An: hey everybody! This belongs to the Big Fat Book of Episodes (iKnow Sam's Weakness and iLied are before this one, but you don't have to have read them to enjoy this.) It is the last one in this particular thread of 'what could happen'. There were originally going to be two or three others between iLied and this one, but...other things came along and stole the attention :P
The dormitory hallway was well lit and noisy. Two different types of music were blaring out of a set of rooms down the hall. In the warmth of the heated building, Sam's heavy coat was folded over her arm. She pounded on the dorm door until Freddie opened it. He wasn't happy to see her but not at all surprised. He shoved a fist into his jeans pocket. "Well, that was the strongest deja'vu I've had in a long time." He said coldly.
Sam groaned at herself. "Freddie, I'm sorry, okay? I didn't mean to out your virginity to the whole school."
Freddie darkened. "No you're not. You're just upset because you know you can't fix this one."
"But I can!" She said quickly before he could shut the door in her face. Freddie laughed incredulously. "How? No one is going to believe you're a virgin too."
She narrowed her eyes and kicked the door open. Freddie sighed and stepped aside, since she was coming in anyway. He shook his head and swung the door closed. Sam deposited her heavy winter coat on the bed and clapped loudly. "Okay, tell me how far you've ever gotten."
"Sam, just drop it." He said wearily.
"Why?" She exclaimed. "I can tell you what girls are thinking and maybe that will help you…you know… jump in." she snorted. Freddie rolled his eyes. "I don't need you're help."
"Please? How many times have you helped me? I'm just trying to return the favor."
He set his jaw stubbornly, but she had reminded him how tight they had become over the years without Carly. He groaned. "Fine. Tell me what girls are looking for and we're even."
Sam smiled triumphantly. "Easy. We want a guy who is confident and knows what he's doing."
His brow lowered. "Well that's helpful." He said sarcastically, "No guy thinks that's what a girl wants."
Sam sighed. "Well, it's true! When the moment's right, she's not thinking about anything but what she wants. You have to give it to her, and she won't appreciate any delays. Don't talk. Even if she asks questions. Keep your answers short and to the point. You have to focus on the deed."
Freddie laughed lightly, unable to believe this conversation was happening. He studied her for a long moment, trying to detect any sort of prank. Finally, he nodded. "Okay. Become the silent type. Got it."
Sam nodded happily. "Exactly. Now how far have you ever gotten?"
He hesitated. "Rebecca; no shirt, but I didn't get a chance to touch the bra."
"Why what happened?"
"Her roommate came home. We were in the bedroom and the door was closed, but it just got too weird for me. I might have handled it if it wasn't my first time, but I started thinking about all kinds of things and ruined the mood."
Sam scratched her chin as she considered that information. Freddie was impressed that she had fought the urge to ridicule him. Her serious attitude toward the project made him commit to it finally. He turned his desk chair around and straddled it. "I think too much. That's my problem."
"It is." Sam concurred. "You have to find the moment when you need to just let go of everything, like going downhill on a bike."
"Okay, you know when you're making out with her, and things have moved to the bed, but it's still just kissing?"
"Think of it as a clutch. You have to feel for the exact moment when you release and put on the gas. Do you know when you're on second base, and the kissing breaks, and she looks at you?"
Freddie shook his head. Sam's jaw dropped. "Come on, there's a moment when she tells you what she wants, it happens every time. Didn't you feel it with Rebecca?"
"I don't know." Freddie said miserably. "Most of it's a blur to me."
Sam sighed. "Okay. Let me think of a different way to explain it…"
"No, just forget it." He said. "I appreciate what you're trying to do, but I don't think talking about it more is going to help me. There's a point in engineering when you just have to stop talking about it and put your plans in action."' He shrugged. "I'm there. I've been there."
Sam stood angrily. "Well, if you're so ready why hasn't it happened yet?"
"Lay off me, I just need practice at 'the moment'. That is if any girls will come near me since they now know I don't know what I'm doing."
She grabbed her coat. "Fine… Whatever, I just wanted to help."
Sam shrugged on her coat and pulled her hair out of the collar. Then she stopped and swore under her breath. Freddie glared at her. "What?"
"There is another way…"
Freddie starred at her for a long moment before he realized what she was saying. His eyes widened. "No."
"Are you sure about that?" she asked with the delivery of a game-show host trying to trick him out of choosing door number one. "I'll even let you tell you're friends about it."
He snorted. "What could I tell them that they won't already know?"
Sam's face darkened. Freddie already regretted his words. He shook his head. "I'm sorry."
