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How a Stag Comes to Live with Two Foxes

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MI-6. Not exactly the best occupation to have for a relationship. So what was the end result when you had both partners working in MI-6?  Essentially, it was the beginning of a brilliant relationship one stormy night. Though it ended a bit dismal and cold.

Backing up a bit, we start a few weeks just after the 'Skyfall' incident. It's Q running late to drop off his not so, baby brother Hugo at school for the day. They had a routine, even before Q moved out of the house. Q would always get up before dawn, no matter how much sleep he didn't get and would check to make sure Hugo had his things packed and do as much busy body household work he could manage with five cups of earl grey and still in his pajamas. By the time Hugo had woken up, was clean and dressed for the day, Q was fast asleep on the couch, half folded clothes on his lap, the rest still in the basket. Hugo was left to make his and Q's breakfast, just like always.

Now before they moved out, a long time before, Hugo wasn't living with his brothers in the Holmes family mansion. Due to family disputes and issues of various kinds Hugo was shipped off to live with his Aunt and Uncle in Paris, France. He was only a toddler at the time, being taken away from his elder brothers and mother.

Fast forward through a pleasant few years and we are brought to a sad marker for Hugo, two in fact. Both his Aunt and Uncle passed, leaving him alone and inevitably to be sent back to London where he was brought up by house staff and his immediate older brother, Q. Of course at the time Q wasn't Q, but for work purposes he is called Q. That's at least what his brother told him when they finally moved out together.

Both Hugo and Q were not smiled upon when it came to the decision to move out. Especially Q, the rest of the older flock wasn't entirely keen with him taking Hugo and raising him with a, so called, dangerous job with MI-6. Q protested the entire time, defending his rights to keep Hugo with him since none of them had ever made an attempt at it in the first place. Hugo didn't like it when his brothers argued like that.

Hugo didn't care what his older brothers said though, as he held onto Q's hand tightly, standing in front of Q's newly acquired  flat. They only had one bag each but with Q's salary at MI-6 he was more than able to afford a nice two story home with two bed rooms and lots of extra space just for them.

Or so they thought.

Fast forward again to a stormy night. Hugo is curled up under his blankets, toy and model aeroplanes dangling from the ceiling by fishing line, the floor littered with work tools, gears, cogs, and various toys of varying ages and time periods. Some tin, some plastic, Hugo loved toys not just for play, but for the way they worked and how the inside made the magic real.

Rain pelted his window, drowning out the dull whirring noise of Q's office across the hall. Q wasn't working, for once. Hugo had convinced his idiot brother to go to sleep after not sleeping for two days. And yet Q always came home to have dinner, tuck him into bed, come back for breakfast and to walk him to school too. Q never forgot, or at least tried not to without a decent excuse.

There was a soft clink against the window and the creak of metal just outside. That made Hugo's eyes flash wide open. Right outside his window was a fire escape. He'd use it to watch the stars or just, in general, escape Q when he was too busy with work and go have fun in the city. He knew that sound the metal made when you put your weight onto it and the sound only got louder the more you weighed.

So Hugo sprung out of bed and ran to Q's room, jumping into his bed and jostling his zombie brother awake.

"Brother. Brother, wake up." Hugo hissed.

"Whazza--" Q slurred, rolling to squint at Hugo, his hair a mess of dark fluff.

"I think there is someone outside my window..." That made Q wake up. Regardless of how sleep deprived he was, the danger of MI-6 always loomed in his mind. Having Hugo just made the danger that much more scary.

Q rubbed the sleep from his eyes  and Hugo handed him his glasses. Before they ventured back to Hugo's room, Q grabbed the special prototype palm print specific gun he had in his drawer and got it ready, smiling at the three green lights glinting off his glasses. They walked hand in hand, old wood floors creaking under their combined weight. Q had Hugo stand off to the side as he peeked into the room, glaring as he noticed someone sliding the window open and letting the rain pelt the sill.

Q, with some flare, turned on the lights quickly and pointed the gun at the window.

"Stop right where you are or I will shoot!"

The hands stopped and slowly went up, but the voice was almost mockingly sweet and all too familiar.

"Would you even get a shot off, Q?" That voice. It made Q's insides turn into jelly on good days. Today was not a good day and he lowered the gun. Hugo could only raise his eyebrow at the sound of some mysterious man on their fire escape.

Hugo poked his head around the corner after his brother walked forward and grabbed the man by the collar, pulling him in so he could get a better look with the light.

"Wrong window, Double-oh-seven." Hugo stared confused as Q tightened his grip around the soaking wet collar of the older man half in his window.

"You have to give me some credit, Q. I did try and--"

But before this double-oh-seven could finish, Q had already shoved him out the window and closed it with a loud slam. A sharp click soon followed of the latch being locked.

Hugo decided not to sleep in his room after that and opted for Q's bed instead.

--

This was not the last Hugo had seen of the older man Q would later explain was called "James Bond" and someone his brother worked with who never brought things back that he had made him and that he was an annoying arse and that he made his brother horribly angry. At least that's what Hugo got out of the conversation when James finally managed to use the front door with a box in tow from the bakery down the street.

James didn't say anything, just stared at Q stone-faced until the Quartermaster stepped aside and let the double-oh agent in. James nodded and stepped inside, removing his shoes at the door and handing the box to Q.

"Orange tartlets? Really?" Hugo watched his brother smile and the older man smiled back.

"I've seen the multitude of wrappers in your desk bin." This only made the smile grow wider on Q's face.

"Stalker." Q playfully chided, walking away from James' grasp to the kitchen. Hugo didn't like him.

