Sometimes even the best 00-agents had their skills and patience tested.
Bond had chased Hadrian Ivanovich through two countries, but the whole time, he’d been so far behind the smuggler that if he hadn’t been given a dossier he wouldn’t even know the man’s face - although that helped, at least, in that Ivanovich barely knew his. It was a truly terrible game of tag that circled all the way back to London, 007’s own turf, and he still couldn’t catch the slippery bastard. It shouldn’t have been this difficult: Bond was an Alpha and the best at what he did, his orientation coupled with fierce training making him a truly terrifying force in the field. All Alphas had a truly super-human sense of sight, but Bond took it up a notch, to the point where he was a veritable hunting hawk, to say nothing for his abilities as a long-range sniper. Betas, however, had above-average hearing, and Hadrian Ivanovich seemed well-practiced at using his Beta hearing to clear out just moments before Bond would have descended on him.
It was bloody annoying.
“Well, at least he’s back in territory that’s more familiar to you than him,” Eve tried to mollify, when 007 reached MI6 headquarters with impatience nipping at his heels.
Pacing M’s office while Eve, Tanner, and M herself remained tensely sitting, Bond bit back, “Yes, but we’re running out of time. Once he connects with his buyer, those warheads he got ahold of will be ten times as hard to locate and neutralize.”
“Ah - there I can help,” Tanner lifted a finger and moved forward, bringing his laptop with him so that he could swivel the screen on M’s desk for all to see. “I’ve been corresponding with Q, and it looks like his crew at least managed to identify who Ivanovich is selling to: Ian Fitzwilliams.”
Bond recognized the man immediately from past fiascos, and swore under his breath. He was able to offer, however, even as his mind raced, “He’s based in London. We’ve never been able to pin anything on him because he’s got friends in high places, but I’m not as surprised as I could be that he’s taken a fancy to weapons of mass destruction.”
“Doesn’t Fitzwilliams run that big party once a year?” Eve interjected suddenly, seemingly on a tangent. Her brows arched downwards delicately over her nose. “The fancy one where part of the invite is to bring an Omega as your plus-one or you don’t even get in the doors?”
“He’s a classist,” 007 replied without much interest, although his own eyes narrowed as well even as he asked back, “Why?”
“Because that party is tonight, and I’d bet you that if Ivanovich is meeting up to seal the deal, it’ll be at that party,” was Moneypenny’s immediate reply.
The pieces instantly clicked, and 007 felt the blood roar in his ears with a renewed kick of adrenalin. He looked to M, who had watched this all with a unflappable expression and Alpha eyes as razor-keen as his. “M?” he asked, one side of his mouth curling upwards, “Permission to crash a party in the name of Queen and Country?”
Frustratingly, however, it was Eve who answered and put a damper on Bond’s plans. “It won't be that easy, James. We don’t have time to even get you a ticket in.”
“You clearly don’t have much faith in his pickpocketing skills,” Tanner murmured from where he’d moved to perch against the wall, leaning inconspicuously.
Eve shot him a look even while 007 flashed a marauder’s grin. Everyone sobered, however, as Eve got back on topic, looking at Bond with sincere worry, “Yes, Bond, but you’re forgetting - you need an Omega escort. You can wave your ticket all you want, but without that particular status symbol, you won’t get anywhere, especially since Fitzwilliams has had MI5 and Six breathing down his neck before, and will definitely have top-notch security.” Bond opened his mouth, but Eve raised a finger and added knowingly, “Which may not stop you, but will definitely slow even a big, bad Alpha like you down.” She flashed a little smile to soften her words, and 007 deflated with a loud sigh. He cut his eyes back to M, seeking intervention.
She didn’t have anything positive to add, unfortunately. “I’m afraid Eve is correct, 007. Time is running out, and now more than ever, we don’t have time for you to fight and shoot your way to your goal - to say nothing for the media fiasco it would cause if it were discovered that one of my agents was found disturbing a party of one of London’s best brown-nosers.” Her distaste for the man was clear, as she paused just to look serenely offended. “But the fact remains that you need to complete your mission. We need the location of those warheads.”
