Mistakes and Regret

Sam wasn't at their usual table, which in Freddie's current mood meant he had good reason to just walk away now and call their whole deal null and void. After a day of stewing he decided that he didn't care if Sam had wanted to kiss him or not. She was assaulting and abrasive and he definitely didn't want to kiss her. And even if he did want to kiss her, he didn't want to date her. He couldn't date her for a matter of fact, it'd be impossible. If they went to the movies she'd probably throw popcorn at the other moviegoers, and his mother would probably have a heart attack or admit him to a mental institution.

Nope, it wouldn't work and he didn't want it to. That said, he was still her friend- barley, at the moment- and he guessed as so he was obligated to try to keep her from flunking out. That didn't mean he was going to wait forever though. With a sigh he scanned the library, hoping he had just missed her at first glance. No such luck, she wasn't there. He groaned, slumping down at the table and laying his forehead on the desk. He had better things to do then this. He could be completing his extra credit project for environmental science or hanging out with Carly or even getting his mother's monthly tick back out of the way.

He couldn't wait until they were done with the whole arrangement. Sam's math scores had already approved and he was almost sure her issue with interpretation came from her stubbornness to look deeper into the literary pieces he was giving her rather than an actual inability to see symbolism in things. That meant all they had to cover were electives and then he could get back to his usual schedule of studying and plotting out his future.

It was more excited then it sounded.

"'Sup nub." Sam slammed herself into the table, elbows propping up on the top as she caught her head in her hand and stared at him expectantly.

"You're twenty minutes late!" He told her, sitting up and shuffling his papers around in an attempt to look busy.

"I had stuff to take care of," she shrugged away his anger. "So what's the schedule today, teach?"

"Health," he decided not to probe at what 'stuff' meant. The less time they spent arguing the more time he'd get to spend away from the blonde. "I don't see how anyone could be failing it but…"

"I already flunked it once back in freshman year," she picked at her nails, "Mama's a Puckett, we don't get diseases."

He gave her a flat look. "Didn't your cousin have to cut off his foot because of some fungus?" He remembered her hunting him down in the hallways last year to show him the pictures. He had spent the rest of the day in the nurse's office.

"He was a Puckett by marriage, it doesn't count."

"You know Health isn't all about disease. It's about obtaining a general knowledge of the human body and common sicknesses."

"I don't get sick and how stupid would I have to be not to know my own body." She pointed at her face. "Ears, mouth, nose, eyes…I can go on."

"You do too. Remember when you ate those chocolates? Or when you got the flu and couldn't get out of bed?" There were like a million other times too. It was only to be expected from a girl who would eat food out of a public trashcan if she deemed it fresh enough.

"I was poisoned and that was all your fault anyhow!"

Freddie leaned forward, work momentary forgotten. "How was that my fault?"

"How was it not?"

"That's not an answer!"

"Will neither was that!"

"Ugh!" Freddie shoved the practice test forward, catching the slight curve of her lip as she watched him simmer in frustration. "Just do the practice test, and no talking." To his surprise she withheld another snippy comment and instead simply reached across the table to steal his pen before turning her gaze down to her paper.

He was caught off guard by the compliance and cleared his throat before shifting in his seat. If he didn't know her better he would say she was trying to make up for the other day. She couldn't be though. Sam Puckett did not apologize, and if the day came when her body was stolen and she did apologize, he was sure it'd come in the form of a cold and detached sorry rather than a pleasant disposition. Still, she was acting strange. She had actually shown up for class the last few days, for one, and she had been oddly quiet. At first he had chalked her silence up to stubbornness to actually apologize to him but now he was thinking she might have actually developed the ability to reflect on her actions. He wasn't sure if he should be happy by this development or holding his hands over his head as preparation for the apparent apocalypse.

