Title: Vague Advances & Second Chances.
Summary: Freddie said many hurtful things before he left for college in Olympia, none of which he meant, but his malicious words have left a girl with a shattered heart in his wake. Can he fix what may be destined to remain broken whilst fighting a brief decent into binge drinking and a love he's desperately trying to keep locked behind bars? This is a story of an eighteen year old boy's journey through love, hurt and hope, and just trying to keep his head above the water.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters Sam, Freddie or any others mentioned from the show, Dan Schneider does.
A/N: Rated T for excessive swearing and sexual references. Also, anything said about British people is not meant to be considered offensive in any way, I'm British myself and I'm just failing at being humorous ;)

Vague Advances & Second Chances

The day Freddie gets to the end of his tether and fights back, words razor sharp and tongue venomous, is the day he sees Sam cry for the first time since they were six. Her cheeks flush a deep pink and heavy tears roll down her cheeks and it is then when she is at her most broken he realises he may be in love with her. This day also happens to be the day before he leaves for college in Olympia. Talk about convenient. He wants to take her in his arms and hug her, but instead she turns around, runs and they don't speak for over a month.

It takes Freddie exactly twenty three minutes upon arriving in Olympia to realise the mistake in not going to college in Seattle, even if it would have meant sacrificing his dream major for something as little more mundane just so he could stick around to patch things up with Sam, be there when she realises everyone she knows is leaving her in every direction – New York (Carly), Texas (Gibby), Los Angeles (Shane), Alaska (Wendy). He admits living independently with other males for the first time in his life will beat living with his obsessive mother and the biweekly tick baths, but he thinks he could suck it up if it meant staying closer to the one he secretly calls home.

It takes twenty five minutes for his heart to begin aching for the honey blonde 60 miles north.

He doesn't forget, but college serves him with enough diversions to ignore his heart for a short while.

Freddie shares a dorm room with two guys and the fact that neither one of them is some kind of overly-beefed jock who could easily pummel him in ways Sam could only dream of eases his dark mood, slightly. The first guy who sleeps across from Freddie on a mattress on the floor is called Sid (his real name is Simon but he believes he is related to Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, hence the nickname) and he dresses in one big clash of decades – all tie-dyed shirts, leather pants, thick rimmed glasses and lank greasy 'grunge-rocker' hair. He does nothing more than strum on his guitar all day and smoke the occasional joint (outside of the dorm room without Freddie having to ask, the last thing he needs is to go home at Thanksgiving with everything he owns smelling of weed). Sid doesn't know what he wants to major in and seems content in floating through four years of college high as a kite and having the appearance of getting dressed in a charity shop reject bin.

The second guy is called William; a posh English aristocrat who has somehow found himself in what he has been told is 'the arsehole of Washington', sharing a room with Kurt Cobain's long lost brother and a technology geek, but somehow he is mildly entertaining. That is if you can bare the stuck-up-his-own-arse accent. Will, as he prefers to be called, has the foul language suitable for a truck driver and absolutely no sense of style, but he makes Freddie both grimace in horror and double over in hysterics with his filthy jokes involving things that would cause his mother to keel over and die. He has a suitcase full of alcohol –vodka, whiskey, rum, all the expensive stuff– and when Will finally coaxes him into a drinking competition three days into the semester Freddie finds himself stuck up a tree on campus at three in the morning, unable to feel his legs as he leaves Carly a drunken answer phone message.

His roommates make him feel like the 'normal' one for the first time in his life, but nobody back in Seattle would believe that Freddie Benson is considered relatively normal so he doesn't bother phoning and telling anybody.

What with consuming more alcohol than is healthy for a beginner drinker, sitting through Depeche Mode's back catalogue in its entirety courtesy of Sid and somehow fitting in time to attend his first classes as a college freshman, Freddie almost forgets about Sam.

The emphasis being on almost.

"What the hell did you do?" is the first thing Carly says – or rather yells – when she calls him once she had settled into her fashion design course in New York. The thought of Carly doing anything related to fashion had perplexed him to begin with when he'd heard that was what she wanted to do, but with a brother as creative as Spencer and her certain flair of fashion made it seem plausible in the end even if Sam thought it was 'girly' and a cop out for Carly to avoid studying for a major in Chemistry.

