A/N: I don't own iCarly or its characters. I don't profit in any way from writing this (except to excise a few demons).
When I started writing this I had NO intention of this going anywhere near an M rating. I'm not sure what happened. This was also supposed a short one-shot. Yeah, this thing obviously had a mind of its own.
Where Are My Friends?
Senior year of high school. Most people said she wouldn't make it (at least not in the same year as her peers) but she'd proven them wrong. Samantha Puckett was going to graduate, but of course she couldn't care less.
All it meant to her was the beginning of the end. The end of ruling the halls, the end of iCarly, the end of her close friendships. Carly and Freddie were going away to different colleges, leaving her behind. As if finding all this out weren't bad enough she also had to deal with it on her own.
Carly was caught up in college preparations, housing situations, and general packing. Freddie, being the nub that he was, had had everything planned, even before their start to senior year. Part of his "Master Plan". While he was available to talk to her he had begun to act strange, distancing himself. In her mind he was shunning her and she didn't know why. All she knew was that it hurt, and that in turn made her angry.
It was an unseasonably warm May for Seattle. The temperatures wavered between the mid-seventies and upper eighties. Sam didn't like it when the temperatures got anywhere above seventy, it made her uncomfortable and even more irritable. If that were possible right now.
She walked into the Shay apartment just as she received a text. She was there to meet Carly and Freddie to rehearse one of their last iCarly episodes. It was bittersweet. She was able to spend time with her two best friends but it was only a temporary bandage covering their approaching split.
She pulled her phone out of her back pocket to check the incoming message. When she saw it was from Carly she groaned. Even without reading it she knew what this meant. Carly wasn't coming. This was how it had been lately, Sam was at Carly's place more than the brunette was.
- not gonna make it. say sorry 2 f 4 me. will make it up 2 u -
Sam sighed, what was the point of getting mad at her? She was more disappointed anyway. She headed up to the studio, sure that the nub was already there. Maybe she could take her frustrations out on him.
Freddie stood at his tech cart playing with some of his equipment. His back was to the door so she watched him for a moment. It seemed like ages since she'd seen him. They spoke at school but they didn't have many classes together anymore. Freddie was in advanced... well, everything, and she was simply passing basic classes. But that was good enough for her.
Reflecting on it he seemed to barely resemble the nerdy little kid he was when they first met. He still had nerd-like tenancies but they were toned down. Or maybe she just didn't notice them as much anymore.
She opened the door silently. "Hey what up, meat-bag?" she said, slamming the door behind her. She was pleased to see him jump at her sudden appearance.
Attempting to be stoic he merely glanced at her before continuing with what he'd been working on. "Humans are over sixty percent water so it would be more accurate to call me a water-bag."
She barked out a laugh. Strike what she'd been thinking earlier. "Could you possibly be any more nerdish?"
"Nope," he said with a grin.
This felt normal, this felt right. She took a silent breath. All she wanted was to banter with him, to pick on him. He was her favorite sparring partner and punching bag.
He rolled a cable in his hands as he turned to look at her. She couldn't be certain but it looked like his eyes drifted down her black tank top and cut-off jean shorts for a second. "Carly should be here soon," his eyes came up to meet hers.
Her face fell some. "Unfortunately, no."
"Don't tell me..." he groaned.
She held up her phone and waved it a bit. "Yep. She just texted me. So it's just you and me this afternoon." At least she'd have one of her two friends.
"Actually, if Carly's not going to be here there's someplace I have to go." He suddenly looked nervous but she couldn't continue reading his face because he turned back to his cart.
Why should he be nervous? Unless he's lying to me, Sam thought as a flash of anger passed though her. What is this? Avoid Sam Day? Damn it, she missed him, she wanted to spend time with her friend! Couldn't he see that?
She decided to brush off the hurt in favor of her favorite pastime – teasing him. "What, Benson? Got a hot date tonight?" Sam smirked and pushed hard at his shoulders.
As mild as that was it must've been his snapping point, because the next thing she knew her back was pressed to the wall behind her. She hadn't even seen him turn back around. He had her wrists and held them on either side of her head. His grip was bordering on painful but she barely noticed it in her shock.
Her breathing was heavy and she discovered that she had to look directly up to see Freddie's face. Looking strait ahead only afforded her a look at his neck. When did little Freddie Benson get this tall? she asked herself, Or this strong? She couldn't move, he had her pinned, he had one leg between her feet and he was leaning into her.
"Freddie?" she asked in amused curiosity. Suffice it to say she hadn't been expecting this reaction. He was traditionally a nonviolent person, always telling her that physical violence was never the answer. This was an entirely new side to him, a more aggressive side. She couldn't help herself from liking it just a bit too much.