"No, you're right." She said angrily. "I've had my share of guys, and yes, most of them you know. But I'm telling you right now, if any one of them knew what I just told you I wouldn't have ditched them the next morning."
She jerked open the door. "You've got ten seconds or it's off the table. 10…9…"
Freddie rubbed his face and put his fingers in his hair. "Ah, Sam, you're impossible!"
"Alright." He said. She stopped, one foot out the door. Then she smiled and came back inside. "I am such a good friend." She said to the world.
Sam shed her coat and shut the door.
Freddie's dorm room was well lit during the day. Even with his curtains drawn, Sam didn't need to turn the lamp on to find her shoes under the bed. The shower had cut off minutes ago, and now the room was almost too quiet. She shoved her feet into the converse tennis shoes and laced them up tightly with her foot propped on the edge of the bed.
The bathroom door opened, and he stuck his head out. He wore a towel around his waist, and had a good foam of toothpaste worked up with his toothbrush. He wiped it from his lips. "Are you leaving?"
Sam spread her hair away from her face and neck with a loud sigh, letting her hands slap to her thighs. "Yeah, I've got Bowman's paper to do."
She shrugged her coat back on and waved, "See you Benson."
He watched dumb-founded as she departed with all casualness. He stood alone in the silent room for several minutes, starred at the door as he moved the brush around his mouth.
Sam pushed open the building's exit door and stepped out into the frigid winter afternoon. Snow crunched under her feet as she cut through the grass to avoid an icy patch on the sidewalk. Her breath billowed around her and she snuggled deeper into the marshmallow jacket. Her phone vibrated under her balled fist in her pocket. She checked the text.
R U OK?
It was from Freddie. She stopped walking to stare at the words and then looked back at his window. He was leaning in it, watching her anxiously. She snorted and hit the call button. He answered before the first ring finished.
"Doesn't it look like I'm okay?" she asked.
"Listen, Samantha, I've been friends with girls long enough to know that you think of things differently than guys do."
He never called her Samantha. So that was how it was going to change between them. She smiled and continued on her journey across campus. "But I'm the least girliest girl you know, so don't worry about it."
"I know, I know," he said on the other end of the line. "I just want to make sure, you know…"
"Yeah, thanks. I'm fine though, really." She insisted.
"Well," he said in a tone that told her that he still wasn't convinced. "If you get to thinking about it later, and you feel used or cheap, you know who to call, right?"
"Okay, now I know what this is about. Do you feel cheap, Benson?"
"Kiss my ass, Puckett." He said with a laugh.
Sam laughed and hung up.
Freddie and Sam's winter semester schedule kept them apart unless they sought each other out. After what Freddie thought of as The Favor, Sam still dropped by his place on the weekends to chat. She texted as usual to complain about class, homework, and idiots; it was like she had promised, the only thing that changed was how well they knew each other.
Until one night, Sam knocked on his door. Freddie answered with blurry eyes and bed hair. "Sam? It's two o'clock in the morning."
"I know." She said. She seemed to be out of breath. Freddie shook the last of his sleep away. "Is something wrong?"
She shook her head; there was a smile on her lips that he had only seen once. Suddenly, he was very awake.
"Feel like practicing?" she asked.
"Are you drunk?"
She shrugged. He smiled and silently invited her inside. The door clicked shut.
Spring came and went. By the time summer was in its last folds, a routine had developed. If they had to label it, they were friends with benefits. Sam had said it would be a one-time offer, but something had brought her to his room that night, half a year ago, that neither cared to explain. After that, it became a habit. But it changed nothing still; both understood that it was supposed to be casual, joked that it was "just practice" and dated other people occasionally. He still called her Sam, since she was the same tomboy he had always known, but now that he knew of the existence of a vulnerable girl underneath, he thought of her as Samantha.
Feeling like she was stuck in Europe after the initial excitement of her fellowship had worn off, Carly sent emails home daily begging for updates on life back in Seattle. At first it was as if she wasn't that far away after all. Both Freddie and Sam gave excellent reports, sometimes pages of what kind of week or day they had had. But as her first year stretched on and it was necessary for Carly to start thinking about her second year away from home, she felt further away than ever. Spencer was the only one that still gave full reports about Socko, his art, and any girlfriend he could get. Her dad and granddad's traditional weekly letters were the same as they had ever been, but without Sam or Freddie's feeds from dorm life in the city college, Carly felt like she was floating into outer-space with no one to reel her back.
Reading vague and scattered replies from her old friends, Carly felt like there was something Freddie wasn't telling her and she had the sick feeling that she knew exactly what it was: Freddie had gotten intimate with someone, and--just like when Sam had told her about a guy named Mike months ago--this enlightenment resulted in a few months of silence between Carly and Freddie as Carly tried to get used to the idea of now being the only one who still guarded her virtue.
