Disclaimer: I do not own this in any shape or form ... well the words I 'own' but the characters, settings are someone else's sand box.

Author's Note: Digging through my old files since my laptop is getting a little slow I came across this ... I wrote it just after I saw QoS. I've actually realised something - I could so very easiely interchange the Bondness of this into a Supernatural fic kinda ... still it is interesting to read this - love reading old stuff I wrote.

Anyway so this is a series of vignettes that show a 'what if' in regards to James and Quantum (who are officially the coolest criminal organisation). This is inspired by Mr. White's comment 'if she (Vesper) hadn't died we would've had you too – you would have done anything for her'. Hasn't been beta'd.

Please feel free to share your thoughts - they are very much appreciated.

Easy

-

The gunshot's sound rang in the room.

James turned his head slightly, his body aching at the sudden movement. ****. It hurt so much. Christ. He bit his tongue, shutting his eyes, trying to fight back the mind numbing pain that encased his body. He heard footsteps coming towards him and he immediately tensed, his eyes springing open as he watched an unrecognisable figure come towards him.

Who the hell was he? What the **** was going on? What – Vesper? Was she? ****, ****, ****...she had better not be.

He swallowed deeply and asked, "Vesper?"

The man paused for a moment, his eyes running over James' body. As he watched the figure pull out a long needle he tried to break free. He wiggled his body and groaned as a new onslaught of pain spread to every corner of his being. He breathed in deeply and tried again, shifting to his left, away from the figure.

"Easy son," came the man's voice. James watched horrified as the man bent down, as a leathered hand rested on his face in a gentle fashion. He stared blankly up at those eyes...were they eyes? He blinked but his vision seemed to be slipping. Everything was the same...

"Easy..." said the voice again, "It'll only be a prick,"

He felt a prick and saw black.

-

When he woke up he immediately knew that he wasn't in a hospital.

He wasn't sure what it was though. He could hear the beeping of a life monitor and the low murmur of voices that sounded like doctors, feel the tubes and the salves that were applied to his wounds, and see the white coats that were always there and the metal tables full with medical equipment that surrounded him.

Everything that should be in a hospital...but it didn't feel right.
Whenever he asked the doctors they hushed him in Italian, telling him to wait for Mr. White, or outright ignored him. The only time they wanted him to speak was when they asked him about needing water or how the pain was. Not that James felt like talking much. He seemed to spend his days in a constant daze from drugs that left him lethargic.

All he knew was that he wasn't with MI6 – he was with...the enemy? He wasn't even sure and if he was who was the enemy? And where was Vesper? Was she okay? And Mathis – was this his...

Finally one day 'Mr. White' turned up which caused the medical staff to clear out quickly. The moment James saw him he tensed. He knew him, he knew him but where? Where on else – his heart froze and he started to sweat, remembering Le Chiffre, remembering the pain, and remembering the man who had ended it all.

He stared helplessly around the room, looking for an escape route, anything.

"Easy James," said Mr. White.

James turned to watch Mr. White as the man walked up beside James' bed.

"They say you're recovering nicely," said the older man, "you were lucky that your wounds didn't get infected,"

"Where's Vesper?" asked James staring into the man's eyes, trying to get a read of the blank mask.

A small smile crept onto Mr White's face.

"She's safe."

The moment those words left Mr. White's mouth James knew he had been betrayed by Vesper as well.

He felt his stomach twist and his gaze faltered. The conversation after that night between him and Mathis 'so has our girl managed to melt your icy heart yet?' immediately came to mind. He couldn't believe it – no he didn't want to believe it. But it made sense. Vesper didn't want to give him the extra money since she was really rooting Le Chiffre all along.

Everything had been a lie.

"I'm surprised you didn't realise,"

James felt his blood boil. It couldn't be true...they were just messing with him, He looked quickly over at the metal table that held a number of surgical instruments wondering which would be the sharpest to use on this *******. Mr. White followed his gaze and chuckled.

