Chapter 1: Return from the dead
Emma opened the door to reveal an old familiar face in a navy trench coat, sunglasses and a long red wig. One woman with whom she shared a secret past and she really had never expected to see again.
"Well, well this must be a really bad day, for you to be turning up at my door. Oh and do I even need to ask why you would even know where I live Olivia...or should I still call you M?"
"Would you just let me in?" M said rolling her eyes.
"Only if you ask nicely." The gray haired woman said, crossing her arms and blocking the entrance of her small cottage.
M knew looks were deceiving with this one. Emma Peel had always excelled at hand to hand combat and even old, she could still be dangerous.
"Oh alright! Please."
"Oh and take that bloody awful wig off your head!" Emma said as she turned away suddenly and walked into the cottage followed quickly by M. She took off her trench coat to reveal a professional looking white blouse and tailored trousers with a low heeled boot.
Emma on the other hand was wearing a green tunic with brown tights with pink and orange fuzzy slippers. Her now grey shoulder length bob tied back with a brown band. Her look was definitely still stuck in the sixties but that was more than just part of her identity.
"Demanding aren't we?" M said following Emma into the house.
"I know; that is usually your thing not mine." Emma said, turning back towards her with a smirk as they walked past the sitting room to the kitchen. Emma put the kettle on as M placed her wig on the counter and ran her fingers through her short crop of white hair.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"In case you haven't heard...I died."
"I know that's why I was asking. Why are you here? Why not an island somewhere warm?"
M frowned. "I would be, if things had been different. If things had gone completely according to plan."
"Yes...well. You always were the one for plans and more plans. Sorry I didn't make it to your funeral but then again neither did you. I knew you weren't really dead. I didn't necessarily expect you to show up on my doorstep two months later either. I thought that eventually you would call to say hello and check up on me with a new name and address."
"I would have and besides what are you still doing here in England Emma or should I still call you Mrs. Peel? Why didn't you run off to the islands after you stopped your secret side job? As the daughter of a famed industrialist, you've alway had more money than I, considering you were born with it."
"My investments failed to move with the times as they should have. Much like my attire. I had too many homes in too many places and an exorbitant amount of taxes to pay. I sold everything off and I'm completely comfortable here."
Emma Peel's home was a large home with at least four bedrooms, modern inside but with a heavy sixties influence. The out building of a large garage no doubt would contain things that would surprise the neighbours if there were any close enough to notice. There was a lovely large garden and undoubtedly it was a large piece of land. It would not surprise M to find she had servants somewhere too.
"Even more reason to flee to the Cayman Islands I hear."
"You know I couldn't leave this country...just like you. It flows in and out of our damn hearts like the tides of the Thames have always given life to London."
"There were too many people in London who could have recognised you over the years. Weren't you worried?"
"Not really and I didn't make the enemies you did. The most helpful thing about dropping out of somewhere is that everyone, enemies and all tend to remember you the way you were and do not take the aging process into consideration."
"But I was already old and my biggest enemies were from within the government...up until now."
"I know. Now that I've aged I manage to sneak in. It's not a difficult disguise, everyone ignores or underestimates old women."
"Yes, I suppose with the wig I could still…"
"No; not you darling. Not yet anyway. Not with all the cameras and the facial recognitions software out there. You need to relax and relearn how to carry yourself if you want to be properly inconspicuous. It's no wonder you were never an agent M, you've walked like a bloody boss since we were in school."
Emma made the tea and the two of them sat in silence for a time and just drank. "I'm no longer M, Emma."
"No I guess I should start calling you Olivia again."
"Yes, that will take some getting use too."
"At least you can still call me Em."
Olivia smirked and gave a small chuckle. "What do I do now Em?"
"Well if you've got luggage in the boot of that car, you can stay here as long as you like. Acclimation with normal life will take a while but I can help you."
"Are you sure?"
"Would you really be here if you thought I would say no?"
Olivia smiled. "No. But I don't want to overstay my welcome."
"You won't. I am fairly reclusive. Although, I do keep up with my experiments and hobbies and you are more than welcome to assist. When I need human interaction I go into the town library or community centre. I swim once a week and keep busy. Honestly talking with you will be far more interesting than my life has been the past few years. I have a feeling that it may take a lot for you to adjust to retirement and let's face it I could use a new project. It might as well be you."
"Thank you, I think?"
"A few day here and I will go over all you have to know about being a typical retired, old lady. Then I will take you into town to test you. Within a fortnight I will have you so unrecognisable that you could walk right up to the entrance of MI6 and be asked for identification."
"Good thing I drove here in a car. I can imagine by the lack of one in you lane, that you don't have a car or do you still have that old Triumph with a sidecar? Nothing says inconspicuous like two women over 60 on a motorcycle."
"I have a 65 jaguar still."
"British racing green?"
"Yes, you remember it and I do still have the silver Triumph. The classics never go out of style."
"Those are not at all inconspicuous." Olivia said rolling her eyes and then sighing in remorse...remembering...
"Are you going to tell me what happened? All I saw on the telly was explosions and terrorist attack but I know you were at the centre of it. And now you're here and pushed out on your ass, if I'm not mistaken." The look Emma gives her over her tea cup is as clear as the smirk on her face.
"You don't have to gloat."
"No; and I'm sorry but I told you when we spoke last that the shift was coming. I studied the patterns. Those who hired you may have though it revolutionary and they were self congratulatory when you did the job well. They patted themselves on the back for having the foresight of hiring you in the 90's but you were not adapting to the new guard and willing to be controlled. That is why you stand before me in my kitchen sipping tea."
"I fought bloody hard to stay there and was the longest serving M!"
"I know you were and I'm very glad for it. As they should be but the times seem to be too retrospective of late and that is worrisome. Too much looking backwards. The lure of the good old days where women like us knew our place because our mothers taught us…"
"You and I didn't have mothers around long."
"No but they learned their history lessons well with Elizabeth and Victoria. The reigns of women, were always a boon for this Island."
"I've seen the change during my time as a section head and in my early days as an analyst. The only difference from our day is that women do and should bloody well expect a place at the table, not that it has gotten all that much easier. We now expect more and that is what angers the establishment the most. Remember what it was like?"
"I took martial arts for a reason dear. I broke many a finger of anyone who thought they could touch what they could not. Having to use the title Mrs. as a defence mechanism, was all we could do for the most part. They blister at the fact that they are being restricted from things that they just took or thought they were entitled to before, without cause for sensor or concern."
"You did have the ability to knock heads. I hid behind my numbers and then the letter M but by then I had reached middle age. I find that age became the best protection of all."
"They still think that they have complete control. I've always been under the impression that control is and always has been an illusion that we shroud ourselves in for protection. There is no real power unless given by enough individuals to protect it. A pack mentality in the office is not much different than animals in the wild. The illusion is never more shattered than when nature rises up to crush us with it's power whenever it wants to."
"Emma when did we become so philosophical?"
"Reflection. It's what we do when we get old Olivia. What really happened?"
"I can't...not now. I will...it's just...well you understand."
"Yes I do. Better than anyone else could and that is exactly why you came. I can be patient and I see that you've been at least trying to blend in with that wig and somewhat casual clothes."
"I feel naked not in a suit."
"I can imagine. I had a hard time not wandering about in too much leather...I mean what were we thinking back then."
"I have know idea what you were thinking. As an agent, always rushing about but I suppose that outfit you loved suited your purpose as much as my suits gave me an illusional sense of power."
"Dress for the job you want. We both did." Emma laughed and M, now just Olivia did too.
"It feels good just to laugh and not really worry about a call. In fact I don't even have a mobile. I will have to get one."
"Yes and pretend like you've no idea how to use one. I have a few burners I keep. I will give you one...although…"
"I know...I know. It's not like I can call anyone but you."
"Well that is best for now but I assume whomever helped you pull this off will try to call you eventually."
"Not for a year. I agreed to that just to keep my family safe."
"I never understood why you had children."
"I always wanted to be a mother. I was just never very good at it."
"I couldn't have even if I wanted too, so I guess I developed a distaste for children."
Olivia laughed. "I remember that."
"I'll make us some dinner and you can get an early night. I know you must be tired after your drive."
"I am and I'll help. I will have to get use to all the domestic things again."
"Yes and driving now after so long being driven about will exhaust you."
"True I was beyond scared at the speed and aggression out there on the motorway. It was fine once I got away from the city."
"I love it. I've always loved speed though."
"Yes well you can have it. I will let you drive wherever we go."
"You need to practice. It is freedom and now you have it. I know that you will be watching over your shoulder for the next year but it will all be fine. If you don't want to live here but want to live near, there is a cottage at the far end of the property you can have."
"Thank you Emma. I may take you up on that but for now...I've been alone too long. I could use companionship in this new life I'm embarking on."
"Good because I've been tired of talking to thin air for the last decade as well. This house is too large for just me and the real estate agents are alway pestering me to sell. I think I've scared them off recently by telling them that my son from Canada wants the house when I die. He will move back with his wife and 4 children."
"They bought that?"
"I told you. People underestimate old ladies. They have the antiquated notion that we don't lie, have never had sex, nor done anything grand and have never had any adventures. We bake, knit, embroider and sew. We don't fight Russian spies and destabilize other governments for Queen and Country."
M laughed and reached across the marble counter to clasp Emma's hand. "Thank you. I knew you would understand. There are not many people who could understand what I've done…"
Emma pat her hand affectionately. "I know. Come on let's make stew and soda bread."
"I hope you know how, because I also had others cooking for me too."
"Spoilt bitch! Quit rubbing it in!" The two old friends dissolved into laughter as Olivia moved around the counter to try to help Emma make dinner.
Here is the next chapter in my cross over with the Avengers Emma Peel, with a possibility of more being introduced in time.
I hope you enjoy. :)
"Olivia, earth to Olivia?"
"Where did you go? Because I know you weren't standing here sparing with me. I could have killed you! Pay attention, put your guard up like I taught you."
"Emma why do I need to know hand to hand combat when I'm no longer even M?"
"Because I said so and you will do what I say while you stay under my roof young lady."
Emma Peel and Olivia Mansfield, former M of MI6 dissolved into laughter for a few moments and then Emma pressed her attack on Olivia. "Young...that will be the days long past now."
"Well you are younger than I."
"Not by much." Olivia panted while putting her guard back up.
Olivia dodged her blows and countered for a moment. Emma as usual had the upper hand and twisted her wrist enough to make her fall to her knees on the padded mat.
"Uncle! Uncle! Christ you alway have to make me pay for any attack. It makes me want to just stick to defence."
"I know you too well deary. You can never resist not attacking. It's not in your nature. You cannot, help but lash out and that is good. No one would ever expect it of you. See; I told you buying workout clothes was not ridiculous at our age. Women are into yoga and working out even in their sixties."
"Yes well I'm sadly behind on that. Other than walking for exercise I've never had the time for much."
"And we have been changing that gradually now haven't we. Admit it you feel better and stronger now."
"I'll admit it! If you would just give me a day to recover."
"No there is no time like the present and it's not like we have much else to do. You still won't tell me what really happened that made you retire and don't you dare tell me it was voluntary. You and I both know that Olivia Mansfield never left a job undone. And don't you dare use the official secrets act an excuse. It has nothing to do with what you can tell me; of all people."
"Well it does and why don't we go to town so that I can test my disguise? I would like to go to the library and maybe a pub? I'll buy."
"Classic avoidance. Give it a rest Olivia. You cannot fool me. I've been a scientist, agent and an assassin for the same Queen for even longer than you. We have known each other since school and then university. You were at my wedding and I at yours."
"We were adversaries at school. You were handed everything and it alway fell easily into your lovely lap. I had to work bloody hard for the place I earned."
"I was mainly concerned with chemistry and you were law, history, politics and analytics and even though in differing fields; I respected you. I couldn't help that I had more charm than you. It was a result of my upbringing." Emma shrugged as she took a sip of water.
"Charm, is that what you call it? Arrogance; more like it!" Olivia said pointing at a deep bruise on her forearm. "Then you joined the rogue group of the avengers rather than a politically supported entity, just like others in our university class." Olivia hung a towel around her neck as she took her bottle of water from the table.
"Although, we have not always been really close, it was mainly because distance was needed between our opposing departments. Much like our mutual adversary who has a family dynasty and a love of the lore surrounding the Knights of the round table." Emma smiled as the two of them left the home gym in the basement of Emma's grand home.
"Did you and he ever?" Emma asked curious.
"Me no! Never. He was a good friend of my husband's. You?"
"Good lord no! Chester King was far too full of himself but he did have an awful crush on you. On the topic of men…"
"Don't. And he did not!"
"Why not? And yes he bloody well did want you. Only Nigel kept him from accomplishing what he truly desired. I kept my distance when he was around but could still see it from afar."
"Why? I can't imagine you were intimidated by Chester King."
"No, I wasn't. The problem was if daddy had ever caught whiff of me being anywhere near him there would have been an arranged marriage within the year."
"I see. So rich and powerful families all intermarry and you weren't interested."
"God no and nor was he when all he could do was drool over his best friend's girl. No; I want to know about the one that changed you. The one that made you arrive at my front door."
"He's dead so why bring up old hurts. And it is definitely not Chester, he was a blow hard and we always butted heads."
"I wasn't going to ask about your dead husband. As for Chester; you know there is still life after widowhood and you had a lot in common. I know you like to wear your widowhood like a shield but really Olivia…"
"Damn it Emma! If you try to set me up with Chester King I will end you."
"Not him, specifically but what about whoever it is you miss most from your old life?"
"Emma...I can't. "
Emma looked at Olivia with a brow raised in question. "That bad was it? You were in love?"
"It's not like that."
"You miss someone, I can tell and it's not just your children. That is a different far away look that you get when you are staring at old photographs from a happier time."
"I do miss them...I feel like I was never close to them as adults, I never had enough time. And there is something about never being able to see them again, that hurts me deeply. I had letters sent that I constructed carefully during my convalescence to try to explain everything."
"How well did that go over?"
"It alleviated me of some of my guilt but did nothing of my regrets."
"I daresay, your stubborn children likely felt a great deal more remorse, upon finding out who and what you were after all these years."
"Perhaps, but that was not what I wanted for them. I wanted them safe and happy and they had a good man who raised them. That was all I could have hoped for. What I will miss most is the grandchildren growing up. Never get to help guide them but in my death, maybe they might see a different path."
"True. One day one may actually replace you as M. If for no other reason to achieve high enough clearance to dig up the files on their old gran and see what you got up to all those years ago. Curiosity is a great motivator."
"It is, but I doubt my children would ever allow them to show interest in what got me killed."
"With full honours upon faked death!"
"What good is having the title (GCMG) God Calls Me God when you can no longer wield that particular sword for anything good. Did you get a title beyond whatever you already had?"
"They called me lady Peel, even if I didn't officially have a title. No; our division was not sanctioned much like your old flame King Arthur."
"I told you, not my old flame!"
"Methinks you doth protest too much."
"Oh really? Well you always had a thing for older men. When your husband returned and you left your lover Steed, how long did it take to realize that you never really loved Mr. Peel?"
Emma looked shocked at the attack but she supposed that she really shouldn't be considering the woman retaliating from her questioning. "You had warned me that he had been compromised but John...he didn't see it."
"Steed only let you go; forced you to go back to him, because he loved you. The two of them had been good friends in their youth much like Nigel and Chester." Olivia explained, "now do you understand why it would never work between Chester and I?"
"Perhaps, but by the time I returned he had moved on with his new partner and then Steed took ill."
"I remember. Steed was a good agent, and had always cooperated well with MI5 at the time." Olivia said with a smile. "He wasn't bad to look at either."
"Olivia!" Emma smacked her arm in response to her quip. "I'm not allowed to ask you about the mystery man you fell in love with! And he obviously had a lot to do with why you are no longer the head of MI6, faked your own death to either escape him or knowing you motivate the bloke and sitting in my kitchen after all these years."
"Come on Emma anyone with senses could tell the two of you were lovers." Olivia said with a smile.
"It wasn't like that…"
"My relationship with Steed...was not..."
"Emma Peel! Remember who you're talking with."
"Fine! Only you were not fooled from the beginning. Many felt that I was still desperately searching for Mr. Peel." Emma rolled her eyes. If it was not like me and Steed; then what was it like?" Emma pulled the cleaned grapes out of the refrigerator as they sat on stools at her kitchen counter.
"I was old enough to be his mother."
"Do tell...this sounds better and better...spill."
"Nothing like that. I could never...he would never...but he was my favourite."
"How do you know he would never? Did he flirt? Did he use his agent's charm on you? Did he do everything in his power to be your best agent because he thought you were like a mother to him? I know your predilection for orphans in the service, so were you filling the mummy roll or is that what you thought you were to him but there was just a little bit of something more? Did you not even get to try?"
"I'm going to shower and then we will go into town to the library and a pub."
"Then you will tell me everything I want to know Olivia?"
"I doubt that but you can ask all you want."
"Fantastic! A challenge. I will gage your answers carefully to see how much this man meant to you."
Olivia rolled her eyes and headed upstairs of the grand home Emma Peel owned and went to her spare room. It was a nice room on the east side of the house with a lovely view of gardens and farmer's fields as well as a wooded area.
The room was decorated more classically than the common rooms of the house which were more modern chic with more than a passing hint of their 1960's youth in the style. The large bed was done in blues and silver much like the paint and the rest of the decor.
Olivia herself had always deferred to the neutral in decorating but this room worked with a splash of colour. It was tranquil and Olivia owed Emma an explanation for all her help after so long. The two of them hadn't even corresponding more than once a year, just to see if the other was still alive and not spilling state secrets. There had always been a modicum of professional jealousy between the two of them, she openly admits that. Olivia had always hoped that Emma would jointly operate under the more official MI6 umbrella on occasion but Emma was a free spirit and would not.
The problem was that not even Olivia could define what this internal longing for...for someone too young for her yet...they were close. After all he went through to save her...she failed him. Much like she had failed Tiago in China. The brass could tell her she did what she should have all they wanted but she didn't ever sleep well again with the knowledge that she had one of theirs killed for a slip up that did benefit them. The information he gave her on the Chinese security network was used and that is where the guilt got her.
After years, it became the background noise in Olivia's thoughts. A low droning noise that amplified only when similar situations arose. Many traitors to the crown had been dealt with severely using a 00 agent to take them out of the picture but as M, she had never let an agent go down for anything small. It had to be only for the greatest good of the British public.
Olivia's moral compass had been tested on many occasions as M, but once she surrounded herself with those she could trust, then things were easier.
Emma and Olivia were driving to town in the old jaguar, that Emma had insisted she drive for the practice. The town was not large so it did not concern her much but the looks they were getting did.
This was a test of her ability to commit to her roll as a typical woman in her 60's and not the former head of a government department. It was all about acting a role and not allowing anyone to see the real her...if she even knew what or who she was anymore.
Olivia was once a mother and wife and now she was neither. She once had a high pressure important job and now that was gone. She once had friends...she still did but only Emma Peel and three others knew of her survival beyond the doctors, who were not aware of who she was let alone what she did.
"I got a call from the PM yesterday afternoon wondering how you were faring as a rehabilitated M Olivia." Emma said as they sat in a booth of the pub.
"You what?" Olivia asked shocked.
"You didn't realize that she and I spoke? Well once in awhile I provide insight into something from an ancient perspective and have even done some short missions of surveillance off the record."
"I'm shocked that you do and how did she know I was with you?"
"The new M called and told her I would guess. You didn't think that I would volunteer that information did you? I would never give your location away to anyone. I told the busybody that you are doing fine and that you would rather die than give up your secrets."
"I'm sure she was glad to hear that. So I have you to thank for not being assassinated by one of my former agents or yours."
"Well at least they would never farm the job out to the Americans."
"No we do like to take care of our own back garden." Olivia got up and went to the bar to collect their pints as a roundy group of younger men appeared to go around the other side to shoot pool or something.
One of them came up to Olivia. "Hello luv. Is that your classic Jag out there?"
"My friends." Olivia said as she glanced back at Emma in the corner watching the interaction with interest.
"Well I would love to take a ride in a car like that!"
Olivia just shrugged and took the pints ignoring the man and his friends who were looking at her as if gaging her value. She came to sit beside Emma rather than across from her to watch the room better. "Why did you talk to the handsome young one more?"
"All he asked about was your car and I hate discussing cars. They are a mode of transport, so what?"
"Perhaps you should have used it as a test of your ability to flirt."
"What! He couldn't be older than 30 and he was damn well only interested in your car."
"I know that, you know that but you would accomplish two things by doing so."
"What would I do but embarrass myself?"
"You would make his day and test your acting abilities."
"I don't see how having an old woman flirt with you would make your day."
"Olivia watch and learn." With that Emma got up and sauntered over to the bar. She leaned in and spoke with the barkeep ordering them something to eat. She signalled for Olivia to follow so she did.
Emma walked over to the pool area round the corner as the barkeep arrived to join her with a tray of pints for the lads playing pool.
The four men looked up and smiled as Emma centred in on the one who spoke with Olivia.
"My friend said that you were interested in the old girl?"
The boy flushed at Emma's double entendre as M stayed back and observed. "Yes well...she is beautiful. A 65 I guessed?"
"Yes and I wish I could say I looked as good at 65." Emma flirted outrageously and she was practically purring.
"You two ladies are beyond well kept if you are even that age. I'm John and this is James, Bill and Nigel."
Olivia tried not to blanch at the names as he said them. They all said hello and smiled politely as they took a pint and raised them in salute to the two of them.
"Well she can only effectively and comfortably seat two or I would take you all for a ride."
"It's a date." John said as he winked at them both. "We can leave my mates behind and one of you lovely ladies can sit in my lap."
Emma laughed heartily as Olivia pondered what to do as a reaction. She realized that Emma was expecting something beyond her normal icy demeanor in this situation.
"I will let you drive then Em as I think he looks like he has a comfortable lap." Olivia managed with a twinkle and a smile.
They all found that humourous as the other men protested about being left behind. "I tell you what, we will finish our meal and then take turns driving you lovely boys around the block in my classic car." Emma suggested.
"Sounds brilliant!" The one named Nigel said.
Olivia was far from comfortable about the entire thing but let out the breath she was holding and smiled. The rest of the afternoon was making small talk with James, Bill and Nigel while shooting pool and waiting for Emma to return with John.
Olivia was becoming competitive with her handsome partner James as they beat the others in the first game. Emma returned laughing with John as she tossed the keys to Olivia and said, "who's next?"
"I'll go." James said. The two of them exited the pub and climbed in the car. Olivia started her up and pulled away. "What do you do James?"
"I'm a police trainee. Do you mind if I ask you a personal question Olivia?"
"Olivia panicked internally for a moment. "No, not at all."
"Are you and Emma a couple?"
"What! No, just old friends." Olivia had never really consider that it might appear just that. In a way that was better and explanation to what the two of the really are or were.
Now Olivia blushed in her confusion. "Good why exactly? Would you have an issue with that if we were?"
"No...not at all...please don't misunderstand me but I was wondering if you were single?"
"Single? Well yes. I'm a widow actually."
"I thought you might be. The next part is kind of strange but would you give me your number and would you mind if I gave it to my dad? He is a widower and very lonely and I just thought that you and he might hit it off."
"Oh...well...I...I'm not really very good at these sort of things...yet."
