Ultimate Doom, or, The Mall by honeyshoshana

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Humor, Romance
Published:2008-08-24 18:49:30
Updated:2008-11-12 20:17:06
Packaged:2021-04-22 03:15:45
Summary:Nudge needs a bra. This sets off a whole chain of unfortunate events, including lots of Faxness. Drama and idiocy occur. Romance, humor, jealousy, despair, Abercrombie, and Bizarrely Orange People are all included in this astonishingly odd fic by Sunny!

Table of Contents

1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7

1. Chapter 1

Heya folks, new demented ramblings of Sunny the Utterly Magnificent. I now have a amazing stupendous fantastical BETA!! Darth Atkid the Frankly Quite Awesome!! Yay!

Disclaimer: I own Maximum Ride. -runs off with Fang plushie-

"Alright guys, this is a surgical strike mission."

They all stare at me like I'm nuts.

I sigh and explain "In, then out as fast as possible."

The Flock nods obediently.

The ultimate evil is ahead.

We need to be as prepared as possible.

Distraction is not an option.

Our lives, or the lives of our souls, are at stake.

"Oh come on, Max, it's not that bad!" Angel pipes up.

"Sweetie, will you please stay out of my head? Besides, it is too that bad."

"Max, it's just the mall! What could go wrong?"

"You never know." I prophesy darkly. 'Cause, you know when someone says 'what could go wrong,' something will.

I'm convinced that this would all end in tears, but we need new clothes pretty badly; poor Fang's shirt was ripped to shreds.

I sigh as we land in an alley.

I sigh as we walk up to the looming gates ahead.

I sigh as we go in.

I'm interrupted mid-sigh by Nudge.

She pulls me aside.

"Max, can I talk to you for a second?"

I eye her warily.

She better not be asking where babies come from.

They come from the stork of course, Nudge! Where do you think we got the wings?

Ha-di-ha. I amuse myself sometimes.

"Um, Max?"

"Alright, Nudge. Fang, you're in charge for a second."

A mute nod is his only reply.

I roll my eyes at him.

Can't he even try to speak in full sentences?


Jeez, you would think that this was a matter of life and death.

She tuggs me away from the flock, with me keeping one eye out for danger.

Nudge looks very small as she wrings her hands.

"What's up, Nudge?" I ask gently.

"I think…I might…I mean…I need…"

By this point, I'm kinda worried.

Nothing stops Nudge from talking.


Nothing was bad enough.

Except some of the nastier experiments.

"Spit it out, Nudge!" I say aggrievedly as she keeps stuttering.

"Max, I think I need…"

"What do you need?"

"A bra!" She shouted suddenly. "I need a bra!"

Innocent bystanders looked at her oddly.

The flock was grinning.

I looked at her in horror.

"You need a bra?" I whisper-shout.

"Yes!" She whisper-shouts back.

I look at her.


She does.

Why didn't I notice that?

'Perhaps you don't spend enough time looking at peoples chests.' The voice insinuated snidely. 'Except Fang's, of course.'

I lean against the wall for a second.


'Yes Maximum?

'Shut up.'

The voice is silent.


Fang himself comes over, looking concerned in that emotionless way he has.

"Voice?" He says, raising an eyebrow.


Two could play at that one word game!


"It says I need to spend more time looking at peoples chests!"


So much for the one word game.

Fang looks…odd, like he's trying to stifle laughter.

"Well, I'm right here." He says, gesturing to his chest with a cocky smirk.

Before I can come up with a scathing enough come back, he's walked off.

I fume silently.

"Max!" Nudge says, tugging at my sleeve.

"Sorry Nudge. Um, let's go..."

"Can the boys not come with us?" Nudge begs.

Oh yeah.

Wake up, Max!

Enemies could attack any minute, I was in charge of keeping five other mutants, a talking dog and a stuffed bear alive, I was in a freaking mall which I hate with all the hate not directed at Itex, (there's enough to go around, folks. No need to fight for Max's hate!) and on top of all that, I have to buy a bra for my little mutant sister.

Life really sucks sometimes.

Where does one get a bra, anyway?

"Let's go there, Max!" Angel says, coming over.

I look where Angel is pointing.




The temple of sexism.

Shrine of consumerism.

The ideal standard of beauty held by America.

Victoria's Secret.

Well, crap.

Review my lovelies! REVIEW!!

2. Chapter 2

Hola! Thank you all my fantastic amazing splendiferous reviewers that reviewed my malarky! I LURVE YOU ALL!! And you too, my supercalifragaliticexpealidocious beta, DARTH ATKID!! Long, faxy chapter for YOU!! -points-

We are not going in there." I balk.

I glance quickly at the boys.

Fang is describing the mall and the people around us to Iggy.

I bet he'll notice Victoria's Secret in five…four…why does this bug me?...three I couldn't be jealous …two…cause you know how that turned out …one…Bingo.

His eyes bug out, and he falls silent.

I'm guessing that most of you have seen the front of Victoria's Secret.

If you haven't, well.

All I can say is that there's a billboard size, nearly perfect, nearly naked woman in the window.


"Max! You are so spaced out! What are you looking at? Fang? Ooh, what's he doing? You know what kind of-"here she lowers her voice-"bra" back to normal voice-" I want? I want a pink one with Hello Kitty! And I want to go to Victoria's Secret! I wonder what her secret is. Every one has secrets. What's ours? Beside the fact that we have-"I clamp my hand over her mouth.

"Oh yeah. Sorry! Can we go to Victoria's Secret now?"

I realize that Nudge and Angel are going to Bambi eye me in five…four…why would Angel want to go to Victoria's Secret, anyway?...three….probably because it's pink…two…here it comes…one.

I reel under the combined forces of Evil Girl Childs one and two.

"Fine." I scowl. "But Nudge is not getting anything improper."


Did I just say that?

Who do I think I am, Queen Victoria?

An image of me in that god-awful dress you see her wearing flashes into my mind.

I recoil.

We are not amused.

Conquering my pride, I trudge over to the boys.

"Guys, go pick out new clothes. We'll meet you in the food court in an hour."

"Where are you going?" the Gasman asks curiously.

I jerk my thumb over my shoulder.

