Henry opened his bedroom window and put his index finger to his mouth to indicate for his coworkers to be quiet as they cautiously crept into his room. Charlotte was first, and she gracefully slid through the open window before sitting down on the edge of Henry’s bed with a tablet she had borrowed from the library in her hand. She was followed by Jasper, Schwoz, and finally Ray, whose ankle got caught on the windowsill, and he slipped and tumbled over with a loud thud. The entire crew shushed him, and he shot daggers at them as he scrambled to his feet.
“Be quiet! My parents are asleep!” Henry hissed. Ray straightened out his jacket again as he plopped down on the couch in between Schwoz and Jasper.
“Sorry,” he grumbled, “Why’d you call us all here at two a.m., anyway?”
“Because, since this Mystica person hacked into the Man Cave computer and the security system—” Henry began, standing in the middle of the room in order to face everyone.
“Which you promised me wouldn’t happen again,” Ray interjected, glaring at Schwoz. Schwoz just shrugged apologetically.
“I didn’t think it would!” he responded defensively.
“Well, if you had upgraded the security system like I asked you to,” Ray quipped.
“I did!” Schwoz shot back.
“Anyway!” Henry interrupted, silencing the two, “Since this Mystica is pretty much able to watch our every move now, I felt like this would be the safest place to meet. I called you all here because I think Charlotte has something. Charlotte?” Henry said, gesturing to his friend.
“I think I finally have a location. But, you guys aren’t going to believe it,” she said, looking between the others before turning her attention to the tablet in her hand. Ray and Henry crossed their arms over their chests, mirroring one another, while Jasper and Schwoz leaned in closer to Charlotte, all of them sporting curious expressions.
“What is it?” Jasper questioned.
“I was finally able to track the IP address of the hacker, this Mystica, that’s been hacking into systems all over town. But their location is a bit…odd,” she started, pressing a few buttons on the tablet. The boys shared a puzzled expression before turning their attention back to Charlotte.
“Well, where are they?” Ray interrogated. Charlotte met his gaze for a beat before she spoke.
“They’re on a luxury cruise liner. Some ship called the S.S. Tipton,” she stated as she turned the tablet towards them, which displayed an image of a cruise ship with the words “ S.S. Tipton ” written on the side of it in large, dark green lettering.
“You’re joking,” Jasper responded in disbelief. Charlotte shook her head.
“No. I checked and rechecked; that’s where the IP address is from. Told you you wouldn’t believe it.”
“So, where is this S.S. Tipton?” Ray inquired, gesturing wildly with his hand.
“Right now? In the middle of the ocean,” she answered, and the boys all let out a collective sigh of frustration. “But, they’re going to be docking in Bordertown in a couple of days. Although, I’m afraid it’s only for a few hours. They’re really only stopping to stock up on supplies before taking off on their main voyage once again.”
“Okay. So, we go to Bordertown and we find this Mystica. Problem solved,” Henry announced.
“And how exactly do you plan to do that? There’s over two thousand people on that ship at any given time, and they could be anyone,” Charlotte replied, skepticism etched on her face. Henry bit his lower lip in thought, feeling himself getting more frustrated by the minute.
“So, then what do we do?” Jasper asked after a moment.
“Well,” Charlotte began, turning the tablet back around, “there is one solution. There just so happens to be a high school on board, Seven Seas High, and as luck would have it, they still have some spots available.”
“I know you’re not suggesting we just drop everything and start attending school on some cruise ship,” he deadpanned.
“ What’s Swellview without Kid Danger? ” he thought to himself. Charlotte shrugged.
“It’s not like we have a lot of options here. This Mystica’s been causing chaos all over town, running both of you ragged,” she said, gesturing to Henry and Ray, who both admittedly looked more tired than usual. Henry was sure it had been a solid week since he had gotten more than a few hours of sleep.
Their newest foe, Mystica, had been wreaking havoc in Swellview all week. They set off alarms all over the city, but they were cunning. They made sure the false alarms were just random enough that Ray and Henry couldn’t ignore them, for the one time they did, it ended up being an actual emergency. They had also figured out how to hack into systems that were supposed to be nearly impenetrable such as the banks and government offices.
