Asleep by flYegurl

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Family, Romance
Published:2010-02-05 18:42:50
Updated:2010-03-24 19:20:36
Packaged:2021-04-22 01:24:59
Summary:When Iggy is kidnapped, the flock sets off to save him... but Iggy doesn't need saving. Or does he? He has his sight back, and has fallen in love, but is that all fake? What is reality, when time has been totally altered? First in the 'Dreaming' series.

Table of Contents

1. Flying
2. Realizing
3. Dreaming
4. Fearing
5. Getting
6. Searching
7. Escaping
8. Flying again
9. Loving
10. Blinding
11. Kissing
12. Discovering
13. Rescuing
14. Crying
15. Ending

1. Flying

Yo people. flYegurl here! This is my first fanfic, so it might not be perfect. I love love love love love Iggy, and I already had the plot for this fic all set up! Iggy really need his own story. So… yeah. Bear with me and please read on. And enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Maximum Ride. If I did own Maximum Ride, Angel would be a lot better. And Iggy would be the hero and main character, not Max. And Fang would be dead.

Sorry, Fanggirls. Fang is so not cool. And totally overrated.

Iggy rocks.

Iggy POV~

I'm just sitting there, listening to the silence, while everyone else is in the good ol' living room, watching a stupid movie. I hate movies, although I'll never admit it. The rest of the Flock loves movies. And they think that I'm okay with it. They think it's alright for me, just listening to random sounds and voices and having them describe stuff. Of course, they leave out almost everything, and completely stop describing during the climaxes. So I'm left hanging, telling them to tell me what's going on… and they get mad. And shout at me for drowning out the action with my voice. And they rewind it to watch it over again… and again forget to tell me anything. So of course I've learned that it's easier to just not stay for the movie and go off by myself.

It's not fun, sitting alone in my bedroom while I hear my family and Ella and Dr. Martinez shouting and laughing and exclaiming over everyone-but-me-knows-what. I lean my forehead against the cool glass of the window pane, drinking in the blessed feeling. It clears my head enough to think.

But instead of actually thinking, I get mad. I get angry at all of them for leaving me alone while they have fun. Do they think I like being blind? Do they think I like being left, literally, in the dark?

The movie must be over, because I can hear everyone standing and stretching and chattering about how they liked it. I sigh as I hear them talking down the hall, feel their vibrations coming closer. Nudge opens the door.

"Oh, Iggy! You should have totally watched it! You would have loved it! There was this one part, where the guy, he pulled out his gun and did like a triple back flip and shot the other guy in the head! It was awesome! Wish you had seen it!"

Wow. How insensitive can you get? I mean, I'm blind. But they forget sometimes, and say stuff that could hurt… you know, not like it ever does.

Who am I kidding? It hurts like Hell.

And I really would have loved to watch that movie. Not because I thought the movie could have been good…

I'd just really love to watch anything.

Nudge walks off with Gazzy and Angel and the rest, back down the hall into the kitchen. Oh yeah. Dinner.

I stand heavily and begin walking to the door. I'm not used to this stupid house yet, so I run my hand across the wall as I walk. The wall is plaster, and feels bad against my fingernails---like scraping them across a chalkboard. I almost trip over a lump in the rug, but I catch myself just in time on the doorknob. I push open the door and slouch down the hallway, weary of the noise in the kitchen as the Flock chats up about the stupid film to Ella and Dr. Martinez. I hear laughing and joking, and I can smell something awful that reminds me suspiciously of Gazzy. I also smell Dr. Martinez's fine, Mexican cooking.

That's another thing I hate about this place. The fact that now, one of my only skills the Flock ever valued, my cooking, is moot. I mean, who wants the cooking of a blind mutant bird freak when you can eat fajitas made by a full grown, regular woman? One who's spent her whole life perfecting the nacho? I mean, who's gonna let that up in exchange for something made by Yours Truly?

I guess I'm the only one.

God, I miss cooking. I miss that feeling I had, knowing that the rest of my family was waiting eagerly for the one of the only things I could provide. I mean, hey, you got the endless entertainment from Nudge, shenanigans from Gazzy, all the cutesy stuff from Angel, leadership from Max. And all those brave heroics performed by Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome, aka Fang. Then there's me, blind pyro that I am, and the only thing I do is cook, make bombs, and pick locks. And, lately, I haven't even had to do the last two. Gazzy's almost as good as I am at that. Or, hey, the first one. Thanks to the lovely-and-apparently-fabulous cook, Dr. Martinez.

It makes me feel so worthless.

I turn and walk the other way down the hallway, kicking at the carpet.

"And wasn't it so cool, when the captain, when he threw the bad guy out the window?" Gazzy shouts eagerly, a mouthful of something causing his voice to sound muffled.

"Yeah, and when the ship blew up and there were all those explosions!"

I sigh. Yet another thing I'd never be able to see. How much I'd give to see just one of my own explosions.

I open the back door silently and walk twenty steps into the back yard, to where I know there is a good, clear space for me to take off. I spread my wings, which incidentally I just recently discovered are a wicked awesome color (my whole "Yay! Now I can feel colors!" power), and sprint a few yards before jumping into the cool night air. I lift my powerful wings up and down, catching the gusts of wind, using updrafts skillfully to send me rocketing into the sky with barely any effort. I close my eyes, not that it makes a difference, and feel the world around me. The wind caresses my skin, silky smooth, rippling over my feathers. I dip into a dive, barreling towards earth, before lifting up just as I hear the rustling of leaves mere inches below me. The night breeze is cool and comforting. Out here, I feel alive. Out here, I feel free. Out here, I feel powerful. And it's not the feeling of power that I miss when I'm cooking, the feeling that I control their dinner, and if they make me mad… But no, it's a feeling that completely takes away any thought from my mind… about my blindness being a handicap… any thoughts that the Flock doesn't need me… any doubts of my worth. It clears my mind, my soul. I've been going on these flights often, lately. I've been having the need to feel… needed.

I sigh contentedly. I'm much better now. I think I can go back and join the Flock again, maybe even stand to listen to their chatterings about the movie. I feel happy again.

Of course, when any one of us is happy, it's almost as if it sends out a tracking signal. For the Erasers. Because the Erasers don't like us being happy.

I hear the flapping of struggling wings behind me. I swerve. On that side too. More uneven, lopsided wing-beats. On all sides.

"Hey, Freak. Good to see you again."



So how did you like it? It's my first fic, as I've said, so it might not be that good. Review! Review! Review! Every person who reviews will get a special little section of my heart…

Any suggestions would be appreciated! I love suggestions! But no flames, please. Anyway, I have a fire-hose on hand… just in case.


2. Realizing

Okay. So here's the second chapter. I've got another chapter written, so I'll post it right away! So…

Disclaimer: I do not own Maximum Ride. I can not own Maximum Ride. I must not own Maximum Ride.

Iggy POV~

"Darn, you sure turn up in the suckiest places at the suckiest times," I sigh. I hear Ari growl.

"You've got a big mouth, Freak."

I ignore him. I'm planning how to escape. I can hear about fifteen sets of wings, flapping awkwardly. I can't take on fifteen Erasers by myself. But Angel, the only one who seems to know about my night flights, might have noticed that I've been out longer than usual. If I can hold them off until the Flock comes to my rescue, we can win. I'll be able to hold them off… I know I can.

I clench my left hand into a ready fist and use my right hand to grasp the small explosive in my pocket. Then…


Almost twenty guns have just shut off their safety switches and are cocked, aimed, I assume, at me.

I can't dodge twenty bullets.

I sigh and raise my hands cautiously in surrender, leaving the bomb in my pocket. I can almost hear Ari smirk.

"That's a good little Freak," he coaxes. "Hold him."

The arms of two Erasers close around me, and I can feel a needle breaking through the skin on my upper arm. Tranquilizer. I manage to kick Ari in his face before blacking out. I can feel his nose break against the rubber sole of my shoe. I hear blood running down his face and into his mouth as he shrieks in anger.

I smile, then all sound fades away and I can feel myself starting to fall…

Max POV~

We are all happily munching on my mom's delicious cooking. Not as good as Iggy's, of course, but I think my favorite blind pyro deserves a break.

I sigh contentedly as I lift a dripping burrito from the central plate.

"Remember when you dropped one of those on the floor, and it got really messy all over the linoleum? And Iggy slipped in the beans and chicken and cheese and stuff and fell flat on his back? And sprained his wing, and it was all twisted and sort of swollen? And he couldn't fly for about a day and he was really annoyed and didn't stop brooding for a really long time? And you kept apologizing, and apologizing, but he was really mad and blew up your dresser and destroyed all of your clothes and most of the wall behind it?" Nudge asks.

Of course, an ordinary person would simply have said "Remember when Iggy slipped in a burrito and was so pissed he exploded your dresser?" But then, Nudge was always the talkative one.

"By the way, where is Iggy?" she continued through a mouthful of shredded cheese.

I glance around. Nudge is right; Iggy's gone.

"He's on his night flight," Angel answers sweetly, holding a cup of lemonade to her mouth with both hands.

"Night flight?"

Angel huffs. "You guys haven't been paying attention to him."

"Sure we have," Fang shrugs.

"No, you haven't."

"Yeah, we have."

"If you had, you'd have notice by now that he hasn't eaten dinner with us for four days."

"Yeah, he has…" I start. But when I look back, I can't remember him eating with us for the past days.

Angel grins. "See?"

I shrug. "So why hasn't he been eating with us? It can't be because he's not hungry." All of us need tons of calories, way more than any normal person. Because we're not normal, though you may have picked up on that already. We were created in this Hellhole called the School, where scientists grafted Avian DNA into our own. So we are 98% human, and 2% bird. Basically, this gives us lighter, thinner bones, air sacs, better hearts and lungs, raptor-vision, and, well, wings. So we can fly.

We also have other special gifts that are all unique. Like, Gazzy's mimicry and… well, I wouldn't really consider his funky digestive system a power, but it's sure helped out in sticky situations. Then there's Fang's ability to almost disappear when standing still, and my turbo-speed. And the way Nudge can draw metal to her and hack into any computer. Iggy can feel colors and see whiteness; not a super big deal for any of us, but a really big deal for him.

Angel, our youngest, has hit the virtual DNA jackpot. She can read and control minds, breathe underwater, and speak to fish. Actually, Fang and I had just recently developed gills of our own, and we are expecting the others' to come along real soon. And we keep developing new powers, as if the scientists had programmed them to appear at any random time.

"So, why hasn't he been eating with us, Angel?" Nudge repeats my question.

"Because you're all ignoring him."

"We are not!" Gazzy says defiantly. I almost agree with him, but realize that not realizing that someone hasn't been eating dinner with you for four nights could be used as a definition of ignoring.

"So, what have we been doing… you know, that's ignoring him?" Fang asks. Pretty long sentence. I'm surprised.

"Well, have you noticed that whenever it's time to do a 'family' activity, you always watch a movie? Like today."

"Yeah, so, why is that ignoring Iggy?" Nudge asks.

"Well," Angel snaps irritably, "If you guys haven't noticed, Iggy's blind, so it's not exactly the funnest thing for him to do."

There's silence for a moment until my half-sister Ella pipes up. "But he said he didn't mind."

"Well, yeah, he'd say that," Gazzy mutters quietly.

"Gazzy's right," Angel agrees. "Iggy doesn't like drawing attention to the fact that he's blind. But in his mind, whenever you watch a movie, he's only thinking sad and angry thoughts."

More silence.

Then, suddenly Angel's eyes open wide. "Iggy!" she cries, leaping up off of her seat.

"What is it?" I ask hurriedly.

"It's Ari and the Erasers! They've taken Iggy!"

Iggy POV~

When I wake up I'm strapped to a metal table, my wrists, ankles, and chest strapped tight, making me unable to move. I turn my head, trying, of course unsuccessfully, to view my surroundings. I can hear nothing in the room apart from my own frantic heartbeat, so I must be alone. The metal of the table is cold and uncomfortable against my wings.

Suddenly, I hear someone opening a door. Three people walk in, talking about who-knows-what.

"Do you think the experiment was successful?"

"I believe so. The readings were positive. The subject should have…"

"It's awake."

The three scientists step up to my table, their heels clicking against the floor. Click click click. One of them reaches out and puts a hand to my wrist. I shudder involuntarily. The scientist laughs.

"Ready? Presume."

The scientist has now put his fingers to the side of my head, tugging at something which covers my strawberry-blond hair. The thing begins to unwrap, and I flinch as the man's fingers brush my ears, my cheeks, my nose.

"The operation seems to have been successful. Subject has regained."

Regained what?

"Subject testing will begin momentarily… three… two… one…"

Suddenly, a jolt of electricity rips through every fiber of my being. My nerves are screaming with indignation, and my closed eyes snap open. I stare at the scientists, which are looking down at me with distinctly evil sneers on their horrible faces.

Wait a second. Rewind.

I… stared..?

I… can see..?!

So there it is. Yay! Cliffy! I think I'm going to make it my trademark… So, review! I'll take comments, compliments, ideas, suggestions, even criticism. And I've still got plenty of little parts of my heart… enough to go around…

Unless that's like, too creepy. Then you're a party pooper. So there.

Review! Review! Review!

3. Dreaming

Chapter numero tres. Hope you like it… introduction to a new character and all that! Anyway, hope you like it… wait, I already said that.

I was thinking about stuff last night, and I randomly had an extremely great idea for this story! So it will be coming in later… and it will be CRUEL! Mwah hahahahahaha!

Disclaimer: I … sniff sniff … do not own … sob … Maximum Ride


Angel leads me and the rest of the Flock---minus Iggy---to the place where she heard Iggy's mind screaming for help. It is a space in midair over the forest, about three miles from my mom's house. There is a field below. We land and look around us at the crushed grasses, noticing signs that Erasers have, indeed, been here.

"Where did they take him?" Gazzy whispers, gazing around. There are no signs of a struggle, so they must have ever caught Iggy unawares---highly unlikely, regarding Iggy's amazing hearing---or Iggy had gone without a fight.

Which was also highly unlikely.

"There's only one place they could have taken him," Fang says in his monotone.

"Yeah," I agree softly.

"The School."

I can't believe I let one of my Flock get taken to that place again. After all that had happened, after swearing that none of us would ever have to go back to that place… Iggy was there again. After all they did to him, and he has to be the one.

Not that I'd wish this on any of the Flock. But why did it have to be him?

I can still remember the day they took Iggy's eyesight. Like always, the Whitecoats came in to take another one of us for experimentation. That time, it had been Iggy. They opened his cage and dragged the pitiful five-year-old out, then carried him away. It had been an hour before we heard him again, but it wasn't because they'd taken him back. No.

We could hear the screams.

After twenty minutes, Iggy's screaming stopped. But it was still several hours before they brought him back, his eyes wrapped in bandages, tear-tracks down his cheeks. He hadn't talked for days, so we didn't know what was wrong. Until they came to take the bandages off and we saw his pale, distant eyes.

They'd ruined his life that day. And now they'd taken him back?

I'd always thought Iggy would be the safe one. That they would never want him back, because he was "damaged." I'd thought Iggy would live safely, without trouble, without fear or pain. So why had it been him they'd got? Not Fang or me or even Angel? Because if they'd had wanted anyone else, they could have easily… we were so unprepared, eating dinner in the kitchen. And they didn't need to use Iggy as bait, if they'd had enough Erasers they could have gotten us all easily.

So they had taken Iggy for a reason. They'd wanted him.

