So, you know how The Story of Justin was the product of a random thought I had in the shower?
Well, this is, too.
Fang: Your shower must be a very inspiring place...
Me: Yeah, you should go in there sometime....
Fang: A little inappropriate, don't you think, Saint?
Me: -smacks head- Get your mind out of the gutter, Fang! I was just saying you need a freaking shower!!!
Fang: Heh heh, oh. Hey! Are you saying I smell?
Fang: I don't smell!
Me: Fang, you've been here for, well, a long time, and you have yet to take a shower. If you don't get your sorry butt in there, I will go in there with you, 'cause I'll be draggin' you in!!!
Me: Good boy! Ok, moving on, the other inspiration for this story was the fact that Fang has repeatedly claimed to be a Ninja. Why? How should I know?
Disclaimer-san: I don't own Maximum Ride. I am not James Patterson. Actually, I'm female last time I checked, so being would be pretty hard. I do not own Fang, though I can still make him take a shower.
Another note I should mention is that, though I've read a decent amount of manga books, have watched a decent amount of anime, have a friend who speaks Japanese (That'd be you, Hidanlvr!), and studied Japan in World History, I am no Japanese expert. Nor am I an expert on Ninjas. I'm sure there will be a mistake of some sort, so I'd basically like to cover my butt before one of you wonderful readers points it out to me. Well, you're still going to point it out, I'm sure, but I figure I'll warn you first.
And remember, Fang probably has even less experience with Japanese culture than I do, no matter what mental state he's in, so blame that mistakes on his lack of schooling, which would mean blaming the School.
So, it's all the School's fault!
Emmett Cullen for President!
Sorry, I've started my campaigning for 2012 already.
Fang: Saint? Why is the water not getting hot?
Me: It's broken. Turn it toward 'cold', it'll get hot.
Fang: Ummmmm.....is Pooky the Penguin supposed to be in the sink?
Me: -sighs- Ok, you guys read the story, I'll go get Pooky out of the sink and and shove Fang in the shower. Deal? Good.
Ok, so maybe flying through a heavily-wooded forest at high speed and dodging trees at the last second isn't exactly the brightest idea we'd ever had.....
But it sure is fun.
"Yo, Iggy! Watch out!!"
"For what?" he yelled back as he dodged a huge tree at the last second.
I just sighed. How Iggy could tell where all these trees were and just when to swerve to miss them, I'll never know. We had been trying to lie low for a little while, since we'd gotten wind that one of Itex's many corporations was on to us, and these days that meant actually staying out of the skies. They were too used to looking for us there. So we'd mostly been traveling by car or on foot. When we came upon this thick forest, though, we couldn't help but fly around in it for a bit. We needed to stretch our wings, and this forest seemed nondescript enough to hide us.
I looked ahead to see Angel sitting on a large tree branch, staring into a hole in the tree.
I flew over and sat next to her. "What's up, hun?"
"I saw a squirrel and I'm trying to get it to come back out so I can talk to it."
I just shrugged. "Alrighty then." I flew off again. If it had been any other kid, I might have had to tell her that squirrels didn't regularly come out to have conversations with people, but this wasn't any other kid, it was Angel.
I flew up high enough that I could see the entire Flock. Gazzy and Nudge were playing some kind of game that kind of looked like tag. Iggy was still dodging around trees. I could almost hear Total's frightened whimpers coming from his backpack. Total had somehow gotten the idea that riding with Iggy would be safe. Ha! At least he'd finally gotten over the fact that we had to leave Akila home with mom. We just couldn't handle bringing her with us, too. It was enough to bring just him along.
After I'd affirmed that Angel was still on her branch, I looked around for Fang. It took me a couple minutes, since even without his new power, he could still blend in about anywhere. I finally spotted him flying leisurely, or perhaps boredly, around the trees.
I started to fly his way, I even had my mouth open, ready to shout for him to wait up, when I noticed out of the corner of my, Gazzy and Nudge flying high-speed in Fang's direction.
