Author: Confused Pumpkin PM
50 Alex-centred drabbles. Dr. Grief had wanted to subject Alex to a painful, live dissection. And while he escaped with his life, he can't help but think back on his life thus far - and dissect it. One-shot. 50 word prompts.Rated: Fiction T - English - Alex R./Cub - Words: 3,347 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 2 - Published: 01-04-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6625546
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: 50 Alex-centred drabbles. Dr. Grief had wanted to subject Alex to a painful, live dissection. And while he escaped with his life, he can't help but think back on his life thus far – and dissect it. One-shot. Fifty word prompts.
Characters/Pairing(s): Alex, Yassen, MI6, Jack, Ian, K-Unit, Scorpia, OCs
Warning(s): Profanity and violence (c'mon, it's MI6 and Scorpia, how can there not be?) Tense switches, some AU
[Italicised in brackets means thoughts or…other stuff]
Disclaimer: All property pertaining to AR belongs to Anthony Horowitz.
"There are two distinct classes of what are called thoughts: those that we produce in ourselves by reflection and the act of thinking, and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord." –Thomas Paine
Really, Alex thinks as he clips the yo-yo to his belt and loops the nylon around the harpoon, Someday I'm going to have to thank Smithers profusely for these gadgets. With that, he shoots at the belly of the plane and is wrenched (none too gently) into the air.
When the man comes into Alex's quarters, the boy is bent over…polishing his shoes? Choosing not to question the teenager's actions, the man stiffly requests that he meet with Alex for dinner. The boy agrees faintly, and the man leaves, missing the way the face of the cloth that Alex is using is aimed at him, and a little camera hidden in the folds scans his person. [Scanning complete]
Gasping, soaked through, he stands trembling, looking up the face of a sheer cliff. Damn it, Ian had taken him rock climbing, but never like this! This was torture, it was manual suicide, and he didn't even have any equipment, not to mention he'd just been swimming. To top it off, there were about five hand-and-footholds altogether, and the cliff spanned about three hundred feet. Damn it.
4. Hide AU
Alex gapes at his new teacher, the Russian man with hardly any accent. It takes all of his training not to spring from his seat and shout, "But you're supposed to be dead, I saw you die!" Yassen simply stares at him imperiously, as if he were revived from the dead on a daily basis. Alex wonders how long Gregorovich is going to pretend; for God's sake, the man is an international assassin, not a spy!
5. Sin AU
He should've known that no amount of motherliness was going to stop the late Mrs. Walters from killing him; she was too far gone, lost down the road of insanity. So what if he was a kid? It didn't matter to her whether he was fourteen or forty. He remembered idly, as she pressed the mouth of the gun to his head [shitshitshit] that it was she who killed her children.
His heart's pounding as he listens [not Ian not Ian not my Ian pleasepleaseplease] and he's numb with shock and anger and grief. The policemen look at him sympathetically and say, "We're sorry for your loss, mate." – cordial, dutiful. He closes the door. [Who will leave me next?]
He shivers on his snowboard, staring down the snow-covered hill that in his imagination has become the bleak French Alps. A friend, he doesn't see who, laughs raucously and pushes him, and as the wind tears at his face he's suddenly flying down Point Blanc again, certain death all around.
8. Bell AU
Jack was on a rare date at the house, attempting to impress her man with her atrocious cooking (he didn't seem to mind) when the doorbell rang and Alex flew past her to answer the door. She was only aware of someone shouting, "MI6, don't move!" before stumbling to the entry hall to find a gun pointed straight at Alex. And then she realised it wasn't at Alex – it was at her boyfriend.
9. Pocket AU
"Turn out your pockets, Cub!" the sergeant barked at him, and he was eternally grateful that he had only this morning resolved not to carry his weapons with him to practice. They were expertly hidden in various locations in his room as of now, for fear that someone would become too rowdy about his extended stay in the Welsh military camp. He wasn't being paranoid, only careful.
