Fragility – The scream dies; the shattering stops. The pieces trembles, then… it's all over. The glass has broken, and can never be repaired.
A/N: Hey guys! I'm so sorry about the late update. But better late than never, right? I never expected so many reviews. Thank you so much! :) You guys make me so happy. Not much action but interaction here. I guess, the one thing in the show that I really wanted to see was more in depth conversations between the brothers.
I've had a rather tough time with this chapter, while taking into account the thoughts of some readers. I really didn't know whether to upload this chapter or not (it never seemed good enough), but then I thought 'What the hey?' I started this fic and I will finish it. Any mistakes I make, I leave it to you guys to point out and I will learn from them.
So, before you go on to the story, I just want to say that, in the end, after trying to correct the mistakes pointed out by a reader (thank you! I never would have realized on my own), I decided to follow my heart. I recognize that I cannot better my writing greatly within a short time but I will continue trying.
I tried my best for this chapter, tried to keep the characters true to themselves as much as I could. So...enjoy! :)
Summary:A twin is shattered. Thoughts of 'Why' and tears tear through the night. As he questions reality, can he come to terms that maybe…maybe his life would be empty after all? Why did someone so important have to die?
Disclaimer: I do not own the Suite Life Series nor any of its characters.
~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~
"There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again, now." - EUGENE O'NEILL, A Moon for the Misbegotten
~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~
His body lay motionless on the ground, his greenish-blue eyes dull and unseeing. His arms were limp by his sides, one splayed haphazardly on the rough gravel floor. His lips were parted, but no sound could be heard.
It was the picture of red roses clinging to white. Of a life drained.
Cody started, his hands clasped together. He shook his head violently as a soft breeze brushed his features. He shivered. It was cold. He remembered someone draping a blanket over his back, but why was there no warmth at all? Or was it just him?
He had always looked so bright and happy and cheerful and…and so Zack. The cloth that he donned now hung heavy with blood. It shone so bright against his pale skin.
The blood on his cheeks, his arms, his legs.
Shallow air escaped Cody's mouth. His lungs heaved in a short, staccato breath and then let it go. It was routine. Breathe in. Breathe out. Cody recognized that his heart was still beating. But was Zack's? There was a hitch in his throat.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
The young Martin hadn't wanted to wake up. His frantic mind had screamed at him to stay down and be out for the rest of the day, week, month, year. Or maybe forever. Zack had always been there. Always annoying. Always exasperating. So much to the point Cody hadn't wanted him there at times. What had he been thinking? Cody felt the energy in him drain from his limbs. He wanted to fall into unconsciousness and wake to find it was a dream – no, nightmare.
You have to stay awake.
Cody felt a ragged sob build up his throat. Was his brother really…? Even the thought of thinking it sent hysterical incoherence through his brain like a frazzled wire. He had to be alive. It was Zack. How could his brother not be?
Please…no. Not my family.
His eyelashes were wet.
Just not him.
~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~
Shock ran through him wildly. Oh my God. Zack forced himself to look around him, pushed himself to stare straight into reality. His heart nearly stopped.
There was so much blood. Zack's eyes raked through the scene unfocusedly. His fingers twitched as he realized people were screaming.
"Get the ambulance!"
"Clear the area!"
"Push the crowd back! We need more space!"
"Damn it! Where's the medical team?"
The voices melded into the tumbling cycles of his mind.
Accident, his head told him.
Accident. Zack repeated the word in his mind, rolling it, tasting it. Why was his brain working so slowly? As he mulled over the dreadful word, it finally clicked. He needed to...I need to help.
Zack tried to move, tried to force himself to his feet. When did the world tip to such an odd angle? Another loud gasp. And why did the air that tore through his throat seem so unwilling and rough?
Why did it hurt so much?
"There's another one here!" Sounded so close to his head.
"Hurry up! We're…oh no. We're losing him!"
Who were they losing? Zack wondered. A surge of pain shot through his body.
Someone was dying. And, even though he knew who it must be – it really couldn't have been anyone else – denial rang flat out in his mind. It couldn't be. But why did his chest feel so pained? It hurt so much.
Zack felt his eyes close slowly. Two damp streaks trailed down his cheeks.
"We lost him."
