New idea, just popped into my head. I don't know if it's cliche or not - but I guess I'll find out. Go on, tell me what you think - I'm perfectly used to dealing with bad reviews, but I'd like to know, if you don't mind. Please tell me whether you enjoy it or not!
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Never were mine. Never will be mine. Or not without a fantastic sum of money my parents won't give me.
"I'm only going to be gone for a couple of weeks." Jack said, looking at Alex worriedly over the table. "I'll ring you to make sure that everything's alright." She paused, then said, would-be-casually, "Are you sure everything's going to be alright with this guardian that MI6 are providing?"
Alex really, really wanted to say no. But Jack had to go and see her parents again, and he did want her to have a good time while she was there, so he kept quiet about it, smiled off-handedly, and said, "Yeah, sure. I mean, it's in their best interest to make sure that I'm OK, isn't it?"
Jack's lips pursed at the mention of his "job". "I suppose so." She said, doubtfully, pausing as she tidied up the kitchen, in readiness for it to be empty for the next couple of weeks. "So, have you packed everything you're going to need for the next fortnight? Books, clothes, washing things?"
Alex resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Yes, it's done." He nodded. "Promise."
She looked at him, head on one side, bright red hair falling over one shoulder, and mismatched slipper jammed onto her feet, as disorganised as ever, but still caring about him. "Good. You can ring me any time, OK, Alex? Any time you like. And if this guardian person puts one toe out of line, I want you to go to the highest authority you can, without involving MI6, have you got me?"
"Yes, Jack." He nodded, sighing.
Jack left the next morning by bus, for Gatwick Airport, and then onto New York. Alex had been told that his temporary "guardian" would pick him up after school that day, so he'd walked to school, reasoning that he could always take the tube to his house, and pick up his bike.
He was waiting outside the school gates for nearly an hour and a half by the time a rather battered old Ford drew up, and a disgruntled voice floated out the window.
"You the kid who's had a guardian arranged for him for this fortnight?"
Alex peered into the car. "Yes."
"Right, get in."
"If you get in, you'll find out."
Shrugging away his misgivings, he opened the door, slung his backpack onto the backseat, and slid in. After he'd done up his seat-belt, he turned to look at the drivers profile.
He was met by a thin, defined profile, with floppy blond hair, and a mouth which appeared to be permanently smiling. This was a tall, thin someone, as unlike an MI6 operative as Alex had ever seen – except maybe Smithers. This was also a very much unknown someone.
"I don't know you." The boy said, flatly
"I know you don't."
"I was told that I'd know the person who I was staying with." Alex said, softly. "Am I going to have to get out, or are you going to tell me why I don't know you?"
"Look, OK, I'm just doing a favour for a friend." Blue eyes slid towards him. "And no, I don't know the name you know him by, but if it'll help you any, I call him James."
"James." He nodded. "If it's any comfort, he doesn't know who you are, either."
"Oh." Alex digested this. "So – why did MI6 lie about this?"
"Who said anything about MI6?" the man driving looked confused. "James said he as just doing a favour for Child Services."
Alex gave a wry grin. "Yeah, I guess you could put it that way." He said, wryly. "MI6 is just what I call it to my school friends – or rather, they say I'm working for MI6. I'm not often at school."
"James is pretty strict." The driver said, warningly. "He won't tolerate cutting school."
"It's because orphanages don't like me." Alex lied. "I get shifted around a lot."
"He won't let you be a trouble maker." The driver warned, again.
"He sounds like a laugh riot." Alex shrugged.
The man driving smiled. "He's got his heart in the right place. You've just gotta cut him some slack, too. I was surprised when he told me about this – he's not often here for long enough to keep his plants alive, let alone a kid. He's worried about this."
Oh, yeah. Definitely an MI6 operative. Alex thought, wryly. But who do I know at MI6?
"I'm Michael Webb, by the way. You can call me if he disappears at any point."
"Thanks." Alex said, and shut up, looking out the window for the rest of the drive.
They pulled into a nice area, somewhere not far away from Brooklands, in a fairly central area of London. "James' got a flat up there. I'll take you up – I've got a key, so if he's not in, we'll go in and wait, OK, kid?"
"Sure." Alex nodded. He liked Michael. He might call him 'kid', but he treated him more like an adult than anyone at MI6 – including, Alex was willing to bet, whoever had been pegged to look after him.
Michael led him up to a third floor flat in the large, old house, and knocked. Alex read the brass plate next to the door. James san Luca. Who the hell was that?
"Coming, hold on!" floated out to them, a deep, vaguely familiar man's voice.
The man who opened the door was average height, muscular, and moving with a definite limp. He had a black eye, and his clothes were militaristic and torn.
"Jesus, Jaime," Alex was surprised to hear Michael, obviously English, calling his friend by the Spanish derivative of the name, almost as much as he was surprised to hear the depth of the resignation in his voice. He sounded just like Jack, whenever Alex got back from a particularly nasty mission. "Who set on you this time? More 'thugs', right?"
"Right." 'Jaime' said, pleasantly, and Alex knew that he was lying. Why was that voice so familiar, though? Looking up at his face again (all he had noticed the first time around was that it was bruised – he had been staring at the army (or SAS) boots since then), he recognised him.
"Wolf?" he said, shocked.
At the same time, Wolf looked at, and recognised, him. "Cub?"
"I take it you've met." Michael said, wryly.
"Er, yeah." Wolf ran a hand over his head, and short hair. "In a manner of speaking. We're not exactly social buddies."
"I don't think Wolf is 'social' anything." Alex said, sourly.
"Watch your mouth, kid." Wolf snapped.
"Hey, ease up there, Jaime." Michael intervened. "Alex isn't all that bad. He's just as shocked as you are. He didn't think he was going to know who he was going to, he'd just relieved that he knows you. It's making you both react badly."
"I doubt very much that it's out of relief." Wolf muttered, but let it pass. "OK, come on in, kid. I can't have you standing out here all week, someone might see." He glanced up at Michael. "Thanks for this Mikey." He said, and gave him a strained smile, holding out a hand which Michael took with easy familiarity. "I'll call you sometime soon. Maybe we could go out for a drink."
"Sure – just as soon as Alex has gone back to an orphanage." Michael said, pointedly. "You can't drink while he's around."
"Orphanage?" for a brief second, Wolf looked shocked. It was a testament to what a great operative he was that he recovered himself so quickly. "Oh yeah. The orphanage. Which one was it again, Alex? St. Cross?"
"I've moved again." Alex said, ironically. "It's the Orphanage of the Bleeding Heart now."
Wolf's lips twitched.
"Morbid names they think up for these places nowadays." He said, quietly. "Mike, I'll see you around. Maybe you could come over this Saturday, or something? Seeing as you and Alex seem to have hit it off so well."
"Yeah, sure." Michael put a brief hand on Alex's shoulder. "He's a good kid. See you around, both of you."
Alex watched the tall, slim young man go off down the stairs, picked his bag up, and turned to look at Wolf.
"Come on in."
Please tell me?
I've written the rest of it, so if I get enough reviews, I may update quicker - shall we say five, ten, or fifteen?
OK, well, thanks anyway! Lol, etta xxxx