A/N: This is my first iCarly fanfic. I don't watch the show religiously (so I haven't committed every little factoid to memory, cut me some slack if I mess up a name or something!), but I do love it, and every time I come across it on tv I always watch it. One of the most well-written kids/teen shows to date IMHO! Anyway, I write a lot, but it's literally been years since I delved into a fanfic, I mostly write nonfiction and fantasy/sci-fi. I'm not a teen, so I'm not going to write like one, but I will try to follow the traditional YA format. Let's just say I didn't have a normal high school experience so I tend to get sucked into shows centered around high school kids. Being vicarious and all that.

This is rated M for language, adult situations, violence, some underage drinking, future lemons, etc...I realize this story is QUITE out of character for Freddie, Spencer, Carly, and especially Sam, but this story touches on things that would get the show taken off the air if they even mentioned these sort of topics. If you still have trouble picturing it, imagine that iCarly moved from Nickelodeon to Showtime or HBO. =)

One more thing, title of the story is inspired by the title of a Beatles song (The Ballad of John and Yoko), all chapter titles are actual Beatles songs, unchanged. (Except for Chapter 12...you'll see haha) The Beatles really do work for everything. Promise.

Chapter One

A Hard Day's Night

~*Freddie*~

It was the first week of summer vacation. The storm raged on outside as I sat on my couch watching Saving Private Ryan, a rare treat. Mom didn't approve of bloody war movies, but she was away at a conference in Portland for an entire week. You think she'd care about making sure my education was as historically accurate as possible, but no. She mainly cared about keeping me sheltered.

Kind of coincidental that the first time she was gone for an extended period would be the same time I got pulled into all sorts of crazy shit.

I heard a loud banging outside my apartment that wasn't coming from the storm. It was coming from the hall, and it was nearly 2 AM. The banging repeated, frantically. I stood up, throwing my robe on and going to the peep hole. Peering through it, I saw a small figure sitting next to Carly's door. Cautiously I stepped out into the hallway, pulling my robe around me.

The tiny figure was Sam, soaking wet and sobbing hysterically, curled up into a ball. I had never seen Sam shed a single tear in her life, and here she was sitting on the hallway floor, completely losing it, crying harder than I'd ever seen anyone cry. I was alarmed, at the very least.

"Sam?" I asked. "What are you doing? Carly and Spencer are in Yakima all weekend remember? What's going on with you? It's 2 o'clock in the morning!"

She muttered something, but I couldn't tell what it was with her face buried in her lap, knees pulled up to her chest. I could definitely tell she was still crying though. Sam Puckett did NOT cry. Something was seriously wrong.

I dropped to my knees, my hands resting on top of hers. "You're not okay. Talk to me."

"About what, Fredweird? I told you, your face is stuck like that." Sam grumbled, still not looking up at me. Still crying.

"What's going on?" I asked.

She finally looked up at me, her soaking wet hair matted to her face, partially covering both of her eyes. I reached to brush the hair off her face, but as my fingers made contact with her skin, she winced, hissing in pain and turning her head. I angled my body slightly to get a look at what caused her to jerk away so quickly. My jaw dropped.

"Holy shit, Sam! What the hell happened to your face?" I rarely swore, but I was so alarmed I couldn't help it.

Her jaw was bruised, lip split open, her right eye was beginning to turn black, and on her left temple was a significantly sized gash. I looked down at her shaking hands and noticed how bloodied the knuckles were. I began to take stock of the rest of the damage, hair disheveled, clothes soaking wet and her shirt ripped at the shoulder, hanging off her petite frame.

"Sam?" I asked fearfully. "You've gotta talk to me. NOW."

She opened her mouth to speak, but burst into tears again, crying so violently she fell onto the floor, curling into the fetal position and making no attempt to brush the hair off her face. I was stunned! This girl beats the crap out of me on a daily basis and she was crumbling right in front of my eyes! I looked around the hallway, feeling powerless, and also not wanting to draw the attention of anyone else in the complex. What happened to the little wildcat demon? She was broken! Somebody BROKE HER! I was seething with rage, and I did the only thing I could do, I picked up the tiny girl and carried her into my apartment, depositing her on the couch. She continued to sob. I walked back to my bedroom to throw on some pants and then headed to the kitchen, ever keeping an eye on my traumatized friend-who-was-possibly-more-than-a-friend-but-we-were-still-in-denial-friend.

