Veni Vidi Vici by paluga

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Angst, Family
Published:2011-05-23 22:55:25
Updated:2012-06-27 22:17:11
Packaged:2021-04-22 02:02:33
Summary:Iggy has a dark secret and past from the school... darker than the other's. What happens when that nightmare comes back to life and kidnaps Iggy? WARNING: Non-graphic sexual abuse!

Table of Contents

1. Everlasting Night
2. Nightmares
3. I Came
4. I Saw
5. Powers
6. Planning
7. Finding
8. Broken
9. Traveling
10. Doctor's Visit
11. Home
12. Discovery
13. Experiment
14. Dr Miller
15. Is it impossible for me to get a break?
16. Alone
17. I love you
18. I Conquered
19. Epilogue

1. Everlasting Night

Hey guys!

READ THIS! IMPORTANT! I originally had this piece on a different account and it was a one shot. I had to get a new account (long story) and had an epiphany about this piece and decided to continue it, but I have to use this account. So no, this is not stolen from 'Orden. Same person, different name.

(And to all Forgotten Realms fans laughing at the butchering of the name Do'Urden in my old account name, I'm sorry. I about died when I realized the spelling error.)

Oh! I also hated the story's original name so I changed it.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Maximum Ride series. James Patterson does. There is no profit. If I did own Maximum Ride, I wouldn't go around writing fan-fics for my own stories, now would I?

Thank you! Enjoy!

I pull my legs up close to me in my cage. I've long outgrown my dog carrier and it amazes me that the doctors can still fit my abnormally long limbs in the small container. I hear the metal grating of doors open and know that one of us is going to be taken away for experimenting. Again.

A doctor with a two brutes walks into the room. I squeeze my eyes shut and hope it's not me today, but then feel a pang of guilt for the feeling, knowing that if it's not me, then it's one of my friends. I hate to say it, but when I can't hear the screams of the victim that day, then I have trouble not being pleased that it wasn't me that.

The doctors walk past our carriers. Looking in each one, until thay reach mine. The sixth and last of the group. The doctor nods towards me, and I know it's my turn today. They open my cage and I try to scramble to the back, which is ridiculous of course, because it's so small that I'm already at the back. But nevertheless, I still try to stay away from the whitecoats.

I feel one of the doctor's brutes grab onto my pale, strawberry blonde hair and drag me out of the cage. He's double my size and no doubt has double my strength, too. I begin to stuggle against his rough grip and try to flee to the relative safety of my cage.

All this gets me is smack on the top of my head. I blink, dazed, a few times. Brute Number 1 grabs my left arm and Brute Number 2 grabs my right and they raise me a couple inches of the ground and drag me out of the room, kicking and screaming.

When we leave the room with out ever so lovely cages, and into the hallway outside, the doctor turns to me in the Brutes arms.

"Now, number 9, this would be so much easier if you'd be a good boy and behave," he reaches up and gently moves a piece of my hair out if my eyes, sending shivers down my spine. "Now, you will be good, won't you?" he asks still playing with a stand of my hair, wrapping it around his disgusting finger. "We're helping you. When this is done, you'll thank us. You'll finally be as good as the others," he yanks on the strand of hair wrapped around his finger. I cry out as my head is pulled closer to his, meeting his ice cold gaze.

My eyes widen in terror and confusion, how he seems to understand my wishes and fears. Seeing my reaction, the doctor smirks and nods.

We walk into another room, with a surgical bed and lots of scapels. A lot of them much smaller than the ones I'm used to seeing.

The brutes take me over to the bed and strap my ankles, my wrists, my torso, and my head down to the table.

The doctor comes into my field of vision.

"Ready to begin?"

He doesn't wait for my answer, just clamps my left eye open. Within seconds I need to blink, and there are tears running down my cheek. One of the doctors speaks into a recorder, but I ignore him, terror rising in the pit of my stomach.

He reaches down with a tiny scaple and begins cutting into my eye.

"Ahhhh!" despite my efforts to hold back, I scream at the top of my lungs. My back tries to arch and time becomes nothing to me.

I feel big hands holding down my body, but I don't care. The pain in my eye continues, untill blackness overcomes me.

I groan as I wake up, my eyes feeling like their on fire. I'm back in my carrier.

"Iggy? Iggy?" I hear Max ask. "Are you awake? Are you okay? We could hear you," I blush at this, not wanting my friends to think I'm a wuss. "It sounded awful. The worst yet."

"Yeah, I'm awake."

"What'd they do?"

"I don't really know. Something to my eyes."

"Well, are your eyes okay?"

"I don't know. I haven't opened them yet."

"Why not?"

"I'm scared," I whispered ever so quietly. We sit in silence for a moment, before I gain the courage to pry my eyes open. Nothing. I sqeeze them shut, then open them again.

"No." I mutter quietly. "No, No.Nonononono! NO! I yell, each no, getting louder than the first.

"What is it?"

"I can't see!" I cry in terror. "I can't see! It's so dark! Everything's black!" I break down, crying.

I sit there, silent tears running down my eyes for I don't know how long. I hear the door of the room open again. Footsteps, only I don't know where they're headed. Suddenly, my cage opens again, and I'm dragged out.

I'm too mentally and emotionally tired to fight back. I just close my eyes and relax in their grips.

My left eye is suddenly pryed open my gloved fingers and I flinch. The doctor is doing something, but I don't know what. Then he does the same to the other eye.

"Hm. Pity. The experiment failed. Put him back." And I'm shoved back into my cage, looking at everlasting night.

2. Nightmares

Do not own! R&R please!

This will be slightly AU and doesn't take place at eny specific time in the books.

I wake up, and quickly cover my mouth with my hand to keep from screaming out. I don't want the whole house running to see what's the matter.

Still, I'm covered in a cold sweat and trying to still my racing heart. I hate that dream. It all feels so… real.

I have very bittersweet feelings on my dreams. When I dream, I can see. Albeit, only the colors and lightings I'd seen at the School. I could see some basic things I'd imagined things look like. I never Ella or Dr. Martinez or anyone else I've met recently and only see my friends as they were years ago. As they were at the school.

But nothing's worse than waking up to a world of darkness. I can't even explain the dissapointment, the absolute dispair when it hits your sleep-fuddled that it was all just a dream. Or a nightmare. However you want to look at it.

"Iggy?" I hear a tired voice call out. "You OK?"

I scowl. Of course I woke Gazzy up. We're all extrodinarily light sleepers, what with fleeing from sadistic scientists most of our lives.

"Yeah, Gaz. I fine."

I can practically feel the sceptisim coming off of him.

"Really. It was just a dream."

I fall back into a deep dreamless sleep for the rest of the night.

"Iggy! Get your butt down here! It's already 10 o'Clock and we're hungry!"

"Gah!" I yell falling out of my bed and gettting tangled in the sheets on the way down. I get caught up them and fall down again when I try to get up. I frustratedly try and get the sheets off of me so I can go down and cook for my ever-appreciative family.

"Iggy-!" Max starts to yell again.

"I'm coming!" I yell, losing patience, not that I had much to begin with.

I finally manage to defeat the sheets of evil and head downstairs, in a sour mood.

"There you are! Took you long enough to get up! It's already 10."

"So you said," I respond.

"Well, we're all hungry and you're the only one that can cook."

"Dr. Martinez can." I say.

"She works all week and deserves a break every now and then."

I grumble a bit, but really, how was I supposed to respond to that without sounding like an ass?

I reach around in the drawers and cabnets, finding what I need to make a simple breakfast and feel my way over to the gas stove in the Martinez's phone.

Honestly, I really do like cooking. I really do. It helps me feel less… useless. It can put me in a better mood, but today I'm just not in a good mood. Too much happened last night that I'd rather not talk about with the others and I got very little sleep, plus waking up to an underappreciative screaming Max is NOT fun.

The nightmare I had was a repeating one from forever ago that I'd thought I'd managed to quash. It brings back flashes of memories (though I'm not sure if they ever really happened) that I can't quite catch. Like, when you wake up from a dream and the harder you try and remember what happened and latch onto it, the further it descends away, until you don't remember it at all.

'Iggy?' I hear in my head. I jump, still not used to a six year old invading my mind. I remind myself not to answer out loud.

'Yeah?' I think.

'What's wrong?'


'That's a lie!'

'Oh yeah?' I think back sarcastically, getting annoyed.

'Yeah. I can tell. Your thoughts are all messy and hard to interpret and sad and hurt.'

'Oh.' Not much of a response to that. 'Well, I can't answer your question any better than you can. You have all the information I have.'

'Yeah, but you can actually interpret it. I only know what you're thinking right now. You know what happened in you past.' Then she stops thinking at me and refuses to respond to anymore mental prods, and I sure as hell ain't continuing this conversation out loud.

We sit and eat our breakfast without incident (besides me near getting sick at Max and Fang's cuteness. Ew.)

I stay quiet and somber though, still lost in thought. I can feel rather than see all the eyes focused on me. My shoulders involuntarily tense and my heart rate speeds up at the thought of being stared at, but I ignore them and pretend I don't notice.

"Iggy?" asks Nudge tentatively. "I-is something wrong?"

"No. I just didn't sleep last night."

"Why not?" asks Angel, sounding for all the world like a normal and curious six year old. "Max and Fang and Dr. Martinez say that everyone needs to sleep at night or they can't be healthy." I feel my heart clench at not being included in the group of 'big kids/adults' listed by Angel, though I do at least as much for her as the other. Still, none of them consider me as old or experianced as Max and Fang. And it hurts.

"He had a nightmare," says Gazzy sagely, and I wince at the entire flock suddenly knowing about my nightmares.

"What about?" asks Max sounding concerned, taking on the role of mother in the blink of the eye.

"Nothing," I mumble into my food, playing the closed off teenager role.

"Iggy," she warns.

"Look, I don't want to talk about it!"

"Talking will help. You know that. If you're not sleeping at night we need to know why."

"Just an old memory is all. Nothing to be concerned about."

"Which memory?" she presses.

I grind my teeth in frustration and follow her voice with my eyes, to about where I think her eyes are.

"My operation," I say between clinched teeth, giving a bitter half-grin. That makes her drop her motherly act!

"Oh," she says sounding defeated, and I feel a swell of pride for a moment, having defeated Max, until she contiues. Bluntly, as always. "You still dream about that?"

I grip my fork so hard it bends and clatters to the floor and manage to say, "Not for years," despite my incredible anger at Max. I mean, who asks a personal question like that so judgementally?

"So, why is starting again now?

"Well, gee, Max, I wish I knew," I say using my ever-famous sarcastic tone.

We sit in an awkward silence for awhile, and I imagine no one's really eating their food. At least, I'm not.

"Hello? I thought I heard voices! I always forget what early risers you all are!"

I stiffen at the voice for a moment, my nerves on edge, until I place it as Dr. Martinez's

We mumble a uncharacteristic mumbly greeting together.

"What's the matter?" asks Dr. Martinez, sounding worried.

"Noth-" I start but get cut off by Angel.


I shoot a glare at her voice that I hope says 'traitor.'

"What happened?" she asks.

"Don't wanna talk about it," I mutter.

"I can respect that," she says.


The door-bell goes off and Nudge jumps up.

"I got it!" she yells.

In a few minutes, she comes back.

"For you Iggy!" she says seating herself down again.

"Who is it?" I ask, as I get up.

"Don' know." She answers with a shrug.

I walk to the door and reopen it.

"Hello?" I ask into the blackness where I know someone is standing.

"James Griffen?"

"Uh… kinda," I answer, feeling nervous all of the sudden.

"We need to talk to you."


"My partners and I."

"Ah…. Well, go ahead. Talk."

"Somewhere private," he says, sounding impatient. I have that affect on people.

"Nah, here works for me."

A hand reaches forward and pulls me to the other side of the door and closes it.

I tense, getting my defenses ready, waiting to pounce, but these people are quiet and I'm clueless as to my surroundings.

"This could have been easy, 9"

I suck in a breath of air at my old number being used.

Then, something hits my head, and absolute silence descends.

3. I Came

Thanks all of ya'll that added me to your story alert list! It makes my heart feel all happy!

Review Responses:

Moe 10: Thanks for the encoagement and advice! I'll keep that in mind!

Gingers rock: Thank you so much! I love reading about Iggy too because he is the epicest of the Maximum Ride characters!

Pigs 103: Thanks! I appreciate the encouragement! I actually started writing this chapter cause I saw that I had my first review!

Disclaimer: Don't own

Here we go!

I stifle a groan and sit up, holding my head in pain. It occurs to me that I probably should've acted like I was still asleep and learned more about my captors, but too late now. Oh well.

"Is the blind birdy awake now?" I hear a cruel, slimy voice ask.

"Aw… can the idiot guard put together simple sentences now?" I spit back. Maybe not the smartest thing, but it was too tempting to not say.

"You're gonna regret that later, birdy," he growls.

"Hmph," I respond noncomentally. I try and get up, to map out my cell, but am jerked back by chains about my neck, ankles, and wrists, that I didn't notice earlier.

Great. Even more ways to keep my out of it. Can't even map out my cell.

I hear the sound of an iron door creaking on it's hinges, and realize that while I was testing my chains, the guard must have unlocked the door.

His heavy footsteps cross the room to where I'm chained.

"C' mere, birdy," he says, grabbing my hair.

"Gee, I'd love to, but…" I helplessly gesture to my chained self and give a wry smile.

Before I can even comprehend what's happening, I feel a fist slam into my face.

"Enough talking, blind birdy." I grit my teeth against the pain. There's blood dripping down my face and I can't reach up to wipe it away. It's a disgusting helpless feeling.

The guard undoes my chains from the wall, but leaves my wrists and ankles chained to one another and the collar around my neck.

He tugs me out of my cell by the collar and chain and around my neck and leads somewhere else.

We shuffle around for an interminable amount of time, and eventually I lose track of all the twists and turns we've taken, and know that even if I did somehow escape, I'd just get hopelessly lost.

The chain suddenly loses all slack and I'm pulled to a stop.

The guard knocks on a door then opens it and takes me through it.

"Sir," he greets reverently. "I've brought the prisoner." Oh? So now I'm not 'Blind birdy?'

I assume 'sir' gestures the guard away or something, because he backs out of the room and closes the door behind him.

The man and I stand in silence for awhile, though I think he's sitting down because I hear him get up and slowly cross over to where I'm standing, his boots clicking loudly on the floor with every step he takes.

Ten long steps later, and he's uncomforatbly close to me. The man's a few inches taller than me (and that's saying something) and more heavyset than I am, though that's all I can tell. I also assume he's finely groomed, due to the smell of colonge and hair product coming off of him.

"Number 9," he says, in a voice I recognize and dread, his minty breath assulting my nose with it's familarity. This is the man who made my life a living Hell.

I stiffen and start quaking in an uncharacteristic display of fear.

"I assume this means you remember me?" I nod, unable to do anything else. That was one of the first rules. Don't speak without permission. He starts circling me and examining me.

"Who am I?" When I don't respond and just bite my lip, looking troubled, he says, "You may speak." I hear the smirk in his voice.

"M-master," I stutter, hating that I've given in again so easily, simply to memory. But don't you deserve to be able to? a small voice in my head demands. I mean, he's only the man who stole your sight then tortured and practically enslaved you for years afterward. The man who broke you. I wince at the thought, but know it's true.

"Exactly." He's stopped in front of me, and grabs my hair and tugs my heard back.

"You've grown up very prettily, number 9." He's stroking my blonde hair. I try and slink backwards into myself and whimper.

He stops stroking my hair, and reaches down and wipes away some of the blood off my face.

"Very pretty," he reiterates. Suddenly, he releases me and backs away, making me stumble a bit before I catch my footing again. "Do you know why you're here? Speak."

"N-no," I respond.

"No what? Forgetting our manners already?" He pauses a moment. "You may respond to my questions."

"No master," I correct myself.

"Good boy. Now, as to why you're here, that's an interesting matter. I'm going to give something back to you. You're sight to be specific. It will allow you access to your powers and I'll train you in them. Understand?"

I shake myself out of my shock. "Y-yes master."

"Good. The rest will come with time. Do have any questions?"

I hesitate, but am so curious, I can't not ask. "M-master, when I lost my sight in the o-operation, was it really an accident?" I resist the urge to wince in fear at the forwardness of myself and what the consequences might be.

"I figured you'd ask that. No, it wasn't."

"Then why?" I cry loudly, losing myself for a moment.

He slaps my cheek hard.

I cry out and lose balance, tripping over my shackles from the force of the blow and falling to the ground. I stay there, knowing from experience that sometimes, getting up will anger him further.

I curse myself for my weakness, for giving in so quickly to this nightmare from my past, but try as I might to gather the will, the courage to fight back, I can't.

"Come," he says, and grabs the chain about my neck and pulls me towards him.

I quickly rise from the ground and follow after him.

We go through a couple more hallways and twists and turns, but eventually, we stop in a room that smells like antiseptic.