“There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to catch them within that few hours they’re docked in Bordertown, and after that, we’re screwed. They’re going to continue to ravage this town and they’ll be in the middle of the ocean so we’ll be powerless to stop them. Schwoz and I have done our best to stop their advances, but it hasn’t been easy. Whoever they are, they’re extremely tech-savvy. They always seem to be at least ten steps ahead of us.”
The group shared apprehensive glances.
“It’s not like I can just leave Swellview, though. I mean, Swellview needs Kid Danger,” Henry argued.
“ And I need Kid Danger, ” Henry thought. Ray scoffed as he stood up.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. In case you’ve forgotten, I was Captain Man long before you became Kid Danger, and I took care of this town just fine. I think I can manage a few months without you,” he declared, a cocky smile on his lips. Henry raised his eyebrows.
“Doubtful,” he murmured to himself. Ray’s smile immediately disappeared as he stared at his sidekick.
“Excuse me?” he retorted.
“I said ‘doubtful,’” Henry shot back, challenging Ray. Ray sneered as he stood up and started making his way towards Henry, but Henry wasn’t backing down.
“You know what?! You don’t even know what you’re talking about,” Ray initiated, pointing at Henry, and he and his sidekick starting getting in each others’ faces.
“No, you don’t know what you’re talking about!” Henry barked, and just like that he and Ray were bickering and talking over one another. The remaining trio shared an exasperated look before Charlotte reluctantly stood up to put herself between the two.
“Guys! GUYS!” Charlotte exclaimed as she put herself in between them, pushing them apart. Schwoz and Jasper both shushed them then, and the squad went silent for a moment as they listened for movement outside of Henry’s door, waiting to see if they had inadvertently woken one of his family members. Henry and Ray reluctantly kept quiet, but still shot dirty looks at one another. Once they were sure everything was clear and they hadn’t disturbed Piper or Henry’s parents, Henry spoke again.
“Either way,” he spat, glaring at Ray for a beat longer before he met Charlotte’s gaze, “I don’t know if I really want to leave for an entire semester. Besides that, how are we going to pay for it? Do you really think my parents are going to be able to send me on a luxury cruise for that long?” he countered.
“Well, we don’t exactly have to stay the entire semester. Whenever we catch the hacker we can just fly back at the next port. But, this way we’re giving ourselves plenty of time to find them and finally put a stop to this madness. As for payment, I was kind of hoping…” Charlotte trailed off as she looked at Ray expectantly. Ray caught her gaze and raised his eyebrows in disbelief.
“What? You want me to pay for it?” he asked in a high-pitched tone, pointing an index finger to his chest.
“Well, this could be technically be considered a work trip and you are our boss,” she pointed out, crossing her arms over her chest, giving him a look that told him he shouldn’t even try to argue with her. Ray frantically looked to his other coworkers, hoping one of them might be on his side, but they all just watched him expectantly. He let out a sigh of defeat.
“Fine,” he grumbled. Henry still wasn’t convinced.
“Jasp. You’ve been pretty quiet. What do you think about all this?” he questioned as he looked at his friend. Jasper met his gaze and shrugged.
“I don’t know, I mean. I think it sounds kind of fun,” he said softly as he grimaced a little, obviously hoping Henry wouldn’t be too upset that he disagreed with him in front of everyone. Henry just rolled his eyes, feeling annoyed.
“This sucks,” he muttered, tossing himself back onto his bed. Ray pursed his lips.
“You’re right, kid. Sailing around the world on a five-star cruise for free sure does sound like a total nightmare to me,” he deadpanned. Henry just shot him a look as he sat back up.
“I’ll only go on one condition; Piper has to go too. There’s no way my parents are going to let me go if Piper doesn’t go also. Do you know the kind of tantrum they’d have to deal with?”
The group shuddered at the thought before the three kids looked to their boss intently, waiting for his response.
“Whatever! Piper can go too,” he snapped after a moment, his voice dripping with disdain. He crossed his arms over his chest as he began to pout.
