Summary: A different ending to Goldeneye is the beginning of a new story.... Alec Trevelyan survives and he and Bond have to face some new challenges of the future. But first of all, they have to face each other. *NO SLASH* M/F romance.

Author's Note: First and foremost, it's NOT slash! Hey everyone, I hope you'll enjoy this story.. Although I am writing this, my friend Chrisi should get credit for many wonderful ideas and for the inspiration she gives me. Without her support, this story wouldn't exist! You should also know, that in our opinion, the actor who should play James Bond is James Purefoy, and we imagine him as 007... You are of course free to imagine whoever you want, whether it's Pierce, Roger, Sean or any other actor on Earth you'd love to see as Bond. Just don't flame us for our fantasies :):) I would also like to point out that it's my first attempt at a long, chaptered story, so please be gentle... I am not a native English speaker, so there may be some grammar or spelling mistakes, but I'm trying as best I can to avoid them. I also am totally crazy about Sean Bean and all his characters so I'd be delighted if his other fans e-mailed me. Oh, and I'm absolutely addicted to reviews so be sure to drop a few lines after reading. :):) Ok, enough of my ramblings, here it goes...

DANCE INTO THE FIRE

Chapter one : Gut -feelings and difficult questions



"You know, James. I was always better"

007 managed to kick the lever just seconds before Alec Trevelyan fired at him. The ladder he was clinging to dropped down into the blazing sunlight, very high above the dish. Bond groaned in pain as the ladder finally jerked to a stop, desperately trying not to let it go.

Trevelyan looked down after him, cursing under his breath as he saw 007 still hanging from the ladder. The damn bastard just wouldn't die. He aimed his gun at Bond again and tried to fire, but it turned out that he had run out of bullets. He threw the gun away and took out the radio.

"Alpha one to Gunship!"

No answer. Splendid. Just splendid.

He looked back to the electricity room and saw that the whole mechanism was burning and exploding. Before long the whole place would be nothing more than a hell of fire.

He begun climbing down the ladder. He looked down again and saw that 007 was doing the same, just in the opposite direction. The man sure wasn't about to give up, Alec thought. What else could you expect from James Bond, after all - he smirked at the thought.

Just for a split second his mind wandered back to all that they have been through together when he was still 006.

When they were friends. He couldn't help but smile as he remembered the numerous times they found themselves in situations anyone else would call impossible to survive, and somehow always managed to come out of them unscathed. They were so very much alike - always refusing to give up and stubborn like hell. Every time they happened to set out on a mission together, people in IMF joked about pitying their opponents. They used to be two most lethal weapons in Her Majesty's Secret Service. Now they were two enemies and both new that one of them would have to die. Alas. Unless, of course, some miracle happened.

Suddenly, there was a loud noise in the air and a helicopter appeared a little bit above them, , the proppeller creating a powerful wind.. It lowered to the ladder and they both looked up.

Alec muttered "It's about time" and begun climbing back up, but froze when he saw the pilot. In the cockpit of his very own helicopter, grinning, sat no one else but Natalya.

Blast it.

He made the decision within seconds. There's no way in hell he was giong to let Bond get to that chopper. He quickly slid down the ladder and hit 007 with his feet. James slipped a few inches, but managed to grab the ladder again and pulled himself back up. He kicked Alec hard in his stomach, but Trevelyan didn't let go of the ladder.

They heard a huge explosion in the electricity room above them, which almost threw them both off the ladder. The satellite was practically destroyed, it would be history within minutes, James thought. So his mission was complete.All he had to do now was stay alive, which meant getting to the damn helicopter.

Now.

Suddenly he received a powerful blow on the head, followed by a kick, which send him reeling down the ladder. He managed to hold on to the last rug with one arm. He tried to pull himself up, but only managed to grab the rug with his second hand. He was really exausted and new he wouldn't manage to hold on much longer. Alec slid down after him and was about to stomp on his arm when they heard another noise in the air and second helicopter flew into view with terrible speed, almost crashing with Natalya's. It made a turn around the tower and finally stopped in the air right above them, still dangerously close to the other machine. When Trevelyan saw the pilot, his jaw dropped in amazement, but he still held his foot on Bond's arm.And tried to make his sigh of relief inaudible.

