I came up with this after reading mystlyx's Regularity, which is a great fic, I'd definitely recommend reading it :)
Disclaimer: I own nothing, except maybe...nope, nothing.
"Hey, nerd!" Sam yelled down the school hallway. Freddie turned around before he realized he really shoudn't have answered to that.
"It's Freddie. Like it's been since before you were born."
"Like it matters. Hey, can you try on this wig?"
"We're gonna dress you up like a girl on iCarly and see if anybody notices. Ugh, how do you even tell what shade of lipstick is your color?"
Freddie rolled his eyes while slowly backing away. "You're nuts if you think you're getting me into a dress. Just have Gibby do it."
"I tried, nothing fits him. And I was thinking skirt, but dress is nice...a real frilly one, I'll get it from Melanie...besides, you wouldn't say no to Carly, would you? Darn it! Where'd he go?"
Phew, thought Freddie. His break for it had gone unnoticed, or Sam would've caught up to him and forced him into one of Melanie's homecoming-dance-worthy monstrousities. Just a few more seconds, and I'm home free. He power-walked (wouldn't dream of running in the hallways) into his Geometry classroom...
...And crashed head-on into Jocelyn.
"Uh...hey, Jocelyn. What's up? Heh...you are..."
Jocelyn growled. "What do you think you're doing, geek?"
She made a fist and shook it in front of his face. "Yeah. The hard way."
Before she could make contact with his head, someone else's hand caught hers. "Hey, I still need to stuff this dork in a dress. Go find another one to beat up."
"Sam!" Freddie gasped. "Thank God...I never thought I'd say that..."
Sam twisted Jocelyn's arm behind her and threw her back into the classroom. "I thought I told you to stop messing with people..."
"Detention, Puckett!" screamed Mr. Howard from inside.
"Yeah, yeah, shut your piehole." Sam dusted off her hands.
"Um...thanks. But that wasn't necessary, you know."
"Shut up. I'm not done with you," Sam growled. "Dress. Now."
"Was it really worth it, Sam?" asked Carly while the three of them walked back to her apartment. "Did you honestly have to beat up Jocelyn?"
"And push me into the girl's bathroom with that flowery mess of cloth?" accused Freddie.
"I saved your nerdy butt, so put a sock in it."
"You sounded like a lame superhero doing it."
"You're an ungrateful dweeb."
"Somehow, I think I'll survive that awful blow to my ego."
"'Awful'? What are you, forty?"
"You're so lucky you have me around. You reek of nerd. How many people do you think would rag on you every day if I didn't go to this school?"
"Why do you even bother?" questioned Freddie. "I thought you loved seeing me get beaten up."
"Yeah, when I'm doing it!"
"You guys, watch out..." Carly warned.
"How stupid do you think I am?" Freddie said, his voice rising.
"Very. What's that got to do with anything?"
"Come on. This isn't the first time you've stuck up for me when something went bad. In fact, it started right about when we--"
"Don't even bring that up, Dorkward."
"What's there to admit?"
"You guys! Watch out! There are cars coming, can you look left and right before you cross the street, please?" Carly urged. They paid her no attention.
"You know what I'm talking about."
"Right. In your psychotic mind, you're making sense. I get it."
"Admit you care about me."
Sam stopped in the middle of the street. "What?"
"SAM! FREDDIE!" Carly yelled.
Sam turned to tell Carly to quiet down, and the world began smearing. Colors blended so much she couldn't tell up from down. She only knew that something very big was coming at her very fast. She heard a screech of tires, a blaring horn, people screaming, and a grunt. Sam felt herself jerked roughly--no, now she was falling--and she landed on a body. Someone groaned, and everything flashed back into focus. She was staring into Freddie's eyes, which were wide with fear.
"Are you okay?" he asked, his voice strangely strong when he was feeling anything but. He was still holding on to her from when he'd pulled her out of the path of the car.
"I think so," she choked.
"Good. Then get off me."
She was still in shock, and could barely comprehend what he was asking her to do. He gently pushed her off, and stood up. Sam shook her head and did the same.
Carly rushed towards them as soon as it was safe to do so. "Guys, are you hurt? Freddie, I can't believe that--Sam would've died!"
Sam's ears echoed with those words.
"Sam? Sam, can you hear me?" Freddie called, shaking her. "You look really pale. Are you sure you didn't get hurt?"
She pushed off his arm. "Let go of me, Fredweir--" Her eyes widened. "Dor--" Carly and Freddie exchanged scared looks. "Just let go."
"Did someone call 9-1-1? I think she might be in shock," Freddie questioned.
Carly nodded. "Some lady already dialed them. The ambulance should be here any minute."
"What? Ambulance? Do you think my mother can afford the hospital bills? I'm fine!" Sam insisted. "Geez, a girl almost gets hit by a car and everyone freaks out. What happened to the driver?"
