A/N: So I'm not really sure about this story but its finished and I posted it anyway. Also this is under the assumption that the school they go to on the show is sort of a 6-12 school so the principal is the same. Please read and review!

Sam looks at the black ink spot on the white card with bored contemplation.

She doesn't see why Principal Franklin assigned her to do these mandatory guidance counselor meetings, she was under the impression that they had an agreement. A system that worked for them, Sam goes into his office and confesses all of her delinquencies and Ted assigns her the appropriate amount of detention. She thought they were on the same page, but obviously she was wrong because she's sitting in the guidance office on an old lumpy brown couch, staring at ink splotches and wishing she were anywhere else in the world.

Yeah, she'd set Gibby's new Daka's on fire and siphoned the gas out of Mrs. Briggs' car and overslept for a test but this punishment seemed a little outrageous.

"What do you see?" Sam gives the guy behind the desk a jaded, contemplative look and he's definitely one of those teachers that try to be young and hip with his floppy brown hair, vintage band tee shirt and carefully groomed scruff.

"Um, a hippy?" Sam offers and Mr. Greg Tyler looks at the card he's holding in confusion.

"Oh, um…"

"Oh you meant what do I see on the card." Sam nearly yawns and Mr. Tyler gives her a long suffering look. "I see a, uh, butterfly…holding nun chucks."

Mr. Tyler looks at the cards again, frowning, before dropping it and revealing the next. "And this one?"

Sam tilts her head and tries to decipher the inkblot, "A frog…wearing a hard hat."

"And this one?" Mr. Tyler questions, showing the next card.

"A giraffe…making eggs in a frying pan." Sam exhales, digging her elbow into the arm of the couch and dropping her chin into her palm.

Her eyes find the lone dusty window with sunlight filtering brightly through it behind Mr. Tyler and on the outside Sam can see and hear what she's sure is the gleefulness of lunchtime and she sighs in misery.

"Last one." Mr. Tyler interrupts and Sam's eyes find the inkblot again.

"A ninja…breaking down a door." Again Mr. Tyler puckers his brow at the card.

"Alright then, well according to these results, Samantha," He begins stacking all of the cards together before pushing them to the side. "You…are a serial killer."

"Awesome!" Sam shouts with entirely false enthusiasm. "Can I go now?"

"Look, Samantha, I get that you don't want to be here." Mr. Tyler begins and Sam just knows that he's about to get all self righteous and tell her how much he can help her but she doesn't need his help, she needs him to let her go so she can meet Carly for lunch.

"No, Greg. I don't want guidance. I don't need guidance. I have hopes and dreams. I hope to get out of this dungeon you call an office some point in the near future so I can go to lunch because its Taco Tuesday and I dream of eating those delicious tacos very soon." Sam says eagerly, leaning forward.

"You have a lot of hostility Samantha." Mr. Tyler mutters, completely ignoring her rant and Sam groans dramatically, falling over to the side on the couch.

"Yeah, well you have two first names. Which is common in killers" Sam throws back and Mr. Tyler snickers.

"Actually, I have three. My middle name is Bernard."

"Bernard, huh? That's unfortunate." Sam says with an eye roll, "And I'm not hostile, I'm starving to death."

"These are mandatory meetings, Samantha," Mr. Tyler says carefully, peering at Sam, " so it doesn't matter how much you fight. Principal Franklin says you have to be here. I suggest you take advantage of our time together."

Sam sits up reluctantly, eyeing the guy across from her. "Look, I get what we're going for here. The no nonsense guidance counselor taking on the problem child with the heart of gold and helping me see the error of my ways but there's lots of time being wasted here because I'm not really complex enough to need psychological help."

Mr. Tyler laughs, low and from his gut. "I'm not here to analyze you and tell you all the things that are wrong with you. I'm here to help you and Principal Franklin thinks you need help. He wouldn't force you to come to these if he didn't care about you."

"Yeah, I know." Sam says smiling a little, "Principal Franklin's a big ole' softy."

"So just do it for him." Mr. Tyler suggests and Sam stands, exhaling in annoyance.

"Fine but can I please go? I have food to eat."

"Yeah, sure. I'll see you next Tuesday."


"So, Principal Franklin is making you go see the guidance counselor?"

The sun is low in the sky, throwing streaks of orange and pink over head while buildings throw shadows across the deserted playground of the elementary school. And the playground isn't on their usual route home but Carly says she loves it when its like this, abandoned in the low light, so Sam lets Carly drag her four blocks out of the way to this place.

"Yeah, because apparently, Principal Franklin hates me." Sam sighs dramatically, the chain of the swing rough and cold against her hands and it's a sharp contradiction to the warmth of Carly's hands high on her back as the other girl pushes her gently on the swings.

"Principal Franklin doesn't hate you, even though he has every right too." Carly laughs and Sam frowns at the soft sound, scuffing her shoes on the sand lightly.

"Ya know, you're my best friends. You're supposed to be on my side." Sam whines and Carly laughs again, pushing Sam gently and making her sway forward and back.

"I'm always on your side, Sam but maybe this is a good thing." Carly suggests helpfully, using both hands to stop the swings motion.

Sam twists around to glare at her, "It's not. I don't want to spend my lunches cooped up in Greg Tyler's dusty office when I could be out frolicking."

"Frolicking?" Carly questions around a grin and Sam nods.

"Yes, frolicking."

"Fine, then just go and get it done and in a few months you'll be done with it and you'll be free to frolic." Carly says and when Sam groans she pushes her out of the swing.

"Hey." Sam cries landing on her feet in the soft sand. "Physical violence isn't necessary."

"Try telling yourself that. You wouldn't be in this situation if you hadn't set Gibby's shoes on fire, while he was still wearing them."

"That was his own fault. He said his shoes were fire retardant, turns out the only thing retardant was him." Sam laughs snickering to herself and Carly just shakes her head, dark hair soft and shining in the light, before heading towards the climbing dome. "What? It's true!"

"So, I missed you during lunch." Carly throws over her shoulder, changing the subject and Sam follows to the bright red climbing dome in the middle of the playground, watching Carly crawl inside while she starts climbing the metal bars.

"I wish I was with you instead of the head shrinker." Sam says grinning down at Carly. "You're much prettier."

And its hard to tell from above but it looks like Carly blushes and man, Sam likes it when she can make Carly blush. That's half the reasons things come out of her mouth at all.

"Well, I'm glad you think I'm prettier than some old male teacher." Carly smiles and Sam hooks her knees over a bar near the top of the dome before dropping through the octagonal holes in the bars upside down and hanging right in front of Carly's face.

"No offense, but it was a close call because Mr. Greg Bernard Tyler has some pretty spectacular man bangs." Sam grins, her hair falling down everywhere around her.

"Yeah, no. That's not offensive at all." Carly laughs softly.

Sam thinks she sort of kinda likes Carly, like really likes her, because she gets the same nervous, sweaty feeling she gets around buffets and barbeques and sometimes it feels like the words are written all over her face.

She doesn't know if Carly knows that that's the reason she sometimes catches Sam watching her like some kind of stalker and that's the reason Sam sometimes says stupid, lame things even though she's trying to be clever and witty and stuff but either way Carly just smiles at her like its normal when its not.

