Yes...another story. ::sighs and bows head:: I know, I know. But I really like this idea. I have it planned out, actually, which is new for me because I usually don't make any kind of outline...hehe. Yeah. So.

'A Mute Point' is the first installment to a rather lengthy series I'm going to be having. The first two are one-shots but after that, I am going have full-length books about these characters. You don't really have to read this one, or 'A Little Vexation', which is the second installment and is also a one-shot, to understand the story, but it might help, I dunno. Anyway, please enjoy!

Summary: One-shot. Cody Boomer was living a normal, quiet life with his father when Zane suddenly entered the picture. His father has taken in young Zane and now Cody needs to get used to the quiet kid, who never talks for any reason. Everything he wants to say, he writes down or just doesn't speak at all. Prequel to 'A Little Vexation'. (This is a horrible summary but it's all I can think of so that I don't give away what happens. I have a much better summary for my outline but I can't put it in here 'cause you don't know what happens yet, lol)

Anyway. Hope you like.

Summer, 1990

Eight-year-old Cody Boomer scowled at the kid in front of him. Why he was being put on munchkin duty, he didn't know. Was he being punished for something? As far as he knew, he had done absolutely nothing wrong…at least not this week, and so for his father to just leave him alone in a large room with this kid just seemed rather annoying and uncalled for. Sighing, he crossed his arms narrowed his dark gray eyes at the kid before him, studying the short, rigid form. The kid looked scared and empty at the same time, his golden eyes wide and dark at the same time, his gaze dull as he stared at the ground, baring registering Cody's presence. Cody's scowl deepened as he took to walking toward the kid, wondering again why he was here and why he was just left alone in the room with him. Where was his father when he needed him?

"So…what's your name?" Cody asked with a heavy sigh as he sat on the couch, the tattered cushions sinking beneath his light weight, signaling the age of the couch and wear-and-tear of the fabric. "Kid? Hello?" He frowned when he still received no answer, and then he looked up when his father entered the room again, a heavy, sad look plastered on his face.

His father was a tall man. He had to duck through the doorway. Now he ran his fingers through his short brown hair and eyed Cody wearily, his tired eyes the same gray hue as Cody's. "Cody, this is Zane. He's…going to be living with us."

"Why?" Cody asked, sending a look toward the kid, Zane, who still hadn't spoken, his gaze firmly focused on the ground.

His father beckoned him out of the room and Cody quickly followed after him. Once they were in the kitchen instead of the living room, his father turned to him, giving into a heavy sigh as he bit down on his lower lip, as though he didn't quite know where to start. "That boy has been through a lot. I knew his daddy."

"Where's his daddy?" Cody questioned innocently.

His father closed his eyes and then uttered, "Gone."

"Where to?" Cody asked, not really understanding. "When's he coming back?"

"He's not."

"Why?" The guy had just left his kid here? Why?

"He can't. I promised that I would look after his kid if…well. If he had to leave forever. Don't pressure Zane too much, okay? He's seen a lot."


"He'll tell you when he's ready. I'm hoping you might be able to help him."

"How?" Cody asked, suddenly excited. His dad wanted him to help someone? He suddenly couldn't wait to start helping.

"Just…be there for him, okay, Cody? He needs a friend. And he's going to be here for a long time so you two might as well get alone."

There was clearly something his father wasn't telling him but what it was, Cody wasn't sure. So he nodded and then hurried back to the living room. "C'mon, Zane, let's go to my room," he said as he started to lead the kid toward the stairs. Zane hesitated but finally lifted his gaze from the carpeted ground to land on Cody. Cody flinched under the gaze. Those eyes were far too old for someone so young, or so Cody thought. What had the kid seen? What had happened? He wanted to know but his father had told him not to pressure Zane, and so he would do as his father asked.

Besides, he'd always wanted a little brother.

