The Magic of Mistletoe
One kiss changes the lives of two unsuspecting boys.
Disclaimer: This story is based on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and its characters and situations, all created and owned by Disney.
Warnings: Slash, incest.
A sprig of mistletoe hung above one of the doorways in the lobby of the Tipton Hotel. Its perfectly vibrant leaves shone and its brilliant red berries glimmered in the light. It was merely one of the many that had appeared throughout the hotel. Always the romantic, Maddie had hung them up, ignoring Moseby's protests.
Cody had never hated Maddie more in his entire life.
It was the Thursday before Christmas, and Zack and Cody had just come back from a romp in the snow with Max and Tapeworm. As they ran towards one of the restaurants for a quick bite, they ran into Maddie going the opposite way. Literally, in Zack's case.
"Whoa there! Watch out, guys!"
"Hey, sweet thang," Zack grinned, "guess what?"
She rolled her eyes. "What?"
"I think you owe me a kiss," he said smugly. She raised an eyebrow.
"Aww, how cute…" She cooed, followed by a derisive snort. "Dream on, kiddo."
"No, really." He glanced meaningfully at the sprig of holly hanging above their heads.
She followed his glance, and then made sighed. "Oh, fine, since it's Christmas and all…" She leaned down and pecked him on the lips. After standing back up, she blinked and frowned. "I just kissed a twelve-year-old on the lips. Eurgh."
Zack had a brilliant smile on his face. He gave her a tight hug, and grinned up at her as her arms came around him.
Neither noticed when Cody turned and ran the other way with a devastated expression on his face.
Cody ran into the suite, eyes red. Carey leaped up from her seat at the kitchen table and immediately asked, "Cody, what's wrong?"
"I hate Maddie! And I hate Zack, too!" he shouted, running into his room. He slammed the door shut. Carey frowned in puzzlement.
"Maddie and Zack? What…" She opened the door and walked in. She joined him on his bed. "Honey, did something happen?"
Cody shook his head vehemently, hiding his face under the covers. "I don't want to talk about it," he replied, voice muffled. "Just leave me alone, Mom."
He sniffled, and she lifted the blanket off his face. He buried his face in the pillow, suppressing a sob.
"Cody, don't make me force it out of you," Carey threatened, gently running her hands through his hair.
"Maddie kissed Zack," he muttered into the pillow.
He lifted his face from the pillow and glared at her.
"Maddie kissed Zack, okay? I hate her! I hate him! Argh!"
"Oh, is that what this is about? Sweetie, you know your time will come. I bet all the girls at school secretly love you. You'll get a girlfriend. Just because Zack got kissed by a girl doesn't mean anything."
"I don't want a girlfriend," he muttered. "And of course it means something. It means that Maddie kissed Zack. And that he's really happy."
She looked at him seriously. "Cody, you have no reason to be jealous of your brother. You should be happy for him."
He looked at her, doubtful expression on his face. "I'm not jealous of Zack."
She drew him into a hug, which he returned reluctantly. "There's no shame in being jealous, Cody. Everyone envies someone."
"No, really. I'm not jealous of Zack."
"Oh, Cody, sweetie," Carey kissed the crown of his head, "don't worry about girls right now. Your time will come."
"No buts. And if you really want a girlfriend that badly, I bet I could talk to some moms and set you up with some girls—"
"No!" Cody shouted. "I don't want—"
She squeezed him again. "As long as you're sure. Now are you going to be okay?"
"No," he mumbled inaudibly.
"Yeah, I'm fine," he said, refusing to meet her eyes. He didn't see her worried expression when she left the room.
With a heavy sigh, Cody rose from his bed and leaped over to Zack's bed. Not bothering to kick the various clothes (and other oddities) off the bed, he immersed himself in the essence of his brother. The scent of Zack's presence permeated his senses and he sighed in hopelessness.
He wished that he had never noticed how perfect Zack looked when he smiled, how innocent he looked when he slept, and how beautiful he looked in the Boston moonlight. He wished that Zack's arm around him didn't make his blood rush to his groin and that Zack's friendly punches didn't cause electric currents to reverberate through his body and that Zack coming into their room after a shower with nothing but a towel on didn't make him flush bright red in arousal. But he couldn't help it: he had a crush, and he had it bad.
