Author's Note: This is the last chapter. It has been a blast. I'm glad that you loved it by the amount of reviews and hits this story has obtained. I can't thank you all enough for it. I hope you enjoy this last chapter. Now on with the story.
Canon Seattle, WA
Saturday, August 20, 2011
The time was approaching eleven o'clock in the Shays' apartment. Carly's arm was wrapped around Taylor's right arm as the pair sat on the couch watching television with Sam sitting on the other end of the couch just snacking on some nondescript food.
Freddie was facing the television as well as he sat in the black chair near the bookcase and door and sparing an occasional glance towards Carly which she would acknowledge by meeting his eyes. She knew they had a lot to talk about, but he was respectful in knowing that their conversation would be later.
Spencer was busy back working on his sculpture. It had been a while since Carly had seen her brother that involved with one of his projects. Something must have inspired him to devote his attention to the sculpture even with their mother present. It occurred to her that maybe Spencer was trying to impress their mother with one of his works before she had to leave.
Sam finished up her snack then became the one that broke the comfortable mood as her curiosity got the better of her, "If you're dead, how were you able to eat spaghetti tacos?"
Carly lifted her head off of her mother's shoulder and snapped with a look of abject embarrassment on her face. "Sam!"
The dirty blonde shrugged her shoulder as she turned to her friend to answer, "I'm just wondering."
Taylor spoke up with a perplexed expression, "I don't know; I don't have a stomach, I don't need the glasses and… I don't even have lungs so I don't know how I'm talking."
Freddie laughed for a few seconds, drawing the trio of ladies' attention and curious expressions to him. "Mrs. Shay, you're back from the dead; I think it's an all inclusive package of being a miracle."
The former artist nodded her head as he looked to Freddie. She casually commented not really paying attention to the others in the room, "Angels can eat when they're in human form… Castiel likes hamburgers… Mitch likes chicken wings…"
They started laughing at her comments along with Spencer as he had overheard them and turned away from his sculpture. The laughter lasted a few more moments until the front door opened and Marissa briskly walked inside the apartment.
She didn't really notice the woman in white sitting on the couch as she focused her attention on her son.
Freddie stood up and turned to face her mother and rolled his eyes knowing he was about to argue with her knowing what she was about to say until Taylor spoke up interrupting the brunette with a tint of red in her hair, "He doesn't have to leave."
The part-time nurse turned to look at the Shay Matriarch with mixed expression of annoyance and curiosity of who had contradicted her motherly instruction.
"Who are you?"
Taylor stood up and smiled at Marissa. "I'm Taylor Shay."
Marissa blinked as she took in the vision of the uniquely dressed woman. She finally mumbled out, "You can't be her… she's dead."
Taylor slightly frowned as she wore a bit of a confused expression. "I'm quite well aware when and how I died… don't remember the pain; I think they had me on the pain killers at that point."
Mrs. Benson frowned as she looked at the white clad woman. She answered with a bit of annoyance in her voice, "That is not funny. This is a cruel trick you are playing on them."
Taylor to a few steps to stand beside Freddie then reached her hand up and brushed the back of his head. After a few brushes of her palm over the back of his head, she pulled her hand away to hold up a burnt out microchip between her pointer, middle fingers and thumb as a magician would pull out a coin from behind the ear of a child. She wore expression that displayed her mild anger as she spoke to Marissa, "Do not speak to me about cruelty. He is your son, not a dog to keep track of… the Lord certainly does not approve."
Mrs. Benson swallowed at seeing the burnt out tracking chip that Carly fried during their time with Nora.
Freddie instantly grabbed the back of his head his right and palmed over his hair, but felt nothing out of the ordinary.
The deceased woman continued as the chip between her fingers blinked out of existence, "You have violated and violated and violated your agreement with your son about behavior towards him… and the Lord has seen that and you will have to make an account to Him of your behavior towards your son."
Marissa frowned at the accusation. "You have no idea what He—"
She was interrupted with a sudden lightning flash outside then the lights dimmed in the apartment then brightened back up then dimmed again before finally returning to their normal level. Mrs. Benson felt a shiver and the rest of the occupants looked around with concern at the lightening and darkening of the lights. When the lights returned to normal, they all focused their attention to Taylor.
She wore an impassive expression on her face as she whispered, "I have no idea of what?"
The Benson Matriarch swallowed down nervously then whispered, "Come home at a reasonable hour Freddie." She turned and headed out the door without another word.
