Chapter 29/ Pinky Promise (I'm Yours)

Hate gets home lucky to still be alive.

He screams o'er the sidewalk and into the drive.

The clock in the kitchen says 2:55,

And the clock in the kitchen is slow.

She waits. The nurses draw the blinds so she can't see a thing. And with a narrow view, she sits before the room, never having felt so alone before. It's early morning and her every movement tolls her exhaustion. She's tried and terrified. Fear consuming to the point of numbness.

She doesn't know how long she sits there. Minutes, hours, days, she can't really tell anymore.

People are moving, running around. And from a distance, if she focuses, she can almost hear them as they work in a hurry.

"BP 80/50 and falling!"

But she chooses not too, it takes too much effort, and she's gotten to a point where she almost forget's why she's sitting there in the first place.

Arms slump to her sides, eyes wondering about her surroundings in obscene question. A chill runs down her back but she just welcomes it like an old friend. Her hand lingers to the small, barely there slope of her stomach, one of the only things keeping her sane in the moment.

Her other hand cups her phone. But she doesn't use it. She doesn't call anyone. She just sits there, waiting. Because that's all she can do at the moment. Just wait, and hope, and be there.

Her world is falling apart around her but all she can do is sit and stare, and wait.

She stares at the white walls, eyes boring into the green light of an 'exit' sign that hangs near by, letting herself get lost in the color. When she looks away she can see the outline of the word follow her gaze.

She's stared at it too long now.

How long, she can't tell.

Time is not a concept right now.

Her eyes rest on the set of blinds before her. She studies it's pattern. It's horizontal layers and layers of thin plastic bound together by a series of white braided rope. They follow the pattern from the top to the bottom, running over every bump, every defect, until the panic in her chest runs up her throat through a sob.

And then she realizes. Really, realizes.

She's all alone.

And Freddie's dying.

And once that sob comes spilling out, it's nearly impossible to stop the rest coming. One after the other come rushing out with an unstoppable force. It havocs through her body like a hurricane and she has to hold on to the sides of that bench to keep herself together. Finger's turning white, breath becoming limited.

She can't breathe.

"Samantha?" A voice breaks through. "Samantha." Her eyes snap to the voice, wild and filled with nothing but fear. She can feel it's hand run down the slope of her back, leaning her forward, helping her breathe.

"Just, breathe, okay, sweetie? Just breathe." The Nurse instructed, taking a seat before her.

And she does. Somehow. Gasping for air she draws in more through a sob. Tears are blurring her vision, masking reality. Her hands grasp at her chest, hoping somehow she can extend it's capacity for she can't seem to take enough air.

"You're okay… you're okay." The voice continues. But the stranger doesn't know that. Because at the moment Sam is the farthest thing from okay. But she doesn't have the energy or focus to say anything, sh just continues taking in those shallow breathes, attempting to draw in deeper ones—calm herself down.

But she can't. Because the panic is too much, and too cruel and she just wants to give up.

Her chest aches with every breath now, but she's finally calming down.

She runs a hand through her face, body shaking in the wake of its destruction.

She shuts her eyes not being able to face those white walls any longer. Not being able to look at the stupid blinds and that exit sign. And she cries. Not knowing how to stop.

And this was exactly what she was afraid of. That if she started crying she wouldn't know how to stop.

"Is there anyone I can call for you—is—" But she shakes her head, slowing easing back to reality.

Her eyes dart to the door into the ICU room. And the Nurse notices. "He's okay, just had a little episode, okay? Freddie is okay. He's okay. The doctors are helping him right now, okay?"

Sam nods. Her stomach turns uneasily and she doesn't know how much more she could take. Her mind somehow races back to their adolescence. A simple time. A simple place. The iCarly attic with Carly and Spencer and Freddie.

He's laughing at the two of them, camera in hand, recording it all, and Carly is rolling her eyes at their shenanigans. And all she can remember thinking was this was it, this was family, this was perfect.

She can't stop thinking about his smile. So genuine, so happy, so safe. He was younger then, but filled with so much joy, and love, and passion. And then life had to go and kick him around.

Another sob escapes her, but this time its controlled.

All she wants to do is go back. Go back in time. Before Adam and Carly, before Emma, before ALLCOM, before college. Back to high school. Back to the way it was. So simple. So beautiful.

She wants to throw up.

It literally feels like another life ago.

But she doesn't dare open her eyes. Because all she can think of is his smile. That smirk. That gleam in his eyes screaming out pure and utter content. And for a moment, for a second in time she finds peace.

