The Sickness by I Luv Captain Terror

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Drama, Romance
Published:2006-08-20 09:39:52
Updated:2007-06-19 16:21:32
Packaged:2021-05-07 03:48:10
Summary:The flock has gone three months without being attacked, but then everything comes crashing down and all sense of safety is lost. They find their lives are in more danger than ever before. THERE WILL BE FAXNESS!

Table of Contents

1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19
20. Chapter 20
21. Chapter 21
22. Chapter 22
23. Chapter 23
24. Chapter 24
25. Chapter 25
26. Chapter 26
27. Chapter 27
28. Chapter 28
29. Chapter 29
30. Chapter 30

1. Chapter 1

Well, I thought I would go ahead and post this now and not wait until it gets 80 something chapters like I did with Prisoner. So here's my second MR story and it will have Faxness eventually.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot and the new characters I choose to bring in. JP owns everything else, of course.

The Sickness- Chapter 1

It had been three months since we were at Itex. You may remember when that bomb exploded at Itex and then Fang and I sharing a soda toasting to our victory. It seems so long ago to me, the flock too.

We've been living without a single eraser ever showing their ugly, furry faces for three months. Everyday we wake up expecting something to go wrong, but nothing ever does. I'm not complaining, it feels good to get a rest, but that's all it is, a rest.

I'm not easily fooled. I know there has got to be something brewing and the whitecoats are behind it, just waiting to unleash it. I'm not paranoid, I'm smart. I know better than to think I could actually live a normal and safe life out 'til the day I die.

We found an abandoned house to stay in out in the middle of the woods, back in Colorado about a hundred miles north east of the last one we had. I liked it and so did the flock. There were four bedrooms, two bathrooms, so it worked very well. Angel and Nudge shared a room and so did the Gasman and Iggy, meaning Fang and I got our own rooms that just happened to be right across from each other.

As far as the flock goes, they're doing very well, Total too.

Gazzy was delighted to find he developed a new power just a month after the Itex explosion, a month of no erasers. He can see small glimpses of the future, sometimes in dreams and sometimes when he's awake. A very cool power. One time he saw that the power was going to go out, which was very useful because it gave us time to go buy flashlights and some candles. What can I say, we're not fans of the dark. We'd like to be able to see where we're going and not be blind like Iggy.

Now, back to the present… I was saying 'goodnight' to all the members of the flock. Surprising enough, Fang had recently started making the rounds with me and then we would say 'goodnight' to each other and retreat into our own rooms. It reminded me of a mommy, daddy routine, but I often shook that thought out of my brain, Fang and I were best friends and in some ways brother and sister, no more, no less.

As I exited Iggy and Gazzy's room with Fang close behind I turned and said a simple 'goodnight' to Fang with a small smile.

"Goodnight." He said in return.

We both turned and went into our separate rooms.

I walked over to my bed and slipped underneath the covers, pulling them to my chin. Closing my eyes I slowly let myself sink into sleep.

A knock came on the door, the front door.

My body tensed and my adrenaline started pouring through my veins. I threw the covers off of my slim body and walked over to my door, pulling it open.

Moments later Fang emerged from his room, eyes on me.

"Someone's at the door." I said looking up into his dark eyes.

He gave me a 'no kidding' look and I rolled my eyes.

The knock came again.

"Erasers don't knock, right?" I asked looking at the door.

"No." He said simply then walked bravely over to the door.

I stayed where I was and prepared myself for the worst.

Fang opened the door then asked, "What?"

A voice said, "We're looking for Maximum Ride."

I slowly walked to the door.

"Why?" Fang asked in a monotone voice.

"We need her help." Another voice said.

"Do you know her or not?" The first voice asked sounding annoyed.

"I'm Max." I said stepping into view.

There was a boy and girl standing in front of Fang. They looked identical, probably twins.

The boy was blond and had stunning blue eyes, his hair was short and spiked. He wore jeans with rips on the knees and a dark green shirt.

The girl also had blond hair, hers falling half way down her back flowing freely. Her eyes a crystal blue identical to the boy's. She was wearing spandex dark green pants that ended a little past her knees and a black shirt with a green vest over it.

"We need your help." The girl said taking a step forward.

AN: Hope you liked it! Please review!

2. Chapter 2

The Sickness- Chapter 2

"My help?" I asked looking at them like they were crazy.

"Yes." The boy said.

"It's a matter of life and death." The girl added.

I took a step to the side and motioned them in.

They walked into the front room on which was on the right.

I stole a glance at Fang seeing him staring intently at our two visitors. I turned my attention back to the two seeing them looking at me, I walked into the front room. Fang followed me in, right on my heels.

"So, who are you and how do you know me?" I asked sitting on the arm of the couch with my arms folded across my chest. Fang sat on the couch, right next to me, so close we were almost touching.

"I'm Kane." The boy said pointing to himself then he pointed to the girl. "And this is my twin sister Lane."

"Kane and Lane?" Fang asked with a raised eyebrow.

I turned to look at him, seeing he was smirking. It was kind of funny.

"It's a twin thing." He said shrugging.

"A dumb twin thing." The girl added.

"So I take it you didn't name yourselves?" I asked amused.

"No." Kane confirmed.

"Jeb did." Lane said staring at me.

I could feel my breath catch in my throat.

"Did he send you?" I asked going on alert.

"Definitely not." Lane said looking mad that I would even ask.

"Then why are you here?" I asked furrowing my brow. "I need more of an explanation than 'we need your help'."

"The government is slowly uncovering what Jeb and the other whitecoats have been doing to kids for all these years."

"'Bout time." I muttered.

"Yes, it is." Lane said nodding. "But the whitecoats are doing everything they can to hide what they did."

"Explain." Fang said leaning in and laying his forearms on his thighs.

"They're burning all the files they have on us."

"Us?" I piped up. "You're experiments too?"

"Yes, we're like you." Kane said standing up and letting his wings out through the holes in the back of his shirt.

I looked at Lane expectantly.

She rolled her eyes and unfurled her wings too.

They had matching wings, crystal blue like their eyes, with thin strips of black randomly placed here and there. It was a stunning sight.

They both tucked their wings back in and sat down.

"Convinced that you can trust us yet?" Kane asked eyeing me.

"You're getting there." I said nodding.

He smiled.

"Continue." Fang said making Kane lose his smile.

"Right." Lane said exhaling. "As we were saying… They're burning all the files that could be used against them, ordering termination of every mutant kid they can find…"

"That doesn't make sense." I said shaking my head. "We haven't had a problem with erasers for months."

"The erasers aren't what you should be worried about." Kane said solemnly.

I looked at him expectantly, but he said no more.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked looking between the two of them.

"The whitecoats haven't sent erasers after you, because they were too busy developing something." Lane said meeting my eyes. "Something that promises the end of the mutant population."

"Which would be?" Fang asked.

"The sickness."

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

3. Chapter 3

The Sickness- Chapter 3

"The sickness?" I asked giving them a confused look.

"A virus created to strictly infect the mutant population." Lane explained.

"So you're saying they made this virus to kill all of us?"

"Yes." Lane said nodding.

"Does that include the erasers?" Fang asked.

"Theoretically… yes." Kane said with a slight nod.

"Theoretically?" I questioned.

"We haven't heard of any erasers getting sick." Lane said shaking her head.

"But the erasers are walking proof of what the whitecaots did, just like us." Kane added.

"Meaning they would eventually have to be terminated too." Fang said looking over at me. Our eyes met, but I looked away quickly as another question popped into my head.

"So why don't they just have the erasers kill all of us, why create a virus?"

"Your guess is as good as ours." Lane said shrugging.

"I have a theory." Kane piped up.

We all looked at him surprised, even Lane.

"A virus is subtle." He stated. "If the government were to find us, they would see we died from a virus. They would never know the whitecoats were the ones who created it and infected us with it."

I furrowed my brow and Kane sighed.

"They wouldn't be charged with murder on top of whatever charges they may get for making us the way we are."

"This is all so…" I began.

"Complex?" Kane questioned.

"Exactly." I said rubbing my temples.

"So what else do you know?" Fang asked intently.

"The rest is just rumors." Lane said shaking her head making her long blond hair sway.

"I'd like to hear 'em." I said looking at her.

"We've heard that there are mutants at the School infected with the virus and some have already died. There's also suspicion that a few winged mutants outside the School are infected."

"Do you know anything about the virus itself?" Fang asked furrowing his brow.

"Nothing." Kane confirmed.

"So what do you want me to do?" I asked confused.

"Help us find the cure." Kane explained giving me a 'duh' look.

"What if there isn't one?"

"Chances are that there is." Lane said sounding annoyed again.

"So you want me to go running around with you, even though I barely know you… and search for something we don't even know exists." I said in a simple 'you must be mentally unstable' tone. "I can't leave my flock."

"Then don't, bring them with you." Lane argued.

"I can't put them in danger for no reason."

"No reason?" She questioned. "People are dying, people like us. We could be next… any one of us. Do you want to wait for a body count or are you going to help us stop this?"

I looked over at Fang and then back at the two people in front of us.

"We need to talk it over." I announced.

Both of them nodded and smiled.

"But first I have another question."

"Shoot." Kane said with another smile like the one before that Fang ruined.

"Do you have powers?"

They looked at each other and smiled, then looked at me, Fang still beside me.

"We can heal."

"Both of you?"

They nodded.

"Twin thing." Fang whispered in my ear, making me smile.

Then it dawned on me… Why couldn't they just heal anyone infected with the virus? I asked them just that.

Their answer, "Our powers are limited to flesh wounds, broken bones, and bruising."

I nodded in understanding.

Fang stood up and I took that as my sign to exit, so we could talk about whether we were going to lend a helping hand or not.

We exited to my room, but we never made it there. The sound of windows crashing echoed through the hallway making Fang and I run back to where we had just come from.

I stood wide eyed with my mouth agape as I saw what was in front of me.

The erasers had come back.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

4. Chapter 4

The Sickness- Chapter 4

Kane and Lane were being held by two erasers, one on each arm. A pack of erasers stood between them and us including Ari who was staring intently at me.

"Hi Max."

I stayed silent as I stared him down.

"Max…" A voice called down the hallway.

I turned to see the flock standing there.

"U and A?" Iggy asked.

"Yeah." I said back.

They made a run for it.

I turned to see Ari inches away from me, only to be stopped by Fang tackling him to the ground before he could touch me.

"No!" Someone yelled from across the room. Lane.

I didn't understand what had her so worked up at first, but then I caught a glimpse of a small needle with a yellow substance inside. They were going to infect her with the virus.

I made a run over to her, but was knocked down by an eraser. He swung a hairy paw at me, but I dodged and jabbed a knee into his ribs. He rolled away from me and I immediately pushed myself to my feet and ran to Lane.

I threw a punch at the eraser holding the needle only to have the needle swing at me. I kicked his hand trying to knock the needle from his grip, but it didn't work.

He swung the needle at me again and I repeated what I had done before, kicking his hand. This time the needle dropped to the ground. The eraser reached for it, but I kicked it away from him toward the far corner of the front room.

I placed a kick to the eraser's jaw causing him to fall back after I heard a satisfying crack.

I ran to Kane and helped him fight his erasers, then Lane's.

They must not have much experience in fighting eraser's because the punches and kicks they were throwing were nowhere near as hard as Fang and I's. They didn't know the best way to take them down or anything like that, we'd have to teach them… assuming they would be staying with us for awhile.

I looked over at Fang and Ari to see Fang hit the ground, but get up instantly.

A punch was delivered to my cheek moments later followed by the familiar taste of blood in my mouth. I looked to see an eraser about to deliver another punch to me, but I ducked and swept his legs out from under him, so he fell onto his back. His breath left him on impact giving me time to make another move while he tried to recover. I stood and placed a kick in his throat causing him to start gagging and gasping for air.

"Where'd you learn to fight like that?" Lane asked wide eyed.

"Experience." I said bitterly.

She nodded then said, "Thanks for saving me."

"You're welcome." I said looking away from her to see Fang's fight with Ari ending.

Fang seemed fine, but so did Ari.

"Max!" Fang yelled suddenly causing me to go on alert. "Behind you!"

I turned to see an eraser holding the needle with the yellow liquid inside, the virus. He was running at me with the needle out and I was frozen not knowing how to dodge it and make sure no one else got stuck.

He swung the needle at me once, but I dodged.

He swung it at me again and I dodged only to be grabbed by two erasers.

I saw Fang try his best to end his fight with Ari, but Ari was holding strong. Fang couldn't help me now. There had to be a way to get out of this.

I struggled in the two eraser's grip, ending up unsuccessful.

The needle came down toward my skin only to be stopped in midair.

I looked down at the ground to see Fang fighting with the eraser holding the needle.

Then I turned and saw Kane and Lane trying their best to fight Ari. They weren't completely bad at fighting, not when they teamed up at least.

Suddenly I was torn from the erasers' grip by Fang and we fought them 'til they stayed down.

I looked over at the eraser Fang had been fighting, the needle was sticking out of his neck, completely empty. He had been infected with the virus. I took a deep breath thankful that Fang hadn't been infected.

"Let's go." I said to the three winged kids in the room.

We walked out of the house and immediately flew up to meet with the flock.

AN: Hope you liked it! Please keep the reviews coming!

5. Chapter 5

The Sickness- Chapter 5

We landed in the woods for the night, sleeping in a small clearing where the trees were bare enough to fit a fire and eight people, plus a dog.

"Fang, get wood." I instructed. "Iggy start a fire."

It felt like it had been years since we were on the run, staying amongst the trees or in abandoned buildings. Part of me knew I'd never escape this life and the other part was fooled by months of not having to fight erasers.

I saw Fang return with wood and Iggy start the fire. I turned to look at Lane and Kane to see them standing watching us, looking kind of lost.

They saw me looking at them and I saw them make their way to me in graceful strides.

"I can take care of that for you." Lane said motioning to my cheek.

I was confused for a moment then touched my cheek feeling that it had swollen from when Ari had landed a punch to it.

"I'm fine." I said waving her off.

"It will only take a minute, if that." She said with a small smile.

I debated for a moment then decided to swallow my pride and let her heal me, as the pain started to make its presence known and flare with unbelievable strength.

I walked away from the flock and went to sit by the fire, she sat next to me.

