Episode 16

"The Aftermath"

I don't own these characters, but it would be nice if I did.

Wait...In this story, I created some of the characters, so I will actually own them.

Anyways, I do promise to keep them true to themselves.

And as to the ones I create, who they are is up to me, so...

New York City

After staying out in the city until close to two o'clock in the morning, everyone headed back to Marcus's apartment. But any hopes for an after party were dashed as everyone was completely exhausted by then. So, it was no surprise that within thirty minutes of being back that everyone was asleep. The next morning, Zack, Cody and Bailey had to leave to drive back to Boston as Zack had to be back at work the next day. So with a four drive ahead of them, they began making their goodbyes to everyone about eleven AM. And that included Zack having to say goodbye to Maya. To say it was kind of awkward after their kiss the night before would be an understatement. While it happened in the spur of the moment the night before, the next morning brought with it uncertainty over whether it had been the right thing to do. While he was silently berating himself for having done something so stupid, Maya decided she wasn't going to be the first one to bring it up. Instead, Zack just mumbled something about giving him a call when she got back to Boston the next week. Fortunately, Cody and Bailey were busy hugging Marcus and Courtney goodbye and didn't notice anything. When the three of them finally got to the parking garage in Marcus' building, Zack was relieved to finally have gotten out out of there. Once in the car and back on the road, he just sighed ready to face the music.

"Alright. I know you guys are just waiting to say something, so go ahead and get it over with."

Cody looked back towards Bailey, but she just shrugged. So, he turned back to his brother. "Zack...what are you talking about?"

Zack shook his head. "Please. I'm talking about the fact that Maya and I kissed at midnight last night. So, go ahead and tell me what a huge mistake I made..."

Cody was a little taken aback by his brother's admission. "Ummm. Zack, until you just told us, we had no idea that you two had kissed. At midnight, we were a little preoccupied with other things ourselves...namely kissing each other."

He sighed again. "Great. Leave it to me to let the cat out of the bag."

Bailey spoke up. "So, you two kissed? Who initiated it?"

"I did. But it was midnight, and that's the custom right?"

"Well, technically, yeah...but did you kiss her because you felt obligated to or because you wanted to?"

Zack paused to think about that. And the fact that had to think about it caused Cody and Bailey to share knowing looks with each other.

Finally, Zack sighed again. "I don't know. It just seemed like the thing to do at the time."

Cody smiled. "Did you enjoy it?"

"What difference does it make?"

"The difference is that you know full well that Maya wants to be more than just friends. You're little action last night could have given her the impression that you may be coming around to a similar way of thinking. Are you?"

Zack just gripped the steering wheel harder and shook his head. "I don't know. Codester, I just don't know. You remember how I told you last year...or I guess two years ago that I felt like my life was stuck in neutral?"

"I remember. And remember, I told you that I knew that feeling."

"Well, it feels like I'm hitting the gas, but my wheels are just spinning again. It feels like I'm stuck in mud and can't move. I know I want to be moving forward, but I can't. Maybe its becauce I don't know what it is I want. All I do know is that I really like having her back in my life again. Beyond that, I don't have a clue."

Bailey spoke up. "And you have every right to feel that way. But at the same time, it sounds like you should be having this conversation with Maya and not us. Who knows what she is thinking right now? Take it from Cody and I...in any type of relationship whether it be romantic or platonic, there needs to be honesty and communication. Take it from us, refusing to talk to each other due to a simple misunderstanding can cause a lot of problems..."

Zack nodded. "Unfortunately, I think you're right. Well, I'll be able to talk to her next week. I kind of sort of told her she could crash with us on the couch for a few days before the BU dorms open."

Cody paused. "While I would recommend doing it sooner than that, I can understand the desire to do it in person. But, Zack, Bailey is 100% right about how something that could easily be talked out and settled can snowball on you just like that. You owe it to yourself and Maya to do this as soon as possible."

