This is what you people have all been waiting for. Yes. Here it is. The amazing sequel. Second installment in my Dreaming series. Yeah. You got it. Now let's get to it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Maximum Ride. You should know that by now.
It's happy. It's happy again. Now that we have Iggy back, everything's right.
Well, almost everything. There's just the slight problem that Iggy's a whole year-or-so older than me now.
And if that wasn't a permanent enough reminder of everything that happened to him, there was also the scar. You know, the big one. About an inch long. Under his right eye.
And who made that scar?
No, not the stupid Whitecoats. Iggy himself.
Yeah. I know, right? Why would Iggy give himself such a terrible injury? That would leave a scar even our healing capabilities couldn't heal?
My sweet, delusional little broth…
Oh, no. I mean my… my sweet, delusional big brother.
Gosh, you have no idea how hard that is to say. To even think.
But, you know? All that is behind us. It's been nearly two months since the whole episode. Iggy seems to be doing… fine. Fine enough. I mean, he's not all sullen and depressed or cutting himself or anything.
Actually, at the moment he was napping. That's right. Napping. He can never seem to get to sleep enough lately.
Gazzy and Nudge are all confused by it. Why does he never do anything but sleep anymore?
I think I know why.
When he's asleep, he can dream.
Not that it makes much of a difference, anyway.
She doesn't reply at first. She's too busy staring at Iggy. Have to admit, the guy is cute when he sleeps.
She still doesn't look at me. Her eyes are focused on Iggy.
I should ask why she's even in here. After all, this is Iggy's bedroom. Not exactly a public place. And the door was shut with a little "do not disturb" sign on it last I checked.
Still no answer. In a huff, I turn to see what's so interesting about a sleeping Iggy that she's so caught up in on staring at.
All that floods out of me when I see my sleeping Iggy. He's sort of curled up on his side, the sheets on his bed pushed down by his ankles. He's got on this pair of torn and faded jeans… skinny-jeans that Nudge forced him to buy when we went shopping for him, saying that "guys look sooooo hot in skinny-jeans!" His shirt is pale blue and loose, and one of the sleeves had slipped down revealing his bare shoulder. His arms are wrapped around---don't tell Fang this, he'll never let Iggy live it down---this stuffed zebra.
See, when we first escaped the School, Jeb had gone out and bought us each 'comfort items.' I got this really nice fluffy leopard, Max got a plush frog, Fang a little black cat, Gazzy a rabbit, and Nudge a poodle. Iggy had gotten the zebra with a red ribbon around its neck.
The rest of everyone had gotten rid of their toys once they reached a "mature" age, leaving me with a pile of nice stuffed animals.
I never questioned why I never received Iggy's proclaimed "Zebry" or wondered where it had got to. Now, I realize that Iggy had kept it the whole time.
His face was scrunched into this adorable little pout, his nose nuzzled up into the plush zebra, his bottom lip stuck out and his eyebrows furrowed in a way that made my heart melt.
With his face in that expression, softened more than the regular stiff ones he usually wore, the scars on his face almost melted away. Even the giant one under his eye was somewhat less visible.
"Max," I say a bit more calmly. This time, Max turns her face towards me. I can see this loving expression in her eyes that I haven't seen in a long time.
"Dr. Martinez made dinner. She wants you and Iggy to come down."
Max smiles softly and reaches out to ruffle my hair. "Yeah, sure. Wait a sec. We'll be right down."
I stay standing and watch silently while Max wakes Iggy. She stands softly and bends over him, reaching out her arm and laying it gently on his bare shoulder. With barely more than a small shake, Iggy wakes and his eyes flash open.
"Whuzzat?" he mumbles, sitting up and rubbing at his eyes. He then brings his hand down on his Zebry and pulls back with his mouth in a shocked 'O'.
Slightly embarrassed, he reaches again for the zebra and stuffs it under his pillow. Max doesn't mention it, merely drags Iggy up by his armpits, moaning piteously about how her mom was anxiously awaiting the arrival of His Majesty Iggy, the King of Long Naps.
"And you need to start shaving your pits," she added hotly as Iggy sat up blearily. He turned his head up to Max's in disbelief.
"Guys don't shave their armpits, Max!" he informed her, trying to seem disgruntled, but he couldn't hide from a mind reader the fact that he was secretly proud to have "grown up" finally.
"Well, they should," Max sniffed, pulling him up, this time by the hand. "Don't they shave their chests or something?"
Iggy shrugged. "I think they wax. And they don't absolutely have to."
Max threw her arms up in despair. "Oh, what is the world coming to? Mister Tall, Dark and Handsome all grown up and waxing, and His Majesty Iggy in serious need of a shave."
"Then get Fang to loan me his razor! Or go out and buy me one!" Iggy replies hotly. "Can you blame me for growing facial hair?"
"Oh, Iggy, how could I blame you for fantasizing?" Max shakes her head, patting his arm as the three of us exit his room. "Just wait a bit longer, and maybe it'll come true… however unlikely that may seem."
It's Iggy's turn to throw his hands in the air. He gestures wildly to his chin. "See? See there? Stubble! That's right! And even if you were waxing your mustache before I am, that doesn't mean it's not happening!"
The three of us end up entering the kitchen with Iggy and Max laughing hysterically. The rest of the Flock and Ella and Dr. Martinez stare at the two in incredulity, and Max and Iggy sit in chairs next to each other at the table. I take my place between Nudge and Gazzy, and as dinner commences I resolve to simply watching the antics of the two.
"Oh, Your Majesty His Iggyness, wouldst thou please pass the salt?" Max proclaims, wildly waving her fork about over her plate.
"But of course, oh greatest, thou Max, Savior of thy World," Iggy answers, lifting the salt from beside his plate theatrically and handing it to her.
"Why thank you, oh King Iggy of the Long Naps," Max nods appraisingly.
"Why you're welcome, Master Maximum of the Tree-Hugging Hippies," Iggy replies with an unbelievably straight face.
Everyone continues to stare open-mouthed at the two as we all finish our chicken-tacos and mashed potatoes. They don't seem to either notice or mind, simply continuing effortlessly. By the end of dinner, I don't know whether I'll ever be able to get "Master Maximum of the Tree-Hugging Hippies" out of my head again. That's sure a catchy nickname.
"Um… listen, guys, why don't we do a family activity tonight?" Dr. Martinez finally says, pulling away from the table to wash the dishes.
Iggy tenses a little bit, as well as me, knowing clear well that it was the "family activities" that started the whole Five-Hundred-Days-Ago ordeal in the first place; mainly the Flock leaving Iggy out while we all watched movies.
"Like what?" Max asks leisurely, taking a bite out of her taco.
Dr. Martinez smiles knowingly. "I was thinking along the lines of… tag?"
Iggy visibly brightens and Nudge, Ella, and Gazzy jump up energetically.
"Oh yeah!" they cheer happily, slapping high-fives. Fang grins wordlessly, and Max jumps up to bring her and Iggy's now-empty plates to the counter.
"Tag it is!" she agrees.
We all happily flood out the back door and into Dr. Martinez's freshly-mown lawn, interspersed with trees, and bordered by a huge, thin forest and a large lake.
This was going to be a blast.
Yay! I'm so happy I finally got around to starting this sequel. Did you like this first chapter? I promise there will be a fair amount of action, but I wanted to start out with a few chapters of family fun before getting into the angsty adventures.
Let me say this before you click that "back" button and go start another fic; I'm not gonna wait until the sixth chapter for the first review this time! I better see a review on this chappie soon, or it will take a LONG time to post the next one!