Of Rats and Women by tanyart

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Humor, Romance
Published:2008-06-03 11:42:50
Updated:2008-08-10 14:55:46
Packaged:2021-04-21 22:45:25
Summary:In their most awkward adventure ever, the flock needs to infiltrate a non-coed female boarding school. Expect hilarity in which Fang shaves his legs, Gazzy wears a skirt, and Iggy runs from the obnoxious schoolboys next door.

Table of Contents

1. Drama QUeen
2. Dude Looks Like a Lady

1. Drama QUeen

AN: This is just a test chapter, see if it's worth continuing. I would appreciate reviews. It's not as gay as it sounds. Maybe. Possibly. Somewhat. Shits and giggles, right?

Warning: This is not a gender-bending or a body switching story and if the word boobs scare you, turn away now. I don't think you'd be able to handle the rest of it.

Disclaimer: Characters © James Patterson. Originals/plot is mine…which I don't have much of both.

Chapter One: Drama Queen

"Don't ever leave me again."

"I won't, I won't. Not ever."

- Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports


"No. Absolutely not."


"Impossible. You do want to take Itex down, don't you?"

"Well… yes. Duh!" Max sputtered, frustrated beyond belief and tears. She uncrossed her arms, only to return them back to their former stiff position.

Father and daughter glared at each other, neither willing to back down from the argument. Max's face was slightly flushed, her jaw clenched defiantly and her speckled brown wings rustled restlessly. Jeb, on the other hand, was a perfect picture of calm and indifference. Ever since he and flock had been staying together at Valencia's house, Jeb's eerily warm and way-to-friendly demeanor ebbed away into something more relaxed and natural. He sat placidly on the living room's couch as Max paced relentlessly in front of him.

"Then you're going to have to leave them behind," Jeb explained patiently.

"I won't. We promised each other that we'd never separate," Max said with a stubborn lift of her chin.

"That's ridiculously naïve," Jeb sighed under his breath, ultimately unmoved and wishing that he could get back to work. He regarded his daughter with a slight frown and finally pulled out his triumph card. "In any case, you can still bring Nudge and Angel along."

"I'm sorry," Max said sarcastically, "It's all or nothing, dad."

Even when she said 'dad' with an air of scorn, Jeb could feel a small rush of pleasure. It was stupid and romantic, but it was there nonetheless. He couldn't help but soften his expression.

"You don't even know your assignment," he began, but was instantly cut off when Max impatiently made a slashing motion with her hand.

"It doesn't matter."

Jeb sighed, knowing that if he smiled, Max would only get angrier. He looked at her solemnly so that she can believe his frank honesty. "It's going to make things very difficult for you."

"Difficult. I like difficult," Max said with a twisted smile, "It's familiar, because I've probably never lived an easy day in my life."

"Really? Me neither."

Max glared at him murderously, too angry to even be cursing or kicking furniture about. She probably only held back because of Valencia, her mother. It was her house, not his. Jeb's lips twitched in a smile that was the same shade of Max's. "I'm glad we have something in common, Max."

Her face went livid and Jeb almost kicked himself for provoking her. She cursed then and started to storm out of the room, but Fang came in with a magazine in his hands.

"Sorry. I didn't realize you guys were having a father-daughter bonding session," he said ruefully with a subtle hint of worry in his dark eyes. Jeb breathed easy. His daughter tended to behave herself when Fang was around.

"Fang!" Max exclaimed, pulling off a remarkable feat of looking angry, annoyed, and relieved at the same time. She hung back only to snap at him, "Jeb wants to send me away." Ignoring Fang's raised brow, she stormed quickly out of the room.

"Is that true?" Fang asked coolly, turning to Jeb. The only thing that betrayed his feelings was the way his fist curled tightly around his magazine.

"Yes," Jeb said, secretly hoping that he'd be able to talk some sense into Fang, "Just the girls. The mission won't be very dangerous."

Fang's expression minutely shifted from mildly curious to perfectly blank. "Sure, but me, Iggy, and Gazzy will come along too."

