AN: Well, since I was bored and had nothing to do, this is my quite sad attempt at writing an angst fic... :D I had fun writing it, since firm promptshots are always enjoyable...

Disclaimer: I'll own Alex Rider when you'll be able to look out the window and see a wolf flying while hugging a bunny…I'll leave you to figure out how long it'll take.

June 2010, The Firm Promptshot challenge.

Prompt: Rules

Don't run in the halls.

Don't bring a knife to school.

Don't get into fights.

Listen to your teacher.

Don't skip class.

Those are all rules that the staff and faculty of Brookland enforce. But there's one lesser known rule which is probably the most important.

Don't be different.

The breaking of this rule would result in being an outcast, and practically hated by anyone and everyone.

Alex has run in the halls.

He brought and will bring a knife to school everyday since the Stormbreaker mission.

He has been in a few fights with bullies that just couldn't seem to realize that they were losing terribly every time they tried to fight him.

He listens to his teachers when they weren't talking about things he didn't understand, or nagging about his 'sickness'….in other words, very rarely.

He has skipped school to go on the missions.

But above all, the most important rule he has broken is that he is different.

When he walks in the halls, there is no path parted for him, but it is obvious that he is separate from all the groups and cliques huddled together.

At lunch, he doesn't sit alone. He has two or three friends that stay by his side. But from time to time, he glances up at the tables filled with kids laughing and talking. Kids. He calls them kids. They are the same age as him, yet he feels so much older.

His locker is often crammed full of notes telling him that he doesn't belong there at Brookland, and should leave immediately. He saves all those notes, hoping that someday, he'll look back at them and laugh.

But he doesn't laugh. Not now.

When he arrives at school, he always hopes that the day will be different. Better somehow. It never is.

When he leaves, a deep sigh leaves his body, and he feels the despair of the never-ending routine of being an exile settle in.

The first day he's gone for a mission, everyone seems to relax a little more. Nothing too noticeable, but conversations seem just a bit more lighthearted.

The day he comes back, the atmosphere seems to be just a bit more stressed. Some wonder 'how long will he be staying this time?'

Alex wonders the same thing himself.

He doesn't know when it started exactly, but he has started to look forward to the missions.

Especially the ones with a cover. It feels so good to escape his life, to become someone else, if only for a few days.

Greg Whitaker didn't know karate.

Ryan Smith had top marks in school.

Henry Marshall had parents, five uncles, two aunts, thirteen cousins, and four grandparents.

Brian Reed didn't know the first thing about politics.

Victor Kravchenko had so many friends; he sometimes forgot the names of a few.

All of these boys looked the same, a teenager with blonde hair, brown eyes, and an athletic figure.

All of them were roles.

And all of them followed the rules.

Every time Alex steps inside the school, he feels the same mix of content and despair that he always feels.

Every time Alex leaves, he feels most of the content is gone.

And every time Alex sees that sign hanging above every classroom door, the one stating the rules that Brookland students are expected to follow, he laughs to himself. Just a bit.

AN: ….That was my pitiful attempt at angst… I really don't like how it turned out… Sorry it's so short, I just couldn't think of anything else to write…

Review and tell me what you thought!

Apologizing for the Terrible Drabble,