Chapter 18: A Change In Plan Max POV Ok, seriously, what had I done to deserve this?

A load of screwed up scientists, decide to slap wings on my back, throw me with a load more like me, let us live it large in a cage for a few years. Then years later, after multiple escapes and recaptures, chuck a couple more of winged kids into the mix, practically let us escape twice, and then I have to tell the new guy, who might maybe like me, and I might maybe, kind of like him, that his parents were dead. I mean, come on! Give me a break! It’s not like I couldn’t have told him. They were his parents. He had a right to know! Ok I could have picked a better moment, I’ll admit that much, but if I kept putting them off, I probably never would have been able to tell him. I still couldn’t believe he’d kissed me, even if it was just for a few moments. I didn’t realise he might like me. I had tried not to let on I maybe liked him. I knew at some point, he’d probably leave, and go back to his family, so I didn’t see the point in doing something about a silly little crush. I guess he thought the same thing. So what had changed? Everything has changed Max. “Please say that’s not what I think it was.” I groaned. Everything changed when you told him his parents were dead. The voice said, appearing in my head again, for the first time in what felt like years. “Wait, weren’t you the one who wanted me to tell him in the first place? I mean make up your mind!” I said sarcastically. When you told him his parents were dead, he rethought his whole agenda. “How do you know that? What agenda?” You’ll find out eventually. But right now, you need to help Will. He’s in a bad place at the moment. Comfort him, be there for him. Stop trying to be a leader and start being a friend, and more, Max. Just give a little love, and you’ll get a little love of your own. Don’t hurt him any more than he already is. Wow, Ok. That’s a lot to take in. ‘Give a little love’? ‘A friend and more’? What’s that supposed to mean? You know what. The voice seemed to chuckle. Heads up Max. Almost instinctively, I looked up and out to the mouth of the cave, and saw Will landing in the cave. He didn’t look at me, only at the ground. He walked towards me, but not to me, stopping a few meters away. “I forgive you.” He said bluntly. His voice sounded raw and dry. “And I’m sorry I kissed you. It won’t happen again.” Ouch. Ok you want me to give a little love, voice? Well, try this on for size. “Maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing if it did happen again.” I smiled hopefully at him. He looked up at me. His eyes were so bloodshot, they were practically red and dried tears streaked his cheeks. “I know where the others are. I saw them while I was gone.” He sighed. “Why didn’t you go already, bring them to me.” I frowned. “I didn’t think Fang would be too pleased to see me without you.” He said solemnly. “I’m going to go and get clean. I’ll take you to them afterwards.” With that he turned and started towards the mouth of the cave. “Will...” I called after him. He stopped, and cocked his head slightly back. “You didn’t mean what you said did you?” “Didn’t mean what?”

“That you forgive me.” I said quietly. He turned completely and looked me straight in the eyes. “I don’t know if I can ever fully forgive you.” He stared at me for a few seconds, then turned, and took off without another word. Fang POV “Fang?” “What is it Nudge?” I sighed, knowing what she was going to ask. “I’m hungry, can we get some food or something soon, because it’s been over a day since we’ve had a decent meal, and I was thinking we could go into the nearest town and, you know, borrow some food, and chow down or something?” My belly had been rumbling for a while now, but I, unlike Nudge, could ignore it. We were flying around the country, looking out for Max and Will, hoping we would spot them, or they would spot us. Iggy had taken the kids to scout another area. “We have food at the cottage, we should head back anyway.” I said decisively. My voice had returned to me fully earlier in the day. “Yeah, but that’s not a proper meal, I want like a massive meal.” She moaned. I looked over to her, and raised an eyebrow. She sighed. “I’m sorry Fang.” “Come on.” I smirked, swooping around and headed for a town I could see in the distance.

Iggy and the kids were already back by the time we arrived. “They were getting tired and restless. Gazzy and Angel kept getting distracted, and I was tired from carrying Emily. Besides, what were the chances of seeing them?” Iggy explained. “Fair enough.” I conceded. “To be honest, I don’t think Iggy ever stood a chance of seeing them.” Nudge joked. We all laughed, and I pulled out the food me and Nudge had gotten in the city. “So you didn’t find them then?” Gazzy asked me whilst shovelling 2 burgers down his throat. “Obviously not.” I dead-panned. “Do you like the food?” “Obviously!” he exclaimed, stuffing a handful of chips into his mouth. “Fang?” Angel asked, with her mouth full. “What are we going to do if we don’t find them?” “Don’t worry, we’ll find them.” I replied confidently. I hoped she wasn’t reading my mind, as I hadn’t a clue on what to do if we didn’t find Max. Suddenly, Angel focused, and seemed to stare at the ceiling. Then she smiled and said “Or they’ll find us.” before getting up and running toward and out the door, smiling. We all looked at each other and grinned. “Come on Emily.” Nudge said picking up Emily. “Will’s back.” Emily smiled, and ran after Iggy, Gazzy and Angel. It was the first time I’d seen her smile since we got here. Nudge ran after too. I got up and walked towards the door in time catch a glimpse of Max being bundled under a pile of winged children. Will landed behind her and ran over to Emily, and picked her up and hugged her tightly, tears glistening in his eyes. He looked up at me, and nodded curtly. I greeted him by nodding back, and walked over to Max, who had pulled

