Scarlet Meeting Scarlet by real roguee

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Angst, Hurt-Comfort
Published:2011-06-18 13:41:58
Updated:2011-06-18 13:41:58
Packaged:2021-04-04 14:44:30
Summary:Iggy. "I have been doing too much thinking lately. About life. About existence. Specifically, my existence."

Scarlet Meeting Scarlet

Disclaimer: Do I look like Mr. Patterson? I sincerely hope not…no offence.

For BP, happy birthday! I love you, my darling

Scarlet Meeting Scarlet

By: Classy

According to Gazzy, the day hell froze over was cloudy.

I had gotten up early, as usual, and gone into the kitchen, as usual. I was probing through the fridge, praying that Dr. M had bought some milk. An Angel without sugar cereal is an unhappy Angel.

So there I was, half hidden by oak cabinetry, when I heard the beginning of a very…interesting conversation.

"Fang, seriously. What is it?" Max's voice. Laced with the usual badass, covering the relatively sensitive teenage girl mush. She thinks she's so tough, but I hear her crying in her room sometimes. A total benefit of mutant bird-blind-kid super hearing: hearing your family suffer.

"Max, we've got to just stop doing this."


"This whole kiss-and-then-pretend-it-never-happened thing."

"Oh, that thing."

"Why can't you just admit you have feelings for me?"

"Why can't you?"

Ah, an impasse. Both Fang and Max have this stubbornness that blocks all progress for them, romance-wise. Neither of them wants to bend first. I stood, wondering how long it would take them to figure out love isn't exactly a weakness.

"Look, Fang I really, um, care about you, okay?"

Oh, that long.

"I have for a while, which is weird because you're practically my brother and that's incest. And that's gross. Incest, not love. Er, yes I l-love you, just a tad. I guess I'm experiencing a little bit of Nudge-word-diarrhea, but it's just because I'm nervous that you-"

Max's voice was suddenly cut off. Had Fang done that cheesy finger-over-the-girl's-mouth thing? I listened intently, waiting for Fang to whisper, 'shh, no need for words,' or something else male prostitute worthy, but instead I just heard some suspicious noises. Kissing noises, no scratch that…make out noises. Enthusiastic, slurpy-sounding noises. I shuddered, and decided to intercede before I heard some porno moaning or something. I really wouldn't put it past them.

I stepped out behind the kitchen island, which I was pretty sure was visible from the living room.

"One thing you cannot deny," I started, "is sexual tension." I could hear them pulling apart, and then silence. They were probably just struck dumb by my Iggy-wisdom. Most are. For a fourteen-year-old mutant bird kid, I say some pretty profound things.

"Ig-Iggy?" Oh, god. Fang stuttering. I could practically hear him blushing. Good, he should be embarrassed. I so don't want to hear them macking on each other.

"How long have you been there?" Max's voice. Where Fang gets embarrassed, Max gets defensive.

"Long enough to lose my appetite."

Angel took that moment to bound into the room. And by bound, I mean bound. When you're blind, hearing is vital. And when you live with a group of people your whole life, you get used to their habits. It's weird, but I recognize the Flock's footsteps. Max walks without hesitation, with loud intimidating steps. Fang is harder to hear. Definite footsteps, almost silent, like some badass ninja or assassin. Nudge walks like she talks, quickly. She has insane staccato steps and even when she's standing still, she taps her feet. The Gazzer has big feet for his age and he is rather clumsy, like a puppy or something. He scuffs his feet while he walks and he trips a lot. Angel is a skipper. And a hopper. And a jumper. Her footsteps are very unique, with this uneven rhythm and maniac energy.

I snapped back to reality to hear Angel laughing. I figured she had done her cool little I-can-read-minds trick to Max or Fang. I would too if I walked into a room where my fearless leader and second-in-command stood, blushing madly (that's how I picture them) in front of the blind kid.

Let's just say, word spreads quickly in our band of mutant freaks. Less than thirty minutes later, Nudge, Gazzy, Dr. M, Ella, and even the poor innocent postman knew of Max and Fang's inability to keep their hands off each other. Nudge and Ella squealed (squealed!) like a couple of crazy fangirls, I couldn't distinguish words between the 'SQUEEEEEE!'s and 'Oh My God!'s. Angel, of course, told Gazzy, who is now twenty bucks richer. I swear this is the last time I bet with that kid. Dr. M caught them kissing in the laundry room at about 11:30. Then our dynamic duo disappeared with Dr. M to have a "discussion about boundaries." I almost wet myself laughing.

