I may have rushed the climactic scene a bit, but meh. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this, and I can only hope that you'll enjoy reading it.

It's spring. She wakes up to birds tweeting their song, looks up to see flowers blooming on branches, and everywhere she walks, there is a definite brightness about the world, from the light sky to the green, green grass. She usually lets her eyes flutter shut and takes in a deep breath through her nostrils, savoring the smell of this wonderful season, the happiness of it all. And Sam would never tell anyone this, but the sights and smells of spring make her heart feel full.

At least, that was the way she felt two days ago, before the storm started.

She peers dejectedly out of the window for the twentieth time in one hour, listening over her mother frying something in the small half-kitchen to the rain pattering against the glass. It is dark outside at three in the afternoon, and Sam can see her forlorn reflection staring back at her. She huffs angrily before releasing her hold on the thick curtain, allowing it to fall back into place against the window pane.

"Fucking storm," she mutters as she runs her fingers through her hair, walking over to the couch.

"Sam," comes her mother's slightly raspy voice. "I don't know how many times I have to tell you to not swear. This is getting out of hand."

"But, the goddamn rain—it just won't stop!"

"Regardless." Her mother coughed, then took a drag of her cigarette. "You're supposed to be a nice young lady. No man is going to want to marry a girl who's foul-mouthed and can't hold herself together like a woman."

"I'm only seventeen, mom," Sam drawls lazily, rebutting her mother's argument about marriage for what feels like the hundredth time. "I'm not thinking of getting married anytime soon." Or at all, she keeps to herself. From the corner of her eye, she can see Sarah giving her an exasperated look.

"I don't understand why you're so quick to go outside, anyway, Samantha. Don't you have a pile of homework to attend to?"

Sam rolls her eyes, but doesn't answer. She pushes herself farther back into the couch cushion, arms around her knees as the news anchor prattles on.

"—Interstate is flooded and traffic is hectic, so please, remember to drive safely. In other news, residential pop star, Stacie Orrico's new single has had a lot more purchase from iTunes this week, bringing her total to about 30,000 in the past month." The anchorman shuffles his papers before looking to his right, at a thin woman in a blue blazer, sandy blonde hair cropped close to her chin. "Anything you might want to add to that, Linda?"

The lady—Linda—gives a saccharine smile, her teeth gleaming behind her bright red lipstick. "We're all rooting for you, Ms. Orrico. We know that you can top the billboards, it's only a matter of—" The small tv set is cut off, and Sam glares at the warped reflection of her mother holding the remote and taking another drag of her cigarette.

"I remember when they used to report on real news," her mother says, tossing the remote onto the couch and handing Sam a plate of food.

"Hey! I like her!" Sam cringes before she shovels a forkful of food in her mouth. "Well, not the news lady, 'cause she's creepy, but Stacie. Her songs are my jams."

Sarah laughs, long and low, and then walks back into the kitchen. "Eat up," she says. "Then I want you to go in your room and start on that homework. It won't get itself done."


Sam is pulling on a pair of jeans as the sky decided to let out yet another crack, signaling a hit of lightening. She jumps, and then swears under her breath, buttoning her jeans closed. She gathers her hair into a ponytail at the nape of her neck, battling it with three hair elastics to get it under control, and rifles through her closet for a jacket. It's day three of the storm, and Sam will be damned if she's forced to stay at home for even an hour longer. She had gotten so bored after dancing in front of her mirror in her underwear to the tune of Tegan and Sara for a few hours last night that she actually sat down and started her homework. Sam knew it was an irrational feeling, but she couldn't help but feel horrified at herself for reading about the Revolutionary War and writing three papers on it, front and back.

She really didn't want to be in her house when the next time the urge to write essays decided to hit her, so she was going over to Carly's. Dread set into her stomach when she looked out the window into the darkness. If it weren't for the LCD screen on her cell phone, she wouldn't know whether it was early morning or late night, it was so dark outside.

Sam looked down at her phone again. Four o'clock in the morning.

She wasn't usually a morning person—not in the slightest—but after a deep sleep that lasted all of an hour, and tossing around on her bed fitfully the rest of the night, Sam decided to give up on slumber. She was too jittery, thinking about how unhappy her mother would be if she left the house, about seeing her best friends—or rather, just Carly—again after being separated for the longest time they've ever been, and at the thought of sinking her teeth into the high quality food that Spencer always shopped for, specifically the meat.