Before I could even form the words in my head, Nudge and Gazzy both plowed right into Fang, who plowed into a tree, head first.
As I dove toward the scene of the crash, I watched Fang start falling. I was automatically having flashbacks to when Ari ripped Fang's side open. I tried not to panic.
"Iggy! Oh my God! Get Fang! Get Fang! Now!!!"
Well, I tried.
I stopped quickly where Gazzy and Nudge were. "Report!"
"Just some bruises and scratches, I think." Nudge answered, looking down to where Iggy was diving in Fang's direction. He wasn't close enough.
I just nodded and dove after Fang again.
It all had happened so quickly and so slowly at the same time. I guess it was a good, in a way, that these trees had so many branches. Every time Fang hit a branch, it slowed his fall. It also looked exceedingly painful, but I was trying not to focus on that. I finally caught him maybe 15 to 20 feet off the ground. I lowered him the rest of the way.
I knelt next to him on the ground as the rest of the Flock began to land next to us. Iggy came over and lightly touched Fang's head and neck.
"I don't feel anything broken." He said after one long minute. "But I can't tell if he's got a concussion or something."
I put my hand lightly on his head. "Fang? Fang, wake up."
I saw his eyelids move slightly.
"Fang, can you hear me?"
"Yo, Fang? You ok?" Iggy said.
He let out a small groan, finally opening his eyes. He blinked a couple times. "Hmm?"
I let out a small sigh of relief. "Fang, how are you feeling?"
It took him a second to form an answer. "I feel like I hit something."
Iggy let out a laugh. "A tree, Fang, you hit a tree!"
He looked totally confused at this comment. "A tree?"
"Yeah, Fang, a tree, remember?" I asked, hoping that this blow to his head hadn't effected him too badly.
He started trying to sit up. "A tree. How did I hit a tree?"
I started to push him back down. "Maybe you should lie down for a little while, Fang."
He shook me off. "I'm fine, I've suffered worse. Now, how did I hit a tree?"
I was starting to get the feeling that something just wasn't quite right, but I couldn't put my finger on what. "Well, Gazzy and Nudge were playing tag or smething, and they plowed you into a tree."
Now he looked totally confused. "Tag? They plowed me into a tree?"
Yeah, something's up. "Fang? Are you sure you're ok?"
He looked like he was about to answer, and then there was a noise like a twig breaking. I noticed Angel's little squirrel friend hopping onto a branch.
Fang would've jumped to his feet if Iggy hadn't grabbed him. "What was that?"
Fang was not normally that paranoid. "I think it was just a squirrel."
"Are you sure?" He began looking around wildly. "Why don't I have a weapon?"
I gave Iggy a tap on the hand, and he nodded as I helped him push Fang back into a sitting position. Something was really wrong here.
I sat down in front of Fang. "Alright, Fang. I know this may sound kind of stupid, but I just want to check and make sure your mind's in working order, so I'm just going to ask you a couple questions."
He nodded. "Alright, but I can assure you, I'm fine." Another twig broke somewhere, and he turned toward the noise. "Where is this squirrel, anyway? I'd watch it, it could be a spy."
He's fine, sure. And I'm Mary Todd Lincoln. "Fang, do you remember why we're here?"
"We're here to save the world."
Well, he's technically on the right track, in a broad sense. I watched him stare out into the woods again and sighed. "Fang, who do you think is spying on us?"
"Many kinds of people."
Oh, how prophetic. "Like?"
Houston, I think we've found the problem. "Samurai, Fang?"
"Enemy Samurai. You know, the one's trying to kidnap the Princess." He pointed over at Angel.
I heard Nudge whisper to Iggy. "Has Fang lost it?"
"No, he....just hit his head pretty hard."
"Did we wreck Fang's brain?" Gazzy asked.
"Don't worry about it, Gaz. He'll be fine."
'I hope.' I saw him mouth.
I tried a new tactic. "Fang, who are you saying Angel is?"