~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~
[One and a half hour later]
Cody felt a warm touch on his shoulder. He flinched. It wasn't supposed to feel warm. Nothing should – could – be warm if his brother was-
Everyone jumped at the abrupt cry that tore out of the Martin's throat. Bailey immediately flung her arms around the shaking form of Cody Martin, her fingers rubbing soothing circles onto his back. Lines of worry creased her forehead.
"Shh. It's okay, Cody. It's okay," she murmured as she took the seat beside him.
She looked up at Mr Moseby, her face strained. What do I do? she mouthed silently. Mr Moseby shook his head and pointedly stared at Cody before returning his gaze to her. Bailey's eyes clouded with despair.
She hugged him tighter. "It's okay. He's okay."
Cody sat limp in her arms as she soothed him. He couldn't be soothed. Oh gosh. Zack. Zack. Zack. Zack.
"What if he's not?"
Everyone tensed. Mr Moseby and Bailey turned to Woody and shot him looks of disbelief. Woody looked affronted. "What? I mean-"
"Shut up!" Cody got to his feet and glared heatedly at his roommate. Enraged fury flashed in his eyes. "That's my twin you're talking about!"
Woody cringed. "Okay, okay! I'm sorry!"
Cody breathed heavily and fell back onto the seat, his shoulders sagging by his sides. He brought his hands up and covered his face, trembles shooting through his body.
Woody shot the distraught brother apologetic glances and cringed when he saw the look that Bailey shot him.
"What time is it?" Cody whispered. His head remained buried in his hands.
Mr Moseby hesitated then glanced at his watch. "Eleven forty three."
Cody swallowed thickly. "He was supposed to be back by eight, right?" He lifted his head, the blonde tresses falling over his face. An expression not unlike desperation plastered itself on his features. "He…Zack could be late right? I-I mean, he's Zack. Right?" His voice went an octave higher near the end, frantic for any hope to hold onto.
"It might not have been him, Cody," Mr Moseby said gently. "They would have informed us by now if it had indeed been your brother."
Cody nodded though he didn't feel any better. His mind felt numb. Empty. The words seemed confusing, jumbled up. But he knew the tone was meant to soothe his nerves. Cody's eye lit up. "C-call him." He jerked his head towards Bailey as he slipped to his feet. "Call him… I have to call him." His fingers shook as he grabbed his phone from the counter.
"Cody…" Bailey tried to reach for his hand. "We already tried. Let's just wait, okay, baby?"
Cody ignored her and dialed his brother's number. Pick up. Pick up. He was immediately sent to voicemail.
"He's not picking up," he muttered to himself. He called again. "He's not picking up!" He said it louder this time.
"He always picks up!"
"Don't bother. He won't this time."
Cody's eyes narrowed sharply. Infuriation tinged his vision red as he rounded on the said speaker. He exploded, "How could you-"
The Martin's eyes widened as his words died in his throat. He stared disbelievingly at…Zack.
Zack raised an eyebrow at his brother's form, a blank expression adorning his features.
~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~
Everyone stared in stunned silence.
Zack was there, on the Sky Deck with them. He was alive. Alive and standing with the most exasperating expression on his face. One that said 'I really couldn't care less but, what?'
Cody stayed rooted in place as his eyes locked on his siblings'. A part of him noticed the dull, blank look in the similar pair of eyes but he pushed it away fiercely. His brother wasn't… Oh. Zack. He's alive.
Cody shakily moved his feet.
That was all it took before the younger twin launched himself at his brother.
Cody almost cried at the sound of Zack's voice. "Zack! You…I- I thought you- … Zack!" Cody broke off and hugged him tighter. Relief washed over him. His brother was fine. The sudden reprieve felt so out of place that it left Cody almost in a state of shock.
A confused expression weaved itself onto the older Martin's features as he threw baffled glances at Mr Moseby and Bailey. The confusion only deepened when he saw the inexplicable relief in their eyes morph into anger and indignance.
He looked away. That disappointment. He had had enough for the day. For forever, he mentally told himself. His hands reached up cautiously to his brother's shaking back and he felt with surprise that the trembling almost immediately stopped.
He cleared his throat. "What's wrong, buddy?" he asked softly.
The arms that clutched at his back tightened than moved to grab his arms. Distraught, anger-filled eyes met his tired, weary ones. "Cody?" Uncertainly.
Zack watched in delayed horror as his brother's eyes became overwhelmingly wet before the droplets fell onto his already damp cheeks. Damn. What's going on? Zack dared not look towards Bailey or Mr Moseby for assistance. What's wrong with him?