He pulls me over to a bed and chains me down to it, in a manner I know all too well.

A clamp is placed on my eye, and I whimper slightly, to my mortification.

"Please, use anisthetic."

He slaps me across the face.

"Don't speak. But you beg so nicely, I think I will."

I wince at his words, but would rather be ridiculed and slapped, than have to go through what I did years ago without anesthetic.

I feel an IV enter my wrist, then slowly everthing sinks away.

When I wake up, I can see.

Whoa! Do not know where that came from!

I honestly was not going to move the story in this direction at all. It made me!

Uh… tell me if it works and if I need to up the rating. But yeah, I had this entire chapter planned, then I looked at what I wrote, and realized this wasn't the formula I'd decided on. I think I'm gonna stick with it though. Don't know if it's any good. Please, please review. For my sanity!

What's left of it anyhow (;

4. I Saw

OMG! I feel loved! So many people have favorited and alerted this story! And 6 reviews already!

I love ya'll!

Mountains of hugs and Iggy Love to anyone reading this!

WARNING! Non-graphic sexual abuse! Consider yourself warned!

Moe10: Thanks for the review! I'll keep that in mind! As to the other part of your reviw… I won't say here cause of potential spoilers.

Kalianna Loralei: Aw! Thanks! I love nice reviews! They make my day! I always felt bad for Iggy, too! He's by far my favorite character!

Um… my email and internet is jacked up, so I'm sorry to those who got left out. And I usually try and send a private reply as well, so if I forgot to include you here, you can check you emails and see if I responded to you!

Pandorad23: (I think I got your username right… my internet's down, so I can't check.) Thanks for the review! I'm a spoiler Nazi, so I'm not giving any answers! …Though you'll probably get the answer to your question in the warning. 'Creeper' is dead on though. (;

On this chapter, I've done a bit of research to see the effect of a blind person getting their sight back. It's really an interesting subject… I found myself reading it for fun. Anyhow, I'm gonna try and make this as real as possible, but the process is going to be sped up for the sake of the story.

Disclaimer: I don't own.

I sincerely apologize for the Max/Fang fluff later in the chapter. It made me almost puke just writing. (I'm not a Fax person if you can't tell. I really just plain don't like Max.)

When I wake up, I can see.

I gasp at the sudden assault of light on my eyes and squint them shut as quickly as possible. My eyes are burning at the brightness, and even through my closed lids, I can still feel the light burning me.

I turn and bury my face into my inner elbow, trying to replacate the darkness I'm accustmed to, but I can't quite seem to get there.

"Dim the lights. Please. Too bright," I whine, hoping someone's standing there to hear me.

"They are dimmed," I hear the guard's voice say. "This is a prison, below ground floor. This is the darkest place in the building, as are all basements!"

"Dim them more!" I demand impatiently.

"The only thing dimmer is no lights!" he yells back at me, obviously annoyed and angry.

"Then do that!" I say, just as annoyed and angry and he is.

He just laughs, and doesn't speak to me again.

Slowly, I pull face out of my elbow, and wait to become accustomed to that. Then, I try and relax my eyes from their squinted posistion, to just closed and get used to that. The process is much like getting into cold water and waiting each couple steps to get used to the temperature, except much more slow and painful.

Eventually, I get to where I can open eyes while squinting away from the light.

"Ah, Igneus. you're awake, I see."

I turn my head over to where the voice was coming from. I see a figure next to what I assume the guard is.

It takes me a second to comprehend that this another person. Then, have to take a second to analyze the voice, and realize it's Master.

Seeing is harder than I remember.

"How are your eyes? You may respond."

I bite my lip, trying to think of the best way to reply. I finally settle on honesty.

"They hurt," I whisper, "especially in the light."

"Come here." I stand reluctantly, and walk over to the bars of the cell.

Master does something with his hands and the guard comes over and unlocks the cell. I commit the gesture he made to memory, once I realize that it meant for the guard to move forward.

I walk through the doorway and stand in front of Master. My eyes are still squinted and averted from the light.

He lifts my chin with two fingers, and I have to squint my eyes even more, because this causes me to have to look more directly into the light.

Master chuckles at this and instrusts me to open my eyes.

I try and manage to, but I can feel the involuntary tears running out of the corners of my eyes.

He pulls out a small light and shines it in my left eye. I whimper in pain and he chuckles again. He repeats the action with the right eye, before releasing my chin and putting the flashlight away.

I drop my head immediately and try and block out the light again.

"Well, number nine, the good news is that your eyes appear to be healing up very well. It will take some time for you to adjust to seeing again. Your mind will try and work from the wrong part to comprehend stuff, and you won't put items together by what they are and what they look like. But with your healing abilities, and the fact that you lost your sight rather than being born blind, should speed up the process considerably.

"Until then, we'll do exercizes. Once your better, we can work on controlling your, ablitiy, shall we say? Do you have anything to say to me?"

"Th-thank you, Master."

"Thank me for what?" he prompts

"Thank you for giving me my sight."

He strokes my cheek lovingly, making flinch and shudder. "You're quite welcome, my pet."

Max's POV

"Dammit!" I curse, as we fly over to landscape for the trillionth time, with still no sight of Iggy. "What happened to him?"

"Max, it'll be OK. Iggy's tougher than we give him credit for. We'll find him," says Fang.

"Thanks," I mumble, grabbing hand, though all I can think about is while at the school, just after his operation, how he was taken away again, and not given back until just before Jeb got us out. I have no clue what happened to him, but after getting back, it took him awhile to get used to being around people.

I never asked him about it, figureing that it was something he wanted to deal with alone. The fact that he speant much of his time at the school away from us, is probably a lot of the reason he's never been as close to us older kids. Hm, I've never really thought about it like that before though. I scowl guiltily. Probably because none of us really ever think about him enough anyhow.

Truth to tell, I hadn't realized how much we needed Iggy until he was gone. Yeah, yeah, corny line, I know, but it's true.

He can cook, build explosives, start a fire, super-hear, and if nothing else, the way he could so easily add levity to a situation is extremely needed. He keeps us sane.

I gather my thoughts and decide that taking a break for the night is what will be best for the flock.

"Everyone!" I call in my authortative leader voice, "we're stopping for the night! Find a good stop and we're landing!"

"What about Iggy?" cried Gazzy. "We can't just stop looking for him! He'd never stop looking for us! Never!" There were tears running down his face and he wiped at them angrily.

I was surprised at the outburst, but not really. He and Iggy were best friends and he'd been such a trooper the past days. It really was incredible he'd kept it together this long.

But once I listened to the words, I realized that they hurt. Because I was thinking the same thing.

"Gazzy, sweetie, I'm sorry, but we need to rest. We can't be at our best if we're falling out of the sky with fatigue and we need to be at our best to save Iggy. Alright?" I say, flying level to Gazzy's eyes and speaking sympathetically.

He nods reluctantly and turns his head away in anger.

I sigh, wishing I could react the same way, but I couldn't. I had to be leader. That meant doing what was best for the flock.

Iggy's POV

I curl up in my cell after a long day of tests and excercizes about my sight. I can and comprehend what I'm looking at much better now, but not much.

So far the thing most clear to me is Master's face. His short and perfectly groomed salt and pepper hair. His pale skin. His chissled, sharp features and the way he always tilts his face up, so he's looking down at you. But mostly his striking ice-blue eyes, that seem to pierce every sercret I have.

I hold myself tighter, as I remember everything that that man has done to me.

"Igneous."I whimper at the voice that I know all too well. I just want him to go away.

Please, please, not again. Not today.

I want to form the words, but know the punishment if I do.

Instead, I convince myself to get on my knees and bow my head, as Master taught me.

"Good boy," he says coming near me. He kneels in front of me and lifts my chin. "Has anyone ever told you how pretty you are? Espellically your eyes, even if they are blind."

I try not to shudder as his hand maps out my face, tracing my jawline, around my eyes, my mouth…

Suddenly, I feel his lips press against mine. I gasp, allowing him entrance, his tongue exploring the contours of my mouth.

I don't struggle, knowing what happened last time I tried. But I couldn't stop the tears and he reached down, in between my legs…

I force myself out of the memory.

Oh god, I hope he's not attracted to me anymore. Please tell me he doesn't like older boys. Please, please, I beg silently to myself.

A little voice in the back of my head though, tells me it's not likely. Calling me 'pretty' and the way he'd stroked my face.

I about puke at the thought, but don't. I don't want to lose what little I have in my stomach.


I wince at the familiar voice, wanting to escape it.

"Ready for your training?"

Ah! That flashback I wrote is the most graphic thing I've ever wrote.

Did I do it OK? I didn't want it to be too graphic, as I'm not comfortable writing that.

Please, review!

5. Powers

Gah! *Drowns in love from reviewer/favoriters/alerters!* There are so many of you (well, to me anyways!)

Thanks everyone that's reviewed! Also, I'm just gonna send the replys to the reviews via PM… my author's notes feel like they've gotten too long.

Also, I'm having a bit of writer's block, so this one might not be as good as the others. :/ Sorry.

Iggy's POV

I'm still not sure what Master means when he says, 'training.' I know he said that I have an ability like the others, but I have no clue why I would need training for that, or what it has to do with my sight. The rest of the Flock seemed to be able to use their gifts naturally. That's how it was when I started feeling colors, but that's useless now.

Well, Master's pulling me down a long hallway, that I've never seen before now. (Get it?)

We reach a fairly large room with white walls and have flat tables in rows. On top of the table are jars that seem to have a faintly glowing surreal essence inside of them, but being that I haven't ever really seen a jar, and am just going from what I've made Gazzy describe how things look to me, that glowy effervescent feel about the jars, could be normal.

"Igneous, today I'm going to start teaching you about your power," said Master. "It is directly linked to your sight and extremely dangerous. That's why took your sight years ago," he added as an afterthought.

"In each of these jars, there is a special, 'power', I suppose you'd call it. We managed to extract the gene that gave some of the more successful mutants, such as you Avains, unique gifts. We collected them in these jars and, to make a long story short, made them compatible to your powers, as will all human mixes be.

"What is your power, you ask?," he continues, sounding like a very generic lecture, "You can take others powers and use them as your own, without a limit on the amount you have at one time." My eyes widen at this. Never had I thought that my gift would be that, powerful.

"Come," he summons me closer to where he's standing, nearer to the jars.

I walk over to him, eyes not leaving the jars of captured ability.

He explains very vaguely to me, that I am to look and focus very heavily on the jars, or the essences in the jars, until I take the power.

Not really sure what he means, I try and follow his instructions, knowing from experience what happens to people who don't do what he says.

I choose one of the jars nearer to me, and stare at it.

"Ah," says Master, sounding deep in thought. "You chose a blue one. I wonder…" he trailed off, still thinking.

Blue? What's blue?

I shake off my question, and decide that I'll discover what colors are what, once I get more used to my sight.

I focus on the jar again, trying to not be sidetracked again.

I stare. I stare until my unfocus and everything gets blurry and I can't hardly see and my eyes water up. But still, nothing happens.

I can't figure out what to do. I could rips my hair out in frustration. Everyone else can use their powers naturally. They don't even have to think!

Finally, I give up. There's nothing else I can do.

I drop my eyes from the jar and turn my gaze to Master.

"I'm sorry. I c-can't. I-," he cuts me off with his fist and I find my self knocked to the ground with the force.

"Did I give you permission to speak?"

I drop my gaze, but hate myself for doing so. I want so much to fight back and be the Iggy that I can be against anyone else, but this man broke me. He broke me thoroughly and around him I don't think I can ever be the mouthy, rebellious, sarcastic Iggy that the flock knows.

He seems pleased enough with my reaction. "Again."

I stare at the jars of contained power and try to absorb them again.

After 15 excrutiationg minutes of staring, something happens. The essence in the jar becomes less evanescent and more enticing and solid. It seemed to become two block lines of equal lengths, meeting perpendicular to one another. Much like a plus sign, I remember suddenly, from what little efforts the school had made to give us a slight education.

I can't tell if it's really doing something, or if it's just me that can see this, but I don't dare glance away to see.

I feel compelled to walk closer to the table and hold my hand out, summoning the small cross. Eventually, it seems to slide through the glass of the jar and land on my hand. I look down as it absorbs into my skin very quickly.

I gasp at the sudden exhileration. My body feels like a thousand needle are lighty poking at it, or I've been doused in cold water.

Eventually, the feeling fades, but I still realize I have a huge smile on face from the experience.

"Well?" I hear Master say. "Did it work?"

"I-I think so," I say.

"Let's test it," he grabs my forearm tightly and drags me away from the room. "The jar you chose had a healing ability." He explains as we walk into a large infirmary.

He pushes me towards a girl with shoulder length brown hair and smooth pretty skin. She's extremely pale and gaunt and looks about Angel's age.

I reach up, and push some of the little girl's hair out of her face. My heart wrenches at the thought of anyone so young and innocent looking having to be in this place. Having to live a childhood similar to mine, although I'm fairly sure my childhood was a rare case even at the school.

I place a hand on the center of the child's chest and let the energy I'd gained a second ago flow to my fingers. I vaguely see my fingers begin to glow, but that's the least of my concerns.

I push the power mentally into the girl and try and find what needs healing. As I explore (I don't particually know what I'm exploring, but I expect it's her spirit or essence or whatever) I notice something that shouldn't be there. I focus on that spot give it some of my energy to try and patch up. It seems to work and begins to heal itself.

I lift my hand from the girl's chest and withdrawl my newly found (taken) power. I smile at the more peaceful look on the girl's face and her even breathing. I know it worked. I saved her.

I look around the rest of the people dying in the infirmary and ignore Master's words to me about how it appeared I was a "success." I could help these people!

I found a new well of courage and rushed over to the boy next to the child I was just working on.

He was about my age with dark hair. I didn't pay much attention to details however, and placed my hands on his chest, ready to begin.

"Igneous! What do you think you're doing? Get over here!" I grit my teeth and ignore Master's words

Must save. Can't let him go. Must save. I repeat my mantra to hold my concentration above Master's threats.

I heal the boy much more quickly than I did the girl and run to the next person.

There's a strong arm gripping my forearm tightly again before I move to the next person that needs healing.

I struggle and push against the arm.

"Please!" I beg, "Please! I can save them! I can help! Please!"

Master's other hand comes up and slaps me hard across my face.

"Enough!" he yells, making me wince. "Now, come along!"

He drags me out of the infirmary and back towards my cell. Or what I thought would be my cell.

Instead he pulls me into his private room and sets guards outside of it.

"You've earned yourself a punishment Number 9. I thought you know better.

I whimper pitifully and try to get away.

That night, I'm violated like I haven't been since I was a child. I don't think I'll act out for quite awhile.

Wow! I'm sorry! This chapter has been long over due and wasn't even that good to make up for the time difference!

I'll try to get the next one out much quicker.

What'd ya'll think? Was it confusing? I wasn't sure if my descriptions were quite what I had in my mind, but I did the best I could.

Please review! I'm kinda nervous about this chapter!

6. Planning

A/N: First off, thanks to Angelwiththeclippedwings for beta'ing for me. On that note, this chapter is the un beta'd version, because far to long since I last poster, but as soon as I get my beta'd draft in, I'll post that. This one's not very good, and really more of a filler than anything.

Gazzy's POV

I morosely eat the meal of five large hamburgers, three orders of fries, and a couple milkshakes that Max bought us.

We've stopped for the night and have been traveling for a week, but somehow I don't feel any closer to Iggy.

He was my best friend. My partner in crime.

Look at me. Speaking in the past tense already!

"Gazzy! Come over here!" Max calls cheerfully (although it sounds forced for the sake of the flock) and gestures over to the rest the flock around the fire.

I've been sitting over by the entrance to a cave we'd found, while they'd made a controled campfire in the center.

Normally, there's very little that can shake me. I usually try and be as happy as possible and very rarely let any of my sadness show through. But this is different. This is Iggy.

I sigh and stand up and walk over towards where the rest of the flock is putting on a happy façade.

I vaguely listen to the conversations going on, every now and then throwing in a comment, until Max decides that it's time to go to sleep. For once, I think we're all relived.

I walk over to my sleeping bag and fall asleep…

"Everyone up!"

I wake up to Max giving orders and loud crashes from around. Senseing something's wrong and seeing that it's still night out, I jump up, feeling the adrenaline of a fight pulsing through me, erasing all tiredness.

I look towards the cave entrance and see Erasers. There are about ten of them. I know for a fact the flock can take down quite a few more than that, so I'm not worried.

"3…," Max starts calling out, knowing that we all know once she get to one it means to charge over to the Erasers,


"1! Go!"

We all fly towards the Erasers standing at the mouth of the cave . I pick the one closest to me and start kicking Eraser butt.

I land a punch square in the Eraser's face, but as I pull my arm back again to continue my attack, I find myself pushed by some invisible force and flying across the cave. I extend my wings to give me some resistance and manage to stop my fall and roll onto my feet.

