Hi, so yeah. I was watching the episode "Bowling" a couple of nights ago, and got this idea. It took me awhile to actually start writing it, but here it is; done and ready for you guys to read. Now, was I the only one who noticed how Maddie clung to Esteban doing that episode? I know she cares for everyone, but sometimes I get the feeling that there's more between them than just plain friendship/co-workers. So this is my second one-shot dedicated to Maddie and Esteban.

Disclaimer; I don't own The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.

My Bowler

Maddie carefully helped Esteban up the stairs, supporting him as he was walking on the foot London hurt earlier when she threw a bowling ball onto it, making a 'sacrifice' for the team. His foot really hurt. He had so many troubles walking on it. Maddie had noticed how hard it was for him, when he turned to walk home after their little celebration at a cute café, and offered to support him on the way there. She wasn't in a hurry to get home to her arguing parents anyway.

Esteban had told her he was perfectly capable of walking himself, but as he took his first step, and had to lean against a chair, Maddie shook her head and giggled slightly, before grabbing his arm, making him support his bodyweight on her. The trip home was hard and slow, considering Maddie's small form. She wasn't very strong or very athletic, so supporting a man like Esteban was quite a challenge for her.

But they made it, because she was helping him up the stairs. She had a good grip around his arm, while he rested against her, cursing slightly because of the tough work. Maddie felt bad for him. That foot had to hurt a lot for him to curse like that, normally he wouldn't do so.

"Just one more floor, Maddie," Esteban said, stopping to shoot her a soft smile, "I am on the third floor."

"Okay," Maddie smiled, "It's totally okay, Esteban. I'm not in a hurry, just take your time."

"But you are so small, how can you support my weight?" he questioned, still standing on the second floor, because honestly, they both needed a break from their heavy walking, "I am not light as a feather. Not like you."

"I'm not light as a feather, Esteban." Maddie said, blushing slightly, "And of course I can support you. London trained me well in the gym. I'm not as weak as I used to be."

"Okay," Esteban said, "But thank you anyway."

"You're welcome," Maddie smile, tightening her grip on his arm, "Let's go to the last floor, no need to stay here and chat forever."

Esteban nodded slightly, and moved to the next stairwell, trying his best not to rely too much on Maddie. They eventually got to the next floor, but it took awhile. When they did though, Esteban reached into his pocket, fiddling after his keys. He got them out, and unlocked the door, and then opened it, to go inside. He expected Maddie to say goodbye and head home, but was surprised to learn that she grabbed his arm again, and helped him inside, shutting the door behind her. She led him inside, as she had been there many times before, and found his couch, where she helped him to sit down, shooting him a smile.

"You did not have to come inside with me." Esteban said, leaning back against the couch, "I am not a complete invalid."

"I know," Maddie said, awkwardly fiddling with her fingers, because she was kinda self conscious, "But I wanted to. I'm making sure you're alright. You're not supposed to walk on that foot, otherwise it will take longer to get better."

"Oh, come on, miss Maddie," Esteban chuckled, "I can go. It is alright."

"No, no." Maddie said, "I'm in no hurry to get home. Do you want some water or anything?"

"No, sit down, Maddie." Esteban said, "You're the guest here."

"Well, I'm gonna get you some ice whether you like it or not!" Maddie said, quickly making her way into what must be the kitchen. She was right, so she found the fridge and pulled out a frozen bag of peas, carrots and onions, before wrapping a towel around it. She hurried into the living room again, placing the cold bag on Esteban's foot, which was resting on the coffee table.

"Oooh, holy mother, that is cold!" Esteban said, chuckling slightly.

"That just means it's helping." Maddie said, and then she paused to look at his face, a smile forming on her lips, "Do you want me to remove the lipstick?" she paused, "I think Gretel really liked you. Or else she just liked planting kisses all over your face?!"

Esteban chuckled too, brushing his index finger across his face, "Did I walk with that all the way home?"

"Yes," Maddie giggled, "I believe you did!"

"It is not funny, Maddie!" Esteban said, but he couldn't help but laugh too, "Can you get it off, please? I would not want to look like this anymore!"

Maddie showed him two fingers, indicating that she would be there in two seconds. She hurried into the kitchen again, and made sure to put soap and water on a napkin, before making her way into the living room again, where she sat down next to Esteban, "Here, let me see your face." She demanded.

