Quintavius Holmes, Q as he demanded to be called, sighed as he leaned back in the chair he was sitting in. He looked at the time to see that it was time to stand up for the next few hours as he had been sitting for an hour. He grabbed his mug of tea to head into the small kitchen area that he had remodelled into his office. There was no need for him to go three floors down to make himself a cuppa. There was a sink to wash things out, a rack to let them dry as well as his choice of teas and his teapot and water kettle. It was everything that he needed. The cook for the manor house made sure that he had a variety of treats for breakfast and enough to last him the day or night if he was pulling a long shift doing his work.
The job that Q did was unique and varied. He worked with companies the world over to help keep them from hackers. Though Q had done his fair share of hacking when he was younger, he had never damaged. It was all to figure out if he could get into places. His access that he had with the kind of setup that was made available at the Holmes Manor House had made it all easier on him. He had never been denied a single thing in his life, and his mother had doted on him, much to the consternation of his two older brothers. Mycroft had wanted Q to follow him into the service of Queen and Country. Q had chosen not to do that, and he had not been the nicest at telling Mycroft to fuck off. Mycroft had been livid at him, but then Sherlock had pissed him off even more, and Q was left to do what he wanted with his life.
Q had made sure that few people could ever track him back to who he really was. Q had made no less than ten names for himself to hide everything that he was from the world. There was no reason for anyone to want to come after him. There was the one that was good at hacking, then the white hat that broke into evil corporations and shared their secrets with the world, there was the one that built some of the best networks. Each one was different enough that no one looked twice at Q when he was in public in the area. He didn't tend to leave the Holmes Manor House, but when he did, they labelled him an eccentric loner who was just scary enough that some crossed the road to be away from him.
The ping of his email had Q turning back to his desk, he pulled his setup into the standing height. Only a single account pinged like that, and it was his official, this was the only way to get a hold of Quintavius Holmes that his family used to get a hold of him. Q smiled devilishly as he saw it was from Mycroft. It seemed that MI5 wanted to hire him to do some deep diving into their systems to find a leak of some kind that none of their techs or the tech at MI6 could find. Q replied that he had seven other contracts that he had signed ahead of them and it could be three weeks before he got to them.
Q went back to finish getting his next cuppa ready as well as choosing which scone he wanted. When he was halfway back to his desk, the ping sounded again. Q settled in at the desk and sipped at his cup as he opened the email up. Mycroft was pissed at him, but Q didn't care. His customers came first. They were where he made the most money. MI5 wasn't going to pay him what he would lose if he lost his other customers or for giving up the jobs. He wasn't going to be at Mycroft's beck and call.
The phone rang seconds after Q emailed back the date and time of when he could start to do what MI5 wanted him to do. On the second ring, the phone went silent, Mycroft automatically switched over to voicemail. The man would hate it, but Q didn't care. There was no phone in his office, and the office was mostly soundproof. He had made it, so the noises of the house never reached up, but if someone was moving around, there were alerts. The staff of the house, though, was mostly gone. Just the cook was coming in every morning and making enough food for the day and then going back home. One week a month, Q had the staff leave because he wanted alone time. They got paid vacation time for it, and it made them happy and productive and Q happy. The groundskeepers still came and took care of a few things as needed but were mostly invisible to Q. The only time that he went outside was his evening walk around the grounds just at sunset and when he moved to the balcony to sit for the afternoon if it wasn't raining. The groundskeepers made sure to stay away from him around those times.
Q started to hack into the company who was paying him to try and do it. It was a medical research company that wanted to make sure that what they did was protected from hacks from those who tried to destroy them. The company was not doing anything illegal, Q had made sure of that before taking the contract. He knew that there were some in the world that didn't like anything that a lot of the research companies did on the government's dime.
The proximity alert went off two hours later, and Q brought up the camera that was facing the way that the warning had gone off from. He didn't see anything and figured it was an animal of some kind. Q had no care for how animals lived on his property. He made sure they were fed, and that inured ones were taken care of but keeping them away from the grounds was stupid. The only place that was kept that way was the formal gardens. So there was a large stone three-quarters wall around the garden and a gate to keep the four-legged animals out. The birds came and went as they pleased as they did little damage. The groundskeepers kept berries and such on one side of the property so that they could eat their fill. Q closed the screen with feed for the cameras and went back to work.
Q loved hacking. He loved trying to find new ways to get into places as well as seeing exactly how long he could fuck around before being detected. He had started hacking as soon as he had the tech to do it when he was younger. His parents had never understood, but Mycroft had. He had tried to mould Q into the perfect hacker that would follow him to his position at MI5. He had not been happy when that had not been the case. When Mycroft moved out when he came of age, to move to the city, their parents had been upset. When Sherlock had run away, their parents had been devastated. Q had stayed because the Holmes Manor House was somewhere that not a lot of people ever showed up. Q had gone to college, but he was home every single weekend and during breaks. Mother doted on him, and Father was proud, and Q enjoyed the affection that they gave him. He might have played up being the youngest child, but after the hell that Sherlock had put him through with his experiments, Q felt that he was allowed to get affection.
The sound of shattering glass had Q stopping. There was a single room that the sounds of it were always piped into his office, and that was his library. There was a set up there that controlled the security system. It was a closed system, and no one could hack through unless they were tapped into the wires of the house. Q took security very seriously, and even his parents had learned to deal with his issues when it came to strange people having the run of the house at the few parties that they threw during the social seasons. He would rather piss off someone who was being nosy than to allow anyone access to areas of the house that he deemed off-limits.
Q brought up the cameras for that part of the room, but the lights were off, which generally wouldn't be an issue, but it seemed that whoever was in there was using a counter-surveillance device. Q grabbed the gun from his desk drawer that he had modified. It had been a purchase that Mycroft had allowed him, given that he was alone at the Manor House and didn't allow for a full security team. There was no reason for it, and that would just attract too many eyes to him. Q was quite happy being out alone in the area he was in.
This meant that alarm from before had not been an animal and this person was either stupid for thinking the glass would hold him up or he was trying to draw Q out to him. Q grinned as he also grabbed his taser before slipping from the room into the hidden corridor that went from where he was to the library. It was hidden well, and Q had made sure that no one else could use them but him. The doors had been replaced and made no noise at all so Q could easily slip into the room if the ambush were set up for the door that was at the front of the room. The only door that most assumed as there. Q had to open the corridor to allow the cleaning staff into the room.
Q checked the camera on the small screen that only showed the library. There was nothing still. Q didn't like it, but he wasn't going to allow whoever it was to come in and do what they wanted in his place. Opening the door, Q looked out and saw the person slumped down on the ground near where the glass was scattered around. The person had moved but not too far. Q slipped into the room and shut the door. He heard the slight catch to tell him it was locked. Only his hand on the pad was going to open it now.
The man rolled over to look at Q like he knew that he had been there the whole time. He was bloody, and his hands were cuffed together. The cuffs were very sophisticated, and Q knew that someone in the government had put those on him. There was something about the man that told Q though that he was safe with him. It was an interesting feeling as on a whole Q didn't like anyone at all much less trust anyone but his family.
"Got a cigarette?" the man asked. He pushed himself up onto his side before getting himself up a little further to where he could lean against the table leg that was close to him.
"I might," Q said. He looked at the man and tried to decide if he wanted to share his cigarettes with him or not. Q didn't indulge often, but it was a ritual of sorts. Q walked over to the small desk that was in the corner that was nothing more than a catch-all for new books or books that Q was currently reading. He opened the drawer and pulled out his case of cigarettes and his Zippo lighter. It was covered in etching that he had done himself to make it look like a circuit board. Q tossed the lighter over first with a raised eyebrow before he threw the case next.
"Should have assumed you would have poncy things." The man looked at the lighter with a quirk to his lips like it surprised him. He opened the case deftly and looked at the cigarettes like he was in heaven. He raised up the case and smelled them. He sighed before picking up one and placing it between his lips. There were no filters on the cigarettes, and Q liked them that way. "Where did you get these?'
"I bought the rights to them, and Moreland and Company approved a single place to make them for me. Like them, do you?" Q knew that it was insane that he had bought the rights to the mix that had been sold by Moreland and Company before they closed. Smoking was his one vice, and he had tried a lot of other brands and blends from other companies, and none of them held up to this one. "The other mixes went to different places, and there have been a few looks into trying and finding out who purchased the rights to these, but I've kept my name out of it."
"Reclusive eccentric?" the man asked.
"Something like that."
The man flicked the lighter open before he lit it. He held it up to the cigarette and inhaled as the internal bits caught fire. The man looked like he was having an orgasm as the taste wafted over his tongue. Q was intrigued by him, to see what kind of man he really was. None of his injuries looked like they were going to kill him, but he was very much worse for the wear. Q wondered what he had done and how he had escaped the coppers. Q knew that you could not judge a person by what they looked like, so he wasn't going to do the same to this man.
Q let the man have half of his cigarette in peace before he held out his hand. The man tossed first the cigarette case and then the lighter at Q. He drew out his own cigarette and lit it. Q watched the man through the first puff of smoke that he let out. He was handsome, under the blood that was streaking his face. He was someone that Q would probably take to bed. The dangerous part of him didn't make Q want him any less. In fact, he was pretty sure that Q wanted him more because of the danger that he put off.
"So who is after you?" Q asked.
The man stood up and moved around to sit down in the chair that was beside the table he had been leaning against. Q was given a look at where it seemed he had been stabbed in the side. It wasn't bleeding enough that the shirt looked soaked, but there was too much for it not have been him that had been stabbed. The suit the man was wearing was charming, a perfect tailoring job that spoke to a lot of money. Plenty to burn on suits that were going to get destroyed. Q knew from the way the man was that he didn't care about his suit, which meant that it was damaged more than it wasn't in his line of work. That left a few things for the man to be doing. While one or two were legal, the rest were not. Q cared little about that shit though. He hacked places he wasn't supposed to be doing, and he didn't care. What did he care as long as this person hadn't harmed anyone on British soil?
"Bad people," the man answered finally.
"Bad people? Well that's a little broad, isn't it? I mean they could be bad just to you. Or they could be bad for everyone. Point of view is everything."
"I'm glad we agree on that."
"So, who are you?"
"Richard Sterling. I work at Universal Exports."
"And where is Universal Exports located?" Q knew that Universal Exports was a cover for something he had just never delved into the system to find out what the cover was for. It was an intelligence agency of some kind, but whether domestic or foreign like Interpol or CIA had had no clue. It seemed though that he was going to find out as soon as he had Sterling on lockdown.
"We have offices around the world, but my home office is at Unit 12 Lock 71 Longstream Road. London obviously."
"Clearly, you are British. Or at least want me to think that. So how did you come to be in the hands of bad people?" Q took a drag on his cigarette as Sterling, which Q was pretty sure was not his name, took the final on his. The man looked at the case that was sitting out beside Q with a look of such longing, but Q ignored that.
"I didn't do what they wanted me to do," Sterling answered.
Q believed the man's words about that one. He was pretty damned sure that few people could get the man to do what he didn't want to do. Q could understand it too. Few people could get him to do a damned thing that he didn't want to do. Hence the whole Mycroft calling him and demanding that he do anything.
