A/N: Part two of Whirlwind. Slightly slashy. Kinda plotless and mainly just a follow up to the other part. Forgot the AU tag from the previous part but this is basically an AU story where Alex never quit working for MI6. Why? Because it's more interesting that way.
Warnings: bad spelling/grammar, OOC, factual inaccuracies, AU, crack : D
Characters: Wolf, Snake, Fox, Eagle, Alex
Word count: 6761
Disclaimer: don't own
For the purposes of this fic:
Wolf = Will(iam)
Eagle = Evan
Snake = Stephen
(Why yes, I am very creative.)
-The More You Know-
aka Whirlwind Part 2
He wasn't exactly sure how he'd ended up in a pub with his former unit mates in the days between Christmas and New Year. It was rare that they were all in the same place at the same time since they'd been separated after they'd passed the selections. It was a bit of a miracle that they'd all passed considering the difficulty of the tests but he was immensely proud of them all, even if Fox had transferred to MI6 not much later.
"…you're too immature for me anyway, she said."
He realized he hadn't really been paying attention to the current story Eagle had been telling. It probably had something to do with his on-and-off girlfriend. From what he'd gathered the relationship worked on the same principle as a revolving door.
"You've been quiet all evening. Is something bothering you?"
He blinked and looked up from his pint. It had been Fox who'd asked him the question and he wondered if it had anything to do with his current status as a spy or if he was merely concerned for a friend.
"Evan is making enough noise for all of us," he pointed out.
Though he knew the names of his former unit-mates, he always used their codenames in his head. It was a hard habit to break and it was safer, too, so it would be harder to slip while they were away on missions.
"While that may be true," Fox agreed casting a look at the other man. "That doesn't mean you're not thinking of something else. It's kind of obvious."
"He's right," Snake agreed amiably. "Is it because of the leave?"
He didn't really like being questioned like this but he had to admit that he probably wasn't the best company while he was brooding and it wasn't like they got chances like this very often.
"I guess I don't much like being off-duty," he admitted grudgingly.
"But you're going to be shipped off soon anyway, aren't you?" Eagle asked. "It's not like you're on extended leave like Steve there."
Snake frowned a little at that. He'd apparently gotten injured, though not too badly, and was on medical leave until he healed. It wasn't anything too serious but he wouldn't be going back on duty until he was completely over it.
"Most people would be glad they got Christmas off, you know?" Eagle continued admonishingly, but it was said in good humour. "Don't tell me you're having trouble with women as well."
He scoffed. Of course not. He wasn't Eagle. And then he remembered the incident about two weeks before with the girl. He hadn't really thought of her since they'd parted despite swearing revenge on her. Looking back on it, it was rather petty of him to do so especially since the girl hadn't really done anything bad to him apart from using him as a cover. But now that he was thinking of it, she'd said that if he wanted to know who she was and how old she was, he could ask help from his 'animal friends'. At the time he hadn't really paid attention to the quip but now it was obvious that she'd meant the others who were sitting at his table. She'd known his codename, after all, so why shouldn't she know the others as well? Besides, if she was a spy then there was a chance that Fox would know her, right? Though it was likely he couldn't give away any information.
"Actually," he said figuring that it was worth a try. "I did meet a girl before Christmas."
He instantly knew it had come out wrong when Eagle and Snake shared a glance that was half surprise (from Snake's side) and half unholy glee (from Eagle's side).
"Not like that," he hurried to say but knew that it was probably too late.
Even if he had convinced the others that it 'wasn't like that' they would likely keep misinterpreting him just for kicks. The beer probably wasn't helping either. But it would be useless to try to drop the topic now. The others would pester him about it for the rest of the night. Sometimes he wondered why he continued to associate with weirdoes like this, and then he realized that pretty much every soldier he'd ever met had personality quirks of their own and considering what sis own sister was like he would bet that it was normal.
"So what was this girl of yours like?" Eagle asked trying to nudge him with his elbow while wagging his eyebrows suggestively.
