I actually wrote this before I started 7 Minutes and Disappearing Acts but I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Honestly the end feels a bit rushed cos I kinda ran outta steam with it. It's from Carly's perspective - something I haven't dared write before cos I'm not comfortable with her character. But meh here it is. It was taking up space on my hard drive anyways. Let me know if it was ok, though I think it's pretty shite lolz Peace out xx
1. I swear I don't want this/there's a reason not to want this/but I forgot
The first time she noticed anything different was after the kiss. Well, technically, she didn't notice straight away or clearly there would have been no dentist revelations and screaming matches in her living room. But thinking back Carly did notice something. It was subtle, so subtle that without knowing all circumstances surrounding this moment, it just flew right over her head.
After Sam's wacky-gas-confession Carly went back, meticulously tracing Sam and Freddie's every interaction since that night. Not that she was curious, or jealous anything, God no. The feeling of emptiness in her stomach, or the fact she'd bitten her nails back so far they had begun to bleed had nothing at all to do with Sam and Freddie's pairing of the lips. But just to be sure, Carly didn't dwell on the actual kiss. She didn't like to picture it.
So instead the brunette focused on everything else including this moment. It was the day after said incident, the three sat eating fruit kebabs at the kitchen table. Conversation flowed, occasional insults exchanged, nothing spectacularly different at all. Everything just seemed the same. There was no indication that anything had changed. But something had changed; something that would rock the close-knit threesome's world. But for now, all was the same. All was calm in the ICarly kingdom.
She remembers clearly now, Sam and Freddie both reaching for the large bottle of Peppy cola sitting centrepiece on the table. Fingers brushed, blushes rose and Sam pulled back sharply, her hand retreating to her lap. She can remember Freddie staring at the blonde, studying her profile with a countenance of confusion and interest. Up until Sam's confession, Carly merely thought that he too was wondering why the hell Sam hadn't beaten him into submission and downed what was left of the Peppy Cola. She put it down to the fight, thinking that Sam was trying to ease up on Freddie a bit. Guilt was not a feeling Sam dealt with well. She thought this was her weird way of saying sorry. And when Sam's eyes met Carly's, wide and glazed, Carly smiled. She was proud of her friend for making the effort. She remembers thinking how odd it was that Sam looked almost...sad. It was the same look she had when she killed Carly's guinea pig by accident and then buried it in the plant pot. She made a mental note to make sure to check the plant pot again later.
2. Gimme that strange relationship/One of us gotta let go of this/I keep pushing and you keep holding on
The second time Carly noticed it was slightly more obvious. And it bothered her even more than the first time. Standing in the hallway talking with Sam, Freddie emerged to greet them from inside his apartment. He was jumping up and down excitedly, talking about some equipment he'd just won on the internet by entering one of their ICarly skits. He started to explain how he could now access more effects, something about producing now being a flawless process. Honestly, Carly zoned out. Sam however decided enough was enough and punched him on the shoulder.
Freddie was not fazed. Not even a little. In fact, he punched her back. Not hard, but hard enough that she stumbled sideways into the doorframe, looking more than a little surprised. Carly couldn't help but giggle as Freddie bustled past Sam and gathered her up into his arms, shaking her a little. She hugged back. Of late, Freddie's embraces seemed more and more familiar, and dare she say it, likeable.
Then he turned, considered something before dismissing it visibly with his hand and wrapped his arms around Sam. He was more emphatic about their hug, lifting her clean off the ground. His strength surprised Carly almost as much as Sam's reaction.
Or lack thereof.
She let herself be lifted and Carly could detect the smallest of smiles forming on the blonde's lips. He squeezed her once more for good measure before dropping her onto her feet and catching her as she stumbled into him. Then something weird happened.
He put his arm around her shoulders.
And that wasn't the weird part. The weird part was that not only did Sam let him, she actively lent into the embrace, removing her Pear phone from her pocket and absentmindedly texting someone while Freddie rambled on about his new software or hardware. It was so kind of "ware".
Carly remembers looking back and forth between her friends, neither of them moving. There was Freddie's arm, still draped around Sam's shoulders and there was Samantha, not detaching Freddie's arm from his socket. Tilting her head and squinting her eyes, they may even have looked a little bit like a couple, a thought Carly found particularly unnerving.
She let it slide, interrupting Freddie with the highest pitch she's ever heard her vocal cords produce and inviting them both inside for a celebratory cupcake which Sam readily accepted. She escaped from Freddie's embrace and he followed her inside.
