Chapter Fourteen "Realizing"
Author's Note: The Last Chapter of the story.
Time progressed for Alex. Every night since the kidnapping, he had suffered constant nightmares of killing Campton. Of his missions again. Every night since the kidnapping, Eric (Snake) and/or Ben (Fox) had been there during the night, calming him down until the nightmares changed. Alex still suffered his broken leg and sprained wrist. Snake gave him PT everyday as well and made sure Alex took his medication. Wolf would eye him wearily every time he was in the room. Eagle would actually frown and not make any jokes, to Alex's wonder. Snake and Fox were really nice to him and he felt close to them. Alex was unsure of how to act around Wolf and Eagle.
Today, Snake had suggested that they go to the Zoo.
"The Zoo?" Alex asked wearily, playing a video game against Fox. So far it was still a tie.
"Yeah. I've been thinking about going to one ever since you got out of the hospital. It sounds like a fun idea," Snake said, putting his book 1984 on the coffee table. Wolf was out buying more coffee while Eagle was still snoring upstairs. It was not even noon yet after all. Alex inwardly snorted. He figured that Eagle would at least be up early every day, considering he was a SAS soldier.
"I guess so," Alex said reluctantly. He didn't really mind going to the zoo. He had never gone to one after all and the thought made him want to. Ian had never really been up to see a bunch of animals in cages and Jack thought he wouldn't like them.
"We'll go in a little bit, if we manage to wake Eagle up anytime soon." Snake said, looking at his watch.
"I'll do it," Alex volunteered as he lost to Fox in the game. He got up and almost ran to the staircase when Snake's voice was heard. The man was looking at him strictly.
"Alex! Remember not to run!" Snake was growling. Alex stopped and walked carefully this time. His leg was still under healing and if he pushed it to far, he could re-injure himself. He hadn't had to wear the cast as long as normal because it hadn't been completely broken. He was able to walk now and that was pretty recent. When he got back on his feet after having been carried around everywhere, it took awhile to get used to walking again and it was unfortunately an almost habit for Fox to pick him up. Alex made it to Eagle's room and opened it quickly and quietly. He grinned as he saw the sound asleep Matt Tristan aka Eagle. He moved over towards him and used his better hand to get himself on the bed, his sprained wrist was better but, still sensitive. He crawled over to Eagle's stomach and balanced himself as he stood up. He let one big crouch before he jumped up and landed perfectly... right on Eagle's stomach. Alex felt like he was on a pump or something... He kept sinking in.
Eagle yelped loudly as he shot up, wide awake from the jump. He looked around widely until he found the source, grinning at him as he lay on his back on Eagle's lap, the man sitting up. Eagle glared at Alex who was still grinning.
"You think its funny, don't you?" Eagle muttered before he smirked at Alex who stopped and looked at him. A smirking Eagle was never a good sign. Before Alex could even think of moving, Eagle pinned him down firmly in his lap and began to tickle Alex endlessly. His fingers moved over Alex's side over and over.
"Do you give?" Eagle laughed.
"N-Never!" Alex choked out in his fit. It was a mixture of giggling and laughing that caused Ben and Eric to come running upstairs. They stopped upon the sight with raised eyebrows. Eagle stopped and smiled 'innocently'.
"If you're done torturing Alex, get dressed bonehead. We're going to the Zoo today." Snake said as Fox took Alex from Eagle before the man decided to have another go. Alex had his arms around Fox's neck as he was carried downstairs, Alex already dressed. Eagle grumbled before perking up and he quickly got ready, noting the door opening and Wolf's voice. Snake had left with Alex already and they were all downstairs where Eagle saw Wolf eying Alex who was looking anywhere but at the man. Eagle raised an eyebrow but, decided not to question it. They quickly got into Wolf's car and drove towards the Zoo. Alex took hold of the edge of Ben's shirt as they walked in, careful not to lose Alex because of the crowds and his small stature.
Wolf had a little pamphlet with him and was looking at it. They went to the Reptiles first. Alex went over to a cage holding a Cobra and he watched it in fascination as it slithered to the glass, flickering its tongue.
"Snake... Are you alright?" Fox's voice echoed. He had went over with Alex to the Cobra and had turned around to see Snake, pale and sweating. He was breathing hard.
"Peachy..." Snake muttered. He was quick to grab Alex's hand and tug him out of the Reptile house, knowing that if he took Alex the others would follow.
"You don't like snakes, do you?" Wolf asked in disbelief. Snake did not look at him.
