This chapter is dedicated to you guys, because the first chapters of this story absolutely sucked ass, and I can never thank you enough for believing in me and continuing to this point.
Title comes from the seriously amazing song Northern Downpour by Panic! At The Disco
The minute they entered the hospital Sam, absolutely, flew to the front desk; leaving Freddie and Carly to chase after her.
"Mike Thompson," Sam demanded when she had reached the desk.
The receptionist raised a skeptical eyebrow "Are you family?"
"Yes, we're his grandchildren." The lie slipped so easily from Sam's tongue that Freddie had to, quickly, fight away the look of surprise that came over his face.
Once again, the nurse peered, disbelievingly, over her glasses at them, but she gave them his room number. Without hesitation Sam took off flying.
In the elevator Freddie reached for Sam's hand, wrapping his overheated fingers around her cold, listless ones and squeezed, hard. It took a second, but then Sam squeezed back, with the force he'd expect from her. In their silent way he was reminding her to be strong and she was informing him that she'd never stopped.
Mike was sharing a room with three other patients: a middle aged man, an old lady, and a teenage girl. The middle aged man and old lady were on either side of Mike and the teenage girl was on the other side of him. There were only curtains separating them. Sam spotted him right away and dropped Freddie's hand, running to Mike's unresponsive side. Freddie walked slowly in, and Carly tiptoed behind him, even slower, as if the homeless man was asleep and she was afraid of waking him.
"Mike?" Sam's little, watery voice broke at the end, moving Freddie forward quickly. Her charade of being strong had already collapsed so quickly. He came to her side and looked down at the frail old man. Instead of his dark, raggedy street clothes he was dressed in a pale hospital gown and covered with a thin white blanket. The red from his cheeks was gone, and his eyes were shut, hiding piercing blue eyes. It looked as if all life had already left him.
"He's okay," Freddie found himself saying, "He's going to wake up." His voice sounded promising and Sam turned to him with wide eyes.
"You don't know that." Her voice cracked again. Freddie noticed that her eyes were not only wide open, but glassy with tears.
Carly came to Sam's other side, "No, he doesn't know that," she admitted, "But he might, and we have to hold onto that hope, alright?" Carly looked her best friend very seriously in the eyes, and then held her tight in her arms.
It was a brief, but strong hug, and when Sam pulled away she looked back at Freddie, all traces of tears were gone. "He is going to wake up ya know."
"I know," Freddie assured her, smiling at her suddenly confident tone.
"And I'll be here when he does," Sam resolved, pulling herself up on the bed. Freddie opened his mouth to protest, but Carly shot him a don't you dare look, so he closed his mouth back up.
Sam settled herself on the foot of the bed, clearly intending to be there for an extended period of time. "Thanks for coming you guys. Especially you Carly, since you don't even know him. You can go now; I'm just going to hang out here so Mike doesn't get lonely. Freddorrito, go home and bring me my stuff from your house, I have some bacon in my backpack. It's Mike's favourite too, so the smell might wake him up."
Having given her orders Sam swung her feet up that had been dangling and pulled off her shoes, then setting her feet to the side of Mike's.
"Sam," Carly started tentatively, "Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yeah Carly, I'm kind of all he's got." Sam sighed, "And I know you can't really understand this, but he's really important to me. I can't even explain why. I think…"
She stopped. Freddie wanted to persuade her to say more, but feared that if she remembered he was in the room she might stop talking altogether.
"I think he… acts… like how a father would…" Sam's voice was slightly ashamed, despite the fact that none of the three kids really knew how a father acted.
"I understand," Freddie offered smiling.
Carly nodded, "Me too. I should go now though. Spencer and everyone are probably wondering where we went." The three exchanged goodbyes and Carly left the room, smiling at each of Mike's roommates as she went.
"You're still here… why?" Sam sounded annoying at his presence, reminding Freddie he still had a fight to win with her.
Freddie shrugged, and stepped forward, "I'll go get your stuff Sam, but then I'm coming back. And I'll wait right here with you until Mike wakes up." He gave her no time to protest, promptly turning around and walking away.
