A Little Vexation

Sequel to 'A Mute Point'; Prequel to 'The Zane Thing to Do'

One-shot


This is kind of just pointless, brotherly fluff and how Zane gets a nickname. You do not have to have read 'A Mute Point' to fully understand this one, nor do you even have to read this one actually. The next installment, 'The Zane Thing to Do', is the first of a few full-length books with these characters and the plot will really start moving. These are mostly pointless but help to serve how they met, how close they got, and how they each got their nicknames. Anyway, I know I'm rambling, and I shall stop. Enjoy.

Summary: Eight years have passed since the tornado and Zane has become Cody's little brother--a part of the Boomer family. Since Zane gave Cody the nickname of Sonic after the Sonic Boom and Cody's last name of Boomer, Cody is looking to give Zane a nickname as well, something between brothers. But nothing seems to fit and his efforts only leave him with amused looks from his brother. Pointless fluff, really. Sequel to 'A Mute Point' and prequel to the first full-length book, 'The Zane Thing to Do'. Enjoy. (Horrible summary, I know...sorry!)


Winter, 2002

"Hurry up in there! Zane! I mean it! I need to use the bathroom! Damn it, hurry up!" sixteen-year-old Cody Boomer growled as he pounded harshly at the bathroom door. Zane laughed from inside and Cody mentally wondered if maybe his father would object to him murdering his little brother in his sleep for putting him through this every morning. Sighing, he pounded again. "Zane! Open up! C'mon, you've had plenty of time!" Zane always woke earlier than Cody for some reason and always wound up getting to shower and everything first--which was fine, because he never did use too much hot water and so Cody wasn't left with a cold shower, but he always took his time when Cody just woke up and had to use the bathroom like a firefighter had to put out fires. "Zane!"

Finally, the door opened and Zane appeared, fully dressed in a black shirt and faded blue jeans, his black hair still damp and tussled. He grinned at Cody, his golden eyes twinkling with amusement. "How goes it, Sonic?"

Sonic. It was the nickname Zane had given him when the two had met eight years ago. Cody had to admit that he felt warm inside every time Zane used his nickname--no one else ever did and no one else was ever allowed to do so. It was something between the two of them, something between brothers. Sure, Zane wasn't his brother in flesh-and-blood, but he was in every way that mattered to Cody. The two had grown up together, ever since Cody was eight and Zane was five.

Now thirteen, Zane was still a few inches shorter than Cody. Cody growled and grabbed Zane's arm, tugging him out of the doorway as he quickly entered the bathroom. He heard Zane laugh in the hallway as his little brother walked away.

When Zane had first arrived, he hadn't talked--he'd been a mute. It had something to do with what he'd seen, apparently--Cody knew both of his parents were dead but he wasn't sure why or how or anything like that. He didn't know what Zane had seen at the age of five. His little brother didn't like to talk about it and Cody didn't want to press. Things were good right now--Zane was talking and laughing and was a general pain in Cody's ass, but then, wasn't that what little brothers were for?

He quickly showered and dressed in a brown shirt and blue jeans before he combed his fingers through his wild brown hair, the same color as his fathers. He really took after his father in looks--he had his same hair and same gray eyes. He wondered what his mother looked like but his father didn't have many pictures and rarely wanted to show them to him. Sighing, he left the bathroom and headed down the hall and toward the kitchen.

The house he'd lived in for the first eight years of his life was gone now, destroyed by a tornado. He and Zane had been trapped in the basement but thankfully, everything had turned out okay. Most of the pictures of his mom, though, hadn't survived the wreckage and thus only a rare few were still around, mostly the ones that his father carried in his wallet.

He found Zane at the kitchen table, eating a bowl of cereal. "Pickles," Cody announced.

Zane nearly choked on his food and looked at him, one eyebrow raised in obvious amusement, his eyes sparkling. "I don't think so, Sonic."

Cody sighed and moved toward the refrigerator to grab himself something to eat.

Since Zane had given him the nickname of Sonic, he wanted to give Zane a nickname as well, but every time he tried, it always fell through. Nothing seemed to fit his little brother. Zane was amused by Cody's tries, though. Growling to himself, he wound up eating an apple before he and Zane left the kitchen and headed outside to wait on the school bus.

Christmas Break was fast approaching and Cody couldn't wait. He would be getting his driver's license at the first of January and then he and Zane could go where they pleased without David Boomer, his father, nagging at them to take the bus or walk.

The ride to school was quiet. Most of the kids were still half asleep and he and Zane sat next to each other in the back. Cody would be getting off first at the high school and then the bus would take Zane to the middle school. It was a nice system and the schools were practically right next door to each other. Cody paused.

"Dud."

"No," Zane replied with a snicker.

"Gooey."

Zane frowned at him, eyebrows raised. "The hell, man?"

