This story is rated T.
Recommended for teen-level readers.

iNever Got Over You- A Creddie Story

by CreddieLuv4eva

iNever Got Over You-A Creddie Story




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Chapter 1- A Normal Morning

It's 3 months after iStart a Fanwar. Carly's dating Adam, Freddie has moved on and has a new girlfriend, and they’re close friends as always. But have they been hiding their true feelings all this time? And will they ever act on them? Rated T for mild swearing, boyfriend/girlfriend stuff-it's all very mild though! :)

Carly POV

I woke up to the sound of Sam‘s voice screaming in my head-“Carly Wake UP! Carly Wake UP!”. The alarm clock…my eyes reluctantly opened and I looked cross-eyed at the clock that looked like a Mister Wiener with clock arms pointing to the 7 and the 2-7:10. It was a customized birthday present from Sam, from the Build-a-Gadget workshop Freddie’s always trying to get us to go to (he usually ends up tagging along with us to Build-A-Bra instead). The same birthday Spencer accidentally set my room on fire, and then used the insurance money to give me a room 10 times better.

I sat up and yawned, looking around my “designer couture” room, as Freddie might jokingly put it. Make that 20 times better. My room used to be pretty normal, but now even after 5 months, it still makes me feel like the richest girl in the world to wake up in a room like this. Thanks, Spencer. I’d learned to appreciate his abnormalities and weird quirks-for one thing, if he DIDN’T have them, he wouldn’t have built the gummy-bear lamp that started the fire, and I wouldn’t have this room.

Speaking of Spencer…I could hear his familiar morning sounds. His thumping around the kitchen, trying to make coffee while half-asleep and muttering to himself about materials he needed for his newest piece of “art“. Then once he woke up from his cup of coffee, he usually called up his buddy Socko on the phone about the materials for the sculpture. I’d never met Socko, but Spencer tells me he can find you just about ANYTHING you need anywhere, and he seems to know almost every business in the city by heart, no matter how random. His knowledge has come in handy for iCarly on occasion.

I got out of bed, ran a comb through my hair, and reached for the digital clothing selector beside my closet to search for the right items for today’s outfit. Another fabulous new component of my room, courtesy of Freddie Benson of course.

Freddie. I smiled thinking about my tech-crazy best guy friend and technical producer, who I’d called “cukey”-cute and geeky- since that brief week we were dating. Not that there was any chance of something like that happening again. Since we denied the possibility of ever having a relationship again to our fans at the WebiCon 3 months ago, it had worked as a mutual agreement that we’d put our feelings behind us and now all we wanted was to be close friends.

And now we were both dating. 2 months ago Freddie had met Naomi Klauffman, and they’d clicked immediately. They were still together, and Freddie confided in me he’d finally found his dream girl. I was psyched for him. And as for me? After the disastrous convention, I had felt guilty and like an idiot after having ruined my chances with Adam by leaving him to the angry iCarly fans, and I wondered if there was any way to move past it and start fresh with him. So I summoned up all my courage, and one day at school after 3rd Period, I asked him if he wanted to get a coffee during lunch break. For some reason he now attributed to fate, he said yes. And after that, he inexplicably asked me to be his girlfriend. What girl gets a second chance like that?

And we were still dating too. I was completely happy with Adam, and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I had a hot, sweet boyfriend, 2 of the best friends on the planet, a webshow we all created that was more popular than ever now, a whacky and crazy older brother who loved me to death, and a room any teenage girl might kill for. Things couldn’t be better, I thought happily.

Just then Sam texted me-

Hey Carls incoming…I wil b ther in 10 min…hide the bacon ;)

I smiled to myself, then got dressed, brushed my teeth and put on a little strawberry lip gloss and pale pink eye shadow. From downstairs came the yell “CARLY, I put 3 waffles in the toaster for ya!!!”. “THANKS SPENCER!! Sam will be here in about 10 minutes so put your pj pants on and get out the syrup!!” I answered as I walked down the stairs. “Oh yeah…wait HOW DID YOU KNOW-” I giggled as I walked in the kitchen. “You always forget your pants and walk around in your boxers. Do you want people to see your glow-in-the-dark shorts?” Spencer turned from the toaster to face me, talking around the piece of half-burnt toast in his mouth. “Sam doesn’t care. She still thinks my butt is flat.” He made a mock-pouty face. I shook my head at him, then grabbed my waffles, poured a glass of milk, and sat down to eat.

Just then in walked Freddie, without knocking. I didn’t care though because both my friends were there 75% of the time anyway. “Hey Carly, Spencer. Waffles? Estoy celoso-I’m jealous.” Freddie liked to say random Spanish phrases-another one of his traits I still thought was cukey. “Aww, no waffles for Fweddiekins?” Spencer mocked him. “According to my mom, they’re worse for your health than Fat Cakes,” Freddie rolled his eyes. “Remind me never to eat at your house,” Spencer muttered as he sat down to watch TV. “Help yourself-there’s a box of them in the freezer,” I smiled. “Thanks, Carly,” he said as he jumped up eagerly and got into the freezer. “You know, Miss Shay, there’s a “Freddie Benson way” for these too.” “No thanks, I’m almost full. But I’ll watch you work your Benson magic on my waffles.” He grinned and started working over the poor waffles.

The door opened and in walked Sam, also without knocking. But she’d always done that. “I smell syrup, and I see Freddie murdering a waffle. Makes Momma hungry.” I sighed. “There’s more in the free-” She cut me off. “Yeah I know.” Reaching into the freezer, she grabbed a handful and shoved Freddie out of the way. “OOOF!!” he yelled. “Like you didn’t see that coming,” she said. Freddie inspected a new bruise on his arm. “You know, I COULD tell Naomi how I’m really getting all these.” “Dude, me and her are tight now. “ It was true. “You don’t have to be jealous because for once I’m okay with a girl who actually wants to date you. Just let her think you got them in a fight!” she laughed. I giggled as I got up to wash my plate and glass. “I think Naomi knows Freddie isn’t allowed to fight…” “Very funny.” said Freddie. “Anyway so I’m won’t be able to hang with you guys until 20 minutes before we do iCarly tonight, ‘cause Naomi and I are going to the zoo after school.” “Why does she want to go to the zoo? She can look at you any time!*” Sam joked. We ignored her. “Yeah, I was just going to tell you guys that Adam and I are going to a new sandwich place instead of the cafeteria for lunch today,” I replied. “Sounds fine to me.” Freddie finished his waffles. I handed him the milk jug.

“Yeah, and while you guys have plans with your steady guy and chick, I’m stuck with asking out another moron on the football team again,” Sam moaned. “What about Aaron? I though you had an okay date with him last week?” I said. She shook her head. “All the dude talks about is motorcycles. I mean, he’s smoking hot, but I want a guy who has a “wider range of interests“. AND he’s a vegetarian!!”

Freddie and I mock-winced. “Sam, do they HAVE to love meat half as much as you do?” Freddie snickered. “I just can’t stand a guy who turns down bacon and eats tofu hot dogs, ok?” Sam snapped. “Hey guys, it’s 7:32. Let’s get a move on, huh?” I grabbed my book bag and backpack off the couch. Sam grabbed a last waffle and stuffed it in her mouth. Freddie swigged the last of his milk and did the same as me. “Nos vemos-see ya, Spencer,” he said. “Have a good day at school. Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your teacher’s back, Spencer replied in his monotone “good parent” voice.

“Uh, isn’t that break your mother’s back?” I asked. “Does that really work??” Sam said excitedly. “What she said. Bye and watch your step when you come back,” Spencer replied. We looked at each other, shrugged, and left for school. Thanks for reading! Check out the next chapters if you like, and let me know what you think! :)

Chapter 2- Naomi & Adam, on the Bus

Freddie POV

After stopping at Carly’s for a decent breakfast (not that my mom couldn’t cook, but to my way of thinking, soy milk & “healthy” wheat bran cereal weren’t enough to sustain a teenage boy like me until lunch), we all sat together on the bus, mostly quiet. By now we were all 16 and should have had our driver’s licenses, but none of us did-more on that later.* So for now it looked like the bus was our only option.

Lately we’d been unconsciously trying to make everything “like old times”-none of us wanted to admit we were getting older, and spending less and less time together thanks to our busy love lives. Even though Sam, who I called “the chain dater” because she’d dated almost everyone on the football team by now, still didn’t have a steady boyfriend like Carly and me (girlfriend), she almost always had a date. I could never figure out how a tough girl like her managed to always have some guy ready and willing to date her, but then again-they were football players. Maybe her tough, vicious personality appealed to them. Somehow. She sure wasn’t the cheerleader type though. I shook my head. I’ll never be a jock, so maybe I’ll never get the animal attraction thing. I’ve never understood having a girlfriend purely for the sexual attraction-to me, having a girlfriend should be about shared interests, being able to have real conversations, and having fun together. It’s really nice when kissing her feels great, sure, but it’s more important to me to have a good relationship as a boy and girl first.

The bus stopped at Naomi’s house, and my girlfriend ran out, smiling as usual. She always looked well-groomed and flawless, like a model, to me, and today was no different. Her hair was a light, almost honey-ish brown, and today it hung to its full length past the small of her back in wavy curls, held back only by a couple sparkly pins. Her outfit was, as always, the latest fashion, since her favorite literature (besides the classics and mysteries-like me) were fashion magazines-Elle, Cosmo, and others that guys like me never knew the names of. Her pale green eyes searched for me as she stepped in the bus, and she smiled when she saw me stand up. I glanced at Carly, who’d been sitting with me since Sam was play-punching a couple basketball players in the back, and sent her a message with my eyes. She looked at me a little confused, then in realization jumped up and stammered “Oh! Oh yeah, Naomi, you can have my seat.” She walked back and took the one vacant seat behind us. Naomi grinned back at her, plunked down beside me and kissed my cheek. “You smell good, like syrup. Did your mom finally break down and buy some?” she smiled. “Nope, I had waffles at Carly’s before we left, as usual,” I replied. “Oh.” she said, then laughed. “As always. I’m beginning to think you live at the Shays’ now…” I twirled a piece of her hair around my finger. “Well it is where we do iCarly every week, and prepare a new show every night too.” “That reminds me, I didn’t say hi to Sam yet.” She turned around and waved to Sam. “Mornin’, Puckett!” Sam turned from the basketball player who was playing with her long wavy blonde hair. “Hey Klauffman! We’re doing a new iCarly tonight-you wanna come watch?” “Love to! I‘ll bring Freddie with me when we come back from the zoo.” “Sounds great,” I grinned, and she leaned to kiss me.

