School Days by flYegurl

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Drama, Romance
Published:2010-03-27 02:18:24
Updated:2010-06-15 17:47:01
Packaged:2021-04-22 01:23:46
Summary:My version of the Flock's time at the school living with Anne. Iggy gets picked on, Max and Nudge try to stay popular, Fang tries to make Max jealous... all packed into the six-hour days of the place they call school. Fax. Niggy. GazzyAngel shenanigans. ON PERMANENT HIATUS.

Table of Contents

1. First Impressions
2. Popularity: Good or Bad
3. Rumors
4. Being Lost
5. Lunch Time
6. Whispering
7. The Empty Room

1. First Impressions

Okay, I've had this in my head for a long time, and I've really always wanted to just write a fic about the troubles mutant bird kids go through at school. I can assure you there will be Fax, and most likely Niggy, perhaps some Sax and Lang (Lissa/Fang), and whatever other pairings I can think of. The trials of middle school. This is my version of the Flock's time at school during MR2.

Of course, most of them hadn't wanted to do it. Actually, the only ones who had agreed readily were Nudge and Angel. Gazzy had been reluctant, Iggy and Max had disagreed, and Fang had… well, Fang hadn't cared one way or another. He's just like that. But whether they had been the excited, the wary, the neutral, or the reluctant, they had been forced, and as of now, there was no way to get out of it.

The six of them stood outside the large brick building. Students streamed into the front doors, chattering and giggling joyously. Max scowled at all the kids; she really wasn't liking this whole "school" thing. Of course, there was one other person who wasn't liking it either; Iggy. Only, Iggy wasn't only not liking it… he was hating it.

"You guys ready?" Max asked through a clenched jaw. Nudge and Angel and Gazzy nodded, excitedly and vaguely. Fang shifted, a movement which translated to 'sure.' Iggy shook his head, but no one noticed. "Okay then. Let's do this."

The principle's office was stuffy, loaded with uncomfortable hard-backed wooden chairs, probably invented for the specific purpose of causing anxiety in new pupils. The Headmaster, as he had introduced himself, had his pudgy hands clasped on his desk.

"So, you are Maxine, you say?" the fat man states. Max nods. "And, these are..?"

"Um… Ariel, Nick, Zephyr, Krystal," Max started, gesturing at each Flock member in turn. Nudge waved slightly as her codename was uttered, and Angel smiled widely, revealing her stunning white teeth.

"And this one?" the Headmaster sneered, gesturing to Iggy, who was, at the moment, leaning back in his chair and trying hard to concentrate on not freaking out.

"He's… Jeff," Max answered shortly. The Headmaster nodded, baring his teeth in a vicious smirk.

"And he will be… learning with the 'special' students?"

At this, Iggy tenses furiously, and the rest of the Flock frowns.

"No," Max states firmly. "Anne made sure he'd be with either me or Nick."

"I see. Well, than we'll place him in the care of Nick."

Iggy still seems angry at the way the Headmaster had treated him, like he needed to be taken care of. As if he were a child.

The Headmaster stands heavily, and steps around the desk to stand in front of the six bird kids.

"Now, my secretary can escort you all to your individual classes," he starts, then turns to address Angel. "Ariel. You will be in Ms. Anderson's first grade class. Room 332." He turns then to Nudge. "Krystal, correct? You will be attending Mr. Smith's fifth grade, room 453. Maxine, you can be in Mrs. Jonson's eighth grade… room 461. Nicholas? Or is it just Nick?"

"Just Nick," Fang answers dully.

"Very well, Nick. You'll go to Miss Jaime's, room 345 for homeroom."

Then, the man turns to Iggy and speaks to him. "Jeff? Is that right? Is your name Jeff?"

His words are uttered slowly and clearly, with defined pronunciation, as though Iggy was mentally impaired instead of just blind.

"Yes," Iggy mutters.

"Well, Jeff, you will be going with your brother, Nick, to Miss Jaime's room, room 345. Is that okay?"

Iggy scowls. "Yes."

"Very well then," the Headmaster finishes, straightening and shuffling back to his desk. "Stephanie? Please take these students to their rooms."

"Yes, sir," his secretary responded, standing from a small desk just outside the office and gesturing to the Flock. Fang taps the back of Iggy's hand and he stands, still scowling, to follow the footsteps of his family.

The lady drops Angel, Nudge, and Gazzy off first, then leads the remaining three to outside Max's homeroom.

"Here you are," she says kindly, and Max waves a sad little goodbye to Fang, muttering a short "Later" to Iggy before entering the classroom.

The footsteps in the hallway echo distantly as they walk down to Fang and Iggy's classroom. The echoes are rather annoying to Iggy, as it makes following them a small bit more complicated, though it was a big improvement since that morning; the halls had been so packed with screaming students that Iggy had needed a hand on his wrist the entire time so as to not drift away from the Flock and risk getting trampled. But, besides the annoying echoing, the secretary had somehow got it into her mind that he needed her to hold his arm and lead him down the hall. He tried vainly to pry loose, but her grip simply tightened and her carefully manicured fingernails dug into his arm. Iggy thought that if anyone saw him being dragged down the hallway by what he supposed was a heavily make-upped middle-aged woman, his rep would be wrecked for all eternity. He wished Fang would come to his rescue, but the jerk was probably smirking at Iggy's obvious discomfort.

"Here we are," the lady finally says, yanking Iggy to a stop in front of a heavy wooden door. She pulls the door open, the hinges squealing slightly, and pokes her head through the opening. "Miss Jaime? I'm sorry for interrupting, but I have two new students for you."

"Thank you, Stephanie," a voice from inside the class answers, and footsteps growing louder mark the person's nearing to the door. It is suddenly pulled all the way open from the inside to reveal a radiant woman with a glowing face and warm smile. Her hair was almost black and straightened to just above her shoulders. She looked nice enough to Fang, and he tapped Iggy's index finger to convey this feeling.

The kind woman smiled at the two of them. "And what are there names?" she asks. Her voice was fun, happy.

"This is Nick and Jeff," Stephanie answers, pointing to each of them. Apparently, though, even after having forcefully 'led' him through the school to this room, the secretary had forgotten about Iggy's blindness, as she did not mention this. Iggy was glad for it, as he could tell by the silence inside the room that the other students were clinging to every word of this subtle conversation.

"Well then, Nick, Jeff, why don't you come in? There are several empty desks, you are welcome to pick two."

Fang steps into the room with Iggy on his heels, and edges his way through the maze of student-occupied desks to two free ones at the back. Once they reach them, Fang grabs Iggy's hand and places it on the top of one of them, leaving him to sit while Fang takes the desk next to it.

"Class, the two new students who just came in are called Nick and Jeff. Please try to make them feel at home. If either of you have any questions, feel free to talk to me after class." After her little introduction, Miss Jaime begins her lesson again.

Anne had thoughtfully gone out the day before and bought the whole Flock mounds of school supplies, and they each had a variety of folders, notebooks, binders, pencils, pens, and erasers within different book-bags; Iggy's was blue, Max's green, Nudge's purple, Angel's yellow, Fang's black, Gazzy's orange. Fang got a notebook and pencil out of his pack while Iggy fumbled with the zipper and retrieved his. Miss Jaime was diagramming a sentence on the board; Fang began to copy it, and then looked over to see Iggy sitting with his notebook and a pencil, looking utterly lost.

