A/N: Now being continued... ;)
"Hey Freddie," Carly started before digging into her yogurt. Classes were over and she decided to head to Freddie's dorm before going to hers to check up on how he was handling himself. "Do I talk all crazy when I'm sleepy?"
Freddie was sitting opposite of her on his couch, looking up insignificant tech information on his PearPod. "Yeah," he smirked. "You kinda do."
"Aw. Sam was laughing at me this morning telling me that I sounded like a deranged elderly lady. I knew I shouldn't have let her sleep in my bed last night."
Freddie looked up. "Why'd she do that?"
She licked at her spoon. "You know, I don't know. She sounded kinda upset, though. She told me she ran into you that night, so maybe that had something to do with it."
Something struck a chord in Freddie and he looked down, which made Carly anxious to continue on. "What did happen between you two last night?"
He titled his head back in dejection and ruffled his hair. "Nothing, nothing happened between us and nothing will. Not as long as she can help it."
She decided before not to tell Freddie of the conversation she had with Sam a while back, but seeing her two friends suffer over stupid misunderstandings annoyed her to no end. For the better, she would butt in. That was the Carly way, after all. "You know what really has her upset, right? She's afraid of the feelings that she's getting for you so she's telling everyone and herself that it's cuz of me."
Freddie lifted his head. "What?"
"Well, partly. She thinks that what you all of a sudden have for her isn't anything different than what you had with me or the other girls you've dated, and just like the other girls…and well, me…she thinks you two'll break up or something and all those feelings you told her about'll be over." She smiled jokingly. "And can you blame her? After all, I was your fiiirst."
"Carly, could you seriously cut that out?"
"What? That's how she thinks. And usually the whole "breaking up" thing wouldn't be a problem but…Sam's not as cunning and stuff as she lets on. I think, Freddie, I think she's starting to have feelings for you. Like real feelings, and she doesn't want them crushed because…because… Well I don't know! I'm not Dr. Phil. Man, is this stuff is making my brain hurt," and she rose from off the couch to throw her empty yogurt cup away.
Freddie leaned forward to rest his elbows against his knees and sulk inside the palm of his hand. I know she does, he wanted to say so badly, I know what she's feeling and I should be happy about it but I'm not. I don't want it this way. I don't want her to feel this way. I want her to want it, too…
"What do I do…" he finally let out. "What do I do to prove to her that I'm serious? Carly…" he lowered his voice as she began to sit back down. "I think I'm in love with her."
Carly lowered her jaw a bit. "Whoa."
"Yeah, very whoa."
"Well, why don't you…tell her just that? That's what girls always love to hear—even a girl like Sam. I think."
But he laughed right in her face. "HA! She slapped me when I told her I liked her. Imagine what she'd do if I told her I loved her—which is way more serious than like on so many levels."
"Well then, do something Sam would notice. That Sam would acknowledge. You haven't given up yet, Freddie, so don't give up now."
It was a day later, and even though only a couple of days have passed, it had felt like years to Sam. She was laying on the living room floor in her dorm, pressed against the coffee table and finishing the last parts of her letter.
Her patience was wearing thin. Not with Freddie, but with herself. She was getting pretty tired of waiting for herself, of waiting for her heart to slow down and to forget about everything. It was so easy to just assume that everything would go back to normal those weeks ago, but now nothing was still the same, and she was sick of it.
She missed Freddie.
She missed his dorky traits, and the way he would ramble on for hours about AV technology that no human could ever understand, and the way he would smile proudly when he succeeded at giving a worthy comeback.
Even that look he gave her that night after he gave her the soda, she missed that.
She was ready to admit to herself that she missed him, and wanted him back by her side. But for some reason she wasn't able to admit it to Freddie. If what he said was true, if all those things he told her that night in the courtyard were real, then how could she face that? After all the time and energy she spent in shoving them away, would accepting the dork's feelings be completely and totally weird?
The door opened and Carly strode back in from her session at the gym and with a brown paper bag in her hand.
"Hey hi!" she greeted.
"Hi hey," Sam greeted back. She lifted her head from her paper to give a glance towards her roomie. "Say, what's the paper bag for?"
"Oh, this is Freddie's. He asked me to take it since his backpack was full with his other textbooks."
She laughed to herself. "He's the definition of a nerdy overachiever, isn't he? Give yourself a break, Benson, why don't ya."
Carly placed the bag down on the kitchen counter. "Actually…" she smiled, "I think this is for you."
