Hey guys. So this is the last chapter. WOW. What can I say? I am so proud of myself for committing to this story despite the fact that people don't warm up well to AU fics. But I"m glad that you guys gave it a chance and gave me 400 amazing reviews. I can't believe it. That is way more than expected.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy this last chapter.
This chapter is dedicated to my good friend Stef aka Kpfan72491. She is the first friend I've made here in FFnet and is such a great person to talk to. We'd spend hours talking about our Seddie predictions haha. Thanks for being such a cool chick. Also big shout out to Geekquality for being my 400th reviewer. You're amazing.
We had exactly two days until the big move to California. My life changed so much in less than a year, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. I didn't want to do anything. I just wanted to soak in some ME time, relax, and live a stress free life at least for a few days before we moved on to a busier lifestyle. Before my parents died, I lived a pretty carefree lifestyle but there were still some worries. I worried about not having any money for food so I stole to keep my stomach full and sure, I was greedy because I love food and I will always love food, especially ham and bacon, but I needed to do it so I wouldn't starve. My dad's paycheck alone wasn't enough to support us. When I finally got a job making smoothies, I was stressed about annoying customers and not being able to smack their faces because some sick twisted person decided that the customer is always right. Meeting Freddie sparked something in me. He made me want to be a better person and live a better life but even with Freddie in my life, the road to a happier lifestyle was pretty bumpy. Being a better person meant not talking back to teachers, paying attention, and actually dong my work. I never realized how stressful homework was. It made me admire Freddie even more who took a lot of AP classes and those classes are tough.
So before moving, I wanted to laze around and do nothing. Unfortunately, Freddie was so stressed that he took out all his anger at me. Truth be told, and I would never admit it to him, but he scared the shit out of me. I told him I"m not good with confrontation but to tell him that he scared me would be weird because at some point, he was afraid of me. I was so used to Freddie being romantic and gentle so when he went off on me, I didn't know how to react. Freddie got mad at me when he caught me trying to steal from Gibby but it was more disappointment than anger. This time, Freddie's eyes were wide open and he looked like he wanted to punch someone. It took all of my strength to not smack him so I walked away and i locked myself up in my room. Another thing I wouldn't admit to Freddie is that I cried after he yelled at me. I was never good with crying in front of people. I was used to doing it alone but once all of that was out of my system, I was angry. All I was doing was laying on the couch, watching TV, writing a song, and just relaxing. He had no right to get angry at me so I got pissed off. I refused to talk to him and when he tried to talk to me, I'd walk away after giving him an icy glare. Part of me wanted him to make an effort and kind of force himself on me. You know, be a man. But Freddie is too much of a gentleman that he just didn't try to force me to talk. He took his time.
Spencer's wedding was like a fairy tale, something you only see in Disney princess movies. The wedding was in a huge church and I felt like my entire school ad their parents were there. I couldn't even count. It was beautiful but I couldn't help being upset and feeling extremely bored. The beautifying process was a lot worse than prom. Everything had to get done at the same time. Vanessa hired women to do my hair, my make up, and my nails at the same time. I managed to run back to Freddie's place for breakfast and then run back to Carly's place to get dressed. When you don't have a TV to show to watch, an iPod to listen to, or bacon to munch on, doing this is completely boring. I didn't have Freddie there to keep me company or to entertain me somehow, not that I depend on him or anything but it was just so damn boring, breakfast included. Mrs. Benson tried so hard to cut the tension but as much I wanted to jump on him and kiss him, I was still pissed off and I wasn't going to give in anytime soon.
During the ceremony, I was very nervous. For some reason, I sort of felt like I was the one getting married to Freddie. Not Vanessa to Spencer. It was an odd feeling because my parents were married for a long time but it didn't seem like such a happy marriage. I was never the type of girl that fantasizes of their dream wedding and marrying their prince charming because I was convinced there was no such thing. Well, no such thing for me at least. If marriage was just going to bring suffering into a relationship like I always believed, then why bother? But Freddie gave me second thoughts. He made me believe that maybe even a girl like me can get the opportunity of loving and being loved.