"To the temple of sexism. If I don't return, Fang can have my backpack."

Aforementioned not-emo cracks a bit of a smile.

There is absolute silence.

Crickets chirp.

We all stare at Fang.

Fang stares at us.

We stare at Fang.

Fang stares at us.

We stare-"What's going on?" Iggy demands irritably.

"Fang…Fang…he…he…" I can't continue.

"What?" Iggy asks agitatedly.

"Fang smiled!" Gazzy blurts out.


"He did! Wow! Fang smiled! Look at him! He looks like it hurts, but he's still doing it!" Nudge giggles.

I step close to Fang and, using my fingers, push up the corners of his mouth so he keeps smiling.

"I like this smiling Fang much better." I purr.

I purr?

I thought I was part bird, not part cat.

Quicker than a rattlesnake, Fang turns his head so one of my fingers is held gently in his mouth.

And I thought he was part bird, not part rattlesnake.

I try to remove my fingers, but fail.

Time for that clichéd punchline 'I guess that's why they call him Fang!'

"I guess that's why they call him Fang!" I say out loud.

"Max, that line has been used so many times it's not even funny anymore." Iggy reprimands me.

"Fine. You try to come up with a better comeback when your brother-ish creature who is hysterically named 'Fang' bites you and still has your finger in his mouth!"

We look at Fang.

Fang look us.

Fang blush.

Fang drop finger.

Like finger hot potato.

Good Fang impression, huh.

"What about 'ow'?" Gazzy suggests.

I smile at him.

"Yep, I guess that would work too."

I shout 'OW" at the top of my lungs.

Angel and Gazzy laugh.

"You're a bit late, Max." Iggy snorts.

"Well, better late than never!" I announce.

I march determinedly away, Nudge and Angel trailing after.

So obsessed am I with making a dramatic exit, I don't notice I'm walking straight into a boy.

"Ow!" I say for the second time in the past thirty seconds as my butt hits the floor.

"Oh, I'm sorry! Are you okay?" I look up into the green eyes of a very cute boy.


You know, the first thing I thought when I saw him was 'revenge.'

Is that normal?

I realize that I haven't said anything and blush a bit.

Grabbing his outstretched hand, I haul myself to my feet.

"I'm fine, thanks. Are you okay?" I say, holding onto his hand a little longer than necessary.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Hey, I haven't seen you around. Are you new here?" he asks interestedly.

"Nah, we're from out of town."

"Oh, where?"


At this slightly awkward point Nudge jumps in with: "We're from California! San Diego! It's really nice; we go to the beach a lot. San Diego is a funny name, though. I think it's Spanish. Or Mexican. Is there a difference? Oh well. I had a Popsicle yesterday. It was really good. I like grape flavored things, even though they don't taste like grape. I wonder why? Max says that there are a lot of chemicals in popsicles and that they are bad for us and we shouldn't eat them too much but c'mon Max, it's just a popsicle!-"I clamp my hand over her mouth, afraid she would say too much.

"Sorry for my little sister. She'll talk your ear off if you don't shut her up."

"It's fine, my big sister talks constantly too. Who's Max?"

"Huh? Oh, I am."

"Daniel. Pleased to meet you." We shake hands.

Ooh, a gentleman!

They're soo easy to manipulate.

"Can I buy you a soda to make up for knocking you down?"

"Sounds great! Hang on; let me get my little sisters to my brother. He'll watch them. Don't move. Be back in five."

I hustle Nudge and Angel back to Fang.

"Nudge, can 'it' wait for a second? I want to get revenge on Fang for biting me."

Her eyes light up and she grins excitedly.

For some reason, the whole Flock loves revenge.

Myself included.


I love foreshadowing.

"Angel, is he clean?"

My baby looks at me with a small smile.

"Yes, except for some thoughts that are improper."

I roll my eyes.


I hate that word.

"Fang, can you watch everyone for a bit? Daniel and I are going to get a soda." I smile innocently.

Fang's eyes flash, and he spins and stalks away without a word.

"I guess that's a yes?" I call after him sweetly.


"It's okay, Max he's just jealous." Angel reassures me.


"Go after him; see if you can calm him down, okay? I'll be back in forty-five minutes, tops. Iggy, Gazzy, don't blow anything up. Nothing. Not even the piece of litter on the floor. Got it? I'll be back soon. Angel, no mind puppet. None. Stay on your guard. Fetch me if anything, anything, happens. Alright."

"Just go already!" Gazzy grins.

"Fine. Bye!"

I go to find my –finger quotes- hot date.

I suppose he is hot, but he can't compare to Fang.

I really shouldn't be thinking that.

Fang's given up.

He kissed me twice, and I, the idiot ran away.

Uh, oops?

I do like him, but don't know what to do about it.

Okay, if he professes his undying love, I'll snog his brains out.

Wow Max, new low. Thinking about one guy on a date with another.

Uh, double oops?

I stop and check the flock in a reflection.

Iggy and Gazzy look like they're plotting something.

'Angel, tell them NO BOMBS!'

'Okay Max!'


Can't live with them.

Can't live without them blowing something up.

Ah, there's Daniel.

He hadn't moved an inch!

I giggle a bit.

I know, shocker, right?

I, the incredible, indescribable Maximum Ride had giggled.

I knew Fang would either ditch the flock with Iggy and spy, or drag the flock and spy.

He's very nosy.

Especially about me.

Um, yay?

Anyway, I knew Fang would spy, so to further plan Green Eyed Monster, I decide to act as giggly and girly as possible.

I catch a glimpse of a tall, strangely cute, mutant wearing black ducking behind a potted plant.


I know Fang like the back of my hand.

I fluff my hair and stride confidently over to Daniel.

"Silly, you haven't moved an inch!"

He shrugs and smiles sheepishly.

Together, we walk over to the food court.

We get sodas and talk and it turns out that he's fourteen, has an older sister, is on the wrestling team and has a band.

Keeping him talking about himself was a good move on my part.

Cause what would I say?

That I'm a winged freak with a voice in her head who's supposed to save the world, take care of six other mutants and a teddy bear, teaching them to fight, feeding them, keeping them safe and buying them bras?


That'll go down well.