"No cursing. Dad will kill me."

Zane scoffed. "Like you don't curse."

Cody shrugged. "I'm allowed to, I'm older."

"By three years."

"Exactly."

Zane sighed and shook his head as he turned his gaze out the window.

"I'll think of a name for you if it's the last thing I do," Cody said with a grin as his little brother looked back at him.

"You do that," Zane said skeptically. "Let me know how it works out."

Cody shrugged and the rest of the bus ride was spent in a comfortable silence.


"Please open your vocabulary books to page 114," the English teacher, Mrs. Sanchez, told the class as she walked up to the front board. Cody mentally groaned because he did not like doing vocabulary work--it was far too annoying. With a heavy sigh, he pulled his book out and turned it to the page she wanted. She started going over the words and he barely listened to her, allowing his attention to, instead, go out the window as he watched snow start to fall. Maybe this year would be a white Christmas--that would be nice. There hadn't been on in years and he kind of missed it.

There were only four days left of school. Tomorrow, they would start taking their final exams for the first semester. He hated finals--they totally sucked out loud. Why did they have to remember any of this stuff anyway? He didn't see himself using it anywhere in his future, near or far away. All it was, to him, was an annoyance that he could definitely do without. Sighing, he pulled his gaze away from the window and turned to focus his attention on the teacher. Class was nearly over and it was sixth period--he couldn't wait for the day to end.

"So do the vocabulary for homework tonight," the teacher was saying. "I'll be collecting it first thing in class tomorrow."

Finally, the bell rang and signaled the end of class. Thankful, Cody jumped from his seat and rushed out of the room, eager for this day to just be over. He did not like school--did anyone, really? No one he knew did. Zane completely hated it but did well in it, for which Cody was proud of him for. Cody himself did okay in school but he didn't really care one way or the other. He was just here to pass the time, really, and because it was mandated by the government.

Seventh period was gym so it was pretty easy. He didn't mind gym--he liked playing games and being with his friends. He and Zane were both pretty athletic, even though Zane also liked to read books in the silence of his room--yes, his own room. Unlike the house that had collapsed, this new house had three bedrooms and so everyone got their own room.

Today they were playing dodge ball. Cody sighed because, really, he didn't much care for dodge ball and they played it all the time. It got old pretty fast and he was just sick of playing it. It seemed all they ever played anymore was either dodge ball or kickball and he didn't really like either of those.

But it was the last period of the day so he didn't mind it much. He was just ready to go home.


He met up with Zane on the bus and smiled at the younger boy. Zane had a backpack hefted over his shoulder and he looked annoyed as he scowled at the floor of the bus while he walked toward the back. Cody slipped an arm over his little brother's shoulders and the two moved to sit in the back, as they always did.

"Lot of homework, Zaney?" Cody questioned with a smirk.

"Shut up," Zane sighed. "I can't believe we have so much homework--it's almost time for break! What the hell are they thinking?"

"Language," Cody chided, but he was grinning as he said it. "Be lucky you don't have finals."

"I will soon," Zane sighed.

Cody shrugged. "Yeah but that's still two years away, you're only in seventh grade, after all."

Zane shrugged and pulled his backpack away from his shoulders as the bus lurched away from the school parking lot and onto the street.

"How was gym?" Zane asked as he yawned.

"Played dodge ball again," Cody told him.

"So did we. I'm really starting to hate that game. I mean, why do we always have to play it? Seriously."

Cody grinned. "No idea." He reached out a hand and ruffled his little brother's hair. Zane scowled at him and pulled away, batting at his hand. "What'd you have for lunch?"

Zane paused. "I didn't eat."

"What?" Cody asked, frowning. "Why not?" It wasn't like Zane to not eat--he was like a bottomless pit, to put it honestly. He enjoyed food more than anyone Cody had ever seen, so for him to not be eating meant something. "Are you sick?" He moved his hand and pressed the back of it against Zane's forehead, feeling for a fever. His little brother did feel a little warm. "Zane…"

"I'm fine," Zane said. "Just tired. Lunch didn't seem good today--they had fish sticks and you know how I can't even stand the smell of that."

Cody paused because, yes, he did know. He didn't like the smell of fish either, and so he couldn't really blame Zane for it. "You still should have eaten. You're warm."

"I'm fine."

Cody shook his head. "Eat when we get home and then go to sleep."

Zane sent him a look. "Am I being grounded to my bed now, Sonic?" he asked innocently, his eyes sparkling.

Cody grinned. "Maybe. We'll see what Dad says, okay?"

"Don't tell Dad."

"Why not? You're sick."

"I'm fine, just tired. Honest. Besides, you know Dad--he'll make me stay in bed for a week and you know how much I hate being forced to stay in my room."