Boston

The next day, Zack returned to work while Cody and Bailey took the opportunity they had to spend as much time as they could with Carey and Mimi. Of course, you can take the eggheads out of school, but you can't take the school out of the eggheads. One afternoon while Mimi was napping and Carey was at a rehearsal, they called to make an appointment to meet with the EP&E Director of Undergraduate Studies. Fortunately, she said she would be on campus the Saturday they were set to move back in and would meet with them that afternoon. With that settled, the took out their blue book and laptops to try to finalize a schedule from themselves. When they had one they liked, they decided to just take it easy for their remaining time in Boston to allow themselves to rest up for the upcoming spring semester.

That next week, on Wednesday afternoon, Cody and Bailey were sorting through their clothes so they could do their laundry before heading back to school. And both realized it would be a lot quicker, cheaper, and environmentally friendly to combine their clothes together so they would have fewer loads. After getting everything sorted, they filled up several laundry baskets and borrowed a luggage cart to lug them down to the basement in. As they were about to head out, there was a knock at the door. Cody opened the door to find Maya pulling a bag behind her.

"Hey...I called Zack on my way into town, and he said he would meet me here later..."

Cody nodded. "Sure thing. Come on in."

She smiled at them both as she lugged her bag inside. "Thanks for being cool with me crashing here."

"Don't worry about it, but we're actually on our way downstairs to do our laundry. So, just make yourself at home. There's food in the fridge, and Zack perpetually has his video came console hooked up."

"Thanks again. I could stand to just relax for a little while after the drive."

Cody and Bailey pushed their cart out towards the elevator while Maya just sat back on the couch to relax. She felt her eyes beginning to close as a nap was soon approaching. However, she was alerted back to reality by a knock at the door. Figuring Cody or Bailey had forgotten something, she hot up to open it only to find an older lady standing there smiling.

"Oh. Cody and Bailey just headed downstairs to do their laundry, and Zack is still at work."

The older woman smiled. "I know Zack is at work, and I guess I just missed Cody and Bailey. I'm Zack and Cody's grandmother."

Maya nodded as realization hit her. "You must be Mimi! I'm Maya."

Mimi took a few seconds to appraise Maya once she learned that's who it was. "So, you're Maya. I have to admit, when Zack told me you were coming for a few days, I was really looking forward to meeting you."

Maya sighed. "Let me guess. You wanted to meet the girl who broke your grandson's heart?"

Mimi smiled. "I won't lie. I've heard of Zack's version of what happened, but I'm old enough to know that there are always two sides of every story. I was actually wanting to meet you so I get to know the young woman who wants my grandson back so bad."

"Please come inside then."

Mimi did, and both of them took a seat on the couch.

"Now, why don't you tell me your side of what happened."

Maya nodded and began telling her of how she hadn't been looking for a relationship when she met Zack. But, he had charmed his way past her boundaries, and before she knew it, she knew she wanted to be with him. However, when it came time for graduation, she had been offered an opportunity she had wanted long before she met Zack and couldn't turn it down. She explained how she didn't want to break up but that she was scared that a long distance relationship wouldn't work.

"So, I decided to make a clean break rather than risk getting my heartbroken. And that's the biggest mistake I've ever made. I wish I could go back in time and undo it, but I can't. But almost as soon as I was gone, I began to miss him terribly. So, I cut short my appointment by a year and came back here to get Zack back. I'm sure you've heard the rest..."

"I have, but it was good to hear your version."

Maya sighed. "You probably think I'm a horrible person, don't you?"

"No, I think you are someone who made a hasty decision that she regrets because she let her fears get the best of her." Mimi smiled. "I think that makes you human."

Maya sighed in relief. "Thank you."

"Maya, we all make mistakes because we're human. Besides, there's only been one perfect person, and look what happened to him. So, I can understand it from both yours and Zack's perspectives."

Maya nodded. "I mean it, Mimi. I want Zack back, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes."

"I believe you." She paused and smiled. "My other grandson told me that something happened while you were all in New York too."

She paused before nodding. "Yeah. At midnight, Zack kissed me..."

"And?"

Maya couldn't help but smile. "Those few seconds make the past seven months completely worth it."