"Cody? Why'd you ditch me down there? I can't believe you missed it! Maddie kissed me!"
Cody almost leaped up in happiness at Zack's voice (with his head buried in the sheets, he must have missed his brother's entrance), but Zack's words brought the sadness and frustration back to the front of his mind.
Maddie kissed me.
His heart hurt.
"Yeah, I saw."
There was a long silence, and though Zack didn't speak a word, Cody could feel his eyes burning a hole through his skull.
"Cody? You okay?"
Cody sighed and mumbled incoherently. He felt the bed sink down as his brother took a seat next to him.
"Hey buddy, what's wrong?"
"Then why are you lying on my bed?"
Cody shrugged. Zack placed a gentle hand on his shoulder and Cody cursed the heavens as he felt a jolt of electricity course through him. He shivered.
"Codyyyy," Zack whined, "turn around. Tell me what's wrong."
"If you think for one second that I'm going to believe that, then you need your head checked, mister."
Cody rolled over, staring up at the ceiling.
"Zack, what do you think of gay people?" he asked, in the most detached, unemotional tone he could manage.
Zack frowned. "Gay…? Um, I don't know. I guess they're kinda gross."
Cody bit his lip and attempted to restrain his tears by burning holes into the ceiling with his eyes.
"What does that have to do with anything?"
Cody began to cry.
Zack's mouth dropped, and he shook Cody. "Dude, are you okay? Why are you crying— Did I say something?"
Cody shook his head vehemently, hastily wiping his eyes with the back of his hand. "It's nothing," he choked out.
"Man, what is wrong with you today?"
Cody only cried harder at his brother's accidentally harsh words and rolled so his back faced Zack.
"Cody, I'm sorry! For…whatever I did! I don't even know what I did! Please stop crying!"
He nudged Cody's shoulder and tried to get him to face him. "Bro…"
"I'm not leaving until you tell me why you're crying!"
The next five minutes were silent but for Cody's quiet sobs. True to his word, Zack didn't leave his brother's side.
At last, the sobs were reduced to quiet panting and occasional whimpers.
"I think I'm gay," Cody whispered.
"What?" Zack questioned incredulously. "Did you just say…?"
"Yeah," Cody replied without emotion, "I'm gay."
"I'm sorry, Zack."
A long silence followed. Cody stared at the wall ahead and Zack stared at his brother's back.
"Does this mean that you won't check out hot chicks with me anymore?"
If the situation hadn't been so serious, Cody might have laughed at his brother's one-track mind. "I don't really know. I still like some girls…but I like guys, too."
"But…doesn't that mean that you're only half gay?"
Cody shrugged halfheartedly.
"I guess it'll be weird to get used to, but it's okay," Zack said slowly.
At his words, Cody sat up quickly and turned to face him, eyes wide in wonder. "You… Really? You mean it? You don't hate me?"
Zack wrapped his arms around the other in a warm hug. "I could never hate you, Cody. You're my twin. Brothers till the end, remember?"
Cody squeezed tight, and relished the warmth of the embrace. He had never felt safer.
"Stop right there!"
Zack turned around with the expression of one who had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. The capsule of salt dangled from his hand over the punch bowl. A few feet away, Cody carelessly spilled the red pepper shaker onto the cake. Their horrified eyes met, and Zack threw down the salt.
"Run!" he shouted, and the two dashed out the Tipton's employee Christmas party.
"Get back here, you scum!" Moseby hollered, running after the two boys in an undignified manner. They bounded into the elevator and quickly pressed the button to seal the doors closed. Before the doors slid shut, they saw Moseby running up the steps. They laughed together, Zack casually laying his hand on Cody's shoulder and putting his weight on the arm. Cody smiled at it. The elevator dinged and the doors slid open.