But Sam has come to terms with that feeling, that annoying, aching, wishing feeling that she guesses is like unrequited love and has learned to ignore it mostly except when Carly looks at her like she is now.

"Just kidding." Sam exhales softly and Carly tilts her head a little, pulling a strand of hair where its caught on Sam's lip thanks to her cotton candy lip balm.

"I know your kidding." Carly beams and she's so close that Sam can see her eyes darting over her face.

"What're you looking at?" Sam laughs nervously and she passes the light headed feeling she has off to all the blood rushing to her skull.

"I'm looking at you." Carly says simply, still smiling but she's moving closer and Sam's heart is doing a halting scattered imitation of a normal heart beat.

The smile fades from Sam's face because Carly's so close that her eyes can't focus on anything really.

Sam's been kissed before, sometimes when she wanted to be and sometimes when she'd rather of eaten dead bugs but she knows what that moment feels like right before being kissed. That tense thick moment where its like your in a bubble filled with warm water and you can either pop the bubble, break the moment or drown in someone else.

That's what Sam feels now and that's why it feels like she's trying to breathe through a straw.

This can't be right because even though Sam knows Carly likes her, Carly can't possibly like her. She's Carly Shay. She has guys falling all over themselves to get her, Sam has been a witness to many of these nauseating displays of masculinity. So Sam attributes the breathless, pulse pounding, mind slowing symptoms to a stroke.

She's having some sort of mini stroke. That is more logical than Carly Shay, her best friend, about to kiss her.

"What're you…" Sam trails off as Carly touches her face with one hand and her lips are bright red from the frozen fruit pops they'd bought after school and Sam tries not to stare even though her eyes are practically level with the other girls mouth in this position. Sam can't help but think that Carly has the best lips that she'd ever seen, that they're perfect like if someone just drew them onto her face.

"Sam." Carly says sweetly with her perfect lips, making Sam realize that despite her best attempts she was staring and Carly's still smiling like she's about to tell Sam some great inside joke but her thumb is circling right behind Sam's ear and she's leaning up on her toes and her breath is fanning over Sam's lips and the stroke theory goes out the window because Oh God, Carly is going to kiss her.

And then that entire train of thought goes out of the window because Carly reaches up and tickles Sam's stomach where her shirt has fallen up and exposed her skin. Sam really should've expected this because Sam has learned in their years of friendship that Carly is nothing if not diabolical and even as she plummets the couple of feet to the soft sand she's very aware of the error of her ways. Being distracted by the other girls proximity and pretty face.

"Ooff." Sam grunts when she lands practically on her face, squeezing her eyes against the sand settling around her and she can hear Carly's proud giggles.

"Oh you are so dead, Shay." Sam whispers pushing onto her feet even as Carly takes off out of the stupid dome.

"How're you Samantha?" Mr. Tyler questions politely and Sam glances away from the wooden bookshelf and at Mr. Tyler where he sits behind his desk watching her.

"Why do you call me that? It's not my name. I mean its my name but its not my name, ya know." Sam questions going back to the books and smirking at the comic books tucked between some of his thick books. Sam fingers a particularly large green one. "If I pull this will the bookcase swing open and reveal your secret lair? Huh, Greg?"

Mr. Tyler laughs, "I'm not a mad scientist, I don't need a secret lair and even if I did the school doesn't have the budget for it." He says watching her yank the book out experimentally anyway before shoving it back. "And I call you Samantha because it's your name. It what your file says."

"I have a file?" Sam questions looking at him and Mr. Tyler nods.

"It's the thickest, heaviest file I've ever seen in my history of teaching. It's pretty impressive."

Sam does in fact, give a smug laugh before turning back to the books.

"My name is Sam. You can call me that, all the cool kids do."

Mr. Tyler nods, "Okay Sam. So tell me why you insist on calling me Greg?"

Sam shrugs easily, finding her way back to the brown lumpy couch and dropping down, mildly surprised when the move doesn't cause a cloud of dust to fly up around her. "That's easy, because I have a problem with authority."

"Well, if you can try and call me Mr. Tyler, I'll try to call you Sam instead of Samantha. Deal?" He asks and Sam eyes him skeptically.

"Deal, Mr. Tyler." Sam grunts dropping her head backwards against the back of the couch.

"Alright, Sam." Mr. Tyler says watching her, "How've you been?"

And Sam plays with the idea of actually talking to the guy sitting behind the desk. To tell him about how hard it is to get along with her mother sometimes or how sometimes when she looks at her best friend she doesn't feel like herself anymore. But Sam hates being analyzed and evaluated and much prefers to just being an enigma to people so she keeps it in.

"I'm fine."

"Truth or Dare?"

Sam knows that this probably isn't a good idea, playing truth or dare with Carly in the middle of the night when neither of them can sleep but Carly is laying beside her on the bed and playing absently with the fingers on Sam's left hand so Sam is obviously distracted and sleep deprived when she answers.

"Uhm, truth, I guess." Sam yawns tiredly and she shifts her legs where they're tangled with Carly's under the blanket. And Sam is always amazed and a little jealous at how Carly's legs are always smooth and soft while Sam is lucky enough to remember to shave her legs twice a week.

"Did you or did you not…make out with Andy Rodriguez at that party we went to last week?" Carly questions with a smile and Sam grimaces, throwing her arm over her eyes.

"That was on a dare." Sam defends and Carly just laughs softly, scratching her manicured nails over Sam's palm. "And he was not a good kisser. His tongue was like all over my face."

Carly continues to laugh and Sam groans. "You know, that is not one of the high points of my life and I'd appreciate it if we didn't bring it up again. And isn't it your turn?"

"Okay I pick truth." Carly says tracing the lines of Sam's palm

"Is it true that if there was a stampede of wild dairy cows heading straight for me and Freddie and you could only save one of us, you would most definitely save me." Sam questions around a smile and Carly gives her a look, that look that says 'Sam you're being ridiculous'.

"Sam." Carly breathes frowning and Sam glances at her with a smirk.

"I'll take that as a yeah." Sam whispers closing her eyes wishing she could just fall asleep because she's tired but her brain can't seem to just shut down and she feels Carly roll from her back to her side without releasing her hand.

"Truth or dare." Carly murmurs softly and Sam takes a tired breath.

"Lets go with dare but let it be known I'm not taking off my clothes. I know your plan Carly Shay." Sam smiles.

Carly's voice is exasperated. "If I wanted your clothes off I wouldn't have to dare you. I would just ask you politely."

"How easy do you think I am?" Sam questions opening her eyes and glaring at Carly who just shrugs.

"I've heard rumors. Dirty, filthy rumors." Carly grins and Sam flips onto her side so she and Carly are nearly nose to nose, her mouth open in horror.

"You have not." Sam hisses and Carly just laughs, still tracing Sam's palm.

"You know what's weird?" Carly asks changing the subject, "Your heart line and your life line meet down here." She says pointing to the spot where the two lines on her palm converge. "It means your heart is easily broken."

"Since when do you read palms, huh?" Sam asks looking at her own hand.

"I read a book about it."

