A/N: Well, heeeere it is! I think less talk and more reading, so I'll let you get on with it. Thanks to everyone who read and everyone else who reviewed, and thank you all for the support. Reviews make me happy ^^.
desperatelyobvious (yes yes I did :D... I'm evil like that), Winged-Demigod, StarofCalamity, tearsXsolitude (and another eeep for good luck :P), booksmartblonde333, Sunshine Roses. (He he he I thought about doing that too but I was like... nah I want her to see him!), NileyxMoexLOVEx (ha ha I think for a while there I was going to quit, but really, I like writing too much :P), 6464MiniDiceofRandomness (ha ha ha! who told you?), meea123 (I was thinking that the whole time I was writing his part lol), Mistystarshine, lazerwolf314 (faxness, faxness, faxeness!), Phoinex Warrior (NO! don't let it fail!), Battosailover5, Freedom Requires A Battle Cry (c-4's a new threat for my book of death-threats, I'll be sure to add it! :P), Blackie Shell Paws and Furface (Mwhahahaha... you, my friend, must be the most patient person on earth if you've been waiting for that bit. It has taken me a very long time to get around to it. for that I am deeply sorry. I hope you enjoy this chapter. :P), flocklover19 (he he well keep reading. there will be a lot more fang and max coming up :P), Demon-Kitty-Chan (ha ha, I try) and last but never lest... Teehee Tummytums!
Oh and a whole lot less threats so...much appreciated. Thank you! Enjoy!
The Director steps forward, grinning from ear to ear. As he reaches down to help me up, he changes back into the little genius of a kid I know and love.
"That was amazing, Pup!" I say taking his hand with my own uninjured one. He grins and helps me to my feet.
"Sorry I couldn't get here sooner. Had to make sure everyone was in place. How'd you know it was me?" he asks softly as we walk over to the group by the van, and I grin weakly.
"Your hair turns pink when you're amused," I tell him quietly, pushing him into the van. I hear him laugh and turn to Nemo, who grins wildly at me.
"Good to see you're still kicking arse, brother," she acknowledges, clapping me on the shoulder.
I look over her face, and notice a few scratches and nicks. Probably from the fight back in the desert I think, wondering just how long ago that was.
"Any longer and I thing I'd be kicking up daisies," I mumble back, glancing into the driving cabin. Ebony smiles back, showing almost all her perfect white teeth.
I give her a small awkward nod of acknowledgment, and turn to watch Nemo as she makes her way over to the Gasman with the first aid kit. As she kneels down at Gazzys side, she and Max stare at each other for a brief moment in utter bewilderment. The sight would be utterly comical, if everyone weren't so tense. Nemo glances up at me, before returning to her task.
"He's out!" came a shout from the sewers. I recognize Amity's voice and see her emerge half supporting, half dragging Kith from the sewer. I jog forward and throw Kiths arm around my shoulders. I glance down at his face and realize how pale he is. We take him to the van where Iggy and Echo have dragged the Gasman inside and are now in the process of trying to make him comfortable on the floor.
Nemo walks up to me and shakes her head.
"The kids gonna be fine, just nicked a chunk out of his side. Won't be flying on that, mind. And what's up with him?" she questions, nodding at Kith before glancing at Amity.
"Chimera toxin; he needs some of Lexy's antidote," I supply for her. Without hesitation Nemo dives into her medical box and pulls out a deadly looking needle. I turn to Amity, whose face is slowly turning pale at the sight of the needle, and take her aside to distract her.
"Alpha?" I question in a low voice. She opens her mouth to reply when I hear a booming laugh from behind me.
"Don't worry, you're not alpha yet!" I grin and turn around, happy to see my old friend. I notice he has a black eye and a split lip, but apart from that his rough face looks about normal. He is, however, sporting a heavy limp.
"Good to see you again, my beta!"
Clapping me on the shoulder, he turns and stares at the somewhat out of place looking Flock. He gives them a calculated look and homes in on Max straight away.
"Nemo look-alike, I'd say from your posture that you'd be answering for this group of lightweights?"
"We prefer avians, firball. And yes, I am Max; the leader of my flock," she says confidently, glancing at Echo. I frown and come up beside Alpha, suddenly remembering what was said back in the cells. Although the Flock had become somewhat relaxed around the Pack, I was not going to take any chances.
"Well, I'm Alpha and this is my Pack," Alpha booms out, and I feel Nemo and Amity gather behind me. I glance at Alpha, knowing that he is going into full alpha-wolf mode.
"Right, first order of business- your little winged friend in there with the funky gut, he needs medical care. We can offer this back at our base, but Max, we can't have your Flock pecking our eyes out first chance you get," Alpha smirks, knowingly tapping the side of his bow as he says this.
"Why should we trust you?" Max asks defiantly. Her strong gaze matches his, only quavering to glance into the van as a soft groan drifts from within.
"From what this little runts told me-" Alpha replies softly, thrusting his thumb towards Pup, who is listening with his head out the vans open window, "Your friend with the ungodly bowels distracted the Itex dogs long enough for him to slip away and alert us of your whereabouts. In my books, that makes him our priority."
