Last one you guys, I never would've finished this story without all of your support… Well, actually I probably would've just cuz I love this story so much. Happy summer 2012, everyone!
Oh, and a BIG congratulations to Anon13. The 100th Reviewer! *big round of applause* Thanks to everyone else too!
HeadOverHeelsInHate-That's actually not a bad idea, I'll think about it. And just wondering; how can something boring be awesome?
RockerBabe414- Thanks for reading! I'm sad too.
Tomgirl1313- No pun taken, haha, well, I don't know. If you truly loved someone, and you had no choice. If that someone was going to be hurt in the process of fighting for your love, wouldn't you try to take the easy way out?
HaleyBopperz- Nope, sorry, you weren't 100th. And as for your other question, I might make a sequel… *squeal* Ah… so much work, so little time. Sweet mother of bacon is my new favorite phrase, too. Thanks for the poptarts!
Arocksprpl2- Faxness could never die, no matter how many people try to kill it. It killed me when Fang left in Angel again.
kEePtHeHeAt- You went to New York? Cool, I've always wanted to go but I've never got the chance. I will someday.
I don't know where I landed, but I knew it was on Earth, somewhere. I wasn't as familiar with this place as Max. She's been here longer.
"Max," I sigh, running a hand through my hair. What was she doing now? They would give her honors and titles and she'd be a hero. She's be known as the hero she's always been. This time, she's been recognized for it.
Is she thinking of me, as all those medals and awards are draped on her? Maybe not, even though it broke my heart to think like that.
Yes, I loved her. I loved Maximum Ride with all my heart but now she's gone. There was nothing I could do to keep her.
What could I have done? Should I have begged for forgiveness at the Throne and Archangels' feet? I doubt they would listen. I had a witness against me. No matter what I said, no matter what I did or didn't do, I would be seen as a danger in their eyes. And the Throne always struck down what they deemed dangerous.
What did Max think of me now?
I was a killer, a traitor, even if I was unknowing, even if I was tricked. Ibar was an innocent, trapped in a trickster's skin. I'd been deceived and it cost me Max.
But would it do any better, if I tried something else? Something had possessed that angel and whatever did could possess many more. Maybe I did the right thing, killing that thing that possessed Ibar.
I look around me, focusing for the first time.
I knew exactly where I was.
This was the cave where I first kissed Max.
I pulled my wings around me, to cast away the cold left over from the portal. I didn't know why I did it, I didn't know why I chose to leave but I did.
But I do know one thing. Heaven's not my home. I've never been welcomed there. What little speck of heroism I've earned during this escapade will slowly fade away, and they'll ignore me again. But here… here on Earth, I have a place to be. I have the Flock, I have familiarity. I've been on Earth almost all my life. This is my home, not Heaven, not Hell, not anywhere else.
I land on soft grass. I sprawled down onto the grass. My back muscles extended and my wings fanned out, splaying each feather. I stretch out like a cat, spreading my fingers into the fresh, dewy blades of grass. If war was fought with blades of grass and not blades of steel, the world would be a better place. If only…
I breathed in the air. I could breathe here, not like in Heaven, underneath rules and speculation, ready to be booted out at any moment.
I was so caught in my euphoria and epiphany that I'd almost forgotten the reason why I did choose to return. I sat up, shaking out my wings. Where was Fang?
I recognized the land, I recognized the trees. I was near the Palace, where the Flock was. What if they lied? What if the Throne sent Fang to Hell instead? What if the Portal was broken somehow and sent Fang elsewhere? Where is he?
I jumped up into the air and flapped my wings, soaring into the clouds, flying as fast as I could to the Palace. I hoped he was there. He had to be. They promised. They promised that Fang and I could have an eternity together, no strings attached.
Except… they didn't say the last part. For all I knew, they could've thrown in monsters and demons and twists in the plot that could separate us. But not for long, because Fang loves me, and I love Fang. Right? But he didn't turn, not once, when he stepped into the portal.
The Flock was waiting in the Receiving Hall of the Palace, Titus and Andrea with them. By the looks of it, the Flock had already shown the Royals themselves. Andrea looked a little too at awe at Iggy, but otherwise, the Royals adjusted just fine. Titus was looking well, he received a few good looking scratches from the War of course, but otherwise, he was the same warrior emperor I've always known. Nudge was chatting away to Gazzy who looked absolutely tortured.
They all turn when I walk in. Titus can't resist but sweeps me up in a hug. "Titus," I warn underneath my breath as Andrea shoots daggers my way. He sets me down gingerly. Iggy, Gazzy, Nudge and Angel all hug me in turn, too. Angel sees the stiffness in my eyes first.
"Where's Fang?" I ask, biting my lip.
"We thought he was with you," Iggy replied.
I close my eyes and turn away. I take a shuddering breath. "Well, then…" Leaving the Flock and the Royals behind me, I glide over to a chair and try to be graceful as I sat down. I was the indestructible Maximum Ride. But this… this just might kill me.
Angel held out a hand to me, "Can I speak with you, Max?"
I follow her out, "What is it, Angel?"
Her blue eyes were serious, "I know where Fang is."
I run a hand along the walls of the cave. The obsidian hummed in them. I found the place that I'd disappeared from the world, just to hide the pain I was in.
Maximum Ride, Max, the indestructible Maximum Ride, "Max," I say. The walls don't hear me, the trees don't care. I was all alone.
Where has Max gone? And does she think about me?
"Fang!" came a voice that rang through the forest.
I stare at Max, her russet wings spread, her eyes glowing. I feel a smile spread across my face, "Max."
I shot away from the Palace, leaving the Flock and the Royals under Angel's care.
I had to find him, I needed to find him. For both our sakes, or at least, mine.
He told me he loved me once, that he'd always protect me because he did.
Will he keep his word?
I found him in the cave, when he first kissed me. I've never been kissed before, not ever, because angels don't kiss. Was I more human than angel now? I couldn't care.
I fly into his arms, knocking both of us to the cave floor.
He stares up at me in wonder, like I was the sun and he was a blind man seeing me for the first time. I almost blushed but Maximum Ride doesn't blush. For now, though, I'd like to be just Max. And I did blush. Fang kisses me, his lips moving with mine in perfect synchronization. He kisses my cheeks and my eyelids and left a trail of fire along my jaw and neck. "I love you, Fang," I breathe.
"I love you, too, Maximum Ride, and I'll always protect you," he replies, pulling away for a second to look in my eyes as he says this.
I smile, and for once, I can read his dark eyes. They're filled with love for me.
I lean down for another kiss but an angel swoops into the cave with us. Its eyes are glowing red.
"Maximum Ride, you have your congratulations from my master, but you haven't won yet."
Dun Dun Dun DUUUUN! I'm making a sequel, I'm making a sequel, I'm making a sequel! I love this story too much to let them go, and I love love love love love the characters too much to say goodbye.
I did have an epiphany today, thanks to a movie I watched called Dark Shadows, some of the things in there are very deep, despite all the blood lust and killing.
To all my devoted readers and my beloved reviewers, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. This is Allace, signing out for the last time on this story. Protecting those we love is over, but its legacy will never end. Jeez, I sound like a circus announcer. Well, keep your eyes peeled for my next story. All my love and thank you all so very much! (English ;))