A/N: OMG FINALLY. You all have no idea how sick I am of this crap story. Either way, here's the final two chapters, with an awful ending. Bah. Sappy inspirational crap. Anywho, I'm off to college tomorrow! Woot!


The School

EVERYTHING ELSE

Fang eyed the ground below, scowling at the desert floor. They were nearing the School, he knew. He glanced back at the flock. Everyone had eaten and rested for a few hours just a while ago, but he wanted to stop back with the hawks before they faced the School. They needed to be fully rested for that.

"Okay, everyone. Start going south southwest. We're making one last pit stop with the hawks before we start towards the School."

Everyone nodded, and together they angled towards the hawks. It took about another hour and a half, but the flock was still going strong. Fang considered stopping at the nearby town for food before seeing the hawks, but decided against it. He would go and get food after everyone had settled.

When the mountains came into view, Fang shot down, knowing the flock would follow. He banked and came level with the cave, starting for it. Suddenly he froze. Iggy would have run into him if Gazzy hadn't shouted a warning.

"What's wrong, Fang?" Iggy asked, almost angry at the sudden stop.

Fang took a deep breath, "Someone's in the cave."

Nudge frowned, "How'd they get up here without the hawks tearing them apart?"

Looking closer, Fang watched as the person lying in the cave blurred and came into focus again, perfectly clear. He noticed the short brown/blond hair, ripped clothes, and tawny wings. "Max!"

Without hesitating, he beat his black wings once, surging forward towards the ledge. He landed easily and broke into a short run, kneeling beside his best friend. He faintly heard the rest of the flock land behind him, but all of his attention was focused on Max.

She was breathing roughly, but the fact that she was breathing made him sigh in relief. She had bruises all over her, and he noticed her leg bound rather messily. Her left ankle was so swollen that he almost gasped in surprise.

Nudge did. "What's happened to her?"

"The School," Fang replied grimly, narrowing his eyes at the thought.

Iggy bent down, "Her breathing sounds bad. What's the status report?"

Gazzy described it to his friend as Fang listened, pushing some of Max's hair out of her eyes. He frowned, looking at her leg. "If she tried to bandage this, then that must mean she's been cut there, right?"

Iggy nodded, "Yeah. I'd wager it's pretty bad too."

"I'm going to the town to get bandages then," Fang stood up, "Don't wake her yet. I'll pick up some food and water while I'm at it."

Nudge stood as well, "I'll come too! You'll need some help carrying it all."

They left silently, unwilling to talk any more about Max's condition.


Everything hurt. I was sore all over, and my left leg throbbed. A dull headache kept me from falling back asleep, so instead I blearily opened my eyes. I heard something behind me and froze. Someone was there.

The only thing that was really working right now was my instincts, and so I quickly tensed and rolled over, ready to attack whoever it was.

"Hold on, Max," a stern voice said, holding me still with a gentle hand on my shoulder. I relaxed instantly as I recognized who had spoken.

"Fang…" I met his gaze and cracked a smile, "How?" My voice was dry and rough, an effect of dehydration.

He shrugged, "After you got taken, the flock decided to come after you. We were all prepared to storm the School, but you had to ruin our fun by escaping on your own." he chuckled dryly, but I could tell that he was torn between being grateful that I'd gotten out already or irate that I'd put myself at such a risk to get out.

I didn't particularly care if he was angry with me. I was furious right back at him, "You guys came after me?!"

"Shh," Fang glanced behind him, but the rest of my flock still slept. It was night outside, and not even the hawks were moving. "It was voted unanimously."

"I don't give a crap how it was voted," I narrowed my eyes. "How could you disobey my orders?"

He cocked his head, a faint smile playing on his lips, "I don't recall you saying 'don't come and rescue me from the School.'"

"I told you to keep the flock safe," I hissed, "and charging into the School is not the way to do that!"

Fang held up his hands, still smirking that infuriatingly amused smile, "There's a reason why you're the leader, Max. I'm not cut out for that kind of thing."

"Clearly," I muttered, fuming.

He chuckled again, "Good to see you're acting like yourself," he lowered his voice, looking away. "I was afraid that the School would break you, like it almost broke Angel."

I huffed indignantly, "Have some faith in me, Fang. I'm not six, and I was only there half the time she was before I escaped."

"True," he turned, and I could hear him rummaging through grocery bags somewhere behind him. When he turned around, he had a large bottle of water and a bag of Oreo cookies. My mouth watered just looking at it, which Fang of course noticed. "You hungry?"

"Do little bird kids with wings fly?" I shot right back, reaching for the food. He shook his head and gave it to me, watching as I tore open the bag and began shoveling the food into my mouth. At least he didn't look at me in disgust, like that silly white coat had.

I wasn't quiet about it, and the bag's crinkly plastic woke up Iggy, unsurprisingly. The younger flock members slept on, but he straightened and yawned, stretching. Then he glanced in our direction, "Max? You up yet?"

"Yeah," I responded, pausing to take a long chug of water. It was hot, but it was wet, and the latter overruled everything else.

Iggy smiled, "Good to know. You're going to have to stay off your leg for a couple days, but you sound just fine otherwise."

I couldn't help smiling back at him, even though I knew he couldn't see it. It was just so good to have my flock back and together again. And yes, that's completely sappy, but it's totally true.

Self-sacrifice was all fine and dandy, but I knew that we'd stick together from now on.


A/N: May this story die a firey death. Preferrably one that doesn't take my laptop with it.

But anyway, I hope you all found something interesting about this fic. (I figure by now you must have, since you're reading the ending of it) Thanks for sticking around!