Summary: "It's her way of not giving up on you." Carly explains the truth about Sam to Freddie.

"So I was standing there covered in pudding, and before I can even say anything," Freddie said, "she yanks my gym shorts off me- in the middle of the cafeteria- and told me to go shower because I smelled like nerd."

Carly was trying- unsuccessfully- to hide her laughter. "What did you do?"

"What could I do?" Freddie said with a sigh and a sip of smoothie. "I pulled my shorts up, went to try and de-pudding myself, and tried to find a way to move to Argentina. It was the only way to salvage my dignity."

"So that's why Sam was in detention," Carly said with a smile. "You know she's regretting it now, right Freddie?"

"Because she missed an opportunity for free food," Freddie said with a snort. "She would have convinced one of us-"

"-probably you," Carly added.

"-probably me," Freddie conceded, "to pay for her smoothie. And a deep fried Twinkie."

Carly just laughed. "She's not like other girls."

"No, she's definitely not." Freddie sighed. The two sat in silence, enjoying their smoothies. Freddie frowned, a crease appearing between his eyebrows. "Why does she feel the need to torture me, anyway?"

Carly just looked at Freddie. "She's Sam-"

"But she's fifteen years old, Carly!" Freddie said, his voice becoming slightly hysterical. "I'm taller than her now, and it's not like she's stupid! She's got to know somewhere deep inside that black soul of hers that it's wrong-"

"Freddie," Carly said, giving him a serious look. He stopped his rant, but still looked upset. "You realize that Sam's completely insane, right?"

"Of course," Freddie said, looking even more perplexed, "but why-"

"Knowing that will make what I'm about to say much easier to understand." Carly took a deep breath. "Sam doesn't trust most people, just on principle. If she meets someone she wants to be friends with, she has to test them-"

"Test them?" Freddie said, raising his eyebrows. "Seriously?"

"She's completely insane, like I said," Carly said with a hand-wave. "Anyway, she's tested all of her close friends. Remember how we met?"

"She pushed you down to steal your sandwich," Freddie said. "So?"

"I pushed back," Carly said. "I wasn't afraid of her. Sam pushes people so she knows they won't go away when her life tries to push them away without her consent."

Freddie's face was blank. "What about Spencer?"

"About a month after we became friends, she completely destroyed one of his sculptures," Carly said. "He spent an entire weekend on it, and she destroyed it with a baseball bat. He yelled at her for like five minutes, and then gave her some ham."

"What are you saying, Carls?" Freddie said, his face still unreadable.

"All the abuse, all the torture, all the humiliation," Carly said, "It's her way of not giving up on you."

Freddie pursed his lips and took, if possible, a contemplative sip of his smoothie. The two sat in a rather uncomfortable silence for quite some time before Carly finally stood up.

"Listen, I've got tons of homework," Carly said with a grimace. "Just… don't tell Sam I told you anything."

"Don't worry," Freddie said, still looking utterly confused. "I won't."

And, although he had effectively been ditched for a math book, Freddie couldn't help but smile and shake his head.

p-p-p

"Sam!" Freddie shouted down the mostly empty hall of Ridgeway at the retreating blonde head.

"If you want an apology you aren't going to get one," Sam shouted back, not even turning around.

Freddie jogged to catch up with her. "I don't want an apology, Sam-"

"Then why are you here, Fredrina?" Sam said, turning violently to face him. "Come to bitch about how miserable I make you? Or maybe it's because you feel the need to thank me for giving you an afternoon alone with Carly? Either way, give it up, Benson- you'll get no sympathy from me, and Carly-"

"-will never love me," Freddie finished for her, crossing his arms and raising an eyebrow. "You done?"

Sam just pursed her lips and gave Freddie an appraising eye before punching him squarely in the stomach.

"Holy chiz, Sam," Freddie wheezed. "I'd prefer a verbal beating, if I get a choice-"

"-which you don't," Sam said with a smile. "For serious, kid, why are you here?"

Still rubbing his stomach in pain, Freddie just shrugged his shoulders. "Weren't we planning on coming up with some web segments?"

Sam looked at him dubiously. "Yeah, so?"

Freddie raised his eyebrows. "So… I could use another smoothie if you still want to brainstorm some ideas."

Sam smirked. "You're buying, you know that, right?"

"Like it would be any other way," Freddie replied with a grin as they made their way to the Groovy Smoothie.