As the day progressed, I realized that I could ignore Freddie all I want but we had to talk about it sooner or later so he finally decided to talk to me during the party at the huge dining room in Bushwell. He had a hard time explaining himself but my anger towards him quickly went away when he told me that he was a afraid of losing me. Now, I am a lot of thing but I am not stupid. After a life of settling for less than my best, I finally found something that I thought I deserved. Despite my past, Freddie somehow came into my life and I don't think it was a coincidence and I would be damn if I would let such a good thing go.
Then, we did something we have never done before. Maybe it was the fact that we were making up but having sex with Freddie was always vanilla, if I were to give details to others. We never explored and I honestly didn't mind. Despite the lack of variety in our sex life, we were always happy with each other. I never asked for anything more and neither did he. Just having each other and sharing such a wonderful and intimate moment as more than enough for us. If you want to get corny, we always made love. None of that rough stuff you see in overly glamorized teen shows. But this time it was very different. we were so eager to be as one and we want it in such a kinky place, and in a public place to top it all off. But it was perfect.
We ate cake and danced the rest of the night.
The wedding was tiring and I all I wanted to do was nothing. I was in Freddie's room, laying on his bed face up with Freddie laying on his side. His hand was on my stomach as we were kissing softly. I wanted to do this all day because it sure as hell beat the crap out of packing.
"We have to stop," whispered Freddie in between kisses.
"I know," I whined. "But I don't want to."
"Well, we don't have much to pack. It's better to get it over and done with so we can just hang out tomorrow. We can have one last Seattle Groovy Smoothie before leaving and we could say goodbye to a few places before we leave."
I sighed. "How about we just have a movie date tomorrow. I want to say goodbye to these places right before we leave."
"I just do," I shrugged and I got up. "Do you want to help me pack?"
"Yes I do," he said with a smile and we walked over to my room to finish packing my belongings.
Everything was packed up so me and Freddie had an entire day to do whatever we wanted before leaving the next day. He suggested that we visit the cemetery, his father's old fencing studio, my old house, and the park for old time's sake but I didn't want to. I wanted to visit these places right before leaving. I wanted to keep those places fresh in my memory during the long ride to California.
We decided to spend the entire afternoon watching several movies. Freddie wanted to spend the morning with his mom at the hospital. With her working so much and us spending too much time together, Freddie wanted to spend some quality time with her before leaving. As crazy as she may have been, he said that she was still his mom and he loved her. I wish I could say the same about mine.
After watching so many movies and my butt feeling completely numb from all the sitting, we decided to have some dinner at a nearby sushi place that doesn't close until midnight. It's not a formal restaurant and I was glad because I was very comfortable in my sneakers. We walked in and we were seated right away.
"Good evening. My name is Melissa and I'm going to be your waitress tonight," said the waiter. "Here are your menus. Would you like something to drink?"
"I'd like water please," said Freddie.
"Rootbeer for me."
"Okay. One glass of water and one glass of rootbeer. Take some time to look over our menu and I will be back to take your orders," said the waitress and she walked away. I looked at Freddie.
"I've never been here before," I admitted.
"Neither have I but Carly and Shane said they have been on dates here and the food is great. Have you ever had sushi before?"
"Nope" I shook my head. "I like food but raw? I don't think so."
"Well, not all of it is raw. I recommend the California roll or the shrimp tempura roll. They also have fried chicken. It's different from the kind of fried chicken you like but it's delicious."
(A/N: There is this place in LA called WOW Bento & Roll and they have amazing sushi. My favorite is the shrimp tempura roll hehe ^^)
"Oh. I am so getting that. What about you?"
"Hmm... I'll have the same thing as you."
The waitress came back with our drinks and took out a notepad from her pocket.
"Have you decided on your order?"
"Yes," said Freddie. "We are both going to have the shrimp tempura roll and your fried chicken as appetizers, please."
"Okay, so that's two shrimp tempura rolls and two plates of fried chicken. Your order will be here in about 10 to 15 minutes."
"Thank you so much."
When the waitress left, I looked at Freddie with a semi angry look.
"Ten to fifteen minutes? Are you serious?"
"Be patient, Sam. The wait is so worth it once you try this food."
I shrugged my shoulders and I looked around our table. We had a large piece of cloth as a napkin and some chopsticks next to it. It completely slipped my mind that most people eat their sushi with chopsticks. Sometimes, I don't even like using forks, let alone wooden sticks.
