Hey hey hey, welcome to my first iCarly story. Deals with some semi-serious stuff, but isn't really heavy on the angst. I go for more light hearted, friendshippy stuff. yeahhh seddie!


I don't own iCarly.

As yet another streak of lightning lit up 16-year-old Freddie Benson's bedroom, the said teenage boy sighed and rolled over for about the thirtieth time that night. Groaning, he lifted his head off the pillow to check his clock again—2:07 AM. A whopping 9 minutes since he had last checked. He let out a frustrated grunt and let his head drop hopelessly back into his pillow. For some reason, the tech-savvy teen just couldn't find the power to drift off to sleep on this particularly stormy Saturday night.

Of course, there was a small reason, although Freddie would never admit it; thunder storms simply rubbed him the wrong way. For one thing, they put his already neurotic mother extremely on edge. It had been storming all day, and as always, Mrs. Benson had not allowed him near any windows or metals ("You'll get electrocuted!"), so he was forced to give up any and all technology while in his own house. Luckily he was able to travel across the hall long enough to at least do the iCarly for the week, after promising his mom that he would wear rubber gloves as an "insulator" while holding the camera. Unfortunately, the rubber gloves came with a lot of heat from Sam, but had he really expected any different?

Freddie heaved a sigh and kicked off his comforter, thinking about his blonde friend. They really, definitely were friends now, he decided. Over the past couple of years, Sam had grown from his sworn enemy to one of his two best friends, the other being Carly of course. Sure, she still made fun of him a little—okay, a lot—but as he had said before on a… certain night, it would be way too weird if she didn't.

Realizing his thoughts had been dwelling on Sam, the brunette boy blinked and glanced at the clock. 2:11. Man, he really needed to stop checking. A clap of thunder shook his entire bedroom and Freddie shoved his face deeper into his pillow before he could be blinded by the inevitable lightning.

A muffled pounding noise suddenly reached his ears. Freddie's eyes shot open and he sat up, listening. The pounding noise came again, only louder. Thunder? No, couldn't be, it was too dulled. He listened harder, feeling his heart begin to race when he finally deduced that the noise was coming from someone pounding on a door out in the hallway. It wasn't loud enough to be coming from his front door, so it must be someone trying to get into Carly's.

Freddie felt his skin prickle. Who would be wailing on Carly's front door at 2:15 in the morning? The only person that came to mind was Sam, but she had gone home after the post-iCarly snack, and he figured even Sam wasn't crazy enough to brave this terrible weather.

The pounding noise stopped as suddenly as it had started, and Freddie held his breath and laid still. Whoever had been knocking was probably still there. The startled teen pondered for a moment, then came to a conclusion: he would silently tiptoe over to the peephole and see who it was. Not too hard… right.

Fighting off the urge to pull his comforter up to his chin and stay in that position permanently, Freddie quietly swung his legs over the edge of his bed and stood up, wincing as a particularly squeaky floorboard betrayed his position. He stood still for a bit and when he was \safely engulfed in silence again, the determined brunette began making his way over to his front door. While he was nearing the familiar peephole (although he had finally quit spying on Carly through it over a year ago), a different, softer noise reached his ears. Sniffling…crying. Freddie's eyebrows darted upwards and he quietly pressed his ear against the door—yup, whoever was out there was definitely crying. Throwing caution to the wind, he lifted his eye to the peephole and peered through.

At first glance he didn't see anyone, but something towards the bottom of Carly's front door caught his eye and he looked at it clearer. A mass of soaked blonde hair… an equally soaked hoodie… a small build… Sam.

He couldn't see her face; her head was down and her arms were hugging her knees, with her stringy wet hair covering everything. But he knew it was her. Freddie's heart sped up as he processed the image. Sam Puckett, the girl who was capable of causing him immeasurable pain, was sitting in the 8th floor hallway of Bushwell alone, curled up in a little ball, crying.

Tons of questions started flooding into his head, the first and foremost being what the heck happened?

Freddie went with his first instinct and he reached for the doorknob. Taking a silent breath, he slowly turned it and opened the door, suddenly grateful that he wasn't wearing the stupid onesie that his mom had tried to force on him earlier. His bare feet felt cold as he stepped out into the hallway and shut the door behind him, turning on the pitiful form that was his best friend. She had stopped whimpering as soon as the sound of the opening door reached her ears, but she didn't look up. The silence unnerved him.

He took a tentative step forward.

"Um… Sam?"

Nothing. The immovable Puckett only kept hugging her knees, her usually confident facial features remaining hidden. Freddie suddenly had the unexplainable urge to see her face; sitting down next to her, he cautiously reached out and put a light hand on her soaked sweatshirt. He resolved to give it another try.

"Sam? Sam, what happened?"

"What do you want, Fredwad." Hearing her voice almost made him jump; it wasn't the normal Sam voice, it was small and…broken sounding. An anxious feeling overtook Freddie, and he became very aware of his hand on her back. He swallowed—she still hadn't budged from her semi-fetal position. Just as he opened his mouth to respond, Sam spoke again.

"It was a rhetorical question, nub. Just… leave me alone." Her voice was dull and lifeless and it was really weirding Freddie out. The braver side of the boy came to the surface and he decided he wasn't leaving without some answers.

"Sam, it's like 2:30 in the morning. What are you doing out here? What's wrong?"

She shrugged his hand off. "Go away Freddork."

Freddie felt a tinge of annoyance as he pulled his hand back. Well excuse him for caring about his friend. However, as little annoyed as he was, the worried feeling in his stomach overcame it. Had he really expected Sam to open up so easily to him anyway? Still, he wasn't leaving without some answers. He scooted a little closer to her as if to purposely defy her command for him to go away; she shifted her downcast head in his direction a little but otherwise did nothing. Freddie decided to go for an even softer approach.

