Zack opened his eyes to the sound of rain tapping against the window. He was panting heavy, his eyes darting from side to side, taking in the familarity of hotel room he'd spent four years away from, and trying to determine what was real and what wasn't.
Images kept playing on his black eyelids from just moments ago; pictures that still swam in and out of focus before him even as he was now wide awake. His heart was thumping like a bass drum in his ribcage and his breath was ragged as he tried to keep it quiet so as to not disturb the shape of Cody lying in the bed across the room from him. Zack inhaled a deep breath in an attempt to calm the shaky feelings he was experiencing and tried blinking vigerously to wipe away the dream that had awoken him. It didn't work. He slowly pushed himself out of bed and ran a hand through his limp hair. Since his graduation from Seven Seas High life had got alot more complicated for Zack, with no plans for the future and his twin set to leave him in a couple of weeks to go to Yale, his mind was all over the place, especially his feelings. He was sure Cody had noticed that something was up but Zack went on as normal and dodged any question that pertained to his new distracted demeanour by completely turning the topic around to something 'academic'. It always worked as Cody never could resist bragging about his ridiculously extensive knowledge of everything.
Zack made his way out of their shared room as quickly and quietly as he could and entered the bathroom, shutting the door silently behind him. He found his face in the mirror and saw a blank expression looking back at him. His features were so unlike his twin's and were changing more and more each day but if you looked hard enough you'd find Cody in the reflection.
Sighing, he tore his eyes from his own reflection and stripped out of his t-shirt and boxers, hanging them on the back of the closed door before he stepped inside the shower cubicle. The water was warm but not scalding and didn't turn to icy cold every three seconds like it had in his cabin back on board the ship.
Zack let it splash across his body, matting his hair and wetting his face but he didn't dare close his eyes in fear of seeing those images again. Instead, he kept them resolutely set on the mass collection of his mom's scented candles on the window sill. He didn't want to see, didn't want to think, and he sure as hell didn't want to live through that dream again. It hadn't been the first one, nor the second. He'd been having them almost every night for a good while now and although he wasn't as freaked out as he had been the first time, the uncomfortable feeling in the pit of his stomach constantly made its presence known. Every time he looked at his brother the troubling images from the dreams popped into his mind. His eyes faltered shut and the images came flooding back. A warm body next to him, pressed right up against him, soft skin stretching over lean muscles and hot lips caressing his own. A sheen of sweat glistened on their bodies. Zack's lips were swollen and they weren't the only part of his body.
Zack opened his eyes as his hand found the shower wall, he cursed for letting his weak self fall back into that dream. He didn't need to look down to realise that he was rock hard. Shame welled up inside of him, filling every part it could as he grasped himself and began the familiar motion. He leaned his forehead against the wall and closed his eyes as he worked himself, the water splashing across his back now. He worked himself tirelessly, roughly, almost trying to make it hurt. He deserved pain. He was panting by the time he remembered the climax of the most recent dream and he tensed, letting out a strangled cry as he came. The sweet rush made his knees go weak for a few seconds and he had to brace himself firmly against the wall to support himself. It was all over in moments, and then the unending guilt came.
"Heck," he croaked, hastily blinking away sudden tears that stung every bit of him. Feeling very unclean, he snatched the soap and hastily began to soap his body, taking particular care not to rouse himself again. He then stood quite still under the spray for few moments once he was all lathered up, letting the warm water splash into his face before sliding down his soapy body and into the drain. He wished all of his problems could be swept away that easily, but they would probably just get stuck if he tried. What the hell was wrong with him? How the hell had he gotten so twisted? His own brother. . . his own twin?
He dried off facing away from the mirror. Sacred that if he looked he'd wouldn't see himself but Cody looking back at him disapointed. He rubbed the towel against his skin harder and faster. His breayhing became rapid and the tears welled up in his eyes. His thoughts strayed to Cody's face if he found out, the disappointment, the shame, the disgust. He yelped as the rought texture of the towel scraped his skin. He stopped still. He took a deep breath to calm himself down. This had to stop. Cody would no longer be around soon, he just had to wait until then. Then he'd be gone and hopefully so would these damn thoughts!
He tied the white towel around his waist as he opened the bathroom door and was met by a rush of cold air crashing against his skin as the shower steam exited. He re-entered his bedroom where he found Cody still lying in bed, his arms tucked under the pillow and the duvet tangled between his legs. Zack waited for a second to see if his brother would wake up but he didn't even stir.
He started to ruffle Cody's hair in an attempt to wake his brother up, but found the soft, newly shampooed strands much too pleasant between his fingers and instead extended a finger and poked it hard into his brother's arm. Cody stirred but his slow, his even breathing went on. Zack's eyes were drawn to Cody's lips and once more the dream slipped back into his mind. Mouths pressed together; hot, warm, sensual. Zack blinked. He had kissed Codyand it had not been real. He felt sick all of a sudden, which was strange considering that he had just realised that he hadn't actually kissed his own brother.
