A/N: This is a story about the unexpected and mutually discovered love between two brothers. I am aware that BBB broaches many sensitive themes, including but not limited to homosexuality, incest, and sex between minors. I have handled these as gently as I can without obscuring BBB's central message and storyline.
Warnings: Mild Het early on. Explicit Z/C incest and slash later. You have been warned. If it's not your thing, you know where to find the back button.
Disclaimer: I am making no profit from this work of fiction, and unlike Disney I do not own the twins. (The twins own me.)
"Bye, Mum— I'll be home by ten," Zack called out over his shoulder as he opened the door to their suite. He paused to wave at Carey, who was busy fiddling over the kitchen stove and looking lost, and at Cody, who was standing nearby and supervising the dinner-making anxiously. Carey waved back, looking up from her work long enough to blow him a kiss.
With her attention safely diverted away from the stove, Cody swiftly set the broth to a simmer and added a handful of pepper. By the time Carey returned to the broth, Cody had his arms crossed and was smiling sweetly.
Zack, having witnessed Cody's vain attempts to improve Carey's cooking, could do nothing but roll his eyes in sympathy. Once again he turned to leave, but Carey called out to him.
"We love you, honey! Have fun on your little date. But be polite." She wagged a spoon threateningly at Zack's head. "And remember—ten."
Zack gave her a cheeky salute. "Yes, Ma'am." He left quickly, slamming the door behind him and whistling the whole way to the elevator.
Zack met up with his date, Linda, at the restaurant's entrance. He had been a bouquet of flowers behind his back, and when Linda looked up to greet him, offered her his arm with a smile.
"My lady," Zack said, in a phony british accent. "I pray that you will accompany me for dinner, for you are more lovely than any flower." He presented the flowers to her, bowing deeply.
Linda giggled, accepting the flowers. She dipped in a little curtsy of her own. "Thank you ever so much, kind Sir."
Zack led her by the arm to a booth in the corner, which was alight with the glow of two burning candles, and snapped his fingers. "Menus, Pendleton," Zack called out to their waiter cheekily as they took their seats.
"Of course, Lord Martin," said Pendleton. He handed them their menus, dipping low in Linda's direction: "My good Lady." Linda giggled again, blushing. Zack slyly slipped Pendleton a fiver under the table as he left for the kitchens, and turned to admire his date. Her shirt was long-sleeved and stretchy, and just a bit more revealing than was probably appropriate. Not that Zack was complaining. He was momentarily mesmerized by the long sparky necklace around her neck, which sat nestled close to her cleavage.
"I like your necklace," Zack said innocently, using it as an excuse to stare. Linda smiled.
"Thank you," she said lowly, fingering the pendant.
Zack coughed into his hand, and they decided to make their orders.
"This is so cool," Linda said, after the waiter had left. "And very sweet of you. How did you think of all this?"
Zack chuckled. "Oh, well, you know me: hopeless romantic." He reminded himself to thank Cody later for setting everything up.
Zack had complained to Cody earlier about not knowing where to take the 'love of his life' for dinner, and about how important it was that Zack sweep her off her feet. After a great deal of whining, and a few of Zack's choicest puppy-dog pouts, Cody had relented, rolled his eyes and picked up the phone.
When the food arrived ten minutes later, Linda was already ranting up a storm. Currently, she was venting about an argument she'd had with her ex-friend, Amanda Byrnes. Zack was eating and pretending to listen. He got the general gist, anyway, and whenever Linda would look at him expectantly he'd just nod sagely and say something like, "How rude. You poor, poor thing." It seemed to work wonders.
At one point, Linda solicited his opinion, admitting to him in a low and secretive voice that Amanda had cruelly tricked her into dating this one guy from Chem who just wanted to have sex with her.
"I'm so sorry Mandy was mean to you," Zack crooned, grabbing a breadstick and some salsa. "You don't have to worry about anything like that when you're with me."