"Yeah," Cody chuckled. "I know." His little brother absolutely hated remaining still, which was quite a change from when he'd first shown up in Cody's house at the age of five, eight years ago. "We'll see how it goes."

Zane shrugged and then gave a small nod. Cody leaned back in his seat and combed a hand through his messy hair. At least the sweat from gym had dried, but it had left his hair going at odd angles, the bangs sticking up from where he'd run his hand across his face during the dodge ball game.

They arrived home shortly and Cody fixed his little brother some chicken soup and then ordered him off to bed. Zane saluted him and wandered down the hallway, toward his room. This house was only one story but was plenty big enough for the three of them. Cody actually liked this house better than the old one, the one he had lived in for the first eight years of his life.

Cody went to his room and settled down his bed to get started on his homework. Hopefully Zane would be feeling better later.


Grumbling to himself, Cody finally pulled out his vocabulary homework, the last thing he had to do. It was around five in the evening and his father wouldn't be home for another hour yet. Zane was still in his room, hopefully resting. Cody sighed and started to work on his vocabulary.

That was when he landed on the word.

Vexation: the state of being vexed. The state of being provoked to a state of annoyance, anxiety, or distress.

A slow grin spread across his face because, oddly enough, that seemed to describe his little brother perfectly. Okay, little Vex, he thought with a smirk as he quickly finished his vocabulary homework. Maybe he had finally found a nickname suitable for Zane--the thought made him start to laugh because, finally, he could call his little brother something, something just between the two of them. He wasn't sure why it was so important that he find a name for Zane, but he liked the feeling he got when Zane called him Sonic and he wanted to be able to do that for his brother as well. Just something between brothers--it was nice.

He finished his homework and then stood from his bed to move down the hallway, toward Zane's room. He rapped his knuckles lightly against the wooden door a couple of times before he entered and spotted his little brother sitting on his bed, watching TV. "I thought I told you to rest," he said as he moved to sit next to the younger boy.

Zane shrugged. "I was. I got bored."

Cody moved his hand and touched it to Zane's forehead again before he breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, you feel normal again. Feel better?"

"Yeah, actually," Zane said with a grin. "Thanks, Sonic."

"You're welcome…Vex."

Zane stared at his brother for a moment before he chuckled and a warm grin spread across his face. Cody mentally cheered because he had finally found a name to fit his brother. "So I'm Vex now, huh?"

"Absolutely."

"You know what it means?"

"Yes," Cody said, narrowing his eyes. "Do you?"

"Of course. I've come across it in some of my books."

Cody sighed. "Of course you did, you book warm," he grumbled before he shook his head.

"You calling me annoying?"

"Sometimes, yes," Cody said with a grin. "Dad should be home soon, okay? Then we can eat dinner."

"Okay," Zane said.

Cody stood from the bed and ruffled his little brother's hair again. "Get some more rest, Vex. I'll come get you when Dad's home."

"Okay…thanks again, Sonic," Zane said sincerely, causing Cody to smile as he left the room.


David Boomer smiled as he entered his three-bedroom, one-story house to see Cody sitting on the couch in the living room, watching TV. What struck him as odd was the absence of Zane, because the two had been pretty much inseparable since that tornado eight years ago. "Hey, kiddo," he greeted his son, the eldest of his two boys, even though Zane wasn't necessarily a blood relation. He was still family in every way that mattered. Cody looked up at him and grinned. "Where's Zane?"

"In his room," Cody said with a shrug. "Book warm."

David chuckled and moved toward the kitchen, carrying with him the two boxes of pizza he'd picked up on the way home from work. Cody trailed after him.

"Do you want me to go get Zane?" Cody asked.

"No, you can just take this to him," David said as he handed one of the boxes to Cody. "That's for you two, this one is mine."

Cody snorted and then gave a small nod. "Okay." A grin broke out over his face. "So, I finally found a name for that annoying kid."

David laughed because his son had been trying to find a name for Zane for months now, and nothing seemed to work. "Oh, really?" he asked as he grabbed two sodas from the refrigerator and handed them to Cody as well.

"Yeah," Cody replied as the took the drinks and then picked up a few napkins. "I call him Vex."

"Vex, huh?" David asked as he shook his head. "And he likes it?"

"I guess."

"Good, good. Well, good luck with that." He sat at the table and opened his box of pizza. Cody left the room to eat with Zane.

My two boys…growing up so fast, he thought with a heavy but proud sigh.


Yeah...horribly written, I know, and it doesn't really mean much...it just shows how Zane gets a nickname, really, and how things have changed since the two were eight and five. Anywho, if you bothered to read, please review? Huh? Pweeeeeeeeze? Anyway....thanks! The first real book will be started soon, promise. I actually like these characters and I have big plans for them. Thanks for reading!

~Averick~