"What do you mean what's wrong?" Cody forced out through gritted teeth. It sounded strangely between a mix of pure infuriation and relief at the same time. "Do you know how worried I was?"
Zack suppressed a sigh. He didn't need this. Not now. Especially not after… His heart clenched. No, he thought resolutely. Don't think about it. "Okay, I get it. I'm late. I'm sorry," he mumbled.
"You're not sorry!" Cody exploded. His fingers dug deeper into his twin's shoulders. It hurt, but honestly, Zack couldn't care less then. "Did you care? That I was sitting here waiting for YOU" - he poked his finger into his brother's chest harshly – "thinking that you freaking DIED!"
Zack tensed. An expression of full-blown shock plastered itself onto his features. "Died?" he repeated in disbelief. "Why would you think that?"
Cody bit his lip hard. After all that worry, after all that pain, his brother just came back like it was no big deal? Or would you rather that it was him? Cody stiffened at the thought. He shook his head slowly and surprised Zack with another hug. Loud, racking sobs tore through his body as he latched himself onto his brother.
"I was so scared, Zack," he blubbered pitifully. "I thought I lost you."
Zack returned the hug instantly. Gripping his brother tight, Zack led Cody to the nearest chair. He gently lowered Cody onto it and winced when the latter refused to let go. Adjusting himself so he was comfortable, he tried to scoot as near to his twin as possible while settling himself on the seat next to Cody. He began murmuring soft, soothing words to his brother. It'll be okay. I'm here now. Nothing's going to take me away from you.
Zack waited as his brother cried into his shoulder. Uncomfortably aware of the others' – Mr Moseby's, Woody's and Bailey's – presence, Zack drew as much comfort as he could from his distressed twin as much as Cody did from him. He could feel them staring at him, drilling holes into his head. The older twin lowered his gaze. What had he done to deserve this? Out of the two of them, Zack felt he needed to be the one crying, not the other way round. Cry because someone did die, weep because some things just couldn't be unseen.
Zack started at the call. He turned his gaze towards Cody in surprise. Cody hadn't called him that in years. "Buddy?" he repeated, unsure himself if he was questioning his brother's use of the word or if he was simply replying in kind.
Cody looked worried. He pulled back slightly and sniffled. "Are you okay?"
Zack's eyebrows furrowed. "Are you okay?" he threw back, albeit gently.
Cody pulled away further to have a better look at his twin. His eyes fell on the shirt that clung to his brother's skin and he gasped. His eyes wide, Cody couldn't seem to turn away. "Z-Zack?"
"What is it?" Slight panic slipped into the older's tone. What was it now? His gaze followed his twin's and he froze. Damn. He inwardly cursed. Damn it.
His once blue striped shirt now sported a dark, reddish hue near his stomach. Droplets of what had to be blood decorated the hems of his sleeves, some nearly reaching his shoulder. Zack watched as his brother silently stood up and pulled Zack up with him. Watched as Cody quietly appraised his form.
Zack himself looked himself over and realized in weary misery that a part of his jeans had torn at the knee; there was a deep shade of black on the front of his jeans. Zack remembered where the blood had come from. There was so much. It had seemed endless. But then, though endless it wasn't, empty the life out of an innocent it did.
"What happened to you?" Cody whispered.
Zack shrugged tiredly. He should explain, or make up an excuse. I don't care.
Cody stared, horrified, at the dismal expression on his face. "Y-you're not…hurt, are you?"
Mr Moseby stepped forward. "Are you okay, Zack?" Zack glanced up to see the displeasure gone, replaced by concern, but he didn't feel grateful.
"Nothing happened to me."
Cody hesitated. "But the blood-"
Cody stared at his brother in disbelief. "What do you mean it isn't yours?"
Zack shrugged again. He wanted to walk away, turn and never look back. His eyes met Cody's and his resistance failed. That anguish… Zack'd be damned before he'd allow anyone close to him wear such a look again.
"Accident," he mumbled. He plowed on quickly before the panic set in into his twin. "In town. Tried to…" Zack stared at his shoes. "Tried to help."
Cody swallowed thickly. "And?" he prompted uncertainly.
He met a pair of crushed, pained eyes before the gaze jerked to stare at the ground. Zack shook his head uncomfortably, more than aware that everyone was staring at him.
