A/N: Here's chapter one of a random idea I had a little while ago. I've got the next two chapters all written up, so updates should be relatively frequent for a bit, at least. Hope you like it!
"Look at this!"
I looked up as a magazine landed in front of my cereal bowl. It was one of the tabloids that you see while you're waiting in line at a grocery store. You know, the ones constantly going on about who's seeing whom and which couples are having marriage problems? Yeah, one of those.
"What about it?" I asked Max, who was standing with her hands on her hips, looking absolutely pissed off. I hadn't thought she was the sort of person who would care about the celebrities' lives, but I guess I could've been wrong.
She scowled and pointed to the front cover. "I said, look."
I did as instructed, and saw what she was so upset about. On the front cover, in large, bold letters, it said, "Bird-kids; No Longer A Myth". It was accompanied by a large picture of the six of us, and Total, flying. I think it must have been taken during one of the air shows.
"Yes, 'oh'," Max said angrily. "What do they think they're doing? We don't want this kind of publicity!"
Just then, Nudge walked into the kitchen. "What kind of publicity? Ooh, Max, are we famous? I've always wanted to be famous! But I never-"
Max cut her off. "Yes, Nudge, we're famous."
Nudge squealed and ran over to the table. "Is that us Max? OMG, that is soooo cool! We're on the front cover, even! I'm gonna go tell Angel!" She raced out of the kitchen and back down the hall.
Max buried her face in her hands. "Why? Why do these things always happen to me?"
I stood up and put my empty bowl in the sink, then went back over to Max. "Because you're special," I told her, rubbing her back.
She looked up at me and smiled a little. "Oh, joy. I've always wanted to be special."
"Well, that's good, because you always have been." I leaned down and kissed her.
Two days later…
I was in my room, checking my blog, when I heard a frustrated scream from the living room. It sounded like Max, so I got up and went to see what was wrong. She was standing in the middle of the room, staring at something in her hands. When I got closer, I realized it was another tabloid.
"What now?" I asked, not really wanting to know the answer. Wordlessly, she handed me the tabloid.
Right on the front cover was a picture of me kissing Max in the kitchen. It said, "Teenage Hormones Run Wild With The Two Eldest Members Of The 'Flock'". I just stared at it. And stared at it. Finally, I got my voice back.
"Where the hell did they get this?"
Max didn't even bother telling me to watch my language. I'm guessing she was feeling the same way. "I have no idea. Maybe they're stalking us."
I snorted. "Great. We're being stalked by crazy journalists." I flipped the tabloid open, looking for the article. I found it quickly. It was relatively short. I scanned the single page, then honed in on the last sentence.
Is it true love, or is one of them being used?
I scowled. One, those weren't the only two options, and two, why would it say something like that? And, due to unforgiving stereotyping, most people who read this would immediately assume they were talking about me using Max. Grr…
Max noticed my angry expression. "What?"
I handed it back to her and pointed at the line in question. Her hands clenched on the sides of the tabloid as she read it, creasing the paper.
"What?!" she exclaimed. She growled and threw it down on the coffee table. "I hate tabloids!"
"Calm down, Max," I said soothingly, stroking her hair. "You shouldn't get worked up about this."
"Because it doesn't mean anything," I said. "It's insubstantial. Inconsequential. Insignificant. Who cares what they wrote? It's not true. We know better, so no harm done."
"You looked angry yourself when you read it," she retorted.
"Well, who wouldn't?" I sighed. "Actually, I just had that same argument in my head."
She smiled slightly, but still looked a little angry (I don't know how she does that). I wrapped my arms around her, trying to comfort her.
"Oh, my God, have you guys seen this?" Ella burst into the room, out of breath. "It's all over the tabloids!" She was holding another tabloid. It wasn't the same one, but it had the same picture on the front. This one said, "Max And Fang, Together?". I was so ready to punch something.
I guess Max read my expression again, because she said, "It's inconsequential, remember?"
I sighed and tried to calm down. "How do they know our names?"
Ella shrugged. "Dunno. But isn't this cool? I mean, you guys are like, famous!"
Max stared at her incredulously. "Cool?! Why would you possibly think this was cool?"
Ella stared right back. "Why wouldn't you? This is like, your big break! I mean, there aren't that many people that get huge front page pictures." She shook the tabloid at us to accent her last three words. "I totally wish it was me."
"Well, you can go join Nudge's party," I said. "She seems to think that this is the best thing since sliced bread."
"As for us," Max added. "We'd rather stay inconspicuous for as long as possible. And did you see what the article said?" She handed Ella the tabloid that she'd thrown on the coffee table and pointed to the last sentence in the article. "What are they trying to pull?"
Ella looked at the article, then looked at us. "So? No one reads these anyway."
Max and I just stared at her for a minute. Then Max said, "I'm going to my room to bang my head on my desk." She stormed off down the hall. Ella just stared after her, looking puzzled. I decided to follow Max and make sure she didn't seriously injure herself on her desk.