"You do that James and I'll personally see that you're killed," he said. James stared at him wondering why the hell Mr. White was wasting all this medical attention if he was so expendable.

Once again Mr. White smiled, this time in a cruel fashion.

"You're only here because Vesper loves you my boy,"

"I'm not your boy," growled James.

"Of course not,"

James seriously considered just strangling him.

-

A week of solitary confinement followed.

Not that it was really solitary – in fact solitary was the last thing you could call it. The doctors still surrounded him and now Mr. White even came in and sat with him for an hour or so while James ate lunch. After the third day James had given up shooting questions off since Mr. White seemed determined to keep him in the dark.

He felt like a bull trapped in a cage – a very small, clean cage at that. He hated it. He kept on praying that somehow MI6 would find him and get him out of this mess. He had considered making a run for it but knew better. He hadn't completely healed yet and there was no point running off half-cocked. Also he was certain that Mr. White had guards and other security measures. No, he was going to wait until he had a better idea of his situation.

On the fifth day Mr. White arrived late. James had just finished his lunch and had decided to read one of the books that the doctors had left him.

"Enjoying yourself?" asked Mr. White sitting on the other side of the room, leaning against the wall.

"Immensely," said James dryly, not bothering to look up. If White was going to ignore him then he was going to return the favour.

"You really are a child,"

James glanced up, raising an eyebrow. "What?"

Mr. White held his gaze and said smoothly, "I suppose I should tell you
that we have contacts..." he paused a moment, "...in very high places,"

"Whose 'we'?"

Mr. White rose and walked slowly over to Bond.

"We are your future...hopefully."

"Hopefully?"

"Unlike your lovely boss," said Mr. White softly, "we don't deal with rebellious teenagers,"

"And unlike my lovely boss you deal with gambling addicts that lose more than their worth."

"And yet she deals with you,"

-

The next day Bond was shackled to a wheelchair and taken outside.

The cool sea air felt refreshing on his skin, and the sun bathed him in golden light. They wheeled him beside an old table which lay in the shade, facing the sea and left with a glass of water beside him. He was suddenly grateful for the long shirt he wore as the breeze seemed to chill.
He glanced off into the horizon and spotted headlands in the distance. He sniffed the air and realised that it wasn't a sea before him but a large lake. He frowned. Large lake, Italian doctors...well he was in Italy that much was sure. Lake Como possibly?

He turned his head sharply as he heard a door close. He glared as saw Vesper Lynd walk out into the garden and towards him. Her hair was tied back, her fringe was tucked behind her left ear, sunglasses were sitting just above her hairline and she was wearing a simple green dress.

She looked beautiful.

But as she approached him James realised why they had shackled him. He wanted to kill her. She'd betrayed him. She'd done all this to him. And she thought by having her boss spare his life that he'd be okay with all this.

She stopped a few feet short from him and the two stared at each other.

"I'm sorry," she said softly, breaking the silence.

"You aren't,"

She sighed, "My boyfriend, the one that gave me the necklace," she glanced away, "I thought he'd been taken but as it would turn out...he's..."

She didn't need to finish, James knew exactly what she meant. It was one vicious cycle it seemed. One that didn't seem to end.

She looked at him in the eye, holding his gaze.

"It wasn't my intention,"

"As it wasn't mine."

He knew she wasn't talking about betraying him.

-

James had once wondered how love could make someone blind.

Now he could see why.

Because even now, even knowing that she had betrayed him, he still wanted to believe that she was innocent, like she had been in the shower. He wanted her to be the one thing that was completely separate from his world but she'd been in it even before he had.

And despite everything, he still had to protect her. She knew, as did he, that they were both expendable. He wasn't going to let her die. Sometime between him holding her under the icy water and her re-starting his heart they had created an unescapable connection. And James hadn't felt anything like that in a long time, never felt so apart of something and he didn't want to lose it.

He had found his quantum of solace.

So when Mr. White came and explained to him about how he and Vesper would give the funds he had won, he had to know their fate.