He turned to look at her, a smile tugging on his lips. She smiled too, and slowly started wiping his face off with the napkin, making sure not to get soap in his mouth or eyes. He closed his eyes though, so that was easy. As a drop of water rolled down his cheek and to his neck, he let out a chuckle.

"You're cute when you laugh." Maddie said, wiping the drop of water away with her finger, "Actually, you're cute most of the time."

He opened his eyes, and stared right into her brown ones. "You really think so?" he questioned, "You are one of the only women who has ever said that."

"How come?" Maddie said, finishing cleaning his face. She crumpled the napkin into a ball and placed it on the table. Then she leaned back on the couch, her face resting close to his. "Don't you have a girlfriend or anything?"

"No." Esteban simply replied, "They all think I am a little weird. Most of them. What about you? You ought to have a boyfriend! I see all the guys around you when they stay at the Tipton."

"Oh," Maddie said, her face dropping a bit, "The guy I dated from my school dumped me two weeks ago. It's okay, really, I didn't even like him that much. All the guys I date turn out to be jerks in the end. I can't seem to find the right one for me!"

"Well, at least you are a bit younger then I am." Esteban said, "And you are a beautiful, sweet, talented young woman. You will find someone, do not worry about it, Maddie."

"Thanks Esteban," Maddie smiled, "You'll find someone too."

There was a comfortable silence for awhile, where the two of them just sat there, close to each other, enjoying the company. Maddie was thinking about how she really should go home to do some huge amount of homework the nuns assigned them. But she didn't want to, because she knew her parents wouldn't even miss her anyway. Maybe her grandma did, but she was probably too senile to even remember her name.

Esteban was closing his eyes slightly, enjoying the feeling of Maddie's body this close to his. He loved when they spent time together, though it wasn't often, but when they did… It was wonderful. He let out a sigh, not believing how sweet she was being to him. It wasn't often a girl even paid attention to him. And then when someone did, it was someone as wonderful as her. It was quite amazing how close the two had become lately.

Suddenly Maddie turned to him, questions floating in her chocolate pools, "Where's Dudley? Your pet chicken?"

"He is in the bathroom," Esteban replied, surprised that she even wanted to know, that she cared, "I lock him in there when I am not home, so he will not mess up the entire apartment."

"Should I let him out?" Maddie asked, standing up without waiting for an answer. She quickly made her way to what she believed was the bathroom and opened the door. Two seconds later Dudley came dancing out, wearing a little red outfit. She giggled slightly, "It's so cute, Esteban! Remember the commercial? When you two were dancing together?"

"That was fun!" Esteban said, "But you did a good job too. You are a wonderful singer, Maddie."

"Thank you," Maddie replied, taking a seat on the couch again, "You're a great bellhop."

"I dream of becoming a manager one day." Esteban told her, "But until then I have a lot of fun playing around with the little blonde peoples, and you and sometimes miss Tipton too."

"Yeah," Maddie said, sighing a little, "London is not so bad. Sometimes she's crazy though, but… I love her. She's my best friend."

"You are nice to everyone, miss. Maddie." Esteban said, smiling at her, "I wished I was that nice to everyone. But I am not."

"Oh, you're a sweet guy, Esteban." Maddie said, "You're always nice to me. And I love spending time with you."

"I love spending time with you too." Esteban admitted.

Maddie smiled back, loving the way his face looked, as he was so happy. He was really cute to look at, she mused to herself. He was different, and that was what she loved so much about him. And he made her laugh all the time. They always had fun, whatever they were up to. Even if they weren't supposed to do what they did. And today with all that bowling, they'd had loads of laughs together… of course before Gretel kidnapped him, or as Esteban said 'for the sake of the team'.

Maddie had been really worried, she didn't want him to get hurt. She hated to know that that big ugly Gretel woman was kissing his face all over. She had felt sad on the inside. Esteban was her protector, he always had been. Like, when they all got scared because of the huge people on Sc. Mark's bowling team, she'd grabbed his arm, and hugged herself closer to his body, wanting him to protect her.

She always felt protected by Esteban. He was always there for her, so of course she knew he'd protect her against anything evil. It was just a reflex to snuggle closer to him that way. They were friends. There was nothing weird about that, was there?

