Fourth and Freemont by carino2

Category:Maximum Ride
Published:2008-12-15 17:21:12
Updated:2008-12-15 17:21:12
Packaged:2021-05-07 02:27:49
Summary:Written for the FanFiction Flock challenge over at . Max and flock are on the run in the middle of winter and are looking for a place to stay. If you have to call a pairing, it’d be slight Fax. As in, extremely slight. Hardly any. Oneshot; complete.

Fourth and Freemont

Title: Fourth and Freemont

Author: Carino

Rating: K+

Ship: If I have to name one, it'd be Fax. But it's mainly ship-less.

Warnings: Possible clichés; I omitted all things post-STW&OES. And there's no Total.

Comments: It's been awhile since I've written any MR fic that was truly canon, so I feel that this is extremely awkward. And very different, for me. I tried my best to not make it too clichéd or random, but if you spot problems with that (or any other thing) drop me a line.
E-cookies to anyone who understands the title.
Thanks to the judges from Max-X for doing this. I swear it's under 1,200 words without the author's note! Barely.
According to my Word, at least; has done something funny with the wordcount.

I squinted at the snowy street, trying to determine if there was anything near that could cause us danger. It wasn't likely that flyboys would visit a town in the middle of the day, but I had learned time and time again that you couldn't be too careful. However, since I didn't sense anything suspicious, I figured it was safe to move. I motioned to my flock and stepped out onto the sidewalk.

Casually, I walked toward the decrepit looking hotel that was my target. My feet crunched in the newly-fallen snow, and I wished somebody had taken the time to shovel it. Excess sounds could be a liability when you were trying to sense attack.

"Max, why are you race walking?" Iggy asked from some distance behind me.

I immediately checked myself, but the damage had already been done. I was at least ten feet in front of the rest of the flock.

"This isn't the Winter Olympics, you know," he added helpfully.

"They don't race walk in the Winter Olympics, Iggy," I said, hoping to draw attention away from the fact that I had quite possibly been spooked. At the same time, I forced myself to slow to a somewhat normal pace. It wasn't easy.

"Now you just look like one of those wind-up toys," Nudge said as I plodded along.

"Look, everybody! It's Robot Max!" Gazzy did his best imitation of a robot, legs completely straight as he continued down the sidewalk.

Okay, so maybe the slowness had been a bit forced, but I hadn't looked that mechanical.

"What did you just call me, Gazzy?" I asked in a threatening voice, but it was no use. By now, Nudge, Fang, Angel, and even Iggy had joined into the Max impersonation. And I wasn't liking it.

Resisting the urge to start chucking snowballs, I turned instead into the parking lot of the hotel. Vaca cy, the sign read. I hadn't expected the place to be full, but judging from the amount of cars that were in the parking lot, there were next to no patrons.

I walked straight toward the side entrance to the hotel. I wasn't expecting that we'd be able to get a room—that was a privilege usually reserved for those that were eighteen or older. However, I was hoping we'd be able to crash illegally for the night, and possibly take advantage of the laundry facilities of the place, too. I'd find a way to pay later.

As we crossed the ice-slick concrete, I entertained myself with thoughts of Fang wiping out due to his continuation of the Robot Max walk. Take it from one who knows, there are certain things that should not be done on ice.

Sadly, we made it to the side door without further incident, and I pulled on the handle.

The first thing I noticed about the interior of the hotel was the lack of light. As my eyes adjusted, I began to wish I'd stayed virtually blind.

The place was a mess, which explained why there weren't more people staying here. I'd picked an old motel on purpose because it would be more likely to have keyhole locks, which we could bust into with no problem. However, I hadn't counted on it being such a dump.

"Uhh," said Nudge, looking around, "What, exactly, is in that pot over there?"

It was a fair question, because the pot looked like it was filled with mold. I walked over to it to take a closer look. What was...? Eww.

"You don't want to know," I said, quickly retreating from the bug-filled basin I thought had once been some sort of fountain. "Let's just go find a room."

I turned toward the staircase and then pulled up short.

"You know, I think they should have a sign that says, "Stairs out of order," said Fang, looking at the rickety structure.

"Yeah," said Nudge. "As in, please use elevator."

Which sounded like a bad idea to me. The staircase hadn't collapsed yet…

"Max?" Asked Angel, "That really doesn't look too safe."

I grimaced and nodded. The staircase did have a look of 'spit and a prayer' about its construction, and it would probably be safer to take the elevator, as much as I didn't want to.

"That would probably be a good idea, in the concerns of personal wellbeing," I admitted.

"Well, well, Max refusing a staircase for an elevator." Said Iggy, "and on the grounds of safety and comfort, at that. I never thought my young eyes would see something so deliciously ironic."

I was fully prepared to just let Iggy's comment go, but Fang didn't have my tact. "You can't see, moron."

Okay, or maybe he just beat me to the punch.

"Oh, that," Iggy muttered. Not wanting an argument to develop, I pushed past the both of them and pressed the call button for the elevator.

The door slid open, unfortunately, and I stepped in. I'd hoped that it would be broken and we wouldn't have to go this way.

I also hoped fervently that none of my flock members had been replaced with clones since the last time I'd checked. If they had, they'd probably have attacked before now, but it was hard to say. Unable to stay still, I paced the small square interior of the elevator.

"Max, you can stop at anytime, you know," said Iggy, possibly a bit irritated.

I glared at him and took deep breaths willing myself to calm down as the doors slid shut. The elevator started moving upward and I felt the too-familiar jolt. It was almost like taking off, but without prior knowledge or the freedom of flight. It was slower, too; I gritted my teeth as the elevator crept to the top floor.

I could feel the eyes of the flock on me and tried my hardest to appear calm. I didn't need any more jokes made about being wound up.

The elevator pinged as it reached the top floor and the doors slid open. I exited as quickly as I could while still maintaining a semblance of normalcy. As I stood outside, I realized that my legs were trembling.

"Chill, Max. Geez," said Fang quietly, and I glared at him. I did not need his support.

I took a deep breath and counted slowly to ten before letting it out. In a slightly calmer state, I turned to closer survey the hallway in which we were standing.

The carpeting and wall paper were thoroughly tacky, but that was to be expected. The positive aspects of the place were that one, the floor hadn't collapsed from underneath our feet yet and two, there were keyhole locks on the doors.

I put my ear up to the door of a room and, upon hearing no sound, I judged that it was empty.

"Iggy, think you're up to a job?" I asked, and he followed the sound of my voice over to a door. In but a few seconds, the door was lying open in front of us.

And we weren't exactly looking at heaven, but it was closer to that than to hell.