Between MAX and FANG. No FANG spoilers.


Inquisition
or:
why the opinion of your girlfriend's mom is very, very important.


A thousand bloodthirsty Erasers— no, make that ten thousand. Or maybe an army of Flyboys with machine guns. Going shopping with Nudge. Being stuck in a room with Gazzy and a plateful of bean burritos. Getting his primary feathers pulled out one by one.

All better than having the 'sex talk' with your girlfriend's mom. Guess which one Fang was doing?

"Now, Fang." Dr. Martinez pushed back a strand of hair from her forehead. "I understand that you and my daughter are... romantically involved."

"Yes, ma'am." Fang tried not to fidget. He could see which side Max inherited her "evil death stare" from. Seriously, did this woman practice in a mirror?

"I understand you've known Max several years," Dr. Martinez continued. "I can understand that this might breed familiarity." Her gaze cranked up a notch. "Are you familiar with my daughter, Fang?"

"Um..." Fang blinked. "...Not in the way I think you're implying. Ma'am."

"You're a smart guy." She sat down at the table and gestured for him to do the same. "Now. When did you first start having feelings toward her?"

She wanted Fang to have an honest discussion with her about feelings? Everything in Fang wanted to flip this woman the bird and storm off. Only Max kept him sitting in this stupid chair. He wondered if Valencia knew just how much she was pushing his buttons. "A few months back. Right before you surgically removed the chip, actually."

"I see. And did Max reciprocate these feelings?"

Fang blinked, once. Dr. Martinez sighed. "What I'm getting at, Fang, is did you pressure her into anything? Even a bit?"

I kissed her twice and had her run away twice. Cornered her in a submarine. Got in her personal space several times. Dropped numerous hints to her, Angel, and the dog.

"Nope. No pressure."

Dr. Martinez raised one eyebrow. "Mm-hmm. I'd suggest that you continue that attitude. Because if I felt that you were pressuring my daughter physically..." She trailed off, and laughed once. There was zero humor in that laugh. "Well. You can imagine how I might react."

It couldn't have been more threatening if she'd stabbed a kitchen knife into the table. Fang nodded and stood, deciding to try for a little decency. "Dr. Martinez. I've been with Max for years now. The last thing I want to do is hurt her, alright? I l-lo..." He stopped. "You know."

Dr. Martinez's face split into a grin, and she rested her chin in her hands. "Alright. I believe you. But only because you stuttered."

Fang blinked. He knew that would be the best he was going to get, but still

"Fang?" Max stuck her head into the kitchen. Her hair was tied loosely back, several tendrils brushing her cheeks. Her right wing brushed one wall, and he could almost feel the downy feathers between his fingers, with her warm breath on his face—"There you are. We're ordering pizza; do you want one meat lover's or two?"

"...Two." She smiled at him, and Fang tried to make himself focus on pizza. Dr. Martinez was five feet away from him and the kitchen knives.

"I figured," Max answered breezily. "Wanna go for a quick flight before they get here?"

Fang opened his mouth to reply, then looked at Dr. Martinez. Valencia smiled, waving her hand in a dismissive manner. "Sure, go on! I can always keep the pizzas warm in the oven."

Max nodded, slightly confused. Fang quickly crossed to the other side of the kitchen, sliding open the glass doors and practically throwing himself into the air. Max caught up to him not long after, five thousand feet or so feet up. She absently reached up to hold his hand. "What's up? You look like you just came out of the Spanish Inquisition."

"Feels like it," Fang muttered. Her hair was doing that messy-but-not thing again, and it was driving him up the wall. Up the air. Whatever. Fang angled himself downward until he could wrap his arms around her waist. Possibly the best sight in the world: sun, Max smiling, and land thousands of feet below him.

Her arms came around to snake between his wings and up to the nape of his neck, stroking his hair. "Everything okay?"

Fang leaned in and kissed her. Answer enough.

Max laughed quietly when they finally broke apart, pressing her lips to his neck. "Geez, what happened in there?"

"You don't want to know."

Fang let his fingers card through her hair and kissed her cheeks, sliding down to the corner of her mouth and pausing. She turned her face toward his and their lips brushed. "Don't I?" she murmured— seductively? — against his mouth. For a moment, Fang forgot to flap.

"Well," he murmured, "Telling your girlfriend that you've just had the sex talk with her mom tends to spoil the mood."

Max yanked her head back, her expression aghast. "Fang!"


Fang, Fang, Fang. You sure know how to ruin the mood, don't you?

Written because I couldn't resist this idea, hah!. I'm slowly but surely digging myself deeper into the Maximum Ride fandom, getting ideas that I have onto paper. Shocker, right? So, I'll put up an offer to you all. Challenge me, give me your requests. If I like the idea or find it particurarly intriguing, I'll write it and PM you when I do. Bring it on.

Also... I've had reviewers ask me if there's going to be a 7th book. Yes, yes, and yes! The summary (so far) is on the Hatchette Books website, which you can find using Google. I'd also be happy to copy-paste it into your review reply, should you request that.

Reviews are way awesome. Critique and comment!

--Akiko