Sam pulls a confused face, "A book? What's that?"

"So is it true? Do you get your heart easily broken?" Carly asks but Sam is a little focused on the way that the girl is entwining their fingers together, slow and deliberate.

"I don't know. It breaks my heart when there's no food." Sam shrugs and Carly just looks at her like she might smile but doesn't.

"Sam, tell me something you've never told anyone before." Carly says and Sam is sort of struggling to keep up in the conversation but she looks at Carly and smiles.

"You're my best friend. I tell you everything." Sam says and it's mostly true though she does choose to keep a few choice things to herself.

"C'mon, I dare you." Carly challenges and Sam takes a deep breath and tries not to feel like a cornered animal because there's now way that Carly can know that Sam sorta, kinda, probably likes her.

Sam thinks she does a pretty good job of keeping it a secret. She doesn't fall all over herself around her or look at her with big moony eyes like Freddie so Carly can't know. She hopes.

"I use to have dreams where I'm marrying a pizza but I leave it at the alter for a ham on a motorcycle." Sam admits and Carly's face quirks up.

"You're strange." Carly beams and Sam's not sure if it's a compliment or insult but it kinda doesn't matter because Carly's saying it with a smile. That smile.

"I'm gonna choose to be insulted by that." Sam breathes shaking her hand free in mock anger and rolling onto her side, giving Carly her back.

"Hey, get back here." Carly laughs grabbing the back of Sam's shirt, tugging and Sam resists.

"Sam, turn over or I'm going to bite you." Carly threatens and Sam ignores her.

"Hey, some people around here are trying to sleep." Sam says with a fake yawn, tucking her hand under her pillow that smells like Carly's shampoo and she's in no way prepared for the way Carly leans over and sinks her teeth into her shoulder through the cotton of her shirt.

Sam squeaks "Ow." even though the feeling that shoots through her and flashes bright behind her eyes is nothing even close to pain.

When Carly pulls at the back of Sam's shirt again, Sam lets her roll her over onto her back so that Carly is hovering over her and rubs at her shoulder absently.

"What're you? A hyena?" Sam chokes out and Carly just shrugs dropping down with a laugh.


"I bet you left a mark." Sam says sitting up and yanking aside her tee shirt to look at her shoulder and sure enough there's a few teeth marks imprinted in her.

"I hope so." Carly mutters and Sam doesn't really know what to say to that.


Sam's halfway to Mr. Tyler's office despite her deliberately slow steps when she hears Carly's attempted whisper over the reluctant squeak of her sneakers and that girl never could really whisper.

Carly steps around the corner, holding something behind her back and Sam gives her an amused look.

"What're you doing out of class?" Sam questions quietly, glancing around for the power monger of a hall monitor that roams the corridors but as of now the coast is clear.

"I took the bathroom pass, dishonestly, so I could give you this." Carly grins proudly as she hands Sam a brown paper bag.

"What is this?" Sam questions with a grin as she opens the bag and peers inside. "Aw, you made me a lunch."

"Just a little something because I know you're gonna spend all lunch in the guidance office today." Carly shrugs but she looks insanely pleased with herself which in turn makes Sam insanely happy and its funny how that works.

"Thanks, Carls." Sam exhales around a grin and the other girl waves a hand. "You're always taking care of me."

"It was no big deal." Carly beams back and then there's a moment when they both just stand there grinning stupidly at each other before Carly shakes her head like she's shaking herself out of something. "And if I don't take care of you who will?"

Sam nods, "True dat."

"Okay, you need to go or you'll be late." Carly attempts to whisper and Sam gives a haggard sigh

"How 'bout we ditch and I buy you ice cream?" Sam offers hopefully with a waggle of her eyebrows and Carly just shakes her head in amusement, reaching out and plucking the bottom hem of Sam's shirt.

Carly tilts her head and asks, "I'll see you after school?" as if Sam would be anywhere else.

"'Course." Sam whispers and then Carly is hurrying back to class with a glance over her shoulder and Sam wonders what she looks like just watching her friend walk back to class in the middle of the empty hallway but its just a second of question before Carly gestures at her to go to her appointment and then Sam is walking into Mr. Tyler's office with a goofy smile plastered on her face and a sack lunch in her hand.

"Hey Sam." Mr. Tyler greets and Sam sits on the couch, hooking her feet over the arm of the lumpy brown couch. "What's in the bag?"

"Aren't you guys running a little late?"

Sam can imagine the look Spencer's giving them as he walks into the living room from his bedroom, taking in the sight of them sprawled across the couch, blankets twisted around them, in their pajamas but her head's way too heavy to actually lift it and look.

"We're not going to school today." Carly says matter of factly glancing away from the television to look at her brother as he moves into the kitchen. "Sam's sick."

"I am not." Sam protests but her voice is raspy and raw and all she's really doing is carrying on the idea that she, Sam Puckett, is sick. "I don't get sick."

"Sam, I watched you puke your guts out all last night." Carly sighs, her fingers tangling in Sam's hair near the crown of her hair and Sam's sort of glad that Carly insisted on her laying her head in the other girls lap because her brain feels like its been spun into cotton candy. "You're sick."

"Am not." Sam croaks more for the sake of argument than anything else.

"Well does your mom know you're 'not sick'?" Spencer asks using air quotes and Carly nods.

"Yeah, I called her. She was going to leave work to pick her up but I told her that Sam could stay here until she got off." Carly says and Sam twists slightly to look up at her in confusion, she hadn't know Carly had done any of this. "Is that okay?"

"That's fine." Spencer says easily, grabbing a banana from the fruit bowl. "But I have to go, I'm meeting Socko and we're gonna move this really big tire." And Spencer's excitement makes Sam's head throb.

"Um, have fun?" Carly offers, scratching her nails over Sam's scalp and Sam tries to stop what feels like a purr from escaping her throat for dignities sake.

"Oh, I will." Spencer says with far too much seriousness and like that, he's gone, the door swinging shut behind him.

"I'm not sick, ya know." Sam whispers and her voice sounds dark and rough even to her own eyes. "My body's just on hiatus from being…healthy."

Carly completely ignores her protests, instead she focuses on running her fingers through Sam's hair and Sam lets her eyes flutter shut because she's a sucker for fingers in her hair. "I wish my hair would do this." She mutters lifting the heavy curls of Sam's hair.

"That feels good." Sam moans softly and Carly's ministration stop for a beat before starting again.

"You sound like a phone sex operator." Carly comments and Sam lets loose a wheezing laugh she immediately regrets. "It's sorta, like, hot."

"Yeah?" Sam questions, listening to the affirming sound Carly makes above her.

"A little bit."

"Well then, c'mon baby, take off your pants." Sam urges, dropping her voice to a ridiculous level.

Carly laughs, "Oh baby."

And Sam grins, letting the rhythm Carly's taken up lull her into a hazy, lethargic place halfway between awake and completely unconscious and Carly is talking. Commenting on the soap operas their watching but Sam can't keep up with the outrageous storylines or Carly's soft voice.

The other girls nails are skating over the nape of her neck and Sam's not sure why but she feels it so much that she takes a deep slow breath.