"Don't you want to hear what the mission is first?" Jeb asked, his patience wavering dangerously.

"If that's what you want. That won't change my answer though," Fang replied with a careless shrug. He stood uncompromising and impassive. The boy was an excellent negotiator.

"You're going to regret it," Jeb groaned, a noise unfitting for a grown man, "I'm honestly trying to save you some face."

"If it means keeping the flock together, I don't care."

And that was that.


"Darlin', you look fabulous!"

Days later, Fang tried not to look horrified as Asher spun him around in the barber's chair to face the expansive mirror and his reflection. Indeed, his expression was the perfect picture of pure horror because the thing that stared back in the mirror was definitely not him.

"Ah, it's a shame that you make such a cute girl," Asher continued mercilessly, fiddling around with Fang's newly highlighted hair and after a thoughtful moment, added a charming sky blue barrette into the mix.

The stylist, Asher, was the most infuriatingly devious man he had ever met. It was probably nothing personal since Asher was only doing his job, but the man seemed to take extra pleasure in Fang's obvious discomfort. With bright blue hair, matching eyes, and a dazzling lilt in his voice, Asher surprised everyone by pronouncing that he was really an agent of the government. Jeb sure liked to keep strange friends.

"Thanks," Fang said through gritted teeth, causing Asher to chuckle.

"Well, now that we've got your hair down, let's see those legs of yours."

Fang did not like the sound of Asher's voice, but he complied by pulling up the sleeves of his pants to expose his shins. To his extreme dismay, Asher's expression changed from mute satisfaction to pale revulsion.

"Honey, do you see those disgusting little things on your legs?" Asher asked timidly, pointing as if he was referring to seeing roadkill. By now, Fang was used to the stylist's way of speaking and exaggerating things and being the intuitive person that he sort of was, Fang was appalled at what Asher was suggesting.

"They're just hairs. Completely normal. Girls have them, I know. I've seen Max's legs when she doesn't sha-" Fang tried to carefully explain, but Asher wouldn't have it.

"Yes, but like you, Max is a little runaway with very little care for personal appearance. Believe me when I say that I've been doing as much work on her as with you. Nope, your legs must be smooth and I daresay you could bathe them in lotion while you're at it."

"I don't think that's necessary," Fang replied curtly and tried not to draw his legs up as Asher started to open drawers filled with girly appliances that he uneasily could not recognize.

Asher turned around, one hand poised up in the air with a bottle of wax and a very serious expression on his angular face. For a moment, Fang could see that same hand holding a gun and he started to believe that maybe Asher was a government agent.

"You are about to infiltrate a boarding school by the name of St. Celestine. It is a prodigious school, made to breed the finest young ladies in the country and reserved for the wealthiest of families," Asher said conversationally, "A rich brat's prep school. And that means uniforms. Uniforms mean skirts. Skirts mean exposed legs. Legs like yours, while admittedly acceptable in shape, will lump you as being weird, ugly, and unpopular."

Asher paused, drilling his gaze into Fang.

"I did not spend five hours on you to be made fun of by silly teenage girls. You can refuse to talk like a girl, walk like a girl or act like girl, but I swear to God, I will make you look like one," he finished with a slow and lazy smile.

A minute ago, Fang could count the number of times he had feared for his own life on one hand. He was pretty sure that it was two hands now.

"Do you have any other objections, Fang?"

Needless to say, he didn't.


2. Dude Looks Like a Lady

A/N: Unlike most of my stories, these chapters would be quite short and well, stupid. Otherwise, I'll never get to updating. Rest assured, I have a plot, but no actual plan. So basically, I'm free-writing this in quick drabbles. Think of it like a weekly comic thing. With a lot of words. And no pictures. And a not-so-weekly schedule.

Or don't think at all and just read (and review). For people who like to critique, this isn't the fic for you. Sorry, but whatever the case may be, enjoy.

