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Does Your Mother Know?

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When Q sees the silhouette of a man enter his office behind him mirrored on his monitor, he supposes it’s a miracle it has taken this long for someone to come find him.

The left corner of Q’s lips twitches. Well, perhaps less a miracle and more the result of joint efforts and competence. He does like to think he’s competent. As is Bond, obviously. And there has been no reason for additional worries or complaints; he has seen both their evaluations, after all, and knows for a fact that there hasn’t been.

Still, they both had been aware that this last step they have taken would be the one step causing a reaction.

His eyes flicker to the clock on his monitor. He has been in the lab for less than five minutes. The tiny lip twitch becomes a full-blown smirk. That really hasn’t taken long.

And that, as they say, was that.

*

The whole thing started quite a while ago, actually. Not at the beginning, though. Things never begin at the beginning. The beginning of Q and Bond was a meeting of two poles at opposing sides of the metaphorical age spectrum (because, really, the chronological difference wasn’t that large).
Q at the top of a new game, the best in his field, chosen for Q Branch for both his competence and his (just a tad) unhealthy obsession with causing some sort of damage, simply because he’s known which wires to follow and which parts of a gun to dis- and reassemble at about the same time he learned to crawl.
Bond at the top of the old game. Not following wires to weasel himself into and out of situations, but instead his intrinsic understanding of pain and pleasure in people. Not particularly interested in the selected parts of a weapon, but instead in the feel of the weight in the palm of his hand, causing his own damage.

Despite the opposites clashing, it hardly took more than five minutes in each other’s company for them to realise that the damage they could do collectively was mutually beneficial to their respective… qualities. Bond soon saw that if he followed Q’s wires, his aim was more accurate, and Q learned to accept Bond’s interpersonal connections as extensions to the ones at his fingertips.

Well… perhaps it did start at the beginning, then, after all. Not that either of them had been aware of it, at the time. No, that came later.

It came after M had realised that while Q tended to several 00 agents, that particular brand of efficiency was only achieved with Bond, and Q had become a much more constant (if incorporeal) presence during several of Bond’s missions (via ear-piece).

It has to be said for M, though, that he realised this the very moment he caught Q and Tanner laying out that trail of breadcrumbs leading to Scotland. It had come as a bit of surprise, finding the quirky head of department who was usually happy with his wires and gadgets and codes now breaking rules and regulations he undoubtedly had memorised on his first day, simply because he had decided to follow his instincts and listen to the instincts of another. It was the trust that was surprising, not necessarily the breaking of rules. And M had also realised that Q and Bond working together was in accordance with his own beliefs.

Win-win scenario. During missions, Q would keep Bond’s mind on the job and giving him additional angles, while at the same time gaining more insight into field work without any pesky flights or flying bullets to unnerve him. A wonky tandem at times, what with both of them enjoying their work a bit too much, but a working one.

*

And then came the day the connection transformed. Yes, transformed (somewhat, anyway), not began.

When Q managed to come home late one evening, after a fifty-five hour work-day(s) that had been interrupted at some point by a three or perhaps four hours kip, he blamed the lack of sleep for his reaction to someone sitting in his darkened living room only being a rush of adrenaline and a spike of pulse and blood pressure for a few seconds. All other reactions were delayed for long enough for him to realise that he knew that silhouette sitting hunched over on his sofa.

Annoyed, he flicked on the light. “What the hell are you doing here, 007?” He didn’t even ask how the man had got in. He had a feeling he wouldn’t like the answer.

Bond squinted in the sudden light.

‘Oh, great,’ thought Q. ‘He’s drunk.’ He huffed and walker closer, struggling to keep his steps steady, since the now fading adrenaline reminded the rubbery feeling of fatigue in his knees that it was still there.
Bond looked… well, not so much drunk as… wrecked. Like he had a reason to get a lot more drunk than he was. Couldn’t have been a mission. Q had been busy with one of the other assignments, but he had still kept an eye on Bond, and his had been a tedious but successful gathering of intelligence.

Bond held up the glass in his hand in a mock cheer. “I needed a drink and was in the mood for company.”

Q’s eyes flickered towards the bottle on the table. Bond couldn’t have had more than three glasses of its content. (Of that bottle, at least.)
“Seeing as I wasn’t here, I’m sure that endeavour was fruitful,” he remarked as a quasi-answer to a quasi-statement.

Bond lifted and tilted his head slightly. “You look about as ready to drop as I feel.”

Q mentally ran through possible dates that could cause Bond to want a day off while not being alone or in the bed of some floosy. The Skyfall incident hadn’t been a year ago, yet, had it? No, not quite. Nine months? Maybe ten. Q did know Bond’s file, but he hardly memorised dates of death of people from his past. The death of that woman in Venice, maybe? His parents?

Finally, he decided to just respond to the cues he was given. “Well, I have just worked over two days straight. What’s your excuse?”

“Do I need one?” Bond grumbled, knocking back the amber content of the glass in his hand before putting it on the table with more force than necessary, reaching for the bottle.

“Christ,” Q muttered and stepped in, taking the bottle out of his hand. “You’re enough of a mess without any more of this.”

Bond stood, staring Q down (and standing entirely too close).

Q could detect a faint scent of something alcoholic that wasn’t what he currently held hostage. So Bond had probably started before getting here.

Bond swallowed dryly. “Don’t worry. I’ll be out of your hair,” he said with a pointed look towards the mess that was most likely gracing Q’s head. “I’m off.”

Q snorted. “I don’t believe that I will let you.” He grabbed an unresisting Bond (he had to be unresisting, truth to be told, for Q to be able to manhandle him) and pushed him further into the flat. “With my luck and your current state, you’ll get murdered by an old lady with her handbag, and M’ll have my hide for not preventing it.”

Bond rolled his eyes but let Q shove him into the bathroom, nonetheless. “I’m not that drunk.”

Q turned Bond around to face him. “That’s not the state I was talking about,” he said, seriously, possibly softly, too, holding Bond’s icy cold eyes with his.

Eventually, Q sighed and turned away. “Get cleaned up and get out of those clothes. You can have the bed,” he added the last part ruefully. He had been looking forward to his bed…

Bond, being Bond, gave a ghost of a smirk. “That’s quite forward of you, Q.”

It was Q’s turn to roll his eyes. “I’m taking the couch,” he griped.

Bond rubbed his face. “Look, this is ridiculous. I shouldn’t even have come here, I’ll…”

“You’ll do as you’re told, 007.” Because, dammit, he was Bond’s superior, after all.

Bond hesitated, seemingly more for show than anything else. “Yes, sir,” he replied with a mocking raised eyebrow.

Q decided that, while Bond was otherwise occupied, he’d better hide that bottle before he’d crash and not wake for hopefully at least twelve hours.

 

By the time Bond left the bathroom in nothing but his pants, Q waited for him with his eyes firmly on Bond’s face – Q himself wearing his sleepwear, consisting of sweatpants and a t-shirt – and thrust a water bottle into the other man’s hand.
“Drink this. All of it,” he said and then stood and waited for Bond to comply.

Which Bond did, though not without voicing his discontent. “You’re not my mother.” He finished the bottle in a few, long drags anyway and handed it back to his host.

Q nodded his head towards the remaining door. “Get in bed. I’m about ready to crash.” With that, he disappeared into the bathroom himself.

Once he was done, he refilled the water bottle and carried it to the bedroom.

Bond was already dead to the world and curled in on himself on the far left side of the bed. Q put the bottle on the bedside table next to Bond’s head, because, while he might not be the man’s mother, he was his quartermaster. And if water was what this particular idiot needed, then water was what he was going to get.

He walked around the bed again and fully intended to leave… Damn. He really should have sent Bond to the couch. He ventured a longing look at the empty side of his bed and the comfortable mattress…

To hell with it. Bond could bloody well deal. Would serve him right, breaking into other people’s flats without invitation or warning.

Before he even made a conscious decision, Q was already fast asleep, hardly aware of the warm body behind him and the regular sounds of both their breathing.

 

Bond woke suddenly and with a soft gasp, but otherwise remained unmoving until his mind had caught up with the rest of him and he remembered where he was and who that other person he could hear breathing behind him had to be.

He opened his eyes and couldn’t hold back the smile when he saw the full water bottle waiting for him.

He pushed himself up on his elbows and turned to look at his slumbering, assiduous quartermaster. The movement also reminded him of the reason for the water on the nightstand. The grin turned rueful, and he reached for the bottle, emptying it. After that, his bladder quite insistently demanded his attention, and he sneaked out of the bed heading for the bathroom.

Before returning, he also refilled his bottle and splashed his face and the back of his neck, trying to get rid of some of the dull throb that the water hadn’t been able to battle entirely.

He stood in the doorway to the bedroom, watching Q sleep unaware, contemplating the reason why he had decided that coming here was the right course of action in the first place, yesterday. Truth to be told, he had no freaking clue, and he probably should have hunted down his clothes and left the exhausted department head to his sleep. He remembered their first encounter, and perhaps Q’s perception of him was what he had sought out. Complete awareness of who and what Bond was, and accepting and finding him useful, nonetheless.

Only once he sat on the edge of the bed next to Q, quietly sipping his water, he realised… that he apparently hadn’t done what he should have. Instead he sat there, studying a brilliant mind at rest.

Until the brilliant mind was joined by unfocused, warm eyes.

“Bond?” Q croaked and rubbed his face.

Bond lifted his bottle in a greeting. “Morning.”

This seemed to confuse Q for a moment. “What time is it?” He twisted to his side and blindly reached for his glasses, so he could see the alarm clock. Huh. They had actually slept for almost ten hours. He was not on schedule.
“Why are you even awake? Why am I awake?” He pushed himself in a half-way upright position and looked at Bond expectantly.

Bond grinned at the picture his quartermaster made.

“Glad to amuse you.” Q did his very best not to pout.

Bond’s grin softened. “Thank you.”

Q blinked. “You’re… welcome.” The expression on Bond’s face showed actual gratitude, not just a set phrase. “Is your meltdown over, then?” he asked, neutrally. He didn’t mean for it to sound condescending or the likes; he… well… He just wanted to make sure that he didn’t miss some social cue or other, causing Bond to somehow fall to pieces like a lethal Jenga tower or something.
“I mean,” he cleared his throat, “you look rested.”

Bond didn’t seem to be taking any offence, so that was good.
“Getting there,” he said with a crooked smile that Q couldn’t help but return.

Q was about to suggest that they get something to eat, since they were both awake (and he was almost certain he still had something edible in his kitchen), but then Bond held out his water bottle for him.
Well, he did have a dry throat from sleeping, so he took it.
“Thank you.”