“Great,” Bond growled, exasperated and feeling increasingly like a big panther in a small cage. Pacing would only make it worse, and it took effort not to drag his hand back through his hair and ruffle it all up. “So all I have to do is sneak my way into a party where I can’t get anywhere without an Omega escort - and outwit a man who will hear my earpiece if I so much as get close to him!”
Somewhere in Bond’s miniature rant, Tanner’s eyes had grown suddenly distant and thoughtful. M noticed first, not only because of her Alpha-sight but because she had had a lot of years to learn how best to be observant. “Do you have something that might help us, Mr. Tanner?”
The Beta looked up to find everyone watching him expectantly. “I might, actually…”
“What do you mean, Q is an Omega?!” Eve more or less exploded as they rushed down the halls, hearing imaginary timers counting down the precious seconds in their heads. They didn’t have much time to lose, with only hours until the party.
Tanner tried to hush her, being particularly aware of the hazards of carrying sounds thanks to his own Beta-hearing. “Shhh! It’s not exactly common knowledge. And he takes suppressants, so there wouldn’t be any heats to notice.”
Bond, also having gained a new appreciation for silence after three weeks of hunting a Beta, took all of this new information in with keen interest as he padded along silently in Eve’s wake. He was swiftly learning more about his Quartermaster in fifteen minutes than he’d learned in six months. Up until now, Bond (and probably everyone else in MI6) had assumed that Q was a Beta, or perhaps a Null with no specific designation - something more common and less remarkable.
Still trying to explain but clearly embarrassed at airing out someone else’s secrets, Tanner went on, “The only reason I know is because I’m the chief of staff, so when Q was having a problem with Medical approving his suppressants, I had to step in and talk to the head of the medical department.” It must have been a particularly bad talk, because Tanner grimaced. “Don’t ever put Q and that woman into the same room unsupervised. It would be a bloodbath. But he’s still on suppressants, so for all intents and purposes, he’s Null. Anyway, Q hasn’t told anyone because his designation is his business and no one else’s, so the fact that I’ve told you… well…” Tanner glanced at Bond, who met his gaze with a nonplussed expression until Tanner look away and finished a bit tightly, “This mission had better be worth it.”
“It’s two nuclear warheads worth it,” 007 deadpanned, the reminder making Tanner blanch for a second before regaining control of his expression, right as they reached Q-branch and pushed open the doors. Q was immediately in sight, looking up from a computer across the room. The hour was getting on into the evening, meaning the regular nine-to-fivers had gone home, leaving the more sparse evening crew on hand - and Q, whose workaholic tendencies were well-known and as perpetual as the rotations of the earth.
“Mr. Tanner, Miss Moneypenny, I’m a little worried as to what brought you both down here to see me at the same time,” Q hazarded by way of greeting, made wary by the rather abrupt, unannounced entrance of some of MI6’s top staff. His expression grew downright worried as he took in James striding up as well. “007, I wasn’t even aware you were in the country, what with the radio silence and all that.”
“We need your help, Q,” Bond cut right to the chase, walking closer until there was nothing but Q’s computer between them. The blue of the screen glinting off Q’s glasses as he met Bond’s eyes, but he never looked away as 007 proceeded to explain the entirety of the situation, right down to the mandatory Omega escort. He stopped before voicing the solution they’d thought up, letting Q come to the conclusion naturally.
“Ah,” Q said, delicately and with a perfectly prim degree of distaste, like a persian cat daintily stepping into something wet and soggy. He slowly closed his computer and glanced around, then said, “Considering the circumstances, and the terribly apologetic look on Mr. Tanner’s face, I think I know where this is going. Might we… ah... step into my office to discuss it further?”
Once assured than no sharp-eared Betas in his department would overhear anything, door closed but Q’s hand still resting on the handle, Q said slowly, “So… the man 007 chased halfway around the world is here, in London, and you have exactly three and a half hours to acquire an Omega to escort 007 to a party where he can apprehend said man?”