Carly POV

I watched Naomi and Freddie flirting playfully with each other, feeling oddly like a mother hen. I was so glad Freddie finally had a girl who cared about him-it’d done so much for self-esteem. He carried himself in a slightly more “manly” fashion these days, acting like such a gentleman to Naomi. It was adorable to watch.

And the girl even got along well with Sam. They’d hit off pretty fast, somehow. Even though Naomi had fashion-sense and Sam said she could care less (but somehow always wore the right clothes-maybe she cared more than she let on) and could be sweet and polite when she needed to be, she was also a feisty girl who admitted she preferred to hang with boys. Freddie said it was her most endearing quality. Naomi was almost like the combination of Sam and me, I thought amusedly. Somehow though, while Naomi was nice to me, she seemed to prefer hanging out with Sam, and they had gotten closer in a short time-span. Naomi spent almost as much time with her as she did with Freddie. I didn’t really care-I also had girls I knew and sometimes met for lunch and went to the mall with occasionally, but none of them would ever be a close friend like Sam, and I knew Sam felt that way about me too.

Then I heard Sam invite Naomi to the iCarly we were webcasting after school. I slumped back in the seat, wondering at my own emotion at that moment. Naomi had begun coming to every live iCarly webshow, and even attending our rehearsal and brainstorming sessions. Freddie and Sam even welcomed her opinions and ideas. It was almost like she was part of iCarly now too. But was wrong with that? She was Freddie’s girlfriend of 2 months, and becoming close buds with Sam. She was my friend, too. Why should I feel even slightly jealous of her ever-increasing role in iCarly? I shook my head. Stop obsessing Carly, I admonished myself. She’s fun to be with, she has great ideas, and she adores Freddie and Sam. Why are you getting jealous like a spoiled brat? The bratty voice in the back of my head whispered “Sure, she likes Freddie and Sam. But she doesn’t really talk to you. Doesn’t that bother you?”

It didn’t matter, I decided. She was just interested in iCarly, and I should be glad she was. She’d even come up with a few funny ideas that we used for our last webshow! I was just being possessive of my friends, and it was time I learned to share them.

Just then the bus came to a halt. I got up as fast as I could, wanting to get out before the others. As I stepped off the bus, I ignored Sam’s shouts of “Carly! Hey! Wait up!” Because I saw him in the same place he always waited for me, by his motorcycle on the front lawn.

As always whenever I saw him, I swooned. He had to be the sexiest junior around, in his leather jacket, tight gray Hollister shirt, and black jeans with chain and studs. And that smile that was just for me, that made my knees buckle. He called my name, but I was already running up to him, and he took my hand, cupped my chin in his palm, and kissed me, making me feel like I was I going to explode with the warmth of his touch. After the kiss, he grinned at me again. “I thought about you a lot last night.” That was Adam-he was not only totally hot, but also said the most romantic things. I smiled and wrapped my arms around his neck. “I did too.” He took my hand, and we started walking to the building together. I saw Sam walking with Naomi and Freddie. She saluted to me and gave a thumbs-up (she still thinks I‘m so lucky to have “scored“ a guy like Adam), and I returned the wave. Adam spoke. “You know I was thinking. Since this last week we haven’t had much time to ourselves…and it’s supposed to be sunny for once next Sunday..” I giggled. “What were ya thinking?” He hesitated. “Why don’t we spend the day at the park, then maybe the museum then? The museum has an admission special on Sundays, and we haven’t been there together yet…what do you think?” “Adam, that sounds great! And that reminds me of something I wanted to ask you..”

I had an idea. If Naomi could come to our rehearsals and live webcasts, why couldn’t I bring Adam? He was working nights now, so we only got to spend time at lunch and on weekends, and since tonight was Friday night, he’d be free. Then I’d have someone to talk to when Freddie and Sam were busy with Naomi. Ok, it wasn’t like they ignored me. But it still felt a little awkward to be the only one she really didn’t talk to-Stop it Carly, I thought again. Be nice. Just invite him over. The worst he can say is no. “Hey Adam, I was wondering…you know that webcast my friends and I do?” He smiled and tweaked my hair. “iCarly? Sure. I watch it every week. Gives me a chance to see your face again.” I laughed and slapped his elbow. He was so mushy. “Anyway...I wanted to know. You wanna come over tonight and watch us do it live? We’ll have more time together until Sunday…” Adam was going to his relatives’ house Saturday. Adam smiled and squeezed my hand as we walked into the building. “Sure thing. I’ll see you then, Carly.” We exchanged a quick kiss before parting for our different classes.

I felt slightly guilty, but brushed it off. Why shouldn’t I bring him? I wasn’t being jealous, I just wanted my boyfriend to see what we did every week. It would be fun. I smiled to myself and walked to homeroom, where I saw Freddie waiting for me while Naomi and Sam chatted. He waved and flashed me that grin of his, and I waved back and walked faster to join them.

Chapter 3- Two Dates

Carly POV

It was just like most school days had been for me over the past couple months. After 3rd period, I threw my books and folder in my locker, checked my hair and reapplied my lip gloss, and ran out of the main building, where Adam was waiting by his motorcycle. He gave me a quick kiss and helped me put on the biker helmet, then adjusted his own, and I climbed on behind and took hold of his waist. And we were off for our lunch date, zipping around Seattle on a cloudy day. I’d (mostly) gotten over my fear of being crushed to death on the flimsy bike while Adam maneuvered around and between rush-hour traffic at breakneck speeds, and I didn’t shriek anymore, but now and then I gasped and closed my eyes. I couldn’t help it. We quickly arrived at the new sandwich place Adam recommended, The Earl’s Deli. I ordered a small turkey sandwich, tomato, no mayonnaise. Adam had a subway pastrami on rye, and we both ordered ice coffees.

I don’t need to give you a play-by-play, or get into any boring, soap-opera worthy dialogue between a girl and her boyfriend on a date. But we had a fun conversation. Adam’s always so funny, and he’s usually the one who does most of the talking, while I laugh at his jokes and silliness. As always I marveled at his maturity for a guy of almost 17, and how he made me laugh any time I was with him.

While he talked and joked about…something one of the guys did, I’m not sure, I felt my mind wandering. I thought again of what I’d been feeling on the bus. What was the point of feeling jealous of Naomi’s friendship with Sam, and her friendly but polite attitude to me? I had forgotten everything I already had going for me, and had accomplished. I felt like this was all I’d wanted for so long, to finally have cleared away all the drama from my relationships. Freddie had gotten over his crush on me some time ago, and through our mutual decision (well, not a spoken one, but it existed as if we had talked it over), we had finally reached a point where we could be close friends, and tell each other everything, without any romantic tension between us. We’d both realized that the one week when I convinced myself that I loved him, all I’d felt was flattery that he’d risked his life for me. Nothing like that would ever happen again. And now I was 16, and everything was going the way I wanted it to. I had a boyfriend who was not only handsome, hot and adorable, and who all the other girls coveted (I’d certainly shot up even more in popularity while dating him), but he cared about me, and made me laugh. For the tenth time that day I marveled at how lucky I was. But there was still that thing with Naomi bothering me-why wasn’t the girl more friendly to me? She didn’t ignore me, but she seemed to forget I was in the room most of the time I was around. And something about her made Freddie and Sam forget about me too. Of course, she was Freddie’s girlfriend, but still they both almost ignored me too when she was around lately…I frowned.

Suddenly Adam stopped talking about…whatever he’d been talking about while I was thinking. I wasn’t paying attention. “Carly? Why are you looking at me like that?” That jolted me out of my reverie. “Hmm? Like what? What was the question?” I giggled with embarrassment. “You had a…annoyed look on your face?” “Oh,” I said. “I was just…thinking. About you and me.” He smiled and reached for my hand. “I hope it’s nothing serious.” I smiled back, but struggled to think of an excuse. “Oh, nothing like that…I just…um, wish we had more time together. You know, because you’re working every night at the sports café now. And I thought…I don’t know, since we’ve been dating for 2 and a half months, maybe we should figure something out of the ordinary we could do. Just the 2 of us?” “But I thought we were going to spend the day at the museum, and then the park tomorrow?” he replied. I sighed. “I don’t want to sound needy or anything. But I was just feeling like we should get out, have a really good time?” He frowned, and I rushed to correct my mistake. “Not that I don’t have fun with you every time, but I just thought-” Suddenly his face lit up. “I have a great idea!” This was unexpected. I’d just been rambling. “” “Yes! I haven’t been to the under-18 club at the 16-17 couple’s night on Saturdays! We should totally do that!” Definitely not expected. I’d never been to a club before, for any age. My uncertainty showed on my face, and Adam’s smile disappeared. “What? You don’t like the idea? I promise, it’s an alcohol-free bar. Nobody’s getting wasted or anything.” “Well..” I stammered. Oh stop being such a priss Carly, the whiny voice in the back of my head said. You’re 16! Go have some fun, get wild for a change! “I guess…that would be awesome!” I answered, putting a big smile on my face. I still wasn’t sure, but as long as Adam was with me…and maybe Sam could give me some pointers… “Great! It’ll be the best date we’ve had, you’ll see,” Adam grinned and leaned across the table to kiss my cheek. “Yes I’m sure it will,” I replied. “But look at the time! We gotta hurry to make it to 4th period!” I jumped up, grabbed my purse, and wrapped up the remains of my sandwich to throw away. “Yeah, we’d better run.” Adam threw away the rest of his food too, and he left the check on the table. We walked out into the parking lot hand-in-hand, got on the motorcycle, and drove off into the slow afternoon traffic. I’d completely forgotten about the unsettling thoughts I’d had in the deli, and all I felt was the exhilarating speed and the carefree feeling of straddling the seat behind Adam precariously. I leaned my head back and smiled, feeling light and unconfined.

