Hello! I'm back with another Seddie oneshot. This one is pretty long, and I wasn't sure whether to split it up into a multi-chaptered story, but I figured that I'd leave it as it is.
So I was listening to 'Change' by Taylor Swift and I realised that the opening lines sort of reflect the whole Seddie/Creddie love triangle. So that's what you should expect from this story!
Disclaimer: I don't own iCarly, I only own the rambling a/n at the beggining. :)
And it's a sad picture, the final blow hits you
Somebody else gets what you wanted again-
Taylor Swift, 'Change'
Sam knew it. She just knew it. She'd been wondering for a while, but now she was so sure.
It was on a Wednesday afternoon. They were lounging about on the Shay couch, abandoned homework spilling over the edge of the coffee table. Sam was flicking through the channels idly, muttering 'lame' to every program she came across. She was spread out along the couch, her Converse-clad shoes just digging into Carly's side. The brunette had managed to squeeze on the end next to her friend. Freddie was sprawled in the armchair next to the couch, his arms dangling off the sides.
"God. There's nothing on!" Sam exclaimed, angrily tapping the remote. Whirls of colour and people flashed before the trio on the screen, before Sam admitted defeat and settled on a program. She wasn't sure exactly what it was, but by the sounds of the canned laughter bleating every few seconds, it was a comedy.
Sam propped her feet up on the coffee table, kicking off her algebra assignment in the process. She heard Carly giggle, but she didn't turn to look at her friend.
After a few minutes, Sam couldn't take much more of the supposed 'comedy' and reached for the remote. But in her peripheral vision, she spotted something.
Freddie's hand, which had been hanging off the edge of the armchair, was now entwined with Carly's. They weren't looking directly at each other, but their expressions betrayed more than Sam needed to know for confirmation.
An ache ripped through her ribcage and landed near her heart. She drew in a sharp breath and clamped her eyes shut, slowly leaning back to her original position.
It all made sense now. All those lingering glances she'd chosen to ignore at the time, all those 'technical meetings' they'd been holding at the Groovy Smoothie which Sam had assumed were about iCarly. She'd been played.
Carly looked concerned. "You OK, Sam?"
"Uh, yeah. Indigestion," Sam feigned nonchalance with a waft of her hand. She watched Carly shift her right hand shrewdly, and she assumed this was to clutch Freddie's hand tighter. Freddie quirked a tiny smile, but Sam knew he was elated inside. He'd got his girl.
Sam swallowed as the pain accelerated. She felt her brain buzz with a million questions. They were supposed to be her best friends, and they'd all promised that they'd tell each other everything. If the hand holding meant what Sam thought it meant, then why hadn't they told her?
She tried to push it down and turned to the television, letting the laughter and the fictional situations take her to another place for a little while.
Sam slammed her locker, frustrated. The whole hallway was filled with chocolate and flowers and love. It sickened Sam. She hated Valentine's Day; it was just another corporate holiday that tried to prove how much better off you were if you had somebody.
Carly was digging in her locker for a textbook, humming absently to herself. Sam watched Freddie waltz over to the brunette and slither his arms around her waist. Carly shrieked and smacked his arm playfully, before giving him a kiss.
They'd been dating 'officially' for a month, but Sam knew that their 'thing' had been going on for longer than that. They'd told Sam after an iCarly rehearsal, standing as far away from her as possible for minimal damage. Sam had simply shrugged, detached from it all.
But inside her heart was breaking.
"I've got your present back at my apartment," Freddie told his girlfriend, who clapped her hands together in excitement. He smiled at her, before realising Sam was resting against her locker, studying her nails attentively. "You get any cards, Sam?"
Sam's attention stayed focused on her cuticles as she replied. "I might've, Benson. What's it to you?"
"Nothing, just making conversation. What's got you so cranky?" He remarked before he could stop himself. Sam rolled her eyes.
"Valentine's Day is stupid. It's all so freakin' cliché! Yeah, you're in love, so what?" She declared, her mouth set into a scowl.
Freddie sighed. "It's called romance, Sam. Look it up."
Sam's eyes flicked to his briefly, before returning to the floor. Carly could sense that an argument was about to erupt, so she glanced at her watch and announced that it was lunchtime. Sam immediately perked up and headed for the cafeteria, her blonde curls swaying behind her. Freddie was about to follow, but Carly pulled him back.
