We Love Each Other
By OneHorseShay

Disclaimer: Don't Own, Don't Sue. For God sakes, don't sue.

Pairing(s): Established Jade West/Freddie Benson, past ones will be mentioned and various others will be heavily explored.

Rating: Max T for possible future Violence, Adult Situations/Themes, and Language. I reserve the right to bump the rating higher if story circumstances call for it.

Summary: Sequel to Jade Likes Nice Guys. Freewill, not Fate, nearly tore them apart, but they came back stronger with 'I love you'. Now Jade and Freddie have to get through life's trials and tribulations before graduation without becoming casualties of Fate's unsuspecting (even to themselves) agents in trying to set things back to 'the way they were meant to be'.

Author's Note: This story takes place contemporaneously with Season 3 of Victorious starting after 'The Breakfast Bunch'. The episodes will be addressed in the order of production, not airing except for 'The Gorilla Club' as that was an episode filmed later to backfill between 'The Breakfast Bunch' and 'The Worst Couple' (and even then personally just between you and me, I don't think it was enough setup to make it believable that Jade and Beck were suddenly having such serious problems that would lead to a break up). Additional author's note at the end of the chapter.

Starring Victoria Justice

Leon Thomas III, Matt Bennett, Elizabeth Gillies, Ariana Grande, Avan Jogia, Daniella Monet

and

Nathan Kress

as

Freddie Benson


Chapter 1: There are no Fresh Starts

The roar from the engine of the black '69 Dodge Charger caught the attention of the loitering students hanging out in the Asphalt Café's parking lot and around the café itself minutes before the first bell of the school day was to ring as the muscle car pulled into the parking lot then into one of the free parking spaces. Most of the students, but not all, were quite stunned and gawking among themselves at seeing the fully restored vehicle that looked like it had just drove out of nineteen sixty nine and into the present when just before Christmas it was a battered heap with a mismatched colored driver's side door.

The passenger door opened and Jadelyn 'Jade' West stepped out while pulling the strap to her Gears-of-War bag tightly on her right shoulder and wearing a wicked smile. She flicked her head to the side for a moment to get some of her hair out of her face as a soft breeze blew through her very dark brunette locks and green hair extensions. The right corner of her mouth lifted up even more as she scanned with her gaze at her fellow students and seeing that she and the driver were the center of attention showing up on the fourth day of school after the Christmas/Winter Break.

The pale actress shut the door and glanced over to the young male driver stepping out and pulling an across strap blue book bag out of the backseat then shutting and locking his door. She walked around the front of the car as the handsome teenager did the same while pulling the strap over his head and across his muscular chest. When they met in front of the vehicle, she instantly laced her fingers between his fingers then started on their way through the parking lot.

As the pair confidently cut through the Asphalt Café's parking lot to head inside Hollywood Arts, Jade eyed almost every teenager (especially the female ones) that watched them as they passed with a self-assured smile on her face that reminded everyone that under that smile hid her ruthless retribution if you crossed her and who was the Alpha Female of the school. The combination of her piercing gaze and tempting smile also reminded them that her boyfriend of the last five and a half months (give or take a few days) whose hand she was holding with laced fingers was still hers and would remain so: Fredward 'Freddie' Benson of iCarly fame.

Hollywood Arts High School
Los Angeles, CA
Monday, January 9, 2012

Jade's Alpha Female smile slipped to one of a more open and genuine smile as the couple walked into the performing arts high school. The quite happy couple had decided to skip and take last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off as part of their road trip through the state of California to get away from everything and everyone after their debacle of a New Year and she couldn't have been happier with their choice. She glanced over to him to see that the former iCarly technical producer looked just as happy and renewed from their excursion as she felt at that moment along with sporting a recently grown short beard.

However, those feelings of joy and contentment were soon to be dashed away as they stepped in the first few feet into the school and before they could turn to their right to head for her locker. The green streaked haired teenager was pulled to a stop by Freddie stopping in his tracks. She looked over her left shoulder to see an apprehensive expression on his face as he scanned around with his eyes.

The pale actress followed his gaze and immediately realized that the mingling students on and around the main staircase and roaming the hallways were staring at him. Their expressions were not like the others' outside of mild surprise from the entrance the pair made in pulling into the parking lot or the due reverence of being the school's power couple (which Freddie was not comfortable with as he felt it a little elitist) or one of relief or happiness of seeing him back after his short absent, but a mixture of pity with a sprinkling among several students looking at him as if he was a butt of some joke or just thought his was pathetic.

He recognized that disrespectful look from when he used to go to Ridgeway and considered a joke among most of the students, but ignored it for a moment as he leaned his head slightly over to her and softly asked, "I miss three days and people suddenly forget that I go to school here?"

The dark haired teenager shrugged her shoulders and gave him an expression that showed she was just as perplexed as him about the strange looks from the other students. Everyone going to Hollywood Arts knew that Freddie had been attending the school since the beginning of the year and that she and the tech producer had been a couple for slightly longer, so she disregarded the idea that the rest of the students where somehow shocked to see them walking in together hand in hand.

As individually they tried to come up with some explanation as to why they were looking at Freddie in that manner, their attention was caught at seeing Dustin 'Dusty' Hale ('Soapy' to Cat), TheSlap's webmaster, Cat's ex-boyfriend from the end of the summer and their fellow senior, dash towards them with a worried expression on his boyish and good looking features. He glanced between the pair quickly as he took a quick breath then started quickly, "I have been trying to get a hold of you all weekend."

Freddie smiled to their Carolinian friend and jokingly asked, "No 'Hello, how have you been?', 'It's good to see you two', 'How was your trip?'"

Jade was not as patient to the slightly taller and leaner teenager in comparison to Freddie as she replied with a slightly curt tone, "We've been busy."

Unlike other teenagers at the school that stepped lightly around Jade due to her abrasive nature and reputation, Dusty smirked and returned with a bit of sarcastic but warm tone of his own, "It's good to see you too Angel Girl, but this is important and I'm going to have to skip the whole welcome back spiel."

Freddie motioned his head towards the surrounding area with a number of students now whispering among themselves. "Does it have anything to do with the way everyone is looking at me?"

The Southern teenager smirk fell into a sympathetic smile and whispered out regretfully, "Yeah it does buddy and it's not good."

Jade instantly frowned as her mind started thinking up the worst.

TheSlap Computer Room
Hollywood Arts High School
Monday, January 9, 2012

Dusty opened the door to the computer room dedicated to the school's social networking site and the first inside as the couple followed behind him. The room instantly went silent as they saw Jade and Freddie follow their de facto leader entering the room. They gave the former Seattleite the same looks as the students mingling in the halls.

Jade immediately frowned at the lowerclassmen and the smarter ones apparently had enough sense to look away shamefully. Dusty caught the glare from the corner of his eye and would usually be the first to defend the staff and chastise Jade, but refrained, not out of any sense of fear of Jade (since he didn't have any), but that he agreed with her sentiment more than she could know as he had the full story.

The webmaster turned his attention back to his staff and called out, "Okay, classes are about to start in fifteen minutes. Those who have another class for first period, head on out; the rest… go wonder the halls until the bell."

The gathering of mostly lowerclassmen looked to one another with questioning expressions. The three other seniors in the classroom for a supervision role were of no apparent help to have the rest clear the room for the trio. Dusty looked directly at the few other seniors in the room and question, "Did I stutter?"

