A/N: Less reviews than before...sigh... LOL. Oh, well. I'm mostly writing this for the benefit of a friend and me, so it's all good. But, still—please review! And thanks to those of you that did!
Disclaimer: I don't own The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
Chapter 4: Fist Fights and Old Ladies
"I'm so excited!" Maddie gushed.
It was the next morning, and Zack and Maddie were standing in a long line of people all waiting to meet Geri Zareck.
"I don't know what's so exciting about meeting an old lady who spends her life on a typewriter thinking up stories about a stupid bat," Zack scoffed.
"It's a cat!" Maddie reminded him. "And I watched an interview with her on TV yesterday. She's actually young for a writer. You might like her once you meet her."
Zack shrugged uninterestedly. "Doubt it."
Just then someone tapped Maddie from behind. She turned to find a tall, cute guy not much older than herself standing there.
"I'm sorry, do you have the time?" he asked, a big grin on his face and a twinkle in his brown eyes.
Maddie began to giggle nervously and started feeling around in her purse, not looking away from him. "Um...um...I know my cell's in here someplace," she laughed.
Zack glanced at her wrist. "Maddie, you have a watch on," he pointed out.
"Oh, right!" she giggled again. "It's 11:03 AM."
"Thanks," the guy grinned. He held out his hand for her to shake. "I'm Jake."
"Hey!" Zack burst out. "You're wearing one too!"
"One what?" Jake and Maddie had leaned a bit closer to each other and neither was paying him any attention.
"One watch!" It sounded funny, but he didn't care. Zack was getting angrier by the second. This was supposed to be his time with Maddie, not some idiot's who couldn't even remember he was wearing a watch.
"So did you like the Patches book?" Maddie asked Jake, completely ignoring Zack.
"Oh yeah! And have you seen the movie?! I mean, it was—" His voice quieted and his tone switched from excited to bored. "My sister made me see it. It was OK. She loved it." He glanced at his nails.
"Aw, you take your little sister to the movies?" Maddie cooed. "That is so sweet."
"Yeah. I'm a pretty sweet guy," Jake bragged. "Is this your little sibling?" He nodded toward Zack.
"Oh, him? No," Maddie laughed.
"I'm her future husband, so if you don't mind, you'd better step back a notch!" Zack suddenly yelled.
Maddie's eyes widened. "Zack!" she scolded.
"What are you? 12?" Jake asked in amusement.
"I'm 16, thank you very much! It's not my fault I'm short for my age!" was Zack's rebuttal.
"Zack, you're 14!" Maddie corrected him.
Zack narrowed his eyes. "You couldn't've let me have this one?"
"Well, I guess if you're 'taken,' then you can't go out for dinner with me tonight," Jake said to Maddie with a smirk.
"Oh, I absolutely can!" Maddie replied enthusiastically, back to her giggling.
"That's it, buddy, you're going down!" Zack burst out, rushing at Jake and head butting him in the stomach. Jake crashed into the person behind him in line, and several gasps could be heard by the people watching.
"Someone constrain this child!" an old lady yelled.
Uh oh. That couldn't be good. It sounded just like—
"I am so sorry this hooligan was bothering you," Mr. Moseby apologized to Jake, grabbing Zack by the back of the dorky sweater vest he had on. "What are you thinking? I specifically told you to stay away from the book signing!"
"But I'm not Zack! I'm Cody!" Zack protested.
"Well, whoever you are, I want you out of this lobby immediately!" He began dragging him towards the elevator. "My apologies, everyone! This won't happen again!" Moseby called to the guests.
"Man, that little dude was strong," Jake commented as he watched them leave, wincing as he felt the aftermath of his injuries. "I'll be sore for weeks," he whined.
"We're getting so close! I can almost make her out! From here it looks like she's got...brown hair..." Cody rambled on to the tough-looking girl standing in front of him in line.
She turned around and looked at him in annoyance. "Excuse me, do I know you?" she asked.
"No, but like you, I'm a fan of the amazing Geri! Isn't she great? Her books are amazing!" he went on. "Did I just say amazing twice? Oh well! She's amazing!"
"Look, I don't really care. So keep your stupid opinions to yourself, OK?" the girl in front of him asked, turning back around so she didn't have to look at him anymore.
Cody frowned and desperately wished GiGi had come with him. She would've been equally excited, and wouldn't have minded him sharing his excitement with her, either.
He kept trying to engage in conversation with the rude girl anyways. "But I mean, you have read her books, haven't you? Or seen the Patches movie in theaters?"
"I said shut up!" The girl angrily spun around, green eyes flashing, and shoved him, which sent him spinning into another guy in line.
"Oof!" Cody exclaimed as they collided.
Cody looked up at the dark-haired guy, who, upon seeing him, suddenly became very angry.
"Aren't you that little punk named Zack who shoved me earlier?! Well, I may look like a sissy to you, but I've had enough!"
"Oh, Jake, don't—" It was Maddie, and she was trying to stop him as he balled his hand into a fist and raised it in the air.
"Zachary Martin!" Mr. Moseby marched over and grabbed Cody by the back of his sweater vest. "Didn't I just tell you to stay out of the lobby?"
