I felt like I needed a break from the storyline of iGo To A Wedding, and after hearing the song "Nightswimming" by REM, I couldn't help but write this. I may have deviated from the actual meaning of the song, but I like what I did with it. I hope you enjoy it.
Click. Freddie closed his trunk as Sam pulled the last bin out. Carly hurried out of the residence hall to meet them as she set in on the ground. It had been a long drive all the way to Berkeley. It had taken most of the day, and they had left early that morning. Sam and Freddie looked forward to another long drive back. But it had all been worth it, just to be able to say goodbye to their best friend.
"I'm going to miss you guys so much!" she squealed, as she wrapped her arms around Sam in a bone-crunching embrace. Sam patted her back gently.
"We're coming back to visit at the end of the month," she reminded her friend as she moved her shoulders to get her to release.
"I know, but I've never spent more than a few weeks away from you guys!" she squealed again, this time suffocating Freddie in another embrace.
"Carls, a month is, by definition, a few weeks," he said, trying the same shoulder trick Sam had used, but failing horribly. Instead he just waited it out.
"Of course you guys don't care. You're virtually abandoning me here," she said, pulling away and crossing her arms angrily.
"Carly, you're the one who wanted to go here! Besides, it's only a ten hour drive! You can get home in one day! You'll be fine!" Sam tried.
"Plus, Spencer says he's coming down next weekend to see how you're doing. Just make it through this week and you'll be fine!" Freddie added.
She still didn't look totally convinced, so Sam distracted her, "Well, it looks like there are some good looking guys on this campus. Especially the one making eyes at you..."
Carly followed Sam's gaze to a cute guy looking in their direction.
"Well, you guys should probably get going if you're going to make it home tonight..." Carly said dreamily, as she waved at him.
Sam gave her one last hug and whispered, "Ask him to help you get that box upstairs."
Carly smiled and nodded, and Sam took this as her cue to drag Freddie away before he could do anything to ruin her plans.
She went to the passenger side of the car and got in, opening his door from the inside, and yelled at him to get in. He had a hard time tearing his eyes away from Carly and the guy she was talking to, but she repeated the order to get in, and he listened.
He had only driven a few minutes when she apologized, "Look, I'm sorry for what I did back there. I know it's hard for you to see her with other guys...but we had to get out of there."
"No, it's fine," he assured her.
She looked at him surprised, "Well you're taking this better than I thought you would."
She shook his head and glanced at her before looking back at the road, "I've come to terms with the fact that if Carly and I were meant to be together, I wouldn't have broken up with her after what you implied. I mean, if even you can get me to break up with the 'girl of my dreams'..."
"What do you mean by that?" she interrupted.
"Nothing Sam, I meant nothing," he said shortly, but realizing she wasn't going to take that answer finished, "Yea Sam, you and I have always gotten along. I've always respected your opinions..."
"Sarcasm noted," she grumbled.
"Good, because I was laying it on pretty thick..." he added, only thickening the tension in the small vehicle.
It took fifteen minutes for either of them to speak again. Sam glanced over at Freddie and said quietly, "Look, it's a ten hour drive. We're just going to have to figure out how not to step on each other's nerves."
He chuckled, "Yea, because we're SO good at that."
Sam glared at him "...and it would help if you would tone down the sarcasm. Subtlety is key, Fredward."
He nodded in submission, and she answered "Good. Now, let's see what's on the radio."
Freddie smirked. He could've sworn she'd just said she'd wanted to avoid confrontation. Changing radio stations was not the way to do that. Especially since they were so far from home and none of his programmed stations worked. They were about to spend two hours flipping through radio stations, without agreeing on any, and ultimately swerving off into a ravine.
"Listen, just take the CD out of the glovebox," he said, vaguely pointing to the dashboard in front of her.
She took it out, but it was just a blank CD and she asked, "What's on it?"
He smiled and took it from her, putting it in, "The best music ever created."
She laughed, but humored him, and said, "Go ahead make my day."
He laughed and turned up the volume, "Don't worry, I will."
Fours hours and two rest stops later, the first song came back up on repeat, just as the sun was beginning to set. They had taken a scenic route, and were now passing the ocean.
"So, what did you think?" Freddie asked proudly, finally turning down the volume.
"I think you need to make me a copy of that CD. I'll be honest, I didn't think you had enough taste to listen to music like this."
"I'm going to try to take that as a compliment," he said, reaching between her legs for a gummi worm out of the bag she'd bought at their last pit stop.
"Excuse me!" she said, elbowing him as he popped one into his mouth.
