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(Have You Ever Seen) A Caged Animal?

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Due to all flights into London being cancelled because of a major lightning storm, James had instead rent a car from Calais and was driving to London. It was better to do a drive that ended up being closer to two hours than the three that it should be than to wait around for a storm to pass that didn't seem to be actually passing. The storm seemed to be just hanging out over London. All other flights that got him into England were going to take longer than the two hours to get him there was well with waiting for boarding and take off and then driving. R had got him a lovely rental from one of the few places that had exotic cars, which told James that something was wrong because Q-Branch had orders to not get him anything better than an Audi, from Q himself.

James was stopped at a light on the edge of London, he would typically run it, but with the rain that was pelting down and many people rushing across the streets, James waited. He would not want to take out an innocent bystander just because he wanted to get back to his Sentinel as soon as possible. Q had been bonded to James for just over four months, and at that point in time, they were like an old married couple. It was astounding to James how well they fit together.

Nearing MI6, James stopped two blocks away and debated what he was going to do. Given the time of the night and the fact that R was handling him after Q had been doing it for the whole of his mission, James figured that Q was home at their flat that was just seven blocks from MI6 on the other side from where James currently was. Q would be unhappy with him if he didn't at least file the short mission brief and turn in his equipment. James started up the car again and smoothly transitioned into traffic. The storm wasn't letting up.

James parked on the street because he didn't trust taking the car into MI6. While R had set up the rental agreement and James would drop the car off the next day at the local place for a rental, he didn't trust that someone else had done something to the car. Q had drilled that fact into all of the agent's heads over the past months. There was no tech of any kind that came into MI6 that didn't get looked at by a Q-Branch member, including cars. Q had even made a scanner that staff cars drove through and checked for tech that was slipped on it.

There had never been a Sentinel in charge of Q-Branch before, and while some of the other Sentinels inside of MI6 were chafing under that scrutiny, the building as a whole was happier. After the mess that Silva was, James knew that many felt safer because of the measures that Q was taking.

James got out of the car and flipped up the collar of his jacket to maybe stop some of the rain from getting on him. As soon as he shut the door, James looked up at MI6 and frowned. There was something wrong. It was the middle of the night, and MI6 felt like it was an early morning with all staff on hand. If all staff was on hand, then that meant that something had happened. James wrapped his coat around himself tighter and started for the doors of MI6. There was an entrance for Agents that allowed them to step through with minimal checks as long as the Agent took off all tech.

A strike of lightning landed just twenty feet in front of James, between him and the entrance that he was aiming for. James stopped to watch it retreat after it had struck where it wanted. James looked up into the sky and frowned because it seemed like the storm wasn't going to go away. James watched the rain fall on his face for a few seconds before he walked up to where the strike had landed. The concrete was black where it had landed.

James reached out his senses to get the feel of the building and when he had the temperature of the place he knew that something significant had happened because the whole place felt like it had in the aftermath of Silva bombing the place. James stopped through because there was no feeling of Q in the whole of the building. If it was this bad, Q should be in there. While it wasn't the best option, James pushed his senses past the building and touched the minds of everyone between him and their flat. Q wasn't there either. They were too far from Home Office and MI5 to see if he was there, but James really doubted that because Tanner and M were inside of MI6 and if Q had gone anywhere to discuss what was happening, at least Tanner would have gone with him.

There was a knowing brush over James, and he turned to find that Moneypenny and Tanner were standing at the main entrance to the tunnels. James angled toward them and started that way. Moneypenny was dressed for war, or that was what James called it when she was sporting a gun. She might be M's secretary but she was also the backup guard for him and for her to be wearing that gun, it was terrible.

"What's going on, this place feels like a beehive."

"Inside, 007," Tanner said, and he stepped back to have James enter first. James narrowed his eyes at Tanner as he passed by the man.

James stopped a few feet inside and turned to look at the two of them. The door shut and then James heard what sounded like a colossal deadbolt slide home. There was no leaving through that door without Q-Branch letting him.

"Where is Q?" James asked.

Tanner looked at Moneypenny while she sighed.

"I told you that he would notice," Tanner sounded tired as he said it. Like he had said it time and time again

"Just tell me what the fuck is going on, or I'm going through that door, and I'm not going to stop until I find my Sentinel."

"Six hours ago, Q went home." Tanner looked at Moneypenny when she snorted and stalked off. Tanner waited until she was gone before he continued. "You were heading toward Calais for your flight, and he had been going for days straight. Three hours ago, R tried to call him. She thought that maybe he had passed out and was so deep in sleep that he didn't answer. So she turned on the alert that would make his phone ring and no matter how sleep he was, his Sentinel side would wake up. She gave it ten minutes because he might get some tea into himself before calling her back."

"Why was she trying to get a hold of him?"

"There was a strange set of attacks on MI6 and our servers. It was meant to look like kids trying to hack us for fun."

"Q spent five hours one time messing with a thirteen-year-old kid who tried to hack us, sending him down a rabbit hole after rabbit hole before telling her what degrees she needed to focus on and what she needed to do better to actually hack a place like MI6."

"Yes, we are watching that one by the way. Anyway, it wasn't until about half an hour after watching the attack that she realised that it wasn't so much that they were kids playing around but testing the outer defences as it were. Bumbling efforts to mask that they were trying to overload the system. All of Q-Branch that wasn't actively working on a mission was diverted to keep everything stable while R tried to hack them back. When R came out of it, she knew that there was something more and she couldn't see it. So she tried to get a hold of Q. He took his secure laptop with him so he could remotely get in and look."

"How long did it take for Q to call her back?" James cast his senses out again and found that Q-Branch was the most upset and it seemed like all of them had consumed too much caffeine. James couldn't pin down the mind of a single one, not even R who James had spent enough time with to pick out no matter who was around.

"He didn't. When he had not called back after half an hour, 001 was dispatched to check on him. 001 got into the flat and found that there was nothing. Q's bag wasn't even inside of there. 001 hooked up to the security system and dumped the logs. The last time that it had been turned off was when you and he had left before your mission. 001 stayed on site while R started to hunt for Q. Q had taken the tube home even though his senses were spiking from too little sleep."

"When was he taken?" James asked.

"We are unsure on that because after he got off the tube, he went a strange route home. R said that he doesn't go that way when she goes home with him for a meal."

"No, he doesn't. There is a little old lady in a flat on the corner about two a block from where we are. She's been dealing with some breathing issues. I guess that her kid used to live under Q in his old flat and she asked Q to check on her. We go that way by car and on the way home so that Q can listen in on her breathing. So that's why he went the way that he did. If it weren't for the storm, Q never would have taken the tube. Where the hell did this storm come from?"

"It's been tracked for nearly three days heading this way. The last major city it was over it stayed for a day. We aren't expecting it to stop for at least another eighteen hours. After Q got off the tube, he started up the other way and then all the cameras were lost. A seven-block radius around your flat was taken out when Q got off the tube. There are no cars that go in or out of that area in the three hours before or the time since that cannot be traced back to someone who lives there."

"Q's not anywhere close that I can feel unless he is knocked out. So they got him out in a stolen car that has not been reported stolen yet, or they got him out another way."

"All of Q-Branch is going over footage with a fine-toothed comb. There is nothing. 001 is watching the tube footage and has been for hours."

"Why was I not told this three hours ago?" James asked.

"M made that decision to wait until you were in the building. Right now we have nothing to go on, and we have no trace of where he went missing. 006 is walking the path that Q took but-" Tanner trailed off.

"The rain is blocking his ability to smell Q." James clenched his fist, and he looked at Tanner. He understood that M wanted James contained before he was told that his Sentinel was missing and assumed kidnapped, but he really fucking hated it.

"Yes."

"Wait, Alec is latent. Why was he sent?"

"He's not latent anymore, and he's fully online and refusing to allow any of the Guides in MI6 to help him. He's stalking the whole block, but the rain is messing it up. M's going to pull him back to MI6 in about an hour and then we were hoping that he would allow you to ground his senses and get him trained up a bit more before maybe turning the pair of you loose to catch the people who took Q."

James nodded, and he turned to walk into the interior of the area where MI6 was located. Tanner didn't stop him. James kept on going, taking the stairs and not the lifts into the interior and ending on the floor that Q-Branch was located. Instead of going to R, James went right into Q's office where he got onto Q's computer and started to work on his paperwork for the mission that he just finished. His tablet was in the boot of the rental car where James had the brief half filled out, but James had synced it with Q's constant Internet connection on it.

Q had trained James to finish as soon as possible, and James had started to do it while on a mission so that when he got back, he could pull Q home as quickly as possible. It didn't hurt that half of the time Q also worked on James's mission briefs when he had downtime. It was a good incentive for James to get more time wrapped around his Sentinel while they were naked in bed. James was rather happy with that part. It also helped that the mission briefs forms had been revamped by Q, and it was pretty much fill in the blank for half of it. The only part that needed a detailed description was the part where what went wrong on the mission was filled out.

The notes on James's mission brief were short, and James was sure that M wouldn't care. It wasn't like anything more needed filled out as the mission had gone according to Q's plan from the moment that James had left London to the stupid storm that stopped him from flying home. James added his digital signature to the file and sent it off. James leaned back in Q's chair and saw that the office was exactly like it should be for when Q left. The mug that Q used was on the small warmer turned upside down so that nothing got into it. His files were in the trays, and the desktop was sufficiently clear of everything except what R had put on it for him to look at in the morning and take care of. James wanted to smash it all. He wanted to rake his arms over the desk because he was the target, he was the one that should be taken, not Q.

Q was supposed to be protected, either by his own being a Sentinel or by the fact that no one knew who he was. There were protections that protected the fact that Q was Quartermaster. His file, which James had looked at, listed him a middle-level tech in the support category within the agency. Q was supposed to be safe, but he wasn't, and now he was taken.