--

Hugo didn't like the way James made his brother's voice change in pitch when he'd get unexpected, but expected calls from the other when Q worked at home. He didn't like the way James made him smile like that either or laugh. That was Hugo's job to make his brother smile and laugh.

He especially didn't like the way James would be gone for long periods of time, leaving his brother to pace back and forth all night as he fidgeted with that stupid ear piece.  Hugo wanted to kick away his brothers laptop or shut down all the computers or smash that stupid, stupid ear piece because this didn't make Q happy. Q always looked sad or worried. Hugo hated that the most.

Hugo also disliked it when James would reappear, weeks or a few months later with cuts or wounds. He would watch as his brother, full of relief, would lead James to the couch, their whispers soft and the tension immeasurable as Q tried to bandage James as best he could. Hugo could see his brother's hands shake and the sadness in James' eyes as they sat on the couch in silence. Wasn't Q angry at James for being gone? Shouldn't he be yelling at him? Hugo didn't understand.

But who was he kidding.

Hugo knew, he could tell that James made his brother happy. It was a kind of happy Hugo couldn't give to his brother either.  Though, Hugo had to admit, James brought back the coolest things from where ever he had been weeks before. James' trinkets were never something you could find in a common market stall or merchants hand, it was individual, it was something James picked specifically for the person.

--

After a harrowing escape from Moscow, James returning with a frostbitten nose and finger tips, Q was presented with some computer chip. Hugo scoffed at it when Q opened the box from James. Would have laughed if not for Q immediately quaking due to excitement over something new, exciting and highly dangerous to decrypt. James was visibly pleased, smiling as Q quickly darted off for his laptop,  leaving Hugo alone with James. They both looked at one another and James gingerly pulled another box from his coat; it was larger than Hugo's hands combined.

"What is it?" Hugo inspected the box by tipping it to feel the weight and shaking it gently.

"A surprise." It was all Hugo got out of James as he started to open it.

Inside the box was a set of wooden nesting dolls, except they were blank and unpainted. Hugo gave James a questioning look at the unfinished product.

"Q tells me you have a knack for models, especially fixing and repainting them. It isn't a model train, but.." James spoke softly, watching Hugo's reactions carefully. The young boy looked over the dolls, popping the tops off one by one. There were five total and Hugo stood them onto the coffee table to inspect them better. Hugo reached over and grabbed a pencil sitting on top of one of Q's stupid crossword puzzles and he began to scribble onto the wooden dolls. The awkward silence soon fell when Hugo turned the biggest doll to face James and point at it.

"This is my oldest brother. His name is Mycroft." James blinked and nodded, inspecting the toy with genuine interest and Hugo could see that.

"Why is he holding a slice of cake?" James pointed out.

"Because he loves cake but is on some stupid diet. All my other brothers say he's fat." James nodded and pointed to the next one.

"Why is this one holding a skull and what looks like a bag of eyeballs?"

Q smiled from the kitchen, listening in on their quiet conversation. He felt his chest swell when James managed to get Hugo to laugh so brightly.

--

Before he knew it, weeks down the line, Hugo found himself wrapped in James and his brother's arms. He had never felt safer, warmer, or loved. His finished nesting dolls sat on the fire place mantel, all standing in a row. Hugo smiled at them from the pull out couch he, his brother and James were crammed onto under a few messy blankets.

James was awake, brushing his fingers through Q's messy curls. James was always awake, no matter what time Hugo rose in the morning.

And this was their routine.

Q would still wake up early and check over Hugo's things and get whatever busy body work he could manage on three cups of earl grey and still in his pajamas. James would already be up before Q, out for an early morning jog in time to get back as Q is about to crash, face first into the laundry. James would push Q to bed and start on breakfast just as Hugo was waking up and getting clean and dressed for the day.

Then they would all sit down and eat together at their three person kitchen table Hugo picked out with James' help a few days ago.

Hugo and Q were the first to leave so they could walk to Hugo's school on time, James left whenever he felt like, but always managed to get to work before Q did regardless. They'd both protect the world from the shadows, but always make time for dinner, even if it was a very long distant Skype call to Burma, or Detroit, or Osaka.

And then James would return, gifts in hand but a new wound in the other. Q's hands always shook when he tried to stitch up James so one day Hugo took over. He grabbed a pair of surgical gloves Q kept in the cupboard and almost slapped his brother's hand away for the needle.

"Hugo, go back to your room. I can handle this--" Hugo's glare bore a hole straight through Q's face which made James chuckle.

"I had Arthur and Eames teach me how! I can do it." Q could only glare in the assumed general direction of his older twin, where ever they were he would find them and he would give them an ear full. James couldn't complain, Hugo had much steadier hands than Q and had obviously gotten professional practice in when medical noticed the stitch job wasn't downright shit this time.

--

It's Christmas Eve and James is picking up last night's clothes strewn about the living room before Hugo wakes up. Q is still propped up in bed, laptop on his lap and bundled in a pile of blankets. His cheeks were still flushed a rosy red and he inhaled the scent of James in the blankets around him. James wandered back into the bedroom and closes the door before climbing back into bed and invading Q's blanket hovel.

"Must we attend a fancy Holmes Christmas Eve dinner? I would much rather spend it in bed. Again." James kissed Q on the temple, wrapping his arms around his torso.

"I don't have much of a choice, James. It's the most mandatory holiday we all have to celebrate together and you won't be the only odd one there." Q explained calmly as he tapped away on his laptop. James watched him work for a few moments before speaking again.

"Should I bring the Walther?" He mused.

"Absolutely." Was Q's quick reply. He was either expecting a civil holiday dinner or a shoot out between them all, again.