Title: What Part of Forever
Rating: T for language and suggestive themes
Synopsis: He who loves, follows. Sam/Freddie
A/N: This little ditty is a two parter. A bit different to anything I've written before but I like it. Shippy angst is by far my favourite stuff to write. And look whose back! My muse! Yayness. Oh there was a smutty part to this which I didn't include, but if anyone wants me to post let me know. I just thought it seemed a lil out of place in the context of the story. As ever reviews make my day, especially now that college is over. Eep, I'm an adult!
1. Just gonna stand there and watch me burn/that's alright because I like the way it hurts
Freddie thinks of silence as like a black bottomless hole, sort of like a drowning and most certainly like a death. He hates it, despises it with every fibre of his being and current experiences have done nothing to quell such a dislike. Silence however does have one redeeming quality; if there's silence then nothing is spoken. Nothing can be said that should be left unsaid. So he wouldn't change the silence of the situation, no, that he could deal with in some chamber of his muddled brain. If there was one thing he could change it was how she just stood there – just fucking stood there – doe-eyed and blinking owlishly, clutching her backpack as if it were some form of parachute.
"I've met someone," she says.
This he can deal with; he adds it to the ever-growing list of things about this situation he will punch out later. As if reading him she quickly adds:
"I didn't want anybody to know."
Ok, great. Fantastic. Except he isn't just fucking anybody and she knows it.
This makes him mad, madder than the idea of her with some else, madder than the thought of her kissing this yet unknown adversary. He's so furious he feels his fingers curl up into shaking, pale knuckled fists and he pushes them down into the shelter of his jean pockets. The gesture is not lost on Sam and she flinches. He has scared her. Good. It makes a change from the usual. She begins to blather on, nervous and stuttering. He can hear a blur of words, none of which make any sense. He's still focusing on controlling his fragile temper. He wants to shake her, still blindly furious. He wants to scream at her stop talking, he wants to make her stop talking. The sick/dark part of his brain (which he has kept under lock and key no matter how much she tortures/beats/teases him) wants to hurt her. It's an ugly feeling, made even uglier by the weight of recognition.
"Like I said, I didn't want anybody to know," she repeats.
"I'm not just anybody!" he roars, startling them both. He decides to count, concentrate on his ragged breathing, anything to push the feeling down and away.
(One. Two. Three. Four. It isn't working.)
But he isn't just anybody. He hasn't been for a long time now. They mean something and she knows: she knows full well. Except she ignores it and there's too much to ignore. The kissing, the touching, the recognition of feeling something (anything) that isn't hatred for the other; she ignores all of it.
Sam, never to be outdone or indeed never to take a telling off puffs out her chest, suddenly defensive. "What's your problem?"
Freddie realises the answer to this question is perhaps infinitely more complicated than she would expect. His problem? From what he can gather the majority of his problems start and end with her. Before Sam Puckett, his world was simpler, easier. Before Sam, Freddie believed love was love and came coupled with all the tenderness of a Lifetime movie. But now he half expects love to hurt in some way. If it doesn't hurt, is it real? His mother's words (Love is kind and gentle Freddie. Remember how you felt when you fell for Carly?) echo in his boy mind. Yes, he does remember how he felt for Carly, how he should still feel for her but he's just not sure if it's enough.
(Was it enough? The end. Tears. Anger. Does it all come back to hurt?)
He knows one thing; this hurts. So is this love? His own head aches with a contemplation fitting enough for an episode of Dawson's Creek.
"So where does this leave us?"
The question hangs heavy between them, both knowing it needed to be asked but both fearing the answer. Something flashes in her eyes, an emotion he doesn't recognise. She still just stands there.
"There was never any us," she answers calmly, "There was you. And there was me."
Fucking hell. Bull's-eye, right through the heart. Well, Sam never was one for missing an opportunity. His hands now tremble so badly he needs to grip something, anything, to keep steady. He feels like he's dissolving into thin air. He busies himself with gathering his belongings from her room, it's not like he'll need a spare pair of jeans in her drawer anymore, or a toothbrush hidden under the sink so her mom doesn't see. Losing his best friend is not something that sits well with Freddie. His heart will mend, the pain will fade but he anticipates a large hole, gaping and dark, in the space she once filled. He won't look at her, he refuses to. He's acutely aware of the silence surrounding them (Cold, breakable. Just like her.) Suddenly he's not concerned about her feelings, whether or not she feels something in that stone heart. He doesn't fill the silence with the usual "it's ok", "we'll still be friends" routine. Because it won't be ok, and they won't be friends. Instead, the silence lingers.
Freddie thinks of silence as like a black bottomless hole, sort of like a drowning and most certainly like a death. He hates it, despises it with every fibre of his being. But sometimes, silence says everything there is to say. Maybe some things shouldn't be left unsaid.