"Geeze, you're burning up Sam." Carly says and Sam just hums in agreement because yeah, she is.

Sam watches Carly search through the ridiculous amount of medicines and throat sprays and chest rubs, looking for the thermometer without tossing Sam on the floor which is pretty impressive in Sam's bleary eyes.

"102 degrees." Carly mutters a minute later after having to literally pry Sam's jaws open and shove the thermometer in.

"Did I win?" Sam asks hopefully, rolling onto her back to peer up at the other girl with a grin.

"Sam that's really high." Carly sighs, swatting away Sam's hand when she reaches up to touch the ends of her hair where they rest on her shoulders. "You should probably take some more medicine."

So Sam does because even though she'd fought Carly tooth and nail the first time, she's too lethargic and uncoordinated to try it again. She sits up and takes all the colorful medicine Carly hands her for coughing and chest congestion, sore throat and headaches.

"That tastes like dead feet." Sam croaks and she must look so pathetic that Carly leans over and presses her lips into her hair.

"At least I didn't have to tackle you this time." Carly offers genuinely and Sam groans, pulling her legs beneath her and dropping her head forward. Her entire body feels tired and achy.

"What's wrong? Are you gonna puke?" Carly asks worried and Sam laughs a little even though on the scale of one to puke she is a solid four.

"Not at the moment. My muscles are just sore. My back…" Sam trails off too tired to even form words. "Can you just kill me?"

"No I can't because it's illegal." Carly offers leaning forward and rummaging through the myriad of medicines on the coffee table and picking up a little jar. "But I can put this on you're back." She offers and Sam scowls.

"That stuff smells." She complains and Carly rolls her eyes.

"So, it'll make you feel better." Carly says in the tone that says Sam is exhausting her.

"Fine, okay." Sam concedes with a sigh, stretching out on the couch when Carly stands.

5 minutes later Sam is face down on the couch, her shirt hiked up and bunched over her shoulders to leave the lines of her back naked while Carly sits on the back of her thighs, rubbing the gooey minty smelling stuff into her muscles.

Carly's hands move in long, even strokes down, then up, then down again. Thumbs pressing into Sam's muscles and it hurts but its definitely the good kinda pain that makes Sam groan into the couch cushion.

"I think you should take your shirt off." Carly says lowly and Sam frowns.


"Take off your shirt otherwise this goop is gonna get all over your clothes." Sam listens to Carly's words and wonders if saying them to her is as weird as it is hearing them directed at her from Carly. But Carly's hands are like ten magical phalanges so Sam doesn't object and come to think of it Sam's never really been able to say 'no' to Carly.

"Is that what you say to all the girls?" Sam questions to break the awkward silence descending like a hawk on them while she reaches back to pull the back of her tank top over her head and bunch the material to her chest and the entire time she thinks that now would be as good a time as any to be wearing a bra instead of going torso commando. "Is this how you get 'em naked?"

Carly just laughs and Sam recognizes the nervousness of it but then Carly's hands are returning to her back, slick and warm and not really nervous at all.

"No, you're the only girl I've ever busted a move on and look, I already have you half naked." Carly says and Sam is aware of the meaning in that sentence but she wonders if Carly does too or if its Sam's eager mind getting away from her.

"Yeah well, I'm keeping my pants on and that's final." Sam hisses as Carly rubs the tight muscles at the small of her back.

Carly snickers, pushing her hands upwards. "You say that now…" She trails off and the retort Sam has on the tip of her tongue is completely lost because Carly's fingertips are entering dangerous side boob territory.

"Am I hurting you?" Carly asks and Sam figures its because she's gone all mute on her and Carly leans forward, planting her hands just over Sam's shoulder and dipping her head low. "Are you okay."

"You're not hurting me," Sam swallows, shifting a little under Carly's weight then stops realizing that moving causes pressure and friction below the waist and yeah, not moving is probably the best course of action when her stupid sick body is going haywire and Carly is straddling her hips. "I'm okay."

Carly says "Okay." easily, hands moving again and this time the side boob touch is more definite, even if its just a brush of the other girls thumb but it makes Sam dig her toes into the couch.

And Sam really wants to evaluate the whole thing happening right now but the taste of the purple medicine is stuck to the roof of her mouth and suddenly on the scale of one to puke she's at Vesuvius

and she's quickly pulling on her shirt while somehow preserving her modesty before tossing Carly off of her as she scrambles off of the couch and too the nearest bathroom.

"What up with the jank tie?"

Sam watches Mr. Tyler glance down at the offensive garment for a moment from behind his desk, adjusting it self consciously while she rummages through the bag lunch that Carly has taken to sticking in her locker on days when she has to visit Mr. Tyler and swivels in circles in his expensive leather chair.

"My wife gave me this tie." Mr. Tyler defends, straightening his tie, walking over to his bookcase and pulling out one of the faded comic books.

Sam watches him evenly, "Well does she hate you or something?" She asks popping a few of the pretzels shaped like whales that Carly packed her, into her mouth and Mr. Tyler makes a funny sound in the back of his throat.

"Uh, only about half of the time." He sighs, perching on the arm of the beat up old couch and flipping open the comic. "So, do you want to talk today?"

He asks like he's always asked over the past 5 weeks and just like always Sam shakes her head.

"Not today old man." She says with far more friendliness than she would've weeks earlier because even though spending lunch in Mr. Tyler's office two days out of the week until Principle Franklin decides her sentence is over is a bummer, Mr. Tyler doesn't try and pry her open like one of those giant jars of pickles either.

The door to the office is open and Sam's right in the middle of making one of her pretzel whales swim through mid air when Mrs. Faulkner, the 67 year old school receptionists, walks by, stopping to stare at her sitting behind Mr. Tyler's desk.

Sam just raises an eyebrow before turning in the chair slowly, hoping by the time she gets back around the old lady is gone.

Thankfully she is because, that lady has hated Sam ever since she stole her dentures on a dare in the 7th grade.

Sam drops a whale into the small opening in Mr. Tyler's water bottle where it sits on his ink blotter and watches the pretzel swim to the bottom absently. Honestly Sam has been playing with the idea of actually talking to Mr. Tyler because she's starting to feel like maybe she needs a little guidance. Not with life in general but with the whole Carly situation.

Carly has always been simple to Sam, something constant and steady but lately she hasn't been any of those things. She's been confusing and bewildering and frankly a little scary because Sam doesn't really know what it means when Carly laces their fingers together under the blanket where no one can see when they're watching movies late at night with Freddie and Spencer.

"So anything I tell you here is confidential, right?" Sam asks kicking her sneakers up onto the desk and Mr. Tyler frowns at her multicolored high tops before looking at her.

"Yeah, to an extent." Mr. Tyler nods and Sam makes the chair swivel left to right quickly for a moment, looking at the drowning pretzel whale absently.

"So if I killed a hobo and hid the body in my locker you'd have to like, tell the cops or something?" Sam wonders and Mr. Tyler nods, slowly closing his comic with what looks like anticipation, like he's waiting for her to just open up to him.

"Yeah but anything short of that is between me and you." He offers and Sam nods.

