Happy Easter Holidays! This chapter was originally supposed to be posted next week when I had at least got 1500 words but since I found out that I'm going to Wales in 2 days I had to post it. Consider it as an Easter egg from me :D Hopefully the next chapter should be up within a week or two of me getting back from Wales. Fingers crossed.

Disclaimer: I have said it before and shall say it again. I DO NOT OWN ALEX RIDER.

Warning: This is all in Tom's POV.

{4:58 am, Brecon Beacons}

It was a cold sort of morning when Tom woke up. The date was 18th March so he was already in a terrible mood. He had had a nightmare last night; he had dark circles under his eyes and a terrible head ache. It was just his luck that he forgot to pack his gloves so his hands stuck out in the cool air, making Tom fear they would turn blue.

His temper was already terrible and hanging by a lose thread. He tried his best to just ignore everything (and everyone), shivering slightly in the freezing weather as he walked to the humongous obstacle course.

Then, out of nowhere, James the douche bag had appeared.

{Time skip. 11:48 pm, Brecon Beacons}

Maybe, Tom mused, it wasn't such a good idea to use a move Alex, of all people, had taught him, but he felt no guilt about what he'd done. He had deserved it. The little bastard had insulted Alex, again. Even though it had become a common occurrence to Tom, something about today in particular had made him shorter tempered than normal. His emotions were usually in check. He was usually calm and cool. That was the cost of being Alex's friend. You had to be able to keep control even as they spat and slandered his name. He had kept calm, composed even. But...something about today felt different. The forbidding feeling in the pit of his stomach refused to leave him alone. Tom sighed and stretched his sore muscles, wincing slightly when his leg popped into place. The walk to the mess hall was slow and tedious at best. His leg was uncooperative and kept popping in and out. After what felt like hours he finally reached the mess hall. The building was roughly the same size of the assembly hall back at Brookland. The walls were dull and grey. Giving the building an old and washed out look.

His eyes automatically sought out an empty table and he made a bee line for it. Nobody paid attention to him. To them he was just like the rest of his peers, some snotty school kid. Tom was so deep in his thoughts that he did not notice a person walk up to him until a shadow fell over him.

"You're in my seat."

Tom looked up as the boyish man stared down at him. Dirty blonde hair flopped over his left eye and chocolate eyes looked at him searchingly. That look sent shivers down Tom's back. It was as if he could see all his secrets. As if they were laid out right in front of him, for only him to see. The man rubbed him the wrong way. The forbidding feeling he had been feeling earlier came back in full force, as if warning him to stay clear of the man. But like his missing best friend Tom was not one to run from trouble.

"So?" He made sure his voice was sickly sweet and innocent.

A raised eyebrow and a flash of curiosity was all he got for his efforts. For some reason Tom felt he should be relieved that the man had not taken insult. He knew the man could have started a fight right then and there but luckily he hadn't. He was enough trouble as it was without adding a fight to his belt.

"Names Cub" The man said, shocking Tom. His voice was slightly higher than the other soldier's deep baritones.

"Tom" He replied. There was a moment when slight shock showed on the soldiers face before it was carefully hidden with a blank indifference mask.

Without a word the man settled down next to him and stared off to who knows where. Tom groaned and resisted the urge to bang his head.

He was always stuck with the odd ones.