Sam dropped her pen. "What now?"
"Freddie wanted to give it to you, but he was busy with class so he asked me to take care of it." She stopped to sniff under her arm. "Ooh," she whiffed, "now that's unattractive. I'm gonna go cleanse myself, later!"
"Later…" Sam barely got out, from being distracted by the paper bag-wrapped gift that was sitting on the counter for her. Slowly she lifted up and made her way to the counter. From Freddie… What would he even have to give me?
Overly curious, she was about to go for the top of the bag when she noticed a small piece of notebook paper stapled to the front of it. Immediately she ripped it off and unfolded the note, reading the words with care:
Carly told me what you said, and to PROVE to you that I AM serious about how I feel, I did this.
P.S.: Don't take this the wrong way. I still don't wanna be just your friend.
Sam took no time tearing open the bag and digging into its contents. And just like her letter…her second grade lunch was there: the juice box, the string cheese, and the turkey sandwich. She even opened the sandwich and found that perfect—three slices of turkey, lettuce, tomato, and mayo spread on one side of the bread. Everything was perfect.
He did all of that just for her.
Oh my god…
"CARLY!" she yelled.
Frantic, Carly swung open the bathroom door just before getting into the shower. "What?"
"Qu-Quick! Where is Freddie right now!"
"Uh…in his Calculus class, but I think he's taking an"—
But the door slammed shut and Sam disappeared right before Carly could finish.
Sam ran all the way through the dorm halls and into the math department. She ran past teachers and administrators, and she ran past friends she wouldn't even try to acknowledge. She ran as fast as her legs would allow until she reached his Calculus class. Without thinking, she turned the knob and barged in.
"Freddie, we need to talk!"
She gasped and clung to her knees until she was able to process what was around her. Everyone in the classroom was dead silent and test booklets laid across everyone's desks. Freddie, sitting in the center of the room, looked up from his booklet and almost dropped his jaw down to the hardwood floor. He couldn't comprehend that Sam Puckett ran just to see him. The proctor of the test cleared his throat and stepped forward.
"Um, excuse me, young lady, but these students are in the middle of an exam. So could you please hold off on what you have to say to Mr. Benson after he's finished with his test?"
Sam couldn't fight the feeling of embarrassment but refused to show it. "Uh…okay…no problemo…" but her feet stood still, and so did Freddie's eyes.
"Um," pressed the proctor. "Outside," and he pointed her towards the door. As instructed, Sam backed out, and after the door shut in her face she kicked at it. Pissed at herself for doing something so stupid, she plopped herself on the bench outside the classroom and hid her face in her palms.
She drowned in her misery until about forty minutes passed, and people started exiting their doors. She tried to drown out the walking footsteps.
"Um, cough cough," a familiar voice uttered.
Sam looked up. "F-Freddie!" and she stood up immediately.
"That's my name…" he smiled. Sam rolled her eyes. Why was he always able to smile in situations like this? It almost made her want to smile. Almost.
"So…" she finally had to bring up her gift, after all it was the only rational explanation she had for bursting into his classroom like that. "How did you know?"
He shifted his jaw pensively. "Remember when I said I didn't read all of your dad's letter? Yeah uh…I kinda lied."
She looked behind her to make sure no one was too close, and afterward grabbed his arm dragging him into a back hallway leading to a janitor's closet. "You did?" she spoke low.
"Don't kill me," he pleaded. "But the part about your dad and your lunch kinda stuck to me,"
Sam looked down in embarrassment.
"…and I know he didn't make that one, but I figured food would be the only way I could get through to you."
Sam avoided his gaze and backed herself to the nearest wall, letting her weight lean against the brick. "Well you have a weird way of getting to a girl."
He leaned next to her. "Yeah, I figured a girl wouldn't really go for it, but a Sam would."
"It was perfect," she slipped out. "Thank you."
"Wow," he stared incredulously. "That wasn't the response I expected. The one I kinda hoped for…but not expected."
"I didn't expect any of this, as a matter of fact."
He rolled his eyes. "Pfft, you act as I did."
She turned to look at him. "Then I'm curious. What do you see this as? Don't worry…I'm ready to listen this time."
He fought the urge to smile as she gazed at him. He sucked in as much air as he could into his lungs, then released. "I guess I see it as, something deeper. We have our friendship which is like, based on this inner layer of hate—"
"Ahh," she grinned wryly, "gotta love that layer."