"So what're we gonna do now? We can't just leave him there," Nudge chattered nervously.

"We're going to save him."

Iggy POV

I gazed around me at my cage. Inside the cage. Outside the cage. There were so many things to see.

Normally, it would have taken about a day or two to judge my surroundings. I'd have felt around my cage, tapped on the sides to see if there was anything touching it from the outside. I'd have listened to footsteps, voices, and echoes of my own voice to perceive the objects in the room, where they were, what they were, how they were positioned.

But with my eyes back, it took less than a minute.

This room was almost empty except for five things. Two were cages, one on either side of me, empty. Another of the things was a desk with a whirring computer atop it and rolling-chair sitting idly in front. The last was a cold grey filing cabinet.

Occasionally---about seven times now--- a Whitecoat had come in to check on me. Apparently the computer was judging my heart rate, my breathing rate, my mind frequency patterns. The way my body worked.

So far, I could see perfectly. Utterly, completely, and wholly. I could see like I'd always wanted, always wished.

And I was loving every moment.

The things I wanted to see most of all at the moment were the Flock. How had Max and Fang changed? How different would they look? Would I be able to recognize them? Would they look like they had nine years ago? And then there was Nudge. I knew she would look totally different; she was only a baby last I saw her. And Gazzy and Angel… I'd never even seen them. What would my Gasman look like? Would they all be as excited as I was, to find out I could see? Would they be happy for me?

What did happiness look like? I can't remember. You smiled, I knew. But what did their smiles look like? I wonder if it lit up their faces, like they say in the books Max sometimes reads me. And her face lit up with a broad grin. That kind of thing.

I hear---and see!---the door open. Two Whitecoats walk in. They lift my cage onto a wheeled cart, and begin to roll out the door.

I've never seen anything like this before. I recognize the feeling, but I've never imagined what rolling looks like. How the wheels turn so fast, you can barely make out any markings or scratches, just solid wheels. How the floor flies past. I imagine this is how it looks when you fly.

When I fly.

Suddenly, I can't wait to fly. I can't wait to see the landscape of the outside, can't wait to watch it fall away as I soar into the air, watch it rush past as I flap my wings strongly. I can't wait to watch.

It's weird. I forget I'm in the School, not a convalescent home. There is no time for being happy here.

The Whitecoats roll me through the hallways until stopping in front of a metal door. One of them punches four numbers onto the pad---1473, I store in my brain for later---and the pad lights up as the door slides open. They place my cage on the floor of the room inside, then open the door and slide me out. As I fall, I watch them lift the cage hurriedly back onto the rolling cart and back out. The door slides shut.

Geez. Can't I get any breaks? I've just got my sight back, and the room has to be pitch black. Great.

But then, lights flash on and I block my eyes from the brightness. This light is brighter than any I'm used to, especially since I've been "in the dark" for nine years. It almost hurts.

When I uncover my eyes, I glance around the room, drinking in the surroundings.

It's empty except for one thing.

It's---she's---a bird kid, like me.

She stares at my with wide, grey eyes. She wears the same basic ensemble as me, the wonderful---note my sarcasm---uniform presented by the School. Basically, it's a pillowcase with slits cuts for arm-holes, and more pillowcase-y pants. Her hair is a sort of blond, with streaks of darker colors… red, and some brown and even black. I wonder… maybe, if she's changed more than I'd thought..?

"Max?" I ask. The girl stares at me.

"Who's Max?" she asks.

Oh. Guess not.

"Um… never mind. What's your name?"

"Meagan," she states, gazing into my eyes. I gaze back. I gaze back!

I still can't get enough of the whole 'vision' thing.

"I'm… Iggy," I tell her. The scientists will already know this, and I see no harm in revealing my name to another mutant.

The girl nods. Her wings are spread slightly, half cocked as if she's ready to fly away. They're a nice black. But the black shimmers a deep indigo when she moves them, and tips of this indigo, as well as white, dot her outermost feathers. They're beautiful.

I glance back at my wings. They're better than I'd previously thought; a nice, creamy white at the base, though spreading outward feathers of a reddish color begin to fleck them, until at the ends there is no sight of the previous white, only the nice red which matches my hair. Over the areas in the middle, it looks as though someone had spilled droplets of shimmery gold paint, so that when I shift my wings the feathers gleam gold. The girl's eyes widen as she notices my wings, and she smiles.

"I've never seen another Avian before," she says.


"Yeah. They've only put in some of the weird ones with me. Like the lizard-crosses, the fish-crosses, the other kinds. They all die soon." Her eyes look sad. "But they say the Avians don't die. I won't have to watch you die."

I don't know what to say to that.

"So what are we doing in here?" I ask.

"You don't know?" she asks quizzically. I shake my head.

"I've been out of the school for about six years," I explain. "We… I escaped when I was about eight."

"Oh," Meagan nods. "Well, they like putting in pairs of their mutants, to see how different ones react to the others' presence. I've been in here… maybe five times before. I guess they want to try it with the same species," she shrugs.

I walk over and sit next to her. I gaze at her face, her hands, the curve of her neck, her hips, her slender legs…

"Why are you staring at me?"

I shake my head, awakening from my reverie. I open my mouth to tell her that I haven't actually seen people, not including Whitecoats, in nine years, but I swallow my words. For some reason, I do not want her to know that I used to be blind.

"I'm sorry. I was… staring into space," I tell her.

After maybe four hours, food appears in the center of the room out of nowhere. Just suddenly, there it is, two trays of dinner.

For us flying mutant bird kids, two-thousand calories a day is, like, torture. We need at least three-thousand to sate our hunger. So, having had nothing to eat previously, this small meal of hard bread, a glass of water, and a bowl of thin pea soup is hardly satisfying.

But Meagan picks up her tray and wolfs it down hungrily.

"Is this all we get?"

"Once a day, every day," she nods. I groan.


"It's just," I start through a mouthful of the soup, "that I'm used to about seven meals a day, consisting of hamburgers, milkshakes, ribs, French fries, sodas, candy, popcorn…"

"What're those?" Meagan interrupts.


"What are hamboogers, and milksakes, and ribs, and French fries, and…"

"Hamburgers. And milkshakes. You don't know?"

Meagan looks down at her hands. "I've never been outside the School before," she says quietly. "This," she gestures, "is all I'm used to getting."

I look at the tiny portion. This is all she's had, every day, for her whole life?

"So you must have not been here long," she continues. "If you don't know about the food arrangements yet. When did they get you? How long have you been on the Outside?"

I hesitate, wondering if it will be giving the scientists information. But no, they know all this already.

So I tell Meagan everything. About the Flock (though not where they are at the moment), about escaping the School when we were little kids, helped by a man called Jeb, about all our adventures, and about getting caught again and taken here. I tell her everything.

Except about my eyes. For some reason, I can't tell her that I used to be blind.

Later, the door slides open and some Whitecoats come in. I expect they're for me, but they pull Meagan into a cage and begin walking out.

"What're you doing?" I ask nervously, watching Meagan from behind her bars.

"They do experiments on one of us each day," she tells me hurriedly. "It doesn't matter. Don't talk, they'll…"

But too late. One of the scientists hits my face, and I fall backwards to the ground, my nose bleeding, a tooth loose.

"Don't speak unless spoken to," he growls. "Don't come near us unless called."

Then they roll the cart away.

While they're gone, I work my busted tooth out and spit it into my hand. I feel sick. Blood. My own blood. I haven't seen blood in so long.

Hours. I think it must be early morning when they bring her back. I've fallen asleep, my head against the white wall, when the sound of the door sliding open jolts me awake. I jump up as they roll Meagan back in, dropping her cage to the floor and opening the door. They shove her out and walk away, the door shutting.

I hurry to Meagan and help her up.

"Are you okay? They didn't do anything bad, did they? What did they…"

I stop, speechless.

Because wrapped around her head is gauze.

Bandages, covering her eyes.

"No!" I gasp, horrified.

So it ended up pretty long. I just got carried away and couldn't stop writing!

Yay! Another cliffy! I warned you I was going to try to make that my trademark. Sorry if I left you hanging…

At least I am, right away, going to start writing the next one! I'm on a roll here!

4. Fearing

So here, my wonderful readers, is my fourth chappie. Hope you lovelovelove it. I like writing. I like it a lot.

I'm happy at the moment. I'm watching TV and I just had a milkshake. Strawberry with cookie-dough. Mmmm.

Disclaimer: I do not own the wonderful, amazing series, Maximum Ride.

Iggy POV

"No!" I shout, clutching Meagan's shoulders. "Oh God, please, no!"

Meagan turns her head up, the gauze wrapped firmly around her eyes.

Flashbacks. I can see when I used to be trapped in the School, years ago. The day they took me away… for the surgery. They told me what was going to happen. Strapped me down, propped my eyes open. Started without any anesthetic, no numbing. I could feel everything. Then I'd fainted.

And when I woke up, I couldn't see.

I couldn't see.

I couldn't see.

I'm almost crying, the corners of my eyes prickle and my vision blurs. "Oh geez Meagan, are you alright? Are you okay? Please don't tell me they messed up, don't say they made you blind…"

Meagan reaches up silently and unwraps her bandages. Her eyes are red. She opens them and stares vaguely to my left.

"Oh please oh please, Meagan, don't…"

Meagan blinks and her eyes focus on me. "What are you shouting about?" she snaps. "My eyes are burning to blazes and you have to go and make my ears bleed…"

I gasp. "You mean you aren't… you're not… blind?"

"Goodness no," Meagan says, looking taken aback. "They took me to the experimental room and gave me tranquilizer. When I woke up, they took me into a darkroom to test my night vision. Apparently they improved it." She frowns at me, looking concerned. "Why? What's wrong?"

I blush, embarrassed by my outburst. "Oh, uh… I'm sorry, I was, um, really worried."

"That's sweet," Meagan says, cocking her head and staring into my eyes with hers. I can look back.

She smiles.

Her face lights up.

Angel POV

Something very strange is going on here. As we follow the trail, the thoughts are off. Crazed, almost. I can sense the echoes of Iggy's fear and despair, and bits and pieces of Ari. The other Erasers don't have souls, so their thoughts are jumbled and irregular.

I come to a spot where tons of people have been walking around. There are clumps of discarded thoughts everywhere, floating around. A disgusting thought latches onto my feathers and I swat it off.

I search around. This is where the thought trail ends.


We've followed the trail for about ten minutes, my little Angel leading the way. We stop in a clearing where footprints have flattened the grass and packed in the dirt everywhere. Angel searches about her, concentrating. She brushes something from her wing. Then she turns to me.

"It ends here, Max."

"Just keep trying, honey."

"No," Angel says. "It's as if they disappeared." She concentrates for a second. "But I can hear snatches of thoughts. Something about… two years ago. And Subject 9. And… a machine. They took him away in a machine."

My baby looks close to tears. I hate to see her like this, any of them like this. Nudge hasn't spoken for all of these fifteen-or-so minutes, and Fang is more sullen and moody than usual. Gazzy looks depressed, and even I am close to crying.

"Do you know what kind of machine this was?" I ask Angel sweetly. She shakes her head.

"I already told you all I heard," she says softly. "But I know that they took him to a School." She pauses. "I don't know which though. It could be anywhere."

I nod.

"Then we'll have to start looking."

So this chapter was shorter than the last. I'm not sure if it was much of a cliffy at the end, but oh well. I wanted it to end there.

So review! Review with a fox or in a box or with… a mouse… inside your house.

See that? Epic rhyming skills.

Review! Now! I've still got room in my heart.

5. Getting

AAAAAAAA! No one's reviewed yet! It breaks my heart! I cry at night!

So, here is chapter five. Not that any of you care. x Sob x I just wrote it because I was thinking about Iggy. So there. It's not a present to any of you people. In fact, maybe I'll punish you. I won't write the next chapter until I get at least one review. So HA!

Disclaimer: I do not own Maximum Ride. Lucky for YOU.

Meagan POV

This new guy is cool. His name is Iggy; it sounds neat. The only other mutants I've ever been in the Room with died within a week, but Iggy and I have been in here for almost a month. Iggy is always funny, and he taught me something called sarcasm. He says I learn fast for a beginner. Then he laughs.

I love Iggy's smile. It seems to light up the darkness in my heart, little by little. My heart is softening; it doesn't feel like rock anymore. It throbs painfully when Iggy brushes against me. I don't know what this feeling is, I don't know what feelings are called. I only ever knew happiness a few times in my miserable life. This time with Iggy has been my longest bout of happiness. I've gotten addicted, drunk to the feeling. It makes me giddy.

If Iggy dies, I'm not sure if I can survive the withdrawal. Or if I'd even want to.

Iggy is my everything. I don't know what that means emotionally, exactly, but he is. When he tells me things, I feel as if I can actually see them. The way he tells about the sunset, how the colors are wonderful. Purples and pinks and creams and oranges and blues, how they paint your mind into rainbows and take your breath away. He tells me the feeling of the sunlight on water, the luscious, smooth and silky liquid gold, shimmering and flowing in the reflection. How the dying sun brushes warmth over your cheeks, how the silvery light of the moon flows through your blood like a delicious, creamy liquid. How it flows through your body.

He describes his Flock. Gazzy and Angel and Nudge and Max and Fang. He tells me that one day soon, they're going to come. And then he'll leave, and take me with him. Every time he says that, my heart skips a beat. We're going to run away together, and fly into the sunset.

He has beautiful wings. Creamy and gold-flecked and strawberry, strawberry like his hair. His hair is beautiful too; thick and lush and flowing, longish, almost below his shoulders, but cut in such a way that it makes him look really good. Makes his beauty stand out.

His long, lanky body. His long arms and legs. His pale, creamy skin. His bright, icy eyes. His smile, his laugh. The way he wraps his arms around me at night. The way he talks to me. His gorgeous body; his muscles, packed in just the right places. Tight biceps. His tummy-muscles, as I call them. He always laugh and tells me they're a six-pack. He teaches me to count, and I can already count up to four-thousand. He says that's very high. He teaches me addition, on our fingers and toes. He teaches me everything. He loves it.

Love. That word… it reminds me. Iggy says love is when you care very, very deeply for someone. How it's caring in a different way than just being someone's friend. It's in a way where you feel safe with that person, where that person makes your heart jump and your stomach knot. Where you want to be with that person more than with anyone else, where you want to hug them and hold them tight.

If that's true, then I love Iggy.

Iggy POV

Meagan made me happy. It didn't really matter that we were in a blank white room, alone in the School. It didn't matter that we had scientists come in often, to do experiments. What mattered was that, when we were together again, I was happy.

Her smile lit up her face, like I'd always imagined smiles did. It made her shine.

I think I might… l… lo…

No. It's not possible. So I won't even think about it.

Angel POV

"Max?" I asked.

"What is it, honey?"

"It's just… something's wrong, here, but I don't exactly know what."

"What do you mean?"

"Like, the thought fragments. I didn't really get much of them. But then, I got fragments about the machine."

"Yeah, the machine," Max answers, looking thoughtful. "What about it?"

"Well, whenever they thought about the machine, they were thinking '500 days ago.'"

"Huh? What is that supposed to mean?"

I sigh wearily. I don't know myself, but I do have a hunch.

"Something… about the past..?"

Iggy POV

They came in that day and put me back in a cage. Then they rolled me away, while Meagan watched me leave with wishful eyes.

They finally emptied me into a large, blank room. They left hastily.

Suddenly, six doors appeared in front of me.

"Subject 9, this is a test. Experimentation will observe your gift."