A dark- haired woman in the cockpit lowered the helicopter so that it floated right next to Trevelyan.

"Alec, jump in, I can't hold it in this position for long" - she threw Trevelyan only a glance, her eyes fixed on Natalya's machine, which was now even closer.

"With pleasure, I will just take care of one more little thing" - he looked down to Bond.

"You don't have to kill him, Alec. You know that." - she looked at him seriously, and as he looked back at her, he understood what she meant.

"Stay out of this. That conversation we had yesterday hadn't changed a thing" -

He spoke angrily, but inside he wasn't so self-confident. He and 007 were mortal enemies now, but he could never wipe out the past. He could never wipe out the fact that James used to be his best friend. Although Alec had plotted betrayal from the very beginning and always told himself he wasn't attached to anyone at the MI6, that he hated all Englishmen, the reality was, all that he and 007 had been through together created a special bond between them, quite against his will. He had even considered the possibility of dragging James over to his side, but when he saw how devoted Bond was to his country, he realized it would be impossible.

When the opportunity came nine years ago to unsuspiciously leave MI6 and occupy himself with creating the Janus Syndicate, the only thing that made him hesitate, was his friendship with James. Sometimes he wished to just throw it all to hell and stay, but finally, the will of revenge proved to be stronger. He remembered the despair of his parents when they realised they had been betrayed by the Englishmen, he remembered how he had watched his father kill his mother and then himself before his very eyes. Yes, he had seen it all and he would see it till the end of his days in his nightmares. He had vowed to himself that the Englishmen were going to pay. That he would make them pay.

Throughout those nine years he used to say to himself that he hated Bond. That he was one of the damn Englishmen and he hated him. At times he did, mostly for the fact that 007 was so damn faithful to his country, so faithful that he would have abandoned his friend. Alec was sure that if he had told James about his plans, 007 would have tried and prevented him from ever setting them into action. Oh, he was so angry at him for that. But deep down inside, he had never hated him the way you should hate your enemies. The moment they met again nine years later on that soviet dumping ground and James found out about his betrayal was more painful to him than he would ever admit to himself. Now. Now everything was over, his plans and his revenge all lay in ruins. Because of Bond. And with all the anger he felt, he still couldn't hate him. As simple and ridiculous as that. He couldn't.

* * *

Another explosion came from the electricity room, this time much stronger. The dark haired woman lost control of her machine for a few moments and it almost crashed with Natalya's. Natalya reacted quickly and jerked her helicopter to the left, a little too far. It brushed against the tower, hard enough to make all the control pannels go crazy.

"Crap"- she tried to regain the control over the machine, but the damage was too big. She couldn't keep it in the same position anymore and flying in the direction she wanted was almost impossible. The chopper was turning around and moving away from the tower and the satellite. She struggled with the lever, trying to go back, but nothing she did worked. She was flying away and losing height very fast. There was no way of going back. The only thing she could do now, was to try and land without crashing on the field, which now spread right below her. James was on his own. She cursed again under her breath, looked around at the now distant figure of the exploding satellite and begun the struggle to put the damn machine on the ground.

* * *

The explosions made thousands of bells start ringing in their ears, but both men still managed not to fall from the ladder. Not that it was any consolation, James thought half-consciously. Soon they would be plummetting down on that plate with the ladder. He could only watch as Natalya's machine twirled away and disappeared in the distance. So that would be pretty much it. His last hope of escape was now probably hitting the ground and exploding. Bond had cheated death too many times to be afraid of it, so all he felt now was calmness. He could find none of his stubbornness or will to survive. He was.tired, so tired.Last explosion almost made him lose consciousness and he couldn't control the dizziness. He practically stopped feeling his left arm, and was surprised that he was actually still clinging to the rug. Not for long, Alec would surely soon take care of that. Why was it taking him so long, by the way?