"I'll make copies for you. Here, give me your notebook," Fang intones, holding his hand out to Iggy. Iggy starts and turns at Fang's quiet statement, then nervously hands the notebook across the gap between desks. Fang took it and began to write. Iggy then simply sat back to listen to the lesson as Fang scribbled speedily into the notebooks.


Iggy was jolted out of his intent and concentrated reverie by Miss Jaime's voice calling his name. He had actually been pretty into the lesson, having never known anything previously about simple subjects and predicates and 'understood you's.

"May I ask you to repeat what I just said?" Her voice sounded nice, and at the moment her tone was humorous.

"Um, you were talking about the 'understood you', and how it's always the subject and you put it in parentheses when you diagram…" Iggy starts, trailing off.

"Well, however much of an astonishing memory you may have, I still think you might find it beneficial to take notes on my lessons." There was still no hostility or anger in the teacher's voice, and Iggy was grateful for that, but still a bit anxious.

"Uh," Iggy starts nervously. "Um, Nick's taking them for me."

Iggy can hear Fang nod in the desk next to him, and a rustle as he held up both notebooks.

"That's all very well, but shouldn't you be doing your own work? It may be a bit harsh to have your friend do it all for you."

"I can't take the notes, ma'am," Iggy says miserably, realizing that he was going to have to admit to his inability to see in front of the whole class.

"Why is that?" Instead of annoyed, Miss Jaime sounded curious to hear what Iggy's reason was.

"I'm, um, I'm blind," he stuttered quietly. Iggy bowed his head and gritted his teeth as he heard kids giggling around him, and new that everyone in the class was now staring at him.

"Do you mean you need glasses?"

"Uh, no ma'am, I, uh, actually can't see. I, uh, got into… an accident a long time ago."

Iggy's long hands twitched in his lap, as they always did when he was nervous. He wished Fang would come to his rescue, though he really didn't know what that would accomplish.

There's a pause.

"All right, then, if it's no trouble for Nick. I do expect you, however, to pay close attention."

"Yeah, I will," Iggy murmurs softly. He can hear whispers throughout the class now, and can almost feel the stares. It's hard for him, now, to attentively listen to the rest of class, because he can hear murmurings around the room. Miss Jaime obviously notices them as well, and tries hard to distract the class's attention away from him; for that, Iggy is very thankful.

Fang stares around at his classmates. A few of them are sweetly copying down the notes from the board, but he can see that most of them are barely paying any attention to the lesson now, rather throwing interested, pitying, or amused glances back at Iggy. Iggy himself appears to be trying to melt into his seat, shrinking so far back that Fang knew that it must be uncomfortable for his wings. He notices that Iggy is averting his blind eyes, simply because of the fact that everyone is trying to get a glimpse of them. Fang knows just what they must be thinking; I wonder what ever a blind guy's eyes would look like? He knew that people probably had some bizarre impression that Iggy's eyes would be all white or something, but the truth was Iggy's eyes were a clear, distinct yet slightly clouded ice blue, with faded pupils. That was it. They weren't freakish or anything; but Fang got the feeling that some students wouldn't think Iggy so "normal," even if they didn't know about the wings.

He catches a group of boys near the front, who are all staring pointedly at the trying-to-become-invisible Iggy, snickering at his obvious discomfort. Fang shot them a dirty look and the finger, and they backed off a bit.

Max was loving this class. History and her… they just clicked. And the teacher was awesome.

The students too! It was almost like she was being swamped; kids were surrounding her, talking to her, asking her where she got her hair done, how she got such perfect teeth, what lotion she used to have "pore-less" skin. Guys were flirting with her like nobody's business, and even thought Max had… um… semi-unrequited love towards Fang, she still enjoyed the attention.

She actually made some friends in those first forty-five minutes of school; three girls---Sandra, Beth, and Cassidy---and two guys, Connor and Michael. Max walked out the doors with them as they led her to their next class.

But Max knew something up when she heard snatches of whispered conversations as they chatted down the halls: "… blind guy…" "… weirdo eyes…" "… man, he's in my class, blind as a bat…"

"Hey, guys, will you excuse me for a sec? Gotta go find, um, a friend…" Max trailed off at her friends' enthusiastic nods, and rushed off to look for Fang and Iggy.

Max found them in the halls outside the music class. Fang was glaring at passersby as they stared at Iggy, who was trying to fall through the wall and looked utterly miserable.

"Uh oh, guys, what happened?" Max asks, stepping forward. Fang looks up, but Iggy doesn't even move.

"Some of these teens are stupid," Fang replies, shaking his mop of black hair out of his dark eyes. "They don't know more than what they can see with their own two eyes."

"Guess I'm lucky I don't just know what I see with my own two eyes, or I'd be screwed, wouldn't I?" Iggy asks in a bitterly sarcastic voice.

"Aw, come on, Iggy, lighten up," Max tries to cheer. "Just try to get through the day and we'll see what happens, 'kay?"

Iggy sighs heavily. "Yeah. Sure. I never wanted to come here in the first place."

Now it's Max's turn to sigh. "Listen, I gotta catch up with my friends. Seeya two later."

"Yeah, see you," Fang replies, lifting his hand in a wave.

"I won't," Iggy mutters.

There's the first chappie. Hope you liked it. REVIEW. Thanks.

2. Popularity: Good or Bad

Okay, chappie two coming up.

Disclaimer: don't own it. JP does. So go fight him for it.

Nudge was having the time of her life. She never dreamed she would be so popular! Apparently, though, having a mature body and full lips made you a beauty queen. There were girls there that were practically begging her for the secret of her glossy hair, and where she got her lip gloss!

Gosh, Nudge loved the attention. She had never been the center of it before. It was always Max, never Nudge, who was paid attention to; saving-the-world Max, with her sun-streaked blond hair and chocolate brown eyes. In fact, she was getting attention here too; a lot more than she needed, from Nudge's point of view. Fact was, though, Nudge thought smugly; Nudge was getting more.

"Wanna hang out later?" a boy with jet-black hair asked her, leaning against the locker next to hers. This was the eighth boy so far. Nudge giggled excitedly, fluttering her eyelashes at the boy, and she could have sworn he swooned.

"Maybe," was her mysterious reply. As she walked past the surprised boy, she ran her index finger along his cheek and winked roguishly. This time, he did swoon.

Winking roguishly. Will have to use that more often.

Nudge walked to her next class amidst a gaggle of giggling girls---now that's alliteration for you. She chattered aimlessly about hair and skin products, make-up, and boys. She was having so much fun; who knew school would be this enjoyable?

Gazzy, however, was bored. B-o-r-e-d. He wished Iggy was there with him; that would have livened things up a bit. Iggy always made things fun.

But, Gazzy wondered as he swung his legs over the rail of one of the climbing things of the playground, maybe he could find Iggy. Find Iggy easily. After all, he'd been hearing snatches about what was surely him all day.

So Gazzy hopped over the side of the climbing thing and landed nimbly in the gravel. Standing, he peeked around quickly to be sure no teachers were watching him. None were, so he sprinted eagerly across the playground and to the beaconing doors of the school.