Then there was the postman. After the discussion about "boundaries," Fang and Max decided to go outside and make out. Yeah, thirty minutes after the hostess gives them a lecture about "teenage lust" and "decisions that can change lives," the nimrods form the brilliant plan to just keep doing what they're doing…but outside. I have this theory that love makes you idiotic.

So, poor Stan, the mailman, came walking up the driveway of another suburban house. He was carrying some bills, a variety of letters, Ella's copy of Seventeen, and some stuff from the vet's office. Neither snow, nor rain…nor kissing teenagers was going to get in his way.

Except they did get in his way.

They were getting into it, and managed to not notice Stan, who was standing at the edge of the porch. He inched toward the mailbox, letters in hand. It was that moment that Fang decided to push Max up against the mailbox, in some sort of feat of passion or something. And Max saw Stan. And screamed bloody murder. Stan screamed right back.

In Max's defense, Stan looked like some sort of weird pedo watching kids make out and all. Plus, he has a bit of a Hitler/creeper mustache, according to Nudge.

Long story short, Max's scream alerted the house. Which is why Max and Fang are now grounded…from each other. I'm pretty sure Stan the mailman is traumatized for life. Poor poor Stan…

Ever since Max and Fang hooked up, things have been relatively boring. There's nothing to do around here. Nothing.

Days pass slowly in the lull of suburbia. There's this sense of false security that coats everything like a sickening glove. Each day is the same.

1-3AM Sleep

4AM Think

5AM Hear Max leave Fang's bed

6AM Dr. Martinez wakes up and starts coffee

7AM Ella gets up. Sometimes she sings in the shower. She has a pretty voice.

7:30AM Ella and Dr. M leave for school/work

8AM The munchkins awake

8:30AM Make the children food

9AM Eat

10AM Max and Fang wake up

11AM-3PM Cause general pandemonium

3PM Ella gets home

6PM Dr. M gets home

7PM Dinner

9PM Munchkins to bed

10PM Go to "bed"

11PM Hear Max sneak into Fang's bed

12AM Think

Everyday is the same. Penned up in a house. Stuck.

Max says it's best for the Flock. Bull. It's the best for her and Fang. They clog my ears with their vapid sounds. Their love is intoxicating, and it leaves them blinded. Blinded towards me.

The little kids are fine.

Nudge is satisfied with her bad reality T.V. (she's obsessed with Jersey Whore or whatever) and monthly shopping sprees to Wal-Mart.

Angel, well…Angel is a complicated child. She is a fallen angel in shades of gold with a twisted soul. She has a beautiful shell and a marred interior. Her powers have molded her, made her hungry. But she waits, as though she's naïve, in this empty house.

Gazzy maybe understands. He feels pent up and lost too. But he is without passion, not motivated to move on as he watches his family settled and content.

And me? I need something to do, I need somewhere to go. We've spent our lives searching and now I stay stagnant without a purpose. I crave to be on the run again, to brush with death and leave unscathed. This fantasy of a life, with schedules and boundaries and teenage love, is not for me.

It's for Max and Fang, though. And, conveniently, they're calling the shots.

I wait, restless.

The only time I feel free is when I'm destroying. As the bombs detonate, the fire alights in my soul and I'm living again.

I'm only alive when I destroy.

Well, isn't that twisted.

It was a very sunny March day. I woke up and decided I was going to do something with my day, do something with myself. Max and Fang had opted for a picnic at the park with kites and laughing children. Talk about cliché.

It was only me and Gazzer in the house, and Gazzy had been watching YouTube videos on loop for the past half hour. I figured he was sufficiently occupied.

I went into the room I shared with Gazzy and Fang and, recently, Max. I reached for the dresser and opened the bottom drawer, the unused one. My fingers tightened around my latest stash. The skinny package of Marlboro cigarettes. The lighter I nicked from the fireplace mantle.

Yes, I know. Lightable lung cancer. But I needed to have control of something, anything. And if it was the smoke circulating through my lungs, so be it.

I sat on the curb outside the house and lit up. The first inhale was…difficult. It burnt and I coughed like I was dying. But it got easier and the long drags grew more stable.

After awhile, I let the cigarette drop down a little. I let the end scorch my skin. I felt it burn, I smelled the skin burning.

But I didn't move the cigarette. It felt nice to be in control, for once.

I've always had fair skin. The perfect, circular burn would shine like a beacon on my milky white wrist. But a beacon of what?

I sat thinking for a long time. I must have been thinking pretty deeply because I didn't hear the footsteps. Gazzy's footsteps. The footsteps I would recognize anywhere.