"And I'm even letting you borrow my gun – don't tell Mr. Blunt; he'll have my head for arming a minor. But personally, old chap, I think it's best that you have this near, just in case." He winks at him, and Alex smiles back painfully, already knowing that Smithers wouldn't be getting his gun back.
Ian comes home after an unexpected, three-day mission to find a three-year-old Alex curled up in a corner of the kitchen, alone and waif-thin from three days' fasting. The hurt, vulnerable look on the boy's confused face pierces him to the heart; he had abandoned his nephew with no warning. Ian vows that, from that moment on, Alex will never be so helpless again.
"Well, it's simple, isn't it?" Alan Blunt says to the air. Without waiting for an answer, he ploughs on. "We send in a sniper and take care of him." He doesn't miss Alex's horrified expression, nor the way the boy's face has turned an interesting shade of green.
Collapsing on the bed, Alex groaned [hurts everywhere]. In the short time he'd been training with Scorpia, he'd already wished, a dozen futile times, to be back at Brecon Beacons with the K-Unit. Anything but this.
His gym teacher is puzzled. He doesn't understand; he doesn't see anything to warrant this behaviour. But Alex understands very well, and his heart is pounding in his throat, he's sure that it's coming [silent floating tentacles deadly coming closercloser]. And he can do nothing but stand there in the water, frozen with terror.
It mildly horrifies Alex, how Scorpia was able to convince him to join. They hit his weak points – John Rider – with frightening accuracy. He shudders to think about what else they are capable of.
As he goes soaring over the edge of the bridge and falls towards the water fifty feet below, Fiona Friend's arms uncomfortably tight on his waist, he's thinking, Oh but fuck, this is not happening, even though it is. The horse underneath him seems to agree.
As his enraged teacher begins to rant, Alex listens closely. "You're all snobby British schoolboys, the laziest and most ignorant in the world!" The familiar words sound distinctly less impressive coming from Mr. Stine's mouth than they had coming from the mouths of insane men like Sayle and Grief.
He overhears a schoolmate talking excitedly about his idol, the man commonly known as James Bond, or Double O Seven. He finds himself quietly disagreeing with everything the enthusiastic boy has to say about being a world-renown superspy – it's much scarier in the real world.
He'd be damned if MI6 didn't send him, him of all agents, here for a reason; they knew all about Barcelona and Ian and what they did here, how much it meant to Alex. But all he does is grit his teeth and keep his hand on his watch – that is, of course, doubling as a five-second delay grenade.
20. Hold AU
As SAS men patrol the school with loaded guns and Jack is growing ever more distant from him, Alex realises that his two lives are inexplicably becoming horribly entangled. His hold on normalcy, on the side of him not bruised and battered and manipulated by MI6, is slipping from his grasp, and there's not a damn thing he can do about it.
"I mean, you're not like, a spy or anything, right?" the girl asks, laughing at the ludicrous statement. The blond boy grins along with her, though she misses the moment's hesitation. "No, of course not," he says, and they laugh again at the sheer absurdity of the thought – her freely, him less so.
He hates how the teachers mollycoddle him, stepping around him as if he might break at any second. And his peers too; they loudly whisper in the halls about 'delicate Alex Rider' who was 'ill' and missed more days than probably the lot of them combined. It takes all his willpower not to scream that he isn't a child anymore, hasn't been for some time.
Wolf is bawling up at him, shouting something about the assault course and tangling up all the nets to piss off the sergeant and have K Unit binned. Alex knows he did nothing of the sort, but that doesn't coax him to come down from his safe haven (the infirmary roof) any more than Wolf's screaming does.
"Oh, bliddy hell!" one of his friends swears, and Alex flinches [nononono he's dead he's dead he can't hurt you]. That one line, one word really, brings back all the memories associated with his Stormbreaker assignment, and all of a sudden, he's aching all over – his head, his body, his heart.
While changing for gym, he can feel people peering anxiously at his exposed side, hoping for a glimpse of his appendicitis scar. Hopefully, they will never find the bullet hole right above his heart.