"He tried to stop, but after I got you out of the way he kept going. Must've not wanted to stick around after he didn't hit you--how humiliating. Could've done a great thing for society and he missed the opportunity," joked Freddie.
"Yeah, well--" Sam started and stopped. Freddie and Carly waited for the retaliation, but it never came.
"There's definitely something wrong with her."
The paramedics who arrived on the scene attempted to cart Sam off to the hospital, but after determining that she had only a few cuts and bruises (and getting a couple themselves) they left. Sam, Carly, and Freddie made a solemn promise never to tell Mrs. Benson what had just happened. Their heartbeats slowed as they walked. They could barely believe life hadn't stopped after a mindblowing event like that. Carly was replaying the scene over and over, wincing every time she realized how close that SUV had been to her friend. Freddie was still shaking, blaming himself. What had he been thinking, saying something like that when he knew it would distract her? But at least things were mostly okay.
The three of them still knew something was off, though. Unfortunately, Sam couldn't even figure it out. For once, she was silent the entire way home. Carly was unbelievably worried, but waited to see when freaky condition Sam had before taking any action.
"Okay, you guys. Since we're definitely not going to have Freddie or Gibby getting girl-ified, we'll need a new segment. Any ideas?"
Sam tried, "How about we have Freddie eat--"
They waited for the bomb. Nothing.
"Or have him..."
"How about we try and get Cuttlefish to come on the web show? I hear they've got a concert in town this weekend," she finished lamely.
"Okay, idea sessions aren't the same without ninety percent of your suggestions being 'let's harm Freddie. Somehow.' What's wrong?"
"Well, don't solve the problem, I kind of like this development!" Freddie argued.
"I don't know what's happening to me! Every time I try to insult Freddie, it's like that car is about to hit me again and I just can't do it. It's driving me crazy." Sam grabbed her head. "Do you think I'll actually have to get hit by a car to make it stop?"
"No!...I don't think so..."
Freddie plopped in a beanbag and sighed. "As much as I'd hate for Sam to be able to pick on me again, I think I know what's wrong. You feel like you owe me."
"What? That's never happened to Sam before. You've lent her hundreds of dollars before, haven't you? She never even mentioned 'owing' you."
"Yeah, but I've never saved her life."
"Well, how's this supposed to go away?" Sam cut in.
"Does your imaginary car make you stop beating me up, too?"
Sam was torn. Normally, she could've punched the answer out of him, but her hands wouldn't obey her mind. Freddie smirked.
"I guess it does. Well then, I guess you'll have to figure it out yourself, because I have no idea. Here's hoping you don't."
Freddie left after it was obvious no one was getting anywhere. He was the only one out of the three in any sort of a good mood.
"What am I gonna do, Carly?" Sam asked. "What if this doesn't wear off? Who else am I going to vent on? Can we add Gibby to the show just so he's around for me to beat up?"
"We'll figure something out, Sam, don't worry. Why aren't you more upset that you were almost run over?"
"I'm alive, we've established that, thanks. But I can't even think! And--he--won't help. I mean, he figured out what was wrong with me, he knows how to fix this."
"Okay, let's just brainstorm. So, Freddie pulled you out of the path of an oncoming car and kept you alive. Which means that..."
"We'll get Spencer to pretend to run over Freddie, and I might get him out of the way. If I do, I stop 'owing' him my life, and if I don't, I wouldn't be able to pay him back anyway 'cause he'd be roadkill. That's genius, Carly!"
"Um...I was thinking more along the lines of doing something nice for him, you know? Like you did this morning, kicking Jocelyn's butt for him--hey, wouldn't that count?"
"I like my idea better."
"Sam, be serious."
"I don't know, if that counted, maybe I'd be feeling a little better, don't you think? That barely makes me even with him, Jocelyn would've broken his nose, maybe, but he would've lived through it."
"Okay. New brainstorming session: Nice Things You Can Do For Freddie Without Throwing Up."
Their list had a total of three items:
1. Stop people from bullying Freddie. Check.
2. Stop bullying Freddie. Check.
3. Compliment when opportunity arises. Still rather checkless.
"I thought you said without throwing up."
"Do you want things to go back to normal or not?"
"Fine. Here he comes." Sam slammed her locker shut and resisted the urge to gag at the thought of what she was about to do. "Hey, Freddie. Nice...sweater-vest..."
Freddie grinned. "Sam, remind me to rescue you every day."
Sam rounded on Carly. "I can't do this. There's got to be another way."
"Listen." Freddie had no idea why he wasn't milking this. Sam looked pitiful, but if it had been him, she would have made him grovel. But if he hadn't been so high and mighty and dragged her out of the car's way, this never would have happened.
