if people were rain,
I'd be drizzle
and she's be a hurricane
-Looking for Alaska
He thinks, perhaps, a part of him has known all along.
It was a thought engrained on the very fabric of his mind, misinterpreted for a very long while as revulsion (because who wants to be in love with a violent whirlwind when there's a lovely ray of sunlight just on the left?) this is the girl who will drive you crazy, this is the girl who you will devote the majority of your time and energy to, this is the girl to end all girls.
Naturally, it takes him a little while to get it. He's astonishingly brilliant, but it takes him a while to get the important things.
And lately, he's starting to realize Samantha Puckett is one of the most important things of all.
He's Freddie and she's Sam and yes, he is perfectly aware that the entire world is waiting for the two of them to screw it up, call it quits, kill each other (thank you very much).
And although he's also perfectly aware that it would save everyone a lot of time, embarrassment and grave-digging if he and Sam never turned into anything tangible, anything requiring a label, he can't help it when the urge to grab her and kiss her in front of a million fans (and a few select mental patients) takes him over.
And suddenly, he's doing it. Her mouth is just as soft and warm as he remembers (her lips are a slightly more chapped, but that might just have to do with the fact that she's spent the last few days wasting away behind the walls of this hospital) and she even responds after a beat, slowly and wonderingly as if she's not quite sure if he's really here, if he's really doing this. It's such an un-Sam-like gesture, this doubt and insecurity that he doesn't stop himself at all when the urge to trace her plump lower lip with his tongue overcomes him.
And when they separate, it's all he can do to gaze down at her (because, sure, she can probably demolish a boulder with just her pinkie, but she's still barley five feet tall) and she's being insecure again, her eyes dart around the room nervously before coming to rest on him and she asks, so similarly yet drastically differently than she had earlier in the week,
"You really mean that?"
He feels like he could completely lose himself in the way her hips fit against his fingers, the hesitant pressure of her little hands on his arms, the look she gives him, so open and willing to try, that he says the first thing that comes to his mind (which, admittedly, had been running through his mind quite a lot recently)
"I guess we're both insane."
It's not like things are significantly different afterwards. She's a bit nicer to him, he's noticed, and she gets the same embarrassed smile every time he breaks a kiss and looks down at her. (it would be weird if it weren't so darn cute.)
But she still smacks him around from time to time, chucks things at him if he even so much as mentions the word "gigabyte" tells him he's boring her, eyes sleepy and exasperated but (as he's finally starting to realize) willing as if she'd never trade this place she has in his life for the world.
He's starting to get it, he thinks, starting to get her. It's slow and uninhibited and breaks every rule the universe has set up for them, but he's starting to get her.
He just hopes he's right, hopes that the vulnerability in her eyes won't end up being some elaborate ruse, hopes she will let him in the way she's let in so few others—
(because it had taken her so very long to stop denying that they were friends and even longer still to pluck up the courage to kiss him and now here he was, so many years later with Sam Puckett's fingers twined in his and he has no idea what he's doing or where they're going to go from here)
—he hopes that she won't break whatever progress they've made just because she gets bored or scared.
Mostly though, he hopes that he can find something in her that he hasn't found in anyone before.
He hopes that she will be the girl who still means something many, many years from now.
She looks up at him, icy eyes half-lidded and perpetually lazy and says,
"We're bad for each other, you know."
He considers her statement, allows the words to roll and tumble around in his head, tastes them on his tongue, and comes to the conclusion that she's right. They're terrible for each other, a blow torch and an open flame, and they will end, tragically, inevitably, with surrounding friends and family members shaking their heads but whispering "we knew it all along."
But she's lying carelessly on Carly's couch, head lulling to the side, left leg raised up and hooked around the back of it, one arm tucked under her head, the other curled around the arm of the sofa and she looks so lovely from where he's sitting, hair spread out around her in perfect little spirals, and her pink lips set together in forced indifference.
He wants to agree with her, wants to ask her if she wants to quit while they're ahead rather than stumble on the finish, end it amicably now rather than violently later, but for the life of him, all he can think about doing is capturing that protruding bottom lip of hers between his teeth and (because he finally, actually can) does so.
And although there are millions of things to be said, hundreds of excuses to be made (he's Freddie and she's Sam, and honestly he's never been the brightest crayon in the pack when it comes to her) the only words that manage to escape him are
"I don't care."
She's not like Carly or Wendy or Valerie, so he's not exactly sure how far he's going to get before she kicks him so hard between his legs his children will suffer (but he remembers a couple of pubescent preteens perched on a rusty fire escape many moons ago, the boy leaning in and the girl never blushing once)
It is this thought (coupled with the fact that she thoroughly seems to enjoy the feel of his lips moving incessantly over hers) that gives him the courage trace her figure when she's halfway across the room.
He makes a point to run his eyes over the rise of her chest, the curve of her waist, (because sure, he's been raised to be a perfect little gentleman, but he's still seventeen and male and he was forced to work his way through puberty with these two desperately beautiful girls constantly by his side, and while puberty had been kind to carly, it had relinquished all its power to sam, had surrendered itself completely, had deposited a glorious amount of flesh to the skin on her hips, the curve of her backside, the swell of her breasts (and he'd better stop thinking these thoughts soon because he's absolutely sure a part of her can read his mind and his pants have suddenly become suffocating-ly tight and oh dear god she's looking over and he's still staring at her ass—))
And she catches him, he's absolutely, positively sure that she catches him staring at a part of her that is not on her face, but he does not look away.
Lately Sam has been becoming far less scary than she once was. And, finding himself exhilarated by this new found courage, he raises his eyes to hers, quirks his lips upwards in a smirk, and takes a long, sweeping look down her neck and over her chest. He trains his eyes there for a moment before moving his eyes all the way down to her toes. He glances quickly up at her slowly reddening face once more and then goes back to fiddling with his camera.
Not a full two minutes later she has him pinned against the glass door of the iCarly studio with the sort of inhuman strength he hasn't seen from her since the 9th grade.
She presses her lips onto his hard enough to bruise, takes his startled gasp as invitation to slither her tongue into his mouth and clash their teeth together.
She pulls back for a second only to press her mouth relentlessly over his jaw line, scraping her teeth there.
"What the hell do you think you're doing, looking at me like that when Carly's right downstairs?" she growls from her place against his neck. He shivers briefly, desire and Sam (sam sam sam sam sam) clouding his vision.
He tries to respond with some sort of cocky retort about her liking it, but before he can even string the words together in a comprehensible sentence, she's devouring his mouth again; pressing her full lips against his with the sort of passion he's only ever seen her deliver to her plate.
Inexplicably, he feels a bit like ham.
And more inexplicably still, he finds he rather likes the thought.
She a liar by habit and a breaker by nature and she'd happily chew him up and spit him out and leave him, as usual, with the mess, the blame, the throbbing headache.
She doesn't listen and she swears too much and there is absolutely nothing concrete or solid about her, and sometimes he thoroughly wishes it could have stayed Carly. An entire lifetime with her would have been tame and he'd be content—
(but he was always second choice with carly wasn't he? she had only agreed to dance with him after her date could certifiably be dubbed an asshole, had only willingly kissed him after he had saved her life, had saved her crush's reputation, and hadn't he himself once admitted that he'd be happy being her second husband?)
—that wasn't life, that wasn't love.
With Sam he was second only to ham and lately he had been discovering that she only seemed to make that statement out of habit, that if he kissed her long and hard enough, even her favourite type of sandwich meat would sit forgotten.
And he feels like this will work.
They will work.
He's waiting for things to get easier, but mostly, they just get more complicated.
He feels sometimes, like Sam is too much for him. He's honestly still a little frightened by her, but it's such a drastically different sort of fear than he's felt for her in the past and somehow that frightens him even more.
He's got all this responsibility and he's not exactly sure what to do with it.
Hadn't she herself admitted that she didn't want to date him? That although she had kissed him, she would never consider being his girlfriend? And hadn't he been the one to make a little speech and grab her and kiss her and tell her that they would make this work?
It's all on him, isn't it?
Carly's on his back and Spencer's on his back and even Gibby is back there, making some kind of noise and they're all glaring down at him with the same amount of accusation: when will you tell her you love her, their narrowed eyes seem to ask.
But he's Freddie and she's Sam and he's still trying to find the best way to fit their names together naturally—never mind the best way to tell her he loves her.
So he doesn't.
He spends most days with his mouth pressed feverishly against hers, buying her endless amounts of smoothies and trying to show her that he likes her, enjoys her company, wants to see where this goes eventually and to please be patient with him.
He realizes somewhere in the back of his mind that if this ends, it will end badly.
He's Freddie and she's Sam they practically invented the word dysfunctional. Carly and Sam may have had their tiffs, but he knows that if worst comes to worst, he and Sam would probably be the end of iCarly, and the end of four solid years of friendship.
It's not his fault.
It's not like he's trying to be bad at this.
He wonders how fast a heart has to beat before it explodes.
He's pretty sure it nearly happens every time he's within Sam's vicinity (before it was because of terror, the overwhelming fear of the type of pain her tiny little fists could inflict upon him) but now it's something else, something entirely different, something even more terrifying than the thought of Sam's fist pummelling him to a pulp and he feels it weighing so heavily atop him he momentarily stops breathing.
She's sitting on a stool near Carly's kitchen counter, twisting this way and that, a bottle of root beer held loosely in her hand, eyes bored and lips quirking upwards at the ends.
She's thinking something. Of what he has no clue, but it's there, the thought's in her eyes and on her mouth and even in the lax grip with which she clutches her drink and it makes his heart speed up a million miles a minute and this means something. This means something.
She slides off the chair, cool as you please and saunters over, swaying her hips hypnotically.
He keeps his eyes trained on hers, tries and fails to show her that he's not worried, but she can see through him (she's always been able to see right through him) and she perches herself on the arm of the couch, bare feet resting near his upper thigh.
He doesn't like this, doesn't like it anytime Sam has a smile on her face and he doesn't have any knowledge of how it got there, so he tries to back away from her a little.
