I don't wanna be the one who hurts you
I don't wanna be the one who fails
I'm keeping my head on straight
So you can trust me again

I don't wanna think of life without you
I don't wanna take a step alone
It scares me to think I almost lost you
Just let me know you're fine
I'm on the line

Head on Straight – Tonic

Somehow, someway, I found myself sitting next to her on the edge of the cliff, legs dangling and hair whipping in the wind. It felt like a Disney movie and it felt like the right thing all at the same time. My masculinity was definitely being considered, sitting there on the side of a mountain with my one true love. God, that sounds so brainless and emotional, but I had to give into it sooner or later.

I mouthed the words, not daring to vocally emit them, because I knew what would happen: she would run. Run away from me. You have no idea what that does to a man's pride. It makes me incredibly frustrated and I want to tear her head off for putting me through the embarrassment of walking back to camp, defeated. For making me gather up all of my courage- which I know I was running low on- and spill out my feelings, only to have her only answer be her backside. Running as fast as she could away from me. Usually, I appreciated her backside, but not at those moments.

"It's my watch." I felt myself barely jolt from her voice.

"Yeah, I know."

"So why are you out here with me? You should be getting some rest. We're heading to New York tomorrow. Long flight." Her legs swung harder over the edge. The bottoms of her sneakers scuffed the side of the mountain and little dirt clouds rose up around us. Dirt clouds? I'm such a romantic.

"I don't want to find out who my parents are," I admitted and practically felt her eyes widen. "I don't see a reason to."

"Don't you want a real family? A bed? A couch to kick back on? Food?"

"No." My heart was going all aflutter. I don't know what I just said. Did I tell her I loved her yet? No, I don't think so, because she was still here. Good. Max being near me is always good.

"Why?" She moved closer, her eyes scrutinizing my form. Her sneakers stopped kicking the mountain, stopped trying to damage it. And now I was comparing myself to a mountain. God, what did this girl do to me? I can't think straight.

"You wouldn't be there," I coughed, even though there was absolutely nothing in my throat besides my heart, "So it wouldn't be my family. It would be people who don't know me. People I don't care about." Oh, jeezums, here it comes. There, there it was, bubbling somewhere in my ribs, beating faster and faster. A warm wind swirled past, brushing lightly on my bare arms and teasing the feathery wisps of her hair. "People I don't love." A soft smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.

"Thanks," She spoke with a cracked voice. Did she understand what I was trying to tell her? Surely she wasn't that dense. No, this was Max. Max wasn't dense; she was the polar opposite. Had I been too vague? Yes, I had been. I should just come out and say it.

"Max, I-"

"Fang?"

"Yeah?" Her face exploded into- well, maybe exploded isn't the right word. That kind of implies that her face blew up, which it didn't, obviously. To cut to the chase, she was smiling at me. I think butterflies and an assortment of other winged-creatures were forming in my stomach. You catch my drift.

"I know."

"You know what?" For a moment, she didn't answer and instead looked out to the horizon, which was rapidly growing a deeper and deeper shade of crimson. Red sky at night, a sailor's delight. Too bad I wasn't a sailor and we weren't on a ship, though, so I have no idea if the saying was supposed to help me in any way. Some call me a pessimist. See? There's my attempt at humor.

And now I'm rambling.

Max, shaking her blonde hair, leapt up, her sneakers scraping along the cliff before she plunged off the side of the mountain. Was she running away from me again? A moment later, she streaked past me and my breath was just about knocked out of me.

"It's your watch!" She called before speeding towards the setting sun and glanced back only once to give me a wink. I quickly spun around, tapped Iggy on the wrist, and informed him that he would be taking my watch and his.

"Yeah, whatever, lover boy," He mumbled and I would have objected if it, well, hadn't been true. But it was. The best part?

Max knew.

AN: I always feel like Fang says little, but his mind is really an explosion of thoughts. I mean, he's got tothinksometimes, right? And I don't see him as some traditional Gothic hero who saves the damsel and passionately professes his love for her. He has faults. I consider him quite the Byronic hero. Anywho.

Edit as of April 2012: Okay, so maybe I should emphasize that Max's hair was blonde back in 2008 when I wrote this up, which is when STWAOES came out. Jimmy Pats decided to have it turn darker, therefore now it is brown (or maybe it's black by now, I haven't read Angel yet because Fang was such a letdown).
After I made a trailer or two for the movie (when it was actually, ya know, gonna happen), people freaked because of the hair color on YouTube, so for some reason I expected that to happen here and wanted to justify my decision in her hair color, I suppose.
I apologize for my three-years ago self's hasty assumption that fanfictioners were like YouTubers.