A/N: This is my first iCarly fic, but I'm just loving the show so much right now it had to be done. Story setting is sometime after iThink They Kissed.
Carly Shay was in a good mood. Not only was school done for the day, which always helped matters, but she was walking to the Groovy Smoothie, to have a smoothie no less, with her brand new boyfriend.
Well, sort of.
Yes, he was tall, and he was nice and funny, and he had really great hair, and he was in the tenth grade and was saving up for a car -- so, the perfect guy, basically. They'd even been on two completely awesome dates so far, in addition to phone calls and texting, and spending time together at school. All of this was true. But they hadn't actually stated out loud that they were boyfriend and girlfriend, and it wasn't like she was going to say it first. So no, technically he wasn't her boyfriend, except in her not at all deluded mind.
But that wasn't going to spoil her mood. Practically skipping down the sidewalk, she wasn't really thinking about much of anything other than a few idle thoughts concerning how adorable the tall boy at her side was, and whether she wanted a strawberry splat today or a more adventurous flavour. So it was Jude who ended up pointing to the entrance of the Groovy Smoothie up ahead and saying, "Hey, isn't that your friend, Freddie?"
"Oh yeah," she said, looking over to see Freddie emerging onto the street with three large cups balanced in his hands. "Hey Freddie!" she called as they got closer.
"Oh hey," he turned and managed to wave without dropping anything. Freddie had gotten taller in recent months but he still had to look up to greet her boyfriend-although-not-yet-technically. "Hey, Jude."
"I know we have rehearsals," Carly jumped in then before Freddie could say anything else, "But you go ahead. Jude and I are just grabbing a smoothie and then I'll be up in, what, twenty minutes? You don't have long, right?" she said, looking up at the taller boy.
Jude checked his watch. "Yeah, not much, sorry. I work at the Up-N-Down Burger around the corner a few afternoons a week," he explained for Freddie's benefit. "Is it cool if I monopolise your star for just a few minutes before my shift starts?"
"Oh, it's totally cool," Freddie replied with a small smirk aimed at Carly, which she ignored. "And hey, this might save you some time." He tried to hand her one of the smoothies he was carrying. "I actually got this for you," he said, then paused to correct himself. "No, actually, I came to get myself a smoothie, then realised if I showed up at your place with only one, Sam was just going to steal it, or pour it down my pants or something. So I had to get her one, too. And then it would have been just plain rude if I left you out. So, here."
"How thoughtful," she laughed, rolling her eyes. Freddy was still waiting for her to take the smoothie, but she waved him off. "Thanks, but why don't you give it to Spencer? Jude and I will get our own."
For a moment she thought he was going to protest, but then he just shrugged. "Okay. I'll see you later, then. Don't be too long, we really have to get that armpit footage done today. Bye Jude."
"See ya, Freddie," Jude said as Carly gave him a brief wave goodbye and then together they headed inside. Jude gave her a look as they went over to the counter to order. "Uh, 'armpit footage'?"
She laughed. "Sorry, it's kind of a trade secret." Then she leaned in towards him and spoke in an undertone, "It's gonna be so funny, though."
Shortly after that they were seated together at a table with their smoothies and a whole ten minutes of quality time to look forward to. Carly, personally, was going to spend that time trying not to do or say anything stupid. Also trying not to stare at his hair too much. And if the first thirty seconds were any indication, Jude was going to spend his ten minutes sitting there being totally gorgeous and perfect. Yeah, it was official, her technically-not-yet-really-her-boyfriend was the dreamiest.
Then he opened his mouth and said, "So, Freddie's like your best friend, isn't he?"
"Well, no, more like second best. Sam's my best friend, and if I put Freddie on the same level as her, well, let's just say there would be problems. Like when you have a cat, and then you bring home a new cat and the first one... There would be problems," she concluded.
"Huh. Okay." He shrugged as if accepting it, but then made kind of a weird face.