Freddie wasn't entirely sure what had possessed him to vow to stay in a hospital room occupied by four people until a hobo, who might have hated him, woke up, but at that moment he was very glad he did. He sat on a bench, his legs up on it, taking up almost all of the room. And on top of him, with a leg on either side of his waist and her head next to his neck was Sam Puckett, breathing deeply. He couldn't recall her coming to sleep on top of him. All he remembered was waking up with the intention of finding Sam so he could convince to come home for the first time in two days. Instead, he found her invading his personal space in the most perfect ways possible. The change from personal punching bag to personal pillow for Sam Puckett was definitely a beautiful result of the summer.
Now he was trapped. Not that it was a bad position, but he certainly didn't want to wake her up, and it was impossible to fall asleep when she was pressed up against him like this, and his skin felt like it was on fire. He probably could've burned a slow death there and been content, but a nurse came around the corner and informed them that it was nine am, and visiting hours had started again. She, also, slipped a condom next to their intertwined bodies on the bench, much to Freddie's embarrassment. Quickly, he hid the thing in his pocket; heaven forbid Sam find it and make the nurse bleed.
"Sam." He shook her softly, matching the tone of his voice. "Sam." Both rose slightly in force. "Sam, come on, visiting hours are back on, we can go see Mike." At those magical words Sam's eyes sprung open.
"Why didn't you wake me up sooner?" She flicked him on the forehead in punishment, despite having no idea how long visiting hours had been on for.
"Why didn't you sleep on another bench?" Freddie shot back, regretting the words when Sam's frown deepened.
"You're comfy. Whatever… I won't do it again." She hopped off, leaving the usual icy feeling with him.
"I never said I didn't like it," Freddie pointed out softly as the two made their way into the room. Both teens immediately acted as if he hadn't said it, but both in fact had definitely heard.
Sam took her usual position at the foot of Mike's bed, and Freddie took his; in a waiting chair. They spent the day as they had spent the other two; arguing, playing with Freddie's PearPhone, PearPad, and laptop, talking to the girl next to Mike as she drifted in and out of sleep, eating, and occasionally curled up in chairs together, making the most of two chairs by using them like a bed for two.
Then finally, in the middle of an argument, right after the doctor had informed that them that Mike was likely going to take months to wake up, something happened.
"Look Sam, all I'm saying is that you should come back to my place, shower, eat some real food, and maybe pick up some more clothes. We're talking two hours, tops."
"No! What if he wakes up while I'm gone? He'll be completely alone and he'll be terrified! I'm not leaving!"
"You can't be in here every second of the day! What if he wakes up while we're kicked out? Or while you're getting coffee? Or when you're terrorizing the doctor?"
Before Sam could protest one of Mike's feet shifted every so slightly to the right, nudging Sam's thigh. Freddie froze. Sam froze. The girl next to Mike, JC, froze.
"Did he just move?" JC whispered softly, having gotten rather attached to the old man after taking about him at length with Sam.
"Yes. Yes. Yes he did!" Sam sprung forward, moving from the foot of his hospital bed, to the top, grabbing the old man's shoulders.
"Mike! Mike! Can you hear me? Mike you have to wake up!" her voice was desperate, frantic.
Freddie moved closer, but daren't say a word. He didn't feel like he had a right to. Mike was Sam's, not his.
"Mike, come on." Her voice was more forceful now, "You have to wake up, and you have to keep living, because you're the only father I have and I can't live without you, heck, you're the only parent I have, and I know we haven't known each other for that long, but you're really important to me Mike, really important!"
Eyes fluttered open, revealing a shocking blue that Freddie had been praying to see for three days.
"MIKE!" Sam flung herself at the old man completely, wrapping her arms around his neck. Freddie could see him smile softly, and Mike made the move to put one thin arm around her.
"Hey Sammie," his voice croaked.
"Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike," was all Sam said, keeping her arms around him tightly.
"Sam, you do have another parent besides your mother," Mike said softly.
Sam pulled away, "Well yeah, my no good dad, but who knows where he is."
Mike breathed out slowly. In and out, taking in as much oxygen as he could, "I know where he is. He's my son."
His son? But that would make Sam his granddaughter! Freddie threw his glance to Sam, whose eyes were so big they were nearly popping out of her skull.
