Hey, so sorry for the delay and the suspense. Hope none of you died from suspense or impatience. Anyway, this is the last chapter for this story. Yay! I had writer's block for this for the longest time. But I finally finished it! Okay, so enjoy!

Chapter Four: Protector Type Person

With one last stomach wrenching sob, she opened the window with all of the strength she had left, and completely surrendered. With the tough image Sam portrayed, she couldn't afford to cry, and therefore she never did this. She flipped through the ten pictures of her and her dad that she always carried around in a Ziploc baggie in her pocket, just for the comfort. Sam never looked at them, but that night, she needed to. I mean, what else was she going to do?

There had been rumors several years ago back before Sam met Carly, that her father had left her and her mother. That was a complete load of garbage though. He hadn't left. He'd been in a car accident and passed away. And of course, those kids knew that, but, they were the bullies of the school, and back then Sam was the #1 target. She was a little on the short side, wasn't very strong in the least, and she didn't really talk much. Or fight back.

One of the only helpful things that Sam's mother had ever done in her life was yank her out of that school and stick her in the elementary school she had met Carly at.

After being a target for a year and a half, Sam changed her look, worked out, and got tougher. Goodbye roll-over-and-take-it Sam, hello get-out-of-my-way-or-else Sam.

Not all of her memories were bad. After she met Carly, her life got considerably better. And (never tell anyone this) even though she hated admitting it, Sam actually didn't mind having Freddie around.

Thinking about all of the good times made her choppy breathing and sobs start to subside. She leaned against the side of the red brick building on Carly's fire escape.

The next turn down memory lane took her back to the day Carly and Sam first met Freddie.

It had been a typical Saturday afternoon about three or four years back. Carly and Sam were watching TV. Well, Carly was watching, Sam was raiding the fridge for lunch.

"Do you got any meat in here?" Sam asked. Her voice was slightly muffled from her head being in the cabinets.

"Sam, I thought you already ate," Carly commented, laughing.

"No, that was brunch, Carls." Sam opened the fridge and started searching the shelves.

"I think there's some salami in there somewhere."

Five minutes later, Sam and Carly were both sitting on the couch watching some television show, when someone knocked on their front door.

"I'll get it," Carly slid off the couch while she spoke. She opened the door revealing an overprotective mother with her hand on the shoulder of her embarrassed son. "Hi."

"Hello. My name is Marissa Benson and this is my son, Fredward Benson," said Marissa.

Sam stood up and stood by Carly's side. She raised an eyebrow at Freddie. "Fredweird?"

Freddie frowned and looked at his mother. "It's Freddie."

"It's Fredward," Mrs. Benson corrected. "We just moved into the apartment next door and thought we'd say hello."

Carly smiled and waved at them. "Hi. I'm Carly Shay, and this is my best friend, Sam Puckett. I live with my older brother, Spencer. He's inside working on a sculpture."

Marissa's forehead creased with worry. "A sculpture?"

"That's cool," Freddie piped up quickly, suddenly extremely interested in Carly.

"Yeah, Spencer's an artist."

"Best artist in Seattle," Sam added.

"And you're not worried he could hurt himself? Working with all of those sharp tools?" asked Mrs. Benson with great motherly concern.

Freddie groaned and covered his face with his hands. "Mom…"

Carly smiled and shook her head. "Well, sometimes he gets hurt and catches random things on fire, but he's really just working on gluing a giant house of cards together and…" Carly trailed off because Marissa had already pushed her way through the front door to find Spencer.

"Wow… that woman is all kinds of crazy," Sam said to Carly with Freddie still standing there.

"Hey, she's not that bad," complained Freddie.

"Yeah, I don't care, Fredweird," Sam said, reclaiming her spot on the couch.

"Sorry about my friend… Freddie," Carly said.

Freddie suddenly looked like a lovesick puppy as soon as Carly started talking to him. "Not a problem. I don't care."

Sam laughed, looking back at that memory. To think that that was where it had all started for them.

Love at first sight for Freddie, Carly nice as can be, Mrs. Benson trying to prevent Spencer from "hurting himself," and Sam was just… Sam.

Sam's tear ducts were starting to run empty, so she thought about all of the other great memories they had.

The first time they did iCarly, when Carly and Sam spied on Freddie on his first date with Valerie, hatching the baby chicks for science, getting back at Nevel on three different occasions. The list went on and on, playing through Sam's head like those end-of-year slideshows schools put together and showed on the last day of school.

Sam stood up straighter and began the process of wringing out her sopping wet hair. The rain had finally let up and Sam was completely soaked.

"Knock, knock," Carly said, suddenly appearing in the window.

Sam turned around and couldn't help smiling a little. "Hey…"

"Did I forget something else?" Carly asked, climbing through the window and standing next to Sam.

