Summary: "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." Freddie's depressed, and it doesn't make sense to anyone but Sam.
A/N- In my brain, this is the very end of their junior year of high school. Just to avoid confusion...
"Hey, I'm going to Tucson for comedy camp." Sam took a long slurp of her smoothie, looking completely chill as her best friend nearly fell out of her chair.
"Why? What for? Did you really get that scholarship? What about iCarly?" Carly rattled off a list of questions in a manner which Sam affectionately referred to as Carly: Version Freak-out.
"Slow down, Trigger," Sam said, grinning and stealing another quick sip of smoothie. "I did get that scholarship. Apparently, the judges watch and love iCarly." Sam smirked. "Besides, it helps that Mom makes close enough to nothing for me to qualify for financial aid."
"That's so cool you get to go, Sam!" Carly exclaimed with a huge grin. "When did you find out?"
"Last night. I got an email with registration info, who my roommate is, all that jazz," Sam said as she took both of their empty smoothie cups to the trash. "I'm really glad I was alone. The chill, not hyperventilating with excitement Sam you see before you is a product of years of practiced emotion repressing and thirty minutes of deep breathing."
Carly laughed. "I'm so excited for you! When do you leave?"
"Oh my gosh, that only gives me-" Carly paused to do some mental math- "six weeks to plan the biggest farewell party ever!" Sam just smiled as Carly began ranting about party plans.
Freddie's stomach had hit the tiles of the cafeteria floor.
"Tucson?" He said, his voice cracking for the first time since he was thirteen and prepubescent. "But- I'm the one who looked that up for you, you have to be eighteen-"
"I am eighteen, nub," Sam said jokingly. "Remember... third grade... I epically failed it..."
"Not to mention her completely amazing eighteenth birthday party!" Carly exclaimed with a smile. She was into planning parties these days. Amidst the spread of fruit and veggies that was Carly's lunch was a notebook filled with party ideas, guest lists, budgets, and all things goodbye party. Sam had dubbed it The Brain, so important was it to Carly's sanity these days.
"Well- congrats, Sam." Freddie's throat was mysteriously dry, so he stood up to take his tray and go get some water. "I'm sure you'll have a blast."
Carly gave him a weird look, but Sam's face was completely emotionless.
"So Sam's really going to comedy camp for six weeks, huh?" Gibby said to Freddie after Carly handed him an invitation to the going away party. Freddie and Gibby were basically friends; Freddie figured he owed him at least that much after the years of torture and therapy he, Carly, and particularly Sam induced.
"Yeah, it's a really big opportunity for her," Freddie said. His stomach had started renting a condo somewhere around his toe area these days, and he hated it.
"I can't wait to tell my shrink! I'm pretty sure he hasn't had such a good week since Sam went on vacation last!" Gibby said with excitement, turning in to his next class.
Freddie got a lot of weird stares for bursting out into hysterical laughter as he was walking down the hallway- the last time Sam went on vacation, she was twelve.
"Why are you such a downy-frowny these days?" Carly asked Freddie as they were walking around Party Central, looking for various supplies for the impending (and apparently epically awesome) farewell party.
"Downy-frowny? I thought Sam made you stop watching after school specials years ago, Carls," Freddie said with a smirk, ignoring the pain in his gut. "Do you think Sam would like cream or white better?"
"You never answered my question, Freddie," Carly said with a smirk. "And for the record, Sam would like electric blue best," she said before grabbing a set of plastic ware in (of course) electric blue.
"He's been sitting on the fire escape all night," Carly said, wringing her hands with worry. "I tried going out there, but he just... sat there. Not talking." Sam tried very hard not to roll her eyes at her friend's typically excessive worry.
"He's just being a baby," Sam said as she grabbed a fruit kabob off the tray on the Shay's counter. "If he keeps doing this for, I dunno, like a week more, just let me know and I'll kick his ass."
Carly gave Sam one more worried look before they plunged back into planning out the party.
"You going to eat your crackers, Fredweird?" Sam asked on the last lunch of the school year.
Freddie wordlessly shoved his Lowfat Dairy-Free Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers towards her, then, if it were possible, angrily took a bite of his celery.
Sam and Carly just shared a look.