Linda smiled, saying, "Yeah, well, I'm totally over him anyway," and launched right into a tirade about all the boys she'd dated. Zack had tuned her out again, digging into his pasta.
So far, he thought he liked Linda, although she was kind of annoying, and a little bit bossy. She hadn't let Zack get a word in edgewise the whole meal unless it was about her, and frankly her high-pitched whine was starting to get irritating. Still, she was hot, and older than Zack to boot. Besides... Zack had it in pretty good confidence that it would be well worth his while if he could just wait it out a few more hours.
Bob had slipped him the juicy tidbit just last week, and Zack had been unable to resist. Apparently, there was a rumor going around that Linda's legs would spread for any guy that was willing to woo her. Zack didn't know how true it all was, but he wasn't about to waste an opportunity to find out. He'd managed to do some research of his own, and according to Amanda Byrnes, whom Zack had cornered the day before in the hall, Linda had started the rumor herself during a game of truth or dare.
Linda had barely touched her food, too busy recounting Amanda's many faults. She seemed to get more and more worked-up the longer she talked, but from the way Linda kept smirking at Zack suggestively every few minutes or so, Zack was starting to suspect that much of it was an act for his benefit. Well, two could play at that game.
Zack smiled as charmingly as he knew how, and waited for Linda's story to wind to a close. Eventually, it did, just as her fake pout deepened and she began to reach the verge of fake tears.
Zack took that as his cue to begin his brilliant master plan. Step one: get her attention.
He took a hold of Linda's hand, face the very picture of sincerity.
"Don't you worry about her, Linda. Amanda doesn't own you." Zack used a dinner napkin to dab at Linda's dry cheeks. He shook his finger, then, as if the thought had just ocurred to him: "You know what you need right now? Some loving from the Zack-man. C'mere." He opened his arms with a honey-golden grin.
Linda got up and came around the other side of the booth immediately, allowing Zack to hold her to his chest. Her face crumpled a little against his shoulder- and the reaction was so obviously fake that it was hard for him not to smile. But he somehow managed.
His date's hysterics, meanwhile, had reached new heights. "Oh, Zack, she's just so..." sob, "mean to me. I don't know how I thought I could be friends with her."
Zack concealed his true feelings by pressing his face into her hair at the base of her neck, rubbing her back comfortingly. Step two, he thought: move in for the kill. "There, there, I know. Go ahead and cry it out... I've got you."
"Thanks, Zack," Linda sniffed after a minute or so, pulling away. "You know just what to say to a girl." She smiled, wiping her eyes, and brought her face close to his. Zack closed his eyes and leaned in as well.
Step three? Enjoy.
And as their mouths met wetly, Linda's glossy lips sliding into his, even Zack was impressed with his success. He resisted the urge to cackle. Oh, yes, he had Linda right where he wanted her.
Zack gave it ten minutes, tops, before Linda was begging to take him back to her place.
He broke the kiss. Linda pouted up at him.
"You know, Zacky; I'm feeling a little tired. Do you think you could walk me back to my apartment?"
Bingo. Zack smiled with jaw-aching sweetness. "Sure thing, Lind-y." He held out his arm for her to take once again, and slapped a wad of cash onto the table that he'd saved up from his hours as a bagger boy.
"Let's get you home," Zack said, slyly wrapping an arm around Linda's shoulders.
Linda curled her lip as they walked out the glass double-doors. "There's something else I forgot to mention, Zack..." She whispered, leaning close to his ear. "My parents had a date tonight, too." She batted her lashes at him, and Zack felt his stomach leap in response. "They shouldn't be home for another three hours." At that she stepped back, a wicked gleam in her eye.
Zack flushed, turning to gape at her. In answer, she grabbed a hold of his tie and tugged him out the door. Correction, Zack thought to himself, awed: three.
A/N: Thank you all for clicking the link to my story and deciding to read! I hope you will enjoy reading BBB as much as I have enjoyed writing it.