Telling Carly was met with a lot of silence, but ultimately melded into understanding. The first time they kissed in front of her, Spencer felt her eyes shift away, but during the course of her stay during winter break, it lost it's uneasy feeling, for all of them.
Sam spent Christmas morning with her mom, but the holiday seemed to be mostly around Spencer's tree, a sculpture of wood and clay that resembled the shape of a tree but held the colors of Mardi Gras. Like most sculptures, Sam had helped in any way she could. She held boxes of materials, kept nails between her teeth until he needed them, opened paint cans, or pulled him away for a much needed break, hands wandering and lips becoming swollen.
Mr. Bean's hired some one new while Sam was gone, but she didn't care. Spencer helped her find a new job, at a small brunch restaurant where they put their faith in the girl with strong coffee house references to become a waitress. Sam was happy because she ate piles of French toast on her break, and Spencer was happy because her hair still smelled of coffee every day, with a hint of syrup.
When Christmas ended, they tore down the tree and took down lights that Carly laced the house with. They both went to the airport to see her off where Carly confessed she was happy for them and that made them both feel like crying. Spencer gripped her hand as they watched her plane take off, both too stubborn to leave.
"I miss her a lot." Spencer said, his eyes still focused in the air, the plane out of sight.
"I do, too." Sam leaned her head on his shoulder.
New Year's Eve was spent in the loft, their bodies tangled together most of the night. They kissed through the ball drop, unable to wait, Spencer's hands in her hair and Sam's body on top of his.
At one in the morning, Sam traipsed around the kitchen in Spencer's "Painting Shirt" trying to find something to eat. Spencer's eyes followed her, leaning on the kitchen counter, arms crossed on the wood. She caught him as she grabbed a carton of ice cream out of the freezer and they smiled at each other. Big, goofy smiles that were a constant for Spencer, but for Sam they were only reserved for him.
There, in the kitchen, Spencer proposed they move in together. Before she could answer, he talked about all the things that would be great about his idea. She would never have to get ready at her mom's house, giving her a bit more time to sleep in. He could take her to work on his motorcycle every morning, forcing himself to get up at a reasonable hour. She would always be there to help him paint, something she had admitted to enjoying on many occasions. He would cook her dinner. The weekends could be there's, as if they weren't already. He was buzzed but not drunk, his idea had been conceived weeks ago. He wanted to ask her Christmas Eve while she carved the turkey and he couldn't stop staring at her. He needed to see her, always.
Sam shrugged with a "Why not?", her smile too big to fight. Spencer rounded the counter and scooped her up, her tiny body familiar in his arms. He kissed every part of her that night.
They were cautious for months, keeping hands just out of reach of forbidden places, mouths kept a part even though they craved each other. It was tiring. Spencer was done being cautious with her, there was no reason to be. They had Carly's blessing and that was the only thing holding them back. Being careful and waiting was not them anymore.
No, now they were in love. Stolen kisses in the aisles of the grocery store, sneaky hands in the movie theater, whispered 'I love you's across the table at a restaurant, and making art together. So what was the point in not spending as much time together as they could?
After much consideration and weeks of planning, they decided to move out of the loft. Spencer could hardly afford it, since his dad cut him off once Carly left for college. Plus, it held too much. While it had recently become full of memories of first kisses and playful fighting for the TV remote, it mostly held memories of Carly. iCarly was recorded here, sketches were done in all areas of the house, Spencer couldn't look at Carly's room with out feeling nostalgic for a time when he was more of a father than a brother. It was time to go, to leave this place behind and form something new; just Sam and Spencer.
The one bedroom house was old and felt really cozy, but it was affordable and had a yard. Spencer always wanted a dog and this was his chance. The first thing they did was paint. The kitchen was painted green, the living room a light blue. Their bedroom stayed white except for one wall where Spencer painted a mural. For days Spencer worked on it, while Sam sat on his computer in the middle of their bed, which had been pushed to the center of the room. He painted Washington's refreshing rains, the greenery of Oregon, and the feeling of absolute nothing that held Idaho. In the middle of his blurry portrayal of Idaho, he painted a silhouette of her. When he pulled back to look at it, he admitted to painting her there only because his memory of needing to kiss her overtook any other of Idaho.
"I love you." She smiled.
She pulled him down, paintbrush still in hand. They never did get rid of that smear of red paint out of the mattress.