“There’s actually a bit more to it,” Eve decided then to break the news to everyone from where she’d perched on the edge of Q’s desk, “The only way the guards at the door will let anyone in is if they can verify that there’s really an Omega present - and by that, I mean by scent. So no suppressants.”
Q’s back was still turned, but it was easy to hear him swear sharply under his breath, “Damn.” Before anyone could get too excited about his sudden detour into foul language, however, the Quartermaster was turning to face them all with his professional veneer perfectly back in place again. “That does take out most kinds of subterfuge, doesn’t it, at least on short notice? Well. I’m beginning to regret letting Mr. Tanner know that I’m an Omega right now-” Bill Tanner had the good grace to look down at his shoes in a properly chastised manner. “-But I can hardly say no at this juncture. What do I have to do?”
Feeling a bit guilty himself for putting his own Quartermaster in this position (whom, for all that Bond didn’t know him incredibly well, he did rather like), and also uneasy now that there was a life on the line other than his, 007 felt moved to say lowly, “You really don’t have to do this, Q.”
For his troubles, Bond was simply favored with a mild, faintly amused look. “And if I don’t, you’ll what? Miraculously summon another last-minute Omega doxie? No, 007. Besides, whoever you bring with you needs to be briefed on the mission should things turn sour, and there’s simply no one else with the clearance.” Already Q was moving about his office, looking as though he were turning off various gadgets and projects for the night, so it really looked like he was onboard. To be fair, no one had actually had time to consider the need for clearance or a mission briefing. Eve had perhaps mentioned that Fitzwilliams’s rather old-fashioned sense of classism led him to underestimate Omegas, meaning Q would be judged as a far smaller threat than an Alpha like Bond, but they hadn’t extended that thought to its ultimate conclusion: that Q was not only apt for this role, but possibly the only one for this role, because someone more ignorant of their plans would be more a liability than a help. Bond had an atypically qualified partner for the night.
Q grabbed his tweed coat from the chair he’d hung it over, but left it slung over his arm. Sighing just a little to show that he wasn’t entirely pleased about this, he asked primly of his silent coworkers, “I assume we’ll be stopping by Medical before going anywhere? I’m going to need a shot of something to negate the suppressants I’m on. Goodness knows Dr. Harper will be more than happy to stick me with a needle.”
Eve and Tanner left to make sure everything else was in order, leaving 007 at loose ends. So, lacking anything else to do and being far too high-strung to just sit down and wait like a gentleman, he decided to follow Q. Besides, he figured that it was far more gentlemanly to idly escort the man whom he was going to formally escort later, and be available should Q have any questions. This turned out to be a good decision, not only because Q actually interrogated Bond for details during the whole walk from Q-branch to Medical, but because Tanner’s prediction about Q and the head of Medical - Dr. Harper, it turned out - was entirely accurate and not even exaggerated.
Bond thought he knew Q a little bit better after playing referee between the rail-thin boffin and a woman big enough to snap Q like a twig, and just barely keeping the two from going postal on one another.
“Dr. Harper and I began our descent into mutual disagreement when I had my first Medical exam in MI6,” Q explained without prompting, once he and 007 were alone in one of the sterile-smelling patient rooms. Dr. Harper had just left, but not before proving that beneath Q’s mild, professional veneer was a viper-tempered wildcat. Bond was still reeling, and watched somewhat warily now as Q unbuttoned his shirt in preparation for the shot he was going to have in his shoulder upon Dr. Harper’s return. Revealing pale skin and lean lines, Q watched his fingers work as he went on talking, “I’ll be the first to sing Dr. Harper’s praises as a practitioner of medicine, and I doubt anyone could handle you double-ohs as effectively as she can, but her opinions on Omegas are somewhat antiquated. Not unlike Ian Fitzwilliams, she believes we should all be housewives, and preferably seen but not heard.”
It didn’t take much for 007 to deduce where this was going, and he tore his eyes away from the sight of Q’s increasingly bare torso to guess, “She didn’t agree with your decision to take suppressants?”
