Disclaimer: iCarly's all property of the one, the only, the Dan Schneider.
Inhaling the cold Seattle air of the cold, gray Seattle winter afternoon, Sam Puckett commits the crisp scent to memory. She hasn't been here, to the fire escape of Bushwell Plaza in years. When her friend Carly Shay notified her that the building she had considered her real home was to be demolished in the coming year, she, a secret sentimentalist, knew she had to visit it one last time.
She fingers the rough iron of the barrier, cold to the touch. She is more interested, though, in the sudden presence behind her.
"Freddie, I know you're there." She hears the unmistakable sound of baited breath being let go. He finds his way next to her, giving her his trademark smirk, and nods. "How'd you know?"
She simply shrugs. "Can't miss the smell of dork." The intent is not altogether there though. Truthfully, she says it for old time's sake. She hasn't seen or talked to him in years. After high school, they all went their separate ways. Despite the amount of time she spent doing iCarly segments with him and Spencer, she and Freddie still wouldn't admit that they were friends outside of Carly. He still looks and sounds about the same to her, albeit a little taller, a little more defined. But whether he is in truth still a dork or not is beyond her.
He knows that, but he doesn't respond.
And truthfully, she knew it was him because she knows him and still remembers him. Years have gone by, but she still remembers him and how he feels and how he felt and…
She returns her attention to the street. He follows suit. The two look down upon the street in front of Bushwell Plaza. They look at the people walking the street, upon the cars roaming past them, all unaware of the two people—one boy and one girl—looking at them, distracting themselves from the white elephant standing insufferably behind them.
The first to break the silence is her.
"Guess you had the same idea, huh?"
He looks early enough to see a smirk on her face appear and disappear as fast as it came and gives a small chuckle. "Yeah. My mom told me yesterday and I just…."
She nods. She knows. She shifts a little; she never was good with silence.
"I can't believe they're tearing this place down." She leans back, hanging onto the rail. It gives a little and moans in protest. It's old and it knows it.
He looks down at his feet. "I know."
"There's just so many memories here, you know? How could they just take that all away?" Freddie smiles, fists in his pockets, seeing his friend (yeah, he decided they were friends awhile ago) regain the familiar color in her cheeks, growing into her familiar feisty form as she continued her tirade. "iCarly was filmed here, darn it! Answering little kids' questions, finding all those baby chicks when they all hatched — "
"— mending your relationship with Carly through hairpulling — "
"— eating turkey in the shower — "
"— being hacked by Nevel Pappermen — "
"— and his subsequent and hilarious demise — "
Their smiles grow wider and wider, until together: "LET'S WAKE UP SPENCER!" They burst into a laughter filled with a relief and a sadness. The white elephant sits there.
She gives a small sigh. "I'm gonna miss this place. I am really gonna miss it."
He resumes his position. "Me too."
Moments pass. Both boy and girl, now woman and man, stand quietly, soaking up the last moments of Bushwell Plaza.
A slight nudge of the shoulder by him halts their reverie. "Hey," he says with a small smile, one of not just sadness but hope. She looks up at him, expecting nothing but maybe platitudes.
"You've gotta remember, this place…it may have been where we made all those memories. But," he turns her around by her shoulders and then gestures to her and himself, "we're the ones that hold them. The building's going to disappear, but the memories, iCarly, everything…that'll stay with us. They already have." He smiles in an effort to goad one of hers out. "I still remember everything that's happened here, don't you?"
She looks long and hard into his eyes. They wait expectantly for her response, for an insult or for an agreement, anything. Anything but her blue eyes looking uncertainly into his brown ones. Anything.
Then he gets it.
She takes his head into her hands and presses a kiss onto him. It's full of gratitude and…
He lets himself go into the kiss and deepens it, but keeps himself in check. After all, she is still Sam Puckett and he is still Freddie Benson and they both are still…
His hand itches to touch her, or anything. Between them two, there is a line. But with her action, she took that line and bent it into a zigzag, a curlicue, a twisted tangle of a mess that he is unsure if a line still exists.
She looks out of the corner of her eye, feeling his apprehension, and rolls it seeing his nervously twitching hand. Never parting, she takes his right hand into his left and guides it to her face. He breaks the kiss by letting out a nervous laugh, which she shares. Though he's not new to kissing, kissing her is still new. He nervously threads his gloved fingers through her still long, still gold hair, pulling her closer, closer.
She closes her eyes for the first time, letting herself enjoy it unlike the first time they'd kissed, when she was nervous, unsure of what to do or what to expect, afraid her abilities would be judged by someone she'd always proclaimed the lameness of. But this was good. This was definitely good. She remembered being cold before, but now all she can do is concentrate on the warmth. The warmth of his hands, the warmth of his nose, his lips, him.
He breaks the kiss again, their labored pants sublimating into wisps of condensed air. Foreheads still touching, his hands still cupping her face and thumb tracing her cheek bone and hers still hanging around his neck languidly, he makes a sound like he wants to talk.
And she feels a vague sense of fear, of what he'll say. Her mind races. He didn't break the kiss. He didn't push her away. How was her breath? He didn't break the kiss. And she vaguely remembers the fear she thinks Freddie might've felt all those years ago on this fire escape when he first made that proposition to her when he probably knew she felt the same way too. And she tries to think of what made her start this and what makes her not want to stop. And then she remembers.
When he talked about carrying memories within themselves, when he talked about remembering everything, she did. She remembered him. And she wasn't scared anymore. He spoke.
"Hey Puckett. I don't think I hate you anymore."
She smiles, filled with relief and something else, and pecks his lips.
"I still do."
He grins and pulls her a little closer. "And I wouldn't have it any other way."
A/N: I wrote this at 5 AM after I couldn't sleep because I was so inspired by this one idea that wouldn't get out of my head. I actually broke out the laptop just to write it down, even though I wrote it all in my head. Then I re-tooled it when I was thinking a little more coherently haha. Please let me know what you think, especially on the writing front. I'd really like to improve. Thanks!