A/N: Hey there readers! This story is a continuation of the 'Right as Rain' Story series (Part One: Right as Rain; Part Two: Summer of Love) and is co-written by myself and DwynArthur. For those of you who are new to our stories…Welcome! And for those of you who've read our stories before…Welcome Back!
"Until the World Ends" finds Sam and Freddie happily together after a junior year filled with drama and a summer filled with adventure. They're feeling pretty confident in their status as a couple…we'll see how long that lasts.
This is a multi-chapter story. Not sure at this point exactly how long it will be but we will be updating weekly on Thursdays.
Hope you like it.
-TheWrtrInMe & DwynArthur
Until the World Ends
Chapter One: Rednecks & Ivy Leagues
"I can't believe you actually like watching that garbage!" Freddie stared intently at his computer screen and couldn't help but smile at the image of his girlfriend with a mouth full of Fadoodles as she laughed. 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,' a reality show following the family of a toddler beauty pageant contestant, had become a staple in Sam's already full must-watch television schedule. Freddie had watched it once, and only once, with her. He'd spent the whole episode with his mouth hanging open, shocked and disgusted at the parade of dysfunction. They made the Pucketts look like the Kennedys. But Sam loved it, and if he wanted to video chat with her between nine and ten on Thursdays, he had to do it while she watched.
"It's Honey Boo Boo! Wholesome family entertainment! What's not to like?"
"It's rednecks embarrassing themselves on national television."
"Again, what's not to like?" she laughed, and Freddie heard the loud squealing of the TV family's pet pig, Glitzy, coming from Sam's television.
"Seriously Sam, they have a pet pig! Who does that?"
"Aww…I think Glitzy's kinda cute," she said. "And I resent your redneck statement. Believe it or not, I'm three-quarters redneck."
"Three-quarters?" He frowned at the screen. Since returning from GalaxyCon, Sam and Freddie had been working at learning new things about each other. Having been friends – or frenemies – for so many years he found it hard to believe that there was anything he didn't already know about her. But Sam was full of surprises – like her redneck heritage revelation.
"Yeah, three-quarters. My J'Maw Maw is as country as they come."
"Hence the name…"
"No, I mean she's tractor ridin,' hog slaughterin,' Dolly Parton-strength country." Freddie didn't interrupt, enjoying the look of obvious affection on her face as she talked about her grandmother. Few people brought out softness in Sam. He liked to think he was one of them, but when it came to her family, her grandmother and her Uncle Carmine seemed to be the only ones who fit the bill. "But she married my grandpa – Poppy – and he was the exact opposite of her. His family was from New York. Some big shot, old money crowd. They disowned him when he married J'Maw Maw."
"Freddie?" his mother knocked on his door and waited for his response.
"What is it mom?"
"It's late…you need to get to bed. We have an early start tomorrow." He heard her start to walk away, then re-approach his door. "And tell Samantha she needs to get to bed too."
Freddie rolled his eyes and turned back to his laptop and Sam, who seemed lost in thought. "So…" he said, attempting to draw her back from the quiet place she'd retreated to. "Did you hear that?"
"Yeah…But we both know I'm not real good at listening to moms."
Freddie laughed and picked up the clipboard sitting beside him. His mother, ever the planner, had given it to him so that she could be sure he'd packed everything. He had to check all the appropriate boxes, then sign it and return it to her before midnight. He looked at the clock. 9:45. He had some time.
"Whatcha got there boy?" Sam's voice drew his eyes back to his computer screen. "Is that a clipboard?"
"Are you surprised?"
She laughed, "No, no I'm not. Disturbed. Entertained. But not surprised."
"She just wants to make sure I'm ready for tomorrow."
"Like she hasn't checked your luggage herself at least ten times in the past week. I bet your suitcases are already lined up by the door." She snorted, "Such a nub."
Freddie was used to her jabs about his mother, but now when Sam talked about Marissa, there was affection on the edges of her insults. More shocking than his relationship with Sam was Sam's relationship with his mother. Somehow, he didn't really care about the details, they'd become close. Or at least close enough for Marissa to be the only person on the planet who could call Sam by her given name and not be punished.