Q was already nodding before Bond finished the question. With his shirt unbuttoned, he was able to easily slip it off one shoulder, and he sat down on the hospital bed that way. He somehow managed to look professional even with only one arm in his sleeve, and his cardigan discarded on the nearby chair. Q was never dishevelled simply because he refused to ever appear that way, 007 concluded, and James fought the urge to smile at yet another moment of insight into his Quartermaster’s enigmatic character.
“It’s people like her who remind me why I take suppressants,” Q acknowledged with the faintest dry smile quirking his mouth and making his eyes glint. He went on in a more sardonic tone, “I’ve taken suppressants since I was a teenager, mostly because I find heats inconvenient. Mine were also always terribly random and were only stabilized by medicinal means, so I imagine that taking this shot now will push me into a heat somewhere within the next twenty-four hours.”
007’s eyebrows shot upwards towards his hairline. “Tell me you’re joking.”
“I’m not.” Q shook his head, but seemed surprisingly less worried than Bond was. He leaned forward to prop an elbow on one knee, and his chin on his palm. “That’s also one of the warnings on the bottle: halt your intake of the suppressants, and your body will immediately overcompensate with an almost instant heat to make up for lost time. I have to go off my suppressants once every four months anyway for the good of my health, so I’ve a pretty good handle on how it works, although this is a bit off my usual schedule. My body may not like it.”
While the mission still weighed heavily on 007’s mind, the tension that had him bouncing his leg impatiently disappeared as he took in Q’s position. Body going still and eyes taking on another level of focus, 007 frowned and picked his next words very carefully, “What are the chances that you start going into heat in the next, say, three hours?”
Fortunately, Q’s answer was immediate and comforting, “Virtually nil - we should be safe for the duration of the party. But I expect my Omega sense of smell to skyrocket much sooner. You’ll be escorting a basset hound, Mr. Bond.”
Despite his admittedly dark and worried mood, 007 laughed. The tension cracked a little. “That’s actually the best news I’ve heard all day. At least you won’t be entirely unarmed then.”
Dr. Harper chose that exact moment to walk in, and even by Beta standards, she clearly had a problem with eavesdropping, because she replied to Bond's sentence before Q could, “I would hardly call his sense of smell a dependable weapon, especially after those bloody suppressants have been messing with his system for years.” Q was already taking on a stormy expression, and Bond girded himself for another round of preventing in-house brawling. Dr. Harper was a big woman, not fat but tall and heavy-boned - but Q’s feistiness more than made up for his smaller size. Dr. Harper’s take-no-prisoners demeanor was fantastic for dealing with stubborn and cantankerous 00-agents, but it was clearly rubbing their new Quartermaster the wrong way.
This time, at least, Q didn’t rise to the bait, but instead remained sitting stiffly where he was, knuckles going white as he clutched the edge of the bed. Oblivious (although she had to be hearing the creaking of Q’s tendons), Dr. Harper began to draw up a syringe-full of amber-colored liquid. “Mr. Bond, if you're going to be in here for reasons others than serious injury, could you make yourself useful?” the big woman stated in a crisp tone used to being obeyed, “The antiseptic wipes are on the counter. The shot is going into your Quartermaster’s left deltoid muscle.”
Briefly, 007 considered being contrary, but Q’s defiant and angry look was swiftly becoming jaded and tired, so Bond decided not to add more stress to the situation. Moving silently but smoothly, he got up and opened the small package of wipes with the practice of a man who’d done his own doctoring far too often to contemplate. He caught Q’s eye as he walked up to him, glancing pointedly at Dr. Harper’s back and mouthing something discourteous about her heritage. At that moment, he learned something else about Q that he’d suspected before: the Quartermaster could lipread. Those lips curled up into a swift and wicked little smirk even as Q submitted himself to Bond cleaning off a patch of skin, and then to Dr. Harper jabbing him with a needle. The Omega took it stoically, looking away from the procedure and making no noise even as his face contorted briefly in pain.
