Disclaimer: Eh, whatever.

Two years later…

"Ms. Shay…!" A government teacher called out in the middle of class. "Ms. Shay!"

Her teacher's words rudely jostled her awake. The girl's head practically flew off the desk and small chuckles littered the classroom. Everyone else who knew better felt some derision for the people laughing.

"Ms. Shay, are you alright?" The teacher asked. "Do you need to-"

"I'm fine," she said quickly. "I'm fine. I'm sorry."

"Okay, then… if you're sure."

Carly looked back down at her notes and saw the last few things she scrawled. They were completely useless scribbles. She had to fight the urge to groan in anger.

"Actually, ma'am, I changed my mind." Carly said right in the middle of the teacher's lecture. "I really need to go."

"Okay. Remember the online quiz due on Friday."

Carly nodded even though she barely heard her say anything. She left in haste.

The whole way back to her apartment, she felt her stomach buckle. It looked like she was going to make it another whole week in a row without falling asleep in class. She felt embarrassed and ashamed, not to mention disappointed.

But that's the way it was. She couldn't fall asleep unless she was either completely exhausted or in a room full of activity. If she was alone in a dark room, she had almost no chance of going to sleep. The voices would start. The thoughts would start. The flashbacks would start. No amount of her meds could fix that.

The song "Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead was playing at a soft volume in her car. It was one of the songs on her relaxation tape. The lights of Seattle never looked so lonely and defeated.

()()()

Spencer's last sculpture- a giant fork made of smaller forks- sat in a corner where the brother couldn't see it.

He sat motionless in front of the TV, for good reason. Any significant amount of physical activity was no longer possible for him. The damage to his brain from his fall two years ago made certain of that.

Walking was a challenge, but talking was almost as bad. He dreaded when his sister came home. She was going to want to talk, and he was going to want to open his mouth as little as possible. That is, unless he wanted a torrent of drool to come pouring out with every sentence.

Everyone thought it was just so fucking funny when he got disabled. They all mocked and gossiped about his slurred speech and his gimp walk. He wouldn't wish this on anybody, even his worst enemy. At least, that's what he tried to tell himself when he found he was doing just that.

Inwardly he groaned when he heard the crack of the apartment door. His sister was home. The sound of her backpack collapsing off her shoulders accompanied the door's shutting. Clop clop clop. Her shoes led her over to the refrigerator. Seems it was eatin' time!

()()()

Spencer was always cranky. It was understandable. But understanding it doesn't make it any more tolerable.

"Have you eaten, Spencer?" Carly asked. Her brother often didn't eat, and as a result, he was often more delusional than he should have been. He grunted off some sort of androgynous response and the girl prepared something anyway. Maybe he wouldn't want it- maybe he'd bitch her out for wasting food- but she wouldn't let him starve.

She wished her brother would get rid of that goddamn sculpture. The giant fork. It was one of the things in the apartment that served simply to remind her of worse times. For how much she hated to see it, her brother must be going crazy from it. It's a reminder for him that he's never going to be able to sculpt again! Carly couldn't believe, with Spencer's strict regiment of anti-depressants, he wanted to keep around something that was depressing him.

But maybe it wasn't depressing him. Maybe it was just depressing her.

Carly left Spencer's food on the coffee table in front of him and, thank goodness, he was hungry. She bid him good night and went up to her room. If there's one thing the girl was grateful for, it was the vibrancy her room had from the time Spencer redecorated it. She thought it simply gorgeous.

()()()

Finally, she went upstairs. All that talking was about to kill his ears.

A plate of food sat in front of him that he felt obligated to eat because Carly made it. He wasn't really hungry, but like hell he was letting food go to waste. Carly did ask if he wanted some food, and he'd have answered negative if he felt that much like talking. Nowadays, it didn't pay much to try.

Sometimes his bitterness surprised him. That was good- it meant some idealistic part of his old self still explored somewhere deep in his mind. He didn't feel like helping it along, but he wished it the best.

Another few hours and it would be time for his sister to try getting some sleep. Sleep. He took it for granted when it was simple. She did too, and he could tell. Every night was a little hell.

()()()

Carly hit the bed and then she hit it with her fist. This was her least favorite time of the day- the end of it.

The meds never worked, much like every med she'd tried since…

But whatever. She grabbed her laptop and went to a place that provided some relief- a small chat room. The place was in a very quiet little corner of the Internet and there were few regulars. As a result, it had a sense of community and chillness. The few other people who frequented it were her only friends. She hated to admit that.