I'm not just anybody.
2. This is stupid/I'm not stupid/don't talk to me like I'm stupid/I still love you but I just can't do this/I may be dumb but I'm not stupid/in love
He does feel like a bit of stalker, parked outside her home on the outskirts of Seattle. He watched her mother's boyfriend come and go, before she turned off the sitting room light and went to bed. But there is a distinct absence and so he waits patiently. It's cold and he is exhausted but still he sits. The clunky Ford car heater gives little in the way of warmth, occasionally sounding like something large is jammed somewhere (Freddie is not good with cars; he is not a man of action. Sam completed him in that respect). He sinks further down his seat, arms wrapped around his middle, buried in a leather bomber. She would come home and he would wait.
After his immediate thoughts of blind hatred and loathing, Freddie began to think how the situation was kind of funny. Not funny in the ha ha, roll about laughing sort of way but more in the odd, ironic way that creeps up on you and bites you on the ass. When he didn't want her, when he found her to be a pain in the preverbal behind, he had her. Now he wants her (all of her, but that's another story) she tells him she wants someone else. It shouldn't be a surprise but Freddie is utterly dumbfounded by the sudden turn in events. He begins the routine of "what if" (what if I told her/what if she was different/I was different) and finds himself akin to a sixteen year old girl in love. Except he is eighteen, male and certainly not listening to every song that comes on the radio trying to find a "meaning".
Car lights startle him and his hand flitters to the car radio, turning the knob down. A beat up Maserati pulls up outside, radio thumping and lights on full beam. Two figures get out, one unmistakably blonde and petite. The dark haired boy who climbed out the driver's seat makes his way around the front of the car, catching her at the bonnet. He kisses her (déjà vu). Freddie feels something inside shatter and his fists shake, gripping the worn leather of the wheel. His bones ache, skin itches from the bitter cold but the only pain he feels is that which settles deep in his gut. A low, unsettling grumble. He has a feeling it will hang on.
3. Déjà vu; "already seen"; is the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously (an individual feels as though an event has already happened or has happened in the recent past).
Two years ago the image of Sam making out with some guy on the hood of a car would not have bothered him. Two years ago he would have probably marvelled at this random figure that was able to put up with her torturous antics. But that was two years ago and this is now. And now the sight of the budding romance unfolding on the steps of Sam's home moves him to memories of a figure much better known to Freddie in a similar predicament. And that is how he fell for her.
"Mumford and sons on the playlist? I've taught you well Benson," Sam grins, her fingers paused on his iPear.
"Taught me? How do you equate beating me around the head with one of your Converse, telling me to delete my nerdy music, teaching me?"
She flashes him one of her patented 100-watt Sam smiles and he forgets what he was going to argue. He notes this happening more and more frequently as their relationship progresses; she has found new methods of getting what she wants from Freddie, new forms of torture which although more pleasurable induce more guilt when he caves to her demands. That's not to say when all else fails she still doesn't kick his ass around the iCarly studio, some things may never change. A smile curls on his lips and she catches it.
"What you smiling at Nerdbrain?"
He reaches over, covering her hand with his.
Her hand snakes from his grasp, retreating to her lap. It's a gesture that is not lost on Freddie and he clucks his tongue, glancing at her hand and then back to the dark road ahead. She chooses to ignore the sweeping tension and instead rambles on about a new slasher horror she wants to be taken to. He's not sure why she does it, if it's a deliberate attempt to rebuff him or she simply does not give a crap. She has no problem going on pseudo-dates, making out with him in the back of his car, or the janitors closet or his/her bedroom but the moment he tries to be the least bit affectionate (or god forbid act like her boyfriend) she tenses, freezes and rebuffs. It grates and Freddie isn't sure why he tolerates it like he does. He spends the rest of the ride silent until he pulls up outside her house.
"What's your deal?" she drawls, chewing loudly on gum. He catches his lip, biting down still staring forward. "C'mon Princess, tell Mama's what's bothering you."
She thinks she's won thinks he has snapped when his car door opens and he leaves suddenly, air in her face. It shuts with a loud bang and she watches, mouth agape, as he makes his way around the car to her side, flinging open her door. She thinks how oddly charming and completely dysfunctional it is that he manages to maintain his gentlemanly manners while being absolutely furious at her. He knows she enjoys getting under his skin but he can't help it. Smirking, she leaves slowly, walking to the bonnet and resting there with her hands stuffed in the pockets of her oversized purple duffle coat. He's fully intent on ignoring her, on letting her know that this time he isn't going to be a pushover, but he falters. He walks to her but refuses to meet her eyes, instead staring over his shoulder at her home. He can tell she's smiling, she radiates arrogance.
"You'd better head inside," he tells her, "You're already well past your curfew."
"I don't have a curfew."
"Well then I'm well past mine."
