A/N: Something fun (: Also, the chapters in this story will probably be shorter than I usually am—I dunno, I recently decided I liked shorter chapters more.

Disclaimer: Not mine!

Chapter One

"Freddie, it's just one tick bath—"

"No," Freddie said firmly, crossing his arms over his chest. His mother gave him a pathetic, helpless look.

"At least wear the under—"

"NO." Another uncomfortable pause. Lately, this had been the norm at the Benson household. Freddie's mom may have promised to 'lay off' the protective crap, but she never promised that it would be easy. Freddie continued to stare her down, willing her to say one more thing. And of course, she would. This had been routine for weeks. In Marissa Benson's eyes, the longer she persisted and the more she annoyed him about it, the faster he would cave. In Freddie Benson's eyes, the more she persisted, the faster he got pissed off and left. And leave he would—just one more thing, he thought, I dare you.

"How about a prune pop?"

Ah, there it was. The final straw. Freddie didn't say a word—he spun on his heel and stormed out of the apartment while his mother called, "Freddie! Don't leave! Freddie! Your inhaler!"

He didn't even have asthma. With a grunt and a roll of his brown eyes, Freddie strode across the hallway and knocked on the door to the Shay's apartment. He knew his mom wouldn't follow him here—she'd done it once, and the result hadn't been pretty.

"Come in!" Spencer shouted. Freddie twisted the handle and slid into the apartment. Spencer was working on a sculpture—that was a sculpture, right? It kind of just looked like a cardboard box…that Spencer was currently spray-painting purple.

"Hey Spencer," Freddie murmured, standing in front of the television.

"Hey Fred-o, how goes it?"

"Not good. Mom's driving me nuts."

"What else is new? Carly's not home, she's having lunch with granddad."

"That's okay, I have some technical changes I needed to make anyways," He lied easily. He could put in a movie or something upstairs—Carly couldn't eat lunch forever.

"Alright, good luck with your nerd stuff."

"Good luck with your artsy stuff."

"Thanks."

Freddie trotted up the stairs, taking them two at a time, and turned the handle to the studio. As soon as the door closed behind him, he heard a distinct sniffle sound from a bean bag chair. He hesitated before he called out.

"Carly?"

The person in the chair stiffened and turned around very slowly. Her wild blonde hair was stuck to her cheeks where clear tears had trailed down them. Her enchanting blue, blue eyes were rimmed with red, and Freddie started to panic. Still, Sam stared at him innocently as if he'd been here all along, as if he'd seen her cry before—which he most certainly hadn't.

"Freddie?" She wondered. Her voice sounded weak and far away.

"Sam," He whispered back.

A/N: More to come, of course! Just pausing it here. I'll probably update later today. Review puhleaseee, I know it's not the greatest, but I'm working on it. Shlove you guys (: