hey guys! :)

i know, i'm horrible. i haven't been on here in SO LONG. so here's a little surprise for you (since i'm all about excitement): A ONESHOT! YEE HA!

i'm sorry it's not the other story i have, i just had started this one a while ago and liked the beginning, so yeah. even though it's pretty cheesy and fluffy and faxy. but i ask you: who doesn't love a cheese/fluff/fax-y oneshot once and a while???

cheers! :) and enjoy...

plus, thank you OODLES to all the reviewers... you are like fang's smile on a sunny day...

oh. almost forgot. i haven't done any disclaimers yet so here goes:

Disclaimer: James Patterson, if you're reading this, I'll give you a million bucks and a kiss (ewww) if you let me have Maximum Ride!! (that would be totally cool if he actually read this!! and if you ARE reading this, JP, I was just kdding about the kiss part. i'm really not into old rich guys. i just don't swing that way. not that you're old or anything, just.... a LOT older than me, Lol.)

but until he reads that, maximum ride is not mine. boo hoo.

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"Ella!" I yelled from the top of the stairs. "Why the heck do you need my sweater during the summer?"

"Because!" She shouted from below. "It matches my swimsuit perfectly!"

"It's true, Max." Fang chimed in sarcastically. "The dark blue would really bring out the darker tones-"

"Oh, shut up!" I yelled. "I'll get the stupid sweater. Where is it?"

"Er," Ella faltered. "In…our closet."

Sure. The darling child hocks my sweater, hides it, wears it with out my permission, and then makes me fetch it for her. Kids these days. So desensitized by television and all that.

Muttering under my breath as I opened the door to the room Ella, Nudge, and Angel shared, I pawed through the closet stuffed full of random items and clothing.

"Hurry up, Max!" Ella shouted from below. I ground my teeth together. Jeez! This kid's getting her own sweater next time… Where is it?!

"Hey, Max?" I looked up to see Fang peeking through the doorway, his long hair falling into his eyes. "Ella said to forget the sweater. I quote, 'I suddenly feel very hot.'"

"Gah!" I threw up my hands in frustration. "Fine. Let's get going."

But when I tried pushed past him, Fang just caught my arm and hauled me towards him. Into very…er… close proximity of him.

"Max, I know you've been really stressed lately. So have I. But we need to put a happy face on for the kids. They're getting stressed just from being around us."

I sighed. "I know, I know. The world is saved. Every one on earth already knows about our wings. We're not on the lam any more. Everything is normal. Everything is fine. It's just that…" I took a deep breath and admitted, "All this saving the world stuff never really got out my system. It's like it's still programmed in to me."

Fang's lips twitched with a hint of a smile and he placed his free hand over his heart. "Thanks for sharing that deep secret that no one knew about or even suspected, Max. This honor is just so overwhelming."

I grinned and shoved him playfully, starting to relax. But only a little. Hey, I didn't make it this far by letting my guard down all the time.

"So, remind me again just why we're going to the pool with Ella's kiddie friends to splash around and play sharks?" I asked Fang on our way down the stairs. Every one else had already left, and now that Fang had his driver's license, Mom didn't mind him driving short distances without her (it's really quite funny though…I passed the written exam, but failed the driving part. The reason they gave for not passing me was pretty lame…something about going 100 in a 60 mile per hour zone…not that I mind too much, though. I'd choose flying over driving any day).

We climbed in the car, and Fang started the engine. "Well." He pretended to think. "Maybe one of the reasons would be that it's Ella's birthday party and we promised we'd act normal. Umm…" He stroked his chin mock-thoughtfully. "How 'bout the fact that everyone bought new swimsuits, and if I recall correctly, you yourself mentioned wanting to soak up a few rays."

I rolled my eyes. "Thank you for that lengthy explanation, oh wise one."

Fang grinned, making everything a little brighter. "Hey, I do what I can."

We got on the road, with me trying to decipher the cryptic directions we printed off of Mapquest, and Fang driving, while making an occasional comment on my navigational skills. Hey, don't mock me, people. I'm doing my best here. Which was what I pointed out to Fang, after another one of his little bits of "advice."

"Whatever you say, Max," he responded, pulling into a parking lot. "Well, looks like this is the place. But maybe your navigating expertise could use some work."

"I could say the same for your driving," I retorted, peering over the dash at a big sign reading, "Buffalo Resort Pool." I snorted. "Buffalo Resort? Who in the freaking world would name their luxury hideaway after a buffalo?"

Fang shrugged. "People in mental health facilities?"

I laughed. "Maybe."

We got out of the car and strolled over to the entrance, where we paid the fee and were finally inside, I laid out my beach towel on one of the lounge chairs and pulled off the tank top and Bermuda shorts I was wearing over my bathing suit (hey, maybe there was some truth to Fang's words about me wanting to "soak up some rays"). The sun's warmth spread through me as I stretched out on the towel, slid some sunglasses on, and closed my eyes. Now this is what I'm talkin' about…

I heard some one sit down on the chair beside me, the slats creaking under the person's weight. "Max," the person whispered. It was Fang.