"For she's a jolly good fellow, for she's a jolly good fellow..." sang the crowd to Sam, who was sitting on the self-proclaimed Recliner of Power, mock directing her fans. Freddie, filming all the hysteria for the last iCarly of the summer, was laughing despite his horrible mood. At last, the vague attempt at singing stopped, and Carly stepped forward again.
"Well, that's iCarly for tonight-"
"And the rest of the summer," Sam finished, making a mock-pouty face and pressing the appropriate noise button.
"But in all seriousness, we will miss our dear Sam," Carly said as she tousled the blonde's hair. "Right guys?"
Freddie panned over to the crowd, which shouted and clapped in agreement.
"I think even our dearest Fredward might miss me a little," Sam said, only managing to hold a straight face for a short amount of time before bursting into laughter. "Sometimes, I crack myself up!" Sam wiped away fake tears, and Freddie felt his face heat up.
"Until next time, remember-" Sam began.
"You can pick your friends," Carly said, gesturing to Sam.
"And you can pick your nose," Sam replied, twisting her finger beside her nostril with a grimace.
"But you can't pick your friend's nose!" the two chorused in unison as they waved goodbye.
Freddie panned out to a cheering and dancing crowd one last time, before saying, "And that's a wrap!"
Sam stood out of her Recliner of Power and gave a rather surprised Carly a huge hug. Freddie could only assume she was saying words of thanks; he had already turned away to put up his equipment and vacate the cheery air of the party as fast as possible.
Freddie sat on his weather-worn lawn chair, sipping a Marissa Benson forbidden Peppy Cola in rebellion- against what, he didn't know. Sam Puckett was leaving for six weeks tomorrow, and he should have been the life of the party. As it was, he was sulking on the fire escape, trying to clear his mind of thoughts of long, frizzy blonde hair and ham. It was ridiculous.
"Hey, Fredweird, you know the party's inside, right?" Sam said from the window, causing the pensive Freddie to jump about ten feet in the air.
"You could knock," he said with a scowl, though he pulled up the spare lawn chair.
"Too obvious," she said with a smile as she sat down. "What's with the high fructose corn syrup drink?" she said as she propped her feet up next to Freddie's on the railing.
Freddie shrugged. "What's up with you missing your own farewell party?"
"Carly wouldn't stop complaining about you not being there," Sam said with a sigh and an eye roll. "She's under the impression it had something to do with me."
Freddie just pursed his lips and looked up at the night sky.
Sam raised her eyebrows and looked at Freddie. "Would she be right?"
"Maybe." Freddie said, sinking further into his lawn chair.
Sam just smiled and shook her head, looking up at the few stars that shone through the night lights of Seattle. "You would be a nub about this, wouldn't you?"
"Excuse me?" Freddie said, genuinely irked. "I'm less than ecstatic about you going away for six weeks, and suddenly, I'm a nub?"
Sam rolled her eyes. "It's not like I'm dying, Benson, and I'm pretty sure they have Internet in Arizona."
Freddie just shook his head. "This is practice, Sam," he said, sighing exasperatingly at her blank look. "For next year- you know, when we all have to leave this behind and move on-"
"Look, Freddie," Sam said, slowly getting up out of her chair. "I'm only going to say this once, so listen up."
Freddie just gulped.
"If you so much as think about- what was it? Oh yeah," Sam said as she moved closer to Freddie's chair. "Leaving me behind- or," she reached down and yanked him up out of his chair, "moving on from me-" Sam leaned in, inches from Freddie's face, "this year or next year or any year, I will kick your sorry ass from here to China." Her fingers curled around the edge of his collar. "Understood?"
Freddie gulped again. "Perfectly," he whispered before closing the gap between them.
"So, what was up with Freddie tonight?" Carly asked much, much later that night, after all the guests had left (without saying goodbye to Sam- who had mysteriously disappeared for the later part of the night) and the trash had been cleaned up (by a mysteriously enthusiastic Sam, who's only explanation for her absence was "an undeniable need for ham).
Sam shrugged. "He didn't really say much," Sam said. "But I think we reached an understanding."
Carly just smiled.
A/N- The quote in the summary is from Flannery O'Connor.
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