Hello! This idea actually came to me in an exam, and I decided to run with it. Yeah, I don't have very high hopes for that particular exam! But I decided to write this in the aftermath of iSaved Your Life, which I enjoyed. Well, I enjoyed the paintball fight and the whole Gibby aspect. I love Gibby! :) But I think that's all that really happened in that episode, isn't it...?
I'm joking. It was actually pretty sweet!
Anyway. Please review!
Disclaimer: I don't own iCarly.
You know there's always more than one way to say exactly what you mean to say.
-Fastball, 'Out Of My Head'
When had telling someone you loved them become such a hard thing to do?
Freddie knows that maybe figuring out the answer to this problem isn't best done in his math class. The teacher drones on about algebraic equations, but Freddie can't quite concentrate on the clutter of numbers and letters scrawled on the board. His eyes absently land on Carly, who is sitting quietly beside him, giving the equations her undivided attention. He smiles at the same time her mouth quirks into a grin; celebrating a correct answer.
But his worries can't be resolved by subtracting the number and multiplying the unknown. Heck, he wished it was that simple.
Because Sam Puckett was not simple.
He groans at the thought of her name; an automatic reaction to it despite the fact they've been dating for nearly six months now. Carly shoots him a slightly quizzical look, but he pretends to ignore it. Voicing his concerns to Carly would only end up in Sam knowing too, and he really doesn't want that.
But maybe Carly would know the best way to approach the subject. She was a girl after all. She would understand Sam's point of view, and give Freddie some advice.
And then run to Sam straight afterwards to tell her.
His thoughts argue with each other until the bell rings. There is a loud shuffle of bags being filled and students piling out of the door, but Freddie sluggishly stays behind, his mind too pre-occupied to care about being late for his next class. Carly pops her head back around the door.
"You coming?" She asks, tilting her head to the side in that adorable manner of hers. Freddie throws his bag around his form and they stroll to the hallways. Carly babbles about the math homework, and Freddie only pretends to listen. His eyes catch sight of a particular blonde who is striding in their direction, a huge smirk upon her features. Freddie can't help but match her expression.
"S'up, losers?" She greets them, in her typical Sam tone of voice. Carly stops at her locker and turns her back to them, evidently trying to give them space. Carly had always been pretty calm about their relationship, despite her initial worries. But these were easy to understand. Her best friends who claimed they'd hated each other for years, had suddenly decide to date?
She still didn't quite get it, and if they were honest, neither did Sam and Freddie.
Freddie doesn't speak as he stares at her, his mouth too dry as he tries to say what he so desperately wants to say. He still finds himself wondering how the hell he ended up with Sam as his girlfriend. If someone had told him a year ago that he'd be dating the bolshie blonde who he was convinced he hated, he would've laughed in their face.
Turns out he didn't actually hate her so much.
And this was his problem. Because telling someone you hated them was much easier than telling someone you loved them. Especially if this said 'them' had the tendency to be unpredictable and impulsive when it came to emotions. Freddie still had a bruise from the first time he'd called her 'beautiful'.
Sam watches him try to grapple with the English language, amused by the motions of his mouth.
"You OK, Freddo? You look like a goldfish," She remarks. His mouth snaps shut and he keeps it firmly still, knowing that maybe now wasn't the right place. In-between classes, Carly standing behind them (despite her gracious attempt to give them some room) and the irritating sound of Gibby whistling to the tune of a Lady Gaga song all equaled 'unromantic' in Freddie's eyes.
Maybe now's not the right time, He thought, as Ms Briggs quickly ushered them all to their classes. But soon.
Freddie picks his next setting delicately. He knows he needs to butter Sam up before telling her, if he still wants to have his arms at the end of the night. He had no idea why she felt so strongly when it came to showing any emotion other than 'anger', but he blames himself. He knew what he was getting when he signed up for dating Sam.
He takes her to dinner in the expensive restaurant across the street from the Groovy Smoothie; the one she'd been drooling at for months everytime they walked past. Freddie had finally taken the hint, and he'd made reservations at the place on a Friday evening.