I find the rest of the flock is having issues with the Erasers too.

I shake off my confusion and move to get back in the fight. Then, the Erasers stop. They gather around the one in the middle and all touch his shoulder or hand or back. We're all standing, too confused to make a move at the Erasers now. And probably too beat up, too, if we're being honeset. Suddenly, the Erasers disappear.

I look at Max. "What the hell was that?" I question frantically, once the shock's worn off.

"That, was the Eraser 3.0. Now with 4G capabilities. AKA, superpowers."

I grimace. Just what we need.

Iggy's POV

I lie back in my cell, hoping to get more than a couple hours of sleep tonight. The whitecoats have been working with me and, more importantly, my power ad nausiam.

They would set up the jars of power everyday and have me try and take the power, then lead me somewhere to test it out; just like the first time.

I didn't fight or argue. It's pointless.

Plus, when I don't cooperate, there's punishment.

I shudder and pull myself into a ball, trying to forget about Master. Best not to think about it. I would go craz t if I let myself brood.

I know threapists and councilors and all those types of people say that 'coming to terms with what you've gone through is the key to healing,' but at the moment I'm more focused on day-to-say survival, and to do that, I need to keep my mind clear and working its best.

Hmph. Fat chance. Master scares me shitless. There's no way I can keep my mind where it needs to be to cleverly outsmart a group of bloody smart scientists, escape past a bunch of physically inhanced mutant creatures, and get past the other 'just-in-case' security sure to posted at all the doors.

I'm just going to have to trust the flock.

Now, I've never been much a praying man. Never really believed, but today, I dropped to my knees and prayed my ass off. I felt the need to do something, anything, to get out of here.

Max's POV

Ever since the Eraser attack, the entire Flock's been on edge. If Erasers weren't bad enough, not they had been upgraded to develop powers, much like out own.

It had encouraged us to get to the school all the much faster.

We rarely stopped, rarely talked, rarely slept. Anything to get to Iggy faster.

On the sceond week after the Eraser attack, we came in view of what could only be the school. It was a gigantic one story building, with barb-wire fences around the outside. There were guards everywhere and mutants walking around in one of the grassy areas incompassed by a fence, closely guarded.

I call for the Flock to turn around and find shelter a short distance from the School, tempted as I am to rush in there and grab Iggy.

We find a nice area surrounded by trees, and elevated of the ground. We sit and are able to still see the school enough to come up with a plan.

I study the layout of the School and map out where the guards are, and see everyone else doing the same. My heart swells with pride.

I bite my lip in thought for a second and turn towards the Flock.

"Ok, so, here's the plan…"

Iggy's POV

I hear the hinges on the door to my cell creek open and flinch.

Out of habit more than anything, I keep my eyes closed and orient myself by the sound of things.

"Get up!" a rough voice demands.

I open my eyes and slowly uncurl myself from my ball and make myself rise shakily to my feet.

Two Erasers are standing in front of me. The one that commanded me to stand up grabs my wrists and secures them behind my back with handcuffs and then grabs my upper-arm to lead me out of cell.

We come to a door that haven't seen yet. Eraser Number 2 knocks on the door, and opens it when we hear a voice say, "Enter."

I shiver. Master. I was hoping that today, one of the other white-coats would be doing my training. I hate being around Master. I feel so… weak.

"Hello Igneous." I say nothing, just look at the floor, as is expected. "Leave us," he says to the Erasers, dismissing them.

Once they leave, he looks back towards me.

"Today, we're trying something different. You've gotten the jars down well. Follow." He commands. I do as he says wordlessly.

He leads me over to a small glass cage. I peer through the glass and see an Eraser, tied and motionless.

He opens the door of the cage and pulls the Eraser out.

"Take his power."

I blink, surprised at the news that the Eraser's have become advanced enough to develop powers like us.

I look the Eraser in the eyes, decideding to do as told. Besides, it might help in the future if I had a good knowledge of how to properly use my power.

As I stare in the Lupine's eyes, they seem to change color. An almost blue fog appears shifting over his natural yellow. I recognize this as power, something I've become familiar with over the last few weeks. I extend my hand slightly and it comes towards me, forming what looks like a skull and crossbones.

I've also figured out that the shape that the Power forms indicates what it does.

This one makes me shudder again for what feels like the millionth time that day.

"Excellent," says Master, when he sees I'm done. "Now use it."

I lick my lips nervously, apprehensive about what this power will do. Eventually, I reisgn myself that something I say will stop what I have to do, so I decide to do this painlessly. For me anyhow.

I extend my hand, knowing insinctively how this will work.

I let the new power flow invisible out of my hand.

The Eraser suddenly beings to writhe in his bonds, screaming and trying to get away. I drop my hand a s fast as I can, not able to stand putting anything through that amount of pain, Eraser or not.

"It's a start," says Master's cold voice. "I'll let that be enough, but you still stopped before I gave you permission."

Please no! I think, before dropping to me knees.

Max's POV

We finish putting the final touches on our plan, having gone through as a group and decided which parts of my initial plan to keep and which to throw out

"Tomorrow night then?" I ask.

"Tomorrow night."

"Good," I say, although I hate the idea of Iggy being so close and not being able to do anything.

"For Iggy," I announce, putting my fist in the middle of the circle.

"FOR IGGY!" the Flock choruses, and meet my fists with theirs. m

7. Finding

Author's Note: Ok, so there are a couple important things that go here, rather than just my normal drabble.

First order of business: I'm posting the unbeta'd chappies, then going back and replacing them with the beta'd when they're ready. So, you can read whichever one you prefer.

Next thing is that this chappie is a tad more graphic than the others. Not quite M rated yet, but if you read this and find it bugs you, PM me and I'll fill you in on what happened.

Iggy's POV

The first thing I noticed when woke up was the warmth around me. The next thing was the softness of what ever I was lying on.

"Mphh," I groaned happily, cuddling myself further into the covers and pillows, to tired to even open my eyes, or survey my surroundings.

Well, at least until I felt a gentle hand run over my jaw line. My eyes shot open, and I realized that there were large, comforting arms surrounding my waist from behind in a very intimate way. Master.

I heard him chuckle at my reaction to his contact.

"Don't you like me, Igneous? You seemed like you did last night," he asks innocently mocks.

I blush in shame and try to disappear into the wonderful bed. I remember reacting to his tough and coming. Did that mean I liked it, like Master says? I must like it if my body reacts like that.

I feel shameful tears run down my face, as I realize how pitiful I am, liking my rapist's touch. No, I correct myself, it's not rape if you like it.

Max would be so ashamed. I freeze at the thought, realizing that the Flock will hate me. I'm so dirty. I can imagine the way Max will shake her head and tell me I'm not wanted. And how Fang will just stand there, silently and intimidating, keeping the younger ones from me. And Nudge won't speak to me, for the first time ever, showing how truly isolated I was if even she wouldn't speak to me. And Gazzy will hate me and call me a traitor for giving into the enemy and turn his back on our partnership. And little Angel will see the depths of my disgusting mind and never even look at me again. How could she, knowing what's in my mind.

I feel a sob wrack through my body, and I realize I'm shaking with tears and silent sobs. I don't want the Flock to rescue me. I'm not worth it.

Master's POV

I hold back a laugh as the thin body in my arms starts to shake and cry, finally breaking. His resistance leaves and I'm left with the broken shell of a scared fifteen year old boy. Perfect.

I need him to turn away from his flock, however I have to do it. I grin down at the strawberry blond boy in my arms, and begin to gently rub my arms over his sides and caressing his face and shushing his; just like how a lover would comfort his partner.

"Shhush," I murmur into his ear, "Shush. I'm sure your Flock will be looking for you," I finish, to test where he stands in point of his Flock.

His body jerks again suddenly, with a new sob. Excellent.

"What? Isn't that good?" I ask, making my voice innocent. Any other time, it would be obviously called out, but with a perfectly damaged 2% avian teenager, it worked just fine.

His only reaction was to vehemently shake his head no, and cry harder.

"Why not?" He does nothing. I smile. Ah, what a masterpiece this one is. Perfectly trained. "Speak."

"I-I'm t-too dirty. Th-they w-won't want me. I-I'm d-d-disgusting, and I-I can't stand t-to see th-them react t-t-to me," he manages to sob.

"There, there," I say, with a wicked smile that he can't see, and is to broken to comprehend if he did see.

I moved my hand down and helped him come again. He sobbed harder. I smile happily. I love my job. I think I'll spend my day with Igneous right here in this room. Everyone needs a break.

Max's POV

Night fell quickly and my Flock was as ready as they'd ever be.

I looked over my family and felt pride swell in my throat at the sight of them. They were all standing at perfect ready, looking determind to go get our brother.

We flew out and headed towards the gate.

There was a small amount of time when the guards were being switched, that we could silently slip through into the building if we were careful enough.

We always are.

We easily sneaked into the building and split into groups. Angel and Gazzy with me and Fang with Nudge.

Fang and Nudge were going to search out the basement, where the holding cells and computers (hence Nudge) were and Angel, Gazzy, and I were taking the upper levels. We figured that Iggy was most likely in the basement, but we decided better safe than sorry, and we'd have Angel mind search up here in case that's where he is and she can silently alert everyone when it's time to go.

We separated, and my group was doing an amazing job of not being caught.

For at least thirty minutes we scoured the halls, until Angel gasped.

"He's in there!" she hissed excitedly, pointed around a corner out of our sight.

I peaked around and saw two huge double doors with two guards standing, well, guard.

"Shit," I mumbled, not really caring about language, like I usually do. "Of course."

"Don't worry, Max! I can make them go away!" said Angel full of confidence and marching off around the corner.

I looked at Gazzy, then we both hurried after her.

"Hello?" said Angel sweetly to the guards. "My friends and I realllly need to get through that door. So, you're going to let us. Please?"

"Of course," said the guard looking confused, but moved nonetheless.

We slipped through the double doors and got ready for a fight. But nothing I prepared myself for got me ready for what I saw.

Iggy was lying on top of white, but blood stained sheets on a large canopy bed that bed been set directly in the middle of the room, rather than pushed up against a wall like most beds. But what was really shocking, was the man holding Iggy, completely naked.

Iggy's shoulders were shaking with sobs and the man just held him from behind and thrust his hips. He was raping Iggy. I was watching my brother get raped. Oh my God.

"Ah, Maximum. Nice of you to join us," said the man, calmly, pulling out of Iggy and turning towards us, lifting his boxers over his waist.

I gripped Angel's and squeezed tight. Our signal for alert the others.

He crossed stayed standing by the bed, one hand in Iggy's strawberry blond hair.

"We've been having such fun," he continued. Then he turned his attention to Angel. "Hello little one."

Something in Iggy seemed to snap at that.

"No," he said quietly. "No."

"What?" said the man, glaring harshly at Iggy.

"No!" he repeated and grabbed to man's arm and seemed to look into his eyes, but that wasn't possible. "You can't take Angel."

Then something passed between their eyes and the man began to shrivel and scream, while Iggy seemed to get a bit stronger. Iggy 'looked' away quickly, and suddenly everything stopped.

That was the moment Fang and Nudge decided to run in.

Iggy was still weakly sitting in bed, though he appeared to have a bit more strength. I still doubted he could move.

"Iggy," Fang breathed, then ran over to his brother and draped a throw blanket over him to respect his privacy, and lifted him bridal style, and ran. That triggered the rest of us and we followed.

"No," I could hear Iggy saying. "'Mm dirty."

But we kept going, fighting anyone in our way, until we got Iggy back to our cave.

8. Broken

Been awhile since I wrote! I'm sorry! My only excuse is that A Dance with Dragons finally came out!(after waiting 10 years for the next volume in the A Song of Ice and Fire series!)

And I've been ultra lazy, and have some writer's block. Sorry again!

Ugh! It' s 110 degrees down here and my neighborhood's power went out. I'm going to frackin' die!

Oh! And there have been some questions about Iggy's power, so I'll address some of that real quick.

Some of you have asked the basics of its nature and limitations and whatnot. He can take and keep as many as he wants, but the more he takes, the more distilled they become. I haven't really illustrated that yet, but I will soon.

Fang's POV

Iggy's slight frame was always very light, but now, carrying him back to our little cave, it felt ten times lighter. Unhealthily skinny.

I felt relieved beyond belief when we finally touched down on our little sheltered cave. I gently laid Iggy on the ground, and I took off my jacket and used it as a pillow for Iggy's head. I adjusted the blanket over Iggy's legs and waist to give him the more modesty and walked over towards where my stuff was and grabbed a pair of pants from the backpacks we all carry on trips like this. None of us thought to grab Iggy's when we left.

I was debating whether to save Iggy severe humiliation and get him dressed, or if I needed to check out his injuries. I bit my lip, and eventually decided it was better to be safe than sorry.

I turned the rest of the flock and decided that Iggy deserved to keep some of his modesty.

"Guys," I started, "Could you give us some privacy?"

"Why?" asked Max bluntly, looking really worried about Iggy and clearly not wanting to leave him in the condition he was in.

I cleared my throat, trying to hint that it wasn't something I wanted to say aloud. "I'd like to check his, ah, injuries."

"Oh," Max said, with an obvious blush creeping onto her cheeks. She got herself together very quickly though and was back to being Max. Or, at least Max enough to cover for her embarrassment. "Well!" she said in her commanding voice, "let's get out of here little ones!" like it was her idea. I chuckle and shake my head at my girlfriend.

I make sure they've all left, before turning my full attention on Iggy.

"Fang?" I hear Iggy's voice say groggily. "S'at 'oo?".

"Yeah, it's me, buddy," I say more gently than I usually would. "I need to check out your injuries. I'm going to have to take the sheet away, okay?"

"No!" Iggy yells, suddenly frantic. "No! No you can't! Please! Don't look! No!"

I started to get nervous. "Shush. Shhh…. It's okay Iggy," I started trying to comfort. "It's OK! Iggy!"

I finally got him quieted down to just sobbing, but I was still incredibly worried about his reaction to me checking over his wounds. I mean, I can understand not wanting some dude to go poking around your junk for injuries, especially not after what he'd apparently just been through, but I wasn't prepared for this reaction. We always had to check out each other's ailments on the road.

"Hey, Iggy. What was that about?"

He shook his head and started crying. I noticed his eyes were averted to the ground. What? He's blind. Why would he even know to look down?

"Iggy," I say again, curiously, and put two fingers under his chin to tell him to lift his head, "look at me."

His bright blue gaze met mine, and I recoiled in shock.

Iggy could see again. I was about ready to call the Flock in to throw a party, when I saw his royal blue orbs were filling with tears. You have more important things to do than celebrate!

"You're hurt. I need to help you," I tried to simplistically explain. Iggy can see.

He looked down at the ground again and shook his head no.

"Why not?" I said cautiously, realizing that he was like a time bomb and I had to be careful.

"Cause…" he said, sounding like a child. Mentally he probably is, what with all the trauma he's been through.

"Cause why?"

"Cause you'll hate me," he murmurs, crying again, looking horridly ashamed.

"I could never hate you!" I adamantly shout.

"You say that know, but you don't know what I did." Was he referring to being raped?

"Iggy, is this about what that bastard did to you?"

He choked on a sob and nodded.

"Look at me," I told him, and raised his chin up so he would meet my eyes. "What he did to you was by no means your fault. He raped you. I'll never think anything less of you because it."

This brought on a new round of sobs. "H-h-h-e d-d-didn't," he managed to stutter.

"He didn't what?"

"Rape me."

I blink a couple times, letting what he said sink in for a second. Now, I'm no expert on rape, but what I saw when I got down to that sick bastard's room, sure as hell looked like rape. "Iggy," I start slowly, "if he wasn't raping you, what was it?"

He starts sobbing even harder. "I-I-I l-l-liked it. I-It wasn't r-rape."

I close my eyes and run my fingers through my hair, trying to remember everything about trauma victims that I can. I know a lot of times, they blame themselves for what's going on. I decided to keep questioning Iggy, to see if I could make him realize that went down back there wasn't his fault, but I was somewhat hesitant. Like I said, I'm no professional, and I don't want to cause any harm to his situation.

"Are you saying you asked him to do that? Or gave him permission?"

"N-no. Not r-really. N-not out loud, but-"

"Then it wasn't consensual," I say, cutting him off and looking directly into his now seeing blue gaze.

"B-but, oh God, the w-way my body responded! Oh God! No wonder he thought I liked it! I must have! I'm such a whore!" he was suddenly yelling and crying.

"Iggy! Iggy! Listen to me! Look at me!" I finally got his attention and made him look me in the eyes. "You are not a whore and I don't hate you. None of do or ever will. Maybe you won't get that now, but it'll get better, alright?"

He nodded forlornly and wiped the tears from his eyes with the back of his arm, looking incredibly young and vulnerable.

"Good. I'm going to check you're injuries now, OK?"

He looked at me nervously. "Do you have to?" he asked so quietly, I had to strain to hear it. It broke my heart and I about said no and pulled him into an uncharacteristic hug.