Freddie POV

After having had lunch with Naomi in the cafeteria, along with Sam and her two admirers, basketball players Jonah and Carlos, I was antsy and actually couldn’t wait for school to be over so I could go to the zoo with Naomi. Until I met her, school had been the most important part of my day-except for iCarly of course. So I was relieved like most kids are when the bell rang and released me. I gathered up my books, closed up my locker, and walked outside to meet Naomi on the front lawn. Of course she was already there waiting for me, and when I reached her, she smiled and put her arms around me. Kissing Naomi, my thoughts were always concerned with her smell-the fresh cinnamon musk scent of her hair, the airy sweetness of her perfume, and the pineapple in her lip gloss, as her moist lips moved softly against my mouth, and her tongue gently met mine.

Of course it was nothing like kissing Carly, that one week last year. While Naomi had the beauty of a model, smelled of sweet citrus perfume-most likely expensive (I’d learned through my experience with girls that finding the fragrance that suits you just right was not for those who couldn’t afford anything more than Claire‘s scents)-and had honey-brown hair that she meticulously curled in thick waves every morning, Carly was…more of a girl-next-door type, no pun intended. Naomi looked like she belonged on the cover of a magazine, she was so beautiful and sexy.

But Carly-her hair smelled of strawberry shampoo, her favorite fruit. She adored pink, and it suited her sweet style-pink cheeks, pink lip gloss, pale pink eye shadow. Her clothes weren’t always the newest fashion, but she always looked good. And kissing Naomi was always sexy, yet gentle, as if there was more to come. I enjoyed wondering what was next. But with Carly, it was an innocent but passionate experience, like a dream I was having (and had had many times). Something I’d built up so much in his mind, that when it actually happened, it was almost an ethereal, religious feeling, and I felt light and free, with no bounds. Of course I couldn’t compare the separate experiences. I was convinced that with Naomi’s entrance into my life, the “love” I’d felt for Carly (that was really just a juvenile crush) had evaporated, like Naomi was the sun gently melting those feelings away. Now I was past that, and all was as it should be with Carly-

Wait, was I doing thinking about this now? I noticed Naomi had paused in the kiss to give me a questioning look. “You okay?” I made himself come out of the reverential state. “Sure, of course.” She smiled and squeezed his hand. “We should go. I want to watch the lions get their afternoon snack.” I grinned back. “I agree. Let’s get moving.” We ran to catch the bus to the zoo, and once we were on it, I pushed all those thoughts to the back of my head. Carpe diem, I told myself. All that’s over now. You’re with Naomi, and she’s all you’ve wanted. Enjoy this time now. I smiled to myself, leaned back in the seat, and put my arm around Naomi. She rested her head on my shoulder. This is what I want.

Chapter 4- Meeting on a Rainy Night

Freddie POV

After a few hours at the zoo, it became time for us head to Carly’s house so I’d be in time to prepare for that night’s webcast. I hadn’t been to the zoo since sixth grade (with my mom), and I ’d had a great time with Naomi. She had dragged me around the place several times, to make sure we didn’t miss anything. I enjoyed her endless energy, never stopping in one spot for long. And she never got mad at me for mentioning scientific facts about the animals we saw-she always giggled and said I was adorably smart. But then, she didn’t have time to bored-I’d barely have time to make one of my observations about the eating habits of the rhinoceros, for example, before she’d cry out “Ooh! The elephants are getting fed! Let’s hurry!”, grab my hand and pull me to the next exhibit. It was never boring with Naomi. Though after a while I was glad to sit down in front of the peaceful polar bear exhibit (while Naomi listened to the zookeeper give a lecture on the North Pole) and take a few pictures of the sky as the clouds finally parted and the sun slowly sank. In art class, we’re learning about taking photographs that have the look of paintings, and this seemed appropriate. A sunset always reminded me of a painter taking his brush and letting brilliant shades of orange, amber, gold, and fiery red paint fly across his canvas, until the colors slowly faded into a soft pink, and the sky slowly turned gray. As it began to darken, I was reminded of somewhere we needed to be. So I managed to drag Naomi out of the zoo and back to the bus stop.

I was starting to get a little tired on the bus ride back, but Naomi was still as bubbly as she had been this morning. She babbled about she “had dozens of ideas!” and wanted to help as much as she could tonight. I told her I appreciated her interest, and we could use her ideas if they fit in with tonight’s show. That seemed to content her, and she lay her head on my shoulder and was for once quiet. I inhaled the sweet musky scent of her hair once more, as the bus whisked us back to Bushwell Plaza and the dark clouds that had lingered all day began a soft downpour that beat on the windows.

Carly POV

It started to rain just as I was waiting for the bus that would take me home, and since I’d been caught without an umbrella, I had to quickly hoist my backpack over my head to try and stay as dry as I could without my raincoat. I already had to hurry to make it home in time for iCarly-I couldn’t afford to get wet and have to change clothes now. Dammit, I thought gloomily. The icy wind blew through my unprotected clothes, and carried rain with it that beat down on me unmercifully. My teeth rattled. At this point, all I cared about was getting home to Spencer and my friends.

But the weather wasn’t the only thing that was getting me down. I wasn’t looking forward to having Naomi around while we filmed iCarly. I’d been trying to shut the feelings from my mind, but they just kept flooding back. Something about that girl…irked me. She practically ignored me, while at the same time she was devoted to Freddie and chatting up Sam like they’d known each other since grade school. I’m not a jealous girl, I thought. I shouldn’t have these thoughts, she’s Freddie’s girlfriend and he says she’s a fun, awesome girl. I just have to get to know her better. But the gloomy feeling persisted.

Just then the bus pulled up. I breathed a shaky sigh of relief, setting my teeth off chattering again, and hurried onto the bus, gave the driver a radiant smile (he was my deliverance to iCarly, after all) and found a vacant seat. My teeth didn’t stop rattling until we pulled up to Bushwell Plaza, and I ran as fast as I could out of the rain and into the lobby, ignoring Lewbert’s protests about dripping all over his linoleum “foyer”.

I got in the elevator and it went to my floor-and I stepped out the doors, dripping, just as Freddie and Naomi came up the stairs hand in hand, laughing as usual. I stopped in my tracks. Freddie’s face completely changed from mirth to concern when he saw me.

“Carly, you didn’t wear a coat? It’s pouring and cold enough to snow outside!” He dropped Naomi’s hand and gently took my backpack from between my trembling arms.

“That’s what I said to Freddie! You should have had an umbrella!” Naomi added.

“Don’t…you think I know that?” I stammered, shivering. I had no mind for comebacks at the moment.

“Let’s get you inside and warmed up.” I handed Freddie my keys, he unlocked the door and we all stepped in-to an unexpected sight.

Spencer had been right to tell us to watch our step this morning. But he hadn’t prepared us for this scene. The front room of our apartment was a complete junk pit-paint cans, aluminum foil, different kinds of brushes, clay, charcoal, and various pieces of junk that he’d obviously found in dumpsters covered the floor, and the couch and coffee table were leaned out of the way against one wall. It looked like an artist’s loft at the peak on inspiration-which probably was the truth. But the artist was nowhere in sight.

I forgot all about how cold and wet I was. “Woahh…” Freddie exhaled sharply.

“Oh my gosh! Is your apartment always such a-well, trash heap? No offense..” Naomi was in awe.

I barely heard her. I was too angry. “Spencer has gone off his nut. Well, actually, even more off his nut than usual. He’s insane! Is he going to just leave our apartment like this??” Suddenly I heard the refrigerator door slam shut, and we all froze. But it was only Sam who walked in from the kitchen, with a plate of leftover meat loaf in hand. “What up? You look like you caught in the rain. Bummer.” She took a bite from the meat.

“Spencer said you could have anything in the fridge, huh?” I said. “Yep.” Freddie set down my backpack on the one clean spot on the floor. “And where is Spencer?” Sam spoke with her mouth full. “He said he forgot some stuff, and he promised to bring home a pizza. He and Socko have been driving around town all day picking up junk.”

I groaned. “Great, just great. How much you want to bet Socko’s found someone to feature an exhibit of his work finally? And this is what it looks like.” Someone pounded on the door. “Spencer?” mouthed Freddie silently. I walked over and flung it open, expecting to bawl out my idiot big brother.

But it was just Adam. I instantly remembered my appearance with a flash of mortification. “Hey, sweetheart. You look soaked.” I sighed. “Thanks. Come on in.” He stepped in. Freddie and Sam turned to him in confusion. “Uh, what’s he doing here?” Freddie asked. “I invited him over to watch us film iCarly live. You don‘t mind, right?” I knew I had him. He and Sam gave each other a look. “Um, no problem!” Sam exclaimed. “The more people the better, right? Here, want a piece of meat loaf?” She held out her plate to him with surprising casualness. He shook his head at her, and turned to me. “So…what happened here?”

I giggled with embarrassment. “Um, I told you my brother Spencer’s an artist, right? “ He nodded. “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m going to have a talk with him as soon as he gets back the pizza.” Sam spoke up again. “Guys? It’s really time we got moving. We got less than 10 minutes until iCarly should be on, and you,” (pointing at me) “are still dripping wet.”

“Oh, right,” I said, and turned to Freddie. “Show Naomi and Adam the studio, ‘kay Freddie? I gotta go change.” “Tienes que-got it,” he replied. He took Naomi’s hand. “Come on, I’ll show you my whole “I love it when you talk like a geek…it‘s adorable,” she giggled, and squeezed his hand.