His mother had died when he'd been a baby and so he didn't really know her. He knew she and his father had wanted to have at least one more kid, and he had toyed with the idea that maybe he could have had a baby brother but then he'd had to push that idea away because it simply wasn't happening. Now kind of seemed like some sort of a second chance and he couldn't help but be filled with excitement.

"So how old are you?" Cody asked as the two of them made it up the stairs and to his room. He flipped on the light and then went to crash on his bed, looking at the kid for an answer. Why was Zane being so quiet? Cody himself had always liked to talk, so why wasn't this kid like that as well?

Zane paused and then held up five fingers. Five-years-old, then.

"Why don't you talk?" Cody questioned, puzzled at the silence.

Zane shrugged and sat on the floor next to the bed. Cody opened his mouth to tell the kid he could also sit on the bed but then figured Zane obviously wanted to sit on the floor, and who was he to stop him? Sighing, he grabbed for his remote and turned on the TV. Zane watched it, leaning against the side of the bed before his eyes slid closed. It took Cody a moment to realize that the kid had fallen asleep on him. Sighing heavily, he shook his head. If the kid wanted to sleep on the floor, sitting up, then so be it. Who was he to stop him, after all?

In the past two weeks, Cody had learned a few things.

First, Zane was quiet. He didn't talk, ever. If he wanted something, he wrote it down or used gestures. Why he didn't talk, Cody didn't know, and it was started to grate heavily on his nerves.

Second, maybe having a little brother was not something he really wanted. Especially if it was to be Zane, who never talked, didn't seem interested in doing anything, and just mostly sat around, staring at the ground in his annoying silence.

Third, his father was too quiet lately, as though he were thinking far too much. Cody wanted to ask him about it but every time he tried, his father just changed the subject and told him to go do something with Zane, who never seemed to want to do anything remotely fun.

And last, he was tired of the silence and unanswered questions. He wanted answers and he wanted them now. Where was Zane's father and when was he going to come and get his son? Was Zane even worth bonding with if he was just going to leave soon anyway?

"The kid likes you," his father was always telling him. "He's always trailing after you and he actually listens to you. I know he does."

Well, whatever. Cody wasn't so sure. If Zane liked him then why did he never talk? Why was there only silence? Grumbling to himself, he crossed his arms and sat heavily on the couch. Zane, who had been following after him like some lost puppy as he had been these past two weeks, stood in front of the couch and watched him quietly.

"What?" Cody finally snapped, glaring at the kid.

Zane shrugged.

"Your silence is annoying. Talk."

Zane just blinked at him.

"Zane, talk. C'mon." Cody narrowed his eyes at him.

Zane paused and then left the room, leaving Cody to watched him go. Sighing, he leaned back into the couch and then frowned when Zane returned with a pad of paper. He took the paper from Zane and read the scribbled words.

Your last name is Boomer, right? Like Sonic Boom?

Cody frowned. "Uh, sure," he muttered, scratching at his head in confusion. "Why?"

Zane shrugged but there was the ghost of a smirk on his face, the first real facial expression Cody had seen in two weeks. Cody stared and then shook his head.

"What does that have to do with anything?" he asked, but, of course, Zane did not respond. He just shook his head and left the room.

The fifth thing Cody learned: the kid was really confusing.

Cody was woken two nights later by the storm outside. Shivering because he absolutely hated storms with a raging passion, he huddled under his blankets and tried to think of pleasant thoughts as thunder boomed loudly outside. Usually when it was storming, he went and woke his dad and crawled in bed with him but he knew he couldn't do that--then he would be leaving Zane all alone. Zane had been sleeping on the floor of his room, curled warmly in a sleeping back. Cody did have to admit that the kid looked peaceful and calm in his sleep, despite the fact that during the day, he appeared so haunted. It was getting better, though--his eyes appeared lighter each time Cody saw them and for some reason, he was actually grateful of that. He hated to admit it but the kid was starting to grow on him.

