Hey, I'm back! Thanks to all the people that reviewed my first story, iMake You Warm! It really means a lot to me. Before getting an account, I didn't really get why reviews made people so happy, but I totally get it now. Every time I get one, I smile :)
Here's my second story for you guys. It's probably going to be a 4 or 5 chapter one. Each chapter is going to be pretty long, so be prepared to read a lot. Please let me know what you think.
If anyone wants to PM about the story, story suggestions, or whatever else, go ahead. I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can.
Sadly, Dan Schneider still owns iCarly. If only he'd give it to me...
Chapter 1: First Meetings and Impressions
The first time Freddie Benson laid eyes on Samantha Puckett was a moment he knew he would never forget. And no, their first meeting wasn't when he moved into the apartment across from Carly Shay. They had met way before that, at the age of seven.
By simply meeting and exchanging a few words that day, they sealed their fates, bonding them together forever.
It was a warm, sunny Saturday in Seattle when Freddie and his mom decided to head to the beach. Mrs. Benson knew her son was itching to spend the day out in the sun, so with a little convincing from her husband, she agreed. Unfortunately, Mr. Benson couldn't join them because of an overload of work.
With two bottles of sunscreen, anti-bacterial spray, bug spray, a lawn chair, multiple hats, and a picnic basket full of health food, Mrs. Benson placed a swim-suit clad Freddie in his car seat and off they went to the beach.
When they arrived, Mrs. Benson unloaded all of their things, putting them in a shaded area. She sprayed him relentlessly, set a hat on his head, and fed him food before they left their spot.
She held tightly onto her son's hand as they walked together across the soft sand. Freddie loved the feel of it between his toes, but he was more interested in the water.
"Mama, can I go play in the water?" he asked, pointing to it.
Mrs. Benson smiled, patting him on the head.
"Now, Freddiebear. You have to be careful! That water can be dangerous if you go in too far. You'll only be safe if you stay on the edge."
"So does that mean I can play?" His voice sounded so eager that his mom really couldn't say no.
"Yes, Freddie. But please stay close to the edge! I'll be right over here, okay?" She gestured to their area, which was only a few feet away. "I'll come and get you in a little bit, you hear me?"
Freddie nodded, his brown eyes sparkling.
"Oh, thank you, Mama!" He wrapped his arms around his mom's leg, beaming with happiness.
She laughed, leaning down to kiss his forehead. "Go before your time's up, sweetie."
He immediately took off for the water. Before reaching it, he ran into someone, and knocked both of them over.
"Hey! Watch where you're going, dork!" the other person shouted.
"Sorry! I'm so sorry," he responded, voice trembling.
Freddie got up and offered his hand to the person he ran into. He realized he was looking at young girl who seemed the same age as him. She scowled and swat his hand away.
"I don't need your help," she growled, getting up by herself.
It was that moment that Freddie Benson felt his heart jump in his chest. His eyes took in the sight of the girl with long blonde curls and bright blue eyes. She wore a fluttery purple dress, instead of a swimming suit. On her feet were small golden sandals.
"Are you just gonna stand there and stare at me?" She sounded impatient as she crossed her arms over her chest, glaring at Freddie.
"N-no. I'm s-sorry again. I didn't mean it," he whimpered.
She scoffed, rolling her eyes. "That's what they all say."
Even though this girl had caught Freddie's eye, she still scared the crap out of him. He nervously scratched the back of his neck, searching for something to say.
"My name's Freddie Benson, by the way."
He stuck out his hand for a handshake, knowing that's what adults did when they introduced each other.
The girl ignored his hand for a second time. "Freddie? Is that short for something?"
His cheeks suddenly turned a pale pink. He hated his full name. It just sounded so…dorky.
"Um, yeah. My real name is Fredward," he mumbled, looking down at the ground out of embarrassment.
"Hahaha! That's so bad!" She laughed loudly, clutching her tiny tummy.
"It's not my fault my Mama named me that."
His bottom lip poked out and he felt a familiar warmth in his eyes. He tried his hardest not to cry, but this girl was just so mean!
She sensed that he was upset so she stopped laughing. However, she didn't apologize.
