A/N: Hullo you lovely readers!

This is a little piece set in the summer before the iCarly gang head off to college. SEDDIE FTW.

It's my first foray into the iCarly fandom, so please be kind. Reviews are like rainbows, kittens, and Nathan Kress' biceps.


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love this is, this is love

~ the script

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She really doesn't know what she's doing here tonight.

She had purposely clanged the shutters when she was climbing into his window, and right on cue, Freddie had stirred, rubbing a hand over sleepy eyes and staring at her stupidly until she had snapped at him to stop looking at her. Now it's like they're suspended in some sort of limbo. She feels his gaze searing into her skin while she looks at everything but his face. They don't turn on any lights. The darkness is safer.

Her purpose for coming rests on the tip of her tongue, with a taste so bitter that it burns. She knows that she could make this painless for her and tell him the news in the comforting presence of Carly and Spencer, where he wouldn't be able to make a huge fuss (Carly and Spencer have been strangely accepting) but she's always been masochistic (There's also a little part of her that yearns for his presence near hers and craves the feel of his eyes focused on her and her alone).

She spits out her words harshly and carelessly, about how she's leaving in a week to find the best ribs in the country and isn't going to college with him and Carly in New York because she's got better shiz to do.

A sadistic part of her is pleased when she sees his face open in shock and fall in sorrow. It means he cares, it means that perhaps she's some fraction of his life that matters. But a weaker side of her wants to cry at the sadness that makes its way onto his face, wants to hold him close until all his pain seeps into her body. She'd willingly carry it, for him.

Being the logical, problem-fixing, perfect boy he is, he immediately launches into a spiel as to why college is important, why she can't throw her future away, why she needs to go. Instead of listening to him, she lets the vibrations of his voice roll across her and watches the way his lips curve around his words. She wonders what he would do if she took a step forwards to smooth a hand across the planes of his face. One step forwards, and she would be closer to happiness.

But she stumbles back when he leans towards her because if there's one thing she knows, it's that she's a golden haired girl filled with rot, and he's a dark haired boy filled with light, and the one thing she could never bring herself to do is ruin him. There are too many ghosts that walk with her, too many stories of a drunken mother and her leering boyfriends, too many fragmented tales of heaving up lunches and wandering city streets alone at night with only a shiv in her pocket and a knife up her sleeve. Just a drop of the darkness that runs through her veins would be enough to grey his life forever, and she couldn't do that to him. She won't do that to him.

His arguments have turned into pleas about how Carly needs her and how Carly will never forgive her. She puts on a bored expression, distancing herself to numb the pain that creeps up her chest. Her heart hurts enough, after all, and she can't listen to the truth when she wants to scream at him that she's doing this for them, for Carly, for him. It's only when his pleas turn to sacrifices that she finally starts paying attention.

"I don't have to go to NYU, I can stay here in Seattle, I can get scholarships and I'd be beside my mom anyways, and Carly's going to be fine alone and she's got Jason anyways, I don't have to go and just-" his voice breaks, and she thinks dimly about how in another time, another life, she would have teased him about it instead of wanting to cup the sound in her hands to hold next to her heart. "-just promise you won't go."

These words are almost her undoing. She feels her strength collapsing, and from the ruins rise promises that she will never leave him, that she will follow him to the ends of the earth and the depths of the sea and the summits of the sky (and god how she hates heights). But she gathers the fragments of her resolve and crams them back down into the pit of her stomach before they can spill out.

It hurts though, it burns, and she closes her eyes to gasp in the pain.

He kisses her.

Some small part of her mind is screaming that she's supposed to be pushing him away and letting him go, but every cell in her body is moving her in another direction through some instinct ingrained in her at birth, or maybe even before then, and she kisses him back. She feels herself growing luminous, the withered parts of her heart ripening in the light that he pours into her with his lips. His hands leave stars scattered across her skin.

