DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN ANYTHING
It was officially the 25th of December and Carly Shay felt exhaustion for the first time in a very long time.
She and Spencer just hosted a huge Christmas bash and she was literally running around the apartment like the great party host that she was to make sure everyone was having a great time. Carly realized she didn't really enjoy herself that much because if she did, her legs wouldn't hurt and the throbbing of her head would not be present.
But it wasn't that which was making her weary. She'd never been this tired whenever they do iCarly, even the continuous show where they had to beat a record. She'd never felt this when Sam was training her nonstop for the pageant to beat her rival. This was new to her and she didn't know how to handle it.
It was Christmas, supposedly her favorite holiday season every year because of the presents under some tree Spencer built, the Christmas lights that would always cheer her up, the catchy songs stuck in her head, and the anticipation of another wonderful year ahead.
Surprisingly, she couldn't say the same for the year.
Confused would be one of the terms that could describe how she was feeling. A lot of questions have been bugging her lately. Some of them had something to do with the most important people in her life – Sam, Spencer, and her dad. Two or three were about Gibby. More than half involved Freddie.
Standing on the roof of their apartment building, she looked down and watched the busy streets of Seattle. The people running around resembled the thoughts in her mind, moving restlessly and not wanting to give her the peace she was looking for.
Carly heaved a heavy sigh and decided to looked up instead before whispering in the wind. "I know you're there. I can hear you breathing."
Freddie expected that she'd find out eventually. One minute he was helping her and Spencer clear out her apartment and the next minute she was gone. He'd been watching her throughout the party and to say that he was worried about her was an understatement.
Slowly, he made his way beside her and while she was still looking up with her eyes closed, he raised his hand and removed a strand of her hair covering her face. He wanted to trace her cheek with a finger to let her know how beautiful he thought she was but he didn't. He stopped himself.
"What are you doing up here?" he asked worriedly as if she came up there to jump off the building and vanish from his life forever.
She hated it. It was like those peephole days all over again. She hated that she loved every ounce of it when she wasn't supposed to.
"Do you know what I want to become years from now?" she locked gazes with him for the first time and when his brows furrowed in frown, she faked a smile. "Or do you know what song my mom used to sing to put me to sleep?"
He didn't know. "I… I don't know."
She laughed softly for a while before tearing her eyes off him. "It's funny, isn't it? You always tell me and everyone else that you love me, that you want me to be your girlfriend ever since you saw me and yet, you don't even know me."
Freddie never expected it. What she just said was worse than all the rejections he received from her. It was an unexpected blow from Carly and it him. Hard.
"What are you saying?" he asked as calmly as possible but he was starting to lose it.
Carly faced him again this time and the words came out of her sharply. "You don't love me, Freddie. You never did."
Her words stabbed him like a knife, cutting him open until there wouldn't be enough to bleed. Worse, Carly was walking away from him like she didn't say anything at all, like she wasn't sorry.
But she was. She felt how much pain her words brought him.
"Carly!" Freddie yelled at her but she didn't stop. She ignored him, pretended that she heard nothing and continued to walk away.
Usually, he'd let her go so she would not be able to see how she broke him. Usually, he'd just agree with her and tell her he's awfully sorry. Usually, he'd run inside his apartment and cry himself to sleep, hoping that Carly would apologize for hurting his feelings for the millionth time.
But he'd grown tired too.
The next thing she knew, he was holding her wrist tightly which she was sure would leave a nasty mark on her flawless skin. She looked up to him and his eyes were lonely and dark and for the first time, she was afraid.
"Come with me."
She could've easily said no, removed his grip on her wrist, and ran down to her apartment. But she did none of those things. Soon, she found herself being dragged not so gently by her so-called best friend who promised not to hurt her. He wasn't slowing down even when they were descending the crappy stairs, causing her to stumble with every step she took. But it looked like he didn't care.
They stopped at a familiar room in the building and Freddie quickly dragged Carly inside with him. She remembered the place. It was the very room Freddie had rented when he's had enough of his mom. But she couldn't see much without the lights on. He closed the door with a loud bang and shoved her behind it, pinning both her wrists beside her head which made her gasp in surprise.
"I don't love you?" he suddenly asked bitterly and she tried so hard to look into his eyes and figure out what he would do next.
Bravely, she opened her mouth to answer him. "You don't."
He shoved her hard again and the back of her head hit the door behind her. She wanted to cry not because of the physical pain it caused her but because she was internally hurting for both of them.
What happened next was nothing she'd ever expected. He let go of one of her hands and punched the wooden door so close to her face that she swore if she moved just a little bit, he would have hit her. She closed her eyes and gasped as she heard the loud crack ringing in her ears.
She could feel the hand he used tremble as he pinned her again. She wanted him to let go of her so she could see it and nurse it, and when she's done, maybe she could do the same to his heart.
"That's bullshit, Carly!" he snapped. "You have no right to tell me that I don't fucking love you just because I don't fucking know those fucking things! You know why? Because you never gave me the fucking chance! What about those guys you dated, huh? What about those morons whom you gave infinite chances to? Do they know you? Do they know you enough for you to give them the right to break your fucking heart?"
For once, she didn't know what to say. Tears were starting to trickle down her face.
