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There was something about the way that Q moved his hands that Bond couldn’t stop watching. They were long, absolutely beautiful hands, and the way the moved knitting needles, a drop spindle, against his keyboard, it was all enchanting.

 

And arousing. Don’t forget arousing.

 

“Are you asexual?”

 

Q’s fingers paused on the needles, before the quartermaster let out a little sigh, as if he couldn’t even be bothered to be bothered , it was just pure disappointment in his tone. “Now, why exactly do you think that, Bond?”

 

This wasn’t a work related conversation. If the question had been from him towards Bond, it might have been, if only because a bit of Bond’s work did involve sex, to a certain level, but like this, it wasn’t a question that 007 would ask of him. It was… a friendly question. 

 

“I don’t think that. I’m asking, because I think it’s rude to presume.”

 

Q put his needles down and to the side, after untangling the yarn from around Peanut’s left paw. He gave the cat a long look while he thought about what the reasoning for the question might be, but overall decided that he was too lazy to really destroy any projects at the moment. Even still, Q picked up the whole piece and put it in a basket on the side table, scooting the cat off the couch until he grumpily wandered off in the direction of the bedroom. 

 

Bond was giving him an odd look, the one he usually gave new tech when he honestly didn’t want to risk breaking it. 

 

As is, it was a rare look entirely. Bond rarely cared enough not to break tech unless it was particularly shiny. 

 

If he were anyone else but Bond, Q would bristle at the idea of being broken by him. Considering he was who he was, Q was almost interested in seeing how well a double-oh agent could put him back together. 

 

It was the weirdest feeling in his stomach. People had sex with double-oh agents all the time, but Q didn’t have sex with anyone now days. 

 

“I’m not asexual. I just don’t… care.”

 

Bond was doing that funny thing where he went all soft, but in a way that wasn’t soft at all on a normal person. He got that way the first time Jasmine let him pick her up. They had been crashed on Q’s couch after a rough mission had driven a tired and slightly cranky Bond from his own apartment -and the oppressive silence that apparently laid there- all the way to Q’s living room, not for the first time. And she’s seen him often enough now that she isn’t hiding under the coffee table if he’s not feeding her, but the look on his face when she’s launched herself up onto Bond’s stomach, was this same soft look. 

 

Absolutely illogical, in Q’s opinion. Bond was the cat in this relationship. The cat who adopted a human.

 

“You don’t care ?”

 

Q shrugged. “The definition of asexual has nothing to do with drive or need. It’s just if you find other people sexually attractive or not. I like men, I just don’t care enough to pursue it. That’s not to say I never have, or anything specific keeps me from it, just that I can’t often be bothered. It seems like such a chore sometimes.” He clamped his mouth shut on the rambling. 

 

Bond nodded, looking like that made absolute sense to him. “No relationship wanted either?”

 

Q’s eyes were narrowed, and he shoved his sock covered foot into Bond’s thigh. There was enough room for Bond to be on one side of the couch while Q was curled up at the other, and he took advantage to pull his legs up onto the couch, giving Bond an annoyed little shove until he froze, both his thin ankles in one of Bond’s large hands, easily kept still. 

 

“Not really.” He could hit himself at the way that came out, half breathless, too low, and his pulse was going faster than before, eyes locked on Bond’s hand. He didn’t look at the other man’s face, but there was a thumb rubbing little circles around the bone of his left ankle, and Q finally looked away with a flush spreading from head to chest. 

 

There was another hand reaching out for his, and Q couldn’t help the hitch in his breath as it tangled in his own, and suddenly all he could think of was the two points of contact between them. They felt hot and pressure and he was starting to twitch his other hand against the couch cushions, unable to control the nervous little hitches in his breathing as he avoided looking at Bond. 

 

Bond pulled back slowly like he was unsure of himself for once, a rare thing to be sure, but Q couldn’t hold back the nervous little hitch that came back to his breath as he turned towards him, reaching out for Bond now with a strangled noise. Bond let him have the hand back, let Q clutch at it with both of his own while his other started sliding under Q’s sweatpants, running against Q’s shin in a way that made Q’s heart stutter a little. 

 

“I thought that might be the case.”

 

Q looked at him with eyes that he hadn’t realized were so close to crying, full of tears as they were, and gave him a frown. “What’s that?”

 

Bond ran a thumb against one of Q’s wrists, making him sigh as his eyes fluttered shut. “A little bit touch starved, is all. Double-oh four noticed a while back. Said you almost jumped out of your skin when someone put a hand on your shoulder. Figured it was either touch starved or touch repulsed.”

 

Q was still clutching at the hand in his when he realized how uncomfortable his back was, with how he’d lurched to follow the electric touch back to the source of Bond’s hold. He worked his jaw for a moment, feeling a little weird about it, before scooting over enough that he was curled on the cushion next to the man. He wasn’t sure what to say, all he could think about was that skin against his, the way Bond now had his other hand on the exposed skin between Q’s shirt and sweats, trailing like fire against his hipbone. 

 

“Not repulsed. I just don’t get much.”

 

Bond let out a soft little noise, reaching up to tug Q’s hands towards his neck. Q let out a breathless noise as he put them there, suddenly nervous about clutching too hard at him, and tried to settle them lightly against Bond’s collarbone. He ended up playing with the area there, tracing over the sharp edges with a hyperfocus he only got for coding or starting a new pattern.

 

Now that Bond had another hand free, he reached in and pressed it against the back of Q’s neck, relishing in the helpless moan of overwhelming sensation, and gently pulled him in. 

 

In all honesty, his original goal had been sex. He liked the idea of getting Q into a sweating mess underneath him. He’d found more than just the yarn room when he’d originally snooped in Q’s apartment, and he had no doubt that Q figured he’d found quite a bit more, but knowing what was here and knowing that Q would be receptive to his advances, were two different things. 

 

But the noises Q was making as Bond pulled him in to settle against his chest, the hand against his hip sliding around so it pressed a hot line against Q’s back… those helpless little whimpers and hitching breaths… those were amazing noises. Bond couldn’t bring himself to stop the way his arms wrapped around that thin waist, pulling him flush onto his lap, before reaching up a hand to press the back of Q’s head into his neck. 

 

Q was a little quiet now, but blissfully relaxed against Bond’s hold, almost boneless against the touch that he didn’t even know he’d been craving for so long. Q was clutching at Bond’s sides, hands under his tee shirt as he held onto the warm skin there. Bond relaxed as well, settling back into a better position so the two of them could collapse back into the cushions. 

 

Bond could admit, he was loving the touch almost as much as Q was. It’s been a while for him as well. Looking down at Q, and seeing a faraway glaze in his eyes, Bond figured he’d wait the man out to come back to himself on his own time, and couldn’t be upset about the wait at all. 

 

***

 

When Q came back to himself, he noticed he must have been taking a light nap, because he’d had to blink his eyes open, and couldn’t remember closing them. He was laying on Bond’s chest, feeling the way it moved underneath him with every breath, and was thankful it didn’t send his brain into another overloaded panic again. 

 

It was a good panic though, the feeling of Bond’s skin against his had been more intense and comfortable than any other he’d felt before. He isn’t sure if it’s because he actually liked the man, or if it’s just been that long since he accepted touch, but it had overwhelmed him in the most amazing way. 

 

He tilted his head a little to the side, finding that Bond was laying down on the couch, watching Doctor Who with captions on and sound off. The only other thing he felt other than his clothes and Bond’s body, was a heavy lump against his lower back. He frowned, reaching a hand back so he could poke at whatever was there, and getting a grumpy mrowl for his troubles when he touched Jasmine’s cute little face. 

 

He snorted, putting his hand back down on the couch as Bond moved to start purposefully petting at his curls, now that Q was awake. If he could have purred like the cats, he would be, humming as he pushed up into the touch. 

 

Maybe he was more like the double-oh agents than he thought. Maybe all of them were just overgrown cats looking for someone warm to sleep on. 

 

“You’re cute when you’re asleep.”

 

Q couldn’t muster up the energy to be offended at that, giving a strange little noise in the back of his throat when he realized some sort of reply might be expected. He wasn’t cute when he slept, he was messy and he drooled if he was on his stomach or side. 

 

Speaking of. He lifted his head with a wince at the slightly damp place under his mouth, cheeks starting to burn hot as he let out a little groan and started to sit up. Jasmine slipped off his back and walked away without pause, obviously looking for somewhere else to sleep. 

 

“Oh, no, I was enjoying that.” Bond was looking at him with a grin and too much amusement for Q’s taste. 

 

Q scowled at him, half awake and less grumpy than Bond had been when he’d shown up the night before with a bag of groceries and enough annoyance that Q had left him to the kitchen on his own to give him a chance to calm down, but still more grumpy than Q usually hot when awake.

 

“I drooled on you, that’s not cute.”

 

Bond shrugged, looking unconcerned. “Nothing Alec hasn’t done before.”

 

Q frowned. “Alec gave me back a gun covered in blood last week. He’s not the cleanest of people.”

 

Bond raised an eyebrow. “But he gave it back and that’s what matters, isn’t it?”

 

Q snorted. “Not really. He gave it back because he wasn’t sure if it worked. That’s how much blood was on it. I took it as a loss and tossed it in a biohazard bag.”

 

Q tried to sit up a little further to give them space, but Bond’s arm was locked around his lower back, keeping Q pulled flush against him. Q sighed a little, half dreamy, half resigned. “This is new.”