"Listen, don't start anything with Sam today, alright?"
"She's the one who's being grouchy!" Freddie protested, but Carly just shook her head.
"She'll kill me for telling you this, so you've got to promise me that you won't say anything to her," Carly waited for her boyfriend to nod in agreement, and then she continued, "She didn't get any cards today, OK? Just try and steer clear of any romance related subjects today."
Freddie groaned. "But I'm with my girlfriend, and it's Valentine's Day! It's the only day I'm allowed to be romantic without any weirdness from Sam. Well, almost no weirdness."
"You're coming round tonight, aren't you? We can be romantic then," She promised him, smoothing out his hair. Freddie looked resigned but bobbed his head. He put an arm around her shoulder, and they strolled to the cafeteria, not seeing Sam hanging by another set of lockers surreptitiously.
She hadn't meant to eavesdrop, she really hadn't. She'd forgotten her money for food, and was heading back to her lockers when she heard her friends talking about her.
Once Freddie and Carly were out of sight, Sam slumped against the locker and slid to the ground. She knocked her head lightly against the metal, and a shower of confetti fell from the top of the locker, a present that had been rigged for someone else.
The flakes reading 'I Love You' fluttered softly to the ground. Sam, in her dazed state, tried to catch one, but no matter how hard she tried, she found herself only grasping at thin air.
She mused on how ironic the circumstances were.
Sam dipped her hand in the cereal box and pulled out a handful of sugary hoops. She tipped her head back and crammed them into her mouth in one, gesturing to Freddie for the milk carton. He held it out to her, and she took it and poured into her mouth. Freddie watched; disgusted. Sam managed to shut her mouth and swirled the cereal about, before swallowing whole. She beamed, satisfied.
"That was nice. And it saved the washing up!" She wiped her mouth and reached for the milk again. Freddie swooped down and grabbed it away from her hands.
"Nope, no more. We're all got to drink from that, thank you!"
Sam muttered something incomprehensible but didn't bother complaining aloud. Freddie poured the milk over his cereal and dug his spoon in. Sam ducked down to the fridge, searching for something that Freddie wouldn't confiscate from her.
"What are you doing here anyway, dork? I don't remember you sleeping over," She questioned, shutting the fridge door with a foot and ripping open some ham.
"I came for breakfast with my girlfriend. I didn't realise you'd be here too," He responded sullenly through a mouthful of hoops.
"Didn't your mother ever teach you not to eat and talk at the same time?" She arched an eyebrow, smiling slightly when he flushed a deep pink. "And I'll be gone as soon as Carly's down. I'm going to meet Shane at the Groovy Smoothie, so you can have you alone time."
Freddie nearly choked on his sugar hoops. "Shane? As in my friend, Shane?"
"Yeah. I bumped into him at school, and we got talking, and he asked me out," Sam explained curtly, "And I said yes. You and Carly spend every waking moment together, so I figured I'd get out your way for a bit."
Whether it was wishful thinking or not, Sam swore she saw Freddie's fists clench. But then Carly interrupted before she could say anymore, and she was out the door to meet Shane.
She couldn't concentrate on Shane though; not when her mind was with her best friend's boyfriend, a few blocks away.
Sam adjusted a hair pin and observed herself in the mirror. Staring back at her was a girl with elaborately curled hair and a sparkly black dress. Upon seeing this, the tomboy grimaced. This was not her ideal way to spend a Friday night.
Her first proper school dance. The milestone in every teenager's life.
Carly sashayed into the room, dressed in a daring red number that Sam was sure Freddie would appreciate. The blonde cleared her throat as her heart thumped a familiar jagged pattern. It'd been nearly six months now, and Sam had gotten used to quashing this feeling.
"I don't think I can do this, Carly," Sam announced, smoothing down her attire and pulling a face. Carly stood back and admired her handiwork, before hugging the apprehensive blonde.
"You'll be fine! You look gorgeous. Shane'll love you," She assured Sam.
"Girls!" Spencer called, signalling that Freddie and Shane had arrived. Carly inhaled deeply, trying to find her inner peace. Sam couldn't help but laugh.
"Carly," She put her hands on the brunette's shoulders, "You'll be fine. You've been planning this dance thing for ages now, it'll all be fine. Freddie adores you already, seeing you like this-" She indicated to Carly's dress, "-will make him even happier to be seen with you."