He doesn't know how to respond as she could be calling to moan about any number of things, like the mix CD he made Spencer tuck into her luggage, a CD of songs that will remind her of home, of Sam and himself when the bright lights of New York get too enticing and try to brainwash her into forgetting her best friends. The drunken answer phone message could be another issue. It could be the internal webcam he'd secretly fitted into her laptop so they could still video chat because she couldn't take the clip-on one with her. There is every chance she could have gotten the message from Spencer about his mother's imminent breakdown when he left for Olympia and she could be rethinking for him whether his decision of not staying in Seattle is really such a good idea.

Or it might be the situation with Sam.

Oh, it's definitely 'The Sam Situation'.

"She was asking for it" comes into his head first soon followed by "I didn't mean to" and "I didn't hurt her, did I?" He doesn't say anything in the end, instead opening and closing his lips like a goldfish over the mouthpiece on his PearPhone. He waits for Carly to begin what has every sign of escalating into a mini-rant.

"How could you, Freddie?" Carly explodes, "You've hurt her a lot. There may be many things you don't know about Sam, like what... stuff goes on in her scatty head, but she doesn't mean half the stuff she says to you. She likes messing with you Freddie, not breaking your heart."

"Carly, I—" Freddie begins, stopping himself and starting again, "Look Carly, you, ergh, I don't know!" he starts pacing, tugging at his rapidly growing hair with his free hand. He glances to his left and catches Sid staring at him mildly amused, mouthing "girlfriend troubles?" teamed with a wink to which Freddie replies with a hissed "no" and the shaking of his head.

"Whatever, Freddie, sort it out, 'kay?" And she hangs up before she can hear his reply.

"I never meant to break her heart."

"You should tell her then, dick," Sid bluntly points out, slapping Freddie on the shoulder as he leaves the room with a joint tucked between his chapped lips.

If only it was that easy.

Freddie toys with the idea of calling Sam for an hour or so and then spends a further two hours contemplating the pros and cons of throwing himself in his car and driving to see her back in Seattle. The pros being seeing Sam again, the cons being bunking college classes and a probable vicious beating from his blonde-headed friend, if not death.

In the end he does neither as Will serves him with distraction in the form of alcohol to stop his heart making him want to do irrational things.

A half dozen red plastic cups of liquor later and Freddie is inebriated. He's sat outside, alone because Will wandered off to try and 'pull some birds' and never returned leaving Freddie sat under a tree. It's dark, he doesn't know where on earth he is, he doesn't even know if he's on campus anymore and all he has with him as a method of communication is his phone. It'd help if he could see through his blurry booze goggles and decipher what is on the small screen, but he can't, and to use a Sid-ism, he's absolutely fucked.

Talking of Sid Freddie tries to call him, but somehow he ends up opening several useless applications instead, one of them being a game of freaking Sudoku, and he does not remember downloading any of them onto the device. He thinks Sam downloaded it when she was bored several weeks previous. Instead he tries his hand at texting, but his hand-eye coordination is shot to hell.

'hiu siodd, ima loost cum gt me.'


'carlz, rmind mes 2 nvrr drk alkofrol agen.'


'sam, i fink i loves u.'

Oh shit. Delete.

He's becoming quite the alcohol-drinking college kid. Just don't tell his mother.

The morning after the night before is enough to shock Freddie into immediate action to avoid the slow spiral into heavy drinking and flunking college.

It's awful. His head feels like a power drill has taken up residence inside it and it will not stop sending bolts of pain through his temples. His mouth tastes like he's been gargling a mixture of paint stripper, bleach and liquid soap, his breath smells like he's been eating rotting garbage for the past week and his favourite converse are stained with vomit. Whether it is his or Will's vomit, he has no idea.

"I'm never drinking spirits again," Freddie mutters as he passes Sid who is stark naked but Freddie is in no mood to pass comment on the size of his dick.

"Yeah, whatever you say, Fred. You'll be going back to it sooner or later, my friend," Sid mumbles around the toothbrush in his mouth, foamy toothpaste oozing down his chin.