The beep of the alarm on the computer system had Q walking across the room toward where it was set up. He typed in the code that was needed to unlock the computer. It was more than just the code itself but how long specific keys were pressed that opened it. Q took no chances. Q saw a car driving up the road to the central part of the house. Behind it was an SUV and Q could just see the armed guards that would be in that. He turned to look at Sterling as his fingers turned on the security that would activate for humans. He had the life signs of the animals on his property.
"So give me one good reason why I shouldn't turn you over to these men?" Q asked as he waved at the screen.
Sterling walked over, his limp pronounced. The injury to his side was worse than Q thought it was. Sterling's eyes widened in shock, and he looked at Q.
"If you hand me over to them, they are going to kill me."
"And I should care why?"
"I won't harm you, and I'll leave when it's safe. Just don't turn me over to them." The words sounded like they were sticking in the man's throat.
That told Q that the man was used to people doing what he wanted through fear but with his body the way it was now, he wouldn't be able to back that up, so he was going for lesser-used pleading.
"Here." Q walked over to where he had slipped into the room from. He opened the door and waved him in. "This is coated in a special layer of some stuff I made in the basement. It will block all heat signatures from devices that would use that to try and track someone. I used it to hide from my brother the last time he was here. Don't make a sound and you'll be hidden from them."
"Why should I trust you?" Sterling asked.
"Why should I trust you?" Q asked back.
Sterling gave him a smirk but walked into the area. Q checked the gun he had and the taser before he slipped the taser into his pocket and moved the gun to his locked desk drawer that he used Morse code to open, pressing the button long and short to get what he wanted. He made sure that whatever device Sterling had on him was off and it was. That meant that if they wanted to look at his security, Q would have to make sure that nothing was amiss. He messed with the room cameras to make sure that the breaking of the glass happened and when Sterling fell though was erased by just keeping the footage and looping it until two minutes from then. He would have enough time to leave the room, so he didn't just randomly appear somewhere else.
Q sedately walked back to the door that he had ushered Sterling through and let himself in. He found that Sterling was in the middle of the walkway, where the only light was. It was enough to have that area bright, and the rest of the near tunnel was just light enough to see.
"Yes?" Sterling asked.
"My camera doesn't show me leaving my office. I have to go back the way I came."
"Of course." Sterling gave Q a little bow that looked like it hurt him and waved him through.
"As soon as they are gone I'll show you to my infirmary."
"My middle brother had a bit of a medical fascination. I also was a very clumsy child, and the staff was the ones to care for most of my wounds as we had a trained medic on staff back then as household security. An army doctor who wanted a peaceful life after the war. He passed a few years ago."
Sterling said nothing as Q passed him by before he opened the door. Q turned as he shut it to see that Sterling was interested in the room. Q made sure that the doors would not open from either side unless he were the one. No use in letting the man wander around the Manor unattended.
Q worked for another ten minutes before the people at the doors finally decided to knock. The light flashed at the top of Q's monitor to tell him that someone was at the door. There was a pressure pad that felt like wood covering the door for just this reason. Q grabbed his cup of tea and started down. He was halfway down the stairs when he thought that it might be another reason that Mycroft was calling. Q made a note to actually call him back for once when this was over.
"Mister Hol-ah," the man who was standing at the door said as Q opened it. He looked a lot startled to see Q there, so Q was not who he was expecting.
"Can I help you?"
"Who are you?" the man demanded.
"I do not see why I need to tell you my name when you have come calling on me, Sir. I asked you who you are and I expect you to answer me." Q raised an eyebrow at him. There was a woman and a man behind him, the woman covered her mouth to laugh while the man only let his lips twitch just a little. It took Q a few seconds to place the man. Gareth Mallory, newest head of MI6. The woman was unknown, but her face was stunning so Q figured that he would be able to figure out who she was in little time. The man in front was wholly unknown to him.
"I am the Director-General of the Joint Security Service, Max Denbigh."
"Ah. The merger. I see. If the old head of MI6 was M, then I should call you C?" Q asked.
That did make Mallory laugh a little, but it was silent. The woman's face didn't change with that one.
"No, no. Denbigh is fine, Mister?"
"Holmes. Quintavius Holmes. I am Mycroft Holmes's youngest brother."
"I wasn't aware that he had a third brother."
"I don't like them talking about me, and so they don't. It's what family does who love each other. Besides, Sherlock gets into enough trouble that I don't think the papers need more gossip about the family. What can I do for you, C?"
Denbigh frowned at Q calling him C. Q was quite happy about that.
"We are on a hunt for a man who escaped the hands of Security Council guards. He wrecked the transport he was being taken in and ran. We would like permission to search the grounds."
"Well, considering that you pulled up some while ago and now you are asking permission, you've found my security measures are active. No one has entered the grounds unless I have allowed it, so there is no reason to search for anything. You can walk the edge, there is a stone fence that runs the property that you can walk around to see if he's knocked out somewhere."
"We need to check the house."
"What part of what I just said did you not understand?" Q asked.
There was a few seconds of silence, and then the sound of a siren as one of the guards got too close to the window to look in. A dart shot out of a camera mounted on the side of the manor and stuck into the man's neck. He had enough time to pull it out, and then he was dropping.
"He will live, but you will have to carry him as he will be out for an hour. Now, please leave my property."
"I have a signed paper here that says that I am allowed to search this property that I obtained from Mycroft." Denbigh reminded him of a spoiled child and Q did so adore breaking their toys.
"Let me see it," Q said, and he held out his hand. Denbigh handed it over. Q looked at the spot that should have held Mycroft's signature, but instead, he found that Mycroft had signed Denbigh's a Dick instead. Q could not keep in his laughter at that. Q knew that the joining of MI5 and 6 has pissed of Mycroft and that the head of pissed him off as well. Q figured that this was the man's way of getting back at him. "I'm sorry, C but you did not, in fact, obtain my brother's signature."
Denbigh grabbed the paper from Q and nearly ripped it in his haste. He looked down at it, and his face started to redden in anger. Mallory caught the paper from the air when Denbigh crumpled it into a ball and tossed it. Mallory snorted in near aborted laughter when he read it.
"One thing you need to remember, C. When it comes to the Holmes, any of us, it's best to make sure that we do what you say. Especially if you use force. My system doesn't allow anyone in that is not approved by me and it's on its own power grid, and nothing short of an EMP will drop it. Use an EMP here, and I'll make a ruckus that is so great that your eighth generation after you if someone is willing to let you fuck them that is, won't be able to get a government job because of your cock-up. Now have a good day." Q slammed the door shut to hear C scream in rage. Q would make sure to email a copy of that to Mycroft and to Mallory. Q liked the man even though he had never met him before right then. He was sure that he would be able to get hold of a way to email Mallory a copy. Even if it was just cc'ing it on the same email to Mycroft.
The footage would be lovely to review later that evening when he had a glass of wine in his hand, and the fruit and cheese spread that the chef had left for him. He would enjoy watching it over and over again.
Q rushed to where he could access his cameras on the outside to watch as C paced back and forth in front of the SUVs. His hands were gesticulating wildly, and it was putting on quite a show. Mallory was watching the whole thing while it seemed that Moneypenny was recording it all. Q made a note on the pad beside the computer of who he wanted to send this all to. He might even send it to a few news agencies. It was recorded on his personal property, so it was his to do with what he would. Mycroft wasn't going to tell him no and wasn't going to allow him to get into trouble.
It took nearly ten minutes, and at one point, Q was pretty damned sure that C was going to rip out all of his hair in his anger, but finally, the SUVs were loaded up again, the unconscious guard dropped into the back like luggage before they pulled out. Q slumped back, and when the SUVs were through the gate, Q had them closed and security up around them. Breaking through with a car was going to destroy the car's electrical system and touching it would probably kill a human with the charge strength. Q had signs up though that warned about it.
Q stood up and walked over to the doorway where he had stashed Sterling. He looked at the man with a smile on his face. "Let's get you cleaned up and looking better before we delve into why the new head of the Joint Security Council wants to look for you with armed guards.
"I'd rather just not."
"Too bad, or I will withhold the good drugs."
Sterling gave a slight grin at Q's words. Getting the man into the bathroom to get him clean was easy, getting the man to stay still long enough to actually clean up his wounds was another thing. He had been shot and stabbed. The bullet had gone through, and the stab seemed to have missed any vital organs.
"You can do stitches?" Sterling asked as Q brought out the medical needle and the medical-grade thread that would dissolve as the wound healed.
"I can, but they are not going to be pretty, but given the state of the ones that you already have, I don't think that is going to be an issue at all. You look like you've done your own stitches. These will be better, but I've only done stitches on my middle brother and myself."
"Still better than nothing." Sterling watched Q with a steady eye as he worked the stitches. There hadn't been enough time for the painkillers he had given Sterling to kick in, but the man had been adamant on getting it done as soon as possible. Q had seen a lot of men like him over the years. He had been a bright-eyed child that had adored the parties that had been put on for the upper crust of London high society. Where men like Sterling fit in but were actually there for the security of the event. Q had made friends with one of the men like that once, and his father and mother had been distraught.
Q had a love for dangerous things, and it showed in what he did for a job. He had never been caught in places that he shouldn't be, but it had come close a few times. He was good, and it was the only reason that he hadn't been caught.
"This is a nice house. Sorry about the glass roof."
"Don't try and con me," Q said.
Sterling laughed and then groaned in pain. Q pushed his head up so that it would stop blocking the light on his last few stitches. There were a few other pills he was going to give the man. Antibiotics that he had ordered in using false information. He didn't need narcotics and things like that just the pills he wanted that he didn't want to go to the doctor for antibiotics and his medicines for hay fever when it hit. He wasn't a bad person, just someone who detested crowds and doctor's offices freaked him out.
"Or seduce me. I know your tactics, Sterling. I won't fall into bed with you and give you pillow talk. Just remember this when you go wandering around my house, my countermeasures start at limb removal and escalate from there in the places you aren't allowed."
"Now, I have cold Thai in the fridge that I will gladly share with you. I have a standing order for it three days a week, and it's get dropped off from London."
"Long hike," Sterling said.
"I don't eat it hot, and I tip rather well. You are not getting my fruit and cheese, but I might allow you a glass of wine. There is little stronger stuff unless you want to drink the cooking sherry. The rest I have locked in my private room."
"So stern for such a young man."
"I can be much meaner if I want to be. So don't think about pressing it. I have full body restraints from when Sherlock used to piss me off, and I'd drug him and tie him to the bed. I am not above doing it to you and calling my brother to come and get you."
"Sherlock?" Sterling asked.
"Holmes?" Sterling actually looked a bit scared at that one. He visibly swallowed when Q nodded his head at the last name.
The more that Q talked to this man he was pretty sure that man's name was not Sterling and that he was mostly legit. Mycroft had griped about the program that Denbigh had pushed into the workings of British Intelligence, though Q thought that intelligence was a strong word given how the man had been able to do something like getting his program added to how their government operated.
Alarms started to ring, and Q frowned. "Follow me is you must and put a shirt on. I don't need nipple porn while I am working."
Sterling laughed, and he did grab his bloody shirt to put back on.
"No, no. There are clothes in the closet in the third bedroom down. We have enough random guests after-parties that an arrangement of clothes is best to make sure that no one leaves naked. They might be a little dusty but should be fine enough to wear for you until I can some new ones ordered in." Q rushed away to deal with the hack that was attempting to be done on his work computer. It wasn't urgent yet, but he needed to get a move on to make sure that it wasn't escalated too high before he got there.
"Ordering in is not a good idea." Sterling was on Q's heels, not stopping to get a shirt.
