A/N:

Welcome to the first chapter of 'Since You've Been Gone'. This will be a multi-chapter fic…and a multi-author collaboration. Not sure if it's been done before but this story is being written as a collaboration between: ThatSamGirl, MelixGvardo, ExpressionsOfAWriter, AnnieRocket, DwynArthur and TheWrtrInMe. SMAAD4Seddie is our collaborative name. I know it's listed under my name but that's because our account is new and the site won't let us post until tomorrow night (bummer).

Please note! This story will be re-posted under the penname 'SMAAD4Seddie' tomorrow night...

This story is inspired by the premise of a really wonderful story called iLove Yakima. If you haven't read it you MUST do so. Unfortunately, the story has sat unfinished for a while. We're hoping the author comes back at some point. We credit SimplySeddie with this premise idea. The author wrote such a wonderful love story that we started to wonder…what would happen if, well, keep reading and you'll see what we wondered.

We won't have a set updating schedule. We're writing this for fun with no pressure because most of us work or go to school or are super busy with family and other commitments. We promise not to leave it unfinished if you promise not to throw tomatoes when we update slowly. This is eventual Seddie but it might take little while so be patient and enjoy the ride!

XXOO – SMAAD4Seddie

Disclaimer: We own nothing – Dan Schneider owns lots of stuff, including iCarly.

Since You've Been Gone

Chapter One – iGoodbye

Freddie raised his camera to his shoulder, opening to a wide shot. It didn't quite feel real yet. That was why he was standing here alone, trying to capture the moment – all of the moments. Trying to commit to memory every second he'd spent here in this room.

It was over now.

To anyone observing the scene it probably looked strange. A teenage boy with a camera, filming an empty room. But it wasn't empty to him. It was full of pictures and sounds that he could live to be a hundred and never forget. He could still see the strings where George the Bra used to hang, the colored strobe lights that flashed while a blond and a brunette danced as if their lives depended on it, the toy horse his awkward friend sat on, eating a tuna ball. He could hear them all together, their laughter echoing off the walls. He could see clearly what it was, what it had been less than a week ago.

"Freddie?"

Shaken from his thoughts Freddie turned toward the door as Spencer came into the studio…or what used to be the studio. On instinct he kept the camera rolling.

"Hey Spence."

Spencer walked toward him and Freddie captured the look on his face as he looked around the room. Spencer had been like a recurring guest start on iCarly for so long Freddie hardly remembered the show without him. He'd miss Baby Spencer, screaming as he spit out whatever disgusting concoction Sam had cooked up for the week.

Spencer stopped and sat down on a box near the far wall, patting the box next to him. Freddie turned off his camera, setting it down on his cart, the only thing besides boxes that hadn't yet been moved. A small blue remote with red buttons perched on his laptop. He resisted the urge to pick it up.

"It's weird, huh?" Spencer said. "Until now I'd forgotten what this room looked like before you guys made it into a studio."

Freddie just nodded. "So, you guys all packed up?"

"Yeah," Spencer pointed at the two boxes they were sitting on. "This is the last of it. The truck's all packed and waiting outside." Spencer stood and lifted a box into his arms.

"So, I guess this is it then? You're really leaving?" Freddie grabbed the second box, following Spencer toward the door.

"'Fraid so, Freddo." He looked over at Freddie, giving him a smile. "Cheer up…it's not like you're never gonna see us again. Yakima's not that far away…"

"But it's not across the hall, either."

Spencer paused at the door, "You know…you've always been like a brother to me Freddie. I know you're gonna be okay. This isn't goodbye – not forever anyway." He smiled, "Now come on before the old cooter gets restless!"

"Yeah, just give me a minute." Freddie said. Spencer nodded and headed out the door. Freddie set the box down in the elevator and grabbed his cart, wheeling it in too. With one final look, he lowered the light switch and called into the dark room. "And…we're clear."

"No, Sam."

"Oh, come on Carly! Why not?"

"Because, he's my grandfather and I think someone might get suspicious if they found a seventy year old man tied up in our closet!"

