'Not many are lucky enough to have a guardian angel like you
Lord, I'm so thankful, please don't think that I don't feel grateful - I do
Just grant me the strength that I need for one more day to get through
So, Homie, this is your song, I dedicate this to you.'
You're Never Over - Eminem.
Chapter Twenty-Three - You're Never Over.
Cody smiled at the text message that shone back at him from his phone amongst the darkness of the room. His heart raced in happiness as he skimmed his fingers across the key pad and hit the 'reply' button, his lips still grinning and his chest still swelling.
I love you, too. Sweet dreams, Bailey xox
The farm girl was back at her home in Kettlecorn, and Cody was back at the Tipton hotel in Boston. The two families had eventually gone their separate ways, and as inevitable he knew that the circumstance was, Cody missed Bailey. By God, did he miss her. He missed getting to hold her as they fell asleep every night, the smell of her strawberry blonde hair and the sensation of her gentle kiss against his lips. But he knew, deep down, that it was for the best. And that it was only for now. They were going to see each other again at Christmas, which was only a mere two months away, before the both of them then re-enrolled back into their respective schools after the holiday break. As much as it may have benefited them to do so sooner, both the Picketts and the Martins agreed that their families needed a bit more time to themselves, to rebuild and reconnect, before the fragile and shaken teenagers even attempted to adjust back to an intense study pattern.
As all these thoughts continued to circulate throughout Cody's mind, he shut his phone and placed it on his chest, sinking back into his pillow. It felt strange for him to be back in his own bed in his own bedroom again. Sure, he may have been here only a few days ago. But he hadn't felt much like sleeping then. Although, as he squinted his eyes and tried to make out any detail possible on the ceiling of his room amongst the darkness, Cody frowned as he discovered he didn't feel much like sleeping tonight, either.
Everything was back to normal. Everything was perfect - exactly the way it had been before any factor of his adventure had even happened to him. But that was problem. Nate wasn't here, and Cody was suddenly allowing himself to think about it more and more with each second that numbly passed by.
Heaving a deep sigh, Cody slowly and quietly threw his sheets of of him and stepped out of his bed onto the ground. Slipping into a pair of joggers and pulling a hoodie over his head, Cody then grabbed something off of his side table and shoved it into the depths of his pocket, before gently twisting the door knob and opening his bedroom door.
Cody jumped slightly at the soft voice he heard echo amongst the shadows of his bedroom as he turned around and smiled at the darkened image of Zack sitting up in his bed on the other side of the room.
"I'm just getting a drink, Zack. Go back to sleep."
Emitting an exhausted yawn, Zack needlessly nodded his head before collapsing back into his bed, "'Kay."
As a loud, grunting snore immediately erupted from his twin, Cody's beaming smirk only grew at the reality that Zack was actually safe and back at home in his bed, just like the younger twin had always sworn by.
The pieces to the puzzle of Zack's survival had slowly begun to come back together, but only to the slightest extend. The small, rural hospital that had found him on the shores of the Californian coast could only presume that somehow, someway he had managed to drift safely from the wreck of the ship, but alas was regrettably overlooked when the original search had taken place. Everyone had said that he was very lucky - that his rescue was simply a complete and utter mystery. Cody, on the other hand, had said that it was complete and utter fate.
With this thought stuck to his brain, Cody then continued out of his room and snuck past Carey who was asleep on the couch, eventually finding himself walking through the Tipton's lobby, and then out of the huge, double front doors.
His emotions were in an array of confusion. On the one hand, he was enormously exultant to have Zack back with him. It was the most incredible feeling of bliss that he wouldn't trade for absolutely anything in the entire world. But then on the downside, he now found himself in the most distressed grief for Nate. The person who had taken Zack's place when Zack couldn't be there, the person who had risked everything and given everything to help someone that he barely even knew. But despite that, the two had understood each other, to the most immense extent. And now that he finally didn't have another care in the world, that was all that Cody could think about.
