*I do not own Suite Life on Deck/of Zack and Cody or any of the characters!
Zack awoke to his younger twin humming. He blinked his eyelids open and felt the dryness of his eyes. He could really use some eye drops, but sadly didn't have any. Once he found the location of his brother, he smiled. Cody was in the bathroom, combing his hair and humming to himself. The younger looked in the mirror, a smile grazing his lips.
"Good morning, Zacky," he placed the hairbrush down and turned, walking over to his brother, "I think we should get some food."
"That sounds wonderful," Zack placed a kiss on the top of his head and held him close, "get dressed then, okay?"
Cody nodded, nuzzling against his brother. Zack was warm after just waking up, and he smelled oddly good and clean. The younger blonde didn't want to leave the warmth of his brother just yet, taking in every feeling he could of his brother's arms that wrapped around his waist, the way his chest rose and fall as he breathed, the rhythm of his heart. If anything, Cody wanted to act childish with his brother, make him care for him even more...love him. He wanted to be cute for Zack, wanted to make him smile and be happy. He knew that Zack was no longer as happy as he used to be; he'd snapped at their friends a few times for saying things that he considered unnecessary. He would get overly frustrated when he couldn't figure out something with his homework, and it seemed that it mattered lately. Mattered that he passed school and worked hard for money. Internally, Cody was grateful that he was basically the only one that could make his brother smile. They had fun together, even after what happened. Zack wasn't pulling pranks anymore, but they would get onto their laptops and play games that had public chat rooms on the sides. Chess was Cody's favorite game to play, but Zack wasn't too interested, nor was he any good at the game. A knock at the cabin door caused both boys to jump in surprise. A slight pause and Zack shrugged, telling whoever knocked to come in.
"Hey!" Kurt came into the room with Carey close behind.
"Mom, dad," Zack waved, walking over to them. He hugged them both before allowing Cody to do the same.
Cody kept his distance with his father, feeling uncomfortable. Zack was recently on the phone with Kurt and Cody could hear his father shouting, yelling so loudly Zack had to pull the phone away from his ear. Kurt was yelling about what happened, about going to court, about having Cody go to court. No one wanted Cody to go to court to face these men, but it had to be done...and it was clear to the twins that the reason their parents were on the ship wasn't just to visit them; no, it was to discuss going to get these men locked up for a long time.
His heart pounded as he thought about seeing them again. He could still picture their faces as they approached him that one night, the grins on their faces, their laughs, their touch... Cody threw himself into an anxiety attack and began gasping for air, shaking as he did so.
"Hey kiddo, what's wrong?" Kurt rubbed his back.
"Cody? Baby what's the matter?" Carey walked over, concern filling her.
Cody could only gasp for air, his heart feeling as if it were about to rip through his chest. It was hard to think, hard to breathe, hard to stand. He felt himself moving, swaying to what could have been the ship, but could have just been him not being able to standup straight. He blinked a few times, seeing the floor reaching his face quickly, but before impact, he was stopped and yanked by his arm. He groaned in pain and closed his eyes, wanting to meet the forceful smack of the floor against his face and body. He heard voices of his family, but couldn't understand what they were getting at. He just needed to relax, just relax...
"Cody?" Zack shook him slightly, seeing that his brother was completely lost, out of it. They laid him on the bed and looked at him, wondering why he suddenly fell into such a panic.
"What's wrong with him?" Carey looked to Zack.
"I don't know, he was fine until now," he furrowed his brow and looked his brother over, "maybe he's sick?"
Cody began calming down as he heard Zack's voice, whimpering slightly. Zack perked up and turned to his brother, pulling him into his arms. Zack knew what was wrong, he could tell. It was clear to him that Cody was afraid- afraid that those men would come after him again- afraid he would have to see them- afraid that they wouldn't get charged with anything and they would show up one day, looking for him. It was wrong of him to think like that, wrong to think that these men weren't going to get charged with anything. There was video evidence, eyewitnesses, physical evidence. It was all there and ready to be shown in front of a court full of strangers, family, and friends. Maybe not all of it, not the images, not to family and friends at least. Zack could remember what his brother looked like, so could the others. They didn't need to see that; not again.
"You okay?" Zack smiled, wiping the sweaty blonde hair from Cody's face.
He nodded, finally calming down and reaching his arms to Zack, "Sorry... I just... guess I didn't eat anything yesterday or today... my sugar is a bit low," he faked a smile and nuzzled against Zack.
"Well, lets get some food into you?" Kurt suggested.
Cody nodded, not very hungry, but willing to go with his family and make them think he was alright. Zack really wanted to just stay with Cody, let his parents leave; but he knew that they wouldn't allow it anyway. Cody did need to eat, Zack realized, he hadn't had much yesterday and he didn't have any breakfast yet. Cody sat up while Zack walked over, grabbing an outfit for both of them. Cody slid into the bathroom to change, Zack doing the same.
"They're very close lately, aren't they," Kurt whispered to his ex.
"Very," she agreed, nodding slightly as they watched the bathroom door.
