hey everybody, it's been a while since i wrote anything. i took a break on Martin Triplets but rest assured i will finish it... hopefully soon. i've started on the next chapter, but there's still alot of loose ends i need to tie up. anyway here's another story idea that i thought was interesting, hope you like it.

just to elimainate any confusion, i don't own the Suite Life, only characters you know don't exist in the show.


Prologue

Like a flash of lightning, the shock in those words heard in the news had the entire Tipton hotel staff in pandemonium.

"A Point 7 Earthquake on the Richter scale has hit Boston hard! The extent of damage is yet to be determined."

Carey had heard the news and was already at the boy's middle school moving frantically pass the other panicked parents in search for her own kin. She was relatively calm at first that was, until she learned that some of the children were actually trapped inside. The earthquake had caused a gas leak and the school hallway was on fire, making it impossible for these kids to get out. Everyone was ordered to stay back while the firefighters did everything they could to abolish the flames. The most horrifying part was when Carey learned that 'both' of her boys were among the eight children trapped. She had nearly gone ballistic with hysterics during the entire rescue until an uncertain amount of time had passed, and she was able to get a glimpse of her boys. The remaining children were finally able to make their way towards their parents. Many of the kids had been crying and some of the parents were doing the crying. A little further in the distance were two kids limping their way out. Paramedics had rushed to their aid, one of the boys required a stretcher but passed that, everyone was accounted for. That is, except one.

Firefighters once again rushed inside the building, disappearing into the smoke filled school.

To Carey's relief, both Zack and Cody were okay but there were a few minor injuries here and there. After a flurry of hugs and kisses, pats on the head, and "I love you's," Carey noticed that something was amiss in her boys. While there was nothing physically wrong with her kids, they seemed emotionally strained.

"Are you boys okay?" She asked in her motherly tone, hoping that they were just both shaken up or something.

"We're fine mom." Zack stated. "It's just that…" He stopped for a moment and just turned his head towards a rushing fireman carrying a kid in his arms. After laying him on the ground of the football field, a few other rescuers gathered around the victim, surrounding him with medical equipment. A lady in a paramedic uniform was squeezing oxygen into his lungs, but the efforts seemed futile.

"Jonah!" Zack and Cody shouted.

Immediately the boys rushed over to the body, kneeling down beside the possibly dead classmate.

"C'mon Jonah, Wake up! Pull through!" Cody shouted.

A firm hand grabbed his shoulder.

"Stay back son. This boy's is in critical condition. Best that you go back where it's safe." Said a fireman.

"Please, don't let him die." Cody cried. "Please… don't let him die…"

"Don't you worry bout that son, we're doing the best we can."

"You can't let him die." Zack said.

"We're going to do our very best, you can count on that." Assured the fireman.

"You don't understand sir." Cody started.

"Understand what son."

"That kid just saved all of our lives." Zack finished.

"What do you mean?"

"What I mean is, if it wasn't for him, all seven of us would be dead right now."


Chapter: 1 A Hero is Among Us

Alarm clocks always seem to prophesy the inevitability of another school day.

6:30 am, Monday morning.

Who wants to wake up to that?

Zack dreaded the sound of that alarm clock about as much as he dreaded hearing Cody's appreciation for it.

"Another week of school is about to begin! Hours of joyous lessons we can apply to life are only a bus ride away. Math, Science, World History…"

"Will you shut up? You set the alarm clock a half hour earlier again didn't you?"

"I do that so I can make sure I have enough time to rustle you out of bed, it takes about that long to get you moving anyway."

Like a delighted child skipping off to Disneyland, Cody hummed his way out of the room.

Wow, he was too dorky to even understand how hopelessly lame he was. Cody actually had the nerve to be excited about school, that's right, the NERVE!

Of course mom was always excited to see that her boys were up bright and early, getting themselves ready for school. What did she think this was, Little House on the Prairie? This wasn't the countryside where everyone could wake up to the nice warm sun pouring into the bedroom. No! This was hardcore Boston! Instead of waking up to a pancake breakfast, there was Honey Nut Cheerios, and Raisin Bran. Neither box had any plastic wrapped toy inside so it's not like either one was worth opening anyway.

The second Zack lifted up the covers, he was welcomed to the searing cold.

'Holy Hell' was the first thought that came to mind.

The hotel is usually warm, but when you turn on the fan at night for its ambient noise, you're instantly making a sacrifice.

