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Disclaimer: belongs to JP.

Claimer: My dearest friends who helped me and I own the plot, not you:)


We were fighting for our lives.

I dropped down low, lashing out with my foot at the Eraser that was attacking me. I fought with mindless energy, taking out anything that was in my path.

"Max!" Angel's shriek shook me from my kind of trance. I spun, and rabbit punched the Eraser that was bearing down on my baby. She sent me a quick look of gratitude, but I was already gone. I surveyed the area quickly – Iggy and Gazzy were fighting side by side, Gazzy shouting to Iggy to give him warnings. Nudge and Angel were also teamed up, Angel making the Erasers freeze with her mind and Nudge taking them out quickly.

Fang was in the middle of a knot of at least four Erasers, smoothly pivoting and bending as his hands and feet whirled with deadly force. I cringed at the stony expression on his face and ran to help him.

I took out one of them with a spinning kick, smirking to myself as the other three turned to face me as well. Fang banged two of their heads together powerfully, his strong muscles bunching under his torn black t-shirt. As they slid to the ground, I ducked a punch that the remaining Eraser threw at me, swept his legs from under him, and smacked him on the temples.

I turned to face Fang. "All right, there?" I panted.

"Yep," he answered, breathing heavily. "Dang those Erasers."

"I agree."

He scrutinized me carefully with his dark eyes, shaking his tousled mop of brown hair out of his eyes as he checked for injuries.

"One of 'em got you," he commented and pointed his chin toward my cheekbone.

I touched it carefully, surprised when I felt a sore spot.

"Looks like it's gonna bruise." Fang touched it gently with his long fingers. I smiled at him then turned to check on the rest of the Flock where they were fighting a small ways away.

"Look like they're doing fine to me," Fang said, following my gaze.

"You ready?" he asked, looking at me expectantly.

"You got it." I confirmed, and together we ran to join them.

Fang and I together were a complete fighting machine. Back to back, we moved as one; taking out Erasers like scything wheat.

"Flock! Get away into the woods – Fang and I will take care of these guys." I yelled.

They reluctantly agreed, and after taking out a few, jumped into the air and shot like bullets into the woods. I felt Fang's strong back press against mine. I swept the area again with my eyes, always careful.

I froze.

"Fang…"

He felt my shock, and after finishing off his Eraser, spun around to face my direction.

And saw a huge, hairy wolf-man standing ten feet away; the muzzle of a gun pointed directly at me.

I could feel the panic and indecision practically radiating off of Fang, as he stood tensely beside me.

"Move away from her, bird-boy."

Fang didn't move.

"Fang, please." I whispered. "Go ahead."

His eyes met mine, smoldering with anger and fear. His entire body was so wound up he was practically shaking.

I silently pleaded with him; to go, and let me do whatever I had to.

Slowly, reluctantly, he dragged his feet until he was standing away from me. He was immediately flanked by two Erasers, making sure he didn't try anything.

"What do you want?" I called out to the wolf-man.

"I want you to surrender, and come back to the School. If you do not comply, you will be disposed of." The Eraser's gravelly voice rang out across the short span between us.

Chills ran up and down my spine. They meant to either take me prisoner and torture me, or kill me.

I didn't like either option.

"And what about my flock?"

"They will also be captured; but if you are killed, they will be taken with us anyway.

I winced, looking again to Fang. He was standing perfectly still with his arms across his chest. To anyone else, he would have looked completely impassive, but I could see the knot of muscle protruding from his jaw, his burning eyes, and the way his arms were locked around each other.

"So you won't kill them?" I asked.

"Not yet."

Fang took a step toward me, and the Eraser cocked the gun.

Fang froze.

"However, we will not hesitate to dispose of you, Maximum."

My mind was racing. There was no way to escape the fact that the Eraser would fire the gun if I so much as twitched.

There was no other way.

My eyes met Fangs, and I desperately tried to convey what I was going to do

He misunderstood. Fang thought I meant to let them kill me.

"Max. No-" His eyes widened in horror, and his arms fell to his sides as he took a half-step toward me.

"Don't worry, hybrid," the Eraser holding the gun cackled, "there's nothing she can do."

I heard the gunshot.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Fang freeze in mid-step.

Sorry, Fang.

It seemed like it was happening in slow motion. The small piece of metal hurtled toward me, straight for my heart.

My mind settled, I waited for impact. At precisely the right moment, I jerked as if the bullet had slammed into my heart. However, I had timed it so that the bullet merely clipped my shoulder, while looking like I had been hit.

Blood began seeping over my shirt as I hit the dust.

I was alive.

Unfortunately, Fang didn't know that.

A roar of rage and pain ripped through the air, cutting the cheers of the Erasers. Fang ripped away from the Erasers that had grabbed him, streaking to my side. He collapsed onto his knees beside me.

My eyes were slit open slightly, allowing me to view the expression of deep anguish and loss etched into his eyes.

Fang gathered me into his arms, muttering "No, no, no," over and over again.

He saw the blood that was soaking my shirt, and his breath caught in his throat. Fang looked like he'd been punched in the stomach as his eyes slid shut and he exhaled loudly. His upper body curled around my own in his agony. His arms cradled me with a gentleness that belied the pure fury, despair, and desperation radiating from him, even as his whole body was shaking with emotion.

