Disclaimer: I don't own iCarly or any of its characterizations, though it'd be pretty sweet if I did. I envy you, Dan Schneider.

This story is rated 'M' for strong language, sexual references and occasional allusions to drug and alcohol abuse. Consider yourselves warned.

Prologue

I racked my brain, desperate to inflict on her the same degree of pain her indifference was causing me. She sat there, smiling at me, and it was infuriating. I wanted to scream until I choked on my words or ram my fist through the window to the left of her. I paced, biting my tongue until my mouth filled with the metallic taste of blood.

She giggled. Did she really just giggle? Is this fucking amusing to her? "Relax," she purred in her typical nonchalant Sam-tone. "You'll give yourself an aneurysm."

That did it. I felt it snap. What "it" was, I'm not exactly sure. All I know is that the threads of sanity I had been clinging to were severed in that moment. My anger burned with a fury so intense, flashes of light clouded my vision. "No!," I screamed, raising my fist and slamming it against the table with such force that a cracking sound resonated throughout the tiny apartment. I wasn't sure if it was the table or the fragile bones of my hand that had shattered but, in that instant, I didn't care. She jumped, the smile leaving her face, and I felt satisfaction in every one of my synapses, but I wasn't finished. No, I was just getting started.

"I am over this," I hissed, gesturing between the two of us with my non-injured hand. "I am done with your apathy and your selfishness and your, your fucking mind games." I gasped for air, the exertion of my anger leaving me breathless. She was silent, staring at the table, her expression unreadable. That wasn't enough for me. I wouldn't stop until I knew that she felt something, for Christ's sake. The least she could do was retaliate.

I slammed my hands against the table, palms down, and lowered my face so that it was level with hers. I was close enough to her that my rapid breaths were shifting the hairs dusting her forehead. Still, she refused to meet my eyes. "Sam." My voice was low and menacing and unfamiliar to my ears. "Sam!" I punctuated the word with an open-fisted blast to the table. It elicited another jump from her, and I was finally met with a piercing stare, so icy I would have shivered if not for the fact that my blood was already boiling.

"You are an insecure little girl," I jeered. "How many people do you think would be willing to deal with your bullshit, day in and day out?" I could see that she was repeatedly clenching and unclenching her jaw, but still she remained silent. "You're more baggage than you're worth." I knew that I was taking it too far, that I was saying things I'd regret, but I couldn't stop. The voracious ache within me wouldn't subside until I knew that I'd gotten to her. "You are seriously fucking mentally ill." I nearly spat the words in her face.

I hated to admit it but, when she started to cry, it felt good. I knew that I had broken her rigid exterior to reach the core of her being. Her body shook as she stared at me, the tears flowing freely now. I expected her to kick and to scream and to swear. I welcomed it, so you can imagine my surprise when she stood noiselessly, the scraping of her chair against the linoleum and my ragged breaths the only discernable sounds. Her gaze remained fixed to mine as she brushed past me. I watched as she gathered her belongings and crossed the kitchen, shoulders squared and nose in the air despite the tears that stained her flushed cheeks.

With one hand pressed to the door, she paused, hesitantly shifting her weight from one foot to the other. When she spoke, it wasn't the emotional display I'd been yearning for. Instead, it was a blow to the chest, forcing the air from my lungs in an audible 'whoosh.' "Goodbye, Freddie."

I observed, speechless, as she pushed into the hall, the door swinging in her wake. I clutched at my stomach and sank to the chair she had vacated moments before. My heart pounded, lights dancing before my eyes, as I felt the blood rush from my brain. Overwhelmed by the sudden urge to vomit, I dropped my head between my knees and screamed. It was a strangled sound, trapped by the lump in my throat. When? My mind demanded an answer. When were we reduced to this? When had we allowed our goddamned selfish agendas to destroy what we had so painstakingly built?

In a horrifying moment of clarity, I accepted what I'd intuitively known from the start, from the day we'd made the agreement. We couldn't go back. We could only move forward. First, though, I needed to understand just where the hell we'd gone wrong, where exactly in our tumultous journey we'd lost our way.

A/N: First off, if you're reading this, thank you! I've enjoyed writing for as long as I can recall, but it's always been sort of a private thing for me. This is my first attempt at sharing my work with others, so I truly appreciate anyone who has taken the time to read this. You can blame my sudden openness on Sam and Freddie, BTW. They're too freaking meant-to-be not to explore.

Secondly, I know that this was a bit heavy, but I don't want you to think that the entire story will be angst-ridden. I enjoy a fair share of fluff, but I like to portray the realistic side of relationships as well. I hope that anyone who reads the entire story will be able to take something from it. Maybe it'll make you laugh, maybe it'll make you cry, and maybe it'll leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. Hopefully it'll do all three.

I have some semblance of the structure of the story and have written snippets here and there. Now, I just have to focus on tying all of it together. This will obviously be a multi-chapter story, but I couldn't begin to guess at its length, nor when it'll be finished. I am a busy, busy girl, so I can't make any promises. I just hope that you decide to wait it out. I think it'll be worth it.