They didn't know that she was the former co-star of iCarly. If they knew, they would have immediately started asking about the very last iCarly webcast. That was so fresh and legendary in the minds of people, she was never telling them who she really was.

Some nights they even started talking about it. Those were the nights she had to excuse herself and proceed to get absolutely no sleep. It was so hard to forget about it and live her life. She spent the first year after it in an almost comatose state. Her life was changed forever, for the worse.

()()()

The brother Spencer took up his walker and walked. It was damn lucky for him that his bedroom was on the first floor.

His room was a wreck and that's exactly how he liked it! The floor was a menagerie of random bullshit. There were socks, dirty pictures, dust in the corners, old clothes, and all the other accouterments he wanted and needed.

He turned on the television sitting by his bed and laid down before realizing he'd left the living room's on. And it was fucking blaring. Now it was time for him to make a very tough decision. He could get out of his bed, grab the walker again, go back and turn it off. Or the much more attractive option; wait until his sister came down for a glass of water so she'd do it.

The notion of calling her to do it entered his mind for a brief moment and exited just as fast. His voice would surely sound awful on the phone. Besides, his pants were lying on the floor, and that's where his phone was. Like hell he'd bend over.

It then occurred to him a very dark thing; how much like a towel he'd become. Stationary, sedentary, a man without purpose, collecting disability, wasting away. He could swear he had the exact same revelation every single night, though.

But before he could finish the decision he wanted to make, Spencer fell asleep. With him it was easy, and that was something his sister truly envied about him. Occasionally she even wished she could be brain damaged just so she could get some sleep. But then she thought about the "drooling while talking" aspect of it and her mind quickly changed.

()()()

Carly swam to the roof of her apartment building and waited. For what, she didn't remember. But she felt like something was approaching very soon and she needed to be on standby for it. Things floated by that reminded her there used to be a city underneath the pockmarked ocean. Besides those objects and the occasional rooftop, nothing of Seattle was visible.

It was the brightest part of the day and only the faintest hint of sunlight broke the bed of clouds. Right above Carly's head, it was a rather pretty sight. But one could immediately offset that by observing the grayness of the rest of the sky. Or the water, for that matter, since it seemed to be nothing more than gray as well.

The rain hadn't stopped for what felt like months, even though Carly secretly knew this was all a dream. It came down so hard no one could see but for a few feet in front of their selves. But even through the rain, Carly could see something approaching on a piece of wood. Right away, it was obviously not a person. It looked like some kind of black pile.

Just after realizing what it was, the pile of thick wires came to life and ensnared the girl from so far away she could never have expected it. She was quickly taken underwater, where she could see very clearly.

The wires were coming- rather, spilling- out of a window. Something foreboding about that window- but she was in a dream, so she knew immediately what it was- that was Freddie Benson's room! The water rendered her scream inaudible.

()()()

From the outside, Carly's sleep was quite restless. Her face couldn't stop clenching and her mouth whispered words that didn't seem to relate to each other. But her body remained still.

She visited the sleep clinic for a few months after the Benson Incident. They found little wrong with her sleeping patterns. It was all in her mind, they said. She was susceptible to severe nightmares for the things she'd been put through.

The nightmares weren't just frightening; they were strange and inconsistent. She never had the exact same one twice. With this, it was very difficult to explain them to a therapist, because she would only ever experience it once.

All the sleeping meds did for her was put her to sleep faster- they didn't do anything for the bad dreams. Carly took them for the first week and immediately quit them- because, in all honesty, she didn't want to sleep. She didn't understand why the so-called "doctors" wanted her to sleep so badly- and it was never enough, anyway. When she awoke every morning, she was tired. Her heart had become a seizure.

()()()

iCarly Cohost Commits Live Massacre

May 1st, 2011

Fredward Benson, iCarly's 17-year-old technical producer, murdered co-star Sam Puckett and committed suicide on a live webcast April 30th.

By the time police found where the killer was streaming from, the victim had already died. Police officials noted the brutality of the slaying.

"I'm afraid much of what we found at the scene, you couldn't transcribe it in the paper," said Sgt. Peter Ross. "It was very messy and very awful."

Aside from the killing of 17-year-old Sam Puckett, DNA evidence has tied Fredward to the murder of Marissa Benson, his mother. Marissa's dismembered body was found in a garbage truck the afternoon before Sam Puckett's murder.