"Wh-what are you doing?" she sniffled as she heard me banging around the kitchen.

I walked over to her, perching on the edge of the coffee table. My left hand went to her chin, holding her face straight. She tried to move away, but I held her steady.

"Be still," I said, clicking on the little flashlight I had in my right hand. I held the beam of light to her left eye, watching her pupil shrink, then the other. Sam blinked profusely.

I held up my hand. "How many fingers?"

"Two."

"Good, you don't have a concussion." I stood up and walked back into the kitchen.

"What are you doing now?"

I walked back over to her, carrying two glasses in my hand, sat down on the coffee table in front of her and handed her one of the glasses.

"I found Mom's emergency alcohol stash a few months ago. Maker's mark. Should help take the edge off things." I responded, taking a sip of my own whiskey. I waited for her to make a stinging remark about mama's boys don't drink, but it never came. She simply raised the glass to her lips, hissing in pain again as the alcohol made contact with her split lip.

"So you gonna talk to me Puckett?" I asked.

Sam looked around the apartment, avoiding my eyes. "Where's your mom?"

"Portland, for the week. She's at some conference about controlling your kids while they're at college," I mused. "So she won't be interrupting us anytime soon."

I couldn't tell if that made Sam relieved or even more nervous. She wouldn't be able to run away if my mom wasn't here to chase her off.

I sighed, trying to reformulate my plan. "Okay, just sit here, I'll be right back."

I went into my bathroom and grabbed a towel and a first aid kit, then walked back to Sam, who at this point had already drained her first glass of whiskey. I handed her the towel and set the first aid kit on the table.

"Another?" I asked. She nodded, giving me a tiny smile as I took the glass from her. Small progress, but progress none the less. I refilled her glass and walked back over to her, watching as she squeezed the rain water from her long blonde hair.

I sat down in front of her again and opened up the massive first aid kit, pulling out supplies.

"What are you doing?" she asked as I brushed her hair off her face and over her ears, pressing a moist cloth to the cut on her cheek. "Ow!"

"Sorry," I said, blowing on the wound to alleviate the sting caused by the hydrogen peroxide. I took her chin in my hand, turning her head this way and that, as I took stock of her injuries. She didn't fight me. Her eyes were exhausted and radiated with emotional pain. She looked dead inside.

"When did you learn how to do this?" she asked as I continued to nurse her injuries. I shrugged.

"Mom's a nurse, what do you expect?" I motioned to her glass. "Drink that. You're gonna need it."

"Why?" Sam asked. My hand reached out, my fingers stopping just below the gaping wound on her left temple.

"Because this," I said, running my hand down the side of her face. "Needs stitches."

She froze. "I am not letting you come at me with a needle, Fredballs."

I shrugged. "It's either me or the doctor at the hospital. Who will ask questions, and probably file a report."

She sagged, defeated.

"I'll try to make it as painless as possible." I said, my hand patting her knee reassuringly. She took a deep breath and nodded as she watched me prepare the curved needle and stitch thread.

"They beat the shit outta me, Freddie," she said softly, after a few moments of silence. My eyes rose up to meet hers.

"Who did?" I asked softly. Her eyes flicked back down to the carpet, not wanting to answer me. My hand went back to her knee and I spoke in a low, hypnotizing tone. "Who hurt you Sammy?"

I expected her to chastise me for calling her that, that was my intention. Get her irritated, take her mind off what's happened. Nothing. She just stared at me with those big blue eyes.

"Bill," she responded, referring to her mother's boyfriend du jour. "And she...helped him." She started to cry again. "Freddie what do I do? I don't have anywhere to go, I..." She was crying so hard she was gasping for air.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Calm down! You're gonna hyperventilate!" I cautioned, but she couldn't calm down. I felt powerless. Finally I did the only thing I could do, I pulled the sobbing girl against my chest and wrapped my arms around her, resting my chin on top of her head. "It's okay," I whispered. "You're gonna be fine. You're safe now."