The first swallow made him sigh blissfully, then he tipped back his head and emptied the bottle. He didn’t really know why he peeked at Bond only a moment before moving his head upright again, but… he could clearly see man’s eyes being trained on his swallowing throat.
Q waited for Bond to return his look and somehow acknowledge or dismiss what he had just seen, but while Bond did the former, there was no acknowledgement whatsoever and even less dismissal, except for a calm and steady look between them.

After a long moment, Q realised that he was still holding the water bottle to his lips. He cleared his throat and turned away to put the bottle (that was probably insinuating all kinds of indecent things) down on the bedside table.
“That is…” What, exactly? Not what it looked like? (Ha! Right…) Not really his thing? (Hahaha! They just kept getting better.) “… extremely inadvisable.” (Well, that much at least was true.)
And when he turned back, Bond had shifted closer.

“Is it?”

Q licked his lips. Oh, bugger. Damn that soft and clear seducer’s voice. “I suppose that would depend on who gives the advice,” he conceded.

“Mhm,” Bond hummed in agreement and grinned amusedly. He reached out with both hands for Q’s glasses and slowly pulled them off, folding them and putting them next to the discarded bottle, his eyes never leaving Q’s.
Firm fingers of one hand ran along Q’s throat before cupping the back of his neck warmly and pulling him closer. So close…

James,” Q forced out in what could have been both a warning and a plea.

“Des…” Hardly more than a sigh, nothing but an abbreviation uttered by so many people in Q’s past...

And Q crumbled into a deep kiss, as if his real name (that Bond absolutely should not have known) was the passcode to bypass any walls of restraint he might have had.

And Bond knew exactly how to catch him, how to see what Q was ready to give and never take more than that, playing him so artfully that Q never even noticed how Bond was reading his cues.

When Q’s rubbery arms were once more under his control, he brought them up Bond’s shoulders and around his back… Oh, dear god. Before he even realised that he wanted to look and not just touch, Bond reacted and started kissing along his neck, his nipping, sucking and licking mouth grinning.

“Like what you see?” the smug bastard asked.

Q chuckled, his eyes now following the path of one hand running over that ridiculously refined body. “I may not be wearing my glasses, but I’m not blind…” he said, biting one shoulder.

Bond’s teeth wandered to the middle of Q’s throat, grazing over the Adam’s apple, making Q moan and tilt his head back to grant all the access his agent wished to have. Bond’s nose first bumped Q’s chin and then his nose, before he captured his lips, again.
One of his hands cradled the back of Q’s head, while the other wandered under the t-shirt and up, breaking from the kiss for long enough to pull it over his head (and making an even bigger mess of the hair).

And for a moment, Q felt… well, he felt… self-conscious. Which he’d never been with a lover before. But this situation was silly. Bond was sculpted out of what must have been some divine combination of heat and marble and flesh, and he himself was… just the quartermaster.
“I…” he managed to sneak into a kiss, “… can’t really hope to compare…”

Bond framed his head with both hands, breathing harshly. “Don’t be ridiculous,” he said before devouring Q’s mouth some more, not that Q was complaining. Neither was Q complaining when Bond gave all his attention to the previously neglected side of his neck.

“You like your men scrawny, then?” Scrawny? Oh, for the love of buggery, where the fuck did his brain think it was going? Scrawny? He wasn’t scrawny! His body was efficient and… streamlined, thank you very much.

Bond growled and sharply bit Q’s neck, making Q gasp and pull his head closer, then Bond pushed him back to lie on the bed, leaning over him.
“I would have thought it to be obvious… but I like the sexy quartermaster type.” His eyes roamed over Q’s upper body. “And you’re not scrawny.”

Oh, god. The growl was back. Q’s eyes almost crossed at that sound and the hungry look that went along with it.

“You’re edible.” Having said his piece, Bond dove to bite and suck a nipple, definitely making Q’s eyes cross and grab him with both arms, arching up into him.

And there went the insecurity. Q moaned loudly and then grinned at the sensations racing through his body and at the sheer and utter lunacy of having James fucking Bond in his bed, turning his chest into some kind of erotic quilt pattern with his teeth.
Laughter bubbled from his chest, and he could feel the answering grin on Bond’s lips. He pulled Bond up, so he could look at him, both of them breathing hard, and he knew that the hunger he had so clearly read in Bond’s expression, earlier, was now just as clearly visible in his own.

Bond chuckled. “I knew there had to be an imp hiding in there.”

Q really didn’t want to disappoint, so he pulled him back into a kiss, alternately all but fucking his mouth with his tongue and biting his lips wherever he could catch them.

And when Bond kissed a trail down his body, he gasped (he did not whine), “James!” again, feeling an extra tingle simply for the pleasure of being able to call him something other than Bond or 007. He was particular to the sound of James, especially when it was being accompanied by lips expertly sucking his cock.

 

When Q woke again from a light doze, he first watched his sleeping bed mate for a bit before realising that the light falling into his room must have meant that he just about caught the missing two hours of sleep he had planned on getting.

He ran lazy fingers up and down Bond’s steadily rising and falling (and utterly ridiculous) chest. Because, really, it was ridiculous, and it bore repeating. Who even had a body like that? Not that he was complaining, mind…

Eventually, Bond sleepily leaned into the soft touches and slowly opened his eyes.

Q smiled. “James,” he greeted him. He really liked the sound of that name.

Bond laid a hand over Q’s that was still on his chest and easily returned the smile. “Desmond.”

Q’s smile widened fractionally before turning rueful.

“What?” Bond asked, catching the fingers and kissing them.

Q opened his mouth to answer, paused, shook his head and started a new train of thought. “It… feels very good to hear that name again, but, please, stick to Des. Desmond makes me want to check if my mom is in the room.”

Bond, the bastard, laughed at him, but since he also pulled him back into a kiss, Q decided to let him get away with it. Just this once.

Within minutes, he was expertly taken apart, piece by piece and inside out, anyway… He was splayed open, licked, caressed, bitten and breached by slicked fingers. He wasn’t usually this… this…

“Are you always this complacent?” Bond asked into his right thigh.

Complacent, yes. That was the word. “No… I’m… hmmm… I’m not.” Not at all, really.

Bond nipped at the skin. “Just for me, then?” The grin was audible.

Q didn’t think that Bond’s ego needed any polishing. None. Whatsoever. “How are you so bloody good at this?” Damn his mushy brain.

To his credit, Bond didn’t gloat (as he could have), but instead returned to pleasuring his lover. It was what was different, Q supposed. He’s had generous lovers before, but not like this. Mostly, because it didn’t feel like generosity, but as if Bond gained most pleasure from giving it.

Q was a quivering mess by the time Bond moved up and over him and kissed him deeply, slowly, licking into his mouth and coaxing his tongue to respond.

“Are you ready for me?”

Q blinked at him. “What the hell kind of stupid question is that?” He lifted his head, trying to capture the lips again. He got a kiss, two. “Come here.” Three. “Come here.”

Bond allowed one more kiss, before positioning himself, both of them breathing the other’s air. “So demanding,” he murmured, but his voice trembled, as if the demand hadn’t come from Q. Instead it came from Bond himself, and he had found the part of Q answering to it and had grown and nurtured it with all of his own.

If this was what he did with all his conquests, Q wasn’t at all surprised at Bond’s reputation. He groaned loudly when he was finally breached and threw back his head. “Oh, god, fuck, yes, James…!”

Bond nearly folded Q in half, steadily and slowly moving inside and pushing Q’s legs up against his torso, while he leaned in and gasped kisses and nips. He bit a trail over Q’s chin to the spot behind his ear where he sucked at the soft skin, before latching onto the neck, groaning.
“Are you always this responsive?”

Q somehow found enough air in his lungs to growl, slung one leg around Bond’s torso to lift his hips upwards and meet him and held onto Bond’s head with both hands, biting his lip.
“Just shut up and fuck me.”

Bond grinned. “I aim to please.”
He pulled out slowly, only to push back in in one hard thrust.

Q laughed and gasped in abandon, slung both his arms around Bond’s neck, bit his ear and said, “I know.”

Bond chuckled, establishing a deep rhythm.

Yes, he did know, didn’t he?

 

Later found them in the bathroom, sharing a shower. Not that the shower stall was designed for two people, but Bond had insisted that making a mess only to have to clean it up on your own was hardly the point of making it.

 

“And I have a weakness for wet bodies,” Bond said, kissing along Q’s shoulder that was once more rinsed of shampoo and shower gel, his hands running over slick skin.

“I wouldn’t have pegged you for that much of a sensualist,” Q replied, arching into every touch. He would have arched into every single finger individually, if he could have.

“When senses are inspired, yes…”

Q hummed, contentedly. “And a shameless flatterer.”

Bond grinned and kissed him before he turned off the water, and once they were out of the shower and towelled dry, Q could see the infamous blade at work in Bond’s hand.

Q stood with his hip against the sink, watching. Which was an interesting picture… him wearing nothing but his glasses. “Are you always carrying that razor blade around with you?”

Bond’s lip twitched (not too much; not with a potentially lethal weapon in his hand). “Heard about it, have you?”

Q grinned. “Eve was raving about it.”

“Hm,” Bond agreed, almost motionless. “Did it leave an impression?”

Q nodded, slowly. “I can see why.” He huffed in amusement and slowly shook his head. “I don’t know if this is insane or just incredibly arousing.”

Bond pointedly looked down Q’s body.

“Give me a minute; I’m about to make up my mind.”

Bond finished the job with Q’s aftershave and cleaned the blade. “Interested?” he asked and held it up.

Q snorted. “Are you crazy? I’m quite handy, but with an ancient thing like that, I’d probably chop off my own nose by mistake.”

Bond took a step closer. “Would you like me to?” he asked, lowly.

Q was almost certain that is brain crashed and rebooted at that point. “Why am I even contemplating this?” he asked, rhetorically, with a bemused little smile on his face.

Bond stepped closer still. “You’re curious about what it would feel like. You – despite your decidedly in-house job – are more of a danger aficionado than most people would give you credit for. And, finally, you want to give me more of you. Your life at a razor’s edge and at the same time perfectly safe.”

“Perfectly?” Q sounded distinctly hoarse.

“Do you trust me?”

Oh, dear, a dare. Q smirked. “With your job. With my life. With this country. Decidedly not with your own health…”

Bond remained unperturbed. “Was that a Yes?”

Q waited for a moment, if only to watch Bond’s calm and self-assured expression (that most would have called simply cocky), then he nodded, slowly. “Alright.” He looked around. “Where should I sit? The bathtub?”

