The glow of the TV shone on the center of the living room and bounced off a very distracted face. Carly kept thinking back to that day. Everything had been so weird, for lack of a better term.
When Sam heard Shannon's comment, Carly had to grab her arm and remind her that Madame Teen Therapist would not appreciate if all their calming exercises were thrown out the window. As always, Sam heeded Carly's advice. That was a good thing. The bad thing was that she did not rant about how Shannon and everyone else should just jump into a pool of piranhas. She didn't say that she would love nothing more than to tie a honey covered Shannon to a tree right beside an ant hill-- and not to a hill of black ants either. Neither did she enumerate the reasons why she will never consider Freddie a potential life partner. Instead, she just turned around and left. This was a scary sign. A very scary sign, indeed.
She watched Sam stomp away and Carly's brain told her to follow and make sure she wasn't going to go Godzilla on unsuspecting students. However her heart told her to heed mother nature and go wee-wee. And if she ever learned something from Spencer worth remembering; it was to follow your heart and that mother nature should never be ignored. She was merely following those two important life rules.
After heeding the call, Carly rushed out of rest room and hurried back to the bleachers. Images of Freddie on the floor being creamed by Sam flashed before her eyes. She turned a corner and scanned the seats-- Please don't let there be blood. I hate blood. A sigh of relief escaped her lips as she saw Freddie smile and wave at her, seemingly unharmed. No bruises, bloody lips or messy hair. He was fine.
She waved back. Then out of nowhere, she felt a hand on her arm. When she looked over at the owner of the hand, she found very sweaty male.
"Oh, hey," she said as she eyed Ziggy's shorts. "You look sexy," she mocked.
He gave her the tiniest smile and at that instant she knew there was something the matter.
"What's up?" She asked with a frown.
Ziggy scratched his head. "Uh. I don't know... I wanted to ask about Sam. She just, um--"
"Zigfreid!" A voice interrupted. Both glanced at its source to find the coach motioning at Ziggy.
"Oh, talk to you later Shay," He said quickly as he rushed back to their team bench.
Confused and slightly feeling the urge to sass someone, Carly went back to her seat.
The day continued to not be what she expected. First of all, Sam was supposed to go up on stage, get her trophy and leave with the Shays. Did not happen. Second, they were all supposed to celebrate together and scarf down obscene amounts of cake and meat together. Did not happen. Third, the three of them were supposed to hang out, which usually goes hand in hand with the aforementioned. Did not happen. Sam did go up on stage and she did get her trophy. But after that, she merely waved at Carly and Freddie, approached her mom and they drove off. This led to not getting to eat cake or meat or any other forms of edible good things; as well as leading them to not hang out. Sam was at home, probably scheming a diabolical scheme, that only she can scheme, against Shannon and whoever thought she and Freddie were secret super sweethearts. Freddie was, well, he was in Freddie land doing Freddie things.
Carly sighed on her chair as she flipped the channels in a rhythmic pattern. Flip, flip, pause, flip, pause, flip.
By the second round of the flipping combination, the door creaked open. She turned to find Sam dusting off her shorts and tucking the hairpin back in her pocket. Sam strode over to the couch and collapsed beside Carly.
"So" Carly drew out.
"So," Sam lazily replied as she continued to stare at the screen.
"Ziggy asked me about you."
Sam arched her back and sank deeper into the couch as she heaved a throaty sigh. "If you're digging for information: I asked him out."
Carly stared at Sam, hoping that the act of not blinking would cue her to continue. Instead, what she got was Sam reaching into her pocket and taking out a stick of string cheese. She sniffed it gingerly and took a bite. "Cheese."
Carly reached over and snatched the cheese out her hands.
"I only feed cheese to people who tell their secrets!"
"What's the big deal? It's not like I've never asked a guy out before."
"Well, not right after someone accused you of being Freddie's rebound girl."
Sam gave a snort, "as if Freddie is cool enough to have a rebound girl. He doesn't even know what a rebound is!" She made a grabbing motion at the cheese, but Carly's hands saw it coming. Carly stretched out her limb, making the product an unreachable goal.
"What I don't get," Carly continued as she fends off the increasingly agitated blonde, "is that you just let it slide. I know I stopped you from attacking, but since when have you let anything slide? Since when were you passive aggressive?!"
"Give it!" Sam leapt from her seat and clambered on top of Carly, her hands reaching for her food.
At that moment, Spencer chose to walk in the apartment. The two girls were still struggling on the couch and too engrossed in their own little bubble to even look at him. Spencer paused. To an ordinary guardian, this sight was not something you would ever want to see. It didn't look good, and not the least bit ladylike. But to a guardian such as Spencer, who's seen stranger things, it wasn't all that disconcerting.