I felt that annoying twinge in my chest again. I used to call him cukey…when we were dating, and I felt a bad taste in my mouth when she said that. But I once again shoved back the disgruntled thoughts that had resurfaced for a brief second, pinched my lips together and ran up to my room for a much-needed change of clothes, while right behind me the others walked to our studio.

Freddie POV

The iCarly show that night was a bit shorter than usual. Carly was obviously tired and in need of a warm blanket and bowl of soup, but she did as best as she could, letting Sam take center stage with the “witty commentary” we always featured. Having already introduced Naomi to our viewers, we introduced Adam on-camera, and used him in a new “Hey, what am I sitting on?” skit. Then we showed a few fan-made clips, joked about Carly’s wet hair and the weather, and did a couple other goofy gags. I was tired too after the time spent at the zoo with Naomi, so I was looking forward to saying goodnight to her and going home.

I wasn’t sure why Carly invited Adam to watch…being in her strange, fatigued mood, she barely spoke to anyone but Sam during the show. Afterwards, we all went downstairs for cocoa, and she was very withdrawn, even pulling away from Adam when he tried to cuddle with her on the couch. Sam sat at the counter, Naomi sat on the leather recliner, and I stood beside her.

“So…what’s the plan for you guys this weekend?” said Sam. I knew she sometimes felt left out because she was the only one without plans on the weekends, while Carly and I always took advantage of the free time to be with Adam and Naomi, respectively. Carly took a sip from her cocoa.

I looked to Naomi to answer. “Well,” she began, “Freddie and I hadn’t actually made any plans yet. I’m free for anything tomorrow-”(she smiled up at me) “-but on Sunday I have church with my family, and an interview at Cindy’s Curls salon. She asked me to fill in as an assistant hairdresser.”

“Cool,” Sam offered, hardly looking up from her cocoa. It was her second cup. Adam sat up. “Carly and I are spending the day at the museum.” She nodded slightly. “But it’s getting late“-he stood-”and I better go.”

He looked expectantly at Carly. She stood and gave him a quick hug. “Be okay until Sunday?” he said. She nodded. He kissed her on the forehead, and turned to us. “Nice to meet you guys. I hope we can do this again soon.” Sam nodded. “Any time, man,” I said, giving him a fist bump. “Night, Carly.” He left.

Naomi stood up. “I need to go too. Thanks for having me over, Sam.” Sam grinned. “Hey, come any time, Klauffman. We’ll be here.” Naomi smiled. “Thanks.” She gave me a quick kiss. “I had fun. Call you in the morning?” I nodded. She squeezed my hand and walked out. Carly finally spoke. “You can sleep over, Sam.” “I knew that.” Sam stood. “Better get going, Benson-don’t want your mom coming over here.”

I ignored her. “You sure you’re ok, Carly? You’ve been so quiet-” She rose. “I’ll be fine, Freddie. Just got a little chilled, that’s all.” She smiled, and came over and hugged me. “Thanks for being here for me.” “Always,” I replied. She pulled away, and started upstairs while I watched her.

I wanted her to be all right. Now we were closer than we’d ever been, me and her and Sam together, and whatever was bothering her, I wanted to help. Carly had a habit of needing to be perfect, never wanting help, and so she bottled up whenever she had a problem. But not this time, I thought. She would have to tell her old friend Freddie Benson the truth. And I wanted her to be happy, to make her smile. I was convinced I’d never loved her, but as a friend I would always care about her.

Sam spoke, disrupting my thoughts.“Why are you still standing there?” I turned. “Make sure she’s okay, all right Sam?” She punched me in the arm. “Don’t doubt it. Now, GO HOME.”

I grinned, and went home as directed.

Chapter 5- Morning at Freddie's

Carly POV

I woke up late, around 10, the next morning, with the vague feeling that everything had gone wrong the night before. I felt slightly dizzy. Too much cocoa, I thought. Then I remembered how I'd spent the evening before, and all my unreasonable irritation resurfaced as I thought of Naomi. Somehow everything she'd said to me (or not said, actually) had irked me. Yet once again, everyone else always seemed to have fun with her. Why did I let her ruin what had begun as a really good day?

I found it strangely ironic that just yesterday morning I’d woke up and felt like everything was perfect in my life, and I’d marveled at how lucky I was at least 10 times. My relationships, my webshow, my life-it had all seemed flawless. And I had a whole day to spend with Adam on Sunday, and then the next weekend we’d go to a wild club for high school seniors. Oh my gosh, Adam. I sat up suddenly. Last night I'd ignored him almost completely. I'd been so tired, and once again all I could see was the way Naomi ignored me, and practically monopolized my friends. So I'd withdrawn from everyone, keeping silent most of the evening. Adam must have thought I was mad at him for something! I decided to text him straight off, and grabbed my phone off my bedside table.

Hmm. 4 new voicemail messages. One was from Spencer, sent only an hour ago: "Hey kiddo sorry I never showed last night. It was pouring last night, and I was really pooped, so Socko let me crash on his couch after we finished our rounds. I'll probably be home in a couple hours, so take care of yourself. Oh and sorry I forgot to warn you about the mess. I'll explain that when I get home. Spencer out." I was reminded about the disaster zone downstairs, and the bawling-out I'd planned for Spencer last night. Oh well, let him deal with it. I'd go over to Freddie's today to avoid whatever it was he had planned for all that junk.

Speaking of Freddie, I had two voicemail messages from him. He was worried about me because of last night, and wanted to know if I wanted to spend time today since Adam was working. I smiled. As usual, Freddie had read my mind. I sent him a quick text, then checked my last message. It was short-Adam simply said he hoped I was feeling better today, and was looking forward to Sunday.

I sighed. Now everybody thought something was wrong and I needed cheering up. Nertz to that, I thought. Today I wasn't going to let anything or anyone (like Naomi) bother me.

Not to mention I probably ruined our webshow with my gloominess. And I'd probably looked horrible. I got up and looked in the mirror. My hair was a rat's nest and I had dark circles under my eyes from when my mascara ran in the rain and I forgot to wash it off before bed. Oh well. Freddie didn't care how I looked.

I quickly got dressed and straightened my hair, brushed my teeth and ran downstairs. I'd forgotten about Sam-she'd slept over last night, obviously. She was lying haphazardly all the couch, snoring away peacefully. A half-eaten grilled-cheese sandwich and her empty cocoa mug sat on the coffee table. The TV had been left on, now showing Saturday morning cartoons. And Sam had fallen asleep, comically, with her hand holding the remote still pointed at the TV. I smiled and shook my head. I knew how to wake her up. So I rolled up my sleeves and walked to the kitchen, and just as I had begun frying a batch of bacon, Sam stirred, and stretched. "Mmm, that's what Momma likes to wake up to. Carly frying bacon." She got up, yawning, and made a beeline for the food. "Enjoy your beauty rest, Sam? I got some greasy, fattening breakfast meat ready for you, and I'm going to avoid that yummy unhealthy food and make myself some wholesome banana pancakes," I joked, getting out the pancake mix. "Thank youu, Carls. You're looking good today...better than last night. Watcha gonna do today?" I ignored her comment about last night. "Freddie asked me to hang at his place for a little while, so I think I will. And I know I haven't been spending much "quality" time with you guys as I used to, so I thought...maybe I could make it up to you this afternoon? I'm free all day, you know."

I poured some batter into small circles in the frying pan. Sam took a second between bacon slices to answer. "Sounds good to me. Maybe around 1:30?" She swallowed, and grinned. "We could go to Build-a-Bra. If you want." I smiled, and flipped a pancake. "I want. Just like we used to, huh? And maybe the salon too. Girl time without Freddie or any other guys for once-" She held up her hand. "That's as far as it goes. You know you're the only person I'd ever do this kind of stuff with, but only as long as it's not "girl time". She pretended to wince.

I giggled at her. "Agreed." I gobbled up my pancakes and went to wash my dishes, eager to get to Freddie's. I hadn't realized I was excited about this. "So I'll text you later? And meet you in the lobby?" She had a mouthful of bacon, so she simply mumbled "ghrruumff" and gave me a thumbs-up, which I guessed meant yes. "Yell at Spencer for me when he gets back, ok? And tell him I'm at Freddie's." I crossed the room and opened the door. "See you later!"

I walked to his door and pressed the buzzer, then waited for Mrs. Benson to yell from the speaker "What do you want, Miss Shay??" She had never liked me much, and now, after that week last year when Freddie got hit by the taco truck for me and I thought I loved him for it, she was always rude to my face. But instead Freddie answered the door. "Morning, Carly. Te ves mucho mejor (you look a lot better)."

I shrugged it off. "I feel better. Last night was just-a little rough for me, is all." I stepped in as he shut the door behind me, and took a look around his apartment. It was, as usual, incredibly orderly and clean, arranged as if ready for a photo shoot with Better Homes and Gardens. Every piece of furniture was upholstered and round-no dangerous sharp edges that might harm Marissa Benson's "little" boy. "Where's your mom?"

"She's not home. She had an appointment with her salon." I was taken aback. "She knew I was coming, and she decided to leave us alone together? Has she finally forgiven me for having been your girlfriend?" Freddie opened his mouth to reply, but suddenly in came Naomi. "Oh, you're here," she said to me.

I felt my smile disappear. She answered my question."Of course not. She only let you come over because I'm here-" "-and vice versa," Freddie finished. "Exactly. She wouldn't trust Freddie alone with a girl if he were over 21-especially if that girl was you," Naomi replied (did she insinuate something about ME? I thought suddenly). She sat on the couch and patted the spot beside her for Freddie to sit. I decided not to correct her grammar. I couldn't think of anything to say-I felt the familiar suffocating feeling when I looked at her, listened to her voice, as my mind twisted everything she said so it had a malicious sound to it. I was reminded of yesterday-

[Flashback to the previous night]

Naomi stood up. “I need to go too. Thanks for having me over, Sam.” Sam grinned. “Hey, come any time, Klauffman. We’ll be here.” Naomi smiled. “Thanks.” She gave Freddie a quick kiss. “I had fun. Call you in the morning?” He nodded. She squeezed his hand and walked out.