Sam was playing with his pen. Clicking it in and out and twirling it in her hands as her eyebrows scrunched up every so often. He might have been going too hard on her. As one of the few people who knew her best he knew that she had feelings, as much as she liked to pretend that she didn't. He also knew that her biggest problem in life was dealing with those feelings- general feelings, mind you, not even ones relating to him. He couldn't expect her to just break down and explain herself to him when more than likely she probably didn't even know what there was to explain.

"Benson?" Sam flicked her eyes up to him.

"Yeah?"

"If you don't stop staring at me I'm going to stab you with this pen."

Then again, he might have been looking too deep into it.

/

"I cannot believe you ate all the batter!"

"You let it out unattended," Sam dipped her fingers in to what was left of the brownie batter, lifting a chocolate covered finger to her mouth with a smile. "This is some good stuff though, mama approves. Nice work Benson."

"No, not nice work! This is the third time this week that you've ruined my home ec lesson. How do you expect to learn if you keep eating the material?"

"I dunno," she shrugged, "It's a stupid class. Why do I need to learn how to cook if I can just eat at Carls? I think its sexism…wifeskills or some chiz like that."

"How can it be sexism if there are guys in the class? And you're not always going to be able to eat at Carly's."

"Why wouldn't I?" She asked, hopping onto the counter and handing him a spoon.

"Because eventually we're going to graduate and go to college."

"Then I'll get carry-out."

"You can't always get carry-out," he took the spoon, looking down at the bowl warily. He wasn't sure how sanitary it was to eat anything that Sam had put her fingers in but on the other hand he had, had her tongue in his mouth which he was sure was worse.

"Why not?" She grinned victoriously as he skimmed a bit of batter from the bowl.

"Because it's unhealthy and would be ridiculous expensive."

"You're trying to make a point here, right?"

"You wouldn't be able to afford it and/or would die do to chronic health diseases."

"I don't think so, I'm gonna marry rich when I'm older."

"I thought you said you were never going to marry."

"Details, Benson, details."

Freddie looked around the classroom- the classroom he was sure Principal Franklin was not going to give him the keys to for a fourth time. With Carly's kitchen still under construction and his mother steadfast intent to ignore Sam's existence for the rest of her life the classroom was the only place to host their home ec lessons. Unfortunately Sam's malevolent ways were at their best in Ridgeway and she always found a way to consume their lesson before it started. In truth, he wasn't all that bothered by it but he knew he had to buckle down if Sam planned on graduating.

"Since you ate the lesson again I think we should go over the usual kitchen utensils. Seventy five percent of the home ec final is written and so if you do okay on that and okay on the cooking test you'll have a chance of passing."

"I already got the written test figured out. I'm going to write the answers on my arm- Daniels is blind as a bat so if she says anything I'll just tell her my pen exploded on me or something."

"Of course, you would take the easy way out." Sam set the bowl down beside her and waved her hand in front of her dismissively.

"People say that like it's a bad thing. 'Of course you wouldn't put yourself through unnecessary effort.' Sometime in your life someone told you, you would have to work hard to get where you wanted to be so you think that's how it has to happen. No one ever told me that, so I know it doesn't have to be that way."

"Says the girl that makes everything difficult."

"For other people."

Freddie pointed his spoon at her. "So you have no problem with anything you do as long as it doesn't affect you."

Sam stared at him, eyes narrowing like she was trying to see what he was really getting at before she let out a heavy sigh. "I'm not heartless. Like, with Gibby I don't care because let's face it he's not even really a person-"

"You know this is why his therapist requested you guys don't share any classes anymore."

"-but with Carls and others I don't try to make them miserable." Sam looked down at her shoes, a scuffed pair of chucks that were riddled with Sam-doodles. "Things just happen."

Freddie had a feeling that the 'things' she might have been referencing was the thing. The oh-god-this-blonde-demon-is-kind-of-not-horrible mind fuck that had been twisting his stomach and ripping apart his brain since it happened but he couldn't be sure so he chose his next words carefully. "Do you regret these things?" Sure, he had numerous examples that showed she was capable of remorse but sometimes he just wasn't sure.