James walked up the stairs instead of taking the elevator that would take him up to M's office a lot quicker. He had not changed out of his soaked clothes because he really didn't feel like it and Q wasn't there to mollycoddle him into it. James was reaching out with his mind to try and find Q. They had tested their limits, and James knew that if Q were within a mile, James would know it for sure and there was up to three miles where James would be able to slightly feel him. Q was more than likely knocked out cold. It would be the only way to keep him contained as while Q was slight, he was every inch a Sentinel.

The tunnels shook, and James stopped. He expected the lights to flash and the stairs to start to fall. James was on alert, and he expected an attack. He knew that the only reason that Q would be taken is because of what he could do to any digital infrastructure in a matter of minutes. James knew though that Q never would, and that thought scared him. Q's spine was steel, and he was going to die before he betrayed England and her allies. Q wasn't going to last long before the people that took him figured that out, and he was going to be killed for not being worth the risk of him tracking them again.

James grabbed the bannister in the stairway as the shaking got worse and then it stopped. James looked up to see the lights were going strong until after two seconds they went totally out. James took the steps two at a time as he made his way up to the floor that M was on. It was just as dark there when he exited. James drew his gun but stopped when he found the first window. The whole of the city that James could see was dark. The only lights were from cars. James shoved his gun back into the holster and turned to orient himself in the dark. He heard feet behind him, and it was only the fact that it was a familiar mind that stopped him from lashing out.

"The lightning fried something, there were strikes all around for several minutes, that's what the shaking was," M said as he settled in beside James. "There had been more strikes landing on the ground and not on buildings than any other storm that we have seen in decades. If I were a different man, I would think that this was someone conjuring magic."

"The strikes might be part of a plan though. It's not hard to set up a lightning rod, and no one notices it. Though it would be insane to go hunting for them in the dark and the rain, especially with the power grid out. How sure are we that the power didn't go out because of an attack and not the storm?"

"I watched the first transformer blow from my office and then there was a cascading effect from there out. While I am not discounting sabotage in one way or another, the first transformer blew because of lightning. I'll put Q-Branch on it as soon as I get down there. 006 is on his way back. His senses are near spiking. I want your word that you will stay inside until we have a target for you. If they are going after the pair of you, it'll be better if you are not stupid and get yourself caught for no reason."

"I'll stay until I have a target or I feel Q, Sir." James looked at Mallory for the first time. In the shadows with only the lightning as light, he looked almost like a demon.

"006 will have to walk back, so I think you have time to change before he's going to come in the tunnels. It's the only door that can be opened without setting off a lot of alarms."

"I remember. I'll change into something a bit drier." James separated from M and started back the way that he had come.

Twenty minutes later after a quick and cold shower as well as a proper drying off, James realised that the only clothes he had in MI6 were his jeans and a henley. He didn't care much because it wasn't like he was on a mission where his clothes were going to matter. James looked at himself in the mirror. Q-Branch had got at least soft lighting up in most of MI6 while they still had full power. Q had made sure that even with no power to all of London that Q-Branch could do what they needed to do. There were a few offices around the building that had power as well, M's was one of them, and medical had half power. Power hog diagnostic equipment couldn't be run but machines for tracking heart rates and other things like that could.

"Sir," a voice said behind James. He turned around to see that it was one of the newer members of Q-Branches overnight staff. James shut his locker and focused on her. "I need you in Q-Branch as soon as possible."

"I'll be there as soon as I get my shoes on." James grabbed the trainers he had set on top of the locker and sat down on the bench. He heard the door shut. Malia was her name, and while she was secretive, it wasn't anything that spiked James or Q's radar. The only thing that James could feel that she was keeping secret was the fact that she was an online Guide and really with the family that she came from, James wasn't shocked. If there was a family that was considered anti-Sentinel and anti-Guide it was her family. Her father was a career politician and had tried four times to get Sentinels and Guides removed from the Government. She already publicly renounced her family and had been online since she was college. She had gone to a training facility in Canada while doing a semester abroad, and when she came back, no one could tell that she was an online Guide unless she wanted them to.

James stood up once his shoes were on and he looked at himself in the mirror on the side of the room. The emergency lighting gave him a washed-out look, but it was enough to show that James knew that he was stressed. He needed to meditate and get calm, but he would wait for Alec to get back before he did that. The halls of MI6 were like a ghost town. The weight of all of the minds that were in the building pushed down on James, but everyone was staying in the safe areas, not in the scary dark hallways.

Q-Branch looked normal, but the crush of fear was there like another person in the room. No one liked that Q was missing. James looked around searching for Malia, but instead of her, he saw that on the station that Q used when running missions was a soaked bag, Q's soak messenger bag to be specific. James stepped up to it, and when he was reaching out to touch it, he saw the blood.

"006 confirmed it was Q's blood from the smell. I did not ask how he knew that information," R said as she stepped up behind James.

"Q cut himself on a sharp edge on a bit of wire the day before my mission. Alec could smell it, and we knew that he was getting close to coming online, which was odd as with everything that he had been through, we assumed that he would never come online."

"006 is operating under the assumption that the moment he came online was the moment that Q was taken. It was about four minutes after the cameras in the area where Q was were cut, so we are also going on that."

"There is research," James started as he finally touched the bag in front of him. He opened the flap on it to start going through it all so that he could figure out what was in there and what wasn't. "That states that some Sentinels wait until the perfect Alpha is in place to come online. Q was reading about it."

"That means that 006 would be secondary to Q?" R asked.

"No. That doesn't mean that Alec would be the second in the hierarchy chain; it just means that there hasn't been a Sentinel more powerful than him that he's trusted. We already know that the other Sentinel Double-Ohs do what he says. Of the top staff inside of MI6, Q is the most powerful Sentinel, but power doesn't equate trust."

"He snagged you so the other Double-Ohs look at that to mean that they can trust him."

"I'm pretty powerful on my own, and it's only the training that Q forced me through that stops me from not lashing out at the moment." James stopped when he felt someone enter the room. James hadn't felt such an undisciplined mind in a long time. James turned around to see that it was a short man who had such a weaselly face. James stared at him and frowned. He wasn't MI6. Human and using that to broadcast out into the ether that he didn't like Sentinels and Guides. Malia hissed at him before she turned away and started to type out on the tablet in her hand. The man tried to make a beeline for James but all of a sudden Alec was there, growling.

"There is no need for that, 006," the man said.

That voice James knew. He had heard it over the comms just once and knew that it was Max Denbigh. Q didn't like the man, and it wasn't just because he didn't like Sentinels and Guides but especially Sentinels.

"Q told you not to come back to Q-Branch, Denbigh," Alec said.

"Well Q is not here."

"But I am," M said from the doorway. "And I also told you to stay out of Q-Branch because this is Q's domain and he doesn't want you here so you should respect another agent of Her Majesty's Secret Service enough to do that. You were supposed to meet me in my office."

"I wanted to make sure that Q-Branch was running well enough with her captain lost."

"Your definition of lost is a little different than ours," Malia said as she turned to face the man. "Lost means that the person was lost on accident while taken means that someone took something that doesn't belong to them."

"Cage your little Guide, R," Denbigh said.

"I don't take orders from you, Denbigh and she's just telling you the truth, so get out of Q-Branch before I make 006 and 007 throw you out."

Denbigh turned and left without another word. M though stayed until the doors shut.

"I want this place locked down. Only approved members in and out and for now that means only Q-Branch and the Double-Ohs. I don't want myself or Moneypenny, or even Tanner on the approved list just to be safe."

"Yes, Sir." R saluted M which James knew that she did to miff him a little bit, but all M did was give her a weak smile instead of the near-blank face that he usually did. James watched as the doors shut and then the sounds of the locks sliding home echoed across the silent room. James turned to the side to look at Malia, but James realised that she was looking at Alec who was still standing between James and the doors. James reached out to him, with his hand and with his mind. He wanted to shelter Alec because there was little that James could do for his own Sentinel at the moment. Alec snarled and spun around, but he wasn't growling at James. He was snapping at Malia.

James nearly choked as he realised that Malia was already wrapping her mind around Alec's and sheltering him, trying to calm him down but Alec was rebuffing her. He was fighting it. James tried to figure out why when he felt why. They were compatible, and Alec didn't want to be down for the count of bonding. Alec knew that his Alpha Sentinel was in danger, so he was in overdrive. James touched Alec's arm, skin to skin and tried to push Malia out but as James did, he saw the truth of it all. Mentally they were already bonded.

"Exactly how much time have the two of you been spending together?" James asked.

"Malia has tricked Alec into seventeen dates over the past few weeks and sex twice," R supplied.

"We are already halfway bonded, the drive to nest will not come until Q is found. We are in a state of emergency, but I can't get this big oaf to understand that," Malia said.

"ALEC!" James screamed, and Alec turned to face him. James wrapped his mind around Alec's and tried to calm him down, but there was no having it. James let go of his arm and reached out his other hand. Malia took it, and after a few seconds, James pulled on her so hard that she stumbled and fell into Alec. Alec hissed, but he stopped his Guide from hitting the floor.

"Thank you, 007," R said, and she turned back to the screens in front of her. "We have the whole area under watch and transferred power to the cameras that watch the city as soon as we realised what was happening. We have had eyes except for about ten seconds, but that's not far enough to get away from the cameras so if they were using the power outage to move the Quartermaster we will know. We are also still tracking the other cars that had left the area where the last was to see if any of them go someone out of the ordinary. No one has so far."

"What about tunnels?"

"Those we can't track. I will have Double-O's in them as soon as first light hits. With the power outage, I can either do lights in tunnels or cameras."