"Sherlock has a group of homeless people that do favours for him. One of them will get gussied up with enough money and buy them with cash and then hop in a taxi to bring them here. My last boyfriend was about your size, so getting more clothes in that size mixed in with things like mine will not be looked at if the purchase is traced back. Though if I buy clothes that fit Sherlock as well, I can pass it off that I want clothes on hand for when he and John visit. You and John are about the same size. That will work." Q trailed off as he entered his office. He sat down to see that it was probably one of Denbigh's lackeys that were trying to hack him. He frowned and started to disrupt it. They hadn't even got through the weak outer layer of protections that he had put into the system. Those were meant to trap hackers and allow Q to mine their computer for what he wanted before booting them. He had found some interesting things that way.
Sterling stayed at the back of the room, enough of a presence for Q to know that he was there but not enough that it distracted Q all that much. It was ten minutes, and Q finally made a crack that allowed the hacker into the wed that he had created. It was interesting to know that the idiot couldn't get past that. Q mirrored the idiot's computer on his own, just a different screen and watched everything that the person did and realised that it was meant to be a bumbling attack. They had not realised though that Q had helped them. Q watched the bar as it downloaded the hard drive of the computer hacking into his and waited. When it hit one hundred, Q cut the connection the person had to his computer. He would be able to get into the other one though when he wanted as when the computer had connected to his, a virus had been installed.
The phone rang, and Q actually reached out for it.
"Yes, Brother, dear?" Q turned to look at the man in front of him. Sterling was standing far enough back that he had eyes on the whole room. Looking for a threat.
"Do you have 007 there with you?"
"Bond? You're Bond?" Q asked, looking at Sterling.
"Then yes Mycroft I have 007 here with me. He actually got through my security on the outside of the house and broke my new skylight. Though he has been stabbed and shot. I'll message the groundskeepers and make sure they clean up all traces of him in the morning. If you or Sherlock come out, carry the fobs with you. Otherwise, you are going to get knocked out. I have my security on high alert."
"Did you get the footage of C when he read what I had actually signed on the paper?"
"Yes. It was rather great. I'll send it to you. And the Mallory man as well. He was quite entertained by the hissy fit that was thrown here by C. How did he get to the top of the food chain with a temperament like that?"
"Friends in high places and a suave way of speaking. The death of all things good with politics. Keep him there. I don't care what you have to do to keep him there. Chain him to the bed and have your way with him."
"He might like that too much and want to keep me." Q looked at Bond. James Bond as it seemed. Mycroft loved to gripe about him and the issues he had caused, especially recently with the whole debacle in Mexico and something else more recent that Mycroft had been too pissed about to even talk about normally. Mycroft had just been spitting mad. Q liked Bond already.
"He'll keep you over my dead body. Keep me informed and send me that video. We will discuss you dodging my calls later."
"No, we won't." Q hung up on him and stared at Bond.
"I'm not shocked; you knew who I was from what I assumed was my call number."
"Yes. It was your number. He has bitched about you enough. I've looked at MI6 files, usually just lists of names and nothing more detailed, that's why I didn't recognise you on sight. It's interesting to see what each of you look like. I rather enjoy watching the female Double-Oh's work sometimes at the gala events that I deign to go to when Mycroft threatens to kidnap me to get me to go. I don't think you have every been security on one. Though I could have missed you as I tend to find a dark corner and work on my phone."
"I think we have not crossed paths before at all. I would have remembered you."
Bond just gave him a look. He looked Q up and down, and despite what seemed to be a lot of pain still for him, there was a look of appreciation.
"Really?" Q asked.
"I like intelligence. I like your brand of verbal evisceration. I do also adore my partners to be slightly smaller than me, but not that small. You fit most of my wants perfectly."
"Now wonder Mycroft told me to chain you to my bed and have my way with you, just to keep you here."
"You are right; I might want to keep you. Depending on what kind of freak you are in bed." Bond was grinning at Q with a lot of lust in his eyes.
"You are not getting your prick near me without clothing on it until I think you are healed enough. Go stalk around the inside of the house. The windows, as I am sure you have noticed don't allow who is inside to be seen from the outside, but we can see out of them. I designed the filament that covers all of them."
"Why are you sitting here in the dank place?"
"I like it here. There are fewer people like C who think they know what's best without any real-world understanding. I don't have as much as you do, but I understand that giving up a little liberty is not the price of freedom. I understand that humans need someone who is going to read their body language correctly before killing them, not you know just ignoring it and going after a person just because it's suspect that they might be involved in something."
"Wish there were more like you."
"This world is not less in the shadows like the lackey's like C want people to think. It's more in the shadows, and people are varied. Someone would be acting guilty because they think that they caused something to happen and not because they were the actual ones to do it. It's horrible that it's the world we live in."
"So where is this cold Thai?"
Q waved his hand toward the door before he snagged his work laptop and made sure the door was locked before he left the room. Bond was waiting at the end of the hall, and he acted like he wasn't watching Q as he was moving around. Q shook his head as he passed the man before flouncing down the stairs. He hoped that James liked what he saw. Q knew that it wasn't smart to get in anything with the agent, but Q had been unattached for a while, and anything would be better than his right hand.
A ping from his mobile had Q looking at it. Mycroft thought that Bond would be with him for a while while the idiocy with the Nine Eyes Program was figured out. Q wondered what kind of information he could find on the information he had stolen from the other hacker. He had a lot of work ahead of him. He could push through and do his contracted work first thing in the morning. He played more than he worked, so if he worked, he would have a lot of time for play. Q looked for the tablet in the kitchen when he got into there and looked at his food order that was going to be placed that next morning. He frowned and added more of his favourite wines as well as more breakfast meats and eggs.
"What do you like to eat?"
"I have a chef that cooks a few meals a week, prepares them for the fridge and I reheat them later. This is what I am ordering. She then picks it all up after it's paid for and comes back to prep a few days worth of stuff." Q turned the tablet around to show it to Bond. The man spent a few minutes typing out a few things and then handed it back. Q looked it over to see a few different types of meat were added for the sandwiches that Q ate for dinner at least one night a week as well as some different veg and a few other things. He frowned a little as it was things he did not have and required cooking to put together.
"We will need something of a cover to make sure that no one questions why I am here," Bond said as he settled down at the end of the counter. He looked around the room with a close eye. It was the kitchen of someone who loved to cook, and while Q liked to do breakfast things, the rest of the food for the house and the staff were not things that he cared to do.
"I just wasn't going to tell them anything. They don't gossip."
"It's best to no announce that you have someone like me here at the moment."
"Because C is going to want to find me, so my picture will be everywhere."
"And my staff won't care. I employ former military in most forms. The cook's husband was an army doctor." Q gave Bond a devilish smile. "Every single person that works here has since I was a child in one way, shape, or form. They are not going to say a damned thing to anyone without clearing it with me and C would find himself shot if he tried to take any of them. Mycroft is playing the long game at the moment, but these people are family, and he would destroy the world to save them."
"Loyalty to the help, that's strange for someone like Mycroft Holmes."
"Not really. While we were raised well by our parents, we also grew up with the staff as sort of aunts and uncles." Q looked up from where he was working on the shopping list, adding in a few things so that a cake could be made. Q knew that what he wanted would be known by what had been added. She would probably have them picked up and be working for several hours before Q woke up. It would be interesting to see what she thought of the things that were very much, not his. Q could figure out the food that Bond wanted from the list, but the amounts were for a meal shared not a meal eaten alone. There was also cooking involved. That meant Bond thought he would be cooking.
"Yes." Q looked up, but Bond wasn't in sight. Before Q could find him, arms were dropping down on either side of where Q had settled on what was called his stool in the kitchen. He felt hot breath on his neck. Then there were lips at his ear.
"I still can't trust that, Q," Bond said. He lifted one of his arms and wrapped it around Q's stomach just as Peter entered the kitchen from the back door. He was one of the groundskeepers who lived not too far from the Manor House. His family had been given access to a small tract of land that they had their house on. Peter was close to Q's age and had grown up as an orphan taken in by another staff member who was an uncle to Peter when he had been three. He had been a good friend for Q when they had been younger. Peter's uncle had passed just a year before he was seventeen, so Mycroft had taken custody and had a house built to the way that Peter wanted, and he had been married only a few years later. Peter had three kids.
Peter waved the key fob at Q.
"Well, that's good. How does it look?" Q asked.
"It looks good. So this is 007?"
"Dammit," Bond said, and he stepped back to put distance between him and Q, the ploy not needed anymore it seemed.
"Mycroft called and told me that Bond would probably want to do something stupid. It might fool the others, but you know it would not fool me. I cleaned up all of the blood. That tracer machine of yours does well at that. You said you had done limited human trials."
"Well, it's to find injured animals, and while close, their blood is different than ours. Peter Avignon, James Bond. Bond, Peter." Q processed the order after adding more tea. He was going to need it, probably several more pots of it. He set the tablet down and focused on getting his laptop set up. He heard Peter moving around him but didn't pay too much attention. He frowned as he found that the information that he had taken was encrypted, but it wasn't anything he couldn't break, just would be time-consuming. He slipped that aside for the time being.
"I'm going to head back home, but I wanted to let you know that at the back service road there is a car sitting. Its lights are off, but I saw a reflection off of the metal. Probably watching to make sure no one tries to leave except for the front. I didn't have a reason to go to the front gates, but I figure that someone is there as well. When I leave, I can look, but it would be obvious."
"If they are there they are staying out of camera range. It's fine. I know they are going to be watching the area. C isn't going let this go quickly. He wants to find Bond and kill him. Though I have not figured out why yet."
"I'll keep the groundskeepers working out away from the hose except for the ones I trust totally. I know you trust all of them, but you don't work with them like I do."
"Of course, your people are yours to manage. I'll be keeping the area secure so make sure that all staff have their fobs on them at all times. I will not relax that."
"You got it. Have a good night, Q." Peter looked at Bond for a few seconds. "He ends up hurt, we will kill you." Peter didn't give Q or Bond a chance to respond, he just spun on his heel and left.
"Well, I see that your staff do love you. Or at least a few of them. Is that what I am to expect from all of them?" Bond asked.
"Probably. The food is in the fridge. Do be a dear and hand me out my fruit and cheese." Q didn't look up from his tablet, he just worked more on a few things. The platter was set in front of him, and a while later he smelled his tea. Bond had gone up and fetched it. Q knew that he had left that room unlocked as it held books. Bond would never be able to get on to his laptop, so that was secure. "Ta."
Bond said nothing but he had devoured the Thai food in the one container with gusto it seemed as it was gone.
"May I?" Bond asked a while later.
Q looked up at him and frowned until he saw that he had stopped eating on the fruit and the cheese as fast as he had been. It was easy to just grab things as he was working. Much easier than soup and stuff like that. "Yes, help yourself. I'm nearly full."
"Of tea. You have drunk three cups already."
"Three?" Q looked over to see that the teapot was indeed on the table. Bond had been filling his cup as he drained it. Q narrowed his eyes at him. "Seduction of a different order?"
"More like appeasing a God that you know would smite you." Bond was giving Q a devilish grin as he said the words. He was a Lothario all right. One of the more dangerous of the agents employed by Her Majesty's Secret Service. Q wasn't all that sure that he wasn't going to end up in bed with him before the week was over. Q liked dangerous things. The shed at the edge of the property with scorch marks proved that.
