Sam's really grown up."

It's a simple, off hand observation but it grabs your attention and holds on tight. You glance up from the glossy pages of the magazine spread over your knees and at Spencer where he stands lanky and looming over you on the couch. You catch an eyeful of the expression on his face, like something is dawning on him as his gaze slides absently over Sam where she sits hunched over a plate of lasagna in the kitchen and it's the same look that half the guys at Ridgeway give her when she walks through the halls now and you don't like it.

And its not like you think that Spencer will do anything because he's so not that kind of guy but Sam is going to be eighteen years old in a couple of years and then she's fair game, for everyone, and you've heard all about older guys and younger girls and may-December romances and Spencer's a good guy but Sam is all dangerous ideas and mischievousness behind big innocent eyes and a sweet smile and Carly doesn't know a lot of people that can resist Sam's charm when she turns it on.

You're pretty sure you're not one of them because oddly enough you've noticed too.

"What do you mean?" You ask, tipping your head back to peer up at Spencer who just shrugs and gather the paints spread across the coffee table, the items he's presumably come out of his bedroom to retrieve for some art project he's working on.

"I dunno," He shrugs, gathering the paint bottles against his chest and straightening. "She just looks…mature." he says dragging out the last word with funny lips and then he's gone and you tap your thigh absently as Sam meanders from the kitchen, wiping her mouth on her sleeve.

You look back down at your magazine, open to the page declaring celebrities "Just Like Us." with photos of actors and musicians eating hamburgers and recycling and listen to Sam shuffle closer before dropping on the couch beside you and tipping her weight into your side with a drawn out sigh.

"Carly," she whines in a way that somehow straddles the line of adorable and completely annoying and you turn and rest your chin on top of her head.

"What?" you mimic her whine as she flips through the magazine on your knees as if she's the one that's been reading it for the entire time.

"My stomach hurts."

You raise an eyebrow and press your lips into her hair with a frown.

"You ate that entire dish of lasagna didn't you?" You ask pulling back at to peer down at her and she just moans pathetically.

"Maybe. I dunno. I can't remember." she whimpers, shoving your magazine out of your lap and replacing it with her head.

"Sam," you sigh knowingly and Sam just whimpers a little more, curling to press her face against your stomach. "I told you not to eat all of that lasagna."

"I know but I'm me, Carls and lasagna is food and really what did you expect?" She moans pathetically and you heave another heavy sigh, tangling your hand in her soft hair before you even realize what you're doing.

"So I've been having this nightmare." She starts suddenly, picking at a thread at the hem of your shirt and you rake your nails over her scalp, smiling a little when she sort of purrs like you kinda know she will.


"Yeah, there's this like, ugly, gross monster and he's eating my soup…"

You laugh a little and Sam shifts too look up at you, "A monster eats your soup?"

"Yeah and don't laugh because it's a very disturbing dream." She points out and you grin down at her.

"Fine, I'm sorry. So, a monster eats your soup."

"Yeah and I've been trying to figure out what it all means." she says while you focus on curling a strand of blonde hair around your pinky.


"And, I think I've figured it out." she says proudly, tipping her face up towards you. "You're my soup."

Your fingers stall in her hair, "I'm your…what?"

"My soup." she says just as firmly, as if it makes total sense.

"Oookayy." you draw out and Sam sits up, scooting to the other side of the couch.

"Yeah, you're my soup and the PeeWee collecting nerd, Griffon is my monster." She points out and things start to make a little more sense. "You know, because usually you and I are connected at the hip and then he comes along and just steals you."

"Aww." You smile. "I'm your steaming bowl of liquid, that's kinda sweet." you say honestly.

You see her blush straight up her neck before she can hide it behind an eye roll. "Whatever. I'm just use to spending time with you, is all and its just weird without you while your out there searching for 'The One'." she says, fingers flying up into air quotes.

