A/N: I wrote all this whilst shopping. No seriously. I did. And I was listening to an Eminem song- 25 to Life, when suddenly the words reminded me of Alex Rider. Not sure if there's any similarity, but nonetheless I made this out of it!

P.S. It's after Crocodile Tears.

"...Caught in a chase. 25 to life... I feel like when I bend over backwards for you all you do is laugh, cause that ain't good enough. You expect me to fold myself in half til I snap-"

Alex closed his eyes and sighed. He decided he liked Eminem- he didn't have much thought on rap a year ago and he didn't very well have the time to consider rap whilst he was trying to save the world. He imagined buying an iPod and searching YouTube for Eminem whilst Damian Cray was telling him about his grand love for the world.

Alex is no longer himself. Or work for MI6; and he doesn't know if it was worth it. Jack's in the kitchen, cooking. She doesn't understand, Alex accepts. He can still feel the numb, sharp pains throughout his entire body. Just a month ago he was holding himself away from aggressive crocodiles. Jack has never even been close to a crocodile- hasn't even watched them on T.V. She preferred sharks... apparently. But sympathetically doesn't watch Shark Week around Alex. Last time that happened, Alex gasped- choking on the water he was drinking. For the next whole day, he refused to drink anything.

Nothing Alex has done so far, has worked to numb the memories or pain away. All that makes Alex satisfied with what he's done to the world- is the smile that still finds home on his best friend and guardian's face- Jack. Tom's been more than helpful: figuring out that this time, it was different. No questions asked, no sympathetic motions. And yet Alex still feels they love him, and that's something that matters to him- if nothing else.

Start a band. Write a poem. Obsess over computer games. Brag online over high scores on play station. Read. Soccer. Talk. Alex's briefly tried it all; all of them bring some old comfort back but none bring back the warmth of support for Alex's depression.

One thing that Alex has started talking about, with a form of excitement, is school. Year 11 is coming soon. And it'll seem to distract him- it has started to, already. The pressures and learning of school will definitely have the time to heal Alex. Tom didn't laugh- jack didn't query it. Positivity is a key for Alex not to lose himself any deeper. Because Jack and Tom have both realized that there was hardly anything the both of them could do.

Alex doesn't say it out loud, but he plans to show it in the future; when he feels safe enough to do so. He wouldn't reject it or deny it now if anybody said it out loud, however. But whatever Jack and Tom are doing now: is helping him slowly and quietly and that's something Alex respects and appreciates.

Because he is only a kid.

It's not secret how 'music helps the soul and bleeds into teenager's ears'. Alex tried to hide himself behind music- it worked; for two days. Then it numbed again. But Alex hasn't stopped trying. When he found Eminem's music- he was intrigued. Eminem seemed to contain so much anger... For good reasons, too. And so Alex started to listen to his music more, wanting to hear more and more.

Once he found the song 25 to Life, it seemed to all connect in Alex's head. Or, for a better description, snapped. Because somehow, unwillingly, the lyrics reminded Alex of too many memories... Eminem and Alex Rider; two very different people, with very different stories... The lyrics seemed to match his emotions too well. It reminded him of the lies he had believed, of the complex world he's born into...

"...Chew me up and spit me out- I fell for this so many times, it's ridiculous. And still I stick with this. I'm sick of this but in my sickness and addiction... Evil as they come, vindictive as they make 'em... My friends keep asking me why I can't just walk away from-"

So, suddenly, something happened. A blinding determination. It was 5 o'clock in the afternoon and Jack was watching something in the living room peacefully. But Alex had made up his mind.

It seemed like Jack was the one who freaked out, more than Alex, when he walked into the room. She flung her arm, almost tilting the bowl with strawberries in it, twisting around on the couch to grab the remote and change the channel. It didn't work- Alex saw the show; 'Shark Week' on the screen. But he seemed to hardly take notice. With the seriousness on his face, he told Jack was walking to the local shopping centre.

Then, remembering how much he does care about Jack- he attempted a smile. About to turn around and walk off, he hesitated, noticing Jack's frozen position and no comment. Then, suddenly, she visibly calmed down and stood up, still holding the bowl.

"What- what are you doing?" Alex asked warily.

But all Jack did was suddenly hug him. He could feel the water from the around the edge of the bowl- his uncle was paranoid about wearing seat belts, Jack was paranoid about washing and cleaning fruits; such as strawberries.

The hug didn't last long, but Alex thought Jack looked like she was going to cry. But she didn't, instead she lightly slapped Alex's shoulder and walked away into the kitchen.

To the empty living room, Alex cleared his throat almost bemusedly, before following her.

He walked in on Jack shoving the bowl into his chest and walking into her bedroom. Alex chewed with the inside of his cheeks before eating some of the strawberries. The song 25 to Life was still stuck in his head, replaying. It was a really long time since he last had a song stuck in his head. He realised now that he missed that.

He placed the bowl into the kitchen sink just as Jack appeared, leaning on the doorway, dressed up. She was grinning, "so, come on! I want some of that new ice cream store. I miss having choc chip..."

Alex hesitated, before nodding.

They spent the day at the shops, eating ice cream... And talking. It felt all too normal for Alex. Like a trap. But nonetheless, he couldn't help but feel happy with Jack. He brought earphones for his phone- which was the main purpose of going shopping.

"But this time I'ma ain't changing my mind: I'm climbing out this abyss. Your screaming as I walk out that I'll be missed, but-"

A/N: Obviously, I'm a huge fan of Eminem. And 25 to Life is actually one of my favourite songs by him. So I hope I created this fanfic alright; it was really hard for me to do the comparison between the song and Alex's story. Plus, I've never done a 'song fic' before. So, let me know in a review what you think!