He looked at me like I had two heads. "Princess Angel, the Emperor's daughter."
"Uhhh...yeah. Then who am I, Fang?"
"Your Maximum-sama. Your job is to save the world, which is why we're on a quest to find something to help you save the world."
How hard did this kid hit his head? I made a mental note to go check and see if there was a Fang's head-shaped hole in the tree.
"Alright, Fang. Then who are you?"
"I'm Fang. I'm a Ninja."
I know that I should've been really worried about Fang's mental state at that moment, but, face it, if one of your friends said that to you with a straight face, you'd be biting back a laugh, too.
Iggy took over. "A ninja?"
"Yes, and I've been assigned to protect all of you by the Emperor." He started to get up. "And if you're done with this silly test, we need to get moving." He turned to Gazzy. "Where are we going next?"
Gazzy looked completely confused as to what to say. He shrugged.
"Ummm, Fang? Why are you asking Gazzy where we're going?" I asked.
"He's the Navigator." Fang said matter-of-factly.
'Gazzy' and 'Navigator' somehow just didn't go together, but I refrained from pointing this out.
"Gazzy's the navigator." Iggy said. "Then who am I?"
Fang sighed. "You're our cook and fire-starter."
"Who am I?" Nudge asked, curious.
"Our spokesperson and translator." Oh, good Nudge jobs!
Fang looked exasperated. "Is this questioning over? Really, have you all lost your minds?"
Had to stifle laughter again. "Ok, Fang, just one more question. What's Total's job?" I was just curious by now.
"That's Total-sensei. The Princess' tutor."
Total looked smug. Iggy turned around so Fang wouldn't see him laughing.
Fang shook his head and got to his feet. "Are we done now?"
"Well, Fang, I-" He put his hand up, telling me to be quiet. Obviously, that damn spying squirrel was at it again.
His eyes were moving back and forth, searching for our attacker. "This is getting suspicious."
Iggy jumped over next to him. "Yeah, Ninja Fang, why don't you go check it out, just to be sure."
Fang nodded. "Stay here and lie low. I'll return in a minute." He ran off into the woods.
I started to run after him, but Iggy stopped me. "Hey, you heard our Ninja, Max, he'll be right back."
I stared at him. "Did you hit your head, too, Iggy? Did you hear what he said, didn't you hear how he acted?"
"And you're going to let him walk away?"
"Eh, he won't go far." Iggy pointed toward the woods where Fang had gone. I looked and saw that Fang was trying to climb a tree to go after Samurai Squirrel. He wasn't having much luck.
"Besides," Iggy added, "We need to discuss this, errr...problem."
I nodded. "Yeah, so, what do we do with him?"
"Shouldn't we take him to a doctor?" Nudge asked.
I thought about it. "That makes sense, Nudge, but with the way things are right now, I'd rather not get us caught by another Anne Walker or anything."
"Hey!" Gazzy exclaimed. "I saw in a movie once where a guy lost his memory by getting hit in the head, but then he got hit in the head again and got his memory back. Maybe we could just whack Fang in the head again!"
I didn't need to think on this one much. "Yeah, Gaz, that might work, but it might also cause worse damage if it doesn't. I don't think we should risk it."
"So what do we do?" asked Angel.
Iggy sighed. "Well, Max, I think with a lot of head injuries like this, the person recovers eventually. I think. I'm no doctor, of course. Anyway, though, maybe we should just.....wait it out."
"What do you mean?"
"We humor him."
At that point, Fang came running back over. "Ok, I can't climb to the top of that tree, for some reason. I bet these samurai must have some kind of black magic keeping me from climbing up. We should get out of this area immediately." He turned to Gazzy. "Which way do we go, Navigator-san?"
Poor Gazzy looked totally confused. He just pointed in a random direction.
"Ok!" Fang leaped forward in the direction Gazzy pointed. "I'll lead."
We all looked at each other, shrugged, and began to follow our new, slightly mentally damaged leader.
"What did Fang call me back there?" Gazzy asked.
"What do you mean?" I said.
"Navigator-san. What's 'san'."
Iggy shrugged. "It's a Japanese thing. San, Sensei, Sama. Things like that."
"How'd you know that, Ig?" I asked.
He just smirked. "Max, remember our short time of formal education?"
I made a face. "I'd rather not."
"Well, during our time there, we had a World History class that went over Japanese history. We learned about Japanese honorifics and stuff like that." He snapped his fingers. "Which is where he must be getting some of this stuff from! I was curious about this whole 'ninja' thing."
"What do you mean, Iggy?" Nudge asked.
"Well, it's not like he's gonna hit his head and suddenly know everything about ninjas and Japan." Iggy answered. "He only knows what he's learned. The rest, well, he's making it up." Iggy laughed. "We finally get to find out what Fang's imaginative ability is."
Fang turned around. "Come on, everyone, we need to get away from this woods so we can set up camp. Let's move!"
I rolled my eyes. "Great, we got the one tyrant ninja."
Iggy just laughed.
So, we were finally allowed to 'stop and make camp.' Fang offered to go collect firewood, which, for some reason, required him to jump behind trees and look around them before grabbing a stick and doing random somersaults. It was, to say the least, amusing.
"We really need to buy a camera for moments like this." I said.
When Fang returned from his firewood expedition, he had a really large stick stuck in the beltloop of his pants. I was afraid to ask why.
"I have the firewood, Iggy-san." Fang said, putting the firewood down.
Iggy smiled, probably trying not to laugh. "Thank you errr...Fang-san. Yeah."
Suddenly, I felt a tugging on my pants leg. I looked down and saw Angel looking up at me. "Yeah, sweetie?"
"Max, I'm hungry. What are we eating?"
Oops, hadn't thought of that.
Good thing we have our ninja, though.
"The Princess is hungry!" Fang sprang over to where Angel was. "We need to get some food for her!"
"Yeah, and the rest of us might want something, too, but don't mind us." Nudge muttered.
"Alright Fang errrr....San? Whatever." I answered. "We'll just have to go get something...What are you doing?"
Fang had pulled the stick out of his beltloop and was swinging it around.
"I'm getting ready to hunt down some food."
I heard Nudge make a horrified squeak.
I ran up and grabbed Fang's arm before he hurt anybody with his big stick, including himself. "Actually, Fang, there's a, uhh, well, a place to, uhh..."
"Yeah, a village! We can get food there."
Fang thought about it. "But what if it's being controlled by an enemy samurai?"
He nodded. "It sounds ok.....who's going?"
"Well, I'll go-"
"Good." said Fang, stepping forward. "I'm going, too."
Of course. "Alright, Fang-....san, let's go."
At the 'Village'....
"What is that strange place?"
I sighed. "It's a gas station. We can get some food there."
Fang, once again, had a look of total confusion on his face. "A gas station? What goes through the station? What kind of gas is it?"
He'd been quizzing me on everything we'd seen since we'd walked into the small town, and I'd just about had it.
"I'll tell you later. Right now, we're on a....mission."
I thought the word 'mission' might do the trick. It did. He straightened up. "Of course! The princess needs food and we must get it to her, and get back quickly. Who knows what kind of evil could befall them while we are away."
I, in the mean time, was trying not to laugh at the way he was talking. 'Befall' and calling Angel 'The Princess'. If they had a tape recorder in this gas station, I was buying it, I don't care how much it cost.
As soon as I opened the door to the station, a little bell went off. I, of course, didn't even flinch. Fang, on the other hand......
"What was that?" He spun around in a circle, pulling his 'sword' out of his beltloop. It was at that point I'd realized I'd forgotten to tell him to leave that behind. Great...
I grabbed his arm. "It's ok, Fang. That just alerts the, uhh...shopkeeper that we're here. Now put the weapon away and help me get food."