Sitting opposite the table from her, he can't help but notice how beautiful she looks tonight. He is surprised that she actually owns a dress, but he certainly doesn't mind this revelation. She looks lovely in blue. A stray curl tumbles from her hair-do, which he resists brushing behind her ear in an effort to remain free from bodily harm. As she studies the menu, a drop of saliva forms at the side of her mouth. He manages to be disgusted and humored and enchanted all at the same time. It was a weird feeling, but he doesn't mind.
"Any reason you've brought me here tonight?" Sam enquires, pulling a breadstick from the basket in the middle of the table and gnawing on the end.
Freddie feels his face heat up. Here goes. "Uh, actually, there is, Sam. Listen, you know we've been-"
"Welcome to La Ma Ma," The waiter interrupts, his hand poised over his pad, "Are you ready with your order?"
Sam's face lights up immediately at the promise of food, and cracks the menu open, pointing at an alarming number of dishes. Freddie can feel his wallet wailing with protests, but he decides that Sam is worth whatever cost.
He orders a steak, although his stomach is churning with anticipation to have room for hunger. When the waiter has gone, Freddie's heartbeat quickens when Sam turns to him. Her eyebrows fly up in expectation.
"What were you saying again?"
"Uh, yeah. OK. I really don't know how to say this, but-"
"Complimentary soup?" Another waiter interjects, slamming two bowls in-front of the couple and telling them to 'enjoy'. Sam laps this up immediately, but Freddie is way too anxious to eat. He takes to swirling the spoon in the hot liquid, his mind going over his scripted words. Sam notices this.
"You not eating?"
"Nah. I'm not..hungry," He responds, dropping the spoon and sighing heavily.
"Well, hand it over to Mamma, there's no need to waste food!" She exclaims, pushing her bowl aside and grabbing his eagerly. Her enthusiasm makes him laugh, and it seems to make things easier. Yes, he was about to tell her something very important, but in the end, it wouldn't even matter. He was sure she knew it already; but saying it aloud made it seem so much more official.
He opens his mouth again, but before he even gets a single sound out, the waiter returns with their starters.
He closes his eyes. Yes. It was going to be a long night.
The next time her tries to tell her, Sam doesn't want to know.
They're arguing about something pointless, but both are so stubborn that neither will step down. Carly is positioned between them, hopelessly trying to calm them down by reminding them they're still recording the show, but it doesn't work. The brunette navigates her way around the bickering pair and says goodbye to the iCarly viewers, apologising for the unplanned bout of domestics. She marches to Freddie's computer and figures out how to turn the camera off, before collapsing against the wall.
"...You can call me what you like, Puckett-"
"You don't need to tell me that, Benson!"
"Sam! Will you listen-"
The argument goes on like this for another minute, before Carly has enough. She screams; causing both Sam and Freddie to shut up.
"Guys! You just ruined iCarly!" She chided them angrily, "Now I get that you're dating, and you're gonna be arguing and things, but please, not in front of the webshow viewers! What were you two even arguing about?" Carly takes another look at the computer idly, her eyes suddenly widening.
"Well," Freddie begins, breathless after their argument, "I was about to tell Sam that I l-"
"Oh my god!" Carly squeals, "We're still on iCarly!" She tugs Freddie over to the screen, who, with a few quick taps on the keyboard, shuts down the whole program and the camera light switches off. Sam's eyes spin to the ceiling at their incompetence, and her stomach growls.
"Right, well I'm off to get me some fried chicken," She announces, swooping in on Freddie and planting a kiss on his lips. With a sly grin, she pulls away and heads out of the studio, leaving Carly and Freddie dazed.
"What...just happened?" Carly wonders aloud.
"You just had the Sam Puckett relationship experience," Freddie mumbles, licking his swollen lips. They still taste like Sam.
Carly's jaw falls open as her mind plays back the argument. "God, I'm so sorry!" She says to him playfully, but Freddie doesn't mind.
Honestly? He wouldn't have it any other way.
Kissing her is the most exhilarating thing in the world. The way her lips explored his sent shivers down his spine, but he always wanted more. The way her body fits perfectly into his; like they'd been designed to mould together. She could be pretty sloppy with her kisses, but this, weirdly, made her even more endearing.
Kissing her; fantastic. Kissing her whilst trying to tell her loved her? Not so much.
