hugs him like everyone else does, except tighter (even tighter than Carly).
She goes with him, Carly, Spencer, and Gibby to the airport, where Carly's also being shipped off to her choice of the University of Hawaii (guess why?). They all crowd in the middle of the airport, Freddie's plane to the right, Carly's to the left (and Sam's nowhere).
Carly ensconces her in a bone-crushing hugs, mashing her words together, omgi'mgonnamissyoumost & you'relikethesisterineverhad & ohgodi'mgonnacrypleasetellmenotto. Freddie hugs her more loosely and all he says is "I'm gonna miss you, demon," but it's ten times more effective than Carly and she digs her nails into her palm to keep from choking up tears.
Her vision seems to fail her as she swivels her head toward Carly boarding the plane, tears falling, and then toward Freddie, head turned forward so he won't suffer from Carly's tears. Black clouds the edges of her eyeballs until it overwhelms her.
Spencer tries to take her hand, but she shies away, the sadness suddenly replaced by anger and frustration. "Don't touch me," she growls, and Spencer doesn't, fearful of her wrath. He falls behind her as she takes a shaky step forward, but soon enough he discovers she's not going to walk obediently – she's going to run.
She runs, weaving through mobs of passengers, flailing her arms and knocking their espressos out of their hands to spill in dark liquid on the floor. She dodges security, jumps over baby strollers, and keeps gogogoing until it's all just too much and she collapses outside, head pillowed by rough grass.
She doesn't fight when she feels slender arms holding her up. She doesn't fight when she feels the pudgy hand of a Gibby around her wrist. She doesn't fight when they lead her into the taxi cab and sit her down in the middle (a caged bird never sings).
All she does is close her eyes.
The little scritch-scratch of pen on paper overtakes the car horns and yells beneath the fire escape. She grips the railing, not for herself, but out of frustration as she listens to Freddie in the background, scritch-scratching away.
"Fredward, put the stupid pen away." she commands. "I've been waiting for this for months, and I'm not gonna watch that piece of paper get more action than me." Freddie sighs, not looking up from the paper or ceasing the incessant scritch-scratch.
"I need to finish this term paper or I'll get a B for the semester. Personally not digging that idea." he says. She'd pay for a B, she thinks, and he throws it around like it's nothing. That's how it's always been – he's always needed perfection. He's on the borderline of fast living, but she keeps him grounded.
(Or kept him grounded. They've been apart for five months.)
Angrily she grabs the pen from his hand, and hurtles it over the balcony, watching on in amusement as it falls quickly to the street and cars run it over, cracking it into shards of blue. She can't see it, of course, it's too far away, but she can imagine it – and it feels nice.
"Ah, Sam, why'd you – " he begins, but she doesn't give him time to finish before she's thrown herself into his lap, entwining their legs and kissing him. He forgets the term paper and the forever-lost pen, and just molds himself into her.
When she releases him she grins, licking away the smeared chapstick tasting of cherries. She plays with his loose collar, one side down, the other side popped upwards – her proud doing. "I'll bet your little ol' English professor doesn't kiss like that." Freddie's brow crinkles, not in confusion really, but annoyance.
"I'm trying to get a good grade," he says, "so I can graduate." Graduate – the word stings.
"Graduate in what?" Sam says deviously, her tongue tracing her lower lip. Freddie shakes his head.
"I'm not hooking up with my professors." he says, and wraps his arms tighter round her waist. "They're all fifty-two anyway – I'd rather have a young blonde." Devilishly she leans back into him, but inside her she can still feel that fear that seizes her without him: he's always been smart, what could keep him from getting someone just as? Some college girl flouncing around – she can just picture it: girl drops books, Freddie picks them up, fingers touch, and boom, Sam is old news.
It honestly scares her.
The soft kiss turns to more, with their lips barely parting and their hair tangling up – with her nails digging into his neck for all the world to see on this fire escape, her hot breath murmuring "I love you" against him.
She doesn't know quite what he says after (she's too busy with his lips against her ear) but it sounds like "No."
This is ruining him, she thinks when he tries to take her out for a nice lunch but she just wants to play footsy under the table. She's shattering his innocence when she rejects his love and reshapes it into unadulterated passion that's more like Griffin than Freddie; but he makes it too easy. He's eager to please, and when she yanks him between the racks of Ralph Lauren shirts to make out she doesn't feel the challenge anymore.
"If I asked you to stay," she says, fiddling with his blue tie that's come undone as they sit cross-legged in a Gap changing stall, "would you?" He smiles, sadly, as he lays his fingers over hers, maneuvering them to put his tie back in place.
"I'd jump off a building for you." he replies. "You know that." She does.
And that honestly scares her too.
"I'm bad for you, you know." she whispers from behind the locked door, only a foot or so from Carly's. He grins drunkenly, and his breath smells like Captain Morgan (herfaultherfault) as he presses his face against hers.
