Author's note: This is a one-shot I wrote to explore the relationship between Alec and James. I am intending to post a longer story featuring the two of them later, and this is partly to explore their different backgrounds first.

Just after the mission where Alec was captured and believed to be dead, and James fights to make sure he is not forgotten.

Very big thank you to Forever Faramir who once more have turned my spelling errors into correct words.

Disclaimer: I do not own James Bond, Alec Travelyan or any other James Bond related item or person. I have only borrowed the characters and will return them. Not even making any serious attempt at kidnapping Alec, and as I have gotten some special glue form Q, he shall appear utterly unharmed.

Been Here Before

James knew every inch of the apartment, as much time as he'd spent in here it was no wonder.

Those days when there was no mission, and no women either. Then he would often be here.

So yes, he knew his way around these rooms, not that it was very complicated. There wasn't very much here to know your way around, no clutter in the corners. There was no clutter anywhere, everything was neat and tidy.

Someone who just walked in, who had never seen them before wouldn't be able to tell much about the owner. The women, those who had been taken here on the arm by a so charming man, would look around, and not be able to tell anything more about him then they already had learnt from his smile and sparkling eyes.

They would see that the furniture had cost a fair deal, and that as little as it was it was tasteful enough. There was nothing to suggest bragging about it. Most of them wouldn't have seen much more than the bedroom, the bed was easily big enough for two, and soft. A good thing when you had company, but when you did not it was easy to feel the emptiness instead.

James knew that only to well, it looked empty even now, big vast and empty. The emptiness would be even greater now, because not only would there be no more women to take up the space for a night, there was no one else either.

There was no Alec to bring them, and no Alec to sleep there alone.

James had occasionally teased him for the barren look of his apartment. The obvious lack of personality reflected by the items there.

Alec had just claimed that less of a clutter meant less of a job to clear it all out, and James would laugh at the joke.

He wasn't laughing now. He was there to clear some of the stuff out.

Alec would never come back here. Not after the last mission that had gone so wrong.

Alec was gone.

This was not an official mission, in fact no one knew about it. James wasn't even supposed to be doing this, but he had to.

When they cleared out the apartment they would put everything in crates, and it would be first examined, and then taken to a warehouse to be forgotten with time. James could not allow that to happen, not like that. He owed it to Alec.

The MI-6 would hold a small memorial service, and then Alec would be gone for ever. Every trace of him erased. There was no body and so there was no grave, and no Alec.

He could not allow that to happen. Not to Alec, not to his best friend.

There were only a few really personal belongings here, a precious few memories of better times. James was not about to allow them to box up all of those. He'd brought a bag with him, and he intended to make sure that those few memories were saved and treasured.

He knew where everything was. There was a drawer in the desk where Alec kept everything and now James emptied it and placed everything into the bag. He didn't take a proper look at what he took; he would do that later.

Then because an empty drawer would look suspicious to those cleaning out the apartment he moved some things from the other drawers.

He could not spend much time here, even if he wanted to. He was not supposed to be here at all and so he had to be fast. At least a few memories of their life together had been saved.

Later back, in his own apartment he emptied the bag onto a table, and now he could take the time to look at the things. Some memories overpowered him as he turned something over in his hands.

"Where is that bloody pen?" Alec was rummaging around in a drawer in his desk.

James chuckled from where he watched, casually leaning against the wall. "There's a pen on the desk Alec." He pointed out.

"I know." Alec shoved the drawer shut and opened the next one. "But it's not the one I'm looking for."

He gave a triumphant sound and held up a fountain pen. "There, it had wound up in the wrong drawer."

"What's so special about that pen?" James asked, from where he stood, it looked like any other fountain pen he had ever seen.

"I guess it's mostly about how long I've had it." Alec shrugged. "I got it in my first year of boarding school. It was the prize for a cross country race I won."

"You did cross country racing?" James asked intrigued. He had never picked Alec out as being a sport jock in school.