"I'm sorry, Iggy. I have to do this, though."

Iggy nodded brokenly and stared at the ground, tears building in his eyes again. I ground my teeth together and started planning the most the painful and gruesome ways to kill the man that did this to my brother.

Max's POV

I took the younger kids and we flew away from the cave that Iggy and Fang were in, giving them some privacy, and landed in a meadow not too far from our hideout.

Poor Iggy. I want to kill the man that did that to him! Painfully and slowly. I-

"Max?" said Angel, pulling me out of my fantasies.

"Yes, sweetie?" I said, trying to sound semi-normal. It didn't work.

"What was that man doing to Iggy? And why did it make Iggy so sad?" she asked innocently. It broke my heart.

I got down on my knees, so I could look into Angel's eyes easier and grabbed her shoulders to let her know I was very serious.

"Angel, sweetheart, I can't tell you what that man was doing, but it was a very bad thing. He took something sacred from Iggy, something that should only ever be given consensually to someone that you love very very much. He didn't get Iggy's permission to take that and it hurt Iggy more than anything else that could have ever been done to him. Physically and mentally."

She nodded but looked confused. "But, if it hurts so bad, then why would you do that to someone you love?"

I closed my eyes to hold back the tears gathering in my eyes. "When you do that with someone you love, it's an act of love and shows your trust. You don't do it to someone you love. You do it with someone you love. This man violated that trust and confused Iggy greatly."

Angel nodded. "I think I get it. Max?" she said thoughtfully

"Yes, love?"

"Do you love anyone that much?"

"Maybe Angel. Maybe. But I'm going to wait before I give him that. We both need to absolutely certain we're ready for that commitment."

She nodded again and I stood up one again, and looked over the children in my care for the moment. Nudge was standing with angry tears in her eyes, looking ready to tear the bastard to shreds, and Gazzy, who like, Angel didn't completely understand what was going on, but had a better idea, was sobbing in fury at the person who violated his best friend.

"Ok, guys. This goes for everyone. We need to be exceptionally kind and gentle with Iggy. He's gone through a lot and will seem very different. Be patient and don't press him for information. He needs all of our sympathy and care at the moment, OK?"

I waited for them to agree before continuing. "And Angel," she looked up at me. "Don't poke around his head. You're not old enough to know what happened just yet and I don't want you seeing that stuff. Plus, it's Iggy's business. We don't want to invade his privacy. It could hurt him more than he already is."

"Ok," she agreed.

"Good. Now, we just wait for Fang to make sure any really bad injuries will taken care of." And we sat down in the grass to do just that. All of us crying and plotting the murder of one sadistic scientist.

Phew! Finished! That was hard to write! I cried while writing that! But then again, maybe I'm just a softie…

I hope I got Fang OK. I had to make him a bit OOC to fit the scene, and that's how I imagine he'd react in a situation like this.

I really want to kill that Master guy! If you couldn't tell with all the Flock plotting his murder…. Am I the only one?

More reviews encourage his death!

Review please! Hope you, ah, enjoyed, this. Maybe. I don't think enjoyed would be the right word. Or liked really. Oh well! Sorry this took so long!

9. Traveling

AN: Sorry, this took so long (again), but I was in the hospital and on a ton of pain meds, so I didn't feel comfortable writing until I my head cleared a bit.

I tried to get into Iggy's head with this one, and write what he's thinking. I think I did an OK job, but I'm not really sure. A lot of the story from here is gonna be a ton of Hurt/Comfort. Enjoy!

Iggy's POV

I sat as still as I could while Fang looked over my injuries, and had to constantly be staring at him to keep myself somewhat grounded when he touched me. I know he isn't going to hurt me, but it was still hard to keep myself from flinching away. Maybe it was that he had the ability to hurt me if he wanted to.

He briefly glanced at my lower injuries before quickly giving me my privacy back. That was good; I was already half way to a panic attack.

"Well, Iggy," he started, trying to sound happy; "there are no debilitating or permanent injuries that I can see. We'll have Dr. Martinez check you over once we get home, though, just to be safe."

I nodded, not feeling up to saying anything.

"We should probably get back to the rest of the Flock. I think I saw an area while we were flying up that would be good for staying at. That's probably where they are."

I bit my lip, not really wanting to go. Now they'll defiantly know what I did and I'm sure they'll hate me! How could they not?

"Come on," Fang said, and grabbed my arm to lead to the cave's exit. "Ready, Iggy?" I closed my eyes and nodded, not actually wanting to go at all. "Well, come on." He jumped and opened his wings to keep him in the air. I followed suit.

I was having trouble flying, and had to keep low to the ground. Pathetic.

Eventually, we did reach the meadow that Max and the kids were waiting in, but it took far longer than it should have. Than it would have without me.

We landed and everyone immediately jumped up from what ever they were doing and looked towards us. Everyone's eyes were focused on me. Oh God. What did they see? They can see straight through me, can't they? And Angel can read my mind…

I let out a squeak and hid behind Fang, so they couldn't see me.

"Iggy?" asked Max cautiously. I peaked around Fang to see her. She was crying! I made Max cry! And Nudge and Gazzy and Angel now that look! What type of bastard makes a six year cry?

"I'm sorry," I said quietly, hoping she'd hear me. She did.

"What for?"

Wasn't it obvious? "For making you all cry,"

This only made her seem to cry harder. "Oh, Iggy! It's not your fault."

"Then who's is it?" I went through all the possibilities of people who could've made her cry, but the only thing I could come up with was my weakness in letting him do that to me.

"It's the man's who hurt you." How is it his? Had I been less weak and not let him, this wouldn't have happened.

Max had been slowly approaching this whole time and eventually gotten to right where Fang and I were standing. She walked around to the side of Fang so she could talk directly to me.

I was trying to crouch in on myself and had managed to pull myself into as small a ball as possible, but when Max was stopped by me, I managed to look up from the ground and focus my eyes on her.

She furrowed her brow in confusion and I immediately directed my gaze to the ground again. She reached forward slowly and pushed my chin up, even as I flinched away from the touch.

"Iggy," she all but whispered, "can you see?" I bit my lip and nodded, wondering if I'd done something wrong.

A huge smile split her face in two and she laughed and pulled me into a huge hug. Oh God. Arms around me. Reaching down to touch me. Hurts! It hurts! Please don't! Please no!

"No! I'm sorry! Please no! Please…." I fall to the ground and wrap my arms around myself defensively.


"No, I'm sorry! Please don't! Don't want it." I'm back there. With him. I don't want his arms around me anymore. Please don't touch me!

"Iggy!" That doesn't sound like him. Must be a trick. Don't wanna hurt! Can't let down my guard, or he'll get me! "Iggy, snap out of it!" Out of what? I want to obey. Obeying means less hurt. Right? But I can't figure out what he wants. "Iggy, it's Fang. It's Fang."

Fang? Really? Did they rescue me or something? I look up for just a second, ready to curl back up at the slightest signs of hurt. And Fang's standing right there. Right where he said he'd be.

"Are you okay now?"

I bit my lip again while thinking and slowly nodded.

I look around at my surroundings. There were trees on all sides of a meadow with grass and the rest of the Flock was standing around.

I really want to ask them where we are, but I'm not aloud to speak. I must have forgotten that rule earlier. Why aren't I being punished? Everything's so confusing.

"Well, I suppose we should be off to Mom's house, now, right? The sooner the better."

Everyone nodded and Fang helped me get airborne. We flew at a very slow pace, stopping a lot, because I couldn't keep up.

Why am so weak?

Nudge's POV

Oh my God. Poor Iggy! His break-down at the meadow scared me so much. He's so… broken. There's a word I never thought could ever describe Iggy. He always seemed so full of cockiness and laughter, but this is almost a completely different person.

I don't even know what to say! I love talking, and there's hardly ever a time that a couple words can't help everything (that's my philosophy anyhow) but I know that talking will do nothing to help here.

Plus, there's just nothing to say. Well, besides a very graphic image of how I plan on ripping the bastard that broke Iggy into a trillion tiny pieces and burning it into ash.

I really do hate that guy!

Our flight back home is taking a lot longer than our flight out. A flight that should only take a week or two tops, is taking almost a month, but we're finally on the home stretch, and maybe Dr. Martinez will be able to help.

Iggy's only had a couple breakdowns like he did in the meadow since we left, and by now we've learned to not touch him, if not necessary. If you brush up against him, or gently pat his shoulder or something, he'll violently flinch away. If you get too close and stay too close, or touch him for too long, he'll push you away and curl into him self. If you give him a hug or anything else semi-intimate, he freaks out and forgets where he is. He has nightmares and flashbacks and just flat doesn't talk anymore at all. Well, unless he's in a flashback or nightmare.

I hope we get to Dr. Martinez's house soon.

Dr. Martinez's POV

I've gotten into the habit pacing around my house and constantly looking or going outside to see of the Flock is back yet.

They should have been back by now. I wonder if they got into trouble. What if something bad happened? What if… No Valencia! I tell myself. We do not play the what-if game. Everything is fine. They're probably just taking the way back slowly or… something.

I look out the window again to see if anyone's there and, I see them. They're home! Finally! My kids are back! I consider all of them my children. Not just Max.

I run outside to greet them. They landed and came the rest of the way to the house on foot. Iggy was with them, clinging tightly to Fang's arm. My smile widens when I see him, and run out to envelop him in a hug.

I imagine he might jump a bit, knowing that while he can obviously hear me running towards him, but couldn't know that my arms were outstretched for a hug, but the reaction I got to my hug was not what I expected.

"Mom! Don't!" said Max, as I hugged him. It confused me, but only for a second. He sank pushed away from me and started screaming.

"Please! Don't hurt me! I'm sorry! Don't want it! Don't want it!" Fang dropped next to his brother and started trying to calm him, but I couldn't notice it.

Call it a mother's intuition, but I knew my son had been raped. And I planned to do everything I could to hurt the person that did this. They woke up the wrong mama bear.

So, there ya are! Sorry it's late, but I actually have a good excuse this time, and it's a bit longer, so that's a plus? Right? Not sure what I think of the Nudge's POV, but I needed someone to write from that could move the plot, cause I didn't want to spend any longer on the journey to Dr. Martinez's house (not sure if I spelt her first name right) and for some reason I wanted to write Nudge.

10. Doctor's Visit

A/N: Thank ya'll for the wonderful reviews!

Double digits finally! Woot woot! More reviews as a gift for having two digits? Double the reviews for double digits? My goal is to reach 100 reviews by the end of the story! Help me out please?

Max's POV

"Max," mom said quietly, while Fang was trying to get Iggy to calm down again, "was he, um, ya know…?" She was very clearly having trouble saying it, but I knew what she meant.

"Yeah, mom. He was."

"We need to get him to a hospital."

"What?" I yelled, causing the others to look over at me. I lowered my voice before I started to speak again. "What do you mean a hospital? What can they do for him that you can't? And won't they freak when they see the wings?"

"Yes, they probably will 'freak' when they see his wings," said my mom, "but, we can explain that to one of the doctors and make sure he, or more likely she, understands what's going on and the need for privacy. We have to take him, because we need to know if he has an STD or is hurt worse than we can tell. Also, he'll need therapy, none of which any of us are qualified to give him."

I reluctantly nodded, realizing she had a point but not liking it one bit.

"Fang?" I asked, "is he calmed down at all?" Fang nodded. "Ok then. Get him in the car. We're taking Iggy to the hospital."

Fang looked confused, but nodded nonetheless, and guided Iggy over to Mom's car, followed by Mom, who got in the driver's seat.

I went to the rest of the Flock and Ella to tell them what we doing.

"Guys!" I said to get their attention, "we're taking Iggy to the hospital. No questions asked. He needs this, so let's go!" I turned on my heel and everyone else followed to pile into my mom's large SUV.

The car seated exactly eight, with Mom and Iggy in the front (so he wasn't touching anyone), Angel, Fang, and I in the middle, and Nudge, Ella, and Gazzy in the very back.

My mom drove us to the hospital, breaking speed limits the whole way. Iggy didn't seem too happy when we pulled up in front, but he remained silent and exited the car. I was really beginning to worry about him not speaking or arguing. I figured once we got back home, everything would magically become better. Ridiculous, I know, but for the longest time our only goal was rescue Iggy and get him back home. Now, there was more to it.

We walked (well, jogged) up to the entrance of St. John's hospital and went up to the lady at the front.

"What seems to be the problem? Or are you visiting someone?" she asked, getting straight to the point. I suppose you kinda had to be at a hospital, where wasting time could get a person killed.

"My son was raped about two weeks ago," she said bluntly. "We thought it best to bring him in."

"Oh, the poor darling!" said the woman. "Here, I'll call down Dr. Reid for you. She's experienced with this kind of thing. You can wait in room 314."

She had mom fill out some paperwork and then called over a nurse to guide us to the room and we eventually ended up on the 3rd floor of the pediatrics ward in an exam room with one of those uncomfortable metal beds with a piece of giant paper over it.

We sat in there forever before a female doctor with brown hair pulled back into a ponytail and green eyes walked in.

"Hello. I'm Dr. Reid. You must be James?" she asked looking over at Iggy who was sitting on an exam bed hugging his knees with Fang next to him.

He bit his lip in thought for a moment before nodding that he was indeed, James.

"Excuse me, Dr. Reid. My name is Valencia Martinez. I'm James' adoptive mother. Can my daughter and I talk to in private about something important for a moment?" Dr. Reid nodded and guided mom and I into the hallway.

"Um, is there an empty room we could use instead?"

Dr. Reid looked a bit suspicious, but nodded her assent and said, "as long as you're not a serial killer, that uses this as their ruse to fool unexpecting doctors, sure."

Mom laughed lightly and promised that we weren't serial killers that used this as a ruse to fool unexpecting doctors.

She took us to a different room and asked what this was all about.

"Well, there's something you should know about my 'children'," started mom.

"And…?" prompted the doctor.

"Max," my mom said to me, and I guess that was my cue to pull wings out. So I did.

"Holy shit!" yelled the doctor. "That's something alright!"

"You can't tell anyone!" I told her fiercely.

"I-I won't. I promise," she assured us and I believed her. So sue me.

"We're telling you this so you know that Ig-James's heartbeat and other vitals will be different from most other people. Also, if for some reason he does need blood, it has to be from one of my other children. Normal blood won't work."

She nodded again and we left to go to where Iggy was.

"Hello again James."

Iggy nodded back at her, still not talking.

"Ok, James. I'm just going to check up on a couple things, and tell me if I need to stop. Do you think you can do that?"

Iggy nodded at her again.

"Good. Let's get started then."

She walked around Iggy doing a lot of medical-y stuff that I know nothing about. Every now and again, she'd have one of us do what she about to do to Iggy, to have something to compare to. A couple times we had to stop because he was about to have a panic attack, but Fang always managed to calm him back down and Dr. Reid was very good at what she did and touched him as little as possible.

"One last thing to do," said Dr. Reid, "I just need to draw some blood and get it tested, alright?" She led us out of the room and over to a lab area where there were the proper facilities to draw blood and got some from the inside of his elbow, before taking us back to the room.

"Actually, we do have one last thing to discuss before you leave. Do you want to run a rape kit?" asked the doctor once we got back to the room. Iggy tilted his head to the side and furrowed his brow to indicate he was confused.

"A rape kit is a way to get semen and ejaculatory out of a rape victim for forensic evidence. This late after the attack, it probably won't do any good, but we're supposed to ask. Frankly, I wouldn't recommend it. At this point, it'll do more harm than good. The invasiveness of doing this will more than likely trigger flashbacks and I think all forensics will be gone by now. But if ya'll decide to try it, we might come up with something."

"No," said mom, "we'd rather not."

Dr. Reid smiled encouragingly and said, "Ok then. Another thing we need to be looking into is therapy. James appears to be experiencing some pretty bad PTSD and I strongly recommend taking him into a professional.

"There are various types of therapy for PTSD. The most effective one for most people is called cognitive therapy. It helps develop an understanding of what's happened, and focuses on replacing emotions such as guilt with more positive ones.

"Exposure therapy is another one I would suggest for his situation. It focuses on helping the patient realize that there's less to fear from memories. It is based on the idea that people learn to fear thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind them of a past traumatic event.

"I think the last kind of therapy is not for James at all because of his reaction to sudden movement and touch, so I won't even suggest it. It is the most physical of the three main types and while it is helpful for some, it won't be for James.

"Another thing you might want to look into is family therapy so you all, especially the younger ones, can understand what's happened to him and why he'll be acting so different. Events like this are very hard on the family of the victim as well as the victim himself, so family therapy really is nice for large, close families like yours.

"The last thing I would suggest brief psychodynamic psychotherapy. That'll help with identifying triggers, coping with intense feelings, raising your awareness to thoughts and feelings, and raising self-esteem. I say no on group therapy, because of James's age and the severity of his PTSD.

