The sequel to The Sleepless Ones will be coming up after this. Should be better.
It was Ted's turn to visit him and Cody was so excited. They really didn't get to see too much and ever since Ted had gone off to school, their moments together became less and less. But now here he is, walking up the driveway alongside Virgil, a cheeky smile on his face.
"Codeman!" Ted charges the rest of the way to where Cody is standing on the porch. He lifts the younger man up in a huge bear hug, causing him to cry out "Ted! Put me down!"
Ted obliges, a frown marring his features, "What? You're not happy to see me?"
"Of course I am," Cody punches his shoulder, "But you don't have to crush me."
"Ah, I couldn't help myself," Ted laughs, "Let's get inside. I'm starved."
They eat, they play video games, they talk about Ted's college and what it's like for Cody to be a senior. It's not long before Virgil has to come up to Cody's room and tell them to shut up, because it's getting late and he and his wife are trying to sleep.
The two boys head for the living room downstairs where they have tossed out pillows and blankets on the floor in front of the television. Cody had thought it would be weird for him to be on his bed while Ted was on the floor by himself. So they settle in and turn the TV on low, some movie, they don't know what it's called, and the picture flickers in the dark of the room.
"Cody," Ted whispers and rolls over to face Cody, who does the same, "Can I ask you something?"
"You still have the night terrors?"
"Do you remember when you came to visit me at school the first time?"
"Yeah, what about it?"
Ted sighs, "You had a night terror then. I mean, I didn't know what it was at the time, but . . . you did."
Ted can see Cody's brow furrow in the dim light of the TV, "Oh. I guess I didn't remember."
"I was just saying cause it's be a long time since then and I guess I was wondering if anything had changed. Do you know why you get them?"
Cody stiffens a bit and Ted immediately knows that he does, and waits for a response.
"I never told anyone."
"Why not?" Ted questions, "Maybe it would help."
His eyes widen as Cody curls in on himself a bit and brings his hands to his face, his eyes watering. Ted has never seen his friend look so vulnerable and it tugs at his heart. He just doesn't understand what could've happened to Cody that would affect him so strongly.
"It . . . it's bad. Really bad, Teddy."
Ted puts a hand on Cody's shoulder, trying to be encouraging, "You know you can tell me anything. And it might make you feel better."
Cody nods and a tear escapes down his cheek and onto his pillow, "A few months before I came to see you, that first time at your school, I went with Dad to one of his shows, just to visit. I hadn't seen him for a while before that. So, I was backstage and I was going to watch my Dad's match when I walked into . . . Ric Flair."
His voice chokes over the name, capturing Ted's attention even further.
"He pulled me into a locker room, was being really . . . nice. But he was being so weird. All I wanted to do was watch the match, but he . . ."
Cody starts to cry for real this time and Ted really doesn't know what to do. He's a 20 year old man watching his 17 year old best friend cry and all he can think is that this may be the most awkward thing that has ever happened to him. Awkward, and completely worrying.
"He held me down and . . . and he raped me!"
Ted's heart plummets to his feet as Cody gives in to the sobs that are racking his body and fuck being awkward. He pulls Cody to him and hugs him tightly, silently vowing that no one is going to hurt Cody ever again. Tears even sting at his own eyes and he tries to calm his friend, whispering comforting words.
"Oh Code, I'm so sorry. I'm sorry that happened to you. You're okay now. I'm here. I won't let anything happen to you."
"B-b-but," Cody stutters out between sobs, "The terrors aren't usually even about . . . that. Only sometimes. They're always horrible things that happen to me or my parents . . . or you. And sometimes I remember them and sometimes I don't. It's so scary."
Ted just holds him tighter, not knowing what to say.
"I just want it to stop."
Cody buries his face in Ted's chest and Ted rubs his back gently and this time he says what he believes.
"We'll make it stop. I promise you we'll find a way to make it stop."