She reached her hand out to me hovering it just over my cheek, not touching it. I felt the pain in my cheek slowly leave and my cheek shrink back to normal size.

I looked at her in amazement.

"That's a handy power." I said with a small smile.

She nodded smiling brightly.

"Kane and I have definitely made good use out of it, more on animals than other bird kids though. We haven't seen many of them."

"But you have seen some?" I questioned.

"Yeah." She said nodding. "Why?"

"Because you two are the only other bird kids we've seen besides a girl at the Institute." I answered. "How many have you seen?"

"Eight, traveling in a pack like you."

"Woah." I said amazed. "That's a large number."

Lane nodded.

"Do you know where they are?" I asked hopefully.

"No, we haven't seen them in a month." She said looking at the ground. "We parted ways."

"Why?" I asked curiously.

"They wanted to see if the rumors were true about there being bird kids that were infected with the sickness, that were being tested on."

"So they could free them?" I asked hopefully.

"Yeah." She said with a smile and a nod. "We would have gone, but when we heard about you we thought you might want to help us. We could use all the help we can get."

"Well, we'll help any way we can." I said honestly.


Kane walked over to us and sat down.

"Is he always that stubborn?" He asked me motioning to Fang.

"Why?" I asked with a small smile.

"He's got a cut on his arm and I asked if he wanted me to heal it and he looked at me like I was crazy or just plain stupid." He explained.

"Sounds like the Fang I know." I said with a laugh.

The two of them smiled.

I looked around then back at them. "You should get some sleep."

"What about you?" Kane asked.

"I'm taking first watch." I explained.

They gave me a look of understanding then stood and walked away from the flock a bit to lay more by themselves in a small area near the tree line.

"Fang, I've got first watch." I said turning to see him close behind me.

"Wake me for second." He said with a vague nod.

I watched as he laid down between the flock and the two new additions to the pack. Fang didn't trust them yet and neither did I, almost, just not yet.

I walked over to the fire and sat next to it keeping my ears and eyes pealed for unwanted and unexpected visitors.

I could hear the flock drifting off to sleep slowly, noticing their breathing become steady and I could see their faces relaxing.

Three hours later my shift was over and it was time for me to go wake Fang

I took cautious, careful steps over to him then knelt beside him. I placed a hand on his shoulder and whispered his name softly.

His eyes opened to look up at me.

"Your shift." I said lifting my hand from his shoulder.

He levered himself up into a sitting position then stood as I laid down where he had just been. I kept my eyes on him to see him give me one last glance then make his way over to the fire and sit where I had been just moments before.

I closed my eyes and felt myself being lulled into sleep.

The sound of a twig snapping made my eyes snap open and my body shoot into a sitting position. I looked over at Fang to see he had heard it too.

I stood and walked next to him, the two of us listening intently. We heard it again and turned in the direction of the noise.

My eyes widened as they rested on a group of people, winged people.

"Daze, you know what to do." A tall bird boy said.

A small girl probably about the Gasman's age made her way to stand in front of the group. She put her hands out towards Fang and I. Suddenly I felt very tired and began to feel like I could fall asleep any second. I looked at Fang and he looked like he was having the same feeling. Eventually my eyes closed and I fell to the ground.

AN: Hope you liked it! Please review!

6. Chapter 6

The Sickness- Chapter 6

"Max…" Someone called hovering over me.

My eyes snapped open to see Lane.

"What happened?" I asked still feeling drowsy.

"Daze put you to sleep." She answered.

"Who?" I asked confused.

"Daze, she's a member of the group I was telling you about."

I levered myself into a sitting position to see a much larger group of winged kids.

"You said there was eight." I said looking at Lane.

"They found seven bird kids at the School." She explained.

"Wow." I said stunned. "That makes the total count to twenty three of us, plus Total."

She nodded.

I looked around and saw the flock was still asleep, Fang lying beside me.

"Fang." I said gently shaking his shoulder.

His eyes shot open to look at me.

"We have company."

He pushed himself up to stand and I quickly stood next to him. He had his fists clenched looking like he was ready to fight.

I wrapped my arm around his arm then said, "It's okay, Lane and Kane know them."

"Since when do we trust them?" He whispered in return.

I rolled my eyes.

"We're outnumbered anyway, so we might as well go along with them for now." I said with a shrug.

"If they fight anything like them then we could take 'em." He said with a smirk.

"Heard that." Kane said from his place beside his sister.

Fang shot him a glare.

I walked away from Fang to stand in front of the group of bird kids.

"You must be Maximum Ride." A tall boy about my age said.

"In the flesh." I said crossing my arms. "Who are you?"

"Flash." He said offering his hand out to me.

I took it and felt his hand squeeze mine gently.

"Well, I'll wake my flock and then we can all introduce ourselves." I said gesturing to the flock, all of them still asleep, except for Fang.

He gave me a small nod and a small smile crossed my lips as I turned to wake the flock.

"Up and at 'em." I called walking over to the four sleeping forms, five if you include Total.

I heard some groans and some yawns. They all looked at me questioningly when they saw it was still dark out and then became aware of the new arrivals and automatically looked like they were on alert.

"It's okay." I assured.

They looked so confused that it took all my willpower not to laugh.

I turned back to look at the new group of mutants.

"Everyone find a seat." I said motioning to the area around me. "Introductions could take awhile."

Flash smirked and walked over to me.

"Leaders go in the middle?" He asked.

"Sure." I said smiling back.

"That means me too then." Another boy around my age said looking unsure of this whole situation. He looked how I felt inside.

I looked around the three of us to see the three groups sitting in packs behind where their leader stood. I saw the flock behind me still looking confused, minus Fang who was staring at the three of us intently.

I turned back to look at the two boys.

"Who wants to start?" I asked crossing my arms.

"Ladies first." Flash said with a smirk.

I smirked back at him then said, "Okay."

The two boys waited for me to begin.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

7. Chapter 7

The Sickness- Chapter 7

"Okay, we're all going to introduce ourselves and I'm gonna start." I said looking everyone over to see them all looking at me intently. "Just say your name, age, and power if you have one."

"I'm Max." I said gesturing to myself. "I can fly at incredible speeds and I'm 14."

I gave Fang a nod to go next.

"Fang. Fourteen." He said simply.

"Iggy, fourteen." Iggy said. "I'm blind, but I can cook and make bombs in a matter of minutes."

"I'm Nudge and I have this really cool power. If I touch something I can see its history, what happened before I came and touched it." She said with a smile. "And I'm eleven."

"I'm Gazzy and I can mimic voices and see glimpses of the future." The Gasman said proudly. "And I help Iggy with bombs too. I'm eight."

"I'm Angel and I'm six. Gazzy is my brother." She said smiling over at her brother. "I can read minds and make people do what I want. I can also talk to fish."

"Wow." Flash said from his spot next to me.

"Just wait 'til you see her use those powers." I said with a smile. "It's a little scary."

"I'm Total and I can jump really high." He said proudly.

I rolled my eyes.

"You have a talking dog?" Flash asked me.

"Long story." I said shaking my head wearing a smile.

He smiled back at me.

I looked around to see everyone looking at us three leaders.

"Your turn." I said looking at Flash.

He looked away from me and began his introduction.

"I'm Flash, fourteen." He announced. "I have the power of light."

He turned the palm of his hand to the sky and a beam of light appeared, cascading into the sky. It was a really cool power.

I looked over Flash to see his was actually pretty hott. Yes, I said he was hott.

He had on dark blue jeans and a long sleeve black shirt. His eyes were green and his hair was a mix of brown and black.

"Well, I guess it's my turn." A girl said standing up.

She had hazel eyes and black hair that fell upon her shoulders. She was wearing light blue jeans that had random rips here and there and a black hoodie.

"I'm Shift and I'm also fourteen." She said proudly. "My power is shape shifting."

She came to stand next to me then morphed to look exactly like me.

"Woah." I said as my eyes widened.

"Pretty neat, huh?" She asked morphing back to look like herself again and taking a seat back with the rest of her group.

"I'm Veil and I'm thirteen." A girl in white capris and a blue and white shirt said standing up. "I can blind my opponent."

She had red hair that fell just past her shoulders and green eyes.

"I'm Gus, age eleven." A young boy said from the ground.

He was wearing dark blue jogging pants and a white t-shirt. He had brown, shaggy hair and brown eyes that matched perfectly with his hair.

"My power is wind or air really." He explained.

He wove his hand towards the flock and I saw a breeze sweep onto them making their hair fly and make them shiver.

Another boy stood up. He was wearing black jogging pants and a black t-shirt. His hair was black with streaks of brown that matched his eyes.

"Frame, age ten, power to freeze time." He said simply then sat back down.

The girl who had put Fang and I to sleep stood up. She was wearing jean shorts and a long sleeve teal shirt. Her eyes were brown and her hair was blond and cut even with her chin.

"I'm Daze and I'm eight." She said with a smile. "And as most of you know I can make people fall asleep."

A young boy wearing all black spoke from where he sat. He had hazel eyes and blond shaggy hair.

"I'm Slate. Seven years old." He said in a monotone voice that reminded me of Fang. "I can read people's emotions."

A young girl wearing black capris and a lime green shirt waved from her spot on the ground. She had stunning green eyes and black hair with thin green stripes in it, her hair just short of reaching her shoulders.

"Hello, I'm Jade and I am six." She said beaming. "I have telekinesis."

I think my mouth just dropped open. Why did the young kids have the most amazing powers. That just seemed so weird.

The third leader began his introduction.

"I'm Blink, thirteen years old, and I have the power of teleportation." He explained.

He had on dark jeans and a white shirt. He had red hair and blue eyes.

"Mirage, age twelve, and I have the power to make my opponents see things that aren't there." She explained. "Like an illusion."

She had brown hair with chunks of blond in it and blue eyes. She wore a yellow t-shirt and light blue jean shorts.

"I'm Fade and I'm eleven." A girl wearing red pants and a black shirt said. She had dark blue eyes and black hair. "I can walk through solid stuff like walls or people, even."

"I'm Myst and I control water." A girl clothed in all blue said. "And I'm ten."

Her hair was blond with thin blue stripes in it and her eyes a stunning sea blue.

"I'm Cue and I'm eight." Cue said wearing jeans and a brown shirt. "I control the weather."

Lightning flashed quickly then he smiled. He had brown hair with white stripes in it and hazel eyes.

"I'm Ember and I control fire… age seven." A girl clothed in all red said.

She had redish brown eyes and red hair.

"Ghost, age six and I turn invisible." The kid said doing just that then appearing again.

He was clothed in all white and had blue eyes with white blond hair.

"Last, that leaves us." Kane said speaking up from his spot next to his sister. "I'm Kane and this is Lane, we're twelve and we heal."

"That will come in handy." Flash said with a smirk turning to look at me again.

"It already did." I said nodding and smiling.

There was something about Flash that I was drawn to.

AN: Hope you liked it! Thanks for the reviews! Please keep reviewing!

8. Chapter 8

The Sickness- Chapter 8

Everyone had basically gone to sleep except for a select few. I was still awake and so was Fang. Flash was awake sitting next to Shift who was also awake. Blink was the only one awake from his group and looked like he was about to fall asleep any minute now.

Fang was sitting a few feet away from me by the fire, staring at it intently. I was standing and looking over all of the members from the other groups and my flock.

My attention turned toward Flash and Shift. She was talking quietly to him as he looked away from her and locked eyes with me.

I quickly looked away and went to sit by Fang. He turned his attention toward me for a moment then went back to staring at the fire. I sat listening to the sound of the fire crackle silently and felt the heat it produced cascade over my face.

Suddenly there was a tap on my shoulder, which made me whip around in surprise. I saw Flash smiling to himself holding his hands up in defense.

"It's just me." He said keeping his hands up. "I didn't mean to scare you."

"You didn't." I said shaking my head. "You just surprised me."

"Sorry." He said looking into my eyes.

"It's okay."

"Mind if I sit down?" He asked motioning to the spot next to me.

"No, go ahead." I said with a smile.

"Thanks." He said taking a seat. "So, you have the power of speed."

"Yeah, not as cool as the power of light, but it's a thrill." I said with a shrug.

"Eh… you can get away from erasers with your power." He said shaking his head. "All I can do is use my hands like flashlights."

"It's cooler than that and you know it." I said with a small laugh.

"Maybe." Flash said with a shrug.

Fang stood up from his spot on the other side of me and walked over to where the flock was sleeping to lye down with them, maybe even get some sleep.

"He's not much of a talker, huh?" Flash asked with a smirk.

"No." I said simply.

"Not even to you?"

"Not really."

"So you two aren't together?"

"Like dating?" I asked feeling myself blush.

Flash nodded.

"No." I said shaking my head.


I looked at Flash like he was crazy.

"What?" He asked.

"Why do you think that Fang and I not being a couple is a good thing?"

"Isn't it obvious?" He asked tilting his head slightly to the side.

I shook my head ever so slightly.

"I happen to think you are quite beautiful." He whispered in my ear.

I turned a darker shade of red as I blushed more.

"Do you flirt this much with other girls?" I asked turning my head away.

"What other girls?"

I motioned toward Shift.

"Shift is like a sister to me."

"Like Fang is to me." I said nodding.

Okay, was I just trying to convince him or myself? Ugh… I'm hopeless. I don't have feelings for Fang, do I?

"Right." He confirmed.

We sat in silence for a few minutes gazing at the fire until Flash broke the silence.

"How about we go flying?" He offered standing up.

"What?" I asked taken by surprise.

"Well, I showed you my power." He said crossing his arms. "You turn to show me yours."

"I can't." I said shaking my head.

"Why?" He asked cocking his head to the side.

"I barely know you." I said shooting up from my seat. "I'd be crazy to fly off with someone I barely know and Fang would kill me."

"Fang." Flash said nodding.

"What is that look for?" I asked with side eyes.

"Do you always to what Fang wants?"

"I never listen to Fang." I said shaking my head.

"Then why start now?" Flash asked with a smirk.

As I thought things over Flash offered his hand out to me.

"Yes or no?" He questioned.

I sighed then said, "Okay."

He broke into a full smile then let go and took off into the air. I followed after him and secretly hoped I wouldn't regret this later.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

9. Chapter 9

The Sickness- Chapter 9

I was up in the sky with Flash by my side. He had beautiful black and brown wings and the way he flied reminded me so much of Fang.

