The One Left Behind by flYegurl

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Family, Tragedy
Published:2010-11-07 12:40:18
Updated:2010-11-07 12:40:18
Packaged:2021-04-22 01:19:28
Summary:She left him behind; it was supposed to be just that once. But she left him behind, and now it's for forever. "I guess 'us' is just five now, huh?" "Yeah."

The One Left Behind

Disclaimer: I don't own Maximum Ride.

The sky was sunny, barely any clouds blocking the light from beaming down to hit the ground. The earth was freshly turned; the six-foot hole looked deep and uninviting. And at the bottom was the body.

"I thought you said that 'us' was all six, not just five. Isn't that what you said, Max?"

I struggled to hold back a sob, and my chest shook. The five of us surrounded the gaping hole in the Earth, faces turned down, hearts heavy with grief and loss.

"That's what you said. That we'd never separate again. Was that all a lie?"

Tears trickled down Angel's cheeks to land with soft taps on the soil, salty water seeping into the ground. Gazzy bit his lip and choked out a sob. Nudge cried unashamedly.

"So that's it. It was all a lie. I guess 'us' can just be five if you need it to be."

I never wanted it. I never even thought. It was just a job; just a mission. It wasn't meant to be anything big. Scope the land, spy a little. Not too dangerous. We were tipped off by an unsigned email. And, of course, it's not like… like he was going to be much help in that kind of situation…

"You said we'd stick together! Now you're just going to leave me? Like some kind of… of pet you can leave behind whenever you feel like it?"

"I'm sorry," I whispered softly. "I'm so, so sorry."

"Well, if that's how you feel, I won't go anyway. I'll stay behind. So you won't be 'hindered' or anything."

When we came back, the house had been destroyed. The walls were smashed in. The furniture demolished. The bodies of Erasers and Flyboys lay strewn about, like discarded rag dolls.

I'd cried out, suddenly terrified, rushing through the wreckage, searching frantically for the boy I'd left behind.

"So go on, Maximum. I won't be a burden for you."

We'd found him in the living room. Dead already. Seven bullets in his chest. He must have fought even while bleeding to death. He had taken them all out.

"Wouldn't want to put you guys in any danger by having a blind boy tag along."

He'd been holding something tightly in his cold hands. A crumpled old photo… of us. Of the flock.

"Seriously? That's how it is now?"

It's not like he would have been able to look at it. He just had it. He knew what was on it, so he treasured it.

"I guess I'm the one left behind."

"You jerk," I muttered while trying hard not to cry. "You're the one who left us behind."

Fang's bottom lip quivered as he shoveled dirt down into the hole, covering a small part of the body's skin. Another shovel-full buried his left hand.

Angel stifled another sob and opened her mouth to speak.

"You were my f-favorite p-p-person to t-talk to when I felt s-sad," she started. "You always helped me f-feel better. I love you so much."

Next was the Gasman, rubbing his sleeve furiously against his eyes.

"Why'd you have to go? We had so much we were going to do! What about that bomb we started? What now? What am I going to do without my best friend?" His voice broke and he almost started crying again. But he continued. "You're so mean. You said you'd teach me everything you knew. But you didn't. And now you can't. Please…"

Then he was done, breaking off into sobs once again.

Nudge started to speak then, her voice quivering and breaking every so often, tears continuing to stream from her brown eyes.

"You… you always told me to be quiet. But you were never mad about it. And you always used to tell me that my motor-mouth was one of the things you liked most about me." Her expression twisted, and a sob struggled its way out of her mouth. "Once I was upset because I didn't look as pretty as all those models in the fashion magazines, and you heard me crying and came into my room. You comforted me, and told me I was beautiful and gorgeous. That I was one of the prettiest girls he had ever met, and that that only included Max and Angel. And that those stupid supermodels should be jealous that a girl like me was alive to shine. I always remembered that. But I never told you that you were beautiful too. Gosh, why'd you have to leave before I could tell you that I loved you?"

Nudge broke off into sobs and tears, putting her hands over her face, her shoulders shaking. And then it was Fang's turn.

He had been shoveling the dirt in the whole time, and now almost all of the body was covered, except for the face. He leaned on the pole of the shovel and gazed down into the darkness, staring at the closed eyes. A lone tear drifted down his cheek.

"You idiot," he started, his voice soft. "Why'd you have to take them all on? They had guns, you stupid… They had guns. They were strong. Why didn't you just run away? You are such a freaking idiot." Then his eyes softened, and he finished with a final sentence; "Gosh, you were my freaking best friend; I love you."

I struggled to keep myself under control; I had to say something that could sum up everything I felt about him, everything I knew and loved about that boy in the grave we had dug ourselves. But nothing could ever do that. So I had to settle for one sentence, that I hoped conveyed my deepest feelings.

"I'm sorry, Iggy."

And then Fang lifted the shovel once again to bury the last of my brother, and then we all helped to fill the grave.

"I guess 'us' is just five now, huh?"

I turned my gaze to the sky and imagined him flying there, finally able to see.

"Yeah. I guess so."