A/N: I'm fully aware that no one who read this story when I first wrote it is even active in the fandom anymore. It's just the story got old and irrelevant, I got bored and intimidated, and I stopped writing it. But I want to finish it after all. JSYK, this story is set between Season 2 and Season 3 and disregards everything after iTwins. This is the next to last chapter.

Disclaimer: I don't own iCarly or any other names, brands, lyrics, etc. in this story.


Chapter 12:

Have I ever mentioned how jealous I am of Carly? She has the most awesome brother in the world, and I'm just stuck with a prattish twin who always shows me up and flirts with my guy friends. In any case, sometime during the early morning, Spencer relocated Carly and me. I woke up in my bed, the sun sneaking through the crack between the panels of the heavy curtains. My head was aching like... well, it hurt, and my face was itchy. Spencer had taken a stab at wiping the face paint off me, but he's a boy. You know how that goes.

I laid in bed for a while, staring into the sun. Mornings are nice. I know I usually make a big deal about sleeping in and not being a morning person, but there's something about mornings. They have potential. At night you have all these ideas and resolutions, but in the morning you can make it happen. Also, you can wax eloquent about something or other, sound like a cheesy motivational poster, then remember that you're Sam Puckett and that Pucketts prefer Nike to Hallmark. In case it isn't obvious, "Just do it." Eh, eh? I shook the metaphorical (or whatever) water out of my ears and sat up.

Carly was still asleep in Spencer's bed, and the man himself was nowhere to be seen. There was a post-it note on the fridge. Obviously, I got up to read it.

"Carly and Sam,

I went to the art exhibition. Mrs. Benson is next door if you need anything. Breakfast is in the microwave, and please don't open the cat cage.

Spencer

PS: Sam, Freddie says 'Offerings at High Noon.' I have no idea? Is that code?"

I smiled to myself. To quote a song from a band that I don't ever ever listen to, ever, "I had a feelin'... that today's gonna be a good..." You get the idea. The microwave had some breakfast burritos in it. Since Carly was sick and would most likely wake up extremely hungry, I didn't even steal hers. The clock on the nuker said 10:14, and my reflection in its window, holy burgers. I was in no state to melt any nerds' stony hearts. Though, I thought to myself, I actually looked sorta like death by rock or something. It could have been sorta cool in its own way, but yeah - no.

The shower was ah-mazing. I hoped I wouldn't wake up Carly, but I couldn't help but serenade the shower head with a few rousing choruses of Hannah Montana songs. (I didn't wake her up, so my reputation wasn't irreparably damaged. I was just in a good mood, okay?) I changed into my actual pajamas because they were soft, comfortable, and pretty darn cute according to Carly. And they were just some shorts and a T-shirt. Totally appropriate for any occasion. I did nothing to my hair, but I put on a tiny bit of makeup to make me look less dead by rock and more sleepy princess. When I got finished, it was 11:17. Close enough. I left the note on the TV (Carly, unlike me, would check the TV before the mini-fridge), and left the room quietly.

Mrs. B answered the door of the their room, judged me for my clothes and disheveledness - she's not hard to read, people - and informed me that Freddie was out getting food. Good thing for him to be doing. I took the elevator downstairs to wait up for him.

Okay, keeping in mind that my pajamas are totally decent, I still got a few funny looks in the lobby of the hotel. Mostly the girls looked disgusted, the adults got that "back when I was a boy" look in their eyes, and the boys (and the soda jerk) were, well, more or less checking me out. Whatevs. This was a hotel, not church, and as adorable as I looked, I was way more decent than the Skunk Bags.

I took a seat on a big squashy chair next to the window to wait for Freddison.

"Hey blondie." Hmm. Strange. There was some college-aged monkey talking to me.

"Can I help you?" I asked slowly, narrowing my eyes for that hint of danger.

"'Sup with the P.J.'s? Boyfriend kick you out?"

"Totally," I responded, straight-faced. "Apparently some boys get mad when you try to cut off their chicken tenders with a plastic picnic knife. Sort of an extreme reaction if you ask me."

"Whu? Um... right, I'll see you..." And he escaped, looking pretty disturbed. I love that. Disturbing people is one of my more rewarding hobbies. There's no risk involved, see? Usually I go for the permanent psychological damage, but just freaking them out a little is almost as fun! It's easy, too: for the simplest attack, I just let them approach me, thinking I'm this sweet-smelling daffodil, and then bam. Hit them with the exploding ball of nightmare.

"Sam?" I just about jumped out of my bad attitude. There was Benson, carrying groceries from the Mall-Mart or whatever.

"Hey, Freddie." I smiled crookedly. How had I not seen him come in?

"You realize normal people get dressed before they leave their room, right?" he teased.

"What are you talking about? I'm wearing clothes. No one but you could possibly know that this isn't what I wear every day."

He rolled his eyes and smirked. "Help me take this stuff upstairs."

"And why would I do that?"


Picnics are nice. Most food occasions are nice, but a lot of times you get to eat cold meats at picnics, moreso than like, burrito dinners. Freddie sorta went all-out. We were up on the roof; the pool was closed for weather danger - the weather was really nice, so there was danger of there actually being people there.