"C'mon Sam, you know I'm not going anywhere. I'm your friend. Just… tell me what you're doing out here. Please?" The question lingered for a few very long seconds, and Freddie felt his shoulders slump. Apparently playing the friend card was not going to work.

"Why do you think?" A muffled voice finally rang out from the soaking lump that was Sam Puckett. "I'm out here because Carly and Spencer are extremely heavy sleepers..."

"I can't hear you when you talk into your knees. Can't you lift your head up and talk to me face?"

The only response he got was an irritated grumble. He poked her shoulder lightly. "Sam."

Blonde hair flipped backwards and he was suddenly met with a pair of angry blue eyes as she stared him down. Freddie's eyes widened and the worried feeling in his stomach exploded. "I said I'm only stuck out here because nobody answered the freakin' door!" He said nothing, only gaped at her. She glared at him and tried to discreetly wipe at her eyes. "What?"

It was Freddie's turn to glare at her. Did she really expect him to not notice the horrible, nasty bruise that practically took up half of her face? He could only sputter and stare as he tried to form the right questions—but what could he say? Both Sam's left eye and cheek were bruised, with an unpleasant yellowish-purple color surrounding her slightly bloody cheek. Her face looked sad and emotionally crushed, and he felt his heart drop and insides churn furiously when he realized that Sam couldn't have done this to herself, that someone… someone must have

Freddie felt appalled, sympathetic, protective, and really, really angry all at the same time. His rush of feeling and realization must have resulted in a period of gaping silence, because Sam eventually got pretty fed up—

"Would ya quit staring at my face and spit it out already! "

Freddie blinked a couple times and then the questions started spilling out. "Sam! Sam… what—what happened? Did you—I mean—who did this to you? Why didn't you say anything?" He paused and thought for a second. "Please tell me you didn't walk all the way here from your house in this storm!"

She looked way too calm for his liking. That bored expression he hated half the time came over her face and she rolled her eyes at him, reaching her hand up to pat his bed head. "Aw, Fredward, don't you worry your dorky little head about me. I'm a big girl, I made it here just fine." Freddie frantically opened and shut his mouth, not convinced, but her hand shot up to cover it before he could make a sound. "And this," she pointed to her face, "is not as bad as it looks. So would you quit being a girl and just calm down? Geez, you really are as annoying as your mom."

She took her hand away and glanced sideways at him; Freddie had not stopped staring at her face. "It was just a little scuffle. Just drop it. My house wasn't working out tonight, so I came over to crash with Carly. Only it looks like that might not work out either…" Sam trailed off for a second as she leaned her head back onto the door of apartment 8-C. "Man, Carly and Spence really can sleep through anything."

She was obviously trying to change the subject, and Freddie wasn't having it. "Look, Sam, if you think I'm just gonna let go of the fact that someone hit you, then you really—" Before he could finish his sentence Sam was curling her fists into his t-shirt and jerking him towards her none too gently. Suddenly he was face to face with her and at the mercy of her infamous death glare. He gulped, his heart racing.

"I said drop it, Benson. I don't want to talk about it."

"But you—" She gripped his shirt even tighter and shook the protests out of him.

"No. Just, no."

At some point during Sam's mini-tirade, Freddie's eyes had dropped to her lips. Once Sam came out of her defensive haze she must have noticed, because her cheeks turned slightly red and she was abruptly shoving him away, letting her hands drop to the floor in a huff.

Freddie blinked, looking perplexed, and proceeded to smooth out his shirt. A silence overcame the odd twosome, threatening to be awkward this time. Good thing Sam always had the perfect line to break awkward silences.

"I'm hungry."

"Well that's surprising."

She tilted her head towards him, acting as if she hadn't been hurt and she wasn't soaked on a doorstep at 2 something in the morning. "Got any ham?"

Freddie was doing everything he could to keep himself from breaking the whole 'no questions' deal; feeding Sam seemed like the perfect distraction. It would be easier to pretend everything was normal this way.

"Actually, yeah. My mom made one a couple nights ago."

Her eyes bugged out so much that Freddie feared they would pop out of her sockets. "You people keep ham sittin' around in your fridge for days without eating it? Seriously Fredderson, you and your mommy got serious issues to work out."

It was an insult, but the curious feeling of relief washed over the brunette teenager. Apparently he was missing the good ol' offensive and witty Sam more than he originally planned. Biting back a smile, he rolled his eyes and scoffed. "Right Sam. I'm the one with issues. They're called leftovers. Although something tells me you're not familiar with the term."

"Say whatovers?"

"That's what I thought. But yeah, my mom doesn't believe in wasting food. 'Every bite not chewed is waste accrued'…" Freddie trailed off when he realized he was mechanically reciting one of his mother's incessant rhymes. His eye twitched.

"Uh huh. Who's the one with issues again?" She grinned evilly at him. He couldn't help but grin back; evil or not, it was just nice to see her smiling again. A smile looked natural on Sam, even with the ugly bruise marring one side of her face.

He made to stand up, eager to get out of the dank hallway, and offered a hand to his wet friend. "C'mon."

For once, she took it, and the pair silently headed for the Benson kitchen.

Before you ask, Sam does not have an abusiveee motherrrr (just a neglectful one. it's canon!). Ugh that plot is way overused and abused, no pun intended. This will definitely be a two or three shot, because I apparently can't stick with anything more than 3 chapters long. And apparently love the word apparently.

Review? :)