"Yes, do tell us," Fox urged him with a half-smile on his face.
"I already said it's not like that," he said giving them a mild glare which they ignored with the same ease the girl had before. It seemed like all it was good for was intimidating overworked and overstressed employees and rookie soldiers. "I was buying presents for the monsters when she suddenly appears out of nowhere and latches onto me."
"Very forward of her," Snake said in a tone that clearly said 'and you didn't break her arm for that?'.
"So what was she like? Clearly she had to be something or you wouldn't still be thinking of her," Eagle prompted.
"She was one of your lot, I think," he answered giving a mild glare to Fox who just smiled and took a sip of his beer. "She'd grabbed onto me because she was being tailed and she knew me from somewhere and figured she'd use me as her cover."
"But you're not telling us the important part," Eagle whined, which was a good sign that he'd had just a bit too much to drink. "Was she pretty? If she was, wanna introduce her to me?"
He rolled his eyes at that. As if Eagle wouldn't be back with her ex in a week or so. It probably wasn't the healthiest of relationships but when they were together the man could act like the most ridiculously happy person ever.
"She was kind of pretty, I suppose," he admitted trying to remember what she'd looked like. "Kind of short, shortish blond hair, brown eyes, obviously trained in some sort of martial art," he listed. "And probably far too young for you."
"Oh," Eagle said blinking. "How young exactly are we talking here?" he asked. "I mean if she's one of Ben's folk then she has to be at least legal and I'm not that old. Younger than you anyway."
Fox has gotten that look on his face, like he was thinking of something, probably trying to think if he knew anyone who matched the description he'd given. He didn't really know about the hierarchy and security clearances MI6 had, so it was possible Fox wouldn't even know about the girl he'd met. It wasn't like he knew every SAS member either.
"That… sounds like someone I know but with one small but important difference," Fox finally said. "So I can't say that I know her until you tell me something more."
"Yeah," Eagle chimed in and accepted a new pint that Snake had brought for him. It was probably the last one he'd be allowed to have that night if Snake had any say in the matter. "Tell us everything."
"I agreed to act as he cover until she'd managed to drop her tail and she dragged me into a café with her and then to the toystore of all places. She even bought presents for the monsters," he said and frowned. "They loved their presents too," he added a bit resentfully.
He'd finally made it to Edinburgh to his sister's place on Christmas eve and when he'd given the girls his presents and then the mysterious 'Alexandra's' present his sister had looked at him oddly and made him wish that he hadn't bothered. He'd made up a half-hearted lie about a girlfriend knowing that it was probably a mistake even as the words had come out of his mouth. It seemed that he'd made the same kind of mistakes a lot recently.
"Did you tell her about them?" Snake asked surprised.
He shook his head. As if he would've done something like that. The girls might be little monsters in the making but he wouldn't tell a virtual stranger anything about them no matter how seemingly harmless they were. And the girl had been far from harmless.
"No. But she knew about them anyway. And she kept saying that I'd met her before but I just don't know where. And she implied that you know her too, when I asked how old she is."
"She said that?" Fox asked looking even more interested now. "That's… interesting. What did she tell you her name was?"
Eagle and Snake were looking at them both silently, waiting for something to happen. Unfortunately, Wolf had the feeling that something was about to happen and that he wasn't going to like it.
"She said it was Alexandra, but that was probably her alias for the mission," he said slowly. "Though, she obviously found something amusing about the whole thing. She said that she thought she'd made a 'lasting impression' when we saw her and that we certainly had done the same thing. She basically called me a bastard, too."
"Well you are a bit of a bastard," Snake said dryly and Eagle was nodding alongside him. "But I can't say I remember anyone matching her description either, especially not someone who was supposed to have made a lasting impression of any kind."
"So how about you?" Wolf asked Fox and the three of them turned to look at the resident spy.