She notices her mouth watering at the thought, and tugs on a sweater before pulling on a heavy jacket. She writes a note and places it on the kitchen counter, next to the packet of her mother's Marlboro's, and thinks about grabbing an umbrella before she leaves. When the door blows open at the force of the wind, Sam decides to leave the umbrella. The only use it would have in this weather is as a weapon, and if she's lucky, it might break and she'd have something sharp to stab at anyone, or thing, that happened to come in her way.

She closes the door behind her and squints her eyes as she makes the trek toward the Bushwell Plaza.


Sam takes in a huge, gulping breath when she reaches the awning of the plaza. The rain had been unmerciful, beating at her at all sides, and Sam could swear that she swallowed at least a gallon of it on the long walk. There were very little cars on the road that she could see, headlights seemingly small in the distance, and Sam had swore as one rode by her, splashing rainwater up to her shoulders. It had been so dark, so foggy, that Sam counted herself lucky that she found her way through it all. She shudders, thinking of what might have happened to her if one of the drivers did not see her in the thick fog, but brushes the alarming feeling away.

She pulls her hood off of her soaking hair as she treads wetly into the foyer. The doorman, Lewbert, is leaning across his desk, asleep, and Sam shakes her head, thinking sarcastically of what a great doorman he makes. She spares a thought of how grateful she is to be in a dry place when more loud thunder rumbles, and Lewbert wakes up with a scream to find her emptying her rain boots on the floor.

"What do you think you're doing, you degenerate?" He screams—always screaming—coming from behind the desk with a terrified look on his face.

"Starting up an aquarium, what does it look like?" Sam retorts, and pulls her now empty boots back onto her feet.

"Have you lost your mind? I just cleaned that!"

"Well, clean it again!" Sam shouts back, thoroughly sick of the doorman's high-pitched voice.

"You, I—" he pauses, one finger pointed at her as his mouth opens and closes. "You!"

Sam steps around him, making her way toward the steps. "You might want to feed the fish," she tosses sardonically over her shoulder. Lewbert twitches and screams, and then throws himself at the floor, attempting to dry the puddle with his jacket. She rolls her eyes before continuing upstairs.

When she finally gets to Carly's floor, Sam pulls a key out of her pocket, unlocking the door and allowing herself in. She toes off her boots and strips herself of both jacket and sweater, letting them fall in front of the door with a wet plop. She's soaked to the bone and shivering, at the same time counting herself lucky that she keeps spare clothes at the Shay's.

Of course, Carly has some spare clothes at Sam's house as well, despite the fact that she rarely visits, and Sam knows that it's because she has the tendency to pull on Carly's clothes to wear to school after impromptu sleepovers, but that's a story for a different day.

Unthinkingly, Sam pushes her jeans down her legs and peels her t-shirt off her skin as she makes her way to the kitchen. After wringing most of the rain out her shirt in the sink and hanging it across the back of one of the chairs, she's starting on her bra when the backdoor to the apartment opens. Fear clogs her throat as she turns toward the entrance, and the feeling ebbs away into surprise as she sees Freddie, wide-eyed, staring back at her.

Or, rather, somewhere below her chin.

Her hands come up to cover her breasts as her mouth drops open. "Freddie!"

"Sam?" He whispers back.

Goosebumps are making its way along Sam's skin, and she gives a violent shiver. She curses at herself for the lack of clothing before asking, "What are you doing here?"

"I could ask the same," he answers, still standing in the doorway. His eyes rove up and down her body, but to his credit, there's no hint of a blush on his face. Her hold tightens on her breasts and she scowls, trying her damndest to look tough while wearing very little. "And why are you half—no, three-quarters naked? Wait—you didn't walk all the way here from your house, did you?"

She rolls her eyes.

"Sam, that's dangerous. You could have gotten seriously hurt."

"You're going to get seriously hurt if you don't walk right back out that door, Fredward," she hisses.

Freddie only snorts, narrowing his eyes at her. "You don't scare me, Samantha."

"And why is that? Because I'm 'three-quarters naked'? Need I remind you that I can kick ass with both hands tied behind my back?"

"And that has something to do with this because…?" Freddie kicks the door closed behind him and makes his way to the living room.

"What makes you think that a little less clothing will keep you from being maimed?"

He laughs, stopping and turning toward her. "I don't, but I'll take my chances."

Sam purses her lips, grabs her bra, and walks to the steps. "Whatever, I'm going to go get dressed."

"Oh, good-- I'm going up to the studio to get my camera," he says, coming to stand near her at the foot of the steps.

Sam, highly irritated, lets a few seconds pass before she asks, "Well? Aren't you going up?"