Freddie looked to Mrs. Shay with a worried expression.
Taylor kept her gaze on the closed apartment door as she answered Freddie's unasked question, "Your mother freely chose how she has treated you over the years… she will have the face the consequences of those actions one day."
Freddie remained silent and nodded his head in acceptance of her point.
The Shay Matriarch turned her attention to Carly and Spencer and spoke, "Unfortunately, her timing coincided with the time I have to go."
"But it's only eleven?" Carly desperately pointed out.
Her mother smiled sadly, "I have one more stop to make."
Carly closed her eyes and nodded her head. She felt the faint touch of lips on her forehead then looked up to her smiling mother.
Taylor looked to Freddie first and smiled hesitantly. "Freddie… the only advice I can give you is to be a good man… no matter what the universe throws at you and remember what the other Carly told you."
He straightened his posture and looked to the former artist with a determined expression. "Yes ma'am, I will."
The older brunette looked to Sam and smiled warmly at the girl that didn't get the chance to be her second daughter. She wrapped her arms around Sam and pulled her close. The dirty blond slowly raised her hands to rest on the deceased woman's back. Taylor whispered into her ear, "Be good Samantha… it's the only way you will be happy in the end." Taylor pulled away and smiled down at the troublemaker while Sam nodded her head and kept her mouth shut tightly.
Taylor turned to her taller son who took a few steps to her and she gave him a comforting smile.
Spencer looked to her with a weary expression then whispered in a tired tone, "We've done this before… I didn't like it that time either."
Taylor blew out an unnecessary breath through her nose and glanced down to the floor. She finally looked up to meet his eyes. She answered with a mournful tone, "Yes we have."
The mother and son looked to on another for a few more seconds then embraced one another. The held on to one another for a few seconds then pulled apart and that was that between mother and child. The older brunette opened her arms and Carly instantly embraced her. She whispered into her daughter's ear, "I love you my cupcake."
Carly swallowed down her heartbreak then whispered, "I love you too mom."
She smiled as she looked over her daughter's shoulder and continued to whisper, "You have a long road ahead of you, but I think you'll be alright."
The brunette closed her eyes tightly and let a regretful smile play on her lips. "Thanks mom… for everything."
Taylor pulled away and smiled the best smile she could put on her face to try to comfort her daughter. She leaned forward and kissed her forehead again then whispered, "Close your eyes cupcake."
The web-hostess did as she was told and closed her eyes.
There was the softest of sounds of wings flapping filled the room for a moment then the room was silent.
Carly opened her eyes and saw that her mother was gone. She let out a slow breath then looked down at the floor. She closed her eyes tightly and let the tears flow as Sam and Freddie each wrapped an arm around her shoulders and waist, respectfully and tried to comfort a girl who had lost her mother three times.
Canon Seattle, WA
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The digital clock resting on the nightstand displayed 12:23 AM as Carly Shay stared up at the ceiling of her room as she lay on her bed. She had remained mostly silent since her mother had left more than an hour ago to go make another stop before she returned to Heaven.
Go back to Heaven… the very concept of her mother being able to return for a time was still hard for her to wrap her mind around even after all she had experienced today. She was comforted by the fact that she knew that she would see her mother again one day even if it wasn't for another hundred years or longer if she went the Charles Dingo route with a robot body in the future.
The brunette didn't know how to tell her father or if she should about the events that happened over the course of the day if he was not one of the people that Taylor decided she wanted to see before she left this plane of existence. She wondered whether Taylor seeing him might do him more harm than good.
That wasn't a question she wanted to wrestle with at the moment as the real reason she went through the day's events had to be tackled and not be put off any longer especially since Carly wasn't alone in her bed as Freddie was lying next to her staring at the ceiling.
The brunette took a deep breath then slowly let it out as she whispered, "I'm sorry Freddie."
Freddie took his own slow breath then whispered in reply, "You want to have this talk now? We could wait until the morning."
Carly turned her head to see Freddie still staring at the ceiling. The web-hostess asked with a bit of fear in her voice, "You don't?"
The brown eyed teenager shrugged a shoulder that bumped into her shoulder as he continued to look at the ceiling and whispered back, "I'm just not sure what to say at the moment other than what I said to you when you came back."
She closed her eyes for a moment to gather her courage then opened her eyes as she spoke, "So you still love me?"
"I've always loved you," he replied with a tone as if commenting that the sky was blue.
