You're excited, because you've never been to New York before. You smile as you stand back and admire the feat you just pulled at fitting five overstuffed bags into the trunk of your jeep. But your smile isn't lasting. A weight still sits on your shoulders and you sigh, running a hand through your hair. You give Carly's pink backpack one last shove and you close the trunk, turning around and leaning on it to watch Spencer pack your cooler.

Behind Spencer you can see Carly kneeling on the ground, talking to something you can't see in the doorway of Bushwell Plaza's parking garage. You know its Sam crouched on the floor, curled on herself like she has been for the entire half hour that it took you to pack your car. You're sad for her, because her mother has thrown her out again, and she has been living with Carly for the last month, and your heart breaks for her because you know that even though she acts like she doesn't care about anything she's hurt by her mother's rejection.

She doesn't want to come on this trip. And you know it. Because that's all she's been complaining about since you and Carly started planning it. She'd rather be on the couch, staring at the television like she has been since she got there, not eating or moving or looking at you when you ask her something. You understand her anger of course. In order to make sure she wouldn't go back this time, Sam's mother disappeared shortly after she made Sam leave. It had been the only time you had seen Sam cry when you accidentally walked in on her telling Carly that she couldn't go home.

Carly stands and she pulls Sam up by her hands, loping an arm around her shoulders and leading her to your car. You frown, knowing that Carly had been trying to convince Sam one last time to come with you, and knowing that you never would have succeeded in attempting the same feat. Sam doesn't really respond to anyone except Carly. Your heart gives another painful twinge as you think that she can open up to someone. Just not you. When you asked her if she was alright the first night she arrived at Carly's she slapped you so hard your head hurt for the next two days.

You watch Sam wrap her arms around herself and stare out at the street behind you as Carly hugs her brother one last time. A chill of wind rustles your hair and you pull your own coat around tighter around yourself. It's November, and it's already cold enough for the fur lined jacket that your mother made you buy. School was out until January, and Carly thought it would be a wonderful way to cheer Sam up and get you all ready for the final semester of your high school carriers. You want to go to her and wrap your arms around her slight form, but you don't, and you settle for watching her as Spencer releases Carly and hugs her. She doesn't respond, just leans her head on his chest until he pulls away. Ignoring the stab of jealousy, you instead push your self off the back of your car and throw the cooler into the backseat of the jeep, taking out a soda for the road.

Carly tries to get Sam to sit in the front, begging her and pulling her hand. Please, you'll love the view from the front seat. You know she's just doing it so that Sam wont feel left out, an to get her to talk to you. No, she refuses, pulling her hand out of Carly's grasp and throwing herself into the back seat, shutting the door and immediately leaning her head on the window, ignoring Carly's heartbroken expression. You touch Carly's hand and she looks at you, her broken expression replaced by a small smile and she sighs, saying how she guess's she'll take the front seat.

You wave to Spencer before you take off on the highway. Carly chatters away next to you, her voice alive with excitement. You wish you could share her giddiness, but your eyes are constantly drawn to your review mirror, where Sam stares moodily out the window, her hair falling over her face and her eyes glazed over.

A song comes on the radio and Carly smiles, reaching out and raising the volume. You hate the song, but you miss seeing Carly happy.

I don't want to hear this song. Sam snarls nastily, not moving from her place. You love this song, Carly pouts, her hand already reaching for the dial to turn it off. You reach out and stop her hand. Carly wants to hear it, you say, your eyes meeting her burning blue ones in the mirror. With out breaking the contact she leans forward in her seat and turns it off herself, leaving the car filled with the ugly ringing silence. I don't want to hear it, she repeats, leaning back and replacing her head against the window. You reach for the dial and flip the song on again, ignoring Carly's pleading stare, begging you to leave her alone. Carly does. You say, daring her to say something back, to fight with you the way she used to. She doesn't even look at you; she just takes out her pear pod and stares out the window. Shutting you turn when the sky grows dark and see her asleep with her head against the window, the pain still etched on her face even in sleep. Carly looks at you. I'm worried about her, she says, reaching behind her to hit the pause button on Sam's pear pod, knowing if the battery ran out her mood would be unbearable. You don't answer her, knowing Carly already knows you are.


When you pull into the hotel she is awake. She's pulled her hair off her face and has lost herself in another sweater. She stands moodily to the side, not helping as you and Carly pull your bags from the jeep. Carly tries to carry both of their bags and you take Sam's, glaring at her, hating the way she stares back defiantly. You check into your room and she immediately selects the bed by the window, sitting down and pulling her legs to herself, staring out the window and ignoring Carly when she asks if she wants to join you for dinner. You think about saying something, but think better of it, shaking your head sadly and taking Carly's hand, pulling her out the door. You turn back and see that she has lied down, still curled in on herself. You ache to shake her, to fix her, but you don't. You close the door and take Carly downstairs to eat, making sure you keep her talking to make sure her mind stays off Sam upstairs, even though that's where yours is all night.