“No. Not steady enough.” He nodded towards the toilet.

For that, Q actually wrapped a towel around his hips. No need to sit on cold plastic. After a second’s contemplation, he took off his glasses and put them on the sink.

Bond put his blade down and picked up Q’s shaving cream, again, eyeing the prominently placed brand critically. “Where do you even get this vile stuff?”

Q rolled his eyes. “Where normal people get their things, Bond. And it does the job.”

Bond smirked slightly and applied the cream to Q’s face. “I’m going to have to convince you of my ways, some day.”

Q raised an eyebrow and waited until Bond was done and went to wash his hands. “I thought this was what you were doing?”

Bond wordlessly returned and kneeled in front of his quartermaster.

“I could get used to you on your knees.” It really needed to be said.

Bond flipped open his blade and gave Q a look.

“What? Think you’re the only one who can use one-liners?”

“Shush, you.” He spoke like talking to a tree year old, which, in his opinion, Q has been not too long ago, anyway. “This is a delicate process.” He turned the blade side to side to let it glint in the artificial light of the bathroom.

Q’s lips twitched a bit, but he remained still, otherwise. The cold metal expertly whispering over his skin felt… extraordinary. He would have shivered, had he dared to. Eventually, he closed his eyes, tilting his head where Bond directed it with a finger on his chin.

“You’re taking to this quite well,” Bond murmured lowly, intimately, and when he wiped the blade to clear it of foam, again, Q opened his eyes, looking directly into Bond’s and answered.

“I warned you I might.”

“I thought that was only pertaining to my position on my knees between your legs.”

Q remained silent and closed his eyes again, his smile amused and blissful. He was almost certain that Bond was drawing the blade over his throat more slowly than was strictly necessary. Then he remembered what had started this whole thing in the first place. When Bond was finished, he lowered his head.
“You have a disturbing fascination with my throat,” he murmured.

“Disturbing? Not beneficial?” Bond remained where he was for a moment longer.

“I… could be convinced to agree.”

Bond grinned. “Perhaps later.” He stood, went to pick up the aftershave and returned to his previous spot, applying it himself and appreciating the feel of the cleanly shaved skin.

Q ran a hand over his skin. “Nice job,” he conceded.

“Why, thank you, Q.”

“So is this how 007 makes proper use of his downtime?” he asked and stood.

Bond stepped right in front of Q and put his glasses back onto his nose. “Well, usually, there’s less shaving involved.”

“Variety keeps you on your toes.”

You keep me on my toes.”

Q smirked. “How about some food before I make sure of that again?”

Bond cupped Q’s face. “Cheeky little bitch,” he stated before kissing him. “I could eat.”

“Not only that, but you should.”

“Yes, mother.”

“But get dressed first,” Q said, demonstratively dismissing Bond and stepped around him and out of the bathroom.

Bond trotted after him. “You don’t have a pair of pants I could borrow, do you?”

Q snorted. “You couldn’t fit that arse into my pants, Bond.”

Bond contemplated going commando when Q stopped in front of a drawer.

“That is… if you don’t mind tacky…” He grinned over his shoulder. “I do have that one pair of hideous boxers that I got as a joke for Christmas, once… They never fit and were probably never supposed to.” He held them up and showed them to Bond. “They are silk, though.”

Bond stared at the offending garment. “Why anyone would put that on silk is beyond me.”

Q just threw them at Bond who caught them, his grin widening considerably when Bond actually put them on.
“They have sentimental value, so I want them back.”

 

They did manage to locate food in the kitchen, once they were both dressed, and between food and kisses and gropes, Q was beginning to think that Bond’s brand of downtime was exactly his thing…

 

And then a text message alert on Q’s phone and a phone call on Bond’s effectively ended their ’downtime’.

“Shit,” Q pronounced when he read the message. “Fucking shit,” followed when he heard Bond’s phone ring.

Bond picked up. “Bond. Yes.” He listened for a moment, then held a finger over the mouthpiece and caught Q’s eyes. “How are you getting in?”

“Car will be here in two minutes.” He was already putting on shoes.

“I can hitch a ride,” answered to the unheard question on his phone, closed the connection and followed suit with shoes and jacket. Then he went to the window, checking for the car. When it came into view, he motioned Q to have a look.
“One of yours?”

Q looked out. “Yes. Let’s go.”

Once outside, Q got into the car first.

“Good afternoon, sir.”

“Afternoon, Mister Kebede.”

Kebede startled momentarily when Bond followed. “Sir.”

Bond nodded at him via mirror. “Afternoon.”

Q wasted no time and closed the partition between driver and passengers, pulling Bond into a harsh kiss. Then he held his face firmly in position and gave the man his best stare.
“You are to come back in one piece, or I’ll have your hide and make a lab coat out of it.”

Bond grinned. “Yes, sir.” With that, he licked his way into Q’s mouth, drawing out a twin moan. “Thank you,” he added, clearly talking about all of their shared (and cut short) downtime, including the one spent sleeping.

“The pleasure is all mine, 007.”

 

Once there, they hurried inside together until Q had to take the elevator and Bond was expected elsewhere.

“Have a good day at work, Desmond,” Bond murmured, smirking.

“Fuck you.” They were in a surveillance blind spot, Q knew that very well, or Bond wouldn’t have used his name, and he wouldn’t have replied quite so crudely.

Bond leaned close and murmured in his ear. “When I get back.” He straightened. “To work, Q?”

Q grinned. Oh, yes. “To work, 007.”

 

TBC

Chapter Text

The next few days were a blur, and Q enjoyed every minute of it (with the possible exception of the waiting periods, but he tended to use those for naps and the likes).

At first, he was busy preparing everything for Bond’s departure, then, once his agent was properly equipped and had left, it was all about preparing everything for Bond’s arrival in Spain. Not as exotic, as far as locations went, but villains had long since stopped caring about lines on maps, and this particular set of arms dealing villains had managed to get two other operatives into trouble in Spain.

Q spent most of his time with 007’s voice in his ear and his signal on a map; especially, after it became clear that one of the operatives had managed to lose one of Q’s prototypes to the dealers.

Q was swearing a blue streak (in his head) and firmly decided that – because even though those ruddy amateur arsehole backwater arms dealers didn’t have much of a computerised network, the one they did have offered little protection against the likes of Q – he would shred their network so that their grandchildren would still have to check their emails for viruses.

Meanwhile, he contentedly watched as Bond did his own damage in physical form… He was glad that M only peered over his shoulder some of the time. He was quite sure that his expression might have been a cause for worry at times. But he really did love his job, and observing Bond enjoy his was just another bonus.

Not all of his enjoyment could be hidden, though. At one particular moment, when both M and Moneypenny were observing the progress of the recovery mission, they had a minute of quiet until Bond would report back.

“The two of you could take over the world if we let you,” M murmured, sounding either vaguely amused or impressed, Q wasn’t quite certain.

Eve was most definitely amused. “What makes you think we could stop them?”

Q kept his eyes firmly on the map on the screen, but he had to grin, nonetheless. “I don’t think either Bond or I would be interested in the amount of bureaucracy necessary to sustain world domination.”

There was no time for more amusement. Bond’s voice sounded over the speaker.

“I’m in.”

 

In the end, it still took three days to get Bond in, him and the operatives out, and leave a busted arms dealer ring for the Spanish authorities to deal with.

At least until they realised that the prototype and one dealer were missing, and Bond had to add another day in pursuit to France, where he almost managed to get himself arrested, had there not suddenly been an inexplicable traffic light malfunction that caused quite the chaos.
Q almost felt bad about that. Almost. There were no serious injuries, though...

And Q was so bloody exhausted by the end of it all that it took every last shred of energy he had to get home and not simply crash on his office couch. He only remembered half of the details, and it was probably safe to assume that at some point, he had called his agent James. He’d just put that down to lack of sleep.

A lack he fully intended to compensate. Sometimes he wondered how the hell he was able to lead a department if he had to babysit Bond on missions. Other times, he knew that he was just that good, enjoyed his responsibilities and possibilities way too much to want a lot of free time, anyway, and as long as he didn’t have to leave his bed for two days straight after an endeavour like the latest one, he had absolutely no problems with that.

 

He fell asleep with a grin. It might have been due to his ridiculous job or the ridiculous agent he’d had in this very bed in what felt like a different dimension of existence.

 

Those dimensions were shifting, again, while he was sleeping, and at some point during his rest, his mind returned to the flat along with his body… and though he was only marginally aware of his surroundings, it was now the blinking dot of Bond’s position, the maps, the computer networks and his own flying fingers that seemed to belong to a different person, and he was once more just a man in his bed, not Q in MI6.

He supposed this might have been why he didn’t screech in Bond’s ear in a manly fashion at finding someone in his bed who hadn’t been there when he fell asleep. A quick look confirmed that Bond had nonetheless been there for quite a while and wasn’t disturbed by Q’s waking, so Q himself just turned into the warm body (because, why the hell not?) and went back to sleep.

 

They kind of mutually drifted into wakefulness some hours later. Q first noticed the warm weight on his chest and soft, prickly hair tickle his neck and chin. Then he noticed that his right arm had apparently been running lazy patterns of its own volition up and down Bond’s left that was lying across his torso.

Bond hummed contently, and Q sighed deeply, using his other hand to pet Bond’s short hair, making the man kiss his chest.

Q grinned sleepily. “And you have the audacity to call me responsive…”

Bond huffed a laugh, his shoulders shaking slightly.

Q kissed the top of his head because he could. He did a lot of things for the same reason, these days, he found.

After more minutes of the same hazy and comfortable nothingness, Q’s voice once more broke the silence. “What are you doing here?” It was a question he had meant to ask, earlier. But then there was that ill-timed spy business that had interrupted them.

“Hmm,” Bond grumbled. “There is still that matter of a fuck you owe me.”

Q was waking up more by the second and grinned widely. “Which I will of course provide, but that’s not what I meant.” He kept up his caressing motions, for one because he didn’t want Bond to somehow think he was unwelcome given the question, and for another because – obviously – he could.
After a long stretch of quiet, Q tilted his head down to see Bond’s expression. His eyes were staring ahead.

“I’m not sure,” he finally said.

Q just kept running one hand through Bond’s hair and the other along the arm and back.
“That’s alright,” he said. He had looked up the significance of the night of Bond’s appearance in his flat while the man himself was on his plane to Spain. It had been the anniversary of the parents’ death. So if Bond didn’t know why exactly he had sought out Q, that was fine. It had appeared to help, at any rate.
“Did you find what you were looking for?” he couldn’t help ask. He felt Bond smirk against his skin.

“Rather more I’d say.”