[end flashback]

She said thanks to Sam for having her over. She didn’t even acknowledge my presence, or even that it was my house, not Sam’s! At this thought, I furrowed my brow at her. Freddie looked concerned.

"Uh, Carly? Are you okay?" "Yeah, you looked-angry, all of a sudden," Naomi quickly agreed. I shook my head. Damn it, I'm an idiot. I looked at her more closely. See the way she leans towards Freddie, like he used to do with you? She cares about him a lot. Give the girl a chance. They were still waiting for me to respond.

I cleared my throat. "No I'm fine. In fact, I wanted to apologise for my behavior last night. I was having a bad day, I wasn't feeling good, and I may have been rude to you. So I'm sorry if I offended you." I gave her my most friendly smile and waited for her response. Thankfully, she smiled back. "Oh, no worries. I hardly noticed, I had such a good time with Freddie yesterday!" She tugged on his arm. "Show her the pictures you took at the zoo!" "Um okay," he said. She got up and gave him a peck on the cheek. "Who wants iced tea? I'll be right back with it." She left the room for the kitchen.

I turned to Freddie. "You didn't tell me she was going to be here." He shifted on his feet, looking uncomfortable. "Well, I couldn't have you over without her here. I mean, not only because of my mom, but-what do you think Naomi would think of us spending time together? She knows you're my ex-girlfriend, and that I had that insane crush on you for years."

"She shouldn't worry about it!" I replied. "You and I both know nothing would ever happen between us again. What has she got to be jealous of?" Freddie hesitated. "I told her that. She wasn't quite convinced." "Why?" "She said 5 years is a long time to have a crush on somebody."

I looked at him as his words registered in my brain. And it hit me at last. It was just what I'd thought-Naomi did dislike me! But I'd never thought it was because of this. She was jealous. Of me and Freddie. Because he'd had a crush on me since the 6th grade. I flashed back to yesterday again.

[2nd Flashback]

Freddie’s face became concerned when he saw me. “Carly, you didn’t wear a coat? It’s pouring and cold enough to snow outside!” He dropped Naomi’s hand and gently took my backpack from between my trembling arms. “That’s what I said to Freddie! You should have had an umbrella!” Naomi added. She stuck to Freddie's side.

[end of flashback]

She had quickly agree with Freddie, and kept close to him, almost possessively, when he showed concern for me and took my backpack for me. She had felt the need to prove he was hers, not mine. And again when she stepped in the apartment-

[3rd flashback]

“Oh my gosh! Is your apartment always such a-well, trash heap? No offense..” Naomi said. She squeezed Freddie's hand.

[end flashback]

So she had to say something mean to me, just because she felt jealous whenever I was around her boyfriend? Why was the girl so possessive of Freddie?

As I tried to digest this new idea, Naomi returned with two glasses of iced tea. She handed one to Freddie. "Here you go, Fredkins." She took his hand and squeezed it. "Shall we show Carly your room?" Uh oh. "Uh...she's already.." he stammered. I finished for him. Let the girl think what she wanted to. "I've already seen it, actually. More than once." I gave her an innocent smile.

She looked taken aback, and for a second I thought she was going to suddenly yell "She HAS?!" at Freddie, or ask what we did in there, or something. But the moment passed, and she smiled back. "Oh of course. I keep forgetting how long you've known her." She dropped his hand. "C'mon, I never got around to posting those to my SplashFace. You can help, Carly." She gave me a wide, genuine smile.

Maybe she's not so possessive after all, I thought. Maybe she was just-a little jealous, but she wants to put it behind us now. "Yes, let's. I can't wait to see them," I replied, feeling the most relaxed I'd ever felt around her. Freddie nodded, seeming relieved, and lead us to his room. Carly, you can put that behind you now too. And make friends with the girl. I giggled in my head. She SERIOUSLY thought Freddie and I might "do something" if we were alone. I would have to set her straight on some things.

This would be an interesting morning.

Chapter 6~Confession at the Coffee Shop

Freddie POV

It didn’t go exactly as I’d planned that morning. My mom had insisted that unless both girls were there, neither girl could spend time alone with me. I did need time to talk to Carly alone, but…I decided that maybe she and Naomi needed to spend time together anyway, get to know each other better. I knew Carly thought nobody knew how she felt about Naomi, but I always saw it on her face when Naomi was with me. She was jealous of Naomi because Sam liked her (and Sam doesn’t “like” people easily), and Naomi seemed to ignore Carly. Now I’d told Carly the reason why Naomi had initially avoided her, I hoped the girls could start fresh and be friends, so that when Naomi and I came over and Sam hung out with us, Carly wouldn’t be left out. I really wanted my girlfriend and best friends to get along well, not just Sam. Usually I would’ve expect it to be the other way around, with Carly being the friendly one, but I digress…

It did go okay. Carly seemed to come out of her faraway place of last night and was being friendly to Naomi, and I was glad to see that she and be the sweet, kind girl I know she is. They didn’t quite become buddies like I’d hoped, but oh well. That stuff takes time, I guess.

I did wonder why Naomi even bothered to worry about me and Carly, even if she was my ex-girlfriend. I mean, we’re just friends, and we had reached the mutual unspoken decision to stay that way 3 months ago. I had to admit that for a while after I forced myself to break up with her after that crazy week, I’d still cared about her, and waited for her, even refusing other girls so that when Carly decided she wanted to be my girlfriend again, I’d be available. I’d meant it when I said I’d be psyched about it if she did. And I had waited, as I had for years before. But time went by, and I was in the room when Adam asked her via video chat if we were dating. And I had heard when she said in that shocked tone, “Oh, god no.” I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. Just like that, with those three words she dismissed all chances of there being an “us” again. So yeah, of course it was a tough blow at first. But then I met Naomi, and it was like this time I’d finally found the dream girl, only this girl felt the same way I did, and she was ecstatic when I asked her to go out with me. She wanted me just as much as I wanted her. And I was sure now that what I felt for her was more real than what I’d ever felt for Carly. Especially since Carly never really loved me back, and Naomi did.

Anyway…after an hour my mom came home and shoed the girls out of the apartment. She never had respect for any girl I dated, especially Carly, who she’d always blamed for the accident with the taco truck. I hung around the house for a little while, then went out for a coffee though it was raining as usual. I needed to get away from Mom for a bit. She kept trying to give me her version of The Talk, which had nothing to with protection against diseases and pregnancy, and everything to do with going no further than kissing (and no open-mouth kissing either-that led to all kinds of mouth infections) until I was at least 21 and had been in a serious relationship for at least 6 months. So after a few minutes, I just grabbed my jacket and said I was getting a coffee, and left. I decided to go to our regular coffee shop.

I walked into Mocha Me Crazy. As I placed an order for a small butterscotch cappuccino, I suddenly noticed Carly sitting alone at a table. She comes here a lot, I should have expected to see her here on a Saturday, I thought. I took the coffee and walked over to her table.“Hey,” I said.

She looked up. “Oh hey Freddie,” she answered. “I didn’t expect to see you here.” I grinned. “I thought as much. Can I sit?” She nodded. “Sure.”

I took a seat and had a sip from the coffee cup. “So…I’m sorry we couldn’t you know, talk…while Naomi was there.” She shrugged, without looking at me. “No biggie.” “And at least you girls got to hang out, right?” I asked. She hesitated. “Yeah, she’s-nice and stuff. I didn’t want to leave or get in the way with you guys anyway.”

I stared at her. “ ’Get in the way‘? You’re never in the way! You’re my best friend. Why would you feel that way?” She still refused to look at me, and said in a small voice, “It didn’t seem that way before.” I was incredulous. “What are you talking about?” She shrugged. I tried a gentler tone. “Come on, Carly. I’ve known there was something wrong for weeks now. You know I can read you like a PearPad. I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s going on.”

She hesitated, then stammered. “I-it’s just..” I nodded to encourage her. “..well, I just feel…left out, so much lately.” “Why would you feel left out?” She struggled to find the right words. “Well…I know I haven’t spent as much time as I used to with you guys, ’cause of Adam…but I have tried to find more time to hang out with you and Sam. I mean I don’t want you to think I don’t care about you as much, because I do. But…whenever I do get time alone with you guys, it’s not the same, because-” “Spit it out, Carly. I’m not going to get mad at you,” I said, patting her arm.

She suddenly got a strange expression on her face I’d never seen before, as if she’d eaten something that tasted horrible, and suddenly she set down her coffee cup hard, which I’ve never seen Carly do, and words started spilling uncontrollably out of her mouth. “-because of…Naomi! She’s always there! Whenever we do iCarly, you invite her over-of course I really shouldn’t care, she’s your girlfriend and you can invite her over any time you want and I shouldn’t say anything I should be happy that you have this amazing girlfriend who cares about you, but it’s not only then, now it feels like she’s always around! On the school bus, in all our classes, at lunch, at gym, after school, sometimes even at night at my house! And even when we go to the Groovie Smoothie it’s always “Naomi’s coming with us” or “I can’t come, Naomi and I are going somewhere else”! Sometimes I feel like I can’t get away from her, even when she‘s not there!” She stopped for a breath. “And it’s not just when you’re around, she hangs out with Sam now too! And of course I shouldn’t be mad, I should be happy that she’s nice to Sam and Sam likes her and they get along so well, that you’re happy and she’s happy and everybody’s happy! Except me! And I feel so selfish because I should try to be friends with her and-stuff, but all I do is feel sorry for myself and I get mad at everything she says, and I even thought she hated me because she ignores me most of the time, but now you told me that she was just doing that because she thought maybe I still liked you because I was ignoring her, so she thought I was jealous, so I should be friends with her now, but I just-”

“Carly!” I grabbed her shoulders and she finally looked at me. “WHAT!” she yelled. By now everyone else in the coffee shop was staring at us. They must have thought we were a boyfriend and girlfriend arguing or something. I looked in her eyes carefully. “Calm down. Take a deep breath.” I demonstrated. “Breath in and out, like we practiced.”* She watched me, then started doing it with me. In, out, in, and out again. Her shoulders slowly relaxed, and I carefully released my hold on her. But I kept eye contact with her. After her outburst, she now looked like she was on the brink of tears. “This is all about Naomi?” I asked, keeping my voice calm although I was confused. She looked embarrassed. Her cheeks were red. “Well sort of…not exactly. I mean, it’s mostly just me. I’ve been selfish lately…I only thought about myself. When I’m not spending all possible time with Adam, I’m being jealous of Naomi.”