"Get up Cody," he said, perhaps a little more forcefully than the situation required.
Cody jerked awake from the combination of Zack's hard finger poking at him and the loud tone of voice. "What?" He mumbled irritably, raising a hand to rub his sleepy eyes.
"It's morning and you need to wake up you have that meeting thingy today!" Zack swiftly turned and walked back into the bathroom as Cody kicked the duvet down and turned to lie on his back, exposing his naked chest. Zack didn't think his imagination would be wise to take any more fuel this morning and instead went on to get dressed, but as weak as he was, he positioned himself so he could hesitantly watch his brother twist and turn tiredly on the bed in an attempt to wake up through the corner of his eye. Cody had been doing that same morning ritual since they were young and it made Zack smile that he got to see it again since they were back in the same room. Zack smile faded as Cody's body writhing on the bed while he moaned and groaned served as a particularly nasty kind of torture.
Slowly, Cody opened his eyes to the bright morning light. They instantly fixed on Zack. "Why are you up so early?"
"You're not the only one with plans today you know" Zack's tone came out more harsh than he expected. Cody just rolled his eyes in response and sat up still trying to shake away the tiredness. Zack buttoned up his shirt trying to take his mind off Cody but it was next to impossible with him being in the same room. "Zack?"
Zack turned to look at Cody instantly regretting his choice as his eyes hungerily devoured the complete sight of Cody's bare chest, taking in the abs that weren't overly defined yet still definitely there, and the thin trail of light brown hair that teasingly led the way down the waistband of his blue boxers. Zack hastened to look away before his brother caught him staring. There was that thumping of his heart again and the burning feeling in his stomach that he knew to be guilt. He licked his lips and swallowed hard. Cody didn't seem to notice, his eye brows raised and his eyes fixed on Zack's shirts. "You're buttoning your shirt all wrong, look" Zack looked down. Each button was in the wrong hole, he groaned and began fumbling around trying to get them out again but it wasn't working. He heard a giggle and a shift of movement. He froze when he felt two hand touch his own. He looked up to find Cody looking at him beamused. "Here let me do it" He said softly moving Zack's hands away. Zack's eyes remained on Cody's flawless face taking in every detail from his moles to his lightly unshaven face.
"There" He laughed looking back up at Zack.
Their eyes met and for a moment Zack thought he saw a flash of something he couldn't quite decode in Cody's eyes. However, it sent a tingle all the way through Zack and his heart began pounding so hard he was sure Cody could hear it. He open his mouth to say something but before he got the chance and small beeping noise came from the otherside of the room and Cody jumped in excitement.
"That must be Bailey!" He sqeualed running across the room to retrieve his phone. Zack just blinked as Cody began typing away. He could imagine the gist of what his brother was typing. Some complicated love poem in some distant language that could only be understood by Cody and Bailey. It made Zack feel sick.
A few moments later there were two quick raps on the door and Zack went to get it as Cody showed no indication that he had even heard the knocking.
Carey stood right outside the door and adopted a slight look of surprise at the sight of the ready-dressed Zack before her. "You're up." She seemed shocked but pleased all the same. Zack shot her a dirty look before smiling at her. Her face changed quite quickly when she looked past Zack and at the mess behind him. "Well don't even think of coming out here until that room is tidy mister" She moaned closing the door. Zack sighed and turn to look at Cody who shook his head.
"Not my mess, not my problem. I'm having a shower." He grinned leaving the room. Every since Cody had shared a room with Woody, he didn't mind Zack's untidiness as much as he used to.
Zack sighed to himself but couldn't stop a slight smile from spreading across his lips. He heard the shower start as he hastily shoved the shirts in the wardrobe. He picked up various items of his off the floor and shoved them out of sight in a half hearted attempt to please his mother. Once or twice he caught sight of his own reflection in the mirror and was distressed by how strangely his face was set. His jaw was sharply locked in place in a worried expression and his eyes seemed clouded. "Shake it off," he told himself quietly and after a few moments he had actually managed to relax his face into his normal expression, just in time for Cody to walk in. Why oh why did he have to walk around shirtless? It was actually driving Zack mad with lust. He was hard again, and that was saying something as he had just had that exciting-turned-shameful experience in the shower not ten minutes ago.
He resolutely turned the other way while Cody dressed, the latter prattling on about something or other that Zack didn't really follow. He supplied the occasional 'yeah' and that seemed like enough to his brother. Zack glanced at his watch. They didn't really have much time before their days began properly. He looked at the bedroom door hoping that the doorway were some kind of portal; that when he passed he would be able to magically forget all that he was at the moment and just be what other people wanted him to be. Zack Martin the hooligan, the lady killer. Not Zack Martin the freak in love with his own brother.