"I'm sorry. I noticed that you were not as flirty as your friend and you are very attractive but I'm in a relationship already not that I wouldn't find an evening with you to be charming…"
"Oh my no! I didn't think that either...I'm sorry but I think we have a few crossed wires on this James."
"Oh...no problem. I know that many of my mates, especially John, love mature women."
"I can see that but is that more about what that woman can supply him?"
"Yes a bit of that I think too but fun mostly. No strings is fun for them and it's nothing serious the age gap doesn't really bother any of us."
"How old are you?"
"I'm 29 as are the rest of them. We all went to school together."
"I see and yes that is far too young for a woman in her 60's"
"I don't believe that! Age is just a number but I know of some blokes that stick to women recently divorced in their 40's. Cougars they call them."
"I had heard that but misunderstanding aside, do you think people separated by that many years can really establish a relationship?"
"I do actually. My mum was 20 years older than my dad. That is why he is a widower now but they had many lovely years together. She had me much later in life and called me her miracle."
"I bet you were. I will consider exchanging numbers and perhaps we will run into you at the pub again."
James smiled broadly as they stopped back at the pub. He was a handsome man...not as handsome as...well...his eyes were blue but not the blue she's been searching for. Yet he was still an attractive young man and no doubt his father would look somewhat similar..
"I will tell my father all about you and if you are interested I will bring him Friday evening back here. You and Emma can both come because my uncle James is single also."
"So many James'." Olivia chuckled as she shook her head.
"A family name." James smiled. He really was a handsome young man, younger than her son...she needed to get her head out of the clouds. She would let Emma take the others for a ride. James match making for her was enough stress for one day. Her body ached and her mind was in turmoil as usual.
James bought her a gin and tonic as she waited for Emma to come back and collect her. She accepted James' mobile number and promised that they would return around dinner time on Friday.
"So... tell me about James?"
"What about James?" Olivia said quickly and defensively.
"That is not exactly the reaction I was expecting from you." Emma said perplexed. "I think this may be far more complex than that."
"Oh...well he wants me to come to the pub Friday night to meet his widowed father and uncle James."
"Yay, one for each of us! Too bad that the younger James didn't want to play?" Emma said with a smirk. Olivia smacked her arm. "I hope the senior men of his family are just as attractive."
"I don't think…"
"What is it about this James that has you so upset...uncomfortable? You are practically wringing your hands. I was not going to force you into anything."
"Stop! Enough, let's just forget all this and have some tea."
"Alright." Emma tossed up her hands in surrender and puts the kettle on.
"I'm sorry for overreacting. I...I…"
"This is not about Nigel is it?" Emma poured the tea.
"James...his name...you were shocked when I said James just now. The agent...that is or was his name wasn't it?"
Olivia just sighed and took a sip of the tea, her shoulders sagging in defeat. By the light in Emma's eyes she knew that she had figured it out. Olivia didn't even have to verbalize it.
How could Olivia even describe the conflicting emotions that were going through her head when Emma asked her about James.
They had started the day with Emma's threats to find out about the man who was the reason that she was here and officially dead. When she said his name flippantly like that it was not the charming young man who drove with her in the Jag this afternoon.
No; it was another James completely. Her James, her 007, agent provocateur and the man whose blue eyes bored into her soul as she laid dying in his arms. His family home crumbling ruin, destroyed by explosion and as he tried everything, he lost everything merely to save her. She was not worth it. Olivia was not worthy of her husband or children either.
M was an embarrassment to the British government in the end. Silva saw to that. Olivia griped her tea cup like she could physically kill that bastard again. This time with her own hands. She was almost strong enough to do it now. If only she had been then. Too many years sitting complacently behind that bloody desk!
"I think I would like some training shooting."
Emma looked suddenly surprised. "Really?"
"Yes; I'm a crap shot and since you are training me for hand to hand combat for some reason, I might as well learn to properly shoot a bloody gun."
"Did that have some thing to do with your death."
Olivia simply nodded and Emma left well enough alone. The pieces of the puzzle were filling in gradually and eventually Olivia would unload the rest of what had happened that night in Scotland.
To be continued...
Date night Friday arrived far too fast for Olivia's liking. James had called just to make sure that she and Emma come to meet his father and uncle at the pub.
Olivia looked in the mirror at herself. It was not often that she got dressed up now and for a date, well that had been even longer.
Emma had converted her to wearing exercise clothes for sparing and casual slacks, jumpers and shirts the rest of the time. This made her look like an average retired grandmother, all of which she was and it mainly served for appearing in public in town.
However, tonight she wore a dress that came just under her knee, dark blue with black stripes and collar. A short heel and a black cardigan added to the outfit. It was something she would wear to go to church with her daughter.
With her children, when she was M, Olivia had always played somewhat demure out in public with them as part of her cover. Olivia's children knew that she worked for the government in the foreign office but that was the extent of it.
"Olivia. Are you ready?" Emma said knocking on the door.
"Yes; come in."
Emma opened the door. "You look nice…"
"What? What's wrong with it?" Olivia said turning around to face her.
Emma was in a far more daring blouse opened down to the centre of her chest. It was bright red and she work black jeans and her dark grey streaked hair pulled back with a red scarf. Emma had kept her slight and fit physique as she aged where Olivia had plumped and softened over the years.
"Nothing; for a trip to church. Do you even have any interest in meeting these men? I know I told you to move outside your comfort zone, but if you are just going through the motions…"
"The difference between you and I has always been that you belong in the spotlight and I belong to the shadows where I can do my work quietly without much notice."
Emma smiled at her. "That is what I've been trying to change in you for the last month darling. You need to find the you that you want to be now. You are unfettered, fly and be free."
"Ok. I will change. But I don't agree with the free and unfettered part. I think another year or two will need to pass for them to forget me completely." Olivia said shrugging her shoulders and going into the closet.
"Put on some jeans and something that doesn't hide your shape so much. Look nice, but casual because we're just going round to the pub after all."
Olivia disappeared into her closet as Emma's mobile rang. She didn't really recognize the number. "I will meet you downstairs dear." She answered the call as she walked out of Olivia's room.
"Hello. Emma Peel darling; how are you dear?"
"Chester? Chester King? My god! For what do I owe this call out of the blue? Not to mention how the hell did you manage to get this number?" Emma asked suspiciously. Something told her that Chester had managed to find out about her guest in blue room getting ready for her date.
"Darling I was just going through some very old photos and there was one of you. I looked into your illustrious career."
"I bet you were." Emma smiled as she purred into the mobile and sat on one of the stools in the kitchen.
"You and I never did synchronous orbits in school but we ended up in the same business after all."
"Charming as this little trip down memory lane is King; I think you are calling with a favour in mind."
"Brilliantly perceptive as usual dear. I was wondering if I could call on you this weekend? I will be in the area and thought that I could take you for lunch or dinner?"
"Alone? As in the two us?"
"Well; I thought it could be the two of us but if you have a guest that you wish to bring along…."
Emma laughed. "Could you be more obvious? How or what exactly do you think you know?"
"We are in the same business of secrets my dear and I could not believe that she was really gone. Some of that might be that I just couldn't deal with the thought that I had completely lost my chance. That I went all this time waiting...for her to be free, just to lose her to a obsessed maniac that wanted her…"
"That's what happened?!"
"So much for eluding my queries darling. So she never or hasn't told you about Rodriguez?"
"Chester darling I'm not admitting anything to you. Even if the person you think was here, was; the individual that you've been pining for since at least 68, then that person is not ready yet. So I will have to decline your invitation to dinner. Now I have a date in town, but it was lovely catching up with you Chester. I love hearing again and again about all the things you wanted in life but were denied to you because of loyalty, marriage and bloody common sense on the other parties part!"
"Damn it Emma! You can't hide her away forever! If I can find her, so could others and I can protect her better than you!"
"I don't think it was all that easy for you King. After all it has been almost a year. What made you look? Did you just have a suspicion? It was incredibly stupid of you to look and now there is likely a trail. I will have to warn others that you had Merlin do all the research for you. And you and I both know that this PM is not as friendly to your organization as in the past."
"Merlin is a great asset and it was not easy but as I said...I was looking at old photos. As you know...age makes one, reflective on our past and all that we have lost along the way. I asked nicely and you've denied me but that does not prevent me from visiting your little town and walking about. I may just find...what I've been searching for."
"Goodbye Chester King." Emma smiled as she hung up.
"Who was that?"
"No one important dear. You look great. As do I so let's go give two old men something to smile about."
Olivia had changed into dark jeans and put on a soft grey cowl neck jumper that clung tightly to her body. Her judicious make up accented her cheek bones and eyes well enough to entice glances from far younger men. Emma was always a stand out and now in bright red she could not be anything less than her normal vibrant self.
They met James and his father Ian and his uncle James. The younger James left to play pool with his friends as they enjoyed a drink, while they chatted. Ian was a jovial man, with a twinkle in his eyes and a good sense of humour. He was casually dressed but his brother was wearing a shirt and tie.
He and his brother James build houses for a living and young James is working with them part time while he studied to become a officer. They both seem nice but…there was something missing.
There was no spark, no fuse even to be lit in Olivia's mind. Emma would want to have fun but she was alway far more confident and outgoing..
Olivia could not even conceive of being attracted to either of these men. They talk of sport and what it was like growing up in the village. They laughed about things they did when they were young.
Olivia tried to enjoy bantering with them as Emma flirted and kicked her under the table to make her engage with the two men. Emma may or may not have been interested in these men but she could certainly act like she was.
Olivia was laughing at a joke from Ian as something caught her eye, Emma was frozen rigid, staring across the now crowded pub.
Olivia followed her gaze and had difficulty suppressing her own gasp. There was a woman in sunglasses and a hat sitting at table across the pub who looked like...
"I'm sorry but I think we have to leave you charming gentlemen. I'm coming down with a migraine. I had hoped that my medication that I took before I left home would have taken care of it." Emma said as she put a hand to her brow as an indicator of her sudden headache.
"Darlings it was wonderful to meet you both and I hope we can do this again sometime." James said as she clasped Olivia's hand. James had taken to Olivia immediately and had tried to monopolize her time even if the younger James had set her up with his father.
Olivia's brows scrunched in confusion but she caught on quick enough that something was not right with the man sitting in the far corner of the pub but that did not concern her as much as the blonde woman.
The man Emma noticed across the crowded room, that inspired her headache was one she had never expected to see again. Illya Kuryakin, of the KGB and the reason her husband went missing all those years ago.
Emma Peel practically pulled Olivia up and out of the booth. Their gentleman friends got up and followed them out of the pub.
Olivia could sense that Emma was not happy with this situation. She made her way quickly to the driver's side of the Jag. Olivia was again confused because she was suppose to drive them home. The urgency was a little distressing. Olivia followed quickly to the passenger side as a hand reached out to help her open the door.
James smiled at her. "This was a wonderful evening and I would love to call on you again."
Olivia was distracted. "That sounds nice. We're sorry for running off like this but…"
"Olivia we really must get back before my head makes me sick to my stomach. We will call you boys again sometime, perhaps dinner at ours?"
"Excellent!" James exclaimed as he rubbed his hands. "We are not about to let you lovely ladies forget either. I will call you later beautiful." James said as he closed the door and leaned down to wink at Olivia.
Emma put the car in gear and roared away from the pub. "You saw a ghost back there didn't you?" Olivia asked.
"Yes and so did you. But the question is why is he here? Was he meeting someone or watching?" Emma countered. "Who was the garishly obvious and out of place woman in the coat and sunglasses? How incredibly obvious and stereotypical and in the bloody evening?"
"The woman, I think...is retired and somewhat disgraced MI6 agent Victoria Winslow."
"Disgraced how exactly? I've seen what some of your agents get up to and it would have to be really bad for MI6 to let anyone go."
"Don't be insulting Peel. Victoria was the first female 00 agent, during the time of my predecessors. I've only been read in on the file. She worked with the CIA and in the US for a portion of her career. The disgraced part was her affair with a KGB agent and no, not the one you named. His name is Ivan Simanov and I've read his file. There is a department at 6 that deals with the problems and retirees so that as M, I was only responsible for active agents."
"And active some of them are, to excess. I remember hearing you spout out about an agent named Bond who constantly rankled your sensibilities. Exactly how active were you in overseeing him?"
"Peel...don't go there or should I say anything about you sleeping with Steed for years under the guise of looking for your wayward husband? Who was the man that gave you the migraine?"
"Illya Kuryakin, former KGB, agent of UNCLE with Napoleon Solo, Mr. Peel befriended the two and they were thought to be the reason he went missing all those years ago."
"What! Was he there in the pub because of you? Turn around! Drive back and we will find out!"
"No, not yet. I think he was there to meet with your former disgraced agent they both ended up with the CIA after all. It's too dangerous for you to be there. Do you think she noticed or recognized you?"
"No not really and I never worked with her directly. She would never think a former M; who's supposedly dead, would be sitting in a pub in a small village, with three other people laughing and talking."
"You may be right. It would be a stretch to think of you being social and effervescent in any way." Emma said with a smirk.
Olivia slapped Emma's shoulder for the remark. "Bitch!"
"Hey...don't hit the driver. Really Olivia you have to admit that it is beyond normal coincidence for two old spies to be hanging out in this village together...besides us. The gall of them."
"That's why we should go back and investigate."
"Not yet. We need more information."
"That's why we should go back. Look I don't have direct access to Q anymore and there is little we will be able to find on our own between the two of them without access to my personal files in storage in London."
"Oh but I have my files for half of the questions and I'm not bad with a computer. We can break in with your old codes possibly..."
"And alert the entirety of Q branch that I'm still at large or that you are a dangerous hacker...not a great plan Peel."
"I know...we need time to think about this...find a way to get those files from MI6 somehow."
"No we need to leave MI6 out of this I don't need him to come track me down."
"Him? Do you have a particular him you are referring too?"
Olivia blushed but fought back at the pushing and probing. "Peel...drop it and no MI6!"
Emma nodded; wondering when her friend would finally admit that she was hiding from someone and not just the ex-agent King alluded during his call. "Don't these agents know that there isn't room enough for more that two retired spies in the area. Wait you don't think that they are planning a retirement home for us here?"
"Dear god I hope not. Anyway you have the only estate that would be worthy of becoming one. This isn't a coincidence, I can feel it. And that means they are looking for you because I'm dead and deeply buried with only 4 individuals sworn to secrecy on pain of death."
"Four? Well then I think you need to up that to five darling because I took an interesting call earlier."
"What? Who?" At that moment they pulled up the drive to see a black Rolls Royce at the front of the house.
Emma muttered under her breath, "Damn you King…get down." Emma pushed Olivia so that she shuffled down in her seat so that anyone would think it only her in the car.
"What happened?! If that is who I bloody well think it is I will kill you! What did you do Emma?"
"Nothing darling and I didn't admit anything. He already knew or guessed but never said your name over the line. He asked to come visit and I gave him a firm NO!"
"Since when did Chester Arthur King ever listen. You get rid of him and I will hide in the garage until he leaves."
"Olivia...come on. He already guessed and the stubborn old fool will likely insist on staying in the area until you do decide to talk with him. But do stay in the garage and I will make sure he is alone." Emma quickly exited the car and closed the door. She held up her mobile and called Olivia, who answered her phone as Emma placed it in her open handbag.
"Now you can listen in on the conversation if you can hear it from my bag." Emma hurried out of the garage and closed the door behind her.
Olivia could hear her movements and muffled sounds. She turned the volume of her mobile up to maximum and held it to her ear.
"I thought I told you that I didn't want visitors King. Do you have absolutely no respect for personal space?"
"Cut the act Emma. Where is she. I have to speak with her."
"I daresay I have no idea who you are talking of now get back in that ostentatious car of yours and head back to that men's shop you frequent in London."
"Is she in the garage? I haven't seen any movement in your house. Look...I'm alone, unarmed and no one knows that I'm here. There is something important that we all need to discuss."
"I'm personally done with ménage à trois darling. And an outdated crush on a woman you had no chance with in university let alone now...is not emergency information. Besides I'm comfortably retired. And you should have already passed the Kingsman mantle on to the younger generation by now Arthur."
"Emma please. You don't have to let me into your home but could we at least get into your garage? I have a digital scrambler so that we will not be overheard. My father's car is obviously an antique like yours and therefore it lacks a computer system to hijack or trace."
Emma reached into her bag and pulled out her mobile. "What do you think darling? Should we allow a knight of the round table into my garage for a chat?"
Olivia had already left the Jag and moved to the door of the garage. She straightened her clothing and pulled back her shoulders, as if shoring herself up for this unexpected meeting. Christ she had been less worried about meeting foreign dignitaries than she was about meeting a friend from her past.
It had been little different, when she had stood on Emma's doorstep wondering if her instincts had been wrong about everything in her life. Emma and Chester had been friends on the fringes of her small circle. The had always gotten along, argued politics and eventually all entered similar fields, just with different specialities.
Olivia opened the door to see Peel standing beside King. He was almost as she had last saw him. Immaculately dressed in a dark grey pin striped suit and holding a cane that she knew had other purposes. Emma entered the garage first as King paused and stared at her with a look of wonder and a slight smirk on his face.
Chester King entered the garage and enveloped her in a massive hug.
"Dear god I had hoped that maniac hadn't succeeded. And here you are, hiding in our own backyard." King held Olivia's shoulders as he looked at her intently as if trying to find an injury or something visible to display the trauma from the attack. He pulled out a device and switched it on. Obviously some sort of signal blocker to protect them in this meeting.
"It was my hip Chester and I did lose a lot of blood. I think I may have actually died but it was so bloody cold in Scotland that my body slowed down."
Well, five now and likely six if you used Merlin to find me. The PM, my old Q, Boothroyd, Tanner and the new M."
"Ahh, Gareth Mallory, he is a good man. I've met him before and spoke with him briefly at your funeral. Your children really know nothing?"
"No, and even if it bothers me I don't think it wise that they should."
"No quite right. Especially now. This is not the time."
"Speaking of time...its getting late and I'm sure you brought a bag to stay Chester so the three of us should make our way inside the house and have a drink. Something tells me that we are going to be up all night chatting." Emma Peel said.
"Yes and I want to know what you mean by your this is not the time comment Chester." Olivia said suspiciously. "What is going on that you felt the need to track me down. It's not like I can be of much assistance. Unless you want a bunch of retired old spies...wait. Is this the reason I saw Victoria Winslow in town?"
"Chester, you had better start explaining quickly, because M looks like she is about to break out of Olivia and begin shouting orders." Emma Peel said with a smirk.
To be continued...
Chester sighed and frowned. "You two really have been burying your noses in the garden and opting for the quiet life, haven't you. There are big forces at work that are attempting to consolidate all global visual surveillance under one umbrella. And I don't think that it was a coincidence that an obsessed man from your past, an expert hacker, just happened to suddenly go after you Olivia."
"Nor did I. The only lead I found...before…the attack...before Silva was brought in and then escaped, was to an Italian bomb maker and arms dealer named Sciarra."
"This story unfolds so gradually but the picture becomes clearer. I know this Silva is now dead and I bet I can guess who killed him." Emma added with a smirk.
"I put my best man on the case should anything happen to me. Bond was to receive a dvd I recorded for him. Knowing Bond the man should be dead by now. And yes I've bloody well deserved the right to ignore that which I no longer have any control of! I am out and there is nothing I can do to change that. I spent 6 months healing physically and mentally, while dealing with that very fact. All I can do is hope the current M will keep on top of the important things and let politics be damned."
"Oh yes, I understand and appreciate that Olivia." King added. "By the way, that explosion that destroyed part of Mexico City was your man. Or did you not see 007's signature written all over that?"
"I've been trying to stay away from the news...for my own sanity. They wouldn't even let me watch or read news while I was healing. Bond...007 he will do whatever he thinks he has to, to get the job done. Would your agents do no less?"
"You use to dislike my agents and even called my organization feckless because we were unfettered by government restraints. I think you have a few in MI6 that are beyond reckless and anything my knights have managed."
"Is this Bond the one I'm thinking of?" Emma asked narrowing her eyes suspiciously. "007 that name does have a habit of popping up...your best man?"
"What do you mean?" Olivia asked attempting to look innocent with a rising blush to her face.
Olivia quickly turned and the three of them walked out of the garage and towards the house in simmering silence. Chester paused at his classic Rolls to pull out a Louis Vuitton bag and followed them inside.
Once they entered, King had the opportunity to look around the lovely old home, that was a delightful mixture of generations in decor. He looked at Emma questioningly. "Staff?"
Emma scoffed. "No King, a cleaning woman comes once a week I don't need the trappings of wealth anymore. And I definitely don't like too many people here snooping around."
"I see. So the cleaner doesn't go into your lab at the back of your garage to clean, nor the basement where you have your training room and the hidden room with the weapons?"
"King, and you said you were only on the outside." Emma added with a smirk.
"The power of deduction my dear." He said dropping his bag on a kitchen stool and pulling Emma into the hug that he had neglected to give her during the confrontation outside.
"I bet you use that line on all the girls Chester and you've chosen to waste it on the two women in the country who are not impressed by your stunts." Emma said slapping his chest playfully as she moved to her bar and brought out a bottle and three glasses.
"I think this reunion calls for a drink." Emma put the items on a tray and they followed her into the living room and sat down.
King took the sofa beside Olivia the moment after she sat down. Emma sat across the coffee table from them in a swivel chair. She poured the scotch into the tumblers and added ice to hers and handed the tongs on to King and Olivia incase they wished to water down their drinks.
Olivia wanted to keep her head on her shoulders so she iced down her beverage. Something told her that she needed to be alert. Annoying after thinking she had been safe and secure all this time.
"Why did you come find me King? I can't imagine that you did so just to tell me how bad 007 has been behaving. You know that you've now put us in danger here and I will have to leave."
"Well that was the point really Olivia. He wants you to need his protection over mine and go into hiding, to live with him." Emma said.
"No...no...not at all. I need your help. Both of you. Something related to M's investigation in Sciarra created a shift in the underworld. There is someone behind this organization that has all British secret service in general in its sights."
"What do you mean?" Olivia asked.
"The Kingsman has been attacked also. I lost my Galahad and now have to resort to new younger recruits to fill vacant spots. It has been more than a year since your untimely death my dear. All of us are now in the spotlight. Not just because of your supposed failings. I know that you never intended a leak of anything let alone losing that hard drive Olivia. I firmly believe that you were always the main target but I have lost members on missions that were commonplace. Missions that should have been fine and routine. It was as if they knew we were coming. How exactly could that happen? Unless there has been a larger network in place controlling the game. It's that, or some bloody savant is seeing more intricate patterns in our behaviour."
Olivia kicked instantly into her analytical M mode. "I could see that with one organization but not two. I need more information King and I don't have my records so you will have to give us all that you have on this for me to make any connections."
"Alright." King said with a sigh.
"Christ! He must be desperate Olivia. But what of our little problem in town?"
"Yes, true. Do you know anything about the two retired spies we just saw at the pub in town King?"
"Olivia my dear, call me Chester."
"No that would be far too personal...King and this is a mission, or so you claim. I'm Mansfield and she is Peel for the duration of this mission."
"Alright...M...ansfield." King said with a smirk.
Emma laughed. "Fine, call her M but don't be surprised if I answer on occasion. I will have to get use to just Peel again. No one has referred to me as such in a very long time. And should we call you King or Arthur?"