"Always cameras. There is still the chance that inside of that seven block range Q is being kept unconscious."

"Yes. Q had most of the drugs that keep Sentinels down tested on him before he became Q. Boothroyd was up for that. It helped with other drugs that we wanted to create to take out enemies who are Sentinels. Q's body metabolises all of them quicker than other Sentinels. He wakes up from them from four hours early to half an hour early, so we have a window of time for you to feel him if he wakes up."

"Let's hope so." James looked back at Malia and Alec, but they were gone. A few Q-Branch minions were looking at the room on the far side of the open area. James knew that it was called the sex room, but it was for Sentinels inside of MI6 to be able to calm themselves down with their Guides. Not all Guides were up for sex inside of MI6. James and Q had been in there once after James had been shot on his last mission. They totally had sex in there.


The pain was horrible. Q felt himself heave with the pain, but nothing was more painful than his hands. Q could feel that he was being hung up by them and that he wasn't on his feet at all. He could feel his naked toes drag a little on the floor as his stomach tried to revolt.

Q could feel the cloth over his eyes that blocked him from seeing. When he could focus enough, he could count the threads because of the pale light that crept through at the edges. Q focused on the room, letting his hearing dial-up to where he could hear the heartbeats of everyone in the building. There were twenty-three people in the building, and none of them was that upset about anything, their heart rates were stable.

There were no clothes on Q other than the cloth over his eyes, but he didn't think there would be. Q had been tortured for two hours before he had been knocked out after being taken. Q knew the only reason that he had been knocked out was because James had got too close to being home and they didn't want his Guide tracking him down. Q started to reach out for James as soon as he was stable enough mentally to not overwhelm his Guide with pain. Q's body felt like one massive bruise, and while Q could handle it, he didn't want James going feral. No one wanted a feral Guide searching London for his Sentinel.

James was asleep, it was the only reason that he wouldn't be trying to reach back to Q, so Q focused on getting himself out of the cuffs that he was in. Forcing his hands to bend in ways that they didn't want to, Q felt along the edges of the skin around his palm.

Q knew that he had a mole in Q-Branch and he wanted to know who it was because he wanted to kill them with his own two hands. Q noticed that something was wrong just after getting onto the tube. His phone had lost all signal, which was impossible as it didn't run off of standard towers at all. No one else had issues, so that meant it was targeted to him. On the way home, Q had gone the wrong way hoping to throw off the people who would be following him, but it hadn't. Q had almost made it home when he had been shot from a distance with a tranq dart. It was a unique mix because Q felt himself going under faster than he had ever done when trying on the market tranquilisers for Sentinels on himself.

There was no way to tell the time that he had been out so Q had to assume that MI6 knew that he was missing and that James would know it as well. Q felt the small patch of skin that was tender and started to squeeze it. Q carried a lockpick set on his person at all times, including a little bit of metal that was made for picking the locks of handcuffs but also wouldn't set off any metal detector that was made, including his own. While on the tube, Q had worked it under the top layer of his skin to make sure that he had a way out. Q slowly pulled that bit of metal out, and when it was free, he set about picking the locks on his hands. Q grabbed the rope he was suspended from with one hand, and the first lock fell free. He pulled himself up just a little more with the second, holding his body up with just his hands as he undid the second. Knowing that it could only be a one trick wonder, Q dropped the metal. If he was caught, he wanted to make sure that he wasn't damaged in a bad way with another round of heavier torture to get out how he escaped.

Q was pragmatic, getting caught was going to hurt, but Q had to make sure that he wasn't killed for trying to escape. When his hands were both free, Q lowered himself down and didn't let go of the rope until he was sure that his legs would handle his weight. When his legs didn't buckle, Q slowly let himself go more. When he was on his own two feet, he reached up and tore off the blindfold. There was little around the room that Q could use. There was a bucket full of water that didn't look sanitary, and Q knew that it was to toss him to wake him up or to clean off the blood and other body fluids, he wasn't sure.

Looking down at his body, Q took in the bruises that were already forming as well as the cuts. His hands were a mangled mess, and when Q was finally out of the tranq he had been given, he was sure that he was going to be in pain. Whoever had him, didn't want his services that quick as a hacker, so it left a multitude of reasons for why he was taken. Q walked to the door and tried the handle. He wasn't sure why but he expected it to be locked; however it wasn't, and the knob turned.

A man was standing with his back to the door. Q finished pushing it open slowly, hoping that it didn't make a single noise. When it was open enough for him to slip out, he did. He got up behind the man and grabbed his head, he covered the man's mouth and jerked his head to the side and up. Q heard the snap of his neck as loud as if someone broke a stick right beside his ear. Q dialled down his hearing but not enough to where he couldn’t still hear if anyone came around.

Q lowered the dead body down and started to go through the pockets. The man only had a taser, so Q grabbed that, anything was better than nothing on defending himself. There were no other weapons on the now dead man. Which was smart as Q with a gun would not be good. There was, however, a phone on the man. Q picked that up and found that it was the newest iPhone. Q grinned and sent two texts off. The first was the coordinates of when he realised that something was wrong and he was being followed the second was where he had been taken from. It would help as Q was pretty sure that the cameras on the tube weren't taken down at that point, it would be too suspicious.

Hacking MI6 on an iPhone was kind of easy and yet hard. Q knew his system so while he couldn't actually get into MI6, it would be enough to have something be tracked to the damned phone. Q was just finishing the hack that he wanted when he felt James wake up. Q slowed on the hack as he spilt his focus to his Guide and the hack.

Q's hearing was up too high, and he dropped the phone in shock as the blast of a gun went off. Pain flared on his upper arm just below the shoulder joint, and he turned just as he felt something prick his neck. Two men were standing at the end of the hall he was in. Q could just make out a gun in one's hand and a tranq gun in the other's hand as he passed out.


The first time that James felt Q, it was faint and almost like a wound that had been aching for weeks after it healed on the skin. James sat up on the couch in Q's office as quick as lighting. James felt a flare of pain along his bond to Q and then it was gone as quick as lightning. It was so fast that whoever was leaning over James got cracked in the head with James's head. James shoved at whoever it was, riding them down to the floor. James didn't stop moving until the person was prone under him and James had a hand wrapped around said person's neck. James squeezed until he heard the laboured breathing.

There were a few seconds as James's Double-Oh instincts overrode what he could feel about the person under him, but he didn't go for a kill manoeuvre. He knew that he was inside of MI6, and there was a small chance that the person was an enemy, but James really didn't like people near him. Especially people watching him sleep.

Only when the person below him was freaking out a lot did James push out with his feelings to feel who it was. James shoved himself up and turned on the light. It was just one of Q's random minions that James hadn't learned the name of yet. He was breathing hard but not freaking out on the outside, which James gave him credit for.

"Yes?"

"We had a ping in the computer system, a weird hack but when R traced it back, it came from a damned phone."

"And?"

"There is only one person who would get as far as they did on a damned phone and that's Q. The hack was just seconds long, and then it was stopped."

"I felt him too, it's what woke me up. He was awake for a little bit, and now he's gone. He was close though."

"The storm is still going, but the sun is rising. M's going to let all of the Double-Ohs go and look for him. M asked us to wake you up and send you up to him."

James nodded and looked at his clothes. Thankfully with the kind of clothes he was wearing it wasn't evident that he had slept on a couch. So James left the minion on the floor and started out the door. He stopped though and turned back around to help the minion up. Q would be upset if James mistreated the man. Q would forgive the scaring him with what was going on but the whole leaving him on the floor after assaulting him, he would not.

"Thanks, Bond," the minion said, and James looked at his name tag. He almost laughed out loud. The man's name was James.

"Welcome. Phone M and tell him I am stopping for food in the mess. I need something before I go hunting my Sentinel."

"Of course, Sir. Might I suggest a cup of coffee for M and Moneypenny as well? Might go well in making sure that M doesn't ground you."

James nodded and didn't tell the minion that he was going to do that anyway. James knew that they had been working through the night. The Quartermaster of MI6 being taken in London on an average night wasn't good.

Ten minutes later, James was entering M's office with a tray of drinks in one hand and a weird breakfast burrito thing that Q had the mess make for him when he stayed overnight in the other. It wasn't bad, but James could do a lot better. Tanner was in the room, so James was glad that he got the man a coffee.

"What news?" M asked as he nodded thanks for the coffee that James handed over. James handed Moneypenny and Tanner theirs before taking his coffee and sitting down.

"Q attempted to hack into MI6 using a phone, it wasn't that long of a connection and R is trying to trace it now. I was woken up around that time by Q trying to reach me. I figure that he was doing the hacking and the reaching at the same time, and when both were lost, he was knocked out again but first he was in pain, there was a low-level amount of pain and then a sharp and very sudden feel that felt like he had been shot in the arm." James stopped talking when he heard his phone go off. James pulled it out and looked at it. There was two missed texts and a new one. The new one was from R and was detailing something that as James read it, his blood ran cold. "It seems that as soon as the hack into MI6 started, an email was sent out from a Q-Branch computer and it said that Q was trying to hack. R knows that she has a mole and she's trying to find that."

James scrolled to the other two texts and found that they were from Q. The phone number was displayed, and both were sets of coordinates.

"Tablet, Tanner." James held out his hand, and Tanner slapped a tablet into it. James put in both sets of coordinates and found that one was the tube track that was about a block from where Q got on and then the second was just fifty feet from the front door of their complex where they lived. "Q texted coordinates. The first I don't understand why he wanted us to know about a spot that was a block from where he got onto the train."

"Could that be when he figured out that he was being followed? We can look at the cameras for that time and see," Moneypenny said.

