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... 2018 ...

Chapter Text

It was a week before Bond appeared at Q’s open office door.  He just stood there, leaning against the doorframe, not saying a word.  

“I already reviewed the CV’s for the new recruits and returned them to Tanner.  If that is what you are looking for, he has them.” Q stated coldly not even turning towards Bond. He had caught a glimpse of him in the reflection on his monitor.

“Also from now on, R and Williams will be handling the equipment needs of the new agents so you can see them from now on when those things are needed.  All requests go to them.”

“Q... Can we talk?”

“No we can’t Bond.  If there isn’t anything else, please leave my office.”

“Q, Could we please have a few moments now or later when it’s convenient for you to talk?”  Bond didn’t move out of the doorway.

“The answer is ‘No’, Bond.  We have nothing to discuss.”  Q turned, face lacking in any emotions, in true Quartermaster mode.  “The only words I want from you at the moment is when was the last time you were tested by Medical for communicable diseases since there wasn’t a bother it seems for any sort of protection in our encounter the other night.”

Bond was taken aback by Q’s statement because that thought had never occurred to him.   Bond hesitated before he finally answered. “I haven’t been tested since I returned. There wasn’t any need.  Not out in the field”

“Get out of my office, Bond!   Now!” Heads turned in Q Branch as the Quartermaster shoved Bond through his office door, slamming it behind him.

“Fuck!”  

Q pressed his back against the door and tried to stop the queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach from rising to burn in his throat. He needed to make a call.

Q had not handled the fallout from his encounter with Bond at all well.  Only a few days earlier Q had spent New Year locked in his office not knowing how to mark the anniversary of Hendricks death.  He hadn’t taken much in the way of bereavement leave at the time, needing the focus of his work to keep his mind together, but now work was not even a haven.  

Bond was there.  

And Bond could not have picked a worse time to trigger the release all of Q’s grief and anger, turning him into a total fucking idiot. Into a bitter parody of Bond as a way to hurt the man who had hurt him.

At first Q refused to think of Bond at all, and had burrowed under the duvet allowing himself to be consumed by fresh grief for the man he lost just over a year before. But the reality of their encounter rushed back to punch him when he entered his living room the following day and saw the mess they had left, dried into the sofa cushions.  

No condom.  Bond recently returned from god knows where and whose bed since his split from Madeline.  Bond who rarely worried too much about the consequences of anything he did.

Q picked up his phone with a shaking hand.  He’d put it off for too many days already.

“Medical.”

“Quartermaster.  I need to attend for a screening...”