Cheer me on
“Come on, Zack, we need to get going. You don’t want to be late for your first game, now do you?”
Carey Martin seemed to be a bit stressed, judging by the way she strutted out of the bathroom, not really sparing her son on the sofa a look, before grabbing her bag. Now where did she put those damn car keys? Zack rolled his eyes, grabbed the car keys from the couch table – seriously his mother was way too predictable – and turned back to the door to the bedroom he shared with his twin brother.
“You coming, Cody?”
Zack had expected Cody to stroll out of their bedroom, rolling his eyes, mumbling about how the gym had never been a happy place for him and Zack better appreciate that he was going just for him. He hadn’t expected to get no answer.
“Mom, where’s Cody?”
“Zack, have you seen-?” Carey started and followed it with an “oh, there they are” as soon as she spotted the car keys in her son’s hands. She grabbed the keys in one hand, Zack’s arm in the other and dragged both through the door.
“Mom? Cody?” Zack reminded her, genuinely intrigued as to what his brother was doing. Yesterday, when Zack had asked him whether he’d be watching he had just given his brother a “yeah, I’ll be there” and his usual grin. So where the hell was he? It wasn’t like Cody to go back on a promise.
“Cody already went ahead with a few of his friends. Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll cheer for you”, Carey answered and called the elevator. Satisfied with the answer, Zack started hopping from one foot to the other impatiently. Even not being the star player anymore, he still felt the adrenaline rush that always came with every game he had played so far. Maybe, just maybe, Mom had been right and this “later” she was sure he was going to thank her, was going to be sooner than he had expected. After all, even if he wasn’t their coach’s first choice, he had made the team. And who knew, maybe he’d have his chance to impress the rest of the team – and the audience – anyway.
That little flicker of hope and excitement shrunk back to a bare minimum, the moment he had to watch the team run out to the field while being benched himself. Not being able to be the star of the game, or even being IN the game made him feel like a loser in record time. Having to “explain” to Janice and Jessica why he wasn’t playing did nothing to make him feel any better. Nor did Coach Little asking him to run errands.
Not even Carey’s reassuring smile could counteract that kind of depression. Seeing his brother and London talk to Dana, the head cheerleader, from the corner of his eye didn’t even register with him.
What did however register was the disappointment and frustration he felt when half time came and he still hadn’t gotten to play. The performance of Dana and her squad managed to lift his spirit just a little and he had to admit to himself that Janice and Jessica – however much they had both sucked at ballroom dancing – seemed to have the whole cheerleading thing down pretty well.
Dana talking to Mr. Moseby about some “loser squad” of his reminded him of Barbara’s failed attempt of being accepted into the squad and a fleeting feeling of dread sparked a suspicion of who this “loser squad” she was referring to could be. Still, the feeling didn’t even come close to the feeling of shock and perturbed horror he experienced when he saw his brother marching into the gym, leading a randomly assembled group of girls. But even that couldn’t match up to the crazy feeling that took hold of his stomach in the nanosecond it took his brain to register the pants Cody was wearing. The initial association with Dana’s outfit was just too weird for words. He never wanted to relate Cody and a short-skirted cheerleading outfit EVER again.
It seemed this afternoon was going to be a series of “firsts” for Zack. For the first time, he was not only not the star player of his basketball team, he wasn’t even playing. For the first time, he really got to understand how Cody must’ve felt sitting through all those basketball and baseball games. And now he definitely saw why his brother was dating Barbara. For all the nerdiness she had to match Cody, she looked absolutely cute in that dress, swinging a pair of pom-poms around. Also, who would have thought that Nia had it in her and Cody could actually move so much without tripping over his own feet?
According to the Zack-meter this was officially one of the weirdest afternoons he had ever lived to see. And that meant something, Zack had seen some pretty weird afternoons…
Deciding to ignore his mother’s cheering for his brother – when had that ever happened inside a gym before? – and his brother’s happy chatter with his cheerleading squad, he got up and fetched himself a soda and a little something to munch on while he was going to waste the second half of the game waiting to be sent in.
By the time Coach Little told him to guard that six feet, 160 pounds mountain of a player he almost wished he were still waiting. Taking it like the man he supposed he should be, he let himself be run over by the man-mountain and only barely recognized Jessica and Janice saying something to London he wasn’t sure he would have understood, even if the world weren’t spinning around him like a happy dreidel.
“They want us all to cheer for Zack.”
Strangely enough Cody’s translation somehow made it through the dizzy haze. He supposed it was due to the decade-long practise Cody’s voice had. It managed to sneak itself into his dreams, too after all, whenever he fell asleep to Cody practising one of his infamous speeches.