“I figured Ray would agree so I already took the liberty of sending in our applications and getting everything ready. Everything is pretty much set. We just need to figure out how to ask our parents,” Charlotte said as she shared an uncertain look with her two best friends.
Convincing Henry’s parents to allow him and his sister to just hop aboard a cruise ship and attend a new school away from them wasn’t exactly the easiest of tasks. Ray had offered to come over and talk to Mrs. Hart in person but Henry immediately refused. Instead, he pitched the idea to Piper first and she had practically jumped for joy, and with their combined power and given the fact that Ray had offered to pay their way, their parents had no choice but to say yes, even if they were a little skeptical and suspicious over Ray offering to pay for all four kids. But, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity after all.
Charlotte’s parents were a little easier to convince. They weren’t so sure at first, but Charlotte had lied and said that she had been awarded a spot on board because of her flawless academic record. They were sad to see their little girl leave them so soon, but they had always hoped that she would have the opportunity to travel the world someday.
Jasper’s parents were the easiest to convince. They didn’t care what he did, as long as they didn’t have to pay a dime.
Now, here it was just a couple of days later, and the squad along with Piper, and Henry and Charlotte’s parents, were standing on the dock in Bordertown, the S.S. Tipton towering behind them.
“Now, remember, even though it’s a cruise ship, you’re there to learn,” Henry’s mother, Siren, said sternly as she looked between her two children. Piper had her nose stuck in her phone and she dismissively waved her hand.
“Yeah, yeah,” she muttered without looking up.
“Watch over your sister, okay?” Siren said, looking intently at Henry. Henry nodded.
“Of course, Mom.”
Siren looked at her two children for a minute before she pulled them into a tight hug.
“Be safe. We love you,” she said as she let go.
“Will do, Mom. We gotta go, we need to check-in and everything,” Henry said, gesturing towards the ship.
“Do you want us to come with you? Help you get set up and everything?” Siren asked hopefully. Henry shot a look to his two friends.
“Don’t worry, Mom. We’ve got it. I love you,” he said, before picking up his luggage and starting towards the boat. Siren’s face fell a little.
“Alright,” she responded in a dejected tone, “Remember to have fun, too. And write us often! Send pictures! And call us the second you get cell service!” she yelled after them.
“Have fun, kids. We love you,” their father, Jake, said as he put his hands on his wife’s shoulders and started to pull her away.
“Thanks again for giving the kids this opportunity, Ray. We can’t thank you enough,” Siren said, turning her attention to Henry’s boss. Ray put on his best flirtatious smile.
“Anything for you, pretty lady,” he responded as he started to approach her, but Henry reached out and grabbed his arm to stop him.
“We’re going to get checked in now. Ray, I think you need to sign some stuff, can you come with us, please?” he said through gritted teeth. Ray rolled his eyes but followed Henry’s orders. Henry waved goodbye to his parents again, before he, Jasper, Piper, Ray, and Schwoz started up the ship’s ramp and onto the boat. Charlotte said her goodbyes to her parents and gave them a quick hug before she joined the rest of the group. Once they stepped on board, they followed a crowd of people into a lobby type area where a short, dark-skinned man in a dark navy blazer, shorts, and knee-high socks was welcoming guests with a warm smile. Once the group had reached the front of the line, the man smiled brightly at them.
“Welcome aboard!” he bellowed, “I’m the cruise ship manager, Mr. Moseby. Are you new students here?”
The kids nodded in unison.
“Wonderful, wonderful! You’re going to love it here,” he said.
“Doubtful,” Henry thought to himself.
“One of our school’s teachers, Ms. Tuttweiller, is handing out student handbooks and room assignments on our main deck, the Sky Deck. If you follow me, I can show you where to go,” Mr. Moseby said, and he led them down a narrow deck and out onto the Sky Deck. To the side there was a smoothie bar, and in the middle of the deck on a platform was a hot tub. Scattered around the deck were also various tables and chairs for guests to lounge in. In the middle of the deck sitting at a table was an attractive red-haired woman handing out large binders to a long line of students and parents. Mr. Moseby pointed towards the woman.