Freddie ignores him and the fact he called him Fred, which he hates even more than Freddork.

After showering twice in cold water, promptly emptying the remains of the late night take-away in his stomach into the toilet, scrubbing his mouth raw and throwing his sneakers out of their third floor window, he sets about sorting out current situations. Well, the ones that don't revolve around the certain dirty blonde in his life and possibly-maybe-I-don't-really-know-and-I'm-so-confused love.

William and his never ending supply of alcohol are his first victims. After all, there is no temptation if there is nothing to tempt you. That's Freddie's logic anyway.

One by one Freddie empties the contents of every last glass bottle in Will's suitcase down the sink in their pathetic excuse of a kitchen. He has to hold his nose but still manages to gag at the overwhelming stench that makes his head feel dizzy and his stomach do sickly somersaults.

"Dude, Will's gonna flip," Sid finds it necessary to point out from where he is sprawled on the floor, a half eaten toasted sandwich balancing precariously on his washboard stomach. Queen is seeping out from the years old boom box in the corner of the room, playing 'Love Kills'. Freddie wants to think it is coincidental, but whatever the case it causes his chest to ache.

'Love kills, drills you through your heart. Love kills, tears you right apart.'

"I'd best start digging my own grave then."

When Will returns to their dorm Freddie decides to outright inform him of the alcohol going down the drain rather than waiting for him to find out for himself. Will doesn't bat an eyelid, but that might have something to do with the fact he's still steaming drunk and is too focused on telling Sid and Freddie about how he pulled two girls with his British accent as his only tool before launching into a graphic retelling of the threesome they had.

Freddie could have lived without that.

When she kisses him all his blood runs to the only body part that operates on lust and lust alone. Her arms are tangled around his shoulders, fingers playing with the long hairs at the nape of his neck and it tickles. She has him pinned to the wall, dominant and wild, her knee rubbing in circles over his crotch as he starts to sweat. Her lips are insistent, pushing and pushing against his, and he doesn't know whether he should grant her access for the sake of granting her access or if he should gently but firmly push her away.

It doesn't feel right.

She isn't Sam.

How he has found himself making out with a girl he knows only by the name of Sugar is a little fuzzy around the edges. Sid had been persistent in forcing Freddie to come out with him to some seedy grunge bar on the edge of the city, both of them using fake ID cards with names on that Freddie has no chance of pronouncing correctly. They look Russian, or something European.

Apparently Freddie is now Svyatoslav Astapkovich. Like that doesn't look at all suspicious.

Sid had introduced the two of them at the bar, buying a beer each for Sugar and himself and a coke for Freddie, the dim lights of the room making it hard for Freddie to make out her facial features. He could distinguish her jet black hair straight to her shoulders, a piercing to the left of her lip, a ring in her nose and skimpy PVC clothing. Clearly, she is a very classy girl... yeah, right.

She'd pounced on him once Sid left to go and score some weed from his dealer, backing him up against a wall covered in posters promoting various bands and smothering him. She's still kissing him five minutes later, Freddie not having the heart to stop her whilst semi-enjoying the only action he's gotten in months and months.

"I'm sorry, I can't." Freddie finally pushes her away by the shoulders, but her lips are still trying to reconnect with his. He glances at her face, her eyes are wide, pupils blown and he realises that she's pretty wired. "I'm in love with someone else."

Giving her a final shove, he leaves the bar running and he doesn't stop until he has collapsed into a booth in a late night coffee shop, ordering himself a vanilla frappuccino. He doesn't care about the feminine connotations the drink provides, he likes it.

Freddie thinks he might be due another phone call to Carly.

"I think I love her."

He and Carly seem to have developed a skill for opening conversations in the least conventional ways possible whilst bypassing the more conventional 'hello'.

"Who?" is Carly's logical response because how the hell is she supposed to know who Freddie is jabbering on about?

"Um, y'know, I mean Sam."

"Then why the hell are you calling me at 4AM to tell me this?!" It is only then that Freddie notices the tiredness laced in Carly's voice and he glances at the clock on the coffee shop wall to realise he hasn't called at the best of times. Carly Shay needs her beauty sleep, which is one thing he's learnt over the years.