"Well that is certainly a charming revelation," Eagle laughed, "Snake doesn't like snakes."
"Only ones like that Cobra!" Snake defended himself, avoiding eye contact. He kept hold of Alex's hand and they went to the Primate section this time. Alex watched as an ape swung its way around on the branches. One was eating a banana and two of them were... wow... that was certainly....
Alex was at a loss of words for what the two primates were doing in the cage. He kept looking but, Fox (sensing that something was amiss) swiftly turned him around by the shoulders and led him to another cage, his own cheeks red. Wolf was at the cage they were walking towards. He was glaring at a monkey.
The monkey was glaring back... Alex stared at Wolf in bewilderment as Wolf glared harder and the monkey followed suit. Wolf was having a glaring contest with a monkey!! Alex was sent into hysterics as he realized this and had to have Fox drag him by his hand and pull him aside to calm him down before they continued towards the birds. Eagle was intrigued with the bird section where there were a lot of females cooing at a little baby bird. He had this crazy idea. Of course, Eagle had used him to pick up a few chicks, carrying him around on his shoulders and such. Alex had gone along with it when Eagle bribed him with ice cream which Alex had lately taken to loving. After this, Alex got to pet a baby goat and everything. He actually had a lot of fun. After the zoo, they had gone to a restaurant to eat. Yet, as they were eating they weren't aware of a disaster starting... until too late.
K-Unit entered the large place that was on the fourth floor of the indoor mall (Tom had taken Alex to the outdoor mall somewhere else). It was pretty nice and comfortable. Boosters aligned the wall with smaller tables in the center. There were a lot of people out eating here, they noticed. They ordered a booth and Alex sat closest to the wall in their corner booth. They had begun eating and the meal was actually quiet delicious.
"What do you think that smell is?" Fox asked as he bit into his hamburger.
"Probably a cook burnt someone's meal." Wolf said, eating a fry. Alex sipped his coke, wondering.
"I feel sorry for the cook and the customer. The cook is going to get chewed out and the Customer gets a burnt meal." Snake said with a grin. They continued eating until they heard screaming from a waitress suddenly and they overheard her.
"What's Wrong?" The manager asked.
"None of the meals were being made yet and I went to check on the cooks. They were all knocked unconscious and a fire was back there! It enveloped them and I closed the door and ran." She wailed.
"We need to evacuate immediately!!!" The manager said. Unfortunately, many had heard and were running and screaming in panic as a massive fire appeared in their sight, spreading intensely fast, already covering an entrance. Customers ran and tried to fit in the elevator, overloading it. Wolf stood up abruptly.
"Get Alex out of here! Fox! Snake! Find something we can use to help everyone get off this floor." Wolf ordered. Eagle grabbed Alex and made a sprint for the elevator but stopped as he saw the crowd and he looked around. He found the stairs case as he left the restaurant and he ran for them. The fire had taken over the food joint already and the fourth floor was being consumed by the flames. Alex held onto Eagle as the man ran. Just as Eagle was in the middle of his run, a beam slammed into him, knocking him off balance and effectively causing Alex to fly out of his hands and land away from him. The beam hadn't managed to damage either of them, having hit Eagle in the shoulder. Eagle looked around wildly. When he spot Cub, he ran towards the boy but, a crash from the ceiling and a flaming section of it fell in front of him, blocking his path to Alex. Eagle cursed the mall for having their food place on the top floor and looked for a way to Cub. Alex had been somewhat knocked unconscious during the fall, his head having hit the stupid fake tree that was now being caught on fire. Alex weakly lifted his head to see a blurry image of Matt trying to get to him.
"CUB! ALEX!" Eagle shouted, hoping to get Alex to awaken more.
"Ea..gle?" Alex said in a dazed voice. Eagle growled at the licking flames that seemed to mock him. He looked around and found a pole. It was risky...
Eagle grabbed it and with a running start, he flung himself over the mass of heat and landed unsteadily over towards Alex. With relief, he ran over to the child and knelt down. He places his fingers on Alex's neck. A pulse. Thank god. Eagle checked his breathing and then lifted Alex up into his arms and found an exit. He began running, tucking Alex into his arms, holding him against his check. Eagle had Alex's head under his chin, his body curled up to his body. Eagle panted. The smoke was starting to cloud his vision and he could already tell by Alex's weak coughing that he had caught the fumes. He found the staircase and ran down them as fast as he could without hurting Alex. His shoulder ached horribly but, Eagle ignored that. He cried in relief when he found himself out of the mall finally, having to have taken so many stairs.