"Code names are best I suppose. Arthur will do if we are going out on this mission together. I would suggest you both come to my estate but if you...M need to continue hiding then this will have to do."
Peel scoffed at him. "Not luxurious enough for you Arthur?"
"No...it's not that at all. I have supplies and resources at mine."
"The only resources we need are here. They are, as you pointed out earlier, just hidden, much like our dear friend M here. My lab is fully capable of computing anything we need to know as well as come up with some gadgets that we may need. Do you know why specifically Illya Kuryakin was just in the pub we had our double date in?"
"Double date!" King asked turning to look at M. "What's this now?"
"We had an invitation out tonight that was cut short because Peel saw an old friend of her husband's and I think he was there to meet Victoria Winslow. " M remarked.
"We would like to know if you brought them down on us for any particular reason? Or were you just trying to scare us? Or should I say scare Olivia...M into your waiting arms." Peel retorted.
"No...no well and yes. I had hoped if you noticed them you would come to me first, but the reality of the situation is that I told them to come here. You see I brokered the meeting between the two of them because Victoria contacted me."
"So they were meeting for the first time?" Peel asked. "Why King? What in the world is really going on here?"
"It seems that Victoria's lover disappeared in Rome."
"Ivan?" M asked.
"Yes, how did you know about him? Or should I even ask?"
"He is KGB or former and the reason that Victoria was forced out of MI6 to disappear to the United states. She continued to do wet work for the CIA and MI6 on occasion. She did so for many years but rarely came home. And never without an retired agent handler making contact with her to let her know that we were still watching."
"Her lover disappeared a month ago after your 007 blew up half of Mexico City." King added. "Bond, 007 was in Rome at the same time causing a ruckus as usual as he dumped a lovely Aston Martin, no doubt a company car, into the Tiber."
M scoffed, "at least he does that for the new M as well. I assume that it was Sciarra's funeral that he was going to and the organization that I was looking for was there in full attendance."
"Of that I am not sure. There was a disturbance, thanks to your 007 and then, Ivan went missing. Victoria said that he was ordered to guard a Russian oligarch who was in attendance and never returned to Berlin to meet her as arranged."
"So what do you want us to do about this Arthur? Shouldn't some of your knights be on the case." Peel asked.
"I am convinced that the agents are being watched."
"You said that but what are we going to do that they cannot? And it will put M back in the spotlight if we head out on a adventure."
"I have made moves to appear retired now. I don't think they are watching inactive agents. Nor do they think anyone over 60 is a threat. Ivan was still an active agent and guarding someone of vast wealth. That was likely the reason for his disappearance. I initiated the meeting between the two of them because they had never met. Kuryakin still has many Russian contacts and knows Ivan personally."
"What is it you want us to do? Find information to feed to them?"
"Yes, and I thought that we could go to Germany to begin looking with them. I will set the two of you ladies up behind the scenes while Victoria, Illya and I try to find Ivan."
"When was the last time you were in the field Arthur?" M inquired skeptically.
"I will manage."
"I will join you." Peel added.
"No, you need to help M with research."
"Arthur I do not need a bodyguard."
"Nor do I. I have been putting her months here to good use and she has done very well in her training."
Arthur frowned and hesitated. "I...I...don't...wish to put you in danger...but...I know that you will do whatever it is that you like. It would be foolish of me to expect otherwise."
"Yes it would." M said as she stood and picked up her glass. "I'm tired and I think I will go to bed. We will discuss this further over breakfast. Then we will pack and get ready." It felt good. It was really good to feel like she was needed again.
"You like this don't you." Emma Peel asked astutely as she looked up at Olivia. "You like becoming M again, or the illusion of becoming M again."
Olivia looked down at her as she walked passed her chair. "Yes, just as you suspected. Why else would you think I might need to train for combat for some reason. You anticipated this as well Peel."
"It's good to be prepared! It's not like I'm clairvoyant! I just wanted to get you to focus on something other than the dismal aspects of retirement and loneliness. Besides it has done us both good. I was becoming a hermit here by myself." Peel protested.
"I understand that and the three of us will solve this mystery and find out more about this mysterious network. I will not have a criminal organization destabilizing the SIS operations of this country." M added severely.
"And what if we run into Bond?" Arthur interjected.
M turned to face him. "I will cross that bridge only if I come to it. I will do my best to avoid contact with anyone from my old life and try not let Victoria know. You and Emma should meet with them and I will stay in the shadows as much as possible."
"Let's continue with our plans in the morning then, shall we? King there is an available bedroom, first on the right at the top of the stairs that you may use. Will our two agents still be in town tomorrow? I could have them here for a lunch meeting while we coordinate plans. M can stay in her room and listen in so they don't see her."
"Good idea. I will call Victoria and let her know."
Olivia and Emma walked up the stairs leaving King to make his call. "Are you sure you want to be a part of this actively Olivia? You could be support from my lab, while Chester and I pretend to be man and wife on vacation."
"No, I'm not sure about anything. But I want to do this. If it will help Bond...and MI6 in anyway I have too. I owe them that much."
"You don't owe them anything at all. You already gave them your bloody life!"
"And my past mistakes caused the death of many embedded agents. Not to mention the occasional mistakes that caused death and harm over the years. Collateral damage because of poor intel and the occasional hostage situations."
"You did your best and that was all that they could ask of you. As for this 007, his name seems on your lips a great deal and no doubt on your mind. What...if anything...is your plan should we run into him?"
M glared at her friend and hostess. "Nothing. We will not meet him. He's likely still on the trail of whatever lead. I will have to leave my self imposed strict no news diet, to see if I can figure out where he is now."
"I'm sure Merlin will do that for King. He likely already knows and if he uses it to lure you into his bedroom...do try to have fun. I know King is not the one you want, but he could be the one for right now."
"Come on...if you don't I might."
"Go right ahead. I thought you didn't care for the man?"
"That was when we were young and it could have lead to marriage and god forbid...children. Now; King seems infinitely more interesting to me than those two blokes we had dinner with at the pub."
Olivia laughed. "I think you are right. Just don't tell him I said that."
"So you're giving me the go ahead?"
"Yes...enjoy each other. I've always thought the the two of you were too much alike. Must be some of that aristocratic blood that you both share." Olivia chuckled. "Goodnight Emma. Don't kill the poor man with a heart attack...we may need him and his network for this investigation."
"I promise to go easy on the old dear." Emma winked as she turned to go back downstairs to see Chester King.
Olivia was happy about this. For one; it would keep King from attempting to seduce her the entire mission and it would likely do the both of them good to finally get together.
Emma could protest all she wanted but Chester king and his blonde curls and blue eyes was a devastatingly handsome man when they were young and he still was. All the girls were nuts for him, for his good looks and doubly for his old money.
Olivia was with Nigel. Even the sad memory of the loss of her husband could not keep the intrigue of a new mission from dominating her thoughts. The possibility of seeing Bond. The two of them in the field together...after the last time was a complete disaster. She had experience a full Bond mission, complete with death so it seemed at the time.
Olivia regretted that she could never comfort James, that he did what he had to to finish off Silva. She had even hoped that perhaps Tanner may have slipped up and mentioned that it wasn't his fault and not to worry because she was not really gone.
No; Mallory would fire him for spilling that. Perhaps he would have searched for her if he had known that she lived.
Olivia got ready for bed and was now so tired she couldn't even read much before dropping off.
Olivia could smell the smoke from the fires after the explosion of Silva's helicopter.
Bond...where the bloody hell was he. Christ her hip hurt. If she could not make the safety of the Kirk with Kincade she would fall and bloody well bleed out on the cold moor.
Silva looming over her with a gun to her head. The world was spinning.
No...she was stronger now...Emma had made her stronger. Dying had made her stronger.
James...he held her as she lost consciousness. She felt so tired...but as she was dying in his arms she realized that at least she had that moment.
Was it so wrong that she had fallen for this rogish handsome agent? Christ he could have been her son. He was panicking. James began to cry...over her.
She could see Nigel in the distance...but she didn't want to go. Not after she finally had made this connection with James. Even if it could never be complete...never becoming...gloriously sexual...it was something profoundly deep.
She needed to protect her wounded angel. So much misery surrounded him, clouded his clear blue eyes. She needed to live!
Olivia bolted upright in bed breathing hard. The dim light of early dawn teased the blinds of her window. She focused on the little things in her reality after the nightmare. The blue room, cast in the grey of dawn. She was in Emma Peel's home in the country.
Chester King was here...he was dragging them into a mission. It was only natural that the last disastrous mission she went on was close to the surface. All the talk of 007 and where he was triggered something deep inside her.
Through a drunken haze Bond snapped to alertness. "James!" M called his name! Then reality hit him again as he woke from his fitful doze. He looked over at the bed trying to ground himself in where he was now. He is in Morocco...in L'American...in the bed Madeleine is still sleeping in the pale light cast by the early dawn.
"At least I got one thing right."
It had been over a year and Bond still wondered what she had meant by that. Christ he missed her.
"I suppose it's too late to make a run for it?"
If he could only have done it differently. If he had only killed Silva on that bloody island like he had wanted. None of this would have happened. M would never have allowed what is going on at MI6. There were larger forces at work here and Mallory had been playing catch up as well as he could but it was moving too fast for him.
Agents had been dying and disappearing. They had blamed it on M...on the lost hard drive but it was more than that. This reeked of a personal vendetta. One against him. Maybe he was being too self absorbed. Silva was a personal attack from M's past...White was a personal attack against him but he was dying...someone was tracking him and none of this seemed random.
What would he do with the girl? She seems the type that would try to fix him. Maybe it was time he let someone try. Bond had thought Vesper would do it but she betrayed him. Perhaps Madeleine can.
M never tried. She wanted him broken and damaged and yet she needed him all the same. She had admitted as much in Russia. The snow casting an angelic glow about her. She was far from an angel as you could get! The harbinger of death for many.
Christ he missed her...voice...her face...and those eyes that could cut him open like no others. Bond had always felt unpeeled in her presence. As if she took his carefully crafted ladies-man-persona and ripped it away to see the fragility underneath. M knew how to focus him in the right direction. To give him the leeway to finish the job even if it looked like he had gone off the rails.
Mallory didn't understand him beyond his file, beyond the surface. That is why he needed Q, Moneypenny and even Tanner to run interference all the time. The three of them tried to make M see what only his predecessor had ever really understood.
Christ...he had loved her and not even realized that it was love! It had been deeper than affection and far less fleeting than lust. Without even knowing it...M had bewitched him. The last year had been a living hell and he had the aching liver to prove it.
None of it mattered now. He was spent. He would finish finding out who was manipulating all this. Whoever it was, they had M's life blood on his hands and then...then...nothing.
Bond would walk away or die in the process.
To be continued….
Bet you were wondering when Bond would make his appearance :)
Arthur and Peel left for town to meet Victoria and M immersed herself in Emma's lab. She methodically searched through news reports, analysing issues and hot spots that may concern them. Not to mention her sudden desire to look for areas where she believed Bond could have been up to something.
M now felt compelled to track 007's movements for the last six months after what King had told her. It must have taken Bond at least a month to heal from his injuries at Skyfall.
Mexico City had been mentioned and was a big red flag. Sciarra...the bomb-maker and Mexico must have been his target. She found more incidents. King was right. Bond was leaving a trail of devastation behind him in the last month.
What was Bond doing now? Rome...the funeral. Mallory must be livid about the car, no doubt Q's invention. Why go to such lengths? Who is he after now? No...no...it's fine. He's fine without her. She pulled up the image of Sciarra's widow and sighed. Bond would have her, to get to where he wanted to be. There is no coincidence that the day of the funeral all this happened. After all, she had sent him down that path. It was amazing that he was motivated to listened to her from beyond the grave.
"Dear boy you have been on a rampage." She mumbled to herself as she read. He could have very well retired at his age but no...she could feel that this was all personal. This was all because of Skyfall and maybe in a little way a result of her death. It was all her fault. Silva...running north to lead him away. Olivia had known that it would lead to her death. Olivia didn't know quite how all this made her feel.
It must have been dramatic for Bond to see her die...almost like a mother but not. They had always butted heads but they had a healthy respect for each other. He pushed and she pushed back.
Mallory had said it best...she was sentimental about him.
Olivia simply couldn't remember much of the end but she had felt so cold. Water dripped off his brow onto her and then darkness.
Once Olivia realized that she was shot, she had taken a pill that Q had given her years ago for emergencies. It slowed the heartbeat and the blood flow. Not that the cold of Scotland didn't help the matter. It was only a superficial wound to the hip, but being so remote she could and very nearly had bleed out.
Olivia remembered hitting the button in her pocket that signalled distress to MI6 when she was in the tunnel with Kincade. It also went directly to Boothroyd to initiate the plan they had enacted to end her life as M and the public eye. He contacted Mallory to do the rest.
The audio link from Emma's mobile spilled out flirtatious banter between Arthur and herself.
"You two really need to get a room." M said as she flicked on her comm to test it.
"Darling we were in one in the wee hours of the morning." Peel said in an unabashed tone. King merely chuckled in response.
Good to know that King was now focused on Peel rather than her. M had too much work to do to be distracted by ancient romantic entanglements.
M wished that she had access to her personal files, but they would all be in storage and unfortunately Boothroyd died during her convalescence. She did not even have the opportunity to thank her old Q for what he had done to help her cover her death and bury her past.
Victoria Winslow threw a wrench into any plans she had of travelling openly with King and Peel to Germany. No; she would have to follow at a discreet distance.
Over the comms Olivia heard King tell Victoria and Kuryakin to leave immediately to look for the trail while Arthur and Peel made arrangements to follow with the intent of drawing attention away from Victoria. Whomever took Ivan may be expecting her.
Kuryakin had reached out to contacts but not found much. He was setting up a meeting with a Russian organization that barters in information. The news out of Russia was as disturbing as Britain. There was an outright attack on the established intelligence operations and it was pulling old players out of the woodwork.
The question was why? Were they attempting a cleanse? Those were nasty businesses all around and made Olivia worry about Peel and Arthur.
The Russians were never good news and old KGB agents were tricky. The indoctrination into the communist regime was extreme and not all transitioned well into the new oligarchical system of control by the more cunning former members of their organization.
Victoria gave them intel from experience that the CIA was closing ranks and trying to put down older agents as a security risk.
Damn it! She had hoped that her theory would be debunked. There was a cleansing happening and it did not bode well for any of them, retired or not.
Arthur and Peel came back from the meeting and the three of them sat down to lunch.
"I have Merlin on making all the arrangements for us." King said after taking a bite of his salad.
"I hope he is as good as Q for documentation."
"He is and Emma and I will be traveling as ourselves, so there is no real need for him to make false documentation."
"There is if I am expected to travel. I can't be Olivia Mansfield, nor travel under the diplomatic passport I held as M."
"That is because you, my dear, are not expected to travel. You will be staying here and doing research with Merlin. I have him on his way now. That way you will be looked after while we are away."
"Chester, that is not what we discussed earlier. There is no reason Olivia cannot come. Her disguises are top notch and she speaks the language far better than I…"
"No...it's not safe for any of us. Let alone a former M, who they all believe is dead!"
"I don't think that this is a decision that you get to make King. I will be coming in disguise and staying in the same hotel. I will do research from my hotel room and only leave as required for surveillance back up. I take it that you can transport or get us weapons once we are in Germany?
Emma supported Olivia in arguing with Arthur so that she could follow on the same flight. She would follow them in full disguise with her red wig and casual clothing.
Arthur, feeling overwhelmed between the two of them acquiesced reluctantly and the three of them began to get ready to leave.
Olivia was in her room packing when Arthur knocked.
"Olivia; you and I need to talk."
"Yes...yes I know. You don't want me coming but really Chester...what harm can it do. I won't be recognized."
Chester crossed the room in a few paces and grasped her hands. "You and I both know what is happening out there. Olivia...I...I don't want anything to happen to you."
Olivia was taken aback and pulled her hands from his. "Chester you forget yourself. You and I are not romantically involved. Did you take the same complaint to Emma?"
"No damn it and you know why! She was a specially trained agent and you've been playing at self defense in your retirement!"
"You do not have a say in where and when I leave here. If anything it's your current lover who does!"
"You pushed Emma on to me and you know it! She told me as much and she bloody well knows that I've only ever wanted you since the day I meet you! Why you; of all the beauties in the world, had to be on Nigel's arm. Of all the men to chose...the one friend that I never wanted to lose."
"Don't be absurd! There have been many you've wanted and had over the years Chester King and I know it! Bloody hell...you were married twice!"
Olivia had moved around the room as she argued with him, pacing in front of him, to his frustration. King reached out and grasped her by her shoulders to stop her tirade and try to talk some sense, into a woman he has loved for over 30 years.
"Exactly! Twice and multitudes of others because no one would do but you! Stubborn…" King pulled her lips to his as he pressed a kiss.
Olivia was shocked but not so shocked that she allowed it continue for long. She gently pushed him away and softened her tone. "Stop this Chester. You know I never felt that way for you and I will not apologize for loving my husband."
"No...you don't have too. You must have relied on each other a great deal, considering his infidelities." King said bitterly.
"Emma knows, that this is all in fun and that you hold more sway over me than either of my wives ever did. So considering that the obstacle between us is dead...who is the man in the shadows? Who holds your heart now that Nigel is gone? I can see no reason for us not to try...unless there is another? Emma has alluded to as much during pillow talk.."
"Damn it King...you are sleeping with my friend and professing your undying love for me...how insulting to both of us!"
"If Emma doesn't think of it that way then why the bloody hell do you have to be so old fashioned! We grew up in the time of free love and adventure but you have some sort of antiquated Victorian idealism, that you and I both know is all just an illusion. Christ; the three of us could share a bed in this day and age and no one would raise an eyebrow."
Olivia was angry at him but could no longer contain her amusement at the ridiculousness of it all. "Ha...I bet it would still raise eyebrows considering our age!"
Chester began laughing as well and Emma, who peeked her head in the doorway. "Everything all right in here? I expected far more arguing out of the two of you.
Olivia continued to chuckle. "No...and I haven't resorted to murder. However, contrary to the popular believe that it's completely acceptable, I do not foresee the three of us ever sharing a bed. My supposed Victorian ideas of romance aside, you two make a far better couple than Chester and I ever could."
"Says you!" King retorted and Emma laughed.
"There will be no changing the stubborn woman's mind. I for one would be up for the three of us in bed. However, I think it might just kill you Arthur." Emma said laughing along with them.
Peel and Arthur were the perfect pair to become a distraction while travelling. No two people in the world, could be as arrogant and ostentatious as these two old friends.
Once the time came to get on the plane M felt a freedom that she had sorely been lacking in her last years as M. Merlin had done a fine job making an alias for her. She committed her backstory to memory and as expected she could easily slip under the radar considering how ostentatious Peel and King were up in first class.
Once they landed M took a shuttle bus rather than the car Arthur had ordered for them. He glanced at her with a worried expression as she climbed into the small van. M arrived before them surprisingly and collected her keycard for her room.
Merlin sent the number for the suite that Arthur and Peel were staying in and created a video loop of the hall to insert into the security cameras for whenever M joined them.
M didn't have to wait long and the text came to join them. She knocked on the door and Peel opened it to usher her in.
"How was the flight dear?"
"Not as good as your in first class I bet."
Arthur came into the suite from the bedroom frowning as he looked at his mobile. "Victoria says that there is a meeting set up with a Russian contact in a warehouse across the city in what once was Soviet occupied East Berlin."
"Oh goody...I can hardly wait." Peel said with a purr as she draped herself over Arthur.
"What is the address so that I can set up surveillance before the meeting?" M said as she typed away at her laptop.
"Not a chance. I can't have you out there alone...while I'm preoccupied with the meeting." Arthur protested.
M rolled her eyes. "I thought we went over this Chester. I am fine...in fact I'm dead and no one is looking for me, so I'm easily left on my own. You two on the other hand were so gregarious, that I don't think there's a person in Berlin who doesn't know you're here. Lord and Lady Ridgemont, I mean; what is the reasoning behind you needing to meet about Ivan? I really don't think that your backstories can hold mustard, but then again, we're here to send the rats scurrying from hiding."
"Fine my dear, and yes we will get tongues wagging and we must be prepared. I for one will be watching for attack everywhere." Peel said as she pulled out her gun and began organizing clips.
"Why do you think this is happening Arthur?"
"You and I both think that there is a key player attempting to consolidate power through modern means. Most of us remember the old ways and even the relics that are born in the 80's are now retiring or being forced out by the new young generation. One that thinks that absolutely everything in life can be solved by using one of those." Arthur said pointing at M's laptop.
"So they are targeting recently retired agents or those who are between 40 and 60?" Peel asked.
"We being older were not being targeted as consistently because, they do not think we are a threat according to Victoria. Her compatriots from the CIA were in that age bracket, deemed retired and extremely dangerous. Those agents were equal to my knights and your 00 agents."
"That is being generous. I doubt the Americans have had many agents of that caliber." M exclaimed.
"Oh...bitter about the CIA still M? What did they do to you?" Peel asked amused.
"Too many things to count. They had the audacity to try to put my 00 down...I mean the gall."
"Would this be your special little agent...007, M?" Peel asked with a wicked grin.
Arthur picked up on it with a questioning look. "007 eh? So the path of destruction that man leaves, leads straight to your heart does it? I had my suspicions and this explains a lot." Arthur harrumphed, as he turned to get another drink.
M turned crimson at the suggestion of more between Bond and herself. She began typing and tried to distract them both with doing actual work.
The next day M was up early and out the door before Arthur could cuff her to her chair and leave her behind.
M took a cab to the warehouse where the meeting was to take place several hours before Peel and Arthur were to arrive and meet with Victoria and Kuryakin. There were people about and M explained to anyone who asked her if she was lost, that she was looking for her nephew Stephan.
M slipped into the warehouse and found a spot in a high loft area behind some crates. She settled in with her laptop a blanket to sit on and a thermos of tea.
Merlin was in continuous contact with her, likely because of Arthur. She refused to flick comms on until the mission time. That didn't dissuade Merlin from instant messaging her constantly. If this were her Q she would...well she...that was the past. Her Q was gone, with a young man now in his place.
There was a noise and M looked down to see a group of men gathering and talking. They looked like the sort of men one would expect at one of these. They spoke in Russian and German. M hid closed her computer and turned off her mobile as she could see that they were about to sweep the place. Luckily they didn't bother with her hiding spot. Two of their men did stay on a gangway on higher ground overlooking the large open warehouse and door where a car drove in.
A tall fair haired man stepped out of the car and stood speaking to one of the men. Something about him made M try to focus her mobile on him and expand to get a closer look but he turned away.
A honk sounded and another car arrived. The Rolls Royce was Arthur's father's and he must have had one of his drive it to Germany. Arthur got out and then moved to open the door for Peel who was dressed in a catsuit and heeled boots. In contrast to Arthur in his bespoke suit and cane.
M knew that the two of them were armed as well as Victoria who just appeared from the open door. The man M was interested in spoke to them and then turned and moved to the back of the building.
Peel and Arthur followed and it took them out of M's sight. Then there were shots fired and M stood. The men on the platforms across from her returned fire to the group coming in through the door. A few went down and the protection that surrounded Arthur and Peel as they moved to the back rooms.
M quickly ducked behind the boxes as the drama unfolded. She prayed that Peel and Arthur were alright. She heard motion and shouting on the stairs as a men came up. M tried to stay hidden, but if they came to her side it was unlikely they wouldn't see her. She took out her gun to be prepared for anything.