The corner of the man's mouth twitched and there was an amused gleam in his eyes. "I may have an idea," he said slowly. "But I'd rather not say anything unless I am certain of it. Besides, I wouldn't want to spread any information that could harm her assignment."
"You know who it was, don't you," Wolf said eyes narrowing.
Fox wasn't just guessing, he could see that. The bloody spy knew exactly who Alexandra was and found the situation even more amusing than the others for some reason. Wolf had a bad feeling that if he kept digging for more information on the girl he would regret it. But he couldn't let the subject drop now that he knew that Fox knew who she was. When he'd asked her age she'd practically thrown him a challenge to find out more information on her. He wasn't about to lose to some little chick of a girl who'd looked barely legal.
"Don't bother with that spy crap," he said. "She thought I'd recognized her right from the start so it obviously didn't matter to her if I knew who she was or not. Out with it."
Fox was full out grinning by that time. "I'm not totally sure so I won't say anything until I have concrete evidence."
"You can't say that if you strongly suspect you know who she is," Eagle said. "This is like the most interesting thing that has happened to him outside of battle."
Wolf glared at him for the quip but, once again, it was blithely ignored.
"What kind of…" he started to ask but then remembered something.
When she'd parted ways with him she'd written her phone number on his hand, hadn't she. He'd put the number down in his mobile and hadn't thought more of it except that it took one slot in the 'A' category of the phone's contact list.
"I have her number," he said as much to himself as the others. "She gave it to me in case I needed a favour from her."
The others looked at him with blank faces. "You have her number," Eagle said. "And you didn't think that the easiest way to find out who she is, is to call her?"
"Look, even if I'd called her she wouldn't have told me anything. She seemed like that type who'd enjoy the joke as long as she could. Besides, just straight out asking would mean losing to her," he said.
"And asking us is different, how?" Snake muttered half under his breath but Wolf could hear him clearly.
Clearly he was associating with the wrong kind of people who enjoyed his misfortunes and didn't have a shred of sympathy for his plight.
"Just show me the number then," Fox said. "If it really is who I suspect it is, I might recognize it. Assuming, of course, that it's the same number she gave me."
Bloody spies again. It probably would make sense for them to have more than one number though he hadn't an idea how they kept track of all of the stuff. False identities, multiple numbers, variable pasts… It really wasn't something he'd like to do and he wondered if Fox liked it more than when he'd been in the SAS. He dug out his mobile from his pocket and handed it to Fox, trusting that he wouldn't do anything but look up the number.
"It's listed under the name she gave me," he said.
When Fox's grin widened he was absolutely sure the man knew who she was. He'd obviously recognized the number.
"Oh," he said like he was barely holding back from laughing. "This is good. It's no wonder she was so amused."
"So you do know her," Eagle pressed. "Now spill."
The spy tossed the phone back to Wolf and dug out his own phone. "Let's see if I can't do something even better," he said.
They watched as he pressed a button and apparently speed dialled someone. Wolf was frowning even more now and wondered if it would've been better to let sleeping dogs lie. If she was someone who Fox had on speed dial… Both spies had found his apparent cluelessness highly amusing and he was strongly suspecting that he was about to be thoroughly humiliated.
"Hi, this is Ben, is this a bad moment?" Fox said when the person on the other end answered.
"That's good to hear. I heard you had an assignment before Christmas."
"And you're okay?"
"Define how okay is 'okay'."
"Since it's coming from you I have my reasons to be suspicious and you should know that."
"Why yes, I did have a reason for calling you apart from fussing, thankyouverymuch."
"I heard you ran into an old acquaintance during your mission."
"Mmhmm. I'm in a pub with them right now."
"No. They still don't know. I was thinking that you might want to enlighten them yourself."
"Sure. I'll send you the address."
Fox ended the call and looked at the three others who'd been trying to follow the conversation without hearing the other side of it. What was painfully obvious was that Alexandra and Fox not only knew each other, but were apparently on friendly terms. Apparently the girl had a tendency to get into trouble and Wolf frowned as he remembered the hidden bruise. It hadn't sounded like that had been her first mission and it sounded like she'd had more than her share of trouble before.
