Be My Fool

Chapter Twelve

D: I don't own Alex Rider.

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This was actually written on 25th July, but for obvious reasons could not be uploaded until now – I just got my laptop back today! *happy dance* So I hope you take this as an apology for not being able to update earlier!

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Tulip and Leah had took me away straight after, dragging me by the arm towards the door – it was time to leave again – and I can't say I wasn't thankful. The atmosphere was a bit uneasy on my part, as I was walking with Chloe who seemed to be looking everywhere but at me. It got even worse when we entered the cabin.

"So," Farah coughed, looking at me as we settled down, "You and Nate, huh?"

I made a face and shuffled awkwardly. Chloe rolled her eyes dramatically before glaring at me.

Surprised, I raised my eyebrows at her, "Something wrong?"

"'Course not," though her voice obviously implied otherwise, "I just thought if you really liked a guy you'd be bouncing off walls if they'd kissed you, rather than sitting there making faces."

"Excuse me?" I swung onto the edge of my bunk, and waited for an answer.

Snorting, she leant against the wall, "Unless you're just fucking around with him, y'know... that's cool too. I just would've thought you'd want him to have better than that."

"I'm not 'fucking around with him'!" I cried out, shocked at her behaviour.

"Well whatever you're doing, it doesn't look very good."

"It doesn't look very..." I gawped at her before snapping back, "So what exactly have I been doing then? All I know is that he kissed me, for no obvious reason, and then you start bitching at me for – actually, we haven't gotten to that point yet eith-"

"He's not an idiot you know!"She screamed over the top of me, "He does have eyes!"

"What the- what the hell are you talking about?"

"Do you want me to spell it out? He knows you and Cub have a thing. I mean," she raised an eyebrow, "The whole scene in the Mess Hall? It totally backed up his suspicions, and he didn't want to lose without a fight. It's just the sort of person he is."

It was a really bitchy thing for her to do, but it did make sense that he'd figured it out. The thing that caught my attention was the last thing she said and, eventually, I clicked on, "So how long have you liked Nate?"

There was a small silence, but I wasn't angry – in fact I was more amused than anything.

She opened her mouth but shut it quickly, blushing even worse than I normally do.

"Is that why you're so angry?" I asked, having stopped screaming at each other, "Because you like Nate?"

I sighed at the silence which followed, "Why didn't you just tell me?! I would've backed off. And he's yours anyway, I've decided that he isn't for me."

"Really?" She grinned, and I snorted slightly at her enthusiasm, "And you're not just saying that because of me?"

"What? No, really, go for it – he's all yours," I held my hands up in a 'I surrender' motion before grabbing a bottle of water and taking a sip.

"Wait, wait – wait," Leah said, holding a hand up, "Okay, right, so Nate is now Chloe's because Jen decided..."

"That he wasn't for me," I finished for her, watching as she struggled to grasp something.

"Okay... So what does that mean?" Tulip raised an eyebrow, "Like... have you just crossed him off the list or..."

"Have you decided on-"

BAM.

Eagle stumbled through the doorway, landing flat on his face on the floor. Somebody had squealed slightly, and I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest at any moment... but other than that, everything was good.

"What the- have you been listening?" Farah screamed, eyes wide and gawking at the soldier on the floor.

"Oh my God, how much of that did you hear?" Chloe demanded, already starting to blush again.

My heart nearly stopped – if he knew we were talking about Cub... shit.

"Agh, don't get your knickers in a twist, I didn't even get to hear who Jen liked because the bloody door broke!" He sat up, rubbing his shoulder and glaring at the door.

Turning, I could see that the door had completely broken off of its hinges.

I sighed in relief, "We're coming up with codenames. There is no way in hell I'm having Eagle of all people know who I like – hell I'd take Wolf over him anyday!"

"Kinky," Leah winked at me and even I cracked a grin, flinging a pillow off her.

"You," I replied, swiping my hair up into a ponytail, "Are a disturbed child."

"I got it from you bitch," she retorted, throwing the pillow back up, "I was perfectly normal before I met you."

"Eagle!" That was Fox, suddenly at the doorway, "What the hell are you – did you break this door?"

"I didn't mean to!"

"Bloody hell, really? Why in the name of all holy-"

They screamed a few more things at each other before they moved out, and finally we were left alone again.

"Okay, so the codename for mine is Peter." Chloe claimed and they all turned to me.

"Uh... I don't know – I guess... Mine'll be Dawson." I shrugged at the looks they gave me, "First thing that came to mind but, for now, can we change the subject?"

They nodded in agreement and Farah burst out with, "So who would you rather pick: Wolf or Eagle?"

You can kind of guess what happened from then...

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Soon, it was time to head to dinner – which I was glad for, as the conversation seemed to be downward spiralling into insanity.

However I'd forgotten about our punishment from earlier in the day and I was pretty sure the dread had shown on my face when they reminded us.

"Oh my God," Leah groaned before looking around and continuing, "I swear, they're deliberately picking on me."

Tulip snorted, "And pray tell, why just you? What special qualities do you possess?"