He shook his head. "I don't want to seem -- I don't wanna be that guy, you know? But I heard some stuff about Freddie and how he kind of... likes you?"
"Oh, that? That's... nothing, really. So totally nothing. I mean..." She trailed off, not really knowing what to say, but there was Jude, still with that weird face.
Well crap, she thought. Stupid Freddie and his stupid crush. And she loved the kid, really, but right now all she wanted to do was kick him so hard.
Jude held up his hands. "And hey, I'm not saying -- I swear I don't want to be that guy. It's none of my business, I know. I guess it just seems weird because you're such good friends. But what do I know? I've never been best friends with a girl, so maybe things just get... complicated? I guess?"
"No! They don't! There is no complication!"
And now she was scaring the guy. Great.
She attempted a smile, and calmly said, "Anyway, you don't have to worry about that, um, that little harmless crush thing, because that's long over. Long, long over."
"Really? Because when we saw him just now he seemed kinda --"
"Freddie has a girlfriend!" she blurted out, then mentally cringed because what was that? It was a huge lie, is what it was, and she was pretty sure that wasn't a good thing.
"Oh, okay," Jude was saying with a shrug. "Still, I mean from what I heard --"
"Yeah, they've been going out for ages, it's pretty serious."
More lies! That was it, she wasn't allowed to talk any more. Carly stuck her straw in her mouth and sucked furiously on her smoothie.
"So who is it?" Jude said.
She kept sucking and just raised a pair of perfectly innocent eyebrows at him.
"I mean, who's Freddie going out with?" he pressed.
Well okay, now she was going to have to answer him. And he was sitting there with his perfect hair and his awesome cheekbones and she wanted to answer him. She wanted to tell him whatever would make him just sit there and continue to be adorable in her presence forever.
"Um," she said, after swallowing two-thirds of her smoothie in one go, "I can't tell you, it's a secret?"
"You kinda sound like you're not sure," he said, laughing.
She forced out a laugh too. "Well... they don't want anybody to know about it, so yes, it's a secret."
Frowning a little -- and whoa, Carly just had the biggest urge to reach over and smooth his adorably wrinkled brow -- Jude took a sip of his smoothie, then another. "Well now I just really wanna know who it is," he broke out, and they both laughed some more.
"Sorry! I'm not tellin'!" She kept laughing, relieved, because it was all working out and it was going to be fine. So she'd given Freddy a secret girlfriend! No big deal. She could handle it, just so long as Jude didn't make that weird face at her again.
"Hey, is it your friend Sam?"
She narrowly missed stabbing herself in the eye with her straw. "What?" She was still laughing, but nervously now.
"You know, that'd be funny, because they always kind of act like they don't like each other. It'd be like a movie. They hate each other but they're secretly in love?"
"Oh, yeah, so funny..."
Jude shrugged. "Or not, I don't know. It just seems a little out there, I mean, we're teenagers, like what does Freddie and this girl have to hide?"
She had absolutely no idea what to say to that. She was so done for. And it was such a shame because he was just. So. Adorable.
"So anyway," Jude was looking at his watch, "I should get going soon. But hey, for the record? I'd never want to hide you and me."
"Oh," she said, her eyes growing huge. The adorable boy was saying nice things about her.
"Yeah, oh," he returned playfully. "I even told my parents to check out iCarly this week, so they could see my cool new girlfriend."
That was it. He'd said it. Girlfriend.
She was his girlfriend! Which made him her boyfriend. Officially. Oh shoosh yeah. She couldn't wait to tell Sam.
"And my grandmother too, by the way," Jude added, still talking while Carly silently flipped the heck out. "She's really into all this online stuff, she even has her own splashface channel, you should --"
"You were right, Sam and Freddie are dating!"
"Oh." Slowly Jude reached over and took her hand. "Thanks. It's really cool that you trust me enough to tell me."
He continued to looked dreamily at her for an entire two minutes longer over the remains of their smoothies before he had to go, running late for his shift.
It was almost enough to make up for the impending doom hanging over her head. But only almost.