"He's your son? How long have you known? Did you always know I was his daughter?"
Mike nodded. "So, that's why you were hanging around places I usually was? So you could talk to me?" Sam questioned, her voice a mix of confusion, anger and shock.
"Yes Sam. I hope you're not mad at me. But I just couldn't go another day without seeing my beautiful granddaughter."
Realization dawned on Sam, "I'm your granddaughter. I have a grandpa."
"Yes," Mike smiled at her, "I remember the day you and Melanie were born. I was on the bus with your mom. What a joyful day that was. You two were the most beautiful thing that had ever been on that bus."
"Why did you leave?" Sam's voice sounded suddenly damp, as if it was thick with tears.
"When your dad left, your mom was furious, of course, and she cut off his side of the family. I tried to convince her to let me see you many times, but she never let me."
"Oh." Sam smiled weakly at her grandfather.
Mike took her hand, "But I'm in your life now, and I promise, I'm never leaving." He looked down at the hospital bed, "That is, if you'll let me stay in your life."
Freddie saw Sam nod her head, and the teenage girl, and gruff old man flew into each other's arms, clinging to one another for dear life, and trying not to cry. Freddie heard a sniffle from next to him, and looked over to see that JC wasn't unaffected by this big emotional reunion either.
Freddie, personally, wasn't emotional, just beyond happy, and thrilled that Sam had found this member of her broken family, and that Mike was alive. The two pulled away, hands still clasped around the others' arms.
"You should go get the doctor, tell him I'm going to live," Mike told her, wiping away a tear on his cheek, and the sole one on hers.
"I don't want to leave. Fredditz, go."
Rolling his eyes Freddie followed her orders, taking one more glance at them before he was out the door. He saw an old man, not a pretty one, beaten by the weather and people and life itself. There was a girl too, a very pretty one, beaten by her family, her environment, and life itself. More importantly, he saw how strong they looked; as if now they could handle anything, and the hurts of the past didn't matter so much.
"Hey Freddie?" Freddie looked up from the soup he'd been eating.
"Yes Sam?" he mocked her spacey tone, smiling lightly at her. They had officially been at the hospital for a week, in and out of the place, occasionally at Freddie's house to clean up, and eat food that wasn't gross hospital gunk. The doctor's said Mike could leave soon, after they kept under watch for a few more days. He had passed out from severe dehydration; something Sam felt completely responsible for, just because she hadn't visited him for a few days before he'd passed out. No matter how many times both Mike and Freddie assured her it wasn't her fault she still carried the idea that she could have prevented her grandfather from ending up in the hospital.
"What was going on, at Mackenzie's party? You made Jeff a promise?"
Freddie hung his head nervously.
"And what did you mean?" She got up and towered over him, her voice getting more intense, "You said it started out as fake dating, but wasn't that anymore?"
Freddie stayed silent, eyes locked on his soup, hoping the little noodley letters would magically spell out the perfect words to say. Above him he heard Sam sigh in frustration.
"Freddie? Come on, seriously, you were so ready to say in front of hundreds of people, but now you can't tell me, when it's just us?"
Freddie brought his head up, forcing himself to look in her eyes. That was it wasn't it? It was so much easier to profess his love for Sam when there were others, people to distract him from the reality of being in love with her, and the even harsher reality that she probably didn't love him back.
He stood, slowly, on shaking knees. Turned and faced her. Moved his hands to her waist and pulled her close. She raised an eyebrow, but didn't pull away. Rested her hands on his shoulders and smirked; waiting for him to speak.
"I know that this was supposed to be a fake relationship, and that the cuddling and the kissing and everything wasn't supposed to mean anything, but somewhere; I don't know where, or even how the hell it happened… but I fell for you." He looked her guiltily in the eyes, "I'm sorry. I know our friendship is more important, and that's why I didn't tell you, but then Jeff and I promised each other we'd tell you and Brittany. I know you think I shouldn't have done that, but I don't regret it." His fingers tightened on her hips, "I'm in love with you, and there's not a damn thing either of us can do about it." He stared into her eyes, waiting for the rejection, the explosion, anything.