"Of course you would. But, there's something else under there, I think it's something that's been there for a long time, and I really have NO idea how it started but, I wanted to start to explore that…with you."
She looked up into the poor light, her voice lowering, threatening to let her insecurities spill. "Why do you even care? Like seriously…why do you like me?"
"I don't know. It's not something that's easy to answer exactly. You know you're pretty demonic."
"And you're pretty moronic."
"Clever, see. But evil."
"And that's my charm."
He took her hand, and silently exalted when she didn't let go. "See. We're still Sam and Freddie. I know what you think I want, but I don't want that to change."
"Well, it kinda seems like you do."
"Nope. I just wanna be able to do this," and he slowly traced his thumb around her knuckles, "without having you light me on fire or break my kneecaps."
A sudden shock pierced throughout her hand, but she was able to endure it this time. "Is it bad if I kinda like this?" she asked as she motioned toward her hand.
He smirked. "Bad for me, no. But for you…I don't know. Only you can really figure that out."
She crossed her arms over her chest, not realizing she shook her hand away from his in the process. "Well, don't kill me if I can't figure it out. I screamed at you and cursed at you and pushed you away, but really, I don't know how I feel anymore."
He never left his eyes from her. "Don't tell me what you don't know. Just…tell me what you do know."
She caught his eyes for a long moment before looking back down. She squared her shoulders. "I don't want you to stop talking to me. As a matter of fact, I forbid you. You can't just say all those huge things to me and then drop everything like that. And I want to still be your friend. It'll be too weird to know that our friendship is over. I don't think I could deal with that."
But her heart was still pounding, and still beating with more to say.
"Alright," Freddie stood up. He didn't want to but for once he needed to stop being selfish throughout this. Come to think of it, he didn't think it fit him. Sam's feelings were too important to him now to just ignore. "You win. I'ma just leave, and give you however long you need to think about whatever you need to."
Sam watched as he started to walk away. That was the answer she wanted to hear then, but not what she needed to hear now. If he said that two weeks ago she would have sighed and leaped for joy, but now she couldn't let Freddie leave her again. That hard feeling came back in her chest, and she didn't want to ignore it anymore.
"Wait," she rushed forward and tugged at his sleeve. "I don't think I can deal with you leaving, either."
"Because…" she swallowed. "Cuz I think you're the only one who knows what's going on here…with me." She lowered her hand down back to his, making Freddie stare at her with confused and fiery eyes. "I do wanna be friends, but I think I…I think I…"
But that was all Freddie needed to hear, and all Freddie had the patience for. Before she could finish her words he wrapped a tight arm around her waist and kissed her. Once again he forced his lips to meet hers, and for the first time Sam didn't try to fight back. Without thinking—or with finally thinking—she rapped her arms around is neck and leaned forward, pressing her lips hard to his. The heavy breath Freddie pushed out tickled her cheek, and almost instinctively she clutched a hand to the back of his neck, pulling him deeper into her. Freddie pushed her back to their very wall and cuffed a palm tightly to her cheek, wanting to capture her and to never forget again the sweet taste of her mouth. In the world of Sam and Freddie it lasted forever, but in reality it only ran the span of twenty-seven minutes, and afterward their lips separated, but their bodies still clung securely to each other.
"You didn't pull away…" Freddie gasped, trying to salvage his oxygen. "Or bite me…"
She breathed heavily, too, and entangled her fingers into his russet hair. "I know…" and she started to smile. And she didn't give a damn about it, either.
Freddie smiled excitedly and wasted no time. Without warning he kissed her again, and for the second time Sam didn't care.
Dusk soon broke the sky into a million shades of deep reds and oranges and purples. Sam was in her room, and Freddie was in his, but both minds mutually lingered towards the other. Their kiss those hours ago had to be cut short, for both could hear Carly's footsteps down the hall, and she worriedly calling out to her friends. They had no explanation of why they were together, and no way to answer Carly's piercing questions, but when Carly finally got her alone the only response she could get out of Sam was "you were right."
So when Sam left the dorm with her lunch Carly didn't ask where she was going. She didn't need to.
And Freddie wasn't surprised when he found Sam leaning against his doorway holding her gift in her hands, either.
"Come on, Fredly," she had smiled. "You didn't expect me to just take a picture of this and hang it on my dresser, did you? Mama needs to eat, so let's go!"
"Ugh, you always need to eat," he groaned as she pulled him out into the twilight.