"Ladies first," Freddie says through a smirk.

"Freddie…"

"No, by all means, you before me."

"Freddie, don't test me," she says through clenched teeth. He only laughs and shakes his head before bounding up the steps. Sam waits a beat before following.

She enters Carly's room, trying not to trip on scattered shoes in the dark as she tiptoes her way across the room. Carly has a spot in her closet for all of Sam's clothing, and that's where Sam finds them, hanging neatly on different colored hangers. She snatches a faded grey shirt that reads 'Men Have More Issues' off of a magenta hanger and tugs on a pair of pajama shorts that she had been looking for and hadn't known was in Carly's closet.

She pulls the elastics out of her hair when she steps in front of Carly's dresser, and shudders once again as the ends of her damp hair hit the skin of her arm. She picks up one of her best friend's brushes and puts it through her hair, sweeping the thick tresses from one shoulder to the next, working the knots out of it. When she's satisfied, Sam carefully places the brush onto the dresser and sends a glance at Carly's slumbering form before exiting the room.

When she makes her way back to the living room, she sees Freddie sitting on the couch, fiddling with his bulky black camera. She affords him a glare as she sits heavily on the couch next to him, crossing her arms over her chest. "So?"

Freddie doesn't look up from his camera. "So?"

"What are you doing here?"

He breathes in slowly, then lets it out. "Not that it's any of your concern, but I couldn't sleep."

A lightening flash lights up the room for the briefest of seconds, and Sam blinks against it. "So you decided to come over to Carly's?"

"I was getting twitchy staring at the walls in my room, so yeah. I did decide to come over here."

Sam narrows her eyes. "Yeah, right. I bet you came over here to record Carly while she's sleeping."

Freddie's eyebrows furl in anger. "Uh, no. I'm not a creep, Sam."

"Coulda fooled me."

"What the hell are you doing here? Come to eat?"

Sam smirks, leaning back into the couch. "Mama has a big appetite."

"Yeah, well, 'mama' should tell her mother to get a better paying job so that she could afford food."

Sam quickly swallows her hurt feelings and kicks Freddie's thigh. Hard. He finally pulls his eyes away from the camera to glare at her. "That's uncalled for," he says, slowly.

"You may have gotten bigger, nub, but I can still have you on the floor screaming for your mommy."

Freddie stares hard at her for a few seconds longer, and then Sam can see him visibly backing down. She pulls her foot back to her side of the couch and harrumphs, fingering a wet strand of her hair.

"So, why are you here?"

Sam yawns and lets her head fall back against the arm of the couch, looking into the kitchen. "Finished Sollfrey's assignment and couldn't go to sleep."

"Wait—you finished what?"

"Sollfrey's assignment," Sam answers tetchily. "I wrote, like, six pages on Marquis de la blah blah and George Washington, and all the war… stuff. It was the most boring thing ever, let me tell you." Sam's head lolls to the side on the armrest, and she gasps as she comes face to face with Freddie's camera. "Are you filming this?"

Freddie shrugs and chuckles. "It's not every day that Sam Puckett finishes an assignment, much less writes a six-page essay."

Sam smiles. "I'm going to kill you," she says with no conviction, rolling her eyes.

"I knew you could do anything you put your mind to, Sam." Freddie breathes in, licking his lips. "I always knew that, and I think that you put on a façade, y'know, to try to remain tough-looking to everyone," he stutters. "But, you're not who you make yourself out to be in class."

"You calling me fake?" Sam laughs.

"No." Freddie's eyes are unwavering on hers. "I'm calling you highly intelligent."

There's a flush rising up Freddie's neck, and it startles her. Just for a moment, though, does she allow her face to soften, her gaze to stay on Freddie's as a small, private smile graces her lips, because his camera is still trained on her and she doesn't want for him to have footage of her looking, well, kind. She rises from the couch, bringing her arms over her head in a stretch.

"Seriously, mama's hungry," she says to no one in particular, and leaves Freddie back on the couch to commence a search in the fridge.

A few minutes later, they're sitting across each other at the kitchen's island, and Sam is eating her way through reheated dinner of rice, spinach, corn, and baked chicken.

"—and I swear, she was this close to going out and getting five-inch thick glass for the windows," Freddie finishes, shaking his head at the absurdity.

"Your mom's crazy," Sam says, and pretends not to notice the camera at the end of the counter fixed on the both of them.

"Ooh, chess!" Freddie exclaims as quietly as he can so as to not rouse the Shays from their slumber, and pulls the abandoned game of chess toward him.