Things were getting weirder.
3. You might as well try to fuck me/Let me look into your eyes/Tell me what ya see baby
The third time there wasn't even physical contact involved. They were having an argument after ICarly, Gibby and Carly stood off to the side barely watching. They were sort of used to Freddie and Sam's outbursts and power struggles. So they stood, organising Freddie's equipment for him so he could actively argue with the small blonde.
Suddenly a loud clap rang through the studio and Carly's mouth fell open as Freddie clutched his cheek. Sam had actually slapped him. Hard.
"Sam!" Carly chastised, frowning at the blonde.
"What? He deserved it; he just called me a slut. He broke boy code. Never call a girl a slut," she said, by way of explanation.
"Ok, but Sam you can't-"
"It's ok Carly, Sam hasn't gotten laid in a while, she's venting sexual frustration."
Silence echoed through the group, Sam glaring at the boy in front of her. He removed his hand from his cheek, a reddening mark flaring below his eye socket. He kept grinning at her and Carly thought that this was some mad attempt at suicide. But whatever he was doing had the opposite effect and instead of strangling him Sam's lips quirked into a smile, her eyes locking with his.
To this day Carly doesn't think she could come up with a word or reference that would be able to describe that look between them. At least one not as apt as Gibby's later synopsis. They stood there, staring. Freddie's eyes darted up and down Sam's length before the tip of his tongue wet his lips. She swore she heard Sam let out a soft growl and for one terrifying second she thought they were going to kiss.
She was however spared this visual as Sam waved a hand in front of Freddie's face, dismissing him. "Whatever Frediffer. I'm off to get me some Fatcakes."
With that she was gone, her blonde head of hair bouncing out of the ICarly studio.
"Dude," Gibby said finally breaking the silence, "You just had eye sex with Sam."
There it was. Possibly the most perfect description of anything ever. It was the words Carly had been searching for earlier but could not, or would not, find. And Freddie's response was only to glower at their pudgy friend before returning his attention to packing up his tech cart.
Where was the denial? The outrageous gestures and squeaky voice?
Carly was not comfortable with this at all.
4. I did it again now/I got it all wrong/but it felt so right/I can't believe it
The fourth time was the final nail in what was becoming a very uncomfortable coffin for Carly. Her two best friends had something that didn't include her – not that she was being selfish or hated feeling like an outsider...ok it was both those things that irked her. She liked being the link in the chain that kept them all together. She liked feeling important and needed.
Freddie wasn't his usual puppy like self around her. He didn't jump up out of his seat when she walked into the room anymore and he wasn't proclaiming his undying love as much as he once did. It was all a little strange to say the least.
Plus him and Sam had been hanging out on their own a lot more. Stories involving Freddie's car, a trip to the movies or a rented DVD watched in Sam's bedroom seemed to be appearing more and more in conversations.
But that night was going to be about the three of them together, hanging out, watching all four Final Destination films while eating copious amounts of popcorn. The imperative word in that sentence however was together. It seemed like a while since they'd just hung out. And Carly was not going to be the third wheel.
And it had started quite well. She placed herself smartly in between them to stop bickering and....other things happening, and so far it felt just like old times. There was no weirdness (well no more than usual), there were no odd lingering touches or glances and Freddie had even tried to ask Carly to prom. All was well in Casa De Shay.
Problems, however, started when she moved to use the bathroom. She knew it had to happen eventually – she'd drank a litre of Peppy Cola and although she prided herself on her Olympic strength bladder, there was only so long even it would last. When she emerged her heart sank to the floor, her hands beginning to clench out of instinct. As expected, but not how she'd hoped, her two friends had manoeuvred their positions on the couch. Sam sat cross legged in the middle, while Freddie had stretched out, his feet hanging over the arm. But the heart wrenching, suffocating part for Carly was where he'd chosen to rest his head. Right in Sam's lap, his cheek cushioned on her thigh, Freddie had turned to watch to TV. They were talking, but their voices were muffled and echoey in Carly's ears. It was kind of surreal. Sam laughed, genuinely laughed at something Freddie said and Carly watched her fingers tangle in his boyishly soft hair, stroking his scalp. He didn't flinch or acknowledge the contact – almost as if it was perfectly natural. Perfectly natural to be curled up on Sam's lap while she played with his hair.
