A/N: Hello fellow fanficaholics (I mean that in the most affectionate of ways). So I know I usually go on and on in my author's notes so I'll try to keep it short and sweet.

This story is called Benediction. It will be filled with angst. Please don't PM me and ask me to stop. I won't (I'm evil that way). lol.

My beta is super busy so I had a new one this time around. Her name is bandgrad2008 and she's my new twitter buddy. So shout out to her for helping me out.

Last thing…Samantha Nicole Trewyn and I have started a blog that we LOVE (and hope you will to). It's called 'You Write What? and it's for fan fiction writers and readers – it has tons of great information, funny posts, story reviews and recommendations. We do a new Featured Fandom every week and you can submit your story to be a Featured Story or have it listed for an extended review. We're also looking for guest bloggers and reviewers from every fandom. If that interests you find us on Twitter (BlogFanfiction) and click the link for the blog site.

Now…on with the show!

Disclaimer: I do not own iCarly or any related characters. Yeah…I know that wasn't very clever. Sue me. Lol

XXOO- TheWrtrInMe


Story: Benediction

Chapter 1 – May the Lord Watch

It's too hot to wear black.

These are the words running in her head as she balances on tip toe in the soft soil to keep from sinking. She should be thinking something else; something more appropriate. But try as she might all she can consider is the way the sun is beating down on her; beads of sweat gathering at the base of her neck. She shouldn't be here.

She adjusts her weight, moving from one foot to the other, willing the horror of this day to be done, trying to keep from tipping over on the unsteady ground. No one would think anything of it – they'd chalk it up to emotion and not her inability to stand in heels. They'd think she'd simply sunk under the weight of the sadness she feels. In a way they'd be right. Somewhere inside she was sure she was sad, broken beyond time's ability to repair. But over that sadness was a veneer of guilt, too dark and thick to see what lay beneath it.

This was all her fault.

She looked up from her place at the edge of the crowd, trying her best to avoid the eyes that all felt focused on her, even if her rational mind knew the eyes were actually trained on what was in front of them.

The casket lay perched on its pedestal over the open earth; bright white and covered in the reddest roses she'd ever seen. It was absurd for something so horrible to look so beautiful. To them it was a final testament to the beauty that would soon be covered in the same soft earth she was sinking in. To her it was a sign; stark white with red neon lights blinking out the words she'd repeat to herself for the rest of her life.

She's gone. It's your fault. Nothing will ever be the same.

The sound that escapes her mouth is a guttural moan and there is more truth in that sound than in any of the words she's managed to say in the last twenty four hours. She clamps a hand over her mouth and lowers her head, praying no one heard her, wondering if she'd really made a sound at all or if it was all in her head. It's the sort of thing a crazy person would think but she's not surprised. In the last week she's felt on the very edge of insanity more than once.

Standing beside Spencer in the iCarly studio as they decided what to do with all the props and equipment she felt sure she'd seen the bright smile of her best friend from the corner of her eye, only to have it fade into the shadows. Laying on the sofa in Carly's room that night – she couldn't bring herself to sleep in the bed – she'd felt something brush against her cheek and opened her eyes with a smile, expecting to see Carly standing in front of her, telling her to get up, that she'd slept too late again. But it couldn't be true, as desperate as she was for it to be true.

Carly was gone. She wasn't coming back.

She felt a warm hand rest on her elbow and looked up into the eyes of her boyfriend, dark with worry and maybe fear. His face was tear-stained. As often as she'd called him the girl in their relationship she envied him now. Envied his ability to shed tears and release what was inside. She felt stuffed to capacity with feelings too big for her to manage. Her body ached, the weight of guilt and sadness like gaining fifty pounds overnight that she'd not yet adjusted to carrying. She wished she was like him. She wished she could just let it go. But she wasn't, and she couldn't.

He didn't speak, just leaned in to place a kiss lightly on her cheek. She flinched, the same way she had at every kiss for the last seven days and the same pain she'd seen each of those times was still present. She was hurting him, she knew that. It seemed the only thing she was good at doing these days.

"Sam?" His voice was a whisper but still his mother heard him and Sam watched as she turned in her seat in the second row of white chairs at the front of the crowd.

Marissa, whose face was generally pinched with disdain, looked concerned. In the four years that Sam and Freddie had been dating she and Marissa had gone from hatred, to tolerance and as crazy as it sounded they'd arrived at a point where she knew that Marissa viewed her as family. She didn't want to see Sam hurting any more than she wanted to see Freddie hurting. It was as close to a real mother as she'd had. Once a month when Freddie got a care package from home Sam would always get one almost as big, filled to the brim with things she'd never think to buy herself, along with a note that always ended the same: Behave yourself, Take care of my Freddie. Love, Marissa. Marissa loved her – right now that fact only made her feel worse. Sam lowered her head, not wanting to answer the question in both of their eyes.

Freddie leaned in to her, "Baby, come sit down."

She shook her head, but didn't protest further when he gently pulled her along with him, wrapping her hand in his. The crowd of mourners split for them, shaking their heads and crying fresh tears as the remainder of the trio so many of them loved made their way back to the front of the gathering. She sat restlessly in the seat Freddie lowered her onto, tried not to move as she felt his arm slip around the back of her chair, pulling her closer to him. He needed her and she was trying to be what he needed. She owed him that much. The back of her neck burned and she felt the eyes of the onlookers bore into her. She imagined that they felt sorry for her and that thought made her angry.

She didn't want anyone's pity and if they knew the whole story they wouldn't be giving it to her.


A/N:

Sorry, I guess that's sort of a cliff hanger. And I know it was short (a first for me) but it's just the story intro. The rest of the chapters will be my usual length.

Next chapter up tonight or tomorrow (depends on when the beta has worked her magic). Hope you liked it but I won't know if you don't review.