A/N: God. Damn. It. That's all I can say. FOUR FREAKIN BOOKS OF SEXUAL TENSION AND STILL NOTHING!!?? Why are you doing this to us, JP? WHY!!?? Goddammit, WE NEED SOME PROGRESS HERE! This was written at one am in the morning, while I was watching a Fax (huh. Is that what people call it?) video on YouTube. Enjoy!

Also, I'm sure Fang is this total closet romantic. Ask any MR fan. They'll tell ya.

Disclaimer: When Max and Fang start passionately making out, that's when I'll own Maximum Ride, 'kay? Kay.
P.S. I also don't own the (audible) dialogue during the Valium Incident. Those are Jimmy P's too.

It's the way you love me
It's a feeling like this
It's centrifugal motion
It's perpetual bliss

It's that pivotal moment
It's, ah, impossible
This kiss, this kiss
This kiss, this kiss

You got me soaring; you got me flying…
~This Kiss, Faith Hill

The first time they kissed, she had started it.

Max:

Our first kiss had been on a beach; and the sky and sand was streaked with blood. Your blood. You were lying spread-eagled among the mess of dirt and half-broken shells, Ari's handy work sliced on your cheeks, seeping through your clothes, sapping your life away. All I could remember was my feelings pounding on my head, your face twisted in pain and the fear of death gripping obstinately to my heart, until I could barely breathe without choking back a mouthful of tears.

You tasted of blood, seawater, and salt. Whether it was from my own tears, the ones that were dripping silently down my chin, or from the crisp feel of seaside breezes, I didn't know. Our lips moved in synchronization for the briefest of moments, allowing that electrical tingle to touch my mouth and swoop in my gut, before I pulled back, still worried and scared for your life but ohsodazed, the tiniest bubble of happiness bursting inside of me.

When I leaned back, I could your blood on my lips, a vampire's kiss, and something glowed inside me. It was like someone flipped the on switch in my heart, and now it was alight with warm yellow light, pulsating with heat and love.

The first thing you said was 'Ow,' your fingers grazing the ugly cut that split your lower lip like a crack in the pavement(now that I think about, it was actually quite amusing. That remark just seemed so generic, so casual.), before our eyes; drilling into each other; widened in shock, and we both thought 'what the hell just happened!?'

A split-second later we were both blushing, faces aflame, and while Gazzy and Nudge stared slack-jawed at us, with Iggy snorting with annoyance, demanding to know what just had happened, I silently thanked God that Angel was getting water, because I had no intention of explaining the concept of puberty to a six year old.

I don't know what spurred me on. Maybe it was the adrenaline rushing around my blood like a tide pool after the fight. Maybe it was the panic of seeing you weakly sprawled out, your hold on life slippery and uncertain, as if slick with oil, and the paralyzing fear of your eyes closing and never opening again and you'll never hear what I had to say to you. Maybe it was the fact that my fear-ridden mind saw an opportunity peeking out slyly from behind the scenes, and I took it.

Boy, did I take it.

And even though now, when the only time That Kiss is mentioned is strictly restricted for teasing purposes and references only, I still keep it pressed inside me, like the leaf between the pages of a romance novel. Whenever I think of it, I still get that glowing feeling, a dull flickering. I still have no idea why.

Over and over, over and over
I fall for you
Over and over; over and over
I try not to
~Over and Over, Three Days Grace

Fang:

He had taken the initiative, and kissed 'the girl of his dreams' one time and counting, his hand crushing her hair scattered on the small of her back, their lips melting together in a surprised embrace. And his heart came humming to life, thrumming with a steady rhythm, like the whir of life support.

It stopped abruptly when his face felt the cold air of dejection, and he saw her sweep her wings in a single swoop, her body held delicately aloft as she flew away, a distant figure among the blurry mass of grey sky. It splintered and cracked, until he was sure that if you smash his lightweight ribs and his chest caved in, all you could see was a writhing hole of frustration and pain where his heart would be.

And then he'd be staring at the rapidly shrinking dot in the sky, clutching his gaping hole of a heart, thinking about how her lips felt so warm and soft and right under his, and how her hands seemed to fit exactly on his body as they clutched each other with such urgency for closeness it was frightening, and wondering what the hell had just happened, and how did he end up alone and angry in cave for two?

Then, almost like a reflex, a brief flash of Lissa (or as Max had dubbed her, the Red-Haired Wonder) and her lips on his, and he thought even though the kiss had been surprising and heady and hormonal, she wasn't Max, and she couldn't kiss like Max, and she couldn't make his heart twist up and his thoughts flutter in a disorganized array like Max could. She couldn't suddenly make the world lighter with golden warmth like Max could for him.

