A L E X ' S A L E X

half of what I am is a lie

He seems both totally at home and completely inconspicuous in the cafe, though he, at fourteen, is by far the youngest there. He is unremarkable and unassuming to passers-by, but to you, sitting across the table on the crowded sidewalk, he is like a magnet, pulling you in to his mystery. And you can't help but ask, Who are you? What are you? To this odd question he stiffens, then something comes to his eyes, a glint of mischief and hurt.

His voice shifts, becoming snarly and unhappy. He grimaces.

"I am School's Alex; tired, surly, but I know the answers to every question the teachers ask. I'm a contradiction and a source of gossip, hated and feared by my classmates and frowned upon by the staff. I am a gang member, a druggie and a criminal."

His voice lightens, a fake smile spreads his face.

"I am Jack's Alex; unhappy and overworked by MI6 and school, but always eager to get her to smile. I am independent and willing to help around the house, and far too old for my years."

The smile vanishes, his voice lowers, anger staining the tone and resentment glimmers deep in his eyes.

"I am MI6's Alex; a tool, a weapon to be used against their enemies, but resentful, stubborn and prone to bouts of anger and frustration. I am a risk but a necessary one; my success rates are too high to be put aside lightly. I am merely another file, another tool to be used."

His chin lifts, his tone sharpens and his every sentence is cutting, somehow. He is defiant.

"I am the Enemy's Alex; defiant and underestimated, capable of doing far more than they suspect. I am a child and I use that to my advantage. I am the wrench perpetually in the works and a target for their revenge."

He is soft-spoken, but he is hard, shrewd, as though he will get payback someday.

"I am K-Unit's Alex; a spoiled rich boy and a handicap. An insult from their superiors and a burden to make them fail. An enigma not worth figuring out and not worth training. I am inexplicably able to survive camp but not worthy of time because I am young."

He becomes more cheerful, he smiles mischievously and seems daring.

"I am Tom's Alex; an Agent, brave and clever, a reject and a sufferer but still standing tall. I am the hero of his world, saving the world every other month and enduring my classmates and evil geniuses and never faltering."

His voice is dead, emotionless and focused, his eyes flat and blank.

"I am Agent Alex; a cold, calculating mind combined with fast action. I am forever in tight situations and forever just barely escaping. I am a survivor, but the mission is of utmost importance. I never fail to complete my task, even at the cost of my own safety. I can and will use every tool available to do what must be done. Those who fall, fall because they were in the way or at the fault of the enemy, but the guilt lies on me. I suffer in silence."

He remains still for a moment, then his head cocks sideways questioningly.

"So which of these are the real Alex?

"The answer is: None and all."

He smiles dangerously, with an indefinable glint in his eye. He stands, dropping a bill onto the table to pay for his untouched meal.

"Half of what I've told you is a lie. Half of what I am is a lie."

And as he turns away, vanishing into the crowd, he seems to both grow in power an shrink into himself, becoming a force to be reckoned with but a horribly scarred boy. His voice, reaching back to you after he has vanished as easily as he appeared, is hollow and commanding.

"I'm not telling you which half."

Alex Rider isn't mine. Obviously.

Okay, this is just a quirky little idea that popped into my head-make what you want of it. If you want to adopt it, go for it, just PM me...though I don't really see how you could turn it into a story...

It's not really meant to be something that would really happen-no spy would volunteer that much information about themselves. But I wanted to write a fic about Alex's different masks and this was just kind of how it turned out.

Sorry if it's kind of choppy...

~Sylvr

This is a repost; I made some formatting changes and altered the text just a little. To all of you who reviewed, thanks so much! I never expected much of a response from this. Since so many of you like it, I may write a third part. The second part is called Dry.

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