"That could be. The second is fifty feet from our building front door. I would say that is where he was taken from."

"Then that's where you are to go. Moneypenny, I want you in Q-Branch. Wear the shoulder holster and make sure no one knows you are armed. If there is a mole in Q-Branch, I want to know, and I want them alive but whatever harm you want to do otherwise is fine."

"I have a better idea on that, Sir," James said as he leaned forward and handed Tanner back his tablet. "Alec and Malia. Alec's too feral right now, and he knows it. He's still refusing what Malia can do for him, so it's better to keep him here. No one is going to blink an eye at Malia keeping her Sentinel close or the fact at Alec is armed. Hell, the mole will probably ignore him altogether."

"That is a good plan. It will make 006 feel better about being grounded and give him something to do to bring Q back. Okay then." M stood up, and he looked at his coffee before picking it up and draining it. "Bond, I want you to be honest with the team you go out with and if you feel Q let them know. You tend to run off and lose them even without Q being on the line."

"I will, Sir." James wasn't sure if he was lying or not at that moment, but he would try, but whatever Q was feeling the next time that he felt him was going to be the deciding factor on what James did. James knew that he had been shot at least once and the pain that he had been trying to hide from James before that meant that he had been worked over. James felt like a caged animal, and he didn't like it.


Q felt the water hit him as well as the ice cubes that in said water. He gritted his teeth because while it was cold, his senses were messed up. He could feel the rash starting on his skin from the dirt of being naked, and in a basement, his own normal body fluids from functions were on him, and he couldn’t do a thing about it. Q tried to move a little but found that he was well restrained this time. He felt manacles on his wrists and ankles. He was also chained up like an X. There were no more picking locks for him. Q let himself grin at that.

"You can quit acting like you are asleep, Sentinel. I know that you are awake," a female voice said.

Q didn't open his eyes. Instead, he started to stretch. He wasn't hung up like a piece of meat anymore, he was quite steady on his feet actually. Q walked himself through a stretching technique that he usually did in his bed when waking up.

"Again," the female voice said.

Q braced for the cold water that was going to be thrown on him. Now that he was ready for it, it actually felt really good on his body. He even opened his mouth because at least the water smelled fresher than what had been in the one bucket before.

"Cocky little fucker aren't you?" the female said.

"Rather," Q said, and he opened his eyes. The woman standing in front of him was somewhat plain looking. Q was a little upset, he deserved a hot woman after what she was putting him through. Q laughed at his thoughts and realised that his Guide was rubbing off on him more ways than one.

"You made me change my plans," the female said.

"So sorry that me trying to escape ruined your plans. If you let me go, I'll ruin even more of them."

"I've never met a Sentinel like you. More brains than brawn."

"Honey, if you think that all Sentinels are more brawn than brains, you are as stupid as you are plain. We only let humans think that. It makes them feel safer if Sentinels are dumb brutes who jump when someone says jump," Q snarled at her.

The grin that she had would have been off-putting if it wasn't for the fact that she was scared. Her scent pile was screaming that she didn't want to be in there with him. Q could feel that she was a Guide. A bonded Guide at that. Q wondered if her Sentinel was the one who had orchestrated it all, letting her think that she was and that she was using him.

"I think you'll forgive me if I don't believe you," she said. The doors opened behind her and Q knew the faces of both of the men who entered. They were on MI6's wanted list. It was a personal list that Q-Branch and the Double-Ohs made up of people who needed to be killed on sight for crimes against the agents of her Majesty's Secret Service. These two were the Wright Brothers which Q had always found hilarious. Instead of being the father's of flight, these two Wright brothers were masters of torture for torture's sake. Q knew then that this wasn't anything to do with him being the Quartermaster of MI6, only in that he was the Quartermaster. They didn't want him in MI6 to stop something that was going to happen. They wanted him out of the way, and they were going to torture him until he died. The drugs in his system were making him weak in a way that Q didn't like. The rest of the weakness was not eating and not getting actual sleep, drugged sleep wasn't good for a Sentinel.

Q saw the car battery and closed his eyes. He wasn't going to break and scream. He could at least do that.

The presence of James flared in Q's mind. James was close enough to feel him, but Q didn't want him to feel this. It was bad enough that James was probably going to die when Q did, but at least James didn't have to feel Q being tortured. Q tried to sever that link, the part of the bond that let his mate feel his emotions but James kept a hold of that end of the bond with his entire being. Q begged in his mind for James to let go. James had to watch Vesper die, he didn't need to have Q's torture in his mind on the off chance that he lived after his Sentinel died.

Q felt the water again, and then the barest touch of metal wire on his body before the first bit of pain hit him. Q knew that torture was to weaken someone, so Q made sure that he didn't look weak. Q grabbed onto a code in his head and forced his brain to focus on it and not the pain. When he could do that, he dialled his senses down. His sense of touch was dropped to zero, and the pain floated away. It was supposed to be for battle, to allow the Sentinel to do what needed to be done to protect but in the modern times, it was used more as a way to stop the utter pain that some enemies inflicted on their prisoners. Q dialled down his sense of smell next. He left his hearing up where he could hear. He would drop it if they went to aural torture. Q went ahead and dialled down his sense of taste as well just to be safe. Sight, he left where it was as well. He looked at the woman and saw that she was very upset, but Q didn't care. He closed his eyes again and focused on his code.

The first time that someone touched his finger he didn't feel it. It was more a sense of knowing that something was off. Q opened his eyes and looked in time for him to see his middle finger be snapped. The next hand's middle finger was snapped next, but Q gave them nothing. The smaller of the two brothers snarled at Q and then watched as a needle was stuck in his arm and seconds later, he knew nothing.


James looked around the area where Q had texted the coordinates of. Every single Double-Oh, Sentinel or not, was walking around the block where Q had been taken from. Q-Branch had gone over the footage, R mainly and found the moment where Q had realised that something was wrong. The camera on the tube allowed her to see that Q's phone had no service, but yet others did. James knew that Q's phone was unique as Q had made it himself, but he hadn't known until that it only ran off of a satellite. It didn't use the service that was open to civilians. Q was beta testing it to give out to agents.

"Bond!" someone yelled, and James turned around to see that it was 003. She was very excited, and her human body was showing it. She reached into a bush and pulled out something. James saw that it was Q's clothes. That wasn't good. Whoever had taken him had made it so that no one could track him that way. His clothes being left meant that whoever had him wasn't going to ransom him. They wanted him, and they weren't going to give him up without a hell of a fight.

"Fuck," 001 said as he took the clothes.

"Agreed," James said. He stopped though when he noticed something on the sleeve of Q's shirt. There was a tiny drop of blood. He looked at 001. "What is this?"

001 lifted up the cuff of the shirt and sniffed. "It's Q's. Why is this the only drop of blood on the shirt? If he put up a fight, there would be more."

James raised up his phone to call R, but she was calling him first. James gave a not happy grin and accepted the call.

"Okay, so Q was doing something weird on the camera and I had Malia check Q's bag. His lockpicking set is missing the thin metal rod that he has used to pick handcuffs. It looks like he stuffed it under his skin but are not sure."

"That explains the blood on his shirt cuff."

James felt Q wake up and he felt close. It was a few seconds of trying to get oriented, and then there was a wash of cold all over Q. James pushed everything that he was into that link. He felt the other Double-Ohs start to crowd around him, protecting the Guide that was in trouble. James had used to hate it, but after feeling from Q how he felt when James got home after a mission, he understood now and didn't scoff at the Sentinels that were around him. He also didn't push back against them anymore, unless one got handsy though generally if another Double-Oh got handsy, Q put them in their place. The first time it had happened, James had almost pissed his pants laughing at the new 008 running scared of James's boffin.

"What's up?" 001 asked.

James forgot for a second that MI6 issues phones have a filter on them that Sentinels actively blocked the sound of. It was one of Q's first things that he had made upon arriving at MI6.

"Q stuck a lockpick into his flesh, that's what the single drop of blood was. I would also venture that he already used it and was caught; that's how he got ahold of a phone and then was shot.

James's knees buckled, and he went down. He felt 001 stop him from face-planting on the kerb. James felt like puking as massive pain shot out all over his body. Q was being tortured. James felt Q trying to push him away, trying to break a part of their bond. James latched onto it with everything that he had. He wasn't going to let Q go so quick. They might not be in love, and they might not know each other fully yet, but if there was one thing that James knew beyond a doubt, Q was it for him.

The myth that there was one perfect Guide for each Sentinel and one perfect Sentinel for each Guide had been rubbish to James before Q. It was a fairy tale that was told to children to help them sleep or to deal with that ache when someone came online and couldn't find one match for them. James had scoffed at it all of his life, but Q got him on a level that James didn't think that anybody could. Q supported him in his job and the only time that they fought was when James did something stupid, but now James understood what Q felt when James did something stupid. James wanted to slap him until he came to his senses.

James trusted his fellow Double-Ohs to protect him as he felt Q trying to rip them apart. There was only a single reason that he was doing it and James knew that Q didn't think that he was going to survive what was being done to him. Q didn't want James to feel him die. If there was ever any proof that Q was it for James, it was it. James felt Q shutting off his senses one by one, removing his captors, and torturers, ability to hurt him that much. James though could still feel what was being done to him and it all ended with the breaking of two of Q's fingers before Q was out again.

"Good fucking God, stop him," someone yelled. James couldn't figure out the voice, but he could feel something. Something angry and something big, and it was headed toward them. James pushed himself up and out of 001's hold before he turned to face whatever was coming. Q had taught James had to drop people with a thought, but as he looked at what was coming toward him, he stopped. It was Alec and Alec was near feral. Malia was running behind him. The other Double-Ohs spread apart from James and Alec stopped right in front of him.