Disclaimer: Characters © James Patterson. Originals/plot is mine…which I don't have much of both.

Chapter Two: Dude Looks Like a Lady

"Ooh, what a funky lady.
She like it, like it, like it, like that.
Ooh, he was a lady."

- Aerosmith, Dude Looks Like a Lady.

Max came into the salon just as Fang was buttoning up his blouse. His school uniform fitted remarkably well, even with his wings bound with some sort of contraption that Asher had invented. He didn't even recognize himself in the mirror. All he saw was a dark girl with brown highlights and a mannish stance and an expression of deep dissatisfaction. And shit, she was cute. Or rather, he was cute.

Now incredibly self-conscious, he turned to Max. She was also in uniform, wearing a light blue plaid skirt and a navy vest over her own white blouse. An older girl with short bleach-blond pigtails followed in after her, looking slightly bored and wholly focused on her shoes.

"Hi," said Max, looking surprised, though Fang thought his appearance merit more of a dead faint. He was grateful she didn't burst out laughing. Fang didn't know how much his pride could take by the end of this 'mission'.

"Hey," he said, "How do I look?"

The change in Max's face was immediate. She gaped, looking stunned between disbelief and awe. With a sense of dread, Fang realized that she hadn't recognized him at first.

"You-" she began, eyes widening, "…Fang?"

Boggled, he nodded and smiled miserably, "Who did you think I was?"

"I don't know. Not Fang. Oh, my god. You're kind of gorgeous," she added, her lips quivering in what Fang knew was suppressed laughter.

"Thank you," Fang said ungraciously, "It's, like, totally my dream to hear myself being complimented like that."

The bleach blond girl finally glanced up from the ground, a familiar wicked grin on her face.

"It's times like these when I would give up my right arm not be blind," she said in what was supposed to be Iggy's voice.

If Fang had been sitting, he would have fallen off his chair. He settled for staring incredulously at the girl-who-sounds-like-Iggy-but-couldn't-be-Iggy. Now that he knew, Fang was acutely aware that she hadn't been staring at the ground, but instead her-

"Ig," he said slowly, "You have…"

Max couldn't stay silent. She put a hand over her mouth and doubled over, shoulders shaking.

"Breasts?" Iggy offered helpfully, "Yeah. Asher said that my height and build needed more feminizing."

In some sick and twisted part of Fang's mind, he privately thought Iggy was lucky.

"You want to feel them?" Iggy asked prudently after a pause.

No hormonal teenage boy would pass up the chance, Fang included. He went over and soon both boys were experimentally groping Iggy's new additions.

"I think they're bigger than Max's," Fang whispered.

"Really now?" Iggy said, sounding pleased.

Unfortunately, Max, who had been watching with a look of morbid fascination, was within earshot and she stepped in between them.

"Stop. Please," she said, "At least one of you doesn't realize how weird you guys look together."

There was something in her eyes that flashed out a clear warning. Fang stepped back and Iggy must have heard something dangerous in her voice and did the same. At that moment, Asher picked a miraculous moment to waltz in with Gazzy, Nudge, and Angel in tow. All of them were in St. Celestine uniforms, though Gazzy and Angel's blouses sported bows instead of ties and they had light blue blazers instead of the navy that the older students wore.

And if Fang thought he was upset, he was a pale comparison next to Gazzy. Angel was holding her brother's hand and trying to comfort him with minimal success.

"You look so pretty, Gazzy," she said with a brilliant smile as her older brother looked ready to break down in tears.

"I know," he said sadly, pushing the curls of his wig from his eyes, "I know…"

"It'll only be for a few weeks," Max explained gently as Nudge mobbed Iggy and Fang with humiliating compliments.

"Think of all the girls you'll be around," Iggy interjected with a dreamy smile and earned himself a smack from Max and a painful ear flick from Nudge. Gazzy, who was all but nine, only appeared more upset.

"That's a lot of cooties," he muttered, miming the cootie-shot ritual.