"Uh... is chopsticks the only option?" I asked Freddie.
"Oh, you can ask for a fork or these little things that sort of guide you and help you hold the sticks right?"
"Well, I guess I'll give the sticks a shot just as long as I have the... little things to guide me."
"I don't know what they are called, Sam." He gave me a serious look and I laughed a little.
Fifteen minutes later, the waitress came back with our meals. The fried chicken looked very good but the roll was definitely different. It didn't look very appetizing.
"Here, take this," said Freddie and handed me some small container. "It's soy sauce. Pour some on that small plate. It gives the roll flavor."
"Oh... and what are these thing?" I asked as I pointed to this small blob of green stuff and a small pile of this pearly stuff.
"The green stuff is Wasabi and the other is ginger. You can eat them with the roll but I don't recommend it. They don't taste good in my opinion. Too hot."
"Oh... okay," I said, unsure of what it would taste like.
I picked up a piece and I carefully dipped it in the soy sauce. Then, I slowly brought the piece to my lips and I took a small bite. The taste was sure interesting. It wasn't mouthwatering like fried chicken and Fat Cakes but it was good enough to make me want to have some more. I didn't think it was that great but I felt like it was going to taste better and better the more I try good.
"Pretty good," I nodded and ate the rest of it.
"I'm glad you like it. There are a lot of sushi places in California so we'll go out to eat some more often, okay?"
"Good," I smiled at him and I continued to eat my roll. The chicken was amazing. It didn't taste like the stuff you buy at KFC but it was so good that I ordered two more plates of it.
When we were done, we headed straight home. A day at the movies plus a sushi dinner wasn't tiring at all but I found myself completely exhausted. Maybe it was all the packing or maybe I was just dealing with so many emotions that I couldn't tell if I was excited, happy, sad, or angry. We arrived back to the apartment a little before 1am. The apartment was pitch black and we just wanted to go to sleep so we didn't bother to turn on any lights. Freddie guided me to the hall and in front of my door. His hands were on my hips and he shifted me so that I was facing him.
"I had a wonderful time," he whispered. I could feel his breath on my cheek.
"Me too," I whispered back.
"Get some rest. We have a big day ahead of us."
"Goodnight," I said softly and leaned in for kiss.
His hands remained on my hips and mine were caressing his cheeks. It was slow and soft and I felt like it lasted forever but we couldn't stay like that for much longer. I pulled away and gave him a tight hug before turning around to enter my room.
"Goodnight," I heard him whisper and I smiled to myself.
The alarm on my cell phone went off but I was already awake. I was very sleepy but I couldn't get any sleep. My eyes stung really bad and I knew instantly that they were red. I stood up and walked over to my bathroom to brush my teeth and get ready. My eyes were indeed red and when I was done, I took some of my foundation out my tote bag. My eyes were puffy so I tried to conceal them. I didn't do a great job but it wasn't as noticeable. I also put some eye drops on my eyes to soothe them.
I walked out of the bathroom and back into my room. It was so empty. A few cardboard boxes were in the middle with my stuff in them. It was all too surreal. I couldn't believe that it was finally the day. I couldn't sleep because it finally hit me that I was actually going to start a new life, and with my nerd boyfriend of all people. My stomach churned and I felt like I was going to be throwing up all night, but I didn't. As much as I found it hard to believe, I couldn't wait to leave.
I heard a knock on my door and I turned around to see Freddie walking.
"Good morning, cuteness," he greeted me with a smile.
"Hey," I said with a half smile.
"Breakfast is ready. After breakfast, we are going to spend some time with my mom, Carly, Spencer, and Shane and then we'll go. Okay?"
"Okay," I said and I walked out of the room with him.
Normally, I'd eat my breakfast fast. I love food and I'll eat it whenever wherever but I found it very difficult to consume my food. It must have been the nervousness in my stomach that didn't allow me to eat. I was so hungry but my stomach would not cooperate. I took one bite and I just wanted to throw it back up but I knew I would get cranky if I didn't eat so I sucked it in and I ate so I wouldn't go on with my day on an empty stomach.
After breakfast, Carly, Shane, and Spencer came over to say their goodbye's. Carly and I walked over to my room and we sat on my bed. She wanted to girl time before I left.
