Hi all, it's BNTN here with yet another oneshot. I hope you like it.

This is set in the same holidays as Breaking the Fourth Wall and It's a Small World After All. It's set after the former and before the latter.


It was raining. This was not surprising, as it had been raining for the better part of a week. In fact, it had been raining non-stop from the moment Paulo's flight, the first to arrive at Boston's airport, had landed. If it continued to rain for much longer the world would be in danger of another great flood.

In one of the rooms in Middleton Mansion, five teenagers lounged on various couches, armchairs and bits of floor around a table. They were surrounded by what could only be called a fortress of board games.

"…Chess?" Li picked up one of the boxes.

"Yes!" Hex suddenly got a very evil look on his face. "Lets have a tournament – winner fights me."

Alex shook his head. "There's no point, Hex. We all know you'll win. Why suffer through a game of chess if we already know the results?"

"'Cause it'll be fun?"

"Translation" muttered Amber. "An ego boosting for Hex, torture for the rest of us."

"You're just jealous" retorted Hex.

"Yeah? Why would I be jealous of you, Code-boy?"

"Ok, so chess is off the list.", Li said, intervening before the two of them could start a fight. "Scrabble?"

Paulo grimaced. "No way. English is my second language, remember?"

Li picked up another box. "So no scrabble. Pictionary?"

"No can do" Amber replied. "Hex is hopeless!"

"Hey" retorted Hex. "It's not my fault you can't draw to save your life."

Li intervened, yet again, before the two could start fighting. "What about Charades?"

"No"

"Truth or Dare?"

Alex half winced, half smiled. "We all know how last time ended up – although I must admit, it was rather fun watching you all make fools of yourself."

"What about that game… you know, the one where you say you've never done something and if anyone else has they have to put a finger down and take a shot of alcohol and take an article of clothing off?"

"A, we're not old enough to drink." That was Alex – always the sensible one.

Amber picked up his reasoning. "B, my uncle will throw a fit if we do that kind of thing."

"C, it is not a board game", Paulo pointed out.

"D…" Hex shuddered. "No. Just no."

Li sighed. "Spoilsports! Ok then, what about Last Card?"

"Does anyone have a full deck of cards?" Hex looked around. There were several open boxes of cards on the table. The cards from them, he knew, were scattered in various places around the house. Some of them had been written on, and others ripped in half. You don't want to know. Really. You don't. "In other words, does anyone feel like picking them all up?"

There was a long silence.

"Obviously not. Next."

"Umm… Wink murder?"

Alex sighed. "I don't think we have enough people for that, Li."

"So Mafia's out of the question too?"

"Yes Li", Amber sighed.

"What about Battleships?"

"Same as Chess. A two player game, and Hex always wins."

"Damn. Umm… Why don't we do something on your PS3 or the X-box?"

Alex, Hex and Paulo all perked up.

"Do you know how long it'll take to get the boys off?"

"Even if we play Singstar?"

"I want to play Guitar Hero instead", sulked Paulo.

"No Xbox. No Playstation. No computer." Amber rapped Hex hard on the fingers as he was reaching towards his palmtop.

"Ow!"

"No Palmtop, either."

Hex made a sound that sounded suspiciously like a growl.

"I give up! There's no board game we can agree on." Groaned Li. Suddenly she perked up. "Hey, I have an idea…"

Yes, you've read this right. An Idea. One of those ideas that sends any sane person running to hide in a bomb shelter on the other side of the country. Maybe even the next country. To the other side of the world, if you can afford it.

The looks on Alpha Force's faces showed that they wanted to do just that.

"Well" Alex asked cautiously. "What's the idea?"

Alpha Force – minus Li – held their breath.

"Why don't we get codenames?"

The other four exhaled. Then the meaning of what she had said hit them.

"What?"

"I said", Li repeated, "Why don't we get codenames?"

Alex stared. Hex stared. Amber stared.

Paulo opened his mouth. "Why?"

"Why not? Everyone else gets codenames."

"Define everyone else", Amber said in a perfect monotone, her face expresionless. She had spent many hours practising this in front of a mirror and a tape recorder. Finally all those hours of hard work had paid off.

"Um… James bond, Superheroes… You know, all the really cool people."

"And what, we aren't cool?" asked Amber. It was technically a rhetorical question, but Li didn't know that.

"No!" Then she realised what she had said and quickly backtracked. "I mean, yes we are. But…"

"Keep talking, Li" drawled Hex. "Keep on digging your own grave, that's a good girl."

Unfortunately for the four watchers, Li was smart enough to keep her mouth shut.

Meanwhile, Alex was pondering something. "Li, earlier you said that people like James Bond and superheroes had codenames. But all of them are fictional. Can you give an example of anyone in the real world who actually has codenames?"

Li sighed an extremely overdramatic sigh. "Alex, Alex… what shall I do with you? We've already been over this, remember? In this universe, they are fictional. In another universe, on the other hand… Anything's possible.

"It wouldn't be that hard to think of codenames, either." She continued. "I mean, technically Hex already has one."

"What? How?"

"Li's right" Hex said.

Everyone – in other words Alex, Amber and Paulo – gaped at him.

"What!" Li complained. "You'd think I'm never right, by the way you're looking at me."

Amber wisely decided not to say anything.

Paulo realised something. "Yeah, she is. Hex's real name isn't Hex, it's-"

Hex cut him off. "Hex is my real name. My other name – which you will not say aloud, was just what some idiots decided to call me." He said all this through gritted teeth.

"So" Li finished triumphantly. "Since Hex is a name he picked for himself, it's technically a codename."

"Not much of a codename", remarked Amber. "Everyone already knows him as Hex."

"So? It's still a codename."

"I guess" Amber agreed reluctantly.

"Exactly" said Hex. "So why don't we just give up on the whole codename idea and go do something else…"

Li pouted. "I want codenames!"

"No" Alex's form was firm.

"But..."

"No"

"Please…."

"No"

"I have blackmail on you…"

Alex smirked. "So do I."

"What!" Li exclaimed in shock. "What is it?"

Alex's grin grew wider and he flicked his eyes meaningfully to Paulo, who had his back turned at that moment, setting up a betting pool over something or other.

Li grew pale. "You wouldn't."

"I would."

"I hate you" she sulked.

"Don't worry, the feeling's mutual."

"Hey!"

Alex laughed.

"But if we did have codenames…." Li continued. "If we did, Alex, so you don't need to open your mouth… Good boy…"

"I am not a dog!"

"Anyway, if we had codenames what would they be?"

"I dunno" mused Amber, who had decided to ignore the boys and their bets. "We could name ourselves after the famous five. Hex can be Dick and Paulo can be Timmy."

"Well, they are very suitable names…" grinned Alex.

A flying pillow hit him in the head courtesy of Paulo. Another one, from Hex, hit Amber square between the eyes.

And Alpha Force continued to cause chaos, but that's a story for another day.


Thanks for reading. I had a bit of trouble with finishing it off, but I still think it turned out OK. And I think that this is now my longest oneshot. I'm back at school again, unfortunately, so oneshots and updates might take a while.

Until next time,

BNTN