Eventually she calmed down and pulled away slightly, looking up at me. She sniffled. "I got blood on your shirt," she pointed out. I shrugged.

"It's okay. But I gotta deal with that gash on your head or you're gonna get blood everywhere," I said. She sighed and nodded.

"Can I have another drink first?"

I swiftly got up to refill both of our glasses.

Ten minutes later, Sam had a slight buzz, and was silent as I sat there holding the ice cube to the skin around the gash, trying to numb the area before I stuck a needle in it.

"Coulda got a needle that's not all bent outta shape Fredweeb." she commented, picking up the needle. I rolled my eyes.

"Curved needles makes stitches easier." I put down the ice cube and took the needle from her hand. Her eyes flicked up to mine. "Ready?" I asked. She took a deep breath and nodded.

"Owww..." she muttered through gritted teeth. "This hurts like hell."

"I'm sorry," I said stoically. "I'm almost done. Three more."

I was sure she was in a great deal of pain, but tough little Sam was a trooper and held out to the end, sighing in relief as I raised the scissors to her head and she heard the quiet 'snick' sound.

"There, all done." I said with an encouraging smile.

"Do I get a lollipop?" she asked. She was becoming Sam again.

"No," I responded, pausing. "You get to tell me what happened though."

She looked terrified at this prospect. "I can't. I can't talk about it."

My eyes narrowed as something clicked in my head. "You got any more injuries on you?"

"What?" She asked, swallowing. "Why would you ask that?"

"You know why." I responded. "What'd he do to you Sam?"

Sam looked down at her hands, her fingers brushing over the cloth wrapped around her bloody knuckles. "Well, I mean, he didn't get that far," she said, holding up her wrapped up hand. "But Mom didn't like the idea of me smacking her boyfriend around, even if he was trying to..." she stopped. "Never mind." She stood up. "I should go. Thanks for fixing my head."

She swiftly moved across the living room and opened the front door, only to have it be immediately slammed shut. Stunned, she whirled around to find me inches away from her, her body now stuck between the door and I.

"You're not going anywhere, Sam. Not like this. You'll stay here until you figure out what you need to do."

"But your mom..."

"Won't be back for another six days, Sam." I responded. "If you don't wanna talk about what happened, that's fine. Just...stay and keep me company."

Sam looked at me suspiciously. "I see what you did there," she said accusingly, and simply walked back to the couch, picking up her empty whiskey glass. "Barwench, get me another!"

I didn't press Sam for information that night, but I decided I would get it out of her the next day. We stayed up late enough for the sun to rise, had it not been pouring down rain of course. We sat in silence for most of the night, and the bottle was half empty. I'd have to pay Spencer twenty bucks to pick up another one before Mom got back. Sam was pretty drunk, but I figured after the night she'd had, she kind of deserved it. She stood in the middle of the living room, kind of swaying back and forth and watching me as I pulled out the sofa bed and made it for her. I finished and turned to her.

"Well, there you go. Get some sleep, we'll talk in the morning." I said.

"Thanks Freddie." Sam responded softly. I shrugged.

"Not a problem, Sam. I'll see you in a few hours."

I had been in bed maybe all of twenty minutes before Sam came creeping into my bedroom like a little girl. I shot up to a sitting position, alarmed.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"I...well...I..." she sighed, as if trying to force the words out. "I don't want to be alone right now."

I looked at her wordlessly and pulled back the covers so she could climb in bed with me. She did, laying on her side, back turned to me. She backed up a little bit closer to me, and I instinctively wrapped one arm around her, trying to calm her down. I would have given ANYTHING to have the circumstances changed, to have Sam in my bed unharmed and happy. And naked. Shit. Snap out of it, Benson.

"Please don't give me shit about this tomorrow," she remarked, half asleep already. "I'll just blame it on being drunk."

"I know," I responded, slightly amused. "Besides, giving you shit about anything is pretty much suicide." I chuckled as she elbowed me in the rib.

"Shut up Fredward," she yawned, then sighed. I could see her eyes flutter open as they skidded to the door. No. No one would be hurting Sam again tonight. Tonight she had my protection. I held her a little bit tighter and ran my fingers through her thick blonde hair. She shivered a little.