“Enough to come back for more. I’m flattered.”

Bond grinned some more, then his smile waned. “Why did you trust me?”

Q was confused for a moment. Trust Bond with what, exactly?

Bond continued: “During Skyfall.” It was interesting. He could say the name, now, without wanting to vomit or kill (possibly both). He sighed and closed his eyes when Q’s fingers continued to run through his hair again. “I was basically an outdated, rogue agent, following a hunch. You risked everything by going along with it.”

Q had asked himself that question many times. He had taken an immediate liking to the unconventional agent, had (surprisingly) quickly learned to respect him, even. But not questioning to go along on Bond’s crazy ride for a second? That was… disconcerting.
“Why did you trust me to go along with it?” he finally replied.

It didn’t take long for Bond to answer that one. “Because you’re ridiculously competent in your field, and I trusted you to realise that I was offering the best option, damn regulation.”

Q bit his lip to prevent a smile that was too wide (not that Bond would have seen it). Instead, he tilted his head, peeking down. “That about sums it up, nicely.” He wasn’t going to return the compliment. It was kind of obvious at this point.

Bond grinned and lifted his head, catching Q’s eyes. He, like Q, contained his laugh and just turned his head down again to bite Q’s chest. “You’re a deliciously cheeky fucker.”

It made Q laugh despite his best intentions; Bond joined in a second later.

“You are ruining my reputation,” Bond complained.

“Nobody here but us.”

“Speaking of people in this flat,” Bond propped his head up on one hand (the other was wandering lower). “The security you installed is worthless. I broke in twice with no problems.”

Q rolled his eyes (and his hips into the wandering hand). “My system is impeccable, I’ll have you know. All my agents have clearance in case of an emergency.” He contemplated that for a moment. “I should probably tell it to warn me of even authorised intruders, though.”

“I have clearance?” Bond grinned.

“Trust me, if you didn’t have it, you would have encountered considerable complications when entering the premises.”

Ridiculously competent,” Bond repeated, before capturing Q’s mouth in a deep kiss.

Oh, yes, that was it. Q slung his arms around Bond and manoeuvred a leg between his. Lazy morning handjobs definitely belonged in Q’s top three of preferred ways of waking up (even if it wasn’t exactly morning).

 

Bond promptly fell asleep, again, afterwards, which left Q mostly awake and too giddy to stay in bed.

Q let the man sleep, got himself cleaned up and went to sit at his kitchen island in nothing but a pair of pyjama pants, drinking tea and tinkering on his laptop… No, he never really left Q behind. He liked the tinkering too much. Also, as Bond had pointed out, the security on his flat could do with some work. At the very least, it would be nice to know in advance whenever someone had managed to enter it. (When he had programmed the recognition and the people that would be allowed to enter, he hadn’t actually thought that he would need it. Or, to be precise, he had thought that he would be present or had been informed beforehand.)

He wasn’t really sure how necessary those changes were, and how likely it was that Bond would even be back at a later date… but it was something that his system needed fixed, and he still felt way too pleased with himself and the present situation to question the future.

His fingers were flying, and his mind was following the wires. He was entirely submerged, a clear and focused look in his eyes, every now and again a tiny, benign smile on his lips…

 

Bond must have watched Q for five minutes before he moved to stand right behind him, carefully let his hands first run gently along Q’s arms, his shoulders, his back and around his torso to press himself against the warm skin. Bond leaned in to kiss the nape of Q’s neck and could feel him slowly emerge from the depths of his own mind and melt backwards into his body.

Q’s typing slowed and stopped, and he sighed deeply, leaning his head back. “Hello, James.”

“Hello, Des,” Bond murmured against the side of Q’s neck.

Q smiled. “Why don’t you go and have a shower, and then I’ll feed my agent properly.”

“And then you can pay back your debt once we’re properly nourished?”

Q turned his head to look at a smirking Bond. “The thought has crossed my mind, yes.” He reached for a small bag on the table and handed it over. “Pants and a t-shirt, should you require it, since most of your clothes still appear to be wearable.”

Bond’s lips twitched. “Ever the quartermaster.”

“Apparently,” Q agreed with a raised eyebrow. “If there’s anything else you need, you will have to let me know while awake.”

Bond looked into the bag. “When did you even buy this?” he asked, curious.

“I ordered it, earlier, along with more food.” He nodded towards the back of the flat and the bathroom. “Off you go.”

Bond leaned in and hovered mere millimetres over Q’s lips. “Assiduous,” he said, somehow making it sound like the most erotic word in his arsenal.

Q caught his lips. “You’d better be worth the effort.”

“Hmm. Always.”

“I’m sure…”

They both so very much liked to see the glint in the other’s eyes and the twitch on the other’s lips.

Q added, “Make sure that you’re… very clean.”

Bond smirked and stole yet another kiss and then disappeared into the bathroom.

 

Half an hour later and Bond was lying on his front in the bed, shaking and moaning into the pillow, as Q made sure he really was properly cleaned. With his tongue.

Q might not have been the seducer that Bond was, but, as Bond had noted earlier, he was assiduous. And meticulous. Curious. And very thorough.

And he intended to let Bond know exactly what he had learned and catalogued about him in their previous encounters.
He knew that Bond liked to take his time with lovers until every nerve ending was singing with pleasure.
He knew that Bond liked to touch everywhere, with the whole of his hands and the delicacy of each finger at the same time, indicating that he might be just as receptive to the same treatment. He was.
He might not have known whether or not Bond needed reminding that his body was more than a lethal and sexual weapon and deserved to be worshipped, cherished, even. But Q did it anyway, and Bond melted under his ministrations and into the mattress, so it could probably be said that he did need it.

All of which taught Q something about himself, too. That (with the right lover) he could be as generous as Bond was. He had never before thought of himself as a selfish lover, though he might have had to concede that he always had been a bit of a distracted one. There was no distraction when he was with Bond. It was a tumble of Q-work-body-Bond, and it came together so very well…

So having his tongue and three fingers up Bond’s arse had him as hard and leaking as Bond himself was, and nothing was even close to his own prostate.

Bond was squirming, moaning and writhing under him, and if he didn’t get this show on the road, this would turn out to be a (little) dead end, very soon.

Q kept his fingers inside and began licking a trail up Bond’s back. When he reached the neck, Bond turned his head and struggled to open his eyes.

“How are you even real?” He then proceeded to prove that he didn’t give half a damn where that mouth and tongue had been, before and grabbed the back of Q’s neck to pull him into a kiss.
“Get to work.”

Q one-handedly reached for a condom. “Have I ever let you down?”

“No,” Bond answered without hesitation, and it sent a jolt through Q that was decidedly something other than arousal.

Q kissed along Bond’s shoulders and managed to pull out the fingers at the very last moment of putting on the condom.

Bond growled in frustration. “Get going!”

“Right…” Q wondered if they should have somehow changed position. “Like this, or…”

Bond pushed himself up on all fours. “No. If something touches my cock while you fuck me, I’ll shoot in under a minute.”

Q positioned himself, taking a hold of Bond’s hips, and only then remembered that he hadn’t done this in quite a while. He usually preferred a more passive role, since it didn’t matter much then if you got distracted, and you could just enjoy the physical ride and write programs and protocols in your head.

Not this time. This time, he needed to take care of his lover. He wasn’t sure if that was a side-effect of care-taking now pretty much being his job description, or if it had been a part of himself that he just hadn’t discovered before.

He was welcomed in Bond’s body, his cock being so exquisitely engulfed that he must have forgotten to breathe for a moment, only to then gasp for breath.

Bond groaned loudly. “Oh, yeah. That’s it. That’s it.”

Q was inclined to agree.

What followed was a jumble of thrusts, grunts, moans, Q’s cock, Bond’s delicious tightness and both their friction.

Q was sure that he must have babbled, and Bond encouraged him by moving his hips, his whole body, against him, drawing him in, wanting him.

This wouldn’t take long, not after Q had finger and tongue fucked Bond close to madness.

And just when Q thought that he would definitely go first, Bond suddenly burst out, “Now, now, now,” between his moans, Q reached around him and jerked him hard and fast, milking him for all he had.

The world probably ended for a bit there.

 

When Q managed to move from where he had collapsed next to his fucked out agent and turned towards him, Bond, still breathing hard, grinned at him.

“A bloody marvel. ‘S what you are.”

Q vaguely waved a hand. “By all means, keep going.”

They both breathed a laugh, and then laughed and breathed some more, before they both got restless (which took them about ten minutes of lying around and kissing), and Q sent Bond to write his report so he himself could get back to some programming.

Interesting. He hadn’t got distracted in the least. Just inspired…

 

They didn’t leave the flat for another day and a half, and when Bond stole one of Q’s keys (sparing both of them of Q having to risk offering it), Q pretended not to notice.

They both wordlessly agreed that whenever their downtime coincided, next, Bond would be back. And he was.

*

It was several months of what soon passed as routine for them, before an outside view was added to their arrangement. A number of missions and the anniversary of the Skyfall incident had come and gone without either of them spontaneously going up in flames. There was… well… routine.

Q – unlike Bond, who wasn’t really holed up inside HQ for any significant amounts of time – was at the heart of the gossip, so to speak. And, working together with a bunch of spies, he really doubted that their little tête-à-têtes had gone unnoticed.

Nobody had approached him directly, however, which might have had something to do with their work performance evaluations (that Q kept a close eye on and that were exemplary). Also, the fact that Q had eventually agreed on getting a transmitter implant below his collar bone might have been another reason for M to have everyone stay off their backs.

What Q hadn’t expected was that his and Bond’s ingrained instincts to stay off the various radars they knew very well were everywhere had ensured that their relationship had remained in the realm of rumours.

 

That didn’t change until late one evening when Eve entered his lab where he had been holed up, working on a project.

“Hey,” she greeted, walking up to his work bench.

Q blinked and looked up and only then seemed to notice that nobody but them was still around. “Miss Moneypenny. What can I do for you?”

She snorted and leaned her hip against his table. “When it’s this late, I’m Eve.” She raised an eyebrow.

This wasn’t the first time she had dropped by, reprimanding him for never getting out. (Though, really, it wasn’t like she was any better. She usually only visited when she suddenly found herself with unplanned spare time on her hands, and he in return usually didn’t mind the distraction. She was good company.)
He smiled.
“Eve. Did you get bored?”

She pulled a face. “Catch a drink?”

Q’s eyes wandered over his work, ruefully. He wouldn’t get anywhere, tonight, anymore, anyway. “Why not,” he agreed and turned off the systems. There were no more delicate processes running at that point.

 

They spent a pleasant two hours, not getting too drunk (Eve really just wanted the company), and since they were close to his flat, he invited her in for tea (no, it was not a euphemism, and, yes, they were both aware of it). Eve wasn’t the only one who could do with some company. Bond wasn’t expected back for another few days, and his mission hadn’t required surveillance, so Q did what he had done before getting entangled in a (probably ill-advised) sort of relationship with 007… and worked a lot.
He was well aware of the fact that he added the ’sort of’ to ’relationship’ merely for his own peace of mind. Considering some of the interactions they’d had, recently, the ’sort of’ was rapidly being replaced by something that Q wasn’t sure he dared to examine too closely.

How was one to fall in love with a man who was likely to die once an average week? Better not to think about it and just enjoy it.

Eve was a welcome distraction (as Q was a welcome distraction for her). They could talk about anything and nothing and just avoid being alone.

 

When they got to his apartment building, his good mood instantaneously vanished.

“Shit,” he just hissed and ran for the entrance.

Eve hurried after him. “What?”

Q unlocked the door and ran inside towards the first flat. “There’s a light on.”

Eve looked puzzled.

“He’s not supposed to be back, yet.” He burst through his door, assuming correctly that Eve would be right behind him.

She closed and locked and followed Q into the living room, where she could hear another, “Shit!” And then there she could see the reason for it.

“What the hell happened?” Q demanded from a slightly uncomfortable looking Bond on the couch.

“Got stabbed a bit. Just a scratch.” His eyes found Eve. “Good evening, Miss Moneypenny. I didn’t mean to interrupt…” He arched an eyebrow at Q who just rolled his eyes at him in return.

“Mission?”

“Just the clean-up left. I already handed that over.”

“And I’m guessing you need stitches.”

Bond shifted a bit in his seat. “Possibly. I couldn’t reach.”

“Bloody idiot,” Q ranted and left for the kitchen, already taking off his jacket, cardigan and tie, throwing them wherever they landed. “Why you keep refusing to go to medical, I’ll never know,” his voice drifted into the room Bond and Eve still occupied.
“Eve? Can you get the first aid kit, please?”

Eve smirked at Bond, but followed Q’s voice. “Of course.”

Q was already washing his hands and nodded towards a cupboard. “In there.”

Eve took out the (surprisingly large) case and brought it into the living room, putting it on the coffee table and opening it.

Bond in the meantime was taking off his shirt. There was a clumsily applied bandage on the upper left of his back.

Q marched back into the living room, his sleeves now rolled up and his hands clean. “On your front,” he ordered.

Bond grunted and resisted replying with a sarcastic comment.

Eve stood back and let Q remove the bandage and inspect the wound. “You’re well equipped,” she remarked.

Q huffed. “I wonder why…” he said, making Eve snicker. “At least you cleaned it, properly,” this was directed at Bond.

It was Bond’s turn to huff. “I do have some experience in wound care, you know.”

“Not enough to stitch your own back, apparently,” Q shot back, immediately, and put on gloves before opening the packages for a sterile needle and thread.

As he sat next to Bond’s hip and worked, silently, the annoyance and worry lessened and the relief set in. Bond, as per usual, hardly moved at all, as if being stitched back together was not something that required recognition, and Q by now was just glad to have the warm and breathing body next to him.
The cut really wasn’t that bad, but he still would have preferred for Bond to let professionals deal with even minor wounds. That’s what the professionals were there for, after all.

“Looks like you’ve got everything in hand,” Eve said to Q, though she was looking at Bond, smiling a tiny, benign smile.

Q was distracted with bandaging the new stitches. “It’s hardly the first time,” he said, smoothing the edges of the tape softly onto the skin.

Eve still shared an amused look with Bond. “I can see that.”

At that, Q looked up for a moment and grinned at her. Then he gently put on another tape and… Well. Why the hell not? … he leaned in and pressed a soft kiss on an uninjured spot next to the bandage.

There was a deep humming sound from the depths of Bond’s chest. “And you wonder why I’d rather have you stitch me up than medical,” he said, lazily.

Q took off his gloves and laid a hand on one of Bond’s shoulders. “James? Don’t fall asleep here. Go to bed.”

Bond squeezed his eyes shut for a moment, before manoeuvring himself into a somewhat upright position. “I really didn’t mean to… interrupt.”

Q rolled his eyes. “You’re being ridiculous.”

“Oh?” said Bond in a decidedly teasing tone and moved to sit close enough for them to breathe each other’s air.

Q retained his poker face. “Even given your own fluid sexuality, it’s still curious that this needs clarification, but I’m gay.”

Bond just smirked and leaned in for a kiss. It was chaste, tender and close-lipped, hardly more than a brush of lips, but more than anything, it was intimate.

Only once it was over did Q realise that he had closed his eyes. He blinked them open and couldn’t help but smile. “Go to bed, James.”

This time, Bond did roll out the sarcasm. “Yes, sir,” he said and moved to stand. Before he left the room, he conspiratorially tilted his head towards Eve. “He loves to pull rank.”

Eve waited until the door closed behind him. “Well,” she said, “isn’t that a revelation.”

Q closed the first aid case and froze. “You can’t tell me you didn’t already know about that.”

Eve shrugged. “There were some rumours. But whatever was going on didn’t have any ill effects on your work, quite the contrary, and you are taking every precaution.” She pointedly looked around the apartment.

Q lifted an eyebrow. Ah. So she did know about the security.

“So, unless there are any significant changes,” she continued, “M doesn’t really care who sleeps with whom.” She tilted her head. “He might even, unofficially of course, prefer you to keep an eye on Bond instead of some of the less advisable possibilities.”

Q breathed deeply and stood, picking up the case. “I could really use that tea now.”

 

Eve gave him the time it took for the tea to get ready to arrange his thoughts. As far as Q was concerned, that wasn’t nearly enough. So far, he’d had his equilibrium with Bond. They knew what they had; they’d never needed to use the words. Talking to somebody else… changed the game.

“So…” she began cheerfully. “How long’s this been going on, then?”

Q felt cornered, which was silly. Eve was a friend, and it wasn’t like he had anything to hide. Eve herself had slept with Bond, for fuck’s sake!
This… meaning me sleeping with Bond,” he said, almost testily before he caught himself. He paused and sighed, not looking up. “A few months.”

“A few?” she sounded sceptical. “How many are a few?”

He did look up at that. “What does it matter?”

She shrugged, smiling wryly. “Maybe I want to get you a potted plant for your anniversary.”

Q hesitated and lowered his eyes again. It was in the nature of a spy, even if she was no longer in the field, to be curious. No doubt, she had the evaluations in her head and wanted to compare the time frames. And, as he’d noted before, he had nothing to hide. It might have been inadvisable to sleep with a double-oh, but it wasn’t strictly speaking against regulation.
“Four,” he said. “Maybe five.” Almost certainly five, come to think of it.

What?!”

Q raised his head and blinked at her in askance.

“We were estimating maybe two, if it was true at all.”

Q tilted his head. His ego quite liked that. He gave a weak half-smile. “Well… he is a spy, and I kind of know how to erase traces…”

Eve grinned. “I’m impressed.”

“Thank you.”

They sipped their respective teas for a while.

“How are you dealing with it?” she eventually wanted to know.

He sighed and ran a hand through his mop of hair. “Which part?”

Eve pretended to think about it, her eyes wandering, but Q could see that she was thinking about something very specific. “I don’t know. The missions. The fact that he could die almost constantly…” Her eyes found his.

“He loves it. It’s who he is.” It truly was that simple.

“The women?”

Ah. Of course. He should have seen that coming.
“I don’t care.”

“That’s very… progressive of you.”

“Hardly progressive.” That really wasn’t the reason. “When he’s out there, he’s on his own. It helps him to connect to himself and, well, others.” He paused. “I don’t think even he is entirely aware of that.”

Eve didn’t seem convinced. “And…”

“No,” Q interrupted, firmly. “It doesn’t bother me.” It didn’t bother him when James wasn’t alone in the field. The sex bothered him even less. “Most of the time it’s actually somewhat amusing.”
James always came home… He froze. James. Home. Those were dangerous thoughts. He took a deep breath.
“It only bothered me the one time when one woman was so terrified of her employer that she committed suicide, and James couldn’t prevent it.” He didn’t even realise that he had called him James, again. “He… fell apart a bit when he was back.” His eyes lost focus and he huffed.
“I’d say that having no connection at all was better than the risk of losing one, but…” he shrugged, ruefully. “That would be hypocritical of me.”

Eve straightened in her seat. “Well, you haven’t lost anything, yet, and I don’t see why you should. If anyone can survive this job, it’s certainly Bond. He’s probably much safer for you than most others.” Her smile was disarming. Q didn’t know what to make of it.
“It’s interesting, though, don’t you think?”

“What is?”

“That, given his track record, he’s been coming back for months.”

It wasn’t interesting, Q wanted to say. It wasn’t. He knew why James came back. He knew why he wanted him to. It didn’t need saying.

“Do you love him?” Her smile had turned teasing.

“Neither of us is the type for declarations.”

Eve tilted her head. “Forgive me if I’m not convinced by that.”

Q held her gaze for as long as he could, then, once he was certain that he was only partially sitting with a friend, while the other part was definitely with an MI6 employee, he looked away.
“This is a private matter.”

Eve reached for one of his hands. “Q… Just… convince me that you’re both emotionally stable. That’s all, and I’ll be off your back.”

Q wasn’t sure what he was supposed to say to that. “Did we look somehow unstable, earlier?”

Eve smirked. “You definitely looked… smitten.”

Q snorted.

“Do you trust him?”

Q’s response came promptly. “I would trust him with anything.”

Eve raised her eyebrows in surprise.

Q shrugged, amused. “What can I say? Smitten.” He smirked a bit. “And that’s hardly a problem. Our mutual trust has definitely added to our efficiency.”

“Can’t argue with that,” Eve agreed and took another sip of tea, keeping her other hand on Q’s. “He trusts you as much, then?”

Q hesitated, not sure if he should disclose that much or not. “He told me… that he’d… loved and trusted people with his life before, and that it didn’t end well.” Q turned his hand to take a hold of hers. “And he told me… that he would trust me with his life… and his death.” Saying the words out loud sent a shiver through his body, almost the same he had felt when James had told him those words, except that he’d been on the brink of sleep and lying in warm, secure arms, then.
“Of course,” he quickly added at the sight of Eve’s wide-eyed and slack-jawed stare, “that was in the context of the new dental implant we’d just developed, but…”

Eve slowly shook her head, another smile growing.

“What?” Q didn’t like where this was going.

“Wow. Now I don’t know which one of you to warn off of breaking the other’s heart, anymore.”