What gift? They couldn't be talking about my ability to feel colors. That gift was pointless, at the moment. With my eyes.

Don't get me wrong. I still loved my gift. I liked the way I could feel colors, and see them. And feeling colors… the senses I used, just made it amazing.

You haven't lived until you've felt the sunset.

"Subject 9, the doors you see in front of you each have something different behind them. Two lead to death. Three lead to torture. One permits you to live, albeit for the moment."


"Subject will be forced to choose a door to open. Subject will make that choice within the time limit of three minutes."

Huh? "Wait!" I called to nothing. "What are you talking about? You want me to just randomly pick a door? In three minutes?"

"Subject has the gist of it," a sarcastic voice answers me. "Subject will proceed… experiment begins in precisely five seconds… four… three… two…"

There is a loud beep, and the test has begun.

"What the Hell?" I shout. Do they really expect me to just pick a door? I refuse.

"If Subject 9 refuses to participate, Subject's little 'friend' will be disposed."

What? "Meagan!"

A chuckle. "Subject is correct in its presumption."

Okay. I have to pick a door… any door…

I rush up and put my hand on the knob of the first door I come to. But the second I put my hand on it, my mind shouts at me. No!

My gut wrenches, and it feels as if my insides are shying away from the door. Okay, I don't think this one is right.

Wait. The scientists said they were testing my 'gift,' right? What was my gift? They obviously knew about it.

I step back. I had just instinctively know that that door was incorrect. So what?

Was my gift just knowing?

I look at all the doors, examining them carefully. They look exactly the same, cold steel with a round, shiny doorknob.

I walk up to the second door from the right and pull it open.

Behind it is a wall.

I did it!

So there it is. Iggy's got a new power! It's different than it seems here, though. It's a lot cooler! He's just manifesting it now, so it's not as strong yet.

But none of you will know what happens until you review! COME ON! I'm begging here!

And, since none of you meanies have reviewed yet, I still have TONS of pieces of my heart. They're yours for the taking.

6. Searching

Okay. So, first, my thanks to ignorance1, who is the FIRST person to review this story. To ignorance1, my thanks. Also, when Meagan said Iggy described the sunset and everything, he was describing what he felt. You know, he can feel colors. So it wasn't him describing what he saw. Just to clear that up. That's why I put in the whole "feeling of the sunlight on water." So, yeah.

And you are all getting this chapter due to the wonderfulness of ignorance. ignorance1, that is. Without her review, I would NOT be writing this chapter right now. So, everybody say thank you.

And without further ado, I give you… Asleep, chapter 6!

Disclaimer: I've already told you FIVE times, I do not own Maximum Ride


We're all really worried. The fact that Angel seems to have disappeared inside herself alone is disturbing. And the way that Iggy is alone, trapped inside the School. But then, we have Angel muttering, apparently unknowingly, about this whole "500 days ago" stuff. Which we don't know anything about, or the significance of.

Gazzy is depressed. It's only been two days since Iggy vanished, but two days without your best friend, all the while knowing that said friend is being experimented on, tortured, and who-knows-what else, it really is sad.

Nudge is more quiet than usual, and Fang has hardly said a word. They all know what could be happening, but they don't talk about it.

I wonder what the "500 days ago" is about…

Angel POV

I finally know what it is. 500 days ago. Oh, poor Iggy…

I know what they're doing to him.

But even Iggy himself doesn't know…

It's sad, to think what happened. I should have stopped it from happening…

But then again, I guess I couldn't have, seeing as it already happened. 500 days ago.

It's so confusing. How can I tell Max..?

Gazzy POV

Iggy. He loves his bombs.

I'll never make another bomb. I'll never eat popcorn or hot-dogs or strawberry ice-cream again…

Iggy POV

They brought me back from the test in my cage. I heard them all talking. Apparently, I was a success. A huge success. I wondered what they were on about. Max is the success. She's supposed to save the world, right? With Fang. The happy couple. The stupid couple.

Meagan rushes up to me when they empty the cage. The scientists step out the doors again. I stand and Meagan engulfs me in her tight hug. I breathe in her scent. Even if I go blind again, I'll never forget her. That scent… so amazing. Trapped in this terrible room, trapped in the School her whole life, and she still manages to smell like lemons and white cake.

I sit with her to tell her about the sunset again. I sink back into myself as I do, remembering.

At dusk sometimes, I'd fly up by myself into the sky. To feel the sunset.

Of course, Max and everyone, not including Angel, still don't think I know about sunset. Who are they kidding? I know more about it than them. I know how it feels to be basked in rainbow, to actually feel the brush of pinks and oranges against my skin. The way it feels for fragments of air-light color to simply glide along my arms, silky, smooth, light. Untouchable, un-feel-able, except by me.

They don't know anything. No one does.

You haven't fully lived until you've felt the sunset.

Meagan POV

It's been almost four months now. I know, because I have a clock inside me.

Not a real clock. I can just tell time. Iggy calls it a "gift." He says he has one too.

I don't think it is a very good gift. It's not useful, except for counting the hours, minutes, seconds I've been with Iggy.

They come in often now, though only for Iggy. No times for me. Not anymore.

I don't feel relieved. They've lost interest. That could mean I'm not useful anymore. They could have me disposed.

And if I'm disposed, I won't be able to see Iggy anymore.

So we can't stay. We have to get out.

And I think I know a way…


We're heading towards Washington. One of Fang's comments said they think they saw a blond bird kid flying around there…

Iggy POV

I don't know how she does it. After I said the words "Morse code" and "sign language," suddenly Meagan knew exactly what they were. And how to use them.

I told her she must have another gift. She asked what it was.

I told her it's just not natural for someone to learn something by hearing the name of it.

She said sorry, and she'd try harder not to.

I laughed and told her no, that she should. That it was really cool.

She blushed slightly, or at least her cheeks went a light shade of pink.

So we started to talk in Morse code, using a bit of sign language.

We need to get out.


It's been four months since you came. You're friends aren't coming.

This worried me a bit. I know the Flock would always rescue me… but Meagan's right. It's been too long. So, do you have a plan?

Kind of.

What is it?

She sighs. You know how to make bombs.


So, make a bomb.


Whenever they take you for an experiment, get the materials.

It is possible. I know how to make a bomb out of almost anything. It will take a while.

We've got all the time in the world.

How do you know?

Meagan taps at her forehead. My clock.

I laugh. "Ah."

Angel POV

I'm the only one who knows. I don't like it. It's terrible.

And when we find Iggy…

God, he'll be so different.

After all, what's happening…

It's not right. It's awful.

Oh geez, what is Max gonna do when she finds out?

What is Iggy gonna do..?

So there. End of chappie six. Got any ideas as to what's happening? What's with Angel's "500 days ago?" Why is she so worried? What does she know?

Are any of you confused about the time? How Iggy and Meagan have been there for months, but the Flock has only been searching for two days?

If you are, that's good. I'm happy at your ignorance.

If you have predictions, review them to me! I'll even send you a message, if you like. Any questions? Maybe I'll give you secret spoilers… evil me! x grins wickedly x

And thanks again to ignorance1. You now have a piece of my heart. x holds out piece of heart x TAKE IT!

See ya next time…

And now, evil me, I will not write another chappie unless I get one more review!

It's not that much, people! Just hit the little button! It will take about four seconds, tops, to write "Oh flYegurl, you are my idol, I love your writing so much, will you please allow me to be your personal slave?"

So hit the button!

7. Escaping

So here it is: chappie numero… um… siete! Thanks to all my precious reviewers, without whom the rest of you ungrateful lot would not be getting this chapter. If you value the continuation of this fic, you must review! I will now not write the next chapter until I get TWO WHOLE more reviews!

It's really not that much. TWO people out of the HUNDRED-OR-SO of you have to click the button.

I'll continue after the chapter.

Disclaimer: I DO own Maximum Ride. MWAH HAHAHAHAHA! Suck THAT, JP!

Just kidding. I don't… x sniffle x

Iggy POV

It actually takes a lot longer than we thought, to collect all the supplies. Mostly because we had to find some place in our BLANK room to hide them, first.

The way we managed it was when they came to test me again. I threatened to bite my tongue and drown in my own blood unless they gave us a bed.

They didn't believe me at first, until I actually did bite my tongue and began to (pretend) to drown in the blood that was filling my mouth.

The stupid Whitecoats compromised by giving us each a pile of hay.

Don't ask me. I have no idea how the Whitecoats got hay. But they did, and now we had a nice pile of straw to hide my supplies in.

The next time they performed an experiment, I stole my first item.

The experiment included me standing on a platform, suspended over what appeared to be sulfuric acid. Eight suspended paths branched out from my platform, each leading to another platform where eight more paths led to more platforms, and etcetera etcetera.

The problem was, only one path from my platform was safe to walk on. The other seven would drop me into the bubbling chasm of acid.

And etcetera.

This was to test my gift of… um, knowing.

I walked through the whole experiment with no hesitations and, I am very happy to say, no drops into bubbling sulfuric acid.

After the experiment, I managed to swipe a tangle of wires from the top of a metal table.

This continued for several weeks. Every time I was taken in to an experiment, I stole an object usable for my bomb.

Let me describe some of the experiments, seeing as they put my new power into an amazing light:

One experiment placed me in front of a wall holding about five million buttons, each identical. Only one button would open the door in a section of the wall, which would lead me into another room with identical characteristics.

There were ten rooms, containing a grand total of about FIFTY MILLION buttons. I finished the experiment within a time frame of precisely six minutes, forty-seven seconds, twenty-three milliseconds.

Another test they gave me was simple. A paper test, containing tons of multiple-choice questions. A man hovered over me, holding a stopwatch.

I finished the only-Buddha-knows-how-many questions in twelve minutes, fifty-three seconds, fifty-nine milliseconds. With a perfect score.

They gave me another test later, containing approximately two thousand questions. I know because this time, they were numbered.

These questions were unlike those on the last test, because they were not multiple choice.

I finished this test in approximately thirty-eight minutes, sixteen seconds, thirty-three milliseconds.

With, yet again, a perfect score.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think it's great, my power. Because now, I can also know exactly when to steal an item without getting caught.

And I can rub my newfound pwnage skills in Max and Fang's faces.

But, I think it's sort of scary that now, I have a recorded IQ of about 516, which is about 300 points higher than any other previously recorded, and apparently not supposed to be possible.

And the scariest part is that the Whitecoats say that my power is in its beginning stages. That I'm still manifesting.

How the Hell can this power get any more, well, powerful? What's going to happen to me?

But I shove the nagging doubts to the back of my mind.

The bomb is finished.

We've been in this room for exactly six months, seventeen days according to Meagan's internal clock.

So it's time.

Angel POV

I don't like what I'm hearing.

I don't like it at all.

I don't like what I know.

I don't like what the Flock's about to find out.

I don't like it.

I think I'm going to cry…


We've been searching for four days now. The lead to Washington was false, there isn't even a School there.

Angel told us she found out which School he's in. So we're following her directions, and heading towards Louisiana. It will take about two days nonstop flying.

Iggy, just wait a bit more. We're coming…

Fang POV

Iggy was my brother.

I hated his guts.

I loved his guts.

God, I loved his damn guts so much…

We're coming, Iggy. Just you wait and see…

Oh geez, sorry. Just you wait… and not see…

Gazzy POV

We're coming. I've got bomb stuff all set out, and pranks all planned. So just wait a little bit longer…

Nudge POV

Iggy. Oh geez, I miss you.

But we're almost there.

Just two more days…

Meagan POV

Iggy finished the bomb.

And set it up.

And now it's…


… time.

"Come on!" Iggy calls to me, gesturing to the hole blown in the side of the wall. I rush up to him and he takes my hand in his, his touch feather-light, and leads me down the damaged hallway.

Whitecoats are running at us, but thankfully no Erasers.

After many twists and turns, we spot an exit door.

We push it open and rush outside.

Thank goodness for my gift of learning, or I'd never have made it in the air. But all I needed was one glance at Iggy taking off, and I followed swiftly.

And we're FREE!

And… cue drum-roll… THE END! Of chapter seven, at least. Once again I must remind you; TWO reviews, or no eighth chappie. Or ninth, tenth, etcetera.

And, I yet again remind you… I am an evil genius! But I am also quite generous. All you need do is ask in your review, and I WILL grant you a spoiler.

Of course, there are those of you out there who want to be surprised. But I have to say, if you don't want to hate me at the end of this fic, you might want me to soften the blow.

Blow? What blow? I never said anything…

And I won't breathe another word unless you ask. I shouldn't wreck it for the poor souls who want to start crying at the end because the blow wasn't soft.

And what do you think of Iggy's awesome powers? What do you think they'll manifest into? And once again, what do you think about the time differences? Include predictions in your reviews, and I will give you amazing rewards, depending on how right you are!

So see ya next time…


8. Flying again

So now, chappie eight! I'm so glad that people have actually asked me to continue! And, may I announce that ignorance1, my faithful and FIRST reviewer, has guessed the entire plot! CORRECTLY! So fifteen cheers for ignorance1! I am now having a contest, info posted at the author's note at the end of this chappie. By the way, I must thank RascalKat, who has reviewed the past three chapters. If only other people were that into it. I love reviews! My goal is now… Da da da daaaa… TWENTY FIVE REVIEWS! Which is only about twelve reviews away! Keep going people!

And it is spelled m-a-n-i-a-c-a-l-l-y, RascalKat. Thanks for the reviews! I'm glad you like the suspense!

Disclaimer: I'm sorry to all those whom I have cheated and lied to. I actually do NOT own Maximum Ride

Please do not sue.

Iggy POV

I'm flying!

I'm flying!

And I can see!

I can watch as the earth sinks away below me! I can see the patterns of the grasses and farms and trees below!

I can see Meagan's hair billowing out behind her in long, silky waves, flashing black and brown and red and blond!

I can see her luscious wings as she flaps; watch them shimmer that deep indigo, what the white tips flicker like silky pearls against her black!

I can see the joy on her face as she smiles at me, watch as she swerves and dips in ecstasy on her first flight.

I can watch, I can look, I can see… all the reasons…

I can actually see why I love her.

This girl.

This mutant.

This beautiful Avian being.

I can watch her smile. See it light up her face.

My "gifted" mind whirs.

I… love her..?

Yes. There is no denying.

I love her.

I do.

I really do.

I'm in love.

Angel POV

Oh, Buddha. Poor, poor Iggy…


We're flying over Texas. Louisiana, here we come…

Iggy, here we come…

Meagan POV

I can't believe I love him.

I can't believe it.

I just found out what love is. I looked over at Iggy, flying beside me, his large, gorgeous wings beating powerfully…

I saw the way he was looking at me, and learned what love was.

I'm in love with this boy. This perfect boy…

And we're flying. Flying away from everything I knew…

Into the sunset.

Into the gorgeous sunset.

And Iggy's right. It's beautiful.

Iggy POV

It's the sunset. Oh, sunset…

As we fly, I stretch my wings, catching the beaded drops of nonexistent colors.

Pink. There, that beautiful pink.

And peach. And orange. And just a hint of lavender and aquamarine…

I look over at the girl I love.


Her hair is catching the colors as well. Shimmering beautifully. Every color of the sunset.

We land after a long time. Two hours, fifteen minutes, seven seconds. That's what Meagan says.

I take her hand. Perhaps she's overwhelmed by this place… she's never before left the School.

"Are you alright?"

She starts at the sound of my voice, then nods her head. "Yes."

I smile. "Great."

We walk together a ways. Until we find a place to stay the night.