"C'mon Zack, you're gonna make us late!"

"I'm getting up already! Geez!"

Cody could be such a crybaby…

Oh well, it was better to just get it over with anyway.

Zack got up and dressed rather quickly, it wasn't like him to spend too much time in front of the mirror, and he'd usually brush his hair on the way out.

It was such an ordinary day, nobody would've ever expected what was going to happen, but then again the most dramatic events are the ones nobody's ever prepared for.

All it would take was the elements of nature to change an entire outlook on life.

It would involve Zack, Cody, and a host of other students that just happened to be in a certain place at a certain time. Maybe it happened for a reason.

School was in session and the kids were busying themselves with everyday conversation.

"Okay students, take out your Literature books and work on pages 105 through 112."

The day started just as it was planned. It was group study. Because it was an overpopulated classroom of 38 students, everyone was allowed to pick their groups of seven. Out of habit, Zack and Cody instantly grouped together and were paired up with five other kids including Kevin, the kid in theater class all the girls liked because they mistook his weirdness as mystery, Agnes, the girl who liked Zack and Cody but couldn't decide which one she liked more, two football players Eric, and Josh, and then there was Dakota, the one girl who remained a neutral party at the school because nobody liked her, but she wasn't hated either.

Everybody was set and groups were picked. They could all begin the reader's discussion. Suddenly, as if a cold draft on a hot summer day came inside the room, the classroom door opened, provoking the majority of students to look within that direction.

"Wait a minute, Jonah, do we need to find you a group?" The teacher asked.

The room fell silent for about 5 seconds.

"Is anybody short of a group member?"

Nobody said anything, yet their eyes were focused heavily on the kid standing in the middle of the room with his head down. Jonah was relatively new and didn't really hit it off with the kids at this school.

"Oh great, he'd better not get stuck with us." Zack mumbled.

Some of the jocks laughed.

Jonah looked over at Zack from the corner of his eye, he heard what was said. He kept his head down.

"You don't have to be mean Zack." Cody whispered.

"I'm just saying, I heard that kids psycho."

Cody's eyes widened, "Psycho, like how?"

"I heard his parents found something freakishly wrong with him, then they got rid of him by releasing him to the state. It looks like somebody must've been stupid enough to adopt him."

Cody's mouth dropped open, "Dude, those are pretty harsh words to say about someone."

"Hey, I'm just telling you what I heard," Zack said defensively.

Cody looked over to Jonah and kinda felt bad for him.

It must've been pretty embarrassing for that kid to stand in the middle of the classroom with nobody willing to accept him. He looked so pitiful; it was obvious the clothes he was wearing had been lying on some shelf, the colors looked slightly faded. He dangled a brand new Jansport backpack over his shoulder, red, in direct contrast of the sun dried blue sweater. It was like his face had 'state property' written all over it, you could tell he was a foster child.

His grey eyes would look up but only for a moment, then hide under the brown mop top covering up all emotion. His oversized cargo pants outlined the frailness of his thighs through the shades of deteriorated black cloth.

There wasn't a kinder way to think it, the kid looked pitiful.

Cody had only seen him one time before, and that was in the cafeteria when he got tripped, everyone laughed of course, but Jonah did nothing to fight back, or even step back in line to get another tray, he simply left.

"Very well," the teacher said. "You can go in this group."

She gestured her hand towards Zack and Cody's direction. You could almost hear the sound of relief coming from the other tables, and the sigh of disappointment from the one unlucky group.

Jonah reluctantly walked over to the table he was assigned, he could sense the tension so he headed to the only side of the table where he would meet no opposition, at least, not as much. He moved right next to Dakota, even she seemed to not like the fact he was in the group.

"Okay, lets get started." Cody said trying to break the ice.

Everyone just kind of let him direct the group because they were going to copy off him anyway.

This of course had led to boredom for the rest of the group members, and like a chain of events, Jonah came up in the random conversations.

The jocks were going to have a field day with Jonah; he could feel it.

"So freak, did you have a good night sleeping in your holding chamber?"

"Knock it off Josh." Cody said, trying to be a little supportive of Jonah.

Sarcastically Josh replied, "Why Cody, I didn't know you had feelings for Pinocchio."

Cody was confused,

"Pinocchio?"

"Yeah, I bet he's hoping one day he'll be a real boy."

