The last part of the trilogy :) Hope you enjoyed!
Disclaimer: I own nothing below. Except maybe the plot. Not really.
"And that's why you should never come between Sam and meat," advised Carly to the camera.
"That's our show for today! We'll see you next time on iCarly!" Sam said.
Freddie cut the feed and clapped. "Great job. Bye." He grabbed Sam's hand and rushed to the studio door.
"Where are you guys off to in such a hurry?" Carly asked.
Sam rolled her eyes. "He says it's a 'surprise.' But he also says it's not food, so I don't think it's anything worth going to."
Freddie sighed. "It's not gonna be fun. But I have to. Can we just get this over with?"
"Fine, fine. I'll see you later, Carly. Lead the way, Fredward."
The Way led the couple across the hall to Freddie's apartment. "Wait out here," he instructed. "I'll call you when I need you."
"Got any chicken?"
"After. Just do me a favor and wait for five minutes without food, okay?" He stepped into the apartment, leaving Sam wondering why he was agitated. She hadn't put itching powder in his underpants for more than a month now, and his mother didn't seem like one to leave clothes lying unwashed.
"Mom, I've got something to tell you."
Marissa Benson had waited years for this moment, when Freddie could finally approach her about his troubles without her having to interrogate him. She was all ears. "What is it, Fredward?"
"I have a girlfriend."
"Of course you do. You hang out with Carly and Sam all the time!"
Freddie couldn't help but realize how much he'd let the nerdiness carry him away. His own mother thought he was joking about that. "Not a girl that's a friend, an actual girlfriend. I've been dating her for a couple weeks and I want you to meet her."
Mrs. Benson's eyes almost overflowed. "A girl! An actual female human! Dating my son! Come here, Fredward, give me a hug, I'm so proud of you! As long as you two don't come into any physical contact I think she and I will get along just wonderfully!"
"Heh. I wouldn't be to sure. YOU CAN COME IN!" Freddie yelled.
Mrs. Benson nearly fainted when Samantha Puckett strolled into the apartment, casually requesting 'some grub.'
"Just breathe into the paper bag, Mom. It's going to be okay."
Tears were streaming down Freddie's mother's face again, but they weren't stemming from happiness this time. "I don't understand! When did this happen? Why did this happen? I thought...Carly was such a nice girl, Freddie, why Sam? She's so...what has this world come to?! Why her?"
"'Cause he was tired of crazy old bats like you and wanted to live on the dangerous side for a change," Sam snapped.
"Mom! Sam! Don't fight. I like Sam a lot, Mom. She's a great person."
His mother didn't believe him at all. "But..."
"No, Mom. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Sam's my girlfriend. That's final."
Mrs. Benson crinkled her paper bag and said slowly, "If...if she makes you happy..."
"She does." Freddie laced his fingers through his girlfriend's, an action his mother winced at.
"Well then, what more can I say?"
"Nothing," Sam told her. "We're going to the movies. See ya."
"That could've gone better," Freddie mumbled as they left.
"I think she handled it pretty well," contradicted Sam. She wasn't fooling him.
"Look, it's just going to take her a while to get used to. You'll grow on her."
"You grew on me," he supported.
Sam glared. "You're a mushy dork."
"Fine! You're my mushy dork."
Frantic knocking sounded at the Shays' door, jutting Carly out of her trance of boredom. "Coming! Hold on!" The knocking just got worse. Carly pulled open the door to scold the irritating person on the other side, but found herself face to face with Mrs. Benson.
"Oh, hi. Freddie's not here right now, he's--"
"On a date with...Sam. I know. Where's your brother?"
"Cahfee! Iff fumome fair fod me?" Spencer asked, appearing in the living room with his mouth full of toothbrush and toothpaste.
"Yes. Make yourself understandable!" Carly reminded him. Spencer walked over to the kitchen sink, spit, and came back.
"Hello, Mrs. Benson. How are you?"
The disgusted lady could not believe this was who she was coming to for advice. "I would like to speak with you. Privately."
"That's usually what a girl says when she wants to break up with me. Were we in a relationship I didn't know about?"
Mrs. Benson scowled. "This is no time for jokes! I am in a code red crisis situation! A calamity! Deep doo-doo, can you understand that?!"
"Doo-doo?" Carly repeated.
