Kay, so I'm probably a little crazy for starting another Z&C story, but I was getting a little over Operation Runaway (by the way, read that story of mine too, ok?). Anyway, Z&C stories are my fav to write, so this idea came to me. I've noticed alot lately at how many darker Suite Life stories there are out there, so I figured I'd give it a go too. Hopefully I don't screw it up too much. R&R!

No matter how many times anyone stayed at the Tipton Hotel; no matter how many up and down journeys they made in one of the two identical elevators, nobody could ever pull themselves to get used to the annoying, monotonous elevator music that echoed throughout the tiny space with every trip. And after living in the hotel for almost four years now, the Martin twins were certainly no exception. As the mobile box landed in the lobby with a 'ding', the doors came to an eventual gape and revealed Zack and Cody, who then strode out and walked down the mini flight of stairs. Bouncing a brightly coloured orange basketball with every step he took, Zack made a sudden change in direction and headed towards his favourite place in the entire hotel; the candy counter.

"Hey sweet thang." He exclaimed, flashing a pearly white smile at Maddie Fitzpatrick, the Tipton's blonde haired, brown eyed candy girl. Maddie gazed up from the book that lay open in front of her and exchanged the smile. "Hey Zack, hey Cody. What are you guys up to today?"

"Nothing much." Cody replied. "We're just gonna head down to the park and - "

"I'm gonna kick his butt in basketball." Zack interjected with a sly grin, gesturing his head towards Cody as he spoke.

Cody rolled his eyes at Zack's comment. It was bad enough that his brother was always going to any lengths in a vying attempt to grasp hold of Maddie's attention, but the fact that he had now taken to insulting Cody along the way definitely wasn't any less annoying. "Speaking of kicking butt," Cody then continued, "what do you think the chances are of my grade beating your's by a whole four letters again on that test we're having tomorrow?"

The smug expression that Zack was wearing suddenly dropped at Cody's mention of his last (failing) grade. He felt his face glow a faint red colour of embarrassment as he subtly looked out of the corner of his eye at Maddie. Zack had always tried to pass himself for smart - moderately above average at the least whenever he was around her. Maybe then there'd more be of a chance of her falling for him.

"Great job, Cody!" Zack yelped in deep sarcasm. "You're nothing but a total super nerd! Feel big?"

"Bigger than you do with your usual D-." Cody sniped back. Zack groaned in aggravation and sighed, ready to open his mouth and shoot another slur at Cody, and undoubtedly would have, too, if Maddie hadn't decided to cut in.

"Guys!" She yelled, "All I asked was 'what are you up to today'. There's no need to get into an argument."

The twins prolonged their nasty glare at each other before Cody finally broke the fix that their glances had made. "Yeah, whatever. Cya later Maddie." Cody spun around where he stood and then began walking towards the front door of the hotel. Still feeling caught out in front of Maddie, Zack took a double take between Cody and the basketball that sat comfortably in his hands as an idea suddenly developed in his mind. If he thought I felt embarrassed before, he thought to himself, then this ought to be good.

"Hey super nerd, think fast!"

Zack laughed in self pride as he watched the basketball fly from his arms and across the hotel lobby, headed straight towards the back of Cody's head. All of time and space seemed to stand still for Cody while he turned around, reacting to the sound of his name that had boomed from Zack. Cringing at the sight of the lively coloured ball soaring right towards him, Cody did the first thing that his instincts told him to and jumped out the way. He never was a fast thinker when it came to sports, especially ball sports, but during the moment where the ball finally did find an end to it's path, he sincerely wished that he did have more skill in that particular area.

Everybody that made up the contents of the Tipton lobby let out an eerily simultaneous gasp as Zack's ball slowly rolled out on the footpath outside of the hotel - after it had smashed through the glass remnants of the front door of course.

There was a hushed silence as the image of what happened replayed itself through both Zack and Cody's minds, though it always ended the same way; the shimmering glass lying on the floor, reflecting the way Zack was beginning to think about any chance he had of ever being allowed outside the confines of his room again. Shattered.