"I can't believe you are leaving today," she said. "I feel like we haven't known each other long enough."
"I know," I nodded. "I've never really had a girl friend before to be honest."
"Promise me that we are going to talk all the time. Whether it's through email, Facebook, webcam, or the phone."
"I promise," I said and she gave me a tight hug. "So what are you doing this summer?"
"Well, we already have our financial aid sorted and I already have my schedule so we have the summer to just do nothing before we start life in college. We're going to move into our apartment closer to campus a few weeks before the semester starts so we can get settled in. You know, Sam, I have you and Freddie to thank for all of this. I was so scared to actually be with a guy that really likes me, a guy that respects me but you two gave me the push I needed. I have never been happier. With Shane, I feel like everything that happened with Griffin was just a nightmare, like it didn't really happen. He makes me think of all the good stuff in my life."
"I'm happy for you," I said. Carly is just one of those girls you could never really hate or feel jealous of. Aside from Freddie, she also changed me. She made me see that not everyone is a stereotype. Not every girlie and prissy girl in a skirt and heels is conceited and full of themselves. Carly is the farthest thing from that. She cares for everyone around her and she always follows her heart, something I never did before meeting Freddie.
"Good luck in California, Sam. Send me souvenirs, okay?"
She gave me another big tight hug and we walked to the living room.
The living room was an emotional wreck. Freddie was hugging his mom and they were both crying oceans. It was sort of bittersweet watching them two. As crazy as he may have described her, Freddie's mom always cared about him deep in her heart. She said she didn't mean to deprive him of good food so he wouldn't get cholesterol and she didn't mean to not let him out so he wouldn't get hurt. He was her only son and I respect her for that.
Everyone hugged each other and resisted the urge to cry in front of the few people who actually cared about me after being left all alone but I hated crying in front of people. It took so long for me to get comfortable enough with Freddie, let alone with other people. Wen everyone's tears were dry, and we were done saying our goodbyes, we took our stuff and placed them in the back of my truck. I watched them all from the mirror as Freddie drove us away from Bushwell until they were no longer in sight.
We made a few stops before leaving. We stopped by The Fencin' Beson's fencing studio. The sign was gone and there was a giant for lease sign on the door. We stood in front of the studio for a while, not saying anything. This place brought back so many memories, mostly bad but memories nonetheless. I remember the times I came to the studio to watch Doug battle someone. For all I know, I could have been sitting next to Freddie in the audience. It's crazy how life works sometimes. Also, this studio was the place where Freddie and I almost had our first kiss. We were standing in front of the closed studio, leaning into each other, our lips almost touching, and Doug had to interrupt us. Doug almost made my relationship with Freddie nonexistent but luckily that wasn't the case.
We stopped by my old house. We didn't step out of the truck to look around because we saw that a family moved in. The curtains were opened so we could see inside a little bit. I assumed the couple living there were married and moved in with their three boys, two of them being twins. They had a few boxes stacked up so I assumed that they just moved in. As I looked at them, I hoped with all my strength that they don't end up like me, especially those twins. I spent a good amount of time living in that house, completely hating my life and if I learned anything from meeting Freddie is that wanting happiness for others is a great feeling.
After driving by a few other places like The Groovy Smoothie and our high schools, our last stop in Seattle was the cemetery. We stopped in front of my mom's grave first. My heart was pounding at the thought of finally saying goodbye to her. I took out a paper from my pocket and unfolded and I cleared my throat.
"For my creative writing final, my teacher told us that we had to write a letter to someone who changed my life," I said softly to Freddie but my eyes were on the paper. "I wrote a letter to my mom."
"Are you going to read it to her?" he asked and I nodded. I hesitated for a moment before I read it out loud.