"Nah, my mom just decided to take off to Vegas for the weekend and leave me here," Sam said as though it didn't matter to her at all.

"Did she even tell you?" Carly looked concerned.

"Not really, but I don't care."

Carly shook her head. "Then why are your eyes all red? It looks like someone poured salt into them."

"Uh, nothing, just…"Sam sighed. She sat on the fire escape step with defeat. "You know what? Forget that. I do care. She didn't tell me they were fumigating our whole apartment floor, so she left my stuff with our landlord and left me a note saying she was just taking off to Vegas. And… that… felt… bad."

Carly used all of her strength to not let her mouth drop to the floor in shock. Sam never let herself be this open and vulnerable. Carly opened her mouth to speak, but Sam wasn't done being unpredictable.

"And another thing is bugging me too." Sam looked Carly in the eye. "I don't want you to feel like you have to be my friend just because you feel sorry for me. I know I don't have any friends other than you and Freddie because I'm so… mean to everyone, and I'd be okay with it if you didn't want to be friends anymore now that you have Freddie."

Carly frowned at Sam. "Okay, I've got a couple of things to say. First, where is all of this sensitivity coming from?"

Sam laughed without humor. "Reminiscing does that to a person, I guess." She looked down and studied her shoes, trying to think of how to say her next thought. "I don't want to be mean to everyone anymore." She spoke slowly, but she there wasn't a hint of a lie in her tone.

Carly smiled. "If you ask my opinion, it won't be that hard."

Sam looked up at Carly like she was insane. "Huh?"

"Well, it might be kind of hard, but all you have to do is treat people the same way you treat me," Carly stated simply. "And another thing. Just because now Freddie and I are dating, doesn't mean I don't still need you as my best friend."

"But why? Why would you want to have me as a friend?"

"Because I know that deep down, you have a kind heart, and that you're a good friend. Besides, who else am I supposed to go to Build-a-Bra with? Freddie? Ugh…" Carly shuddered.

Sam laughed. "So even though I'm mean to virtually everyone but you, you still think I have a heart?"

"People without hearts don't stick by their friends like you've done for me and even for Freddie. And okay… you could ease up a little on the intimidation factor on everyone else, but other than that…" Carly shrugged. "We've been friends for so long and… Did you ever think that maybe we were supposed to be friends? I mean, you used to be way more overbearing, and now it's been months since you've beaten someone up on purpose. And me. I used to never be able to tell the difference between people who actually needed help or something and people who were just using me. And then after you told me what was really going on, you'd let me cry and then go kick their butts for me. And now I can smell phonies a mile away too."

Sam smiled a little. No one messed with her friends. "Yeah, but-"

"And okay. The rest of the world would appreciate a nicer Sam. But if you think for even a second that I would ever not want you as my friend then you're insane. Same goes for Freddie." Carly smiled. "And I already know that you had rough past, and you weren't just born a bully. But people can change," she said lightheartedly. "Look at it this way; you know now what you don't want to be. You've been the victim before. You're too strong to go back down that road."

They both laughed.

"You've been the bully. You know you don't want to go back to that, and you'll have Freddie and me there to help you. Freddie can always fence you're aggression out of you."

"Thanks… I still don't get one thing though."

"What's that?"

"How did you sense the good in me all those years ago?"

Carly playfully kicked Sam. "I wasn't totally clueless back then. Besides, you didn't beat me up for shoving you off the bench after you tried to steal my sandwich. I figured there had to be more to you than just a sandwich-stealing bully."

"Thanks."

"Aww…" Carly held her arms open for a hug.

Sam hesitated for a split second before she stood up and walked into Carly's embrace.

"And another thing… I'm going to have to insist that we go shopping this weekend no matter if Freddie breaks something else or not," Carly said after they pulled away.

"Guess we'll both just have to keep him away from juggling clowns and jerky bullies at school," Sam said only half-joking.

"Hey, that can be your new thing," Carly said lighting up with an idea.

"What?"

"You can be a protector. You know, for the underdogs that get bullied."

Sam looked unsure. "I don't know… Me as a protector type person…?"

"Why not? You've got the bravery for it. And you won't be afraid to stand up to the bullies like other people are."

"I can still eat the same though, right?" Sam asked while Carly climbed back through the window.

"Yes," Carly said smiling and rolling her eyes.

"Okay, good. You know me… I can't live without my meat."

"Yep… I know…"

Sam smiled and stepped through the open window. This wasn't the end of her life and happiness like she thought it was. It was just the beginning.

The End.

And there was the end. Don't you just love happy endings. I tried to make the ending believable enough, so... let me know what you think. Please review, and if you like Sonny With a Chance or The Naked Brothers Band check out some of my other stories. I have two stories in progress and now three stories finished. Yay! Thanks for reading and for all of your support! Bye!