"Are you gonna show me your power now or what?" Flash asked looking over at me.

"Alright." I said exhaling.

I started flying and then felt myself start to go really fast. I turned quickly in the air and flew back to stop next to where I left Flash.

"Wow." He said with wide eyes. "That was like two hundred, easy."

"Yeah." I said with a proud smile.

He smiled back at me.

Suddenly things went very wrong. I could feel my head pounding with pain and then explode like it used to before the voice showed up. I clutched my hands to my head to keep large chunks of my skull from breaking away. My wings stopped flapping and I lost all feeling in my body, I was numb.

The wind whistled past me as I quickly lost altitude.

I held my hands tighter against my head as the pain increased and then all went black.

-The Ruler still isn't working.-

Flash scooped Max up into his arms stopping her from hitting the ground.

She was still holding her head as tears gushed down her red cheeks.

"Max." Flash said worriedly as he flew her back to camp.

He arrived at camp with Max lying limp in his arms. He ran in toward where her group, or her flock as she called it, was sleeping.

There was one still awake sitting by the fire, Fang. His eyes lifted to rest on Flash with Max in his arms and he immediately shot up from his spot by the fire and made his way toward Flash.

"What did you do?" Fang asked angrily as he removed Max from Flash's arms.

"Nothing." He defended. "She was clutching her head and then stopped flapping her wings. I saved her from falling to her death."

"Join the club." Fang said lying Max down carefully.

"That's happened before?" Flash asked wide eyed.

"Months ago." Fang said looking down at Max with an unreadable expression.

"Is she going to be okay?"

"She'll be fine." Fang said keeping his eyes on Max. "She just needs to rest."

Flash stayed where he was looking down at Max then looked at Fang to see him staring at him with a silent expression.

"I guess I'll go get some sleep." Flash said.

Fang looked down at Max as he heard Flash's footsteps slowly get quieter.

"You'll be okay." Fang said quietly to her.

-Back to Max's P.O.V.-

"You'll be okay." I heard Fang say.

"Fang?" I croaked out.

"How you feeling?" He asked me with what looked like worry on his face.

"My head is killing me." I said bringing one of my hands to touch my forehead.

"No voice yet?"

"No." I answered shaking my head. "And hopefully never again."

He nodded.

I closed my eyes and let out a breath.

"You should get some sleep." He said as my eyes met his dark ones.

"You too." I said rolling my eyes.

"Goodnight." He said with a smirk as he stood up and walked over to the fire.

"Goodnight." I whispered as he walked away.

AN: Hope you liked it! You guys are reviewing so fast that we caught up to my last chapter I've had written. I'm due to write another chappy sometime today, but after that the chapters will take me a little longer to post. But I still have plenty of chapters written for Prisoner just waiting to be posted! Review please!

10. Chapter 10

The Sickness- Chapter 10

I woke up what I guessed was late morning considering practically everyone was awake except for none other than me.

I sat up slowly and looked around to see the flock eating by where the fire was just burning last night. It must have gone out on its own or someone put it out, because there were no flames to be seen there from where I was looking.

"Max, you're awake!" Angel yelled coming over to me and throwing her skinny arms around my neck. "We thought you were never going to wake up."

"Just tired I guess." I said rubbing her back before she released me. "Why didn't anyone wake me up?"

I directed that question more toward Fang. He turned his head away, breaking eye contact.

"Fang said to let you sleep."

"Why am I not surprised?" I muttered underneath my breath bitterly.

"Here you go, Max." Nudge said walking a couple granola bars over to me.

"Thanks." I said taking them from her and ripping one open.

I devoured it, but I didn't care if I looked dumb. I was very hungry.

"Hey Max." Someone said from behind me.

I turned and saw Flash standing there looking uneasy.

"Hey." I said giving him a questioning look.

"How you feeling?"

"Fine." I said looking down at the ground.

Nudge and Angel moved back over to join Gazzy, Iggy, and Fang. We were in earshot and I was sure Flash wanted privacy by the way he kept glancing at the flock.

"You want to go for a walk?" Flash asked finally.

I looked up at him then over at the flock feeling someone looking at me… Fang.

"Sure." I said breathing out and looking at him again.

He smiled and stood. I followed him out of earshot toward the woods.

"Thanks for… catching me." I said kind of embarrassed.

"Anytime." He said waving it off like it was nothing.

He looked at me smiling and I let out a laugh.

"So, um… why'd you want to go on a walk?" I asked crossing my arms.

"Because I couldn't take you flying after what happened last night." He said joking.

I wasn't amused.

"I'm serious." I said glancing at him.

"Sorry." He said looking at the ground.

"It's okay." I assured. "I'm just not used to talking to people outside the flock."

"I understand." He said with a nod.

It was silent for a few moments then he broke it.

"I wanted to make sure you were okay and discuss my reward." He said looking very serious.

"Reward?" I asked furrowing my eyebrows.

"Yeah." He said with a nod. "I saved your life… so it's only fair I get a reward."

"You're serious?" I asked laughing.

"Very." He said with a grin.

I rolled my eyes.

"What would you like as your reward?" I questioned.

"Your trust."

"Can't have it." I said simply. "Anything else?"

"A kiss?" He asked as his grin molded into a smirk.

I started laughing and then saw the look on his face.

"No." I said shaking my head.

"Why?" He asked throwing his arms down to his sides.

"Because I've known you for a day… not even a full day." I explained shaking my head and continuing to laugh.

"I don't think that's the reason." He said eyeing me.

"Really?" I asked amused. "So what do you think the reason is?"

"You're embarrassed at how forward I'm being." He said nodding. "You're blushing."

"That's not the reason." I said starting lose my sense of humor.

"Then what is?"

"Why do you care?"

"Because I want to know why I can't have one measly kiss." He said shaking his head slowly at the ground then looking up at me.

"Alright, I'll tell you." I said throwing my hands out in annoyance.

"Okay." He said looking at me expectantly.

"It's because if I were to kiss someone every time they saved me from getting killed, then I would be making out with Fang right now."

And with that last statement I walked back to camp alone.

AN: Alright, it could be a day or two until I post the next chapter, since this is the last chapter I have written. Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

11. Chapter 11

The Sickness- Chapter 11

I walked into camp alone walking past the two groups until I reached mine. Fang turned his attention toward me and I could see his eyes shift looking for Flash.

I walked over and sat next to him.

"Where's Flash?"

I shrugged.

"You okay?"

"I'm fine." I muttered looking up to see Flash walking into camp to sit next to Shift.

"What happened?" Fang asked obviously sensing something was up.

"Nothing." I said looking at him.

"Max, you can't lie to me." He said locking his eyes on mine.

"I'm not." I said shaking my head. "Nothing happened."

"Fine." Fang said standing up and turning around.

"Where are you going?" I asked looking up at him.

"If you're not gonna tell me the truth then I'll go have a chat with Flash." He said with a shrug.

I rolled my eyes and let out a breath.

"Sit down."

He turned back to me and crossed his arms.

"He didn't hurt me, I'm fine." I assured.

"Then what happened?" He asked looking at me intently.

"He just said something that made me want to come back to camp." I said vaguely. "It wasn't even bad really… just forward."

Fang raised an eyebrow.

I hint of a smile formed on my lips only to disappear quickly.

"Don't do that!"

I turned to see Ember a few feet behind Fang and I shrieking at thin air.

"Ghost, I know that's you!" She yelled putting her hands on her hips. "So stop!"

The sound of a little boy laughing could be heard then Ghost appeared out of thin air moments later, bending over in a laughing fit.

"It's not funny!" Ember said angrily. "You do that again and I'll set you on fire!"

Blink popped up next to the two of them.

"Ember, don't threaten Ghost." Blink said sternly.

"Then make him stop scaring me!" Ember yelled as her cheeks reddened with fury.

"Ghost, I've told you a thousand times not to sneak around and bug Ember or anyone else for that matter." Blink said crossing his arms.

"I know, I know." Ghost said dropping his head. "But what good is having a power if you can't have a little fun with it?"

"You can have fun with it." Blink said uncrossing his arms. "On Erasers."

"Okay." Ghost said walking away to sit next to Fade.

"Max…" Iggy said calling me over to him.

My head turned toward him then I stood and walked over.


"Fang, right?" Shift questioned as she sat next to Fang.

He nodded.

"Shift." Fang said locking his eyes on her.

"Guilty." She said with a smirk.

Fang showed the smallest hint of a smirk too.

"Can I ask you something?" Shift questioned keeping her eyes on him.

Fang shrugged.

"How come you don't talk very much?" She asked with curious eyes. "The only person I've really seen you talk to is Max."

Fang stayed silent.

"Are you two a couple?"

"No." Fang said turning to look at her. "How about you and Flash?"

"Absolutely not." She said with a smile, shaking her head. "I assumed you would have figured that out when he started hitting on Max."

"He likes her?" Fang questioned in a stoic voice.

"Yeah." She said with a nod. "But I think he might have scared her off."

"How so?"

"Max didn't tell you?"


"Then it's not my business to say." Shift said holding her hands up in defense.

Fang looked away from her and she stood and walked back over to Flash.


"What is it, Ig?" I questioned reaching where he was sitting.

"I hear something."

"Erasers?" I asked feeling adrenaline start to race through my veins.

He nodded.

I turned to tell the others, but was stopped dead in my tracks as I saw Erasers begin to flood into our camp.

AN: Sorry for the wait. I just wrote the chappy tonight and it could be a few days 'til I get the next one done. Reviews make me update faster! SERIOUSLY!

12. Chapter 12

The Sickness- Chapter 12

"What is it, Ig?" I questioned reaching where he was sitting.

"I hear something."

"Erasers?" I asked feeling adrenaline start to race through my veins.

He nodded.

I turned to tell the others, but was stopped dead in my tracks as I saw Erasers begin to flood into our camp

"Hello Max." Ari growled walking toward me.

He walking to me unharmed as Erasers grabbed hold of the nearest bird kid.

"I've got a present for you." He said revealing a needle filled with a yellowish liquid.

"Return it." I said keeping my eyes glued to him.

"I can't." He said cocking his head to the side. "I didn't get keep the receipt."

He lunged at me, but I dodged to the side.

He swung the needle at me multiple times as I backed up, stumbling a bit.

"Max!" Angel yelled seeing me in trouble.

She focused her eyes on Ari as he looked over at her. He unwillingly released the needle and it fell to the ground in what felt like slow motion.

I quickly ran over and stomped on the needle causing it to break and spill out the lethal yellow liquid. Then I ran over to Angel.

"Ember no!" Ghost yelled causing me turn around and see him slowly appear next to the fallen girl. "Blink, she's been infected!"

Blink teleported over to the two and fell on his knees next to them looking heartbroken.

Erasers began to run toward them and I was determined to keep them away. They already had one fallen member, they didn't need to worry about getting infected too.

"Max!" Fang yelled seeing what I was doing.

"I have to help them!" I shouted back.

I ran in front of the three stopping four erasers dead in their tracks. One was holding a needle and I silently debated how many more were brought into the camp. Was there one for each of us or just a few?

"Veil, Gus!" I heard Flash call. "Go help Max!"

Two Erasers managed to grab me, but I fought them off as the one with the needle headed toward Veil and the last Eraser headed toward Gus.

What I saw next was astounding.

Veil blinded the Eraser with the needle and he accidentally stabbed one of the Erasers I was fighting with it leaving me to fight one as the other shrieked and flew off.

Gus laid a single pale hand on his Eraser's chest and closed his eyes and I watched as the Eraser suffocated right in front of me.

"What'd you do?" I asked with wide eyes.

"I pulled the air out of his lungs." Gus said with a smile.

"That is an awesome power." I said in amazement.

He shrugged.

"Frame!" Daze yelled in a blood curling scream.

I saw panic form on the faces of Veil and Gus as they turned to see Frame lying on the ground, Daze crying hysterically next to him.

"Myst look out!" Blink yelled teleporting over to her.

He placed a kick to the Eraser's chest that was holding… another needle.

Cue got a determined look on his face and all the sudden a lightning bolt struck the Eraser making the needle fall to the ground as the Erasers was struck dead.

Suddenly the needle shot up and flew into another Eraser and I turned to see young Jade standing with her eyes looking intently at the needle in the Eraser's neck. In that moment I couldn't decide who was scarier… Angel or Jade.

A low scream made me turn toward Blink as he fell to the ground with an empty needle still sticking into his back.

Three were now infected with the virus, thankfully none of my flock.

"Lane, no, no, no, no!" Kane said running past me. "No!"

Lane was lying on the ground with a needle in her neck, the virus now flowing through her system, she was infected… the fourth.

"Back to the School!" Ari bellowed.

I snapped my head in his direction to see him wearing a sickening smile.

"You'll pay for this!" Flash yelled from next to Frame's still figure.

"Wanna bet?" Ari growled starting to fly off.

Rage built up slowly in my chest 'til I thought I couldn't breathe.

"And don't bother looking for a cure!" Ari yelled turning back around. "There isn't one!"

He flew off out of sight.

"Max…" Angel said walking sadly toward me.

"You okay?" I asked feeling like I might explode any second.

She nodded and hugged my waist.

I now felt a new emotion… sadness. My eyes began to sting and I bent down slowly and picked Angel up and hugged her tightly to me.

I could see Fang walking toward us out of the corner of my eye.

I met his eyes and saw them soften as he laid a gentle hand on Angel's back.

Nudge, Gazzy, and Iggy walked to us and we shared a group hug. Fang of course was stiff as a board, but I didn't care right now. I was just glad my flock was okay.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

13. Chapter 13

The Sickness- Chapter 13

"Is everyone okay?" I asked pulling away and looking over my flock.

I got nods and worried expressions in return.

"Why!" Someone yelled making my head snap in their direction.

Kane was next to his sister letting out a fit of sobs. Her head rested in his lap as he brushed her hair away from her eyes to rest behind her ears.

He looked up at me with tear stained cheeks.

"We have to find a cure." He said desperately.

I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing came out. I was speechless and all thoughts had had been in my brain had now diminished.

"We will." Flash said determinedly as he walked over to us. "For Lane and everyone else."

"How?" I asked finding myself able to speak again.

"We send out a group with the most valuable skills and powers to get the antidote." Shift said walking over as Flash nodded in agreement.