"Matt! Alex!" Three voices shouted. Eagle turned to those who used his real name and sighed in happiness as he saw his friends. He heard Alex whimper pitifully and clutched him to his chest harder for a brief moment, rubbing Alex's back, before handing the unconscious child to Fox who immediately set to getting Alex awake.
Matt Tristan was 23. He was codenamed Eagle for his ability to shoot with a sniper with practical ease. He was good-looking and overall a joker. Today had given Eagle a moment to realize that Cub wasn't a spy at the moment, or the "brat" from his first time in Brecon Beacons. No. Alex Rider was currently shrunk in the form of a small boy and Eagle had tried to cover his uncomfortable feelings by jokes and teasing. Now, he realized that it was good and all. Cub had been helpless only because he had gotten knocked away by a beam. There was something about the kid that made you protective. That made you see something else. Alex's brown eyes for example.
Those brown orbs could see through you. See into your soul almost. Those eyes were clouding with a childlike innocence only because of the drug that he had been given. Eagle could tell that there was hardly any innocence left for Alex Rider the teenage spy. They had more than half a year, around 9 months left until the antidote had been created.
Fox had found nothing wrong with Alex and they put him in the car first before they drove home in silence. Alex was now sleeping peacefully, his lungs clearing up from the smoke. Fox carried Alex to the bathroom while K-Unit hung around in the hall. He quickly changed Alex into cotton pajamas and carried him to the bed. He tucked Alex in and sat on the edge, running a hand through his hand. K-Unit entered Alex's room and looked at the sleeping boy. Alex looked so small and frail. They watched as if in a trance, his stomach rising and falling softly.
James San Luca was 28. He was codenamed Wolf and was leader of K-Unit. He had a tendency to glare when confused or to his emotions. Right now, he was thinking. He couldn't justify for what he did to Cub at Brecon Beacons when they met. He actually respected the teen spy at Point Blank and for literally kicking his arse out of the plane, preventing him from being binned. Though Wolf did get shot helping Alex, he could live with it.
"It occurred to me that his uncle was a spy, according to his file that we read awhile back." Wolf stated. They had read Alex's file the day before he arrived. There wasn't much about his missions or what happened during them. Mostly things about his family. A double-agent father, a nurse for a mother, a godfather who killed his parents, an uncle who was a spy, and an American ex-guardian who died. They had already knew about the bullet wound but, that was it besides his appearance.
"Cub has been through a lot." Snake mused out loud. They looked at each other.
Eric Lucas, Ben Daniels, Matt Tristan, and James San Luca shared a look before looking down at Alex's sleeping face. Blond hair was sticking his forehead and some on top his close eyes. Fox chose to move those out of the way. They knew what each was thinking. They had been like brother ever since they started training together. They were each other's best friends.
Right now their "fifth" member of K-Unit had been defenseless for the past 3 months and would continue to be for 9 more. No one said a word. They didn't need to. They knew what they were thinking at that moment.
They would protect Alex Rider aka Cub. They would be there for the boy in any way they could.
"For Alex." Wolf simply said, having not to state why he said that.
"For Cub," Fox, Snake, and Eagle said in union. They would protect their ward.
They would make sure Alex Rider wasn't alone anymore.
Author's Note: I bet I underestimated myself when I had said that I had a few more chapters to go... Oops? Yes, this is the ending of Everlasting Changes. Keep a watch for a story called Silent Spy which will be its sequel. I hope you liked this one. Alex can never catch a break with life, can he? All well... I have officially read Stormbreaker, Snakehead, Scorpia, and Eagle Strike. I read out of order for some reason. But, those are important books (Well... I meant to get Point Blank instead of Eagle Strike but, all well) that I needed for my stories. I like them a lot. Snakehead was really cool! Sorry, off topic. I hope the scenes were alright this time. It was sort of hard to think of because I wanted to get this done! Drives me insane. There is a poll for the sequel on my profile now. The poll is VERY important and it is up to you to decide now. I'm terribly sorry this was shorter than the others.
Hope you liked the story!
To Amitai: I never heard of Alex Rider and it was curiosity that had made me click Hell Is Other People. I love your stories a lot!
To my Reviewers: Most of you corrected me and helped me along. Your reviews kept making me itchy to keep writing and I thank you for it. Also for the ideas you have given me.
I don't own the Alex Rider Series. I own the fanfiction story Everlasting Changes is all.
Panther, Ashley, Kayla, Kaitlyn, ect - Those are my OOCs. The Units besides K-Unit are not real characters in the book.