He'd forgotten about the time difference between the east coast and west coast.

If she were fully alert she'd have threatened to kill him with a protractor and compass by now, like the time in tenth grade when she tripped over his backpack and landed flat on her face in Math class. That day she was nearly as scary as Sam.

This is where he needs a smart sarcastic comment in return, the kind Sam always seems to have on hand in most conversations. Only Freddie doesn't do sarcasm, not convincingly anyway, and all he's got is "uh, she's your best friend?" as a reply.

"Uh, she's your best friend?" He mentally curses himself.

"Well, tell her not me!"

And a cranky Carly Shay hangs up on a still confused Freddie Benson.

It's a Sunday and Freddie, Sid and Will are sprawled out underneath a tree, doing anything to avoid studying. His room mates are turning him into a bit of a rebel, well, for Freddie it can be called rebellious considering how he studied religiously in high school because he had next to no social life outside of hanging with Carly and Sam.

"So Freddie, who's this chick you keep calling?" Sid asks, propping himself up on one arm as he expertly blows smoke rings above his head.

"Carly, she's my friend from back home." Freddie doesn't like where he thinks this conversation is going.

"Is she hot?" Will interrupts, suddenly interested into the new topic of conversation considering it involves his favourite subject – girls.

"Dude, she's one of my best friends."

"Yeah, but you can still say if she's hot or not. You see, I'm looking for a skinny girl, brunette hair and reasonably sized—" he makes crude hand gestures at his chest.

"Please, stop!" Freddie cuts him off before he can be interrogated over the size of Carly's 'assets'.

"Whatever. What about this chick whose heart you broke?" Sid carries on regardless, only being interested in any form of love-life Freddie has due to a lack of his own.

"I don't want to talk about it," Freddie mumbles, pushing his body up off the ground and stomping away over the grass.

"Aw, has Freddie got a little girlfriend he's hiding from us?" Will shouts at his retreating back.

Freddie flips the finger at them both.

Thankfully, Sid and Will have dropped the subject by the time they rejoin Freddie in the dormitory. They avoid speaking to him, preferring to let him stew away in the corner of the room by himself.

Freddie ignores them as well, large headphones clamped over his ears and laptop balancing on the top of his drawn up knees, completely closing himself off from the world. He knows he shouldn't be but he's watching the select few video recordings he has stored on his laptop, the rest of them being at home on his external hard drive, because there is every chance he may lapse into a breakdown into front of his roommates. But he can't fight the urge to re-watch the recordings, just because they will give him something to smile about (as long as he doesn't cry like a baby).

He selects a file from his video library entitled 'Summer' and a large smile immediately splits his face in two.

The video begins with a scenic shot of a beach, miles of glorious golden sand and rolling waves, the sound of them crashing to the shore almost hypnotic, and there is a slight lens glare from the reflection of the intense sun. It's beautiful.

A girl, clearly Sam, does a messy cartwheel across the screen, ending the moment before running directly at the camera with a contagious grin plastered on her face.

"I love the beach!" she yells, dancing wildly on the spot.

Freddie remembers the day as if it were yesterday and not four months ago in the July after they finished high school and had far too much spare time on their hands with no part-time jobs to hold down. The two of them had taken the short drive to Alki Beach, mainly to let off steam from being stuck in the city and to also bask in the sunshine while Carly was away visiting somewhere in California with Shane. On that day Sam had been wearing an orange tank top and cut-off shorts (they used to be her favourite jeans before a skit went wrong on iCarly and they got covered in acrylic paint from mid-thighs to ankles) over a string bikini, something he never thought she'd be caught dead in, with her hair tied back in a loose ponytail and neon flip flops on her feet.

Freddie will admit that she looked positively gorgeous that day.

"When are you gonna put that camera down, Freddie? Are you super glued to it or somethin'?" she laughs, but Freddie remembers being caught up in the fact that she'd called him Freddie for the first time in what felt like forever.

"Never, I told you I'm videoing everything so I can look back at it all when I'm at college," his voice calls out from behind the lens.

"That's kinda soppy, you dork," Sam sticks her tongue out before going into several handstands in the sand, her never-ending energy unstoppable.

