Author's Note: Yes, I'm here with another one-shot. Unlike iWatch Hey Arnold (which I will acknowledge as shot one), this one will be a bit longer, and contain some angst/hurt comfort. Set before iWatch Hey Arnold! And right before iPity the Nevel. Hope you enjoy…
Sam and Freddie Shots: Shot Two
iAm Not Well by LoveB
RING. RING. RING.
Sam rolled over in her bed and looked at the digital clock on her nightstand. The time read 2:00 a.m. Who the hell is calling me at 2 a.m.? She groaned, loudly, before rubbing her eyes and looking at the caller ID. The screen displayed the identity of the culprit as Kid Two. Over the years, Freddie's name had evolved in Sam's contact log from that dweeb to Fredloser to Fredweird to Freddicini to Freddison to Fredenstein to Benson to Kid Two (Carly was Kid One).
"This better be good, kid," said Sam, sleepily. She waited for a reply, hearing nothing. A few more seconds when by before she groaned again and said, "You have two seconds before I hang up."
Just then Freddie's quiet reply came.
"I'm not well," he said. His voice was so quiet and broken that she sat up immediately and turned on her desk lamp.
She hesitated before replying. "This mama knows—seeing that you haven't been to school in three days." She arbitrarily wondered whether or not she should play their little game of tough love. "What's got you so out of it? Did you and your mom break up? Cause God knows she's the only girlfriend you'll ever have."
At his silence, she realized she'd made the wrong decision.
Switching over to best friend mode, she recovered, "Come on kid—what's wrong with you?"
"Okay, if you don't speak up, I'm coming over there," she said, forcefully, but not too loud as to wake her mom and her new boyfriend. "Freddie please…I'm getting a little worried here."
More silence. She got out of bed and started to pull off her pajamas and pull on some clothes. This was not normal, she thought. Something was very wrong with Freddie. As she was pulling on her sneakers, Freddie's reply finally came.
"My life sucks," he said, quietly as if he didn't want to say it out loud.
Sam froze at this. She wasn't expecting an answer like that. For the past few days, Freddie hadn't shown up to school, shattering his perfect attendance record. Claiming he was sick and couldn't leave his room, he had missed their iCarly rehearsal; he was supposed to be playing a vampire in a video short they were making, parodying all the incessant vampire themed shows and movies. Even when she and Carly tried going over to his apartment to talk to him, he turned them away, feigning tiredness.
Knowing not to joke around with his sincere confession, she said, "Dude, what's wrong with you? Are you being serious right now?"
"Do you know what I did today?" He asked.
"Nothing—absolutely nothing," he said, quietly. He sounded so melancholy, she wondered whether or not he made the right decision in calling her.
In their trio, it was well known that Carly was the compassionate one. Why hadn't he called her? Sam was more of a yell at the person until they are so annoyed by your voice that they'll forget what they were mad about in the first place.
"Dude! And that's why you're depressed?" She kicked off her shoes and dropped back down onto her pillow that read, Church Pants (yeah, she stole it from Carly). "What you need to do is get out of that apartment. I mean—most of your misery is probably a direct effect of hanging with your mom all day."
"You don't get it, Sam."
She got out of bed again and pulled on her shoes. "Like hell I don't—you're depressed cause you've been cooped up in the house with your mom and you obviously called me and not Carly because you needed me to yell at you and yank you out of this slump."
"Sam—" he sighed.
She made a noise to shut him up. "Don't Sam me—I'm coming over and you better let me in this time." She hung up her phone and grabbed a tote bag. She went around her room throwing various items in it before heading for her bedroom door and out of her house.
It was after two in the morning and the last crosstown bus was due at two thirty. She was happy when she made it to the bus stop on time. Being the tough girl that she was, she didn't think twice about the many creeps and hobos that hung out there. She sat down on the bench and was about to be approached by a scruffy looking man in his thirties when he quickly turned away. She smirked. He recognized her. A lot of people did recognize her. It wasn't that uncommon for Sam to leave the house late at night and go over to Bushwell Plaza or some raging party, so most of the people that hung out at the bus stop got to know her, and once they did know her, they knew not to screw around with her. Yes, Sam was one of the few people whose bite was actually worse than their bark.