"I'm sorry, what?"

"I said, what kind of music do you like?"

"Oh, mostly alternative and rock."

"Really? Me too! Have you heard…"

I tune him out.

You'd be surprised at how much people can talk about themselves.

All you really need is a few 'uh huh's and smiles to keep the conversation going.

A little while later, I check the clock.

"Oh no, is that the time? I've got to go! I promised my fl- family I'd meet them in five minutes!" I jump up quickly, nearly upsetting the table.

"Wait, before you go, I have to ask you a question. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and savior?"

I stare at him slack-jawed.

The potted plant a few tables away seems to be snickering.

I ignore the plant and say sweetly to Daniel "I'm sorry, I don't believe in Jesus. I worship the devil."

To say he looked scandalized would be like saying he looked scandalized.


"You mean I have been breaking bread with a demon? Out foul demon! Flee this child's body so her spirit can dwell with the lord in peace!"

Making a cross with his fingers, he backs away.

The plant is laughing now.

I mouth 'I'll deal with you later at the plant' and step closer to Daniel.

"Come with me Daniel, temptation awaits…" I say beguilingly, brushing his collarbone with my fingers.

He's weakening!


That's so cool!

I take his hand, trying to lead him away, just to see what he would do.

He doesn't seem that keen, though.

"Foul demon! Leading me into temptation just like EZ Tan said!" He screamed, looking deranged.

If I thought the bush was laughing before, it's nothing compared to now.


That's a weird sentence.

I take a moment to ponder on the absurdities of life and notice everyone staring.

I look for Daniel and catch a glimpse of him disappearing over the horizon.

Oh boy.

I sit down and start to fake cry rather convincingly.

Why? Because there was a whole food court of people seeming to think I am the devil.

That's never good in the long run.

I look up from my fake sobbing, gasp "he's so mean!" and dash out.

Now sympathy was on my side.

I wouldn't be lynched.

Or burned.

Or stabbed with a spork.

You can never tell with these Midwestern types.

When I get out of that godforsaken (haha) place, the plant was waiting for me.

"Fake crying, Max? That's out of character."

"Ah, so the bush speaks, SPY!"

Fang sits next to me.

"Just watching out for you. Why the crocodile tears?"

"Well, we're in Salem. And you know what happened in Salem. Witch trials for worshipping the devil."

"That was four hundred years ago!"

"Leopards never change their stripes."



"Leopards have spots, not stripes."


We sit in comfortable silence for a bit.

"Did you like him?" Came the expected question from Fang.

I choose not to reply, instead playing with the hem on my t-shirt.

"Did you?" He pressed.

"Why do you want to know?"

He rolls his eyes and stands up.

"We'd better check on the flock."


"Oh –censored-"

Cliff hanger, hanging from a cliff! And that's why he's called Cliff Hanger! Review the oddness, people!!

3. Chapter 3

Hey folks, I'm going to be in Israel for the next two weeks, so expect an update when I get back. Fanks to all you awesome reviewers!

We break into a run towards the explosion.

All around us people were fleeing and screaming and bras are flying everywhere.

I duck as a skanky black number nearly hits me in the head.

Thank god for bird kid reflexes.

Fang is looking kind of stunned; I bet he's never seen this much women's underwear in his life.

While running, I still find time to give him a bit of a smack.

There is always time for smacking.


That sounded wrong.

"It's the tangerine bunnies from Iceland!" Screams a girl with a pink streak in her hair.


Suddenly, a long arm shoots out and tries to drag me behind a potted plant.

I immediately attack it, hitting all the normal spots that would leave a human screaming in pain.

"Let go." I snarl.

"Max- ow!"


"No s&#, Sherlock."

I roll my eyes and allow myself to be dragged out of the panic.

Fang, who had been watching with some amusement, followed.

"Thanks for the help, Fang." I say sarcastically.

He shrugs.

I scowl at him, remember that I'm mad at Iggy and Gazzy, and direct the world famous and patented Max Glare Of Death at them.

Then I notice the flock perched in the little ring of potted plants, looking unstable.

Not mentally unstable, but looking like they were going to fall.

Mentally unstable of course, but not…oh forget it.

I suddenly remember the bomb.

"Did you guys make the Big Bang?" I demand.

Iggy snorts.

"I'm honored you think we are so powerful, but no, we did not make the Big Bang."

'The bomb." I elaborate.

"Oh, the bomb!"'

"Yes the bomb, Gazzy. What exactly did you blow up?"

"Well, about the bomb…" Total says uncomfortably.

I whirl on him.

"Ah hah! So you were in on this too, weren't you?"

Total buries his face in Angel's side.

"Maybe…" he says, sounding kind of muffled.

"Alright, out with it. What did you blow up?"

"Well…" Gazzy said, looking very guilty. "We heard you saying how you didn't like Victoria's Secret…"

"So we kind of yelled 'fire' and blew it up." Iggy finished in a rush.

"You yelled fire so all the people would get out before you blew it up? How thoughtful of you." I sneer. "Didn't I tell you, didn't I tell you didn't I tell you four times not to blow anything up? Didn't I tell you? And what did you do? Blow up the mall!"

My voice had started rising, and by the end it was almost a very quiet scream.

I couldn't believe I had told them FOUR FREAKIN TIMES not to blow anything up, and they disobeyed me!

Willfully disobeyed me!

That is not an option!

It's basically obey Max or die a horrible death!

And they know that!

I take a deep breath to try to calm myself down 'cause the Flock is looking at me like I'm a big scary monster.

"Sorry Max." the Gasman mutters, shuffling his feet.

"It's okay, I guess. But you have to listen to me and Fang. I don't need to remind you what will happen if you don't."

They all shuddered, thinking of the School.

"I don't blame Gazzy or Total. Iggy…" I continue.

Waiting till his sightless eyes are fixed on me I finish:

"Start running."

He lets out a terrified squeak and runs.

I sit down and rub my hands together like an evil genius.

Then I cackle a bit, just 'cause I can.

The flock is looking at me like I'm insane again.

Oh well.

Now, it's bra time.

Review for lots of hot Israeli guys!

4. Chapter 4

I'M BAAAAACK!! Aren't you happy... Israel was awesome, and here's your update!