"Shhh…don't cry, Freddie. Your name's just really funny, that's all. I have a weird last name, if it makes you feel better. I'm Sam Puckett."
"Puckett? That is kinda different." Freddie wiped at his eyes and small smile spread on his lips.
"Mhhm. But my first name's Sam."
"Is Sam short for Samantha?"
She took a step closer and raised her fist. Right away, Freddie knew he had said something wrong.
"You call me that and you're dead meat. Got it?" she threatened.
He gulped, taking a step back. "Yeah, I got it."
Her demeanor changed once she heard what she wanted to hear. A smirk graced her features. "Good. So what are you doing at the beach, Freddie?"
"My Mama brought me. She thought I needed a day outside, so she drove us over here. Daddy's at home working, but Mama said she was free. She's even letting me go play in the water!"
"You're such a nub." Sam laughed again, but not in a cruel manner.
"What's a nub?"
"It's cross between a dork and nerd. You've never been to the beach before to play in the water?"
He shook his head. "Nope. This is my first time. I've been to the beach once before, when I was six. I'm seven now. Anyway, I'm really excited!"
"You get excited over the smallest things. I've been the beach hundreds of times. And every time I'm in the water."
"Do you go alone? Where's your Mama? Or your Daddy?"
Freddie noticed how Sam's bright eyes darkened briefly.
"My mom usually just drops me off. She knows I won't go too far away from here. Dad isn't with us anymore." The last sentence came out softer than the rest.
Freddie's eyes widened. "Did he die?"
"No. He left my family," she spat out.
A gasp escaped his lips. "W-what? He left and is never coming back? Oh, Sam. I'm so sorry!"
Her jaw suddenly tightened and before she could stop herself, she shoved him on the ground.
"I don't need you to feel sorry for me! I'm a tough girl. I'm handling it just fine," she barked at him.
"Sorry, Sam. I didn't mean to make you mad again."
A couple of tears escaped Freddie's eyes. His cheeks turned red at how babyish he was being. He hated making this girl upset, but acting like a crybaby was even worse. He couldn't help being emotional because his mother said that it was okay for boys to be sensitive.
"Aw, you're crying again. I know that it shocks you my dad left. I get that, okay? But you really don't need to feel bad for me. I'm fine," she sighed.
He didn't say anything in response, just stood there while tears continued to roll down his cheeks.
Sam sighed again and reached out with her hand. With her knuckles, she touched his face, wiping a few of the tears away.
"I'm sorry, Fredward." She pulled away from him, so there was more space between them.
"It's okay." He smiled at her as the tears stopped flowing.
"Just so you know, I'm never gonna say sorry again. I don't apologize. Pucketts don't do that," she explained, laughing slightly.
"Okay, Sam. I won't expect another one," Freddie laughed with her.
Sam shifted her gaze to the ocean. "So…I'll race you the water's edge. The first one there doesn't have to pick up a slimy sea creature and play with it. The loser does. Got it?"
"Oh, you're so on!"
"On the count of three. One…two…three!"
Sam shot right out in front of Freddie, running as fast as her little legs could carry her. As soon as she reached the water's edge, she leaned over, hands on her knees, breathing heavily. She looked up and found Freddie a few paces behind her. A large smile appeared on her lips when she realized she won.
Once Freddie caught up to Sam, he collapsed on the soft sand, panting.
"Sam, how'd you do that? You're really fast!"
She shrugged. "I've always been fast. I was in soccer for a couple of years. But then I quit because the girls on my team got on my nerves."
"You really aren't like other girls," he wheezed out.
"And don't you ever forget it. C'mon, Fredward. You lost so you gotta play with a slimy animal."
She smirked, bending down to pick up something that would gross the boy out. It seemed like it wouldn't be too hard, judging by how sensitive he was.
Freddie's lips curved into a frown. "Do I really have to do this?" he whined.
He could see her eyes light up when her hand touched something. She pulled it out, wrapping her fingers around it.
"This is perfect. Okay, now all you have to do is let it crawl on you for a bit, okay?"
"Eww! That's so gross, Sam. I don't wanna do this." He pouted, pointing at the creature.
"It's just snail, Freddie. It's not that gross." She shoved it in his hand without another word.
