A/N: Alright, I'm here to tell you no, I haven't died. No, I am not abandoning this story (although I did consider it). And I'm reallllllllllly sorry for not uploading in, what, a year? I've had a lot going on, but I know that's not an excuse. Anyways, I hope I am forgiven and I WILL finish this story (as well as my other story, M is for Madness).
Disclaimer: I don't own Maximum Ride.
Wha—? I thought. How—? I looked up.
The flock was there being held by five erasers. Dang it. I thought.
But…where was Nudge?
Crap. I thought as I struggled to free myself from the eraser's vise-like grip. He just chuckled and twisted my arm, making me hiss. I looked around and saw Max on the floor, gasping and coughing. We had almost been too late.
Alright, let me back up a bit.
As soon as Max left, I had turned to the flock and we devised a plan.
"We're going to have to split up. Me, Gazzy, and Angel are gonna go help Max. Iggy and Nudge—you guys try to find Jeb or the Director. If we can take one of them hostage, I'm sure we could make a small trade. Everyone got it?"
I got serious nods from the flock. I put my hand out in a fist, like Max always did before we went to sleep. But now seemed like a pretty good time for a sort of handshake.
The kids stacked their fists and I tapped them. Then we threw the door open and split up.
I threw a look over my shoulder and locked eyes with Nudge. She gave me a small smile, and then she and Iggy turned out of sight.
Before I even had time to think about which way we should go, a scream sounded from the end of the hallway. Max was in trouble.
"Come on!" I gestured to Angel and Gazzy and we took off. But right as we rounded the corner, we came face to face with eight erasers. I didn't have time to yell before we had all been grabbed, our arms secured behind our backs.
They began to drag us to the end of the hall, where we entered a room.
"Max!" Angel yelled. Sure enough, Max was pinned to the wall by none other than an enraged Ari.
I snarled as another eraser swiftly pulled Ari off of Max and began heatedly whispering to him. I caught phrases such as "what were you thinking?" and "need her alive".
A split second later, two other erasers entered the room dragging Iggy who sported a black eye.
I looked questioningly at him. "They were waiting" was all he said. I noticed, however, that Nudge was conveniently absent from this little gathering.
We were all positioned in a misshaped circle.
Iggy had a look of defiance on his face as he stomped on his captor's toes. Gazzy had a mischievous look on his face—the eraser's face changed into a mask of disgust and he turned his head away. I almost smiled.
Then I looked at Angel. Angel, can you "ask" them to let us go?
I've been trying! I think they must have a mind block up or something. I can't even read their thoughts! She replied.
I mentally cursed. How were we going to get out of this? It looked as though Max was beginning to recover, but as she shakily tried to get to her feat, Ari pinned her arms behind her back with one arm, while the other wrapped around her torso, pinning her back to him.
He grinned and whispered in her ear. "Just wait till next time. The timing won't be so perfect, and then…" He trailed off.
Max yawned. "You know what, if your filthy arm wasn't wrapped around me, I'd be shaking." She said sarcastically. Ari punched her in the side and I saw her grimace.
The door clicked open. The sound of expensive leather shoes hitting linoleum floors echoed around the room as Jeb walked into the room, flanked by three or four white-coats.
He walked up to Max and held out a small jar of gel that appeared to be glowing.
"Looking for something?" He murmured. Max snarled at him and he slipped the reverse medication into his coat pocket. He didn't acknowledge Ari, and I saw a flash of anger in the eraser's eyes.
Then he turned to me. My face was emotionless, but I felt like yelling every curse word I knew at him. But would that help our situation at all? No. See? I can be logical.
"Fang, I'd say I'm sorry that you'll be dead in the next hour or so, but I'm not."
I didn't say anything. Was it just me, or did this whole situation seem really cliché?
Jeb sighed, then looked at the eraser holding me.
"Take these five—" (he gestured to me, Iggy, Gazzy, and Angel) "Wait, you're missing one! What happened to her?"
The erasers looked around, confused, and the ones with free hands literally scratched their heads. It was really quite comical.
"There was another one?" Was the genius reply one managed to utter.
Jeb was fuming. He closed his eyes and massaged the bridge of his nose, as if he couldn't believe he had to deal with the unbelievably slow erasers. I didn't blame him—well, I actually did. I mean, he created them! But…you know what I meant.
Jeb opened his mouth to speak again, and, as if on cue, the intercom blared to life. Anyone else feel like it's a school environment? Not that I'd know, of course. And the school's football team would have to be really, really hairy…
There was some static and then a muffled argument.
"Just say it!"
"I've got more eyeliner where that came from. Now say it!"
I couldn't mistake Nudge's voice and my mouth turned up at the corners.
"Please take your coffee break," an old lady's voice grumbled. "There has been a change of plans. Please meet in the main hall for manicures and pedicures."
There was a beat of dead silence.
"THAT WAS THE DIRECTOR, AND THAT WAS AN ORDER! NOW GET TO THE MAIN HALL!" thundered Nudge's voice.
The erasers (save Ari), looking thoroughly confused but frightened, released us and scurried for the door.
"Wait—where—stop!" Jeb tried to stop the erasers, but to no avail. He turned around, and bit his lip.
Angel and I slowly walked towards Jeb, while Iggy and Gazzy did the same to Ari (who quickly dropped Max). And might I say we looked pretty scary.
Jeb squeaked and turned for the door. Only to be met by none other than Nudge.
"Where's the director?" I asked her.
"Tied to a chair with hair ribbons." She replied matter-of-factly. I rolled my eyes. Where does she get this stuff? No…I mean it. Where did she get enough hair ribbon to tie a woman to a chair? When you're on a rescue mission, you pack the essentials. And that's it.
By now, Max had stood up and was unlatching a window on the other side of the room.
"No, Max you can't go! Don't you get it? This is your destiny! We're trying to help you!" Jeb cried frantically.
"Please." She scoffed. "Are 'kidnap' and 'torture' new synonyms for 'help'? But you're right—I can't go quite yet. I'm forgetting something." She stalked towards him. Jeb closed his eyes and shrunk away from her as she leaned in…and plucked the jar of gel from his pocket.
"Now, if you value your lives, you'll both get out of here." They didn't move. "NOW!"
Jeb ran from the room (wimp). Ari lunged at Max, but when the six of us stepped menacingly forward, he thought better of it. Good choice. Ari huffed, threw one last murderous glance at Max, and followed Jeb out the door.
Now it was just the flock.
"OMG! Is everybody okay? We have to hurry—those hair ribbons won't last forever!"
"Does this mean we're a flock again?"
"Dude, did you see his face?"
"He squeaked! I mean it!"
Max and I didn't say anything. Just smiled.
"Oh yeah, I need somebody to rub this stuff over my wings. Fang?" Max said, lifting up the back of her shirt.
I took the jar from her and spread a bit of gel over her back. When my hand touched her back, I swear both of us jumped slightly.
"Thanks," she said, slowly unfolding her beautiful wings.
Then she held out her fist, and as we performed the ritual stack, I felt, for the first time in ages, as if we were actually a flock again. I met Max's eyes and she smiled.
Then she turned and jumped out the window, the rest of us following. As the awful building called the School turned to a speck in the distance, and we could no longer hear the alarms, the sun set in front of us, and the six of us spun and laughed in the air.
My hand found Max's and I held it as we flew.
Okay, okay, I know. That was really corny. But I needed to end it—I feel awful about how long it took me to update, and I don't want to make you guys wait so long again. So unless anyone's really dissatisfied with the ending, this story is complete.
Thanks for reading!