26. Hand AU
"Druggie," a passing schoolmate hisses at him before stalking past. Alex barely flinches, his stomach twisting with guilt and anger, and only Tom's soothing hand on his arm keeps him from stumbling.
Mrs. Jones watches his dinner (stew) disappear down his gullet, and as he's eating Alex can't help but think that MI6's second-in-command (sucking on a mint of course) has hair that looks remarkably like the bowl he's eating from.
Alex held his head as he worked through a few math problems. Turning the page, he groaned at all the graphs and shapes spilled across the paper, tangents and postulates glaring up at him. He glared right back. Two days later, when Crawley came to escort him to the Royal and General Bank, Alex was almost happy to go. Even a mission was preferable to double trigonometry.
29. Ruins AU
He's back less than a week later. The last time he saw the building, it was going up in flames with Doctor Three and his shady friends still inside. Now, the building that had served as headquarters of the most notorious organisation in the world is little more than a charred shadow. Offhandedly, he wonders how many people died, and he finds that he can't bring himself to care.
They're frustrated, he knows. The interrogation had not gone the way they expected, not even when they threatened to brand his entire body, slowly and agonisingly, with a hot iron. He's only grateful that not one of them considered mincing him.
When he sees a suspicious-looking man with a gun, he thinks, Shit, Scorpia's come for me! It takes him a few panic-filled seconds to realise that he is jumping to conclusions, and that is something that is generally very bad for a spy's wellbeing.
32. Quiet AU
When Alex finally snaps, unable to take it anymore, the only person around is Wolf. And the older man suddenly finds himself cornered into comforting a depressed teenager who he had up till recently despised. Still, he makes an effort by gingerly patting Alex's shoulder and saying awkwardly, "Cub, it's alright, ya know." He then adds a few colourful words to describe MI6, swearing with an effortless extravagance that finally brings that smile to Alex's face.
Scorpia was good, that much he had to admit. They had recruited him by blinding him with stories of his father, the story of their best contract killer who had joined the terrorist organisation years ago. And he, stupid fool that he was, fell for it.
Scorpia never forget. Scorpia never forgive. They came for the assassin in the middle of the night, abducting him in his sleep and torturing him for failing, for being a disappointment, a liability. He screamed and screamed, apologising, unable to explain how he had missed the heart. It was all the brat's fault – stupid Rider bastard.
Sometimes, he still can't wrap his head around it. Never mind Damian Cray and his crazy plan to end worldwide drug use; did he, normal [not] fourteen-year-old Alex Rider, really steal Air Force One?
Honestly, he's faced down multi-billionaires with a killing intent, deadly animals, and an international criminal organisation known for its brutality. And he's acted before too; knowing how to keep up a good act is part of being a spy agent. Surely performing in a play isn't that hard? Alex isn't so sure.
"Hey Rider, my Pop just bought me the Gameslayer. D'you want to play it with me?" Before he knows what's happening, a schoolmate is attempting to guide him through a level of Feathered Serpent, all the time chatting cheerfully about the "great graphics" of the game. It's no wonder that Alex finds himself in the bathroom, emptying his stomach at the thought of Aztec gods and snake blood.
He wasn't sure what he was supposed to say, all alone with Wolf hundreds of feet up in the air. It wasn't like they were buddies. Yet it was a surreal experience to see the hardened soldier so susceptible to his fear of heights. Wolf refused to look at him, perhaps afraid that his eyes would show the fear that Alex had already seen. So they sat, uncomfortable and silent, neither willing to speak.
39. Rain AU
Oh fuck. But it's too late, of course. It always is. He can practically hear Yassen laughing at him now, gloating as the Russian stays indoors, warm and dry, while Alex is forced to trudge through mud and slime and the pouring rain, just to get to bloody target practice. Which is conveniently a kilometre or so into the bloody woods. He knew Scorpia was mad but…
40. Pull AU
He cocks the gun and aims, his finger resting lightly against the trigger. Stomach knotted tight, every nerve-ending in his body screaming, he sights his target. [You're a spy Alex! Not a contract killer! Not like your father!] But he can't think about that now, because he's no longer a spy at MI6, he's an assassin working for Scorpia. He's made his choice already. He pulls the trigger.