I did hear him gasp, though. I heard him start to run back into the house. I stood up shakily, turning too quickly.

"Gazzy! Gazzy, please!"

He stopped running and breathed one big gasp of untainted air. When he finally spoke, his voice was detached, almost apathetic. "I just didn't know you were into that stuff, Iggy." Like he was talking to a total stranger. "I just-" I could tell he was only a few feet away, so I reached out to him and grabbed him by the shoulder. My mistake.

I could feel him jerk away and realized too late what he had seen. I pulled back, but he grabbed my wrist tightly with both hands. I could practically feel his eyes on my fresh scar. My beacon, my control.

He didn't speak.

I wished so much in that moment that I could see his face. But my eyes are traitors.

My ears, however, are not.

"Iggy, what the hell?" He sounded so much like a little boy whose balloon has been ruptured, whose birthday has been forgotten, whose mother has abandoned him to a lab of genetic-mutating scientists. In his voice, I heard all the disappointments of his short life. He always had to be such a strong little man, dealing with all the pain and suffering that comes with a life of disappointments.

And now I was causing him pain.

I felt like shit.

"Why? Iggy, why?"

"I don't know," I muttered uselessly, my wrist still caught in his grasp. "I don't know."

And then he pulled me to him and he was crying. Sobbing into my chest, trying so hard to stop, to be strong. His little fists clung unto my damp shirt and I realized how little, how fragile he was.

My arms encircled him and I cried a little too, listening as the sobs racked his tiny frame.

Gazzy's such a sweet kid. Really smart too. He doesn't deserve this life; he doesn't deserve to be a pawn in some sick scientific game. He doesn't deserve to feel lost when everything is finally going right. He doesn't deserve the guilt.

But here we are.

I have been doing too much thinking lately.

About life. About existence. Specifically, my existence.

I know I was stolen from my parents when I was days old. Taken to the School, taken straight to hell. The scientists made me feel like a lab rat. Like Sample 4921. Like an experiment. Not like a soul, not like Iggy.

And when the scientists decided to fuck up my vision, well that was my problem. I was just their little plaything, after all.

But I had the Flock. I had someone who cared when I came back to my cage covered in bruises. Someone who went through the poking and the prodding too. Someone who understood.

And then, for a short while, I had Jeb. Those years, the golden years, they were like heaven. Jeb was everything. He was the chef and the teacher and the nurse and the actor and the bedtime reader and the flight instructor and the caregiver and the father. He was like a dream. Jeb was the best, like a shining superhero that swept up scared birdkids and made them feel normal and special and safe.

For a little while at least.

Then he was gone, too good to be true.

After Angel was captured, we were suddenly on the run. Everyday was a battle. There were always Erasers to fight or food to scrounge up or wounds to tend or kids to entertain.

It was then I realized that I would never be normal. I'd never go to high school. I'd never go on a proper date. I'd never struggle for rent with my roommate. I'd never be married. I'd never have a job or a stupid midlife crisis or children. Nothing.

It was then I realized that I didn't want this life. I wanted normal. Oh, I wanted normal so bad.

Then, Max and Fang found my parents. They found my shot to normal.

And I, idiotic as ever, took it.

My parents were the same as every adult in my life. They wanted to use me. They wanted me to be a pawn. My own flesh and blood. My shot to normal.

They didn't care that I had dreamed about a proper family since forever. They didn't know that every time I saw a mother smile at her son, my heart ached. They didn't see how much I wanted a special bond like the one between Gazzy and Angel.

All they wanted was to make a profit off their freak son.

I came right back to the Flock like it was my original intention.

But I wanted to die inside.

And I did.

I kept going, of course, for the Flock, my family. I kicked butt in our battles and I helped slay/escape from every evil genius life threw our way. Inside, I was a mess. So when Max suggested we stay at Dr. M's for a bit, I didn't complain.

And then Max and Fang finally figured it out and got together. But for me, everything was more confusing. I kept thinking. About normal.

I'll never be normal.

I am a freak.

I'm wired to fight, to fly.

So what the hell was I doing stuck in suburbia?

Letting Max and Fang have fun with their relationship, that's what.

I didn't blame them, I was glad actually.

But with every day, it grew harder.

To stop my relentless thoughts.

I am a monster.

A mistake.

I don't deserve to live.

I don't want to live.

I needed the thoughts to stop, I needed control again.

So, I went into the small bathroom toward the back of the house. I found my razor on the edge of the sink and I grabbed it. Most of the time, Fang helped me shave.

Today, I was going to help myself.

