It was Monday. They had been home since late Sunday afternoon. As soon as they had gotten home, Cody and Zack told Carey that they were tired so they were going to turn in early. Carey was suspicious, and knew they were up to something. She just had no idea what they were up to. She'd never be able to guess something like this. At least, that was what Cody believed.
Going to bed early involved blow jobs (and other ways of sexual expression) rather than sleeping, but they were quiet enough so that Carey didn't suspect.
School the next day was a different story. Actually, everything was kind of normal.
Despite acting normal, Cody could think of nothing but Zack all day. He had totally different morning classes than Zack. Actually, he had totally different classes than Zack all day. They'd had gym class together, but that was during their junior year.
During AP Government, Barbara noticed that Cody was sort of out of it and whispered to him, "How was Stanford?"
"It was okay." Cody replied, snapping back to reality. "I made some friends when I was there."
"Are you going to go?"
"I don't know."
And he really didn't. He knew he didn't have very long to decide, but he thought all of the schools he'd gotten into would be alright if he went to one. There wasn't one school that he felt he clicked with the most, or hated the most. There were none to rule out, and none that ranked above the others. It kind of sucked.
He had to take others into account now, especially Zack. Before, because he didn't want to admit that Zack being around mattered that much, it wasn't that big of a deal. But now, what was he going to do without Zack?
He now knew this was why Zack wanted Cody to choose Harvard, but what did Cody actually want to do?
The more he thought about it, Harvard would probably be his choice. He wanted to stay as close to Zack as he could and there was no doubting that Harvard was a great school. A school that only accepted 9 percent of its applicants was probably the best one.
And god, he did want to stay close to Zack. The moment Zack had confessed his love to him, Cody had an urge to cling to Zack. When Zack kissed him after the confession, he wanted to hold on to him forever. How was he going to be able to do that if he didn't go to school near home?
He couldn't believe what had happened with Zack. Had they really done those things - with each other?
It was something Cody had never expected to happen, considering the way Zack hit on girls all the time. Cody knew that occasionally he did too, but he also knew people would be less surprised if they found out he'd been with a guy.
Cody knew he had to choose Harvard. And that was what he was going to do. He would tell Zack exactly that at lunch next period.
o O o O o O o O o
Finally. The bell rang and Cody rose from his seat. He would go to his locker and then go to lunch and tell Zack he was going to choose Harvard. He knew his brother would be happy. It was what he wanted all along. Maybe Zack would be so happy that he would reward Cody later. Cody became nervous with anticipation just thinking about being with Zack. Maybe this time he could make it so Zack was the one to squirm.
He rushed down the hall to put his books in his locker, and then to the cafeteria. Zack was already there when he got there, and he wasn't alone. Jessica and Janice were sitting with him, laughing their pretty little heads off. As Cody walked up behind them, he caught some of their conversation.
"Yeah, I really missed you two this weekend. Stanford was so boring. It's awesome you two are going to Boston U so I'll see you lovely ladies."
"Yes, it's wonderful!" Jessica replied.
"Extremely wonderful!" Janice echoed.
Cody rolled his eyes. Sure, Jessica and Janice were cute, but he was getting really tired of their whole exactly alike thing.
"Maybe this weekend we can get together and have a good time, if you know what I mean."
The girls agreed to this, and both kissed Zack on the cheek. This annoyed Cody. What Zack had said annoyed him too. Have a good time? A good time doing what?
"Hi Zack. Jessica. Janice." Cody said bitterly.
They turned around. Zack smiled as if he'd said nothing that offended Cody. Like everything was normal.
"Hey Cody, sit down." Zack said, still smiling.
Cody did exactly that, only to watch Zack flirt with the two British girls throughout the whole lunch period. Cody was used to this, but it had been getting to him lately, and now he knew why. He became more and more annoyed with each passing moment.
After lunch ended, Zack followed Cody to his locker. "So, how was your morning? Miss me?" he asked suggestively.
Cody glared at him. "Yeah, but I got over that. You obviously didn't miss me, though."
"What makes you say that?" Zack asked, an odd look on his face. As if he didn't know.
"I don't want to do this here." Cody said. "We'll talk when we get back to the hotel."
As he started walking away, Zack asked, "Do what?! I don't get it!"
You don't get a lot of things, Cody thought as he headed to his class. Thank god Zack wasn't in it.
o O o O o O o O o
Cody wouldn't speak to Zack on the drive back to the hotel. Every time Zack attempted, Cody didn't feel like responding. If he responded, he would reveal his jealousy and get even more angry, which wasn't a good thing to do while he was driving. No, he would wait for them to settle this in their room when they got back.
Finally, they got back to the Tipton and Zack followed Cody upstairs, and to their room. When they got into their room and the door was shut, Zack turned to Cody, "What's your problem, dude? You're all pissy."