Mimi smiled back. "Good answer. Now, I won't lie. When it comes to my grandsons, I am extremely biased. I think the world of both of them. Right now, I have one who is completely happy both personally and professionally, and I think the world of Bailey too. And I have another grandson is doing so well professionally, but his personal life is causing him a lot of consternation. Unfortunately, both of my grandsons can be extremely stubborn, and I'm not too proud to admit that they inherit that from me."

"That doesn't bother me in the least. I can be just as stubborn."

"Good. Above all, I want my grandsons to be happy, but I also know Zack's not going to make this easy on you. I'm going to forewarn you that what happened New Year's Eve is causing him to essentially have an internal civil war inside of him. While personally I think what happened bodes well for you, I'm going to tell you right now that you can't push it with Zack. If you do, he's going to dig in his heels and all the progress you've made will be gone."

Maya nodded. "I understand. I definitely don't want that. I'll talk to him, and tell him that all New Year's Eve was was us upholding tradition. That's it."

"Good idea..." Mimi smiled. "Even though we both know better than that." She checked her watch. "Now, he should be getting home from work soon. I think I'll make my exit before he does. Good luck, Maya."

As Mimi was leaving the suite, she ran into Zack coming home from work.

"Ahh...Just the person I was looking for."

"Everything okay, Mimi?"

She smiled again. "Yeah. You're friend Maya is here from New York. I just got done talking to her."

Zack paused, curious as to his grandmother's impression of Maya. "And?"

"Well, its just my opinion and you can take it for what its worth...but I like her. Maybe its just me, but I believed everything she told me."

Zack nodded. "Thanks, Mimi."

He contemplated his grandmother's opinion as he opened the door to his suite and walked inside. And there was Maya sitting on the couch watching TV.

"Hey..."

"Hey yourself." She paused. "You think we can talk for a minute?"

He nodded. "Sure." He took a seat on the couch next to her. "What's up?"

She stopped so that she could figure out how to say what she wanted to say. "I wanted to talk about New Year's Eve. I know that what happened was just because it was midnight, and that's the tradition. We've come a long way, and I don't want something as silly as that to cause things to be awkward between us. I say we don't give any more credence to what happened than it deserves."

That caught Zack off guard as she had told him exactly what he had planned on telling her. "Really?"

She smiled at him. "Really. It happened, but its in the past now."

He nodded and smiled too. "Sounds good to me then. Thanks, Maya. I admit, I was a little bit worried, but I'm glad to see we were able to handle it in a mature way."

"Me too. Now that we have that out of the way, I did some research the last week. None of the possible humanities classes available to us sound like all that much fun at all. But, I did find one on Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons called Philosphy and Film. While it will probably still suck, we'll get to watch movies."

"Works for me." He laughed. "We'll have to make an deal to keep each other awake. Or I get to sleep on Tuedays and you on Thursdays..."

Maya laughed. "Sounds good to me."

Of course, that day's activities weren't done quite yet as it turned out to be one of two days every year that every college student either looks forward to or dreads – the arrival of their grades. While Zack and Cody had their physical envelopes in their hands, Maya and Bailey had to use their laptops to look theirs up. Cody and Bailey high fived each other again when they both pulled down yet another 4.0 for the fall semester. Zack was pretty proud of his 3.4 GPA for the semester, and Maya was willing to take her 3.33 to the bank. And in light of everyone doing so well again, Mimi once again said dinner out to celebrate was on her.

After hanging out with everyone on Wednesday and Thursday, it was time for Mimi to be dropped off at the airport on Friday so she could return to her life in Seattle. And as she said goodbye to everyone, she hugged them all. When she hugged Maya, she whispered to her to keep being positive and not to give up.

New Haven

On Saturday, it was time for Cody and Bailey to say goodbye themselves. And since they had an appointment at two o'clock that afternoon, they made their goodbyes and left out early Saturday morning to head back to New Haven. They got back into town about eleven thirty that morning, and by one o'clock, they had dropped their things off and parked their car in their usual parking spot in garage. And due to the bitter cold January weather that day, they were happy to take the shuttle back to Berkeley College. But they didn't have time to dilly dally as they had to head off to their appointment.

