Beneath The Pale Moonlight.

Rating: T

Notes: Written for the Creddie Fan Forum Croctober fanfic challenge. Rating is for occasional swearing, sexual references. The POV is Freddie. Pairings: Creddie. Others hinted, referenced, possibly expanded in future chapters.

Summary: Hormones blaze. The battle to keep emotions in check rages every day. Carly, Freddie and Sam deal with life, love, school, loneliness and hosting a webshow. Freddie POV. Various pairings explored.

Years ago, Spencer had wanted to test out his new camera, I was standing next to Carly, waited for Spencer to take the picture, only for Carly to subtly pull Sam in between us. Not subtle enough. My expression, anyone who saw that picture would know something was wrong. It was one of the first times I'd really thought I didn't have a chance at all.

Like I should just give up. I'd taken all those little 'too close' or 'a step to the right please' as jokes, fun, something for the show, like Sam insulting me (although Sam did insult me regardless of when the show was on). Was that all I am? A joke. Was I a joke to Carly? I looked over at her, she knew that I knew what she did, and the look she gave me back broke me, for just a moment, but that's when Spencer snapped the photo. I don't even know why I kept my copy. Maybe I just liked the look Sam had, all smiling, happy, completely oblivious.

I wish I could be oblivious sometimes. To Griffin. To Jake. To those other random boyfriends that came and went. To Jonah. Carly went out with him for a while. I was 'just jealous' when I told her she shouldn't, that he would hurt her eventually. But he was 'a changed person'. Take one big guess what happened. 2 weeks ago, the middle of May, that bastard convinced Carly that making out without her bra on was 'a sign of their love for each other'. They had only been going out since March. He tried to push her further, and she refused.

On Monday, the next day of school, he hit on Wendy. It wasn't even secretive. It was a message to Carly, and the message was obvious. It's not like Wendy wouldn't tell Carly, and when she found out and dumped him, he called her an attention seeking cock tease in front of the entire school. Carly ran home, Sam was stuck in detention on the other side of the school.

It had happened after the last period, but I'd already gone home as I didn't have a class for it. When Carly told me, I just laughed in her face, harsh, staccato laugher, it was more like cackling really. I couldn't hold it in, something just snapped in my head. So I laughed at her and she ran away from me, crying. I'm sure she wanted me to hold her, to tell her everything would be alright, to make her feel better, but I couldn't. I just couldn't, not then. Maybe if was with her when it happened it would've been different, but I wasn't.

Instead of Jonah, I got my ass kicked by Sam, who had bailed on detention, ran after Carly, and hopped out of the elevator, just in time to see me laughing at Carly. I couldn't stop laughing until Sam had winded me so badly I could barely breathe. That's the guy I am. I think I'm better than the rest, Carly has part of her innocence stolen, and I go and laugh in her face. Carly didn't speak to me for 2 weeks. I was surprised she ever did again. I certainly didn't think I was worth her time.

2 weeks after I'd hurt the most important person in my life, I was up on the roof, sitting on one of chairs that permanently remained out there, empty beer cans littered around, I wasn't drinking, not tonight at least, but obviously someone else had been and Carly had come up, whilst I was sitting, just watching the stars and constellations twinkling in the sky, Leo, Hydra, Ursa Major, and so-on.

I heard the roof access door squeak lightly, and the sound of shoes scrap across the concrete, I was expecting my mother to come and drag me back down to my apartment. Was she home this early? I thought she was working late.

I was surprised, to say the least, when I realized it was the kindhearted girl.. young woman, who I'd so badly hurt, and my mournful expression softened.

"Is this seat taken?"

"No." Carly twisted it around, and sat down on it, looking directly at me.

"What'cha looking at Freddie?"

"The stars." With the most accurate current estimates, you could give every person on Earth, 13 entire galaxies. I felt like I was millions of light-years away from Spencer, Sam and Carly.

Carly looked up for a minute, then turned her head down to look at me. "Why?"

"Are you sure you want to know?"

"Yes. I think I know why you did it, bit I want to know for sure." I shifted position, looking down at my feet. I'd thought about it myself. Why? Why did I do that?