The rest of the students quickly got up and grabbed their stuff then walked passed the trio and out the door. However, the seniors looked to him as if annoyed that he would talk down them in such a manner.

He glared at them and Jade joined him, signaling that them leaving was the best option for them. One of the seniors stopped to look at Dusty in the eyes with an annoyed expression, but he calmly replied, "You shouldn't have voted me in charge then."

The senior frowned at the Southern teenager then turned and headed out the door while Dusty kept his eyes on the leaving senior. Once he was gone, Dusty caught Jade giving him a questioning expression.

He shrugged a shoulder as he answered, "Politics, it's everywhere you go."

The green streaked hair teenager shook her head and blew out a tired breath through her nose then asked impatiently, "What's this all about?"

"You really haven't seen or heard about the broadcast?"

Freddie didn't get a chance to answer as Jade folded her arms under her chest and interrupted with an impatient tone, "We've been incommunicado almost the entire time on purpose. We didn't get home until late yesterday afternoon and we didn't check any messages or anything. We planned to catch up with everyone today in person."

"Then you are going to be in for an unpleasant surprise." Dusty went to one of the workstations and quickly brought up a browser window. A few moments later he brought up the iCarly website on the large monitor hanging on the wall at the other end of the room.

Jade crossed her arms under her chest and shifted her weight to one heel as she asked with an annoyed tone, "Why are you bringing up that?"

He looked over his shoulder and answered with a challenging tone, "You want answers? Here they are." He clicked the play button for selected video then set it for full screen.

iCarly web broadcast of Friday, January 6, 2012.

"I'm Sam!" the blonde shouted as she held out her arms and leaned towards the camera. She was left hanging there as Carly stood straight as a rod looking into the camera with a hollow expression. She glanced over at her friend and questioned, "Ah… Carls?"

"I can't do this," the brunette whispered in a dull voice.

Sam kept her eyes on the camera as she leaned over slightly and whispered, "Carly, we have a show."

The brunette whispered in return, "I don't care."

The blonde dropped her smile and stood up straight as she turned her attention to her companion with a worried expression on her face.

"I'm sorry Freddie. I know you're not watching, but… I'm sorry for everything."

Sam blinked then looked to Brad holding the camera. He shrugged his shoulders, but maintained holding the camera to keep the two girls in the frame.

His movement of his shoulders caught Carly's eyes and she lifted her head slightly to stare at the sandy blonde. There was a sudden chill to the slim teenager's voice, "Don't you dare cut away."

Behind the camera and unseen from the audience, Brad swallowed nervously and kept the camera focused on the web-hostess as her brown eyes bore into him daring him to challenge her.

Carly directed her attention back to the camera. "I'm sorry Freddie… for everything I've done to you and I let happen to you. I'm sorry I let everything fall apart so much that you had to leave Seattle because it was my fault… this is my confession to you the viewers and why he isn't here and hasn't been since the summer. I used, manipulated, and took advantage of mine and Freddie's friendship for the last several years until it escalated to the point where he was forced to move to Los Angeles."

She took another breath and continued as Sam looked on in stunned silence, "I let Sam do the same thing since we were thirteen including physical beatings. We stood by… all of us here in Seattle and at school including the teachers and Principal Franklin while Sam would torment Freddie for her own amusement. We all laughed and thought it was a joke when she would outright beat him like a dog whenever she felt like it because he's a guy and she's a girl. We all just laughed… when Freddie had a differing opinion, I would let Sam beat Freddie into submission because I cared about this show more than him."

She laughed out, but it was a morbid laugh then continued, "That's the real reason Freddie said that Lucas aka Fred was funny: Sam beat him into saying that and even when he refused to apologize to Lucas for not thinking he was funny after the beating, I let Sam nearly break Freddie's arm to finally get him to lie and say he thought Lucas was funny. And for the record, we should have just told you the truth that Lucas had no intention of ever stopping making the videos, but used it to get his viewership up in a fake internet war with us that we knew nothing about. It looks like it worked out for him getting a job at Nickelodeon and all."

Sam frowned at her fellow web-hostess and gave her a cold stare. "Carls—"

Carly kept her eyes on the camera, but spoke to Sam, "Be quiet Sam. You'd be in juvie 'til you were twenty one if it wasn't for me covering for what I allowed you to do to him and all the other things you've done, so keep your opinions to yourself unless there's an apology for Freddie in there somewhere with the next thing you have to say." She turned to look at her friend and hissed out in disgust more with herself than with Sam, "My God, you're lucky Jade only scarred you up for a while and broke a few your ribs instead of outright killing you which she should have been justified in doing or Freddie pressing charges against you… you sent him to the hospital. You're lucky you got out of California with only a scar. One day you will have to own up to your sins."

The dirty blonde quickly shut her mouth as Carly's tone told her that it would be a mistake to challenge her on this matter.

The brunette looked back to the camera and concluded, "Where was I? Oh yeah… Freddie finally had enough when I demanded that he date Sam when she suddenly started liking him… I wanted him to be with someone that took pleasure in tormenting him any way she could possibly find while I kept my mouth shut the entire time. I wanted Sam to be happy above everything else… including Freddie's happiness."

At this point Brad was seriously thinking about cutting it off, but the look in Carly's eyes told him that he may not leave the room alive if he did such a thing and that not even Sam would be able to stop the fierce brunette.

The tired brunette looked to the camera one last time and finished with a hollowed tone, "You're a good man Freddie Benson and you deserve a far better life than what you would have here with lousy people like us. Please have a long and happy life." She took another breath then finished, "And this concludes this episode of iCarly… this may be the last one… I don't know."

Carly walked off camera and a moment later the picture cut off.

Dusty blew out a soft breath as he turned in his seat and looked to the couple. He stated with a regretful tone, "And now the world knows the truth."

Freddie stared at the screen showing the stopped tape frozen on Carly's face. He took a step back and rested against the edge of one of the tables with his fingers laced together and resting his hands on his upper thighs. He remained silent as he got lost in his own thoughts.

Jade felt her blood pressure spike as rage instantly filled her. She didn't think it was possible to hate Carly Shay more than she did after New Years, but she was reaching an entirely new level of burning rage at the moment that made her ambivalent feelings towards Tori Vega look like a candle flickering at the last of its wick. The actress didn't see it any other way than the web-hostess giving her one last 'Jank You!' to Freddie in the guise of trying to be apologetic for all she had done to her former friend and maybe get a little sympathy turned in her direction. Now the world knew the majority of the details and was causing a number of the students to look at Freddie in any other way than respectful and as one of their peers. In Jade's mind it was Carly trying one last time to take Freddie's dignity… and she would make the web-hostess pay for it if it was the last thing she did on this earth.

Dusty leaned forward in his seat and rested his forearms on his knees and laced his fingers. He whispered out with a tired voice, "I guess we should've confirmed the gossip."

Jade turned her attention to the sitting teenager and asked with a curt voice, "What gossip?"

"About what happened up in Olympia and that Freddie really did charge up there and rescue them. It may have caused people to be a little more hesitant in taking Carly's word. The badass Freddie they know verses—" he thumbed over his shoulder to the monitor on the far wall, "—the one that she just described doesn't jive very well and that would have been enough to make them doubt her."

Jade closed her eyes and shook her head for a moment in frustration about the whole situation then looked back to Dusty to ask, "Why didn't you?"

Dusty leaned back in his chair and asked with a near flippant tone, "You really think Vega and the rest would just spill the truth? Really?"