"There's got to be another way." I said trying to process the situation.

"There's not." Flash said sternly.

"You don't even know if there is a cure!" I said raising my voice.

"There is." Flash insisted.

"Ari said there wasn't." I said shaking my head.

"He's lying!" Flash yelled at me as rage flashed in his eyes.

I felt myself stiffen as his eyes locked on me, unwavering.

"Max, you have to understand that one of my own, Frame, has been infected and I will do anything to make sure he doesn't die." His eyes stayed locked on me. "You're the only group that didn't suffer infected members, so it must be easy for you to shrug off this plan, but not for me… not when there is a chance there's a cure."

"Of course it's not easy for me to disagree with the plan." I said feeling anger rise in my chest and wearing a disbelieving look. "I just want to make sure we think this through and don't send a group of people we care about to a terrible fate at the School."

"I'm done thinking this through." Flash said crossing his arms. "We're doing this."

"Fine, then do it without us." I snarled. "I'm not letting you put my flock in danger."

Flash grabbed my arm and led me away from the flock.

"I thought you wanted to help." He said obviously annoyed with me.

"Not like this." I said shaking my head.

"You're being selfish." He said raising his voice again.

"No, I'm looking out for my flock!"

"That's all you think about isn't it?" He asked staring me down.

"Yes." I said honestly.

"I don't know what I ever saw in you." He said walking away from me.

"Right back at ya." I said crossing my arms. "I should have never talked to you. Fang was right to try and warn me away."

He turned around and walked toward me again looking fierce.

"Fang?" He questioned silently.

"Yes." I spat back. "You know… silent, tall, dark hair and eyes."

"You mean the one that has no power?" Flash asked obviously directing his anger the wrong way right now. "The one that you have the hots for no matter how hard I try to make you like me like that?"

I stayed silent in shock as I turned my attention toward the ground.

"Hey Fang!" Flash shouted making Fang look over at the two of us.

Just then Flash crashed his lips against mine as I froze, completely stunned. My mind began to work again and I shoved Flash away from me, slapping him on his cheek.

Flash looked back at me with rage in his eyes.

"Point proven." He spat before walking away.

I watched as he walked away and then heard a voice ask me, "You okay?"

I looked up to see Fang looking half mad and half concerned.

I shook my head and walked past him to where the flock sat looking completely confused.

They're not alone… I felt the same way.

AN: Sorry for the wait. I just wrote this, because I have such little time anymore. Reviews are love!

14. Chapter 14

The Sickness- Chapter 14

I had been sitting alone thinking about today's events for a good hour without being interrupted.

"Max." A voice said snapping me back to reality.

I spoke too soon.

I looked up to see Fang standing in front of me looking slightly worried. I could tell by the way his eyes seemed to be searching my face.

"I'm fine." I said putting my head in my hands and closing my eyes for a few sweet seconds.

"That's not what you said earlier."

"Well, I've had time to get over it." I said bringing my head up to look at him.

His arms were crossed and his jaw was stiff.

"Over what?" Fang asked me furrowing his brow.

"Nothing." I said shaking my head slightly as I looked away from him and let out a barely audible sigh.

"Max, something happened." He said looking at me with knowing eyes.

"Obviously." I said rolling my eyes.

I could feel myself becoming even more annoyed by the second. Today had already been a terrible day and I didn't need an interrogation from Fang that would only make it worse.

"So?" He questioned quirking an eyebrow.

I stood and began walking away only to feel Fang snag my wrist.

"Just let me go." I pleaded.

He shook his eyes, keeping his eyes glued to mine.

"What happened?" He asked.

"Flash was upset about Frame getting infected and said some things that upset me." I explained trying to act like it was no big deal.

"Like what?" Fang asked as his jaw tightened.

"Just forget it." I said with a shrug. "He didn't mean it."

"Why are you defending him when what he said was obviously enough to upset you?" Fang questioned looking at me with an unreadable expression.

"Because he's facing something terrible right now and deserves a break." I said looking at the ground. "I'd be a wreck too if something happened to the flock."

"Nothing's gonna happen." Fang assured.

"You don't know that." I said shaking my head. "We just watched four people be injected with a deadly virus that may not have a cure."

"Yeah, and we escaped alive and well."

"But for how long?" I asked rubbing my temples.

Fang shrugged.

"So why did he kiss you?" Fang asked making me look up at him quickly. "And why did you slap him?"

"I don't know why he kissed me." I lied. "But I slapped him, because I didn't want to kiss him, especially not in front of everyone… the flock."

He seemed to be studying me.

"Any other questions?" I asked sarcastically. "Because I'd love for this interrogation to go on forever."

"I just wanted to make sure you're okay, Max." He said looking kind of offended.

He turned away.

"Fang, I'm sorry." I said calling out to him so he would turn back to look at me again. "I'm just really stressed right now with everything that's going on."

We were silent for a moment, but I quickly broke the silence saying, "Flash wants to send a group of the mutants with the most useful powers to get the cure from the school."

Fang's eyes widened the slightest bit, showing shock.

"You think he'll want Angel." Fang said understanding.

I nodded.

"Maybe even Nudge or Gazzy." I said softly.

Fang kept his eyes fixed on me.

"I don't want to split the flock up."

"Then we won't." Fang said with a shrug. "They can't make us."

I looked into his eyes.

I knew he was right, but nothing could stop me from worrying, not even the truth.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

15. Chapter 15

I am SO SORRY! I had this chapter done awhile ago and posted it on the MR board, but never posted it here. I AM SO SORRY! If it makes you feel better... I'm writing chapter 16 right now! Again, I'm so SORRY! I feel terrible. :'(

The Sickness- Chapter 15

Shift walked hesitantly over to Fang and I making the tension rise.

"Max, can I talk to you?" She asked keeping her eyes on me.

"About what?" I questioned.

"Flash." She said simply.

I noted the subtle stiffening of Fang's jaw at the mention of Flash's name. Fang didn't like Flash at all. It was hard for him to even tolerate him.

"I'm not in the mood." I said rolling my eyes.

"Please?" She asked tilting her head slightly to the side.

"Fine." I muttered walking away from Fang to stand near the tree line, Shift followed.

"Flash feels bad about the things he said to you and he wanted me to make sure you're okay." She said looking sincere.

"I'm fine." I said looking at the ground. "But why didn't Flash come talk to me himself?"

"He's a chicken." She said rolling her eyes and laughing.

I stayed silent and her smile quickly faded.

"Anything else?" I asked crossing my arms.

"We know who we're sending to The School."

My breath hitched as I waited for her to continue.

"The members from your flock are Angel and Nudge."

"No." I said shaking my head.

"We need them, Max." She said looking into my eyes.

"I don't care." I said stubbornly. "I'm not letting you split up my flock."

"Max, I promise that nothing will happen to them." She said sighing. "I'll be there heading the whole thing. I'll keep my eye on them the whole time."

"And that's supposed to make me feel better?" I asked furrowing my brow.

She looked offended and angry.

"Yes." She said lowly.

"Well it doesn't." I said shaking my head. "They're my responsibility and they'll stay my responsibility. I'm not going to hand them over to you just because you asked me too."

"We're trying to save lives!" She shouted. "And we need Angel and Nudge to do so!"

"That's too bad." I said calmly as I turned away from her and walked back over to Fang.

Flash was over there talking to him.

"Max." Flash breathed out.

"I'm not letting you take Angel and Nudge." I said walking past him.

"Fang, could you please tell Max she's being ridiculous." Shift said focusing on Fang.

"Max is right." Fang said shaking his head. "We barely know you, why should we trust you with the lives of the flock?"

"Because lives are at stake." Shift said crossing her slender arms.

"It's a no." I said walking to stand next to Fang.

Fang nodded silently next to me.

"I'm so sick of your mommy, daddy routine!" Flash said as anger flickered in his eyes. "If you to could just get over yourselves for a few minutes you would see that there are innocent people lying over there who need help, help that Angel and Nudge can provide!"

I looked at the ground.

"Max, Fang…" Kane said walking over, leaving his sister's side for the first time since she'd been injected with the virus. "Please."

I looked over at Fang. He was giving me a look that said, 'I think this is a bad idea, but it's up to you.'

"If anything happens to Angel or Nudge… I'll kill you myself." I warned looking at Shift.

"Nothing is going to happen." She said looking me in the eyes. "Promise."

"When are you leaving?" Fang asked crossing his arms.

"Morning." She said running a hand through her hair.

I nodded sadly then walked away over to talk to Angel and Nudge to make sure they wanted to go… if they didn't then I wouldn't make them.

Angel and Nudge told me they wanted to go, but I could tell they were sad that they had to leave the rest of the flock behind. I gave them both hugs and did my best to comfort them even though I had nothing but bad feelings about the situation.

"They okay?" Fang asked still standing with Shift and Flash.

"Yeah." I said nodding slightly, refusing to make eye contact with any of them.

I could feel tears threaten my eyes.

"Thank you for changing your mind, Max." Flash said gently.

I looked up at him feeling a tear slide down my cheek, I quickly turned away.

"Max." He said looking concerned.

Fang followed me as I walked away from the group, then wrapped his arms around me, hesitantly.

I let out a sob only to feel his arms tighten around me. This wasn't like Fang at all.

AN: Hope you liked it! And again I say I AM SO SORRY!

16. Chapter 16

The Sickness- Chapter 16

I sat by the fire watching over my flock as they slept. I wasn't ready to let Nudge and Angel go, it didn't feel right. I was the one who always looked after them and I should continue to do so. Poor Gazzy and Iggy didn't even know they were leaving in the morning. It's gonna be a tough goodbye.

"Max." Someone whispered walking over to me.

I looked up to see Flash giving me a hesitant look.

"Hey." I said quietly as I looked away to stare into the fire once again.

"You okay?"

I didn't respond, didn't move. There was no way to answer that question. No words could possibly describe what I was feeling right now.

He sat next to me.

"I wanted you to know who's going to The School." He explained turning to look at me.

I was secretly hoping he would tell me that they decided against taking Nudge and Angel, but I knew I was just getting my hopes up.

"Who?" I asked flatly.

"Shift, Kane, Mirage, Fade, Nudge, Daze, Cue, Ghost, Angel and Jade." He listed.

"You're not going?" I asked a little surprised.

"No, my power isn't anything special." He said shaking his head. "I guess I should just be happy to have one though."

"Why?" I asked furrowing my brow.

"Because they're fun." He grinned. "I can't believe Fang and Iggy don't have powers."

"They don't need them they're lethal enough on their own." I said looking over at him.

"Well, Iggy can make bombs quicker than I've ever seen, but what's so special about Fang?" Flash asked studying me.

"He's stronger than anyone I've ever seen." I defended. "He can take at least four erasers on his own."

Flash was still staring at me.

"He'd be a great leader too, better than me." I admitted.

"I don't know about that." Flash smirked. "You're good."

"Not good enough, Fang's gotten us out of a lot of bad situations." I explained. "And he's taken care of me, helped me."

"You two are close, huh?" He asked.

"Yeah." I said nodding my head. "He's my best friend."

"Not more?"

"I already told you 'no' to that question." I said annoyed.

"Sorry." Flash said noticing my annoyance.

We sat in silence for a few minutes until Flash piped up again asking, "How many times has Fang had to save you?"

The questioned caught me off guard and I felt my mouth open and try to say something only to be at a loss for words.

"Max?" He asked looking me over.

"W-Why?" I stuttered finally regaining my composure… almost.

"Just wondering." He said with a shrug. "You made it sound like a lot when you said you'd be 'making out with Fang'."

"Well… it has been quite a few times." I said thinking over all the times I gave Fang and the rest of the flock a scare.

"I've dropped out of the air with brain explosions way too many times to count, but Fang always caught me." I explained feeling stupid.

"Nothing else?" He asked.

"Well, um…" I thought back to the hellacious months. "I tried to cut the chip out of my arm with a shell… but Fang stopped me. I was thrown over an eraser's shoulder and almost taken from my flock, luckily he hit his expiration date before he could take me too far."

"You mean Fang didn't go rescue you?" Flash asked sarcastically.

"No, but he did chase the eraser down." I replied snidely.

Flash rolled his eyes and I laughed.

"There's more, but I won't bore you with the details." I said shaking my head and laughing as Flash just gave me a surprised look.

"So, you've played 'damsel in distress' a lot?" He questioned.

"Unfortunately, yes." I admitted.

"It's okay I've had to save Shift a few times too, even though she'd never admit it." He was now laughing and shaking his head.

I laughed with him.

"I should probably go wake up Fang." I said standing up.

"Why?" Flash asked standing up also.

"He'll want to know whose leaving." I explained.

"He'll see when we say our 'goodbyes'." Flash argued.

"He'll want to know before then." I said shaking my head.

Flash nodded looking at the ground then walked back over to his flock.

I made my way over to Fang kneeling beside him. I placed my hand on his shoulder.

"Fang." I whispered.

His eyes opened to look up into mine.

"What's wrong?" He asked sitting up.

"Nothing." I assured. "Flash told me who they're taking to The School and I thought you'd wanna know."

He looked at me intently.

"Who?" He questioned.

"Angel, Nudge, Shift, Kane, Jade, Ghost, Mirage, Cue, Fade and Daze." I listed.

"That's a big number." He said in thought.

"One more than half." I said nodding.

"You okay?" He asked looking into my eyes.

"For right now… yeah." I said cracking a small smile.

"It'll be okay." He said reaching his hand to my cheek and guiding me down so he could place a light, comforting kiss on my forehead.

My cheeks heated and I turned away.

"Get some sleep, Max." He said standing up. "You're gonna need it."

I nodded and walked to lay in between Nudge and Angel, slowly I drifted off.

AN: Hope you liked it!

17. Chapter 17

The Sickness- Chapter 17

"Max." Fang said gently shaking me.

My eyes shot open to look up at him. Realization washed over me as my eyes were instantly met with the warm sunlight… it was morning.

"Max, they'll be leaving soon."

I felt my lips part as I gave him a nod of understanding.

"Thanks." I said pushing myself from the ground. We stood in unison.

Glancing over the flock I saw the rest of the flock was already awake and to my regret Gazzy had found out about Angel and Nudge leaving from someone else. He had a brave look upon his face, but you could still see the faint red tear stains on his pale cheeks. My heart ached for him.

