Author's note/Disclaimer: As you know, I don't own any of the characters in this story unless I add new ones later one. They belong to James Patterson and James Patterson only. Also, in order to set the scene for this fanfic I felt it was necessary to include the entire last chapter from Maximum Ride: School's Out - Forever. I put a "-" in the line after that ends. Everything after the "-" is mine; everything before is James Patterson's.
If you enjoy this story, PLEASE review. I will try to update as often as possible, but when I get feedback I feel more motivated to write. And I am not just saying that, it is true. So even if you don't like it, please review and tell me why. Thanks for reading!
Maximum Ride: Warp
Needless to say, there was a tearful reunion, stories exchanged, hurts examined and gotten mad about all over again.
We grabbed our stuff and flew south until sunrise. Then we dropped down into the Everglades and found a patch of dryish land to sleep on. We felt exhausted and wrung out and yet deeply happy to be together again. To have won again.
Iggy, the younger kids, and Total crashed immediately. They curled up together like puppies, filthy and ragged, an dI was so happy to have them all in one piece that tears leaked out of my eyes and ran down my bruised cheeks.
Fang sat down next to me, and we split one of our last warm Cokes.
"Breakfast of champions," he said, raising the can in the air.
"Did you see what happened to the other Max?" I asked him.
"No, actually I didn't," he said. "But maybe she escaped."
I drank the warm soda, feeling it run down my parched throat. Never would be too soon to see the other Max again. But I couldn't make myself destroy her. Killing the fake Max would be like killing the Eraser Max who looked back at me from the mirror sometimes. Besides - it would just be wrong.
I was exhausted, beyond exhausted, but the last time I'd gone to sleep, I'd woken up with my mouth duct-taped shut and then gotten put in an isolation tank. So I didn't want to close my eyes anytime soon.
The tank. I shuddered just thinking about it.
"Was it bad?" Fang asked quietly, not looking at me.
"Yep," I said, not looking at him, and took another swig of Coke.
The sun was higher, the air heavy and warm and growing warmer. It was December. We'd been on the run for what felt like forever. I didn't know how much longer I could do it. I was ragged out, and between the tank and the Voice, I felt like I was losing my mind. I still wasn't sure how the Erasers were tracking us. I remembered Angel campaigning to be leader and didn't know what to think.
"Did you know it wasn't me, the other Max?" I asked.
"How?" I persisted. "We look identical. She even had identical scars and scratches. She was wearing my clothes. How could you tell us apart?"
He turned to me and grinned, making my world brighter. "She offered to cook breakfast."
A second later 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.
Finally I stopped, my stomach aching from the effort of laughing for so long. I carefully wiped the tears out of my eyes - well, the ones that hadn't already spilled out, anyway.
Fang was already his quiet, composed self. Jeez, you would've thought the guy had never laughed in his life. But that's Fang for you.
I tucked my knees under my chin, wrapping my arms around my legs, and let out a breath. The exhaustion was catching up with me, but I still didn't want to close my eyes.
"You should sleep," Fang said. When I didn't answer, he looked over at me. "Max? Seriously. I'll keep watch."
I barely heard him. I was too absorbed in figuring out what the flock was going to do next. "Remember on the beach?" I asked slowly, reflecting back on it myself.
Fang smirked. "I seem to recall more than one," he answered, giving me that look that said Don't think I've forgotten what you did. Meaning the - oh come on, you know what he meant.
I felt my cheeks flare up and looked away for a moment. When I turned back around, his dark eyes were boring into mine. "The second one," I said, resisting the urge to smack him. "The one where I, um, with the shell…" I trailed off. Yep, that's me, Little Miss Eloquent.
"Yeah?" he replied quizzically, answering my original question and asking his own at the same time.
"I'm…just sick of all this. We all are," I stated. Helloooo, Captain Obvious. "I think we should find that island you were talking about."
He seemed not to know what I was talking about at first - then again, his face was so impassive that I couldn't really tell. But soon enough I thought I saw a flash of understanding cross his face and he said, "Yeah. Okay."
I hadn't exactly expected him to jump for joy, and I had been totally right.
"You think there's any deserted islands with grocery stores?" he asked with a completely straight face.
I couldn't help it. I chuckled. "Guess we'll see."
"Really though, Max, get some sleep," Fang said. And, as he does all too often for someone who's not Angel, he read my mind. "Look, I promise I'll wake you up first thing if anything happens," he said softly. "We need you awake latter, not half asleep, all right?"
"Yeah, sure," I said, but I didn't move.
"Fine then, go to sleep before I knock you out myself," he threatened, almost jokingly.
But I knew he probably really would, so I gave in. I curled up next to Nudge and Angel - and, oh yeah, Total - and scrunched my eyes closed against the sun.
I lifted my head up blearily, already half asleep, to look at Fang.
I smiled, then buried my face in my arm and fell asleep.
Hope you liked it so far! I already have a lot of chapter 2 written so I will probably put it up later today, or at the very very latest tomorrow.