Cody threw his covers over his head and tried to back on the wall on one side of his bed. He felt a little safer there but he desperately wished he was in his father's bed, wrapped warmly in his father's massive arms. He always felt so safe there, safe and loved, wanted. Swallowing, he clenched his eyes tightly closed and tried to imagine he was actually in his father's arms, but of course he knew he wasn't. His mind wouldn't even let him pretend.

He felt the bed tip and his heart jumped into his throat. Oh God, he thought with a shaky breath. The covers were pulled back from his head and tears stung his eyes, he was so scared. Then he saw that it was just Zane, a look of puzzled concern plastered on his face as he eyed Cody. His black hair was tussled from his sleep and his eyes appeared tired. Cody swallowed several times before he felt he would be able to use his voice correctly.

"Did I wake you?" he asked quietly.

Zane shook his head, frowning a little.

Cody swallowed and looked away. Zane released a small sigh and then started to get off the bed to move back to the sleeping bag. Without really thinking, Cody snapped his hand out and clasped Zane's wrist, pulling him back so quickly that the kid staggered into him. "Sorry," Cody murmured. "I just…stay?"

Zane eyed him curiously.

"I…really don't like storms," Cody tried to explain, bowing his head as his cheeks flushed. "I just…please?"

Zane nodded and then reached for the bedside table, grabbing a pen and paper. He squinted in the darkness as Cody watched him. A moment later, he handed the pad to Cody and he struggled to read what it said.

It's okay, Sonic.

"Sonic?" Cody whispered, confused as he eyed Zane. Zane nodded and started to smirk again. "Was this why you asked about my name?" Again, the kid nodded and seemed oddly pleased with himself. How the kid even knew exactly what a sonic boom was, he didn't know, but he wasn't going to question it. He actually kind of liked it--the name Sonic. It felt nice to know the kid had been thinking about him enough to give him that name, and left him feeling oddly warm inside, despite his earlier terror at the storm.

The sixth thing he learned: the kid cared, in his own, strange way.

Maybe having him around wasn't such a bad thing, after all.

"You two be good, do you hear me?" his father, David Boomer, said as he looked down at Cody and Zane, who were standing side-by-side, looking up at him as he gave the order. "I won't be gone but maybe an hour, two at the most. Look after him, Cody. Zane, keep an eye on my body." He ruffled both of their heads before he left the house, leaving them alone together.

Zane paused and then hesitantly looked out the window. Cody knew what he was looking at--the dark clouds. It was going to start storming soon. It had been nearly five days since Zane had helped Cody through that one storm, giving him the nickname of Sonic and allowing him to forget his terror. The kid had even stayed with him in bed that night, keeping him company as though he knew that was what Cody both wanted and needed.

"I hope it doesn't storm," Cody said with a sigh before he glanced at the younger boy. "You hungry? I could go for a sandwich."

Zane nodded in response and followed Cody to the kitchen.

Cody was kind of getting used to Zane's silence. He could kind of read the other boy's face now and tell what he wanted, like when Zane was hungry, when he was thirsty, when he was scared…it was kind of weird to be able to do that to someone who wasn't his father. Zane wasn't his family, not really, but it was really starting to feel as though the kid belonged. He was growing on Cody.

Cody fixed the sandwiches and the two ate in the living room as they watched TV. The sky outside grew darker and darker and Cody started to fidget nervously on the couch. Zane shot him worried looks but Cody just shrugged and said he was fine. He was, really--it was just his nerves. He hated storms, after all, and that included the sky going dark in the middle of the day.

Zane suddenly jumped up and ran to the window, causing Cody to frown at him in confusion. "Zane? What's wrong?" he asked, but the kid just shook his head and darted from the room. He returned a moment later, carrying a notepad as he scribbled away at it frantically, his eyes wide. "Zane?" Now Cody was worried. He jumped to his feet and moved toward the kid, stopping in front of him. "What's wrong? Are you okay?"

Was Zane allergic to something in the sandwich? Cody thought back on what he'd put on it. Just ham and cheese and a little mayonnaise. His father would kill him if something happened to the kid.

