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the best of you (no, really)

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Q carefully keeps a straight face as Bond takes the case from him.

“Your radio and Walther, as per usual. Now, about the gun, you should be aware that I’ve made a few adjustments for range and...velocity.”

Bond looks up from the case, raising an eyebrow.


“Oh, yes. Now that you’ve brought it up, it would be a good idea for you to try it out before you leave.”


It’s Q’s turn to raise an eyebrow.

“Just to double-check the palm-print recognition first. Happens occasionally for new issues now, as you might recall.”

He crosses his arms as Bond opens the case and picks up the gun. The grip fits beautifully beneath Bond’s fingers and the LEDs light up green. Q watches Bond turn the gun from side to side, examining it carefully.

“Seems to be in order.”

“Oh, good. My turn.”

Bond hands him the gun and the LEDs flash red. Q calmly raises it to 007’s face, at level between his eyes. He flicks the safety back and wraps his finger around the trigger. Bond stares back evenly, never once losing Q’s eyes. Q holds his breath.

He fires.

A beat of silence.

007 closes his eyes carefully, mouth parted. Q tenses subtly, stock-still.

“Did you just--”

“I warned you,” Q mouths, barely at a whisper.

Did you--”

Two things happen at once: Bond opens his waterlogged eyes and Q vaults over his desk, scattering papers haplessly behind him. Yanking his office door open, gun still in hand, he barrels out into temporary safety just as Bond lunges, dripping water in his wake.

Q’s already halfway across his own branch, making no attempt to hold back his entirely off-character giggling by the time Bond skids to the doorway. His sentiments are clearly shared by the majority of the grinning boffins, as most of them are standing with matching titters, holding up cameraphones. In his peripheral Bond catches flashes of pound notes exchanging hands.

Rather unhelpfully, half-hiding behind a support beam, Q calls out: “Might I remind you, you brought this upon yourself, 007. I’ve warned you on multiple occasions, you stubborn bastard.”

“You squirted me in the face with a water gun,” 007 says incredulously, voice wavering. Honestly, the more he thinks about it--


No. To give in--to give in means admitting that Q’s sense of humor is actually not as sad and flat as a dying weed. Q has a despairingly sad arsenal of jokes (one that deteriorates proportionately to the amount of alcohol consumed and inversely to that of sleep had), one Bond absolutely refuses to stoop to his level to indulge--and if he gives up and laughs now--

Q makes a rude gesture with his free hand.

“You should be grateful I didn’t send you off into the field with it. You never bring back my equipment in one piece. I am hereby fed up with making empty threats. This is the consequence of all your doing.”

“With a few adjustments to range and velocity?”

Q’s expression shifts and immediately 007 knows that this is a mistake, as he’s been progressing towards Q through the entirety of this short excuse for a conversation and he’s barely a meter and a half from--earning another squirt in the face as Q-branch erupts into unsettlingly fervid cheers.

Oh, this is it.

Q--” Bond roars, dripping, in a piss-poor attempt to force down a burst of laughter.

“Serves you!” Q lets out an entirely undignified yelp as he dodges Bond’s second lunge, fingertips grazing against his shoulder. “Bring back my fucking equipment!” he shrieks and bolts into the hallway, Bond hot on his heels.