When you return from the diner the lights are still on in your room, and Sam still hasn't moved. You watch Carly walk to the bed and climb on it, lying down still in her jeans and shoes and curling around Sam. You watch with something you tell yourself isn't envy as Sam seems to relax at Carly's touch. You turn away and lie down on your own bed, facing the wall and away from her. You wish you didn't love her the way you do. You wait until you hear Carly get up to turn the lights off to know that she is asleep, and you sigh, wishing for sleep to come to you too.

…..She is not in a good mood when you wake up the next morning. She sulks the entire time you and Carly repack the bags and she doesn't even look at the piece of toast you bring her from downstairs. Your frustration is boiling by the time you are ready to leave and the toast and three shoes have already been thrown at you. You almost shout something at her but stop when Carly grabs your arm and begs you with her eyes not to say anything. You bite down on the scream building in your throat and turn away, snatching up her bag instead and leaving the room, Carly staring after you desperately as Sam sits back down on the bed to resume her staring.

You drive in silence for another hour, listening to Carly beg Sam to eat something, her voice growing more and more desperate until she gives up, turning back around with the fat cake in her hand and tears in her eyes. You look back to see Sam staring back out the window, seemingly uncaring of the grief she was putting Carly through. You reach over and take the fat cake from Carly, biting into the sweet and ignoring the taste of dust and cardboard that fills your mouth. You look to see if you've earned a reaction. If anyone, especially you, ever took food that was rightfully hers, the rage would be there. She hasn't moved and you force yourself to swallow it, not daring to grimace so you wont hurt Carly.

You stop at a tiny town on the edge of Montana, because Carly wanted to see the gift shop. You smile as she giggles, jumping from the car and hurrying to the shop, her boots crunching the light snow. You get off the car, slightly surprised that Sam has already beaten you out. You walk around the car to see her standing with her back to you, a cigarette clutched loosely in her hand. Anger boils in you and for the first time since you left Seattle you do something about it. You snarl and you walk up to her, tearing the cigarette from her hand and tossing it away. You know I don't like when you do that, you say, remembering that she doesn't talk to you now but speaking anyways. She stares at you for another second, the tiniest hint of shock showing through her mask of stoicism before she looks away from you. I care, she says sarcastically, already pulling out the crumbled pack from the oversized sweater she has on that you instantly recognize as Carly's.

You don't think twice before snatching away the pack, grabbing her wrist in your other hand and she looks up at you, the fire back in her eyes and she snarls, tearing her arms from your grip and walking back towards the car, climbing back in and slamming the door. Your hand burns where you touched her. You don't even flinch.

Carly doesn't ask where she is when you join her. She buys Sam a necklace that you know she wont give her and hides her tears, knowing you are fighting your own.


Outside of Iowa you finally pull into the hotel. Your exhausted and your eyes burn. Sam hasn't said a word since they left the gift shop and Carly's worried glances back at her have your teeth on edge. You know she's scared because Sam hasn't eaten since they left Seattle. You tried to get her to eat when you stopped at a corner store two hundred miles back, but she fixed you with a cold look of disgust and you stopped, biting back your remorse and dropping the sandwich on the seat next to her where it remained untouched.

She is asleep and you lean forward when you reach the hotel, hiding your face in your hands and sighing. You can feel Carly's worried gaze and you look back at Sam.

I don't know what to do Carly, you say, cringing at the hoarseness and desperation you hear in your own voice.

She needs you Freddie, Carly says, she's just afraid. Carly sighs and touches your shoulder. Just be here for her, she'll come back, Carly looks unsure and you shake your head, climbing out to grab your bags as Carly wakes up Sam gently, urging her out of the car so you can check in.

After an hour in the shower you collapse into bed, your body exhausted and your mind in pieces. When she thinks your asleep, Sam sits up, staring at you until Carly emerges from her own shower. You watch as Carly picks up a brush and takes Sam's hair down, pulling the brush through the blonde tangles and you watch as the tension seems to leave her. She lets Carly brush her hair until her eyes begin to flutter and Carly makes her sleep.

You roll to your other side, staring determinedly at the wall as you try and recompose yourself.…Your pacing, and Carly watches you pace, her lower lip pulled into her mouth as you both stare at the bathroom door where Sam had disappeared two hours ago. The tickets to the foreign movie festival you bought Sam and Carly are still clutched in your hand, and your sweating in your coat, but you wont take it off. And you wont stop pacing.

