The teenager had his eyes closed but he wasn't asleep. He hadn't slept well in the past 3 nights and it seemed as if it was slowly catching up him. He's only going to be lying in that endurably dirty and slightly uncomfortable bed for the next 6 more nights.
The blond would never admit it to anyone in the SAS camp, but he had trouble sleeping because he was tense. His mind wouldn't let him go to sleep. He had one good night sleep and had received one nightmare upon staying in the camp. None of his unit had been awake when he jolted out of his sleep panting and sweating.
Alex Rider didn't really want to sleep that night, content with just laying his bed and thinking. Occasionally he'd look outside the window of the cabin. The blond had accomplished some training that day, but to Alex, it wasn't as hard as some of the other tasks he had to complete at the camp before.
As the 14-year-old was listening to the nature outside, he stiffened when he heard another bed in the room creak. Alex instinctively started breathing more softly and slowly. He waited patiently and impatiently for any sign to show that someone was awake. Someone could've just easily moved over on the bed, Alex figured. Though the teenager couldn't get the persistent feeling in the pit of his stomach that the sound that had echoed was too jerky to provide evidence to someone just turning. Alex considered the possibility of someone in K-Unit just waking up from a nightmare.
Then he heard someone grunt.
Curious, Alex strained his ears to listen and only a moment later he heard the irritating and abnormally loud strains of the bed; pressured in the middle of the night. Alex inwardly swore when he realised he couldn't really risk turning around to seeing who the individual was. However, it didn't matter much because only moments later, the man had opened the door to the cabin.
Only once the door shut did Alex dare to sit up on the bed. He wanted to go after the man and as he thought about doing so, he was suddenly aware of how awake he really felt and how he really wanted to speak to someone. The 14-year-old had been quiet and awake in the bed for hours.
Seconds after the door closed, Alex softly groaned. He needed to talk to someone, but what if it was Wolf? Wolf did not like Alex at all. What would happen if it was Wolf and Alex turned up besides him in the dark?
Now that would just be giving the man an excuse, Alex thought dully as he imagined how Wolf would react. Only one way to find out.
Without waiting for another second, Alex practically leapt off the bed, glancing around the room pointlessly to see if anyone else woke up.
The three K-Unit soldiers were still asleep. Alex didn't know why he was smirking, maybe it was the adrenaline pulsing in him, but then he opened the cabin door and closed it behind him.
K-Unit were extremely lucky and grateful that their cabin was one of the few that were close to a small lavatory. The lavatory was about 6 minutes away from K-Unit's cabin, so when Alex walked out of the cabin, he saw the solider just a few steps ahead of him. Alex began to walk cautiously and softly towards the man.
But it didn't take long for the solider to notice he was being followed- Alex and the unidentified male were only about halfway from their cabin and the lavatory. Alex admired how instinctive or well taught the man was to have heard him coming behind.
The solider spun around so quickly that Alex, in his own mind frame, was taken completely off balance. As though he had actually slammed into the man Alex abruptly stopped walking in such a way that it looked slightly abnormal. He watched in muted shock as the man's face went from one of furious regard to one a matching expression to Alex's shock.
Alex still wasn't able to identify who the male was but he was sure that it wasn't Snake as he had similar fair hair to Alex's. Whoever the male was in front of Alex didn't reflect a light shade of hair colour in the dim light in which he could see.
The man's mouth had instantaneously opened in silence. It wasn't Wolf- no screaming, and no abrupt hands reaching to strangle his neck proved that. Alex started to relax his composer when the man's face suddenly flashed dangerously.
Alex inwardly held his breath, aware that whoever the man was- was obviously pissed off and he had landed right in the middle of either a minefield or an interrogation.
"Come on," the man grunted abruptly, walking ahead of Alex. Alex could see the change in pace from the way the man was walking.
Since Alex was only 14-years-old and he hadn't sleep well in what felt like years; he blamed the fact that it was too late to be as observant. Wrapped up in his own thoughts, he glanced around the lavatory as the solider and he entered- looking around to see if anybody was inside. There wasn't.
It came as a swift startle when the solider had already washed his face and hands. The man was crossing his arms and leaning on the sink with his glance firm on Alex.
Alex wasn't sure if he was happy it was Eagle and not the others. Fox was pretty much the most talkative one in the group and Eagle seemed like the most… wildest; like there were no limits but yet Alex struggled to see Eagle as one to party loud and drink and go crazy in that way. Snake was K-Unit's medic and though he's normally quiet, it's obvious that he's still respected and he swears almost as much as Wolf. Wolf hates Alex and has made that obviously clear. Wolf's the leader.
For a long moment Eagle just stared at Alex and Alex just stared at Eagle. Finally, suddenly, Eagle bursted into laughter. The un-expected reaction caused Alex to flinch and eventually couldn't help but smile. The male actually had to wipe tears away from his watery eyes.
