"How about a pizza?" Zack asked them. They all replied eagerly. "Ok, so what toppings would you like?"
At once, Nicky and Billy started listing all of the toppings they loved, while Kyle began listing all the toppings he hated.
"So, that's a large with sausage, mushrooms, and onion?" Zack asked not sure if he heard right.
"I hate onion!" Kyle yelled out.
"I'm a vegetarian. No way am I eating sausage," Nicky told him in flatly.
"Mushwooms? Yuck!" Billy exclaimed sticking his tongue out in disgust.
Twenty minutes and nineteen topping combinations later, they all ordered their own small pizza. When the pizza delivery boy showed up, Kyle and Billy pushed by Zack and grabbed the boxes out of the delivery boy's hands.
"Those are some hungry munchkins, dude," he chuckled, his arms still positioned as if he were holding the pizzas. Then, he looked past Zack and saw Nicky. "Hi," he smiled. Zack turned to see Nicky standing next to the coach and waving at the pizza boy.
"Don't even think about it," Zack told him as he shoved money into his hand. Then, he closed the door quickly even though the pizza boy kept trying to peek in and talk to Nicky. Zack locked the door. He raised an eyebrow at Nicky who shrugged and plopped back down on the couch.
Zack looked down at Kyle and Billy who were sitting in the floor chomping away at their pizza. They had opened every box and left them lying open on the floor around them.
"Is this where you guys always eat?" Zack asked jokingly as he picked up his and Nicky's boxes.
"Uh huh!" Billy told him and giggled insanely. Kyle laughed too. Zack handed Nicky her pizza and carried his into the kitchen. He grabbed some drinks for all of them, and passed them out. When he went back into the kitchen to grab his pizza, he heard a loud burp followed by an eruption of laughter.
When he came back into the living room, Billy was rolling around on the floor laughing while "You're disgusting," Nicky told Kyle. Kyle took another swig of soda, then belched so loud that it made Zack's jaw drop in amazement. Billy stared at Kyle in awe. Kyle, still holding his soda, looked at Nicky with an arrogant grin. Nicky glared back at Kyle. Before Zack could react, she grabbed the sofa cushion beside her, and flung it full force at Kyle. The cushion knocked him on his back sending his soda can flying through the air. Zack made hurdled the coffee table in an attempt to catch it, but was too slow. The can landed in Billy's pizza box, and soaked Billy on the way down.
Billy, who had been laughing, now stopped. He looked down at his clothes and then at his Pepsi topped pizza. His chin quivered and his eyes swelled with tears. Zack had to do something fast. If Billy started crying he may never stop.
"Don't worry, Billy. We'll clean it off," Zack picked him up and held him at arm's length from his own body. Nicky stomped by him and ran up the stairs. Kyle followed closely behind. Zack didn't have time to deal with them now.
"My pizza…" Billy wined pointing at it as Zack carried him away.
Zack sat him on the counter and hurried to the living room to grab Billy's pizza. He picked it up carefully trying not to let any of the liquid drip from the box. He had almost made it to the kitchen avoiding the minefield of toys, when he heard a war cry from upstairs.
"Give it to me! Now!" Nicky threatened.
With pizza box in hand, Zack paused and looked upstairs toward the commotion. Suddenly, Kyle sprinted out with her diary tucked under his arm as if he were about to score the winning touchdown. Zack's eyes grew large as he realized Kyle was heading straight for him. Zack took a quick step to the left, but tripped on a toy ball losing his grip on the pizza box, sending it flying into the air. Kyle, seeing what was happening, tried to slow his pace, but had no such luck. He fell into Zack and then the pizza fell on top of him.
When Zack sat up, he looked around to find slices of pizza scattered on the ground, Kyle on top of him shrugging his shoulders, and a puddle of soda on the carpet. He jumped up quickly throwing up then, he raked his fingers through his blonde hair.
"All right, that's it!" he shouted throwing up his hands. "On the couch now!" Kyle scurried to the couch. Nicky was standing at the top of the stairs and had witnessed the whole incident. She bit her lip as she crept down the steps and took a spot on the couch beside of Kyle. "Stay put!" Zack demanded. "I'm going to clean Billy up, then we are all going to clean up this mess."
Nicky and Kyle peeked over the back of the couch as they watch Zack attempt to dry Billy off. Feeling sorry for the mess they'd caused, Nicky tiptoed into the kitchen.
"Zack, I can help Billy change into some dry clothes. It's my fault they're ruined anyway," she offered timidly. Zack nodded, and she carried Billy upstairs.
"Kyle, grab a rag and some carpet cleaner. We have some stains to remove," Zack ordered as he grabbed a trash bag.
When Zack and Kyle finished cleaning up the carpet, Nicky and a dry, clean Billy came downstairs, "I'm hungry," Billy stated.
"You can have some of my pizza, Billy," Zack told him. Zack went to the kitchen to grab a plate, Billy trailed behind. He carefully picked the mushrooms off of a slice and handed the plate to Billy.
Everyone made themselves comfortable in the living room. Nicky and Kyle rested on the couch. Billy plopped down on his stomach in the floor with his head propped in his hands. Zack sat uncomfortably in one of the side chairs. He turned on the television, and they all watched it in silence.
Within minutes, Billy had fallen asleep. Nicky, quietly cleaned up Billy's plate, and carried him upstairs to bed. Kyle followed behind and went to his room. All that could be heard was the television. Zack turned the volume down a little and moved over to the couch. He flopped down on his side and propped a cushion under his head. Babysitting was harder than he thought. He was worn out. As he watched a rerun of I Love Lucy, his eyelids became heavy, and in no time, he was out.
Kelly and her parents arrived home around eleven. They had not only gone to dinner, but decided on a whim to watch a new movie Kelly was dying to see. Knowing Billy would be asleep, they came in whispering.
"Sounds like they're all asleep," Mr. Kapowski observed as he hung up everyone's coats. Mrs. Kapowski went to the kitchen and turned off the light.
"Well, nothing is damaged," she said with relief.
Kelly shook her head, "Mom, I told you Zack could handle it. You can trust him." Then, she looked around for a moment realizing Zack was nowhere to be found. "Where is Zack anyway?"
Mr. Kapowski pointed at the couch. Kelly tiptoed behind the couch and peeked over. A half smile came across her face. Zack looked adorable with his perfectly styled hair now askew and his mouth slightly parted.
"I guess he's out of practice," her mother joked. Then, she frowned, "Poor guy. This is probably the most peace he's had all night."
"Well, as much as he feels like family, he isn't family yet, so he can't stay here," her father stated. Kelly knew he was right, but felt bad that he'd have to leave.
"Can't we give him a few more minutes?" she begged as she stared at Zack.
Even her strict father couldn't help feel sorry for him. "Ten minutes, tops," he replied.
Kelly nodded as her father and mother went upstairs to change. She followed behind. She ran into her room, changed into her pajamas, and threw her hair into a ponytail. Then, she grabbed a blanket from the end of her bed.
She hurried down the stairs and draped the blanket over Zack's body. He stirred a little as she tucked him in. She almost wished he would wake up, then, she could thank him for helping her have a wonderful night out. Realizing he was still out cold, she took the remote from his hand and turned off the television. Then, she was she gently pressed her lips to his forehead. "Thank you," she whispered. She could have sworn she noticed a slight smile afterward.