Back in the States, Freddie couldn't let the silence last for long—if he had learned anything his senior year of high school it was that omission was betrayal. So he stayed up all night composing an email that explained his situation with the girl—how it wasn't technically even a relationship and he felt ashamed to admit that that didn't even bother him.
He even managed to drop the name Samantha in the middle of it all so that the mysterious girl could be named, and Carly would stop asking. Her reply to the truth was nicer than he had hoped for: since he was a guy, she wasn't going to try to comprehend his reasoning and it sounded like he was happy so she was too. Much to his relief, Carly had not connected the sweet Samantha he described to their friend Sam.
After that, Freddie could write proper updates, and Carly began to feel less left out, even if Sam continued to force her into vague conversations every time she mentioned sleeping at a guy's apartment. (Sam conveniently never gave a name making it sound like more than one lover, so Carly never dared to ask.)
Freddie and Sam's routine continued through the fall unchanged. Then one night, it did change between them.
The safety light posts that kept the campus walks well lit for nighttime students kept Freddie's room from total darkness. He and Sam were together under the sheets, sweating as they moved as one. A moan escaped her.
"Sam…" he breathed into her ear, breaking one of their cardinal rules, but neither noticed. She moaned again. "Freddie." She whimpered. "I love you…"
A beat later, her words finally hit home. Freddie froze and looked down at her. "Wait, what did you just say?"
Sam didn't move. Her eyes were wide and she gaped like a fish for a second as she realized what she had let slip. "I…I think." She back peddled, but Freddie suddenly moved away from her, as if remembering that he had to be anywhere but there. Stung, Sam could do nothing to stop him as he disappeared into the bathroom. Blinking back tears, she covered herself with the sheet, feeling stupid.
In the brightly lit bathroom, Freddie was in the middle of a crisis. His mind was reeling. Had Sam just said that? Could she have meant it? Why wouldn't she have meant it? How did he feel?
He leaned over the sink and hung his head. He swore under his breath. It was supposed to be casual. That was the main thought in his mind, the brick wall that all the other questions were bashing against. And it was working!; another major one. When the arrangement had first started, he had been a little unsure. Sex always made thing complicated.
But it hadn't been with Sam.
Sure, it had given her more things to tease him about—oh, the jokes had gotten pretty bad there at first—but the truth was, even then, she hadn't been as cruel as he had expected. Most of the jokes were on the idea of her 'having to do a nerd forever' not exactly dissing the performance, only his social status as usual.
He always thought that he would lose his head over the girl who would take his virginity. When it turned out to be Sam, he got nervous. Boy wouldn't it just take it all if he lost his heart to the girl who enjoyed making his life hell? Then Sam had showed him how easy it was to be casual about it all, and ever since then he had simply played the post-game off of her.
And it was working!
….now, none of that mattered. She had messed it up. She had lost her heart.
Freddie lifted his head and looked at his reflection. His hair was tousled, and his lips were swollen from the kisses. He licked them. They tasted like Sam…
Sam was sitting on the edge of the bed with her back to the bathroom when Freddie opened the door. She didn't turn to face him. She just blinked angry tears away and tried to untangle her bra from the lampshade. She felt unbelievably stupid. Those words—that sentence was restricted from her conscious thought. Sam Puckett wasn't soft like that. Sam Puckett didn't fall for her own games.
This arrangement was souly to help out a friend. Strictly casual... Only now did she understand the flaw in that plan. Freddie had become more than a friend over the years since Carly moved away. He had become her best friend.
Sex and friend equaled friend-with-benefits.
Sex and best friend equaled something much bigger.
But still, Sam had never allowed herself to consider the L word. Not while she was awake anyway. She had had a few dreams featuring her new BF and bouts of poetry, but she had done her best to write those off as nightmares.
Now her own body and tongue betrayed her. In a moment of pure happiness, she had spoken directly out of the subconscious and it ruined everything! No guy wants that kind of luggage, not even Freddie. Especially when it was supposed to be casual.
She jerked the bra down. The elastic stretched before it released. It popped her in the hand and the lamp wobbled.
"Sam." Freddie said from the door. She took a moment to compose herself and looked over her shoulder. He was already coming closer. The mattress sank as he climbed back onto it, smiling tenderly. The expression surprised Sam. Her lips parted. "But…"
He laughed, nodding. "I know…" was all he said. He took her head in his hands, and smoothed her hair away from her soft face. She dropped the bra and touched his wrists. New tears were in her eyes, ones of confused emotions. As her anger ebbed, joy and uncertainty collided.