He warily stuck the 'sword' back into his beltloop, still looking for the source of the sound. At that point, I noticed the teen standing behind the counter. Besides his green apron that had the store's name on it, he was defintely what you would want to call one of those 'emo' types. He had gone all out. Black on black, make-up, tight jeans. He had even been painting his nails black when we came in. Of course, after Fang's little show, he was now frozen in place, watching Fang like he would attack at any moment. Actually, I couldn't blame the kid. He could be right.
When Fang saw the guy standing there, he turned toward him and bowed. "Good evening, Shopkeeper-san. We're just passing through getting some supplies for a long journey. We mean you no harm."
I smacked my forehead, since I couldn't smack Fang's. "Yeah, we come in peace." I muttered.
The guy just stared. Obviously, Fang took this as a dismissal and began perusing the aisles. I gave the poor kid an apologetic look and followed Fang.
As I was going through the chips, Fang found another unfamiliar object to ask about.
"Maximum-sama, what is that and why is it blinking at us?"
I looked up and sighed. "It's a camera. It's watching us to make sure we don't steal anything."
Fang bowed to the camera. "You have nothing to fear, Camera-san. We mean you no harm and will treat your shop with the utmost respect."
Smacking of forehead again. "It can't hear you, Fang-...sen....sin...sim...sam...whatever." I'd given up on the whole 'honorifics' thing.
"It does not have the ability to hear?" Fang asked, stunned.
I shook my head, biting back another sigh. "Yeah, it's deaf."
"Why is it deaf? Did someone injure it? Maybe we should-"
I grabbed his arm and pulled him down the aisle. "It's fine, it's happy being deaf, leave it alone."
We finally got enough food to last us the night and maybe into tomorrow and checked out. As we were leaving Fang, once again, got the uncontrollable urge to bow to the poor, confused emo kid.
"We thank you for your time and services, Shopkeeper-san. I pray for your safety in these dark times." He took his bags and exited, spinning around when he heard the bell go off again.
I sighed and grabbed my own bags. I happened to catch the look on the teen's face. Totally freaked.
I turned and look him straight in the eye. "And that is why you should stay away from drugs, kid."
The guy just nodded, wide-eyed.
I left the store in hysterics.
Back at 'camp'....
"San." Iggy corrected me.
I rolled my eyes. "Whatever. What are you doing?"
Fang looked up from where he was diligentely placing rocks in a perfect circle around our camp site. "I'm setting up defences for the night."
I tried not to laugh. It was getting harder and harder every time. "No offense, but I think our attackers will be able to jump right over that."
Fang shook his head. "Not after I cast a spell of concealment over them."
I started to say something, then sighed and shook my head. "Alright, tell me when you're done." I'd learned it just wasn't worth fighting him anymore.
I went over and sat next to Iggy. "Please say this will end soon."
Iggy shrugged. "I don't know, Max. I'd say, if he doesn't come back to himself soon, we may have to take him to a hospital."
I shuddered. "Great..." Suddenly, I noticed Fang was doing something....interesting. "Iggy, could you tell me why Fang would be dancing around in circles and slashing his stick-sword around?"
"Well, my guess would be that he's doing some kind of spell-casting dance."
Oh. My. Word. I believe the teenage internet phrase for this would be 'lol'.
"Max," Nudge said, coming up behind me. "please say you bought a camera while you were out."
"I only wish, Nudge." I had to admit, though Fang's strange behavior worried me, it was amusing.
At that moment, Fang jogged over. "I have set up the spells of concealment, Maximum-sama. Would you like me to take watch now?"
Yeah, let me think about that one...."Fang-...whatever, I think I'll take watch tonight. You've been a busy little ninja today and should get some rest."
Fang shook his head. "No, it's my job as a ninja to take the watch. I'm supposed to protect all of you."
"Fang, even ninjas need sleep."
Fang shook his head again. "No, ninjas can go without sleep for days."
I started to fight him again, but Iggy grabbed my arm, stopping me. "Alright, Fang-san, go ahead."