"Carly, dear, please leave. I need to talk to Spencer."
"Okay." She laughed to herself. "Who says doo-doo anymore?"
"Carly, don't mock our guests when they can hear you!" Spencer advised. Once his little sister was gone, he sat on the couch and motioned for Mrs. Benson to join him, which she didn't. "What seems to be the problem, Mrs. Benson?"
"This may shock you, so you might want to have a paper bag handy. It was a good thing I did this morning, or I would have hyperventilated. Do you have one?"
Spencer frowned. "I think I'll be okay."
"Your choice. Well then...my Fredward...he's dating Sam Puckett!"
"I know. So?"
Wrong thing to say.
"You knew?" Mrs. Benson raged. "You knew and you didn't tell me? We were getting along so well! We were good neighbors! How could you not tell me something like this?"
Spencer braced himself for a possible beating. "I thought Freddie told you! I'm sorry. Really, very sorry."
"Well, he didn't!" cried the upset mother. "And it was because he knew I wouldn't allow him to have special relations with that...hooligan!"
"Special relations?" asked Spencer.
"Hooligan?" said Carly from the top of the stairs.
"Carly! Go to your room!" yelled her brother.
"Yes! Special relations, hooligan, whatever 'hip' words you young people use these days. I don't care! That girl is a hazard to my son!"
"Mrs Benson," Spencer tried. "Sam isn't a 'hooligan.'"
"She eats salad with her hands, Spencer!"
He thought over that one. "Somehow, I don't think that qualifies as hooligan behavior."
"Well, it does to me. I'll never accept that girl with Fredward, he's far too nice of a boy to get mixed up with her. Why wouldn't Carly give him a chance?!"
"Don't blame me!" called Carly.
"Exactly, there's no conflict here. Sam is just what--Carly, I said go to your room!--Freddie needs to balance out other, nameless, overbearing influences in his life."
"So I'll just get him another baritone teacher! Then will he leave her alone?"
"I'm not talking about his baritone teacher, Mrs. Benson. I'm talking about you. Not that you should stop doing what you're doing, Freddie turned out to be a great kid, but you need to let him have a break every once in a while."
Mrs. Benson's lower lip trembled. "This is not what I wanted to hear from another adult. My son is not going to continue seeing Sam. Well, he should be home by now, it's already been twenty minutes. Hmph!" She showed herself out.
"What did she want to hear?" Carly questioned, coming down the stairs.
"I don't know. Would you like a taco?"
"I love this couch. I'm just gonna live on it, Carls, is that okay with you?" Sam asked.
"You practically already do."
"True. Where's Freddie?"
Carly hoped this wouldn't lead to a string of questions that she'd feel terrible about answering. "Home."
"Wasn't he supposed to hang out with us today?"
"Yeah he was. Where is he?"
"What's with the one-word answers?"
"Spencer just went grocery shopping. The fridge is stocked, do you want something?"
Sam sat up. "Seriously. What's wrong with Freddie?"
"Wow. Food can't even distract you from him anymore?"
The blonde had already started dialing his number, and put him on speaker. "Hello?"
"Freddie? Where are you?"
"Hey Sam. I'm grounded."
"You still get grounded? What'd you do?"
"I don't know. My mom won't tell me. She said I did something 'unspeakable.' Maybe she saw me throwing my broccoli away at dinner last night."
"Goshdarnit, Freddie, you had to be such a rebel."
"You know how I roll."
"Yeah. On a Segway. Carls, do you know what's going on?"
"Me? No! I don't. I do, but I don't. No, forget I said that! I have no idea. I really don't. Don't ask me questions when I have to lie to you because then I feel bad and I'm giving everything away and she thinks it's for your own good and it's not but I didn't know how to tell her and Spencer's mouth was filled with toothpaste and there were hooligans involved and I need to shut up now!" She clamped a hand over her mouth.
"What's going on, Carly?"
Carly bit her lip, but she couldn't keep it down. "I think...I think that Freddie's mom is doing everything she can to keep you guys from seeing each other. And she's just started, who knows what else she's got planned."
The two were silent for a second. Sam's jaw had dropped and Carly was sure Freddie's was too.
"She can't do that."
Sam snapped her phone shut and stormed out of Carly's apartment.
"Sam? Sam, where are you going? Oh, this isn't good..."