Tenants of the Bensons' apartment complex were shocked and some were disbelieving about the identity of the killer. Fredward- or "Freddie" as he was mostly called- was known for being a polite and intelligent young man.

"It doesn't seem right to me that young man is being accused," said Patsy Ortega, a neighbor of the Bensons'. "I never would've thought he had that in him."

"I can't picture Freddie cutting an onion, never mind his friend," said Lars Tennyson, another neighbor. "It's awful. But the camera doesn't lie, I guess."

The feed of Freddie torturing his co-host remained on air for 15 minutes before the website's admins were alerted. Many who tuned in to the popular webcast were deeply disturbed at what they saw.

"My son hasn't come out of his room since last night," a tearful Seattle mother said. "He's only 10 years old. He loved that show so much. I can't believe this."

Carly Shay, iCarly's other co-star, could not be reached for comment.

()()()

Carly's rest for that night was coming in sporadic gasps. Rather than a simple eight-hour stretch, she obtained about fifteen minutes at a time. Then, she'd awaken for about a minute, and then resume. It just went on and on and on like that.

Come to think of it, the girl's whole life was starting to revolve around the bed she now lay in. Going out for anything other than a class was a rarity. Communicating with any real people- save for Spencer and some doctors- was even less common.

"Maybe I should go to the Groovy Smoothie this weekend," she thought. Honestly, Carly didn't even know that the place was still open- she hadn't been there since before…

But whatever. In any case, Carly felt like it was time for her to start getting out more. She couldn't live under the shadow of two gravestones forever. Eventually, they'd crush her. Some hints of tenacity started welling up in Carly's chest. "I can do it," she mouthed to the ceiling. "I can start living a normal life again." The idea was enough to bring a tear to Carly's eye.

Hold on. This isn't the first time Carly Shay vowed to start her life over. In fact, much like everything else in her life, it had turned into a ritual. Regularly, the former iCarly star promised herself many wonderful things. She would drop the past that hung around her neck when she got out of bed in the morning. The world would start looking colorful again. When she saw the door to the Bensons' former apartment, she wouldn't cringe inwardly. The sight of ham in a grocery store would not send her into another fit of tears. She promised herself all these wonderful things.

But with every chance to set herself on fire, she just ended up doing the same thing.

At last, the exhausted Carly faded into her bed of nightmares.

()()()

Carly woke up in her house. It was 6 AM and she was elated not to have had any bad dreams. So happy, incidentally, she tripped over a hand trying to grab her ankle as she raced downstairs to wake Spencer.

He wasn't in his room, so Carly figured him out for groceries. Though it was 6 in the morning, maybe he had a reason to be excited as well. But when Carly saw the mess Spencer left in the kitchen, she just shook her head in frustration.

Would you believe that man left severed feet all over the kitchen? What an inconsiderate jerk! Carly made a mental note to take away Spencer's pedometer at the nearest opportunity.

Fortunately, the delightful screaming and crying of the garbage disposal brightened the young girl's mood once again! Carly jammed gooey, decomposing feet down its mouth one by one while tears dripped from its faucet. Sometimes, it got backed up and the thing would vomit maggoty chunks of flesh and bone right in Carly's face! Talk about making it hard to whistle while you work! But with some elbow grease, the teen got the job done!

Carly turned on the TV. It was Faces of Death, and right then and there she started moving alongside the main character, R. Budd Dwyer. Funny thing is, Budd's skit in the movie was repeating over and over. He kept placing the gun in his mouth and shooting over and over. It was like he was trying really hard to kill himself, but his eternal celluloid prison kept him alive against his will! How funny!

At last, Spencer arrived through the glass door by the kitchen. He had become a centaur! Oh, wait, not quite. He had a couple of big old thick legs grown out of his ass! Hold on, was that it? Well, whatever it was, they walked him back into the apartment.

"Hey, Carly," he said in mid-yawn. "I picked up some fried offal at the Catholic Church Cookoff."

Carly couldn't believe it. Spencer knew she was allergic to any food made by Catholics! "Spencer, you-"

Without any warning, Spencer Shay melted into a pile of foul smelling goo and Carly screamed. And Carly screamed. And Carly screamed yet more.

Picking up the nearest blunt object, Carly destroyed a pane of glass on the door and ended her life.

()()()

It was morning. Carly could see that through her window. But she didn't know exactly what time it was. She'd been frozen in her bed since she awoke from her last dream. If she moved, she felt as if her body would sink through the bed sheets and she would disappear.