"And the teachers don't meet in the lounge after school and gossip about the students?" Sam questions, putting the now empty bag of pretzel whales in the trash can beside the desk before rooting around in the bag on her lap and pulling out pudding cup and plastic spoon.

"No, we only gossip about other faculty members." Mr. Tyler jokes, resting his elbows on his knees and the searching way he looks at Sam makes her spin the chair until he's staring at the leather back.

"Well you may want to warn the teaching staff that Mrs. Briggs' been stealing school supplies." Sam offers and she hears Mr. Tyler laugh while she fights open her banana pudding and eats a spoonful.

"Yeah, we're already on to her." And there's a long moment of silence where Sam tries to figure out how much of the banana pudding is actual banana before Mr. Tyler speaks again. "Sam."

He waits for Sam to spin around lazily, spoon hanging from her mouth loosely. "Do you want to talk?"

Sam rolls her tongue over the spoon thoughtfully, looking at the man pensively, before speaking around the utensil. "Maybe." She pulls the spoon from her lips, making sure to lick it clean. "I'll let you know."

Mr. Tyler nods, opening his comic again. "I'm here whenever you're ready."

"Heard you got detention."

Sam nearly bangs her head on the inside of the locker as she jerks her head out of the dark enclosed space, giving up her search for the turkey jerky she'd stashed in there last week.

"You seem surprised." Sam mutters giving one last longing glance inside of her locker before closing the door and giving Carly her full attention.

Carly just shrugs, clutching at the shoulder strap of her bag with both hands and her hair is pulled back from her face and Sam's always likes when she wears her hair like that.

"I also heard you got it for throwing balloons filled with honey mustard at the cars in the faculty parking lot." Carly says and Sam's getting a little nervous because even though Carly frowns upon Sam's chronic misbehaving, by now she would smiling, asking Sam what she was thinking and why she can't just be good sometimes but she's not. She's just looking at Sam. Just looking.

"Who told you that because they're wrong." Sam says, "They were full of Dijon mustard." And now Sam is trying to make Carly smile and she's failing miserably.

"With Gray Palmer?" Carly practically spits and is a little surprised at the sudden rush of guilt.

Sam likes Gray Palmer. He has dark hair that he puts a little too much product in, bright blue eyes and a nose that's a little crooked from having it broken twice. He spends just as much time, if not more, in Principle Franklin's office as Sam and he likes to deface both public and private property. So needless to say, they have a lot in common.

And, no, it's not the same way she likes Carly. It's not as deep or urgent or all consuming but Gray, who is somewhat of a loner and has no idea how many girls whisper and giggle about how cute he is in the locker room after P.E., goes out of his way to talk her and brings her key chains from all of the places he goes with his family for her to clip onto her back pack because he noticed she had a collection and asks her to go throw mustard balloons at Mrs. Briggs' car after school.

She doesn't like him as much as she likes Carly but then again she doesn't like anyone on the earth as much as she likes Carly but liking Gray, liking a boy in high school is what she's supposed to do. It's normal and sometimes it feels good to just be normal sometimes.

"Yeah, we were hanging out." Sam says with a shrug, quelling her guilt because she's got nothing to be guilty of…except hanging out with a guy with dimples so deep Sam wants to eat ice cream out of them.

"He's a bad influence, Sam." Carly says urgently, stepping closer and Sam laughs at that.

"You underestimate me, Carly. I'm the bad influence." She says and Carly rolls her eyes so hard that Sam has the fleeting image of them falling right out of their sockets and rolling down the hall.

"So do you like him or something?" Carly asks softly and Sam shrugs, can't find the courage to just say 'Yes' when Carly is looking at her like that.

"I don't know. Maybe."

Then Carly gives Sam the smile. Tight and uncomfortable and borderline deranged and even though Sam usually loves any smile the other girl throws her way, she does not like that smile. In fact she's scared of it. Because that smile is never good. It always always means something's wrong.

"Carls…" Sam starts and Carly just shakes her head, smile frozen on her face and Sam's heart kicks up a bit because Carly isn't happy about something.

"I'm gonna go to class. I'll see you later." She says brushing Sam off and then she's walking away and Sam watches her go stupidly.

I'm sorry.

Sam smoothes out the crinkled sheet of lined paper that rudely interrupted her sleep when it bounced off of her face and onto her desk, and reads the two words scrawled in Carly's girly twisty handwriting.

When she glances at Carly, seated three people in front of her and to the left, the other girl is already looking at her, rubbing her lips together nervously.

So Sam smiles, reassuringly because despite impossible suspicions she doesn't really know why Carly was angry so she has no reason to hold a grudge but relief that she didn't know she craved, washes over her.

Carly smiles back, watching Sam fold the scrap of paper carefully and tuck it into her pocket before she turns around back to the front of the class and Sam spends the rest of the lesson gazing at the back of her head knowing that best friends don't usually look at each other like she's doing.

"Can I ask you something?"

Sam wonders aloud, not looking up from the Gameboy she's playing on the lumpy couch that has sort of become more comfortable over the days.

"Yeah, sure." Mr. Tyler answers in surprise, choosing to turn off his own Gameboy and set it on the corner of his desk.

"Do you think…" Sam stops for a moment, rolling the words around in her mouth, ready to swallow them if she looses her nerve but instead she takes a deep breath. "Do you think its weird to, like, have feelings for someone that's the same as you. Ya know, like if a dude likes another dude?" Sam questions braver then she thought possible, still looking at the small screen while her thumbs jam harder than necessary against the buttons.

"You mean how do I feel about homosexuality?" Mr. Tyler questions and Sam looks up quickly, eyes darting to the open door of the office before nodding.

"I guess." Sam shrugs, looking back at the Gameboy. "Your words not mine."

Mr. Tyler sighs a little, shifting in his seat before leaning forward and resting his forearms on the wood. "I think that it doesn't matter if a person is gay or straight, love is love." He says honestly, leaving it at that and Sam's grateful because if he'd questioned her she's not sure what she'd say. What to say considering she doesn't even know what's going on in her own head beside massive, mind consuming confusion.

The thing about confusion is that it only gets worse with time, like a rash or Freddie. Asking questions is the only cure for confusion which is sort of a problem when everything is so jumbled up in her head.

"Well what if you're, ya know, like that? How do you know?" Sam questions carefully, avoiding Mr. Tyler's eyes.

"If a person is gay, I assume they know just like a person knows if they're straight. Knowing isn't the hard part. It's the coming to terms with it and not being afraid of being yourself that's difficult."

Sam swallows thickly, rubbing her eyes. "It's not weird or gross?"

Mr. Tyler smiles reassuringly, "No. I don't think so and anyone who thinks it is is ignorant in this day and age."

Sam goes back to her game earnestly, ignoring the twisting in her stomach and the urge to ask Mr. Tyler more questions.

"What level are you on?" Mr. Tyler asks, switching on his game again and Sam blinks down at the screen.

"Level 7." Sam mutters and Mr. Tyler admits that he's only on level 3 then there's a companionable silence that has developed over the month.

"Can I ask you something else?" Sam asks unable to keep quiet and Mr. Tyler focuses on her.

"Of course."

