The Past by ChocolateMilk2

Category:Maximum Ride
Published:2008-03-02 23:40:27
Updated:2008-04-13 07:06:13
Packaged:2021-05-07 02:28:59
Summary:Max's dead. Itex has vanished from thin air. Now everyone else must learn to move on. But many find themselves still stuck in the past..

Table of Contents

1. Nudge
2. Angel

1. Nudge

City at night. I'm on fourth avenue. Or maybe it's fourth street. The stars that I usually use to guide me are whited out by window lights, slowly flickering out. It's late. The street-lamps came on ages ago, and black insects swarm around a few.

A convertible blaring latest music speeds past filled with drunk looking teenagers at the wheel. I feel a little smashed too. When I try to think of my dance routine, all I can do is stagger. My images of triple pirouettes quickly change into that of trifle pancakes.

Angel was always good at dancing. She does brilliant cooking.

I know I'm only thinking of her because we had a fight lately. Because I'm mean to her. Because she's dying. Sounds selfish when I think of it that way. But it's her own fault. Own fault she chopped her wings off. Own fault her life sucks.

All the skyscrapers look the same, but I recognise this small flat as mine. I jam my hairpin into the lock and twist, coming into a dull looking corridor. Lost my keys ages ago. There's a bench with a glass of water, a light bulb stranded from the ceiling, a locked door, and an elevator.

I type the floor into the elevator, and hit the call button. I'm the type to wake up the whole building even if I do get the floor right. With a start, I realise that my life sucks too. Doesn't mean I can sympathise with Angel. I do, though. That's just the way it is. I pity her.

When I reach my room, I find Iggy sprawled on my bed, tangled amongst my clothes and a bunch of sheets. Sick again, still wearing his work clothes. Now I'll have to sleep on the couch.

I'm not tired just yet, though. In the kitchen, pour myself a mug of coffee and settle on the balcony. The rooms are tiny. Outside I can smell the pollution, but don't feel as if I'm enclosed in a cage.

Cages make me think of Fang and School. Can picture him screaming at us, saying he's trapped, yelling at Angel that it's all her fault. Her petite hands hugging total to her chest, arguing with Fang, and Gazzy backing her up. Things someone so young shouldn't have had to know. Escape.

And Fang's escape from us. Then me and Iggy, explaining how we have to go. How we can't look after them. The betrayal etched on their faces like stone. Shouting about being just like Fang. Shouting about shouting so much.

I cup my hands around my coffee, shuddering. Coffee's so addictive. Can remember how I always said I'd never touch the stuff. Because it's icky. Guess it's too late for that now.

Gazzy's been calling me lately. Telling me all about his girlfriend and how good life in Brookland is for him. How good it is for Angel. Where she and I have been growing apart, Gazzy and I have been growing closer. But I think he's lonely too. Bit depressed. He's got a crush on me. He's funny. I like him, in his own way, too.

Then there's Iggy. We're not really together in a sense. There have been a few awkward kisses, nothing more. He's so nice. He plats my hair. He thinks I'm beautiful. Though I think we might've been closer if he wasn't blind. If he wasn't blind. Sounds so horrible.

Its one of the reasons I can't leave him, too. He wouldn't be able to stay with me knowing I want to be with someone else. But frankly, his job sucks. We can barely afford to pay the apartment rent together. Know that if he leaves he won't be able to look after himself. And he can't rely on his family either.

Take another sip of my coffee. It burns my tongue and I splutter. Maybe Iggy'd hate me if I did that. Maybe he and Angel would form a little alliance. Maybe they'd get together. Maybe Iggy'd kill himself. Maybe Fang already has. After all, we haven't heard from him since… then. Since the day he left.

But I don't care about him anymore, I remind myself, and I don't care about Max. He needs to get over the past. Reality sets in. I miss him so much. And I miss Max. In a way, I miss everyone else. Can't everyone and everything just go back to the way they were?

My coffee feels cold in my hands. Suddenly I'm not thirsty. My mobile rings. It's Gazzy. I don't know what he's doing calling me at this hour. Course, I remember Time Zones and feel stupid. Lucky though. I might've been still asleep. Wedging the phone between my chin and my shoulder, I can hear him speak.

"So maybe we could hit LA tonight, Nudge. I know you love shopping. We can grab a drink." His voice is doubtful. I've rejected him so many times. Then I think of Iggy. My mind is set.

I agree. "Sure Gazzy. Just one night, though, okay. My boss'll kill me if I'm late for schedule tomorrow, and they're planning this massive meeting on funds…"

If I could see him now, he'd probably be shell-shocked. But he manages to sound casual. He laughs. "I don't envy you. So where'd you want to meet? The Plaza or…?" He trails off.

My coffee is dropped to the cement ground, where it smashes. I extend my wings through the back of my shirt. Its new, and it tears a little. Such a pity, I liked it too. Just have to buy a new one, then. Now I'm diving off the balcony. I don't care who sees me. I've still got the phone in my hands. The wind is probably roaring through the speakers. Out of reception, too, probably.

I'm swooping through the night sky and I feel fine. All that matters. "Sure." I say into the phone, "the Plaza sounds perfect."


I don't use Canon characters all too much, and I'm glad I tried to. Everyone's a little OOC, but I'll fix it. This fic's way jerkier than my others, and lots harder to read, but that's why I like it so much. Generally just replace unfinished sentences with your own little words, if its that bad.

2. Angel

So dark

So dark. So cold. So quiet.