I slashed the razor over the inside of my wrist, holding it above the sink. I felt the pain, I felt the burn. But I also felt the control again.

As blood dripped from the shallow cut, I was free from my thoughts and my restlessness and my loneliness. Free.

I made another incision, a neat line along my wrist.

I could tell there was a lot of blood.

But I didn't want to think of anything else.


Then I heard the footsteps. I'm good with footsteps; I can recognize any member of the Flock by them. These footsteps, however, I didn't recognize. Since Dr. Martinez was out buying groceries, I knew that only one person could be walking down the hall towards the bathroom.

Ella. Shy, but loyal Ella. Sweet and, according to reports by both Fang and Gazzy, very very pretty. Max's sister. She was the only one who seemed to notice me nowadays; she never failed to greet me with a cheery, "good morning!" Sometimes that was the highlight of my day.

And now she was going to walk in on me cutting myself.


I heard the door open, and she began to speak. "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know anyone was in-" She stopped abruptly and I knew that she knew. The razor was in my hand; my blood was staining the sink. I had been caught red-handed. Literally.

She gasped a little and moved to stand beside me. She put her little hand on my shoulder and kneeled a little so we were at eye level. I stayed bent over the sink with her beside me for a long moment.

We didn't move.

And then she bent down further, till her face was right above my cuts. I could feel her breath on my skin; I could feel the pressure of her hand on my shoulder.

And then she surprised me.

She leaned further and kissed my cut. Like a mother kissing away a child's "boo boo." She kissed the ruptured flesh like she could make it whole again. Maybe she could.

She kissed me again, on the other cut. I wish I could've seen her, her lips grazing my wounds. My blood on her mouth. Scarlet meeting scarlet.

She kissed practically my whole wrist, as though she could save the tainted skin and protect the rest. Then she stood again and the blessed pressure on my shoulder was gone. She started the faucet and pushed my wrist under. It stung a little.


She stole the razor from my hand and I heard it thrown into the wastebasket.





She began to search the bathroom cabinets. She pulled things out and set them on the counter.

Not knowing was agony. What was she going to do with me?

The water stopped and she pulled my wrist unto a towel on the counter.

"Hydrogen peroxide, this might sting a little." It stung a lot.



She fixed me up like the daughter of a doctor she was. And then she spoke again.

"You're not alone, Iggy. A lot of my friends cut. Some have eating disorders. Some are abused. Some-"

"But they're not mutants on the run, are they?"

"No. But the emotions are still there, even if the circumstances aren't. And what about Gazzy? I don't know, but I think if you don't reach out to him soon, he may be where you are now." I sat in stunned silence. Gazzy.

"Everyone has problems, Iggy."

"Then what's yours?"

She hesitated a long moment before speaking. "I skip meals sometimes. I hate weighing myself. I don't like the way I look."

She sighed and I realized she'd never told anyone this before. It was her secret to tell and she'd given it freely. For me. Because she thought it would help me.

"I'm mildly anorexic."

"Ella, you're beautiful."

"How do you know?"

"I don't need eyes to tell."

"That's not the kind of beautiful I was talking about."

"It's the kind that matters."

We sat there quietly for a while and at one point her hand found mine. It was a nice hand, small and warm. It felt good, it felt right.

"Iggy, why did you do it?"

"It's my…thoughts. I just keep thinking about…stuff" I trailed off pathetically.

"Tell me your thoughts Iggy."

"When I'm ready."

"Fine." She paused before standing up. "C'mon, I think dinner's ready." She pulled me to my feet and then left me in the small room alone. But there was a promise in her actions, she'd promise to look after me and I'd look after her. And we'd both look after Gazzy and maybe Nudge.

We didn't have to be alone.

As I left the bathroom, I felt something in my chest. Low between my lungs. An emotion.

Something like hope.

This turned out mucho different than I first expected. I thought it would be a nice fluffy happy story including some lovely pyro-ness and perhaps some bacon.

Not so much.

But I like it, nonetheless. There's a beauty in angst, it's not just cookie cutter happiness. It's more real to me than the cute proposals or sappy one-liners.

I think it's important to remember that in modern times, cutting and depression and suicide are very very existent. And even if you aren't suffering from a mental illness, you can still cause or prevent people from doing things. Not that suicide or depression is ever anyone's fault. But maybe if we're more aware, kinder, things can change for the better, right?

Like that book, Thirteen Reasons Why. Good book.

Anyway, thank you in advance for reviewing! And…if anyone knows of a nice, fluffy, happy Iggy story, I'm very interested.