Walking over to my little trooper I wrapped my arms around him and held him close. He didn't cry, but I didn't expect him to. He always tried to be brave for me.

"Everything is going to be okay, right Max?" He asked looking up at me.

"Yes." I assured ruffling his blond hair.

A faint smile formed on his lips as I planted a gentle kiss on his forehead. Ruffling his blond hair once more I walked over to where Angel and Nudge were standing with the rest of the group that would be leaving.

Nudge's eyes met mine and I could instantly see her eyes become glazed over with fresh tears. I wrapped my arms around her as she squeezed me tightly and cried.

"Everything is going to be okay." I stated trying to comfort her.

She nodded and pulled away from me, avoiding eye contact.

Angel immediately threw her arms around me, clinging to me desperately.

"Ange… you okay?" I asked smoothing her hair.

She shook her head against me.

Instinctively I held her tighter and placed a light kiss upon her hair.

"What's wrong sweetie?" I asked. Yeah, I know… stupid question.

"I don't wanna go anymore, Max." She cried.

I felt my stomach clench and I felt like I was going to be sick.

"Not without you." She said tightening her arms around me. "Can't you come with us?"

"We have to stay here, sweetie." I explained sadly. "I wish I could come with you."

"Please?" She begged.

"I'm sorry Ange, I can't. But if you don't want to go… I'm not gonna make you." I told her honestly.

She looked over at Nudge then looked at the ground.

"Angel?" I asked wondering what she would decide.

"I'll go." She whispered looking at the ground.

"I'm proud of you." I said hugging her.

She flashed me a bright smile making the tension in my body loosen.

"I love you, Max." She said still smiling.

"I love you too." I said looking at her then Nudge. "Both of you."

"Love you too, Max." Nudge said taking Angel's hand and walking to stand next to Shift.

I saw Shift give me a look that said 'don't worry' and I immediately rolled my eyes. I'm not the trusting type, definitely not in situations like these.

"Alright, let's go." Shift announced to the group.

One by one they flew into the air.

When Angel and Nudge were in the air they waved down to me and the remaining members of the flock. I waved back and blew them a kiss.

"You alright?" Fang asked me coming to stand next to me.

"Better than I expected to be." I said running my hand through my hair.

"Max." Someone called to me.

I turned quickly, as did Fang. Flash was standing there looking like his body had been taken over by adrenaline.

"What is it?" I asked beginning to panic.

"Lane's awake."

AN: Hope you liked it! Sorry it took so long! Expect another chap this weekend! Reviews are love!

18. Chapter 18

The Sickness- Chapter 18

I ran to Lane's side and immediately knelt next to her. As I looked her over I could see how pale she'd become and her normally stunning blue eyes were masked with a glaze of tears.

"Lane." I said looking down at her. "How you feeling?"

She was struggling to keep her eyes open.

"Lane?" I said hoping she would respond.

She looked into my eyes.

"What happened?" She questioned looking scared.

"You don't remember?" Fang asked from where he was standing behind me.

"No." She answered looking scared.

I closed my eyes for a few seconds then opened them to see her looking around. She propped herself up onto her elbows and I immediately put my hands out to make sure she didn't fall back.

"What's wrong?" I asked cautiously.

She didn't answer, just kept looking.

"Lane?" I pressed.

"Where's my brother?" She asked desperately.

"Lane, I need you to calm down." I said carefully. "Can you do that for me?"

My eyes met hers and in them I clearly saw the worry and terror.

"Can you do that?" I asked again.

She nodded as tears fell from her face to hit the ground. She laid back down carefully, weakly.

Okay, how much do you remember?" I asked keeping my eyes fixed upon her.

She shook her head as she tried to recall her memories.

"I don't know." She whimpered. "Everything is so jumbled and blurry."

"It's okay, take your time." I said trying to console her and keep her calm with one simple line. I knew the chances of it helping were slim.

"Um…" She closed her eyes causing more tears to gush down her cheeks and fall forgotten.

The sight was heartbreaking.

I turned to look at Fang to see his eyes were soft, but his face was almost unreadable. I could see his jaw was tight, clenched.

I turned back to Lane as a cough erupted from her throat, eventually turning into a coughing fit. I placed my hand on her back as her body pulsed forward letting out another deep cough.

Eventually the coughing stopped leaving her crying, she obviously knew something was wrong with her.

"Lane." I said softly, almost soothingly.

"What's wrong with me?" She choked out through sobs.

I turned my eyes to the ground, afraid to answer. When I felt her eyes on me I raised my head up to meet her fixed gaze.

"You're sick, Lane." I said vaguely.

"Sick?" She questioned obviously puzzled.

"Actually more infected… with the virus."

Her eyes widened with realization and fresh tears formed rivers down her already tear stained cheeks.

"I'm so sorry." I added feeling the sting of tears hit my eyes with sudden force.

"My brother…" She said weakly. "Is he okay?"

I nodded then replied, "Yeah, he's trying to save you."

"He went with a group to get the antidote." Fang explained his voice solid like always.

Her lips parted showing this bit of news had shocked her. The whole situation was shocking and terrifying.

"He'll get it, Lane." I said trying to get her to think positively. "He'll get it and he'll bring it back and you and the others will be just fine."

"Others?" She questioned. "Other people were infected?"

I mentally kicked myself.

"Yeah, three others." I said knowing this was going to up her stress level even more. Slowly, I was bringing Lane's world to come crashing down.

I already knew what question was coming next.

"Who?" She asked confirming my last thought.

"Frame, Ember and Blink." I listed. "You're the first to wake up."

She brought her hands to her face and wiped away the tears on both cheeks. She looked weak and tired.

"You should rest." I advised softly.

"I think I've rested long enough." She said with a bitter laugh.

"Well, staying up and worrying isn't gonna make you feel any better." Flash piped up walking over. "And it sure isn't going to help Kane. He'd want you to rest."

I shot him a look that said 'take it easy' and he rolled his eyes in response.

"Rest… for your brother." He said.

She nodded then closed her eyes.

I stood and saw Flash now standing next to Fang.

"Thanks Flash." I said with a nod.

He gave me a small smile, "Glad to help."

I smiled back at him for a moment then met Fang's stare.

"I'm gonna go check on Gazzy and Iggy." I said walking away from them both.

Things were always really awkward when Flash and Fang were both within a reasonable distance of each other. Both wouldn't talk much, especially not to each other. For some reason they both hated each other which was really uncomfortable for me. I liked them both, Fang more since I've known him my whole life. Fang was my constant in a changing world. He always had my back and always got me out of trouble. I don't think he likes the idea of someone else doing that, especially since he barely knows Flash. Well, plus there's the fact that Fang and Flash have two completely different personalities and way of handling themselves.

Flash was more outgoing, bold and at times a major flirt.

Fang on the other hand is strong and silent. He keeps to himself and keeps even his feelings and emotions hidden. The most I'd heard him talk was in these past months. Fang is dependable, strong and protective, Fang… well, Fang is almost perfect.

Maybe Flash was right… maybe I do feel something besides friendship towards Fang. Maybe.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

19. Chapter 19

The Sickness- Chapter 19

The group chosen to find the antidote landed in front of the School after a long flight full of stops, jokes, and even some instances of awkward silence usually ended by Shift or Kane.

They all knew the possibility that there could be no cure, someone could get hurt, and the scariest possibility of all is the members infected with the virus could be dead by the time they made it back to camp. The weight of the world seemed to rest upon their shoulders.

"Alright, everyone stay quiet, lay low." Shift instructed with a whisper.

There were a few nods while the others just gave looks of understanding.

Shift headed the group, leading them closer to the School. Kane stayed in the back to make sure nothing snuck up from behind.

"Where do you birdies think you're going?" An Eraser growled landing clumsily in front of Shift. The rest of the pack surrounded the group of bird kids.

"Let's skip the chit chat." Shift said crossing her arms.

"Fine with me." He growled throwing a paw at her.

She ducked making the Eraser's claws just barely scratching the skin on her forehead. Her hand immediately flew up to the cuts and when she pulled it away it showed a crimson red substance… blood.

Her eyes flashed with anger and she immediately swung her leg out knocking the Eraser from its feet to fall to the ground.

She turned to see the rest of the bird kids beginning to use their powers against the Erasers, Angel and Jade seemingly the most effective.

A hand wrapped itself around her neck suddenly preparing to suffocate her.

"Where's Max?" Someone growled.

She turned her head to look upon an Eraser in human form.

"Who are you?" She choked out.

"I ask the questions." He said looking her in the eyes. "Not you."

His grip on her throat tightened and she felt her lungs begin to plead for air.

"Now, I'll ask you again… Where's Max?"

"Not here." Shift said stubbornly.

"Wrong answer." The Eraser said throwing her to the ground. "Sweet dreams."

He placed a hard kick on her head like he had done to Max so many times before. She was out like a light. Ari would find out where Max was, first stop… would be the camp they'd been in. It was time to put a plan once forgotten in motion again. Max would be his and everything would go according to plan this time. Nothing would go wrong. He wouldn't let anything or anyone stand in his way.

"Shift." Someone yelled snapping Ari out of thought.

He strode toward the young mind reader, Angel. She'd know where Max was for sure and she'd be easier to get to tell.

"Angel." Ari growled with a sickening smile. "How about you answer a question for me."

"I'm not telling you where Max is." She cried out, obviously reading his mind.

"Do or die." He said simply.

"Leave her alone, Ari." Nudge said walking next to Angel.

"I will if you tell me where Max is."

"Find a new obsession." Nudge said shaking her head. "Max doesn't love you and she never will, so get over it."

"She loves Fang." Angel said crossing her arms.

Nudge's mouth dropped as she turned to look at the young mutant girl.


"Yep." Angel confirmed.

"I knew it." Nudge said with a small smile.

Angel nodded in agreement.

"You're wrong." Ari stated. "She couldn't possibly love someone like him. She can do so much better."

"You think you're better than Fang?" Nudge asked furrowing her eyebrows.

"I know I am." He said surely. "And I'll prove it the next time I see him.

"Nudge, Angel… fly." Kane said obviously freaked that they were standing and chatting with an Eraser. "Watch out."

"Gotta run." Ari said pushing up into the sky. "I'll make sure and tell Max you said hi."

"If you can find her." Nudge shot back.

"Angel, does Max really love Fang?" She asked turning to her.

She shrugged.

"It's hard to tell." She said honestly. "But I think she does… if Flash doesn't come between them she will for sure."

"We'll have to work on keeping him away from her when we get back." Nudge said rolling her eyes.

"If we get back." Angel corrected..

"Everyone stay where you are." A voice said.

Everyone turned to see a kid dressed in all black pointing a gun in their direction.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

20. Chapter 20

The Sickness- Chapter 20

"Who are you?" Kane asked looking at the holder of the gun thoroughly.

"I'm the one with the gun. I'll be asking the questions." The kid replied.

"Alright, what do you want to know?" Kane asked staying deathly still.

"Why were you talking to Ari?" He asked sending a glare in Angel and Nudge's direction.

"They've got a lot of history with him, just like the rest of us." Kane answered for the two girls. "He's after their friends."

"Why?" The kid questioned tilting his side slightly to the side.

"He's obsessed with one of them." Kane said furrowing his brow.

"I think obsessed is an understatement." Shift said picking herself from the ground.

"You okay?" Kane asked as she walked next to him.

She nodded then became aware of the unwanted visitor.

"Who are you?" She questioned.

"Do any of you have powers?" The kid asked blowing off her question.

"All of us." Shift answered. "You?"

"Of course." The kid responded.

"So what is your name?" Kane asked crossing his arms.


"Well, Roach, you want to put the gun down?" Shift asked quirking an eyebrow.

Roach gave her a glare then lowered the gun to his side.

"What are you doing here if you're not working with them?" He questioned.

"Looking for a cure to 'the sickness' have you heard about it?" Kane inquired.

"More than heard about it." Roach said lowering his head. "I was almost infected with it like my friends."

"Friends?" Shift asked wide eyed. "You mean there was more than just you?"

"Yeah, three more… but they're all dead now."

"They became infected?"

"Yes." Roach said sadly. "The whitecoats have always kept us under lock and key and one day they took us from the room we stayed in to a medical lab. They injected us with the virus then put us back in our room to see what effect it would have on our bodies. It killed Val first… she was only seven."

"So you were infected with the virus too?"

"Yeah." He said meeting the eyes of Kane.

"Then how are you not dead?" Kane questioned.

"I found the cure." Roach simply stated.

"Is there more of that cure?"

"Yes, many vials."

"Then there's hope." Shift said obviously relieved.

"Hope? Are you infected?" Roach asked.

"No, but our friends are." She said shaking her head sadly. "That's why we came."

"Well, I can help you find the cure if you like." Roach offered.

"That would be very helpful." Kane said with a nod.

"Then it's settled." Roach said with the first smile they'd seen from him.

"But first… what's your power?" Shift asked.

Roach smirked. "I'm super-human… literally. Well, half super-human, but from the abilities I have you would never know the difference."

"Like?" Kane asked.

"I'm quicker, stronger, more agile, deathly accurate… and I can reap."

"Reap?" Shift asked.

"Remove the skull from someone's head cleanly. You would never guess their skull was gone." Roach proclaimed proudly.

"Have you ever done that?"

"To erasers." He answered with a shrug.

"Remind me not to get on his bad side." Kane said to Shift, she nodded.

"Welcome to the group, Roach." Shift said offering out her hand. He took it and they shook.

AN: Sorry about the bunchiness from before. I went through and spaced everything out right this time. It was like that cause it was in a different document type since I got a new computer. Sorry again, it won't happen twice.

21. Chapter 21

The Sickness- Chapter 21

WARNING: This chapter of The Sickness contains character death therefore making it a darker chapter. Please do not criticize me for killing off character(s). I will not kill any Maximum Ride characters in this chap, only my own. They are my characters and I will do what I wish with them. Thank you for understanding and I hope you enjoy this chapter.

I woke from sleep to hear whispers and the faint sound of crying. Lifting my upper half from the ground and supporting my weight upon my hands I was able to see Flash, Fang and Iggy in a huddle no doubt where the whispering I had heard had come from.

