A/N: (imitates Troy McClure) 'Hi, I'm Lighting And Blossoms. You may remember me from such Alex Rider fan-fictions as A Mint Ice Cream Dilemma and From Vague, Tinted Conversations...'
Still nobody around? Anybody? I mean... I know it was like 15 months since I uploaded chapter two, from chapter one... But... I'm still here! And I am still writing this! Look- an update! See? I'm writing Chapter Three- Well, technically, I wrote it, since you are reading it now... Right?
Um... *runs from computer* *5 minutes later comes back with hot chocolate shaking in hand cartoonishly* I'm a bit sleep deprived so I'm even trembling a little. I'm sorry if I sound frantic! I LOVE YOU ALL! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVELY LOVE...
The Occupation Jeopardy
Chapter Three: Hey, Marty- still got that hangover?
He didn't know what to think or feel. So, Blunt took a deep breath and then let his head loll on the side so that it lay near his shoulder. For a few strained moments, Blunt stayed awake, determined to just keep his eyes shut. He didn't think of anything because he was too tired. And then… soon, he fell asleep.
Two heads jumped off a soft materiel.
Two males with different expressions looked in different directions.
One alarm kept screaming.
"What is this nonsense?" Alan Blunt rubbed his face, banging his hip in the corner of... something solid as he walked into the kitchen. Searching, as if someone would jump from behind and cry. His friend, Marty, remained on the couch, staring in his direction.
"Hey, just so you know," Marty yelled over the noise, "if this is a burglar, I'll just... Take care of the living room, okay? I think this should be a deal because... You wouldn't want to lose the television, right?"
Blunt rubbed down both his cheeks slowly by both his palms, gazing at him. "What much help would you be? Your just lying on the couch! The burglar would just walk through the other side of the living room and maybe smack you in the head with something."
Marty barely rose from behind the pillow in an attempt to glance at his friend more clearly. The noise was merely ignored easily by both house occupants. It was currently more important to talk about these case study scenarios. It's not all the time, but sometimes, Marty has lived in Blunt's house. Displaying comfort, Blunt followed suit by placing his elbows on the kitchen counter-top and holding his head. In the pause of conversation, the noise abruptly went silent- making Marty laugh shortly.
Throwing his hands up in consideration, the male exclaimed, "Al- do you seriously think I'm slow enough not to see a burglar on the other side of the room? I don't care if they're wearing black clothing to blend in- I'd notice them!"
Blunt rolled his eyes, "Marty, I wasn't saying your vision is impaired. I meant that your lazy."
Marty opened his mouth to retort, amusement slipped from expression, when the alarm began ringing again. By now, both males were partly awake and realised it was from the mobile under the table.
Subconsciously, the said male glanced at the mobile- changing the conversation. He quickly snapped his head to look back at his friend, but the action already stuck in the atmosphere. He knew it when Blunt started grinning.
"So... What's for breakie?"
"Why don't you stop the alarm, Marty?"
Marty loudly inhaled and exhaled, determined to prove to his best friend that he was indeed the opposite of lazy. "Let's say, that a burglar is behind the living room now, holding your bed under his arm! If I was to get up and stop the noise- he'd realise that something was up. The change of the environment- the vulnerability of silence." Marty laughed quickly without humour. "Oh yeah, then you'd be screwed!"
Blunt couldn't help the smile that remained on his face. There was a few things wrong with Marty's story, but he was too curious for his own good. Without hesitation he asked, "I'm screwed- why?"
The blond male on the couch attempted to jump in a more comfortable position, but the blanket that had been collapsed on the floor hours prior, was still tangled from his hip- preventing much movement. Puffing out loud, Marty sat up so his back was to the couch- his head pounding a little a bit.
"Well- there's two more common reasons why you'd be fucked. One- because if the burglar is aggressive, he'd be paranoid about your whereabouts and when you've doing the Nancy Drew method of snooping around like a pink panther, he'd be ready to jump down your throat. And then bolt out the door with your cherished bed."
"And if he's not aggressive?"