Alec was covered in blood, and it was very fresh.

"What the hell are you doing bathing in enemy blood and then going out in public, Alec?" James demanded to know. Malia didn't even try and touch Alec as she finally caught up with him. She looked unharmed. "What happened?"

"I felt one of Q-Branch getting really smug, and I casually let R know. Well...he was watching on silent a video of Q getting tortured. It was a live feed. Alec ripped him limb from limb. R's bitching about getting blood from the guy's computer, but she thinks maybe it might be easier to just clone the drive and build a new one. R is trying to figure out where the video was coming from."

"That doesn't explain why he is here," 001 said.

"Well, there is something that Q is only theorising, but Alec felt Bond's pain, whatever the hell has him looking white as a sheet, Alec felt it, and I didn't. It sent him running out of MI6. I called ahead, and the halls were cleared. He ran here, thank God I ran track in uni."

"The pack unit," James said.

"Yes. None of the Sentinels or Guides within MI6 have ever cared about joining a pack. Their jobs stopped them from being able to do it safely." Malie reached out and finally touched her Sentinel. Alec was calming down, being close to James. James knew of packs, and he knew that one had never been for him, but he looked at those around him. He could feel himself aligning to the Sentinels and Guides of MI6. "I think that with Q bonding to a Guide finally, we've all started to form a pack around him. He is the strongest Sentinel that we have in the Service, including those at MI5."

"I much agree," M said as he appeared behind Malia.

James hadn't even felt him arrive. There was a car there and out of it came a very nicely dressed woman. James's senses told him that she was a Sentinel, a powerful Sentinel. She felt nothing like Q though.

"Jocelyn Mallory," she said as she stepped up to James. She didn't offer her hand, but she gave James a smile that was very close to the indulgent one that Q gave him. "I'm a psychologist that has been on retainer for MI5 for a while, but as Gareth is settling in just fine at MI6, I think that I will transfer there. I specialise in Sentinels and Guides. So James, where is your Sentinel?"

"Close. I don't think that they took him out of this area. I think that he was stuffed in a basement somewhere."

"I agree. I talked to Gareth about what he felt when you nearly went down on us, and that sent Alec into a feral battle drive. No one has ever wanted MI6 or MI5 really to have a strong enough Sentinel to do this, you know but now they are going to have to live with it or replace half of the staff at MI6, and that won't go well. So, James, I want you to do something for me."

"What?" James asked.

Jocelyn held out her hand. James looked at her and then at Malia and Alec. Then at everyone else.

"You can track him by us?" James asked.

"I can certainly try to. Though it would have to be by the sound of his heart, given that he's out cold it might be hard, but I can try. I make no promises."

"If you can get us close I can track him when he wakes up again. I know what I'll be feeling this time." James was sure that he wouldn't go down again. He was pretty sure that he had a handle for what Q would be doing.

"They don't fear Bond going after him," Malia said.

"No, whoever has him doesn't seem to fear Guides, but I would be more scared of James Bond Guide than James Bond Agent," Jocelyn said. She looked at James like she saw inside of his head. "Q knows a lot of things, and he's sure to have taught James a lot of things."

James gave her a wicked grin. He knew a lot of things that would probably make even a few of the agents curl their toes in horror. James took Jocelyn's hand and then Mallory was there taking James's other hand and linking his with his wife's. James wasn't sure what the hell Mallory and his wife were going to do, but James felt Mallory touch his mind. He allowed it to happen and he felt something almost like someone harvesting memories from him.

"I have his heartbeat memorised. Let's see if we can find it amongst all these people." Jocelyn looked at James, and he saw that fierceness that Alec was letting win start to take over in her. James felt a shiver of fear crawl up his spine. James wondered what they would do if all of the Sentinels who were connected to Q went feral. There weren't enough Guides to help them all, there was just Mallory, Malia, and James. Malia was good, but she would be more focused on Alec, and that would leave James and Mallory to deal with a whole bunch of feral Sentinels. James wasn't thinking it was going to be good odds that he wasn't going to be dealing with a pack of feral Sentinels if the smell of Q's blood hit them or even they felt echoes of Q through James.


Q knew that his body wasn't liking the drugs that he was being given, but it was adapting well to them. Whoever was judging the dose to give him wasn't pay close enough attention to exactly when he was waking up and how long he was able to fool them into thinking he wasn't awake. Q was pretty sure that he had been in their hands for two days, but he couldn't be precisely sure.

There were a few seconds after Q woke up where he forgot how much pain he was in. Due to the drugs, he was being given he had to reset his dials as soon as he could because it seemed to mess them up. Q forced himself not to shudder in pain as he turned feeling down to nothing. He knew that it would alert James to the fact that he was awake, but he had stopped trying to deny James what he so wanted. It still sucked that his Guide was going to feel him die, but there was nothing Q could do about it. His body wasn't weak yet, but it was getting there. Two days, three if he counted the fact that he only ate a few biscuits while at work the day before he was kidnapped, without food was taking its toll. Even on a Sentinel.

"They are not going to find us," the female said, and Q tried to focus on her voice and found that she was talking on the phone. Q also realised that it was not secure in any way shape or form.

"They are hunting all over the area where you are," the person on the other end of the phone said. The voice was sort of familiar, and Q hoped that as the drugs left his system quickly that he would be able to place it.

"And we are two floors underground, and the drugs are affecting his heart rate, they could be in the room with him and not know that it was him. The storm got rid of all traces of his scent. They wouldn't be able to track him if he was out in the open. Quit questioning me!"

"I'm not, I'm just worried that they will find him before my program can get its claws into MI6's system." The voice was known then to Q. Max Denbigh. Q wondered why he had hated the man before, but now he understood. Instinct. Q didn't operate on instinct that much, but then he didn't need to. His intelligence backed up most of what he felt as a Sentinel. Q had just thought that Denbigh wanted him. Now he wondered if it was all to get his hands on MI6's system.

"How is the hack going?"

"Good. Q-Branch is working on finding Q so they are not tracking the system as much as they should."

Q kept his snort to himself. Denbigh was stupid. There were two minions on staff all the time that monitored the systems no matter what. M could go missing, and they were on system watch. Two hours on system watch and then four off so that everyone got two watches in during an eight-hour shift. They were probably monitoring it until they figured out the best way to knock it out of the system.

James's presence flared brightly in Q's mind, and Q knew that he was near, so damned near. Q could feel him as well as a few other minds looking for him. There was one mind that was minimally connected to James's that he didn't know. Q couldn't hold back the growl at that. Someone else was trying to take what was his.

"He's awake," the female said, and then the door to Q's cell opened up. Q tried to lunge at her, but the chains holding his arms stopped him. He looked down and saw that they had chained his legs, but the ones holding him up were stronger. Q was still pretty sure with a good tug he could snap them. They were underestimating him because of his brains. More brains less brawn, she had said.

"Quartermaster, you know that you aren't going to survive this so tell me how to get past the watchdogs at MI6 and I'll kill you with no pain." The female moved out of the way, and the Wright brothers came in again. There was no electricity this time, but they had knives and a bucket of something. The smell wafted up to Q's nose. It was a nerve toxin, but it didn't kill, no it just made one think that their nerves were on fire. It was one of the poisons that Q had developed when he had joined MI6. He had made sure that MI6 would never get rid of him and he had kept doing it over and over again until he became Quartermaster. There was an antidote to it, but that was only inside of MI6. The head of medical had it because, after the Silva debacle, Q had no clue who Silva had sold it to. It seemed that at least one person had bought it. The version that was in the system was the only one that smelled like that. The version that went out with the Double-Ohs had no smell.

"Fuck you," Q said, and he lunged at her again. She just laughed and waved at the brother's to do what they wanted.

What they wanted was going to suck because that toxin bypassed levels. No matter how low his dial was on feeling, Q was going to feel what was getting ready to be done to him.

The larger of the two brother's stepped up to Q and cut a thin strip down his thigh, there was a twinge of something from the feel of it, but that was it, and then the man dipped a gloved finger into the bucket and trailed that down Q's thigh. Q's body seized from the sudden and sharp pain, but Q kept his jaw clenched together. He wasn't going to give them what they wanted.

Instead of allowing his brain to focus on the pain, Q did something that he didn't he would ever do. He allowed his pain to translate down the bond to James. He wanted his Guide there as soon as possible. And with Q awake, James could track him, but with Q awake and in pain, James would track him that much quicker.

James got closer and closer, and so that did the fucking Sentinel that was with him. Q turned his hands around on the chains and grabbed them so that he could get a good hold on them and move his body if needed. The door to the room shut and Q opened his eyes. The room was stark white unlike the last room that he had been in. There was a drain in the floor, and Q figured that this was the room they were going to kill him and enjoy seeing the blood painting everything.

Q heard the sound of the gun that he had given to James for his last mission cocking, and he grinned. The Wright brother that was closest to him took a step back because Q was pretty damned sure that he looked lethal.

"I'd run now," Q said through the pain.

"Stupid Sentinel," the other brother said.

"You know the funny thing about being a Sentinel? You know how to turn everything to your advantage." Q gripped the chains and flexed his arms before lashing out with his legs. He wrapped them around the head of the brother closest to him. He jerked that man forward, and before he could think about how to escape, Q had snapped his neck with his legs. Q turned to look at the other as his brother dropped dead on the floor.

"Don't please she locked us in here with you so that you couldn't escape."

"Too bad for you." Q lowered his body down and picked up the knife that was on the floor with his toes. He curled his body to where he could grab the knife with his hand. The Wright brother watched him with a wary eye. Q flexed just a single arm this time and raised up to where he had a good range of motion with the other. He cocked his hand back and threw the knife. It landed in the throat of the man, and he dropped dead after a few seconds of his blood pouring out of his throat. Q pulled himself up a little more and jerked down on his other arm. The chain snapped, and Q did the same with the other.