She arrived at Bushwell too long later and rode the elevator up to the eighth floor. Instead of knocking on his door, she leaned against the wall and sent him a text, announcing that she was there. Not a minute later, a disheveled Freddie answered the door. Sam's eyes widened at the sight. This was worse than she thought. Never in her entire four years of being Freddie's friend had she seen him without his perfect hairdo and perfectly shaven face. Now, in front of her stood someone that she never thought she'd see. His hair was wild, going in every which direction, and he was sporting a five o'clock shadow. In the back of her mind, Sam couldn't help but notice how incredibly hot he looked. That was the back of Sam's mind. She carefully kept "those" kind of feelings she harvested for Freddie there. Everyday she'd wake up hoping that "there" in the back of mind was where "those" feelings would stay.
Freddie moved to the side, allowing her to pass him and enter his apartment.
"Try to be quiet—my mom's a light sleeper," he whispered. Thinking for a brief moment, he added, "As you know."
Sam nodded and made her way to Freddie's room, Freddie following close behind her.
When they were both in the room, Freddie shut the door behind them and a heavy silence fell between the two of them. For what felt like ages, they just stood, staring at each other.
Finally Sam, now extremely uncomfortable and hot for some reason, broke the silence and dropped her tote bag on his bed. "Let's begin—shall we?"
"Begin what?" He said, looking at her confused.
She plopped down on his bed and kicked off her shoes. "Operation: Pull Freddie Out of His Annoying Slump."
Freddie groaned and ran a hand through his hair. "It's not in a slump, Sam. I'm depressed."
She blinked a few times. "Depressed? Like depressed," she dragged out the second depressed, emphasizing her shock.
She paused, taking the news in. Out of her comfort zone and totally unprepared to handle the situation, she awkwardly reached for her tote bag and began rummaging through it. She didn't comment on what he had told her, but instead busied herself, trying to stick to the plan.
Standing across from her, Freddie eyed her closely. He had obviously upset her with what he had said, but she needed to know. It was why he called her.
"Okay—we have the Galaxy Wars trilogy—the old one, not the new. We have some of the most totally awesome, totally brutal MMA fights ever I've ever seen. We have FatCakes, Peppy Cola—" She trailed off, waiting for Freddie to talk.
"Sam…we don't have to do this," he said, quietly. "It's not like all the other times—this is different."
She stopped looking through her bag and turned to glare at him. What the hell is wrong with him? She dropped the bad on the floor and said, "Sit."
For a second, Freddie flashed a smile. A smile so brief that Sam almost didn't see it. Before she knew it, his face was back stern and hard and he replied, "I'm not a dog, you know."
Sam rolled her eyes. "Just sit, okay. Please?"
Shocked by her sincere plea, Freddie did as he was told and went to sit next to her on the bed.
"What's the problem, kid?" She asked, not looking at him.
Freddie answered immediately. "My life is the problem."
"Not good enough—give me a real answer. You know…details," she said. A couple minutes of silence went by causing Sam to motion her hand in such a way to say 'get on with it'.
Freddie didn't say a word, but instead, stood up and walked over to his desk, pulling a letter out of the drawer. He handed it to her and waited, knowing his misery would be pretty self-explanatory.
She took the letter and began to read,
In Regards to Fredward Benson,
We regret to inform you that your application to Massachusetts Institute of Technology Summer Camp for Gifted Adolescents has been denied. Please do not let this news defer you from applying to the university upon graduation, but we at the university we value a specific type of student and we regret to inform you that you do not fall within this group of criteria….
The letter went on, but she stopped reading it. Man…that sucks. She and Carly knew how much Freddie had been dreaming of attending that MIT summer camp. He had been working towards it, practically all year. In fact, he'd been working towards it his entire schooling career.