Max gives him another uncertain look and Alpha glances at the Flock meaningfully, as if to make his point clearer. He steps forward and lowers his voice so that only her ears catch the next bit.
"Plus, you don't really have a choice here," he mutters gently, moving back to his previous position.
I watch as the rest of the flock gives Max an uncertain look. She stares at Alpha for what seems like eternity, before giving him a tight nod. It is hard to argue when Alpha is being… well, alpha. But as the others (plus Omega) slowly climb into the van, Echo turns to Max, his face red with anger.
"You actually expect me to get in that van with them?" he growls, thrusting a finger in my direction. I look at Max, and I can see that her cheeks have a slight pink tinge to them. She rounds on Echo, her eyes seething.
"I don't like this any more than you… but he's right. I mean, what are we suppose to do? Fly him between you, Iggy and me? It's a pretty long flight, and we could damage something further. Echo, for once, can you just do what I say?" she asks almost pleadingly and reaches for his arm. I look away as she gently strokes his forearm. Jealousy burns deep down inside me and I feel the wolf growling gently in my chest.
"This is bullshit," I hear him mutter angrily. The crunch of gravel informs me that he is walking away from the group and I glance back at him. His wings, bright fiery red in colour, snap out and he takes a running leap into the air.
"I'll see you guys there," he spits bitterly down at us, stroking down hard to get up into the now bright morning sky.
Max looks as if she is about to follow him, when Iggy reaches out of the open van door and lays his hand on hers. She turns and glances into his face, her eyes softening.
"Leave him. He'll be fine," Iggy mutters, giving her a reassuring smile. She nods gently, glancing back up at him, before quietly stepping over Gazzy and into the van. She seats herself next to Nudge, just behind Iggy and Angel.
Alpha gives me a quick glance, before clapping his hands together and stalking over to the passenger's door of the cabin. With a quick tug, he swings the door open and stands back to let Nemo in first. I nod at him and slowly walk up to the sliding door, following Amity in. Amity settles down next to Pup and Kith at the back, smiling softly across at her partner. Kith smiles back, obviously feeling a little better. As I take my place next to Omega at the front, I take the inside handle on the sliding door with my uninjured hand and slam it shut.
"Alright, everybody in? Hit it, Eb," Alpha utters happily. With a lurch of the van and a little groan of pain from Gazzy, we start to move off. I glance around and double counted everyone again, unable to shake the feeling that we were missing something… or someone.
Suddenly, Angel let out a cry.
"Stop! Stop the car!" she cries, jumping forward to grab the sliding door. Before Ebony even puts on the brakes, Angel is out of the van and running.
"What-" "Hell's she doing?" "Eb, stop!"
"Angel!" Max yells after her, supporting herself by the windowsill of the van before jumping over Gazzy and out of the van. I get up and grab either side of the doorway before leaning out over Gazzy to watch.
I spot Angel running flat out, Max catching up. I squint and notice something emerging from the trees surrounding the spot where I'd fought Marcel, and my heart gives a little leap. Total is trotting towards Angel, dragging what looks like a backpack behind him. I grin and shake my head, glancing around as I see Angel pull Total into her arms.
Out of the corner of my eye I see them coming.
So, distracted by Angel and Total, Max doesn't see the patrol of G3's exit the sewer. I shout something like 'the sewers' to Alpha, before I jump over the Gasman and hit the gravel running. I see the G3's cock their riffles, and I see Max glance up at them… but she's too slow to react. She has enough time to place herself in front of Angel before they start firing.
Within the last ten metres, I snap out my wings and dive at them with my arms out in front of me.
My heart skips a beat.
I collide with Max with enough force to bring them both to the dirt. I feel the sting of gravel rash and then numbness down my side. There is shooting coming somewhere from near the van, and there's a ringing in my ear. I hear Max hiss in pain and realize I am on top of her. I roll off her and it's like a button sets off the pain realize on my side. I let out a low hiss of pain through my clenched teeth, as an agonizing pain fills my body.
I am shot. With my eyes squeezing closed, that is the only thought that circles my head.
"Oh… oh, my god! H- he's shot!" Max cries out, and I feel her warm hand on my shoulder. I squint at her for a second, before a wave of nausea hits me. I groan out in agony, unable to keep it in any more.
"Max, his wings…" I hear Angel whisper softly, before I hear the crunch of boots on gravel.
"Alright brother, we got you," came Nemo's voice, and I realize the sounds getting fainter. I feel the energy sustaining my wolf form slipping away, and my head starts to spin. Suddenly, I'm in someone's arms in the arm in the air, and I'm human again.
"F… no. It can't be."
That was Max's voice, I think weakly. I feel someone touch my face, but the pain overtakes me and I cry out again.
"No… it can't be! No, your dead!"
I want to comfort her, to tell her that I'm alright, but I'm feeling faint with pain, I'm try to stop the dimness surrounding me, but know I am fighting a losing battle. And I know I'm back in the van. And I know we're driving again. And I know Nemo's trying to stop the bleeding. And as I drift into the shadows of my mind I hear an angelic voice calling.
"Fang? No, what are you doing? Get away from him, you monster! Fang? FANG!"
And I think, 'Honey, I'm home.'