The Ballad of Sam and Freddie, Second Verse
A/N: This is the sequel to The Ballad of Sam and Freddie (duh), and I'm gonna try to bring the same level of passion and dedication to this story as its predecessor! I hope you guys enjoy it as much as the last one!
If you haven't read The Ballad of Sam and Freddie yet, I highly recommend you do so before starting this one, otherwise you may be a little confused.
This story begins during their sophomore year of college, so there is a one year time gap. When we left off, Sam and Freddie were very, very much in love, and Brad went against his father's wishes to stay with Carly and go to WSU to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker. They've all been living in the loft together for a year now, and Spencer and April have their daughter Maggie, who is a year old now. Now we get to see what has changed over the past year, how the iCarly gang is coping with adulthood, and what's in store for them next.
Now, anyone who is familiar with my work knows how I enjoy using one band's songs for my chapter titles, so this story's band will be...Incubus! And now, on with the show!
I grumbled to myself as I sat at the kitchen counter, reading over my World History book for what felt like the billionth time. Finals were a mere week away, and studying was absolutely killing me. Things sure had been ramped up for me this year! I hoped I'd manage to pass this semester, otherwise, talk about a wrench being thrown in the gears! Still, I didn't have much to complain about...life was good. The past year and a half had been nothing short of amazing!
Things changed drastically the day Brad had elected to defy his father and not go the military academy in New York. He'd decided he couldn't be without me, and I was ecstatic over it. We were more in love now than ever, but it had caused a few difficulties for Brad. For one thing, he'd waited to late to confirm going to WSU, so he'd had to defer by an entire semester, so he was technically a freshman, while Sam, Freddie, and myself were now sophomores, almost finished with our first semester. The most difficult thing for Brad had been losing contact with his family. Even though we'd pay Mr. Harrison back for the tuition with money from the iCarly affiliate sales, it hadn't made a bit of difference, he was absolutely furious. He was so angry that they'd almost come to blows that day. If Freddie hadn't stepped in, Brad probably would have gone postal on his own father, but Freddie just dragged him out of the Harrison family apartment and onto the elevator, and that was the last time they'd spoken. It absolutely killed him, he'd been cut off from his entire family, not just his immediate family, but his grandparents, uncles, aunts, even his crazy cousins. To them, he was a deserter, anti-military, anti-government, whatever. He wasn't any of those things, it just wasn't what he wanted to do with his life.
He really missed his siblings. Heather managed to pop upstairs every now and then when she could sneak away, and Brad was grateful for that, but he missed Bryson and Leah terribly. Little Leah especially. She was almost three years old, and he hadn't seen her in over a year and half. But he kept going, kept pursuing his goal at WSU of being a filmmaker. He'd even gotten better with doing his own camera work. Freddie still took care of the shooting during iCarly though. We'd tried letting Brad handle it a few times, and he did it just fine, but it was a lot easier to keep Sam's eyes focused on the lens if Freddie was the one holding the camera. Otherwise, her eyes would just keep drifting off frame to wherever Freddie was standing.
Sam and Freddie. Now there was an interesting topic. Sam was absolutely kicking ASS in Pre-Law, and I was not exaggerating one bit. She was blowing right through it. All of her sneakiness, quick reaction time, and ability to think unconventionally and on her feet really came in handy. She was still having difficulty in her math classes, but Freddie helped her out a lot, even if that meant sometimes doing her homework for her, which was kind of cheating, but still, it was sweet.
Freddie was doing well in the Engineering program as well. Nowhere near as good as Sam with Pre-Law, which had been sort of a shock to all of us, but still, he was doing well. When the two of them got done with school, including Grad school for Freddie, and Law school for Sam, their futures were SET. And they'd be making a LOT of money. Brad and I, maybe not so much, it's hard to make a good living in entertainment unless you're super famous, but who cared? We were happy together.
Now, back to Freddie and Sam. You would think after two and a half years of marriage, those two would have cooled off, but they hadn't. Not. One. Bit. It was frustrating, the amount of noise Brad and I had to put up with on a daily basis, but we got used to it, and sometimes even gave them fierce competition in that department, now that I was a little less shy concerning my sexuality, but still. Nothing could compare to level of Sam and Freddie's sexual intensity. It was almost comical, but at the same time, it was solid proof that those two were perfectly matched on every level. Each one made up for the other's short-comings, they were very committed to each other, and invested in each other's lives and futures, and like I said, very sexually compatible.