Actually, we find a small paved road and follow it. It leads into a city, complete with motels and dumpsters; buffets on wheels.

We need money, I realize. I don't have the Maxcard.

Simple though, for one whose fingers are as skilled as mine…

And one whose gift grants you perfect timing…

I take Meagan's hand yet again, holding in my other someone's wallet. I search it; no money.

Then I see an ATM card. Perhaps…

I pull it out.


That's the PIN. I just… know.

"Come on," I say, pulling Meagan to the closest ATM; about a hundred meters down the street.

I slide the card.

What amount would you like to withdraw?

I don't want to rip this guy off too much. But then again, Meagan and I need to survive…

I type in the maximum I learned from the time we stole from that jerk in the silver car.

"Two… hundred…" I mutter under my breath.

From checking or savings?

"Checking…" I decide.

Please type in your PIN.

5, 5, 7, 9.

Two hundred dollars whir from the gaping dispenser.

As I lead Meagan to a fast-food restaurant, I surreptitiously slip the card into a mailbox. I don't know how, but I assume they'll get it back to the owner.

The restaurant I choose is McDonald's, mainly because it's the only cheap joint I can see. We can't afford wasting all our money on food, when we need a motel to stay in tonight.

As always, my order is pretty large.

"Two strawberry milkshakes, two Big Macs, four large fries, three orders of twelve Chicken McNuggets, a large Sprite, an apple pie and… another large fries."

"Okay sir, the total is…"

"Wait, she hasn't ordered yet," I interrupt, pushing Meagan forward. As always, the cashier looks surprised at all the food.

Meagan glances confusedly at the board.

She can't read.

"Meagan, you have to read the menu," I say.

She learns. Her gift, like with flying and Morse code, work with this.

"I'll have four chocolate shakes, a Big Mac, five orders of the twelve Chicken McNuggets, six large fries, two apple pies, a medium Sprite and a medium Coke, and a regular burger. No cheese."

The cashier gapes like a fish for a moment, then rings us up.

When the food is ready, we bring it over to a large booth.

Meagan can really eat. I guess it's not surprising, seeing as she hasn't had much food her whole life. But I thought when people starve, their stomachs shrink. And like, if they ate too much they either puked or their stomach exploded.

But Meagan can hold it.

When we're all finished eating, we search town for a while. But we're tired from… everything. So I take her into a small, cheap-looking motel.

"Can we please have a room?"

"Sure," the bored man behind the desk replies in monotone. "Forty bucks per night."

"Thanks," I reply, sorting through my stack of bills. I hand him the money, and he tosses over our room key.

The room is very small, containing two ratty beds, a static TV stacked on a moldy dresser, and a tiny bathroom.

I rush right in there and take a shower.

The water feels so good. And now, with my sight, I don't run the risk of slipping in unseen puddles.

When I'm done, I dry myself and dress again. I show Meagan the shower and leave her to it.

The TV is simply static. The only channel faintly visible appears to be the local weather station.

Meagan returns in thirty minutes. We're both tired.

I turn out the lights.

We curl up in the bed farthest from the door, leaving the other unoccupied.

I hold Meagan in my arms as we drift off to sleep.

So there. Done! With chapter eight! Yay me!

And now… the contest!

In your reviews, I would like you to leave a prediction or answer to one or more of the following questions. If you're right or close, you get a prize!

What is up with the time differences? (no answering for you, ignorance1)

What will be the max of Iggy's powers? What will happen as it manifests?

What do you think should be Meagan's power? (I know she has the learning and her internal clock, but I'm talking a one big power)

Who is the best Maximum Ride character?

Don't you think Fang sucks?

What is Angel so sad about? Why does she think Iggy will be so upset?

What do you think will happen when the Flock tries to bust (?) Iggy out of the School?

Once again, you can answer one or more! If I like your answers or predictions, I might use them in the story! So be thinking of a cool power for Meagan, and the maximum of Iggy's gift!


9. Loving

So, the ninth chapter! I'm hoping to get pretty high (with the number of chapters! I just realized how weird that sounded, like "hey peeps, I'm gonna go get high"=_=). Just so you folks know, there is DEFFINATELY going to be a sequel! Not sure what it's gonna be called yet, but I already know the plot and everything. Hey, I might have a couple of sequels! We'll see how people like this.

My thanks to several faithful reviewers, whom have given me great ideas for Meagan's power as well as several correct answers to contest questions! Contest still open, people, will be until the final chapter!

Disclaimer: I do not own Maximum Ride. Duh.


We touched down silently, about five miles south from the School where Angel knew Iggy was. I glance around cautiously, drinking in every detail.


It's Fang, staring into me with those black eyes. His hair flops in dirty strands around his face. He looks worried.

"Max, what are we gonna do?"

I don't know. We're here, now how are we gonna get inside? To save Iggy? Where are they keeping him? How are we not going to get caught?

"Max." Fang tugs at my hand, pulling me closer to him. I can feel his warm breath brushing my cheek. His lips barely touch my ear as he whispers. "What's you master plan?"

I shiver. I can't become sidetracked, we've gotta find Iggy. We've gotta save Iggy. We've gotta…

"Oooh," I sigh as Fang presses his warm lips against my forehead. He brings them lower, over my nose, onto my lips…

We kiss passionately for a moment. I tilt my head for a better angle, and Fang presses closer, his arms around me.

(thought I had forgotten the Fax, didn't you? Well I didn't! I just thought the first part should be about Iggy)

"Fang," I moan, pushing him away. "Stop."

He presses harder. "You like it."

"Stop!" I plead, shoving him. Fang steps back, worry in his eyes.

"You don't..?"

"No, no," I shake my head. "It's just… Iggy's alone in the School, trapped. We've gotta focus our energy on finding him, not…"

He kisses me again. I sigh and give in, leaning into his embrace.

What was wrong with me? Iggy needed help…

"Aaahhh," Fang moans into my mouth. I kiss harder.

Sorry, Iggy. You'll have to wait…

Angel POV

"Max! FANG!" I shouted furiously.

"What?" they ask innocently, breaking away from their embrace.

"Iggy! We're saving Iggy right now! He's been in there for so, so long…"

"He hasn't even been there as long as you were last time, Angel," Max comforts.

If only she knew.

But I couldn't tell her yet. It would wreck everything, and Iggy would be gone…

Iggy POV

When I wake up, my arms are wrapped tightly around Meagan. I press my nose into her hair, breathe in the lovely lemon-y scent.

"Morning," Meagan whispers tiredly.

"Hi," I smile.

We break away and sit up. I rub the sleep out of my eyes, gazing around at the room.

"Let's get out of here," Meagan says. I nod.

We walk down to the lobby, hand back our key. We already paid for the night.

We leave.

Outside, the air is crisp. It smells like it does after a rain. And, yes, there are puddles of precipitation over the sidewalks. I hope it rains again; I love the rain.

"What are these?" Meagan asks, putting her toe into the tiny pools.

"Puddles," I tell her, "from rain."

Meagan nods.

I take a giant leap and jump into the one she's examining.

"IGGY!" she gasps, sputtering. I stomp in the water, spraying both of us.

Meagan laughs, and we begin to puddle fight.

Angel POV

"We're going now! We're going to walk over there right now, and put my plan into action!" I shout at Max and Fang.

Max. Fang. What the Hell was their problem? Iggy was suffering, and they were kissing…

Iggy POV

I love Meagan's smile.

"Iggy?" she asks as she licks her ice-cream off the spoon.


"I love you."

I fumble with my own cup and almost drop it; I manage to save my ice-cream just in time. "What?"

"I love you," she repeats, eating another spoonful of chocolate ice-cream.

"You… you know what that means, right?" I ask.

She nods, chewing at a frozen M&M. (M&Ms get so hard in ice-cream! It sucks)

A shudder ripples through me.

"Is that… okay?" Meagan asks hesitantly, eyeing my expression.

I turn and wrap my arms around her. Then I look into her eyes.

"It's GREAT!"

She smiles that smile I so love. She reaches up, putting her hand to my cheek.

"I love you," she whispers again.

I swallow as my eyes prickle threateningly. I'm so God-damned happy!

"I love you too."

I wrap her in my arms again, like how we were sleeping.

When we pull away, our shirts are stained with chocolate and strawberry ice-cream.

Meagan laughs, then points to a strip mall across the street.

"Wanna go shopping?"

Angel POV

My plan is fool-proof. And Iggy, I won't let Max or Fang get side-tracked again…

Iggy POV

We walk into the store, the stains on our shirts clearly obvious.

I have another hundred dollars to add to our one-hundred sixty.

"Okay," I lead Meagan over to the girls' clothes. "Call if you need me. I'll do the same. Pick stuff out, try it on. Keep… um, two outfits."

Meagan nods, and turns. I walk off to the boys section.

I pick out a pair of cargo pants and jeans, and also two T-shirts. I grab a backpack as well, so as to contain our things.

I try my clothes on. They fit perfectly.

I wander back over to where Meagan should be. She must be in the changing room.

I sit and wait for her to come out.

She does in a moment, clutching some clothes. We move to the register and pay, then I show her to the bathrooms where we can change.

I walk out, feeling better. Better looking, too.

I've never revealed how self-conscious about how I look, but I actually did care. Back when I was blind, I had no idea if what I was wearing made me look good or bad, or how bad I actually looked, or how much better Fang looked in comparison.

I really don't look bad. My strawberry-blond hair hangs glossily, a bit past my shoulders but cut nicely. My eyes have pupils, which I had not had since the surgery where the scientists stole my vision. They are the same ice-blue everyone always describes them as. I have fairly toned muscles, probably not as large or noticeable as Fang's, but still there. I'm tall, very tall, with long arms and legs. I run my hands over my face, which sports a bit of red acne across my forehead. But that's it.

Of course, I bet you Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome doesn't have any acne.

I walk out in my blue T-shirt and cargo pants, stuffing my other clothes into the backpack.

Meagan's out there, waiting for me.

She looks so much better out of those ratty School clothes.

Her ensemble resembles Fang's, actually, with almost solid black.

She's wearing a pair of black jeans with holes in the knees. The thread stretched across the holes is crimson, though, to contradict the black. Then, she's wearing a crimson tank top covered by another, black tank top. Her shoes are simple black sneakers, with indigo laces.

Oh yeah… shoes!

I pull the pair I bought out of the pack and tug them on. Now, I'm wearing splatter-painted neon shoes.

I look up at Meagan again.

She looks like a freakin' goddess.

She steps up to me and puts her other clothes into my pack, smiling.

"Wow! It feels so good to be out of that outfit. And these clothes are so much cooler!"

I nod, not trusting myself to speak.

Meagan smiles again, then throws her arms around me. "Iggy, I love you. I really do."

I smile as well. "Yeah. I know. I… love you too."

And thus ends chappie nine! Thanks again to all my reviewers! And to those who answered the contest questions about Iggy and Meagan's new powers, thanks so very much! I'm probably going to use a mix of all the suggestions, to make something interesting and unique! Also, there's still time to send in answers for those two questions, because I do not think the powers will come into play for another two chapters. As for the other questions, they'll be open until about the third-to-last chapter! I don't know how long this story will last, but I hope you all read till the end!

Review! Please! I'm trying to break twenty.

10. Blinding

And, yay for me, I hast broken twenty reviews! In fact, I now have twenty seven! Thanks so much to you faithful readers. I will say this, in case you are wondering anything (though I doubt you are), I have modeled Meagan after me. In fact, Meagan is entirely me except I changed the name. Her personality, the way she LOVES Iggy, and her preferences and everything! In fact, the outfit she is wearing is basically my dream ensemble. So anything you notice about her is basically me, minus the fact that she likes chocolate ice cream (my fav is strawberry, like Iggy's.)

Disclaimer: I do not own frickin' Maximum Ride! How many times do I have to tell you?

By the way, to ease confusion, the following chapter is a flashback to the time Iggy lost his sight. It may not seem so at first, but this chapter really gives away tons of information, so it's really important to the fic. Please enjoy!

The bird kids sit silently in their cages, awaiting selection. Who is going to be subject to torture and experiments this time? Of course, none of them wanted to be 'it,' but they did not want it forced on one of their friends, either.

The oldest girl, the one with dirty-blond hair, stares at the scientist with an expression of deep loathing. This girl's wings stick out in an awkward position, because the experiment she had been subject to the day before had twisted them accidentally. It was a pity that the girl would not fly again for several days. Though, then again, they might just force her to, to see how much strain she could bare. Her wings are a soft, pale peachy color, with brown beginning to fleck the tips. Her down had fallen out weeks ago, and though her wings were now painfully sprained they still provided a stronger sense of amazement then the down-covered chicken-wings of the other five experiments.

The boy in the cage next to her has black hair and dark eyes, which seem to say "pick me. I dare you." This boy's wings are not nearly as amazing as the girl's, though the grey coloring suggests an impressive black will be revealed once the down has grown away. The boy's skin is a tanned brown, tying him to his native descendants. The scientist smirks at the look the boy is throwing him; a clear mixture of hate, pain, and fear. Of course, the scientists would wipe the boy of emotion in his next experiment; it would be a good test subject, this boy with so much emotion and feeling. They would test it on the boy, to see if it worked; if so, they would perform the surgery on the Erasers. An army of emotionless, feeling-less drones would be useful. The man grins at the boy, whose eyes show clearly the range of ideas running through his head.

The scientist passes these two avian hybrids to stand in front of the next two; a boy and a girl, both blood relations. The little girl is nothing more than a baby, blond ringlets beginning to sprout from her vulnerable scalp, her wide blue eyes staring with frightened innocence up at her capture. The girl's wings are tiny things, covered with a thick layer of downy fluff, but revealing the color they would grow to be; pure, stunning white. She smiles up at the man with joy, letting out a ringing laugh which echoes off the walls of the room. The scientist laughs himself, inwardly, at the child's folly. She should laugh now, while she can. Because eventually, he'd crush all the joy out of this little human being.

The girl's brother is in the cage with her, for now; they're both so small, but the baby needs the boy to help her. Otherwise, she'd probably have died by now. The scientist chuckles. The boy is small, with the same eyes as his sister; a deep, sky blue. His cheeks are round and full, flushed like that of his sister's; though his are flushed with fear and anger, while his sister's are with joy. This boy's wings are wrapped in gauze from a bad loss to the Erasers. The boy should have been faster, stronger; now he would definitely not fly for a while.

The scientist moves on; he does not need these pitiful children.

He comes upon the last two hybrids, a boy and a girl, as with the last two sets. The girl has chocolaty skin and tangled black hair, complete with "gorgeous" brown eyes. Her wings are brown, a shade lighter than her skin, with touches of white. This girl's wings are more downy than the oldest, darkest boy, though much less than that of the two blond siblings. She gazes up at the man with her wide eyes, her full lips parted pleadingly. She wants him to pick her, not the boy next to her. Because the boy next to her is her best friend, her confidante, her love. She does not want him to be subject to horror again, though she knows it is simply a matter of time. She cannot protect him forever.

The scientist shakes his head at her, smirking slightly, and turning to the final boy.

The boy is different than the rest of the children, in more ways than he will ever know. It is top secret information, his differences. None except his makers know.

The boy, though, has quite obvious differences besides the secret ones. His hair, unlike the basic colors of the rest, is a light reddish color, almost strawberry, nearly pinkish. His eyes are not the average "sky blue" or simply "ocean" color, but rather a sharp blue the color of ice. But, though this is the coloring, the boy's eyes are in no way cold. Except when turned upon the faces of the scientists.