Once inside, Gazzy knew it would be harder to find Iggy than he'd previously thought. There were big kids everywhere. He didn't know so many even existed. Okay, scratch that, he knew this many existed… after all, there were probably millions of big kids around the world. Still… this much couldn't be in this school! There were tons of them!

Of course, none of them looked as cool or epic as his Iggy did. But then, no one could look that good. Gazzy always hoped he'd turn out to be half as epic as Iggy was when he grew up, but it was a high-hope that probably wouldn't come true. Not even Fang was half as cool as Iggy.

But, Gazzy also decided, Iggy would be easier to find than he had first thought upon seeing the hordes of teens. After all, measuring the height of the tallest teen in his sight, Gazzy knew Iggy had to be at least three inches taller than any of these kids. He wasn't worried.

That was when a big kid pushed him. Gazzy fell, hard, into another kid.

"Watch where you're going, loser," the kid snarled, pulling Gazzy up by the hood of his jacket.

Okay, this was a bad situation. What would Iggy do? Iggy'd pound the stupid bully into the middle of next week. But Gazzy wasn't as epic as Iggy, so what could he do? The kid was strong, and tall, and mean. And would probably pound him into the middle of next week if he even laid a finger on the kid.

Bad. Bad. Bad. Gosh, being held up by your hood hurt. Gazzy was choking.

"Well, loser? What do you have to say? You better apologize, or you're gonna get it."

Gazzy choked more as the kid yanked up his hood even tighter.

"S-s-s-sorry," Gazzy muttered, gasping for breath.

"What'd ya say? Speak up, loser."

Gazzy could feel the creeps breath on his cheek.

"I s-s-said s-s-sor---"

"Put him down."

Gazzy knew that voice. His eyes widened hopefully and he struggled to look up to see Iggy, standing tall, behind the bully with his arms crossed and his blind eyes staring in Gazzy's general direction.

The big kid whirled with Gazzy's hood still clutched in his fist. He sneered at the sight of Iggy, which Gazzy found rather confusing seeing as he thought Iggy looked pretty intimidating. There was that ferocious glint in his eyes that Gazzy only saw when Eraser's were attacking, or when Max wasn't letting him have dessert. That glint usually meant someone was about to either die or be seriously injured.

"What's up, no-eyes?" the kid smirked.

"Yes, yes, quite an original nickname there. I said, put him down." Iggy's eye-glint was growing brighter. Gazzy thought the kid had better listen to him quick, or he'd end up with a few broken limbs.

"Yeah? What're you gonna do about it?" The kid was really asking for it.

Iggy grimaced. "Well, I'll give you two options. Either you let G---I mean Zephyr down right now and walk away and there'll be no more trouble, or we get into a brawl and end up in the principle's office. And, let me tell you, I doubt you'll be the one getting off light for fighting a 'poor, blind, defenseless young boy.'"

The kid holding Gazzy seemed to fight inwardly with himself for a moment, a flash of arguing expressions flitting across his gruff face. Then, with a grunt, he let Gazzy drop.

Iggy darted forward to catch Gazzy before he could collapse to the ground, and Gazzy gazed up at him thankfully. Iggy straightened hurriedly, setting Gazzy's feet firmly to the ground.

Then, the big kid shoved Iggy viciously and he stumbled, almost falling on top of Gazzy, who steadied him.

"You'll get what's coming to ya," the kid growled before turning to walk away. "Freak."

Gazzy saw Iggy's face tighten at the words, but he regained his balance and looked down at Gazzy.

"You okay, Gazzer?" he asked.

"Yeah, thanks bunches Iggs," he grinned. Then he paused, looking back at the retreating form of the bully. "Uh, why did he call you a freak?"

Iggy scowled. "Because he's a jerk."

"Is it because of your wings? No one knows about them, do they?"

Iggy sighs, taking the Gasman's hand and pulling him to the side of the hall. Gazzy noticed people staring curiously after them or grinning and pointing, but he paid no heed.

Gazzy turned back to see Iggy looking in his direction with quite a serious expression on his face.

"Listen, Gaz, people in school aren't all nice. Yeah, you'll probably make some friends, but there are always bullies, like that one, who just wanna push people around."

"Yeah?" Gazzy prompted, staring up at Iggy with wide eyes.

"Yeah? Yeah, well…" Iggy sighed, bringing a long hand up to his face. "You see, Gazzer, most people don't like… people who are different. Or, they're okay with it, but they think it's weird, or scary, or gross. That's why Max doesn't want us revealing ourselves to the public."

"Yeah?" Gazzy said, acknowledging Iggy's spiel. He knew all this already, and was waiting for him to get to the point.

"Well," Iggy continued nervously. "See, you can be different even if you don't have wings or scales or gills or weird gifts. And people can still feel weird about you, or hate you, or be mean to you just 'cause of that."

Gazzy's quiet for a moment. What was Iggy getting at? What did all of this have to do with the mean kid calling Iggy a freak?

"You mean, different like my farts?"

Iggy laughs softly. "No, Gazzer. I mean, different like… well, like being deformed. Or having a giant birthmark on your face. Or extra fingers. Or a giant noticeable scar. Or being really fat. Or… or being blind."

The Gasman stares up incredulously at his role-model. "You mean… people are mean to you just 'cause you're blind?"

Iggy sighs. "Yeah, Gazzy. Just 'cause I'm blind."

"But you're awesome!"

Laughing, Iggy turns away. "Yeah, you're right, I'm awesome. But still… don't be surprised if you hear people around school talking about the 'blind freak.'"

Gazzy doesn't catch the bitterness in Iggy's voice as he walks towards his next class. Sighing, Gazzy realized he should probably get back to his teachers.

Fang was furious. First, he'd lost Iggy on the way to next period. Then, he'd run into Max in the hall. Well, he'd noticed her. Max had been to busy being horded by a group of at least three guys, who were all flirting viciously.

Max doesn't want them, Fang tries to convince himself. But he couldn't get the vision of her, ecstatically accepting compliments from the guys and… ugh, she'd been flirting back.

Fang couldn't take it. Max was his, wasn't she? That had seemed clear when she'd kissed him on the beach that time when he'd been beat up by Ari. Hadn't it? Hadn't that, like, claimed her as his? Or him as hers? It didn't really matter what order, Fang just wanted Max.

That was when a girl interrupted his jealous reverie.

"Hey, you're Nick, right? We've got Biology together. I'm Lissa."

Fang looked down at the flirtatiously smiling girl in front of him. She had long, flowing red hair halfway down her back. Her lips were painted pink with watermelon lip-gloss---Fang could smell it from a foot away---and her eyelashes were long and feathery. She had her cheeks powdered lightly with blush and was wearing dark mascara and soft blue eye-shadow that brought out her sapphire eyes. She wore tight skinny-jeans and a layer of about three tank-tops, including a lacy undershirt.

"Hi, Lissa," Fang answered warily, noticing how much he loved red hair. "Yeah, I'm Nick."

"Cool." Lissa's smile was foxy. "Wanna walk to next period with me? You've got Math now, right?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I do," Fang replied dazedly. And then a brilliant idea spread across his mind. Max wanted crowds of boys coming after her, huh? None of them were as good as him. And Fang was ready to prove it.

He needed to get Max jealous.

