Note: I do not own The Suite Life of Zack and Cody or the characters Carey Martin, Cody Martin, or Zack Martin. However, I do own this plotline and story. Hope you enjoy.
Carey slammed her feet down on the brakes of the car, hearing the screech of the tires. Next to her, Cody screamed as another car collided with theirs, slamming into the passenger side. The airbag exploded, Carey's head crashing against it, and Zack yelped in agony from the back as the car smashed the passenger's door in, the metal pushing itself into the flesh of his leg. Cody's head slammed against the window, his arm snapped at the impact.
It happened so fast. Yet it would change them all forever.
5 years later
Zack pushed himself down the hallway, wishing more than anything that he could walk again. He knew it wasn't happening, of course. Ever since the accident, Zack's legs had been paralyzed, so he needed a wheelchair.
Five years ago, yet it destroyed them all so fast. He had been twelve. He was seventeen now. But at least he was still alive.
Unlike his mother.
Carey was killed… the impact was too great, and Zack had been unconscious when they had her funeral. His life had never been the same.
But sometimes Zack thought that what Carey's fate had led her to was better than what had happened to Cody.
Cody. It hurt Zack to think about it. Cody wasn't normal anymore.
He was mentally challenged—the accident had done something to his head. He'd been taken away for medical tests, and Zack hadn't seen his brother for four years.
But Zack was visiting him. Today. He was going to be with him for possibly the next few months.
The doctors were stumped. They had run into a dead end. They had no idea how to fix Cody, what had happened to him. They decided to let him meet a loved one and see if he got better. They chose the most obvious person. Cody's twin. Zack.
Zack would be spending all his time with his twin for awhile. It was ok with the school board. They understood. They'd send his work home—Maddie promised to help him, London as well. It was amazing how much they had all changed. London was now studying her father's business—she would be opening her own Tipton in Paris.
Zack wheeled himself over to the room, down the hall. A home for sick people. In other words, thought Zack grimly, an asylum. A mental hospital.
This was where his twin now lived.
Zack felt his pain at night. His brother screamed for release, screamed to live again. It wasn't happening.
A doctor came out to meet Zack, his mouth like a tight line. He, Zack found out his name was Dr. Staffner, explained, in a low worried voice, about the conditions Zack would have to treat his brother with. "You must treat him like he is no older than six years old. Cody tends to have rocket-like mood swings. One day he's perfectly fine, the next you wish he wasn't alive. Do not lose your temper or threaten him in any way—it completely destroys him. Do not get angry, for he will hurt you and we will have to give him a vaccination that puts him out for awhile. File a report to me on how he's doing—if his condition improves, than that's better than what we've been able to do. Talk to him… you are his twin."
He led Zack over to a room—almost like a little playroom. "Good luck."
Zack wheeled himself in, trying to cover his shock at the cheerful background of the walls. Elephants, monkeys, happy smiling animals dotted the walls. What kind of environment was this for a seventeen-year-old boy?
Zack looked around the room, which seemed completely blank. Then he saw a bed that lay over in the corner. A tall, lanky boy with golden hair sat on it, looking like a complete angel with his unblemished and innocent face.
Zack struggled to keep from crying. Here was his brother… his twin… the person who had been grabbed from his life and who had been missing all this time.
"Cody?" he started, trying to keep his voice steady.
Cody looked at his blanket and picked steadily at it. Only then did Zack realize that the light blue, flannel blanket was none other than Blankie.
"Cody," Zack tried again. His twin looked up at him. "Cody, it's me. Zack. Your brother."
"Hi Zack," said Cody happily, raising one hand to wave at his brother. "Dr. Staffner said you'd be taking care of me."
"That's right," smiled Zack, trying to remain calm. "I'm going to be here with you for awhile. Say, isn't that Blankie?"
Cody nodded, his smile filling up his face and his eyes sparkling. "Yeah, this is Blankie, Zack. Mommy gave him to me."
"Where's your mom?" Zack's voice broke. Was Cody unaware that his mother was dead?
Cody's smile faded, and he simply shrugged off the question indifferently. He picked up a stuffed bird that lay on the bed. "Say hi to Birdie," he ordered Zack.
Zack decided to listen. "Hey."
"No!" Cody demanded. "Say hi to Birdie."
"Hi Birdie," Zack felt stupid saying it, but he couldn't possibly imagine that his brother could have changed this much.
"Birdie says hi," Cody told Zack. "Birdie's tired, so Birdie has to go to sleep."
"Where does Birdie sleep?" Zack asked. How could this be Cody? Cody, who had always been the intelligent one who understood everything about the digestive system while Zack stared on blankly. Cody, who had brought home straight A's all the time.
"In his house," said Cody, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Birdie has to go home," he whispered softly, his voice ending in a whisper. He picked up a pillow and stuffed the yellow bird under it. "Good night Birdie. Time to go to your home."
A tear trickled down Cody's cheek, but he didn't seem to notice.
"Why are you sad Cody?" Zack asked him.
Cody didn't answer him. He seemed not to listen—Zack realized he sort of had selective hearing and went stone deaf at times.
"Why don't you go home Cody?" Zack tried again.
Cody looked up at him. "I don't have a home anymore," he said softly, almost in a sing-song voice. "Mommy's dead."
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