Led by Coach Little, he made his way to stand on the line to score his free throw. Seeing three baskets instead of one didn’t really help any. Neither did the overlapping images of Max kissing him after they won that match and the disturbing recurring image of Cody in Dana’s cheerleading uniform. Missing the first time really didn’t surprise him.
“Focus, you can do this with your eyes closed”, he heard his coach’s advice and immediately lightened up.
“You’re right! Thanks, Coach!” he grinned and happily covered his eyes, noting gladly that all his mental images had taken the hint and left, too. Scoring now didn’t surprise him much either.
He heard the horn and the cheering and finally his coach telling him how his only good point was these free shots but he didn’t really care ‘cause he figured it was still better than sucking at that, too. The loads of voices made him even dizzier, but he was sure that he heard his captain telling him they were going to party and he could bring someone. Then there was Cody, telling him that Barbara had been all over him all day and London was throwing a party for the cheerleaders and NO WAY was he going to miss it; and then their mother, hugging them both to her sides and telling them how proud she was to have a basketball player and a cheerleader in her family. Even if she had pictured the cheerleader to be a girl and wear that cute uniform – not that Cody wasn’t adorable in his. Their twin stare of “that’s enough, Mom” made her shut up and leave them, informing them that she had no more change for the meter anyway and to be home by eight for dinner.
“Later, Zack”, Cody grinned and sprinted over to the group of waiting girls. Barbara and London immediately hooked their arms around his, the rest of the squad hanging on to those two, giving a weird impression of Leo DiCaprio in ‘Catch me if you can’. It seemed London had invited Dana and her crew, too, but other than Janice and Jessica no one actually took her up on the offer. Their loss, Zack knew and no later was he being dragged off by his captain.
The victory party had mainly been one large blur with far too many voices for Zack to feel comfortable. Dana’s cheerleaders had joined them and Zack was currently chatting up some sophomore whose name he couldn’t quite recall at the moment. Not that it really mattered; neither of them was very interested in the other, both just bored out of their minds, having decided not to indulge in the seemingly endless flow of alcohol. Zack assumed that his already dizzy head would not get better by drinking beer and the girl… well, actually Zack had no idea why she wasn’t drinking. Maybe she felt bad for him or something. He blamed his messy brain for not caring about that.
“Hey, Zack”, she asked lowly. “Want to get out of here? It’s almost seven already.”
“Shit, it is? Look, sorry, Chelsea”, yeah, that was here name, wasn’t it? “I’d love to, but I need to get home. Some other time, okay?”
“Yeah, sure”, she smiled. Seemed to him he had gotten her name right. And totally misjudged her advances thinking it was just a game. Damn, wait till Cody heard about that. A cheerleader – and a sophomore! – was coming on to him. He quickly got up from the sofa, said good-bye to all his team mates he passed while fighting his way through the crowd to the door and finally inhaled the cool evening air. Just being outside and moving around a little, he could feel his head finally clearing of most of the haze. Maybe he really should get it checked in the hospital, like Chelsea had said. Who knew, he might as well have gotten a concussion when that man-mountain had run him over.
Feeling his head for a bump – oh, yeah, there you go – he sauntered down the stairs to catch the subway back to the hotel. His mom would blow if he didn’t show up in time for dinner. After a long, exhausting discussion – slightly ridiculous on Zack’s and well thought through on Cody’s part – she had finally agreed to let them stay out a little longer in the evening. After all, they were high schoolers now. And today was her free day, too, so she would want to eat together with them.
Man, could this subway go any slower?
Contrary to Zack’s belief, he made it home in no time, passing by Mr. Moseby – who was bragging about the good job his squad had done to a random guest a the check-in counter – and rode the elevator up to the 23rd floor. Checking his watch, he found it was only 7.23. Jackpot, he thought, made it with half an hour to spare.
“Hey, Mom”, he greeted his mother as soon as he had stepped through the door to room 2330 and spotted her in the kitchen – not a good sign, unless Cody was right next to her.
“Oh, hey, Zack. How was the party?” she asked, shoving something into the oven and turning around to smile at him.
“It was okay. What are you making?”
“Mac and cheese”, she grinned proudly.
“Wow, seriously? That’s great, Mom”, Zack complimented and added a smile for good measure. Mac’n’cheese was one of the few things so simple even Carey Martin couldn’t screw them up. Smiling to himself a little, he noticed that the door to his and Cody’s bedroom was slightly open. Cody had probably just come home himself. Grinning, he remembered Cody telling him how Barbara had been “all over him” all day and strolled over to the door to find out just how far all over she had been exactly. After all, it was Barbara they were talking about.