"Take it off."
Zack tensed. "What?"
Cody's eyes hardened. "Take it off," he repeated.
"Stop questioning me and take it off!"
Zack grimaced. He eyed his brother cautiously. "Cody…I-"
"Why?" Cody burst out. "If you aren't injured, if you aren't hurt, why won't you take it off?" His voice reached an octave higher.
A tense silence fell over the group. Zack glanced at the company they had. "Could you guys leave us for a moment?"
Mr Moseby raised an eyebrow. It hadn't been a question. He stared Zack up and down, and then shifted to stare at Cody. He seemed to mull over it. "It seems I am unwanted here. Please do not go to bed too late." Mr Moseby turned and double-backed after a second thought. "And Zack, change immediately."
The man threw Bailey and Woody a meaningful glance and they both retreated into the lower decks.
Zack stared at their backs until their disappeared. Fingering the ends of his shirt, he slipped it off his arms and shoulders. He gripped the piece of cloth in his hands. He wasn't letting it go.
Cody's gaze pounced on Zack's perfectly toned and unblemished skin, darting left and right, up and down frantically. He circled his brother once, twice.
"You okay now?"
Cody glanced at Zack guiltily. "Sorry," he mumbled.
Zack allowed himself a small smile. He gave Cody a light squeeze on his shoulder. "What happened? Why did you think I…why'd you think that?"
Cody cast his gaze to the floor, fidgeting uncomfortably. He sucked in a deep breath and finally spoke up. "There was a news report... Of an accident. Someone with blonde hair was hit and-" Cody broke off. He looked pleadingly at his brother.
Zack nodded. His eyes had darkened at Cody's words. Accident
"I understand." His voice was gentle. "I'm here now. It's okay."
Cody stared wide-eyed at his twin. Since when was Zack so… It doesn't matter. He's here now, Cody reminded himself. He's here now.
"I'm such a girl, aren't I?"
Zack smiled, though it didn't reach his eyes. He placed his arms firmly on his twin's shoulders, two comforting pillars of strength. Cody stared at Zack curiously.
The older Martin sucked in a deep breath. "You aren't a girl, Codes. There's nothing wrong with worrying for family." A hint of hesitation crossed his serious eyes. "I'm glad you worried for me, Cody," he said softly.
Cody felt himself frown. What? He looked away. "For a moment there, I just…"For a moment there, I really believed it was you. I thought I lost you.
Zack raised an eyebrow. "It could never have been me, buddy. What were you thinking?" He gave a nervous laugh.
Cody sighed. His brother was right. "I'm just glad it wasn't you, Zack."
Cody didn't catch the look of regret that crossed Zack Martin's features before it cracked and disappeared.
~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~
[2 hours later – Zack's cabin]
"There's big enough space for two, you know."
Cody felt his cheeks flush. He dipped his head in acknowledgement. "You don't mind?"
There was a long pause. Cody almost thought that his brother hadn't heard him when Zack spoke up from the bed. "I'd be most grateful."
Cody jerked his head to stare at his twin in shock. What did he say? He wondered if he should wait for a response.
Zack shifted uneasily and then sat up from the bed. Tresses of messy blonde hair hung above his eyes, concealing it from view, but Cody knew that his brother was upset. Cody stood up from the chair by the desk and walked over to sit by the still form of his twin. He bounced slightly on the mattress.
"What's wrong, buddy?" he finally spoke up.
The answer came up just as smoothly, though Cody thought it strained. "You've called me that more within an hour than you have in years."
Cody allowed himself a small smile. His fingers played along the edge of the mattress. "You never stopped calling me that. Not even when Drew laughed at you for it." His smile widened gratefully.
Cody could feel the bed move slightly as his brother fidgeted again. Zack was uncomfortable. The smile dimmed slightly. Why?
"Yeah…" Zack trailed off. He trained his gaze somewhere near the closet. Cody took this in silently, letting the quiet take over them for the moment. He felt…complete. Safe. They needed this, he realized. They needed to stay together.
"I'm sorry I hadn't tried harder," Zack suddenly spoke up. His voice was low and uncertain. "I never knew they bullied you that much."
Cody felt a part of him crumble. The confusion in him amplified as he turned to stare at his brother.
"Don't speak like that. Why are you talking like that?"