"How do you know, for sure, if someone likes you. Especially if they do and say confusing stuff." Sam asks, looking back at Mr. Tyler earnestly. "Especially if you can't be wrong because you'll freak them out and you'll loose a friend."

"I don't know, Sam." Mr. Tyler sighs, turning off his game again to look at Sam. "I think you should just ask them. If they're really you're friend than they won't be freaked either way."

Sam gives him a contemplating look before stuffing her things into the back pack at her feet, slinging it over her shoulder and leaving the shelter of the old brown beat up couch. "You know, you're pretty smart for an old guy." Sam compliments and he laughs watching her head for the door.

"That's why I get paid the big bucks."

Sam is going to talk to her.

Mr. Tyler's advice floats around her skull like a gnat and Sam figures she should just do it quickly, like ripping off a bandage. There's the sharp memory of Carly ripping a band aid from Sam's knee when they were nine and how much that had hurt but Sam ignores it.

"So what's up with you and Gray Palmer?" Carly asks and Sam knows that she's trying to be cool and nonchalant but its in that weird, strained voice, she uses when she is not in fact cool or nonchalant.

"Nothing. We just hang sometimes." Sam shrugs, looking up from the drawing of two ninja flamingos she's working on instead of her math homework, at Carly stretched out across from her on the soft carpet of her bedroom floor.

"Oh yeah?" Carly smiles tightly, "Like when?" like she's not interrogating Sam.

"I dunno. Whenever I'm not with you, I guess." Sam shrugs again, searching Carly's face questioningly. "Why?"

"I was just wondering. Can't a girl just wonder what her best friend is up to?" Carly cries a little defensively and Sam isn't fazed by her mini freak out because Carly's sort of prone to them.

Sam frowns. "Okay. Okay."

There's a beat of silence that Sam spends perfecting the Samurai sword of one of the Flamingos she's drawing before Carly speaks again.

"Has he asked you out?" Carly asks again with a put on casualness, not looking up from her book even as Sam peers at her.

"We're supposed to go to the movies on Friday but I wouldn't consider it a date or anything." Sam answers honestly and Carly tilts her head up to look at Sam.

"Is he going to pick you up?" She asks softly and Sam shrugs, closing her notebook and shoving her pencil into the spiral metal spine.

"Probably." Sam sighs, pushing herself up and stepping over Carly's long form to where her back pack sits on the other girls bed.

"That sounds like a date, Sam." Carly says and it throws Sam a little because its not in the triumphant tone that she usually uses when she's right about something. Its in a dismal, low voice that makes Sam's stomach do a slow flip while she unzips her bag.

"I dunno. Maybe. It's no biggie." Sam mutters, jingling the knot of key chains dangling from her bag.

"Well if this isn't really a date I'd hate to see what is." Carly mutters, cursing a little when the lead of her mechanical pencil snaps. "You guys will probably hot wire a car together or rob a bank or something."

"A girl can only dream." Sam murmurs with faux dreaminess.

"You haven't, like, kissed him or anything, have you?" Carly questions with soft, hesitant, curiosity, like she doesn't really want to know the answer and Sam sits on the edge of the bed, contemplating lying but figuring its not worth it because Carly always knows when she's lying.

"Just once. In his truck after detention. He was pretty good too, he had awesome tongue control." Sam says with way too much information but this finally gets Carly to look at her, even if its just a withering look over her shoulder.

And then Sam is sliding to the ground, draping herself all over the other girl despite her protests for Sam to stop, until Carly's back is pressed to her front and Sam's legs are twisted high around her waist while her arms hug her around he shoulders.

"You're jealous." Sam laughs the words into Carly's dark, soft hair, laughing harder when the girl lets out an indignant huff.

"No I'm not. I just think that you shouldn't be hanging out with that slime ball." Carly argues, reaching up to try and pry Sam's fingers open, to get free.

"You are jealous." Sam sing songs just as Carly manages to twist free of her hold but instead of moving away she turns to face Sam, scooting up a little so her face is a little higher and Sam's legs are still wound loosely around her. "You think I'm not gonna have time for you because I'll be hanging out with Gray all of the time. You're so jealous."

"So what if I am." Carly finally says petulantly and Sam grins, taking in Carly's dark eyes and pink lips.

"Then you don't have to worry." Sam answers openly, "I'd never choose some boy over you." And Carly's fingertips are finding the back of Sam's neck, tugging forward gently.

"Promise?" Carly questions and the smile fades from Sam's face because the other girl is so serious.

"I promise."

And Sam can't ever remember being this close to Carly, save for the time they'd accidentally head butted each other fighting over a brownie. But now is nothing like that time because Sam can't draw a breath with Carly so close and looking at her like that…like she's assessing her and Sam wonders what she sees.

But then it doesn't even matter because whatever she's seeing is agreeable since she's leaning in, brushing her nose over Sam's gently, over and over until Sam has to squeeze her eyes shut just to focus.

Sam wonders if she should say something, anything, but the warm heaviness settling over them makes it hard to even think, let alone talk and she's not going to risk breaking this moment. Not with her heart hammering in her chest and her lungs working over time.

Then Carly is leaning in and pressing a slow kiss to Sam's bottom lip, sucking lightly and it feels…it just feels and Sam exhales shakily at the way pretty much everything short circuits while Carly pulls back a little, swiping her thumb carefully over Sam's lip for a moment until Sam looks at her and Sam can only imagine how terrified her face must be.

Carly exhales a little shakily, eyebrows knitting together but she's smiling and Sam swallows twisting her upper body flat on the carpet, and away from the other girl while her legs stay tangled with Carly's and all she can think is, God, what the hell just happen.

"Hey," Carly breathes, untangling herself from Sam slow and reluctant. "Spencer just got these awesome candies from, like, Egypt or something and I saved you some." She says standing and brushing her jeans before reaching out a hand to Sam who just blinks up at her because she's being so normal.

And how can she be so normal right now when Sam can't even think straight.

But she takes Carly's hand anyway, lets her yank her to her feet with a grin and Sam looks down at the imprint they made in the soft carpet before looking at Carly, watching her swallow and her smile falter just a little.

"Okay." Sam's answers, pulling her face into a smile and Carly nods once, before leading her to the door and when they walk over the threshold things aren't the same.

"Tell me about your date."

Sam pulls the phone away from her ear to squint at the caller ID and reading Carly's name before pressing it back to her ear and rolling onto her back in her narrow bed.

"It wasn't a date." Sam croaks, rubbing her eyes tiredly and Carly too loud and bright for any normal human being at 2 in the morning.

"Well how did your 'not date' go?" Carly questions and Sam sighs, teetering precariously on the edge of sleep. "Sam?"

"It was fine." Sam finally says behind a yawn, scooting under her heavy blanket and dragging a pillow over her head.

"Geez, could you be more vague?" Carly sighs and Sam's too lethargic to tell if she's being sarcastic or exasperated and she groans a little.

"He picked me up. We ate Mexican. We saw Attack of the Raisins. He brought me home." Sam says tiredly and Carly says something that she can't catch through her half sleep. "Huh?"

"I said did you have a good time?" Sam hears movement over the line and she pictures Carly stretched out under her sheets behind her eyelids and she takes a deep breath and opens her eyes.

