Q looked up from his monitor and sighed, rubbing at his eyes. The new office still smelled of fresh paint and it was starting to make him slightly queasy. Or perhaps that was the lack of sleep. Alec stopped behind him and rested his hand on Q's shoulder, smiling slightly when Q turned automatically to press his nose into the bend of Alec's elbow.
"No luck?" Alec asked. "You should take a break. In fact we all should. You've been staring at that screen for hours and if James huffs much more over his spreadsheet I'll have to throw something at him."
James' blond head raised from where it was bent over his laptop and glared. "Alright for you... I have to make all of this balance, and surprisingly, budgeting wasn't in my skill set as an agent. That was your job..." He grinned across at Q who was now almost purring as Alec's fingers kneaded a knot of muscle in his neck.
Wanting in on this new found contact, though it wasn't completely natural yet, James pushed back his chair and stood with one arm loosely around Alec's waist, peering at Q's screen. "Last confirmed location, Istanbul? Did that come from An official route or Mycroft?"
Q made an irritated noise. "Neither. Sherlock. Mycroft must have discussed it with him however and he keeps emailing me teasing little tidbits in an effort to get me to agree to dinner. So far I've ignore him. Other than to follow up on Istanbul, obviously. If Jimmy was there, he's long gone."
Just then Q’s mobile began ring as another email from Sherlock popped through. “Now he’s calling too…” Q rolled his eyes, sighed and grabbed it up. Even before he could say a word his brother had started the conversation. “Lunch tomorrow”
“Sherlock. No. I can’t have lunch with you tomorrow.”
“Why not? We have things to discuss.” In the background Q could hear John chastising Sherlock. “He’s your brother, Sherlock. The one you are wanting to get to know. Be nice. Don’t demand. You’ll scare him away already.”
“Sherlock,” Q began drawing his brother’s attention back to him. “I’m not even in London, even if I wanted to have lunch with you.”
“Why aren’t you in London? You work in London, not out. Where are you?” Q could hear John urging his brother to be polite. “But he is my brother, John. One doesn’t need to be polite to one’s family all the time.” And John muttering about how he doesn’t know why he even bothers….
“I’m in still Scotland with James and Alec. Even if I was in city, Sherlock, I have a job that I just can’t walk away from. We would have to plan a luncheon a few days in advance.” Q sighed as he paced the room. Wolf whined and paced. Neither were completely comfortable with the proposition of being close to his brother once more.
“The other items I wanted to discuss with you aren’t important now. What have those Neanderthal alphas of yours whisked you away to Scotland for that is taking so long?”
“I wouldn’t talk about choice of alphas, Sherlock. Yours is lacking also in so many respects.”
“Give me the phone, Q. I’ll tell your brother to fuck off.” Alec reached out for the mobile but Q waved him off.
There was a brief silence and Q could picture his brother standing still, evaluating, deducing why Q would willingly travel to Scotland. "Oh don't even try spouting your rubbish at me" Q said impatiently before Sherlock could resume the conversation. Wolf huffed also, sensing the other over the familial link they couldn't ever escape. It made Q growl and Alec stepped up, again waving his hand for the phone.
"When are you back?" Sherlock said finally not bothering to hide his irritation. John continued to mutter in the background. "I need to see you. Gabriel would like to join us also."
Q rolled his eyes and sighed. His best friend's continued obsession with his brother was annoying. But Gabe needed something to occupy his time since losing his job, and although he huffed and grumbled at Gabe's enthusiastic babbling about the wolf project, he was glad he had found something he could get involved in while Greg was working.
"I expect to be back in London next week, Sherlock." Alec circled his waist and rested his chin on Q's shoulder, nuzzling into his neck. James looked questioningly at the pair. First he had heard of it, but Q waved a hand at him signalling reassurance. "Plans tend to require flexibility. Work can be unpredictable. But, if possible, we'll arrange lunch." He grimaced. "Or perhaps dinner. You can ask all your questions then and I'll consider an exchange of Information."
Q finally managed to get his brother off the phone. “If I must have dinner with him you are going to be tortured also. Will need you there to keep me from killing him.” Q commented to Alec.
“Not my brother,” Alec chuckled.
Q rolled his eyes as his partner. “But I'm you wolf, Alec. Alpha protects wolf.”
He smirked leaning back against Alec’s broad chest.
“You're going back to London?” James questioned coming to stand in front of them, reaching up to tuck a dark wayward curl behind Q’s torn ear.
“You knew I couldn't stay here permanently… Not just yet.” Q looked up at his alpha trying to reassure him the trip back to London was not forever. “I’ve already pushed my limit with M this trip. R emailed me that the grumbling has begun.”
James nodded and tried to hide his disappointment, already turning away, but Q disentangled himself from Alec and wrapped himself around James instead. James startled, still not quite accustomed to the hugging but relaxed into it with a grin.