 

Bond nodded a little, trailing a hand up and down Q’s back, before slipping up the back of his shirt for more skin contact. Q wanted to ditch their clothes entirely and just tangle the two of them up together.

 

This is the weirdest feeling ever. It wasn’t sexual -though he wouldn’t mind that either- but it wasn’t platonic at all. It was…

 

“Sensuality is an overlooked human need. Whether you want sex or a relationship, whether you’re willing to put in the time and effort to get either of them, if you’re not touch repulsed, you’ll become touch starved if you don’t give into it.”

 

That. That’s exactly what it was. He wanted to melt on Bond, unable to separate again. 

 

He needs to stop comparing people to cats, because he’s seeing more comparisons to himself than Bond right now. 

 

Q could have laid back down on the man and gone for another nap. It was his day off, and he’s fairly sure with his biggest problem child laying under him, he’s quite unlikely to be called back in, and Bond was ignoring a summons to come in and do paperwork -likely not knowing that Q has already taken the liberty of spamming his inbox with everything he needed to do when he finally gets back- and it’s just an amazing day for staying inside and doing nothing of importance. 

 

His stomach grumbled, loadly reminding them both that mortals needed food as well. Q let out a little sigh, attempting to sit up again. Bond let him this time. “This is an amazing way to spend the day, I would like to continue, but I’m starving and have to pee. Am I allowed up?”

 

Bond seemed to consider it, bringing one of Q’s hands up to his mouth to press into his wrist. Q sighed again, sounding like a lovesick teenager. “I suppose. For the sake of comfort.”

 

Q breathed out a little shaky, nodding along. “Yeah. You’re very concerned with comfort.”

 

Bond looked at him very seriously. “With your comfort, yes. Always.”

 

Q swallowed, unsure what to make of that, and spent a good five seconds trying to read it on Bond’s face. He didn’t quite get an answer, and so he slipped off the man’s chest, feeling an all over ache as he left the touch. He wondered if Bond would be willing to do it again some time. 

 

He wandered off towards the bathroom, giving a long stretch to get his arms up over his head, listening to the quiet movements of Bond behind him in the living room.

 

When he came back out, Bond was in the kitchen, and Q had to stop just to watch him for a minute. Q was never much for cooking himself. He tended to cook overly large meals in short bursts so he could live off leftover boxed pastas and salads for a week before having to do it again. Bond actually liked cooking though. It was interesting. 

 

“You’re going to make an amazing trophy husband one day, Bond.” He couldn’t help the little jibe, knowing that it would both amuse and delight the man in turn. And it did delight. 

 

Bond gave him a grin like sunshine, turning back around to stir something in a bowl while the cats begged for whatever he had at his feet. “Oh that’s good to know. Don’t want to disappoint you.”

 

Q’s face was burning red as he looked down, and it took a few seconds of soundless attempts before he got out. “Oh. I mean. I just always assumed you’d end up with… Alec, you know if you didn’t find someone before the two of you finally gave up and decided to tie the knot. The flirting is nice, but I hope you know I’d never step between that.”

 

And it was true, Alec and Bond had been together for longer than Q had even been with MI6. Together in most sense of the word even. 

 

James looked back at him for a long quiet moment, before turning back to the stove, making himself at home in Q’s kitchen. “You know we aren’t exclusive, right? That’s not just applied to missions. We’ve never been… exclusive. He likes you too, even. Maybe not as much as I do, but he likes you too.”

 

Q bit his lip as he came into the room, looking around for a moment before sitting at the kitchen island. “Ahhh. I hadn’t… realized.”

 

“Amusing.”

 

Q was silent for another few seconds, before giving a helpless little shrug. “That wasn’t a joke.”

 

Bond looked at him like he couldn’t believe the words coming out of his mouth, before giving a few rapid blinks and pulling out a cutting board. Q had been wondering where that cutting board had wandered off to. “Oh. That is something.”

 

Q hummed a little. “Yeah. Especially considering I took a nap on you a little bit ago.”

 

Bond nodded, still looking a little shell shocked as he poured a mixture of who knows what but it’ll probably be good in a pan. “You just…” Bond shook his head a little. “Never noticed the flirting, huh?”

 

“Oh, um, yeah I noticed the flirting. Both you and Alec flirt a lot I guess, but so do a lot of other agents, and most of Q Branch, and half of medical… Bond, a lot of people flirt. I don’t really understand why they want to or what’s so appealing about it. I find all that stuff confusing and a little annoying depending on what kind it is. It… that’s why I stopped caring about sex, because I was never looking for a relationship at the time, and all the flirting makes my head hurt and I don’t see the point in really going for it if I can already build myself a replacement for the one thing I’m really looking for anyways.”