And she remembers; this is what she was fighting for. This is what she was going to war for every morning she woke up. For that smile, those eyes, that smirk. And then suddenly, breathing became easier.

When an exhausted Dr. Peters finally emerges from the room and the blinds are opened Sam stands. She doesn't even need to voice anything for her questions to be answered.

"He's fine, Sam." She reveals. "Just a small hiccup—signs of infection that caused his BP to spike then drop. Everything's under control now." She instructed. The Blond rubbed the sleep from her eyes and nodded, relief running through her veins, well almost.

"You can go back in."

Sam continued nodding, but didn't move. She just stood there, legs suddenly feeling like jello.

"You should get some rest, okay?" Dr. Peters expresses offering her a small grasp on her arm before taking off once again. And all Sam can think about is that people keep telling her that, as if somehow thats an option. As if nightmares didn't greet her on the other side, dreams of cruel death and utter horror. Sleep was not her friend. It hadn't been and wouldn't be, for a while.

But still she nodded and carried on, thanking her. Making her way back to that small room, with that stiff chair, and that horrible noise cutting through the silence.

A few medical equipment is changed, but other than that everything else remained the same. He remained the same. Slowly drifting away, day by day, and all she can do is watch. Her and lingers by his, but ultimately she grabs it just like she always does.

"You told me not to worry…" She mumbles, her voice breaking. "You said, 'stop worrying. I love you.'" She shuts her eyes for a moment not being able to look at him any longer. Instead she envisions she's talking to that smile, that wonder smirk of his.

"I just…" A burrowed frown appears on her face as she attempts to shake away the emotions that dare to take over her breath. "I don't understand—you were fine… y-you were awake. Talking, playing with Emma. What happened?" She drew in a shaky breath but continued on. "W-What happened, Freddie?" Her voice is uneven as she attempts to keep her calm and not panic once again, but its hard. It's so hard.

"Please." Tears are running down her face and she swore to herself she wouldn't do this anymore. "I-I don't know what to do… I…" She's at a loss for words. "We almost made it… we—we almost made it."

She cries softly into his hand. "Almost."

And it was then, in that moment she came to the utter conclusion that Marisa, the Doctors they were right. He wouldn't want this, and the chance of him waking up was too film and fading with everyday. The Freddie she knew was gone, and all that remained was his body.

She opens her eyes, stoic expression breaking at the sight of him for she almost expected that radiating smile of his to beam back his way. Instead a thick tube snakes it's way through his parted lips, breathing for him, face almost peaceful in the way it rested.

Her stomach turns and a wave of nausea washes over her.

And this time she's sure it's not from the pregnancy, it's from the realization that he was no longer there. He was gone. The Freddie she knew was gone. "Alright… It's okay." She cries, although everything is far from okay in the moment.

And she's about to retreat her hand, and lay her back against the chair in attempt to get more comfortable when from the corner or her eyes she spots the slightest of movement present. His pink moves—twitches, once, then twice. Then stops. Her eyes dart from his hand to his face like a tennis ball, the rest of her body freezing in shock.

"Freddie?" Her voice is urgent, panicked almost.

So she clings tighten to his hand and leans in. "Freddie, can you hear me?" Her heart races, eyes now glued to that pinky just itching for it to move again. And for am moment Sam almost believes it's her mind playing tricks on her, that it's finally comes to this. But then it moves against and the finger beside it does to and her heart almost leaps out of her chest.

"Freddie?" She questioned once again, her other hand stroking the side of his face.

But nothing happens, and his hand is once again, still.

"Freddie, please—"

"Sam? What's going on?" Dr. Peter's enters the room once more, chart in hand.

"He just moved—I-I swear." Her eyes are wide and wild. And upon detecting the seriousness in her tone, Dr. Peter's immediately rushes to his side, examining his vitals, and checking his pupils. "His stats are rising—oxygen levels climbing, he's beginning to breath past the vent."

"What?' Sam spilled out in shock.

Dr. Peter's smiled. "This is good. This is really good."

"Really?" She's still confused for only a moment ago was she finally coming to terms with the possible reality of everything. And now… "He's growing stronger."

Tears swell in Sam's eyes. Disbelieve running thought her veins. "Now this could mean a lot of things, Sam." The doctor went on not wanting her to get her hopes up only to poetically have them crashing down later. "We still don't know the extent of his injuries on—"

"I-I know." The Blonds nods, gripping tighter to his hand, folding together their fingers.