I swallowed hard. "You trusted Jonah, a guy I told you was bad, the guy that I'd warned you about, who had followed his usual pattern. I'd told you what he would do, that he would hurt you, Carly, and you just ignored me, like my opinion didn't matter at all. You made me feel worthless. You told me I was just jealous, as if all I cared about was keeping you away from Jonah because I wanted you for myself. That our friendship meant nothing, that I was so selfish I couldn't be trusted." I turned away, wiping my eyes on my sleeve, not wanting Carly to see the tears that were running down my face.

"Is that what you thought, Carly?"

I don't know if it was because I'd made her remember what Jonah did to her, or what I'd said, but tears had also formed in her eyes. "Yes, something like that." Carly paused to compose herself, "Freddie, I never wanted you to feel like that. I'm sorry that I'd ever made you feel worthless. I know Sam feels the same way, even if she doesn't show it."

I only managed to croak out, "Carly, I hurt you. It shouldn't have mattered what you thought of me, that was the worst thing I've ever done to anyone, and to do that to you, of all people, you never deserve that, you shouldn't be apologizing, you can make your own choices, and I should have supported you, no matter what."

Carly watched me, she was obviously thinking something up, then she spoke to me again, "I know this will be hard for the both of us Freddie, I want us to go back to normal. How about we make a deal?" Carly dried her eyes, and changed to mischievous little grin, that I couldn't help but smile at, my first smile in over a week.

"I guess that would be okay, but I still don't think I deserve your forgiveness."

"It wouldn't be much of a friendship if we broke apart the first time we had a fight would it?"

That was a very good point. Carly always knew just exactly what to say to me. Sometimes it's a pouting 'please, for me', to help Carly with something minor, or something for iCarly or Sam or Spencer or Gibby, but sometimes it wasn't, and I knew it when I looked in her eyes, that this wasn't a 'please, for me' moment. It meant more, that it wasn't just something minor, but it was Carly telling me I needed to help myself. I nodded my head. I had been talking about trust, and I couldn't help but trust her.

"Here is the deal. You, Fredward Benson promise to come back to us, to iCarly, to Sam, to Spencer, to me, and I, Carly Shay, promise, to never make light of your feelings, to not to dismiss your opinions, and never take you for granted again. We also promise to forgive each other, and move on." As she talked, I looked over at her, I could tell she really meant it, and wanted me to agree.

"I could never say no.." I was interrupted by Carly rushing over and hugging me, the chair overbalanced, and we toppled over, I hit my head lightly on the concrete, and Carly's head slammed into my chest with a thump. The pain felt nice, as opposed to the dull routine I'd settled into since that day. Carly sprung up first, then she helped me up, and I laughed again, then smiled. But not at her out of spite, not at myself out of disbelief in my behavior, but out of fun, and Carly laughed back, and hugged me again, slower this time, and she smelled like lavender again.

"Are you okay?" I reached down, and tilted her head up just slightly, so I could see her face properly.

"You're the one who just smacked their head against a concrete roof, and you're asking me if I'm okay?"

"I'll take that as a yes." Carly's hand snaked around to the back of my head, to make sure I wasn't bleeding or cut or had a huge bump on it, but she rubbed the area a few times, helping to get rid of the last, lingering pain remnants.

"Looks like you are good as well."


Carly grabbed my hand, and started dragging me back to the staircase. "Come on, let's go back down, Spencer is making Spaghetti Taco's. Stay for dinner? I missed you, we all did."

"I'd like that a lot." And just like that, the Carly I knew was back. Spencer was a little reserved, and Sam took even longer than Spencer did to warm back up to me, but in the end, everything went back to normal.

Or so I thought.

AN: Well, this is the start of a new, long, multi-chapter story. Please R&R, this is my first time writing in first person POV, so I'm certain I'll be making a heap of tense errors, so please forgive me those and just go with the flow. I'll try to answer any reviews, either through a review reply, or at the start of the next chapter (or both), but I've been having a bit of trouble with review replies lately.

The best fit, timeline wise, is probably the end of their sophomore year in the first 3 or 4 chapters, and the start of their junior year after that, so their ages will be about 17 for the majority of the fic, with Sam being 18 as she got held back a year.

Thanks for reading.