Sam scoffs, thinking to herself about how much of a dork he is. She's known Freddie for years, since the end of the fourth grade when he and Ms. Benson had moved in the hall across from Spencer and Carly. By that time, her and Carly had solidified their friendship and she was making regular trips to the Bushwell Plaza, whereas only months before, having no one to call her friend, she would sit at home in her quiet, empty room and write derisive letters to her sister, forever ticked off at Melanie for leaving to go halfway across the country.

Then Freddie, the small boy from across the hall, came into the picture and Sam's scorn slipped away from Melanie and onto him. Sam would never forget the first time she met Freddie. Ms. Benson had come over with a plate of sugar-free cookies, and Sam had thrown her color pencils to the side to eat some. Carly had joined her, but upon taking one bite, had spit them out. Freddie had looked upset until Carly dragged him behind the counter and crouched so as to stay hidden from Ms. Benson and Spencer. She and the new boy had opened a package of Chips Ahoy and devoured half of them while Sam, unknowingly, greedily finished off the plate of Ms. Benson's cookies. When she walked back to the table to continue coloring, she was surprised to see Carly and Freddie sitting side by side against the counter, giggling through cookie-filled mouths.

Sam had felt a flare of anger, feeling like the boy was trying to steal Carly away from her. It's not fair, she had thought. She's my first friend, ever, and he's not going to take her from me.

"Why are you sneaking those?" she had asked Carly, pretending not to notice the boy next to her.

Carly smiled, licking chocolate off of her fingers. She pointed at the boy. "Because his cookies taste really bad."

"That's because his mom can't bake," Sam shrugged.

"Hey, she so can!" the boy yelled. He scowled at Sam. "They're just sugar free."

"What does that mean?" Sam asked, taken aback.

Carly answered for him. "That means that he can't have sugar."

A grin had spread across Sam's face. "Hey, kid, what's your name?"

"Freddie!" he said, excitement evident across his face and his eager smile.

Sam had taken a step back, around the counter, and shouted, "Hey, lady! Your kid, Fredwierd's back here, eating Chips Ahoy!"

Carly had glared at Sam as Freddie was dragged out of the apartment, tears in his eyes as he whined apologies to his mother, but Sam had only laughed, and then Carly had laughed, and it felt to Sam as if things were going to be okay.

Now, nearly eight years later, she sits across from him and feels as if things are not so okay. Freddie had grown even more irritating over the years, intruding on Sam and Carly's friendship, and sure, Sam beat him up on occasion because of it, but she couldn't deny that there had always seemed to be an underlying feeling whenever they got into arguments. Beneath all of the hostility and mocking, Sam had to admit that there was something raw, something unbidden, almost like the need to get closer or inside of each other's skin. She knew that her feelings were the strongest toward him than anyone else she knows, but try as she might, she couldn't hate him. She could never hate him; quite the opposite, actually.

Sam realizes this with a start and chokes on her food. Freddie sends her a concerned look, and Sam waves him off, so he looks away. Clearing her throat, Sam stares at Freddie, hunched over the counter, and tries to get rid of the all too familiar feeling bubbling in her chest, threatening to spill past her lips in a laugh.

She couldn't allow herself to accept the fact that she really, truly liked Freddie, and as more than just a friend.

She pulls her gaze away from Freddie—his impossibly dark hair, his skilled fingers as he moves pieces along the chess board, his gleaming lips from where he keeps licking and biting down on—to the game he's been silently playing by himself. When she picks up a white chess piece and knocks the black rook off the board, Freddie looks up at her in astonishment.

"You play?" he asks.

"I, Fredward, am a woman of many talents," she laughs.

"Wow," he folds his arms on the counter. "I wonder what else you have up your sleeve."

"You'd be surprised."

Freddie looks at her for a few seconds before laughing. "Bet you can't beat me at this game."

"Try me," is all she says before focusing with him on the chess game.

It's silent in the loft, excluding the pitter-patter of rain against the window and chess pieces being placed down, so quiet that Sam can hear the refrigerator humming under the sound of her breathing. A few more silent minutes pass before she yawns.

"Tired?"

"No, just bored," Sam answers, yawning again.

"Are you calling it quits, because if you forfeit—"

"Yeah, yeah, you win, blah." She smirks. "It's a good thing I'm not giving up. I just need a little more… excitement."

"Yeah, me too," Freddie says.

Sam lifts her chin. "Hey, what are you doing with the camera, anyway?"

