Maximum Ride: Take Flight by theultimateshipper

Category:Maximum Ride
Genre:Adventure, Romance
Published:2006-07-22 13:12:13
Updated:2007-02-17 16:48:06
Packaged:2021-04-21 23:44:42
Summary:If you look in the dictionary, next to 'crazy', you find my picture. This is my story... mine and my family. And how our whole life was turned upside down. Written preMR3, so no spoilers, although I was accurate on a few things.

Table of Contents

1. Random?
2. Rhyming Games
3. I'm Waiting
4. Confused Much?
5. Ig
6. Rude Awakenings
7. Say What?
8. Super Speed Test Dummy
9. Taking Over Transportation
10. Beach Fun
11. Cotton or Satin?
12. Blushing
13. Closing In
14. Thank God For Stuttering
15. My Own Dr Phil!
16. WTF?
17. Revelations
18. Support
19. Meet the Parent
20. President Roosevelt Playing Hockey
21. Taking A Beating
22. Mysterious Rescuer
23. Farewell
24. Surprises
25. That Little Voice In Your Head

1. Random?

A second late we were laughing so hard it brought tears to my eyes all over again. Fang and I leaned against each other and laughed and laughed, unable to speak, for the longest time.

I stopped laughing and turned towards Fang. He looked at me intently.

"Thanks," I said quietly.

"For what?" Fang asked.

"Making me laugh," I replied, "God knows I needed that."

"No problem," Fang said, leaning against the tree trunk behind us, "Why don't you go to sleep? I'll take first watch."

"I don't know..." I trailed off. Last time I had fallen asleep, I had been taken away to yet another lab. You'd think that I might even get used to going off to strange places I had never been to against my will, but it's a feeling you never are completely comfortable with. I wonder why?

"Don't worry, I'll keep a good eye out," Fang said.

"You always do," I said with a smile.

He returned it with a grin which made my stomach feel as if a million butterflies were flittering around in there.

"Fine, you win," I said, walking over to where the others were sleeping and curled up, "Wake me in three hours."

"Gotcha," Fang said quietly.

I woke up the next morning very sore and stiff. I got up and streched out. I saw Iggy and Gazzy sitting on one side of our camp, obviously planning something that would most likely blow something else up. Angel and Nudge were playing with Total, seeing how high he could bounce and Fang was still in the same spot I left him last night, and he was still awake.

"How come you didn't wake me up?" I asked him, sitting across from him.

"You had a rough day yesterday so I thought you should sleep as late as you needed," Fang said, looking out towards the morning sun.

"Thanks, I needed it. How about breakfast?" I asked.

"We already ate, but we saved you a delicious powerbar," Fang said with a grin, handing me the powerbar.

"Thanks," I said, consuming the bar as fast as I could.

"What's your plan for today?" asked Fang.

"I think maybe we could head east again. If we head west, Erasers won't have to go as far to try and get us. Maybe we could head towards Rhode Island."

"Pretty random, don't you think?" Fang said, looking at me.

"Yeah, but maybe randomness is exactly what we need to throw the Erasers off. Even if it really is this chip," I said angrily, throwing some rocks over the cliff.

"Max," Fang began, but I cut him off.

"Why did they do this? I mean, can't they just leave us alone? Don't they get that I don't want to save the world?" I hadn't meant to raise my voice, but I ended up shouting.

The rest of the flock looked at us.

"Having trouble?" Iggy said with a grin.

"Shut up," I said in the nicest possible way you could say that, "it's time to go. We're leaving in five."

The flock began to pack up camp and I grabbed the backpack containing all of our supplies.

"I'm carrying it this time," I told Fang with a smile, "but if you're really in the mood to carry something, there's a dog with your name on it."

He rolled his eyes at me and I shoved Total into his hands.

"Up and away guys," I said as I unfurled my wings and shot up. The rest of the flock followed within seconds and we were off. It felt soooo good to feel the wind through my hair.

2. Rhyming Games

A/N: I did forget to put a disclaimer on the first chapter, so here it is. I don't own Max, Fang (although I wish I did),Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy, Ari or any future characters I mention. They all belong to the great James Patterson.

One thing that I like best about flying is that you feel as if you could do anything and you are free from your troubles. Of course, that feeling can quickly be ruined by flying Erasers.

"Iggy, Gazzy, fly right, 10 and 2. Nudge, Angel, left, 9 and 12. Fang, up, 4 and 5," I shouted, shooting up with Fang and delivering a roundhouse kick to one of the Erasers while Fang chopped at another wings. They both spiraled downwards and we heard a sickening crash.

"That's gotta hurt," Fang said as he and I flew down to help the others. Iggy was back to back with Gazzy and they were taking down Erasers right and left. Angel was telling the Erasers that they didn't have to flap with her mind, so when they forgot Nudge came down and chopped their wings so they couldn't flap at all. It looked like we had taken them all down when...

"Hello Max," came a snrling voice from behind me.


I spun around and faced Ari.

"God, how many times do I have to kill you!" I asked angrily as I glared at him.

Ari just laughed. "Always so sarcastic."

"And you're psychotic," I shot back.

"Pathetic," Ari spat back.

"As much as I would love to play the rhyming game with baby Ari, I have some butt to kick," I said with a smirk.

Ari's face suddenly contorted with rage.

"You're gonna get it!" Ari yelled, shooting towards me.

I easily flew out of his way. I signaled to Fang, two fingers crossed, meaning get the others out.

Fang rounded up the others, then turned around and signaled back three fingers together, meaning I'll be back, then he turned and flew the flock away.

Before I could signal back to stay with them, I felt a sharp pain in my back. I whipped around and saw Ari grinning at me. I kicked him in the chest and he flew about ten feet backwards. I flew towards him and tried to sock him in the stomach, but then I felt a shooting pain in my head. I clutched my head and involuntairily tucked my wings in. I started falling, seeing only black. Last thing I remember, someone caught me and I heard my oh, so great Voice again.

It's time, Maximum.

3. I'm Waiting

Once again, I do not own any of the characters mentioned in this story, although one day Fang will be mine!

I woke with a start. My head was throbbing and I felt woozy. I looked around at my surroundings. I was in what looked like an abandoned building. I heard a door open up behind me and whipped around. (Which, I might like to add, is not a good idea when your head hurts)

"Max! You're okay!" Nudge said as she ran through the door and knocked me over with a hug, "I was so worried! We all were! When Fang got back he totally kicked Ari's butt! And then…."

"Hi Nudge," I replied weakly. My head just hurt worse.

"Max!" Angel and Gazzy ran through the door and knocked me over, once again, with a hug.

"Ah, easy guys," I said softly. My back was beginning to hurt. I sat down on the mattress behind me

I saw Fang and Iggy walked through the doors carrying what looked like grocery bags.

"Hey, you alright?" Fang said, walking over to the table in the room and putting the bags down.

"I'm okay," I said, lying through my teeth. Obviously Fang knew that because he walked over to Iggy, whispered something in his ear, then Iggy and the rest of the flock walked out.

"Okay, what's wrong?" Fang asked, sitting down next to me.

I sighed. There's no use trying to lie to Fang. He's like a human lie detector.

"My head's throbbing," I softly said. I normally don't like to tell people how I'm feeling, but Fang, well; I guess I can just talk to him without feeling weird.

"Is that what made you fall?" Fang questioned.

"Yeah, I think so," I said, flopping down on the bed. Boy did it feel good on my back. Remembering what my Voice had said earlier, I muttered, "Time for what?"

"What?" said Fang, turning around.

"My Voice," I said, "before I blacked out, my Voice said it's time."

"Time?" Fang asked, slightly raising his eyebrows.

"Yeah," I said, thinking hard.

"Why don't you ask it?" Fang said.

"Good idea," I said.

Hello Voice.

Hello Maximum.

You think you could tell me what the whole it's time is all about?

Alright. I think it is time I tell you.

I'm waiting…

It is time you learned the truth.


I'm getting to that. About how you and your entire flock were created.

We know. They spliced our genes or something like that…

Yes. But there is more information at another institute.

Another one? Geez, how many are there?

A fair few. You must go to this institute and find this information.

Can't you just tell me?


Of course not, that would be too easy. Where is it?

It will come to you in time.

How come it can't come to me now?

You must learn patience, Maximum. Only then will you be able to save the world.

But I don't…

I know you don't Maximum! But do not focus on that right now. You must find the information at the institute.

Well, thanks a lot. You were tons of help.

Always so sarcastic.

4. Confused Much?

Disclaimer: Same thing. I don't own anything.

"Ugh," I said as I once again flopped down on the bed.

"What?" asked Fang, looking down at me.

"Well, apparently I am supposed to go to an institute that I don't know the location of and will supposedly come to me in time because I have to find information on our well, creation," I said in one, okay maybe two long breaths.

"Um, okay," Fang said, laying down next to me and propping himself up on one elbow, "So how do you find out where we're supposed to go?"

"I don't know!" I said exasperatedly. My back was hurting and I was tired, "Maybe we should just continue our normal lives, you know, constantly running from our lives. The Voice said it would come to me in time."

"Alright," Fang said, still looking at me. It kinda made me nervous, but I swear I don't know why, "anything else wrong?"

"Just my back," I said absentmindedly, thinking of where I could find this bit of information. I am not a patient person, as my Voice so nicely pointed out.

"Sit up," Fang basically ordered me.

"Huh?" I asked.

"Sit up," Fang repeated.

"Alright," I said warily. What did he want?

I sat up and Fang began touching certain places on my back.

"That hurt?" he said, gently pressing the small of my back.

"No," I said a bit shakily. What was this all about? Fang hardly ever touched anyone, let alone me. Why did I feel like my stomach was doing somersaults?

"Here?" he said, pressing on a very sore spot right by my pants hem. I only replied with an intake of breath.

"I guess so," Fang said, "Mind if I take a look?"

"Sure," I said, my mind reeling. This was going to be very interesting.

He lifted my shirt a little and winced.

"Ow, that must've hurt," he said, pressing it again.

I was so preoccupied with the thought that he was touching my skin (darn these teenage hormones) that I didn't hear him.


"Oh, yeah, it does," I said as Fang pulled my shirt back down.

"It's just a bruise, but it'll take awhile to heal," Fang said.

"That's good," I said, turning around to face him.

"You sure that's all?" Fang said, concerned, "You looked kinda flushed."

"I'm fine," I said, looking down.

"Max," Fang said, cupping my chin and tilting my head so I had to look at him, "What is it?"

"Fang…" I said, "Well.."

This is one time I am truly grateful for Nudge's bad timing. She burst into the room and I jumped up from the bed.

"Hey Nudge," I said. What would I have told Fang if she hadn't burst in?

5. Ig

Disclaimer: Yada Yada Yada. Same old same old. I do not own anything.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Yes, I, Maximum Ride, had a completely boring day. And if you don't think that's a weird sentence, maybe you should go reread it.

The building we were staying in turned out to be an abandoned warehouse that used to be used for a mattress store. Hence the mattresses laying all over the place. Nudge and Angel had built themselves a little clubhouse type thing by leaning a mattress on the wall. The rest of us pretty much just pulled out a mattress and put on a place on the floor that we liked.

