Title: 2:3

Author: Alex Foster

Category: General

Word Count: 1,012

Warnings: Underage drinking.

Rating: PG for implied adult themes

Summary: Because they were never going to be a fairy tale and their happily ever after was always going to be different. Future fic.

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by Dan Schneider. No money is being made and no infringement is intended.

Author's Notes: A follow up to Yo Yo Girl. Written for this week's Taming the Muse challenge. The prompt was Blood, Sweat, and Hysterics. I tried something a little different with the story structure. Hopefully it works. Thanks for reading.

Orbital resonances greatly enhance the mutual gravitational influence of the bodies. Under some circumstances, a resonant system can be stable and self correcting, so that the bodies remain in resonance. An example is the 2:3 resonance between Pluto and Neptune.

Freddie's memories involving Sam were never linear or exact. They remained fractured and out of order and when he submerged himself in them, he could only fall backward and wait for the new arrangement. It was fitting that when he tried to grab them and hold on, to make sense of the senseless, they slid even further away from him. Much like the girl herself, he mused. Sam's voice would always chime up from his subconscious at that thought and call him a romantic nub for thinking such fluffy thoughts.

His brain associated colors with her, too. Blues and reds mostly that swirled and kaleidoscoped around the memories like an ever shifting picture frame.

Freddie could close his eyes and still smell the freshly cut grass. The alcohol running through his system had made him feel dizzy, like he was falling backward. Beside him Sam pointed at the sky and said, "That one."

He was used to her vanishing in the night by now. The first time he was too young and too lost in it all to understand. Carly flew in from NYU and listened and comforted while he ranted. It took him a while to notice she was upset but not surprised.

The second time he and Carly started to switch roles. She was angry with Sam for abandoning him again while he had guessed all along she might leave. It was the longest Sam had stayed, up to that point, and he was figuring her out.

The moon sat low in the sky but it was still bright enough to cast a blue shade over Ridgeway's football field. Their graduation gowns bunched and twisted around their forms as they lay on their backs looking up. Stars were widely scattered but in her stupor Sam had wanted him to tell her the name of each one. The grass beneath them was freshly cut.

After the third time she left he didn't even call Carly. He made the bed, threw out the empty boxes of fat cakes, and wrote himself a note to buy more in a few weeks.

"That's not a star," he told her. "It's a planet. Jupiter."

Sam's hair was stark against his dark red graduation gown. She blinked lazily at him, not even looking at the twinkling pinpoint of light on the horizon he was explaining. Freddie knew he was rambling but couldn't stop. The warm buzz humming underneath his skin had caused words to spill uncontrollably from his mouth. Downward he fell.

Sam didn't hesitate in pushing past him when he opened the door to her the fourth time. She swept into his apartment like it was hers too, dropping her duffel on the floor and heading straight to the kitchen. She offered no explanation and that somehow made him angry even though he wasn't expecting one.

As they fought a tiny corner of his brain recognized this as the same dance they'd been doing since ninth grade. They riled each other up, pushed buttons, and didn't do conventional like everyone else. Sam was never going to be a girl like Carly and they were never going to be a fairy tale and their happily ever after was always going to be different. She'd be bored with anything else and he secretly suspected he would as well.

Deep into the early morning they argued and fought full bore, all blood sweat and hysterics, about everything except the one thing he had oddly enough come to understand. He finally sighed and told her again that he hated her; Sam smiled proudly in response.

"Are you in an abusive relationship?" Carly asked him one day. It was winter and they were the only two customers stupid enough to take their coffee to the cafe's patio. Around them Seattle was still and white with an oncoming storm. In his pocket was an old note reminding him to buy fat cakes. "It's okay, I mean. There are numbers you can call for help."

Freddie figured she was only half-serious. "No, I'm happy. I get more out of her than you might think. In fact I think I'm the lucky one."

Carly gave him her skeptical look for several long moments but finally let the matter drop and sipped her soy latte. He suspected she wasn't going to throw out the list of hotline numbers though. Just in case.

Freddie got drunk for the first time in his life on graduation night. It was late evening, or ridiculously early morning depending on the point of view, but he wasn't tired yet. Sam wasn't either and together they glanced at Carly asleep on a beanbag chair, school gown pooled like a deflated balloon around her, before sneaking away from the studio.

They found their way back to Ridgeway's freshly mowed football field. Laughing at some secret joke, Sam showed him a bottle filled with amber liquid she'd hidden underneath the bleachers. "Carly wouldn't approve," she said, thumbnail cutting the seal like a pro. "So what do you say, Fredward? Feel like being corrupted?"

In the weird quiet that always followed their welcoming fight, while Sam tore into a second package of fat cakes and Freddie stared at the colored sugar staining her lips, he offered to make up the couch for her. Because he had to allow for the chance he was wrong about her, that he had mistranslated the Puckett Code somewhere along the way. She just quirked an eyebrow.

The moon was almost fully down and the blue around them had given way to black. Freddie trailed off when Jupiter slipped below the horizon. He had tried to explain orbits and how the planets moved together, it was a beautiful system really. In his inebriation he probably hadn't gotten all the facts right, but Sam didn't care either way.

He glanced down at her, blonde hair tickling his nose as he did so. At some point during the night she had curled against him and fallen asleep with her head on his shoulder.

She hadn't heard a word he said.