All of their faces wore the same worried expression, even Fang. Everything seemed to come flooding to me in that moment as I took time to survey the situation. Fang's brow was furrowed, Iggy seemed to be numb to his surroundings, Fang and Flash were actually speaking to each other, and Slate was weeping in Veil's arms next to a very pale Frame.

Something had happened.

Flash departed from the trio leaving my two flock members silent as he walked to lay a comforting hand on Gus' shoulder who was alone about twenty feet from Frame.

I stood slightly furrowing my brow in confusion.

"Fang." I called out to him softly.

His head turned toward me quickly and just as quickly he began walking to me.

"What's going on?" I asked puzzled.

"Max… something's happened…" He began and I could see he was dreading to tell me whatever it was. Had I missed an Eraser attack? Did someone else get sick?

"What is it?" I asked as he stopped in front of me.

"Frame took a turn for the worse during the night." He said sullenly is eyes no longer masking the built up emotions. "He tried to hold on…"

"Fang what are you trying to tell me?" I whispered feeling the familiar sting come to my eyes. It was as common as a bad headache with a dull aching pain you can't rid of.

"Frame died, Max… just this morning." Fang said looking me straight in the eyes.

I felt my lips part and a wave of emotion crash against my heart. It was too late to save Frame. How long would it be until the other two passed? Would it be today? Tomorrow? How about the day after that… when would we be left two people shorter? Two friends shorter? And with these thoughts came an irresistible urge to let everything out, so I did.

I let the tears fall and the sobs escape my throat.

Fang pulled me into his arms, holding me tightly to him as if trying to shield from the situation even though he knew it was impossible, the damage had been done.

"Oh Fang, what are we gonna do?" I cried into his shoulder.

"We'll figure it out, Max… we always do." He assured me pressing his cheek against the top of my head.

"But this time is different." I said pulling away from him. "People are dying, friends are dying."

"And someone's gonna pay." Flash said walking to the two of us and stopping just a few feet away. "I'm not waiting around like a sitting duck anymore. I'm getting revenge."

"Flash no." I said shaking my head as the sullen whisper escaped me.

"I'm going Max." He said surely. "And I want you to come with me."

"She's not going with you." Fang said sternly. "We've been over this."

"Yes, the two of us have been over this, three if you include the Igster, but Max and myself have not been over this." Flash said glaring at Fang. "She's a big girl, Fang, she can decide for herself… butt out."

"I'm not going to let you fool her into traveling to her certain death while she's in a fragile state of mind, just like you're in." Fang explained sternly.

"You talk like she's stupid, just let her decide." Flash said stepping closer.

"I'm not gonna let you put her in danger." Fang warned also stepping closer.

"Would you two stop talking about me like I'm not here!" I yelled surprising both of them. Heck, I even surprised myself.

"Max." Gazzy called looking frightened.

"Yes?" I asked calmly.

"Lane… she's… she's…"

"What is it sweetie?" I asked feeling my heart stop.

"She's not breathing… Max…"

"It's okay sweetie…" I said walking over to him as he cried in my arms. I cried with him.

"Flash…" I said sniffing.

"Yeah?" He questioned barely audible.

"I'll go."

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

22. Chapter 22

The Sickness- Chapter 22

Gazzy was with Iggy, both mourning in their own way. Everyone else was gathered around the bodies of Lane and Frame, saying their own silent goodbyes.

Blink was the only one that was still sick the other two were gone and that was what drove me to go with Flash. I knew he would go with or without me, so I had to go with him to make sure he didn't get himself killed.

Flash was packing his things across our camp. I on the other hand was sitting and waiting for word on when to depart.

Any guesses where Fang was? Well, the answer is that he is right next to me telling me how foolish I'm being. So far he has told me I'm endangering the flock by leaving and myself too. I agree that I'm putting myself in danger, but not the flock. They would be fine under Fang's watch, plus the erasers always looked for me anyway.

"I'm not letting you go alone." Fang said catching my attention.

"I'm not going alone, Fang." I said rubbing my temples and closing my eyes. "I'm going to be with Flash."

"That's worse." Fang said with anger in his voice.

"Fang, stop it." I warned.

"I won't stop, Max." He said standing up and turning to me. "You're putting yourself in unnecessary danger. What am I supposed to tell the flock if something happens to you?"

"Why do you seem so sure something is going to happen to me?" I asked shaking my head. "Did it ever occur to you that Flash and I might be just fine?"

"No and you know why?"

"Why Fang?… Because you're not gonna be there?" I asked with a bitter laugh.

"Yes." He said firmly. "You seem to forget how many times I've kept you from death."

"I think your head is swelling." I commented sarcastically.

"Would you just listen to my reasoning?" Fang asked raising his voice. "I've caught you just before hitting the ground too many times to count. I've held you while you've clung to your head during your brain attacks. AND I was to make you drop the bloodied shell you used to open your arm."

"And I've thanked you every time." I said calmly.

"I'm not looking for a 'thank you'." Fang said lowering his voice. "I'm telling you that I don't trust Flash to be there for you like I have been."

"I think I can trust him." I said taking in a breath. "He won't let me down."

"I hope for your health that you're right." He said walking away.

"I hope so too." I muttered to myself so Fang couldn't hear me.

I watched as Fang made his way over to Flash. He said something to Fang and from what I could see Flash said something back that Fang didn't like.

I quickly made my way over to them to make sure they wouldn't kill each other.

"Flash, you ready to go?" I asked a few feet away from the two.

"Yeah." He said peeling his eyes from Fang to look at me.

"Alright, let's go." I said waiting for him to budge from his statue like stance.

He gave me a nod and headed toward me.

Fang grabbed his arm and looked him dead in the eye. "Anything happens to her… there will be hell to pay."

Flash jerked his arm from Fang's grasp and replied, "Nothing is gonna happen."

I watched as Flash walked past me then sent Fang a glare before turning away. He was being way too overprotective. I felt smothered.

"You okay?" Flash asked flying beside me, snapping me from my thoughts.

"Yeah." I said with a weak smile.

"No you're not." He said with a chuckle and shake of his head.

I smirked and silently laughed to myself.

"So what's bothering you?" He asked in a more serious manner.

I looked down at the ground not wanting to think about my troubles, let alone bother Flash with them… even if he was part of it.

"Max?" He questioned making me look back up at him.

"It's nothing." I said knowing Fang would never accept that as answer, but Flash wasn't Fang. He may drop the subject and choose not to be so persistent.

"You sure?" He pressed.

I nodded.

"Okay." He said obviously not believing me, but dropping the subject anyway like I hoped he would. That was the difference between Flash and Fang.

Suddenly something slammed into my head making me drop a few feet in the air.


"Oh did that hurt?" He questioned sarcastically.

"Not one bit." I said flying back to my previous level next to Flash.

"Well, looks like Maximum has a new boy toy." Ari said with a wolfish grin. "What happened to good old Fang?"

"Shut up Ari." I yelled clenching my fists.

"Looks like I've struck a nerve boys." Ari called back to the erasers behind him. "You let him down easy I hope… wouldn't want his heart broken, since I plan on ripping it out and stomping on it as soon as I do the same to you two… literally of course."

"Take your best shot." Flash said in an egotistic manner. "But something tells me your not strong enough to take the two of us even if you have that ugly pack behind you."

"We'll just have to see now, won't we?" Ari said lunging for Flash.

I was unable to see whether Ari got him or not, because three erasers made their way toward me just as quick. I dodged, of course, but it wasn't even the slightest bit easy when there's so many to avoid.

After dodging I was able to turn and get a quick glance at Ari and Flash. Unfortunately, Flash seemed to be losing… badly.

One of the erasers swung his claws at my cheek and barely grazed the skin. I placed a kick to his stomach then touched my cheek. It stung from the contact and I could feel wetness touch my hand… blood.

I placed a kick to the second eraser's head then followed with giving the third a kick to the snout, breaking it from the force.

I instantly flew over to Flash who used his hand to shine light in Ari's eyes momentarily blinding him. I took advantage of the moment and placed a kick to Ari's back right on the spine. I heard a crack and a pathetic doglike whimper from him.

He swung his hand back catching me off guard. I flew back and hit a tree. My head smacking against what seemed like the biggest branch on the whole thing. My head began to throb and from my blurry vision I could see Flash battling with Ari again.

I launched myself at Ari, but he must have known I would… because he impaled my stomach with his large claws.

"Welcome the darkness." He whispered pulling them out making me gasp.

I immediately began loosing altitude making Flash dive after me. He must have been to late though, because everything went black as my head hit something hard.


It had been about two hours since Max had left with Flash. I've been sitting alone silently worrying that he was gonna get her killed. I still can't believe she was foolish enough to go with him. I didn't trust him, so why did she seem to. She hasn't known him long.

"Fang!" Someone called out… it sounded like Flash, but that couldn't be right.

I turned toward to the sound only to find I was right Flash was back with what appeared to be an injured Max in his arms.

"What happened?" I yelled rushing over and stealing Max from his bloodied arms. Max's blood.

"Ari and erasers." He explained breathlessly. "They outnumbered us."

"They've always outnumbered us, but that never stopped us from whipping them." I said placing Max on the ground gently. "Why couldn't you do the same?"

I was up in his face basically putting a guilt trip on him. It was the best I could do to hurt him at the moment. I had to attend to Max's injuries.

I turned and grabbed bandages from my backpack along with antiseptic.

"Can I help?" Flash asked running his eyes over her.

"What are her injuries?" I asked ignoring him.

"Ari stuck his claws in her stomach… I don't know how deep… she lost altitude and hit the ground."

"You didn't catch her?" I asked angrily looking up at him.

"She was going too fast."

"That's never stopped me." I said furrowing my brow.

I pulled up Max's shirt revealing the wounds, they were bad.

"Can I help?" He repeated.

"I think you've done enough." I said bitterly.

"Look, I'm sorry okay… I know I messed up." Flash said throwing his hands out in frustration.

"Save your apologies they're not gonna help Max." I said standing up and getting in his face.

"Back off." Flash said shoving me away.

Something inside of me went off, because I was unable to stop myself from planting a hard punch square in his jaw. BUT I think we'd all agree he deserved it.

AN: Hope you liked it!

23. Chapter 23

The Sickness- Chapter 23


Flash hit the ground like a bag of rocks. Now I know why he lost against Ari and the rest of the gang. Max fights twenty times better than this pretty boy.

He staggered back to his feet and stepped closer to me as if daring me to do it again. If he kept egging me on like this he would surely end up dead. I have little self control in times like these. Plus I'm not so sure death isn't the best fate for him right now.

Max let out a whimper behind me making me snap out of my selfish thoughts. I would care for her first and deal with Flash later. So I got real close to Flash making him intimidated then turned and walked to Max's side where I belonged.

"Max." I said softly putting my hand on her cheek.

She was in a cold sweat which scared me since we no longer had our healer. But no matter what I wasn't going to let Max die… if Max died Flash would be departing right behind her after much pain and suffering.

"Fang…" She said weakly.

"I'm here." I said in almost a whisper.

"How bad?" She asked me, wincing.

I debated for a moment whether to lie or not. She didn't need to know how bad the wounds were that would only worry or discourage her. But I knew she'd kill me for lying later, so I decided to tell her the truth.

"Bad." I confirmed taking her hand in mine. "But you're gonna be fine. I promise."

"It hurts." She said opening her eyes.

It was then that I could see how big and glassy they looked. My heard clenched in my chest. I hated seeing our leader like this, my best friend.

"I know." I said looking her in the eyes. "But everything will be okay. I'm gonna get you cleaned up and bandaged."

She nodded weakly then laid her head on the ground closing her eyes. I released her hand and looked back at Flash feeling the rage inside building.

"You'll be lucky if I don't kill you for this later." I growled retrieving the supplies I needed to patch Max up.

To sum up the 'patch up' procedure… I cleaned out the wounds on Max's cheek and the huge gashes in her stomach with peroxide. I put a bandage on the parallel scratched that marred her cheek, but the cuts on the stomach were more complicated. I had to apply pressure on the wound until the bleeding stopped which it thankfully eventually did. After that I wrapped bandaging around her whole lower abdomen, very tightly. It will be uncomfortable, but it's her best shot and not bleeding again.

While I did all this Max was pretty distant. Occasionally I'd see her wince or she'd take in a sharp breath. That's when I knew to be gentler.

I stood and put the supplies away catching Flash moving to Max in the corner of my eye. That was the last thing Max needed right now, for the kid that almost got her killed to try and explain himself and be forgiven.

"Max, I'm so sorry." Flash said sitting at her side.

"Let her rest." I called out as I walked over. "Save your apologies for later."

"Fang." Max called for me.

Within seconds I was at her side looking down at her as she opened her eyes to return the eye contact.

"How you feeling?" I ask hoping for a good response.

"Better." She says with an unconvincing weak smile.

"Liar." I respond with a smirk.

She gives an almost inaudible laugh.

"Max, I'm really sorry." Flash pipes up again.

"I know." She says letting out a sigh.

"I didn't mean for you to get hurt… I just wasn't thinking… I should…"

I stand and turn to look Flash dead in the eyes.

"Go away." I command.

"I'm not going anywhere." He says defiantly.

"Wanna bet?" I taunt grabbing a fist full of his shirt and pushing him against a tree.

"Fang… please." Max calls out tiredly. "Don't fight."

I look back at her then at Flash.

"You're lucky she's awake." I say before turning and making my way to her.

"Oh yeah tough, strong Fang. You try SO hard to be the one that Max depends on and when she replaces you… it drives you insane, doesn't it?" Flash calls out letting his anger bubble up. "You're obsessed."

"I'm not obsessed, but I believe you are. No matter what everything you do revolves around Max. You try to get her alone and you try to pretend like you're some great guy that she could depend on." I say stopping, but not turning to look at him. "You're not, so quit pretending. You proved tonight that you can't fight and you can't protect Max from ARI of all creatures."

I turn and look him in the eyes now.

"Do you know how many times I've beat Ari… how many times I've stopped him from trying to hurt Max… how many times I've talked with Max about saving the world or the voice in her head… how many times I've caught her after she's had one of those brain attacks… Come on Flash… do you?"

He looks at me, silent… speechless.

"You don't, and you know why, Flash?" I question taking a few steps closer. "It's because you're not one of us. You're an acquaintance. That's it. Someone she could forget after a few weeks of being chased."

"I mean more to her than that and you know it." He said beginning to sound bothered by my speech. "You're jealous."