Was alone, entangled amongst a fluffy curtain I'd bought. Or stolen, really. Made the shopkeeper buy. We weren't allowed, or meant to be able to use our powers anymore, but yet I had. Was the way he sneered at me, like I was all pretty and no punch. Either that or because it was so dark, so cool against my skin, so nice. Couldn't afford luxuries anymore, and to have something so expensive made me feel all cosy inside.

Cosy. I remember Max thinking that I loved being like that, a long time ago now. She thought I was the one she loved best, too. And then Fang hogging the glory and attention, nose up. Nobody seemed remember me being kidnapped, or shrugging off a billion Erasers like nothing…

Before I knew, I was crying. With half guilt and half sorrow and half rage. Was it possible to have three halves? I didn't know. But it felt wrong of me to disrespect Max like that. She was dead, and did nothing to me. And I had been treating the others badly, too. Especially Nudge. She didn't deserve it. But it felt good.

So did crying. Now I was sobbing into my blankets openly, tears streaming down my cheeks. Don't know how long I sat there doing nothing but that for. I'd already mourned at the aftermath thing, though. It wasn't exactly a funeral, as we

By the time I was done crying my eyes were red and puffy and my nose all clogged. I thought I was about to go to sleep, when the door creaked. It was Total. He hovered at the doorway, and I subconsciously dipped into his mind, only to recoil.

I'd never been that good at reading animals' minds. They were layered out differently, and seemed ruled more over by emotions and instincts instead of thoughts and ideas. Like trying to catch an FM signal on an AM radio, all choppy and static. Reading Total's mind was somewhat different, strange merge of the two, and was almost what kept us so close. Sometimes, although I never told anyone, if I looked hard enough into his mind he could look into mine, too.

Total was angry. That was for sure. But he was also confused, anxious, worried- and pitying on a small degree, very tired. Exhausted, even. He didn't need to say anything aloud, or even through the link. He'd already been thinking it enough, most that night. No, Angel. You can't keep this up. Don't do this to yourself.

Total turned around, skittered out of my room, out my frame of vision. I buried my head under my sheets. He was off to tell Gazzy. Sure enough, in a few minutes, the light flittered on, and he stood there in his pyjama pants, nightgown and slippers, looking even more tired than Total felt. I pulled the curtain blankets over my head.

And he was walking over, and kneeling down, pulling them back off my head and sitting me up. The whole 'I know how you feel' look was on his face. I knew he didn't, but wouldn't dare read his mind, not after Total. "Hey," he said simply.

Was he expecting the flood gates to open by all bounds, then he was disappointed. I couldn't help notice how less shadowy room looked in the light, though, as my eyes adjusted. "Hi," Replied shyly. "Do you er- want something?"

"I think you know what I want," he said, and sighed. Your happiness, added in Total from behind with sarcasm, in case I missed. I glared at him, but happy he thought I was stable enough to put up. Not treat me like broken china, as Gazzy did. He continued on regardless; "Look, you're my sister. I've known you all my life. But you've known them, too. It's only natural, you'll be sad, but-"

This made me snort. "I'll be sad?" I asked with loathing, "you can't even say their names. Besides, it's not like Fang's dead or anything."

There was an awkward silence, and I knew I'd gone too far. Total didn't but in. This was harsh water, the stuff we didn't ever talk about. "This isn't about him," Gazzy muttered, "this is about us. No, about you. I- you're scaring us, Angel. You're scaring me. This mean, loathing, depressive, spiteful person- it isn't you. And if you continue this way, then…" Gazzy's voice broke.

"What will happen?" I prompted, "Go on, tell me. Will you ground me? Take my little doll away? Send me to a girl's barding school for table manners?"

Angel, Total warned, but Gazzy seemed only mildly affected. "No," he said to Total, "she needs to know."

"What do I need to know?" I snapped, just as Total said, "No!"

They exchanged a glance. Keeping secrets. Felt oddly hurt, as if they found me too young, too immature. A tiny kid picked last for team on sports' day. But Gazzy only was really two years older than me. "Tell me." Demanded weakly, "I'll just learn about it from your thoughts, anyway."

"Angel, little Angel," Gazzy said, holding my hand. He hadn't done that for a long time. "We need your job. We need the money. We've been slacking off. And if you keep up the whole powers prose then you're bound to get caught." He gestured to the blanket-curtain. "That stunt you pulled was filmed, by the shop's security camera. This is why we don't so this stuff in public. Not because it's bad or unnatural, but because its risky. What if somebody found out about us? We'd have to move again, and be in an even worse situation."

"And unfortunately, in theory, we can't do that anymore. We don't have the funding, the money. We're not technically legal here without a guardian according to state books, either, only holding on the law by a thread. If somebody gets too interested in why you get away with such great pay for short overtime or something, then social service's get called. Back in government hands. And if that doesn't doesn't put us in Itex's hands then I don't know what will. Even if we do manage to escape, or avoid being taken, then we'll be either on the run or you'll be in an orphanage, separated from me. Both nasty options,"

Was overwhelmed. Having life put into perspective like that was frightening. And there were so many questions I could ask, but it felt oddly as if I didn't have the power to. Evidently, Gazzy could tell; "I'll let you think about it for awhile, okay?"

And they slipped out of the room, Total trotting behind. The light went off. Darkness again. This time it didn't feel so cosy and inviting. So sleep, naturally, took a very long time to dawn.

This had less jerkiness, and more drama, I think. Just wondering where this would go if I continued it…