"I feel like I'm in a Taylor Swift song," she admitted with a chuckle, pretending to fan her face. Freddie laughed along with her, mostly delighted that she hadn't rejected him.
"Here would be the part where the guy would kiss the girl," she added, surprising them both into silence.
Freddie's eyes widened and smirk spread across his face. Sam blushed every so lightly and looked down, so he used a single finger to pull her chin up, moving closer as he did so. They both stopped when they were less than a centimeter away, breathing heavily.
Then, he went for it. With every ounce of courage and fire that ran through his veins Freddie Benson moved forward, meeting Sam's lips, and sending the fire back to her. She quickly pushed back her own fire and the two ended up in a blazing war, in which there was no winner, but both pulled away feeling very victorious.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Freddie squeezed the hand of his girlfriend, nervousness disappearing a second as he was reminded that the beautiful creature next to him was indeed his.
She nodded, "I have to. For Mike." Sam locked her hands tightly with his, and the two began a careful walk up the pathway to Sam's house, stopping when they reached the door.
"Five, four, three, two…" Freddie counted, cut off by Sam pounding on the door.
A woman appeared, looking slightly drunk, in clothes that were too young for her age and makeup that was too thick for her face.
"Sam?" her mother questioned, not sounding mad, just confused.
Sam took a deep breath and stepped away from Freddie, dropping his hand. "I want to come live at home. And I want my grandfather Mike to come with me."
Pam's eye brows went wayyyy up. "Yeah, I know about him. He's been living on the streets and stuff, so I want him to be able to live with us."
Pam opened her mouth to speak, but Sam cut her off. "He's family, I don't care what you say. That means you're going to need to get a job. I'll get one too, but you're the adult so it'd be nice if you actually had a real job that paid not-terribly!"
"I do have a real job!" Sam's mom protested indignantly.
"Mom what you do is not a real job! I want you get one that's less sleazy, and pays better." Freddie felt all the blood drain from his face. He definitely did not want to find out what Sam's mom did for a living. Ever.
"Can we make this work?" Sam finished softly, stepping forward.
Pam nodded, "Yes. It wasn't fair of me to shut Mike out. He loved you and Melanie so much, especially you. Crazy old nut."
"Thanks mom." Sam threw her arms around Pam, and the two shared an awkward hug.
"So, what's with the dork?" Pam asked when she pulled away from Sam.
Sam shrugged. "I'm dating him now."
Pam's eyes roamed his body, much to Freddie's discomfort. "I guess he is kinda hot," she admitted.
"Aww thanks mom." Sam beamed up at her mom, then at Freddie, who smiled weakly in return.
"Well, go get the old hobo! I'll get the guest room fixed up!" Pam shooed the two kids out of her house, this time with a grin on her face.
The two made their way down the path from the house, once again holding hands.
Freddie mulled over what a crazy summer it had been. It'd started off terribly, getting dumped by Mackenzie, but it quickly got better when Sam agreed to be his fake girlfriend. From there it had been one pretty fantastic adventure; horror movies, practice cuddling, spying, double dating, raining Doritos, late trips to the junkyard, facing Sam's mom, a long lost grandfather, parties, plastic tubes that caught fire, smoothies, new friends, old friends, falling in love at the beach, schemes, fights, and so many other things that couldn't be squished into one sentence. The summer had been really good, and he couldn't' wait for the next one.
"This summer was pretty great," he commented, smiling; like a dork he was sure, at his girlfriend.
"It really was the best summer I've ever spent with such a loser," she mused, grinning cheekily at him.
"Got any plans for next summer?" he teased.
He anticipated her answer to be sarcastic, or funny, maybe even flirty. He would have expected anything except what she actually said;
"Yeah, actually…" she turned to look at him, eyes burning with resolve, "I'm gonna go find my dad."
The end lovely readers! Till the sequel :) Before that happens though I will be writing a rather Nevel orientated story with some surprises and Seddie. I'll add another chapter to this story when I post the first chapter of the sequel, hope you'll all be reading!
On tumblr I'm myjumpingsocks, so if I'm not already following you on tumblr tell me your name and I'll make sure to get right on that. I want to be creeping on all of you guys :)
One last review? Did you have a favourite line?