Title: Dead Dads Club
Rating: T (mentions of drugs)
Summary: "There's a club. It's called the Dead Dads Club. You can't be in it 'til you're in it. I'm really sorry you had to join the club Freddie."
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, though I am a member of the club.
A/N: Just a theory.
Freddie doesn't talk about it, but Carly and Sam know why he misses school on the 4th of October every year. They know what happened on that day, they try to act normal for him. They don't always succeed though, especially Sam.
When school is over, Sam goes with Carly to her apartment just like always. Freddie is sitting in the hallway, waiting for them and he greets them like he normally does. Carly's smile is a little strained in return, and Sam doesn't call him any of her usual 'endearments' or comment on his outfit that his mother obviously picked out for him.
They go inside and hang out like they usually do. Freddie checks the comments on the iCarly site, Carly and Sam debate new ideas for the show while Sam cleans out the Shays' refrigerator.
They act like nothing's wrong. And really, it's all the same as it has been for years, because they're all members of the Dead Dads Club. It's an unofficial sort of thing, you can't be part of the club until you are and no one wants to be a part of the club.
Sam has been part of the club since before she was born; she's one of the lucky ones. She didn't bond. It wasn't ripped away; it was just never there in the first place. She didn't talk about the drug bust, or about how her father had attacked a cop and got shot. She was the one that named the club, the one that came up with the rules, the one that inducted Freddie and Carly.
Freddie joined the club when he was nine. His father had gotten sick, very sick, quite suddenly. They all thought it was just the flu; he would be over it in no time. Freddie's father was a strong man, a never-give-up man. Freddie learned the lesson to never assume too much. His father died on the fourth of October and he missed school for three days. Sam had been worried, though she didn't show it; he had never missed a day before. Their teacher, Ms. Nobles (one of the only teachers Sam had ever liked) told them that his father had died. Sam gave Freddie a break from her constant teasing the next Monday and at recess she dragged him away from Carly.
"There's a club," she stated when he tried to break away. "It's called the Dead Dads Club. You can't be in it 'til you're in it." Freddie looked up at her seriously, for the first time seeing her as something other than the bane of his existence. "I'm really sorry you had to join the club Freddie." Sam looked away when his lip started to quiver but she held on to his arm. He sniffled a few times but didn't cry.
Carly was the most recent member. She joined just a year ago when Mr. Shay's submarine was hit by a torpedo. She liked to ignore it. Go on like it never happened and he'll come back once his tour of duty is over. She pretends that the funeral she went to was for some lost uncle, it was easy to do as there was no body to bury. She pretended that Spencer didn't have their father's flag in the top of his closet. Sam had given her the same speech she gave Freddie while the boy stood behind Sam, looking up at the sky.
No one says anything when Freddie's mother comes by earlier than normal, her face a little red, to drag Freddie home so he can take the many vitamins she insists that he ingest. "Can't have you getting sick," she says, but Freddie doesn't protest this time. He knows that tomorrow it's all back to normal.
He says goodbye, avoiding Carly's gaze but meeting Sam's. She's intense, not pitying, and he likes that. She grabs his arm as he walks by, just like when they were nine, but only briefly, just as a reminder of what she said that day. He knows that she means it.
I'm really sorry you had to join the club.
A/N: Just feeling the emotion. I'll dedicate this to my old man. He died when I was pretty young, so I'm one of the lucky ones.
I'm really sorry if any of you are part of the club.
Edit 7-9-13: I am not quite so clever to have come up with the Dead Dad's Club on my own, it is a product of the lovely show Grey's Anatomy and my own inability to remember where I hear things.