"I can burn you a copy if you like."

"I'd like that," she smiles, and it isn't a grin or the humorous smirk that has become trademark for Sam, but it is genuine and it makes his heart melt even now.

He continues to watch the remaining footage and he comes to realise that the large amount of it is Sam, Sam, and Sam. Sam kicking around in the sea, water up to her knees, Sam making sand angels because she has an inner child aged five that needs to be let every once in a blue moon, Sam eating ice cream and getting it on the end of her nose. He notices how focused the camera is on her slender form and comes to the conclusion that his infatuation must have begun long before his brain registered it.

There are a few minutes of Freddie in front of the camera from when Sam stole it off him and he has to laugh at how awkward he looks in his flip flops, shorts, t-shirt and hat, hands shoved uselessly in his pockets.

"As you can see Freddie, even when you dress yourself you still can't get it right," Sam pokes fun at him out of the shot.

"Sam! I always dress myself," Freddie moans, setting off to chase her around the beach.

The footage goes blurry as Sam begins to run, her melodic laughter audible before the image cuts out.

He lets his media player continue to the next video, realising that he hasn't ordered them according to the dates they were recorded. The next video begins and the screen is dark, too dark because his camera could not pick up much detail in the lack of light the evening he shot it. The shape of Sam's head is recognisable due to a street lamp outside of Freddie's car lighting her from behind.

"Samantha Puckett, you are unbelievable!" Freddie sounds like he is caught between exasperation and mild amusement.

"You've got to admit it was hilarious, Fredward Benson," she replies and Freddie can make out her grin in the darkness as her white teeth reflect the little light there is.

"But you drugged the punch bowl!" the image shakes as Freddie flaps his free arm around to try and address his point.

"At least I warned you before you drank any of it," she bites back.

They are sitting in Freddie's car outside of the Bushwell Plaza following their eventful senior prom where unsurprisingly Shane and Carly were crowned Prom King and Queen, Gibby had turned up shirtless with Shannon and Sam had drugged the punchbowl for the sheer fun of it (with what, Freddie never found out, but she insisted it wasn't harmful) before they were kicked out by a pissed off Ms. Briggs.

They had agreed to go as each other's dates to make Carly happy and because all the boys at Ridgeway were too scared of Sam to ask her to go with them and Freddie had been too shy to ask any of the girls, not like he really wanted to ask any of them anyway. Wendy was the only nice girl he knew away from Sam and Carly and she had decided to boycott prom in protest of something or other. He'd stopped listening when she was telling him.

He thinks it might have been something to do with the school banning same sex couples attending prom.

Freddie had done what was expected of him. He'd bought Sam a corsage of edible purple grapes, he'd matched his tuxedo to her plum coloured dress and he'd picked her up from her house in his car. Freddie had linked his arm with Sam's and walked her into prom, he posed with her, albeit awkwardly, for the mandatory prom photograph and he'd crazy danced with her in the middle of the dance floor, receiving odd looks from their peers.

He had definitely enjoyed himself and he thinks Sam had too.

"Thanks for this, Freddie," Sam speaks up after a few silent minutes, leaning over so her left cheek covers the camera lens and kisses Freddie's cheek. He remembers the thrill of the contact, his skin tingling and being thankful for the darkness as it hid his rapidly flushing cheeks.

"My mother is working the night shift in the hospital if you want to come in," he manages to get out, keeping his voice calm and even to make it appear like he's cool about Sam kissing his cheek and not internally flipping out.

"Let's do it!" Sam laughs, jumping out of the car and racing him into the apartment complex as Freddie fumbles to turn his camera off, leaving it discarded in the backseat.

That night while the entire senior class of Ridgeway were off having post-prom drunken sex with one another, Sam and Freddie watched old school comedy films ('Porky's', 'Revenge of the Nerds' and 'Wayne's World' were on the bill) until the early hours of the morning, Sam eventually falling asleep with her head in Freddie's lap.

