A/N: Sister story to "Un-Normal". Same rules apply. Written because I was writing a bit too much Sam-specific in the other one... but I still wanted to be the voice of Sam. ... Also, feel lucky I'm in the mood I'm in (whatever this is) - or this would be a paragraph shorter. A very important specific paragraph would not be here. I'm still not sure I'm comfortable with it in here...
Disclaimer: I don't own iCarly, because if I did, I'd own pretty much all of Schneider-verse, and man - I do NOT have that much power. Please don't sue.
Huge kudos and hugs and thanks go to jannika, who has said so many positive things I just want to hug her all the time... and Nikki. Who is amazing beyond any possible description, and I want to thank her particularly for Cupcakes. I was crying I was so moved and happy and touched. No lie. (hugs both of you)
Sam pretends that this is the most comfortable chair she has ever sat on, and that she's always loved watching Seattle's skyline.
Sam can pretend she's ignoring the soreness, and that it didn't even hurt that much to start. She can pretend that everyone knows. She can pretend Spencer's strong enough to tell everyone, and no one will bother her about it.
Sam can arrange her face to not show how she's feeling, and she basks in the security of her mask. Her eyes are dry. But Sam can feel, on her neck, a few tears that Spencer is hiding from the world. The sensation makes it easier, and Sam lets him cling to her desperately, squeezing his hand to show him she knows.
Sam can't stop the thoughts from coming, so she pretends she doesn't have them. She lets herself go, and lets people think whatever the hell they want to. Occasionally, Sam forgets to breathe, and only Spencer stroking her hair, or tracing circles along her skin lifts her out of her reverie enough to take a breath.
Sam consciously thinks on it only once. If Spencer were not there with her, firmly, continuously there with her, she would have broken down. Her mask would have slipped, and the thoughts flying through her mind would have burned. But Spencer is there, the solid rock Sam can cling to.