The boy is also different in another way, which has somewhat to do with his top-secret advancements; his wings have already completely lost all their down, even though the oldest kid still has yet to lose her rest. The boy's wings are a striking mix of creamy white, a reddish color the likeness of his hair, and pure, shimmering gold. His skin is much paler than that of the other avian hybrids, but no freckles dot his face.

The scientist grins at this boy. "You," he says harshly, and lifts the boy's cage. The other bird kids watch as their friend is bourn from the room.

The scientist carries the cage along the white hallways. The kid inside makes no movement, no noise, simply waits for his time.

The scientist and the cage finally enter the operation chamber. The man empties the cage to no complaint onto a metal table, and the young boy patiently lets the scientist strap his chest, arms, and legs onto the table. Five other scientists enter; the rest of the creators. They gather around the helpless boy, gazing intensely at his worried expression.

"This will make me better now, right?" the boy asks. "This will make me as good as Max now, right?"

The scientists smirk. "Yes. It will make you better than Max. We'll make you stronger and better than Max."

The boy smiles. He'll finally be as good as Max and Fang, and they won't ignore him anymore. They won't leave him trailing behind in activities, won't exceed him in everything. And Max would be proud of him; she'll be so proud. Because now, he won't be weak.

"So you're enhancing my night vision now?"

"Yes," a scientist lies. "Yes, and you'll be the only one who can see perfectly in dark. Max won't be able to, only you."

The scientists huddle around him, going through all the actions of enhancing vision. Of course, it was all just a show so that the children would all think it was an 'accident' while 'enhancing his vision.' Such stupid people they were.

The men use a mechanical gadget to keep the boy's eyes wide open. Then, they take more mechanical tools, and begin to 'work.'

The boy screams in pain as they bore into his retinas, 'correcting' flaws in the make, 'enhancing' the traits. For twenty minutes the boy screams, his instincts causing him to try to arch and struggle. But the other scientists hold him down, until he finally collapses into an unconscious stupor.

The men pull away when the boy faints, putting back the tools and instead retrieving the item. A thin, miniscule needle; so tiny, it is barely visible. But just the perfect size for their intentions.

The man bearing the needle hovers it above the boy's open, unconscious eyes, and with a swift jab pokes it deep, back into the iris and nerves before drawing it out again. Then he does the same with the other eye, and ta-daa; the boy is blind. Even as he watches, the boy's eyes cloud ever-so-slightly and his pupils fade into a milky white.

"Did it work?" one of the other scientists asks.

"Yes," the one who had done it answers. "He'll never see again."

"Good. Then he is no longer a threat. His DME will prevent him from ever reaching his true potential."

"So we are in no danger."


The scientists stand around the unconscious child, who remains unaware of the scientists' fatal 'mistake.'

"Are you quite sure that nothing will heal his DME?"

"If he remains under Subjects 3 and 6… the ones he calls 'Max' and 'Fang.'"

"It is clear, then. And we will destroy the files?"

"All except those in our Undercover Documents."


Most of the men file out of the room, all except two; the one who brought the boy in for the procedure, and the one who caused the boy's new blindness. The one who caused the blindness inspects the boy. He takes out a needle, and injects the hybrid with his daily dose. The liquid seeps into his veins, causing his weakness and feeble strength. After another two years, the effects of the liquid will be permanent. The scientists are sure that the boy will never regain his power.

The other man logs on to the computer. He clicks on an icon on the desktop, which opens into a series of files. They all document the boy; every aspect of his creation, his dominance of 4% avian DNA compared to the other five kids' 2%. The powers that would remain dormant, until the time came to activate. The information about his birth mother, and the info on the father which had provided the rest of his genes. The records of the types of bird DNA the scientists had spliced, the impact on the boy's relatively-human interior and exterior. As well as the documentation of the boy's mental dysfunction, what the scientists had discovered and named DME; Destructive Mental Envy, a problem in which a person is so deeply envious of another that, no matter what, said person will try anything to become as good or better than that other. In this case, Subject 9 was focused on reaching the capabilities of 'Max,' Subject 3. The scientists used Subject 9's serious disability to their advantage; used it to guide Subject down the 'wrong path.'

The subject had developed his case of DME after first meeting the girl. Subject 9 had been born two months prematurely, a problem which had nearly cost him his life. Subject had officially died seven times. Each time his heart had stopped, the scientists had pumped their little experiment until the blood began flowing again. Unfortunately, during the time not enough blood had reached the Subject's brain. As a result, a part of his brain had died. The scientists had repeatedly informed the subject that the dead part of his brain had erased his powers, therefore making him a 'useless mistake.' This, however, was merely to run-down the child. In reality, the part of the brain had shut down the natural blocks and boundaries keeping his powers at a respective strength. Therefore Subject 9 actually had power greater than any they had ever recorded, deeming him 'dangerous.'

So the goal for Subject 9 was causing him to lose hope so that his powers would not awaken until the time was right.

So they had moved in Subject 3, a girl whom Subject 9 had become greatly attached to. However, the scientists constantly reminded 9 that 3 was strong and fast and bold, whereas 9 was 'weak and a total failure.'

To complete the ensemble, Subject 6 was moved in. When Subject 6 became closer to 3 than 9 had, Subject 9 had developed his DME. He was envious of 'Max's' strength, as well as her friendship.

And so they had convinced him to take the 'night vision enhancement operation.'

And now they had no worried, for Subject 9, or 'Iggy,' was blind.

And the files were deleted from history.

And so nothing remained.

Wow! That sort of wrote itself. It was a lot more intense than I thought it would be! I hope that answered interesting questions. It sure gave you TONS of information about Iggy's past, and why the School wants him so much!

Please review! Tell me what you thought of this. Was it surprising?

Anyway, just review.

Also… though I think I've been pretty good about updating almost every day, it's going to stop. I'll probably update every three days now, because besides this I will be writing chapters for two other fics. Please read them! At the moment, I think a really popular one is Boys Turn to Girls and Vice Versa. I don't know why, but I'm always swamped with "Blahblahblah added story to favorites" or "So-and-so added story to story alert" and whatnot.


Read! Read and review!

11. Kissing

Forgive me, but I realized that, if I continue at this rate, this story will drag on way too long. So I will skip ahead. It has now, for Iggy, been precisely a year since he was kidnapped by Ari. There, to clear any confusion. And now, Iggy and Meagan are more intimate, but they have NOT kissed yet. Or anything else. There, and enjoy this next chappie!

Disclaimer: I don't own (I was a snake there for a second)

Iggy POV

I kneaded my forehead with my palm. Meagan and I were flying above the clouds, heading south towards Arizona---again.

"What is it?"

I look over to see Meagan gazing worriedly at me.

"Nothing much… just… it's just that we've been searching for months, but my Flock has…"


I nod, and she looks understanding.

"It's okay. We'll find them."

"But, I can't help thinking… what if they were caught too? Maybe they've been in the School this whole time, and we've just never realized…"

"I'm sure they're fine," Meagan comforts. "They're probably just keeping low. I bet we've been, like, moving along right behind them, or in front. That's why we haven't met up."


Meagan and I continue to fly. The clouds look soft, fluffy, as if you could just let yourself drop and land on a comfortable bed of cotton. Of course, I'd learned from past experiences that, no matter how soft Nudge or Gazzy said the clouds looked, they were actually no more than the density of air, and caused you to emerge sopping wet and freezing. Not a very fun experience.

"Iggy?" Meagan asks.


"Um, I was wondering… why you don't really have any pupils."

I tense, my muscles clenching. I didn't want to mention it. How could I, after all this time, just say "oh, it's because I was blind for about nine years due to an experiment the scientists performed on me?" I would, of course, have to tell her eventually; after all, when I returned to the Flock, they'd freak out about my being able to see. But I was good at keeping secrets. After all, I'd never told any of them that it was me who asked for the experiment. Me who begged. I was only a kid; I thought enhancing night vision would just need a pill, a shot, perhaps special food. I had no idea they'd actually do what they did, or that there was any risk for blindness.

"I was born like this. It's sort of another mutation, along with my wings."

Meagan looks at me penetratingly. "Oh."

I gaze down, and Meagan and I begin to dip. When she spots a break, we dive through the opening in the wet clouds and rush to land as soon as possible.

We wind up in an alley of some city. It's pretty busy. We tuck our wings into the slits of our shirts, then under the windbreakers we wear; mine green, Meagan's black. People are rushing back and forth down the street, and we join the crowd. Meagan winds her fingers tightly in mine so that we don't get separated.

I glare about, trying not to look at any person directly. Their auras and blaring, and some of the souls are just filthy. Meagan squeezes my hand comfortingly.

"Let's go find somewhere quiet."

I smile at her gratefully, and we walk until we find a park. Meagan finds us a nice little bench amidst some trees, and we sit next to each other.

"I know you don't like big cities," she says. "Ever since you manifested."

"Yeah," I nod. It gets so confusing; I still haven't been able to control it.

I gaze at Meagan. Her aura is soft, a sort of flickering red and orange, like fire. Her soul shines, easily read. It's beautiful. It throbs deep in her chest, shifting to the soft glow which I know means love. She's feeling love right now.

I glance around. I can't believe, even here in this place of solitude, they still manage to find me.

"Shoo," I mutter, waving my hands at the figures hovering closer. They scatter like leaves in a breeze; dried out, hollow, crackling like a fire. They whisper hesitantly, again wandering closer. Spirits, ghosts. Lost souls. Those of the comatose, the brain-dead.

Meagan frowns in the direction I'm staring, and the air bends around the creatures. They disappear. I turn and smile at her.


"No problem," she smirks.

I take her hand. "Would you mind sleeping here tonight?"

"Not at all."


Angel's right. I should be concentrating on finding Iggy, not snogging Fang. (Snogging. Isn't that such a great word?)

But still, I can't help but thinking, annoyed, that he hasn't been in there as long as Angel had been. Plus, he's older. And they can't really do much worse to him than they already have…

"You have no idea."

I start and turn, to see Angel glaring at me. "What is it, honey?"

"Stop thinking about him like that. You are mean and selfish. I hate you."

She turns and stalks off to Gazzy and Nudge. I stand there, gaping, feeling my cheeks flush and my eyes start to burn. Angel… hated me? Why? And was I really being selfish and mean?

Angel leads us through the place she'd mind-scouted. We all hurry up to a wall she's standing next to.

"Here," Angel orders, gesturing.

"Right," Gazzy says, placing his small explosive to where Angel wants. We all step back, plugging our ears and scrunching our eyes shut. After a muffled explosion, we open them to see the gaping hole in the wall.

Angel goes through first with Nudge and Gazzy, while Fang and I follow behind.

"What?" Fang murmurs in my ear.

"What what?" I ask.

"You're upset."

"Yeah," I sigh. "Angel's mad at me."

Fang nods, but doesn't get much else in as Angel hurries us along.

"Come on, guys! I found it!"

We look to where she's pointing. It's a grate in the ceiling, probably leading to the heating vents.


"We're going up there."

Fang POV

After a series of nervous glances down the halls, hurried, stumbling sentences to Nudge, and several episodes of Angel hitting me upside the head for "un-Iggy related thoughts," Nudge manages to open the vent and us fly up into it.

It's hard to tuck our wings in properly given such an enclosed space, and that mixed with the fact that we're all very claustrophobic, it is not a pleasant experience.

This way, I here in my mind. Angel is crawling off down the vents. I know where he is. But we have to hurry.

Iggy POV

"Iggy, what's your favorite color?"

I think for a moment, then look back at Meagan. "I like the blue on your wings, that shimmery indigo."

Meagan giggles, moving closer to me.

"What about you?" I ask.

Meagan furrows her brow, clearly thinking. "I like black. It's mysterious, and yet it still is… I don't know, but it reminds me of night… and I just love it."

"I hate black," I mutter before stopping myself.

"Why?" Meagan asks me curiously.

Of course, I can't say it's because I was blind. I can't say I hate black because that was the only color I ever saw for nine years. I still can't tell her.

I remain silent, wondering.

Suddenly, I notice that Meagan is very close to me. Wind rustles the air around us, blowing her hair back as well as mine, our clothes billowing. I know it's her controlling the air, since we're in a hotel room with no windows open. Her lips are eternally soft, pink, coming closer and closer…

My heart pounds madly in my happy chest. Now we'll do it… my first kiss…

And suddenly, I feel a blow to my head. Meagan screams, and everything goes black.

I hate black.

HORAY FOR CHAPPIE… um, I think it's eleven.

By the way, if anyone could tell me what OC and OOC stands for, I would be eternally grateful.

And thank you RascalKat, for reviewing. I'd almost given up on you.

Thank you, too, all my other reviewers. I'm sorry I haven't update for a while, I was out of state for the weekend.


12. Discovering

And here is another chappie in my wonderful story. And now, the maximum chapters left are… three! Yes, folks, only three! The story is wrapping up. However, these last few chapters will be longer than the rest! Enjoy!

Not to worry, those who are in love with this (and I hope there are at least five of you), there WILL be a sequel! Quite possibly two! The next in the series will be entitled Awake (duh!). I hope you've been enjoying this story as much as I have. Please continue to read and review! If you haven't reviewed yet, please do so at the end of this chappie!

By the way, have any of you yet wondered why this fic is called Asleep? It's answered right here in this chapter!

Disclaimer: nope, don't own

Iggy POV

I awoke. My head was aching. My stomach hurt. My eyes burned.

I opened them. My eyes, that is. They felt disconnected from my body, like some unearthly organ that, for some reason, could be controlled by my brain. Not mine, though. Never mine.

My eyes were blind. These weren't my eyes.

I began to panic. I could see. I could see.

Wait. Of course I could see. I had been able to for a year, now, hadn't I?Yeah, I'm sure I had. What had happened? Um… the School… oh, my Flock. Where were they?

Meagan. Oh, Meagan!

I sit up.

I look around with my seeing eyes.

Where was she?

Where was I?

My head hurt.

It had hurt when it all went black.

Black was Meagan's favorite color.

Why was it her favorite color?

Black was horrible.

Black was horrible.

Black was horrible.

Black is dark. It's scary. It's lonely.

I don't like black.

There isn't any black here.

It's all white. What am I thinking? My mind's all screwed up… My head hurts

Why had it all gone black?

(Black is horrible.)

Meagan… she had screamed

Why was that?

I'm in a cage.

A cage.

Screwy brain.

Cages. More horrible things.

Cages are horrible.

The School. I'm in the School. Why is that?

Screwy brain.

Oh. Erasers?

Was that why it had all gone black?

(Black is horrible.)

Was that why Meagan had screamed?

Where is she?

Where am I?


The vents are hot. Pretty hot. It's really, really warm, actually. Mostly because they're heating vents.

Angel is leading the way, her blond hair bouncing. I don't know why she's in such a hurry; she'd been in the school for weeks. Iggy's been in here for six days.

Six days isn't really that much.

God, why am I so stupid? I'm basically telling myself Iggy's pain doesn't matter…

Besides, what more could they do to him? Not much, not in just six days…

What am I saying? Six days is enough for them to do so, so much…

But if Fang had been caught, it would have been worse.


Did I really just think that? Why did I just think that? Would I really have been more worried if it had been Fang?

Did that mean I don't care about Iggy?

Of course I care about Iggy. My favorite blind pyro.

He can take care of himself.

What am I thinking? He's blind. He can't do so much…

Yes, he can. He's not totally dependant.

I miss him holding my shirt, following me around to steal my ice-cream.

