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Warnings exchanged and understood between the agents and their boss, Alec and James returned to the waiting room and watched Q and R continue to talk until Haldar stepped in.  Though they couldn’t hear the words, it was obvious she wasn’t pleased with some of the monitor readings. In fact, even before R left the room, Q appeared to dose off whilst Haldar hovered.

Alec was lying in wait to interrogate R as soon as she stepped out of the med bay.

“What did he say?  Are you sure he doesn’t remember?”

“Alec!  Back off.  Give her some space.”  James barked. He needed to calm Alec down somehow.  If he was like this when they were finally allowed to see Q, it would overwhelm him.  They couldn’t afford to make this entire fiasco worse than it already was.

“I have a branch to run,” R pushed past Alec. “If you want to follow me down there, fine.  We can chat about the Quartermaster on the way, but then find something to occupy yourselves for the next 12 hours.  Hovering and staring at him in there is just creepy.”

The two agents followed quickly along either side of the petite, blue-haired boffin, hanging on her every word as she explained everything she and Q had talked about down to the most minute detail.   She responded to their detailed questions with epic patience, but her forbearance ended when they arrived at the doors of Q-Branch.

“Go.  Away.”  R turned and looked up at the intimidating men who scared her about as much as watching Zombieland .  They could be tedious and annoying at times, like trying to find an error in code or making a sorting algorithm work, and she oft wondered how Q put up with one let alone both of them, but their deep regard and obvious care for her Quartermaster had long since earned each man a place in her heart.  So it was with that in mind -- ‘they’re spare with worry, so don’t kill them’ -- she now blocked their path.

“The fuck?!”

“Turn off the glower, 006.  It doesn’t work with me.” She crossed her arms and planted her feet on the ground so squarely it seemed they grew there.  “You’ll neither of you set foot in the Branch until I call for you. Until I have answers .  The minions and I can’t do our jobs if we’re tripping over you or taking time to answer countless questions.  I saw that eye roll, Bond. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.” R pointed further down the corridor toward the shooting range.  “Go shoot the shite out of something. Or, better still, beat each other up in the gym for an hour or two. Both! I don’t care. Just go away .  I’ll let you know when I have something.”

She activated the door and stepped backward through it.  As it slid shut again she said, “We’ll make this happen.  Find who did this. I promise you.”

It was said with such resolve that the two Double-Os almost believed her.