"But if he's tied up he can't drag you off to stupid Yakima." Sam flopped down on the curb, looking murderously in the direction of Carly's grandfather. "This is all Freddie's fault."

"Sam…it's not Freddie's fault." She accepted Sam's help in sitting beside her on the curb. Carly's arm, in a cast a blue sling, made it difficult to do most things on her own right now. "It's no one's fault."

"Stupid uncoordinated nub. Stupid taco truck." She glanced over at Carly's grandfather again. "Stupid Yakima."

Carly shook her head as she looked over at her best friend. Sam sat with her head laid against her arms, which were resting on her knees. She looked angry, and maybe a little bored – if you didn't know her. But Carly did know her, so she wasn't fooled by the look on Sam's face. She knew that underneath it all Sam was just as sad as she was.

Ten days. How was it possible for the whole world to change in only ten days?

"I just don't understand why you guys think it would be that big of a deal to electrocute Gibby." Sam complained, shaking her head as the three friends made their way to the crosswalk. The walk from Bushwell to the Groovy Smoothie across the street was so familiar, they must've walked it a thousand times before this day. Carly always liked to think that the sidewalk was a little more worn along their usual pathway. "I'm sorry Sam, but I'm going to have to side with Freddie on this, that's one of the worst ideas you've ever had." Carly laughed and shook her head.Sam grumbled something under her breath and pinched Freddie's arm as they came to a stop at the street, waiting for the cars to stop and the walk sign to light up. Their constant bickering was so common that Carly didn't even notice it anymore. So when the light indicated it was time for them to cross, she didn't see that Sam and Freddie were too busy taking turns slapping the other's arms and hadn't followed behind her until she was a few steps out onto the road."Guys, c'mon," she urged, turning her head slightly over her shoulder. As soon as they looked up at her, she could tell something wasn't right. It was only a matter of seconds, but time went in slow motion and only later would she remember every little detail. Sam's eyes went wide and her mouth moved quickly, making words that Carly couldn't quite understand. Freddie leaped off the curb, so fast that he was literally a blur to her. All at once, she felt the pressure of his hand on her shoulder, shoving her forward-but not far enough away from what was coming next.The world was a blur of lights and movement and sound. Everything too fast and too slow.

In a flash, she watched Freddie stumble backwards, an apologetic look plastered across his face. She turned her head to the side and froze. She saw it and she wanted to move but she couldn't – there wasn't time. A large white truck was coming towards her, so close that if she had been able to pause time she could have reached out and touched the hood. But she wasn't able to pause time. She could only close her eyes and open her mouth in a scream that would haunt them all forever, and pray this wasn't how it all ended.The last thing Carly remembered was hearing their voices yelling out her name. She felt the wind beneath her as her body flew through the air. These were the details that would be imprinted in her brain forever. The screeching tires, the smell – burnt rubber and tacos, coming from the truck that had just hit her. The sound of Sam's and Freddie's screams mixed with the blaring of the truck's horn. It felt like the whole world had stopped...and she was flying. She didn't remember hitting the concrete, and for that she was thankful. Sam said she had never seen anything like it; the amount of blood from where her head had hit the road mixed with how out of place her arm looked, twisted at an impossible angle. Sam and Freddie were both standing over when she first woke up, their eyes mixed with fear and guilt. If only...

She was cold and seemed to exist only in the short spans of time when she won the battle with unconsciousness. There were lights and sirens, someone held her hand and she wanted to thank them but the words wouldn't come. And then everything faded away.

She was out for only two hours; she came to not long after arriving at the hospital. Spencer, Sam and Freddie were all in her room, each of them looking terrified. She tried to smile but she hurt – everywhere. She reached up to touch a spot at the back of her head that hurt more than the rest of her and felt bare scalp. Her eyes went wide.

"They had to…to shave your head there." Sam said, "To put in the stitches." She pulled a small bag from behind her back. There was hair in it, long brown hair. "I made them give it to me. Seemed like a good idea at the time…seems kind of gross now." She smiled but behind her eyes, Carly could see just how scared she was.

