Author's Note: Just a short Seddie one shot I got inspired to write. I promise the next chapter of Innocent will come soon. In a way, this oneshot is a vent on my part. I won't say more than that.
Disclaimer: Dan own iCarly.
"It's only ten thirty."
"Wanna break up at midnight?"
The ding of the elevator has never sounded so bittersweet, the door lifting open as the pair reluctantly parts lips, her hands sliding down to join with his, letting go of one as they walk hand in hand out into the lobby, past a loudly snoring Lewbert, and out into the parking lot. And she leans her head on his shoulder as they walk, still hand in hand, down the Seattle street, and the minutes begin to tick away.
They wander aimlessly, past closed shops and 24-hour drug stores with blaring lights and straggling customers, past the Groovy Smoothie and the little Scandinavian market, past office buildings and apartments and street lights. The city is different in the spring night, eerie and free. Though the street is still fairly busy, the cars are sparser and further in between than they are during the day, and they playfully attempt to sneak up on the couple, silent and ghost-like with only distant lights to warn of their coming, rushing past in a gush of sudden wind, a cold reminder that time is still moving forward.
But it is only ten thirty. Only ten thirty. Both secretly replay his words in their head, both willing the night to go on forever. It is only ten thirty, and midnight will never come. Never.
They come to a vacant thrift shop, the dull glow of a single lingering light within an attempt to ward off any desperate idiot that might try to rob a thrift shop. Somehow, she leads him around the back alley of the shop, giving a smirk and a nod as she refers to a risky-looking rusty metallic ladder attached to the side of the building. He shakes his head, but before he can protest, she is climbing up the ladder, calling at him to join her.
"Come on, it'll be fun!" she insists as she reaches the top, looking down at him and grinning.
"Sam, we're gonna get caught," he protests, motioning desperately. "Get down!"
"There's no one around to see us. This part of town hardly has any cars. Join me!" she says, sticking out her bottom lip in a mock pout before adding, "Please?"
He sighs. "Fine..." Coming over to the ladder, he climbs up, smiling at Sam when he reaches the top.
"See? There's no one around to see us," she declares with a smile, motioning to the vacant street on the other side of the building. "It's ten thirty at night."
He nods, gulping as he pulls his phone out of his pocket to check the time.
"Right... only ten thirty," he agrees, knowing it is easier on both of them not to admit the fact that their time together is ticking away.
Hand in hand, her head on his chest, they sit on the side of the building, their feet dangling off of it's back, looking out into the alley and the city beyond it. A million thoughts are running through their heads, a million doubts and bitter attempts to hold onto the moments they have left together, a million wishes and regrets and things they could have done better.
"It doesn't feel weird or wrong," Sam breathes, looking up at him briefly.
Freddie just sighs. An idea flickers in his head, and he leans down to test his theory, placing his lips briefly on her's. They pull away after a moment, but their lips tingle with the excitement that is always present after they share a kiss.
"You're right. It doesn't." If a million adjectives were used to describe the kiss he had just shared with her, however brief it may have been, none of them would be 'weird' or 'wrong'.
"Do you remember," Sam breathes, "That time when I was fighting with Carly and I came to you?"
It had been a brief fight. A subtle fight. Nothing two best friends could handle. Carly and Sam had tried to break off their friendship before, and it never worked. They had learned that by now. Maybe it would be the same way with her and Freddie's relationship. Maybe it could last as long. Maybe they could try to break it off, but it would never work. Maybe they had an undying love, the same way Carly and her had an undying friendship.
But Freddie laughs. "Yes. And you came to me and told me you felt like punching her in the face, but she was your best friend so you couldn't. So I let you punch me instead."
Sam grins. "You had that bruise for weeks." She chuckles again, squeezing his hand.
"Will it go back to that?" he wonders aloud.
"Back to what?" she asks, frowning.
"To you... hitting me and calling me names all the time. Back to us... to whatever we were before," he explains, blinking.
Sam sighs. "I always loved you," she declares out of nowhere. "Always. I think it was just a matter of realizing that. And then I didn't want you to know, so I'd bully you to make you think that I didn't like you. What I liked most about it was that you stuck around. And I knew it wasn't just because of Carly... I knew you felt the same. I just didn't think..."
"Didn't think it would happen like this?" he finishes for her.
"Yeah," she agrees, nodding. Another one of those millions of reasons to hold onto him runs through her head: he knew her too well. She didn't want to let go of that. "You're all I have," she admitted suddenly. And it was true.
"You have Carly," he reminded her teasingly.
"You know what I mean," she groans with a chuckle. "Carly's my solid rock, that I can always count on to bring me back down to earth when I get too out of it. But you're a different story. You're... you're the reason I'm so out of it."
"Is that a good thing?" he asks, raising an eyebrow.
She muses her lips together for a moment, thinking. "Mmmm... yes," she decides.
He laughs. "In what way?"
"Freddie, I'm head over heals for you. I always have been. It never mattered though, because you wanted her. You wanted my rock, my safe spot, you wanted her to love you. But I wanted you in the same way you wanted her. And that was too much for me. I couldn't hate Carly, because she was still my rock. My best friend. But I could hate you. Or, pretend to, at least. You made it quite easy." She finishes with a smile, gazing out towards the dark city brimming with lights and nostalgia.
"I don't think any of us would be the same without each other," she declares, continuing. "I don't think I'll ever be able to let you go, even if I want to. If you want to break it off, fine. Just know that I'll always be waiting."
He smiles, planting a soft kiss on the top of her head. "Then I'll be waiting too."
So they wait. They wait and talk of nothing and everything, of Spencer and his fires, of weird fan comments they've received, of their next webshow, of school, of Carly.
And silently, he slips his phone out once again to check the time.
"It's only ten thirty," he whispers, wishing it could be true just as much as she is. She shows him her phone, though, revealing to her the time without words, and her face falls when she sees it.
"Only ten thirty," she repeats.
"I'll walk you home," he offers, getting up, and proceeding to help her to her feet. They make their way down the ladder together. Sam doesn't live far from here, and she could easily get home on her own, but she cherishes her last few minutes with Freddie, holding onto his hand as if it is all she has. And it is, right now.
"I really hate time," she confesses, her eyes wandering away from him into the starry sky far above their heads. "It moves too quickly."
Freddie nods, looking ahead of them to see that they are at Sam's house, allowing the reality of it all to hit him.
"It's only ten thirty," he reminds her, lifting a hand to delicately touch her cheek.
"Only ten thirty."
A kiss, gentle and compassionate, beautiful and final, significant and longing. Everything.
"I'll miss you," she breathes into his lips, pulling away reluctantly. And he reaches for his phone, dreading what he will see, not revealing the time until both of them can see it together, their foreheads pressed together as they hold their breathe and he turns on his phone.
"I'll miss you too," he whispers, meeting her gaze.
They glance at the phone again.
"Wait for me," she pleads, letting go of his hand, tears forming in her eyes.
"I will. I promise." A last bittersweet look is shared, and Sam blinks back tears as she walks towards the door of her house, opening it and stepping inside, turning to watch him walking away with his shoulders slouched as he wipes a tear from his own face.