AN: Hey y'all, I'm so so sorry for not writing. I've had a bit of writer's block for a long time, and just haven't felt up to writing in general. It's been a, how to put it, turbulent summer, and once inspiration struck, I've felt like it's time to finish this story. Thank you to everyone's support and love, even when I'm an awful updater and have short chapters. I couldn't ask for better readers =) Thank you specially to my King, who has been reading this fic since the first chapter and has stuck with me ever since. I can't begin to express my gratitude! It's super cheesy and probably not as long as it should be(it'll fit right in with the rest), but here's the final chapter =)
Disclaimer: I don't own any part of the Maximum Ride franchise, all credit goes to Mr. James Patterson
P.S. Don't watch the Maximum Ride movie trailer unless you want your heart ripped out of your chest at how crappy it is. No offence to the producers.
As much as I didn't want to leave Max and our kid-saying that gives me happy chills, our kid-we had to find a way out of this stupid place. I stood up after placing a gentle kiss on Max's and my daughter's foreheads.
"Ig, we need to get out. Any ideas?" He frowned and shook Gazzy, who was just starting to stir. "Dude, get up. Do you have any explosives?"
At that, Gazzy sat up immediately, grinning like a devil from ear to ear. "Do you even know me?"
I rolled my eyes in a very Max-esque way.
Gazzy pulled out a small hand bomb from his pocket, to Max's chagrine. "Hey, I thought I took that from you a month ago!"
He only responded by smirking, the little piece of crap. He gently set the explosive around the rubbled area and frowned.
"We need to step back. There'll be a lot of debris. Keep her covered," he said, pointing to the small bundle wrapped up in Max's arms.
Max immediately attempted to move, practically crawling with one hand holding our baby to try and find shelter behind the boxes. I rushed over, reaching out an arm to hold my little girl. Max gingerly got on her feet and stumbled over behind some boxes, where I handed her to Max. The rest of the flock hid behind us while Gazzy fiddled with it.
He clambered back and I could see a wisp of his blond hair peeking out from behind Ig.
"We have around seven seconds...six...five...four...thr-"
A loud ground-trembling roar shook the room and I instinctively covered a crouching Max and child. I felt like my heart was gutting knives inside me when I heard my little baby wailing.
Max yelled, "ALL GOOD?"
Everyone mumbled yes and stood up, rushing towards the bomb site to see if the path had opened up. Whoops and cheering let me know it was in the affirmative. Max's full focus was on our girl. She was still piping her little lungs out. Max looked at me and murmured. "I have to feed her, we need to get her out of here." I nodded once and moved Max, our girl, and I to the entrance.
Gazzy spoke. "You're going to have to crawl, it's only 3 or 4 feet tall."
I grinned, suddenly overtaken by one simple fact. I'm a father. The flock looked at me like I had grown another eye.
"What? I just had a kid. At least try to be happy for me. And don't stare at my ass."
With that, I crawled a few feet through to the other side and talked back inside. "Hand me our girl, and then Max. I'll take her to her room, she needs to, uh, feed the baby."
Max gently handed our girl over to me and then gingerly crawled through the hole, wrinkling her nose at the dust coating her face. She immediately held her arms out for the baby once she could. Chuckling, I gave her to Max and we walked off with no other thoughts in our minds but her.
If I had been listening properly, I would've heard Ig mutter, "Yeah, leave us for the dead, why dontcha," with grin in his voice.
Max murmured, "She needs a name, you know."
With a moment of silence, I racked my mind for possible names. A road sign from long long ago came to me.
"Phoenix," I said, with a sense of rightness. "We'll call her Phoenix. And then, when she's old enough, she can choose whether she wants to change it or not."
Max sent me that smile that made my knees weak.
A Few Months Later
Still Fang's POV
Some rest, sleep, come to me like how good fashion tips come to Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.
My eyes closed and I was nearly asleep and my limbs felt like falli-
Phoenix woke me up like a fire alarm in the middle of the night. With a groan, I hauled myself up and walked to her makeshift crib that Gazzy and Iggy pulled together(those bastards, they only made it if I gave them payment in form of the chocolate stash I had saved up). Max moved to stand too, but she had barely gotten a wink of sleep in the past week. I shushed her and gently told her I'd handle it, to which she muttered an incoherent "thank you" and went back to sleep.
Cradling a still-crying Phoenix, I rocked her back and forth in my arms, being careful of her wings. The little minx lessened her crying marginally and stared up at me with her chocolate brown eyes, same as Max's. I whispered to her, trying to calm her so maybe we both could get some sleep.
"Hey sweetie. You know, Mommy and Daddy have been through a lot of trouble to keep you safe, to make this world with you better. I wish you could have a better start. I wish we could've given you a life with luxuries such as, I don't know, normal ice cream or a sunny day. We tried our best. And we're still trying, so please, please stop crying, honey, we're trying our best."
Her wailing subsided to the occasional whimper, as if she understood what I was telling her.
"Mommy and Daddy will always be here for you, okay? We'll always be here, no matter what." I pressed a soft kiss on her forehead as her eyes began to droop. "We'll love you, through every sob, through every scraped knee, through every temper tantrum you're bound to have, since you are your mother's daughter," I said wryly. "We'll love you through the good and bad times, for the rest of our lives," I paused, seeing her smile a little in her sleep, so much like Max, feeling my heart overwhelm with love, "For forever and ever."