Author's note: This is my first posting in this site. I'm not a native English speaker, so forgive me if there's some mistakes in the text. I did use Microsoft Word and checked the text with it so there shouldn't be anything major. I also have two to three other writing projects on and the third year in high school, so I try to update once a week but can surely say that it's not always possible. Please R&R to let me know what you think. If you think that Alex is too OOC, tell me, I try to correct it then. Originally this story didn't born especially for Alex, but somehow I have yet to be able to come up with a believable teenage agent of my own..

Oh, right, the subject (The World Cup) might be a little late, but that's not too serius, right? :)

Disclaimer: I do not own Alex Rider series or anything in this story you can connecti with the books. Those are owned by Anthony Horowitz who I wish would not finish after the eighth book, as he once said he would.

On to the story.

Chapter 1: Show of gratitude

Alex Rider cursed himself. He could have easily told that he wasn't coming but there he was now, sitting in the office of the head of the MI6. His eyes didn't show anything at all when he stared ant the man he had learned to hate soon after their first meeting. The man sitting in front of him had nothing peculiar in him, beside the fact that he was totally grey. Grey hair, grey eyes, and grey suit and even strangely grey skin.

Sometimes Alex had wondered how so normally unnoticeable man had managed to rise up to the seat he was now sitting on. Normally leaders had at least some charisma. No, that was wrong, he couldn't say that Alan Blunt hadn't charisma. He had an aura that made people he was talking to think that there was no kidding with the man. Still Alex would have thought that bosses should have something in them that made them likable, in some scale. Blunt had nothing.

Suddenly it came to Alex's mind that Blunt must have been a good agent in his time, since his enemies couldn't describe him as nothing but grey. Now there was nothing in Blunt that showing he'd been an agent himself, the way he acted with agents working under him; not thinking for them at all before sending them out.

Though, most of the agents were in their job out of free will.

The door opened and a woman with hair that looked like it was cut under a pot walked in. She was wearing a simple grey suit that fit perfectly beside her boss. She was the head deputy of the MI6, Tulip Jones, and she had, like always, a peppermint caramel in her mouth. Mrs. Jones handed Blunt some papers standing then beside him facing Alex who was pretty soon what was to happen next. Still he asked. "What?"

Mrs. Jones took one of the papers Blunt had laid before him – was there any point to give them to him in the first place? Maybe it had something to do with protocols – and put it down in front of Alex. He kept his eyes in his boss, not paying any attention to the paper. Somehow there was something wrong with Blunt's face, Alex couldn't point out what the strange thing was.

"We think you deserve a vacation," Blunt said after figuring that Alex wasn't going to take any actions towards what had been put in front of him.

"A vacation?" Blunt had gotten him little off guard since those weren't the words Alex had been expecting. He concealed the feeling from his face. You never knew about Blunt, he was a master of manipulation. Alex doubted MI6 would send him laying to a beach in the Bahamas.

"That's right. We think you've done an excellent job in your late missions," Mrs. Jones answered motioning her hand to a paper before him; Alex noted it was an envelope. Still dubious he turned his eyes to Blunt.

"You like football, don't you?" the question seemed to drop down nowhere and this time Alex had hard time keeping the surprise to himself.

"Yeah." Good, a short answer that didn't show too much interest that Blunt could use to get Alex trapped.

"So I expect you like to watch it, too."

"Well, yeah…" Where was this taking him?

"Good." Alex saw Blunt's lips curve a little but they where soon returned to their normal position in a strait line. He stayed quiet, waiting Blunt to go on. Unconsciously his eyes visited the envelope.

Blunt took that movement as a catch and started to pull calmly. "We've gotten you two ticket's to the World Cup final."

The so-called calm pull didn't feel calm at all to Alex. "Excuse me?" said match was a match many football fans would kill to get tickets to. Alex hadn't exactly killed anybody but there were disturbingly many deaths he was responsible for, in a way or other. "Wait, what's the catch? What do I have to do to get those tickets?" If it came to killing, he could consider even that. He was a die-hard football fan, after all.

"There's no catch. We give them to you as a show of gratitude for your job," Mrs. Jones told, her tone the same it was when she was explaining Alex his next mission. It was similar to Blunt's talking, only sounded more alive – plus the peppermint caramel.

"So this doesn't tie me to my next mission or something like that?" He wanted to make it sure. Blunt let out a little snort, which was a great contradiction to his emotionless face. "I can assure you that this has nothing to do with those. When it comes to that to that we got our own means." Alex didn't like that when he had used a mission, Blunt had used plural, but at least he was telling the truth, they had much to use to blackmail him. Alex didn't like taking anything from MI6 but where else was he going to get those tickets? Especially when MI6 got the hold of his money.

He took the envelope, opening it. It contained many papers and the tickets. Before Alex had time to ask a thing, Mrs. Jones was talking. "Those papers are everything you'll need. There you have tickets to the game, flight tickets and information of your hotel reservations," she was still using the mission-tone. "The plane takes off in four days. You might take with you whoever you please."

Alex left the office feeling strange. He held the envelope tightly in his hand, still not believing what had happened just now. His phone rang. "Hi there, you old chap! I heard you got yourself a vacation!" The voice finally shook Alex back.

"Mr. Smithers? How did you..?"

"That is not important. I remembered how your earlier vacations have ended up like and decided to give you something in case those kind of things happened again." He was right, Alex thought. Just think about his trip to the southern France with Sabina and her family that had led him working as a matador, and eventually led him to fight for the world for a maniac who wanted it blown up, in the president of USA's private jet. Or the time he'd accidentally landed to Australian soil when he came back from space. That hadn't ended up nicely either, though it couldn't exactly been called a vacation. Every time he went to some other country, bad things were bound to happen.

He cut the line heading to Smither's laboratory.