Before we knew it, it was dark and all the little kids were asleep. I could tell that Fang wanted to talk to me about earlier, but I kept avoiding him. I really didn't feel like talking to Fang right now. I was already confused enough, he didn't have to add to it. I agreed to take first watch, insisting that I wasn't tired (not true). I pulled my mattress over by the door and sat against the wall.

About ten minutes later, I heard feet shuffling against the floor and looked up to see Iggy coming towards me.

"Hey," I said quietly, not wanting to wake the others up, "What's going on?"

"I was just wondering what time I'm going on watch," he said, sitting down on the mattress next to me.

"Oh, well 2 hours and 50 minutes?" I said questioningly, "Did you hear something?"

"No," he said quietly, leaning his head against the wall, "You just well, you kinda felt different."

"Felt different?" I said, surprised, "How so?"

"You seem, kinda, well, tenser than usual," he said quietly, "Your voice is usually strong, but for some reason it's kinda softer. I was just wondering if anything's wrong."

"No," I said. I hated lying to Iggy, almost as much I did lying to Fang. When I lie to Fang, he can tell I'm doing so by looking at me. But when I lie to Iggy, he could only rely on my tone of voice, which I've learned to disguise well.

"Okay," Iggy said, standing up and walking back to his mattress, "See you in 2 hours, 50 minutes. Pun intended."

I laughed silently to myself. He always had a good attitude about being blind. Maybe I could have the same attitude about my voice?

6. Rude Awakenings

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

I ended up not waking Iggy up for watch, not that I was worried he couldn't do it sufficiently, as I've said before, he's one of the most reliable people to have on watch, what with his super mega hearing skills and all. I just wasn't tired. I was up all night, going over my conversation with my Voice and where on Earth we could find the information needed to find the place where we would find information (Believe me, that confused me too).

Hello Maximum.

So you've finally decided to come back. Not that I minded having a few hours without you.

Have you found the information?

Well, you're in my head, what d'you think?

I'm guessing not. Maximum, this is important!

You think I don't know that? Can't you just tell me?

I've already told you, I can't! All I can tell you is that you need to actually go outside to get the information. Try going into the city.

Alrighty then.

"Max?" I snapped around and saw Nudge standing there, already fully dressed, "I'm hungry."

"Alright," I said, standing up, "Just a sec."

I put on my shoes and walked over to where Fang was laying.

"Hey," I said, lightly kicking him so he turned over on his back, "Nudge and me are going into town. Think you can hold down the fort?"

He sat up groggily and looked around. Everyone, sans me and Nudge, were all sleeping soundly. He looked up at me. His hair was all tousled and it was kinda cute.

Wait, bad Max. What am I thinking?

"I think I can handle it. Watch yourself, okay?"

"Oh no, don't tell me you're going soft on me?" I said jokingly.

"I'm serious. The Erasers don't know we're here yet, so they must be looking for us," he said, looking up at me again.

"That reminds me," I said, "Where are we?"

"Rhode Island," he said, laying back down.

"So we did make it here," I said, surprised. Rhode Island was just a whim. I didn't know we'd actually go there, "I'll see ya later."

"'Kay," he said, turning over and closing his eyes.

"Come on Nudge," I whispered, "let's go."

7. Say What?

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Not even the National Enquirer. How sad.

A/N: Sorry its so short. I have stuff to do to get ready for High School. Uck.

It was about a fifteen minute walk to town. I didn't want to risk flying there since we didn't know if Erasers had found us or not. The town was pretty decent sized, with a grocery store, bank, a couple restaurants and lots of houses. We went into the grocery store and grabbed a basket.

"Okay Nudge, just the basics," I said, trying to keep up with her as she ran down the aisle towards the candy, "Nudge, we can't get candy. We just need to restock our supplies."

"Oh, come on Max, just one candy bar won't hurt," Nudge said, trying to use Bambi eyes at me. I foolishly looked down at her. Come on, even an eleven year old can give pretty darn good Bambi eyes.

"Just one," I said, rolling my eyes. I really needed to learn to resist those. They could end up being my downfall.

We walked down the aisles, stopping to get the occasional beef jerky or granola bars. Okay, so I know I could have bought a lobster or something with my credit card, but have you ever tried to carry a lobster while you're flying? I thought not.

Nudge and me got to the check out and starting loading stuff onto the conveyer-belt. While the cash register person was ringing up our stuff, I was looking at the magazines. I picked up The National Enquirer. (Yes, I know it's a completely bogus magazine, but when you have wings, I guess you start to believe anything. Except Bigfoot. Yeah, right) I opened it up to the index and skimmed the index. 300 year old baby, page 10. Elvis returns, page 17. Institute creates mutants, page 25. Yodeler breaks… wait! I looked back and it really did say, Institute creates mutants. Holy (insert swear word of your choice here). I threw the magazine down on the belt and she rung it up.

"Is that all?" she asked.

"Yeah," I said distractedly. I swiped my card, entered the password and took out $80. I thanked her and we grabbed the bags.

"Max?" Nudge asked.

"Yeah?" I said, looking down at her.

"What was that magazine you grabbed?"

"Nothing," I said, looking up, "Just something I thought might interest Fang."

"Oh, okay," she said, "We take a left here."

"Oh yeah," I said. We turned left and walked about five more minutes until we reached the warehouse. I threw open the door and saw everyone up.

"Morning Max," Gazzy said, sitting on his mattress. Everyone else looked up (well Iggy as much as he could) and smiled. Well Fang just looked up, but he rarely smiles.

"I got breakfast," I said, holding up the bags I carried in, setting them down on the table. I passed out granola bars and beef jerky. Okay, so I know it's not the breakfast of champions, but it's better than nothing. I snuck the magazine out and sat down on the mattress behind the table. I saw Fang sit next to me.

"What's that?" he asked.

"Magazine," I said, "it happens to have a very interesting article."

I flipped to page 25.

"Whoa," Fang muttered.

Whoa indeed. The headline read, Institute in Britain creates mutants with wings. How's that for specific?

A/N 2: Thanks to all my reviewers who have reviewed so far!

avacoo, Jess Readin, twilightxx3, crash932, SamanthaFantasyFan, paintedblue47, coolbeanie, Weasleygrlz07, EdwardAddict, Yascarocks, totallyharry99, Myrah, OpticalDisillusion and NewGirlOnTheBlock!

8. Super Speed Test Dummy

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. But one day, I will own Fang! If there is actually a Kim A. Brady, I didn't mean to use your name. Sorry!

I was stunned. Another lab? Overseas, no less. I continued to read the article.

London, England. Reported by Kim A. Brady.

Recently discovered, an institute in London was reported to have created mutants. An insider reveals that the mutants are mostly human-avian crossbreeds and can fly. Other crosses have been reported and will be confirmed as soon as possible.

"Hey Fang," I said, handing him the magazine, "keep reading this. I'm gonna see what my Voice has to say about this."

"'Kay," he said, reading it.

Hey, Voice? Does this happed to be the information?

Yes, Maximum. You have figured it out quicker than I expected.

I have no clue as to whether that was a compliment or an insult. How are we gonna get there? There's no way we can fly there! Its almost 3500 miles away!

Maximum, did you think it was a bare stretch of sea? There are several islands across the ocean, most of them uninhabited. You could stay on those.

But when Fang, Nudge and I went to the School, it took us several days to get there and it was only 600 miles or something like that.

Yes, but you felt the need to get yourself shot. Hopefully you can avoid that this time.

But even then it would take us at least a week and a half to get there. We'd need to get there soon, wouldn't we?

Have you ever tried using your hyper speed with anyone holding onto you?

Uh, only Total. Wait, are you telling me that I can use it with other people with me?


Well, that's interesting. How long do you think it would take with my power?

Three days, four tops.


"Anything interesting?" Fang asked, looking at me.

"Come with me," I said, standing up.

"Alright," he said warily.

"Ig, you're in charge," I said, heading towards the door, "Fang and I have something to deal with."

"M'kay," he replied, "As long as you don't start making out."

I gave him an evil glare, which was sadly wasted on him.

"Max," Fang asked as we walked outside, "what's going on?"

"Well, the Voice said something interesting, so I wanted to try it out," I said, making sure a clear strip of land was free from prying eyes.

"So you chose me as your test dummy?" Fang questioned.

"Pretty much," I said, "Just trust me, 'kay?"

"Okay," Fang said, clearly confused.

"Oh, yeah, if you fall, make sure to open your wings," I said with a smirk.

He gave me a glare, which for some reason just made me feel happier.

"'Kay," I said, standing next to him, "Trust me, hold on tight."

He made absolutely no move at all, so I was forced to put my arm around his waist. I saw his jaw tighten and smiled.

"Trust me, if you don't want to fall, you'll hold on," I said seriously. He looked at me and said, "Whatever." Although I did smirk as he put his arm around my waist. We looked like we were giving each other a really odd hug, but like he said, Whatever.

"On the count of three, push off," I said, "And don't unfurl your wings."



"Three." We pushed off and his grip on me tightened.

"Get ready!" I said. He looked at me and next thing I know, we were traveling super fast. Yes!

9. Taking Over Transportation

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Tear tear One day I will own Fang, you will see! Mwah haha hah ha

I say we were probably traveling for 5 minutes before I stopped.

"Yes!" I said, pumping my fist in the air.

Fang looked slightly pale. "What exactly was the purpose of doing that? You know, besides making me hurl?"

"That, my dear friend," I said, flying opposite him, "is our one way ticket to London."

"You have got to be kidding," Fang said, looking like I had just said that I was running for president.

"I kid you not," I said, grinning, "we're going to London!"

"How are you going to carry all five, well six if you count the dog, all the way to London?"

I hate it when Fang shows me up with the blatantly obvious. I landed in a nearby tree, careful not to clip my wings, and sat down on a branch. Fang landed next to me.

"Thanks for ruining my perfect plan," I said.

"That's why I'm here," Fang said with a smirk.

I rolled my eyes and playfully punched him. He pushed me back.

"I don't know," I said seriously. That's me, able to change moods in an instant, "how would I do that? I mean, unless I obtain super strength in the next half hour. In case that doesn't happen, let's come up with another plan."

We sat there for ten minutes, trying to come up with a plan, when suddenly, it came to me.

"Duh," I said, looking at Fang, "I'll just charter you guys there."

Fang just looked at me with a look that clearly said I think you have officially lost it.

"No, really! I could take two at a time! First I take Iggy and Angel, so someone older will be there with her. Then Gazzy and Nudge. Then you and Total!"

"Oh, so you lump me with the dog?" Fang said, but I could tell he was kidding.

"Yeah, well if the Erasers come, you know, you'd be all alone. Could you handle it?" I said, somewhat serious. There always was a risk of

Erasers coming, and with us split up, it would make it more dangerous. Especially if Fang was by himself.

"I think I'll manage," he said with a smile. Which, frankly, lightened up our immediate area.

Good idea, Maximum.

Was that a compliment?

And, of course, no answer. Fang and I decided to head back and tell the others. I was already getting antsy from staying in one place to long. What can I say, I'm like a nomad, never stay in one place too long.

We took off once again and this time Fang didn't look so sick. This was good, 'cause there was no way in heck I was having him hurl at hyper speed. That could get messy. We landed and I ran inside. The others were fine, cleaning up and packing away our supplies.

