Ello. You know how, on my last update I said that there was a "small little bit" to be added to Chapter 3? Yeah apparently I underestimated, because it's very long, or seems to be. Anyway, that's here and Chapter 4 is here as well. Except, there was a part I was going to put in Chapter 4 but randomly decided to put it into Chapter 5, because it'd suit better there. There's an Author's Note in here somewhere, make sure to read it, it's kind of important (looks like this: 1). Enjoy, leave reviews :)
P.S. DMBfan and I updated Gravitus last week sometime, reviews would make us happy :)
continued from the third chapter...
Zack lay in bed later that night, mind still whirring when it should have been sleeping. Cody'd been acting a little strange ever since he'd gotten home from the hospital. And Zack understood that he missed his father, but this was just weird. Zack sighed; maybe he shouldn't have taken Cody to the park today. And, to think even further back, maybe he shouldn't have encouraged him to go on that trip. After all, Cody hadn't wanted to go anyway. He'd only gone because Zack had told him to.
Zack threw off the covers and quietly walked across the room to his brother's bed.
"Cody?" He whispered, "Cody, wake up."
Cody let out a small groan and rolled over.
"Cody," Zack lightly shook his brother.
"What?" Cody mumbled.
"I need to tell you something."
Cody curiously rolled back over to face his brother, his features lit up by the half moon light.
Zack took a deep breath as he flopped onto his younger brother's bed.
"I-" Zack began and stopped short, his eyes flicking down to his knees and away from his brother's eagerly curious and anxious face.
He took another deep breath and closed his eyes briefly, "D-do you remember the uhh the day of the trip? The uh talk we had, b-before you l-left?"
Cody shifted uncomfortably, but nodded slowly.
"Well, I…" Zack trailed off uncertainly.
"I'm sorry, okay?" Zack blurted out, interrupting his younger brother in the process, "I'm sorry I forced you to go to the park today even though I knew you didn't want to. And I'm sorry I told you to go on that trip, because otherwise you would be sleeping right now and I wouldn't be telling you this and tomorrow you'd get up and go to school like a normal kid. And I'm sorry I took that from you. I-"
Zack stopped short. His face was literally six inches from his twin's, his breathing hard and deep. He was gripping Cody's shoulders tightly.
Cody was tense under his brother's hands, staring confused up at his elder brother. He wanted to say something, anything, but his vocal cords didn't appear to be working at the moment.
Zack silently released Cody, sitting back down on the bed slowly. He stared intently at the palms of his hands for several minutes before looking back up at his bewildered and very confused twin, his own clear puzzlement evident on his face.
"Are you okay?" Zack asked softly.
Cody nodded, still silent and still slightly bewildered.
"Cody, what happened with you today?"
Cody twisted his blanket in his hands. He stared past Zack and out the glass doors to the dark night beyond them.
"Nothing," He lied quietly, as he rolled over away from his brother and his questions and the doors, still twisting the blanket.
Zack twisted around, "That's not true. Seriously Cody, what happened?"
Cody bit his lip and pulled the blanket tighter around himself.
"Cody," Zack gently laid a hand on his brother's back, "C'mon buddy. What happened?"
Cody stared at the floor. Blankie lay in a random pile by his bed; must have fallen off of his bed while he'd been sleeping, before Zack had woken him up. He wanted to grab it and hold it. But he didn't.
Zack shifted irritably on his brother's bed. Why wouldn't Cody just tell him? It wasn't like it was a big deal or anything. He just wanted, needed, to know.
"C'mon buddy," Zack tried one last time, "Just tell me. What happened?"
Cody shifted the slightest tad and closed his eyes tightly, desperately wanting, needing, his brother to go back to bed. He heard Zack sigh and felt his brother's weight leave the bed. He gently unclenched the blanket.
Zack crawled back into bed, suddenly feeling defeated.
"Well that was pointless," He thought miserably as he closed his eyes and quietly descended into sleep.
the fourth chapter.
"A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you."
- Brigitte Bardot.
october first two thousand seven.
three hours later.
Cody knew exactly where he was as soon as he was there. It felt, smelled, even tasted the same. He could feel the smooth leather under his hands as he gripped the edge of the seat tightly. He could hear the rain crashing down outside. He could see the familiar street lights, blurred by the power of the rain. And then he heard it.
Cody shuddered, and suddenly grabbed the handle of the door. He knew exactly was coming next. And he needed to get out of there before it did.
"What's uhh what's wrong?"
Cody was shaking as his father turned to look at him. His eyes warmed and he could feel tears already forming at the back of them.
"This rain's getting too thick. I can't see anything."
Cody felt the familiar quickening of his heart rate as he heard himself stammer, "Wha-what do you mean too thick?"
He shut his eyes so he wouldn't see his father point out the windshield; so he wouldn't see the blurred streetlights, the sheets of water.
"That's what I mean."
Cody whimpered softly, "This isn't happening, this isn't happening…" he tried to reassure himself.
It didn't work.