On the way to next class, Fang wrapped his arm around Lissa's waist. She grinned and put her hand up on his back.

Oh, Max was going to hate this.

Okay. This chapter was… interesting. Yeah, I do imagine Gazzy idolizing Iggy… as sort of a deity, don't ya think? And yes, I think Fang got more jealous than he was letting on about Max's attention. So, how do you guys like it so far? Good, bad? I'm still awaiting my first flame. It will be a trophy for me. Please don't hold back, for pity's sake. REVIEW.

3. Rumors

Here, chapter three. I want to thank my readers, firstly… and also the fact that I have several people asking specifically for the fic to center around Iggy. He's my favorite character, of course, so that made me happy… But really, people! If you have an idea for something you'd like, like a sort of little side-story involving a character besides the ones I've already got going, or an idea for the plot, review 'em! In fact, I will MOST LIKELY use them… unless I simply hate the idea.

Disclaimer: nope.

Max couldn't believe it. Suddenly, she---and Nudge---were the most popular girls in the school! It was amazing! Sure, Max knew she had to look a bit pretty… after all, that's what Nudge and Angel were always telling her… but being the center of attention like this? Awesome!

Angel was having lots of fun as well. In a nice class, with real people! People who didn't think she was a freak and weren't trying to put her through weird tests or inject her with some sort of weird liquid. Here, she was free to express herself! She was free to let loose! To have fun!

That was why Angel was having fun. That was why she was doing the things she was doing. That was also why Angel made possibly the biggest mistake of her life.

Angel was running around. There was a big field of green, green grass just beyond the playground. Angel was playing tag with her new friends.

There were six of them. Six new friends. They were all little girls like her, and they all had wide, adorable eyes and soft pink lips. Amanda had blond hair like Angel's, only whiter, instead of golden; Rachel had soft, chocolaty brown hair, grown down past her waist and tied back in pigtails; Padma had rich, blackish-purple hair, mocha-colored skin, and deep, dark, beautiful eyes; Alexis and Alaina were identical twins, and both had shoulder-length red hair; and Caitlin had jet-black hair cut pixie-style.

The seven of them were, yes, running around in the green, green grass of the field. They were all pretending to be princesses.

"I am the fairy princess!" Amanda proclaimed, waving a glittery purple plastic wand tipped with a star; they had each gotten one from the Treasure Chest as a prize for winning a small class contest that morning during reading. It had been Angel who won the contest for them, of course; she could read best out of anyone in her grade.

"Well, I am the unicorn princess!" Rachel announced. Her wand was pink.

"I am the elf queen!" Caitlin sang, swirling her green fairy wand over her head and showering her short hair with loose glitter.

"We are the candy princesses!" Alexis and Alaina shouted simultaneously.

"I'm the flower queen!" Padma informed softly.

Angel thought for a moment. She liked the sound of all those names, but she couldn't be the same as them!

Then, she came up with a brilliant idea.

"I am the angel princess!" she shouted, leaping into the air and twirling a full four times before lightly touching back down.

Then, the seven of them started to play.

It was a very fun game. They were the seven magical royalty princess-queen beautiful lady damsels of magic. They were all sisters with wonderful powers. Angel had lots of fun; in the game, she could read minds, so she was able to 'pretend' to read the girls' minds. They were all astounded at how well she 'guessed' at what they were thinking.

That's when Angel heard the sad thoughts. At first, she thought they were just floating on the air from someone outside school; then, she realized that they were coming from the playground. When she looked back for the source of the thoughts, she saw Iggy sitting forlornly on a park bench.

Angel wondered momentarily why her Iggy sounded so sad. But she soon saw the way the other kids were watching him.

Iggy's face was turned down and slightly to the side, and Angel could see that he was trying to hide his eyes with his long bangs. However, it did not work very well. Most of the kids were playing, but it was obvious that some of them were gathered, clustered into little groups and gossiping about Iggy.

What angered Angel most was that, when they spoke, they didn't know it, but they were close enough for Iggy's enhanced ears to pick up every word they said.

Angel almost started crying; no wonder Iggy was so sad. Those people were being very mean to him. And where was Fang?

Angel couldn't find him, and she knew Gazzy was inside; Nudge was clustered amidst some girls and boys on the opposite side of the recess area, and Max was in Math. Well, Angel would just have to go over there herself and shoo the other kids away. She could make Iggy feel better; she always could.

"Where are you going, angel princess?" Rachel asked with a flourish of her fairy wand.

Angel pointed. "That boy over there. He's sad."

The other girls suddenly stopped their game, looking at each other.

"You mean the blind one?" Alaina whispered softly.

"Yes, his name is Jeff," Angel specified.

"Ooh, you don't want to go over by him." Alexis shook her head severely.

"Why not?" Angel asked, curious.

The seven of them gathered in a tight circle.

"Because," Alexis breathed. "I've heard stories about him from some of the older kids."

"Like what?" Now Angel was confused.

"Ooh, my big sister told me one," Amanda piped up. "She told me that he was crazy. She says he does all sorts of weird things, and he follows around this guy, and has schizophrenia." Amanda paused for a moment, her head cocked. "Whatever that is."

"Yeah, I heard he was in jail, like, eight times," Padma adds.

Angel didn't add to the stories the other girls began as they gossiped. She was annoyed. None of that was true! How could such terrible stories about her Iggy spread like that? She had to go over there and make him feel better. Obviously, he was hearing these things from the older-kid gossipers, and that was putting him down.

"Well, I'm going over there," Angel said stubbornly, beginning to walk away. "None of that's true, and he's very sad right now."

"If you go, you'll turn crazy and you can't be our friend any more," Amanda put in snidely. Angel stopped in her tracks, looking back at her new friends, then forward at Iggy; alone and sad, sitting woefully on that bench while everyone around him spread untrue stories that didn't even make sense. Iggy was sad. But did Angel really want to lose the only friends outside the Flock that she would probably ever make?

Angel turned back. She would talk to Iggy after school, and everything would be better.

Fang was wandering around inside the school. Lissa was waiting for him somewhere.

He knew Iggy and Angel were outside; apparently they had the same recess. So did Nudge, who was probably being flocked---ha ha, flocked---by hordes of boys and girls. Angel had probably enticed Iggy into playing some game, and he would of course comply blindly---no pun intended.

Fang was worried about Iggy. It was obvious that Iggy was nervous; after all, starting off in a new school without your sight would probably be pretty terrifying. But then there was the constant teasing that Fang new Iggy had been receiving. People just didn't like anything that was different.

Fang was also hearing weird stories about a new kid, who apparently had schizophrenia and was insane. And had been in jail several times.

He'd have to warn the rest of the Flock if a lunatic was running around the school… that couldn't be very safe. And little Angel was so small and soft-looking, she could easily be targeted for some crime. Yes, Fang would warn Max about this soon.

Right after he met Lissa.

Lissa was waiting for Fang in the library; she'd told him to meet her there during recess. Fang was quite eager, because even though she could never compare to Max in his eyes, she was still quite pretty… and a red-head. The only minus was that she was clingy, but what the heck? It's not as if Fang wasn't used to clingy. After all, he'd lived with Nudge for most of his life. And Iggy, always with a finger through his belt-loop, was no small matter either.