"I suppose I have plenty to keep me occupied here for a week or two. The contractors get on well with Kincade but I'm not sure he can crack the whip when needed." He patted Q's folded hands that rested across James' belly. "Maybe... If you two have no strong ideas about it, I can start decorating our bedroom? Painting, sanding the floor..."
"As long as it has a big enough bed, I don't care what it looks like" Alec laughed, heading for the door. "I'll start dinner. You two... Talk." Alec grinned and waved a hand at the pair disappearing down the hall.
"Are you ok with me going back? And taking Alec too? I mean, I guess I could go alone, he could take a few more days..."
James turned Q in his arms, resting his hands on the dark haired man's shoulders and holding him slightly away from him. "Alec goes too." He said sternly. "If Jimmy is on the prowl I'm not allowing you to be in London alone. Besides... He'd pine. A mournful wolf howling around the place would attract the neighbour’s attention."
"I'd be alright by myself James." Q started but James shushed him.
"You're not going back alone. No arguing. Remember we are handling this as pack. Not alone." James wrapped an arm around his slim waist and pulled in him closer. "Besides, you wouldn't get any work done at all if Alec stayed here. He'd be calling or texting every 15 minutes to make sure you were alright."
"We'll be back as soon as we can. Talk every day. " Wolf snuffled at the fur around alpha's neck pushing into him.
"Oh don't worry. Kincade and I will probably be calling you all the time to explain this or that in the schematics you drew for the new buildings." James places a kiss on the dark curls draping down over Q's brow before nodding to the kitchen. "We'd best supervise or we will be remodelling the kitchen because Alec set it on fire."
Over steak - cooked to perfection to Q's delight - and jacket potatoes - not quite done, using the new microwave - they discussed plans for the remaining few days together at Skyfall. Alec and Q both planned to run, making the most of the wide open spaces and good hunting. James was persuaded to join them the following evening.
"I will miss being able to run whenever we want. Just stepping out of the door and changing" Q commented, topping up their wine glasses. "It feels we're just finally understanding what it means to feel Pack and we're separating again."
"Me too." Alec stretched and leaned back in his chair. Now we've spent time here I don't want to wait too long to come back."
James beamed at them both and raised his glass, saluting his two lovers. "To us. To Pack. And to the future of Skyfall. I hope as well as becoming a successful facility, it also becomes a haven for us."
"Gabe would love it up here. I'm not sure he's ever run outside of London." Q was looking forward to London, and home, but he too could sense an eagerness to come back north.
"Bring him with you". James drank, eyes peering over the rim of his glass cautiously, assessing Q's mood. London was Q's home now. His job, his friends, his life, was all there. If anything would stand in they way of him eventually settling in Scotland it would be that.
Q chuckled, unaware of the tension. "Maybe I will. Yes. In a few weeks, when we come back for a weekend. I'll bring him too. You won't mind, will you Alec?"
Alec glanced over Q's shoulder briefly at James. He knew what game he was playing. Trying to smooth the way for Q to be more comfortable with seeing Skyfall as home. "Only if I don't have to chase both of your skinny furry arses all over the country side worrying about what trouble you are getting into."
"Maybe Greg would come also. He never takes a break either and I'm sure he would jump at a chance to be away from my dick of a brother thinking he can order him around." Q stabbed a bite of bloody meat on his plate pulling it though the barely warmed juices before looking up at James. "I'll come back as soon as I can. Stay as long as I can. Has to be this way for..."
Q wasn't quite sure what to say. Searching for words that would not sound too emotional. The past few days all three had been consciously making an effort to be more tactile, more wolf outwardly with each other. To be pack. It was pulling on his feelings of how pack should be, as in the Boston Pack.
"Besides, I don't think M is quite done with me. She'd still just as soon lock me away in a cell as talk to me." He added trying to change the subject and the emotional direction of his words.
James allowed the change in conversation direction with just a brief smile at Alec. "Watch your back with M. The old witch isn't above giving you a taste of a cell just to prove she can." James clasped Q's shoulder briefly as he went to fetch another bottle of wine. "And it's not beyond probability she will send Alec out as soon as possible just to get him away from you."
Alec scowled and pushed his plate away. It was obvious really but the thought brought him no pleasure. Not with Jimmy out there, and able to get to Q so easily within the walls of MI6. Security would be even tighter but Jimmy was like smoke, there and gone without notice.
"I can make myself scarce for a few more days until we get settled back into the flat. Q can make arrangements for a car" Alec held up his hand when Q opened his mouth to protest "no arguments Quartermaster. You're not going out alone, at least until we know Jimmy's whereabouts. If he's off causing trouble elsewhere in the world, I'll consider relenting."
Q sighed. He would work on Alec once back in London when he didn't have the backup of another Alpha nodding his head also. He already had a mental list of tasks for his search for Jimmy, and with reluctance he knew he needed to talk with both Sherlock and Mycroft.
There was plenty to be done in his usual work also, and although he'd kept up to date with emails, projects needed to be signed off and a particularly sensitive mission for 004 was due to begin in a week that needed preparation. Q itched to be back to start reviewing the intelligence for himself