"Well obviously," Farah said, her voice rather muffled because she was trying to talk with a spoon pressed against her face, "It's because they're jealous of her outstanding beauty."

"What are you doing with that spoon?" I looked at her like she was mad, which she probably was.

She just grinned at me, putting it down, "I like custard, leave me alone."

"Custard?" It was Leah's turn to snort, "You call that custard?"

Shaking her head in disapproval, or disbelief, she turned to face me. "Care to shed any light , or, y'know, intelligence to this conversation?"

"Well if we want to get finished before midnight, I suggest we get started," I replied, smiling sarcastically, "But really, I'm sure you'll love scraping lumpy goo off people's plates and can't wait to get started."

Laughing, Chloe pushed me a little off the bench, "C'mon, get moving. I want some decent sleep tonight."

"I think I've forgotten what decent sleep is," I said while pushing my way through to the kitchen, heading in first.

Tulip grinned, following through straight after, "I know the feeling – but we're probably leaving soon, so y'know..."

"I think Jen has it worst though," Leah said, having much too large a smirk on her face to be anything but sympathetic, "Considering how much trouble she's gotten into. I mean, really, nobody would know she's an A* pupil!"

The others laughed and I rolled my eyes, grinning, "Ha ha, very funny – and I'm not an A* pupil... I'm just above average."

"Yes, and I'm just below average," Chloe laughed, "But I make up for it in ways that actually count."

"Okay, please!" Farah put her hands over her ears, "Just – no, I do not want to hear about this. I am still innocent!"

"Shut up for fucks sake!" A soldier growled at us before exiting the kitchen through the back exit, holding a steaming cup of black coffee and a ciggie. As the door slammed, we looked at each other before trying not to laugh.

Ducking down into one of the cupboards, I pulled out the things I needed to clean the Mess Hall and placed them on the top.

"Right, well considering we have to do all of the Mess Hall," Tulip started, "Should we split it up into jobs?"

"Dibs on washing the tables!" I yelled before grabbing the cloth and spray and dodging as everybody dove for their preferred job. Farah got left with washing up the dishes.

Laughing at Farah, I called, "Unlucky!" before heading out of the door and into the eating area.

Still smirking, I shook my head as I could hear the arguments start and went to my usual table-cleaning duties. I think I was starting to get into the routine, which I couldn't figure out if it was a good or a bad thing.

I probably should have noticed it earlier, but when I did I almost dropped the spray I was holding.

"Adam!"

Spinning around slowly, he visibly looked annoyed. His unit also looked quite lost, but also extremely pissed. I probably should not have done that.

Suddenly, the staff door opened and behold – Leah stood with a pan covered in bubbles, "Where?"

Blinking a few times, I started sniggering, "What the hell is the bloody pan meant to do Leah? Hit him over the head so we can knock some sense into him?"

"Do you know this kid, Lion?" One of the soldiers barked, glaring at me with so much disdain that you'd have thought I was a fly stuck on a window or something.

A small silence followed, while Adam seemed to observe me, and I just raised an eyebrow – wondering what he was going to say.

"I don't know, do I?"

Well... that was nice, wasn't it? Fortunately for him, I was not my brother and therefore didn't sock him in the jaw right there and then. Unfortunately for him, he was really close to getting there.

Raising my eyebrows at him, I replied, "Well I do seem to recall my brother and his friend rolling around trying to beat the shit out of each other because his friend had slept with his girlfriend... But then again, that could have been any dick really."

Shrugging, I made a sarcastic smile, "But, you know, I could be wrong – despite having the same birthmark and everything."

I flicked his neck where the birthmark was, knowing it would just aggravate him more, and smiled again before walking away to another empty table and spraying it.

The Mess Hall was rather still and quiet, as the remaining soldiers had took a keen interest in what was happening. Doing my best to ignore them, I started to wipe down the table.

"What do you want?"

Hiding a small smile of victory, I shook some of the crumbs onto the floor, "I want to know what you're doing."

"That's a little vague, don't you think?"

Looking up, I found him standing up and half-leaning half-sitting on the top of a bench – looking at me with crossed arms.

"I want to know what's gone down with you and my brother."

Snorting, he replied, "He asked you to talk to me?"

"Of course, you're his best friend, why wouldn't he try and sort things out?" I stood up properly and faced him when he turned away, "Honestly, I don't see why you're so upset. Sure he was meant to be here with you, but he had to stay back to look after-"

He sighed loudly and stood up, "Later, okay? I don't need this now."

Marching out, he knocked my shoulder as he went past and I didn't even have a chance to say anything before the door slammed shut after him.

Blinking a few times, slightly shocked, it wasn't long before I was snapped out of my stupor by one of his Unit. Shockingly, he was glaring at me.

"Stay the hell away from my Unit, you got it?"

Snorting, I rolled my eyes and completely ignored him before turning back to my table.

"Oi, I'm talking to you." Somebody roughly grabbed my shoulder and turned me to face them, "You got it?"

"I doubt you even knew his name before now," I shook my shoulder free, glaring right back at him, "So don't give me your bullshit about 'your Unit' – 'kay?"

"You watch your mouth, you little bitch!"