"Stop it!" Max yells and as Flash and I turn to look at her we see her standing and holding onto her stomach obviously still in much pain.

"Max, lye down." I say intensely.

"Don't tell her what to do!" Flash yells at me. "She's a big girl, she doesn't need you to order her around."

"Do you want her to open up her wounds and bleed to death?" I ask turning to look at him with a glare. "She needs to take it easy."

"How am I supposed to take it easy when you two are over here yelling at each other over me?" She asked with a raised voice. "Get over yourselves."

"We wouldn't have a problem if 'shadow boy' would keep out of our business." Flash spat accusingly.

"Anything that has to do with me IS Fang's business." Max reasoned defending me.

"So now this is going to be a two on one attack?" Flash asks acting victimized.

"I'm not attacking you." Max said calmly. "I'm just telling you how I feel."

"No, I can see it in your eyes." Flash says gazing at her. "You're taking his side."

"If I have to choose a side… then yes." Max says softly.

"Fine, you win Fang." He says nodding. "Tomorrow I'm going to meet up with the other group and we're leaving."

"Leaving?" Max questions.

"You won't see us again." He confirmed. "Goodbye."

Max's mouth was left agape. She turned to look at me, completely stunned.

"We're better off without them." I reason.

She appears to think for a moment then leans into me. I wrap my arms around her and thank whatever it was that kept her alive.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

24. Chapter 24

The Sickness- Chapter 24

"Flash, please don't go." I beg him fearing what would happen to him. He could get hurt just as bad or worse than I had fighting with Ari.

"Give me one good reason why I should stay." He said turning to me and throwing out his arms in exasperation.

"You could get hurt." I say furrowing my brow.

"Do you really think I care?" He asks shaking his head. "Shift could just as easily be leader, they don't need me."

"Look, I know how you feel… I think that sometimes too." I admitted finding interest in looking at the ground. "I almost killed myself, because I was so convinced it wouldn't matter if I died. I knew the flock would grieve, but I thought they'd be better off."

"What'd you do?" He asked finding interest in my words.

I was silent for a moment. I hated talking about that momentary lapse of better judgment that almost caused me to bleed to death on the beach.

"Max?" He cues softly.

I look up at him with shame washing over me.

"What'd you do?" He asks me again.

"I cut my arm open with a jagged shell to try to fish out a chip that is in there."

"You what?" He asked completely shocked. "Why… why would you do that?"

"I was convinced the chip was how they were tracking us and possibly the reason for the voice in my head." I said sitting on a boulder sized rock.

"So you were willing to kill yourself for your flock?" He asked lightly shaking his head.

I nodded with a small guilty smile.

"Pretty stupid, huh?"

"Yeah." He agreed sitting next to me.

We were both silent for a matter of minutes then he spoke again.

"What stopped you?" He asked catching me off guard.

"Wha… oh… um… Fang." I said exhaling. "He was furious with me."

"I would be too." Flash confirmed.

I smiled and he returned it.


"Yeah Max?"

"Are you still gonna go?"

I was looking over at him, staring into his eyes. He broke eye contact for a few seconds then returned my gaze once again.

"No." He said shaking his head. "I'll stay."

"Good." I replied with a smile then leaned over and kissed his cheek.

His face brightened as he brought his hand to my face and pushed a strand of hair behind my ear. He leaned in as my breath began to quicken and placed his lips atop mine in a gentle kiss. I was stunned at first, not knowing whether I wanted this to be happening or not. And to be completely honest… I still wasn't sure if I had felt anything for Flash by the time the kiss was over.

"I love you, Max." He breathed out opening his eyes. "I'm sure of it now."

He was looking at me with expectant eyes and I had no idea what to say. I didn't love Flash, but that didn't mean that there wasn't feelings developing between us.

"I… I… I have to go." I hurried off and pushed up toward the sky. I needed time by myself to think.

"Max!" Fang called out to me as I gained altitude. "Max!"

I landed about a mile away in a pack of trees. I was sitting on the top branch of the highest tree, looking up at the clouds as thoughts raced through my mind.

Someone landed next to me on the branch, Fang. No surprise there.

"Why did you take off like that?" Fang asked sounding a little bit worried and angry.

"It's nothing." I said distantly.

"Yes it is, Max, Flash said something that upset you… what did he say?" Fang sounded like he was hoping I would say something despicable so he could go beat the life out of Flash.

"Nothing bad." I said shaking my head.

"Then why'd you run off like that?" He inquired sounding very confused.

"Shock I guess." I said breaking a wig from the tree and stripping it of its leaves.

"I'm lost." He admitted boring holes in me with his stare.

"He told me he loves me." I said looking Fang in the eyes. "He was waiting for me to say it back… and I just… couldn't."

"Why?" He asked hanging on my words.

"I don't know yet." I admitted breathing out.

"Maybe you don't return his feelings." Fang said wisely.

"Half of me things I don't, but the other half is screaming at me to tell him I love him too." I explained. "I feel torn and very confused."

Fang stayed silent.

"I don't know what to do."

He looked up at me, something in his eyes had changed.

"Do you know why the other half doesn't feel for Flash?" He asked keeping his eyes locked on me.

"I think so." I said with a nod.

He gave me a look that said 'explain'.

Smiling a bit I said, "It wants you."

And with that I flew back to camp.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

25. Chapter 25

The Sickness- Chapter 25

I had been back at camp for a whole minute and Flash was already making his way toward me as Fang quickly descended just a few feet away.

"Max, we need to talk." Fang said stepping forward.

"Get in line." Flash said shifting his eyes from Fang to me.

"Step away before I knock out all of your teeth." Fang replied coldly.

"Take your best shot." Flash mocked.

"Shut up!" I yelled at both of them. They were giving me a headache, one worse than the voice could ever cause. "Just give me some peace."

"Max…" Flash began.

But I cut him off, "Go away, Flash."

I could practically feel Fang's smirk.

"You too Fang." I said doing away with his smugness.

"Uh uh, Max, you can't tell me something like that and run off." He said sternly.

"What did she tell you?" Flash asked confused.

Fang turned to look at him, then looked away. It was his way of saying 'if it was any of your business you'd already know.' I would have found that funny if I wasn't so annoyed.

"Why do I feel like he knows more than I do?" Flash asked turning to me.

I rolled my eyes and let out a deep frustrated sigh. "Because he does." I stated dryly.

"You know what… fine… when you're ready to talk, I'll be by the fire." Flash said turning and walking briskly over to the only light of the camp.

I rubbed my temples and closed my eyes.

"You okay?" Fang asked stepping closer, a semi-worried expression etched onto his face.

"Yeah…" I muttered sitting down. "This is actually a normal headache."

"No voice?"

I shook my head.

"So why did you fly off?" He asked boring holes through me.

I looked into his eyes. "A little word called rejection."

He nodded slightly. "And what makes you think I don't feel that way about you?"

I gaped at him.

"You're joking right?" I asked.

He smirked, but that is the only show of emotion I got out of him. I mean, this is Fang we're talking about. What did I expect?

"Get some sleep." I said avoiding his eyes. "I'll take first watch."

"I'm not tired." He said intensely.

"Alright, then wake me up for second watch." I said standing and walking a few feet away. Laying down with my back to him and my eyes on Flash I was sure I couldn't sleep. I guess I'd just decide what I wanted now. It was gonna take awhile, so I wouldn't be getting any sleep tonight.

"So, you're just going to ignore this just like last time." He said loud enough for me to hear and maybe Iggy too if he was paying attention.

"Last time?" I questioned pretending not to know what he was referring to.

"The beach." I heard him say.

"I'm surprised you still remember." I said turning to him.

"Why wouldn't I?" He asked lowly.

"Maybe because the only response I got from you was a few smart ass comments and smug looks." I said propping my head on my hand.

"And you ignored that it ever happened." He said putting his elbows on his thighs. "Just like you're doing now."

"I'm confused." I admitted closing my eyes and to my dread feeling tears slide down my cheeks. I quickly wiped them away and turned my back to Fang once again.

"That makes two of us." He muttered running his hand through his hair.

I could still see him out of the corner of my eye.

"I'm sorry." I said feeling guilty for saying those things, for running off.

"Don't be." He said shaking his head. His dark hair moved in the motion revealing his dark eyes that were focused on my back.

We were both silent for a moment.

"Just tell me something, Max." He said breaking the silence.

"What?" I asked afraid of the question.

"Do you love me?"

I turned to look at him.

"As a best friend… as a brother…" I said at a loss for words.

"That's not what I mean." He said staring at me. "Do you love me?"

My mouth felt dry and my pulse was racing faster than ever before. My answer could change things between Fang and I forever. I didn't want that.

"If I answer honestly… things between us won't change?" I asked pleadingly.

"Never." He answered still tense.

"Yes." I said looking at the ground.

I heard him stand and walk over to me. He knelt before me and I looked up at him.

"And Flash?" He asked looking down at me.

"I'd choose you every time." I said honestly.

He guided my face to his and planted a soft kiss on my lips.

I pulled away, "What does this mean?"

He seemed to debate a moment.

"This means Flash is going to have to find a different girl."

I smiled and kissed him, things were great right now.

The only thing to worry about was breaking the news to Flash.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love!

26. Chapter 26

The Sickness- Chapter 26

"Max!" Gazzy shrieked running to me.

I quickly jumped away from Fang and stood.

My little trooper stopped in front of me, breathless. What had him so worked up?

"What's wrong?" I asked bending down to examine him.

"I had a vision." He said with fear in his eyes. "They've got 'em, Max."

My heart stopped, panic washing over me. I could faintly feel Fang's presence behind me, but I was numb to everything else. This couldn't possibly be what I think it is. No, I misunderstood.

"Got who?" Fang asked seeing my loss for words.

"Angel, Nudge, and the everyone." He said looking close to tears. "The School caught them. I saw it. We have to save them."

"We will." Fang said with a slight nod.

I lowered my head, eyes widened to stare at the ground. I could feel my heart constricting, my breath getting away from me. I was slowly dying right in front of what flock I had left, minus Iggy. I inhaled trying to satisfy my sudden need for air before I collapsed of suffocation, from lack of remembering how to breathe.

I was screaming at myself to calm down, knowing that my flock needed me right now. I couldn't dwell on what is going to happen, I would just have to save them. I wouldn't stop until I did.

You must get to them quick, Maximum.

'I know, I'm not stupid.'

They're planning to inject all of them with the virus. Two will die before you get there. And if you don't make it there by morning… there will be three more.

'Who are the two?' I asked panicking.

All I can tell you is it is not your flock.

'Thank God.'

Thank Jeb, he saved them.

'Why would he do that?'

He loves all of you, he doesn't want to kill you.

"Yeah right." I muttered out loud.

Fang turned to me with questioning eyes.

"Voice." I said closing my eyes and trying to calm myself.

"What did it say?" He asked keeping his eyes locked on mine.

"Two of them are going to die before we get there." I said sadly. "Three more besides if we don't get there by morning."

"Nudge and Angel?" He asked eyes now showing fear. A first for Fang.

"No, I don't know who… but not them." I explained as the worry slowly drifted from his hard features and dark eyes.

"Gazzy, tell everyone to get their stuff packed up, we're leaving." Fang ordered knowing perfectly well what was on my mind to do next.

"What about Blink?" I asked not knowing what kind of condition he was in being sick and all.

"He passed a few hours ago." Fang said as my head snapped over to look at him.

"And no one told me?" I asked harshly.

"You were already upset." He said in a reasoning tone. "I know I should have told you, but I just didn't think it was right at the time."

I decided to let it go. I really didn't want to be in an argument with the person I trusted most, the person I depended on to get me through some really hard times like now. I needed Fang so much more than I needed anyone else.

"It's ok." I said softly walking to him and gently wrapping my arms around him, laying them on his back. He put a hand in my hair, the other on my back and kissed my head.

"Everything will be ok." He said stoically.

"I hope so." I commented pulling away and looking up at him.

"Max, we're ready." Flash said walking over.

Which reminded me that I still had to let him down about the whole 'love' thing. BUT that would have to wait, which was ok with me.

"Alright, let's go." I announced to everyone.

They all obeyed taking off one by one.

AN: Hope you liked it! Reviews are love! And the chap that comes after this one is being posted on the official Maximum Ride Fanfic Board if you are desperate to find out what happens next.

27. Chapter 27

The Sickness- Chapter 27

We made it to The School is pretty good time considering how many people we had and how many breaks we took. If it had just been my flock we could have made it there without resting, but we had others that needed the breaks, so we stopped twice.

The School looked just as scary as it had always seemed. Looking at it gave me chills, and the fact that Angel and Nudge were in there was making it hard to think straight.

"They said you'd come." A voice called from behind us.

I quickly turned, catching Fang do the same from the corner of my eye.

"Who's there?" I called surveying the tree line.

"Me." A voice whispered in my ear from behind.

I whipped around to see nothing.

A voice chuckled next to me and that's when I finally saw the face of the stranger.

"Who are you?" I asked furrowing my brow.

"A friend." He said trying to settle his laughing fit. "Name's Roach."

"Who told you we'd be coming?" Flash asked from his place next to me.

"Angel and Nudge." He said with a smirk.

My brain went on full alert.

"Are they ok?" I questioned.

"So far, but they're inside the building." Roach said confirming Gazzy's vision. "I tried to stop them, but there were too many… we were way outnumbered."

"What would you say about helping their rescue party?" I questioned.

"Sure." He said with a shrug.

"Alright." I said with a small smile.

"Maximum." Jeb called out from the front of the building.

I stepped in front of the group to look at the man who had once been like a god to me. I had worshipped the ground he'd walked on, but that was all just one big lie that slowly unfolded in front of my eyes. It tore my heart in two.

"You must get out of here." He commanded.

"What, no capture intended?" I asked sarcastically.

"Go now, they'll know you're here in a few minutes." He said panicked.

"I'm not going anywhere without Angel and Nudge." I stated standing my ground.

"They'll be fine." He said trying to convince me. Did he really think that would work?

"Yeah right." I whispered in disbelief.

An alarm sounded and search lights flicked on.

"Go now!" He cried.

"For the last time, NO!" I shouted walking toward him slowly.

"Then I'm afraid you're on your own." He said walking back into the building as erasers swarmed past him to us.