Meanwhile, her brother was making his steady approach to the toilet. He tended to be awoken by his bowel movements. Being on the verge of shitting his pants was the only thing enough to propel the man out of bed. Thankfully, the medicine he took ensured that he had diarrhea unless he ate just right, which he never did.

The view of the wall in front of the toilet was practically imprinted in his brain. He could see it when he closed his eyes. And then he remembered the special occasion for today. He finished his toilet business and pulled his phone out to call Carly.

"Sis, get dressed and let's go to the cemetery. We're visiting them."

()()()

Carly put down her cell phone and sat up in bed. Her body felt like undercooked pasta and her stomach seemed to want to drip out of her waist. How could she have forgotten today was the two year anniversary of Sam and Freddie's deaths? This was going to be the most dreadful part of her year- and she had multiple moments to pick from.

Not wanting Spencer to walk up and remind her, she grabbed some fresh clothes and ran downstairs for her shower. Taking her time in the shower was a hard habit to break, but she did it. Of course, not before her and her brother got into some pretty serious arguments about it. Now she could be in and out in about 10 minutes.

Ironically, Spencer was the one who really took his time, so he tended to go second. By the time he was done, Carly would sometimes be asleep on the couch whenever he got out. This pissed him off- what if he fell down or something and she couldn't hear him scream for help? He swore that one day she'd end up finishing the job for Freddie.

()()()

Dear Sergeant Kerry,

This is my letter of resignation from the force. I'm sorry to say that there are some problems I need to have worked out before I can call myself fit to be anything, much less an officer of the law.

The truth is, the Freddie Benson incident, as they're calling it on CNN already, did something to me. It changed who I am, and that terrifies me. I am unsure why this is, I've seen worse, not in person. But while my body has left the apartment where we found the severed head of Marissa Benson, my mind hasn't. I still smell the apartment when I take a deep breath through my nose. It had a taste, sir, the air in that apartment, that I don't want to linger on, because I don't want to know from where among the many horrible things in that apartment it came.

I apologize for giving you so much to read. It's taken me a long time sitting at my desk for me to gather everything I wanted to write down. But after doing it, I feel like some of the pain has gone. My wife is in bed asking me why I'm up so late. I love her more than I ever imagined right now.

-Officer Frank Coulton

()()()

Carly and Spencer walked to the cemetery three blocks away, holding hands so Spencer could keep his balance. Of course, having the emotional support didn't hurt Carly's end of the bargain either. There was a dense fog diminishing the view of Seattle past a few feet. The air seemed to have hands, and those hands caressed with the vigor of a subway vagrant with bad intent. Spencer's joints were screaming in pain. Two nearly unbroken years of sedentary living made them weak.

Both of them were secretly contemplating the cliché weather on such a day. Seattle was a rainy city, but today was particularly gloomy because the air appeared to be haunted by the dead. But then, what if it were a beautiful and sunny blue sky? What if they were a few hours away, in effervescent, blinding California? The weather wouldn't relate to them- it would outright laugh at them. Their ears would be pockmarked by the laughter of near-summer children as they gave Sam Puckett flowers.

Carly's fingers twitched. Spencer felt like he needed to say something to his sister to comfort her. This was one of the few days where he felt sorry for someone other than himself. Sure, he missed Sam and the Bensons too, but for her it was different. It was like her soul died with them both.

()()()

"Go away!" Spencer slurred from the door, but his voice wasn't audible through the din of reporter voices. He and his sister just returned from the hospital, and they didn't feel like being grilled about the "Benson Incident."

"Mr. Shay, how is your sister?!"

"What was Fredward like prior to the Benson Incident?!"

"Do you need a napkin for your mouth?!"

"I said leave!" Spencer strained to get the words out loud enough for the reporters to hear, but it didn't work.

Meanwhile, Carly laid on the couch in the living room with a severe headache. Her head had been throbbing ever since the night Sam died. The painkillers prescribed to her did nothing for it, but at least they made her feel a little pleasant otherwise. It was actually very easy for her to tune the reporters out, to her relief.

"Are you going to attend the funeral of Sam Puckett?!"

"What does this mean for iCarly's future?!"

"Sir, you have a little something on your lip there!"

Fed up and angry, Spencer slapped a camera out of the closest brown-noser's hands. "Hey! My camera!" she squeaked in a mousy voice. She was actually very cute, Spencer thought, but tears welled up in his eyes when he remembered his condition. There's no way she'd go out with him the way he was now.