"What?" he asked, trying not to laugh.
"Were you raised in a barn?! Next time ask!"
He chuckled before stating quietly, "Sam Puckett, commenting on my manners."
She glared in his direction, but then broke down and laughed. When she calmed down she asked, "Things really have changed between us, haven't they?"
"We're having a civilized conversation, aren't we?" he said, still thinking she was kidding around, before realizing she was getting serious. "I mean, I think so."
"Do you think things are, you know, still changing?" she asked quietly, and he wondered exactly what she meant.
He paused for a moment, not knowing how to answer, before he settled with a quiet, "Yea."
"Yea?" she asked, and even she was surprised with how needy her voice sounded.
He simply nodded in confirmation. She stared out the window before glancing out his, once again noticing the ocean. She could barely see the horizon against the black of the sky, but she asked Freddie to pull over.
"What, you want to see the ocean now? It's dark now," he said, but pulled over anyway.
"I don't want to see it Freddie, I want to swim in it," she answered, getting out. She started to walk toward the shore.
It took him a moment to realize what she was doing, but when he figured it out, he got out of the car and called out, "Sam, you don't have a bathing suit!"
He could barely see her outline in the dark, but he could see her turn around for a moment and answer, "Exactly."
Without meaning to, his jaw dropped in shock, "Sam, that's illegal. That's immoral! That's..."
He trailed off as he realized that she was undressing, and he wasn't going to be able to stop her. He was less than twenty feet away now, and could make out her outline as she took off her shirt, then her pants, then his breath caught in his throat as she carefully unhooked her bra.
He was frozen with shock as she flung her last garments onto a pile of clothes half-buried in the sand. She threw one more mischevious glance at him before diving head first into the surf.
"Sam!" he shouted, searching for her blonde head bobbing above the dark waves.
She stood up and he could see her from the mark of the tide, where he stood near her clothes. Her arms were crossed modestly over her chest, but he found himself slightly aroused over what lay under them.
"Well, are you coming in?" she shouted, and she was forced to repeat herself because he didn't answer.
"You mean, without my clothes on?" he yelled, his voice breaking partway through. He could see her nod.
He hesitated, and she shouted, "Come on Freddie, be reckless! Take a risk!"
He chuckled, immediately loosening up, "I'm with you aren't I!"
She splashed in his direction, trying to push him to follow her. He took one more look in her direction before sighing and pulling off his hoodie.
"Oh yea! Take it off! Take it all off!" she mocked from the water. To be modest, he moved back toward the car another twenty feet where she couldn't see him. Slowly and carefully, he undressed down to his boxers, and hesitated, before adding those to the pile.
"Listen Sam, I can't believe I'm going along with this but...I'm coming in. Close your eyes!"
He sprinted for the water before crashing in and screaming from the cold, "Sam!"
He searched for her, until she surfaced behind him, splashing him in the face, "Well look at Mr. Reckless. I didn't think I'd actually get you in here."
"Well, what can I say. I couldn't turn down a challenge like this," Freddie said, turning just in time to see her duck down to cover her chest in the waves. He lowered himself so they were face to face.
"You're being pretty modest considering this was all your idea," he prodded.
"This isn't about to turn into a game of I'll show you mine if you show me yours, is it?" she laughed, pushing him in the shoulder. He fell backwards and came back up sputtering.
He shook his head, sending droplets flying in her direction, and answered, "Hey, what happens in the water, stays in the water."
"Nooo it doesn't," she reminded him, hesitantly letting one finger wander down the exposed length of his chest.
He reached for her hand and brought the lingering finger up to his face, pressing his lips against it, before confirming quietly, "No, it doesn't does it?"
He brought his hand up to her face and brushed back a wet strand of long blonde hair, leaning toward her. Before their lips touched, he smirked, "You didn't close your eyes when I came in, did you?"
Her mouth opened in shock, "I--" but that was the only syllable she got out before he covered her lips with his hastily. She squeaked in surprised, before giving into it, letting him pull her closer and meeting each move he made with her own.
When they pulled away, the first words that escaped her mouth were, "I almost forgot what that felt like."
She slowly realized that their chests were still pressed against each other, which was a very compromising position. She tried to pull away, but he only pulled her closer.
"See, I was going to play I'll show you mine, if you show me yours, but I can't see anything," he said tauntingly.
"I wouldn't have take my clothes off otherwise," she admitted. He slowly skimmed one of his hands down her side.
"Well look how far it got us," he said, and she could see his teeth smiling against the darkness. She used them as a beacon to lead her to his lips. He welcomed the kiss by pulling her closer.