"Come...follow out this way." M heard in a Russian accent.
"Wait...M come out." Arthur said. He and Peel were following Illya and Victoria as two groups continued to shoot it out below. Bullet flew and more came up the stairs shouting in German and Russian.
M came out of hiding as the blonde man she saw get out of the car pulled a still bound older man up towards them.
Victoria had been covering them as they made the journey. As the other group fell back from her fire. Illya helped her as she stopped and yelled "Ivan!"
Victoria lept towards her lover Ivan, as Arthur and Peel ran towards M, grabbing her arms.
"We need to go out the back and get out of..." the younger man with a scarred face said in English as he glanced at her, finally locking eyes with M,
"It can't be!" The blond man exclaimed in amazement.
In that moment, each of them recognized a familiar face from their past.
"I daresay I could say the same of you, 006."
To be continued...
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
Sorry for the delay but I'm alternating chapters between my dream story and this one. Finding the time to do that is becoming difficult.
Victoria ran up the narrow staircase, ushered by the intrusion of the firefight into their meeting. Janus shot as Victoria and Ilya each with an arm around Ivan moved up the stairs.
They weaved past crates and obstacles following Arthur and Emma Peel of all people. What was she doing here? Arthur she could understand him butting in to something as the whim took him.
The fact that the illustrious agent Peel was here with Arthur of the Kingsman was shocking enough but as they slowed their progress, she turned and her eyes went wide as she noticed the petite white haired woman standing on the landing overlooking where they all arrived.
"M? Are you not dead? Arthur what on earth have you been up too?!"
How could Arthur be in league with MI6? Not to mention the fact that for all intents and purposes this woman was reported to be dead. None of of this is going as she planned. She was to meet Ivan for a romantic vacation in Germany and then he suddenly got called to business elsewhere.
"Not now…we have to get out of here!" Trevelyan said as he pushed past some of them and grabbed M's hand.
"You are with me. I think we have some things to discuss."
"And how do you think we are going to get out from up here?" M demanded, as he pulled her along after him through a maze of boxes.
They exited by a narrow hidden hallway that lead from one building to the next and down the back stairs. Trevelyn had a large van waiting and ushered them all inside in a rush to depart this now dangerous situation.
"Well isn't this comfortable." Peel said as she took a seat in the back with Chester, Victoria, Ivan and Ilya and a roughed up Ivan.
Victoria cradled her lovers head in her lap as he reclined on the floor in the back of the van.
Alec pulled M into the cab of the van with him and hit the accelerator. "What are you doing here M?" Once they left the warehouse area and headed towards the city.
"I am assisting in rescuing Ivan. Apparently from you." M answered, unable to withhold the somewhat sarcastic lilt in her voice.
"Don't play games with me M. Victoria had no idea you were here, you don't personally know Ivan and I do! I sent him to look after a friend in Brussels and he was caught and my friend murdered. I've been eliminating moles in Janus operations ever since."
"How did you find Ivan?"
"I tortured one of the moles of course." Alec said as he turned to smirk at M.
"Where are you talking us?" M asked as her eyes narrowed in suspicion. M couldn't believe he was still alive after reportedly having died in an explosion years ago. Although he did have a very dramatic scar. 007 was the only witness to the explosion and very well could have died. Alec's death had crushed him.
"To a Janus safe house M."
"You've been heading up the Janus syndicate for over 15 years haven't you?"
Alec smiled at her and nodded. The woman's eyes could still cut him like a knife. It made his hands sweat on the steering wheel as if he were doing something wrong. Damn her...she could still make him feel like a delinquent school boy. His only choice was to shock her or make her feel uncomfortable so that he could recapture the upper hand. He had never had that when he was 006.
"And you M haven't aged a day. What is it that makes you able to defy the years? Q branch invent the fountain of youth? Victoria and Emma also. English women age gracefully I suppose, all that moisture and hot air from your self satisfied superiority over everyone else."
M rolled her eyes. "The CIA has been after you for years." M said blandly.
M was dressed demurely compared to Peel and Victoria but there was no denying her power, even out of a power suit. Peel and Arthur must have been training her to blend in with just dark trousers, a grey jumper and a smart navy wool belted jacket. Hopefully the watching eyes they were dealing with did not identify her or there would be hell to pay.
"I deliberately avoided any entanglements that may have attracted MI6 interests. As you can imagine, I didn't want your laser like focus on me. The Americans...I can deal with. Double 0's on the other hand." Alec touched his face and the evidence of his last interaction with 007.
"You didn't want to meet up with my agents, why? Scared you may feel some remorse or guilt?"
Alec shrugged as he negotiated the van into traffic to lose any pursuers in the city.
M continued to question him. "007 was your friend and you betrayed him."
"Or he betrayed me? It depends on how you look at it. Her majesty's government never did me any favours. I felt that cold unfeeling nature towards us agents every day as I played your games and jumped through your hoops!"
"I think you should let us go. I don't think you will have much luck carting around a bunch of retired people to your hollowed out volcano lair." M didn't like this. She didn't like the unexpected. That was something that always occurred and she was usually adaptable but a vicious well trained ex-agent that didn't like her was hitting too close to home since Silva. Her hip ached just thinking about it.
"Oh but you and I both know you lot are not just retired people. That is the...Emma Peel a legend, a deadly trained operative. King heads up a private bloody MI6 in his spare time. Not necessarily completely altruistic in nature. He pretends to be nothing more than a wealthy industrialist and perhaps does further his own monetary causes. And then there is you. I heard that you were killed by a mad...betrayed ex-agent and I have to admit that that made me smile."
"I bet it did." M said as she looked out the window at the city streets and in the side mirror to see if anyone was following them. She didn't want him to see how uncomfortable he was making her.
"More for the fact that you had failed at something you did. You think death is the end and now as you personally know, death is only the beginning for some of us."
"How profound. Do you spout these philosophical gems to the minions that you send out to kill people?"
"Do you? What did you do to Tiago Rodriguez to drive him so very mad...I wonder? Yes...I knew his real name. I remember hearing about him in the halls of MI6. You were much younger and equally beguiling when you knew him and myself for that matter." Alec raised his eyebrows suggestively.
"Enough of that. I had nothing to do with Silva...that way. He hacked the Chinese on his own, was sloppy and got caught. I didn't torture him, the Chinese did!"
The man burst on the scene like a phoenix, offering information for cash. I hesitate to tell you that I did hire the man for a few jobs but a bigger fish came along and snatched him up."
"You dealt with him?" M said in genuine surprise.
"Yes, met him even. He was a massive giant of a man and obviously mad but very talented with a computer."
"Who hired him away from Janus?" M's curiosity made her ask questions faster, as though she would soon lose the opportunity to ask these questions and she very well could.
"An organization that calls itself Spectre. They have recruited many of my men and have been gobbling up the smaller organizations under their symbol. They kill your entire family if you don't do what they want." He looked over at her to see if there was any reaction to the name of the group.
"And you...haven't joined them...why?!"
Spectre...Sciarra, White, Le Chiffre, Greene and Silva. The final connection and the name. Who was pulling the strings and how close was Bond to finding out? What if he was dead? They had to find Spectre and end this, then her job would be done. She could die in piece if she knew that the world was safe from such an organization.
"I don't have a family. Remember M? Orphans make the best recruits." M didn't really know. How very interesting, him knowing more than she did. Alec realized that at that moment that she had been completely out of MI6 orbit for well over a year now.
"So it seems. To what do I owe this strange continuation of loyalty from you?"
"Loyal? No. However, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Don't you agree?"
M's lips pressed together in a stiff line. "And Ivan...what of him? You obviously knew that he was involved with a former MI6 agent."
"Yes and it was because of that that I asked him. I was hoping someone in London was watching. But the bureaucracy seems to have invaded and destroyed anything in the way of intellect, once you died." Alec wondered if she would defend the new guard but it seemed that perhaps she was of the same mind as him about their former employer.
"I think that there was actually a compliment in there somewhere?" M said with a slight smirk.
A smirk graced her face and Alec had never seen that before. This M could quite possibly be far more fun than the old M.
"M the old guard is dying or leaving." Alec cast his eyes into the back of the van through the glass behind them. "Although, you wouldn't know that by the crew you're hanging with M. I've always respected you. In fact I was sad to hear that you had been murdered."
"As was I, to hear of your death all those years ago. I am not immune to grief as many would like to believe and we are not too old to be loyal to a cause. Even if you may believe that cause is a lost one. What are your plans for us? Are you holding us for ransom or are you actually planning on assisting us?" M asked hopefully. She really didn't have any desire to try to run for it and take another bullet for her troubles. Not to mention she was going no where without Peel and King.
"I will tell you what I know of Spectre and set you all on your way. I would suggest letting Victoria, Ivan and Ilya go. Spectre already knows they're here. They're out to kill them and me on sight so it seems. Use them as a distraction for the three of you to get away."
"I would like to have Victoria, she's a good asset. If you would help Ivan she may consider it."
"I doubt she will leave his side. They only became lovers a few years ago once reunited. They are making up for lost time now and hate to be apart. You know M...there had to be someone in your past like that, or perhaps now?" Alec asked speculatively as he continued to tease her.
"Whip that smirk of your face 006, your as bad as..."
"007? How is dear James? Have you two..."
"What did they do to him?" M asked quickly to dissuade any further suggestions of an inappropriate nature between her and one of her agents. Christ! He's as bad as Peel!
"The usual. A rough time no doubt." Alec said as he shrugged.
"So it would seem." M said drifting off and hoping to avoid any more uncomfortable conversations. Luckily they were nearing their destination according to the GPS on the dash of the van.
They drove outside the city, down a long winding lane and into a farm. From there into a large barn where they all climbed out of the van. Alex assisted Ilya and Victoria to lay Ivan on a cot to be attended to by one of the men who were waiting for their arrival with a med kit.
"Janus, what is the plan?" Arthur asked.
"We hide from Spectre and you lot go on your way. At first light if you like but I suggest laying low with us this evening. We will drink, share stories and help you with maps and plans."
"Really? M asked. "I think it entirely more likely that you question us and then trade us to whoever controls this shady organization just to be left alone."
Alec Trevelyan smiled at her and shrugged his shoulders. "Trust me or don't M. I don't care."
Victoria came forward. "I contacted Janus because he was helping me find Ivan and who was targeting retired agents. You've been dead after all, how could you know what is going on." She added curtley.
"Victoria, you and I don't know each other well...as I was not M when you were an active agent and you moved to work with the CIA rather than continue with MI6. But I know this man and he's a double agent who detests MI6 and wouldn't hesitate to betray former friends."
"Ladies...ladies...please." Ilya said moving between them. "Ivan and I trust Janus to keep his word and you should also. He will assist us."
Alec frowned as he ordered his men around and spoke into his mobile in Russian for a moment.
"I'm sorry that you are so distrustful M but I am in the same boat as the lot of you and don't want a world with constant surveillance in the hands of this organization. They are essentially going to control all the business and security in the world. Information is their power and they don't want any agents around that know how to work off a grid. Using wits and gadgets rather than a mobile and a Q branch."
M sat on a bale of hay beside Peel as they looked around at their surroundings. Peel whispered in her ear. "We need to get out of here."
"I know." M responded as a man arrived driving Arthur's rolls royce. He climbed out with the bag that had all Arthur's equipment that M had in the warehouse. Alec really did run his organization like MI6. Clean up crew and everything.
Alec sensed M's appraisal. "I learned from the best." He took the case from his man and handed it to them. "I take it you have someone to contact. Just be certain you're ready to move the moment you use this, because we will need to relocate. As I've said these people are watching the web."
Arthur took the bag. "We will wait until absolutely necessary then. I suggest that M, Peel and I make our way towards where this organization is centred. You do know where that is don't you?"
"Yes but it would be unwise to go there. They may want you or they may just want you dead."
"We will take that chance." Arthur said severely. He really didn't like to be questioned by the younger upstart, who betrayed MI6 and ran a mafia in Russia. All in order to augment his own greed and lust for power. So very tacky and not at all gentlemanly.
"Ivan used a cane and moved towards the group of them now in a circle in the large barn. "I don't think you understand how powerful these men are and they are hunting our kind. I understand that you are M...or were. This….this is not good. They will more than want you and they will want you for what you know. One of your agents is on the trail now. I overheard them say as much."
"That may be so but they don't know she's alive, my love." Victoria adds. "Janus, Illya and I will take Ivan to a safe house to heal. M if you need my help I will give it if you ask nicely. After all that handler you appointed for me was an ass. Your lot wanted me to kill my love, for Queen and Country and that was the end of my trust in my own organization."
"That was Sir Miles not I and you know it! I know mistakes have been made. We've all made them but now is the time to forget that and focus on Spectre. I don't want to be shot again. It was terrible but if it comes to that I will do my duty to Queen and Country. I will give what little is left of my life and not cower behind others to do it."
"I never accused you of cowering M. I know you're not an agent. You don't need to put yourself in the line of fire to prove anything to anybody." Victory added.
"Oh I think she is more than ready now. We've been hard at work making M more an agent than the power behind the desk. The agent on the trail? Did he or she have a name?" Peel asked with interest.
Alec smirked. "Who do you think it is...M? The damaged one who leaves a trail of physical and human wreckage wherever he goes."
M narrowed her eyes at her former agent. "I don't recall you being all that subtle as 006 Trevelyan. 007 gets the job done."
"I bet he does." Peel muttered under her breath with a smirk.
"I've heard of this agent. Bond….007. What do you think his chances are M?" Victoria asked.
"Good if he's following a solid lead."
"Oh he is." Ivan added. "By the way Sciarra's former men were speaking. The leader's name is Blofeld, he's Austrian I believe."
"Can we leave the barn Janus? I think I should help Ivan clean up and get to bed." Victoria added.
"Yes. We will all have to share rooms and there should be something we can make to eat."
"I'll start on dinner." Ilya offered and Peel crooked her arm in his and said, "I'll help you."
Ilya still handsome face broke into a big smile. Peel smirked and winked at Arthur as she walked off with another man.
Arthur didn't rise to the bate and instead examined his car and the equipment that Janus' men managed to get from the altercation earlier.
Janus told his men to continue monitoring the surroundings and they did as ordered. Victoria helped Ivan into the large farm house.
"So here we are...three heads of organizations that are about to become extinct if this Blofeld character has his way." Arthur said as he tossed the equipment back in the bag and into the back of his car.
"Yes well, there is a chance we could surprise him if Bond doesn't beat us to it." M said. "Maybe it would be better if we let Bond take care of this."
"The last I heard your man was somewhat compromised. Are you sure he is capable enough or even loyal enough to his new M to accomplish the mission?" Arthur said testily.
"Bond, compromised? No, but not in the best condition according to my sources. Emotional stress, on leave after destroying part of Mexico City." Alec added. "I wonder why he's in such a state?" Alec added looking pointedly at M. "You do manage to get under the skin, don't you M?"
Arthur appraised them both and said offhandedly. "I can attest to that and it's been 40 years of cold showers for me."
M rolled her eyes with her hands on her hips. "Really now…"
Alec Trevelyan actually cracked a smile and laughed out loud at that. "This could be a very interesting evening. Drinks?"
"I thought you would never ask." Arthur said jovially. "I think cards might be in order this evening also."
Alec arched a brow. "How much of that fortune of yours are you willing to lose King?"
Arthur laughed. "We'll just see who loses what, exactly and how the evening goes."
M had a feeling that this could be a very long night. She would have to keep her wits about her if King was planning on a drunken night of cards with her former agent.
M supposed she should feel betrayed by Alec, but too much time had passed and she could understand why. Too much time and the knowledge of his parents death no doubt.
M sighed. She was not M anymore, no matter how many people were calling her that. They just didn't know exactly what to call her and she wasn't willing to offer up her real name, her husband's and children's name.
M sighed internally. The past was the past and everyone here including her had their own regrets to deal with.
Who was she to comment on his life choices? When MI6 had been the cause of so much pain for her, Alec Trevelyan and James Bond.
To be continued...
Sorry for the long delay.
I hope you enjoy.
The beginning of the evening progressed as M had thought it would. Dinner was a thrown together affair in the safe house, yet delicious with many putting their effort in to making it so.
As they drank and played cards M watched from the edges of the room. Emma stayed close to King as if protecting him from anything Alec could toss at him.
M decided to seek out some solitude outside. Surprisingly Illya came out to join M on the swing, overlooking the yard and the night sky.
M remained silent as she smiled at him slightly and then turned her attention back out over the darkened property.
"You...are not what I thought you would be." Illya stated.
"No...but then...I'm not what I once was."
"You have not changed that much have you?"
M looked at the Russian agent. "No...I suppose not. And you? Are you the same as you were as a young agent?"
"No...the ideals I held then...were of a young...and programmed young man. That Russia is gone and what has risen up...well I don't think I'm a CIA or a Russian agent anymore. What are you? Are you M...MI6 or are you something else?"
"I don't know. Peel knows...Emma has always known exactly what she is. I was a figurehead...a tactician and now...now I'm...dead."
"Are you? Dead?"
"It feels like it some days...I don't know. My life...that life is over but now...now I'm trying something different. Emma's made sure of that!"
Illya looked into the kitchen when voices raised in laughter. "He follows you with his eyes. Emma has her work cut out for her."
M blushed despite her best attempts not to. "I...well. That's really old news and not something I have ever planned on happening. It's surprising but Emma seems to be so taken by him. That is either a very good act or…"
"You think she's stringing him along like John Steed?"
"I think that she may have been lonely and craving her old life of adventure and King is just that."
"I can see that but what of you?" Illya said with a hint of disappointment in his voice.
Olivia could tell that this man had more than a little bit of romantic interest in Emma Peel and likely had for many years.
"You and King...not a thing yet he's very drawn to you. Janus is also constantly watching you. But that I believe is for another reason, like he believes you will disappear in a puff of smoke."
"Yes, well he and I are the same in all of that. We've both been dead for a long time in the eyes of the British government and not wanting to suddenly reappear to cause...even more trouble."
"Yes, I understand but what of all this? Someone likely knows about you, or at least about King."
"Yes, but King has never been affiliated with MI6, nor is he thought to be dead."
Illya just sighed. Not having come closer to understanding what makes M or Emma Peel tick.
"I must go to bed M, it was nice getting a moment to speak with you alone. I doubt I will get the opportunity to be alone with you for this much time again." Illya said nodding towards Alec approaching the door to join them.
"Goodnight Illya." M said, as he passed Alec, nodding to him as he went in the kitchen to say his goodnights to Emma and King. M stood and moved to lean against the railing of the porch. She crossed her arms defensively, against whatever might come from her bitter former agent.
"Did you beat King, Trevelyan?" M asked with a slight smirk on her face.
"No...he took me for some of mine, but not too much. In my defence, he has Emma Peel for a good luck charm and I couldn't compete with that!"
M smiled despite all that was going on around them. It was a beautiful clear night. And in this moment of calm, around people with whom she shared a common past, it had suddenly made her feel connected to the world again.
"What is going to happen next 006?"
"My...I honestly never expected to hear that number roll off your tongue again M. I will help you get to Casablanca. From there you four are on your own."
"You don't think Illya is going to leave you now that he's found Emma Peel again do you? No you've got yourself trapped overseeing a love triangle M."
M smirked. "I think it may be more than that."
"Do tell M...something you would like to share with the class?"
"Not really. What do you think Victoria and Ivan will do?" M asked to distract him from prying more into the triangle the three old friends had fallen into.
"I think they are in even more danger than you. They've been identified by Spectre and they should go back to the US and draw some attention off all the rest of us. Do you have any contacts in the US that will be trustworthy enough?"
"Felix Leiter has always been a friend."
"I will give Victoria his name."
"You do have interesting friends Alec, but are you ours?" M asked suspiciously.
"I...well...at first I thought I could barter you to Spectre...but then...once I saw the extent of what Blofeld is trying to do to all of us...no I'm still a company man down deep. I see the need for human intervention, over eyes in the sky."
M shifted on her perched on the railing of the porch. "I suppose you could have gone either way and I appreciate what you did today. Do you know where he is?"
"I assume by he...you mean…"
"Yes. Is he…"
"Since you died? Or just in general? He did what you would expect, from what I've heard. A bottle...women...running to the four corners of the world to find the man you pointed him towards. In all honesty M, I think he's been on a rampage because Silva killed you and he couldn't bear it."
"I seriously doubt…"
"What would you call it then?"
"He was doing his bloody job!" M said suddenly frustrated at his observations for some reason.
"No he was on a rampage that blew up part of Mexico City! All because YOU sent him a message about a man named Sciarra. Now he's almost to the head of Spectre with no backup other than White's bloody daughter!" Alec finally erupted.
M had expected that he might and was willing to wait for him to get it all out of his system.
"You...you...string us along...and use us expecting the loyalty of a dog...but don't enjoy the mess we make do you M! Not when it's in your face like it was today at that firefight! The MI6 you controlled and were loyal to is gone! The new M and Tanner are trying to hold it together with what amounts to gum and tape! The new head of MI5...C...is dismantling the 00 program as we speak. He has the government in his pocket and he sure as hell is in Spectre's! Half the governments of Europe are."
"You are extremely well informed, as well as opinionated on the matter. What is it that you expect from me? An apology? I thanked for the help today. I think they were as much out to put you down, as they were to get the rest of my antiquated crew of spies!"
Alec palmed his face, shaking his head as he began to chuckle. "Stubborn...fool. You're just like him."
"Like who?" M said with her brows furrowed glaring at him and ready to go for another round of verbal sparring with her former agent.
"Bond. Two peas from the same pod. He loves you, you know. He could have left a million times over for money, comfort...and games. What with his looks and charms." Alec caressed the scar that ran down the side of his face wistfully.
"And not as a mother figure. He could have...should have left long ago but he could never leave you. He couldn't even leave after you died, because the ghost of you tied him to six. And then you send him out on one last mission…at least that is what I've learned from my agent in Q branch."
"You have an agent in Q branch?"
"Of course. So does Spectre but then everyone today is so easily bought."
"Damn it! I'm going to bed."
"A little too much for you M? In your dotage with your retirement and all? You really haven't kept up with it all have you? We may as well be allies M. It makes no sense for us not to work together on this because there really are no boarders anymore. No Great British Empire...Nato...UN...League of Nations...it's all ideological crap now. Swirling in a maelstrom of money, oil and big multinational corporations."
"Christ! I miss the cold war." M said shaking her head as she walked inside she could hear her former agent laughing.
The next morning they all sat in the kitchen and spoke only a little as they ate.
Victoria fused over Ivan and Illya tried not to watch Emma out of the corner of his eye. She bloody well knew...and M could tell she did. Wait until she got a chance to speak to her alone!
All this affection Emma was showing to King was an act! It was so bloody schoolgirlish that it made M want to laugh out loud, and then putting the three of them all in their place. But it was not her place to do this.
More serious things were happening and they could all be dead very shortly. Let Emma and Chester make love while they had the time and inclination to do so. Poor Illya, he looked despondent, yet covered it well.
Alec pulled him aside and spoke with him in muted Russian that M could not hear well enough to interpret. Something Alec said must have pleased the man because he returned to the table with a smile, sitting beside M and giving her a playful wink.
M was amused by the gesture and it did not go unnoticed by Chester King, but that was the entire point.