And their meeting with the EP&E Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) was an extremely production one. First, she signed off that they had completed all six prerequisite classes for the major. The intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics courses they took their freshman year gave them each credit for the lesser introductory classes of both. So, that took care of three of the six prerequisites (the major required both intro classes and one intermediate one). The two philosophy classes had taken knocked out two more. Finally, their stats class finished off the sixth and final prerequisite class needed. With those done, they would need to complete nine more classes including an advanced seminar and a one semester senior projects to get their bachelors of art in EP&E. The DUS advised them to hold off on taking those both until their senior years. That left them seven classes to complete over the next three semesters. She advised them to take the intro EP&E class that spring and then they could knock out three more classes each semester of their junior years. And that was fine with Cody and Bailey as that would allow them to continue knocking out other requirements that semester as they had planned. The DUS even gave them a heads up on upcoming classes she thought would work well with both of their desired chosen areas of bioethics. When they left to head back to the dorm, both felt really good about how things were falling into place for them.

When they got back to the dorm, they headed to Cody's room to just take it easy and catch their breaths when they discovered Tapeworm and Gertie sitting on the futon watching TV.

"You two are back. We both saw your things, but didn't see you guys anywhere."

Bailey smiled. "Well, we both got into EP&E program, and we just got back from a meeting with its Director of Undergraduate Studies."

Tapeworm smiled. "Congratulations to you both! I guess I'm the only one not to get accepted in to anything over break..."

Gertie grinned. "I got accepted into architecture too!"

Tapeworm laughed. "Well, with all the good news, I guess this calls for us going out to celebrate tonight."

Cody laughed too. "Sounds good to me. And Congrats to you too, Gertie."

Tapeworm turned to Gertie. "Though, you think we can handle the paparazzi that will be following around two television stars like them?"

Cody and Bailey looked at each other in confusion. "What are you talking about?"

Gertie laughed. "They panned the crowd in Times Square on New Year's Eve and showed your friend Marcus and his girlfriend. We happened to notice you two, Zack and his friend Maya standing around them. I have to ask...was it as cold there as it looked?"

Bailey nodded. "And then some." She paused as she realized something. "You two rang in the New Year together?"

Tapeworm nodded. "I drove down to Maryland. I remember Cody telling me about the old saying about kissing the person at midnight who you want to spend the next year with..." He smiled. "I don't know if it actually works or not, but I wasn't going to tempt fate."

Cody grinned. "Good call..." He paused. "Speaking of New Year's Eve, you might be soon getting a call from..."

Tapeworm cut him off. "Max. She's already called me and told me about running into you guys that night. I told her whenever she got a chance to come visit us here so she can meet Gertie."

"Good. I'm glad she did that."

"Me too. Its good to know that she's doing so well. And, since she was the one of us who had actual talent, I'm glad to see she's still pursuing it."

"So am I. Well, we didn't get a chance to unpack when we got here, so if you'll give us the chance to do that now, we'll go out and celebrate afterwards."

And that's what they did. Which worked out because the dining halls wouldn't reopen until breakfast on Sunday morning. And Sunday was spent just getting prepared for classes starting back on the next day and taking it easy. Before they knew it though, classes had started again for the second semester of their sophomore years.

Like before, Cody and Bailey had planned a schedule from the beginning that worked just fine for them. First off was their first EP&E class, EP&E 215, Classics of Ethics, Politics & Economics, on Thursday afternoons from 1:30 to 3:20 in the afternoon. There were two sections of this class, but the DUS went off the record and advised them this section had the professor they would much rather take. Next were two classes they needed to complete their final university requirements. By the end of their sophomore years, they had to have completed two classes in the humanities, sciences and social sciences. They had those taken care of with their philosophy, physics and economics classes respectively. Further, they had to have two classes that covered their quantitative reasoning requirements. Their chemistry and math classes they had taken their first semesters of their freshmen year had knocked them out. That only left their writing and foreign language requirements. With their freshman seminar counting as one writing class, they only needed one more. And with them testing so high on their foreign language placement exams, they only needed one level 5 class to fulfill it.