Zane shoved the notepad at Cody. Cody quickly read over the words, his heart clenching in his chest.

Is the sky supposed to be green, Sonic?

Green? The sky was green? Was Zane just confused? Heart in his throat, Cody darted toward the window and looked out. Sure enough, the sky was an ugly, dark green color. There was no wind blowing, either, which confused him further. It was going to storm--shouldn't there have been at least a little wind? But the place was eerily silent and still. It didn't sit well with Cody. He turned to Zane, his heart racing frantically.

Zane took the notepad back and wrote on it again. Then he thrust it back toward Cody.

I'm scared, it read in shaky letters.

"Me too," Cody said as he grabbed Zane by the arm and began leading him away. The basement--that was where they needed to be. To have the sky be green definitely wasn't a good sign--a tornado? He'd heard about them, knew that they sometimes happened here, but he'd never seen one in his eight years of life. All he knew was that they needed to get to the basement. Everything was okay in the basement. They just needed to get there.

A long, loud sound rushed toward them. It was so loud that Cody dropped Zane's arm and clamped his hands over his eyes, his eyes wide as he looked out the window again. A strange, swirling mass was hurtling toward them. It looked like a grounded cloud but it was standing straight up, a little wobbly at the ends but otherwise straight.

Was that a tornado?

Terrified, he ran toward the kitchen, where the basement door was located, forgetting all about Zane as the kid struggled to keep up. He threw the basement door open and darted down the stairs, barely allowing Zane enough time to enter as well before he shut the door. The two raced down the stairs and huddled at the bottom of them. Was this all they had to do or was there more? What else did they need to do? Cody was so scared he couldn't think straight. He just grabbed Zane and pulled him close, needing to hold on to someone at the moment. The kid buried his face in Cody's shoulder, releasing breaths that trembled and shook his body as they came out. Cody wrapped his arms around the shaking form and buried his face in the kid's hair.

Daddy, he thought desperately. He wanted his father to be here with them, to keep them safe, but his dad had left. Was his dad okay?

He didn't have time to think about it as the house shook all the way down to its roots. That loud sound was overwhelming and only caused Cody to panic all the more as he tightened his hold on Zane, refusing to loosen his grip, even for a moment.

It wasn't until the house started falling in on them that Cody remembered that they were supposed to hide under the stairs. Too late now, as something hard slammed into his back and sent him falling, darkness closing in on him as he hit the ground.

"Sonic!" came a voice he didn't recognize. Only one person called him Sonic, though--he hadn't even told his father about it, had wanted to keep it to himself.

Zane? he thought, because Zane simply didn't talk.

"Sonic! Cody!" The voice was loud and right next to his ear. Frantic hands clawed at him.

The seventh thing he learned: the kid could be loud when he wanted to be. Imagine that.

Then Cody's mind flickered out like a light and he knew no more.

Pain shot through Cody as consciousness slammed into him like a physical force. Silence surrounded him, along with a certain, unnatural stillness. The area around him was dark and all he could see was wood and pieces of his house, which left him utterly confused. He tried to move but wound out coughing in pain when he twisted his arm wrong.

What happened? Oh God…Dad's gonna kill me. The house…tornado…Zane!

That thought made him move, even though it hurt. He had to find the kid--where was he? He had been with Cody before--he'd had a death grip on that kid, so where was he? As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, his heart seized painfully in his chest when he saw the kid a few feet away, half-buried under rubble, only his legs showing, along with one arm.

"Zane," he whispered before he started coughing again. He tried to stand but couldn't, so he was forced to crawled toward the kid. "Zane, no…" He tried to life the rubble off of the younger boy but cried out when his arm moved. It hurt so bad and he wasn't sure why. All he knew was that tears were now streaming down his cheeks from the pain, fear, and panic of everything. "Zane!" He used his good arm to try and remove the rubble, but it was so heavy…probably crushing the kid. "Please…c'mon!" he begged as he struggled with the weight. He forced his aching arm to help as well and finally felt the rubble start to move. He moved it enough that it fell away from the younger boy's motionless form, and then he leaned over Zane, his heart hammering in his chest. "Zane?"