If Victoria's Secret has been blown up (yay!) where does one get a bra?

'There are lots of places to get a bra in the mall, Maximum.'

'Oh yeah? How would you know? You're just a voice in my head! You don't need a bra! Or maybe you do. But that would be weird. Too weird. Voice, if you wear a bra, please tell me.'



I suddenly realize that everyone is looking at me funny.


"Max? Can we do it now?"


To my hormone-crazed brain, that sounded dirty.

Speaking of hormones, Fang looks particularly delectable today.




Did I actually think that?

Particularly delectable?

I must be going insane.

Even more insane.


"Um, yeah, Nudge. Fang, Gazzy, Total, I'm turning you loose on the mall. God forgive me. Find Iggy and get clothes. Be practical. No tutus. Gazzy, tell Iggy that if he blows anything up, I'll kill him and then tell Ella that he sucks his thumb. Also, tell him that if he grovels and tell me where he hides his bombs, I might possibly forgive him. Possibly. Alright, see you in the food court in an hour."

"No tutus?" Fang asks quizzically.


I mentally rerun my speech.

"Yes, Fang, if you possibly have the inclination to purchase a tutu, please refrain from doing so." I say as sarcastically as I can.

He smiles a bit, and, taking Gazzy and Total with him, disappears into the crowd.

My heart gives a little pang.

Then my bird senses prickle.

There's something wrong.

I look around carefully.

At first glance, there's nothing wrong.

Then I notice the people.

You look a little closer and you notice something odd.

They all look the same!

All blond, all skinny, all dressed the same, and ALL ORANGE!

I swear, they all had the worst fake tan.

Um, hello?

Ever heard of skin cancer?

And are their eyes…glowing?


This couldn't be Itex, right?

"Stay on your guard guys, there's something wrong."

Ah, my adorable paranoia resurfaces.

I lead my now divided flock over to the mall directory, all senses on high alert.

"Ah, okay, so if we're here, and we want to go there, so we would want to go left, I mean, right. Nooo, that would land us next to the Ben and Jerry's, but what if I went up, I mean…"

I continue muttering to myself and tracing squiggly lines on the map.

Has anyone else noticed how annoying those flippin' mall directories are?

I finally give up on that –censored- mall directory and march off purposefully, relying on my magical mutant sense of direction to guide us.

Five minutes later we are hopelessly lost.

Well, crap.

I hate malls!

"I told them it would all end in tears. Nothing good ever came from malls. But did they listen? Nooooo…It was all we need clothes, Max. I need a bra, Max. We need to blow something up, Max. Max Max Max. Who appointed me leader anyway?" I rant under my breath.

"Um, you did, Max." Angel gently reminds me.

Oh yeah.

I had conveniently forgotten that.

Nudge was looking depressed.

She was muttering to herself too.

"All I wanted was a bra. A bra to mark my passing into grownup land. Well, I also wanted a cute skirt but that would be bad when flying and it might fly up without me and that would be really embarrassing and bad and Max said no tutus but she meant Fang and oh! Fang would look so funny in a tutu! Where would I find a bra, anyway? Now that Iggy blew up Victoria's Secret…."

And that sort of degenerated into muttering.

Angel was the only sane one.

"Why don't we try in there?" she suggested angelically.

Oh yeah.

The same store we had been going past for the last five minutes.

Gap Body.

Well, duh.

Better get this over with.

I march purposefully in, trailing Nudge and Angel like little feathery ducklings.

"Hi! Can I help you?!" cries a very perky saleslady, practically swooning with delight.

I eye her uncertainly.

What's she on?

"Um, yes. We would like to purchase a bra for our little sister."

Why was I using the imperial we?

We quite liked it.

It conveyed a sense of importance.

A sense of dignity.

A sense of Queen Victoria?


We calmed ourselves down, as we were beginning to attract peculiar looks from other frequenters of the establishment.

We are talking like Queen Victoria too!

"Wonderful!" the Very Perky Saleslady screamed, ecstatic with joy.

Um, wow.

"Excuse me, were you a cheerleader once?" I ask curiously.

"YES! Yes I was, little girl! Aren't you clever! Would you like a lollipop?"

What's that normal parents say?

Don't take candy from strangers?


My parents would probably tell me not to accept any offers of gene mutation from strangers.


Too late!

But hey, I never turn down free food!

But then again, this Very Perky Saleslady is very suspiciously perky.

I could turn into a perk drone too.

"Um, no thanks."

"Come with me, little girl and we will find the perfect bra for you!"

"Okay!" Nudge giggles, scampering off with the Very Perky Sales Lady.

We roll our eyes, mentally praying that Nudge would not be like the Very Perky Sales Lady when-if she grew up.

That would be unbearable torture.

We look around a bit.

Our eyes land on a bright red lace bra.

Ew, how tacky, was our first thought.

Guess what our second thought was.

Revenge… again.

Pleasepleaseplease REVIEW!

5. Chapter 5

You might think we were revenge fanatics

You might think we were revenge fanatics.

That maybe we were carrying the revenge thing too far.

But this revenge was perfect!

It killed two birds with one stone!

'That's tactful, Max'.

'Oh shut up, Voice in my head.'

Anyway, this revenge would get revenge-wait, is that possible?-on Fang and Daniel!

Revenge on Daniel for calling us a foul demon.

Revenge on Fang for biting us.

"Max, why are you thinking in imperial we? And what kind of revenge do you mean?"

"Angel, how many times have I told you to stay out of my head?"

"Counting this one? One hundred and seventy two." She said grinning.

Cheeky little monkey.

I stick my tongue out at her childishly.

Max. You might want to help Nudge.

Doing a quick 360' I see nothing threatening except the red lace bra in my hand.

My eyes zero in on Nudge, who's heading to the changing room holding a pile of suspicious looking garments.

"Hey, Nudge." I say, looking with barely contained curiosity at the pile of bras she has.

"Hey, Max. Um, how do you put this on? It has a lot of straps and suchlike-ooh! Suchlike is such a funny word! It's like, such and like! Which is weird, because that doesn't really mean anything. But- oh. I'll shut up now."