Bond slept for two days. He woke up when Q woke him up to take pills and eat a little bit of food, drink some water, or tea but then he passed out again. It was strange to have someone in the house full time. Marianne was happy to have someone to make some quick meals for and came every morning to make sure that Bond was taken care of. She was making sure that Q was kept up in food as well and Q only had to fend for himself at night.
Q hacked through Universal Exports and then sent an email to Mycroft that listed all of the ways that the site was lacking as a cover for Agents to be able to get in contact with MI6 when on missions and routine check-ins were not going to work. Mycroft had been pissed at him for doing it but had passed along the message, using an average staff member of his office to cover for the fact that it was indeed someone not employed by the British Government.
The encryption on the data he had stolen from the computer that had tried to hack him was taking time for his viruses to get into. It wasn't sophisticated at all, but it was wrapped in a lot of layers. It was meant to make someone who was hacking it pissed off to make them stop. Q wasn't going to be deterred, and it showed that the person who set it up did not understand hackers. The harder the challenge, even if that challenge was time, made it all the more determined to be hacked. Q settled in with his newest cup of tea and watched as the last part of a layer was dismantled. The program stopped hacking to make sure that Q was there. He took over the hack for the next part at least until Q knew that it was still just the standard layers. He found that it was not.
"Really?" Q asked as he leaned forward and set his mug down on the pad for it. It had been made for him by Marianne. She had knitted it and then made a backing for it that would keep it from bunching up but was also very, very absorbent. It had saved his work a few times when he reached for the cup, and the handle was turned weird, and he ended up knocking it over.
The information that Q had got into was the whole web that was Nine Eyes. He had no clue why it was on the computer that had been hacking him, but it was stupid as hell. Unless the Nine Eyes was the whole reason why someone could even hack him. If Nine Eyes was a bunch of brute force viruses that worked in tandem, anyone could be sitting at a computer with low-level hacking skills and get into anything.
More data packets were hidden within the files that Q had, some of those needed finesse to hack so that the information wasn't destroyed. Q was enjoying that. He found that it was a bunch of illegal things from the around the world, stockpiles of vaccines and medicines for things that if that virus were to hit somewhere, the person would make a lot of money. Q made copies of those things and started to funnel them to Mycroft.
"Hello," Q said a minute and a half later when his phone rang.
"Where did you find this?" Mycroft demanded.
"Well, see I found it on the computer that tried to hack me the night that Bond started to stay. Someone is being very naughty, and I don't like it when warfare becomes this."
"Give me what you have on things like this, and I'll forward it onto Interpol. They can deal with the fallout of this and raiding those places. Do you have a name?"
"I have a document that I find intriguing." Q double-clicked the file that was on the computer. "Ernst Stavro Blofeld. It would say they are going to kill the man, but I think it's different than that. This is too detailed. There is way too much information on the man on this. It's like someone was building it instead of compiling it."
"Franz Oberhauser," Bond said from behind Q.
"What?" Mycroft asked. He shouldn't have been able to hear all of what Bond said.
Q put the phone on speaker and looked at Bond as he set the phone in the cradle. "Can you repeat that?"
"Franz Oberhauser. He was the son of the man who took me in after my parents died. He and his father died in a skiing accident."
Q turned back to his computer and found Hannes and Franz Oberhauser. There was not a lot, but everything there said that the name was dead. Except for one little fact.
"Blofeld is the maiden name of the woman that Hannes married, Franz's mother."
"Connect me," Mycroft said, and then the phone was just dial tone.
"Hold on, Bond."
Q opened up the secure video chat that he had for the family. Sherlock liked to use it sometimes to get Q's help on computer things that he could not do or things that he had deleted from his brain. Mycroft's face was there seconds later, filling up a quarter of the screen.
"What do you remember of this young man, Bond?" Mycroft asked.
"He resented me for his father taking me in. I would not be shocked if he had killed his mother for taking his father's attention. He was off back then and years of working this job tells me that he's psychopathic and has no empathy for anything that isn't his own damned self."
"He was a child. All children, especially teenagers, represent that way," Q said.
"He delighted in the fact that I was an orphan. I've seen a movie with a kid like him...I can't remember what it was called. Had that guy who played the Hobbit who lost a finger in it as a child." Bond stepped up behind Q to where he could see the screen better. "That is very much him. Older but still, him."
"Well then, this has changed things greatly. Why would this Blofeld man want to hack your computer, Q?"
"I don't know, but the thing is that it's not all that is there. There was the terrorist things I went you but also...Nine Eyes."
"What?" Mycroft shot forward. He nearly rolled his chair out from under him. "Why would Nine Eyes be on the computer with this stuff?"
"You know the likely reasons as well as I do. One, they have already hacked it and are using it against those who are taking part or two, he's the reason behind it. Behind C."
"C does like to pontificate about his wealthy benefactors. I need to talk to Mallory."
"Keep it on the down-low and do not bring me into this. I don't trust most of those in MI6 as you well know and I would rather stay out of the way of their whole shit show."
"Shit show?" Bond asked. He sounded a little hurt.
"No your division as much as the Quartermaster Division. They would not know anything about keeping Nine Eyes out, and I am sure that they don't. They are a sieve inside of the government that I detest."
"Sounds like you might be the best person to run it."
"No, thank you. To be in control of idiots and those who think they know better and don't? I'd rather not have anything to do with them. I'm fine where I am."
"You will work for me in this, Quintavius," Mycroft said. His eyebrow was raised, and that meant that Mycroft was serious about it all.
"For my standard fee." Q looked at Bond. "Maybe a little less if Bond's ability to entertain me holds. More if he becomes a thorn in my side."
"I'll make sure you are well compensated for the work that you do. This is not enough for me to get Nine Eyes shut down on our end. While the other eight countries might back out with that knowledge, we would not. You know how pompous everyone is. They have been convinced this is what is needed to save England from the beasts at the borders and they are going to hold to that until London is falling."
"Well, given what I see here, London will fall." Q stopped speaking as he looked at the scroll of his information that he was unpacking byte by byte. "You might want to step up security at the old MI6 building that is set for demolition. I think that it's been rigged to explode."
"What?" Mycroft reached over to pick up his phone. He hung p the call to Q just after picking up the phone."
"Rather excitable, isn't he?" Bond asked.
"I know how to push his buttons. You need to go away and stop distracting me. I'll come and get you when I am done reading everything that I find on this data I stole."
"How am I distracting?" Bond asked. He leaned down to where his lips were at Q's ear. "Wouldn't you rather be sated instead of hungry?"
"I have a snack, thank you."
Bond laughed and stepped back.
"What do you have for entertainment around here?"
"That you would find entertaining? Nothing. I do have a gym in the basement, though. Every kind of entertainment to watch while working out as well. One of the walls is a huge screen for watching. The sound won't carry outside of the room. Go and entertain yourself there, but if you rip those stitches, you are replacing them yourself. There are clothes that should fit you inside of a cabinet in the showers for you to wear while you are working out. The clothes I ordered should be here later today." Q looked at the time. "In about two hours. Go get sweaty and wear yourself out. Marianne will have lunch ready at about the same time."
"As you wish, Q," Bond said. There was a smirk to his face, Q saw on the camera. The flirting was sweet, but he wasn't sure that it wasn't just because Bond was bored. Or Bond thought that sex was needed to 'pay' Q back for helping him.
There was so much information to go through that Q ignored the buzzer about lunch three times. He kept on pushing it out of his head and focusing on his task at hand. He was lost in thought when his chair was jerked back away from his desk, and then before he could figure out what was going on, he was bodily lifted up and thrown over a shoulder. If it weren't for the fact that he recognised the brand of slippers that John preferred, Q would have started to beat on the back of the person who was carrying him. It had to be Bond because there was no one else that would wear those slippers except for John. They were in the room that John and Sherlock used when they were around and staying the night. Bond must have been looking around and sticking his nose into things. Q hadn't tracked him at all after he had watched Bond go into the gym in the basement.
The gym had one piece of nearly every kind of fitness machine that had come out as a fad or something like that s well as the standard treadmill, that wasn't so standard in what did. He liked to keep fit, he did sit down a lot of the day, so working out, even just running on the treadmill kept him from being overweight. Marianne kept him in good form by not making too bad of choices in the food that she made as well. She fed more than just him, and so she kept things varied but not unhealthy. Meals were provided for all staff for breakfast and lunch.
"Put me down, Bond."
"I know where my bread is buttered, and Marianne scares me more than you do."
Q huffed. If Bond wasn't sent to grab him than another staff would but usually they must made nuisances of themselves, not lifted him and carried him like a sack of potatoes.
The laughter when Bond and Q entered the kitchen was enough that Q was actually blushing. He knew that none of them actually meant harm by it and it was just the grounds staff. Q was settled down on his feet and turned around to look at Marianne.
"I don't care what you get up to, young man. I refuse to have you go without at least a proper lunch!"
"Yes, Ma'am." Q probably looked like a schoolboy, but he didn't care too much.
"Go get in line."
Q recoiled a little at that. Line? Why was there a line for lunch? Q looked over at where the line was and saw that it was tacos. That was why there was a line. The meat, it looked like shredded chicken was first and then all of the toppings. Q's stomach growled. Bond laughed behind him and laid a hand on his shoulder in a show of helping him get over to where the food was. Q never went first, he always went last, so the staff were all trained to never try and get him to go ahead of them. Q liked going last because he was very particular about things on his food. Especially when it came to tacos. He didn't throw them together like a lot of people did. It was a mix of soft and hard shells, so Q grabbed two of each and then smiled when the guacamole was passed down the line to him. Q smeared it on the two soft shells before carefully drooping down some and spreading it on the bottom of the hard shells.
Bond's eyes were on him, Q could feel the man's gaze. When Q was done, he passed it back up for the heathens who put it on last. Tacos were usually a thing that Q didn't come down for at the right time. He was often up too late or slept into where he ate breakfast late. Marianne forgave that and allowed him to come down later, it was all timing. She was there before he woke up, so she was always there when he stumbled down for something for his belly and some tea. Then it was intervals for him before she left. Still, he came down enough that they all knew that he wanted his guacamole on before his chicken.
Q pushed the thoughts of Bond out of his head as he worked on getting his food right. The man never made a single sound as he followed behind Q. Even though it was chilly outside for the time of year, the grounds staff went out to eat, there was a patio that Q had made for them that had heaters that wouldn't catch anything fire. They would use those to warm up when it was frigid outside. Whoever arrived first turned them on and then from there it was a beautiful place for them to catch a few minutes here and there. Marianne kept tea ad coffee out there in pots that stayed warm.
There was a small nook that Q usually ate his meals at, with a tablet in front of him but this time there was a place for Bond to eat with him so Q didn't figure he would get time to actually look at his tablet. The work that would get him money was done for the next few weeks. He had spent the first day of Bond being asleep clearing all of that off of his to-do list so that he could focus on the mystery that Bond had dropped into his lap. If it weren't for the fact that Mycroft would hate for Q to actually get attached to anything as dangerous as Bond, he would have thought it was an elaborate trap to get Q to work on it all.
"So why do they eat outside?"
"Why do they want to work outside like they do? I have no clue," Q said as Bond sat down across from him. In one hand was a plate with his six tacos on it and in the other was a plate with a bowl of cheese sauce in the middle and chips in a ring around that. It seemed Marianne was going all out since they had a guest. Marianne understood that he was a paramour of Q's that had been mugged and was sleeping it off at Q's house.