"You girls play nice," He called out as he walked to his room.
The two, both out of air, lay still on the couch with their limbs entangled. "Geez," Sam said as she blew her bangs out of her eyes, "Why are you freaking out? I'm a teenage girl with teenage hormones and I haven't had a date in almost a year!"
Carly squirmed and wiggled her way out from under Sam. Sam sat back up, setting her friend free from under her but still eyeing the cheese with an eagle-like glare. The bite mark on it stared at her menacingly, almost begging her to take another.
"Whatever, Sam," Carly said as she sat back up. She looked down at her shirt and vexingly dusted herself off, picking up strands of blonde hair in the process. She glanced back at Sam and found her friend still glaring at the now flattened stick of animal byproduct in her hands. "You know what, Sam, you're obviously so in love with Freddie that you had to ask out your teammate just to prove that you're not. Here," Carly threw her back her food, which Sam caught expertly, "do what you want to do, but don't expect me to approve of you dragging Ziggy into it. And don't expect me to act dumb." Carly moved to the edge of the couch. She picked up the remote and continued flipping the channels.
As Carly watched Spongebob hit Patrick with a baseball bat, she felt something land on her lap. She looked down and found Sam's string cheese, its appearance the way it was when she gave it back.
Carly flipped off the television and, with a push on the couch, adjusted herself to face Sam. Nothing was said as both waited for the other to speak first.
Sam's palms reached her face. "Aw, dammit, why can't you just tell me how I'm supposed to feel instead of making me think."
Carly smiled. She scooted closer to her and linked their arms. "Well here's what I think. I think you should cancel your date with a certain teammate. Just because something's bothering you doesn't mean you have to cover it up with something else. Besides, if you wanted to be more obvious, you might as well have asked out Spencer."
Spencer, always having perfect timing, wandered out of his room. "Who 'might as well have asked out Spencer'? Because she should. Even if it's a he, he should."
Carly turned to her brother. This was not the right time. "Please spare yourself and don't ask."
"Why? I must have you know I am a very charming--"
"Sam," Carly cut him off.
"Oooohhh.." Spencer drew out awkwardly as he looked down at his hands. "I think I'm going to go back in and pretend this wasn't awkward... or illegal," he muttered as he stumbled back into his room.
"Your brother is weird."
"I know, but I guess weirder things have happened," she smiled as they glanced at each other. From her peripheral vision, she could see a bump on Sam's front pocket. Knowing what was in there, she reached over to retrieve something from worn plaid shorts. She felt Sam twitch slightly from under her hand. Carly dangled the phone in front of its owner. Eyes behind blonde bangs followed the back and forth movement of the phone, then down as it landed on a her lap.
Sam smirked as she mindlessly felt the bumps on the keypad with her thumb. "Am I a heart breaker or what?"
Carly rolled her eyes, "Whatever makes you happy, Sam."
That would have been it. Sam would have called and canceled her date. Everyone else would end up the way they were: back to status quo. Sam and Freddie could go on being completely oblivious of each other while Carly waits for them to just get it over with and make out, swap spit and confess their undying love for each other while they run off to the sunset. But no. Fate was completely unpredictable and had other things in plan. Fate, like everything that went on that day, was weird. It was the theme of the day. Because before all that should have happened had the chance to actually happen, a possibly hormonally confused teenager barged through the door.
"Ola, Sam and Carly! And you," he pointed at Sam, "will never guess what happened to me today," Freddie exclaimed with a tone filled with faux cheer.
"Oh! Wow, surprise me!" Sam replied with wide eyes and matching his tone.
"I was talking with my AV clubs friend when your friend Zimmerwhatsisname approached me, telling me you asked him out, and haha," Freddie slapped his knee in forced laughter, "asked if I was cool with you guys going out on a date!"
Carly glanced at Sam, noticing that she had pocketed her phone.
"Can you believe that?" Freddie continued, "Asking me if it was ok, pff! Why, why wouldn't it be ok, right?"
Sam gathered her breath, unsure of what to say. "He was just-- making sure my friends, or whatever you are, were cool with him. He talked to Carly too, right Carls?" Sam glanced at Carly and elbowed her discreetly.
"Wow," Freddie nodded, not even waiting for Carly to confirm, "sounds like a keeper."
Silence followed as the three didn't know what else to do. The tension in the room started to build up, surrounding their silent exchanges. Then just as it reached its peak, a new pair of feet stepped into the room, followed by a voice.
"Hey guys! Wanna watch Galaxy Wars? Socko couldn't make our guy's night." Again, Spencer had wonderful timing.
Glad that someone had come in, Carly walked over to Spencer and took the DVDs from his hands. "What happened?"