"She should be here in about fifteen minutes. She was close by," Fox said as he finished texting.
That meant that the next fifteen minutes were spent with awkward conversation and not-so-covert glances at the door. Everyone, even Wolf, was curious to see who would walk through the doors and if anyone other than Fox would recognize them. The spy in question was practically smirking and obviously expecting some reaction and that made Wolf all the more apprehensive.
It'd been twenty minutes since the call when someone stepped in that might've been the mysterious 'Alexandra'. It had been snowing again so the person was dressed heavily against the cold. They were wearing jeans and a heavy winter coat and a dark woollen hat and a pair of blue mittens. They were about the right height and build, though, but Wolf hadn't seen their face yet so he couldn't be sure it was the right person. When Fox leaned back and waved he knew it had to be 'Alexandra' but as she walked closer he realized that something was seriously off here.
As she walked closer she pulled her hat off and peeled the mittens off as well and stuffed them in the coat pockets. Her hair was still blond but it was shorter now. Her ears were still pierced but she wore no earrings. The bruise he'd glimpsed briefly was now a faint yellowish brown spot high on her cheek. Her eyes were still brown but… Had her face been that angular last time he'd seen her? She'd seemed boyish before but now she seemed…
"Hiya," the newcomer said taking a seat at their table without further ceremony. "How's it going with you lot?"
And then everything clicked into place. The boyish looks, the broader shoulders, the narrow hips, the lower voice… And why he'd only seemed to have flashes of memory when she'd looked unhappy or stressed. Because when he'd last met 'her', she hadn't exactly been happy to be there.
"Cub?" It was Snake who had managed to get the word out first.
"I'd actually prefer Alex if you don't mind. Not training anymore, you know," he said nonchalantly, as if it was completely normal for him to be sitting there. "I still can't believe you had to ask Ben."
The last comment was aimed at Wolf and it carried a faint undertone of disappointment. The man couldn't think of anything to say immediately. His mind was busy working things over. It'd been maybe two years since he'd last seen the kid. How old had he been back when he'd attended the training with his unit? Fifteen? Sixteen? He couldn't remember and wasn't even sure he'd known back then. The kid had been a liability and a way to get them binned so he hadn't exactly been interested in getting to know him. He had changed since the time he'd seen the kid snowboard down a mountainside on an ironing board. He was a bit taller and a bit more defined in a way that made it clear he wasn't far from adulthood. But he wasn't an adult just yet.
"I thought you said you'd met a girl," Eagle said apparently still working through the surprise. "Is there something you're not telling us, kid?"
"It's confidential," Cub said but his mouth was quirked into a smile that bordered on sarcastic.
"You were dressed as a girl," Wolf finally managed and wished that the first thing out of his mouth hadn't sounded so stupid and obvious.
"Really? I hadn't noticed," Cub said and this time there was no mistaking the sarcasm that was practically dripping from his words.
Had the kid been this difficult before? Despite his animosity towards the teen before, he couldn't really remember the kid actually saying much during the ten days he'd spent with his unit. Actually, now that he thought about it, he hadn't really done anything except keep up with them amazingly well despite his obvious disadvantages. The only time the kid had seemed to show any sign of personality was when he'd somehow managed to procure the matches and when he'd kicked Wolf out of the plane. At Point Blanc the kid had shown more personality but even back then Wolf had paid more attention to completing the mission than the kid. Though, he cringed a little, he had been essential to its success.
But wait… Did that mean that the kid hadn't just done that one mission? Did it mean he was an actual agent?
"In my line of work you have to get used to false identities," the kid continued as if it was no big deal. "I half expected it to fail but apparently the people who worked on the makeup and stuff knew what they were doing. But I couldn't believe they were so good even you didn't recognize me."
