Iggy was shocked.
People would've thought that after so many years of violence and nasty surprises and tortures, he'd become tough, and for that matter, everyone actually saw him as tough, but in truth, he was weaker. He was weak, he was scared, and he felt like he was going crazy.
But then again, for the past nine years of his life, he was always scared. He always felt like giving up, always felt like he was going crazy.
Nonetheless, when the medics showed up in the hospital with a girl covered in feathers, he couldn't help but think, why me? Why is it always me?
He sounded like a spoiled brat.
So Iggy started to man up and tried to pay attention. He tried to collect as much information as he could without getting noticed by the FBI.
But what he found wasn't much.
He heard that the girl was found by a journalist. He noticed that the FBI was trying very hard to remove all proofs, and he also heard that the FBI's NY Department Head was there. He heard her talking with another agent about how they'd had to be very careful to shut the journalist up.
So he was a bit surprised when he was told to guide the journalist to the girl's room.
He led her there, gestured her to go in, felt a bit surprised to see the sorrow in her face, and hurried out as his phone gave a violent shriek.
He received the call, which was from Fang, and looked around to see if he was alone before speaking.
"Hey Ig." Fang's husky voice came from the other side. "You called?"
"Yeah." Iggy hesitated once before throwing out his next words. "They found an experiment tonight."
"She crashed with some journalist's car, maybe she was trying to escape."
There was silence for a few seconds before he spoke again. "Where is she now?"
"In the hospital. Her condition's pretty bad. I don't think she's gonna make it." He waited for Fang's response but as there was none, he again continued. "This place is swarming with the FBI."
"What are you gonna do?" Fang asked.
"Just gonna lay low. Don't worry. They don't suspect anything about me."
"All right, well, be careful."
Iggy waited for him to hang up, but he didn't.
"Are you okay?" He asked, knowing that something was wrong.
Fang didn't talk for a while, then, with a sigh, he said something that Iggy had been waiting to hear for nine years.
"I found her Ig, I found her."
When Fang woke up that day, feeling as frustrated as ever, he didn't think that his life was going to take a very violent twist. He absolutely didn't think that he was going to find the girl he'd been waiting to see again for nine years.
Okay, that sounded cheesy.
But it was the truth.
Ever since Max disappeared, the only thing Fang did seriously was to search for her. He searched everywhere for her. And then two months later, when they were staying in a hotel, Dr. Martinez called.
Fang could still hear her ragged breathing over the phone.
"She's here. She's here Fang."
The Flock was happy, but also worried. Was she okay? What happened to her? Where was she this past two months? How was the baby?
Fang knew it was wrong. But he couldn't help but feel a bit angry towards the baby. And he absolutely couldn't feel but despise Omega and the Director.
He loathed them. He wanted to rip them apart with his bare hands. Max would've been with the Flock if it wasn't for them.
And then Dr. Martinez broke the news.
"It's a girl."
And when they went to her house, she broke the second bad news.
So Fang began to search again.
He looked everywhere for her. He read the letter thousand times, seeing if there was any lead in it. He roamed around. He made the Flock to live with Dr. Martinez so he knew they were safe while he was searching. He spent night after night in the streets and didn't come back until he was absolutely spent because he didn't want to see the look of questioning and sorrow and eventually pity in their faces. The first four months all of them searched with him. Then he made them go back, only Iggy stayed behind. Two months later, he made him stay with the Flock too.
Four years. He looked for her for freaking four years.
And he never found her.
Then one night when he came back to Dr. Martinez's house feeling tired and exhausted and especially angry towards fate, Iggy came to his room.
He told him that he was wrong. He told him not to waste away his life like this because Max wouldn't have wanted it. He told him to do something useful because the Flock needed him.
And Fang shouted at him.
"How could you say something like that Ig? Max needs us! She could be in danger!"
Iggy just stared at him calmly.
"You are obsessed with this Fang. And I know it's not so clear about what she wants but she sure as hell wouldn't have wanted you to waste away your life like this."
Then he hit him with the brick.
"She doesn't want to be found Fang!"
Fang didn't talk for a while. It was hard to believe that Max didn't want to be with them? She didn't want to be with him?
"Then what are we supposed to do? Stop searching for her? We're supposed to give up?"
"No, no Fang. We won't give up! We'll search for her. We'll…we'll look for her. But not like this….the Flock need you Fang. And Max would've wanted you to be there for them too."
Fang didn't understand what he was saying just then. But he did understand a week later, when he went looking for Iggy in his room and found a stack of papers and his laptop and knew that Iggy was actually working very hard via internet and social networking systems.
Talk about weird.
When he confronted Iggy, he simply stated the facts.
She couldn't have gone far in her condition with a newborn baby. He had looked up the hospitals, anything weird that might've occurred anywhere near. Then he had gone to search in a wider range. Still, he didn't found much.
"But it's better than running around isn't it?"
It was. Fang hadn't found anything useful at all. But Iggy did found a few leads occasionally. So Fang considered Iggy's words for the first time, and he stayed and searched for Max in other ways.
Nine years had passed since then.
Nine years and now he was in an apartment building standing in front of an apartment door. He was about to knock, when someone came walking through the corridor and stopped right in front of him. He looked up and saw her standing there.
Nine years. But Fang would've recognized her anywhere. He would've recognized those eyes anywhere.
And by the looks of it, she would've recognized him too.