"I think," He kissed her button nose, "I love you too."
"But, this can't be happening!" She cried softly. "I mean, you and me. We hate each other. How can we fall in love?"
He laughed as they reclined again against the pillows and found where they had left off. "We can because we love the hating part," he said with a grin.
"Come on, Sam. I can't stop thinking about putting up with you!"
Sam gasped, but not in anger. She smiled in disbelief and mounting exhilaration. "Me too!" She admitted. "That's why…I think I do love you."
Freddie purred as he kissed her in reply. It was deeper than usual, done with more thought. In fact, the rest of the night was unlike all their previous nights--now that Freddie was allowed to think of Sam's beauty as hers, and Sam didn't have to close her eyes, pretending to pretend she was thinking of someone else. They took their time, and it was as beautiful as her dreams.
Sam climbed out of bed and shimmied into her boxers and tank top. Freddie woke from his light doze and reached after her. "Where are you going? You don't have to leave anymore." He reminded her. She snorted. "I know that." She said as she climbed back into his arms under the blankets. "I just can't fall asleep naked."
His eyes had fallen closed again, but his eyebrows shot up, and he grinned. "Really… didn't know that."
She giggled and snuggled close. He wrapped all four limbs around her. "Good night, love." He mumbled. That struck Sam as lame—even with the circumstances. She snorted and he groaned, "Ah, shut up."
Everything changed after that night. They spent as much time together as possible, as friends and more. She still went out of her way to annoy him from time to time, but the difference was that now Freddie understood that it was her defense mechanism. Sam Puckett had a reputation to protect. He was the only one in the world who knew the real girl underneath the surface.
Sam quickly learned how doting a boyfriend Freddie could be. He carried things for her, held her hand, opened doors, pulled out chairs, and gave her his coat when she was cold, but these things she expected from the nerd she grew up with. Sam was touched by the smaller details.
He was playful. He tickled her, spun her, and carried her. His idea of a romantic evening could be anything as elaborate as a candlelight dinner on a rooftop complete with great music, to a drive into the snowy country, a rented cabin with a roaring fireplace and a skating pond outback. It could have been cheesy for a girl like Sam, but he catered the details specifically for her—both sides of her; the rooftop dinner featured fried chicken of course, and when he took her skating, he laced up her skates so that the princess wouldn't have to remove her mittens and get her fingers cold.
They were still not telling the whole truth to Carly, and before they could find enough courage to spill the beans about their secret romance, they were found out--in the perhaps the worst way.
Carly parallel parked with expertise, all the while talking on her cell phone. "It's not that I'm not excited to see you and Spencer, Dad," She said, "But their college is on the way. I just wanna stop in and see Sam and Freddie again." She cut the engine as she listened to her father's reply.
"Freddie lives across the hall and Sam is always here eating your brother's food. Why can't you wait and see them here?"
"Because I've already talked to them and neither are coming home until the day before Thanksgiving, they have finals and junk."
"Ha! If you've already talk to them, you don't need to stop!"
Carly laughed as she got out of the car. "You know as well as anyone that phone calls and emails aren't a good as face-to-face."
"Well have fun and hurry home." Her father said. In the background, she heard Spencer yell, "I'm making spaghetti tacos!"
Carly laughed and hung up, turning to head into the college dorms to search for one of her friends. It was a clear, bright weekend so most of the cars in the parking lot were gone, though a surprising amount of students still milled about the campus, lounging under a couple of mostly-bare trees, trying to enjoy a little sun. Everyone wore heavy coats and hats, some even gloves. The temperature was dropping by the minute; Seattle's first frost was due any day now.
A shriek drew her attention to a small lawn of dying grass between walkways. A couple was rolling around together on the grass. Carly thought it was sweet, even though she generally didn't approve of so much PDA—then she stopped dead in her tracks.
She would never have known—would never have recognized them. It was the shout, "You're mine now, Benson!" and the way the girl suddenly body slammed the boy into the grass and pinned him down that gave it away.
Carly laughed at herself for mistaking the wrestling match to be a playful tryst between a young couple. She took a step toward them, eager to share the joke, when very suddenly Freddie grabbed Sam's blonde head, pulled her face down to his, and planted a big wet kiss right on the lips.
Thoughts of the possibility that it was Melanie who had come for a visit raced to Carly's mind in her frantic attempt to explain the impossible. It had to be Melanie, because that was most definitely Freddie Benson and the two of them didn't seem to care that they were rubbing up against each other in all kinds of ways!