"Good job, guys," I said with a smile, "I've got some news."

Everyone immediately gathered around and I told them the plan.

"Oh My God," Iggy said once I had finished, "Maximum Ride, taking over the world of transportation. Buses? No way. Superflight all the way!"

I rolled my eyes, which was again, sadly wasted on him.

"What d'you guys think?" I said, turning to the younger kids.

"Are you kidding?" Nudge said, "It'll be totally awesome! We can pretend we're Superman, or Supergirl if you're me, I guess. And..."

"Nudge," I said, holding up my hand, "let the others talk."

"That'll be so cool!" Gazzy said, looking up at me with his big blue eyes.

"Celeste can come, right?" Angel said, holding up her bear.

"Of course, sweetie," I said, ruffling her blonde hair.

"When are we leaving?" asked Iggy.

"Now," I said, "Ig, Angel, come on."

"M'kay," Angel said, skipping out with Celeste in tow.

"See ya soon," Iggy said to Gazzy as he walked out after Angel.

"Stay here, 'kay?" I said to Fang as I walked out.

He just gave me a nod. Jeez, is he ever the strong and silent type.

How you like it? Please tell! All reviewers get cookies!

10. Beach Fun

Disclaimer: Don't own nada. Zip. Goose eggs.

A/N: Hey y'all! I changed the last chapter a bit and added it to the next chapter. Hope you like it!

I did an automatic 360. No Erasers. Hmm. I quietly maneuvered around the mattresses on the floor, looking around every corner. I was just about to turn the next corner when…


I quickly turned around and saw Fang standing there.

"Jeezums, Fang," I said, with my hand over my heart, "I thought you had been taken by Erasers."

"I saw we didn't have enough food for the trip since we pretty much packed it all away so I got some more," he said, holding up a grocery bag.

"How'd you pay for it?" I narrowed my eyes at him. Hopefully he hadn't used the "five-finger discount" again. I had been totally ticked off when he had used that once.

He held out my credit card." You should really take better care of your things," he said with a smile.

"You are evil," I said, holding back my grin. Usually I'm furious whenever someone takes my things, like that time Ig and the Gasman decided that my shirt would make a great catapult for one of their many bombs, but I can't come down as hard on Fang for two reasons. A) It doesn't work on him. He'll just ignore it, and B) I just don't want to. Don't ask me to explain unless you're ready for a five hour long rant.

We stuffed the food into our backpacks and headed outside. So we went through the whole Fang refusing to grab on and all that jazz again. We almost forgot Total, which I'm sure Angel wouldn't be that glad about so we had to go get him. (He was sleeping in the building.) We finally took off when I convinced him that if we didn't leave soon, Ig and Gazzy would most likely burn down the island.

We arrived at the island about two hours later. Iggy and Gazzy were sitting by a fire on the beach. I was relieved to see they had cleared away all things that could possibly start a huge fire, more than we wanted anyways. Nudge and Angel were walking along the beach, picking up shells and putting the in Angel's backpack.

"Hey Iggy," I said, walking over to them, "how are things going?"

"Good," he said, looking up towards me, "Angel got a couple fish to flop up on the beach, and we cooked it. We saved some for you guys." He held up two leaves with fish on them. I grabbed one and Fang grabbed the other. I dug into it with hunger. I hadn't eaten lunch, and it was dark.

"Hey Max," Angel said, walking over tome and placing a kiss on my cheek.

"Hey Angel," I said, giving her a hug. She was so sweet. "Hey Fang, what time is it?"

Fang looked at his watch. I was amazed it hadn't been broken by now. "Almost ten."

I had to get everyone to bed. "'Kay guys, time for bed."

I got several moans and groans (mostly from the younger guys, I could tell that Iggy was tired) but managed to get them to bed. I sat by the edge of the water and looked out to the stars. You could hardly see the stars in the city. I started looking for constellations. When we just got out of the School, Jeb had taught me about the constellations. I had always been fascinated by the stars. Even though that lying, double crossing jerk had taught me how to find them, I still like trying to find them. It's one of the only things that's constant in our lives. You know, besides having Erasers constantly chasing us.

"Hey." I turned around and saw Fang standing there.

"Hey." How's that for a intelligent reply?

"What's up?"

"Just star searching," I replied.

Fang sat down next to me. "Like we used to do back in Colorado?"

"Yeah," I whispered. Sometimes Fang would join me. It was so much fun. We would name a star or constellation and the other would try to find it.


"Huh?" I asked.

"Sirius, the dog star?" he looked at me with a small grin.

I let out a small laugh. I searched the sky and pointed towards it.

"Nope," he shook his head. He grabbed my hand and moved my finger towards the right star.

"Oh," I said laughing. I noticed he was still holding on to my hand and quickly blushed. Good thing it was dark. He let go and I was almost sad to feel the warmth leave my hand.

"Your turn," he said.


He pointed to the right constellation. "Correct," I said sighing, "You always win this game."

"I know," he said smirking, "that's why I play with you."

"Hey!" I said indignantly, pushing him. He fell over in the sand and I laughed.

He got up and I saw that gleam in his eyes that's never good. It's the gleam that tells you he's gonna get you back. When you see that, you should instantly run for fear of being tackled and tickled mercilessly. I hadn't seen that gleam since we were 10 and I had pushed him into a pile of leaves and they were stuck all in his hair. It was actually really funny. I slowly got up and started backing away from him. He got up as well.

"Fang," I said cautiously.

He just grinned and started walking towards me. I went with my instinct and turned and ran down the beach, laughing in spite of myself. I was tired as heck but it was so cool to have fun.

I heard Fang running behind me and catching up. I pushed myself to run faster. I never felt more alive in my life. I felt two strong hands on my back and I was pushed heads first into the sand. I got up and spit sand out of my mouth and looked up. I saw Fang standing triumphantly over me. I grinned and pulled him down with me. He tumbled down and got a mouthful of sand. I laughed again.

"I win," I said proudly.

He just rolled his eyes and looked out towards the ocean, but I could see a smile pass across his lips. I smiled as well.

"Hey, do you mind shutting up?" I heard Iggy call down the beach.

Fang and I looked at each other and smirked.

"I'll take first watch," I said, "You can go rest if you wanna."

"Nah," Fang replied, "you must be wiped. I'm actually not that tired. You're the one that did all the flying. Go sleep."

"Actually, I think Gazzy just let loose one of his gifts," I looked towards where the others were sleeping. They had all got up and moved down the beach.

He and I grinned at each other.

"Sleep here then," Fang said, looking at me.

"Alright," I said, taking off my sweatshirt and rolling it into a ball, and laying down, "night."

"Night," Fang whispered.

I closed my eyes and slowly drifted into sleep.

11. Cotton or Satin?

Disclaimer: This is fanfiction. Do you really think I'd own anything?

A/N: Hola mi amigos. (Sorry if I spelt that wrong) I'm gonna start replying to my loverly reviewers! Thank you so much for reviewing! Individual thanks are at the end!

I woke up to another brain attack. Guess I can't catch a break. I held my head in my hands in fear that my head would shatter into a zillion pieces. My eyes were screwed shut and I felt a hand on my shoulder and Fang's voice saying my name quietly. I saw flashes of long hallways, closed doors and cages. As usual, the pain subsided, but not before I saw two words. Daughter and Batchleder.

I slowly let my head come up and managed to open my eyes. I saw Fang look at me worriedly, well as worried as Fang can look.

"What's wrong?" Fang asked, "another brain attack?"

"Yeah," I whispered, wiping the tears that had formed in my eyes. My head still throbbed.

"Did you see anything?" Fang questioned.

"Yeah," I said quietly, "A bunch of hallways and locked doors. And cages. Lots of them. I also saw…"

"Saw?" Fang prompted.

"Two words. Daughter and Batchleder." Fang raised his eyebrows, which was his equivalent of a very shocked expression.

"Okay," he said, looking out towards the sea, "Well, what do you think?"

Honestly, I had no clue. "Jeb is someone's daughter?" I said, looking at him.

He gave me half a grin. "Somehow, I highly doubt that. Maybe he has a daughter?"

I thought back to New York, when I had thought I had killed Ari. Jeb's words then still haunted me. You killed your own brother! It couldn't be, could it?

"I'm sure what Jeb said was a load of bull," Fang said, looking at me.

"Are you sure you can't read minds? 'Cause your starting to freak me out," I asked him.

My Voice answered for him. He doesn't, Max. But you will soon find out that appearances are not as they seem.

What are you, a fortune cookie? I thought sarcastically.

Maximum, Maximum. You are so naïve. You need to look below the surface.

Huh? You trying to make me look more insane than I already am?

I'm sure that's almost impossible.

Okay, so when your Voice inside your head starts insulting you, I can almost assume that you should be chucked in the loony bin. But that's just me.

I saw Fang's hand in front of my face, probably making sure I wasn't loosing it (Although he would probably tell you I lost it a long time ago).

"You okay?" he asked, "you kinda zoned out there."

"Yeah, just talking to the Voice inside my head. Nothing new," I said with a grin.

He chuckled. Fang never chuckles. Well, except for that time Gazzy set my sheets on fire with Iggy for an "experiment" on which would burn better. Cotton or satin? You'll have to find that out for yourself.

"Seriously, though," I said solemnly, "do you think we could find whatever that means at the Institute? I mean, the other Institute."

"Probably our best bet," he said.

I heard someone stir down the beach and got up. "Better go down to the others," I yawned. I was still tired. I brushed some sand off my pants.

"You missed some," Fang said as he brushed sand out of my hair. I flushed and quickly looked down so Fang wouldn't see. I was acting like a total girl. Once I felt my face was flush free I looked up. Fang had a bemused look on his face. I laughed as I saw sand all in his hair.

"Fang?" I said, "You got some sand right here," I pointed, "here," I pointed somewhere else, "and here."

He looked at me to see if I was bluffing, and when he thought it was safe he shook his hair like a dog and sand flew everywhere. His hair had long grown out of its New York cut and was now almost to his chin.

"Max?" I heard Angel call, "where are you?"

"I'm here," I called and walked towards them, Fang following me, "morning everyone."

A/N 2: I love these things! Here we go with the thankies...

Myrah: How'd the chores go? LOL.

LessianElensar: Thanks! I let Fang go tear.

Yascarocks: Too much Fax is like eating too much cotton candy. It's good at first, and then makes you sick with the fluffiness. Well, maybe not but it was a cool analogy...

EdwardAddict: Here ya go! New chapter!

Set.Me.Free.123: Yay for sweetness! I love that word! Sweetness!

DaJitterBug: Fang the hunk? Never heard of him...

filmmakersdream: Fax flirtage rocks! Yes!

Casssie: I love MaxFang too! GO FAX!

sekhra: Thankies! I'm not sure how I am less awkward but thanks! I've always been a stickler for good grammar so there you go!

12. Blushing

Disclaimer: Don't own nada.

A/N: WOW! Two chapters in one day, I must really love y'all! Here is the next chapter! Enjoy! BTW, here is a random quote I found and I thought it was funny.

"The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Sorry, randomness over. Here's the story. Hopefully you know what to do with it.