"If we don't we die? And if we do then what?"

Mr. White had watched him carefully for a several minutes.

"My superiors are interested in you. Her life will be your payment,"

"I thought you didn't deal with rebellious teenagers,"

"Only when we have a control over them," said Mr. White simply. He looked James carefully in the eye, "It's a seven year contract James and then we either shoot you both or let you both walk,"

James fought back a grin. Seven years? He'd be forty-five then. The retirement age that no double-O's to his knowledge ever saw. He didn't fear death, death he saw was natural but he wasn't going to let them hurt Vesper. Though maybe it was better if she died, if this all ended. He could hardly see 'them' letting Vesper and him walk away at the end of it all.

Still it was seven years, seven years to escape.

"What will I do?"

"Use your licence and nothing more."

"So I'm an executioner?"

"You had no issue with Dryden,"

James swallowed, remembering his second kill. "It was easier than the first."

-

The move was sudden.

The moment James got a full bill of health and had signed the funds away to Quantum (he prayed that MI6 would follow the money trail), Vesper and he moved to Berlin under the watchful eye of a senior Quantum member and his own security as well as their 'own' personal bodyguard. Before they had left Mr. White's home James knew they both had tracking devices in them. It didn't surprise James, except unlike last time he didn't have a clue where the damn things were so he couldn't just get rid of them.

Yet.

Vesper and James were shown to their own private section of the large house, and were bolted in. It was more or less a small unit with one bedroom, lounge, study, bathroom but it did have a small gym. James quickly searched the room for bugs but found none which frustrated him since he knew the. He also checked over all the escape routes, but found no easy route.

Still if he could break into M's apartment then this wasn't going to be too much of a challenge.

"Clean," he said shortly to Vesper. He rubbed the back of his head and stared at the couch, "I'll take the couch –"

"No," interrupted Vesper, "I'll...you need to recover so take the bed,"

"I'm fine,"

"I doubt it,"

They stared at each other for a few moments.

"We'll swap," suggested James.

"No," said Vesper firmly, "After everything...I'm on the couch."

He was about to argue when a maid came into their 'room' carrying two trays of food.

Their separation continued for a week. Actually it was less than that. On the third night he had awoken to the empty bed and truly hated it. He loved her, she loved him. They were stuck together for better or worse. Besides she was the reason he was still alive. She too had been manipulated by Quantum.

He sighed.

No matter how many times he ran the scenario through his mind it came back to the fact she had been a double agent.

And that she was victim of circumstances.

He rose from his bed and silently left the room, his feet making no sound on the polished wooden floor. He stood at the living room door looking at her. Watching as her chest raised in a gentle rhythm as she slept.

"Do you do this often?"

He froze – had she been awake?

She sat up slowly, rubbing her eyes and yawning.

"Sorry for waking you," he said softly.

"I wasn't really sleeping," she dismissed. She frowned and asked, "Why are you doing this?"

"We're dead no matter..." he started to say but he stopped deciding to go down a different path, "We're both going to get out of this together...somehow,"

He shook his head and gestured to the bedroom.

"I'll just..."

He let the sentence trail off into silence and left the room. He slid between the cold sheets and lay on his back, staring at the ceiling. It didn't surprise him at all when he heard her enter the room. He promptly shifted to the other side of the bed and the moment she lay down he moved over and simply held her.

-

James decided the moment he killed Ms. Montes in Haiti that he was going to get Vesper and himself out of this mess as soon as possible and personally destroy Quantum.

Watching the life drain from the young woman's eyes shattered something in James. Before his kills had seemed justified to him, in a strange morbid sense. He was protecting his country, his people from credible threats but with Quantum? He was doing the exact opposite.
M had once said that anyone can kill. Well a thug to be exact. He was now that – a thug, a gun for hire like Mollaka. He knew at MI6 that he was more or less considered a weapon but at least there he could still hold his own identity and be a 'believer' in what he was doing.

He wanted that back.

Now.

Fin

Author's Note: Hope you enjoyed that.