"We need to tell them, about the court date..."
"They won't be happy," Carey frowned.
"I know that, but if we get this out of the way, the other dates will fly by and everything will be back to normal, right?"
"Normal..." Carey sighed and folded her arms, "I don't think it will ever be normal again..." she said to no one in particular.
"I'm ready," Cody slid from the bathroom, his brother close behind, watching his every move.
"Awesome kiddo, let's go," Kurt smiled and headed for the door, his family following.
Carey watched her sons closely, their behavior striking her as odd. Zack pulled a chair out for Cody as they sat at the table to read over their menus; he kept his arm around his brother, reading the menu with him. Once Cody got bored with reading it and decided on what he wanted, he rested his head on Zack's shoulder. Zack figured that since neither of them were that hungry, they would just get something and split it. With a double order of home fries, of course. Breakfast went smoothly, they chatted lightly and enjoyed their food. That was, until Kurt cleared his throat to speak.
"Boys, the reason we're here... We have a court date on Friday and you two need to come home for it."
Cody shook his head no and felt tears threatening his eyes. Zack sighed and wrapped his arms around Cody, hugging him.
"We can't just drop this case, you know that, don't you Cody?" Carey said.
"I don't want to see them.."
"You have to," Kurt explained, "once they see how you react around those... men... they're more apt to send them off to jail."
Cody felt his tears fall, dropping into his lap. Zack sighed and rubbed his back, "It's alright, I'll be with you. Okay?" he reassured him.
Cody nodded, leaning into him even more.
"Zack," Carey said, "I'd like to speak with you?"
"Oh, okay," Zack stood with his mother and walked from the area. He watched over his shoulder as Kurt got up and slid into the seat with Cody, hugging him close.
"What's going on between you and Cody?" she folded her arms.
"What do you mean?"
"You're acting very strange with each other. Hugging him and letting him rest on you; your beds are pushed together in your cabin for God's sake!"
"You don't expect me to act like this with him after what happened? Of course we're going to push our beds together, he has such bad nightmares he needs me there... I hug him and let him rest on me because he's my baby brother and I can't let that hap-..." Zack cut off, fearing that he would begin to cry if he continued, "I'm.. just, watch him... I'm going to the skydeck..." he stormed off, leaving his mother hanging.
"Where's Zack?" Cody asked as his mother returned without his brother.
"He needed some air," she sat down, looking at her youngest.
Cody nodded and looked in the direction his brother left in. He was upset that he couldn't see him, upset that they were apart. His heart hurt and he was becoming nervous; even if he knew that his father would kill for him to be safe... He finished talking with his parents about packing some things for the weekend and leaving the ship. The court date was set for Boston, and the were currently docked in Miami Florida until Friday. They would have to leave tomorrow if they wanted to drive home by Friday and catch up on some sleep. He sighed and walked with his father to the skydeck, seeing Zack sitting with some of their friends.
"Zack," Cody ran over and smiled.
"Hey," Zack smiled, glad his brother ran up to him. He wasn't too happy to hear what Cody had to say, however.
"We have to leave tomorrow morning... Dad says that if we pack now, leave in the morning, we'll be home by Wednesday and get some rest on Thursday, so that Friday morning we..." Cody stopped and sighed.
"Okay," Zack stood from the stool he was on, "sorry guys, have to go pack," he smacked Woody on the back, who let out a loud 'ouch.' Zack smirked to himself and grasped his brother by the hand, walking to their cabin with their father close behind.
"What did your mother want to talk with you about?" Kurt asked, throwing himself on the beds.
"About me and Cody, why we're so close lately..."
"She... she had to ask?" Kurt raised an eyebrow.
Cody bent over, digging through some things until he found a few outfits he wanted to bring home with him. Zack's gaze set on his backside, admiring the roundness of his brother's backside. Kurt elbowed him, raising an eyebrow again. Zack felt himself blush, shaking his head with a slight laugh.
"What was that about?" Kurt whispered.
"It's nothing dad..." Zack turned away and began grabbing things to take.
The boys were on their way home, sitting in the back of their fathers 8 person SUV. Moseby sat in the seats behind their parents, writing things on a notepad. Cody sighed loudly and looked out the window at the passing palm trees. They were still in Florida and he would have rather just gone and found something fun to do with his brother, rather than be on his way home, preparing to face the men who... His thoughts trailed off and he quietly called to his father.
"Whats up, Cody?" he looked in the rear view mirror at his youngest son.
"I have to pee and I'm hungry..." he crossed his legs and frowned.
"We're almost in Georgia, can you hold it?"
"I guess so..." Cody leaned back in his seat and looked at his brother.
Zack was currently sleeping, leaning against the window. Cody squeezed his legs together, trying to focus on something other than having to pee. As soon as he saw a sign fly by, welcoming the family to Georgia, he shouted to his father- waking his brother and his mother up, and causing Moseby to jump.
"Dad, stop!" he pointed to a rest stop.
