Feelings That are Hopefully Not There
Disclaimer: I don't own Maximum Ride! James Patterson does! Not me! Not me! Not me!
A/N: This takes place . . . well, I don't really know. Sometime in book three maybe? After the flock splits up, when they reunite. Oh yeah, and when I used the word "stingy", it's not the same as "penny-pinching." It's like . . . um, like a bee sting. It feels . . . stingy. LOL.
My flock was asleep.
Well, all except for me and Fang that is. He was keeping watch and I . . . well, I was having trouble sleeping. And lying on a cold, stone floor wasn't helping the whole situation much. And neither was what I was thinking about— Fang and his arrogant ignorance. Fang and his dumb, seven second love-life. With a girl that wasn't me. Or Nudge. Or Angel.
And then his love-life with me. But not that I really cared or anything. I was just thinking about it. That was all.
Fang still hadn't snuffed out the fire that we'd been roasting weenies in, so no doubt that he could see that my eyes were still opened.
He peered down at me from his sitting perch on a log. "What're you still doing up, Max? I'm keeping watch."
"No, freaking, duh," I mumbled sarcastically. "What? A girl can't lie awake on a cave floor sometimes? Since it's so cold and stony, I think it was made for exactly that. Way to go on this swell place to crash."
Usually, I wasn't so snide on where we stayed cuz it was mostly a "crash here or die" situation, but Fang had recently pissed me off so that now it was a "if we camp in another grungy cave, then you die."
"Well, it's just that you're normally a fine sleeper. You're little piggy snorts are just adorable," Fang countered slyly.
I just stared at him angrily. "You were stupid, Fang. Stupid and stuck-up."
Fang raised a curious, dark brow at my mild understatement. "Huh. Were? If you wanted a stingy reaction 'are' should've been the word."
My scowl was deepening, luckily, cuz it made me look menacing when I wanted to.
"First things first . . . it isn't funny, Fang. So cut it out. Secondly, smart-aleck stuff's my thing. Find your own. Thirdly, how could you have left half the flock like that? And cuz of Ari?" Though I was mad, I couldn't stop my teasing grin. "Gee, Fang, you must be desperate. Jealous of a seven year old?"
"Hey, you're the one who loves me."
My scowl went deeper, if possible. "Shut it. Fang, I didn't think . . . that I'd've needed all of you, but then I did and started thinking about how idiotic it was of you to have left us. You would ditch your flock cuz one ex-maniac joined. Low, Fang, low. I hope you're happy now, cuz he's dead."
Fang was silent for awhile, but then he said, "Well, I took Gazzy and Iggy."
"Lord knows why they went with you," I muttered dryly.
"Lord knows why Nudge and Angel didn't come with me," Fang retorted.
"Cuz they're loyal," I stated coldly. "I've never led them wrong before and never will."
And Fang shut up again, much to my satisfaction. Actually, my satisfaction would be if he shut up completely!
So I almost screamed when he opened his mouth again. But something unexpected came out: "I'm sorry, Max."
I jolted up sharply, looking at him in awe. "You say you're what now?"
Fang merely glowered at me, but said the three words (Not those three words!) again. "I'm sorry, Max. It was foolish of me to hold a grudge with such a terrible excuse for an Eraser."
I narrowed my eyes at his "sincere" apology. "Well, that 'terrible excuse for Eraser' did an awful good job of scarring your side like that."
Fang smiled craftily. "And you did some awful good lip work when he scarred me."
My face heated as I clenched my jaw tightly.
Fang began to torture me: "What was up with that, Max? Why so romancing during a life or death situation, hmm?"
I didn't answer him, but stared at the children and dog beside me, trying to think of a decent lie.
Gazzy scratched his butt in his sleep. Nudge rolled over. Angel twitched. Iggy gnawed on his thumb. Total was kicking his leg.
But strangely, no excuses came to mind. Well, believable ones, anyway. So I just sat there with my mouth clamped.
He smirked. "Don't answer. I already know why."
I avoided his eyes, changing the subject. "I'm not the only one with bursts of emotion. What about the Red-Haired Wonder?" I knew I had him there.
Fang pulled a face. "What about that Sam wimp?" Ok, so I didn't have him.