And honestly, you did go through a phase after the whole Griffin fiasco which left you a little confused and a lot disappointed, a phase of dating boys named Alvin, Herman and Winston because this whole thing has to work both ways. There has to be a nerdy boy out there with a secret affinity for vandalism and tattoos but it takes too many dates involving geeky conventions and an entire night of board games in which everyone but you was dressed as a wizard for you to give up on that hypothesis.

"So how's the search for Mr. Right going, anyway?" Sam asks from the other side of the couch and you sink into your side a bit, leaning into the arm while Sam wriggles her toes underneath your thigh like she's not hogging the entire couch with her long limbs.

"It's not. I've given up on boys." you sigh and you can practically hear the grin spread out on Sam's face.

"Uh oh, look out ladies, Carly Shay's on the prowl." She teases making a clawing cat gesture at you and you roll your eyes, batting away her foot when she attempts to press it against your face. "Besides I'm happy your quest for 'The One' is finally done because you were one nerd away from dating Freddie and that is just…unacceptable."

"I was not." You grumble lamely because you kind of were and you never want to admit to being that lame and desperate. "And I'm out of my boy psychosis and back to my normal self."

"And yet you say that like it's a good thing." Sam laughs and you just glare at her, adjusting a bit so Sam can get her foot under your butt again before reaching out and curling your hand around her ankle absently.

"Whatever, I know I've been kind of a jank friend lately but we should hang out so I can make it up to you." You offer because you and Sam haven't hung out in forever and you've missed her.

"I dunno, you have been pretty jank lately." She laughs like she doesn't even mean it but you growl and attack. She lets out a cry that's half scream but mostly laugh as you pounce on top of her and you manage to wrestle her hands down to the cushion on either side of her head while she pushes against your body with her knees pressed to your stomach. Needless to say that its very awkward but your laughing and it always amazes you that Sam is so flexible.

"Take it back." You order as Sam struggles against your superior body mass and freakish strength.

"What? Why? You called yourself jank first." She points out and you frown and lean your weight into Sam's legs until she has no choice but to spread her knees and make room for you or smash her knee into her face because Sam is so bendy.

You sink against her a little and you're very aware of the fact that if Sam wanted to get you off of her she could but instead she's wrapping her legs high around your ribs and squeezing a little while you rub your thumb over a scar on her forearm that she got cutting herself while scrambling over a chain link fence when she was running from the cops.

"So, just take it back." You laugh, grinning down at her and blowing her bangs out her face gently and that makes her smirk and tighten her legs around your sides and you swallow at the pressure it causes.

"Fine, I take it back." She so completely insincere but you're know that this is the most she'll give. "But I can't hang out today."

"What? Why not?" You demand sitting back but you put your hands on Sam's knees and she keeps her legs tangled around your hips.

"Wendy and I are going to fill those heavy duty water guns with barbeque sauce and shoot Ms. Briggs' house tonight." She explains pushing herself up on her elbows and peering at you.

"You're hanging out with Wendy?" You ask stupidly and that feeling swimming around in your gut might be jealousy.

"Yeah, she's bringing over her little brothers gun. It holds 2 gallons of liquid." Sam squeals excitedly, clasping her hands together. "Besides, you're welcome to come. I'd love the opportunity to corrupt Carly Shay a little more."

And there are rumors, just stupid rumors that have been going around about Sam and Wendy that started after Sam decided that maybe being girly wasn't for her and discovered that Pete didn't love food as much as she did. They're just ridiculous rumors but you have noticed Sam and Wendy hanging out a lot more without out you lately and you wonder if Sam's heard them. Probably not because no one would ever say that to her face.

Sam's grinning but you feel kinda sad while Sam sits up completely, freeing her legs and swinging them over the side of the couch. "Probably not. I think I've had enough trouble for a while." you sigh and Sam just shrugs, standing and stretching and you blink at the space where her shirt separates from her pants for a moment.

"Well, I think its time for me to hit the dusty road." she announces behind a yawn. "Mama's got some business to take care of. So text me later, 'kay?" she asks turning towards you where your still planted on the couch and you stare at her belt loops before tipping your head to nod upwards at her.

