Author's Note: So my first Maximum Ride story, has to be sappy and romancy and the works, of course. It's about Max and Fang's wedding, to be incredibly cliche and everything, because I always thought they would save the world together and then get married, with shmancy decorations everywhere (courtesy of Nudge and Ella, duh).
So Max is around twenty-two-ish at this time. The flock found their parents, except for Fang, because I always thought no one could be Fang's parents, he's way too independent.
"I'm gonna barf," I whispered to Mom, remembering how I said the same words to Fang a million years ago, before making my Oscar-worthy speech to Congress.
She smiled and squeezed my hand, then bent down and smoothed an invisible wrinkle out of my dress.
Yes, dress. I'd rather save the world fifteen more times than endure this new form of torture. Suffering a lifetime of the Gasman's stink specials was more tolerable than this.
Drum roll please… I was getting married.
How I ever agreed to this, I have no clue. Must have been on Valium. I mean, my God, marriage! No one could touch us, the world was saved, the kids found their 'rents, and all that jazz, but I still felt twitchy and anxious in my dress.
Dress. It was gorgeous, designer, the works. Ella really went overboard in the past few months, dragging me to ten million different shops and making me try on every other dress available in the world. Finally, she and I settled for a basic, floor-length number with no back and thin straps. My wings were free to move in the back.
The dress was stunning, but had a good chance of being hurled on with bird-kid vomit right now.
"You'll be fine," said Mom, and kissed my forehead, tucking a curl behind my ear. She patted my check and walked out the tent, where I was "getting ready."
I patted my hair, which was brushed and curled, piled onto the top of my head in golden tresses. Not only did Nudge totally transform my rat's nest of knots, but she went to town with makeup, too.
Angel walked in, looking glamorous in a pale peach gown, as my flower girl. She had grown into a beautiful 14-year-old, and I felt tears come to my eyes as I remembered when she was my little girl.
"I'll always be your little girl," she said, and hugged me. I almost began sobbing right there, but decided against smearing my face.
I let go, sniffling a little.
"Everyone's here," said Angel, patting my arm. "You look amazing."
I nodded. "How does Fang look?" I asked, grinning.
She giggled. "He's wearing a tux, and he's not happy."
I laughed. Serves him right for starting this mess, I thought, and Angel grinned.
I began pacing, thinking WWFD? What would Fang do? Of course, he would probably be chuckling at my unease, I remembered, and changed the question in play. Jeez, who gets married when they're freaking twenty-two?
"Max," said Angel, concerned. "You're muttering."
"Sorry," I mumbled, and sat on the bench, wanting to chew my fake nails off. "I'm just tense."
"I know. Just relax," she soothed, and my heart melted. "It'll all be over in about an hour, if that helps."
I nodded, and put my head in my hands. What was I thinking when I got engaged? I was Maximum Ride, savior of humanity, and here I was in a white dress.
"You were thinking that Fang was the person you loved and wanted to live with for the rest of your life," Angel whispered in my ear, plopping down next to me. "You really love him."
"I love… everyone in the flock," I hesitated. "And my family, and your family –"
"Not as family," she said patiently. "Like… real love. True love. Sappy love," she added, and we laughed.
Angel got up and peeped through the curtain. "Time to roll," she said, giving me a thumbs-up.
I tried to smile – it turned out more like a grimace of despair- and grabbed my bouquet, just as Total and Akila trotted inside.
I frowned – someone was with the two dogs. Suddenly, Jeb stepped in, smiling sadly. My jaw dropped, along with the flowers. Angel's eyebrows came together.
"What are you doing here, Jeb?" I asked, my trademark bored tone being overpowered by my nerves. I sounded small.
He paused, as if he didn't have an answer. "I just had to say," he began slowly. "That I'm really proud of you, Max. You've grown up."
It took all of my "grown-up" – ness not to roll my eyes and do a "yeah, whatever" look. I was twenty-two and still trying to outgrow that kind of thing.
Instead, I nodded, not meeting his eyes.
"You've done so well," he continued. "And I just had to apologize for all the hardships and grief I've caused you, sweetheart, before you get married. The world is in debt to you, and so am I."
Well. This was like a heartfelt punch to the face.
"I'm proud of you Max," he said one more time, giving me a long, steady look. "You really are the Maximum."
And he walked out the curtain. I made a weird, choking, noise, thinking of something to say but discovering I was at a loss for words. This was my dad. Weren't dads supposed to walk their daughters down the aisle at weddings or something?
I hesitated, but pulled back the curtain slightly. "Dad –" I began, fidgeting with the cloth. "Could you give your daughter away this afternoon?"
For a second he stood there, mouth agape. I took a deep breath.
"I – you – oh, Max," he stuttered, a look of incredulous joy on his face. He strided to the tent, arms stretched, but then thought better of it and put them down.
Oh, heck, I thought, and pulled him into a hug, completing the Hallmark moment. He embraced me like a real Dad, and I found myself clinging to him, tears coming to my eyes for the umpteenth time today.
"Let's do this thing," I said, as he took my arm, knowing that I was pretty clueless about weddings. We stepped outside, where a tearful Angel and Total were standing, obviously eavesdropping. Angel beamed, gave a shake of her feathers, and I nodded at her.
The music started, and she and the two dogs began walking in rhythm. Jeb patted my arm and we followed her.
I searched for Fang, who would be standing on the platform, as Nudge told me. My jaw dropped as I saw him, and he wore a shocked, Fang-like expression similar to mine. "Your hair," we mouthed together, and then grinned. Fang's overlong hair was cut back into its old, funky, New York style.
Mom was crying in the front row, tears glazing her face. She didn't seem surprised to see Jeb, and smiled as I winked at her.
Jeb steered me to the dais, gave me two quick kisses on either cheek, then sat down next to Mom, who took his hand and raptly whispered something in his ear.
I turned, looking at my flock standing on the stage, all dressed and grown up. I gave them each a hug, patted a sobbing Total on the head, and turned to face my husband-to-be-in-two-minutes, taking his hands.
The music stopped, and Nudge's dad began reciting stuff out of a Bible. I tried to listen, but my stomach was in knots. Fang squeezed my hands, and everything felt better all of a sudden.
"I do," he said, and I realized this was the "I do" part of the lineup.
"Do you, Maximum Martinez Ride, talk Fang Nicholas Ride to be your lawful husband?" Mr. Wilkins said, smiling at me.
My breath caught in my throat as I stared into Fang's dark eyes. "I do," I whispered. One side of his mouth quirked in a smirk, and he stared at our in intertwined hands.
"You may now kiss the –"
The word "bride" was never heard, as Fang's lips crashed into mine, arms wrapped tightly around my shoulders. I clung to him, and heard my flock cheering, Akila barking, Gazzy whistling, applause, and smiled against Fang's lips.
It was incredible. I loved him.
We broke apart, breathless and beaming like idiots, and I threw the bouquet in the air, not caring who caught it. I looked back into Fang's eyes and – get this – burst into tears.
Well, there it is. Hope it wasn't too bad. Thanks for reading. Reviews would be helpful, I suppose.