"If his oxygen stats keep climbing we'll take the vent out." Peter's exclaimed, coming to this conclusion. "You mean—?"

"Yes, he's starting to breath on his own."

"Oh my god." Sam nearly chuckles out. She can't believe it. Finally some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. She wants to jump out of her seat, call Marissa, call Spencer, find Brad, but instead she just sits there, gripping tight to his hand, not wanting to be anywhere else. And when Dr. Peter's makes her exit and she's left alone once again, she draws in a yawn, and settles her head on the side of his bed, hands still intertwined.

Spencer comes in the morning. Nine to be exact, with breakfast in tow. He meets Sam's wide smile and frowns in confusion. "Morning." He greets. This was not the expression he was waiting to be welcomed with. He hands her a cup of de-cafe coffee and continues on with that look.

"What is it?"

"Freddie's starting to breathe on his own." Her lips are wide, eyes filled with nothing but utter hope. The confusion instantly falls from his face as he comes to the realization. "Wait… does this mean?"

Sam nods, taking a sip.

"He's getting stronger, Spenc."

"Oh my god." Spencer takes a seat beside her. Delightful shock running through his veins, he notices Sam's almost on the verge of tears and quickly goes to comfort her. "Hey—hey, this is great news—don't cry." He envelopes her in his long arms and she clings to him in relief.

"I just… I can't believe it.. One minutes he was… a-and then Peter's saying he's breathing past the vent—and he moved. Spencer he moved his fingers." She reveals almost at a sob. She can hardly control her emotions any longer. And now Spencer is crying as well and they're just a ball of relief.

"Okay, okay." Spencer chuckles, biting his lip. "I have strict instructions to make you eat and take you home. You remember what today is, right?"

Sam nods. Offering him a smile. "Emma is one today, yeah." Her voice almost breaks, and she thinks it's almost a miracle that she remembers in the first place. "Emma is one today…" She repeats, suddenly wanting the little girl in her arms.

"I know… and we made a little plan, nothing crazy. But Marisa is waiting for you at home, with Meghan and Brad. I'll stay here for a bit. Then trade with Brad… but you need to go home and be with them." He explains softly. And the Blond nods, understanding. "Y-Yeah, okay…" Although she's hesitant to leave the hospital, not wanting to leave Freddie out of the celebration.

Emma was one today. And for a moment she can hardly believe at that year ago today, Carly was screaming bloody murder, and Adam was crying and they were fighting over baby names and the color of the nursery because it literally felt like another life ago.

"Lets just eat, then go, okay?"

"Yeah," Sam agree's, settling back into her seat, and unwrapping a bagel. "okay."

The sun engulfed the inside of the large house, providing a bright airy atmosphere. Emma's wearing a striped yellow sundress and cute little party hat, hands busily pulling away at the elastic attempting to bring it to her mouth, dragging it from side to side. Marisa's holding her watching Meghan ice a bright little cake on the island counter, Nolan asleep in the high chair beside them.

"Hey guys." And clinging to her purse, Sam greets with a stupid smile on her face.

"Sam!" Meghan smiles offering her a quick hug before the Blond heads over to Marisa wanting nothing more than to wrap her little girl in her arms and kiss her. "Where's my birthday girl?" She almost giggles as Ms. Benson hand her over. Meghan and Marisa exchange an almost amused glance.

Sam kisses her head, snuggling her close. "Hi baby girl, is it someone's birthday today?"

Emma grabs the ends of Sam's curls, tentatively examining them, her small chubby fingers careful and diligent that is until she quickly decides it was okay and made a fist to grab them. Sam chuckles turning back to the two women before her.

"Whatcha you guys up to?' She eyes them with a quick smile.

"Someone's in a good mood today." Marisa comments. "I am." Sam declares with a soft nod.

"My baby girl is one today, and Freddie's breathing past the vent." She reveals causally on purpose as if to get them. Marisa takes a moment attempting to understand what that meant. But it meant exactly what she thought it did. "That's great." She exhaled her reaction falling short of Sam expectations. At this point Meghan seems more relieved than Marisa.

But still, Sam nods in confirmation.

"Peters said if it continues like this she'll remove the vent."

"T-That's great, Sam." Ms. Benson repeats not making any eye contact. She stares at the bowl of dough before her and continues mixing it.

"Just great? He's getting stronger."

"Yeah. He is." Marisa smiles but instantly Sam knows it's not genuine. "How's the cake coming?' The older Benson questions changing the subject, and Sam just lets it be, watching her form the distance. "Coming along. I bet you anything she's going to love it."