Carly eventually rejoined them on the sofa but it wasn't the same. Of course they hadn't noticed, too preoccupied by counting and evaluating each gruesome death scene and comparing notes on how they would have directed it better.
That night Carly walked Freddie to his front door and kissed him. She was happy when she felt him smile against her lips. She wasn't as happy when she turned to see Sam's expression watching them from the doorway.
5. We've run out of luck this time/we've fallen apart/no more running away
Carly remembers thinking when she started dating Freddie that it would stop. He had finally got what she wanted, and in many respects so had she. She finally had the perfect boyfriend. Freddie was attentive and sweet, remembering everything and discounting nothing. He was the type of boy you'd see in a sickly sweet tween film, sort of like Zac Effron. He really was perfect.
And Sam seemed to rebound well, not that there was anything to rebound from. Within a week she was asking Justin Reilly out to prom and, Carly rationalised, she dealt with the whole third wheel thing way better than she ever could. In fact, it didn't really seem to faze her at all. Sure there was some tension between the three but Sam confided in her best friend that she was genuinely pleased for them both. Carly chose to ignore the faltering smile, and the breaking of her voice. If she concentrated on it too much she might never get out of the shower ever again.
She should have known it wasn't over. One afternoon after school she walked into her apartment to find Freddie and Sam standing a few inches apart, Freddie breathing heavy, Sam's head bowed.
"Everything alright guys?" she asked, tentatively approaching.
"Yeah, Freddork just thought he could steal my muffin and get away with it," Sam choked out, her head still bowed forward. Freddie was still looking at her. He wouldn't stop. Why wouldn't he stop?
"Anyways I got my own back now, so I'm out," she announced, sniffling as she straightened up. Carly didn't fail to notice her red, blood shot eyes or her quick side step out the front door. She peered at Freddie from behind freshly cut bangs but he instead kept his eyes trained to the door Sam has so swiftly exited from.
"What was that all about, baby?" Carly asked. She wasn't sure she wanted an answer. Both the lie and the truth would hurt.
"Sam told you. I took her muffin out of her locker. Fight kinda escalated, you know us."
She can still remember the look her gave her. Nervous glance to the side, his tongue darting over his cherry gloss stained, swollen lips. Carly ignored the pounding pain in her chest and crossed the room, greeting him finally with a small kiss to the cheek.
She could still smell Sam's perfume wafting from his hair and shirt.
7. And will you find out who you are/too late to change/I wish I could be/every little thing you wanted/all the time
Remembering these things seems pointless now. It's a bit late to be reminiscing over moments passed. Sam had grown apart from both her friends, they went to separate colleges and blamed it on the natural separation. Carly really only heard from her on birthdays and at Christmas.
Meanwhile Freddie had returned to being the perfect boyfriend. Everything he did reminded her of why she had chosen him over everyone else. Why she'd chosen to forget what she'd noticed.
But it was in one look that it all came tumbling back on her, sort of like a huge wave. It dragged her away, taking her breath and catching her off guard. She was surprised Sam had even turned up. It wasn't like they were amazingly close now, though she missed that. But quite truthfully, she loved her boyfriend more. And she intended on keeping it that way.
She had walked up to the altar in all her bride glowey-ness, music playing, soft sun light and smell of the beach. And there he was, standing looking as boyishly handsome as she remembered from their first dance, waiting for her. And now they were holding hands, smiling, mouthing I Love You's, when she makes the fatal error of glancing to the crowd. He follows her gaze to the blonde in the fifth row. Their eyes lock and there was that feeling again. The sore pound of her heart against her ribcage. She wants to scream, hit him and tell him if he really wants to he should kiss her. That she can see he wants to. That she's known he's wanted to for years. That all their secret moments weren't so secret.
But she doesn't. She waits for him to tear his eyes away from Samantha Puckett and finally look back at her. When he does she feels like crying. In what should be the happiest moment of her life, Carly Shay just wants to cry.
"And Carly Shay, do you take Fredward Benson, as your lawfully wedded husband? To love and to cherish? For as long as you both shall live?"
This is it. This is moment that should define them all. What she says now will determine the rest of their lives. Carly Shay is once again centre of attention, the most important link in the chain. Everything depends on her answer.
And for the first time, Carly wishes she wasn't the link. She doesn't want to be important anymore. All eyes on her, everyone waiting with bated breath, she knows she got what she wanted.
And she's not sure she wants it anymore.