Suffice to say by the end of the week I was completely wiped. Nothing interesting happened, except Gazzy swore he saw a giant squid. I wouldn't have been surprised if Angel had made that happen. Her powers were getting stronger by the day. It was starting to get really creepy. I tried to block out those thoughts so she couldn't read them.
We had gotten to an island right off the coast of Liverpool. I decided that it would be best if we got into the city the next day. Iggy and the younger kids immediately crashed but Fang and I stayed up. We were walking along the beach with our pants legs up. It felt so good just to feel the sand between my toes.

"What do you think our first move should be once we get there?" Fang asked.

"Try to find a list of the institutes in London, eliminate ones that are obviously not what we're looking for, like The Institute for Realizing Your Pet's Inner Potential." I got a slight grin from Fang. That was still my favorite. "And then I guess we'll just try to find it. Maybe my Voice will be kind and help us. Are you sure the article didn't say what the institute was named?"

"No," Fang stated, "it just said 'an institute'."

"It'll probably be good to visit a place for more than one day. I think the others will have a good time in London. It'll take about three hours to get there with all of us flying normally." No way was I going to use my super speed again. I felt like my wings were going to fall off. Have you ever tried flying 15000 miles in 6 days. Yeah, I didn't think so.

"I wouldn't mind seeing some stuff in London either," I heard Fang mutter.

"Why don't you go to sleep?" I asked. He had taken every first watch all week and I had felt bad about it. I could obviously see that fatigue was taking over him. "I'll take first watch."

"Max," Fang began.

"Fang, you have taken first watch every day and I will take it this time. You go to bed. It's fine," I said with a smile.

"Fine. You wake me up for second," Fang said, turning back around towards camp with me.

"No. Ig'll wake you up for third," I said, "You need full hours of sleep, not all broken up."

"I don't care," Fang said indifferently.

"I do," I said, stopping to look at him, "Fang, you're taking too much on yourself. Relax. Sleep. Get ready for tomorrow."

He looked at me, something unfamiliar in his expression. He cocked his head to one side, like a puppy would do when its confused. "You're becoming more and more like a mom everyday."

"Is that good or bad?" I asked, meeting his eyes.

"Good," Fang said quietly, "but don't forget to have fun. You are a teenager after all."

"So are you," I said, smiling, "I don't see you having much fun."

"I do have fun," Fang said, "when I'm with you."

I was surprised. Fang hardly ever opened up like that. I looked down and I felt my face flush. He lifted up my face with his hand. I saw him smirk. "Is the great Maximum Ride blushing?"

"No," I said indignantly.

"Really?" he asked. He moved away from me., but not before kissing my cheek. "Night." He walked down the beach and laid down next to the others.

I sat down on the sand and dropped my face into my hands. I was feeling something totally foreign to me.

These feeling are normal. You're growing up. Face it.

Shut up.

A/N 2: Thankies to everyone who reviewed!

Myrah: I do too. Faxness... I like that word. It just rolls off the tounge.

DaJitterBug: Here's your update!

Authordream4life: WOW! You sure know how to complement a girl. Thanks!

Yascarocks: DUN DUN DUN! Tis the great mystery of life. Is she or is she not? I love analogys by the way!

brona: All in good time, my young Padawan Apprentice. Sorry, feeling a bit Star-Wars-y today.

EdwardAddict: Of course you were mentioned! How could I forget any of my loyal reviewers?

Set.Me.Free.123: Yesh he ish! Yup yup. Sweetness!

13. Closing In

Disclaimer: Nada. Zip. Zero.

A/N: SUPER LONG CHAPPIE! Here ya go, sorry I haven't updated sooner, it's been kinda crazy. Anyway, Enjoy!

We woke up early the next morning and had a quick breakfast before heading out. I could tell that everyone was glad to fly again, more than just around the island anyway. We swooped and soared, having a great time.

I'm glad you're having fun, Maximum. While the world is destroyed.

Frankly Voice, I don't give a care.

That sure shut it up. I looked to my right. Nudge was talking to Iggy, describing the view from above. This was one of the times I wish he could see. The view was beautiful, and I don't use that word a lot. The country we were above now was green and lush, with small towns spotted here and there.

"Hey Max?" I heard Nudge call. She flew over next to me.

"Yeah?" I asked.

"Well, I was just thinking, we haven't gotten new clothes in awhile and I know London has some really cool stores and I was just wondering…" Nudge trailed off as I put my hand up.

"I agree," I said, giving her a small smile, "when we get to London, we'll get some new clothes. But not before we shower."

Nudge gave me a smile and flew off towards Iggy again.

"Where are we staying?" I looked to my left and saw Fang next to me.

"I don't know, but what I do know is that we all desperately need to shower. Find a cheap hotel or something. Depends on how much money is in the account. Did you notice that more money was deposited into the account?"

"Yeah," Fang said, dropping his voice to almost a whisper, "which makes me think that the whitecoats can track us."

I looked at him, surprised. I hadn't thought of that. "I don't know, it's our only source of money. We might just have to take our chances for a while." I really don't like being unsure of what to do. What would you do if you had no other source of money?

Fang just nodded. I looked ahead and just enjoyed the calmness while I could.

We flew for another two hours and we saw London in the distance. If you didn't guess already, Nudge got really excited, and when she gets really excited…

"So I heard that London like has all these cool museums and a lot of the Queen's jewels are on display at this one place and its supposed to be really neat and…"

Fang and I looked at each other. Sometimes its better just to let her talk. That's what makes Nudge, well Nudge. I gave him a small grin and he returned it. I still hadn't forgotten about the other night.

"I think we should land soon," I told the others, "we don't want to attract too much attention." The flock agreed and we landed in a small field about five minutes from the city.

"Do you guys think you can walk there?" I asked them. Angel and Gazzy looked a little tired.

"Yeah," the flock said with varying degrees of enthusiasm. I could tell they just wanted to get there and find a place to eat. Our supplies had run out this morning. Total prepared to jump into my arms.

"No way, Jose," I said, "you're walking there."

"Ah, man," Total said. I admit, the talking dog thing still creeps me out a little, and I have wings.

We pretty much walked in silence for the next five minutes, except for when Gazzy let loose one of his gift and we all ran manically to try and avoid the smell. We approached the edge of the city. London, here we come…

Okay, so I guess after being in New York, London should seem like nothing. But, in case you haven't noticed, London's HUGE! Even though the population is less, a whole heck of a lot more people visit there. Gazzy and Angel were just staring at all the buildings and sights in awe and Nudge was explaining it all to Iggy. Fang was acting like his (maybe not-so-) normal self, but I could tell he was excited. It was way different from New York or anywhere we had ever been.

You need to find a place to stay, The Voice decided to chime in.

No, really? It might help if we got some money first, I thought sarcastically.

We stopped by a bank and converted our money to pounds. Wasn't a very good exchange rate though, but once again more money had been deposited in the account.

I scanned the area and I saw Fang doing the same thing. I saw a hotel that looked like it wouldn't be too expensive. I looked at Fang and nodded my head in its direction. He nodded as well.

"Hey guys," I said, "How do you feel about staying in a hotel?"

Let's just say they were beyond relieved to sleep in an actual room with an actual bed. We walked in and I went up to the reception desk.

"Hello, how may I help you?" the concierge asked in British accent. No duh, we were in London.

"Hi, I was wondering how much it would be to get a room," I asked in a sweet voice.

"Single rooms are sixteen pounds a night," she said smiling, "the rooms include two queen size beds, a bathroom and a television."

She got us all checked in. Apparently in London, they don't mind if six kids without parents stay there. That's a relief.

Our rooms were on the second floor at the very end of the hall. This was good, because the fire escape was right outside our door if we needed to get out. Our room wasn't great by normal standards, but to us it was perfect.

"Nudge, you and Angel can have that bed," I said, pointing to the bed nearest the window. "I'll let the boys deal with that one."

In the end, Gazzy and Iggy got the other bed. Fang and I each found a spot on the floor.

After much yelling, sighing and forcible movement, we (meaning Fang, Iggy and I) managed to get the younger kids showered and dressed. Then Iggy and Fang showered. I, of course, went last.

"Max," Nudge asked me as soon as I walked out of the bathroom, drying my hair with a towel, "can we go get new clothes? Mine are really itchy."

"Sure," I said, giving her a grin, "I think it'll be good to get out and see more sights."

We filed out of the hotel and stepped out on the street. We walked around for awhile until we found a store where it didn't look like everything in there cost a million dollars. We decided to meet up at the cash register in half a hour, then Fang and I lead the boys and girls to their respective departments. Angel wanted something really frilly and pink, but I nixed it and instead held up a jean jacket. She looked mad but took the jacket. What was up with her? I put the thought in the back of my mind and went to wrangle Nudge towards the dressing room.

Thirty minutes later we were 94 pounds poorer and in new clothes. Gazzy had picked out more camouflage, Iggy had jeans and a red t-shirt, Fang was in, well, black, Nudge and Angel both had jeans, t-shirts and jean jackets on and I just chose a t-shirt and jeans. What can I say, I'm not the most fashion forward person you've ever met.

We walked around London a little more, enjoying the sights. We stopped at a little café for lunch and I think the waitress was a little weirded out by how much food we ordered, but gave it to us nonetheless. I could tell that Nudge, Gazzy and Angel were starting to fade around six so we headed back to the hotel. We were in our room for not even five minutes and Ig and the younger kids were asleep. Fang and I were sitting with the backs to the wall, sharing a soda we had got in the lobby.

"What's the plan for tomorrow?" Fang asked me, handing me the bottle.

"Find a library or a database of some kind. Try to find a clue of some sort," I said, taking a sip of the soda.

Fang just nodded. I faced ahead and closed my eyes.

"Headache?" I opened my eyes and saw Fang looking at me.

"No," I said. I actually didn't have a headache. Fancy that. "Just thinking about today."

"Like what?" he asked.

"We actually had a somewhat normal day today. It was cool just to relax and have fun."

"Yeah." I looked at him and smiled.

"Are you saying you had fun?" I asked him teasingly.

He gave me a very un-Fanglike grin. I was confused. He's been acting very strange lately.

You're growing up Max. So is Fang. You have to face these feeling sooner than later.

What the heck are you talking about? Fang and I are just…

I noticed that Fang was closer to me. Suddenly I felt very self conscious. What was he doing?

Thankies to all who reviewed! EdwardAddict, cassie, Rayna Terror, SamanthaFantasyFan, Da Jitter Bug, SlytherinProngs, Yascarocks, x Step On Me x, filmmakersdream, Set.Me.Free123, brona and AllTheNamesWereTaken!

14. Thank God For Stuttering

Disclaimer: The usual. Don't own nothing.

A/N: I am soooo sorry for not posting sooner. I had to endure my first days of High School and it was a little wacky. But here is a special Faxness moment to make up for it...

I noticed that Fang was closer to me. Suddenly I felt very self conscious. What was he doing?

"Max," Fang barely whispered, looking at me with his dark eyes, "promise you'll have fun?"

"I promise," I said almost inaudibly. He kinda had me flustered, if you didn't realize that already.

He gave me another un-Fanglike grin and my stomach did about fifty somersaults. I gave him a weak grin (mainly because I was trying hard not to blush) and he cocked his head slightly.

"You okay?" he asked quietly. It seemed like he was still coming closer.

