All That's Left of Yesterday
Fallen angels at my feet
Whispered voices at my ear
Death before mine eyes
Lying next to me, I fear
Fang stood motionless on the edge of the cliff, absorbed in a stream of thoughts and memories. Around him, an unspoken sadness filled the air, so thick it was almost tangible.
The blanket of darkness that surrounded the Flock was brightened only by the light born of the moon, and as Fang looked down, Angel noticed how the light cast a shadow over his suddenly spirited eyes.
She watched from inside the cave as her big brother sat down on the rocky edge outside, unprotected from the light veil of snowfall. After a few quiet seconds passed, Fang looked out ahead at the valley below, his thoughts as hectic as ever.
With light footsteps, she cautiously approached his still form. Fang turned his head and his eyes flicked from her face to the inside of the cave, and she noticed the fractional remnants of their fire pit dancing in his pupils.
"Is everything going to be okay?" Angel asked quietly when she was just a few feet away.
She felt his memories pour through his thoughts. Scenes of Flyboys, mostly. And the gunshots. He remembered the cracking sounds of the shots clearer than almost anything else. It made him flinch ever so slightly…
"It's all going to be fine, sweetie," Fang told her, but she knew he had to force the false sound of reassurance into his voice.
Her gaze lingered on him for a moment longer as her lips formed a tight, sad smile, before she turned and walked back to the others, letting silence reclaim its reign outside the cave.
I'm numb to you, numb and deaf and blind
You give me all but the reason why
I reach but I feel only air at night
Not you, not love, just nothing
Angel took a seat on the hard floor, watching Fang again. Every so often, he would gaze at the empty space beside himself, lips whispering, pleading to the void.
She frowned as a faint, transient, wistful smile lightened his brooding face when a small clump of snow had slid from the cave's overhang and landed on his hand.
She was afraid to pick through his thoughts any further, nervous about what she might find there, both at the surface and in the memories repressed by deep, unrelenting sorrow.
There were things Angel didn't want to be reminded of, and yet every time she looked at Fang, she saw that day. She wasn't there, didn't see what happened with her own eyes, but Fang remembered. Boy, did he remember. Every single day, he thought about it, and Angel could feel what it was doing to him, how it burned like a searing flame against his delicately bare skin.
Fang felt a light tap at his foot and instantly awoke, finding Max with his sleepy gaze.
"Your watch," she whispered, her eyes darting away from his in an instant, immediately alerting him that something wasn't right.
While the chilling night air kissed the sleep from his eyes, he had also noticed the way she hesitated for a single split second, causing his ever-present curiosity to bubble up. And again, as he watched her walk towards the opening of the cave, Max seemed to lack decisiveness, almost as if she was rethinking something.
"I need to go for a fly," she said quietly.
Fang followed, knowing she meant alone…
As if he was really going to listen to her now, of all times.
Abruptly, she turned around and cocked her head to the side, briefly looking past him for a moment, a look of doubt clearly splashed across her face. But soon enough, she turned and took to the skies with a few determined downstrokes.
Be careful, he wanted to shout.
But he kept the verbal concern to himself, instead walking hastily over to Iggy and waking the boy up to replace him for the watch.
Fang couldn't help it. He was seized by the urge to follow, rather than staying behind at the cave and becoming worn to shreds by pestiferous anxiety.
And so he silently flew behind her at a safe distance, remaining unnoticed. He easily kept at her pace, as she didn't quite use her super speed. The problem was remaining at a distance. He was maintaining it fairly well. But... the distractions... God, was she graceful in flight. He could describe it as nothing less than a flawless triumph of art. And the exquisite sight was his alone at this moment. Several times, he had to shake his head and force himself to just follow and make sure she wasn't ambushed…
Max had slowed as she neared the ocean, ending her flight as she glided to a landing in a large tree. It was barren of it's leaves in this harsh season and sat crookedly on the edge of a tall cliff face, her chosen branch leaning dangerously away from the security of land below it. Yet he couldn't understand why she'd perched herself outside of someone's house…
He found himself a perch of his own, a whopping 300 feet from Max, careful not to disclose his position – not a difficult task when you can practically manipulate the smothering silence around yourself. He stayed there, remaining concealed amidst the black, inky night, as he watched her and the surrounding area like… well, like a hawk.