She hadn't looked as beautiful as Max does when she smiles either.

We'd cross the deepest oceans
Cargo across the sea
And if you don't believe me
Just put your hands on me
And all the constellations
Shine down for us to see
And if you don't believe me
Just put your hands on me

~Hands on Me, Vanessa Carlton

Valium. Ever since the last incident regarding this, it was now a taboo word, with 'Say It at the Risk of Max Kicking Your Ass from Here back to Itex' practically tattooed on its forehead. And he knows that even though he's her right-wing man and best friend, she won't mind having a right-wing man who's paralyzed from the neck down, if it means indulging herself in the form of vicious revenge.

"Faaaang." She languidly stretched his name, like a trail of toffee from a caramel apple, and he's never been more turned on in his life. Insert loopy, completely un-Max-like giggle here. "I'm so glad you're here." Her words are melting and laced together as her tongue trips over herself. A foolishly happy, stoned smile, creeping over her lips like snow on a summer pavement.

Frankly, her happiness is quite frightening.

"I know everything's fine if you're here." He hopes to God that she doesn't see his cheeks flush like a raging inferno. It cannot be normal, for a girl to be so damn appealing while she's high on painkillers. He has this feeling that by the time this operation is over, both of them are going to blushing over this experience for a very, very long time. Then—"Oh, look, the lights are so pretty!" And while Max is staring goofily into space, at the 'pretty lights' he's doing his best not to flush as she suddenly traps his hand with vice-like grip.

"Fang?"

He swallows dryly before answering. "Yeah. I'm here."

"I'm so glad you're here." Her words are barely coherent now, slurred beyond belief.

"Yeah. I got that." But that doesn't stop another blush from creeping up his neck.

"I don't know what I'd do without you." 'I don't know what I'd do with you either, Max' He thinks it silently, an unexpectedly tender thought, while she's jolting her head around now, squinting at him, her curls swinging wildly.

"You'd be fine." He murmurs nonchalantly to her, because that's what he believes, and he doubts that beautiful, independent Max ever needs to depend on anyone.

"No. I would be totally unfine. Totally." She outlines the word heavily with her lips, indicating that it was of vital importance for him to understand this.

He winces as he sees Dr. Martinez quietly sawing through his leader's arm with a razor sharp scalpel and the trickles of blood dripping steadily down her tanned skin. Luckily, Max doesn't seem affected by the fact that someone is hacking at one of her limbs, but the amount of blood is really worrying him.

"I-It's okay. Just relax." Fang's words come out sounding like cardboard: stiff, nervous, hard and plain. No wonder he left all the 'comforting' stuff to Max. "Just…relax. Don't try to talk." She decides to ignore him, muttering about the chip, while he throws in another word to reassure her. How typical.

"I just want you to hold my hand." Her voice is bouncy, doped, but still unbelievably sweet, with an adorable whine in it, like a child being parted from her favourite toy.

"I am holding your hand." Actually, he's never let go of it, and now the feel of her warm hand against his is comfortable as he squeezes it a little, reluctant to let go. She rubs her fingers against his, and it sends tingles jolting up his arm.

"Fang, don't go anywhere."

"I won't. I'm here." 'And I'll never leave' He adds mentally. Because he knows that it doesn't matter how far he goes, because he'll always have to come back.

"Okay. I need you here. Don't leave me." Why does he suddenly want to kiss her so god damn freaking much? To just capture her lips with his so she'll know how he feels and that he'll never leave. He'd stay. Stay even in the deepest pit of Hell if he has to.

"I won't." And then he tightens his grip on her hand.

"Fang, Fang, Fang," By now, he's in love with his name ensconced in her voice; her pearly pink lips rounding around the letters, her teeth flashing, and his libido flares. "I love you. I love you sooo much." Then Max smiles goofily at him, and he thinks he's just fallen in love with her a little deeper.

"Oh, jeez." His voice comes out strangled with emotion and shock, and a little fear, since his once kick-ass leader is now smiling like Angel when she got Celeste and told him she loved him while riding a high induced by painkillers.

He's never going to let that go, by the way. It's not every day your best friend-whom-you-possible-might-be-in-love-but-have-to-hide-it manages to humiliate herself by saying the one thing she would never say while sane: I love you.

He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why
~Everything You Want, Vertical Horizon

It was after the two mini-flocks had gotten back together, and they had taken refuge had Dr. Martinez's house. After the disastrous meeting with the government's henchmen, and the bomb-in-the-pizza trick. It had been at night, they were on one of their night flights, and he made one last attempt at unweaving the complicated tangle of feelings they had created. Why?