"I'm also prescribing a small dosage of Paxil CR, which is an anti-anxiety medication that should help with some of the symptoms. Mind you, it will only target the symptoms. The therapy and time is the only thing that will really help. Do you have any questions?"

We all shook our heads not able to think of anything she hadn't covered in her speech.

"Let me get you a list of good therapists from around the area that you can see. And James," she said addressing Iggy. He looked up to meet her green eyes.

"If you don't feel comfortable with one the therapists you see after a few sessions, tell someone and you can try and find one you're more comfortable to talk with. In fact, if you ask, most of the people you talk to will allow you to come in for a trial period, or come up the office and meet them before deciding who you want to see. Alright?"

Iggy nodded. "Ok, good. Let me go make up that list and get your lab results and if everything's clean, you're free to go."

We waited in the exam room, all joking around and making small talk (except Iggy, of course) until Dr. Reid came in and announced that everything was good and gave the list of therapists to speak to and were finally able to leave the hospital. I really hate hospitals.

Yay! Chapter ten is DONE!

I'm not really sure how long it takes for lab results on STD's to come in take and I know that usually it takes longer than that to get into a hospital if you're not dying right there, but for the sake of the plot, let's say I'm right.

Thank ya'll for reading! Not a very exciting chapter, but it was necessary.

Review please?

11. Home

OK, so I'm having a little bit of writer's block, and have to do a ton of research still, so this chapter might be a bit late… either that or short. But, I don't like writing stuff under 1000 words.

So, uh, here goes it.

"Master's" POV

I paced my bedroom furiously. How dare he? How dare he? He was mine! Mine! He can't just run off like that! He shouldn't have been able to! He lied to me. He said he didn't want to leave! He was so perfect! So perfect, he shouldn't have even been able to lie to me like that. He did whatever I said. I'd taught him wonderfully.

And those dirty little theifs just stole him! Just the thought of them makes me angry! He was mine! Still is! He's my property. They don't have the right to burst in like that and steal it!

They're going to damage him. They're going to make him imperfect. I know because, just being in the room for a second was a bad influence on him. He attacked me! Had they not walked in, he wouldn't have acted up! He needs punishment now, for acting up, but of course, being the bad influences that they are, they won't punish him. He'll never learn right from wrong. He'll become a danger to everyone around him!

Hopefully, I've taught him well enough that he wouldn't become too damaged…

Enough! You need to focus all your energy on finding him again! If you can get to him again and teach him better, even if he does get away, he'll never change. He'll be yours forever.

With this thought, I was able to calm myself. Yes, focus on finding him. Surely they weren't stupid enough to go right back to the same place they were before? But, then again, people were always stupidly attached to their homes, and they very well could be there. It was worth a shot anyways.

I picked up my phone a dialed a number.

"Hello, this is Doctor Hendrickson. I need you to check out an address for me…"

Dr. Martinez's POV

By the time we got Iggy home, he was exhausted. He fell asleep instantly, and we had Fang help him home and into bed. Usually, he shared with Gazzy, but we'd decided that given the circumstances, it would be best to let him keep a room to himself until a time when, and if, he was more comfortable with people.

No. Not if! I scolded myself. When. Iggy will get used to people again. He has to!

But, for now, I guess we'll just have to help him out.

Iggy's POV

I need a shower. I need as many showers and baths as I can possibly take in one lifetime. I need to get clean.

I really want to ask for a shower. More than anything in the whole world! But, I'm not allowed to speak. Master said so. And, if I can't speak, how can I ask for a shower? Dr. Martinez might be mad.

Not, that I've seen her mad yet, but that could change. Master told me that I couldn't speak because I wasn't worth it. I wasn't as good as everyone else, so I can't speak with them. I guess I'd forgotten that when we'd escaped. I'm so stupid.

But, I haven't been punished here at all. Why is that? If I'm gonna learn, don't I need to be punished? But I really don't want to… it always hurts so bad. I'm so confused!

And to make it worse, everyone keeps giving me these looks. I don't know what they mean. If I was blind again might be able to place them by how they feel. It would be disgust. I'm positive. Can most people feel looks? I guess not, being that I can't anymore now that I see. Does that mean I'm a freak? He always said I was, and he's the only person that I could ever trust… he kept all his promises.

I still want a bath.

Max's POV

Mom made us a big sit down dinner with lots of Mexican Foods and her amazing cookies for dessert.

Her cooking wasn't as good as Iggy's (I'm convinced no one's is), but it's still really good. I sat down and grabbed a couple enchiladas for myself and piled my plate high with rice and beans and tacos. Everyone else did the same (well, Ella and Mom ate the normal human amount, but that's beside point.)

What isn't beside the point though, is that Iggy didn't touch any of the food.

"Iggy?" I asked, noticing his empty plate and longing gaze. He looked up at me. God, I don't think I'll ever get used to that. At least one good thing came from this experience… not that it was worth it. "Do you want something to eat?"

He looked at me confused. I couldn't figure it out. It was a yes or no question. Nod for yes, shake for no.

"Iggy?" I tried again.

He nodded reluctantly, then tensed like he was expecting a blow. Who knows? He probably was.

I took the moment to pile his plate with food. He looked at it like a starving man at food. Huh. Apt metaphor.

We continued dinner quickly and tried to find light conversation to talk about, but it was much harder than it used to be. Iggy remained silent, like he always did nowadays.

Iggy's POV

I was confused when Max offered me food. Master only let me eat a little, and it was never what he ate, and I wasn't allowed to ask for it. He had to give it to me. Asking was bad. That made people have to waste their time on me. They shouldn't have to that. I'm not worth it.

But Max was offering. So, is that the same as asking if I say yes? Maybe this is a test. Maybe they'll get mad if I say yes, but I was so very hungry and nodded a bit anyways.

Max smiled and gave me tons of food. I ate it as quickly as possible, before someone decided to take it away from me.

I reached the bottom of my plate and tried to remember why Master said I could only eat a little every once in awhile. He'd given a reason. What was it…

Now, Igneous, how can you ever expect to keep in the air with all that fat on you? Look at you, you're giant. And no wonder, what with the way you eat and all… I guess we'll just have to have you a diet then won't we? No more eating.

I gulped at the memory and felt sick looking down at all the food I'd just consumed and felt sick. I looked down at my stomach. He was right! I was huge! How could anyone love something this ugly?

I need to puke. I got up from the table and ran to the bathroom, and threw up everything I'd just eaten.

That made me feel a bit better, actually. Now I don't have all that food in my stomach. But what if they're mad at me for interrupting their dinner?

"Iggy? Iggy, are you alright?" asked Max as she ran into the bathroom.

I nodded.

"Well, if you're sure…" she said reluctantly, then got me a glass of water to rinse my mouth out with.

"Here, why don't you take shower, get cleaned up," she offered.

I smiled. That's all I'd wanted all day.

Finally! Took me long enough! Not very long, but it'll do.

I seriously was not planning the eating disorder; that just sorta snuck in... Now we just need to see if Iggy wants bulimia or anorexia. :/ Happy story, eh?

Oh! And the plot actually moved this time! Yay! I have an idea of where this is going, and it shouldn't have too many chapters left.

Maybe I'll do sequel… If I do, it'll take awhile to get out. I've got 2 other WIPs going on (even though when I started both of them, I told myself it was stupid to start multiple stories at once) and I need to finish those before writing a sequel.

Oh! And thanks for the review! I'm half-way to my goal! s

12. Discovery

So, for my first order of business, I'm sad to say that updates are gonna slow down. I started school again, and my classes are all AP and I take 2 math classes, and Latin, then some pretty tough science stuff, and this semester is EXTREMELY important for me. In the last 6 weeks there are only going to be 10 days I'm not taking tests. School comes first. Sorry :/

So, there are my reasons. Kill me now please? I'm two days in, and already freaking out from stress… my skin is all broke out and I've got a major migraine.

Ok, onwards with the story

Doctor Hendrickson's (Master, remember?) POV

"Hello? If this Doctor Hendrickson?" the voice over the phone asked.

"Yes," I responded. "What did you find about the address I asked for?"

"There's a family of eight living there. Six of them are past experiments. I sent pictures over to your computer," he responded.

I opened the files on my computer, and smiled as I saw the picture of my wonderful Igneous. He looked so frightened. Maybe it wasn't too late yet… actually, this could turn out for the better. Imagine how much worse it would be being kidnapped a second time. You'd never feel safe again.

"Thank you. That will be all," I said to the man over the phone and hung up, to stare at pictures of my Igneous, before I used my willpower and made myself call together a team of some of our scientists and the more elite of the Lupine hybrids to make a plan and call together the underlings to put it into action…

Angel's POV

So, maybe going out on my own was stupid, and yeah, Max was probably going to bite my head off but I couldn't take the house anymore!

Iggy's so different! It's painful to see him like this. I hate seeing my big brother so upset and changed. I know I never acted very warm to him, not like I did to Max and Fang, and he interpreted it wrong sometimes, but he was my big brother!

Fang was daddy, Max was mommy, Gazzy was the big-ish brother that could make me laugh, Nudge was big sister that could help me with fashion and boys someday, and Iggy was my big brother that simply being around made me comfortable, but I guess he never picked up on that.

But now, he's changed. And all I know is that something really bad happened to him and he's confused. I want to help him so badly, but I don't know how! Max won't tell me what exactly happened to him, and without knowing that, how can I make everything all better, like he used to?

So, I decided to dig around in his head, to see what I had to do to help, but his thoughts are all jumbled and messy and confusing, and I don't really know what to do to help him still.

The one thing I could get from his thoughts, though, was something really weird. Actually, I'm not even sure if that thought had come out right, or if it was another one of those weird cloudy thoughts, but it didn't feel like it. He was throwing up everything he ate. Why would he want to something like that?

But that's way I decided to go out and fly. Flying always made everything better. Being in the air like that is indescribable. For all of you've who've never had the joy, it's like swimming, but through the air. When I fly, I'm totally free.

I just went out to clear my head for awhile, not a big deal. Flying is like walking for us, so I figured it wouldn't be a big deal.

Well, I figured that, until I flew to low and accidentally caught my wing on a sharp stick, and ripped out a couple of primary feathers.

I screamed in pain and fell from the air, until I hit the ground hard and everything turned black…

Max's POV

"Hey," I called as I came down the stairs, "has anyone seen Angel recently?" I'd been so worried about Iggy, I didn't even realize she was gone until now. Nice one Max.

"No," replied Gazzy, instantly worried. "Now that I think about it, I haven't seen her in awhile."

I thought for a moment. If there was one thing being on the run all the time taught me, it was that when you had a bad feeling, or thought something might be up, act on your gut. ALWAYS.

"Flock!" I yelled in my commanding voice. "Gather!"

Everyone was around me almost instantly. Well, everyone but Angel. Even Iggy came.

"Guys, I can't find Angel, so we're going out looking for her," I figured I might as well cut to the chase. We didn't need a big speech. "Let's go! Stay together and if we do split up, we do so in pairs and get back at the house by 8."

We ran out the door and took off into the air, making sure to be careful for Iggy and flew around calling Angel's name.

We got into the forest near Mom's house, and went on foot for a bit. I pulled out a flashlight and shone it around, until finally, after hours of searching, it landed on a head on golden hair. You guessed it. Angel.

"Angel!" I yelled and ran over to the unconscious seven-year-old.

There was a spot of blood on her head, her right arm looked broken and feathers were ripped out of one of her wings.

"Fang! Go back and get the first-aid kit!"

"Wait," I head a soft voice say. One I wouldn't have ever associated with Iggy until now. "I can help her," he said walking up to the small child and kneeling in the dirt.

He placed his hands on her tiny stomach and closed his eyes. His hands glowed golden at the bottom for a couple seconds and seemed to almost absorb into Angel. But, then I noticed her broken arm clicking back into place, the scratches all over her healed, and the feathers grew back.

Holy Cow.

Can Iggy heal now? Did the school give him a new power?

"Iggy," I heard Fang ask, sounding like he was in shock. "You can heal now? Is that your power?"

"No," Iggy whispered.

"Then what is?"

"I can take other people's powers. Someone else could heal."

I will say it again; Holy Cow.

I hope you've enjoyed this segment it, 'Let's destroy Iggy's life as much as possible!'

Thanks to FlYegurl for helping me decide which eating disorder to give Iggy. Any all suggestions will be considered… no promises they'll get in, but I love getting people asking for something! Shows they're involved in my story!

13. Experiment

Yo, guys!

My brain is fried! I've written 3 essays and taken a major test today, so I decided to write more. (… looking back, that doesn't make sense.)

And on another note, I'm sooooo sorry it took so long for this to get out! I started this chapter, like a month ago, then my computer got a virus, then I got Carpal Tunnel, and then I got super busy.

And let me tell you, Carpal Tunnel fucking hurts! And I don't curse much.

So, on with the story now!

A/N 2: So sorry! Fanfic deleted all the spaces inbetween my intalicized words and so a lot of ya'll probably couldn't read this. I'm soooooo sorry about that! I'm trying to fix that now, but if it doesn't work, please just PM me and ask for the mental dialouge. Again, so sorry about that!

Max's POV

I just stared at Iggy after his revelation in shock. Actually, I think all of us did. Well, until I finally decided to break the uncomfortable silence.

"So, you can take any power? How does that work?"

Iggy shifted uncomfortable and licked his lips before quietly answering. "Um… well, I'm not really sure. I look at people and I can absorb part of their power."

"Part of their power?" Fang asked, with a raised eyebrow.

"Uh, I don't think I can use the gifts as powerfully as the original person could," he said sounding uncertain.

"Well, do the people you take powers from keep their powers?" Fang asked again.

"Yeah," said Iggy, but then we could tell he was done talking.

Angel stirred and made a small groaning noise as she came to.

"Max?" she asked confusedly looking at me.

"Hey sweetie," I said helping her sit up. Her eyes were squinted in thought and she was rubbing her head.

"What 'appened?" she asked groggily. "I remember hitting a tree and falling to the ground, but that's all. Ow… my head hurts!"

"You fell and hit the ground pretty hard I guess. We found you out in the forest hurt really badly. Iggy healed you though," I told her.

"Iggy? How?" She cocked her head to the side and looked at all of us. "Really? No way!" she said loudly. I blinked, then realized she must have read our minds. I really wish there was a way to keep her from doing that.

"Yeah. That's what it seems like," I told her.

"Hm. interesting. So, like, you could take my powers and then be able to read mind just like me? Or Nudge's and be awesome at computers?"

Iggy nodded.

Angel looked at him thoughtfully for a moment. "Show me," she said quietly.

Iggy looked down at her. "What?"

".Take my power," she said, more confidently. I was kind of shocked. It seemed like a strange command, but then again, I couldn't be in people's heads like my Angel could.

Ugh, as if one mind-reader wasn't bad enough. If Iggy was still his 'That's what she said' telling self, I might be worried.

But, God, what I wouldn't give to have that pervert back (Wow world. That is a weird sentence. Most people want to get rid of perverts.) Sure, maybe I complained about him a ton but I want my Iggy, not this broken sad Iggy that the school made.


I jerked out of my thoughts at Iggy's voice.

"I guess I could," he said reluctantly, then crouched down in front of Angel.

He looked directly into her eyes, staring intently for a moment. Angel looked entranced; like she physically couldn't look away from Iggy's intense blue stare. Under any other circumstance having someone stare at you so piercingly, it would be impossible to hold their gaze.

I couldn't tell exactly what happened, but something seemed to pass between their eyes and Angel let out a small "oh," before Iggy blinked and looked away. I let out a breath that I hadn't realized I was holding. I heard the rest of the Flock do the same. I wonder what would happen if he used it someone without a power…

Iggy's POV

I looked into Angel's eyes until I finally saw the small cloud power. It took the form of a- what's it called?- an atom? Yeah, that's it. The electron-things, were all around the center part and looked like they should be spinning. It was blue.

I looked away from her eyes when I finally absorbed the power and gasped when I suddenly heard things from all around.

What the Hell is happening – Fang

Did it work? Please tell me everything's alright! – Gazzy

Ohmigod, someone say something! What happened? – Nudge

What would happen if used on someone else? – Max I shuddered at that one. I know exactly what would happen. I remember using it on Master when he threatened Angel. He lost energy and I gained it. I was taking his life. Like a combination of that chick Rogue from X-Men and Peter Peterilli from Heroes.

Did it work? I'm guessing it did because I can hear everyone else's thoughts in your thoughts. Weird. – Angel

"So," said Max breaking the silence that I hadn't noticed. "Did it work?"

I nodded, not really wanting to talk.

She breathed a sigh. "That's good."

Try projecting your thoughts to me – Angel.

I looked at her. Like this?

I guess it worked, because she nodded and thought Yeah back at me. But try with someone else now. Like Gazzy, so we can be sure you're actually sending the thought, it's not just something I'm picking up because I can read minds.

Alright I mentally told her, then focused in on Gazzy.


"Woah!" he jumped and yelled.

