The air was damp, as if Freddie took a deep breath he would be supplied with a sip of water. Even in the warmth and through the lack of rain he felt as though he was submersed ten feet under in an ocean, seeing the world through watered-down eyes.
Behind him a loud laughter broke out from across the hall, floating over to meet his ears. The sound was mixed up and pushed together, voices combing into each other to make one indistinguishable hum of noise. Every now and then one laugh would push through as the loudest and he would recognize it as one of his friend's.
The one that sounded like bells was coming from his best friend and first love, Carly Shay. He could see it, her throwing her head back and letting her long black locks drape further down her back as she released the melody for some reason or another. The sound that was caught between a manly chuckle and a girly giggle belonged to Spencer Shay, for he forever seemed to be stuck between the stage of manhood and childhood. Spencer was probably laughing just because everyone else was, the joke gone over his head since he really never got conventional humor. That pensive reserved quiet laugh was his mother, brown eyes mirroring his own probably searching the party for her lost son.
He didn't hear the other laugh, the one that should have been the loudest of them all. It would have sounded like danger wrapped tight in insecurities and confidence, the shallow sound of contradiction screaming at the world. He could see the girl it belonged to, arms crossed haughtily across her chest as she laughed at her own joke or some kind of pain she had inflicted on some unsuspecting victim. Her blonde hair would run wild down her back, far too long and far too unkempt to be deemed acceptable. She'd probably be dressed in something boyish yet elegant for the occasion, since there was no way Carly would allow her to come to the party in her usual attire of boy-shorts and ragged hoodies. She'd be a vision; like a train wreck you just couldn't look away from and secretly didn't want to.
Something smacked against Freddie's head harshly as he was literally knocked out of his thoughts, blinking a few times to get a clear view of his situation.
"What? Did you forget your own name, Freddifer? How many times am I gonna have to call you to get a response?"
Freddie scowled, rubbing the spot that was sure to be turning an unhealthy shade red as he turned his attention to the girl who had just haunted his thoughts. Like he had guessed, Sam had ditched her usually attire for a sultry red dress that would make his mother tsk in disapproval. It was far too revealing and hugged her a bit too tightly, and he was sure near the bottom it was a bit see through. As his eyes trailed further down he noticed, with a tinge of pride, Sam's beaten down black Chuck Talyors remand in place. It wasn't surprising.
"No, I didn't but you seemed to have. It's been nearly seven years and you still can't seem to say my name correctly." Sam smirked, pushing past him to plop down on the camper chair beside him, throwing the clutch in her hands to the ground and swinging her legs over the side of the chair to take on a more comfortable position.
"What are you talking about, Fredward, have you not checked your birth certificate lately?" She glanced at him, blue eyes blazing while surrounded by lines of black. "Anyway, what are you doing over here? You do know the party is across the hall, don't you? If you're trying to pull off that whole 'emo' bit, you failed."
She turned her attention back to the sky, running her teeth harshly across her lips. It was a nervous habit of hers, one that always made Freddie become overcome with the urge to reach out and run his fingers across her lips to make her stop. Her lips always looked bruised and cracked, as if she had just drawn back from an intimate, deep kiss.
He really had to stop staring at her lips and respond. "I just needed a moment. It got a bit tiring telling everyone my ten year plan." he replied.
She let out a small scoff from beside him, shoving his chair with her foot. "Harvard, Hollywood, and then you're going to find the perfect little mail-order wife and direct some huge blockbuster that makes you famous with none of the fame since, lets it face it, no one cares about the directors ." She slid her eyes shut, a small smirk appearing on her lips. "You have it planned out to the second. I don't see how you can know what's going to happen any further then the day after tomorrow. Life isn't that perfect. Plus, you married? Let's be realistic."
"It's not concrete; it's more of an outline of how I want my life to go. And I've already gotten accepted to Harvard, and if I've already met my future wife then-"
"Hasn't Carly already said no a million times? I don't think when you guys are in different states she'll be more inclined to fall madly in love with you, Benson."
Automatically, his mind seemed to reply, What if it's not Carly? But he wasn't prepared to deal with that so he just continued on like the blonde had not spoken. "…My ten year outline can actually become reality." He paused, throwing a smug look over to her. "What's your ten year plan?" He already knew the answer.
"Ten years? I don't have a ten minute plan. It's all about living in the moment, Fredward. After you and Carly ditch me for the big apple and Massachusetts," she spat the word, "I'll hitch-hike, see the world on a waitress' salary or some chiz like that. Maybe I'll sleep my way through Europe or something, always wanted to see Rome."
"That's not funny." She had still yet to look at him.
"It wasn't a joke." Her blue eyes set on him, so dark they seemed to have sucked up the night sky. "I'm not just going to stay in Seattle."