"I can't believe this girl," Freddie muttered, taking the snail and placing it on his arm. A disgusted expression crossed his face at the contact.
"Ah! Your face is priceless!" Sam snickered.
"How long do I have to do this?"
"Until you can't take it anymore."
"Are you challenging me?"
The snail continued to crawl up his arm as he grimaced, trying not to think of all the germs that this thing was spreading. Like his mother, he hated feeling dirty and germy.
"Pssh," she scoffed. "It's not a challenge because you'll lose."
His eyes narrowed. "Oh, you're on. I bet this snail can stay on me for 10 minutes."
She laughed. "Yeah, right. I bet you can't last another minute. Your face says it all."
True to her word, Freddie couldn't handle the feel of the snail anymore. He squirmed, trying to get it off. It clung onto him to the point where he had to jump around until it eventually fell off. His face reflected that same disgusted look from before, which made Sam chuckle at her victory.
"See? Told you. No one ever says a Puckett is wrong."
"Why do you have to be so…ugh?" Freddie groaned.
"Wow, you're really good with your words, Benson." She rolled her eyes.
"You know what I meant," he snapped back, sitting down.
She sat down next to him on the wet sand. The bottom of her purple dress instantly got soaked, which didn't seem to bother her. Freddie noticed this, and being the curious boy that he was, had to mention it to her.
"Sam, why are you wearing a dress? Shouldn't you be in a swimming suit?"
She wrinkled her nose. "I didn't want to wear a stupid dress to the beach. I wanted to wear my blue swim suit, but my sis—"she paused and then continued.
"My mom said that I should wear a dress instead. She likes me being girly, which is dumb because I'm not. Whatever. It was easier to go along with it than to fight about it."
"Oh, okay. Well if it helps, you look kinda good in a dress," he said shyly.
Her cheeks flushed pink before she turned to him, socking him the arm.
"Ow! What was that for? I just gave you a compliment." He rubbed his arm and frowned at her.
"I do not look good in a dress. You don't have to pretend."
"I wasn't pretending. It's true."
She rolled her eyes, trying to hide her smile. His comment actually flattered her, but she'd never admit it. Still, it felt kind of nice for someone to notice that she looked pretty for once.
"Whatever you say, nub."
It continued on like that for awhile. They sat together and just talked as the gentle waves lapped around them. Neither kid could remember a time before this where they had shared so much about themselves.
Freddie learned that Sam was a tomboy, loved meat products of any kind, thought school was boring, and could beat any boy around her age in arm wrestling.
Sam found out that Freddie had a crazy but caring mother and busy but loving dad. He also loved playing on computers and hated the health food his mom fed him.
They told each other stories about what their lives were like and couldn't help the laughs and smiles that passed between them.
Both Sam and Freddie felt a connection that they had never felt before. They weren't really social around other kids because Freddie was too shy and Sam was too abrasive. But together, they seemed to make it work.
It was about half an hour later when Mrs. Benson came up to Freddie. She grabbed his little hand in hers, making him stand up. Sam quickly stood up as well.
"It's time to go, Freddiebear. I hope you've had a good time at the beach," she said, giving him a smile.
Sam couldn't help but laugh at his nickname, causing Freddie to glance at her to roll his eyes.
"Mama, can I have a minute?" he asked quietly.
After the words left his mouth, Mrs. Benson turned to the blonde haired girl standing next to him.
"Oh my goodness. You've been talking to a girl this whole time! My, my. My baby is growing up fast!" she cooed.
"Mama! Please stop being so embarrassing." He tried to cover up his red face with his other hand.
She completely ignored him and spoke directly to the girl. "Hello, there. I'm Freddie's mom, as you might have guessed. Who are you, sweetheart?"
Sam had to fight the urge to scowl at the woman. She hated being called sweetheart. She hated being called anything other than Sam.
"I'm Sam. Freddie and I just met."
"Well it's very nice to meet you, Samantha. My, that's a lovely name."
This time she couldn't help but feel her lips tug into a frown. "Mrs. Benson, it's Sam. No one calls me Samantha. Not even my mom."