I had asked Freddie if we should invite Carly. He stuttered awkwardly about something or other until, by my suggestion, we figured that Carly probably still had an upset stomach, and it would be very insensitive of us to bring up the subject of salty picnic food to her in her condition.

So we were up on the roof all by ourselves, eating salami and potato chips and celery sticks with peanut butter and little weeny pickles and little weeny sausages and drinking Wahoo Punch. It wasn't exactly romantic, but the situation definitely had potential. I didn't ask him why he did it or anything, cause there was also a lot of potential for awkwardness. Instead, we just ate picnic food and occasionally threw things at people on the street below and generally enjoyed each others' company.

"You know what sucks?" I said through a mouthful of sausage.

"Enlighten me."

"Bones."

"Bones?" He smirked bemusedly.

"Bones."

"Sam, without bones, you'd be an empty sack lying on the ground, incapable of motion."

"Yeah, but what I mean is, why do like, fish and meat and stuff have to have bones in them? It would be so much easier if it was all pure flesh."

"Yeah, but if they didn't have bones, how would you hold your chicken wings?"

"Fair point. Your logic is improving, Fredhopper."

We stared at the sky for a little while.

"We haven't done an iCarly in so long," I remarked. "What should we say about our trip on our next one?"

"Cuttlefish was awesome as usual and Carly got food poisoning and puked on our shoes."

"We could spice it up a little with some dangerous adventures."

"I don't think that would actually help the story."

"What are you talking about? Every story is better if it ends with someone running from the cops!"

"Says a Puckett."

"Meaning what, exactly?"

"Meaning that some people have a higher approval of petty crime than others." He swatted my hand away from his drink (mine was empty).

"Pshh. Petty? I'm talking bank robbery, grand theft auto, cat shaving. Cool stuff. Not like, dork violations."

"We could always go shave Mr. Meowface if you really want to."

"No! Fredward, dense one, you shave the cats of people you don't like and who you aren't depending on for a full day's ride back to Seattle."

"Hey, I'm just trying to give you your idea of a good time here."

"That's what she said."

Being a teenager is way fun. I'll miss it in ten years.

It got quiet and after a while, a little awkward. My Voices debated whether I wanted to mention the rest of the weekend, and I did, and I didn't. I mean, it was much nicer just having lighthearted conversations, but I would still feel better once everything was worked out, right? I wasn't sure if I was being cautious, or just chicken. Eventually, however, I spoke up.

"I guess... I'm sorry," I said, more to my cookie than to Freddie.

"For what?" he asked, looking genuinely confused.

"For, you know, being a drama queen this weekend. And stuff." I hung my head, looking at him even less, if that was possible, and fiddling awkwardly with my fingernails.

"You were fine," he said quietly. "I was a jerk. And stuff."

"Can we just, like, forget about it? Go back to normal?"

"I guess. If you want." He sounded disappointed. Why in the heck would he be disappointed?

"What? You would rather me scream at you and you be all bipolar and we have to walk on scrambled eggs around each other?"

Freddie chuckled. "The expression is 'walk on eggshells.' And no, that's not what I mean."

We went all quiet again. Freddie nudged the last cookie toward me. I was about to be worried that the picnic was over, but Fredward actually had a large bag of red licorice sticks, which made me pretty happy. I broke the cookie and gave him half. I wasn't really all that hungry anymore, which was crazy, by the way, but Freddie brought lots of food. And a full stomach makes me extra generous.

"Sam," said Freddie. I looked him in the face this time. That was his exasperated voice.

"What?"

"...Nothing."

Silence. Five licorice sticks. Silence.

"Sam?"

"Yes, Freddie?" I gave him that face, the teasing/patronizing one.

"You know..." he cleared his throat. He took a deep breath and looked me in the eye. "I really like you."

Well, that was not what I was expecting.

My eyes hit the ground, my face reddened, and my stomach was shaking involuntarily, which sounds weird, but you'll know what I mean when a cute boy does that to you. Everything got sort of blurry. Freddie likes me. Freddie likes me. Freddie likes me. He said so. He said he likes me. Nobody had ever actually said that to me before. 'Will you go out with me?', sure, but no one had ever just outright said that he liked me. Me! Not 'people like you' or 'a girl who can break bones' or 'my kind of chick'. Me, Sam Puckett. I couldn't believe it. I didn't for a moment doubt that it was true, what he said, but I couldn't believe it! This made me a little happier than food did.

"I know you don't feel that way, right?" His face was sad. It was the face made me want to punch whoever was making him sad. "But I mean, now it's out there, and you don't have to be confused anymore. And... and all the weird stuff, that's pretty much what it comes down to."

"Wait, dude," I stopped him. "Why would you think I don't feel that way?"

"Um, well, you, you know, rejected me last night..." But I knew he wasn't sad anymore, I could tell. He understood.

"Last night was a special case."

"Meaning?"

"I was upset, and um, I think I had a right to be upset for that matter. Wait, nevermind."

"What?"

I chuckled to myself. "I do so many insane things to you, I really never have the right to be upset."

"Well, maybe I like it."

"Well, maybe you're a freak!"

"Well, maybe you like freaks."

"Well, maybe your mom!"

"Your dog."

"Your dog's mom's fa..."

The conversation pretty much ended there. Our mouths were busy elsewhere.


A/N: One chapter left after this. Please review if you liked the story or have a comment about it.