Q sighed, exasperated and pulled back his hand.

“I’m just saying, Quinny. You’re a lucky guy.”

Q’s look turned even more exasperated. “My name’s not Quinn.”

Eve returned to her mug. “Well, you won’t tell me your real name, so deal with it.”

They fell quiet, and, bit by bit, the now spoken words sunk in, making Q realise that, yes, he was deeply in love with a man who led a very dangerous life and returned those feelings, whether either of them was ready for it or not.

The tea in his mug rippled, and then he noticed that his hands were shaking. Oh, hell.

“Q?”

Q put the mug down, took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes with one hand. “Shit.” He was having troubles swallowing. For a moment, he felt a bit like drowning, or perhaps a bit like crying. He did neither and tried to keep breathing, but the breath he eventually could take in was more like an abrupt gasp, and the words were out before he’d even noticed them taking form in his head.
“I love him so fucking much; I don’t know what to do.”

Eve hesitated. “What you’ve done so far seems to have worked.”

Has it? Of course it has. Would it continue to do so? Q wasn’t sure… Then again, who was?

“Will either of you try to keep the other from doing his job right?” Eve asked, knowing the answer.

Q’s smile clearly spelled out ’Never’, and Eve grinned back.

“Follow your own advice,” she said, “and go to bed.”

Q put his glassed back on. It did sound like a good idea.

“Go to bed to… James,” she smirked, “and he can do his report tomorrow.” She put down her empty mug and stood.

Q shook himself. “Wait. I’ll call you a taxi.”

“I can get my own, thank you.” She stepped around the kitchen island and stopped next to Q.
“Don’t worry. Should M ever ask, I’ll tell him that everything is… optimal.”

Q wasn’t so sure anymore if that was entirely correct. But close enough. “Thank you.”

“But if I may give you a piece of advice?” There was no protest, so she continued. “Perhaps a declaration or two wouldn’t go amiss. You know, just to get your thoughts in order.”

 

Q was still pondering that when he was ready for bed and stood watching James sleep. The man was lying on his front, no doubt avoiding the fresh stitches, and appeared to sleep peacefully.

Q sighed and went to sit on the edge of his side of the bed. A declaration or two. Well, it was really only the one, wasn’t it? Eve was right, what James had said to him (and what he himself had returned without hesitation) was much more revealing than a clichéd triplet of words.

Then why did he make it into such a big deal?

He put his glasses on the nightstand and rubbed his face with both hands. Because James had loved before, had been ready to give up everything, and had lost it, instead. All because of… a triplet of words.

“Des?”

Q jerked out of his reverie when a gentle hand touched his back.

“Is everything alright?”

“Yes. Eve went home.” His voice must have sounded off, because James sat up and inched closer to wrap an arm around him and put his chin on a shoulder.

“Try again.”

Q huffed, amused and laid his hand over the one on his stomach. He was still vibrating with those silly words, ever since they had burst out of him in the kitchen, earlier. Such an annoying niggle in the back of his head.
“I love you,” he said. “I never said, did I?”

James’ lips twitched and he kissed Q’s shoulder. “That’s what’s been bugging you?”

Q sighed when James kissed along the shoulder and then the neck.

“After everything we’ve done together, done to each other, said to each other,” James listed, “did you ever doubt that I return what you never told me?” he asked and lifted his head so that Q merely had to turn his own for them to look into each other’s eyes.

Blue met blue. Q smiled. “Never.”

“I can always count on you. You always have my back. You understand. You understand the necessities of our job.” He ran a finger along Q’s lips. “You understand the joys of it.” And there was that glint in their eyes again, just like at their very first meeting. “Like nobody else.”

Q exhaled and pushed James onto his back (more or less mindful of the bandage) and kissed him silly.

Eventually, James pushed him back a bit. “Just for clarification…”

Q snorted a laugh.

“I love you, too.” His knuckles traced a cheekbone, and Q leaned into the touch.

Q turned his head and caught the hand to kiss it. “It’s not always going to be this easy, though, is it?”

James shrugged. “Well… I’m game.” He sought out Q’s eyes. “If you are.” There was a hint of insecurity in the second part of the statement. Only just enough for Q to catch. Perhaps something that needed closer inspection at a later date.

“I’m game.” Anything else was out of the question at this point.

James released a soft breath, a bit of the tightness around his eyes lessening.
“Then this, at least, will be that easy.”

 

TBC

Chapter Text

This had to be Q’s favourite. He might change his mind the next time, or the time after that (as he tended to do, all the time, actually), but it definitely was his favourite, right now, having James move above him, inside him, all moans and gasps and quiet murmurs and kisses – god, the kisses – slick, teasing, deep kisses that felt at least as intimate as the cock thrusting into his arse.

James was in full seductive lover mode, giving Q exactly what he needed. Being taken care of and taken apart, only having to desperately cling and pull and have; being able to feel to his core that the upcoming mission would go well and James would come back. Back to him, back home.

That was why Q could never decide what kind of sex he loved best. James could read him like an open book and responded to Q’s needs at any given time, revelling in the resonance of pleasure between them.

God, but James was a proficient lover. And, right now, what he was even better at than fucking was kissing. Twining their tongues, coaxing Q to play and gasp and whimper. Capturing, nipping and biting those absurdly rosy lips, making sure that Q would feel the gentle throb for a long time, afterwards.

James made Q come with a strangled sob and tight arms around James’ neck, before he sped up and followed him with a heartfelt groan and the image of hazy blue eyes and a loving and fucked-out face.

He collapsed on his lover and buried his face in the crook of his neck, breathing hard.

Q kissed his temple. “James…” he whispered, all he could still process.

James kissed along his neck, cheek and, finally, mouth, though it was more a brush of lips against skin. “Beautiful,” he said onto the lips. “You’re so beautiful.” He smoothed Q’s hair off his sweaty forehead with both hands, again and again, just staring at this amazingly talented young man who really had no business loving someone as old and damaged as he was.

The soft look on Q’s face turned into a soft frown. “James?”

James just shook his head and grinned. “Just thinking that I’m stupidly lucky.”

Q smiled a lopsided smile and laid a hand on one of James’ cheeks. “Considering how you manage time and time again to get out of the most ludicrous situations in the field, I’m inclined to believe that you must have the devil’s own luck, at least.”

James couldn’t but agree. “Must be.” Though he currently wasn’t thinking of the job.

Q read him right, of course (it wasn’t as hard, this time, as it sometimes could be), and his smile softened. “I love you so much.”

James leaned down and kissed him, once, briefly. “Love you too.” He lifted his head. “To work, Q?”

Q nodded, slowly and stole another kiss. “To work, 007.”

And, even after two years of James-and-Des and almost three of Bond-and-Q, the glint of joy in their eyes when it came to their job was still there, in spite of the worry.

Their smiles turned into smirks, their bodies leaving the hazy state and getting ready, and their last kiss before getting up was decidedly and deliciously dirty (with daring tongues, loud, deep, harsh and accompanied by throaty laughs).

*

One and a half days later, Q was having a startling epiphany while watching Bond via a casino’s security feed and listening to him via earpiece, with only Moneypenny to keep him company, since it was late at night (both in London and Vienna), and the mission was not at a critical juncture (not that those ever came as expected), and, apparently, they were both idiots.

Bond was talking to some gorgeous daughter of the target. Nothing he hadn’t done countless times, and both Q and Moneypenny expected it to go as it had countless times.

And then it didn’t.

”I’m married,” came Bond’s voice over the comm.

Moneypenny just grinned, amused (being much more surprised than she wanted to let Q see).
“Something you would like to tell me, Quinny?”

Q would have rolled his eyes, but his mind was busy processing the sudden realisation that he couldn’t pinpoint when exactly the last time had been that Bond had taken someone to bed during a mission when it wasn't for a sexual interrogation. It was just something that Bond did. It was even something that they talked about, afterwards. It was… Q blinked. It had been more than half a year since Bond had last done it.

He went through his (always accurate) mental calendar and blinked. Bond’s exploits had already started lessening before that point seven months ago. Q had never even noticed the changes.

“Q?” asked Moneypenny, and Q quickly shushed her, pretending to listen to the conversation between Bond and the woman.

They soon both realised what Bond’s reason for saying he was married was when he added the little titbit that he was married to a man.

“Oh, that’s clever,” Moneypenny sounded genuinely impressed.

Q nodded absently. The file on the woman showed that she'd had a brother who had been killed (together with his male lover) by their father in a fit of rage.
Yes, yes, yes. Very clever. Whatever! That didn’t change the fact that the statement that had startled him still rang much truer than Q had been aware of.

Bond was now showing the woman his phone with (so Q and Moneypenny assumed) an image of Q that brought her near tears.

“Oh, no, he didn’t,” growled Q.

”He is lovely, Mister Bond.”

Eve snorted a laugh, trying unsuccessfully to hold it back. “You are lovely, Quinny.”

Professionalism be damned, Q clinked himself into Bond’s earpiece. “If you showed her what I think you just showed her, I’ll make every single gadget explode in your face when you try to use them!”

Moneypenny laughed, and Bond – who by now was leading the woman out of the casino – passed by the security camera he knew Q must have been using to get the best angle and winked at it with a tiny smirk.

Q huffed but switched the connection to input only, again.

“Come on,” Moneypenny said, bumping him with her shoulder. “Can’t be that bad, can it?”

It wasn’t. “That’s not the point,” Q complained. “It’s private.”

Moneypenny tilted her head. “He did call you his husband, though. That must make up for some of it…?” she drifted off at the end, making it clear that it was more of an insinuation than a question.

This time, Q did roll his eyes. “We’re not married, Eve.”

“Hm.” Moneypenny leaned against Q’s work bench. “And since your hubby isn’t here…”

“Oh, god.” He had the feeling he would be hearing that a lot in the near future.

“… it’s up to me to tell you to go and get some sleep.”

Well, he was rather tired, by now.

“At least a kip on the couch in your office?”

Q sighed. “Yes, alright. You?”

“I’ll be back later. Can’t miss the grand finale, can I?”

They smiled at each other for a moment, she kissed him on the cheek and then left him to his thoughts.

He didn’t stay long, after that. He waited for just long enough to ensure that Bond was in no immediate danger, and the woman really only offered him a room to sleep in and not a room full of murderous lackeys.

Still… he went to his office wearing an earpiece and lay on the couch.
“Good night, James.”

”Good night.”

He fell asleep listening to James’ breaths.

*

The mission hadn’t gone too badly, considering. Bond had still managed to somehow lose enough blood that he couldn’t just skip medical, this time.