"I'm just saying." Zack offered his younger sibling a quick smile of assurance.
Cody shook his head. "You're not. There's something going on and you're not telling me."
Zack's features grew sad, or was Cody imagining it? "Nothing's going on. Can't I be nice to you once in a while? You had a bad…scare, after all."
"You must be tired. Come on. Get to bed. Plenty of room." Zack patted the other side of the bed invitingly. He had pushed the two beds together again, taking care to clean the mess before having his brother enter the cabin. Cody never had liked messy rooms. The older Martin knew his sibling had found it strange, but it felt oddly satisfying to see the pleasant surprise set in Cody's eyes.
Zack had sent his dirty pile of socks and clothing to the laundry, swept the room clean and had taken extra care to make both beds.
Cody got into bed. He was about to tuck himself in when his brother's hands reached forward and pulled the covers over him. He turned at the unexpected gesture. "Zack?"
Zack smiled. "You're welcome."
Worry flickered through Cody's features. Had something happened to his brother? Why the odd actions? A thought occurred to him.
He bit his lip and nudged at his twin's fingers. "Do you…want to talk about it?" He began, uncertain.
The hand that had been reaching for the light stilled. Zack glanced at Cody out of his peripheral vision. "What do you mean?"
Cody fidgeted. "You did say that you tried to help in that accident. If you want to talk about it…" he trailed off.
Zack flipped the light off and plunged the room in darkness. "It's fine," he said curtly. The bed tipped at the sudden weight as he settled down again. He crossed his arms over his chest, not bothering to cover himself with the blanket.
Cody ignored him. "I mean, it's not good to keep things bottled up and I-"
"I said it's fine, Cody."
"-know that it mustn't have been pleasant to see-"
"Of course it wasn't!" Zack exploded. He sat up sharply. "It wasn't all cakes and balloons!" Zack's eyes widened at his words. He grimaced. Damn. He hurried to redeem himself.
"I'm sorry," he whispered softly.
Cody was silent, then tried to look at his brother through the dark. As hard as he tried, he could only make out Zack's hair falling over his eyes. Guilt tugged at his consciousness. He should have waited. Zack would have told him when he wanted to.
"I'm sorry too, Zack."
Zack sighed. He tugged at his twin's tense form and Cody fell into his arms. "I just don't want to talk about it, buddy." He hugged Cody tighter. "I'm not ready yet."
Cody lowered his eyelashes. His lip trembled as he returned the hug. Something's wrong. Something happened to him. He breathed heavily. And I don't know what. "I understand."
Zack squeezed lightly and let go. "Thanks, Codes."
Both of them sat in uncertain silence for a moment. Neither knew how to deal with this. It was different, and each twin hadn't known what it felt like to be in the other's place.
"Let's go to sleep. It's late."
Cody looked back up and noticed his brother sitting against the headboard, his head tilted to stare at him. Unconsciously brushing aside the suggestion, the younger Martin suddenly realized… This person before him was the one he had been so worried about, so afraid of losing. Like my life had been ripped apart when he seemed to be gone. As long as Zack was there, that Cody was able to feel him and touch him and not be alone… Cody Martin would be fine.
Cody moved closer to his brother. "Promise me, Zack."
Zack sounded confused. "Promise you what?"
Cody let out an impatient huff and then continued seriously. "Promise me you won't go around doing dangerous stuff, Zack. And that you're always reachable. Promise me you'll always be safe."
Surprise flitted through Zack's features. A touch of sadness took hold of his heart as he realized where his twin was going. Cody…
"Promise me, Zack." Pleading, urging him to lay his twin's fears to rest.
"I'm not going anywhere, Cody. I'm staying right here." Zack sighed. It's not worth it. Not for someone like me. But…
~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~
Bright red dots splattered the sidewalk. It dripped onto the ground, forming a pool of liquid warmth.
Screaming and shouts. It was all so hazy.
He felt an arm on his shoulder. It commanded his immediate attention and he turned, tearing his gaze away from the disaster that had played out before his eyes.
The moment he saw the man, the familiar wrinkles, the brilliant green eyes, the world seemed to fade away. Like it was no longer existent, and he and that man were the only ones left. The young teen could feel a chill run down his spine.
The man lifted his hand and pointed it straight at him, emotionless and cold. "You." The twinkle in his eyes had gone.