"I'm so sorry, Carly." In the darkest corner of the room Freddie sat, looking at Carly. "I tried to grab you, but I couldn't…"

"Freddie, stop." Spencer laid a hand on Carly's shoulder. "It's not your fault, and Carly's fine now."

"Not his fault…right." Sam said under her breath.

"You didn't save her either, Sam!" Freddie bit back, "And if you hadn't been hitting me then…"

"Enough!" Carly said, trying to sit up, her head pounding. "Both of you, stop it. No one could have stopped it. It just…happened and I'm okay, I think." She said, looking at Spencer. "I'm okay, right?"

"Yeah, kiddo. A little banged up – some stitches and your arm's gonna be in that cast for a while. But yeah, you're okay." He leaned down and kissed the top of her head."Grandad is on his way from Yakima."

"You called Granddad?" Carly asked, concerned. Her grandfather was a notorious worrier and every time something went wrong, his solution was 'I'm moving you to Yakima.' She and Spencer had talked him out of it more than once. She wondered if they'd have to do it again.

Sam and Freddie looked at each other but neither said a word. They were just grateful to have her with them.

Little did she know then that her physical injuries were the least of the consequences she would suffer from the accident. And that she wouldn't be with them for long.

They hadn't been able to change Granddad's mind this time. He was adamant, even calling her father and getting him to agree. Spencer, in their opinion, wasn't doing what he needed to: protect Carly. She needed more structure – and if Spencer couldn't provide it, there was only one option.

She was moving to Yakima.

It took her five days to tell them. She hadn't meant to keep it a secret, she'd just hoped, somehow that the whole situation was some awful dream she was going to wake up from.

But this wasn't a dream.

She didn't want to keep it from them, but she didn't know how to tell them either. How do you look at the two best friends you've ever had and say goodbye? Her grandfather told her it might not be forever, and that Yakima wasn't that far away but she knew better. She'd been friends with Missy once…then one day Missy was gone and, eventually, so was their friendship. She didn't want that to happen to her, Sam and Freddie. She didn't want to lose them.

She told Freddie first. Not because he was more important than Sam but because, deep down, she knew that even if he was sad when she left, he'd be okay. He had his A/V club friends and his mom would take care of him. Eventually he'd find another girl to be in love with and he might go back to being the boring 'play it safe' guy he was before he met them – but he'd be alright. Sam was a different story.

The thing that scared her most about leaving Seattle was leaving her best friend. For about half a day, she'd actually tried to get her grandfather to consider bringing Sam to Yakima too. That attempt had failed miserably.

What would Sam do without her? She knew that sounded a little self-important-she didn't mean it to, but since they were ten years old, Carly and Spencer had been the only family Sam really had, unless you counted Pam Puckett- which Carly usually didn't. She ate and/or slept at their house most nights. It was Carly who made sure Sam did her homework, Spencer who made sure she took her medicine when she was sick. With both of them gone, what would Sam do now? Who would be there for her?

And even though being Sam's best friend sometimes seemed a little bit like a job, she would miss that girl more than she could say. She loved Sam like a sister. Sam was the one who taught her to stand up for herself. Who told her she was important and loved – even if there wasn't always a guy hanging around saying it. And Freddie…as annoying as his crush on her was, being his friend more than made up for it. Freddie was her voice of reason, the one who calmed her down and bolstered her when she wasn't feeling strong. Sam and Freddie – they were lifelines for her.

Who would be her best friends now?

"Carly? Carly!" Sam's voice dragged her back to reality and she smiled at the look of concern on Sam's face. "Did you hear anything I said?"

"Um…no?"

"Sometimes I swear you're a natural blond."

Carly laughed and both girls faced ahead, watching as the final boxes from the apartment were loaded onto the moving truck outside. Carly's grandfather stood at a distance, talking to the driver, every now and then looking over at Carly and giving her a wink. She wanted to be mad, for a while she was mad. Mad at him for making her leave, mad at her father for agreeing to it, mad at Spencer for not fighting to keep her here – for giving in himself and coming to Yakima with her. None of them seemed to understand what this was doing to her.