The whole room fell silent. Josh unintentionally said it loud enough for the whole class to hear. The teacher wasn't even paying that much attention, she assumed the group was making a scene, disrupting the others from working, so she told them all to go into the empty study room across the hallway.

The only one embarrassed was Cody, he being the perfect student and all, didn't want his name besmirched.

The eight group members grabbed their books and headed across the room into the next, all except Jonah, he was visibly angry and hurt at what was said, but made no attempt to lash out, he just… left.

"Well, that's one less name to put on this worksheet." Zack shrugged.

The others in the group started laughing.

Cody grabbed his brother by the arm and led him to a corner.

"Cody, what are you doing?"

"How can you be so mean?" Cody whispered.

"Hey, I didn't say anything to him, you saw what happened, I had nothing to do with that."

"But you didn't even try to help him, Zack you know these guys would stop picking on him if you asked them to, they actually like you."

"You act like it's my job to protect him, I don't have to look out for anyone except you, and things are fine the way they are."

"So you're saying you wont help him because it's not your job?"

"Well… yeah." Zack smiled.

Cody looked disappointed with his brother. He shook his head and left the room.

"Uh Cody, where are you going?"

"I'm going to see if he's okay,"

"But…"

"Zack, do yourself a favor and find a soul."

Cody was frustrated but realized his brother was still as one dimensional as he'd always been, so he let it go. Cody walked down the hallway to see if he could find Jonah. What if he was crying? He hoped not, it's eerie watching another guy cry in front of you; it's embarrassing for both people. Or maybe he's in the bathroom stall, a well-known spot for the emo's to reside.

Jonah seemed like the type who was only one makeover away from being a Goth, all the symptoms were there, troubled past, no friends, eyes downcast, probably dreaming of suicide but too confused with how to go through with it because he cant think of the right way to die.

Everyone knows when you supposedly kill yourself; it has to be a super dramatic, long drawn out art film in which your death is supposed to be a metaphor representing a shattered dream.

Cody hoped that wasn't the case.

So much was going through that overactive imagination. But once he got to the bathroom door, Jonah came out and bumped past him.

"Hey, you okay."

Jonah stopped for a second, he looked at Cody with a pair of sad eyes, and then immediately he kept walking; his eyes darted the floor.

"Please… just go away," he said.

The surprisingly monotone voice left Cody wondering how long people had treated him like this. Jonah had no emotion to his voice, it was like he couldn't be hurt anymore because all of the bad things that could've possibly happened to a kid, happened.

He followed Jonah back into the study room with the other kids.

"Hey Cody, check this out!" Zack yelled.

Nobody paid any attention to Jonah, they had already moved on to a different subject, the room.

Cody was led to the door where he saw about six different locks made just for this room.

"You consider yourself the smart one, why on earth would they have so many locks on one door? Zack asked.

That actually made Cody smile.

"This is the study area… they put all of the schools best computers in this room, it would be stupid not to take extra precautions. I'll bet this door is electronically set to lock when the door closes, sound proofed, and probably would require the fire department to break it down incase nobody had a key."

That was when Eric got this brilliant idea to kick the door shut. Like Cody had suggested, the doors immediately locked. It was within that moment Eric knew he did something stupid.

Cody slowly turned his head to the jock that couldn't help but be a dumb ass.

Sarcastically he exclaimed,

"Isn't it a mystery that I somehow knew an idiot like you was going to do something like that?"

Any other time the jock would've retaliated, but Cody, knowing his brother was in the room with him, had no trouble running his mouth.

Then Zack wondered,

"How the school could even afford a door like this is the real mystery here."

He knocked on the door.

"Yep, that's a heavy duty door. Congratulations everybody, we're screwed."

"Dammit Eric, you're such a stupid ass!" Josh yelled.

It was all fun and games at first, and then it got boring really fast. Minutes felt like hours.

Cody, being the only one not amused began rapping at the door as long as he could until he was just too tired to go on. Agnes sat with Dakota, the only other girl, and struck up a meaningless conversation.

"So… what's your story?"

Zack leaned back into a nearby chair and let out a deep breath. He loved the fact that they could possibly be stuck in there for the rest of class time.

"Now we have a valid reason to not do this crappy assignment."

As the others laughed and joked, Jonah sat in a corner once again excluding himself of all human contact. He had tuned the world out. The voices in the background had become a rustling noise track that played behind the doors of a studio. If anyone glanced his direction, they would have seen a stressed out, emotionally confined kid who seemed to be on the brink of a breakdown. The cruel jokes didn't help; the tension he could sense within everyone he was around didn't help, it appeared that Jonah was a lost cause.