Alec clinged to the rug tightly as the blast from the explosion forced almost all air out of his lungs. When the black and white spots finally stopped dancing before his eyes, he noticed the crash of the two helicopters. As one of them rapidly twirled away, the other machine also struggled for balance, but the pilot finally managed to regain control over it. It again lowered to float near Trevelyan.

"Alec, you have to jump,NOW!" -the woman's voice sounded desperate.

This time Trevelyan didn't hesitate. He lunged forward and landed on the floor at the back of the helicopter. The machine was now even closer to the ladder and he almost fell out through the other side. He crawled to the entrance, stood up and looked at the figure still clinging to the ladder. The chopper was still floating next to it, for some reason. Bond turned his head and their eyes met for a split second. Alec saw nothing in them, but calm acceptance.

He had tried to kill Bond so many times and 007 stubbornly survived his every attempt. When he came to think of it now, Alec had to admit that he had been actually enjoying himself. He prepared ways of dying for James, subconsciously wondering, how Bond would get out of it. And when he did, he couldn't help but feel a tinge of amiration. He would almost feel disappointed if James had failed. As if a part of him never really wanted 007 dead. Now, as he watched Bond hanging from that rung and the realisation came to him, that this time he wouldn't get out of it, his inside battle grew stronger:

"He is my enemy, nothing more but a damn Englishman, one of those who betrayed my parents!!"

"He didn't betray them, he was a child back then, just like you were"

"But he is exactly like those who betrayed them - he would do it, he would destroy anyone just to 'serve the queen', even his closest friends"

"Yes, you were friends, doesn't any of this matter to you anymore?"

"It didn't matter to him, why should it matter to me? I don't care!!!"

"Really? Then just let him die"

~*~*~(Flashback)

Snow was everywhere. It twirled around him in some sort of mad dance, pushed by the angry gusts of wind. Maybe on some other occasion he would be able to appreciate its dangerous beauty, but when you are on a slippery rock, thousands of feet from the ground in the middle of a snowstorm, you're not really in the mood to admire the wonders of nature. Especially if they want to kill you. Alec squinted his eyes at the blinding whiteness, trying to make out the figure above him. To no avail. Only the ragged breathing and scratching of boots against the rock assured him, that there was another person with him.

"How far to the top, James?"

"I can't see anything, but I guess we shouldn't be very far away"

"You better be right, or the chopper will fly away without us"

Another 10 minutes of climbing, that seemed like ten hours. Mission complete. All you have to do now is stay alive and get to the chopper. Piece of cake, he spatted in his thoughts sarsastically, as the sharp rock cut into his hand.

"Alec, I think we're here"

He heard as the man before him pulled himself up onto the flat ground at the top of the mountain.

Almost there. His hand grabbed the edge of the rock. One miscalculated step. He slipped.

"Alec!!!!"

He desperately grabbed onto the sharp rock, unable to find some support for his legs.

The ice covering the wall was so mercilessly smooth.

The panic, mixed with a perverse will to let go. No, it can't end like this.

A hand, firmly grabbing his in an iron grip.

"I got you, Alec. I won't let go"

Bond.

Finally, flat on his back in the snow, breathing heavily with exortion and relief.

The sound of the chopper landing next to them, seemed to be so distant...

~*~*~(End of flashback)

~The sound of the chopper ~..

"Damn it all to hell!" - Alec cursed and went out on the skid.

~No, it can't end like this~

Holding the door , he grabbed 007's arm with his free hand and pulled him up.

~I got you. I won't let go~

He saw Bond was dizzy and half-conscious, but he still managed to grab on the skid. With Trevelyan's help, he pulled himself inside.

The machine took off immediately. Alec still stood in the entrance and looked down on the satellite. He saw the tower with their ladder go down and after a few seconds the whole plate exploded. Although the chopper was already very high, Trevelyan could feel the blast of hot air on his face. A huge sphere of fire swallowed the satellite.