I ached to move; to speak, and reassure him that I was alive. I couldn't risk it, though, until the Erasers left.

Suddenly, Fang carefully lowered me to the ground.

"I'll be back, Max," he breathed. He smoothed the hair from my forehead once, then his familiar heat was gone.

Panicked, I opened my eyes a crack more. Fang was striding toward the knot of Erasers, murder in his eyes. His fists were clenched by his sides, the muscles of his strong back standing out like whipcords.

"Are you happy now?" He spat, his eyes flashing. I could see the confident expressions on the Eraser's faces wavering as he stalked toward them.

"Are you happy now?!" he said again, raising his voice almost to a shout. I almost felt bad for the Erasers.

Then he was upon them. Fang was like a wolf (no pun intended) taking out the Erasers. He never once let one hit him. With a grim expression of fury, he double-fisted one in the face, watching as it collapsed.

The rest of the Erasers leaped into the air to escape his wrath. Fang stood with his back to me, his chest heaving and his head hanging down. I stood up unsteadily, now that they were gone. I wavered once, and winced as I felt the blood trickle down my arm.

I felt an expression of pity taking over my face as I looked at Fang, but I quickly wiped it away.

He sighed once, and turned around to come back to me.

Fang froze. His eyes were shocked, and he looked like his heart had stopped. I stared back at him. Hope and pure joy were rising quickly in his eyes, but he looked disbelieving.

I took an unsteady step toward him. "Fang," I started, but I couldn't continue. Finally, he moved, and in an instant, I was crushed against his torso as he gripped fistfuls of my shirt and held me to him. Fang buried his face into my neck.

I slipped my arms around him as well, murmuring, "I'm sorry, Fang, I'm so sorry," repeatedly.

His entire form was shaking, and to my utter disbelief, I felt a warm droplet of water slide down my neck.

Fang's calm façade had finally broken; his one deepest terror had occurred. He didn't make a sound as the hot tears slid from his eyes.

I could feel my own resolve breaking, but I held it together for him. Seeing Fang break down scared me. It scared me worse than any horror I had ever seen at the school.

We both sank to the ground, Fang still holding on to me as if he would never let go. I squeezed him tightly with my good arm, wincing when my bloody shoulder was bumped.

Fang felt me flinch, and pulled back immediately. His eyes were slightly glassy, but they didn't look so desperate now. His rough hands prevented me from moving as he scanned my blood soaked shirt.

"Where are you hurt? How are you alive?" He murmured as if he still didn't believe it.

"I didn't get hit like they thought I did, Fang." I assured him gently. "I moved in time. It only clipped my shoulder, but I couldn't let them know that I wasn't dead. If they thought that they had missed, they would have shot me for sure. You too," I said, pleading for him to understand. "I'm sorry."

Fang shook his head, a slightly shell-shocked expression on his face. "I'm just glad you're alive." He murmured, beginning to tend my shoulder.

"Together forever," I said, giving him a half smile. He looked at me for a second, then concentrated on my arm again.

"Yeah."


That night we met up with the Flock, who had found us shortly after Fang had finished bandaging my shoulder. We hadn't told them about what had happened, but I think they knew something was wrong.

Fang wouldn't let me out of his sight. He kept in slight contact with me all night, whether it was a wing brushing mine, his shoulder pressing against me, or his hand brushing my back while we were walking. I figured that it was his was of assuring himself that I was real, and he wasn't hallucinating.

Later, as we set up the camp, I said, "Hey, Fang. I got watch, no arguing. Got it?"

Fang didn't look all that happy, but he acquiesced without a fight.

After the kids were all sleeping, I stood up with a groan, and went to sit beside Fang. I leaned my back against the tree, and glanced at him. "You're supposed to be sleeping."

"Can't," he grunted. He shot me a look, and I understood. Nightmares. Bad thoughts had a way of creeping up on you when you were asleep. I suspected that I would have them too.

Fang sighed and stretched out right where he was. I settled back into the calm darkness and prepared for a long night.

Suddenly, a stick snapped in the darkness. Fang jerked into a sitting position, sliding halfway in front of me, his eyes wild.

"Fang," I admonished him, "you're supposed to be sleeping."

Fang shrugged sheepishly at me and lay back down.

A sound alerted me, and I glanced around again.

Nothing.

I glanced at Fang, surprised at the rigid lines of his shoulders. His forehead creased, and his head flew to the side, neck muscles tensed. A tortured expression took over his usually stony features, and his jaw worked silently.

I reached out and touched his shoulder gently. "Fang."

He didn't wake, only flinched and moaned under his breath. A sheen of sweat was covering his neck and forehead.

"Fang," I said more loudly. His eyes flew open, and he released a breath that he had been holding.

"Dream," I said quietly. He nodded with a grimace, and slid over closer to me. I took comfort in the warmth of his arm pressed into mine, and sighed.

"My turn for watch," he yawned. "Don't even think about arguing," he said, fixing me with his don't-you-dare look. I relented gracefully, lying down so that my back was still in contact with him.

Fang chuckled deeply, and I grinned to myself. I felt his warm hand rest gently on my side, and I closed my eyes.

We really would be together forever.


Review PLEASE. I'm getting tired of writing these things and only getting a few reviews. :(