"Y-yeah," I stuttered. I don't stutter. What's up with that?

You're growing up, Max. Face it, my Voice decided to intervene.

I decided to ignore this little sense of déjà vu. I saw that Fang had slightly cocked his head to one side.

"Huh?" I asked him.

"You stuttered. Why?" he asked me bluntly.

"I didn't stutter," I said, standing up and absent-mindedly smoothing out my jeans. Fang stood up too.

"Yes you did. Why?" he repeated, the corner of his mouth twitching up towards a smirk.

"What're you talking about?" I asked him. He replied with a step towards me. I took a step back.

"Stuttering is not your style. You stuttered, which means obviously something is on your mind. You mind as well tell me because I'll figure it out eventually." Wow. Lots of words for Fang. He took another step towards me.

"Nothing's going on," I said with a step back. I felt a hard surface against my back. The wall. Looks like I'm going nowhere fast.

"At all?" he questioned with another step in my direction.

"N-no," I stuttered again.

Darn it, I thought as I saw Fang smirk. He took another step and we were less than 3 inches away from each other.

"Really?" he whispered quietly, "'cause I think there is."

"There's nothing on my mind," I said softly, cheeks starting to flush. Did he really have to be that close?

Go with the flow, Maximum.

I was just about to ask the Voice what it meant when I felt Fang's lips brush against mine. My eyes widened with shock and then slowly fluttered close. Fang pulled back and I reluctantly opened my eyes. I saw Fang smiling. Thank God for stuttering.

A/N 2: Thanks to Knifetheslayer, Yascarocks, SlytherinProngs (love the name!), tangsoo, SamanthaFantasyFan, squeejeefaxmachine, brona, life sucks then you die 32, filmmakersdream, Lily Cullen, Cassie, EdwardAddict, Thandie (thanks so much for the compliment!), and kat!

15. My Own Dr Phil!

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Including Fang tear.

A/N! Hey y'all! I haven't updated in like forever and am really sorry! I went on an all school retreat and was gone for a couple days. I got to see my crush though, so all is not bad... He looks almost exactly how I imagined Fang to look... sigh Anywho, on with the story...


Fang and I went to sleep shortly after that. What? Were you expecting us to be al lovey-dovey over each other? I'm not like that and I know that Fang isn't. It's not enough that I have freakin' wings, I also have to go through teenage hormones. Yay for me.

This may sound a little too Spiderman-y for you, but I don't know if I can be with Fang. That is, assuming that he wants to. It's not that I'm afraid of him getting hurt. He's been hurt before and I'm sure he'll get hurt again. It's that I'm afraid he'll get hurt trying to protect me. He's already done this, if you remember the whole New York beach scene (If you don't why are you even reading this?) But we hadn't even been "together" back then. I'm not even sure he even liked me back then, if you remember his lovely response to my kissing him. If he had gotten hurt protecting me when we were just friends, just imagine what could happen if we were closer than that?

Max, you shouldn't focus on that. Stay away from these feelings, they'll only hurt you in the end.

Wow! My own Dr. Phil! I feel real better now.

Maximum, trust me. Fang would leave you.

What the heck are you talking about?

Love is a dangerous game Max.

I don't love him! Just kinda sorta like.

It doesn't matter.

I don't believe you.

Fine then. Have it your way.

Next I know, my head feels like it's about to explode. Not another brain attack. I clenched my head in my hands and my breath came out in tight hisses, my eyes screwed shut. I saw what looked like movie clips, each one showing a guy leaving a girl heartbroken.

See Max? my Voice said, which just added to the pain, Fang will leave you devastated. What will happen to the flock?

Why would he leave? I thought through the pain.

Not why. When.


I felt a hand on my shoulder. Slowly the pain ebbed away enough so that I could open my eyes. Fang was looking at me with something like concern on his face. I let go of my head, surprised that my head didn't explode.

"You okay?" Fang asked.

"Yes," I shakily replied.

"What happened this time?" he asked.

I slowly sat up against the wall. "Just the usual voice in my head. Nothing too weird," I said with a weak grin.

"What's it say?" Fang asked, sitting next to me.

"Um," I didn't want to tell him what it really had said, so I of course, lied. "Just telling me to get a move-on."

Surprisingly Fang thought I was telling the truth because he just closed his eyes and let out a deep breath.

"Max, quit it. Don't lie. What'd the Voice say?" Scratch that last statement.

"I don't remember?" I said feebly.

He gave me a look that clearly said Tell me or you die. Okay, maybe not, but it was one of his eviler looks.

"It told me to avoid…" I started.

"Morning Max! Morning Fang!"

Ah. Saved by the Nudge.


A/N 2: Thanks to EdwardAddict, Myrah, SlytherinProngs, SamanthaFantasyFan, life sucks then you die 32, Rene, Set.Me.Free.123, brona, YascaRocks, filmmakersdream, and siriusgal240 for reviewing!

16. WTF?

Omigosh guys. I feel so completely guilty. I accept all pitchforks being thrown at me. I had this chapter written awhile ago, but had forgotten to post this new one up. I feel soooo bad. You guys have probably all forgotton about this fanfic, and I don't blame you... just please wait and kill me later, my homecoming's tonight...

"Morning Nudge," I said, happy to get away from that awkward situation.

Slowly the others got up, got dressed and got showered. We still looked a little dirt colored.

"Max, I'm hungry." Nudge. Of course.

"Well, if Iggy can take care of you guys, Fang and I will get breakfast, alright?"

"Whatever," Iggy mumbled, sitting on the bed and flopping back.

Fang and I went downstairs to the lobby for the continental breakfast. A mutant bird kids best friend. We piled up on the Danishes, doughnuts, and those little breakfast cereals that no one can resist. Fang kept trying to get me to talk, but me using my extremely refined diversionary tactics managed to hold him off. For now at least. We managed to juggle all the plates to the room (receiving many strange looks as well). Everyone devoured their food like a pack of hungry Erasers.

"Max, can we go to Big Ben today?" Gazzy asked after we had finished our food.

"Well," I began. I really wanted to find the institute today.

Fang pulled me to the side. "Max, let them have fun. We'll look in phone books tonight."

I looked at Fang and sighed. He was right. "All right then. Let's go."

Fang and I managed to herd everyone out of our room, down the stairs and out of the lobby. We walked along the street and I bought a map of all the "lovely sights to see in London."

The kids were jumping around, looking at all the stands and shops along the sidewalk. Fang and I looked at each other and I swear I saw a grin. I opened the map and started looking at it.

I guess I was so absorbed in looking at the map, trying to find the quickest route to Big Ben that I didn't notice when I ran into somebody.

Note to Self: watch where I walk

I collected all the papers the person I ran into dropped and handed them to them. I looked up and my mouth dropped.

No way.

The woman was a carbon copy of Fang.

17. Revelations

Disclaimer: Don't own nothing.

A/N: I'M BACK!!!!!! Yeah, I know nothing totally awesome happens in this chapter, but it needs to happen. So, hope you enjoy!

"," I stuttered, getting up and brushing my pants off, avoiding her eyes.

"It's okay," she said, a slight British accent in her voice. I looked up for an instant, gave her a weak smile, and walked ahead to find Fang and the others. I caught her name on one of the envelopes.

Tricia Hall

Where did that sound familiar? I racked my brain, actually paying attentionto where I was walking. And all of a sudden, it came to me. The documents, from the Institute. The woman's name was next to Fang's. The woman was Fang's mother. I looked ahead to see Fang looking at me,waiting for me to catch up. I smiled to him and ran, coming alongside him.

"Hey, you okay?" Fang asked, his eyes questioning.

"Y..yeah," I stuttered (again), getting Fang to raise his eyebrow.

"Stuttering, Max. What's up?"

"Nothing. We need to take the younger ones to see Big Ben."

"No, tell me."




"Fine. You're telling me later though, whether you like it or not." I rolled my eyes and sped ahead to keep Nudge from running into a tattoo parlour. Heavens know what that could have produced.

The rest of the day, I was disconnected. I mean, I think even the younger kids noticed. But I had my reasons. I had found Fang's mother. I had no clue what I was supposed to do. The right thing to do would be to tell Fang. This is what we had all dreamed of, and it was coming true for him. This was a great discovery, and I would be an extremely selfish person to keep this...this joy from him.

But, on the other hand, a small, secret part of me didn't want to tell him. Yes, I feel selfish and all, but Fang was my backbone. My support. One of the only reasons I haven't jumped off a cliff yet. With my wings tucked in. He saved me from bleeding myself to death. He's saved me more times than I can count. And I can't even entertain the thought of letting him go. My mind was battling the two thoughts; tell him and see him be happier than he probably had ever been, or keep this huge secret to myself and be happy myself. Give another person happieness and me sorrow, or give me happiness but guilt?

"Max, we need to go back to the hotel, it's getting dark," Fang spoke to me, laying a hand on my arm. I just nodded, taking Angel's hand and leading her to the hotel. I felt Fang's eyes on the back of my head, but just shook off the feeling as me and Angel entered the lobby, getting onto the elevator. We held it for the other four, and pressed the button to go up. I got the key card out and opened the door. The other four went in, but Fang pulled me out and closed the door.

"Okay Max, tell me going on?" I looked at him. In his eyes, I saw nothing I had ever seen before. He was pleading with me. He knew something was up and the fact that I didn't want to tell him must have made him nervous. The battle inside my head finnaly stopped as I spoke.

"Fang, I found your mom."

18. Support

Disclaimer: I own Maximum hardback.

A/N: I am back. And on a writing frenzy. So, I should have another chapter up soon before I go to school on the fourth. Love y'all and please review!

"Fang, I found your mom."

He looked at me with his dark eyes.

"What did you say?" he asked me, coming towards me.

"I…I found your mom," I said, looking down at the floor. I couldn't bear to look him in the eyes.

"Max, this isn't a funny joke," he said, looking at me disbelievingly.

"Fang, I'm not joking."

"Max, why the hell would my mother be here? She was some crackpot on drugs…she's probably dead somewhere. There's no way she's here. You've never lied like this before!" he yelled at me.

"Fang, why would I lie about this! It's your mom, I would never lie about something like that! Why don't you believe me?!"

"Because Max, it's not true. I can't believe you'd lie," he said, opening the door to the room. I rolled my eyes and grabbed his arm, pulling him back towards me.

"Fang. I've known you since I could remember. I trust you completely. Why the hell won't you just trust me this once?"

He looked at me and then at the floor. "I do trust you Max."

"Then trust me on this," I said, letting go of his arm. He headed back into the room. "Tricia Hall," I said to myself, hoping he might hear.

"What?" he said, turning around. Bingo.

"The name that was on the lady's package. Tricia Hall," I said, looking up at him.

He just looked at me for a few seconds then said, "Where's the phone book?" heading back into the room, me following.

"You believe me now?" I asked, handing him the phone book. He sat down on the floor. "Well I do now. Your memory is far too short to remember a name like that. You couldn't have remembered that that was the name on the documents we got from the Institute."

I thought for a minute, "HEY!"

He just smiled at me and looked at the phone book. "Regis Hall, Spencer Hall….Tricia Hall." he said, pointing at a name on the page.