"It's not like people think that the boyish looking girl is automatically a boy in drag," Fox said. "Not everyone thinks like we do, which is kind of the point."
"True," the kid agreed like it was a commonly known fact.
Wolf noticed that Eagle had been staring at Cub and was now squinting his eyes and turning his head.
"You know," he said. "I can maybe see it. With makeup and the right clothes and hair styled you might just make a pretty decent girl."
The kid glared at him but Wolf had to agree after seeing the real thing. It was mainly because he was still young enough and apparently didn't have to shave so the transformation was easier. In a few years it would be a lot more difficult to pull off or close to impossible depending on how the boy grew up. And that brought up the age question again.
"How old are you, exactly?" he asked, once again. "And don't dodge the question this time."
"Sixteen," the boy said looking mildly annoyed. "But don't go spreading that fact around."
Sixteen. Then he'd have to have been fourteen when he'd been at Brecon Beacons. Fourteen when he spied on a megalomaniac and snowboarded down a mountain and rode a train on a freaking ironing board. Just what had the people who'd hired him been thinking? And yet… The mere fact that the kid had done those things and was still alive told him that he had to be good at what he did. If Fox knew him well enough for the both of them to just use their first names (though that might've been a security thing for all he knew) then they had to have met on the job. He hardly thought Fox and the kid shared the same social circles, after all.
"How is school?" Fox asked.
"Still hanging in there," the kid answered smiling at the older man. "Hammered a deal with Blunt so I've been there a bit more."
"That's good to hear," Fox said but he didn't sound entirely happy.
Wolf felt like there was an undercurrent to the conversation that he didn't understand. He wondered if it had anything to do with the fact that the MI6 had made a fourteen-year-old kid spy for them.
"Yeah, well, I suppose they realized that if I didn't finish my school they'd have problems too," Cub said dismissively.
Wolf felt completely out of his depth and Eagle and Snake didn't look like they were faring much better. He had no doubt the bloody spies were enjoying the confusion they were causing. Then he remembered something else that had happened during his brief stint as 'Alexandra's boyfriend'. At the time, he hadn't really paid the whole thing much attention but now that it had been revealed that it had been Cub all along…
He knew that it was a mistake even as he felt the words forming in his mouth but it was too late to stop them. He really needed to do something about the habit…
"You!" he said. "You kissed me."
And there it was. The stunned and awkward silence that had suddenly fallen over the table. Cub sighed and covered his eyes with his hand and Wolf took some pleasure in the fact that this was obviously something the boy had hoped wouldn't come up. Unfortunately, it was just as uncomfortable for him as it was for the boy even if he had little part in the whole thing.
"What?" Fox asked and there was a dangerous undercurrent to his tone, as if he was prepared to hurt someone.
It was a bit surprising to realize that Fox and the kid were that close. He wondered if they'd gone on missions together before. It was obvious that the man felt somewhat protective of the boy, though Wolf couldn't even begin to guess why. If the kid really did what he thought he did he was obviously pretty good at taking care of himself. Still, he was only sixteen… A sixteen-year-old kid he'd just admitted to kissing. Yeah… So maybe it wasn't weird Fox was eyeing him like that.
"He was going to say something that would've killed my cover," Cub said before anyone else managed to jump to the wrong conclusions. "We were in a café pretending to be on a date so I couldn't just silence him in any other way without rousing suspicion."
Fox relaxed and the others looked a bit less shocked. When explained in such a straightforward way it really did seem innocuous. It wasn't like they'd had a heated make out session or anything. It had literally been just a press of lips against lips for the purposes of shutting him up.
That wouldn't stop the others from teasing him about it until he was forced to murder them, of course. Surely he wouldn't get into trouble for that? It would be self-defence.
"I knew you haven't had a girlfriend for a while now but I didn't think you'd switch teams completely," Eagle said a smirk spreading over his face. "And corrupting our young Cub like that. How horrible of you."