"I-" was about how much he could get out before her lips capture his. He doesn't complain, but he was sure he would've told her this time. They had been splayed out on his bed, watching the television and commenting on every show. A year ago, Ms Benson never would've allowed either Sam or Carly in his room, but she'd loosened up ever since he turned seventeen and had got a steady girlfriend. Luckily.
Sam detaches herself from his mouth and moves down to his neck instead, which diverts Freddie's attention even more.
"Sam, I-" He tries again, but when Sam's lips flutter over a particularly sensitive spot on his neck, he stops and lets himself be distracted.
There's always tomorrow.
He's studying with her when he attempts to tell her next. Well, he's studying, Sam is aiming a hairgrip at his head. She laughs wickedly when she manages to hit him square on the nose. He cringes in the sharp pain, but pretends to too absorbed in the bio chem homework to care. He decides that depriving her of his attention will be his next approach.
Sure enough, Sam soon got bored of flicking the hairgrip, and slides it back into place in her curly locks. She picks up her own English language assignment and scowls at the title. Freddie looks up just in time to see this expression, and he chuckles.
"We're studying some stupid play. 'Romeo and Juliet'," She whines.
"Romeo and Juliet is one of the greatest plays of all time! It's influential on almost every romantic film we see, and it's considered William Shakespeare's best work," Freddie defends the play, flushing slightly at Sam's skeptical expression.
Sam snorts. "But it's not romantic! It's just a bunch of dudes in some tights that swordfight. Badly."
"What about the whole Romeo and Juliet part? You know, the main plot?"He reminds her, his voice laced with a condescending tone, "That's romantic! They're forbidden to see each other, but they love each other so much that they'll do anything to be together."
"Romeo and Juliet end up dead because they're too stupid to consult each other before they decide to fake their own deaths. I wouldn't call that romance."
"Then how would you define romance, Sam?" He asks, snapping his book shut. This conversation was a whole lot more interesting.
"I'm not an expert or anything...but this," She gestures to the book, "This isn't romance. For starters, they fall in love waaay too quickly. It's all based on superficial grounds, because Romeo only falls for Juliet when he sees her beauty. I mean, she might be really mean or something, but he doesn't know, does he? And then he's also a dweeb, because he adored that Rosaline chick for years, and then he's just changed his mind? I wouldn't trust him for that, if I was Juliet. It was heading for disaster from the moment they met."
Freddie is stunned to silence at her words.
Where had all that come from? And why was she so cynical about love?
"If this isn't romance...then what is?" He repeats.
"How would you define it, Benson?"
"I asked you first."
"Yeah, well, I asked you second," She counters with a smile on her face.
They both know the answer to the question when he leans in for a kiss.
"Sam Puckett. You're disgusting, and you annoy the hell out of me, and sometimes I think you're gonna beat me up whenever I look at you, but all that doesn't matter. Because you're funny, and beautiful, and you're my best friend. And we're Sam and Freddie, and I've been freaking out about how to tell you this, but now I know in the end, no matter that I say, we'll still be Sam and Freddie. And that's just amazing."
Sam stares at Freddie, his outburst coming as a surprise to everyone in the class, even Freddie himself. Mr Howard's jaw sets hard, as he tries to contain his anger. He fails to do so.
"Fredward Benson. To the principal's office. NOW!" He screams, sending titters across the classroom. Carly and Sam watch the Freddie's back retreat to the hallway, exchanging looks with each other.
"Oh, if it isn't the rebel himself!" Sam declares as Freddie slouches over to her at lunch. "Did you get in trouble?"
"Nah, not really. He said he understood the feeling of first love, and let me off with a warning," Freddie explains happily. Sam nods slowly, twisting a strand of hair between her fingers abstractedly as she remembers his previous words. He shifts from one foot to the other awkwardly, awaiting her thoughts. "What did you think?"
Sam smiles at him, her eyes sparkling with something that Freddie liked the look of. "I have to say, that if all my lessons were like that," She wraps an arm around his waist, "Then I'd definitely listen more."
When Freddie drifts off to sleep that night, something hits him. He never actually told Sam what he had originally planned to say.
Maybe in the end, he concurs, it didn't matter. Because there's always more than one way to say 'I love you'.