Learning to Tie by flYegurl

Category:Maximum Ride
Characters:Iggy, Max
Published:2010-10-22 15:47:13
Updated:2010-10-22 15:47:13
Packaged:2021-04-22 01:19:30
Summary:The flock goes shoe shopping, but are interrupted by an Eraser. In a hurry to get away, Max grabs Iggy a pair of laced sneakers. Little does she know our favorite blind pyro doesn't know how to tie his shoes! An adorable oneshot.

Learning to Tie

Shoe shopping.

I don't even like shopping in the first place. But shoe shopping is just horror. Because it means the six of us, who all have abnormally large feet, have to get our said feet measured and whatnot, then pick out shoes.

And it's annoying, because everyone always takes too long.

It's always colors this and style that. What ever happened to buying shoes based on durability rather than whether or not they had designs and sparkly crap stuck all over them? I honestly don't know.

But here we were, and here we would stay until each of us picked out a decent pair of shoes then booked it without paying (I will not say we'll be stealing them, because that might promote immoral behavior.

Anyway, yeah.

"I'm first!" Nudge squealed, stepping forward. "…"

"Okay, okay!" I relented, holding up my hands to signify surrender. Nudge, let the nice man measure you.

"Uh…" the teenage worker stared at all of us for a while. Maybe it was due to our… ahem… remarkably gorgeous appearances. After all, we were practically supermodels (can guys be supermodels? If they can, two guys who would fit the bill would be Iggy and Fang).

"Yeah? Excuse me, can you take our measurements?"

The guy blushed, and I inwardly punched myself after realizing how awkward that sounded. Nevertheless, he began, setting Nudge's bare foot on the little metal contraption.

After about ten minutes of measuring, we all had our sizes. The only person who hadn't grown a shoe size was Iggy (I'm pretty sure he'd stopped growing by now, being taller than six foot already), but he still needed new stuff anyway. After all, on the run you wear out your soles fast.

Anyway, I was left with Iggy while the rest split up to look for shoes. Fang was probably gonna buy some bogus black sneakers, as always. Nudge would be clamoring and looking for all the latest fashions (even though I never let her get anything other than tennis shoes, apparently there were more than one style. Who knew?). Angel and Gazzy were together, since they were the closest in size and Angel liked getting the boys' styles (she claimed they were more durable). Actually, I usually got boys' styles as well.

"What're you looking for?" Iggy asked as my eyes scanned the shelves of shoe-boxes.

"Dunno. Something good, I guess."

Iggy rolled his eyes.

"So when you gonna get my shoes, oh awesome leader?"

"When I'm through."

I gazed through the rows, looking at them all. Looking closely, I could actually tell that there were, in fact, differences in the styles. Some of them had wider tongues, some had higher heels. Some of the soles were rubber, some leather, some cloth. There was actually quite a variety. It was, typically, confusing.

I shook my head and pulled out about ten different boxes. Feeling uncomfortably like Nudge, I proceeded to try each and every one on, testing the comfort and durability they gave me. It was about twenty minutes before I ended up with a tough tie between three sneakers.

"Can you hurry up?" Iggy moaned, leaning his back against the shelves. "It's not like I even want to be waiting up. You're too damn slow."

"Shut it, I'm thinking," I answered, staring hard at the shoes and pondering. Which one? Which one?

But before I could come to a decision, someone shouted my name from the other side of the store.

"MAX!" Angel was calling, and I jumped up to see what was wrong. There was Gazzy, Angel and Nudge darting from a morphing Eraser. Fang was rushing to join them. Each had a shoe-box in hand.

"Crap!" I gasped, stuffing the pair of shoes I was examining into the box and reached out to tap Iggy's hand, wanting to get out as fast as possible.

"What about my shoes, Max?" he asked, stopping me in my tracks. Grimacing and muttering, I quickly turned to the shelves and grabbed the first box in his size I saw.

"Got them. Now come on."

We darted out of there like lightning with wings, and were high in the sky before that Eraser even got out of the store. In minutes, the place was a speck in the city-line.

"Ugh!" Nudge moaned, looking back at me and clutching her shoe-box to her chest. "We never get enough time shopping! These weren't even my first choice!"

"Poor baby," Iggy answered snappily. "I didn't even get to choose, because Miss Maximum here was to preoccupied obsessing over her own choices to even get me some in my own size."

"Hey!" I protested. "I got you a pair in the end, right?" I reached out and handed him the box I had grabbed for him and he took it, scowling.

"Yeah, whatever. This happens every time you shop for me. It's always you first. What, may I ask, is so hard about getting me some stuff to try on before you're done?"

I flustered for a bit, trying to come up with a good retort, but words failed me. Instead, I settled on ordering my flock around a bit to work off some steam.

"Forest ahead. Let's land in a mile. Find cover in the trees."

"Aye aye, cap'n," Fang answered, swerving towards the woods. I turned as well, making sure my wing-tips were brushing Iggy's. I swear, that boy is so critical!

We landed five minutes later in an open space amongst the trees. We then set about to making camp; Iggy piled wood to start a fire, and Fang and Nudge went out to gather some food.

By the time the fire was alive and flickering, Nudge and Fang had returned with some rabbits. God, I wish those things were pre-skinned. It's such a pain.

So an hour later we were all sitting in a circle around the fire pit, digesting roasted bunny. It's a funny sort of feeling.

That's when Nudge dug her shoes our of the box.

"Oh, these are sooooo cute!" she exclaimed, pulling them on and tossing her old pair into the trees.