He turned his own laptop so she could see the two large, overstuffed, suitcases sitting by his own bedroom door. "She made me pack the regular size first aid kit…and I'm pretty sure there's a GPS tracker sewn into the suitcase."
Sam laughed. "Gotta give it to the old girl…she goes all out!"
"Awww," he teased, "Sam loves my mom!"
"Can it Benson." She warned, "I wouldn't call it love. But…I no longer want to kill myself when I'm around her."
Freddie wiped away an imaginary tear and put his hand over his heart in mock solemnity. "Why Miss Puckett, that may be the most beautiful thing I've ever heard." He paused, "So… you accounted for a quarter of your redneck roots." He said, "What about…your dad?" He was hesitant to bring it up. Sam's father was generally an off-limits topic. He'd lost his own father when he was young and while he'd learned to deal with it, the pain was still raw sometimes. It was different for Sam though, since her father had left of his own free will.
He watched as a dark look cast a shadow over her blue eyes, covered expertly seconds later with her trademark smirk.
"My dad's family is redneck to the core. Or at least that's what my mom says. He's from Tennessee. Deep in the heart of redneck country."
Freddie didn't bother to mask his shock. "Is that where he lives now? I thought…"
"Thought he disappeared without a trace?" she gave a soft laugh, "Sort of, I guess. We didn't know where he was for a long time. Mom thinks he went back to Nashville." She sighed, "But she says there's no point in chasing someone who doesn't want to be found. So, yeah, maybe he's there, maybe he's not, either way, it doesn't really matter."
They were silent. Freddie wasn't sure what to say. The knowledge that she'd spent all of these years knowing where her father was but having no contact with him made him feel a hollow sadness for her. She didn't deserve that. Sam could be abrasive and even outright rude at times, but underneath her smart mouth and bravado she was amazing. Loyal and caring. Part of him wondered if the hardened façade she felt the need to show the world was a direct result of having been let down by the one person who never should have. He'd never met Brian Puckett and hoped he never did – but if the opportunity presented itself he hoped he'd have the courage to tell the man exactly what he thought about him. And if that conversation involved flying fists – all the better.
"Sam, I know talking about your dad is hard for you but…"
"Shush…" Sam said, waving hand at him as her attention was drawn back to her television, "June and Sugar Bear are going on a date!"
Freddie rolled his eyes. A lot of things had changed in the time he and Sam had been dating, but one thing hadn't. She still held the uncanny ability to shrug off anything unpleasant, any ugliness she wanted to avoid. But he knew now, more than ever, that despite the picture of nonchalance she presented to the world, the ugliness of the life she'd had to live was never far from her thoughts – or her heart.
She drew in a sharp breath, "Oh, my God!"
"What!" Freddie sat up, already in 'Save Sam' mode. It didn't take much.
"She's knocked up!"
"Who? Honey Boo Boo? She's like six years old, Sam!"
"Not the kid you doof! Her sister, Chickadee."
He had to laugh at that one. "Her name is…Chickadee?"
"Yep," Sam said, ignoring his sarcasm. "She's pregnant and she can't be more than, like, seventeen…maybe younger even!"
"Wow." Freddie wasn't exactly shocked. It wasn't like he hadn't seen pregnant teenagers before. Carly had developed a fondness for watching '16 and Pregnant' a couple of years ago and had dragged him and Sam along to watch a few times. And if he wasn't mistaken, there had been a number of girls at his school last year who were pregnant. Teen pregnancy wasn't a shock, but it was something he truly hoped he'd never have to deal with – ever.
That shouldn't be a problem. Pregnancy required sex, and as wonderful as their first time had been for him, it didn't look like he could expect an encore anytime soon.
He really didn't to be that kind of guy. One who spent every waking moment thinking about sex. It was easier when he didn't know what he was missing. But now, well, things were different. Eighteen years of no sex, one night of amazing sex, fourteen nights of no sex. It was simple mathematics and it all added up to a supremely frustrated Freddie.