"Yeah, it was fun. You should give him a chance, he's not as bad as you think he is." Sam whispers, blinking in the darkness and Carly makes a sound that means she doesn't want to give him a chance at all.

"So did you guys make out?" Carly asks with a laugh and Sam really wants to press her face into her pillow and scream because the way Carly is acting is making her brain implode.

It's been a couple of days since Carly kissed Sam on her bedroom floor and Sam hasn't really thought of anything else. But Carly's been acting as if nothing happened and so Sam has followed her lead, pretending that everything is normal even though its really not.

"Yeah, we did." Sam answers without sugar coating anything and she did totally make out with hot Gray but the entire time she'd been thinking about Carly but she doesn't say that part.

There's silence over the phone save for Carly's breathing that sounds funny now and Sam frowns guiltily, rubbing between her eyebrows resignedly.

"I'm sorry." Sam blurts turning onto her stomach and pressing her face to the sheets. "I'm sorry."

"Why're you apologizing?" Carly asks, her voice quieter than before and Sam doesn't really know what she's apologizing for but she can imagine the look on Carly's face, the hurt look, and she can't help but be sorry that she caused it…even in her head.

"You're upset." Sam rasps, closing her eyes and Sam listens to Carly move some more.

"I didn't say…" Carly starts and Sam cuts her off easily.

"You don't have to. I can hear it in your breathing." Sam admits, stretching her legs all the way to her toes. "I know you, Kid."

Carly laughs quietly, "That's a little creepy."

"Sorry." Sam mumbles again and she's drifting on the brink of sleep but she keeps the phone to her ear.

"Stop apologizing." Carly laughs again and Sam licks her lips and tries not to think about Carly's mouth on hers because she's trying to get some sleep here, not spend hours thinking about her best friend though there are worst ways to waste time.

"I'll stop apologizing if you tell me why your calling me at 2 in the morning when you know I need my beauty sleep?" Sam yawns.

There's more movement and then its drowned out by Carly's voice. "I couldn't sleep and I…I just wanted to talk to you." She admits and Sam opens her eyes.


"But I'll just talk to you tomorrow if you're to tired." Carly offers and Sam rolls back onto her back with a sigh.

"I'd rather talk to you than sleep any day." Sam smiles into the phone and Carly chuckles.

"Tell me about the movie you guys saw."

Some higher power hates her, Sam's sure of it, as she finishes the last of her Super Sour Gummy Worms with a wince before crumpling the plastic packaging and throwing it at the elevator doors that refuse to open.

She's trapped in an elevator with Carly and that's the reason Sam's sure someone up above hates her.

"This is all your fault." Carly mutters leaning against the wood wall of the elevator.

"Hey! Why?" Sam questions turning to look at the other girl beside her.

"You're the one that wanted to go upstairs and work on the web show." Carly accuses and Sam frowns.

"No, that was you." Sam informs and Carly's eyebrows lift.

"Oh yeah. Sorry." She sighs, nudging Sam's foot with hers, "All this enclosed space is making me crazy."

"Yeah, either that or genetics." Sam murmurs with a grin and Carly kicks her again playfully.

"Sam! Carly! Are you guys okay in there? Do you have enough air?" Spencer screams through the walls and Sam just laughs as Carly stands.

"We're fine but how much longer until the repair guy gets here?" She screams, putting a hand on the door.

"He'll be here soon! In like 30 minutes!" Spencer informs and Sam watches amused as Carly bangs her head against the door loudly.

"Spencer, hurry up! I'm freakin' out here!" Carly screams.

"Okay!" And then they listen to the sound of his retreating footsteps before Carly turns and drops down beside Sam, closer than before. Sam stares at where their legs are pressed together and realizes that now would be the best time to talk to Carly, to put Mr. Tyler's advice into effect because there's nowhere for either one of them to run.

"What're we gonna do for half an hour?" Carly questions, tilting her head towards Sam who just shrugs because she's not really paying attention, going over all the things she wants to say in her head.

"I dunno." Sam sighs, pulling her knees up so that her feet are flat on the floor. "We could talk."

"Yeah. I guess."

Then Carly is scooting closer, reaching up to touch Sam's hair and Sam's heart does a pole vault into her throat like an Olympian because Carly is leaning in, nuzzling her neck and Sam takes a shuddering breath.

And now she's not sure if being trapped in this elevator is a curse or a blessing.

Carly cups Sam's face with one hand while she brushes her lips over the corner of Sam's mouth and then she's letting out a shaky breath that gives away her nerves.

But she doesn't stop, she leans in closer and Sam has to close her eyes because Carly's so close that the alternative is them crossing but it doesn't make her any less aware of Carly's lips hovering over her own.

Carly's mouth finds hers again, hesitant and careful and Sam wonders if Carly really expects her to stop her when Sam has never denied Carly anything in their life.

And then Sam can't really process anything at all because Carly's tongue is parting her lips and Sam is opening willingly, eagerly, because the spark that shoots through her at the intimate touch is scary and awesome and a lot of other things that Sam can't even sort out.

Carly's tongue curls past Sam's teeth and Sam's feet push restlessly against the floor while her eyes flutter backwards into her head.

Sam pulls back a little but not far because she doesn't want to stop, doesn't think she'll ever want to willingly stop kissing Carly but she needs to breathe and apparently so does Carly if her ragged breathing is any indication.

Sam touches Carly's neck, blinks at the red of her mouth before leaning in and kissing her again and this time she twists her tongue into Carly's mouth and the other girl makes the best sound low in her throat and yeah, Sam could do this forever.

It sorta feels like they do, in fact, do it forever because Sam spends a god given amount of time kissing the other girl and by the time Spencer screams, "The repair guys here. Prepare to be rescued!" Carly's hand is splayed wide on Sam's stomach and Sam's hands are in her hair.

They jump apart quickly, suddenly and Sam licks her swollen lips anxiously as Carly settles beside her, still ridiculously close while the sound of power tools fills the space, drowning out there heavy breathing. Then the door to the lift is being pushed upwards and Spencer sticks his head into the space.

"Thank God, you're still alive!"

She's going to do it. She has the entire speech she plans to give memorized and ready and Sam holds her breath anxiously as Carly walks into the empty P.E. room that's full of flat sports ball and rusted stationary bikes.

"Hey, you got my text." Sam smiles but it falters as Carly eases the door shut behind her and steps dangerously close. Eyes dark and lips full.

And it only occurs to Sam now, as Carly's hand finds the back of her neck under her hair and their mouths collide, that maybe when she sent, 'Meet me in the abandoned P.E. room during 5th period.' she probably should of specified for what.

Because she had every intention of talking to Carly but she thinks better of it now, while Carly's crowding her against a wall with old weight belts hanging on hooks and her tongue inspects the inside of her mouth.

And this was a failure.

Sam sits in 6th period later, licking at her reddened lips, thinking about how big of a failure it actually was and how even though she failed she's glad it was with Carly's hands up her shirt.

"Hey, you can't go in there!"

Sam ignores Mrs. Faulkner's voice as she opens Mr. Tyler's office to find him in a session with Gibby.