The kid didn't move, didn't seem to know he was there. The silence was suffocating, even though he was used to having silence from the younger boy. This silence was different--he could feel it, knew it far too well by the look on Zane's slack face.

"Zane, please wake up," he whispered as he shook the still form. "Please, Dad will kill me. Zane!" He swallowed thickly and struggled to suppress his growing terror. "You have to wake up now, Zane, c'mon! Please, kid! Wake up!"

Zane released a faint grown, nearly inaudible but definitely there, and Cody released a loud breath of relief.

"Thank God. Zane, please, open your eyes. C'mon, wake up. Please, I'm scared." And that was the truth. Cody was terrified and he needed Zane to please wake up. "C'mon…Zane! Hey! Wake up!"

Zane groaned again before his eyes slowly started to flutter open, revealing a dazed look in his pale gold eyes. He frowned for a moment, as though puzzled, before his gaze landed on Cody.

"Oh thank God," Cody breathed shakily. "Scared me, man, don't do that. C'mon, we have to get out of here." He moved to help Zane at least sit up but the kid immediately shook his head, fear present in his eyes. "What is it?"

Zane froze and Cody knew why. The kid couldn't, or wouldn't, say. He didn't speak.

"You said my name," Cody murmured, remembering. "You…talked. I know you did--I heard you. So talk now, okay? Please? I could really use a good conversation at the moment, Zane. Please, then we can get out of here and Dad will help us."

Zane hesitated and Cody reached for him again. "N-No," the kid finally uttered, eyes wide as he tried to bat Cody's hands away.

"What?" Cody asked, eyes wide as he heard the kid's shaky voice.

"H-Hurts…please…" Zane whispered, his eyes begging with Cody.

"What hurts?" Cody asked, fear consuming him.

"Everything…" the kid replied as his eyes started to close again.

"No…Hey! Stay awake!" Cody ordered, trying to sound as demanding as his father. It seemed to work because Zane opened his eyes again, frowning at him. "I need you to stay awake, okay? Please?"

Zane swallowed and nodded. Now that Cody was really looking, there was a cut on Zane's head, at his hairline. The blood appeared dry and he wondered how long the two of them had been down here and if his father was okay and looking for them. If so, did they even need to move?

Zane couldn't move--he'd made that pretty clear. And Cody didn't feel all that great either. His head was hurting and his arm was practically on fire. He just wanted to lay down and sleep but somehow, he knew that was a horrible idea.

"We'll wait for Dad," Cody said. "I'm sure he's coming for us--he always does."

Zane gave a slow nod. "S-Sonic…I'm s-scared…" he breathed with a cough.

Cody swallowed. "So am I," he told him. "I'm terrified. But Dad will come, you'll see. He always comes. He'll be here and then everything will be okay, I promise. Just please stay awake."

He didn't want to be left alone down here. Plus the kid was scaring him, what with his overly pale face and dim eyes.

Seconds turned into minutes. Minutes turned in at least an hour and Cody was starting to worry that maybe no one was coming. What if his dad was somehow, hurt too? What if no one was going to come and help them? Zane seemed to be fading, his eyes staying closed for longer each time he blinked. Cody himself felt so tired as he leaned against some of the rubble. It was hard to keep his own eyes open.

"So talk to me," Cody murmured. "We need to…keep each other awake."

"O-Okay…" Zane whispered back.

"So…you're pretty smart for a five-year-old," Cody started.

"T-Thanks?" Zane asked, as though he wasn't sure what to say to that.

"I just mean…you can hold a conversation…and you know what a sonic boom is…and…" He swallowed, feeling so tired. "Most…five-year-olds don't…usually do that…or know that…or at least I don't think so…"

Zane was quiet.

