“Sam, are you holding it?” Carly asked, pausing in her hammering for a moment to steady herself on the wobbling ladder.
“Um yeah, you asked me to hold it so I'm holding it,” came the blonde's lazy drawl.
“Are you sure because it feels a little...”
“Oh sweet, a quarter!” Sam exclaimed, taking the only hand she actually was using to steady the ladder off to collect her shiny new prize.
“SAM!” Carly shrieked as the ladder toppled, sending her crashing down on top of the other girl. “Oh yeah, thanks for holding the ladder steady, Sam,” she groaned, shifting around to see if anything was broken. Silence. “Sam?” Still nothing. “Oh my god, Sam are you okay?!” Carly shouted, lifting off the girl and frantically rolling her over and tapping at her cheeks, tears springing to her eyes when there was no response. She pressed her ear to the girl's chest and chewed at her lip nervously as she rose up into a mounted CPR position. “You're gonna be okay, Sammie...” she whispered as she started with the rhythmic presses on the girl's sternum. Once the cycle was finished she leaned down and breathed the first breath into the blonde's lips, upon the second one however, something hard shot against the back of her throat. Gagging, she lifted off of the coughing girl with tears in her eyes and spit the slimy quarter onto Sam's chest.
“What... are the odds,” Sam gasped, smiling in spite of her heaving gasps, “that we'd both swallow the same quarter?” Carly brought a trembling hand up to cover her mouth, renewed tears flowing down her cheeks.
“Stupid... so stupid!” she wailed, collapsing onto the girl and sobbing into her chest. “Don't you ever scare me like that again!” The normally gruff blonde sniffed back her own tears.
“I'm sorry Carly,” she whispered, stroking the girl's hair with one hand while pocketing the quarter with the other.
“Hey there everyone, I'm Sam!”
“And I'm Carly! And you're watching.. well, you get the idea. Today we're going to start off with some more of our...”
“Wait!” Sam interrupted. “Before we start with the usual craziness you've come to love I have an announcement to make.” Carly looked at Sam who only smiled and then Freddy who only shrugged. “My Co-Host and absolute best friend in the whole world, the ever wonderful, ever beautiful Carly... saved my life this morning. I would just like to pause the fun for a moment to tell her,” Sam turned and wrapped her arms around Carly's neck, placing a gentle kiss on her cheek as she did so, “thank you Carly.” The dark haired girl went stiff in the embrace.
“Soft...” was about all her mind could dredge up through her shock.
“And with that out of the way we move on to our first Zany Dance Video of the night!” Sam called out, pulling away from the still stunned girl to move over to the side monitor. Freddy, just as stunned as Carly, kept the camera trained on the dark haired girl's shocked, yet thoughtful, face. “Hello guys, we still kinda have a show to do over here!” Carly shook her head and, grinning like an idiot, stumbled over to the monitor to finish the broadcast.
“Wow, Sam, where did that come from?!” Freddy all but shouted the second he cut the feed.
“There's no need to be jealous, my mom did force me to take two years of polka dancing... lousy drunk.” Carly frowned, every mention of Sam's mother left a bad taste in her mouth.
“No, not that! The hugging and the cheek kissing and the... actually acting like a girl. That's so weird coming from you!” The girl in question furrowed her brow.
“Hey, I have my moments just as much as the next girl, right Carly?!”
“See! Carly knows I... hey!” Sam spun on the now nervous girl and glared at her. “What do you mean 'umm'?! I do lots of girly things!” Carly began to fidget under the oddly pleading look that had taken over the blonde's face.
“Yeah of course you do Sam... you.. well... your hair always looks really good!” She blurted out awkwardly, realizing how stupid it sounded just a little too late. The look that shot across the blonde's face hit Carly like a hard slap.
“Gee, thanks,” Sam said, shooting both of them a sour look before brushing past Carly on the way to the door.
“Sam wait!” Carly shouted just as the girl turned the knob, the blonde paused for a second then opened the door. “Sam I'm sorry!” she shouted just as the door slammed shut behind the girl. “What was I supposed to say to her, Freddy?”
“I dunno Carly, but you're gonna have a chance to try.” He pointed at the couch. “She left her backpack.”