"You don't have to, you could go with Carly to New York and apply for late admissions for the next semester at NYU or," he paused, "You could come with me. Boston University seems like something that would be your style, and I'd defiantly gain points from all the freshmen guys from having a hot chick room with me…" he sputtered catching his words.
Sam smirked, raising an eyebrow. "Yeah, as much as I'd love to be your 'hot chick' and crash your college scene, I'm not some baby you and Carly have to tote around. School was never my thing; I wasn't expecting to go to college I just…" She cast her eyes towards the ground, biting her lip again. "I just didn't expect it all to end so soon, you know? One moment I'm skipping class and worrying about getting promoted to the next grade and the next thing you know they're handing me a cap and gown and shoving me out the doors. I mean, wasn't it just yesterday you had that squeaky voice and we were all just starting iCarly?"
"Sam…" he reached out, she shrugged him off.
"Don't get all sentimental, nub. Ridgeway is ditching its worst bad habit and I'm finally free of those stupid chains. I can do anything in the world now, it isn't sad or nothing."
"Sam this isn't the end of us, you know. It's not like me and Carly will disappear. I know Carly's going to be texting and e-mailing you every day, and I'll be calling you so much you'll have to block my number."
"Don't delude yourself, Freddork. You'll be busy with school and Carly's bound for stardom. I'll be kicking up dirt in some dried up backwater town and sending you a post card every few months from my newest venture. We'll grow apart, it's what people do."
He reached out and grabbed her hand, not letting her pull away. "We won't. We'll only grow apart if you let it happen. Carly and I aren't going anywhere." Sam stared at him, pursing her lips in challenge but he refused to back down.
Finally she sighed, "Fine, we'll be best friends forever and someday someone will write a book about how our friendship transcends time." She looked away, her hands intertwining with his. "But I seriously will block your number. You'll cramp my style if you're always calling."
He smirked, drawing his eyes away "Wouldn't want to do that. Stop Sam Puckett from getting involved with the next Jonah, or," he laughed, "Calvin."
"Hey, Cal wasn't that bad," she defended.
"Yeah, if you don't count that rumor he spread that you two slept together."
"Who says it's a rumor?"
They glared at each other, her glare more playful while his held too much heat for her joke. "Fine, it was a rumor. But beside that whole can't get laid so I have to fabricate it business, he was the best boyfriend I ever had."
"That says a lot."
"Oh, please. Look who's talking. You've had, what, two girlfriends? Crazy psycho Valeria and push over Penny."
"Penny was sweet."
"She was a doormat. Even time I waved at her she flinched."
"That's a normal reaction."
"The girl was scared of her own reflection."
"Whatever. My record still beats yours."
Sam rolled her eyes. "Sure. Psycho and spineless beat lying and cheating."
He shook his head in disbelief. "Yeah, actually, it does."
"It's a matter of opinion."
"It's a matter of intelligence."
Silence descended on them, a comfortable break from their banter. Their hands still linked them, hanging between them like the only thing in the world that kept them together. Every now and then Freddie would swear she would look at over and smile, but it all happened too quickly to actually be proven.
The noise from the party seemed to have quieted, by now someone must have notice that two out of the three of the hosts were missing. It wouldn't be long before his mother wanted to call the police and Carly sent out a search party to calm her. If they didn't go back soon chaos was sure to ensue.
"We should get back to the party."
"Yeah." Sam didn't move.
"Let me rephrase, we should probably get back to the party now."
Sam sighed deeply, as if he'd just asked her for a huge favor. "Whatever." She stood up, her body jolting back by their locked hand. She stared at them for a second before looking to him.
He flushed, his hands refusing to let go. Who knew when he'd get to hold her hand again? Have a moment alone with her like this one? With Sam, who knew after tomorrow that he'd even see her again?
"You gonna let go?" she drawled, eyes strangely devoid of emotion. He stared at their hands, binding them together and keeping her grounded. He let the bond dissolved, his fingers loosening.
Her hand fell to her side, swaying slowly before coming to a stop. They both stayed still for a moment, as if something momentous had just happened but neither could put their finger on what.
"Well, let's get the show on the road. I am the life of the party and those fools are probably dying without me." Sam smirked at him, turning on her heel and starting back towards the apartment.
He watched her go, staying as still as a statue as she went further and further out of his sight. Once she was gone and the echo of her shoes had faded, he looked back at his hand.
He had let her go.
This was originally meant as a one-shot, and then a series of one-shots which involved into a story. The first few chapters are a bit flowery and over done with emotion since I wasn't sure if I was going to give this story the time to really develop Sam and Freddie's relationship so sorry about that.