Your about three seconds away from breaking down the door to see what the fuck she is doing in there when the door finally opens and the angry retort dies in your throat.

She's dressed to the nines in a revealing red dress that makes your skin crawl and gravity defying high heels that for the life of you cant figure out how she can walk in without falling. She doesn't even acknowledge you or Carly as she throws her straightener on the bed and stalks past you, heading for the door.

You hear Carly's shrill questions and you know your mouth is hanging open as you gape at her indignantly. Carly runs forward and grabs her hand, to make her wait, to make her listen, to make her just stop.

You aren't able to move until you see the look of bored fucking indifference on her face as she peels Carly's hand off her wrist and tosses it off with a nonchalant gesture that finally pushes you over the edge and you speak.

"Where are you going."

You feel thrill of satisfaction when she stops, her head bowed and her shoulders hunched with one hand on the door. Your blood is pulsing in your ears and it drowns out the sounds of Carly's panicking and your vision is fogged with rage. She finally turns and you continue to stare her down, daring her to say something.

Carly finally shuts up and the silence in the air is almost tangible as you glare at each other, each of your glares growing more and more venomous. You're screaming at her with your eyes and she looks as though she could kill you. She finally narrows her eyes in suspicion at your silence and answers, her first words at you since Montana.

"Out." She says, her voice like nails that clatter to the floor around you. It takes you a second to drag out your own voice.

"We've got plans, in case you forgot Sam." You spit out her name, trying your hardest to make it sound like a vulgarity that leaves an ugly taste in your mouth. "Were supposed to be having fun."

Her mouth curves into a cruel smirk and she tosses her hair. "I'm not going." she answers, her tone so flippant it makes you want to strangle her. "I'm going to find my own fun, find someone who wants me around, since you obviously don't." Her voice cracks on that last word, momentarily shattering the wall of indifference she's built.

Her words slice through you and you've never been so outraged in your life, because exactly one month ago, she left you.

But before you can scream the toxic sludge that's scorching your throat and drying out your mouth she leaves, slipping out the door and clicking down the hall in those fucking shoes. Carly stands in the hallway, calling desperately to her that its cold, and that she cant go alone, and Freddie she cant go out like that, Freddie stop her, Freddie please she wont listen to me Freddie please-

The migraine forming in your head drowns out Carly's cries and you pass her, ignoring her and following the tiny red hemline and sea of blonde hair that used to call out for you to touch it but now just makes you want to yank it and you corner her by the elevator before she can hit the button. And she turns to scream at you but before anything can leave her mouth you have her fragile and thin wrists in your hands and you have her slammed up against the door of the elevator, her wide eyes and open mouth a breath of fresh fucking air after the month of scowls and snarls that you've seen from her. Your chest is pressed against her and you can taste the cigarette on her breath and you swear you can feel your blood pressure rise.

Don't.

You can't spit out much more through your gritted teeth. The elevator next to you opens and an elderly couple shoots you nervous glances. Neither you nor her pays them any attention. You remember when you have been caught in a similar position with her and your eyes involuntarily close, the pain and nostalgia sending a jolt of pain and hate through you and you bite down on your lip to keep yourself from smacking her. And you open your eyes and you see the first crack of vulnerability in her face and she looks like herself and your so fucking relieved that you didn't have to murder her and you repeat yourself.

Don't.

For a second it looks like she's going to break, like she's going to fix herself and stop, but it passes as fast as it showed and her snarl is back in place, and she shoves at your chest with her tiny hands and you allow her to push you off of her. She glares at you for another second before she deigns to speak to you.

Leave me alone Freddie. Her tone is arctic and she yanks her hand away before turning on her heel and stalking back to her room, her head held high and her heels clicking, each one sending the needles deeper and deeper into your heart and you lean against the elevator door, allowing one single frustrated tear to fall before swallowing the lump in your throat and following her. As you walk, you unbutton your coat. You know your not going anywhere.


She hasn't said a word to you or Carly since you left Iowa. Your alone in the front seat today, your only company a bag of chocolate covered pretzels that make your stomach churn. Carly sits in the back, her hand clutched around a smashed sandwich that she's been trying to get Sam to eat for the last hour. Sam is lost in yet another sweater, her hair loose and falling in stringy tendrils around her face, her eyes unfocused. Your worried, but you wont say anything. You sneak a glance at her now and again, your eyes drawn to the bruises under her eyes and the sunken look of her cheekbones. You watch her swimmy eyes focus on the sandwich that she stubbornly wont touch and she shakes her hair down lower on her face.