M turned to shoot a glare at Alec, understanding exactly what he had done. He turned Illya's attention towards her, to make King do something, so that Illya would have a chance to put a wedge between the two lovebirds.
Victoria helped Ivan get up on his crutches and began gathering their things.
"Thank you for the hospitality and company, Janus. I just hope we can all survive long enough for all of us to do this again sometime."
"Da...I for one would like to do it when I haven't been put through a grinder for amusement sake. Maybe then I can take all your Rubles at cards." Ivan said extending his hand to pull Janus, Alec into a bear hug as he kissed him on both cheeks.
"You are always welcome to try old man! You can even bring your beautiful MI6 spy back to visit too."
"Oh tosh...I've not been MI6 since before you were born and you've been hosting the Queen of that organization without much hullabaloo." Victoria said kissing his cheek and winking at M. "She's bound to be much more trouble than I."
King laughed. "True enough Victoria." Chester stood and handed her the keys. "If you're drawing fire away from us...you might as well do it in style. Take her to this address and the Kingsmen will make sure you make it to the US safely."
"Thank you Arthur of the Kingsmen." Victoria gave him a hug. "Watch this one Mrs. Peel, he could be dangerous."
"Oh I will. And you two be careful."
"It is the lot of you flying into the dragon's den not us. I hope we can all meet again. Or all retire in the same home for retired agents." Victoria added with a laugh. We have CIA friends that can help us round up the ones under Spectre's thumb in the US. You work your magic in Russia, Janus and we'll leave Britain to these three."
"And what of me...a man trapped between world yet again." Illya protested.
"You take the rest of Europe Illya, you can handle it." Ivan said with much more robust laugh.
They all moved out into the barn again and gather all their items in and out of vehicles to get ready for the next part of the journey to take down this...Blofeld and his organization.
Ivan and Victoria took the Rolls Royce and promised King to be gentle with her. They would head to London and meet with the Kingsmen. They also had messages for MI6 in code from M to the new M. From there they would head to Washington to lay low while Ivan healed.
Victoria and any she trusted would do reconnaissance on any suspected politicians, agents CIA, MI6 or others in the pocket of Spectre.
Alec then ushered them into a land rover, driving them over trails through a wooded area to an small opening. To say it was small was misleading because it was big enough for the helicopter there waiting for them.
The five of them entered the machine and Alec gave the thumbs up to start it up.
"You're coming with us?" Peel asked shocked.
"Yes, I have a score to settle for Spectre trying to take me out. Not to mention...I would like to see the look on Bond's face when he sees me and M...together and alive."
"You want him to believe in ghosts in other words." Emma added.
"Something like that. Whatever happens...it's sure to be explosive." Alec said as the engines revved up and they all put headphones on to cancel out the sound.
M was wedged between Illya and Trevelyan and she was not entirely sure that Alec was genuine and not just delivering her to this Blofeld character.
Revenge had been his intent towards MI6 for a long time and she couldn't imagine that all that anger towards them had just disappeared over time.
Emma and King shared a look and then looked across at her. M just nodded slightly as Illya and Alec looked out the windows of the helicopter.
At least the three of them were on the same page. They only trusted each other. M had a seriously bad feeling about this.
To be continued...
The desert sand swirled beneath them, whipped up from the blades of the helicopter's landing. There were cars waiting for them.
Olivia tensed up and she could see Emma do the same. Armed me stood beside several other cars. To whom did they belong? How long do they have before the inevitable confrontation with the latest of the world dominating megalomaniacs that they so often run into.
Illya fidgeted with his lighter as if dying to land and enjoy a cigarette. M had notice him toying with it before and thought him to be a reformed smoker. King huffed and strained to get a good look at the surrounding only to seem disappointed in the absence of anything exciting to behold.
Alec patted M on the knee as the engine slowed and quieted. "Don't look so worried M...they're mine." He jumped out of the helicopter first. Spoke to the man who stepped forward and then turned back to offer his hand to M.
Kuryakin and King got down and assisted Peel's descent from the now quieted machine.
"What is going on Trevelyan?" King asked looking cautiously at the men surrounding them.
"What is going on is that the base that we are headed to is already on high alert. The only way we are going to do this is for Kuryakin and I to appear to be double agents."
"They knew we were coming?" Peel asked.
"No; they know Bond is almost upon them." Alec added.
"And how did they know that?" M said with her hands on the hips of her tailored trousers that were now far too hot for this environment. The heat radiated off the sand and made her throat instantly parched.
"They do have eyes everywhere M." Alec responded as he turned to Illya and spoke in Russian.
"Gotovy li vy k etomu?"
Illya handed each member of their party a bottle of water from a cooler brought to them by Alec's men.
"Is he ready for what Trevelyan? For you to betray us?" King asked. "Yes; as relics from the cold war we understand and speak Russian.
"No. For us to be Russian double agents. Once and for all I want this organization done with. They have been terrible for my business." He said it in a matter of fact way that M and her companions didn't quite believe.
That being said, M considered Alec the better of two evils at this point.
"Better the devil you know than the one you don't." Emma muttered under her breath as they took what little they had with them and placed it in the car.
They headed into the desert. "What are we expecting Trevelyan?" King asked.
"We are going to meet the head of Spectre and I don't doubt that some of us may never come out of this desert. I just want you to understand that right now." Alec said sitting with his back to them talking over the back seat as he drove. Illya was with him in the front to continue the facade that they were their prisoners.
"I think we've faced death and in fact died enough in our long lives to have already considered that a possibility." Emma said. "Besides...what's the fun in growing old anyway!"
Alec laughed at that and Illya frowned. The compound was rumoured to be in a massive crater made by an asteroid.
"What can you tell us about the leader." King asked.
"Other than Blofeld's a troublesome man not much. He is no more than 55 years of age, 5 foot 8 inches tall and doesn't say much in public. He doesn't really spend time in public boasting of his immense wealth like some Russian Oligarchs I know. So much like me really. Only I don't want to control the world through having computer overlords watch our every move and identify everyone on the planet."
"Big brother is watching." Emma said rolling her eyes.
"Yes; but the strange thing about big brother is they still ignore the elderly and they don't take into consideration aging unless identified to do so." Illya added.
"That will be good cover for a few of us but somehow, I don't think it will work for you M." King added looked concerned."
"Oh, I know he will know who I am and undoubtedly I will be the main target. I'm prepared for it. I resigned myself to death when Silva's men shot me and this past year has been a gift." M said grabbing Emma's hand and giving it a squeeze. "I have learned a great deal about myself...gradually separating myself from M. Not to mention reconnecting with old friends." M said with a sad smirk.
"I will do what I can to ensure you don't get hurt M." King said concerned. "I will give my fortune to prevent anything horrible happening from any of us."
"I don't think he cares about money King, nor power. I haven't been able to discern what motivates the man. He has no apparent kinks of a sexual nature and therefore, the only option other than desire for power is revenge. I just have no idea who he wants revenge on." Alec added. "However, I don't think I'm high on his list of friends."
"But you will be by bringing us in if he's searching down old member of the intelligence community like Ivan and Victoria." M said.
"Yes but M you were never an agent. Peel, Trevelyan and I are exactly what Blofeld wants to have contained." Illya suggested.
"So cheery. I mean we know we're going into the dragon's den but what have we for weapons?" Peel asked.
"I've my cane." King said pressing a button to show a display. There was a targeting field and defense mode.
"Illya and I are armed." Alec opened the glove box and handed two knives back for M and Peel.
"Fantastic." Peel said sarcastically. "I only just managed to teach her how to shoot straight and you hand us knives."
Alec smirked. "M will always find a way. Won't you M?"
M opened the knife and felt the weight of it in her small hand and watched Emma do the same. Peel twirled it in her hand and then repeated the motion slower so M could follow. Then she jabbed out into the air between the seats of the car.
"Stay behind me M and we will play this as cautiously as we are able. Six is on it's way."
"No; not six, just Bond but then again it could be worse. I have my men and that is all the backup we have. There are at least 100 employees at the facility and it's as you can see very far into the desert, should anything happen to the car. I have the helicopter on call to come collect us tomorrow morning should we not return tonight." Alec informed them.
"If we make it to tomorrow morning you mean." King added, not at all happy about this mission.
"We'll make it." Emma Peel said as he patted his knee affectionately. King closed his hand over hers and reached over to grasp M's also.
M could see Illya frown through the rear view mirror as he watched the two of them carefully. M could swear Peel knew and was doing this just to drive him mad. What on earth went on between those two all those years ago? She would relish a few minutes of privacy to ask her.
It would be the five of them against insurmountable odds, with only six extra men and the hope of helicopter rescue, against what undoubtedly would be an army. "Who even thinks that we are all doomed to die here in this desert has never encountered James Bond." M said with a somewhat positive smile on her face.
M had no idea how James faired but she had faith in him and alway had.
Ernst Blofeld was monologging his evil plan to a prone, kneeling James Bond when his majordomo appeared, shifting agitatedly beside him.
"You came across me so many times and yet you never saw me."
Bond was just where Blofeld wanted him after all these years but his assistant cleared his voice, practically vibrating with the need to interrupt.
Not now! Just when he was about to deliver the coup de grace.
Blofeld turned his undivided attention back to the troublesome agent before him.
"A nice pattern developed. You interfered in my world, I destroyed yours. Or did you think it was coincidence that all the women in your life ended up dead? Vesper Lynd, for example. She was the big one. Has he told you about her? And then of course, your beloved M, gone forever."
"Excuse me...sir!" The majordomo looked panicked as he whispered in Franz's ear. Blofeld pulled away in shock and looked back at the monitors and then back at Bond. Madeleine he now ignored completely.
Bond notice the shock on his former foster brother's face. Then he smiled and walked towards them. He reached out and clasped Bond's shoulders.
"I think I actually might have jumped the gun on that one...but my won't this be interesting. Take her away. I won't be needing her any longer."
The guards grabbed Madeleine by the arms and began dragging her away. "No!" She screamed as Bond forced his way towards her.
Once guard hit him in the head and his vision began to cone as he faded from consciousness.
The last his he heard as his vision faded away was Franz. "I hardly need the girl, what with the Queen of his existence arriving unannounced."
Bond woke in his room again with a splitting headache. What had they done to Madeleine in the time he had been out? Bond felt for the girl what with being pulled out of her life and him having to force her back into the chaos her father was more than partly responsible for.
Bond made his way to the toilet and threw up. Likely a slight concussion, nothing he hadn't dealt with before. As he looked at his bruised head in the mirror the faded sound of his brother's voice reverberated in his pained and damaged head.
"Queen of his existence."
Who was he talking about? The only Queen, ever in Bond's life had died over a year ago!
Franz had just gloated about killing every woman he felt anything for and other than Moneypenny now there were no women in his life save Madeleine and that was hardly love.
A post attack roll in the hay was par for the course but could hardly be misconstrued as love. Then again Franz never really did understand feelings of affection and love that well. Empathy and love was out of his intellectual reach as far as Bond was concerned.
So who the hell was he planning on using to hold over his head and gloat? The sadistic bastard likely killed his own father seeing as they were both to have died on the side of that mountain.
Bond tried the windows, using all his available strength to push out against what seems like bullet proof glass. He tries the door and finally sees the telltale bleap of a camera light on him.
A buzzer sounded and a familiar voice burst through.
"Hello James, how is that thick head of yours feeling? Sore I bet. Well I have some amazing guests to introduce to you later and I need you at your best. Get cleaned up and I will have tux placed in your room for the occasion. Reunions are so much fun and I can't wait to see your reaction."
Bond looked at the camera and flipped him the middle finger. "What have you done with Madeleine?!"
"Madeleine's gone I told you that I would take every woman you loved away from you."
"Screw you Franz! I will kill you if you hurt her. She's innocent in all of this! Her only guilt was being the child of another evil psychopath!"
"Tsk...tsk...tsk. Coocoo...coocoo. Be polite now and that is Ernst Stavro Blofeld to you Mr. Bond!"
To be continued…
M had anticipated a frantic scene on their arrival and it was just that.
She tried to memorize all the details of the facility as they landed and as they were escorted at gunpoint into the complex. King blustered and complained as they shoved them along.
They took photos of them and then roughed up Trevelyan just for sport before allowing them into the cool of the air conditioned complex. M was tied, hot and worried about all this.
They separated them from Trevelyan and Kuryakin and then lead them down some hallways to three open doors.
Damn it! They were going to separate her from King and Peel!
M never thought that three retirees would be considered much of a threat. At least she had hoped they wouldn't and they could be placed together to make plans.
M knew that Trevelyan and Kuryakin would be held for questioning and likely released for bringing the three of them to Blofeld, but then again the man could just kill them all as it suited him. She had to admit that she was nervous about all of this. How her agents prepared themselves mentally to deal with this sort of stress was beyond her.
Emma would be ready and so would King but they've both had years of practice with this sort of ordeal. Emma was saving Steel's ass or being held captive practically weekly in her youth.
M watched as King was shoved into a small room and then a few steps down Peel was escorted to a room beside his.
"This is not at all the accommodations I was hoping for." Peel said waving her hands at the guards with them.
The biggest guard beside M just slammed the door shut on Peel's protests and grabbed M's arm to take her further into the complex.
They seemed to be walking out of the arm or section they had been brought to and into a centre hub. There were computer screen everywhere and people working on them.
A small blond man came forward clasping his hands and rubbing them together. "Ahhh there she is! Coocoo...M are you not an amazingly lovely surprise! There is so much we need to talk about and so little time to do it." He grasped her by the shoulders and kissed both her cheeks as if they were old friends reunited after a long absence.
"Well I think I have all the time in the world, but then again I'm not trying to do whatever it is you're trying to do." M pulled out of his grasp crossing her arms defensively across her chest looking angry and put out.
"No...not anymore at any rate. There is a new M now attempting to police the world on behalf of the Crown but he's not been as successful as you. However, he never had my man C trying to take over MI6 for the sake of the budget."
"You...are behind the amalgamation of MI5 and 6? Why? What have you got on this new C?" M directed her questions in a typically forceful manner befitting a woman who had been in charge a very long time.
Blofeld smiled at her attitude. She did not disappoint, she was just as he had imagined she would be. "Nothing...I can assure you. C is merely a visionary like myself."
"You look very familiar Blofeld? Where might we have met?" M narrowed her eyes looking him up and down. His voice and face was very familiar.
Blofeld merely smirked down on her. "And you look lovely for a woman who Silva was supposed to have killed for revenge and to punish James."
"Oberhauser...you're...the son! Franz...Franz Oberhauser aren't you?!"
"How astute of you but no that name has no meaning for me."
"Why would you think my death punish James? I daresay he's been through far worse loss in his life."
"Tsk...tsk where are my manners follow me. I have a room set up for you beside mine. I will let you get cleaned up and my man will come collect you to join me for dinner."
"What of my companions and why are you avoiding my questions?" M demanded.
"Emma Peel, Chester King and Illya Kuryakin! Oh yes I know who they are. Janus told me."
"Janus...where is he?"
"Janus is gone. I told him to leave or I would kill him. He is never to leave Russia again without my permission. If he wishes to keep his organization running smoothly. No, my dear you were not riding in here to save the day. I knew you were coming and Janus is the one who told me. I have people everywhere and they are chasing down Victoria and Ivan who I wanted eliminated in Germany. But, alas you were there to throw a wrench in my plans as usual. I swear you don't even know you do it...but at every turn you confound me woman!"
M was hardly shocked to hear Alec had betrayed them but then she had expected he might from the beginning.
What didn't ring true was that he expected them. No he seemed to flustered by her being alive to have truly known that they were coming.
"I do excel at that. And excuse me if I don't think you are being truthful with me now Mr. Oberhauser." M said looking at him appraisingly. He had flinched involuntarily when she identified him earlier and she wanted to knock him off guard.
Oberhauser's eyes narrowed and he grabbed her arm tightly as he guided her into another corridor of the complex. "That name was not the one I chose. I am Ernst Stavros Blofeld the name I gave myself! You may call me Ernst."
M was becoming more nervous about his intent as he separated her further from the normal guest or prison area. She supposed this far into the desert he had no need for an actual prison for uninvited guests
"I had heard that you had died in an avalanche with your father years ago...Ernst."
Blofeld stopped walking and made direct eye contact with the tiny woman who had been M for twenty years and a complete thorn in the side of his organization making further inroads in Britain. Of course there had been enough greedy men to have work for them but not with enough pull or access to what he needed. Until she was out of the way and C was placed in power by Haines and his cronies in parliament.
M was….disarming...to say the least but he still had cards to play in this game and she had been in hiding over a year.
"And I met with Silva in Egypt for a production of Medea to tell him that you lived. Yes...I figured out that you, M were the Olivia Mansfield that Silva spouted on about...you do have an allure that attracts damaged younger men to you don't you?"
M scoffed. "I do no such thing." M bristled at the assumption, she had never...encouraged such attraction and her biting tongue usually divert any obvious sexual overtures.
"No not intentionally. But they wanted you nonetheless." Oberhauser's eyes bored into hers.
M did her best to meet his glare unwavering and without open display of fear. It was easier to be brave with anger. She was pissed off that he would dare know her name let alone set Silva on her. Now to imply a sexual component to her leadership was insulting and so very simply misogynistic to believe that she would naturally use being a woman as a tool. So many had believed that over the years...how else could she have possibly become M...it was bloody insulting!
"There is nothing more a man wants than strict, beautiful, older woman to direct him and give him praise. I would enjoy that too if you were up for the job?"
"Stop the insults Franz!"
Blofeld smirked having gotten under her stubborn aloof demeanor. "Blofeld and think of it M...you and I could be unstoppable!"
"I will not debase myself for your amusement!"
"Think about it M. Here is your room. Just call and Carl will come to escort you to dinner. I have taken the liberty of having some clothing gathered for you. I'm positive you will be impressed."
"I doubt that! I haven't been impressed with much I've seen here." M stated severely.
M looked about the room as Franz entered behind her. Too close for her comfort and causing her internal alarm to rise...he couldn't possibly?
Franz moved them past the sitting room guiding her to show her the bedroom and private bath. He knew this would make any woman in this position nervous.
"This is the mirror of my own quarters which are linked here." Franz indicated a door that she had assumed was a closet that he now opened to his bedroom. The hair on the back of M's neck rose with the implications imbedded in such proximity.
"I will not be your paramour and stop pretending any attraction exists Oberhauser. You're planning something but it's not a dalliance with a senior citizen."
Oberhauser laughed. "Well my dear...you are no longer married and perhaps all senior citizens are not as attractive as you are? Although Emma Peel has aged well also, she does not have the information or power over my enemies that you could give me. You my dear hold far more allure to me than any vacuous younger women who engages men of wealth for nothing more than trinkets and a lavish lifestyle. They lack of substance. You...you care nothing for it or you might have latched onto King after the death of your husband."
"Power is that what does it for you? I find men that get...gratification from power are not the type of men I like to be with for any amount of time. I hated meetings at Whitehall for that very reason." This man know far too much about her to be allowed to live.
"Men at Whitehall are all typical British blowhards who smile for the camera while screwing over the population, while they line their purse and jump from the bed from intern to call girl exploiting their power. I will give you the tools to search out this activity and end it as you see fit. You and I could have a very good relationship so long as you curb that stubborn nature of yours. I know that money means nothing to you and power you would only scoff at. But what of your loved ones?"
"You heard me M. Your heart is not made of stone...what of your agents and friends, Bond...Emma Peel, King, the new M, Tanner and Moneypenny...even your own children?"
M glared at the weasley little man and said nothing, letting her eyes do all the talking. She had been told over the years that she could strike the fear of god in people with her glare. She hoped that it would openly convey all the feelings of disgust that she held for this man through it now.
"I know...I know that you would kill me if you could but you are intelligent enough to understand that you need more information about how much I'm inbedded in the 9 eyes program and the extent of my reach first."
Franz reached out and touched her face gently as he stepped closer to her, pressing the advantage of female fear of male physical power over their own. M tried to remember all that Emma had taught her and her own stubborn desire to defy this man pushed to the forefront.
M smiled and stepped closer to him rather than retreat, remembering the knife in the waistband of her trousers at the small of her back. "I wonder how far you're willing to push this Franz...how much of what you say is mere sexual bravado when in reality you are incapable...of much more than words."
This was a gamble...she knew it but her gut told her that he had no sexual interest in her or any woman for that matter. No...he was not the type. Power was all he desired and he didn't need a concubine to distract him from his meticulously planned revenge. It had been years...over twenty for this plan to take effect if revenge on James Bond was all that he had wanted.
Franz frowned and backed away from her and shrugged. "Call when you are ready M." He left her room through the private door and she heard the lock slip into place.
Bond looked at the image that came to life on the screen in his small room. People arriving by car...two were obscured but there was something familiar about the blonde scarred driver.
The two older gentlemen were strangers to Bond and two people remained blocked from view. Why Franz was showing this to him he didn't know. Madeleine was nowhere to be seen and that concerned Bond.
The scarred man smiled and then Bond realized...006...Alec Trevelyan! It had been before his time, another 007 was working under M back then. Yet another ghost of M's past comes out of hiding to cause problems.
Bond wondered what she would have thought about all of this had she lived. He had managed to follow her trail. She obviously knew there was a connection between all these events. Would she be as shocked as him that it was all revenge on him for being between a damaged teen and his father. Regardless his head hurt and there was nothing he could do until Franz screwed up and he got within arms reach to strangle the bastard.
King surveyed the room and found no way to escape. He was still with his cane of all things for them not to confiscate...he was eternally thankful.
He knew it would be a risk but he tripped the signal of his homing beacon intermittently for Merlin to find. He would send a team because he didn't believe a word Janus about said after this.
It worried King that that Blofeld character took M away...she was going to be a pawn or worse and he doubted that Emma was able to train her to agent level in just a few months.
Emma...she was a different matter. Yes they were compatible on the surface but he had never intended this to go that far. His objective had always been Olivia. She was the one he had wanted and never had the opportunity to seduce properly.
Unfortunately Olivia's relief at his dalliance with Emma Peel had been palpable. They would be bloody perfect together but she had never felt the same way for him. He wished he had the time to make her see him differently but now...nothing was sure.
At least he could go to his grave knowing that he told her, was honest and will always hold her in his old heart.
Emma Peel paced like a caged animal. No this was hardly the first time she had been held captive but it was much more difficult to seduce the guards into being foolish at her damn age!
Christ she hated being old. Everything hurt and the bloody mirror displays wrinkles and the passage of time that hardly seems possible.
Emma often dreams of the past and wakes up sweaty and alert expecting the worst. Someone trying to take her out for her past deeds and her being took weak now to fight them. Her greatest fear. And the loneliness...Olivia had given her a sense of purpose and then King fell into her lap.
She didn't have real feelings for the man...something she realized the moment she saw Illya again. But she needed to distract King from Olivia.
Olivia was still broken by what nearly caused her death. Emma almost had her talking about what happened that fiery night in Scotland.
Emma had deduced that this James Bond played a very important role in her life. More than that stubborn woman would ever admit and that was holding her back from being at all interested in King.
The night before as they played poker in that farmhouse kitchen Emma had been alarmed to see Illya go out and speak to Olivia. Where that jealousy came from she hardly knew, as she continued to indulge King with false pleasantries. King was a good lover and she hadn't had companionship in a long time but it was also safe because she knew he loved Olivia and was too bloody stubborn to stop pestering her poor friend.