The satellite??? A bitter chuckle escaped Alec's mouth.

His dreams, his plans, his revenge were now nothing but a sphere of fire.

Fire.

He subconsciously touched the burn-scar on his face, trying not to think that he had just saved the life of a man who was responsible for destroying his future. Another bitter laugh.

Alec shut the doors on the both sides of the chopper and looked at Bond. 007 was still lying on the floor, trying to recover from the dizziness and start to see something except colorful spots dancing in all directions before his eyes.

For a few moments Trevelyan just stood there, staring numbly at the immobile man on the floor, wondering what he should do next. Finally, he decided to leave James alone for now. He knew very well that the confrontation would be inevitable, but he eagerly put it off for later. Besides, he had to clear some other things out first.

When he entered the cockpit, the dark- haired girl turned her head and smiled at him. He couldn't help but return the smile, although it was quickly gone from his face. He sat in the second pilot's chair and looked at her.

"Not that I wasn't thrilled to see you, but may I ask how you got here? You were supposed to wait in the truck outside the plate site, where I left you"

She didn't look at him, keeping her eyes fixed on the fields below them, and answered calmly, seemingly unmoved by the hidden disapproval in his voice.

"After Sergei flew away to pick you up, I had a really strong gut feeling that something was wrong, so I tried to contact him, but the Gunship radio didn't respond. I took the other chopper and here I was."

Silence reined for a moment.She didn't want to sound angry and it was exactly how she was beginning to feel. She had just saved his life and all he could do was criticize her for it. But then again, what else might she expect from Alec Trevelyan? He hated being disobeyed by anyone, especially by his 'employees'.And that's exactly what she was to him - just another well- trained professional hired to help him get what he wanted. His right hand, perhaps, but a hireling all the same. Nothing more.

Nothing more. While for her he was.. No. She wasn't going to think about it now. It was neither time nor place.

Shaking off the overcoming sadness, she continued, smiling again:

"Don't worry about the truck, it's safe. Besides, you wanted your right hand to leave you alone in trouble?"

He was silent for a long beat. She was just about to say something more, but he cut her off:

"Violet.Do me a favour" - he looked at her seriously for a moment and then a faint smile danced on his lips "and keep trusting your gut-feelings"- he finished and she knew this was probably the closest he would ever get to a 'thank you' .

He leaned back in his chair and run his hand through his hair. Only now did he realize, how exhausted he was. He hadn't yet taken it everything that had happened. Especially one particular thing, but he wasn't ready to think about it now. Would he ever be? He had to, and pretty soon. The day was very far from over. He didn' have to wait long to be reminded about it.

"What about him?" - asked Violet, indicating the back of the chopper with her chin.

Alec sighed and rubbed his temples.

"That's a very good question" he answered after a beat.

* * *

It took him quite a while to understand what actually happened.

Understand?

No, he could never understand it. For now he could only accept it as a fact.

He was sure he was going to die there. After he saw Natalya's chopper get hit and disappear somewhere in the distance, he knew there was no other way to escape. He could only wait for Trevelyan to stomp harder on his arm and prepare to fall a long way down to the plate. 'James Bond never gives up' whispered his inner voice, so he forced his mind to search for some way to get out of this mess. He came up with nothing and was too exhausted to keep thinking straight. He kept himself conscious only with the strength of his will. If it weren't for his famous will to survive he would have already let go of that rug. His vision was blurred and everything looked like a dream. He felt detached, as if he was watching it all from afar.

When you are a secret agent, death is your constant companion. James often felt its breath on his neck, even its icy-cold touch, but always somehow managed to get away at the very last moment. Why was this time to be any different? And yet it was. It was different in many more ways than one. He had never gotten this close, and even if he had, he hadn't had the time to realize it. Now it came upon him with its full strength.

They say that when you are about to die, your whole life flashes in front of your eyes. James saw only selected images - faces.. of women, of people from MI6, of his enemies; pictures of fight, short moments of rest.