Not a single thing was said on the age difference, of which Q was more than happy about. Q knew that he was near the mandatory retirement form field duty age for Double-Ohs, but he was still fit enough to give most a run for their money.
"How are you feeling?" Q asked.
"I'm good. My side started to ache, so I finished off just running on the treadmill. No stitches were ripped, so things are fine there." Bond picked up a taco that was a little more put together than most that Q saw people make and took a bite. "Can I hire her?"
"No!" Q near yelled.
Bond laughed a little and smiled before taking another bite. Q knew exactly how good her food was. There was a reason he would go as far as ruining whoever tried to poach her from him.
"Why did you sleep for so long?"
"I haven't slept enough in near a week. I was on the run and then got home to find that I wasn't welcome there either. Mallory covered as much as he could." Bond looked around, but there was no one in the room with them. Marianne tended to eat in the formal dining room at a table.
"No one listens in. Mycroft calls at odd hours, and Sherlock has turned a few of their stomachs. They tend to run when I eat. No one wants to get caught in either of those conversations."
"I can just see that. I did a little searching for Sherlock Holmes. A lot of drama there and I can see why he would make some a little upset. So tell me more about you."
"I like tea, cats, tacos, and computers."
"Well, you have three of the four today."
"Four of four, thank you. Ozma and Mombi are locked in my bedroom for a few days. The carpets were clean before my staff went home and the smell makes Ozma sick, so I leave them in my bedroom area for the week while the carpets air out and such. They will have the run of the house so I would thank you not to step on them."
"The run of the house and they are fine being trapped in your rooms?"
"That's where they mostly stay anyway. They don't like people unless those people are me. So it's not that much of a change. Marianne gives them treats made for them all the time they just get a little extra while trapped up there."
"I guess I have not found your room yet."
"And why would you need to?" Q asked.
The look that Bond gave him was pure sex.
"You like people who are mean to you?" Q asked.
"No, I like people with fire and enough brains that their mouths don't get them killed. It's a win-win. Besides I've found the footage of you snogging that man outside of the gay bar in Chelsea. It popped up when I was searching for Sherlock. One would think that you wouldn't be that popular with the news."
"Someone thought that Mycroft would disown me or something. It did nothing in the end but make the man who outed me like that looked like a homophobe when he let it be known that he was the one who had done it. He had been disgraced and lost his position. Mycroft made sure that everyone knew that he had known about me since I four. Mother tells it that I told her that I hated Cherish the girl who was brought over to play with me and that I liked her brother Adam better."
"And did Adam return those feelings?"
"He was my first kiss, and then later he was the first male that I took to bed. He's in the service now and sends me pictures on occasion to my phone. He's found a wonderful man and fell in love with him on his last tour of duty he went on. I'm invited to be his best man, but I turned that down. Too much work talking to people. I'll go to his wedding and stand as a groomsman. I'll make a horrible speech that will make him blush. His fiance is a good egg. The man can suck cock like a hoover. Probably even get a leg over on both at the tag party."
"You've had sex with both of them?" Bond asked.
"At the same time. Their last stay at home they stayed here while finding a place to move in together to have a home here." It was like talking about it reminded Q that he had not had sex with anything but his left or right hand in a long time. It made his body ache for it. For a cock pounding into him. HE glared at Bond even though he knew that he was the one that brought up the sex part. Bond had asked an innocent question. Though by the look on Bond's face, he was anything but innocent.
Q knew the length that agents went to get whatever job they had been assigned to do done. He knew the methods and the seductions. He had studied it all over the years, getting into the training manuals and then telling Mycroft what idiocy there was in them when it came to technology. Q still hadn't looked up much on Bond himself. He liked the fun of it. Figuring the man out all on his own.
"When we are done eating I'll clean and redress your other wounds. I figure that another night with plasters on them, and then it will be time to let them heal in the air." Q picked up his second taco. He was hungrier than usual, so he snagged a chip and dunked it into the cheese sauce. It was on the spicy side, which Q liked.
"That would be lovely." Bond kept the conversation away from things that exploded in one way or another.
Q went back up for two more tacos, and between the two of them, they ate all the chips and dip on the table. There were churros for dessert, but Q would wait to eat them until later. He was stuffed. Bond had kept him talking, and he hadn't realised that he was eating as much as he was until he felt like he ate way too much.
There were more supplies for Bond's wounds as Q had ordered them from the local chemist for Marianne to pick up on her way into work that morning. Q grabbed them before they made their up to the room that Bond had claimed as his own that first night. It was the room that was closest to Q's bedroom, which wasn't as close to his office or library as some of the other guest rooms. Q did wonder if James had figured out that the locked room wasn't some server farm or the like and was his bedroom or not.
The guest room that Bond had picked had the largest bathroom, though, and that was probably one of the deciding factors. Bond seemed to like opulence, and the Holmes Manor had that in spades.
"So what do you do for fun out here? Besides read and do illegal and legal Internet things?" Bond asked as he settled on the cleared counter space that would allow Q the best angle to get at his wounds.
"I don't do much except for that."
Bond made a dismissive noise and let the conversation fall away until Q was done.
"My hands are shaky," Bond said when Q finished washing his hands after throwing away the gauze and other materials he used that he didn't need.
"And?" Q looked at him out of the corner of his eye.
"Well, I need a shave. This is itchy." Bond brushed his fingers at the growth on his chin.
"See I took care of that as soon as laser hair removal became a thing. I hated even a half days of growth on my face. All we have in the house is Mycroft's straight razor kit."
"That happens to be my preferred way of shaving."
"I'm not shocked. Stay here." Q would have to fetch it from Mycroft's room on the floor above. He had learned how to shave using one of them as their father held that real men shaved like that and all of his sons, no matter what their sexual inclination was would not be a real man. Sherlock had long assumed to be asexual and not wanting of any romantic attachments until John Watson had entered his life. Watching Sherlock pine after the man had been horrible.
It took only minutes for Q to get the kit and Mycroft's preferred cream mixed up in the cup before he went down to the second floor. Bond was indeed in the same exact spot. His hands were too shaky, probably from the pain killers that Q had him on. The man had built up a tolerance to a lot of them, so Q had to go for the strongest that he had, which were enough to knock him out for two days with one pill.
Bond was pliant as Q turned his face here and there was lathering up his chin, cheeks, and throat. Then still as a windless day as he started to shave him. Q wiped the blade on the towel that Bond had over his shoulder and frowned when he saw that Bond's cock was hard. It was hard to miss the tent to the loose trousers that he was wearing. Q did not think that shaving someone was worth getting aroused over, but it probably had more to do with the whole knife to the throat and Q's steady hands. It was up Bond's alley for the issues he was bound to have from working for MI6 as a Double-Oh. There could be textbooks about the problems that all agents developed, no matter how strong their constitution. Mycroft had made sure that Q understood that with his history of liking dangerous things and the slight crush he had on one that had been security for Mycroft at one point.
"And would you like help with that as well?" Q asked. He didn't move other than to scrape the blade over Bond's Adam's apple. His eyes didn't move away from what the blade was doing.
"No comment that I'm not healed enough?" Bond asked when the blade was lifted off of his skin.
"You're aroused so that part is fine. If you injure yourself, then I'll just have to take matters into my own hands."
"I like to ride just as much as I love a good pounding. You on your back wouldn't hurt yourself that much."
"Who says that I even like that position?" Bond asked.
"I don't care two figs if you like that position. If you make yourself bleed by pulling on the stitches while fucking my arse, I will put you on your back and ride you." Q dug a knuckle into the soft part of Bond's chin and forced his eyes into his. "Do you understand me, 007?"
Bond moved, one hand grabbing Q's wrist and the other tossing the towel off of his shoulder. There was little that Q could do as he was disarmed of the blade and then pushed into the wall behind him. One of Bond's hands settled into Q's neck to keep his head tilted up so that James could kiss him long and deep. The man wasn't even attempting to take it slow. His tongue was there at the seam of Q's lips, and Q willingly parted them.
"Do you have lube and condoms?" Bond asked.
"I grabbed them when I grabbed the kit. I laid them on the dresser just outside the door."
"You are my favourite Boffin."
"I hope that for now, I am your only one."
"There is one that will always be closer to my heart. She gives me toys that explode and guns that I use to kill people without them killing me so until you do that, then you'll have to come second."
"Sex doesn't rate above gun?" Q asked.
"No, sorry it doesn't."
"Aren't you just a ball of fun then. I'll have to see if I can change your mind." Q reached up and pulled Bond's lips back to his own and tried his hardest to suck his tonsils from the back of his throat. Bond manhandled him away from the wall. Q was pretty sure that Bond could hurt him with the slightest wrong move, but he knew that Bond wouldn't do that. The men who MI6 employed as their Double-Ohs might be unhinged, none of the last long if they were that type of unhinged. Q had heard from Mycroft when MI5 had to handle one of them snapping and nearly killing his wife. Protocols and new evaluations were put into place.
Q was dropped onto the bed and Bond started to strip himself of clothes. Q tried to help by stripping himself, but every single time that he tried to sit up and get his clothes off, Bond pushed him back down. So Q just laid there on the bed and watched Bond strip. The man was very fit, which wasn't a shock considering what he did for a living. The clothes that he wore, the suits, covered up the muscles in ways that regular clothes didn't, but even now he was pure power, the stitches on his body didn't detract from that.
"Now, strip," Bond said.
Q swallowed and started to work his trousers down off of his body. He got them down to his knees and then pressed them down and slid up and out of them before he leaned up and took his shirt off. The only thing left on him was his trousers and socks. Bond reached down and plucked his socks off of his feet before he crawled up Q's body. He pressed a kiss here and there on legs before bypassing Q's covered cock. He pressed more up Q's stomach as he went before kissing Q like there was no tomorrow. Bond settled between Q's legs, forcing him to spread them apart.
"Makes it hard to get my pants off, you know." Q pushed his shoulders into the bed to try and scoot up more to get them off, but Bond was there holding him down. Q glared at Bond before Bond pushed up to where he was on his knees. He dropped his hands down to Q's pants and grabbed to rip them open. "That should not be as hot as it is, you brute."
Bond laughed before reaching over for the lube and the condom. He looked at Q before he spoke. "So how do you feel about stretching?"
"I like foreplay, but I don't want a lot. It's been a long time since I've been fucked and my cock would rather have someone else's hands on it. Lube me up and fuck me."
"Pushy thing aren't you?"
"Is there any part of our interactions over the last while that has made you think anything else would be something that I do?"
"I like you pushy." Bond smeared lube over several fingers before he used his other hand and his teeth to rip open the package. He rolled the condom down his cock with one hand before smearing that lube on his fingers all over it. "Hold yourself open for me."
"Yes, sir." Q grabbed his knees and tucked them up to his body and showed himself off to Bond. He felt blunt fingers over his hole and shuddered when they pressed into him. The burn of the stretch of his muscles was just exactly what he needed. He needed it very much, and he couldn't keep his eyes open. They shuttered closed. Bond's fingers were pulled from him, and he felt the fat head of his cock pressing there just a second later. Bond pushed a little bit in, the head and then just a bit of his cock before he reached up and grabbed Q just below his knees and helped to hold him.
"You might want to grab something else," Bond cautioned.