The pale actress bit her tongue for a moment and Dusty took the opportunity crack a smile as he continued, "No, they're your friends and they respect his privacy."

Freddie finally spoke up with a soft voice, "What do they really think about me?"

The Southern teenager looked to his friend and asked with a serious tone, "Here at school or online?"

The tech producer snorted out a breath then asked with a bitter tone, "Let's take the school first."

Jade gave him a concerned expression as Dusty answered, "It's a mixed bag: Some think the whole thing is outrageous and think that it is a bad joke, but…"

Freddie cautiously asked, "What?"

The Southern teenager answered with a hint of sarcasm in his voice, "What do you think?"

Freddie took a quick breath as the webmaster shook his head and answered his own question, "You got abused by a girl… and they don't even see it as abuse… just you getting your tail handed to you by a girl because you're a little wuss who's willing to bend over and grab his ankles."

Jade outright glared at him and clenched her jaw tight that would have made anyone else at school tremble in fear and beg her not to destroy them either socially or physically.

Dusty wasn't intimidated one bit by the pale teenager and answered with a challenging voice, "What? You think sugarcoating the truth to him is going to help?" He stood up from his chair and looked to Jade with a hint of disbelief in his voice, "That is how most of the guys here think: he was emasculated by Sam and question whether he really is a man or not. He's becoming a bigger joke than Shapiro. They don't think of him as the guy who knocked out Steven Carson for you at Karaoke Dookie during the summer or put Corey in his place for making sexual jokes about what he'd like to do with you or the times they thought he was going to put Pretty Boy down because he janked up again or Randy down in one punch when he got mad about his eyes going all screwy with the three-D video… just the guy that was Sam and Carly's little bitch."

She wanted to be furious at the webmaster for saying such a thing, but… he was just telling the truth and that was exactly how most of the guys would think.

It was one of the things she respected about the teenager: his willingness to tell the truth and not sugarcoat as everyone else around her.

As noble and wishful the sentiment that image and social standing shouldn't be the paramount things to worry about in high school, the realities of life were far less forgiving and one couldn't forget them as one of the hard lessons of life during the high school experience. If people thought Freddie was suddenly a pushover, she knew he'd be in their crosshairs as she knew underneath the friendly surface of most of the students here, they could easily turn into a pack of hyenas from her experience when Robbie turned part of TheSlap into Robbiarazzi with harassing André with ketchup or start treating him like a joke like Robbie.

Freddie spoke up, "What do you think about me? I never asked you that question when I got back."

Dusty turned his attention to the slightly shorter yet more muscular teenager. "A part of me thinks you are a little wuss for letting her do that to you for all those years—"

Jade instantly frowned and glared in his direction and Freddie a little surprised.

"—because I have so little respect for people that can defend themselves, but refuse to and aren't pacifists." He looked to Jade as he continued, "Like Vega in not dealing with you once and for all for all the chizz you've put her through over nearly the last two years or Shapiro who is so cowardly that he hides behind his blasted puppet." He looked back to Freddie and finished with a sympathetic tone, "But the more rational part… the smarter part of me is betting that you were taught by your mama never to hit a girl and that is a very powerful and profound message instilled into a lot of boys when they're children and adhere to it all of their lives… and standing by your moral principles is a blasted good justification in not just knocking that slayer out."

Freddie pursed his lips and gave a soft nod of his head to the explanation.

Jade sarcastically asked, "Your mother didn't teach you that lesson?" The pale singer instantly bit her tongue as she realized what she said as she recalled his euphemism during the last poker game at Tori's house between Christmas and New Years about his late mother being 'among the angels'. She could be insensitive, but even she had a line she wouldn't cross and making jokes about someone's dead mother was one of them.

Dusty cracked a smile and answered with a surprise sense of humor, "From the little interaction I had with my mother… she knew better than to teach me such nonsense. My benevolent sexism does not go that far… if you want to throw the first punch and hit me like a man, you better be willing to take it like a man. You remember my advice if you ever get in a fight with a girl… and you had already taken it with Puckett before I gave it to you…"

The easy going nature of the teen caused Jade to let out a sigh of relief that she hadn't offended him with her statement.

The first bell sounded through the school to let the students know that they should head for their first period class. Freddie glanced out to the ceiling to turn his ear to the sound of the bell for a second then looked back to Dusty. He cracked a soft smile and spoke, "Thanks for heads up."

He replied with a slight nod and somewhat embarrassed expression, "Sorry to be the barer of bad news."

The tech producer shrugged a shoulder, "Well… couldn't keep it a secret forever and I can't worry about it now, have to get to class. See you later." He started on his way out, but noticed the Jade wasn't following him. He looked to see that Jade hesitated in following him and raised a curious eyebrow.

She tilted her head slightly to the side and nonchalantly answered, "I'll catch up with you."

Her brown eye boy answered with a warm smile, "Okay, I'll be at my locker." He turned and headed out the door.

Jade looked back to Dusty with a worried expression, but before she could say anything, he spoke, "Shapiro is untouchable compared to him at the moment and you know there are a few that would love to take advantage of it. He looks weak and they will take advantage of it and you know it could get messy before he reestablishes himself."

She coldly hissed out, "If they don't mind losing their balls you mean."

He countered with a calm voice, "Then all he's become is your bitch."

Jade snorted out angrily and glared at him.

He raised a hand as he commented, "I know the double standard is frustrating, where it's expected for Freddie to stand up for you as he's already done repeatedly, but you doing it for him to the others, especially guys makes him look like a joke, but we don't live in a perfect world, far from it."

She blew out a frustrated breath and shook her head.

"However…"

She raised her pierced eyebrow in curiosity. "However?"

"If things start to go… I find using the term 'Going South' offensive, but… I may have to start persuading a few to see the situation as I see it… My methods usually worked when I was going to Northridge… it reminded them of who the Alpha Dogs were too."

She cracked a small smile as she felt a twinge better about the situation and whispered, "Thanks."

He answered with a solemn tone and sympathetic expression, "You're welcome Angel Girl."

Jade smirked then headed out the door to catch up with her boyfriend.

A few moments later, she caught up to him at his light blue colored locker that was the same shade of blue of his locker when he used to go to Ridgeway in Seattle.

"Hey," she whispered catching his attention as he put a book into his locker.

"Hey."

"Ah…"

He smiled to her and softly answered, "We can talk about it when we get home, let's just… just enjoy our first day back. I'm going to try."

She gave him an accepting nod, but she could tell from the look in his eyes that it was troubling him.

He closed the locker and quickly twisted the lock. "I'll see you later," he whispered then gave her a quick peck on her cheek and turned to head for his science class.

Jade blew out a soft breath then noticed a few loitering teenagers that had stared at the couple as they were at his locker. She gave them a harsh glare and they quickly ducked their heads to avoid eye contact with her then went on their own way to class.

The pale dark brunette clenched her mouth shut and shook her head as she headed to her locker before rushing to class.


First and second period flew past for the couple in their separate classes. None of the teachers so far gave either teenager any grief for missing the first three days back to school after the holidays. Apparently they had watched the news about the events of New Years and they understood of the situation. Freddie's science teacher, Mister Haule, just gave him a pat on the shoulder and the last three days worth of work saying he had a week to get them done. The students in Freddie's classes kept their conversations with him to idle small talk avoiding the elephant in the room and where he had been last week. Once the bell for the end of second period rung, the pair met back up after stopping by their individual lockers and started down the main hallway to head for their third period class which was taught by their eccentric acting teacher Erin Sikowitz.