007 thought uncharitably that Dr. Harper had done her job a little bit harder and faster than was strictly professional. Something of Bond’s opinion must have shown on his face, because when Dr. Harper looked up from staring down her nose at her Omega patient and saw Bond’s expression, she actually jumped and went a little pale. 007 continued to lounge against the wall, silent and unblinking, reminding everyone that he was still in ‘mission-mode’ and not some off-duty guard-dog that could be ignored or taken lightly. Dr. Harper cleared her throat, managing a brusque if businesslike tone that was an improvement on her demeaning one, “Well then, Quartermaster, what’s done is done. You can expect a return of your natural Omega traits within the hour. I’ll warn you, though, that this particular drug works so quickly because it essentially purges your system of the previous suppressants - it will not be pleasant.”
“I suspected as much, thank you, Doctor,” Q replied with another grimace of unhappiness, rubbing at his sore shoulder before sliding back into his sleeve again. His long limbs moved with a natural grace where one would expect gawky awkwardness, and 007 enjoyed the smooth sliding of lean muscles under pale skin while it lasted. Bond had always been rather unabashed about ogling pretty things, regardless of designation, gender, or professional affiliation. “And by ‘purges’ you mean…?”
“You’re going to most likely lose whatever you had for supper very shortly, Quartermaster.”
“Ah.” This time, both Q and Bond winced, and exchanged involuntary looks that mingled queasiness and sympathy. What followed was an unforgiving list of exactly what would happen because of this one shot: not only would Q’s Omega scent swiftly return for anyone close enough to pick it up (which included Alphas and Betas as well, whose average sense of smell was usually more than adequate to differentiate different dynamics by scent), but his own sense of smell would heighten to frankly abnormal levels. This would make it difficult to eat much, but after vomiting, he was encouraged to try and eat or at least hydrate himself again lest he grow faint. Following this would be a relatively normal period for an everyday, unsuppressed Omega, followed by, as Q had warned, an almost inevitable heat.
“Your body will want what it’s been missing out on,” was as tactfully as Dr. Harper could put it. Q pretended to be deaf to her, watching a spot on the wall just over Bond’s left shoulder as if it were a da Vinci painting. It drove Dr. Harper insane and Bond decided that he really, really did like Q.
After that, instead of staying put under the scrutiny of Dr. Harper and her staff, Q got dressed again and escaped - Bond still in tow - to the lower level bathrooms. They were sure to be abandoned at this time of day, Q said, providing privacy as he endured the ‘purge’ Dr. Harper had warned of.
“You really don’t have to stick around for this,” the Quartermaster made clear, already in one of the stalls. Q’s getting dressed earlier had been rather counterproductive, because now he was down to his shirtsleeves again, cardigan and tie tossed over one of the sinks. Bond leaned next to them, as if they needed guarding. From here, he could just see Q through the open stall door, not vomiting yet but looking clammy as he knelt in front of the toilet expectantly.
Bond crossed one ankle over the other and made himself comfortable. “Since my mission is the sole reason you’re going through this, it’s the least I can do,” he said, meaning it, “You wouldn’t have to go through this if it weren’t for me.”
There was a gagging noise and Q’s body convulsed, and then Q leaned out of sight and over the toilet. “Noted,” was the choked little grumble, and then the wretched noise of retching. 007 sighed, feeling a surprising amount of guilt knotting in his chest - this from someone who could look a man in the eye and kill him without losing a wink of sleep - and only waited a moment before pushing off the wall and striding towards where his Quartermaster was.
The stall was a tight fit for two grown men, even with one built like a whippet and presently giving unpleasant offerings to a porcelain god, but Bond stepped in, straddling Q’s feet a bit and brushing Q’s mop of hair back from his forehead. It wasn’t strictly necessary, but Bond did it anyway, explaining, “As a man who has a bad drinking habit and has puked his guts out more often than he cares to admit, I know that the only thing more awful than vomiting is doing it alone.”