She knew they meant well. When she'd been laying in the hospital bed and first saw her grandfather walk in, the look on his face tore at her heart. He looked so scared. He stood at her bedside, patting her hand and telling her he was going to take care of everything. She didn't know that take care of everything meant yanking her away from everything she knew and loved. She understood why. He'd never thought Spencer was a suitable guardian, her being hit by the taco truck only solidified that opinion. He didn't want her to get hurt again. He didn't realize this was hurting ten times more than getting hit by the truck.

"So…" Sam said softly. "This chizz is really happening."

"Yeah." Carly said.

"I can't believe it."

"Me either." Carly bit back tears. She'd cried so much in the past three days.

"Hey, remember the first day we met?" Sam laughed. "I stole your sandwich."

"And pushed me."

"And you stole it back." Carly reached across the space between them as Sam's voice went quiet, joining their hands. "That was…one of the best days of my life." Sam's voice shook. She was crying… Sam Puckett didn't cry.

"Sam…" Carly's voice was strained and she swallowed hard against the lump of feelings crowding out her voice.

"What am I going to do now Carly? What am I going to do without you?" Sam's voice was quiet as she leaned her head against Carly's shoulder. They sat that way, in silence, neither able to find words for what they were feeling. For days they'd pretended it wasn't going to happen and now that Carly's leaving was inevitable, neither knew what they were supposed to do, what words they were supposed to use when they didn't want to say goodbye.

"Hey guys," The girls turned as Freddie exited the building and approached them, taking a seat on Carly's other side. He was careful not to bump her cast, wondering, as he saw the tears staining Sam's face, if he should give them some time alone. But Carly smiled at him and nudged his arm with her shoulder. He was a part of this. This moment belonged to the three of them. To the casual observer it wasn't out of the ordinary, three friends – a tiny brunette wedged between a teenage boy and a girl with a headful of wild curls. They were like any other kids on any other day – to the casual observer. But not to Carly. As they sat together, staring out into the Seattle street, she knew they were different. She knew that other people searched their whole lives to have what she'd found here, in between the two people who'd shared every important event in her life for almost as long as she could remember.

"Carly, honey…it's time to go."

Her grandfather's voice carried over to them from where he stood at the front of the truck. The movers would be driving to Yakima in the truck. She, Spencer and her grandfather would be leaving to take a flight out of Sea-Tac. Sam and Freddie weren't coming to the airport – they all agreed it would be too hard.

Sam stood first and Freddie followed, reaching down to help Carly up. This was it.

"So…" Freddie said, hooking his thumbs through his belt loops.

"Yeah…so," Carly replied.

"Let's just…do this fast." Sam said, "You know, like a band aid. Rip it off fast and it hurts less."

"Nothing is gonna make this hurt less," Carly said as she turned to Freddie. "I'll miss you." She said, smiling at this boy, the first one who'd ever loved her. "Email me and we'll Skype and…" she stopped and stood, shaking her head. "This is really hard."

"I know." Freddie took a deep breath and pulled Carly into a hug. "I'm going to miss you too Carls."

Carly sniffled against his shoulder, wondering when he'd gotten tall enough for this to happen. So much had changed. So much was changing. Her grandfather cleared his throat and she pulled away from Freddie, smiling up at him. "Take care of yourself…" Freddie nodded and Carly walked over to where Sam had distanced herself from the group.

"You know I hate long goodbyes…or any goodbyes really." Sam tried to laugh but her face was red and streaked with tears. The two girls stood, looking at each other until finally Carly's voice came out – a choked sob she was powerless to hold in.

"Oh, Sam…I'll miss you so much." She opened her arms and a freshly crying Sam rushed into them.

"Right back atcha Carls." Sam's words were muffled against her shoulders.

Carly pulled back and looked down into Sam's face. "Promise me you'll take care of yourself, and stay out of trouble."

Sam smiled, "I can't make any promises, cupcake…but I'll try."

"Carly…we need to get moving." Spencer walked behind Sam, resting a hand on her shoulder as he looked at Carly. Leaving was hard for him too, but he was trying to be what Granddad didn't think he could be – a grown up. So he smiled and laughed and pretended that leaving wasn't breaking his heart too.