But none of these things seemed to matter to the boy, for he was in deep thought. If anyone could have known what he was thinking, it would have been a different story. It's said that in all great stories, dominant traits always mask the opposites. Deep within the stressed exterior of the outcast was an ignited spark of pure satisfaction. The child had done something earlier to ease the suffering. It was an unexpected decision made at the last minute, but nevertheless, the decision had been made.

It was such an ordinary day…

Nobody would've ever expected what was going to happen, not even Jonah. Even after the scene of events had taken place, nobody still really knew what had happened. The only thing anybody could actually remember was that it all started with an earthquake.

Like the faint vibrations of a cell phone buzzing at your feet, the ground began to awaken.

"Whoa! You feel that?" Zack said as he was beginning to lose balance in the chair he was swinging back and forth on.

Suddenly, the conversations faded away to silence as the sound of moving shelves and pencils began to fill the atmosphere. Like the clattering of teeth, the windowpanes began to shudder uncontrollably.

"Oh my god, I'm scared!"

"Calm down Agnes, it's net even a three on the Richter scale." Cody replied, trying to sound confident, but even he knew that something was going to go terribly wrong.

"Hey, it's kinda like sitting in a massage chair," Kevin exclaimed.

Immediately, the shaking became more violent and the tables were starting to move. Papers began to slide off the tables quicker than the smiles of the brave; computer screens were falling off and smashing into the ground, setting off fireworks.

The boldness of the confident had vanished, the individual entities in the closed off space would soon become the children of the hour. While some acted quickly to find shelter, others were frozen in time.

"Holy shit!"

"Josh, get under the table!" Cody yelled from underneath his protective shelter. Josh didn't listen; he was too caught up in what was happening, to him, a solution to the problem was nonexistent.

"We're gonna fuckin DIE!" he yelled.

Panic ensued inside the tiny room and echoed off the walls.

Josh was freaking out, screaming at the top of his lungs, too dumbstruck by what was happening to even take cover. His eyes were lit up with the sparks of fear, he couldn't hear the voices of reason, and it was as if he was a deer caught in headlights. Everything was all happening so fast, the lights in the room went out. The girls were screaming. It was completely dark except what was coming from the windows. Josh, who was still in a panic, headed towards the opening and began to wrestle one of the window panes open.

Cody yelled at the top of his lungs, "JOSH, GET AWAY FROM THE WINDOW!!!"

Josh couldn't hear him.

"IT"S GONNA EXPLODE!!!"

Josh was beginning to see little cracks branch within the glass like a river leading towards the impending doom.

Silently under his breath, the words 'oh no' escaped his mouth. Before he could finish his thought, the glass fired upon him like a hailstorm of bullets. Sending him into a frenzy of yelps and screams. Bookshelves began to fall over spilling an army of hardcover books on top of his head and onto the rest of the floor.

Zack, who remained under one of the tables with both arms wrapped tight across a silver pole watched in horror as one of his classmates laid on the ground unconscious. It seemed so unreal. The ground would just not stop shaking. He couldn't figure out why this was happening, another bookshelf fell crashing into the windows, covering the only source of light, they were all barricaded inside.

Another few moments passed, the shaking had finally stopped. The earthquake alarm went off and the sound of children moving their feet rapidly across the hallways could be heard. The lights in the room came back on. It was now possible to see all the damage that had been done. Cody was the first to look from under the table. Both of the girls were crying.

"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…"

Dakota was in hysterics as she looked at her own right hand she used to protect her neck from falling objects, the bone to her middle finger was exposed.

Kevin had a twisted leg, it didn't look broken, but who really knew?

Eric crawled over to Josh who lay very still. What he saw made him shriek.

"Josh… JOSH! BUDDY… wake up… c'mon… WAKE UP!

Josh's face was covered with cuts and gashes the same way a cherry pie was laced on top with dough. It was unreal…

"C'MON…. wake up josh… wake up…" he tried nudging josh, shaking him even, no movement.

Cody placed his hand over his forehead, and then it slid down over his mouth. It was hard to believe what he was looking at.

Agnes had been navigating her hands all over the floor in search for her glasses, upon finding them half cracked, she placed them over her face to get a clearer vision of the destruction. It really made no difference.

