A/N: First of all, I would like to say, yaaaaay! I've never even had questions to answer when I started a new chapter. Thank you for your crazy generosity you wonderful weirdos. I love you all! Secondly, I would like to say, EGGY!
Danibrou1214: No, Max isn't from Texas, it's part of her disguise. LOL :P
Gremlin-Rayne: Mint… cookies? Cookies… mint? WAIT WHAAAAAAAT. OvO *lovestruck*
Elemental Dragon Slayer: Duh, there will be Fax. There might be some different pairings for a while, but it always ends up being Fax!
And to everyone else: Thanks for the reviews, follows and favourites. It really encouraged me.
In case you were a little worried about my super long A/N yesterday, I always do that on the first chapter, but they get a lot shorter from here on out. By the way, last chapter was called Cupid's Bow, not Brick by Boring Brick. Sorry. *I'm pretty sure they despise them apples: reference to the comeback "how'd you like them apples?!"
(these three songs are mentioned in the chapter.)
Crushcrushcrush - watch?v=ei8hPkyJ0bU (videography)
Pressure - watch?v=vKrP79m_kjA (lyrics)
King for a Day - watch?v=icXUkIfZxyg (videography)
Chapter Two – Wind Under my Wings
Max's POV Monday
Driving always calms me down. I don't know why; maybe it's because you know your guidelines. There's always a place where you're supposed to be, and you don't have to make complicated choices. This would be true even if my car had a closed top, but the reason I love it is because I can feel my hair blowing back and bugs on my windshield and the wind under my wings.
I'm driving along one of those desert roads that stretch out into the horizon of a barren landscape, that kind of road where you would get no signal whatsoever while you're trying to desperately call a tow service, on the third day of your car's breakdown. And you would probably get eaten by desert rats any. Which, please.
I'm going to eat them first.
Let me first tell you where I'm going: to visit my half-sister, Ella. I visit her as much as I can, because I owe my life to her, and if you'd tasted our mom's cookies, you would totally understand why home's the place to be. Flicking on my car stereo and turning it up as much as I damn well please, I hear one of my own songs blasting out at me. Jebus, they're everywhere. Duck and cover, civilians, the Freefall revolution has begun.
I got a lot to say to say to you
Yeah, I've got a lot to say
I noticed your eyes are always glued to me
Keepin' them here; it makes no sense at all
Just last week we got 6,100 more downloads for that song. To tell you the truth, I never expected in my giddy daydreams that I would be where I am now. I was always more the type of person who would much prefer to perform for her pillow than to a crowd, but despite my wishes, that fabulous Ella of mine decided that it was time I got myself out there. How she got in touch with Redicom Records, I have no idea, but I'm glad she did. Not to mention the tape of me singing, recorded through my keyhole, you little sneak. I guess there's only one more thing to say about it. When there's someone singing, in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call?
Rock and roll, baby
Don't you know that we're alone now
I need something to sing about
Rock and roll, huh
As I'm absently drumming my fingers on the dashboard, I notice that I've neared a town. Popping on my shades and pushing off my signature Doc Martens, I roll in like some kind of gangster, yo. Fortunately it doesn't earn me as many looks as it would in West Greyhound, because I really don't want to be recognised around here. Considering I'm in North Greyhound, I should probably take my time, because I'm in no hurry. Ella's school breaks up at three, and it's only one. I've never really looked around the north much, pretty much because it's where all the "upper-class" lives. Basically, it's crawling with rich gits who think they're above us Westhounds. Of course, they wouldn't dare mention a thing now that the only famous musician who's ever come from Greyhound was Westie. I never asked them before, but I'm pretty sure they despise them apples.*
Even the parking lots here are pay-to-stay. Oh, please. Just because you have all this money to throw down your pants doesn't mean you have to. In any other place, you simply park up however wonky you's feeling like it and walk off. But all the rigged-up sports cars and mint-coloured Jeeps that they give their daughters for their third birthdays are parked completely straight so as to keep them in pristine condition, and the fare costs a whole dollar. What are they here, loaded? Wait, that's right. They are.
When I step out of my car in regular Converse, I do get a few more funny faces. They're not used to teenagers in regular clothing getting out of their schmancy kind of car. This would really get to me – you know, if I gave a crap. Just to prove a point, I slam the door on their peacefulness, disrupting the quiet. The first thing I want to try is getting a mocha. I'll bet you they charge an extra hundred for the gold shavings.
I've been told that my natural walking gait is very uneven, and gives off a certain confidence. I suppose I do sway my hips a bit much, but I don't do it intentionally. To be honest I'm just always trying to walk quickly. When I was a kid, I did everything as slowly as possible, including walking. People called me a snail. But then when I got into middle school, I ended up doing everything so much faster, probably because I just wanted to get out of there. Lots of kids who are bigger than you, in a confined space while you're trying to get to class, and your clunky old backpack isn't the best combination if you enjoy your sanity. So I just sped up, simplezz.