Questions.. Questions that started flooding into his mind, one after the other. Those he had always pushed away to the deepest corners of his mind, those he always left unanswered.

What is the meaning of your life? The service to the queen, to England? Nothing more? There should be something more, shouldn't it?

Which one of your dreams has come true? Any of them? Dreams? Spies don't have time for dreams. They have to make sure other people's dreams will have a chance to come true.

Have you been happy? James realized he didn't really know what true happiness was. Moments of joy after another end of the world was done away with, moments of ecstasy with his numerous lovers..Happiness?

Will anyone cry after you? Moneypenny, Q, other people from the MI6? "A small memorial service, with only Moneypenny and a few tearful restitures in attendance"- he remembered Alec's mocking words on the train a few hours ago.Was it true, then? Was he to become another annonymus star on the memorial wall at MI6? He had no family, no woman ever got close enough to mean something more to him. And those who did, all ended up dead. The last person he could call his friend was. Alec, nine years ago. Never make it personal, as M said.

His mind wandered back to the conversation he had with Natalya on the beach: " How can you act like this? How can you be so cold? "It's what keeps me alive" "No, it's what keeps you alone"

MI6 and emptiness - these were probably the two words that would best describe his life. That's why he could accept death with such calmness - because there was nothing, no one keeping him there. For the first time in his life, James Bond felt regret at the thought of dying.

And in the same moment, something tore him out from this half-conscious, but heart-wrenching soul-searching.

A hand.

A hand that pulled him up and then helped him crawl into the helicopter.

Alec.

Impossible. I m p o s s i b l e.

When the dizzines and colors flying before his eyes started to weaken, James was almost convinced it must have all been a dream. Definietly a dream. Too unbelievable to be true. Alec Trevelyan saving his life. Seconds before they'd tried to kill each other. No way. Fertile imagination, James, really.

Slowly, he pulled himself up and sat with his back against the metal wall, rubbing his left arm. His head hurt wildly, as if a thousand hammers were beating out a rythm inside it. He breathed deeply and opened his eyes. His vision was almost normal. He pressed his head against the wall, welcoming the soothing coldness of the metal. A couple more deep breaths.

Allright, time to analyse the situation. To do it, he had to reluctantly admit that it hadn't been all a dream. Every single thing that happened was hundred percent real, no matter how confused it made him.

The inevitable question popped up.

"Why?"

Why would Trevelyan want to keep him alive? As a hostage, perhaps? Then why wasn't he tied up? Alec certainly knew him well enough to know that you just don't leave James Bond untied and unguarded, even if he is unconscious. So hostage was out of question. What then? There must have been an agenda. James thought half-heartedly he could go to the cockpit and attack Trevelyan and his pilot, but he had no intention of doing it. He knew there was no immediate threat to his life; at least not yet. Another reason was the sheer curiosity of what would happen next. Oh, and he hadn't tried standing up yet. Judging from the state he was in, it was going to be a veery.. .dizzy experience.

All he could do for now, was wait.

* * *

In the cockpit, Alec Trevelyan was also asking himself questions, and was no better than Bond in finding answers. He was torn from his thoughts by the sight of a helicopter standing on the field below them. Black smoke was coming from it's engine, but it wasn't crashed. Next to it, shileding her eyes from the sun with her hand, Natalya Fiediorovna Siemionova looked up at the approaching machine.

"Land here." Alec ordered

Violet made a wide circle around the field and, manouvering to land as far as possible from the smoking helicopter, finally sat the machine on the ground. As the propellers slowed down and stopped, dead silence reined. It seemed almost unnatural after all the explosions and noise that accompanied them lately. None of them seemed willing to break it. Alec closed his eyes and breathed deeply. The thing he would do gladly at this very moment was to fall asleep and forget about everything. And wake up somewhere very far away. The silence wouldn't last long, he knew that. It was like the stillnes of nature before storm.

Finally Violet asked this inevitable question of the day, which he was subconsciously awaiting,

"What are you going to do now?"

T o b e c o n t i n u e d . . .