In the Arms of an Angel by Quill and Saber

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Spiritual, Tragedy
Published:2007-05-13 21:02:06
Updated:2007-05-13 21:02:06
Packaged:2021-04-22 03:24:10
Summary:The last in the We Meet Again Trilogy. If you've read the others, you know which two are left...this is NOT what I originally planned to write. Full summary inside.

In the Arms of an Angel

In the Arms of an Angel

This is the last part of my We Meet Again trilogy. I hope you haven't been too upset about the long wait.

This is also my first songfic-type-thing. A girl at my school—she'll go pro one of these days, I swear; you'll see the name Sarah Folsom up in lights one day—sang this at a concert recently, and I was inspired to write this. It's a complete departure from what I planned to do, but I might someday post the story I had first imagined. I'll warn you in advance that this may seem disturbed in some ways, but please give it a chance.

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There's always one reason
To feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

-Sarah McLachlan, "Angel"

Sixteen years ago to the day he had loved explosions. They were loud, bright, and thrilling to every sense. He would go out of his way to find such experiences, relishing them with the pure joy of an eight-year-old. Fifteen years and three-hundred-sixty-four days ago, he learned how horrible explosions could be if you were stuck in one. Fire, scalding fire that burned away your hair and limbs.Noise that hit your ears so hard you never heard anything again except for the explosions in your head every night, echoing hollowly through your skull. Darkness that hits your right eye, not being merciful to take out the other too at the same time.

Evil that took away everything he had known. Everyone he had known.

Except his dog. He was able to keep the dog, for a while at least. The dog really belonged to his sister, but she didn't make it out of the building. No one did. He found the dog under his big sister's burned body. Well, she wasn't really his big sister, but she was the closest thing he'd ever had to a big sister. His big sister had protected that dog with her life; she probably knew that his little sister—the one who really was his sister—would be heartbroken if the dog died. That dog was all Joshua had left of his old family.

This dog lived longer than most dogs would; after all, it wasn't an ordinary dog. The dog helped Joshua cope with not being able to hear, not being able to see out of his right eye, not being able to walk without a prosthetic leg. He accompanied Joshua everywhere: to the store, the doctor for his frequent checkups, the computer store where Joshua had a job fixing the computers that people would bring in—something he could do without needing to hear or see perfectly. His hands were still perfect, though by what miracle Joshua didn't know.

But the dog didn't go anywhere today. Joshua had woken up on his own, not by a wet tongue in his face. He turned over to see the dog that had slept beside him every night since the Big Explosion was not there. He searched the entire house for that dog, that scruffy old mutt of a small dog. Then he looked into the backyard.

There was the dog, lying down on the brown grass as if he were taking a nap in the sunshine like he started doing in the last three years. Only he wasn't moving at all. His nose didn't twitch when the sparrow landed two feet from him; his ear didn't wiggle when the little fly chose to land on him.

It was too much for Joshua to handle. He ran back inside and slammed the door, praying that he was seeing things out of his one good eye, that he was finally going mad from the dreams.

It was no good.

He went outside and picked up his companion, his only friend, and brought him inside. He didn't care that he was probably making an absolute racket with his sobbing, didn't care that he was squishing what was left of the one person who knew who he was—what he was. Six kids and one dog had started out together to try to make a difference.

And now there was one.

Joshua curled up around the cold corpse. He tried to calm his breathing that he knew was getting out of control. It was just too much to handle. He closed his eyes at last in an attempt to make his tears go away.


It was the first thing he had heard in nearly sixteen years—a soft, young, female voice. Now he was sure he had gone insane; the death of his dog had destroyed him. He wouldn't open his eyes to see whether he was also seeing things as well as hearing them. He wasn't sure he could handle the double shock.


It couldn't be. It couldn't be.

"I know you can hear me. Please tell me you can hear me." The voice was cracking as if it were about to cry. "Please."

Go away, go away…

"I know it's hard, but please, it's hard for me too. Please open your eyes. I'm real; you're not imagining things." The voice was really crying now. "Please, brother."

His left eye opened slowly. There, standing in his miniscule kitchen, was a girl no older than eight, with golden hair and white wings on her back.

"You're…you're an angel." He heard himself speak; the deep tone sounded strange to his ears.

"I am." The girl smiled wryly. "Ironic, isn't it?"

"What's it like up there, angel?"

"It's nice, really nice. I can play Swan Lake whenever I want to, you know?"

"And how is everyone else?" he asked urgently.

"Brother…they're here. Except for James, but he came up about four years ago. He had a little girl, you know. She's blond just like him."

"Everyone…survived? But, but you—"

"I died," she said simply. "I wasn't going to last much longer anyways. I was built like a sports car: cool features but short lifetime. You guys were made to last for decades."

"But, but I saw our family—"

"They weren't untouched, of course. Everyone has scars from the fire. But you're the worst off because you were by far the closest to the explosion."

"They're alive." It was surreal to say, even more surreal to hear in what had to be his own voice.

"Except for James and me, yes, they're alive."

They were alive. Alive, and he thought he was the last of the original six. He could imagine how they too must have worried, thought they were the only one left. It was a lot for him to deal with as an eight-year-old; he wondered how the older members, the ones with more responsibility, felt when they thought everyone had been killed in the explosion.

Then a very important question occurred to him. "Angel?"


"Why are you here?"

She looked a little sad for a moment. "I'm here to pick up someone."

"Oh." Joshua swallowed. It was hard enough knowing his dog was dead, but harder still to know his dog was dead for good. He held his arms out, cradling the corpse. "Here he is. I guess you missed him."

The angel's smile was sad now as she shook her head. "I've already got him, brother."

"Then, what—"

"You. I'm here for you."

PLEASE give me concrit. I know this is pretty rough, but I need some advice on how to smooth it out. I'll love you forever if you do!