Freddie was trying to get down the fire escape when Sam joined him.
"Hey," she greeted. He stared.
"How'd you get in here?"
"Picked the lock. Tranquilized your mom."
"Kidding. She was watching the Health Channel. She wouldn't've known if an elephant broke your door down."
"Oh." He grinned. "You did that just to see me?"
"I also do that to get into Carly's fridge."
"But you loooove food."
Sam was silent. It just occured to Freddie that of the five or so times he'd told her he loved her, not once had Sam replied. This was also the girl who had no steady father figure, who ragged on her mother, hated her sister, and had three friends in the whole world. When was the last time she'd said what Freddie said to his mom every night?
"Sam?" Their best moments had been out on the fire escape. Might as well give it a try. Freddie mentally noted to have all of their dates out here. "I love you."
For a minute she looked like she was trying to get the words out, but couldn't. Then she started to lean in to kiss him, but he casually stepped back. Even with the insights into her thoughts, he was more than a little hurt.
"Um...so...for the next iCarly, I don't think I'll be able to be there," he started awkwardly.
"What? Why not?"
"My mom decided to plan this trip over whatever's left of summer vacation. Apparently I have an uncle I've never heard of that lives in England--he fences over there--and my mom wants to go visit him."
"For six weeks? How can you stand your family for that long?"
He shrugged. "I think it'll be cool. We'll the sights in London and everything, and he might be able to teach me some stuff."
"Wow. You'll be gone a long time...when did she decide to go?"
Freddie cleared his throat before answering. "My uncle called this morning."
"She hasn't seen him in a long time, and she really wants to go."
"Can you still call when you're out of the country?"
"Not right now. Roaming charges and whatnot. I told her to get me a new phone plan, so she's thinking about it."
"When are you leaving?"
"A couple of days."
Sam considered this for a minute, and then hurried down the stairs.
"Where are you going?"
"Home," she answered angrily...
...And burst into Carly's apartment. "That idiot!"
Carly glanced away from the TV. "Did you get in a fight with the mailman again?"
"No! I got in a fight with your stupid neighbor! Do you know what he's doing?"
"He's going to Europe for a month and a half! Until school starts!"
"Oh, that's cool. What for?"
"So his psycho mom can make sure he can't talk to me or see me. He knows all that, and he doesn't even care. It's like it's no big deal to him. Do you think he gets that he won't hear a word from me for six weeks?"
"Sam, hey, of course it matters to him. Maybe he thinks you'll write to him." Carly didn't realize how stupid that sounded until it came out. "This is so bad. Someone has to control his mother!"
"Well, if he's not going to, then what's the point?" Sam flopped onto the couch. It was obvious he would've fought with his mom if she'd just said 'I love you' back. Why couldn't she? It wasn't like she didn't.
"You gonna be okay?" asked Carly.
"I think...I think I'm going to go talk to Mrs. Benson."
"Don't beat her up, Sam."
Freddie felt like a jerk. He shouldn't have tried to force her to say anything she didn't want to, and now she was even more upset.
"Mom, I don't want to go on vacation."
"But Fredward, I've started packing. I've already gotten all of our anti-bacterial soaps and antiseptics and allergy medicine--"
"You can't do this just to keep me away from Sam. You're going way too far this time," Freddie said quietly.
His mother faked surprise. "What? Keep you away from Sam? No. Your uncle called and told us to visit. I haven't seen him in years, Fredward. He's never even met you."
"Well, tell him we'll go visit when Sam can come along. I don't want anything coming between me and her, ever." He paused. "Mom, why are you doing this to me? You think you're protecting me but you're not! Normal kids don't have to take tick baths or have curfews at eight! I should be able to eat junk food and wear open-toed shoes! And even if I can't, Sam is one thing you're definitely not allowed to take away from me."
Mrs. Benson looked like she'd been struck by lightning. She didn't say anything for a few seconds.
"I don't even have an uncle, do I? You were making it all up."
"You do have an uncle," she said finally. "But he's an accountant in Chicago."
"You were going to spend thousands of dollars to pretend to visit a relative just so I couldn't see Sam?"
"I was just looking out for you! Has that girl ever cleaned under her fingernails? Ever?"
Freddie grabbed his cell phone. "I'm going over to Sam's and setting this thing straight. And then we're gonna have a talk with Dr. Carlson again."