"She's one, she'll eat anything we feed her." Sam chuckles making Meghan roll her eyes playfully. "But of course, looks like you know that already." She laughs nodding to Nolan who was still passed out in the high chair. "I know," Meghan chuckled. "He just looked so comfortable I didn't want to move him."

"He's so cute." Sam pouts. Emma mumbles something in her own language. "See, Emma agree's. Is your cousin a cutie? Yeah, Yeah?" She continues with pleasant smile. "So, what to you guys have planned for today?"

"Cake, and presents and then, we're gonna go see daddy, yeah?" Marisa responds gaze only on Emma in Sam's arms.

"We're going to take her to see Freddie?" Sam clarifies.

Ms. Benson nods. "She's been asking for him." And just like that, Sam's heart sinks. "She has?"

"Yes… we keep saying 'dada', don't we?" Marisa continues bopping Emma's nose. Sam just stands there, nearly swaying in the wake of her words. "Wow, right…" She didn't understand how she didn't notice it before. Of course Emma realized he was gone. Of course she knew something was wrong.

"Uh… aren't babies not allowed in the ICU?" Sam questioned, the last time Emma was in there they were nearly kicked out by a nurse.

"I'll talk to Peter's. She should see her father again, before—i-it'll be fine."

Sam eyes Marisa, noticing her choice of words. "I'm sorry, before what?" She questions. She thought she had it in her to wait for later and bring it up, but she didn't.

"Sam." Marisa warns.

"No. No 'Sam', tell me. Before what?"

"Before he's gone. Is that what you want me to say?" Her voice is rising and it's hostile and mean. And she's furiously mixing that dough. "Before he dies, Sam!" She snaps running shaky hand through her fingers.

Sam takes a site back, almost in shock. She hadn't expect the Benson to lash out like this.

"I'm sorry." Marisa mumbles lowly. She's calmed down down, setting the bowl back on the counter. Meghan watches to two in caution but remains silent for she didn't have a say in all this. Sam doesn't say anything. She's all choked up, standing there, Emma in her arms. Nausea crawls up her throat but she forces it down.

She's scared to talk because she knows her voice is broken in pieces and she wants to fight and scream and shout that he's fine—Freddie's getting better and he wasn't going to die. But she just stands here, in a state of shock and confusion.

"Right, uh, okay… I'm going to change…" Sam let out with a forced smile, tears swelling up in her eyes.

"Sam…" Marisa's voice is soft and filled with regret but the Blond dismisses her and hands Meghan Emma before making her way upstairs.

And when she's alone in the master bedroom, she takes a moment sitting on the edge of the bed.

She knows she needs to shower and change and run a comb through her hair, maybe even add a dash of makeup for pictures. But she just sits there, a bile forming at the back of her throat. Part of her wants to flee. Wants to drop all her responsibilities and catch the nearest flight to Europe. Be someone else, lead a different life.

But the other half knows that's impossible. She wouldn't just leave Emma. She would just leave Freddie like this.

Her mind is numb once again, and she questions if she's missed anything. Freddie was getting better. He was beginning to breathe on his own. Which meant he was growing stronger which meant he was going to wake up, right?

Right?

That's the way she saw it.

Maybe she was missing something?

"I-I have something to do…" Sam mumbles grabbing her purse and keys. "I'll be back in an hour, okay?

Marisa frowns. "Wh—what, Sam?"

"I'll be back okay? I'll go get candles and flowers or something." And before she could hear another one of Marisa's protests she makes her way out the front door and out of their view.

"Emma's one today…" She mumbles out almost bitterly. It felt weird, talking to no one in particular. "She's gotten so big, I swear…" Sam almost chuckles. "She looks just like you, Carl's."

The two large pieces of stone stare back at her. The blond feels so strange talking to innate objects.

"You guys would be proud." She states confidently. "I'm sure of it." She swallows her hand reaching the bottom of her jacket pockets. "You guys missed a bunch… ALLCOM is in flames—well, was, I guess. Gerard is dead… but you probably already know that huh?" She almost chuckles, swaying on her feet.

"He went after Freddie and I…" She swallows once more. "We're fine… I think. I mean, Freddie's hanging on." Her voice breaks. And she takes a moment before continuing. "And I'm pregnant." She throws it out casually, and this time she laughs because she has the right to and it's actually hilarious.

"And Marisa and Meghan are baking a cake in my kitchen that was once your kitchen, and Emma is calling Freddie 'dada' and I don't know how long I can keep doing this…" She mumbles out so quickly the tone in her voice changes by the end of the sentence.

