A/N: So, this random thought popped into my head the other day, and I was like, 'Hey! That sounds really neat! Maybe I'll write a fanfic about it!' So here it is. My first ever oneshot. Hopefully you like it.
And, of course, I shall now disclaim any rights to Maximum Ride. I do not own it, I never will. No suing shall now ensue…Okay, that was kind of sad…
"So you liked the ice cream?" Sam looked nervous as he walked me up to Anne's front porch. "And the movie?"
I nodded. "It was great. I haven't had a whole lot of time for fun recently, so it was a nice relief." I smiled at him, but he just looked away. What was up with that?
"That's good. I'm glad." We reached the porch, and I stopped before going inside. What was I supposed to do now?
Sam wiped his hands nervously on his pants. I wasn't great at reading people, so I couldn't figure out what was up with him. Well, I could read Fang, but-
No, bad Max! I scolded myself. You're on a date with Sam. Don't think about Fang. I wasn't really sure why those two things should be related, but they were. I kind of felt like I was somehow betraying Sam by thinking about Fang while I was on a date with him. I know it sounds weird, but hey. I'm a very weird person.
I realized Sam had been silent for a while, so I said, "So…"
Sam looked up. "Yeah, um…" He paused, as if looking for what to say. "I had a great time. You're a really fun person to hang out with." Why did I have a feeling he was about to say 'but'? "But I don't really know about this…" See, what did I tell you? Maybe I could read people a little better than I thought.
I frowned. "You don't know about what?"
He shrugged, looking extraordinarily uncomfortable. "I just don't know about the whole…you and me thing." He gestured vaguely between us with his hands. "I like you as a friend, but I just don't think you're really my kind of girl."
That stung far more than it should have. All I managed to say to that was, "Oh."
Now he looked concerned, and I wondered if my expression had given away more of my hurt than I thought it would. "Don't take it the wrong way. I mean, you're a really great person, but I just…" He trailed off. "I don't know, Max. I'm sorry." And he did look very sorry, but he also looked a little relieved, like he was glad to have told me before anything actually happened.
I just stood there for a minute. What was this supposed to teach me? I found a guy I actually kind of liked, and he dumped me after the first date. I know I wasn't exactly brought up in a palace, but I'd thought my manners were okay. I hadn't thought I'd done anything else to push him away, either, and he'd seemed to like me enough to ask me out in the first place. What was it that made him say I wasn't really his kind of girl?
Finally I pulled myself together enough to speak. "I'm sorry you feel that way." I think my voice was a little colder than I intended, because he looked a bit taken aback.
"Max, please don't be angry," he said. "I mean, we can still be friends."
I stared at him. Okay, I didn't get out much, and my knowledge of normal media was pretty limited, but I did know that when a guy said that he was just trying to lesson the blow a little. It wasn't really any sort of kind gesture. "That's alright. I get it. I'm not good enough for you or something." I know I sounded bitter and hateful, but I didn't really care at the moment. "You just go find someone who is, then."
Sam looked astonished. "Max, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to make it sound like–"
"Just go, Sam," I interrupted. "Leave me alone."
His eyes widened. I was overreacting. I knew it. I just didn't care at the moment.
Sam tried one last time to make amends. "Please, Max. It has nothing to do with you. It's just me." What a load of hooey. Obviously it had something to do with me.
I looked at him coldly. "Don't bother. I'm not in the mood."
Sam stared at me for a minute, then turned and stepped off the porch. He looked back one last time. "Even if you don't believe me, I really am sorry to have to do this, Max." Then he walked back to his sister's car and got in. Thirty seconds later he was gone, the car driving off down the road.
I resisted the urge to collapse onto the steps and have a good cry, because that was just totally unlike me. I was Maximum Ride, the girl who never faltered, never cried, was never weak. I was not going to let some guy turn me into a blubbering mess. I didn't need Sam. It wasn't like I'd known him that long, and I didn't even like him that much.
Still trying to convince myself that was true, I went inside and headed for my room. Anne was sitting in the living room, watching TV.
"Hey, Max," she called cheerfully. "How was it?"
"Fine," I replied shortly, not stopping to chat. I really didn't want to talk to Anne about it. She was the last person on Earth I wanted to know about what had just happened. One, I just didn't want to talk about it, and two, I didn't really feel like I could talk to her about anything important. We just weren't that close.
Once I was in the privacy of my room, I took my shoes off and chucked them at the closet, sinking down on the bed. Why did this sort of thing always happen to me? The world couldn't just give me one good day, could it? Always had to have the trials and tribulations.
Lost in thought, I didn't hear the knock on the door. Therefore, I was somewhat surprised when the door opened and Fang came in. I looked up, confused at my conflicted feelings. On one hand, I was really glad he showed up, because I certainly needed someone to cheer me up me right now, and if anyone could do that, it was Fang. On the other hand, I knew he would get me to tell him what had happened, which I really didn't want to.