 

That was a lot to take in, but Bond felt quite a bit better by the time the man had gotten it out. He turned with a smile, looking much more sure of himself this time. “Well, if you don’t want flirting, it won’t be a part of things. Neither me nor Alec, -whom you don’t have to do anything with if you don’t want- are looking for some lifetime commitment from you, so you don’t have to worry about us being clingy. You don’t even have to do anything with me.”

 

Alec liked talking with Q when he had downtime on his missions, quiet talks that usually took place while he was in his office late at night, alone with the mic and either a knitting project, or the e-spinner he kept in a cabinet in the office for when he had downtime and a need to focus on something other than numbers.

 

Q’s thought about the times he pictured getting to spend time with both Bond and Alec together in his apartment. Bond said he sent regular cat pics to the man, who was thoroughly jealous that he hasn’t got to woo them with his charms yet. Q wondered what it would be like to wake up on days with both them here to keep him company. 

 

It was so easy to deny offers to go to the pub with his coworkers. It was easy to say he didn’t want to spend time with them at the park. It was even easier to just outright say he preferred the company of his cats over that of people. 

 

He remembered college, and the times he’d hole himself up in his apartment whenever he didn’t need to be in a class, till it got to the point that his parents had set him up with a therapist who specialized in agoraphobia.

 

It was hard to remember sometimes, that he didn’t just accept Bond in his apartment, he liked the company here. He outright wondered if he would like Alec here as well. It was easy to fall into a pattern of comfort and isolation whenever he had a free moment to himself.

 

“I would like it if Alec came here in his free time too.”

 

The smile that Bond gave him was downright fond . “That’s nice. Things don’t have to be more than that, I’m not here to tell you a friendship requires sex to-“

 

“But what if it’s wanted?”

 

The room was quiet for a long minute while Bond seemed to be interested in what he was cooking. It seemed to be some sort of pancake, but it didn’t smell like one. “You know, I somewhat don’t understand you. It’s hard to know what you want when you say you don’t get flirting or look for sex-“

 

“But I never said you can’t flirt with me, and I blatantly said I like sex I just don’t care enough because flirting is confusing and I don’t see the point in trying to figure it out. You can flirt with me all you want. I don’t see the point, but that’s it, is that you do. You like it. I just… won’t reciprocate. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate being told I’ve got good qualities.”

 

Bond nodded, looking pleased at that. “Okay, flirting is a go.”

 

“You said sex didn’t have to be a thing, but does that mean it can’t?”

 

Bond considered that for a moment. “Do you want it to be available?”

 

Q snorted, sounding a little amused when he replied. “I mean, the entire reason I don’t have sex, even though I’m not asexual, is because I can’t be bothered to make the connections with strangers to get to the bedroom. Honestly, you offering to remove all that awkward flirting that usually comes beforehand? That would be almost blissful. I wouldn’t say no, unless we turned out to be drastically incompatible in some way.”

 

Bond gave him a bit of a heated look. “I don’t think incompatibility is going to be an issue at all.”

 

Q couldn’t wait to find out.

 

***

 

They didn’t do anything of that sort that day. Q’s mental overload just from being touched was a pretty clear sign that he needed to work up to that sort of thing before he could really enjoy it without an actual mental breakdown because of it. 

 

Bond liked Q’s bed. It was good for building a nest in, and after their revelation earlier that day, Bond knew exactly why Q would surround himself with as much soft and comfortable as he could. The need for touch might even be why Q ended up so attached to yarn in the first place. He could easily see that becoming a replacement for skin. Bond was learning a lot about fiber itself, and with most of the wool Q worked with, all you had to do was hold it in your palm for ten seconds before the wool itself felt hot, heat trapped. It could be a good replacement for touch in a heat sense. 

 

But Bond has been told that he runs unnaturally hot as well. Q seemed to gravitate towards that as well, as Bond is now learning, with Q’s head tucked up on his chest one more, an arm over his waist and a leg trapping his own to the bed. Q was like a clingy octopus at the moment, and Bond couldn’t bring himself to care enough to try and get away. He rather liked his current positioning, actually. 

 

Jasmine and Peanut were on the other side of the bed, warily watching Bond and Q as they usually did whenever Bond did something new in their presence. Bond found himself being stared down by two little confused faces as he held Q through his second nap of the day.

 

Which isn’t much of a hardship. Moneypenny complains almost constantly that she wasn’t sure Q did sleep or not, was afraid some day the man was just going to collapse from too much caffeine and not enough sleep. He’s apparently been taken to medical for dizzy spells before from something close.

 

Bond carded his fingers through thick hair, considering what they had talked about in the kitchen earlier. It wasn’t a relationship, but same with him and Alec, it was somewhat the closest he really gets to them to begin with. And it sounds like it was probably the closest Q cared to get to them himself.

 

It didn’t have to mean anything.

 

Yeah. He said the same thing about Alec when he first became friends with him as well.