Standing outside of the barely hinged door of Sam's rundown apartment, Carly was nervous. Not for the usual reasons like fear of the bad neighborhood or walking into one of her mother's drunken rampages, no, this time Carly was scared of the only good thing that ever came out of this building. “Sam...” Clutching the straps of the backpack tight she took a deep breath and knocked on the door, which eased backwards into the apartment upon contact, the latch on the doorknob apparently broken. From the doorway she could see the raggedy blonde form of Sam's mother passed out on the couch and let out a relieved breath as she quietly stepped into the filthy apartment. Quickly skirting passed the snoring form in the living room she made her way down the hall to Sam's door and lightly tapped on it.
“Leave me alone!” came the blonde's hitching voice.
“Sam, it's Carly, can I come in?” There was such a long pause that Carly had started to give up hope when the reassuring rattle of a chain being pulled away came from the other side of the door which swung open to reveal the already retreating form of the other girl. Carly chewed her lip nervously as she stepped into Sam's room, the usual feeling of relief that accompanied stepping into the somewhat well kept room compared the battered state of the rest of the apartment wasn't there to comfort her.
“What do you want?” Sam asked miserably from where she'd thrown herself on the bed. The sadness in her best friends voice cut through Carly like a knife.
“You, umm... you forgot your backpack at my place,” Carly said in a much too urgent voice and felt like slapping herself as she slipped off the bag and set it on the floor.
“That it?” Sam asked flatly, rolling over and facing the wall.
“I'm sorry...” Carly whispered.
“I said I'm sorry!” Carly wailed, running over to the bedside and throwing an arm around the other girl. “It was such a stressful day! Seeing you like that... knowing you weren't breathing... and then you start acting all sweet to me... and then you...”
“I'm sorry I flipped out on you,” Sam said quietly, bringing the teary eyed girl to a halt as she laced her fingers with the hand that was wrapped around her chest. “It's hard sometimes, Carly... you of all people should know how hard it was for me growing up. I had to... I had to act different to protect myself. It's made me different then other girls and there's not really anything I can do to change that... believe me, I've tried. That's why it hurts when you and Freddy... you especially... treat me like I'm so different.”
“I'm so sorry Sammie, I've never tried to hurt you on purpose.” The blonde smiled and tugged on Carly's arm as she rolled over to pull the girl into the bed next to her so she could snuggle against her chest.
“I know you wouldn't, you've always tried to protect me. That's why I feel so safe with you... that's why it hurts so much when it's you that makes me feel like something is wrong with me.” The blonde rolled Carly onto her back and threw a leg over her so she was sitting on the girl's hips. “You wouldn't hate me for being... different, right?” Sam's voice had taken on a sort of hazy quality that, combined with a look in her eyes that the girl had never seen, had Carly swallowing over a lump in her throat.
“Of course not, Sammie.” The blonde smiled.
“You almost never call me Sammie any more, I've missed it,” Sam whispered, slowly closing the distance between their faces.
“Is she going to...” “Sam...” Carly's eyes locked on the descending lips and felt her own purse slightly in response as her eyes slowly slid closed. She waited for several agonizing seconds but no contact came. Puzzled, she opened her eyes to see the blonde grinning down at her before she lazily lifted off the girl and stepped off the bed, Carly lay in stunned shock. “Oh my god I thought she was going to kiss me!” she thought frantically before an even scarier thought shot through her mind causing her to sit bolt upright. “Oh my god why did I close my eyes and wait for it! Oh this is bad, this is bad!”
“Something wrong?” Sam asked somewhat coyly. Carly shook her head while searching frantically for an answer.
“Oh! I was just thinking you should come stay over at my place!” she blurted out without thinking. “What?! No! Bad idea after what just happened!” Sam grinned.
“Really? I'd love to, you're the best, Carly!” Sam shouted, flinging herself at the girl in a tackle hug.
“Yeah, no problem, anything for my Sammie...” “Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!”
“Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!”
“So where did you say Spencer was again?”
“He fell asleep on a bus and woke up on a boat, he says he'll be flying in from Guadalajara Mexico around noon tomorrow.”
“How is that even... oh yeah, it's Spencer.” Despite her nerves being on full alert Carly shared a laugh with the blonde at her brother's antics. The realization quickly returned that she was totally alone in a dark room with a girl that may or may not want to kiss her and she may or may not want to kiss back and set her right back to her jumpy, panicked state. She was so high strung she squeaked and nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt something land next to her on the floor. “Ack, sorry Carly, gotta pee!” Sam called out from above as she stepped over her and made her way off down the hall only to slam into something with a curse and a loud bang.
“What happened?!” she called out to the darkness.
