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Cody was whistling when he walked out of the bathroom. Actually, it sounded more like a thousand out-of-tune birds trying to sing "Taps" but what the heck. Zack was just happy that Cody was whistling again.

Zack shot his brother a quick smile before returning to the news. He didn't know why, but he and Cody and their mother were all obsessed with watching the news. Zack took a huge mouthful of mac n' cheese just as the next story came on.

"And in other news." The newslady reported, reading off a piece of paper in front of her. "The two sex offenders who were charged two months ago for raping a twelve-year-old boy are going on trial this week. Joe Diamond with the update."

Zack's mouth hung slack. He didn't even bother glancing at Cody. He had heard the frightened intake of breath behind him.

I can't believe she just said it like that. Zack thought. He would have expected her to shout it, at the very least. The impact this news had had on him was so absolute.

It was only after a full minute that Zack turned around. He saw Cody standing in the middle of the kitchen floor, shaking. Zack walked over to him with slow, uncertain steps.

"Hey man. It'll be okay." Zack's words sounded hollow even to him. He stroked his brother's back and was surprised and hurt when he felt it tense. That hadn't happened for weeks.

The thirty second story on TV had brought them back to square one.

Zack didn't know that it was about to get worse. Much worse.

Trying to act in a semblance on normality, Zack crossed over to the table. Their mother always set the mail that was for them here. There was a letter addressed to Cody.

"Here, some mail. It'll take your mind off things." Zack tossed the letter to Cody, thinking that nothing that came in the letter could help Cody.

Cody opened the envelope wordlessly. Zack watched as his brother read the letter, hoping for at least a tiny smile that would signify good news. Instead, he saw Cody shake even more violently and hold the letter out to him. Zack took it and read:

Cody Martin,

We request your presence as a witness against Misters Thomas and Benjamin Kospa on Thursday the eighth of this month. The hearing will...

Zack didn't bother reading more. He slammed the letter down on the table, feeling hot tears of anger flow down his face. How could they do this to Cody? He was finallystarting to get over the ordeal and the court just ruined it. They ruined everything Zack and Cody had worked for.

Zack led Cody over to the couch. They were both shaking. Zack drew in a deep breath. "You don't have to do it, Cody. You don't have to go."

Cody shook his head. After some moments, he finally managed to choke. "No, Zack. I'm going." A glint of anger came into Cody's normally frightened eyes. "Those bastards belong in jail. I'm going to make sure they get there."

I've never reseived a court summons, so I'm sorry if it's not accurate. Review anyway?