"Girl troubles," he replied shrugging. With an exaggerated sad face, he added, "and I thought it was brothas before chicas."
"Don't you hate it when that happens," Freddie spoke up, "when your friend drops you like a hot potato?"
"Well, I don't mind I--" Spencer attempted to defend Socko, but Sam interrupts.
"Excuse me, Socko didn't drop him like a hot potato. He just had other priorities."
"Look, guys, it's not a big--"
"When you have an understanding about spending time together, you don't just turn back!" Spencer nodded sarcastically to himself. Great, another interruption, this time by Freddie.
"Dork, I don't know what's wrong with your thong, but last time I checked Spencer wasn't Socko's boyfriend!" Sam took a threatening step towards Freddie.
"Thong? What's wrong with my THONG?" Freddie yelled as his throat vein made another appearance. "It's you who's unaware of people's feelings!"
Carly looked back and forth between them. It was going to be one of those days, she thought to herself, as she sat down. She mentally listed down first aid materials and tried to remember where they could be found in the house to prepare for any possible occurrences that may force her to play doctor. Spencer, on the other hand bent down to whisper in his baby sister's ear. "I don't think they're talking about me and Socko anymore."
"Feelings, I'll sock you and your feelings!!" A clenched fist hitting an open palm followed the exclamation.
"God, Sam, why is your EQ that of a four year old?" A frustrated Freddie angrily pulled at his hair. "You're so stupid when it comes to other people! That's why no guy has ever stomached dating you for more than three weeks!"
Carly pushed herself off the couch once she heard the last statement, not believing the audacity nor the stupidity of it. The word CRAP flashed in front of Carly's eyes. The word CRAP flashed in neon lights as a blinking sign pointed at Sam's irked face and readied stance. She knew that stance-- Sam was ready to pounce.
"Seriously, Sam," Freddie continued despite the sight of Sam's now flaring nostrils, "you don't know ANYTHING about guys! Either you get them injured or make them cheat on you!"
He had gone too far. As if in slow motion Sam ran towards him and tackled him to the ground. Freddie landed on his back, his legs splayed out awkwardly as Sam had one knee on his side and another digging on his upper thigh, only a few frightening inches away from a very painful spot. Freddie yelped in pain as Sam's fingernails scratched his chest in the process of clutching his shirt. Freddie closed his eyes, expecting any moment for his skull to repetitively hit the ground. When nothing happened, he opened his eyes and found tableau. Carly was frozen behind Sam, her hands outstretched yet not touching Sam's hunched form, scared that any sudden movements might detonate the situation. Spencer was behind the couch, he had just gotten out of his bathroom. He was clutching a roll of toilet paper on one hand and a bottle of Isopropyl alcohol on the other-- Spencer mentally reminded himself to prepare a first aid kit. Sam was on top of him still, gripping his shirt as her knuckles dug on his chest, the feeling greatly contrasting with the sensation of the ends of Sam's hair tickling his cheek.
"Let him go, Sam." Carly whispered.
Sam, in silent reply, pulled Freddie closer to her until their noses were only inches apart. Freddie winced as his attacker eyed him up and down. When she was ready, she pushed him away with a grunt. She then stood up and walked towards the exit, but making sure to step on Freddie's hand on the way.
Freddie gathered himself, adjusted his shirt and dusted himself off, a well rehearsed ritual throughout the years.
Before Sam opened the door, she turned around, a vague sense of familiarity washed over the trio.
"I hate you," she said, an even more familiar phrase. "I hate you, and this time I mean it." The door banged shut.
The three stared at the closed door. Spencer took the first move. He leaped towards the side table and grabbed his keys. "I'll make sure she gets home ok," he assured Carly as he walked out.
Freddie fixed his collar once more and turned towards Carly, "What's up with her?"
Instead of being greeted by a neutral peacemaker, a small, slightly smelly object hit him. He looked down and raised his eyebrows when he found a half eaten stick of cheese. He looked back up and was then greeted with a pillow to his face. "What's wrong with YOU?" Carly shouted, followed by two more hits.
"She stepped on my hand!" was his defensive reply.
He was hit one more time.
It was a rarity that Carly took Sam's side for she was usually the one who took it too far. But this time, Freddie was being an idiot. Maybe her father was right. Maybe boys really were dumb.
"Well!" Freddie shouted back, but nothing followed. After a pause, he followed with, "She shouldn't be asking out random annoying guys!"
"God, you two are IMPOSSIBLE! Why don't you two just make out and get it over with!"
note: Gahh! ...I kept on writing and rewriting this chapter. It never seemed right. They just seemed too.. out of it. But eh. I just said, whatever, and uploaded it. So.. if you guys find any grammar or spelling errors.. tell me. I'm pretty sure I have a bunch up there from my constant rewriting.