“That’s Ms. Tuttweiller over there, there is where you can get your room assignments and student handbooks, and she can answer any questions about the school you may have. Please, don’t hesitate to come find me if you need any more assistance,” he said, and with a polite smile and a wave goodbye, he was gone again.
“Hey, Pipes. Can you go get us a spot in line? I gotta just talk to my boss about something real quick,” Henry said. Piper looked up for a second before rolling her eyes.
“Whatever,” she replied, turning her attention back to her phone and starting towards the back of the line. The rest of the group stood off to the side a little, away from the crowd in order to talk as they formed a circle and leaned in.
“Okay. So, are we good on the plan? You guys track down the hacker and the second you locate them, you call me,” Ray whispered as he anxiously looked around him, making sure no one was listening to their conversation. Just then, all three of the kids' phones dinged at once, indicating a new text. They all pulled their phones out of their pockets and frowned when they read their respective messages.
Anchors away! Congratulations on finally figuring out my location. I can’t wait to get acquainted with you, Kid Danger. Let the games begin!
Henry felt his heart speed up as he stared at the message. The trio frantically looked around the deck, but almost everyone was looking at their devices. The text could’ve been from any one of them. The group shared tense looks.
It was killing Henry not knowing who this Mystica was or what they were planning.
“We’re good on the plan. Hopefully, we can find this hacker quick and be on a one-way trip home at the next port,” he declared as he continued to glance around him. Ray stuck his head above the others to look at the long line ahead of them.
“Let’s go find your bratty sister and get you guys checked in, then,” Ray said and they broke their formation. Henry was a few paces ahead of them as he led them towards the back of the line, scanning it for Piper.
“Heads up!” they heard someone yell nearby, and before Henry could even process what was happening there was an elbow colliding with his face, a searing pain shooting through his nose, a blonde boy around his age crashing into him while he tried to catch a football. A warm trickle of blood reached Henry’s lips as he stumbled to the side from the impact, slamming into someone. There was a loud crash, and a tray of smoothies spilled all over Henry, the cold liquid streaming down his face and the back of his shirt as he and the waiter he ran into fell back onto the deck, empty smoothie cups now scattered all around them. Henry slowly reached up to wipe the smoothie from his eyes, before looking up to meet the gaze of his assailant. The boy was wincing at him, an apologetic look in his baby blues.
“Henry, are you okay?!” Charlotte squeaked, concern dripping from her voice. She and Jasper helped him up while Ray and Schwoz helped the waiter. The kid that ran into Henry put his hands out in front of him as he clamored towards Henry, stopping just a few inches away from him. He stood just a couple of inches shorter than Henry.
“Dude. My bad,” he said as he swept his blonde hair from his eyes.
“Nice going, Zack.” Henry heard someone say beside him, and he looked over to see a boy with a towel in each of his hands standing beside him. He looked almost identical to the kid that ran into him, except for a few minor differing traits. He was taller, the same height as Henry was, and he was a tiny bit skinnier. His hairstyle was also just slightly different from the other boy’s. He handed Henry one of the towels.
“Please tell me there’s two of you and I’m not seeing double,” Henry joked, beginning to wipe away some of the smoothie, careful not to touch the spot on his face Zack’s elbow had collided with. The Boy with the Towels let out an airy laugh, causing Henry’s heart to pound. Henry smiled at him, noticing his electric blue eyes were sparkling in the afternoon sun. Henry’s gaze moved to the navy blue name tag pinned to his almost all-white uniform, the name “Cody” written out in tiny white lettering. Zack scrambled to his brother’s side, putting a hand on his shoulder as he smirked at Henry, causing Henry’s expression to turn sour again.
“Sure, there’s two of us, but I clearly got all the ‘hot’ genes,” Zack quipped. Cody shot daggers at him for a beat, while Henry scoffed.
He severely disagreed.
“You’ll have to excuse my twin brother,” Cody said, yanking himself out from under Zack’s grip as he took the other towel he was still holding, wrapping a corner around his index finger as he started wiping away the smoothie on Henry’s shoulder. Henry felt his heart pound even harder at his touch.