"Yeah, but right now it's important. We're celebrating."
Freddie tilted his head toward her and raised his brow. "Oh really? And what are we celebrating?"
"Me not wanting to break your neck anymore," she grinned proudly.
But Freddie couldn't help but to adore that smile and all of its mischief. "I see."
"Yup," and she reached inside the bag to pull out the plastic-wrapped sandwich. Tucking the brown paper bag under her arm, she carefully tore the clear wrapping away and took the sandwich between all fingers.
"A diagonal cut," she nodded in approval. "Good work."
She took one half and handed it over to Freddie. "Here."
He looked back between her and the bread in her hands. "You sure?"
"Yeah yeah, I'm positive," and she motioned him to eat. She started to speak again once he had taken a bite. "It's the least I can do…I figure."
He smiled at the sandwich. "No Sam, this is the least you can do," and he loosened his hand from underneath him, motioning for her to take it. She stared at it for a long while, but after watching the way his fingers flexed in anticipation, she chuckled to herself and slipped her fingers through. They walked on like that: eating sandwiches, and holding hands.
Eventually they made their way to the courtyard, and almost all of their lunch was gone. With only the string cheese left, Sam pulled it down the middle and handed it to Freddie. He gladly accepted and began pulling apart parts to eat.
"Wait a minute," Sam interrupted. "I think I gave you a bigger piece."
"Oh. Well thanks for that."
"Thank you my butt! Gimme it back. I'll fix it."
"Oh, you mean fix it so I only get a tiny bit."
"Give it back!" and she began grabbing at his half. Freddie tried to push her back.
"Hey, get your hands off my cheese!"
"I'll put my hands all over your cheese, Freddork, now gimme!"
He held it above his head, secretly loving his height advantage and how it came in handy. But this didn't sway Sam and she stepped on his foot, causing him to curl over and grant access to his string cheese.
"And momma wins once again," she gloated.
Freddie limped the pain off. "Yeah yeah, whatever."
On any other circumstance Sam would eat both pieces effortlessly in front of him, but the look on his face held onto her and she couldn't force herself to ignore it, so she ripped off a piece and shoved it into his mouth. She let her hand go as soon as her finger touched in between his lips. He gave her a surprised look but she just shrugged it off. She stuck one of the bigger pieces of cheese into her mouth and glanced at him quickly while the piece hung onto her teeth. He was still looking at her, and it was sending her on the edge of embarrassment and slight attraction.
"Stooop," she said with a muffled voice for the stick of cheese was still in her mouth. "What are you looking at?"
He smiled and turned his head. "Nothing, just some blonde headed demon standing next to me."
She only responded with a nudge to his side and continued eating her cheese silently.
She smiled inside. It was as she wanted now. Their friendship was back. But there was also something else now, something that would always be lasting in the air between them. The growing emotions she had inside were still all too new and confusing, but the feelings he had for her were all too adamant, and something Sam couldn't ignore. But it wasn't as bad as she would have pictured. They were walking along the sidewalk at sunset eating cheese, the most cliché of all scenes set for any two lovers, but with Freddie it made it all new and all exciting. Scary, yes, but exciting none the less.
She had to laugh at a thought.
"What?" Freddie questioned her odd behavior.
"So…you like me." Saying it out loud felt somewhat of a rush to her.
He gave her a confused look, having absolutely no clue where she was going with this. But after a second he couldn't fight a smile, either. What was he supposed to say? "No?" "I guess?" Of course not; he knew the answer as much as she did. He knew exactly how he felt about her.
"I guess you could say that," he quipped.
She didn't miss the curve of his lips when he said that, and she fought a blush. Yep, just as she expected, how he felt would never change anymore.
She looked up and noticed the campus water fountain coming closer. Finishing her cheese, she quickly dashed over leaving Freddie behind. She sat on the cool marble and stretched her limbs, listening to the quiet pitter patter of the water droplets behind her. Freddie made his way over too, of course, and stood directly across from her, touching the tips of her feet with his. He shifted his weight back and forth on his heels, staring at the sky as if he was trying to capture the passing day, but instead his mind was eclipsed with thoughts of Sam.
He knew it. He knew he wasn't wrong when he felt that he wasn't in this alone. He knew he didn't go through months of agony over nothing. He remembered when he told himself about a month ago that there would never be anything between him and Sam. He wasn't hers, she wasn't his, and it would never be anything different.