“Hey, Codester, how’d it go with –” the babe, was what he had wanted to say, but when he turned around after closing the door behind him, he saw a little butt in a pink and orange skirt sticking out from behind Cody’s bed. Sighing an inaudible sigh of relief, he congratulated himself on not screwing up for Cody.
“Oh, hey, Barbara”, he greeted her and she stiffened a little. She had probably not expected Zack to be the one to come through that door first. Never the less, he saw her legs flex and she pushed herself off the ground to get up.
“I didn’t know you were coming back with… CODY?!”
“Hey, Zack”, his brother greeted him with a sheepish smile, while fidgeting with the hem of the pink-orange skirt. His mouth was slightly ajar to ease breathing and his eyes were flickering from Zack to a random object and back again, as always when he was nervous.
“Wow…. I must have hit my head harder than I thought. Either you’re Barbara and I’m imagining Cody’s face – which would be disturbing, or you’re really Cody and I’m imagining the dress – which would be equally disturbing.”
Funny enough, Zack found it less disturbing than the image of Cody in Dana’s green uniform. That really wasn’t Cody’s colour… And what the hell was he thinking?
“Uh… no. You’re imaging neither me, nor the dress.”
“Dude, you should’ve worn that when we did the tango for Esteban’s dance competition.” Zack tried to joke sense into the situation, but the vision of his brother in this white, sleeveless top and the pink and orange flary skirt that stopped at least four inches above his knees was proving to be harder to make sense of than he had thought.
“Yeah… Good thing we did that when we were younger, though. You could never lift me now”, Cody replied, seemingly thankful for the joking tone Zack had decided to deal with this with. The competitive glint that sparkled in his brother’s eyes though made him back up a little, unconsciously.
“Oh, yeah? Wanna bet?” Zack said and stepped towards his brother, who stepped back equally.
“Oh, no, you wont, Zack.”
“Oh, yes, I will.”
“No, no, no, no, no. Get away from me, Zack!” Cody demanded, backing up against the wall. With no escape route left, there was nothing he could do, except clench his eyes shut and brace himself against the fall that would inevitably come, should Zack try to lift him, like he did back then at the dance contest. He had had the support of momentum back then; even Maddie could have lifted him. But just like this, off the ground? No way would they get out of this without any injuries.
Surprisingly, the fall never came.
Cody let out a little whimper and tried to cling to his brother’s shoulders when Zack grabbed the back of his thighs and hoisted him up, but other than losing the ground under his feet, Cody noted no undesirable changes. No tumbling, no screeching and what was best of all, no hard floor or furniture he fell into head first. Instead, Zack sat him atop the windowsill, grinning proudly as Cody noticed when he re-opened his eyes.
“See? You’re so scrawny, even Maddie could lift you.”
Cody gave his brother a pointed look and lowered his hands to cling to the windowsill instead of the golden fabric of Zack’s shirt.
“It’s not my fault my most active cells happen to be located in my brain and not in my arms”, he retorted.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. But, seriously, buddy, where DID you get this?” Zack asked incredulously and picked at the hem of the skirt.
“London, our dearest heiress, forgot that I couldn’t be wearing a dress when she first ordered our uniforms so she got one for me, too. I’m lucky she showed them to be before the game today so I could remind her to get me something else”, Cody explained rolling his eyes.
“She had it tailored to fit me exactly and, man, this must be some really expensive fabric, it’s really soft.”
Zack looked up at his brother, raising one blonde eyebrow and gave him a look that clearly said ‘what the hell?’
“How did she have it tailored to you, if she didn’t measure you?”
“I don’t know! But it fits perfectly. It hugs all the right places.”
“Dude, you don’t have any places to hug!” Zack exclaimed, even more disbelievingly. Cody never ceased to amaze him. How could the guy be this calm, sitting here opposite his brother in a pink girl’s cheerleading uniform and talk about it fitting ‘just right’. Sometimes, Cody was too naïve for his own good. … Oh, who was he kidding, he ALWAYS was this naïve.
“And how the hell did you end up wearing it, anyway?” Zack asked, frowning a little in confusion. That part still eluded him completely. No matter how naïve and feminine Cody seemed to be, he was as much a guy as his DNA said. And as far as Zack knew, he wasn’t into cross-dressing.
Cody’s dark look confirmed that knowledge of his brother.