King was a diversion but not someone she planned on continuing with. If this James Bond was the centre of all this mess then she hoped to get to meet the man who could bring this much chaos to an old woman's boring life.
"Carl I need dinner to be perfect. Did you take the gown to M?"
"Yes Mr. Blofeld sir. I also delivered had Mr. King's bespoke suit cleaned and a gown given to Ms. Emma Peel."
"Good...oh and give Kuryakin a clean suit. I don't know what part they will all play in the end but at least they can all look nice for their last meal."
To be continued...
M got out of the shower to find that her suit of clothing had been removed from where she left it and replaced with a navy blue evening gown.
Beautiful but for a much younger woman. Cut off the shoulder with a plunging neckline, a fitted skirt with a slit up either side and a flowing overlay of a shimmering fabric of the same colour blue.
How on earth did Oberhauser know and get a dress in her size? Not to mention shoes...and undergarments, did he have a stockpile for female captives? The thought made a shiver climb her spine as she felt the material on the dress.
This disturbed her more than she thought it would. Having no choice but to wear the garment M pulled it on and put some modest makeup as she teased her hair into her normal pixie cut.
Looking into the mirror M wondered about what was about to happen and memories of her life bubbled unwanted to the surface.
"Damn it all!" M had been trying desperately not to look back...but everything about this brought memories from the past.
Peel and King were distant past and helped her not dwell on the loss of MI6 and the work she had done there for the last 20 years. She had veered away from the news to avoid being frustrated by her inability to do anything about it. The world was not hers to micromanage any longer. She could not affect the outcome of a high level kidnapping or retaliate for a murder.
No...none of that work...all that time trying to find out who was behind these shady organizations. Quantum, Greene Planet...they were all linked, as she thought but the rationale and motivation was quite different from what she had surmised.
That Silva was tossed towards her like some rabid, diseased dog just because of her closeness...no she refused to be...he was not...Bond was her agent not her…
All because of the proximity of her to this James Bond. Oberhauser had caused all this death destruction, not for political power or money the typical tyrannical motivations, but for revenge.
No this was bloody infuriating! Just for personal revenge! Nothing Bond could have ever done to Oberhauser as a child could amount to this.
She'll show Oberhauser revenge if she can manage it. M reached down between the mattress and retrieved the knife Alec had given her. She cut off a strip from the bed linen and placed her foot on the chair beside the bed.
The slit in her dress allowed her into access her thigh and tie the sheet fabric around her. M slid the knife carefully in place and then smoothed her dress down over her legs again. She hoped her training had prepared her for what she was about to do.
Once M got what she could from Oberhauser she planned on killing him for what he had done. She had never done that herself but with Peel's training she believed that she would be able to do it if she had too.
M Just hoped that the others could assist in taking out the guards so that they might just be able to survive this misadventure.
M took a deep breath to prepare herself and picked up the phone.
"Hello...Carl...yes...I'm as ready as I will ever be."
Two guards came and collected Peel and King. King had brushed off his suit and they had quickly pressed it for him when he got cleaned up.
Emma was resplendent in a bright strapless purple gown that hugged her tightly. The shawl and shoes were silver and matched her hair.
Peel instantly hooked her arm through King's as they slowly walked the corridor to who knew what. "I don't know wether to be excited or disgusted that these people have a selection of women's formal wear in stock out here in the desert."
"They do and to your benefit, you are lovely. I heard we've been invited to dinner. I do hope M is in attendance."
"You still can't stop thinking about her can you? Not that I blame you in this situation love...but...it will never really work between us will it?"
Arthur paused looking down at her hand and sighing. "No...it won't"
Emma patted his arm. "Don't worry. I always knew. I just knew that she did not want the pressure you would put on her so I became the distraction. I believe that her heart belongs to another."
"Nigel is dead almost two years now?"
"Not him love. Her agent."
"What! Agent? Who? Bond?"
Emma chuckled. "You really don't pay much attention for a spy. Or maybe because it wasn't about you, you ignored all the signs."
"Signs of what!?" King said flustered.
"Bond is hers and reportedly he must feel the same way, or our host wouldn't have been so singularly interested in her. I know she has important information in her head, we all do but it was definitely more than that."
"Bond! That disaster of an agent is the same age as her children!"
"There is no explaining matters of the heart King and you know that as well as I do. You were using me as a distraction as much as I was using you. Deep down you knew she wasn't interested and never would be. We've had our fun and now...now we will just have to wait and see what happens next."
"I'm sorry Emma. For what it's worth, I'm sorry." King smiled down on her and Peel returned the smile as he pat his arm affectionately.
"Me too darling, me too."
Illya dressed in the suit provided. Blofeld must think that he was a wild card in all this and that is why he didn't send him with Janus.
Someone knocked on the door and asked if he was ready for dinner. Illya answered to see five men. Once was being closely watched by 4 men he was a handsome blond man in a metallic coloured suit.
Illya nodded to the other man as he walked down the hall.
"What are you in for?" Illya asked with a smirk.
"I'm not quite sure why I'm still here. Franz must still want me for something."
This was the British agent Janus and M had spoken of. Bond...if he remembered correctly. "I don't know why I'm still here either but that Blofeld didn't know what to do with me. I hope that the others are fine."
"Others? What others?"
"Enough talking!" One of the guards yelled as they pushed them on the shoulders.
They reached the dining room and Bond froze in the doorway as Illya went past Bond to go to the side of Emma Peel. M was to the right of Blofeld with King beside her. Emma was resplendent and standing by the table on the left side of Blofeld with an empty seat on either side of her.
Illya assumed the structure was to Blofeld's liking. The male, female distribution was logical as was that he wanted the English agent beside him and across from his former boss. M too looked lovely and by the gasp Bond made seeing her for the first time. His shock was palpable but then he pulled back as Illya moved towards Emma.
"M!?" A guard on either side of him grabbed each of his arms as Bond tensed. He was about to fly across the room and sweep her up off her feet but then he remember Franz was watching him carefully and decided it would be prudent to play this cool.
Queen of his universe...now it all made sense. "Nice to see you again M? Where have you been hiding yourself? Not here with my foster brother I hope?" Bond said with a joking voice as to appear merely flirtatious and not seriously put out. Inside he was furious at her for faking being dead.
"No, I would not choose to stay here, I can't abide deserts."
"I see your wit is as dry as ever." Bond couldn't believe she was sitting there across from him in a beautiful gown...glowing and trying not to seem anxious.
"My dear brother thank you for waking up intime to join me and my new guests. Of course you know your beloved M but to her right is her would be lover Chester King of the auspicious Kingsman organization."
King tensed the moment Blofeld said his name. "Yes I knew of course. And the vivacious former Avenger, Emma Peel, daughter of Sir John Knight and my oh my if we don't have a knight and a King in attendance." Blofeld laughed at his own joking observation.
Bond took in both these people and wondered how long M had know these people.
"Last but not least, former agent of UNCLE, Illya Kuryakin who came here to make a deal with Janus. An old friend of the previous 007 MI6 had, 006 was he not? Another one of your lost souls M?"
M looked down into her water and merely nodded. She was having a difficult time meeting Bond's gaze. It was too like reliving those last moments between them in the kirk at Skyfall.
"I don't know if finding out that Alec Trevelyan is still alive shocks me anymore Franz, as everyone seems to be faking their own deaths now. I even did it after failing to capture Patrice the first time." Bond met M's eyes and held them.
This was the first time he had really ever said anything that amounted to regret for doing that to M. He hoped she would reciprocate and be sorry for what she had bloody well put him through this last year without her.
"I'm sure M was inconsolable. But tell me how long you've been attracted to the matriarch of MI6 Mr. King? After all she went on to head up the competition rather than marry you." Blofeld inserted, changing direction of the questioning as fast as he could to rattle the assembled guests.
Bond was shocked, his eyes drawn to the well dressed man sitting beside M. King frowned and looked between M and Bond's foster brother.
"I have known her a long time and although I consider her a very dear friend, it was unfortunately never to be any more than that. Considering she married one of my best friends, I was fated to a different path and nothing has changed in her widowhood."
"So you knew she lived? Did you James? No I think not. What about you, the beguiling Mrs. Peel? You have had a storied career as well as public affairs with former spies and partners over the years."
"Darling you make it sound unusual and sorted when it was neither. Imagine...taking that stance in this day and age! Ha!" Emma laughed with the absurdity of it all. "If you reflect on the times as they are now nothing I did was at all unusual. Mr. Steed was my lover and partner as we searched for my husband. Illya helped on occasion but when we found Mr. Peel he was...well...not the man I married."
"So it worked out in the end but alas Steed took ill and died." Franz said articulating with waving hand as if shoeing away a fly.
"Why are you claiming responsibility for his cancer? I don't doubt that a man such as you has the audacity to believe he could muster such a power for himself but you would have been a very young man to have poisoned him in any way." Peel said narrowing her eyes at Blofeld.
M was shocked. Peel always played it cool and jovial but Blofeld had struck a nerve and she did not like it. M had never really seen her truly angry, until now.
"Quite right M'Lady. Shame you were so despondent that you were put out to pasture early. A brilliant mind such as yours. I could use a woman like you in this organization. I could use both you lovely ladies."
"Now we get the the core of this disaster. You just need a mum to look after you don't you? All damaged men do." Peel said with a smirk over at Bond trying to get something more out of the quiet agent beside her. By god he was a handsome man. Emma understood M's attraction to him and he just emitted waves of turbulent trouble.
"Ha, no. A mother I do not need but analysis from those who are well versed in the old ways of spying are always a welcome addition to the crew. You and M could help me make a brave new world."
"I've read that book and mind control is not all it's cracked up to be." King adds. "What do you have planned for the gentlemen? Guillotine? Paces at dawn? Or just shot in the desert?"
"Tisk...tisk...not at dinner Mr. King. No we must talk about James and how it has come to all of this."
"Why Franz? Still jealous that your daddy taught me survival skills and that I used that knowledge for a better career path than you?" Bond added.
M could see Oberhauser's jaw tighten in response. "Speaking of dear old dead fathers...and brothers...M...did you ever tell him about James Bond?"
M's mouth hung open in shock. "That was years ago!"
"James Bond was a good agent from what I remember of him. A very honourable man." King added.
"An outrageous flirt to boot and a good looking one. Are you related sexy?" Emma Peel directed at Bond with a wink.
M was blushing and could not meet James' eyes again.
"You see dear brother, not only has your name been a code name for every 007 but the first was another who genuinely owned your name. Your dear uncle James who died when you were young. I cannot believe that M and MI6 would keep that from you." Franz said with a malicious smile. "Specially since they were an item."
"What!" King and Peel exclaimed in unison. Both of them staring at M for any sign of acknowledgement.
"I did not! And you're just pushing buttons now. I was working as an analyst and yes I did meet James...we never socialized."
"Tisk...tisk M...I would have thought that the illustrious James Bond 007, notorious ladies man would have swept you off your feet! You were adorable from the photos I've gathered."
"When...in the last three hours since we arrived? You really shouldn't have done that Oberhauser. Q will know that you've been peeking. The new M will have a team sent just to figure out what is going on out here in the middle of no where."
"You trust to highly in your compatriots M. Same goes for you King. I don't think that signal you sent from your cane managed to get to its intended target. I have men chasing down Merlin and Q as we speak. If they cannot be turned to my cause then they will meet their end just like the retired agents I have them searching for."
Carl arrived with a message in hand and gave it to Blofeld. "Oh...my. Well everyone I think we may have to retire early as the power is about to go out."
Suddenly the room plunged into darkness and only the candle light remained.
"What is going on Oberhauser? Satellite going overhead or a drone perhaps looking for us?" M asked as she calmly sipped her wine. Oberhauser was shifting...he was nervous. The lights were dark so it was time for her to act. M pulled her knife from her the strap on her leg.
King caught the movement and stopped her hand taking the knife from her. There was no way he was about to let M try to do this with guards in the room. He dropped his serviette on the ground and bent to pick it up. A guard came forward as King came up and brought his cane up to connect with the jaw of the guard.
The next moments were a flurry of activity to the flicker of candle light. Muffled grunts, groans, the telltale pop of a gun going off and screams moved around the darkened dining room as bodies hit the floor.
Lives leaked out of punctured bodies in moments that seemed to stretch on in the imagination in such confined terror. The candles were tipped, extinguished in pools of their own wax on the table and the darkness surrounded them in sudden silence.
"Bond!" M called out.
"M!" Bond replied as he tried to move around the darkened room.
"Peel?" M asked desperately.
"Yes...King! Illya?" Peel responded in a choked tone.
What condition were they in and how to proceed crossed M's mind as a hand grabbed her and pulled her to the side of the room. There was a door opened as the air changed around them and she was pulled out into the moonlit corridor.
A groan of pain emanated from the man pulling her out of the room and slamming and locking the door behind them.
It was not Bond...
Emma struggled under the dead weight of someone on top of her. The air smelled of gunpowder and blood. The darkness surrounded them and she wondered if it was prudent to call out for King, M, or Illya.
That thought was short lived as sound erupted from the other side of the room.
"Bond!" M screamed.
"M!" Bond replied sounding as desperate as Emma felt and just as mad at being pinned up and not fighting.
"Peel?" M asked desperately.
"King?" Peel responded but it sounded weak even to her own ears.
M was alive! That was good at least. But what of Illya and King?
Illya had been beside her at dinner but could be lying dead for all she could tell. Suddenly there was a sliver of moonlight and the air became different. Someone was leaving the room and someone was fighting his way over to follow.
The sounds of fighting continued at the end of the room where Blofeld sat. Bond, and or King must be fighting someone.
There had been about six guards in the room and one was dead on top of her. Two directly behind Bond and two behind Blofeld and two behind M and King. That was still five armed men and Blofeld himself to fight through in complete darkness. The odds were not good that they could manage such a feet but then again Emma had never liked odds.
"Peel...Emma...where are you?" Illya's hand found her shoulder.
"Help me...get this...ass off me will you dear." Emma asked in muted tones. Illya pushed the dead man off her and pulled her up to sitting against him as they caught their breath. The struggles had now stopped and Emma heard someone run from the room.
"M? Peel?" King asked breathing heavily as he flicked a lighter and found one of the overturned candles on the table.
"Here darling." Emma said as Illya now helped her to her feet. They looked around and all the guards were dead but there was no sign of Blofeld, M or Bond.
"I think I got the bastard as the lights went out!" King said as he reached Emma and wrapped her in his arms for a reassuring squeeze. "We should get moving I think he took M."
There was the distant sound of an explosion. Emma stood between the two men and moved across the room to the door. There was moonlight in the hall and the distant sound of gunfire and explosions prompted King to extinguish the candlelight.
The sound of men running and shouting sounded and the exchange of gunfire. The three of them remained pinned by the door and silent as they could be as a beam of light swept into the room.
"Arthur? Are you here?" The unmistakable voice of Galahad rang out and King breathed a sigh of relief.
"Yes...in here!" A unit of black dressed men and women entered the room. "We got your signal and came as quickly as we could once we coordinated with two other groups to this location.
"Two other groups?" King asked looking down at the blood on his hands.
"Are you injured?"
"No...but I must have hit my mark." Arthur said with a grim countenance.
"MI6 sent all of their 00's and the Janus syndicate led us straight here."
"All of their 00's?" Emma asked. "The new M comes through at last!"
More explosions echoed through the complex. Galahad lead them down the hall and out into the cool of the desert evening.
There were helicopters flying around with lights and gunfire in the distance. Emma, Arthur and Illya ran to the nearest escape route. With all the commotion and sounds of explosions Emma didn't even have a chance to ask more about Olivia.
Men came charging after them from the entrance of the complex only to be shot dead as they did. Galahad looked to Arthur and shrugged not having confronted the men themselves.
Emma just followed them with Illya and climbed into the helicopter. They had just managed to fly away from the centre of the complex when a massive explosion ignited throughout the entire complex.
So much for Blofeld's secret base. Good riddance. Arthur was now wearing a headset and speaking with his knights of the round table. Fully engrossed in managing his unit and planning the best route home.
Emma was left to ponder what had happened in that room. She shared a bench seat with Illya, who reached over and took her hand in his.
Illya Kuryakin leaned over and put his lips to her ear. "I want you to know that I've been in love with you for the last 30 years and I didn't want to go to my demise without having told you that."
Emma pulled back in shock, looking at the man whom she had known for all these years with obvious surprise. "You killed the guards behind us?" Illya nodded yes. He had done that so quickly she had been unable to even stand let alone fight once the darkness surprisingly overtook them at dinner.
"I couldn't let them harm you in any way" Illya said seeing no one but her in all this turmoil and commotion.
How could Emma have missed this? For so long she just put him into the friend of her lover category and missed something that may have evolved into something wonderful. Hell she had enjoyed her time with King and he was an old adversary more than he was a friend. Maybe if they can survive this...
One of Arthur's knights called out and Arthur suddenly remembered them and handed them ear protection. One of his knights fired and then another. Flashes from their guns lit up the dark night and echoed loudly in the confined space even with ear protection.
The men were leaning out of the open helicopter and were focused on something moving below in the darkness of the desert. Emma felt useless and turned to the man beside her who still held her hand in his.
Emma looked into Illya's eyes with concern and worry as the helicopter pitched suddenly to the right. She clicked on the microphone attached to the ear protection and said. "Now you tell me." She smiled wanly as the chatter over coms between the members of Arthur's team could be heard and she held on for dear life.
King's fingers brushed M's thigh to take the knife from her hands. He couldn't let her try what she was about to try. Yes, she was closer to him but she wouldn't be strong enough to see this through to its gruesome conclusion.
Her man...Bond was basically being held down by two guards so he would be of little use. And although King had always wanted to caress M's leg, he never expected it would be to disarm her and plunge a knife into someone.
The lights went down with an distant sound of gunfire. King took the opportunity and leapt towards his target, leaning over M and thrust the knife at the last place he saw Blofeld at the head of the table. He connected with something and if his aim was true it was Blofeld's face.
There was a sudden but expected exclamation and groan of pain from him, he was positive of it. King was instantly forced to pull back the knife for fear of falling on and hurting M with his unbalanced thrust. Unfortunately this still left the wounded man within arms reach of her.
There was jostling as King tried to grab for M and pull her out of the way. Unfortunately he couldn't see well enough in the darkness to find her. There was the sound of loud fighting from the other side of the table, that could be Bond was struggling with his captors.
Loud voices and shots were fired from the wall behind King. He quickly turned back towards where the guards had been standing behind M and his side of the table.
King grabbed one man's arm and smashed it against the wall as a shot rang out. It hit someone and hopefully it was the man that had been standing as guard to his right and not Illya or god forbid, Emma.
King wrestled with the guard and ended up on top of him. He thrust the knife he was still holding into the man's torso with all the weight of him on top to drive the blade in as deeply as it could go.
"Bond!" M screamed.
"M!" Bond replied.
"Peel?" M asked desperately.
"King?" Emma asked quietly.
M called out but King new better than to respond in such a situation, making himself a target.
That she called out for Bond first was telling. That agent was as annoyingly handsome and disruptive as King had been informed.
M obviously was involved with him in some way more than met the eye. His foster brother was tearing the world apart just for revenge on him and if Bond was the reason she was almost killed...the two of them would be having words if they survived the next few minutes.
There was a crack of moonlight as a door opened. The various groans from the man under him finally subsided as the life leaked from his body.
Someone had left the room after M called out and King suspected it was Blofeld dragging her from the room. A sliver of moonlight intruded on the scene in the dining room.
There was still a struggle going on on the other side of the table with Bond. A few more pops of a gun went off and then he heard and saw the movement of Bond running from the room after M. Good. At least he was alive and motivated to kill that bastard brother of his.
Once the room had quieted King flicked on his lighter and found a candle. He could see Illya Kuryakin helping Emma to her feet and then they joined him on the other side of the room closest to the door.
"I think I got the bastard before the lights went out and then the power cut!" King said as he reached Emma and wrapped her in his arms. "We should get moving...I think he took M."
The distant sound of fighting became louder as it headed towards them. Lights shone in the room as they stayed hidden as well as possible.
"Arthur? Are you here?" The unmistakable voice of Galahad rang out and King breathed a sigh of relief.
"Yes...in here!" A unit of black dressed men and women entered the room. "We got your signal and came as quickly as we could once we coordinated with the other groups to this location.
"Other groups?" King asked.
"Are you injured?"
"No...but I must have hit my mark." Arthur said with a grim countenance.
"MI6 sent all of their 00's and the Janus syndicate led us straight here."
"All of their 00's?" Emma asked. "The new M comes through at last!"
Arthur followed his knights out into the hall and out of the building as quickly as possible. He spoke in muted tones to Galahad as they walked side by side.
"Any word on M?"
"No and there were many escaping vehicles and helicopters making ready just as we were jumping down into action. Our mission was you prisoners and MI6 was to deal with escapees."
"Janus actually assisted in all this?" King asked.
"Yes he provided the detailed location and plans for the facility. How he got them I don't know but we knew exactly where you would be thanks to him."
"Where is he now?"
"He went back to Russia. He said that if M wants to thank him she will know how to contact him."
"Yes, well, likely through Illya Kuryakin. We will deal with all of that later. We have to assist in getting M back from that maniac. He's extremely dangerous and injured."
"Injured? M or this Blofeld character?"
"Blofeld. Franz Oberhauser, I got him in the face somewhere, I'm sure of it." King held up his blood stained hand for emphasis.
"The 00's are on it and it's their former M after all. Look Arthur I know that you have a history with her, but we shouldn't get in MI6's way in all of this. That is why Janus left. I saw the man as he gave us his report in Casablanca. I could tell that he wanted to come back but I could also see that MI6 wanted him gone."
"I don't care...get us in the air and looking for that other helicopter and the escaped vehicles."
Men came charging after them from the entrance only to be shot dead as they did. Galahad looked to Arthur and shrugged. "MI6 brought a specialized retired sharp shooters to assist. They said that they knew you and M."
King smiled and looked back at Kuryakin and Peel as they followed. It must be Victoria and Ivan. Despite Ivan's injuries and her less than positive outlook on her former employment, they must have returned in order to help them get Blofeld and end this former agent manhunt he was on.
They climbed on board the Kingsman helicopter and Arthur took a headset and began relaying orders to their other helicopter and attempting to reach out to MI6's teams on the ground and in the air.
The complex suddenly erupted into a huge fiery explosion, lighting up the entire area. There were several helicopters and vehicles on the ground shooting up at them as they climbed higher. The other Kingsman helicopter took out a few as did some of the other friendlies from MI6.
"Merlin you and Q are to try to coordinate the teams to scour the desert for M and Bond if he's still alive and after them." Arthur ordered.
"Patching you through to MI6 now Arthur."
Now the hard part begins. Searching for a needle in the haystack and cooperating with MI6. Blofeld could have dozens of hiding places and definitely had the money and support network to escape them. King just hoped that Bond's desire to get to M and kill that bastard was a strong as his own.
To be continued...
"Where are we going?" Eve asked Tanner as they drove through the city with Q in the back seat.
"To help M and then help M."
"M and M...what?" Eve stated confused.
"He means our old M, Eve."
"Like Bond was, after seeing her? M's final message to him? Did M send you a dvd Tanner?"
"What? M sent Bond a dvd? When!"
"What do you mean when? Before she bloody well died Tanner when else?"