herself out of the pile and greeted me with a hug. I stood there, and received the hug. “Would it kill you to ever return a hug Fang?” Max whispered in my ear. “Yes.” “It’s good to see you too.” She said, looking at me. We all went inside, everyone crowding round Max and Will. They were all asking lots of questions, and they seemed happy to answer most of them. Will kept looking around the room frowning. He hadn’t let go of Emily since he first hugged her. I was about to ask him why he was frowning, when he looked up in the corner of the room. He got up and placed Emily, who had fallen asleep in his arms, down on the sofa. He walked up to the corner of the room, and stood on a cabinet so he could reach the ceiling. He closed his eyes, and for a few seconds we just stared at him, wondering what he was doing. Then he suddenly punched through the wall. He pulled out his hand, and in it he was grasping a small camera. “How did you know that was there?” I asked confused. “Stumbled in on a surveillance room, in one of my escapes. Recognised the room.” He replied. “You mean you didn’t scope the place out before you came here?” Max rounded on Gazzy and Iggy. “How were we supposed to know the Whitecoats had an abandoned little country getaway?!” Iggy hit back. “Yeah! We were busy trying to break you out!” Gazzy chimed in. “This is going to get us nowhere guys.” I said peacefully. “You’re right.” Max replied. “But we can’t stay here if they have us under surveillance. We’re leaving. Now.” Nudge POV “I hate this city!” “I think it’s safe to say we all do Nudge.” Max sighed wearily as we pushed through the crowds of people. It must have been a weekend, during peak rush hour, as practically every single person in the city seemed to be shopping. “Over there!” Gazzy exclaimed, pointing to a closed shop, with a large doorway. We all moved in and took shelter from the hordes of shoppers passing along the street. “Yeah, but I actually hate it. It’s all grey and dirty; the people are rude and have funny accents. It’s horrible.” I moaned. “And I’m hungry. Can we get some food soon Max?” Max sighed. “We don’t have any money Nudge.” “Well couldn’t we maybe borrow some?” I queried. “You mean steal?” Fang said. “Where are we anyway?” Angel asked, looking around. “This’ll probably be Birmingham.” I told him. “It said do on that computer back at the school. You know when we went back for Emily and found out about Will’s-“ “Nudge! Shut up!” Max shouted glancing at Will. “Um, Will, aren’t you from around here? Do you know where we could get food?” “No, I lived near Brighton. I’ve never been here.” He said bluntly. “Oh well, I’m sure we can figure something out.” Max said, looking at Angel.

“RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN!” Max shouted, as we pushed past the passers by. I turned my head. Those two police officers were not far behind. “Err, a little help!” Iggy called, as he was headed for a lamppost. I grabbed his hand, and pulled him out of the way, weaving us through the crowd. Will had gotten to the front of us, and was barging through the shoppers like a bulldozer, creating a path for us to follow. By the time the police got far, the crowd had milled back in, making it harder for them to chase us. We wound our way down the streets, to the edge of the city centre. We ducked in down an alley way, and Fang poked his head round the corner. “We lost them.” “Well that was fun.” Gazzy panted sarcastically, leaning against a dumpster. “We should do that again real soon...” “I’m sorry.” Angel said quietly. “It’s not your fault those cops saw the guy behind the counter just giving us food sweetie.” Max said comfortingly. “If anything it’s mine for telling you guys to leg it when hey stopped us.” “Shame we had to drop the food...” Iggy sighed. I realised I was still holding his hand, and quickly pulled it away. “Oh and thanks for helping me out back there Nudge.” “No problem Ig.” I smiled at him. “What now then M-“ Iggy began before Will cut him off. “Someone’s coming!” he hissed. “The cops?” Fang asked. “No. It’s a man in a suit and trainers with a Gameboy and a pen.” Will answered, bemused. I looked down the alley and saw him. He was wearing a brown pinstripe suit with a black tie, and a pair off all-star trainers. And like Will said,, he seemed to be holding a Classic Gameboy, and some sort of glowing pen. “What do we do?” I asked Max. “Just try to act casual. If were lucky, he’s some homeless dude, who’ll just carry on.” She said thought fully. We turned our backs to him, and tried to look like we were in a conversation. I could hear his footsteps getting closer, and the strange beeping from his Gameboy. He was close now, very close. If he wasn’t careful, he was going to walk straight int“Watch where you’re going!” Fang snapped as the man walked straight into him. “Oh, sorry,” The man said in a Manchurian accent, looking up at us, his game continuing to beep strangely. “Must watch where I’m going ... all over the place today me.”

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