"Zackary Martin!"

Zack's train of thought was abruptly derailed at an eruption of sorts that had come from his mum. Carey stood at the entrance to the ballroom, seemingly off work earlier than it had originally been expected. How lucky for Zack.

"Ah crap."


"Playing sports in the lobby after Moesby and I have repeatedly told you not to is one thing!" Carey shouted from where she stood hunched over Zack's careless body sprawled across the couch in the living room. "But breaking through the glass in the door? And having the repair money come out of my pay?!"

"I said I was sorry, Mum." Zack responded with a groan.

"But you don't mean it do you? No matter how many times you apologise, Zack, you always go back and do the same things!"

Zack sat in silence, his vision fixed on the television. Not that it was on, but he had heard this lecture a million times before. And just like his mother, he knew it like the back of his hand. The next thing coming was his punishment. What would it be this time; no T.V? No Xbox or dessert or music?

"Two weeks, Zack." Carey emitted as she rubbed her temples and sighed. "Straight home from school every afternoon. You will stay put in this suite and do all your homework and all of your chores. End of discussion."

Shooting his gaze up at Carey as she walked towards the bathroom, Zack's jaw dropped wide open. "No!" He cried, causing her to direct her attention back to him. "Discussion re-opened." Carey looked down at Zack as that input escaped his lips perhaps a little to smartly. "I can't come straight home tomorrow, I've got to stay at school for basketball tryouts!"

"Well you should've thought of that before you threw that basketball of yours across Mr. Moesby's lobby. My decision is final Zack."

"It wasn't all my fault though!" Zack continued, knowing full well that by now he was far out on a whim, "Cody should've caught the ball."

"That's not fair, Zack, you know Cody has a stigmatism."

"Yeah, yeah, I know, my brother's a tard." Zack said as he scoffed at what he saw as a lame excuse for Cody's lack of sporting ability. "Just because he's good at everything except sport doesn't mean he should have some stupid plea to cover it up!"

"Go to your room Zack!" Carey let out in one final burst of anger. "I don't want to see you for the rest of the evening. Go!"

Extending the livid glare that Zack had directed at Carey, he stood his ground, determined not to move a single inch. However, as her hand remained upright and pointed towards the twins' bedroom door Zack began to have second thoughts. Not to mention that, judging by the look that was situated all over her face, he only had about five more seconds before she completely lost it with him.

"Fine." He finally muttered in defeat, dragging his feet along the ground as he silently made his way to his bedroom.

"And don't you even think about slamming that door!" Carey called out just as Zack was about to do exactly that. He let out another annoyed groan, closing the door behind him and then turning around on the spot, his sight coming into contact with the last person he felt like seeing at that moment.

"Well would ya look at that, it's the totally incapable one."

Jolting his head slightly at the sound of his brother's voice, Cody looked up from his bed and the homework he was engrossed in, but instantly went busily back to work, ignoring Zack's offence attempts. "I hope you realise this is all your fault." Zack then spoke, again aiming for a snipe of retaliation from Cody.

"Enlighten me, Zack." Cody replied, pushing his study notes to one side and then looking up again.

"If you hadn't brought up my bad grade in front of Maddie - "

"You mean if you hadn't insulted me first?"

"Whatever!" Zack snapped, taking a bite at Cody's interruption. "The point is; I can't try out for basketball tomorrow because of you! I hope you're happy."

"Well, nothing that's important to me has been ruined." Cody said with a slight hint of sarcasm in his voice. He closed the book that he had been using for revision, got off his bed and then headed for the door. "So naturally, yes. Yes I am."

Zack shot daggers at the cynical smile that lay across Cody's face, before he left the room and closed the door behind him, leaving Zack to simmer in the fury that had built up in the pit of his stomach.

"Nothing important to you has been ruined, hey?" Zack murmured to himself, his fists clenched tightly in the depths of his pockets. "We'll see about that, Cody."

So there ya go. This idea came to be in a sudden burst, so I'd love to know what yaz think of it so far. Reviews? Reneyyyyy x