Angel, Gazzy, and Fang got their new shoes out then. Then all four of them put their packs on the ground and set out to sleep.

After I new they were snoozing soundly, I pulled my own new pair of shoes out of the box and put them on in place of my old pair. They had been falling apart and were really shabby.

Mine were nothing special, but mega-super-really comfy with really durable soles. I grinned as I looked at them on my feet. They actually looked pretty good, as far as shoes go.

Then I heard a sigh, and glanced up to see Iggy with his shoe-box in his lap, facing away from me. His head was turned down, his bangs in his eyes, his shoulders slumped.

Wondering what was up, I crawled over to him. Curiously I looked over his shoulder and saw two very normal, very nice looking tennis shoes resting in the box.

"What's up?" I asked, and Iggy jumped, flinching. I guess he hadn't been listening to me approach.

He turned to me, and I was surprised to find his eyes blazing with fury. He pulled a shoe out of the box to the crinkle of tissue paper and held it up.

"This is what's up!" he growled, tossing it away and chucking the whole box after it. "You are so full of yourself! We were there for what, an hour? You couldn't even take five minutes to get me some pairs to try on!"

I was shocked.

"Iggy, what the heck is this all about?" I asked, trying to get to the root of his anger.

He scowled and glared at me.

"Whenever we go shopping, this is what happens! You take the longest time looking for stuff for yourself, and then when it finally might be my turn something pops up. An Eraser, or someone recognizes us. And then we have to book it before 'something happens'. So what do I get? A couple of outfits you've randomly grabbed from the shelves."

I winced at the fury in his voice. I guess I could understand where he was coming from, but Iggy was never one to get worked up. There was definitely something else he was upset about.

"What else?" I asked.

"What else? What else, she asks!" He throws his arms up in the air. "So, when you get me stuff, sometimes it's sizes too small! But most often you're just totally insensitive! You get me stuff like…" he broke off, and turned his face away.

I moved around to where he was now facing, only to find a surprise. He was blushing furiously.

"Stuff like what?"

He blinked a couple times. "Stuff like shirts with lots of buttons."

"So? You can do buttons."

"Yeah, but it takes a lot longer, 'cause I mess up a lot."

I smiled lightly. Now I knew. He was upset because my insensitivity caused trouble for his blindness.

"So… are those shoes the wrong size or something?"

"Or something."


Iggy blushed even more furiously. "They have laces."

I pondered this statement in my head. Why would that be a problem?

Then I ran over his past shoe pairs in my head, and realized that he had never once had shoes with laces. When he was younger, Jeb had gotten him Velcro. And then he started wearing slip-ons.

"Oh. You don't…"

"Know how to tie my shoes? Yeah," he answered wretchedly.

We sat there in silence for a long while, then I got up and walked over to collect the shoes he had tossed aside. I brought them back and dropped them in his lap.

"You want to learn?" I asked.

Iggy turned his head up to me, gaping.


"Good, 'cause I'm only offering once. Okay, put the shoes on."

Iggy did as I told him. They fit perfectly. I was glad I hadn't got him the wrong size.

"Okay. Now, follow these short steps and you'll be a champion shoe-tier in no time…"

I told him the steps to shoe-tying and guided his hands along as I tied one of his shoes.

"Now tie the other one," I told him.

Iggy narrowed his eyes and concentrated, his tongue between his teeth as he struggled to tie the shoe. He managed to knot it complicatedly before he gave up.

"Aw, come on, Max," he sighed, hanging his head. "This is hopeless."

"It is not, you just have no motivation," I said, managing to get the knot out and pulling back. "How's this; if you don't get this down pat by morning, you can kiss your bombs goodbye."

Iggy widened his eyes and went back to trying.

I watched avidly as he struggled, thinking the whole time. How he looked so determined as he shoe-tied. It was sort of funny, but more inspiring, actually. I loved how he never let anything get in his way.

He pulled away a second time, with an incorrect knot. He frowned, then untied it and set to trying again.

The third time was wrong.

The fourth time came undone as soon as he pulled away.

The fifth time the shoelaces more resembled lumps of knotty cloth.

The sixth time was the same as the fifth.

The seventh was similar to the fourth.

I could see in his eyes that he was beginning to think it was hopeless, but nevertheless he began tying the eighth knot.

And that time, when he pulled away, he left a perfect double-knot in the place of the untied laces.

He looked to me, eyes glowing, seeming excited.

"Did I do it?"

I grinned. "Yeah. You did it, Iggy."

He smiled so wide, I could have sworn his face was about to break in half.

"Thanks, Max. I'm gonna go to bed."

"Right then. I will too."

In the morning when I woke up, Iggy was getting breakfast together. I sat next to him, helping him put together the last of last-night's rabbit meat. Fang was the next to wake making his way over to us. He noticed Iggy's sneaker-clad feet and grinned.

"Yo, Iggs. You're wearing sneakers. Good one, bro."

Iggy beamed, then tried to remain his usual self. "Yo, Fang. You said more than two words. Good one, bro."

Fang chuckled and took some meat. "Yeah, right."

After breakfast, we packed up and were about to leave. Nudge was the first to take off into the sky, followed closely by Angel, Gazzy, and Fang. Iggy was about to, but he tripped; his shoe had become untied.

Instead of griping, he grinned, bending over to tie it.

"Oh, look! My shoe is untied. Good thing I can tie my shoe!"

I laughed, and he jumped, turning around to me. I clapped his shoulder.

"Don't worry, Ig. I won't tell a soul."

Then the two of us took off after the rest of my flock.