Jade could tell that her boyfriend's mood had lightened as they headed for the acting class where they could catch up with their friends over the last week. However before they made it down the first hallway, Vice Principal Dickers appeared around the corner in front of the two drink machines next to the Janitor's closet and approached the couple. He had a sour expression on his face as he blocked the student's path and hissed out showing his annoyance, "Hey, where do you think you two are going?"

Freddie answered dryly, "Class?"

Dickers frowned. "Being funny? You've skipped the last three days."

Freddie snorted out with his patience already running thin and answered, "Who's being funny? You wanted to know where we were going and they were personal days. I needed them. Haven't you watched the news?"

Dickers looked to Freddie with disbelieving expression. "They're still unexcused and they bought you two a couple of Saturday detentions."

Jade sarcastically replied, "Is that a good deal for them? I guess it depends on how many we got."

The passed over principal candidate turned his glare to the dark brunette.

Freddie took a side step to get between Dickers and Jade. The idea that he may actually have to punch Dickers crossed his mind from the harshness of the glare that was soon turned on him.

Dickers lifted his hand to attempt to grab Jade by the elbow and started, "We're going to the office right n—"

A stern voice spoke from behind the couple, "You will not put your hands on her."

Dickers' hand stopped just before he reached the actress' elbow and looked up from his glare with an annoyed expression on his face to see who was interrupting his conversation the teenagers. The Vice Principal blinked at the look he was receiving from the gentleman standing about an inch or two shorter than he wearing an A-2 Flight Jacket, a grey Penny-Tee with the words 'Aim High' printed on the front, and a pair of blue jeans.

Jade and Freddie turned and instantly were shocked at their apparent rescuer as the rest of the lingering students were shocked of someone challenging the irritable vice principal.

Dickers frowned at the intruder of his conversation. He walked around the couple to take a few steps to stand in front of the unknown gentleman. "I'm not? Who are you? Her father?"

Colonel Steven 'Loco' Shay smirked as he answered with a hint of sarcasm in his voice, "I've been accused of that before, but it's a moot point. You will not be touching her…" Shay took a step forward to look the slightly taller gentleman in the eyes and whisper just loud enough for the couple to hear, "…or you and I are going to have a real problem very quickly."

Dickers swallowed down a bit of fear that was threatening to come up from his stomach as he had seen that look before in other men's eyes several times in his life.

A thought occurred to the technical producer as he asked, "Vice Principal Dickers? Aren't you a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corp reserves?"

Dickers glanced over his shoulder and flippantly answered as he tried to keep his focus on the man in front of him, "Yes."

Freddie smirked as he continued, "This is Colonel Steven Shay of the US Air Force…"

Shay finished for the teenager with a stern voice, "As in full-bird Colonel… Colonel."

The Vice-Principal cleared his throat as he realized that the man in front of him could make his life very difficult in a completely unofficial capacity of course.

"If you have a serious problem or concern with Jadelyn then I suggest you and I wait in your boss' office for her mother to arrive while they head to class in the meantime or… you could get back to something that really does concern you?"

The embarrassed vice principal looked to Freddie and commented, "We'll discuss this later—"

Shay spoke up with s soft, but chilled tone, "No… you're really not."

Dickers turned and sucked in a sharp breath through his nose at seeing that the Colonel was not going to let him win. He gave a brief nod then with as much dignity as he could muster, walked around the Colonel and headed down the hall.

Shay looked back to the couple and his intimidated expression left his face in an instant and was replaced with smile. He looked warmly at the daughter of his oldest friend. "Jadelyn, how are you doing sweetheart?"

Her smile was a little nervous given the circumstances and her current feelings about the man's daughter, but nevertheless a genuine one and acknowledging nod of her head. "I'm doing alright… no thanks to your daughter."

He surprised her with a grin and answered, "Just like your mother… never let anyone change you Jadelyn. Acknowledging the truth will make you strong just like her."

She looked to him in surprise at just backhandedly insulting the man's daughter and she didn't see that he had any no coldness or uncaring feeling of Carly as to why he let the insult slide. She found it a little odd.

He looked to Freddie with a more resigned expression. "May we talk?"

Freddie took slow breath as he looked to the Colonel's eyes. "I appreciate the help, but… I'm not sure how productive any talk between us would be."

Shay cracked a smile. "Maybe it won't, but… you never know, especially since you don't know why I'm here?"

The tech producer looked up to him in surprise. As he contemplated a further answer, Lane quickly approached the trio with a hesitant expression at seeing Dickers scurry off.

Lane placed a resting hand on Freddie's shoulder and explained with a motion towards the retreating form of Dickers with his other hand, "Hey, sorry about that; I didn't get a chance to talk to Dickers about your absents."

Jade look to Lane with a curious expression and he quickly offered an explanation, "Your mother called last week to explain the situation. Apparently Vice Principal Dickers didn't get the memo that Helen was going to make them all excused so you don't have to worry about a thing."

Shay spoke up, "I hope they would after what happened. Mental health is just as important as physical health."

The guidance counselor turned to the Colonel with a curious expression. "Helen feels the same way and I couldn't agree more, but ah… you are sir?"

He smiled in returned and answered, "I'm Colonel Steven Shay."

"Shay?" Lane looked over to Freddie for an explanation.

The teenager answered with a brief nod, "He's Carly and Spencer's father."

The guidance counselor nodded then looked to the veteran. He cleared his throat and introduced himself, "I'm Lane Alexander, the school's Guidance Counselor."

"Mister Alexander… nice to meet you." Shay briefly looked to Freddie to ask, "I would still like to talk to you Freddie."

Jade could tell from the look in her boyfriend's eyes that he was struggling with how he should answer. After a few more moments Freddie answered, "Alright… but class is about to start in a few minutes."

"You can use my office. I'll take care of everything," Lane spoke up sensing that they two needed to talk. Freddie may have not needed to go to his weekly sessions with the guidance counselor to help him adjust to moving to California and going to Hollywood Arts anymore, but Lane was still felt concern for him, especially with everything coming out in the open for everyone.

"Thanks Lane," Freddie answered with a polite nod of his head.

Lane motioned down the hall towards his office intending to lead the way, but Freddie spoke, "I know where it is."

The teenager started on his way, but Shay took a moment to smile at Jade then caught up with Freddie.

Jade and Lane remained where they were standing for a few more moment and the pale actress looked to the guidance counselor with an even expression.

He suggested, "It's going to be alright Jade… you'll see."

She turned her gaze to see Freddie's back disappear around a corner. She mumbled out with a lack of confidence in her voice, "Yeah."


Freddie entered the office first with Shay cautiously entering and scanning the room. He started walking around the room and glancing around the guidance counselor's office out of curiosity and getting a feel for the possible exits. The teenager waited a few patient moments as he remained standing behind the couch.

The Colonel looked away from the poster board with the various pictures of Lane and his accomplishments over the years and asked the teenager, "You look well. Decided for a beard?"

Freddie rubbed his stubble chin and jaw. He mumbled out, "More out of laziness than trying to try something new. Jade doesn't like it, says it bothers her when we kiss."

Shay cracked a small smile as he replied, "You definitely need to keep that in mind."

The pair remained quiet for a few seconds until Freddie asked the obvious question, "Why are you really here Colonel?"

The former flyer stuck his hands into his pockets and shrugged his shoulders while stating the obvious, "This is twice you've saved my daughter's life and now my son's along with it and you don't expect me to at least thank you for that?"

Freddie frowned as he retorted with a sharp tone, "Since I told Carly to go to Hell that night, I think we should count being even on that one."

Shay put on an even expression. He countered with calm and resign voice, "Fair enough."

The teenager's brow furled as he asked with disbelief, "I just told you that I told your daughter to go to Hell and you say 'Fair enough'?"

The Colonel softly chuckled as he replied, "You really think I didn't know that? You're not my first stop and you do have a fair point about calling it even."

Freddie sarcastically responded, "Okay then… you're welcome for Carly and Spencer. Glad I could help, so… bye. I'm sure Mrs. West would appreciate spending the rest of your stop with her."

Shay let out a soft snort as a small smile formed on his face. "I believe Ruby would, but… let's not insult each other's intelligence as for the other reasons I could be here."

Freddie shook his head as he blew out a breath with his response, "I don't want to hear anything from you about making a case for your daughter—"

Shay retorted before the teenager could get on a roll, "I didn't make a case for her last time we spoke when you were packing up your stuff to move here; why should I start now? Carly's responsible for her own behavior when it comes to you and you are for your own as you decided to go charging in on the white horse to rescue her and the rest of them. Samantha could have just said to Hell with what Carly said and put Nora down… and everyone knows it. You are all responsible for your own actions. It's her place to make her case."

Freddie frowned deeply as that was the exact thing he had said to Carly in the pouring rain after they walked out of the Dorshlit's home. "Okay if that's not the case, would you get to your point please? I'm missing class and I've already missed the last three days."

He gave him a polite nod and answered, "I wanted to see how you are doing… especially after Friday night."

"Really? Why? You wanted to see my reaction of her making me a laughing stock here at school? I'm not sure what they're saying about me online. I just saw it about three hours ago, so I'm still processing it."

"No, I wanted to see how you are doing because I care about you."

Freddie gave him a questioning expression and with a hint of annoyance in his voice countered, "Assuming you aren't just trying to dig information out of me for Carly for some other scheme she has planned for me, you are not obligated to care because of what I've done for Carly or Spencer."

Shay grinned widely as he answered with a near mocking tone, "Mister Benson, if I was interrogating you, you'd either know it or wouldn't have a clue I was doing it, not something in between and for the record, this isn't about paying off some honor debt with you, she did not purposely sabotage your night and she did not do that broadcast last Friday to embarrass you, but to own up to her mistakes and take responsibility for you leaving."

Freddie frowned as he realized that the Colonel was probably correct on the first part, but still had his doubts about latter part. "I'm really supposed to believe that? I thought you weren't here to advocate for her."

"Not advocating, just setting the record straight."

Freddie started pacing behind the couch and shook his head in disbelief. He looked back to the father of his first love and asked with disbelief, "You believe her?"

Shay titled his head slightly to the side. "Other than my natural inclination to believe my daughter you mean? She has the same inability to lie as her mother. Taylor couldn't lie convincingly and neither can our children. Barry finally had to learn the art form in knowing how to sugarcoat things and giving more emphasis on the good when he was going through medical school."

Freddie hated to admit it, but the Colonel was right on that point as he remembered Spencer's problems with lying and the guilt that ate away at Carly for lying to Principal Franklin the time they tried to cover for Sam and her changing grades. He focused back on the Colonel and countered, "She could have gotten better and even if she didn't and she couldn't fool you, I should just trust your word? I wouldn't put it past you to just lie to help Carly."

Shay nodded along with somewhat an amused smile as he answered, "True, I would lie for her… I would do a lot of things for my children, but I would ask you to what ends? To get back on track some master plan to get you back to Seattle?"

Freddie walked around the couch to face the multi-war veteran. "It's a possibility that I can't ignore. I told her not to go and she knew I had plans with Jade, but she went anyway. I have no reason to give her the benefit of the doubt that she didn't do that purposely to get me up there to try to make it look like I was choosing her over Jade during what was going to be a special time between us and forcing me back to Seattle by burning all my bridges here."

"No you can't ignore that, but you're assuming that my primary reason for lying to you is for Carly's happiness, it is not. I'm more concern about her health and wellbeing and what would benefit her."

"And getting me to believe her doesn't benefit Carly?"

"If it's based on a lie? No. If she is as manipulative as you think she is then I have a serious problem that I need to correct with her while there's still time and you would be the least of my concerns. I told you months ago that if Samantha wanted to go to Hell that was her business, but she wasn't going to drag Carly down with her."

The tech producer snorted out a breath and countered, "Sam's not the problem anymore. It's Carly's decisions that got us here."

"It was both your decisions that got you here… don't forget that," he chided softly. "Samantha may not be the problem anymore, but the same sentiment applies: I am not letting my daughter go down that path in some effort to get you back… however she wants to define what that means. I will not let her turn into that kind of person without a fight."

"So you've gone from trying to save Sam to trying to save Carly?"

"That's assuming you are correct… which you aren't, but I would do anything to save my children… and I know you would do the same for any future children you might have with Jade, so you can't blame me for trying and still be honest with yourself."

All Freddie could do is frown as he completely agreed with the Colonel's sentiment.

Erin Sikowitz's Advance Acting I Class
Hollywood Arts High School
Los Angeles, CA

Tori was on the stage with Beck standing in front of her with barely a space between them. Beck looked her in the eyes and gently cupped her cheek as he whispered, "What is there to hope for when there is no more hope?"

The brunette was about to whisper out her line 'more hope', but was interrupted by a voice calling out from the back door of the classroom, "You lie to her."

The students and Sikowitz immediately turned their attention away from the scene of the pair to look to see that Freddie had slipped into the classroom with a gentleman none of them recognized.

Shay continued with a soft and solemn voice ignoring the stares of the other students while keeping his eyes on the pair on stage, "You put on a smile and lie to her and you tell her that everything is going to be okay even though you know it's not going to be okay and you are beyond hope and the inevitable outcome will happen. You do that to comfort her so she won't be afraid in her last moments and maybe yourself. So, young man and woman, when there is no hope left, you lie."

Freddie took in a soft breath as he looked to the stoic Colonel. He instantly knew to what… to whom he was referring and whatever mixed feelings Freddie had for Carly at the moment, Colonel Shay did have Freddie's sympathies.

The rest of the class looked stunned at not just the words, but the delivery as they believed what he had spoken was a moving piece of acting being ignorant that he wasn't playing a part.

Sikowitz cleared his throat and cautiously responded, "That's a… interesting view on the subject."

Shay gave the acting teacher an even expression as he replied, "Personal experience."

After the initial shock wore off, Tori walked off stage and pulled Freddie into a hug. She shouted for joy over his shoulder with a laugh, "Hey."

Freddie's spirits were lifted by the reception from his friend and returned the hug with a quick squeeze behind her back. "It's good to see you too Tori."

She took a step back from his embrace reached around from his neck to run ran the back of her fingers up and down his bearded covered jaw line. "A beard?"

He let out a soft chuckle along with his smile, "I wanted a change."

Shay continued to look at the lighter brunette for a few more moments then to look at Freddie and asked, "Why is Miss Shelby Marx in your class?"

"I do not look like Shelby Marx!" Tori screamed in frustration as she looked away from Freddie and towards the Colonel.

Freddie leaned slightly to him and replied, "She's really sensitive about it."

"Okay," Shay slowly answered with an awkward smile.