Kurt almost forgot, almost. He sped into the parking lot and began to stop. By that time, Cody had already unbuckled and was opening his door. Zack blinked his eyes open and watched his brother jump from the car. His first reaction was to unbuckle, no matter how tired he was, and run after him to make sure he wasn't alone. Cody ran into the mens room and found an open stall. He slammed the door shut in Zack's face.
"Are you okay?" Zack tapped on the door.
"Have to pee..." Cody quickly undid his pants, taking care of what he had to.
"Oh, okay," Zack waited and watched a couple of people enter and leave the bathroom.
Cody sighed and stepped from the stall, the toilet flushing automatically. He washed his hands and dried them with a paper towel, "Sorry," he apologized for nothing.
"Ready?" Zack smiled and held his hand, walking him to the car.
"Sorry," he nodded.
"Stop saying sorry, you had to pee," Zack laughed, "I would have done the same, if not worse."
Cody shrugged and got into the car, "Daddy when can we eat?"
"We'll find a place and get something to go," Kurt backed the car up and drove away from the parked cars and back onto the highway.
Zack crawled up into the seat with Moseby, poking his head up into the front, "Hey mom, when will I be allowed to drive?"
"As soon as you prove yourself responsible enough to do so," she leaned back in her seat, reading a book.
"I'm plenty responsible," Zack complained and made his way back to Cody, folding his arms with a frown.
"Right.." she smiled to herself.
Cody swung his feet slightly, careful not to kick the seat as he did so. He was bored, and wasn't in the mood to read anything..but reading was better than allowing his mind to wander any further...
… … … …
"All rise for Judge Parker," a man said as a woman wearing a black robe entered the room, taking her seat in the front.
"You may be seated," she said, "the defendants, Michael Williams, Keith Robinson, and Leonard Rodriguez, please rise," the men stood, "you are charged with rape, assault, kidnapping, and attempted murder..how do you plead?"
Cody kept his gaze locked on the floor, not listening, not looking. The pain in his chest was causing him to dig his nails into his pants, causing them to become wrinkled. His lawyer was to his right, and his father to his left. The words he did hear burned into his brain, their names...the dreaded 'R' word...
"..we call Cody Martin to the stand..."
Cody jumped slightly as his name was called. He slowly stood and walked up to the stand beside the judge, looking down to his lap. A bible was placed in front of him as he was asked to raise his hand and pledge. He couldn't stop shaking as the judge asked him questions, and he refused to look up, refused to see those men... A sickness rose in his stomach, but he fought it back as he continued his story, tears dropping to his lap.
"Mr. Martin..why will you not look up from your lap?" the judge questioned, looking the young, shaken boy over.
"I-I don't want to see them..." he turned to his side, trying to control his constant trembling.
Things weren't moving fast enough, and Cody hoped and prayed that he wouldn't have to come back to another court date. It seemed as though everything was in their favor. The three men had no alibis for the night, the video evidence was shown to a jury, the photos were shown, DNA results were shown...it was hard to call them innocent. Even the lawyer for the men was becoming nervous, fearing that he was going to lose the case.
"Has the jury reached a verdict?" the judge asked.
"We the jury, find the defendants, guilty."
The judge never looked up from her papers on the desk before her as she spoke the words everyone wanted to hear, "The court here by sentences a maximum sentence of 10 years each, this case is closed," the gravel slammed down before she stood and left the room.
Cody broke down. Tears burst from his eyes and he began crying hysterically as the three men were hauled off in handcuffs, heads hung low. Zack tripped over people and shoved his way to the front of the room, throwing his arms around his younger twin.
"She closed the case during the hearing Cody...you never have to see them again.." Zack could no longer hold back his tears...tears of joy, fear, anger; love..
The twins refused to let each other go as their parents tried to pry them apart. Cody nuzzled into his brothers neck smiling softly.
"You're crying.." he pointed out as Zack's tears landed on him.
"I-I know.." he laughed slightly, "I forgot how good it felt to just cry..." he wiped his eyes and looked at Cody.
"Are you two ready to head out?" Kurt patted his sons on the backs, watching Moseby console his ex wife.
"Please..." Cody sighed, hanging his head, his blonde hair falling in his eyes.
… … … …
Cody laughed, running across the wooden deck of the ship. His brother was directly behind him, laughing as well. The air was crisp and fresh, cool with the breeze of the sea.
"I love it here..." Cody sighed, catching his breath as the two leaned on one of the railings.
The sun was dipping below the ocean, shining brightly across the never ending sea. Zack wrapped his arms around his brother, kissing the crook of his neck softly.
"I do too...but mostly because I have you here with me..."
Cody smiled and leaned back into Zack, peering over at him, "I'm glad...that we can be like this..."
"What do you mean?"
"I just...often thought of what could have happened that night...I could have d-"
"-don't... let's just relax..enjoy here and now..."
Cody nodded in agreement, turning around to face his brother. The deck was nearly empty, not many people passing by; everyone was either at dinner, or viewing a show.
"I love you..." Cody pressed his forehead to Zack's.
"I love you too..."
Their lips pressed together gently, working slowly in a soft kiss of true love.