"Thanks, Nudge. So what have you got?" I say, staring at the scary heap of girly-ness in her hands.

She dumps them onto the little bench, digging through them.

I look at them with shock which turns into horror which spirals into rage.

The Very Perky Saleslady had outfitted Nudge, my eleven year old sister with a heap of bras only suitable for tramps.

Inflatable bras.

Leopard print bras.

Bras with little kiss marks all over.

Even a red lace one like I had been plotting with.

"Okay. I'm getting you some different bras. Don't put those one. Angel, stay here. Be back in a sec."

I storm out, slamming the door with a bang.

How dare she?!

How dare that -censored- Very Perky Saleslady!

Does she think we're sluts?

Is this what eleven year olds are wearing?

God, they're turning them into objects even earlier these days.

'Calm down, Max. Aren't you the one who was planning to seduce two boys wearing a red lace bra? Surely that's a bit hypocritical.'

'That's different. I'm fourteen. I'm an adult. She's eleven!'

'Oh, you're an adult?' the sarcasm was clear in its voice.

Can Voices in your head be sarcastic?

I am distracted by Iggy falling at my feet.

Now this is more like it.

"Max, I apologize a million times over for disobeying you. I know you have our best interests at heart, and you, in your ultimate wisdom have saved us from ourselves. If you could find it in your amazingly capacious heart to forgive my poor self, I shall be eternally grateful."


That boy does have a way with words.

"My amazingly capacious heart?" I query.

"It has room for the Flock and Fang's extraordinarily large…"

I mentally will him not to say what I think he might possibly say.

"Ego." Iggy grins mischievously.


I swat him.

"Ah! Mercy!"

"Fine. On one condition." I say, raising a finger.


"Tell me where you hide your bombs."

"But that." Iggy finishes.

"Do you really want to incur my wrath? Even more wrath?"


"Than tell me!"

I wait.

He squirms.

I wait.

He squirms.

I wait.

He squirms.

I wait.

He squirms.

I wai-"Will you just freakin tell me already?!" I explode.

Then I remember that we're in a bra store.


"Tell me!" I insist more quietly.

"Fine. Some are on my wings…"


"And some are in my boxers. Since that seems to be the universally accepted place to hide them." Iggy adds quietly.


"You keep your bombs in your boxers? How brave of you. Forgiven, I guess. Just save the blowing up for the Fly-Boys. Scram!"

He looks relieved and getting to his feet, scrams.

I roll my eyes.

"Max?" Comes a small voice from the dressing room.

"Hang on, Nudge!" I call back.

Grabbing a couple of bras in pastel colors, thank you very much, I rejoin Nudge and Angel in the dressing room.

I'll spare you the gory details, but when we walked out of that store, we had three pink bras.

And one red lace one.

6. Chapter 6

Hola mi chicos! Whassup? I, your favorite orange midget, (no offense to any orange midgets out there) am back! This is a bit of an angstier (and LONG!) chappie. The reason I have taken so long to update is that I have been playing the guitar and playing soccer and doing homework every festunken-da (Afrikaans for the F-word) minute of every festunken-da day! Enjoy, my pallies, and don't forget to review!

I bet you're all wondering what Maximum Ride, champion of the feminist, hater of the chauvinist, and enemy of sexist pigs everywhere was doing with a red lace bra

I bet you're all wondering what Maximum Ride, champion of the feminist, hater of the chauvinist, and enemy of sexist pigs everywhere was doing with a red lace bra.

You were wondering why she allowed Nudge and Angel to dress her.

You wonder why she's talking to you like this.

Well, I'm wondering all those too.

But, you know, the thing I'm wondering most is how I ever thought this was a good idea.

I wait for the Voice to chime in with an

(a) Cryptic comment

(b) Sarcastic comment

Or (c) a helpful comment.



No, cool!

Maybe the Voice is gone!

Maybe it's realized that all it does is annoy me and has taken a running leap off a cliff!

And maybe magical leopluridons will fly out of my butt.

That actually wouldn't surprise me much.

When you're me, nothing surprises you, or me, much.


That was very confusing even to me.



You were wondering why I have a red lacy bra.

Well, I can't tell you, that would ruin the plot.

Next, Max, why the heck did you let Nudge and Angel dress you even though you knew it was stupid and would end in tears? You ask.

You ask a very good question.

However, see above.

I can, however, describe what I'm wearing.

Alright, so picture this: tall skinny bird girl, brownish blondish hair, brown eyes.

Okay, superimpose reeeeeeally short pink skirt, pink ruffly sparkly spangly cringe-worthy shirt and combat boots.

It's like a monster ate a girly-girl, a punk and me and spat them (us?) out.


I refuse to wear heels.

That would drive me mad.

Madder than now, when I'm covered head to thigh in pink.

I don't even know why I let them dress me!!

An image of Fang's cocky smirk and Daniel's horrorstricken mask flashes into my mind.



That's why.

I'm a really good liar, so I must be a good actress, right?

'Right.' I reassure myself.

We had all gotten new, sensible clothes as well.

What, you really think I would fight in this…this…rigmarole?


Uh, no.

Except for the combat boots, which I kind of like, this whole outfit is going straight to Goodwill.

So there.

I check the clock, still casting around for Erasers, Flyboys, or other things that might be trying to kill or seriously injure us.

My eyes land on more of those bizarre orange people.

What is up with them?

I frown as we wend our way through the mall to meet the boys at the food court.

"Angel, can you see what those orange people are thinking?"

She looks at them for a second in that creepy 'I can read your mind' way she has.

"Not really. All I get is 'EZ Tan EZ Tan' over and over. Sorry Max."

"It's okay, sweetie." I say ruffling her hair. "Thanks for trying."

I always forget how much food courts creep me out till I'm in one.

All the noise.

It's too easy to for Erasers to sneak up.


It's hard to keep together.


Just one more thing to distract me.

No escape, people jostling you, shrieking and giggling, sensory overload.

At least there's an escape route.

The skylights.

But that would mean people seeing the wings.

Bet you've never had to think about escape routes at the mall.

Bet it's all 'oh no, I can't find anything to wear!'

'Oh gee, I hope they have my favorite pretzel.'

'Ooh, look how cute that boy is. Ohmigod, is he looking at me?'