"Hah, I was right!" I said triumphantly, smiling cheekily at him. He just rolled his eyes and looked at the book again, suddenly becoming solemn.

"What's wrong?" I asked, sitting next to him on the floor.

He looked at the phone book for a minute and shook his head, making his hair shake everywhere. "Nothing, nothing. Just thinking about what I should do now."

"Well, what do you think you should do?" I asked.

"I dunno, that's why I'm thinking about it."



"Well, whatever you decide to do, I'll support you," I said, looking down at my hands.

"You would?" he questioned.

"Well yeah," I muttered, playing with my shoelaces, "you are my best friend after all."

He didn't say anything, but took one of my hands in his own. I shivered on the inside, his hands warm compared to my cold ones.

"Max, would you come with me to check out this address?" he asked me, putting his other hand under my chin and making me look him in his eyes.

I took a breath I had been holding in without knowing. "Of course."

A/N 2: Please please don't kill me for the cliffhanger! Lol, I'd like to give thanks to EVERYONE who's reviewed so far!

acavoo, Jess Readin, Twilight xx3, crash923, SamanthaFantasyFan, paintedblue47, coolbeanie, Weasleygrlz07, EdwardAddict, Yascarocks, totalyharry99, Myrah, Optical Disillusion, NewGirlOnTheBlock, Set.Me.Free.123, Xtremequeen666, Brona, Da Jitter Bug, gigi2008, p-fan92, The Queen of Everything, filmmakersdream, cassie, sekhra, Authordream4life, Rayna Terror, SlytherinProngs, x Step on Me x, AllTheNamesWereTaken, Knifetheslayer, karatechick19, squeejeefaxmachine, BroadwayBabe32, Lily Cullen, Thandie, kat, Rene, siriusgal240, telekineticwonder33, pinkicing101, Golden Nugget, AireRyder, TearOfCrimsonRed, amrawo, PheonixFlame, BlindSeer220, Dark Wings in the night Sky, dark fire chain, Alledaria, BlueSea14, Lady Soysauce, HermioneHair, Odet Mae, illegally-insane.

Wowzers. Thank you all!

19. Meet the Parent

Disclaimer: I own Maximum softback too!

A/N: Two chapters in one night! Whoot! So, hope you enjoy! And please leave a review, they make me very happy.

I got up and woke Ig, telling him that me and Fang were going out for a bit. He responded that we shouldn't make too much of a noise while we were, "having fun". So he got a nice kick and then Fang and I snuck out of the fire escape, instead of going through the lobby. I slipped the piece of paper with the address into my back pocket, making sure the coast was clear before jumping down and extending my wings, making it a smooth landing. I looked up to see Fang's dark wings coming towards me, so I moved out of the way. We tucked our wings back and then slipped our jackets back on. Slowly, we walked out of the alley onto the sidewalk. London looked way different at night, it was awesome. I looked around me and saw Fang doing the same thing. I smiled at him and got a rare grin in return. I looked at the address once again and turned down a street, Fang following me.

"1736 Devon Boulevard," I said, looking at a house across the street from us. I looked at Fang and he had a look of apprehension on his face.

"I dunno if we should do this," he said, looking back the way we came, "we should get back to the others…"

"Fang, Iggy is on watch. He's one of the best people to have on watch. I can't believe I'm saying this, but quit being so nervous!"

He looked at me and let out a deep breath. "If it makes you more comfortable Fang, I'll go solicit something and you can just see her, like we did with Iggy's parents…"

"No, I want to see her too, make sure she isn't some cracked-up psycho," he said, giving me a small grin.

"Okay," I said, starting to walk across the street. I turned around and Fang hadn't moved. I rolled my eyes and grabbed his hand. "C'mon, you wuss," I teased, blushing slightly as his gripped my hand. We made it across the street and I walked up to the door, Fang still with a very tight grip on my hand. With my other hand, I knocked on the door. I heard some shuffling behind the door. I looked up at Fang to see his face set. I squeezed his hand as the door opened to reveal the woman I saw earlier. Fang gripped my hand.

"Hello, Ms. Hall?" I asked, feeling that Fang was incapable of speech.

"Yes?" she asked in a heavy English accent, looking at Fang rather than me, "who are you, might I ask?"

"I…I'm Max, and this… this is N…Nick," I stuttered, using Fang's "street name", I guess you could call it.

"Uhm, might I ask why you are at my door at this ungodly hour of the night?" she asked me, still looking at Fang, who had dropped his head and was now looking at the ground.

"Well, Ms. Hall, this isn't very easy to explain…" I said, trailing off, "but can I ask a question first?"

"I suppose," she said, finally giving me a look-over. "Haven't I seen you before?"

"Yeah, we, erm, ran into each other earlier today. Have you ever…erm, had a son?" I asked, flinching as her face suddenly filled with anger.

"Who are you to ask? That is none of your business!" she yelled at me.

"Ms. Hall, I'm not trying to show you any disrespect--"

"Yes, I had a son, but he disappeared 14 years ago. Are you happy now?" she said, moving to close the door.

"Ma'am," I started, pushing Fang forward a bit, "I think this is your son."

"No, that couldn't be Aaron," she said, looking Fang up and down again, "he disappeared, the police said--"

"The police were wrong," I said, keeping Fang's hand in my own, "this is him."

She looked at him for a moment, then looked at me. "You…you aren't joking, are you?"

I shook my head. "No Ms. Hall, I'm completely serious."

She looked at Fang again and suddenly pulled him into a hug, taking his hand from mine. He was stiff for a moment, then wrapped his arms around her. I stood back, looking at the ground uncomfortably. This was getting to be too much. Fang took my hand in his own again, sensing my discomfort.

"Please, come in you two," Ms. Hall said, gesturing into her house. I looked at Fang and nodded. He walked in, me following him.

20. President Roosevelt Playing Hockey

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Simple and to the point.

A/N: And yet another chapter. Tell me what you think, and please check the A/N at the end.

One other thing. I switched Fang's real name from Patrik to Aaron, because I felt it suited him better than Patrik. So, enjoy.

Oh, another thing. The title is very random, but I thought it was funny, and so I made it the title. I suppose I could have done something else that would have made more sense, but where's the fun in that? Hehe

"Make yourselves comfortable," she said, heading into the kitchen, "would you like anything to drink?"

"Uhm, no thank you," I said, sitting on a big, pink, poofy couch. Fang sat opposite me, and said, "You got Red Bull?"

"I might have one in the fridge, let me go look," she said, going out to her garage I presume. When she shut the door, I whispered to Fang, "hey Fang, Red Bull Gives you wings." He laughed and sat back, looking very out of place with his dark clothes and the pink couch. I smiled as she came back in and handed a Red Bull to Fang, sitting in a chair nest to him.

"So, why should I believe that this is actually my son?" she asked. I laughed on the inside at the thought that she would just let any stranger into her house if they said that they were her son.

"Well, we don't have any DNA evidence, if that's what you're looking for," I said, giving her a no-nonsense business look that I think Fang found amusing, because he smiled.

"Any birth records?"

"Nope." They were probably in some landfill in California.

"And so you assume I should just accept that this is my s--"

"This is right here," Fang finally spoke, giving a gesture to himself.

"Well, how am I supposed to believe you are my son?" Ms Hall directed her question at Fang.

"Well, you have two choices. You can believe what Max and I are telling you, or you can turn us out onto the streets and we can be on our way. You decide," he said, crushing the can of Red Bull and throwing it into the trash can like a basketball.

"I fins this hard to believe because I put out posters and news announcements about how my son had been kidnapped and no one ever answered any of them."

"How far did you put them out? Because the fact that I was in California might have had something to do with it..."

"California, why on earth would kidnappers bring you there?!" she asked incredulously.

Fang looked at me for a moment and I raised my pinky finger slightly. Code for wait.

"So, are you going to believe me or not?" Fang said directly to her.

"This is awfully hard to believe," she said, pacing around the room now.

I rolled my eyes and dropped my head in my hands, "anything you can think of that would convince you?" I mumbled.

"Well…Aaron did have a birthmark right next to his cute little belly button…" she said, having a far off look on her face that made me wonder for her sanity. I smiled at Fang and gave him a look that clearly said "What the hell is up with her?"

"Well, F..Nick has a mark by his…erm, navel," I said, not being able to muster up enough of my humility to say 'belly button'. I had seen this mark more than once.

"May…may I see?" she asked, and Fang gave her a look of "Oh, alright," and lifted up his shirt to reveal that mark that I always said looked like President Roosevelt playing hockey. She gasped and collapsed in a chair, my eyes widening at her sudden reaction.

"You…you are Aaron," she stuttered, and I muttered to myself "Finally!"

"Yes, now you believe me," Fang said exasperatedly, moving down his shirt again.

"Well…well you'll have to stay with me, of course. I can get your room all set up and…" she said, being interrupted by not me, like I had wanted to, but Fang.

"Excuse me? I just found out that you're my mom an hour ago and I've known Max and the others for as long as I can remember. There's no way I'm staying with you that easily," he said simply.

"Others?" she asked.

"Yes, my family."

"Well, please, just stay here a night, I can accommodate all of your…erm, family. Max can go back to wherever you all are staying and round them up and then you can go tomorrow."

I looked at Fang and nodded my head. Ms. Hall's face lightened immediately.

"Okay, well you go get settled in your room, I would like to talk to Max for a moment," she said to Fang, "it's the third door on the left."

Fang looked at me before heading down the hallway to his new room, I guess. Ms. Hall looked at me and her face turned from happiness to something else.

"Max, you do realize I can't have you staying here tonight," she said, taking a step towards me. I instinctively took a step back and narrowed my eyes. "Of course I can, you invited us to. It would be rude to take back an offer," I said, sarcasm evident in my voice.

"You have to go back to the others you are traveling with, and move to another location where you might spend the night. If I let you stay here, Aaron will choose to go with you, and I can't lose him again."

"There are more options to getting him to stay then making us leave him. I refuse to leave Nick."

"You have to. Now go."

"I don't have to do anything you tell me to. And I am not leaving Nick."

"Aaron will be better off without you anyway. I can see he's gotten his biting tongue from you."

"I…I mean, I am not leaving," I said, now my back up against the door as she had continued to advance on me.

"I want you to leave right now and forget about Aaron. He is my baby and no one will ever take him away from me again!"

I thought for a moment. Wasn't this a good thing? If I left, Fang wouldn't have to worry about saying goodbye, he wouldn't have to make the decision because it was already made for him. But then again this was a foolish idea. Leaving Fang was…an unbearable thought.

"Leave. Now. Before I call the police about an intruder."

I looked at her for a moment and turned my back to her, heading out the door.

"Good night Max," she said, shutting the door behind me. I looked up to where Fang's window was to see his mother entering the room, giving him another hug. I looked down, willing myself not to cry as I stuffed my hands in my pockets and headed back to the hotel. The lights in the buildings had been mostly turned off, and even my sharpened senses couldn't have predicted what happened next.

I was pulled into an alley and shoved against a brick wall. "Hello, Maximum. I've missed you."

A/N 2: So, what did you think? I know the birthmark idea is slightly overused, but I couldn't think of any other way for her to figure it out (though I'm glad she did eventually) And about Max leaving Fang, she was muy confused on what to do...and I know it might have been out of character for her, but all will be revealed and she did have good reason, even if you all don't know it yet!