Q braced himself with one hand against the headboard. Bond's hands moved Q's legs to where they were wrapped around his waist, and then he pushed all the rest of the way inside of Q with a quick thrust. The feel of being filled so had Q moaning at the even bigger burn, but it was nowhere near enough for it to be painful.
"You were made to be fucked, weren't you?" Bond asked.
"I do love it. Had a lover who said that he had never known anyone who liked to be fucked as much as I did. I indulged him because he had a big cock. Not nearly as long nor as thick as you but fuck he could use his cock to get me off."
"I should be jealous of the lovers you've had over the years, but I didn't know you at all." Bond leaned forward, bracing a hand on the headboard just above where Q's were, and he started to get a good rhythm on thrusting in and out. "So not as big as me."
"Have you ever had a cock as big as me?"
"Need your ego stroked do you?" Q asked as he forced his eyes open. Bond was staring down at him. When Q locked his eyes with Bond, the man started to lean down, shifting his weight from the arm on the headboard to the arm that was on the bed. He kissed Q as he set up a good rhythm.
Bond stopped kissing him many minutes later and pressed a few kisses across his cheek until he was there at Q's ear. "I don't need my ego stroked, but it's always nice to know that the size of my cock is appreciated. Can you come just from this?"
"Yes," Q gasped as Bond changed the slight angle of his hips and every single thrust rubbed over Q's prostate.
"Good." Bond sounded pleased.
They didn't kiss again as Bond stayed right like he was, pressing Q down into the bed and their cheeks pressed together. It was heaven, and it was hell at the same time for Q. He wanted that mouth on him again, the taste of Bond was intoxicating but listening to the grunts and pleasure sounds that were coming from Bond's mouth as he fucked Q was too good to pass up. Q made sure that he made just as many back, not wanting to be left in the dust.
Q came between one breath and the one that just couldn't leave him. It caught in his chest, not even making it to his throat. He grabbed at Bond trying to find a good purchase, but his hands were slick and Bond's skin even slicker. He shuddered through and tried to keep breathing, but it just wouldn't come. Bond fucked him through his orgasm, and when Q was limp on the bed, his hands down beside him where they fell from slick skin, Bond finally came himself.
There was nothing to be done for Q who was not able to move.
"You look fucked out," Bond said as he finally pulled back to where he could get his cock free from Q's body.
"I feel it," Q said. He watched as Bond disposed of the condom and then walked to the bathroom to clean up a little. He came back and tossed a washcloth at Q so that he could do the same. It wasn't but the work of a minute. Q started to look around for his trousers so that he could at least do a walk of shame back to his room, but Bond was there to take the cloth. He tossed it back to the bathroom area, and it landed with a splat on the ground. Then Bond was crawling into the bed, poking at Q until he turned on his side. Q frowned but did as Bond wanted. Q felt Bond's body press into his, and they were both still a little slick, so it felt weird.
"Settle," Bond said, and Q huffed and did as the man asked.
Q wasn't used to sleeping in the same bed as someone. He usually went back to his own bed.
"Do you not sleep with your lovers?"
"No. I fuck them, or they fuck me, and then I go to bed or usually to work on my work some more."
Bond hummed into Q's ear before wrapping himself fully around Q. It answered the question of if Bond was going to let him. After a moment, a blanket was pulled over top of them.
"I might let you go after I have you again. I want you on your hands and knees and to watch my cock fill your hole."
Q felt his cock twitch at that, and he reached around slap Bond. His hand was caught and tucked up to his chest.
"Be good, or you won't get my cock."
"Like you aren't going to find every reason to fuck me." Q yawned. He should get up and go to work, but a nap did sound good. He could easily do his work in the evening or late at night and then take a long nap before getting up when he wanted. He was all done with all of the work that he had scheduled for actual payments over the next few weeks and just needed to get a good latch on whatever issues were happening with the secret service in Her Majesty's employ.
"Shit, shit, shit! SHIT!" Q scrambled for the phone on his desk. He grabbed at it, but instead of catching it, the phone, and its whole base fell off of the desk.
"Q?" Bond asked. The agent was settled on the couch in the corner of the room that didn't have a direct line of sight from the door into the room, but Bond could see the whole room. The couch had not been in there before three days ago, two days after Q had fallen into bed with Bond. Bond used the gym in the basement twice a day for his exercise. He was much less keyed up than Q thought he would be given that he was trapped inside of the house. His wounds were healing okay, and he was showing no signs of complications from them.
"I need my phone."
Bond came over and picked it up, checking the cords were all plugged in, and then he handed the phone over. Q connected to a different line that was not traceable at all and would only connect with Mycroft's very secure work phone.
"Q?" Mycroft's voice was worried as Q never called him over that line.
"I will email you everything that you need to make sure that Denbigh doesn't escape this and in twenty seconds the end of London where he has his glass tower is going to go out. I've already planted a virus in their backup generator. Cell service is going to go down as well."
"Planned ahead did we?"
"As if I would do anything else. I am a Holmes. Their security is stupid, and they hold that they are the smartest, and that's why they shouldn't make sure that no one can get into them."
"What is this evidence?"
"Two years ago, a twelve-year-old girl was kidnapped from her home in France. She's the niece of one of the ambassadors. I have the paperwork here that shows her registered as the ward of Max Denbigh."
Q looked at the phone in shock before he hit send on the email. "I set the satellites to record footage from his house. I just reviewed it. I have seen her leave his house three different days and come back with shopping. One of those days, she was walking strangely. She left his house with a black eye twenty minutes ago."
"I'll get someone there now to collect her. Get me that footage. I'll get him into custody and wait for your mark to descend on his work."
"The signal is the same as always," Q said, and he pressed the button to hang up.
"Denbigh is part of a trafficking ring."
"And you didn't find this before that because?"
"The way they shipped them around it seems that they are put down as couches or things like that. What they are in is a coffin that has a few air holes, so the fabric doesn't get sweaty during transit. I found no indication that they weren't shipping those around until I started to dig deeper when I found the Ambassador's daughter at Denbigh's residence. They are using Nine Eyes to know what is going on and to plant false trails. This organisation that Oberhauser is running is literally to make everyone feel safe while they use it all to keep their own terrorist leanings hidden and under the radar."
"That's genius but something close to what Mallory and I thought was going on with Nine Eyes."
"Mallory's reports say that you were working against his orders."
"The man is a skilled politician. There is one member of those above him who knows everything that has gone on and what I have done. I was intercepted before I could make it to Mister White, and by the time that I got to him, he was dead from a poison that someone had planted on him. I thought it might have Sciarra and it could have been and I killed him before he could tell his bosses he had done it. I've seen that kind of stuff happen before, we've had Double-Ohs tasked with that kind of mission that did not get to report in before they are killed, so another is sent to find the job done."
"How did you come to be ambushed on home soil?"
"Unsure but I assume that we have a leak somewhere in the small group that was running me. Mallory will find out as it was only a few who knew what I was doing. We went old school with it all so for someone to know, that means that Denbigh's reach is longer." Bond pushed himself away from the desk and started to pace around.
"You don't like not being there, don't you?"
"Yes. It was my mission, and I hate not seeing them done, but I understand why I'm here. I've learned the limit of what I can do while injured when I was shot off of a bridge."
"Oh, that was that lovely Moneypenny woman wasn't it?" Q grinned as Bond turned around to look at him. "What? She liked what I verbally did to Denbigh when he came here and demanded that I let him look around. She's a darling."
"Of course the two of you would get along." Bond stepped up to a window and looked out it. He frowned for a second before stepping away from the window. "Bring up that system that tracks people on the land."
"Sure. No one is getting on as they don't have fobs."
"Just-" Bond walked closer. "Do it."
"Sure." Q brought up the system. He looked at the time, and the date as the crew moved around in a set rotation on what they did each week baring emergency things that popped up. He knew exactly where they should be, and none of them was there. In fact, they were all at the front gates and in a formation that spoke of an incursion. "Well that's a very low tech solution, and I feel stupid as hell."
"What?" Bond asked.
"I assume that one of them kidnapped someone who they lured off the trail and then it was just going in and tasering someone and pulling their body away to get their fob. There are only six groundskeepers working today. I'll put out the internal call for everyone inside of the house to go down to the basement into the safe room that's hidden behind the showers in the gym. The call is silent, and no one will freak out. We train for this. I would be someone that could be used against Mycroft, and they all know it."
"I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but your family is scary. No one should ever live like this unless they have chosen the life."
"Holmes don't get to choose. We serve. While Mycroft would love to get me to serve more than I do, he knows that the random tips about things that he gets in his inbox from places that can't be traced are from me. I never let a threat that I find against England and her people stand." Q looked at Bond and frowned. "How did you come to be all the way out here?"
"I was in a car that I set on fire to destroy everything inside of it. It had a location of a safe house on the GPS that did not update except for when it was at home in Q-Branch. I memorised how to get there, and I nearly made it. I think it's the closest house on your other side. No less than a mile but I got turned around."
"007, where did the car come from?"
"No, it couldn't have. It might have seemed like it, but there is no way. There is no other house in that direction. My land goes back a very, very long way. I protect the area close to the house, but the rest is all woods. You were sent here. My stupid brother dragged me into this because I can't not help when a situation arises."
"So it was MI5?'
"The car might have been MI6, but I bet that the GPS was Mycroft. He's a bastard who knows I can't turn down a pretty face that is dangerous. The fact that he knows my kinks so well should scare me, but it doesn't."
"I think it scares me that he knew I would be willing as well."
"I'm sure that you don't take a shit when you are on home soil without him knowing about it. You are one of the more dangerous Double-Ohs, but Mycroft likes you as much as he bitches about you. You think for yourself, and you don't allow your [people who have no feelings for what you are doing telling you to go left when your gut tells you to go right."
"Be careful, or you'll make my head swell."
"Which head?" Q snarked back at Bond, making the agent smile at him.
"I need weapons."
"Well then, come on Bond. You'll get to see my bedroom."
Bond followed behind like a loyal dog, but he was anything but. He was an attack dog with a short leash that he snapped when he wanted. Q liked it, but he knew that it gave those who were supposed to control him fits. Q had seen the fallout of the mission where he killed a man on protected soil.
"Welcome to my lair." Q walked through the sitting room of his and into the actual bedroom. There was a large walk-in closet, but unless one's eye was perfect, most didn't realise that the far end of it was shorter than it should be given the size of the bathroom. Bond walked over to the bathroom and looked around before checking the walk-in closet as well.
"So which room has access?"
"Both. There is a small towel closet that has a false door. It's harder to get into, but the walk-in closet is a lot easier. Come on." Q walked past Bond and pressed his hand to a spot before a panel slide back and then to the side to show a room where a computer was as well as a small set of arms. Bond touched a good deal of them, but his eye was drawn to the tray that had a Walther PPK Short on it. Q had finished making it not too long before. The parts had been dropped of days before, but he hadn't got a lot of time to work on it.
"What do you prefer?" Bond asked.
"Either a Winchester Rifle, of which I have ready for my use or any handgun. I learned them all when I was a child. Father had a nice collection and would force all of us to go on the hunts with him. They were status symbols, so we were expected to do our best. I got good at it. Mother started to worry that I was developing a taste for killing and stopped me from going the last few years before they moved to the city."
"I see." Bond started to take apart the Walther to check it over before he assembled it again. He had to have seen the tech that was added, but he said nothing. He sighted it and frowned when the dots on the top of the grip turned from red to green. "Palmprint?"
