A/N: I do not own iCarly or its characters. This was an exercise I did to overcome some writer's block. I took 30 random words and wrote one-sentence "stories" for each of them. Hope you enjoy.
The room was cloying, heavy and sticky, but no matter how warm the air felt against her skin, against her eyes, Sam couldn't help the shiver that racked her body at the slide of Freddie's hand along her arm.
It was cruel how intriguing and tempting and hypnotizing Freddie's mouth was when he spoke, when he frowned at a jape, when he let out a slow breath of impatience, when he tried to hold back a smile that threatened to be crooked, and Sam absolutely hated and loved him for it.
When they were younger and Sam had pinned him to the floor for the first time, swatting at his head and berating him for calling her a boy, Freddie's stomach had flipped in fear at the fierce blue of her eyes, but now as she pinned him to the bed, covering his face with kisses instead of hits, an entirely different feeling settled in his stomach at the blue eyes gazing back at him.
It was Freddie's favorite shirt, not because of the color, not because of the plaid print, and not because it went with just about everything, whether it be jeans or slacks, but because when he wore it, Sam couldn't fight the urge to run her fingers over the soft material.
Sam's mom liked to talk about her beaus and flings and male admirers, always bragging about the myriad reasons they couldn't seem to resist her, always telling Sam that she should follow her example, that Puckett women should never feel lonely, especially with so many men in the world to choose from, but what Sam's mother never understood was that there was only ever one man in the world that Sam wanted.
Sam wasn't sure when it happened exactly, but somehow her rivalry with Freddie—nubby, sheltered, weakly little Freddie—had turned into a sort of reciprocal, give-and-take friendship, and now, without her realizing it, without asking any permission from her brain, her heart began to yearn for something more.
Freddie brought it out of her, that fire that burned in her personality, brought it out with his romantic gestures and his dedication and his infuriatingly strong will, a resolve that was such an even match to hers that she sometimes wondered if their relationship had been inevitable.
Freddie could see the frill of lace at the top of Sam's bra peeking out over the low neck of her blouse, red and inviting, as she leaned her elbows on the desk in front of her, and he could not remember the last time he had wanted something so badly as undressing Sam in that moment.
Sam had always known that Freddie was a neat person—everything always in the right place, in the right order, sometimes with labels—but what she never expected was just how neatly she could fit into the orderly structure that was his life.
Sam built it up, everything, never letting anything go or allowing her more honest emotions to be seen, nesting with every wrong and right and yes and no, and so when she finally released it all that first time with Freddie, always with Freddie, him coaxing it out of her with words and touches, it was almost more than she could bear.
Freddie liked to think of him and Sam as sparring partners, as two people who were equally contested, each with their own stalwart constitutions and stubborn attitudes, who liked to challenge one another, and no matter who came out on top at the end of a match, they only ever improved each other, learning and teaching in equal measure.
When she was alone, in her room, looking around despairingly at the empty walls and empty desk and empty bed, Sam would remember Freddie's touch, how warm his skin felt, how tenderly he handled her, how his hand would tremor when he reached out to caress her, and her chest would no longer feel so empty.
It fell out of her bag when she dropped the thing carelessly onto Carly's floor—a tiny cardboard box with her name scribbled on the lid in Freddie's handwriting, a secret gift that had been covertly slipped into her backpack, and it made her huff in frustration at Freddie's audacity and smile in appreciation at his thoughtfulness.
This Sam knew how to do, how to run away from things, away from people who could hurt her, who could see her, and she did it now, she ran away from Freddie, away from his shocked face and his "S'cool," away from the tingling she still felt on her lips and in her stomach, away, so that she could be alone and composed and safe again.
Sam's fingers were cold when she gripped his shoulders to kiss him, Freddie could feel them through his sleeves, leeching the warmth from his body as his brain short-circuited at the intimacy of the moment, but the cold of her fingers was nothing compared to the frost that settled in his chest as she turned on her heel and rushed away.
Freddie knew that he was in trouble, that his mom could smell the alcohol on his breath, but he was having a hard time caring about that when he could still feel Sam's arms around his neck, her breath hot against his face as she dragged her teeth along his jaw, setting a pounding in his head that had nothing to do with drunkenness.
Sam loved midnight more than any other time of day, because at midnight she got to be with Freddie, only Freddie, no preconceptions, no reputations, no fronts, just her and Freddie and the city lights peering through the bedroom window.
Sam didn't dance very often, but when she did, Freddie absolutely revelled in her movements, the way her hips swayed, the way her limbs seemed to swim gracefully through the air, the way she looked him in the eye and smirked like she knew what he was thinking.
Before they had gone on their first real date, Sam had made Freddie promise that he would never, ever hurt her, that he would always be good to her and take care of her, and as he sat on the fire escape after their first truly vicious fight, he wondered how many more times he would break that promise.
"I always dreamed of being an actress," Sam revealed to him in a moment of honesty, and Freddie couldn't help the ridiculous, toothy smile he got when she said, "I've never told anyone that before."
The silence was palpable and seemed to stretch on for hours, or so Freddie felt, as the only sound he could hear was the thumping of his own heart as blood rushed in his ears, but then the words finally came: "I love you, too."
For as long as Sam could remember, she had always been stronger than Freddie, but as he carried her effortlessly across the room, her arms and legs wrapped around him, their bodies connected, she marveled both at his strength and at the sudden realization that she loved it.
Freddie didn't think Sam could help it, the mask that slipped so easily onto her face when they were in public, and seeing the pretense whenever they were around other people made him feel so utterly privileged and special to be the only person who got to see what was underneath.
It started off as an attempt to alleviate the brazen redness of a hickey on his neck, but soon the ice cube was traveling to other parts of Freddie's body, melting slowly and leaving in its wake a burning cold trail of wetness before Sam plopped it in her mouth, deciding she wanted to alleviate other things.
Sam couldn't count the number of times Carly had talked about falling in love (it was her favorite subject), but when her best friend brought it up once more as they were settling in for a sleepover, Sam realized with a start that she was no longer falling, that she was, in fact, truly and completely grounded.
Truth had never been Sam's strong suit, she told lies reflexively to protect herself, but Freddie had a way of opening her up and making her honest, and that ability of his, that power of influence absolutely terrified her.
The first time Freddie saw Sam cry freely in front of him, it was about her father, about how something had reminded her of him and of how he was no longer around, and Freddie just held her to his chest, trying to calm her, telling her that he would never leave her, that she would never be alone, never be unwanted, never.
Sam liked to yell, to speak loudly and make sure that she was heard, her voice seeming to only come in one volume, and so when she leaned onto Freddie's shoulder, putting her mouth to his ear and whispering low and warm and sweet, he never had a chance.
Freddie awoke to the soft whoosh-click of his window being pushed closed and he knew that Sam had come up the fire escape and slid clandestinely into his room, but of course, he had expected her to come—after all, he was the one who left the window unlocked.
She looked so incredibly beautiful just lounging on his bed and trying to do homework for once, her golden hair framing her face, which held an expression of concentration, a half-chewed pen cap slipped between her lips, and Freddie's mind became filled with nothing but Sam and thoughts beginning in "What if" and "Maybe."
Please review! I would love to hear what you think.