Carly smiled at her friend's words, and hooked an arm through hers.
Sam gritted her teeth. "Let's get this thing over with."
They descended the staircase together, although Carly had to practically drag Sam along. The blonde focused on the colourful couch instead of looking directly at her boyfriend, or Freddie, or even Spencer, who was snapping pictures with his digital camera.
Spencer flapped his hands in-front of his face, biting back tears. "I promised myself I wouldn't cry."
Freddie was embraced by Carly, who awaited his approval eagerly. Freddie was brought back to reality and broke into a huge grin. "You look beautiful."
Shane clapped an arm around Sam's waist and kissed her cheek. Sam tucked a curly strand behind her ear, averting her gaze from Shane as he told her how wonderful she looked. Spencer, luckily, demanded they all had photos together, so there was a shuffle about as they stood in position. Carly was on the end, one arm around Freddie and the other wrapped around her red clutch. Freddie was stood next to Shane, and Shane had a grasp around Sam.
Spencer frowned; the chemistry in the picture wasn't right. "Shane and Sam, switch places. Then it's boy girl, boy girl."
Sam did this reluctantly. When she bumped arms with Freddie, electricity buzzed through the air, and when Freddie titled his head to look at Sam, she knew he felt it too. The flash of the camera shocked them, and their heads snapped back to the center.
"OK, Freddie and Carly on their own," Spencer instructed. The camera clicked, and he told Sam and Shane to do the same thing. Once this was done, the eldest Shay wished them luck.
"Spencer, it's a school dance, we're not braving the Antarctic," Carly giggled, collecting her things.
"I know, kiddo. But it's still a big thing. You might have to...slow dance," He widened his eyes at the thought.
"Do you know when you'll be able to get them developed?" Shane asked, jerking his chin at the camera.
"I can upload them tonight, and then I'll get them printed for Monday."
"S'great! I wanna put them up on my wall, and my mom said she wanted to see what you looked like tonight," Shane squeezed Sam's shoulder.
"We'd better go, the car's waiting," Freddie said, his tone unusually clipped. Sam's eyes met his fleetingly, but Carly took his hand and tugged him out to the hallway.
Spencer moaned as the computer told him that his pictures were 66 percent uploaded. It was taking so long! He had been channel surfing whilst cooking some noodles for dinner when he remembered the pictures on the camera. He'd decided to upload them, so he could have a good look before the kids came back. The microwave trilled, so he jumped up and grabbed the carton of noodles from the compartment and stuck his fork in.
Finally, the pictures were ready. He clicked the folder open, and was shocked to see his face plastered on the screen. He edged away from the picture, which was pretty scary. He'd been testing out the camera, and a few of the pictures were accidental pictures of him. Now that he looked back, they were actually quite artistic. He'd have to make some sort of sculpture from them someday...
Getting back to the matter on hand, he clicked on the pre-dance pictures. There was one of Freddie and Shane that Spencer had taken before the girls had made their entrance. They looked uncomfortable, which had surprised Spencer. From what Carly had told him, he'd gathered that they were good friends.
There were a few of Carly and Sam coming down the stairs, and Spencer smiled. Carly looked in her element, but Sam looked delightfully awkward as she tried to navigate down the stairs in heels. He remembered the gasp Freddie had exhaled beside him as his younger sister had entered, and he didn't know whether to join in or slap him for looking at Carly in that way.
Next was a group shot. Shane had blinked, and he was still standing next to Freddie, which caused the picture to emanate discomfort. There were a few more like this, until there was one that made Spencer freeze completely.
It was another group shot, but this time, Freddie's head was inclined towards Sam, who was staring into his eyes, her expression unreadable. If he didn't know any better, Spencer would've thought something was going on between them.
It wasn't, was it...? As much as he liked Sam and Freddie, Carly was his little sister, first and foremost. Should he say something?
His finger hovered over the 'delete' button. That single shot could break her fragile adolescent heart, and the trio's friendship would be ruined, iCarly and all.
He clicked the mouse once and the picture disappeared. He told himself it was for his sister, but his mind niggled him with thoughts.
You could delete a picture, but you couldn't delete undeniable chemistry.