Me eyes widened. “You’re jealous of her??” She looked away and nodded slightly. “Carly, look at me. Why?” I could see her struggling not to cry. “I don’t know! It’s stupid-it just feels like everybody likes her better now, like you and Sam spend more time with her than you do with me. I know it’s partly my fault, but I just feel..l-left out. But it‘s so...selfish! I don‘t know why I feel that way!”

I got up and scooted my stool closer to hers so I could put my arm around her. “Carly…just because I’m with Naomi a lot doesn’t mean you‘re not my best friend, or that I want you to feel left out. And I know that nobody could take your place in Sam’s heart, no matter how nice Naomi is to her. She loves you. And you and I both know that’s saying a lot for Sam.” She sniffled and leaned against me. “Come here,” I said, taking out a tissue, and I wiped her cheeks gently. ”Blow on that.” She took it and wiped her nose instead, and handed it back to me. “Now look at me.” She did as I told her. I looked gently into her eyes and squeezed her shoulder. “Sam’s not the only one who loves you, you know. And you don’t have to hide anything from us even if you think we won’t want to hear it. Friends don’t keep secrets, remember? We can tell each other anything. Always.” She wiped her eye. “You’re not mad at me? I feel so stupid, crying about this.”

I smiled and tugged on her black hair. Even with her eyes and cheeks all red, and her hair all messed up, she was still so beautiful. It still awed me sometimes, even with Naomi around, and whenever I looked into her big brown eyes I was reminded why I’d loved this girl until I met Naomi. “Really, it’s okay Carly. Look, I’ve been feeling like I haven’t spent nearly as much time with you guys as I could, and I feel selfish for that too. But I’ll make it up to you. Maybe we could do something together? Just the three of us, no boyfriends or girlfriends allowed…”

She smiled. “I’d like that, Freddie. But-Adam and I had something planned for tomorrow, and Sam was going with some guy to the beach because it’s supposed to be nice and sunny, so..I don’t know..” I straightened up and leaned forward to reach for my abandoned coffee cup. “Well, you could wait and see how long you‘d be busy with him...and then, if it works out and you still have time in the afternoon, we could figure something out between us.” Her eyes lit up. “Yes…that would great Freddie! I’ll see if I can make it work. And maybe we can find some time to spend with Sam-I can only imagine how left out she feels since we both have steady dates and she keeps going out with guys who aren’t worth a second try.”

I shrugged. “Maybe that’s why she’s been hanging out with Naomi so much. She didn’t want to be left out entirely.” Carly nodded. “I have to make it up to her too.“ She finished her coffee. “So…tomorrow? In the afternoon maybe? I‘ll text you if it works out..” She looked happier than I’d seen her for weeks.

“Sounds like a plan!” I agreed, finishing my own coffee. We both stood up to throw our cups in the trash, and walked to the door. As I opened it for her, she squeezed my elbow. “Thanks for being so good to me,” she said quietly, and kissed my cheek. “Aren‘t I always?,” I grinned. She smiled, and we walked hand-in-hand back to Bushwell Plaza.

*A note about this-I don’t actually address this in the story, but because Carly keeps her feelings to herself for awhile in the story, and Freddie has mentioned that she bottles up a lot when she has a problem, it’s likely that Carly sometimes suddenly lets out all her feelings at once and has had anxiety attacks before, which probably relates to the fact that (as mentioned on iCarly) she used to have asthma problems when she was younger. So I assume Freddie, being her closest friend, has a relaxation technique for her. :)

Chapter 7-iHave a Talk with Sam

Carly POV

The next morning, Saturday, I got up early, barely taking time to enjoy the (rare for Seattle) warm sun and blue skies outside my window, to get ready for my morning at the museum with Adam. As planned with Freddie, I’d agree to spend as much time as he wanted there, then get lunch. And then I would ask him if we could cut it short until later because I wanted to spend time with Sam, when actually I would be spending time alone with Freddie, which we’d decided it’d be better not to tell him. We had planned to include Sam in our afternoon plans, but it was just us because Sam was going to the beach with a guy named Jordan while it was warm and clear outside. And anyway Freddie was still concerned about me after what happened yesterday, and he felt it was important that we had some time together. I didn’t know what we were going to do yet-I’d thought I would leave that up to him. It was his idea.

After all, it had all come about because Freddie asked me what was going on, and then I burst out and told him all the selfish, jealous thoughts that had been in my head for the past few weeks, and cried like an idiot. And yet somehow he wasn’t mad at me for hating his girlfriend. Okay, maybe I didn’t hate her. But the worst part about it all was that even though I’d talked my feelings over with Freddie, and he’d been so understanding, and even though I now knew why Naomi had ignored me and that she probably just wanted to be friends with me the whole time…even now, I still felt as if I hadn’t really gotten to the core of my real problem with her. Last night Freddie had definitely helped me dig deeper into the reason for my dislike for her, and he was convinced that it wasn’t Naomi I disliked, it was the fact that because of her, Freddie had less time for me and Sam. I wasn’t sure that was really it, though.

Oh well. For now I would just forget about the whole mess and enjoy myself with Adam. I had to make up for what happened the other night, anyway. So I got up, picked out my outfit (a cute blouse with a denim skirt and vest), fixed my hair and applied peach lip gloss and eye shadow. I walked downstairs. It was still a complete mess-I still hadn’t had time to have a “talk” with Spencer about the state of things. He’d been acting very strangely-most of the time he wasn’t even home, and said he was taking care of “bidness”, and when he was home, he hardly talked to me. He would grab a can of soup or something and lock himself in his room. Very weird, even for Spencer. I would have to add it to my list of things to take care of when I finally had the chance.

And Sam was asleep on my couch, as usual, with her head covered by a blanket. I rolled my eyes and tapped the lump of her head.

“Had a good sleep on my couch, again?” I said brightly, not expecting her to respond. But she seemed to have already been awake, because she immediately sat up and yawned, throwing off the blanket.

“Mornin’, Carls. You’re looking good.” She blinked and then shaded her eyes with her hand. “Mmffh, it burns…why is it sunny?”

I laughed and walked to the kitchen. “You checked the forecast, remember? You have a date with that guy, um, Jordan? A date to go to the beach ‘cause it’s going to be nice today.” I poured a glass of orange juice. “You can borrow my camo bikini if you want.”

She slowly dragged herself off the couch. “Oh yeah. Jordan. What time was it set for again?”

I sighed. “He’s picking you up in the lobby at 11. You should remember that stuff.”

She chuckled and stuck her head in the fridge. “You know I’m too lazy to remember that stuff when I can just ask you.” She grabbed a box of cereal and a sausage. “So…you got a plan with Adam today?”

I stuck a piece of toast in the toaster. “Sort of. It kinda…changed.”


I hesitated. “Freddie and I had a talk yesterday ‘cause we bumped into each other at the coffee shop at lunch.”

She stuffed the sausage in her mouth, looking confused. “Wait, I thought you guys spent the morning at his place?” “Well we did, but Naomi was there, so…we really didn’t get to talk.”

Still confused. “Why not?”

I wasn’t sure how to say this to Sam. I mean, even though she and Naomi are good friends now and Naomi and I just aren’t, I know Naomi wasn’t trying to steal Sam or anything-Sam had just been making an effort to be friendly because she didn’t want to be left out. But it didn’t make it easier to explain my dilemma with Naomi. “Sam…have you ever noticed if Naomi, um, ignores me? Does she ever…like, talk about me?”

Sam started eating her bowl of cereal. “Naomi? Not really. I mean, she never says anything bad about you, if that’s what you mean. Why would she?”

I shrugged. “Well, she kind of does ignore me. And I always noticed it. That’s why, in case you were wondering, I never really got as friendly with her as you have. Not that that’s bad, but... it did kind of bother me.” Sam was still confused. “And…what does this have to do with today?”

I started talking faster, trying to make my point without hurting her feelings. I didn‘t want to make her feel any more left out. “I’m getting to that part. Yesterday Freddie bumped into me at the coffee shop, and I told how I’d been feeling, but it sounded really selfish and jealous when I said it, but he didn’t seem to care, he was understanding and he told me that Naomi acted like that because she thought maybe I still liked Freddie, which is ridiculous. He also said we should have more time to talk beside I said I’ve been feeling left out. So he said if it’s possible maybe you and I could hang out with him with no boyfriends or girlfriends so we could have, you know, just iCarly gang time like we used to, but I told him you have a date today so he said well maybe I could just tell Adam I want to hang out with you guys because of course he’s not going to care, right? And then I can text him and we’ll go somewhere and spend some time, I guess.”

Sam looked like she had sensory overload. She set down her cereal bowl and held up her hand. “Okay, slow down Carls. Let me get my facts straight. You told Freddie you basically don’t like his girlfriend, and he didn‘t seem to care and didn‘t get mad?” I nodded once-she continued. “And he wants you to cut some of your time with Adam so you guys can hang out, and you would have invited me but I’ll be with Jordan all day so you decided to just go it alone?” I nodded again, and twiddled my fingers nervously. “So, um, is that okay with you? ‘Cause I don’t want you to feel left out or anything..”