"Dear mom, you were a lot of things. You were an alcoholic. You were always drinking before noon. Alcohol turned you into someone I cold no longer respect. It turned you into an ugly person. You were a prostitute. After getting fired, you didn't go out to look for a job. You sold your body to pay the bill and keep the lights in our house on. Sure, I'm not perfect either. I did some things for money as well but never have I sold my body for money. I'm proud of bullying people and forcing them to give me money but you crossed a line. You were a hitter. When dad died, you drank more and more. You got drunk that didn't change anything. Drunk or sober, you always blamed me for dad's death to the point where I almost believed it. After hitting me with your emotional punches, you hit for real. I never had the heart to feel bad for anyone I have ever hurt in the past. Those people were not my children. I may not have had the heart to care for them when I bullied them but I never had the heart to hit you back. I took it up. Every hair pull, every scratch, every punch, every kick to the stomach and every push. You chased me down the street with a baseball bat and you pushed me onto broken beer bottles. I still have the scars on my arms though you can't really see them. But despite being all those awful things, there is one thing about you that will never change. Despite all the drinking and all the abuse, you will always be my mother. I will never forget all the shit you put me through, especially all the stuff I went though these past few months. You killed yourself and I felt like that was rock bottom. Like I said, I will never forget but I do forgive you. You're my mother and no matter what sick and twisted person you turned out to be, I will always love you. Wherever you are now, I hope you're in peace."
My voice cracked a little as I was reading my letter. When I was done, I lowered my arms and my head. I felt Freddie's hands on my shoulder and he embraced me so tight that I almost couldn't breath. He whispered to me, telling me that it's okay to cry so I broke down. He held me as I let it all out. I swore that this would be the last time I would ever shed a tear for my mother.
After I composed myself, Freddie handed me a single red rose. We bought three before arriving at the cemetery. I placed it in front of her tombstone and we made our way towards our dad's. At the same time, we both placed a single rose in front of our dad's tom stones. I held Freddie close to me as we looked at our dad's tombstones one last time. Just like all the other places we visited, this place brought back so many memories. I thought back to the day I first saw Freddie. It was my dad's funeral and I was the only one there. I was by a tree when I saw Freddie making a speech and breaking down on Carly's shoulder. I remember when he saw me and I became nervous so I walked away. This where we met for the first time. He saw the cuts on my arms and he disinfected them and put band aids on them. That was the first time a completely stranger ever did something nice for me, including sharing his snacks.
"Puckett," I heard his whisper. I lifted my head up to see him and I laughed a little. When we met, we didn't trust each other enough to know each other's names so we called each other by our last names. It wasn't until he found me trying to steal money from Gibby when I finally opened up to him and it encouraged him to tell me his name. My life completely changed after that.
"Benson," I whispered back.
"You know how I feel about our dad's right?" he asked and I nodded. "Even though they are gone, I think that they didn't want us to suffer. They didn't want me to get pushed over by bullies and they didn't want you to get hurt by your mom so they brought us together. Now I finally understand what my dad said to me the day he died. He told me that good things come when you least expect it but I didn't believe him because he was taken form me so unexpectedly. But just like that, unexpectedly, they brought us together to cope and having you in my life is the best thing that happened to me. I love you, Sam. You make me so happy."
"I love you too," I responded and he leaned in for a kiss.
As we kiss, I felt a rush of warmth. It wasn't the feeling I normally get in the pit of my stomach when Freddie and I kiss. It was a warm breeze the surrounded us, a warm wind that twirled around us. I felt like it was our dad's, bringing us even closer together, wanting nothing but happiness for the both of us and wishing us good luck. We finally left the cemetery and we hopped into my truck, Freddie on the driver's seat. We were finally leaving Seattle and making our way to California, feeling completely ready to start our new lives together. I smiled to myself knowing that things were gong to go up. Sure, Freddie and I were bound to fight, we were bound to stress over bills and grades but one thing will never change. Our dad's brought us together and no matter how bad things may get, our love will never die.
This is such a bittersweet feeling. It has been two long, amazing years since I started this story. I can't thank my readers enough for the wonderful support. Whether you discovered this story a few chapters ago or you read it from the moment I first published this story or whether you stuck around form the beginning or completely stopped reading this story, I can't thank you guys enough.
Despite being AU, this is my favorite story that I have ever written and I am extremely proud it. I hope you guys stick around with me because I am working on more Seddie stories. One is in the works. It's called Life After You, so please check it out.
If you are on Twitter, follow me at Steffy213 and if you are on Tumblr, follow me at MissSteffy
Thank you all so much for such a wonderful experience.
PS. I will be fixing this story a bit now that it's complete. I know I made a lot of typos that was too lazy to fix. I will be reading every chapter and fixing any typos and errors I may have made with certain characters.