"Josh… please… wakeup… please don't do this to me. You're my only friend, we've known each other forever." Eric nearly whispered.

It was then he started to cry. Balling up his fists, he managed to pull himself up so that he could sit firmly on the ground. The room fell silent for a minute, and then Eric turned his face away from his bloodied up friend.

" I… I think he dead…"

Eric looked up at the others and there were tears in his eyes.

"H-he's Dead."

This came as sort of a shock to Zack. It was surprising how fast someone's ability to cope with the things that happen in life could be tested. Here sat this relatively big kid in the room that made it his ambition to weed out the emotionally weak, crying like a baby. Defeated by overwhelming circumstances that he had no control over. His friend was on the ground unable to wake up, motionless. It had created a profound realization in Zack that even the most unlikely people could get scared, and yes, Zack, for the very first time in a long time, was horrified.

Cody tried to move in closer but there was too much rubble in the way, and he couldn't seem to lift his left arm very high.

Zack, as well as Agnes, were pretty much the lucky ones. Both appeared unharmed. Dakota however, grew lightheaded and flopped over to the side.

Zack crawled over to her, she kept mumbling the words 'oh my god… oh my god...'

"She's so cold." He said.

"Oh god, what's wrong with her?" Agnes replied.

Suddenly there was some rustling from the other side of the room. Underneath the pile, Jonah slowly came crawling out, sweater ripped and all. He grunted past the piles of rubble nearly swimming his way to the surface, and on to stable ground. He was no longer trapped but the more steps he took the more he winced in pain. Jonah looked down to see that there was a nasty looking slash across his stomach. He placed his hand on the wound and pulled away to see his entire hand covered in blood. He balled his hand into a fist and decided to ignore the searing pain he felt. His eyes glazed the devastation across the room like a film camera panning to the left. Then he glanced over at the shivering girl in the corner with two bodies huddled over her.

Jonah rushed over to Zack and the girl. He felt for a pulse. Then he felt her arms. He arrived to a conclusion.

"She's going into shock, keep her warm." Jonah replied, and then he took off his tattered sweater and placed it over her. Now, you could truly see how deep he was cut, the white shirt he had on underneath stained half of his upper body with a crimson red.

"You're hurt too…" Agnes said.

Jonah looked down at his own wound and realized how much of an understatement that was. And yet, he shrugged it off. Instead, he knelt down beside Dakota and told her that she was going to be fine and that it was important for her to just relax.

She opened her mouth to speak. "H-how d-do you k-know this?" She shivered.

Jonah hesitated, and then he looked over to Agnes.

"Wrap this around her and don't let her go to sleep. And you,"

Jonah pointed to Zack.

"Keep talking to her."

Zack immediately responded to the command. He held Dakota's good hand and started speaking to her in an upbeat tone trying not to scare her.

Then Jonah turned around and saw Kevin lying on the ground. Kevin had fear in his eyes.

"I. I'm scared…" he said as if he was out of breath.

"Don't be. I'm going to get you out." Jonah replied.

"No. You don't get it. We're all going to die!"

Kevin was shaking all over. He looked around the room in frenzy for a possible way out. The more he saw, the more claustrophobic the room felt.

"Look at me in the eyes." Jonah signaled with his two fingers.

"Nobody's going to die today."

He said it with such calmness and conviction that Kevin actually felt that he could put confidence in those words.

"But, I need you, to help me help you." Jonah said.

"There's a very heavy book case pressing down on your leg. Can you feel your toes?"

He hesitated for a moment to check.

"Yes… yes I can feel them." Kevin replied.

"Good. I need you to pull your leg out when I lift this shelf."

Kevin innocently nodded his head in full confidence of this stranger.

Cody lie on his side in awe. At first he couldn't understand why Jonah was helping the people that spent every waking moment of time harassing and bullying him.

It came as a shock at first that Jonah said anything at all. As a matter of fact, this was the most active he had ever been. What was motivating him? Where did this certain drive come from? The boy who once hung his head down low was alert, and helping the people around him that had gotten hurt, even at his own expense. Cody could see just how hurt Jonah really was as he lifted the shelf up by himself. Blood began pouring out from what started as drops, now as a tiny stream. But he toughed out his pain in attempts to save a fallen man. Once the shelf was high enough, Kevin slid his foot out and was happy to realize that it was just sprung.

