I own them not.
Iggy was lost.
The noise of the crowd pressed in on him from all sides. He was suffocating in the thick blanket of noise, his head pulsating with the beat emanating from the huge speakers on either side of the stage. He was being jostled by hundreds of people. Fang and Gassy had been here, right?
Or was it just to the left? Next to that one big tree? Or maybe they had wandered to the middle, to become invisible.
Minutes passed in a frenzy of noise and moving bodies. Iggy didn't know where he was going anymore. Where was he? He had started near the edge of the crowd of bodies. How had he ended up in the middle?
Hot tears stung his sightless eyes as half an hour passed. His head was hurting from the sound, his sensitive ears ringing. He wanted to sit down. He wanted the noise to stop. He just needed a second to get his bearings...just a second.
Where was everything? He had never been to New York before. He had no landmarks, knew no sounds, had no idea how to find the rest of the Flock short of taking flight again, which was starting to seem more and more like a reasonable option.
It was the last song now. He used to like the Taylor Twins, they were "big" and yet always seemed like a garage band with songs about real stuff. Well, real for normal people, like girls and parents and stuff. Not the white-coat induced fear that Iggy and the others were living with.
Now Iggy knew he would never listen to another song by them again without hyperventilating, like he was doing right now.
God, where were the others? They had eyes, didn't they? How come they hadn't found him? Maybe Max hadn't noticed he was missing, but Fang, the Gasman...
Somebody was speaking now, their voice magnified so many hundreds of times. Iggy had to fight from clamping his hands over his ears. What was wrong with quiet? Couldn't people be just a little bit softer?
Out of desperation to get away from the horrible speakers, Iggy found a tree and climbed it as quickly as he could. He ended up clinging to the branch, his body shaking as the man's voice boomed over the huge crowd. Somewhere in that crowd was Max and Fang and everyone else. There were a lot of people, though.
Feeling as if he were all alone, Iggy climbed higher into the tree. His sleeve snagged on a branch and he jerked it free to violently, earning himself a deep gash. As if his night couldn't get any worse.
It wasn't like he was at all used to so much sound at once. He had spent the first ten years of his life in a cage. After that they had moved to the quietest part of Colorado. So much noise at once made him feel like his head was splitting open.
He placed his backpack carefully on the top branch and settled into the arms of the long tree. He would wait. The others would find him they wouldn't leave him. Not again.
Iggy felt like dying. Smoke filled his lungs and he started coughing. Where was the Gasman? He had to find him. He was in charge of him.
"Iggy!"Gazzy was suddenly right beside him, tugging his arm, pulling him away from the blaze. "Iggy, move! Please, Ig!"
It took longer than normal to get his legs to react to what his brain was saying. He finally let the Gasman pull him out of their burning house, forced himself to open his wings and sail away from the enormous blaze that had engulfed the place that had been their home.
Iggy didn't know where they were going. He had no plan. They were slowly leaving familiar territory behind them, and Iggy became more lost with each stroke of his wings. They flew for an hour before the Gasman spoke. "We have to find the others."
Resentment boiled inside Iggy, "They ditched us, Gasser, they thought we couldn't keep up and they tossed us away like old luggage. They won't be happy to get us back."
The Gasman was careful to touch Iggy's wings with his own on each down stroke. "I know, but where else can we go. You kind of stick out, Ig."
Iggy bit his lip. He was still so angry at Fang and Max and Nudge for leaving them behind. He didn't want to fly to them like they couldn't take care of themselves. Finally, Iggy forced himself to remember Angel, remember that she was Gassy'sreal sister, that he was worried about her. "Fine, let's go. I hope you memorized the map, 'cause there's no other way we're getting there."
After the loudness of the speakers the noise of the crowd felt like a pleasant buzzing in his ears. He heard as the crowd left, most of them going away from the tree where he was safely hidden behind a thick canopy of new leaves. Even so, he didn't dare unfurl his cramped wings.
One voice was suddenly right below him. "Ig?"
"Fang?" Iggy was so relieved to hear a familiar voice that he nearly shouted the word. "Oh, Fang, I didn't know what else to do, I tried to find you guys but you weren't anywhere." He didn't realize that he was crying until a tears dripped onto his hand.
"Hey, it's okay." Fang sounded slightly alarmed and he scaled the tree easily, sitting beside the taller boy. "It's my fault, really. I thought you were with the Gasman, the Gasman thought I was with you, bad communication." Iggy could hear the smile at the end, he didn't want it.
"Can we get out of here?" Iggy pleaded, knowing that he sounded like a whining child.
The Flock was suddenly surrounding him, on different branches. "No, Iggy, it's awesome here!" Nudge said, and started explaining just why it was awesome. Her words didn't help Iggy's headache.
"Well, I hate it." Iggy said, frustrated. "When it's quiet I can tell where the heck things are. Now it's all a jumble. I couldn't find you tonight."
No one seemed to be listening to him. Fang touched his arm lightly, which made Iggy feel a lot better. At least someone heard what he said. Iggy thought that if he didn't have Fang he would be invisible, because not being able to see himself already made him feel like he was.