"What he means Eve, is that M is still alive. Tanner, Mallory and I did out best to hide her while she healed and then began a new life retired from service."
"WHAT!" Eve exclaimed as she whirled around on Q in the back of the car and then back to Tanner who was driving. "You mean she's been alive all this time! Does Bond know?!" Tanner continued to drive but spared her a glance. "No he doesn't and he didn't need too."
"What do you bloody mean he didn't need too! For Christ's sake Tanner you know how he's been!"
"Yes...but...how does that factor into this? We all deal with grief in different ways Eve...and I would..."
"No you two idiots! You don't! Not unless you know how it feels to have the woman you love die in your arms and you think it's bloody well your fault!"
"What!" Q and Tanner both exclaimed.
There was no time for discussion as they came to a dark corner where M had escaped capture from C's men. M climbed in the back of the car with Q.
"Hurry...head to that MI5 tower of inadequacies they call an office. We have to deal with C. Bond's compromised and the man he's dealing with has been behind all of this. Q, send a message to Victoria and alert the team on standby in Morocco and all the 00's to help them."
"That innocuous crater in the desert?" Tanner asked.
"Yes, I overheard my abductors discussing the desert site that Victoria and Janus messaged us about. I guess Janus wasn't leading us astray.
"How is M alive M?" Eve asked shooting a look over her shoulder at him.
"That was need to know and she didn't want more than us and the PM knowing that she barely survived Skyfall."
"But James...he...I mean that was beyond cruel."
"I understand the sentiment but we need to retake control of MI6 and MI5. As far as our sources have disclosed 007 and M are in the same place so I doubt he no longer knows about our subterfuge."
"Knowing Bond...there will be explosions and they will be on their way back home shortly." Tanner said sounding hopeful for once in all of this.
"Yes. Quite. Now Q can you arrange for secure base for contacting our people in Morocco and those of the Kingsman organization. In the next couple of hours we need to help once we regain control of MI6. And could you message the PM that the game is afoot."
Blofeld pulled M through the poorly lit corridors and down a hidden set of stairs to an underground facility. They were met by men who then ushered them even deeper into a dark cave.
A doctor came and injected Blofeld with something and put a gel like patch over his mangled eye.
"You should let me do surgery and save you from some of the scarring and perhaps some of your vision."
"No there is not enough time. I had thought that we were better hidden. And that Janus would not dare betray me! I have what I need to survive." Blofeld said as he turned to look over at M.
Other men came rushing into the room. "Blofeld...sir...we are detecting more helicopters and vehicles approaching we must get you out of here now!"
"Fine. By car so the southern emergency platform." Blofeld grabbed M's arm again and pulled her along.
"You know they will find you. Your base is lost and you've apparently failed in your attempt to destroy MI6 and the 00 program. Not to mention attacking older retired agents was a fool's errand."
"Yes but you...my dear...are a prize worth losing all of this. What you know, and how much Bond cares for you makes me not regret even losing this eye to King. However, I will promise you that I will return the favour and destroy his pesky band of knights as soon as we reach London."
"London?" M asked surprised.
"Yes my dear. London. Into the heart of the beast. I will lure James to his death with you."
"What... why not just leave me and retire? You have the money. Disappear again and stop all of this nonsense."
Blofeld pulled her into the back of the car. "You and I both know that you would never leave me in peace. No...I will rebuild only after James Bond is dead and MI6 crushed. You will be my concubine if you don't fight me too much. If you do...I will take from you what I need and then have you killed. Even better I will offer you to the highest bidder to do with you what ever they please." Franz said with maniacal glee.
"You're deluded, it will never work Blofeld. You have too many eyes on you now. Between retired agent and secret services from the world over will be gunning for you. As for James Bond, he is far harder to kill than that and you bloody well know it."
Bond ran in the dark killing anyone of Franz's men he met along the way. He ran towards doors and flung them open. Shooting anyone inside. One man he grabbed and put the gun to his head. "Where is she!?"
Bond shot him. "Too bad for you then."
He looked around the hall as emergency lighting kicked in. There was a door at the end. He flung it open and saw a second more secure door. Looking through the glass window at the top he could see that there were stairs leading down.
"Of course you would go underground." Bond muttered to himself.
"Then again...every hole underground should have two exits." Bond said as he ran for the nearest exit. Helicopters began to arrive and he only hoped they were friendlies. Bond ran around the complex dodging the occasional fire from doorways and helicopters.
Vehicles disappeared in every direction and Bond desperately searched for the telltale crop of white hair that was M. One vehicle nearly ran him down as he rolled on top. Angrily looking in and then shooting the driver and passenger. Bond pulled their bodies from the machine, got in and kicked out the window that was already destroyed.
Bond sped around the building looking for the exit point Franz would take. He had to be slowed down by M not to mention he may be injured. In the mayhem inside Bond heard the man scream in pain when he was taking out the guards.
Bond heard her voice call for him and that quicken the death of any guard he could lay hands on in that room. He was barely delayed by the handcuffs that he got off after he killed the man holding the keys.
Bond had been lacking motivation and focus since M had died. The delivery of that dvd and finally getting the nerve up to watch it set him on this path. A year bloody late! But how was he to know that she survived.
Mallory would pay for keeping her from him and Tanner! How could he not know. Eve seemed genuine when she watched the dvd with him of M's last message. He had wondered how M could have possible known Silva would be successful in killing her. And then there was the mission. How she new the direction to take in looking for who put Silva onto her in the first place.
A car suddenly appeared from what looked like an outcrop of rock in the side of the hill. It was followed by three others. One with a turret machine gun that began followed the middle car closely.
M was there. Bond could feel it in his bones. All the other cars broke off and headed North but not the middle car and it's guard. Bond followed but they noticed. The turret turned towards him and fired.
Bond pulled hard on the steering wheel and then felt the world twist as the vehicle rolled and suddenly came to a stop.
M sat in C's office waiting to confront C with the help of Q. He did not have to wait long for the smarmy bastard to arrive and take back his desk. From there he pulled a gun, but M had gotten to the bullets first.
Q shut down all of the 9 eyes program and installed a virus if anyone should attempt to open it and try again.
C struggled with M and ended up falling to his death down to the lobby. Eve and Tanner had just entered after securing the building outside.
"Can you still find Bond through his blood Q?" M asked.
"Yes. He still in Morocco and must be travelling at the rate he's moving."
"Good. Q it's now all up to you to save them."
"But where is safe to set up command?"
"Come on Q. Where's your sense of adventure? I'm sure that the safe house will be fine for now" Eve said smiling as she climbed into the car with the nervous Q. "Besides we need to do it for her...for M."
M nodded in agreement. "Just so you know she was almost dead when we found her. The cold had done it's work slowing her functions down and because of that, it saved her. For all intents and purposes M was dead and it was her decision to remain that way. Who was I to tell her no? I seriously don't think she realized how much she meant to everyone...let alone Bond."
The car went at breakneck pace and eventually came in sight of an airfield. There was little activity that M could see and her stomach sank at the thought that no one was coming. She would be forced into servitude to this madman.
The guns had eliminated the only car following and M hoped that he wasn't dead. She no longer had her knife and she was face to face with the results of its ability from someone who knew how to use it.
M really hoped that King and Peel made it out. By the sounds of it, there was a mission to get the lot of them out. King must have alerted his knights or perhaps even Janus had something to do with it.
All M knew at the moment was that they were not being looked for in the middle of the desert but back in that compound. Therefore, she would have to think of some other way out of this situation.
Blofeld had his head tilted back as the drugs took hold of him. M looked out the window and grabbed the door handle. A sudden hand clamped around her wrist.
"Where do you think you're going dear? The desert will swallow you up once the sun rises. We are miles from the compound and you won't be found. No you need to stay by me. I'm the only one who can prevent your demise at this point."
"Maybe I prefer death over what you have planned for me. I never relished the thought of being tortured or used as a pawn anyway. Besides, how much amusement do you think you can get out of an old woman?"
"A great deal actually. I don't dismiss people due to age, why else do you think I have men killing retired agents. Once I took control of the computer driven world, people like you would have been the only threat to my endeavours. Not to mention what I now know you mean to Bond on a personal level. You are very bewitching don't you know that?"
"You make me blush in anger with your assumption that I've used my feminine wiles to entice agents, politicians and who knows who else! This is very insulting. I will not give you any information and I will never be your concubine. You would be wiser just to leave me to the desert."
"That sounds like the desperate play of a woman who has something to lose. What is it that brought you out of hiding M? And Emma Peel? I was going to send someone around to check on her eventually. Was it King? Who is he to you? I was already planning on blowing up his entire tailor shop and getting rid of the Kingsman. Was it duty? Was it desire? Was it love? Bond?"
"Why are you so interested in my relationship with Bond? Jealous about your loss of your mother young?"
Blofeld had been leaning his head back resting from his injury but that remark made him turn his patched and good eye towards her. The effect of it making her lean harder against the door of the car.
"You and others may be pushing that angle but it will not always work. Some with good observation skills will see through it and the way he looks at you. I have known him since he was a boy and yes, you may have initially seemed like a replacement for his dear beautiful dead mummy. But no. When he saw you this evening in the dining room...my suspicions were confirmed."
"You suspected that there was something between us but you are wrong. There has never been anything remotely romantic between us."
"Was there between you and Silva? He wanted you and before you cry innocent you knew. Deep down you knew he wanted you back then. No other reason can explain his obsession but for the lack of a sexual relationship. That...that is what conflicted him. I know that he wanted to take you away and have you all to himself. He was caught without the means to do so. You were there. What was he like at the end? I heard that he was upset by your injury?"
"How do you know that!?"
"If he wore the ring...there was a microphone inside and it told me what you said and he said. I heard Bond cry when you died...likely in his arms. I see by your face that my guess was correct."
The car made it into the air-hanger and rolled to a stop in front of a private plane. This would be her only chance to escape him but he still hadn't released her hand.
The car came to a stop and the driver came around to open the door for Blofeld. This would be her chance to get away. Blofeld pulled her across the seat and out his door.
"Pick her up and take her onboard and don't underestimate her...not for a second." The driver nodded and picked up M like she weighed nothing and carried her like a baby up into the plane.
Over her captors shoulder to see Blofeld wait for the next car to stop and his majordomo and she assumed the pilot exited the car. The pilot was pulling his hat down and nodding to his boss, yet he seemed to not look directly towards them or the plane. It was her imagination. He was no saviour about to prevent this mad man from taking her to London. Then M was unceremoniously dumped on the sofa in the private jet.
"Ohfff! Gentle! I'm an old lady not a bag of luggage!"
"Well...well, are we comfortable?" Blofeld said as he collapsed into the seat across from her. The pilot passed as four others showed up including the doctor from earlier. They closed the door and they began moving.
It was too late.
Bond jumped from the rise onto the back of the jeep heading south toward where he believed M was being taken. He took out the passenger with a shot to the head and kicked the driver out of the car taking his place.
That sneaky bastard Franz was running in the opposite direction of everyone else. He either has a secret base or a private airfield.
He saw people entering readying the plane and turned a hard left to go around the far side of the field and building. He had to reach that plane before it took off.
M was with Franz, Bond and it was more that intuition, he could feel it. Whenever the adrenaline was pumping, he always went with his gut instincts and he was still alive. Therefore they must bloody well work.
Bond left his stolen jeep over a dune hidden from view as he made his way along the rise keeping the building between him and any arriving cars.
Bond made it to the shed as the plane readied for take off. He had only one chance and he was risking an error in judgment to do it. M might not even be with him but he sure as hell wasn't going to let his former foster brother get away.
Bond waited to make his move and found a small crow bar that may come in handy for what he was about to try.
Bond darted out and under the plane at the rear and made it to the landing gear wheel well just before it began to roll. This would not be fun but if M was on that plane and he had to get to her somehow.
Bond jumped up into the well propping himself in the small ledge using the strength in his arms and legs. He straddled the opening with his feet balancing on small ledges of metal as he used the small prying bar to open a panel. The ground crew or pilot had already checked the plane as he arrived.
Bond pulled back enough of the panel to climb in and then used the pry bar to pull the metal back into place as well as he was able. He was in a small storage area in the tail of the private jet and moved around to look for an access hatch for the cabin. Once he located it he opened it just enough to peek into a bedroom. He could hear voices and decided to stay hidden until the plane took off.
Then he would commander the plane and fly M to...anywhere she wanted him to take her.
One thing was sure, he had enough bullets left in his gun to take care of Franz and his men.
Emma and King flew north-west along the desert looking for more vehicles as members of his team and MI6's called out over the radio. A woman was found in the compound who claimed that she arrived with Bond. Madeline Swann.
"Bring Ms. Swann with us." King ordered another helicopter that picked up Victoria who had Madeline with her.
"I wonder what Ms. Swann will add to the chaos?" Emma asked King by keying a private number he gave her through the headset she wore. It wouldn't do for all the others listing to hear what she had to say to the frustrating man.
"I believe that Janus told M that she was the daughter of the man who tried to kill her years ago."
"That's right! The bodyguard incident. She wouldn't tell me much but that really changed her perception on a good many people." Emma added.
"Bond being one of them I'm sure." King answered with a turn of his head.
"Chester...don't be petulant. You knew that this ancient crush of yours would never come to fruition. You never stood a chance and you bloody well knew it. Deep down you knew it."
King looked over at his current lover and nodded. "You're right. And what about you? You just threw yourself at me to protect her and distract me."
"Yes and I enjoyed it. Made me feel alive again. I don't regret sleeping with you if that is what you're asking Chester. She came to me in crisis and I was trying to focus her mind and body. You came along and tried to wrestle that progress away from us and dominate her. In her weakness she may have but I knew that there was someone else. I understood eventually it was her feelings for a much younger man that was conflicting her. She never thought that she stood a chance at even seeing him again."
"And I brought her right to him."
"Yes you did. And you brought all us grizzled old veterans together and managed an elaborate rescue and take down of an evil man's lair in the desert so be proud of that King Arthur."
"What of you two? Illya has feelings for you doesn't he?"
"How did you know? He only just told me…"
"Since the moment we met up with Janus in that barn, he has been watching you." King said with a hint of sadness.
"So now what King?"
"You mean us?"
"I'm game to try but if you would rather have Kuryakin...I will step aside."
Emma paused. She didn't know what she wanted. Victoria and Ivan were proof that two old agents from, at times opposite sides, could be together.
"You will have to let me think on it King. Illya and I have some talking to do once we get somewhere safe."
"I understand." King said. He did understand. He was in Illya's shoes where M was concerned and he knew that he and Emma had just been in it for fun and distraction.
Emma Peel had always excelled at being distracting to everyone around her. The woman simply oozed sex appeal and attraction and that had hardly lessened with age.
Illya could see that King and Emma were discussing what to do next. Their fling now open to the light of day for what it was. He hoped that in their private conversation Emma was open to more conversations with him, perhaps over dinner. He didn't have the money or resources that King had, but he sure as hell wasn't going to let that stop him trying to win her attention.
Much of Illya's life he felt that because of the nature of his job he should be alone but after seeing Victoria and Ivan, finding out that the head of MI6 had been in a long marriage and seeing how electric Emma Peel and Steed were together all those years ago made him second guess his choices.
If not now, when? He hadn't the time left for self doubt at this point.
"Don't pout M. Although, you are adorable when you do."
"Why don't you just fall to sleep what with all the drugs they gave you? What's left of your vision will take a bit to get used to, what with the dizziness and headaches, I don't see how you can even tell I'm pouting at all." M said crossing her legs and frowning.
The plane had just achieved altitude and one of his men got up and checked the back of the plane and then went to speak with the pilot. He came back to whisper in Blofeld's ear but M caught a snippet.
There was something beeping and a loose panel in the rear of the plane. It was not exposed to the air because it was within the closed landing gear hatch. There was a louder droan than usually heard, but they were confident that it would not be a concern for the few hours it would take to get to London.
"Even with the extra noise, sleep would be wise for both of us." Blofeld said as he stood and held his hand towards M.
"Come. There is a bed in the back of the plane and I'm tired so you must be too."
"You don't mean…"
"Yes. You and I sharing a bed is something that you really must get used to M."
"Not bloody likely!"
Blofeld clasped his hands around M's arm and pulled her from her seat. M struggled in a panic for what was about to happen. As they reached the rear of the plane M pulled back with all her strength.
"Don't make me carry you. I really just need to sleep and I want you near me while I do."
"You want me to watch you sleep? How deeply troubled do you have to be…"
The door to the bedroom flung open and smashed Blofeld to the ground with a thud. He lay there moaning and holding his injured head in his hands.
"James!" M exclaimed with immense surprise.
Bond couldn't spare a glance at M because he had people to take care of. The guards ran at him as he moved past M shooting them both in the head.
The door to the cockpit opened, "Keep flying to London and you'll live." Bond took their pistols and left them, turning and walking back to a groaning Blofeld lying on the floor of the plane.
"James...don't." M said, reading his body language, she knew exactly what he was about to do.
James looked at her and down at Franz and back to her and sighed. "I will. For you...M"
"I'm not M."
"You will always be M to me." Bond simply looked at her making sure he could see no outward injuries or he would break all Franz's fingers for the offence.
M could see the way he looked at her expectantly. "I'm fine 007. Really. He didn't do anything and he's far worse off than I am at this point."
"James….James...so you caught up with me...what will you do?" Franz said as he sat up leaning up against the plane's sofa still sitting on the floor. "Cookoo...cookoo."
Bond looked around and found something to bind his former foster brother's hands. "You are alive because she deems it necessary."
"Such a lovely reunion. I really had expected more kissing." Franz said.
Bond looked hesitantly towards M and then growled at Franz, moving towards him again as if to strike him silent.
"Tisk, tisk James. I merely thought that you were in love with her and you with all your sexual prowess...usually thrust yourself on to whatever woman is around. Yet...here you are, reunited with your beloved M….and you are all business...and no play."
"I will shoot you Franz even if it's just to keep your mouth shut." Bond menaced holding his gun out towards him.
"007, stand down. Oberhauser will you cooperate? You don't really have much of a choice but if you look more likely to be more trouble than you're worth, I will tell Bond to throw you from this plane. I'm getting far too old for this shit."
Bond was so shocked by what she said that his mouth hung open.
"Close your mouth 007, you'll catch flies." M said smartly.
"Ma'am. I would do what she says Franz. I plan to for the rest of my days." Bond said with a cheeky smirk towards her. It was the first moment they had just to breath and really understand that they were together again and now the possibilities were endless.
M was still shocked to consider that he could even feel anything for her. But truth be told she had wondered about some of the looks he had given her in the past. Not all his flirting was just to unnerve her, apparently.
She had always fantasized that he wanted her as much as she wanted to be important to him...more than as a boss, and definitely not as a mother figure.
"What was your plan for us in London Franz?" M questioned.
"Stop calling me that!" Blofeld spat at her viciously.
"Blofeld...where were you taking me once we landed? You have a safe house in London or were you taking me to a person?"
"I was going to take you to the old MI6 building scheduled for demolition soon and use you to lure Bond there so I could kill him. I would then kill the new M and anyone who was fool enough not to understand the new order of things at MI5."
"I personally trust the new M to have taken care of his MI5 counterpart C and any dissidents you may have paid to infiltrate the organization with the help of Tanner, Moneypenny and Q." James added.
"Did your nine eyes actually come online?" M asked.
"It hadn't as of the dinner at the compound but I've no idea now. It will be a surprise….I suppose Once we make it to London if there are agents there to take me in…then I suppose I have lost and you have won." Blofeld answered honestly.
M suddenly remembered all those who had been with her assisting. Bond mentioning M and Tanner had reminded her of Emma and King.
"Do you have a satellite mobile James?"
Bond dug into his pockets and pulled out his mobile handing it to her but never taking his attention from Franz. There is no way anything was going to happen to M now that he finally had her back.
M moved to the back room of the plane but Bond just managed to make out that she was calling King. He really hoped that they were not involved and that the older gentleman was just a friend.
Bond had so many questions about what she had been doing the last year and he hoped to sit by a fire with a bottle of wine to discuss it. His mind filled with the possibilities...images of evenings alone with her...if she was willing? He really didn't know what was going to happen now.
Would M believe that he figured out at Skyfall? That he was hopeless for her and he lost her in the most dramatic way possible when she seemed to die in his arms.
Feelings of passion mixed with the swirling emotion of betrayal by her, Tanner and M. How could they have left him in that state? Eve couldn't have known. She would have let something slip that night at his flat when they watched the DVD together.
Bond had sat there drinking and waiting for Eve to arrive after watching that blasted DVD on repeat for hours just to listen to her voice and see her face. She trusted only him with that information on Sciarra and it was the only thing that had prevented him from ending it.
Now here they were. Trapped on a plane with men that want them dead. Bond wondered what M was planning, talking with King in the bedroom.
"King...you're alright? Yes M...good to hear your voice! Are you injured….he didn't…"
"No...I'm fine. Emma?"
"Emma and Illya are here with me on a helicopter searching the desert for you."
"Good. I'm on a private jet heading to London with Bond and we have Mr. Blofeld in custody.
"Fantastic news the way….we picked up Victoria and a Ms. Madeleine Swann. Have you called M yet?"
"No, I will call him next. I will meet you and Emma within two days and I'm glad to hear Victoria is fine and that she found Swann."
"M...about Peel and me...you know it was always you..I just need to know if I have any chance or are you moving in with your younger agent lover as soon as we get back to London?"
"No I don't plan on it...I won't know what will happen" M said exasperated "Why bother me about this now King? You and Emma are more like family and I've never thought of you that way and you know it."
"I had to ask. I will be at Emma's while she decides if she wants to leave me and stay with Illya."
"He finally told her how he felt!?"
"Yes, and nothing seems to be working for me now."
M could hear the sadness in her old, frustrating friend's voice. "Stay safe. I will see you in a few days." M hung up. She had no time to try to lift his spirits and she knew that the only thing that could make him would be her agreement to move in with him. That was never in the cards and King was just going to have to understand that.
M walked back into the cabin after her calls. For some reason she didn't want Bond nor Blofeld to hear that conversation. Separating and compartmentalizing her friends was really just for protection should things have gone bad in the desert or London.
M hung up and called another number. "Hello Tanner."
"M! You're alright!?"
"Bond got me out and we are in a private plane headed to London with Franz Oberhauser aka. Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who was behind all of this. Meet us at the airfield will you."
"Of course. We will all come to meet you. We got rid of our little MI5 problem and M is with the PM right now explaining."
"Have him let that PM know that a bunch of retired and former agents from various departments, domestic and internationally, we brought Spectre down with the 00 program."
"I will M. We've a lot to catch up on once you're back. Let Bond know that M will be calling him soon."
She walked out and handed Bond the mobile and he took it with a questioning gaze.
"They all survived and M won in London. Blofeld you've lost and 007 you will be glad to hear that your female companion survived."
The mobile rang and Bond answered knowing who it would be and not knowing what he should say after all was said and done.
"Bond...M here. I see you've scraped through by the skin of your teeth yet again and you found what we had hidden."
"Yes I did. I would like to discuss that with you and Tanner once I decompress from all this."
"We managed to save MI6 and the 00 program. I hope you will be returning to duty soon."
"No I will not be coming back. I respectfully request to become Ms. M's personal bodyguard. For as long as she allows it and wherever she goes."
"Bond are you certain?"
"More certain than anything else in my life."