You know she's hungry, but she's stubborn, and instead she takes out a cigarette, lighting it and ignoring Carly's whine. Her eyes meet yours as she takes a drag and you know she's daring you to say something the way you did at the hotel. You deliberately look away, not allowing yourself to give into her.

She blows a puff of smoke at the back of your head and you slam the brakes, knowing she hates seatbelts and her head is slammed into the seat in front of her, her hair flying to the soundtrack of Carly screaming what the hell was wrong with you. You swerve the car back onto the road and keep on driving. You meet her eyes in the mirror. Her move. She glares at you like she's going to retaliate before she looks down at the cigarette in her hand and tosses it out the window, curling up on her side to lay her head on an indignant Carly's lap, forfeiting her turn. A smirk curves your mouth and you stare out at the road. You won.


You especially like this hotel and take your sweet ass time in the shower. You know Carly's asleep, and when you left the room Sam was watching a cartoon in Spanish. She still hasn't spoken to you, but she hasn't smoked since you last played your game. She had a bruise on her face from where she hit the seat, and you know she's pissed about it, but aside from a flying bottle of shampoo that was aimed at your head she hasn't done anything about it.

You hear her crying in the shower when you sit on the other bed and stroke Carly's hair. She is asleep, and you know she's exhausted from taking care of Sam. You kiss the top of her head and pull the covers over her shoulder, rolling her over gently to make room next to her before digging into her bag for her hairbrush.

When Sam comes out she glares suspiciously at you as you still sit next to Carly. You raise an eyebrow at her and she scowls before finally moving towards you. She stares you down until she is directly in front of you and she turns and sits in front of you, pushing her miles of wet hair over her shoulder.

Your still angry at her, but you love her, and she hasn't screamed anything obscene yet so you allow yourself to marginally relax. You reach up and begin to pull the brush through her hair.

At once her tense shoulders slump and her entire composure sags, her head leaning into your touch and her breathing coming in slow breaths. You smile. She's always loved having her hair brushed. You used to brush it to make her sleep when she was too high strung. She's like a child, you think, and you worry about her. She needs a constant protector. She's too self destructive.

You slowly remove the brush from her sea of hair and place it on the bed next to you. You reach up, tangling your fingers through her hair the way you know she loves. She sighs and tilts her head back, the way she always used to. You don't continue. Instead you lean your forehead against the back of her neck and sigh, breathing in the smell of Carly's shampoo that always seem to smell different on her. She tenses again, as though she remembered she's mad at you and you sigh again, removing yourself from the bed and slumping over to your own, ignoring her stare as you throw yourself down. You hear her quiet cries start up again as she turns away from you. You debate returning to her but think better of it. You know you'll just make it worse.


And your right.

You arrive in New York the next day. Carly is babbling like a child, her movements giddy with excitement and her voice shrill with delight. A smile plays on your own face as you point your camera at the view, trying to document it all.

As per usual she hasn't said a word to you, but you really haven't come to expect anything else and you try your hardest not to let it get to you. She's always mad at you for something. But today your determined not to let her spoil your good mood. You smile with Carly and pose for silly photos in front off the buildings. Carly whines and begs Sam to join you. You don't bother. You watch her as she scowls at you, says to enjoy each other as she stalks towards the car, climbing in as you watch her pull out a cigarette. You know your car is going to smell like her.

You stand on the harbor and stare out at the vague silhouette of the statue of liberty that is barely visible through the gentle fog that settles over the water. Carly stands next to you, her arms curled around herself and tear tracks drying on her face. Sam is in the car. After demanding to know what the hell there was to do on the fucking harbor when its twenty fucking degrees she shoved past you and Carly to sit in the car, where she has spent most of the day. She hasn't gotten off to see any of the city with you and Carly and you know her heart is breaking over it. You reach out and curl your arm around her and pull her close to you. She shivers and sniffles, wiping her eyes on her sweater. it's the same sweater Sam had on a few days ago and with Carly pressed up against you the smell of cigarette and Sam waft up to you and your heart aches. You love Carly, but she isn't who you need, and you hate her for not letting herself need you. You kiss Carly's hair and tug on her hand, leading her back to the car. Its too cold now, snow is beginning to drift down lazily and settle on your eyelashes.

She's asleep when you reach the car. Another one of Carly's sweater is draped around you and her arms are curled around your coat. Your freezing, but you don't move her. Carly slides into the backseat and pulls Sam onto her lap, her large dark eyes watching you imploringly. She wants you to fix her. You sigh, not answering her unspoken question and start the car, pulling away from the foggy harbor.