Q stopped long enough to breathe, catching his breath and spitting vilely. “And having someone else share in the misery helps?” he rasped back with clear incredulity.
“Well, it at least lets you know that if you pass out from alcohol poisoning, there’ll be someone to call an ambulance,” 007 offered. He left his fingers on Q’s hair, holding back some of the untamable dark mass as the drugs ran their course and cleared Q’s system of suppressants. It was a terrible but impressively swift business. When it was over and Q pushed himself to his feet, staggering back, Bond was there to steady him and then direct him back towards the sinks. Bond flushed while Q began splashing water on his face and scooping up handfulls of it to rinse his mouth out with furiously.
“Gahh!” Q made a noise not unlike that of a cat with its tail stepped on, a sound of supreme displeasure when he finally dropped his hands in the running water. “Well, that was bloody awful. I hope the rest of the night goes better.”
“Until you hit your heat,” Bond reminded, almost more uneasy about that than the mission itself by this point.
Drying off his hands and mouth with liberal amounts of paper towels, Q hummed thoughtfully before replying, “Yes, we really do have to talk about that. Chances are very high that I’ll still be in your company when it hits me even if we survive the entire gathering first, and there are delicate matters of consent to consider - ones that I’d like to talk about while my brain is still fully functional.”
Frankly, Bond had been expecting Q to say something more along the lines of ‘If you so much as think about fucking me while I’m high on hormones, I’ll neuter you,’ so the considerate, professional tone was a bit of a surprise. Then again, this was the Quartermaster he was talking to, who, regardless of what designation he was, could keep a level tone even while 00-agents were killing, running, and even dying while on the comms with him. “How do you want to handle this then?” 007 decided to play it safe, crossing his arms a bit defensively but mimicking Q’s calmness.
“Well…” Q rubbed at his mouth thoughtfully, and for the first time when he glanced up at Bond’s blue eyes, he looked nervous. “If by some chance it does strike while we’re still attempting to obtain your mission objectives, can I trust you to keep me safe? I don’t adhere to the common mentality of damsel-in-distress-Omegas and knight-in-shining-armor-Alphas, but I will be at something of a disadvantage if my heat hormones hit me in the middle of a crowd of strange people.”
“Of course I will, Q,” Bond said, a bit shocked Q felt he had to ask. Sure, they weren’t drinking buddies, but Bond liked to think that he and Q were at least friends - or at least someone 007 wouldn’t leave to the wolves. Then came the trickier question, which had even 007 giving way to a twitch of unease as he asked, “And after? Do you want me to take you straight back here, or home?”
As with everything else, Q took this in stride, making Bond wonder if Q had been hired as much for his cool-under-fire temperament as his genius. “I hate to ask this,” Q finally stated bluntly, bespectacled hazel eyes finding blue Alpha ones, “but Dr. Harper intimated that I would be wise to spend this heat in company, and for all of her tendency to stereotype, I think she meant it for more than sexual reasons. I’ve never taken this drug before, and while I seem to be reacting as expected, I’m a bit worried what will happen once the maelstrom of heat-hormones hit. Probably nothing beyond the usual lustful haze will happen, but - do you mind playing babysitter? In case I have an unplanned reaction and can’t seek medical treatment on my own?” Q’s face actually flushed but he maintained firm eye-contact as he clarified candidly, “This would require quite a bit of sexual contact, so feel free to say no if you are uncomfortable having intercourse with a fellow employee. Medical could certainly watch me as well - in a decidedly less intimate fashion, of course.” Q didn’t seem at all pleased with the latter option, a brief expression of nervousness and distaste spasming across his face before he smoothed it out.
