Perfect Is as Perfect Does

disclaimer: i do not own iCarly.

summary: Because she thought he was the one. And she needs to always feel this way.

author's notes: i honestly didn't think i shipped them, but it seems i do. my good friend Vivian ('magneticfish' on tumblr and 'just like our last' on fanfiction) made a Brelanie fanmix and then wrote a fanfiction on them, and i began to kind of see the dynamics they would hold as a couple. though, i still didn't fully ship them. but then i got a story idea, and this was born. as i wrote this, i began to ship them, and now i can say that i ship them so hard. it's weird how that works, but honestly i love them. i have a whole lot of feelings about them, actually. i think that they have this dynamic, or this thing about them that just works. they're angsty and they could never work, yet they do work. anyway, i hope you enjoy. reviews are always welcome, and i'd love to know what you guys think. Thanks!

-and it's all kinds of wrong without you, i can't breathe when you're gone-

Her sparkly blue eyes hold so much love, hope, joy and innocence. She's so tainted, yet her eyes hold none of the jaded pictures of past memories. Her blonde curls cascade down her back from their place pulled onto the top of her head. She wears pink dresses and sparkly tunic sweaters. She gets good grades, her futures spread out in front of her. She's so close. College—bachelors, masters, doctorate—any job will slip into her finely pedicured fingers. She's going to be rich; she's going to live the luxurious life she always dreamed of, the luxury she was deprived of as a child. And though it's always been what she just couldn't wait for, she wants none of it now. She wants to run, flea, fly far away. And it's then that she realizes she's not really the same. She's always been a Puckett, and it seems she always will be. As soon as something good happens, Puckett's throw it all away. They took a good thing and take it for granted. And she wishes she could change, she wishes she could be somebody else; anybody else.

It's raining and she can't quite figure out why she's out walking. Why she can't just step inside to wait for the rain to stop, for the sky to light up with blue again. But this is Seattle, and it's no place to wait for the rain to stop, because it simply doesn't. And she swears that the weather must just know how she's feeling. She feels like crying, like running away with tear tracks forever engrained down her cheeks. She was peppy, she was excited, she had a sweet, joyful personality, but some things could never be cured. She figured this must be one of them. She was forever forced to be a Puckett, with Puckett curses. She can only sigh.

Street signs blink to her, and she only sort of sees them. She hates that she can't just calm down, but as she continues her walk, she only feels more worked up. She's just so alone and out of place. She wishes she had everything she thought she'd never want. Envy fills her soul as she thinks about her twin sister, the girl who had been thought to amount to nothing. It was she—the girl that had had nothing going for her—who had the friends, the boy of her dreams, the internet webshow fame and all the joy that had been clouded by anger for so long. And it's with these thoughts that she begins to cry. With thick, pathetic tears crawling down her face, she comes on an impact, hitting into someone as she falls to the floor.

"Sam?" And Melanie cringes at the sound of her perfect twin sister's name. "Sam, I'm so sorry, don't kill me! I wasn't watching where I was going!"

"I'm not-" Melanie begins to speak, but the boy quickly talks again.

"And what in the world are you wearing?"

"I'm not Sam!" Melanie shrieks, and it's with much more venom laced in her words than necessary, she realizes after the fact. She quickly stands on her own, and the boy scrambles to his feet.

"Sorry, uh, you look just like my friend Sam…" The boy splutters, trying to explain himself, and Melanie just shakes her head.

"Whatever. I really-"

"Are you positive you're not, Sam?" The boy asks, and Melanie almost screams again. "Is this some kind of joke, or…?"

"I'm not Sam." Melanie says again. "I promise."

"Well than de ja vu." He shakes his head. "Sorry. Honestly, though, you're like a clone of my friend."

"Clone, twin, same thing." Melanie says offhandedly, and she watches the gears turn in her twin's friends head. It all clicks and his eyes widen.

"You mean Sam has a…"

"Yes, a twin. I'm her twin."

"Whoa."

"We're twins not magicians. It's not that mind blowing."