“I said ‘my bad’!” Zack responded defensively. Cody just shot his brother a look before turning his attention back to Henry.
“Dude, your nose is bleeding,” Jasper mentioned, concern dripping from his voice as his eyes scanned Henry, presumably looking for any more obvious injuries. Henry instinctively reached up and put a finger to his nose before looking down at his now crimson-stained finger.
“You better get to the infirmary,” Cody stated, moving his hand away and Henry immediately met his gaze, suddenly feeling disappointed.
“Well, do you think you could show me where it is? I’m new here so I’m not entirely familiar with the layout of the ship yet,” he said, a dreamy tone to his voice. Henry could see his two friends share a sly smile out of the corner of his eye, and he was sure they’d be teasing him about this later. Cody grimaced slightly.
“Well, I’m kind of in the middle of my shift right now. But, Zack can show you,” he offered, gesturing towards his brother. Henry’s heart sank, his face faltering as he shot an irritated look at Zack, but Zack seemed oblivious to his disdain as he gave him a lopsided smile.
“Are you a new student here? Have you gotten your room assignment and stuff yet? If not, I could get that for you while you go get checked out,” Cody proposed with a smile, and Henry was sure his heart was going to beat right out his chest. He fumbled over himself to respond.
“Uhh…yeah. I am,” he replied. Charlotte and Jasper stepped forward then.
“We can get his stuff for him. We’re his friends. I’m Charlotte and this is Jasper,” Charlotte said as she gestured towards herself and Jasper, “And this is Henry,” she finished, pointing to Henry.
“Right, Henry! That’s me,” Henry declared, squeezing his eyes shut for a second, feeling stupid over the fact that he hadn’t thought to mention it. When he met Cody’s gaze again, he was smiling at him.
“My apologies for not introducing myself sooner. I’m Cody,” he said, pointing to his name tag, “And I’m sure you’ve probably gathered that this is my brother, Zack.”
Zack smiled as he gave a small wave to the group before his eyes landed on Henry once more.
“Great, well your friends here can get you all checked in while Zack takes you to the infirmary,” Cody affirmed, tossing the two now dirty towels into a dirty pile on the deck. Jasper and Charlotte nodded in response. “Maybe I’ll see you in class or something,” Cody said, giving Henry another smile before he started back towards his work station. “Oh, and Henry. I really hope you’re okay,” he added sincerely. A blissful smile spread across Henry’s lips, his skin suddenly feeling warm as Zack gestured for him to follow him as he started to lead Henry across the deck. He stopped at the smoothie bar to grab a couple of napkins for Henry to use to try to contain the bleeding before leading him down to the lower deck towards the infirmary.
Once the euphoria of being around Zack’s insanely cute brother wore off, Henry felt sticky from the smoothies, his nose was throbbing with pain, and he felt annoyed that he had to spend more time with the person that had caused all this instead of his new crush.
Just his luck.
Once they reached the lower deck, Zack continued to lead Henry down a long hallway, walking a few paces ahead of him, his hands jammed in his jeans pockets. He would turn back occasionally to make sure that Henry was still close behind.
“Sorry again about all this,” he said, his tone sounding genuine.
“Uh-huh,” Henry muttered, still clearly exasperated. He could tell that Zack meant it, but his splitting headache was preventing him from feeling very receptive to apologies at the moment.
Once they reached the end of the hallway, they stopped in front of a door that had a circular orange sign that read “Infirmary” in navy blue lettering. Zack opened the door and stepped inside before holding the door open for Henry. Henry stepped through, his head bent back slightly in an attempt to stop the bleeding, as Zack shut the door behind them. A blonde woman in a pink nurse’s uniform was sitting at a desk covered in various papers. She looked up at the pair and sighed when her gaze landed on the two napkins shoved into Henry’s nostrils.
“What happened?” she asked in an aggravated tone. Zack winced a little.