"See ya later kid." He said, ruffling Sam's hair as he moved toward the parking garage.

Carly looked over at Freddie. "Group hug?"

He smiled and walked over, wrapping his arms around the two girls who he thought were permanent fixtures in his life – he wondered what was going to happen now.

Carly released them and picked up her backpack from the ground beside her. Sam helped her put it over her shoulder.

"Well, I guess I better go. Our flight's leaving soon." She said, smiling. "I love you guys."

"We love you too." Sam and Freddie said in unison, standing side by side as they watched Carly walk away. At the parking garage door, she turned back to them. "Take care of each other."

Neither answered as they watched her disappear through the door. That wasn't a promise they knew how to make.

Freddie cleared his throat. This was the hardest part actually. Now that Carly as gone they were like two pieces of bread…with no filling in the middle. Carly had been his friend. Sam had been…well, he wasn't exactly sure what to call Sam. She'd always been there, he was used to her – she was all he had now.

"So, Puckett, how about a Blueberry Splat…my treat." He smiled and turned to walk in the direction of the Groovy Smoothie, stopping when he noticed she wasn't following him. "Sam?" he said, turning back.

"Stop, Benson. Just stop."

"What are you talking about, Sam?"

"Carly's gone now." She said, her eyes like steel. "We can quit pretending to be friends."

Her words cut him and he stood there, open mouthed, with no idea what to say. But his words were unnecessary as Sam turned on her heel, buried her hands deep in her pockets…and walked away.

He stood and watched her leave, her shoulders slumped, Chuck Taylors hitting the pavement as her walk turned into a run. And then she was gone.

Looking back at it he'd realize it was shock, but in the moment it felt like fear. Since he was twelve years old, Carly and Sam were all he really knew. His whole world, to some extent, revolved around them. Now he'd lost them both.

He took the stairs to the eighth floor, his camera in his hands. He knew his mother was home and the last thing he wanted was to face her and have to explain what had just happened. Hear her say she was glad they were gone – glad to have her 'play it safe, take no chances' baby boy back to herself. So he stood outside his apartment, leaning against the wall. With one foot propped up, he turned his camera on, playing back the footage he'd take over the last couple of days. There was Carly, laughing in the studio while she jumped on the small trampoline. Gibby telling the story about how he discovered radishes. Spencer screaming as he fanned at the fire erupting from the oven when he tried to cook a farewell dinner. There was the empty studio, all of their props gone but all of their memories still there. And then there was Sam.

Her blond hair wild, she smiled into the camera, her mouth full of something he couldn't identify. He could hear his voice telling her how gross that was and then watched and she smirked, came closer…and blew a mouth full of it into the lens. The screen went dark as her laughter echoed.

We can quit pretending to be friends.

He hadn't realized they were pretending. Sure they fought and he was mad that she blamed Carly's accident on him. But at the heart of it he'd thought…

Well, it didn't matter what he thought. She'd made it clear. They weren't friends.

And that's when he realized…he was truly alone.


A/N2:

Well, after weeks of pulling our hair out trying to write a deadline, it's finally here… iCarly MASS POST DAY *cue confetti throwing and random dancing*

I am so excited to have been a part of this, some of my favorite authors, and some new ones I'm excited to read, are posting new stories, new chapters and general iCalry wonderfulness to the site today. Below is a list of authors and story titles, it's not exhaustive, there are more people emailing every hour to add their names and stories to the list. I'll be trying to keep the list updated on my profile in case you want to check back later. So check out these stories, leave a review and … happy reading!

Author Name: Story Title

DwynArthur: The Puckett Acquisition (new chapter)

TheWrtrInMe & DwynArthur: Until The World Ends (new story)

SMAAD4Seddie (listed under TheWrtrInMe): Since You've Been Gone (new story)

AnnieRocket: Just Kids (new story)

ThatSamGirl: Dear Sam (new story)

ExpressionsofAWriter: icarly The Movie (new chapter)

Purple255225: Now and Then (new story)

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! (new chapter)

HAPPY READING!