"Oh yeah, sorry." He turns away with a bright blush lining the top of his cheeks and she wishes that he didn't know Sam. He's just so cute, and she wishes that he had no correlation with her twin. She wishes he had no idea of the girl so different than she, because now he's tainted with the memory of somebody she can never be.

"It's fine." Melanie finally decides to say. "It's…" And she trails off, because she's not really sure what it is. She's not entirely sure on the way her sentence should end.

"So, what's your name?" He asks a moment later, and she casts her gaze down, letting the rain fall down and off the top of her head.

"I'm Melanie." She introduces herself. "Not Sam." She adds, but she's nearly positive he didn't hear her.

"I'm Brad." He tells her, and she looks up, catching his own misty blue eyes.

"It's nice to meet you." She murmurs, and he smiles at her, and she thinks she might just die inside, the way he looks at her, his eyes studying her every detail with such a devotion she can't explain.

"You, too, Mel." He murmurs back, before he blushes. "Do you mind if I call you that?"

"Nah." She shakes her head.

"Well, Mel," He snickers at his own mistaken rhyme. "Why are you out in the rain?"

"I could ask you the same thing." She puts on her best flirtatious smile, and she finally feels like herself again.

"I needed a bit of fresh air." He explains and she smiles.

"I know the feeling." She says, and before she understands what's going on, he's taking her hand in his own and they're walking beside each other, their voices bouncing off one another. And for the first time in who knew how long, she actually felt normal again.

X

Time passes—it's only been a week—and the feeling burning deep inside of her is so familiar, yet so new. She can't exactly place what it is, but she knows that she needs to always feel this way. She needs to feel his breath against her ear as he whispers to her; she needs to smell his cologne that is so irresistible. She needs him, and quite frankly, she's scared. She's scared of the way he stole her heart so easily. And though they've never kissed and they're not really dating, she wants him all to herself; forever.

X

Melanie smiles as the music flows through her body so simply. It's Christmas time—why else would she be visiting the gloomy, ominous city of Seattle?—and so she's setting up the Christmas tree. It's not her favorite task, but it's not her least favorite. She's alone, and for that she feels as if she's missing something. Her friends at the boarding school boasted about Christmas traditions—family standing around the tree together, little children happily hanging ornaments while parents watched proudly—yet here she stood all alone. Her mother—like always—was off on some date with some guy she'd most likely never speak to again. And her sister was most likely at Carly's; her perfect sister with her perfect friends. And while she tries to stay busy to take her mind off of things, she still misses Sam. She misses the girl Sam used to be, the relationship they used to have. [she conveniently forgets that it was her that left Sam behind, not the other way around]

While Melanie's thoughts floated up and all around, she was surprised to hear a knock at the door. Nobody came around to visit, she knew. This was the Puckett residence; a house on the worst part of town, a house with boarded up windows, dead grass and paint peeling walls. It wasn't anything special. And so, Melanie let the intruder knock again. She wasn't in the mood for drug solicitors, or Christian Christmas missionary messages. And though a sweet group of young Christmas carolers sounded something cheery, she knew she would need a wish from a genie to receive such in this sort of neighborhood.

Surprisingly, the person continued to knock; softly at first, before ever increasingly louder. She couldn't place her finger on who would be coming at such a time. It was two days 'til Christmas! Sighing—she'd never admit the feeling of hope that filled her up—she walked to the door in her pink fuzzy slippers. The tile floors were cold against her feet, and so she took extra precautions while staying at home. Approaching the front door, she threw off the extra blanket and robe she had wrapped around her arms to stay warm. Putting on the biggest smile—it's all so fake—she slowly opened the front door.

"Can I-" She cuts her own voice off at the person standing right in front of her. "Brad!" She exclaims at the dirty blonde boy smiling at her.

"Hey, Mel." He smiles, tugging on his scarf to somehow make it tighter.

"What are you doing here?"

"Thought I'd come visit." He smiled.

"How'd you know where to find me?"

"'Member, I'm Sam's friend." Melanie hates the way his mouth forms her sister's name. She's jealous.

"Oh yeah." Melanie smiles bitterly. "Did you want to come in?"

"Can I? I don't want to intrude, but it is freezing out here."

