At long last... here is the next chapter! Ta-da! :D

Chapter 12 ~ Believe it or Not


There is a large part of Maddie that has always loved the twins. Since the day that they walked into the Tipton to start their new life, she knew they would forever be a part of hers. Even when Zack and Cody would casually walk up to the candy counter after coming home from school and Zack would lean his arm across the counter and utter what became his trademark phrase, she only loved them more. Much to Zack's dismay, she only loved him as a brother, the brother that she wished she had instead of that booger, Liam who currently resided down the hall from her room.

However, her feelings for Cody were always a little different than those for Zack. What she felt for the quieter twin was not younger brotherly at all. Besides the time she babysat for the twins, Maddie never felt that much older than Cody. Of course she always knew of the three-year age difference, but he was her intellectual equal, sometimes even more so, whom she has had plenty of in depth conversations. They held similar morals. When Cody ran for president, Maddie had no qualms about backing him over Zack. She related to the unfairness of not getting something she wanted because of London and wholeheartedly agreed with his campaign to improve the school. She didn't need to talk down to Cody or berate him for constant childish acts. She can just speak freely about her day, her family, her opinions, and listen to him as well. He quickly became her best friend, the one person she knew she could count on.

Maddie never had trouble talking about anything with Cody, that is, until now. Ever since that kiss her mind has been swimming. Every time she glances at Cody, even thinks about him, she cannot see him as just her best friend. She had to hold herself back earlier when she hugged him after he gave her that compliment. She had the urge to be flirtatious, to catch his attention like she would with other guys when she wants to go out with them. She didn't mean to start a fight with him at all, but all her thoughts were jumbled. Nothing was making sense in her head. Feelings and actions that she has when she catches the eyes of an attractive male were trying to be shown when she was with Cody! He's her best friend, who also happens to be three years younger; this wasn't supposed to happen, right?

A few minutes after Emily had left the premises, Maddie stood up and took her position behind the candy counter once more. It wasn't a busy day for her today, but she didn't want to get in trouble with Moseby regardless. Letting out a long sigh, Maddie rested her head in her hand as she placed her arm on the counter. Why is this happening now? We've always been touchy feely with each other and I've never thought anything of it. Now as soon as it's mentioned that he likes me and kisses me, those moments become more? Have I always liked Cody too?

Her mind flashed her back to a few days before her 17th birthday. She had just received her official driver's license in the mail from passing her road test the month before and she couldn't wait to take a ride in the car by herself. Even though she could have done it before her license came in the mail, Eileen had wanted her to wait until she had the official ID before going out alone. She remembers driving to work that day and walking into the Tipton twirling her keys around her finger. Since it had been the beginning of summer vacation, the twins were lounging on the lobby couches deciding how they were going to spend their day. Moseby was the first one to come up and congratulate her, followed closely by the twins.

– – "Ah… congratulations, Madeline! I see you are now a licensed driver!" Moseby exclaimed, lengthening his words as he approached the almost 17-year-old, arms outstretched.

"Thanks, Mr. Moseby!" Maddie smiled enthusiastically, embracing the hotel manager in a friendly hug, "This feeling is almost better than how I felt when my sister moved out and I got my own room."

No sooner had she voiced these words, Zack and Cody jumped off of the two couches they were currently occupying and bounded over to Maddie.

"Hey, sweet thang!" Zack leaned his arm across Maddie's shoulders as he gave her a wide, flirtatious smile, "Looks like we can go for a road trip… just the two of us." Zack waggled his eyebrows up and down as he looked up at Maddie.

"Nice try, Zack. Ask me again in ten years," Maddie quipped back in her typical fashion, all the while sporting an amused smile on her face.

Zack pulled back with a smug look on face, "You say that now, but just wait three years when I get my license. You'll be begging to go cruisin' in my red-hot convertible." He said smoothly as he moved his hand in front of him in a flowing motion.

"And where, might I ask, are you getting this convertible?" Cody asked, taking a step forward to be closer to the conversation. He glanced at Maddie, who was giving him a trying-not-to-laugh smile, allowing him to understand that she was laughing at the situation too.

Zack shrugged nonchalantly, "No idea, I haven't exactly thought everything through."

Cody rolled his eyes, sighing. Of course, that is typical Zack. To fill the void of silence, Cody decided to add his own two cents in about driving, and in typical Cody fashion, had more planned than Zack, having thought about this previously.

"When I get my license, I'm not going to get a car right away. I'm saving up my money for college so it's less of a burden on mom," He said proudly.

Zack rolled his eyes at his brother, "Are we even related? Why are you so selfish?" He ended in a stage whisper, suppressing a chuckle.

"Well, if I did get a car, who would I take with me on the road trip since you'll be in your own car and in case you haven't noticed, I don't exactly have a girlfriend?" Cody asked playing along. He smiled widely, enjoying the lighthearted conversation.

"Hmm," Zack placed his thumb and forefinger around his chin as he slouched down in a thinking position. After a few seconds of steam coming out of his ears, Zack stood up straight and looked at Cody then Maddie. Expressing his elation, Zack continued, "It would be perfect if Maddie had a twin or something, then while I'm road-tripping with Maddie, you can do the same with her twin, who will have it goin' on too…. Wait, in that case, maybe they should both go with me, sorry, Cody."

Cody let out a laugh before responding. He wonders sometimes what goes on in that mind of Zack's. Maddie on the other hand, was appalled at Zack's comment. She was not, hypothetical situation or not, going to be played around with like a pawn.

"Why do I have to be with Maddie's twin? Why can't I go with Maddie?" Cody asked curiously

"Because Maddie's my girl. She belongs with me," Zack said confidently, showing off his cute, fourteen-year-old smile.