"Aw Benson has to go home to his Mamma," she teases, grinning.
"That's it, I'm done," he mutters, waving a hand at her. He feels a tug on the lapel of his leather jacket.
"Benson, hey..." Her voice has changed; soft and low. He's pulled back to her. She's close, warmer than she's ever been and he can't resist. He leans down, capturing her full pink lips, pushing her back further on his bonnet. Her hands have retreated back to her pockets and he keeps her close by slotting his finger into a belt loop of her jeans. He adores the feel of her hips pushing forward, the idea of her bruised lips after their rough kisses. He groans and he can feel her smile.
Goddammit, she's won.
He puts all this effort into making it a good, toe-curling kiss, pinning her against the hood, his hands sliding up her jean clad thighs. He can hear her whimper, her teeth clamping harshly down on his lip as her hands finally leave their pocketed shelter and wrap around his neck. He affords her breath, tearing his lips from hers and trailing them along her jaw line.
"Wanna...come inside?" she gasps.
"Your mom," comes the muffled response from her neck.
"Is asleep...and wouldn't care."
He makes a noise, something akin to a grunt of protest before planting a feather like kiss on her lips and pulling back.
"Yeah. But I would."
Heavy lidded eyes gaze back at him. "What's with the chivalry thing Benson? I'm no lady, don't need to be treated like one."
(But she does, and he wants to.)
He chuckles, pulling her head forward with one hand and kissing her forehead.
She turns, posing theatrically. "You wouldn't want to leave the lil miss hanging would ya?"
Throwing her a glance over his shoulder he's caught by swirling blue iris's, dancing and laughing. He has to fight every boy urge to open the car door and climb inside. A knock on his window and he rolls it down. She leans in, batting long eyelashes.
"I'll steal your virtue at some point ya know?"
Tracing seductive circles on the flat of her hand leaning against the windowsill he slowly meets her gaze. "I think it might be more the other way round."
She's on him again, lips tugging in a bruising kiss. It takes him by surprise and he can't breathe. It's terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. It's over as fast as it started and he's watching her retreat to her house. He can pinpoint it to that moment. The moment she glances over her shoulder, pinky finger trapped between her teeth, her mouth smiling. That was the moment Freddie fell in love with Samantha Puckett.
4. Live unbruised we are friends/and I'm sorry/I'm sorry/sigh no more, no more/one foot in sea, one on shore/my heart was never pure/you know me
Fumbling with his car keys, the blind roaring hatred has returned. He wonders where it wrong (you know where it went wrong) he wonders if she misses him, he wonders if she's still thinking about their fight (because he's obsessing over it). Most of all he wonders if she's slept with him. Yes, some uncontrollable, irrational, selfish part wants to know if she has fucked him. The idea makes bile rise in his throat and he screams out, hitting the steering wheel.
Freddie has always been known for his even temper. Freddie Benson – you push him and he won't push back. Hell, it's why Sam picked on him as often as she did. But even Sam knew, pushed too far, Freddie was likely to snap. Burying his face in his hands, he sighs. He can't believe how exhausted he is even contemplating the idea of knocking on her front door and confronting her. He can't believe how chicken shit scared he is at the thought of him answering the door. What frightens Freddie isn't the idea that he couldn't take the unknown boy in a fight, what frightens him is that he could. Freddie's mother always reminds him of the good things he inherited from his father (eyes, lips, smile) but he knows there was something else, something much more alarming of his father's inside him. For a moment he is his father and he hates himself for it.
In what seems to be a blink of a moment Freddie is faced with Sam's front door, grey and looming. He knocks twice and the door flies open.
"I told you I...Freddie."
The way she says his name reminds him of before and he wants to smile at the memory.
"What do you want?" she demands, albeit a tad wary. She eyes him, gruff and unkempt.
You. But this he doesn't say.
"I want to...apologise for earlier," stutters out and she frowns, arms drawn around her middle.
"Fine. Apology accepted." She is abrupt and direct, the door already closing in his face. In a move that surprises them both, he jams it open.
"Actually you know what? No. No that's not what I came here for."
She's glaring at him now and he almost expects a sucker punch.
"I came here...cos Sam. I'm here cos I want you. I'm better for you than he is. Than all of them are. I can take care of you, we have a future. When I'm with you...I...we make sense. Sam...I love you."
Her eyes flicker to the floor, she falters. There's a silence, in which all he can hear is the faint hum of the television and Sam's breathing.
"I love you too," she says, plotting her words. For a moment he's overjoyed, a rush of emotion and his hands shake. But in typical Sam fashion she shatters it all over again. She looks him straight in the eyes with unwavering emotion and adds; "But I love him more."
The door closes in his face and this time he doesn't stop it.
(One, two, three, four...will it ever work?)
Loved it? Hated it? Review it! (in my head, that's a rap song. I'm just that cool.)