"Can my sister and I please get just one fucking moment of peace?" Spencer mumbled to the photographer. It was clear from her expression that she didn't understand a word he said, and that only frustrated him further. He slammed the door right into the journalists' faces, losing his balance and falling over as a result.

Spencer wriggled around on the floor trying to pick himself back up, and his grunts of irritation morphed into sobs of anguish. His loud wailing stirred up a reaction in Carly herself, and she harmonized with him. They cried for Sam. They cried for the Bensons. They pitied themselves.

()()()

"Spencer, do you want to buy some flowers?"

He shook his head. "Too late, now."

"Are you sure? I don't feel right about not giving them flowers."

Spencer sighed and pulled out his wallet. Carly shook her head. "No, no, I have the money to pay for them. Do you want to go ahead to the cemetery while I go buy flowers?"

"Sure," he said shrugging as a gargantuan string of saliva escaped down his chin. This is exactly what Spencer hated about talking.

"Are you? Don't you think you need to come with me, in case you fall over?"

Spencer shook his head.

"Okay. Well, I'll be right back." Carly rushed off toward a flower shop located a mile away from the cemetery. But as she opened the gulf between herself and her brother, she began to feel more hesitant. A feeling of worry and loneliness seeped into her belly and it wasn't long before she stopped. She looked back to see that Spencer was nearly out of view.

Carly ran back to Spencer's side. Spencer looked at Carly, somewhat confused.

"I decided we didn't need them that badly," Carly mumbled, then grabbed Spencer's hand. The brother got it right away; she just didn't want to be alone.

()()()

1. And I saw, as it were, a rift open in the sky

2. And voices beckoning, saying, "come forth to die"

3. One girl stood still on a bike built for three
4. While the other two rose to a word like the sea

5. "Come," and the fair-haired woman fell apart
6. "Come," and the brown-haired gentleman's heart
7. Became afflicted with a bleeding curse of sores
8. Falling neck deep into a chasm of whores

9. His hand, wrapped tight around the ankle of his friend
10. Now lay on the shoulder of the beast whose name was "sin"

11. "Salud," and the creature's eyes turned into screens
12. Amplify a chorus of the two young girls' screams
13. And I saw, as it were, a rift close in the sky

14. Sewing itself up so the young girl that died
15. Didn't have to see the final fate of the young man
16. "He will never be bothering you again."

()()()

Sam Puckett

February 1st, 1992 – April 30th, 2010

The strangest thing occurred to Carly while she stared at Sam's birthdate- why didn't her and Spencer celebrate that? It's probably exactly what Sam would have wanted anyway. But she did like how her mom was kind enough to have her buried with her preferred name instead of "Samantha."

Right next to her, Spencer was focused intently on the grave of Freddie Benson. One wondered if he thought Freddie would pop out and attack if he took his eyes away for a second.

For the second year in a row, Spencer didn't know what to say to the headstone Marjssa and Freddie shared. What was he supposed to say to either of them? Apologize to Marissa for not sufficiently being able to predict her son's burgeoning mental illness? Curse Freddie and hope that whatever hell he's burning in will scorch him in a way he never before felt?

Carly looked over at the older Shay sibling, surprised. She was starting to feel like this was the first time her brother was more affected than she was. He was standing there with a stone-faced expression, but the tears streaming freely down his face gave him away. This was the first time he cried during a cemetery visit- but then again, this was only their second one.

Poor Sam and Freddie…

()()()

"What's Sam doing?!" Carly whined with phone clenched in her hand. "She was supposed to be here five minutes ago."

"I don't know why you're so surprised she's late," Freddie replied. "This isn't even the first time she's been late this month."

"But she won't even respond to my calls, it just goes straight to voicemail," said Carly. She slumped into one of the beanbag chairs and picked up her notebook. "I had a really good idea for a special show I wanted to share with her, too."

"Special? You just had the anniversary show last month, what's next? Someone having a birthday?"

Carly shook her head. "No, it's a viewer participation night. We could communicate with the audience, ask them what they like and don't like about the show, let them suggest some stuff. I think it'd be really fun!"

"It does sound fun," Freddie said, "but what about all the guys that are going to show up just to be jerks?"

"You can do something about that," Carly said dismissively, making Freddie huff a little inside. He hated it when Carly and Sam acted so blasé about his role in the show.

Finally, Sam walked through the door, sweating like mad. "I'm here, I'm here," she said.