"Excuse me, Zacky, but I believe I can choose for myself," Maddie said seriously, but with a amused glint in her eye, "And I would much rather go on Cody's road trip."

Cody smiled and looked at Zack in an I-told-you-so manner.

She winked at Cody before focusing back to Zack, "After all, Cody and I are very much alike. We love each other and are going to spend the rest of our lives together, didn't you know?" She looked pointedly at Cody to let him to play along.

He nodded, creating a large grin on face, "Of course, we've been planning it for awhile now. After college, we're going to meet and elope in Vegas."

"Exactly!" Maddie agreed, smiling wide before realizing the entirety of the sarcastic comment from Cody, "What?"

"It's ok, Maddie, that would never happen," Cody responded rationally with a glint in his eye, "Waiting until the end of the college is way too far away. Ha-ha."

"Oh, very funny, Cody!" Maddie answered lightheartedly as she put an arm around his shoulders and looked down at him with a smile, "You're lucky you're adorable." They continued to laugh, all three of them, for the next few minutes before Maddie took both of Martins for a ride in her car. – –

Have I always flirted with Cody? Why have I not realized this? I can't dwell on this now, though. Maybe if I forget about it, I can go back to the time when I didn't know any of this and nothing had happened at the park.

As Maddie thought back to why she was having this dilemma, it became strikingly apparent that she was making a big deal out of nothing. Why am I freaking out over this? It was just a kiss! I've kissed lots of guys before so this shouldn't be any different. It's not like we had sex or anything. The next time I see Cody, I will be able to act like everything is still the same… because it is! Our lips just happened to touch… and then he said he liked me… and then I realized I like him… no I didn't! I'm thinking it. I never said it! Humph! Take that Maddie!

Oh great, now I'm talking to myself… perfect.

Maddie turned back to her computer with another sigh trying to convince herself that everything will work itself out eventually. Taking her mind off of the Cody matters, she decided to continue to research on her biological family. Having a free period in her day (besides lunch), Maddie was able to finish the majority of her homework before the school day had ended and did not have to worry about doing anything besides some reading when she arrived at home. Maddie focused her energy on the screen in front of her.

During her conversation with Mr. Menzel, Maddie found out that he was her uncle, Adam. He confirmed that he was the one that the Evans had visited before Maddie and Emily were left with the Fitzpatricks. Maddie was so into finding some new information that she forgot about the instant messenger that was still open from last night, hiding behind the Internet window that she was currently viewing.

Maddie clicked on the first of the links brought up by Google. It brought her to Evan's International Corporation website, the company headed by Vance Evans. Locating the link for 'The Company's Beginnings,' Maddie began to read up on her biological father's work and when he moved on from working for that sleazy boss that Eileen was telling them about last night. No sooner had she scrolled down to the company's many affiliates, a slight ping struck from her computer, pulling her attention to the instant message window that popped up.

Sharctress: (4:35 pm) Hey Emily! I talked to my mom (well, I should refer to her as our mom now, right?) last night. She confirmed everything. We are sisters. She showed Ryan and I our birth certificates and then proceeded to tell us that you and Maddie needed yours? Maybe this was supposed to happen… so we can connect again.

Maddie, startled at the sudden appearance of the instant message since she was not aware she was even logged in, blinked a few times as stared at the screen. I never logged out of Emily's name? Sharpay just IMed me… this will be interesting.

Emstatic92: (4:39 pm) Hi Sharpay! This is Maddie, actually. We never logged out from the last time so that's why I'm on Emily's name. Meeting would be great. And just thought you should know, I found out that one of the math teachers at my school is Uncle Adam Menzel. He filled in some information about life before Emily and I became Fitzpatricks.
Sharctress: (4:41 pm) Maddie? Heyy! I still can't believe I have another twin. How can you forget these things? And isn't Uncle Adam great? He took Ryan and I to our first Broadway show.
Emstatic92: (4:41 pm) I know! It's crazy. But we definitely should meet soon. Are you visiting him any time?
Sharctress: (4:42 pm) Actually… yes. We're visiting him in a few weeks to see the Boston production of Wicked.
Emstatic92: (4:43 pm) No way…. Seriously?
Sharctress: (4:43 pm) yep! It's going to be great! We saw the original cast on Broadway a few years ago so this will be interesting to see how it compares.
Emstatic92: (4:44 pm) Nice! Emily and I are going to see it too. No joke.

Meanwhile on the 23rd floor, Zack and Emily are waiting for the elevator. Zack put an arm around Emily's shoulders and gave her a wide grin.

"So, Emily, what do you say after all of this is over, we go out for some pizza and arcade games. I can show my awesome skills at car racing as I beat everyone who comes to play against me." Zack said smoothly as they waited.

Emily widened her eyes. She smirked, "Oh really? That's all well and good, but you've obviously never raced against me before. I'll have you know I can wipe that grin right off your face when you lose."

"I take that as a challenge. You're on," Zack looked at her squarely in the eyes.

"Bring it," Emily said keeping her ground.

They were broken out of their stance when the elevator doors opened with a ding. Tearing their eyes away from each other they walked into the small space and pressed the button to descend to the lobby.

AN: This chapter was so short (compared to the other ones) and I'm sorry, but the next chapter will be better! I promise. :D

This chapter was focused mainly on Maddie, hence the reason why I put her name underneath the chapter title. The next chapter will be more Cody focused, as well as Emily and Zack. I'm just trying something new to see how it works out. Do you like it? good? bad?

Reviews make stories better, so please review! =D