"Freddie! It's almost seven o'clock! You can't go outside without a buddy!"
He was already out the door.
When Mrs. Benson opened the door five minutes later, she expected her son outside, back from the dangers of the seven o'clock world. An unpleasant surprise greeted her.
"He went to your house to see you! Now he's out there all alone, who knows what--"
Sam pushed her into the apartment. "I'm going to talk now, and you're going to listen. I like Freddie a lot, and he likes me. And maybe I'm not the girl you would've picked, but you're going to hurt him if you won't accept it."
"You don't know what you're talking about. You're the one that's going to hurt him."
"Why? Because I don't make preventing gum disease my life?"
"No! But your antics always end up harming Fredward. You always end up harming him. He used to come home crying about your newest bullying scheme almost every day! All those cuts and bruises, who do you think spent hours nursing them? Do you think I want him around you without Carly there to make sure you don't send him to the hospital?"
"Oh..." Sam said quietly. She couldn't believe she'd forgotten all about her and Freddie's love/hate/more-hate relationship before they'd kissed. "Look, Mrs. Benson, I...I'm sorry."
"I said I'm sorry."
"I'm almost completely sure I did not hear that right."
"Don't make me say it again! I shouldn't have picked on him so much. But honestly, he--and you--made it easy to. You're like the ultimate obsessive mother. Can't you lay off a little?"
She weighed the decision. "Do you think you could start taking tick baths?"
"No. But I occasionally take showers."
"Do those even exist?"
Mrs. Benson sighed. "Fine. You don't seem...that bad."
"Thanks, I thi--is that a Paul Prudhomme cookbook?"
Freddie's mother gazed to where she was pointing skeptically. "Yes. How do you know--?"
"Duh! His redfish is the best. You ever made it?"
Mrs. Benson picked up the book. "No, I haven't...oh, what the hey. Would you like to help me out? We could have a late dinner. Let's risk indigestion!"
"You're going to wash your hands first, right?"
When Freddie returned home, he found the two taste-testing a dish at the stove. He knocked on the wall to let them know he was there, but they paid no attention.
"Uh, Sam? Mom? What happened here?"
"Oh, hey, Freddie. Your mom has a mean gumbo."
"Fredward, we'll only be a minute. Why don't you go and unpack the suitcases upstairs?"
"Are you guys cooking?"
"You already had dinner. And you didn't help make this. Make sure you're in bed by eight."
"Sorry. By..." She shuddered. "Eight thirty."
Freddie grinned at Sam. "Sure thing, Mom."
"You know, Carly, I think I've finally figured Sam out," Freddie said. "If I tell her I hate something, she does it about ten times as often."
"So you told her not to kiss you?"
Sam pushed open the studio door. "Sorry I'm late. Hey Carls. Hey, Fredward." She pecked him on the lips.
"Mmmm..." he murmured before catching himself. "I mean, darn..."
"Let's get this thing going, people!" She and Carly took their places in the middle of the studio.
"Hey, everybody! Sam I am and I like ham!"
"Hi! I'm Carly and I hate barley!"
"What is barley, anyways?" Sam asked.
"WHO CARES?" both girls yelled.
"We've got a new segment today," announced Carly. "We're switching things around. I'm going behind camera..."
"And I'm coming out here," Freddie said. "Hey, iCarly fans, I'm Sammy!"
"And I'm Carly!" Sam giggled, twirling a lock of hair around her finger.
"And I'm Fredlina!" Carly told the camera in a very high pitched voice. "Wait..." She plugged her nose. "Okay, now I'm Fredlina. And Carly, I'm not that girly!"
"That nerd voice is so not funny," Freddie muttered. "I mean, shut up Fredlina, or your foot'll end up where your nose is!"
Sam sidled up to the camera. "Sammy's not really cut out to be tough. Who says we demonstrate how Sam really does it?"
"What? No! Not a good idea!"
When Sam lunged, he expected to feel pain. But it was actually kind of nice. She was hugging him.
Freddie stepped back, dazed, before he remembered to say, "Ow..."
Carly frowned into the camera. "Great, Freddie. That was almost a believable expression of pain."
"Yeah." He grinned stupidly at Sam. "I'm going to get behind the camera again."
No one else had to know about the 'I love you' she'd whispered into his ear.