A teacher rushed down the sidewalk on her way to class and snapped her fingers. "Break it up you two! Move it to the dorms, off the lawn!" The couple parted, sitting up. Carly broke out of her trance and raced to them.
"Baghhha!" she cried. The unintelligible noise was intended to be a request for an explanation, but it tripped over a few things on it's way out: such as the fact that that was Sam's laptop beside Sam's bag and a half-eaten sandwich.
Freddie and Sam looked up at the same time and spotted her. Carly could only stand with her mouth open, her purse dangling forgotten on the very tips of her fingers. Her eyes were wide and she continued to sputter incomprehensively.
"Hi, Carly." Freddie said, taking a brave stab at being casual. Carly's eyes were locked on Sam, and her shocked expression was giving way to one of hurt. "This is the 'not much' you've been up to?"
Before Sam could answer, Carly turned on Freddie, "She's the girl?"
"I'm sorry!" Sam cried, "I didn't know what to say! How was I supposed to explain this in an email?"
Freddie jumped in with his defense before Carly could respond to Sam's. "I told you her name was Samantha!"
"Sam's name is Sam!" Carly fairly whined, actually stamping her foot like a child in a temper tantrum. "And-and," she was so upset she couldn't find words. She stamped her foot again. "And I thought you liked me!"
Freddie laughed, "I do like you, Carls, but not in that way, not since you said I was like your brother."
Carly felt blindsided by this truth. She felt like an acrobat who realized mid-jump that her safety net had been stolen. She'd never before realized how much of her confidence she derived from the fact that somebody somewhere wanted her and his name was Freddie Benson.
He stood, dusting grass from his jeans. "Are you okay?"
"I just don't know!" Carly cried. She looked down at Sam who was sitting ashamed in the grass. Freddie sensed there was a lot of girl talk that needed to happen. He cleared his throat. "Well, Sam, why don't I take you things up to my room—your room, Sam." Then he kicked himself for the correction. It would have been better to have left it, no one would have noticed. And why'd he have to say her name twice?
"Okay," Sam said. Freddie gave Carly an apologetic smile as he scooped up Sam's laptop, bag, and sandwich. Sam came to life, "Leave the sandwich!" she cried, lifting her eyes from the grass she was tearing up in her fingers. He was already handing it to her. She paused, smiled. He winked and slipped away.
Carly watched it all with a surreal, out-of-body experience feeling.
But who was she kidding? She'd seen this coming….She would have just preferred to be in on it from the beginning.
"It started back in freshman year of high school." Sam said.
"WHAT?" Carly screamed. Sam laughed, "Not that way! Sheesh!"
"Sorry," Carly took a patch of grass next to her friend. "I'm just a little crazy right now. Of course not. Go on. "
"Remember when I told the world he'd never been kissed?"
"Well, after I fixed it, we talked and decided to kiss just once—and get the first time out of the way."
"Oh." Carly said. Things made sense now. Freddie had stopped letting Sam get under his skin so easily after that—for a while at least.
"It was like that a few months ago—but in techno color." Sam continued, "It started as an agreement. Freddie needed practice and well…" Sam shrugged. "Rumor had it that I was already on his list of conquers anyway, plus I had sort of become the dorm house slut, so why not? For a friend, you know?"
"You're not a slut."
"You never could lie to me Carly, even in emails." Sam said. "After I sent you that one about Mike and me…" she shrugged, "I didn't like how vague you got in your reply. It felt condescending."
"Well…" Carly didn't know what to say. She'd certainly felt that Sam had drifted from her after that email. She'd been vague because she hadn't known what else to say. "Freddie did tell me about the arrangement, when he mentioned his mystery girl." Carly said to fill the silence which felt too much like the vagueness in her emails. "I just never thought that when he said 'a cute girl called Samantha who likes my lips' he meant you."
Sam laughed. "He calls me Samantha." She said. She lifted one of her shoulders a little as she said this, but never dropped it. It wasn't a shrug; it was Sam being….bashful. Carly suddenly smiled. She had always planned to greet Freddie's "oh-so-serious-girlfriend' with open arms. And now that the initial shock and pain was gone, she was extremely pleased to find that the girl she was embracing was the very friend she had been afraid she was losing.
AN: this was the very fist iCarly fanfiction ever written by twowritehands, and obviously before iThink They Kissed (where that last conversation is underminded) It has been sitting in my documents folder for a while now (the plan was to write about 3 other 'episodes' before posting this one) but I would like to close the book on this thread of Seddie and noodle around with other possiblities. lol We would appreciate any and all reviews!