"Well, I was going to make a video blog and—don't look at me like that! It's a good thing to talk about your feelings when you're cooped up for such a long time, otherwise you'd go crazy."

"Believe me, Freddie; you've already gone off the deep end."

"Why do you say that?"

Sam doesn't answer. She slides off the stool and puts her dishes in the sink before walking towards the front door. She picks up her sweater, jeans, and wool jacket, fingering the spots where they're soaked through. "Gotta dry these," she mutters to herself.

"There are dryers downstairs," Freddie supplies. "We can go down there and stick 'em in for a while."

Sam gives him a look out of the corner of her eye, and then shrugs. "Good idea; I don't trust you and your camera in here with Carly sleeping."

"Sam," he says, voice threatening.

She shrugs again and slips her feet into her mostly dried, but frigidly cold, boots. She is halfway out of the door before she looks back at Freddie. "You comin' or what?"

She follows Freddie down to the laundry room, not without tripping him up on the stairwell, of course, and laughing as he scowls as her. She opens one of the hulking dryers, throws her clothes in, and sits on top of a small washer as the machine starts up.

Freddie moves across the room, camera in hand and trained on whatever he aims it at, and Sam has to ask, "Why are you making a video of everything?" She self-consciously tugs her hair behind her ears when Freddie spins to her, camera following.

"I'm leaving after the summer, for college, and I figured that I'd start recording things, y'know, so that I won't forget it."

"Freddie, you grew up in this building. Four years of college isn't going to make you forget everything, you know."

"Yeah, well. It's never been just you and I in the laundry room, so it's different from everything I've known, growing up in this building. And I'd like to remember it."

Sam caught her smile before it spread across her face, instead sighing and hugging her knees to her chest. "Oh," she breathed.

Suddenly, Freddie swore under his breath and turned the camera around in his hands. "The battery," he supplied to Sam's non-question. "It died. I'm going to have to get upstairs to change it."

"Oh," Sam said again, hopping off the washer. "You're not gonna leave me down here, are you?"

Freddie smirks. "Afraid?"

"Yeah, afraid," Sam answers, rolling her eyes. "Afraid of the big bad Lewbert coming down here to eat me."

"You kinda are like Little Red Riding Hood, what with the golden locks."

Sam laughed. "That's Goldilocks, you big dork. Now get your butt upstairs before I shove you in one of these dryers."

Freddie laughs, but leads the way. Sam is breathing hard when they reach his floor, and Freddie tells her that she has to remain quiet as he unlocks his door and lets her through. Sam tiptoes in her boots, following Freddie to his room. Once there, he makes a beeline for his desk and immediately begins dismantling his camera. Sam takes a look around his room.

It's almost exactly how she expected it to be. His bed is high up from the floor with shooting stars and planets adorning the comforter. Underneath his bed are blue clear bins, full of junk that Sam could barely make out, and above his bed is a shelf full of various knick knacks, and Sam laughs behind her hand when she spots a prop from the film franchise, Galaxy Wars. There are more shelves around his room, tacked on the blue walls, two dressers, and a closet with a sliding door left half-open. He has no less than four desks; on them are two computers, a wide array of cameras, enough wires that Sam feels that it could circle the earth two times, and too many books than Sam would be comfortable reading.

There's something intimate about being in Freddie's room, so close and pressing that Sam has to gasp. She knows that she would not be able to hide anything from him in his room, and to be honest, she doesn't really want to.

Freddie is sitting at one of the desks, putting his camera back together, and jumps when Sam's hair touches his shoulder. "Jesus," he exclaims.

Sam laughs, reaching her arm over him to point at the many frames littering his desk. "Are those all pictures of… us?"

"Yeah."

"Pretty cool," Sam admits, eyes roving over the array of smiling faces, all of her, Carly, and Freddie.

She can hear the smirk in his voice as he says, "I thought so."

Sam backs away from him, and is caught staring when he swivels his chair around to face her. His eyes are on hers, and she finds it difficult to look away, to even care that her guard is down and he seems to be looking at her the way that she must be looking at him, with barely concealed want.

Suddenly it's too quiet, and Sam can feel the lack of sound settling between her shoulder blades, pushing her to take a few steps toward him. Freddie stands up and breaks the silence. "I finished changing the battery, so we can go back down to the laundry room. If you like," he adds, eyes following Sam's motions as she pushes her hair behind her shoulders.