"Yes, taken while you slept. All of my guns in this room have it. Including the shotgun." Q picked up his shotgun and checked it before leaving it open on the desk. Next was his handgun that he did prefer and it was slipped into a holster and then the holster attached to Q's belt.
"It's not an exploding pen, but it will do."
"You and your obsessions with things that go boom. Bah." Q was smiling as he said it. He picked up the shotgun and draped it over his arm like a proper gentleman carried it. He grabbed a sack that held plenty of shells and hung that over his shoulder. He slipped in three rounds of ammo for his gun and five for Bond's. "Let's live through this and then you might get one for a present."
"They will cut the power first."
"I would love to see that."
"And maybe tap into security to get eyes on us before that."
"That will happen over my dead body."
"Do you always have to have a quip about everything that I say?"
"Yes, it's my default mode."
"And if I asked you to stay back and to allow me to handle everything?" Bond asked.
"I would tie you up in a corner and leave you with no weapons. This is my house and if they breach it. I'm going to make sure that they never try again. I'll make it apart of their DNA that they will fear all Holmes."
Q waited to see Bond's nod before he stalked out of the room. There was the sound of the power being shut down, and it only lasted for two seconds before Q's backup generator started. It did not run all of the house, but it ran enough. Q smirked before walking out of the room. He made sure it was sealed up tight when Bond was out of it.
"Stay behind me."
"I will," Q said. He followed behind Bond as Bond led them to Q's security room. Q checked on things and set the computer into high protection mode. No one was getting into it without Q's blood, eye scan, saliva, and a code but put into the machine in a particular order and the blood and saliva were collected from two different places. Q was paranoid, and he knew it. There was no way not to be with Mycroft the way that he was. In this case, though it seemed to be a good thing.
"Will you stay here?"
"No. I'll go and make sure that no one gets downstairs to the panic room. If they try and get in here, it will blow up on them after they screw up the first time. I have everything backed up. No one will get the information."
"So they caught your download?"
"I wasn't that perfect about it, so I am not shocked. I wanted to lead them here. I can control here, Mycroft can control here. Less civilian casualties."
"I think that I need to hang with you more."
"Please God, no." Q was smiling as he said it.
The house was silent as a lot of the things that made noise was not running. Q heard the breach of his front door. He was thrilled that they were up a level.
"I'll take the servant stairs at the back." Q dug out the extra ammo from his bag and handed them to Bond. Bond squirrelled them into every single pocket that he could. Q turned to leave, but a hand on his shoulder turned him back around and pressed him into a wall. Bond kissed the living daylights out of him. Q gave back as good as he got and really hoped it wasn't the last time. He was looking forward to the good and hard fucking that Bond gave him after this was done.
The servant area of the Manor House was silent and dark. Q didn't want the lights inside the staircases drawing attention if he shut down the lights in the house. So far, it was best to leave them on. The people who had breached the house were wearing goggles that could become night vision ones it seemed. Q had plans to cut the lights let their eyes get used to the dark and then turns the lights on again full blast if needed but he wanted it to be a last resort. Q's phone had some control of the systems of the house but not as much as Q would like but enough that the people who were invading wouldn't be able to actually do anything against them if they got a hold of the phone. At least until it fired itself on them.
"Just give us the agent, Mister Holmes, and we will gladly leave you alone. We won't even charge you with anything," a voice called out from the other entrance to the stairs that Q was taking. He made his way down them to find that the door was shut. The man was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Q waited for him to pass before he made it to the next area that he wanted. He made sure all the doors shut without making a noise, and the staff kept them clean and oiled.
The basement was dark, and that was the way that Q wanted it. He saw that people were down there according to his cameras that did track everyone inside, but they were not close to him. He made sure to make no more noise before he set himself up in the hole where he would be able to make sure that no one could get to the staff. Q would protect them with his life if he had to. He could do it. They had not chosen this, but they had stayed, even after realising that Bond was not Q's lover prior to him arriving there.
"A lost little bird," a voice said, and then there was a man there in front of him, Q could just make out a faded movement of shadow in the room. Q glanced at the screen of his phone to see that the man was not giving off a heat signature. "I tried tracking you before this, but it was hard. So I went to ground. I had hoped I'd be able to sneak up on you, but you have put yourself into the perfect position."
Q snapped his shotgun together and fired off a round at the man in front of him. There was a grunt of pain, but Q fired that the man had not been taken entirely out of the equation. Q heard the muffle of a silenced shot and then the pain was ripping through his shoulder. Q dropped the shotgun and drew his other gun. The room was still pitch black, and Q was not sure that the man wasn't wearing night-vision goggles, but Q raised up the gun and waited for the man to speak.
"So the little thing has a bite. Too bad you won't have to worry about that for much longer." Q recognised the voice as one of the other Double-Ohs. He wasn't sure which one, but that helped Q know who the person who was feeding into to Denbigh was. It was a fucking Double-Oh.
Q zeroed in on where the voice was coming from and fired. He heard the crack of glass from something and then the thud of a body hitting the floor. Q grabbed for where he had set his phone and dialled the number of the phone that he had given Bond days before.
"Q?" Bond asked, his voice very low on the other end of the phone.
"No, no. Not 007. Double-Oh. Dead at my feet. I've been-" Q cut off as the pain swelled in him.
Now that the danger was over, his body was reacting. He was going into shock, maybe even more than that. He wasn't entirely sure.
"I've been shot. Kill them."
"Yes, Q." Bond hung up, but Q wasn't worried. Even as his vision started to grey out after some time, he didn't worry.
Waking up sucked, Q thought as the pain started to slip into his half-awake state. He was glad that he was waking up, even if the pain sucked. Q tried to move as it wasn't safe where he was, but he found that he was on something soft. Like a bed. That was strange, so Q tried to force his eyes open. He was successful after a while, how long he didn't know. His heart was beating, but Q was finding it hard to count the beats of his heart to know how much time was passing. One hand was numb, Q lifted it up and found it was attached to something. He frowned for a second before his eyes finally opened and he saw that it was an IV sticking out of the back of his hand. It was on the same side that he had been shot, so it explained why it wasn't in his elbow. Q tried to move his other, but it was stuck fast. He forced his head to turn. He felt like he was underwater.
Q knew that he had been given the good drugs, which meant he was not in the hands of anyone who wanted to hurt him. There was a man at the side of his bed, it was no Mycroft, John, or Sherlock. One hand was tucked into Q's holding it fast while the other had a gun in it. The firearm that Q had made for Bond. So it was Bond who was there watching over him and holding his hand. Q wasn't sure how he felt about that. Q shook his hand and tried to get Bond awake.
The doors to the room opened up, and Bond was up and alert in seconds. His eyes darted to where a lady in a white doctor lab coat came in before his hand twitched.
"Good morning, 007," the woman said. Her eyes darted over Bond's body before looking at Q. "And good morning, Mister Holmes."
"Q," Q croaked.
"Q," the lady said as she nodded her head a little. "I'll have to check you out, but you came through surgery just fine. It was nothing big at all, but one of your muscles didn't get nicked, so we wanted to make sure it was repaired. I see you've moved your arm, but I want to see you do it for me."
Q focused on his arm and moved it slightly. He raised it up and then lowered it before raising it up and then laying his forearm over his stomach.
"Great. I'll have one of the physical therapists in to see you about what you need to do, and then you can be released to go home."
"007 has assured me that he'll make sure you are not doing anything stupid and M has already told me that you need to be shipped home as soon as possible. There is a huge tussle about things that had happened, and it would be better for you if you were somewhere that politicians can't get to you. Your house will work well. Your brother has already set up to have an in-home nurse come and take care of your bandages and other such things. As much as Bond hates to be trapped her, he does at least do what is needed to make sure that he is back in fighting form as quick as possible. He's learned where others haven't that we do know what we are talking about. I'll let you two talk."
"What happened?" Q asked. His mouth felt dry, and he wasn't sure if he was going to be able to keep on talking without something to drink.
Bond was there with a spoonful of ice chips that he carefully slipped between Q's lips.
"Denbigh was taken in his office by joint agents from MI5 and MI6. As soon as he was taken, his secretary it seems gave up that a squad had been sent to your place. Backup arrived by helicopter and landed just far enough away that they didn't get killed. Mycroft was with them and used the pad at the edge of the place to turn it all off. I wasn't aware that it could be done."
"Mycroft and Sherlock are the only ones that can. Mother and father can't."
"I see. Well by the time that they got in to help, I had already subdued all of the invaders into your house. Most were dead, but I left a few alive. They are turning on Denbigh like crazy. Oberhauser has been taken into custody. Mycroft finished the hack, and the trace and Interpol agents took possession of him. He's going to be tried for terrorism in every single country that he hurt to get his Nine Eyes up."
"I'm shocked you aren't pissed that you didn't get to take him in."
"I probably would have killed him. I was where I needed to be."
Q yawned, and while he had just woke up, he was still tired.
"Sleep, Q. I'll be right here."
Q dosed on and off all day long before he was released to go home in the early evening. Bond drove the SUV that was on loan from MI6 to take him home. The drive out was tiring to Q, and all he did was sit in the passenger seat. Bond drove carefully, unlike the way that he drove on missions.
Since it was Q's arm that was injured and not his legs, he was allowed to stay in his bedroom, which he was glad of. The house was spotless, and it didn't look like it had been stormed by agents who were set on killing him. The staff was going to get a huge bonus and Q was going to make sure that Mycroft paid for it, not him.
"How do you feel?" Bond asked after he settled a pile of blankets so that Q could keep his arm raised up to help with blood flow.
"Tired. I shouldn't. I've done nothing but sleep."
"You still have the meds from the surgery in you. Sleep is what you need."
"You are going to be leaving, though."
"Not really. I have been ordered by Mycroft and by M to make sure that you are safe until all of this group is arrested."
"They have you playing bodyguard, and you aren't chomping at the bit to get away?" Q asked.
"No. I'm quite happy where I am right now." Bond's fingers brushed at the fringe of Q's hair. He gave Q a soft smile. "You stuck your neck out for me, protected me when it could have been just as easy to hand me over."
"I hate assholes winning. Wake me when food gets here. I'm hungry." Q yawned, and he wasn't even done with it when he felt sleep pull him under again.
Six Months Later
Q heard the sound of the lock on his office door being picked. He sighed but let a smile wash over his face. The last he had checked on the MI6 system, James wasn't due home for four days given how the mission had been going. He was the only one, though, that was allowed to pick the lock on Q's office door. Q pulled himself out of the hack on the NHS to see how the system was after a major security overhaul. Mycroft had asked him to do it before sending a contract that had made Q's eyes go up. It was worth it if anything to secure the NHS just to secure it.
The phone on the desk rang, and Q reached out to grab it. It was Mycroft's office.
"Do you have him?"
"Yes." Q pressed the speakerphone button and then laid the phone in its cradle so that he could use both hands before he tapped into his system to see when James's fob had tracked on the land. "He entered my property ten minutes ago. Given how long it has taken him to reach my office, he stopped somewhere else."
Q traced where Bond's signature had been and found that it had stopped in the kitchen and then the bathroom on the ground floor that was now stocked as a medical room for James.
"Ah, he was hungry and injured."
"Q-Branch lost track of him seventeen hours ago. It was pinged that he might have crossed the border into London a little while ago. R stated that she could not reach you."