"Wilson." The younger caught himself and hurried to correct his mistake. "Sir."
"You," the man repeated. He moved his forefinger and gestured to the wreckage. Zack felt his eyebrows furrow but forced himself to turn back. To see the one image that he loathed to see but had seared itself into his darkest memories.
The car lay on its back, the front crushed completely beyond repair. Zack saw the broken lamp post and knew that the collision had been too hard an impact for the metal to withstand. His gaze trailed over the accident-scene, darting left and right, from the broken glass to the passers-by, from them to the…
His eyes widened. He could have sworn he stopped breathing then.
The frail body of a small girl was lying by the broken window of a shop. A dark crimson matted her beautiful curls as she lay completely motionless. Not a breath.
"It's your fault."
Zack saw the blonde hair. Recognized the brown dress.
The man appeared by his side, his eyes hard and drilling into the frozen teen's. He pointed at Zack again. "Your fault."
"Your fault for taking her."
"Your fault for walking away. For leaving us on the road."
Zack shakily shook his head, his eyes wide and staring. "No…"
"Your fault…for letting us die."
"No!" Zack sat up, breathing heavily. He looked around wildly, searching for that haunting gaze. Expecting himself to be watched. He jumped when he met a greenish-blue, rather than a brilliant green.
Zack stared into the worried eyes of his brother. Then collapsed back on his bed. He pulled his arms over his face and moaned.
He was never going to live this down.
"Zack? Are you okay?"
It's your fault.
Zack violently clawed at his hair.
"Stop it! Zack!"
The older Martin felt his arms forced back from his head. He met a frantic identical pair of eyes. "It's my fault," he said emptily.
It's my fault.
He was going to remember this. Forever.
~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~
"We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love." - Madame de Stael
~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~
Thank you for the reviews! I really appreciate it. :)
To frozen strawberries of horror: Here it is! I hope you like it! :) Thank you for the review!
To Slinky Flower the Lovatic: It's okay. :) Thank you for taking the time to review. I hope they'll be fine too. I feel so bad doing this to them but I love writing angst-y fics so… I hope you enjoyed this chapter!
To ilovesprouse: Thank you for your review! I just think the show, although comedy, lacks a bit of seriousness in it. How the twins feel towards each other – jealousy? Anger? Inferiority? Anyway, hope you aren't disappointed by this chapter!
To peanut butter: Thank you for reviewing! Well, Zack wasn't the one hit by the car. I feel bad for doing it to him though. Hope you liked the chapter!
To Especially for you: Thanks for your review! Sad, isn't it? The poor twins… Hope you liked this chapter!
To eeelllbbb: Thanks! I just have a thing for writing sad stuff, I guess. I'm glad you liked it. :) I hope you like this one too.
To dragons breath: Thanks for reviewing! Hope you like this chapter!
To serpent: Thank you! I hope this chapter wasn't disappointing!
To owlhero: Thank you so much for your reviews! :) They make me so happy. Well, I heeded your advice and didn't write the preview for the next chapter. I hope the preview prior to this chapter didn't ruin this one for you.
I know this chapter is pretty much about the interaction between the twins and is probably boring but I tend to focus more on their thoughts and feelings, rather than things really happening. Hope that isn't too disappointing for you. I never really liked how most writers rush through their stories (interaction-wise anyway). It leaves so much to the imagination.
Hope I kept the characters true to themselves. Do tell me what you think and if I've made a mistake anywhere. :) Hope you enjoyed the chapter!
To the-lovely-anomaly: Thank you for your reviews. I really appreciate your taking the time to write them. Not many writers deign to grace another with their perspectives. When you mention my overuse of adverbs, I realized that I had indeed used them too many times. Thank you for pointing that out. I never would have realized it had you not brought it up. (It shocked me a little when I really focused on each one that I had used. They seemed to glare at me for my abuse of adverbs) I tried to ease up on them here.
While you pointed out many noteworthy things, I do recognize that I cannot better my writing so much over a short span of time, but I will continue trying to follow your advice. I tried my best for this chapter while staying true to my own style of writing. I hope I didn't disappoint you. :)
Thanks again! Cheers.
To theharpgurl3: Thank you for reviewing! I hope what happened to Amanda didn't ruin the fic for you. Hope you like this chapter! :)
Well…if it isn't too much, could I get 12 reviews before I update next please? Feel free to offer constructive criticism. :)