Sam sat on the bus, her headphones jammed in her ear as she cranked the volume up on her PearPod. She was on her way to Carly's, and she was feeling extra lazy, so she hopped onto a bus and let the wheels do the travelling. She'd been at the mall, picking up some things for an iCarly skit, when she'd been distracted by a popcorn stand. Naturally, she spent most of her time gorging on popcorn, but she'd managed to do some shopping too.
She clicked her tongue impatiently as she waited for the bus to start. iCarly started in ten minutes, and they hadn't even talked about the running order. Carly and Freddie were probably at home, groaning about her tardiness inbetween heavy make-out sessions.
Sam was startled to see Freddie jump onto the bus, his hands full of bags. As he paid for his ticket, Sam pulled the headphones from her ears and knotted her brows together.
"Freddie?" She called.
"Sam? What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be at Carly's?" Freddie asked, plonking himself down next to her.
"I could ask you the same thing! What were you doing in the mall?" Sam asked, her voice laced with disbelief. Freddie ignored this, and the bus started up.
"I've been picking up stuff from that computer shop in the mall, you know, down by-"
"No, I don't know, Fredward, because I'm not a dork like you," Sam muttered dryly, before indicating to her own bags, "Been buying things for that cowgirl thing on iCarly. Carly's probably gonna kill us when we get home. Well, when I say us, I mean me, because you're her boyfriend."
"Speaking of boyfriends, how's Shane?"
"Meh," Sam curled her lip, "We split up. It didn't really mean anything. I mean, he was going on about 'serious commitment' and 'meeting his family' and stuff, and honestly, I only really started to see him to give you guys some room."
Freddie contemplated this. "Do you feel like we've been pushing you out?"
"Nah. Well, not really," Sam lied, playing with the cuffs of her jumper. She stared out the window, watching the sights of Seattle flash by as the bus journeyed on. She could see Freddie rubbing his hands together; an action he did whenever he was nervous. He was toying with something in his mind, she could tell. But she couldn't tell what it was.
"Sam," He began, as the bus jolted forward.
"Do you think there's..." He faltered, summoning up some more courage. Sam rolled her eyes.
"Just spit it out, you're making me all nervous."
Freddie turned away from her as he replied. "Do you think there's something going on between us?"
Sam scoffed, but inside she was screaming. "What do you mean?"
"You know what I mean."
"No, actually, Freddie, I don't know. I'm not fluent in the language of 'nub'," She said tersely, as the bus halted at their stop. She stood up and clambered over his legs, exiting the bus as quickly as possible.
He watched her, not moving, before mumbling quietly.
"Yeah. I thought so too."
Sam sat by herself on the swings, swaying gently. Her feet scuffed the gravelly ground below, making a noise that reminded Sam that she wasn't alone. Just bored. Freddie and Carly were out celebrating their first year anniversary, and her mom had decided to go to the clinic for her monthly top-up. And Spencer was working on a sculpture all about his face (God knows why), so Sam had decided to come and take a stroll through the park. She'd found herself gravitating towards the playground, and this is where she ended up.
On that swing, Sam was taken back to the innocent days of her childhood. Those were the times where the worries about losing your favourite teddy bear or not getting a spelling right seemed scarier than anything.
But now what scared her most was the fact that she'd fallen in love with one best friend and was worried about losing the other.
What kind of sick love triangle had they got themselves into? And how were they going to get out of it without hearts breaking?
It was too late for Sam. Her heart broke the day she was lounged on Carly's couch, and had spotted their hands weaved together. It had taken her a long time to wade through the muddy waters of her mind to understand why she felt that ache whenever Freddie and Carly shared a secret smile, but when she finally understood, she suddenly wished she didn't know.
It was better to remain oblivious, in her opinion. Anything beats feeling shattered.
She had no right to feel like this; she hated Freddie, and he hated her. Everybody knew it.
The swing creaked as Sam built up height, her legs swerving to gain speed. She was six again, preparing for take-off before catapulting herself into the sky. She'd fly for hours, landing in space just above Earth. The she'd dance among the stars, just as the song said, and wave to the man in the moon.
But then a voice brought her back down to earth, both literally and metaphorically. The chains went slack and she was hurled to the ground as she lost her balance. A scurry of feet darted across the stones.
"Sam? Sam, are you OK?!?" Freddie cried.