She picked up her cereal and continued eating it. “Carls, of course it’s okay. But I’m a little confused here. First of all, Freddie didn’t seem to care at all that you don’t like his girlfriend? Damn, I mean, I know the nub is all soft and everything, but any guy would be upset with his best friend if she said s*** like that. Even Freddie. And he still wants to blow off an afternoon with his girlfriend and have you do the same with your guy so you can hang out together? You have to admit he’s being really easy on you, and eager to spend time with you, considering you told him you’re jealous of his girlfriend.”

“Jealous?? What are you talking about?” I protested. “I never said I was jealous of Naomi! I only said it annoyed me-only a little!-that she ignores me! That’s all I said! Besides, what would I be jealous of?”

Sam shrugged. “You tell me. All I know is, whenever she comes around you’re on guard. You barely talk to anyone, you’re all tense, and you seem really pissed off. And you never talk about her or invite her in the conversation. Don’t think I haven’t noticed, girl. I can read you like a PearPad. You‘re showing all the signs of the mean greens.”

I huffed. “ ‘Mean greens’? Is that even a phrase? And the only thing I’m jealous of is how much time she spends with you and Freddie! She ignores me completely! She never includes me in the conversation or talks about me. Why does the girl hate me? You tell me that!” I might have been pretty angry with her now for taking Naomi’s side, but Sam was still unruffled. “I thought you just said Freddie told you that Naomi was a little jealous of you because she thought you might like Freddie still. And you just said that’s ridiculous, right?”

Now I was confused. “Yeah, it is. So what?” She gestured with her spoon. It dripped milk on the floor. “So, now you know why Naomi ignored you, and since you’re so sure of yourself and you know that that’s ridiculous, you can just set her straight, start over and be friends with her. What’s the problem?”

I thought for a second. What was the problem anyway? Why did I still feel like I had to hate Naomi? I’d been beating myself up over this for so long though, my brain was tired of puzzling it out. So I took the easy road. “Nothing. There’s no problem.” I turned away and picked up the newspaper, pretending to scan it. “Good.” Sam licked the last of the milk out of the bowl and set it on the counter. “I guess you’re not going to rinse that, huh?” I said without looking at it. “You guess correctly,” she answered. She walked to Spencer’s bathroom. “I got to go get spiffed up for later.”

“So go get spiffy, girl!” I said, giving her a quick smile. She did need encouragement. Sam had been through a lot and now things were finally looking up for her-she had the pick of the football, basketball, and most importantly, wrestling guys, as well as a lot of the guys who were into…other stuff. I could tell she was enjoying her status as the girl who hung out with the guys-she told me that it used to be a turn-off for them, but now it made her more desirable, maybe because she was 16. But I knew it was because she’d become a lovely young woman, and her strong self-confidence was very attractive to the opposite sex. I felt rather like a mother hen watching her chick grow up-for a long time I had been a kind of mother for Sam, with her real one failing her, and it was good to see her having pride in herself.

I checked my watch. It was almost 9-about time to finish up and run down to the lobby. I ran up to my room, checked my makeup, and grabbed my purse. As I ran downstairs again, Sam leaned out of the bathroom. “One more thing-you’re going to ask Adam if you can cut your date short a little so you can go hang out, alone, with Fredweird? You sure he’ll even let you?”

“Well…I wasn’t going to actually tell him it‘s Freddie I‘m going to be with…I thought I‘d just say I had plans with you.” I giggled.

“Good call,” she said. “See you later?”

“Yeah, if you have time after you’re finished with Jordan this afternoon, text me the deets and maybe you can meet us wherever we are,” I offered. “Will do. Have fun with the Fredweiner.” I grabbed my purse and opened the door. “I will. You have a good time with Jordan, okay?” “I’ll try.” I nodded and closed the door behind me, and ran down the stairs to the lobby to meet Adam.

So do you think Carly is jealous of Naomi for being friends with Sam, or for being with Freddie? Maybe Sam knows more about it than Carly will admit. Feel free to comment! More chapters coming soon.

Chapter 8- A Song From the Past

A/N-This chapter was already added to this story almost two months ago, but due to my own laziness and forgetfulness, I've only added it now. So finally, a chapter with some genuine fluff and Creddieness. Hope you enjoy it! :)

Freddie POV

I spent most of the next morning sitting around the apartment, waiting for my afternoon with Carly. I opened the window in my room to let in the sunlight, over the protests of Mom, who always worried about drafts, and opened my closet to get ready. It was stupid, but I kept changing my clothes, as much as a girl-changed my shirt 3 times, my pants twice, even my shoes twice. I wondered if Carly was as worried about her appearance.

I thought about what happened yesterday. Although Carly and I had been close friends for five years, and now more than ever we trusted each other and had promised to always be open with our feelings, I knew it was hard for Carly to open up with how she really felt, and yesterday had been a major breakthrough for her. I think that with never having had a mother or father around, Carly could sometimes feel unloved, unwanted, and had to make up for it by being the best daughter she could, to win that love I knew she craved so much. Spencer was a loving and, although immature, occasionally wise older brother, but he could never make up for having no mother and a father who was forever overseas, most of her life. Having an absent father myself, who my mother always refused to talk about, I knew what it was like to wonder why one’s father didn’t want to be home with his kid. Sometimes I wondered if my father had ever loved me, or even knew about me. And I knew sometimes Carly had doubts about whether her father really loved her too. Maybe Carly felt that if she was a “good enough” daughter, her father would finally come home to stay, and never leave again. But no matter how hard she tried to be that perfect daughter, it had still never happened. Perhaps it never would.

Anyway, I was hoping that today Carly and I could have another talk like yesterday, like we hadn‘t had in ages, because I knew she really needed that. For a second, I wondered why she didn’t seem to want to talk to Adam about all this. Or maybe she already had. I would have to ask her. For now, I was just excited to have some time with her. I’d forgotten how much I missed having it be just the three of us, or just her, like the old times. I’d decided to take her to the park, since it was such a nice warm, sunny day. And since she’d run right over after her date with Adam, I thought I’d surprise her and bring a little food for an afternoon snack. What the hell, I thought, I’ll bring a Frisbee, my PearPod, my camera…we might as well have some fun while we’re out enjoying this nice day.

At 12, I packed sandwiches, lemonade, and two cans of Peppy Cola-her favorite (gotten from the market in secret). I hurriedly made the sandwiches myself so Mom wouldn’t find out. “Hey Mom, I’m going to meet a few guys at the park later, okay?” I yelled. “Don’t yell in the house, Fredward. What are you and these boys going to be doing?” she answered, walking in the kitchen. “And what’s this food?” “Oh! I’m just, uh, bringing a few snacks in case they get hungry. It’s healthy! It’s just sandwich meat you got from that health food store last time. You don‘t have to check.” It wasn’t-it was plain old ham and cheese. I prayed she wouldn’t check the sandwiches, and luckily she didn’t. She just hurrumphed and went to empty the sink and scrub it with bleach. “Freddie haven’t I told you to always clean the surface when you’re done? You could spread all kinds of germs that way!” I had been tossing everything into my backpack and barely heard her. “’Kay Mom, got to go. See you later luv ya bye.” I grabbed my shades and slammed the door behind me. ________________________________________________________________________

I texted Carly as soon as I got out of Bushwell Plaza. Adam had been cool with her idea, and she was on her way now. We agreed to meet by the duck pond, in the center of the park. That’s always the first place Carly goes-she loves to feed the ducks, and always brings a bag of bread crusts just for throwing at them. I’d remembered to bring a few in my backpack.

I sat on a bench by the pond and watched the ducks…put my PearPod on shuffle and it started playing. For a minute I just sat there… tapped my foot...glanced at the sky. The ducks looked at me expectantly, so I sighed, grabbed a bag of crusts, and started throwing them to the mob, which immediately scrambled for them. A giggle from behind me. “Hey.” I jumped and turned around. Of course it was Carly. I caught my breath a little at the sight of her-the midday sun made her seem to glow, and her hair blew loose in the slight breeze. “Oh, hey Carls,” I answered. She smiled. “You remembered the ducks too.” I looked down and realized we were both holding bread crusts, and she gestured at the squawking birds gathering around. “Mind if I help? They seem hungry.”

I grinned. “I could use some help. They‘re pretty hungry.” She opened her bag and we started throwing food to the hungry birds. First one by one, but then as the ruckus increased and the birds clashed over the same pieces, we started throwing the crusts everywhere, in every direction, and then we started screaming as the ravenous birds turned on us, nipping our hands and flapping their wings. They were making so much noise that a few couples lying on the grass up the hill stared, and watched as Carly took off her shoe and waved it at them-”Get away, you greedy beasts!! Share the food! We’re your friends-leave us ALONE!!”-until one bird snatched it away. She shrieked, and the birds started chasing us. “RUN! THEY’RE RABID! THEY‘RE BITING MY LEG!!” I yelled to tease her, and suddenly she started screaming at the top of her lungs, grabbed my arm and dragged me as fast as she could run up the small grassy hill and away from the duck pond, where we were well out of range, while I laughed my head off at her and the whole ridiculous scene. Only when she paused for breath, and saw the ducks scrambling away back to the crusts, did she stop screaming and loosen her grip on my arm.

She suddenly turned on me. “You idiot! You scared me!” she yelled, slapping my arm. Then we caught each other’s eyes, and immediately both starting laughing uncontrollably, doubling over with mirth. My chest really hurt I was laughing that hard, but I couldn‘t stop. Every time I thought of Carly waving her shoe at those hungry ducks…“Did you ever see anything like it…” she gasped between laughs. I was hysterical. “If you could have seen your face…you looked like you thought the ducks were going to eat you…!” I stammered, almost unable to breath. By now everyone within hearing distance probably thought we were insane, but we were laughing too hard to care.

Finally we calmed down. I snuck back to the pond while Carly waited (still a little nervous about the ducks, I thought and snickered) at the top of the small hill, and grabbed my backpack with the lunch, and my PearPod, still on shuffle. I brought it back and we sat down on the grass. “You managed to bring snacks without your mother touching them?” Carly smiled as she picked up one of the ham sandwiches. “Sneaked it right past her. I told her I was going to the park with my AV club buddies. They’re the only guys she lets come over, and then she insists on spraying them, so-they only come over now and then.” I shrugged and bit into my own sandwich. We sat and munched in silence for a few moments

“So..” I offered. She giggled. “So,” she agreed.