But she's having none of that. In one swift movement she moves on top of him, straddles him, smoothes her tiny fingers over his shoulder and rests her forehead against his.
He's breathing heavily now, she's so close he can't think straight, and his heart has sped up exponentially. It's thudding hopelessly against his chest and he squeezes his eyes shut.
Everything about her sets him on fire. He feels like a completely different boy (man? is he a man yet?) now than he was before all he could see were piles and piles of blonde hair and shifty, excitable eyes and long, thin arms wrapping around him and pulling him closer and he can't think he cant think, he's Freddie Benson and he needs to think.
He takes a big gulping breath and tilts his mouth to press it against hers. At least this way, he has a reason for the crazy heart beat and panting breath.
But she's having none of that either. She pulls away, that damn smirk still in place, and she runs the hands originally on his shoulders up his neck, through his hair, nails scraping against his scalp.
She finally pulls back, wiggles a little as she fits her crotch soundly against his and looks him straight in the eye.
"You want me."
She says, smirk morphing into a full out grin, "You want me so bad, Benson. The proof's right here."
She punctuates her point by wiggling again in his lap and he groans aloud, so sick of her and what she does to his body and mind and then he's pushing her back against the Shay's couch.
She looks startled, but not all together surprised as he nudges her knees apart and makes himself home between them, kissing her with the fever of a man too far gone to comprehend what he's doing.
"I hate you" he murmurs between kisses, "hate you so much."
She grips him tighter, pulls him closer, knows what he means even when he doesn't know what he means.
"I know," she says, "I know."
He's Freddie and she's Sam, so he's not really surprised that he wants to kill her half the time.
He wonders how it's possible to be so attracted and so repulsed by the same person, but Sam seems somehow able to manage it.
He's been raised to be a perfect gentleman so excuse him if he prefers girls to chew before they open their mouths to talk. He realizes that his constant nagging may be hinting at a bigger problem. That this could very well cause the end of their relationship.
This wont work, he realizes. They're like two ends of the wrong rope and they're not going to make it—
(too bad, too, because he really could have gotten use to the warmth of her fingers tangled with his and the smell of that spot on her throat right where the skin on her neck meets the skin on her shoulder and the feel of her wonderfully warm mouth pressed to his and the way she looks right after she's eaten, so happy and content and beautiful)
—she's too much for him. He doesn't know how to keep up with her constantly changing moods and appetite for violence, she's full of mixed signals and cruel laughter and how does anyone expect him to deal with this, to deal with her?
Things aren't always great between them, but he takes care to leave his bedroom window unlocked and most nights, around 1 am, he hears a clumsy entrance followed by a muffled crash as she lands hazardously on his floor, always accompanied by her choicest swear words.
He stays turned away from her, fights to keep his breathing slow and even despite the urge to laugh and a few moments later, feels the length of her body pressed softly against the length of his.
He takes a moment to turn and face her, looks down at her sleepy, careless eyes and wraps an arm easily around the dip of her waist, slipping the other under her pillow.
She snuggles up against him—Samantha Puckett snuggles up against him—burrows her nose into his chest, reaches up and presses her fingertips to the skin of his neck, just above the steady thrum of his heartbeat, and closes her eyes.
He tries to keep his breathing even, begs his heartbeat not to accelerate, but he knows that it does, knows that she knows, can feels the smile curving on her glorious lips at the realization, even through the fabric of his worn night shirt.
He feels like she's touching his heart, the way her fingertips stay trained to the spot where his pulse thrums so unsteadily and he gulps with difficulty.
And in those few hours, just before 6 am when he shakes her awake to send her back home before his mother slips into his room for one of her early morning checkups, he feels more connected to Sam than he ever has with any other person.
Where is this going, he asks himself, where is this going?
It takes him several months, but he finally gets it.
They're sitting outside of the Groovy Smoothie, and she has her left ankle crossed behind his, and at one time he wouldn't have taken notice, but now it clearly stands for something.
She's saying it, he thinks, she's saying "I love you" without really saying anything at all, and for once, the urge to say it back overcomes him with such a startling amount of need that he's left grappling for what to do, how to show it.
His mind begins reeling, trying to come up with plots and plans but he's left blank.
And for once, without actually thinking, he reaches down and circles his fingers firmly around her ankle, strokes the sliver of pale skin visible in between her high tops and skinny jeans and looks her straight in the eye.
I'm saying it too, he thinks, smiling a little because finally, finally, finally, this feels right, this feels perfect, this feels like them.
She grins at him, the corners of her lips tugging up happily. She wraps her cool fingers around his, does not break eye contact, and leans in for a kiss.
It takes him a while, but he's Freddie and unlike Sam, it takes him a while to get the important things.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, so I got sucked into all this Sam/Freddie craziness too.
I should just stick to Victorious where I can at least pretend to know what I'm doing, but there we are.
I kinda wanted to do this in Sam's point of view, but Sam's head, pretty as it is, is a bit too much for me to delve into so I stuck with Freddifer.
This is un-beta'd, by the way, so forgive all of the egregious grammatical errors and such.