"About time. What happened?" Carly asked, arms crossed.

"Mom let the phone bill go too long, so I never got any calls or messages…" Sam said through raggedy breaths. "So what did I miss?"

"Well, Carly wants to do a viewer's choice night."

()()()

Carly and Spencer sat together at a concrete bench, arms around each other's shoulders. They were the only people at the cemetery, which they were both grateful for.

"Spencer," Carly at last spoke up, after 20 long minutes, "when am I going to stop thinking about them."

"Hopefully, you won't," he responded much quicker than she was expecting, "at least, not completely. What you need to do is stop grieving over them."

"That's so hard, Spencer," Carly said through a cracking voice. "Even when I try to think about something else, I still feel… just like how I felt when you told me what happened."

"I know all about that feeling," said Spencer, pausing to wipe a strand of drool from his chin. "It's the same one I had when I learned I could never walk the same again. But Carly, let me tell you, this pain you feel will hold you hostage the rest of your life unless you deal with it somehow. Sam wouldn't have wanted to see you spending two years grieving about her. She'd want you to start moving on from it."

()()()

I am the troll that sent the people on iCarly a link to goatse. It was a quick thing I did, and when I heard the news about "The Benson Incident," I shrugged my shoulders and moved on. After all, how could sending someone a link to goatse cause him or her to become a deranged psychopath?

After that, I graduated high school and got to go to a great college. I majored in Computer Science and got a nice apartment. What kinda sucked is my parents didn't want me to major in computer science, they wanted me to do engineering. Probably just some of that Oklahoma mentality- whatever you do, it's gotta be not queer. Well, I didn't want to be some shit farmer like my dad; I wanted to be a respectable man. Of course, I didn't want to tell him that. He was really a nice man. He was very compassionate, but he didn't always express that in a way you would expect.

So that's my story. I'm just a normal kid who got into some trolling when I was in school. Thankfully, I'll never know what my actions unfurled into.

()()()

"Ma'am!"

Who… was that?

"Excuse me, ma'am! Can you hear me?"

I opened my eyes and saw another pair gaze right into them from two feet away. Even though this place- wherever it was- was too dark to make a face out, I saw eyes.

But then the person shined their flashlight in my face and I had to clench my eyes shut to avoid being blinded. It was my father! But I knew that couldn't be right- he had a different voice!

"Come on, grab my hand," the stranger said. "I'll pull you out!"

I couldn't see his hand. The flashlight was too harsh and I didn't know this man very well. Or did I? It was impossible to tell, so I reached my hand out. When he grabbed it, I felt him suck something out of my stomach. It went out of my stomach, through my arm and into him. He used the last of his strength to pull me out and then I watched him wither and die on the ground. Then I looked up and…

()()()

Carly's eyes snapped open and she had to squint them immediately; the sun was out and as bright as she'd ever seen it. Apparently, the fog had dissipated. She couldn't believe how she'd fallen asleep outside, so embarrassing! Spencer sat next to her, trying to keep still- a task that was not difficult.

"Spencer," Carly said in a croaking sort of voice, "how long have I been asleep?"

"Oh, about an hour," he said.

Carly's eyes shot wide open and she turned her head. "That long?! Why didn't you wake me up?!"

"You don't get a lot of sleep at night. Thought you might want to rest a little."

That was true, the 20-year-old had to concede. She got up- no, she practically leapt- from the stone bench and looked up at the sky. In all the years she lived in Seattle, there had never been a more beautiful shade of blue up there.

"Have you been awake this entire time, Spence?"

Spencer nodded.

"What was it like watching the fog fade away?"

The question caught her older brother off guard. All he could really respond with was an indifferent shrug. He barely even noticed the shift, as abrupt as it must have been.

Carly started thinking about one of the songs on her mixtape, "Mr. Blue Sky." The same line kept playing in her head: "Mr, Blue Sky, please tell us why you had to hide away for so long." It felt to her like the clouds were a constant influence in Seattle, which was perhaps not the fairest assessment.

Carly and Spencer walked back home together. Tomorrow would probably be dank again, so they both tried to absorb as much of the weather as they could. Tomorrow was probably going to be more misery for the both of them, but that was fine. The Shay siblings were resigned to that, because being alive in misery is still better than being dead. A razor would still remind Carly of a picture on the offended page. Seeing other people would still remind Spencer that he couldn't walk right. In spite of all that, it was getting a little better every day.

They still couldn't believe this whole thing started with a picture of goatse, though.

THE END