A/N: I wrote this for my BFF in exchange for some fanart (from a different fandom); but I like this pairing too. It's not normal, it's not conventional and I assume like 99% of everyone here won't like it, but if you don't like it, don't read it. Or review, thanks. I didn't make you look at my fic. This is Z/Cody. It's just sweet, nothing weird. I'm not a furry, lol. But for anyone who's been looking for a story like this (like we have) please enjoy!
The waves crashed on the deserted beach with only Z to watch them. The moonlight was especially bright tonight and he was considering taking a late night surf. His thoughts lately had been rather turbulent and he was hoping being out on the water would at least make him forget what was on his mind. Either that or help him come to some kind of solution. Frowning to himself, he looked down the beach to see the subject of all his confusion trudging his way through the sand. Obviously Cody was unhappy about something.
"Hey Code, something bugging you?" he called out as the younger surfer came closer.
"Yeah, pretty much." Cody kicked a shell down the beach.
"What's up? You can talk to me, y'know." Z offered.
"I don't think I can, Z. I just wanna surf or something, I dunno."
"Are you sure? Cause I'm ready to listen." The older surfer playfully poked Cody in the side but Cody batted him away. It dawned on Z then that Cody was alone tonight.
"Dude, just chill -"
"Is it Lani?" Z asked flat out.
"Uh, eh, hmph." The younger surfer nodded reluctantly.
"Sit down." He pointed to a rock nearby and Cody obeyed. "Tell me what's going on."
"It's, like, over, Z. All of it."
"Over? Wait, you guys broke up?" That honestly shocked him. Everytime he had seen Lani and Cody together they seemed happier than happy. A feeling of guilt welled up inside of him as he processed this information. He was happy they weren't together anymore. Oh, great …
"Yep, all finished, that's all she wrote and all that." Cody kicked sand into the already dying fire.
"Did she give you a reason or did she just ditch you?"
"Apparently," The younger surfer sighed loudly. "My 'heart' wasn't in it. Whatever that means."
"Hmm, well, why don't we catch some waves and see how you feel after that, alright?" Z suggested, partially because he really needed to get out there himself.
"Anything, let's just get out of here." Luckily Cody had left his board down at the older surfer's shack earlier in the day so he could just grab it and start paddling out.
Z followed after him. He always did love surfing with Cody. He couldn't really put it into words, he wasn't really great with them; but Cody and him just seemed to click even more when they were out together on the water. – But these were the kind of thoughts that had him out here in the first place. It was good to feel close with his student, after all they had been through it was only natural. He also owed a lot to Cody .. as much as he didn't want to admit it, he was much happier surfing for himself, for fun, and not huddled up in some hut in the woods all alone anymore. His feelings for Cody had gotten a bit more complicated than that of just a friend or of a teacher and his student. He reminded himself to clear his mind and he took the next wave that came, just thinking about how the ocean looked in the night.
Cody watched Z go off, but he hung back. There were some things that Lani said that he didn't tell the older surfer. Things that just didn't sound right .. but things he was starting to think were true. It hurt her to say them, he thought, but his mind was too mixed up right now to understand the look on her face.
"Your heart has never belonged to me. I thought I had it .. but I didn't. Your heart has belonged to someone else for years. You know who I mean."
He shook his head, trying to get the echo of her voice out of it. How could she think that? He didn't know where she was even getting it. He'd never ever feel that way about – He couldn't finish his thought as a wave overtook him and he found himself rolling along with it. Paying attention probably would have helped. He eventually hit the beach and gulped in air. It wasn't the first, and certainly not the last, time it'd happened to him. His heart still raced, his lungs burnt a bit and he had to cough out some saltwater.
Even as he lie there catching his breath, he answered his own denial from earlier. Lies, they were all lies and he knew it. He'd know it all along, down to his very core. He was in love. And he'd been in love since before he knew what it was.
"Code, hey Code!" Z came up to him, carrying his own board and Cody's. "That looked rough .. you still breathin' there?"
"Yeah … too bad I don't have gills, huh?" The younger surfer said, still coughing.
Z laughed. "I guess, but then we wouldn't have you here on land, and we'd all hate that." He set the boards down and helped Cody up.
"I guess that's true." Cody mumbled, mostly to himself.
The older surfer frowned and pulled his former student around to face him. "What do you mean, I guess? Of course everyone wants you around."
Cody met Z's eyes and then looked away just as quick. "Yeah, you're right. I was just kidding."
"Is the Lani thing really getting to you? I mean, I can talk to her if you want -"
"No, no, don't." Cody protested quickly. He didn't want Lani telling the older surfer the same things she had said to him. He tried to subtly move away from Z so they weren't touching anymore and dropped down to sit on his rock again. He looked at the fire, which had dwindled down to just a few orange embers. "I'm fine, really."
"You don't seem fine." Z sighed and sat back down on his own rock.
"Well, Lani just said some really uncool things, y'know, so I just need time to get over it."
"Heh, what'd she do, call you names?" The older surfer laughed.
"C'mon Z, it's serious. And no, she didn't." He looked over and Z was staring at him with an expectant look. He wanted an explanation obviously. "Er, she just told me some stuff I didn't wanna hear."
"Abooout?" His former teacher prompted.
Cody didn't answer and there was a long silence filled only by the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore. Z knew Cody didn't want to talk about whatever Lani had said but something in him told him to keep pressing for information. His niece sometimes had better insight into things than most, so whatever reason she had for breaking up with Cody and whatever she had said were not done or said out of spite; they had purpose behind them. He finally heard a mumbled reply.
"She told me some stuff that was about you." Cody stood up again, looking frustrated.
"Lani broke up with you .. because of me?" Z asked, slightly in disbelief.
"Technically, yes." The younger surfer paced back and forth. He couldn't figure out why he was admitting all this. "Well, it wasn't really you, it was more about me and – well -"
"Do you – like me, Cody?" The question was half-joking and half-serious.
"Uh, no, of course not, Z, that'd be totally weird-" He looked at his former teacher's expression and gave up. "You can tell I'm lying, right?"
"I'm sorry." Cody looked forlorn. He just hoped Z wasn't grossed out by him now.
The younger surfer looked up to see Z had moved over slightly and was motioning for him to come over. He walked over slowly and sat down, aware of how close they both were. He felt Z's fin come around his shoulder and pull him closer. "Z … ?"
"Lani usually knows what she's talking about."
His heart sank slightly, not sure what the older surfer meant. "Yeah .. unfortunately."
"What I'm trying to say with that is .. I like you too, Cody." Z let out a soft sigh. He wasn't even sure if this was the right thing to do, but it felt right to him. There was silence again before he felt Cody hug him back.
The younger surfer hid his face against Z's side. He was literally surprised at how happy he felt hearing that. It was sort of like how he felt when it was just him and Z surfing the tube together. Like nothing else existed or mattered. Just him and Z and the waves.
"Thanks, Z." His voice came out in a whisper. He felt the older surfer hold him tighter.
"Of course, Code."
Dawn was actually on it's way as the dark sky began to turn blue. They didn't need to talk about how they felt or what having a relationship would mean. As the light became paler, they grabbed their boards and paddled out again. It wasn't until Z saw Cody smiling back at him in the orange light of the sunrise, that he didn't just feel it was right. He knew it was right. And that was all he needed.