"I got you," I whispered in her ear. "No one's gonna hurt you, I got you."

I heard her sigh in relief and all the tension leave her body. Pretty soon, the only sounds in the room were Sam's soft snores. I closed my eyes and drifted off, trying to forget everything that had happened.

~* Sam *~

I woke up in Freddie's bed with a massive hangover, alone, in one of his giant t-shirts. Memories of last night hit me like a freight train. The fight, the attack, being forcibly pushed out of my own home after being attacked. The blood. God. So much blood. I was amazed I had managed to limp two miles to Bushwell without passing out.

And then there was Fredweeb.

I was amazed at how calmly he had handled the situation. Christ, he even sewed my skin back together! Then I remembered the alcohol. And I was in his bed. In his shirt. I gulped. His shirt smelled like him. Delicious. Whatever cologne he wore, I loved. It was rich and woodsy and crisp and...Freddie.

I really hoped what I thought had happened didn't happen. Not while I was drunk and recovering from the worst beating of my life. No, I wanted to be completely happy, in the moment, sober, and...naked. With naked Freddie. Yum. My stomach growled. I looked down, perplexed. Maybe my brain was messed up. I didn't mean that kind of yum. Moments later, I sniffed the air as I recognized the scent of bacon and eggs wafting through the apartment. Oh. That was it. Brain still working fine. I pulled the covers back and got out of bed, cautiously walking into the living room. Freddie was in the kitchen, his back to me, fussing over something at the stove. My head was in searing pain, and I stumbled a bit as I walked, hitting a lamp. Freddie turned to see me standing there in only his t-shirt watching him.

"Hey, you're up," he said. "Hungover?"

I scoffed. "You have no idea."

"I'm a little under the weather myself. Have a seat," he responded, sitting a mug of coffee on the breakfast bar. I sat down and immediately picked up the hot, glorious caffeine-laden beverage, not caring that it burned my hands and tongue. As I sipped the coffee, Freddie stood on the other side of the bar. He took the coffee mug out of my hands and set it on the bar, taking my chin in his hand. God I loved his hands.

"Let's see," he murmured, tilting my face back and forth. I avoided making eye contact with him, those beautiful chocolate pools that seemed to look right through me. I struggled for something to say, anything!

"How do the stitches look?" I asked. Lame, Puckett.

"Pretty badass, if you ask me." he responded with a grin that was contagious. He paused. "Food'll be done in a second. Scrambled okay?"

I nodded, staring down at the table.

"So are we gonna talk?" Freddie asked me. My eyes skidded up to his.

"You promised you wouldn't give me shit last night. I remembered that in my drunken stupor," I snapped, then I paused. "We didn't...like..."

"God no! You think I'm gonna pounce on a girl right after she's been beaten up? You know me better than that, Sam." Freddie responded, looking irritated.

I did know that. I just didn't have the balls to tell him that there was little stopping me from pouncing on HIM most days. Ever since that kiss at the lock-in. Last night however, was a different matter, I just wanted to feel safe for a change. Freddie made me feel that way.

He changed the subject. "Look, Sam, you're gonna have to talk about what happened last night eventually. You know that right?"

"I know," I responded. "I just can't yet."

He sat a plate of food in front of me and I hungrily dove into it. Freddie watched, a bemused expression on his face. I stopped eating and stared at him.

"Thanks," I said softly. "For helping me."

"How could I not?" Freddie responded. "I've never seen you like you were last night. It kinda scared me."

I nodded. "Scared me too."

There was an uncomfortable silence between us, and Freddie finally got up, going to one of the cabinets and pulling out a bottle of Advil. He opened it and sat two pills on the counter next to my plate, then pulled a water bottle out of his fridge.

"For your head," he explained.

He certainly had this whole nurturing thing down pat. I obediently swallowed the pills, gulping at the cold water.

"So..." I started. "What do we do now?"

"It's still storming outside. If you wanna just hang out here all day, we can do that. I can pull out the forbidden movie stash," he offered.

I nodded. "Sounds like a plan, Fredwina."

He smirked and rolled his eyes at me before getting up to fix a plate of his own.