Bond had an unfortunate habit of nicknaming his lovers after the animals they most resembled. He had begun doing it years ago, and then had read in a biography of Aleister Crowley that the notorious ceremonial magician, public personality, and private spymaster had done the same thing. Amused, Bond had continued the practice but kept it to himself; it was an unfortunate habit only because his lovers were rarely flattered by their sobriquets. He still remembered the woman who had nearly clawed his eyes out when he called her a little cheetah; pointing out the curved streaks her rained-off mascara had made down her cheeks had not helped.
The curious thing about Q was that James couldn't make up his mind which animal the man most resembled. He was a veritable menagerie of beasts, a repertory company of personae. Sometimes he was a night owl, working swiftly and efficiently in the dark hours when good, respectable people slept. Sometimes he blended into the background unnoticed, like a small brown bird hiding from predators amidst brown leaves, brown bark. Sometimes he was serpent-like, sinuous, devious, cunning, never moving in a straight line, and shedding his skin just when you thought you had him figured out.
This morning, however, Q was a cat. Definitely a cat, tangled up in the sheets of Bond's king-sized bed--tangled up in *most* of the sheets, including Bond's share--and dozing in a sunbeam, in a most improbable posture. Not since a back injury had forced Bond, regretfully, to forgo yoga had he been able even to approximate the positions in which Q slept, with apparent comfort and ease. Yes, in repose he was definitely a cat. His hair even looked like the fur of a kitten which had been licked up by its mother but not groomed back down.
"I can almost hear you thinking." The voice came from under one pale arm, crooked over a face half-buried in a pillow. "Is it necessary to think so *loudly*?"
James bent and pressed a scratchy, unshaven kiss against a pointed white elbow. Slowly, the arm uncoiled, the shoulder it was attached to rolled back and brought a narrow chest and another shoulder into view, and Q's face emerged from the pillows, like a face rising up through green water. He blinked several times and laid a hand on Bond's face, only to push him away.
"Ah. Now you're in focus. Good morning, James." Red lips curled back from white teeth.
"You were expecting someone else?" James bent again and kissed the corner of Q's mouth.
"Ugh. Let me up," Q said, pushing at Bond again. Unoffended, James lay back and watched Q thrash his way out of the sheets, roll to his feet, and saunter to the loo, which James had already visited this morning. From behind the closed door came the sounds of a healthy piss, a deep sigh, and a flush.
Q came back scrubbing his hands through his hair, which did nothing to tame it. Not that he seemed to care whether his hair was tamed or not, even at work, or in formal situations, and that, James thought, was un-cat-like; cats were nothing if not well-groomed.
With his long limbs and narrow torso, his hair standing out, he looked more like a lemur, James thought. A lively, long-limbed primate, loping on two legs, clever with its fingers. Q had scant hair on his chest, arms, or legs, but he had thick tufts of black under his arms and a generous thicket around his cock and ballocks, and a morning beard more noticeable than Bond's own because it was as dark as Q's hair. Q shifted from foot to foot, increasing the lemur impression as he eyed Bond speculatively.
Q pounced, rolling James onto his back and covering him with wiry strength and a cock that suddenly leaped and pushed against James's belly. James laughed into Q's mouth and ran his hands down sleek back to firm round buttocks, pulling them gently apart to tease at the soft little hole framed by more of that dark lush hair.
"Fuck me then?" Q was practically gasping, squirming randily between the friction of James's belly and the delicate inquiry of his fingers. "You didn't fuck me last night."
"I did get you off twice, as I recall." James took a double handful of arse and squeezed. "Oh, the insatiability of youth."
"Hush, you." Q sat up astride Bond's hips. "You've a refractory period barely longer than mine, and you're hung like a bloody horse."
Smirking, Bond pulled Q down against him for a kiss, gripping the nape of his neck. Q relaxed and let himself be kissed, in turn thrusting slowly but steadily against Bond's belly and his rousing cock, which was exactly what Bond wanted. He *did* have a short refractory period for a man his age, but he still didn't rouse physically as fast as Q did; it took his body a little longer to catch up with his intentions than it once had.
"Hung like a horse, eh?" He growled into Q's ear to cover his own gasping need for more. "Want me to mount you like a stallion, then?"
He felt the younger man's grin on his neck. "Oh James, you say the sweetest things."
A pretty boy face down and arse up was one of the sweetest things James Bond knew, and Q was a very sweet and pretty boy when he wanted to be. White skin and black hair and red lips… like Snow White, he thought, squeezing the lube over his fingers. Not like an animal, but like a fairy tale, the child as white as snow, as red as blood, as black as a raven's feathers. He circled two fingers around the rim of Q's arsehole, and Q pushed back against them, hungry and reckless.
"Easy there, Snow White," James murmured, then bit his lip. He hadn't meant that to come out of his mouth.
Q's head shot up. "Snow White? What?"
"Sorry, I-- The colors--" Wickedly, James pressed in one finger, to distract Q. He got a deep, distracted groan in response. "Your coloring. It made me think of the fairy tale." He slipped that finger in further, drew it out and passed Q's prostate on the way. "White as snow, red as blood, and black as a raven's feathers."
"Mmm." That sounded like a thoughtful noise, even though Q was grinding his arse entreatingly against the two fingers James was offering. "There's another Snow White, you know--oh, with a sister named Rose--Red." He grunted as James fucked him, not deep but hard, with his fingers. "There's a bear--who's an enchanted prince--oh, Christ, James, do it now--"
James had put the condom on before he opened up the lube, so he obliged, immediately, pushing in quickly but not too hard. Q groaned along with him, twisting backward to take it all.
"Like a horse," Q gasped, tossing his head. Bond held still, just savoring the fit of their bodies together, the smell of his sweat and his lover's, the little tremors running along Q's back. "Or--oh! or maybe you're the bear?"
Bond shifted to get an encouraging grip on Q's cock. The boy's voice broke into a high, shocked falsetto, as it always did at a certain point during sex. "No more talking now," Bond grunted, and began a steady, serious-minded fuck.
Q made as much of a mess on the bed as if he had not come twice the night before. Bond, at least, had only to deal with the condom before collapsing. Fortunately, while Bond dozed, Q fetched a towel and mopped up. When Bond woke himself with an elephantine snore, he saw Q sitting up beside him, glasses on his nose, scanning his tablet.
"How do you manage to leap up afterwards, that way? I thought only women did that." Bond wanted nothing more than to slide under the covers and go back to sleep, but he did have to put in an appearance at the office after noon. Better to deal with M and Tanner after a hot shower and a decent breakfast.
"Everyone's different." Q smiled, shrugged, pulled up the sheets over his legs.
Crowley, Bond recalled, had likened sexual pleasure to a daily necessity that ought, as he put it, to be delivered to the back door every day like the milk. It didn't matter which animal brought the supply--the lover he called the camel, or the one he called the giraffe, or Ada Leverson, "the Sphinx", or the snake, or the cat, the owl, the monkey--bloody Crowley had had more women than any double-oh agent, and a cunning nickname for each. (And that was leaving out the men entirely….)
But if sex was more than the orgasm, more than a daily necessity like milk for one's coffee--and if it was more than the job, the seduction, the exchange of information--then one's partner did matter. And a cunning nickname did not suffice, especially if one's partner already had a nickname, a code name. And a wealth of mystery behind it.
"Q," Bond said, hesitantly, "I don't suppose you'd care to tell me your name?"