Shadows of the Flock-Chapter 37

By MyNameIsCAL

---Max's POV---

Fang got me out of the hospital as fast as he could. I've been home for about two days now. Itex was pretty much gone for now. Marian Janssen had seen her demise. Even though she had been defeated, this was all very bittersweet to us. You would think we would be celebrating, but that didn't seem right. Iggy might be alive now, but the others are still gone and their places couldn't be filled by anyone else but them.

"I would have these dreams about you," Iggy said. "And I'd talk to you, and you talked to me like a ghost. Fang couldn't see me."

I was leaning against Fang, his arm wrapped around me, on the couch. Iggy sat on the armchair.

"Maybe it wasn't a dream," Fang offered.

We sat quietly. Then I said, "Iggy must have been seeing what was happening to us."

"I kept thinking that neither of you could give up," Iggy explained.

I nodded. "You said that to me."

"I did?" Iggy questioned.

We laughed. Seeing Iggy wasn't so random after all. That was comforting. I hadn't been so crazy after all. But the laughter died as our thoughts drifted back to Gazzy, Nudge, and Angel.

We sat on the beach, somewhere in California. Mom agreed to take a vacation. All of us together as a family, and somewhere warm because the sun was definitely more uplifting than rain.

Iggy sat next to Ella on the sand, running his fingers through the sand and letting it blow away as he took some of it in his hand. They looked happy together. During tough times, you had to let little things make you happy.

"Why are you smiling?" Fang asked accusingly, but when I looked up at him he gave me one of those rare, charming grins that Fang could only give.

We lay back on the blanket, our hands interlocking.

"I don't know what I would have done if Iggy didn't stop the doctor," Fang said as he squeezed my hand.

I glanced at Iggy. "Good thing he did."

Fang and I haven't really talked about when I was in coma. From what I heard from Iggy, Fang had gotten pretty low. They had to beg him to come home and eat. Poor Fang. Did I really mean that much to him? Well, he meant that much to me, and so much more, so I guess there was no stopping him.

"You scared the hell out of me," Fang admitted.

"I know."

"Don't ever do that again," he finished, as if I was going to decide to go into a coma again.

And then, on impulse, I said, "I love you, Fang."

He smiled. "I love you too, Max."

There are good days and bad days. Now that we had the time to sit around and think, we did too much thinking. We didn't have anywhere to go. In fact, we would rather stay home than go anywhere. Now that Itex wasn't going to come knocking on our door anytime soon, it didn't seem right to abandon Mom. Besides, Iggy and Ella were growing closer. They were practically magnets.

As for Fang and I, well we've done a lot of talking and a lot of thinking. Eventually, we would have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves. Once school rolled around again, I'm sure Mom would want us to get an education. We probably needed it too if we were going to attempt to fit in normally with the world. Although I had no problem with being different and neither did Fang or Iggy.

Every now and then, one of us would have a breakdown. Most of the time, it was Iggy or me. But Fang had his share of tears in front of me. We had turned into different people. Our view on life had completely changed. There were times where we all wanted to be bitter, but that wasn't the way to go about anything. Itex wasn't left to blame, so we could only blame ourselves.

Yet we got up every morning and we kept each other motivated. Iggy did a lot of cooking and Fang updated his blog almost every day. We had tons of fans leave comments and leave us messages full of condolences. Most days, we didn't have the heart to read them. Sometimes I went to help Mom at her vet office. As much as places like that made my skin crawl, I wanted to help animals. I needed something to occupy myself.

The months wore on slowly. Summer came and we spent a lot of time with Ella and with each other. We met some of her friends. They were nice. None of them knew what we had been through, and it was better that way. No one ever needed to know all the pain we had went through. To bring it upon someone else wouldn't be right.

"I saw we go to school," Fang said one night. "I say we ride it out. Maybe we'll get somewhere someday."

I found myself agreeing. "Mom would like that too."

"But of course," Fang smiled. "I'm not going anywhere without you."

I tackled him onto the bed. We were both smiling now. Fang pretended to put up a fight until we grew tired and collapsed into each other. He reached to turn off the light and we whispered in the dark to each other about everything and nothing at the same time.

The future held many open doors. Who knows where the next one might lead us.