Tori looked a little perturbed from the comparison with her and Marx again, but it wasn't dwelled on as Cat shouted with glee as she nearly tackled Freddie to the ground with her hug, "Freddie!"

Freddie was able to catch her and she was actually off of her feet as the pair hugged. He put on even a bigger genuine smile with the excited girl in his arms and replied, "Hey little red."

He sat her back down on her feet and she took a step back. The redhead giddily answered, "We've missed you. You got to tell us about your trip."

"I've missed you too, but I'll have to give you the highlights later."

"Okay." The childlike teenager smiled and waved at the former flyer. "Hi, I'm Cat."

Shay blinked as he looked at the red velvet haired teenager. He blinked again to make sure he was really seeing the girl in front of him. He raised his right hand and softly poked her shoulder with his right pointer finger.

She looked at her shoulder for a second then up at him with a curious expression on her face.

Freddie glanced back and forth between Shay and Cat then cautiously asked with concern to the former flyer, "Colonel?"

"She's real," he stated in a tone as if he was questioning some fundamental truth of the universe.

The other students put on their own curious expressions from the former flyer's reaction.

Freddie blinked and looked to the Colonel with a curious expression. "Ah… yeah, she's real."

"Well isn't that interesting," he commented dryly.

"How?"

"She bares a striking resemblance to someone I knew when she was that age." He looked back to the confused teenager and spoke with a tender voice, "How are you doing little one?"

She brightened up and let her arms fling open wide. "I'm doing great."

He put on a forced smile and gave a nod of his head with his acknowledgment, "That's good to hear."

She let out a soft laugh and covered her mouth with a hand.

Beck was the next to approach as he had hopped off stage. He put on his charming smile and enthusiastically greeted the former Seattleite, "Hey Freddie."

Freddie gave a small, but genuine smile to the actor as sometimes they may have had some friction between them over the several months, but there was no real bad blood between them for being ex-boyfriend and current boyfriend to Jade. "Hey Beck."

The Colonel gave the Canadian born actor a guarded expression as he spoke up interrupting the reunion, "So you are Beck Oliver?"

Beck turned his attention to the casually dressed colonel and answered with a slight hesitation more out of confusion than anything else, "Yes sir."

He smiled, but it wasn't a friendly one. He commented with a false sounding friendly tone, "Just double checking."

Beck swallowed nervously then answered a little flustered, "Yes sir."

The other students easily picked up the underlining threat in the statement and wondered to the cause of it.

Sikowitz crossed his arms and walked to the center of the classroom to ask, "You're late Freddie… and that's after skipping the last three days of my class and who's your friend?"

Freddie blew out a tired breath, "Are really going to go through with this Sikowitz?"

Shay spoke up somewhat flippantly, "Sikowitz? I thought that guidance counselor said he'd take care of that."

Sikowitz raised an eyebrow and gave the guest a curious expression as he asked, "And you are sir?"

Shay smirked, but it wasn't a friendly expression, "I'm the one that let you walk away from nearly giving my son a heart attack twice and attempted to give one to Jadelyn in a hot tub I believe? So… you shouldn't be worrying about how late he is, but more concerned about if I'll change my mind now that I'm looking at you. And what were you doing in a hot tub with one of your students… especially since she's underage and you're just a few years older than my thirty year old boy?"

Sikowitz swallowed nervously as he saw the Colonel's cold eyes directing at him.

"Didn't your mother teach you that you shouldn't mess with a man's kids?"

Freddie quickly explained, "This is Colonel Shay… Carly and Spencer's dad."

"I'm sorry Colonel. I meant no harm to Spenc—"

Shay interrupted with a soft chiding, "You're already in the hole, stop digging."

The acting teacher immediately closed his mouth.

Shay looked to the rest of the class and gave them slight wave. "Hello everyone, just stopping by for a visit to see Jadelyn and Freddie."

The rest of the class nodded their heads in acknowledgment and some even waved. André was finally got in a word edgewise as he approached his friend, "Freddie."

"André," he answered with a smile and a quick manly hug.

The friends pulled apart and André smiled at the Colonel and offered with a friendly smile while the others were nodding their heads in agreement, "Colonel Shay, while I have the chance, thanks for getting us out of Yerba—"

"Yerba? I have no idea what you are talking about young man," the Colonel answered with a firm and authoritative voice as he eyed the songsmith.

André swallowed nervously under the gaze of the older gentleman.

Shay held his expression for a few more seconds as he gave him quick wink.

André nodded along as he understood the meaning about 'I was never there' and all that other top secret stuff.

Shay glanced around and noticed an absence. "Ah… where's Jadelyn?"

Tori looked around then commented, "She should be here by now."

Freddie slightly frowned as he got a sudden sickening feeling in his stomach.

Cat spoke up, "I think she was going to the music room for a sec. She looked… tense."

André suggested, "Probably went there to blow some steam before class started."

Shay glanced at his watch and asked, "When did class start?"

Tori answered, "About fifteen minutes ago."

Shay looked around with a slight frowned on his face as he glanced around one more time. He casually commented as he tried to keep his concern in his voice, "Let's go find her."

Freddie glanced up to the Colonel and saw genuine concern in the man's eyes similar to the rare times Spencer would react a little more adult like than normal. The teenager wasn't exactly sure to the reason for the expression, whether it was just assuming the worst from years of military service or something akin to a father's paranoia with a daughter.

Freddie didn't question it however as he kept a steady voice while he agreed not to embarrass the Colonel with his possible silliness of her probably just losing track of time, "Yeah… she probably lost track of time."

Sikowitz was about to say something, but Shay glared at the acting teacher and instantly silencing him then the pair were out the door.

Main Music Room
Hollywood Arts High School

Jade sat at the setup keyboard as it was when she recorded André's song 'Okay' a few months back and playing any musical tune that came to her mind. She hoped a quick break from everything before Sikowitz's class (and expecting him to be late again giving her a little extra time) and playing something soothing would calm her nerves as she was still furious even after the last two periods. She lost track of time and didn't realize that she was late for Sikowitz's class, even by his standards.

However that was the least of her worries as every song that she played was filled with bitterness and anger instead of something at least partially uplifting which caused her to reflect even more on her feelings. Carly couldn't let it go. She couldn't just keep her damn mouth shut and leave them in peace after all the damaged she attempted to do against them. She seriously thought about ditching school right at that moment and getting a flight up to Seattle so she could settle the score with the girl.

She was so involved with playing in trying to expunge at least some of her negative feelings she didn't initially hear the door to the classroom open. She finally broke away from her keyboard playing with a slightly high pitched voice, "Hello Jade."

The actress frowned at the intrusion and at the realization of the owner of the voice. She turned in her swivel seat to see Nevel Papperman, the somewhat repudiated web-critic and once (and possibly still) arch-nemesis to the iCarly crew. The pair may have came to a mutually beneficial agreement of an interview late last year to promote her short film to get her extra publicity and he back on the road to rehabilitating his reputation after being filmed berating a wheelchair bound African-American just after the iCarly crew fixed everything with his previous outburst, but she was not in the mood to deal with him right now and especially alone as Freddie would have a fit of her being in a room by herself with Nevel. Freddie was paranoid about Nevel for good reason and going so far as having Dusty play bodyguard if necessary during that interview.

She didn't let any of her irritation slip into her voice as she challenged, "Nevel? What are you doing here? You're a long way from home."

He held his smile on his face, but it wasn't a friendly one. "Oh, I just wanted to talk…" he trailed off as his smile turned into a thin line and narrowed his gaze at the dark brunette.