Q looked over the bodies and found that one had a belt on. The belt would have to work to get him out. Q stripped it off the dead man's body before walking to the door. He touched the lock and found that the Guide woman who thought herself so intelligent was stupid as fuck. Q grabbed the handle of the door and jerked. The metal crumbled under his strength. The door creaked open.

Taking off at a run, Q had a single target, and it wasn't that woman.


James knew that Q was near, he could feel him waking up, and as he slowly did, James could track him better. The Sentinels with him had no luck on Q's heartbeat. The drugs that Q had been given were affecting his heart rate too much. There was no smell of him either. James looked at the building that was closest to where they were that wasn't a single family home. It was their own damned complex. James looked at Alec and at Jocelyn who was both not as feral as they had been.

Stepping up to the door, James looked inside and saw that the person who was staffing the desk was not the average person. He frowned because that wasn't good. It had been the same people for years according to Q. James stepped back before he drew attention to himself. He walked back to where Malia and Mallory were.

"That's a new person, but I know an entrance to the sub-basement where the duct works are. I think that we should check this area before we start to take over houses. I know that MI5 has given us clearance to do what is needed, but I would rather leave civilians out of it."

"Agreed," Mallory said, and he waved James forward.

It took ten minutes to get from the sub-basement into what looked to be an old tunnel that branched around. James was stepping down inside when he felt pain like he never had before. James dropped to his knees but was able to stay up. There was the sound of a door shutting down in the catacomb they were in, and James looked up to see if he could see anyone, but he didn't.

James felt when Q shifted his thoughts from the pain to something else. Q was also pushing that pain down toward James. James latched onto it and knew what Q was doing. Q was trying to get James to him as quick as possible. James knew that he was down in the catacomb somewhere.

"I smell a woman and two men and the faintest scent of Q," Alec whispered.

"The woman is a Guide, and her scent pile is corrupted." Jocelyn sounded pissed.

James got to his feet and started walking toward where he could feel Q. There were a few false starts down ways that were not correct and then James was getting close. The cells that were in the place had James a little upset.

"Someone's neck just got snapped," Jocelyn said.

"And that person's throat got cut or something," Alec whispered.

"He's getting feral," James said.

"How about we go and find that woman because I'm certain I smell her scent down this way," Alec nodded his head that way, and James nodded.

James watched them leave as he headed in the direction that he felt Q was in. James turned a corner and saw a door at the end that looked like it might hold a Sentinel back. James started toward it, and the door broke, the sound of it echoing around the hall had James stopping.

A naked Q burst out of the door. James looked at him, he could see the evidence of the electrical torture and the cut on his thigh that was bleeding freely. Q growled at James and James had the urge to run. He had never thought about running from his Sentinel since actually meeting him. He didn't know what to do. James thought about his training that Q had given him and given the situation, Q was just feral enough that he wasn't in total control and it wasn't until James felt the link he had with Mallory and his wife fade some that he realised what had Q feral. James knew then that he needed to run.

Q needed to give into the hunt and capture part of his brain. James knew where he needed to end up, and he really hoped that Q was just slow enough to allow it to happen. There was a van at the edge of the block that was for taking in couples. There was a way to lock it from the inside, and James knew that no matter how much he wanted to fun to their flat, there was no way that he trusted that security guard that was watching the front desk.

James turned on his heel and took off running. Leaving was easier than getting in, and James had the fact that he had slept and ate on his side. He heard the loud and downright fucking vicious growl that Q let out and James put on more speed. He needed to get them to the damned van before Q caught him because he was pretty sure that wherever Q caught him, there was going to be sex going on.

Smelling fresh air, James readied himself to jump because that was going to quicker than climbing out the ladder. He jumped and cut the edge of the access hole, and he pulled himself up. James wasn't sure if Q could do that, but Q would get out one way or another. James saw that the van was closer than it had been, Mallory or Malia had to have got it closer to where they were. It was a full medical van but had a pallet on the floor of it as well as blankets and anything needed to even ride out a complete bonding mating in it. MI6 tried it's hardest now to take care of the Sentinels and Guides in its care, and that was mainly to do with the way that Q and Mallory had forced the changes to happen.

James flung open the doors and as he did the front window shut that allowed the drivers to see inside. James would lock that as soon as he could, but first, he was getting naked. He had no want of his clothes being ripped off of him. James found that someone had been inside of it recently, human so as not to piss of Sentinel or Guide but it had been stocked with what looked like homemade bottled tea and a stack of those granola things that Q ate a lot at work. James knew that someone in Q-Branch made those. It would be good for Q to eat to help him start to feel better. James reached up and latched the viewing window shut as he felt the van rock a little with Q running into it. James looked back and saw that the doors had closed after he had got in. The lighting in the van was brighter but soft at the same time, so he hadn't noticed. The door was opened, and the clang as it hit the other side of the van had James cringing.

"Come on, Sentinel," James said as he laid down on his back. Q growled, and it sent a shiver down James's back. Jame reached out and grabbed a medical wipe. He wanted to at least get whatever had been put on that wiped off because he was pretty sure given how red the wound was something had been put on it. Q's eyes focused on the wipe, and he climbed into the van and growled at James. The weight of Q's mind on James was tenfold what it usually was. Q had the presence of mind to shut the doors behind him even if the one he had opened was a little bent, it still closed and only let in a little bit of light.

James was barely able to wipe at the wound before his hands were grabbed and slammed onto the pallet at his head. Q's body was a mass of bruises from the torture he had undergone, and two of his fingers were curled at angles that were not good, but James knew that there was nothing he could do. He would have to wait for Q to drop out of feral mode for him to be able to treat what was wrong with Q. Though James was pretty sure that sex was first before that. Q's cock was rapidly hardening in James's sight while Q looked over James's body. James was going to give in to whatever Q needed. James understood more than anyone else that something you needed something no matter what the rational response what. Q needed to know that James was his.


Q felt the sting of something over his cut, but it wasn't the sting of the poison but something else. He looked at the wipe in his Guide's hand and growled before grabbed the hand and slamming it down above his Guide's head. James was already naked, and Q was very glad about that. He looked around and found the lube sitting out. Q grabbed it with his hand and jerked the cap off. James spread his legs even more before he went pliant under Q.

Feeling his Guide more and more in his head was just ramping Q up, and he knew it. He felt the retreat of the other Guide and Sentinel from James's mind. Q growled, and he felt someone else leaving James's mind as well. Q cocked his head to the side and looked down at his Guide. James was staring up at him and looked like he was happy to be exactly where he was.

Q grabbed James's other hand and pressed it up above his head as he leaned down to smell his Guide. There was the scent of so many others on him, his brain knew each one of those scents except for one. There was the smell of a female Sentinel all over him, and Q didn't like it. Q trailed his nose down the column of James's throat before he turned to the side and went down his neck to where neck and shoulder met. There was no other scent except for James there, but still, Q wanted a claim on his Guide.

Up higher he moved and clenched his teeth around skin and muscle. Q left his mark there and all James did was jerk at the pain and his hands clenched and unclenched, but Q could smell how aroused he got from it. There was no way to hide that from him at all. It smelled like he had been out in the rain. The storm had ended hours before Q had felt it end even in his cell under the building. Dumping lube out into his hand, Q slicked up his cock and looked at his Guide. He wasn't sure what he wanted. He felt the need to claim, the need to just take but the small rational part of his brain knew that he wasn't in a fit condition for anything too much.

James twisted his hands out from under Q and sat up. They were chest to chest. James grabbed Q's hand and brought it close, wiping the lube off with a towel that smelled of nothing but the fibre it was made of. James traced Q's bent at a weird angle finger, and Q figured out what he was doing just seconds before he tugged on it. Q felt the sharpness of the pain that was overriding his dials for his sense of feeling. The pain faded quickly though. Q brought up his other hand, and James did the same thing. When breaking the fingers, the men who Q had killed had also dislocated them. James cradled both hands in his own and kissed at them. Q realised that he still had the cuffs on them and started to look around. James though shushed him and brought Q's face in for a kiss. Q slowly started to dial up his sense of feeling and waited for the pain, but it wasn't there.

"Feel me, Q," James whispered across Q's lips, and he laid back, pulling Q with him. Q growled lowly before he slipped his hands down to James's ass, spreading his cheeks and nudging forward with his cock. Q needed the smell of everything but him gone from James's skin. He thrust in as gently but also as quick as he could when he felt the head of his cock get past that ring of muscle.

When he was all the way inside, Q trailed his hands up to James's knees, pressing his Guide's legs to his chest to hold him down, hold him open, and just hold him right where Q wanted him. James reached up and grabbed Q's upper arms, holding Q right where he wanted him as well. It was heady and perfect to Q. Q fucked James for what felt like hours before he wrapped James's legs around his waist and covered as much of James's body with his own that he could.

The scent of others was leaving as Q's scent took over. James shuddered, and Q smelled the scent of his release. Q growled because that started to replace his smell on his Guide. Q fucked him harder and faster, chasing his release. James revelled in it, his eyes closed his passion and his mouth parted as he let out breathy gusts every time that Q's hips slammed into his. There was nothing left in the world but them. Q could only smell him and his Guide, he could just feel them, and all he could see was the memory of the bright blue eyes of his Guide.

Q felt his orgasm spike, and he dropped down onto James. James accepted his weight as Q's eyes started to droop down and he couldn't stay awake. He could feel James's mind on his own, pressing him down into sleep. He wanted to fight it, but the rational part of his brain said that it was impossible and that he needed it. Q wanted more time though, but as he felt James's hand on his head, he lost it.