When she pulled away, lips swollen and gasping for breath, she managed to add, "I don't think we're making it back to Seattle tonight."
"I really don't care," he said, as he slowly moved his hands lower, to her hips, moving farther south every moment.
"Well, before you become the poster-boy for reckless abandon, you don't have any protection," she reminded him, stopping his hands and holding them a few inches away from her sides, still grinning.
"I have some in my wallet," he started, before remembering his jeans were still on the beach. He pulled back just a little so their chests no longer touched.
This pause in intimate contact had brought the mood to a simmer, and with that, Sam concluded, "I think we should go find our clothes, then figure out where to go from there."
Freddie nodded slowly in agreement, but played grab-ass as they made their way to shore. When they hit dry land, he went over to where his clothes were, and had his boxers on before he heard Sam calling for him.
"Freddie, I can't find my clothes!" she screamed from a few yards away.
"They probably got washed away," he said, coming toward her, attempting to pull his t-shirt over his head. "That spontaneous spurt of yours happened just a little too close to low tide, don't you think?"
"Don't laugh at me!" she screamed, reaching blindly to punch him, but he easily sidestepped her. Her pale skin was easier to see in the dark than his dark clothing. "Listen, we are not driving all the way back to Seattle while I'm naked in your passenger seat!"
"I thought we weren't driving all the way back to Seattle tonight?" he mocked, but handed her his hoodie. While she pulled it over head, he pulled on his jeans.
The hoodie only went to her upper thigh, and she tried to pull it down further. Freddie noticed and told her, "Hey, don't stretch that."
She muttered a few expletives at him, to which he chuckled and told her to get in the car. She told him to drive, but he refused and put the keys in his pocket to prove a point.
"Why aren't we going anywhere?" she asked, furiously running her hand through her tangled blonde curls.
"We need to talk about this," he stated plainly.
"Talk about what?" she said, and he grabbed her hands to keep her from pulling her hair out.
"A couple hours ago, you were talking about things changing between us. What did you mean?"
"I didn't mean anything! Now can we please go?" she said, dropping his hands, and crossing her arms angrily. When Freddie didn't move to get his keys she groaned, "Don't do this."
"Don't do what?" he asked, feigning innocence.
"You know what I meant," she said in an almost inaudible whisper.
"I need you to say it," he prodded. He reached across the car to put his hand on her bare knee. She just stared at it, mesmerized, as his fingers made circles along the edge of his hoodie.
"I don't know how," she admitted. He didn't try to help her, and she went off on him again. "Look isn't enough for you that I haven't attempted to kill you over the last few hours? Isn't it enough that we just went skinny dipping in the Pacific Ocean? Isn't it enough that I'm sitting in your passenger seat, almost completely naked?"
"I wish it were," he whispered, losing the smirk he'd been carrying all night. "Would it help if I said you were right? I can feel it too."
She pulled his face to hers and kissed him long and hard, just for courage. With her first breath, she said it.
"I'm in love with you."
Neither had realized they weren't breathing, until they both exhaled. Now that it was out there, there was no taking it back.
She continued, unable to take the thick silence, "I don't know when it happened. Only God knows why it happened. But I love you. Yeah."
While she had been rambling, she hadn't realized he was leaning closer, across the divider and into reaching distance of every tantalizing part of her body. When she did notice, her breathing became shallow.
"I love you too," he whispered, reaching under her neck to pull her face to his, engaging their lips in a shameless, perfect kiss. As they pulled away, Freddie's responsible instincts started kicking.
"Listen, what do you want to do? We can keep driving, or..."
"...we can find a hotel?" she finished for him, eyeing his wet t-shirt. Her reckless instincts were even stronger than his responsible ones.
He still looked like he wasn't totally convinced, but she leaned toward him, and whispered, only a breath away from his lips, "I love you."
He hesitated for a second, his eyes staring down to hers, but instead of initiating the kiss, he turned on the headlights and started driving.
She was initially disappointed, until he broke the silence, asking quietly, "So, are we going with the first one I see, or do you have a special request?"
She smiled and watched as the streetlights passed over his smirking face. He reached out and turned up the volume before taking her hand in his.
Nightswimming, deserves a quiet night...
Good song, good song. I don't understand why Freddie keeps making playlists and mixtapes in my stories. Anyway, I hope this doesn't seem too horribly out of character. For once, I thought it wasn't too off. Anyway, aside from the obvious elephant in the story [ahem, bah-chick-wah-wah], I loved this story. I hope you did too. Please review.