"I've loved you all my life, Carly." He sounded like he was about to break down anytime soon. "I've loved you all my life, did things I never thought I would for you, risked my life just to save you from that truck and here you are, saying that I don't fucking love you! What else do you want me to do? Who do I have to be? Some good-looking loser who couldn't wait to raise your skirt up and then take your virginity?"
"YOU BASTARD!" She started to struggle so she could slap him hard for saying that.
He answered by pushing her back violently against the door. "THEN WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU FUCKING WANT?"
"I DON'T KNOW!" she screamed although she she wasn't sure if it was for him or for herself. "I don't know. I don't know... I'm sorry..."
They were both crying silently, and she could feel him starting to loosen his grip around her hands. She tried to break free so she could hold him tight and tell him to stop crying but he wasn't taking any chances. He was far from being done and wasn't just going to let her go without setting things straight between them.
"Freddie…" she begged. "Please…"
He only tightened his grip and brought his face down slowly. She could feel his breath hot on her neck before he settled for her bare shoulder. She would've felt goosebumps if it wasn't for the tears he was shedding that were dripping one by one on her skin.
Carly rested her head on his and both just tried to calm down.
"Why did you come here with me?" he suddenly asked, the anger in his voice totally vanishing in thin air. "Why, Carly?"
She sniffed. "I don't know."
"Damn it, Carly!" Freddie looked up and she gasped again, afraid he'd give the door another blow. "Can't you say anything else but 'I don't know'?"
The moment she saw his eyes, the fear she was feeling went away. It wasn't dark and scary anymore. It was just his hopeful eyes, sparkling in the dark with those tears threatening to fall. He looked vulnerable, not the kind of vulnerable he always looked whenever Sam tortured him. Carly hated that she did this. Of all the people who could break him, it was her.
"Why? Answer me, please. Please, Carly..." he cried silently.
"Because… because I trust you."
His grip on her wrists finally loosened as he looked directly in her eyes. As soon as she was free, Carly didn't bother to rub the part where he held her, ignoring the reddish circles that were starting to be visible. Instead, she immediately threw her arms around him, nestling her head under the crook of his neck. He could feel her sobbing against his shirt and the only thing he could do was hold her tight and never let her go.
"If you trust me, then why won't you believe me when I say that I love you?" he started sobbing harder. "I love you, Carly. I really do."
Her cries became louder and she was starting to run out of air. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say those things, Freddie. I know now. I'm so sorry."
He ran his hand gently on her back and whispered soothing words to make her stop crying. "It's okay, Carls… It's okay. I'm sorry too."
She straightened herself without unclasping her hands around his neck and he didn't let go of her either. They were both searching for something in each other's eyes as they stood there in their own world as if everything else didn't matter, as if words had not been said.
"I was afraid." Carly sobbed and Freddie leaned forward to press his forehead against hers to let her know that everything was okay now. "I was afraid that I may be starting to realize that I am in love with you too when you don't love me anymore… when you finally gave up and got over me."
He silenced her by pressing his lips on her forehead. "That's never going to happen, love. Even if you never learn to love me back, my feelings for you will never change because loving you is what makes me Freddie. It's a part of me and no matter how much I try, how much I tell myself to stop, I just keep coming back to you."
The sincerity in his words weakened her. No one knew who leaned in first because the only thing Carly remembered was Freddie cupping her face gently before their lips met. It was like their first kiss, except this was more special because finally, she was confident that her feelings for him were real, not just some illusion that formed in her mind because of gratitude.
As they lay face to face on the mattress, their hands, palm-to-palm, were raised on the tiny space between them. A small smile was formed on her lips as he studied every inch of her face, thinking he could lie beside her for who knows how long and do nothing else but hold her like this forever.
"What are you thinking?" she mumbled sleepily.
He smiled his boyish smile and whispered back a single word. "Us."
Carly giggled and the sound made him smile even wider. It didn't bother him anymore that she might not believe what he just said because by the way she was looking at that particular moment, pink cheeks and sparkling eyes, he knew that she felt his sincerity.
"You take care of Sam like she's your little sister because you love her so much." He stated randomly which confused her at first. "You run your hand through your hair like this when you're nervous about something." His hand was suddenly lost in her strands and it made her close her eyes and smile. "You have three linear moles on your ring finger."
"Wha—How did you know about that?" She snatched her hand from his but he caught it before she could hide it behind her back.
Tracing circles on her palm, he explained. "Remember when you cut your finger while we were making those penny tees and I nursed it? I looked at your hand then and the only thing on my mind was 'Ten years from now, I'm gonna be the lucky guy to put a ring on that pretty little finger of yours while reciting the vows that I wrote myself'."
Her heart stopped beating when he brought her hand to his lips.
"I love you, Freddie."
Upon hearing those words he'd been dying to hear, Freddie pulled her closer so he could press his lips lightly into hers. The kiss deepened and Carly knew that it had to be the sweetest kiss she had ever shared with anyone.
"I love you more."
She wanted to argue with him and tell him that it wasn't possible because she never felt something stronger than what she was feeling for him before.
But she chose to believe him because with the way he was looking at her and holding her at that special moment, she knew that no one else could ever love her more than Freddie loved her.
Just a little Christmas gift for my fellow Creddie shippers! Thank you for being the awesome people that you are! May you guys enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends. ^_^
Have a MERRY CREDDIE CHRISTMAS!