The twins stepped out onto the roof, which looked completely different at night. The pools were abandoned. Cody made his way to the ledge and looked out at the lively Massachusetts skyline. It was so nice here—he was so glad that they had been lucky enough to have been given this opportunity. Here, everyone was happy: Carey had a stable job; Zack had a hotel as his own personal playground and its employees as playmates; and Cody had… Well, Cody had Zack, and even though he didn't have him in the way he ultimately wished to, it was enough just to have his brother by his side.
Cody felt Zack come over next to him. He leaned on the ledge and followed Cody's eyes to the glimmering heavens. The stars twinkled playfully at them.
"It's pretty," he commented mildly, in a foreign tone unlike his usual one.
Cody turned his head to look at him, eyes shining with adoration. With a smile lingering on his face, he glanced back at the sky.
"Yeah," he said quietly, "it's beautiful."
They stood in silence, just enjoying the view and each other's comforting presence.
"Mistletoe," Cody said softly and smiled hopefully as Zack looked up at the sprig of holly hanging on the edge of the patio roof above their heads. Zack scrunched his face up.
"Isn't that supposed to be under a doorway or something? What kind of idiot put this… Wait a sec. Dude, does that mean we have to—"
"Shh," Cody whispered. He gently framed Zack's face between quivering hands and sealed his mouth over the other boy's.
Zack tasted sweet like the chocolate-covered strawberries he had been eating earlier. Cody tried to coax a response out of his brother, but it felt like he was kissing a stone statue. And then, just as he had been about to draw back…
Zack slowly wrapped his arms around Cody's waist and pulled him closer.
Cody's heart leapt in happiness.
The moment Zack's hands came up to brace Cody's face and he tried slipping his tongue into his mouth, Cody lost all coherent thought. He parted his lips and gave into the sensations, arms winding around Zack's back. Their tongues tangled gently, and as the kiss progressed, Cody's eyes slowly fell closed. He was in bliss and he never wanted this to end and Zack was so warm and he was kissing him back and Cody was in heaven and he never wanted to return back to earth—
Until he forgot himself and his teeth accidentally came down on Zack's tongue.
"Oww!" Zack yelled, pulling away.
"Sorry, sorry!" Cody apologized, worried. "Are you okay!"
"Yeah, it just stung for a second. Ow." He then tested it out, licking his lips experimentally.
Cody quickly averted his eyes, lest he be tempted to ravish those sweet lips again. He was gazing at the red and blue lights of an airplane flying overhead when he heard Zack say his name. He turned around, avoiding his brother's eyes. Although they had been attached at the lips just a moment ago, he suddenly felt shy, like a high school girl after getting her first goodnight kiss.
"Cody, do you think I'm gay?" Zack asked quietly.
Cody's eyes shot up in surprise.
"W-Why do you say that?"
"Well… I really liked that. Kiss…ing you."
"Oh," Cody bit his lip, pausing. "I really liked it, too."
"But you said you're gay, so—"
"You know what, Zack?" Cody interrupted. Zack looked at him, bemused.
"I think that we should completely ignore all the standards of society forced upon us from the time of our births to the moment we are to lay on our deathbeds. It is our duty as humans to rebel against conformity and become individuals, in the name of the spirit of Man." Zack gave him an incredulous look, and Cody laughed. "I mean, when have you ever been one to follow the rules?"
Zack grinned mischievously, running a hand suavely through his mane of blonde hair. "Good point."
Cody shuffled his feet. "So you really liked…it?" he questioned uncertainly.
Zack grinned. "Yep."
"More than Maddie's?" he asked hopefully.
Zack hesitated for a moment, then nodded. Cody's face split into a wide smile, and he hugged his brother tightly. Zack sighed happily. "Nobody's ever let me slip them the tongue before. Of course, nobody's ever bitten me, either."
Cody scowled at him. "Shut up."
"I guess it just goes to show that I'm a much better kisser," Zack bragged.
"Dream on, Martin," Cody shot back, "I bet I'm a better kisser than you—I just need some more practice and I'll be kicking your butt in no time."
Zack grinned devilishly. "Prove it."
So Cody did.
And Zack loved every moment of it.
Notes: Reviews would be muchly appreciated!