I thought of something quickly. "What about that time you kissed me and almost did it again before I stopped you?"
Fang was quiet again. Jeezum, would he just make up his mind? Just stay quiet Fang! Cuz really, as comfortable as I seemed, this conversation was making me jittery. My adrenaline was pumping so hard it was as if I were fighting.
I numbly crawled toward him, swallowing thickly at how nervous I suddenly was. I was afraid he wouldn't answer me, but even more afraid that he would. And now, weirdly, I was annoyed at his silence. "Fang?" I called, my voice barely a whisper.
Fang stared down at me, his eyes blank and mysterious. "Max . . . ."
I cocked my head. "Fang, tell me. Why'd you do that? What got you in the mood?"
I mean, cuz, I was pretty sure that I'd done nothing to work him up like that. And Fang normally wasn't so . . . horny.
Fang just turned away from me. "Nothing."
My gaze on him didn't falter. "You can't just say 'nothing' to something like that! It doesn't make sense."
Fang finally snuffed out the flame and lied down. "Night, Max."
I stared at him irritably. "Hey, Fang, I still need an answer here, and, hey, aren't you on watch duty?"
"I'm tired," he replied shortly. "Your turn."
Ugh, how I hated that love-hate relationship between Fang and I! It was frustrating! Jeb must not have been as sharp as he used to be, cuz I was not crazy about that certain human-avian!
There was a voice in my head. Not the Voice, a.k.a Jeb, but a voice: "Yes you are."
I almost had a heart attack.
"A-Angel?" I thought angrily. "How many times have I told you that thoughts are private?"
Angel sat up quietly, looking confused, sending me a mental message that said, "Um, never?"
I frowned. "I'm not crazy about Fang."
"You're in denial, Max," Angel told me solemnly. "You love him more than you should."
I merely stared at her, appalled. "Nah, uh, Angel, never!"
The young girl shrugged. "Well, Fang, here, loves you back."
Back? What'd she mean "back?" OMG, Angel, I don't love him like—wait, Fang loves me?
Like, ok, I knew that wasn't rocket science, but they way Angel had said it got me wonderin'.
"Continue," I hissed eagerly.
Angel smiled. "His thoughts are full of you, Max! Lots of compassion and softness in them, too. Fang's in love, Max. And guess who the lucky girl is?"
I lowered my gaze, feeling embarrassed for some reason. "Um, the Redhead Girl?"
Angel narrowed her azure eyes. "Max, I'm not joking. He loves you. Fang loves you a lot! And you love him too."
"No, I don't," I grumbled stubbornly. "I mean, I do, but not in the way you're suggesting."
"But whatever happened to the 'I love you ssooo much' statement?" The six year-old asked me with a smirk.
My jaw hit the ground as I stared at her, horrified. "How did you know about that?"
Angel tapped her forehead. "From Fang. He thinks about that all the time. I think he likes that you said it."
My cheeks grew warm as I lamely thought to her, "That was the Valium talking." Cuz you can never go wrong with that excuse.
"You can keep telling yourself that," my favorite little mind-reader sighed, laying back down. "I'm sleepy."
"Then sleep . . . ."
And then she left me to my much disheveled thoughts: I don't love Fang! We're like siblings! He can't love me! Pathetic stuff like that that made by stomach churn.
Like I said, I wasn't into mushy love stories with the boy next door, so deep down inside, I hoped that Fang wasn't too into me. And even deeper down inside—way deeper— I hoped that he was. I'm confusing like that.
So I lay awake, staring at the uninteresting cave ceiling. Which I could barely see. Thanks to Fang, it was pitch black.
I couldn't understand why Fang had to keep his romance—with me, I might add— such a goshdamn secret.
If had just told me, I wouldn't judge or belittle him, and then everything would be just peachy.
And then I wouldn't be transfixed in the cave roof.
But he was Fang. My tall, dark, and handsome . . . sidekick. He was mysterious and teasing and loved to keep people—or should I say me— wondering.
Oh, well. That was Fang for ya. I guess he would tell me when he was ready, right?
Or else I could never get to sleep for a long while.
A/N: Well, there it is. Welcome to the end. Sorry about the sappy ending. Hope you liked it! Review please! Pretty, please.