"What of White's daughter? Surely you and she…"
"I'm glad she survived but once I saw the package you've been hiding from me I completely forgot her."
"Bond we had to have her die...they would have chased her to the ends of the earth and she was injured and recovering for six months."
"You know how I've been...that was beyond cruel and you bloody well know it!"
"I was ordered by Ms. Mansfield once she woke... and the PM agreed and we buried her. I needed Tanner's assistance to make sure she had funds to live off. What does Olivia say about all of this?"
"I haven't told her until now. She will let me have it the moment I end this call likely."
"I always knew she was sentimental about you."
"Good because I bloody well love her."
M was shocked into silence as Bond's fiery gaze met hers. They were arguing over her and Bond's confession...well it did open up things from theoretical to concrete. He loves her...but why...how...it was all too insane.
"I see that it was a two way situation now. I will authorize you becoming her bodyguard. However….if she gets tired of your shit...you can always come back. I'm quite sure Q will miss not having any equipment returned and Eve will feel so much less exasperated without you around. Look after her well. I will see you both in a few hours."
Bond looked at his M who was now looking at him expectantly. "M says hello and we can discuss less important things later. I am your bodyguard for the foreseeable future."
Franz was now reclining on the sofa listening. He overheard enough of the conversation to begin laughing.
"Coocoo...guarding her body is something I see we both covet brother."
Bond rounded on Franz and pulled out the doctor's bag full of drugs. He found a sedative and quickly injected him. Oberhauser will to fight the drugs and stay awake was irking Bond but it soon pulled him into darkness.
Bond didn't want the annoying man to overhear the private conversations he wanted to have with M. M watched Bond patiently as he waited for Blofeld to fall completely under.
"He hated you so much. He killed all those people out of jealousy." M said incredulously.
"I...I can't speak for him and I never want to. He bragged about killing you...and then you arrived and he changed his tune. He would have tortured and killed me, of that I have little doubt. I don't know if I would have bothered fighting him but Maddie didn't deserve to die because I was willing to give up the fight."
"You loved her didn't you?"
"I didn't know her long enough to fall for her. She intrigued me...yes. I didn't have to teach her anything. She knew how to defend herself and hide in plain sight. I was not about to loose my heart again on a mission just because of the circumstances of the mission. Vesper did teach me that much."
"Good. Agents need to harden all aspects of their lives to manage to survive and still hold a small bit of themselves to keep whole."
"Is that what you did?"
"I wasn't an agent."
"No but you compartmentalized what you ordered us to do and then went home to a husband and family."
"My family is well grown by now...but yes...I managed that."
"Your husband...Nigel...did you love him?"
"Yes I did. We met in university and I could never see spending my life with anyone else. He understood me. He accepted the absence most of the time and he kept my secrets while raising our children for the most part."
"But he had affairs?"
"Some people do stupid things in the heat of the moment Bond. You of all people should know that. Like you wanting to give it up just because I..."
"Died and it killed me. Besides that I just don't understand how your husband could have flings when you were his wife."
"And I don't understand your interest in one as old a I."
"You will never be old to my eyes and I cannot imagine ever leaving your bed, let alone getting a little bit on the side."
"This is a surprising side of you Bond. I never expected such reflection from you on the life I had. Why do you feel the way you do? I only ask because it does puzzle me so."
"How could I not. You are no mother figure to me M. You are grace, beauty and I didn't realize until Silva. I'm so sorry M. I failed you."
Bond began to tear up and cupped his face in his hands. So much was swirling through his head. All the grief from and since Skyfall came rushing into his head and the tension released. There was nothing he could do to control it. He fell to his knees in front of M.
M was taken aback looking at Bond. He was reliving Skyfall and she felt the sting of tears in her own eyes as she looked at him. She moved towards him and pulled his hands gently away from his eyes and cupped his face in her hands.
"You didn't fail. I'm here because of you. Silva is dead because of you and we are feet away from a madman you caught, prevented him from forcing me into his bed."
Bond looked at her and then back to Franz. The bastard needed to die by his hands.
"No Bond. Do not dwell on what could have been anymore. That is the same madness that he suffered from."
"M...I want you. He was right. You are my beloved. I wasted so many years scared to tell you. I thought you would fire me and then I would never see you. I was positive you hated me after you had Eve shoot at the train. That is why I stayed where I was, miserable and wallowing in anger and despair. I wanted you to suffer as I had."
"Why on earth you came back was a mystery to me until I saw you in my flat. I thought you were but a breath away of asking me to stay."
"God….I was. I wanted to pull you into my arms. You were so pissed off and vicious."
"What stopped you?"
"I looked you up and down and saw the dress and pearls. You had just come from the funerals."
"Yes...but since when did that ever stop you?" M said with a smirk.
James stood and wrapped M in his arms just holding her.
M wrapped her arms around him and they stayed that way for a long time. Tears fell and they shared a comfort and an increasing warmth rising between them.
"Come to bed M?"
"007 you have a one track mind. I'm afraid it won't be that easy. Besides, you should check on the flight crew and make sure we are heading to London."
"M you're too bloody practical."
M laughed and Bond went to the front of the plane. "They're fine and we are headed in the right direction. Now where were we?"
Bond reached out his hand for hers and she grasped it. Bond pulled her up against him and smiled down at her. "Now I could get use to this."
"We cannot let..."
Bond cut her off with a searing kiss. M couldn't help herself...she moaned and melted up against him. This was so unlike her. She usually fought this sort of thing. Always expecting an ulterior motive.
Nigel often did this to soften the blow because of something wrong. Where did that unwanted thought come from while in the arms of a younger man.
M pushed Bond away gently. "Bond…we can't be public...about whatever this is."
"James. I think we can move away from the titles and monikers now Olivia. And this is a broken man before you who finally has the love of his life in his arms. Odd as that may seem. I don't give a damn what others think of the age difference. No one would bat an eye if I ran off with Madeleine and she was 20 years younger than I am."
M frowned and narrowed her eyes dangerously and Bond was beginning to arouse even more than from their kisses.
"Bond there is work to do and things to work out...before...I even think about...this craziness."
"M you think too much." Bond pulled her into another deep kiss.
M attempted to resist but she felt like she was floating. She really needed to disconnect her brain and just enjoy this. She knew she would push him away eventually. She was not about to join the mile high club in the presence of a plane full of dead men and criminals.
To be continued...
Chapter 14: The End
The story has finally come to the end and I hope you enjoy.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Emma awoke from a contented doze and stared up at her ceiling. It was amazing what had happened is such a short amount of time.
Retirement had been so slow and now...now it was as fast and furious as it had been in the 60's.
Her mind wandered, wondering what Olivia was doing. She had remained communications silent for the past two days with everyone but the man lying beside her. Olivia was due today if what she had told King was true.
If not, she's sure that Olivia will call and tell her what has been going on.
The news was full of explosions and destruction in Morocco. The mysterious death of the nine eyes program, with the disappearance of C, aka Max Denbigh the former head of MI5 played constantly on the news.
The man beside her rolled over and smiled. Kuryakin reached out to touch her face.
"You are still so very beautiful...Mrs. Peel."
Emma hit him. "Don't call me that. You...you...KGB turncoat."
"Please...I surrender...if you must...bind me...and then apply pressure and question me...again and again." He added suggestively.
"Oh you...enough. I have to get ready love. M is coming to visit, remember?"
"And King. Yes I remember. How do you want to handle this, or should I tell him."
"Tell him what?"
"That you're definitely done...finished...that you are mine." Kuryakin pulled her back down into the bed and kissed her passionately.
Emma laughed and pushed him off her. "Who are you to speak for me?" Emma said with her hands on her hips.
There was danger in her eyes and Kuryakin instantly regretted his last utterance. "I was...I'm sorry darling but I do want you all to myself. But as you say...it's your choice to make."
"That's more like it. Who says that old dogs can't learn new tricks. Besides, you and I both know that King would never capitulate and adapt. He and I would just clash...as he would have with M. He wants us because of our power and independence, but doesn't want us to use it on him."
"Power is an aphrodisiac." Kuryakin winked at his lover. "I'm telling you the truth, you are the most beautiful woman in the world."
"We're all old, we are lucky to have gotten old. Embrace it. I still have memory of what we both were like in the 60's and as they say...youth is wasted on the young."
"Young would think we're disgusting, taking up like we did and barely leaving my bed since we arrived back."
"Why did you decide to pick me?"
"I could see in your eyes that you were serious. That you had loved me for a very long time. I saw the same look King gave M and then Bond looked at her like a starving man who was at the end of his rope. Although, he desperately tried to hide that from his maniacal foster brother."
"Yes and just like you, M has two suitors after her."
"King was not a suitor, but a roll in the hay. He would have eventually just wanted to continue as friends with benefits."
"I believe that he became more than that over the short time you were together. The two of you are from similar backgrounds."
"True...but it never would have worked between us. I would have left or killed him after a few months."
"I do feel sorry for the man. He had the two of you with him for such a short while and neither of you stayed."
"Don't, King will always find someone or something else to divert his attention and before long I don't doubt. I'm taking a bath, do you care to join darling?"
"Nothing would please me more."
Four Days earlier London
M got off the phone to the PM and looked at Tanner and sighed. It had been a very long night. Q managed to stop the nine eyes program and they confronted C and unfortunately had to kill the man.
M sent a frazzled Q back to his lab to await any other issues they may need him to deal with and perhaps catch a well deserved rest.
Eve had called for M's car to meet them at the new SIS building as a team arrived from MI6 to deal with security in the meantime. They quickly made it back to the MI6 offices they inhabited since Silva attacked their Vauxhall office.
They each took a two hour break to rest and eat awaiting more information from Bond. M called Eve and Tanner into his office in the early early hours of the morning.
"Tanner I need you to take the helm at MI5. How do you feel about an intern assignment as C?"
"We need someone we trust to look after the situation until all the moles and supporters are uprooted and driven out. I have Q on that now but I was hoping that you could give it a try."
"I'm flattered but you have just reintroduced someone to the land of the living who has more experience than you and I combined. Why not try for the best."
"I don't think she will want to come out of retirement for a position at MI5. Do you?"
"It never hurts to ask M but I think it would be easier to have her back at MI6 and you at MI5. What will we call her? M or Ms. M."
Eve knocked at the door and came in to join them.
"I think at this time we may be able to refer to her as her name. Eve, how long til their plane lands?"
"Q just messaged sir. We should head out now to meet them."
"Good. Tanner alert team alpha to meet us at the airport."
"Team Alpha? Really?" Tanner asked.
"Yes. I think it appropriate that M is met by all the 00 agents who were recalled for C to fire, don't you?"
"Well yes, but it is just that team has never been called on before and because of the recall it will be all 9 of them in the same place at the same time and that rarely if ever has happened."
"Well I for one think that M returning from the dead deserves such an honour guard." Eve said with a smile as they walked into the garage to get a car.
Tanner and M climbed in the back and Eve drove.
"Have Q disable all the cameras and surveillance of our trip and the airstrip please."
Tanner nodded and called Q.
M awoke to find herself leaning up against Bond. They sat sitting across from Blofeld and although Bond's arm was wrapped around her, his right hand rested beside his gun on the sofa.
"Were landing soon. They just came back and told me. They also plead ignorance to Blofeld's dealings but I still think they need extensive questioning." Bond said as he looked at her.
"Yes...good...good and our prisoner?"
Blofeld was still tied but now lying on the floor asleep or unconscious, she cared little but that his mouth was not moving. Everything that man spewed forth was toxic. M stretched and moved away from the warmth of the agent sitting holding her.
She got up to go to the toilet and Bond followed. "Where do you think you're going Bond?"
"I told you I'm not taking my eyes off you. In that gown I would be hard pressed to anyway." He smirked.
"That one made me wear it." M said pointing to the master criminal now laid out on the floor of his own jet. She would love to have had time and clothing available to change out of the evening gown Blofeld chose for her.
"I can only imagine that was for his benefit as well as mine." Bond stated
"Perhaps but I really need to use the facilities and I can't vanish from a plane so sit and watch him before we land."
M looked at herself in the mirror and wondered what in the world James Bond saw in her?
"He sees you as an unobtainable mother figure who died in his arms." M said to her reflection scoffing at the ridiculousness of it all.
Through the door she heard a voice. "Not a mother figure, never as a mother figure M."
M was shocked but smirked in the mirror. "Bond we're not paying you to spy on me now are we?"
"God M...let me in and I will prove it."
Bond stood with his forehead leaning on the door. He wanted to hold her desperately but she still didn't believe it.
"Damn stubborn woman."
M opened the door. "Yes I am. Bond you can understand why I don't believe you don't you?"
"But no. You will tire of me. I will fall deeply in love and then be miserable because another Madeleine Swann will appear and you will be entranced by youth and beauty that I do not possess. I am on what time I have left and to imagine myself 20 years from now is a stretch. You on the other hand will still be a handsome virile man who could have anyone he wants."
"Except you. Anyone I want will fall at my feet, but you. The only woman I've ever wanted and you say no because of some outdated notion about age and desire. You think I shouldn't desire you, so you say no, to someone who is obviously enamoured with you, just because of appearances. Fuck appearances! Look M...I'm not in great shape and I plan on retiring immediately. I never thought I would get this far, what with the booze and people shooting at me for a living. What time we both have left could be together if you would give me the chance."
"I don't know what to say Bond. I'm sorry if I flip back and forth with indecision. I want to just let...whatever happen...but I'm scared. I don't want you to throw away your career for me and you could be an excellent trainer for recruits. I just...don't know…"
Bond pulled M into an extremely passionate embrace. Cutting off any excuses she may have put forth. He had always excelled at non-verbal communication and he hoped to hell this didn't backfire on him for taking liberties.
M pushed away with a flashing look in her eyes that made Bond groan involuntarily. Crap! He pushed it too far too fast for her.
"Bond! This is not the time nor place for such...such demonstrations."
He shook his head. "I knew it! The moment I did it but I just couldn't resist M."
The pilot interrupted the scene and told them to buckle up, they were about to land.
M, Tanner and Moneypenny waited at the end of the landing strip for the jet to arrive. Q had disable the camera network to keep prying eyes of any of Blofeld's remaining supporters in the dark.
Other cars arrived carrying the entirety of the 00 section who had been recalled to London because of the intended merger. They all nodded as they took position behind M. They were poised and ready for anything.
"Relax agents. This is a joyous occasion and you are all sworn to secrecy for what you are about to witness. I would like agents 001, 002, 003 and 004 to accompany the arrested party to Belmarsh prison. If he gives you any difficulty you have permission to kill. 005, 006 you will take the flight crew into base for questioning and 008 & 009 you will be my temporary bodyguards and security team until Tanner can vet replacements. We do not have the luxury to trust after what has happened to the MI6 program. I trust Tanner, Eve and Q along with you 00's."
009 spoke up. "What of Bond, M?"
"007 survived and is bringing the prisoner and a special package that is top secret. That being said, it's a surprize you may all be glad to have witnessed." M said with a smile. Tanner and Eve were still tired yet excited as well.
The plane landed and the flight crew came out first. 005 and 006 came forward and cuffed them and taking them into one of two waiting vans. Once locked in the rejoined as Bond brought out a beaten and barely conscious man who two 00's came and placed in another van. Once Bond came over to M and looked around at the other 00's he smiled. "A family reunion?"
"Yes." M said. "You can bring her out. Q took care of the cameras." The group watched the jet as Bond ran back up the stairs and a small familiar woman with a top of white hair stood looking down and smiling at them.
Mumbles of shock and awe sounded from the group of specialized agents. They all rushed to the stairs to shake her hand as she got down to the tarmac.
"M? Ma'am" They all said in greeting and then turned to M to see if it was alright that they used his title.
"It's fine, besides you all know my real name but none of you have been around long enough to know hers."
"Except for Bond who is a sneaky one." Eve bubbled out as she rushed forward to give M a hug.
"Well well, M what a surprise gathering. I understand that all you 00's are likely the most trustworthy of agents. That is why I picked most of you." Olivia said with a smile as she greeted everyone. Eve and Tanner with hugs and M with a smile and handshake. "And if they were paying attention at my funeral they would know that I was...I am Olivia Mansfield."
"Olivia, I was planning on providing you with a 00 bodyguard while all this mess gets sorted out." M said looking pointedly towards Bond.
"I'm not leaving her side so it will be me. And by the way, after my duties as 00 bodyguard end, I will resign because I wish to retire early." Bond wrapped an arm around M's waist to which she just sighed and allowed the display of ownership.
M was alive because of him and she did care for the man deeply. Even if she was hesitant to admit it to the world...yet. Bond was insufferably smug as it was, there was no need to feed his egotism anymore.
The train of vehicles left the airfield and Bond rode with Tanner M, Olivia and Eve. "Where am I taking you M...Olivia?" Tanner asked looking through the rear view mirror at M with Bond's arm seemingly permanently wrapped around her shoulder. Tanner did understand. Bond was scared that she would disappear again.
"My flat Tanner. Where do you need us tomorrow M?" Bond inquired.
"I will call you and let you know. I don't know how safe it will be to let out that Olivia lives."
"Blofeld was behind it all. M will be fine unless he escapes and even then she will have me to make sure nothing happens." Bond added seriously.
"I'm due in the country at Emma Peel's home by the weekend. King and I promised to meet her there when we spoke."
"Yes, well I will surely leave that out of the report to the PM. Having to explain you cavorting around Europe with former agents from a multitude of agencies may not be the best reintroduction."
"No I think you should prepare the PM before that time." Olivia said smiling at the new M not at all unhappy that she no longer had those duties to perform. "Suddenly retirement doesn't seem so bad."
M frowned but smiled as he thought of all the crazy work ahead. "On that note; what would you say to an interim position as head of MI6 while I manage MI5?"
M looked shocked and then to Tanner. "What about Tanner?"
"It was him that suggested asking you." M said.
Olivia looked at Bond and he sighed. "You would be safer there for the time being M...Olivia, while we get everything sorted and that would mean that you get to see your children again."
Olivia smiled broadly. "I would like that, but only if I get Tanner and Eve while you're at MI5 M. Or should I now call you C?"
"Deal." M added reluctantly. Tanner and Eve smiled broadly. "Traitors." M mumbled and Eve broke into laughter.
Olivia felt optimistic for the first time in months as Bond drove towards Emma's home in the country. Bond reached over and grasped her hand whenever he didn't need to shift gears.
"I can't believe that Q was able to fix your car."
"I know and did you notice I made sure your seat was more comfortable this time around."
"Yes I did and I'm amazed you did it, considering it may have been another woman, not me sitting here."
Bond winked at her. "True but thankfully, that's not what happened. That is your seat forevermore."
"You are far more romantic than I ever would have guessed James."
"Have I told you how sexy my name sounds when you say it?"
M laughed. "Yes, many times the past few days. You will be on your best behaviour in front of my friends won't you?"
Bond smirked at her as he answered. "I will try. I've heard that Emma Peel is a bit of a handful. How did you meet?"
"At university. Along with my husband and King."
"Speaking of King...did he and you ever?"
"No and now he is on his own. Emma chose Illya."
"I feel sorry for the man but then again I'm glad he didn't ensnare you."
They pulled into the drive behind an antique Rolls Royce. "Gorgeous car." Bond said.
"Yes, King is from old wealth as is Emma."
"The kind of old wealth that affords one a private army and a government that ignores that fact."
"Yes, well we would intervene if they didn't have the same world view. King has friends everywhere and that saves him and his knights from criticism."
"I don't like it, or him for that matter." Bond said as he climbed out of the car. He moved around to open the door for M and he could see by the look in her eyes that he was about to get it for that remark.
"I see. So am I to believe that you know Chester King well enough to make that sweeping generalization of his character or are you a petulant jealous child who doesn't like to share?"
"Don't look M me! After all he risked to help me and therefore help us, you decide to act like this. I've a mind to send you back to London right now!"
"You can't, I'm your bodyguard." Bond said his anger beginning to rise to hers.
"I will not have you in the house if you are going to be rude to any of my friends."
"Fine! I will be my charming normal self."
"No you will be better, and if you cause anything...anything...I swear you'll be on the sofa for a month."
"What...no...really? You can't...well you have the right, but I was really hoping you wouldn't want me gone so soon."
"A long weekend romance seems right about your style Bond. It would hardly be new to you." M said with a venom that surprised Bond.
Bond tensed and saddened by her cutting words. "And I thought it would take longer for our first fight and your demanding nature to take over. Listen M we are in this as equals or not at all. You can order me around all you want at work, but not on the weekends."
M could see the sadness in his eyes, the regret for the off-handed remark that had them yelling at each other in the drive. Without a doubt they had listeners from within the house and that made this all even more embarrassing.
James Bond was her agent, her bodyguard and now her lover. This would result in a massive amount of teasing from one Emma Peel.
"James, just don't fight with King and I will be happy."
"If he starts first…"
"Alright M. For you." Bond said in a conciliatory tone but deep down if King tried anything he would likely throttle the man and beg for forgiveness later.
After greeting all of her friends, M and Bond sat down and had an enjoyable evening. King did try his best to sit beside her and monopolize her time. She saw Bond tense every time King touched her.
"Chester you had better stop or her bodyguard will kill you." Emma laughed as the rest joined in. They played cards and drank.
M told them that she would be heading up MI6 for a few months while M, now C managed MI5. That did not come as much of a surprise.
Emma was glowing with happiness and she accused Olivia of the same. They were both in love and even though they may not believe that it could happen or would last, they were both willing to give it a try.
King was disappointed, naturally but still managed to have a good time. He told them about his visit to the PM's office to discuss the Kingsman organization and what they did to assist MI6 in such a difficult time.
"Yes and there have been agents sniffing around my estate since Illya and I returned. Who do they belong too?" Emma asked as she got up to go to the bar to refresh their drinks.
"Those are ours, I picked them myself and they are only there as security for you Mrs. Peel." James answered. "I wouldn't want anything to happen to M's best friend after all you did to help her."
Emma began to saunter back over to them, her eyes locked on Bonds. "My aren't you charming, good looking and…"
"Emma!" King, Kuryakin and M said in unison. They could see exactly what she was doing with her body language and voice. Classic Peel move.
Bond's eyes widened in response and he couldn't hide his intrigue for even a split second. The rest of them including M dissolved into laughter and M gave his arm a playful slap.
"M why didn't you encourage the enticing Mrs. Peel to work for MI6?" James asked flirting right back with Emma.
"She was part of a different agency as were we back then. There was only MI5 at the time and Emma was...shall we say...attached to her partner quite closely.
Emma scoffed. "You say it like it was bad. M you were alway such a goody goody two shoes you wouldn't know excitement if it bit your ass."
Bond couldn't hold it in after that remark. Then he remarked with a wink. "Oh you would be surprised."
M slapped his arm again only harder.
Emma smiled excitedly. "Good! It's about time I rubbed off on her." Emma walked over and pulled M into a big hug.
"We need to stay in better touch love. Besides, I'm now willing to work with MI6...finally." Emma said.
"Good even if I don't know if I can handle you as an agent." M responded with a smile.
"Nor I. Bond said with a wink towards both women.
King slapped him on the back. "I don't know if I should congratulate you lad or tell you that retirement would be easier?" King laughed.
Emma disengaged from M and moved to wrap her arm around Bond. "Just think James...now you will have two trouble makers to enhance your time at work."
Thanks to all those who stayed with this story.
Thank you all for the lovely comments :)