I miss his finger in my belt loop as we walk around downtown.

I miss him looking at me with his blind eyes, knowing I'm shooting him a glare, and wearing a smug smile at the fact that it can't affect him.

I miss him.

I really do.

God, Buddha, I miss him so much.

Iggy POV

"Hello, Subject 9."

"Hi, ass-face."

"Sharp tongue. That's dangerous." The scientist leers cruelly.

"Where's Meagan? I ask angrily. Where'd thy have her?

"We've decided to keep her as motivation."

"Motivation for what?"

"Think of her as a prize. If you do whatever we say without rebellion or resistance, your precious little chick can live. That's your prize. If not, we kill her slowly and painfully, while you watch."

I'm silent, staring at the Whitecoat with loathing.

"How long was I asleep?"

"You mean after our little Ari knocked you out? Four months. We were running tests."

"Four months?"


(By the way, those four months have nothing to do with the big secret)

The scientists tug my cage onto the familiar cart and trundle me off down the white halls. I watch the wheels roll beneath me, but this time not with wonder. What will they do to Meagan? I can't let her die.

I'm rolled into a room. It's plain, white. Glowing bare bulbs dangle from the ceiling on shorting wires. A metal table sits in the center.

I'm emptied, as usual. They sit me at the table and bring me a test. It's huge.

"Five-hundred multiple choice, five-hundred answer-yourself," the Whitecoat says. "Finish as quickly as you can. And I warn you, I'll know if you're not putting in your best effort."

I am forced to sit in the chair at the metal table. It's red plastic and seems oddly cruel against the white of the room, glowing scarlet, like blood. It sickens me.

I am given an array of pencils, so that I do not run out of graphite. The scientist exits the room.

"I have a timer in this control room. I will be monitoring your breathing patterns, your heart-rate, you thought frequencies. Please start at the beep."

I grin ironically. Then, there is a loud beep, and I begin.

It's easy. I whiz through. I keep Meagan at the back of my mind; she's going to die if you get this wrong. She'll die. You can't let that happen.

I don't know how long it took, but I'm done. I look up. Another beep.

Scientists come in and examine my papers. It takes them an hour, while I sit still and wait. This was just as easy as the tests before; so my powers haven't digressed. I'm also pleased that they haven't progressed; I don't know what would have happened. I had had an IQ of 512 when I'd left the School the first time with Meagan; then I had discovered my… well, you could call it ESP powers, and my ability to see souls. I could see ghosts. I could read thoughts. Not like Angel; she could read minds. No, I saw the disturbances thoughts made in the air and read those disturbances like a book.

"Subject 9's powers have progressed considerably," a Whitecoat mutters.


"What are you saying?" I ask hurriedly. The scientist turns to look at me.

"These problems," the scientist points to the test papers, "are progressed, advanced math formulas that it took a group of twenty expert scientists three years to solve."


"You finished this test in less than twenty minutes. With no mistakes in the formulae."

I freeze.

"What does that make me?"

"Well, you are now off the charts. Higher brain levels than that of a 'genius.' You have an IQ past what the test is capable of calculating."

I fall back. No. This isn't possible.

I thought it had stopped. I'd be able to have a normal life.

What did this make me?

A monster?

That's it. I'm a monster.

An incredibly smart monster.

"God, oh God," I mutter, burying my face in my hands. I start to cry.

The scientists stuff me back in a cage and load me onto my cart. They roll me down to my white room. I curl up and cry myself to sleep.


They do more experiments on me. Every day. Since it's now no longer possible to chart my mental abilities, they're testing my ability to know. More rooms full of buttons. More suspended platforms. Only now, the rooms are full with sever millions of buttons, all identical. And the rooms beyond continuously get larger and more difficult. And the platforms; more challenging. Now there are several things that can happen; there is only one platform that I can walk onto without it dropping, but then this platform will have traps; invisible springs, darts that will fire randomly, spots where, if I step on it, the platform will drop anyway.

They put me in a room full of corpses. Hundreds of corpses. And I had to stay with the ghosts for an entire week.

I nearly went insane. When they finally let me out, I was screaming, crying, and clutching my face, clawing at my ears. I spent the next two days in a med wing while they stitched my damaged sanity together.

All in the hopes that they would let me see Meagan.

And finally, they did.


"Here," Angel says. She motions to a grate in the side of the vent we are currently crawling through.

"What about it?" Nudge asks, using her metal powers to draw out the screws holding it in place.


"Ah," Nudge nods.

When Nudge lifts the grate away, we all crawl out. I get up and stretch; it really is an enormously tight space in there, and adding that with our claustrophobia, I'm dying.

Not literally, of course.

The room is empty save a whirring computer.

"Can you hack it, Nudge?" Fang asks monotonously.

"Yes," Nudge nods, sitting at the seat. She clicks 'enter' and a little box asking for a password pops up.

Nudge concentrates for a moment, then giggles.

"What is it?" Gazzy asks curiously.

"It's just… the password… is 'password,'" Nudge laughs. We all pause for a moment, grasping what she'd said, then burst out laughing.

Nudge types 'password' into the keyboard, and the desktop flashes up.

Nudge does some complicated things until a screen of icons flashes on the screen. She searches through it.

"Here!" She sounds excited. "Files! On each of us!"

"Really?!" Gazzy wonders eagerly, leaning forward.

"Print them all out!" I command. Nudge nods and clicks on each file, pressing print.

"There is a whirring as papers start spitting out of the printer. "That's Fang's file," Nudge says.

After twenty pages print, Fang picks them up, his hands shaking slightly with excitement.

More papers begin spitting out. Another twenty pages. "Angel's," Nudge informs.

"Gazzy's, Max's, mine!" Nudge continues. Each of us grab out twenty papers from the printer.


We watch, counting as the papers come out. Expecting twenty, like with the rest of us.

It doesn't stop at twenty.

It doesn't stop at thirty.

Or forty.

It stops at one-hundred and twelve.

The printer is very advanced; it takes only about a minute to print all those pages.

"What..?" Fang asks as Angel picks up Iggy's papers. "Why does he have so much?"

"He's more complicated," Angel says.

"How do you know?" Fang asks angrily.

"I do."

"Guys, there's more stuff here… about Iggy…"

"What is it?" I ask. "Is it where they're keeping him..?"

Nudge clicks on the icon. Angel still bears both her and Iggy's papers.

"It says… um, Subject 9..? Is that Iggy?"

"I guess," Gazzy answers.

"Yes," Angel says.

"Um," Nudge says again, her eyes flitting across the page, reading. "Oh, oh God…" She bites her lip.

"What is it?" I ask. I look to Angel, who seems sad.

"It says… it says that since they kidnapped him, he's been under a drugged sleep… and they've been playing 'mind games' and installing 'dreams' into his brain… basically, they've been programming stuff into his head, to see how he reacts, how his body reacts, what he does in situations…" Nudge bites her lip again. "He thinks it's all real," she whispers.

"What?" I look over at Angel.

"Only part of it's real," she tells us. "He did get a new gift. They've known he's had it, dormant, since he was born, but it was so powerful that they…" she pauses, looking disturbed. "Anyway, the gift's real. The scientists awakened it, and included it in Iggy's 'dream' simulation."

"Is there anything else about this?" I ask Nudge.

"Yeah…" she looks close to tears. "A clip… it's like they videotaped what was going on inside his mind."

Nudge clicks on it. A small black square appears on the computer screen, with a 'play' button. Nudge clicks that.

A video of sorts appears. It seems to be playing from Iggy's view.

"He can see?" I whisper.

"In the 'dream.'" Angel looks ready to cry again.

It shows, through Iggy's 'vision,' him flying over mountains and canyons. Red and yellow sandstone juts out of the ground in soft mounds far below. His head turns, and we see a quite beautiful girl flying next to him. She has soft hair, all sorts of colors. Her eyes are gorgeous. Her wings are black with glossy indigo and tips of white. She's wearing black skinny-jeans, a tight red T-shirt, and a black windbreaker.

They swerve into a dive, heading towards a cave in the face of a canyon. Once they land, Iggy sets about to make a small fire with brush and bracken covering the stone floor, and with matches that he digs from the backpack he's 'wearing.'

After the fire is made they eat a bit, and the girl walks over to Iggy.

She sits in his lap, and he wraps his arms around her waist. They stare into the crackling fire. Then the girl looks up into Iggy's now seeing eyes.

The voice from the girl is crackly, almost robotic as it emits from the computer's speakers. I love you.

I love you, too, Iggy replies.

The clip ends.

We stare.

Now Angel is crying. I wonder; it seems like she knew all this already. And she had, hadn't she? All those times she corrected me for saying they couldn't be doing much to Iggy…

Oh Iggy. I miss him so much. We're so close.

Fang's shaking with fury at the School. Gazzy looks stricken.

More for something to do than anything, Nudge exits the clip. "Uh, so now we've gotta find out where they're keeping him," she stutters. Gazzy remains still, staring at the screen as Nudge sifts through information. Fang is unmoving. I'm frozen as well.

"Okay, so he's… he's hooked up in a lab just… just down the h-hall," Nudge quivers. I can see her about to break out in tears. We are all struck.

Iggy was in love. He was in love with someone, and it was all in his head.

Ooh. Finally, the reason for the title, huh? Were you totally surprised? I hope so!

Just to warn you, there is still one more HUMONGOUS thing that Angel was so sad about. That she knows. Remember, she knew everything that was going on? Well, the fact that he was just dreaming was only part of it. x Laughs evilly x. You'll just have to wait till the next chappie!

13. Rescuing

Hey, people. I'm so glad you've been liking this fic. And I got what I've been waiting for: 50 reviews! Yup, I've hit 50! So, as a reward, here you are.

By the way, RascalKat, thanks for keeping up with the fic. I'm so happy I have non-members reading! And, yes, I am SO in love with Nightcrawler. And Iggy, of course. I have daydreams about them:). If you like X-Men: Evolution, check out my profile. I've got a nice fic about Kurt going on called Of Fire and Ice, and this other one called Halfblood Mutant that's a crossover between XME and Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Disclaimer: Don't own, sorry 'bout that, I know you'd all love a plot like this for one of the MR books

Iggy POV

They were leading me. A group of Whitecoats. Two of them held my shoulders, one each. They guided me stiffly. Mostly because I was blindfolded.

I don't really know why this was. Because, even if they didn't want me to know how to get back to where they were taking me, it wasn't working. Because with my new powers, I could tell exactly how I was getting there. I could walk back this way in my sleep.

My arms were bound behind me in a sort of backwards straightjacket. Yeah.

The reason for this was… because of my other gifts.

I found out after they took me out of the room. The room full of corpses. Child corpses. Hundreds of dead children. I'd gone insane, practically. Luckily I had super-healing, so my sanity stitched up pretty easily.

They had taken me back to my cage. I had been so angry, I wanted to kill. Just kill.

I held my hand out angrily to a scientist. Then anger blossomed inside my chest and I closed my hand into a fist.

The man exploded.

I could still hear the explosion echoing in my ears. I can still see the scene, playing behind my eyelids under the blindfold. That stupid Whitecoat… splattered across the room. Chunks and bits of flesh. Blood coating my face.

What bothers me is that, I don't care. I don't feel any guilt.

I'd killed a human being, and I was happy.

That's why I'm a monster.

The scientists continue trudging me blindly through the halls. I don't mind the blindness so much, except for the black. I can still hear, after all… in fact, my senses are better than ever.

So I don't mind at all. If this is what it takes for me to see Meagan, I don't mind.

I continued walking. Step after step. Right, then left. Or vice versa, it really depends on your point of view.

I was actually glad of the blindfold. Last time I'd been surrounded by multiple Whitecoats, the view of all those disgusting souls sickened me so much, I'd puked. Thrown up, heaved what little food I'd managed to swallow. Along with a good bit of blood.

I wondered if I was falling apart inside. Was I dying? I don't really care.

Unless Meagan cares. Then I can't die. I don't want Meagan to be sad.

I can feel their grips. They're tightening them. Once the pressure grows to 58 pounds per cubic centimeter, my mind goes numb. That's good, I can't feel the bruises forming.

"Subject 9," I hear whispered into my left ear. I cock my head at the sound. "We've decided, since you've been so good lately…"

I cringe. They consider the death of one of their employees good behavior? They sicken me, even when I can't see them.

"That you can stay with your precious Meagan."

I perk instantly. They'll let me stay with her? That's wonderful news.

I sigh. The happiness made my concentration slip, and my mind is no longer numb. I wince as I feel purple bruises erupt under the Whitecoats' fingers.

"We'll consider her a test."

A test? "What kind?"

I feel a blow across my face. "Don't talk unless we tell you to." I nod mutely. More bruises are forming, across my cheek.

"As for the test," the Whitecoat continues, "we'll see if you can control yourself. Lock you up with her. If she's not dead in a week or so, you're safe to be let out."

Wait. They're using Meagan to see if I can stop myself from killing everything accidentally?

"That okay with you, Subject 9?"

I don't answer.


I start. I haven't heard that name for a while. It is mine, though, right?

"Yeah. That's fine."

I hear beeping as someone types numbers into a keypad. Judging by the tones, the sequence is 8974.

I'm shoved into the room. I fall to my knees. My kneecaps jar painfully. The bruises on my shoulders ache. My face stings.

A door whooshes closed behind me.


I turn my blindfolded head to the voice. Meagan.


I hear footsteps rush over to me, and feel her soft hands on my face. Tugging off the blindfold.

And I'm staring into her eyes. They're beautiful.

I marvel once again at seeing. God, seeing is great. Seeing is beautiful. I love these eyes, these new eyes. I love then almost as much as the girl who stands before me.

"Oh, Iggy…"

Her fingers are under my chin, caressing my cheek. Her hair is disheveled. Her face is stained. I look at her aura, her soul. So pure I actually feel my stomach churn and bile erupting in my mouth.

Her lips are pink and soft, unmarred by the Whitecoats. I gaze at her entire body. I feel a twinge of satisfaction that her body seems untouched. It's all mine. I love this girl, so she's all mine.

I sit straighter until I am able to stand. Meagan's eyes go to my arms and she moves to feel behind my back, noticing the bindings. Her eyes flicker sadly. The straps are too strong for her to remove. I shake my head and lean down towards her.

Meagan's tall. Probably two or three inches taller than Max. But I am taller.

I remember what we were doing before the Erasers came back to take us again.

"Let's start… where we left off," I say quietly. Meagan's eyes brighten. She raises her face to mine, and I lean down.



We stumble, running down the hall to the room… the lab we know Iggy to be. Stopping outside the sliding door, I turn to Angel.

"Is anyone in there?"

Angel frowns slightly. Nudge behind her is quivering with anticipation. Fang looks like stone, and Gazzy seems tearful.

Still. We're still shaken.

God, Buddha, Iggy's in love.

I hear some muffled groans from inside the lab, and some thumps as if something was falling and hitting the ground hard.

"They're all sleeping now," Angel informs me. I nod.

I push the door open.

We walk in. Gazing around at the machines, the computers. Five Whitecoats lie in a crumpled heap in front of their computers.

And Iggy.

In the center of the room is a large, horizontal tank. It looks to be in the shape of half a cylinder, filled entirely with greenish liquid. Tubes and wires spread out from it at all sides.

And inside floats Iggy. His beautiful strawberry hair floats lightly about his head. His face is sunken, his ribs clearly visible. It's as if he is almost starving, but not quite. I don't know how he could change so drastically in simply six days.