Until about two weeks ago. Something weird happened. Like a switch had been flicked or something, because all they'd been doing was arguing. A lot. In fact, they were holed up in their room, arguing right now, which was why I was having trouble concentrating on studying right now. I'd learn how to ignore the moans and groans and sounds of furniture banging against walls and any other noise that may come out of their room in the middle of the night, or the middle of the day for that matter, but I couldn't get used to them arguing. Probably because it was such a rarity, but lately, that's all they'd been doing.
I closed my eyes and sighed as I heard the sound of something hit the wall and then shatter, laying my head down on my book and groaning. Finals. One week. And I couldn't study, because they were having an all-out war. It was like they were twelve again!
I heard Sam start yelling, and the door flung open, revealing a VERY pissed off Freddie, who just glared at me before slamming the door shut behind him as he stormed out, heading to the kitchen. The door opened again, and Sam stuck her head out, throwing something at him.
"Take your shot, dumb ass! Then leave me the fuck alone!"
"Gladly!" he hollered, bending down to pick up the insulin pen she'd flung at him. "I don't want to be around your bitchy ass anyway!"
The door opened again, and Sam gave him a death glare. "I will beat the living shit out you," she threatened, and he just stood there, his arms crossed over his chest, leering at her.
"Be my guest," he stated, and she just rolled her eyes, before slamming the door shut. He whirled around, looking angry, and I just stared at him in shock. Whoa. This sounded really, really bad.
"At least she still cares enough to make sure you take your shot," I offered weakly, and he shook his head, sighing.
"Only so she won't feel guilty," he responded, walking around to the other side of the counter and leaning against it, running his hand over his hair. "Man...this is bullshit." He looked exhausted, stressed out, worried, and I could see a little bit of fear in his eyes. This wasn't good at all.
"So what happened this time?" I asked softly, and he just sighed, laying his head down.
"She turned me down again," he muttered against the counter, and my eyebrows went up. This wasn't the first time this had happened this week, but I was still caught-off guard about it. It was epically uncharacteristic for Sam and Freddie to not be all over each other, she was acting like she hated him these days!
"Really? That's like..."
"The fifth time this week?" he finished. "Yeah. Carly?"
"Is everything okay between you and Brad?"
I looked at him strangely. Things couldn't be better between me and Brad, he knew that. Why was he asking me that? "Yeah, it's great. Why?"
"I'm just thinking," he responded glumly, and I gave him a Look, knowing exactly what he was getting at.
"Didn't we get this out of the way like...two years ago?" I asked, and he shrugged.
"I know! I just...man...something's really wrong."
"What do you mean?"
He looked up at me, biting his lip, looking like he was trying to choose his words carefully, and I just stared at him, waiting for his response.
"Okay," he finally said. "Don't say anything to Sam, please, but..." He looked up at the door to make sure Sam was still locked in their room. "We haven't had sex in two weeks."
"What?" I cried, absolutely shocked. "Are you serious? But you guys...you guys can't keep your hands off each other!" What. The. Hell?
"Couldn't. Past-tense. Now she doesn't want me anywhere near her. She doesn't want me to touch her, when we're in bed, she gets as far to the other side as she can...I'm really worried, Carly. Every time I try to make it go further than a kiss she flips out and starts yelling at me!"
"Wow..." I said, unsure of what to say. This was bad. This was really bad.
"Has she said anything to you?" he asked, and I shook my head.
"We haven't talked about you. Just school. And how Brad is taking this whole thing with his family."
"Christmas season is hard for him," Freddie commented, and I nodded.
"I absolutely hate his dad, I swear to god. He misses Bryson and Leah so much!" It was literally killing Brad not to be able to see his two youngest siblings, to the point when Spencer and April would bring Maggie over, he almost couldn't bear to look at her.
"I know," Freddie said with a sigh. "Maybe his dad will have a change of heart."
"His dad doesn't have a heart, remember?" I responded with a roll of my eyes.
"True," Freddie said with a shrug. "Carly, what do I do? I'm lost. What if...what if she doesn't wanna be with me anymore?"
"I'm sure it's not that," I replied, trying to reassure him. "Maybe she's just really stressed out. I mean, when you're not trying to initiate something, how does she act?"
"Fine," Freddie replied with a shrug. "She'll kiss me, she'll hug me. If she's in a good mood, she'll call me baby like usual, tell me she loves me, but when it goes beyond that...she just freaks out."
"I don't know what to tell you," I replied. "It doesn't make sense."