Q found him lying in a bed, only half awake. They were alone, and Q had made sure before coming in that they would have their privacy from the cameras.

“James.”

James blinked his eyes open, turned his head and grumbled, disgruntled.

Q just smiled and approached the bed. “They’ll let you leave by morning if you’re good.”

James looked particularly put out. He hated medical. “I’d still much rather be at home.”

Q sat on the edge of his bed. “I couldn’t have dropped by, there. Busy.”

“And I don’t even warrant a kiss?”

Of course he did. Just a little one, though. Q sighed against his lips.
“You’ll be fine.”

“I know that. I’m always fine. Eventually.”

Q just sat there, running his hand through James’ short hair and over his cheek and neck and back again.

James was on the verge of falling asleep.

“James?”

James hummed and opened his eyes.

Q hesitated. This was… awkward. Much more awkward than it was to talk about trysts that did happen.
“When did you stop sleeping with women on missions?”

James shifted a bit on his bed. He wasn’t uncomfortable, per se, but perhaps bracing himself.
“I’m sure you’ve figured out the time frame.”

Of course Q had. “Why did you stop?” His hand wandered down to lie on James’ chest.

“The commitment becoming too much for you?” He wasn’t serious. He was… evading. And Q knew that.

“Don’t be ridiculous, James.”

James sighed.

“I just want to know…” Q continued, “… if it was because you thought that’s what I wanted, or because you just didn’t feel like it, anymore.”

James pondered that for a moment. “Did you like it? When you realised it?”

Q averted his eyes for a second, hiding his smile and cleared his throat. “Well… it was… flattering, I suppose.”

James grinned.

“But it’s not something I require of you,” Q added. “If you want some form of contact during missions, that is alright.”

“I stopped because I didn’t feel like it anymore.”

They were silent for a long moment.

“Okay,” Q said.

They were silent some more.

“But if you ever do feel like it,” Q continued, “I want you to know that it’s fine. It’s all fine.”

James laid a hand over Q’s on his chest and just breathed in and out, enjoying the weight of their connection.
“It would have been easy, this time,” he said.

Q knew that. He’d been watching. That’s why both he and Eve had thought that it was a foregone conclusion.

“She would have welcomed some contact. Perhaps even needed it.”

Q waited for him to continue.

“She needed to feel something, so I gave her something.”

Q smiled ruefully. “You showed her the picture of me you took that one morning where I was only half awake, didn’t you?”

James grinned a bit. “I’m attached to that picture.” Then he sighed. “She would have needed all my attention, and I wasn’t sure I could give her that.”

Q understood. At least he was pretty sure he did.

He stayed with James until he fell asleep.

*

No, no. This was now definitely his favourite. (Never mind that he’d thought the same thing three days ago when he and James after two weeks of work upon work after that visit in medical had managed to get an undisturbed minute in Q’s office, and Q had sat his agent on the desk and screwed him silly.)

James for his part didn’t care about favourites. He was torn between throwing his head back with closed eyes while Des was riding him into oblivion… and keeping his eyes wide open to see the vision above him.
For now he managed to keep his eyes on Des, but he knew it would be only a matter of time before his little minx drove all awareness straight out of him.

Des was leaning forward with his hands on James’ shoulders, his thighs shaking, but James wanted more, wanted to see his lover come apart as seamlessly as he was, so he reached for those hands, twined their fingers and pushed Des upright, letting him brace himself on his arms.

Des moaned loudly, the different angle now doing all the things to him he didn’t have the words for, anymore. (Yes, definitely the favourite.)
“Oh, oh, oh… I…”

“That’s it,” James encouraged, starting to move with Des and thrust his hips upwards. “That’s it. You.” He gasped. “You.”
He watched Des’ chest move rapidly with every gasp, moan and sob.

“James.”

“Yes.” There were tears in Des’ eyes, now, both of them staring at each other with more devotion than should have fit into two mere mortals.
“Can you come like this?”

Des’ fingers clenched around James’. “I…” He didn’t know. He felt like he might, might… no, just… He didn’t want hands, he wanted…

James lowered his arms and pulled Des close to his body, the angle now less desperate, but Des’ cock captured between their slick stomachs. He slung both arms around the slim body lying on him, held him tight and felt him go limp. He braced his feet on the bed and thrust into the wonderfully greedy body.

Des was shaking, his whole body overcome by sensation. The pressure on his prostate had lessened, the friction against his cock taking over, and all he could do was whimper into James’ neck.
“James, James, James… Please!

James thrust upwards faster, going deeper and moving his abs against Des’ straining and leaking erection.

Des came with a loud shout that ended in whimpers bursting out of him with every rapid breath.

When one such whimper turned into, “James,” James spilled into the willing tightness, surprised by the suddenness of it, leaving him completely undone.

“I love you,” Des breathed.

James just shook his head, incredulous. “Such an amazing creature.”

Des giggled, giddy and buzzing and blissful… and turned his head to see if he could taste those feelings on James’ tongue. He could. Just like always.

Eventually, Des propped himself up on his forearms, just breathing and smiling at James.

“Let me guess,” James said in mock contemplation. “Favourite?”

Des burst out laughing, making James slip out of him, and James joined his laughter after a second.
“It amazes me how you can still find new favourites for me,” he said, grinning.

“I think this one’s an old favourite.”

Des tilted his head. True, that. He smirked and leaned in for a small kiss before murmuring onto James’ lips.
“There’s something to be said for old favourites…”

“Cheeky little shit,” James grumbled, grabbed Des and spun him onto his back, leaning over him and making him laugh.

They kissed for a long moment, before James pulled back to simply look at his beautiful young lover.

Des ran soft, lazy fingers over James’ cheek. “Are you over your crisis, then, love?” He very consciously added the endearment (not really one either of them indulged in; their names were more than endearing enough, thank you).

James looked surprised, or at least tried to. “What crisis?”

Des rolled his eyes. “The 003 crisis.” The crisis that had James have doubts about deserving a lover like Des, only a few weeks back.

James’ expression turned sour.

“Didn’t think I’d notice, did you?”

“There was no crisis,” James protested.

Des thought that frankness would probably get this matter behind them the fastest.
“You thought that me having to deal with a new and younger model of 00 agent would make me realise that you’re outdated.”

James tried to scowl at him, but the uncertainty was still there.

Des sighed and his eyes softened. “You bloody idiot,” he said, lovingly. “Hang on…” he said and grabbed for his glasses on the nightstand. “I need to see you properly for this.”

Des made James sit and placed himself in front of him.

“First off,” Des started with a lingering look along James’ naked form, “his physique doesn’t even come close to yours; he moves with all the grace of a lumberjack and has the charm of a toaster; and while he obviously is a very efficient killing machine, I do prefer my lovers to have more of a personality than the weapons I make for them.” He firmly held James’ eyes with his. “And most importantly. He is not you.”

James said nothing, just marvelled at Des for a bit.

“Don’t mistake me for the kid you thought I was when we first met.”

“No,” James said, instantly. “You’re one of the most strong-willed and decisive people I have ever met.”

“And perfectly capable of making my own decisions,” Des couldn’t help add.

“I am well aware,” James agreed. “I apologise.”

Des smirked. “You don’t have to apologise to me. You’re the one feeling insecure.”

“You little…”

Des just laughed and framed his face, pulling him into a smiling kiss. Afterwards, he just studied him for a moment before coming to a decision.
“Hm. I might have something for you,” he said, standing and walking to his cupboard, rummaging around in his clothes on the upper shelf, looking for something he’d hidden behind them. “I was going to wait for the right moment, but, well…” he turned around looking at James. “Timing sometimes is overrated.” He grinned and threw something at James that he promptly caught.

James held the box in hand without opening it. It was hardly necessary.

Des sauntered back to the bed. “Should you accept my proposal, there’s still the question of whether or not you’d want to wear it outside of the flat. There are pros and cons, of course, and in the end, it would be up to you.” He flopped down to sit in his previous spot.
“And there’s a transmitter in both of them.”

At that, James actually flipped the box open. “You put a radio in our wedding rings?”

Des smirked a little smirk.

James returned it. “How romantic.”

“What do you say?” Des asked, though he had no doubt whatsoever what the answer would be.

James leaned a little closer. “You know, you haven’t actually proposed…”

Des leaned closer as well. “I made the rings; I’m not bloody well getting down on a knee.”

James stole a kiss. “You’re a menace,” he growled lowly.

“Is that a Yes?”

James grinned, ruefully, his eyes alight with humour. “There’s only ever been one answer when it came to you.”

Des grinned back. “And that was a Yes.” It wasn’t a question.

“Of course it bloody was.”

The only acceptable answer to that was, of course, another kiss.

“So…” Des leaned back a bit. “Do you actually want a ceremony, or should I just hack into the registry?”

James didn’t reply with the ’I love you’ that was on the tip of his tongue, but the laugh that burst out of him spelled it out just as clearly.
Still chuckling, he put the box on the bedside table, let himself fall back onto the bed and pulled Des half on top of him.
“I have to admit to a particular fondness for watching your clever fingers at work.”

Des smirked. He had hoped James would go for that option. “Hacking, then?”

“Hm…” James hummed and licked Des’ lips with his tongue who caught and sucked at it for a bit.
“Here’s what we’ll do, quartermaster. At the first chance we get, we’ll check into a suite of a ridiculously overpriced hotel; we’ll be wearing tuxedos, and you will bring your laptop.”

Des laughed more or less silently but didn’t comment.

“And then you will get us married without the interference of some bureaucrat, after which we will spend the night fucking each other into oblivion. Any additional input?”

“Excellent plan of action, 007. Not sure the tuxedos are necessary, though, seeing as we’ll be rid of them before long.”

“Always wanted to see you in a tuxedo.”

“Hmm,” Des hummed. “I suppose I could make an exception for you. On that particular occasion.”

James spent a long minute just looking at Des, again. It was something that he had taken up doing a while back (initially mostly when the other man was asleep), and eventually, Des had even stopped giving him odd looks and just indulged him. Like now. It appeared he was just as happy looking back.
Fuck me, we’re getting married.”

Des grinned. “So it would seem.”

James pulled off Des’ glasses and put them aside, before running his hands through his hair and pulling him into a kiss.

*

“Motherfucking bloody cock-up!” Des was swearing at his mirror.

Chuckling, James walked around the corner, and Des turned to look at him.

“Oh, this is just perfect!” Des complained. “You look fucking… devastating, and I look like…” he turned towards the mirror, again, “… like a knob.”

James grinned and walked up behind him. “You do have a lovely knob, but you don’t look like one.”