"Did she hurt you today?" Maddie questioned, arching an eyebrow, "When she kidnapped you?"

"No…" Esteban chuckled, "Well, except her kisses were gross. And the lipstick? Who wears that colour? In my homecountry that would not have been accepted."

"I know!" Maddie said, "Anyway, you were a great bowler. I'm not that good, but you did great. You helped us win this thing.. Until you got kidnapped."

"Oh, it was all Arwin's doing." Esteban said, "But you were not that bad, Maddie. And I like that bowling shirt on you. It is cute."

"Oh…" Maddie said, looking at herself. She was still wearing that shirt, and now she was blushing like crazy, because he just gave her a compliment. Now, why was that….? "Thank you, Esteban. But… It could show more forms y'know?"

"It is okay," Esteban said, "Your work uniform is good on you, though. Blue is your colour."

Maddie giggled again, and shot him a cute smile, "Can I spend the night here?" she then asked, when she realized what time it was, and she didn't really want to walk home alone this time of night. It was so dark outside, "I can sleep on the couch."

"Of course," Esteban said, "It is not safe to walk home alone now. I would offer to walk you, but my foot actually hurts a lot."

"See!?" Maddie said, "I told you it would, and I'm sorry, by the way."

"That is fine," Esteban said, "You are taking care of me, so that actually helps a lot. Miss Maddie, you always take care of other people, before you take care of yourself."

Maddie blushed slightly, and leaned back, resting her head on Esteban's shoulder, "I'm tired," she yawned, covering her mouth with her hand, "Do you want me to help you into your bedroom? Because then I can get the couch and sleep!"

"Sure," Esteban said, as he awkwardly stood up, Maddie offering him a helping hand. He took a good hold on her, and they slowly made their way into the bedroom, where he sat down on the bed. Maddie sat down too, wanting to say goodnight to him, before she retired to the couch.

"Well, thanks for helping me, miss Maddie." Esteban said, turning to face her completely.

"Anytime," Maddie replied, as her eyes fixed on a smudge of lipstick still stuck in the corner of his lips, "You still have something on your face." She told him, reaching out to wipe it off. She placed her finger at his lips, rubbing it off slowly.

"She was a rough woman." Esteban chuckled, loving the feeling of Maddie's fingers, playing on his lips, "Her kisses were not good, they were rough."

"Oh, I'm so sorry," Maddie said, pulling her hand away, resting it on his cheek, "You're a brave bowler."

"And you are a wonderful nurse." He chuckled.

She chuckled too, and looked him deeply in the eyes, savouring the moment, just him and her. They looked each other in the eyes for awhile, just searching for signs of something… but they didn't know what exactly it was they were searching for. Maddie breathed out, suddenly getting a serious look on her face.

And ever so slowly, she leaned forward, planting her lips on his, in a sweet kiss. He froze for a second, not really reacting to what was happening. But then he loosened up and breathed in, making the kiss deeper. He moved his hands from his sides, to rest around Maddie's waist, as he pulled her closer to him, her arms finding their way to his neck.

They broke away two seconds later, breathing hard. Esteban looked at her, a smile tugging on his lips, "Now that was not rough."

She cracked a smile, and rubbed his neck with her thumb, "No, hopefully not. I can be forceful, though. But you will be able to handle that, right?"

"Sure," Esteban said, "I am, after all, a brave bowler, right?"

"You're my bowler." Maddie whispered, before leaning in, capturing him in yet another kiss.

So. There you have it. I don't know if it got any good at all, but this is it. Uhm, now that I'm here, I'll be doing some publicity. I'm writing a joint fic with one of my best friends, it's called "The Crazy Life of Libby Lee", we're already at chapter ten, but it's a mix between High School Musical, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, That's So Raven, Hannah Montana and Phil of the Future. Maddie and London both have an important part, not so much at the beginning, but definitely later (especially Maddie), so if you like Suite Life fics, you could give that story a read. It's a comedy fic, so be ready to laugh a bit. And then I'm gonna ask you to review me, please? It'll mean a lot to me if you tell me what you think? I apologise for the OOC-ness that Esteban had in this fic, but I couldn't seem to get him down quite right. Toodles, Stessa :)