But why here? he wondered.
Had she really come this far just to think?
You're too important for anyone
You play the role of all you long to be
But I, I know who you really are
You're the one who cries when you're alone
Or could it be possible that she had wanted him to follow? Fang allowed himself to linger with his thoughts on that possibility for a few moments, absorbed slightly, but knew it was ridiculous to consider.
Even so, part of him wanted it to be the truth. He couldn't deny that there was a part of him that had a ravenous thirst for reckless abandon – which is exactly what would follow any action he took toward the matter.
His occasional flashes of tenderness were few and far between, but so far, the constant remained that it never got him anywhere. She was always pushing him away. Still…
He had his reasons for being persistent…
Suddenly, he found himself presented with two clearly defined choices. Stay safely concealed or venture over to Max.
The latter choice was all but flashing in neon lights.
Take advantage of the opportunity. Indulge. Make her see how things could, should, be.
On the one hand, it was likely that he would be pelted with an interminable torrent of words.
On the other hand…
Although it was highly unlikely, he realized, it was a possibility – however grave that outlook might be – that Max would give in, go for it.
That thought single-handedly elicited a riot of joy within him. Sheer, exuberant, instinctive, unreasoning, careless, inexplicable joy.
Fear not the flame of my love's candle
Let it be the sun in your world of darkness
But just as Fang stood to take the leap, he watched as her face twisted, her eyes snapping shut as her hands frantically flew up to her head.
Whipping his wings out, a dangerous mixture of fear and adrenaline burned in his veins, watching Max stumble backwards on the wavering branch…
A sickening crack resounded through the air as the limb fractured and snapped from the truck, sending her into a freefall towards the wave-eroded cliff base…
Fang couldn't remember a time when he'd ever beat his wings faster…
I run to you, far away from this land
Call out your name, giving up, giving in
I see you there, still you are
But as she had crashed among the surf below, he was simply too late.
Some days, those were the only words Angel could get from his thoughts… The only words he allowed himself to contemplate.
And then Max was there again… riding his wave of denial deep into his very core.
It scared Angel. More than Flyboys, more than the School, more than losing Max. Whatever Fang was doing to keep himself together was absolutely frightening to her. Yet she prayed it wouldn't change. Because no matter how alarming it was to see Fang "with Max," it would be downright terrifying if Max left him, as was his own constant fear.
She felt her tears – tears she was previously unaware of – start spilling over, flowing in warm cascades down her face.
Through her now hazy vision, she watched a gentle breeze thrust bits of falling snow into Fang's face. Strangely, Angel felt his thoughts swell as he brought a hand up to his cheek and closed his eyes.
And she knew then what he was feeling. Just… love. He had never lost that sensation he had always felt from Max and she suspected he never would.
Nothing real love can't undo
And though I may have lost my way
All paths lead straight to you
Because even now, after one year's passing, Fang still whispers almost inaudibly into the vast emptiness around him…
"I miss you, Max."
Has no one told you she's not breathing?
Hello, I'm your mind, giving you someone to talk to
If I smile and don't believe
Soon I know I'll wake from this dream
Don't try to fix me
I'm not broken
Hello, I'm the lie living for you so you can hide
Suddenly I know I'm not sleeping
Hello, I'm still here, all that's left
That's…all. I hope you liked it, even if it wasn't what you wanted or expected. Please review. If you have any suggestions about what could have been better, please let me know and I'll consider it when I edit. Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. Like it? Love it? Hate it? Does everything make sense (continuity between 1st and 3rd chapters)? Let me know what you thought of it, please. :)
Thanks for reading. Again, I hope you enjoyed it.