His eyes were screwed shut and his breath came as ragged as hers. "You don't... you don't understand." His breath was hot on her cheek and neck and a strange feeling went down her spine.
"Really, Fredwad? Do tell." She'd wanted to have that come out snarky, but in execution it was a little more breathless than she would've liked.
He opened his eyes and looked down at her. She couldn't read his expression but his eyes noticeably didn't stay fixed on hers, for a second time they fluttered further south. He was making her feel weird, almost self-conscious. She was uncomfortable under his scrutinizing gaze.
A second more and she was going to shove him off but it turned out to be unnecessary. He pushed himself from her, turning away. He gripped the back of his head in a move of frustration. "Gah, you don't know what you do to me, Puckett." He sounded tense, like he was on the verge of cracking again. "I gotta go," he mumbled. He strode over and slammed his hand on the elevator button. He never turned around as it opened and he got inside.
The door shut before Sam had regained her voice. She was still pressed against the wall where he'd left her. Slowly her senses returned to her, like he'd left her drugged and her functionality only returned when he was out of range. "What the hell," she muttered shakily. What has gotten into that boy?
She slipped away from the wall and started pacing in short trails. His behavior around her had been odd lately but this was the topper. Just now he'd been rough with her, she could still feel the ache in her wrists. This turn in his character was both exciting and frightening. When he'd grabbed her it was a rush, she liked the danger, and even more at the thought that it was at the hands of mild-mannered Fredward Benson.
Whatever was going on with him she felt she needed to talk to him about it. She didn't get those feelings very often so to ignore them might be fatal. At least for someone. Okay, she could concede the exaggeration in that statement, but still, it afforded an excuse so she'd take it. At this point she was too curious not to.
Her mind trailed off wondering if she could push him again, just so she could see that side of him once more. She knew it was messed up to want to torture her friend but this was science, and he would appreciate that, wouldn't he?
With that bit of logic she headed down the stairs.
As she knocked on the door of apartment 8-D she silently prayed Freddie's disturbed form of a mother wasn't home. After a minute with no answer she became restless. What? She never said she was a patient person. She tried the handle and found it unlocked. Of course, even if it had been locked that wouldn't have stopped her. She peaked her head into their apartment. Fortunately it appeared Marrissa wasn't there, she didn't think she could deal with her right now. Not that she tolerated her well on any regular day... She sighed and entered, Freddie wasn't visible so she assumed he was in his room.
She was silent as she approached his door, still not sure what she was going to say to him. What had really happened back there? Why was he acting so odd, even weirder than normal?
His bedroom door was open a crack but the lights were dim inside. She pushed the door a bit more and was about to say something when she saw him. He was sitting in his ergonomically designed desk chair (what a nerd) facing away from from the door.
At first she thought he was working on something on his lap but then he made a small sound. Her eyes shot wide. He was defiantly working on something.
- Now, hanging around guys most of her life she'd heard plenty of locker-talk, and with a mother like hers she'd seen glimpses of plenty of grainy porn, so she wasn't clueless as to what she was seeing. But this, by far, had to be the realest thing she'd ever witnessed, even more so than the time this boy in front of her had been hit by a taco truck.
Her hand flew up to cover her mouth; not out of revulsion or amusement but out of shock. She'd never thought of her friend Freddie in this way. As a guy. A guy with needs. It was eye-opening and a little bit provocative. The increasingly frequent sounds he was making were downright hot.
Her stomach tightened and quivered strangely. She wanted to run, but curiosity, and a morbid fascination, glued her to her place.
Her hand slipped away from her mouth, she wasn't going to say anything, she couldn't if she wanted to, she wouldn't disturb him. She gripped the door jam, her legs were starting to feel like gelatin. Everything within her strained to reach into that room. She was horrified at what she was witnessing, but like a train wreck it was too hard to look away.
He was getting close, she wasn't sure how she knew, but she knew. She pressed her free hand to the zipper of her jean shorts to quell this horrible/wonderful feeling that was rising up inside her.
Then the word came that changed her world forever.
"Sam." His voice was hoarse and gravely, very manly to her ears. He let out a shuddering groan and then he was done. His shoulders relaxed and his head fell back against the chair.
At the sound of her name she had the sickening thought she'd been discovered, but then the truth came to her and it was far more horrible. He'd done... that... to thoughts of her! All she could think at that moment was to get the heck out of there before he found out that she'd watched him.
As quickly and as quietly as her legs could function she went down the hall and back out his front door. As soon as it shut behind her she found her feet and ran.
A/N: So, why didn't I put the obvious "i" before my title? I wanted this not only to be iDon't Understand, but also "you" and "we". I didn't want to limit it to just "i".
Anyone else notice that Carly's apartment number is sad 8-C while Freddie's is happy 8-D ? Maybe it's just me...