She bites her lip as Freddie takes a step forward, bringing them nearly flush against one another. She looks up into his eyes, at the emotion swimming in its warm brown color. She knows the emotions in his eyes, can see it as clear as daylight. Yearning. Love.

For the second time, she feels goosebumps traveling along her skin, but this time, it comes from Freddie placing his hands on her arms.

"Freddie," she questions, just a whisper. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

"I don't know," he answers truthfully, licks his lips. "But, to be honest, I'm really fed up with not knowing."

When he leans in and claims her lips with his, she feels the bubbling in her chest rise and burst from her throat in a low sigh. This is it, she thinks. This is what she's been waiting for, for such a long time that she doesn't know when this feeling began, only remembers trying to get at Wendy for saying something scathing toward Carly and Freddie holding her back, hands on her hips as he pushes her onto the lockers, remembers the enclosed space and how her anger ebbed and how her desire flared, how Freddie's lips moved, but no sound came out.

She finds herself gripping the back of his neck, reciprocating his kiss as he backs her up against his bed. She stands on her toes and allows his tongue to open her mouth, letting a noise escape her throat as his tongue coyly touches hers. She's angling her head and tugging on the front of his shirt, trying to get closer, when he pulls away with a groan.

She whines, "What are you doing? Why are you stopping?"

"Because, Sam, my mother's in the next room, and she may wake up at any moment to check in on me," he breathes against her lips.

"Funny story, Freddie," Sam pulls his lips to hers, eyes half-lidded. "Why are you really stopping?"

He puts his hands on her hips, and she feels his throat working to swallow underneath her hand. When he steps back, she tries not to let her disappointment show.

"Sam," he says, looking away from her eyes to the floor. "You don't want this."

She feels like telling him, no, she doesn't, that he's right and it's a good thing he pulled away. It would mean that she'd have to scrape up all of her pride in order to say it with a straight face, but she believes that she can get away with it.

But she doesn't, because she does want him. In all of his nerdy, irritating, nubbish ways, she does find herself longing for him, for his lips on hers and his arms wrapped around her. She doesn't want to shake this feeling because it's been lying dormant for a long time, and she's had it with the hiding, telling herself when she was alone that she couldn't feel this way toward him, whispering to herself that Freddie could never know.

And so she steps close to him, running her fingers up his arms and wrapping her arms around his neck, and she stands on her toes to place her lips on his, hoping that it is enough to persuade him that, yes, she does want this.

However, Freddie doesn't return her kiss. She realizes this after a few seconds, and then pulls back from him, looking into his worried eyes.

She steps back with a stifled gasp, a dreadful feeling spreading throughout her body. "Oh God, you don't want me." It's not a question, though it sounds like it, and Freddie looks up, startled as Sam puts her fingers on her lip, trying not to throw up, or worse, sob.

"No, Sam it's not—" He shakes his head. "It's not that I don't want you, because I do."

Sam fights the urge to reach out to him. "So what the hell, Freddie?"

He wrings his hands and says, "You've never liked me. For so long… since forever, Sam, you've shown me that you could barely stand me, so I don't know if I can—" He cuts himself off.

Sam sighs heavily and sits down on his bed, finding her fingers tracing the outline of a rocket ship. "I don't know why I do it," she answers truthfully, swallowing against her suddenly dry throat. "I guess it's because I don't not like you, Freddie. Maybe it's because I just want to see you look at me, you know, pay attention to me. Feel something toward me."

"Really?" she hears him ask.

She nods, then shrugs her shoulders, knows there's a flush staining her cheeks. "You're, like, the only guy I ever felt strongly for."

"The same goes to you, Sam," he replies.

"Good," she says, forcing a laugh, trying to lighten the mood; trying to save herself from drowning in this foolish feeling of affection. "Now get your ass over here and finish kissing me."

"You liked that?" There's that arrogance again, the one that usually gets Freddie put into a headlock, but this time, Sam can't help but to find it endearing.

"Yeah, I liked it," she admits through a small smile.

Freddie takes a seat next to her on the bed and palms her neck with one hand, the other going around her waist, and Sam leans into the embrace. "You're very pretty, you know that?" he says, his voice going low and doing that rumble thing that Sam absolutely loves.

She laughs. "And you're a dork, you know that?"

Freddie laughs with her. "I knew I shouldn't have told you that."

"Oh yeah; I'm going to be holding it over your head for a long time," she admits right before his mouth covers hers.

The kiss is long and heady, with them learning each other's mouths, exploring with their tongues, and it doesn't end until long after Sam's head is spinning and Freddie is gasping into her mouth. When they pull back to breathe, Sam scoots further onto his bed, sitting against his headboard.

"Sam?" He asks after a moment, his eyes on his hand as his fingers grip one of her outstretched legs.

"Come over here," she says, and then squeals when Freddie yanks her so far down the bed that her head barely touches his pillows. She's laughing ridiculously hard by the time he clambers over her, and Freddie is biting his lip against a smile. "You nub," she says, punctuating both word with slaps to his shoulders.

"Do you realize how uncomfortable it would have been for me if I were to kiss you against the headboard?"

Sam takes in the close proximity of his body to hers, how his elbows are resting near her head, how she can't seem to take in more than short breaths as his body hovers over hers, and she taps her boot against his leg. "Yeah?" she whispers. "This more comfortable for you?"

His hands touch her shoulders as he asks, "Are you fine with it?"

"I mean, I'm feeling something, but… it's not really discomfort."

"Good," Freddie says. His lips touch on her neck, right underneath her chin, and when Sam shudders, he laughs. His tongue peeks out and he leaves a line of light moisture as he traces his tongue up her neck to her ear. Sam's fingers tighten on the thin fabric of his shirt as he bites into her pale skin and she has to stifle her cry behind closed lips. He sucks on her neck for some time, until Sam is pushing up against him, her legs hooked around his.

She tugs sharply at his dark hair and forces his lips onto hers. "Sam, Sam, Sam," he breathes into her mouth, and her breath shudders as he grinds down onto her. She spreads her legs farther open for him, tugs him closer, bites his lip to hear him moan, and her breaths get shorter as an intense feeling builds up inside of her, her focus entirely on the point where the strong feeling is growing.

He's lined up against her, his chest flush against her chest, their stomachs pressed together through their t-shirts, his groin pushing against hers, and when Freddie bites down on her neck and his hands sneak into her shirt and up toward the side of her breasts, Sam feels something in her come loose.

Sam clenches her eyes shut and hears herself moaning loudly into Freddie's mouth. She's falling apart beneath him, she knows, can tell by the way her blood rushes quickly through her veins and her fingers clench tightly in his hair and how she arches up toward him. She can tell that he likes it by how he squeezes her sides and whispers her name and just. Pushes against her harder, tighter until he's the one panting heavily and Sam has to swallow his exclamation.

Sam gasps into his neck for a short while before pushing him off of her and sitting up, her legs feeling like jelly. She cards her fingers through her hair before looking at him from over her shoulder.

"Sam? You okay?" He questions, concerned.

"More than okay," she answers, then leans down on his chest, allowing him to wrap his arms around her. Within a matter of minutes, she feels her lids getting heavy, and she knows that she has to get up. She kind of doesn't want to leave his warmth, doesn't want to leave his room at all, but common sense tells her that she can't let herself fall asleep in his room lest they be caught by Freddie's mother. She doesn't know what Ms. Benson would do to her—to the both of them—if she's caught in his bed. He'd probably be forbidden to leave his apartment, and with him being such a nub, Sam could easily see him complying with his mother's demands.

Her eyes lazily rove the contents of his room once more before she spots his camera on his desk, pointed toward them. A slick feeling makes its way down Sam's spine as she sits up. "You recorded this whole thing?"

"What?" Freddie asks sleepily and follows where she's looking to see his camera. "Oh, no," he yawns. "It's off."

Sam slaps him across his chest, causing him to groan. "You should have turned it on, you big dork! I would have liked a copy."

Freddie laughs and leans up on his elbows, hand rubbing the spot where she hit him. "I don't believe this."

"Well, believe it, Fredward," she says before hopping off his bed and, ignoring the dampness between her legs, she fixes her shirt and makes her way to his desk. She picks the camera up and turns it on, focusing on Freddie.

"What are you doing?"

"I figure you have enough shots of me today," she says, raising a brow as he blushes. "And it's not fair that you're not in your own video blog. Now come on, nub, let's leave before your scary mother wakes up."

"Um, Sam?"

"What?" she asks, pausing in her sweep across his room to focus the camera on him once again.

His blush grows brighter. "I sort of have to, you know, change my pants."

"Oh," Sam laughs, and then leaves his room, shutting the door on his embarrassed face. She waits for him to come out of his room, then laughs at him once again before they leave his apartment. They both jump in the stairway, startled as thunder booms loudly, but then continue their way to the lobby.