My face snapped to the right as soon as his fist connected with my face, and I heard a small 'crack' from the impact against my jaw. The sharp pain was numbed a bit by the shock, but I probably should've known to hold my tongue - some of the soldiers don't have much self-control.

"Holy shit, are you okay?" Leah had come up to me, and currently blocked my view of what was happening.

I blinked a few times, before rubbing my face and wincing slightly, "Yeah, I just – didn't see it coming."

"Didn't see it coming?" Leah cried out, slightly hysterical, "Bloody hell Jen! How are you still standing?"

I rolled my eyes, though slightly amused by her antics, "Stop overreacting Leah, it was only a punch."

My brain was still trying to catch up with what was happening, and my brain was rather foggy but I couldn't help but laugh at her expression, I think she thought I was a little mad. Chloe had soon joined, and was pushing me to sit down.

"What's happening over there?" I asked, wondering who was crowding around whom and why... And also why there happened to be a lot of screaming.

"Cub!"

Oh look, there's Cub being dragged out – looking a bit... scary. He also had a split lip – ouch!... that would hurt in the morning.

"Uh, I think they just pulled Cub off of whoever that person is and they're now screaming at him for hitting you... that's about it really," Tulip came along, looking quite amused, "You know how to cause a scene, don't you Jen?"

Laughing, I winced slightly when my face twinged in pain, "It's not my fault, my mouth has a mind of its own!"

At least that made them laugh, and it lightened the mood a bit.

"You lot go back to your cabins, I need to check her over and you're just getting in the way," Snake bustled in, a bit like a mother hen, and I smiled at them before they were ushered out so they knew I was fine.

It was rather awkward once they had left though, since I was just sitting there with Snake prodding at my face trying to figure out if he'd broken anything or not.

"Is she good?" Fox had materialised out of nowhere, and was standing at my shoulder, "Nothing broken?"

"Nothing broken," Snake confirmed, pulling away, "Just a little bruised. So you might want to learn how to hold that tongue if you want to survive here."

It took me a moment to realise he was talking to me, but I nodded so that he knew I'd heard. I was suddenly quite tired, and just wanted to go to bed.

Realising that was all they were going to get out of me, they went to talk to Wolf and soon he let me go – flanked by none other than Cub. Sighing mentally, I decided that now wasn't really the time to overreact and start fluttering like a flower and concentrated on where my feet were and where we were going.

The rush of cold air helped clear my head a bit, and we started to trudge back to the cabins. I could feel his eyes on me the entire time, and by the time we'd reached the first corner I could feel my heartbeat start to pick up. As soon as we turned the corner, he stopped me by holding onto my wrist and spinning me around slowly.

I kept my eyes locked on the floor as he surveyed my face. With a weird sense of de ja vu, he lifted my chin and tilted my face slightly to look at the state of the bruise forming – I didn't have any choice but to look at him.

Shocked, I traced the small scrapes and forming bruises across his face with my eyes, wondering if he'd gotten them off the soldier.

"Did he do that to you?"

I think it shocked me just as much as him that I'd said that, and my eyes slid away from his to try and stop the flush rising to my face.

After a moment of silence, he spoke, "He's a lot worse, trust me."

Guilt flooded through me, "You shouldn't have-"

"Yes, I should have. Nobody can hurt you, especially low life like that." Turning my face again to look at him, his mouth twitched slightly, "It wouldn't hurt for you to look at me you know, I'm not going to bite."

There was so much I wanted to say – all of the obvious things I should have pointed out. This could never happen, it could never work. The longer I stayed around him, the harder I fell and the more likely this was to end in disaster. We were walking on landmines, and our luck is running out. But I couldn't. I couldn't move, I couldn't speak, I could only stand and stare at him – listening to the small erratic beat of my heart.

Moving slowly, as if not to scare a timid animal, he took a step closer to me so that we were pressed against each other. I couldn't help but lean into him, and I'm pretty sure he noticed but he didn't comment on it. His hand had dropped to my waist, and mine placed carefully on his chest – he might have thought I was going to push him away, which I was seriously considering, but even if it was for the best... I couldn't bring myself to do it. Gaining up some scarce courage, I stood on tip toe and watched his expression as I put my hands on his shoulders. He was so guarded, and he looked like he was going to jump ship any moment. Leaning in, I kissed his cheek slowly before lowering myself back to the ground. I let myself stay there for a moment before taking a small step away.

"Thank you," I said, watching his face to try and sort the emotions there. It was hard to tell, but the ball was in his court now – if he wanted to run, he could, but he knew where I stood.

I started to walk away, and soon after I could hear his faint steps start to follow me back to the cabin.

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Does the pace of the story seem to be picking up now? So I'm not spending one day on three chapters or something ridiculous. Also, I've noticed that some people might be confused – so, for example, about her family. I've mentioned her nanny, sister, brother, mother etc and you're probably wondering if I've gone mad or just forgotten what I've wrote. The thing is I forget sometimes when I'm writing that you all don't live in my brain, so you don't really know about these sort of things... So I'm going to try and fit it into my writing somewhere to try and clear it up a bit :P

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InsignificantBlimp

4th October 12