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dawn

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dawn (v) – to begin; to come into existence.

 

It all starts with tea. The problem with Q’s office is that it’s not so much of an office as it is a room to be shared with the rest of Q branch. It makes him briefly miss the office they’d shown him when he’d first been promoted to Quartermaster, but there’s little he can do about that now.

The only problem, really, is that people keep getting into his tea. It’s not that he minds sharing, but it would be nice if they asked first. Better yet, it would be nice if they warned him when he’s out of tea.

He keeps his tin of tea in the kitchen, just down the hallway from the main computer room of Q branch. Whenever he’s doing something that requires a lot of concentration, or a lot of patience, Q has a habit of making himself a mug of tea. There’s nothing some well-brewed earl grey can’t fix.

So it’s upsetting when he goes to make a mug of tea so he can settle down with an encrypted hard drive that is being particularly stubborn, only to find that his tin is empty.

There’s nobody else in the kitchen, and there’s no more earl grey to be found in the cupboards at all. There’s a box of english breakfast and Q picks it up, giving it a despairing look. He can appreciate the flavour of it just fine, when he’s in the mood for it. He’s not.

It’s the third time this week that he’s had to settle for it anyway.

“How’s the decryption going?” Bond asks, twenty minutes later, walking up to Q’s workstation.

Q’s mug is still half full with tea. It’s probably gone cold now. It bothers him, even as he tries to concentrate on his work.

“Q?”

“I’m trying to focus,” Q replies, a little sharper than intended. “This is extremely delicate.”

Bond steps a little closer, and hums in thought.

Q’s fingers don’t slow their typing. “What?”

“Carry on,” Bond replies. “I’ll be back in a minute.”

Q doesn’t look away from his screen to frown at Bond, but it’s extremely tempting.

He’s made little progress on the hard drive when he hears Bond return. He doesn’t look, too frustrated to feel particularly talkative.

Bond places something on Q’s desk and that catches his attention. He looks down, brows drawn together. “What—?”

It’s a small, familiar tin of tea, still wrapped in its plastic. “…Oh.”

“You always get a little cranky when you’re out of tea.”

“I don’t get cranky.”

Bond’s only reply is a small smile. He nods in the direction of the kitchen. “I’ll wait.”

“Right.” Picking up the tin, Q takes it with him, along with his mug, which he promptly empties. There’s something to be said about the ritual of making tea, especially when he’s using the right kind this time. He’s already feeling calmer by the time he’s pouring the tea into his mug.

Bond is, as he’d said, still waiting where Q had left him. He’s standing there with his hand in his pockets, and looks up as Q approaches.

“Thank you,” Q says quietly, nodding as he returns to his desk. Taking a sip, he sets his mug down and looks at his screen. “Right, then. Let’s crack this hard drive now, shall we?”