"I know…" he mumbles, hands grazing her thighs; it's not like he hasn't done this before sober, but she thought she could handle him drunk – she can't. His words from the first night are haunting her – "I don't drink. It's how my dad died." She never asked what that meant, just tucked her mom's alcohol farther back in the fridge. But now he's smashed, and his hands are everywhere, and there's no exhilaration at his lips – only fright.
He pushes her up against the wall, kissing her neck as his half-closed eyes search for her body. She digs her hands into his sides, too afraid to stop it, but too afraid to continue. She whispers "No, no, Freddie, no," but he keeps at it and she herself is a little too tipsy to recognize the consequences.
It's just when his fingers touch her skirt zipper that she finds the strength to push him away; he staggers back a moment, lids over his eyes and his mouth limply hanging open. He's still too drunk to be offended, but she can see the haze in his eyes clear a little.
They stare at each other, and there's a hitch in her breath as she says, "I think this is a good time to say goodbye." He doesn't do anything but stare, and she can't tell if he heard her right or if she just sounds like gibberish. All she can tell is that smile on his face is gone, and not returning.
Grabbing her jacket off the back of the couch, she leaves without her goodbye, and he doesn't say one either.
He leaves the next morning. She doesn't go to the airport to say goodbye – her phone keeps vibrating, Carly's number on the screen, but she just leaves it on her nightstand as she walks out the door.
She drives aimlessly, until she passes Bushwell Plaza; then she turns around and heads to the parking lot, and goes through the lobby, up the stairs, and inside his apartment (hint: the spare key's in the potted plant – how unoriginal).
It doesn't feel the same, though; not being alone on the fire escape, but being there in the scorching sunlight with birds chirping overhead and less cars on the road. It's not the same as at night, when the cars are abundant and honking fiercely, the moon overlooking their sins while they don't care, and the silver heart of Sharpie on her shoe sparkling.
Angrily, she rips her shoes off, ties the laces together, and flings them over the railing. She refuses to watch where they land, just turns away and begins to count the seconds until June, when he comes back.
One, two, three, four…
He doesn't come back. Not really.
Physically Freddie steps off that plane, walks through the throng of passengers to the group. He hugs them all, each lasting the same amount of time and with the same amount of roughness. He's there alright, all brown eyes and brown hair and toothy smile, a collegian with textbooks under his arm.
But she can tell it's not really him. Those brown eyes she's looked into for years are devoid of their twinkle, and that brown hair through which she ran her fingers is greasier than she last recalled, and his smile is weak – he's weak.
(She made him weak.)
They and Carly go about their usual ways: he lives across the hall again, and she bounds up into the Shay apartment to rummage through their fridge like old times, and Spencer doesn't care; he's just happy everything is as it was for three short months. Carly's elated too, and Freddie acts it, and Sam – well, she's not.
And he still tries to follow her into the room when she's alone, holds his hand over hers when nobody's looking, and it's painful because she hurt him in that instant – she ruined him – and yet he won't let go, even though he should. The scary thing though is that she's just holding on tighter, because she's afraid of the consequences if his fingers aren't laced with hers.
"Why don't you just leave?" she asks him out on the fire escape when his arms are around her waist and his nose pressed against her hair. At first he doesn't say anything, and she's horrified at the prospect of having to repeat herself, but then he says "I love you, Sam." She wishes he wouldn't do this, because all of a sudden her breath catches and her heart is knotted and she doesn't do things like this.
"I'm just hurting you," she whispers, "from the inside out."
He stares off at the sky, not at her, and she can feel him breathing differently now – hesitantly, angrily. His arms are still secured around her waist and she's counting down until he lets go, but she doesn't want him to (hehastosam).
When he does (twenty long seconds), she turns around, and he's running his fingers over his head, looking down at their shoes. That lasts awhile too until he points to her feet and asks,
"Why are you wearing sandals?"
Pathetically, she starts to cry, and she couldn't hate herself more as she flings herself into his arms and he rubs her back soothingly, silently, and lets her tears soak through his shirt.
Her hands are gripping the railing, metal on flesh, freezing and burning all at once. The dark of night masks her face, and the stars look down on her in disapproval – but she can't make herself care anymore. She just can't.
She tries to imagine Freddie behind her, in his lawn chair, working on some stupid term paper or editing a video for iCarly or maybe just looking at her with those painful brown eyes that can only see her in the best of lights when she's the worst of any girls he could fall in love with.
She stops soon.
Nothing is different from any other night – the cars are honking, moving, whizzing by, the stars are bright and the sky navy, the metal is cold on her fingers.
Except this night he's not there. And she's glad.
She makes sure he's busy this night. She makes sure he doesn't know, so she doesn't have to do this knowing he's right there behind her – sacrificing himself for her when leaving him is her doing him a favor.
She takes a deep breath, closes her eyes – moves, stands, jumps.
Her last thought before she hits the ground is of just what was in that last box.