"Hi," I muttered.
Concern flashed across Fang's face. "Max, are you okay? You look horrible."
I groaned. "That's not exactly what I wanted to hear right now."
"I'm sorry for stating the truth," he said, coming over and sitting next to me on the bed. "But seriously, what happened?"
I stared at my hands for a while before answering. "I guess you could say…Sam dumped me."
I have no idea what Fang's reaction was expression-wise, as I was still staring down at my lap, but when he spoke, his voice was full of a strange mix between anger and relief. "He did what?"
"He dumped me," I repeated. "One date, and then he dumped me. I thought everything was going fine; we saw a movie, had ice cream, chatted." I finally looked up at Fang. "But then we got back to the house, and he told me that I was a fun person to hang with, but I wasn't his kind of girl." Fang's jaw tightened angrily, but I thought I saw a bit of satisfaction in his eyes. "He said…he said we could still be friends, whatever that means." I paused, then added, "I kind of blew a gasket at him. I wasn't very nice."
Fang shook his head. "Trust me, he deserves much more than not-nice-ness. Any guy who can't appreciate you…" He trailed off and shook his head again. "Sam is a complete moron."
I smiled weakly. "As much as that was a nice boost on my ego, I can't completely agree with you there."
Fang stared at me. "What do you mean? You don't think Sam's a moron? Or you don't think you're appreciate-able?"
I shrugged. "Both, I guess. I can't blame Sam for realizing that I'm not really his kind of girl. It happens. I was mad at the time, but now…I guess I realized that some people should just stay friends. Not ruin it trying for a relationship, you know?" Fang looked almost alarmed as I said that. I wonder why. "And on the part about me…Well, I might as well have grown up in a cave for all the manners and social skills I have. I'm not particularly girly. I wouldn't be caught dead in a dress. Are there really any guys out there that would want to date someone like that?"
Fang was nodding slowly. "Definitely." After a short pause, he added, "I like that kind of girl."
I thought bitterly of the Red-Haired Wonder I'd caught him with at school the other day. "No, you don't," I replied. "But thanks for saying it."
He cocked his head. "You don't believe me?"
"No," I said. "You're just trying to do what a best friend should and make nice comments about me when I'm depressed. It's nice of you to try, but the fact that I know it's not true sort of ruins it."
"You are far too stubborn for your own good," he said, looking thoroughly exasperated. "If something someone says sounds any bit kind, you automatically think they're lying. You know, contrary to your apparent belief, the entire world isn't out to get you."
I scowled. "Maybe not, but I still don't believe you."
"Because I know your kind of girl," I said sourly. "And it most definitely is not whatever kind it is that I am."
Fang looked annoyed. "If you're talking about that red-headed girl at school, she's not at all my kind of girl. She's annoying and preppy and far too short for me. I got a neck ache trying to be down on her level." He shook his head. "Nope, that was a mistake. A big one."
I stared at him, trying to quench the strange giddiness that seemed to be overtaking me. "Really?"
He nodded. "Do you believe me now?"
"Maybe a little," I hedged. "But that still doesn't address the issue of my complete incompetence as a member of the female race."
"You don't have to be girly to be female, Max," Fang said quietly. "You're powerful, you're strong, you're not afraid to do what needs to be done when it needs doing, you're graceful, in your own way." There was a pause, then he added, "And you're beautiful."
Whoa, whoa, back up. Did Fang just call me beautiful?! I swear, my heart skipped at least three beats. No one had ever called me beautiful before in my entire life. I never thought the first to say it would be Fang, master of no expressing. And the thing was, it made me happy, thinking that Fang thought I was beautiful. Sadly enough, I felt the urgent need to immediately respond with a snarky, Maximum Ride jibe. Even more sadly, I couldn't come up with anything. My brain felt like a white board, usually full of thoughts and messages, but suddenly wiped clean, and no one had written anything new yet.
Fang was watching me, obviously wanting some sort of reaction. So far I'd just stared blankly at him. I cleared my throat. "I…" I paused and changed tactics. "That was some speech. My ego feels better now."
He smiled. Not a huge one, but it was enough. "That's good."
Silence fell, and we just looked at each other. Finally, Fang looked away. "We should both go to bed."
I nodded, feeling a little sad for some reason. "We should."
Silence fell again. Evidently neither of us really wanted to cut off our little pow-wow. Then Fang stood up, breaking off said pow-wow.
"I'll go now," he said, heading for the door.
"Okay," I replied. "Good night."
He turned around and smiled at me. "Good night, beautiful."