"Am I getting out of shape or something?" he asked, looking down at his arms and examining them carefully. "You'd tell me if I needed to bulk back up, right?"
"Freddie!" I scolded. "Sam is NOT going to stop loving you just because your arms are getting smaller!"
"So they are!" he exclaimed. "Shit!"
"No! You're just as...beefy...as you were two years ago!" I replied. That was the honest truth, if anything, he'd gotten even more muscular! Of course, so had Brad, and for that matter, I was beginning to fill out more too. I'd actually gone up an entire cup size over the past year, and I was thrilled about it. But the issue right now was Freddie, not my rapidly developing body. "I don't know what's going on with her, but I can try to find out."
"Yeah," he said with a roll of his eyes. "Do that, please. I gotta go the gym, work off this frustration."
"Take your shot first," I reminded him, and he just grunted.
"Yes, mother," he replied, lifting his shirt before pulling the cap off the insulin pen and sticking himself in the stomach with it, before discarding it in the trash. With that, he walked to the front door, grabbing his jacket, before looking back at me. "Later."
"Bye. Hope things get better."
He looked back in the direction of him and Sam's room, frowning. "Yeah, I hope so too." With that, he walked out the door, leaving me to go back to studying.
I groaned, laying my head back down. Finals were going to kill me, if Sam and Freddie fighting didn't kill me first.
I looked around nervously as I sat in the Groovie Smoothie as I waited for my sister to show up. I didn't know why I got so nervous when we did this, it wasn't like my dad ever came here, but still. It always made me nervous. Heather and I had to keep the fact that we were still talking absolutely top secret, and it absolutely drove me crazy.
I missed my family so much, but nobody would dare defy my father. He absolutely hated me. Ever since the day I'd decided to blow off the military academy. He'd yelled at me, told me what a screw up I was, how much of a disappointment I'd turned out to be, how I wasn't welcome in his family anymore, that I wasn't his son. The final straw was when he told me if I wasn't going to be the son he wanted, he'd make damn sure Bryson would turn out the way he was supposed to. Bryson was a sensitive, prolific artist, not a military boy, and trying to force him to be would irreparably damage my little brother. I'd just thrown the check at him for the tuition refund, and he'd torn it up, before shoving me out the door. If Freddie hadn't been there, I would have beaten him senseless, but luckily Freddie just dragged me away before it could happen. I still regretted the way things turned out, but I knew I'd made the right decision. Every time I worked on a project I loved, passed a class, sat around and talked shit with my friends, or worked on iCarly, I knew I'd made the right decision. Every time I looked at Carly, kissed her, made love to her, held her in my arms at night, I knew I'd made the right decision. I didn't regret that, I just wished my dad wasn't such a hard-ass.
I sat up straight as I saw the door open and Heather walk in. My god, she was getting tall, and she was getting prettier every time I saw her. She was nearly fourteen now, she'd be in high school next year. It was so hard not seeing her every day, not being able to talk to her. We couldn't even text or talk on the phone, because our dad checked her phone daily to see if she was talking to me, and I didn't want to get her in trouble. But the kid was doing a damn good job of getting in trouble on her own. Without me around on a constant basis, she was rebelling more and more, sneaking out, doing poorly in school, getting mouthier. It worried the hell out of me, but what could I do? Besides be there for her as much as I could? If I came down on her too hard, she might get angry and cut me out too, and that would absolutely break me. I tried to put it out of my mind and be in good spirits, we didn't get many opportunities like this.
I stood up, waving a little, and Heather bounded over to me, giving me a big grin before throwing her arms around me.
"Hey, sis," I said, kissing her on the forehead. "How goes it?"
"Eh," she said with a shrug. "Hey, check this out!" She lifted her shirt up, displaying her belly button, and my eyes widened as I took stock of it, before glaring at her.
"What the hell is THAT?" I barked, and she just gave me a smirk.
"Belly button ring. You likes?"
"I hates," I replied. "First of all, who in their right mind would pierce a thirteen year old without parental consent?"
"Oh, I got it done at a slumber party last week, don't worry," she responded with a wave of her hand.
"Oh, yeah, cuz that makes me feel a lot better, a fellow teenager sticking a needle in your skin!"
"Whatever," she responded.
"If Dad's sees that, he's gonna kill you."
"Dad can kiss my ass!" she grumbled, and I grabbed her shoulder, shaking it firmly.
"Heather Marie Harrison!" I shouted. "Don't say that!"