"Sure thing."

You don't know why exactly you end up outside of Sam's house because you don't really condone vandalizing peoples car with barbeque sauce and you don't want to partake in it but you realize that you really just want to hang out with Sam and the idea of her hanging out with Wendy made something inside of you twist unpleasantly.

So here you are, knocking on Sam's door.

"Hey, Carly." Sam's mom greets as she pulls the front door open and you smile at her and try not to stare at the raccoon hat she's inexplicably wearing over blonde hair that curls below her ears.

"Hi Mrs. Puckett, is Sam here?" you ask stepping inside as Sam's mom ushers you into the foyer and shuts the door behind you. You glance around the living room a little and even though you and Sam don't hang out a lot here, you've always liked the space in which she lives. There are odds and ends all mixed together and it works, your not sure how the deer head on the wall and the clown lamp go together but they just do.

"Sam's upstairs with Wendy, they say they're studying but I'm fairly certain that they're up to no good so if you could go up there and throw a wrench in their plans, I'd really appreciate it." Mrs. Puckett smiles a smile that's all Sam and you grin back, turning and heading for the stairs.

"Sure thing." You throw over your shoulder as you head up the steps, making sure to step over Frothy.

You're halfway up when the sound of the new Cuddlefish CD filtering out of Sam's bedroom, reaches you.

"Sam!" you bellow coming to a stop in front of her sticker covered door. You knock a few times. "Sam!"

You're about to call Sam's name again as you push open the door but then the words are lodged in your throat because you've just walked in on Sam and Wendy...kissing.

To be more specific you're interrupting a full blown make out session, groping included, and your stomach jumps up high in your torso before plummeting to your feet.

They jump apart quickly and Wendy has to maneuver her hand from under Sam's tee shirt and before you can even think of a reaction, your brain is doing it with out you and you scream, high pitched and girly.

Screaming seems to be your bodies automatic response to anything shocking and this definitely shocking.

Wendy just looks completely busted but Sam looks terrified and she stands quickly, dragging the back of her hand over her mouth. "Carly."

You're moving before you even think about it, scurrying out of the room and down the stairs, ignoring the thunder of footsteps behind you as you throw open the door and suck in a huge breath of wet, heavy air.

"Carly, wait!" Sam calls and you forgot how fast she was because she's grabbing you're arm and tugging you around to face her before you even make it off the front lawn. "That wasn't what it looked like." She starts breathlessly and you can feel a red flush creep up your neck and tears sting your throat as something, some feeling, creeps up the back of your throat but you bite down on your cheek and keep it at bay.

"Really, because it looked like you were playing tonsil hockey with Wendy." Way more hysteric than you'd like but Sam just winces and tucks her hair behind her ears.

"Okay, maybe it was exactly what it looked like." She concedes and you kinda wish she would've just lied and told you she slipped and fell and the only thing to save her were Wendy's lips but she doesn't and you bite down harder on your cheek.

"Sam, Wendy's a girl." You point out helpfully and Sam shifts on her feet awkwardly. " Are-are you even-even like that?" you sputter.

"I don't...I'm not..." The front door closes with a click and Sam's words die as you both glance back at Wendy as she exits the house, backpack slung over her shoulders.

"Hey, Carly." She greets softly and Wendy at least has the decency to look nervous and self conscious about the splotchy redness around her mouth that comes from kissing and pressure which matches Sam's.

"Hey," you whisper quietly only because its really hard for you to not be polite and Wendy's always been so nice. "So...this is awkward and I'm gonna go." Wendy exhales. "I'll see you in Biology, Carly and I'll call you tonight Sam."

And you hate the way her voice changes, gets all soft and hopeful, when she talks to Sam.

"Okay." Sam mumbles and she looks at you with worried blue eyes as Wendy walks away. "So I guess we need to talk." Sam offers and you swallow, glancing over your shoulder at where Wendy is disappearing down the block before shaking your head yes.