Must be nice to be so innocent.

So naïve.

Never having to wonder where your next meal is coming from.

Never feeling the crushing responsibilities crashing down on you.

Never needing to constantly fight for the right to live.

Never so scarred that a six-year doesn't even cry.

Must be nice.

I'll stop being emo now.

Next thing you know I'll be going off and slicing my wrists!





Already did that.

"Watch where you're going!" I snarl at the orange person who had almost knocked me over.

In return, he? She? It? It was kind of hard to tell, snapped around and gave a scary, almost animalistic growl.

"Whoa, down boy. Down boy." I say, stepping back with my hands out in a way I hoped it would take as a 'look, I don't have a big nasty weapon, why don't we get a cup of tea and talk about our problems?'

It seems to take it like that, and disappears into the swarm of other likeminded people.

Is this a trend?

A cult?

A medical condition?

Gee, I hope not.

Argh, this skirt is so short!

I tug it down.

My underwear shows.

I pull it up.

My underwear shows.

"I blame you." I hiss at Nudge who grins unrepentantly.

"Um, you look really hot?" She offered hopefully.

"Me? Hot?" I scoff.

I'm interrupted by a bunch of guys about my age whistling and making rude comments.

"Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?"

Holy-who said that?

I whip around, narrowing my eyes at them threateningly.

How dare they say such oddly complimentary things?

And such true things too!

I manage to pinpoint the wise-guy.

Suddenly, he is tackled by a strangely cute blur wearing black.


I take in the situation, which oddly enough is playing in slow motion.

My Flock is standing, frozen, Iggy and the Gasman behind Fang.

No enemies in sight.

Escape route, check.

Fang is about to slam the guy's head into the floor.

Well, we can't have that, can we?

No sirree bob.

"FANG!" I scream at the top of my lungs.

Suddenly, everything snaps back into normal speed, like I shattered a spell.

I stomp over to Fang, who was sitting, frozen, still holding the guy's head, about to smash it into the floor.

"Just what do you think you're doing, buddy?"

I don't expect him to answer, but he does.

"Smashing this guy into a greasy spot on the floor?!"

I'm too stunned to think of a clever snapback, so I blurt out the eternal question.

And no, not 'does my butt look big in this?'


For a second I think he's going to say something I don't think I'm ready to hear, but changes it at the last moment.

"He insulted you! He degraded your honor?"

"Since when do I have honor?" I hiss at him.

He shuts his mouth mulishly.

I sigh, and in the nick of time (the Nick of time. Heehee,) remember my ingenious plot that I haven't told you about but is the reason for me wearing this ridiculous outfit.

"Ooh, how thoughtful of you! I really appreciate your chivalry, but what if something really freaky happened and you were smashed into a greasy spot on the floor? How do you think I'd feel?" I bat my lashes for good measure.

There is a silence.

Fang looks stunned.

Iggy looks stunned.

Gazzy looks stunned.

Nudge looks stunned.

Angel reads my mind and giggles.

"Max, are you okay?" Fang asks gently, getting off the poor guy.

They skedaddled.

I don't blame them.

An angry Fang is really scary.

I bite back the urge to make a snippy comment and giggle.

"Of course I'm okay! Are you alright?"

He feels my forehead, checking for a fever, I guess.

I keep smiling brightly.

Fang steps back and looks me up and down, noticing for the first time what I'm wearing.

I fight the urge to adjust my skirt.

The look on his face is priceless.

First his eyes widen and he stares at my legs with appreciation.

His eyes roam up, stopping for a second on my chest.

I find myself feeling two things.

Ew Fang, stop staring at me, you perv!

And the feeling that I liked driving Fang wild.

The feeling that was currently prevailing was the urge to kiss him senseless.

Fang finally meets my eyes.


"Fang!" I snap.

His eyes turn from lustful to angry.

"Max, can I talk to you for a second? Great, I knew you'd agree."

With that, he takes my arm none too gently and drags me off.

"Iggy, you're in charge." I throw over my shoulder.

Fang yanks me to the family bathroom.

"Ooh, what a lovely setting!" I chirp with a hint of sarcasm.


"Yes Fangypoo?"

"Don't call me that and what the hell are you wearing?"

"Ooh, isn't it cute? Nudge and Angel picked it out for me!"

Another rhetorical question he answered.

"Yeah but that's not the point."

"Then what is the point, Fangypoo?"

"The point is that you look like a slut! You've been throwing yourself at everything in pants! How are you going to be a role model to Nudge and Angel?"

How dare he?

How fricken dare he?

I forget the evil plot and lose every shred of self control I still possess.

"And who are you to talk about sluttiness? What's Lissa going to do when the baby comes? And what about Brigid? Isn't it against the law to have 'relations' with minors?" I throw back.


That's gotta hurt.

Fang looks like someone punched him in the stomach.

I feel a brief moment of evil satisfaction for hurting him so badly.

Then I remember what he said to me.

I feel tears well up in my eyes.


Do not cry, Max.

Do not cry.


I'm crying.

"Max? Oh crap, I'm so sorry!"


Too late.

When's the last time I cried?

God, I can't remember!

Fighting back hysterics and blinded by my tears; I wrench open the door and flee into the mall.

I dash all the way to the other end.

Fang tries to follow, but I lose him quickly.

Take that you traitor!

He betrayed me!

He betrayed me!

He betrayed me.

I sink to the floor and sob.

Lying in a heap, tears trickling down my cheeks I vow to never take revenge this far again.

I guess all the sadness and rage had built up inside of me and now it's crashing out.

I cry until I have no tears left.

Then I rise, feeling like utter crap, and open my mind to Angel.

'Angel, where are you guys?'

'We're by the Gap!' comes the speedy reply. 'Are you okay?'

'Yeah. I'm fine. Is Fang there?'

'Yup. He's really quiet and I can't see what he's thinking. I can't see what you're thinking either. Did something happen between you guys?'

'Kind of. I'll be there in a second.'

Closing the mental connection, I check my reflection in a storefront.

I can't let the flock see I've been crying.

Never let them see your weakness.

One of my mottos.

Heading back to the Flock, I duck into a bathroom and change back into Max clothes.