"Why not? Why don't you hate him like me and Bry do? He's completely ruined our family! Why do you NOT hate him, Brad?"
"Because I can't," I replied. "Am I angry? Yeah. But I can't hate him. I can't explain it, I just can't."
"Well, I have enough hatred built up for the both of us," Heather stated. "And Bry's got a pretty decent stockpile of hatred too."
"How is Bryson?"
Heather shrugged. "He's okay. He's been making a lot of scary pictures though. Lots of black figures, red eyes, evil looking houses...borderline blasphemous religious art, that kind of thing. And I think he's been listening to The Cure."
I rolled my eyes. "Are you serious? The Cure? I wasn't even alive when The Cure was making music!"
"I know, believe me," Heather said. "But he really misses you."
"Maybe we can work something out. I'll put Sam on it, she's usually good at coming up with sneaky plans. Although, these days..." I trailed off. "I'll talk to her, she may have something up her sleeve."
"Why, what's wrong with Sam?"
I shrugged. "She and Freddie have been fighting a lot."
Heather's eyebrows went up. "So Freddie may be single soon?"
"Heather! Back off! You're still jailbait, Freddie's nineteen, and he is STILL in love with Sam. Even though they fight a lot, Freddie still loves her. He's a married man, Heather."
"Fine," she grumbled. "I met someone anyway. He's really hot. He lives in our building."
"Really?" I asked, my eyebrows going up. "Who?"
"I don't want to tell you. He's a little bit older than me."
"Heather," I gave her a Look.
"Just tell me his name."
"Fine," she sighed. "His name's Griffin."
"WHAT?" I cried. "You've gotta be fucking kidding me!" I grimaced as I realized I'd just dropped an f-bomb in front of my little sister, but I didn't care, this was SERIOUS SHIT! I really, REALLY hoped she was talking about a different Griffin, and not Carly's ex-boyfriend, but what are the chances of THAT? He was even older than me and Carly!
"What?" Heather responded. "He's really nice!"
"He's a child predator!" I snapped. "Heather! How old is Griffin?"
"I don't know!" she replied. "Like nineteen, twenty, something like that. You know I like older men."
"Heather! You are thirteen! Number one, any grown man that's gonna go out with a thirteen year old is just SICK, and number two, he could go to jail! And number three, if Dad found out, you'd be in a Catholic all-girls school in a heartbeat, and he would SHOOT the guy!"
"Well...Griffin doesn't really know my age," she said weakly, and I gave her a Look.
"How old does he think you are?"
"Heather!" I yelled. "You don't even look sixteen!"
"I do when I have my slut makeup on!" she said brightly, and I rolled my eyes.
"And did Griffin happen to mention who his ex-girlfriend was?"
"He just said it was someone who lived in our building. I figured it was that dumb girl Patrice. She's getting really fat."
"Yeah, she is," I agreed with a roll of my eyes. "But no. He didn't go out with Patrice. Not to my knowledge, anyway."
"MY girlfriend!" I yelled, and Heather's face took on a shocked expression.
"Carly? Really?" she asked, her hand going to her face. I thought she was going to freak out, but she just grinned. "Wow! This is so cool!"
"Are you brain damaged?" I barked. "What the hell is cool about it?"
"He thinks I'm mature!" she squealed. "If he went out with Carly, then me, then he must think I'm mature..."
"That's not saying much, Heather...he collects Pee-Wee Babies!"
"I know," she said with a shrug. "I think they're cute. He even let me hold onto one of them. Uni the Unicorn. I sleep with it!"
"Wait...so...you've been in his room?" I asked, horrified, and she nodded.
"Uh-huh," she responded. "What's so wrong about me dating Griffin? I like him!"
"It's illegal, Heather!" I reminded her. I couldn't deal with this right now, I didn't want to have a blow up, not at my sister, and not in the middle of the Groovie Smoothie! "Look, I gotta go. Go home! Take that stupid thing out of your navel. You know what? On second thought, go to Confession! You are being bad, Heather! Acting this dumb isn't gonna get me to be able to come home!"
"I'm not acting dumb, Brad! I'm growing up!"
"Then try acting like an adult, instead of making all these stupid decisions without thinking things through! I'm not done with this Griffin situation! But I gotta go meet Freddie. I love you, Heather." I bent down to kiss her on top of her head. "But you gotta calm down. I'm worried about you."
"Well, stop it," she replied. "I can handle myself."
I didn't respond, just sighed, before walking out the door, heading to my car, so I could meet Freddie at the gym.