As he rounded a corner and slid down the alleyway next to the Tipton, another notion impulsively crossed Cody's mind. He was emotionless to the fact that Ty was in jail, and he obviously knew the ending result for Nate, but the younger twin anxiously wondered what ever happened to Brayden and Hog. It pained him to imagine what the two must be going through being without Nate, after all, they had known him a hell of a lot longer than what Cody had. He just hoped that somehow the two of them were okay and safe and struggling through whatever hard times they may be going through together.
As a single tear threatened to roll down Cody's cheek, he instantly blinked it away and then crumpled down into a heap on the ground, revealing a black permanent marker from his jacket pocket. For the briefest of moments, Cody's sadness began to fade away as a smile materialised on his face and he started etching away at the brick wall.
With his hand instinctively beginning to take the lead, Cody's mind set back through a whirlwind of thoughts once more. He knew that wherever Nate was, he would be proud of him. Somewhere deep down in the younger twin, there was something that Nate had found that ultimately gave Cody the ability to believe in himself again. Cody knew that he would never allow anything to destroy him like that ever again, no matter how lonely it was going to be being the only one with enough guts to say exactly what was on his mind and how he was feeling. As he continued to scribble away at the wall, a feeling of gratification arose in the younger twin at the idea of celebrating Nate's life, rather than mourning his death. Yes, he was still grieving. He would grieve until the day of his own death, but his previous depression would never catch up to all the new and positive energy that he had mustered. Nate had always known that Cody would snap out of his slump and rise from the ashes - countless times he had told his younger friend to get back up, and Cody had got up, spread his wings, and flown. But it had been the second that Nate had told him to think about Zack. "Think of Zack" - that had been the moment when Cody was sure that everything was going to be okay, and that Nate would be by his side to make sure that it was. And Nate was still by his side.
Wiping his eyes as these last sentimental thoughts drifted throughout the younger twin's head, Cody dropped the marker to the ground and stepped back, gazing at the wall before him, as well as the new design that he had added to it.
Nate had always said that he doodled and tagged buildings as a way to remind him that he was still a kid, and as the black, bold lettering of Nathan Lucas' name sat gallantly on the brick wall of the alleyway, the short time between the date of his birth and that date of his death that accompanied it proved that at the end of the day, no matter what he done or ever been through, beyond a shadow of a doubt he had been just a kid.
One final sigh emitted from Cody's chest as he stood before his work in a few moments of silence, before he nodded his head towards his friend's name, turned around and began to walk back towards the doors of the Tipton hotel, and back towards his brother.
It had certainly been an adventure. A long, painful, desperate, challenging, terrifying, heart-stopping adventure. And it would always ultimately be remembered by Cody as the adventure in which he rescued his twin from the harsh swash of the ocean waves. Yet, in the younger twin's heart of hearts, it would also be forever known as the journey of which he would never, ever forget about Nathan Lucas.
HOLY POO! IT'S DONNNNNNE! :D
Oh my goodness, I don't even know what to say. Thank you, thank you all so so so so much for reading this story and giving me your constant support! You have no idea how much I appreciate it! I'm so glad I was able to write it for you all to enjoy and keep up with, no matter how long it took me between updates... :)
It's so crazy, I started this story when I was sixteen, and now I'm a nineteen year old adult with uni and job hunting and a car (which means petrol, which means money!) and phones bills and a serious relationship and aaaaggrgggrh! It's just crazy :) This story has been a huge part of my life for a long time, and I know Dylan and Cole are always going to be a huge part of my life. Because I love them so much :) It's insane, TSLOZ&C has now been bumped down into the 'Vintage' segment of Disney and I'm just like "Maaan, that's not vintage, that's my childhood...!" I don't even know. I never get to watch TV much anymore, and I especially don't get to watch Zack and Cody like at all anymore. I miss them. I really do. That's why I'd like to keep coming back as much as I can and write more stories for you guys, so I still have someway of holding onto them. Cause they're just too amazing, really :)
Wooow, okay, rant over! :) Anyway, thank you all again for reading my story. Final thoughts and comments are very very much appreciated, and you WILL be seeing me again, if not soon, definitely sometime in the near future.
THANK YOU GUYS, YOU ARE ALL LEGENDS! :D
Till next time, ;)