I felt a wave of guilt. I'd scared my little buddy! I'm sorry, Gazzy! I didn't mean to scare you! I'm so sorry-

He cut me off in his head.

Igs, it's fine. I was just startled for a second. Not your fault. – Gazzy

Did he really mean it? I mean, if he's thinking it, he had to mean it. People can lie out loud, but it's hard to make your thoughts lie.

Does that mean they all really do care about me?


Sooooo sorry that took so long. It wasn't even a very good, but at least it's out now.

And Iggy's made an important step on his way to recovery, so yay for that!

I'll try to get the next one out faster! Buh-Bye! :D

14. Dr Miller

So, I'm going to take a shot at a therapy scene… um I've never studied anything about therapy and all I have is my research (which can't tell me what exactly therapy would be like.) So, like always, I'm going to take efforts to make this realistic (I hate it when authors write on a subject they know nothing about and don't do any research and say something like 'I can take liberties. It's my story')

So here it goes. If anyone sees this, and knows what they're talking about, and realizes how unrealistic it is, please tell me (kindly, not like an elitist jackass) what I can do to make it better. I can rewrite the scene or something. I hate the idea of having something inaccurate in a story I'm claiming.

This is also going to be much longer than any of my other pieces.

Iggy's POV

I closed my eyes and listened carefully for anyone that might be around me. If there was anything good about being blind, it was being able to hear when people were coming.

Then I remembered I could read minds. I closed my eyes and listened for anyone listening outside the bathroom door. Nope. No one. I was all alone.

I opened the lid of the toilet and knelt by its side before stuffing two fingers down my throat.

God, I feel so fucking fat. I need to get rid of it. It's not like I'm doing anything too bad. I'm still eating, just getting rid of most of it (all of it I wish) so that I'm not so disgusting. You'd think Max would understand. She'd get that the only way for me to be worth coming back to the Flock is if I lose all my extra weight. If I can just get to 90 pounds, I'll be worth loving…

I brushed my teeth as thoroughly as I could, then rinsed my mouth with mouth-wash and made my way over to the scale.

105 lbs

Damn. Still over 100 pounds!

I breath through my disappointment and disgust with myself.

There's nothing I can do about it know. Just, make sure to get rid of what I eat later.

With that conclusion, I walk over to the sink and make to sure to rinse my mouth and brush my teeth thoroughly. I don't want anyone to smell the bile on me.

When I'm done, I look up at myself in the mirror (I don't think I'll ever get over actually being able to see myself.)

I'm too pale. My hair's too red. My eyes are a weird shade of blue. My face is too red and too puffy from the crying that throwing up seems to inevitably bring. And I'm too fat. Huge in fact. But at least I can control that. The rest of it, I can't. If I'm destined to be ugly, I might as well do it while being a nice weight.

And maybe if I look better (as much as I can) if I ever run into Master (wait, no. Doctor Hendrickson. Not supposed to think of him as 'Master'; I don't have a master.) If I ever run into him again, maybe he won't hate me so much because I'll be better and if I'm better, he won't hurt me.


I wonder where Iggy went – Max

Shit! Well, at least if I don't have super hearing anymore, I can read thoughts.

But shit! They're coming. I looked down to inspect my shirt; make sure there was nothing on it. Good. I'm clean.

I come out of the bathroom as casually as I can. Hopefully, Angel's not with everyone to tell what's going on in my mind. They wouldn't understand. They'd try and tell me how 'I'm not a terrible person' and 'I shouldn't think like that about myself' and 'how much they love me' and how 'what he says isn't true.'

But, he's the only person that's ever told me truth.

Although, Gazzy was thinking all those things that I just listed, so maybe it's true.

God! Why is everything so confusing! Why can't everyone just tell me one thing and stick to it? Why can't the world just be simple?

"Iggy!" I hear Max yell. "Where are you?"

"Right here," I say as I step out, into the living room area.

"Are you ready to go?" she asks me.

Ready? For what?

I guess she realizes that I'm just staring at her and clarifies.

"For therapy," she says.

If I can read minds, why is it she seems to know exactly what I'm about to say?

"Uh, yeah," I say, then rush off to find my shoes.

Therapy. I hate the idea of it. I'm not crazy! I don't need to be 'fixed.' But, I suppose if I wasn't in need of fixing, my family would still love me and not send me off to some stranger that they think will make it all better.

Maybe I can cooperate. Maybe, if I do so, I'll be better and loveable and she can tell me what to do to make myself worth them. After all, she's supposed to make me better, right?

Maybe it won't be too bad…

"Igs?" asked Max, walking into me room. "Everything alright?"

I jumped when she came in. Wimp! She must be thinking you're insanely weak! "Yeah," I said. My voice cracked on the word. My voice fucking cracked! God… "yeah," I repeat, my voice under control that time.

My god, how many times can I screw up in one conversation?

"Okay then, we can go," she said.

I'm worried about him. Something seems… off. I hope the therapist can help. I truly do. I hate seeing Iggy like this – Max

I almost burst into tears right then and there when I pick up on that thought. She hates seeing me? What'd I do? Well, I guess I know what I did, but they keep saying that they'll love me no matter what!

I get in the Mrs. Martinez's minivan with Dr. M and we head to the office. We didn't see a reason to drag everyone along if it was just going to be me in the room.

I climbed up in the front seat, buckled my belt, then drew my legs up to my chest and hugged them. It was how I usually sat now. It felt safer. I could hide that way.

We finally arrived at my therapist's office and walked in. Dr. M told me to have a seat and so I did, placing myself in one of the chairs close to the door, with my back to the wall, and hugged my knees to me chest again.

"Hello," I heard Dr. M saying to the secretary, "I'm here with my son, James, under the name 'Martinez.' We should have a scheduled appointment."

"Ah, yes," said the lady as she scrolled through the data and memory of the computer, "here you are. Can I have you fill these out and see your insurance card?"

I buried my face further into my knees. Insurance meant she was spending money on me because I was too damn stupid to fix myself.

Dr. Martinez comes back and sits in the chair next to me and starts scribbling on the papers that sat on a clipboard. She finally finished filling out her information and scribbled a hasty signature at the bottom, before standing up and returning the clipboard to the lady.

The waiting room was very stylish with comfy chairs and one door leading back, as opposed to the two I was accustomed to seeing at doctor's offices (not that I really went to the doctor's) or Dr. M's office.

I was led back to the actual room fairly quickly, although I started freaking out when I had to be separated from Dr. Martinez to head back. I don't know why, but the idea of having to be away from her scared me more than anything else I'd been through.

They let her walk back to the hallway outside of the room with me and gave me a glass pf water and talked to me until I calmed down.

I was hearing thoughts flood into my mind like crazy. I wanted to scream, but I managed to stay strong for once.

Once I had finally calmed down, the Doctor (therapist) took me gently into her room. There were many soft chairs around and a desk in one corner. One on side of the room, there were lots of toys and there was tons of drawing and art materials. I got the idea that she worked mainly with young children, although the setting soothed me for some reason. I was expecting a Freudian set up with a couch for me and a chair for the doctor to look down at me with.

"Where you like to sit, James?" the doctor asked me kindly.

I suddenly felt that need to not speak once again. I couldn't talk. It was like those first few weeks of being away from Master, or whenever I was with him.

I just shrugged my shoulders and looked at my feet.

She smiled kindly at me, like she understood my silence, and took me over to a set of very similar soft chairs.

"Hi James. My name is Dr. Miller," she said. She didn't offer her hand to shake like you usually would with an introduction. I guess she understood that I wouldn't want to touch people.

"So, let's get down to business. The type of therapy I think will work best for you is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It mainly deals with replacing negative emotions and thoughts with positive emotions and thoughts by using facts and Socratic methods. Understand?"

I nodded, to show I understood. I didn't really want to talk still.

"Also, you're going to have to your homework and practice what we talk about here at home. That's very important. It will be difficult at first, but it will get better."

I nodded again.

"Today, we're just going to talk a bit about you and what happened, if you can, so we can get to know each other before delving into the hard stuff.

"My name is Alison Louise Miller and I was born inPhoenix,Arizona," she said. "Want to tell me something about yourself?"

I really didn't, so I just shook my head.

"You don't talk very much, do you?" she asked.

I shrugged my shoulders. I used to talk a lot, but now I just don't like to. Besides, why would I want to talk when no one likes me enough to listen?

But, she seems to want to listen… probably just because it' her job.

"Can you tell me why?"

I shook my head again.

"How about if I guess the reason you don't talk, you can nod your head. Think we can do that?" she said. It should've sounded patronizing, but it didn't. It sounded like a request.

I thought for a moment longer before nodding my assent.

"Is it because you're just shy?" she guessed first.

I shook my head. I never thought of myself as particularly shy.

"Do you think I'm going to judge you or not want to hear you talk?" she tried again.

I hesitated before nodding. I did say that if she guessed right I'd tell her.

"Well, don't you think that if I didn't want to hear you talk or was going to judge you for something you say, I wouldn't have encourage you to talk to me? If I was going to hate you that much for something like that, wouldn't I have been hostile from the beginning?"

I thought about for a second. She had a point…

"Yeah," I said quietly and unsurely.

She smiled, big and bright. It looked genuine, not false.

"That's good. Want to tell me anything else, James?" she asked.

I looked at her. "Like what?" he whispered almost inaudibly.

"Like… are there any other names you prefer to go by, or do you usually just go by James?"

"…Iggy," I said even more quietly.

"Iggy?" she asked, to clarify.

I nodded and blushed, looking down at the floor.

"Ok, Iggy," she said. "I'll remember that. Since this is just our first session, so I think we'll call it there. They'll get longer as you get more comfortable with this. Just a little bit of homework for you and you can leave. Is your mother waiting for you?"

"Yeah," I told her.

"Good. Your homework for this week is that next time you start to get quiet and not want to talk to people, ask yourself the questions I asked you a second ago. It's going to be really hard at first, but you'll get better as you practice more. Remember, it's extremely important that you try your hardest on your homework."

"Okay," I told her. "I'll try."

She smiled again and led me out of the room to where Dr. M was waiting.

"That was fast," Dr. M commented as we left the building. I started to just shrug my shoulders, then remembered that I was supposed to ask myself Dr. Millers's questions.

"We cut it off early, cause it's only the first session," I mumbled.

Dr. M smiled and looked happy.

He's already talking more from what I see. I hope this works… Dr. Martinez.

I smiled. It did make here happy when I spoke. She didn't think I was stupid for it.

15. Is it impossible for me to get a break?

I'm so sorry that it took me 3 months and 2 days to update this story. :/ So I'll try and get this one out really quickly

Thank you everyone that commented on the last one and gave me advice about the therapy sessions. They were extremely helpful.

Also, special thanks to flYegurl for reminding me to update. It probably would have been longer if nor for her. Feel free to get on my ass if I take an unreasonably long time to write a chapter (one or two weeks does not equal unreasonable, btw :/)

Iggy's POV

I was feeling much better. Ever since I'd been seeing Dr. Miller, everything seemed so much more... right, I guess.

Not that it's a magic "fix everything" solution, but I felt more like the old Iggy. Not much, but I was still getting better. Our sessions got longer and she continued to offer me suggestions and stuff to do outside of the office to continue getting better. My self-confidence is, well, not great, but I'm so afraid anymore. I know my family won't hurt or hate me and I know they're telling the truth because I can read they're thoughts. People can lie to themselves, I suppose, but somewhere you know you're lying

My major critique with my life right now is that I'm still fat. I've been dropping weight fine, but my waist is still huge. I can't get rid of my inches and it's killing me inside. No one even seems to notice what little weight I do drop, so what does it matter?

I know, I know. I'm not supposed to think about what people notice and think, it's about how I feel and think, but if I'm going through all this trouble to look not disgusting for them, I'd like at least a little, "Hey, Igs. You look nice. Did you lose some weight?"

But, maybe it's because they genuinely don't notice the weight I've lost... I probably wouldn't because I'm still so huge.

Angel's POV

"Hey, Angel sweetie," said Dr. Martinez. I turned to see her, where she, Max, and Fang were standing in the living room. "Can we talk to you for a second?" I nodded, a little confused but went anyway. They're thoughts were all over the place and I was having trouble telling what they wanted to talk about, besides that it had something to do with Iggy.

"What's going on?" I asked. Something was wrong. I could tell that much.

"Well," started Dr. M, "it's about Iggy." Knew it, I thought.

"He's doing so much better, as I'm sure you know, but I'm worried about him still. I know Max told you not to read his mind, but we need you to look for something, okay?" I nodded.

Max took over Dr. M's speech. "See, he's been losing a lot of weight lately. A lot. Like, he's skin and bones. Literally. He eats. Not as much as used to, but he still eats what seems like enough, but he's still putting off weight and it's unhealthy. I hate asking you to do this because it feels like spying, but we need to know what's up with him and I highly doubt that he'll tell us himself. Just, look for strange eating habits or thoughts to do with his weight or something."

I remembered that he'd been throwing up after all his meals. That probably had something to do with this. But, Max had told me not to dig around in his head and I had anyways, so should I tell them or not? And, was not telling them really bad also? It was probably worse than disobeying in the first place because it might have hurt Iggy really bad.

I looked at my feet and murmured something quietly.

"Angel," said Max, "do you know something?"

I nodded. Fang finally spoke up. "Ange, you need to tell us. Iggy could get really hurt. You don't want that, do you?"

I felt more than heard Max's thoughts get angry at Fang for that, but I wasn't really listening to their thoughts right now.

"Um, well, I know I wasn't supposed to read Iggy's mind, but I was just so worried that I couldn't help it so I did and he's been doing something weird," I said in a rush, as if that could somehow make what I was going to say different, "I don't really get it, but he's been throwing up on purpose every time he eats and I think he thinks that he's fat... even though he's not."

I heard them all almost simultaneously think, 'Bulimia' which was such a weird word that I was sure I'd misheard it.

"What's that weird word mean?" I asked.

They looked at me funny and I realized that they wouldn't know what thought I was referring to or even that I was referring to a thought. "Bul-eem-ee-ah," I over-pronounced, stumbling over the syllables trying to say it as they thought it.

"It's a... disease, I guess, but it's not exactly physical. Well, it's what's called an eating disorder that happens when people, especially those with low self esteems that don't think much of themselves, or people, mainly teenagers, that need some control in their life and think that this is the only thing they control, so a person with bulimia will throw up everything they eat. Usually though, it's like an addiction almost and they can't just stop on a dime and something about it causes them to constantly think they're over weight even when they're dangerously skinny," said Dr. Martinez. "We just need to be with Iggy for this and talk to his therapist about what to do before trying to handle this on our own."

I felt a pang in my chest. If I'd just told earlier... what might have happened? Would Iggy be better? I couldn't help but start silently crying.

"Oh, Angel," said Max, hugging me to her chest and rubbing circles on my back. "It's not your fault. You didn't know better," but I could still hear Fang's skeptical, well, she could have told earlier... in his thoughts. He was right. I really should have let someone know.

"It's okay," Max continued to reassure, "the important thing is that we know now and can help him."

I nodded and sniffed. I'm sure my face is red and puffy and my eyes are all red. I'm still not really sure if I believe her though. So many things have been happening with Iggy, that it doesn't feel like we'll ever reach the end. There's always just one more problem. It's just not fair.

Dr. Martinez

Bulimia. I can't believe it. As if that poor boy didn't have enough to deal with...

He has another therapy session tomorrow, so I can bring it up with the doctor then, but for now I felt like I had to do something. I couldn't just sit and wait while my son puked up all his calories. So, I went to the privacy of my room and pulled out my laptop.

And I learned a bit, some of it interesting, like that technically Iggy didn't have Bulimia but purging anorexia, but in the end was relatively useless. Just a difference in names. Then, I found some useful stuff. Like, how to help him.

After a good hour and tons of web-pages later, I shut down the computer and found Max.

"Max," I said, when I saw her and discretely pulled her to the side. "Do you know where Fang is?"

"I can find him. What'd you find about Iggy? How do we help him?" she asked

"That's what I want to talk to you about," I told her, "now go find Fang!"

She immediately rushed off to get Fang and brought him back down to where I was in record time... which is saying something.

"Here," I said quietly, "let's step outside so we can have privacy. I'd rather not have the little ones, or god forbid Iggy, over hear us."

They agreed and we did so.

"So," I began, "I don't think there's much we can do besides be there for him-"

Max opened her mouth to protest, but I held up a hand to stop her, "Just listen, Max," I said, "as I was saying, if we do too much more than support him and get him professional help, it will do more harm than help. It's just one day, then we can pass this over to Dr. Miller.

Max nodded reluctantly in agreement, but agreed nonetheless.

I shared the rest of my new-found knowledge with them, and we discussed a course of action.

Iggy's POV

Something seems off today. I can't exactly put my finger on what it is, but it doesn't seem normal.