"You…okay, kid?" Cody asked, mostly because he was too tired to move his head enough to get a clear view of the younger boy. His whole body ached and he could only imagine how Zane felt.


"No?" Cody asked, finally looking at him with worry. "What do you mean, no?"


"I know it does but…you need to stay awake, okay? Dad's coming." He had to believe he was.

"H-Hard to…b-breathe…"

"No it's not," Cody snapped suddenly as he moved toward the kid, ignoring the pain that sparked with him as he did so. His body protested the movement but he didn't care. "Just…take slow breaths, okay?"

Zane didn't answer as he tried to control his rapid, faint breathing. Why hadn't Cody noticed it before? Guilty, he grabbed Zane's arm and held tight, wanting to offer comfort as much as he wanted the comfort himself. Being attached to someone helped, really.

"It's okay," Cody murmured, echoing Zane's words from the night of the thunder storm. "Dad's coming."

David Boomer stared at the wreckage that was his house in utter horror. His kids were in there, Cody and Zane. Zane was as much a member of his family, now, as Cody was--he'd promised Zane's father he would look after the kid should something happen to him, and he wasn't going to go back on that now. Police officers held David back from the house, not allowing him to dig through the debris to find his kids. They had people doing it, and David could see it, but he needed to be a part of it.

Oh God, how could this have happened? David thought with a shaky breath as he watched the progress. The tornado had hit suddenly, as most tornadoes did, and he'd been trapped in the grocery story at the time of it. He hadn't been able to come back to the house, either, because his car had been totaled in the wreckage the tornado had left in its wake. Now he could see that his house was so much worse--completely collapsed, with his kids somewhere inside.

Even if they'd managed to get to the basement, things didn't look good, or so the cops had told him when he asked and pleaded for some kind of answers.

But David couldn't believe that. He had to believe that Cody and Zane were all right, and that everything was going to be okay. He shouldn't have left them alone--he should have taken them with him, but it had seemed okay at the time--it hadn't even really been dark out, just gray, and it was said that they were supposed to get rain today and so he hadn't thought much of it at the time. Now he wished he would have just taken the kids with him anyway.

How could he have left an eight-year-old and a five-year-old home alone? He was the worst parent in the world, he decided. If those kids were hurt, or worse, he would never forgive himself.

Hang on, boys, he thought desperately, Daddy's coming.

Cody lay down next to Zane and pulled the younger boy toward him. It was so cold, and Cody wasn't sure what to think of that. It was the middle of summer--it shouldn't have been so cold, but it was. He wasn't sure if it was just him or just because they were trapped in the basement, but either way, he was freezing. Judging by the blue tint to Zane's lips, he was cold too. So Cody tugged him toward him and wrapped his arms around the small body.

"S-Scared…S-S-Sonic…" Zane managed to get out through trembling lips as he curled into Cody's body, as though searching for both comfort and warmth.

"M-Me too," Cody whispered in return, his teeth chattering.


"I know…b-but…D-Dad's c-coming…"

Zane said nothing.

A few minutes later and Cody felt his eyes closing, the lids far too heavy to keep open. Zane was still against him and he was sure the kid was out of it too--he wanted to keep the kid away but he was so tired…so sleepy…maybe if he just closed his eyes for a little bit, he would feel better.

David felt like crying when paramedics pulled the two boys from the rubble. They had been in the basement, after all, but clearly not safe. Not like they should have been. Why the house had just collapsed, David wasn't too sure--the cops had said something about where the tornado had hit and how it had just shaken the foundation so much that the whole thing had gone down, but he had barely been listening. Now he stared as his boys were loaded into the ambulance. He begged to go with them but the paramedics had denied him, stating that there was no room for him in the ambulance at the moment.

Then one of the cops had offered to give him a ride to the hospital, and he had quickly accepted.