As Agnes finished wrapping the sweater around her classmate, Jonah raced over to where Josh lay unconscious. He looked closely at the wounds and saw that many of them were deep.

"He's hardly breathing."

Jonah was startled once he began to inhale an all too familiar scent.

"We have to get out right now." He almost whispered.

Then to strike a chord of fear into the barricaded room, someone on the other side of the door that confirmed everything Jonah sensed shouted four words. "FIRE IN THE HALLWAY."

"Shit." Eric yelled.

It was evident that if they did not get out of there soon enough, they would all be burnt alive.

Maybe in the longrun, this was where the story should've ended, but it didn't. It seemed that in all the possibilities presented in the face of an uncertain outcome, the most unlikely of things happened instead.


"You want to tell me what happened in there, son? The fireman inquired.

Cody looked upward; he had been staring at Jonah's lifeless body on the grass. Paramedics were administering CPR with no luck for the past seven minutes.

"What?" Cody asked.

"You said that this boy saved all of your lives. How?"

"Well, he…" Zack started. But then he realized that he really didn't know how. It was all a blur; he was nearly passed out from the smoke to remember exactly what happened. " I… I really don't know." He finished. Then Zack looked at Cody who obviously knew different.

Cody definitely knew what happened, but he also remembered something else that was very important. They were the last words that Jonah told him before he and Zack escaped with their lives intact.

'Whatever you do, do NOT tell anyone what you saw.' It was a request; perhaps a final request and Cody had already made a sworn promise to never tell, to never reveal the truth of how they all got out alive.

"Cody, what happened?" Carey finally asked.

Now that the pressure was on, Cody was forced to make up a convincing story.

" There was a small opening in the wall, just big enough for everyone to get out, but one of us had to hold up a massive bookshelf that was tipped over so the rest of us could get out… we were able to drag Josh out and… and Zack… and… and… "

Tears came out of Cody's eyes.

"It's okay sweetie." Carey said, coming to the rescue.

Cody didn't have to explain any further. They got the picture. Zack gave him a pat on the back.

"Hey buddy, it's all over, we're gonna be okay."

For a moment everything was quiet. All attention was being focused on the kid lying on the ground. Hundreds of onlookers held their breath in anticipation and hope.

It had only been moments, but word had already spread very quickly that this kid that was lying on the ground was some kind of a hero that saved the lives of the other trapped children. Everybody had their own version of what they had heard but in a nutshell, it all came back to Justin being the savior of their children's lives. Suddenly, Jonah had become the most important kid in the world.

"Oh man, he looks pretty bad." Someone whispered.

"He's just a kid, he'll pull through."

Things were happening so fast. Without warning, news vans pulled up to cover the earthquake and fire story, only to hear of what would soon make headline news as 'the tragic hero.'

Cody still tried to fight off the tears because from the way it looked, not everything really was going to be okay. Why? He couldn't understand. Why did Jonah do what he did for the people that cared nothing about him? Little did he know, but Cody would actually get the chance to find out.

"WE'VE GOT A PULSE!" A medic shouted.

A wave of relief washed over the crowd, there was even some cheering in the distance once the news traveled throughout the entire crowd. But, it was only half the battle.

"I need restraints and Morphine stat, he's convulsing!"

Cody wasn't allowed to get a closer look but by the sounds of his pain and anguish, he could tell that Jonah was suffering greatly. His screams pierced the ears of the crowd, as well as their hearts. It was one of the most disturbing sounds any kid could have ever heard. It was hard to take in. Cody couldn't help but cover his ears to diminish the pain he could feel within his heart.

"He's kicking, hold him! Clear everybody out of here!!"

Paramedics worked feverishly to keep Jonah from hurting himself even more by moving. The boy seemed unaware of what was going on. The pain was too great. As they pulled Zack and Cody away from the scene, Cody was able to get a small glimpse of Jonah from a different angle and realized that they had removed his shirt. He had cuts and bruises everywhere. Parts of his body seemed to have been scorched by the flames.

"Where the hells the morphine, if we don't numb him now we're gonna lose him."

The crowds grew more silent as they were pushed away from the scene by local cops. Everything from then on became a blur, like everything was beginning to exceed reality. The twins, as well as the other victims were told to lie down in the back of paramedic vehicles for safety reasons as they were being driven to the hospital for injuries.