He'd tried to shrug it off. He figured it could be anything. Maybe she was tired. Maybe there were 'lady issues' preventing an encore. But at the back of his mind was the nagging thought that there was another reason. Maybe he wasn't any good at it. It seemed like Sam had enjoyed the night just as much as him, but what if he was wrong?
He'd been a gentleman since they'd arrived back in Seattle from GalaxyCon. He didn't push and when their makeout sessions got so hot he thought he'd have to call the fire department to hose them down. He didn't complain when their time together ended with a soft kiss at the front door – and him in a cold shower. But his patience was losing the battle with his hormones. He needed to talk to her, to find out what the issue really was – but he wasn't so sure he wanted to hear the answer.
'Sam…why aren't we having sex?'
'Because you suck at it, Fredwardo. Now pass me a Fatcake.'
Yeah…he thought it might be best just to wait and see how it played out.
"Earth to Fredward!" Sam's voice was loud and when his eyes snapped back to his computer, her face filled the screen, a frown of irritation etched across it.
"What? Oh, sorry Sam. I was just, um…thinking…"
"Well don't hurt yourself? I think I saw steam coming from your ears."
"Oh, just, um…" he paused, "thinking about the trip."
"Awww…is little Freddie nervous?" She laughed. In the past, her comment would have been laced with sarcasm and snark. But he knew she understood how important this trip was. It was the biggest thing to happen to him since, well, her.
When they'd gotten back from Portland his mother had given him an envelope with the shining seal of NIT – The National Institute of Technology, the premier technology school in the country. In the spring he'd applied for acceptance to the N.I.T Young Scholars Program – an event where some of the best and brightest high school students from around the country converged on the N.I.T campus for a week of lectures and hands on training. The application process was strenuous and he hadn't been sure he'd get in – it was the reason he never mentioned it to Sam or Carly. When his mother handed him the envelope he'd nearly fainted, especially because it was heavy. Rejection letters weren't heavy. He'd opened it to find that he'd not only been accepted to the program but invited to tour the NIT campus and interview for an early admission spot for the 2013 freshman class.
Six months ago that letter would have been the stuff of dreams, but when he'd read it, once, twice, three times, there was only one thing running through his mind.
He wasn't sure how she would take it. Up to this point, the future was something they discussed in very vague terms. Sam knew that going to NIT had been his dream for most of his life, but being with her, loving her –had given him a different kind of dream. Now it was difficult to imagine any scenario for his future that didn't involve her.
NIT was in Washington, D.C., all the way across the country from Seattle. Unless Sam applied, and was accepted, to a Washington-area school, they were looking at four long years of a relationship limited to holiday visits, summer vacations and video chats. The idea of not seeing her every day, in the flesh, left him nauseated and with that thought weighing on his mind he'd decided he'd wait to tell her.. He'd wanted to find the right time. But as usual, Sam beat him to the punch. She found the letter the same night and in a move totally uncharacteristic of Sam, she hadn't overreacted. She didn't ridicule him and, best of all, she didn't run away.
She said she supported him. She wanted him to have his dream. And she'd made him promise that no matter what, they would never allow their relationship to make them give up on the things that were important to them. He'd tried, and failed, to get her to see that she was what was important to him. When that didn't work he'd just spent the night holding her and dreaming of ways to make sure he'd always be able to.
Now here he was, hours away from one of the most important moments of his life. He was nervous, anxious – and exhausted. But Sam, true to form, was leaning back against the headboard of her bed, eating snacks and watching insane television shows as if nothing was changing.
But everything was.
"I am nervous…a little," he said, laughing at the doubtful look on her face. "Okay, a lot. It's just that I've wanted this…NIT, forever and now that it's happening it's just a little…scary."
"What's scary about it?" Sam asked, genuinely confused. "You're going to go to NIT for this interview, you're going to blow their socks off with your brilliance and general nerdiness. They're going to accept you and you're going to live out your techboy dreams! What part of that is scaring you exactly?"