James felt Q's mind slowly slipping down into sleep as he pushed at it. Q's pain started to come back as James stopped focusing on blocking it. Q didn't feel it come back as he was fully asleep. He had fought it for a few seconds, but James fought back. The van had started to move about when James had popped Q's fingers back into place, but Q hadn't noticed, or if he had, he hadn't done a thing about it. Q was well under by the time that the van stopped. It was one of the few vehicles that were allowed deep into MI6. It connected with a room inside of medical.

The van stopped, and James knew that if he opened the door, he would be beside an elevator that dropped down to the Sentinel area of medical and there would be a room that would allow them both to ride out Q's feral episode if he woke up still feral. James touched Q's fingers and saw that they were starting to swell more. James knew that medical would talk to him but that no one would treat them. It was up to James to do that.

James waited until he felt the van start to slow before he began to roll them to where Q was on his back. Q moaned in pain as his abused limbs moved in ways that stretched his skin. He heard the lock on the door open up and then there was nothing. There was a single sound of a chirp and James knew that meant the door beyond the van was ready for them to exit. James didn't worry about clothing on either of them. James knew that no one was going to watch them. The cameras were disabled from the door of the van to the room that was ready for them. Q's mind didn't even try and wake up as James moved him around to where he could step out with him. James was careful as he stepped down out of the back of the van with Q in his arms.

The doors opened as James got near them and in the middle of the hall, he stopped. James heard the sounds of the x-ray machine and various other tech that Q-Branch had installed for easy scanning of agents when a trip to medical wasn't exactly the best idea. Q's hands were on his chest so that at least a little bit can be scanned of his hands. It was easy after that to enter the actual room that they were going to be staying in until James figured that Q was good enough to not go insane on people. There was a soft bed in the corner, and James laid Q on it. There were several thick sheets on the bed so that James could clean up Q.

There was a basin in the room already with a pile of flannels and a few small bottles of things. James read over each bottle before adding it into the basin and grabbed the bottle of distilled water and dumped it in. The water smelled of antiseptic and James didn't like it. He knew that Q would hate it, but there were other things to take care of that after Q's wounds were tended to. James worked an hour of making sure that every single inch of Q's body had been wiped clean. Especially the wound on his thigh. It looked like it was trying to get an infection, but then Q's body had been so dirty from having nothing on it and being in the basement and being taken like he was.

"James," Jocelyn said over the speaker.

"Anything that needs to be relayed I would just go through Malia and Alec. Q really did not like the connection that you had M set up between us. He's not used to either of you. At work, M tries his hardest to never touch my mind."

"Sure," Malia said. James heard a little bit of noise and knew that someone was setting down paperwork.

"So the scans show that the breaks in Q's fingers are clean and nothing needs to be done. You set them correctly and popped them back in perfect. There doesn't seem to be other wounds that are visible on the scans done. There is a syringe, and several vials in the top drawer in the medical cabinet and they want four vials to check for blood infections. How long is he going to sleep?"

"As long as I want him to, I'm the one that put him to sleep. As long as no one enters the room, he won't force himself past my hold on his mind. He trusts me enough that he knows we are safe. I would wake him up if he needed to do something."

"Well, I would keep him asleep until he is cleaned up and you have that wound stitched."

"You think it needs to be stitched?" James asked and looked down at it. He wouldn't stitch it if it were on him, but then he used glue for most of his wounds, but Q was different. Q wasn't just didn't mentally, but his body was as well. "Okay, I agree it needs to be stitched, or he'll bitch about it."

James found the syringe and the vials and worked carefully on getting Q's blood. "So the storm," James said because he knew that it wasn't a natural storm.

"Psionic energy feed a storm, and that's the reason why it stayed, and it stayed so strong. M is going to hunt that person and try and figure it out."

"I get it's that woman that took off that I felt them kill."

"She tried to escape, and when she couldn't because Alec almost had her, she killed herself, but M had ripped her mind apart. He'll figure out everything. He's sequestered in the room off of his office with his wife right now. Tanner and Moneypenny are taking care of everything as far as MI6 goes."

"What about Denbigh?" James asked.

"He's being watched by 001 right now and is inside of MI5. We put a tail on him as soon as Q was located. Him coming in didn't make any of the Double-Ohs happy at all."

"Tell me everything that is going on," James said, and he mainly wanted someone talking while he worked and also he wanted as much information because Q would want to know as soon as he woke up. James worked on the vials of blood while Malia talked and then he worked on stitching Q's wound shut. James smeared cream all over it that would block the smell of blood as well as keep the injury clean.

There were no clothes in the room, but only those in the control room had access to the cameras. It was a closed circuit, and none of the connections was connected wirelessly to anything else. James was glad of that. Q had been working tirelessly to make Sentinels and Guides happy inside of the new digs of MI6 while they worked on the old building. Home Office had wanted to demolish it, but Q had made them understand that no matter what they did it was going to be expensive to build new to Q's requirements or to refurbish the old building. Q would rather work with what they had and redo entire floors than to have to wait. The time was what was going to make Q win the bid on the old building. James was covering up Q after checking to make sure that Q was still deeply asleep. His body needed the sleep, and his mind really needed to feel safe and James staying close would mean that it would happen. James had stayed naked and washed up in the shower in the small bathroom. When that was done, James found that Malia had finally fallen silent.

"Malia?"

"Just me, James," Alec said.

"How do you feel?"

"Much better and much even minded. Malia forced me to settle and bond with her as much as we could. When Q is awake, I'll go and finish imprinting on her. You don't worry about me. You worry about him."

"I will, but I will worry about you as well. You were the one that thought you were never going to come online much less bond."

"I think there is something to be said for bonding to a Q-Branch minion of some kind. There are a few other Guides in there, and Q thinks that Alister is a Sentinel. The kid's scared of being one though."

"That's why Q's been hanging out with him outside of work," James knew that he did it only when James was out of town, but James was going to make sure that Q did it while he was in town if Q did think that Alister was a Sentinel. James never scanned those who were inside of MI6. He didn't like it, and he didn't want to do it. M had never scanned anyone, even during the whole Skyfall debacle, M had never done anything that James would even have thought that he would do.

"I assume. Malia says that she is unsure of what she feels about him."

"Much like Malia never showed her family what she is, he's scared of what he could be."

"Which is why no one knows what he could be."

"The mind is a powerful weapon."

Alec made a noise of agreement and James looked at the camera. He watched it switch to not recording, and he laid down. Q was naked, so James stayed that way as well. James had learned how to sleep away from the door because Q's mind never let him sleep if his Guide was between him and a door. Q only moved to roll and put himself into his Guide's side, and then he was down under again. James waited until he was sure that the camera wasn't going to go on again before he went to sleep as well.


Q felt warmer than he had in recent memory, he also knew that he was waking up slowly, so that meant that James had been keeping him asleep. It was nice, feeling warm and knowing that James was there. The ache in his body was coming back as slow as the return to consciousness, but it was also less than it should be, which meant he had been given the good drugs. That also meant that they were in medical, probably one of the Sentinel isolation rooms.

James moved behind him, and Q felt the wafting of James's mind over his. It was an unconscious thing that Q had got used to, and he revelled in it. The months they had been together, James had learned to embrace what he could do as a Guide and took to Q's tutelage like a duck to water. The buffer that James set up for Q between him the outside world on a daily basis was astounding.

"Awake?" James murmured into Q's ear as he nuzzled there.

"Halfway," Q answered, and it was mostly correct. He didn't want to leave the shield that James was surrounding him with, and if he were fully awake, James would pull it back to see how Q was doing. Q remembered what he had done the day before, or what he assumed was the day before. James could have kept him asleep for longer than a partial day and a night. Q remembered killing the Wright brothers and then for all intents and purposes hunting James because the stupid Guide had run from him. Part of Q understood why James had done it, the Sentinel side but the rational technical Quartermaster side of him baulked at James's inability to take his own damned life seriously. No one should ever run from a feral Sentinel, especially not said Sentinel's Guide.

"Part of you is more than halfway," James said, and his tone was very playful.

Q crinkled his nose in confusion because he felt warm and comfortable and his brain was very much halfway awake. James laid a hand on Q's hip to hold him in place, and James thrust his hard cock into Q's arse. James's hand skirted down his hip, and Q felt his own hard cock. Q also realised that they were both still very naked.

"Onto your stomach, Q," James said.

"James," Q said.

"Alec's up in the monitor room, and he's not turning on the cameras for an hour or letting anyone else in. We had a discussion before I slowly pulled you out of sleep."

"The pain..." Q stopped when he realised that he felt nothing that bad from his hands or his thigh.

"You are healing very fast, and later today I'm going to be pulling the stitches from your leg before we leave here. Malia said they needed the stitches, but I think it might have been fine without them. Your body having nothing else to focus on as I kept you under so it ramped up healing even higher than normal for a Sentinel."

"Ah, no," Q said as he rolled carefully onto his stomach. He stretched his legs and his arms for a few seconds before relaxing. James grabbed his upper arms and stretched his arms up against the bed. Q gripped the edge of the bed because he knew exactly what James wanted. Q had his chance to claim James as his, and now James wanted to do the same. "I've always healed very quickly, even for a Sentinel. I think that it's because of my build. My body sees itself as weak because I am slight, so it fixes me in its own way."

"I wondered how that worked. I know that with the way the world is changing that big ox are not needed to protect the tribe, but there has to be something advantageous to you besides your brain to make it so that you can succeed as a Sentinel."

James trailed his nose up and Q's spine a few times before he finally straddled Q's thighs. Q felt his arse cheeks being spread before the head of James's cock was there. Q felt the slight burn of the stretch, but it wasn't enough of a burn as he expected. James had prepped him while he had been asleep.