Mrs. Benson laughed, brushing off Sam's comment. "Alright, dear. Where's your mother anyway? She should be keeping an eye on you. There are so many germs, bugs, and dangerous things at the beach. It's not a place for a young girl to be alone."
Sam internally sighed. She really didn't want to tell this stranger about her home life. She hadn't even talked to Freddie about it. So she did what Pucketts do best: lie.
"She's actually getting something from the car right now. She'll be back soon. I think she went to go get a beach towel for me."
Freddie stared at Sam, realizing that she had just told a lie. She glared at him, which shut him up. With only the use of her eyes, she communicated to him that this wasn't the time to correct her.
"Well, okay then," Mrs. Benson said in a confused tone. She turned back to Freddie to tug on his hand.
"Honey, we have to go. Daddy's going to wonder where we are. We've spent a little longer than expected here."
"Mama, can I please have a minute to talk to Sam. Please?" he pleaded, sticking out his bottom lip for emphasis.
Mrs. Benson sighed, releasing his hand. "Alright, Freddiebear. But make it quick! I'll go and get the car. As soon as you're done, you go right into the car. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Mama. Thank you!"
He hugged her legs again, which made her smile. He let go and she walked away to gather their things to put into the car.
"Wow, that's some mom you got there, Benson," Sam snickered.
"Yeah, she is pretty embarrassing," he agreed.
"So…you wanted to talk to me before you left?"
"Yup. Um, Sam? Can I ask you something?"
"As long as it's not a stupid question."
"Okay, well." He took a deep breath. "Do you wanna be friends?"
Her eyes widened slightly and her mouth opened a bit, forming an "o" shape.
"You want to be friends with me?" she asked in disbelief.
"Mmmhm. What's so wrong about that?"
"It's just…no one's really asked me before. I don't make a lot of friends," she muttered, looking at her feet.
"Oh, I get it. But that's the same with me. I have trouble, too."
Her head snapped up, ready to make a snarky comment about how he shouldn't feel sorry for her, but she held her tongue. He was trying to be nice to her, which was something she could at least accept without going all crazy.
"Are you sure you want to be friends with me?"
He nodded. "Of course. You're different, Sam. You're not like other girls, and that's kinda cool."
"What if you never see me again? How are we gonna be friends then?"
Suddenly, he snapped his fingers and smile lit up his face. "I got it! How about we make a promise?"
"A promise? About what?"
"What if we promise to always be friends no matter what? Even if we don't see each other again, we can always remember about this day. We won't forget that we were each other's first real friend. And if we get lucky, maybe we'll meet again someday. It could be tomorrow. You never know."
Sam looked at him, trying to figure what he was really saying. She understood, but she didn't get why this was so important. Still, the hopeful expression on Freddie's face was what got her to agree.
"Fine. I promise we'll always be friends. Happy?"
He couldn't stop the huge grin that spread across his lips.
"Yes! I'm very happy. Sam, I promise we'll always be friends, too. Shake on it?"
A devilish gleam appeared in Sam's eyes as she shook her head.
"Nope. But I will punch you." As soon as the words left her mouth, she punched his arm.
He winced, shouting, "Ow! You really gotta stop doing that!"
She laughed and patted the spot she just hit. "Freddie, if you're gonna be friends with me, you gotta learn that I hit things. It's what I do."
Groaning, he rubbed his arm. "Why do I have a feeling this is going to be a painful friendship?"
Shrugging her shoulders, she smiled. "Because it's gonna be."
"Okay, well I gotta go now. See you later, Sam."
"Bye, Freddie," she waved to him as he turned to head back to the car.
Once he was gone, Sam couldn't help the smile that her mouth formed. She squealed under her breath because finally, she made a friend. He might have been a total nerd, but he was her nerd.
Her heart started to thump in her chest at the thought. But being a six year old tomboy, she brushed off those feelings.
One thing was for sure, she could never ever forget Fredward Benson and the magical day they had together.
What neither kid knew was that the next time they would see each other would be four years later, thanks to a girl named Carly Shay. And neither knew that their promise to always be friends would be broken for a short amount of time. But most importantly, they didn't realize those butterflies they first felt for each other would come back to haunt them.
It was their promise that bound them together from day one. Too bad neither one knew how powerful those simple words actually were.