“I banged my elbow on Freddy's stupid cart! What's it still doing here anyways?”
“He didn't have time to take it down after you left. You didn't break anything did you?” Carly called out, grinning at the thought of the foul look on the blonde's face.
“No, but I'm going to break something tomorrow when I get my hands on him...” Sam muttered darkly as she walked off to find the bathroom. As the minutes passed she began to fidget as her worries consumed her.
“What am I supposed to do? I like Sam, I really do... but do I like her like that? Wait, does she even like ME like that? Maybe I only thought she was going to kiss me? But the way she said she was different from other girls...” an image of Sam's lips slowly lowering towards hers crept through her mind sending all the blood in her body rushing to her cheeks. “Oh boy, I'm in trouble, this is not good, this is definitely not...”
“Sam!” Carly squeaked, sitting up so fast that she banged heads with the blonde that was leaning over her. “Ow, what the heck are you doing?” she hissed, rubbing at her sore forehead.
“Seeing if you were awake,” Sam said with an oddly girlish laugh despite holding her own forehead in pain.
“Well yeah, who wouldn't be when they have some maniac shouting their name in their face!” Carly shot back, also starting to laugh in spite of herself. “This is more like it, just two friends hanging out, no worrying about whether or not they want to kiss each other...”
“Did you want me to kiss you when we were on my bed?” Sam asked.
“I think I did.” Carly answered before her mind could register the question. “WHAT!?”
“I knew it! You really were going all swoony on me! I thought you might have been just scared or something. Dang it I should have just kissed you!”
“I... well... Sam... how long have you wanted to... you know?” Carly asked, blushing beet red.
“I dunno,” Sam said, letting out a long breath, “We'd already been friends for most our lives but things started to change. I saw how you were becoming so girly and sweet and I started to realize that because of how I had to grow up I'd probably never get to be like that. At first I just wanted to be like you but as we kept getting older you kept getting more and more feminine, you started caring for me more and more. After a while wanting to be like you kinda turned into wanting to be with you. You're the only person in my whole life that's ever really cared for me Carly. Seeing how worried you were after that accident this morning kind of pushed me to make a decision, up until then I was just going to be happy with what you were willing to share.”
“Wow... Sam I...” “She really is sweet...” Carly thought with a smile.
“You don't have to say anything, I know you were probably just caught up in the...”
“You can kiss me now if you want.”
“...moment and..” Sam's words turned into a sputtering cough. “What?”
“I said you can kiss me now if you want. Even though I kind of kissed you earlier it doesn't really count but I... I really think I want my first time to be with you.”
“N-Now?” Sam stuttered.
“Right now,” Carly said, stifling a giggle. “How cute, she's nervous now!”
“Are... are you sure?” Another image of Sam's lips closing in on her own
“Will you get down here and kiss me already!” The dull thump of Sam rolling off the futon and landing next to her almost made her laugh. All humor quickly died as Sam slid her body over top of Carly's and rested with her arms on either side of the girl's face. Carly looked up to see Sam's face illuminated by a streak of moonlight and reached up to run her fingers down the girl's cheek, settling one against her lips for a moment. “Kiss me...” she whispered, slipping her arms around Sam's neck and pulling her down so their lips could press together. Clumsily at first, they explored each others lips and, after a time, tongues as their bodies melted together in an embrace.
“Oh my god...” Sam breathed as she pulled away to rest on her knees after several minutes of contact.
“Oh my god...” Carly panted, tilting her head back and closing her eyes. She took several deep breaths to try to calm herself only to have her eyes shoot open with sudden realization. “Sam!” she squeaked.
“What?” the blonde gasped, terrified and out of breath.
“What do you mean... oh crap!” Sam shouted, noticing that her hands had slipped under Carly's shirt and were caressing the girl's bare sides. “Oh my god I'm so sorry, Carly! I didn't mean to, they just kinda moved on their own!” She made to remove them but Carly grabbed her wrists.
“Wait... it's okay. It feels kinda nice...” Carly murmured, blushing up at the other girl.
“Yeah?” Sam asked, suddenly shy again.
“Yeah... um, Sammie?”
“Yeah, Carly,” Sam breathed, swallowing hard and leaning down a little closer.
“I think I want you to kiss me again...” The blonde smiled and, happier and more content then she could ever remember being, leaned down to kiss the girl once more.
So intoxicated by the intimate moment, so content were they in each others arms that neither girl noticed the blinking red light on the side of the camera...