Disclaimer: James Patterson owns Iggy and the rest. I own Shelby :) and I don't know who own Costco.

Timeline: Post-MAX

A/N: I wrote this for my lovely friend's (beautyattemptaka Shelby) birthday and I HOPE SHE LIKES IT.

Iggy tapped his foot impatiently against the ground as he stood outside of the Costco keeping 'watch.' Why was he stuck in this position alone, you ask? Well, it's simple.

Iggy didn't want to get stuck grocery shopping with Max. Nudge, Gazzy, and Angel were all staying at Mrs. Martinez's house, but—stupid him—decided to accompany Max and Fang grocery shopping. What? He needed air, space, something. At Costco. Costco of all places! That was like, perfect for the flock food, so Max was obviously going to take forever in shopping. God, and worse, she was with Fang, who only went to get bonus points with Max. Suck up. Like she would let him make out with her in a public place like Costco.

So yeah, now Iggy was stuck waiting outside for God knows how long, standing next to some smoker. If he died of second-hand smoke he was so blaming it on Max. And Fang, just because he's a suck up. And he felt like it. He heaved a sigh and coughed slightly at the fumes. Oh, what the hell.

"You know, if I die of lung cancer, I'm suing you."

The auburn-haired girl gazed at the strawberry blonde appraisingly, lingering on his sightless icy blue eyes. Her dark brown orbs trailed his frame, tracing the firm muscles on his arm and the way his shirt clung in, well, all the right places. She took the cigarette from her mouth and breathed out, watching the smoke curl in the cool air. She turned away from the boy and grunted noncommittally, flipping her iPod out and turning up the volume.

"No, I'm serious." She pointedly looked away and turned the volume up even more. Seems like each time I'm with you I lose my mind because I'm bending over backwards to relate…

"It's one thing to complain, but when you're driving me insane, well then I think we should take a break..." Startled, the bronze-haired girl glanced over at the boy.


"In To Deep by Sum 41. Great song." Iggy smiled crookedly at the girl, not knowing that his eyes had connected to the girl's, making her catch her breath.

"You know it?"

"No duh. I just quoted its lyrics because I was guessing."

"Well, no need to be such a smart ass about it." The girl said as she took another drag.

"Yeah, well, there's also no need to be killing yourself and me by smoking those horrible things, but then, you don't see me insulting you." Iggy gazed sightlessly toward the girl's general direction thoughtfully. Suddenly, he reached his hand out and put it on the girl's cheek. She stiffened.

"Such a shame, really, because you seem to be pretty. And there are so many more interesting ways to use cigarettes…" He trailed off and sighed, patting the girl's cheek absently.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

"Hmm? Oh. Oh. Um…awkward." Iggy paused. "Stop glaring at me."

"How would you know? You're blind."

"Really? No way; I had no idea. Thanks for telling me!"

"You really are a smart ass." The girl fought to keep back a smile.

"And you really are a girl who has a death wish. Really? Smoking? God, and there are so many other ways to use those things…"

"Oh really? Like what?" Iggy grinned.

"Well, first off, can I have a name? It's a lot easier to talk to a name rather than thinking of you as 'the girl.' I'm blind, remember?"

"Only if I can have one."

"Iggy at your service." He bowed, his long, nimble fingers finding the bronze-haired girl's hand, and his cool lips placing themselves on its surface. The girl shuddered.

"I'm Shelby."

"Nice to meet you, Shelby."

"Are you or are you not going to tell me what other things cigarettes can be used for, because I highly doubt that your ways can beat the feeling you get from doing this."

"I wouldn't know—I've never smoked." Shelby gaped at him.

"Never? Then who are you to talk about doing other, better things with these things?"

Iggy raised an eyebrow. "I'm a self-proclaimed pyromaniac who knows ways to use those things without harm to your health. Well, unless you want to do harm to yourself. In that case, my ways are much more effective than smoking."

"What if I don't want to know these other mysterious ways?" For a moment, disappointment flashed across Iggy's face, quickly extinguished by a bright grin.

"I'll make you a deal. I'll try it your way if you see mine." Shelby studied him for a moment before slowly nodding.

"Fine." Iggy's smile lit up the alleyway in front of Costco. He clapped his hands, rubbing them together.

"Alright, teach me how to give myself lung cancer." Shelby laughed and after a few mistakes and coughing attacks, and laughs, he finally figured out how to smoke. He chuckled as he took a drag and blew out, creating shapes out of the smoke.