The door behind Q was finally opened so Q knew he would have to upgrade the lock on the door since James finally had been able to get through it. Q resisted the urge to look back at James. Q
"No, I've blocked their numbers from being able to reach me. After that ponce called two days ago to use me as fucking tech support because he didn't want to wait for tech support to get to him, I made sure no one but M could reach me." Q arched up into the hands that settled on his shoulders, working free the knots in the muscles there from being hunched over his computer all day. He bit his lip to stop the moan from escaping. Gentle fingers released him and one of James's hands wrapped around Q to lay over the scar on his shoulder from the gunshot he had taken.
"I'll let Mallory know. Do give us a heads up when he decides to wander away from your bed."
"I will. Goodbye." Q reached out and stabbed the button to hang up the phone. He turned his head to press a kiss to James's skin. "Need any help with whatever wounds you have?"
"No. I actually have few. A few scrapes on my knuckles from fisticuffs and a bruise on my thigh from getting kicked there. I already applied that balm to my thigh, and my knuckles have been cleaned, ointment applied, and bandages. Are you done with work for the day?"
"I am. I need to scrounge something to eat though. I woke up late after someone tried to hack my system in the prison where Denbigh and Oberhauser are awaiting the death sentence. I'm only a half an hour past my time where I should have eaten dinner."
"I picked up Thai and wine."
"Going to get me drunk and have your way with me?" Q asked. He allowed James to pull him up and out of the chair. He wasn't tired even though he should be. He felt good. His shoulder had finally got to where he could do his regular work, and it not bother him. He had learned how to do a lot of things one-handed because there was a certain point where his arm was too tired anymore.
"I don't have to get you drunk to have my way with you, but I thought that we should celebrate."
"Celebrate?" Q looked at James. He tried to figure out what they would have to celebrate. It had been six months since they had sex the first time but not six months since James had made his way back to Q's Manor House after a mission and snuck in, nearly dying in the process. Q knew that James wasn't the type to think that a hook up when they had both been trapped in a house was actually that much of a start of the relationship. Q marked their relationship starting when James had come back to him, but they had never discussed that they were in a relationship. James spent a great deal of his time between missions with Q, but Q knew from his file that he didn't do relationships. They never ended well for him. There was also the surveillance that Denbigh had on James going back years where he slept with married women almost exclusively. Q knew who he had got into a sexual relationship with. He wasn't really made for a long term relationship, and Q had never been in one, so he had no clue what he was missing, and he didn't really care to.
"I've officially retired from the field. It's a young man's game, and my body can't take it. I thought that at one point in my life that going out while on a mission was the best that I could hope for but not now. I have someone to come home to, someone to come home for. So I retired before the mandatory that I would have in just over a year. I've been slotted into Q-Branch as a mission runner and information handler. Meaning that I get to whip that area into shape to make sure that something like Oberhauser and Denbigh doesn't happen and to make sure that the Double-Ohs have the best intel."
"And MI6 knows this?" Q wondered how he had missed it. Everything that changed when it came to James was set to alert him. He frowned.
"Yes, M has already done the paperwork, but it's all on paper. Not electronic files. I wanted to make sure you didn't find out until I could tell you. I talked to Mallory about ti weeks ago, and he got the approval before I went on this mission. So I made plans while I was gone."
"Yet, you haven't told them where you are. You've not told me anything at all about this. It's..." Q stopped himself from uttering words to drive James away. The Holmes’ were built to be different, Mycroft had said. Sherlock was the first to settle down with anyone and well...it was nothing like a normal relationship at all.
"No. I know that you don't care for grand gestures. You don't even care for small ones. You couldn't care less if I didn't stop, but I care for me. You've got enough things going on here that I won't be bored if I am stuck in a nine to five job, which I won't be. I could still be gone for days at a time from here. I'll keep my flat I have in London so that I can go there if a mission is running that might need my help. I hope sometimes you can come to town with me, but I won't push that."
"Who says that I want more than a shag or two every great once in a while?" Q asked.
"I don't if that's all we have. It's not like you would notice me here anyway." James was grinning as he said the words.
Q glared at him. It wasn't a horrible idea, being with James like that with him not gone for weeks and sometimes longer. He knew that there were not a lot of long term undercover missions that James had been sent on since he had joined MI6. He did not have the correct mental landscape for that. It was usually small things that lasted no more than a few weeks. The sex was great, which was plenty enough for Q. If things changed and the sex stopped being something that worked between them, Q knew it would hurt no matter what, whether it was now or a year from then. He didn't want to let go of what they had, even if it ended.
"Let's go eat and talk," James said as he threaded his fingers through Q's to tug him along after him.
Q allowed it, following behind him and watching as James made his way through the Manor House. It was an excellent sight to see, James comfortable in there. Q huffed as James prodded him into the little nook where their food looked like it was under one of the serving covers. Q tried to not put too much thought into what he was doing as he watched James get ready to pour the wine. James looked at home in the kitchen. He knew where the ice bucket was when Q didn't. Where the corkscrew was. He knew a million things about the house that Q didn't because James used things like the kitchen and the tools and other things.
"Hey," James said just a second before he tapped his fingers on the back of Q's hand to get his attention.
"Yes?" Q asked. He forced his eyes to look at James, who was now sitting down opposite him.
"What's going on in your head?"
"Just thinking about it all is all. I need to process."
"Yes, I know, but you have this weird little smile on your face. It's kind of strange as I have never seen it on your face before."
"Oh, I am thinking about you, and I think I get this smile on my face when I think of you. The staff calls me smitten." Q ducked his head down and grabbed the knob on the silver lid to reveal his food. He nodded his head and took in the smell of Thai cuisine. It was a vegetable Pad Thai. Which was something that Q had never eaten in front of James before. He didn't get it that often but he had not been craving meat the last few days, which meant James had been talking to a few members of staff as Q hadn't told anyone, but there were enough clues if James spoke to the right ones.
Q had phases like that where he craved chicken or even seafood and then periods of not wanting meat of any kind, even seafood. It was not weird for Q as he had been doing it since he was a child. In this case, though, it meant that James had been talking to someone while he had been on his mission. Even if it was just while he was on his way home. It made Q feel a little off-kilter. Q wasn't a very demonstrative person. He didn't do little things and rarely did big ones to show someone how he felt. He told them how he felt, and it was enough for him, but it had been not enough for a few others.
"That's a frown," James said as he started to rub his thumb over the back of Q's hand.
"I just thought of something, and it threw me a little. I'm not very demonstrative, with anyone really. I have lost a few lovers over that."
"Q I knew that from the start. You are very demonstrative when you are half asleep and when we are together in bed, sex or not. I don't care if you forget that it's my birthday or that you don't remember an anniversary. I will probably forget at least once a year. You do you, and I'll do me. Never feel like you aren't living up to some notion of what a relationship should be like. I don't care about a lot other than being around you when I can be and showing you how much I care for you."
"Care?" Q asked. It was a strange term for a relationship.
"I do care for you, and I'm not so much giving up my job for you as making sure I can come home to you at all. The expanse of a life alone with nothing to do wasn't anything that I wanted. Even just working at MI6 in a non-agent capacity wasn't anything that I wanted."
"You gave it up for her," Q said.
James didn't look shocked that Q knew that.
"I did. I saw kids and a loving family in my future. Kids were something that I wanted back then, but I stopped when she died. The want of kids didn't so much die with her as I wanted them because she did. I couldn't care less, but it was something that she wanted that I could give."
"You do that with a lot of things, do what the other person wants. Not because your feelings don't matter but because you roll with the punches as the saying goes. You are happy making your partner happy, which is stupid easy with me. Keep me in tea, leave me alone when I am working on something hard, be around when I am not, and feed me."
"Oh, I know. Though you did forget one thing."
"What's that?" Q asked.
"Fuck you often."
"Well, that was assumed given everything we've done before now. I didn't think that you would think it would have changed."
James gave Q a big grin, and it helped to settle Q down some. It was strange to think that James liked him well enough to want to live. That was a huge thing. It wasn't that James was suicidal, Q knew that he wasn't not anymore. James had been at a few points but not that he would have taken his life, he just didn't care to live but now. Now James wanted to live for him. It was a heady feeling, and Q was half tempted to not eat to show James how much he appreciated what James was doing. He wasn't sure he could live up to what James wanted, but he would try. It was a good feeling that Q knew that even if he failed in some ways, James wasn't going to leave.
"You..." Q pressed his lips together and frowned. He wasn't sure how to word what he wanted to tell James.
"Just say it. I'm not going to read into what you say and try and find some hidden meaning. You are too straightforward for that. I have met Mycroft, I was kidnapped actually, but still, I have met him. I understand you more now after meeting him. I think it was Sherlock with him."
"He kidnapped you?" Q looked around for his phone. He usually set it down on the table and never really paid attention. He carried it with him everywhere and rarely paid attention to what he did with it when he was home. It was just always there in reach.
James grabbed up Q's phone and laid it on the bench beside him.
"It seemed like something that he does because, after ten minutes of interrogating me about what I was doing going to and from your house at all house, a man stormed in and dragged Sherlock out by his ear. Unless you have another brother, I'm fairly certain that was Sherlock and his John. John also threatened to tell you. I assumed he had, but I was going to tell you that he's quite the pansy when it comes to your happiness. He's happy as long as you are happy and when I told him that I wanted was orgasms until you decided that you didn't want them anymore he calmed down. I said it to be a jackass, but he took it at face value."
"Or he saw the care in your eyes." Q let a grin come over his face as he said the word care. James laughed and handed back the phone. "That still doesn't mean that I am not going to load a virus onto his computer that makes weird noises when he hits certain keystroke sets."
"You can do that?" James looked like he was the cat that got the cream.
"Oh, yes. I do it all the time to him. Each time I also put in the strokes needed to actually end it as the things that make noise. I'm thinking klaxon this time."
"I would pay to see that."
"Oh, I can do that as well. I usually do record it and then send it to Sherlock." Q set down the phone again. Not putting it out of James's reach so that James knew that he wasn't upset about the phone being taken. Q grabbed his fork as his stomach protested that he didn't have food in it and speared a bit of veg and a heap of noodle. He didn't care if James saw him stuffing his face. He was hungry, and the food was excellent.
Q was nearly done with his food when James cleared his throat.
"So, you were saying before I distracted you about Mycroft kidnapping me."
"Oh, yes. I don't always sleep well with someone in my bed."
"And you want to make sure that I don't think that I'm moving fully out of my room. I can have nightmares that make me unable to sleep in bed with someone with me waking up trying to choke them out. I understand, and I am grateful that I won't have to find a couch to sleep on."
"I will be moving you to the smaller bedroom in my suite, though. It has access to everything in my suite. I assume that a long time ago, it was a nursery of sorts. It's full of computer equipment at the moment. I will have the staff clean it out, and we can go shopping for things for you. I have no care what you put into that room. I'm content to let you do what you want."
"Your obsessive behaviour won't reign in my room?"
"No. I can let go of certain things."
"Good. Good. I think pink."
Q started to laugh at the goofy grin that was James's face. There was still the haunted look in his eye, but it was less, it was always less when he was with Q. That was enough for Q right there. This wasn't anything like the relationship he had dreamed of when he had been a child, but that had been a flight of fancy more than anything else. His happiness wasn't contingent on James being around, but his life was a little brighter because of him. He hoped that the same was true for James.
"I think we can make a run of this," Q said.
"I think so as well and have a lot of fun of fun while doing it."