Fang cursed himself silently for thinking about him like that. Iggy wasn't clingy; it wasn't his fault he was blind. Nudge, on the other hand, was quite clingy… and a chatterbox.

Fang headed over to the softly waving Lissa, who was sitting at a table in almost the complete center of the room. As Fang walked over, he noticed with a touch of satisfaction that Max was looking in his direction from over by the computers. He hadn't known she would be here; it was an added bonus.

"Nick!" Lissa called softly, and Fang hurried over. "Oh, geez, I thought you wouldn't come! Why are you so late?"

"I was listening to some rumors. Checked for a second on my brother."

"Oh, you have a brother here?" Lissa asked interestedly.

Fang nodded. "Um, yeah. Well, we're not related biologically. Our parents are… missionaries, and they took us in. I've got two 'brothers' going here, and three 'sisters.'"

"Oh. Um, listen…"

"F-Nick! What're you doing here?"

It was Max, who had a strained smile pasted on her face.

"Oh, hanging out with Lissa," Fang said casually.

"Okay, well, just wanted to know where we're going to eat our lunch. Apparently the whole school eats at the same time, so we can eat with the rest of the Flock."

"Uh, sorry, but I actually just invited him to sit with me," Lissa interrupted brightly.

"Yeah, sorry, Max, I'm going to eat with Lissa," Fang nodded.

"Oh." Max did not sound happy. "Yeah. Well, go ahead. See you later."

She left with an undisguised grimace on her face.

Fang couldn't hide his smile.

"Flock?" Lissa asked him.

"Oh, just a nickname that we gave ourselves," Fang answers.

The two of them left the library holding hands.

Okay. I know that the rumor part sorta got far-fetched---I bet a lot of you were thinking "how the Hell would those stories come out of Iggy being blind?"---but I want to say this in my defense; at schools, stories get blown way out of proportion, and random stories, completely untrue and irrelevant, are invented. For instance, some of the developmentally-disabled students at our school get stories told about them "molesting teachers" and "feeling up chics" because they "don't know any better" or "think they can get away with it." Also, if someone is gay in school, they often have stories revolving about them raping little boys… which is untrue and irrelevant. People just commonly do not like differences. I just wanted to point out the severity of rumors, people… if someone is a minority, they are usually in danger of being made fun of. A simple gossiped rumor can spread out of control and completely ruin a person's life.

And let me say that if you are about to start a rumor, or hear one, don't spread it. I have a close friend who used to cut himself due to rumors and being made fun of. I also know of someone---and know, not off the news, but actually know---who committed suicide because a rumor blew up in their face.

Don't spread them, people. Rumors hurt. I hope you take that to heart.

Review, please.

4. Being Lost

Here you are. I'm glad so many people like this fic. Please keep reading.

Disclaimer: You know what, I don't think I'll put this up any more. I AM James Patterson. HA!

Iggy could feel his throat closing up. He choked slightly on the sour air as he took in a deep breath. His bangs tickled his eyes, and he wanted more than ever to brush them out of the way, but they were his only shield.

"Schizophrenic? I dunno, he was talking to himself earlier…"

"How many times was he in? Eight? Man, that's some juvy kid…"

Iggy blinked. So he was a Schizo, huh? A criminal too? Where was all of this coming from?

Iggy wanted Fang to come back. It had been nearly twenty minutes since he had just dropped Iggy off at that stupid bench and left. From what Iggy knew, recess ended in five minutes. He didn't even know how to get back inside.

He wished someone would come to his rescue, tell off all those stupid gossipers, take him inside, drive him back to Anne's house… someone who would help him and tell him everything was fine, and then he'd make enchiladas or someone else of the tasty variety.

Angel could. Iggy had been hearing her on and off the whole recess. She was behind him, playing with other girls in a field or something. She would help him, right?

But Iggy knew that wasn't going to happen. Because from what had been running through Iggy's head, he knew she would have came over already if she ever intended too.

Was there really no one who cared?

Iggy's throat tightened again. He raised his nervously twitching hand to his face and traced his eyes. His eyelashes fluttered over his fingertips, and his lip trembled.

Wait. Was he honestly crying? Impossible.

Suddenly, a whistle blew harshly from across the schoolyard. Iggy clamped his eyes shut, though of course it didn't help at all against the sharp screech invading his hypersensitive eardrums. He tried hard not to whimper, but he hadn't heard a noise so painful in a while.

"Come in! Recess over! Lunch time!"

The voice was rough and grainy, though a large relief compared to the terrible whistle. Iggy stood shakily. Oh, god, he didn't know where to go! When Fang had taken him to that bench, he'd been zoning out, worrying about the school. Where was he supposed to go? Where was the school?

Iggy started to panic. Call Angel, he thought, she'll help.

"Angel?" he whispered. I'm lost. I don't know where I am.

And he heard it. Footsteps coming towards him; Angel's footsteps. She was running in his direction, with six other little feet pattering softly against the asphalt.

Iggy stood shakily, rising to his full six-or-so feet. Angel?

He heard the footsteps falter and halt in front of him. He stared in her direction, his blind eyes pleading.

Then, she continued. Just left him there.

The air caught in his throat again. No one was going to help him.

He'd have to do it himself.

But, at least he could follow the voices of Angel and her little friends.

Angel wasn't even looking back. He could hear it in her voice.

Iggy began hurriedly following the sounds of people. The asphalt was hard against the soles of his new tennis shoes. The air continued to choke him, and Iggy was worried he'd stop breathing.

Suddenly, something caught on his shoe that he obviously hadn't seen. Iggy tripped and landed on his hands and knees. He gritted his teeth, feeling the torn skin on his palms.

"Owch!" he heard.

Apparently, he'd tripped over something that could talk.

Iggy turned slightly to face whoever he'd tripped over, and heard a tiny voice.

A young girl, probably a year or so younger than Angel. She quickly stood.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, sounding terrified. "Please, I didn't mean to trip you."

Was she scared of him? It sounded like it.

"I'm… sorry. I should have heard you," Iggy muttered, standing and examining his torn hands. He was angry at himself now.

He turned away. "I won't bother you. It's lunch time."

Iggy walked away, towards the muffled voices, and entered a door.

His pride at having discovered the way in himself was drowned by the pain at realizing no one had wanted to help.

The lunch room was… somewhere. Iggy tried to memorize the route he took while following the footsteps of people streaming towards the cafeteria. He hung around at the edge of the crowd, trying hard not to draw attention to himself. It was times like these when he wished he weren't taller than everyone else, and too easily noticeable.

Fang. Fang had promised to come back. He'd promised. But he'd lied, and now Iggy had to find his way around alone, friendless, and surrounded by hostility.

The cafeteria turned out to be huge, and terrified Iggy. There were so many voices, so many echoes, that he had no idea where to go. What to do. He had money from Anne with which to buy lunch, but where was he supposed to go to do that?

Iggy hovered at the edge of the huge room. Where was the Flock? Max had promised they'd all sit together, but he didn't know where together was.

Iggy hesitated, and took a step forward.

And tripped, yet again; this time over a foot. That had been stuck out on purpose.

There were cruel giggles. "Watch it, freak," a voice sneered. It was the boy from before that had bullied Gazzy.

Iggy's hands skidded against the tiled floor, aching and still bloody from his previous fall. He rose to his knees as the people walked away, laughing.