"See? It's not so bad. It gives you a feeling, like…I don't know. It's hard to explain. Like…"

"Like something's going right for once. Like you're finally happy, if only for a little bit." Shelby blinked. Why did this stranger know so much about her?

"…Yeah. How did you...?" Iggy smiled, if somewhat sadly.

"My life hasn't exactly been a piece of heaven on earth, you know. Hard as it might be to believe…" Both of the troubled teenagers sat in amiable silence for a long moment. Presently, Iggy stood up, brushed his pants off, and turned to face the girl.

"Alright, Shelby, let's show you a better way to put these things to use." He grinned mischievously, his eyes alight with a certain glint.

"Should I be scared?" Shelby raised her eyebrows, amused. Iggy hesitated.

"Probably. But where's the fun without the danger?" His smirk deepened at Shelby's answering laugh.

"True that. Let's get started, shall we?"

"Well look who's eager now?" Iggy said, chuckling.

"Just hurry up and show me." Iggy pouted, sticking his tongue out at her.

"Don't be so mean, Miss Shelby. These things I'm about to show you are top secret information. If someone finds you with these skills, you could be killed." He said gravely, narrowing his eyes at Shelby.

"Yeah, yeah, just shut up and get on with it." Iggy frowned and stuck his tongue out again. Shelby grinned, "If you stick that out one more time, I'm going to bite it off." The strawberry blonde hurriedly stuck his tongue back in, with a worried expression on his face.

"I don't like you. I don't know why I'm showing you these things, but I am. I confuse myself."

"You don't seem that hard to confuse."

"Ouch! How you wound me, fair lady. I do not deserve this verbal abuse."

Shelby tilted her head back and laughed, her purple-highlighted hair falling behind her in short, choppy waves. "Will you just hurry up and show me?!" Iggy blinked.

"Oh, right. Psh…totally knew that." He rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "ANYWAY, you ready for the super secret skills of the pyromaniac?"

"Bring it on."

"Oh, I like a girl who likes a challenge."

"Well then, you'll like me. Now teach me all your tricks." Shelby watched as Iggy's mouth twitched and his fair eyebrow went up for a fraction of a second before realization dawned on her.

"Oh. Oh. Not like that. My God, such a dirty mind."

"What? Me? Nooo…never." His eyes widened angelically, the picture of innocence.

"Yeah, right. Just hurry up and tell me."

"You do not rush genius like this. That's the first lesson." Shelby rolled her eyes. "Are you rolling your eyes at me?" Shelby gaped at him.

"How the hell did you know? You sure don't act like a blind person."

"Well, you didn't have a some smart-ass comment so I just figured…" Iggy shrugged matter-of-factly.

"You suck."

"What exactly do I suck?" Iggy winked suggestively at Shelby's gasp.

"You are worse than me!"

"You're a sexist pig, too?!" The blonde's eyes widened and his voice rose an octave.


"Oh. Um…well, Max calls perverts like you and me 'sexist pigs.' Sorry if you're offended or anything," Iggy mumbled, his cheeks tinged with pink. That's when it began. It started from deep within her stomach, rumbling as it got louder, vibrating through her body. She threw her head back and peals of laughter burst forth from her mouth.

"That's great." She wiped the water from her eyes and chuckled again. "So now we're sexist pigs together? Club Sexist Pig?" A big grin stretched from ear to ear on Iggy's face.

"I like that. Club Sexist Pig, now in order!"

"The first item on the list is to teach Shelby these mysterious tricks Iggy knows using cigarettes, yes?" Iggy nodded readily.

"Yes! Okay, so, gimme a match. And a cigarette." He added as an afterthought.

"Here. You better not waste it." Shelby glared at Iggy as she handed him the two items.

"I can't tell if you're sending me some death glare; you know that, right?" Shelby sighed and ran a hand through her bronze, purple-highlighted hair.

"Stupid, smart-ass, attractive, blind boy," she muttered under her breath, forgetting that Iggy had sensitive hearing due to his inability to see. Iggy smiled to himself, letting it slide this once.

"Okay, so here's what you do..."

And for the next half hour or so, Iggy showed Shelby pretty much the entire basics of bomb building one can learn in that amount of time. Of course, this was not without some awkwardness. There was a moment in which Iggy had to reach over Shelby's body to grab another match when his foot got caught on a rock and he fell, their two bodies tumbling together and ending up in a tangle of limbs. The auburn-haired girl stiffened when she felt the strawberry blonde's hot breath ghost over her mouth. She felt a ridiculous urge to get rid of the space between the two of them, but managed to quell it.

