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For Hayley

Alex had tried not to let him bother him at first, he'd try to tell himself it was temporary but the longer it went on the more sure he was of why Hayley was acting like they were just friends again. They played sports, they watched films and she avoided any attempt he made to get close until he took the hint and kept his distance physically.

He knew they should probably talk about it. If she just wanted to be friends, she could tell him that. She was his best friend, he loved her he didn't want anything she didn't want for her. If he didn't make her happy then fine. He couldn't help resentfully suspecting that when she had told him she didn't care he was a spy she didn't mean it.

He kept the Stormbreaker film under his bed and in a fit of petulance had set it up in the rec room to watch again. He couldn't believe MI6 were still spoiling his life even here. He watched Sabina and himself ride through the park and glared, filming his life and getting it wrong. And then he had the nasty niggling thought that at least Sabina had told him she had a problem with the whole spy business. She hadn't pretended. otherwise.

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Jun. 15th, 2007

Alex doesn't have lessons on a friday and so when he eventually gets up and gets dressed, dislodges Cof from the washing pile and actually does some laundry, he already knows what he wants to do with his day. He tells himself that things aren't different between him and Hayley, they're just better.

He thinks about kissing her a lot though and when he heads down to her treehouse on friday afternoon it's only when he gets there that he realises he hasn't brought the football. Huh, that's not like him. He hears movement above and calls up, "Hey you awake?"

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Happy to be home again? Except not.

Alex could feel sunlight on his face. He pulled the covers over his face and turned over to try and get back to sleep then wait? Sunlight, his dorm room didn't have a window. He sat up and blinked. "I'm in my room." he said. And he was, he was in his bed, in his room, in his uncle's - no his house. He was back in Chelsea. He looked around taking in his clothes and things, the tv and nintendo 64. He felt relief flood through him followed by a pang of guilt. He hadn't got to say goodbye to anyone. Not to Bran or Charlie and worse of all not to Hayley. He'd spent nearly the whole day with her yesterday, sparring and doing maths and he'd made Granita's and they'd watched Star Wars. Now he'd never see her again.

He dragged himself out of bed and dressed in his own clothes. He should be pleased about this and yet. . . He had more friends on the island, than he did here he realised. He stuck his head out of his room and called out for the one person here who would be glad to see him. "Jack?" he called. "Jack, I'm back." There was no answer and when he knocked on her door and poked his head round it was empty the bed unslept in. He stared, maybe she'd left because he was gone. Gone back to America, she would have had no reason to stay. He turned round somewhat defeated, his shoulders slumped and went to head downstairs, he was sure he could expect MI6 to be showing up any moment to threaten him with another institution.

Apr. 19th, 2007

Alex has finally had his stitches out, several days after they should have been but dropping by the clinic would have interfered with his busy schedule of running and football and Hayley and school. He decides that Charlie will probably want to know about it. Maybe, and if not she's due a visit anyway. He's actually kind of pleased to have a scar he can explain though he's sure it will fade and be less noticeable soon. But the thought of it, of having something that's as easy to explain away as 'I fell out of a tree' is a good thing. He takes the football, just in case, you never know.

He arrives at Charlie's little house on stilts, it's nice where she lives and he bets no-one cut there head open on any of these huts. He drops the football, and starts dribbling it about. "Charlie?" he calls. "You in?"

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