My eyes trace the blue veins defined under his taught, slimy skin. That skin is cast the same ghostly green as the liquid he is submerged in, making him look sickly… even dead.

We step shakily up to the tank. I can see wires from the outside of the tank snaking in. They protrude, attaching to his head. I see needles, thin as strands, embedded in his temples, under his ears, his neck. His wings are limp, hanging slightly open from his back. More wires and needles protrude from them. I shake slightly in fury. What had those terrible scientists done to him?

I step closer. My eyes run along the length of his body, and I blush slightly at the realization that he is unclad.

"Angel," I whisper brokenly. "Do you know how to get him out?"

"Max," my baby whispers. "There's a control panel… over here…"

Angel walks over to a place where one of the scientists had stood. She kicks his unconscious body aside. She presses several buttons, or something. It works.

I hear a slight whirring noise, and see that the liquid in the tank has begun to drain. Iggy's body slowly sinks as the green fluid rushes out.

I rush forward. Nudge, Gazzy and Fang are directly behind me.

Nudge is crying. I can hear her sobbing quietly. Gazzy is crying as well.

I look back, tears running down my face. Angel rushes over to join us, her face wet as well.

To my surprise, Fang's normally expressionless face is full of pain and sadness, tears streaming out of his wide eyes.

This sight, the sight of my Mr. Rock crying as hard as Angel, causes me to break down. And I can remember, back when we were still in the School as little kids, Fang had been very emotional. But then they took him away a little while after they'd blinded Iggy, and suddenly all that was gone.

It was back. At least for now. Maybe the sight of his brother like this had jolted it.

I turn again. The liquid from the tank is nearly empty, less than a centimeter left.

"Angel…" my voice quivers.

"Just a second, Max. Wait a second."

As soon as the last of the fluid empties, a crack appears in the part of the tank on our side. The glass slowly, too frickin' slowly lifts until it appears almost as if Iggy were in one of those old chests with the lid open.

The wires and tubes fall away from his head and wings. I jump over to him, gently yanking the needles from his head, his neck, and a few I hadn't noticed earlier from his wrists, ankles, and the inside of his elbows and knees. I am too elated that Iggy's finally free to feel embarrassed that he is unclothed, and I put my hand behind his head. His hair is sopping, and clings to his scalp. I brush damp strands from out of his face.

"F-Fang, help me… pick him up…"

Fang steps forward. Nudge and Gazzy notice his streaming eyes and look at him in surprise.

I step aside, still gently supporting Iggy's head, and Fang puts his arms under Iggy's shoulders and legs and lifts him effortlessly. He gazes down at Iggy's limp face, his expression twisting.

"Angel… is there anything like clothes in here?"

I don't mention the clothes the Whitecoats are wearing, and Angel doesn't suggest them. we all know that Iggy would hate to wear the clothes of these people.

"Sheets… in the closet," she says. Nudge looks to where she's pointing and rushes forward to the closed metal door, throwing it open. She retrieves a white sheet and runs back to us. I take it and drape it loosely over Iggy.

"We've got to get out of here."

Fang nods, moving to secure the sheet more tightly around Iggy.

Then we rush out of that place as fast as possible.

We run hurriedly back down the hallway. We twist at corners, turning. Occasionally we pass Whitecoats who are lying on the ground, unconscious, and I notice that Angel must have knocked them out while we were running.

I don't know how long it takes. I don't care. The only thing I concentrate on the entire time is Iggy's pale face, his naked body under the sheet, making sure that he's alright. Almost worried that he'll simply disappear.

And we make it out.

We find the old explosion from the few hours ago and bolt out into the twilight.

Instead of opening our wings and starting to fly, though, we rush into the shade of the trees. There is a small park surrounded by them, that and brush.

An old weeping willow shades the outskirts of the part. It's late, so no one's here, but we dart amidst the hanging leaves to the trunk.

Fang softly lowers Iggy's limp body until he's leaning backwards against the trunk. Fang wraps the sheet securely around him, and we circle the two.

"At least it was only six days they had him, right?" I say halfheartedly. To my surprise, Angel reacts heatedly.

"Don't you dare! Don't you dare say that again! Don't say that ever!" she screams, tears streaming freshly out of her wide blue eyes.

I start, taken aback. "Angel, what is it?"

She sobs into Fang's chest. "Max, Max, it wasn't only that! That wasn't the only thing they did!"

"What wasn't the only thing they did?" I ask worriedly. I'm beginning to panic. What else had they done?

"They didn't just program dreams into his brain. They… they… oh, God! Just look at him! Can't you see?"

I look back at Iggy. He looks so weak, so pitiful, wrapped loosely in the white sheet, Fang hovering next to him protectively.

"See what?" I ask. Had they hurt him? Was there some sort of wound I couldn't see?

"Look at how… how d-different he is," she chokes through her tears.

I look back at Iggy. But apart from his thinness, apart from his sallow, almost papery pale skin, I can't see anything that has changed.

No, wait. That's not true.

But… but how..?

I hadn't realized it earlier, but Iggy's hair is way longer. It has crept almost four or five inches past his shoulders.

But that was impossible. It had only been six days, and six days ago his hair had been barely past his ears.

"Max, it wasn't just six days. Not for him." Angel sounds broken.

I continue to gaze at Iggy. Even laying down, I can see that he is possibly four inches taller.

Any other time I would be complaining about "stupid boy growth-spurts." But this… this doesn't make any sense.

Because no boy can grow four inches in six days. Not even Iggy, who had grown the fastest and most of any of us.

Angel had just said it wasn't just six days. Not for Iggy.

And… oh Buddha. There's a shadow on his upper lip, on his jaw…

I brush my hand over his face. Yes, that's stubble…

But… but…

Iggy hadn't hit… puberty yet.

Fang had started shaving a year ago. Iggy just hadn't been there yet, which was sort of backwards seeing as how much more Iggy grew than Fang.

"Five hundred days, Max."

I turn to Angel, my shock clear in my eyes.

I can see Gazzy, Nudge and Fang making the connections I just had. Nudge is running her eyes up and down Iggy's height. Gazzy has moved forward to put his own fingers to Iggy's chin.

"I told you, Max. Five hundred days ago."

I still don't quite understand.

"When they kidnapped him… the machine they took him away in… it was a time-and-space machine! They took him five hundred days ago. Max, he's been hooked up in that machine for over a year and a half!"

I start choking on the breath in my lungs.

Angel rushes forward and buries her face in my chest, throwing her arms around me. I wrap my arms loosely around her, numbly stroking her hair.

"Max… Iggy's a whole year older than you now."

I break down again. But this time, my sobs are strangling, wailing sobs. Gazzy turns his stricken face to me. I'm bawling, whimpering, crying.

Iggy was supposed to be half a year younger than me. That was what it was supposed to be. My adorable little brother. Younger than Fang. Younger than me. Our cute blind pyro. He'd always been our "little brother," even though he was way taller than us.

And now he was… God, he was older than me?

By a year?

And it snaps. Iggy's been trapped in the School, hooked up to that machine, for a year and a half.

500 days.

500 DAYS.

500 DAYS.

Thanks so much for reading! And now only two chappies left. That's right!

Gosh, while I was writing this, get this: I actually started crying. That's right. I already knew all this (of course I did, I'm the writer, aren't I?), but I started crying. Pitiful, huh?

Anyway, the whole time I was writing I was also repeatedly listening to Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.

That's right, folks. My second favorite band/artist is Lady Gaga.

Sort of backward, since my favorite band/artist is The Pogues.

So my second and first favorite band/artists are practically polar opposites.

(If you don't know one or both of those band/artists, look 'em up. Worth your while.)

And please please leave reviews! I'm trying for eighty reviews by the end of this fic, so I warn you, be not surprised if I wait to update. If you want the next chappie as fast as possible, leave tons of reviews!

Thanks. Review!

14. Crying

Ok. I've decided to take pity on your despairing souls and write this next chappie! I know how much you all love it! I was gonna wait for sixty-five reviews, but I won't, because I'm nice like that. So, here ya go!

Disclaimer: nuh-uh, don't own.

By the way, the reason I haven't updated at all yet was because my computer got a stupid VIRUS and it took, like, three days to get rid of. I apologize for any inconvenience:)


I stared numbly down at Iggy. His face, shadowed with the start of a beard and mustache. If he had been awake, and had none of this had ever happened, I'd be teasing him. Asking him jokingly what had took him so long to "grow up." Now, I wish it had taken much, much longer.

Because Iggy had grown five-hundred days older during the six we had spent looking for him. Sort of. Angel said he was taken back in time in a time-and-space machine.

Which makes me wonder; he was in there for about five-hundred days before we knew he had been kidnapped. Since he was in there in the past. But, then, did that mean he was in there… even when he was with us? Were there two Iggys for a time, the present and future ones? There had to have been. And it scares me, knowing that if we had discovered the plan sooner, we could have prevented it from ever happening.

Wow. This is all extremely confusing.

I crawl forward on my knees until I am sitting beside Iggy's head. I stroke his strawberry hair out of his eyes. They appear relaxed, completely unaware of everything that's happening.

"When's he gonna wake up?" I hear Gazzy ask.

"Soon," Angel replies. "Very, very soon. The drugs they had in him have worn off. Any minute now."

We stare at him in silence. Waiting, just waiting.

After a minute or two, Iggy stirs. I have his hand in mine, and can feel his fingers move slightly. The corner of his mouth twitches. Gazzy and Nudge raise their heads to look at his face hopefully.

Under the sheet, he begins to move. He twists, his left knee rising slightly. He screws his face up, as if in fear, or pain.

His eyelids flicker and open, ever so slightly.

And I suddenly remember; in his 'dream,' he had been able to see. And in his 'dream,' he had… been in love.

"M-m-meagan?" Iggy's voice quivers, very quiet. I would not have heard it had the rest of the Flock not been utterly silent. I tighten my hold on his hand, and his face turns to mine. "Meagan?"

And before I can say anything, before I can say that no, I'm not 'Meagan,' I'm Max…

Iggy sits up, pulls me closer, and presses his lips to mine.

Iggy's eyes are closed calmly, serenely. Mine are wide, confused. I look over Iggy's shoulder, and I can see Fang looking surprised and angry. Nudge and Gazzy are quite shocked. Angel simply looks nervous.

Iggy's kiss is passionate, expressive. Loving. I almost kiss back; he's that good at it. But I remember Fang, staring at me from a few feet away, and the rest. And I know it's not me Iggy's trying to kiss, it's this girl 'Meagan.' I pull away.

Iggy's expression is hurt. "Meagan? What's wrong? Did I… did I do something?"

"Iggy, it's me, Max," I say nervously.

"Max?" he asks, confused. Iggy reaches forward, his fingers like butterfly wings as they brush my cheek. He traces the edge of my face, my cheek…then he blushes, and his expression turns to embarrassment. "Max? But… but you're not here! And where's…"

He opens his eyes.

They're ice-blue, like always. Clouded, faded, with weak whitish pupils, but still as expressive as ever. And in them, I see confusion.

"Ugh…" Iggy curses, shaking his head. "Was that all a dream?"

Was what all a dream? The 'dream?' I don't really know what he means, but… "Iggy? I'm still here. And behind you is Gazzy and Nudge and them. The Flock."

Iggy turns his head to face me. "When did they catch you? And do you know where Meagan is?"

I cock my head uncomfortably. "Um, they never caught us. Just you."

"Okay, then. Why on Earth am I with you guys? Where'd you find me? Where's Meagan?"

"Meagan's… not here," I reply. Iggy's face turns furious.

"You left her in there?!" he shouts at me.

"Iggy, calm down," Fang says. Iggy turns to face him, still angry.

"Well, I have to go back there, don't I?" Then he looks confused. "Wait. I was just in the School! With Meagan! You guys never came to save me! So how am I suddenly here?"

"Iggy, we just did save you," Gazzy says. "You were unconscious."

"Okay," Iggy shrugs. "Did not know that happened. Anyway, I have to go get Meagan!" He raises his hands to his head and begins to scrabble at the side and back.

"Um, Iggy? What are you, like, doing?" Nudge asks, raising an eyebrow.

"Trying to get these bandages off. Or blindfold. Whichever it is. Can you? I can't find the knot…"

We all exchange pained glances… except for Iggy, of course.

"Iggy, you're not wearing a blindfold," Fang says. Iggy turns his head to him.

"Well, whatever it is, get it off! I've got to go get Meagan!"

Fang just stares at Iggy for a moment. And, I could swear, he seemed… very caring. That expression… he softened like he had for nothing else.

Fang moved his hand on top of Iggy's. We all raised our eyebrows in surprise, even Iggy. I mean, it had been extremely out of character for Fang to cry as hard as he had been in the lab… but Fang had never really touched any of us affectionately… except for me, and Angel sometimes when she was crying.

"Iggy…" Fang threw a glance at Angle, and she nodded sadly. "Angel's going to show you something. About everything that has happened. And it's the truth, what really happened."

Iggy looks confused. "Um… okay?"

There is a pause. I look over to Angel, whose hands are pressed to her temples as the little girl concentrates to 'show' Iggy everything that happened.

It starts in a moment.

Angel is projecting the vision she is creating; I would assume as far as ten feet around. It's too hard for her to simply do it directly into one person's mind, with visions, so this is how she does it. If a random stranger were to walk into range, they would suddenly be barraged with these memories.

Angel starts at the beginning, from when she felt Iggy's fear in her mind from my mom's kitchen. It plays over our flight to the site of his taking, only this time when we get to the field I can hear the discarded thoughts that Angel had. And I can pick from the jumbled mess the words "machine" and "five-hundred days ago." And one other; "dream."

And it goes through the whole ordeal of flying around, trying to find the School where Iggy was being kept. Only now, I know exactly what's going on; Angel must have discovered everything a lot sooner than I'd thought.

I watch as we enter the proper School, as we crawl through heating vents and out into the computer room. I watch as Nudge hacks it and finds the files; as each of our own, and Iggy's, whirs out the printer. I can see Nudge pull up the information on where Iggy was being kept; I learn over about the instances the Whitecoats had programmed into his head, watch the little clip from his 'dream' as it plays on the computer.

We run down the hallway and into the lab. And I watch over again as we all cry, as Angel releases him from the stupid tank. As Nudge runs to get the sheet, and Fang picks him up, and as we exit the School.

And it ends, and instead I'm watching Iggy.

He sits, stalk still. His back is rigid. His face impassive. But in those reflective, cloudy eyes, I can see the toiling emotions inside.

"You're lying. That's a lie." His voice quivers.

"Iggy, you know it's not." Angel's voice is soft, affectionate.

"YOU'RE LYING!" Iggy cries, reaching up to his face. And he starts to claw down his cheeks, his eyes, as if still trying to remove a blindfold.

I'm frozen. Iggy's cry was so passionate, it struck me. I can't move.

And I can see that no one else can either.

Except we have too, because Iggy's hurting himself.

In the tank, his hair had grown. He had grown. So obviously, his fingernails had too. I hadn't noticed before, but they're a decent quarter-inch long. As he scrabbles for a nonexistent blindfold, they scratch down his skin. Blood blossoms and begins to gently flow.

"Iggy!" Fang finally rouses himself, grabbing at Iggy's hands, dragging them away from his eyes. Iggy turns his head to Fang.

Fang calms a bit, raising one hand to Iggy's cheek, wiping at a cut. Iggy had basically mutilated himself while we watched; scratches and cuts littered his cheeks and ran down his eyes. He had slit the bottom lid of his right eye, which oozed blood like tears and dripped down his cheek.

