Title: The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
Summary: It's them except it's not them. Not really.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
A/N: Thanks for all the favoriting of my fics lately! Also, don't be afraid to leave a comment, let me know what you think!
Freddie's not stupid.
He's in the top ten percentile at Ridgeway which obviously means he gets outstanding grades, he scored above an 1800 on his PSATs and its not like being the technical producer on iCarly is a piece of cake, no matter what Sam seems to think. So, Freddie is pretty confident that he isn't a total nub.
He knows his role in this-this thing that he has no name for.
He doesn't know how to describe it because it's still them. It's him and Carly, pouring over segments for the web show up in the iCarly studio and it's him and Sam sharing a pizza 70/30 on the fire escape in the middle of the afternoon after school, much to his mother's chagrin.
It's them except it's not them. Not really.
It's him and Carly or it's him and Sam covering up something that's entirely Sam and Carly. Something that Freddie really has no part of, that he's not the star of and that's okay.
And he doesn't even know why this happened, doesn't even know how this happened because the unraveling of their relationship is just something else he didn't have a hand in.
Though if he's honest with himself, he's saw it coming.
He watched from afar as their relationship changed, from friendship to something soft and secretive that they couldn't keep out of their eyes and Freddie just ignored the hot swell of jealousy in his chest and pretended not to notice because if something that important changed they would tell him but then things changed again and the two girls that were always inseparable suddenly were.
They don't tell Freddie what happens but that's okay because they're his friends and he's important to them too.
At least that's what Carly says when she hauls him into the janitor's closet by the strap of his backpack, closing the door behind them.
"I care about you too." Even as she kisses him, slow and soft and almost exactly like Freddie's imagined in his dreams but her eyes are shut tight and her tongue is curious in his mouth and he knows what she's searching for.
That taste that's sweet and sugary and a little bit like coconut thanks to the low fat Fat Cake he shared with Sam during lunch.
She's searching for Sam in his mouth.
She says she cares about him but he knows it's not the same and its okay…really it is.
"You been at Carly's?"
Sam already knows, knows what he and Carly do, but she always asks like she's making sure that she's not doing this for nothing and that's always makes something in Freddie's chest hurt just a little but not really because he knows how Sam is.
He knows that if she didn't want to be here she wouldn't climb through his window in the middle of the night and sit beside him on his bed with her skin and clothes cold from outside like she's been standing out there for a while.
No matter what she says, she wants to be here because Freddie knows that Sam's one of those girls who's actions scream louder than her words.
He knows its means something, when she tucks her deceptively small hand in his.
"A while ago, yeah."
"So she told you?"
And yeah, Carly did tell Freddie that iCarly was on hiatus while they tried to make cookies from scratch in her kitchen despite their mutual culinary ineptness then again, later, softer and more broken in the dark living room with hot tears on her cheeks and his lips on hers.
Somehow Freddie didn't see this coming, probably because the web show usually transcended any petty fight, because all three of them loved iCarly but it's not the same this time.
Freddie admits and Sam nods, hair hanging heavy over her shoulders like even her curls are tired and she draws in a long breath before she turns and kisses him.
Sam kisses harder than he'd ever admit to imagining and Freddie leaves his eyes open, watches the way hers close just like Carly's…just like always as she licks at the inside of his mouth like she knows Carly's been there.
Sam always pushes harder, further, like she's trying harder to forget when she stretches out underneath Freddie in his sheets and lets him rub up against her through his pajama pants and her jeans for a while until he's shuddering against her, gasping into the soft skin of her neck, sticky and embarrassed.
And after when Freddie's rubbing his lips together, watching Sam sling one leg out of his open window while he tastes her on his mouth, she smiles at him like she never ever would in the light of day or in public and whispers.
"Goodnight Freddie." Like she cares.
He whispers, "You're welcome." Because he does care.
Something shifts again.
Freddie doesn't realize it until he gets a text message a week and a half after Carly decides to put the web show on indefinite hiatus that tells him to come over, they're doing iCarly.
Initially there is burst of excitement because he was going stir crazy without iCarly and he scrambles to get his stuff together but then there's an explosion of something else in Freddie's chest, something painful when he realizes what it means.
He lurches across the hall, waving to Spencer on his way up to the studio and before he can push open the door, he sees them through the glass and iCarly decal.
They're not kissing and for some reason that's worse, instead they're just standing face to face with hands entwined and Freddie knows that neither girl has ever looked at him the way they're looking at each other right now.
There's another sharp pang in Freddie's chest and for a staggering moment he's afraid he might cry which is stupid because its okay that Sam and Carly have each other, it's okay that he's on the outside because he's always known his role in this thing.
Freddie breathes deeply, hugging his camera to his chest because it's okay that he's not the star of this…whatever this is.
With a deep breath he presses the door open and Carly and Sam shift apart smooth and easy, Carly smiling brightly while he sets his camera on the cart.
"Freducini." Sam greats as she slips past him, voice low and warm while her hand trails over his shoulder, up and through his hair where she gives it a playful tug.
It makes something inside Freddie flutter and when he glances back at her while she exits through the door he just came in, she gives him a soft smile and raised brows that practically says 'Thank you.' And he grins back as warmth seeps into the part of his chest that was hurting just before.
Carly actually does say thank you, with Freddie's hand trapped in both of hers and her lips ghosting over his cheek.
She tries to explain, gets as far as "Me and Sam, we…" but he shakes his head and cuts her off because he already knows, he's always known but it feels nice to be in on it this time.
They don't say they care but they don't need to because Sam brings him a root beer, handing it to him instead of hurling it at his head and Carly asks him if he's been working out because he looks bigger.
Freddie just smiles as he lifts his camera and points it at the girls smiling faces and realizes as he counts backwards from five omitting the one, that this is okay.