Learning to Fly by onwingsofsnark

Category:Maximum Ride
Published:2007-05-18 20:38:46
Updated:2007-05-18 20:38:46
Packaged:2021-04-21 23:44:31
Summary:We've been out for a month now, and it still seems like bliss. We're free, really and truly free. What makes me happier, though, is learning to fly. ONESHOT.

Learning to Fly

A/N: A oneshot on the Flock learning to fly. Of course, Angel and the Gasman are too young, so the story focuses on Max, Fang, Iggy and Nudge.

I hope you like it.

I give you:

Learning to Fly

We've been out for a month now.

One month, and it still seems like bliss.

Nudge was watching TV with Gazzy and I had just put Angel to sleep. I found myself in the kitchen with Jeb, Fang and Iggy.

Jeb coughed. "Now, well, I've called you three here."

"Obviously." Iggy said. He's been irritable lately. We're still new to this whole no-cage thing. He's not used to being able to get up and walk around, not to mention he's blind and has to learn a whole new house, including the furniture.

I sighed. "Continue, Jeb."

Fang was silent as usual.

"Well, since you've all adapted pretty well to this house, I think it's time you, well, learned to fly."

"Fly?" I asked. We had wings, sure, but fly? We'd never been out long enough to even worry about thinking about flying. Not to mention we'd practically been tied to the ground by whitecoats, as well as scared senseless by Erasers.

"Yes." Jeb said. "It's the thing the bird-part of your DNA is useful for."

I sighed, rubbing my temples with rough fingers. "I understand that." I hissed, annoyed by all the new complications of living free. "What I don't understand is how."

"We can start with gliding, to strengthen your shoulder muscles to flight-bearing strength, then do roof-jumping to improve stability, and then do ground-takeoffs like a normal-"

"Mutant?" I said acidly. "Listen, I can understand your eagerness with all this, but, really, I think Fang and Iggy and I should talk it over first."

Fang nodded. That was the most he'd done during all this.

"Okay, well," Jeb said, "I'll go watch TV, then."

And he left, shutting the door.

I sighed and put my head on the table.

"I think we should." Fang said. Which is four more words to the number of words Fang's spoken outside the School. I can count the number on my fingers.


"Sure." He replied. "Give us something to do besides self-defense and lazing about."

"And bomb-making?" I laughed. I still don't understand how he knows how to make bombs, you know, being blind.

"And bomb-making."

"When you want to start?" I persisted. To truly fly, not the fake wing-tests the whitecoats had done on them to test the lift of the wings. "Tomorrow?"

"Today." Fang's voice seemed to echo in the kitchen.

Darn. Now I have to use my toes. He's at eleven.


"Excellent" was Jeb's response when I broke the news. Nudge came over.

"What's excellent, Max? What were you and Jeb and Fang – though he really doesn't talk – and Iggy talking about? Can I join?"

I sighed, rubbing my temples again. "Jeb wants to teach us to fly. Of course, Gazzy and Angel are still too small. And, yes, you'll end up learning with us."

"Excellent!" Which amazed me because I expected a stream of words that all had to do with Nudge's abounding happiness at being able to use her wings.


We were on the roof, and, suddenly, flying seemed less important than getting down.

A lot less important.

Jeb held my arm. "Jump."

"I – what?!" I hissed, yanking my arm out. "I'll be a Max Pancake on the ground before you can say "sorry"!"

A rush of air passed, and I saw a dark form leap out over the rooftop.

I screamed, "Fang!"

Just as I looked down expecting to find a Fang Pancake, he put out his wings and I saw him gracefully glide to the forest floor.

I gasped. He landed without even an "ouch".

Iggy stood there patiently. "Do you want me to go too, Max?" He asked.

"Now, I'm fine, I'll go." I took a running start before my sensible side took over and jumped.

It seemed like instinct. My wings unfurled and I felt the wind catch under them.

It was the best feeling ever. I can't even describe it! I landed a little less graceful than Fang, but better than any fledgling bird.

Fang was there waiting. He nodded. "Fun." Was all he said to me.

I agreed wholeheartedly.

"Max?" Iggy shouted from the rooftop. "Are you okay?"

"Iggy!" I yelled back, "Jump! Let your wings open like – I dunno! Just let your wings unfurl!"

I saw him carefully pace the rooftop. He tapped it and nodded. He ran.

Nudge was talking to Jeb. Ig leapt off and, just as I was afraid he would fall, his wings popped out and he glided to the floor.

His face was flushed with excitement. "That was awesome!" I brought his fingers to my mouth to show him I was smiling. "Again?"

Just then, Nudge managed to land too awkwardly, stumbled and fell into Iggy, who tripped and knocked my legs, forcing me to stumble backwards and thud into Fang. A normal human would've broken a bone or two. We didn't.

"Watch out!" Iggy said from the ground, rubbing the spot where his head had hit my shins. Nudge was tangled in his legs and I was still up against Fang.

He stepped back and I leaned down to help the bomb-making blind kid.

"Nudge?" I asked as I did so, "Try to steer away from someone when you're landing." Her brown eyes watered and I smiled reassuringly. "I mean, avoid these kinds of things."

She nodded and stood, brushing dirt off. I looked up at Jeb who was laughing hysterically. "We're coming back up!" Nudge shouted while running back inside to climb the stairs to the roof. "Me first!"


We spent the next two weeks strengthening our shoulder-wing muscles, and by the end of the second, any one of the four of us could easily take off the roof by running and jumping and be able to fly anywhere in a four- or five-mile radius without tiring.

I loved every moment.

Fang seemed so much more relaxed in the air, excelling where Nudge or Iggy seemed to falter. It was he and I that first began implementing battle tactics mid-air.

It was great; I couldn't wait to teach the Gasman or Angel.

By the end of the month, we learned to turn and spin and take off from the ground without a running start. That was the most exhausting part, it took a lot of energy, but Jeb's house was stocked to the teeth with food that a mutant bird kid learning how to fly needed.

Powerade was my friend during these times, and Jeb kept buying it for us.

I was sore, but I took the soreness as a sign that we were improving.

Iggy loved flying, though I truly wished he could see the beautiful forest from above the treetops like Fang or I or Nudge.

Every morning before sunrise, I looked out my window and saw a black shape against the sunrise flying, swooping and every other thing imaginable mid-air.

I wondered if that boy ever slept…

Then, one day without warning, Jeb disappeared.

Years later is where my story starts…


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