“The girls forced it on me at the party. We went back to London’s suite and it was lying on her couch and the girls thought it would be so ‘adorable’ for me to wear it. Even Mom took a picture.” Cody had added the last part through gritted teeth.
“Why did you let GIRLS force this on you?”
“One of them is my girlfriend and there’s London and Nia, too. All three of those can be very intimidating in their own way”, Cody stated.
“Okay, yeah, I get that.”
“You’re lucky I got rid of the make-up and all the hair accessories they made me wear, before you got here”, Cody grinned.
“Oh God, I would have paid to see that! Mom took a picture, you said?” Zack grinned back and swatted his brother on the leg.
“Dude, did they shave your legs, too?” Zack asked, amazed, and lifted his brother’s leg to get a better look.
“Woah, watch it!” Cody exclaimed, loosing his balance and gripping the windowsill tighter.
“Sorry”, Zack mumbled and ran a finger down his brother’s surprisingly smooth shin.
“Man, you’ve got really soft skin”, he observed and missed the slight blush that crept up Cody’s cheeks, as he was busy staring at the milky white – and hairless! – skin of his leg.
“I bet yours would be the same, if you shaved all your hair off. And by the way, they waxed it.”
That statement made Zack look up and shoot his brother a pitiful look.
“Ouch, that must’ve hurt.”
“You have no idea”, Cody mumbled and watched the way his brother seemed transfixed on his leg. Zack lowered Cody’s ankle and let his hand run up the side of his calf and thigh until he reached the hem of the skirt.
“Zack? What are you doing?”
“You feel just like a girl.”
“Like you ever touched a girl like that”, Cody snorted and noticed too late what that implied for them. Why would Zack touch Cody like he hadn’t even touched a girl, after all?
“Yeah”, Zack breathed and didn’t seem to mind that much. On the contrary, he pushed his body between Cody’s legs and his hand up underneath the skirt.
“Zack, I’m not a girl”, Cody reminded his brother, carefully watching his every move. His breathing came shallower, he noticed and his heart beat more forcefully. He felt hot. Briefly, he wondered whether Zack was experiencing these symptoms, too.
“Then were did your boxers go?” Zack asked cheekily and looked up to grin at Cody.
“The girls made me wear panties.” The blush was back and this time, Zack definitely noticed. Contrary to the loud, mocking laugh, Cody had expected, Zack’s grin just widened a little and looked slightly… predatory now.
“Did they check?”
“No, they took my word for it.”
“And you actually did it?” The hand crept further up yet, still waiting for Cody to stop it, slap it away or protest in some way. Frankly, Cody didn’t understand why he hadn’t yet done any of those things himself.
“You know I can’t lie”, Cody mumbled, lowering his eyes and voice due to Zack’s proximity and the increasing awkwardness of the situation. Still, at the same time, something made this incredibly exciting and stopped both boys from stopping.
“What colour are they?” Zack asked and his voice took on a husky tone.
“White”, Cody answered breathily and felt fingers curl around the side of said panties. He could have come up with a number of reasons of why this was decidedly wrong and should stop this very instant without even thinking and yet apparently he couldn’t think of a single reason that would have made him stop it.
Zack’s finger traced the hem of the white cotton panties both brothers were seeing in their mind’s eye that moment. His actual eyes fell from his brother’s face again, to watch his hand move underneath the skirt, while Cody just settled for watching his brother watch and trying to get his breathing back to normal – without any noteworthy success.
When the fingers once again curled around the fabric and tugged at it, Cody’s breath hitched and suddenly he found his own hand grabbing his brother’s elbow to stop him from going any further with that motion. Zack’s eyes flew up and locked with his brother’s. Immediately, and the arm still in Cody’s grip, the fingers dragged the fabric back up and smoothed it out against the soft skin over Cody’s hip bone. Apparently that was Cody’s limit.
Never breaking eye contact with his brother, Zack pulled his hand out from underneath the skirt and let it settle between Cody’s hip and his hand that had returned to the windowsill to keep him steady. His other hand, that had been hanging limply by his side, was brought up and placed between Cody’s hand and hip on his other side. Cody lifted his legs and pushed his soles against the wall under the window to further steady him. He had a feeling he needed to brace himself for what Zack was going to do next.
When Zack licked his lips and his eyes flickered to Cody’s mouth and back up to look him in the eyes he saw his fleeting suspicion confirmed. But Zack couldn’t be serious about this, could he? Apparently he was though, since he leaned closer to Cody still, who grew increasingly aware of the cold glass of the window. Maybe he was leaning against it heavier?