"But I'm not Zack! I'm Cody!" Cody protested.
"I've had enough of these games. Go straight back up to your suite and don't even think about showing your face down here for the rest of the day!"
"Thanks a lot, Zack! Because of you, I'll never get to meet Geri!" Cody yelled.
The two were back in their suite, and it was easy enough to figure out what had happened downstairs.
"You need to get over it! Obviously Maddie going out with that loser is a way bigger deal!" Zack retorted.
"Yeah, right." Cody rolled his eyes. He glanced at the clock on the wall. "Do you think GiGi and Roxxi are awake yet?" he asked with a sigh.
"Great idea! Let's go see!"
They quickly ran out and knocked on the door next to theirs. After a few moments, Roxxi swung it open, wearing a fuzzy bathrobe.
"Hey," she said, yawning.
"Have you been down to see Geri yet?" Cody asked.
"We got kicked out of line," Zack added.
Cody gritted his teeth. "Thanks to him."
"How many times do I have to tell you—" Zack began to snipe back.
"Dudes, shut up," Roxxi interrupted. "And does it look like I've been downstairs yet? I just got out of the shower."
"Then why are you wearing jeans under your robe?" Zack questioned.
"'Cause I feel like it! What's it to you?" she demanded.
"Well, I mean...it's just a little weird...and your hair's not even wet," he continued.
"It's called a blow dryer, hello! Do you think I'd answer the door with my hair a mess?"
"Well...uh...I guess we'll see you when you're not cranky," he decided.
"I AM NOT CRANKY!" she yelled, slamming the door in their faces.
"Women." Zack shook his head.
"Well, you were being annoying!" Cody pointed out.
"Like you always are?" Zack retorted.
At around 5 PM that evening, someone knocked on the door to the twins' suite. Cody immediately rushed over to answer it, and to his delight, GiGi and Roxxi were standing there.
"Hey, Cody!" GiGi greeted him cheerfully. "Can we come in?"
"Of course!" He quickly stepped back so they could fit through the doorway. "Did you see Geri?"
"Oh yeah, Roxxi told me you got kicked out of line before you met her." GiGi frowned sympathetically. "I'm really sorry. And Roxxi also said it was Zack's fault." GiGi turned to face him, hands on her hips and mouth in a grim line. "Care to explain?"
"Well, remember Maddie?"
"The one Zack's in love with?" Cody added.
"Oh, yeah, candy counter girl," GiGi nodded.
"Wait, wait," Roxxi interrupted. "If Zack is in love with this girl, then why is he always hitting on us? And especially me?" she demanded.
"She's three and a half years older than him," Cody put in.
"And until she realizes her love for me and agrees to date me, there's no reason why I shouldn't keep an eye open for other cute girls," Zack explained.
Roxxi glared at him. "You disgust me," she spat.
Zack eyed her back. "Good to know. Anyways, I was standing in line with Maddie, but then this guy her age asked her what time it was, even though I noticed he was wearing a watch when he gave her his hand to shake. And he said his name was Jake, and—"
"Hey, that rhymes!" Roxxi burst out. "Shake, Jake!" The other three rolled their eyes. "Loser faces," she muttered.
"So then I tried telling him to back off, but he started making fun of me, and Maddie just stood there adoring him, and I got angry," Zack continued.
"So he head butted Jake into an old lady!" Cody exclaimed.
GiGi's mouth dropped open. "Oh my gosh!"
"That's terrible!" Roxxi added. She glared at Zack again. "You're such a loser! Why are you such a loser?"
"Why are you so rude?" he rebutted.
"I'm not the one who knocks old ladies down!"
"Well I'm not the one who wears jeans under my bathrobe!"
"At least I bathe more than once a month!"
"Who told you I bathed once a month?"
"No one needs to tell me, I can smell!"
"GUYS!" Cody and GiGi yelled together.
"Could you stop fighting for like one second?" GiGi added, frustrated.
"Sorry," they mumbled.
"Anyways, Cody, I got you an autograph," GiGi told him, pulling a small paperback book out of her purse. She handed it to him, a slight pink brushing her cheeks as she did so.
"Oh wow, it's the special movie edition!" he exclaimed happily, noticing the cover had the same artwork as the movie poster at the theater.
"Open it," she urged.
Cody slowly opened the book, and read the message written on the inside cover with permanent marker. "To Cody: thanks for being my biggest fan! Love, Geri Zareck." It was his turn to blush. "Thanks, GiGi."
"Aw, you're welcome."
He looked back at what had been written. "Wow. Her biggest fan? I've never met her. Heck, I don't even know what she looks like."
Roxxi smirked. "She's really cute."
GiGi gave her a scolding look, then said jokingly, "Well, she certainly isn't a grandma."
The two girls erupted in a fit of giggles.
"Maddie said she was young for an author," Zack threw in.
"Oh, so she's probably a good-looking woman in her late twenties or early thirties," Cody concluded. "Still too old for me, if that's what you're implying."
"Why don't we Google her?" Zack suggested.
"No time, we're going to the movies, remember?" GiGi pointed out.
"Yeah, and we still need to eat and get ready," Roxxi added.
"Maybe another time, then," Cody decided.