He shook his head. He had no idea how to explain it to her. When he'd tried to broach the subject with Sam since receiving the letter she'd artfully changed the subject. "It's just that, if I get in, I'll be there and…you'll be here. What if…"
"Freddie…we've been over this.."
"I know, but," he sat up and looked into the screen, "you know there are some really great schools around her. UW has one of the best engineering programs in the country."
"One of the best isn't the same as THE best."
"Yeah, but if Carly stays here instead of going to Georgetown and I go to UW, we'd all be togeth…"
"Stop." Her voice was firm and his mouth closed on instinct. He watched as she grabbed the remote beside her and clicked off the television. He looked at the clock. 9:55. She was going to miss the end of the episode…she must be pissed. The look on her face only confirmed his train of thought. "Listen up Freddie, because I swear to goodness I'm only going to say this once." He didn't bother to speak, just stared back at her. Her eyes, God those eyes, were the clearest shade of blue and currently cutting right through him. But they didn't look angry. She looked…concerned. She bit at the corner of her lip and lowered her head, as if trying to find the words to say. "I love you." She said softly. It wasn't the first time he'd heard it, but the way she said it – the vulnerability lying just beneath the surface, almost broke him. "I love that you get worried about stupid things. I love that you fanboy over old sci-fi movies. I love that you know your mother is crazy but you still love her, and you know that I'm crazy but you still love me too. I love that being with you feels like the one thing in my life that I've done right, the one thing I can really be proud of." She stared back at him and he wanted more than anything to crawl through the screen and kiss her senseless. "Do you really think that something as stupid as an Ivy League school and a few thousand miles is gonna change that?"
His heart cried out his deepest fears.
'Yes! That's exactly what I'm afraid of!'
But something deeper, something at the very center of him in the place where loving her had transformed him, heard the words she wasn't saying. They could get through this…whatever this turned out to be. Because loving each other didn't mean having to choose between being together and being happy – being together was being happy.
"You know, for a blond headed demon – you make a lot of sense sometimes."
"Yeah, yeah," she said, sitting back, her cool exterior firmly back in place. "You're damn lucky to have me."
He smiled at her and let out a deep breath. "I wish you were coming with me."
She laughed, but her smile didn't reach her eyes. "You'll only be gone for three days. I'll be raiding your fridge again before you know it." She leaned in close to the screen, "And if you can manage to get your mom to leave us alone for a minute I'll give ya a lip lock that'll last ya for a while." Her phone began to chime and she looked down at it, chuckling "Speak of the devil." She turned back to him, "Well Freddie, looks like Mama Bear Benson is calling an end to this video chat."
She put her phone up to the screen so he could see the text message she'd just received.
Samantha, you and Freddie both need your sleep. Get to bed. We'll see you bright and early tomorrow. Do not be late.
They both laughed at the absurdity. His mother had taken to mothering Sam, and Sam, surprisingly, didn't seem to object.
"Alright then, I'm pretty tired anyway." He yawned and Sam followed suit. "So…see you tomorrow?"
She smiled a smile that made him fall in love with her all over again.
"Just try and stop me," she said, her screen going black.
Freddie closed his laptop and got off his bed, walking over to his desk where he slipped the computer into his bag. Turning out the light he slid beneath the covers, wishing that he could feel as confident as Sam sounded.
God he loved that girl. And as crazy as it sounded, loving her was what made this whole trip so hard. Tomorrow felt like the beginning of something big for him – first day of the rest of his life type big.
But would that be a life without Sam in it?
Sam shut her television off, and lay back against the pillows on her bed. She lay there, quietly staring at the ceiling as she played her conversation with Freddie back in her head.
"You are a liar, Sam Puckett," she spoke into the silent room.
It wasn't news. Normally she prided herself on her ability to take the black and white that was truth and deception, blend them together until it was hard for anyone to tell where one ended and the other began – even her. But lying to Freddie felt, dare she say it, wrong. She wasn't used to feeling like this and no matter how many times she told herself that she'd done it for the right reasons she couldn't shake the feeling that her well intentioned half-truth was a mistake.