"I-I am just so… angry. I just want to scream half the time. And I want to hate you guys for dying and leaving me here in this mess, but I also want to thank you." Her voice trembles. "Because you made me realize the important things in life—and that isn't my career or music—although that comes to a second close—it's family… and love… fuck look at me being all sentimental, teenage me would've punch adult me right about now… but it's true." She bites her lip.

"And Emma is one today." She repeats. "And you're not fucking here. And Freddie is basically laying on his deathbed and I'm scared…" She cries. "I'm fucking terrified." She doesn't know what she wants to accomplish from all this, from screaming at two stone block in the dirt.

"Fuck, I'm sorry. I'm okay… I'm just dealing and I don't know how exactly. And I keep trying to understand how life can be this hard, because it just fucking can't, right?"

She chuckles, tears falling down her face. "I just don't understand what else it wants from me, you know?" She shakes her head for she completely believes that life was somehow out to get her, for it sure felt like it.

"God… I'm so sorry." She shakes her head, wiping her tears. "I am. I'm so sorr—" But suddenly her voice is cut off by the sharp ringing of her cellphone. She almost doesn't want to look at it. She kicks the dirt then after a moment of it not stopping, she takes it out. Spencer is calling, she almost expected it to be Marisa telling her to get back home.

But its not.

It's Spencer. And he's at the hospital.

And her heart his lodged in her throat for this could mean two things.

She drove so fast she's sure she broke about seven laws just getting to the hospital. Speeding past stop signs, and across one red light. She doesn't understand how she wasn't pulled over or hell, even dead, but at the moment it doesn't really matter because if what Spencer had said was true on the other side of that call, all that matter was that she got there.

In one piece and intact.

She runs, her leg killing her but she pushes past it.

And when she gets there, her heart is racing, chest aching. She stops in the doorway, panting, eyes set on that one person before her.

Freddie.

Spencer smile is so wide tear prickle in the corner of his eyes.

"Freddie?"

The tube it out of his mouth and his eyes are lazily parted, but open. And Sam has to blink to realize she's not dreaming. "Oh my god." He struggles at first, but offers a faint "Hi." And The blond nearly loses it. She immediately rushes to his side, taking a seat on his bed, hands running along the sides of his face in shock. "Oh my god, oh my god. You're awake." Her voice breaks and suddenly her vision is blurred by the wave of tears flooding through. And he nods, to the best of his ability, offering the smallest of smile.

She's so happy she wants to throw up.

"Oh my god." She cries, resting her forehead against his. Breathing is hard, and she's almost sure she's in some sort of state of delusional shock for this couldn't be real. "Y-You're awake, you—" Words come out a jumble after that for the sob come through. And she has to remind herself to calm down.

Instead, she just cries. She just let's it all out.

"I'm so sorry." His voice is rough and he's slow with his words but she doesn't mind. He is awake, and talking.

"I thought I was going to lose you, I thought I.." She attempts to ramble on but he calms her down with a short "Shh…" And she just nods through a smile. "I'm pregnant." She reveals not wanting to wait another second.

Freddie almost chuckles thinking it was some sort of joke, just waiting for the punch line. But when she doesn't say 'gotcha', and instead continues to nods, his gaze meets hers in surprise. "Y-You're pregnant?"

She nods through a radiant smile. "I am. I found out when I woke up."

"Holy crap." He nearly chuckles.

"I wanted to tell you, but I… I just never found the right time."

"I think this is a perfect time as any." He mumbles, and Sam notices the toll exhaustion was taking on him. "H-How're you feeling?" She questioned. Eyes running over his every limb until his caught her gaze and offered another small smile. "Weird. I have a headache."

Sam nods. "Yeah, I guess that's to be expected…" She can't take eyes off him.

"What?" He questions softly.

Sam shrugs, tucked her lose strands behind her ear. "I just can't believe it."

"Well, believe it, Princess."

"Don't call me that." She mumbles out of habit.

"Never again, Princess."

"I love you."

"I love you too."

Love has been waiting, patient and kind.

Just wanting a phone call or some kind of sign,

That the one that she cares for, who's out of his mind,

Will make it back safe to her arms.

Hate stumbles forward and leans in the door.

Weary head hung down, eyes to the floor.

He says "Love, I'm sorry", and she says, "What for?"

"I'm yours and that's it, whatever.

I should not have been gone for so long.

I'm yours and that's it, forever."