"What?" I asked, yawning. Even though the world's saved, I still feel like I have to stay on watch at night. Hey, old habits die hard.

"Watch out," he whispered, now much closer, his breath tickling my ear… Wait. Watch out? Oh, crap…

My eyes flew open. "Fang, don't you dare-"

But it was too late. He had already grabbed my waist and hauled me off the chair, casually slinging me over one shoulder.

"Put me down!" I yelled, kicking and punching at him, but made sure I didn't do my very hardest so I wouldn't actually hurt him (okay, and the fact that he got stronger than me…when did that happen? Not that I'd ever admit this to him, but…he is stronger than me. There. I said it).

"Hmmm…" I heard him say, laughter lacing his voice. "Now that I've got you right where I want you, what should I do?"

"Umm…try putting me down?!" I yelled, struggling against his hold. "Fang I swear, if I am not back in that lounge chair in thirty seconds, I will-"

"You'll what?" He asked, flipping me around so I was facing him…sort of. He grinned, giving my heart a little squeeze. "You know, I think I'm gonna need some help with this one. Hey, Ig!" He called to the tall kid, who was talking to some girls in bikinis—sexist pig—and shifted my position. By now I had given up struggling, and was just clinging to Fang for dear life, in fear that I would be dropped. I was hanging upside down, my arms wrapped around Fangs torso, and my legs dangling over his back.

"Ig!" He called again. Iggy came jogging over.

"What do you want?" He asked irritably. "I was just getting through to those girls. And dude-" He elbowed Fang."-they are totally hot." Pig. Oh, yeah, did I mention Iggy got his sight back? Yes, it's so nice for Iggy be able to scope out his own prey without having Fang describe the beach bunnies for him. And he's loving the attention. Really, I don't know what he would do if a certain 15-year-old birdgirl ruined all his chances of ever going out with those bikini-girls. Hmm… I'll have to confer with Fang on that. Speaking of Fang…

"Sorry, Igs," Fang said, a smile tugging on the corners of his mouth. "I just need a little help. See, Max wanted to get a tan, but she just doesn't understand that the best technique is to be thrown headfirst into the water…"

"Ah, yes, yes," Iggy smiled slyly, finally catching on. "I see. It's true, Max. How do you think Fang's skin got to be that shade?"

Fang rolled his eyes and flipped me around again so I was laying bridal-style in his arms with my hands locked around his neck. Oh, jeez… Crazy hormone surge… I wonder what would happen if I leaned a little closer? Shut up, shut up!

I laughed nervously. "You guys wouldn't do that. Would you do that?" They grinned maniacally at each other.

"One," Iggy started, grabbing on to my legs.

"Hey, not funny, guys!" I started to panic.

"Two," Fang said, starting to swing me.

"Fine. But you're coming with me," I smirked at Fang and tightened my grip on his neck, just as he and Iggy yelled, "Three!" together, and all of a sudden, I was falling, falling, falling…all I had was Fang's neck, so I just clung to that tightly. Then, a huge splash! echoed through my eardrums as I felt myself sinking into the depths of the pool. I could feel Fang beside me, and he tightened his grip on my waist and swam towards the surface. I felt him pulling up, up and I started kicking, too. Up, up…

Just before we hit the surface, Fang looked at me through all the water, and touched my nose to his, rubbing them together. Was that a…Eskimo kiss?! Was that a…moment? What the-

Somehow, during those few moments, I had forgotten that I couldn't breath underwater, and now, after using up my supply of inner oxygen, I could feel my lungs constricting. I pushed my self up one more time and hit the surface of the water, soaking wet. A second later, Fang came up too. He pushed his long black hair out of his face and climbed out the pool, rivulets of water streaming off his body. He grabbed a towel and turned around. Man, Iggy was right. He does have a good tan. And those abs…

Oh, crap. Fang had caught me staring and was smirking. "Nice, Max."

I glared at him and crawled out carefully. Great. Now I was soaking wet. I tried to soak up some of the water in my new bathing suit—the whole flock had gone shopping and Nudge, Angel, and Ella insisted on getting me a bikini. Well. Bikini-ish. So I got this black thing that's actually pretty cool. It's Baywatch, Max-style. Ha ha—with my towel, then lay down and closed my eyes again. Fang and I had a moment? Wha-

"Maaax! That looked like sooo much fun! Hey, Fang, can you do that to me, too?" Nudge, Angel, and Gazzy ran across the sun-baked bricks to Fang and mine's lounge chairs.

I sighed, and opened one eye, and looked at Fang. "Whatever. Just be careful."

There was a collective cheer and Angel hopped into Fang's lap. "Can I go first first, Fang?" She asked sweetly.

He looked at me and I shrugged. "Sure," he said and grabbed her hand to lead them over to the edge of the pool.