Iggy flinched slightly at Fang's touch, but then, tears flooded his eyes and buried his head in Fang's shirt.

Fang held him silently while Iggy cried, tears mingling with the blood already flowing down his cheeks. He stroked Iggy's hair, rubbing his bare back, resting his chin on Iggy's head. Iggy's shoulders shook violently, sobs wracking his body. He curled up, bringing his knees up to his chest, continuing to cry.

Angel was the second to rouse herself, standing to walk over and wrap her arms around Iggy. And finally Nudge, Gazzy and I came to, and I hurried up to all of them and sank into the embrace.

"I-I-I can't see!" Iggy sobbed through the hug. "I can't see! And… and… M-meagan!"

"She's… she's not here, Iggy," Angel says. I can see tears running down her cheeks again. "She was never here."

And Iggy howls heartbreakingly.

Oh my. Wow. Okay, chappie thirteen done. Wow. I cried again! I was listening to Don't Wake Me by Skillet this time. If you haven't already, go listen to it! It is unbelievably related to this fic! It makes me teary whenever I listen to it. GO LISTEN TO IT! NOW! You can find it on YouTube! (All credit of finding the song goes to Digibleach, who took the time to look for a theme song for this story:D). And yes, LAST CHAPPIE COMING UP NEXT. Although don't forget to look for the sequel!


15. Ending

Okay. So, all you fans out there, here comes the VERY LAST CHAPTER of this fic. I've had lots of fun writing it, and I hope you've had half as much reading it. I am so thankful for all my faithful reviewers, and will include thank-yous to ALL of you at the end of this chappie. And, to all you people who will read this after I finish, I WILL still be checking my reviews for this. They are always appreciated. Any suggestions still, I may add them into my sequel. If I get enough begging, I may make more than just one sequel. So, please, keep reading my fics. And tell me how you liked this one.

Disclaimer: I don't own it. I'm sorta glad… if I did, all this bad stuff would be happening for real…


It took a while for Iggy to stop crying.

It was scary for Nudge, Gazzy, and Angel, because they'd never seen him break down like that before. And because of what he'd done to himself.

By the time Iggy calmed down enough and pulled away from Fang, Fang's shirt was stained red with the blood from Iggy's face. Taking a closer look, I saw that his cuts were deeper than originally thought. Most of them would leave permanent scars, and the slit lid…

Iggy hunches numbly over his knees, his elbows on his legs, his bare shoulders shaking slightly.

"Can we go?" he asks. His voice is… Oh Buddha, it's so deep now. Deeper than Fang's. It cracks slightly as he speaks.

"Yes, yes, of course we can!" I answer quickly. I can tell that for a while, we'll all be doing whatever he asks us. Our own way of trying unsuccessfully to make up for his time in the School.

Iggy starts to try to stand, then apparently realizes for the first time that, under the sheet, he's naked. He falls back, putting his hand under the sheet subconsciously, and blushes furiously.

"You all s-saw..?" he doesn't even finish the question, because he already knows the answer.

"Here," Fang says softly.

To my surprise, he begins to take off his pants. Of course, though, he has boxers on underneath, so he's covered. But he is just in his underwear. This would be a funny scene if it weren't so serious.

Fang mutely hand's the black jeans to Iggy, and Iggy reaches out to take what's in his hand. He blushes again.

"Guys, let's leave Fang and Iggy and go find a good place to lift off," I say to Nudge, Gazzy and Angel. They get the hint, and we exit the shade of the weeping willow to leave Fang to help Iggy pull on the pants.

In a few minutes, the two emerge from amidst the hanging tendrils of leaves. Fang is wearing his dark shirt and black boxers, Iggy simply Fang's jeans.

Iggy's face looks as if Fang had cleaned it a bit, because it is no longer covered in blood. I can see some of the smallest cuts have already begun to heal, but there are a few which look as if they won't for a while. His slit lid will need a few stitches; it's simply not closing. It continues to ooze tears of blood.

"Okay, up and away," I say. Iggy nods firmly, his jaw clenched.

"Iggy," Fang mutters under his breath. "I'll help."

"I don't need…" Iggy starts, then seems to notice the weakness in his limbs and shakily nods ascent.

We take off roughly. Fang has to give Iggy and extra jolt, and even once high in the air he has to support him. Iggy looks distraught.

I wonder if he'll ever be the same again.

Angel POV

It takes a while for us to get back to Dr. Martinez's house, because Iggy needs lots of help. I don't know how long it took, exactly. A long time.

Once we reach it, Iggy and Fang almost fall to the ground. Fang catches Iggy from collapsing, and Max rushes up to the door, rings it furiously, then runs back to help Fang help Iggy up to it.

In a moment, the door swings open to reveal a relieved and smiling Dr. Martinez. Her smile, of course, drops once she sees Iggy; battered face, bleeding eye, thin frame, visible ribs, and being supported heavily by her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend. She beacons us inside and tells Max to set Iggy down on the couch.

Iggy falls into the couch readily, sighing heavily. Dr. Martinez hurriedly receives her medical supplies from the bathroom.

Max's mom treats Iggy while the rest of us stand around and watch. She mops at his cuts with a rag full of some strong-smelling liquid, which appears to sting because Iggy winces. I can feel his pain, echoing dimly, suppressed at the back of my mind.

It doesn't take too long to treat most of the cuts, and soon only his lid is left. Dr. Martinez frowns at the wound, and, sighing, retrieves a needle and clear thread from her kit.

"Iggy, I'm going to give you stitches," she tells him. Iggy closes his eyes and nods weakly.

Gazzy and Nudge bury their faces in Max's shirt as Dr. Martinez sticks the needle into the skin under Iggy's eye. Of course, I can't ignore it; this pain is so much, I can't suppress it and wince every time the needle penetrates his skin, every time the thread is pulled tighter.

It takes twenty minutes for Iggy to get his ten stitches. The slit in his lid is about three-fourths of an inch long; quite serious for an eye injury.

When she's done, Dr. Martinez cuts the thread with a grimace.

Iggy's eye will never look the same again. The other wounds, even though severe, will fade to nearly invisible lines, courtesy of our healing abilities. This one will be quite a large scar. Looking at his face, he reminds me almost of that mean lion Scar in The Lion King. Of course, though, Scar was an evil lion who killed Mufasa and almost killed Simba. Iggy wouldn't hurt anyone, not on purpose…

Except for himself.

Next, Dr. Martinez retrieves nail-clippers from her box. She gently takes Iggy's long, thing, papery hands in hers and cuts his nails. They're caked with blood from his face.

Finally, she's done.

"What happened?"

It's Dr. Martinez.

We all freeze.

"I mean, how did Iggy get these cuts?"

Still, no answer.

"Can I go to bed?" Iggy asks softly.

"Yeah," Fang mutters. He gets up from his sitting position on the floor and helps Iggy stand, then leads him out of the living room and down the hall. We look after them.

"Guys, I really don't appreciate being left hanging," Dr. Martinez snaps. "It's pretty obvious that something terrible has happened to Iggy. I need to know what it was. He needs nourishment, he's way to thin. I have no idea how that could have happened in just the week you were off looking for him."

There's a pause, and then Max begins.

"The School kidnapped him and took him back in time. Five-hundred days back. He is now a year or so older than me, and the whole time they had him the scientists had him unconscious and hooked up to tubes inside this tank where they programmed dreams straight into his head."

Max's mom simply stares at Max for about a minute. Then around at the rest of us.

She obviously thought that story was a bit far-fetched, but our solemn expressions seem to answer any questions.

"I did notice that he needed a shave," she nods.

"MOM!" Max shouts.

"What?!" Dr. Martinez asks snappily, angry at her daughter's outburst.

"Just… just don't! Don't treat it like it's nothing! Iggy was held asleep in a stupid tank for almost two years! He was starved and practically tortured! He's really super thin, and he was mortified! While he was asleep, they made him dream he could SEE! They made him fall in LOVE! And the worst part is, is everything he experienced for the past five-hundred days NEVER HAPPENED, but he's got memories!" Max begins to cry. "False memories! He has memories of being in love with a girl who never existed, and seeing things he never saw! Just, just don't be so calm about it!"

Dr. Martinez stares at Max solemnly. "Max, do you know anything about psychiatry?"

Max stares at her, confusion in her eyes. "No. Why?"

"Well." Dr. Martinez sighs heavily, running her hand through her dark hair and putting her things away. A cloth she had used to dab at Iggy's cuts is stained red, and she throws it away. "You see, when something that serious happens, it's possible that the person it happened to will never heal."

"So, you're saying he's never gonna be happy again?" Gazzy asks in a high, sad voice.

"No. But it will take much longer… if you guys act like it happened."


"What I'm saying, Max, is that if you act all solemn and depressed around him, he's not going to learn how to be happy again. You have to act normal. Don't be overly happy or cheesy about it, just don't treat him like someone contemplating suicide or anything. Of course, if he looks sad or anything or wants to talk, treat it seriously; don't brush it off. Make sure he knows that you care, but you're not going to treat him like a baby."

"We weren't going to treat him like a baby!" Max complains, visibly annoyed.

Dr. Martinez stares at her penetratingly.

"You know, you guys do realize?" she asks, sighing.

"Realize what?"

Dr. Martinez rubs at the bridge of her nose. "He talked to me about it a few times, you know. About how he felt about the way you treated him."

"We didn't treat him any particular way!" Max protests.

"You know you did, Max. Because of his blindness, even if you and Fang and him were the same age, you two treated him like an eight-year-old. He hated it. Now that he's older than you, he'll want more than ever to be treated the same age. You've got to remember that; baby him, and he'll resent you."

Iggy POV

Fang helped me into the bedroom. I can't walk very well; my legs are uncharacteristically weak and shaky. Fang got me some clothes from my dresser. I'm wearing them now; they don't fit right. They're too small.

He told me not to think about it, that we'll go out shopping in a bit. Then I said thank-you and asked to be left alone. Fang walked out silently, probably back to Max and the rest.

I can't not remember. I just can't not remember Meagan. With her smile, and her hair and eyes, and gorgeous wings. Her glowing personality, her bright soul.

Fang's soul is purple. Max's is green. Gazzy's is pink and Nudge's is yellow. Angel's is periwinkle.

Yes, even though apparently everything within the past year-and-a-half or so had been a dream, I still had my powers.

The only thing I wouldn't have wanted to keep.

I was still a monster. I was still a messed-up failure. Unable to control myself.

And Max, gosh, she was just so together. No wonder all the Whitecoats always talked about her; she's like a god. A divine power. So much better than me.

She doesn't kill people and not regret it.

Of course, I guess I hadn't really. Killed that scientist.

The problem is, I wish I really had.

I stare into the nothingness of my cage. My mindcage. The confinement I'm always trapped in; and suppose I always will be.

Because I'll never see again. That's what this was all about, wasn't it? To make me see again, so I'd be crushed. To remind me what a useless burden I was, how much better off the Flock would be if I'd never existed.

And to remind me that I could never find love.

Meagan. I keep going over her in my head. It always goes back to her.

Her favorite food: potatoes. Her favorite drink: she loved milk. Her favorite flavor ice-cream: chocolate or coffee. Her favorite color…


And suddenly, looking into the empty chasm, this blank, dark void that takes up my life…

I think, black isn't really such a terrible color.

And that is it. The final installment to this fic. I'm sorry, I don't really think this was a happy ending, but it wasn't supposed to be a happy fic. I hope you all loved it, as I said before. Please keep on the lookout for the sequel, Awake. I may not post it until after spring break, because I've got stuff I'll be doing and a book to be writing (that's right, an actual book, not a fanfic). Oh, and check out my favorite stories and authors on my profile. They're all really good and will keep you entertained! Please review. And look down if you have before; the following are thank-yous…

Ignorance1: as always, thanks for being such a great reviewer. You were the first one who reviewed this fic, and it made me so happy! Before you, I wasn't sure anyone actually liked it. I was gonna discontinue it if no one reviewed soon, but you saved it! And made it so popular! I hope you read the sequel

Digibleach: I'm so grateful for your reviews. Thanks for finding that song, "Don't Wake Me." It's now one of my favorites. I've got it on my profile, you know (giving you the credit, of course.) Please continue reading my fics

Hiddenangel15: thanks for reviewing. You're reviewer number three! I liked reading your reviews, and thanks for your guesses about the plot

TeamTHEFT: I love Iggy too, as you can see:) thanks for reviewing

Tbaby13: I laughed at your review, and realized the relationship between the beginning of Iggy's powers and "Flowers for Algernon." Thanks for that.

Terrorist of the Seven Seas: you never gave me those cookies:) thanks for reviewing

RascalKat: thanks for reviewing! Before I made an account, I always hoped for the people I reviewed to mention me in their author's notes. So, of course, when you reviewed, I just had to reply! I love replying to reviews, and there was no other way… please keep on the lookout for my sequel

Ifrits Aeon: you reviewed. It made me smile:) and NO, IGGY IS MINE! x Clutches to chest and nuzzles face in shirt x

Skizzorsaregansta: Your reviews made me laugh! They were so funny:) sometimes I go back just to read them. Thanks for the laughs x bursts into random bout of crazed laughter x

Aleria14: I loved your review too it was sooooo funny. I KIDNAPPED IGGY. AND I LIKED IT :) don't really know why, don't really know how, chum chum sawaya…

Rosie O'Brian: thanks a bunches for the support

lilypad22: Yay! IGGY IS SO POWERFUL! I love it… keep reading! I mean, the sequel!

erikslittlelizzy: x is blown away by how awesome I truly am x THANKS FOR THE COMMENT. MADE MY EGO GET EVEN BIGGER, IF POSSIBLE!!!!!

Blawwmkw: I'm glad you loved this story. THEN YOU'LL LOVE THE SEQUEL EVEN MORE! SADNESS! Just thinking about the sequel's plot makes me cry:'( SQUEEEEEEEE

alycat3: thanks for reviewing with all your answers. You did get one right: IGGY IS SO TOTALLY THE BEST. Face pwnage:)

lillilie13: thanks for saying I'm a talented writer:) I know. I know. I really, really am. MY EGO IS HUGE. Sorry. KEEP READING. THANK YOU.

Dark Bloody Assassin: oooh, so RascalKat's your sister. Innnnnterestinnnng………. x strokes blackish goatee thoughtfully x BTW, I looooove the name:) reminds me of myself (ya know, my personality is SUPER dark….. when I was three, I wanted to marry Hades, you know, god of the underworld….. and I wrote a book about blood and severed heads and weirdo stuff…… and I love Sweeney Todd, he's like my idol xD)

Revriley: YES, NIGHTCRAWLER IS AWESOME. Even if Iggy is sometimes in a crossover fantasy with me and the Flock and the X-Men, no matter how hot Iggy is Nightcrawler is always my BOYFRIEND. BACK OFF. I LOVE 'IM. HE'S MINE. HE LOVES ME:) thanks for the review. Laughable!

nomey1: thanks for the review. I'm glad people are still finding it:) if you liked it a lot, keep a look out for the sequel

Aleksander-Nikolaevich-Her: I'm so happy the ending surprised you! I love it when I surprise people:) I'm also glad it kept your attention long enough for you to finish the whole thing in one day. GOODNESS

And this is the final goodbye. I LOVE YOU PEOPLE. You guys are so awesome. x sniffle x I'LL MISS YOU ALL. YOU BETTER REVIEW THE SEQUEL.

If I keep advertising the sequel, you'll hate me.