She had just met the boy, for Christ's sake! It didn't matter if he was incredibly good-looking, or smart as hell, or could penetrate your freaking soul with those stupid, icy, sightless eyes of his. No, none of that mattered, because chances were, she'd never see him again after this. He'd always be her biggest 'what if.'

They stayed in that position for much longer than truly necessary, just breathing in each other's scents, before Iggy finally came to his senses and scrambled up, his face tinged with pink. "Sorry," he muttered, rubbing the back of his neck in an embarrassed sort of way.

"Don't be." And that was it. The rest of the time passed rather comfortably, never boring, but also never awkward. People passing by thought the two had known each other for years; hell, they felt like they had. Shelby discovered the pyro in her. She loved the orange-red of the flames, and the hungry way they licked whatever they touched, she was fascinated by it all. It saddened her to realize that Iggy couldn't see it.

Iggy loved introducing people to the wonder of nature called fire. Sure, he couldn't see it, but he loved the smell of burnt ash, the way it talked to you in that crackly, grumpy way, the feeling of getting so close to being burned, but never actually getting there. He loved the danger, the adrenaline of lighting a match and never knowing whether it's the last thing you're going to do or not. Sharing that feeling with someone was the best thing in the world.

Then, it happened again. But this time, Shelby was the cause. She picked up the lighter, walked over to Iggy, and tripped on a crack on the ground, falling straight into Iggy's arms. They both stiffened, their faces close, their mouths even closer, and stayed there, breathing in the other's breaths.

"You know," Iggy said, breathless, "I might actually kiss you if you didn't have smoker's breath." He could feel the girl's face heat up at his words.

"How do you know I have smoker's breath?" She growled.

"Because you smoke. Uh duh..."

"What's so bad about it? I bet you've never even kissed a girl like me!"

"You're right. And I don't want to because you'd taste like smoke. Gross."

"How would you know if you've never even tried?"

"I can smell it."

"Tasting and smelling are two different things, you idiot." Iggy narrowed his eyes.

"Why are you so anxious about it?"

"Because...because I hate it when people stereotype like that! Like, really, what the fuck? If you've never done it, don't try to predict it."

"But it's true!"

"Let's test it." Shelby glared at him, and Iggy's head snapped up, his eyes widening. His breath caught, speechless for once in his life.


"You heard me. If you think you're so smart, you little smart-ass, let's try it out. Let's see if your hypothesis is correct." Shelby stared at him challengingly, and even though Iggy couldn't see it, he could sure as hell feel it.

And Iggy was never one to back down on a dare.

Quick as anything, he closed the distance between the two of them and kissed her, hard. Shelby gasped in his mouth, bringing her hands automatically around him, one hand tangling in his hair. Putting pressure on the back of her neck with his hand, he pulled her closer still, her body flush against his. It was like two puzzle pieces fitting together: his long, lean 6'2" body, and her tall, athletic 5'10" frame, just fit. It was so impossible to describe, it shouldn't have been possible to describe. Something like this was found in stories, fairy tales, not their lives. Niether of them had the life of fairy tales: he was a sixteen-year-old mutant constantly on the run, she was a troubled kid who hid behind the disguise of a bad-ass punk and smoker.

They didn't know it, but they balanced each other out.

She was dry, but ultimately optimistic, and never backed down.

He was sarcastic, witty, and a realist with a tendency to go toward the pessimist side. He hid his feelings so well, that only Max really knew what he was feeling. And this girl, apparently. And that scared the shit out of him.

They pulled apart, panting heavily, her hand still in his hair; he was so hyper-aware of everything, and he found that when she moved her hand out, he missed the presence. A sound erupted from his throat, one that he couldn't really name. Nevertheless, it caused a smile to play on Shelby's face.

"You liked that, didn't you? Was your hypothesis proved wrong?" She rasped.

"No. You do taste like smoke." He wiped his lips. And mint, and strawberries, and something else that tastes way too good for your own good. Shelby's face darkened.

"Then why did you keep kissing me if it was so horrible?" She spat, her eyes narrowing, her lips pursing.

Iggy grinned, "I never said I didn't like it." Shelby blinked.


"That's not the only thing you taste like. And the other things happen to...overcome the smoke. Although, it would help if you didn't smoke..."