"Here," someone said. He felt a hand around hi arm, pulling him up. "Those guys are jerks. Don't let them get to you."

The girl helped Iggy stand and steadied him with her arms.

"Um, thanks," Iggy muttered.

"No problem. You're Jeff, right? I'm Tess. We're in Biology together. Wanna wait in the lunch line with me?"

Iggy felt dizzy. Someone was talking to him! "Sure," he replied.

The girl, Tess, led him across the room to a long line of chattering people. Iggy could hear kids moving away from him as he entered the line. He scowled.

"Oh, yeah, there's some funny rumors going around about you, you know?" Tess giggles. "People can be so cruel!"

Iggy starts. "You mean, you've heard them, but you're still hanging around me?"

He can feel Tess shrug. "Well, yeah. I know enough about this school to realize that any rumors going around are false. I've had enough told about myself to know." She sighs heavily. "Heck, my two best friends have funny stories about them---completely untrue---about things weird like murder and molest. This school's just creepy. You know, there's my clique, we're just a group of kids who were shoved out of the normal crowd 'cause of rumors. Sort of stupid, but at least we understand each other. Although the whole school thinks we're some sort of criminal gang."

Iggy was intrigued. "Why'd you have rumors about you? You sound really nice."

Tess shrugs. "I don't know. I guess… well, everyone here is really religious, but I'm sort of not."

Iggy nods. "That sucks."


Yay! This chappie is finite! I'm so grateful to my readers. In this fic, I'm trying to touch on some of the heavier topics about schools and bullying. So I will be including several discriminated minorities. Please do not get offended. I merely want to point out certain things.

Such as Tess; I know many people are not fond of Atheism, but I want to say something. Just because one does not believe in God does not make them mean, evil, or spiteful. Also, I always find it confusing when religious people try to shove down your throats things like "believe in God!" "God is wonderful!" or "You don't believe in God? You're going to Hell!"

No, I do not disrespect beliefs. I respect people who believe in God, or people who celebrate any religion. My simple point is that, I don't preach to the religious that God is not true, or that Heaven is fake. I respect what they believe, and I would never try to convince them otherwise. I don't mind that they believe something different than me. So why is it so terrible that I don't believe what they do?

I also admit that many religious people are not mean towards non-religious, nor preach to their face; many of my friends are Christian, and they are not mean to me or try to make me Christian. I simply know that some people are. Please don't discriminate due to beliefs. Isn't it better to simply accept everyone? Why do different opinions need to cause hate and war? Thank you for bearing with my ranting. I will probably include such long author's notes for many of these chapters. Of course, you do not have to read them, but I believe them beneficial. Thank you.

Please review!

5. Lunch Time

Here you go. I'm so happy I've been having a lot of readers for this fic. Please continue reading! I hope you like it!

Disclaimer: NOT JP. THIS IS FINAL.

Gazzy trudged into the cafeteria. He was feeling rather wary, seeing as he had no idea where any of the Flock was. Luckily, though, he spotted Max chattering with some new friends across the room.

He made his quick way through the crowds of screaming people, chatting teens, and the sea of chairs and tables. It took a minute or two, but he finally met Max and her group.

"Hey, Max!" he piped up happily. Max turned and grinned at him.

"Hey, G-Zephyr," she acknowledged.

"Ooh, is that your little brother?" one of the girls asked. She was tall and bubbly, with platinum blond hair that was obviously died. She was furiously chewing a wad of pink bubblegum, and wearing tight short-shorts and a skimpy top. Gazzy was surprised that Max could even bear standing near her; she wasn't the type Max liked.

"Oh, yeah," Max nodded, smiling, and pulling him closer into a bear hug that Gazzy knew she would never have given him.

"Uh, Max?"

"Yeah, honey?" she asked, smiling, ruffling his hair.

"Oh, he's the cutest little thing!" the platinum girl cooed. Another girl, this time a brunette with her hair cut in a swing-bob with side bangs, giggled.

"Yeah, he's adorable! But you're all, like, adopted, right? What are your other siblings?"

"Oh," Max laughed. The third girl, another blond but this time with golden hair, and two boys gazed at her intently. "I've got two other brothers, and two sisters as well."

The golden blond smiled. "Oh, you're so lucky! Having so many brothers and sisters. I'm an only child, it's hard!"

Max laughed again, and turned down to me. "So, Zeph, what's up?"

"Um," Gazzy started, quite confused at Max's actions. "Just, where are we all sitting?"

"Oh, we can all sit here!" Max gestured at the table they were by. She plopped down on a chair, and the rest of her group did the same. Gazzy warily made his way and sat next to her.

The group of teens chattered nonstop, trying to include Gazzy as much as possible. But, of course, Gazzy being a nine-year-old who was actually focusing on finding Iggy in the crowd, was bored. He wanted to get away from the bubbly prep-folk and find his favorite brother.

Iggy was waiting in line with Tess.

Tess was really cool!

Iggy never knew he'd meet a girl who knew exactly how to build a stink bomb. Iggy never thought he'd meet another person who could light a match on, not just the box, but the sole of their shoes and their teeth (something he only did to show off, as it vaguely burned his lips).

He never thought he'd meet someone in this school who would want to be his friend.

He was greatly relieved that he'd been wrong.

"Hey," Tess said.

"Huh?" Iggy replied.

"What are you getting? For lunch?"

"Um…" Iggy could feel himself blushing. He didn't know the menu.

"Do you like chicken?"

"… Yeah."

"Okay. Ma'am? Could we please each have a chicken patty, on a bun, with French fries and fruit? Thanks."

Tess received both trays handed to her, and gave Iggy's to him. Then they continued to the register, where they promptly paid.

"Here," Tess said, guiding Iggy through the cafeteria with an elbow slightly brushing his. Iggy almost felt as if it was Max, the way she led him in the air – brushing wing-tips. But it was Tess, and it made him happy anyway.

"Hey Max!"

It was Nudge. Iggy turned his head in the direction of her bubbly voice. Max would undoubtedly be there as well.

"Hi, N-Krystal! How's it going?"

"School's been so awesome! I made a bunch of friends. Hi, Zephyr!"


Iggy paused for a moment, tray in hand, listening to the conversation. Should he make his way over there? Were they waiting for him.

"Hi, Krystal! It's nice to meet you!"

Iggy froze. That voice… It was one of the many which had gossiped about him, earlier. About him being insane, etcetera. Max was hanging out with her?

"Hey, Max, where's F-Nick?"

"Oh, he's eating with his girlfriend." Iggy could hear bitter jealousy in her voice. Max was never jealous about him.

"Max, Max, what about Jeff?"

That was Gazzy's voice. Should Iggy go over there now? Or did Tess want him to eat with her?

"Jeff? Oh, I dunno. It doesn't matter, we'll see him later."

Iggy's throat knotted.

She didn't care. She didn't care about him.

"Jeff? This way. Or were you looking for someone?" Tess tugged at his arm.

"What?" Iggy asked, turning his head in her direction. "Oh, no. I'm following."

Fang saw Iggy moving through the crowd, guided by a girl with died purple hair. The girl was tall, only about two inches shorter than him… that's right, she was taller than Fang. She led him over to a long table at the back of the cafeteria, filled with a bunch of punkish, gothic, emo-looking kids…

Well, Fang just hoped he wasn't getting into any trouble. It didn't really matter where Iggy sat, that was his choice.

Fang noticed Max, Nudge, Gazzy, and a group of other teens sitting at a table across the room. Just then, Angel and six other girls skipped over to them and joined happily.

Max looked up suddenly, meeting Fang's eyes. Fang grinned and waved sarcastically, and she scowled and looked away.

Yup. Definitely Fang's ploy was working; Max was so jealous.

"Nick, come on! You're going to starve if you don't eat your lunch," Lissa chided. And, Fang being a desperately-in-love-and-needing-about-five-thousand-calories-a-day bird-kid, he complied readily. The French fries were good. The hamburger, though, could use some work. He thought it was a bit dry.

Thank you for reading, and please, REVIEW.

6. Whispering

Have a good time.

"This is where we sit!" Tess said happily, tapping the chair next to her's as she sat down.

Iggy smiled, trying not to seem sad about it, and sat down in the implied chair. He could hear Tess pick a French fry and eat it.

"Who's the new guy?" a boy asked from across the table. Iggy's head jerked up to stare in the kid's direction. His hands had been fingering the different foods, wondering exactly how they would taste in his watering bird-kid mouth.

"That's Jeff," Tess smiled, introducing them.

"Yeah? Where'd he come from? Why the heck is he sitting with us outcasts?" another boy asked.

"He's an Out too," Tess responded. Iggy winced at the bluntness in her statement. "Oh! And Jeff, the first boy who spoke is Kyle, and the other guy is his boyfriend Ian. They're my two best friends."

"Hi!" Ian and Kyle said simultaneously.

"Um, hi," Iggy acknowledged them, picking up his chicken patty and bringing it to his mouth, taking a huge bite.

"So, why are you an Out?" Kyle asked.

"Yeah," Ian agreed. "You seem nice, and you look pretty hot to me."

"Hey, don't go cheating on me!" Kyle laughed, and Iggy heard him shove Ian playfully. They sounded fun, like Fang and Max arguing.

"Oh, shut it, guys. He's the blind one."

"Oooohhhh," Kyle and Ian both said, nodding.

Iggy sighed. "I feel so loved. Everyone knows about me. I must be really popular."

Ian laughed. "I like you. I like your sense of humor. You're good."

Iggy managed a wry smirk. "Why thank you. My 'good'ness will come in handy when everyone's muttering about my Schizophrenia."

"You're a Schizo?" Kyle asked, sounding interested.

"No. But that's what kids are saying." Iggy paused, thinking about Max's 'Voice'. "But, come to think of it, my sister is, and she's still popular."

Tess sat back, musing. "That's ironic, aint it? Who is this sis you speak of?"


"Which Max?"

"The one with the long, sun-streaked blond hair, firm, confidant stance, piercing chocolate eyes, and red, rose-petal lips," Iggy drawled.

"Oh, that Max," Kyle said.

"You're pretty good at describing her," Tess acknowledged. "You know, despite your obvious disability in that area. What kind of incestuous relationship do you two have?"

Iggy laughed. "No, no incestuous relationship, I just have to listen to my… friend rambling about her everyday."

Fang stared in Max's direction, at her rose-petal lips, parted slightly as she listened to Gazzy chatter. At her chocolaty eyes, which rested on the faces of the new 'friends' she had made. At her sun-streaked blond hair, which was shiny and thick, well-brushed (unlike usual), and wavy, rippling down her back in a gleaming curtain. Her fingers daintily ruffled Angel's hair as she rushed past, playing Tag with her six little-girl friends.

God, Fang was in love.

"Nick!" Lissa chirruped from his side. "Could we go down to our next class? There's only five minutes till lunch ends, and I want to make sure we can sit next to each other!"

"That's great," Fang answered absent-mindedly. He stood with Lissa and walked towards and out the doors.

On the way, he caught the eyes of that purple-haired girl Iggy had made friends with. She was wearing black skinny-jeans and a red tank-top over a lacy grey undershirt. She had at least ten ear-piercings, not including the silvery ring in her bottom lip and the stud in her right nostril. The girl turned back to the two boys across from them. The boy on the left had ruffled brown hair, the one on the right had black hair in a cowlick, like Gazzy. The two boys appeared to be laughing and joking with Iggy and the girl, and they were holding hands on the table.

Fang wondered what Iggy had gotten himself into, sitting with the Goth-girl and the gay dudes. Of course, Fang wasn't stereotypical or discriminative, or homophobic… no, he just didn't think it would be all that good for Iggy's rep to hang with that crowd.

Speaking of Iggy, wasn't he supposed to guide him to the next class?

Ah, Iggy could get Goth-girl to help him. Fang was with Lissa. And getting Max jealous was more important than seeing Iggy got to one class on time, right?

The bell rang, harshly echoing in Nudge's ears. Gosh, why did the bell have to be so loud? It was so annoying, the loudness! Nudge wished the stupid bell would just shut up…

And, indeed, it did. Nudge sat back again, relieved at the peaceful bell-free chaos of the cafeteria, until she realized that the bell, in fact, meant she had to get up and get to class.

She stood huffily and brushed down her jeans, waved a cheery goodbye to Gazzy, Angel, Max, and their gathered friends, and headed in the direction of her classroom.

Nudge wondered where the heck Iggy was. He hadn't been there during lunch… she knew Fang was eating with some red-head, but where had Iggy eaten?

That's when she saw his strawberry hair over the heads of the other people in the cafeteria. Nudge squealed and jumped up and down, waving in his direction, until she realized that, obviously, he wouldn't be able to see it. Instead, she settled for making her way through the crowd towards him.

Nudge reached Iggy just as he started to exit the door. He was being guided along with a girl with dyed purple hair, who had her hand clutching his sleeve. Nudge huffed angrily at the gesture. That was always her, holding him! Guiding him along! Well, if it wasn't Fang, or Max, or Gazzy, or Angel. But, still.

"Hey, I-Jeff! How've ya been? It's been so hectic today! I hope you like your teachers, mine are great, except for my History teacher, he's really mean. And my Language Arts teachers sucks too, which is annoying, because Language Arts is like my second-favorite class! I've always liked writing, have you? Oh, I dunno, because I suppose you're good at it, but you've got terrible handwriting and I can never read it… but that's not your fault, seeing as you're blind, so you can't see the lines…"

"Uh, hi to you too, N-Krystal," Iggy replied uncertainly. Nudge scowled at the purple-haired girl, who was looking at her with interest. She didn't much like that girl; she was stealing her Iggy.

"So, how've you been? I've been doing, well, I guess, but I asked you didn't I? So?"

"Uh…" Iggy paused for a second, looking torn. "… Yeah. Yeah, I've been doing really well. The kids here are really nice."

Nudge hoped he wasn't talking about Miss Purple.

"That's great! Listen, Jeff, I gotta go, next class and all, so I'll seeya…"

"Yeah, bye," Iggy called after her as she rushed away.

As she continued through the crowded halls, a friend she had made – Nicole – joined her.

"What was that?" she muttered to her, head low.

"What was what?" Nudge asked back.

"You were just talking… to that new guy!"

"Yeah? So?" Nudge found no problem with talking with her boyfr… brother.