"How can you not know?" Cody replied, crossing his arms. He didn't want to look at Zack. He'd give in and just forgive Zack if he looked at him.
"Because I don't! What did I do?"
"You were hitting on Jessica and Janice!" Cody finally exclaimed. There. It was out.
Cody couldn't believe this. "SO? You were hitting on them. I thought that now - now that - things would be - ... they would be different. Like, we wouldn't be 'out' to the school or anything, but I thought you'd hit on girls less. Guess I was stupid."
"Hey," Zack said, walking closer to Cody. He put his hands on Cody's shoulders, which compelled Cody to face him. "You're not stupid. I'm stupid. You're right. I was doing it because I do it all the time. They expect it. Everyone does. So yeah, I'm stupid. I shouldn't do it anymore."
"You said..." Cody choked on his words. "You said you guys would have a good time. What did that mean?"
"Nothing. It meant nothing." Zack assured him. "It was just me talking to them. It's not like when I talk to you. With you I mean it."
Cody didn't know whether to hug him, or to shove him away. Either way, he looked at Zack and couldn't help himself. He smiled a bit. "That's good. But you shouldn't lead them on anymore either."
"I won't. Hey, Cody?"
"Just wondering. Do you love me?"
"Do I what?" Cody asked, taken aback by the question. Why would Zack ask that.
"Do you LOVE me? L-O-V-E. Love. You know, that thing, when you feel a special way about a special person, and you want to spend your life with them because you can't live without them?"
Cody didn't have to think twice. "Of course I do. Why would you even ask that?"
"Well, you haven't said it. Kinda funny that I'm the one who's said it when you're usually the dramatic one."
"Well, I love you." Cody told him, and then he kissed Zack. It was an innocent kiss - nothing like what had passed between them on Saturday evening. He realized that, and kissed him again, harder. Cody realized he was getting better at taking the initiative. This time he led Zack through their lovemaking. Even though Zack obviously wasn't as shy as Cody had been their first time, Cody enjoyed being the one in control and he suspected Zack liked being controlled. He could just imagine what it would be like if the control were equal.
Afterward, they lay together in Cody's bed. Cody turned to face Zack. "I'm going to Harvard."
Zack's eyes brightened, and he smiled widely. "Really?! Codester, that's awesome! Thanks."
"I know. I was going to tell you at lunch, but then... yeah. I figured I should tell you first. I'll tell Mom at dinner."
That didn't go as planned.
o O o O o O o O o
Cody wasn't sure how to interpret the look his mom was giving him. Was it happiness, disappointment, what? He did his best to smile anyway. "Yes, Harvard! It's a great school and I'll get to see you. Isn't that great, Mom!?"
Carey now gave Cody a critical look. "Honey, of course that's great. But do you really think that's the best thing to do? You won't have as many new, exciting experiences if you stay so close to home, and so close to the people you already know. Look at Maddie. She's going to school here. We all know she's destined for greatness... well, goodness, and she's here, surrounded by the same people she's always been. She doesn't seem too happy, does she?"
"Northeastern is a good school though." Cody replied. What else could he say? He didn't understand what his mother was hinting at.
"Yes, it is. But if you're surrounded by the same old people, you'll hardly ever get new experiences. I bet you're planning to come home every weekend. Am I right?"
"Um..." Cody looked over at Zack, who looked back at him, confused. It was true. Cody was planning to come home every weekend. And most nights, too. "Maybe."
"Well," said Carey. "I won't have that. You're either going somewhere other than Harvard, or if you go to Harvard, you won't be allowed to come home all the time or call me or your brother and ask us to come see you. Maybe once every month you can come home for a visit, but other than that, I want you to live your own life in Cambridge with other people."
Cody was dumbstruck. He was actually dumbstruck. Why was his mom saying these things?
"I am SO open to new experiences!" Cody exclaimed. "You don't even KNOW."
"Honey, I do. I DO know." Carey replied. Cody stared at her, finally getting what his mother was saying. And he couldn't believe it. "Are you still going to Harvard?"
"Of course I am!" Cody exclaimed louder. He sprang from his seat and shut himself inside his room. He stood there for a moment, seething. He did understand what his mother meant. He knew that his mom knew. That's what she was saying, in so many words. She knew that her sons were in love with each other. She was too nice to actually say it, and she didn't want to embarrass Zack, but she knew. But how? No one else knew.
Zack came into their room and a few minutes later, and Cody blurted out, "Mom knows, Zack. She knows. That's why she's doing this."
"Whatever." Zack said. "She can't stop us."
"Yes, she can, Zack! She doesn't want us to be together here, and we can't be together in a dorm room if I have a room mate!"
"Psh, we'll figure it out." Zack said nonchalantly.
Still, Cody was worried. He would choose Harvard just so he would have a better chance of seeing Zack, but he wondered just how easy or difficult it would be.
He supposed he'd find out in a few months.