"You suck. First, you insult me, and then you do this? How am I supposed to stay mad at you when you do that to me?!"

Iggy shrugged modestly. "I'm just a damned good smooth talker."


Iggy wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled the girl closer, putting his fingers under her chin, mirroring his breathing with hers. Shelby shuddered.

"Can we just stop talking?" He whispered, and her nose filled with the sweet smell of his bubblegum breath. Speechless, she nodded, and leaned forward, capturing his lips with her own.

Iggy sighed into her mouth, wrapping one arm around her and cupping her face with the other.

Shelby bit down, gently, on his lip and pulled, earning herself an extremely interesting sound from the other. He broke apart abruptly and leaned toward, his breath tickling her ear.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," he murmured, breathless. "I don't think I could control myself."

Shelby smirked and turned his face toward hers. "Then don't."

Something different happened this time around. As they kissed, Shelby put her arms around him, and her hands touched something distinctly un-skin-like. She broke away.

"What is that?" Iggy looked at her, eyes wide, breathing wildly.

"You won't believe me if I say 'nothing,' will you?" Shelby shook her head. Iggy started pacing, walking up and down the alleyway, hand running through his hair. Oh no, oh no. I'm so stupid. Why the hell did I do this to myself. I just met the damn girl today. Oh, God.


"Iggy." Iggy stopped and turned his head toward her voice. "Take off your shirt."


Max giggled when Fang tried to steal the cookie dough from her hands. "Stop it." She swatted him playfully. He grinned, and Max's breath stilled for a second--she was so unused to that.

"Does my smile dazzle you?"

Max blushed. "Shut up."

Fang's smirk faded. "Where's Iggy?" He asked as they walked out of the Costco, arms loaded with groceries.

"Oh crap," Max swore. "Can we not leave him alone for two seconds?!"

"Max, I think we were in there for way more than two seconds. He probably got bored."

"So where'd he go?" She heard Fang's breath hiss out of his teeth.

"Right there." Following his line of vision, her eyes landed on the figures of a familiar, tall, shirtless strawberry blonde, and a girl with bronze hair and purple highlights, attached together by their lips.


"Are those wings?"


"Holy shit! So, it's true, then." Iggy squinted his eyes questioningly. "The blog, the news, the...everything." Iggy sighed and nodded dejectedly.

"I guess I should probably go, then. Sorry for bothering you." Iggy started to walk away, only to be pulled back by Shelby's hand on his arm.

"Just where do you think you're going, Iggy?"

"But...I thought you wouldn't...I don't know...want me after seeing these things."

"Why on Earth would you think that?!" Shelby gaped at him. Was he out of his mind?

"I'm...a freak. I know that. You don't have to make me feel better about it."

"Are you serious? You think I don't want you just because of those?" She gestured at his wings. "You must be insane. I don't care about those things. In fact, they're awesome! I always thought you guys were cool. None of my friends believed that you were real except me! Holy fuck, I can't believe I just hooked up with one!" She kissed him wildy, passionately, happily and he circled his arms around her, pressing her close to him.

She couldn't believe her luck.

He couldn't believe how lucky he was.

"Iggy!" Oh shit.

The two broke apart, gasping for air but smiling like fools.

"Is that you those two are talking about?" Shelby asked, using her hand to gesture towards the chocolate-haired girl and the olive-skinned, forest green-eyed boy.

A corner of Iggy's mouth pulled up. "I can't see if you're motioning towards them, remember?"

"I hate you."

"I highly doubt that's true, seeing as you were just sucking my face pretty eagerly." His breath tickled her ear, and she trembled, eyes almost rolling to the back of her skull.

"You are a sexist pig!" She slapped him teasingly.

"Hence the Club Sexist Pig, which I seem to remember, you are a part of..."

"Oh, go away."

Iggy grinned cockily and grabbed her hand. "C'mon. I want you to meet my family: Max and Fang, the ones who's fault it is that I met you and probably got lung cancer."

Shelby punched him in the arm and laughed, letting him drag her along, as she suspected he would be doing for a long time.

I'm not too sure about the ending but whatever.

I'm thinking about continuing but I'm not sure. Do you guys think I should make this a short story?

I won't be updating for another two weeks because I'll be in Turkey! In fact, I'm leaving today. I'll be writing updates for everything so don't worry, in two weeks, prepare for UPDATE MANIA.

Until then,