"Talk? That's what video chatting is for. You could have used that if you wanted to talk and saved yourself the airfare. If this is about wanting to promote another one of my films, I'm sorry, but I'm still finishing up the script."

The shorter teenager grinned and shook his head while letting his lace fingered hands rest freely in front of him. "No, it's not about that. I just wanted to talk about Carly's little confession on Friday… you know, the whole story you and Freddie didn't want to give me."

Jade clenched her jaw tight and Nevel instantly saw the outrage in the pale girl's eyes.

Nevel smirked as he took another step into the room and started again with a smug voice, "It was quite a fascinating thing to watch on Friday. I had no idea that was really what their friendship was like all along instead of just some fallout as I had assumed. I really thought they were this thicker than thieves trio, but…" He softly shook his head and asked, "Who would guess that it was really just a sham?"

He pulled his hands apart and casually crossed his arms. "I didn't realize Sam really treated Freddie that way… it was an eye opener." He looked her straight in the eyes and continued, "Did you know the several times I tried to do something, anything to bring iCarly down, Sam would jumped on me?" He snorted out a soft laugh as he took another step forward and started walking past the orange couch that dominated the center of the room since sometime in December. "That's not really surprising, after all I did want to destroy them, but… do you what the really funny part was?"

The dark brunette bit her tongue to prevent herself from snapping out something when she was curious about what he was going to say.

He slightly tilted his head to the side as he let his humorous tone take over, "The funny part was that Carly would pull Sam off of me or just forbid her from touching me. She wouldn't let Sam beat me up and you know all the things I've done to them over the years… I guess Carly never did that for Freddie?"

Jade clenched her jaw tightly.

His smirk grew bigger at seeing that he was pushing her buttons then softly laughed for a few seconds. Once he caught his breath, he continued, "I'm sorry, I don't mean to laugh, but… the irony that she would protect me from Sam's wrath. Me? Her archenemy from Sam that could tear me apart, but yet… she would let Sam do that to Freddie over the last couple of years? And everybody knew about it? I just find that hilarious. Doesn't that just make you…" He stopped as he started chuckling then calmed himself to be able to speak out, "Well the look on your face tells me everything."

Jade was clenching her left fist tight with her nails digging into her skin and her jaw tight as her outright hatred of everything in Seattle bubbled to the surface.

"Oh… that's not the best part or the worst part from your point of view. You want to know what it really is?"

The pale dark brunette hissed out, "Enlighten me."

He pulled his right arm out of his crossed arms and held up his hand to cup the side of his mouth and whisper, "Everyone is taking her side."

Jade's building rage dissipated in an instant and her intimidating expression was replaced with a shocked frown. She asked in barely above a whisper for even her own ears to pick up, "What?"

"Online almost everyone is taking her side. They're accepting her apology. They think she's being too hard on herself and they're blaming him and saying he overreacted. They are coming up with every excuse for her and that's just her fans. Sam's fans are saying she's making the whole thing up. So you see, they win again and Freddie loses."

The singer snapped out, "And every last one of them can go to Hell right along with Carly."

Nevel smirked and there was a look in his eyes that Jade couldn't place as she was too distracted with her own anger over the fact that people were taking Carly's side on the matter. "I'm glad you feel that way, so… you want to do something about it?"

She spat out through gritted teeth, "What?"

"Do something about it… like give your side of the story? Not what she spinned to make herself look like the sympathetic one. Make them see that she is just playing them like Lucas played them all years ago. Make the world see her the way you see her."

Jade stood up from her seat and took a deep breath. She wanted to hurt Carly and here was her chance. She could make the world see through her eyes how Carly really was a manipulative and heartless gank for all she did to Freddie not some innocent girl next door she played up for the camera, but then there was that inkling in the back of her head.

Freddie wouldn't want that to happen or at least the Freddie before that last bit of first love where he would have died for Carly had turned into a bitter seed in his heart that she was afraid could grow into something bigger and irreparably change her nice guy into something she did not know.

So she only had one course of action: putting his wellbeing over her own sense of vengeance. She whispered out in a soft voice, "No… you don't get to know the truth on your terms. Go home Nevel… and let it go."

The younger teenager took a sharp breath as his eyes nearly bugged out of his eye sockets and faced turned ashen white with furry. He shouted as he stabbed the air with his finger at her. "You will not deny me to be great again. I gave him the opportunity to tell the truth last time but no… you had to stay silent and let her tell what happened. Everyone is feeling sorry for her now. She won't get away with it and you won't get away with denying me my place again."

Jade growled out, "I don't give a chizz about what you think or want."

"You're going to tell me the entire truth about what happened!"

"Fine, I'll use plain English to repeat myself: go jank yourself."

Nevel smirked as he whispered out smugly, "The only one here that is going to be 'janked' is you." He looked over his shoulder and called out with his voice traveling through the opening of the partially ajar door, "Demetri! Evon!"

Two tall gentlemen that looked like two stereotypical thugs, the bald one dressed in windbreaker jacket and pants as if he was about to go jogging while the second one, slightly shorter with dark hair and full beard wore a brown business suit walked into the room then the taller one closed the door behind them and locked it. Their appearance was almost comedic if she didn't suddenly feel a bit of dread starting to form in her stomach at seeing the two stern looking lackeys.

"You're not leaving until I get the truth… all of it."

The bald Russian slowly walked around the orange couch while the more muscular one started in from the other side of the room and in front of the couch. Nevel crossed his arms and grinned wildly knowing that his master plan for revenge on all his enemies was about to kick off that would finally destroy the iCarlys once and for all.

Jade shoved her hand into her bag hanging on the back of her seat then pulled out her sharp end scissors. She gripped the handle so tight that her already pale knuckles turned even whiter as she held the scissors in front of her. She spat out defiantly as she shifted her gaze between the Russian thugs, "Okay, which one of you is going to lose his balls first?"

The Russians were momentarily halted by her aggressive stance.


Freddie and Colonel Shay reached the main music room less than a minute after leaving Sikowitz's class. The teenager tried to turn the door handle and instinctively push the door open in mid-stride. He was surprised when his shoulder bumped into the door and the door handle wouldn't budge. He blinked and slightly frowned as he was surprised that it would be locked. He looked through the rectangular window and his eyes immediately shot open. "Oh my God."

"What?" Shay's voice instantly called out.

"It's Nevel."

"Nevel?" he asked with restrained dread.

"And two big guys," Freddie finished as fear filled his throat.

"Nevel—Nevel!" Freddie shouted as pounded his fist on the door. Nevel turned his head and looked through the rectangular window in the door. The brown eyed boy looked up to meet the younger teenager's eyes. The web-critic just smiled and waved then turned his back to the former Seattleite on the other side of the door.

Freddie gritted his teeth tightly and growled. He took one step back and was about to kick the door, but heard a shout behind him.

"Move!" the Colonel shouted as he grabbed Freddie by the shoulder and yanked him aside, not bothering to wait for the teenager to comply with his command.

Freddie was jerked out of the way of the door as the next motion was the Combat Controller lifting his right foot and slammed it just beside the door handle.

The wooden frame gave way as the lock broke through it and the door swung open.

Nevel and his two flunkies turned in mild surprise from the act which caused them to pause in their advancement towards Jade. The slightly shorter and heavier Russian with the dark beard was literally caught off guard as the former flyer wasted no time in charging at him and speared him under his ribcage with his right shoulder and grabbed him by the back off his thighs. Shay used his advantage in leverage and combat experience to lift him off of his feet and picked him up then shifting forward to slam him down on the floor.

