Chibi-Kari: I still don't own. And this is the last chapter guys! This is how it ends. I hope you enjoyed the journey. When I first started this story I was going in a different direction entirely, but that was too cliché in my mind, so I started to move on to something different. This is a more realistic Cody, to me at least. He was always a strong character. I don't think that would change. Things may seem to be happy at the end, but nothing is smooth. It's all about moving on.


The Missing Years

Years from Now


Carrie stood looking at her two boys. Her two twin boys. They meant the world to her. Both of them, but she couldn't even form the words to tell Cody to stay. None of them had moved as Cody and Zack continued to blink at each other. It had been ten minutes and everyone was starting to worry. Both boys looked blank, as if they were confused by the entire situation.

"Well you look nothing like me." Cody finally spoke with a nervous laugh at the end.

"No. But you kinda look like what I thought I'd look like at 25." Zack shrugged simply.

Cody barked a laugh out causing the surrounding people to stare uneasily, "Yeah. Dirty and poor, right? Ha!"

"And strong and burley. Can't forget about that!" Zack joined in the laughter.

"Yeah, who knew you'd end up looking so weak? Oh how the tides change." Cody's smile morphed into a rueful version.

"Cody?" Carrie finally found her voice as she took a step closer to her prodigal son.

Cody glanced over at her slightly before turning his attention back to his brother, "So Max told me you two were finally together. Congrats buddy."

Zack glanced at his mother who looked devastated before turning back to his brother. Every second he could keep him talking was a way to stop him from getting on a plane. Or at least this plane, "Yup. For awhile now. Best decision I ever made." He looked down at Max who had stood next to, grasping his hand firmly, "Sarah seems like a great girl."

Cody smiled down at the small girl in his arms. He had almost forgotten she was there, "Yeah. My little savior."

"Savior…more like slave driver." Simon mumbled slightly only to have Sarah reach over and hit him in the stomach, "That bloody hurts Sar, stop it!"

Cody laughed lightly as he nudged his friend with his shoulder.

Zack smiled slightly. These people did mean the world to his brother. He almost couldn't bring himself to take that away from him. "You've got great friends, Codes. I'm glad you had someone there for you."

Cody nodded slightly, "Yeah I did. Some of the best blokes you'll ever meet."

"Wrong. The best." Martyn laughed.

Cody nodded, "The best. So what is the entire Tipton staff doing here?"

"We came to bring you back!" Maddie exclaimed coming up next to Zack.

"Oh is this because of what happened at the hotel? I didn't mean half of what I said back there. I have a habit of being a bit dramatic."

"A bit?" Mae mumbled softly.

"You looked so bad. You can't possibly want to go back to whatever made you look like that!" Mr. Moseby gestured at Cody vaguely.

"You mean the streets of Boston…ha. Sorry. I was out on the streets two days before I finally got it through my head to come to you guys. By then I was in a piss mood. And if you mean this." Zack lifted his hair slightly revealing his scar. Zack and Carrie inhaled deeply. London had mentioned it and Martyn had said someone had held him down and cut him, but that was all they knew. Seeing it was a whole lot different than knowing he had one, "Happened in school ages ago. Back before I started to punch back and they stopped. Not a big deal at all. I don't have it bad, if that's what you were thinking. Sure Kurt doesn't care, but other than that my life is comfortable."

"But you could come back with us. We can be a family again. Please." Carrie was crying by now.

Cody took a deep breath in before extracting his arms from Sarah and wrapping them around his mother, "You know I'm not really mad at you. We're still a family. I guess I just imagined you guys wouldn't move on and you did. But how could I expect you not to? I did."

Carrie nodded slightly, "Come back home with us. Things can be the same."

"I can't. I have to finish some things up over there. One of them school. I don't want to leave my friends. I'm not willing to and I'm old enough to make these decisions. It won't be like before. I'll call. I spent a long time being mad, but last night changed that. I can't be mad anymore, but I can't go back to the Cody you want. It doesn't work that way. I'm different, you're different. We don't know each other anymore. That'll take time. Plus someone needs to take care of Kurt."

"What are you going to do about him?" Simon asked.

"Ah. Figured I'd set up a trust for him. Can't trust him not to spend it all on alcohol. Sayu's death got him good. He was in a right rage when I left. I'm not sure what's going to be left of the house."

"I had my father send someone over to make sure he was okay before we came to get you." Sarah nodded to herself slightly, "He said your dad was as good as can be expected. With Kurt that can mean a lot."

Cody laughed slightly, "A lot." He pulled back from Carrie but tossed an arm over her shoulders, "Seems I missed my flight. I guess I'll have to wait the few hours for the next. How about we get some breakfast."

Carrie smiled up at her son, "You'll visit me right?"

"Of course. Now I'm hungry. Let's get some pancakes!" He reached over to Sarah with his other hand, pulling her to him.

"First, you need to fix those plane tickets and we need to get some." Sarah grabbed his ticket and spun away from him. "I'll meet you there."

Cody smiled as he headed to the food court in the waiting area. "You know Sarah always says she wants to go to Uni in Boston."

Carrie and Zack smiled at Cody as he smiled back. Things weren't going to be the same. They would never be what they thought, but they weren't a tragedy. Carrie took solace in the fact that she would have her son back in her arms daily, even if it was years from now.


The End


Chibi-Kari: So that's it. Like I said…not cut and dry. Things aren't going to be easy, but they'll all move on. I hope you guys enjoyed it.