"Of course!" Melanie smiles. "Come in, before you freeze!"

"Thanks." He steps inside, and Melanie shuts the door behind him. She wants to cry with gratitude when he doesn't look around the house and pass judgment on its horrible state. His eyes don't even linger from her own, and she wants to just kiss him. She wants to sound less cheesy, but somewhere in the back of her mind, she just knows he's the one. He's sweet, he's kind and he's so in to her.

"Do you want some hot chocolate?" Melanie asks then, and he nods. She takes his hand as she leads him into the small, dilapidated kitchen. She breathes a sigh of relief, though, for she'd just put on a pan of potpourri. It's her favorite holiday scent, and by the look on his face, he mostly agrees. And so, though the house was nearly in ruins, the smell was something sweet. It was familiar, and Melanie hates to admit it, but it just reminds her of good times. It reminds her—though bitterly—of her mother, her sister and her father. It reminds her of a time when they were genuinely happy.

Brad makes her happy.

X

The room reeks of sweat and stickiness. Their breathing is rough, coming in pants. Her hair is a mess, as it fans out on the pillow beneath her head. Her chest rises and falls so quickly as she arches her back. He's so close; just where she wants him to be. She's confused, yet she's comfortable. She's not scared, she doesn't know why but she feels so at peace. As he breathes words of sweet nothingness into her ear, she feels so good. Better than she has in such a long time.

"Brad," She moans, and he knows. He knows all the words she's trying to say but can't.

"Mel," His voice is husky and strained against his throat, the word tickles her skin.

"Mhm," Her sounds are so exotic, so unlike her own. This is her first time, and she never knew she'd love it this much.

Their voices soon mesh together in some symphony of love. They must be a couple now, and she feels so many emotions flooding her senses. She can't explain what is happening, but she doesn't want it to stop. She never wants to leave that bed. [translation: she never wants to leave that bed, with Brad on top.]

"I love you," His exhausted voice murmurs, and it's in that moment that she just knows. She's not sure what is that she knows, but she just does. She knows everything; the world is clearing up to her.

"I love you, too." She murmurs back, because it's so true.

X

They don't talk. She goes back to her perfect boarding school, and that Christmas break feels like a long lost story told to her once upon a time. Their voices aren't needed to relay messages of love and hate. She doesn't understand what happens, but when he never tries to get a hold of her, she just leaves it. She leaves it because it hurts so much. The aching in her chest threatens to swallow her whole, and she can't fight it much longer. She wants to cut away her soul, forget everything. She wants to forget all the memories of her childhood that haunt in her midnight terrors. She wants to forget that some thousand miles away she has a twin that looks exactly like her—a twin that looks exactly like her and is friends with him. In the back of her mind she considers writing her twin. Writing her twin and asking about him. She even wrote out the letter, but minutes after she did she cut the paper to pieces. She asked how he was doing, if he was okay, and all the other questions burning her apart. She even considered writing Carly, but that seemed just as childish. She wanted him to write her. She didn't want to have to keep tabs on the love of her life through her twin sister's best friend. She tells herself that if he wanted to contact her, he would. And so, she decides he must not want to when winter fades to spring.

X

'Dear Melanie,

I'm sorry. I'm not sure what happened, but I miss you. You never called and neither did I, and I'm sorry. I'm sorry because I love you. I don't know if you believe that anymore, but it'll always be true. I want us to be together, Mel. I really do. I'm confused and hurt, and I'm sorry. Forgive me? Is it silly for me to ask you that? I just feel so lost without you. It's like, I didn't know I was missing something until you filled that part of me up. I love your blonde curls, your sweet smile, your optimistic attitude and everything that makes you so you. You're nothing like Sam, and I love that. I love that you are your own person. I miss all the times we had together, and I wish I could go back and fix us. I dream about you sometimes, and I wake up with tears on my cheeks. We had something special, Mel. I know we weren't together for very long, but I miss it. I miss you, Mel. And I love you.

I'm so sorry,

Brad'

She reads it with bated breathing and she feels the tears slip down her cheeks. Because she thought he was the one.

She doesn't write back.