He looked at Alex, finally, looking deadly serious before he broke into a grin again that made Alex think he was going to continue laughing. Alex waited silently, slowly his smile fading until suddenly Eagle cleared his throat.
"What do you think you're doing, little Cub?"
Cub; Alex, opened his mouth to reply when he stopped short, un-sure if he should proceed to answer Eagle's question. Eagle didn't seem to care as suddenly, he practically bounced off the sink, and his arms still crossed, he walked over to Alex and said, in a low voice, "You were following me... You're not going to tell anybody you saw me awake tonight, alright? You're gonna tell me whatthe fuck you saw, now, though."
"Uh-" Alex stopped and then suddenly realised why Eagle had demanded such orders. He would've rolled his eyes if he didn't think it'd offend Eagle. He only pieced it all together- the jerk Eagle leapt from the bed, washing his hands and face, the distance in his eyes and the worries about his unit finding out he'd left the cabin late in the night...
But why, Alex wandered, was he so scared of them finding out he had a nightmare? Everybody gets nightmares once in a while, right? Perhaps he doesn't want to be pitied? Looked down on? Alex wasn't sure whether he doubted the suggestions.
Alex might've solved the 'mystery', if he wasn't caught out of his line of thought. Eagle grabbed Alex's shirt and yanked it up, pulling him closer to him.
The first instinct reaction Alex had was to pull his head away or to punch Eagle, but Eagle and the rest of K-Unit already look at Alex at weak and use every advantage they have to bully him over things. Looking Eagle straight in the eye, he couldn't help his instincts causing him to glare at the man. Eagle was maybe too wrapped in his own thoughts, clouded with accusations and worries to notice the glare that Alex gave him.
"Spill, kid- what did you see?"
"I saw nothing. I wanted to talk to you," Alex responded, he felt like he was speaking in monotone but Eagle seemed to accept the statement.
Eagle let go of Alex and rubbed one side of his face with one hand. "You're a child; you wouldn't understand. B-But... You'll regret it if you tell them about my nightmare, okay?" Eagle suddenly said, looking at Alex, assessing him to see how Alex reacted to hear about Eagle's nightmare.
Still not used to being on SAS camping grounds and haven't been on any assignments for M.I.6 yet, Alex couldn't hide the comprehension and acknowledgement from his face.
He knew full well, and dreaded it, that it's positive that he'll be on one assignment soon after training at the SAS; he needs to search about the Stormbreakers that Mr. Blunt and Mrs. Jones believe are suspicious. He knew he was good at karate- high at the top, learnt various situations with Ian Rider such as snowboarding and knows countless languages fluently. But he hasn't experienced being an actual spy. He may have 'spied' around in the 'Royal and General Bank' but it's not the same, and Alex is still yet to learn how to deal with situations- how to comprehend the actions of spies, no matter how smart, fit, talented and a good liar he was...
Eagle, however, only sighed and closed his eyes, not bothered to capture Alex on his knowledge about him having a nightmare openly. Finally, he opened his eyes and he stared hard at Alex, "What are you going to do?"
Hearing the daring in Eagle's voice, he merely shrugged warily. To this reaction Eagle kneed the sink, and though he didn't react to it, Alex was sure it would've been a painful slash.
"Look, I don't care!" Alex subsequently said, starting to regret following Eagle. He didn't want a fight- he just wanted to talk to someone before the early morning where he'll have to deal with all of K-Unit and more training.
Eagle rolled his eyes, "Okay, you might think of us all as assholes, but… we're just not used to children like you. You don't belong here. I don't know why you're here, and if you want to know something, kid, that's why Wolf's so pissed. So, you better keep your mouth closed or you'll really experience hell here at camp-"
Something flashed in Eagle's eyes but Alex caught it and had to suppress a groan. The look couldn't mean anything good.
Eagle continued talking, "I don't like talking to children, apparently I 'fuck' things up, but I should've known I couldn't knock some sense into you now... Bloody teenagers and they're reckless behaviour-you're going to need some sleep," Eagle continued. "I'll make a deal with you; you shut your mouth and I'll stir shit up with one of the other soldiers in our unit... tomorrow. Or today... You get me?" Eagle didn't wait for Alex to reply, instead just figured Alex would immediately agree, and said, "Now scram, kid."
Alex hesitated, glancing at Eagle, wandering who the soldiers behind their codenames at the SAS camp are. He must've had a really horrible nightmare, Alex considered, for him to be acting the way he was. Maybe he doesn't normally have nightmares...
A/N: This used to be just a one-shot; but it was really long and I wrote it more than a year ago, so I wanted to edit it. And then I wanted to put it into two chapters- so that's what I've done!