Freddie sighs, taking off his headphones and setting his laptop to one side. He leans over the edge of his bed and pulls out a cardboard box from underneath it, rummaging through it until he finds what he is looking for – the photo of the two of them from prom. The photo hadn't turned out as bad as he had expected it to. Freddie is stood to the back of the frame with Sam stood in front of him, his arms wrapped around her waist (this is the pose everyone was told to get into) and they both have matching white teeth smiles. He attempts to read Sam's smile, trying to decide if it is forced or real, but he's too tired and she has always been too good at playing pretend.

She'd looked beautiful that night. She'd worn a plum coloured dress, strapless and to her knees in length, the satin clinging to the top half of her figure and netting filling out the skirt. It was simple yet elegant and he'd been surprised she'd even opted for a dress because dresses aren't Sam's 'thing'. She had left most of her hair down, her unruly curls styled into neat but soft ones, with parts of it pulled back with tiny purple ribbons and she'd avoided jewellery expect for a small locket around her neck.

She'd eaten the grapes on her corsage before they'd stepped out of her house, not that Freddie minded, even when she ate the grapes on his too. In the photo all they have is the left over storks pinned to their chests and Freddie remembers being asked by one of the AV club guys if Sam had been desperate enough to eat flowers on a corsage.

Freddie hadn't wanted to explain how he hadn't chosen flowers for that exact reason.

Freddie had worn a black tuxedo with a purple coloured shirt underneath and a lighter violet coloured bow tie. Sam had wanted the tuxedo to be plum and the shirt to be black, but Freddie had protested against it, but she still managed to coax him into wearing the bow tie. She said it was because she wanted something to laugh at, which he accepted.

He's about the tuck the photo away in the box again when it is plucked from his hands by a nosey Sid.

"Dude, look it's Freddie's secret girl," Sid grins, pointing the photo in Will's direction and reading the back, "she's called Samanthaaa Puckettt," he draws out Sam's name whilst using a stupid voice, making himself sound like an idiot, something he doesn't need to try hard to do.

"I'll bang her if you're in her bad books," Will laughs, making rude gestures with one of his hands and the fingers on the other.

Freddie doesn't say anything or try to fight back against their playful torment, instead flipping himself over and burying his head into his pillow, making a muffled 'urghhhh!' sound.

He makes a mental note to keep Sam away from both of the boys.

Freddie arrives back from his afternoon class, one that involved him and his peers being talked through how to use camera equipment he has been using since he was thirteen, to find Sam sat on his bed with her legs hanging over the edge, swinging back and forth. She looks both cold and wet from the rain that has been falling for three days straight and he almost asks her if she wants a change of clothes before realising she'll probably use the opportunity to call him a pervert because she believes Freddie's every thought is sexual now he is of age.

"Some weird dude let me in. Gross hair, strange clothes, smells of weed. I told him I was your sister to get him to open up," Sam informs him, like it is the most natural thing in the world to lie to strangers to blag your way into the dorm room of the person you've been avoiding/been avoided by for over a month.

"Oh." That's all he's got, but he thinks Sid isn't stupid enough to think she is his sister. They look nothing alike and he's seen the prom photo.

Neither of them attempts to say hello.

He doesn't understand how she can sit so nonchalantly on his unmade bed that has two week old sheets when he got the impression from Carly that Sam has been in pieces. Not wanting to sit with her on the bed for fear of being punched in the gut, Freddie slides down the door until he hits the floor in a heap of gangly limbs, mentally racing through all the things he wants to say but knowing he will never muster up the courage to say them. He studies her face as she chews her lip, a habit she's picked up for whenever she is trying hard not to say something mean, and he watches a drop of rain water roll from her hairline down her face and off her chin to disappear in the valley of her cleavage.

"You're staring," she mutters and it isn't malicious but it isn't particularly friendly either.

He does the goldfish thing with his mouth again, something he seems to be perfecting, because he has so much to say but he can feel his oesophagus closing around the words. He diverts his eyes from her shivering form before she threatens to castrate him or something equally as evil and painful, fixing his eyes on the multiple cigarette burns in the carpet left by freshman before him.