1. Because he was either a masochist, or an idiot. Or both.

2. See above. And maybe he just wanted some answers.

His lips had cut her off as she opened her mouth; one hand spread-eagled among her sandy blonde curls, nestled against the back of her head, the other stroking the freckles on the side of her face. For moment, her lips contorted into a twist as she tried to speak, but he kept his mouth firmly over hers as his heart began to beat out a jagged beat again.

Tilting his head at an angle to deepen the kiss, he moved his hands down to the small of her back, splaying them against the smooth stretch of cloth and skin as he clutched her closer, their bodies fitting into each others, the path of their curves perfectly compatible.

And all the while, his heartbeat was full of broken I love yous, intangibly tangible frustration, and quiet determination, all interwoven with a sense of finality.

When she pushed him away, he felt as if she had ripped him out as well, and all he could think of while he traced the outline of her speckled wings as she flew away was 'not again', his emotions churning and boiling; dark red pain streaked with scorched frustration, mixed with the sluggish color of confusion as the half-healed stitches on his heart loosened and he started bleeding all over again.

The second and third time they kissed, he had started it.

One boy. One girl. Mutual affection for each other. It should've been simple. So why the hell wasn't it?

Huh. Probably because even though it's obvious the girl loves the boy back, she seems to run away anytime he tries to display said affection. Not exactly boosting his self-esteem (or his confidence in her affection) here.

A-oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon's sparkling
So kiss me
~Kiss Me, Sixpence None the Richer

The fourth time they kissed, they were both to blame.

Max:

It was night, and the air was alight with warm summer breezes and the comforting slap murmur of waves continually ebbing at the sandy bay. I was doing my best to avert your gaze. You were doing you best to catch mine. The air was strewn with light winds and breathes of currents, yet laden heavily with unspoken words and soon-to-be-heard confessions.

Iggy and Gazzy were roasting chunks of stolen hot dog as Total lay his furry black head on his paws, lifting one floppy-haired, lazy eye. Nudge chatted easily to Angel, the words pouring from her mouth like water from a tap turned to full blast. Angel's blonde locks were sweetly mussed, Celeste cradled fragilely in her arms as she glanced uneasily between Fang and I. I batted away her concern with a weak smile and soft-spoken endearments, my eyes intently fixed on the broken shell half-buried in the sand.

I tried to keep my thoughts as still as the paper-smooth, glassy surface of water, as she reluctantly retreated from my mind.

Below, I could feel a thousand emotions churning and frothing, crashing and colliding every time I caught sight of his perfect, glinting dark eyes.

Midnight.

At least that's what it feels like, as I wrap my wings around my body and breathe in the warm, downy scent of feathers, gazing silently at the creamy white moon stationed in the middle of the sky, emitting an eerie white aura around itself. With the contrast of soft, wispy indigo clouds framing it against the navy blue sky, I have never quite seen anything as mesmerizing.

With one last 360 degree sweep of my quietly sleeping flock, I unfurl my wings, feeling the air hit them and the feathers instantly become alert, spreading out as I dive from the branches of a huge pine tree, my arms held aloft like a little kid pretending to fly.

The sound of crashing wave register in my mind, mingled with the muffled shrieks of seagulls as I breathe in the warm, salty air, my eyes still pinned to the perfect circle of white in the sky. Dirt-smeared hand reaching out towards the hypnotic glow, my eyes almost blinded by the dazzling beauty.

Long, olive-skinned fingers with mud-encrusted nails wrapping around my wrist, so big it easily fits around it. A single chocolaty deep baritone that sends a spasm of shivers surging through my body. "Yo."

A change of view:
Her features are highlighted in the brilliant milky jade moonlight, with feathery touches of silver. It mingles with the sandy, honeyed curls of her hair, turning it into a halo. There is a look of pure awe and tender understanding on her face, making the wrinkle frown-lines on her face solemn. Her wings, outlined with touches of the moon, flare out beautifully, each feather present, lining up perfectly in an upward arch. Her whole body is luminous with radiance, her every twitch in slow motion; timeless. She looked like a painting that was fluid even with no movement, a haunting ethereal grace and beauty hanging like an aura of heavy perfume over her.

With moonbeams stroking her cheek, her delicate fingers splay out towards the orb suspended in the sky, stars dancing on the tips of her nails. He notes the quiet trace of determination that never quite leaves her face, even in the most peaceful of slumbers, and wonders if that's what an angel really looks like.

Anyway. Back to focus:
"Yo."