"This sucks, but it's no reason to be depressed," she said, ripping the letter in half. This earned her a shocked, pained look from Freddie. "Forget about it. There are loads of other braniac schools you can go to. You'll apply to those—get in—and kick ass once you're there."
He reached down and picked the letter that had been torn in two off of the ground.
Walking over to his desk, he sat down and meticulously taped it back together. "You still don't get it."
Sam watched angrily as he taped the letter back together. Seriously, why would anyone want to keep a rejection letter? Her eyes narrowed when she heard him speak. "Get what! You got rejected and you're depressed. I just don't think you should—"
Freddie cut her off by tossing the letter back at her. "Right there," he said, pointing a particular line in the letter. "It says, 'We value a specific type of student and we regret to inform you that you do not fall within these criteria'."
She looked at him questioningly, "And?"
He sat back down next to her. "I just…I'm never…"
"What…you're mad that you're not what they're looking for? There are other schools, kid."
Freddie nodded his head. "I know that, but…"
"But…I'm never the "right" person," he said, finally.
Sam narrowed her eyes, staring at him. "What do you mean, never?"
"I spent years working towards MIT…and what—they tell me, I'm not what they're looking for," said Freddie. "No explanation…just I'm not what they're looking for."
Sam remained silent, sensing he wasn't finished saying what he had to say.
"And then there's Carly…" He trailed off.
Sam almost groaned out loud. She did not want to hear about whatever residual feelings he harbored towards Carly. Preparing herself for what he was about to say, she shifted away from him on the bed, just a bit so he wouldn't notice and waited for him to continue.
"I spent years pining for her…years, Sam," he started. "For what? Nothing. I was in love with her—well maybe not 'in love', but I did have feelings for her. And what did I get in return? 'Oh Freddie, I love you, but just as a friend'. 'You're like a brother to me'. 'You're standing too close Freddie'. 'I just don't like you that way'."
As he went on and on, detailing every rejection he'd ever received from Carly, Sam faintly wondered whether or not it'd be rude to just get up and leave. Shaking her head, she continued to listen.
"I'm never the right guy," Freddie finished. "All these years—wasted. Wasted on Carly, wasted on MIT. Hell—I've never even had a steady girlfriend. I wasted two, almost three years of high school waiting for Carly to like me back. I wasted almost eleven years on MIT. And it all came down to me not being the right one."
If Sam didn't feel bad before she did now. Having never really worked that hard towards anything, she couldn't really relate to him, but she could imagine what he was going through. She now understood why he had called her instead of Carly.
"Okay…we already solved the whole school issue, all we have to do is talk about this girlfriend issue, or lack thereof," said Sam, smiling for a second. "Look dude—I'm not going to feel sorry for you about this Carly thing. I've been telling you since we were thirteen that you didn't have a chance with her. You chose not to listen and here you are—sixteen, having never been in a real relationship."
Freddie looked at her, amazed by her bluntness. She just said, flat out, that she wasn't going to feel sorry for him.
"Don't look at me like that," she said, nudging him in the shoulder. "I'm right. There are plenty of bimbos you could've wasted your time with—but no…you—"
He interrupted her, "Bimbos? What makes you think I'm into bimbos? Carly's not a bimbo."
Sam didn't comment on that. "All I'm saying is that there are plenty of other girls—you just need to move on."
"From Carly? I have moved on from Carly. I've been over her for a while, in fact. That rant served mostly to appease my thirteen year old self, who needed to say it loud and have somebody hear him. I may look different, but that little nub, as you would say, is still me. He's still here."
Sam gave him a smile and took off her jacket. "I wonder what our thirteen year old selves would think about us being here at three in the morning talking to each other, peacefully…alone in your bedroom."
Freddie laughed. "I know what I would've thought. The words mental institution, hallucination, and alternate dimension come to mind."
"Yeah, the words kidnapped, nightmare, and prank come to mine," Sam laughed out loud. "But seriously dude—you have to get pass this."
Freddie sighed. "I know—it was just a bad week for me."