"I don't know. Regret is, like, when you wish something wouldn't happen, yeah? And sometimes I don't want things to not happen I just want them to happen differently."

"Then why don't you make them different?" It seemed simple to him.

"I don't know! Geez, Fredifeeler, do I look like you? I don't sit there and think about what I do beforehand, and I don't like drown in my emotions afterwards. How can I live in the moment if I'm dreading the past? That's what you do and look how you turned out."

"But you don't like an outcome of certain things, right? So why wouldn't you do that for those things?"

"Because that would make things worse and it would just be a long line or mistakes and regret."

"Mistake and regret," he repeated, letting the words sink in. That's what they were, weren't they?

"This conversation is stupid, are we learning about utensils are what?" Sam eyes were on the ceiling and he knew she was just trying to block him out. One of her many ways.

"Yeah, fine, whatever." Freddie inhaled and pushed his thoughts away. "This is a strainer, you use it to…"

/

"I'm hurt and disappointed and upset and…" Carly paused, finally turning around to face Freddie. "Totally excited! I knew Sam liked you and I knew you liked her back! Are you dating now? Sam has been actively avoiding me but I expected that because you know how she is about feelings and more so about you, she'll come along in her own time, but you! Why didn't you tell me? I've just been waiting for you to come to me like Spencer said- and, in hindsight, taking advice from Spencer probably wasn't a good idea- but I cannot wait another moment. You have to tell me everything."

Freddie stared at the brunette, for a moment almost drawn in by her excitement before groaning and throwing himself on the Shay's couch without a care. He was already emotionally tapped out, he really didn't need this.

"Urghhh? What does that mean? What happened?" Carly poked him in his shoulder before taking a seat on the edge of the coffee table and crossing her arms over her chest. "Freddie you owe me an explanation. You guys did this behind my back, again, after swearing you wouldn't." He knew she was going to use that against him.

"It wasn't like that, it was nothing." Or something that had settled in to nothing. He wasn't really sure if that mattered. When Carly continued to stare at him he elaborated, "Sam kissed me to make her boyfriend of the week jealous. She doesn't have those kinds of feelings for me." And Freddie had decided that he didn't (couldn't, wouldn't-whatever) have feelings for her either.

"Are you blind? Of course she does. Why do you think she always flaunts her boyfriends in front of you? Or how you're tutoring her? She doesn't even need it!"

"No, she does, she showed me her test scores. She probably didn't come to you because in her mind I'm like Gibby, I don't really exist."

"Sam really does treat Gibby horribly, I hope those pills he's on now are helping," Carly paused, as if realizing that wasn't the point. "But I'm seriously; Sam really doesn't need your help. Just a few weeks ago she was bouncing around because she found out she was a sure shot to graduate. Principal Franklin said on the very slim chance she didn't pass finals she could re-take them and if that didn't work out there were various options she could take. But, I mean, she took the pre-test for her finals the other day and aced them all. I'm not saying she didn't cheat, but she passed."

"Wait, so you're saying Sam really doesn't need my help?" He sat up, still not fully grasping the situation. "But what about the test scores she gave me?"

Carly shrugged. "I don't know, but you know Sam only does a part of those test before filling in random bubbles. The places she scored low in were probably just because she wasn't trying." Carly smiled softly. "She's not like other girls; she can't just come right out and say that she likes you."

"But she said it was a mistake that she would regret."

"We're talking about a girl that ate a whole bucket of chicken out of the dumpster once, she lives for regrets!" Carly stood, suddenly energized. "And it's not like you're going to be one anyhow. Now, we need a plan…"

/

Oh. Woopsy daisy. Looks like I forgot to update this for a year. No hard feelings though, kay? Also, this post comes brought to you by the lovely members of the Cabal who are taking part in a group posting this weekend. Seriously, this might have been furthered delayed if I hadn't had a deadline nipping at my heels. Credit also goes to The Earl of Sandwich whose sheer awesomeness helped move this along. Next chapter should hopefully come along soon.

~The CABAL~

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