But if he had only listened to her, really listen to her, he would have found out that he was wrong. They were each other's—in a weird and twisted sort of way, but they were. They were each other's punching bags, each other's diary, and each other's friend. Sam was right; there was no way that he could ever stop being her friend, because their friendship made so much of who they were. But the strange part that was different than any other girl he'd dated was that he wanted all of it. The friendship, the love, the abuse, and the passion. They couldn't just "date" and carry on like a normal couple, because nothing about their relationship was "normal." Sam saw that. Sam…was pretty amazing, he decided.
"So…" Freddie started, inching closer to her until his arms rested against the marble, hovering over her sides. "You like me, don't you?"
Sam lifted her head and watched him as he moved closer. She smirked. "Hm… I guess you could say that." Smiling, he tilted his head toward hers, and leaned closer until his body was completely vulnerable. The evil resurrected inside of Sam and she leaned backward once his eyes were closed and pushed him straight forward into the fountain.
"Wha—wha!" Freddie spattered once he got over the shock of what just happened. He ran a wet palm over his face. "What was that for!"
She leaned against the seat. "Don't ever leave your guard down with this chick."
But in the midst of her laughs she didn't catch his wicked grin and he latched onto her arm, pulling her into the fountain with him. She stared with shocked eyes at him as he just knelt there, laughing his ass off. Her golden locks were sodden and clinging all over, reminding him of her in her drunken state that night. Except this time, she was as sober as she could be, and she sprung forward as a lioness would to her prey. Freddie turned over and tried to crawl his way out of the fountain, but Sam jumped onto his back and locked him in a choke hold.
"Okay!" Freddie choked. "Okay, Sam, okay! Stop!"
Sam frowned and loosened her grip. "What? Did I hurt you?"
"Ha, no," Freddie grinned and stood up, catching Sam off guard and almost having her fall behind him. He moved his hands back and latched onto her waist and legs, and resorted to spinning her backwards.
"What the hell?" Sam yelled. "When did you get so strong?"
"Oh, you know that kinda happens after the voice gets lower and I start growing facial hair."
"Oh please, I've seen naked mole rats with more hair than you."
"You're clearly not in the position to attack me, Sam," Freddie said matter-of-factly and shook his arms, pretending to drop her.
"Hey!" He laughed more. She was getting tired of having the blood rush to her head so she decided to end it by tugging at the hem of his shirt and biting down on his skin.
"AH!" Freddie jerked up and let his arms fall, leaving Sam to fall gently back into the water. She laughed at his pain and swung back around him, grabbing onto his arm.
"You BIT me on my SIDE. Where my kidney is!"
"Yeah," she let out a hearty sigh, "I did do that, didn't I?"
"I swear, you're so evil."
Her laughter died as she got a clear view of his face. His damp hair clung against his forehead and his wide eyes shined a light hazel all over. She held onto his arm and looked at him, unmoved by his perplexed stare back.
In that moment she was able to admit it: he was really cute. And she was tired of fighting herself so hard to find answers to the questions she didn't know.
So for once, she decided to tell the truth, the truth she just realized while looking into his eyes.
"Yeah," she smiled carelessly. "I do like you."
Freddie caught his breath and the anger immediately flushed out of him. "S-Sam…"
And with officially losing her sanity, she pulled him in by the neck and pressed her lips not-so-carefully with his.
A/N: -applauds- Yes, it is over. The one shot that turned into a three shot that concluded as a five shot. -Channels Dan- But it makes you think...Freddie has more than once admitted to himself that he is in love with Sam. But what about Sam? She's hinted to herself that it could be love, but how would she react when he confirms it straight to her face? Do you really think I can just leave it at "I like you" and move on? Hmm... And her letter, her father, it's disappointing how I just let that all up in the air, huh?
Oh well, I hope you enjoyed this story, because I loved writing it, and I loved continuing on in this journey with you guys, cuz if you remember, I was thiiiiis close to leaving it as a one-shot. I was nervous about how I would develop it, and if I would automatically kill what I tried to create. But, I think I did pretty good. I hope you guys feel the same. iNeed You More, my first story that's still trucking on, is definitely more of a "slow burn", but I hope you guys can continue on that journey with me as well. It's your opinions that make what I do great, after all.
So now that my spiel is over, please sit back, soak all those 9,000 words in, and review if you can. Thanks SO much for all the wonderful support I've gotten! Really, it makes my heart all warm with warmness when I read them!