"Oh shut up Evan," he said not really finding it nearly as funny as the others. "I wasn't even the one doing the kissing."
"I'd hardly call it corrupting anyway," Cub commented mostly to himself. "It's not like it's the first time I've kissed a guy."
Wolf was pretty sure he hadn't actually meant for the second comment to be heard and looked a bit surprised when he was subjected to stares from the four men at the table.
"What?" he asked defensively.
"It wasn't something you did for your job, was it?" Fox asked and Wolf caught the implications and the thought made him frown.
He remembered that Cub had said someone from his last assignment had been after him when he'd been dressed as a girl. At that time he hadn't thought much of it but now that he knew it was Cub it was different. It wasn't like he was anywhere near as protective of the kid as Fox seemed to be, but the thought of the kid having to do something like that didn't sit right with him.
"I… What? No!" the kid said looking flustered and uncomfortable.
Though he looked quite normal for a sixteen-year-old this was the first time he acted the part as well. It was a rather comforting sight even if it meant making the kid uncomfortable.
"What? You think you can say something like that and then expect us just to drop it," Eagle said. "Come on. I have to know if I should be careful around you or not."
It was a joke but even if he didn't know the kid that well Wolf could tell it hadn't sat right with him. Glancing at Fox told him that the other man knew it as well and was already looking expectantly at Cub.
"Oh, I usually have higher standards," the kid said with fake lightness. "But since you insist."
It was almost the same as it had been before. The kid leaned up over the table placing his hands on top of it to support his upper body and pressed his mouth briefly over Eagle's. It was a quick fluid move and the soldier didn't have a chance to pull back before it was over and the kid was sitting back down looking like nothing had happened.
"Wha-" The man sputtered.
"You were asking for it," Snake said a small smile on his lips.
"Feeling your precious masculinity threatened?" Cub asked with rather more venom than Wolf had thought him capable of.
It was a nice reminder to not get on the kid's bad side. Even if he didn't have much power by himself, which Wolf was beginning to doubt, he might still be able to pull some strings with MI6. And even without those strings the kid was fully capable of creating other mischief as he so clearly remembered. Even if that kick had saved his career it didn't mean Cub couldn't have gone about it in some other way.
Eagle seemed to realize that he had, indeed, been asking for it and knew better than to take it too seriously. "You win," he said raising his hands in mock surrender. "Though, maybe I should warn you that I'm currently single." He wagged his eyebrows again and Cub rolled his eyes, his good mood returning.
"Please, I already said I have better taste than that. Besides you're what, ten years older than me?" Cub said.
"I'm not that old," Eagle protested. "I'm only eight years older than you. And I'll have you know you're over the age of consent."
"Is there a particular reason you know the legal age of consent?" Snake asked raising one eyebrow.
"How come the kid can go around kissing older men and it's me who gets the third degree?" the man protested.
"Because I'm cuter?" Cub suggested with a straight face.
"Actually, I still haven't forgotten the earlier comment," Fox said. "Are you sure it wasn't during an assignment?"
"No," Cub said clearly reluctant to talk about the subject.
Despite acting mostly relaxed with them the boy didn't really seem to trust them much. He had told them nothing about himself that actually mattered. Though, in his line of work it was no wonder he found it difficult to trust people. And he probably hadn't forgotten the way they'd treated him during his brief training, especially not if he had to use that training immediately afterwards. And they had been horrible, he could admit now. He especially, but he seemed to have managed to fix some when he'd helped the boy at Point Blanc. He wondered if Fox had had to gone through the same to get the boy's rather tentative trust.
"Look. I'm a teenager, yes?" he said. "Experimentation and all that."
The explanation was accompanied with a lazy shrug and treated as if it was something wholly unremarkable. Maybe it was. Though he was only a decade older than the kid things had changed a lot in those ten years. He couldn't remember ever 'experimenting' with other boys but maybe it was all the rage these days. And now he felt like a dirty old man for thinking the kid and some other boy snogging.