A few hours would pass before word on Jonah's condition would be made known to the public. Zack and Cody laid in separate beds in the recovery room next to each other. The rustling noises of hospital machinery created an unsteady rhythm in the room, the crinkly sheets on top of the examination tables would rustle even when the tiniest of movements were made. While both were in the same predicament of sorts, each of them had their own deep thoughts to sift through.

Zack, for the first time in his life felt like total crap. This time however, it wasn't because he ate something bad, or had a fever. Here it was this kid he didn't give two cents worth about, fighting for his life a couple of rooms down because he risked his life to save him as well as his twin. Zack thought about the events that transpired earlier. It was crazy, what he said about that poor kid. He did absolutely nothing to defend him and he could remember how he said aloud that Jonah was not his problem. He knew that he could have helped this outcast if he wanted to, but instead he just wanted to crack jokes at the poor bastards expense. The cuts and bruises didn't even hurt because all the pain and realization of what a jerk he's been burned much brighter.

Cody managed to drift off into a daydream state in which his eyes were closed but he wasn't asleep. Everything that happened kept playing back into his mind. The earthquake, the barricaded doors, the exploding windows, and especially, the rescue kept rewinding itself in Cody's head.

'Whatever you do, do NOT tell anyone what you saw.'

Those were Jonahs exact words. What didn't he want him to tell anybody? He couldn't quite remember. But somehow, it was like his mind was skipping a part of what happened. He knew for sure how he got out of the building safely but still, it was impossible. Before Jonah told him not to tell a soul what happened, he remembered faint sounds coming from his mouth, like he was talking to somebody, or something. The words were mostly incoherent but the words that he heard quite clearly was,

"We have a deal."

Or was it… it was so hard to remember exactly what it was but Cody was able to somehow see in his head what he believed at first to be his imagination. When the smoke began to fill the tiny room they were stuck in, it was like a hallucination of some sort. Like there were people, or creatures standing within the smoke. Jonah was talking to them, or negotiating terms and agreements. Suddenly there was a flash that forced Cody out of his daydream.

The door to he and Zack's room was opened. Carey walked in with a sandwich from the cafeteria. Almost immediately another person followed.

"You two are very lucky to be alive." A doctor said as he was coming into their room. He began flipping through a couple of papers, nodding his head up and down. Carey snuck a peek at the clipboard over his shoulder, not that she knew what anything on the board meant.

The doctor, realizing her agitation turned towards her.

"Nothing but minor injuries here and there. Cody, your arm appeared broken but luckily it was just popped out of it socket. Zack, you only have a couple of bruises and little cuts here and there but you shouldn't do too much moving around for a while incase we haven't detected any head injuries.

The doctor rattled off some other things but they didn't make much sense. The important thing after all was the fact that they would be all right in a few days, they would get their lives back, and everything would go back to normal. The Tipton would be their playground as it always has been, there would always be free treats at the candy counter, and school would be in session once repairs had been made.

"How is everybody?" Zack inquired, still feeling a bit guilty.

"Your classmates are doing great. Your fellow classmate Josh woke up and seems to have no permanent injuries to his brain."

"What about Jonah?" Cody asked.

A bit of silence followed afterwards, but the Doctor took a deep breath.

"He's in critical condition right now. To tell you the truth, I'm surprised he's made it this far. That kid is one tough fighter."

Cody felt a little sick inside. After hearing those screams play back in his mind over and over, he just had to hear some good news, but there wasn't any.

"Rest assured, we are doing the best we can. That kid's made quite an impact on our community." The doctor continued.

"What do you mean?" Carey asked.

"Look out the window and see for yourself."

She hesitated for a moment looking at her boys who were equally clueless, and then she opened the blinds and stared outside to see a large gathering of at least a few hundred people. It was a sight to behold.

"Is this entire crowd out here for that kid?" Carey said with her mouth almost wide open.

"It sure is. The most amazing thing has happened. Since news spread about his heroism, we've gotten checks in the mail from anonymous people and cash from those crowds out there. Everybody as a whole has volunteered to pay for all his hospital bills. There's enough money here to give him the absolute best care we can offer."

A bit of relief washed over Cody, even Zack as well. Finally, there was some good new to tell. While it was still hard to imagine the events that had transpired earlier, even down to the way they all got out alive, the important thing was, the worst was over for now.

While the suprisingly human story of a brave soul touches the hearts of many, the truth behind the tragic hero lies deeply within the seeds of lies.
There was so much more to Jonah than what met the eye.
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