Disclaimer: I do not own iCarly nor am I making any money from this.
He checked his watch again. A neon green 12:17 stared back at him. So, it was already past midnight. He could honestly say he'd never thought he'd spend Christmas Day like this.
Freddie drummed nervously on the arm of his chair and observed the few people that were scattered across the chairs around him. Slumped in a seat across from him was a man dressed in a rumpled navy sports coat. His black tie lay in the empty seat next to him, slung across the closed lid of his laptop which he had only abandoned about five minutes ago. Now, his eyes were closed. Freddie briefly wondered if the man had expected to spend the first few hours of Christmas like this, cooped up in an airport terminal, waiting for a plane that seemed as if it would never come. He raised his hand to his mouth and nibbled on his thumbnail, forcing himself to contemplate the story of the man so he wouldn't have to focus on his own.
After several minutes, in which he had moved on to his index finger and then his middle, he finally decided that the man had not expected to end up here on Christmas either. He had almost been swayed the other way after remembering how the man had spent nearly an hour typing angrily on his laptop keyboard and how he had almost obsessively checked his blackberry every five minutes. After all, those were the kinds of things Freddie expected people who spent major holidays in airports did. But, it was the way he had argued with the woman at the flight desk, as if she alone could change the snowstorm that was holding their plane in Montana, that finally convinced Freddie that his man had not expected to spend tonight in an airport, with only strangers to celebrate this most holy of holidays.
No, this man, like Freddie, had thought he would be at home, safe in his bed, surrounded by all the people he loved the most (and some he probably wouldn't admit to loving, but did). He too didn't intend on spending his Christmas here, but that was the thing about intentions, they usually don't come to fruition. Instead, they are cast aside when life catches up with you, when things happen that no one can predict, when you are forced to act in ways no one, not even you, can really understand. Yes, Freddie assured himself, that was surely this mans story.
Just as Freddie was putting the finishing touches on the tale of the man in the blue blazer, the intercom above his head clicked on.
"Flight 784 to Los Angeles has arrived. Prepare for boarding."
Freddie let loose a sigh of relief. They would finally be able to board the plane. He glanced down at the papers that lay on top of his bag in the seat next to him.
"I'm coming," he muttered softly, trying to ignore the fact that it wasn't a good sign that he had begun talking to inanimate objects.
The man across the aisle slipped his tie back over his neck and arranged himself before slipping his laptop into his briefcase and standing up. Freddie noticed his movements and decided that perhaps he too should gather his things.
"First class passengers and those with small children traveling on flight 784 may begin boarding."
Freddie noted a few men staggering up to the boarding entrance and eyed them enviously, what he wouldn't give to fly first class. Then again, that would have meant even more money out of his new laptop fund. He shuddered at the thought and decided first class was probably overrated anyway.
He slipped his jacket on over his shoulders and grabbed his bag, then stored the white pages in the sack. After all, he had read them enough times during his wait that he wouldn't need them in flight. In fact, he'd practically memorized them.
"Rows 14 through 27 may now begin boarding."
Freddie pulled his boarding pass from his pocket and searched for his seat number. He finally found it: 15A. He grinned triumphantly. He'd just made the cut. Sparing a sympathetic look for his sportcoat clad brethren, who would have to wait until the front half of the plane could begin boarding, Freddie headed towards the boarding dock. He showed his ticket to the airline employee, and she waved him through. After a short walk down the hallway towards the plane, he finally arrived at the door. Two stewardesses greeted him and waved him through the entrance. He nodded politely and entered the plane. This was it. This was what he had payed nearly four-hundred dollars for.
His heart beat staccato rhythms against his chest as the weight of what he was doing finally crashed around him. What would his mom say when she woke up expecting them to spend Christmas together only to find that Freddie wasn't there? How would he explain to her why he had to go to Los Angeles? That he didn't really have a choice? He stumbled down the aisle of the plane, his thoughts crashing and his stomach turning. This was crazy. This wasn't his responsibility. This was way beyond his call of duty.
He swallowed hard and forced himself to find his seat, convincing himself that as soon as he sat down he would be able to clear his head. After shuffling past a few of his groggy fellow passengers, he found row 15. He stuffed his bag in the overhead compartment and jammed himself into his seat.
Feelings of panic washed over him again. What had he been thinking? Just buying a plane ticket without any kind of planning or forethought, it was certifiably insane, and it certainly wasn't something Freddie Benson did. He closed his eyes and balled his hands, angry at himself for his impulsive behavior. Did he have some kind of hero complex? What good would he be in Los Angeles, anyway?
He groaned to himself in agony and pressed his forehead against the window next to him. The tarmac sparkled with light, breaking the darkness of the December night. He took a deep breath.
"There had to be a reason I did this." He reassured himself, pushing away the thoughts that screamed, "Yeah, because you're crazy."He pulled in another breath. "She needs someone. It's not safe for her there...not alone." Again his thoughts shouted in disapproval, "Come on, nancy boy. What could you possibly do for her? She could beat you up with one arm tied behind her back." It only strengthed his resolve, "If she thinks no one cares, then she really will never come back." That was it, he sighed in relief, that was the reason why he had done this, because he couldn't even imagine life without her. He needed her to come back.
He pulled his head away from the window and let it drop against his head rest. He heartbeat slowed and he was finally sure that he had done the right thing. Before long, Freddie's eyes were gently dropping closed. He didn't wake up to hear the pilot announce that they would be taking off in five minutes or to watch the stewardess go through the safety procedure. He simply slept, his dreams easing the worry that had woven into his mind over the last four hours when he had been forced to deal with things way beyond his age. As Freddie slept, his cheek pressed against the glass of his seat's window, the plane shuttled through the air, across Washington and Oregon until they were flying across California, speeding ever closer to Los Angeles.