Fox was still giving the kid the side eye as if he didn't really believe the explanation but Wolf figured he'd corner the kid later and interrogate him or whatever.
"So now that this is all cleared up… Do you need me for anything or can I go?" Cub asked.
"I suppose," Wolf said.
Fox nodded. "They just wanted to know who Will's mystery girl was and I wanted to see their expressions," he said unashamed. "Sorry for the inconvenience."
"It was no problem," Cub said. "I was in the neighbourhood anyway and it was rather funny." A quick grin lit up the kid's face. He was probably going to grow up to be a heart breaker, Wolf thought absentmindedly. And then wondered why he'd even bothered to make that observation in the first place. "It was nice to see you again even if I was rather doubtful it would be."
It was a backhanded compliment but one nevertheless. "Please remember to come quickly if they say an agent needs help, okay? I really mean it."
And then he just stood and put on the hat and mittens he'd taken off when he entered the pub. "See you later."
And just like that he was gone. The four men were left in silence still trying to process the kid's words and actions during his rather short stay.
"Is he always like that?" Snake finally asked Fox who was the resident Cub expert.
"Depends when you talk to him," the man answered with a rather fond smile. "And who talks to him, I suppose. When he's on a mission he's completely different but it appears his last mission went well enough. He puts up a good front but really he hasn't been much of a child for a while now."
A wistful tone had entered his voice and, once again, Wolf found himself wondering just what kind of work the kid did for MI6.
"You know him well?" he asked.
"Not as well as you'd think after listening to that," Fox admitted. "He's a good kid and someone has to look out for him even if he thinks he doesn't need it. The sad thing is, most of the time he has to take care of himself and he does it well enough."
At first Wolf didn't know why that would be so bad. That was the whole point of growing up, after all, learning how to take care of yourself without the help of your parents. Speaking of parents, just what kind of people would let their underaged child play spy amongst dangerous adults who weren't in on the joke? The answer was, of course, no parent would do something like that and remain a parent. At least he liked to think the system was better than that but it probably wasn't. But he couldn't even begin to think that his sister would let the two monsters do anything nearly as dangerous until they were at least fifty-years-old. Even allowing them to strap those death traps on wheels to their feet had required months of wheedling and whining from the girls.
Feeling his mood practically plummet he figured he might just as well call it a night. He downed the last of his beer and said his farewells to the others and walked out into the night. It wasn't too late yet, a bit after eight, but it was dark and it had started to snow again.
Later he would deny nearly having a heart attack at the completely unexpected sound just behind him but at that moment he turned around ready to take down any threat. In retrospect, he shouldn't have been surprised to see the smaller form in front of him, just out of easy grabbing range.
"What are you doing here?" Wolf asked with more force than he'd meant to. He didn't like being surprised. "I thought you'd gone home already."
"I am going," the boy said obviously not impressed by his snappy reaction. "But I thought you'd be leaving soon and I wanted to have a few words with you in private."
"Why?" Wolf asked and cringed inwardly at the rather hostile demand.
The boy didn't seem bothered by it, however, and Wolf wasn't sure what to think of that. Cub had to be one of the most confusing people he'd met and that included his previous girlfriends, none of whom he'd really understood.
"Just wanted to let you know that I really am sorry for using you the other day," the kid said not looking at him.
Was he uncomfortable? Back when he'd been Alexandra he hadn't seemed too bothered but, then again, he should already know how good the kid was at concealing things. But he felt there was more behind the apology than just the obvious things.
"It wasn't really a problem," he said shrugging, feeling awkward.
There were no other people around to witness the conversation but he'd still rather have it over and done with. For some reason his mind kept bringing up the kiss even though he knew it had only been a way to silence him. He'd blame the beer but he hadn't really drunk much and wasn't even buzzed.
"Still," the boy said finally looking up at him.