"Hello Maxi." Ari growled with a smile.

Rain began to beat down as he morphed into human form. What was he doing?

"You've aged." I said with a smirk.

"It happens." He said morphing back.

"And I suppose turning into an ugly dog happens too, huh?" I mocked.

"Only to those who are strong enough to take it… those who aren't turn into birds." He teased trying to get on my nerves.

"If we're so weak then how come we always beat you?" I said tilting my head slightly to the side.

"We'll see about that." He said lunging at me.

So I was locked in battle with Ari while the others fought with three erasers each. They weren't too bad, even Flash. Fang of course was close to done with his and was getting ready to aid the younger members of the group. Flash was fighting pretty well, one down. I caught him glancing at me every time he got time to afford a glance.

"How sweet, a lovers quarrel." Ari mocked.

"Shut up." I spat.

"You know neither of them are good enough for you, right?" He asked rhetorically.

"And who is?" I asked narrowing my eyes in amusement, knowing his answer.

"Me." He said confirming my thoughts. "I have connections to keep you safe."

"I have a boyfriend to keep me safe." I said without really thinking. That was the first time I'd called Fang my boyfriend.

"Boyfriend?" Ari growled. "Which loser won over the great Maximum Ride?"

"That'd be me." Fang said from behind him.

As soon as Ari turned, Fang planted a hard punch to his snout.

Everyone was done with their erasers. I was impressed. But now Fang was fighting the one eraser I had to take down. I was completely worthless in that battle.

After a few hard punches both ways, Fang came out victorious with a hard kick that made Ari's head ricochet off the cement of the building walls.

"You ok?" I asked looking him over.

"Fine." He said wiping blood from the cut on his bottom lip.

When he lifted his head to look at me, I forced a small smile. He returned it for a moment, but it disappeared literally two seconds later. That's Fang for you.

"Alright, let's save the others." I announced to the group.

And we tried to do just that.

AN: Hope you liked it!

28. Chapter 28

The Sickness- Chapter 28

Yeah, I said tried. A second after professing that statement we were surrounded by one hundred furry dogs, erasers. A hundred is just a little on the impossible side for us.

So now all of us are in some kind of room together. I feel like I'm in an insane asylum, with the white walls and floor. Everything is padded and no one is talking.

I've been on the floor for about an hour talking to the voice in my head and secretly wondering who has died from the first group. I know the voice said it wasn't Nudge or Angel, but I'm still worried.

Maximum, the sun is rising.

My heart almost stopped beating. It's morning which means three more have been killed, five total.

'Who?' I asked inwardly.

You'll find out soon enough.

"Max." Fang whispered from his spot beside me.

I opened my eyes and looked over at him, slowly. I must have looked pretty freaked because before I could deny his comfort, his hand was tangled in my hair on the back of my head, guiding it to his hard shoulder.

That is when I heard the door slide open.

"Maximum." Jeb said looking at me sadly. "You should have listened to me."

"I'm not leaving Nudge and Angel to die." I spat. "Now where are they?"

"Come with me." He said motioning me with his hand.

I stood and walked to stand directly in front of him.

"Max." Fang said standing too.

"Just give me twenty minutes." I said back to him before turning to Jeb and saying, "Let's go."

Fang P.O.V.

I watched as Max disappeared from the room with Jeb. I don't trust Jeb and I definitely don't trust this situation to be resolved without anymore stress and pain.

"You let her go?" Flash said coming up with a new found fury.

"Just shut up." I said glaring at him as I pushed myself away from the wall to check on Gaz and Iggy.

He followed me over.

"Shoo fly." I said turning around to come face to face with him. Surprisingly, he didn't back down. Actually, he hit me square in the jaw.

"Wanna try that again." I said showing very little reaction. I was simply egging him on, seeing how much guts this guy had.

He threw another punch, but I caught his arm and twisted it behind his back, so he was facing the wall. I used his arm to propel him to it.

He used his hands to stop himself from meeting the wall face first then turned to me with an angered expression. I might have to fight this punk to the death just because he couldn't get over his obsession with Max. He's one very sick puppy, worse than Ari.

Max P.O.V.

I was taken to a room just down the hallway, they had been so close the whole time.

"In here." Jeb said sliding his key through the keypad then entering a code.

I followed him into the room and there in the corner was my lost flock members. I rushed toward them, grabbing Angel in one arm and wrapping the other around Nudge.

"Max, you have no idea how glad we are to see you." Nudge cried into my shoulder.

"Are you two okay?" I asked, worrying.

"Yeah." Angel said weakly.

"Nudge?" I questioned.

She nodded into my shoulder.

"Max." A voice said from behind me.

I turned to look upon Kane. I felt my heart drop.

"Lane?" He asked weakly.

"I'm sorry." I said shaking my head.

He lowered his head and the tears slid from his closed eyes.

"And the others that were infected?" He choked out.

"They didn't make it either." I said softly.

He nodded then walked away.

"Are Flash and the others alright?" Shift asked coming face to face with me suddenly.

"They're fine." I confirmed.

"And the whole love triangle drama?" She asked with a cold edge in her voice.

"Over… finally." I said showing my annoyance.

"Oh poor Max, it must be so hard to have two guys fight over you." She said sarcastically. "How'd it end?"

"Why do you care?" I asked crossing my arms. She was really starting to make me angry.

"I just want to make sure you didn't break Flash in the process." She said glaring.

"You're crushing on him, aren't you?" I asked with wide eyes.

"No." She confirmed, too bad I didn't believe her.

I rolled my eyes. "Well, I chose Fang, so you're free to have him. I never wanted Flash."

"No, you just wanted the attention."

"Just shut up." I said yelling at her. "We've got more important things to worry about."

She closed her mouth and looked at me completely shocked.

"Who didn't make it?" I questioned calmly.

AN: Hope you enjoyed. Remember to vote for more MR! Reviews are appreciated too! And I'm ending this story when it reaches chapter 30.

29. Chapter 29

The Sickness- Chapter 29

"Kane, Jade, Mirage, Fade and Ghost." Shift said staring into my eyes. "Are you happy, Max?"

I stared at her, frozen where I stood. Her eyes bore holes into my own and I couldn't bring myself to turn away. The connection was too powerful, the hate, too powerful.

"I mean… that's what you wanted, right?" She said holding back tears. "Screw the rest of us, as long as your flock is alive and well, who cares who dies? Right? Come on, Max, am I right?"

I blinked back tears that threatened to fall.

"I didn't want this too happen." I said sounding annoyingly pathetic. "I never wanted anyone to get hurt."

"They didn't get hurt, Max… they died!" Shift shrieked throwing her hands up in exasperation. "Dead! Their short, genetically altered lives were put to an end, because Jeb and his idiot son are trying to protect you, the ever so popular Maximum Ride. Miss Perfection herself!"

"Shut up!" I cried throwing my hands over my ears and bowing my head. I wanted to drown out her voice and all the accusations it carried.

"Can't take it can you? You know I'm right and the guilt is burning a hole in that pathetic little heart of yours." She said bitterly.

"No." I whispered shaking my head.

"Yes Max!" She yelled.

"Stop it!" Angel yelled running over to me, throwing her skinny, pale arms around my waist. Nudge wasn't far behind her, pressing a hand on my back in comfort, whilst staring down Shift.

"Angel don't." I said kneeling and looking into her furious eyes. Seeing her come to my defense made me stronger, no longer weak from self guilt and pity.

"But Max, she…"

"Shh…" I stopped her by pressing my finger to her lips. "Let me handle this."

Nudge nodded beside me as she grabbed Angel's wrist loosely.

"Now, where were we?" I asked mustering up all the self confidence I had left.

She didn't have time to answer though, because Jeb and his band of evil whitecoats decided to invite themselves in and ruin the party.

"What do you want now?" I asked showing my annoyance, hiding my worry.

"I'm sorry to have to do this, Maximum." Jeb said walking over with sadness shadowing his dark eyes. "If I don't, they'll kill you some other way."

"What are you…?"

Before I could finish, the needle was in my arm and the virus running through my bloodstream. I'm a goner.


They split us into two groups and led us down separate paths. We didn't know where we were going, the only thing we knew was that one of the groups was headed for what they referred to as a "first round extermination".

We tried to fight them, but it was no good. All I can say is that I thanked whatever higher power for putting the Gasman and Iggy in my group. Either we lived together… or died together. Hopefully the first option.

"Fang." Gazzy said walking beside me.

"What?" I asked boring holes into the back of the eraser's head that stood in front of me.

"They got Max." He said near tears.

"What?" I yelled looking over at him quickly.

"She's been infected… or will be."

"Dang it!" I shouted earning a punch in the gut from Ari.

"Shut up." He barked.

"I swear, if anything happens to Max or my flock, I'll kill you." I warned with a tight jaw.

"We infected her to protect her." Ari said with a smile. "Unlike you, we're making sure she lives."

I glared.

"You see, Fang, the higher ups wanted to put a bullet through Max's pretty little forehead, so we infected her with the virus… when they leave two days from now, she'll be given the vaccine and be free to thank us for saving her life." He bragged.

"You're delusional." I retorted shaking my head.

"No Fang, I'm Max's guardian angel." He smirked, a pure wolf grin.

"Will the virus cause her pain?" I asked ignoring his smugness.

"Limited, but I'd say that is better than death… do you agree?" He pondered.

I refused to answer.

"Any side effects?" I fired another question.

"Like?" He asked furrowing his brow.

"Organ damage, memory loss, anything…"

"No, she's perfectly safe." He assured with much confidence.

And I almost believed him until Jeb came running down the hallway with Max in his arms, unconscious."

"Hold him back!" Jeb shouted. The erasers grabbed hold of the three of us.

"What happened?" Ari asked in panic.

"She's had a reaction to the virus… if we don't get the vaccine to her soon she might die." Jeb explained carrying Max into the lab beside us all.

"Perfectly safe, huh." I said staring down Ari.

"I thought it was." He said looking completely stunned.

"Remember my promise." I said glaring at him. "If she dies… you're dead."

He looked past me to stare into the lab. I turned and stared in also. Jeb and three other whitecoats were trying to get Max breathing. Then CPR began.

"Come on, Max." I whispered pressing my hands against the glass that separated us.

AN: Hope you enjoyed! I love reviews and clicks on the MR site for a movie! Do one or the other or BOTH! Sorry for the wait! One chap to go!

30. Chapter 30

The Sickness- Chapter 30


After watching them pound on Max's chest and try to force oxygen down into her lungs for an hour, they finally got her breathing again. I was ready to fight anyone who tried to keep me away from her, so lucky for them they let me go in the room with her, no argument or resistance.

"You want to do the honors?" Jeb asked walking over to me, holding a syringe carrying the vaccine inside.

"Just inject it." I said keeping my eyes on Max. Currently, she is resting.

He flicked the end of the needle then carefully slid it into Max's arm. The sight made me flinch, after you've been tested on and genetically altered… you wouldn't think needles are nothing to be concerned about either.

"When will she wake up?" I asked with a cold edge.

"Anytime, she's just making up for lost sleep… you all should." Jeb said looking at Max's face with admiration.

"We're fine." I said shortly. "Let us out and we'll be better than fine."

"I'm trying, Fang." He said losing patience. "Why can't you see that?"

"All I see is you betraying us." I replied standing to look into his eyes.

"I never betrayed you. I never wanted any of this to happen." Jeb said shaking his head. "I just want Max to save the world."

"By putting pressure on her everyday?" I asked bitterly. "Putting a chip in her arm that allows some kind of voice to pester her until she almost kills herself?"

"I never meant to push her that far." He whispered harshly.

"You're the voice?"

"I thought you would have guessed that by now." He remarked furrowing his brow.

"I had my suspicions." I retorted, crossing my arms.

"Fang…" Max called out groggily on the operation table.


"You ok?" Fang asked looking down at me.

"Yeah… just a little out of it." I admitted laying my hand across my forehead.

"The dizziness will wear off in a minute or so." Jeb piped up beside Fang.

I glared at him then shot Fang a confused look.

"We were just having some words." Fang told me, sounding very annoyed. "Seems Jeb is the voice."

"The voice… like in my head…?" I asked trying to process everything.

"Yes." Fang growled.

"I'm gonna kill you." I said looking at Jeb.

"Maximum, we both know you won't do that." He said halfway between smugness and sadness. How does that work?

I pushed myself from the table and hopped up without getting dizzy, guess it passed. IU stormed over to the doors and pushed them open.

"Max?" Fang questioned.

"I'm saving the everyone… no exceptions." I answered. "And if they try and stop us, it'll be Jeb's neck."

"You won't kill me…" Jeb repeated.

"No, but there are others with me that would love to." I said turning and looking into his eyes. Anger rolled from every word I spoke.

"Could you really let them kill me?" He asked smugly.

"Watch me." I spat.

I'll spare you the boring details of rescuing the rest of my flock and some of the other mutants we've met along the way. Everyone from my flock made it out alive. Besides us: Flash, Shift, Veil, Gus, Daze, Slate, Myst and Cue that made it out alive.

We split ways from each other, which was definitely for the best. Flash and Fang should never be around each other ever again, they drove me insane.

Currently, my flock was flying with me to the nearest hotel. Today was our start at a semi-normal life. Just us, together.

I caught Fang looking over at me and I smiled in response, he returned it. Me and him were going to be just fine, especially since Flash was gone.

"Max!" Nudge screeched.

"What?" I asked looking over at her quickly.

"There's one!" She said waving her finger excitedly at a hotel on the ground. "Can we stay there?"

"Yeah, head down… out of sight." I ordered.

Nudge went first with Angel, Gazzy, then Iggy behind her. I stayed in the air with Fang for just a moment of alone time.

"Miss Flash already?" Fang asked with a smirk.

"Shut up, I picked you, didn't I?" I said rolling my eyes.

"Like that's a hard choice." He remarked.

"Stop." I said looking into his eyes. "I never want to hear the name 'Flash' ever again."

"That makes two of us." He said moving closer to me until he could slide his arm around my waist.

"What are you doing?" I asked looking down at the ground in concern.

"What? You think I'll let you fall?" He asked, clearly amused.

"Never." I said surely.

"That's right… never." Then he kissed me.


Well, the end has come… don't be sad! I will probably write some more fics... I just need to get some kind of motivation. I don't know, tell me what ya think.