Earlier Max was rushing through the house like a mad-man (I'm sorry, woman) looking for Fang and then ran down stairs quickly, not explaining to anyone what was going on. Angel was crying and Dr. M, Max, Fang, and Angel keep giving me all these sad looks. That's not all that unusual, but I can't something about these looks seems different than all the others.

I don't really know what, but something is definitely off about today.

Maybe it's just my imagination... maybe if I go eat dinner and take a bath and settle in for the night, everything will be better when I wake up. Yeah, that's it.

So, I waited until Dr. Martinez called for dinner and went downstairs, running through excuses for eating as little as I could. I've been eating just a little less than a normal human metabolism needs, which is a lot less than a bird-kid metabolism needs, but no one seems to notice.

Usually I would help make dinner, but today I told Dr. M that I wasn't feeling well because I really didn't want to deal with all those looks. I still enjoy cooking, even if I can't actually appreciate the food itself.

Everyone was seated around the table enjoying their meal and laughing. I even managed to crack a smile a two. It seemed to make everyone's happiness spike a bit. That's good. Maybe I should consider doing it more often...

I ate a bit on my plate and pushed the rest around, hoping it looked like I was doing something.

"Iggy," said Max slowly and cautiously. Uh-oh. I know that tone of voice. This isn't good. This is how everyone used to talk when things were really bad. Everyone around the table got quiet.

I raised my gaze to her and tried to look as steady and calm as possible. It felt like one o.f those standoffs in old cowboy movies where the two men would just stare at each other as calmly as possible which everyone else was silent and the tumbleweed rolled between them.

"Yes?" I said.

She bit her lip, as if trying to think of what to say now. That was odd. Max always knew what to say. She finally seemed to settle on, "Aren't you hungry?"

I blinked. That was strangely anti-climatic. "No," I said. "I haven't been feeling very well and-"

"Iggy, please don't," she interrupted, sounding exhausted. "Please, just, no most excuses. You have a problem and-"

This time I cut her off, feeling a bout of anger rising in my chest, "Problem? What problem do you think I have?"

"You need help," she said, enunciating each syllable.

"Help? I'm getting help! What else would I need help for?" I said, my voice rising in volume and stood up, leaning my hands on the table.

"For your bulimia or anorexia or whatever it is!" she shouted.

"An eating disorder?" I yelled. "You think I have an eating disorder? I'm not some tiny teenaged chick, Max! I'm just not hungry!"

I could see Max's temper rising with mine. What did she have to be upset about? I was the one being accused of having an eating disorder that I didn't have!

"Well, then why have you been puking up the little that you do eat whenever you do choke down some food?" she demanded.

She knew about that? How the hell did she know? "What the fuck, Max?" I asked, not even caring about the "little ears" around me. "What do you even think you know?"

"I know that I care about you and don't want you to die!" she yelled across the table at the top of her lungs.

Everyone seemed to come out of their shocked silence now and Fang and Dr. M started talking.

"Iggy," said Dr. Martinez calmly, "we just care about you. There is a problem and I won't pretend to know anything about it, but I do know you're hurting."

"How is it any of you guys' business what I do or don't eat?" I demanded loudly.

"Because we love you, Iggy," she said.

"And besides," I barreled on, past the point of caring what she was saying, "how do you even know that ?"

"Well," she said, stumbling, "Angel-"

I felt me blood start to boil. "You had Angel read my mind? You had her spy on me?"

"Only because we were worri-"

"I don't give a shit why!" I screamed, "you invaded my privacy! You had no right!" I was pissed. Way beyond the point of taking a deep breath and maybe reading a couple minds and finding out what was really going on. I was seeing red and just needed to get out before I exploded.

"You know what!" I continued yelling, "it's not even worth it. I-I need to leave. I need to be alone."

I ran out of the house and spread my wings for the first time in a long time when I got out and flew high in the sky.

I went like that for a short amount of time, before I felt myself getting exhausted and realized that I felt too weak to continue much further and had to land.

I could hardly move by the time landed... probably because I was so over weight.

I stood bent over, resting my hands on my knees and breathing heavily. Needless to say, it was a shock when I felt a rag placed over my mouth and nose and the next breath I took had a sickly sweet smell.

I reached behind me wildly, trying to grab whoever it was that had me looked in a vice-grip against my chest, fueled purely by adrenaline.

My breaths started to come slower and my limbs got weak and fell away from where I clawing at the man behind me.

Then, there was a mouth breathing into my ear whispering, "Been waiting a long time for you to come out alone Igneous."

And then the world turned black and spun to the side...

16. Alone

I think I've left y'all hanging long enough now...

EDIT: I posted this a second ago, but fanfic messed with my format, so I'll try again.

EDIT 2: Fucking dammit fanfiction just put the damn line breaks where I put them! If that's where I put a ton of underscores (both on the document and the Doc Manager) I want a ton of underscores! Dammit!

Ahem. I'm sorry about that. I'm finished now, unless this doesn't work and you can expect more profanity.

Iggy's POV

I wake up with a headache. A really bad headache. Plus, I'm hungry and wherever I'm sleeping is really hard.

My eyes dart open suddenly and I realize that I'm not with the Flock at Dr. M's house. I'm laying down on hard cement in a big cell with bars on the front. I immediately start to dart to the front of the cage, only to be held back by a cuff around my ankle. I growl in annoyance and want to bang my head against the wall.

Instead, I sit down and try to think my way out of this cage, but I'm just so hungry and tired that I fall asleep again...

… I awake jerk awake again when something cold hits me. This time, there's a very large whitecoat (guard, I suppose) with an empty bucket that I presume once held the water that I'm not covered in.

The man laughs and kicks a bowl in my cage.

"Food," he growls at me. "Eat it while you got a chance."

I want to leave it own. I really do. But I'm having trouble overriding those survival instincts that Max hammered into me for so many years. I know that in a situation like this, you eat what you're given (unless there's a good chance it's poisoned or drugged) because you don't know when you'll eat again and you want to keep up strength.

I manage to take a good three bites of the goop they threw in by telling myself that, before throwing it all back up and falling asleep once more...

… the next time I wake up, it's dark. Pitch black. I'm afraid I'm blind again, that He took away my sight just as quickly as he'd given it back. Then I realize it's the same dark. It's not the hopeless dark where even if I hold my hand to face I know I'll never see it. It feels different, in a way I'm not sure anyone who's ever seen can really understand.

It's like, closing you're eyes. It's dark and you can't see but you know that if you open your eyes, you'll see. You can see light and changes through your eyelids. If you can see, there's almost no such thing as total darkness. That's only for the blind and dead. I know the difference.

I tell myself to not fall asleep, to stay awake, but I can't. I can't see anything. I can't hear anything. I can't get up and map my cell. Time has lost all meaning to me.

I close my eyes and start to tap my foot, making each tap even from the rest.

"One," I whisper. "Two. Three. Four." One number for each tap. "Five. Six. Seven."

Seven sounds weird. Two syllables. It messes up the rhythm of my time keeping. I try again with seven on one beat.

"One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Sixseveneight."

I scrunch my eyebrows. I know it's nit-picky, but I want one syllable per beat, like it's music, but I also need to keep the time. I need to get to sixty at least.

I start again, this time doubling my taps in speed, so I hold each number across two taps of my foot. It works.

"one hundred. One hundred and one. One hundred and two."

My taps have sped up more now. It's getting difficult, but I have to continue. I don't know why. I just have to keep the time. If I don't keep time, something bad will happen.

"Two hundred and two. Two hundred and three. Two hundred and four."

It's keeping me sane. If I stop, I'll lose track of time. If I stop, they can take away all my senses and then they have a huge advantage and can win.

I'm so tired and so hungry. I want to sleep. I want to stop counting. I can't remember who "them" is anymore, just that I can't stop counting.

"Four hundred and eight. Four hundred and nine."


I almost jump at the sharp sound pounding on wall outside my prison.

"Hey! Quiet in the there!"

I close my eyes in concentration. It's hard to keep the right beat with him banging on the door like that. I want him to stop.

"Four hundred and fourteen. Four hundred and fifteen. Four hundred and," BANG "SIXTEEN. FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN."


"Stop all that noise!" the voice yells again. I finally lose count. Where was I? Four hundred and twenty? Four hundred and twenty-two? And where would I be now? I've missed some numbers.

I go back to having no time and falling asleep...

Max's POV

It's been awhile now since Iggy stormed out. I don't want to crowd him, that will make him angrier, drive him away, but I can't help from worrying.

He's just so weak now that he has so little sustenance on him. What if he's injured? What if he's not planning on coming back?

What if the school took him back again?

Okay, that's it. I'm going out. I grab my jacket and head out the front door.

"MOM!" I yell, "I'm going to go find Iggy! Bye!" Then I slam the front door and take off, much more carelessly than usual.

"Max!" I heard. "Max wait- dammit Max! Wait!" I stop in frustration and turn to see Fang flying towards me.

"What are you doing?" I ask, somewhat outraged. I mean, why is he following me? I told him where I was going... kind of. It's not like it's anything dangerous. I'm just searching for Iggy.

"I'm coming with you," he announced, so sure. There was no room argue. So I just pouted and glared and- god dammit! He's immune! How is that fair?

"Hmph," I say and take off in one direction.

We search for hours and find nothing. It's dark by now and Iggy is nowhere to be seen.

"Max," Fang says in that calm tone that means he's about to say something that makes sense, but I'll hate. "We need to head back. Something happened and we can't figure it out right now. We can't help him if we're tired and reckless. Let's get a good night's rest and start again tomorrow."

It made sense and I didn't like it. I wasn't sure rather to high-five myself for learning to read Fang or childishly fly off top-speed so he couldn't catch me.

Instead, I did something way rarer: I listened and went without a word.

Iggy's POV

I don't know how long I've been in the dark. Hours, days, weeks. I can't believe how difficult it is to live in the dark. I did it for years, and now I seem to have lost my ability.

For awhile, I tried banging my head against the wall for some constancy, but all that did was give me a headache. Then, I tried yelling for "someone to let me the hell out of here." I lost my voice. ''

So, then I slept. It's the only thing I can do. They feed me occasionally, but I've not been able to keep anything down, so I've started ignoring it.

Sleep completely encompasses my life. That's the only important thing anymore. The ability to fall into the dark, the good dark, or dream. I love dreaming. It lets me out of the dark. I haven't had any nightmares since I got here, only dreams. Not good ones, not bad ones. Just... dreams. I can't really even remember them, besides that there was light and color. That's all the matters. I try to follow it all the time.

I consider talking to the guards next time they come, but they won't respond. I can't really even see them. I wonder how they see down here. Night-vision goggles? Maybe some other white-coat technology.

I don't care for long. It's not important. I want to sleep. I close my eyes and relax my body until I'm asleep...


I think a couple weeks have passed now. I don't know. I don't know how often they give me food and I don't have anything to scratch the walls with. I sleep so often that everything blends into one. I don't

care anymore. I just want to see the light. I want to get out.

Dreams and sleep aren't cutting it anymore. I want out. This is torture.

I've tried some more food. I can eat a little bit, not a full bowl, but a couple bites. I was hoping it could be a distraction. A distraction from the cold and lonely and dark.

Sleep... I need to chase that dream again...


I still don't know how long it's been. No one will talk to me. I lost my voice again, so that doesn't work. No one will touch me. They're probably disgusted.

I don't think I ever noticed how much I need touch. Going without is hard; impossibly hard. I just want some human contact. I don't care how disgusting I am, I want one person to maybe think I'm not. God it hurts!

I can't take it. I can't take it anymore. I want to die. I want to leave. I want... anything but this! This is the worst torture they could find. Humans are naturally social creatures, birds and free creatures that need space.

I'm breaking. They're breaking me. Differently this time; I was already broken, now I'm just differently broken.

God, just let me out! Kill me if that's what it takes! I'm done! I can't do this! Help! Help! Help!


Something wakes me up. A weird half-scream gurgle thing that sounds awful. It happens again. I wonder it is. But then, there's the clanging of metal against metal and the sound of tumblers collapsing. But that can't be real. That means someone's coming in. No one would come for me.

Then, there's light. It hurts. Not as bad as it did when I was coming from blindness, but it hurts nonetheless.

I hide my face and whimper. As much as I wished for light, this hurts too much. I wish they would dim it. Or choose a form of torture. Light or dark.

"Igneous," a familiar voice says. A voice! It's perfect... my name. I want it to speak again. I want to know what it sounds like. I need to hear. That means someone's there. Unless I really am crazy.

"Iggy?" it says again, except, this time it's more perfect because it's saying Iggy. I look up at Master finally, and find that the light isn't so bad and that I really really want him to say my name again.

I throw myself at him, and find I can reach. I wrap my arms pathetically around his legs. It feels wonderful. I start to cry and am now getting his pants wet. I should be scared and he should be mad, but somehow, not being allowed to touch him would be so much worse. I just want to hold onto him.

"Iggy," he repeats and squats next me, cupping my cheek with a perfect, warm hand. I lean into it like a cat. I want more. He pulls back and I whimper at the lost. Why is pulling back? Does he not like me? Am I too disgusting.

"Hush, boy," he says gently. "One second." He pulls a key out of a pocket and reaches behind me. I hear that metal sound again, then my shackles fall off and I launch myself at him again, wrapping him in a full hug and crying onto him.

"Hush, Igneous, it will be okay. It's okay. I'll help you. I'm so sorry they did this. I'm so sorry you're hurt." He picks me up like a baby and cradles me to his chest while I cling to him. As we walk out the door, he steps over the body of a guard. I wonder if that's where the weird scream sound came from.

"I love you, Igneous."

"I love you, too." And I mean it.

So, I'm afraid this one is written in a way that's difficult to understand, but that's the only way to write it. :/

17. I love you

This chapter is written having been awake for about 38 hours now, so excuse any mistakes please. I'm exhausted and my insomnia is kinda kicking my ass right now. But, uh, I realized that we're almost at the end of the story. Like, only a few chapters left... I can't hardly believe it, being that this is the first thing I've ever written. Wow. :/

*Rant warning. Don't read following paragraph if you're not prepared for an OCD rant about underscores*

Also, I can't stand the linebreaks on Fanfic because I want people to see the line break and observe "oh, look, somethings changing" but I don't want to but letters there or anything. I want to use an entire row of underscores and I want fanfiction to put those in the story where I put them! But, no. They shorten it to 1 underscore. I want multiple underscores... sorry for that pointless tangent, I just have a lot of little pet-peeves that annoy me. Asymmetrical things, open doors, locked doors, ottoman's not being next the the chair they're supposed to, things that don't match, not holding something I'm reading, being read aloud to, people that read aloud or laugh while they read, people not picking up they're feet... the list goes on and on and on and on. Asymmetrical things are the worst though.

That is way too long for an Author's Note...

Max's POV

It's been two and a half long weeks.

After getting a full night of sleep and resting up, Fang and I got the kids, explained what was happening and grabbed our backpacks to go find Iggy, this time remembering to grab his clothes, too. We'd flown long and hard to the school, stopping in the same place as last time.

We had a better plan of course. This time Fang and I had scouted ahead, leaving Nudge in charge, and mapping all visible exits and entrances. We're sure that this time around they'll have guards posted EVERYWHERE, so we need to be extra careful, although later we take Angel with us and find out that Iggy is being kept in the same place he was last time due to some careless guards.

Eventually, we find an area to enter, directly above the room where Iggy should be. Everyone's coming with us because of the fight we're undeniably going to have when we arrive.

Everything seems to haven fallen into place perfectly, like a puzzle. That should have been my first clue.

We find the entrance to the place where Iggy is and go in from above, not taking any care with stealth, mostly because we'd decided that no matter how sneaky we were, there was no way to miss us and it would waste energy and time to take extra care with stealth. No, this was purely about stealth.

When we got there, we expected to see Iggy on the giant bed, hopefully without that man, but instead, we found ourselves surrounded by White-coat guards... with guns pointed right at us.

"Aw, you didn't really think we would be stupid enough to take him to the same place he was kept before, did you?" one of them taunted. Well, no, I hadn't initially, but Angel's thoughts said so.

"How?" I demand.

"Well," the same one, the leader apparently, said condescendingly, "when we captured him this time, we put him some where else."

"No," I reply, trying and failing to keep my anger out of my voice.

"Oh, then you want to know how your mind reader didn't pick up on it," he says. Then, without waiting for a reply, continues, "See, we told everyone but the people in this room that and we made sure to make this room immune to powers." He was smirking by the end of it. "But, enough of this. I'm not going to tell you our plan. Boys!"

Then men come closer to us guns still aimed and grabbed us, before cuffing our arms and attack our wings together so we can't move. I can't believe we fell for that.

…...(stupid asymmetrical dotted line break)...

Iggy's POV

It's warm when I wake up.

"Mmmm," I moan happily at the sensation and try to figure out why. Then I remember, Master saved me. Those are his arms around me. He loves me.

I smile a little bit and roll over in his arms so I'm facing him and bury my face into his chest, cuddling against him.