There wasn't actually too big of a height difference between them because Wolf wasn't that tall and the kid was still growing but the kid still seemed so small right now, even bundled up in his thick winter coat. He found himself wondering how often that fact had saved his life during his career. Smaller body meant a smaller target, after all, his mind readily told him.
"I won't say I'm sorry about the embarrassment before, though," the kid continued having the nerve to smile cheekily at him.
A spike of irritation ran through him but he merely narrowed his eyes a little.
"I just wanted to let you know that the offer still stands. If you need any help you think I might provide feel free to call me. Preferably not during school hours, of course, and I can't really answer if I'm working but… yeah…" Cub trailed off a bit awkwardly.
"It's your private number?" Wolf asked feeling a bit surprised.
The kid didn't strike him as the kind of person who'd trust his private number to just anyone. He'd feel touched if he wasn't such a cynical bastard as his sister never forgot to remind him. He'd never found out if she meant it as a compliment or something else.
"Yeah. It's not really secure so I'd be careful about what you say," Cub said. "But it's still a way to reach me."
"Ben has that number as well," he said. "Are you close with him?"
The kid shrugged which wasn't really an answer. "He likes to call sometimes to see that I'm okay," he said. "It's… nice."
There was an undertone to the kid's voice that Wolf didn't immediately recognize but his expression clued him in fast enough. Incomprehension and puzzlement. Like the boy appreciated the sentiment but couldn't really understand it. It was a bit sad even to Wolf who wasn't exactly the paragon of social behaviour outside his comfort zone.
"They used to give me updates on you, you know," Wolf suddenly said. "Before the unit broke up. Like that time when I heard you had appendicitis. I sent you a card but I don't know if it ever got to you."
A flash of confusion crossed the kid's face but it was gone so fast Wolf almost thought he'd imagined it. "Oh, I got it," he said. "But don't ask me to show you the scar." The smile he'd seen before flashed over the kid's face and Wolf wondered what the joke was this time. Bloody kids and their deranged sense of humour.
The kid was probably wondering why he'd brought it up at all. It'd been two years since they'd had anything to do with each other.
"The number," Wolf said feeling incredibly awkward. "Will you answer it even if it's not for a favour?"
The boy was smart, so even though the question might've surprised him he understood the meaning behind the awkward question. Wolf understood that even though the whole situation with the kid and MI6 was wrong somehow, there was nothing he could do about it. He couldn't even really help the kid unless he'd been commanded to do so. But he didn't want to let the kid just disappear again now that he knew that Point Blanc hadn't been just a one of thing. He felt responsible, somehow, and if a few awkward phone calls were enough to at least alleviate the feeling he'd be fine with that.
"I suppose," the kid said breaking his flow of thought. "Though, it'll probably be seriously weird."
Weird was a good word for it, probably. They weren't friends, they had a decade between them and they didn't have much in common in any other way either. But…
"I really need to run off now or I'll never hear the end of it," Cub said shifting his weight and glancing at his watch.
Wolf was strongly reminded of the last time he'd seen the kid even if he'd been 'Alexandra' then and not Alex. Was Alex his real name or was it an alias he preferred to use? He'd have to find out. It sounded familiar and he'd probably heard it before or seen it in a file or something. He must've known it when he'd written that postcard, hadn't he? He had a bad habit of forgetting people's names unless it was important for him to remember them or he associated with them nearly daily.
"Yeah," he murmured. "I'll… see about calling you sometimes maybe."
"Definitely maybe," the boy said cheekily.
And then, without further goodbyes, he turned around and walked away. Wolf sighed and shivered a little in the cold air and turned to go home as well. He had a feeling it wouldn't be the last time he'd see the brat.
End A/N: Yeah this is the most I'm going to do with this idea. It was fun while it lasted (though I appear to have left room for more with the whole favour thing…). Sorry for the rather bipolar feel the fic has swinging between srs bsns and lulz. I was going for the crack but as usually happens, I didn't quite get there the way I wanted to. Oh well…