“I look like I’m playing dress-up.” He was seriously getting frustrated with this shit, the unbound bow tie now hanging from limp fingers. “I should have just got a clip-on.”

James huffed and snatched the bow out of Des’ hands. “I’m not marrying anyone wearing a clip-on.”
He put the band in position, reached around Des’ neck and quickly tied a perfect bow.
“There.” He turned down the collar of the dress shirt. “Devastating.” He smiled at Des in the mirror and kissed the side of his neck.

“I still think I look silly.”

James sidled even closer and ran his hands up and down the meticulously tailored waist.
“You have no idea just how bloody gorgeous you look right now,” he murmured straight into Des’ ear, the warm breath and words sending tingles down Des’ spine.

Des sighed. “I’m thinking maybe I should have worn contacts or at least different glasses…”

“Nonsense. You look perfect.”

“You’re biased.”

“I have excellent taste.” James cupped Des’ chin and turned it towards him so that he could kiss him. “Stop arguing with me; it’s our wedding day.”

 

It was. Their short-notice wedding day. There hadn’t really been much downtime (not that either of them minded, overtly), and their engagement (such as it was), had been almost a month ago.

They’d both only just got off work in the wee hours of the morning and had managed to go home within minutes of each other and get some sleep.
It was now well into the afternoon, and they wouldn’t have to be back in until the next day, so they’d decided to get this show on the road. After all, they didn’t need anything other than each other, a laptop, proper attire and an undisturbed night.

 

They remained in front of that mirror, until Des relaxed into the image they made together.

“Yeah, okay,” he finally conceded. “Maybe we do look…”

“Yes?”

“Good. We look good together.”

James’ hands were still warm on Des’ sides. “No cold feet?”

Des’ soft smile never faltered, and he leaned back. “No. You?”

James considered a whole list of smartarse answers, but in the end, he just settled for, “No.”

One more deep breath, and they were off. James with the suitcase with the clothes they’d need to get back to work the next day, Des with the briefcase containing his laptop.

*

“Interesting choice,” murmured Des when they entered the hotel and approached the reception desk.

“It had the kind of room vacant that I wanted. And I’ve stayed here, before.” James strode decisively towards the desk, Des doing his level best to not look out of place.

“Welcome to the Mandarin Oriental. How may I help you?” they were greeted.

“Reservation for Bond.”

The woman checked the reservation. “That would be the one bedroom deluxe park suite,” she confirmed.

Des was silently impressed that she showed absolutely no outwards reaction to the occupants both being male. Then again, considering the price they paid for this, it would have been stupidly unprofessional of her.

She handed them a key, smiling politely. “Enjoy your stay.”

 

Finally inside their suite and the door closed, Des breathed out. “How you deal with this kind of environment all the time is beyond me.”
He shook himself and approached the working desk in the suite. This was so much more his area.

James studied the room. He was looking forward to the bathroom that he had every intention of sharing with Des, later.
“You have no appreciation for the finer things in life,” he bemoaned.

Des started up his laptop. “It explains you, anyway.”

James smacked him on the butt (making Des smirk) and then just remained standing behind him, looking over his shoulder.
“You prepared it?”

“Of course. I do have other plans for today… And there was an annoying amount of forms and documentation to go through.”
He turned on the laptop’s camera and turned around. “Could you stand by that wall for a moment, please?”

James did as he was asked. “Why?”

Des adjusted the camera. “That’s where we’ll stand to exchange the rings. I’ll be taping it.”

James pulled a face. “What for?”

“Because it’s my bloody wedding, and I want some sodding wedding pictures. That’s why.”
Once he was happy with the angle, he turned on the video recording and then opened the program he had prepared in advance to get into the registry.

James just grinned. He didn’t really mind. It was… nice to think about having a picture, actually.

“By the way,” Des added, already typing, “I’m taking your name. Thought I should mention that.”

James frowned, walking back to him. “What’s wrong with your name?”

Des stopped typing and looked up. “Aside from the fact that it unnecessarily endangers my family?”

“You already use Q at work. It would take quite some effort to get your real name.”

Des raised an eyebrow. “A name that you knew from the start. Your surname is another layer between them and me. Besides, I’ve been hacked before.” He averted his eyes. He did not like to think about that. “I’m taking your name and that’s final,” he added, returning to his typing.

James held up his hands in mock defeat. Again, it wasn’t like he truly minded. On the contrary, now that he was thinking about it. Hm. Interesting.
“Whatever you say, Mister Bond.”

Des smirked. “Not quite yet.”

James kissed his temple. “I love you.”

Des laughed and leaned away. “Just… hold on a minute. I’m almost done.” He typed some more.
“Okay…” he handed James an electronic pen and pointed at the touch pad of the laptop. “Sign your name on the pad.” He took a step to the side to give him the room to do so.

James took the pen, signed with exactly zero hesitation and gave the pen back.

Des pressed one button and then signed himself.

James grinned. “Did you practise signing this name?”

Des rolled his eyes and gave him an exasperated look. “Once or twice, yes.”

James’ grin widened.

“No, I never made a heart out of the O.”

They kept it together for a grand total of two seconds before they both had to laugh.

James couldn’t help leaning in and kissing him, and Des accepted him for a moment, before pushing him back again.

“One moment. Almost done.” He cleared his throat and blinked a few times to get his mind on track and back to typing, again. “There.” He looked up after less than fifteen seconds. “Would you like to do the honours?”

James scanned the screen. “I just press enter?”

“You just press enter,” Des confirmed.

And James did.

“And that’s it.” They took a moment to breathe. Breathing was important. “Do you have the rings?” It was a silly question; he knew James had the rings.

James pulled them out of his pocket. “We stand over there?”

Des nodded, and they got in position, and… then they felt a bit at a loss.

“Should we just…?” James handed Des the ring to put on him. “Put them on?”

“I don’t know. I've never done this before.” He couldn’t help smiling, despite the fish-out-of-water sensation.

James held up Des’ ring and studied it. “Anything you want me to promise you with this?”

And then Des knew what he wanted. It was simple, really. “Promise me you’ll always try to not get your stupid arse killed.”

James grinned, lifted Des’ left hand with his and pushed the ring onto the fourth finger. “With this ring I swear to always try to not get my stupid arse killed.”

Des felt like giggling madly. In the end, he bit his lip and shook in silent laughter. Another deep breath and he held up James’ ring. “Any requests?”

James' amused expression turned serious for a moment. “Promise you won’t give up on me.”

Des smiled solemnly and put the ring on the designated finger, his eyes steadily on James’. “I swear I will always find you, and I will always have your back.”

Yes, that was it. That was exactly what James had meant. He took both of Des’ hands into his own.

Des looked at James’ face, then at their hands with the rings, then back at the face.
“Wow… that’s…”

James grinned a bit. “Quite the effect for a bit of hacking and two rings.”

“Yes.”

Both their grins widened and matched.

It was a good thing that they were on their own and not at some registrar’s office; their kiss was decidedly not one meant for an audience.

Their tongues met before their lips did, both moaning breathily into the kiss, and their hands didn’t still for a moment.

When James pulled back enough to speak, he first smirked at Des’ spit-slicked lips and dazed expression.
“Ready to find a new favourite?”

Des licked his lips. “I think I’m in the mood for an old favourite.”

“Hm. Might we have enough time to revisit several favourites?”

Des leaned in for a deep, hungry, devouring kiss. “We had better.” Then he remembered the camera on the laptop.
“Maybe I should turn this off, first.” He disentangled himself and walked over to the desk.

James smirked. “You should send Eve a copy. You did add her as a witness, after all…”

Des chuckled, turned off the recording and closed the laptop. “She might like this a bit too much…”

“Oh… Let her have her fun,” James chided.

“I might.” He had actually thought about it, before. Now, and after that kiss, he wasn’t so sure, anymore…

James just sidled next to him and pulled him into his arms. “So, Mister Bond…”

Des held back a snort. This would take some getting used to, even if he hardly ever heard his name, in the first place.

“… What is your favourite of the night?”

***
***

Q’s eyes flicker to the clock on his monitor. He has been in the lab for less than five minutes. The tiny lip twitch becomes a full-blown smirk. That really hasn’t taken long.

 

No more than five minutes. James is off somewhere getting ready for his briefing, while Q is waiting for his own orders to get James ready for the job.

Usually, it’s an electronic file and not a personal visit, however, and Q has no doubts as to why it is not just a file, today.

No, that’s not the surprise, either. What does surprise him, is that it’s not Moneypenny. Both he and James had expected that. Q has, after all, sent her that video in the end.

The person he can see approaching his desk in his office via a mirror image on his monitor is not Moneypenny. Apparently, he’s warranted a visit from M himself.

Q turns around. “Sir.”

“Good morning, Q.” M hands him a file. “I expect you’ll be able to get this ready in time for after 007’s briefing?”

Q doesn’t have to open the file. He knows what’s in it, more or less.
“Of course.” Q is now very curious about M’s reaction. There are numerous possibilities, and he’s ready to defend his and James’ decision if need be. (As, so he knows, is James.)

M clears his throat. “Then I believe congratulations are in order, Mister Bond.”

Q’s eyes briefly flicker behind M. Yes, the door is closed.
“Thank you, sir.”

“I trust that all necessary steps have been taken to minimise the risk of… malicious exploitations of the change in your marital status?”

Q knows what that means. ’Don’t get kidnapped. Don’t let anyone use either of you against the other. I don’t want to have to send someone to kill both of you if it happens.’
Q clears his throat. “We have taken measures a while back.”

M nods. He does know about that.

“Some additional steps have been taken to secure the distance between HQ and our home.” He squints at his ring. He knows damn well that the ring could be removed during a kidnapping, but he is quite certain that they would be able to activate the distress signal in a second if necessary.
“And there’s a… an additional tracker.” Hm. Might as well. “One that I feel has interesting possible applications in the field for other agents. We have conducted a series of tests, already.”

M grins a bit at Q’s enthusiasm. “Your work ethics have never been in question, Q.”

Q shrugs one-sided and returns the smile. “I saw no reason not to develop the rings further.”

“Indeed.” M straightens and readies himself to leave. “Well, after 007’s current assignment, I think a holiday would not go amiss.”

Q holds back a laugh. “Are you sending us on a honeymoon, sir?”

“Goodness, no. I don’t have a single romantic bone in my body. Or so I’m told.”

Q does laugh a bit, then.

M turns to leave, and then stops to look back. “By the way… thank you for considering me as a witness for your special occasion along with Miss Moneypenny.”

Q blinks. So M has found the marriage license, too, then, not the just the registry entry.

“It was a lovely ceremony,” M adds, before leaving a laughing Q to his work.

 

END


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