Asher gave Gazzy a sympathetic shrug, knowing that within a few years, the younger boy's opinion might change. He had been carrying a few folders and handed them out to each of the flock members.

"Okay, let's get down to business," he said, grabbing everyone's attention with his serious tone of voice, "In each of these folders, you have a cover story. It is imperative that you memorize these. Your fellow classmates will want to know where you're from, your standing, and what your parents do. Believe it or not, networking through children has become very popular in rich schools. You need to blend and socialize."

Fang flipped through his folder, pulling out the first sheet. He skimmed through it and frowned.

"My name's Nika? Nika Palmaris?" he asked, ignoring the flock's giggles.

"Ooh, sound familiar, Nick?" Asher replied innocently, "I just thought it would be easier for you since you've used that pseudonym before."

"How thoughtful," Fang muttered, going back to the sheet and found that his 'father' was one of the department heads of an independent company for developing technological equipment. His 'mother' was a civil rights activist in Africa so apparently they had to ship their daughter off to the boarding school.

Max had finished her basic data and with a skeptical quirk of her eyebrows she asked, "Are our 'parents' real people? These cover stories are really… detailed."

Asher nodded absently as he helped Gazzy and Angel.

"Yes," he said, grinning, "They know all about this stuff too, so feel free to make phone calls home. It'll amuse them, I'm sure."

Nudge suddenly dropped her folder, causing everyone except Asher to turn in alarm.

"Oh, my gosh! I'm Oprah's niece!" she exclaimed, "It says Oprah's paying for me to go to St. Celestine!"

"Well, yes," Asher smiling. He had taken a liking to the chatty girl and answered without his usual sense of irony. "She's also part of our little organization. You'll be pretending to be Oprah's niece. Actually, she's more of your patron, as you two don't really know each other. It's always tricky with celebrity-related cover ups."

Iggy had been quietly reading his folder. His fingers paused over the brail encoded sheets and he glanced at Asher.

"Okay. This is all legit and all, but I think you're forgetting something crucial to our disguises."

"Oh?" Asher asked, interested, "And what might that be?"

Iggy tapped his throat, "I don't think me and Fang can manage a convincing falsetto."

Asher smirked and lifted a hand to wave someone from the back room in. Jeb appeared, carrying a box and gave Fang an 'I–told-you-so' look. Fang glared at the scientist, but kept his mouth shut.

"Presents for the boys," Jeb announced with mock cheer. He opened the box and held out two little chain necklaces with a gemstone pendant for each one. "Iggy has the green one, and Fang gets blue. I believe Gazzy obviously doesn't need one."

The boys took the necklaces dubiously and put them on, knowing better than to question Jeb or Asher.

"Very good," Jeb said, "make sure the stone rests on the hollow of your throat. Press down once and it should stick there."

"These are basically voice changer boxes. I won't tell you how they work, because I don't know myself and neither does Jeb," Asher hummed and added flippantly, "He stole them from Itex. You've got a bad habit for that, Dr. Bacheldor. First the hybrids, now thousand dollar voice manipulators…"

Jeb only sighed and Asher trailed off, still grinning.

Fang gingerly pressed downed on his pendant. He heard a faint click and cringed when the device sent his neck tingling.

"Hey, is mine on?" asked Iggy and his light tenor suddenly leaped a couple of octaves in the middle of his question. He blinked, flushing at the sound of his own feminine voice. "Oh. Wow, I guess so! Awesome."

"Hello?" Fang tested and found out that he sounded exactly like a surprised girl. "Oh damn."

"That is so cool," Nudge said after the moment of shock had passed.

The boys then spent several minutes testing out their necklaces, much to the amusement of the others.

"Okay! I think you guys need your objective now!" Asher called over the loud and exaggerated moans of Iggy and laughter from the rest of the flock. Jeb had left the salon, shaking his head and rolling his eyes.

"I'm glad you boy are taking this better than I thought you would," he admitted wryly before leaving, "You guys are astounding."

"Or ape-shit crazy," Asher finished with a wink.