I KNOW AN UPDATE, RIGHT! WHAT HAS THE WORLD COME TO? XD Thank You so much to everyone who has stuck around, this summer/school year has been one ride for sure! Lets just say I developed a great tan from all my hundreds of hours of work...swimming and (not) saving people. XD (not, because we had 0 saves this summer! [hahaha, no deaths lol...] I was a lifeguard/swim instructor.) My brother and sister are in the US Navy now, a Corpsman (sister) and Aviation Mechanic (brother)...yay for them!

(Please note: As of paragraph 5 of this chapter I have decided to forgo the actual dates/and complete accurate information on ISIS/ISI for this story. I know the dates and the events to go along with it; but as this is a fic to please you, as well as clear my mind and I do not really want to have to worry about the specific dates. Alex and Tom will be 16 years old. ISI will be ISIS, the date will be whenever you want I suppose, sometime in the 21st century. Jack has died, K-unit will be there…Alex is messed up mentally, but you know, he's been through a lot. I won't make him depressed or heartless or anything. So, yes, no worrying for me on dates/events etc. I hope all of you history buffs/and lovers (I am too) won't mind too much. ? Thanks!)

Please, please, please review! I really appreciate the minute it takes to say something. There is not a better feeling than one appreciates someone else's work. (Especially if its your work.) :)

(start chapter)

Alex had walked out of the hospital the next day against the almost violent protests of his doctor and nurses. Practically two days in there and he was as good as dying… though only after he woke up that next morning to Tom waltzing around the room while reading a mission folder, again. He contented himself by watching him for a straight five minutes until Tom finally noticed his friend was awake. Let's just say he had an interesting and fumbling reaction, resulting in paper flown all around the room…and a seemingly unamused/ yet secretly amused Alex watching him scramble for the pages. One such page made its landing toward Alex's bed and he snatched it from the air with ease.

Seeing the words typed on it Alex sighed…another interesting day at the bank it would seem. The friends looked to each other for a moment, one standing one sitting, in pensive thought until finally Tom broke the heavy silence with a shaky laugh and tossed the file to him. He reverted to rubbing his head while rocking on his feet sheepishly while his friend gave him a hard and long stare. At last he dropped it and sighed, but with a smile aimed toward Tom. Tom had stuck around for Alex these past years of hell, and for that, Alex owed Tom everything he could give him. That's why he was going to be particularly stubborn in receiving this next mission.

Before leaving the hospital, he had glanced over the mission brief and pondered over it for a while. It sounded like it would be a heck of a time to do what it said, but after all, that IS why Alex is chosen for the missions he goes on. No one but him could be successful in a suicide mission. He was tired though, of the consecutive missions; he just wanted to be normal, AND he had come back from a mission gone hell only two weeks ago that was hardly enough time to recover, at least not mentally.

The particular cover he would be using terrified him immensely, though he schooled his emotions professionally. It brought up past terrors of torture and confinement. Of all the ways to get this job done, he had to go in as an ISIS operative and attempt an assassination on the President and Prime Minister during the peace conference this year. He would have to get into the terrorist group, taking the place of the previous assassin, hoping to God that they would not recognize him from his previous disguise in Iraq. The thought of joining the team that had tortured him for two months and pretending to be a ruthless murderer truly did shake him up, though he was stubborn to show not. He hadn't forgotten the scars nor the mental torture they put him through.

The two boys made their way out and into the busy chaos that was Liverpool street, nothing brought the heart closer to home than the constant beeping of car horns. They stayed silent throughout the walk, both thinking about the impending mission to America that may or may not be the death of Alex. Tom never liked sitting and waiting for the call saying what happened, hearing that Alex is in the hospital or holed up in some office or COBRA meeting for days on end discussing Britain's greatest problems. It killed him inside. (AN*reminder, this is not slash.) He looked over to his side where Alex was walking, his eyes were blank and staring straight ahead; aimed at the cursed bank that loomed in their vision. His arm was limp against his side, wrapped in a bandage and, for the time being, unusable. The doctor had said he would probably not be able to move it for another week, as it was still fighting the poison and the pain killers. Alex had absolutely refused a cast, saying it would be too much of an impediment to his coming mission. MI6, of course, had fully agreed with him and denied the doctor to apply one. The boy was still sore about the whole situation, how did SCORPIA even get close enough to make the shot? It was just great, one more liability for him to deal with on this bloody trip.

As they neared the revolving doors that allowed entrance to the Royal and General Bank and Trust, the fair-haired boy turned around to see what had made his friend stop. He was just standing there, almost looking toward the ground, but still looking up a bit. His normally bright blue eyes swum with raging thought as his eyes darted from one idea to the next. Alex almost passed it up as one more enigma that was Tom; but as Alex was himself, he stored it carefully to analyze later if more of this attitude came up. As if suddenly pinched Tom jumped out of it and looked forward, not realizing they had stopped…oh shoot, his mind raced when he saw Alex staring at him,now he is probably going to drill me later…I swear, I can never get away with anything without him finding out 5 minutes before I do it.

Which is probably why I shouldn't bring up that one thought anymore… for now… Tom can't deny he has been thinking about a rather stupid idea ever sense that Jones lady showed up with the ISIS file. Whatever, I'll find way to get them to say yes. It's not like I'm THAT much of luggage. Tom smiled innocently, perhaps too much so, at his friend and continued into the building. From the normal bystander, you might see two boys playfully shouldering each other on and off, while lost in thought. One with a tightly wrapped shoulder and a plain grey shirt and khaki shorts, he had fair hair and deep brown eyes. You couldn't tell very well from where you stood but you knew that they pierced everything that gaze landed on.

The other boy seemed to be about his age, 16 or so, though his looks were a sharp contrast from his friends; he had a shock of black curly hair, bright blue eyes, a nerdy frame almost with a merry and mischievous face. He was fit, but not as gracefully lithe/muscular as his friend was. You would see them carefully shooting looks at each other, careful of the other watching. Suddenly the dark haired one would stop, and for a full minute it was a stand-off. A couple chuckles and they both entered the building. Odd, that they would go to a bank, but hey; who knows what they need, boys these days. The *bystander shook her head and continued one her way. She loved to people watch.

It was as if a sudden chill swept over Alex, his shoulders hunched down and his eyes grew heavy. His entire demeanor showed one of immense exhaustion. It was shown long enough for only Tom to catch before Alex's shoulders squared up and he raised his chin. A fierce determination sparked in his eyes. If anyone were to ask (and they have) why Tom still stuck around 'druggie' Alex, this is exactly why. Through hell and back he still carries an unshakable personality to be strong, happy and alert.

Having given barely a glance to the receptionist Alex briskly walked down the marble floor of the large lobby, it was a grand building, with columns and pillars to add to the effect. It didn't seem to affect these boys though. Nudging his friend, Alex entered the elevator to ascend to the top floors where he knew Jones was waiting to speak to him about his next mission. One that would take him to the United States, to assassinate the most heavily guarded men in the country and stop the world's most infamous criminal organization. Just another day in the life of Alex Rider, right? The bitter thought came riding through his mind, he pushed it away with ease and took up conversation with his friend; one of which he was worried would be the last.

(end chapter)


(*I don't think this person will show up again…but I might surprise you…who knows, I make this story up as I go. I have a very light outline for this story, as in every few chapters…so be surprised, or not.)