"Obviously," Marty drawled, "if he's not aggressive- he'd be more paranoid. So he'd probably dump your bed back and then escape without you ever knowing who it was! Yes, yes, that is a problem! Why is that a problem? Well... That is a problem because then next time he'll come back he'll turn the aggressive persona. And I won't be around to protect your TV."
"If I was really being robbed right now- and you started talking like your at the cinemas; then what if they'd had already stolen my coffee machine without my knowledge? Cause your brilliance-ness distracted me?"
"I am a genius- therefore, I knew that it was an alarm."
"Why didn't you turn it off then?"
Blunt felt two sensations in his body. One at his knee and one on the side of his head. He gazed back at his pillow which looked like a hill because one side was levelled very low- that's where his head was whilst he was sleeping. He hadn't move at all for three hours... Until, you know, he went all 'Nancy Drew' as Marty called it, for the alarm.
Marty looked up at him when he walked back into the living room from the kitchen, turning off the alarm. "What?"
"What?" Blunt repeated, sitting down on the couch.
There was a pause where Marty gazed at the crumple of blanket at his feet. Normally he'd be up for food- he really, really did feel like eating sandwiches... However, his head was feeling like there was a knife inside it. Even though he wasn't moving, the metaphorical knife was sharp and painfully noticeable. If he so happened to move too much- the knife turned into a hammer that kept hitting him on the head.
Despite being hungry... He didn't think he'd make it to cutting the ham before puking stomach-acid from his alcohol intake last night.
"Are you going to make it?"
"Yeah," Marty eventually said.
Silence reigned again until Blunt stood up... merely to grab the remote.
"Please..." Marty groaned once the sounds from some tv show entered the living room. He lifted his arms to his head and squeezed his eyes shut. "Ah, it's not calming down... It's..."
It looked like Marty had fell asleep, but every now and again the man would sigh. Understanding the torture of hangovers- Blunt walked back into the kitchen and filled the bread with lettuce, cheese, cucumber and ham for both him and Marty. On the advantage- he hadn't lowered the volume of the TV too low so he could still listen.
He brought the beloved food to the coffee table and then walked away again just as Marty opened his eyes. Upon seeing his sandwich Marty wanted to sleep- having the desire to eat but too weak to get up, made him just want to ignore it all and sleep.
In the kitchen, Blunt filled two large glass cups with water. "C'mon, Marty, get up."
Marty let out a groan but it didn't last long as he didn't want it to disturb his head. It was true that the pill he took a few hours ago did work, but he still had some headache. "Shut up; my head hurts."
"Shouldn't say that to the chef."
When there was no response, Blunt picked up his sandwich and started eating it. He wasted about five minutes choosing some channel on the TV, until he gave up and played The Simpsons. Rolling his eyes at something Bart did, he didn't notice Marty hadn't moved until he finished half of his sandwich.
"I can chew your food for you if you'd like," Blunt suggested half heartedly.
"Ew," Marty stated. Then he opened his eyes and said, "your disgusting."
Blunt laughed, "that's a real classic- coming from you!"
Mary's serious expression didn't change as he replied, "you're also not helping."
Blunt rolled his eyes and went back into the kitchen to get another pill for his dear friend.
The Next Six Hours:
"I really like the cucumbers you put in my sandwich."
"Not a problem," Blunt said nonchalantly, feeling more happy lying down on the couch and having a Simpsons Marathon, than how he felt the past few weeks.
"No," Marty said. "Seriously, bro... Could you cut me some more? I think the freshness of it really helps-"
Blunt only halfheartedly glared.
"That's funny, what Homer does."
Blunt didn't bother to reply, almost falling asleep on the couch. He remained in the same position the past hour.
"I mean... He vents out his frustration in strangling his son."
Finally, the expression on Blunt's face changed into mild horror and extreme confusion. He opened his mouth to ask Marty if he was okay when he didn't get the chance. Marty is against violence- in fact, under normal circumstances he'd never use the words 'strangle' and 'funny' in the same sentences.
Marty quickly said, "I thought you should know- so that when I strangle you because of the bloody volume you lifted on the TV, you'll feel enlightened."
Blunt lifted an eyebrow, "enlightened?"