Sam immediately moves toward Lewbert and calls his name. When he doesn't wake up, Freddie grabs a plastic apple out of the doorman's basket of fake fruit, and chucks it at him. Sam stifles laughter when Lewbert doesn't even stir, then picks up a plastic peach. "Watch and learn," she says, and the peach bounces off his head and onto his desk. He wakes up with a scream.

"I'm going to get you kids!" He screeches as soon as he spots them, one eye twitching. Both Sam and Freddie scream and run toward the door as he comes from around his desk, grabbing the basket and throwing the fake fruit at them. "Nyaaaaagh," Sam could hear him shout as the door closed on his face. She watched as he threw the entire basket up to the ceiling, and laughed when it came back down on his head.

Freddie leaned against her, his arms wrapped around her torso, as they tried to catch their breath from laughing so hard. She kept the camera trained on the glass doors as Lewbert quickly sketched out a sign and placed it against the door. It read, "No wet KIDS allowed!"

"Man, he is out of his mind," Freddie laughs.

Sam agrees, giggling, but then let out a shudder as the wind gusted. She looks up into the smiling face of Freddie and asks, "What if he doesn't let us back in?"

"Oh, he will," Freddie answers confidently. Suddenly, he takes a few steps back from her until he's away from the safety of the awning.

Sam's mouth falls open. "What are you doing?"

"I'm letting go!" He shouts over the rain, his arms spread wide.

"For what?" Sam asks, thoroughly amused.

"Because," he tries answering, but splutters in the rain for a second. "Because I feel insanely happy right now, Sam."

Her grip tightens on the camera and she bites her lip before replying, "Me, too. But you're getting soaked!"

He laughs. "And?"

"And you're going to catch a cold!"

"Honestly, Sam," Freddie says, pushing his sopping hair off of his forehead. "Honestly, my mom puts so much antibiotic shots in me that I don't think I'm ever at risk of getting just a cold." He smiles at her, and then signals to one of the short stone pillars that the pole from the awning is embedded deeply in. "Put the camera down, come over here."

He's giving her this intense look, this loving look, and so, despite the pouring rain, she puts the camera down on the pillar and joins him. And when he begins kissing her for the third time in her life, she feels herself soaring, her heart fluttering against her chest, and she thinks that this day is better than one hundred perfect Spring days combined.


Spencer walks out of his room and toward the kitchen, throwing them a startled, yet sleepy, glance. Sam stretches on the couch, and grabs the remote. "Guess now that you're awake, I can turn this up."

"Sam," Freddie groans, taking the remote from her and turning the TV volume down. When she pouts at him, he shakes his head and says, "There's still the matter of Carly."

"What about me?" A groggy voice says. Carly comes down the steps, rubbing her eyes. "And what are you guys doing here? It's barely nine."

"Couldn't sleep," they answer simultaneously, and Freddie laughs before turning back to the television set. Sam ignores the confused look that Carly throws their way before going to the kitchen and wishing her brother a good morning.

Sam leans back into the couch with a smile on her face, thinking back on the morning, from when Freddie walked in on her wringing out her clothing to them standing outside in the torrential storm, gasping in each other's mouths as they kissed through the rain making its way between their lips. They had stood outside for what seemed like a few minutes, but what had actually been about an hour. Halfway through, Freddie had chuckled against her lips and said, "Oh God, Lewbert's watching." True to what he said, when Sam turned around, she noticed Lewbert scowling at them through the doors. But she had only laughed, wrapping her arms tighter around Freddie and resuming their kiss.

When Sam had began shivering, Freddie had taken his camera and they had run past the screeching doorman, stopping to pick up Sam's clothes from the laundry room, before continuing to their floor, and they had split as Sam went into the Shays and Freddie had gone into his apartment to change.

Afterward, they sat, cuddled, on the couch where they dozed before Spencer had awoken, and now there's… this.

Sam can hardly wipe the grin off her face, watching Freddie watch the program on the TV. When breakfast is ready, Freddie takes Sam's hand and walks with her over to the kitchen table. They sit down next to each other, across from the Shay siblings, and when Freddie gets her plate ready for her, Sam calls him a nub and has to restrain herself from kissing him right on his smirking lips.

Chatter starts up easily between the four of them, Spencer telling them about his dreams, and Freddie and Carly attempting to dissect them. Sam laughs along, figuring that this day could not get less awesome than it is.

That is, until she looks down at her plate.

"Spencer," she says through clenched teeth, and she hears the three of them go silent, hears Spencer's audible gulp as she glares down at her plate. There's a long, menacing pause, punctuated by a flash of lightening, than Sam asks, "Where's the bacon?"