But even as she blossoms under his touch, tears swell and shatter in her eyes and she tastes bitter salt in her mouth. This kiss, she knows, will break her. She will forever be haunted by the feel of his lips and the rhythm of his pulse fluttering against hers. She's only eighteen and a bit too young to be proclaiming love for life, but she swears that she could wander the earth for a thousand years and never love another like the way she loves him. Because when the Puckett women fall, they fall in love for life. It's both their gift and their curse (after all, Melody's well on her way to shacking up with her boyfriend of six years, but her broken mother has never been the same after her father decided one day to see the world). Sam will love Freddie forever.

And it's because she loves him that she declined college in New York, that she bought herself a car and a bunch of road maps to disappear into the winding roads of the country. She's never tried in school, but she's still smart enough to know that if she went to New York with him and Carly, sooner or later, she would weaken and allow herself to be pulled back into his gravity, and Freddie, being the amazing, beautiful, boy that he is, would never let her go. He would give up everything for her, and that's exactly what she can't let him do.

If she allowed it, he would chain himself to her side with love, let her hack off his wings with her brutality and allow her to corrupt his mind with her own. He would willingly weigh himself down with her presence, and would never even realize that she was stopping him from glory, because he's exactly the type to be blinded by love. She could never be the type of girl he needs.

She hands him over to some faceless girl with a gentle heart who will support him and encourage him and will never end up behind bars waiting for him to post bail. She gives him a wife who will only know how to use kind words and the white picket fenced house that he deserves. She does what her mother could never do for her, and what Melanie could never do for her, and she does it with a breaking heart and soft eyes that weep a thousand empty wishes.

"I can't." She sighs the words into his lips before her breath hitches on a sob that he shushes with his touch. They kiss for an eternity, and as they kiss, Sam lets herself dream of a dance and a date, a white dress and a wedding, a little boy with blue eyes and brown hair and a baby girl with brown eyes and blond hair. When they finally break apart, gasping for air, she watches those wispy images scatter to the darkest corners of the room and fade away into the shadows.

His cheeks are gleaming in the moonlight pooling around them, and she wonders dazedly if they are from her tears or his.

They fall onto his bed, and she tangles herself into him, the length of her body pressed up tightly against his, desperate to touch every part of him before she has to let him go. Because she knows now that she will have to leave at morning light, grab the suitcase that's been packed for weeks, and leave this town, because she will not be able to bear seeing his face again without her will crumbling (as much as she likes to pretend she is strong and fearless, she's really got the weakest heart out of the three of them).

She scoots her body upwards and presses her cheek against his face, drinking in the feel of his hot skin touching her, the steady tattoo of his heartbeat against hers, and the exact way her heart quickens at his touch. All the while, she's shattering, because time is slipping by too quickly, and the earth's rotation is so fast it's dizzying, and she just wants the stars to freeze in the sky so this night won't ever end. She knows that she will never be able to be this close to him again in her lifetime, and a gaping sense of loss and fear blackens her mind and rattles her teeth. She is, quite literally, breaking.

His hands move gently across her skin, rubbing soothing circles over her back, her hips, her hands. Maybe he can feel the brittleness taking over her bones, maybe he can sense that her tears are of glass, maybe he knows that she wants to shatter so she doesn't have to go live in a tomorrow without him. She presses a hand against his face and kisses him, hard, trying to make him understand. His soft lips give way; his touch is a whisper. Maybe he does. Maybe he doesn't.

They lay there for a long time in the darkness. She memorizes the symmetry to his eyes, the curves that make up his cheeks, the rhythmic syncopation of his heart. From the way he brushes warm fingers across the bones in her collar and splays his hands across the small of her back, she knows that he's doing the same.

Seattle murmurs outside the window. She turns away from the city lights and buries her face in his chest

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She climbs out the window when the sky begins to lighten. She leaves behind the smell of her hair, an imprint on the pillow, and her only chance at happiness still slumbering in his bed.

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i guess that's just part of loving people: you have to give things up.

sometimes you even have to give them up.

~ lauren oliver

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