"To. Turn. The. TV. Down!"
Blunt lifted the remote for the second time in 5 minutes and lowered the volume, feeling weary as Marty is usually the one listening to his earphones on max. The hangover is probably getting worse with the male lying on the couch for the past few hours with two pillows.
"I find you funny," Blunt eventually said, staring back at the TV. "Threatening me when you can't even raise your voice 'cause then you'd vomit."
From the corner of his eyes, Blunt saw Marty make a whine-like sound and place his hands on his face. "I'm sorry... I'm never gonna be within one kilometre of alcohol again!"
Bart Simpson's laughing from the TV came on cue.
"How long does it say... On the packet? Between intake of pills?"
"You're not taking another pill, Marty."
"I've only had two! All day and the... Last one was like... A while ago."
Marty made another animal-like noise from his throat before trying to sleep again.
That only lasted about one minute before Blunt threw a pillow at him. At Marty's query, Blunt explained that he'd practically been sleeping hours on end- or ordering him around to do things. He just wanted to chill with his friend. His hangover must be calming down after around 24 hours, right?
"Well? Your talking long sentences now- You couldn't even move on the couch like 5 hours ago!"
Marty sighed, "perhaps I'm feeling better."
Another pillow whacked Marty.
Marty rubbed his face. "Al? When are we going to eat dinner?"
"You seem way better, Marty. You won't shut up."
"Why don't you make dinner?"
Marty eventually stood up to go to the toilet.
The Next Morning:
The sound of liquid crashing against the solids of the sink and the smell of peppermint tea was what 29 year old Alan Blunt woke up to at seven o'clock in the morning.
Actually, that was exactly what it was- Blunt realised, when he zombie-walked into the kitchen- his kitchen- and saw Marty tipping a mug over the sink. It was peppermint tea. Which was weird, because if Blunt was thinking coherently at this time of the day... Marty didn't like tea.
"Hangover?" Blunt asked.
Despite Marty having slept most of the previous day, being wide awake early in the morning- he was the one too lazy to answer. Merely just nodding his head slowly.
"So..." Blunt said to the fridge.
"Nothing?" Marty asked.
"There's always something," Blunt replied but ironically closed the fridge.
"Maybe we don't need to eat."
In the awkward silence of the joke, Blunt grabbed two bowls and spoons. "I'm going to make Weetbix, is that okay?"
Again, Marty just shrugged.
"Did you whack your head too many times on the pillow?" Blunt asked, frowning. "You're acting... Odd."
"I have a feeling."
"Yes, Al; again!"
Blunt put down the box of cereal. "Marty, normally if you've done something you shouldn't have, or you expect that- you get that gut feeling about it. Couldn't you just tell me what you did?"
Marty gave Blunt a perplexed stare as he gently placed the mug on the drying section of the sink.
"The more you act this way, the more I think this house is gonna be a minefield." When Marty didn't say anything, and they both fixed their amount of breakfast, Blunt added, "is it got to do with Lisa?"
Marty shook his head (a simple act he couldn't even manage 7 hours ago) and took his place in the living room. Blunt noted mildly irritable that it was on his couch, again. Before Blunt could do anything, Marty responded, "I just feel sentimental. Kind of like something is going to happen... But more like a sense of- ah, not like this has happened before- More like a warning reminisce."
"A... Warning? A warning reminisce?"
Marty nodded, his mouth full of breakfast.
Despite how strange Marty was acting, and how complicated his explanation was, Blunt felt slightly the same. He understood- maybe, because he was going to take a job of a spy.
And his best friend doesn't even know it- and might ever will.
When it was midday, both males having finished watching a movie, Blunt decided it. He'll join... and he might as well give Marty a hint. Maybe his head already gave up on Charlotte over night without his realising. He wasn't sure, but he didn't feel reckless. He stood up, cleaned the living room, placed the dirty dishes into the sink and poured water on them.
Blunt waited until Marty reached the kitchen. "I… I'm getting a job. I got a job offer, and I've decided to take it."
Marty's head snapped up and he smiled. "That's great! What job is it?"
"Overseas bank manager."