Would Sam have saved me? Freddie thought suddenly. She would have kittens if I got run over. So why did yesterday scare me so freaking bad?
"Don't worry about it, Sam. I don't care. It's done. Just go back to doing what you do best, but give me a five second head start to run."
"I can't! If it was that simple...! Gibby! Did anyone give you a wedgie yet this morning?"
The unfortunate nerd stopped and shook his head.
"Hey, Jocelyn!" Sam called. The bigger girl took one look at her and 'eep'ed in her very deep voice. "No--hey, stop! I'm not gonna do anything--yet. I want you to grab that dork from yesterday and pretend to beat him up until I come and save him from you."
There was a lot Jocelyn could have asked, but the first word out of her mouth was, "Why?"
Sam grabbed the front of her shirt and shook the bigger girl. "Don't question me. Just do it, or I'll make sure you don't wake up for three weeks."
"Okay, okay! That one?" she inquired, pointing at Freddie. Sam nodded and hid while Jocelyn did her job.
"Hey!...You!" she roared. "I'm gonna beat you up!"
Pure terror flitted across Freddie's face. Sam hoped Jocelyn would land a good punch or two before she felt the need to intervene.
Her body was not thinking along the same lines. Immediately, she found herself rushing out to shove Jocelyn away. "Leave him alone!"
They hadn't really thought out what to do at this stage. Sam and Jocelyn stood around awkwardly, and Freddie was starting to think this wasn't your average get-saved-from-a-bully-by-a-girl scenario. Finally, Jocelyn had the good sense to say "Um...okay" and walk away, fast.
"Thanks again, Sam. Sort of."
"Yeah, whatever, dwee--" She turned scarlet. "Darn it! What's it gonna take?"
Freddie could barely suppress laughter. "Keep trying, Sam. At least one of us is enjoying this."
"Gah! I hate this so much! I'll be nice to you, Freddie. Even if it's the last thing I do!"
"Sam? Why are you in this building and not coming over to my place?" Carly asked when she met up with Sam outside her apartment. The blonde shrugged.
"This needs to stop."
"What're you going to do?"
"Make him tell me what to do."
"Good luck. I'll keep some bacon ready for you in case it doesn't go well. And in case it does."
Sam knocked on the door, and Freddie opened it.
"Hey. Thought you might come over."
"Come in. This is seriously starting to freak me out too. Look, I want you to forget that ever happened."
"But I can't. Isn't there something that I could do? Otherwise I might never hate you again."
"Um...oh, yeah, that would be bad, wouldn't it..."
Sam's shoulder's slumped.
"Why do you care so much?" Freddie asked. Sam didn't answer, but it didn't make a difference. He already figured it out. She had to hate him, because if she didn't she'd have to care about him, which she'd nearly gotten killed for trying not to admit. "You know what? I'm just really glad you're okay."
"And besides," he said quickly,"you got me out of two tough spots with Jocelyn. So..."
"So what? That's not even a big deal!"
"Why does it matter?" said Freddie. "You helped me out, I helped you. We're even."
Sam rolled her eyes. "I don't play to get even. I play to win."
The corner of Freddie's mouth quirked up. "Sam, you don't have to. This isn't a game, we're friends--I think. That's just what we do."
"Stop saying things like that," Sam growled. "You make me want to be nice to you."
He grinned. "Do I make you a better person?"
Sam stared in horror. "Shut up. You sounded like you were flirting with Carly right then."
"What? I wasn't flirting. I swear. At least, I didn't mean to..." Freddie gulped.
Sam thought for a minute. Freddie was scared out of his mind. No one got away with making a move on Sam, even if she was currently indebted to them. Especially not nerds she hated. He should've run, but his legs refused to move. He'd never seen Sam actually consider the worst type of punishement to use.
Then she came up close and pressed her lips to his. Freddie's eyes snapped wide open, but before he could react, Sam pulled away.
"There. Your third kiss. You were never gonna get that. I win." Freddie was frozen with surprise. Shaking her head, she began to walk away.
Sam was almost to the door when Freddie called, "Hey!"
She turned around. "Got your voice back?"
Freddie smirked. "One more."
"You heard me. One more, and then we're officially not even."
Sam's expression gave absolutely nothing away, but Freddie wasn't backing down from his challenge.
"I saved your life..."
He leaned in, and Sam found herself pulling him closer by the shoulders. His arms snaked around her waist, sending shivers up her spine. Sam couldn't figure out how Freddie knew how to make her feel like that with his very limited knowledge of girls, but it didn't matter after about half a second. They came up for a breath, but she kissed him again.
"There," she mumbled, taking her hands off him. "Four and five. Good enough?"
Sam turned away to hide her reddening cheeks. "Thanks. For...you know. See you later, Freddork."
He grinned. "Freddork, huh? I guess that means you win."