Since Freddie's letter from NIT had arrived, it'd been like a shadow hanging over her…over them. That tiny envelope had placed a giant elephant in the middle of every room she stood in with him. She'd told him she was happy for him. And she was, sort of. She'd told him she wanted him to chase his dream right across the country to his fancy school – even if that meant leaving her behind.
That was the lie.
She'd just gotten used to it, to being part of an 'us'. She was used to waking up to his cheesy texts and spending lazy Sunday afternoons laying on his bed while he blabbered on about one thing or another. She was used to the feel of his hands in her hair, his lips soft against hers. She didn't want to lose that. She knew it was selfish. That's why she wouldn't let him know how she really felt. That's why she'd lied, why she'd keep lying if she had to. And that was why she was getting ready to do something she really didn't want to do.
She walked to her bedroom door and opened it, screaming down the stairs. "Mom!"
"What do you want?!"
"I need Mel's new number!" In any other household, the screaming would seem dysfunctional, but in the Puckett house, it was business as usual.
She grabbed a pen and a piece of paper and jotted down the number her mother bellowed out to her. Closing her bedroom door, she sat lightly on her bed and took a deep breath. She wasn't close to her sister. They talked rarely and when they did it was the basics – how are you? I'm fine. Great, where's mom? And that was the end of it. It wasn't that she didn't like Melanie necessarily. It was just that other than DNA they had nothing in common.
Sam was a free-spirit, fly by the seat of her pants, take life as it comes sort of person. She did enough work in school to get by and didn't feel the need to plan out every single detail of her life. Melanie was her polar opposite: organized and anal – she had a five-year plan for a five-year plan. While Sam hung out with friends and lived the life of a normal teenager (well, as normal as it could be when she lived with Pam Pucket), Melanie had gone, on scholarship, to a fancy boarding school on the East Coast, graduated early and was now living in Washington D.C, going to college and working as a nanny part-time. Sam have rather dipped her toes in acid than spend her days running after snotty, germy brats. But her mom said that Mel loved her job, which was good because that job that was the reason for Sam's call.
"Hello?" Melanie's voice was groggy and Sam remembered too late that it was almost three o'clock in the morning there.
"Sam?" Mel cleared her throat, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," Sam said, trying to sound cheery, "Can't I just call to talk to my favorite sister?"
"I'm you're only sister Sam. And you never call me unless something's wrong." Sam couldn't argue with that since, well, it was true. "So spill…what's up?"
"I need a favor."
"You never ask me for favors."
"First time for everything." She said, shrugging off the shock she heard in Melanie's voice. She didn't call Mel for favors – she'd never needed to, until now. "So listen, didn't you say you're babysitting for some hotshot at NIT?"
"First – I'm not a babysitter, I'm a nanny. Second, he's not 'some hotshot', he's the Dean for the College of Engineering."
"I'm not seeing the difference." Sam said, already tired of the conversation, but she had an objective and she couldn't' let her sisters annoying 'know-it-allness' distract her. "So anyway…do you think you'd be able to, like, set up a meeting with him."
"For you?!" Melanie didn't bother to hide her disbelief
"Thanks for the vote of confidence Mel. No, it's not for me. It's for…Freddie."
Mel was silent for a moment. "For Freddie? You want me to set up a meeting for Freddie? Why?"
"He's coming to D.C. because he got into some young genius' program at N.I.T."
"The Young Scholars Program? Are you serious?!" Mel's voice took on the excited squeal that made Sam's ears bleed. "They only accept like 10% of the students who apply to that!"
"Yeah, Freddie's a genius…I thought we'd already covered that."
"I couldn't even get into that program!" she said, "So why do you need me to help him?"
"He's got an interview while he's there. He's trying to get early admission. He's pretty nervous and I just thought…I thought it might help his chances if, you know, there was someone to sort of grease the wheels."
"You've got it pretty bad, huh little sister?"
"You're only five minutes older than me Melanie. That hardly qualifies you to be a big sister. Now can you do it or what?"