There was a very slight- blink too slow and you'll miss it- pause.
"Why don't you look happy?"
Blunt rolled his eyes, "I'm tired."
"Oh," Marty said. He had his coffee in his hand and took another sip. They were quiet for a moment until- "what?"
The grey eyed male waited patiently until Marty calmed down. He knew what the problem was- what Marty just found out. But, the ironic part was, that the thing Marty's fussing over wasn't nearly as bad as the job offer really was.
"Y-You're moving? Where? To- To America? Will I ever see you again?"
Blunt slapped his face with a hand and rubbed his face in slight frustration. "Marty, shut up," he said as soon as he could get a word through his best friend's ramble.
Marty bit his lip and then furrowed his eyebrows. It was a habit he'd grown into for a few months; it shows when he's frustrated or angry. He took a long sip from the coffee before setting it down onto the kitchen bench and crossing his arms.
"I might have to go overseas a few times, but it wouldn't be longer than… 5 weeks at a time, or something. It's just finance, Marty. I'll probably be stuck at the office, behind a desk majority of the-"
"Whatever, Al," Marty said. Blunt worried he was really angry but when he glanced up, Marty was smiling. "It doesn't matter. Maybe I'm jealous… I always wanted to go to Thailand."
Marty affirmed that he'll stayed in Blunt's house for the rest of the day as Blunt went to the Royal and General Bank. He was unaware that when he left, Marty felt a chill and felt a little apprehensive. He didn't know what the problem was so he just went back into the living room and put back on the TV.
Blunt confirmed to Sebastian that he will take the job.
Sebastian was thrilled whilst he signed whatever papers he needed to join the career. After some form of an interview with Sebastian, Blunt was beginning to feel very apprehensive. Sebastian, however, sat behind his desk, in front of Blunt, looking very happy with a big grin across his face. It reminded Blunt of an evil clown in the movies before it strikes.
"Will you be okay being sent to the SAS in two days time?"
Blunt nodded half-numbly.
"Great," Sebastian stated and then continued to what the reasons to going to the SAS were for. He told Blunt what he needed to bring, what could happen, an outline of what's going to happen… He just kept talking for around 20 minutes. He also reminded Blunt of a teacher that could've been talking about what effects Bacteria can do to the human body instead of this speech. He had even asked if Blunt had any questions.
It wasn't that Blunt wasn't taking his seriously. He was paying attention to everything Sebastian was saying. It wasn't like he was trying to mock anyone or anything. He couldn't help it, and he still felt wary, so, he shook his head. He didn't have any questions.
"I'm very glad you've decided to join, Mr. Blunt. Please remember all our discussions… A black vehicle will come to your house on Thursday morning to pick you up and take you to the SAS, okay? You can tell anyone who asks, that for a few months your going to a First Aid Course. Of course, we do have any information or evidence if they want you to back it up, okay?"
Again, Blunt nodded.
"Take Care, Blunt," Sebastian stood up and shook Blunt's hand.
So, that afternoon he went back to his house and explained to Marty in familiar words as Sebastian said. Marty looked disgruntled as he started, "Al, that's okay… But… There's something I have to tell you."
"Yeah? And what's that?" Blunt asked, reaching for a beer from in the fridge.
"Well… when you were gone," there was a pause, in which Blunt opened the beer with the 'ping' noise, "Charlotte rung."
A/N: I'm sorry about the beginning Author's Note! Haha... I'm still really tired but it's sort of just... Yeah. So, I think I like this chapter better than the previous! Probably because I was basically laughing every few lines at my humour. But... For all I know, this chapter was NOT funny and I'm just incoherent. Only way I'll know is if you review to give me feedback! I'd really appreciate it... Thank you so much to the people who have reviewed so far. You all make me smile, which I really need in these days.
P.S. I don't think I have the ability to re-read and edit this story now... So, I'm just gonna hope it makes sense and is okay before I click 'update' and load this as the official... Chapter Three *dun dun dun*!
P.P.S. Ah! See! An update... Around two weeks after my previous chapter. I'm really proud of that... Compared to how long it took me to upload chapter two from chapter one (: - Lightning And Blossoms