A/N: New Year's Resolution now changed to Halloween Resolution: freakin' update faster! Now then, enjoy the chapter.
"We all have someone that digs at us—at least we dig each other. So when sickness turns my evil up, at least you'll count on the me from yesterday."
The blistering Seattle chill shook as Sam snickered from behind Freddie. Puffs of air jumped from between her lips as she talked. "Are you...singing?"
Freddie wiped his nose as a desperate cover. "No, I'm lyricing. That's different."
"And the category for best made up word goes tooo...Fredemame Benson. Come on down to accept your award!" followed by a snowball to great his face.
Freddie all but wiped it away. "I'm too cold to entertain you, Sam."
"I wouldn't exactly call this entertaining."
"So why not us go home?"
"CUZ Frothy needs a proper burial. Those who partook in her death needs to be punished."
"I didn't kill-"
"NEEDS TO BE PUNISHED!"
Freddie rolled his eyes and started digging again. No matter what he refused to believe his car was responsible for them now having to dig a mini grave right in the middle of Seattle Park. Sam was the one grabbing at the wheel like a maniac. And besides, that cat was on Jesus status with the amount of times she's been brought back to life. Who knew his Honda would be the final blow to her lifeline?
Here he was again: making himself feel guilty over something that wasn't technically his fault. Twas that guilt that guided his hand to continue digging, despite how much the dropping temperature was taunting him.
He measured the depth of their hole with his shovel. "I'm pretty sure that's deep enough now, Sam. We've been digging for half an hour."
Sam trudged over in her snow boots and inspected the hole. "Good. I don't want her to be too close to the surface."
"She'll be closer to something, alright..."
Hard cardboard met his chest. "Hold the cat," Sam glared.
His fingers tensed up eying the box. He could smell death curling up in there enjoying itself. Freddie had asked Sam why not just take her to the vet but Sam heavily declined. He chucked it up to some weird cat sense and she said she just knew time was up. Peering over the box he could see her knelt beside the hole, sniffing away while staring into its depths. Tears, perhaps? Nah...probably just from the cold.
"Alright," she spoke finally, "give her to me."
That all knowing silence made its entrance and they knew now that talking time was over. Freddie handed her The Cat Formerly Known as Frothy and knelt beside her as they began the ceremony.
"Hey...Freddie," she barely spoke above a whisper. Freddie made a small note of how the side of her lip curled and how rosy her cheeks got from the friction of the cold. "Yeah?"
"You know that show Friends, right?"
"Well, Frothy would always meow the theme song. Help me sing it, okay?"
He gave her a look. "How can a cat...?"
"Just shut up and do it!"
A minor chord struck in their heads and they began to sing to the best of their abilities—well, Sam did. Freddie wasn't sure if he had any extra of those.
"One...two..." she cued. The wind started to pick up as if it wanted to harmonize along. Freddie tried to ignore the nipping against his skin.
"So no one told you life was gonna be this way..."
Clap Clap Clap Clap!
"Your life's a joke, you're broke. You're love life's DOA."
"It's like you're always stuck in second gear..."
"And it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year, but:"
The two glanced at each other as they came in together at a faster pace. "I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour! I'll be there for you, like I've been there before! I'll be there for you, cuz you're there for me tooooo..."
and as her last note lingered on, she dropped down the box and gave it a peace sign before rising back up.
Freddie kept his eyes cast down. Maybe his heart warmed up a little for the cold drifted to a fleeting memory. If he recalled correctly, Sam found Frothy at Seattle Park when she was about five, and already then that cat was pushing eight of her nine lives. Also, because of Frothy he got his first rabies shot, so in a way the scar he adorned on his left shoulder would always be in memory of her. Or if anything the scratch on his dashboard would be.
"Later, Frothy," he repeated and rose up after Sam. "Alright, ready to fill this back up, Sam?"
But nothing but the wind answered. He turned around. "Sam...? Sam? SAM!"
It was one of those enigmas that was virtually every flavor. Bitter, sweet, tangy, spicy…and ham for Sam's liking. Given time, and some other weird force of the universe, things in your life could either take a slow stroll or a crash course into something you've never imagined.
Something like loosing a childhood friend.
Or growing not-feelings for another.