“Zack, what…?” he tried to ask in a last futile attempt to stop them, but his voice lacked all force and his eyes were glued to his brother’s freshly moistened lips.
“Shh… please, just… let me...” Zack begged with an equally breathy voice and Cody found himself giving a tiny nod.
“Okay”, he breathed and angled his head just a tiny bit to match Zack’s movement. Just as he felt his nose dig into Zack’s cheek and Zack’s nose pushing up against his, he let his eyes slide shut and searched for the sensation of another pair of lips being pushed up against his. Tilting his head back slightly to ease the whole process, he completely tuned out his conscience telling him that committing incest was not cool.
Because, clearly, his conscience had never been kissed by Zack before. Otherwise it couldn’t possibly be saying stupid things like that. Zack’s lips were soft and gentle in a way that Cody hadn’t experienced in his brother’s behaviour for ages. His ears picked up a soft smooching sound as Zack sucked at his lower lip lightly and released it shortly after again. Cody held back a little sigh of satisfaction and instead returned the favour by nibbling at his brother’s lips. In return, Zack sucked his upper lip in between his own and his tongue, while slyly slipping the muscle into his brother’s mouth. Cody turned his head slightly, his brother taking his hint and withdrawing again.
“Zack...” Cody’s insecurity was apparent in his whisper and Zack found himself detaching himself from his brother’s mouth completely, while touching their foreheads together.
“Shh… it’s okay”, he uttered while keeping his eyes closed. From this proximity there was no way he could have looked into Cody’s eyes anyway. He felt instead of saw Cody give a nod and aligned their lips again.
“Let me in”, he whispered wetly and slowly pushed his tongue against Cody’s closed mouth. Cody gave up his resistance and welcomed his brother’s tongue with his own, getting caught up quickly in the heady feeling it was creating. Who would have ever guessed that kissing another boy, let alone his twin brother, could make him feel this weak and dizzy. He had no idea just how long they had continued the exchanging of intimacy, when their lips slowly separated and their foreheads once again rested against each other.
“If all girls feel like this when being kissed, I want a sex change”, Cody joked, grinning, still with closed eyes.
“No way, I like you just the way you are now. Besides, you can’t get pregnant like this.”
“You don’t get pregnant from kissing, you doofus.” Cody felt the urge to roll his eyes at his brother, but settled for doing it mentally in favour of keeping the warm illusion he could create behind his closed eyelids.
“Who says we’re gonna stop after kissing?” Zack asked cheekily and pushed his lips back up against Cody’s. And while Cody’s head went hell no! at the suggestion, he could feel his libido going hell yes! He also knew, however, that this time he was going to favour his head over his body.
“Zack! Cody! Dinner!”
Their mother’s call interrupted their proceeding to anything more and Cody felt reality hit him rather hard as he opened his eyes and let his head drop onto Zack’s shoulder.
“Okay!” Zack called back and awkwardly patted Cody on the back.
“Zack, what the hell are we doing?” Cody asked, desperation dripping from his words, while his hands grabbed Zack’s hips and clung to them.
“I have no idea, buddy. Maybe this is just a twin thing…”
They had never used ‘the twin thing’ as an excuse before, so now seemed to be the right time to finally blame their birth status for something they didn’t really grasp.
“Boys?” their mother called again, slight annoyance obvious in her voice.
“We’re coming!” Zack yelled back and pushed Cody upright.
“Come on, let’s got. We’ll talk about this after dinner, okay?” He gave his brother a worried glance and allowed himself to feel a little relief when Cody nodded his head strongly and slid down from the window sill.
With a quick peck on his mouth, Zack let go of his brother and walked outside to join their mother at the dinner table.
“Mm, smells yummy, Mom”, he complimented and talk his place next to her.
“Yeah, thanks”, Cody added, sitting down in the other chair.
“Cody? Why are you still wearing the dress?”
“Uhm… because… I haven’t changed yet?”
“I can see that. I’m asking why you haven’t changed yet.”
“I… uh… was too busy ignoring Zack laughing himself half to death when he saw me like this. I’m hoping he’ll choke on his mac’n’cheese now if I keep it on.”
“Cody, that’s not a nice thing to say about your brother. Now go change”, their mother ordered and Cody got up, relieved beyond belief that their mother had bought the story. Zack just grinned at his macaroni and cheese.
“And you, stop laughing at your brother!”
Once Cody came back out, decked in jeans and a short sleeved shirt, dinner could proceed as peacefully as Carey had hoped it would. If you ignored the fact that Zack and Cody were kicking each other under the table.
PS: Let's just pretend there's a window.. I'm not sure anymore..