Foreign language was going to satisfied with SPAN 225, Spanish for the Medical Professions, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00-9:50. They figured it would also be useful for the future careers over some other classes they could have taken. And as it was a level 5 class, that meant the course would be conducted completely in Spanish with no English allowed. But since Cody and Bailey were both fluent in it, they weren't concerned in the least. As for their final writing requirement, the chose a college seminar in neighboring Calhoun College, CSCC 240, Science Fiction and New Ideas of Human Nature, on Wednesday afternoons from 1:30-3:20. And with part of the course exploring popular television and movie figures such as Superman and the X-Men, it was a class their roommates jumped in to as it would also take care of both of their final humanities requirements.

With their first EP&E class and remaining university requirements taken care of, their remaining classes could go towards fulfilling more remaining Biology requirements. The first class to do that was MCDB 205, Cell Biology, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-10:15. Beyond that, they were going to take CHEM 230, Organic Chemistry of Biological Pathways (Organic Chem II) and its accompanying lab, CHEM 223L. The actual class would be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday from 10:30-11:20 with a discussion section on Tuesdays at the same time while the lab would be on Monday afternoons from 1:00-5:00 While Organic Chem II wasn't a true requirement of the Biology degree, it was a requirement of almost all medical schools in the United States. Fortunately, the Yale Biology department would let students take it and have it count as an elective for the degree.

Their schedules would give them time everyday to grab lunch while having all Tuesday and Friday afternoons to study and do homework with another free block of three hours between classes on Thursdays. And the best perk to them was that only two of the courses had regularly scheduled final exams. But beyond their schedule, there was something else academic related on Cody's mind that first week of school.

"You know, Bails, we only have two more full semesters before we take the MCAT and begin preparing our medical school applications."

She nodded. "I know."

"I just think we might want to beef up our extracurricular activities here at Yale. I mean, it will look good that we're members of the defending champion intramural ping pong team, but that's kind of all we have to put down now. I just remember in high school we were both involved in so many other activities."

Bailey paused to think. "You're right. I think our first year and a half, we just focused on making sure we could handle the workload in our classes. But, we should diversify our resumes some now. Like joining some of the professional societies and clubs like that."

Cody nodded. "Good call. But you're right in that we want to make sure whatever we join won't take too much time away from our studies." He smiled. "We both still have 4.0s, and I don't know about you, but I'd like to hang on to them for as long as we can."

She smiled. "So would I. We'll look up the student activities page and see what we find that interests us."

"Sounds like a plan. We should also find some groups that are a little out there and would make us stand out. I would suggest the Berkeley College Orchestra, but they spend so much time practicing."

"Yeah, they do." She paused and grinned again. "I think I have an idea. And I have to give credit to your friend, Max for making me think about it."

Boston

On that same Saturday Cody and Bailey headed back to New Haven, Maya was able to move into her dorm as well. So, that afternoon, Zack helped her move in before heading back to the hotel to give her time to unpack. And once he was back, he realized he was all alone again. His Mom was at rehearsal, his brother and Bailey back at school and Maya back in her dorm. He began to feel a little melancholy as he had grown used to having everyone around.

"Well, I guess I can do something I haven't yet this year..."

Ten minutes later, he was sitting on the couch in his boxer shorts playing video games online with Woody and Marcus. But that would be the one of the last times he would be able to do something like that for a while. While Yale started back on Monday, BU was starting back on Wednesday. And Zack still had to work all day Monday and Tuesday. If he was honest with himself, he was looking forward to only working half days again and returning back to school. And once again, he had a schedule that would let him work mornings and have afternoons off for classes.