Sam yawned and scooted back on the bed, lying down on Freddie's pillow. This earned a raised eyebrow from Freddie.
"What? I'm tired—it's like three-thirty in the morning," she said, tossing one of his pillows at him. "And in case you were wondering, I'm sleeping here tonight."
Freddie shrugged his shoulders. He continued to look at her as if he didn't know how to proceed. "I guess I'll sleep on the floor."
"Stop being a nub—I'm sure a guy and a girl can sleep in the same bed without having—" She trailed off, not having the courage to say it out loud.
Freddie laughed. "Note to self, add 'sex' to the list of words Sam can't say."
Sam reached behind her, grabbing a pillow, and hit him over the head with it. Freddie feigned a pained look. He threw the pillow back at her and moved to lye down beside her.
"Wait! Before you get in—look in my tote and put on Galaxy Wars: Empire Hits Back," Sam said. "Falling asleep to your favorite movie my make you wake up in a good mood."
Freddie smiled a little and did as she suggested. He turned the volume on low so as to not wake him mom. He then climbed in bed with Sam and turned off the lights. Seeing that the TV was on Sam's side of the bed, Freddie put his arm around her and moved so that his chin was resting on the top of her head.
In front of him, Sam was struggling to remain calm. All those 'feelings' she had for Freddie that she carefully stashed at the back of her mind were starting to become more and more prevalent. She let out a breath and hoped Freddie couldn't feel her rapidly pounding heart.
"Comfortable?" Freddie asked.
Sam didn't speak. She felt that if she did, her voice might betray her and give away what she was currently feeling. After a few minutes of silence, she was finally able to calm herself enough to speak.
"Tomorrow, you're leaving this room. Even if I have to drag you out—you're leaving. We can't make a vampire parody without a vampire."
Freddie sighed, his breath faintly touching Sam's ear. She held her breath. "Oh yeah—did you guys decide on a title yet?"
Sam nodded her head. "Yeah—Moonlight Twiblood."
Freddie laughed a little. "Yeah, that one was funny."
Sam smiled and said breathy, "If that's it—I'm going to sleep, now."
"Don't you want to see your favorite part? When Han and Leia are arguing and then end up kissing?" Freddie asked.
Sam shook her head. "No—that's okay. I'm really tired. We can watch it again tomorrow." She was happy when he stopped talking. It gave her time to push all those 'feelings' back to that special corner in the back of her mind. She wasn't lying when she said that she was tired. She was very tired. So it wasn't long until her eyelids drifted shut, making her hover between the feelings of being awake and being asleep.
"Sam?" Freddie said, checking to see if she was still awake.
Sam mumbled in return, letting him know that she wasn't yet sleep, but he could tell she wasn't awake either. "Thanks for tonight."
Sam didn't reply, but she did hear him. As she sank deeper and deeper into the night, the same dream began to commence. The one where she tells Freddie how she feels and he, surprisingly, returns them.
Back out in the real world, Freddie has stopped watching Galaxy Wars and is now staring down at Sam's serene face. He notices that she's smiling and wonders what she is dreaming about. Probably bacon. He smiles too before looking back at his favorite movie. He wonders how his and Sam's relationship came to be this. Whatever this is. He knew they were friends, maybe even best friends, but somehow, his relationship with Sam didn't feel how his relationship with Carly felt. This was different. This was more. More what, he didn't know. All he knew…was he liked it.
After their little talk, Freddie began to feel much better about everything. Sam hadn't said much. Hell, she hadn't told him anything that he didn't already know. But for some reason, he just felt better. Tomorrow, he'd get up, shower, shave, comb his hair, clean his room, and practice his vampire bit for iCarly. Tomorrow would be a better day. It would be a good day.
He smiled again and looked down at Sam. Who would've thought he and Sam would be this close? He leaned down and gave her a light peck on her forehead. "Night, Princess Puckett."
Again, Sam didn't reply, but she did hear him. A smile graced her face again.
I love you, Freddie…