Bristling unexpectedly at the thought of Dr. Harper (with her condescending looks and low regard for Omegas) watching over Q, Bond found that his answer was easy. “What kind of Alpha would I be if I refused the wishes of my dashing Omega escort?” 007 smiled back charmingly, earning him a snort of dry amusement from a man used to seeing through his masks - even the well-intended ones. Still keeping his friendly expression, Bond answered a bit more seriously, “It’s no trouble at all, Q. And you know I’m discreet.” Bond had also been with a few Omegas in heat before, although this would be the first time with anyone he would have to be able to look in the eyes later. It had him thinking very carefully about how he was going to handle this, because even if Q was cool as a cucumber about the very real possibility of being fucked by one of his 00-agents, 007 didn’t want to ruin whatever relationship he’d been building with the young genius. As recently as a week ago, his very life had depended on how well he worked with Q, and it would happen again. “Any preference for your place or mine to weather out the storm? And any idea how long it will last, for that matter?” Bond had to ask, for the first time recalling that heats varied. They were as individual as the Omegas who went through them.
“Your place, if that’s all right?” Q immediately replied to the first question while maintaining politeness. Leaning back against the sink, he quickly explained in the smooth, lecturing tone that he’d honed in Q-branch - his didactic, ‘Quartermaster’ tone, “It’s a proven theory that the presence of an Alpha lessens the impact of an Omega’s heat, because the whole biological purpose of a heat is to attract and copulate with the best possible mate. So.” Q shrugged as if he hadn’t just said the world ‘copulate’ and given a biology lesson about himself. “The more sure I am that I’ve got an Alpha on hand, the less my body will try to lure one in.”
“My place it is then,” 007 nodded graciously. He didn’t say that he’d already known everything Q had just told him - as mentioned, he’d had Omega liaisons before, and research was something that 00-agents were actually quite good at. Bond knew that Q’s sense of smell would be heightened, so smelling James all around him in the flat would tone down some of the biological switches in Q’s hindbrain, and make everything less… desperate. Bond had seen it work before, although he was always reticent to take any lover back to his own territory - even temporary places like hotel rooms on missions. For Q, though, he’d make an exception, because the Quartermaster was doing him a rather large favor right now.
Q still looked a little pale, but his smile was sincere and a bit relieved. Before more conversation could be had, however, footsteps echoed their way, heralding the arrival of Eve with a bundle of clothing in her arms. She glanced significantly between Bond and Q, the former looking a lot less impatient and jumpy than he had up until now. Her almond-shaped eyes soon turned back to Q, however, and Bond imagined her struggling with the urge to demand why Q had never told her he was an Omega. By the way Q met her eyes staunchly but calmly, he was thinking the same thing, but also pointedly making no moves to explain himself. It was like watching a whole silent conversation played out, as Eve accepted that Q was not required to justify a simple desire for privacy over a matter that didn’t affect his work at MI6 - until now, at least. “Okay then, boys - clothing for our undercover Quartermaster. I knew you kept a spare change of clothes in MI6, and a few guys I know in accounting do the same, and at least one is your size. Here.” She handed the clothing over, then added a bit impishly, “Whatever fits the tightest will probably help you blend in best with the other Omegas there, if my sources are correct.”
“You mean I should wear whatever makes me look most like a trophy-husband,” Q grumped in a resigned tone, peeking at the slacks and shirts hung over his arm, “or arm-candy.”
“Well, considering your partner-” Eve elbowed 007, making him grunt, “-At least we know you’ll both look good.”
Bond cracked a grin, feeling it slide crookedly along one side of his mouth. “Why Eve, was that a compliment?” he teased.
The capable woman couldn’t completely hide her smile as she looked away, but she retorted, “Shut it, you. How about you go and change into your own spare suit? You looking like you’ve been living in this one.”
“Admit it, though, you’d still sleep with me, even dressed like this.”
“Professionalism, Mr. Bond,” Eve reminded him primly, taking great pleasure in shutting down the innuendo-laden banter. “Now shoo - Q needs privacy.”
Bond chuckled something about Eve not following her own advice, but nonetheless obliged, hoping he had time to catch a shower as well, because Moneypenny was right: he had been in these clothes for far too long. It was a hazard of the job, when chasing a slippery, fast-paced target. Besides, at a party like this, everyone was expected to look their best - and 007 would have to live up to the Omega on his arm.
To be honest, 007 was a bit eager to see what Q would look like when he got back.