The drive to the hospital was long, even though the lights on the cop car were on and they darted through traffic, never losing sight of the ambulance in front of them. When the sirens suddenly shut off, David felt his heart clench painfully in his chest. Was something wrong? Didn't they only shut the lights off if the people were dead?

Oh no, please no…Cody, Zane, no!

But then he realized that the ambulance had only shut them off because it was turning into the hospital. Weak with relief, he slumped back into the passenger seat of the cop car as it quickly followed after the ambulance. His boys were rushed into the hospital and he was left to pace worriedly in the waiting room.

Please, God, let them be okay. Please, he silently prayed as he shifted from pacing to sitting in a hard, plastic chair, to pacing again. He was sure there was going to be some kind of trench in the floor by the time he was done. I'll do anything. Please just let them be okay--they're just kids.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, a doctor entered the waiting room and called his name. He shot out of his chair like his ass was on fire and hurried toward the doctor.

"Please tell me they're okay," he hurriedly said, his eyes wide and pleading.

The doctor sighed. "They're stable," he told David. "The eldest one…Cody, was it? Cody. He has a broken arm and some bruised ribs, along with a slight concussion. He should make a full recovery, given time and rest. He's very lucky. There's quite a lot of bruising on his back but nothing seems too damaged there."

David breathed a heavy breath of relief as he sank down into another chair, scrubbing a hand over his face. "Thank God," he murmured. "And Zane? The younger one?"

"His condition is more serious."

"What do you mean by that?" David demanded.

"He also has a concussion, cracked and broken ribs, and his shoulder is dislocated. There was some internal bleeding but we fixed it--given time, if things go well, he should make a full recovery as well, given that there are no complications."

"Thank God," David found himself breathing again. "So they're going to be okay?"

"If things go well, yes," the doctor told him. "You can see them, if you'd like."

He shot out of the room after the doctor, desperate to see his kids.

Cody opened his eyes with a shaky breath, expecting pain to slam into him as it had done before, but he felt only a pleasant numbness. The white walls of the room stuck out to him and he grimaced, smelling the antiseptic that only doctors seemed to carry. He was in a hospital, then. Frowning, he allowed his tired gaze to wander through the room. He found his dad sitting next to him in a chair, clearly asleep, his head resting on Cody's mattress, his hand clamped around his own.

"Dad?" Cody croaked before he winced and shook his hand a little. He noticed that his other arm was in a cast and cradled to his chest, which caused him to grimace. It was uncomfortable. "Dad?"

His father raised his head as though confused before his gaze shot toward Cody. "Oh thank God," he breathed. "You're okay!" He closed his eyes as though in relief before he opened them again. "How do you feel, kiddo?"

"I'm…okay," Cody murmured. "What happened?"

His father frowned. "You don't remember? The tornado?"

Cody frowned and thought back. Then his eyes went wide. "Dad, where's Zane? He's okay, right? Dad?" he squeaked when his father didn't answer right away. Oh no, let him be okay, he thought frantically.

"He's okay, just resting, like you," his father finally replied. "He's in another room."

Cody nodded, utterly relieved. "He talked, Dad."

"He what?"

"Um…in the basement," he said. "He talked. We talked."

"Really? That's great, Cody," his father said, smiling down at him.

Cody nodded again. "Yeah. I was shocked at first but…" He sighed and then frowned. "Why am I so tired?"

"Medication," his father replied quickly. "It's okay--if you're tired, go to sleep. I'll be here when you wake up."

Cody frowned as he started to drift off. "What…about Zane?"

"I'm moving back and forth between you two. Don't worry--I assure you, he's okay. Just resting."

Cody nodded faintly and closed his eyes.

Sorry if the writing is bad and rushed. My head is like, literally on fire and I can barely think straight, but I had to write this to get it started or I never would, hehe. I plan to write 'A Little Vexation' soon, promise. Anyway, I hope you give the series a chance, at least. Please review if you bothered to read it--I really appreciate it and it will make me write faster. Thanks!