| COMPLETED FANFICTION
The author has written this fanfiction from beginning to end. Enjoy!
Gazzy and Angel play with young Phoenix while they lay in wait for the nuclear winter to pass. Takes place during Maximum Ride: Forever.
"Phoenix!" Gazzy yelled. The little three-year-old bird-kid hobbled to the seat next to the window. Ice still completely covered the barren landscape.
"Yes, Uncle Gazzy," Phoenix said, her black hair bobbing around her face. She was definitely a feisty three-year-old.
"How are you, Phoenix?" Gazzy asked.
Phoenix smiled. "Mamma showed me how to kill a spider," she said enthusiastically. Gazzy smiled. The girl was bright for a child born in an underground bunker.
"Sounds great, sweety," Gazzy said. "What do you say to playing in the hologram room?"
Phoenix's face lit p like a Christmas tree. "Yes, Uncle, yes! Holograms!"
Gazzy took the little girl's hand and happily skipped down the stairs to the dark, gray room. Gazzy accessed the wall panel and brought up the E-house program Angel and Nudge made to "remind them of better times."
"Jeb's house!" Phoenix cried happily. "Let's fly around."
Gazzy sighed. He wasn't nearly as big as Max, Fang, Iggy, or even Nudge, and flying Phoenix around was quite tiring, especially since she squirmed a lot.
"Okay," Gazzy said, giving in. "Come on. Remember now, hold on tight."
Phoenix clutched Gazzy tightly around the waist as he took off, flying through the Flock's first read home. Phoenix screamed in joy, the air ruffling her blue-black hair.
"Whoa, you're getting big, girl," Gazzy joked, swooping onto "Max's bed." He dropped the giggling mass of feathers onto the soft sheets, landing next to "Angel's corner."
Phoenix untangled herself from the sheets. "Uncle, that was fun! Let's do that again!"
"No, not today," Gazzy said.
"Aw, I'm bored," Phoenix complained.
Bored already? Gazzy thought. It was impossible to please a three-year-old. Bur Gazzy always had a backup plan.
"Come on, let's go back up stairs and look out the window," Gazzy suggested.
"Ooh, story time!" Phoenix squealed. "What story?"
"You'll find out when we get there," Gazzy said. "Come on, little one, let's go."
As they made their way back up the stairs, they ran into Angel.
"Hey, Gazzy," Angel said with her new normal coldness. Her iciness melted immediately when she saw Phoenix. "Mini Max, how're you doing?"
"Uncle Gazzy is telling me a story," Phoenix said.
"What's the story about?" Angel asked.
"We're headed up to the window for story time," Gazzy explained. "I was going to tell her about the time Iggy and I blew up the silo in Virginia."
Angel started walking up the stairs with them. "That's hardly appropriate for a three-year-old," Angel scoffed.
"Don't get me started about being appropriate, Angel," Gazzy said. "Besides, you're not her mother."
Angel looked annoyed as if she was going to contest that. Sometimes, Gazzy felt his sister knew too much.
"There's no such thing as too much information," Angel said matter of factly as they reached the top of the stairs.
"Angel, there are limits in this world, and we have to learn them at some point in our lives," Gazzy said.
"Just because you guys all have limits doesn't mean I have limits," Angel said, sitting down on the desk next to the window. "I'm better–"
"Story?" Phoenix interrupted.
"Oh yes, Uncle Gazzy was going to tell you a story, right dear?" Angel said sweetly.
Gazzy shot Angel a look. She ignored him.
"Let me tell you about the battle," Angel said. "The one where we got our home."
Gazzy sighed. Angel told that one all the time.
"I started with a grand speech. Instead of talking, though, I showed them a story," Angel said proudly. "Like this."
Phoenix's eyes lit up, some sort of interesting scene filling her mind. Angel was admittedly a good storyteller. She was good about censoring her mind stories, so Gazzy just sat by, watching the snow fall outside the window.
Suddenly, Phoenix perked up. The story probably ended. "Angel, when do we get to go outside?"
Where did you hear about that?" Angel asked. "Did your mom tell you?"
"Well, no. The stories," Phoenix explained. "The stories aren't here. They're outside."
You reckon she's as smart as Fang? Gazzy asked Angel.
Smarter, Angel answered. I think she's special.
Gazzy smiled. Though Angel had grown further from him during their time in Himmel, she still was his sister. And he still loved her.
"Well, outside is real mighty screwed up," Angel began. "The world has been in some tough situations for quite some time now before you were born, and..." Angel stopped, not sure how to proceed with explaining all the pain she felt as a child without hurting the girl. With no whitecoats in her life, Phoenix wouldn't understand.
"Well, Angel, that doesn't matter anymore," Gazzy said gently. "All that matters is the future."
Angel nodded. Sometimes, Gazzy felt she was still the same as if the stone cold leader was just a shell, and his sister was still there.
I will always be here, Angel thought.
Gazzy nodded. "Can we leave yet?" Gazzy finally asked.
Angel shook her head. "Not yet..."