"Naughty Guide," Q gasped as James filled him. James laid down over Q's back and grabbed his elbows, pinning him to the bed. Q could buck James off with ease, put James on his back and either take him or hold him down and fuck himself on James's cock but he wouldn't. It wasn't the time for that, even if James did love it when Q did just that. Q had strength, and he knew how to use it.

"You've told me time and again that it's my hole, Q. If it's mine, then I can do what I want with it. Including lubing you up and playing with you while you slowly wake up."

Q buried his face into the bed as he imagined James doing it. He knew that James liked it, it was a minor kink that had shown up mainly because of how Q's mind reacted to it. While asleep, Q's mind was unabashed in its want of pleasure. James said that Q felt a lot different when he was sleeping and aroused than he did while awake and aroused. The only time that James did it though was when Q needed his help to sleep. Most Sentinels had an almost off switch, but given Q's job, there was never really an end to the threat. His mind sometimes did not do the switching off so he could sleep.

Before James Q would work until he passed out from exhaustion because it was the only time his mind would let him relax if he was under stress. Q liked James's way of handling it much better. The soothing feel of James's mind wrapping around his when he was sleeping was addictive. The feel of James's mind wrapping around his when they were having sex and Q feeling what James was feeling when they were coupling was even more addictive.

James's sure thrusts got Q right to the edge of orgasm, and James's mind held him right there. James was downright deadly to Q's libido. His orgasm was held hostage as James took what he wanted from Q. James clenched his teeth down on Q's back of his shoulder as he came. Q could feel James's satisfaction at a job well done as it were and that he was holding Q right where he wanted him. James pulled his cock from Q's hole but didn't get up off of him. One of James's hands moved to where it was holding down both of Q's hands before Q felt the other snake down his body.

Q was bloody grateful that Alec was watching the monitoring room so that no one could flip on the camera and watch them. Moneypenny and a few other women of MI6 would probably wet their knickers and possibly even record this for their own titillation. Q was jerked from his thoughts as he felt two fingers slipping inside of him. James went right for his prostate, and after a few passes of fingertips over it, he let go of Q, allowing him to come. Q screamed into the bed as his spend coated the bed under him, his hips moving back onto James's fingers inside of him as much as he could. It was heaven, and it was hell at the same time, and Q loved it. Where Q had a hold of the bed ripped some, but Q didn't care. All he cared about was the feeling of smug satisfaction coming from his Guide as said Guide reduced him to nothing.

"You made a mess of me," Q mumbled as he rolled to his side after several minutes. He forced James to move off of him and James's fingers out from inside of him.

"I do like making a mess of you, making you scream. You never notice what you scream, but it's always my name."

"It is not," Q said because he refused to believe that. Just like he did every time that James said. "You are hearing things in your advanced age."

"Cheeky snot," James said with so much affection behind it that Q had to close his eyes for fear of crying.

Perfect matches for Sentinel and Guide meant nothing really. Q had met some before that did not get along that well. They were perfect in some ways, but others were not. The Sentinel and Guide were perfect, but the human inside was not. Q had gone into the bonding between them for one reason, and that was because MI6 needed James Bond and there was a small part of Q that needed him as well. He never thought that they would be as good together as they were. It wasn't guaranteed, and it wasn't easy. As much as tearing down walls between them created dust, sometimes after that dust settled there were more walls visible. They were both cagey about everything and had learned through their service to Queen and Country that letting someone in was giving them the means to stab them in the back.

Every wall that James broke down inside of Q, there was another, but each one after was weaker and weaker. It was the same for the walls that Q found inside of James. Q though was confident that a good gust of wind could knock down what was left inside of him. James had come for him when Q had thought that he was dead. James had come, and that was all that mattered. Q wasn't ready for the four-letter word that seemed like is spanned the world, but he felt it. He felt it getting stronger every single day.

"M does want to meet and talk."

Q felt the growl start low in his chest and it rumbled out. James smoothed his fingers down Q's side that he could touch and James leaned in.

"I'm yours, Q. No one else's."

"I felt her in your mind," Q said before he could really understand what he was saying. Q grabbed James's hands and rolled them to where he was on top. "I felt him in your mind and her as well."

"And you are getting upset at nothing. Mallory is wholly in love with his wife and she with him. They feel perfectly in sync, but I needed help. I can't track you the way that they can. I can only track your mind." James was prostrate under Q, and his muscles never twitched as Q stared at him.

"She is his?" Q asked.

"Yes and I think you'll like her. She's coming to work here."

"Not if I don't want it," Q said but he knew that if James liked her that much, Q could tolerate another Sentinel inside of MI6, especially a female Sentinel because they were badass and the whole of MI6 could use a mother figure that wasn't afraid of sending them home without their dinner. Q felt James reaching out to him, and he didn't push it away. James let Q feel what Mallory's wife and Sentinel had felt while she had been around James. She felt stable and good and very very in love.

"Let's shower and then we can see about getting you out of here. If you want, if you can get it up, I'll let you fuck me and plug me so that everyone can smell you inside of me and on me before we leave the room." James gave Q a wicked look before he surged up to kiss Q.


James settled into the large chair in M's office that James had never understood why it was there. It was bigger than others and set off to the side so that when someone sat in it, M would have to turn to the side to see them. Q had prodded him into it and then walked over to get them a drink. James wasn't shocked by the fact that Q came back with a bottle of water for himself or that he brought back a tumbler of scotch that was about half full for James. M just raised an eyebrow when Q sat down in James's lap though. Q didn't do that outside of his office or their place.

It might have been lost on Mallory what Q was doing, but when his wife entered the room before M could say a single thing, James knew that it hadn't gone past her what Q was doing.

"Sentinel Q, my name is Jocelyn Mallory. I'm a psychologist with a string of degrees that I would love to talk to you about at some point. I'm sorry for the link that we formed with James while hunting you and that it upset you. I'm not used to other Sentinels being able to feel that link in their Guide's minds when a pack starts to form."

"There was no harm meant, and rational me does understand it. Before now, I'm the only person that James has ever allowed to touch his mind like that."

"The former M called his mind a steel trap, meaning that those who tried to touch it usually came back with part of them missing," M said as he leaned back in his chair. It took James a few seconds to realise the shift in the man. James looked at Q's face and then again at M before looking at his wife.

The door opened and seven other people filed in. Alec and Malia were at the front of that group with Alister and four other people that James knew from Q-Branch behind them. James sat up straight and looked at M. M was relaxing in his chair in a way that James had never seen before.

"Pack meeting now?" Q asked.

"Better than if we let the two of you escape. Obviously, there is the mandatory downtime of at least two weeks for you Q. That's the standard for a Sentinel taken captive and nearly killed. No matter what for a non-agent. You will be taking that, and if the last time that something happened was a clue, you will be going to your lovely cottage. I do ask that you take Alec and Malia with you. He's not doing well coming online, and I think two weeks with you will do wonders for him."

"My property might not survive two bored Double-Ohs for that long, but I'll take him."

"As a Sentinel, I am strong," Jocelyn said but she looked at Q and then at Alec. "You two are much stronger than me and your Guides more powerful than Gareth. I have already started the necessary paperwork needed to register this pack because I knew from the moment that Gareth brought me here that this was the start of a pack. MI6 has never had a pack, even during the damned wars. I'll have to update the paperwork as I go so I won't file anything until you get back."

"Does this mean that Q can pull rank on M?" James asked before he took a sip of his scotch. The taste was good, and there wasn't enough to get him anywhere near tipsy or feeling good even.

"No," Q and M said at the same time.

"This means that when someone in the pack is harmed outside of work, it falls to be to take care of it. I'll answer for things that the pack does inside of London which means the next time that Alec burns down a flat, I'll get reamed by the Home Office and not M. In a situation like me being taken, it would fall to Alec to control the pack and M to direct them in an orderly fashion. We still work for Her Majesty's Secret Service and still follow those rules."

Q felt smug though, and James liked it. He liked that Q was settling into his role as a Sentinel, though James would have really liked for Alec or even M's wife to be more of a powerhouse than Q. Q had enough responsibilities. James looked at Alec and saw him nod. Alec would take up the slack. While they were more inclined to missions, Alec having a Guide and something to do at home might just mean he stays home a little more. Alec had been in the game a while and was going through a burnout phase. All agents got them at some point. James had spent his on a beach in Turkey. James started to make a list in his head about the things that he wanted to talk to Alec, alone and with their bonded, while they were sequestered in the countryside.

The talk turned to other things, and James's thoughts turned to the cottage.

"Let's do that and watch him. He has a lot of political clout, but I wouldn't trust him as far as Malia can throw him."

"I don't like Denbigh running in and out of here either. If you would like, I can make it so that he can't just pop in and out without approval by you. That detain order for the system security that I put in place for 003 when she was being a loose cannon would work for him as well." Q was grinning, and to James it meant trouble.

"I have already set up the needed paperwork to make sure that we can look into him. His timing left something to be desired and while all who were in on this that we got our hands on are dead. I'm not looking past him to be one that is in on this." M sat up in his chair and looked at his wife.

"What about Denbigh?" Malia asked.

The sounds of them all talking kind of washed over James’s mind as he settled down into the chair more. He adored Q's cottage, and there was enough space on the land that a second, smaller cottage could be built. It would be nice to have a smaller place for others if they needed and leave the main house for James and Q, and if Q was agreeable Alec and Malia. Q liked Malia, and it was more than just being a co-worker and knowing she was a Guide. The four of them would be a functional lead unit of the pack, considering the pack was all secret service agents of some kind. It wouldn't be a pack that any other group of Sentinels and Guides would ever really understand but it was theirs, and it was enough.

The End