"M'fine, no thanks to you, nub" She moaned, rubbing her head, "What are you doing here?"
"I've been looking all over for you!"
"Aren't you supposed to be with Carly?" Sam mounted the swing again, ignoring the thumping headache. Freddie joined her on the other swing and pushed up his jacket sleeves.
He took a deep breath. "I was just with Carly. She's ill with food poisoning, so I took her home. But I really need to talk to you."
"Well, you found me. What's up?"
Freddie looked at her, heaving a sigh filled with mysterious meaning. "I had everything mapped out. I had the ideal plan to make Carly love me, and I've had it since the sixth grade. I was so sure it was going to work, and if it didn't, then I'd make sure that I'd never love anyone else. But then you came along and screwed up my twenty year plan. You're annoying, and gross, and sometimes I question whether you're all there in the head, but for some reason, I found myself....being drawn to you. I enjoy arguing with you, and I like aggravating you, just for the response you give me. And when you were dating Shane, I was so mad at him, but I couldn't figure out why. Because I have this great thing with Carly. And it is great. It's what I've always dreamed of."
Sam momentarily forgot to breathe. She curled her fist around the swing chain tighter, waiting for her mouth to start working.
"Then...why are you telling me all this? You got what you wanted, didn't you?" She croaked.
"But that's just it. I don't know if this is what I want. But I want you to know that I don't hate you, Sam. It's the opposite. But I'm with Carly now. And the thirteen year old me would kill me for not seeing this thing through with her."
Sam felt her jaw harden; she was tired of all this avoidance. She couldn't take much more crap in her life. "You don't have to explain anything to me, Freddie. We're nothing to each other," She proclaimed coolly.
"C'mon Sam," He said quietly, "You know that's not true."
Sam laughed soberly. "No, I think you're the one who's delusional, Fredward. I hate you. I always have, and I always will. Whatever you think we've got together, we haven't." She jumped from the swing and stormed to the exit.
"Sam! Don't be like this," He called. Sam turned on her heel swiftly.
"Me? Can you not hear yourself?!? It'd make things a whole lot easier if you could," Sam cried, shoving the bolt on the gate open. She paused, taking one last look at Freddie. "And it's funny how you keep going on about wanting to be with your girlfriend, when you're actually with me on your first year anniversary."
And then she was gone, stomping down the path.
Freddie stared after her, a sharp wind blowing through the empty playground. He began to follow her, shrugging off his jacket. It was cold and dark, and he was brought up as a gentleman. He finally caught up with Sam.
"I don't care if you hate me, I'm not gonna let you walk home on your own."
"I can take care of myself. It's what I've been doing for my whole life," She strode on, determined not to catch his gaze. "Besides, what are you gonna do to protect me? I might as well have a blind teddy bear by my side."
Freddie chuckled, and slid his jacket over her shoulders. He was pleased to see that she didn't throw it back in his face, although he didn't hear any gratitude back.
It took about fifteen minutes to get to Sam's neighbourhood, and most of that was spent in silence.
"OK. I think I can take it from here. Thanks," She said with great difficulty. She handed back his jacket, shivering as the cold air hit her bare arms. He offered it to her.
Freddie nodded, so she slid her arms in the long jacket sleeves. She couldn't help but feel guilty as she smelt Carly's perfume, which then reminded her.
"You'd better get back to tend to your sick girlfriend," She suggested, tugging on the jacket. Freddie's face flashed with regret briefly, before her rearranged it into a smile.
"Yeah. See you around," He dug his hands in his pockets and wandered off in the opposite direction.
God damn it, thought Sam. Life really wasn't fair.
She knew it. She just knew it. She'd been wondering for a while, but now she was so sure.
They were finishing another successful iCarly web cast when the tension between them finally made sense to her.
Carly realised that Freddie was in love with Sam.
It was obvious; the way his eyes lingered on the blonde for longer than necessary, the way her eyes lit up whenever his smile was directed at her. Carly felt stupid for not noticing it sooner, and suddenly she wanted to shout and scream. Was something actually going on between them? Had they been dating all this time behind her back?
"Woah, Carly. What's with the death glares?" Sam interjected into the brunette's thoughts.
"Nothing. I'm fine," Carly managed a bright smile.
It was always easier to lie than to face up to the truth.
All three of them knew that by now.