"Even after everything? It's not hard imagine how the other Carly reacted being here and judging me about my—"
He snorted out a soft laugh, "She punched Sam out and called you a heartless bitch when we started going into the details about the differences. I think that kind of sums up her feelings about what she thought about you and Sam."
Carly closed her eyes and swallowed down a bit a shame that threatened to overwhelm her.
Freddie remained quiet for a few moments then spoke, "Even after she gave me a good swift kick, figuratively of course, out of my complacency and acceptance when it came to you and Sam's behavior and made me face some of my own behavior over the last few weeks that I'm not particularly proud of… like trying to blow off you being right to be mad that me and Sam were ditching iCarly and just accused you of jealousy just to name one thing… I realized that I still love you."
"How? How do you still love me after all those mistakes?"
Freddie let a grin play on his face. "I see the good in you… and I can forgive the bad. I won't keep my blinders on anymore with you and Sam and accept anymore of that behavior from either of you, but… I think we still have something special… if we both keep our eyes open and not slip back to how we behaved before today we're going to be fine."
"So me saying sorry is enough? It's not too late to save our friendship?" Carly decided to voice her fear that she had been carrying since her mother mentioned the other universes where her alternate had failed and lost not only Freddie's friendship but him to Cat, Jade and her physical twin she hadn't met, Megan. She didn't want this universe to play out like those places, but closer to the one where she was going to be married to Freddie in the next few months.
The tech-producer hesitantly asked, "No it's not… if you mean it?"
He had given her an opening and she took it in less time than a heartbeat with an eager whisper, "Yes, I mean it… I am sorry for what I did you and allowed to happen. All I can do is try my best to show you I mean it."
Freddie wore a small smile on his face as he answered, "Then yes, it is enough for me."
The pair remained silent for a few minutes as each took comfort in the presence of the other.
Carly rolled to her side and scooted over to rest her head on his shoulder. She lifted her right arm and gently rested her hand over his heart. "The other Freddie is in love with his Carly."
Freddie wrapped his arm around the small of Carly's back and pulled her close as he rested his hand on her hip. He whispered in return, "And she's in love with him…"
She was terrified of the answer, but she asked anyway, "Where does that leave us… other than our friendship?"
The brown eyed teenager remained silent for several moments before answering, "I… I don't think it matters what kind of relationship they have, just what we want from our relationship."
The brunette snorted out softly with a laugh, "My mother said the same thing."
Another silence fell over the pair for a few moments as Carly listened to Freddie's heartbeat reverberate through his chest. She finally whispered with a hint of fear in her voice, "You said that once you were out of your casts and that I had gotten over my hero worship that if I still wanted to be your girlfriend you'd be psyched about it… I told you no by dating Steven without saying a word to you, but… can I still say yes?"
"Why? Why now? Is it because of them? You're not in love with me."
Carly lifted her head up to meet his confused eyes. "She wasn't in love with her Freddie, but she loved him like I love you when they started. Do I have to be in love with you to date you… to be with you right now?"
He studied her soft eyes as the other Carly's advice filled his mind. He finally shook his head then whispered, "No, you don't, but why do you want to give me a chance now?"
"Because I'm not blind anymore to what I… to who I want that can make me happy and that I know will love me. For a few brief hours, I saw what we could have and I want that… if you saw it, you would—"
"I did see it with her… she didn't mean to all the times she looked at me, but the way she looked at me let me know what it could be like… I still want that."
She cautiously asked as her mouth seemed to become dry, "So you would accept yes?"
Freddie took a deep breath and answered with a steady tone, "Yes… I'd still be psyched if you wanted to be my girlfriend… we just couldn't be blind going into it with how we feel or the problems we have or live some kind of dream."
The brunette snorted out a laugh then whispered as she looked down at her brown eyed boy, "I was blind this morning, but now I see… and if this is a dream, I don't want to wake up." She leaned down and captured Freddie's lips… her Freddie's lips in a kiss.
Author's Note: Thank you all for reading and reviewing this story. I can't thank all of you enough for the time you took to review this story. I've enjoyed all of your input and discussions about it.
I'd like to thank the beautiful and talented Tina Fey for the use of her image as Taylor Shay for this story and my other stories. I really wish Dan could get her to play their mother.
You can pick up with the quasi-sequel more like a parallel story, iWant to Wake Up where AU Carly is in the canon world and you will get to see her interactions with everyone, especially with canon Freddie that will put the Freddie you just read into better perspective. I hope that it will be just as entertaining as this story.
Thanks again everyone, OneHorseShay.