"What do you mean 'yeah, so?' That guys dangerous!"

Nudge pondered that for a second. Iggy, dangerous? Yeah, he really was, to all those Erasers who tried to cross him… really dangerous, actually. Plus, his bombs. But she still didn't see any problem with talking to him.

"Yeah. So?"

"Well… did he, ya know, do anything to you?"

Nudge pondered this for a moment. When she was around Iggy… he made butterflies flutter around in her stomach. He made everything about anything seem happy. He made her smile. Yeah, he did tons of stuff to her.

Nudge lowered her voice and answered her friend. "Yeah. Yeah he did."

Stupid, stupid Nudge. Can't you see you just started a terrible rumor? Oh, poor poor Iggy. I just like torturing the guy, don't I?

Hello. Goodbye. La la lsflkja la ladsfkkfjkkds aleee al ala lalal alal a

lals sallsj dksjl eikdls aljdkfja lslsll llslsie kdisla lsiendkfj lksl lalal lehghghgfalalalal lallall eieeidkn dlslkd fjkdlsla kddkjsl iejeflj iejhglgjsifj.

That last thing was code. Every fifth letter ties together to spell out a message! It's a special top-secret spoiler for the fanfic!

If you actually went back and re-read the "top secret coded message," to try to break the 'code', then you are officially a gullible moron! Congratulations! Your prize is a forceful quote; "REVIEW RIGHT NOW!" Happy days are here! YOU MUST OBEY THE FORCEFUL QUOTE.

7. The Empty Room

Wow. It feels like forever since the last time I updated! I'm so sorry, faithful readers! Now, here is another chapter…

Iggy didn't really care where he was.

He had told Tess he knew exactly where his next class was and urged her to go to her own; he didn't need her help. Fang was gone as well, and Nudge had left to hang with her friends after their short conversation. Now Iggy was all alone, in the hallway, where the people were slowly dwindling.

No one there. No one at all. Iggy was alone.

He liked it better this way.

His family obviously had no regard to whether or not he got to his next class, or whether or not he liked his classes, or whether or not he was having the worst time of his life… possibly even including the School. At least in the School, Iggy had people he knew cared for him. Now, he wasn't so sure.

Tess had been a welcome relief, a friend in this field of misery. He was grateful. But he wasn't happy.

Iggy trailed his fingers along the lockers lined across the wall. He didn't really know where he was going, or why he hadn't accepted Tess's offer to take him to his class. He didn't know what was going through his mind by now. All he knew was that he wasn't going back into those classrooms today. He wasn't doing that again today. He couldn't bare it.

He almost yelped when his hand met emptiness, falling through to touch grainy wood. But then he realized it was a door.

He felt along the smooth wood for a doorknob, and met it almost instantly. He wrapped his shaking palm around the metal, and turned to find the door unlocked. Lucky him.

He suddenly wondered if perhaps the room beyond was a full classroom, loaded with kids who would laugh at the lost blind boy entering late into the wrong classroom. But when he strained his ears, he heard no voices, no muttering students, no instructing teacher beyond. The room was empty, a safe haven.

So Iggy did pull open the door.

Inside, a cool air blew forward to brush his face with calming fingers. He stepped inside swiftly and pulled the heavy door closed behind him, wincing at the loud noise which erupted. He hadn't meant to slam it.

Iggy stoop upright, wondering the layout of the room. It was obviously some sort of abandoned classroom, so there were possibly chairs somewhere, and maybe even a chalkboard.

He held out his hands cautiously in front of him, not wanting to walk into anything, and when they met only air he strode forward…

… and ended up sprawled on the floor, not quite sure of what he had tripped over. All he knew was that his knees and palms were aching from catching himself before the tiled floor had punched his face.

"Aw, jeez!" Iggy cursed. "Why the heck do I always have to do that? Oh, yeah, obviously. Iggy, don't even kid yourself, you're hopeless. As long as you're blind and you're not clinging onto someone's hand, you are always gonna be running into things."

Iggy sat up and sighed heavily, running his hand through his hair.

Suddenly, he had the aching desire to know exactly what color it was.

But that was one of the many things Iggy didn't, and probably would never know. What color his hair was. What color his wings were. What he looked like. What his family looked like.

Iggy's eyes prickled, and he rubbed them hurriedly with his knuckles. He couldn't cry now, not when he had held his tears in all these years. Not now that he was alone. Although, he figured, that was probably the best time.

But then he heard something.

Iggy's head flew up nearly instantaneously, listening avidly to the room. He hadn't heard anything at first, but maybe that was because someone was just being quiet. He cursed again, this time under his breath. He had been talking to himself, and nearly started crying, and someone had been secretly watching him the whole time.

"Hello?" he asked quietly.

"Hi?" answered a tiny voice. He recognized it from somewhere…

Iggy stood up reluctantly, surprised to find that the floor had been rather comfortable. "Who is it?"

"Um… um… my name is Emmie… and you're that one boy, the one who fell over me."

Oh, that was where he recognized the voice. This was the young girl he had tripped over during recess.

"Oh. Okay. I didn't know anyone was in here. And sorry about that, earlier…"

"It's okay!" Emmie answered, and Iggy was surprised that her voice had grown in both volume and joy. "I know you can't see anything, so it wasn't your fault."

Iggy winced. "Yeah. Well, then, I'll just go somewhere else…"

"No! No, please don't leave! It's always so lonely in here all alone."

Iggy was shocked yet again. This girl wanted him to stay?

"Haven't you heard about me?" he asked skeptically.

"Yup," Emmie answered. "Of course. My big brother told me all about you, how you were in jail, and you're a juvenile, and you did crimes, and hear voices, and if I get too close to you then you'll do bad things to me."

Iggy rolled his eyes. Wow. Really?

"But its okay, because when you tripped over me, and I looked at your eyes, you were crying."

Iggy frowned. Had he really been crying? It was true that his eyes had started watering, but he had been sure no one noticed.

"And since you were crying, I knew you weren't a bad person. Because… because tears mean you are sad. And bad people are never sad."

Iggy listened around, searching for the girl's location, and suddenly felt her tiny clutch the hem of his shirt.

"Even a murderer. If a murderer can cry, it means she regrets. And even if people do terrible things, they can still be good."

Iggy put his own hand over Emmie's, and lifted it away as he moved through the room again, this time careful not to trip over unforeseen objects.

"But I didn't do any of those things. None of them. I didn't do any…"

Iggy's voice broke.

"Here. Let's go sit here!" Emmie said, dragging Iggy towards the back of the room and sitting him down on a wooden bench. She sat next to him, and then he heard wood sliding over something. He reached forward, and his hand met something he didn't think he had ever felt before.

"What is this?"

"It's a piano," Emmie answered. "I want to teach you!"

Fang didn't know where Iggy was. If he came to class now, he would be about twenty minutes tardy.

But, oh well. Iggy could ditch class if he wanted.

He returned his attention to Lissa, and didn't even notice when Iggy didn't appear to any of his classes for the rest of the day.

Okay. Here's something. At the end of every chapter from now on, I will ask a question which you WILL reply to via review. Thank you.

Q: In school, do you know of a person who seems to stand out from the crowd as an outcast? How is this person different? Do they have few friends? And have you even performed an act of kindness for this person?