On Mondays, he would have SHA (School of Hospitality Administration) HF 210, Financial Accounting for the Hospitality Industry, from 2:00-5:00. On Wednesdays, he would have SHA HF 220, Food & Beverage Management, from 2:00-5:00. And on Fridays, he would have SHA HF 250, Hospitality Law, from 2:00-5:00. All three were required courses he needed for his degree, and a couple of them were prerequisites for later classes he would need. While none of them sounded all that particularly thrilling to him, he did recognize the usefulness they probably had. And like Maya had suggested, he had CAS (College of Arts & Sciences) PH 159, Philosophy & Film, on Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons from 3:30-5:00 with a discussion section on Tuesday afternoons from 2:00-3:00.

That left him to be able to work every morning without any worry of a set number of hours he had to accumulate during the semester. And from the the semester before, he had quite liked having one day off to focus completely on school – and sleep in. He tried to convince Moseby of the benefits of it in that it gave him a morning to work on school stuff. Finally, they negotiated a deal in which Zack would work from 8:00 AM to noon everyday but Friday. That way, he would still be working sixteen hours per week and have his day off. With Fridays now completely free, he switched to the other section of SHA HF 250 that met on Fridays from 9:30-12:30 instead of 2:00-5:00. In Zack's mind, Friday afternoons off in the spring sounded a whole lot better than Friday mornings and he would still get to sleep in some too.

For Maya, her schedule was a little more all over the place. And once again, she was so happy and relieved that she had knocked out both semesters of chemistry she needed the proceeding summer. And like Zack, her days would be beginning at 8:00 AM as well. On Mondays, she would have SAR (College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College) AT 205, Athletic Training Practicum I, from 8:00-10:00. And on Wednesdays and Fridays, she would have SAR HS 201, Introduction to Nutrition, from 8:00-9:30. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she had SAR HP 252, Health & Disability Across the Lifespan, from 8:00-9:30. And like with Zack, she had CAS PH 159, Philosophy & Film, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 with the same discussion section on Tuesday from 2:00-3:00. Her fifth and final class was CAS BI 106, Human Anatomy, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:00-12:00 with its lab on Thursdays mornings from 10:00-12:00.

While she knew her Tuesdays and Thursdays with three classes apiecespanning from eight in the morning until five o'clock in the evening would suck, she thought she could handle it. And by filling up those days, she would have Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons to teach her swim classes at the fit&rec center on campus. Fortunately, those didn't begin until the first full week of classes, so she had the first half half week to get acclimated to her classes.

But for as unbalanced as her days would be, she quickly noticed a big perk that her schedule gave her. It allowed her to be free to have lunch with Zack everyday before he headed off to his afternoon classes. And she knew that fact alone would make her hellacious Tuesdays and Thursdays worth it.

New Haven

Cody and got back to his room that Thursday afternoon after his last class of the day and a little side trip on the way back. And when he got back inside, Tapeworm was just sitting there on the futon taking it easy watching some TV.

"I thought you're class today ended at 3:20 like our one yesterday did. Its almost five o'clock."

Cody sat his backpack down. "It did, but Bailey and I went out to sign up for some campus groups so that we can add to our medical school applications. That's where I've been."

Tapeworm nodded. "Sign up for the usual professional societies and stuff like that?"

"Yeah, plus a few others like the Gourmet's Society, the Quilting Club, the Ballroom Dancing Society and a couple environmental groups."

Tapeworm laughed. "The cooking one I know is all you, but I can't believe you let Bailey sucker you into the rest of them."

Cody rolled his eyes. "The Quilting Club was my idea too. We were in a similar one on the boat. As for ballroom dancing, think about it. I get to be part of group that not only will make me stand out on my applications, but I will get to spend a lot of time holding my beautiful girlfriend closely in my arms. Now, does it sound like I got suckered into anything to you?"

Tapeworm paused. "Well...No." He stopped to think. "Is it too late for others to sign up for the dancing one?"

To be Continued...

AN: This was supposed to have been posted last night, but the website wouldn't let me get in to post it. So, sorry for the delay. Anyways, I've finished writing Season 2 and have Season 3 already worked out in my mind. And as a reminder, remember that Season 2 is proceeding according to the wishes of the majority who voted in the poll I put up. And to be honest, it wasn't really that close in the end.