"Mr. Tyler, I need to talk to you." Sam cries just as Mrs. Faulkner grabs her by the backpack with surprising old lady strength.

"I already called security." Mrs. Faulkner says jerking Sam back a step but she grips the frame of the door desperately.

"Beat it, Gibby!" Sam barks, holding her ground and Gibby stands, chin held high and man this really isn't the time for him to grow a backbone.

"No, Sam. This is my session time. You have to wait until I'm finished." He says firmly and Sam glances at Mr. Tyler who is standing quickly, sensing danger.

"Gibby some of us have real problems around here. So why don't you and your mommy issues take a hike." Sam yells and then everything erupts in screaming and yelling and Mrs. Faulkner is swearing like a sailor on leave and screaming for security until Mr. Tyler jumps in the middle.

"Hey!" He yells and everything silences quickly. "Everyone calm down."

"Mr. Tyler, I really need to talk to you." Sam pleads and Mr. Tyler nods, turning to put a hand on Gibby's shoulder.

"Gibby, why don't we finish this tomorrow?" he says gently and Gibby nods, picking up his back pack.

"Sam, I do not fear you." Gibby says sternly but he scurries past Sam who lunges at him, the old lady's death grip on her back pack the only thing saving him from certain demise.

"And Mrs. Faulkner, please cancel the security call and release Sam." Mr. Tyler instructs gently and Mrs. Faulkner complies reluctantly, muttering something about delinquents and beating children as she leaves the office, closing the door behind her.

"Okay, Sam." Mr. Tyler says easily, gesturing for her to take a seat on the familiar couch but she ignores it.

"She keeps kissing me!" Sam cries, gesturing wildly and Mr. Tyler stares at her obviously confused which frustrates Sam even more than she already is.

"Who keeps kissing you?" He questions sitting on the corner of his desk and Sam drops down heavily on the couch.

"My friend. The one that I think I'm practically in love with." Sam says like she should already know. "I told her about this boy I kinda like and now she keeps kissing me and I don't know if she's doing it because she likes me or she's just curious or whatever. Then after she kisses me she just acts so normal and I don't know if she's pretending it didn't happen or playing it cool. And every time I get the perfect time to ask her I can't because her tongue ends up down my throat." Sam finishes breathlessly, looking at Mr. Tyler expectantly and he doesn't even flinch as Sam drops her big gay bomb.

"Well, how do you feel when she kisses you?" He asks carefully and Sam shrugs, slouching into the couch like someone just let all of the air out of her.

"I dunno. Generally hot and bothered…a littler nervous." Sam rambles and Mr. Tyler hands shoot out in gesture for her to stop.

"What I meant was, do you mind when she kisses you or is it that you don't know her intentions." He clarifies.

"I like when she kisses me. How can I not. But the confusing part is why she's doing it." Sam sighs and Mr. Tyler nods, dragging a hand over his scruffy jaw.

"Sam, its hard to guess someone else's intentions. You have to talk to her. Here, just keep at least 5 feet between yourself and her. Like a buffer." Mr. Tyler says finally and Sam nods, leaning to the side and resting her head on the arm of the couch.

"Okay." Sam exhales. "But what if that doesn't work?"

"Call her on the phone."

"We need to talk."

Sam knows that the words are probably unintelligible because mumbles them against Carly's lips and around her tongue but she gets the words out so she'll count it as a win. Especially when Carly pulls back slightly.

"What?" She questions, breathless and low and Sam touches the small of her back with just her fingertips before dropping her hands to the mattress.

"I need to talk to you." Sam says but her words are a little distracted as her eyes take in the red of Carly's mouth and she should've known this would happen when Carly suggested they do their homework in her bedroom.

"Can't it wait?" Carly ask sweetly, lips curving upwards and then they're kissing again and Sam reasons that yeah, maybe this can wait just a little while.

The amount of time seems to be about 45 minutes.

"Geeze, wait." Sam groans and she's talking to herself just as much as she's talking to Carly, who's stretched out on top of her, her thigh pressing tight between her legs and one hand on her breast and yea, wait. "Wait." Sam croaks again, pulling her own hands from under the back of Carly's shirt.

"What-what's wrong?" Carly swallows, dark eyes nervous and concerned and licks her lips and tries not to think about how everything is throbbing.

"I, uh…I need to…" She trails of, crawling out from beneath Carly's weigh and over the edge of the bed to stand at the far end of the room. At least 5 feet but Sam thinks 10 would be safer. "Okay."

"Sam?" Carly questions sitting up and Sam takes a cautionary step backwards.

"I need to know why you're doing this? Why your kissing me." Sam says hurriedly, watching wearily as Carly stands slowly.

"What do you mean?" Carly questions obviously confused and Sam swallows.

"Why're you kissing me? Are you just curious? Is it a dare? What? Because I like you, Carly. More than just a friend. I like everything about you." Sam blurts darting a few steps to the right before running into Carly's desk as the girl advances on her a little.

"Of course I like you Sam." Carly answers easily and Sam shakes her head.

"No I mean, I like you." Sam says enunciating and she's shocked when Carly laughs softly.

"I know what your saying." She says like she's mocking Sam while she steps closer and Sam throws her hands up to stop her.

"Hey, whoa, can you not come closer?" Sam begs and if anything Carly takes bigger steps. "Because I need 5 feet. Preferably like 20."


"So we won't kiss. So we can talk this out."

Carly comes closer, effectively trapping Sam between the wall and the desk. "There's nothing to talk about. I like you. I don't like you hanging out or making out with Gray Palmer. I like kissing you. I like you." She says taking Sam's hands and Sam wonders how she makes something that's so complicated and jumbled in Sam's mind, ridiculously simple. "Okay?" Carly questions, smiling and coming nearer and Sam nods just as their lips meet.


"Are you gonna miss me?"Sam questions sitting cross legged on the misshapen brown couch and Mr. Tyler shrugs from behind his desk, leaning back in his chair and his hands folded behind his head.

Sam's had to be in this small cluttered office every Tuesday and Thursday for two months and she's finally glad that Principal Franklin decided that was enough but she still kinda sad that she won't be hanging out here on the big lumpy couch anymore.

"Am I gonna miss a whiny, bratty, and frankly very rude 16 year old who doesn't share her whale pretzels?" Mr. Tyler questions and Sam grins. "Nope."

"Well I'm not gonna miss you either. Wasting my lunch to hang out with some hippie in his dungeon. I'm glad to be out of this hell hole." Sam laughs. "But you will miss me and my charm."

"No, I won't."

"Yeah you will." Sam laughs, standing and snagging her back pack off of the ground, opening it to dig through it. "So I brought you this." Sam says handing him a small framed picture of herself wearing a black knit cap and black gloves, inside of his apartment.

"What? How did you?" He babbles and Sam just shrugs.

"Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies, old man."

Mr. Tyler just laughs, putting the picture on his desk.

"Ya know, I just might miss you Samantha."

"Oh, I know you will Greg." Sam grins opening the door to his office. "Hey, and thanks for everything."

"You're welcome and my door is always open for you." He says picking up his coffee mug and taking a drink.

"Yeah, I know." Sam grins over her shoulder before walking out and shutting the door behind her.