I fumbled my way into the small storeroom that had been turned into our bunk room. Inside, I collapsed on one of the bottom bunks, trying not to throw up.

I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to listen to the Voice's instructions- take deep breaths, breathe in and out. It was no use! I was about to pass out!

I was still hyperventilating when the door suddenly swung open and shut again.

"Nudge?" I managed to croak out.

"Nope," a very familiar voice answered. Fang.

Just hearing his voice calmed me down slightly. Just enough so I was breathing normally. But not nearly enough so I could actually function normally and forget that I was on a freakin' claustrophobically tiny SUBMARINE with NO WAY TO ESCAPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I felt the bunk move as he sat down on the bunk and then put something cool and wet on my forehead- a washcloth. It felt amazing.

I managed to roll over onto my other side and crack my eyes open to look at him.

"Thanks," I said weakly.

He pressed his rough, calloused hand and asked, "You okay?"

Normally, I probably would've lied and brushed off his question with a casual, "Yeah, I'm fine. Just you're average panic attack. Nothing major." And then go back to flock and act as if nothing happened.

But the truth was, I was just too drained… and I would never admit it to anyone, being stuck in a dog crate for most of my life affected me more than anyone in the flock. They could all adjust to being in this tiny sub, but I was still scared… And don't dare tell anyone I just admitted that!

So instead, I answered Fang's question with a weak head shake. I still felt a little light-headed.

"Scoot over," he instructed.

"Huh?" I asked dumbly. Great Max, real smooth. I hate the way my brain functions sometimes.

Fang just rolled his eyes and physically pushed me over to make room for himself on the cot, and lying down next to me and wrapping his arms around me.

I felt instantaneously better as I rested my head on his chest and listened to his heartbeat. I don't know, I just felt… safe. And I knew I didn't want to leave his arms anytime soon.

As if reading my mind, he shifted so we were face to face and pressed his lips to mine.

My brain and heart spazzed out simultaneously, as all my worries flew out the nonexistent windows of this freakishly small sub, and all I thought about was Fang and how amazing he is.

It was just me and Fang, kissing for what seemed like a decade, but ya know, even freaky mutant bird-kids have to breathe sometime so we broke the kiss.

"I love you," I blurted out. I don't know what the heck came over me but next thing I knew, I had my hand clapped over my mouth. Had I really just said that??? I let out a slew of very kid-unfriendly words before realizing that the rest of the Flock was still on the sub, Angel among them.

I felt myself blush as I anticipated the laugh Fang was bound to give me. This is why I hate lovey-dovey stupid emotions…

But instead, he brought his hand to my own- which was still clapped over my mouth- and removed it before cupping my face and forcing me to look at him.

And with all sincerity and all the emotion in the whole freakin' gol dang world, Mr. Emotionless told me, "I love you too, Max. I always have." Then he leaned over to whisper, "And you are beautiful."

I just gaped at him. How did he-?

Before I could say anything, he kissed me again and my last conscious thought before my brain short-circuited was, "My life is perfect."


A/N: Hi hi potential readers, um, well, yeah, this is my first Maximum Ride and is mostly the product of re-reading MAX at 3 in the morning due to my insomnia. And if you couldn't tell, it's an alternate scene, instead of Total talking to her… yeah, well, if you've read the book, you'll get it. =] Please review!!!!

Disclaimer: I wish I owned Maximum Ride (or at least Fang) but sadly I do not. James Patterson does. And I stole the first paragraph of this fic from MAX…