“He had a tiny run-in with my elbow and a tray full of smoothies,” he answered sheepishly. The nurse stood up as she rolled her eyes.
“Of course this was your fault,” she commented, shooting a dirty look at Zack. She grabbed a clipboard and a couple of papers off of her desk and she handed them to Henry along with a pen.
“Fill these out and follow me,” she said as she led Henry and Zack into an exceptionally small exam room. The walls were lined with white cabinets and various medical posters. Underneath the cabinets on the left-hand side was a sink and counter containing assorted medical equipment and glass beakers filled with cotton balls and tongue depressors.
“The doctor will be in soon,” she announced before leaving the room and shutting the door behind her. Henry sat down on the exam table and started filling out the paperwork while Zack explored the room. Once Henry was finished, he put the clipboard down beside him and put his head back again, silently hoping the bleeding had finally stopped. Zack grabbed the clipboard from him.
“Want me to take this out to the nurse?” he inquired as he absentmindedly scanned Henry’s answers.
“Go for it,” Henry deadpanned, as he put his hand on his nose, praying that the pain would start subsiding soon. Zack continued to look at the paper as he made his way over to the door. He grabbed the door handle and paused.
“Wait. Swellview. That’s an interesting name for a town,” he said, before continuing out the door. Henry reveled in the few seconds of peace before Zack joined him once more, sans clipboard. He slumped into the chair sitting perpendicular to the exam table, his elbows resting on his knees as he blew air out of his cheeks.
Twenty minutes passed, the pair still waiting for the doctor to come and examine Henry. Zack checked the time on his watch before sitting up straight again. He let out a deep sigh and started bouncing his left leg anxiously.
“Am I keeping you from something?” Henry interrogated, his tone biting as he watched Zack check his watch for the fifth time in two minutes. Zack seemed unfazed by Henry’s harsh tone.
“Huh?” he responded looking up at him, snapping out of his train of thought, “Oh, no. It’s nothing.”
“You can go. I don’t need you to stay here with me,” Henry retorted, as he put his head down and pulled the bloody tissues out of his nose, tossing them into the trash can next to him. Zack stood up and jammed his hands into his front jeans pockets.
“Well, this is kind of my fault. The least I can do is stick around for the diagnosis,” he responded, beginning to pace. Henry watched him irritably. He wasn’t sure what he found more annoying; the pacing or the fact that he insisted on staying.
“It doesn’t seem like nothing,” Henry declared, watching Zack glance at his watch yet again. Zack let out a sigh.
“Sorry, it’s just. My shift at the smoothie bar started ten minutes ago. But, it’ll be fine,” he replied. Henry’s demeanor softened ever so slightly.
“Won’t you get in trouble with your boss, though?” he questioned, hoping for a moment that that might be enough to get him to reconsider staying. Zack shrugged.
“I’ve been getting in trouble with my boss since I was twelve. He’ll get over it.”
Henry furrowed his eyebrows as he looked at the other boy.
“You’ve been working here since you were twelve?” he questioned in disbelief. The corners of Zack’s mouth quirked up.
“No. My boss, the guy that manages the hotel side of the cruise, Mr. Moseby; guy in shorts and knee-high socks you might’ve seen in the lobby when you came on board?”
Henry nodded in response.
“We’ve met,” he replied as he waited for Zack to continue.
“He used to be the manager at the Boston Tipton where I used to live. My brother and were known for causing all kinds of chaos,” he explained. Henry raised his eyebrows in surprise.
“You lived in a hotel?!”
“Yeah. My mom sings in the lounge so one of the perks was getting to live in a suite.”
A small smile spread across Henry’s lips.
“That sounds…well, sweet. No pun intended.”
Zack’s smile widened.
“It could be.” Just then, Zack focused in on something on Henry’s face.
“What?” Henry snapped, hating Zack’s sudden scrutinizing gaze.
“You’ve got a little blood still,” he said, and Henry instinctively reached up, feeling what felt like bits of dried blood on the outside of his nostrils. Zack made his way over to the counter with the sink where he grabbed a paper towel and wet the end a little. He rung out the excess water before he faced Henry again.
“May I?” he inquired, gesturing with the paper towel in his hand. Henry looked at him hesitantly before reluctantly nodding. Zack went to stand on the left side of the exam table and he leaned in close to Henry in order to get a better look. Henry’s nose was still throbbing, so he instinctively moved back and reached for Zack’s hand when Zack started towards him. Zack stopped just a few centimeters short of Henry’s face as Henry gripped onto his wrist, still reflexively trying to push him away.
“Are you gonna let me do it?” Zack asked, a playful smirk on his face. Henry looked at him, an uncertain expression on his face.
“Be careful, it still really hurts,” he replied, reluctantly letting go of Zack’s wrist. Zack gently placed the wet end of the paper towel on Henry’s nose and Henry hissed from the pain that shot through him on contact. He moved back and grabbed Zack’s wrist again, trying to push him away, but Zack wasn’t having it as he continued to try to wipe the blood off.
“Ow. Ow!” Henry exclaimed as he shot daggers at Zack. “It really hurts, dude!”
Zack took the paper towel off again but still held it close to Henry’s face.
“Do you want to do it then?” he responded, holding the cloth out to Henry. Henry relaxed a little.
“No, there’s no mirror in here, I can’t even see it. Just, be more gentle! It really hurts!” he declared.
“I will,” Zack promised. Henry allowed him to continue but he still clutched onto his wrist as Zack placed the paper towel on his nose a little more tenderly this time. Henry winced at the pain but allowed him to proceed.
“There. All clean,” Zack said, lowering his arm a little. “So, where is this Swellview?” he inquired, folding the towel still in his hand.
“It’s-” Henry started, but before he could finish, the door swung open and a pretty black-haired woman in a white lab coat stepped into the room.
“Henry Hart?” she asked as she glanced over her dark moon-rimmed glasses at the name on the metal clipboard in her hand.
“Yeah,” Henry responded. She smiled as she looked up at him.
“Hi, I’m Dr.-” she started, but she stopped when she caught sight of the scene in front of her. Both boys realized then that Zack was still leaning in close to Henry and Henry was still holding onto Zack’s wrist. He quickly let go and Zack’s hand hit the exam table with a thwap . Zack tossed the folded up, dirty paper towel into the wastebasket next to him before stepping back to allow the doctor to exam Henry.
“Zack. Why am I not surprised you’re involved in this?” the doctor said as she shot him a look. Zack just shrugged sheepishly. “I’m Dr. Davis. Let’s take a look shall we?”
She made her way over to Henry, a polite smile spreading across her cherry red lips. Her black kitten heels made a clicking sound on the tile floor. She reached up and lightly touched Henry’s nose as she examined him. Henry winced once again at the pain.
“What’s the verdict, Doc? Is he gonna live?” Zack asked playfully. Henry rolled his eyes while Dr. Davis smiled.
“I think he’s going to make it. Luckily, you didn’t break anything; your nose is just bruised. Just put an ice pack on it, ten minutes on, ten minutes off, and take over-the-counter pain meds periodically for the pain. It should stop hurting within the next day or two. If it doesn’t, come back and see me, okay?” the doctor explained, and Henry nodded in response.
“Okay. You’re free to go. Try to be a little more careful next time,” she proclaimed, talking more to Zack than to Henry as she started back towards the door. She waved a small goodbye to both boys before disappearing out into the hallway.
“Will do!” Zack called after her before turning his attention back to Henry.
“Do you think you can find your way back to the Sky Deck? I’m super late for my shift now, and I still need to stop by my cabin and change into my uniform,” he said, pointing his finger towards the open doorway.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. Go ahead,” Henry responded as he hopped off the table, waving his hand dismissively. Zack let out a sigh of relief, making a beeline for the door.
“Thanks, dude! Maybe I’ll catch you later,” he announced, vanishing before Henry could even respond. A second later he stuck his head back in. “Oh, and Swellview? I’m really glad you’re okay,” he added with a smile, his eyes gleaming before he sped off again. Henry paused, feeling a smile tugging at his lips in spite of himself as he started towards the door.