So after I wrote The Laser Quest Thing I'd gotten a few requests to write a paintballing scene. Well, I decided to take it in a bit of a different direction than you guys were probably expecting. I love the whole idea of a Tom who isn't completely gobsmacked by SAS and spies and things. Alex always seems to be annoyed by those people in the fanfics so I figured his best friend would be a little different. So, yeah, there you go. This isn't related to any story, strictly a one-shot.

Disclaimer: I do not own Alex Rider.

"You want to what?" Alex asked. He stared at his friend completely dumbfounded. Of all the stupid things Tom could have possibly said, this had to be the stupidest.

"You heard me," Tom said glancing out the window only to have Alex smack him on the arm. Hard. "Ow! Jeez, Alex, no need to be violent."

"I told you not to look out the window," Alex said through gritted teeth. They were out there again.

Since his last mission, one where he'd disappeared for a while only to show up back in London with a case full of Italian mob money and no explanation, MI6 had been watching him like a hawk. Or rather, they had been watching him like a Wolf, Snake, Eagle, and Fox all rolled into one crappy car across the street. Daniels had brought in his training unit to help with supervising him. MI6 didn't want Alex disappearing again to whoever had given him the money or being taken to the person the money had belonged to.

Either one; it depended on who you asked about the motives of the car full of SAS and one Special Ops watching his house. Alex would tell them where the money came from but he couldn't. He had no idea where it had come from; he'd been infiltrating a religious cult in France. The Italian mob never even fit into the equation at all. Unfortunately, Blunt didn't buy it so now K-Unit was outside his house.

He wasn't sure if they knew he knew but it hardly mattered. He'd made a point to be extra boring just to make the long stake out hours seem even longer. He wondered if they were close to killing each other yet.

Jack had seen them and asked. Alex gave her a long winded explanation that made little sense to the redhead and then she'd dropped it. She'd been told about the last mission to some extent by Alex and he had faith that she'd figure it out on her own. But for now, he wanted a little fun. He'd made the mistake of telling Tom that when the boy finally noticed the car that had been sitting out there for three weeks.

Tom came over everyday after school to avoid his parent's continuing screaming matches. That, and Alex had the good TV. It wasn't that Tom wasn't perceptive, he could figure things out twice as fast as their classmates. He'd been the only one to really suspect that while Alex wasn't telling the truth behind his absences, he also wasn't the druggie everyone wrote him off as being. No, Tom was perceptive; he just chose to have his head in the clouds.

So, upon hearing why the four were outside and that Alex was bored, he'd perked right up, plans already forming. Unfortunately, his stupidest was the one he was determined to do.

"Tom, this is a really bad idea," Alex said for the nth time.

"Oh, c'mon Al, lighten up," Tom said, smile spreading to an impossible length. "It'll be fun!"

"Yeah, until we get caught and they kill us," Alex said. Honestly, why could the boy not see how they would die?

"You'll get your revenge," Tom baited. Alex paused at that. It would be a good opportunity to get a little revenge without putting anyone's life in danger. They weren't out there to protect him; they were out there to watch him. Well, they'd certainly see him.

"Fine," Alex said through gritted teeth. "I'll get the paintball guns."

They had snuck out of the living room on their hands and knees after falling on the floor in the guise of a wrestling match. The window shades had been open it would have been too obvious to just close them. Alex knew they had limited time before the Unit noticed that they were not getting off the floor anytime soon and knowing Fox he'd suspect they'd left. Alex just hoped they didn't think the two boys were up to something else.

They then crawled to the hallway where Jack almost stepped on them but with a quick signal from Alex, she just went upstairs shaking her head and rolling her eyes. Tom stayed in the house while Alex went out to the garage and quickly found the paintball guns and the multi-colored ammo.

He found himself smirking at the thought of K-Unit's reactions to what they were going to do. Tom looked as if he was just containing himself from jumping up and down in excitement like a little kid.

Guns slung of over their shoulders the two exited the house through the kitchen window. Alex was certain one of the Unit would be covering the back door to prevent him from slipping away. However, he doubted they'd take the time to cover the side of the house that had no doors and opened into an alleyway.

The two boys slunk to the front of the house sticking to the shadows. Alex had to admit that Tom was pretty good at sneaking. He made little noise and Alex even had to look back once to make sure the other boy was still there. Reaching the corner Alex quickly ducked down and crawled behind a bush. The hedges were fairly tall and were spaced far enough away from the house wall that the leaves wouldn't move thus giving their location away. The spot they were in was near the corner for a quick get away but was also out of the streetlight's illumination.

It would probably be the first place K-Unit would look but they weren't planning on being out there for too long. They had it all planned out into three phases. Well, Tom had spouted ideas and Alex put them into a plan that would work. The situation may not be deadly and the men would recognize it as a prank instantly, but best not get caught.

A nod from Alex and Tom poked his gun through a small hole in the bush and fired a few shots, then quickly drew it back towards him. The loud clang of the paint splattering on the car broke the silence of the street. A few moments later and Alex saw, through another hole, the driver's door open and heard cursing.

Wolf had his gun drawn but re-holstered it at the sight of the paint. "Damn it," he practically shouted. Eagle and Snake got out to join him. They began talking but since it was in normal tones, Alex couldn't hear.

Alex poked his gun's barrel through a hole, aimed, and fired, quickly drawing it back like Tom had. The paint went through the soldier's semi circle and hit the car in almost the exact spot Tom's paint had hit. They gave a jump of surprise, then wheeled around searching for whoever was doing it. Alex wondered if they would know it was him immediately or suspect some neighborhood kid first. The former was more likely.

Alex saw Eagle make a nod at the bush they were behind and reacted just as planned. He stood up quickly and made a dash around the corner firing a few more rounds over his shoulder. Tom stayed behind as the men gave chase. They passed the bush without ever even seeing him. Alex ran down the alley, crawled back through the open window, shut it, and ducked around the corner before K-Unit was even a quarter way down the dark alleyway.

Meanwhile, Tom slipped back inside via the now unwatched front door.

Phase Two was much easier. Now that K-Unit knew the boys or, as the Unit thought, boy, was splattering their car with paint they couldn't risk going outside. It would be too easy for them to be caught. They waited an hour for the Unit to settle back into the car with Fox in tow.

Alex had decided that the attic window was the best place to finish this. Jack didn't say anything as he pulled down the steps and the two boys made their way up. He was sure that she just didn't have the will power to care about what they up to now. The attic window over looked the street and was once again out of the streetlight's range of illumination.

It was 10:30 when they began again.

"Ready?" Alex asked, his back at the wall, gun at the ready. Tom was standing on the other side with a wide smile. He nodded and swung the window open. Alex swung to face the now open window, aimed his gun, and fired. He spun back to his original position as Tom grabbed the window handle and closed it quickly but quietly leaving it open an inch. The latch made a lot of noise because it was so old and they were trying to remain as quiet as possible.

They peeked around the corner to see K-Unit once again on the street looking at the paint on the door then at the bush. At a nod from Alex the window swung open again and they repeated the motion. Only this time Alex hit the street right at Eagle's feet causing him to jump with surprise. He may be SAS, but Alex was good at freaking people out. So was Tom, they were very similar.

They repeated once again and this time, the paint hit at Wolf's feet. Alex was sure the soldiers were close to figuring out where the paint shots were coming from this time. They were trained well and if they couldn't figure it out Alex would have been worried for the safety of the country they were entrusted with.

"One more," he mouthed to Tom. The motion was repeated. This time, Alex had aimed a little higher than the street. They heard Snake's loud shout and cursing as the shot hit him dead in the stomach. Peaking around the window frame Alex saw a bright blue splatter on the man's white shirt. He was holding a hand to it and the boys knew a bruise would be forming fast.

Laughing, the two descended the attic stairs and prepared for Phase Three.

The third and final phase wouldn't be done until sunrise so the two friends got some sleep. Just before the sun made an appearance, when the shadows were the longest, Tom made his exist through the kitchen window to go back to the bush, a can of spray paint in hand.

Alex followed a few minutes later after confirming that the whole Unit was in the car, probably doing a shift change or preparing to leave. Instead of going behind the bush he remained at the corner where he could easily be seen. He didn't bother crouching down, he was supposed be seen.

Alex raised the paintball gun and fired. He ducked back into the shadows as once again, K-Unit came out of the car hoping to give chase again. Alex stepped forward and fired. Eagle howled as the paint hit him in a rather sensitive area. Alex couldn't help but laugh as the man's face went pale. He turned quickly and ran as the others gave chase.

He ditched the gun in the alley, hoped over the fence and ran through the back alleys making sure K-Unit kept him in sight. He couldn't out run them; in fact, he was supposed to get caught. He just had to get far enough to give Tom a little time.

Tom watched the soldier turn back to the car. He quickly went across the street and ducked down by the trunk just as the door closed. He stood up just enough to see where the man was looking. He was looking at something by the steering wheel, probably a mobile. Tom climbed up on the car carefully so as not to rock it stopping on the roof just behind the open sunroof. He took a peak in and saw the guy texting.

Squeezing the can of spray paint, shaken up in the bushes, he stood and jumped onto the front hood. He spun midair so when he landed he was facing the man. He landed with a loud thud and quickly went to his hands and knees in one fluid motion. The soldier looked up in surprise and before he could react Tom finished Phase Three.

"You have a lot of nerve," Wolf growled as he hauled the blond boy back towards the car, arm in a vice like grip. They'd caught him a few blocks away from the house and Wolf hadn't let go of his arm since. Alex was sure the man would leave a bruise but he was still having trouble fighting the grin. It was miracle he could smile actually, as all three of them were glaring at him. A saner person would have peed their pants by now. But Alex was hardly sane; he was Tom's friend after all.

"What the fuck were you trying to pull?" Snake growled behind him. Alex made a one shoulder shrug as he couldn't move the arm Wolf was holding in any way, shape, or form.

"Just trying to have a little fun is all," he said innocently. "I was bored."

"Then watch a movie," Wolf said harshly. "Don't fire paintballs at us."

"You're the one spying on me," Alex said surprised at how childish that had come out. He pressed on anyway. "You were fair game."

"We aren't here to spy, Alex," Fox told him. Alex threw him a glare over his shoulder.

"Sorry if I don't believe that you weren't doing what you're paid to do," he snapped. Fox just narrowed his eyes at him.

"You're supposed to be a pro," he said, not so subtly reminding Alex what that his job required a certain level of maturity.

"I'm fourteen," he said back. "I'm allowed to act stupid once in a while. Besides, what's the worst that could have happened. Blunt's little spies got some paint on them? Balls a little sore? Stomach a little bruised?" They didn't have a response to that. Alex was surprised at how bitter he sounded. He hadn't thought he felt that way but apparently, Blunt sending the SAS to watch him like some kind of common terrorist had pissed him off.

SCORPIA aside, he thought he'd be given a little more trust. He didn't know where the money came from, he'd found it and took it back with him. Big deal.

They reached the car to find Eagle leaning against it, arms crossed, and scowl working over time. He looked none to pleased to see Alex. It wasn't the best of reunions, Alex had to admit.

Eagle had barely said two words to him at training and he's just shot a paintball at the man's balls for no apparent reason. He'd be pissed too. But for now, Alex could only fight another smile.

"Um, Eagle?" Fox said. "What's with the windshield?"

The others looked past the scowling soldier to see the glass in question. Written in bright blue letters was, CUB ROX.

"Who did that?" Wolf asked, confused about the sudden appearance of a message Alex couldn't have possibly written.

"Cub had a partner," Eagle said voice hard, face still pale. "He got away."

"He got away?" Snake asked.

"He hopped a fence into an alley," Eagle replied his glare never leaving Alex who just lifted his chin a bit in defiance. "And I can't bend that way quite yet."

"You won't bend that way for a week," Alex told him.

"Cub," Fox groaned hands going down his face in an exasperated movement. "Why the hell did you come up with this?"

"Oh, this wasn't my idea," Alex said smile firmly in place. "That was all Tom."

"Tom?" Snake questioned and Alex gave a nod.

"My accomplice," Alex replied. "He's a bit insane."

"Like you?" Eagle said. His glare had softened a notch but he certainly didn't look less pissed, just tired.

"Oh, course," Alex replied. "You can't be Tom's friend without being insane."

"Funny, I'd have thought it would be the other way around," Fox said. Alex gave another one shouldered shrug. Apparently, Wolf thought he'd bolt at any second.

"There's a reason we're best friends," he said. At that moment the front door to the house opened and Alex heard a shout.

"Hey, Al!" The entire group turned to see Tom leaning casually against the doorframe, a smirk playing on his lips at the sight of Eagle's shocked and annoyed expression.

"What?" Alex called back.

"Jack wants to know if she should make extra for your friends!" Alex turned back to the soldiers, who looked shocked. Whether it was over being called his friends or the fact that Tom had slipped past all four of them three times in one night, it was impossible to tell.

"You guys want breakfast?"

Huh, I really did enjoy writing this. Like I said, I'd gotten a few requests to write something along these lines. If anybody has anyother requests for stories you can totally PM me. I love challenges.