He didn't have to open his eyes to see the bright headlights of the oncoming car. He didn't have to open his mouth to hear himself scream. He could've plugged his ears and still heard the two cars collide, metal scraping against metal.
Cody let out a choked cry as he forced himself to open his eyes. He wasn't in the hospital, like he had been before. He wasn't in his own bed again. He was still very much in the car.
He nervously scooted a little ways away from where he'd been sitting. His hands wouldn't stop shaking and his mangled cries came helplessly.
He wasn't prepared for what he saw next. He never expected it. And afterwards, he was very glad the nightmare ended there.
The car creaked and swayed as the other car went as far as it would go. And while the car was creaking and swaying, Cody's father was falling sideways into the passenger seat, his very pale, his eyes very wide, he was very dad. Cody watched as though in slow motion. He let out another broken cry as he desperately tried to escape the prison the car had suddenly become.
Cody shot straight up in bed, shaking horribly. The tears rolled down either side of his face feverishly. He cradled his arm gently, holding it tightly to his body. Half of him wanted to wake up Zack. The other half didn't want to answer more questions.
Cody let go of his arm and wrapped it and the other around his knees. He buried his face in them, trying to forget about that horrible nightmare, but it wouldn't go away. He whimpered as flashes of his father's face reappeared in his head.
And the rain. Cody felt a cold shiver run down his spine. He'd never been too fond of thunderstorms, but he hadn't been necessarily afraid of them. And now…
Cody lifted his head from his knees slowly. The room was silently still. He could barely hear his brother's deep breathing from across the room. He stared out the doors just as he'd done hours before. His eyes traveled to the nightstand next to his bed. They fell tearfully to the ancient calculator from China his father'd sent him for graduation (1). He remembered how he'd held and tinkered with it reverently. He reached a shaky hand out and ran it along the smooth wood, brushing against another wooden object in the process.
Cody's breath caught in his throat as he caught site of what the other object was. He whimpered softly as he shakily lifted the picture frame off of the stand. Behind the glass were two very happy people, laughing and smiling as the photographer snapped the picture. The Cody in the picture was grinning like crazy while his ice cream melted all over his hand. His father was grinning just as crazily, but Cody knew it hadn't lasted. That night, when their parents thought them to be sound asleep, the twins had overheard Carey and Kurt fighting over something or other (And Cody was glad he didn't remember what). That fall Carey'd filed for divorce and the three had moved in with Zack and Cody's grandmother.
Cody hugged the picture to his chest. Part of him didn't want to remember those times. The other never wanted to forget. He nervously lay back down on the bed, pulling the covers over him.
He clutched the picture frame with the old picture tightly as he once again stared out the glass doors.
Five minutes later he'd fallen back asleep and was dreaming about ice cream cones and taking pictures with Daddy and moving in with Grandma. But, contrary to how they sounded, they weren't happy dreams.
Carey twisted the knob to the boys' room the next morning. Zack had run off somewhere about an hour earlier. Today was her laundry day, and her day off. Of course, she'd taken time off since Cody'd been home. But she'd be back singing in the ballroom sometime this week (she wasn't exactly sure when). And Cody'd be back in school next week. That she was looking forward to. Cody'd been so distant and detached since he'd been home and she was really hoping that being back with his friends and everything would help.
Movement caught Carey's eye and snapped her back to the present. Cody was shifting slightly in his sleep. Carey sighed as she grabbed a few pieces of dirty clothing off the end of his bed and tossed them into the hamper she'd brought with her.
She was searching the area near Cody's nightstand when she noticed the picture. Her youngest son was curled up with an old picture she recognized taking from a Fourth of July picnic when the twins were seven. She seated herself on the edge of the bed and gently pried the frame from his hands, which appeared to be permanently attached to the frame as it took several minutes for her to fight it from his grasp.
"You really miss him, don't you?" She whispered as she gently pushed his hair out of his eyes with one hand and set the picture back on the nightstand with the other.
Carey sighed again as she re-tucked him in, biting her lip as she did so. Maybe it was about time she took him to see his father. He did seem to really miss him; he was sleeping with his picture. And she supposed it really wasn't fair to deny him the right to visit his own father. And eventually he would start nagging her, so she should just avoid that, right? And just take him already?
"Yes, Carey," She told herself sharply, "you should and you will."
She smiled and kissed his check, knowing very well he'd be ecstatic, as she stood and left the room, shutting the door softly behind her (the laundry long forgotten).
1 Author's Note: Hum yes, so I know on the episode "Graduation" their dad was actually there. But that wouldn't work out for this story, so yes. He sent the presents to them :)
WKDVIP2: Thank you, and yeah yeah but that's Zack for you, right?
whobringsforththewind: Oh muchas gracias (yeah felt like throwing in some Spanish). And yes I love the quotes too, but they're tricky to find good ones.
xemily33091: Ahh, thank you :)
luveCBLuvJP: I hope this was soon enough for you? Probably not..so sorry.
dcloverz: Oh thanks, I'm a little obsessed with making videos for this story :)
theo darkstar: Oh you'll see :)
killerJack: o to the kay.