The sound of the back of his head hitting floor reverberated through the room causing the lackey to nearly black out right then and there and in no real shape to defend himself, but Shay was going on years of training to make sure his opponent was neutralized. Shay in an instant crawled up to straddle his stomach and brought his right forearm up and down in a blur of motion to smash into the Russian's throat several times.

Nevel's lackey choked and gargled as he tried to breathe through an almost crushed windpipe.

Shay turned his head to see that the taller Russian after gathering his wits after being so caught off by the American's aggressiveness and was halfway through climbing over the orange couch to try to tackle him, but before Shay could grab him, Freddie dashed underneath and to the side to tackle the Russian to the floor.

The pair rolled several times as they clawed at each other. The Russian tried to throw a punch, but they were too tangled for him to get his arm free and put any power into the relatively soft contact of his fist hitting Freddie's jaw as the tech-producer got his right hand around his throat and squeezed. All weeks of rehabilitation and continued workouts to get his strength back from his nearly squished hand along with the rage fueling him, gave him a considerably strong grip and apparently quite effective on the thug as he tried to claw at Freddie's hand that had a death grip around his throat.

In the struggle, Shay had dismounted the fallen flunky and got around to the back of the baldheaded one. Shay wrapped his left forearm around the taller Russian's throat and threw his body wait backwards, pulling him off of Freddie. The former flyer landed on his back and held the chokehold on the bald Russian for dear life as he wrapped his legs around his sides and locked his ankles in front to secure his hold.

Freddie crawled backwards trying to catch his breath and watch as the Colonel growled and tightened his chock hold while Nevel's flunky uselessly clawed at Shay's leather covered arm flayed his other arm to try to grab at Shay's face and head.

He started gargling and grasping for breath as the Colonel's hold cut off his air supply and blood to his brain. Only a few seconds later he gave up the fight as the lack of blood to the brain caused him to black out and his limbs went limp.

Shay growled in disgust as he released his leg-lock and chokehold then pushed the Russian off to roll unconsciously on the floor face first. The pair made eye contact for a moment then got up. They turned to direct their individual gazes upon the younger teenager.

Nevel wore a look of abject fear on his face as he took a step backwards and lifted up his hands. "Now Freddie, just wait—"

Freddie reared his right arm back then smashed his fist to the left side of Nevel's jaw. The punch instantly split open Nevel's bottom lip and sent the younger teenager down face first on the floor. His forehead and nose smacked hard against the floor and sent blood from his nose splattering on the floor. Nevel rolled over and coughed up the blood that threatened to choke him as it ran down his throat. He opened his eyes to see Freddie staring down at him with a look of outright hatred on his face.

The former Seattleite grabbed him by the collar with his left hand and punched with the right to break the web-critic's nose, sending blood flying. The next rage filled punch sent Nevel's front teeth flying out. Freddie pulled back for another swing when a strong grip grabbed him just under his wrist and yanked him back.

"Enough Freddie! Enough," Shay shouted as he wrestled the rage filled teenager away from his target.

"Let me go!" he shouted in outrage as he tried to struggle out of the Colonel's grip.

"I said ENOUGH!" the Colonel shouted as he yanked the teenager clear off of Nevel.

Freddie growled out in frustration then took a few calming breaths as he relaxed in Shay's grip. "Okay, okay."

A few more moments passed then Shay let him go and took a breath as he tried to calm his own short lived adrenaline high.

He walked around the teenager to approach Jade. Shay cupped Jade's cheeks in his hands and looked her straight in the eyes and allowed a fearful expression to form on his face. "Jadelyn, are you alright?"

Jade nodded her head as she looked back at the hazel eyes. It was a strange sensation of seeing an adult that concerned about her safety other than from her mother. She instantly thought of her father and the lack of memory of him ever being that concerned about her.

"They didn't hurt you…. Did they touch you?"

"No… I'm fine." She held up her silver scissors and gave an embarrassing smile. "I had my scissors."

He nodded along in a manner she guessed was in an effort to comfort himself as his hands left her cheeks and rested on her shoulders. "Good girl," he whispered with a sense of pride in his voice that didn't escape Jade's notice then he gave her a relieved smile and kiss to her forehead. He took a step back while she gave him a questioning, but not disapproving expression.

He looked back to her with the same relieved smile then Freddie walked around the Colonel.

Freddie wrapped his arms around Jade and held her close then kissed her temple. He whispered out, "Are you sure you're alright?"

She nodded several times as she whispered in return awhile avoiding looking in his eyes, "I'm good, you?"

"Pissed off, but I'll be fine as long as you are."

The dark brunette looked up and gave him a reassuring smile.

Shay spoke up with a tone that brokered no tolerance for disagreement, "Okay, you two go… get who you need to, I'll watch these three."

Freddie turned his attention to the Colonel and their eyes locked for a moment as if Freddie was willing to challenge him on the matter, but he decided not to argue. "Fine…" He slipped his left hand into Jade's hand and led the teenager to the door while carefully walking around the fallen lackeys. He stopped for a moment to see the partially dazed Nevel spit out more blood to the floor and looked up at him in shock. Freddie returned the gesture by giving him a quick kick to the stomach.

The web-critic heaved him pain as Freddie stepped over him and Jade around him as they made their way to the door.

Once the couple left the room, Shay slowly walked to the fallen teenager as if stalking towards fallen prey.

Nevel spat out more blood onto the floor the rolled slightly to look up at the Colonel. "Freddie's gone insane. He could have killed me."

Shay tilted his head slightly to the side then bent down and grabbed him by the throat for the whimpering teen to quiet. He yanked the boy to his feet and Nevel stared in deathly fear of the cold rage coming through the Colonel's eyes. Nevel heard the coldest whisper escape Shay's mouth, "For planning to gang-rape her, he would have been justified in ending your pitiful little life as do I… just like you damn well planned to do years ago with my little Carlotta in saying you just wanted a kiss from her with two of your other thugs when she wanted her website back. You should be grateful that I just don't snap your damn neck and send you to Hell."

Nevel wanted to argue that wasn't at all what he was planning to do with Jade or years ago with Carly before she made her rope escape, but he instantly went silent as he saw the look in the Colonel's eyes. He had always considered the Shays a joke, but now he was looking into the eyes of a Shay that he knew that he had crossed and would make him pay for it… dearly.


Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I got a lot in it.

I was originally going to post this on August 31, the official start date for this fic, but with the news of Victorious not being renewed for a fourth season, I needed to get it out to cheer myself up and maybe you too, especially since the week leading up to the revealing of the news was a very lousy one for me which I won't get into discussing and was nearly the straw that broke to camel's back for me. You may be wondering why I haven't updated my last comedic chapter for 'Jade Likes Nice Guys'; with the release of this news, it doesn't feel right to post it due to the nature of the chapter at this time with the assumption that the show would continue for another season or more.

The next chapter will be on August 31, 2012. I have some other projects I need to get back on since my last week was taken up with deeply personal events. See you soon.

Special Guest Appearance by Joe Flannigan as Colonel Steven 'Loco' Shay

Special Guest Star Miranda Cosgrove

Special Guest Star Jennette McCurdy

Guest Star Reed Alexander

Guest Star Lt. Col. Rob Riggle as Vice Principal Dickers