You follow Sam back into her house and you catch a glimpse of Sam's mom doing yoga in the living room, the voice of the trainer on the yoga dvd, filling your brain. The trainer says, "Breathe."

So you do.

Sam keeps looking over her shoulder at you as you follow her up the stairs like she's making sure you're right behind her.

When you get inside her bedroom she shuts the door behind you and then sort of stands in front of it, blocking the only exit like she's afraid you might run. You stare at the bed, at the rumpled bedspread with the deep indentations and decide to sit at her cluttered desk. "So..." she starts awkwardly, shifting from foot to foot as you drop into her swivel chair.

"So, you...kiss girls now?" you whisper and Sam flushes, pressing her lips together.

"Not on a regular basis, no." She offers and you lick your lips and draw your knees to your chest and glance at her desk. A shirt sits on top, the plastic security tag still connected heavy to the material, you pick up and wonder how Sam even got out of the store with it.

"I got that for you." She whispers moving across the room to sit at the foot of her bed, her weight erasing the imprints left by her and Wendy.

"You mean stole?" you ask and now that you look at it its definitely something you'd wear and if you weren't feeling whatever that slow, painful, churning is in your stomach is than you would find it endearing. Sam ignores your jab, instead focusing on her small, pale hands.

"Carls, I'm sorry." Sam finally croaks and you spin a little to look directly at her and she's watching you through her bangs. And suddenly you feel bad, you feel bad for having something like anger and jealousy and other emotions that you're usually better than, sloshing around inside of you. You stand carefully, moving across the room to sit beside Sam on the mattress.

"You don't have to apologize."

"Yeah I do."

"No, you don't."


"No, why do y-..."

"'Cause you keep lookin' at me like that." She interrupts softly and you swallow hard and blink up at the ceiling and try to swallow down a feeling that you've only ever associated with Jake Crandall and Griffin, as it wells up inside of you.

"So if you're not...ya know. Why were you and Wendy kissing?" you question, turning to gaze at her and she shrugs, lifting her head thoughtfully.

"I'm just curious, I guess." She mumbles and you nod.

"And I bet Wendy was more than willing." You grumble, picking at the knee of your jeans.

"So what? What's wrong with Wendy?"

"Wha-?" you scoff, rolling your eyes. "She has red hair, dyed red hair...that's the devil's hair color." You blurt with your voice edging toward hysterical.

"Whatever. You and I both know Wendy's smart and funny and nice..."

"I don't know that." You mutter and Sam's eyebrows furrow.

"Well, she is." She bites out and you curl your hands into fists. "And besides, I was just curious and its not like I could ask you too, ya know, kiss me."

There's a beat of silence where you should be agreeing with her but instead your blushing to the very tips of your ears. And you're not stupid, when you were dating Griffin you were well aware of how similar he was to Sam and you liked it and that means something huge.

"Why not? We do everything else together" you argue and Sam gives you a funny look.

"Not this kinda stuff and it doesn't matter, your Carly, you're not…curious."

"What does that even mean?"

"It means that you're you and being you means being boy crazy."

You suck in an indignant breath, "I am not boy crazy." Sam laughs a little and you deflate a bit. "And anyway, that doesn't mean anything, maybe I'm a little curious too." You whisper, dropping your eyes to your shoes while Sam peers at you.

"No way." She breathes and you shrug a little.

"Its just that we try everything together and we... I..." you trail off as the thought that you want to kiss Sam, oozes through your brain.

"Carls? What're you..."

"You coulda asked me because I would've done it...for you" the words tumble from your lips and Sam's eyes get wide like they do when she sees ham.

"I don't think...that's probably would not be a good idea." She whispers and you lick your lips and swallow, scooting your hand closer to where hers rests on the bed and hooking your pinky over hers.

"I just think we should, ya know, because we're best friends and I want to with you." You admit over the pounding, shaking in your chest and Sam looks at you with blue, blue unsure eyes.

