M listened silently, as 007 gave his report on the Goldeneye operation. It had been fairly straightforward, if disturbing, until the end.

"During the confrontation, Janus fell." 007 dropped his gaze. "I attempted to catch him, to detain him for questioning as per orders, but was unable to maintain my hold."

M frowned. Her instincts screamed that he was lying. But about what?

"It occurs to me that if I had not read your interim report, I would have no way of knowing that Janus was Trevelyan."

"No. I suppose not." Impersonal as ever. Unless - was that what this was about? His failure to save his former friend?

"Bond - you are a valuable asset to MI6 and to England." She saw his mouth twist. "Far too important to waste trying to save a traitor."

"Yes." He pushed himself to his feet. "Sir. I believe you know the rest."

"The accounting department has informed me of the bill from the Hotel Havana."

Later, James let himself into his apartment, and slipped off his jacket. He stood waiting, until he felt strong, warm arms slip around him from behind. "So," Alec whispered into his ear, "What did you tell her?"