"Hello?"

"Hey Wolf."

"What the hell, Cub?" Alex took a deep breath, preparing himself. He'd known it wasn't going to last. It was better, anyway, that it would be over before one of the SAS men got hurt. "We've been looking for you all night!" Wait, what? "You're literally the biggest asshole I've ever met, where have you been?"

"I just- I just found somewhere else to stay the night. I'm headed back now." Relief and bafflement washed over Alex in equal parts. He supposed he always had overestimated the SAS man's intelligence.

"Will you go to the shrink again?"

Alex hesitated, weighing mortification at seeing Lance Sweets again against another solid six hours of sleep.

"Fine. But only to play poker. He's awful, but not as awful as you."

"I'm good at poker, Cub! You just cheat!"

"Whatever you say, Wolf." Alex smirked as he pulled up to the motel, hanging up on Wolf's incoherent rant about poker. The sky seemed a heck of a lot brighter with six hours of sleep under his belt. Maybe things were looking up, it's not like his life could get much worse, right?

Then again, he was Alex Rider, he really shouldn't test his luck.


Lance Sweets stumbled out of his bedroom, bleary eyed and yawning. The couch was empty. He glanced around the apartment, looking for the blond haired enigma. Not to be found.

There was a note taped to the fridge.

Lance,

Mortification is a terrible thing to wake up to. Waking up after multiple hours of sleep is a better feeling than I remembered. The mortification still stung however, so you don't have to wonder where that bottle of vodka got to (you liar).

Wishing with all my heart that I will never have to see you again (but knowing I probably will),

AR

Lance checked his cupboard for the bottle that had been there for as long as he'd had the apartment. He'd gotten it as a housewarming gift from someone, he didn't remember who. It was still there, though, just with a note stuck to the label.

P.S.

Thank you.