As I watched their antics, and listened to their whoops and squeals, I thought about Fang and I. I mean, we're best friends, for sure, but lately—okay, fine, a couple years ago—I've been thinking of him as… more than a friend. Well. A possibility as more than a friend. So why can't I just get the courage up to ask him about it, you ask? Well, I just figure it's better this way—no awkwardness, no worries about splitting up the flock…and…. Fine. I'm scared to death that he'll reject me like I rejected him. So, you see, it's just better this way. (A/N: NO IT'S NOT!!! TELL HIM HOW YOU FEEL!!)

"Hey, Max?" Gazzy's voice brought me out of my reverie.

I sat up. "Yeah, sweetie?"

"Fang wants to talk to you for a second. He's getting us snacks from the little shack-thing over there. He wanted me to come get you."

I smiled at the little blonde-haired boy. "Thanks, Gaz. I'll make sure to get you an extra pack of Starbursts." His favorite candy. "And don't forget to put on sunscreen!" I yelled as he ran over to join Angel and the other kids in the pool.

"Hey," I said to Fang as I joined him at the counter of the little snack shop. "You said you wanted to talk to me?"

"Yeah," he responded, checking the price on a package of Sour Patch Kids before adding it to his growing pile. "I do."

"Ooookaaay,: I said, drawing out the syllables, while adding a bag of sour gummy worms to the horde. "What about?"

He fiddled with the wrapping on some hard candies before turning to face me. "Max, I want to know what you want between us. What you want for us."

I cleared my throat. "You mean us as a flock?"

He rolled his eyes. "You know what I mean. 'Us' as in you and me."

"Oh." I paused. "You, know Fang, um, I really should be getting back to check on the kids, I-"

"I knew it." His eyes narrowed and he turned around again, handing some money to the cashier.

"Knew what?"

"That you'd just run away again."

My breath hitched in my throat. He was right. Every time we tried to talk about our feeling, some one ran away (okay, okay, mainly me, I'll admit it).

Ugh, why is this so hard?!

"Well, uh," I stuttered. "You know…"

He held up his hand and said quietly, "It's okay, Max. You now how I feel, but that doesn't mean you have to tell me you feel the same way if you don't. I'll be fine."

And with that, he grabbed the little sack of candy and strolled away. What have I done?

"Hey, honey," the female cashier said with a southern accent, popping her gum. She looked about eighteen. "I couldn't help but overhear you two, and sounds like that kid really cares about you. You've rejected him before, haven't you? Hey, don't take any offense," she said quickly when I gave her my Max-glare. "This is just my opinion: give the boy another chance."

As I walked back to my lounge chair, I thought about the girl's words. Sounds like he really cares about you. He does. I know he does. He's told me and showed me in so many different ways. You've rejected him before, haven't you? Yeah. I had. And I regretted it so much. Give the boy another chance.

"Hey, guys, we better head home soon," I called to the flock when I realized what time it was. Most of the kids from Ella's party had already gone home, and the pool was closing soon. As I packed up my stuff and slipped my tank top and shorts back over my swimsuit, I felt Fang come up beside me. I spun around quickly and gasped when I found his face only a couple inches away from mine. When I met his gaze, it was like a Max-magnet, pulling me closer and closer until we were almost touching—

Suddenly, Fang jerked back, breaking the spell. Wait a second. Was I just about to kiss Fang? Not that it would be a bad thing, but…

"The kids have their stuff packed," he said coolly. "They're waiting for you by the main entrance." As he was about to turn around, I grabbed his shoulder. "Fang."

He looked at me, his eyes devoid of emotion.

I took a deep breath. "I—I just wanted to say that, um, well, is it too late for me to give you an answer to your question?"

He looked at me dubiously. "What question?"

I looked away. "When you asked me what I wanted for us."

"Oh."

I closed my eyes, preparing myself for the inevitable, and said as quickly as possible. "IreallylikeyoubutIdon'tknowwhattodobecauseIsuckatrelationships."
There. I said it. So there, cashier lady! I cracked open one eye.

Fang was staring at me. "You're kidding," he said softly.

I shook my head. "No way."

He grinned unexpectedly. "Are you serious? Are you really serious?"

I smiled up at him. "When have I ever lied to you?"

His smile grew even wider, and all of a sudden, leaned down, cradled my face with his hands, and kissed me.

Now, I don't know about you, but I'm definitely adding this to the list of reasons to come to the pool again.

aww. i lthought it was cute, if not cheesy beyond belief.

and... i dunno. something about 15-year-olds saying they love each other just doesn't work for me. so i settled on "really like." sorry for all the fax-fanatics. i mean, i'm one too, but I just CAN'T get them to really admit the deep extent of their feelings for each other. sorry! :)

amywaaays, have a wonderful day! (now that wasn't corny at all...)

oh, and P.S. do you guys think this is worth continuing? i might if i get enough votes of confidence. so review if you want more! :))

loves! oh, and check out my profile! it's done blog-style, so yeeep. purty sweetish. (hahaha...sweetish fish...that is weird on SO many different levels...)

[[stupid harmonica!!!!!]]

gahh!

Lol.

once again, love you guys! heh heh

:let's take a trip down

-memrylaine-: