Chapter 1: The Games Begin

Disclaimer: If I owned iCarly, Dan wouldn't be giving me the stink-eye for what I'm writing about.

Note: In recent stories I've written about people dying or being separated for years at a time, so I thought I would write something a little more fun and light-hearted. And apparently light-hearted to me means a little perverted. So heed the rating. I don't see things getting too graphic...but they'll be graphic enough. While the entire story is rated "M", this chapter is probably "T", so maybe you'll give it a chance to see if you want to continue reading.

It was Freddie's fault. He knew that. Sure, as was usual, Sam had started it all. Sam started everything. When they were younger, that would have been the end of it. Sam would start something, and Freddie would protest. And Sam would win again. But as they got older, Freddie became bolder. It's true that Sam won more often than not, but Freddie wasn't in it for the victory (he realized he would be stupid to be in it for that against Sam), but for the game itself.

Sam had started it again this time, but it was Freddie who raised the stakes.

He thought about this as he sat in homeroom. He was glad it was their senior year, and that for the most part he knew more than the teachers. Because he hardly concentrated in class anymore. Sam occupied his mind way too much. In that way she was winning again.

He thought about when it first began. It was roughly four weeks previous. They had just finished another episode of iCarly. Carly had gone downstairs to make a batch of her special lemonade, and Freddie was trying to think of another reason to refuse a glass that didn't specifically tell her it was the most wretched thing he had ever tasted and that he could feel his future grandchildren closing their throats in protest of such a monstrosity being subjected upon their ancestor.

Sam was in the studio with him. She sat in the bean bag, pretending to watch something on TV. He knew she was pretending and waited for her to do whatever she was planning to do. Hopefully, whatever game she started would include a minimum of pain for Freddie.

They never talked about the games. Freddie knew if they did they might stop. They could never mention them. Because mentioning the games meant they might have to acknowledge other aspects of their relationship, such as the fact that maybe they really were friends, maybe more than friends. In some ways, Freddie felt the he and Sam were closer than either of them was with Carly. They had a way of communicating without having to talk, which is how the first game began.

That first game actually had to do with Carly. Carly had yelled at them for another fight they had. And both of them felt bad about it, but while they were sitting there, looking at each other, they both smiled. And without a word they agreed on the game and on the rules.

The winner was the first person who could make Carly yell at them. They weren't allowed to make Carly cry-that was an automatic loss. But if they were able to get her angry enough for her to yell, then whoever was the straw that broke the camel's back got the point. They had been playing that game for three years. Sam was ahead, but it was a surprisingly close score: after three years, only eight points separated them. Freddie knew it was because Carly expected him to be the more mature one and not get lured into a fight.

Sam got off her bean bag and came to stand next to him. He studiously ignored her, while trying to keep his excitement in check. He would never admit it to her, but the games were some of his favorite things. The times he spent with Sam were his favorite things. Well, except when she hit him. Those sucked. But she had been hitting him less, and when she did, the pain was inconsequential.

He continued to work on his computer. He could feel her smirking, and he knew she would stay there until he acknowledged her. That was part of the game, too. He sighed and turned to her.

She reached out and pushed his bicep gently with her index finger. "Tag, you're it."

He looked at her. Had she lost it? Was this what they had come to? And he started another of their silent conversations.

Tag? Really?

You can admit defeat if you think you can't handle it, nub. He didn't know how he knew she was calling him a nub when they weren't talking, but he did.

I can handle it, Puckett. I just think you're losing your touch.

We'll see.

Fine, what are the rules?

First rule, Benson, tags can only be applied in locations in which you and I are the only ones around. If a tag is witnessed, it doesn't count.

Okay, what about tag-backs?

Must be at least an hour between tag-backs.

What about a winner?

I guess we'll just have to see.

Sam, this game could last forever!

You can always admit defeat, wuss.

He looked at her. No way was he admitting defeat. He nodded. She smirked, and left the room. He knew she expected for him to wait for the hour to be up and then try to get her, so she was going to be around Carly to prevent that. Sam had forgotten one important thing about Freddie, though, and that was that he had learned from the master: Sam Puckett. He would not do it right away. After all, the game could last forever. There was no need to rush it.

Any time she saw him in the next few days she jumped. That gave him a rush, that he could have that effect on her. But he also knew Sam Puckett well enough to know that if he didn't do something soon, he was going to have that jumpiness turn to anger, which in would turn into pain for Freddie. He couldn't have that.

That was why on the fourth day after she tagged him, he did a very un-Freddie thing. He left his apartment early, but instead of going to school he took a bus to Sam's street. He waited outside her house for thirty minutes, which he actually felt was a fairly short time, since Sam was never known for her punctuality.

But she was still late for school. Which was good for Freddie, because there was nobody on the street. He came up behind her and put a hand on her shoulder (and then removed it quickly; he had seen what she'd done to other guys who surprised her).

"Tag, you're it."

"Son of a bitch," she yelled, before turning around. He pretended not to see the tiny smile that flittered across her lips. "Took you long enough, nub."

"Would you like an escort on your way to school, milady?" he asked.

"What a nub." She started walking. "Here, you're carrying my books."

She tried to drag the walk out, so that the hour would pass before they got to school, but he was onto that, and they arrived forty-five minutes after he tagged her.

It was better when he had been waiting to tag her, because the anticipation of her tagging him made him jumpy whenever he realized other people weren't around. He was foolish enough to think she wouldn't come into the audiovisual room, because of the general nerdiness of the room, but she did. He never noticed her until she spun him around and pinched both his cheeks.

"Tag, you're it, nub." She looked around. "Great, now I have to shower to get the dweeb cooties that probably have infected me." And she left.

They went about that for a week, and perhaps nothing would have changed if it hadn't been for Dance Master USA. Spencer had bought the game in another attempt to get into shape, but he had quickly abandoned it. Carly had brought it up to the studio and they had played it occasionally, but it didn't really interest Freddie. He didn't need to have Sam videotaping him doing it and embarrassing him by playing it on iCarly.

That day he and his mother were supposed to go to mother/son pottery class. He had been slowly weening her off their activities together, but he knew just making her go cold turkey would be hard. He needed to stop her before he went to college, though. He didn't have to do anything that day, because when they were in the car she got a call that another of the nurses had gotten sick and they needed a replacement quickly.

"Sorry, Freddie," she said.

"It's okay, Mom. We'll get it next time," he said, because although he hated pottery, he didn't want to hurt her feelings.

Spencer and Carly were visiting their grandfather that evening, so Freddie decided that he would update the software in the studio and then maybe have a Galaxy Wars marathon.

He heard the music as he was going up the stairs. Sam was there, and she though he was at the pottery class. It was a perfect time to strike, although he would have to abandon his movie-watching. He couldn't be in his apartment alone after an hour; Sam would get him right away.

He stopped outside the studio and gawked at what he saw. Sam was playing Dance Master USA, and she was doing it at the Master level. That might not have been too bad, but apparently this dance involved a lot of jumping around, and Sam was wearing just denim shorts and a tank top. He saw the sweat glisten on her legs, and the way the muscles in her thighs jumped. Then he looked up and saw the way her breasts moved, and Freddie became hypnotized.

It wasn't like he hadn't noticed them before. He had seen the paper in the boy's locker room ranking the top boobs in school and saw that Sam was listed as number three, and he had been unable to stop himself from thinking they should be number one. It was often a struggle of Herculean magnitude to separate his thoughts of this beautiful girl with amazing breasts from the one who could eat an entire chicken in a minute (less without bones) and who could easily incapacitate any person she encountered.

He tried not to think about Sam's breasts. He really did. Not only did he feel it was wrong to think about a friend like that, he was sure if she found out that he did, she would stick his own foot up his ass. And like some other girls, he had heard Sam say "my eyes are up here" to a boy. Unlike the other girls, though, she usually said that after she had already kneed the guy in the balls. So, yes, better not to think about Sam's breasts. And if Freddie happened to dream about them every once in a while, well, there was nothing she could do about that. He hoped.

He might have stood there until she noticed him and came over and kneed him in the balls anyway. But the song stopped, and that was enough to snap him out of his paralysis. The next song began playing, and Freddie slowly began to move toward her.

She must have caught his reflection in the monitor, because she spun around to look him directly in the face. He was less than a foot away from her. He saw her flick her eyes to each side, seeing if there was any way she could escape. She saw that she wouldn't be able to before he touched her. Her shoulders slumped.

"Aw, crap." She waited for him to tag her.

Later, he would blame it on some residue of the hypnotic effect her bouncing boobs had on him. Maybe it was the way she was breathing heavily, and he could see her breasts move up and down as she did so. Maybe he just wanted to do it.

He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. "Tag, you're it." Sam's face shot up, and there was a shocked expression on her face. Freddie left the studio quietly, with no hurry. He didn't begin running until he was down the stairs.

He went to see a movie that night. It was a movie his mother would never have allowed him to watch, but he figured he was going to die soon, so he might as well have some enjoyment beforehand.

It wasn't like he hadn't kissed her before. They had once, so that each could have their first kiss. But she had agreed to that. She had actually been the first one to voice the idea. This was different. He had kissed her without her okay. It wouldn't matter that it was on her cheek. Sam Puckett was going to kill Freddie Benson. Freddie didn't think that was exaggeration or hyperbole. She might not mean to kill him, but she would be unable to stop herself.

Part of him wanted to get it over with, to walk bravely to his certain doom, maybe shoot off with a witty line before he was taken down. But more than that, Freddie wanted to put off the pain as long as he could.

That was why, instead of going through the lobby like he normally would, he climbed the eight floors up the fire escape. If his mother had known, she would have put him in a mental hospital immediately. Because climbing up fire escapes was something Freddie Benson didn't do.

Yeah, well, kissing Sam Puckett without her permission isn't something Freddie Benson does, either, he thought. He knew what that meant. If he was able to do something so unlike himself as kiss Sam, then maybe she would realize he might do something else unlike himself. Maybe she was waiting on the fire escape, the fire escape they shared their first kiss, and she would push him off when he got there. He looked up and couldn't see anybody, but who knew?

There was nobody on the fire escape. He looked through the window and didn't see her. Now or never, he thought, and he ran for his door, which was generally a useless precaution, because it took him nearly a minute to get through all the locks his mother had installed.

He shut and locked the door. He began to breathe easily. She could already be in here, his mind told him, the same mind that had allowed him to stare at Sam's breasts and who had thought there was no issue with kissing Sam. Thanks, brain, he thought.

He checked around. If she was there, he could do nothing. He wouldn't hit Sam, and even if he did, he knew she could hit harder. Sam was the toughest person he knew.

She wasn't there.

He looked down at his hands, which were grimy with dirt from climbing up the fire escape. He could imagine his mother's reaction to the sight. He grabbed some paper towels and cleaned the door knob of the front door and any other item he might have touched. There was probably dirt on the other side of the door, but he could blame that on Sam if his mother said anything. If he lived long enough.

He double-checked the locks on the door. He knew Sam couldn't get through them. She had tried before. Satisfied, he went to his bedroom. He grabbed a towel and a pair of Galaxy War boxers. He went into the bathroom and stripped down. He would have to start a load of laundry, so his mother didn't see the dirt on his clothes. He got in the shower and washed the grime away. He started to relax. Maybe if he didn't see Sam until the next day, she might only cripple him, not kill him.

He got out of the shower and dried off. He stood in front of the mirror and brushed his teeth. He pulled his boxer shorts up, and then his mind, fickle as ever, said, what about the window?

The window. He liked to sleep with it open. Sam knew that. He had to lock the window. He opened the bathroom door, and even before he had finished turning the knob, his brain was whimpering, I don't know if this is a good idea, Freddie.

And she was right there, blocking his exit. The only place he had to go was back in the bathroom. She stared at him with an unreadable expression, and for a moment he did think about going back, of trying to shut the door and locking her out. But she could get in, he knew. What would be the point? Better to face her anger head-on than be a wuss. He pulled himself up a little straighter and looked her in the eyes.

"Sam," he said. To him, it sounded like there was no hesitancy in his voice, no fear despite the fact it felt like ice was running through his veins.

For a moment, he didn't realize her lips were against his. He looked down at her. Her eyes were closed, and his brain, the idiot, said, she's kissing you! Sam was kissing him. It was probably just a trick to set him up, but at the moment he didn't care. He had been prepared for pain, so if it was to come, he might as well enjoy the moments before. He closed his eyes.

He felt her tongue push between his lips, felt it run over his teeth, and he met it with his own tongue. She tasted like strawberries. The kiss lasted maybe ten or eleven seconds before she pulled back. He opened his eyes and looked at her. Her cheeks were red. He tensed his body, waiting for the hurt, but she backed away.

"Tag, you're it," she said, her voice light. She moved closer to the window. "You changed the game, Freddie." Again, he could not read the expression on her face. She put one leg over the window sill and looked back at him. Then, a smirk appeared. "Nice boxers, nub."

And she was gone.

Not a moment too soon for Freddie. If she had stayed a second longer, she would have noticed a new change around Freddie's boxers, and then she really might have killed him.

You changed the game, Freddie.

What did it mean? What did the kiss mean? He looked at the window, just to see if maybe she was still around. Seeing she wasn't, he slapped his own face as hard as he could.

"Ow." Okay, he wasn't dreaming.

"What did I do?"

A/N: Okay, if the "M" rating didn't warn you, and if my note at the beginning didn't warn you, please let thrice pay for all: this is going to be somewhat dirtier than my normal fanfic. Sam and Freddie aren't going to be humping their brains out in the next chapter, but I can't promise there won't be some brain-reducing humping later in the story.

I hope readers of my other stories will stick with me, despite the upgrade in rating. Sam and Freddie are still going to be Sam and Freddie, as much as I can keep them that way, while still acting like teenagers who happen to find each other insanely hot.

And for those who refuse to read because of the rating (and those of you who should not be reading-shield your eyes, youngsters!), I promise that in the next story Sam and Freddie will be arguing Jungian versus Hobbesian philosophies. Okay, probably not, but it won't be as dirty.

Please review (assume that every review that has "you have a dirty mind" will be replied with "yeah, I'm a guy", so we don't have to go through all that).