Or sitting on another friend's beanie bag chair digging through old props and reminiscing about a certain webshow that molded said childhood.
Sam moaned to no one and stretched herself out on the chair. Why did she feel so weird once again...
Freddie stepped out of the elevator, and just as expected the runaway miss Princess Puckett was cozily reclining in the iCarly studio. He tore off his dripping gloves and slipped trying to remove his snow covered boots.
"You!" he growled.
"Don't you sup me. You see these?" and he shoved his palms in her face. "These are blisters! Blisters from what, pray tell? Well, thank you kindly for asking, I appreciate that—from burrying YOUR dead cat!"
"Oh...thanks for that."
"Thanks..? THANKS...!" he formed his lips to say, but the game was all too predictable and he didn't feel like repeating it now.
"You know what, I'ma just sit and warm myself up before I decide whether or not to start yelling again, and he pulled up the nearest beanbag chair and wrapped his coat around him like a blanket. He eyed Sam from behind his hood after a minute passed by and still no sounds came out that mouth of hers.
Her brows were all squished together and all you could hear is the sound of her nails picking at each other, the occasional lip biting would ensue. Was there a noose somewhere dangling from the ceiling and crushing her throat? What was up with her?
"I know you're probably thinking what's up with me," she finally started, "but my cat did just die so I get a free pass to be weird, alright?"
He sat up, curious even more about what was going on in her head. "Oh, yeah okay..."
"And suddenly a wild butt appears..." she narrarated for him.
"It's just that, I know it was Frothy and all; it just seems like, I don't know, a little something extra is adding to the melancholy."
"I don't get it."
"Kay," he sat up trying to explain. "Remember that day when we were going to the arcade and you, ya know, stole my car?"
"I did not steal your car," she rolled her eyes, causing him to roll his own.
"Okay then: remember that day when we were going to the arcade and you almost caused a traffic accident and made me get a ticket?"
"Nope, don't remember that either."
He narrowed his eyes to a seething stare. "Remember that day when we were going to the arcade and you beat me at Pac Rat and I had to give you the rest of my fries?"
She smiled. "Oh yeah...good times..."
"UH HUH. And you told me in the car how your cat choked on one of your mom's stress balls and you thought that was the end for her. But then you were like if that day ever did come you'd be fine cuz you'd know she'd just ninja kick anyone who messed with her up in kitty heaven."
Her eyes stayed away. "Yeah, I remember that. And...?"
"And, what? Does kitty heaven not exist anymore?"
"No, it does. ...Plus Frothy'd have Krav Maga and Tae Kwon Do under her belt, so ha."
He chuckled. "See? That's nothing to get sad over."
She pulled her smile back in after staring at the ceiling for awhile. "Yeah, but it's one thing preparing for something, knowin it's gonna happen and all, and another thing actually livin it."
He sunk back down. "Yeah, I guess."
"Sooo I'll just get over it when I get over it." She turned her head away then returned to the flicking sound of her nails scratching back and forth. Freddie nodded, accepting the end of the conversation, trying to find some entertainment in the cracks of the brick.
Hm, two cracks just met at the edge of the wall and formed into one. How exciting. No, wait, they're separating again.
But during the time that he wasn't occupied in the riveting search for the nearest cracks, his brain pondered a bit on Sam's words. Knowing something's gonna happen is different than actually living it, huh? Was that all that was bothering her?
"Hey, I know what'll make you feel better," and he shot up, getting an odd exchange of glaces from Sam. "What?"
"Be right back," and he raced for the door only to return minutes later with a green bag filled with orange balls. Ah, success! He got a giggle out of her once she figured out his plan.
"Boomba?" she asked with a humorous raise of the brow.
"Ci. But for the safety of body parts everywhere, I have only issued use of these orange squishy balls instead."
She shook her head as she began to stand. "Pfft, way to pussy out, Benson."
"Be prepared to say that to my back once you're kissin it."
"That made no sense."
"Yeah I know, just play."
From all of the boring days that accumulated over the past few months, Sam and Freddie were able to finally come to terms with some structure in the game. Each player must turn around facing away from each other with three balls each. At the sound of the secret call word, each must then turn around as fast as one can and throw the ball. Whoever doesn't catch the ball gets hit and the victor must shout "BOOMBA!"