His eyes are quiet, dark, serious, completely unaffected by the surreal moonlight. I could feel myself drowning in the dark chocolate cappuccino colored depths, as mesmerizing as the moon itself. My blood boiled where his fingers touched me, heat shooting up my arm. My tongue feels garbled, as if the words dancing on it are jumbled. "Hi."

A chunk of dark, raven-tinted hair flops over his forehead, reflecting shining silver light, as his wings—as the dark as the moonless night, highlighted with a mysterious magenta purple—steadily flap up and down. "We need to talk." Fear creeps over my spine as he says the words I had been dreading. We were in the air, his hand holding me, with nowhere to run. I blink at him, my lips quivering.

"There's nothing to talk about." But it does nothing to dissuade him. In fact, his grip tightens on my wrist, and his other hand covers mine, heat instantly blanketing my body.

"If there isn't, then you wouldn't be running away every time I try to kiss you." The way he says it, calm and stoic with perfect nonchalance makes me flinch.

"There isn't anything to talk about." I repeat stiffly again, refusing the meet his eyes. I crane my neck away, ready to kick in the super speed the moment he lets me go.

"You don't love me." The words slice through my chest like a silver scalpel as I turn back to meet his melting eyes, an ominous shadow casting on them, darkened with pain.

"I-it's not that."

"So you love me."

"No! Yes! Maybe." All I could see was Fang's face, his chunk of hair feathery and soft, his face outlined with luminous touches of light as he watches me, and the silver of moonshine swimming around him in dizzying swirls as the accelerated thumping of my heart seems to pulse through my entire body. "Maybe. I actually have no idea."

"Well. What would happen if I did this?" His hand leaves my wrist, trailing languidly up my bare arm, heat dancing at the tips of his fingers and seeping into my skin, before clasping my entire shoulder, dangerously near my neck, a large imprint that inflames my body. His other hand comes up to cup my chin for a split second before slipping away, allowing the tips of his fingers to linger and tilt my head up slightly before tracing the path of my slender jawbone and cupping the side of my head, my skin, ear and blonde locks firmly ensconced in the feeling of skin.

"Fang." I let his name softly suspend in the air, mixing the moonbeams and weaving waspishly through the air before fading away into the blinding silver.

"This?" His face is edging nearer to mine, eyes lidded and dark and completely serious, and I close my eyes, sweat beading on my forehead, thinking 'Please. Not again.'

Only to find his lips, sweet and solid, rest firmly on my forehead instead of my lips as I breathe in the scent of dirt and nature and something undeniably masculine, our bodies crushed like two empty soda cans together, our chests and stomachs mashed together, the slope of my nose just hooking under his chin.

There was also this hollow, dank, echoing beating that thumped and impacted powerfully against the thin shell of my body. Sadness? Angst? Fear?

Disappointment.

My hands instantly whip away from my sides, two flesh-colored blurs as they both reach out to lace into a cage behind his head and dig themselves into his hair as I use all my strength to snap my head up and pull his lips to mine. I am vaguely aware that his hands travel to my neck and the top of my back and do the same, and we collide in a clash of contact and heat.

The first thing I'm aware of is the fact that oh my god, Fang is kissing me and I'm kissing Fang and we're both in front of the moon and we're kissing

The second is how I kick myself for never noticing how our lips melted so perfectly together before, and how consuming and solid and there he was, his body wrapped around mine and his hands splayed against my neck, crushing the small of my back, trying to fill the already practically non-existent space between us.

I can feel his muscles arch under my hands, and it just makes me want to press him to my body even more, until every inch of us was glued, skin to skin, together. This furious need…it can't be natural. For a second, our noses brush together, but we tilt our heads and segment our lips to each other again, kissing ravenously and sensationally. I could feel what feels like a thousand too-hot summer days shooting and filling up my veins, replacing my blood with liquid sunshine and my organs with balls of flame, yet it feels comfortable, too comfortable, and that it could be even hotter.

It was right up on my list of Greatest Things in the World, nudging home-made chocolate chip cookies and flying slightly off course.

I could feel Fang slowly unpeel his lips from mine, curving into a rare, waggish smile, pinpricks of star dotted in his eyes. "Hey. And this time, you didn't even run away."

"Shut up." I would punch his arm right now, but that would mean relinquishing the lock I had made of my arms, snaking around his neck.

"Fine with me." And as his face comes into closer focus again, until I could use my fingertips to trace every beam of light that contours his skin, I feel the bright stare of the moon gazing at us, illuminating every curve of our bodies with light, down to the last downy edge of our feathers.

Like a pair of the happiest, slightly crooked angels on Earth.