I flush the pink clothes down the toilet.

Review orI will send my rampaging bad hair day upon you!

7. Chapter 7

Well folks, this is the end. Thanks for sticking with me through non-update periods, good times and bad times. This chapter is uber-long to thank you all. YAY! I LOVE YOU ALL!! -nodnod-

After consulting that fricken mall directory and getting bloody hopelessly lost again, I finally find the Flock.

They're in a nook, hiding.

"Hi guys!" I chirrup happily. "All done? Got clothes and food? Okay, let's go!"

I sound like a cheerleader on crack.

"Max, are you okay?" Nudge asks, looking concerned.

"You betcha! Just peachy! Peachy keen!" I giggle.

My face is starting to hurt from all this smiling.

They look at me dubiously.

I guess I'm not exactly the stellar actress I thought I was.

This whole time I had been purposely not been looking at the traitor.

Yup, just ignore the little –censored for Angel-.

Ignore him completely.

He does not exist.

The boy who I've known since as long as I can remember does not exist.

The boy I've had a crush on since I was five is dead to me.

The boy who called me, me, the one who's saved his puny butt a million times a slut is not there.

I look at him.

He looks like a kicked puppy.

Ha, so he's sorry?

He should be.

Who does he think he is?

He's not my father!

Heck, he's not even my brother!

How dare he tell me what to wear?!

Before I was to busy being hurt to feel mad, but now I am pissed.

Cleverly hiding my utter pissed off-ness-osity behind a smiling mask I lead the way out of the little cranny.

Or try to, anyway.

We're surrounded by legions of Orange People.

Can't we be cut a break, ever?

Guess not.

We try to fight, but it's hopeless.

The Orange People are almost superhumanly strong, and there are more of them.

And every time we uh, dispatch one, another surges up to take its place.

We're all fighting for our lives, or the lives of our souls.

I refuse to allow myself to become such a tacky orange!

I inject all of my anger at Fang into every kick, blow, or deadly strike.

Checking on the rest of the Flock, I see Fang is nearly covered in Orange People.

"Fang!" I scream, forgetting my insane rage and darting to his side.

Funny how those things happen, innit?

I attack the things covering him, making little headway.

Suddenly, a giant piece of silk flutters down from the ceiling and effectively covers the whole battle.

Okay, what the-I'm drowning in a sea of black.

Slipping deeper and deeper into the dark, I fight to stay awake.

I really have to win more battles, especially against myself, was my last conscious thought.

Some time passes.

I have weird dreams, mostly involving hedgehogs and garden gnomes.


No idea.

I attempt to wake myself up several times and this time I succeed.

I'm hanging upside down from the ceiling in a dark room swaddled in rope.

Why do these things always happen to me?


Okay, remain calm, Max.

Assess the situation.

Where is the flock?

Oh no, where's the flock?!

Don't panic, Max.

Look around.

I see five other coils of rope hanging close to me.


Using my super mutant hearing, I listen for heartbeats.

Six hearts still beat.

Always a good sign.

A steady stream of curses starts flowing from the bundle next to me.


"Max? Oh thank god. Where are the others?"

I manage to wriggle my head out of the gap that I'd been peeking through.

"Alive, I can hear their hearts."

His relief is clear.

I think Fang loves the Flock almost as much as I do.

He is their almost father.

"Max, I have to say something."

I scowl.

"I figure that this is the best time because you are all tied up and can't run away. Max… I, I, need to apologize for calling you those names. I was really jealous of those idiots and that…fanatic Daniel and when you showed up dressed like that…"

"Like what, Fang?" I say coldly, but beginning to thaw.

"So beautiful, but I can't have you." That was muttered so quietly that my super hearing strains to pick it up.

Holy schnauzer.

I am silent.

Fang misinterprets my silence as rejection and starts babbling.

"Oh crap, shouldn't have said that, huh Fang. Yep, good job Fang. You've gone and ruined your friendship again. You should've learned after the first two rejections that Max doesn't feel that way about you. You should've given up. Why would Max, amazing wonderful indescribable Max ever feel that way about you, Fang?"

I don't think he realizes that he's talking out loud.

I start wriggling madly in my cocoon of rope.

Eventually, it starts swinging the way I want it to.

I sway back and forth in my rope, using it as a trapeze as Fang continues to berate himself.

Nearly there, nearly there-ahah!

I manage to disentangle one arm from my bindings and grab the rope securing Fang.

He looks at me, wide-eyed as I lean closer…and closer…and closer…

I touch my lips to his gently.

I swear, fireworks went off in my brain.

Where his lips touch mine, liquid heat trickles to every part of my body.




I am kissing Fang.

I am kissing Fang.

I am kissing Fang.

I am kissing Fang!

I am kissing Fang, upside down, tied to the ceiling, swathed in rope with the Flock not six feet away.

Uh, kinky.

Before this could sink into my love/lust addled brain, there is a blaze of light.

We jerk apart, blushing.

Holy crap, what just happened?

"We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated." Was chanted over and over.

Into the cave that we were hanging high above the floor in, march a heck of a lot of bizarrely tan people.

They fill the room and keep on coming.

The slow beat of a drum echoes off the dank walls as they all fall to their knees.

Into the room, a throne made of human bones and dusted with bronzer is carried.

Perched atop a cushion made of human leather waves a stunningly tan model.

A sigh of admiration is heard from below.

The model, who I am starting to call Skin Cancer Barbie stands on her gristly throne and begins to orate in a strange guttural language to the masses below.

The hoarse cheers of the minions boom around the room and wake the Flock.

Poking their heads out of their cocoons, they turn frightened eyes on me and Fang.

I smile reassuringly and hold my finger to my lips.

'Angel?' I call in my mind.

'Yes Max?'

'Can you tell everyone to be quiet and stay on their guard?'

'Okay Max!'

Fang catches my eye and raises an eyebrow.

I blush furiously.

He smirks a bit.

I stick out my tongue.

He gazes at me through half lidded eyes.

I bat my lashes at him sardonically.

Jumping as Angel invades my mind, I quickly hide all R rated thoughts, of which there seems to be a lot of in the last few minutes.