"You and Freddie must be pretty serious."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Well, I'm just saying…" she sighed, "are you sure you want to…encourage him to come here?"
"Of course I'm sure." She lied, "Why wouldn't I?"
"If Freddie comes to N.I.T you guys will be thousands of miles away from each other. How's that going to work for you?"
"Look Mel, I just need your help with this." She closed her eyes and tried to stay calm.
"If he was my boyfriend…"
"Which he's not."
"I'd keep him as close as possible."
"Again, not your decision." She forced strength into her voice. Willed herself to sound sure, confident – all the things she wasn't. "This is what Freddie wants, more than anything and…I want him to be happy."
"Even if it's not with you?"
"Alright, alright. I guess I can see what I can do. Doctor Fielding is really nice, he's always willing to help students who show potential and Freddie…has lots of potential." Her voice was tinged with something Sam couldn't readily identify. "Are you coming too?"
"Oh. Well, when does he get here?"
"What?! Sam, why did you wait until now to call me? Doctor Fielding is a very busy man! How do you expect me to pull this off?"
"Remember last summer…mom's diamond earrings that came up missing after you visited for spring break?" Mel was silent, "Well, if you can find it in your generous heart to help me I can probably keep letting mom think the blackjack dealer walked off with them…instead of her favorite daughter."
"Same old Sam."
"Same old Mel."
Mel sighed. Since they were kids Sam had always been able to find a way to get Mel to do what she wanted. She placed a hand on the diamond studs in her ears. "Okay Sam. I'll talk to Doctor Fielding."
"Yeah, what time is he landing?"
"Five o'clock I think. Then they're staying at a hotel near campus."
"Okay. Text me his number and I'll call him with the details."
"You got it." Sam breathed a sigh of relief. Dealing with her sister was only slightly more pleasant than dealing with her mother. She hoped Freddie appreciated it. "So, I'm gonna go. And…thanks Mel. This will mean a lot…to Freddie."
"Yeah, don't get too excited yet. I said I'd try…no guarantees."
"Talk to you tomorrow."
"Yep, and Sam…tell Freddie I say hello."
The line went dead and Sam tossed her phone onto her nightstand, returning to her spot on her bed, staring at the ceiling. She probably should have talked to Freddie first. Or found a way to help that didn't involve her sister but she was desperate. Not just because she wanted to help Freddie, but because she needed to prove to herself that she was capable of being there for him, no matter what it cost her.
Tomorrow Freddie was off to D.C., she would watch while he took the first step toward doing what he'd been dreaming about for as long as she knew him. She would smile, tell him how proud she was of him and how sure she was that he was doing the right thing.
Tomorrow she would watch Freddie move forward, even if it meant leaving her behind.
Even if it was breaking her heart.
Hope y'all liked it…I had a blast writing it. The iCarly fandom has been VERY quiet lately, not a lot of new stories being posted and many of the authors I like have been on hiatus. But it looks like people are coming back. Don't believe me? Well, check out the authors/stories below. All are brand spanking new stories and chapters written by some of the most amazing iCarly writers on this site. Check 'em out…RIGHT NOW!
Author Name Story Title
DwynArthur The Puckett Acquisition (new chapter)
TheWrtrInMe & DwynArthur Until The World Ends (new story)
SMAAD4Seddie Since You've Been Gone (new story)
AnnieRocket Just Kids
ThatSamGirl Dear Sam
ExpressionsofAWriter icarly The Movie (new chapter)
Pigwiz The Apartment (new chapter)
IAMCAGE The Hollywood Massacre (new story)
butterflylovesicarly iBurn (new chapter)
KingxLeon21 BAAGBoys (new chapter)
PrincessPurplee Contagious Chemistry (new story)
Moviepal The Last Time I Felt Like This (new story)
Heartlines12 Playing House (new chapter)
Random Drama21 Kiss Me, Kill Me!
Leave a review…or an army of angry dust bunnies will haunt your dreams! Not really…but leave a review anyway.
XXOO- TheWrtrInMe & DwynArthur