21. Taking A Beating

Disclaimer: I own everything that James Patterson doesn't.

A/N: Whoop, another chapter! Enjoy chicos y chicas.

"Ari, you bastard, let me go, " I snarled.

"Maximum, Maximum, you need to control that temper, it could get you in trouble," he said, tightening his grip on my upper arm. I looked around for any possible means of escape. A clothing line about ten yards up…too far for me to jump without my wings, which were hidden under my jacket.

"Ari, my temper is fine, thankyouverymuch, you just happen to drive it over boiling point very quickly. So, let go and I will be on my merry way, and you can avoid a beating." He looked at me and laughed.

"No no Maximum, you aren't escaping this time. Fang's not here to save you."

"Goddammit Ari, let go!" I yelled, pulling down to try and free my arms, but all that happened was that my arm started bleeding. Clearly Ari had extended his sharp freakishly long nails. I wanted to cry out in pain but didn't want to give Ari the satisfaction of knowing he had hurt me.

"I'm gonna tear you up worse than I did Fang on the beach in New York, and then leave you for dead. I'm sick of following you and your stupid flock around the whole world! You die, and I get to go home. But I want to make you suffer, like you made me do all these years."

"I didn't make you suffer Ari," I said through bated breath. He had clawed me good, and I was bleeding pretty bad, "it was Jeb, shouldn't you be taking this out on him?"

"You took Jeb away from me!" he yelled, his breath reeking with God-knows-what, "he paid all his attention to you and your stupid flock, because he said you were special. Only thing I can se special about you is that you have an extremely special ability of pissing people off! You are going to die Maximum, slow and painfully." He said this as he kicked at my knees, making me collapse to the ground.

I scrambled up and placed good punches at his face and stomach, making him double over. I kicked him in the kneecap like he had done to me but didn't hear I that satisfying crack. I was about to place another kick when he pulled something out of his jacket. A gun.

"One more move and I blow you to bits," he said menacingly. I backed up and started making my way to the street.

"Ari, put the gun down," I warned him, as he neared me. He shook his head and moved closer, as I backed into something that sure wasn't a car or anything good like that. I swiveled and was met with another fist in the face. I was thrown back and landed on the ground, my face now bleeding. I got back up, feeling myself getting weaker. I couldn't let these bastards win. I placed a roundhouse kick on the second Eraser and a good punch to Ari. They both stumbled back but regained themselves easily. They both came at me but I dodged out of the way. I ran as fast as I could towards the street, ignoring the bleeding arm and head wound.

I extended my wings as far as they could go and as soon as I hit the street, I started beating my wings up and down, trying to gain altitude as fast as I could. I heard two sets of wins following me and cursed to myself. I couldn't go back to the hotel, that would lead them straight to the others. I couldn't think of any other place to go. My only other option was to lose them in the city. But that was hopeless, and I knew it. I couldn't fly for much longer, I was weakening quickly, even I could own up to that. I was starting to feel lightheaded from loss of blood. I flew over buildings as long as I could, trying to lose them as quick as possible. I needed to land somewhere and try to outrun them, but that was a lost cause either. I listened for a moment and noticed that there was only one pair of wings behind me now. I chanced a look back to see that neither Ari or the other Eraser were behind me now. I let out a deep breath as the person? neared me. I landed on a nearby rooftop and collapsed from lack of blood. My vision grew fuzzy as the person bent over me.

"Maximum, you'll be just fine."

A/N 2: ZOMG! Lol, please review!

22. Mysterious Rescuer

Disclaimer: Again, owning nothing except rockin' Converse.

A/N: Whew! Three chapters! Uhm, here you go, nothing really exciting happens but please leave a review!

I groaned as I opened my eyes. Where was I? I shot up to see my hotel room. What the hell? The door opened and I looked up to see…

"Oh my God Iggy! What the hell happened?!" I said, getting up out the bed but regretting it as I fell to the floor, my knee obviously still sore.

"Max?!" he said, "where were you?! And how'd you get here?! We were worried sick, and we leave for two minutes and you suddenly return?!" He helped me off of the floor and back into the bed.

"You…you didn't save me last night?" I asked, massaging my knee.

"Save you?! Max, what the hell happened to make someone have to save you?" he asked, taking my hand off of my knee and feeling it for any sign of broken bones or anything.

"Erasers…Ari…dark alley…gun…" I muttered, gasping as he hit a particularly sore spot.

"Gun? And Ari? Oh my hell, not here! And where is Fang? Is he somewhere here?"

"No." I said simply, pulling away from him. "We found his mom, and he's staying there."

"Just like that? Max, why didn't you tell us?" he asked, his hands now brushing over my head and arms for injuries.

"Because I didn't want to put everyone through what we had to go through when we said goodbye to you again."

"Fang couldn't have been happy with you leaving him right there, he barely knows the woman," Iggy said, getting up, "hold on, I'm gonna get some wet washcloths to clean up your head and arm wounds."

I heard the rushing water and waited for Ig to come back. He started dabbing at my wounds, cleaning up all the blood.

"He didn't know I was leaving, Ig," I whispered.

"Why'd you leave then?"

"Because…because his mom was being a witch and threatening to call the police about an intruder if I didn't leave 'her darling baby Aaron' alone."

Iggy snickered then quickly regained his composure, if he even has any. "And how'd you get in with Ari?"

"I was just walking down the street heading back and he pulled me into the alley and threw me against the brick wall. I really had no choice."

"Didn't you try to fight?" he asked, working to my arm wound now.

"I did. And then took off and kept flying until I noticed that there was only one pair of wings behind me. I looked back and it wasn't Ari or the other Eraser. I landed on a rooftop and collapsed. Then I woke up here."

"So this was either a friendly Eraser, which I know of none, or…"

"Or another Avian-American," I said with a smile, matching Iggy's.

"Yeah. The Institute?" he asked me.

"That's the best bet," I said, then looked around, "where are the kids?"

"Oh, there is a pool here…lets just say they're as wrinkled as old people at a nursing home now…"

I laughed, then swung my legs over the edge of the bed. But before I could tell Iggy what we should do next--

Hello Maximum.

Great. The Voice was back, just when I thought I got rid of it.

Hello Voice. Nice to hear from you again…not.

Ah, Maximum, I've missed your sarcasm. But you must focus on finding the Institute, and fast.

Why the rush? And we need to get Fang out of his house, at least to say goodbye.

Max, you don't have time for Fang!

I always have time for Fang!

Your own feelings are getting in the way of saving the world!

I don't give a damn about saving the world!

You must, Maximum. You have to.

I don't have to do anything! I just want to be a normal teenager!

You will never be a normal teenager, Maximum. You were never designed to be a normal teenager.

I never wanted to be designed in the first place! Now, we are going to see Fang, whether you like it or not.

I waited for a response but found none. Great, at least it shut up.

"Max? Max?" I heard Iggy say, "what should we do now?"

"We need to get the kids together. Let them say bye to Fang, you're right, it wasn't fair what I did. They should at least have one last goodbye. Then we need to find the Institute."

"Sounds like a plan. By the way, no broken bones, but you'll be sore for a while," he said, getting up and discarding the towels in the laundry bin.

I gently put weight on my two legs, and stood up, balancing myself. I walked up to Ig and gave him a rare hug, him stiff and unmoving (of course). "Thanks Ig, what would we do without you?"

"Die, probably," he said cheekily, receiving a nice punch in the shoulder. "Oi, don't hit the blind!!" I rolled my eyes, wasted on him, and grabbed an extra set of clothes for the kids. We then headed down to the pool.

A/N 2: Don't really know why I have another one of these, but here ya go. Honestly tell me what you think!

23. Farewell

Disclaimer: I own everything. Yep, except Maximum Ride. Hah.

A/N: So, another chapter. Hah, and this is an...interesting one. Please review! They make me happy and push me to right more.

Me and Iggy walked into the pool area just in time to see Gazzy cannonball into the pool, creating a huge splash that just missed us. I was walking towards the kids' towels when I was tackled by two very wet girls.

"Omigosh Max! Where were you?! And where's Fang? Are you guys gonna come swimming with us? Omigosh, that would be so much fun! Heh, I wonder what you would look like in a swimsuit, probably really pretty and the Fang--" I covered Nudge's mouth, flattered by her comments but feeling like she was gonna say something that would have me a little more than flustered.

"Uhm, you guys need to get out and switch into these clothes," I said, handing each of them their clothes and directing them to the changing room. I saw Iggy carefully walking around the pool to drag Gazzy to the locker room. I followed the girls in and waited while they got changed, helping Angel. We walked out and into the lobby, where the questions started pouring in.

"Where's Fang?"

"Where did you go last night?"

"Why do we have to leave now?"

I took a deep breath and sat them down on a bench near the front doors. "Fang and I... I found his mom and--"

"Omigosh really Max?!"

"When'd you find her?"

"Did she look like Fang?!"

"Guys, just be quiet while I finish, please," I said, and they immediately quieted. "Thank you. Now I found her yesterday, I sort of...well, I ran into her, literally. We found her address, so we went to check it out... long story short, he's staying."

Iggy looked at me (which is kinda creepy, you know) and made a move to talk, but I covered his mouth before he said anything.

"He's what?!"

"No, he can't!"


"Guys, this what's best for him. But we're going to see him one time, so you guys can...can say goodbye," I said, trying not to cry. Man, I had been getting emotional lately.

I was met with three pairs of eyes looking up at me, two blue and one brown. Angel's eyes were glistening...with tears. Shit. Nononono, stay strong...

"Guys, lets go now, okay?" I said, turning around and heading out of the revolving door, four sets of footsteps following me. I lead them the same way me and Fang had taken last night, remembering the lights and everything that made it so much more fun. I turned down Devon Boulevard, Angel now holding my hand. I looked across the street to see the familar house that Fang was now residing in. "Okay guys, so, please try to be polite, you know, avoid any and all sorts of explosives?" I said, directing this comment at Pyro and Pyro Jr.

"Don't worry Max, we'll be perfect angels," Ig said sarcastically, putting his hands in a halo shape around his head. I smiled and grabbed Gazzy's hand as well, having Nudge lead Iggy across the street. I walked up to the door and knocked. I kept a firm look on my face as Fang's mom answered the door.

"What are you doing here?" she hissed at me, then noticed that I had four other kids in tow. I guess she wanted to keep up her rep or whatever (which she had lost, considering that Angel was glaring at her. Oh, how I love Angel.) because she let us in reluctantly.

"Aaron's not here, he went to get something from the store. If you must, you can sit down and wait for him," she said, going down the hallway and shutting the door rather loudly.

"What's shoved up her--"

"IGGY!" I interrupted him, "small innocent ears here!"

"What?" he asked innocently, smirking.

I rolled my eyes and looked at the kids. "Okay, I know you guys will wanna stay for a while, but we have to get out of here as soon as we can. We have to get looking for the Institute, and then head back to the States, so just--" I was interrupted by the door opening, and I saw Fang, his eyes looking at us with some unidentifiable expression in them.