She wakes up on the way back to the hotel. She doesn't speak to you or Carly. She stares out the window, her jaw set in rigid determination, and you die to know what she is thinking. She runs up to your room the instant you walk into the lobby. Carly starts to follow her but you hold her back, leading her instead to the tiny café on the other side of the lobby. You don't want anything thrown at your head. You keep Carly smiling through dinner, like you always do, but your mind is on fire, dying to know what was going on with her in the car.

You get your answer when you return to your room. She's packing her bag, throwing things haphazardly into her duffel, her hair thrown up off her face. She would look just like her sister if not for the torn and completely devastated look on her face. There are burns on her fingers and a discarded and crushed cigarette lays under feet, the butt still glowing red. She looks up, her eyes widening and narrowing at you and you realize Carly's hand is still in yours. She glares for another second before turning and snatching up her hairbrush, throwing it into the bag. You release Carly's hand and step forward. What are you doing.

I'm going home. She doesn't look at you.

You stare at her incredulously as she yanks off the sweater she's wearing and throws it onto Carly's bed. You look back at Carly. She meets your eyes and lowers them before turning and leaving, pulling the door closed and you smile. She understands and you love her for it. You look back at Sam.

You don't have a home. You know its cruel, and you know it'll hurt her. That's why you said it. You need to make her bleed so she'll heal.

Fuck you! She screams as she hurls the lotion in her hand at you, her face twisting in rage and her eyes sparkling. She looks so full of life and god damn it you missed seeing her like this. I know that! I know I don't belong anywhere but I cant take this anymore! I don't need to sit here and be rejected by you too! Fuck you Freddie fuck you-She cant finish, her screams are cut off by her sobs and you reach for her, grabbing her wrists as she strikes out at you, her tiny fists aimed at your face and you yank her to you and you kiss her.

She responds to you immediately, as though she was waiting for this. Her hands tear free of yours and tangle in your hair, her mouth opening and her tongue plunging into your mouth, as hot and demanding as she is. You grip her hips and spin her around, slamming her into the wall and reclaiming her mouth with your own in a violent dance, a competition of who could devour each other more. You press against her and she lets out a breathy moan that-fuck you missed that sound-makes your blood boil and you leave her mouth to leave a punishing trail of bites down the pale column of her throat, knowing she'll love your rough handling. You bite down as hard as you dare, to punish her for breaking your heart, for making you suffer and for still making you want this.

She shoves you off of her and tears your shirt over your head as you pull her hair free of its knot, tangling you hands in it as you angle her head up and you kiss her hard, your own throaty growl covered by hers and you pull off the shirt she's wearing and press your chest to hers, the skin of her bare skin sending the familiar heat through you and you realize just how much you missed feeling her. You invade her with your hands, your tongue, marking her, punishing her and making her yours.

When you remove the rest of her clothing you easily lift her up and she wraps her legs around you and you slide into her with a grateful moan, the familiar feeling of her surrounding you almost too much and you bite down on her shoulder. You steel your hands on her hips and begin to pound into her, your mouth attached to hers and her hands curled into your hair so tightly it hurt. She loves how rough your being. Your sex was always borderline angry, with her riding you mercilessly or you pounding her the way your currently doing, like you were trying to pay her back for all the grief she's caused you, like you were channeling all your hostility towards each other into your lovemaking.

Her thin legs squeeze your middle and her body flexes around you and your close, so close. She leans her head against the wall behind her and cries out, her throaty cries interrupting the sonnets of love and filth that she always used to say during sex. She's telling you she loves you. Your face is buried in her hair and you breath in her scent, amazed at how erotic you suddenly find the smell of cigarette. Your close, so very close and you know she is by the way her breath is hitching on every pass and she suddenly tenses in your arms, her body going rigid as she comes violently, your name spilling forth from her lips in a hoarse sob and it sends you over the edge and you echo her cry as you clutch her hips so hard you know you'll leave her bruises.

You've slid to the floor and she's on top of you, her hair spread out across her chest and your arms wrapped tightly around her. Your never letting go of her again.

She's already told you she's sorry, but you don't want to hear it right now. You silence her with a kiss and lay your head back down, running your fingers through her damp hair as the sweat cools on your bodies. You tell her that you love her for the first time since she left you. and she relaxes.


Carly smiled at the nervous looking boy at the front desk as she handed him her credit card. He takes it and hands her the key to the room directly in front of the one you are currently on the floor of. He hands her back her card and looks at her. You sure your going to be all right in there by yourself?

Carly smiles softly before looking down at the card in her hand and she nods. I'll be perfect. She tells him.