I hesitated. “So…did you have fun with Adam? Which museum did you go to?” She shrugged and took a sip of her cola. “Sure. We went to the SAM*…just looked around for a bit. It was nice…kind of a different date.” I nodded, finishing my sandwich, and lay back on the grass. “Nice day, huh? Feels like it’s almost summer.” Carly smiled. “I love it. The sun is so warm, and the sky so blue..I can’t get over it..”

She stretched and yawned softly, and leaned back on her palms to look at the sky. “It makes me sleepy though.” She suddenly looked at me. “Freddie…are you sure you aren’t mad about what I said yesterday?” Before I could answer, she continued with a nervous look on her face. “Because I don’t want this to create a problem with us, and with you and Naomi. I know I was being kind of selfish..I mean, we’re friends, but I don’t have the right to say anything mean about your girlfriend-” I interrupted her, turning on my side to face her. “Carly. I told you, no hard feelings. I asked you what was bothering you and you told me.” She bit her bottom lip, but I cut her off. “Look Carly, I just want you to know that your feelings are important to me. You’re just as important as Naomi, and if you have a problem, you should tell me.“

She started to speak “But I don’t have the right to-“. I stopped her and touched her shoulder. “Listen to me, Carls. Don’t talk like that. You always have the right to say how you feel. Never deny yourself that right. You know, I think sometimes you just…bottle up how you’re feeling inside, and you don’t let anyone in. But that’s not…good, Carly. After a while you can’t handle it, and you break down, like you did in the café.“ She looked so vulnerable, with her lower lip quivering. Her words came out in quiet whispers. “I know…I just didn’t want to hurt anybody…you and Naomi are so happy together, and I wanted to be happy for you…but I couldn‘t! I just felt like such a mean bitch…I‘m not used to that..” Her voice cracked. “Do you think I’m a jealous person?”

I shook my head. "No, I don't. I think you're a sweet, good person. That's why you're so upset about this. But you have nothing to apologize for. I think all you need to do is reach out to Naomi, Just show her that there's no hard feelings, you want to be friends, and I'm sure it will all work out. Okay?" I paused and took her hand "I don't want this to cause trouble between you and me or you and Sam, or you and Naomi. I want us all to be friends, okay?"

She swallowed, and nodded, keeping her eyes on mine. "Okay…"

I sighed. "Remember our promise? We tell each other everything. If we have a problem, or something's bothering us, we tell each other. Best friends don't keep secrets, right?"

She nodded again. "Okay. I more secrets." And she finally smiled. "And I also promise you that my problem with Naomi is no more. If you can forgive me for this, I can start over with her." She actually looked a bit amused. "If Sam's okay with her, she must be an interesting girl."

I patted her hand. " And it's as good as forgotten. You just start over with her and it stays between you and me."

"Thanks, Freddie. For…more than just my stupid jealousy. You really help…with a lot of things." She put her hand over mine.

I shrugged. "You're important to me. And so is our friendship."

She nodded. "Me too. I mean, I agree."

We lay there and squeezed each other's hands. I decided to press a second question. "Carly." She nodded. I stammered. "Why were you...jealous?"

She hesitated, obviously taken aback, and struggled to reply. I knew I must've asked exactly what she had hoped I wouldn't. "Umm...I don't-know, really. I guess...she kind of symbolizes the fact that you're not little Freddie anymore. You're a-guy, and you're growing away from me and Sam. So I guess...I was just jealous because I was being selfish about our friendship. I mean, we're almost seniors. We're growing up, Freddie. Too fast, it feels like." She half-laughed.

"I know. Makes you wonder about the future, huh?"

She nodded. "The-future. It's such a scary idea. I just... don't want to face it without you. And Sam."

I shook my head. "Me neither. It wouldn't be the same without you."

She gave me a quzzical look. "What about Naomi? Would you go where she goes?"

I stammered. "'s early to tell..I mean we're still in high school..."

"That's not what I mean, Freddie. We both know this is about what's more important...boyfriends and girlfriends...or best friends?" She looked me in the eye.

I looked right back at her."No contest. You."

Her expression was unexpected. She suddenly looked vulnerable. "You'd pick me...I mean me and Sam...over your girlfriend?"

I nodded. "Wouldn't you?"

She paused. But then, slightly, nodded.

And we were left lying there on the grass, facing each other, staring into each other's eyes. And I suddenly couldn't think of a thing to say-my mind felt blank.

I don't know if it was the warm sunshine and beautiful day, the feeling of closeness. The fact that our bodies were only inches apart, and that we could both feel the warm brush of the other's breath. But I know that it was like a spell fell over us, and I was suddenly incredibly aware of her lovely face, so close to mine. I felt her hand, still on my own…before it had little effect, but now.. it was like sparks were shooting out of her skin, and my hand tingled uncontrollably at her warm touch. Slowly, she looked down again, to my hand, and moved her fingers slightly over my palm, almost caressing it.

I caught her eye then. At first she seemed afraid to meet my gaze, but slowly she looked up, and I saw a difference there, a glimmer of something, that I hadn't seen for more than a year. And the look awakened something in me. Her soft raven hair was wildly splayed around her face, and on sudden impulse, I slowly reached out with my other hand, and touched it gently. She didn't move a muscle, and I slowly moved my hand to the soft skin of her cheek, and began to caress the outline of her face with my thumb. Neither of us moved, or spoke.

Arguments for why this was wrong, unethical, shouldn't be happening, screamed in my brain. What are you doing! She doesn't love you anymore…she never will, she said so to Adam…You're in love with Naomi, she's with Adam now…you'll ruin everything…but then the emerging feelings that I'd thought were gone forever came forth.. shushed the arguments, and drowned them out with those long-buried, heartfelt needs…the most basic of urges… and for the first time in months, ever since I'd overheard her final rejection of me, I allowed those feelings to rush over me again, take over my heart and brain. That look on her face…a little frightened, yet so yearning and vulnerable…it was the same as that night, when we had our first slow dance, alone...

And then, as if triggered by these sudden, unbidden thoughts, the song on my PearPod ended. As if by fateful intervention, the familiar notes of a song I knew we both had never forgotten began…

I can be fragile, I can break in two

But I know I’ll be swept up by you….

and if I get frightened, you will always be

a place of quiet… to calm me

I could see recognition, confusion on her face…could she think I’d set this up? And this had begun as a friendly outing, nothing more than a picnic. I’d been sure I’d gotten over her…and as for Carly, I knew she’d gotten over me a long time ago. I had no idea what we were doing.

and if you feel my love, just let it show

and if you want my heart, just let me know cause you are meant for me

Neither of us could move, speak. It was like we were frozen…there was something between us, no words could come out of our lips. My hand on her cheek was immobile-my feelings conflicted. One second I wanted to pull away, say something, do anything to end the awkward moment…but in the next moment, something screamed in my head to stay in place, look into her eyes…impossible urges I hadn’t felt in months raced through my brain.

I’d been so sure of our relationship, for once. Why did this song suddenly change everything?

Sometimes I feel frozen and the words I say

you carry my breath the wrong way….

but then when i touch you, and i disappear

safe in your arms… you take me…

Her lips opened, and she finally spoke…broke the silence. “You saved it. The song…from the dance.” She half-laughed, but it sounded strange.

and if you feel my love, just let it show…

I slowly nodded. “Yeah…I asked T-Bo if I could save the track...from that night. It was just a stupid idea…I shouldn’t have done it. Just...nostalgic, I guess.”

and if you want my heart, just let me know…

She nodded slightly. “Yeah…old…time’s sake..”

Could she hear the drum banging in my chest, that was loud enough for the whole park to hear? I wondered if her heart was beating as fast as mine…if she was thinking the wild, crazy thoughts I was…feeling the unbearable urges in my body too…

cause you are meant for me…

As if waking from a trance, Carly suddenly jolted and sat up. I did the same. “Well…it’s getting late-maybe I should call Sam and see if she wants to meet up with us?”, she said, reaching for her phone. I quickly switched off the PearPod. “Sure. Yeah, do that. We don’t Sam to feel left out, right?” I said. I started picking up our trash while she dialed. “Hey, Sam. No, we were just about to leave. How did it go? [pause] Oh great. Wait, I’m confused.” She looked perplexed, then annoyed. “But…when did it turn into a double-okay, fill me in later. We’ll meet you there.” She listened for another moment. ‘Kay, bye.” She closed her phone.

“What’s with her? I asked.

Carly sighed and stood up. “Sam’s date brought two other guys and their girlfriends with them to the beach, and from the sound of it, it was a disaster. She wants us to meet her at the Groovie Smoothie-she sounded kind of pissed.”

I exhaled sharply. I was actually relieved for the quick save. “Okay- I guess we’d better get going, then.” “Uh, yeah! Sam needs cheering up.” Carly replied. She grabbed her bag and stuffed her phone in it, and slung it over her shoulder. “I’ll meet you by the bus stop.” She turned and ran up the hill without a backward glance.

Were her cheeks flushed? I was too flustered to tell. I gathered up the rest of my stuff and jumped up to follow her.

I would worry about what had happened later. And of course I didn’t plan to say anything about it to her.

What was there to say?


Cause you are meant for me.

  • Seattle Art Museum. Interesting abbreviation, hmm?

So? Did you love it? How do you think things are going to change between Carly and Freddie? Since this chapter was finished and added to the story almost two months ago, I'm way ahead on new chapters. Keep checking back! I appreciate your comments and ideas! :)

16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)CreddieLuv4eva~Feel free to leave note on my talk page! :) 16:55, April 22, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for reading! This is the last chapter I've written and I'm currently busy with the next one so let me know what you think should happen next-I'm open to all feedback too! :)