"Are you ready, Puckett?" Freddie challenged in his low-attempt-to-be-menacing voice.
"Just shut up and play, dude."
"Alrighty then. I'll let you pick the call word since uh...you're in grieving."
The two then turned their back and Sam started juggling her balls, thinking of the perfect moment to strike. "So you run into Spencer down there?"
"Yeah," began Freddie. "Weird, he was having some staring contest with this girl from downstairs."
"That teacher from before?"
"Nah. Curly, dirty blonde, eating something on a stick—HEEEY!"
All of a sudden the squishy orange ball pounded on his back. "HOW are you able to make that hurt?" he cried trying to massage away the pain.
"BOOMBA! It's a gift," she smiled.
"You know I hope you keep receipts somewhere cuz you're always given the strangest gifts."
"Guess the call word?"
He pulled his waist back and forth preparing for the next round. "Uh...was it blonde?"
"Incorrect! Would you like to phone a friend?"
"Ha-ha. Okay, I think I got it, let's go."
But he didn't get it. It took him about three rounds and and multiple stings on his back to realize that the secret word was "a". Only a mind encased in a Sam head would think of something like that. But now that he was aware the game became more evenly matched, with him now being able to catch the balls before they would strike. A few minutes turned into an hour and eventually they forgot about the word all together, and as the balls dropped only leaving one the two's game just winded down to simple catch to occupy their conversations.
"So I gotta say Sam, I'm surprised."
"I actually saw you at the library last week studying for your Trig final. Books and everything."
"Well remember that time where you bet I couldn't pass any of my classes with AP hanging over me?"
"Better believe mama's still taking you up on that."
"Seriously? That was four months ago!"
"Which has given you four months to plan my surprise."
He smirked. "Alright, tell you what. Test scores come out in, what, two weeks? You get at least a B on both your Trig final and AP exam and I will be your personal chauffeur to the...annual Klikitat Meat Festival."
Her eyes widened. "You mean the BEST place in Washington to get discounts on steak?"
"You mean the ONLY place in Washington that actually sells Scandinavian beef sticks?"
"Remember: lying to me about food is a sin in my religion."
"That is dearly noted."
He caught her smile and laughed as she tightly shook his hand in agreement. "You have yourself a deal, dude!"
But he noticed how her stare stayed after she let go. It was hard for him to see the puffy circles. So she was crying?
"Congratulations," she spoke again.
"You've actually been cool today. Thanks."
He watched her take the ball away from his hand and started juggling. As usual after a compliment her eyes averted immediately, but it was still nice to get the aftereffects. The corner of her lip began to curl up.
"And suddenly a wild grin appears," he now narrated. Smirking, she looked back and smirked too. And there they stood...smirking...tossing a ball...existing, just the way they were meant to.
They were interrupted by the vibration of Freddie's cell. He quickly tossed Sam the ball while answering the phone. "It's Carly," he whispered.
She held onto the ball for a moment. "Oh...well put her on speaker!"
"Hey, Carly," Freddie called setting his phone down. "You're on speaker with me and Sam."
"Heey Hey Hey!" Sam greeted in her Fat Albert impersonaton.
"Hey Hey Hey!" Carly exchanged with a What's Happenin' line.
"So what's up? How's Japan this time of year?" asked Freddie.
"Awesomely cold! How's Seattle?"
"Not-so awesome," Sam called. "So what's goin on, kiddo."
"Nothing much, I'm about to go cake shopping with a friend but there was just something I had to tell you guys!"
"Please don't tell me you're staying," said Freddie, "two weeks is two weeks Miss Shay."
"Oh, on the contraire Senior Benson," you could just hear her smile. Sam shook her head in amusement. "You know that thing I do when I'm supposed to keep a secret but I end up blurting it out out of excitement?"
"Well I'm doing it now cuz guess what!"
"I'M COMING HOME TOMORROW!"
A/N: To be continued.
Yeah I know, I suck for that. But hopefully next chapter makes up for it. I have been working on something else though this time. A little later I'll post a link on my profile to a video I made showcasing Nick's new premiers for next years' lineup-All fan-created by me. So I hope you liked!