"No." She says and you fluster because honestly you're not really use to Sam telling you no.


"No, I'm not kissing you." She says and your jaw drops in disbelief along with your internal organs as disappointment settles over and you didn't even realize you were that eager to kiss her.

"What?! Why not?!"

"Because," Sam starts, standing up and walking around her room like she just needs to move. "You don't want to kiss me because you wonder what it would feel like to have some other girls tongue in your mouth. You want to kiss me because you're jealous or whatever." She says, arms gesturing wildly.

"Sam, I-I am not jealous." You cry jumping to your feet and planting your hands on your hips.

"Uh, yeah you are."

"No, I'm not!"

The two of you are in a standoff now and Sam looks a little cornered and you step closer and smile when she backs herself up against her desk, knocking over the desk chair.

"What're you doing?" She asks sounding just as flustered as she looks and you shrug.

"If you're not gonna kiss me than I'm just gonna kiss you."

"Carly, knock it off." She breathes, huffing a strand of hair out of her face.

"Ya know, your right, I am a jealous of Wendy but that's not why I want to kiss you." you admit past the tightness in your throat.

"Why?" she croaks softly.

"Because you steal shirts for me and you run from the cops even when they tell you to stop." You start thoughtlessly. "And you buy giant trampolines and love fish sticks and I just want to kiss you. I want to know what it feels like and besides...I'm your soup."

"That's just a stupid dream." She points out and you frown, shaking your head.

"Dreams aren't stupid. They tell you stuff you can't figure out when your awake."

Sam just looks at you with bright blue eyes like she's trying to read you, like she's looking for a crack in your words and you just stare back and smile a little.

She takes a deep breath, letting it fill her cheeks before exhaling slowly and then she's reaching out to snag the hem of your blouse and pulling you right up against her and you wonder if she can tell how fast your breathing, how quick your heart is skipping in your chest.

"If you're so curious than you can kiss me." She says, left eyebrow lifting slightly like she thinks you wont and you lick your lips hesitantly with a shaky nod.

"Fine." You shrug and you suck in a breath right before you tip your head forward and kiss her mouth.

She doesn't kiss you back immediately, not until you fit your lips better against hers and exhale and then she tilts her head just a bit and it is…amazing.

Her lips are soft and smooth from chapstick that tastes like cotton candy and you cup her neck with tentative, slow, hand while your brain rushes at a million miles a minute.

This is Sam you're kissing and everything inside of you is pulling into tight, hot, unmanageable knots and you've never felt this with Griffon or anyone else you've ever laid lips on.

She's the one that presses her tongue against the line of your lips questioningly, hands pressed flat against your stomach and you open willingly and try to keep your knees from trembling when her tongue slides against yours.

You push in closer, kissing her harder and she makes a soft sound that you'll have a hard time ever forgetting.

You don't know how long you're kissing but when Sam nudges you away with a deep breath, both of your hands are cupping the back of her head, fingers tangled in soft hair and she's bunching your shirt up just under your bra and you're lips kind of hurt from friction.

The silence that follows is pretty deafening and you step back a little, praying that Sam will say something because if you have to than you just know it'll be something weird.

"Oookay." She exhales slowly, looking up at you with a furrowed brow.

"So…that's what kissing another girl is like." You whisper, licking your lips and tasting cotton candy. "It's soft."

"Yep." Sam nods thoughtfully. "Except it doesn't usually feel like that."

"Was it bad?" You ask softly, insides twisting and Sam's blue eyes flick at you and you hope its not bad while you try to manage the knots inside of you.

She laughs a little like you're missing the joke and shakes her head. "It was definitely not bad."

"Good." You breathe, smiling a little and Sam grins back.


"Yeah," You nod, "Good."

The End.

A/N: so this is just a little one shot to get past some writers block for the other stories i'm working on. So read and review and build up my confidence a little!

You exhale and she inhales and she's breathing in your recycled air and you don't think you've ever been this close.