41. Sneeze AU
Yassen Gregorovich shoots him a smug look, daring him [just fucking daring him] to make a sound while sighting a target. Alex has no choice but to desperately smother his sneeze, never mind the fact that their man is, in fact, out of hearing range. Frankly, he doesn't care as long as he gets to keep his arse and Scorpia doesn't punish for what they deem as 'mission failure.'
Michael Cook was, for want of a better word, a bully. A hulking, sixteen-year-old bully in Year 12, who didn't mind beating up kids still in their sixth year. He and his two friends had found a new target recently – a gentle looking blond boy with a soft accent, new to the school. How was he supposed to know that the kid would lash out with such experience? And cripes, he couldn't sit right for the rest of the week.
Ian Rider, secret agent, couldn't contain his wry grin as he taught his nephew how to pick pocket. After all, what sane uncle taught that to a nine-year-old? But when the child came back clutching a gleaming silver watch, he couldn't push down the swell of pride he felt. Yes, Alex would do very well.
With all the training he's gone through, he knows right away that there is an assassin [albeit not a good one] hiding out in the hotel. After all, why else would someone have slipped him two chocolate chip cookies laced with several lethal, unmentionable drugs?
For Spanish class, he had to write a paper on his family. He was aching to write about his uncle, the SIS agent who loved and raised him only to be killed by his father's student. About his father, who was a double agent working for MI6, and who was also one of Scorpia's best contract killers. About his mother, whom he never knew. Even about his godfather, Ash, the Scorpia double agent who worked with him, tried to kill him, and successfully murdered his parents. But he couldn't write about that. So in the end, he handed in a paper about a docile vacation in Scotland. He got an A+.
46. Two AU
Julia Rothman pins him with her freezing gaze. "I was wrong. You're more like your father than I thought. Nasty sneaking little double agent, wasn't he, John Rider?" The name is ripped from her mouth. "Doesn't matter," she adds, pulling out her gun. "I'll deal with you like we dealt with him."
Ian's throat constricted when Alex handed him the slightly wilted plant for Father's Day. "It's for you and Daddy to share," the little boy confided in a carrying whisper. The other people in the airport cooed in delight over the adorable child and his sweet actions while said child blushed modestly. Ian wished with a pang that John could see his son right now.
"What were you doing at Point Blanc?"
"Sorry Wolf, that's classified information. I'm not authorised to give you answers."
"Then what's this I hear about you and Scorpia?"
A twitch. "Classified."
"And you getting shot in the chest outside MI6 headquarters?"
"Brat, are you going to tell me anything or am I gonna have to kick your arse to get you to talk?"
"No, everything's classified. And besides, I'm the one who did the arse kicking last time."
"Tea?" his hostess asks, all polite and business-like. He clears his throat a little, remembering to stay in character. "No thank you. Coffee is fine." The French rolls off his tongue effortlessly. There is a moment of silence, then the woman says offhandedly, "That's funny, I thought Brits liked tea." With an internal groan, Alex knows he's been found out. Again.
The doctors are worried about his physical health, the shrink is certain that he must express his "inner turmoil," his principal seems to have reached the conclusion that his morals are damaged. But Alex doesn't need their help; he's perfectly fine, healed and healthy. Why can't they see that? But he supposes that, in some circumstances, children handle things much better than adults.
A/N: Well? As my first Alex Rider fic, I'd really appreciate some feedback! If you've read my PJO fic "Colder Than Dead," you'll realize that I took many of the words from there, and had my brother think up replacements for ones I couldn't do. Might've made some mistakes; after all, I only have Stormbreaker and Point Blanc to fall back on.