Since you've just read the reason for my arriving at the local Starbucks so quickly, I won't need to go over it again. As I stare up at it, I notice that when they say Starbucks they really mean Starbucks. You know, because stars (celebrities) have lots of money (bucks) and then the… oh, right, you don't care. Well, if that's the way you want to play it.
Inside, I half expect them to be playing some soprano, but no. It's me. I guess I'm just that irresistible.
I can feel the pressure
It's getting closer now
we're better off without you
I can feel the pressure
Oh please, we released Pressuretwo years ago (A/N: The anniversary for the Pressure release is in 6 days, by the way). Get with the times, people!
I look up at the (sky and I see red! Red for the cancer, red for the wealthy, red for the drink that's mixed with suicide! Everything red! Ahem. Okay, I'm done reciting Pierce the Veil now) menu above the counter to see if I've got enough on me for a white mocha. Huh, $2.50. Maybe I misjudged. Starbucks can't be that different everywhere and it certainly won't change for a bunch of monkey suits.
"White chocolate mocha please, medium," I ask the guy behind the counter. I see a flicker behind his eyes. Crap, I'm not Maxine yet, am I?
Just so I don't end up scrambling your brain, my real name is Maxine Martinez. Maximum Ride was a stage name, before I had it legally changed because of a few sentimental reasons. When I'm around people, who might recognise me and release the hungry paps to ravage my innocence, I transform myself back into Maxine by dying my hair brown like Ella's, ditching the rock star looks, and talking with my spot-on Texan façade. Also, I have an extra car just for the disguise. What do you mean; it's not for the disguise and I'm just putting it on because I wanted a new car? Of course it is.
"Coming right up, ma'am." He replies with a steady voice, but he looks persistently curious. A minute of leaning against at the counter brings me to sitting at a circular table on my own, investigating the Mocha of the North. It's quite good actually. I bet you'd want one. It's so hot and steamy, so chocolaty and irresistible. I'm drinking one right now. Where's yours? Oh yes, you don't have one. Ha-ha.
Don't mind me, I'm just trolion'.
- - time skip - -
Pulling up outside Ella's school, I see that she's talking to a boy. Ooh, snazzy. I slide out quietly, leaning on the door to listen. Silently, I wonder if they're involved, but he doesn't look like her type (more like mine, ha). I would know, I've met them all, if you know what I mean. He has shaggy black hair, dark clothes and darker eyes. He probably works out. That's one thing that defines Ella and me: I can tell how buff they are before I ask them out, and she can't. What can I say? It's a gift.
"What was he talking about?" Ella asks the guy with her back to me.
"He was talking about his plan for the 'Maximum Project'. I honestly didn't realise he was this serious about getting to meet that girl; I thought he was just going to fangirl over her for a few more years, but by the way he was talking obviously not." Poop: Maximum. Is he talking about me?
A chuckle rolls off his tongue, and I don't hear Ella laugh back, but I do hear the waver in her voice when she next speaks. "You mean fanboy?" A detail like that wouldn't matter to her if she didn't like the guy they were talking about. So she didn't like that boy? I was totally going to get her to tell me everything when we got home. Ah, the joys of intervening in your younger sister's love life. What fun!
"Oh yeah, that's… what I meant." I can feel the heat from all the way over here, so I do them a favour.
"You gon' get in, Ellsa, or am I gon' drive away without you?" I holler, folding my arms.
"Well I'll see you bye." Says my sister quickly, scooping up her bag and hurrying towards me. When she reaches me, she greets me with a scalding undertone. "What are you doing Maxine, trying to get yourself caught? Ooh you're lucky you used that accent on him, he would have recognised you straight away, young lady." Jeez. Clip your bra on, mother.
I shrug and she ushers me into the driver's seat, which is where I take over. She can't tell me what to do when I drive because she knows I'll send any backseat drivers over a cliff. It irritates me no end when someone tells me how to drive. Pisstake, that's what it is.
"Los hombres, ¿eh?" I ask her, knowing that she'll understand. See, no human with the last name Martinez can resist speaking Spanish for a whole day. Its physics, deal with it.
"NooOOoo!" she waves her hands at me in a 'no way' fashion.
"Well, I only suspect it when you're talking to a boy about a boy. That's when I get suspicious. I mean, there are two male persons in that scenario!" friends are forever, boys are for a while, and sisters are for girly-ing.
"The one I was talking to was Fang. You remember him, right?" I nod, pursing my lips in anticipation. "We're totally in the friend zone there. Buuuut."
"Buuuut. There is a guy."
"There is a guy!"
"There IS a guy! Okay so you remember me talking about Iggy riiight?"
"Riiight! Yeeah." She had an excitable warble in her voice when she talked about him. Ooh, goody. "When I first met him he was kinda goofy, dependable and great friend material even though he's, you know, not female. Over time though, he's just gotten more and more attractive to me. He doesn't show it when we're around other people, but…" she sighed and looked off into the distance.
Aside, just a small additional footnote: if he ever hurts her, I'll crush him.