If I Were a Rich Man

Description: Max/Fang established. Iggy/OC. Squeal to "Matchmaker." Studying a device Iggy brought back from Area 51, the flock may find the answers to all their problems… Or not. Meanwhile, Tiger's Eye has a secret… A Dawna Universe fic. Fax. Iggy/OC.

A/N: This is a Dawna universe fic. If you've read Macthmaker feel free to skip down to the chapter as I catch everybody else up to speed.

Summary of Matchmaker: This story takes place seven years after TFW. In it, Max and the Flock have established a military base of wayward hybrids. They are attacking the remaining Itex fractions that are popping up all over the world since Itex's fall. During these raids they often capture various experimental machines that Itex is developing in their quest to rule to world. These machines are sometimes of use to Dawna residents. One such machine came into Iggy's (who has become co-head of Research and Development along side Ella and Gasman) possession. It ended up being a telaporter and managed to send Iggy, Fang and later on, Max to an undisclosed location. Long story short they realized they were in Area 51 and that Itex had some sort of ties to it (whether they own Area 51 or are working with the government remains to be seen). Anyway they eventually got back to Dawna, Max and Fang fell in love (or rather they finally admitted they'd fallen in love as everybody knows that happened somewhere around the end of book ONE!) Um… Yep that's it. Here are the OCs already established in the Dawna universe:

Tiger's Eye: Works as a lab assistant for Iggy. She's a bit timid and withdrawn but has a fiery temper when worked up. She is a feline hybrid and often feels left out as most of the hybrids on Dawn are avian. She gives everyone she meets a nickname, a habit acquired from her time at her school.

Cannon: Second-in-command of the lead strike team of Dawna. Cannon is the quietest member of the group known as Team Fang (when you're the head of military command for an entire complex of supped up heroes, you get to have your own personal team named after you). He, like the others on Team Fang, has picked up an utterly defensive position on all things Max.

Sparkler: The only female member of Team Fang and by far the fastest. She polite, deadly, loyal to Fang and overprotective of Max.

Maxwell: Got his name from Fang when he joined Dawna and had no name other than his experiment number. Max doesn't find his name amusing, but Fang got it to stick anyway. He's gigantic, just overflowing with muscle and is the heaviest hybrid to ever get off the ground. He, even more so than the others on team Fang, is fiercely overprotective of Max and loyal to Fang almost to a fault.

Disclaimer: All characters, situations, events, and settings related to the Maximum Ride series are the property of James Patterson. Tiger's Eye, Dawna, and Team Fang belong to me and only me. Area 51 belongs to the United States Armed Forces. Thanks goes to my little brothers and sisters who refuse to let me ever have possession of the remote and therefore forced me to write this fic in my free time.

Chapter One: Happy Birthday!

"Dear God, you made many, many poor people.
I realize, of course, that it's no shame to be poor.
But it's no great honor either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?" – Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof

Maximum Ride, super-powered avian American and leader of the most highly sought after group of armed forces on the planet, moaned quietly as a state of semi-consciousness interceded on her peaceful slumber. Slowly, with much effort, Max forced her eyes open and, realizing where she was, attempted to stretch in a way that wouldn't wake up the dark-haired form of the figure beneath her.

He was sprawled across their bench like a worn out teenager, the softest lights of morning draping his face softly. They had claimed this bench as their own the first night they'd admitted their love for each other. It was large and stone and sat on a small outlook from the cave structure of Dawna in a private location with a gorgeous view.

Max tried to force herself to heave out of a rather all too comfortable position. She managed to catch a glance at her watch, sighed heavily at the clock face that read four A.M. It was midsummer in Dawna, the busiest time for Itex raids. She knew, somewhere in the back of her mind, that she really should be getting up, now that she was awake. She didn't sleep in well and there was never any lack of work in Dawna. But she was utterly determined not to wake Fang up early. Under normal circumstances she wouldn't have hesitated to dump him on the floor and go rushing off to do whatever it was she had to get done, but if a man couldn't be allowed to sleep until he was good and ready on his birthday, well then when could he?
Max smiled a little and settled back down against Fang's chest. After all, this certainly hadn't been the first time they'd fallen asleep out here after a long evening of making out. The important people knew where to find them if there was an emergency.

It'd been over two months since they'd returned from Area 51 and somewhere along that little adventure they'd finally admitted their feelings for one another. They'd claimed this bench as their own that first evening but Max wasn't sure when it had become practice to almost always end up down here every twilight hour. They had to keep up professional attitudes; they had a miniature city to run after all. And, of course, Fang wasn't always here when she woke and visa versa. Life in Dawna was the essence of unpredictable. Sometimes whole days would pass when either of them managed to make it to a bed of any kind, much less their over-sized bench spot. She herself was racking up quiet a record from nights spent with her head against her desk top after literally working herself until she passed out. And then he often had to go out on scouting missions and she had meetings with dignitaries across the globe. But somewhere along the way this bench had become their spot and that was that.

It bothered Max, just a bit. Her work ethic was outraged, despite her best intentions to let life go to hell and just roll with her emotions a little. They had tried to be discreet about it at first. Or at least she had.

Max shook her head, sighing and wondering just how angry Fang would be if she got up and went to the underground waterfalls, She was sorely in need of a shower. Sitting around and doing nothing wasn't one of her strong points. But just then she noticed a pair of rather sleepily but playful eyes focused on her.

"Morning beautiful." Fan muttered quietly, leaning up to place his lips softly against hers. Max smiled.

"Morning. I was just debating whether or not to leave your dead weight here and go take a shower." Max replied, her grin carrying over to her voice.

Fang smiled sleepily back and buried his face into her shoulder. "What time is it?" His lips tickling against her throat.

Max discreetly dropped her watch off to the side. "No idea." She fibbed. Max let her fingers twirl themselves into his dark locks and sighed. "But I do know what day it is." She added, still smiling.

He caught something extra in her tone and pulled back to look at her face, and then smiled softly.

"Happy birthday, Fang." She whispered slightly, her lips hovered just centimeters above his.

Fang's smile grew as her pulled her back down to meet his lips.