"Okay, what's up?" I asked Fang when I was sure no one else was near enough to hear us. He shrugged and I hit him on the shoulder. He sighed and rolled his eyes then began speaking.
"I'm just kind of...stressed." he said slowly.
"Okay, about what?" I asked.
"Seeing Jazz read the book where I decided to go and find my own Flock reminded me that I had kind of ditched that mission... And the Flock that I had found..." Fang mumbled. "Plus, Kalie kinda freaked me out earlier." he said, glancing around to make sure she wasn't near us.
"Yeah, that was kind of freaky. Wait, you found a Flock?" I asked, raising an eyebrow at Fang. He shrugged again.
"Just a group of wayward mutants..." his voice trailed off as he looked down at the floor and scuffed his feet against the carpet.
"Where are they now?" Fang looked around again before answering.
"Reading books, I think." he said, managing a small smile. I stared at him with my mouth hanging open.
"What?" I whispered hoarsely.
"After I left you and went on that search for more mutants, I found Sam and the others one day while I was flying. I asked if I could hang with them, and I did for a while, but then something told me I needed to come back to you. So I left them after telling them what was up and somehow found you. I'm not even sure how I found you... Something just kept telling me where to go... And then when I found you guys, I learned that Dylan was gone and decided to just stay with you. I didn't think I'd ever meet up with Sam, Kalie or Thing 1 and 2 again." Fang explained quietly, and I could tell he was using as few words as possible.
"Did Kalie ever go crazy when you were with them?" I asked quickly.
"That is so weird... You met them then ditched them then I met them and they've kind of become a part of our Flock... Maybe that's what you were supposed to do in the first place. Just find more mutant kids and bring them to us to make our group bigger until we've got, like, an entire army to take down the bad guys. Whoever the bad guys are, now..." I said, getting a little more excited as I spoke.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, Max, slow down." Fang said, holding up his hands and bringing me back into to reality. "How about we just figure out what's up with Kalie and the others before we get all crazy and go attack the bad guys. Like you said, we don't even know who the bad guys are anymore." I pondered this for a moment than nodded.
"Yeah, you're right... So, everything is okay?" I asked Fang quietly. He gave me a small smile and nodded. I smiled back and gave him a hug, and I was very happy when he returned it.
"Sorry if I was a jerk back there," Fang whispered into my ear.
"You were a jerk back there, but I forgive you anyways." I whispered back with an even wider smile. "Come on, let's go see if the others are ready to go now." I said as I released Fang from the hug and took his hand instead. As we walked back to round up the others, I thought about what Fang had said about finding me.
It was you, wasn't it, Nicolae? I thought to the Voice, pretty certain that it was him. I didn't get a response, but I didn't need one. How else would Fang have found me and the Flock? Well... Thanks for leading him back. That's one thing you've done right. I thought to the Voice, hoping he realized how happy having Fang back made me.
A few minutes later, all of us were back on the street, walking and talking and seeming fine. Fang and I were still holding hands, Iggy and Jazz were having a nice conversation with Kalie and Sam, and the younger kids were all laughing at their own jokes and things they had seen in the bookstore. Maybe today wasn't going to be so weird after all...
And of course the next thing I saw was a big black van barreling straight down the road towards us.