The alarm clock next to his bed drilled into his ears as Alex Rider groaned and rolled over. Monday. The first day back at school since his last mission on Dragon Nine. He still had bruises all over his body, along with many cuts and knew he looked like shit but he had to go to school.
Over the past year Alex had missed so much school that the headmaster had rung Jack, threatening to expel him if he didn't show up. So it was with resignation that Alex started getting dressed in his grey school uniform and walked downstairs.
"Morning Jack." He said as he walked down the stairs.
Jack's bright red hair was flopped around her face but she had a huge smile as she put bacon and eggs in front of Alex.
"Aw Jack, you didn't have to make breakfast. I was just going to get some cereal." He said.
"It's ok. Today is your first day of normal schooling for months, Alex. You need to get MI6 out of your head. Be a normal teenager."
Under his breath Alex muttered, "I don't know if I can." But Jack didn't notice.
After finishing his breakfast he pedalled to school. Walking into the playground, with his bike he was followed by whisper, giggles and smothered conversations. All eyes followed him as he walked his bike over to the rack and locked it.
"Alex!" cried a voice. Alex looked up to see his best friend, -and the only one who knew what had really been doing this year- Tom, run up to him.
"Hi." He said. "How are you? That chickenpox must have been hell, man. In bed for like a month or something!" But Alex could see the curiosity in his friends' eyes as he led the conversation onto topics like football and teachers.
As they walked to the building, some girls gasped as they got a good look at Alex. Half his face was bruised and he had scratch on one collarbone. It was a good thing, Alex reflected, that the school uniform covered most of his body. He could just imagine the shock and revulsion in his peers eyes if they saw his bullet wound.
Were they even his peers anymore? Alex reflected, the kids of Brookland were on a totally different universal plane to him. They worried about homework and dating, while he worried about surviving the next day and what evil guy was going to try to blow up the world next. It may have sounded exciting but to Alex all he wanted to do was actually have enough time to do his homework and not miss months of school avoiding bombs instead of learning the chemicals in them.
His first class was maths, a class once upon a time he had enjoyed but was now pretty far behind in. When he walked into the classroom every person turned to stare at him.
"Oh look." Said one boy, Andrew Mason, who had always hassled Alex. "The druggie is back."
Alex ignored him and went to sit in his usual seat. He had just sat down when a girl he didn't recognize walked into the room and came over to him.
"Um, excuse me." She said "But you're sitting in my seat? Are you new?".
Alex glanced up at her, surprised. She was pretty with long dark hair, freckles and brown eyes.
"My apologies." He said smoothly, nodded at her and went to take the last empty seat in the classroom. He could hear the girl's friends giggling as they filled her in.
"That was Alex Rider!" said a blonde he vaguely remembered to be Sally something.
"You mean the guy who never turns up at school?" asked the girl, she had obviously heard some of the rumours as she glanced over her shoulder at him dubiously. "He seemed pretty nice to me."
"That's just it though, he used to be like, popular and sporty but he's probably been kicked off the football team since he's never here."
"I wonder how he got those bruises." Wondered the girl.
"Probably in a gang fight!" said another of her friends, a rather flighty girl named Alice.
"Or maybe he was attacked by flesh eating spiders!" exclaimed Sally.
At this both Alex and the girl raised an eyebrow at her. Alex was amused, flesh eating spiders? Well not far off, there could have been anything in that jungle. Still that was one of the dumbest suggestions yet.
"Um… no." said the girl.
"Aw but Gwen!" whined Sally.
So her name was Gwen, thought Alex, that was a really pretty name, he wondered if it was short for anything.
The period was torture. His missions had left him completely behind and he sat at the back of the room feeling like a moron. Would MI6 even care if he flunked math? Probably not.
At break he had to deal with the stares and whispers of the Brookland school children, while he stoically tried to ignore them. Tom was brilliant, he kept the worst of the people away with death glares and loudly voiced rude comments at others. It didn't stop the whispers though.
People stared at him as though he had two heads, though Alex realised part of that was his appearance. He and Tom had put it about that he'd been mugged, since the damage was so bad but no one believed them. Not when what the rumours were saying was so much more exciting. Alex reflected that if the truth ever came out they wouldn't believe him anyway.
His last period of the day was gym, he handed the teacher his sick note and, for the last time that day was given the typical disbelieving stare at the completely credible doctors note.
"Look Rider, I know you were our star on the football team, but you've just missed too much school. You aren't reliable. You can play reserve on all the matches you're here for, if you pass my tests at training this afternoon. Alright?"
Alex sighed, he knew this would happen, he couldn't help the bitter feeling in the back of his throat though, at the thought that MI6 had taken away yet another piece of his ever deteriorating life.
"Yeah Coach, thanks. I'll be there." Alex said tiredly.
He took a cursory glance around the gym, only to notice something odd going on in the corner. Several boys were crowding around his locker, which was conveniently located in his favourite part of the building, while it looked like none was keeping guard. The others were forcing the lock.
Angry, Alex stood up, only to see the boy keeping watch point at him. Quickly the boys fled around a corner, apparently not part of his class.
Without the bulk of the boys covering it, he could see that the boys had done a real number on his locker. There were odd posters all over it, and though he couldn't make out the words he knew what they would say quite clearly.
Alex Rider was not welcome in their universe anymore.
A/N: Do British schools have lockers? Because we do in Australia, it's not just an American thing. Should I keep this as a one-shot or continue writing? If I do keep writing I promise Gwen is not going to be a Mary Sue, or Alex's girlfriend, or his partner. In fact I'm not sure what I'll do with her. Suggestions? Either way, please review telling me what you think! This is my first Alex Rider fanfiction.