"Sam, can we –"

She cuts him off. "I haven't come to talk 'bout stuff. I didn't force my decrepit heap-of-junk truck all the way down here in this storm, puttin' my life in the hands of a vehicle that has a steering wheel that locks at the most unfortunate times to 'talk'," she puts air quotes around 'talk' as she turns to face him, talking animatedly with her hands. "I've come to have fun, Benson. You're gonna introduce me to your wild college life, y'know, since I have no college life."

Sam flings her arms around her head as she says wild, grinning as she produces several bottles of alcohol from her knapsack. "Fuck no" is what he wants shout, along with "shit", "bollocks" and "you don't wanna be around a crazy drunken Benson, we get stuck up trees like retarded cats". He eyes the glass bottles dubiously, hoping Sam hasn't been sly enough to spike them with some sort of drugs (he wouldn't put it past her, remember, she did drug the punch at their senior prom) and considers breaking his ban from alcohol. Something he'd only do for her.

"Carly told me about your progression into alcoholism and I'm pissed that I've been missing it, so I'm here to witness it firsthand whether you like it or not."

She pins him down with a stare, the kind that says "do as I ask or suffer greatly", and he knows he can do nothing but agree to Sam's demands.

"I think I may be a liiittleee bit tipsy," Sam giggles inanely, falling back against Freddie's chest and it reminds him all too well of when she got drunk on her eighteenth birthday.

Her tattooist cousin had thought it was a great idea to give Sam a bottle of whiskey as a gift and Sam had drunk the majority of the bottle to herself, letting Freddie and Carly have only a mouthful each. It had made her giggly and clingy, so unsteady on her feet that she had to scream at Freddie from her place on the Shay's apartment floor to get him to carry her home. She didn't get anywhere near home and they spent the night spooning in Freddie's bed, Sam insisting that they share the bed because she didn't want to be alone.

That night is down on Freddie's list of unforgettable moments.

"You're not tipsy, you're wasted," Freddie corrects Sam as he watches her roll her head from side to side with her eyes closed, her back flush with his chest and he can't recall when it was she climbed into his lap.

He's been monitoring how much she has been drinking, noticing that she has consumed the best part of three bottles of wine and a small bottle of vodka she'd stolen from the local off-licence, but he's okay with it because he knows she'll only flip out at him if he tries to control what she drinks. Plus there is no way she can cause herself any drunken damage that he'll have to explain in the morning; they're indoors so there are no trees she can get stuck up (he is not speaking from experience) and they're stuck into a boxed room with no stairs. The worst she can do is trip over the multitude of wires trailing across the floor and land in the piles of dirty laundry and unwashed dishes.

Sam had never mentioned any plans of staying the night but it became clear to him half-way through the evening that she was when she placed the keys to her truck in the pot of keys by the door and asked him to rate the comfortableness of his bed from 1 to 10 (it's a 7 ½). The text he got from Sid reading 'me + british boy will stay outta the way + give you two a night alone ;) get in there!' confirmed it and he is pretty sure he doesn't want to know what Sam might have told Sid when she arrived. Freddie nearly decides that she can take his bed while he sleeps on Sid's mattress or Will's bed, but he doesn't want to know what they get up to in their beds and the concept of spooning again is too appealing.

"It's not fair," Sam pouts, leaning her head backwards to look up at Freddie from below, "you're not drunked."

He has to laugh because she looks so adorable with her jutting out bottom lip and he has to ball his hands into fists at his sides to stop himself from grabbing her and kissing her upside down, Spiderman style. She may be drunk but Sam will never succumb to him, no matter how many vodka shots she throws back.

"Someone has to stay sober, Sam. Imagine the mess we'd be in if both of us were off our faces."

"That's the point, Fredward!" Sam hiccups and she pinches the skin of Freddie's thighs through his jeans, Freddie hissing at the sharp pain, "I came here to see you drunked and you're not drunked."

Sam slams her fists into Freddie's thighs and his hands shoot out to grab hold of her wrists, pulling her tight against him before she can launch into an outburst of abuse. He should have realised that she would become more violent when drunk than when she's sober. Knowing Sam she could probably kill him with her bare hands in the state she's gotten herself into, but then again she is probably capable of that when she isn't intoxicated if pushed hard enough.

"If it'll make you happy I'll drink some more."