As Fang walked off to take watch, Iggy turned to me. "Just wait it out, Max."
"Wait what out?"
I soon found out.....
Two hours later, Iggy and I found ourselves dragging a sleeping Fang back into the middle of camp.
"Gosh, he's heavy."
Iggy laughed. "Yeah, we need to put our pet ninja on a diet. No more pocky and easy on the sushi."
I laughed, too. "So, who's taking first watch?"
"I will. You get some sleep, I'll wake you up in a couple hours."
"Alright." I yawned. "Iggy?"
"I think we should take Gazzy original idea and just whack him over the head again."
I could still hear Iggy laughing as I fell asleep.
I was just watching the sun rise, thinking about lovingly kicking my Flock awake for breakfast, when I heard a groan.
"Hmmm....should I check for attacking samurai?" I thought, snickering.
I turned over and saw Fang. He still had his eyes closed, but he had a hand on his head and was grimacing. He let out a low moan.
By now, the rest of the Flock was waking up. I walked over to Fang. "You ok?"
He cracked an eye open. "Errr..."
"You gonna be ok, Mighty Ninja?" Iggy asked, walking over.
"What?" Fang started to pull himself into a sitting position. "Ig, what are you talking about? Ah, man, my head hurts! Did anyone get the license plate number of the semi truck that hit me?"
I couldn't help it. I started laughing. "Oh my God, Fang! You're ok!"
"What? Max, I'm not ok, my head is killing me! Could someone tell me-"
"Fang's not a ninja anymore!" Angel yelled.
"I'm not a what?"
"Glad to have you back in reality, Fang." Iggy laughed.
"Back in- What's going on? Guys? Ow, my head!"
"Yay, we didn't break Fang's brain!" Gazzy said with a whoop.
"Break my- Hey, why do I have a stick stuck in my pants?"
At that quote, we all burst into hysterical laughter.
I tried to answer him between laughs. "To......beat off.....oh my gosh.......enemy.......samurai squirrels!" I couldn't speak anymore.
"Huh? Guys, have you lost it?"
Poor Fang. We must have laughed for hours. At least, he didn't get anything near a straight answer 'till after lunchtime.
That night, we finally got the kids settled in a sleeping. I was taking first watch, Iggy was taking second. We decided to give Fang a couple nights off until he was fully recovered. Heck, the kid had a bump on his head the size of Alaska!
"Hey, Max." I heard behind me.
I smiled. "Hey, if you're an enemy samurai, I have a big stick of doom!"
"Ha, ha." Fang said, sitting next to me. "Hilarious. Make fun of the kid with the head injury. Nice."
"You have to admit, Fang, it was pretty funny."
"Yeah, for you. My head is still killing me. Can't sleep."
"Aww...my poor little ninja!" I patted his arm
He just rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah. I suppose I'll never hear the end of it, huh?"
He just sighed.
"Hey, Fang, look on the bright side!"
"What bright side?"
"You saved the emo kid from drugs!"
He just stared at me. "Huh?"
So what if my stomach hurt from laughing all day? I broke into laughter again.
Fang rolled his eyes. "Yeah, just keep laughing. Maybe I'll whack you with my ninja sword."
I started laughing harder. Ow.
"Ha ha! You are no match for the secret ninja technique of laughing cramps!"
"Ok, ok, I'll go get a samurai squirrel for breakfast or something..."
I couldn't stop laughing.
Damn ninja powers....
Me: -shoves Fang under shower head- Oh my gosh, Fang, have you ever used shampoo?
Fang: Yeah. Hey, you're getting my clothes wet!
Me: You want to take them off while I'm here?
Fang: You could leave and let me handle this alone!
Me: Yeah, yeah....Hey! You have a dandruff problem!
Fang: I do not!
Me: You do, too! It looks like the freaking north pole up here! Shampoo, Fang!
Fang: Just get out!
Me: Yeppers.....Dandruff....ha ha. How does he wear all the black and get away with that?
Fang: I do not have dandruff!