"OMIGOSH FANG!!!!!" Nudge said, tackling him with a huge hug. Fang patted her back awkwardly and looked at me with a "We have to talk" expression. I sighed and watched as Gazzy and Angel joined this group hug, I guess. Iggy and I stood back, me letting the little kids have their 'moment', Iggy just uncomfortable hugging Fang, I guess, which is understandable.

He slowly peeled the little kids off of him and looked at me, his dark eyes making me squirm (on the inside, no way would I let Fang know he makes me squirm).

"Max, we need to talk," Fang said, pulling me somewhere that I presumed to be his room.

"Aw, what a cute crib!" I cooed. Obviously his mom had left everything the way it was before he had disappeared.

"Max. Where the hell did you go last night?" he said, looking at me with those big brown eyes. I looked down.

"I...I thought that you just wanna have some time with your mom," I stumbled over my words, refusing to look at him.

"Max, you were supposed to stay here with me, not ditch me," he said, putting his hand under my chin and forcing me to look up, "and what happened?" Obviously, he noticed the scars that were already healing.

"It's not important Fang. And I already said that you just needed some time with her..."

"Max..." he said, trying to catch my eyes, "what is going on?"

"Nothing," I said, lying through my teeth, "we just came to say goodbye."

"Goodbye? Max, I'm not--"

"Yes Fang, you should stay here. This is where you belong, with your mom."

"I belong with you and the flock, not here," he persisted.

"No, you don't Fang! You can stay here and be happy, not have to be on the run anymore. This is a perfect oppritunity to have a normal life, or as normal as we can get! Don't leave this just for us..."

"Max, I'm not leaving it for you all. I'm leaving it because of y--"

"Fang, stay here. None of us can offer you what Tricia is. belong here Fang."

"Max, I can't--"

"You have to. Okay, that's an order. You'll learn to like it, and you'll be safer here," I said, starting to back towards the door. I had to leave him soon or I would start crying, and it would all go downhill from here.

"Max, I don't give a damn about me being safe! It's you I'm worried about!"

"I'll be fine. Iggy can take over as second-in-command. You shouldn't worry about me."

"I'm always worried about you, Max. With your track record, I have a right to."

"No. I'll be fine, we'll be fine," I said, opening the door. "Don't worry about us."

"You guys can stay here, I'm sure Tricia won't mind..."

I laughed. "Fang, she... I mean, this isn't our family. It's yours. We don't belong here, okay?"

He stared at me for a few moments, though they felt like forever. "Where are you going?"

"We're gonna look for the Institute, then head back to the States, I think."

He took a long sigh, then took a pen out of his pocket and grabbed my hand. He scribbled down a phone number on my hand. "Call if anything goes wrong, okay?"

"Okay," I said, looking at the number. I would never call him, and he knew it too.

He cleared his throat, then walked out of the room. "Guess I should say goodbye then, eh?"

"Yeah," I said, following him to the living room. He gave each of the kids a hug, something I had never seen him initiate. He and Ig had a "manly hug" moment, and then he turned to me. I quickly wiped the tears that had been forming in my eyes away and looked at him. He came over and gave me a hug, wrapping his arms around me. I closed my eyes and took in this last moment, before pulling away from him. "Bye Fang," I whispered in his ear, moving away. I quickly kissed his cheek, then ushered the kids out of the door, every single one of them crying. I even saw tears in Ig's eyes, and that's saying something. I looked at him one last time, and right before I closed the door, I heard him say "Goodbye Max."

A/N 2: What did you think? Love it, hate it, want to kill me? Hah, leave it in a review! This was actually a really hard chapter to write, and one of my least favorite.

24. Surprises

Disclaimer: Must I continue to write these things? I own nothing.

A/N: Okay, so it's a fairly short chapter. But (gasp)... er, you'll have to wait and see. )

One thing I hate more than Erasers trying to kill us: saying goodbye. I know it's hard for anyone, but for someone who really only knows and cares about five people in the entire world, saying goodbye is like saying adios to a part of yourself. Fang was my better half, I have to admit. And without him, I felt incomplete. But I don't want to talk about it.

"Max?" a voice brought me out of my thoughts.

"Yeah Ig?" I asked him.

"I think we should move to a different location. We've already stayed in that hotel longer than we normally would stay anywhere…" he trailed off.

I looked at the four sets of eyes looking up at me (including Total) and nodded my head, reinforcing it with a yes so Iggy could tell my decision. "It doesn't look like it's gonna rain, why don't we stay in the park across the street?" I asked, pointing towards a heavily treed area with a path cutting through them. The five of them nodded their heads and looked straight ahead again. I could tell they were upset, and I had caused it. It was my fault.

Max, you did the right thing. Fang was just a distraction. Oh, fan-freakin'-tastic, just when I thought things couldn't get worse, the Voice shows up.

He wasn't a distraction. I argued, feeling slightly insane arguing with the voice inside my head. God help me.

You're being ridiculous. The fact that you couldn't concentrate because you were too goo-goo eyes over Fang…

SHUT UP! I thought, than realized that I had said it aloud. Gre-eat, now the Flock knows I'm insane. Angel gave me a look of concern, and I smiled. "It's fine honey, I just have…"

"It's the Voice, isn't it?" she asked, surprising me, "he's making you mad, isn't he?"

"It… wait, how do you know it's a he?" I asked her, stopping the Flock and sitting her down on a bench.

"I can hear his thoughts," she said, picking at Celeste's fringed gown, "he talks to me, sometimes."

"He does?" I asked, my eyes widening. I saw Iggy look up with shock on his face.

"Yeah, just a couple times," she whispered, "he tells me that I need to help you get on about saving the world, that I have to help. I don't want to, Max."

"You don't have to do anything," I said, hugging her. I took a deep breath, wishing Fang was here to help decipher this. But he was at home, with his family, where he belongs.

Angel closed her eyes and I could tell that she was talking to the Voice. Her mouth was moving and yet no sound came out of her mouth. She looked like she was in a trance or something. All of a sudden her eyes opened and she gasped. "Max…"

"Yeah, honey?"

"The whitecoats have Fang."

A/N 2: Baha! So, er, leave a review!

25. That Little Voice In Your Head

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: Whoot... so, this is a semi-filler chapter, but you gotta have some. So, please read anyway!

My eyes widened to the point I felt like they were going to pop out of their sockets. "They what?" I managed to choke out.

"They have Fang," Angel said, her eyes watering. Gazzy went over to her and started smoothing her hair, comforting her. I was glad I was sitting down, or I'm sure I would have collapsed.

"How do you know this, sweetie?" I asked her, trying to keep my voice steady.

"Th.. The Voice," she stuttered, tears flowing now, "he says that he's being kept at the Institute."

I looked down. Distraction, huh? How come you're getting on to Angel about it then? I thought angrily. The fact that my Voice could force Angel into tears had me furious.

Even I don't know everything, Max. Sometimes I can be wrong…

Well, that makes me feel a ton better on the fact that I always listened to you, I thought, wondering if I shouldn't have trusted the Voice.

Max, I haven't been wrong so far, this is the first time. Your circumstances have changed, however. Fang is no longer a distraction, h…

Isn't that what I've said all along? He has never been and never will be a distraction.

Maximum, let me finish. Fang isn't a distraction anymore because he is now a part of your destiny. You have to go to the Institute and find the information the whitecoats have planted for you, that is why they kidnapped Fang. Max, you have to be careful. One wrong move and this could be harmful not only for you but for your whole Flock.

So I'm basically leading them into a trap? I questioned. I wouldn't put them in harms way.

Yes. The Voice said simply. But you can lead them out Max, you have to. It's your destiny…

You really can't stop about the whole destiny thing, can you? I thought, looking up at Angel. She was talking to the Voice too… How come you had to do that to poor Angel? She's only 6, she shouldn't have to deal with that.

I'm sorry Max, it was out of my control… she can provide you with valuable information about the Institute's whereabouts. I'm not pestering her as much, I am merely giving her information.

And you couldn't give it to me because…?

You have enough on your plate already, Maximum. I need to go for now, but you must find the Institute now, before it is too late.

Too late for…?

You know what it is, Maximum. Goodbye.

And I was now left with an emptying silence in my head. I knew what it was. Too late to save Fang. Too late to save the world. I looked at Angel and she looked at me. Something had changed in her eyes, but I didn't know what.

"Honey, do you know where the Institute is?" I asked her gently. She nodded.

"Follow me," she said simply, walking ahead. I was flustered for a second at her sudden leadership, but trusting in her, had the Flock follow her, me holding her hand. This uncertainty was killing me, but I was powerless to do otherwise.

A/N 2: DUN DUN DUN! Please leave a review, I'll love ya forever!


Disclaimer: Oh, come on. I own nothing. Jeez, y'all should know that by now.

A/N: This chapter is a bridge chapter, but it'll all come out.. and you get a hint to a big plot secret. Also, I have a... READER CHALLENGE! So, the first person who can PRIVATE MESSAGE (Please don't put the answer in a review) me telling me the answer to the below question wil win... A PLOT SECRET! Yay!

Who sings this song? (Just the band is okay)

People marching to the drums,
Everybody's having fun to the sound of love,
Ugly is the world we're in
If i'm right and prove me wrong
I'm stunned (to find a place we belong)

"Angel, are you sure this is right?" I asked her, looking down the subwat tunnel. Anyone feeling a strange sense or deja vu? Good, I'm not the only one.

"I'm sure Max," she said, looking up at me through her hair. Something was different. I looked at Iggy, who had a frown on his face. I was going to ask him what was up when...

Maximum, be careful. Speak of the devil.

Oh, now you care? I thought sarcastically. Suddenly I have a caring voice? How... sweet?

Maximum, the fact that Iggy is alarmed should tell you something...

I looked at Iggy again. He still had the frown on his face, and was looking towards... Angel? He cocked his head and looked extremely confused.

What's wrong? I thought. Something definitely wasn't right.

You have to be cautious, alright? Remember what I said on the beach?


Appearances are not as they seem, Maximum, remember that.


And no response. What the bloody hell (the Brits are rubbing off on me) did that mean? I already was able to judge people well, that's why we haven't been snuck up on by Erasers yet. But then I thought back to Anne. Did I judge that wrong? Yes. I trusted her, at least for the most part. And she was in league with the Erasers. But who could be judging wrongly?

"Max, we need to turn this way," Angel said, pointing to the left. We were walking down the long subway tunnel and there was a long, narrow passageway towards where Angel pointed. I ushered the kids into the passage.


Shut up with your mumbo-jumbo.



MAXIMUM RIDE! the Voice yelled. That was the first time I had ever heard the Voice raise his Voice. It was scratchy, raspy. There was something familiar about it, but I couldn't place it. You need to pay attention! This is not a case where I just want to bug you! This is for your destiny, and even I depend on that. When you get into the Institute, find the information you need. Use Nudge's power to extract it from the computers! You don't have time to lollygag, okay?! Fang is hidden in a room three doors down from the computer lab. You must hurry, the Erasers know you're coming.

They do? I thought, slightly shocked that it had said so much.


I nodded. No words were needed. "Guys..." I said, not wanting to give too much away, " aware, okay? We never know if Erasers are going to be there."

The four of them nodded, and I saw Angel nod. She turned her head and... smirked? I pushed open the door that Angel pointed to, and ushered them in. I had a very bad feeling about this.