Adjusting so he is holding both of Sam's wrists with one large hand, Freddie retrieves the bottle of whisky that is sticking out of her knapsack and unscrews the cap with his teeth. He drinks long from the glass bottle, some of it missing his mouth and rolling down his chin to land on Sam's head. It burns, it burns his tongue, mouth and his throat and he has to fight to swallow it down rather than spit it back out. He knows he'll regret this is the morning when his throat feels like sandpaper crossed with carpet but he still takes several more mouthfuls, heaving each time before he sets the bottle to his side with a quarter of it empty.



"Hey Sam, you should get to bed," Freddie says soothingly after a period of silence, not wanting to aggravate her further by using a pushy tone.

"Only if you come too," she replies, struggling against his restraints before slumping against him in defeat.

He doesn't reply but tries to hoist them both up from the floor, using the bed frame and bedroom wall as leverage. He slides his arms from around her waist to beneath her arms, finding this a more efficient way to get her across the room, and half-drags half-carries her to the bed as she groans in his arms, slowly slipping into unconsciousness.

This is becoming routine. He'd gotten her into bed this way on her birthday, Mrs. Benson giving them an odd, disapproving look as Freddie dragged her through his living room and down the hall to his bedroom.

Dropping Sam on the bed, Freddie makes short work of removing her shoes and moving her into a comfortable position before tucking her in. Toeing off his shoes, removing his belt and neck chain and changing from a long sleeved shirt to a short-sleeved one, Freddie climbs in beside Sam and she instantly wraps her arms around his middle.

"Thanks, Benson," she murmurs, soon followed by soft snores that tell Freddie she has passed out.

He lies there on his back with her arms around him and her head on his chest for what feels like hours, staring at the ceiling and committing the moment to memory.

In the morning she leaves, shoes on the wrong feet and truck keys in hand. She leaves him no note but a half dozen empty glass bottles and a patch of dry concrete where her truck had been parked as it rained all through the night.

When Freddie wakes he knows he won't be seeing her again anytime soon.

"She's not your sister, is she? 'Cos that is like, incest," Sid asks, sitting across from Freddie at the table and watching him as he eats his way through his second bowl of cereal, "unless she's your step-sister, but that's still wrong."

Freddie chokes on a mouthful of cornflakes and milk, spitting most of it over his dirty minded friend.

"Dude, no! She was trying to be funny by saying that." Clearly Sam's humour is hi-fucking-larious.

"Oh. So, did you fuck her?"


He promptly walks out of the dining hall, leaving his breakfast behind which Sid happily finishes once Freddie is out of the room.

On Halloween the three of them crash a Frat party on campus and they last a total of twenty one minutes and fourteen seconds before one of the Fraternity members recognises Will beneath the miles of bandages wrapped around his head (Freddie thinks he heard "Oi, it's that posh fuck from England that had sex with both of my girlfriends!" over the pounding bass line, but don't hold him to that) and they get kicked out.

Will is a mummy and Sid is a zombie, neither of them very convincing, but who actually puts effort into Halloween outfits once they no longer thirteen and have their moms around to make costumes for them?

This year Freddie isn't dressed as a Warlock like he did that Halloween four years ago when they did iCarly from 'haunted' apartment 13B with Carly dressed as a bumble bee and Sam not bothering to dress-up as anything - she was the she-devil back then so she didn't need to. Instead Sid has forced Freddie into a set of black robes and told him he's Harry Potter, giving him cello taped glasses, a lightning scar and the whole works – wand, broom, everything.

Warlock to wizard, at least he's moving up in the world.

Freddie spends the rest of the night wanting to 'Avada Kedavra' himself.

The next three weeks fly by in a blur of classes, assignments, coffee consumed by the bucket load and staying up to ungodly hours just to get his work done.

He doesn't have time to think about Sam and he prefers it that way.

A/N #2: I never realised how long this story had gotten until I started trying to break it down into manageable parts. I've been working on this for around two months now and I'm slowly drawing it to an end with a second part although it could stretch to three parts. Anyway, if you've managed to drag yourself through my 7,500+ words of waffle then I thank you with my entire being. (And if anybody is waiting for an update on my other story then it'll be on the way.. sooner or later.)