Disclaimer: I'm not Anthony Horowitz, I don't own Alex Rider.
AN: Lets just skip this and get right into the story. I know you want to. Enjoy!
Tulip Jones stood in the office on the seventh floor of Royal and General Bank. She stood away from the desk, staring out the solitary window. The world beyond was a dreary grey, made worse by the drizzling rain.
Behind her, Alan Blunt read the report that she had handed him in contemplative silence. "That was a greater success than anticipated," he said with something that was a distant cousin to a smile.
Tulip Jones didn't look at him. She was too professional to allow her feelings to interfere with her job… yet the air between them was fraught with tension.
"Alex Rider has again made it very clear that he no longer wishes to be involved," she told him.
He nodded. "I expected as much."
She did turn to look at him at that. "Will you use him again?" she asked. Her voice was flat, as if tired.
Alan Blunt held her gaze calmly, with no emotion. "If necessary."
"…largest drug bust of the decade," the reporter proclaimed. "Police have arrested more than a hundred men and the sources indicate that more than a million pounds worth of drugs were seized…"
Ben flicked off the TV as the door opened.
"Hey," Alex said, standing awkwardly in the middle of the doorway. He didn't know why he had come to visit. He hadn't seen any of the other members of K-unit since the night of the raid. MI6 had lifted the protection on him almost immediately. He hadn't even said goodbye to them.
"Hi, Alex," Ben said, seeming genuinely pleased to see him. "I was just watching your work on the news."
Alex grinned. "That was hardly my work. I just hid out the back while it was all happening."
Ben chuckled but didn't look like he believed him. "The guys visited before. To hear them tell it, you instigated the entire thing."
Alex shook his head. "The closest I was to being in danger was when Wolf growled at me," he denied. "Though that was scary enough, let me tell you."
"You don't have to," Ben said. "I got an earful myself. Apparently it's my fault that you ran away."
Alex's grin faltered. "You got shot for me again," he said, subdued.
"I wouldn't say it was for you," Ben said seriously, then joked, "But you know, if this is a prediction for my future then I'm a little worried. As much as I love field work, I don't want to get shot every time I go out."
Alex grinned weakly, trying to see the humour. "You'll just have to learn to dodge better."
Somewhere, deep inside some innocent looking building, the report of the failure landed on a desk. Calm hands picked it up. Calm eyes read it, considered it, decided.
"Gregorovich is a failure," said Dr. Three clasping his hands together. "He has failed us twice now. He has led Alex Rider directly to us." He paused for a moment, contemplating. "Kill him."
The man standing opposite him nodded. He was an assassin. He had trained on Malagosto beside Yassen Gregorovich. They had been, not friends, but friendly acquaintances. It didn't bother him in the slightest.
"As you wish." He turned on his heel and left.
Yassen Gregorovich knew he was being followed the second he left the airport. It was an instinctual feeling, but one he knew to listen to. Pausing, as though to look for a taxi, he took a moment to scan his surroundings. The airport had been busy, so there were many people. Most of them, he ignored.
Yassen Gregorovich knew that face. And he knew where it was from. He grimaced. He had known this would happen, but he had hoped for more time. But it was not to be.
He chose a taxi and curtly told the driver his destination. He watched as the man took out a cell phone and dialed, eyes glued to the number plate on the cab. Then, Yassen Gregorovich began to plan.
He left the taxi and the second set of lights. He dodged easily across the lanes of traffic and ran, taking alleyways and shortcuts. He hid himself in the subway, masking his presence in the hundreds of others there. He kept moving, being as unpredictable as possible.
He evaded for about two hours. Then the man caught up to him.
"Don't move," whispered a voice into his ear, even as a cold hard gun barrel pressed into the small of his back. He had paused to take a breath in a tiny abandoned alleyway. The area around them was deserted. Now he was caught.
"Who sent you, Alister?" Yassen asked. He was breathing slowly, calmly. He was relaxed.
The gun dug into his back. "Dr. Three. He's … not happy with you."
"I didn't expect he would be," Yassen said, and spun into action. He twisted around, striking like a snake. The gun went off, but the bullet buried itself harmlessly in the wall. The gun fell, clattering to the ground as the two men fought briefly, violently.
Then Yassen had him pinned, kneeling over him, hands clamped around the other mans throat.
"They'll keep sending us after you," the man croaked, still fighting uselessly. "You're a dead man walking, Gregorovich. You screwed up. Now you have to pay the price."
Yassen considered that. He could run, he knew, and stay ahead of them. But it would be a constant thing and any mistake would mean his death. He wasn't a man that liked running. There was only one way Scorpia would truly leave him alone now. The decision had been made, he realized, before he left the airport. Why else had he let himself be caught? "Tell me where Dr. Three is."
"I underwent the same resistance training you did, Gregorovich." The man laughed. "You think you can make me talk?"
Yassen smiled slowly. It wasn't a friendly expression. "Yes."
Alex had only just got home when the door bell rang. He sighed. He wanted to just lie down and sleep. It had been a long few days. Instead he got up and answered the door.
Tom was standing there, clutching a computer game. He grinned, his look of worry vanishing. "Alex! You're back! I came around the other day, but you just vanished! Were did you go? Was it…" he lowered his voice, "MI6?"
Alex sighed. He forced himself to smile at his friend. "Come in. I'll tell you what happened."
Okay, so all wrapped up. If you think that I've left anything out, tell me! I think I got it all. Ben gets to live, Yassen gets his revenge (maybe), Alex gets to go home, Tom gets remembered, Alan Blunt and Mrs. Jones get another scene, and Scorpia get taken down a peg or two (maybe)…
So, thankyou! Everyone who read this, everyone who reviewed, everyone who put this on their story alert and favourites list. Thankyou all. It's done.