I feel him chuckle. "Comfortable, my kitten?"

I make a happy sound against him, almost purring.

"I'll take that as a yes," he says, sounding amused, but he's not making fun of me or anything. I can tell because he tightens his hold on me and kisses the top of my head.

I look up at his face, right into his eyes. They're so pretty and he's smiling, real friendly like. I can't hardly believe I used to not like him. He loves me. I just had to learn to behave, and now he can be more lenient.

I shyly tilt my face to his and give him a little kiss on the lips, then pull back. He probably didn't want that kiss. It was probably a bad kiss. My cheeks get all warm and I feel bad fluttery in my chest and don't want to meet his eyes.

He laughs again, louder but still happily, and says, "My, God, you are adorable, kitten."

"Not a kitten," I murmur into his chest, still feeling... what's the word, embarrassed? Yeah, embarrassed.

"You're my kitten," he says to me, and lifts me face to his and gently lowers his lips to mine. I moan into his lips a little bit and he pulls off and so I give him a pout. "You are a kitten!" he says, laughing. "Purring and giving me those irresistible kitten eyes!" He leans back and kisses me longer and better this time.

I really like my master acting like this. He loves me so much. Not like Max or Fang or Angel or Gazzy or Nudge. I loved them, but they never loved me back. They didn't rescue me from the dark. Twice! Once from blindness and once from that bad place. Master appreciates me.

"Love you," I tell him, and cuddle against him again.

"I love you, too, kitten," he says, hand creeping down low, to where my pants aren't. I shiver and moan.


Angel's POV

I think we're in a truck. That's what it feels like, by the time we wake up. They drugged us after immobilizing us earlier, so I don't know how long we've been here or what time it is.

I look around and the others seem to be waking up also. Fang and Max are already up and quietly talking. Nudge is also awake, but she's by herself, looking thoughtful and sad. Gazzy is waking up and moans as he comes to consciousness. Max and Fang finally stop talking at that and realize that Gazzy and I are now awake.

"Max," I start to ask, knowing that I won't get an answer, "where are we?"

She looks troubled. "I don't know, sweetie, but we'll be okay. They're just... taking us to Iggy. We'll save him."

"Don't lie!" Gazzy explodes all of the sudden. "Just... Just, stop Max! Iggy will never be okay! He hasn't been okay for a long time and you keep lying to us! He's my brother and I wish I could help him but I can't! I can't because you won't tell me why he's so messed up and now it's too late! Please, Max... just, stop."

By the end, Gazzy is whispering and in tears. He keeps murmuring "Just stop" under his breath. Max goes over to comfort him the best she can with her arms bound behind his back, but he shoulders her off.

"It's okay, Gaz, It'll be okay," she says, but I can tell Gazzy doesn't believe her. "I know it seems bad, but we just need time. But we do know that they're taking us to wherever Iggy is and what we need right now is a plan for when we get there. We need to focus on helping him, alright?"

Gazzy sniffs, but straightens up and nods. We spend most of what we guess is the day plotting because we never know when we'll get there. Eventually, Max declares it bedtime and we all awkwardly find place to try and be comfortable but it's difficult, bound as we are. I lay next to Max. I need to ask her something that's been bugging me.

"Max?" I start.

"Yeah, honey?" she says sweetly. I bite my lip and try to figure out how to continue.

"Is this my fault?" I finally say.

"Oh, no, sweetheart. Not at all. Why would you think that?" she responds, sounding so genuine that I almost want to believe her.

I'm crying now. "Be-Because, earlier I-I messed up and d-didn't realize th-that Iggy wasn't th-there. I coundn't re-ead their minds right. Ha-had we known that, w-we wouldn't ha-have been caught."

"No, Angel. That's not your fault. You couldn't have done anything differently. It's their faults, the people that did this to us, never ours. Nothing about this would ever be your fault. "Understand, Angel?"

"I-I think, so," I say, trying to stop crying. "I love you," I say quietly into the hug she's enveloped me in, and I know she loves me, too, because that's what family says.

18. I Conquered

This is so late. I'm so sorry! I've been really busy though, and updates will probably be fairly scattered for awhile. Sorry! D:

All that's left after this chapter is a short epilogue though! It's almost over! This is the end of the action.


We've been traveling for what feels like forever. We've been sleeping in shifts and I really have to pee. I can't decide if I'm ready to get where they're taking us and be done with it, or if I want the journey to take even longer. Wherever we're going will probably be so much worse than this.

I can tell the little kids are getting scared and antsy. Even Fang and I are having trouble keeping it together. The back of this van is way too small for comfort and I can tell our claustrophobia is about to go crazy. I'm so proud of everyone, though. Gazzy is being so brave and he seems more worried about Iggy than anyone else. After Angel's little break down, she's seemed to become so much more calm and under control. And Nudge is doing such an amazing job at being calm and acting as an example to the younger kids.

"Max?" Angel says, pulling me out of my thoughts.

"Yes, Angel?"

"Where do you think they're taking us?"

"I don't know, Sweetie," I told her. I wanted to tell her that everything would be okay that I had a plan, but I don't want to lie to her.


Iggy's POV

"Wake up," I hear from above me.

"Mmm," I groan, confused not wanting to leave the comfort of the bed. I roll back over and bury myself farther into the blankets. I hear the voice laugh.

"Come on now, kitten, get up. We've got a long day ahead of us." I slowly push myself into an upright position when I realize that Master wants me up and sleepily rub at my eyes. He laughs at that.

I throw the blankets off of my legs and stand up.

"Well, come on then," Master says, making to leave the room. I feel myself blush and whimper. Master turns to look at me. "What is it?"

"... clothes," I say quietly. I want to at least have something covering... that if I have to leave the room. Master laughs again.

"You don't need clothes, kitten," he says. "I like you much better without them anyways."

I reluctantly follow him, bowing my head and covering myself with my hands. As I walk out, I hear guards wolf-whistling at me, making me blush even more than I was. When Master saw that, though, he pulled me into a one armed hug and glared at the people whistling at me.

Master took me to a room I'd never seen before, but I soon decide that it must be Master's office. He throws a pillow on the ground and tells me to kneel on it. I do so. But, after hours of sitting and watching Master do paperwork, I get so very bored. I start to fidget and move around because my knees are hurting me, and eventually Master looks down and gives me his attention.

"Are you getting restless, kitten?"

I nod up and down frantically and he laughs at me again.

"Here," he says, holding a book out to me, "read." I bite my lip and look at the cover of the book. It has a black and white picture of a young, dirty girl on the cover with short hair and a frown. There are words at the top and some smaller ones at the bottom, but I have no idea what they say.

"What's the matter, kitten?" asks Master, after watching me look at the cover for a few moments. I feel my eyes start to water. I'm so stupid! I can't even read a stupid book! It's no wonder the Flock doesn't love me. I still can't figure out why Master does...

"I- I can't read," I whisper quietly. I start crying and Master pulls me onto his lap.

"There, there, kitten," he says, rocking me back and forth, "that's not your fault. You were blind your whole life. Of course you can't read. How about I read it to you?"

"But- don't you have to work?" I ask.

"It can wait," he tells me, then picks up the book.

"To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee..."


Max's POV

The van finally stops much later and we're all blindfolded and led out. My thoughts immediately jump to Iggy when the blindfold is tied around my eyes and I feel a pang of guilt and pain in my chest when I realize that Iggy had always lived in this awful, suffocating blackness, but rarely ever complained.

We're led from the van and outside. I imagine we stepped through some doors next, because the temperature dropped and I could tell we were in an air conditioned area. We're roughly led forward through many twists and turns and stumbled an embarrassing about of times. Eventually, though, we stop.

The blindfolds are ripped off and we found ourselves bound and in a large open gymnasium like area. I look around at the Flock and see that everyone looked as confused as I was. I straighten my back, though, and try to look brave; to lead by example.

That worked until a very small, very naked Iggy was led through a door on the other side.


Iggy's POV

Master has a good reading voice. I was resting in his arms, happily listening to the story of Atticus and Scout and Jem, when a guard stepped through the door. I curled in on myself and buried myself into Master's side to hide from the guard.

"Sir, they're here," he said. I wondered who, but didn't ask. If Master wanted me to know, he'd tell me himself.

"We're on our way," Master replied, marking the page in the book and helping me to my feet. We walked a long way to a room I'd never seen before and when we walked through the door I saw five people standing there... the Flock.

And that's where I am now, staring at their shocked faces. They've all averted their eyes from my private spaces and I feel myself blush once again in shame and embarrassment. I try to hide behind Master, but he won't have any of that.

"Come now, kitten," he says, "don't be shy." I recognize the look of anger building in Max's eyes and can tell she's about to jump forward and say something, but I look at her and try to tell her not to. Nevertheless, I still feel something familiar in my chest regarding her... affection, maybe?

But I can't be feeling affection towards them! I hate them, right? Because they don't love me even though I always loved them. They left me to be in pain and took me away from Master, even though he loved me. Was that right? Something about it felt... wrong.

It has to be right though! That's what Master said! And Master loves me and you don't lie to people you love, so that's right. They stole me away because they were selfish and wanted my love to themselves, even if they weren't going to return it.

"Kitten," Master says, pulling me from my thoughts. "We have one little test for you today, alright?"

I nod slowly, feeling so confused.

Master turns and gestures to one of the guards holding the Flock. He brings Fang forward, even though he's struggling mightily.

"You remember the Flock, yes?" he asks. I nod again. "You remember how they hurt you?" he says, lowering his voice to a whisper that only Fang and I can hear. I nod, more slowly this time because I really don't remember if they hurt me or not, but if Master says they did, they must have. "Good boy. I want you to hurt them like they hurt you. Starting with this one."

I look up at him, not wanting to hurt anyone. I still love them, even they hate me, I realized. I started to shake my head, and felt tears building up in my eyes.

"Kitten," Master says with a warning in his voice. "You will not disobey me. I don't want to hurt you, but I will if I have to."

I continue shaking my head back and forth. Master's hand meets my cheek hard and I fall to the floor with a gasp. There's blood leaking from my cheek and to the floor. He yanks me back up so I'm standing and tells me to do it again. I shake my head. He punches me. I get back up and he tells me to hurt Fang one last time.

"Don't dent me this time, kitten. The consequences will be much more severe this around," he growls.

I still shake my head. He pulls out a strange looking device that starts sizzling and glowing blue at the end when he turns it one. He jams the blue part into my ribs and I hear a scream rip from my throat, past the electrocuting pain seeping through my body. After what feels like an eternity, he stops.

"I'm sorry I had to do that, kitten, but you left me no choice. Now, give me your answer."

I start to shake my head once more, but I hear Fang say, "Just do it, Igs. I'll be fine. Please."

I look at him and finally nod, feeling another little piece of me break.

"Good boy," Master tells me. "Now, remember when you first discovered your power and you took one from that Lupine hybrid?" I think for a moment, then remember. The power that causes pain. I nod.

"I want you to reach that power, and use it on Fang here," he tells me. I close my eyes and feel tears leaking down my face. I search through my mind, until I'm able to latch on to the proper power. I grab Fang's head and tilt it back until I can meet his eyes. I will my power to him and try not to drop him as he screams in pain.

"Good," Master finally tells me. I stop. "Don't stop just yet. You're going to kill him first."

"No," say quietly.

"What did you say to me?" Master asks threateningly.

"NO!" I yell tackling him and meeting his soulless eyes. He seems to shocked to fight back and by the time it occurs to him, I'm already taking his life-force into my body. He doesn't have a power, so I'm taking him into me.

I can feel the energy from his life healing my wounds and giving me new found strength. My emaciated, starved body starts to fill out again and the guards around me are to shocked to do anything. Max and the Flock take that time to start attacking I guess, because I hear the sounds of fighting behind me. I still don't stop though. I can tell Master is too weak to fight back, yet I continue to steal his life from him until he can longer get up.

The energy flow between us stops and I know that he's gone for good. The Flock has taken care of the rest of the guards and we look at each other with a mutual understanding that we should get the hell out of here. So we do.

But the words Master whispered to me just before he died continue to ring in my head:

"I really did love you..."


"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy... but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." - Harper Lee

19. Epilogue


Iggy's POV

One Year Later

I stood in the kitchen, cracking eggs onto a skillet to make breakfast. I'd gotten into a habit of making breakfast for everyone in the morning and cooking more. It gives me purpose.

It took me a long time to get to where I could even stand to try and be like the person that I used to be. I was hurt and used up and couldn't do shit. Even now, I'm not perfect. But, I'm getting better. I'm going to therapy every week and eating more and trying to do more normal things. Like cooking.

"Iggy?" Gazzy says, coming into the kitchen. One of the things that has yet to go back to normal is the way everyone tip-toes around me. I miss joking around and being a friend, not a piece of super-expensive ceramic-glass furniture.

"Yeah, Gaz?"

"I was wondering if you wanted to maybe watch a movie with me later?" he asks, sounding uncharacteristically shy. It's an effort for me to not roll my eyes.

"Gazzy, I'm not made of glass. I'm still Iggy. Please, I've told you a thousand times to stop acting like I'm going to break if you lay a finger on me."

And, well, maybe that wasn't exactly the best thing to say being that he'd tapped me on the shoulder the other day and I'd screamed elbowed him in the jaw before narrowly avoiding a panic attack, but it was still annoying.

"Um, okay," he says, still sounding unsure though.

"What movie?" I ask, trying to change the subject, as I carefully salt and pepper the eggs in the skillet.

"Well, it's more like a trilogy of movies."

"A trilogy?" I ask. "That's a lot of movies."

"It just seems wrong for you to have gained your sight back for as long as you have and never watched Star Wars. It's kind of a necessary thing, you know?"

I felt a smile come over my face. I'd never watched Star Wars, but I heard all the jokes and references and always hated it when the Flock referred to movies of any kind because I felt so left out. So, maybe I was overly excited about watching a stupid movie, but it was a big fucking deal to me.

"Yeah!" I all but yell, "I'd love to!"

Gazzy smiles from ear to ear and runs out of the kitchen yelling, "GUUYYYS WE'RE WATCHING STAR WARS WITH IGGY!"

"EWWW!" I hear Nudge cry from her room. "Not yucky old Star Wars! We should watch something good like- like- The Notebook."

"No! We're not watching The Notebook!" I Gazzy and Fang yell at the same time.

"I think we should watch Cinderella," Angel says. "I like all the mice and birds that sing."

"We're watching Star Wars!" Gazzy yells again in a commanding tone. I remember hearing these arguments go down while I was blind, but not really caring about them.

"How about Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?" Fang suggests, trying to compromise.

"Nooo," Max says, butting in, "because Iggy has to read the books before he can watch the movies. Star Wars is the best option."

"YES!" Gazzy yells.

"No!" Nudge dramatically cries at the same time.

"Not even to look at Han Solo..." Max prompts.

"Well, maybe not Han Solo, but Luke Skywalker is pretty hot..." Nudge says, and I can tell that Max has convinced her. I smile at my place in the kitchen and continue scrambling the eggs to perfection until their done.

"GUYS!" I yell. "Breakfast!"

I'm suddenly rushed by ravenous bird kids looking for food. They all gather the plates and take them into the living room, confusing me.

"Where are you going?" I ask.

"Why, to watch out movies, of course," Max tells me. "Gazzy, have you already put the first one in?"

"If by first one you mean fourth, then yes."

"Wait, what?" I ask, confused once again in this short period of time.

"Episodes 4-6 were created first, then Lucas went back and made episodes 1-3, which sucked by the way," Gazzy tells me.

"So, Episode 4 was the first one that came out?" I clarify.

"Yes," Gazzy says.

"Weird. Which one are we watching? The one that came out first or the one that came out later but is still episode 1?" I ask.

"The one that came out first. We can't watch the prequels first because they'd ruin something major for you," he tells me.

"Does this 'major thing' involve the line 'LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER'," I ask, lowering my voice to copy Darth Vader's.

"Dang it!" Gazzy yells. "We're still watching this one first!"

"Did you know that Darth Vader is played by the same guy that plays Mufasa in the Lion King?" Angel says from her chair. I have no idea how she knows things like that, but I guess when you can read minds, you learn a lot.

"Just hit play already, Gazzy!" Fang says impatiently.

We sit and watch movies for hours on end and I haven't been this happy in a long time.

Yeah, it's going to a long and bumpy road, but everything is going to be alright.


So, there you go: 32,739 words (approximately), 108 reviews (so far), and 1 year, 1 month and 4 days in the making, I'm finally finished.

So, I don't know how I feel about this epilogue really. I think it suffices to do what I need it to do, but doesn't quite feel like a good, closed ending. I'm purposefully leaving it a bit open because I'm toying with the idea of a sequel, but all-in-all, I'm not overjoyed with my ending.

Maybe it's because it feels so weird for this story to be finally over. It was so long in the making and it was the first think I've ever written. It feels weird for it to be over.

If someone wants to request an alternate ending, feel free. I'll probably write it.