'I was just in Fangs head. I think I'm scarred for life. Who knew that your bodies could bend like that?'

I scowl at him darkly.

He blushes, his dark cheeks becoming a bit pink.

Wow, he looks really hot when he blushes. I just want to-

'Oh no, not you too!' Angel moans in my head.

'Sorry baby. When you're older, you'll think that way about people too.'

'No. I will never think that way about people. Never ever.' Angel says stubbornly.

I smile and shake my head.

She will.

One day.

If, you know, she doesn't die.

I hear snatches of English from Skin Cancer Barbie.

I immediately prick up my ears.

"…Tanning beds…in a bucket…with a hippopotamus… take over the world!"

This last was greeted with a burst of hysterical cheering.

My feet are going numb…

Wait, did she say 'take over the world?'

Is this Itex?

Oh no…I thought we were done saving the world!

The people –and I use that term loosely- are being whipped into a frenzy by Skin Cancer Barbie, who's striding up and down her throne in her Jimmy Choos.

I study her more closely.

Bleached blond hair, really revealing top and a skirt even shorter than mine was.

Of course, she was tanned, but not that peculiar ginger shade that the rest of them are.

I hate her on sight.

Looking closely at her eyes, I see they flash an uncanny red, the only flaw in her beach bunny perfection.

If I had to fight another enemy, why can't they be ugly like the others…? I lament mentally.

She directs them to spread out a pillow directly below us, and they rush to do her bidding.

Dang, why won't the Flock listen to me like that?

The Orange People swarm towards our involuntary perch carrying huge pairs of scissors.

Didn't their mommas tell them not to run with scissors?


"Get ready to fall, guys!" I holler at the top of my lungs.

Six heads bury themselves in rope.

Six sets of teeth clench.

Six bundles of rope plummet to the ground.

Six breaths are knocked out of six pairs of lungs with six 'oof's.

Six curses rise from six prone forms.

Six bundles are unsnipped by Orange People.

Six-I think you get the idea.

"Flock, report!" I shout.

"Okay here." Iggy says warily.

"Fine." Gazzy groans.

"A-okay!" Nudge chirps.

"I'm good." Angel says, clinging to my hand.


Why isn't he answering?

"Here." He replies, sounding a bit strangled.

He's clutching his stomach on the ground.


Hurt is better than dead.

I immediately drop to kneel next to him.

"Can you stand?" I ask briskly, trying to disguise the terror in my eyes.

He nods mutely and attempts to stand up.

I sling his arm around my shoulder and grabbing his waist, support most of his weight.

I glare as fiercely as I can with a six year old on one arm and a fourteen year hanging on the other.

It's times like this that I wish I was a little older.

The Orange People are ignoring us, luckily.

They're surrounding us, unluckily.

I run a scan of the room, looking for exits.

One door, marked with a bright red exit sign.

For some reason, this strikes me as suspicious.

Gee, I wonder why?

I use my mega mutant vision and see the trip wire.

Aha, so that's how they're going to play it…

'Angel, ask Nudge to scan for trip wires.'

'Okay, Max!'

I keep running scans of the room, until Fang pokes me.

"They're all wearing Abercrombie!" He hisses, still leaning heavily on my shoulder.

"Crombie Zombies." I whisper back, leaning way closer then I need to.

"Got any ideas?" I whisper slowly and deliberately.

I watch goose bumps rise on the back of his neck.


When he speaks, though, his voice is steady.

"There's that door with the exit sign."

"Nah, trip wire. Nudge is scanning for more."

I hold my finger up, one minute.

'Nudge says that there's a door that's camouflaged at the other end of the cave with no trip wires.'

'Thanks Angel, and tell Nudge thanks too.'

There is an idea percolating in my brain.

They do that sometimes.

'Angel, two more things. First, ask everyone if they've got any sunscreen.'

I wait until she gets back to me.

This is a pretty nasty situation.

It wouldn't be that bad compared with other things we've faced, but there was an element of the unknown at work.

I'm on constant alert, every nerve in my body tense.

Up on her throne, Skin Cancer Barbie is still speaking, the Orange People swaying back and forth to her strangely hypnotic voice.

I'm getting kind of sleepy…

"Fang, pinch me." I hiss harshly.

He looks puzzled, but does.


My head clears and I'm thinking clearer.

I go around systematically pinching everyone in the Flock.

They protest, but seem more alert.

"Keep pinching each other." I order.

'Max, Iggy and Gazzy say they have zinc oxide. They say it explodes and is used in sunscreen.'

'Great. Tell them to give us all a bit. Then tell everyone else to subtly gather around them and take some. When everyone has some, tell them to follow me, touching the Orange People with the sunscreen. On my count.'

I wait till Angel relays the message and implements my brilliant plan of sorts.

I'd bet my wings that creatures this badly tanned were allergic to good skin care.

I'm really hoping I'm right, or we're all doomed.

And so is the world.

Now that would kind of suck.

I like the world.

And my Flock's lives.

And my life.

Heck, I even like your life.

Whoever you are.

Iggy subtly brushes my hands with something sticky.

I glance at my Flock and see their hands are all covered in white.

"On three." I say, hoping my voice isn't shaking.


Everyone leaps into the air, madly flapping to the door.

The Orange People try to stop us, but we are unstoppable!

And plus, the Orange People can't fly.

That helps a bit.

A couple of them leap up and try to grab our legs but we smack them with our sunscreen-y hands and they hiss and recoil like we'd burnt them.

Take that!

I love being right.

I swoop over to Skin Cancer Barbie and smear sunscreen all over her face.

"You know," I say conversationally, "certain shades of orange are best left on sanitation workers. They don't work so great on skin."

I leave her gasping and writhing on her throne, face blistered.

I do love revenge.

Probably more than I should.

Rejoining the Flock, we zoom out the hidden door and find ourselves in Abercrombie.

Quelle coinky-dink.

Leading my Flock to freedom, we soar through Abercrombie and out, scattering innocent bystanders, I laugh out loud as we burst into the mall and crash through a skylight with Fang right next to me glass glinting on our shoulders showering people with shards of glass I'm just so happy I could cry and we're out into the blue sky and no one can catch us and we're FREE!

Review to make me the happiest girl in the world!