Thinking back on it, I'm pretty sure that's what did it. If he hadn't added that 'beautiful', I'm not sure anything would have come of our conversation. We probably would have carried on with our lives as usual, and not thought of it again. Occasionally I might have thought back and gone, Fang thinks I'm beautiful, smiled, and kept on doing whatever it was I was doing, perhaps in a slightly better mood. But none of that matters at all, because something did happen. And now I'll tell you what that something was.
Suddenly not wanting him to leave, I jumped off the bed and darted around between him and the door. He looked at me, surprise evident on his face.
I swallowed nervously. "I just realized that I really don't want you to go anywhere."
His eyebrows shot up. The surprised expression on his face was just so out of character for Fang, I nearly laughed out loud. I didn't, though, because it would have completely ruined the atmosphere that I was currently enjoying.
"You want me to stay here?" he asked, obviously still a little confused.
I nodded. "Yeah. Will you, please? For a little while, at least?"
Still looking somewhat shell-shocked, Fang nodded slowly. "Why, though?"
"Um…" I pondered that, trying to figure it out for myself as much as for Fang. "I'm not really sure I know, but you being here makes me feel better. And I need to feel better right now. Tonight's been kind of rough."
I went back over to the bed and sat down, and Fang followed me. We sat in silence for a little while, just enjoying each other's company. Then I felt the need to ask him something, just to be sure.
"Fang?" He looked at me. "Did you really mean what you said? Do you actually think I'm beautiful?"
He actually looked kind of embarrassed, which was new. "Yeah. You are."
I smiled. "Thanks." After another rather long silence, I said, "My night's not so bad anymore. Thank you for that."
He didn't need to ask why I was thanking him. I was certain he already knew. It wasn't hard to figure out. He nodded. Then he did something I never thought would ever happen: he held his arms out to me. Fang asking for a hug? Was the world ending, and I just hadn't heard about it yet? Still, it looked inviting. I scooted over and wrapped my arms around him.
"Thank you, Fang," I said, leaning my head against his chest.
"You looked like you needed it," he replied. "Don't expect to make a habit of it, though."
I laughed and looked up at him. "Of course not. We couldn't have the Great Fang going soft, could we?"
My innocent sarcasm (yes, I know those to words shouldn't generally be used together, but bear with me) had an unintended effect. Fang's dark eyes looked into mine, and I saw emotions swimming in them.
"It's good to go soft every once in a while," he said. He lifted his hand to my face and stroked my cheek. "Some people deserve it." Then, cupping me cheek in his palm, he leaned down and kissed me.
It was like static electricity and gentleness together. There were sparks, most definitely, but it was in a calm, soft way. It's hard to describe, really, but let's just say it was amazing. It was nothing like the time I'd kissed Fang on the beach. That had been brief, and it had sort of been one-sided since he was so beat up, tired, and surprised. This one was most definitely two-sided, and it lasted much longer.
We finally broke apart, and then we just stared at each other for a few minutes. I had the overwhelming desire to kiss him again, but I wanted to process what had just happened. I wanted to store it away in a little part of my brain that would never forget it. I wanted to remember every detail until I was old and gray and had false teeth.
Fang was smiling. He was staring down into my eyes and smiling, and the effect was breathtaking. He looked so…happy. Content. Calm. It would have made me smile myself, if I hadn't already been smiling quite widely.
Finally, I said, "Can you do that again?"
Fang's smile turned into a grin, and he obeyed. The second kiss was just as wonderful as the first, if not a little better, and I stored it away in my Forever Memories too.
Afterward, Fang looked at me. "Are you over Sam now?"
I grinned. "Sam? Sam who?"
"That's my girl," Fang said. "My powerful, strong, graceful, beautiful Max." He tapped my nose. "How's that for your ego?"
I sighed and tucked my head into his chest. "Wonderful," I whispered. "It sounds wonderful."
We stayed like that for a long time, just holding each other. It was the best night of my life, and all because Sam dumped me. I really ought to thank that boy.
A/N: So…what'd you think? That's the Faxiest (is that a word?) thing I've ever written. I hope you liked it. I enjoyed writing it. It was kind of nice writing during the SOF timeframe, because I didn't have to deal with the whole 'Max runs away during mushy stuff' preset. I can write this kind of thing without people going, 'Well, why didn't she run away this time?' It's fun. =P And I apologize for the OOC-ness toward the end. I tried to keep them in character, but it was surprisingly hard. Anyway…
Are there any Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans reading this? Because if there are, let me know if you noticed the quote I stole. Bonus points to you if you can identify the speaker and/or the episode. I don't know why I used it. Just seemed to fit.
Lastly, if anyone reading this is reading either of my other stories, I will get around to updating them, I promise. I'm currently doing NaNoWriMo, though, and I'm a little bogged down. I had to stay up until 1:15 AM to finish this, and I really don't want that to turn into a habit. However, after November ends, I promise I will update Unwilling Celebrities and Angelic Tyranny. Please bear with me.