"It was pretty much mandatory." Alec shrugged. "It was said to make strong and sound boys. I just happened to be the fastest one that time, or the most stubborn, I wanted to prove myself."

"I don't recall that you ever had to work very hard to prove yourself Alec." James grinned.

"I had to then, because I was the odd one in the school, the one who did not fit in." Alec was still fiddling with random items on his desk. "Coming from an orphanage tends to make you a bit different then the rest. Aside from that I only had to really prove myself once." He looked up at James and flashed that big lopsided grin of his.

"When was that?" James asked dutifully, allowing Alec to tell the tale.

"When I first got to MI-6 as a fully trained secret agent." He admitted.

James nodded, it happened that the younger ones often worked to prove themselves to the older and seasoned ones, he could not really blame them, you did not know whatever they could really live up to what they had learnt in training.

"Was teamed with some cocky self loving bastard who did not think I would be good enough." Alec went on.

"I bet you showed him that you were." James grinned, Alec was competent; more than competent. He had always been. He had done well in training.

"Oh, I did." Alec grinned. "You should have seen his face when I turned out to be better."

"Who was it?" James asked curiously.

"Fellow named Bond, James Bond." Alec grinned, stepping away from the desk to where there was some free floor space.

"I'll show you who the best one was." James launched himself from the wall and felled him to the floor in a tackle. They trained unarmed combat together. It wasn't as if he could catch Alec unaware. This wasn't the first time one of them just randomly tackled down the other either. They did that every now and again.

It had taken some time before James had understood that one of the reasons Alec had kept the fountain pen was that it was one of the first things that was his own. When Alec went from the orphanage to the boarding school, he'd had one bag of clothes with him. No other possessions, that pen had been one of the first things that was his own, that he had earned himself, and so he kept it.

The boarding school had been a big change for Alec, it had been when he no longer shared sleeping quarters with two dozen others, but only with one other. It had been when he was given a small allowance to buy himself what he needed. It had been very different from the life he had led before, but Alec had adapted quickly and had been popular.

There was the medallion that Alec had won in fencing. There was the cigarette lighter that James had given him. Then there were a few coins that Alec had used to save the world. They were molten lumps and no longer resembled coins at all.

"What did you do to these ones?" James asked as he held a few lumps of molten metal in his hand, frowning at Alec.

"Well, I was running out of ways to stop them." Alec grinned. "So I jammed those into the circuits, when they tried to fire it short circuited." He took the former coins back. "Melted my lunch money though."

James laughed at him, that was such a typical comment from Alec. "Come on." He grinned. "I'll buy you a pint to make it up to you."

He'd done that, and they had had a really nice evening.

Then the next day they had gone off to save the world again.

Alec and he had saved the world so many times, had risked so much, why could not the world save Alec even once.

He closed the drawer solemnly, at least some evidence remained of one of the best agents in the world.

The End

This was the seventh one shot. I hope you all enjoyed it, here is also review response for the sixth one. I want to thank everyone who have read those stories.


Earendil Eldar: Ah, there is so much that could be said about their friendship. Considering their line of work, deep friendship is really the only one. You need to be able to trust your partner fully there, and there can be no doubt about that trust. After so many years, if Alec had defected willingly, James would have noticed. So I try to figure out what was going on there. He he, I think I might be keeping you busy tonight, two updates and one mail, I hope you are enjoying it and that I'm not bothersome.

Silveni: Yeah, he was a rookie, and so was James to once I recon. There is no way to be experienced if you were never green. I quite like the input of Alec as he was new there, seeing as how that time would be very important for what happened later, his and James relationship.

Iolana Khenemet: Time, there never seems to be enough of it, does it? Yeah, the way James describes Alec there, is how many others would have described him. Then again that is arrogance, not seeing how arrogant you are yourself. Alec is less arrogant in himself, but can put on a show of being even worse than James if he wants to, and Moneypenny is a very interesting character in herself. She is very good at getting a point across, and she is very useful to have there with James and Alec. I hope you enjoyed this, because it will be important later.